Middle East and North Africa Unrest

Heathrow

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BBC News ? Libya protests: Tripoli hit by renewed clashes

BBC News said:
# Serious anti-government protests in the capital Tripoli and elsewhere are putting Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime under mounting pressure.

# Several senior officials and diplomats - including the justice minister - have reportedly defected after security forces fired on protesters.

# In a nationwide TV broadcast on Sunday, one of Col Gaddafi's sons, Saif al-Islam, admitted two eastern cities had been taken over by anti-government demonstrators.

# The BBC's Jon Leyne in neighbouring Egypt says Col Gaddafi has now lost the support of almost every section of society.
All reported by BBC News:

The Libyan UN ambassador and team have ?defected? from Gadaffi as have other ambassadors in other countries.

Two Libyan Air Force Mirage jets flew to Malta and defected to the Maltese.

UK Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Haig, strongly hinted that he had information that Gaddaffi had left Libya.

* * *

The BBC News editorial line is that Gaddaffi is finished with all political commentators and analysts are discussing his demise.

* * *
Also, further troubles in the region continues:

BBC News ? Bahrain opposition set demands for talks with royals

BBC News ? Morocco protests: Five burned bodies found - minister

BBC News ? Algeria police prevent fresh opposition rally

* * *
One regional analyst stated today that those countries with royalty would likely remain so and could become a constitutional monarchy. However, those countries with Dictators were unable to do this and have to go as Egypt is going.
 
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nomix

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Yeah, that would be awsome. Unify the Libyan people against a (percieved or real) foreign threat. Great.

Please, keep your neocon bullshit out of this. It does not work.
 

jetsetter

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It would depend on what hand we played. Boots on the group intervention would be inadvisable but air support in the form of fighters that would be used to deny the Libyan air force the ability to kill its own people could be in our interests.
 

nomix

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As long as there's no bombing, perhaps. But it's still a very big risk to take, you would be running a real risk of just pissing off normal Libyans. It's not relevant what it is, it's what it looks like. And just one whisper of invation, and the desert telegraph will make it common knowledge in a day.

It's just too risky.
 

Plissken

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Actually, and I can't believe I'm agreeing with jetsetter on something, but if there was some way of doing an airstrike accurately and if it was agreed properly and quickly via correct diplomatic channels in the UN then it would probably help the situation.

I'm not talking invasion, I'm talking about getting rid of someone who is ordering his own army to kill his citizens and hiring outside mercs to help them do it.
 

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If, as reports have suggested, he isn't already sharing a cold one with Chavez in Vevezuela.
 

WillDAQ

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The middle east unrest is something the US needs to stay the fuck out of. So far nothing the US govt. has said or done has actually been helpful.

The fingerprints of the CIA (and in particular Frank Wisner Sr., the son of whom got fired for suggested the US needed to support Mubarak) are all over these regimes and any interference will not have the desired effect. The idea of invading the sovereignty of a nation's airspace as a show of solidarity is idiotic.

There is an irony in that most of the methods being used by these protesters were compiled by US academic Dr. Gene Sharp, so in reality the US is having a huge effect... but few of the protesters are aware of that and to quote the article:

When I pointed out that these non-violent weapons were the writings of an American academic he protested strongly. "This is an Egyptian revolution", he said. "We are not being told what to do by the Americans."
That's not to say that we should be ignoring the changes occurring, David Cameron took the risky step of visiting Egypt and it seems to have paid off. However, the US is by it's very nature a political heavy weight incapable of subtlety, now is not the time for it to be stomping around. Once these nations have stable democracies, that's the point the US should be rolling out the pomp and circumstance to welcome them into the fold of democracy.
 

nomix

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One possiblity would be to airdrop some stingers to the protesters, with some added AK-47s (US provide the stingers, Russians provide the AK's, going Dutch), when that's done, and Gadaffi is gone, I'll pop in with a bottle of my home brew to explain how nice a monarch can be for a young nation.
 

nomix

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Indeed. Thing is, that's what WOULD be effective. A child can use a Stinger. And it will take down a Mirage or a MiG-25 easily (let alone a chopper). Same goes for an AK, especially good at dealing with other people using AK's.

They would have their own revolution, and the west wouldn't be seen as imperialists (which ANY air strike might easily do). Problem is that there are some elements in Libya that probably shouldn't have their own Stingers...

:p
 

WillDAQ

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Referring you to my earlier article, combat will not work. Regimes can easily suppress violent protests by likening them to terrorism. For success the protesters have to remain non-violent.

Dropping weapons to protesters is exactly the sort of douchebag fratboy type thing that will ensure any coup fails. It's the sort of strategy that the US has been using to fuck up coups for the past 70 years and is what lead to such a prevalence of dictators in the first place.

Stop trying to turn the real world into a Hollywood action movie.
 
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nomix

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The issue will be wether ot not the protesters know how to use weapons. I'm willing to bet quite a lot of them have been conscripts.

I generally speaking agree. However, the difference is that Gadaffi is using his Air Force to fight the demonstrators. If it's alloved to continue, there'll be no demonstrators left.

I guess we'll have to hope the army changes sides completely and grab some RPG's to get those fighters down.
 

M3lover

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The issue will be wether ot not the protesters know how to use weapons. I'm willing to bet quite a lot of them have been conscripts.

I generally speaking agree. However, the difference is that Gadaffi is using his Air Force to fight the demonstrators. If it's alloved to continue, there'll be no demonstrators left.

I guess we'll have to hope the army changes sides completely and grab some RPG's to get those fighters down.
Hehe, good luck trying to hit a Mirage or MIG with a RPG :p Some of their other, newer, hardware on the other hand...
 

nomix

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Indeed. I was thinking more of the Russian hand held SAM devices.

Edit: Seems that's been done already. Republika Srpska "army" shot down a Mirage 2000 over Bosnia, and the Iraqis shot down a Tornado during Desert Storm.
 
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nomix

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Yup, I was. I'm sick today, cut me some slack, man. :p
 

WillDAQ

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The issue will be wether ot not the protesters know how to use weapons. I'm willing to bet quite a lot of them have been conscripts.
That entirely isn't the issue. This isn't some Hollywood action thriller where a suppressed minority will magically gain advanced military tactics and weapons, rise up and overthrow the bumbling incumbents. The military have to be on side for any chance of success.

I generally speaking agree. However, the difference is that Gadaffi is using his Air Force to fight the demonstrators. If it's alloved to continue, there'll be no demonstrators left.

I guess we'll have to hope the army changes sides completely and grab some RPG's to get those fighters down.
The protesters need the military on side to stand any chance of victory, how is shooting troops, attacking tanks or downing fighters ever going to achieve that? The military has to decide that the protesters have a more just cause than the leadership and refuse to attack them. It's what happened in Egypt and in Libya we've already seen fighters defect to Malta rather than attack protesters. The key is to cause the leadership to isolate themselves from the rest of the government using non-violent means. That's the magic sauce that worked in Egypt and Tunisia, not american guns parachuted to protesters.
 

nomix

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That entirely isn't the issue. This isn't some Hollywood action thriller where a suppressed minority will magically gain advanced military tactics and weapons, rise up and overthrow the bumbling incumbents. The military have to be on side for any chance of success.

The protesters need the military on side to stand any chance of victory, how is shooting troops, attacking tanks or downing fighters ever going to achieve that? The military has to decide that the protesters have a more just cause than the leadership and refuse to attack them. It's what happened in Egypt and in Libya we've already seen fighters defect to Malta rather than attack protesters. The key is to cause the leadership to isolate themselves from the rest of the government using non-violent means. That's the magic sauce that worked in Egypt and Tunisia, not american guns parachuted to protesters.
Fuck it, I bumbled this one up. My bad. I started thinking like a silly neocon. Don't know why.
 

WillDAQ

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I was in the same mindset to start with, takes a while to think through the options... on the upside:

The BBC's Jon Leyne, in western Egypt, says the regime now seems to be fighting on multiple fronts, trying to put down the protests and fighting a bitter battle against a growing number of army units that have risen up against the Libyan leader.

A growing number of Libyan diplomats around the world have said they are no longer supporting Col Gaddafi.
It's happening...
 
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