The War on Gaddafi

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Allied aircraft swept through Libyan skies on Monday, the third day of operations against the military forces of dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The day brought little in the way of major military developments as operations launched in the days earlier continued apace. The allied aircraft — British, French, American and for the first time Canadian — have continued to bomb Libyan air defenses, command and control facilities, and enforce a no-fly zone over the country.

Libya’s air force, primarily armed with obsolete Soviet hardware but equipped with a once-potent air-defense network of radars and missiles sites, is effectively out of the war. On Saturday, hours after French jets attacked and destroyed a column of Libyan vehicles advancing on the de facto rebel capital of Benghazi, U.S. and British warships fired more than 100 cruise missiles at the most crucial nodes of the Libyan air defenses, reportedly to great effect. On Sunday and Monday, a dozen more cruise missiles were fired at additional targets (it was not clear if these were new targets, or follow-up strikes on targets already hit but not totally destroyed).

With the air defenses neutralized, the air strikes have moved onto other targets, including a command facility located on the grounds of Gaddafi’s presidential palace. British and American planes carried out long-range strikes, including the deployment of three American B-2 stealth bombers. The attacks are clearly taking a toll — French and Canadian jets flew patrols over Libya on Monday and encountered zero resistance, likely a testament to the damage inflicted on Libya’s defenses. (During one such patrol, a French jet fired upon and destroyed a Libyan armored vehicle.)

No doubt looking for a way to preserve his military, Gaddafi has again declared that his forces will implement a ceasefire. This was swiftly rejected by the allies, and with good reason. The first ceasefire offered by Gaddafi, immediately after Thursday’s UN Security Council Resolution authorizing military force, was soon broken by the Libyan military, perhaps because they know what will happen to them if caught in the open by allied planes. Gaddafi must think the international community is foolish, gullible or both — there are reports that the Libyan military immediately broke even the renewed ceasefire offer and continued attacks. Maybe he’ll try again tomorrow.

If the third day of the allied efforts against Gaddafi brought any bad news, it’s that the allies are facing internal divisions and questions regarding who exactly is in command. Although the United States provided much of the initial firepower for coalition operations, it has not assumed command of the British, Canadian or French forces (though U.S. officers are said to be co-ordinating the various operations without commanding them).

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  • Chezwick_Mac

    Folks, I have no love lost for Qaddafi…the bastard blew up Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie. But must I point out that…

    1) He ended his terror phase in the 90s

    2) He ended his WMD programs in 2004

    3) He is not an Islamist

    Do we have a clue what we might be getting with the Libyan opposition? I think not.

    Sometimes better the devil you know…or put another way, why favor either side? By our intervention, we're taking ownership of the "new" Libya…with all its potential pitfalls.

    • coyote3

      Unfortunately I tend to agree with you. Just as importantly, Libya has not attacked the U.S. and I have not even heard an immediate threat to the U.S., or even its interests has even been articulated as justification for this under the War Powers Resolution. We may be helping an even more vicious enemy, but notwithstanding "who" it is, we have no business going into countries just because there is some tin pot dictator "bumping" people. If that was the case, we would have to "intervene" in every country in the ME, much of Asia, and even some of Europe.

  • informer

    If USA wanted him so much,why they did not arrest him while he came few times to USA?To UN..
    Why france or Italy or UK did not arrest him when he was visiting those countries and receptions there were great! Why Sarcozi ask him for $1 mil when he was doing his Presidential compain?
    WHY???? But now…attacking a country?It is a declaration of war and…knowing muslimbmentallity….all those involved will pay badly….too sad that innocent people will die,not those who gave commands.

    No country can just attack without direct danger.

  • Amused

    To get involved in a civil war between muslims [or anyone else for that matter ] is PURE FOLLY .

  • aspacia

    This attack is bs. The Saudis, Chinese, Russians, North Koreans, etc., are all tyrants. We do not have the power to topple all of them, and God knows what regime will replace them if we did. However, if we were to prosecute attacks as we did in WWI and WWII, topple governments, and changed regimes to our liking, as we did in Germany and Japan, then this may be a worthwhile effort. We kicked out all elements of faith in government in Japan and outlawed the Nazi party.

  • kafir4life

    Qadaffy was one of the Presidents most ardent supporters in the international community during the campaign and since. If he plays his cards right, he may find himself replacing Joe Biden on the Obama 2012 ticket. Biden has been an embarassment to the administration (even by democratic standards), and an Obama-Qadaffy ticket shoukd be just what's needed to re-energize the Democratic base.

  • kafir4life

    Obama has successfully made the French appear brave!! At least compared to him.

  • Lightning Jack

    Why is it that the U.N., the United States and NATO can form a coalition to wage preemptive air strikes against a Libyan dictator fighting a tribal insurgency that he did not start… but:

    Is powerless to do anything about rampant piracy in Somalia which has killed innocent American civilians, holds over 600 hostages and 30 ships as contraband?

  • Amused

    Pssssst ! Jack ! ……………………………………………….no oil .

  • USMCSniper

    What was the eminent threat and/or strategic interest to the United States or Americans that justifies this tremendous expenditure of tax dollars and risks to American military serviceman? Answer NONE~!!!

  • Amused

    Dontcha Know USMCSniper ? 70% of France' oil supply !

    • USMCSniper

      The UN resolution also authorizes all military actions “short of a ground assault” to help the opposition bring down Gaddafi. The UN doe not overrule or bypass the US Congress for US military actions.! Who cares about France. I was talking about the United States and the Constitution. The president as Commander is Chief DIRECTS military actions that only Congress can AUTHORIZE and FUND.

      “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation. That requires the authorization of the Congress.” – Barack Obama Dec. 20, 2007. If it were Bush wanting to use the military to make any regime change anywhere without congressional authorization, there would be cries for his impeachment. I guess Obama gets a pass.

      • Amused

        Well Sniper , Grenada posed no imminent danger , nor did Panama , and it's likely neither did IRAQ . There is the wars powers act aand a President merely extends a courtesy by "asking Congress " . Dont get me wrong , I think it a dumb uninformed move by Obama , I agree with Kusinich , that it is an impeachable act , BUT , other than that , it does not set a precedent .Other Presidents have done the same .Maybe you forgot Reagan bombed Libya too .
        The imminent danger is also there ,for Eastern Libya is seconded only to Saudi Arabia for it's residents going to fight jihad in Iraq . Although I believe that is NOT the reason Obama went in on this . He's in line with the rest of the dhimmis , probably not even considering this .

  • Carl Lexow

    For the records – the NATO member Norway has also committed itself to military actions against Libya and has sent some F 16th, for the time being stationed in Crete.

  • Amused

    Everybody's playing "freind of the muslims " , because Gaddafi is an embarrasment to muslims , thereby expendable …and the dhimmi nations get in line to curry favor . This whole thing is pathetic .And the hypocrisy is put up on a stage , why not Yemen ? Bahrain ? Sudan ? Congo ? I hear Syria's having problems ..any takers ?
    Humanitarian ? Moral ? ….BUNK !

  • coyote3

    Go President Obama. Anyone who can get Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul on the same side of an issue like this has to be doing something great, tee hee.

  • Phillip Galey

    If, Gaddafi uses his deft political skills AND SOME COMMON SENSE, . . . putting his 150t of gold into the European market—thus, presenting considerable strength to a rather shaky EURO—he will have found a way to stay alive and in power, . . .

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