Operation Odyssey Dawn Begins

Ryan Mauro is a fellow with the Clarionproject.org, the founder of WorldThreats.com and a frequent national security analyst for Fox News Channel. He can be contacted at ryanmauro1986@gmail.com.


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Today, on March 19, 2011, the U.S., U.K. and France at long last intervened in Libya as Qaddafi’s forces began the final assault to finish off the rebels. After thousands of deaths and incalculable destruction, Operation Odyssey Dawn began with air and missile strikes on Qaddafi’s tanks and air defenses in an attempt to perform an 11th hour rescue.

France fired the first shots by destroying four of Qaddafi’s tanks near Benghazi, the capital of the opposition. Over 100 Tomahawk missiles were then fired from U.S. and British warships and submarines to destroy about 20 air defense sites. The immediate objective is to prevent Qaddafi’s forces from putting a quick end to the conflict by overrunning Benghazi and pave the way for the establishment of a no fly zone. Various European countries will soon be involved and Arab countries like the United Arab Emirates and Qatar are expected to contribute and Egypt is arming the rebels.

The West says that the goal of military operations is not to overthrow Qaddafi. U.S. Vice Admiral William Gortney said that the objective is to “deny the Libyan regime from using force against its own people.” French President Sarkozy said regime change is not being sought but Qaddafi must “allow the Libyan people to choose their own destiny.” The apparent goal is a ceasefire as Sarkozy stated the “door to diplomacy will reopen when the fighting will stop.”

The Libyan uprising began on February 15 and escalated into a civil war as Qaddafi’s forces used brutal violence to try to crush its opponents, which included tactics such as machine-gunning attendees at funerals. The opposition consistently begged for help from the United States and international community that did not include the deployment of ground forces. The Libyan ambassador to the U.S. who turned against Qaddafi said in exasperation, “’All the options are on the table,’ they say all the time. I say, ‘Take one option at least.’” He explained that the lack of U.S. action was vindicating anti-American beliefs in the Arab world that it “has only a materialist mind—they don’t care about human rights…except when it comes to their own interest.” The public prediction of the U.S. Director of National Intelligence that the rebels would lose certainly didn’t help.

A military commander in Tobruk who defected to the opposition said that he hoped the West would not be dissuaded from doing the right thing because of its oil business with Qaddafi. As far back as February 19, a woman in Benghazi was being interviewed on CNN where she begged over and over for help, pleading, “Mr. Obama, please help us.” France and the U.K. became the loudest supporters of establishing a no fly zone and supporting the rebels and France formally recognized the opposition. The U.S., on the other hand, delayed action as Qaddafi’s forces were able to turn the situation around and begin taking back territory. By the time the Arab League and United Nations approved a military intervention, many people had lost their lives and the rebels were on the brink of defeat. One estimate put the number of deaths at 10,000.

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  • http://www.fxexchangerate.com/ fxgeorges

    It was inevitable. I heard a squaddie in the pub a couple of weeks ago complaining that Gadaffi had "ruined his leave" and that he was going to have to go back to work. They are so blatant that they don't even seem to have bothered to wait for some (fabricated) evidence of the supposed human rights violations.

    • BS77

      too bad the coalition didn't do the same to Iran ….Iran was shooting people in the streets.
      Libya is a relatively weak country….maybe that's it.

      • Claude

        Well, one must consider who has a defence treaty with whom, before one takes on a country, otherwise one coalition verses another is a bit different wouldn’t you say, and may be a lot more costly in the world order to come, would be set back more than they are willing to risk. So bottom line is the goal of the movers and shakers of the world markets, and they are not willing to put it on the line right now.

  • Guest

    How pathetic… the wet left are already bleating that western intervetion WHICH IS BEING BEGGED FOR BY THE REBELS to help them defeat one of the worst tyrants in the world, equals some kind of illegal invasion. The Afghan people begged for our help; so did rebels against Saddam. So did Kuwait. This is history repating itself. You would honestly prefer to see thousands of people being slaughtered, wouldn't you, as long as it gave you an excuse to hate the west? what a tosser. why don't you go out and live in Gadaffi's Libya? Then you can check for yourself how "fabricated" the tales of human rights violations are! (Yours is the same mentality which condemned millions of children to death in gas chambers – the evidence MUST have been fabricated!) Moron.

    • Zivkov3000

      Some Libyans want us to intervene, others don't. Gadhafi has strong support around Tripoli, the opposition is much stronger in the East. Much of the conflict is divided on tribal lines. I really don't see any point in getting drawn into this mess.
      Its hardly surprising that a government would be committing human rights violations when faced with open rebellion. The Bush administration began resorting to torture based on much weaker provocation.
      Thousands of people are going to die whether we intervene or not, I simply think were better off not being a part of it.

  • SpecOpsMike

    Man, this is such a double edged car-15. As a Ret Vet SNCO, so tired of war. So tired……….

  • SHmuelHaLevi

    I have heard that little spiel about being "tired of war" from the same circles for ages.
    What is clear to most of us is that the other side is not tired of war and that means AGAINST YOU and us.
    You and all of us have a choice. Them or us.
    The problem is that the real case has been spin doctored into thin air and we do not any longer grasp the real conditon. Islam means to slaughter just as their book says.
    Do you remember what the beasts did to a family just days ago, including to a four month old child? Be tired and expect that coming to other familes as well.
    NOT OURS gentlemen. That era is gone folks.

    • Fred Dawes

      The Muslims will not stop until all Jews are dead and you are on your faces and your butt in the Air before some Muslim Moon God.

    • http://www.breakuphub.com Ed Banks

      Totally agree SHmuelHaLevi … It's not so much of a choice to do this then a necessity at this point.

    • nina

      This is such a soft headed comment. Libia was not any danger to us. In fact, maybe you don't remember, Gaddafi agreed to terminate his nuclear research. Had Iran done this, we would have been more than happy to be their friend. Yes, he rules with
      an iron hand, but he tried to bring his country into the modern age. And what has this got to do with the murder in Israel and our intervention? This has been an idiotic and illegal war act by Obama. The president can only send our soldiers without asking congress if our country is in imminent danger. Is this so? Did Gaddafi prepare to invade us, or did he help our enemies? And how much is this going to cost us? Can we afford it?

  • jacob

    People have the right to claim to be tired of war as long as wars are fought
    under the rules of the useless UN, which, as a rule, THE ENEMY DOESN''T
    RESPECT AT ALL…
    I dare bet, if World War War II would have been fought under these very rules,
    we would still be figthing (and dying as we did then), to this day, Nazi
    Germany and Imperial Japan…
    I guess crazy terrorist GHADAFFI's removal is a long overdue prophilactic
    operation, which brings me to ask :
    Why just stop at GHADDAFFI ??
    There are another two such bloody dictatorships which the stupid UN
    deems in power due to to people's "AUTODETERMINATION", namely
    CASTRO's in CUBA for 52 years already and counting and CHAVEZ
    12 years already and counting as well, because their people worth
    anything decided to leave, instead of doing what the Lybian people
    are….
    Needless to say, the rotten and shameless UN has had the gall of
    having both CASTRO and GHADDAFFI as members of their Human
    Rights Commission…..

    • Worried

      What about Iran? Iran is the worst!!!!!!!!!!

      They are behind all the weapon proliferation and pretty soon behind nuclear dirty bombs all over the middle east. Why are the allies not taking care of Iran!!!!!!!!!

  • Chezwick_Mac

    Do we actually know the people on whose behalf we're going to war? Who makes up the Libyan "opposition"? What are their beliefs? What policies will they institute if they capture power?

    Were any of these questions posed as we made our decision to intervene?

    • Mo_

      Thank you! You are the only one I've seen so far asking these questions.

      Why is everyone rejoicing over this? (At least, many on the Right.)

  • Alex Kovnat

    What worries me is that if Gadaffi feels he's being backed into a corner, he'll fight like a cornered rat. What if his guys, or some faction or another, start blowing up oil wells? Frankly I can't help but believe it would be better if we would let the Arabo-Islamic peoples work out their own problems. All we, the West, may accomplish is to create even deeper embitterment. Shouldn't we all remember how, when we Americans came to the defense of Saudi Arabia against Saddam's Iraqi forces in 1990/1991, many Saudis (i.e. Osama Bin Laden) were embittered by what they felt was the humiliation of being defended by women soldiers? The same thing may happen again.

    • 888jah

      Same thing could happen here. We might need France and Great Britain to defend us against B. O. and the muslim brotherhood

      • Amused

        What an infantile remark .

        • 888jah

          You think so? Are you a muslim?

    • Honored Guest

      I think we were/are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to Libia. If we did nothing and stood by while he murdered his people and we could have done something about it we, or at least i, would feel very guilty. At the beginning all the networks were showing uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, etc. and the protesters were portrayed as mostly idealistic youth who just wanted their freedom Now that we have started to act the TV news is going to show all the civilian causalities that Gadaffi says were killed by our rockets. Of course Gadaffi is a liar, but he is a very good liar. He intends to convince the Middle East nations that we are killing Muslims and want to take over "his" country for its oil. I expect that we will see news of Arab mobs from many countries chanting death to America, their old standard charade, and absolutely no help from the Arab League which urged us to start the action in Libia in the first place. It's like we're dammed if we do and dammed if we don't. How come the Arabs are so good at their propaganda and we are so lousy, maybe we need to enlist ad agencies to run this campaign and convince the Arab nations that they can't mess around with Uncle Sam.

  • http://www.facebook.com Kim

    I heard one US citizen who thinks this attack on Libya is a terrorist attack…Nation of Islam's own, Louis Farrakahn, who stated that "brother Qaddafi does not deserve this". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OY-_JsNrxiM&fe

    • Andres de Alamaya

      Qaddafi aside, it's high time someone here takes out Louis Farrakahn.

    • Maggie

      Everyone should watch this.
      I wonder if Louis knows that Muslims STILL have slavery
      and that
      Muslims rounded up and SOLD the black natives in Africa to colonists
      and that
      Arabs who had black female sex slaves who gave birth to black male children
      took the black male children and CASTRATED them.
      He stirs up hatred between all people wherever he goes.
      Thanks for sharing this you tube with us.

  • David – Guest

    What worries me is the precedent set with our intervening in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation especially when we had no stated policy of opposition to Qadaffi. Our own constitution gives the Congress the power to call forth the militia … to “suppress Insurrections … .” So is the new policy of the US that if enough people go out and riot in the streets the government has to resign? Military units desert and armories are broken into and the sovereign , internationally recognized government is supposed to surrender? I think we are witnessing the dawn of a very dangerous and troublesome era and I hope it does not come back to bite us!

  • antileft

    Well, here we go. It was inevitable, and the Great Mashall-Collonello-the Leader-the Supreme Ruler, the best and the brightest of the Greatest of the greatest sons and pupils of Tito´s, is about to face a certain specific and special sort of rain that cannot exactly be defended against by a centuries-long invention known ( and respected ) as umbrella, well, it can but it is not exactly recommended. And, why do I feel that this God of Libya, its stones, shores and baobabs will turn into its greatest asset, namely, the pristine and unique dust ? Together with his disgusting brood! And his Ukrainian nurse. And his suicide and unbeatable concubines, pardon, his personal women body, well, guards! Where are your billions, cohones and mojo now, ha ? Face the music ! Who is ¨zenga-zenga-dar-dar ˝now – watch masterful and magnificently hillarious Quaddafi Duck on Youtube.

  • ze-ev ben jehudah

    Today they started with bombing in Libya,with the France forces in the front row,
    with approval of the U.N. those who are fighting on the side of Ghadafy, innocent
    or not,will be slain without a doubt. Now I wonder,this being a civil war, if I'm right!!,
    so Ghadafy is not allowed to kill his opposition but the U.N. forces are allowed
    to kill the army and the civillian supporters of Ghadafy.It stinks in mine oppinnion
    but lets leave it at that. Another thing of wich I wonder is;why did'nt the U.N.
    intervered with Sadam Hussein!! he committed also genocide on his own people
    and was suspected of having W.O.M.D but no! they let Bush totaly alone. And tell
    me please why does'nt the U.N. interfere in Baghrein or for that matter in Jemen,
    and why did the U.N. not interfere,millitarely, in Sudan.The list is to long to name
    all those countrys where a Dictator kills his subjects and the world looks the
    other way!!.No what we,the so called free West,are doing is letting in an Trojan
    Horse and as soon they hauled them within the gates of freedom and democracy
    the Muslim Brotherhood will climb out and install there califat in the whole of the
    Midle East and only a thirth crusade may stop them at the borders of our Western civllisation.By that time, I think, we will be to late.We either become Muslims
    ourselves or perish. By that time there will be a, total, genocide being completed on
    all the Jews world wide there will be an second Massadah by those who will
    not want to die by the hands of a Muslim.And that is the beginning of a new
    world order of comlete submission to a stone somewhere in Mekka and the end
    to a freedom and a God we once had.

    • badegg

      It what your president and the Democratic Party dream of…..

    • 888jah

      The Kurds were gassed by Saddam. He used a weapon of mass destruction. He had enough time to move the WMDs out of Iraq before he was attacked. I understand they're in Damascas. They're enough muslims in the U. S. for us to be attacked from within. If they get our guns, watch out! How will we ever protect ourselves. The reason we're still free is we still have our guns.

  • badegg

    Our Democratic Party will not be happy until they are forced to wear burkkas and point their azz at the moon…..

  • John

    I realize that Kadaffi is considered pond scum at best, an evil dictator, However, who are the "rebels?" Who are they led by, backed by, organized by? What are their goals? Are they just going to turn into another ill-led, Muslim Brotherhood bunch of thugs? None of this has ever been explained. It appears from all I've been able to gather and I haven't gotten much other that it's a group trying to overthrow Kadiffi which makes it an internal civil war. Am I correct in this? There are civil wars all over the continent of Africa. Why isn't the UN there? If you've got info please share it because I for one don't have a clue of who we're backing or what their long term goals are. We've backed so many over the years that ended up hating us, giving them weapons that ended up being used against us. Central America, Cuba, etc, etc.

  • Amused

    " At long last " ?? Yea now we are in a trhird war [and supposedly broke ] . Evewryone's asking , "who are the rebels " ? "do we know who they are " ?
    Well WE DO KNOW , and WE HAVE KNOWN .By our own nintelligernce agencies !
    Eastern Libya has been a hotbed of anti-Americanism . Eastern Libya has suppied the most amnount of jihadis to Iraq and Afghanistan besides Pakistan .
    The Chicken-Hawks are at it again , with PECULIAR HYPOCRISY . Criticizing the Administration for acting too slow , and also for doing something . Make up your minds?
    And NOW there's talk , more will be needed besides a no fly zone to ensure a rebel victory , for NOW that we have attacked Libya , Gaddafi will have to be removed lest we have a revengefull anti-American dictator giving terrorists invites and first rate hotel accomodations .

  • zsqpwxxeh

    Let's see if we've got this straight:

    1. A No-Fly Zone means airstrikes on Daffy forces, which means
    2. This is in reality an intervention on behalf of the Rebels, who
    3. Are either tribalists or jihadists, cornered in Cyrenaica which
    4. Is next to a Soon-To-Be-Muslim-Brotherhood-Controlled Egypt, that
    5. Can support a "Free" Libya rump state protected by NATO air power, that
    6. Will continue the civil war indefinitely, thus causing more
    7. Deaths.

    We could have put a Tomahawk in Q's bedroom a month ago and saved countless lives, which is supposedly the pretext for this whole business. Next bloody tyrant? Kim Jong Il? Oh, he's got a big army.

    • nina

      No, no. A big army doesn't frighten us. An atomic bomb does. This intervention not only costs us money which we can't afford, but it also confirms North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, that having atomic power is a must. Nobody is going to mess with these countries, (and actually they should because they are much worse than Gaddafi especially for the West). So this is the lesson that America is teaching.

  • Patrick Henry

    Where was the debate about going to war and the Declaration of War by Congress as the Constitution MANDATES?

    Oh, we only are "strict constructionists" when it fits our agenda.

    LIbya will be a more radical Muslim state after Ghadaffi is gone and the Muslim Brotherhood takes over like they are doing in Egypt.

    I think Islam leaves no option other than totalitarianism. Either there must be a tyrannical dictator to control the radical Islamists, or Islamic tyranny will prevail. No other option, pick your poison.

    Funny how you hear nothing of this in the media and Michael Youssef is Egyptian so I'm sure the info is accurate.
    http://michaelyoussef.squarespace.com/michaels-bl

  • kim

    One nation right after another , like tricks out of a box, who will replace the dictators? why the muslim brotherhood of course. Why did the muslim help Saddam? because he was a Sunni muslim, and the two tribes don't like each other…Iran wants mecca..bin laden's muslim brotherhood , from obama right on thru each nation getting their leader overthrown, and of course the Libya leader gaming again…To stop the madness is to trhow out obama and the muslim brotherhood and for Israel to destroy them all, and with G-d leading them they will. Old Assad is going to see Damascus burn, to rubble, Gaza will be a waste and Iran's nuke plant melts and all the enemies of Israel will have their own weapons used on them..Israel will stand forever…How do I know..the scripture tells us so. and the weeks Torah tells the Jews to destroy the enemy too..now they have no choice. G-d promised jihad sent to sons of disobedience.. Soon we will see the power of G-d . Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem..

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Blood bath in who knows what land, a land led by lead loon Gaddafi who is
    shooting his ducks and pundits telling the powers of the world what to do.
    Sit back and get a bag of popcorn and watch all of the MSM stations pollute
    the muddy waters. I must have missed just what the rebellious citizens of
    Libya had for a list of grievances and demands. Violence explodes first and
    destruction of property with great loss of life before anyone sits down and
    goes over alternatives to destruction, crazy, just crazy. There is so much more
    to all of this than will ever come out but I have a gnawing suspicion that
    Islamist and Leftist politicos are behind it all and we are the viewing audience
    of the mayhem, I would suggest seeing it all at your favorite drive in theater but
    you know gas price signs are looking like a spinning wheel of misfortune.
    William

  • http://www.chick.com Raymond

    Are you a Democrat, a Republican, or a Southerner?
    Here is a little test that will help you decide.

    You're walking down a deserted street with your wife
    and two small children. Suddenly, an Islamic
    Terrorist with a huge knife comes around the corner,
    locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, praises
    Allah, raises the knife, and charges at you…

    You are carrying a Kimber 1911 cal. 45 ACP, and you are an expert shot.
    You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family..
    What do you do?

    Democrat's Answer:
    • Well, that's not enough information to answer the question!
    • Does the man look poor or oppressed?
    • Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?
    • Could we run away?
    • What does my wife think?
    • What about the kids?
    • Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?
    • What does the law say about this situation?
    • Does the pistol have appropriate safety built into it?
    • Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children?
    • Is it possible he'd be happy with just killing me?
    • Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me?
    • If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me?
    • Should I call 9-1-1?
    • Why is this street so deserted?
    • We need to raise taxes, have “Paint & Weed Day”;
    • Can we make this a happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior.
    • I need to debate this with some friends for a few days and try to come to a consensus.
    • This is all so confusing!
    …………………………………….
    Republican's Answer:
    BANG!
    …………………………………
    Southerner's Answer:

    BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
    BANG ! BANG! BANG! BANG!
    Click….. (Sounds of reloading)
    BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
    BANG!
    BANG!
    BANG!
    Click

    Daughter: 'Nice grouping, Daddy!'
    'Were those the Winchester Silver Tips or Hollow Points?! '

    Son: 'Can I shoot the next one?!'

    Wife: 'You ain't taking that to the Taxidermist!

    • worried

      Love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Wish all felt that way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Walt Shea

    First off we are not protecting civilians, we’re protecting a rebel army. We are attacking a sovereign nation that is not exporting violence. Aren’t these the same people that cheered when the Pan Am 103 bomber was released and had celebrations after 9/11? These people hate us. What goes around, comes around. We are not making friends, we’re making ourselves look stupid.

  • Bugs

    The International Communithy: "America is everything that's wrong with the world! America, please help us!" Seems the evil, imperialistic, capitalistic, Great Satan United States is good for something after all. Hypocrites…

    • worried

      Not all think that way, only the cowards, gutless, selfish, meme generation!!!!!!!!!!

  • KingJefferson

    NOooooooooooooooooooo………what's the exit plan….what's the strategy….where does this stop…what's the precedent….why aren't we bombing Bahrain and saudi Arabia…aren't they shooting their people too…I'm confused…how about helping out with Nigeria, Somalia, and you know the the rest of the hell holes…so we're spending our kids and grandkids future to support what…what's the outcome…what's the unintended consequences….crazy…if one American pilot or soldier dies in this foolishness…what are we to tell the family he/she died for? Self-determination of Islamist/Socialist/Tribalism…huh? ;~( Let them solve their own issues….please help explain

  • Stuart Parsons

    Whatever happens in Libya the outcome will not be democracy, religious tolerance and a willingness to live in a reasonable degree of harmony with the rest of mankind. Dear old Allah and his 'Prophet and Messenger' just won't allow it. It would be unreasonable for us to expect them to coexist with us evil ungodly infidels. As ye sow so shall yea reap…. and our harvest will probably be more crazy terrorists,

    Islam is a far greater threat to the well-being of mankind than Fascism, communism and the hordes of Genghis Khan ever were. When are Muslims going to give up their false belief and learn to live in harmony with the rest of mankind. Stuart Parsons

  • Watchman

    What makes me mad as hell is Obama will send troops to Libya but, is now going to remove the troops on our border. HE should be removed and sent back to his African country.

  • flaedo

    This is a joke – we are aiding islamists yet again. We do that everywhere in the islamic world. Every one of those missiles we are firing costs around one million dollars, and for what?
    There is no "democracy movement" in Libya just as there was no "democracy movement" in Egypt. There was what appeared to be a "democracy movement" in lran, but that was ignored. Our political leaders in the West suck. l cant think of one that isnt selling the West out to islam in particular and the third world immigration invasion in general.
    Drop our political leaders on Libya from 40,000 feet.

  • joel

    The Bible says"To whomever much has been given,much is required". The US has received much;therefore,we are required to stop genocide wherever it occurs. Mrs Clinton's husband failed to stop genocide in Rwanda;this is why,I think,she is more disposed to prevent genocide in Libya. I,a conservative independent,voted for Bill because he promised to intervene in Bosnia to prevent genocide. We should have built up our military so we did not have to say today that we"are spread too thin" for Libya,N Korea,Iran,etc.

  • Hallie Burtonn

    Maher is a total Jew. He never picks on Israel.

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