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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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48 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

3 hours ago

Jordan in ISIS bull's-eye but balks at U.S. coalition

Sep 17 2014 8:55pm CDT | Source: WND

Jordan’s King Abdullah, left, at the United Nations WASHINGTON – Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has designated Jordan as the next target of his caliphate, but Jordan remains split over the anti-ISIS coalition that President Obama is attempting to organize among the Arab states. The internal dissension, combined with the growing internal support for ISIS from a myriad of jihadist groups and the country’s poor economic conditions ...
Source: WND  Full article at: WND
 

 
Update
10

5 hours ago

Obama's ISIS coalition 'very shaky at best'

Sep 17 2014 7:43pm CDT | Source: WND

The Obama administration appears to be building a “paper coalition” that appears willing to do little more than cheer the U.S. on in the quest to destroy the terrorist army known as the Islamic State, or ISIS, but a leading terrorism expert also says the U.S. should be willing to arm moderate Syrian rebels in the effort if they can be identified. President Obama has stated repeatedly that the U.S. will l ...
Source: WND  Full article at: WND
 

 
Update
9

6 hours ago

To war or not to war?

Sep 17 2014 6:37pm CDT | Source: WND

That is the question for President Obama. No doubt it is every bit as vexing as the one with which Prince Hamlet wrestled in the Shakespeare classic that bears his name. In Hamlet’s famous soliloquy, he tries to decide if it would be better to commit suicide or struggle with the pains and unfairness of life. His dilemma is not that far removed from the one facing our 44th president. Obama’s choice is either political suicide or pubic ridicule. Obama firmly believes that he was electe ...
Source: WND  Full article at: WND
 

 
Update
8

7 hours ago

Watchdog: Millions Wasted on Unused Communication Towers in Afghanistan

Sep 17 2014 5:28pm CDT | Source: Big Government

The U.S. State Department spent $6.5 million in taxpayer funds to build communication towers that could still be standing idle in Afghanistan and may never be used as originally intended, the U.S. government watchdog for reconstruction in the war-torn country found.  “I am concerned that the officials responsible for planning and executing this project did not take into consideration a number of apparent red flags which were evident prior to the decision to commit over $6.5 million i ...
Source: Big Government   Full article at: Big Government
 

 
Update
7

8 hours ago

Kerry Winks, Laughs at McCain After ISIS Debate

Sep 17 2014 4:42pm CDT | Source: Big Government

Wednesday at the Senate Foreign Relation Committee hearing on U.S. strategy for combating ISIS, after a clearly frustrated Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) grilled Secretary of State John Kerry on the administrations strategy against ISIS, Kerry oddly winked and made a glib comment about their long standing tradition of "enjoyable" debates. After intense questioning on the administration's ever-changing position on arming and training the Free Syrian Army, an angry McC ...
Source: Big Government   Full article at: Big Government
 

 
Update
5

8 hours ago

Obama, Biden, Kerry mocked on ISIS

Sep 17 2014 3:44pm CDT | Source: WND

(BREITBART) — Wednesday at the Senate Foreign Relation Committee hearing on U.S. strategy for combating ISIS, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) criticized President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry as “three senators” exercising “terrible judgment” on the U.S. strategy against ISIS. Kerry got into a heated exchange with Corker who said, “I want to say as I said personally, we have three senators, president, vice president, secretary of state, that are e ...
Source: WND  Full article at: WND
 

 
Update
4

9 hours ago

Corker's Kerry Critique Leaves Boxer 'Shaking and Trembling'

Sep 17 2014 3:38pm CDT | Source: Big Government

Wednesday at the Senate Foreign Relation Committee hearing on U.S. strategy for combating ISIS, after Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) criticized Secretary of State John Kerry, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) was left "shaking and trembling" in shock. Boxer said, "I think it is shocking and a sad state of affairs that we heard just now, such angry comments aimed at you, Mr. Secretary, and through you, at our pr ...
Source: Big Government   Full article at: Big Government
 

 
Update
3

9 hours ago

Corker Slams Obama, Kerry for 'Exercising the Worst Judgment Possible' on ISIS

Sep 17 2014 3:30pm CDT | Source: Big Government

Wednesday at the Senate Foreign Relation Committee hearing on U.S. strategy for combating ISIS, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) criticized President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry as "three senators" exercising "terrible judgment" on the U.S. strategy against ISIS. Kerry got into a heated exchange with Corker who said, "I want to say as I said personally, we have three senators, president, vice president, sec ...
Source: Big Government   Full article at: Big Government
 

 
Update
2

9 hours ago

John Kerry Takes On Code Pink At ISIS Hearing

Sep 17 2014 3:12pm CDT | Source: Politics - The Huffington Post

WASHINGTON -- Peace activists from Code Pink have become a fixture at national security hearings on Capitol Hill since they began protesting the second Iraq War. But rather than dismiss their chants against war, former peace activist and current Secretary of State John Kerry decided Wednesday to engage with the protesters. "You know, as I came in here, obviously, we had some folks who spoke out, and I would start by saying that I understand disse ...
Source: Politics - The Huffington Post   Full article at: Politics - The Huffington Post
 

 
Update
1

10 hours ago

John Kerry Calls On Code Pink To Support Military Action In Iraq

Sep 17 2014 2:39pm CDT | Source: ThinkProgress

Secretary of State John Kerry directly addressed protesters of President Barack Obama’s war plans against ISIS during testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday as he made the administration’s case for taking military action against the terrorist organization. “I respect the right of Code Pink to protest and to use that right,” the former Massachusetts senator said, referring to the omnipresent anti-w ...
Source: ThinkProgress   Full article at: ThinkProgress
 

 

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