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Ear to the Ground

French Go on Attack Over Libya

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Posted on Mar 19, 2011
news.bbc.co.uk

French President Nicolas Sarkozy discusses pending operations in Libya at a military summit in Paris.

A French warplane has fired the first shots over Libya under a U.N.-enforced no-fly zone that began on Saturday. The plane reportedly targeted a Libyan military vehicle during an attack by pro-Gadhafi forces against rebels in the city of Benghazi. —JCL

The BBC:

A French plane has fired the first shots in Libya as enforcement of the UN-mandated no-fly zone begins. The target was a military vehicle, the French defence ministry said.

It came hours after Western and Arab leaders met in Paris to agree [on] a course of action to confront Col Gaddafi.

“Our air force will oppose any aggression,” said French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Earlier, pro-Gaddafi forces attacked the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, March 23, 2011 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment

GRYM,

I take it then you are unable to answer the question; how do you come to the conclusion that it’s Israel hiring mercenaries to fight for the Qaddafi government?

Its common sense that a retired military, private Israeli contractor with much experience in brokering deals of this nature would be involved.  Too much money.

I hardly think over a thousand were hired especially once the UN committed, who wants to fight the worlds combined military for $200 a day.  The broker was reportedly paid $2000 per man and could stay in Israel.

http://www.thebarrychamishwebsite.com/newsletters/ziv.htm

I am 95% certain that you are a nut case who believes the US leads in everything it does, right or wrong, and too blind to see that its being led, right or wrong.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, March 23, 2011 at 7:38 am Link to this comment

By the way, Mr. Henry.

MSNBC is reporting that the U.S. has fired 162 missiles into Libya. Britain, 12. France, 0. - And you believe France and/or Britain is in the lead over Libya?

LOL….... I am 95% certain you no longer believe that. You’re simply not honest enough to say it aloud or write how wrong you’ve been.

wink

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, March 23, 2011 at 7:29 am Link to this comment

PHenry,

I take it then you are unable to answer the question; how do you come to the conclusion that it’s Israel hiring mercenaries to fight for the Qaddafi government?

In the absence of tangible evidence that your original claim is accurate, will you now reevaluate your narrative?  Or will you continue this narrative based on your learned prejudice(s)?

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, March 22, 2011 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment

PHenry,

Changing the subject never furthers an argument.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, March 22, 2011 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

GRYM,

The French launched the initial attack on 19 March, it is now 22nd March, 3 days.

The tactical targeting of static sites in Libya is hardly new, the allies and the US have known of them for the past 20 years.  B-2’s, AWAC’s and JSTARS are hardly neccessary but we got em’ so lets use em’.

The ‘no fly zone’ was a ruse as it evolved into a ‘free fire zone’ from day one with the Arab league and the African union legitimately critical of that minutiae of UN resolution 1973 ‘and to use all means necessary short of foreign occupation to protect civilians.’

A tremendous amount of overkill here for a ‘no fly zone’

Wholesale decimation of static military targets and the nearby civilians is not what the ‘no fly zone’ misnomer portrays, the Arab league and African union are in agreement of their criticism of what the intent of a ‘no fly zone’ really was.

Aside from the initial launch of cruise missiles, the US has shared air operations over Libya.

Of course with a big payroll off the coast the US must serve up the you’re in charge but we’re in charge pablum for domestic and international comsumption.

I don’t believe you to be arrogant, simply misinformed both by blind patriotism and a failure to see the forest because of all the trees.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, March 22, 2011 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Henry,

“I have absolutely no doubt that we (United States) will be able to transfer ‘control of this operation’ to an international coalition’.

‘NATO is meeting today, as we speak, to work out some of the mechanisms for Command and Control.” - President Barack Obama March 22, 2011.

-

At the risk of sounding arrogant; every word of I have written on these pages over the past 4-5 weeks has been confirmed repeatedly. I know a great deal more about Libya than you do. I’ve been there. You read about it.

You make a mistake in not hearing me.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, March 21, 2011 at 9:12 pm Link to this comment

PHenry,

You’re correct.  This is not news. We’ve both seen these stories for weeks. You keep sharing links to the same single claim regarding “Egyptian sources”. The claim is that Qaddafi wasn’t hiring mercenaries, Israel was.

I’ve worked on these issues for nearly 25 years. The next question is fundamental. Do we have anything, anything at all, in support of these Egyptian sources?  If you do I’ll look at it.

-

I’ll not claim that any of the below it correct information, however, how are you forming the conclusion that it’s Israel hiring mercenaries to fight for the Qaddafi government? - Please, no more of the same story and no more of your opinions.

About 1,050,000 results (0.55 seconds)

BusinessDay - Gaddafi hires African mercenaries to quell uprising
businessday.co.za
Feb 22, 2011 ... Gaddafi hires African mercenaries to quell uprising. Fighter jets are bombing parts of Libyan capital Tripoli this morning and mercenaries ...
businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=135056 - Cached

ZimDaily » Gaddafi hires mercenaries to fight protesters
Feb 22, 2011 ... Gaddafi hires mercenaries to fight protesters. By TAPIWA MAKORE ... AFRICAN MERCENARIES. “The strategy is not just to carry out a massacre ...
zimdaily.com/news/?p=542 - Cached

Black People : Gadaffi Hiring African Mercenaries - Black People ...
10 posts - 6 authors - Last post: Feb 26
Gadaffi hires a few African mercenaries and all of a sudden every black person is guilty? “The lynching and killing that is going on against ...
destee.com › ... › Black People Open Forum

Qaddafi’s mercenaries: How much does it cost to hire a thug? – By ...
Feb 26, 2011 ... Qaddafi’s mercenaries: How much does it cost to hire a thug? ... the dictator’s little black book is known to extend far beyond Africa. ...
slinkingtowardretirement.com/?p=27858 - Cached

Gaddafi, Libya and African mercenaries
Mar 16, 2011 ... “What has Muammar Gaddafi been up to for the past two decades? And who are these ‘African mercenaries’ who are killing civilians? ...
globalcomment.com/2011/gaddafi-libya-african-mercenarie/ - Cached

Qaddafi’s ties to rebel groups scrutinized as ‘African mercenaries ...
Feb 23, 2011 ... Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi has reportedly deployed African mercenaries to brutally crack down on civilian protests, with eyewitnesses ...
csmonitor.com/.../Qaddafi-s-ties-to-rebel-groups-scrutinized-as-African-mercenaries-patrol-Libya - Cached

It goes on like that in 1,050,000 results (0.55 seconds)

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 20, 2011 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

Lafayette, if your comment on nitpicking was directed at GRYM,.... nitpicking is what he dost do with Republican/Tea Bag nasturtiums! From what I gather nitpicking may be GRYM’s part time job when he is not searching for a reliable source,  to find out what day of the week it is!

I do not know about some people, but if I was flying over a no fly zone as one of the no fly enforcers, I would be pissed off if someone was shooting at me from the ground and may do a little air to ground practice to make my job slightly safer, plus I think the French are showing off!

Blacksphere wrote;
“Why was France so adamant about a no-fly zone over Libya and Italy allowing the French to use their air bases.” (question mark?)

Never sure about France, maybe they wanted to prove they had fighter planes and that they work?..... It seems to me, the Italians got real pissed off and jumped in, just after my Italian sharpshooter comment?

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fearnotruth's avatar

By fearnotruth, March 20, 2011 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

RE: Whose puppet was Gadaffi?

whose puppets are any of these despots? ...starting to look like the Tunisia/Egypt gambit was played toward the Libya trap - neither Tunisia nor Egypt sit on any significant amount of oil, but neighbor Lybia - their so-called ‘people power’  revolts ‘inspired’ Lybia’s ‘revolutionaries’ - plays like a script most likely authored collaboratively in Langley, Vauxhall Cross and Tele Viv… and under what mandate? ...follow the money / qui bono ... voilà!  Wall Street, City of London

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, March 20, 2011 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

PHenry, - Who hired mercenaries?

-

If you locate a source other than anonymous “Egyptian sources” I would be interested to see it.

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Blackspeare's avatar

By Blackspeare, March 20, 2011 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

Why was France so adamant about a no-fly zone over Libya and Italy allowing the French to use their air bases.  It couldn’t be that France and Italy benefit most from Libyan oil??!!

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, March 20, 2011 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

GRYM,

Yes, after reading the resolution I see the minutiae in it allowing the attack on ground forces to defend the rebels.  Quite a trick at 5oo mph in an F-18 or by cruise missile. 

I wonder how many rebels we are there to protect got collaterally damaged.

There were also stipulations in that resolution regarding the use of force against mercenaries being used by Gadaffi.

Want to kow who hired them?

http://mondoweiss.net/2011/03/report-israel-company-recruiting-gadhafi-mercenaries.html

Whose puppet was Gadaffi?

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, March 20, 2011 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

PH: Why call it enforcing a no fly zone when it isn’t.

From the UN Security Council Resolution 1973 and amongst other things:
* Authorizes all necessary means to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas, except for a “foreign occupation force”

You are nitpicking.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, March 20, 2011 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

PHenry, - Why call it a no fly zone?

-

Then stop believing this is all about a No Fly Zone.

If you look again you’ll see that the UN Security Council has backed “all necessary measures”.  The No Fly Zone is but one aspect of this U.N. mandate.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, March 20, 2011 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

Leefeller

Not sure about the civil war thing,.......Gadhafi does not seem any less insane then Republicans here in the US, only difference being Gadhafi, destroys by direct force without conscience and Republicans destroy by directed policy without conscience.

Leefeller, I must say that is the most poignant thing I’ve read from you in a while.


GRYM,

Why call it enforcing a no fly zone when it isn’t.

Firing on military vehicle is nore a ‘no drive zone’.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, March 20, 2011 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

Robes:

Tell that to Gaddafi, who has hired foreign mercenaries to do his dirty work.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, March 20, 2011 at 8:38 am Link to this comment

PHenry, - “I guess enforcing a no-fly zone is doublespeak for targets of opportunity.”

-

If you look again you’ll see that the UN Security Council has backed “all necessary measures” inside Libya. These measures include a No Fly Zone.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, March 20, 2011 at 7:36 am Link to this comment

BARGAIN BASEMENT REGIME CHANGE ;^)

Rob: Gaddafi is just as nuts and ruthless as Avigdor Lieberman or Netanyahu in Israel, Saleh in Yemen, Bahrain’s worthless monarchy and the Saudi overlords. US allies in Latin America also enjoy using mercenaries to assassinate union leaders and peasant organizers on a weekly basis.

You’re making an amalgam of all the political evils in the world and thus lose relevance.

I’m no fan of Netanyahu and believe the only exit for Israel is by means of a negotiated treaty with the Palestinian State. That means giving up the West Bank, where Israel is clearly an occupying power.

Yes to all of which you say about the rest of this bunch. They should have been got rid of long ago. But, politics is not some magic wand by which, with an abracadabra, we right all the wrongs of this world.

So far, so good. Two Muslim nations run by autocrats have fallen and a third, run by a King, is bending over backwards to install Democratic government. Iraq is going through birthing pains, but it will work itself out. Turkey is already a democratic state, even if it is not terribly pro-European at the moment.

Much of this has been a seismic change over the past few months and we cannot expect miracles from a people who have no experience whatsoever from democratic governance.

So, patience ... they all have a long row to hoe.

Besides, it’s cost the US how much? A hundred Tomahawks to bring Regime Change? That’s a bargain, so far.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, March 20, 2011 at 6:03 am Link to this comment

GETTING IT RIGHT

Rob: Again, what moral authority does the US have?

It does not need Moral Authority. If you’ve been watching the news, this military action has been approved by the United Nations’ Security Council. Unlike the Iraq Invasion, it has legality.

It’s moral authority is nonetheless the fact that innocent civilians were being massacred by both mercenary henchmen and the Libyan Army. (That same argument did not pass muster, however, to legalize the Gulf War, however.

After all, Hussein did gas an entire village in 1987 killing between 13,200 and 20,000 people. Maybe we got it right this time around?

(And I need not mention the hundreds of people who dared defy Kadaffi over the 40 years of his tyranny that have “disappeared” into the Libyan desert.)

The No-fly Zone will not mean victory for the ragtag “army” of rebels that waste bullets by prancing in front of TV cameras with an AK-47. In fact, there is some doubt that the rebels can “win”, meaning oust Kadaffi. The rebels are full of pep but are not trained soldiers. They can’t even shoot straight.

A KEY FACTOR

At the heart of Libyan politics is the key factor that Libya has a tribal societal system. Kadaffi’s tribe runs Sirte and Tripoli, but not Benghazi.

There are a good many tribes and the current politicking is to see who stays with the tyrant (because loyalty is in their vested interests) and who is willing to betray him.

For an interesting overview of Libyan tribal politics, see here.

And it is his sons who are running the show on the ground, anyway. A brigade of 5000 mercenaries is under the direct command of one of them. These Serb and Russian mercenaries are now threatened with being brought before the International Criminal Court for genocide.

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Robespierre115's avatar

By Robespierre115, March 20, 2011 at 5:22 am Link to this comment

@Lafayette, Let’s take your comments as 100% accurate, how does that differ from the current actions of US allies in the region? Again, what moral authority does the US have? Gaddafi is just as nuts and ruthless as Avigdor Lieberman or Netanyahu in Israel, Saleh in Yemen, Bahrain’s worthless monarchy and the Saudi overlords. US allies in Latin America also enjoy using mercenaries to assassinate union leaders and peasant organizers on a weekly basis.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 20, 2011 at 5:20 am Link to this comment

Not sure about the civil war thing,.......Gadhafi does not seem any less insane then Republicans here in the US, only difference being Gadhafi, destroys by direct force without conscience and Republicans destroy by directed policy without conscience.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, March 20, 2011 at 5:03 am Link to this comment

<blockquote>>Rob: .... this is a civil war and we should stay out.</blockquote

What “civil war” do you know pits Serb and Russian mercenaries in tanks against armed civilians?

Your definition of “civil war” is somewhat elastic. This is a rebellion against a certified nutter who has plundered his country.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 20, 2011 at 4:23 am Link to this comment

When Hypocrisy is not real busy working both parties and the TBags,..... it has a full time job being employed by the decider’s in Washington!

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By expat, March 20, 2011 at 2:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

kadhafi is bad news, no question…

but this is totally out of line…  what about Bahrain, Yemen, Gaza?  yeah right.

If I were kadhafi, knowing I’m going down in flames, I’d make sure the price is extremely high for this blatant imperalist aggression…

like what?

like mustard gas or ricin (which he has) in the metro or tube, I’d find a way to bring the eiffel tower down… 

Hey, an eye for an eye, you reap what you sow, live by the sword, die by the sword…  especially if you hate the koran, ain’t that what the bible babbles?

Let’s kill 20-30K french and brits, we’d then see if this boosts sarkonazy’s ratings (at 20%).

The brits and french would get what they deserve…  this is what war is, not just infortainment on TV.  Your jewish leaders (cameron is a jew, so is sarko though he pretends to be hungarian - does he walk and quack like a duck? well then…)  start wars in the ME for their own reasons, be ready to suffer the consequences…  or rise up and do what’s needed.

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Robespierre115's avatar

By Robespierre115, March 20, 2011 at 2:16 am Link to this comment

@rico, no I am not a Gaddafi fan, but this is a civil war and we should stay out. We have no moral authority considering our allies are doing the same, if not worse in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman etc.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, March 20, 2011 at 12:16 am Link to this comment

Upon closer re-reading of the article, the French fired on a pro Gadaffi military vehicle, I thought they were there to enforce a no-fly zone, unless the truck was flying through the air.

I guess enforcing a no-fly zone is doublespeak for targets of opportunity.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 19, 2011 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment

The French have war planes?

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, March 19, 2011 at 8:33 pm Link to this comment

Robes:

Are you a Gaddafi fan?

If not, what would you suggest?

If so… well…

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By radson, March 19, 2011 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment

Does anyone know which wine and chesse combo go good with war or Hungarian goulash for that matter.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, March 19, 2011 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

The top article on truthdig is about the Thai Prime Minister losing a confidence vote.

It’s a tough day for progressives.

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Robespierre115's avatar

By Robespierre115, March 19, 2011 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

The imperial clowns now move into the Middle East once again. Very convenient for Sarkozy, Cameron, Berlusconi and Obama to impose imperial order on a region in an upheaval and at the same time distract attention from their own, domestic problems.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, March 19, 2011 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

The French ... Cheese eating, surrender monkeys. Right?

No one noticed, but this military action was authorized by the UN. Quite unlike Leadhead’s pocket-war over in the sandbox.

Which was, therefore, illegal.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, March 19, 2011 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment

Better the French handle this instead of the U.S.

They need their own little war.

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