April 2, 2011 (Benghazi, Libya) I just cannot believe the ineptness of this administration. Fighting between Qaddafi and rebel forces broke out in mid-February, and we’re just now starting to ponder who the rebels are and whether we should arm them? What a joke.
Our president really needs to send in the CIA to see who the opposition fighters are? All you really have to do is read a newspaper. In a former article I wrote, “With Libya, be Careful What You Ask for…You Just Might Get it,” I quoted an article from the U.K.’s The Telegraph which quoted Libyan opposition leader Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, who said that fighters who are now fighting on the front lines against Muammar al Qaddafi are veteran jihadists who fought against allied forces in Iraq.
Even more frightening still was the quote that, “Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters ‘are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,’ but added that the ‘members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader.’” So, obviously, without sending in CIA teams, we already know that the opposition’s leader feels that terrorists are “good Muslims.”
Later in the interview, al Hasidi revealed that he himself “fought against ‘the foreign invasion’ in Afghanistan before being captured in 2002 in Pakistan.” He was later released by the U.S. in Libya in 2008.
According to The Wall Street Journal online: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704629104576190720901643258.html, “In the east Libyan city of Darna…the man charged with heading the city’s defenses is a former Islamist militant who fought in Afghanistan before being jailed by Col. Gadhafi.” So basically, another terrorist, although the article does not give his name.
The WSJ online article goes on to say, “’They appear to be bringing in the Islamic opposition but in a more covert way, so they don’t alarm the U.S.,’ said a Libyan-American businessman in Benghazi.”
There is another troubling paragraph in an article on CBS.com which is as follows: “For al Qaeda, Libya may represent a rare opportunity and a blank slate, as uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia seem almost certain to result in democratic governments. An Afghan Taliban operative told The Daily Beast earlier this month that, for al Qaeda, the Libya rebellion ‘is the fresh breeze they’ve been waiting years for. They realize that if they don’t use this opportunity, it could be the end of their chances to turn Libya toward a real Islamic state, as Afghanistan once was.’”
Of course, I don’t quite understand what he means by “a real Islamic state.” For those who don’t know, according to middleeast.about.com, Libya is 97 percent Sunni Muslim. The article says that Qaddafi keeps close control over the mosques and other Islamic institutions. It says that, “He promotes a conservative form of Islam based on his belief that modern believers have strayed from Islam’s original tenets. But he opposes extremist or fundamentalist Islam, considering it a threat to his power.”
Possibly that is what the Afghan Taliban operative meant by “a real Islamic state.” Possibly he feels that the form of Islam practiced in Libya is not extreme enough for their taste.
According to marketoracle.co.uk, there are over 30 delegates that make up the rebel council. Nonetheless, more than a dozen of these delegates are being kept anonymous—supposedly for security reasons. However, western allies like NATO, and particularly the United States, have a right to know who this council is made of before we risk lives and spend billions of dollars to help them get control of the country.
We honestly need to know by whom this country will be run. According to the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which I mentioned earlier, is based in Libya (obviously) and is affiliated with al-Qaeda, as well as terrorist groups in Algeria and Egypt.
These are some of the groups that we are aiding, and even considering arming. And you can believe that with such hatred for Qaddafi in Libya, and with such desire to drive him from power, groups like the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group will have a seat at the table when it comes time to plan the future of that country. As Secretary of State Clinton said, “we do not have any specific information about specific individuals from any organization who are part of this.”
Obama administration officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Wednesday that, while the administration has pledged there will be “no boots on the ground” in Libya, the president has issued a secret finding authorizing the CIA to carry out covert actions to provide weaponry and other support to opposition groups in Libya. But according to the same officials, no decision has been made.
Based on the marketoracle.co.uk article, According to West Point authors Joseph Felter and Brian Fishman, Saudi Arabia took first place as regards absolute numbers of jihadis sent to combat the United States and other coalition members in Iraq during the time frame in question. Libya, a country less than one fourth as populous, took second place. Saudi Arabia sent 41% of the fighters. According to Felter and Fishman, “Libya was the next most common country of origin, with 18.8% (112) of the fighters listing their nationality stating they hailed from Libya.” Other much larger countries were far behind: “Syria, Yemen, and Algeria were the next most common origin countries with 8.2% (49), 8.1% (48), and 7.2% (43), respectively. Moroccans accounted for 6.1% (36) of the records and Jordanians 1.9% (11).”
These are important numbers, my fellow Americans. Are you listening, Mr. President? One-fifth of foreign fighters coming into Iraq through Syria came FROM LIBYA!
As authors Felter and Fishman point out, a high concentration of the “mujahadeen” who came into Iraq to fight American and coalition troops came from “those areas around Benghazi which are today the epicenters of the revolt against Colonel Gaddafi which the US, Britain, France, and others are so eagerly supporting.”
We really need to look at who we’re helping here. I don’t, by any means, agree with the tactics Qaddafi has used as the dictator of Libya, but I certainly don’t want to facilitate another Afghanistan in North Africa, either.
With all the intelligence already known about the jihadis around Benghazi, the CIA must be there to look at arming these guys so they can defeat Qaddafi.
It seems to me that there is already enough known about the rebels to know that we certainly don’t need to arm these guys. Heck, we might even be better off letting Qaddafi kill the terrorists for us.