March 17, 2011

Let's Talk About Libya

And why not? That is all the Arab League, the EU, the UN and NATO are doing.

Read this report on the Battle for Benghazi.

Now, I cannot speak for ALL Libyans, because I haven't met them all. Those I have met over the last eleven years have been decent, hard-working people who want the same as you and I do: a roof, 3 squares a day, a job, and some freedom.

Good people are dying, or being maimed by the regimes' superior weapons. Benghazi will be a bloodbath. Of that there is no doubt. Libyans in Benghazi hate Gadaffi with a passion. Unlike Tripoli, where they will talk of him (in public) with a modicum of respect, in Benghazi the loathing is undisguised. It came as no surprise to me that when the brown stuff hit the twirly thing, it did so in the second city.

Of all the footage I have seen, one clip will remain with me for a very long time. In the clip there is a young anti-Gadaffi chap asking "Where is everybody? We need help".

Where indeed?

They are sat safe, comfy, and warm, in meeting rooms. Talking.

Not just talking, mind you.

"We are discussing very seriously and leading efforts in the Council around a range of actions that we believe could be effective in protecting civilians," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said in New York. 

Yep. They are talking seriously

I am sure this will bring comfort to the rebels as they are being strafed by Gadaffi's fighter jets, and being bombed by his artillery batteries. "The Americans are talking seriously, Allah be praised", I can imagine them muttering. 


"Diplomats told Reuters that the United States, Britain and France now supported the idea of the council authorizing military action such as airstrikes to protect civilian areas."

How nice. We have some agreement. We support the idea.

The regime says (in the same report) that " will all be over in 48 hours".

Which is a crying shame because we westerners and the Arab League need at least another 4000 meetings to discuss what we may or may not do. Serious meetings involving serious discussions.

I know that the logistics required to create & enforce a no-fly zone are tricky, from a military standpoint. It takes a great deal of manpower and hardware. But it can be done. It should have been done weeks ago. It may have levelled the battlefield and given the rebels a fighting chance at a win. At the very least, it would have reduced the number of casualties significantly.

It now looks like the regime will flatten Benghazi by Saturday morning. Anyone they miss in the bombing campaign will be rounded up, and they will be killed with extreme prejudice. That is how Gadaffi rolls. It's what he does. In 1996, after some problems at a prison, he had over 12 hundred inmates gunned down. Just how does the west imagine he will treat those that defied him openly, for weeks on end? A cuddle and a pay rise?

Not gonna happen. Gadaffi is vicious. He hasn't ruled Libya for 41 years with sugar and spice and all things nice. He crushes his enemies. Many, many thousands will die. He may end up making Pol Pot look like an amateur.

But as long as we are having discussions, serious discussions, all is well. 

That's how we roll. 

EDIT: Thanks to Anon in the comments below, we have a report of an Arab nation getting involved in Libya. Unfortunately, it was in the form of help for Gadaffi from the Syrians.



Smoking Hot said...

How 'we' roll? What about how 'they' roll? Specifically:-

Kuwait 18 F/A-18 Hornet
Qatar 12 Mirage 2000
Jordan 40 F16, 34 mirage F1
UAE 79 F16, 68 Mirage 2000
Bahrain 33 F16
Saudi Arabia 24 Typhoon, 111 Tornado, 237 F15
Oman 12 F16
Egypt 240 F16, 53 J7, 15 Mirage 2000 8 E2 Hawkeye
Morocco 40 Mirage F1, 3
Sudan 23 Mig 29, 10 F7
Yemen 10 Mig 29

Plus about 10 tankers and 12 AWACs

So, why the hell ain't they doing something instead of asking the West to do it? Answer is that if it all goes tits up the West will get the blame and not the Arab League.

NewsboyCap said...


Tunisia and Egypt caught the PTB on the hop, all the other uprisings in the Middle East also. So now they are taking a stand by doing nothing, 'can't have the peasants getting what they rightly deserve'.These are delaying tactics,as they know Gaddaffi will crush the opposition given enough time.And a lesson for all us peasants has been taught.
All this talk in committees and governments is just Bullshit, their 'Man' is and will be in charge as long as the oil keeps flowing,when the oil runs out so will Gaddaffi.Cameron,Obama,von rumpy and vague bill couldn't give a Fuck about the Libyans,it's just to keep us all in FEAR.

Captain Ranty said...


Good comment. I should have checked out the neighbours firepower and added it to the blogpost. Thanks for that.

So the Arabs won't attack Gadaffi even though they can.

They want jaw-jaw, not war-war.

The West has that firepower and much, much more.

They also want jaw-jaw, not war-war.

The rebels are fucked.


Captain Ranty said...


Ben Ali and Mubarak were spineless.

Gadaffi is a different beast. He has a Black Belt in Cuntitude.

The rebels are still fucked.

Oh, but the discussions we can have afterwards!


Anonymous said...

Looks like bloodbath Madghaffi had Syrian help though....

Jacobite said...

The west is doing a Nero fiddling while the middle east burns.

Captain Ranty said...

Thanks Anon.

I have added an edit.


Captain Ranty said...


Procrastination is what we do best.

We will tally up the dead afterwards and talk about what we should have done.


Smoking Hot said...

One should seriously consider that all this pontificating by Western politicians is just that. They have no intention of going into Libya and hope Gaddy gets it over with asap. They can then have the moral highground, preen their egos and strut about in a holier than though attitude.

Think of anyone that fits the bill? :)

Anonymous said...

We could always help them like we've helped the Iraqis and bomb the shit out of them until most of the Libyans are dead.

Would that be your answer Captain?

Captain Ranty said...


No, it would not. I think my post was quite clear: I would want a no fly zone so that it wasn't a complete walkover for Gadaffi. Otherwise we are just stood around watching the bully kick shit out of the skinny kid in the playground. Is that what YOU want?

When we did (almost) the same thing in Kuwait, Hussein left within days. He knew we were serious.


"The initial conflict to expel Iraqi troops from Kuwait began with an aerial bombardment on 17 January 1991. This was followed by a ground assault on 23 February. This was a decisive victory for the coalition forces, who liberated Kuwait and advanced into Iraqi territory. The coalition ceased their advance, and declared a cease-fire 100 hours after the ground campaign started."

(Although it did take them six months to make the decision. Iraq invaded Kuwait on 2 August 1990).

As it happens, I wouldn't want even one Libyan to be harmed. Whichever side he was on.

Gadaffi stepping down would satisfy me, and most of the western world.


Anonymous said...

Dear Captain,

History and the grave yards of the World are filled with the dead because "Great" Britain felt it necessary to help (interfere) with other people and other countries.

Why can't we just give it a rest for once.

The reason these conflicts are taking place, like all former conflicts, is for the interests of multinational corporations and oil companies backed by Central Banks.

Let Gaddafi and the "freedom" fighters (mercenaries) get on with it because as sure as eggs are eggs the average man in the street will wind up dead or with the same old regime whoever wins.

Captain Ranty said...


I cannot argue (logically) about anything you wrote. You are quite right.

My heart says different though. I have many friends there, none of whom like or support Gadaffi and I want what they want.

But, as I have written elsewhere, the moment we stop caring (enough to try and help out) we are doomed ourselves.

I would really prefer, (as I would have for Gulf War 1 & 2), for the neighbours to offer support. In this case, I mean the Arab League. Tunisia and Egypt are still re-organising themselves, but even so, they both helped out with the refugees pouring out of Libya.


Anonymous said...


The only reason we gave a rope necklace to Saddam Hussein and stopped giving him hugs and kisses was because he was going to sell his oil for Euros. USA aided by GB couldn't have that so he had to go .... pal or no pal.

The same with his 'great stupidness" Gaddafi. He was getting to cosy with the Russians and Chinese.

So in steps the CIA backed "Youth Movement" plus truck loads of guns.

This is all hearsay and alleged of course and what would I know about anything.

Anonymous said...

Dear Captain

Don't get me wrong I like your style. Looking out for the under-dog is always honourable

Trouble is things are never the way they seem to be.

We can thank our wonderful "free' press and our lying governments for that.

Keep plugging away.

I'm just a member of the "awkward-squad"

Captain Ranty said...

Actually, this line:

"He was getting to cosy with the Russians and Chinese".

is bang on.

BP, Shell, Occidental, Chevron and Repsol (plus several others) have drilled dry holes. For years.

Tatneft (part of Russian giant Gazprom) have not yet missed. They have a record 7 for 7. They find oil everywhere they drill for it.


Captain Ranty said...


Thank you for the comment at 17:13.

I appreciate the sentiment and your awkwardness.

I need to be reminded (constantly, it seems) about the other agenda that is in play.



Anonymous said...

whilst a peoples right to self determnation is something I admire and applaud and GAWD knows do we need some big balls leaders to lead the way, prepared to rid ourselves of the self serving elitist power mad pricks we have in Blighty I do not believe we should get ourselves involved in yet another Arab nation...

I bow to CR personal experience of Lybians and indeed as one who has travelled to many parts of the world and lived with locals, one does find in most nations on this earth the rank day to day ordinary folk are generally similar in outlook, aspirations and desires, but I have personal experience of Afghans and Iraquis out in the Sandpit and again the day to day folks are after exactly the same but there is a politico-religious dimension to Arab nations that our dear leaders and most ordinary people too fail to grasp...

Islam is not a faith it is a political doctrine dressed up as such, some suggested reading for more info for others would be;

AND writing as someone who has read both the Old Testament and New Testament of the King James Bible and an English translation of Koran I find the message within each in comparison wholly and totally diametrically opposed.

Islam is not tolerant, it is not reasoned or rational, it cannot be challenged intellectually or otherwise to its disciples as it is literally seen as blasphemy to do so...and its propogandists are sadly still mired in medieval dogma...literally and figuratively

and this leads me to my point....

The Arab nations are Muslim and Sunni Shiite differences are irrelevant when confronted with a "common enemy" especially an infidel one.

whilst it is sad and distressing to see people fighting for some basic freedoms being quashed with brutal force for the so called "West" to intervene would be to invite a common unity against such and a propoganda opportunity of huge magnitude to our professed haters of our culture and traditions...

no to intervene whilst seemingly the "right" thing to do and quite "British" in defending the underdog (even if we hadn't surrendered our capability to the EU) would be catastrophic in the long term....

and even if we did and were successful in supporting or influencing so called "regime change" in Lybia or any other Arab nation, the hornets nest of ill feeling, propoganda, jihad and every other opportunity to bash the west would far outweigh any short term goodwill on behalf of the liberated.

no its not for us to intervene, its for the Lybians to determine their own future good or ill, and if any intervention is to happen on either side, it should be Muslim in origin.

Captain Ranty said...


If you aren't already in the senior management of the KKK, my guess is that they have an opening for a sweet, caring human being like you.

Revolutions put the new guy on notice that the people will not be fucked around forever. Things improve and that is a good thing.

What was it that created this hatred that you have?

Have you ever met, and got to know, anyone who did not possess a white skin?

You have the right to say anything you want here. I will not censor you.

But I pity you. I really do.

Get some help.


Caratacus said...

Captain, because I'm a cynical old bastard I feel that the reason why the Western shitbags are letting Gadaffi make the running is because it suits them.

As for the posturing by Mrs. Cameron's little boy - someone else summed it up far better than I can: "To impose a 'no fly zone' you need long range aircraft with radar, i.e. the Nimrod, which Cameron has scrapped. We need to send an aircraft carrier, which Cameron has scrapped, with its complement of aircraft, which Cameron has scrapped, ideally flown by the best pilots in the world, whom Cameron has sacked. The only 'no fly zone' which this country can now offer is a matchbox containing a spider".

So, even if we wanted to, we couldn't do anything. Someone ought to have a word in CMDs shell-like. The twat.

Dave said...

Are there shades of the Warsaw uprising here, when Stalin sat on his hands so that the wrong side wouldn't win? The UN seems to be saying "get a move on Gadaffi we can't stall for ever".Of course there will be much public hand wringing afterwards.

Captain Ranty said...


I'd happily take your cynicism over drooling acceptance, as practised by most (allegedly) sane Britons.

I like the description of our depleted forces, much as it fills me with horror and foreboding.

We are the eunuch, deballed by the spineless, consented to by the brainless.



Captain Ranty said...


Who knows?

Probably, is the honest answer.

George up there believes it to be the case.

The plan is being followed, but as usual, it isn't the one we all imagined.


Captain Ranty said...


I do not know of one.

But I can hope. I think Tunisia may surprise us. Not sure about Egypt.

Just for information, libertine and libertarian are two different things.

I am neither. I am an anarchist.


Steven said...

Let's talk about when Libya first came on to our radar. Let's talk about the murder of PC Yvonne Fletcher.

Is this another nutty conspiracy theory doc? If you read this you might think so...

"Investigation into the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher, who was shot whilst on duty during a protest outside the Libyan Embassy in 1984. The two-part documentary suggests that she was killed, not by someone inside the Embassy as originally claimed, but by a gunman in an adjacent building used by the British security services."

This is a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary. I saw in my youth and I’ve just found it again.
I think this is important because it was after the murder of PC Yvonne Fletcher we've been subject to decades worth of anti Gadaffi propaganda. Although not perfect, the doc's examination of the coroner's report is very interesting. (I've not watched this film since it aired on TV - it made a deep impression on me.)

This think this series of articles also redresses some of the balance.