Has Britain gone mad, why apologize to an Islamist

#1
British envoy offers olive branch to torture victim

Abdelhakim Belhaj was delivered into the hands of Gaddafi forces with help from British intelligence, then subsequently tortured

A day after arriving in Tripoli to re-establish a diplomatic mission there, Britain's new envoy to Libya said yesterday that he would meet Abdelhakim Belhaj, the Libyan rebel leader who told The Independent that MI6 knew he was being tortured and did nothing to stop it.

Dominic Asquith, who has come to Libya after diplomatic postings in Egypt and Iraq, also defended the tone of British government exchanges with the Libyan authorities at a time when the Gaddafi regime was routinely torturing dissidents. "There is often an exchange between the two sides," he told the BBC. "That's what you'd expect. We do that with many governments in the world who we don't necessarily like.

He declined to say whether he would apologise to Mr Belhaj for Britain's apparent role in his treatment, as Mr Belhaj has demanded. Evidence that Britain played a key role in the rendition of Mr Belhaj, delivering him into the hands of the Gaddafi regime to spend six years in solitary confinement, was revealed after The Independent viewed a cache of secret documents at the offices of the fled Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa last Friday.

Mr Belhaj's emergence as a key rebel leader in Tripoli, where he is in charge of the city's Military Council, presents a problem for the British Government that has in general enjoyed a warm relationship with Libya's Transitional National Council. As well as demanding an apology for Britain's role in his treatment, he has threatened to sue both the British and US governments.

Mr Belhaj is a former head of the Libyan Islamist Fighting Group, which was at one time associated with al-Qa'ida. He had applied for asylum in the UK after being arrested in Malaysia as a suspect in the "war on terror" – but was re-arrested by CIA officers en route to the UK and ultimately delivered to the Gaddafi regime.

Britain is not the only foreign country to have its dealings with Libya complicated by the discovery of secret documents in Tripoli. After evidence emerged that the Gaddafi regime had negotiated with Chinese state-backed arms companies as the conflict was in full swing and despite a UN embargo on such transactions, the Chinese government yesterday said that it would recognise the TNC as the legitimate council "when conditions are ripe" without spelling out what those conditions would be. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman refused to say whether the TNC had pressed Beijing for an explanation of the evidence.

British envoy offers olive branch to torture victim - Africa, World - The Independent
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
Why apologize to him?

He's sitting on all that oil for starters.
Plus we apologize to any ****** these days.

No doubt you'll recieve a full apology and £2 million because someone pretended to be you for a while.
 
#3
This terrorist/Islamist, who most probably killed Afghan/Russian soldiers during his time fighting against the Soviets.

Also, something to note, why do all these Islamic Islamist Arab Nationalist Khalifat supporters seem to always claim asylum to a Non-Muslim countries, especially Britain, I remmeber in High school, there were many Libyan kids inChorlton, Manchester, and they all came from fathers who were expelled/hated Islamic Clerics.

He had applied for asylum in the UK after being arrested in Malaysia as a suspect in the "war on terror"

What is this romantic relationship between the West and Religionist Islamist bigots?
 
#6
This terrorist/Islamist, who most probably killed Afghan/Russian soldiers during his time fighting against the Soviets.

Also, something to note, why do all these Islamic Islamist Arab Nationalist Khalifat supporters seem to always claim asylum to a Non-Muslim countries, especially Britain, I remmeber in High school, there were many Libyan kids inChorlton, Manchester, and they all came from fathers who were expelled/hated Islamic Clerics.

He had applied for asylum in the UK after being arrested in Malaysia as a suspect in the "war on terror"

What is this romantic relationship between the West and Religionist Islamist bigots?
Well if he did fight the Russians on our behalf, thank you for your war service mate. Yesterday's friend is not necessarily today's guest however. There is a a saying, "Kill with a borrowed sword".

Those who do come here may well be disappointed to find the days of "Londonistan" (if such a thing existed) are long gone. That mindset expired by 0900hrs on 7/7/2005.

As to the relationship between the West and Islam (and indeed Islamists)? If you ask the question, you may not have been paying attention.

The papers give details of how No 10 insisted that the 2004 meeting between Blair and Gaddafi took place in his bedouin tent, with a letter from an MI6 official saying: "I don't know why the English are fascinated by tents. The plain fact is that the journalists would love it."

Secret Libyan files claim MI6 and the CIA aided human rights violations | World news | The Observer

From the British empire's explorers, our men on Secret Service East of Constantinople to the likes of TE Lawrence, Gertrude Bell and Wilfred Thesiger; the desert has long held (and still has) a pull for this country.

By the way, I wouldn't put a picture of a "head and shoulders" next to your name. You may find it being used as the new Figure 14c, since you are not terribly well liked by some!
 
#8
The problem is that you are not clever enough to involve yourself with current affairs, and not funny enough to hold your own anywhere else on here.

You are only embarassing yourself.
I resemble that remark but I digress. How many times were we as children made to say 'sorry' and didn't mean it (or as adults to our other halfs just to keep the piece!)?

So some bloke is going to have to take one for the team and bezzie up to someone who UK PLC had put on the naughty step a while back. It's a non-story, and it only matters to people who have pride and principle where their country is concerned, both of which are lacking in the political classes and totally devoid when 'oil' and 'rebuild' are on the table!

Great training area for dersert amoured warfare. I can see a 'Mohammed's Kebabs' clapped out transit being the 'Wolfgangs' round the camp fires of the oasis...!
 
#9
Politics and diplomacy on a world scale and huge oil reserves. Anything is possible and achievable!

Barring the fact that this guy is where he is partly because of NATO aircraft including some of the RAF have been providing vital air cover to stop Gaddafi's fighter planes and helicopters killing them and allegedly, some of "them" have been giving a helping hand on the ground tactics wise, should we be apologising to him?

Why don't we just tell him to not be so cheeky and mind his P's and Q's and then we can watch while the Chinese or the Russians or whoever wants to say sorry on our behalf trot over there and load him up with lots of goodies in return for all that lovely oil and a significant influential role in a major oil producing region.

Or, we can just get on with doing what's best for us! If that means he has to get an apology, the day's of gunboat diplomacy are long gone, tell him we are sorry. I'm not sorry really and most on this forum won't really be sorry and I'm sure even the diplomat who has to utter the words to him telling him we are sorry won't really mean it but who cares!
 
#10
Do they have pies in Libya, I mean proper ones, not that deep fried grey pulp filled filthy muck the jocks eat, y' know proper pies........?
 
#12
I think we should apologise.

We should write 'We're sorry' thousands of times on postcards to be hand delivered by all the unemployed foreign nationals sponging here, and we should prove how sorry we are by allowing the Libyan Gov to keep the whole ****ing lot forever.
 
#14
Why apologize to him?

He's sitting on all that oil for starters.
Plus we apologize to any ****** these days.

No doubt you'll recieve a full apology and £2 million because someone pretended to be you for a while.
After the spectacle of Mr Tony groveling on BP's behalf to Qaddafi, a tinpot dictator we knew to be responsible for the deaths of a fair few British citizens and whose Semtex is still killing them, I think a little kiss and make up with this beard is relatively respectable.

I really don't care if folk from Darna have been running about al-Anbar in the recent past. It only took us a few years to start working with former Nazis who had bombed the bejesus out of us and devastated much of europe. For God sake the Septics fought that war, lost a couple of hundred thousand men and then implemented the Marshall Plan and Germany is now by far the most important country in europe. They US is now practically allied with Japan, China and Vietnam who they fought brutal wars with in living memory.

We want that sweet crude. We have invested a large wad in some sort of new regime in Libya, the Islamists are likely to be part of that, we need them onside not least because we don't want them producing a version of Algeria's dark decade in Libya. This is how the world works, there is nothing specially malign about Islamists, they are just another bunch of reactionaries and subverting them into a nationalist direction may even be a sensible move terrorism wise.

Having assisted Qaddafi in "policing" disent after trying to use LIFG to whack the old bugger in the 90s is rather embarrassing. Gongs, tea with Dave in No 10 and a bunk up with a minor royal might be in order.
 
#15
After the spectacle of Mr Tony groveling on BP's behalf to Qaddafi, a tinpot dictator we knew to be responsible for the deaths of a fair few British citizens and whose Semtex is still killing them, I think a little kiss and make up with this beard is relatively respectable.

I really don't care if folk from Darna have been running about al-Anbar in the recent past. It only took us a few years to start working with former Nazis who had bombed the bejesus out of us and devastated much of europe. For God sake the Septics fought that war, lost a couple of hundred thousand men and then implemented the Marshall Plan and Germany is now by far the most important country in europe. They US is now practically allied with Japan, China and Vietnam who they fought brutal wars with in living memory.

We want that sweet crude. We have invested a large wad in some sort of new regime in Libya, the Islamists are likely to be part of that, we need them onside not least because we don't want them producing a version of Algeria's dark decade in Libya. This is how the world works, there is nothing specially malign about Islamists, they are just another bunch of reactionaries and subverting them into a nationalist direction may even be a sensible move terrorism wise.

Having assisted Qaddafi in "policing" disent after trying to use LIFG to whack the old bugger in the 90s is rather embarrassing. Gongs, tea with Dave in No 10 and a bunk up with a minor royal might be in order.
I agree but I don't trust the Islamists.

Any form fanaticism is dangerous, but one that says you can't eat bacon seems very unhinged to me.
 
#16
For all our posturing, for all the special diplomatic moves, and whatever the expense of buying future trade information and "keeping people on side", I suspect the Chinese are already assured of the big bucks,and we will be graciously allowed to donate money for schools and hospitals.
 
#17
I agree but I don't trust the Islamists.

Any form fanaticism is dangerous, but one that says you can't eat bacon seems very unhinged to me.
I have been recommending shooting the Beards once their useful belligerence is no longer needed but that's up to the Libyans.

Rather a lot of Israeli Russians would agree with you on the pig thing, I hear it's not impossible to get a decent BLT in Judea and Samaria these days.
 
#18
As predicted and expected the Libyan rebels turn on themselves

12 Slain as Rebel Factions Clash in Libya

'Ancient Rivalries,' Weaponry Cited in Attacks

by Jason Ditz, September 11, 2011

| Print This | Share This | Antiwar Forum

The first in what is expected to be a number of clashes erupting in post-Gadhafi Libya, fighting today broke out between rebel groups in the Nafusa mountains today, leaving at least 12 killed and 16 others wounded.

Two completely independent justifications were given for why this battle erupted, with officials initially claiming that “ancient rivalries” between the residents of the towns of Gharyan and Kikla and the residents of Asabah were responsible.

This changed, however, when the rebel brigade from Gharyan and Kikla was reported to have come to Asabah to recover the heavy weapons they left there during fighting with regime forces.

They didn’t get their weapons, or at least not in the way they hoped, as Asabah fighters opened fire on the brigade when they arrived. Officials from Gharyan and Kikla claimed most of the people in Asabah were Gadhafi loyalists, but this does not appear to have been a factor in the fighting.

12 Slain as Rebel Factions Clash in Libya -- News from Antiwar.com
 
#19
On Jamestown [/URL="http://www.jamestown.org/uploads/media/TM_009_Issue34.pdf"]Briefs[/URL]
...
ISLAMIST COMMANDER OF REBEL FORCES IN TRIPOLI SAYS HE IS VICTIM OF A SMEAR CAMPAIGN BY WESTERN INTELLIGENCE

As a former leading jihadist and the current commander of rebel military forces in Tripoli, Abd al-Hakim Belhadj is without doubt one of the most controversial figures in the Libyan Revolution. Belhadj (a.k.a. Abu Abdullah al-Sadiq) has been often described in foreign media reports as the leader of a Libyan jihadist faction sympathetic to al-Qaeda, a faction that some charge “could easily turn their guns from the Bab al-Aziziya compound towards the Libyan National Transitional Council, targeting it for being ‘secular’ and an ally of the ‘Crusaders’ ” (Al-Sharq al-Awsat, August 28).

Belhadj is a veteran of the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan and a former member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). Belhadj is now leader of al-Haraka al-Islamiya al-Libiya Lit-Tahghir (Libyan Islamic Movement for Change), an armed group composed largely of LIFG veterans. He is reported to have led the final assault on the Bab al-Aziziyah compound at the head of roughly 1,000 men of the Nalut-based February 17 Brigade.

Belhadj rejects the idea he is in any way connected to al-Qaeda and has given interviews to Spanish and French media in an effort to clarify his position and aims. The rebel commander has used every opportunity to make it “very clear that I have nothing to do with al-Qaeda” and insists there are no al-Qaeda fighters under his command, but he “cannot vouch for those whom I do not know” (ABC.es, September 6).

The veteran jihadi took the opportunity of speaking to a Spanish news agency to deny recent allegations in a police report obtained by El Confidencial Digital that he had been in telephone contact with Serhane bin Abdelmajid Fakhet (a.k.a. “The Tunisian") prior to the March 2004 Madrid train bombings (ABC.es, September 6). [1] Fakhet was the leader of the cell that carried out the bombings, and blew himself up along with four other suspects during a police raid in Madrid in April, 2004 (BBC, April 4, 2004). Belhadj claims Spanish intelligence officials interrogated him while he was in Tripoli’s notorious Abu Salim prison, but were satisfied he had no connection to the Madrid train bombings. In Belhadj’s view, the police report was written before the interrogation and the charges are part of a “media smear campaign conducted by the Spanish, British, U.S., French, and Italian intelligence services. All of them have had ties to the repressive regime of al-Qaddafi and now want to get rid of those who witnessed their wrongdoings.”

Belhadj has given contradictory accounts of his travels in the 1990s, claiming to have spent time in Turkey, Afghanistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and other places. There are suspicions that Belhadj lived in Hong Kong for some time, which is where he is alleged to have been in contact with the Madrid bombers. He has claimed to have been arrested by CIA agents in Malaysia in March 2004, but has elsewhere claimed he was arrested by Malaysian authorities at the request of Libyan intelligence, or boarded a plane to the UK with the help of the British High Commission in Malaysia, then deplaned and tortured by CIA agents in Thailand before being handed over to the Libyan regime by MI6. Belhadj says he wants an apology from the British government and is pursuing legal action. Dominic Asquith, a British diplomat, was reported to be seeking a meeting with Belhadj earlier this week to discuss the charges (Telegraph, September 6). Belhadj has also claimed to have spent six years in Abu Salim prison, where he says he was held in a windowless cell for a year and forbidden from showering for three years, but has said at other times he was detained for four and a half years at the headquarters of the secret service (headed by Musa Kusa) before being transferred to Abu Salim for the remainder of his six years of detention. (Le Monde, September 3). Belhadj was freed in March 2010 along with other imprisoned Islamists after renouncing violence in a deal negotiated with Sa’if al-Qaddafi.

Belhadj claims not to harbor feelings of revenge towards the Americans for his alleged torture at the hands of the CIA, having turned his case against the Americans over to his lawyers: “Since the 9/11 attacks, the United States has done terrible things in the field of foreign politics… At that time, they were capable of anything. People who had nothing to do with international terrorism suffered unjustly. They included [the LIFG] on that list, but our goal at that time was the same that we had at the beginning of this revolution: to overthrow the regime… The support provided by NATO and the international community means that things have changed and they want to make up for the mistakes they made in the past. However, we are the same people whom they used to call terrorists” (ABC.es, September 6).

In the face of questions about the rebel commander’s past, President Nicolas Sarkozy’s office stepped up to defend him, revealing that the French president’s military chief of staff, General Benoit Puga, had met with Belhadj and was able to form a “personal opinion of him that does not correspond at all to the accusations against him” (AFP, August 31).
I would not trust Belhadj at all, but the same goes for many of the slippery NTC guys.
 

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