13 August - 20 October, 2011
Amani, Tripoli resident
After months (click here) of little progress, a major offensive by the rebels saw them push out from the west towards the towns of the coastal plain, breaking the deadlock. They took control of a series of strategic towns before capturing Tripoli....
The Libyans were not centralized in their military and bearly centralized in their government. As months rolled by the militias were considered the best alternative to a central military, which before now were all Gaddafi Loyalists. Those militates would hold power over communities and build their power base. They became the answer to their communities security, but, they were without rules and simply making their own as time transitioned.
The central government was friendly to The West and grateful for the work it had done to end the dangers to the people of Libya. The West was grateful for the revolution, although few will admit it, because it gave The West the opportunity to end the large scale forces still remaining in Libya. The Libyan Revolutionary War would last weeks and not years, would be fought in a desert and not the changing seasons of the northern hemisphere and would provide the removal of any threat to the Mediterranean and Europe from Libya ever again. Or. At least we hope, ever again.
By David Kirkpatrick
December 28, 2013
BOYISH-LOOKING AMERICAN DIPLOMAT (click here) was meeting for the first time with the Islamist leaders of eastern Libya’s most formidable militias.
It was Sept. 9, 2012. Gathered on folding chairs in a banquet hall by the Mediterranean, the Libyans warned of rising threats against Americans from extremists in Benghazi. One militia leader, with a long beard and mismatched military fatigues, mentioned time in exile in Afghanistan. An American guard discreetly touched his gun.
“Since Benghazi isn’t safe, it is better for you to leave now,” leader of the Rafallah al-Sehati Brigade, later recalled telling the Americans. “I specifically told the Americans myself that we hoped that they would leave Benghazi as soon as possible.” , the
Yet as the militiamen snacked on Twinkie-style cakes with their American guests, they also gushed about their gratitude for President Obama’s support in their uprising against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. They emphasized that they wanted to build a partnership with the United States, especially in the form of more investment. They specifically asked for Benghazi outlets of McDonald’s and KFC....
...The Benghazi-based C.I.A. team had briefed Mr. McFarland and Mr. Stevens as recently as the day before the attack. But the American intelligence efforts in Libya concentrated on the agendas of the biggest militia leaders and the handful of Libyans with suspected ties to Al Qaeda, several officials who received the briefings said. Like virtually all briefings over that period, the one that day made no mention of Mr. Abu Khattala, Ansar al-Shariah or the video ridiculing Islam, even though Egyptian satellite television networks popular in Benghazi were already spewing outrage against it.
Members of the local militia groups that the Americans called on for help proved unreliable, even hostile. The fixation on Al Qaeda might have distracted experts from more imminent threats. Those now look like intelligence failures.
More broadly, Mr. Stevens, like his bosses in Washington, believed that the United States could turn a critical mass of the fighters it helped oust Colonel Qaddafi into reliable friends. He died trying....
The attacks in Benghazi were not conducted by al Qaeda. It is my opinion the militias are so intent on protecting their own territory, al Qaeda would have been a threat and not a welcome friend. The Libyans want to maintain control. They trust no one. Their central government struggles to achieve trust. But, to believe al Qaeda is present in a stranglehold of the country is lacking in the understanding how fearful the people of Libya were of Gaddafi.
The New York Times and the twin article in The Boston Globe is a relief to the fact some still want the real truth to be known. The fact of the matter is, Libya was dangerous and obtaining intelligence very difficult. The changing landscape of militias made it impossible to predict the outcomes to safety. A single bullet achieving the death of a militia leader changed the entire landscape of who held power anywhere in Libya.
I appreciate this effort. It is remarkably a work of loyalty to this country and a willingness to have it based on solid ground rather than propaganda.
I can't help but wonder if it is a further solace to the families of the people we lost that day.
Thank you and good night.