Archive for Gaddafi

Should We Arm The Libyan Rebels?

Posted in Al Quada, Arab, Britain, England, Europe, Muslim, Obama, President, Security Council, Terrorism, UK, UN, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , , , , , on 30/03/2011 by floroy1942

President Obama has raised the question of whether or not the Coalition should arm the rebels fighting Gaddafi. That I fear is very dangerous ground!

M136 AT4 Light Anti-Tank Weapon

First of all, arm them with what? Modern anti-tank weapons (i.e. missiles)would be a good idea, and perhaps some artillery pieces, maybe even a tank or two, but what then? Do we follow this up with technical experts to teach them how to fire the darned things.

AT4 Anti-Tank Video:

 http://www.youtube.com/embed/Q3xsMqHu56g

While it is without doubt in the interests of many countries to see Gaddafi gone, the road to achieving that is a slippery slope unless great caution is exercised. The objective of the UN mandate is clear; “Protect civilian lives from aggressive action by Gaddafi’s forces”. Arming the rebels does not, in my view, come under that heading.

The Security Council Votes

That whole scenario would be going way over the top of the UN Resolution, and bring down upon the Coalition severe condemnation from the vultures sitting on the sidelines sharpening their long knives waiting for us to trip up, make no mistake.

The original intention was good, and you can forget all the ‘lefty’ accusations of ‘it’s all about the oil’. The Coalition has now put itself in the position of being on trial, certainly within the Arab world and the African continent.

The Arab League Waits....

The Middle East countries are sitting on the fence waiting to see if the West will (a) stick to the mandate, or (b) meddle in Libyan internal affairs by actively assisting the rebels, and (c) try to enforce democracy afterwards. We are coming very close to the limits of the Mandate and may even already have overstepped them by actively assisting the rebels with the air strikes.

It has become abundantly clear that the Libyan dictator will not go quietly, he will fight to the last man and will have to be removed by force. If he does win, you can bet his vengeance will not only be levelled at the rebels and Benghazi, but also the Western Alliance. He is quite capable of opening his door to al Quada and giving them a base from which to operate.

Rebels In Retreat....Again!

The sad thing is the rebels do not seem capable of winning without more intervention by the Coalition, particularly in light of the reverses they have suffered in recent days.

Rebel Retreat:

 http://www.youtube.com/embed/_rrDAt-ejL4

Apart from the fact they are a ‘rag-tag army’ of civilians without any military training whatsoever, they have no leadership, no chain of command, or coördination of effort. In the long-term, they have little or no chance of success against a properly trained army such as the one that fights for Gaddafi, and no amount of aerial bombardment by the coalition will change that.

I reiterate what I have said in earlier posts, i.e. that the UN resolution came far too late. Had it been granted even one week earlier the situation on the ground could have been much different. But there is ‘no point in crying over spilt milk’ as they say, we must make the best of what we have, which to be honest, is not a lot.

Is He Giving Us Two Fingers?

It remains to be seen what the eventual outcome of the affair will be, but I have a nasty feeling the Alliance will not come out of it ‘smelling like roses’. There is still a lot of work to be done, and a lot of it depends on how far the UN, the Arab League and the African Union are prepared to back NATO and the Alliance in achieving the removal of Gaddafi.

Roy.

 

Libya – The Great Betrayal

Posted in Arab, Britain, Europe, Human Rights, Muslim, President, UK, UN, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , , , on 17/03/2011 by floroy1942

Once again the world has witnessed betrayal by the impotent United Nations. This great ideal of all nations united against evil, founded in 1945, has been seen, as so often in the past, to fail dismally in the face of adversity.

International Talk Shop - The UN Building in New York

When the Libyan crisis first broke weeks ago, talk began about assistance, and some countries like France, recognised the rebels internationally and called upon the dictator Gaddafi to step down. Then came the reemergence of Gaddafi’s power and the onslaught by his mercenaries and army upon the rebels with tanks, artillery and bombs. Most vocal in their condemnation were as usual the US, Europe and NATO, all of whom called for a no-fly zone to ground Gaddafi’s air force.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12740740

A Proud Boast That Cannot Be Enforced

The UN met and called for an end to the violence, which naturally enough fell on deaf ears. Meanwhile the western nations met again and again proclaiming in loud voices that the no-fly zone should be introduced, but again nothing! Although it must be said for all their good intentions, their hands were tied without the backing of a UN resolution and the approval of the Arab League of Nations (ALN).

As in the UN, the ALN talked and talked for more than a week before finally giving tacit approval to the measures last weekend. So back it goes to the UN and we are still waiting for an answer. Meanwhile, the rebels are being hammered into the ground by the African mercenaries and their backers, the Libyan armed forces. Gaddafi and his son are still defiant and claim the battle is almost won, and by the time the UN gets around to finally agreeing to the proposal it probably will be. You can be certain Gaddafi’s vengeance will be swift and merciless.

A Plea From The People

It has become synonymous with the UN that they can (a) never agree on anything, and (b) if they do, it is always too late. This international body, formed with such high ideals has become the laughing-stock of intelligent people across the world. Whenever one country takes aggressive action against another, or as in the case of Libya, a people rise up to fight for their freedom from oppression, all the members of the UN can do is ‘flap their jaws’.

It’s about time this body came to realise that in a crisis such as this, talking just doesn’t hack it and actions speak louder than words. I am tired of national representatives looking after their own interests ahead of the common good:- “Oh dear! We can’t vote for this motion because we buy oil from Gaddafi!” etc etc.

Blasted By Artillery, Bombed From Above!

Sometimes the problem is Russia and/or China, who to protect their own interests wield their veto. Russia will not approve an action because they sell arms to a particular nation, or China vetoes a resolution because she has economic or political interests in a country. In my view, the entire veto system should be scrapped, for it’s about time the UN was able to make and pass resolutions for the common good without this ‘roadblock’.

For the UN to work as originally intended, it is necessary for all nations to forget their own petty interests and concentrate on the good of all humanity in all countries. Aggression must be met by united resistance and not petty squabbling. The oppression of any people must be met with a firm resolve by all nations before it is too late.

A True Statement That Should Haunt The UN

I feel sorry for the people of Libya who want nothing more than to live in peace, free of their oppressive dictator. We have seen a wave of such rebellions in the past months where populations have shown their wish to be free. Unfortunately for the Libyans, their dictator has been made of sterner stuff than his compatriots. No dictator likes to lose his grip on power as can be evidenced around the world in countries like Bahrain, Iran and Zimbabwe to name but a few.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFzDUd9EIS4

There are still many more oppressive regimes, chief among them China, but also many in the making such as Venezuela, where Hugo Chavez is cementing his position of power for the future by changing the constitution in his favour. It is for sure the UN will eventually be called upon to arbitrate in many of these countries in the future when their people tire of being oppressed. I just hope by then it will be up to the task!

Roy.

Related posts by this author:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/an-enforced-libyan-no-fly-zone-is-it-wise/

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/the-un-europe-and-arab-league-on-libya-blah-blah-blah/

Update: Thursday 17 March 22.00CET.

It seems there is finally good news from the UN as there should be a decision on the Libya debate in about another hour. Britain and France have said that initial action in supporting the rebels could perhaps begin tomorrow (Friday). Interesting to note that both Russia and China are expected to abstain during the vote, and will not exercise their veto rights. I guess international pressure has made them think again! Let us just hope it is not “too little too late”!

An Enforced Libyan No-Fly Zone – Is It Wise?

Posted in Arab, Britain, England, Europe, Government, Insurgents, Muslim, Obama, Parliament, President, Terrorism, UK, UN, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , , , , on 08/03/2011 by floroy1942

Should America and NATO be allowed to enforce a no-fly zone on Libya? Personally, I think it would be a huge mistake for these organizations to even try, unless they have the full coöperation of other arab nations.

Libyan Rebels

There can be little doubt that the current attacks by pro-Gaddafi forces on the rebels must end, and it is indeed a scandal they are taking place in the first place. However, we have to remember, this is an internal struggle in which non-arab nations cannot impose their will, even in the name of humanity.

To put this in context, what would American reactions have been if South American countries had felt it necessary to intervene during their Civil War? Food for thought!

Once again it has been amply demonstrated the UN is a toothless tiger with nothing to contribute other than useless words and condemnation, but that is not helping the people of Libya one iota. There again, the UN is nothing more than a ‘babble shop’ in my eyes, and throughout its history, with the exception of the Korean war, has never really succeeded in quelling war, aggression, genocide or human rights violations in the world.

Careful Thought Required By NATO Members

In actual fact, NATO has been more proactive with its actions in Kosovo, Serbia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

But back to the main theme, Libya has suffered an uprising of the common man against a dictatorial regime much the same as other North African countries of late, but this one has turned out different. There is little doubt the military were the deciding factor in Libya, for they had the choice of siding with the protesters or Gaddafi. They chose the latter, and this may well have spelled the end for the popular uprising, because a dedicated man with an AK47 is no match for a tank or fighter-bomber in the long term.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/Q9MQD38nmOs

Libyan Airforce Under Gaddafi Control

In my opinion, enforcement of a no fly zone over Libya will not change the situation on the ground very much, as the pro-Gaddafi forces are far superior in arms and equipment and must eventually win. If they do not, it will not say much about their effectiveness as a fighting force. One can only hope the common soldier gets tired of killing people he is sworn to protect, and eventually rebels against his officers. This however is unlikely to happen if, as reports suggest, most of the fighting is carried out by African mercenaries in the pay of Gaddafi.

But so far as the politics of foreign intervention are concerned, I believe it would be a disaster of international  proportions for either America or NATO to intervene in this struggle. It is worthy of note that the other arab nations have been silent on this issue until very recently. Not one of the main arab countries, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, or Iran have come out and publically condemned Gaddafi’s actions, or those of the rebels. All stayed silent, just as they do on the question of Islāmic insurgency.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/ghGjRqvcbRA

This may well be because most arab countries are run by an elite few who have been in power for decades, and they too fear a popular uprising in their own country. The people of Iran have tried it and were ruthlessly put down by the government.

As a purely arab problem, one would expect the other nations to come together quickly to find a way to end the bloodshed of their brethren, but until very recently all we had was a wall of silence while they sit on the fence and wait to see what happens, again, much as they have done with the insurgency. Declarations of condemnation have now been made, but it seems no move towards actually stopping the bloodshed have yet materialised. 

Oil - Not the Excuse As Some People Think!

Should NATO countries, or indeed the USA, decide to enter the conflict, it will be seen purely as ‘protecting their oil interests’ and they will once again be accused of ‘wielding the big stick’ as they were in Iraq and Afghanistan.

America has long been perceived by many nations to be acting as the world’s policemen, and to a certain degree I believe this attitude is held by many Americans. No matter how powerful a nation, or group of nations is, it does not have the right to intervene in what is, as in the case of Libya, an internal struggle. The motives may be the best in the world, but they will not be seen as such by all.

Considering the tensions that have existed between the arab nations and ‘the West’ since 9/11, it would be a brave fool who intervenes in a purely arab struggle without the participation, or at least a nod of approval, from the rest of the arab block. To do so will only stoke the fires of anti-western feeling within these nations. It is without doubt a very delicate situation, for if anyone decided to enforce a no-fly zone, what then?

Two Men In The Hot Seat

As Robert Gates, the US Secretary of Defence has already stated, to begin such an operation would first mean attacks on the airfields and missile defence systems of Libya which amount to an act of war. Once that happens, any country embarking on such a task would be fully committed as a participant in the conflict. Would the people of NATO member countries, or Americans be happy at the prospect of their servicemen being killed in such a situation? I think not.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/1Y3f3e2ieqU

I can just imagine the lines of protesters marching up and down outside the White House condemning Barack Obama for getting America into yet another conflict. He could certainly kiss goodbye any hopes of re-election, as would the governments of any other NATO country.

Trying To Bring Down An Air Force Fighter Bomber

War is not something to be taken lightly, people die in wars, and for any country to think of participating in one, especially when so far away and none of your business, governments and Presidents must tread warily. America learnt a hard lesson in Vietnam and the scars are not yet fully healed.

Certainly, it is hard to sit on the sidelines and watch as a country tears itself apart in this manner, but sometimes that is all you can do. To get involved against the will of neighbouring nations and your own people is sheer folly.

It may be fine for politicians like Britain’s William Hague to spout about no-fly zones, but I am sure if the people of Britain were asked their opinion, there would be a resounding ‘No!’ to any involvment, and much the same in the US.

Bomb Attack On Rebels

Western nations can do no more than sit on the sidelines and wait to see what happens. The conflict started, and will end, in Libya and the only nations that can stop it are other arab countries, if they have the guts to come out of the shadows and take action. I hold my breath!

Roy.

See related post:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/the-un-europe-and-arab-league-on-libya-blah-blah-blah/

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