Friday, March 25, 2011

Did you know that ...

Almost every aggressor-country in the War of Libya has been consorting or hobnobbing with the despots ruling Arab countries that have been experiencing huge political upheavals? More ...

  • Former French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie vacationed in Tunisia a few weeks before the revolution, using the private jet owned by a businessman close to the regime, and offered then-Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali the services of French security forces to suppress the rebellion there?  
  • EU states have sold Gaddafi 1.1 billion euros ($1.56 billion) worth of arms between 2004, when they lifted their arms embargo, and 2011, and were looking forward to much more in the future ?
  • As recently as 2010, France was in talks with Libya for the sale of 14 Dassault Mirage fighter jets and the modernization of some of Tripoli’s aircraft ?
  • Italy was in the middle of negotiating a further 1 billion euros worth of deals prior to the unrest?
  • The British government were hob-nobbing with Gaddafi and released Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, a Libyan held for the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing, on humanitarian grounds?
  • That this humanitarian gesture was motivated by the possibility that British energy giant BP would receive favorable energy concessions in Libya?
  • According to U.N. Security Council resolution 1973, the military objective of the intervention is to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya and to protect civilians from harm across all of Libya. But no-fly means that Gaddafi's planes cannot fly, but NATO and the US planes can. A bit like allowing the librarian to shout, "Silence!!!", methinks.
  • Already, leaders of France, Britain and the US have publicly said that "“there is no decent future for Libya with Gaddafi in power", thus preparing the ground for going beyond the UN mandate, and enforcing "regime change" which is doublespeak for killing Gaddafi. Notwithstanding that every time they had done that in recent memory in the hope that a pliable regime can then be installed, their calculations have gone horribly haywire. 
  • I had said that the NATO may have a plan for the war, but no plan for the peace seems visible. Now it seems like they don't even have a plan for the war, and for who will lead it. The US started things off from the relative safety of their airplanes, and now want NATO to carry on the dirty, expensive work of actually finishing off the war in the air and  on the ground and managing the peace thereafter.
  • Nobody is saying how the rebels in faraway Benghazi can be mobilized to carry the fight into Tripoli. Actually, most of them seem happy to keep and retain control of their city, and don't seem to have the stomach of engaging Gaddafi in his own den. If that does not happen, the NATO will have to send its troops into Tripoli, making it far too messy and costly in terms of European lives at risk. So another Iraq seems to be in the making, as I feared when the War of Libya was begun.

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