Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Libya War Is A Mess For All

Here are some thoughts that come to mind as I look at what is developing in Libya.

Problem: First of all Gaddafi has got to go, so says the U.S. and others.  But they can and will only do so much to help the Libyan people and rebels (I don't consider them one and the same) to get rid of him.

Problem: Rebels not doing so well these days as they seem to be retreating and feeling unsupported by the airstrikes that were supposed to be happening, at least in Brega.   The people are panicking as a result and likely dying.  The no-fly coalition was hot to trot so they didn't look bad in the eyes of the world, but in essence may have caused more harm than good since they're only in half-heartedly.

Problem:  This is a war and a place that can't be won by airstrikes alone.  What is on the ground does matter.  Arming the rebels will help somewhat, but not sure if it's enough.  Political pressure vs. Gaddafi is about as effective as a martini drink paper umbrella against a hurricane.

Problem: Uganda is offering Gaddafi asylum.  I guess that's as good a place as any.  At least, he'll be in familiar territory with respect to how a country is managed.  But the problem is I'm not sure Libyans will want him to get off that easy.  You see, when someone who has been abused is finally set free, that's not enough; now, he wants revenge.  And if anyone deserves it, it may be Libya''s people.

Problem (for Gaddafi):  His key people starting to leave him -- Foreign Minister just arrived in London and announced he resigned from the Gaddafi regime.

Problem: U.S. estimates that they have spent 1/2 a billion so far on this mission and the on-going cost could be $40 million a month with, wait for it, "no clear exit strategy"  (although I wonder how you can exit something that you've never really entered -- at least on the ground).

Problem: Arming the rebels could be done, but the experts disagree that it will work.  Thus no action.  The real problem is that these rebels are poorly trained and the whole thing was a "me too" rebellion with no planning and grassroots work.  Direction is also non-existent.

In brief, not looking good at all for any of the parties.  Leaders need to learn, that these days, you can't be a "little bit pregnant" just like you can't be "in a war with just your toes" -- you're in, or you're not.  The major players ought to be ashamed of themselves for their total incompetency in this matter.  Hey, but that's easy for me to say, sitting here in a nice armchair.  What do you think?

Libyan rebels retreat to Brega - World - CBC News

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