Reports of fighting, including some actual tank battles, are coming as Muammar al-Gaddafi attacks Benghazi, center of the anti-government rebels. In Paris, an alliance of European and Gulf nations are meeting to plan implementing the Libya No Fly Zone as approved by the United Nations Security Council. According to reports this morning, pro-Gaddafi tanks have entered Benghazi. Video of a jet warplane being shot down was also shown, but whether the jet is one of Gaddafi’s or one which the rebels may have.
So, it would seem that the civil war in Libya has reached its crescendo. NATO warplanes may begin launching attacks sometime today. Whether this will stop Gaddafi from completing his elimination of the rebels is highly doubtful at this point. Two weeks ago, even one week ago, it may have made a difference. But the weak-sister diplomats and political leadership has failed.
Obviously, no matter how ruthless Gaddafi is, he won’t wipe out all of the rebels. Many will escape, probably into Egypt. So we can expect a long insurgent war in the region. Depending how NATO does act during the next few days, Gaddafi could start dynamiting his oil facilities, which would put a real squeeze on Europe and increase oil prices globally. So this new war that Obama is dragging us into is not going to be some quick in-and-out type of operation.
While many people claim that we are doing this for ‘humanitarian’ reasons, why then is the U.N., Obama, and others not saying or doing much about unrest in other Gulf states? Yesterday in Yemen, police snipers gunned down and killed some 24 civilians. Some 46 people in all were killed in the capitol of Sanaa. This morning, Yemeni police attacked a rebel stronghold in Aden. This adventure into Libya is about one thing — OIL!
Whatever arguments for a moral high-ground folks may wave about for the Libya No Fly Zone just do not wash. Muammar al-Gaddafi is a bad man, no question about it. But do we really know who the rebels are? The NATO air strikes may be too late now that Gaddafi is attacking Benghazi. Once again, the United Nations Security Council as proved itself as ineffective as the League of Nations. I might add, that President Barack Obama′s visit to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil may not only be untimely from a leadership and optics standpoint, but diplomatically as well, since Brazil abstained on Thursday′s UNSC vote.