April 01, 2011

NATO Tells Rebels, "Don't Kill Civilians"

AllahPundit has the story here at Hot Air:

If you thought “protecting civilians” was merely UN-speak for “aiding the rebels” (as many of the rebels did), think again. Not only are NATO leaders refusing to arm them, but the fact that they think violence against defenseless people by their putative ally is so likely that deterring it requires a formal warning backed by a threat of bombardment tells you a lot about how suspicious the coalition is of its new best friends. Good thing the CIA vetting process is ongoing; hopefully we’ll find out whether they’re good guys or bad guys before they’re installed in power.

Every news report on Libya these days asks, “Who are the rebels?” An equally important question: Who are the “civilians”?

Who are the civilians?

Lets be frank about this. *The only people who are not civilians in this conflict are the Libyan army and its mercenary units.

The rebels have no equipment, no uniforms, no uniform weaponry. At best they have a flag on a Toyota and a stolen rocket launcher.

Gadhaffi has passed out AK's to every civilian in his tribal areas. It would seem these constitute militia as much as any group of rebels leaving the internet cafe on a mattress holding their AKs.

Are any of these less a civilian than a Minuteman? I mean you can hardly fault the Red Coats for shooting back at us can you?

The only civilian would be one in his cellar hiding with his wife and kids no?

This underscores our difficulty, we're thrown in with a group that could not field a 10 man basketball team in matching uniforms. 1st lesson of revolution, you have to be organized enough to win to start with. This requires patience as well as bravery/stupidity.

The other problem is that this narrative is common in conflict in the Arab world. It just does not fit our ideas about war. Every Mujahideen IS A CIVILIAN! He is also shooting at you every chance he gets.

Remember that al-Qaeda in Iraq had two narratives when Major Gilbert was shot down in Iraq.

Narrative A. The brave Mujahideen took down that fighter plane with their AK's and RPGs complete with video of the scene. Dead al-Qaeda "martyrs". Weapons, wreckage, the dead pilot etc etc.

Narrative B. The cowardly Americans blew up these innocent women and children. Complete with video from the scene, dead fighters and weapons removed, civilian bodies in place, mourning family members, wreckage and the dead pilot.

Both narratives were equally true in the al-Qaeda propaganda.

So that's the problem. You're damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Someone once said, "War is deceit."

*NATO, UN and US forces would also not be civilians, obviously.

By Howie at 03:07 AM | Comments |