April 20, 2011

Triple “D” (Squared!)

Triple "D" (i.e., Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest), in a nutshell, is our national security/foreign policy today.

The Obama administration is providing $25 million in "nonlethal aid" to Libya's rebels (see below). And our CIA is providing covert assistance to elements of the "political arm" of the Libyan rebels, who have "publicly rejected terrorism, embraced the Geneva Conventions, and emphasized [their] dedication to building democratic institutions to provide for a secular future."

HUH?! Are we talking about folks like the one pictured below? Do they know what the Geneva Convention or democratic institutions are, much less how to use them to build a secular future? Has anyone explained to them that "secular" means you can't stone women to death or behead infidels, even if Allah says it's okay?

As for "political arms" and "rebels": Is the political arm of the Libyan rebels any relation to the political arms of Hamas and Hezbollah? And how do our CIA and State Department tell the difference between, say, a Libyan rebel and an ordinary run-of-the-mill "freelance jihadist?" Do they use those keen powers of observation being used at our airports today, you know, where 4 (& 90) yr olds get manhandled and groped by government agents searching for card-carrying members of al Qaeda and their carry-ons?

Is the CIA giving the Libyan rebels the same kind of assistance they gave the Afghan rebels back in the '80s? The latter grew up to be full-fledged, throat-slitting Taliban.

And what about Syrian or Yemeni rebels? They're having a tough time today, as well, so what kind of nonlethal aid and covert assistance are we giving them? After all, it's unfair to discriminate between rebels from political arms of various nonlethal Islamic terrorist organizations, right?

Before rushing off to teach others how to do it, perhaps we should teach ourselves how to tell the difference between good leaders and bad leaders, from among those in our own repository of political winners.

The Washington Times  |  April 19, 2011

Libya Rebels Will Receive $25M From U.S.
White House OKs nonlethal support

By Eli Lake

Libyan rebel fighter.jpg
A Libyan rebel fighter smokes a cigarette next to a multiple rocket launcher
in the back of a pickup truck, as the rebels prepare to make an advance, in
the desert on the outskirts of Ajdabiya, Libya. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

Dismissing concerns over possible links between Libyan rebels and al Qaeda, the Obama administration has notified Congress it is providing $25 million in nonlethal aid to the rebels' effort to drive Col. Moammar Gadhafi's regime from power.

"The president's proposed actions would provide urgently needed nonlethal assistance to support efforts to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas under threat of attack in Libya," said Joseph E. Macmanus, acting assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, in an April 15 letter. A copy of the letter, sent to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was obtained by The Washington Times.

The new authorization for assistance would cover "vehicles, fuel trucks and fuel bladders, ambulances, medical equipment, protective vests, binoculars, and non-secure radios," according to a memorandum attached to the letter.

The letter was disclosed as Britain announced it would be sending military trainers and advisers to Libya to help organize opposition troops. The European Union also said it would send an armed force to Libya to protect deliveries of humanitarian aid.

President Obama has said that Col. Gadhafi must step down from power, but he also stated that the United States does not support a policy of regime change in Libya.

Reports last month, confirmed by The Times, stated that the CIA was providing covert assistance to elements of the Transitional National Council (TNC), the political arm of the Libyan rebels.

Questions have emerged in recent weeks about the connection between some of the Libyan opposition and the al Qaeda terrorist group. Noman Benotman, a former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, said in an interview last month that about 1,000 freelance jihadists are at large in Libya.

The State Department memorandum attached to the letter, however, stated that the United States finds the TNC to be committed to democratic reforms.

"The U.S. government has been in communication with the TNC in an effort to build a working relationship and to understand its security capabilities and shortfalls, while recognizing the key role that Libyan opposition forces play in the protection of civilians and civilian populated areas in Libya," the memo said.

The memo also stated that "the TNC has publicly rejected terrorism, embraced the Geneva Conventions, and emphasized its dedication to building democratic institutions to provide for a secular future in which a broad range of Libyan citizens will be able to participate."

The letter notified Congress that the administration authorized "any U.S. government agency to provide assistance to support efforts by Libyan groups such as the TNC to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas under threat of attack in Libya."

The letter does not say how that assistance will be delivered or whether U.S. troops would be involved.

A Senate aide who asked not to be identified by name said the nonlethal assistance could open the door to future U.S. arms and other military assistance to the TNC.

"The justification in the letter appears to claim the TNC is stable, democratic and adhering to the Geneva Conventions," the aide said. "If all of this is true, then why can't you provide lethal military assistance as well?"

Danielle Pletka, the vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, said she is concerned by the aid.

"It would be great if they made a decision to support the rebels and to help to oust decisively Gadhafi from power," she said. "But I worry this is a lot like the decision to work through NATO, which is rhetorical commitment without any effective strategy about what to do to actually achieve the goals the president of the United States laid out."

In other developments, deployment of an EU armed force to Libya to protect aid shipments could take place within days, said Michael Mann, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

The European Union's 27 states approved a "concept of operations" that directs several proposed courses of action, Mr. Mann said.

In London, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Britain will send a team of up to 20 senior military advisers to the rebel-held city of Benghazi to help organize the opposition forces.

Mr. Hague insisted the advisers would not be involved in supplying weapons to the rebels or in assisting their attacks on Col. Gadhafi's forces.

The advisers will work with British diplomats who are in contact with the National Transitional Council, the political wing of the rebel movement officially recognized by Italy, France and Qatar.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

Original article here.


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