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    Uh oh, Saif al-Islam free and talking

    Uh oh, Saif al-Islam free and talking

    Contrary to rebel claims, Saif al-Islam, son and heir apparent of Moammar al-Qaddafi, has not been captured and is free and talking to reporters in Tripoli.

    Video was shown on Fox News and CNN of Saif al-Islam at a hotel in Tripoli.  Saif claimed that a “trap” had been set for the rebels in Tripoli.

    Couple of points.  If the rebels lied about capturing the heir-apparent to succeed his father, what else have they lied about regarding their successes.

    Also, the “trap” situation makes some sense.  Qaddafi’s supporting troops were getting hammered in the open outside the cities by NATO air strikes, and then they mysteriously disappeared allowing the rebels to enter Tripoli.  This is a possibility advanced yesterday at DebkaFILE:

    Where are the six government special divisions whose loyalty to the Libyan ruler and his sons was never in question? None of the 15,000 trained government troops were to be seen in the way of the rebel advance into the capital. The mystery might be accounted for by several scenarios:  Either these units broke up and scattered or Qaddafi pulled them back into southern Libya to secure the main oil fields. Or, perhaps, government units are staying out of sight and biding their time in order to turn the tables on the triumphant rebels and trap them in a siege. The Libyan army has used this stratagem before.

    Did Qaddafi’s forces disperse, or merely choose to fight in city terrain where air power is limited?

    I don’t know the answer, but clearly what is going on in Libya is not what is seems.

    Update:  This is the best video I could find so far:


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    Juba Doobai! | August 22, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Wm, you need a link or something for folks to send you story tips.

    Milwaukee | August 22, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    We can thank universality of baseball and Yogi Berra for “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Or until some fat lady sings. Do Muslims have fat ladies? Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev was the fellow who helped lead the Red Army at Stalingrad. The German Field Marshall had assured Hitler that Stalingrad was ‘virtually occupied’. Whoops. We can call Qaddafi lots of things, but stupid isn’t on the list. His son may have inherited some of that spirit. So, not yet is it over, and when it is, are we going to be sorry we didn’t do more to support the formation of a friendlier new government?

    Even before this report came out, I was dismayed at how some conservative interventionists were beating their chests despite our ignorance about the Libyan rebels. You’d think they’d have learned the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan. Then again, you’d think the star of the Mission Accomplished photo-op would have learned the lessons of Vietnam.

    Foreign interventions should be about our national interest. Enlightened national interest whenever possible, but national interest above all.

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