Update 3/6 12:57 PM: Foreign Secretary William Hague is reporting that the SAS troops as well as the diplomat “have now left Libya.” He insisted that the British government would send more diplomatic teams to East Libya “in due course.”
Sometimes no really means no.
That’s what the British military learned today when, after a solid week of Libyan rebel leaders insisting that they didn’t want any foreign intervention in the ongoing efforts to oust long-time dictator Moammar Gadhafi, they decided a great idea would be to dispatch a unit of their special forces, the SAS, to Benghazi to “offer help.”
The troops arrived in plain clothes and accompanied a “junior diplomat” who had ostensibly been dispatched to “establish relations” with the opposition’s leadership council. The rebels have been in control of virtually the entire eastern half of the nation plus a number of cities in the west for over a week.
But the rebels’ troops spotted the plain clothes troops and hauled them away, worrying that public support would be damaged if they were seen as a Western-backed coup against Gadhafi, one of the chief reasons they have repeatedly spurned US and British offers of military help.
Though the diplomat’s arrival doesn’t appear to have been a major problem, the protest movement has sought international recognition as the “legitimate government of Libya” over the Gadhafi regime, the fact that he showed up uninvited with a unit of soldiers appears to have angered the rebel leadership council, which immediately ordered the lot of them thrown into a military brig.
Publicly the British Defense Ministry has declined comment on the arrests, saying that they never comment on any activities of the SAS, but officials have said off the record that they don’t expect the matter to escalate and that the rebels are “just making a point.” Indeed, reports from the following morning suggested that the troops and the diplomat were expelled from the country, though Foreign Secretary William Hague suggested they would likely send another “team.”
The point, which appears to have been lost on Western officials the first hundred times they said it, is that Libya’s protest movement does not want a NATO-led occupation, or any other occupation, and that they feel perfectly capable of taking the rest of the nation on their own, using a combination of the military defectors (which amount to most of Libya’s military) and the massive popular support for Gadhafi’s ouster.
43 thoughts on “British FM: Libyan Rebels Release Captured SAS Troops”
I thought the Limey was supposed to have some exceptional Special Forces guys? I guess dumbs**t leadership trumps that.
Contrary to Hollywood myths, Special Forces can be surrounded and forced to surrender just like anyone else. Two entire battalions of US Army Rangers, for example, were annihilated by an ad hoc German battle group commanded by a reserve cavalry captain at Anzio in January 1944. The only reason the special forces of the FedGov and its client states seem invincible is that they're selectively used against disorganized or utterly incompetent foes.
Obviously. Should we start calling them Limey Surrender Monkeys yet?
The Libyans are dead right.
Dermot Mac Murrough, king of Leinster in Ireland, invited the English to help him sort out a bit of local agro in 1169. It took the Irish until 1921 to get rid of them – and even then they were only partially successful. Make the SAS run, not walk, to the nearest exit.
Firbolg here's some voices from a Doha audience:
“You're saying that WikiLeaks is a terrorist act. It's not terrorism. Terrorism is killing innocent people. It is not terrorism to get information out: information that shouldn't be hidden from the public.”
“If you're trying to keep it secret, you know, If people outside in the US Canada, Australia; they don't really know what's happening in Palestine, they only know one side of the story. They don't know about the killing of innocent people…..”
“Is it wrong to tell the truth?”
“More people are dying because they are not finding out the truth about the reasoning behind these wars that are happening, so you're saying that the United States has been spying on UN officials, I think that's something the people should deserve to know.”
“If you found out that 9/11 and the economic crises and all was done by the US government, would you be against Wikileaks?” “Yes.” “Would you rather live in a lie instead of knowing the truth.?”
“People died from this and you say you don't want to know the truth?”
“Did you see the video that had been uploaded by WikiLeaks? Like, the video of what happened in Iraq? And you still say you don't want to know the truth?”
“There are big events that happen in this world and you only know one side of the story.”
“I just want to say one last thing, and I'd rather live in a life, or a world, that will tell me the truth instead of just closing my eyes and believing what people tell me.”
The world is better off with WikiLeaks. 74% for the motion. 26% against; the motion is carried.
So, first they are "rebels" then "Libya’s protest movement"? You have to make up your mind, since rebels can be legally engaged and killed by the state while peaceful protestors not really. It is clear, however, that in Lybia SAS did not show up to help protestors.
What kind of fools these Rebels are… They stand no chance against Libyan military power. Libya has the 3rd most powerful military in the African continent. These fools are going to suffer for their haughtiness and arrogance.
Arrogance? No friend, it is called perserverance, and bravery against a tyrant, and mass murderer. Oh how silly are those who cannot fathom a resistance to what has always been a mendacious, and criminal affair..Pity you!
They have a right to fight if they wish. But I am shocked to see them refusing SAS help… This is madness…
THE INTERNET GUY. You are real arrogant and off knowledge about Libya. I am sure you don't know where is Libya located on the map. When you mentioned Libya got the third powerful army in Africa I laughed from your ignorance. Libyan army is very poorly equipped because Gaddafi feared they would turn against him. Hence, his security force is well equipped because most of them are foreign mercenaries from various countries. I am sure you are here like some other pantsy thugs trying to fool the foolers. Have a life for yourself.
You are a fool if you think Gaddafi will go out without a fight,. Libya has 200 fighter aircraft, 2000 tanks and thousands of soldiers.
If the revolution has to succeed, then NATO or US has to help the rebels now…
Where do you get your ideas from? Libya may have all of that military equipment, but did you hear that lots of the military is defecting? Some air force officers have even refused to bomb the anti-Gadaffi forces? According to Jane's, "the vast majority of equipment in the inventories of Libya’s land, air and sea forces was procured from the USSR in the 1970s and early 1980s." That means their hardware is practically obsolete. By the way, Jane is not the name of a woman.
Much of the Libyan military defected to the rebels' side.
I only hope it's enough.
The Libyans do not want foreign interference. As usual, the West is meddling in affairs that does not concern them. The Libyans have no interest in a Faustian bargain. Arrogant is the one who thinks he knows what is best for others.
Perhaps you failed to notice the part of the article that mentioned that the majority of the military has changed sides to the rebels, and that the majority of the population wants Gaddafi out.
The "kind of fools" these rebels are is the kind that doesn't want the US and the Zionists , the IMF and the NED, the Western Oil Companies, and the MIC "helping" them — the Libyans — to live under a subverted "Western-style Democracy",all the while "helping" themselves to Libyan oil, water, and real estate.
Bloody idiots- the British government acted very irresponsibly in this matter. The Libyans have repeatedly said quite clearly they DO NAT WANT HELP from anyone, Western nations especially. If the West wants to help, just stand by offshore and wait for the call that in all likelihood will never come- until then, everyone needs to let the Libyans handle their affairs on their own.
@TIG- The Libyans HAD the 3rd most powerful military in Africa- note that now Gadhafi has been reduced to importing mercenaries from all over to delay defeat a little longer. The revolutionaries are still winning, and they are getting better. The Libyan people will win- not without great sacrifices though- by their own hand and will determine their own national course when all is said and done.
It is a bad idea to underestimate Gaddafi. He has held to power for 40+ years… People are being killed everyday… like they have been for decades. If the Rebels continue to rebuff US, British and Nato help, then they will be crushed. African Union and Arab League supports the dictator… isn't it clear already?
Some things are so clear yet stupid egoistic rebel leaders refused help… They just want to get more of their people killed…
Just a simple question here, Internetguy. Under which set of circumstances do you see more Libyan deaths?: rebels fighting Gaddafi, or the US military bombing the hell out of Gaddafi's anti-aircraft defenses (think "collateral damage") in preparation for instituting a "no fly zone", and then of course bombing a variety of other Gaddafi-associated military positions, then also firing on those free-ranging Gaddafi supporters using manpads, RPGs, and other mobile weapons?
Jeff, almost all insurgencies fail, unless supported by money, weapons and men. You don't understand what kind of maniac Gaddafi is… If people come close to his seat of power, he will use Mustard gas. This is a done deal.
Thousands will die. Gaddafi has long range missiles and tons of Mustard gas. You know it… If he is threatened by the Rebels, then Bengazi would be toast.
NATO has to help the rebels now… African Union and the Arab League are a bunch of dictators… They will never enforce any no-fly zone… These same people looked the other way when the Sudanese dictator was killing thousands in Darfur.
NATO… help the Rebels now… I can see this Revolution being destroyed unless the rebels are supported.
Insha'Allah. Just don't waste your time with this INTERNET GUY. He's no better than the superiors who sent the SAS to Libya.
Just read that an Israeli company lead by an IDF general is recruiting mercenaries to support the Ghadaffi regime. Apparently it had the fiat of Netanyahu. I can understand that the Zionists are afraid of the 'wind of change' currently blowing through the Arab world. Israel can only sustain its existence by the mercy of the US and ME corrupt client dictatorships.
Not 'mercy' but 'connivance', and there's a big difference. Never forget that it was the US and Israel that attacked Gaza during the winter of 2008/9. It was the Saudi leadership that gave its consent to the US and Israel to use their country's air space whenever they decide to launch an attack upon Iran.
You forgot the PLO who begged the Israelis to wipe out Gazza and Hamas regardless to how many humans will be annihilated.
Yes, and on the West Bank, Fattah (PLO) has been implicated in working with Dahlan and others to suppress any resistance to the illegal occupation. 'A place at the table' seems to be sufficient enough to curb many a 'leaders' angst for the suffering of their people. Muqtadar al-Sadr in Iraq appears to be another case in point: once widely acknowledged as a figurehead of the resistance to the occupation, he now discourages his loyal supporters from taking part in the protests that are rocking the country. The struggle for a genuine people's democracy is a long hard road in every nation on the planet. We've all got our work cut out for us.
Don't know if that story is true, but if so, it's another indication of the clever and devious and profit-driven thinking of the Zionists. The longer and more effectively Gaddafi holds out, the more compelling the case for Western "intervention" — translation: Western conquest and occupation under a puppet regime.
Never forget that Libya is a sparsely populated — 6.4 million — little dumpling of the best quality oil to be found anywhere. An irresistible prize.
What they don't understand is the Wests zeal in getting in is just to be able to put in a puppet so that they can control the oil, just like in most middle-eastern countries.
Rubbish, Neither London nor Washington want to see Ghaddafi removed from power in Libya.
By sending a handful of Western troops (In plain clothes and most likely with diplomatic credentials) to allegedly support the rebels, they know they are undermining the rebels support both locally and across the Arab world. Any assistance from the West will be interpreted as collusion with the enemy by the Libyan people and will ultimately weaken the rebels position. This has been the real purpose of this exercise. Now they have handed Ghaddafi the support he needed to rally the Libyan people around him as he will portray himself as the defender of the nation. The rebels will now be portrayed as agents of the West sent to destroy Libya and to turn it into another Iraq. In 24 hours these alleged SAS soldiers will be gone from Libya but the damage to the rebels credibility will have been done.
It is in US national interest for Gadaffi to stay in power. If he is able to snuff out the revolutionary fires in a bloody, epic, Götterdämmerung , the Shiite population of Saudi Arabia may think twice before doing anything as foolhardy as revolting against the King. Even though Gadaffi is an enemy of the US, he is a lesser enemy, and we should be arming his forces covertly.
no,we oughta let them fight it out and deal with who's ever left standing. perhaps you've failed to see our awesome successes in iraq and afghanistan? who runs libya is up to the libyans.
some of the UK press are reporting this. show photos of the soldiers drinking tea and being well treated.then give them flowers to take home to their wives. a big handshake and nicest possible goodbye will make people laugh. show them they are not wanted by smiling politely and thanking them for their time.
the UK public can not believe the politicans sent them in. why do "leaders" never listen to the people they "represent"
Time to put Cameron in jail . The ashole does not commnet on SAS,What the fuck does he do?
How about Ghaddafi saying he does not commnet on people who bombed lockerbie?
He's putting SAS in the same category as spies. It's usual policy to deny knowing anything about them if they're caught….
This is another replay of Raymond Davis "DipLowMat" capper. Notice no talk what happened to the Low level diplomat? Story was first reported by Murdoc's newsmedia ???? Couple days ago, a massive explosion of a rebel military storage warehouse blew up and killing hundreds of residence near by. These 8 S/S troops were using the dilomat person as a front for no other reason but sinister activity-which the british have been known As/in Iraq.
wherever there is a conflict us and british troops are always there. you can count on those two countries to run the whole planet as if they own it.
I wonder how long it will take for us to find out that the USG has "special forces" operating in Libya now in "support" of the "rebels/revolutionaries/protesters"…
By now everyone have to understand that there is a diplomacy going on from US to EU and to President Hugo Chavez in South America.., they all want to make sure that situation is not getting out of hands.., yet one also needs to understand that any military involvement by west will make situation from bad to worse. Libya is one of the largest oil producing country in Africa, their oil and its quality is one of the best used mostly in chemicals manufacturing so not only they need Gadhafi for now but oil companies need oil as much as they can get their hands on. Yet although there is no shortage of oil in world market but these oil companies already have high jacked the oil prices to have their profit beforehand.., that’s how they operate.., if you don’t believe me ask George W. Bush and his family engagements in Kuwaitis oil, or for that matter Dick Cheney.
In Egypt, the US/Nato/Wall Street bankers had in place a subservient Egyptian military that was western trained, supplied and under control. Thus, they could use this to thwart Egypt's democracy movement. As we've seen , the military took over from Mubarak, and there are only vague promises of future elections. And, unless the people in the street push the matter, those will be often delayed and the rules under which they are conducted will only lead to Mubarak's replacement as a tool of the US/Nato military and the wall street bankers.
In Libya, no such force exists. There's only the thugs with Ghadaffi trying to hold onto power. And a rebellion trying to liberate their country. Thus, the talk about sending in western troops is not about getting rid of Ghaddafi, but its about having a pro-western, pro-wall street military in place to control what happens in the country next. The rebels apparently understand this, and want nothing to do with allowing themselves to be conquered by wall street's mercenaries as soon as they've won their independence.
People commenting on Antiwar.com have no sense of reality… It seems they're living in a bubble if they think a bunch of Rebels can beat Gaddafi without outside help (money and advanced weapons).
the dont want our help idiot, it taints the revolution, the second they get our help people are going to know that its just for another us/israel tin-top dictator to be propped up that doesn't have libya's interest at heart.
Looks like the Brits, along with the Israelis, have run out of fools in the Middle East.
What is this itch to get involved? We just have this surplus of money go spend on other people's business. Humanitarianism? Please! On one hand, press is fawning over the idea of REVOLUTION, but they do not like the bloody ones! Egypt was rather an exception, as the militarty had their hat full of Mubarak, and received the mass uprising as a blessing to nudge the old regime out. In Libya, revolution turned ugly and violent, as most revolutions are. It is not unusual that violent revolutions spawn civil wars. The revolutionaries will have military on their side, little by little. BUT LEAVE THEM ALONE. It may take a week or a year.
The so called diplomats carried GUNS, EXPLOSIVES, AND PASSPORTS OF FOUR COUNTRIES. Some diplomatic mission!!
Kinetic Lies and deception in Libya.
Lets look at the propaganda smear campaign being waged against Libya and it’s leaders and ask if the media is telling even half the truth and if our leaders have become predictable liars and are taking us all for fools.
So OK it’s not a war when you drop bombs and deliberately try to assassinate a world leader or supply weapons to ex Al-CIAda rebels on the ground so that they can march into major cities with these guns the French have given our friendly rebels who will kill anyone who shows support to a leader that has turned a dead end country into one that has the best hospitals and universities on the African continent.
This war that started out as a no fly zone that is still not a war because Obama pulled the word ‘Kinetic’ from his a$$ and has a blank cheque from the UN’s resolution 1973 that says ‘All necessary means to defend civilians’ must be the biggest scam going.
I would like such words in a contract that allowed me to investigate and prosecute international bankers around the world for the fraud they have committed that includes the term ‘All necessary means to prosecute bankers/fraudster and acts of treason’ but I don’t think I will get one.
This is not an NATO action because only three of it’s members are taking part in the daily attacks on a sovereign state and some are calling for an immediate cease fire but clearly our leaders are playing with words and for this reason Congress did not approve Obama’s new war on terror (yes we hear it every day, Muslims under my bed) but Congress still approved funding for the war, Sorry ‘Kinetic Military Action’ which not only goes to show how useless they are but also shows little respect for the American public when 80% are apposed to the war.
Looking at the Arab spring uprising we can see that all the protests started in the major cities and yet in Libya we are to believe farm peasants out in the middle of no where eventually found the courage to rise up in the desert to attack Libyan forces and the ninety nine percent of people in Tripoli who hated Gaddffi’s guts stayed at home.
Quite to the contrary Colonel Gaddffi has a lot of support from the people of Libya and not just from his own tribal clan and apart from pro Gaddffi demonstrations around the world, (not reported in the news) we also have growing support from the people of Libya who are tired of these bombs of love that NATO keeps dropping and sure we have defectors that joined the rebels but what you won’t learn from the news is that some rebels have defected back over to government side.
The real reason we had peasants rising up from the outskirts of the country was because CIA/MOSSAD agents could operate in these areas by handing out free money , guns, propaganda and then flee back across the borders of neighbouring countries when challenged by Libyan forces but still they managed to present to us on main stream news channels a groups of rebels playing chicken with troops in the middle of desert night after night, same pickup trucks, same guns, same faces just like you would expect from a low budget film made in China.
Gaddafi did not play the United Nations part in this play script where he was supposed to surrender to the first group of rag tag rebels and offer them his country that he had spent a life time building to become the most open and affluent place in Africa complete with hospitals to shame many in Europe and Universities where students didn’t need to pay a fortune to gain an education.
Libya has several tribal factions and it would to stupid to suggest all were treated equally by the government but Gaddffi did manage to hold the tribes together and that often involved brutal suppression of opposing forces but if you look towards the UK then most people from Scotland will tell you that people in London always received a bigger slice of the cake and look how many people the British have killed in Ireland who only wanted their own land back.
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