Libyan Freedom

I've been glued to Al Jazeera for the last week after the rebels pulled off a truly amazing entry into Tripoli. It certainly took longer than it would have if NATO troops had been used, but it's much better to have the locals doing it themselves. I think with this militarily historic event we hopefully have a new model of warfare. Provide weapons and air support to local militias. We can hopefully free the whole world this way. With Syria next in line. I saw Syrian protesters with a sign in English, but couldn't read the whole thing. The two phrases I was able to read were "Syria is not" and "to watch and enjoy" with perhaps "only" after the second phrase.

I think the message is that they don't like the idea of us sitting in our comfortable living rooms while they are attempting to go up against a cruel dictator. But I have to ask the protesters what they expect us to do. My solution would be to repeat Libya, even if the UN refuses to endorse it. The UN is currently unwilling to even impose sanctions. Countries like Russia and China for whatever reason aren't as keen on human freedom as the western democracies.

There is one extra thing that I'd like to comment on. We didn't know what Tripoli would look like after liberation. Even now we don't have the results of a secret ballot or even an opinion poll. Some analysis is best done while the situation is still ambiguous. If you don't know what is innate in people, what action should you take? My opinion is that the people of Tripoli have a right to a secret ballot even if they use that to reelect a government with similar policies. Anything less is state-slavery which is unacceptable. And post-liberation when you can see all the happy faces - you know for sure that these good people should never have been held in chains.

An interesting comment from a Libyan - everything can be bought with money except freedom. For freedom you need to pay a blood price. I think he added that now was the time for Libya to pay the price. That is another reason why objections to the Iraq war make no sense. The country needed to pay the blood price at some point. It may as well be now. Why should generation after generation have to live longer in state-slavery and then pay the blood price instead of paying it now? It's another form of compound interest.

Anyway, I will be suggesting to Libyans that they now take the lead in getting Syria liberated. NATO air support, Libyan special forces if required. Or if special forces are beyond Libya's capability, they can at least take the political lead.

I also note that the motley collection of African thugs and halfwits refused to recognize the NTC, although hat's off to Nigeria for leading the way for recognition. We need a new union, probably NATO is good enough, with countries like Libya and perhaps Nigeria being members. And Australia too for that matter.

I will leave you with a letter I was constructing to send to NATO on behalf of Anonymous to request ground troops when it looked like the rebels were stalemated. I was trying to get an opinion poll from Benghazi before sending it though. It was then that I realised I could try finding Libyan bloggers in Benghazi, and when I did, they seemed to be under the impression that they could win just with air support, so I never sent the letter, as the stalemated situation wasn't so bad, so long as the rebels didn't lose their territory, so that they could change their mind when ready. Obviously in hindsight we know that the ground troops weren't required, so I am glad I didn't send my letter. But the thanks to NATO still stands. :-)

Open Letter from Anonymous to NATO Secretary-General regarding Libya

Dear Sir,

Anonymous applauds you and all contributing nations for recent actions in setting up a no-fly zone in Libya and implementing the 1973 resolution. This so far has succeeded in preventing the fall of Benghazi and provides a basis for real change in Libya after 42 long years. "Wars of liberation" are justified as humanitarian action and should be seen very differently to "wars of conquest" which have historically blighted humanity.

Note, Anonymous expresses the sentiments seen in the streets of Benghazi. Especially noted are the number of French flags being waved and Anonymous applauds Sarkozy for stepping up to the plate when the free world called. Most inspiring is the passion of people who have been denied freedom for so long.

Also note the inevitable detractors - if not now, then later. This is expected, and why in this day and age, it is the person who takes the political and not the military lead, who is most brave - currently that man is Sarkozy. Footage from Benghazi suggests that the mood of the people is unabashedly one of gratitude, and this brave leadership should continue.

Anonymous suggests taking some polls in Benghazi to gauge sentiment. Whatever action is taken next must be taken with due care as not to steal the thunder of the brave Libyan people in facing down Gaddafi's mercenaries. Unfortunately Gaddafi retains most of the heavy weaponry and is proving quite difficult to dislodge. Special forces would be an appropriate addition to the war at this point in time - although a recipe for disaster if the rebels object to it and why consultation plays a crucial part.

Ground forces may set a precedent for continued and swift liberations in places like Syria where we currently witness the horror of the regime hunting down protesters at night. This is on top of the horror of Gaddafi random bombing of Misrata with no-one intervening in a meaningful way. Note that there has been a formal request from Misrata rebel leadership for ground troops:


and they have stated that they are willing to pay a high price (80% casualties) for victory:

"Even if 400,000 people die and only 100,000 live, this is a victory"

We would expect professional western troops to be able to secure victory with far less than 80% casualties.

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