Archive for the ‘Middle East’ Category

Forget Iraq

by Alan Caruba on Monday, July 7th, 2014

This is article 1198 of 1198 in the topic International

Having contributed to the situation that has destroyed Iraq as a nation by withdrawing all U.S. troops, President Obama now wants to throw $500 million at the problem of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). While sending a rising number of “military advisors”, Obama announced there will be no “boots on the ground” to protect what is left of Iraq. He has demonstrated a fatal ignorance of history and of war.

On June 29, DEBKA File, an Israeli news outlet, reported “The Obama administration announced Friday, June 27, that unmanned aerial vehicles flying over Baghdad would henceforth be armed in order to defend the US Embassy in the Green Zone. The embassy was originally assigned the tasks of guardian of Iraq’s central government and symbol of post-Saddam national unity. These roles have remained out of reach ever since the Americans invaded Iraq in 2003. Today, the armed drones overhead are reduced to holding back the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and its local Sunni allies from overrunning the Green Zone and seizing the embassy, most of whose 5,000 staff were evacuated.”

General Douglas McArthur, the legendary warrior of World War Two in the Pacific theatre, said this of the difference between victory and defeat:

“The history of the failure of war can almost be summed up in two words: too late.

* Too late in comprehending the deadly purpose of a potential enemy.
* Too late in realizing the mortal danger.
* Too late in preparedness.
* Too late in uniting all possible forces for resistance.
* Too late in standing with one’s friends.”

Obama has failed on all points, preferring to think that any of the nations of the Middle East with the exception of Israel had any good will for America. He has squandered Israel’s with idiotic demands that it return to its 1967 borders, criticism of it settlements, and the failure to understand that the Palestinians have never wanted statehood without the total destruction of Israel.

He has never understood that Islam was and is the enemy, not only of America, but the West and everywhere else in a world that it believes must be dominated. It is not the “religion of peace” and never was. Its spread was based on conquest. The Middle East was the birthplace of Christianity and Islam has shown little tolerance for its places of worship and Christians with a relatively few exceptions. When things get tense, Christians get killed as occurred in Egypt with the Copts during its “Arab Spring.”

An example is Turkey’s Hagia Sophia, originally a cathedral and now a museum, but perhaps not much longer. In December 2013, the government let it be known it is considering turning the notable landmark into a mosque. This has been standard operating procedure throughout Islam’s history as has Islam’s unremitting warfare between Sunnis and Shiites.

As Gary C. Gambill, a scholar at the Middle East Forum, noted recently, “First, understand that the United States didn’t start this fire and can’t put it out.

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Friday Afternoon Roundup – Can’t Miss

by Daniel Greenfield on Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Tom Trento’s amazing team have put together another video on my article, The Innocence of Hillary.

A FEW QUICK THOUGHTS ON COCHRAN

1. Beating a Senate incumbent is still really hard. Even when the votes go your way, the incumbents have any number of dirty options at their disposal. It happened in Alaska. Now it happened again.

The system itself is corrupt and winning an election means beating the system. The bigger the election, the harder the system pushes back. It’s an elastic effect. Scale that up and you can see how hard winning the White House becomes.

This is why the left started at the bottom. It’s much easier to take over organizations from the top than the bottom. You have to become the system before you can beat the system.

2. The Tea Party brand has been severely damaged. That is to be expected. Even the left doesn’t stick with a brand. It uses innumerable front groups. The Tea Party brand should be retained as feeders for recruitment, but it might be wiser to route actual work through groups branded with names like “Reform” and “Change”.

And that takes me to…

3. The ongoing problem on the right is that it talks ‘extremist’ and legislates ‘moderate’ while the left talks ‘moderate’ and legislates ‘extremist’.

That’s a big part of why Obama is in the White House and conservatives are still struggling to make headway.

Obama isn’t in the White House because Americans woke up Communist one morning. I know that “Free Stuff” is a popular theory, but people always liked free stuff. The larger welfare population helped shift the balance, but if Obama had been a non-viable candidate, there would have been no balance to shift and it would have done him as much good as it did Jesse Jackson or Dukakis.

Obama is in office because much of the country believes that he is a moderate and a centrist.

The left can get away with it because it talks centrist and lives radical. If the right is ever going to do better than another liberal Republican, its candidates are going to have to talk like liberal Republicans while legislating well to the right.

It is doable. Rand Paul has been doing the talking part well enough. Unfortunately he talks the talk so well because he actually is well to the left.

And that’s the bigger problem.

Lefty candidates can have a certain amount of trust from the base because they are committed to an ideology. Obama’s supporters knew that he was for gay marriage and racial polarization no matter what he said. The right needs candidates who are ideologically committed so that trust stops being an issue.

NOT A ONE

There can be no conservative case for amnesty because there is no such thing as a conservative case for a policy that will not have a conservative outcome.

The only meaningful argument for a policy is based on outcomes.

If the outcome of a conservative policy is more liberalism, it was never a conservative policy to begin with. That is the simplest and most reliable acid test of any “conservative” policy agenda.

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Saddam, the Good Old Days

by Alan Caruba on Monday, June 23rd, 2014

This is article 1195 of 1198 in the topic International

I know it’s a terrible thing to say, but sometimes I miss Saddam Hussein.

Yes, he was a cruel despot. Between September 1980 and July 1988 he pursued an eight-year war against Iran that killed an estimated combined million troops on both sides and achieved nothing. He had ruled from 1979 until 2003 when George W. Bush decided to remove him by invading Iraq, believing as other nations did that he had weapons of mass destruction. Had he not posed a constant threat to neighboring nations, he might still be in charge. He was hanged in 2006, but the U.S. would stay on until our troops were withdrawn by Barack Obama in 2011.

In places where troops have remained like Germany, Japan and South Korea, a long state of peace has existed. At their invitation we have military installations in 130 nations around the world.

“The Great Big Book of Horrible Things” by Matthew White provides a brief review of Saddam’s dictatorship, noting that “Iraq is an artificial country with borders that were drawn to suit the European colonial powers rather than to reflect local allegiances.” He could say the same thing of Syria what owes its borders to decisions made following World War One by the British and French.

Saddam maintained control by propagandizing himself as a great hero and by killing or imprisoning anyone who disagreed. There was no end to the barbarism he imposed. The Kurds were blamed for the loss of the war with Iran and it is estimated he killed anywhere from 100,000 to 200,000 Kurds between February and September 1988; some of them with poison gas. In 1991, after an American-led coalition drove Saddam out of Kuwait, the Shiite Arabs of the southern marshes rose in revolt and some 50,000 were massacred. The Kurds were driven into the mountains of the north and American air cover helped them establish an autonomous zone.

Libya experienced a similar dictatorship by Muammar Gaddafi who took power in 1969 until overthrown during the “Arab Spring” in 2011, a revolt that has left a barely functioning nation. Like Saddam he exercised the same repression to control the nation’s tribes.

Not a classic dictator like Saddam and Gaddafi, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, a former air force general, kept tight control there from 1981 to 2001 thanks to the support of the military. He was a major U.S. ally. After Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood was deposed in the wake of Mubarak’s removal, Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, another general was elected to the office of president.

An ongoing civil war in Syria has killed an estimated 160,000 to date and Bashar al-Assad is the son of its previous dictator, Hafiz, who had seized power in 1970 and was elected president a year later, never to relinquish the office until he died in 2000. Al-Assad presently controls about forty percent of the nation, supported by his tribe, the Alawites and military aid from Iran.

What these dictators had in common was a Middle East that did not directly challenge the United States or the West. They were more interested in selling oil.

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Don’t Forget to Remember Democrats Who Lied About the War in Iraq!

by John Lillpop on Thursday, June 19th, 2014

This is article 1194 of 1198 in the topic International

Now that Barack Obama’s “great achievement” in Iraq has joined Obamacare, the jobless recovery, a plethora of domestic scandals involving impeachable- caliber high crimes and misdemeanors, foreign policy foibles in Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, and Russia, as indelible scars on the proud history of American culture and Exceptionalism, liberal spin doctors working at the White House have been placed on 24-hour, seven day a week schedules until such time as a reasonable argument has been crafted to explain why, under the command of the alleged smartest man in the universe, America is being humiliated by events spiraling out of control near Baghdad.

ISIS is the acronym to which the world is demanding answers.

Code named the “Fog of Diplomacy,”  this White House rush project is all about setting the record straight on Iraq and, whether true or not, clearing Barack Obama of any and all responsibility.

The spin doctor narrative will be:

George W. Bush lied to Congress and the world about non-existent weapons of mass destruction, thereby needlessly spilling the blood of 4,500 US soldiers and wasting trillions of US treasury chasing ghost weapons in the sands of Iraq.

However, the spin docs will need to confront the following truth: If Bush Lied About WMD, So Did These Democrats!

Indeed, when the question of using military force against Iraq was put before the U.S. Congress, 110 Democrats supported the 2002 Joint Resolution, which authorized President Bush to act as he ultimately did.

Further, some very outspoken Democrats during that time said these sort of things including President Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, and Senator John F. Kerry.

“[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.”—From a letter signed by Joe Lieberman, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara A. Milulski, Tom Daschle, & John Kerry among others on October 9, 1998

“This December will mark three years since United Nations inspectors last visited Iraq. There is no doubt that since that time, Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to refine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer- range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies.”—From a December 6, 2001 letter signed by Bob Graham, Joe Lieberman, Harold Ford, & Tom Lantos among others

“Whereas Iraq has consistently breached its cease-fire agreement between Iraq and the United States, entered into on March 3, 1991, by failing to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction program, and refusing to permit monitoring and verification by United Nations inspections; Whereas Iraq has developed weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological capabilities, and has made positive progress toward developing nuclear weapons capabilities”—From a joint resolution submitted by Tom Harkin and Arlen Specter on July 18, 2002

“Saddam’s goal … is to achieve the lifting of U.N. sanctions while retaining and enhancing Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs.

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Israel Will Go to War as Islamic Fascism Spreads

by Alan Caruba on Monday, June 16th, 2014

This is article 1192 of 1198 in the topic International

Scenes like this ISIS execution remind Israelis of the Nazi genocide

The Israelis are ready to go to war even if the United States is not.

The news out of the Middle East reflects how President Obama’s policies have led to an Islamic terrorist takeover of huge swaths of Syria and Iraq. No nation watches these events more closely than Israel. On June 6 the chief of the Israeli Defense Forces, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz cryptically remarked that the IDF is gearing up to address the growing numbers of terrorist forces on its border with Syria. He noted Iraq as well for good measure.

When Israel is in the news, it is usually because it is under attack or responding to one. The only other times have been news of “peace talks” between it and the Palestinian Authority (PA), but none of those talks over decades has ever achieved peace because, as the diplomatic community knows, the Palestinians do not want it.

Most recently, the PA announced “unity” with Hamas, a Palestinian organization that all nations identify as terrorist. As Efraim Inbar, the director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and a fellow of the Middle East Forum, recently noted, “As long as the military branch of Hamas remains independent, there is no Palestinian unity.”

Why the PA would engage in this charade is known only to them. There are no advantages in it because they do not gain any presence in the Gaza Strip, the home to Hamas. As far as the U.S. and Europe are concerned, says Inbar, “the establishment of a real, stable Palestinian state (is) more unlikely than ever.” Hamas has already asserted itself by kidnapping three teenagers, one of whom is an American

Though most U.S. taxpayers are likely unaware of it, the U.S. gives an estimated $440 million in aid to the PA every year. They are not likely to be pleased now that the PA has entered into some form of unity with Hamas. Official State Department statements referred to something they called “an interim technocratic government…that does not include members affiliated with Hamas” and made it known the U.S. expects the PA “to do everything in its power to prevent attacks from Gaza.” A European Union spokesman said it would insist that the new government recognize Israel’s right to exist. That will not happen.

Israel’s initial response was to announce plans to build 1,500 new housing units in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, making it clear the decision was its retaliation for the creation of the Palestinian unity government with Hamas. Israel made it known it might withhold the taxes it collects on behalf of the PA. This is well short of a shooting war and, of course, the U.S. ambassador to Israel repeated the Obama administration’s longtime opposition to new settlement construction.

What exists at this point—and has for a long time—is an Israel that is an oasis of sanity in the Middle East in contrast to the conflicts occurring in the region’s other nations.

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Iraq Agonistes

by Alan Caruba on Monday, June 16th, 2014

This is article 1193 of 1198 in the topic International

I remember how the Vietnam War seemed to drag on for years without resolution, from Lyndon Johnson’s initial expansion in 1964, after he was elected in his own right through his second term, marked by many marches in Washington, D.C. demanding the U.S. get out. It took Nixon’s and Kissinger’s efforts to secure an end to the conflict in 1973.

The war in Iraq had a similar feel to it. The first conflict, led by Bush41 to push Iraq out of Kuwait had public support and was dramatically short and successful. The second, led by Bush43 began as an effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power and initially the military victory was also swift. In hindsight, the error was staying on, presumably to help establish a democratic government and other institutions in a nation that had never known democracy.

The Iraqis are divided by Islam’s ancient schism, Sunni versus Shiite. Saddam had been a Sunni. He was replaced by a Shiite, Nouri al-Maliki, elected Prime Minister in a nation that is predominantly Shiite.

While Republicans would like to blame the current situation on Obama, the fact is that George W. Bush signed a “Status of Forces Agreement” in 2008 that terminated the American military presence in Iraq at the close of 2011. That said, President Obama shares the blame for the current situation for failing to push for a military presence there. His foreign policy in the Middle East has been to get the U.S. out of Iraq and out of Afghanistan.

This did not go unnoticed by Iran, al-Qaeda, or the breakaway faction, the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) which regrouped in Syria as part of the forces seeking to oust the regime of Bashar Assad, its dictator. They took the time to recruit the most fanatical Islamists into their ranks, train them as an army, and, having established a command center in Syria, to then unleash them on Iraq.

While this was going on President Obama never failed to tell Americans that bin Laden was dead and al Qaeda was on a “path to defeat.” In a 2013 speech at the National Defense University, he asserted that “the future of terrorism” came from “less capable” terrorist groups that mainly threatened “diplomatic facilities and businesses abroad.”

He not only learned nothing from the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya that killed our ambassador and three others, he and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, engaged in a lie about it being a spontaneous event triggered by a video no one had seen.

Obama concluded his remarks by calling on Congress to repeal its 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force against al Qaeda!

As the June 12 Wall Street Journal editorial, “The Iraq Debacle”, noted, “If the war on terror was over, ISIS did not get the message.”

Obama’s decision not to intervene in Syria after it became known Assad was using poison gas was not just his own reluctance to engage militarily in the Middle East, but reflected the widespread American lack of support for further involvement in the region. Too many years in Afghanistan and Iraq, along with the vast costs and loss of American lives was and is a significant factor.

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Winning the War

by Daniel Greenfield on Thursday, June 12th, 2014

This is article 84 of 85 in the topic Wars

The last President to have taken part in actual combat left office nearly twenty years ago. It’s a little-remarked milestone buried amid a great deal of posturing by leaders who want to talk the talk without having walked the walk. Since then, we have gone from a draft dodger to a man who never had to bother dodging, a commentary on a generational shift from a period when military service was not alien to the Yale and Harvard campuses. Meanwhile, the country remains in a conflict without end.

Obama will complete his pullouts on a campaign schedule, but that will not end the war. You cannot end a war that you did not begin. The sustained conflict we are in did not begin when we entered Afghanistan or Iraq, it will not end just because we leave.

The Afghanistan victory lap is as much about disguising the ‘cut and run’ phase; as it is about reminding the folks in Virginia and Iowa that the man on television parachuted in, cut the throats of all of Osama’s guards, shot him in the face and then made a topical quip. Waving around Bin Laden’s head is a good way to distract them from the fact that the United States has lost the war in Afghanistan, that Obama’s own strategy there failed badly and cost numerous American and British lives, and that we are turning the country over to the Taliban.

Afghanistan and Iraq were part of a strategy for containing and draining the fever swamps of terrorism. That strategy failed for a variety of reasons, not the least of them being that we failed to learn the lessons of Vietnam. The Obama Administration alone managed to roll out a “hearts and minds” strategy and a brief push to intimidate the other side into coming to the negotiating table for a face-saving withdrawal. It’s almost a pity that Obama wasn’t old enough to have to dodged the draft. At least that way he might have actually known something about the Vietnam War.

Instead we have come away with thousands of casualties, living and dead, often left with poor medical care, at rates that this administration is determined to hike up. We have generals who don’t know how to win wars but know how to behave in mosques and female cadets from West Point are being dressed up in hijabs and taken to Jersey City so that they might learn how to relate to Muslim culture. And most of all the war isn’t over.

The enemy was never a few peasants in Afghanistan, beating their wives, growing their drug cash crops and murdering their daughters over a slight. They are bastards and they generally hate us, to the extent that they are aware of us, much as they hate their neighbors from a different ethnic group. But, left to their own devices, they would only be a threat to their own female relations. They are our enemies, but they are not the enemy.

Bin Laden didn’t come out of Afghanistan. He came out of Saudi Arabia, and he found refuge in Pakistan. And those are two countries that we would never think to touch, because the former owns us, and the latter has sizable numbers and nuclear weapons.

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The Difference Between the Real World and Obama’s

by Alan Caruba on Monday, June 2nd, 2014

This is article 1188 of 1198 in the topic International

I keep wondering what it must have been like to be a young student at West Point listening to their Commander in Chief’s platitudes and ignorance wash over them. West Point is where our nation’s future leaders in war receive an education in how to protect the nation by crushing our enemies, if Presidents and Congress will let them.

Unfortunately for them, this President seems to think that climate change is the nation’s biggest enemy and that a loose coalition of Islamic fanatics is the other. There was no talk of an increasingly aggressive China, a Russia that seized Crimea and would like a chunk of the Ukraine, or an Iran that got out from under some strong financial sanctions and will continue to build its own nuclear weapons no matter what Obama and other negotiators may want.

Meanwhile, the Egyptians have decided they would prefer a military dictator again as their president instead of a leader from the Muslim Brotherhood. Such choices are endemic to the Middle East. Real democracy is rare there. In Syria its dictator, Bashar al Assad, is still in power when, it could be argued, a few hours spent bombing his air force and other military facilities might have cost him his job and saved over 160,000 lives. So now Obama is reluctantly arming his opposition, some of whom could end up being as oppressive as al Assad.

The highlight of Obama’s speech was his announcement that the U.S. would be out of Afghanistan by 2016 except for a small force to train its military. Here’s what I had to say about Afghanistan in November 2009, a few months into Obama’s first term:

“If you look back, you discover that the former Soviet Union had 100,000 troops there and spent ten years in Afghanistan…one day in 1989 they just packed up and went home to Russia. Shortly thereafter the Berlin Wall fell, followed by the entire Soviet government in 1991.” And Afghanistan was deemed by Obama to be a “war of necessity.” Americans in 2009 would have been happy to depart, having been there for eight years with nothing to show for it.

Presidents who do not get the waging of war right end up killing a lot of American troops. Lyndon Johnson knew years earlier that he should have gotten out of Vietnam, but stayed on. And, yes, George W. Bush stayed on in Afghanistan and Iraq after achieving the initial goal of responding to 9/11 and then of getting rid of Saddam Hussein. War is not about nation-building.

The U.S. stayed on in Europe after WWII because the Soviet Union was the new threat there. We stayed on in Japan to ensure it learned how to govern itself without an all-powerful emperor and then because of a threat from North Korea and communist China. Internationally, we maintain a military presence by invitation in many nations because as the only global superpower we are also the only one that stands for freedom.

Obama has made it clear that he does not like our being a superpower. One need only look at the way he has reduced our military to pre-WWII levels.

How bad was the speech?

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Obama Considered Deploying Military On Bundy Ranch

by Bob Livingston on Friday, May 30th, 2014

This is article 291 of 300 in the topic US Military
Obama Considered Deploying Military On Bundy Ranch

FILE

President Barack Obama considered deploying the U.S. military during the Cliven Bundy Ranch standoff in Nevada under the approbation of a Pentagon directive on military support to civilian authorities signed in 2010.

The Department of Defense directive provides U.S. commanders with the emergency authority to use military support to quell domestic disturbances where needed to “prevent significant loss of life or wanton destruction of property” and when “necessary to restore government function and public order.” A second condition is when Federal, State or local authorities “are unable or decline to provide adequate protection for federal property or federal governmental functions.”

The military assistance can include loans of arms, ammunition, vessels and aircraft, and also authorizes the use of drones in operations against domestic unrest, though it prohibits the use of armed drones.

The directive and information that Obama considered deploying the U.S. military in Nevada were revealed by Bill Gertz of The Washington Times Wednesday and famously ignored by the rest of the corporate establishment media. Deploying the military in a domestic law enforcement scenario is a violation of posse comitatus.

A defense official opposed to the directive told Gertz, “This appears to be the latest step in the administration’s decision to use force within the United States against its citizens.”

Actually it’s not the latest, though it may be the latest revealed. The regime has been arming alphabet soup agencies at an alarming rate, even as it works in nefarious and extra-legal ways to disarm law-abiding Americans and propagandizes against them. All the while, the regime is arming al-Qaida-linked terror groups in Libya, Syria and elsewhere, demonstrating exactly who the regime considers “terrorists.”

According to Gertz, defense analysts say there has been a buildup of military units within non-security-related Federal agencies, notably the creation of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams. “The buildup raises questions about whether the regime is undermining civil liberties under the guise of counterterrorism and counternarcotics efforts,” according to Gertz.

Agencies with SWAT teams include the Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Education Department.

So not only has the regime assumed the authority to disappear Americans without trial or habeas corpus under the Congress-passed National Defense Authorization Act, it has assumed under a simple DoD secretary’s signature the authority — and granted it to military commanders — to attack Americans with wanton force if it determines they are a threat. And the second most powerful man in American government, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, has called Bundy supporters “domestic terrorists,” which crosses the threshold needed by the NDAA and the directive to deploy force against Americans standing up to government abuse and overreach.

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Obama, State Department issue warning to Americans in Libya

by Jim Kouri on Thursday, May 29th, 2014

This is article 760 of 773 in the topic Terrorism

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday ordered the U.S. State Department to issue an alert to Americans in Libya to leave the North African nation and to U.S. citizens contemplating a trip to that “unpredictable” and “unstable” country advising them to cancel their travel plans.

The aftermath of the rebellions in Libya and Egypt has been disappointing for the Obama administration, with the Egyptian government at war with the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Muslims, while the Libyan government remains weak and unable to deal with terrorists, militias and warlords, said security expert Iris Aquino.

“Leading from behind isn’t what it’s cracked up to be, is it Mr. Commander in Chief?” quipped Aquino, a former NYPD cop and undercover officer.

The warning, promulgated on Tuesday, said in part: “Due to security concerns, the Department of State has limited staffushing at Embassy Tripoli and is only able to offer very limited emergency services to U.S. citizens in Libya. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning issued on December 12, 2013.”

Fierce battles have been fought in Libyan cities and towns between heavily-armed militias and equally powerfulIslamic terrorists in Benghazi and even the capital city of Tripoli. Just recently armed jihadists attacked Libya’s National Congress.

While the news media in the United States, for the most part, has ignored the allegations that it wasPresident Obama and his underlings who armed the Libyan jihadists in their rush to depose the country’s ruthless dictator Moamar Khadhafi, it is now viewed as one of the reasons for the hesitation by the Obama White House to arm the rebels in Syria attempting to depose its own dictator.

The Obama administration has deployed Navy warships and military forces off Libyan coast should the need to conduct an emergency evacuations arise, according to government officials.

“Because of the presumption that foreigners, especially U.S. citizens, in Libya may be associated with the U.S. government or U.S. NGOs, travelers should be aware that they may be targeted for kidnapping, violent attacks, or death,” the State Department warned in its alert.

“U.S. citizens currently in Libya should exercise extreme caution and depart immediately,” it said.

In a separate statement, officials at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, said, “Libya is at a crossroads. On one side lies the achievement of the transition through the political process and the forging of a Constitutional Charter based on nationally agreed principles, with a view to achieving the goals of the 17th of February revolution and fostering the rule of law, the respect of human rights and the welfare of its citizens. On the other lies chaos, fragmentation, violence and terrorism.”

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