Saturday, May 21, 2011

Putting the whammi on Muammi Ghaddafi

Watching one of those 'town hall' meetings so much in vogue of late, on the topic of the current regime change underway in Libya. There were a host of experts and pundits available to discuss NATO's 'responsibility', acquired via the UN from the latest US doctrine - the 'obligation to protect' and how that is being applied in Libya. The 'rebel' side was represented by a number of expatriot Libyans.

The overall impression however, despite a wide ranging and comprehensive exchange of diplomatic, military, and civilian views, is that, somehow, a significant number of Libyans seem to be being left out of the discussion. And that is strange. For Libya, the last time I looked, hadn't declared war on anybody, and aside, from a UN resolution, had anyone declared war on it. There should be a number of Libyan voices still representative of the 'ancien regime' who could  offer an apologia, if not a perspective, for it. They may not be 'enemy aliens', but there is no way their narrative is being introduced into the debate, not in any free and open democratic forum.

So it seems that Ghaddafi, supported by two, (now only one), sons and the elite military units they command, are not only holding-off the rest of the country under the latest and best air bombardment NATO can offer, they actually seem to be able to put a regular 'run' on the 'rebel' forces and maintain another couple of seiges. They seem to be in control of, or able to deny control to, the country's oil resources. Ghaffi et fils seem to be in control of the western half of the country, and able to dispute the central coast, the southern areas seem to be theirs, too. What puts them in some jeopardy is the source of arms and supplies for the rebel forces, in the absence of such re-supply for his own. His ability to wage a conventional war seems to have been heavily-attritted but the notion that he might have access to some sophisticated weapons, particularly anti-aircraft weapons, is keeping the Coalition Airforce at altitude where they might not be as effective as wished. That notion might also be holding up the committment of ground forces..

As I pick this screed up (some 5 weeks later)  little has changed, except  now that NATO has managed to clear out at least some old stock from the bomb lockers, and Ghaddafi has become a personal 'high-value target',again,  the leader of the free world wants permission from Congress - of the USA (not the world) - to 'go kinetic'  by introducing an armed force into Libya. It's really suprising that the 'sober' voices (the silent ones) of the UN aren't saying 'enough already' and calling for a truce and talks. If only in New York - for the Security Council seems to be wagging the UN dog, and not doing it the least bit well at it.

So far the US seems to be taking some delight in pounding Ghaddafi's "compound" to rubble and using the general explanation (he brought them to a firefight?) to excuse their blasting a couple of his grandchildren and one of his sons. You'd think a country affected by one, singular, earth-shaking catastrophe might have some reluctance about visiting the same, in spades, on somebody else, particularly somebody else who did nothing to harm them. But, hey, if you had to hit back your 'pals' ..... it's always easier to punish an 'enemy'.

The testosterone is flowing in the US ... all the Bin Laden 'high fives'  have sprouted a 'bush' full of  'macho'  and John Wayne 'say-sos'. All except when it comes to gallant little Israel, though. Mr Meshuggeneh can come to America and address Congress, call the President a 'naif' and ridicule his Weltanschaung in the press. He can say that there's no way he's even going to consider what Obama, or the UN says, in his'existential' defence of Eretz Israel. Maybe if Israel wasn't America's 'only, real' friend. But then, who would want those high tech weapons - or be willing to use them - just look at what they do with the money they don't have to spend arming themselves, they've turned that desert into a garden, fer pete's sake. Or maybe that's the money they've screwed out of Gaza and the West Bank..

Another little north African 'adventure' may be just the ticket the US armed forces need to get their morale problem in order. A swift little desert war - putting the Abrams and the armored fist to work like Rommel did. And not a Monty, or even an O'Connor in sight - should be a 'cake walk', and an opportunity to show up the 'luftweapon' who figured they could bomb Muammar out of office.

But it better not take more than 2 weeks.

PS: There's no chance this is a Bin Laden post mortem trick, eh? Replacing 'the revolution' with Al Qaeda?  Nah, probably not.

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