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Monday, April 4, 2011

Obama's Gulf of Benghazi Incident

Something about it always struck me as a stretch, but the words of Muammar Gaddafi, repeated endlessly in the media and from the White House, seemed to portent doom in Benghazi. 

Now Steve Chapman has put the lie to the Obama claim that military intervention was needed to prevent near-genocide in Benzhazi.  As Chapman documents, the speech by Gaddafi on which Obama relied and relies not only did not state that there would be mass murder, but actually stated that there would not be mass murder (emphasis mine):
In his March 26 radio address, Obama said the United States acted because Gadhafi threatened "a bloodbath." Two days later, he asserted, "We knew that if we waited one more day, Benghazi -- a city nearly the size of Charlotte -- could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world."

Really? Obama implied that, absent our intervention, Gadhafi might have killed nearly 700,000 people, putting it in a class with the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. White House adviser Dennis Ross was only slightly less alarmist when he reportedly cited "the real or imminent possibility that up to a 100,000 people could be massacred."
But these are outlandish scenarios that go beyond any reasonable interpretation of Gadhafi's words. He said, "We will have no mercy on them" -- but by "them," he plainly was referring to armed rebels ("traitors") who stand and fight, not all the city's inhabitants.
"We have left the way open to them," he said. "Escape. Let those who escape go forever." He pledged that "whoever hands over his weapons, stays at home without any weapons, whatever he did previously, he will be pardoned, protected."
"He lied us into war."  Could very well be, but you will never hear it in the mainstream media.

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  1. Makes the Gulf of Tonkin look legit....

  2. Bill, despite being a Libya skeptic from the get-go, I wonder if you (and Chapman) are overreaching.

    1. Should we heed a foreign despot more than our own government? (This is in no way meant as a vote of confidence.)

    2. ...whoever hands over his weapons, stays at home without any weapons, whatever he did previously, he will be pardoned, protected. I've seen Second Amendment claims that every 20th century genocide has been preceded by disarming the target population.

  3. Obama, Reid, and Pelosi, although the latter is not so important now, figured out that governing by "emergency" is the way for them to get things done the way the want. No time for analysis or vetting or fact checking. Pass the bill, tonight, to find out what is in it. Support the rebels today to find out who they are, one day of analysis would be disastrous, they say.

  4. I think our outside meddling will just make a slaughter of civilians (and insurgents and suspected insurgents) more likely, not less. We haven't the guts to slug it out on the ground, and we can only do so much from the air, without slaughtering lots of collateral people. Gaddafi will eventually have a free hand to clean house.

    The fat lady is still singing.

  5. Ghaddafi *by definition* cannot commit genocide in Libya. The opposing forces there belong to the same 'gens'. Genocide is not a synonym for mass slaughter. It is a particular sub-type of such activity.

  6. Obama and company are recycling their propaganda from Clinton on Kosovo. Clinton and other high officials of his administration claimed a "genocide" was underway in Kosovo with Serbs killing ethnic Albanians. Clinton called it also "ethnic cleansing" and compared it to the "holocaust." He suggested thaf as many as 100,000 Albanians had already been killed. After 78 days of escalating bombing attacks, Milosevic capitulated. It subsequently turned out that while there had been some repellent war crimes on both sides of the conflict (the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army was no band of innocents), there was nothing close to the Clinton claims. Best estimates are that about 2500 Albanian Kosovars died, many in combat. About 500 Serb Kosovars died, a number roughly proportional to their share of the predominantly Albanian province. But here is the kicker: the NATO bombing killed at least 1500 civilians (the number NATO admitted to), many just plain folks going about their business in Belgrade. Milosevic was later charged with war crimes and died in prison. No one was ever held responsible for either the pre-war lying or the NATO war crimes. The whole rotten escapade had the "unintended" side effect of humiliating Russia, which had until then been on a pro-West track under Boris Yeltsin, and launching it onto a more defensive, belligerent, revanchist policy under Putin. Who benefitted? Beats me.

  7. Maybe, just maybe, if regime soldiers hadn't been using sniper fire on protesters, lobbing missiles into cities, gang raping women and violating cease fires, I'd be more inclined to believe the regime.

  8. The bottom line in all of this: The events in Libya were not, are not, within the vital interest of the United States, and Obama knows it. Is Gaddafi a bad guy? Undoubtedly. But it is a faulty assumption to suppose that whomever fights a bad guy *must* be a good guy. And those who start and participate in revolutions, are not necessarily the ones who finish them. If Gaddafi falls, we could well wind up with someone worse in-charge in Libya than he (Afghanistan Part II anyone?). Meanwhile, President Nero foments "regime change" in Yemen as he did in Egypt, and has his fingerprints all over the rebellion in Libya. When is someone going to ask the question: "Exactly WHAT is he trying to achieve, and why?" I think if one reflects upon that question, you may be terrified at the logical conclusion.