Libya was the last major territory to be seized by the Roman empire and the first to escape from its clutches along with Parthia. The Libyans fought long and hard against the Italians when they conquered the desert land in the 1930's. The fact is that Col Qaddaffi who was recently rehabilitated in the affections of Western powers after spending more than 30 years as an international paraiah is not a military and political pushover. In spite of the Lokerbee bombing he was able to get the main conspirator freed from a Scottish prison during the Labour regime because of the vast oil revenues that he holds.
The USA together with France has imposed a no-fly zone over Libya. Under the pretext of enforcing a no-fly zone NATO jets are bombing Libyan government and civilian positions. A no-fly zone would only mean that if case the Libyan air force attempts to land in rebel held areas, then NATO can enforce compliance of the UN resolution 1973. The Obama Administration and Sarkozy's France have chosen to interpret this resolution as a mandate to intervene and impose regime change in Libya: regime change is not implied in the UN resolution. On the first day of bombing US rained 110 Tomahawk missiles on Libya and US B-52 bombers dropped 45 1000 kilo bombs in the first day itself. Was such a massive attack justified? Is this not a savage and brutal act of war against unarmed civilians? Already in Iraq and Afghanistan, US intervention has caused untold suffering and there is no count of the casualties. What makes the matter even worse is that the war heads carried depleted uranium warheads making these attacks a nuclear attack on civilian target violating all lawa of civilised warfare.
The US, UK and France are keen to see the oil rich region around Bengazi is brought undetr direct rebel control. Like Chablis in Iraq, the US has propped up a quisling called Khalifa Heftir,a "CIA asset" of many years. It seems that the USA will not learn a lesson from its own recent history. The town of Sirte, the tribal area from which Col Qaddaffi come has borne the brunt of the bombing and there is just no military or political justification for this. The ragtag rebel troops are being finnced by the Saudis and the brutal Saudi regime is being hailed as an exemplar of democracy. Even the US Admiral James Stavridis has admiotted in Congress that the rebels are being infiltrated by Al Qaeda elements. It appears that the US policy is to strengthen the forces that are bent on destabilising the region. Though the Libyan Government assets of nearly 45 billion US $ have been frozen by the Western Governments, the so-called "interim transitional national council" has been permitted to acess these funds which are being used to fiance the NATO bombing of Libya. So we have Libyan money being used to kill Libyans in their own land.
The po;icy of Obama is bound to fail. USA cannot afford another long tern engagement in the deserts of Libya and the longer the war and Resistance continues the easier it would be for Col Qaddaffi to cling on to power.
One one really likes the Col and he is an unsavory sort of fellow. A megalomaniac with vision of grandeur extending throughout North Africa. It appears that al-jazeera is extremely influential; in the Arabic world just as I pointed out in an earlier blog. However, this channel is successful against secular dictators and is making no headway in countries like Saudi Arabia in which repression is a way of life.
Col Gadaffi is unlikely to give in to the US backed EU enforced no-fly zone. Bengazi is right now on the verge of falling to Col Gaddaffi's troops and since the US has ruled out ground troops, the no fly zone will only lead to civilian casualties which will turn the world opinion against the intervention. The only gainer from this ill advised move is al qaeda which will now have yet another cause to trumpet. With all his failings, the Col like Saddam Hussain had kept Islamic terrorism firmly under control and his weakening will only result in North Africa becoming another war zone. Already the civilian casualties have started increasing and the hospitals have started showing signs of overstretch.
The intervention in Libya is ill timed and will further erode US credibility in the Arab world.