Will a Rogue General Undo Obama’s Regime Change in Libya?

Khalifa Hifterby :

It didn’t take Egypt very long to revert back to a military oligarchy. The Arab Spring was trumpeted as a new era in the history of the Middle East. But the Middle East is better at undoing history than the media is at writing it.

In Egypt, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi brushed away the Arab Spring. Now in Libya, General Khalifa Hifter is set to undo Obama’s military intervention which put the Muslim Brotherhood on the road to taking over Libya.

Forty-five years ago a group of officers led by Colonel Gaddafi seized control of Libya. Gaddafi enjoyed support from the military and Federalist opponents of a central government.

Now General Khalifa Hifter is leading another military coup while vowing to free Libya of chaos, instability and corruption. His forces pounded Islamic militias in Benghazi, including those responsible for the murder of four Americans, and seized the parliament in Tripoli.

Hifter, who has spent a long time living in the United States, claims to have American support, but his real support probably comes from the east.

Like Gaddafi, Hifter is supported by the military and the Federalists. However he isn’t fighting a weak monarchy, but the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and other Islamist militias. But like Gaddafi, his takeover was probably inspired by Egypt and possibly even planned out by Egypt.

Egypt’s new government, which overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood, can’t risk allowing the group to control a bordering country and one of the largest oil reserves in Africa. Gaddafi used Libya’s oil wealth to fuel his insanity and fund terrorism. The Muslim Brotherhood would funnel it into pursuing its program of regional and global takeovers and the Islamic militias that control much of Libya would become a problem for Egypt.

Egypt’s immediate security agenda is to control border instability fed by the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza and Sinai. It would only be natural for Egypt’s new rulers to turn their attention to their country’s large western border with Libya.

Read more at Front Page

Rogue Libyan General Bombing Benghazi Militias that Attacked US Mission

libyan-revolutionary-khalifa-hiftar-450x253Front Page, By Daniel Greenfield:

The US could have used a rogue commanders while Americans were being murdered in Benghazi. That doesn’t necessarily mean this is a good thing. But it may not be a bad thing.

General Hiftar has lived in the US for decades and has ties to the CIA and the State Department that go back for some time. I don’t believe that the current administration would back this type of action, but Hiftar may be demonstrating to the US why we should back him.

After Obama’s illegal regime change attack on Libya, the country is a mess. There are two prime ministers, one is a Muslim Brotherhood man, the other is in exile. Much of the country is run by various militias with ties to Al Qaeda and the Brotherhood.

This looks like a strongman’s bid for power by showing that he can control the country. Muslim countries in the Middle East invariably revert to strongmen. Now Libya may have found its strongman.

The heaviest fighting in Libya since the Arab spring revolution broke out in the eastern capital of Benghazi on Friday as forces led by a retired general attacked militias on the ground and with jets.

Air strikes pounded militia bases at dawn and 6,000 troops converged on the city, storming a series of bases and checkpoints.

Eyewitnesses described a city in chaos, with jets streaking low over rooftops, tanks on the streets, heavy detonations and aggressive fighting.

“The fighting is close to my house,” said one resident in the Hawari district. “Planes are going very low, there are explosions, there is fighting around the February 17 [militia] base.”

The Feb 17 militia was hired by Hillary’s State Department to protect the US mission. And then State stopped paying them. The militia is loosely linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and even to Al Qaeda. It may have also played a role in the attack.

The attack is led by Khalifa Hiftar, a former commander of the 2011 uprising that deposed Muammar Gaddafi. Hitfar announced the operation was launched to clear Benghazi of Islamist militias and restore Libya’s dignity.

Hiftar, who called on the army earlier this year to mount a coup against the government, appears to have the support of a significant proportion of Libya’s armed forces. He insisted the operation was sanctioned by army commanders, saying: “All reserve forces are mobilised. If we fail today, the terrorists win.”

But Libya’s government insisted the operation had no official sanction, with the chief of the general staff, Abdul Salam Jadallah, branding Hiftar a criminal and ordering Benghazi’s militias to fight back.

Air force planes struck the bases of the Rafalla al-Sahati and Ansar al-Sharia militias, the latter blamed by Washington for the attack two years ago on the US consulate that led to the death of ambassador Chris Stevens.

Abdul Salam Jadallah (Major-General Abdulsalam Jadallah al-Salihine al-Obeidi) is from Benghazi and was appointed last year.  He defected from Gaddafi’s forces, but then went rogue refusing to follow the orders of the former Prime Minister. He’s calling for Benghazi militias to fight back which is rather revealing of his ties to them.

Khalifa Hiftar obviously commands a sizable portion of the military which means that he can do what the government can’t.

In the Muslim Middle East that’s often all the qualification for running an otherwise anarchic collection of tribes that you need.

CAIR’s Irony Deficit

download (47)by IPT News:

CAIR Leaders Curry Favor With Dictators

IPT, by John Rossomando:

Former CIA Deputy Lists Syria as Top Security Threat

syria-al-qaida-340x161IPT, by Abha Shankar:  

More Benghazi Whistleblowers Ready to Step Forward

ben-450x261By :

According to two former diplomats who spoke with PJ Media’s Roger Simon, more Benghazi whistleblowers will emerge and blow a giant hole in the Obama administration’s already shaky narrative regarding the deaths of four Americans. Their revelations will focus on two subjects: the real purpose of Ambassador Christopher Steven’s mission in Libya, and the pressure put on former AFRICOM commander Gen. Carter Ham to stand down from any attempt to rescue those under attack. What emerges could be devastating for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

The whistleblowers are reportedly colleagues of the former diplomats. They have yet to come forward because they are in the process of obtaining lawyers, necessitated by their work in areas that are not completely covered by the Whistleblower Protection Act. Furthermore, Simon notes that, as of now, what the diplomats are saying is considered hearsay, “but the two diplomats sounded quite credible. One of them was in a position of responsibility in a dangerous area of Iraq in 2004,” he writes.

What the diplomats say the whistleblowers will reveal is that Christopher Stevens was in Benghazi to buy back Stinger missiles from al Qaeda, issued to them by the U.S. State Department. Selling such missiles to anyone is usually a function of the CIA, but they reportedly were against the idea of selling such advanced technology to elements of the “rebel movement” attempting to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi. Stinger missiles can endanger civilian aircraft. According to the diplomats, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chose to move forward because she wanted “to overthrow Gaddafi on the cheap.”

When the “rebels” who were sold the missiles turned out to be al Qaeda, Stevens was tasked with the job of cleaning up the fiasco. One of the diplomats noted that it was likely the same elements of the terrorist group to whom the missiles were sold ended up attacking the consulate in Bengahzi, killing Stevens, State Department employee Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Glen A. Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods.

The unnamed diplomat was even more contemptuous of the Clinton-led effort, likening it to the movie “Charlie Wilson’s War,” the story of a Congressman who thought it was a good idea to supply Stinger missiles to the mujahideen in Afghanistan during their fight to overthrow the Russians. “It’s as if Hillary and the others just watched that movie and said ‘Hey, let’s do that!’” the diplomat said.

National Review’s Jim Geraghty, who reviewed several public reports regarding the movement of Stinger missiles in Libya, insists the diplomats’ account can be corroborated and contradicted. His report highlights several critical elements, noting that rebel leaders did request the missiles, including Abdul Hakim Al-Hasadi, who was detained in Pakistan as a hostile combatant by U.S. forces in 2002 “while returning from Afghanistan where I fought against foreign invasion,” according to Al-Hasadi himself.

As for the U.S. directly supplying missiles to the rebels, Geraghty cites two different New York Times reports revealing other possibilities. The first report notes that the rebels were securing such missiles from the Gaddafi regime’s captured storage bunkers. The second report was far more devastating to the Obama administration, noting that it gave its blessing to Qatar to ship arms to the insurgency, before becoming “alarmed” that the weapons were ending up in the hands of “Islamic militants.” The Times insisted there was no evidence that such missiles were linked to the Benghazi attacks. But considering there’s been no specific identification of the Qatari weapons or the specific ordnance used to attack the consulate, such claims are dubious at best. Geraghty further notes that such shipments violate UN Resolution 270 prohibiting the direct or indirect sale or transfer of weapons to any party in Libya.

Read more at Front Page

 

Death for Preaching Christ in ‘Liberated’ Libya

blood-cross-434x350by Raymond Ibrahim
FrontPageMagazine.com
February 22, 2013

Four foreign Christians—including one who holds American-Swedish citizenship—were arrested days ago in Libya. According to the Guardian, their crime is arousing “suspicion of being missionaries and distributing Christian literature, a charge that could carry the death penalty.”

Apparently the four Christians had “contracted a local printer to produce pamphlets explaining Christianity.” Proselytizing to Muslims—that is, preaching to them another religion—was banned even under the late Col. Muammar Gaddafi.

Libyans—strongly supported by U.S. President Obama in the name of “freedom”—got rid of Gaddafi but kept the distinctly anti-freedom law.

Discussing this case, Libyan security official Hussein Bin Hmeid, trying to justify the Islamic ban on free speech, observes: “Proselytizing is forbidden in Libya. We are a 100% Muslim country and this kind of action affects our national security.” Indeed, Muslim governments—most notably Iran’s—constantly suppress any talk of Christianity, claiming it threatens “our national security.”

Such is the tribal mentality of Islam which everywhere seems to declare: If you’re not one of us, you must be an enemy trying to subvert our way of life.

Is the flip side of this prevalent mentality also true—that if Muslims are not one of us, they must be trying to subvert our way of life?

Nor should the arrested Christians expect much sympathy from more “moderate” Libyans. According to Benghazi lawyer and “human rights activist” Bilal Bettamer, Christians should not offend Muslims by trying to share their faith: “It is disrespectful. If we had Christianity we could have dialogue, but you can’t just spread Christianity. The maximum penalty is the death penalty. It’s a dangerous thing to do.”

Indeed, like “blasphemy”—whether in the guise of Muhammad cartoons or movies—proselytizing to Muslims is one of the many forms of free speech to be specifically banned by Islamic Sharia. According to Muslim tradition, this ban goes back to the second “righteous” caliph, the 7th century Omar. After conquering a group of Christians, he stipulated any number of humiliating conditions for them to live by, including: “Not to produce a cross or [Christian] book in the markets of the Muslims…. Not to display any signs of polytheism, nor make our religion appealing, nor call or proselytize anyone to it.”

As Muslims continue turning to Islam—all to Western praise and encouragement—expect the things of Islam to continue returning in big ways.

The Guardian report adds: “Libya, a conservative Muslim country, has no known Christian minority, and churches, the preserve of foreign residents, have seen few of the attacks seen in Egypt and Tunisia, where there have been church burnings.”

The Guardian reporter may have wanted to point out that, less than two months ago, on Sunday, December 30, an explosion rocked a Coptic Christian church near the western city of Misrata, in the very place where U.S. backed rebels hold a major checkpoint. The explosion killed two people and wounded two others.

And even though it is true that there are few church attacks in Libya, that is simply because there are few churches to attack in the first place—not because of some Libyan “tolerance” to churches. After all, one never hears of church attacks in Saudi Arabia. Yet that is not because Saudis are “tolerant,” but rather because they have nipped the church problem in the bud by not allowing a single church to exist on Saudi soil. Hence, no churches for Muslim mobs to attack, bomb or burn. Conversely, where there is a large Christian population, such as in Nigeria, which is roughly half Christian, Muslims are bombing churches on practically a weekly basis.

Finally, there is the rewriting of history that is foisted by Muslims everywhere, not to mention ignorant Westerners, as exemplified in this report. All of those quoted—including the writer—seem to think that Libya was born a Muslim country. Hence, in the words of Libyan “human rights” activist Bilal Bettamer, “you can’t just spread Christianity.”

What, then, do we do with real history? The fact is, although Libya is today practically entirely Muslim, it certainly wasn’t always so. In fact, before the 7th century Islamic invasions, Libya was predominantly Christian. The fact that Libya’s immediate neighbors to the west and east, Algeria and Egypt, were backbones of early Christianity—giving the world giants of theology like St. Augustine and St. Athanasius, to name but a few—certainly suggests that Libya was primarily a Christian nation, excluding some Berber tribes.

Yet Islam came and killed and converted them all to itself. And now, to keep them in line, it will kill any who try to proclaim a different message, especially the message of their conquered forefathers.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

 

Algerian Attack Was Carried Out Using Weapons and Gear Provided to Libyan Rebels

015350462_400By

Obama’s illegal regime change operation, carried out without Congressional approval, is continuing to reap its bloody benefits.

Many of the Islamist terrorists shot their way into the In Amenas compound on Thursday using the AK104 model of Kalashnikov, which was typically used by Libyan rebels in the war against Muammar Gaddafi.

They brought F5 rockets that also surfaced in the Libyan war, said the security source.

The Islamists wore the same type of outfits that Qatar provided to Libyan National Transitional Council rebels by Qatar – yellow flak jackets with brown patches, known as “chocolate chip” camouflage. The garments are copies of ones worn by Americans in the Gulf war.

The terrorists also employed 60mm gun-mortars used by France and Libyan rebels.

Can we have a conversation about missile and assault rifle control in Libya? If the Obama Administrations can control its obsessive need to arm terrorists and overthrow governments while leaving chaos in their wake, that might help save a lot of lives.

Was Benghazi Attack on U.S. Consulate an Inside Job?

By Jamie Dettmer:

One man gives his harrowing account of the attack on the U.S. Ambassador.

The sun had risen over a hazy Benghazi about an hour earlier, and as he grabbed the wheel of his militia’s beaten-up white Toyota pickup, 42-year-old Ibn Febrayir (not his real name) groused to himself that this was no way to treat an ambassador, especially U.S. envoy Christopher Stevens. He had heard war tales about the lanky, good-natured Californian. How he had ventured to the shifting front lines during the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi and during lulls shared the rebels’ impromptu meals, ready to swap jokes and flash a winning smile, even when regime forces were mounting a counter-offensive.

Gianluigi/ Guercia AFP-Getty Images

Febrayir was dog-tired. His wife had been calling him incessantly all night and he hadn’t answered. Earlier he’d led an unsuccessful relief effort on the U.S. consulate after Salafist militants had launched an assault on the mission on the night of Sept. 11—but with his detachment being fired on, and the roads around the consulate blocked, he hadn’t been able to reach it in time. Later he had met eight U.S. Marines at Benghazi’s airport and accompanied them with a ragtag force of about 30 fighters to the so-called annex, the CIA compound, where an assortment of Americans—diplomats, guards, and intelligence officers—were waiting impatiently to be evacuated. He had been shot at and, he suspected, betrayed. He was in no mood for any more surprises. He tugged at his closely cropped beard.

As he drove through the gates of the Benghazi Medical Center, he looked in his mirror to check on the two men in the back. He’d ordered them to sit on either side of the ambassador to keep the body on a plastic stretcher from sliding off the short flatbed. “This is no way to treat an ambassador,” he muttered again. And then he drove at high speed toward the airport through a Benghazi that was slowly waking from the nighttime mayhem.

The story of the night America lost its first ambassador since 1979 to violence is like a jigsaw puzzle—the pieces are fitting together slowly and the picture is emerging but is still not complete and might not be for months. In trying to figure out the puzzle, U.S. investigators are not being helped by the lack of reliable information coming from Tripoli. The inquiry that Libyan leaders promised the day after the attack has stalled. Who’s in charge? No one really knows. “That’s a million-dollar question,” admits an adviser to Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abushugar. Accompanied by aides, he turns and asks them who’s now formally heading the probe. Debate ensues and it is hazarded that the attorney general might be in charge.

An adviser to Mohamed al-Magarief, the president of the General National Congress, the country’s parliament, concedes nothing much is happening with the inquiry and acknowledges that American officials in Washington, D.C., are frustrated by the lack of progress. “In some ways and at some level, they are understanding, but it isn’t a good answer to give them. They can see our difficulties—we don’t have the organization or the authority to push the inquiry,” he says. “But they are under pressure themselves—especially with the election days away.”

The election tick-tock unnerves Libyan leaders. They worry that President Barack Obama may do something precipitous, especially if his poll numbers drop. They worry about a drone strike on targets in eastern Libya—that would be a gift to jihadists, they say. Do the Americans have targets? Magarief’s adviser thinks they may—though he doesn’t know whether they would include the masterminds behind the attack on Stevens. “They had surveillance drones monitoring that night. They will have identified some people and traced where they are now.” And, of course, the information on jihadists and militants in Libya being gathered by more than a dozen intelligence agents and contractors in the CIA compound before Sept. 11 is likely also to be useful in the hunt.

When one tries to piece together the story of what happened in Benghazi, discrepancies stand out. For one thing, the timing of events given by officials in Washington, Tripoli, and Benghazi don’t quite match. The State Department timeline is at variance with the recollection of Libyans manning the Benghazi combined operations room, a coordinating center between the various revolutionary militias “approved” by the government, located a 10-minute drive from the U.S. consulate. The Libyans have the attack starting between 8:30 and 9 p.m. The Americans place it at about 9:40 p.m. The Libyans have the American security guards fleeing the consulate with the body of Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, one of the four Americans killed that night, in an armored SUV 45 minutes to an hour earlier than the Americans do, at around 10 p.m.

There are other inconsistencies, one especially bewildering. The State Department says a six-man Rapid Reaction Force was dispatched from the CIA compound, 1.2 miles away from the consulate, as the assault on the mission unfolded. Militia commanders in the Benghazi operations room that night—housed in the barracks of the Feb. 17 militia on the Tripoli Road, a former army installation that had a grim Gaddafi-era reputation—say they have no knowledge of such a force being present at the consulate.

Read more at the Daily Beast

Jamie Dettmer is an independent foreign correspondent who has been a staff journalist for The Times of London, The Sunday Telegraph, Scotland on Sunday, and the Irish Sunday Tribune.

The Islamist Threat Isn’t Going Away

Michael J. Totten:

President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney wrapped up their trilogy of presidential debates on Monday this week and spent most of the evening arguing foreign policy. Each demonstrated a reasonable grasp of how the world works and only sharply disagreed with his opponent on the margins and in the details. But they both seem to think, 11 years after 9/11, that calibrating just the right policy recipe will reduce Islamist extremism and anti-Americanism in the Middle East. They’re wrong.

Mr. Romney said it first, early in the debate: “We’re going to have to put in place a very comprehensive and robust strategy to help the world of Islam . . . reject this violent extremism.” Later Mr. Obama spoke as though this objective is already on its way to being accomplished: “When Tunisians began to protest,” he said, “this nation, me, my administration, stood with them earlier than just about any other country. In Egypt, we stood on the side of democracy. In Libya, we stood on the side of the people. And as a consequence, there is no doubt that attitudes about Americans have changed.”

The Middle East desperately needs economic development, better education, the rule of law and gender equality, as Mr. Romney says. And Mr. Obama was right to take the side of citizens against dictators—especially in Libya, where Moammar Gadhafi ran one of the most thoroughly repressive police states in the world, and in Syria, where Bashar Assad has turned the country he inherited into a prison spattered with blood. But both presidential candidates are kidding themselves if they think anti-Americanism and the appeal of radical Islam will vanish any time soon.

First, it’s simply not true that attitudes toward Americans have changed in the region. I’ve spent a lot of time in Tunisia and Egypt, both before and after the revolutions, and have yet to meet or interview a single person whose opinion of Americans has changed an iota.

Second, pace Mr. Romney, promoting better education, the rule of law and gender equality won’t reduce the appeal of radical Islam. Egyptians voted for Islamist parties by a two-to-one margin. Two-thirds of those votes went to the Muslim Brotherhood, and the other third went to the totalitarian Salafists, the ideological brethren of Osama bin Laden. These people are not even remotely interested in the rule of law, better education or gender equality. They want Islamic law, Islamic education and gender apartheid. They will resist Mr. Romney’s pressure for a more liberal alternative and denounce him as a meddling imperialist just for bringing it up.

Anti-Americanism has been a default political position in the Arab world for decades. Radical Islam is the principal vehicle through which it’s expressed at the moment, but anti-Americanism specifically, and anti-Western “imperialism” generally, likewise lie at the molten core of secular Arab nationalism of every variety. The Islamists hate the U.S. because it’s liberal and decadent. (The riots in September over a ludicrous Internet video ought to make that abundantly clear.) And both Islamists and secularists hate the U.S. because it’s a superpower.

Everything the United States does is viewed with suspicion across the political spectrum. Gamal Abdel Gawad Soltan, the director of Egypt’s Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, admitted as much to me in Cairo last summer when I asked him about NATO’s war against Gadhafi in Libya. “There is a general sympathy with the Libyan people,” he said, “but also concern about the NATO intervention. The fact that the rebels in Libya are supported by NATO is why many people here are somewhat restrained from voicing support for the rebels.” When I asked him what Egyptians would think if the U.S. sat the war out, he said, “They would criticize NATO for not helping. It’s a lose-lose situation for you.”

So we’re damned if we do and we’re damned if we don’t. And not just on Libya. An enormous swath of the Arab world supported the Iraqi insurgency after an American-led coalition overthrew Saddam Hussein. Thousands of non-Iraqi Arabs even showed up to fight. Yet today the U.S. is roundly criticized all over the region for not taking Assad out in Syria.

Read more at World Affairs Journal

Mr. Totten is a contributing editor at World Affairs and City Journal, and is the prize-winning author of Where the West Ends (Belmont Estate, 2012) and The Road to Fatima Gate (Encounter, 2011).

The Stakes in Tonight’s Foreign Policy Debate

By Bruce Thornton

Foreign policy, the topic of tonight’s debate, was suddenly thrust into the voters’ consciousness by the murder of 4 Americans, including our ambassador, in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11. Intensifying the fallout of this event has been the Obama administration’s incoherent, clumsy, duplicitous, and rapidly unraveling attempt to blame the terrorist murders on a YouTube movie trailer lampooning Mohammed, in order to downplay the strength of the heavily armed jihadist outfits, some connected to al Qaeda, now swarming in Libya as a result of our overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi.

If Governor Romney wants to succeed, he must focus on the Benghazi attack and subsequent misdirection not just to highlight the administration’s increasingly obvious attempt to spin a carefully planned terrorist attack into a spontaneous reaction to an offensive video. More importantly, Romney must use the attack to emphasize its real significance: the political expediencies, character flaws, and dubious ideological assumptions behind Obama’s foreign policy failures.

The evidence of this failure is obvious throughout the Middle East. Start with Libya, the country most in the news. Eighteen months after U.S. air power facilitated the overthrow of Gaddafi In Libya, a weak central government is dominated by hundreds of heavily armed militant Islamist bands, some with links to al Qaeda, of the sort that killed our ambassador. Before his death, ambassador Chris Stevens reported that black al Qaeda battle-flags were flying over government buildings in Benghazi. This is consistent with an August 2012 report from the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress, which documented al Qaeda’s influence in Libya and concluded, “The Libyan Revolution may have created an environment conducive to jihad and empowered the large and active community of Libyan jihadists, which is known to be well connected to international jihad.”

Elsewhere in Africa, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is active across a broad swath of North Africa, and is suspected of complicity in the Benghazi attack. Al Qaeda-linked militants control territory in northern Mali the size of France, and are applying shari’a law, including punishments like stoning, amputation, and public beatings.  In Nigeria the jihadist group Boko Haram, whose real name is “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad,” is also linked to AQIM, with whom it shares training, funds, and explosives. Boko Haram has been murdering Christians and others, 650 in this year alone, in order to fulfill the mandate of its name. And in Yemen, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula continues to battle the government and to plot terrorist attacks. Contrary to Obama’s claims, Al Qaeda’s leadership may have been degraded, but the franchise continues to be strong and active.

Likewise in the Middle East, where the jihadist Muslim Brothers have come to power in Egypt, the region’s most populous country, thanks to Obama’s abandonment of the brutal but reliable Hosni Mubarak, who had kept them in check. Even as al Qaeda terrorists have stepped up attacks in Iraq in the wake of our withdrawal, that country is strengthening its ties to Iran, allowing the Iranians to cross Iraqi air space in order to deliver arms to Syria’s Bashar al Assad. In Syria, numerous jihadist groups fighting Assad are gaining valuable battlefield experience in tactics and weapons, including surface-to-air missiles probably acquired from Gaddafi’s looted arsenals. The Taliban in Afghanistan are surging in anticipation of Obama’s announced 2014 withdrawal, with U.S.-trained Afghan security forces turning their weapons on coalition troops, killing 51 this year. Given the weakness of the corrupt regime of Hamid Karzai, there is a very good chance that the Taliban will reestablish itself as a major power in Afghanistan after U.S. forces withdraw in 2014.

Most dangerously, Iran continues its march to the acquisition of nuclear weapons with which it can “wipe Israel off the map,” as President Ahmadinejad has threatened. According to a recent DEBKA report, Iran’s “nuclear program’s high-speed uranium enrichment plant has now been entirely sequestered in the fortified underground Fordo site near Qom,” which means the Israelis will not be able to destroy the site completely without America’s help. DEBKA continues, “The Iranians are preparing to change the ‘active formation’ of the Fordo centrifuges and adapt them for refining uranium up to the 60 percent level, a short step before the weapons grade of 90 percent. The conversion is expected to be ready to go in the second half of December or early January 2013.” Yet despite this fast approaching point of no return, the Obama administration has refused to back up non-lethal sanctions with a credible threat of force, leaving the Iranians to calculate correctly that they have enough time to reach nuclear capability.

Finally, Obama has chilled relations with our one reliable ally in the Middle East, Israel. He has accepted the specious pretext that “settlements” are the roadblock to peace, claimed that negotiations must start with the indefensible 1967 armistice line, snubbed and insulted Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, and worst of all, refused to back vigorously and unequivocally Israel’s attempts to eliminate the existential threat represented by a nuclear-armed Iran. Indeed, his Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, said of an Israeli preemptive strike on Iran, “I don’t want to be complicit if they [Israel] choose to do it.” Such hostile talk has emboldened the Iranians and disheartened not just Israel, but other allies like Saudi Arabia who know what sort of disruptions and dangers will follow the mullahs’ getting the bomb.

Obama, in short, has reversed the famous aphorism of the Roman general Sulla: under his foreign policy, America has become no better enemy, no worse friend. Our retreat and weakness have diminished America’s stabilizing role in the region, creating a vacuum other countries are eager to fill. As Amir Taheri recently wrote, “For six decades American power acted as the pole that kept the tent [regional stability] up. Over the past four years, however, Barack Obama has pulled that pole away, allowing the tent to sag and, in parts, collapse. As opportunist powers, Russia, Iran and Turkey are trying to fill the vacuum created by America’s retreat. Thus, Russia has just returned as a top supplier of weapons to Iraq, clinching a $4.2 billion contract, partly thanks to lobbying by Iran.” Under Obama, the United States now has little influence over events, even as our own national interests, values, and security are put in jeopardy by these developments.

If Romney wants to gain the upper hand tonight, he needs to highlight this litany of failure. More important, he has to identity the flaws of character and ideology that have led to foreign policy disaster. The political needs of reelection, of course, have shaped Obama’s reactions to events. He staked his foreign policy success on the narrative that our major problem was al Qaeda, so all we needed to do was kill bin Laden and use drone strikes to degrade al Qaeda’s leadership. Hence Obama’s recent assertions that “Al Qaeda’s on its heels” and  “Al Qaeda is on the run.” Couple the war on al Qaeda to “democracy promotion” in the region, and all our terrorist problems would disappear. As Obama said on “60 Minutes,” follow this policy and “over the long term we are more likely to get a Middle East and North Africa that is more peaceful, more prosperous and more aligned with…our interests.”

That narrative explains Obama’s clumsy attempt to attribute the Benghazi attack to the “disgusting” YouTube video and the “spontaneous reaction,” as U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice said five days after the attack, that the video provoked, thus supporting the “al Qaeda on its heels” claim. But as we’ve seen above, al Qaeda is not just active, but growing. It is the mother ship of numerous other jihadist outfits with whom it cooperates and coordinates. But Obama’s admission that the attack was a carefully planned lethal celebration of the 9/11 attacks would perforce have repudiated the linchpin of his alleged foreign policy success, and it would have shown that contrary to his “60 Minutes” assertions, during his administration the region has become less peaceful and less aligned with our interests.

But equally important are the failures of Obama’s character, particularly his grandiose estimation of his world-historical significance. Believing that Muslims would react positively to his Muslim name and Muslim roots, Obama thought that all he had to do was show up, and all these countries would forget their national interests and religious beliefs. Of course that arrogant assumption has failed miserably, as surveys of the region show. According to the Pew Research Center, confidence in Obama exceeds 25% only in one country, Lebanon. And those numbers are significantly lower than they were when he took office in 2009. These data should not surprise anyone who knows that nations base their policies on their own culturally specific beliefs and national interests, not on other leaders’ charm or efforts at ingratiation. All Obama’s solicitous “outreach” has achieved is to create the impression that America is a weak enemy and an unreliable ally.

Read more at Front Page

 

 

Named: Al-Qaida men who killed ambassador

by Jerome R. Corsi:

WND is in receipt of a 270-page intelligence report in Arabic originating from Libya that names specific al-Qaida operatives in Libya as being responsible for the murder of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

The report originated from Muftah Faraj, a member of the Warfalla tribe of Bani Walid in Libya, who is currently in exile from Libya, subsequent to a Skype teleconference Faraj conducted with WND from the Middle East.

The intelligence report blames President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and NATO for engaging in a war against Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi that ended up destabilizing Libya to the advantage of radical Muslim elements including al-Qaida.

After Arab researcher Walid Shoebat translated and analyzed the intelligence report for WND, the document held such specific intelligence about the circumstances and people involved in the attack on Stevens that WND decided to share the intelligence report with the CIA.

To the surprise of WND, the CIA replied the agency had independently obtained the document and the information contained was known to the Obama administration, even though the Obama administration has not chosen to share with the American public the key findings contained in the report.

“The point everyone misses is that Gadhafi was not a radical Islamist,” Muftah told WND.  “Gadhafi kept al-Qaida out of Libya. If it had not been for NATO, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, al-Qaida would not be in Libya and Chris Stevens would still be alive.”

The document names Mohammad Abdullah Aqil, a wealthy and corrupt individual who owns and operates a Mercedes car dealership in Tripoli, as the principal funder of al-Qaida in Libya.

Read more at WND

And Walid Shoebat has more here: Investigating the Assassination of Ambassador Stevens

 

 

Muslim Brotherhood Allied Libyan Government Shielding Islamist Militias

by Daniel Greenfield

As Hillary Clinton, the Libyan government deserves our complete and total support. Not those rabble driving out our Islamist militia friends.

Residents of Libya’s second-largest city warned on Saturday of a “revolution” to get rid of armed militias and Islamic extremists after protests spurred in part by the killing of the U.S. ambassador left four dead in an unprecedented eruption of public frustration.

In a sign of how weak the country’s post-Moammar Gadhafi leadership remains, authorities tried to stem popular anger, pleading that some of the militias are needed to keep the country safe since the police and army are incapable of doing so.

A mass protest Friday against militias against the compounds of several armed groups in Benghazi lasted into early Saturday, as thousands stormed the headquarters of Ansar al-Shariah, an Islamic extremist group suspected in the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate.

Now why would the Libyan government tell protesters to leave the Islamist militias alone?

Well this might help explain a few things.

The unrest comes at a time when the power vacuum in Libya continues. The first post-Gadhafi national elections in May chose a national assembly that is serving as a parliament and that chose the new president, Mohammed el-Megaref, and a prime minister, Mustafa Abushagur. But Abushagur, believed to have struck an alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood, has yet to form a cabinet. Members of the assembly are pressing him to replace the interior and defence ministers in charge of security forces and the military.

El-Megaref called on protesters to leave alone militias that are “under state legitimacy, and go home.”

And who are those “legitimate militias” exactly?

Aside from Rafallah Sahati, there are two other major militias in Benghazi that authorities rely on. One is called Libya Shield, led by Wassam Bin Hamaad, an Islamist who has resolved tribal disputes. Another is the Feb. 17 Brigade, led by Fawzi Abu Kataf, who is seen as connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. The militia is believed to be the closest to the state authorities and has helped secure borders.

As reported exclusively on The Point on Friday, Feb 17 was also the militia that Clinton and Stevens relied on to protect the Consulate.

 

 

Libyans Drive Islamic Militias From Benghazi in Massive Protest

Libyan civilians celebrate the raiding of Ansar al-Shariah Brigades compound, after hundreds of Libyans, Libyan Military, and Police raided the Brigades base, in Benghazi, Libya, Friday, Sept. 21, 2012. (Photo: AP)

By

(TheBlaze/AP) — Benghazi residents warned Saturday of a “revolution” to rid the city of militias and Islamic extremists after protests against the armed groups– spurred in part by the killing of the U.S. ambassador– left at least four dead in an unprecedented eruption of public frustration.

On Friday, protesters overwhelmed the compound of the Ansar al-Shariah Brigade in the center of the eastern city of Benghazi.  Ansar al-Shariah fighters initially fired in the air to disperse the crowd, but eventually abandoned the site with their weapons and vehicles after it was overrun by waves of protesters shouting “No to militias.”

“I don’t want to see armed men wearing Afghani-style clothes stopping me in the street to give me orders, I only want to see people in uniform,” said Omar Mohammed, a university student who took part in the takeover of the site, which protesters said was done in support of the army and police.

After storming the Ansar al-Shariah compound, the protesters reportedly moved onto the base of a second Islamist militia, the Rafallah Sahati Brigade. Brigade fighters opened fire to keep the protesters at bay.

The state news agency Saturday said four protesters were killed and 70 injured in the overnight violence.

Read more

Weapons Hunting: The Reason for the 9-11 Murders in Libya

He and Ambassador Stevens, as well as the two other special operators from Wind Zero, were executing a CIA and State Department mission to track not only Qaddafi’s weapons, but to trace any and all weapons trafficking in the regions. Smith was the information officer at the Benghazi mission and likely was too close to having uncovered intelligence that pinpointed key players both in and outside of Libya. Intelligence was shared with the CIA, which does enforce the drone program, whether inside Libya, stemming from the mission to remove Qaddafi, or in other hot-spots in the Middle East.

The Chase in Benghazi

@spongedocks a.k.a., Denise Simon Patriot’s Duty: founderscode.com

The Soviet occupation in Afghanistan was a long and stalwart war to install a generational subset of communist footprint in the region where defeat was predictable, as the CIA aided in the quest against the Soviets.  Part of the Clinton objective was to arm key factions to fend off the Soviets and it was successful. As the full retreat by the Soviets was underway, al Qaeda and the Taliban were soon in full possession of weapons that the United States had provided over the years to the anti-Soviet opposition. This would soon become a major threat to the West. The cure was to dial up big dollars and go on a buy-back mission to get the weapons out of the hands of militants.  As the Soviets left Afghanistan, left behind in their wake were huge caches of aging weapons and ammunition, coupled with what the American intelligence community provided. Everyone was armed with immunity. Mutual failure was nearly locked in.

MANPADS

Looking over to Libya, Qaddafi during his reign, set on a quest to obtain his own arsenal. It came to include not only millions of weapons, from small arms and rocket propelled grenades, to Russian shoulder fired SA-24 missiles; it also carried a nuclear ambition. Foreign leaders pressed Qaddafi only on the nuclear ambition and there he capitulated, but all other weapons including the  MANPADS among its surface to air missiles arsenal, was left out of the process and the arrangements made with him.

Last year, as the mission was underway to remove Qaddafi from power, a great deal of confusion set in and all armories were raided by unique militias across Libya. All weapons were stolen and taken to destinations unknown. Qaddafi had spent an estimated $30 billion in the span of twenty-five years, on conventional weapons from the USSR and China, via Algeria and even Belarus.  Included in this stout purchasing campaign were planes and communications equipment.

In the realms of arms trafficking, black markets, and jihad, members of these groups know the movement of weapons and maintain a keen eye upon their vulnerability, either to steal or to purchase them at discounted prices. Such was the case during the regime change objective, to remove Qaddafi from power. Libya experienced a huge infiltration of underworld terror groups such as al Qaeda, Boko Harem, pirates from Somalia, and militias, all sneaking into Qaddafi’s inventory. Weapons did leave Libya, but it is unknown just what remained in country. Of particular importance are the 20,000 MANPADS of which today, only 5,000 have been recovered.

Enter the United States with a large purse of an allocated $40 million, to search for weapons and to buy-back in large numbers, while tracing and tracking the sources and associations of the groups. (To be sure, a few other countries did in fact donate much smaller dollars to support the mission.)

Transitional fighters and jihadis across the region have no loyalty to a country or flag, but only to their causes. They include AQIM, al Shabaab, AQAP, and Ansar al Sharia, to list only a few. The groups transit borders, from North Africa to Syria, with some number and variations of these weapons from Libya. Since the removal of Qaddafi, Libya has no cohesive government in place and Benghazi is a perfect product of lawlessness and confusion.

It should also be known and understood that communications between and among the leadership of terror networks is performed on the Internet by means of dynamic chat rooms and similar websites. The most clandestine communications are found on the sites of video games and other computer games. Here, open chatter, instruction, and planning take place under the guise and cover of gaming. Such is the case in the matter of weapons and the terror attacks we are witnessing in the Middle East.

Read more at Gulag Bound