Monday, March 28

Hi Mister President Obama. Does your address to the nation tonight about Libya mention an al Qaeda-Benghazi tribes connection?

Springtime for Arabs

Hah! I see Charles Krauthammer's practicing super-dexterity on FNC 6 PM news panel tonight. FNC's Glenn Beck was up in arms on his show this afternoon about reports of a connection between al Qaeda and the Benghazi tribes that are main beneficiary of the "International Community's" intervention in Libya. So Krauthammer told the news panel that the goal would be for the US to find and promote the moderate, non-Islamist, democratizing members of the rebel forces -- BUT that any connections between radicals/terrorists and the rebels would become an issue for the USA only IF and WHEN there's been regime change.

How's about that for bailing water with one hand and threading a camel through a needle's eye with the other?

Anyhow, I've mucked around in reports and speculations about the AQ-Benghazi tribes connection. The most exhaustive report, and the best researched and documented one, I've found is at Mathaba website, which on March 24 published a long version of the report that Webster G. Tarpley wrote for his website.

I know Tarpley is always controversial but he is very good at gathering tons of useful data points in one writing. It's just at the interpretation and conclusion phase that he puts on his anti-imperialism agenda glasses and thus, often undercuts much of his painstaking research.

However, you'll easily be able to pick out the parts where he wanders off, and also where he ventures into speculation (the latter he's entitled to do). But the bulk of his report has footnotes with links to valid sources. And the data that form the basis of his report is solid:
... a December 2007 West Point study examining the background of foreign guerrilla fighters — jihadis or mujahedin, including suicide bombers — crossing the Syrian border into Iraq during the 2006-2007 timeframe, under the auspices of the international terrorist organization Al Qaeda. This study is based on a mass of about 600 Al Qaeda personnel files which were captured by US forces in the fall of 2007, and analyzed at West Point using a methodology which we will discuss after having presented the main findings ...
And yes there is a pie chart and a graph and even a map, for readers who have trouble digesting data not presented in PowerPoint format. And the pdf link to the West Point study.

I think historians could find issue with some of Tarpley's readings of history but there is one caveat I want to highlight here regarding a statement of fact in Tarpley's report:

It would be news to John Loftus that MI6 created the Muslim Brotherhood. My recollection of the data Loftus dug up from declassified DOJ documents is that MI6 helped the OSS (or maybe by that time it had become the CIA) identify Muslim Egyptians who would the fight the Godless commies for them.

And I do well remember Loftus drolly adding that MI6 forgot to mention to their US counterparts just one little detail about the helpful Muslims they found: the Muslims were Nazis.

Now I go fire up the popcorn maker in honor of President Obama's speech to the nation to explain how and why Americans got involved in Libya and how he plans to extricate the USA.

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