The initially stated aim of this bombing was to diminish Libyan civilian casualties. But many senior figures in Washington, including President Obama, have indicated that the US is gearing up for a quite different war for regime change, one that may well be protracted and could also easily expand beyond Libya.1 If it does expand, the hope for a nonviolent transition to civilian government in Tunisia and Egypt and other Middle East nations experiencing political unrest, may be lost to a hard-edged militarization of government, especially in Egypt. All of us, not just Egyptians, have a major stake in seeing that that does not happen.
The present article does not attempt to propose solutions or a course of action for the United States and its allies, or for the people of the Middle East. It attempts rather to examine the nature of the forces that have emerged in Libya over the last four decades that are presently being played out.
To this end I have begun to compile what I call my Libyan Notebook, a collection of relevant facts that underlie the present crisis. This Notebook will be judgmental, in that I am biased towards collecting facts that the US media tend to ignore, facts that are the product in many instances of investigative reporting that cuts to the heart of power relations, deep structures, and economic interests in the region including the US, Israel, and the Arab States as these have played out over the last two decades and more. But I hope that it will be usefully objective and open-ended, permitting others to draw diverse conclusions from the same set of facts.2
Who are the fighters that the US has decided to support?
You're really not allowed to ask. If you do something as innocent as cite Ted Koppell -- ask Libby Liberal -- you get accused of repeating right wing spin.
If you're not getting what a bunch of lies are spewing from the White House grasp that they didn't even bother to sell you on an enemy. Ken Dilanian (Los Angeles Times) reports:
CIA officers on the ground in Libya are coordinating with rebels and sharing intelligence, U.S. officials say, but the White House is still mulling whether to provide weapons to those trying to oust Moammar Kadafi.
"No decision has been made about providing arms to the opposition or to any group in Libya," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement. "We're not ruling it out or ruling it in."
Wow. CIA's helping them too. Thought the White House was telling us that the 'rebels' were a natural uprising of the people. But they're apparently not so natural that they can take over their own country without a lot of help from the CIA.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):