Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Only Death Can Stop Gaddafi in Libya

When Saddam Hussein was hanged, the US did not know that by their very act, they were creating chaos and a vacuum to be filled by a stooge who could never be accepted by the people. Many years into that invasion, the US is still sucked into a prolong occupation which in itself draws hostile reaction from Iraqis who now strap themselves with bombs and are blowing themselves into pieces in protest. In Afghanistan, a similar invasion has also sucked the US into a prolong war with no foreseeable peace in the offing.
The main reason for the chaos created after the removal of Saddam Hussein is that, irrespective of his crimes, he had control of the people and like Gaddafi was at best admired by the people and detested by the international community. Their supporters therefore see any foreign invasion as an abuse of their sovereign rights.
Libya would surely go through the chaos witnessed in Afghanistan and Iraq with the removal of Colonel Gaddafi. Just as when US and French warplanes started destroying his weapons, Gaddafi opened his arsenal and asked his people to arm and defend themselves from the rebels.
When the rebels entered Sirte, they did not initially encounter any open aggression, but as they proceeded, they were met with a barrage of gun shots from every direction on the streets causing them to make a panic retreat, just as when Gaddafi forces had ambushed them. This made them to withdraw in panic back to al-Brega. It was also the realization on the part of the rebels that entering Tripoli was not something that they could hope to achieve.
Moreover, many Libyans who support Gaddafi do not see the rebels as any heroes but see them as traitors who are condoning and conniving with foreigners to remove Gaddafi’s regime.
The Telegraph reported on Tuesday 5 April that the rebels were beaten into another panic retreat after an onslaught by pro-Gaddafi forces. The Transitional National Council criticized NATO for not conducting airstrikes against Gaddafi forces. Such an action would contravene the UN resolution. NATO’s mandate is to attack forces posing danger to civilians, but the rebels wielding guns are not civilians and their cry for more airstrikes on Gaddafi’s forces is only hypocritical. One rebel is reported to have said that “when we put our faith in God, we were winning, but when we put our faith in NATO, we are losing.”
As it seems, Gaddafi’s forces are set to quash the rebellion with new tactics being adopted to avoid airstrikes. Like the proverbial bird that said, “since the hunter has learnt how to shoot without missing, it has also learnt how to fly without perching,” they no longer wear uniforms and no longer use tanks but mount their rockets and weapons on similar pickups used by the rebels. Moreover, sandstorms and clouds are aiding the Gaddafi forces to advance and drive the rebels back to Benghazi without airstrikes.
 Obviously, the Coalition against Gaddafi are beginning to realize that it is only death that will stop Gaddafi, which seems unlikely because of the tight security surrounding him and the fact that most of Libyans would prefer Gaddafi to a foreign imposed stooge.
Although Gaddafi seems to be making concessions by sending envoys to many countries urging them that he would want to negotiate so that his son Saif Islam would take over and subsequent elections held in Libya while Gaddafi remains a ceremonial King, “like the British Queen.”
 The rebels rejected such an offer and are demanding that Gaddafi step down, and they would not want to have any Gaddafi ruling them again. They may come to regret such a stance.
If the west is sincerely concerned about civilians, this is one lead that could be agreed because to continually insist that Gaddafi step aside is not likely to achieve any results and might eventually tilt public opinion against the rebels. Already, some residents of Tripoli are getting frustrated by the rebels’ actions.
It is becoming more obvious that removing Gaddafi is not as easy as was thought and that it is perhaps time for the west to salvage their image by agreeing to negotiate rather than continually bombing Libya because that will not solve the problem even with the removal of Gaddafi.  African intelligent sources are of the view that the Gaddafi regime has recruited and are still recruiting more mercenaries from Africa in the numbers of 20,000 to support the regime fight the rebels and any possible land invasion forces from the west. Most of the mercenaries are from Chad, Niger, Mali, and Algeria among others.
There were reports that vehicles carrying weapons and ammunition left the borders of eastern Libya into Mali. Although it is widely speculated that the weapons were looted and transported by al-Qaeda members, there are also speculations that Gaddafi intends to recruit mercenaries from Mali, who would march and lay siege of  Benghazi. These are however not confirmed.
Strangely, British Prime Minister David Cameron who used propaganda and twisted arms to get the UN to impose the ‘no fly zone’ over Libya has said that Britain was responsible for most of the world’s problems. The PM who said this on a visit to India sought to blame past British foreign policy for that, but failed abysmally to acknowledge that by his actions in Libya, he was continuing to worsen world problems and that he is a prototypical leader who is presently conniving to cause more problems in Libya. Or did he, while he was talking, forget that he has personally engineered and prolonged the war in Libya
Gaddafi may not be a good man for many reasons, but the fact still remains that he is a strong man and his people do indeed love him, especially for his generosity.
This strongman, this lonely man, this man who is isolated (by friends and foes), this man, whose forces have been battered, his planes grounded and his ammunitions destroyed, is still strong although weakened and as defiant as never before and still hoping to spring into victory and successfully fend off invaders who see only the oil and gold in the land.
 Some may say history is not on his side, but history is written about individual whose courage, in the mist of hostile aggression, brought good to their people. But who are these imperialist to determine whose side history should belong? Like Bob Marley said, it is only “time that will tell.”                              

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