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Libya again: Who makes America do such silly things? (Comment, Special to IANS)
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Libya again: Who makes America do such silly things? (Comment, Special to IANS)

Oct 11 2013, 4:38am CDT | by IANS

Recent events in Libya remind me of my first assignment in that country. But first let us recapitulate the latest American adventure.

Recent events in Libya remind me of my first assignment in that country. But first let us recapitulate the latest American adventure. The world's greatest power enters a sovereign country, Libya and...

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46 weeks ago

Libya again: Who makes America do such silly things? (Comment, Special to IANS)

Oct 11 2013, 4:38am CDT | by IANS

Recent events in Libya remind me of my first assignment in that country. But first let us recapitulate the latest American adventure.

Recent events in Libya remind me of my first assignment in that country. But first let us recapitulate the latest American adventure.

The world's greatest power enters a sovereign country, Libya and picks up Al Qaeda's Abu Anas al-Liby, allegedly a fugitive from justice. Apparently he had been indicted in 2000 for the 1998 bombing of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

As soon as Secretary of State John Kerry announces that the Libyan government knew of the dramatic kidnapping, a handful of local militias, who stand in as the new nation's army, are so enraged that they capture the nation's Prime Minister, Ali Zeidan. They are angry because Zeidan helped the Americans in capturing Liby.

The group which captures Zeidan explains their action to Al Jazeera TV: "In the light of the deterioration in security and damage to the country's sovereignty by foreign intelligence bodies", "we have arrested Zeidan".

The operation appears to have been botched up in the sense that the more important target of American anger, Ahmad Abu Khattala, escaped. He is believed to have been involved in September 2012 attack in Benghazi which killed US ambassador Chris Stevens.

What really happened is something we shall know only after Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Seymour Hersh publishes his book next year. Hersh told London's Guardian newspaper that the 2011 US Navy Seals raid that resulted in the killing of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden is "one big lie". He added for emphasis: "Not one word of it is true."

Yes, he said, "the Pakistanis did put out a report, don't get me going on it. Let's put it this way: it was done with considerable American input. It's a bullshit report". Hersh's book on National Security will have a chapter on the Abbotabad raid. Now one can expect reams of stuff on how the Americans delivered Libya into the new dawn of freedom.

It is now ofcourse fashionable for everyone to badmouth Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan strongman. But time was when he had his admirers even in South Block. That was when I first interviewed him.

In fact when President Ronald Reagan decided to bomb Tripoli and Benghazi in 1987, Non Aligned foreign ministers were in conference in New Delhi. As soon as news of the bombing came, the foreign ministers formed a delegation under the leadership of India's foreign minister, Baliram Bhagat, a great cricket enthusiast among other things. Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi thought it was a brilliant idea to show solidarity with a fellow non aligned leader.

As theatre, Gaddafi was never less than riveting. But what left a great impression on Bhagat, his secretary, N.P. Jain (even the Yugoslav foreign minister shook his head in admiration) was the extraordinary position women had in his regime. The Gaddafi melodrama began even as you were escorted to his presence: two stunning female bodyguards, one chiseled ebony, the other white marble, always flanking him. Outside, there was an equal mix of men and women, carrying firearms. The world's first military academy for women was in Libya. Women drove cars, worked in offices, schools, colleges, hospitals. There were no mullahs in the country. The most educated person in the neighbourhood could lead the Friday prayers. Playing on popular superstition, Voodoo or other forms of African magic, was a criminal offence.

A cradle to grave welfare system covered everything - food, housing, cars, medical help, total expenditure for higher education abroad. He had the oil wealth and could afford to foot the bill. How did that bother anybody?

Little wonder Baliram Bhagat was impressed. But no sooner had he returned after his discovery of Libya, than Bhagat learnt a thing or two about power in world affairs. As Bhagat entered his office in South Block, he found Jain standing there, looking pale. So angry had Reagan been with Rajiv, already smarting under the Bofors scandal, that he relieved Bhagat from the foreign office.

That was many moons ago. Recently, why Americans blundered into Libya remains a mystery. So badly had American fingers been burnt in Afghanistan and Iraq, that Obama looked statesman like, shunning any foreign interventions. Then, despite themselves, Americans were pushed into leadership roles in Libya, Syria and now, once again, in Somalia and this badly planned kidnapping in Tripoli. Just when America was beginning to refurbish its image in the Middle East, comes this shocking misadventure.

(A senior commentator on political and diplomatic affairs, Saeed Naqvi can be reached on saeednaqvi@hotmail.com)

IANS

Source: IANS

 
Update
11

11 hours ago

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Until now, President Barack Obama's foreign policy appeared to be based more on reason than emotion. In contrast to the easily excitable and often angry Sen. John McCain, for instance, the president did not suggest war was the answer to every international problem. However, the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant may have cost President Obama his equanimity. Administration officials are proclaiming this isolated e ...
Source: Politics - The Huffington Post   Full article at: Politics - The Huffington Post
 

 
Update
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11 hours ago

Instead of Bombing Syria to Fight the Islamic State, Let Syria and Others Battle Islamic Radicals

Sep 1 2014 7:14pm CDT | Source: Politics - The Huffington Post

Until now, President Barack Obama's foreign policy appeared to be based more on reason than emotion. In contrast to the easily excitable and often angry Sen. John McCain, for instance, the president did not suggest war was the answer to every international problem. However, the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant may have cost President Obama his equanimity. Administration officials are proclaiming this isolated experiment in 7th Century Islam to pose a dire threa ...
Source: Politics - The Huffington Post   Full article at: Politics - The Huffington Post
 

 
Update
9

12 hours ago

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Sep 1 2014 6:03pm CDT | Source: Big Government

On August 31 a Libyan militia seized the US Embassy in Tripoli, with individual fighters videotaping each other "cheering" and "diving from... [an embassy] balcony into a swimming pool." Libya's government now says "militias have captured most government ministries in [Tripoli]." According to BBC News, these "militias have been fighting for power among themselves since... Col. Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown" by militias ...
Source: Big Government   Full article at: Big Government
 

 
Update
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21 hours ago

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Source: Big Government   Full article at: Big Government
 

 
Update
7

23 hours ago

U.S. Muslims Appeal To John Kerry For Protection On Mecca Pilgrimage

Sep 1 2014 7:30am CDT | Source: Politics - The Huffington Post

(RNS) Concerned for the safety of U.S. citizens soon headed to Mecca, 27 Muslim-American groups are asking the State Department to better protect them from violence that has plagued those who have made the pilgrimage in the past. A letter from the group sent Tuesday (Aug. 26) to Secretary of State John Kerry was prompted in part by a 2013 incident in which a group of Sunni Muslims from Australia threatened to kill and rape a group o ...
Source: Politics - The Huffington Post   Full article at: Politics - The Huffington Post
 

 
Update
5

2 days ago

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Source: Politics - The Huffington Post   Full article at: Politics - The Huffington Post
 

 
Update
4

2 days ago

U.S. to push for coalition to fight 'cancer' of Islamic State: Kerry

Aug 30 2014 1:34pm CDT | Source: Townhall's

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States will use a NATO summit next week to push for a ...
Source: Townhall's   Full article at: Townhall's
 

 
Update
3

2 days ago

John Kerry: U.S. To Push For Coalition To Fight 'Cancer' Of Islamic State

Aug 30 2014 1:28pm CDT | Source: Politics - The Huffington Post

WASHINGTON, Aug 30 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States will use a NATO summit next week to push for a coalition of countries to beat back incursions in Syria and Iraq by Islamic State militants who are destabilizing the region and beyond. "With a united response led by the United States and the broadest possible coalition of nations, the cancer of ISIS will not be allowed to spread to other countries," Kerry wrote in an ...
Source: Politics - The Huffington Post   Full article at: Politics - The Huffington Post
 

 
Update
2

3 days ago

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Aug 29 2014 6:10pm CDT | Source: WND

The American people had better wake up! Our so-called leaders, President Barack Hussein Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, with the end of the latest Israeli-Hamas war, are about to resume their slick, under-the-table scheme to fund Hamas with U.S. dollars, allegedly earmarked for humanitarian purposes. As explained in excruciating detail in a complaint I filed Thursday against these criminals (see FreedomWatchUSA.org), Obama and company – and let’s also throw the former Secr ...
Source: WND  Full article at: WND
 

 
Update
1

3 days ago

WH Attempts to Walk Back Obama's 'No Strategy' Remarks

Aug 29 2014 8:43am CDT | Source: Big Government

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