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Libya: civil war « Previous | |Next »
March 2, 2011

From what I can gather the rebellion against the rotting Gaddafi regime in Libya has resulted in a divided country and civil war. Gadaffi controls the west whilst the rebels control the east, with the rebels aiming to take further territory away from Gadaffi's forces. Qaddafi’s regime is shrinking to the size of Libya’s capital, Tripoli and the rebel army is preparing to march on Tripoli.

Juan Cole points out that the problem that Gadaffi has is that some 80% Libya’s developed petroleum fields are in rebel-held territory and Gadaffi’s own foreign funds increasingly frozen. So his cash on hand to pay mercenaries and bribe clients will rapidly decline.

BellSGadaffi2.jpg Steve Bell

The neo-con's New American Century looks tattered with the aftershocks from the political earthquake. Their strategy was one in which Washington would utilise maximum US force, power and influence to create a Middle East obedient to the interests and objectives of the US that was geared to the preservation of the superiority of Israel and the utilisation of American hard-power to eliminate any threats posed to it.

The attitude of western states is one where public declarations of support from political leaderships disguise unease at the prospect of dealing with more democratic governments. The western relationship with regional autocracies is decades old---the islands of stability that the US has traditionally favoured---and these forms of government were not the e sort that the people of the Arab world have desired

Old habits die hard. These habits extend back to the condition of European coloniality and are at odds with the birth pangs of the first postcolonial nations emerging from the post-independent pathologies of European colonialism, when native tyrants replaced their European counterparts and for decades abused thei rpeop[le, banked on their fears, plundered their r resources, wasted their hopes, robbed them of their democratic dignity, and delayed any meaningful formation of sovereign and liberated nation-states.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:13 PM | | Comments (4)


As more and more countries explicitly denounce Gadaffi and his government, there seems to be growing pressure on the Obama administration to do something. The President and the Secretary of State--have ratcheted up the rhetoric against the Libyan leader in recent days, but the potential for massive and widespread violence has directed pressure on Obama to act, not just talk.

The US neocons want to launch military action to ensure regime change in Libya.

In contrast to the neo-cons Secretary of Defense Robert Gates last week that:

Any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should have his head examined.

Force is the last resort, and when it is used, it must be devastating.

Friedman says that the United States cannot be devastating in wars dependent on land power. That is the weakest aspect of American international power and the one the United States has resorted to all too often since World War II, with unacceptable results.

Some--eg., Kevin Rudd, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, in his speech to the Human Rights Council---argue that the current developments in Libya warrant NATO + the US to consider employing the imposition of a UN-mandated no-fly zone to prevent a tottering regime from being able to lash out at rebel enclaves and cause significant humanitarian suffering.

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy such a move on the grounds that imposing no-fly zones is a slippery slope: such missions are easy to begin but exceedingly difficult to end.

Why the big push (in some quarters) for foreign military intervention? And so little talk for humanitarian aid?

The Libyan people started this uprising and they will sort it out for themselves.