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Belmont Club

The Arsenal of Theocracy

June 22nd, 2013 - 2:59 pm

There are now hints that something more than a video might have been behind the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.  Far from being a dusty backwater Libya is apparently the source of  arms flowing into Syria. The New York Times reports that:

Evidence gathered in Syria, along with flight-control data and interviews with militia members, smugglers, rebels, analysts and officials in several countries, offers a profile of a complex and active multinational effort, financed largely by Qatar, to transport arms from Libya to Syria’s opposition fighters. Libya’s own former fighters, who sympathize with Syria’s rebels, have been eager collaborators.

“It is just the enthusiasm of the Libyan people helping the Syrians,” said Fawzi Bukatef, the former leader of an alliance of Libyan brigades who was recently named ambassador to Uganda, in an interview in Tripoli.

And there’s no shortage of them either. The Daily Mail quotes MI6 sources which say “there are now more weapons in Libya than the entire arsenal of the British Army — and much of it is unsecured.” In particular:

Up to 3,000 surface-to-air missiles have gone missing in Libya since the conflict – and spy chiefs say the state has become the ‘Tesco’ of the world’s illegal arms trade.

More than one million tonnes of weapons belonging to Colonel Gaddafi were looted from arms dumps after the dictator was toppled in October 2011.

MI6 agents fear large numbers of weapons – which included 22,000 shoulder-launched missiles capable of bringing down an aircraft – have been smuggled out of Libya to groups linked to Al Qaeda.

Tesco, for those who’ve never heard of it is British for “big time supermarket”. It’s the supermarket of weapons.

The New York Times continued: “As the United States and its Western allies move toward providing lethal aid to Syrian rebels, these secretive transfers give insight into an unregistered arms pipeline that is difficult to monitor or control. And while the system appears to succeed in moving arms across multiple borders and to select rebel groups, once inside Syria the flow branches out. Extremist fighters, some of them aligned with Al Qaeda, have the money to buy the newly arrived stock, and many rebels are willing to sell.”

The NYT uses the artful modifier “Western allies” to avoid drawing attention to the fact that American ally Qatar has apparently been supplying arms to Syria all along. The Libyan operation captured an entire supply dump of weapons — bigger than the arsenal of the British Army, according to MI6 — and moved substantial quantities into Syria.  And the best part is that everyone was doing it out of humanitarian motives, from a “responsibility to protect”.

The international opposition to owning firearms apparently extends only to US citizens. The right of al-Qaeda right to keep and bear 51 caliber machine guns and surface to air missiles shall apparently not be infringed. Look at it this way: the protections of the US constitution are coming to the world — first.

Could this have anything to do with the attack on the US consulate at Benghazi? That is the 64 million dollar question. But the anecdotal evidence is suggestive. A Reuters reporter was recently shown around that picturesque city. “A Reuters reporter was taken to an undisclosed location in Benghazi to see a container of weapons being prepared for delivery to Syria. It was stacked with boxes of ammunition, rocket launchers and various types of light and medium weapons.” His guide, who spoke “Manchester accented English” said:

“Even when the war in Syria ends, there will be another war in region; Sunni against Shia. At the beginning, there was just Assad to bring down … now Hezbollah, Iran are involved.”

In the immortal phrase of Karen Carpenter, “it’s only just begun.” That wouldn’t come as a surprise to Spengler, who has long resigned himself to seeing the region go up in smoke. He writes, “Syria and Egypt are dying. They were dying before the Syrian civil war broke out and before the Muslim Brotherhood took power in Cairo.” You mean that stuff about the Arab Spring wasn’t true?

Sometimes countries dig themselves into a hole from which they cannot extricate themselves. Third World dictators typically keep their rural population poor, isolated and illiterate, the better to maintain control. That was the policy of Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party from the 1930s, which warehoused the rural poor in Stalin-modeled collective farms called ejidos occupying most of the national territory. That was also the intent of the Arab nationalist dictatorships in Egypt and Syria. The policy worked until it didn’t. …

Egypt remains a pre-modern society, with nearly 50% illiteracy, a 30% rate of consanguineal marriage, a 90% rate of female genital mutilation, and an un- or underemployment rate over 40%. Syria has neither enough oil nor water to maintain the bazaar economy dominated by the Assad family.

Both were disasters waiting to happen. Economics, to be sure, set the stage but did not give the cues: Syria’s radical Sunnis revolted in part out of enthusiasm for the ascendancy of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and partly in fear of Iran’s ambition to foster Shi’ite ascendancy in the region.

It took nearly two years for the chattering classes to take stock of Egypt’s economic disaster.

So what is the goal of Western policy there? Greasing the skids? Is the Arab world ground zero in the new Zombie Apocalypse?

But gradually the penny is dropping.  It may have taken 2 years to realize that Egypt was falling apart but it took less than a year for the NYT to realize Libya was connected to the process of arming Syria.  At this rate of learning Hillary Clinton will have realized the place is a mess by the middle of her administration. Too bad there are millions of humans of beings involved and that war often spreads unintentionally ever further afield.

It has been said that “the ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.”  The present bunch will eventually learn — at everyone else’s expense.


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Top Rated Comments   
THE BORERS FROM WITHIN

The clearest lesson of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries is that we are always in a time of war between wars, and this time the war between wars is Syria, a continuation of the war between wars that was Libya. The removal of Saddam Hussein and the conquest of Iraq that would have led to a permanent American armed base in the strategic center of the Middle East was torpedoed by the treasonous and now in power American Left, whose policy is to arm our enemies and to so weaken the United States that we become vulnerable to those enemies, thus leading to domestic tyranny under the carefully scripted and false imperative of homeland defense. What comes next, after Syria? Immolation of the Middle East, not by us but by Israel, in self defense upon being attacked. So far evident to all. But even the immolation of the Middle East is but a war between wars, and at some point the United States will be faced with transcendent peril, as weak militarily, thanks to Obama, as we were on December 6, 1941. Only this time the oceans will not save us, for it will be a come as you are war, and Obama, by design, will have left us naked. It is no coincidence that Obama announced he would arm the Syrian rebels only hours after those rebels declared allegiance to our sworn killer enemy, al Qaeda.

Well warned we were of enemies
Come boring from within
Of elements here on our soil
Who claim to be our kin
But who in fact do wish us harm
And work to do us ill
And burrowing beneath the soil
Have managed with great skill
To capture all our campuses
Our media and youth
And turn our very honor in
To lies that once were truth
They’ve opened up the borders to
The hungry third world mass
And give to them the earnings of
The working middle class
And in return the illegals
Then fill the voter rolls
And at the party boss’s word
They’re marched off to the polls
Eternal power is the game
And it’s within their grasp
They’ve turned our freedom’s scepter in
To Cleopatra’s asp

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ah yes, where are the brave social media heroes of Tahrir Square? Gone like the Boys of Summer. Where are the moderate Muslim Brothers of Egypt? Vanished like the snows of yesteryear!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Our Kremlin shill has been dropping threats for weeks that videos would be released of Americans and Libyan Islamists loading crates of weapons onto ships to transit to Syria. The Israelis intercepted direct transit by ship from Iran so the US decided to pour gasoline on the fire to see what emerges from the smoke. Now that we abandoned Iraq the Iranians get to ship their weapons and IRG troops in and the Sunni get to ship their weapons in. Everyone gets to play.

ChimpyMcHitlerHalliburtonBoooosh was kneecaped for 5 years because he failed to secure Saddam's weapons. That was after the Left, with a big assist from Chirac and the Turks, stopped the 4th Infantry Division and pressed for a to hasty reduction of the American 'colonial' presence. The result was thousands of dead and wounded and a spreading cancer we were so close to beating we could taste it. Unlike Bush the Obama gang never even pretended to have a coherent plan or goal. Since they had no standards to be held to, the benefits of "leading from behind," they think that they can't be held accountable for their failure.

There must be Colonels in the Pentagon who kept copies of memos warning of the danger from loose weapons. Will the administration threaten anyone holding such records with violating the classified records rules? Given the events of the last few weeks any such show of affronted dignity by this government should earn a hearty laugh.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (34)
All Comments   (34)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
moslems killing moslems; remind me, what is the downside of that for me again? I am worried about their countries when they are strong; I don't worry about burned out ruins.

Let them fight until nothing is left. It's the only thing they've ever worked hard to achieve. They should enjoy the fruits of their labors.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Better Syria than Gaza.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Benghazi in particular and Libya in general were a spectacular failures for the 0bama Administration. What could possibly go right when supplying Al Qaeda fighters in Syria with large amounts of high grade munitions?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
THE BORERS FROM WITHIN

The clearest lesson of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries is that we are always in a time of war between wars, and this time the war between wars is Syria, a continuation of the war between wars that was Libya. The removal of Saddam Hussein and the conquest of Iraq that would have led to a permanent American armed base in the strategic center of the Middle East was torpedoed by the treasonous and now in power American Left, whose policy is to arm our enemies and to so weaken the United States that we become vulnerable to those enemies, thus leading to domestic tyranny under the carefully scripted and false imperative of homeland defense. What comes next, after Syria? Immolation of the Middle East, not by us but by Israel, in self defense upon being attacked. So far evident to all. But even the immolation of the Middle East is but a war between wars, and at some point the United States will be faced with transcendent peril, as weak militarily, thanks to Obama, as we were on December 6, 1941. Only this time the oceans will not save us, for it will be a come as you are war, and Obama, by design, will have left us naked. It is no coincidence that Obama announced he would arm the Syrian rebels only hours after those rebels declared allegiance to our sworn killer enemy, al Qaeda.

Well warned we were of enemies
Come boring from within
Of elements here on our soil
Who claim to be our kin
But who in fact do wish us harm
And work to do us ill
And burrowing beneath the soil
Have managed with great skill
To capture all our campuses
Our media and youth
And turn our very honor in
To lies that once were truth
They’ve opened up the borders to
The hungry third world mass
And give to them the earnings of
The working middle class
And in return the illegals
Then fill the voter rolls
And at the party boss’s word
They’re marched off to the polls
Eternal power is the game
And it’s within their grasp
They’ve turned our freedom’s scepter in
To Cleopatra’s asp

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
----It has been said that “the ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.” The present bunch will eventually learn — at everyone else’s expense.----------------------------------------------------------------

I beg to differ with you Wretchard. What has gotten us into the situation we are in is that the present political class seems incapable of learning anything. Once a notion is implanted in their minds it is impenetrable to mere distractions like evidence or reality. And once the proportion of idiot zombies reaches a certain critical mass no one with a living brain will be allowed to advance to or through their ranks. If we are not there now we are very close to it.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's worse...No one in their right mind seems to want to subject themselves to the foulness and corruptions that permeate the court of Mordor on the Potomac.

Every hall in that place stinks of ring wraith...And they feed on the consensus of fear and futility they have created.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ah yes, where are the brave social media heroes of Tahrir Square? Gone like the Boys of Summer. Where are the moderate Muslim Brothers of Egypt? Vanished like the snows of yesteryear!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Since when is Qatar an ally of the United States? At best, Qatar has a temporary marriage of convenience with the United States; Qatar consistently acts more like a frenemy than an ally.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"There is in this whole sad tale a kind of insanity, as if kids were in charge of a warehouse of firecrackers.' wretchard

"So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don't even know that fire is hot.: George Orwell


Blast From the Past, R Daneel and clear the way have the right of it.

If not already here, container shipping with some of those 3,000 MANPADS are on the way. Near permanent, nationwide Martial law, deep economic depression and 'Fortress' America under Obama, with among other maneuvers, a 'temporary' suspension of the 22nd amendment, loom on the horizon. Obama will simply cite Lincoln's suspension of Habeas Corpus as precedent. That he's untrustworthy will be dismissed outright by the MSM.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Liberals like Thomas Friedman believe the Chinese know how to get things done. Woody Allen looks forward to a strong man to get things right. Madeline Albright was concerned that the US had accumulated too much power and nuclear arms would safer if the Chinese possessed our secrets. Incidentally the W88 was leaked around then. These people, the purveyors of virtue at the point of a gun will one day get everything they want. They are not the live and let let live type. But they are the first to profess innocence and once the crisis is over, the first to assign blame.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Perhaps Obama is waiting for Al Jazeera to get up to speed so that the narrative will emerge on the Middle East.

And yet, we were told not that long ago that all wars, including this one, come to an end.

Weapons to Syria from Libya? MANPADS on the loose? A US ambassador mysteriously killed?

What war? What narrative will define all this chaos?


It will be a doozy.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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