Category Archives: Libya

Libya on 9/11

The dialogue around the events in Libya on 9/11/2012 is troubling and brings to mind more questions than answers. We were told that the devastating attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi which resulted in the assassination of four Americans including Ambassador Chris Stevens was inspired by a movie trailer that was not respectful of Muslim beliefs. Now we are informed that this was a planned attack by Al Qaeda terrorists (Ansar al-Sharia, a group which now denies involvement) and that both the FBI and the State Department knew about this almost immediately. We don’t know what to think or what to believe. There is an article today at CNN.com called Don’t rush to join Benghazi blame game, in which Tara Miller, an ex-CIA analyst, talks about the nature of modern intelligence which is flooded with information from around the world. She says that the analysis of any given situation is often something that takes painstaking work and that evolves over time. What follows are some of the questions we have all heard being asked in the news, either as outright or implied accusations. Perhaps it really was all just a sign that our intelligence system is a rhinoceros and needs an “intelligent” overhaul.
The questions:
Did our government mislead us for reasons of national security?
Did our government mislead us to preserve the message of 9/11?
Did our government mislead us because they were worried about the effects on the election?
Did our government mislead us to because they did not want to give more power to Al Qaeda which would allow them a win and help them with their recruitment?
Did our government simply share with us whatever verified intelligence they had at the moment?
Did Mitt Romney’s comments about these events interfere with an anti-terrorism agenda or just a political agenda?
I’m sure there are more questions to ask than this, and, of course, we would rather hear the real answers sooner rather than later, unless national security actually is involved. Whatever the answer, it appears that for the present we have to learn to live with terrorists. I hope this will not always be the case. The last kind of war I expected in the 21st century was a religious war, although that was because I was lost in dreams of progress and tolerance and world peace. Paying attention has sort of dispersed that rosy haze, although I will never stop wishing that more energy will go towards winning a better life for all the people on our planet and less energy will go into seeking to fight about our differences.

The Libyans Enter Tripoli

Freedom was in the air last night.
It is always amazing when you happen to be watching TV at the exact time that a momentous event takes place. Usually the occasion is a natural or man-made disaster and you want to both watch and look away. But watching the Libyans at the moment they enter Tripoli to win (we hope) their hard-fought independence is a happy occasion, although fraught with loss.
In days past we watched as the heroic Libyan rebels advanced across the coastline of Libya from East to West, and were chased back from West to East by Gadhafy’s forces, took a breather and now we have watched as they made up the ground they lost and captured Tripoli, last night, Sunday, August 21, 2011.
These fighters have no uniforms; they ride in rusted-out trucks with guns mounted in the back. They have lost many of their comrades and families are mourning all over Libya; but they are also celebrating. In this push they have lost about 3,000 brave freedom fighters. But tonight they captured three of Gadhafy’s sons and have met little resistance in Tripoli and it looks like they will soon have their victory. Gadhafy is under siege. They ride in their trucks holding two fingers aloft in the sign for victory. Their once anxious faces are wreathed in smiles.
This celebration is just a temporary break in the fighting as the freedom fighters have not captured Gadhafy yet and are not sure where he is. This is not the quintessential moment, but victory seems assured. Perhaps the free citizens of Libya do not know what form their new government will take or perhaps they have given this a lot of thought. We will hope that their future will not be a continuation of their past. Freedom, once won, is often difficult to sustain. For now I will celebrate with the smiling people of Libya.