The stuttering didn’t end in The President’s Speech

posted at 10:12 am on March 30, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

In my latest column for The Week today, I use the Academy Award-winning film The King’s Speech to bookend my point about the incoherence of the Obama administration on its Libyan adventure.  Like King George VI, Barack Obama needed to demonstrate leadership, inspire a nation, and give a clear account of why the nation’s forces had been sent to war after ten days of contradictions, incoherence, and silence from the administration.  Unfortunately, Obama turned out to be no more coherent on Monday than George VI before his speech therapy:

Later in the same speech, though, the president then said that the United States couldn’t intervene to stop every government that threatened massacres and genocides. So why pick Libya? The president never answered that question. The “international community” was “mobilized,” Obama explained near the end of the address. The international community has certainly been mobilized over Sudan, which has conducted a years-long genocide — long enough for then-candidate Barack Obama to pledge American action to stop the massacre of civilians. Sudan didn’t get a no-fly zone, nor did Syria, Yemen, or Bahrain, whose governments have all attacked and killed dissenters in large numbers.

Nor was the president any clearer in his speech on a definition of victory, or an exit strategy. Obama insisted that “broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake,” and a violation of the United Nations mandate for the operation. Obama reiterated his demand that Gadhafi relinquish power immediately, though, and then said that the United States would act to “deny the regime arms, cut off its supply of cash, assist the opposition, and work with other nations to hasten the day when Gadhafi leaves power.” If America does that while conducting military operations targeting Gadhafi’s military forces and assets, how is that any different than pursuing regime change as part of our overall war strategy? After all, it’s the same government doing it all at the same time. …

No ground troops would land in Libya, Obama promised, but that got contradicted the very next day by Admiral James Stavridis, the American serving as the military commander of NATO who now runs Operation Odyssey Dawn. Stavridis told Congress on Tuesday that “the possibility of a stabilization regime exists,” based on the model employed in the Balkans in the 1990s with ground troops protecting civilian centers. In fact, we still have 700 American soldiers stationed in Kosovo, as Stavridis himself reminded Congress, more than a decade after that conflict supposedly ended.

Finally, Obama insisted that he would not exceed the mandate to “protect civilians, stop an advancing army, prevent a massacre, and establish a no-fly zone with our allies and partners.” Less than 24 hours later, The Guardian reported that Hillary Clinton had “paved the way” to start shipping arms to the rebels, which exceeds the mandate Obama himself reiterated. Not only does it pull the United States into an alliance with forces seeking to overthrow Gadhafi — and thus effect the “regime change” that Obama specifically eschewed as a goal for Odyssey Dawn — it puts weapons into hands of people whom we don’t know well at all.  At the same time, Clinton pressed for arms shipments to the rebels, Stavridis admitted to Congress that they had detected “flickers” of al Qaeda in the rebellion. One rebel commander, Abdul Hakim al Hasadi, fought for the Taliban in Afghanistan. We know this because we captured him there and handed him over to Libya a few years ago.  Gadhafi let him go as part of a deal with radical Islamists in 2008.

ABC noted yesterday that the speech certainly described how we got involved in Libya, but not how we’re going to get out:

ABC News’ White House correspondent Jake Tapper points out that Obama left at least three critical questions unanswered: the endgame in Libya, the timetable and the price tag. (The Pentagon estimated the cost of the first week of U.S. military intervention at $600 million:http://abcn.ws/egzRqM)

As Obama noted, the U.S. will “support the aspirations of the Libyan people” and “work with other nations to hasten the day when Gadhafi leaves power,” but it’s unclear how much of a strain that will put on the American military or how long we will lend a supportive role. …

And on the question of whether it’s now U.S. policy to intervene everywhere there is violence and repression, the president put on the brakes in the same breath that he left the door open to future action.

Gaddafi’s forces retook a key port today, forcing the rebels to retreat in disarray again:

Libya rebels withdraw from oil town as international coalition continue discussions over legality of arming them

Troops loyal to the Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi, have retaken the key oil port of Ras Lanouf, forcing rebel fighters into a chaotic retreat under a barrage of tank and artillery fire.

Nato planes bombarded the regime troops as their outgunned opponents continued to fall back from positions taken earlier in the week, when they had advanced within 60 miles of Sirte, Gaddafi’s home city.

If Gaddafi doesn’t fall, then what next?  How long will this operation continue, with its significant American contribution?  We have no answers to those questions, and worse yet, no sense that the White House has any answers to them, either.  The stuttering will apparently continue for the foreseeable future.


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Let’s hope that the “stuttering” will end in 2012!

clnurnberg on March 30, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Obama took us into Libya with no intentions on being victorious. He wants to prove that American Exceptionalism is a thing of the past and we are now all one International community.

darwin-t on March 30, 2011 at 10:17 AM

Someone tell Obama you can’t be half-pregnant. Or to **** or get off the pot.

Paul-Cincy on March 30, 2011 at 10:20 AM

If Gaddafi doesn’t fall, then what next?

If Gadaffi loses, there will be a bloodbath in Tripoli.

If Gadaffi wins there will be a bloodbath in Benghazi.

coldwarrior on March 30, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Wait, Ed. Your buddy Mark Halperin describes the speech as a model of sophistication bordering on rhetorical genius. Where’s the disconnect?

Jaibones on March 30, 2011 at 10:22 AM

If Gadaffi loses, there will be a bloodbath in Tripoli.

If Gadaffi wins there will be a bloodbath in Benghazi.

coldwarrior on March 30, 2011 at 10:20 AM

cw,
We both know that Gadaffi isn’t going anywhere until they stick him in the sand.

darwin-t on March 30, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Ed, I liked your last paragraph:

In other words, we picked a fight with a country that didn’t directly threaten us to protect a rebellion that may well have ties to the terrorists we’re trying to defeat in Afghanistan, while at the same time declaring victory and handing off the fight to an organization that relies primarily on American power, all to distance ourselves from an effort to topple a tyrant, even though no one has any idea of what would follow the regime. King George VI was more coherent than this without the speech therapy, and his leadership certainly inspired more confidence than Obama did on Monday.

Fallon on March 30, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Later in the same speech, though, the president then said that the United States couldn’t intervene to stop every government that threatened massacres and genocides. So why pick Libya? The president never answered that question. The “international community” was “mobilized,” Obama explained near the end of the address. The international community has certainly been mobilized over Sudan, which has conducted a years-long genocide — long enough for then-candidate Barack Obama to pledge American action to stop the massacre of civilians. Sudan didn’t get a no-fly zone, nor did Syria, Yemen, or Bahrain, whose governments have all attacked and killed dissenters in large numbers.

Logistically those other places are much harder. They would have to rely on US aircraft carriers and especially with Syria it would rely on getting overflight rights from another country — which would be tantamount to a declaration of war by that country. Libya is logistically easy, all the Whine needed to say was that.

And now the rebels are back into retreat. So when the revolt fails, this is going to make Carter’s Operation Eagle Claw look good.

rbj on March 30, 2011 at 10:25 AM

As soon as Qadaffys demands are met, this will end.

Save haven. AKA a luxury suite at a top notch hotel, or his own palace abroad. The right sum of money to line his pockets with, and seven virgins. Hey…when you’re Qadaffy, why wait for death to have that. eh?

capejasmine on March 30, 2011 at 10:26 AM

Obama took us into Libya with no intentions on being victorious. He wants to prove that American Exceptionalism is a thing of the past and we are now all one International community.

darwin-t on March 30, 2011 at 10:17 AM

…..and he’s doing one heckuva of a job with that effort!

roy_batty on March 30, 2011 at 10:28 AM

I am with Rush on this one when he says everything including Libya is part of Obama’s re-election campaign. That is why it is incoherant because matching up electoral goals with military action is not possible without “loose ends”. Whenever someone at the WH tries to tie up a “loose end” they drop a previous “connection” by someone else in doing so. We all have seen this incoherance for some time now where Obama’s agenda and what he wants the public to consume are 2 different things. In the case of war these are differences are more concrete and they spill over into the area of military action where the Left and Obama are all over the record being opposed to and constantly having to cover their a$$e$. The left and Obama painted themeslves out of military option before this but they will get out of this with the help of the press because as Rush says whether Quadaffi stays or goes they will forget the half of their current argument and restate the one that ended up happening.

Conan on March 30, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Mark Halperin is oppressively delusional

clnurnberg on March 30, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Like King George VI, Barack Obama needed to demonstrate leadership, inspire a nation, and give a clear account of why the nation’s forces had been sent to war after ten days of contradictions, incoherence, and silence from the administration.

Obama: “In this grave hour f–k f–k f–k perhaps the most fateful in our history bugger sh-t sh-t.”

Doughboy on March 30, 2011 at 10:28 AM

The only positives are that Obama, Hillary and the other Amazon Spice Girls come off very, very badly in this mess. If Kaddafi manages to retake the whole country, put an exponent on that grudge factor he is going to have for the U.S. And to think he had been essentially defanged before we got into this. Like everyone keeps saying, ‘smart power’. Thank you Ivy League colleges, especially Harvard and Yale.

JimP on March 30, 2011 at 10:29 AM

They would have to rely on US aircraft carriers and especially with Syria it would rely on getting overflight rights from another country

Syria has 100 miles of coast, and no place within the country is more than 300 miles from that coast.

A Balrog of Morgoth on March 30, 2011 at 10:29 AM

the speech certainly described how we got involved in Libya, but not how we’re going to get out

Barry isn’t interested in getting US out. He’s already left.

GarandFan on March 30, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Let me be clear @Obama Obama never wants to get his hands dirty. I’ve said this all along! @Obama That’s why his objectives are so benign. That’s why he’s passing it off to NATO and the UN as much as he can. That’s why his purposes are so muddled. He doesn’t want to be blamed for anything. He’s the Commander in Chief of the greatest military the world has ever seen, and he’s afraid to be seen as the author of the use of that power. What could go wrong @AllahPundit

Paul-Cincy on March 30, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Another point about the speech that hasn’t gotten much attention but early on after it on Twitter a reporter said the WH was touting the part where Obama stated “Other nations may be willing to turn a blind eye but I won’t” (paraphrase).

Well, I responded, that is ridiculous. I caught it when he said it and immediately reacted that he just threw the vaunted coalition (that, even such as it is, which is questionable, he didn’t even have a hand in forming) under the bus.

How can one brag about building (lie) the fastest coaltion EVAH! then preen that other nations are willing to turn a blind eye but he, the great and moral Obama, never ever could.

Completely sickening. So false on so many levels. We all watched those other nations trying to lead (no matter what one thinks of the wisdom) while Obama was dragged reluctantly into it.

Gack

Cindy Cooper on March 30, 2011 at 10:36 AM

A Balrog of Morgoth on March 30, 2011 at 10:29 AM

D’oh, forgot about NE Syria, why was I thinking that was all Lebanon. Still, to get there means going roundabout through the Eastern Med, or going through Greek & Turkish airspace. And Turkey is not going to grant overfly rights, as that would mean war. I doubt Greece would either, as Syria has longer range missiles. Plus Syria has a stronger army than the intentionally weak Libyan one. All you have to do is say that logistically Libya is easy to do.

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to restudy maps of the MidEast.
Syria has a coast, Syria has a coast.

rbj on March 30, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Another question is, how do you arms the “rebels” without half of the arms ending up in Gaza?

RBMN on March 30, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Only short-term way out will be a partition- with Egyptian troops holding the eastern part of the country. Short of that, this gets ugly in the short-term. The ONLY hope long-term is we get insanely lucky with a single bomb.

michaelo on March 30, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Smart Power on a Global Scale.

Tim_CA on March 30, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Conan on March 30, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Yup. He’s trying to accomplish one thing while telling us the goal is something entirely different. He and his lackies can’t lie fast enough to stay ahead of it. Events are overtaking him.

a capella on March 30, 2011 at 10:54 AM

If we lose one precious American life in that worthless sh!thole, it’s cost far more than Obama had any right to spend, damn him.

tree hugging sister on March 30, 2011 at 10:56 AM

especially with Syria it would rely on getting overflight rights from another country

rbj on March 30, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Syria has a pretty good coastline on the Med, no overflights needed. But taking down Syria opens yet another can of worms, a bigger can of worms than was opened when Obama unilaterally decided to go into Libya, really.

Israel, for example, has no desire for Bashir Assad to be toppled as there is a strong probability that if he goes he will be replaced by an even more pro-Iran crowd. If Syria goes to a more pro-Iran crowd, then Turkey will get messy a lot sooner than one can believe. And Iraq? Between Iran and a hard place.

But the overall point that there is neither coherency in Obama’s plan nor any real articulation of a defined mission in Libya stands…only leads a casual observer to ask, can we call it a quagmire yet?

coldwarrior on March 30, 2011 at 10:57 AM

rbj on March 30, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Syria is safe from U.N. depredations. It is a frontline enemy of Israel. Now, if Fatah and Hamas manage to kiss and make up, as seems likely, the stage is gradually being set.

a capella on March 30, 2011 at 10:59 AM

The answer is simple … More Blood and Oil

J_Crater on March 30, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Let’s hope that the “stuttering” will end in 2012!

clnurnberg on March 30, 2011 at 10:14 AM

You betcha!

SKYFOX on March 30, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Wait, Ed. Your buddy Mark Halperin describes the speech as a model of sophistication bordering on rhetorical genius. Where’s the disconnect?

Jaibones on March 30, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Not to mention, Bill O’Reilly, who actually had to “put ice” on his lips from all of the BO butt kissing after the sspp-ee–ssss-pp-eee-ah–er–ssss-ss-sss-pp-eeeeeeee-ch-ch.

stenwin77 on March 30, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Not only does it pull the United States into an alliance with forces seeking to overthrow Gadhafi — and thus effect the “regime change” that Obama specifically eschewed as a goal for Odyssey Dawn — it puts weapons into hands of people whom we don’t know well at all.

Great analysis as usual Captain…….

We have a pretty good idea of where many of these “rebels” stand,the press is just not covering it:

We already know that al-qaeda and other jihadist that have sworn their allegiance to the jihad are working side by side with the “rebels”….
We even have Al-Qaeda leadership voicing their support:

Al Qaida commander backs Libyan rebels in message
By REUTERS 
03/13/2011 22:54
Abu Yahya al-Libi urges anti-Gaddafi forces not to retreat; reports of mutiny among Gaddafi forces slowing attack on rebel-held Misrata.
http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=212003

 

A senior member of al Qaida urged Libyan rebels to continue their fight against Muammar Gaddafi and warned of the consequences of defeat, in a videotaped message posted on Jihadi websites, the Qatar-based Gulf News reported on Sunday.

One of the “rebels” leaders, Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi, has pledged his allegiance to Osama:


Saving the Libyan Islamists

Posted By John Rosenthal On March 20, 2011 @ 11:09 am In Homeland Security,Middle East,US News,World News |
http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/saving-the-libyan-islamists/?print=1

A report [4] from Benghazi in the French daily Le Figaro identifies the same al-Hasadi as the “voice of Libya’s Islamists” and claims that a transitional government could only be formed with his approval. The New York Times — or the Obama administration — might remember that the Osama bin Laden whom al-Hasadi “praises” has declared war on America.

It is beyond naive to think that these rebels from Libya,a country that provided more insurgents to kill Americans per capita than many other countries….will not be installing radical Isalmist leadership with sharia law as the foundation, if and when Qaddafi is sent packing.

Baxter Greene on March 30, 2011 at 11:05 AM

You know, considering The Won’s luck with picking winners, I don’t think I want our military involved. When he’s wrong, as he so often is, lives are at stake.

Cindy Munford on March 30, 2011 at 11:05 AM

We are displaying to the world that our power is not enough to defeat determined opponents. Whether true or not, this is what the people of the Middle East are seeing. That will not have a good outcome.

WitchDoctor on March 30, 2011 at 11:06 AM

The problem here was Obama didn’t act soon enough. The rebels had momentum and popular support in the first week of the rebellion. But Ghadaffi had time to regroup, strategize, and take an organized campaign to a very disorganize popular revolt. By the time the planes were flying overhead, Ghadaffi’s ground forces were organized enough to start routing the armed civilians.

Arming the rebels isn’t going to do much at this point, besides draw the conflict out. If Obama wants to make this decisive and short, he needs to get NATO to agree to a quick amphibious landing with coordination from the South and meet Ghadaffi’s troops with ours. And make it a surprise. You can’t let Ghadaffi plan an insurrection while waiting for the troops to land, or we’ll have 6 years in Libya.

Nethicus on March 30, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Let’s hope that the “stuttering” will end in 2012!

clnurnberg on March 30, 2011 at 10:14 AM

You betcha!

SKYFOX on March 30, 2011 at 11:02 AM

No…I want to see a stuttering and stammering Obama being led out of the White House looking dazed and confused at noon on 20 January 2013, as his room at St. Elizabeth’s is being prepared for him.

coldwarrior on March 30, 2011 at 11:08 AM

It’s a war for oil. But Europe’s oil, not ours. Obama has turned America into Europe’s button man.

Socratease on March 30, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Melanie Phillips applies a nice salt rub to the seeping cuts.
http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/6826459/humpty-in-toytown-and-the-arab-boomerang.thtml

a capella on March 30, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Only short-term way out will be a partition- with Egyptian troops holding the eastern part of the country. Short of that, this gets ugly in the short-term. The ONLY hope long-term is we get insanely lucky with a single bomb.

michaelo on March 30, 2011 at 10:51 AM

As Biden-esque (all Babylon is divided into three parts) as this may sound, partition of Libya may be the only short-term solution. Not only have Gaddafi’s forces re-taken the oil port of Ras Lanouf, but civilians in Sirte (Gaddafi’s home-town) welcomed Gaddafi’s forces defending the city from the rebels.

If, according to Obama and the UN, the coalition duty is to protect Libyan civilians, do we protect Libyan civilians in Sirte (or Tripoli) from the rebels by helping Gaddafi? Or do we protect Libyan civilians in Benghazi by bombing Gaddafi?

A “partition” might be the only peaceful answer, although there will probably be a fight over where the dividing line should be, and (of course) which side gets the oil wells and refineries.

I’m not sure whether Egyptian troops should hold eastern Libya. Egypt has its own problems right now, and the Muslim Brotherhood getting control of Libyan oil might not be in the interests of America or Europe.

Steve Z on March 30, 2011 at 11:21 AM

This seems to be a case of ‘the won’ saying: “quick, we’ve got to do something that makes us look brilliant, we’ve got a campaign coming up” and of course he said this while stuttering.

Redteam on March 30, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Did anyone hear mika this morning telling everyone how consistent and wonderful obama is? His speech and what he has done is exactly the way he promised. Oh man, is that a sick station! Where is joe, or is he gone? At least he raised objections once and a while.

Bambi on March 30, 2011 at 11:34 AM

I have a question. Who did Gadhafi tick off to be the dictator targeted? Off in conspiracyville, I came up with the notion that someone advised someone else that a war was a viable solution to jump start the economy again. Thus as a nation, we all come together again, under Teh Wons leadership. Plus this offers a solution of unemployment, especially with the youth, the draft can be reinstated. Teh Won rescues a group of freedom loving people and gets things off and rolling here, and ends up a hero. I’m leaving conspiracyville now.

Little Nell on March 30, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Steve Z on March 30, 2011 at 11:21 AM

History tells us that arbitrary separation of competing tribal regions does not usually lead to peace. I realize there are exceptions, but tribes are amorpheous things in terms of geography. Add in the oil prize inducements, and some selection of winners and losers(arms supplies) from outside forces with agendas,…not a winner.

a capella on March 30, 2011 at 11:36 AM

King George VI was more coherent than this without the speech therapy, and his leadership certainly inspired more confidence than Obama did on Monday.

Great line, Ed, and a slam dunk article. Sums up the utter mess that is Obama.

TXUS on March 30, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Off in conspiracyville, I came up with the notion that someone advised someone else that a war was a viable solution to jump start the economy again. Thus as a nation, we all come together again, under Teh Wons leadership. Plus this offers a solution of unemployment, especially with the youth, the draft can be reinstated. Teh Won rescues a group of freedom loving people and gets things off and rolling here, and ends up a hero. I’m leaving conspiracyville now.

Little Nell on March 30, 2011 at 11:35 AM

..don’t denigrate yourself, Nell, you have accurately characterized the prevalent thinking in The Pantload’s inner circle, basically, making “knee-jerk” look like “thoughtful, deliberate foresight” by comparison.

The War Planner on March 30, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Libya is a perfect example of Obama’s “Fire, Ready, Aim” administrative style.

By failing to get his hands dirty, understand the situation in depth, define a guiding doctrine, and THEN put an appropriate mission in place, Obama has probably handed a victory to enemies of the USA: thus one-upping Carter in yet another area of incompetence.

Let’s hope for the sake of the USA that other enemies, who are way smarter and more capable than Gadhafi, will wait past 2012 to cause us trouble.

landlines on March 30, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Someone tell Obama you can’t be half-pregnant. Or to **** or get off the pot.

Paul-Cincy on March 30, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Lybia is reflection of Obama’s well known support for more abortions.

mechkiller_k on March 30, 2011 at 11:45 AM

So Obowma passed off the Libyan WAR to NATO? A US run organization run by……..Obowma as commander in chief?

A perfect metaphor for Obowma on the basketball court: Obowwma passes to….Obowma, back to Obowma, he shoots, AIRBALL!!!

dthorny on March 30, 2011 at 11:51 AM

No…I want to see a stuttering and stammering Obama being led out of the White House looking dazed and confused at noon on 20 January 2013, as his room at St. Elizabeth’s is being prepared for him.

coldwarrior on March 30, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Arrested by ICE agents for deportation?

I have imagined live video of a standoff at the White House with an armed gunman barricading himself in the Oval Office, demanding to be deemed “still the President” by Congress.

In the best James Cagney voice: “You’ll never take me alive…see!”

BobMbx on March 30, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Libya should have been left to figure its own bloodbath out: they obviously needed no help.

Now if anyone ever whispered to the Kurds in Eastern Syria that now would be a very interesting time to stage a revolt in the province and secede… ahhh… would the government forget about the uprisings in the west to go east, and thus find itself nearly liquidated? Or would it wave good-bye to a province where its secret police have had to have been active for decades putting down a nascent rebellion to concentrate on the more arab part of the nation to the west?

Of course a Sunni population moving out of Syria would leave the Alawites in a somewhat better position…

And in Iraq it would increase the Sunni and Kurd proportions compared to the Arab and Shia….

Not that anyone would ever even give a smidgen of a hint of a whisper about doing that to the tyrant eye doctor.

Really!

ajacksonian on March 30, 2011 at 12:00 PM

King George VI’s stammer was a problem from child hood that he eventually was forced to overcome. Obama’s stammer is because he has no set values or beliefs and he has no idea what he needs to do or say. King George VI was an inspiration, Obama is just a moron. I’m disappointed you made the comparison.

TulsAmerican on March 30, 2011 at 12:24 PM

“We are a peacekeeping and humanitarian armada.” — Capt. Chrisopher Pike, Star Trek.

That leftist transformation of the U.S. miitary into cosmopolitan soldiers fighting to make the world safe for socialism (and safe for Islamic fascism) is core to the “Obama Doctrine.” The U.S. must never again fight in its own petty interests, since we are evil and must atone for our past capitalist exploitation and colonialist sins.

Stendec on March 30, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Brian Williams on NBC last night sat in Obama’s lap, er I mean sat down with Obama to discuss Libya. Brian tried his best to coach Obama into the right responses but failed. We didn’t know any more about the reasons for choosing Libya than before other than something about the circumstances being unique.

I turned to my brother in law and said, “of course, he still won’t tell us why the circumstances are unique.”

Mr_Magoo on March 30, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Interesting news snippet from Al Jazeera on Khadaffi’s tactics — looks like he’s “hugging” the rebels with plain-clothed troops to make it more difficult for US (aka “NATO”) pilots to differentiate from the rebels, and using mobile units to flank and pound the rebels with the support of longer ranged artillery units:

“12:15pm
James Bays, outside Ajdabiya, also notes that it might be difficult for coalition pilots to discern Gaddafi’s irregular fighters and mobile mortar teams riding in jeeps and the backs of trucks from the rebels fighting with them.

“12:10pm
Bays also describes the tactics being used by Gaddafi’s forces. They send mobile mortar teams several kilometres off the main road, flank the disorganised rebel columns, and begin shelling them from a distance. Almost without fail, the mortar fire – possibly combined with long-range Grad rocket attacks – has forced rebels to retreat.

Perhaps more ominously, Bays says he thinks there could be plainclothed regime spies traveling on the main road with the rebels, feeding information back to Gaddafi’s troops.”

Doesn’t look like Khadaffi is following the West’s playbook of being stupid and easy to topple so far…

http://blogs.aljazeera.net/live/africa/libya-live-blog-march-30

EasyEight on March 30, 2011 at 1:03 PM

TulsAmerican on March 30, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Poor King George didn’t have Telepromter and a reverb system to help him out.

slickwillie2001 on March 30, 2011 at 1:26 PM

If we have serious problems financing this operation, it just shows how financially bad off we are now. It also makes me wonder how we’d pay for a real war to secure our vital interests.

NNtrancer on March 30, 2011 at 1:52 PM

What’s interesting about George VI is that he understood the idea of symbolic leadership.. something that Obama apparently doesn’t despite all the “praise” he’s gotten for his speeches. Despite the fact that the British royal family had absolutely no real authority over the gov’t, he realized that they played an important symbolic role to the British public. That is why he worked so hard to overcome his speech impediment – something that the film makes exceptionally clear. One thing to remember about King George VI is that he STAYED in London throughout the war despite being urged by his advisors to go to Canada. Queen Mum (Queen Elizabeth at the time) basically said that the girls won’t go to Canada without me, I won’t go to Canada without the King, and the King will never leave. Buckingham Palace was actually bombed during the war… for which the Queen Mum said that she was grateful because she could look the people in the East End in the eye…

Frankly, George VI and his actions (as well as Queen Elizabeth’s) during the war probably saved the royal family, and he should really get more kudos than he does for his wartime leadership. (Much goes to Churchill… who was able to combine courageous leadership with great speechmaking). Hopefully the King’s Speech will start the discussion on that topic.

Illinidiva on March 30, 2011 at 2:09 PM

It is a damn good thing that we did not run WWII the way we run wars now. If we had, the whole Greatest Generation would never had happened and we would speaking Japanese and German. The whole war strategy needs to be discussed and rehashed and commented on by every dick head out there. D-Day was one of the biggest screwups in the War. We would still be having hearings on it today if the present mind set was at work. There are some things that technology does not help. All this instant communication is crap. Define the mission/objective and let the military do it. Have them come back and report when it is done,,leave em alone till then.

retiredeagle on March 30, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Frankly, George VI and his actions (as well as Queen Elizabeth’s) during the war probably saved the royal family, and he should really get more kudos than he does for his wartime leadership. (Much goes to Churchill… who was able to combine courageous leadership with great speechmaking). Hopefully the King’s Speech will start the discussion on that topic.
Illinidiva on March 30, 2011 at 2:09 PM

The “Queen Mum” had women in the palace knitting socks and hats etc., for the troops. She was something special. Aren’t we all glad that George’s brother abdicated? He was a lost cause and would never have handled the war as George did. That was a great show and he well deserved the oscar. I think if they remove the couple of words, it could easily get a g rating. What else was in it to give it such a severe rating? I want all my grandkids to see it, and I know they won’t unless the rating changes.
Let’s not compare our idiot to a great King.

Bambi on March 30, 2011 at 2:31 PM

The stuttering will apparently continue for the foreseeable future.

…more like the sputtering will continue…

Schadenfreude on March 30, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Oh,you know, it’s just kinetic regime change.

tinkerthinker on March 30, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Illinidiva on March 30, 2011 at 2:09 PM

I saw ‘King’s Speech’ and was hoping someone would bring up the way George VI and Elizabeth conducted themselves during WWII. It’s also worth mentioning that the current QEII wanted to serve her country and did-with her parents blessing.
She’s the only current world leader/head of state that’s a WWII veteran.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 30, 2011 at 3:39 PM

All the Administration had to do was google ‘terrorist organization in Libya’ to find their own State Department website declaring the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) a terrorist organization — seems they joined Al Qaeda late in 2007. They also happen to be part of the rebels in Western Libya not to mention one of their leaders was in Afghanistan to fight Americans when we went into Afghanistan after 9/11. Islamic Jihadists from that part of the world have flocked to Libya to overthrow Gadhafi and make it a Islamic Fundamentalist Country. Jihadists have already captured some of the missiles and if the Brits are to be believed the US has been funneling weapons to the Rebels aka Islamic Jihadists through several other countries before we even got involved in the no fly zone.

An embed reporter with the rebels in western Libya detailed their Jihadist ties but we still have people on both sides of the aisle who want to arm the rebels. Are they nuts to think because some group claims to be rebels, they are not jihadists? If we can google and find the facts, why can’t they?

The United States has no business being involved in Libya as we have no vested interest which is required before sending our military but then Obama and Hillary don’t believe the laws apply to them.

What are Hillary and Obama going to do/say if Gadhafi is proved right and the rebels are terrorists and drug runners and that was the reason he was after them? I don’t have a clue but then I don’t have access to the intelligence reports which have to be picking up that a part of the rebels are terrorists and/or drug smugglers. If they are not picking it up then the CIA under Panetta is worse than I thought for covering up intelligence reports.

PhiKapMom on March 30, 2011 at 3:42 PM

For anyone confused about all this crap, I’ve distilled it to this:

Obama is a self serving turd.

Carry on.

justltl on March 30, 2011 at 8:17 PM