tv [untitled] April 1, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT
one word we're going to see you right back here in an hour and a half from now good night. more news today violence is once again flared up. these are the images the world is seeing from the streets of canada. for asians around the day. i tell martin you're broadcasting live from washington d.c. coming up today on the big picture.
came. along in welcome to cross talk on peter lavelle arming to win the conflict in libya has reached a stalemate should western powers expand their intervention and arm the and take it off the rebels would this be tantamount to choosing sides in a growing civil war and as time passes does an end game in libya become even more
elusive. can. you discuss the ongoing stalemate in libya i'm joined by jim el-gamal he's in london he's a libyan writer and political activists he's also a british coordinator for the rebel interim national council of libya in washington we have ivan eland he's a senior fellow and director of the center on peace in liberty at the independent institute and in tucson we have hudson she is an associate professor of near east studies at the university of arizona and another member of our crossfire team on the hunger all right this is crosstown amuse you can jump in anytime you want. i could go to tucson should view the united states and its western allies one way or another legally or illegally or a split the difference between the law and what we want to do morally give arms to
anti kadafi rebels and i'm not going to use the word democratic right liberals yet until someone can convince me they are democrats go ahead. what i believe or not is not really the issue we've already taken the first steps down this road and if you look at the last twenty four hour news cycle you'll see that there are special forces on the ground in libya right now and in an afghanistan style scenario that is the first step towards ever greater. involvement in the conflict on the ground there are two different interpretations of what's going on on the ground on the one hand these special forces these u.s. special forces are probably doing much more precise and specific targeting on behalf of the air attack the tactical phase of the air attack but if you look at the washington post this morning the argument is in fact that
intelligence on the ground is actually trying to figure out who the rebels are in order to better position the united states politically so again whether one is pro or anti intervention the first steps down the slippery slope of already been taken in london if i can go to you do you do you support having the power is arm b. and i could offer you force is it will that make a difference in the stalemate or who are we can see on the ground right now a stalemate will that make a difference will it make your side when. well first of all we have to remember that the security council there is a consecutive council resolution banning export of weapons to libya however on the other hand we can see now it is not is not only in even situation got that he has very have have we are mentally armory he has tanks he has multiple rocket launchers he has artillery his shelling cities and towns and there is the tension areas
whereas the fighters of the revolution or the freedom fighters are very very lightly armed so there comes a point where we ask the question well you know just because there is an empowered go or because we should not arm one side can we just sustain this mass killing can we just turned a blind eye and say well you know it's tough you know that we can shell and you know launch all these rockets and kill all these civilians but we cannot out of the other side of this i don't i think there is a very strong moral issue of the on the other hand also really peons have frozen assets outside libya in tens of billions we have also oil which we are we can now export through an agreement with with qatar so why not be allowed to buy buy weapons to defend ourselves against a mad who has who is insisting on gay and going on killing his killing the libyan people on mass i mean they're trying to you in washington we've already chosen
sides the west already chosen a sign it's going to be incumbent upon the west now because it has chosen this site to start making sure it's guys on the ground when i mean this is the slippery slope that we were all worried about and it seems to be playing out right in front of our eyes. yes and it's happened time and again we haven't been too successful in the past in arming rebel movements remembering goa remember nicaragua remember the worst case was when it seemed like a great idea that you are in the mujahideen against the soviet union during the cold war and look what we got that we got the only threat to the u.s. homeland since the war of eight hundred twelve so i think we really have to be careful about unintended consequences and certainly my wrists i wish the rebels well but i think your other guest he made a good point if they have the money to buy the weapons i don't mind them buying them but i don't want the u.s. getting in too involved in on the ground training and that sort of thing because i
just don't and of course there's a doubt about whether the rebels are competent enough to use these weapons they don't have very good leadership they don't have very good tactics and they don't even really know how to use simple weaponry so i'm not sure you know how they get the training but they can purchase training. overseas from countries that are willing to sell them the weapons but i don't really want to see the united states can involve because i don't think the u.s. vital interest is involved here and i think we need to be careful and as far as humanitarian goes in kosovo we started bombing for humanitarian reasons there was limited ethnic cleansing and of course afterward after we started bombing the regime had nothing to lose so it just went whole hog and i think that same thing could happen here and we may face a stalemate i'll cut off he has to do is keep tanks in the major cities how are these rebels going to get him out of there that's. a fail safe last resort.
option there because it's going to be very difficult to get armor out of cities and that sort of thing. if he digs in and uses the cities as human shields against nato airstrikes so we could have a stalemate we could have. an opposition that we don't know much about they could turn they could and there may be al qaeda present in that opposition there seems to be some indication of that we've got to be very careful here there are many unintended consequences that could happen from this really so you nodding as we heard but where would you like to emphasize this. was a lot of points mentioned there i mean would you like to amplify. yeah i'd actually like to go back i'd like to go back to a point that jumma raised. that i've been picked up in the context of using rebel financial resources to actually finance and coagulate
rebel command and control i've been arguing this for about two weeks now that in fact one of the key steps that would be far more seems to me beneficial and empowering to the rebel cause is the step that just happened i guess in the last couple of days namely using the resources of the eastern libyan. company to contract separate oil deals and to finance the rebel cause now interestingly it's only cutter who has taken the rebels up on this and who has begun to take on this rather risky business of doing while deals in conflict environment and yet i think this is probably the most promising outcome rather than all the back and forth all the sort of half starts and fits and divided look if i can i jump it is because i'm let me ask you
a question because it sounds like you know you could end up getting a partition state that's really what it looks like because you know we just don't know the rebels do not want that that yeah i mean there but that's that's the dilemma isn't there so dilemma the danger here yeah it's a huge dilemma actually and yet it's. seems to me that because people whether it is the transitional interim government for the motto is of course a unified libya of which tripoli is the capital and there's a very strong reaction against consolidating down into an eastern syria that is the best stronghold because it seems to yield the west to khadafi i understand that sensitivity entirely but it seems to me that what we've seen in the last twelve days of the no fly zone is not a superior solution ok one day we see this back and forth now on the road
basically of this coastal highway back and forth between ras lanuf and all these different towns one day the rebels are advancing the next day khadafi is advancing and it doesn't seem as if the nato airstrikes are allowing the kind of quick decisive rebel advance i think that everyone would like to see interestingly of course it's cut that is beginning to facilitate the rebel financing which would allow the rebels to pay for and finance their own weaponry that are going to do this when you know now that we're. in london if i go to you are you getting prepared for the long haul a long civil war and we came out weeks or months are we talking about eventually a partition state because as has been pointed out on this program is that the the rebels whatever groups there are they're not very well armed they're very well trained and are very well disciplined and they don't have a whole lot of communication i mean you don't get an army in a strength of
a finger even though it takes a while to get yourself together to fight a civil war which essentially is what's happening where you think. yes first of all partition as not on the table we will never contemplate that we will never agree to it whatever it takes because libya will always be united with temple as its capital secondly if there is no civil war in libya there is the whole of the libyan people against a mad does support who is spinning out of control waging a mass war against a population that does not want and thirdly the some people think that the whole of the east is free but the whole of the west is under that that is controlled that is not correct and misrata is that their largest city in libya nearly half a million population is only one hundred eighty kilometers east of tripoli that's just over a hundred miles is not and they're going to have his control although he's been engulfed in good and shelling it constantly constantly the whole of the western mountain region from about two hundred kilometers south of tripoli all the way to
the algerian border is not under gadhafi control all gadhafi controls is just tripoli and couple of towns south of it and now tripoli is going through a very very tough period i'll tell you just before i worked into the studio other quote from tripoli tripoli is run out of fuel it's running out of food the bread the bridge queues are very long people are getting very very driven without the judge here really causing a break if you will just after that short break we'll continue our discussion on the events in libya and stay with our. q. and.
as you know shawn was sixteen years old when he committed these murders that's not to say that song so or should not be punished for his crimes shawn is being honest no rational person can deny that someone has been honest is being honest and will be honest. as ours must be executed for the brutal crime committed this is a punishment this is not to. mention. staying fairly. constant immersed no me whatsoever. no i didn't come here just first. and heard the first. start were just more. violent martin. and i that is now.
the civil war in libya. egypt. libya. but first let's see what russians think about how to resolve the libyan crisis. and while many says the goal of the western led effort in libya is in question then i want the people of libya i really fell in their hour of need the public being an agency lot of said i'll stress and what the internet can do to stop the bloodshed and to protect the bins fifty one percent of those polled say they should be no intervention thirteen percent say comic sanctions against the regime is the solution to the problem twelve percent believe that is asses should be frozen ten percent think a closed space can help and seven percent support a ground operation in the the future of the libyan people is far from being clear
that. ok is resized down and to do this program nato still is very very well it's actually very against are arming any groups in libya the united states britain france other members of nato are not so separate members are not so clear on it in we've heard from the us that they're getting they're entertaining the idea i've been trying to you i mean i'm i'm the biggest cynic i know i mean by arming the rebels and with nato air support it's just a matter of time before you can pulverize down because off the regime though as you pointed out earlier in the program it could take a very long time you could be very very nasty but it's a pride issue now i suppose for mr obama isn't it by arming the rebels the west particularly the united states is a major stakeholder in the future of the country's politics and economy and its oil . well that's the that's the old adage if you break it you bought it and i think.
we're breaking libya right now and i'd like to point out that even a partition country even if it's not perfectly east and west is better than what you had before with gadhafi running everything so i think if you could even hold it there that people should be happy of course the reality is that obama despite him saying that the the goal is not to move could our feet on the ground that's what's happening and of course everyone anyone will tell you behind the scenes that is the goal they're hoping by some miracle that his army will overthrow him or something like that but i think that's remote as long as he makes battlefield gains like he did yesterday and you can have a game defectors and that sort of thing but i think he's going to win for a while because it takes time to train an army against him and i'm not denigrating with the rebels have done they've been surprisingly and they have a great spirit but the problem is he's got people with military training is not mercenaries and he's got heavy armor and artillery especially and of course you
know we can tell you so much and that unless you are armed but the problem that we have in united states is that it is a slippery slope and we need to send trainers if you're going to send us equipment you need to send u.s. trainers u.s. maintenance all this has to be taught in this is not done in short period of time so they better hurry up or it's going to or they're going to wipe out the rebels maybe i don't know if western airpower can probably keep them out of benghazi it already did but again you're going to have this stalemate for a long time until you can get the rebel army trained up but i think that if the rebels want to buy. weapons and buy the training from some other countries that's fine but i would really not like to see the u.s. take the lead on that jim if i go back to you in london. there's a very good point here it's all about logistics. really in the end it is if you see
it you see a regime like a dark piece and we've heard about we've heard talk of the international criminal court we've talked we've heard the issues about human rights violations war crimes what what reason does khadafi and his clique have to really negotiate now or do you just fight to death i mean usually they have no initiative going to negotiate or even to surrender. i think you're missing the other factors in the dynamics what's happening is that you get that his grip loosening this this revolution started with peaceful demonstrations a definite chose to wage a war against those people and prevent them from demonstrating peacefully we are in the state where we are today but look what's happening now yesterday and today top . aides are jumping ship with a course of foreign secretary today only three acts foreign secretary you and voice now my desire you know the head of the parliament actively. dorda acts prime
minister the head of the intelligence and others they're all jumping ship. and i can ask you a question about these defections you're going it's very interesting as we move forward do you think do you think those members people that have defected very high profile for foreign minister and what not a former head of intelligence would you be willing to work with him if he joins your side is he is he somebody that you want to work with and will he be an ally to the west if you will to join your coalition your your opposition group. well if they are people who have no blood on their hands they have not perpetrated any crimes against libyans if they are just pulling a diplomat or politicians who are not involved in any wrongdoings i would say as a person personally this is my personal opinion yes we would welcome them because obviously what they are doing is weakening capacity but if it's somebody like mr course always got the and the tories record of blood on his hands of course we will not welcome them so but my my my point is yeah who's left with him and his sons and
close aides and cousins from his own tribe how long can you sustain this soon the military brass those who are controlling the the security brigades and doing the fighting for him the top generals and officers will realize that they are fighting a hopeless battle that they will die so soon they will start defecting as well soon his is machinery and his and his neck and his hierarchy is going to start to degrade and disseminate and just wither away he cannot sustain it tripoli is suffering now people are fighting today we have stories of people killing each other over fuel and bread and food there is no cash in the planks he'll run out of cash i'm going to leave out these ranges the great irish national question i'm going to jump in. well i was going to say you know i hope i hope. other guest just said it's true because i like to get rid of gadhafi myself and here i am is all these things were said about saddam hussein that they were going to be the factors
after the first gulf war that and that's the u.s. plan seems to be getting good and partially into these things and then hope for a coup well i didn't say that happens in some countries it doesn't happen in other countries but it didn't happen with saddam after the first gulf war so i think we have to be a little skeptical that that's a u.s. good u.s. strategy to go in and then hope for it is the i dassent he of hope i guess to quote the president's own saying to run a strategy like this how we're going to get in do some bombing and that sort of thing and hope for the best and i just don't see going to war in that way is responsible and i can't believe the us foreign policy establishment is supporting that type of a half baked option jim if in london it can but this is something that can go ahead but this isn't good but this is not the us against gadhafi in fact the u.s. has taken a back and not see it through and this is a forty three countries internationally on the u.s. who are headed i'm leanin country it is the u.s.
again as they were fighting most of them i got behind this is my point please can i finish my point please can i finish my point out of countries five out of countries two of them are engaged in the military action at their key norway and canada. netherland sort of denmark for three countries france britain you know this is not the u.s. against gadhafi and we have not invited to you as to come in we have asked the security council the legal entity who is the sponsor for protecting people around the world to intervene and protect libyan civilians who have been killed don't much know what this book and i haven't heard from above from you or sort of from your guest the gentleman did anything about this but but it must killing i guess the whole population what's happening in libya is another one day not a tough. what is your guess that the gentlemen were quite happy plus that to happen even if they had since taken part i mean please keep keep your ideology of.
american administration out of our will i mean we i mean i think i used to think the point is and i even brought it up at the very beginning of the program i don't think it's to be pro or anti american issues that being pro practical and seeing what has happened in the last no no no no i mean it's always very easy as with all due respect sir it's always very easy these days they have the americans bombed them for us ok the americans will support us here they'll give us the best look a good idea but that's what i just want to play this is. what is has to samsung a lot of people hide behind it it's all i'm sorry doesn't feel good americans know the money but it was the french who saved one guy's he's the second because you know they're not against we're not asking them not because they'll come back at that increasing i think right ok but at the end of the day if you know the u.s. is you are in the middle at the end of the day it's footing the bill and if things don't change you know yes it is obviously it is you know it's not as i had going in washington go ahead he's not going at it like that is that basically to do well and good look at the size he was still providing most of the strikes and they're also
providing intelligence tanking aircraft aircraft you know logistics and that sort of thing that no other air force has when you have a you have a coalition air strike so you have a guy who has a high and it has such a turn for whatever thing is on the podium i give that briefing it's us driven and it's us to scenes the u.s. is letting the french it is not like the lead is not on this reserve you have to have a number of french and british aircraft is that you know and the strikes they have are is not going to ask themselves right is that those little a base and they turn into afghanistan and it may turn into iraq and i think that's the major concern is that. that is the europeans and the americans got the chance to look at going down the slippery slope of intervention for a group of people with. all due respect sir we really don't know who you are yet we hear that there's an element of i mean i don't mind it is there are various does there are those there are other people there so you know other agendas we are who
we are very much described as if you want to live only our society we'd like to know the for where you are i think that's fair isn't it if i have a misconception that is not the type of society that is wrong that's a misconception ask me and i'll tell you what we are and we are not the type of society ok well can you tell us what you are going to say she's well we've got twenty seconds go ahead. that the interim council is a national broadly based council they're presenting always cities and towns in libya they have lawyers judges human rights activists academics women liberals generals it we are not the type of society to produce two million by gazans one million muslims does have all right gentlemen to join and have to jump in here many thanks and i guess again london tucson and in washington and thanks to our viewers for watching us here are to see you next time and remember across struggles. you. steve.