New massacre in Libya: 30 killed after rebel VP calls for no-fly zone

posted at 4:13 pm on March 4, 2011 by Allahpundit

Actually, it’s at least 30. It happened in Zawiyah, an oil city and the closest one to Tripoli that’s controlled by rebels; the unit responsible is allegedly the notorious Khamis Brigade, named after — and commanded by — Qaddafi’s own son. Qaddafi wants Zawiyah back to break the opposition’s momentum, give himself some breathing space territorially, and reclaim a bit of his petroleum lifeline. He tried to retake it a few days ago but that counteroffensive was repelled. This time the city’s rebel commander was killed, and Libyan state TV is now apparently reporting that Qaddafi’s goons are back in control. Hard to tell at the moment if that’s true, but so long as he’s able to airlift in mercenaries, it’s not far-fetched. Especially since he appears to have Tripoli mostly under control again too.

Two clips for you here. The second purports to be cell-phone footage of today’s attack on Zawiyah, but there’s no way to tell that either. It was uploaded this morning but Libya’s Internet supposedly went offline yesterday, so take it with a grain of salt. (It’s graphic in spots, needless to say, so please observe your official content warning.) The first clip comes from an interview CNN did last night with the new vice president of the rebels’ provisional governing council. Watch to the end and you’ll hear him call, flat out, for a no-fly zone to cut Qaddafi’s mercenary supply route. Which raises the question: Is there any “massacre threshold” the White House has in mind that’ll trigger a NFZ? Clearly we’re not going to intervene just to dislodge Qaddafi, but we’re also not going to sit by while he starts popping off sarin shells at protesters. At some point, at least theoretically, the he’s-gone-too-far line will be crossed. Where is that line? Is it tied to the body count? To the types of weapons used? Or is it tied to “optics”? I.e. if Al Jazeera cameras are on the scene when a truckful of mercenaries rolls up on a crowd and starts spraying bullets, with people dropping left and right, will the world’s revulsion force the White House to spring into action? Because … that’s basically what happened today, and not for the first time. The only missing component was the camera. So again, where’s the line?


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No video? Then it never happened.

BobMbx on March 4, 2011 at 4:16 PM

In Yemen the government fired on protesters today.

In Brahain, car accident turned into a 2 hour fight between Sunni and Shia.

In Saudi Arabia, there were protests.

In Iraq, the government turned on the water cannons.

Good Times….

Oil Can on March 4, 2011 at 4:16 PM

Give us the Lockerbie bomber and we’ll send in a few cruise missiles. Sell us some oil instead of China as well.

Daemonocracy on March 4, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Obama is going to repeat the Somalia debacle, for the children.

Skandia Recluse on March 4, 2011 at 4:17 PM

The Libyan Rebels are so desperate for help, that they are actually begging for President George Bush for help.

portlandon on March 4, 2011 at 4:17 PM

I sure am glad we are drilling for our own oil…

/

Seven Percent Solution on March 4, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Maybe if they were standing on a golf course it might get the WH’s attention.

Good Lord – any other President would have had this under control weeks ago.

gophergirl on March 4, 2011 at 4:18 PM

Blood on Obama’s hands

cntrlfrk on March 4, 2011 at 4:19 PM

One major comment here about US involvement in Libya:

We’re thousands of miles from home there. To get there, we have to stop in England, or France, or Spain, or Portugal, or Italy, or Germany, or etc….

So who’s friggin’ problem is it?

BobMbx on March 4, 2011 at 4:19 PM

I bet the UN calls for an armistice and the country gets split into East and West Libya for 30 years.

ebrawer on March 4, 2011 at 4:19 PM

will the world’s revulsion force the White House to spring into action?

spring? I thought they could only pivot?

moves.

ted c on March 4, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Where’s the line? Probably on Obuttheads coffee table, desk, or night stand.

capejasmine on March 4, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Good Lord – any other President would have had this under control weeks ago.

gophergirl on March 4, 2011 at 4:18 PM

or be labeled incompetent and inept by the all knowing msm.

SHARPTOOTH on March 4, 2011 at 4:21 PM

the only way the WH will get on the stick is if the heads of decapitated libyans are placed over the 18 holes over at ft belvoir.

ted c on March 4, 2011 at 4:22 PM

How about not intervening, let France take care of it.

Bishop on March 4, 2011 at 4:24 PM

When the rebels are calling for the former President Bush for help, thats all you need to know about our “foreign policy” and “perception of the Middle East towards us”

That alone is both egg on Obama and HILLARYS face – and unfortunatley – a hurdle for Obama to actively get involved.

His ego will not allow him to act “Bush-like”, even though Afghanistan and Paki has been “Bush-like” – a million miles under the radar.

Odie1941 on March 4, 2011 at 4:24 PM

I.e. if Al Jazeera cameras are on the scene when a truckful of mercenaries rolls up on a crowd and starts spraying bullets, with people dropping left and right, will the world’s revulsion force the White House to spring into action? Because … that’s basically what happened today, and not for the first time. The only missing component was the camera. So again, where’s the line?

I honestly cannot conceive of a provocation great enough to induce this administration to take military action. My God, the Mexican drug cartels have pretty much been given carte blanche to slaughter our own civilians and law enforcement personnel in our own backyard.

cynccook on March 4, 2011 at 4:25 PM

BobMbx on March 4, 2011 at 4:19 PM

We have ships right there in the Med. The Enterprise can get there within a few days, right off the coast in international waters if/when they get through the Suez.

We have and can have assets right there – not flown from CONUS via some circuitous route like in ’86.

As I said last week in another comment. RESOLVE is the issue. Are we willing to shoot down Libyan (or aircraft supporting QDaffy’s effort) inside a no-fly zone? Are we willing to take out ground sites – radar, anti-aircraft, fuel depots, etc – to enforce or even begin any kind of NFZ that actually means something?

I honestly don’t think Obama has the stones.

catmman on March 4, 2011 at 4:26 PM

cynccook on March 4, 2011 at 4:25 PM

And this.

catmman on March 4, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Well, we could always let the Germans back into Libya…. I recall Rommel knew his way around pretty good.

Vanceone on March 4, 2011 at 4:28 PM

What a shameful and dangerous President.
These are the moments when you do something- both for your own interest and the worlds.
What does Obama think is going to happen if Ghaddafi prevails?
Status quo?
It is a time for choosing- and Barry apparently takes the psychotic killer.

jjshaka on March 4, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Obama conducts foreign policy just like he plays basketball:

He’s an expert rebounder. Usually plays with his hands well up over his head. And sweats alot. Doesn’t put much emphasis on scoring..prides himself on defensive moves.

BobMbx on March 4, 2011 at 4:28 PM

I bet the UN calls for an armistice and the country gets split into East and West Libya for 30 years.

ebrawer on March 4, 2011 at 4:19 PM

That’s starting to look like the most likely outcome. Even if Quadaffy survives, Libya as we know it is over and will probably end up as several states.

fiatboomer on March 4, 2011 at 4:29 PM

Seems like a legit target but of course the propaganda will say otherwise, claim the rebels were civilians.

WoosterOh on March 4, 2011 at 4:31 PM

cynccook on March 4, 2011 at 4:25 PM

He has our Border patrol armed with guns shooting bean bags.
Why doesn’t he just go ahead and issue uniforms with bulleyes on them?

President Reagan knew how to handle Kadhafi.

kingsjester on March 4, 2011 at 4:31 PM

We have ships right there in the Med. The Enterprise can get there within a few days, right off the coast in international waters if/when they get through the Suez.

We have and can have assets right there – not flown from CONUS via some circuitous route like in ’86.

As I said last week in another comment. RESOLVE is the issue. Are we willing to shoot down Libyan (or aircraft supporting QDaffy’s effort) inside a no-fly zone? Are we willing to take out ground sites – radar, anti-aircraft, fuel depots, etc – to enforce or even begin any kind of NFZ that actually means something?

I honestly don’t think Obama has the stones.

catmman on March 4, 2011 at 4:26 PM

All those countries listed have ships and planes there. Now.

In fact, we’ll probably use facilities in some of those countries to stage any military mission.

The question remains: Where’s the European Union and its arsenal of highly trained soldiers and billion dollar air forces?

They’re hiding at home, hoping they don’t seem too anti-Muslim in all this.

BobMbx on March 4, 2011 at 4:32 PM

And this.

catmman on March 4, 2011 at 4:28 PM

It’s a dizzying sensation to be a passenger on this ship of state and realize that no one is in the bridge… We’re not slowing down, it’s just that no one is steering us.

cynccook on March 4, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Should I back the future foot soldiers of Muhammeds hordes or the mad Dictator. Hard decision.

BL@KBIRD on March 4, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Should I back the future foot soldiers of Muhammeds hordes or the mad Dictator. Hard decision.

BL@KBIRD on March 4, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Michelle: Baby, don’t think about it now. We need to plan our next party/vacay!

cynccook on March 4, 2011 at 4:34 PM


We have someone who arguably has more legitimacy as leader than Kadfi calling for a NFZ, and we do nothing? Seriously? We just let this pass?
I call this a missed opportunity.

Count to 10 on March 4, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Well, I was glad to see in the second clip that the vast majority of the people weren’t armed with guns. Imagine the violence and chaos if they were!

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 4, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Should I back the future foot soldiers of Muhammeds hordes or the mad Dictator. Hard decision.

BL@KBIRD on March 4, 2011 at 4:33 PM

What evidence do you have of the first being accurate? (We know the second is)

Count to 10 on March 4, 2011 at 4:36 PM

From the Obama doctrine thread, one liberal hasn’t gotten marching orders. The leftie talking heads on the radio and TV want action now.

dunno… not jumping head first into another war with an arab country?

sesquipedalian on March 4, 2011 at 4:12 PM

Schadenfreude on March 4, 2011 at 4:37 PM

“Have you tried this smoothie recipe Michelle and I have been working on? We bought the blender with our own money.”
 
- President Barack H. Obama

rogerb on March 4, 2011 at 4:38 PM

30 people or more? that’s it, we need to start another war immediately.

sesquipedalian on March 4, 2011 at 4:38 PM

That’s starting to look like the most likely outcome. Even if Quadaffy survives, Libya as we know it is over and will probably end up as several states.

fiatboomer on March 4, 2011 at 4:29 PM

If they are smart, it will be a federation of states. Oil will be an issue, though, as it was/is in Iraq.

Count to 10 on March 4, 2011 at 4:38 PM

30 people or more? that’s it, we need to start another war immediately.

sesquipedalian on March 4, 2011 at 4:38 PM

The war’s already started. We’re just deciding if we should show up fashionably late.

Count to 10 on March 4, 2011 at 4:39 PM

People are talking about No Fly Zone, I thought they were shelled. What would a NFZ do for shells?

WoosterOh on March 4, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Ebb and flow. Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, rise up, then something similar replaces the old regime. Tenuous, uncertain, a state of flux. We hope the powers that be will help these poor people. But Obama does nothing to guide them to a better future. He doesn’t want to be blamed if it goes bad. It’s all about him, and his public image. It’s pitiful.

Paul-Cincy on March 4, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Well, I was glad to see in the second clip that the vast majority of the people weren’t armed with guns. Imagine the violence and chaos if they were!

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 4, 2011 at 4:35 PM

2nd Amendment lesson for dictator-in-waiting?

“Killing civilians is a lot tougher if they can shoot back”

BobMbx on March 4, 2011 at 4:40 PM

30 people or more? that’s it, we need to start another war immediately.

sesquipedalian on March 4, 2011 at 4:38 PM

How many people died in the PanAm103 bombing?

I can’t remember.

portlandon on March 4, 2011 at 4:40 PM

What would a NFZ do for shells?

WoosterOh on March 4, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Prevent Daffy from bringing in West African mercenaries to bolster his own forces who are reluctant to fire on their own people.

sharrukin on March 4, 2011 at 4:42 PM

moral of the stroy never elect a senator that has no personal history and no record

unseen on March 4, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Implementing a no-fly zone would require air strikes to take out anti-aircraft missiles and radars.

In other words, it would require dropping bombs on people.

I can’t imagine Obama allowing this, unless he required the Navy and Air Force to drop only bean bags.

ZenDraken on March 4, 2011 at 4:44 PM

The war’s already started. We’re just deciding if we should show up fashionably late.

Count to 10 on March 4, 2011 at 4:39 PM

why do we need suddenly need to participate in civil wars?

what if the no-fly zone is not enough to guarantee a rebel victory? will we introduce ground troops then? who are the rebels anyway? do you even care?

sesquipedalian on March 4, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Will Qaddafi use whatever means necessary to stay in power? Would he gas his own citizens like Hussein? Does he have chemical weapons? I would suspect the answer is yes but if we aren’t sure what can we do? Shouldn’t we already know if he has these weapons or not?

scalleywag on March 4, 2011 at 4:49 PM

How many people died in the PanAm103 bombing?

I can’t remember.

portlandon on March 4, 2011 at 4:40 PM

irrelevant.

sesquipedalian on March 4, 2011 at 4:50 PM

At some point, at least theoretically, the he’s-gone-too-far line will be crossed.

Wanna bet? Obama doesn’t want to initiate any firing on “his people.” He resigned himself to continuing the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan because he can blame that on Bush. Here, he’s infinitely impressed with his own ability to reason with Qaddafi.

Case in point for like-mindedness:

30 people or more? that’s it, we need to start another war immediately.

sesquipedalian on March 4, 2011 at 4:38 PM

Not only can Obama not answer the 3 am call, but he also cannot answer the 3 pm call.

BuckeyeSam on March 4, 2011 at 4:51 PM

irrelevant.

sesquipedalian on March 4, 2011 at 4:50 PM

How so?

portlandon on March 4, 2011 at 4:52 PM

what if the no-fly zone is not enough to guarantee a rebel victory? will we introduce ground troops then? who are the rebels anyway? do you even care?

sesquipedalian on March 4, 2011 at 4:48 PM

I think thats the first rational point you’ve ever made.

We should not introduce ground troops and the rebel groups don’t want that anyway.

We have no idea who the rebels are or who will eventually be in charge.

We should care because we want the oil flowing just as they want to sell it and that helps our economy and theirs.

sharrukin on March 4, 2011 at 4:53 PM

moral of the stroy never elect a senator that has no personal history and no record other than as a community-organizin’ huckster whose longstanding confidants included the likes of Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers.

unseen on March 4, 2011 at 4:43 PM

FIFY.

BuckeyeSam on March 4, 2011 at 4:54 PM

I mentioned this on the other Libya thread, as well, so I’m repeating myself. This article was written last June. I can only imagine the sense of satisfaction its author must feel in having his theories borne out so thoroughly.

The characteristic aspects of Mr. Obama’s new foreign policy in action might fairly be described as: (1) a refusal to assert American will, which leads to (2) an American policy that is described but not implemented by force and, thus, (3) acquiescence to the assertion of will by other nations or forces.

cynccook on March 4, 2011 at 4:55 PM

30 people or more? that’s it, we need to start another war immediately.

sesquipedalian on March 4, 2011 at 4:38 PM

>1 American

ted c on March 4, 2011 at 4:55 PM

How about not intervening, let France take care of it.

Bishop on March 4, 2011 at 4:24 PM

Libya was an Italian colony, if anyone they are most responsible for it being so messed up.

That said, let the barbarians massacre each other, whoever wins, we’re going to lose.

Rebar on March 4, 2011 at 4:55 PM

I cant wait for the blood-for-oil posters by Code Pink and the Dove crowd.

WoosterOh on March 4, 2011 at 4:56 PM

It’s a civil war. Combatants on either side get massacred. So, are we to step in only if anti-Qaddafi forces are the ones slaughtered? Is Obama qualified to determine which Libyan lives are worth more than others?

Let Libyans sort this out for themselves, with or without the help of their allies. The United States is not their ally like France was ours during the AmRev.

I won’t disagree, however, that the use of unconventional weapons is a bright line.

Christien on March 4, 2011 at 4:57 PM

The threshold is when they start calling themselves Tea Partiers.

ronsfi on March 4, 2011 at 4:59 PM

How so?

portlandon on March 4, 2011 at 4:52 PM

they accepted responsibility and paid compensation to the victims. in any case, what makes you think it is relevant?

sesquipedalian on March 4, 2011 at 4:59 PM

why do we need suddenly need to participate in civil wars?

what if the no-fly zone is not enough to guarantee a rebel victory? will we introduce ground troops then? who are the rebels anyway? do you even care? – sesquipedalian on March 4, 2011 at 4:48 PM

All good questions. I am a bit tired of the world dialing 911, always calling the United States to fix the problem. Then we get spat upon. Perhaps the French, Spanish and Italians can do some heavy lifting for a change.

SC.Charlie on March 4, 2011 at 5:02 PM

portlandon on March 4, 2011 at 4:40 PM

IIRC, 270 died, including two fellow students in my study abroad program. Thank God I flew home TWA a couple days later. Security at Heathrow was extremely tight.

Christien on March 4, 2011 at 5:02 PM

I’m starting to get the bad feeling that Khaddafi is going to hold on and win this thing. Sad, very sad.

Old Fritz on March 4, 2011 at 5:04 PM

I’m starting to get the bad feeling that Khaddafi is going to hold on and win this thing. Sad, very sad.

Old Fritz on March 4, 2011 at 5:04 PM

He’s got the guns, they’ve got the numbers. It’s a toss-up.

cynccook on March 4, 2011 at 5:07 PM

I’m starting to get the bad feeling that Khaddafi is going to hold on and win this thing. Sad, very sad.

Old Fritz on March 4, 2011 at 5:04 PM

If they wont get support , K-daffy wins.

the_nile on March 4, 2011 at 5:09 PM

All good questions. I am a bit tired of the world dialing 911, always calling the United States to fix the problem. Then we get spat upon. Perhaps the French, Spanish and Italians can do some heavy lifting for a change.

SC.Charlie on March 4, 2011 at 5:02 PM

They should make the offer of support official “This time , we want a thank you”.

the_nile on March 4, 2011 at 5:11 PM

I never thought I’d live to utter (type) this words but:

All things considered, Jimmy Carter wasn’t really that bad

gary4205 on March 4, 2011 at 5:13 PM

They should make the offer of support official “This time , we want a thank you”.

the_nile on March 4, 2011 at 5:11 PM

And by “thank you” we mean 250,000 barrels of your best crude.

cynccook on March 4, 2011 at 5:13 PM

What a mess this thing is turning into. Er well…I mean…this thing IS…guess that’s the niceness of the Middle East coming out again.

Tacitus on March 4, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Don’t the Libyans hate us anyway? It’s not like they’ve been an ally…they cheered when the Lockerbie bomber was released.

scalleywag on March 4, 2011 at 5:36 PM

When the rebels are calling for the former President Bush for help, thats all you need to know about our “foreign policy” and “perception of the Middle East towards us”…

Odie1941 on March 4, 2011 at 4:24 PM

Hey, that’s not a bad idea…

George Bush! Save us from Barack Obama!

turfmann on March 4, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Where the hell is Code Stink and their human shields?? Come on skanks, do your job. What? They only protest American involvement in war and death? My bad. Move along, people. Nothing to see here. Ignore the man behind the curtain.

Jarhead68 on March 4, 2011 at 6:07 PM

why do we need suddenly need to participate in civil wars?

sesquipedalian on March 4, 2011 at 4:48 PM

This question would require no contemplation if we were drilling here.

anuts on March 4, 2011 at 6:09 PM

Clearly we’re not going to intervene just to dislodge Qaddafi, but we’re also not going to sit by while he starts popping off sarin shells at protesters.

Gaddafi isn’t going to use chemical weapons.
1. He doesn’t have to. He’s got all he needs to win it with conventional weapons.

2. He knows that would draw in the internationals. That’s the only way he will lose.

a capella on March 4, 2011 at 6:32 PM

Rmember Somalia?

No more getting suckered by media heart string video and pictures.

It’s not our problem. We must stay out of other peoples civil wars.

We are broke. Let get on with getting out of it.

rickyricardo on March 4, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Remember Somalia?

No more getting suckered by media heart string video and pictures.

It’s not our problem. We must stay out of other peoples civil wars.

We are broke. Let get on with getting out of it.

rickyricardo on March 4, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Close the airports. My wag is that Qaddafi does not have as many as twenty runways capable of handling his jets. Runways are vulnerable in this day of precision stand off weapons.
Do not send troops.

burt on March 4, 2011 at 6:54 PM

There is no way we can win ~anything~ in a military involvement. No matter what we do, we will be wrong and vilified, including if we sit it out. We don’t REALLY know who the good guys are.

This one pushes some of our hot buttons, with words like freedom, justice, democracy… But innocent people get killed and abused all over the world, and we have blown it off, or felt our disapproval was enough. Why would Libya matter more than Burma, Darfur, N. Korea, several African countries, or even Central or South American ones?

Yes, I feel sorry for them too. But it’s Europe’s turn.

jodetoad on March 4, 2011 at 7:48 PM

Genesis 16:12 And he shall be as a wild ass among men; his hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell over against all his brethren

Ishmael and his offspring have done a magnificant job of fulfilling God’s prophecy. They’ve done much and continue to do much for civilization /s
God will use them to castigate the USA and Obama will be an enabler. Have mercy on us.

wepeople on March 4, 2011 at 7:51 PM

Ishmael and his offspring have done a magnificant job of fulfilling God’s prophecy. They’ve done much and continue to do much for civilization /s

wepeople on March 4, 2011 at 7:51 PM

But-but-but how can you say that? We’re all created equal!

/s

Dark-Star on March 4, 2011 at 8:17 PM

If they want a no-fly zone why don’t they call Saudi Arabia or Egypt. They both have large air forces and a vested interest. We help, we bleed, we die, we go into further debt and then we are vilified and lambasted internationally. I’m not an isolationist by any means, however, beyond maybe providing AWAC support to Arab nation aircraft enforcing a no-fly zone, we don’t need to be involved in yet another Middle East boondoggle.

deepdiver on March 4, 2011 at 8:39 PM

Somehow I’m having a tough time drumming up sympathy for a bunch of kooky moosies with long knives who are running around screaming Allu Ahkbar!!!

Alden Pyle on March 4, 2011 at 9:11 PM

Can’t wait to replace one America hating, terrorist sponsoring regime with a different America hating, terrorist sponsoring regime.

I don’t want to see ONE American killed in this death orgy.

Mojave Mark on March 5, 2011 at 12:05 AM

For the life of me, I can’t understand why you’re framing this crap going on in the M.E. as somethng that America should be getting involved in. Bullhockey!
Its their country, their dictator and THEIR F’IN PROBLEM. NOT ours!
We are not the world Police, and frankly, aside from just feeling badly for the Libyans who are dying, only to see just another Islamic Ruler replace this one if they win (Animal Farm) – I really just couldn’t care less.
Not a SINGLE American should die for this nonsense, and not a single American dollar should be spent on it either.
Want to see it get “fixed”? Let the other Islamic Kingdoms take care of their own.

KMC1 on March 5, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Finally, a war where we can cheer for the defeat of both sides

DaMav on March 5, 2011 at 4:03 PM

Israel will kick ass in the end. The Mossad is sitting @ idle. Not for long.

Ugly on March 6, 2011 at 5:37 AM

Finally, a war where we can cheer for the defeat of both sides

DaMav on March 5, 2011 at 4:03 PM

I’ve long been wishing for Israel and the Palis to both unleash their held-back weaponry and render the entire !@#%^& region uninhabitable by human life. It would shut up all the Zionist wannabes and put an end to the pathetic charade of ‘peace’ between the two…

Dark-Star on March 8, 2011 at 8:56 PM