Good Night, Libya, we hardly knew ye
As our President diddles and Europe dithers, Muammar Qaddafi is proving that the only thing a dictator needs to do to keep power is to slaughter his own people. It is a sad thing for the Arab peoples, who in the past months have been successful in imposing their own form of Democracy in Tunisia and Egypt.
When it’s over (and it will be, soon), the rest of the world will have to continue to deal with Qaddafi and his sons. They have the leverage: their oil and their gas … we will have none because we have frozen his assets and demeaned his regime. It may take years, but the assets will be returned. The insult will not be forgiven.
It is too late. Qaddafi pays $2,000/day to mercenaries … up front, $60,000 for thirty days. Enough for each to build a new “Hotel Rwanda.” Combined with the well-paid soldiers of his sons’ military brigades and overwhelming air and sea support, the disorganized rebels are doomed.
After Libya slaughtered over a dozen US servicemen in a bar in Germany, Ronald Reagan bypassed European recalcitrance and put a bomb through Qaddafi’s bedroom window. This helped for a few years, and tempered Qaddafi’s ambitions. THIS administration is incapable of making such a decision. So is Congress.
It is too late to establish a ‘no-fly” zone … folks have forgotten that the Cuban Air Force once launched a handful of jets and defeated a Bay of Pigs invasion. Without reference to Victory Through Airpower [Seversky, 1942], rebels do not stand a chance against bombs from the sky or landings from the sea, even when assisted by defecting Libyan Army ground units.
Neither America nor Europe have the fortitude to take real action against Qaddafi, and he knows this. After he executes the rebels and the military that defected, after asylum has been offered by Europe to the many Ministers who defected, this rebellion will be suppressed and many Arabs who aspired to Democracy will once again know that The West doesn’t care.