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Frank Davis

Banging on about the Smoking Ban


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Why Gaddafi Will Win
frank_davis4
frank_davis
(...most likely.)

I've written a couple of pieces on the Libyan uprising. In the last one I said that Gaddafi would first have to secure his base in and around Tripoli, and then turn east. And this is pretty much what he's done.

In the meanwhile, the rest of the world has issued statements, made lots of telephone calls to each other, and performed a maypole dance around the idea of imposing a no-fly zone on Libya. Perhaps at the outset, they thought that the rag-tag army of Libyan rebels that had sprung up everywhere really could oust Gaddafi all on its own. It certainly looked that way for a few days. So they hung back from imposing a no-fly zone, because they hoped one wouldn't be needed.

Probably the Gaddafi regime was caught off balance at the outset, and didn't know what was happening, or what to do about it. During this period of paralysis, numerous soldiers deserted, and quite few high-ranking members from Gaddafi's inner circle.

But this didn't last long. Gaddafi never lost his nerve. And pretty soon the military machine he controlled started working properly. The demonstrations on the streets of Tripoli were stopped. And now Az Zawiyah (and maybe Misurata) have been recaptured from the rebels. They were always going to be defeated in pretty short order by a well-equipped, professional army.

And now the race is on for Gaddafi's superior forces to recapture the Libyan eastern seaboard from the disorganised rabble which currently hold it. He has to try to do this as rapidly as possible, by land and by sea and by air, before the lumbering UN and NATO and the terminally indecisive Obama finally get round to calling for a vote on a no-fly zone, and for China or Russia to veto it.

That's why Libyan delegations flew yesterday to Cairo and Lisbon and Brussels, to try and stall the momentum towards a no-fly zone in any way they can, and delay it as long as possible. It's not a diplomatic imperative: it's a military imperative.

libya 10 mar 2011

After that we'll quite likely be seeing a complete collapse in morale among the rebels in eastern Libya, as Gaddafi seizes control of the coastal road, and bottles up the rebels in the cities. He might even be at the gates of Benghazi early next week, if he's sufficiently decisive and daring (which he probably is). After all, it's only about 100 miles from Ajdabiyah to Benghazi - a 2 hour drive -.

With that, a flood of Libyan refugees will start pouring across the border into Egypt, and sailing across the Mediterranean to Italy and anywhere that will take them. By the time NATO finally imposes a no-fly zone, Gaddafi will have all the eastern towns surrounded and cut off from each other, and will be able to reduce them one by one without any need of air power, because his army will have the tanks and artillery and troops to accomplish this alone, one city at a time. And furthermore, he'll be gaining Libyan volunteers who want to be on the winning side.

Then the NATO planes will circle uselessly overhead, as one town after another is recaptured by Gaddafi's army, and the rebels captured inside them are butchered.

And then of course there will be calls to supply food and weapons to the remaining rebels besieged inside their various towns and cities. By the time this has been agreed by NATO and the UN and the WWF and World Bank and the American Mothers Union, only Benghazi will remain. The food and weapons will arrive too late to do much more than slow the retreat of the embattled defenders towards the port.

So then there'll be calls to land an expeditionary force to re-enforce the defenders, and this will be agreed after a week or two of tea and biscuits and banana trifles, and the expeditionary force will arrive inside Benghazi harbour just as the last rebels are sailing out of it, and Gaddafi's troops have seized control of the port.

And then all concerned will have to deal with a newly invigorated and extremely angry Gaddafi regime, with all internal dissent inside Libya brutally suppressed.

And the various other tottering regimes in the region will take a leaf out of Gaddafi's handbook on How To Suppress A Revolt, and demonstrators everywhere will be bombed and mortared back into terrified submission. And any prospect of democracy in the region will have been set back a decade or more.

All of which could have been avoided if just one Western power had decided to side immediately with the fledgling rebels, and had provided them with air support and food and ammunition as rapidly as possible. It'll be an object lesson on how a decisive military leader can seize the initiative and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat by a far more powerful but terminally indecisive opponent.

Gaddafi is going to win because he can think more quickly, and act more decisively, than the whole of the rest of the world put together.

See also LFTC Will Gaddafi Win?

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I think you're right. Gadfly is as mad as a mouthful of crabs but he's making decisions and acting on them at once. The rest of the world is setting up focus groups and committees and waiting until the next scheduled meeting of the 'What do we do about this nut?' special advisory group.

Nobody in our world now wants to be the one to make a decision. It has to be a committee directive with no names attached. Meanwhile Gadfly makes decisions and acts on them with no concern for what the rest of the world thinks.

If he does win, there are going to be an awful lot of grovelling Western leaders trying to backtrack over the names they've called him. He's a nasty bugger for sure, but he still has all that oil.

It's going to be sickening to watch.

It's going to be sickening to watch.

Yes, it's going to be absolutely sickening.

Frank

From America

(Anonymous)
I won't pretend to know a thing about Libya, but because I don't know what is heard overseas regarding the American perspective, I'll report what I hear.

First, while Libya is still certainly in the news, commentators on the Right (usually via radio) have largely been paying attention to other topics.

Second, the American Right was quite concerned about the uprising in Egypt because the belief was that one evil was likely being replaced by the great likelihood of a worse evil. Meanwhile, Egypt seems to be last week's news, and now all eyes are turned to Libya. Perhaps since Gaddafi has been an enemy of America for decades, there seems to be little or no worry about whether the uprising will possibly be exploited by terrorist elements.

(Gaddafi was viewed as a positive outcome from the Iraq War because he voluntarily "disarmed". But that seems to be an entire non sequitur now, but worth mentioning.)

Third, regardless of the outcome of the next election, it is quite unlikely that there will be any significant political support for another regime-change war in the Middle East. America is nine years into Iraq and ten years into Afghanistan. We've had it.

While Obama is beatable in the next presidential election, none of the potential candidates on the Republican horizon appear to have what it takes to beat an incumbent Obama. Americans are worried about the economy, high fuel prices, and high unemployment. Rallying support around a war in the Middle East is an entire political impossibility.

Also:

Some on the American Left try to perpetuate the idea that there's a bazillion right wing, war mongering zealots who will crowd the voting booths en masse. No such thing.

Reagan tried to take Gaddafi out with a missile in the eighties. Instead, one of Gadaffi's young children was killed. Gadaffi wasn't home.

Bottom Line: a hard political stance on Libya is political suicide for President Obama, as well as any potential Republican candidate for 2012.

"Bottom Line: a hard political stance on Libya is political suicide for President Obama, as well as any potential Republican candidate for 2012."

I think that statement applies to all the Western Powers. Given the unpopularity of the involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, the west has essentially hogtied itself in terms of military intervention in any of the other Arab nations (yes, I know that Afghanistan is not strictly an Arab nation, but in the eyes of the tabloid reading public, they've got turbans and beards, so are the same), even if that intervention is indirect.

I agree, our mate Muammar will prevail, and it will be a singularly unedifying spectacle watching the US/EU leaders prostrating themselves at his oil wells.

He's a bastard, but he's a canny bastard.

Maybe it depends upon whether or not a reasonably large number of rebels are even now being trained and armed with tank busting equipment. If that is so and if the rebels can hang on for a couple of weeks, the tide may yet turn.

Planes, tanks and artillery are great for blowing up buildings, but not a lot of use against a rabble armed appropriately. We will see.

What really annoys me is why on earth we Brits are deeply involved again. Why can't the French, Spanish, Italians and Greeks sort it for a change.

qaddafi

(Anonymous)
These were never peacefull demonstrations, these 'protesters' confronted an army barracks right at the beginning of the rebellion and I believe almost every country in the world would have responded with deadly force. True they attacked it with small arms but I would dare anyone to get a handgun and fire at an American army base, you will not last long.
Britain is so actively involved because this man has been humiliating us for years and the final straw was the whole Megrahi release from prison fiasco. He has attacked these 'protesters' with substantial force but nowhere near what Russia did to the citizens of Chechnya or what the chinese did in Tiananmen square. There are many other examples.
This is a true insurrection, libyan people are wealthy in comparison to tunisian or egyptian people, they enjoy good education, medical and so on. In Egypt and tunisia food inflation and overpopulation have lead to harsh living conditions which led to revolution. Democracy will not solve these issues quickly and this may lead to islamic parties getting control.
Libya is totally different.

advice to Obama

(Anonymous)
hrough this page i should advise Obama not to loss his finger(it will be cut if he interfered)

Join this group

(Anonymous)
Facebook group "Support for Muammar al Gaddafi from the people of Serbia"

In Serbian language: TEMA: Napad na Libiju Sramota!

(Anonymous)
Isto kao kada su napali drzavljane Srbije 1999. godine. Svetskim mocnicima zinulo dupe za tudjom zemljom. Izdali ih i nasi vlastodrsci. Kazu kako je u Libiji diktatura. Ja bih voleo da zivim u takvoj diktaturi: da od drzave dobijem besplatan stan bez ikakvih rezija, da imam besplatno zdravstveno osiguranje, da imam pravo lecenje u zdravstvenim ustanovama, da se deca besplatno skoluju u zemlji, da dobiju stipendije da studiraju u inostranstvu. Kazu kako je nezaposlenost u Libiji, kako mladi podupiru ulicne bandere. Cudno? A kako je toliko stranaca naslo uhlebljenje u Libiji? Izgleda da mnogi Libijci nemaju radne navike. Kako to da su im Crnci cistili ulice, iz Srbije je otišlo mnogo zdravstvenog osoblja da rade u Libiji i bili su veoma zadovoljni zaradama. Kazu da je u Libiji zastarelo rusko naoruzanje. A pomocu ruskog radara u Srbiji je otkriven nevudljivi Fantom, i oboren, pa su delove Fantoma raznosili ciganskim taljigama. Zelim da sa takvim zastarelim ruskim naoruzanjem budu oboreni nevidljivi Fantomi i u Libiji. Po mom saznanju bar 75% obicnog naroda, drzavljana Srbije, je protiv napada stranih drzava na Libiju. Kazu kako se Srbi svadjaju, da nisu slozni. Ispada da su i Arapi takvi. I mnogi Arapi iz celog sveta napadaju svoje Arape u Libiji. Plasim se da ne pocnu da love Gadafija i njegove branioce i da ne ubiju Gadafija u nekom belosvetskom zatvoru kao Slobodana Milosevica. On je vodja Libijaca, libijskih drzavljanja, i ukoliko narod smatra da nije nešto dobro u njegovom upravljanju, onda to treba sami da razrese miroljubivo izmedju sebe a ne da im belosvetske haraclije dele svoju takozvanu pravdu.

and now?

(Anonymous)
So? He's still winning? The poor mad dog is as good as dead but he won't recognize it. What a sore loser! LOL

Re: and now?

(Anonymous)
You were so right and he got what he deserved, bottom line...

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