News of a rift in the Libyan rebel ranks, as reported
in the Washington Post
, underscores much about what is wrong with US/NATO intervention in Libya:
“When asked who was commanding the army, one career soldier, Ramzi Ali Mohammad, 31, said, ‘Khalifa Haftar.’
“’No, no,’ said another, Abdel Salam Mohammad Ali, 52, a corporal who has been in the army 32 years and remembers Haftar from the war with Chad. ‘It’s Abdul Fattah Younis.’
“’It’s both, together,’ said Mohammad, adding that he had seen Younis visit the front line on Friday. ‘They’re both commanding officers of the war. It’s one operation room and two minds.’”
A ragtag band
of untrained civilians, sprinkled with defectors from the Libyan security forces, who don’t even know who commands them – this is not a recipe for success, to say the least. The Libyan revolution, it seems, isn’t ready
for prime time. There have been similar conflicts on the civilian level, with some initial confusion over just who was authorized to make statements on behalf of the “interim” ruling council.
The rebel split is centered around the sudden emergence of Khalifa Haftar
, whose last known address was in Falls Church, Virginia, and who has now turned up in Libya as the would-be savior of the revolution. Haftar was one of the young colonels who supported Gadhafi’s 1969 coup against King Idris, whose biography is decidedly murky.