• Captain Phillips Goes to Libya

    March 19, 2014 // 7 Comments »

    So here’s today’s puzzler: when is it cool to take over a ship in international waters and when is it piracy?

    Captain Phillips Goes to Libya

    A major American movie this year was Captain Phillips. It told the story of a brave ship captain (played by American Hero Tom Hanks) and the brave Navy SEALS who recaptured his ship off the coast of Somalia after it was hijacked by pirates who boarded it in international waters.

    For more than a week, an oil tanker from somewhere floated in the Mediterranean. The tanker at one point flew a North Korean flag, but even the North Koreans have disavowed any connection. The Libyan government announced they were going to bomb the tanker “into scrap” but somehow that did not happen and the ship put to sea.

    On March 17, U.S. Navy SEALS boarded the ship in international waters and seized it. Supposedly no shots were fired, and American Sailors took control of the ship and are sailing it back to Libya. No word on what happened to the “pirates” aboard. The “pirates” were “Libyan rebels” who were seeking “the black market.”

    The funny part is that the pirates/rebels, under their militia leader Ibrahim Jadran, had been recruited by the Libyan government to guard crucial oil ports. But eight months ago, they instead seized them, blocked some oil exports, and demanded shared revenues for their eastern region where most of the oil originates. Jadran, for his part, says the Libyan government is corrupt and unfit to rule.

    So Why the U.S.?

    Why did the U.S. do this? Grab a ship full of oil in international waters?

    The oil belongs “to the Libyan National Oil Company and its joint venture partners,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki explained. Those partners included some U.S. companies, which one guesses is the connection to the United States here. Supposedly the Libyan and for some reason the Cypriote governments requested the U.S. to do all this out in international waters.

    Psaki also said “Any oil sales without authorization from these parties places purchasers at risk of exposure to civil liability, penalties and other possible sanctions.” This would presumably involve someone suing the pirates for something. The imagine of lawyers parachuting in with the SEAL team is amusing.

    Also, per the New York Times, “the American intervention is a salvation to the fragile transitional government in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, which would have faced the loss of its main source of revenue and its sole source of political power if renegade militias succeeded in selling Libya’s oil.”

    Libya has seen its oil exports shrink to just 12.5 percent of its output since U.S. led bombing campaign that led to the death of longtime leader Qaddafi. Oops.

    Iraq Redux

    So, as a status check, here we are in late Winter 2014: shilling for American oil companies with the SEALS while trying to prop up a crappy U.S. puppet government in a country the U.S. helped turn from stability to chaos. Now, this is payback, or more like rent due: after making the same promises for Iraq and seeing those fall through, the USG is now showing it is indeed a government of its word.

    P.S. Denizens of the internet: I get it that the Somali’s boarded Captain Phillips’ ship to steal it, and the SEALS boarded the Libyan tanker to steal it back. The point here is to examine the use of military power for the sleaziest of purposes while trying to bathe it all in the perfume of truth, righteousness and the American Way.



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    Posted in Embassy/State, Libya, Military

    Agreeing with Hillary: Citing Iraq Failures, Clinton Avoids Endorsing Syrian Rebels

    December 5, 2012 // 7 Comments »

    Better check the weather report to see if it is below freezing in hell, because a) Hillary just said some things that are intelligent and to the benefit of the U.S. and b) no matter how many beers I have cannon-balled this afternoon, I still agree with her and c) OMG.

    Madame Clinton, no doubt under the influence of some freakishly diabolical inhaled hallucination agent, said in actual human words:


    The U.S. must adopt a sophisticated approach in choosing who to support within Syria for fear of repeating mistakes the U.S. made after invading Iraq in 2003. Supporting the opposition must be paired with endorsing local councils committed to “continuity” and “Syrian governmental institutions,” to ensure these institutional forces don’t collapse. We know from our Iraq experience that can be extremely dangerous.

    Clinton went on to add that U.S. hesitancy to get more involved militarily and politically is at least partially because “there are so many interests by all the players, many of which are contradictory.”

    OMG. This almost suggests that Clinton has “learned a lesson from history,” that looking at the horrific nightmare created in Iraq has somehow informed her as to how to proceed in a future endeavor. “Learning from one’s mistakes” is commonly held to be a sign of sentient intelligence, an indication of higher brain functionality.

    Now, we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves. We know that shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles have magically appeared in Syria this month, a possible game-changer in the same way that U.S.-supplied shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles significantly influenced the outcomes in Libya and 1980’s Afghanistan, not that the U.S. had anything to do with supplying said shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles to Syrian fighters. No, no, that would be wrong. Old Blood ‘n Guts Hils also joined in the chorus of threats if Assad uses chemical weapons, telling us all that “Suffice it to say, we are certainly planning to take action if that eventuality were to occur.”

    We’ll stick to the bright side of life for today, hoping that Clinton’s thoughts are somewhat sincere and representative of the White House’s broader position on Syria (she did drop another sad hint that she is running for president in 2016). Tearing apart the fiber of the Middle East certainly seemed like a good idea when we invaded Iraq in 2003, and when Hillary lustily celebrated the sodomizing of Qaddafi in 2009, and so on, so it is such a nice thing that she wishes to avoid the same scenario today. Yea for progress!



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    Posted in Embassy/State, Libya, Military

    Your Son May Die in Mali: Clinton Seeks Yet Another War

    October 31, 2012 // 6 Comments »

    While Hurricane Sandy dominated the ever-shorter attention span of America’s media, Secretary of State Clinton slithered off to Algeria in hopes of involving the US in another war in next-door Mali.

    Clinton was in Algeria seeking support for “intervention” into yet another country threatened by “al Qaeda.” She is doing this because the other interventions have worked out so well in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Never Neverland. The idea is to gather up some willing African troops as ground fodder, supported by US (and French) logistics, drones, special forces and the like, wrap it in a UN bow and start killing us some more Muslims (in Mali).

    Despite the attractiveness of having foreign troops marauding around its territory (and the French have a particularly horrific history in Algeria, of course), Algeria seems cool to the idea. Among other concerns, the Algerians are worried that the troops could push extremists out of Mali and back across its own borders. Algeria has maintained a modus vivendi with the bad boys on its border and sees no reason to stir things up just because the US has found another location to export the War of Terror to.

    The US of course remains blind to the continuing failure of its war orgasms, and in particular their horrendous secondary effects. In fact, the new “crisis” in Mali is sort of our fault. The fall of Qaddafi in Libya prompted ethnic Tuareg rebels from Mali, who had been fighting alongside Qaddafi’s forces, to return to northern Mali with weapons from Libyan arsenals. They joined with Qaeda-affiliated Islamist militants who had moved to the lightly policed region from Algeria, and the two groups easily drove out the weakened Malian army in late March and early April. Then the Islamists turned on the Tuaregs, chasing them off and consolidating control in the region in May and June. But hey, we got another regime change notch in our belt, so it’s cool.

    Mali is a wasteland, so the war is unlikely to make things too much worse, right? About half the population live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day.

    The 100% percent-substance free official State Department read-out of the Algerian trip was contained in the longest run-on sentence in bureaucratic history: Virtually the entire meeting portion focused on our counterterrorism cooperation and Mali, and they agreed that we need to now work together to build on our existing strong U.S.-Algerian counterterrorism cooperation to work together against the problems that are being exported from Mali and to help Bamako and ECOWAS with the AU and the UN support as well deal with the security threats inside of Mali.


    BONUS: Savage War of Peace by Alistair Horne is one of the best books about the Algerian war for independence against the French. The book is also important reading in that it discusses the French decision to employ torture against the Algeria rebels, and details the extreme costs to the French in terms of loss of moral superiority that flowed from that choice. The book is also a textbook in counter-insurgency warfare, albeit once again mostly negative lessons.




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    Posted in Embassy/State, Libya, Military

    US Ambassador to Libya Killed: Still Laughing Madame Secretary?

    September 12, 2012 // 7 Comments »

    It wasn’t just a movie.

    It was less than a year ago that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was videotaped gleefully laughing at the brutal death of then-Libyan leader Qaddafi. “We came, we saw, he died!” giggled the Secretary of State like a drunk school girl on the sidelines of a national television interview.

    It was, in large part, the military intervention of the US that brought about Qaddafi’s death and the “liberation” of Libya. Qaddafi was a nasty son of a bitch. He had people tortured and had opponents killed. He was a dictator. The common wisdom on the Internet, and inside the State Department, is that while “unfortunate,” a guy like Qaddafi had it coming. The same logic applied to the US’ gunning down of bin Laden and our drone killings of any number of terrorist celebs, including several American Citizens.

    With the tragic news today that US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and several other Americans were killed in an attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, one wonders if Hillary is still laughing.

    It appears that the Ambassador was in Benghazi for the ribbon-cutting for an “American Corner.” An American Corner is, in State’s own words, a “friendly, accessible space, open to the public, which provides current and reliable information about the United States through bilingual book and magazine collections, films and documentaries, poster exhibitions, and guides for research on the United States.” Ironic of course that Ambassador Stevens and his people died in what is sadly all of a propaganda gesture, a book nook Corner that says happy things about America so that Libyans will love us.

    I mean no disrespect to the dead, and mourn with their loved ones. A few years ago it was my family stationed abroad at an American Consulate, so I know too well the tight feeling in my gut wondering what will happen, will someone die today simply because of where they work. Making light over the death of anyone is disgraceful.

    America’s actions abroad, particularly when we kill people because we do not like what they say or do, have consequences that are long and often tragic. Secondary, tertiary effects. I hate killing. I am not justifying any killing nor am I gleeful over Ambassador Stevens and his colleagues’ deaths.

    I am instead offended by US leaders who find happiness in the death of others for political reasons, and then seem shocked and surprised when it is visited on our own. Drone strikes call forth retaliatory terror acts. Terror acts begat more drone strikes. Eye for an eye. Live by the sword.

    It is not about a movie. The anti-Islam movie was just today’s trigger, the most recent one. Behind the easy, casual “oh, it was our free speech that angered them” we seem to forget what filmmaker James Spione knows, that the invasions of multiple Muslim countries, the killing and wounding of hundreds of thousands of civilians to “free them,” the displacement of millions more as refugees, the escalating drone attacks, the torture and rendition, Guantanamo itself as a symbol of all that is wrong with our policies, the propping up of corrupt regimes in Baharain, Saudi and until we changed directions, Libya and Syria, the relentless horrific violence unleashed year after year after year by America’s military. Let’s at least be honest about the miasma of hatred we’ve created that is the true context for this horrible incident.

    It wasn’t just a movie. As if to make the point, Obama is on TV saying “justice will be done” in his serious voice, and CNN reports US drones are being sent to hunt down the killers in Libya.

    Indeed, the US rendered human beings into Qaddafi’s Libya for torture just a few years ago. Some of those who were rendered and tortured under US sponsorship now hold key leadership and political positions in the Libyan government. Payback, revenge, call it what you wish.

    For those who will claim articles such as this are politicizing a tragedy, remember this: the Ambassador was there as a political symbol, and he was killed as a political symbol. He and the Consulate were targeted specifically because they represent America. Our diplomats are abroad for that purpose, and become the closest targets for those who wish to attack America. Expect more, especially when the US and/or Israel strike Iran.

    It wasn’t just a movie. They don’t hate us for our freedoms. They hate us for what we do to them.

    America needs a policy in the Middle East that is not based on killing if we ever want the killing to stop.



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    Posted in Embassy/State, Libya, Military

    Chortling: Consider the Source

    March 21, 2012 // 3 Comments »

    The White House said Tuesday the thought of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad chortling over his iTunes collection while his people were being slaughtered was “sickening.” Obama’s spokesman Jay Carney was responding to reports in the Guardian newspaper about Assad’s purported emails, which lifted the lid on the lavish lifestyle enjoyed by the Syrian leader and his wife.


    It’s really sickening if you think about it that a man who is overseeing the slaughter of his own people is chortling about evading sanctions and getting an iTunes account.

    Good for you Jay. Good for you. Probably got a high five from the boss for that zinger.

    On the other hand, back in October, I wrote on this blog:


    Here is your Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who as Secretary is America’s top diplomat. She practices diplomacy, which in one sense as been defined as “the employment of tact to gain strategic advantage or to find mutually acceptable solutions to a common challenge, one set of tools being the phrasing of statements in a non-confrontational, or polite manner.” Now, here is our diplomat talking about the death of Qaddafi. She says “we came, we saw, he died” and then laughs about that with some robo journalist.

    For all those who write in complaining that I am at times crude or offensive, chortling over anyone’s death is a disgrace. What’s next, displaying the skulls of our enemies in the Foggy Bottom lobby? Oh my god America, what have we become?

    In return for my chortling reference, the State Department is seeking to fire me. Here’s the charge:


    Like all else in Washington, I guess it is all about who you know. Now, let’s all have a hearty chortle over some amusing tidbit in the news…



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    Posted in Embassy/State, Libya, Military

    Let’s Watch Qaddafi Get Beaten and (Maybe) Sodomized

    October 26, 2011 // Comments Off

    Though apparently my posting of a video of your Secretary of State gleeful at the death of Qaddafi may not have been to everyone’s taste, NOW we know why everyone was so happy.

    More complete video of Qaddafi’s death shows that he was captured very much alive, beaten, and according to one interpretation of the video, sodomized with a knife. To be clear, this means that while being held by others, one of Libya’s liberators supported by the US tried to force a combat knife into Qaddafi’s anus. This is unclear from the video, at least to an old sodomite like myself, so judge for yourself below.

    Question for Discussion:
    Qaddafi was not the nicest guy. He had people tortured under his order and almost certainly had opponents killed. He was a dictator.

    The common wisdom on the Internet, and inside the State Department, is that while “unfortunate,” a guy like Qaddafi had it coming. The same logic applied to the US’ murder of bin Laden and our drone killings of any number of terrorist celebs, including several American Citizens.

    Here’s the question: In 100 words or less, indicate how bad one has to be to justify a) knife sodomy; b) pistol shot to the head and c) death by Hellfire missile from a drone.

    Extra Credit:
    How bad does one have to be to justify being tortured by US supporters? Just being a dictator? Calling the SecState a bad name? Not returning library books? Sharing NetFlix with your non-subscribing friends?

    Thanks for waiting, and here’s your war porn video:



    No video? Click here.

    And here’s the link to see still frames that purport to document the sodomy.



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    Posted in Embassy/State, Libya, Military

    Insane Bachmann: Iraq Must ‘Reimburse’ for War

    October 24, 2011 // 2 Comments »

    Republican crazy person Michele Bachmann (R., Pluto.) thinks it’s time to present the Iraqis with a bill.

    “I believe that Iraq should reimburse the United States fully for the amount of money that we have spent to liberate these people,” said Bachmann, apparently now released into the wild unsedated, on Face the Nation.

    She also expressed outrage at the Iraqis’ apparent lack of gratitude toward the United States, almost as if she just awoke from an eight year coma.

    “We are there as the nation that liberated these people,” she said. “And that’s the thanks that the United States is getting?




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    Posted in Embassy/State, Libya, Military

    Hillary Clinton Disgraces America

    October 21, 2011 // 18 Comments »

    Here is your Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who as Secretary is America’s top diplomat. She practices diplomacy, which in one sense as been defined as “the employment of tact to gain strategic advantage or to find mutually acceptable solutions to a common challenge, one set of tools being the phrasing of statements in a non-confrontational, or polite manner.”

    Now, here is our diplomat talking about the death of Qaddafi. She says “we came, we saw, he died” and then laughs about that with some robo journalist.



    If the video is not embedded, try here.

    For all those who write in complaining that I am at times crude or offensive, chortling over anyone’s death is a disgrace. What’s next, displaying the skulls of our enemies in the Foggy Bottom lobby? Oh my god America, what have we become?

    And if you are among those leaving negative comments for me, here’s more war porn video to get off on.

    Lastly, by overwhelming popular demand, I have toned down the language in this posting. The comments below may refer to an earlier version which used considerably more naughty language. I still pretty much feel that way, but understand I don’t always need to write down exactly the words in my head.




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    Posted in Embassy/State, Libya, Military

    Oil from Libya: Mission Accomplished

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    With oil from Iraq still flowing more like Grandpa with prostrate trouble, it is good to learn that freedom in Libya is oilier than we thought.

    Associated Press reports the killing of Moammar Gadhafi reduces the chance that violence will get in the way as Libya cranks up production again. The type of crude produced by Libya, known as light, sweet crude, is rare. It is especially valuable because it is easier for refineries to convert into diesel and gasoline. Many refineries can’t switch easily to processing other varieties of crude.

    The price of oil jumped 35 percent between Feb. 15, when protests started in Benghazi, and April 29, when oil hit almost $114 per barrel, the highest since 2008. Gasoline prices in the U.S. rose from $3.12 before the fighting to a three-year high of $3.98 on May 5.

    By Wednesday, oil had returned to its price before Libya’s uprising began. It fell 81 cents Thursday to $85.30 a barrel in New York trading. The average price of a gallon of gas in the U.S. was unchanged at $3.47.

    (Note to the easily offended: do not use Google images for the search term “gusher” with Safe Search turned off)




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    Posted in Embassy/State, Libya, Military

    Qaddafi: Mission Accomplished

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    It is always sad when friends depart. Qaddafi was hated, then loved, the hated once again by the West. But, for that brief shining moment, we have our… memories.








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    Posted in Embassy/State, Libya, Military

    Let’s Watch Qaddafi Get Killed on YouTube

    October 20, 2011 // 1 Comment »

    You earned this America!




    Even more, with extra gore for freedom!




    So many of our wars nowadays never seem to end. Sure, we hung Saddam but that was botched. Nobody was executed in Afghanistan, and those black and white wars like Korea and Vietnam sucked.

    Wouldn’t it be great is everything ended this way? Super Bowl defeated quarterback dragged behind a truck, Presidential debates end with losers beaten to death, bad evaluations at the office finish with execution. Man, that would be so cool. Time to change the channel now, “Situation Room” is on.



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    Posted in Embassy/State, Libya, Military

    Build Your Qaddafi Library Now While You Still Can

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    Remember how your Mom threw away all your baseball cards and Matchbox cars? Man, you could have sold that stuff on eBay for like a zillion dollars, if only you had held on to it all.

    Well, here’s your chance. With the Qaddafi family headed toward exhile, execution, or worse, a reality show, books by the master will become collector’s items– they ain’t gonna be making any more of ‘em people!

    Luckily Amazon.com has three choices available. Now neither is available for Kindle, but both are eligible for Free Super Saver Shipping.

    If you will only buy one book, go for the classic “little green book” of Qaddafi’s, where he laid out for all his revolutionary theories. The most important one, Jamahiriya (Arabic for “Juche”) has governed the boss’ thinking on Libya for 40 years. Quite a run.











    Qaddafi the revolutionary, Qaddafi the prophet, these themes are addressed in his other works. This book might be considered “Qaddafi unplugged,” where the man explores his sort of essayist side. Entertainment Weekly said it for all of us when it wrote
    “Qaddafi… often reminds one of Dennis Miller, albeit slightly funnier.”











    The product description for the book My Visionalone makes it an obvious winner; this is not a narrative you are gonna hear out of Wolf or Anderson anytime soon:

    In 2004, the international embargo and sanctions that had been imposed on Libya for more than a decade were lifted by the UN Security Council when Colonel Muammar Gadaffi announced that Libya would give up its nuclear weapons. Further, Gadaffi agreed to compensate the families of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing and the attack on the TWA flight that occurred in the late 1980s. This remarkable gesture showed Gaddafi’s commitment to seeing Libya rejoin the international community. In the sprit of reconciliation, Prime Minister Tony Blair flew to Tripoli, declaring that Libya was now an ally in the fight against global terrorism. How is this reversal explained? Born from conversations between Gaddafi and political expert Edmond Jouve, this book retraces the Libyan leader’s political and ideological journey.



    Don’t worry if the image if the book cover image is not showing up; it’s just Qaddafi’s mug again.



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    Posted in Embassy/State, Libya, Military

    How Time Flies

    September 29, 2011 // 2 Comments »

    Just like fashion, if you hang on long enough, things come around full circle. Just like Qaddafi– 1980’s super villain freak, 2009 sticky handed friend of Condi Rice.

    Just as a reminder, in the 1980’s Saddam was our pal (shown here with a dapper Don Rumsfeld).



    And of course everybody’s favorite freedom fighters of the 1980’s the Taliban, shown here with ace face Ronnie Reagan.




    Just sayin’.



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    Posted in Embassy/State, Libya, Military

    Qaddafi Kept Photo Album of Condi

    August 26, 2011 // Comments Off

    We’ve documented Qaddafi’s weird relationship with the US government in other posts, though now it appears he desired an even weirder relationship with none other than Bush Work Wife and former Secretary of State Condi Rice.

    Qaddafi apparently was smitten, which is creepy given that Condi is, um, an avowed “bachelorette.” Nonetheless, the man kept a scrapbook-photo album of America’s iron lady in his Bond super-villain lair.

    Indeed, it was Qaddafi that once said “I support my darling black African woman. I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders. … Leezza, Leezza, Leezza. … I love her very much.” Eeeeeeew, what’s next? Mubarak kept an album of Hillary Clinton shots? Obama has up skirts of Angela Merkel on his cell?

    The mind just spins on this one. Maybe the US could use Condi as bait, to lure Qaddafi out of hiding? She could send him a few texts, maybe a cellphone snap of her so-sexy gap-toothed smile with a suggestive comment, and ask him to meet her at some Tripoli Starbucks. Qaddafi shows up with flowers and bang! Seal Team Six “consummates” the date. Condi, do it, for America!!!!!!!!



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    Posted in Embassy/State, Libya, Military

    US Military Spare Parts went to Qaddafi in 2009

    August 25, 2011 // 57 Comments »

    We recently recapped the weird history of US-Libyan relations, focusing on how, after years of hating on and bombing Qaddafi, soon after the Iraq war commenced we suddenly decided we liked him. The US opened diplomatic relations in 2009 and had all sorts of warm feelings for the once-pariah state. Then somehow in 2011 he started hating on and bombing Qaddafi again.

    New cables, on Wikilks, now give us a hint at how cozy the US-Libyan relationship (briefly) was.

    To start, Libya needed lots of spare parts for its military after years of embargoes. The US was happy to assist. An unclassified cable from 2009 outlined that the US sold “Miscellaneous parts, components, accessories, and attachments for the L100 aircraft and T56 engines belonging to the Libyan Air Force,” conveniently through a Portuguese middleman. Wonder if any of those refitted aircraft played any part in the recent unpleasantness in Libya? The cable asked Embassy Lisbon and Embassy Tripoli to check up on these exports, as they had (duh) military usage and cordially concludes “Department is grateful for Post’s assistance in this matter.”

    The more amusing cable is from August 2009, just two short years ago. It recounts the visit to Libya of Congressional super heroes John McCain,Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham. The boys had a nice visit with Qaddafi and his son it seems. The cable notes “Lieberman called Libya an important ally in the war on terrorism, noting that common enemies sometimes make better friends.” Old Man McCain assured his hosts “that the United States wanted to provide Libya with the equipment it needs for its security. He stated that he understood Libya’s requests regarding the rehabilitation of its eight C-130s and pledged to see what he could do to move things forward in Congress. He described the bilateral military relationship as strong and pointed to Libyan officer training at U.S. Command, Staff, and War colleges as some of the best programs for Libyan military participation.”

    The cable continued to say that “Qadhafi commented that friendship was better for the people of both countries and expressed his desire to see the relationship flourish. He thanked the Senators for their visit and described America as a race rather than a nationality, explaining that many Libyans are dual citizens because they were born in the United States. Senators McCain and Graham conveyed the U.S. interest in continuing the progress of the bilateral relationship and pledged to try to resolve the C-130 issue with Congress and Defense Secretary Gates.”

    It was no surprise Qaddafi wanted to talk hardware with McCain. The preparatory cable sent to McCain from Embassy Tripoli just before his trip reminded that “Libya has stated its number one priority, in return
    for relinquishing WMD, is a security guarantee by the US against foreign aggression. To that end, Libya has expressed an interest in purchasing lethal weapons from US firms.”

    Ho ho ho, that sure seems ironic now, after six months of a US bombing campaign.

    Qaddafi was always polite. In November 2008, the US Embassy in Tripoli received what it called a “telefax,” (what your grandfather would call a fax) from the man congratulating Obama on his election win. The “telefax” said:


    I have the pleasure to send a congratulation note for the first time to an American president, and on behalf of all Africa, and of Cen-Sad, the base of the African pyramid, and on behalf of the Arab Maghreb Union, and in the name of all Arab leaders as I am their dean. Since relations are resumed between our two countries, we have the right to congratulate you from the bottom of our hearts because you are the son of Africa.

    Blacks were deemed weak and were oppressed, and were taken to the American continent as slaves and indentured servants. The main point is that Blacks shall not have an inferiority complex and imitate the Yankees.

    The Embassy took the “telefax,” retyped it into a cable, and sent it to Washington, which explains what real diplomats do at work for you students reading this and contemplating a foreign service career. Above all, they do not re-send “telefaxes” when retyping one can do.


    Anyone interested in researching the ongoing dump of diplomatic messages should check out cablegatesearch.net, which provides effortless full-text search.

    Another excellent way to keep informed on new cable releases is via Twitter. Use the #wlfind tag.




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    Posted in Embassy/State, Libya, Military

    A Short, Weird History of US-Libyan Relations

    August 23, 2011 // 2 Comments »

    BFF Remember kids, the Internet is written in ink.

    W-a-y back in the dark ages of the 1980’s, President Ron “Prune Face” Reagan called Gaddafi the “mad dog of the Middle East,” bombed his compound, “accidentally” killing Gaddafi’s daughter. Gaddafi had blown up a number of Americans in a disco.

    Hijinks ensued. One of Peter’s first jobs at State was working on the Lockerbie bombing from the Washington end in 1988. He worked on Lockerbie again while assigned to our Embassy in London in 1991. America was very, very angry with Gaddafi.

    We fast forward to 2003…

    …the year we liberated Iraq. We’ll skip all that stuff for another day’s posting about how the US supported Saddam while he was fighting the Iranians for us, and that awful picture of a young Don Rumsfeld wearing his 80’s ‘do shaking hands with Saddam. America was in the process of remaking the Middle East in 2003, so we ignored the work the AQ Khan network had done helping Libya (and North Korea, bonus!) move down the road to owning WMDs to welcome Gaddafi back into our Bosom o’ Freedom if he’d turn around and drop those WMDs. For laffs, Gaddafi also handed over one of the Lockerbie bombers to Justice, who was released on a flimsy health excuse by the sissy Brits a few years later and who Mitt Romney wants re-returned to justice, this time in the US, hopefully in time for the election..

    Good job Gaddafi! We rewarded him with a visit in 2008 by SecState Condi Rice. While in Tripoli (ironically at the same compound where we killed Gaddafi’s kid; folks, you just can’t make this stuff up), Condi said: “We did talk about learning from the lessons of the past. We talked about the importance of moving forward. The United States doesn’t have any permanent enemies.”

    Over the next few years the US built up its relationship with Gaddafi, first with a few texts, then friends on Facebook, then some lunch dates. It got serious ya’ll!

    In 2007 on one-day Fox affiliate al-Jazeera TV, Gaddafi said of the US SecState:

    “I support my darling black African woman. I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders. … Leezza, Leezza, Leezza. … I love her very much.”

     

    According to the required report of foreign gifts that State produces, in 2008 one of the most generous gift-givers was Libya’s Gaddafi, who seemed particularly grateful for former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s visit to Tripoli, giving her gifts worth a total value of $212,225, including a locket with his own picture inside. Completely unrelated but hysterical, that same year Nicolas Sarkozy gave President Bush a brown leather Hermes saddle. Awkward!

    The US went on to open an Embassy in Libya, appointed a real Ambassador (who got tossed out in 2010 after some Wikileaky stuff angered Gaddafi), the UK basically swept Lockerbie under the rug and released (because he had the flu) the terrorist who helped plant the bomb, and Gaddafi’s son was invited on a study tour of the US including a VIP tour of our Air Force Academy in Colorado just days before the uprisings began back home. Old Man McCain got off his Hoverchair to travel to Libya and suck up to Gadaffi. Maybe best of all, US companies started selling good stuff to Libya, including US-made armored trucks now being used to suppress angry mobs (See “Libyan Blood on American Trucks”). Nobody makes freedom-suppressing riot gear like America. We’re like the Forever 21 of the stuff for dictators worldwide.

    I fell asleep then for a couple of days and woke up to find we did not like Gaddafi again.

    By March 2011, former SecState’s Rice and Albright were back on Gaddafi’s ass, calling him a “nut.” “Nut” is an upgrade in diplomatic language from Reagan’s choice of name-calling, “mad dog.” So we’re back bombing the guy, sanctioning his oily butt and going all postal on Libya with our NATO dawgs. Current President of the United States of America Donald Trump brags of ripping off Gaddafi on a land deal, the kiss of death.

    Then some stuff happened in Libya in August 2011, you can see it on CNN or The Twitter.

    Yeah, this diplomatic stuff is complicated. I really have to stop sleeping in.



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    Posted in Embassy/State, Libya, Military