Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Libyan "Arms Bazaar"

By BJ Bjornson

My previous post on Libya has generated a fair bit of discussion in the comments (as well as a bit of snarky insults and dismissals , but we�ll ignore those for now). It does strike me as a bit odd to be put in the position of defending those who opposed a mission I actually supported, but we�ll put that aside for the moment as well.

One of the arguments not covered much in that post but prominent among some of those opposed to the intervention was the destabilizing effects the overthrow of Gaddafi could have on the region. I touched upon this issue almost a month ago when reports surfaced of Tuareg fighters from Libya forming a new rebel group in Mali, and there is more evidence that the regional effects of Gaddafi�s overthrow are just starting to be felt.

Niger's military has clashed with a heavily armed convoy travelling though the desert from Libya towards Mali, security sources say.

. . .

Serge Hilpron, the head of Radio Nomad, a broadcaster in northern Niger, told the AP news agency that his sources indicated that both Libyan nationals and Tuaregs were in the convoy.

"Because of the Libyan problem, there are now traffickers heading to Libya to pick up the arms left behind and to bring them here. These same traffickers then sell the arms to AQIM [al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb]," he is quoted as saying.

A Nigerien army officer said he understood the convoy was made up of pro-Gaddafi fighters "guided by Malian Tuaregs", the Reuters news agency reports.

. . .

Security experts believe AQIM - which attacks and kidnaps foreigners across the region - is also exploiting the instability in Libya by acquiring weapons from there.

They say Libya turned into an "arms bazaar" during the eight-month conflict. Both sides involved in the fighting raided government-owned arms depots.

You can add this to the other reports of the transitional government�s inability to convince the diverse rebel groups to give up the weapons they acquired during the fighting with the pro-Gaddafi forces and the threat to Libya�s internal security that results from it.

One hopes that internal security can be restored, and with it control over the arm�s depots and the mischief such can cause both within and without Libya. If not, Libya could soon find itself part of the �failed state� club and a source for trouble for all of its neighbours.

I have no idea how plausible such a scenario is, but I get the feeling things are still on a teetering balance scale that can be pushed into instability all too easily. The next few months are going to be critical to building an inclusive successor state to Gaddafi�s Libya, and it is unfortunately true that it is far harder to build such a state than find ways to tear it down.

1 comment:

  1. "One hopes that internal security can be restored"
    Unfortunately, hope is not a policy.