Tag: Libya

A Tale of Three Nukes

 

Maps of Ukraine, Libya, North KoreaI recently urged “Don’t Say You Want a Revolution,” reviewing the sad and terrible consequences of American presidents talking up “regime change” or “revolution” in other countries. As the people of 1956 Hungary and 1991 Iraq discovered, the United States does not back up such talk with our own blood and treasure, even when local people put their own fortunes, sacred honor, and lives on the line. Now let us shift perspective, from the people to the governing elite.

What lessons should Kim Jong-Un draw from recent history? Does U.S. policy, as it has actually played out, cut against North Korean denuclearization? What of the Khomeinist regime in Iran? Consider Libya and Ukraine as cautionary tales for other governments considering what to do with their own weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs.

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Member Post

 

Today I’m launching a new podcast, Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten, and I’d like to ask for some help from the Ricochet community in making it as successful as possible. Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten features compelling long-form conversations with exceptional thinkers and doers — primarily though not exclusively of a conservative/libertarian bent — on the most critical ideas […]

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Member Post

 

Welcome to the Special Bonus Euro-edition of the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for May 26, 2017, introducing our European correspondent William Campbell. We’ve decided that we don’t sound sophisticated enough (why did it take so long to reach *that* conclusion??) and we have attempted to remedy that situation by finding a new HLC contributor […]

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Member Post

 

I had on Fox & Friends this morning. In between their typical fare of the hosts reading tweets about cat videos and running obstacle courses out on 6th Avenue, they had a live interview with . . . Julian Assange. He may not have blabbed earth-shattering news – he’s saving that for his next leak before the election […]

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From the Editors’ Desk: (Mostly) Good News from Libya

 

Via the WSJ, the Islamic State’s foothold in Northern Africa appears to be crumbling:

Forces aligned with Libya’s internationally backed unity government closed in on the center of the Islamic State stronghold of Sirte during the weekend, giving a boost to an administration struggling to unite the fractured nation. In the past three weeks, militias that recently threw their support behind the government captured about 80% of Sirte and on Sunday pushed deeper into the city, said Ismail Shukri, head of military intelligence for the militias. “We have not been able to keep many prisoners to help us with information about the organization in Libya,” he said. “Most of them blow themselves up before they can be taken alive.” The offensive has been surprisingly quick and successful, military and intelligence officials said. Some 150 miles of Mediterranean coastline that Islamic State had controlled around Sirte has been reduced to about 50 miles in less than a month, the officials said.

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Is a Second Libya War a Good Idea?

 

I happen to think it might be. So in one way, I welcome this news:

The US is considering a new campaign of military action in Libya against ISIS, the Pentagon said on Wednesday, amid worries that the jihadist group could seize control of a larger slice of territory in the country.

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Member Post

 

A former State/Defense Dept. official who was responsible for sending military aid–equipment that was selected more for the congressional district it was produced in than for in-country conditions–to U.S. allies in the Middle East recaps the past five years. He concludes, Upon my return to the states, I was dejected, and my desire to continue […]

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Daesh Is Contained

 

That’s what President Barack Obama said the morning of the Daesh’s afternoon and evening terrorist assault on Paris. Obama’s Deputy Fantasist National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes then explained that Obama’s claim had been taken out of context by those … Republicans:

The president was responding very specifically to the geographic expansion of ISIL in Iraq and Syria. A year ago, we saw them on the march in Iraq and Syria, taking more and more population centers. The fact is that we have been able to stop that geographic advance and take back significant amounts of territory in both northern Iraq and northern Syria.

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Do You Ever See Libya in the News?

 

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My news and social media filters are ensure I see news from Libya. I click on stories about Libya, so I’m served up news from Libya. But usually the stories come from British or European news agencies, not American ones. For example, I just checked Google news under the obvious search term (Libya), and found the following items. The first ran yesterday in the New York Times’ blog section:

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Libya and Egypt: United Arab Republic 2.0?

 

This was my first post on Ricochet, on February 23, 2011. In light of the latest savagery in the Maghreb, perhaps it’s time to revisit it. I edited the post to correct some formatting errors introduced when it was imported into Ricochet, which bumped it to the top of the Member Feed. That was not my intent; I just planned on a short post linking to the original article.

With the ongoing unrest in Egypt, there has been speculation that the military, which is now in charge, might be tempted to launch a military adventure in order to unite the country behind them and position those advocating a pluralistic society as unpatriotic in a time of crisis. Most of the worry has been about a potential conflict with Israel, but with the rapidly deteriorating situation in Libya, what if Egypt’s present rulers decided to roll the tanks West instead of East? This move would be taken “in order to secure the oil fields” and “in solidarity with our Arab brethren, who deserve protection from the tyrannical regime that has exploited them for so long”.

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ISIS Beheads American Journalist, Threatens Another

 

1408481985485.cachedBreaking news out of the Middle East:

In a video posted online Tuesday, ISIS beheads James Wright Foley, an American freelance journalist who was captured in Syria in 2012. The video says the killing is a warning to the U.S. to end its intervention in Iraq. The video also shows Steven Sotloff, a freelance journalist working for Time, and threatens that he will be next. Sotloff’s kidnapping seems to have been kept secret until now. Foley was working as a photographer in Syria for AFP when he was taken. The year prior he had been kidnapped in Libya.

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Actions Have Their Consequences in the Middle East

 

shutterstock_169881086About a decade ago, most of my time was occupied with editing literature and teaching aspiring writers how to craft essays that didn’t put readers to sleep. For a short time, I had two students that were of Middle Eastern descent. I was working with one of them and asked why she didn’t associate with the other student from the same region. Her reply was simple and to the point: “My family hasn’t associated with anyone from that family in generations.”

I’m guessing that she chose the word “family” because she had been in America long enough to pick up the local vernacular. If we had been somewhere else in the world, maybe she would have used the term “tribe” or “clan.” The point remains the same, and it is an issue that makes dealing with political issues in the Middle East so difficult for Westerners. The arguments, battles, and wars in that region often have histories that stretch back hundreds of years.

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Today’s Must-Watch Videos on Benghazi—Jon Gabriel

 

What the mainstream media once considered semi-racist conspiracy theories of the tinfoil hat crowd is re-emerging as a major story in Washington. The news cycle is moving quickly, but here are three powerful videos that will get you up to speed.

Early this morning, Joe Scarborough exploded at panelist Donnie Deutsch for warning the GOP off the Benghazi story. (Skip ahead to 7:00 for the good stuff.)

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Benghazi Keeps Bubbling Up Despite WH Spin — Jon Gabriel

 

As a kid, I had to repaint an old bike body that had been left out in the elements for months. I picked up the rusty body, rinsed off the dirt with a hose, let it dry and spray painted it. The shiny red bike looked like new.

Of course, after several weeks, the rust came back with a vengeance. Being lazy, I’d touch up the paint every few months to keep it looking decent. But, since I didn’t take care of the hidden corrosion, the rust wouldn’t stay covered up for long.

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Losing the Peace

 

Last week, a colleague and I were having a broad-ranging conversation over lunch, highlighted by some armchair analysis of the recent Russian aggression and subterfuge in the Ukraine sprinkled with our shared concern over the trade-off between entitlement and defense spending, particularly over the next decade. A key issue raised in that discussion was trying to assess the point where perception becomes reality with regard to the diminishing influence the Unites States has on world affairs. At that point, my friend said flatly, “we are losing the peace.”

I had to stop and think a moment, because my first reaction was that he was overstating the case. The United States is still a force to be reckoned with in world affairs economically and militarily. And yet, as the week wore on, I began thinking about the “signals” that have sent to our allies, the public announcements of dates-of-withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, our “leading from behind” resulting in failed states across North Africa (Libya, primarily), our canceling of missile defense deals in Europe, and our dithering in the face of Chinese and Russian adventurism. And now the Chinese and Russians are upping their game in Latin America? Haven’t we been here before? Suddenly, I find myself quite open to the idea that we are at risk of losing the peace.

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