Libya sinks into civil war, prere grows to directly support insurgents
With the offensive of the gaddafi troops, the world community is forced into action. If the slaughter, which is already a civil war, is to continue to be watched from the sidelines, would intervention, even if covered by the un security council, be counterproductive, or would it only appear as a new colonialism concerned with the stability of the region and the securing of resources?? No matter which side will win, the end should not be pleasant for the opponents. What will it be like when tens of thousands more people have been killed and injured just because gaddafi and his power- and money-hungry clan do not want to step down and let the people decide??
There are still about one million foreign workers in libya. They are stuck and probably want to flee if at all possible. More and more libyans are also trying to get to safety from the burger war. The wave of refugees at the borders will get worse if gaddafi does not want to keep people hostage in the country and cut off their escape routes. From libya there are very different reports, which on the one hand mean that the militias loyal to gaddafi are gradually pushing back the insurgents. On the other hand, the insurgents are advancing towards sirte.
Since the insurgents do not yet have aircraft, they are helpless in the face of attacks by the air force, which is loyal to gaddafi. The wars of the last few years, in which russia (chechnya), nato (serbia and above all afghanistan) and the usa (iraq) had absolute air supremacy, show that they cannot hold out here for long if massive air attacks are flown. From the air (which now includes drones), the enemy can be kept small and put to flight, but ultimately no victory can be enforced. And the much-discussed enforcement of a no-fly zone over libya, also demanded by insurgents and yesterday by the gulf cooperation council, has already been practiced for years in iraq.
The imposition of a no-fly zone over libya has been a point made by the u.S. Military, including secretary of defense gates, in an attempt to resist political prere to go to war and destroy airports, military aircraft and air defense positions first. U.S. Defense secretary gates also made clear yesterday that any military takeover must be covered by the united nations and that another attack on a muslim country could have severe consequences. However, the pentagon has already sent two warships to crete with combat aircraft and helicopters capable of both humanitarian and military operations. As the new york times reports, it is also possible that the u.S. Could insert small teams of special forces into libya, as it did at the beginning of the war in afghanistan, to help the insurgents and make them more effective.
However, as u.S. President obama made clear yesterday in a press conference with australian leader gillard, the u.S. Government not only wants to enforce tough sanctions and threaten those gaddafi supporters responsible for the violence with the international criminal court, which the u.S. Still refuses to join, but he also said that military options were being considered in talks within nato. To the libyan people, he said that the u.S. Would "in the face of unjustified violence and the suppression of democratic ideals" stood by their side, whatever that might mean in the near future.
British foreign minister hague said yesterday that the uk and france, together with several other countries, would develop a resolution for the creation of a no-fly zone and submit it to the un security council if an emergency situation arose. Nato secretary general rasmussen was already more explicit. While he also ruled out military intervention without a un security council mandate, he told tagesthemen that preparations were being made for all possibilities: "we have asked our militaries to plan for all contingencies so that we are ready when our support is requested." nato already has awacs aircraft flying over libya. However, russian auben minister lavrov has again made it clear that russia would also reject a no-fly zone. It is to be expected that china will also veto the move. The chinese government is afraid that the uprisings in the arab world could spill over into china.
In the u.S., there are discussions about the various possibilities of helping the insurgents or overthrowing the gaddafi regime. No one is seriously considering an invasion, including direct military protection of the region in the east, which is still controlled by the insurgents, by ground troops or from the sea. It is true that in the east there are the greatest oil and gas resources, but a direct intervention of western and especially us troops would play into the hands of the propaganda of the gaddafi clan, who on the one hand warn that after gaddafi al-qaeda will rule, a civil war will break out and an invasion of migrants from sub-saharan africa will overwhelm europe, and on the other hand appeal to national pride, talking at the same time about a conspiracy against the libyan people.
Should the saudi potentates, of all people, help out??
In addition to a no-fly zone, there are also thoughts of providing the insurgents with weapons, as senators john mccain and joe lieberman are explicitly calling for. Allegedly, according to robert fisk in the independent, obama asked saudi potentates, of all people, to supply weapons to the insurgents in order to conceal american involvement. So far, however, the saudi royal family had not reacted to the inquiry, which had taken place under high secrecy.
Saudi arabia is still the most important ally of the usa, says fisk, but the saudi potentates fear that the revolt could overrun their country and have already banned all protests because this would violate the sharia, which the highest saudi clerics have also confirmed once again. Saudi magazines propagate many young people were reject demonstrations as in the other arab countries, but seek dialogue. Unreasonable demands have been raised through demonstrations. Apparently, security forces were mobilized to quickly quell any protests on friday. Angry arab reports that there have been some meetings between saudi arabia and qatar. He suspects the saudis want to pre-empt negative coverage by al-jazeera and put prere on the emir. Open cooperation with the saudi regime, however, would expose the u.S., as well as the eu or nato, to even stronger accusations of acting in a power-strategic manner with a double stick.