Thursday, March 24, 2011
Remember Our Boys on the Malabar Front!
"Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that after one day of operations, the coalition already has taken out most of Gadhafi's air defenses and airfields, and that the no-fly zone in Libya has been established. "We've worked hard to plan this in a relatively short period of time," Admiral Mullen said. "I would say that the no-fly zone is effectively in place." -- US Air Force news March 20, 2011
"The military campaign to destroy air defenses and establish a no-fly zone over Libya has nearly accomplished its initial objectives, and the United States is moving swiftly to hand command to allies in Europe, American officials said." -- New York Times Summary March 22, 2011
"Libyan air force no longer exists....the coalition no-fly zone now stretches across all of coastal Libya." -- British & American Military authorities, March 23, 2011
"A Libyan military aircraft was shot down in Mistrata by a French fighter jet on Thursday." -- News reports, March 24, 2011
11:00 pm update: "GEN. JACK KEANE (RET.), U.S. Army: Well, I think they have done a remarkable job in a short period of time. Establishing a no-fly zone, I think, is something of a misnomer. We have destroyed their air forces and we destroyed their air defenses. And the decisive force in Libya has always been his ground forces, and we're beginning to destroy them. They have got some problems with it. You just on the report -- those forces that are committed forces, that is, they're engaged with the rebels or are in proximity to civilians, we have to destroy those forces. To be able to do that, we must put air-ground teams with the rebels on the ground to be able to identify those targets." -- retired general and current military consultant (hired by the US for advice in Iraq), ABC News adviser, and General Dynamics and MetLife Boards Member Jack Keane interviewed tonight on PBS TV
"President Obama says he remains confident that the U.S. will be able to transfer the coalition military operation in Libya to international control within a matter of days." -- News Reports on Presidential Press Conference, March 22, 2011
"The coalition that was formed following the Paris meeting will abandon the mission and hand it over entirely to a single command system under NATO," -- (NATO Member) Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, March 24, 2011
"U.S. and NATO troop strength in Afghanistan has recently passed the 150,000 mark. Two years ago there were an estimated 34,000 U.S. troops and approximately 28,000 from other NATO nations in the country. The increase since 2008 is almost 250 percent....The most recent Pentagon figures show 94,000 US personnel are now in Afghanistan compared with 92,000 in Iraq." Statistical reports here and here
"Whereas a decade ago the US accounted for just under half of NATO members' defense spending, today the US share is closer to 75 percent – and growing." 2010 Analysis in Christian Science Monitor
"SEN KERRY: I met one of the leaders of the opposition, came from Benghazi to meet with me in Cairo.... Secretary of State Clinton met with the same individual that I did. People in Brussels, in NATO, have met with this individual.
NPR's MELISSA BLOCK: That's one individual you're talking about.
SEN. KERRY: Well, no, but this is their designated representative. We also know through them who a lot of the other players are." -- US Senator John Kerry on NPR Radio, March 22, 2011
"In 1998, the Clinton administration pushed through Congress the Iraq Liberation Act, which provided $100 million to Iraqi opposition groups – headed by the Iraqi National Congress [led by Ahmed Chalabi] – to topple Saddam Hussein." -- Al Jazeera
"Dear Mr. President: ... We urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraq sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs." --Letter to President Clinton from Senator Carl Levin and others including John Kerry, Oct. 9, 1998
"After the war, even Chalabi's sponsors at the Defense Intelligence Agency concluded that most of the information they had received from his defectors was 'of little or no value.'" --from Ahmed Chalabi The Manipulator 2004
"Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, who met with Chalabi in 1998, said Wednesday that Chalabi did not deserve U.S. support and that the Bush administration should not have relied on him for intelligence and strategy on the invasion." -- USA Today 2004
"I think what we are doing is enforcing a resolution that has a very clear set of goals, which is protecting the Libyan people, averting a humanitarian crisis, and setting up a no-fly zone,” Rhodes said. “Obviously that involves kinetic military action, particularly on the front end. But again, the nature of our commitment is that we are not getting into an open-ended war, a land invasion in Libya.” --Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes quoted in Politico, March 24
"At this moment, for example, in 1984 (if it was 1984), Oceania was at war with Eurasia and in alliance with Eastasia. In no public or private utterance was it ever admitted that the three powers had at any time been grouped along different lines. Actually, as Winston well knew, it was only four years since Oceania had been at war with Eastasia and in alliance with Eurasia. But that was merely a piece of furtive knowledge which he happened to possess because his memory was not satisfactorily under control. Officially the change of partners had never happened. Oceania was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia. The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible....The Party said that Oceania had never been in alliance with Eurasia. He, Winston Smith, knew that Oceania had been in alliance with Eurasia as short a time as four years ago. But where did that knowledge exist? Only in his own consciousness, which in any case must soon be annihilated. And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed -if all records told the same tale -- then the lie passed into history and became truth. ... The instructress had called them to attention again. 'And now let's see which of us can touch our toes!' she said enthusiastically. 'Right over from the hips, please, comrades. One-two! One- two!" Winston loathed this exercise, which sent shooting pains all the way from his heels to his buttocks and often ended by bringing on another coughing fit. ..."Remember our boys on the Malabar front! And the sailors in the Floating Fortresses! Just think what they have to put up with. Now try again. That's better, comrade, that's much better!" " --George Orwell, 1984