The best way to taint Libyan “democracy” push

This doesn’t sound like a disaster waiting to happen at all. No, it’s wonderful idea to get mercenaries to train Libyans in the art of killing and fighting:

Britain is to urge Arab countries to train the disorganised Libyan rebels, and so strengthen their position on the battlefield before negotiations on a ceasefire, senior British defence sources have indicated.

The sources said they were also looking at hiring private security companies, some of which draw on former SAS members, to aid the rebels. These private soldiers could be paid by Arab countries to train the unstructured rebel army.

In what is seen in effect as the second phase of the battle to oust Muammar Gaddafi, it is now being acknowledged that the disorganised Libyan rebels are not going to make headway on their own. Nato member countries are looking at requesting Arab countries, such as Qatar or the United Arab Emirates, to train the rebels, or to fund the training. Qatar and the UAE are already involved in the Nato-led no-fly zone.

Some cabinet sources said that another Arab country that might be willing to train the rebels is Jordan. They are thought to have the best-trained officers, and are possibly the best army in the region, one Cabinet source said. The training of the Libyan rebels might take as long as month to turn them into an effective force capable of holding ground, and organise flanking manoeuvres. A source said: “They’re not advancing, they’re just driving up the road, and when they see guns drawn they turn round and go back again.”

Let’s not forget that Jordan assists in the US-backed training of Palestinian Authority forces. In a new Human Rights Watch report, they are accused of abusing and torturing journalists in the West Bank.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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