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Britain Learns No Lessons from Mistakes

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TEHRAN, March 9 (ICANA) - The UK says it will dispatch more diplomats to Libya to engage in talks with the opposition irrespective of the consequences a botched mission has had for the country.
Wednesday, March 09, 2011 2:21:22 PM
Britain Learns No Lessons from Mistakes

Foreign Secretary William Hague accepted full ministerial responsibility in his speech to the parliament Monday for the mission he personally authorized to travel to the crisis-stricken Libya to launch talks with the revolutionary forces fighting the country's long-time dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

The mission included seven SAS (Special Forces) troops and an MI6 officer armed with the most destructive state-of-the-art weaponry, who had entered another country's territory without even notifying the host country's officials under the guise of a diplomatic mission.

The group, which travelled by helicopter and landed near eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, was briefly captured and then released by the revolutionary forces only after an embarrassing high-level diplomatic intervention.

The UK ambassador to Libya personally intervened and his plea for the spying team's release was broadcast on state television to mark yet another humiliation for the country.

The mission was error-strewn from the beginning, when the helicopter carrying the team landed near Benghazi without notifying the commanders of the uprising-- causing the revolutionary forces to think that they were under attack.

The captured personnel aggravated the situation by claiming to be unarmed -- which only made their predicament worse when their weapons were discovered. They took them to a military base handcuffed. Soon after, British officials launched frantic attempts to secure their release.

"The reason they were arrested was that they came into the country unofficially and without any arrangement with the Libyan authorities", said Hafiz Ghoga, a spokesman for the revolutionary forces' National Council.

However, a shame-faced Foreign Secretary Hague confessed to MPs that he authorized last week what he called "a small British diplomatic team" to go to Libya.

"They were withdrawn yesterday (Sunday) after a serious misunderstanding about their role leading to their temporary detention", he added amid titters of laughter.

"The normal way is that the Foreign Secretary takes these decisions", said a spokesman for Prime Minister Cameron.

The spokesman admitted, however, that the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary Hague had been "discussing this issue" over the past week, along with daily emergency "Cobra" meetings in Cabinet Office briefing room A.

This is while that Libya continues to move toward a full-scale civil war, after the despotic ruler's thugs unleashed the full fury of the regime's arsenal, sending warplanes and ground troops to attack the revolutionary forces positions and the impoverished civilians across Libya.

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