The Allied Coalition has been busy destroying Moammar Gadhafi's ability to wreak havoc on Libyan Rebels, civilians or ???. Whoever they are one thing is certain, they do not resemble anything remotely close to a trained military. A rag tag mob maybe. As you are probably aware, reports have surfaced that there is a difference of opinion over what the true objective of the mission is among the three principle players in the coalition. However, I do get the distinct feeling that the British and French prefer Gadhafi to die at their hands one way or the other. Given the escalation over the past two days and the targeting of Gadhafi's compound, it would appear the rush is on before anyone else assumes leadership of this operation. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. Naturally, President Obama would rather pass this hot potato off as quickly as possible. And I don't blame him.
There is a fear that Moammar Gadhafi might survive this onslaught and continue his iron fist rule and I don't see much of a problem so far as repelling any advances of a poorly trained group of rebels either. Just as the no fly zone failed to suppress Saddam Hussain in Iraq, Gadhafi would be able to continue his reign of terror even with a no-fly zone in place. Hell, he could even pass power off to one of his son's in that scenario. That is the stalemate that has people concerned. That is exactly why I believe it is a reasonable assumption that the true objective of the coalition (or parts of it) is to eliminate Gadhafi permanently.
President Obama has publicly stated that is not his interpretation of UN Resolution 1973; "There are other ways of dealing with him after a no-fly zone is established." The murder of Gadhafi, I am certain, is not what President Barack Obama bought into.
Senator Mark Kirk (R-Il), though. apparently doesn't care if Gadhafi is wiped out. To him, that would be a fair conclusion and justification for entering the coalition. Still, Kirk wants the president to address the nation to explain what America's role is in this mission. Kirk also wants the U.S, Congress involved, I presume to officially declare war on Libya. I do not believe, though, that this is what the American people want. We were told this was a "limited engagement." We have been told that United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 was to establish a No-Fly Zone and prevent Moammar Gadhafi from attacking civilians. Well, that has been accomplished. Move on!
The leaders of the Arab world would more than likely want to see Gadhafi taken out, but publicly declaring that would surely ignite a heated debate and lead their people to believe that they were colluding with Western Imperialism. And so it goes the way it normally does. The Arabs asked for help but we take the criticism. We are already hearing murmurs from the Arab League that the coalition has gone way beyond the scope of their endorsement of the no-fly zone. Amr Moussa, secretary-general of the Arab League, said "what we wanted was the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians."
So what does the coalition do? Well, last night it was announced by the press that the coalition was now going to expand the no-fly zone. President Obama is anxious to hand over command for Operation Odyssey Dawn to Britain, France or its partners in the NATO alliance. NATO, though, has been unable (refuse) to reach agreement while Turkey has called for an immediate Western cease-fire and rejected any NATO intervention including the implementation of a no-fly zone.
Discord among NATO members prevents unanimity, and as such, there can be no decision made on the alliance's participation. Before Turkey's objection to the operation, Germany (who holds a temporary seat on the UN Security Council) had questioned the wisdom of the operation and abstained in last week's vote on the no-fly zone. German Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle was quoted as saying "We want to stop the dictator, but military missions and air strikes are something else. I don't want us to venture onto a slippery slope that would lead to German troops participating in the war in Libya." He reiterated his position that Germany would not deploy its armed forces, the Bundeswehr. "No, we will not take part with German troops, no matter how honorable the motives of our partners who have decided differently."
Italy, meanwhile, issued a veiled threat to withdraw the use of its bases, unless NATO was put in charge. Vladimir Putin has also come out against the UN-backed air strikes outside of their NATO roles, saying "The Security Council resolution is flawed, it allows everything and is reminiscent of a medieval call for a crusade, in fact, it allows intervention in a sovereign state."
So, is it really as fu$ked-up as it seems?
Well, think about this. It was reported on ABC World News last night that the Norwegians were ready to join the coalition and once they arrived decided that the mission leadership was in chaos and turned-around and went home!
In an earlier post, I said we should have not gotten involved in this operation and that I didn't trust the French. Now we can include Britain so far as trust goes. If the intent is to kill the leader of a sovereign nation to ease the way for a transition government, then I am totally uncomfortable with that. There will be repercussions! Besides, is it not enough that we are already fighting wars on two fronts in Afghanistan and Iraq?
Clearing the way for Britain and France wasn't necessary given their excellent military prowess. It just bugs the hell out of me that we are bleeding money, hand over fist, and then we waste anywhere between $62-$156 million on 112 Tomahawks. Even if we used older models of Tomahawks, we would still need to replenish that arsenal at a cost of $1.3 million per. I also think we are being set up as a scapegoat in a region where we are already viewed with distrust.
If Gadhafi winds up dead from a British or French raid, who will get the blame when history is written? I bet America will given the level of hate in the region. Remember, this was an attack on a sovereign nation and even though what Gadhafi was doing, was despicable, some will never-the-less feel that he was suppressing an internal uprising of rebels and terrorists.
I can just see the propaganda this will make somewhere down the line. Questions have already been asked as to what makes Moammar Gadhafi any different from dictators of the region? And what about Saudi Arabia's decision to "help" in quelling the protests in Bahrain? We have also heard of Yemen's generals defecting yesterday making certain that before long, all hell will break loose there as well. Given the history of Yemen, you will now have to worry about another safe haven for al-Qaeda, which, by the way it once was.
This Libyan intervention wasn't a can of worms - it was a powder keg!