Tag: Libya

Join Jim and Greg as they scratch their heads over President Biden’s new Ambassador to India, whom no one seems impressed by and Republicans had to save with their votes. They’re more than a little uneasy as the International Atomic Energy Agency reports 2.5 tons of yellowcake uranium are missing from Libya. They roll their eyes vigorously as the husband of Vice President Harris compares parents yelling at school board to the Holocaust. But at the end, Jim is excited that Aaron Rodgers will soon be quarterback for the New York Jets.

Biden’s Afghan Political Calculations Have a Basis: Benghazi


Remember the movie, “13 hours?” It was about the courageous work of six CIA contractors to defend an American consulate – excuse me, a “Temporary Mission Facility” – in Benghazi, Libya, about a year after long-time Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi was, shall we say, terminated. Actor John Krasinski shed his “The Office” image in a breakout role.

The facility was overrun by terrorists resulting in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stephens. Why the US military never responded remains a mystery, and we still do not know to this day where President Obama was. We surmise that President Obama didn’t want to be interrupted with an early morning flight to Nevada for a campaign trip and upcoming debate with GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

The Benghazi Attack: The Forgotten History of the 2012 Attack on the US Consulate in Libya


If you say “September 11,” most people automatically think of the attacks on the World Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. What they probably don’t even remember happened on September 11, were the attacks on the United States Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.

Once the Libyan Revolution began in February 2011, the CIA began placing assets in the region, attempting to make contacts within the region. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, whose name and image would soon become synonymous with the Benghazi attacks, was the first liaison between the United States and the rebels. The task before the American intelligence community at that time was securing arms in the country, most notably shoulder-fired missiles, taken from the Libyan military.

Eastern Libya and Benghazi were the primary focal points of intelligence-gathering in the country. But there was something else at work here: The CIA was using the country as a base to funnel weapons to anti-Assad forces in Syria, as well as their alleged diplomatic mission.

Pull up a stool for another busy day on the Three Martini Lunch.  Join Jim and Greg as they call out Joe Biden for falsely insisting the Obama-Biden administration never used military action apart from congressional authorization.  They also hammer CNN for blatantly siding with Elizabeth Warren in her accusation that Bernie Sanders told her a woman could not get elected president – a charge Sanders strongly denies.  And they unload on the radical Bernie Sanders campaign field organizer caught on tape threatening to burn down Milwaukee and other cities if Sanders does not win the Democratic nomination at the convention this summer.

The Forgotten Flight Remembered: The Story of UTA Flight 772


From the mid-1980s to early 1990s, I worked in Chad, Africa, for Esso Exploration. There was a lot of oil there and Esso had a group of ten geologists — me being one of them — who rotated to Chad on a 21-21 tour. We worked on the drilling rigs looking for oil and describing the reservoir. In September 1989, two of my best friends — who were also members of the ten — had just finished up a well and one of them was at the end of his tour. Mark was one of those men, and his best friend, Charlie, was the other. Going home after a 21-day rotation after working long hours on a rig was something we all looked forward to. Mark was pestering Charlie to fly back with him (Charlie still had a week to go on his rotation) because the rig was moving and it would be a week or two before we would be ready to drill another well, but Charlie decided to stay to finish up the office paper work.

That decision still haunts him to this day.

For on September 19, 1989, UTA Flight 772 took off from Ndjamena, Chad en route to Paris, France. But the flight never made it to Paris because it blew up over the Sahara Desert in Niger. Mark, our drilling supervisor, a few Parker drilling hands, and a Schlumberger engineer – all who worked for us in Chad — were on that flight.

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.

Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was only very technically not “targeted” by a bomb dropped on one of his residences on orders from President Reagan. Gaddafi was briefly chastened and then proceeded to develop both chemical and nuclear weapons programs. These programs were the subject of much international posturing by so-called arms control agencies and various governments. Then President George W. Bush sent the full might of the United States military crashing down on Saddam Hussein, on the claim that he had been defying arms control programs and had some really bad weapons of mass destruction. Gaddafi suddenly became entirely compliant and opened Libya to arms control inspectors:

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 […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

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 […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

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.

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 […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

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.

Do You Ever See Libya in the News?



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:

After Horror in Libya, Christians’ Grief in an Egyptian Village

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.

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.

The current situation in Iraq is not just about what has happened in that region in the past 20 years, just like the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein dated back to when a map was arbitrarily drawn by the British. Beyond the history that is driving the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), there are current religious and political issues in play that are intertwined throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The lines on the map are near meaningless to anyone except Westerners.

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.)

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.

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.