Head of African Union: UN blocked mediation efforts in Libya

Posted by John Rosenthal

In an interview with the French-language magazine of African affairs Jeune Afrique, the head of the Commission of the African Union, Jean Ping, has said that an African Union (AU) delegation attempting to mediate between the warring parties in Libya was denied authorization to visit the country by the UN Security Council. For this and [...]

Rebel Libya: “Brothers who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, now is the time to defend your land!”

Posted by John Rosenthal

A report by Roberto Bongiorni of the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore reveals an interesting detail about the eastern Libyan rebel stronghold of Darnah: one that suggests just how widespread the participation of the locals in the Afghan and Iraq “jihads” must have been. See my new post on the Tatler blog here.

R2PAQ (‘Responsibility to Protect Al-Qaeda’)

Posted by John Rosenthal

In the absence of any evident national interest justification for bombing Libya, the Obama administration is said to have been motivated by the so-called responsibility to protect — or “R2P” per the wonkish English acronym. But the application of this supposed “responsibility to protect” civilians has taken America into a war on the side of [...]

Gaddafi and Corruption: WikiLeaks vs. WikiLeaks

Posted by John Rosenthal

The New York Times claims that WikiLeaks diplomatic cables in its possession show that the the Libyan regime of Muammar al-Gaddafi has been unusually corrupt in its dealing with foreign companies. But at least one published cable from the WikiLeaks cache suggests precisely the opposite. See my new post on the Tatler blog here.

Rebel Commander in Libya Fought Against U.S. in Afghanistan

Posted by John Rosenthal

Shortly after unrest broke out in eastern Libya in mid-February, reports emerged that an “Islamic Emirate” had been declared in the eastern Libyan town of Darnah and that, furthermore, the alleged head of that Emirate, Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi, was a former detainee at the American prison camp in Guantánamo. Well, al-Hasadi is not a former Gitmo [...]

Late Congressman Lantos Praised Libya’s ‘Major Gesture for Peace’

Posted by John Rosenthal

Just as Muammar al-Gaddafi insisted for weeks that the rebels he is fighting in eastern Libya are linked to al-Qaeda, so too did he insist that he had been a reliable partner of Western nations: in particular, in the war on terror. And just as his warnings about the strongholds of the rebellion in eastern [...]

French Interior Minister: Nicolas Sarkozy leading ‘crusade’ in Libya

Posted by John Rosenthal

Vladimir Putin’s description of the western military intervention in Libya as a sort of “crusade” has provoked much criticism and even ridicule. But, yesterday, French Interior Minister Claude Guéant talked about the intervention in precisely these terms. See my new post on the Tatler blog here.

Saving the Libyan Islamists

Posted by John Rosenthal

For weeks as international pressure built against him, Muammar al-Gaddafi insisted again and again that the rebel forces that he was fighting in eastern Libya were linked to al-Qaeda. The mere fact that Gaddafi said it was seemingly enough for virtually all commentators to dismiss the claim out of hand. But the problem is that [...]

Libyan Rebels: “Now is the Time of Jihad!”

Posted by John Rosenthal

Ten days ago, the French reporter Marc de Chalvron was in Libya with rebel forces as they advanced towards Ras Lanuf. He collected some interesting testimony as to how they view their struggle. See my new post on the Tatler blog here.

Save the Libyan rebels! (But do we know who they are?)

Posted by John Rosenthal

With Libyan government troops closing in on the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, virtually all American commentators appear to be united in the conviction that America or “the West” should intervene to save the Libyan rebels. But one month after the unrest in Libya began, we still know almost nothing about them. What little we do [...]