by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Reports from Al Jazeera claim Libyan rebels are receiving training from United States and Egyptian special forces. The U.S. intervention into what is a Libyan civil war will likely come to a bad ending. Sticking your national nose into other countries affairs usually do.
That aside, with the known links some of the rebel fighters have to al Qaeda, and the fact the rebel leader spent time in Afghanistan working against coalition forces there, the question remains, do we know who we are arming and training.
US and Egyptian special forces have reportedly been providing covert training to rebel fighters in the battle for Libya, Al Jazeera has been told.
An unnamed rebel source related how he had undergone training in military techniques at a "secret facility" in eastern Libya.
He told our correspondent Laurence Lee, reporting from the rebel-stronghold of Benghazi, that he was sent to fire Katyusha rockets but was given a simple, unguided version of the rocket instead.
"He told us that on Thursday night a new shipment of Katyusha rockets had been sent into eastern Libya from Egypt. He didn't say they were sourced from Egypt, but that was their route through," our correspondent said.
"He said these were state-of-the-art, heat-seeking rockets and that they needed to be trained on how to use them, which was one of the things the American and Egyptian special forces were there to do."
The intriguing development raises several questions, about Egypt's private involvement and what the arms embargo exactly means, said our correspondent.
"There is also the question of whether or not the outside world should arm the rebels, when in fact they [rebels] are already being armed covertly."
Our correspondent added that since the rebels appear to be receiving covert support in terms of weaponry and training, it is not surprising that they are not inclined to criticise NATO openly.
The altruistic humanitarian desire of the United Sates government and the "international community" to protect the Libyan people from their own despotic leader may well backfire. The possibility, indeed probability, that we are arming, training, and supporting forces that will be every bit as repressive and despotic is very real.
We simply do not know how these so called rebels will govern if they eventually take the reigns of power from Qaddafi. It could turn out to be just as bad, if not worse.
More from Al Jazeera.
Cross posed to RN USA