Here are three things Americans need to know about the Libyan "rebels" that the U.S. government isn't telling us.
One: The inspiration of the Libyan war is as much anti-Western as it is anti-Gadhafi.
The "Day of Rage" that kick-started the Libyan war on Feb. 17 marked the fifth anniversary of violent protests in Benghazi, which included an assault on the Italian consulate during which at least 11 were killed. The 2006 mayhem, as John Rosenthal has reported, during which consulate staff was evacuated after 1,000 to several thousand men tried to storm and burn the building, may be linked to the Italian TV appearance two days earlier of Italian minister Roberto Calderoli. It was then that Calderoli, in defiance of worldwide Islamic rioting against cartoons of Muhammad in a tiny Danish newspaper, revealed he was wearing an undershirt decorated with such a cartoon. In remarks widely reported in Arab media, Calderoli explained that "the gesture was a matter of a 'battle for freedom.'" The minister said: "When they (the cartoon rioters) recognize our rights, I'll take off the shirt."
Unfortunately -- and not just for the Italian minister -- Calderoli's boss, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, didn't recognize those rights. One day after the Benghazi rioting ("We feared for our lives," the consul general's wife told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera), Calderoli resigned, a political collapse indicative of Western tendencies to renounce rights that conflict with Islamic law (Shariah).
Two: The anti-Gadhafi, anti-Western forces that NATO power has brought to apparent victory through an air war and not-so-secret deployment of special forces (so far costing U.S. taxpayers $1 billion) include jihadist forces the U.S. and NATO allies have been fighting for the past decade in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Captured al-Qaida documents analyzed at West Point reveal that not only did Libya send far more recruits per capita to fight with al-Qaida in Iraq than any other nation (including Saudi Arabia), but also that the "rebel" stronghold of Darnah sent more recruits per capita than any other city. Bonus info: 85 percent of Libyan recruits in Iraq listed their "work" as "suicide bombers."