Countdown To A Libyan Military Coup As Revolutionary Half-life Plunges

Tyler Durden's picture

Just as the military is now the defacto (and indefinite) ruler in Egypt following what was a revolution-cum-coup, it appears that Libya is poised to repeat in the same footsteps. One thing to note is the increasingly shorter halflife of Maghrebian revolutions: Tunisia took more than a month, Egypt took 18 days, Libya is in its 6th day, and all signs point to a rapidly approaching endgame in which the military will end up with control. Hopefully they know the dynamics of oil cartel game theory behavior. In the meantime, here is Stratfor's latest geopolitical outlook on Libya following earlier reports that the airforce has started firing on military installations (and civilians) to prevent them from falling into protesters' hands.

From Stratfor:

Unrest and the Libyan Military

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has ordered the Libyan air force to
fire on military installations in Libya, according to what the BBC has
characterized as a reliable source. Al Jazeera has suggested that air
force fighters have opened fire on crowds of protesters.?

Though the latter would be particularly draconian, the more important
question is whether these signs reflect a split within the regime and
Gadhafi using military force to crush opposition to his regime emerging
from the military or other security forces. Similar reports of the
Libyan navy firing on targets onshore also are emerging, as well as
reports that Gadhafi has given execution orders to soldiers who have
refused to fire on Libyan protesters.

The application of conventional weaponry is noteworthy and will
warrant scrutiny — particularly in terms of the targets of the attacks
and the rationale behind them. The use of these weapons is more
appropriate for other armed entities rather than unarmed protesters.
Libyan troops are good at instilling fear, but not good at stabilizing a
situation, so the military may not be able to get in on the ground due
to lost capability.

The situation remains opaque, but these latest developments combined
with recent reports of defections of military units to the
demonstrators’ side continue to draw STRATFOR’s attention to the
possibility that the regime is fracturing.

And another perspective on the Libyan crisis from Stratfor analyst Reva Bhalla:

Libya is facing its biggest internal crisis to date with reports trickling out of the country indicating that unrest is now spreading to the capital of Tripoli. Government buildings are being attacked, prisons are being broken into and energy firms like BP are evacuating their personnel.

The ability of the Libyan regime to hold itself together depends on two key factors: the loyalty of the tribes and the loyalty the army to the regime. Now those are the two factors that are the most in flux and the threat of civil war is thus very real.

Late last night, one of Gadhafi sons Seif al-Islam gave a long, rambling and impromptu speech in which he said that Libya is not another Egypt or Tunisia and that his father Moammar Gadhafi, who has ruled the country for more than four decades, is not another Ben Ali are Mubarak. In other words, Seif al-Islam was saying that the military is not about to drop the regime’s leader and Gadhafi was not about to flee the country. But Seif al-Islam has long been at odds with the military old guard of the regime and thus he can’t be seen as the one to necessarily hold the army together. Saif al-Islam has long avoided the political spotlight preferring to use his charity organization to push for ideas on political, social and economic reforms, which he saw as the key to the long-term survivability of the regime.

For a long time, however, Seif al-Islam and his allies like the National Oil Company Chairman Shokri Ghanem have been pushed against a wall by the military old guard, which is led by his brother Mutassim, the national security advisor who has the trust of many within the army elite. Now with the country in crisis, Seif al-Islam is trying to present himself as the untarnished face of the regime, but with reports of unrest now spreading to the capitol of Tripoli, it seems as though many Libyans just view Seif al-Islam as another Gadhafi that needs to be ousted.

The problem with that scenario is that there is no real alternative to the Gadhafi regime that has ruled for more than four decades. This is not a situation like Egypt or even Tunisia where the Army as an institution is in a position to step in and seize control of the situation. In fact there are already signs of the Army splitting, with reports of army defections in the East, where the regime has had a lot of trouble holding onto support in the past and with reports of even the army chief being placed under house arrest. If the regime can not pull the loyalty the army, then power in the country falls to the tribes, many of which have already reportedly been turning on the regime in the past couple days. Seif al-Islam specifically warned in his speech that the fall of the regime could lead to civil war. Given how serious the situation has become and given the signs of the army splitting, that is a threat should be taken very seriously.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
BORT's picture

Thank God the POTUS and his crew are giving clear and unambiguous clues as to what the US will or will not do.

Ragnarok's picture

Obama was selected by the elites because he would not lead under his own convictions, a puppet if you will.

10kby2k's picture

relative strength in the futures:

dow   -77 only

sp     -13

naz   -28

bulls are going to say look how little relative effect global violence has on multi-national (Dow) corporations

ps---i thought crisis like these sent the futures locked limit down--must be the new New

taraxias's picture

If they close this thing green tomorrow, whatever few bears are still left in this rigged casino will finally throw in the towel. It's a bulls market only, so TheBernank has decreed, so it shall be done.

Thorny Xi's picture

"not for long" 

Man, the only way the paper market will turn is with a power failure at the FRBNY, and they've got a lot more generation backup and diesel stored up than you'd think.  This market is the last chance Texaco for the way things are, and it's not going to turn until there's no reason for it to keep holding on.  When that happens, you will not want to be here, if here is anywhere in the USA.

This sh!t in the middle east is shaking my faith in the Illuminati.  These fuc*ers are supposed to have things well in hand, but I suspect they've been living in the same tetraethyl lead-coated world as everyone else, and the current generation of 'em might not be up for it.



creviceCaress's picture



heya thorny + know what yer sayin, .....but 'they' dont have things in hand?.....tis always a bad thing to think, let alone say.  there is no 'over' .....whatever is going on in the middle east in general is a living thing at this point, controlled/instigated or yer own statement in six months and see what you say then......these cocknecks are good at what they do......never forget, right?

Broken_Trades's picture

2 x Libyan Jet Fighters & Fighter Pilots Defect and Fly to Malta after being ordered to bomb civilians:


"What we are witnessing today is unimaginable. Warplanes and helicopters are indiscriminately bombing one area after another. There are many, many dead," Saleh told al Jazeera television in a live broadcast.

Revolution_starts_now's picture

Interestig side note on the 23rd, wednesday, we will have 666 days until dec 21st, 2012. You can't make that kinda chit up.


oh and nice avatar rag.

brodix's picture

"his own convictions"?

 I'm extremely curious as to what they would be, since I haven't seen any evidence of any convictions on his part.

 Has anyone pointed out to him that the happy medium is analogous to a flatline on a heart monitor?

 You can be on the side of the scab, or on the side of the wound, but not both.

TeamAmerica's picture

In what game does an intelligent player give "clear and unambiguous clues" about his intentions?

Sokhmate's picture

in marriages that lead to divorce.

powersjq's picture

In any game played with a partner or teammates.  Unambiguous communication between allies is FAR more important than the advantage gained by opponents in predicting your moves.  You might read up on bidding in contract bridge as a clear exmaple.

tonyw's picture

One useful thing the US could do with those carriers is to propose and implement a UN sanctioned no-fly zone, this would at least stop the airforce from killing their own people.

Again the Arab League is keeping a low profile.

By the way, there's about 1 million Egyptians in Libya who are trying to get out.


Even the Chinese has joined the international outcry against the regime.

Ragnarok's picture

Interesting times.

bankrupt JPM buy silver's picture

2 pilots just defected to malta...I guess they didnt want to come back after being ordered to kill thier cousins to be executed.  nice.

buzzsaw99's picture

Smart. Anyone who shoots at protesters from an aircraft deserves what they get.

Dr. Porkchop's picture

When it happens in the US, they'll be called enemy non-combatants.

buzzsaw99's picture

Some will, others will be called guerrilla fighters, and still others will be called road pizza.

StychoKiller's picture

Long live the "freedom fighters!"

New_Meat's picture

now that is just a cowardly, asshole junk.

+1 on my behalf

citizen2084's picture

turn out the lights

Triggernometry's picture

Turn out the lights and I'll glow. To the extreme I rock a mike like a vandal, light up a stage and wax a chump like a candle.

-Vanilla Ice

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I find it hilarious that as each ME domino falls, Obama declares he's looking for democracy to flourish. Why wasn't he looking yesterday? We all know the answer.....don't we?

Careful Obama or you might get tangled up in your own puppet strings.

Miles Kendig's picture


Now you're being as nice as me Cog.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Momma always told me that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Since that would leave me a mute I try to compromise. :>)

Miles Kendig's picture

Thanks for one of those big words I had to look up  ;)

New_Meat's picture

how does one compromise with 'nice'?  Never been able to figure this out! - Ned

TeamAmerica's picture

According to Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck etc. all this unrest is at least partly due to Obama refusing to support the despot regimes.

So which is it...Obama is for democracy or not?   If you say "not", please explain his continuing committments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

nonclaim's picture

Obama is whatever he is told to be. Don't expect consistency if he serves different masters.

TeamAmerica's picture

I'm not seeing the inconsistency.  On the contrary, I think it's the criticism that has shifted while Obama has been steadfast.

Once upon a time Obama was meddling too much.  Now he is not meddling enough.  Or vice versa, depending on whether you watch MSNBC or Faux News.

SRV - ES339's picture

Trying to make sense out of anything "Rush and Glenn" have to say naturally causes a severe state of confusion... don't panic, try not to think, let it go... I tried it a few times man and believe me, it goes away, just hang on for a couple of hours... try chanting "Fox Lies" until it passes.

nonclaim's picture

To be honest, arguing what is said about Obama is par with celebrity small talk to which I have below zero interest. What he reads from the teleprompter might be important; what is said about it, hardly.

New_Meat's picture

Of course our Dear Leader is for 'Democracy'.

Our Dear Leader was against commitment to Iraq, Gitmo, but thought that the 'smart' war was in the Afghan.  and McC was the warrior-monk-general.  until he wasn't.  Then send in ...

all y'all 'TeamAmerica' dudes well, ya better gear up for a rough and unexpected ride.  and, well, when you get into trouble, well, 'The Secretary Will Disavow any Knowledge of Your Actions."


Former Sheeple's picture


Get ready for the CYA report leak to NYT.

The New York Times will be the first to report that 18-page classified report Obama ordered last August, that identified likely flash-points of potential unrest, including Egypt (also included Libya).

10kby2k's picture

CBS should start production on Survivor Libya. The entire cast might get shis-ka-bob'd during first tribal council.

zaknick's picture

bla bla bla


the situation is unclear


bla bla bla

Miles Kendig's picture

Hardly.  I'm batting 1,000 so far

New_Meat's picture

"the situation is unclear"

NAY, "unsustainable"

'cuz most of the language recipients can't understand what the 'status quo' thing that o keeps prattling about really is.  do you?

Ragnarok's picture

OT: Chavez Currency Market Takeover Spurs Bank Lines for Dollars

Hephasteus's picture

What's the formula. As 2011 approaches November change goes to infinity.

americanspirit's picture

Interesting to see Libya splitting into tribes. Kinda like the US splitting into states. I live in Texas, and we have a treaty with the US that says that we can withdraw from the union at will. This treaty provision has been taken to court and tested for its strength by generations of lawyers - my father-in-law was one of them. They have wanted to ensure that if the time ever came, the Republic of Texas could assert its treaty rights and become an independent entity.

Perhaps this is the face of the coming American revolution. Black Swan anybody?

cxl9's picture

Too bad the United States does not recognize that supposed "right". Maybe your brother-in-law should stick to chasing ambulances.

The annexation resolution has been the topic of some historical myths; one that remains is that the resolution granted Texas the explicit right to secede from the Union. This is a right argued by some to be implicitly held by all states, although the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled in Texas v. White in 1869 that no state has the right to unilaterally secede. (Wikipedia)

"The price of sovereignty is the capacity for self-defence" -- Will Durant

TeamAmerica's picture

+1.  I'm a proud Texan. but the ignorance of some of my "countrymen" is astounding and shameful.

Miles Kendig's picture

The same holds true for my countrymen in the Republic of California.

Ignorance is curable, stupidity not so much - nmewn

pods's picture

Yeah, there were a bunch of states that thought that way too.

Just google "america 1860s".  

The USA is like the mob. Once you are in, you are always in.


Twindrives's picture

Until the U.S.A. ruled by Obama/Washington D.C./Federal Reserve cabal totally fails.  

Then it's every state and every man for himself.