Saturday, March 19, 2011

It's Happening

A Canadian CF-18A fighter plane prepares to land at the Birgi NATO Airbase in Trapani in the southern Italian island of Sicily March 19, Reuters

Sky News are reporting that the French Air Force have already engaged and destroyed ground vehicles in Gadaffi's army. Today's fast moving events which came in response to yesterdays offer of a ceasefire by Gadaffi can be summarised by the following Reuters article.

Allied warplanes have gone into in action to stop Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces attacking the rebel-held city of Benghazi, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Saturday.

Gaddafi's troops on Saturday morning pushed into the outskirts of Benghazi, a city of 670,000 people, in an apparent attempt to pre-empt Western military intervention expected after a meeting of Western and Arab leaders in Paris.

But as the meeting ended, Sarkozy announced that allied air forces had already gone into action.

"It's a grave decision we've had to take," Sarkozy said after meeting British Prime Minister David Cameron, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other leaders in Paris.

"Along with our Arab, European and North American partners, France has decided to play its part before history."

Sarkozy said of the meeting: "Those taking part agreed to put in place all necessary means, especially military, to enforce the decisions of the United Nations Security Council.

"This is why, in agreement with our partners, our air forces will counter any aggression by Colonel Gaddafi's aircraft against the population of Benghazi," he said.

"As of now, other French aircraft are ready to intervene against armored vehicles which threaten unarmed civilians."

Military action could be halted at any time if Gaddafi stopped his forces attacking, Sarkozy said.

"Colonel Gaddafi has made this happen," British Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters after the meeting. "He has lied to the international community, he has promised a ceasefire, he has broken that ceasefire ... We cannot allow the slaughter of civilians to continue."

I think this is a good thing. Colonel Gadaffi seized control of Libya 12 years before I was born. He has messed with just about everyone since then and has brutally suppressed domestic opposition. Just think about it, how rare is it to get the UN security council to sanction military action. Furthermore how unusual is it to see the 22 member Arab League unanimously back action against a fellow member. Gadaffi has created so many enemies over the decades it has finally caught up with him. Many dictators die fat old rich men. Many other die in exile. I find it very satisfying to know that Gadaffi's end will occur at a time and a place not of his choosing. But most importantly, this action by the allies will insure that the reform spreading across the Middle East will continue. Had Gadaffi succeeded in retaking Benghazi, it would have been a permit for the butchers in Yemen, Syria and elsewhere to crush their opposition movements. Bravo Cameron, Sarkozy and Obama.


Anonymous said...

Thankfully events in the Middle East have actually weakened western influence there - once banned 'Islamist' parties have now risen to prominance and many are speaking of a return to the glorious dominance of Islam - could it be?

Ted Leddy said...


I don't think any of this unrest is about "western influence". Nor do I think it is about the rise of the "Islamist" movements which have been taken completely by surprise by all this. It is about the people of the region who have had enough of despotic rule.

If by "Islamist" you are referring to the Hamas or Hezbollah style of government, I must say that I have seen no indication that the protesting masses of young social networkers want to see one form of tyranny replaced by an even greater one.

Anonymous said...

[b]I must say that I have seen no indication that the protesting masses of young social networkers want to see one form of tyranny replaced by an even greater one[/b]

Precisely, which is probably why democracy will never take hold.

Ted Leddy said...


So democracy is tyranny eh. Ah Well, fascists, communists and religious fanatics always think that. I think I know which one of these you are.