Does the UN know what it’s doing?
It makes little sense for the UN Security Council to have waited until Muammar Qaddafi had rebounded to trounce the rebels, before approving a “no fly” zone and “all necessary measures” to protect the Libyan people.
A bit late for the latter, especially when Qaddafi offers “no mercy, no pity” for the people of Benghazi.
But at least the 10 – 0 Security Council vote puts Europe on the front lines, and absolves the U.S. of carrying the full load. Maybe strike aircraft from other countries, including Canada, will assume full responsibility.
Likely Arab League countries will also participate. Better late than never, one supposes, but even that’s not certain.
Clearly the world is fed up with Qaddafi, after close to 42 years of eccentric, lethal rule. Even China and Russia have had a bellyful of him, witness their abstaining from the Security Council vote rather than vetoing the “no fly” vote. Now there’ll be air attacks on tanks, artillery, air fields and missile defenses. Germany, India and Brazil also abstained from voting.
Pity the UN and Western countries didn’t show bellicose resolve one, two or three weeks ago, when Qaddafi was reeling and vulnerable, rather than when he had surged back to malignant power.
What the whole fuzzy scenario indicates is that as dreadful as Qaddafi is, he’s tougher than those who want him gone. He may also be smarter, by immediately declaring a ceasefire in hopes of averting air strikes.
What happens now?
The world hoped Libyan rebels would get rid of Qaddafi, but they didn’t. Couldn’t. So do we ignore his “ceasefire,” or abide by it?
U.S. President Barack Obama declared early on that “Qaddafi must go,” but the U.S. – rightly – didn’t take the lead in his ouster. Time for allies to step up to the plate. Every country dithered.
The world didn’t take into account that Qaddafi could bring in mercenaries from places like Chad, Congo, Niger, Zimbabwe to crush the rebels. According to reports, mercenaries get $10,000 for signing up, and $1,000 a day. If true, there’d be no shortage of recruits
U.S. aircraft aren’t needed in this messy business. Canada has six CF-18s ready to strike, and it’ll be good practice for our guys.
Britain and France both were ready to take out Qaddafi’s air power weeks ago. So why didn’t they? In 1986, President Reagan didn’t hesitate to order air strikes on Qaddafi after he sponsored terrorists that blew up a Berlin disco, killing U.S. soldiers.
France and Britain, acting separately or in harmony, could easily have imposed a “no fly” zone and curtailed Qaddafi’s march to Benghazi. Now he’s back on top.
Still, the Security Council vote guarantees that no country will stick up for Qaddafi. The message for other tyrants, is that as long as they can keep their citizens under the boot – by any means possible – they’ll be safe from international retribution.
If (when) Qaddafi is bounced, who knows what the next regime will be like. The rallying cry of Libyan rebels is “democracy,” but that’s just a word to them. None have ever lived in a democracy.
Whatever leaders emerge, they are unlikely to be democratic,
Anyway, the dice have been rolled, and unless Qaddafi behaves out of character, there’s likely to be more blood on the sand before it’s over.
Pity the UN vote came three weeks late.
Updated at 11:01 am