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The Terrorists Fighting Us Now? We Just Finished Training Them.


In recent years, President Obama, his European friends, and even some Middle Eastern allies, have supported “rebel groups” in Libya and Syria. Some received training, financial and military support to overthrow Muammar Gadhafi and battle Bashar al Assad. It’s a strategy that follows the old saying, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” and it has been the American and allied approach for decades in deciding whether to support opposition groups and movements.

The problem is that it is completely unreliable — and often far worse than other strategies. Every year there are more cases in which this approach backfires. The most glaring and famous failure was in Afghanistan, where some of the groups taught (and supplied) to fight the Soviet Army later became stridently anti-Western. In that environment, Al Qaeda flourished and established the camps where perpetrators of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were trained. Yet instead of learning from its mistakes, the United States keeps making them.

Washington and its allies empowered groups whose members had either begun with anti-American or anti-Western views or found themselves lured to those ideas in the process of fighting. According to interviews with members of militant groups, such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’s Al Nusra Front (which is aligned with al Qaeda),  that is exactly what happened with some of the fighters in Libya  and even with factions of the Free Syrian Army.
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Another 'Saigon': US Evacuates From Libya

Saigon Hubert Van Es

One month ago today, President Obama was congratulating Libya on a "milestone" election -- even though the disintegration of the country after the 2011 US invasion was ongoing. 

Said Obama in June:
I congratulate the Libyan people on the conclusion of the elections for a new Council of Representatives, a milestone in their courageous efforts to transition from four decades of dictatorship toward a full democracy.
Today, the US announced it has evacuated all US personnel from Libya. They piled into vehicles and escaped to Tunisia.
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West's Confusing Foreign Policy Contradictions

Psaki Ukraine

I'm confused. Jen Psaki, US State Department spokesperson, says that the Ukrainian government has "every right" to use air strikes against its opponents in Ukraine on the grounds that it "is defending the country."

Yet in 2011, alleged air strikes by Libyan government forces against its opponents were used as a reason for the imposition of a “no-fly zone” which was followed by a NATO-led military intervention against Libya. We were told that the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was “killing his own people” and had to be stopped. The deaths of over 200 people in Libya was, according to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “unacceptable.” But the Ukrainian government is killing its own people today, and despite more than 200 people being killed (as of 10th July the number of civilian deaths was 478, including seven children), western leaders do not say that the Ukrainian leader, Petro Poroshenko, has to be stopped, or that the bloodshed is “unacceptable”  nor are there any calls for a “no-fly zone” to be imposed. Why is it acceptable for the Ukrainian government to launch a military offensive, including air strikes against its own people, but unacceptable for the Libyan government in 2011 to do likewise? I'm confused. Can anyone help me?
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The VA Scandal is Just the Tip of the Military Abuse Iceberg

President Obama held a press conference last week to express his outrage over reports that the Veterans Administration was routinely delaying treatment to veterans, with some veterans even dying while on alleged secret waiting lists. The president said that, “if these allegations prove to be true, it is dishonorable, it is disgraceful, and I will not tolerate it, period.” He vowed that, together with Congress, he would “make sure we're doing right by our veterans across the board.”

The president is right to be upset over the mistreatment of US military veterans, especially those who return home with so many physical and mental injuries.  Veterans should not be abused when they seek the treatment promised them when they enlisted. But his outrage over military abuse is selective.
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The Unwelcome Return of Navi Pillay

Navi Pillay

You could very well say that Navi Pillay was more than anyone else the person responsible for NATO’s disastrous invasion of Libya. As UN Human Rights Commissioner she chaired that fateful meeting in February, 2011 where Libyan NGO leader Soliman Bouchuiguir was allowed to repeat incredible tales about the “massacres” taking place in Libya – tales he openly admitted after the NATO invasion he had just made up. “There is no evidence,” he exclaimed when asked after the invasion to back up his claims, which were the basis of the chain of events that led to NATO bombing.

The first link in that chain was the UN Human Rights Commission hearing chaired by Pillay, where Bouchuiguir’s lies led to the suspension of Libya from that body and the referral of the Libya issue to the UN Security Council. At the hearing, Pillay took her cue from the falsifier Bouchuiguir, exclaiming that, “The Libyan leader must stop the violence now.” Eventually the Security Council passed Resolution 1973, cracking the interventionist door to Libya, which NATO very soon kicked open.
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Libya in Chaos Two Years After NATO's 'Humanitarian Liberation'

Libya Militia

In 2011 when Muhammar Qaddafi refused to leave quietly as ruler of Libya, the Obama Administration, hiding behind the skirts of the French, launched a ferocious bombing campaign and a “No Fly” zone over the country to aid the so-called fighters for democracy. The US lied to Russia and China with help of the (US-friendly) Gulf Cooperation Council about the Security Council Resolution on Libya and used it to illegally justify the war. The doctrine, “responsibility to protect” was used instead, the same doctrine Obama has cited for use in Syria. It’s useful to look at Libya two years after the NATO humanitarian intervention.

Chaos in oil industry

Libya’s economy is dependent on oil. Just after the war, Western media hailed the fact the oil installations were not damaged by the population bombing and oil production was near normal at 1.4 million barrels/day (bpd). Then in July the armed guards hired by the government in Tripoli suddenly revolted and seized control of the eastern oil field terminals they were supposed to protect. There is where the vast bulk of Libya’s oil is produced, near Benghazi. It goes by pipeline to tankers on the Mediterranean for export.
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Libya Has Moved On...Into Lawlessness and Ruin

Libya Gun

A little under two years ago, Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, urged British businessmen to begin “packing their suitcases” and to fly to Libya to share in the reconstruction of the country and exploit an anticipated boom in natural resources.

Yet now Libya has almost entirely stopped producing oil as the government loses control of much of the country to militia fighters.

Mutinying security men have taken over oil ports on the Mediterranean and are seeking to sell crude oil on the black market. Ali Zeidan, Libya’s Prime Minister, has threatened to “bomb from the air and the sea” any oil tanker trying to pick up the illicit oil from the oil terminal guards, who are mostly former rebels who overthrew Muammar Gaddafi and have been on strike over low pay and alleged government corruption since July.

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The Rise and the Fall of the Humanitarian Interventionists

Back in the Spring and Summer of 2011, the humanitarian interventionists inside the Obama Administration were riding high.  President Obama put American military force behind the overthrow of Qaddafi in Libya, on the grounds of preventing a humanitarian disaster in Benghazi.  When Congress balked at the idea that he had brought the nation to war without even seeking tacit Congressional approval, President Obama issued an executive order creating an Atrocities Prevention Board inside the White House.  Under the guise of preventing potential future atrocities, the President asserted the authority to wage preventive war.  Several months later, he used a visit to the Holocaust Museum to announce the appointment of Samantha Power, a former protege of hedge-fund billionaire George Soros who never met a regime that she did not wish to change on "humanitarian" grounds as the head of the APB.
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