Friday, March 18


Noon Update
Libya’s government announced an immediate cease-fire on March 18, a day after the U.N. Security Council approved a no-fly zone over the North African country. The move complicates European efforts to spearhead a campaign against Libyan government troops. Assuming Tripoli follows through on its declaration, the affect on operations against the Libyan rebels remains in question.
I give up. Following the Libya situation on a daily basis is like trying to play chess with a jackrabbit.
Now that the "International Community" has declared war on Gadhafi it looks as if he's yanked the offer to let the few hundred rebels that are left to fight to surrender or leave Benghazi in peace (and be picked off later in the desert). The idea behind the offer was to spare the key city, but with Gadhafi now racing against the "International Community," it's doubtful he'll attempt to spare noncombatant civilian lives in the push to retake Benghazi.

Meanwhile in Bahrain (see John's website for links and video in the following post):
Fifth Fleet Bahrain Bug Out
By John Batchelor on March 17, 2011 6:13 PM

The news from Manama, the capital of the small island state of Bahrain, is that the Fifth Fleet HQ has gone on maneuvers to Oman for an indefinite time frame. In sum, bug out from the proxy war in Bahrain between Riyadh and Tehran. Am told that the IRGC has staffed and funded the so-called protesters. The social media messaging that now floods the web, #bahrain, is suspect of being an IRGC disinformation campaign. Of most significance, am told the Bahrain confrontation marks the breakdown of the 65 year-long alliance between Washington and Riyadh. The Kingdom has now turned away. China through the Pakistan connection looks like the choice to replace the US.

Spoke Barry Rubin, GLORIA, to learn that Egypt is also tumbling away from the US. Pat Lang, Sic Semper Tyrannis, said that Cairo is looking for another sponsor. What has caused this break between Washington and its allies in the Middle East?

Am told that the White House is deaf to experienced diplomats in the region. That the White House is piously ideological in supporting so-called democratic leaning youth protesters despite the evidence that the "yuppie bloggers" are either naive ideologues themselves, without experience in governance or diplomacy, or they are tools of the anarchists, Islamists and Twelvers. Asked Barry Rubin if the US is on the brink of losing Egypt. Answer: over the brink. Asked Pat Lang if there was any repairing the break with Riyadh. Answer: no.

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