Run “we’re handing this limited engagement in enforcing a no-fly zone off to NATO” through Google Translate, with settings of Bullshit to English, and you get “we have special forces in Libya already, training — and arming — the rebels. Your ‘should we?’ debate is meaningless“:
US and Egyptian special forces have reportedly been providing covert training to rebel fighters in the battle for Libya, Al Jazeera has been told.
An unnamed rebel source related how he had undergone training in military techniques at a “secret facility” in eastern Libya. He told our correspondent Laurence Lee, reporting from the rebel-stronghold of Benghazi, that he was sent to fire Katyusha rockets but was given a simple, unguided version of the rocket instead.”He told us that on Thursday night a new shipment of Katyusha rockets had been sent into eastern Libya from Egypt. He didn’t say they were sourced from Egypt, but that was their route through,” our correspondent said. “He said these were state-of-the-art, heat-seeking rockets and that they needed to be trained on how to use them, which was one of the things the American and Egyptian special forces were there to do.”
The intriguing development raises several questions, about Egypt’s private involvement and what the arms embargo exactly means, said our correspondent. “There is also the question of whether or not the outside world should arm the rebels, when in fact they [rebels] are already being armed covertly.”
Two reasons why I’m taking this guy’s word for it:
-The incentives don’t really lean towards benefiting from this being a lie. Strategically speaking, claiming that they do have access to better weapons and training when they don’t would be suicide in all but name. Even if you think about it from a psychological perspective — a mind war parallel to the, um, war war — Qadaffi established himself as particularly nuts a long time ago. The kind of person who would look at a bombed out compound of theirs and think “hmm, what’s missing here? Gaping chunks of the building? Meh, who cares. I know, a big-ass fist!” doesn’t strike me as the type to care what weapons you have.
-Reporting the inside-dope about these kind of things is to Al-Jazeera what selling over-priced super bitter coffee is to Starbucks. Their judgment of the locals can’t possibly be worse than that of our media, whose reporting technique on the region usually consists of either A) a correspondent spouting platitudes on location as if merely being there is what counts, B) parroting U.S. government talking points, or C) …showing an out of context clip of al-Jazeera, then spouting platitudes.
What’s interesting about this isn’t that it’s happening, but rather that it’s unfolding simultaneously with bubbling of “who are these guys, anyway?”. Oh well, when you’re the world leader in arms dealing there’s no time for small talk…