Thursday, March 17, 2011

St Patrick, Kenny, Obama and Gadaffi

Happy St Patrick's day to one and all. Today, our new Taoiseach met with President Obama in Washington DC. The two men held a half hour meeting in the Oval office where I'm sure the global economy was the main topic of conversation. However, as Ireland celebrates its national day and as kenny and Obama chatted so cosily, the situation in Libya is on a knife edge. A decision has to be made in the next few hours as to whether or not a no fly zone should be enforced over Libya. If the Libyan air force is not challenged by NATO, them the rebels will be defeated and the Gadaffi regime will survive. This will be followed by the slaughter of those who demonstrated against him, particularly in the eastern city of Benghazi. But most importantly of all, Gadaffi's survival will signal an end to the unrest that has swept the region in recent months. The west should not leave this psychotic vengeful man in power. They should enforce a no fly zone, destroy his air force and allow the rebels to march on Tripoli. Realpolitik suggests that you sometimes have to do unpleasant things for the greater good, in this case the greater good is keeping the oil flowing in the Middle East. The problem with realpolitik is that it can be used to justify just about anything. Just listen to General Buck Turgidson explain why the US should launch a nuclear attack against Russia, it is very convincing.



No doubt just prior to Obama's meeting with the Taoiseach he was informed of the latest events in Libya. And no doubt he received an update just as it ended. The meeting may even have been interrupted with an update as events are moving so fast and time is so critical. If President Obama does not act and he allows Gadaffi to remain in power he will go down big time in my estimation. I hope he has the courage to do the right thing and rid the Middle East and the world of a tyrant.

Now, please enjoy the amazing voice of the late Luke Kelly as he sings one of my favourite songs,"a song for Ireland".


And now, enjoy a truly classic version of Danny Boy from the Mupppets.

6 comments:

thesystemworks said...

I'd hate to be seen as defending Obama here, but why should America launch the offensive when Libya's European neighbors have quite ample air power? Libya is their own backyard, or 'near-abroad', after all.

thesystemworks said...

Hang on a sec - now even the Arab League is calling for a no-fly zone. But don't Arab countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia have some advanced aircraft they could deploy? Why is the burden being shifted to those outside the region?

And what are the plans for Gaddaffi's artillery and tank forces?

Gary said...

Ted,

And a Happy Saint Patrick's Day to you too!

thesystemworks has a couple of very good points here. Why can't the Arab League enforce their own no-fly zone? I am not against the U.S. giving support but taking the lead and actually enforcing the zone is just plain stupid. America does not need to be involving itself in another Middle East problem. Besides, America has very little economic interest in Libya and less than 4% of our oil comes from there -most of the rest goes to Europe,
Add to that the hostility of the Libyan people to the U.S. for the last 30 or so years -do you remember the parades and celebrations when the Pan Am bomber was released and returned to Tripoli?

The other point is an excellent one too- just what about his tanks and artillery? Even without his Air Force he is in a good position to win. Are we then going to be asked to commit ground forces against him? Oh please, no!

I feel very sorry for the humanitarian tragedy that will unfold if Qaddafi wins -but that is something the UN should be dealing with -America is not the worlds policeman.

Another point is -just what is going to replace Qaddafi? Western style democracy, another Dictator, or perhaps an Iranian style "Islamic Republic"? I don't know either because the rebels themselves are not organized under any one party or one person. Until that happens it will be hard to see what will come.

And that brings up one last question. If we give supplies and assistance to the rebels, it will undoubtedly include arms and munitions. Where do you thinks those will go after Qaddafi is replaced? I hate to think of more shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles ending up in Afghanistan or even Palestine....

Gary

Ted Leddy said...

Gary/TSW

I also don't see why the US should take the lead in enforcing a no fly zone. I think it should be lead by the British and the French. But US leadership was required for UN backing of a no fly zone which I am glad to say has now happened. It was in this respect that I was critical of Obama dragging his feet.

The UN resolution passed last night called for "all necessary measures" to protect Libyan civilians. This means that NATO forces will probably end up attacking Libyan ground forces.

It is also being reported that the UAE and Qatari air forces will take part in the no fly zone. But personally I would prefer to see NATO countries leading it.

Gadaffi Said today that European Air traffic is now open to retaliation. This means that he as to go, no question.

There is no question of boots being put on the ground, not by western troops anyway.

As for what ultimately replaces Gadaffi. Perhaps it will be another dictator. But the Libyan people deserve their shot at achieving a more representative government.

Gadaffi is a mad man, if he remains in power he will get his revenge on those who opposed him, in Libya and internationally. He must go.

Gary said...

Ted,

I completely agree with you -Gadhafi has to go. There is no question whatsoever in my mind that if he remains he will return to his terrorist activities aimed at the west big time. I am glad to see Obama has the US supporting the effort to topple him but at the same time has stated that no US troops will engage on the ground. As for the cease-fire, I blogged about it today but the truth about the cease0fire is in my blog for tomorrow... Hint: Gadhafi is a liar...

Oh, by the way, I enjoyed your selection of music on St Pat's Day. Danny Boy is my personal favorite. There is a club/restaurant in Fort Lauderdale I used to frequent and I asked for it so often that the piano player there would start playing and singing it every time he saw me walk in....

Gary

Ted Leddy said...

Thanks Gary

Glad you liked my Paddy's day music.

Events in Libya are moving at a very fast pace. Gadaffi's ceasefire was too little too late. It was not believed by anyone. Ereryone knows that what he says is utterly meaningless. He is an expert at throwing sand in everons eyes and confusing the issue.

It seems that militarily the US will be taking a back seat in this one which is probably for the best for many reasons.

The latest I am hearing, which is at midday East Coast time, is that French air craft are over Libya.

Too many dictators world wide end up bowing out on their own terms. It is satisfying to know that Gadaffi will not be one of them.