Rebels offer Qaddafi Libyan Retirement

Free Libya leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil said Sunday that Muammar Qaddafi could remain in Libya in retirement if he gave up power. This offer is the first time the rebel forces in Benghazi have spoken this way. Presumably the deal is impelled in part by the International Criminal Court indictment of Qaddafi, his son, and the chief of his secret police, which made it difficult for them to flee into exile without risking arrest and trial.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton slammed Qaddafi’s threats to engage in terrorism in Europe (i.e. to repeat his past behavior on a larger scale). That Europe is on the firing line makes it particularly despicable that so many members of the US House of Representatives declined to support US help to NATO allies in the UN-authorized mission to protect the Libyan people from their murderous ruler.

In a sign that Turkish support for the Transitional National Council is increasing, the Turkish foreign minister visited Benghazi.

Meanwhile, fighters from the Western Mountain region of Libya continue to insist that they are readying a campaign toward the capital of Tripoli, despite their pullback Saturday from the front at Bi’r al-Ghanem.

Posted in Libya | 13 Responses | Print |

13 Responses

  1. I have a hard time agreeing that it is “despicable” that members of Congress want to argue that Congress should be involved in decisions regarding instigations of hostilities against other nations by the armed forces of the United States. The constitution states that they have the responsibility to do that, and more than one federal court has ruled that that responsibility is not sublimated by any treaty, i.e. that this nation does not surrender its sovreignty when it signs a treaty with NATO or the United Nations.

    You may think that Congress is wrong to feel that they should assert their constitutional power, but it is hardly “dispicable” for them to do so.

  2. So many Europeans, Israelis, and even a few Americans have criticized President Erdogan. Yet when the chips are down the Turks generally deliver. Erdogan is supporting Libyan freedom and rallying global diplomatic and public support behind the Libyan freedom fighters. Erdogan has unapologetic supported the NATO mission in Libya. [Afghanistan might be a special case because of Turkey’s long term friendship with the former Northern Alliance and many of the current leaders of the GIRoA and ANSF.]

    Plus Turkey’s economic policies make America look downright big government socialist anti business. Look at how American politicians interfere with American technological innovation. So unlike the Turks.

    Turkish exceptionalism.

  3. Whoa whoa whoa, Perfesser.

    I’m a big supporter of this humanitarian action, an open cheerleader of the rebels, and a big detractor of Gadhaffi, of Republicans, and of the mission’s so-called-anti-war opponents, but that slam on the House of Representatives is just plain unfair.

    Gadhaffi’s terroristic threats to Europe came about after the vote, and as a result of the military mission that they refused to support.

  4. IT is hardly dispicable for U.S. Representatives to tepidly vote to require the president to abide by the constitution and subsequent laws. The vote by the House was a matter of attempting to force the president to come to Congress to request that body declare war, which should have been done at the beginning, or at least after the lapse of the 60 days required by the War Powers Act. To suggest that the war in Libya is not a war, but some kind of “action” is the sort of semantic dodging that increasingly presidents rely on. (“It depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is.” OR we can look at the apparent inability of the more recent presidents to agree on what torture is, even though US courts have addressed this.) Further, the war by NATO et al. has far exceeded the boundaries as set forth by the UN security council.

    To be in favor of this war, which you are, does not necessitate the indirect ad hominem attack on those who disagree with you.

  5. maybe if many of the representatives were standing up for separation of powers or were motivated by other than political gain, they wouldn’t merit the Professor’s disdain.

    of course, I tend to find that we don’t have a reason in hell to put Europe’s interests ahead of our own. It’s pretty much a rarity when they put ours ahead of their own.

    • A number of democratic representatives voted for the application of the War Powers Act; where is the case that they were acting for “political gain”. As for those Republicans who support the application of the War Powers Act, some of them are actually concerned about separation of powers. The charge of “political gain” can apply to all opposition parties, and is used to stamp out opposition by the ruling clique. It is fairly meaningless in this kind of constitutional context, without a demonstration of personal financial interest by the opposition.

  6. The ICC indictment certainly made deal-making difficult, but I’m glad to see the rebels are considering such options. I’m wondering if NATO is now trying to retire Qaddafiq, kill him, or arrest him.

    • I don’t think the ICC indictment matters so much, the AU has already said they won’t honor it. I expect Europe is prepared to ignore it as well if it leads to a solution.

      I could be wrong on this, just reading tea leaves and reports, but Qadaffy’s personal fate is also not a sticking point. He’s an old man. The critical issue is the role that Saif will play in a new government. Its about the clan, not the man.

  7. I’m probably not much of a researcher, but when it come to Gaddafi and terrorism all I ever come across in the Google World are three significant events:

    1. Gaddafi’s goons set off a bomb in a Berlin night club, killing three, including one Americans, and injuring several hundred.

    2. US retaliatory bombing raid on Gaddafi’s residence, killing his adopted daughter, and 15 civilians.

    3. Lockerbie

    There must be more, but its certainly not very prominent.

    href=”,8599,1194766,00.html#ixzz1EiMSh3nu”>This 2006 Time article about the binding of Bush’e friendly relationship with Gaddafi, clearly indicates that his murderous, brutal treatment of his subjects is no cause of serious concern to the US. Here’s an interesting excerpt from the article:

    In citing Gaddafi as a model, Rice has signaled the Administration’s priority for security over the cause of freedom that both Gaddafi and Bush love to talk about. Even though Gaddafi has done little to loosen his dictatorship, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President Jacques Chirac, among other statesmen, have already visited Libya to signal the West’s pleasure.

    It seems that nothing changed in these relationships until the Arab Spring. So going into the violent suppression of the uprising, Gaddafi probably figured he still had “security over the cause of freedom” in the bank, and maybe, being rather detached, he thought the US had his back.

    There is no plausible defense for what Gaddafi is doing to suppress the uprising, but the swiftness with which we convert angels to devils, and vice versa, to suit solely our own purposes might be worth a look. (e.g. Nice Iraq invading Iran, Attila the Hun invading Kuwait)

  8. Here is an argument for a negotiated solution, better reasoned than most:
    link to

    I have been adamently opposed to any negotiation that gave a Gadaffy lad a role in a transition. But the NATO effort is so feckless that I am changing my mind.

    Reports from the front are unchanged, the rebels are hopelessly outgunned. No relief in site.

    Forget about the rebels in the Nafusa Mountains (two thousand uncoordinated fighters at most) advancing across the plains to Tripoli, that is a joke. They have done an admirable job in mountain terrain, but they are not an army.

    Gadaffy is NOT running out of fuel, he still has an operational refinery that meets the needs of his military. (Oddly, NATO won’t bomb it because it is considered civilian infrastructure.) Gadaffy is still selling significant oil, including to Italy! I read exports are at 1/3 of prewar levels, that sounds high, but he is still in business.

    The war is going very badly. Don’t believe the loose talk of Gadaffy’s certain demise, he retains plenty of cards. NATO looks to be out of political will next fall, THAT is the achilees heel of the patient attrition strategy.

    Perhaps a negotiated deal that leaves the regime with a say in the transition is the best step forward now. I’m mad that it has come to this. Obama’s early decision to back-off militarily has backfired. It was an understandable and reasonable plan, but it fell shor. NATO is a paper tiger.

Comments are closed.