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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Brilliant: Obama administration says it can't arm Libyan rebels

Well, isn't this brilliant?
When the actual text of the embargo (UN Security Council Resolution 1970) was published, the language appeared to present less cause for concern, since it declared that:

Member States shall immediately take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer [of arms] to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

Jamahariya is a neologism, made up by Qaddafi out of the Arabic words for “republic” and “masses.” (Interestingly, it is apparently a neologism not only in the usual meaning of “a newly coined term,” but also as used in psychiatry, where “neologism” refers to “the use of words that only have meaning to the person who uses them, independent of their common meaning” and is “considered … a symptom of a thought disorder (indicative of a psychotic mental illness, such as schizophrenia).”)

Thus, it seemed that the embargo language might apply only to the regime and not to the country. Unfortunately, it turns out the State Department doesn’t think so. On Wednesday, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley announced:
It’s very simple. In the U.N. Security Council resolution passed on Libya, there is an arms embargo that affects Libya, which means it’s a violation for any country to provide arms to anyone in Libya.
When pressed, Crowley elaborated that “it would be illegal for the United States to [give arms to any rebel groups]. It’s not a legal option.”

Meanwhile, over at the White House, Press Secretary Jay Carney tried to rescue his claim on Monday that arming the opposition is “one of the range of options that is being considered.” Today he argued, “We believe that the arms embargo contains within it the flexibility to allow for a decision to arm the opposition, if that decision were made.”

Unfortunately, the basis for this alleged flexibility appears to be that the sanctions committee established by UNSCR 1970 “can issue waivers, including to arm rebel groups.” Such a waiver, administration officials said, “would only be sought after an international consensus develops on the best way to aid the Libyan opposition.” Yesterday, the UN Security Council got around to formally designating Portugal as the chair of the sanctions committee, but it doesn’t seem likely that a UN committee composed of all the members of the Security Council will form an “international consensus” any time soon to arm the Libyan opposition.

So, while the Libyan opposition is losing vital ground to heavily armed Qaddafi forces, the United States is debating what it can do to help under the constraints of a UN resolution that was supposed to have sent a tough message to Qaddafi. Instead, it is sending a demoralizing message to Qaddafi’s opponents.
What could go wrong?

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2 Comments:

At 9:23 PM, Blogger M said...

I agree with the Obama decision not to arm the rebels in Libya. After all what is to say that eventually they will not turn it on US soldiers? or find the weapons in the hands of Al Qaeda? Arabs don't need to have more weapons they need more understanding. God knows their is a huge lack of reasoning in Arab countries and giving them weapons is surely not the best of thinking one can conclude.

 
At 9:31 PM, Blogger Sparky the Wonder Dog said...

let's hope China or Russia never attack the United States, coz then Baracki O will never get that UNSC resolution passed he and the State Department will insist on to permit American self -defense. A complete tool. And all that money for Ivy League schools too. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

 

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