Saturday, March 12, 2011

Libya's rebellion: it doesn't look encouraging, but...

After reading the BBC article Arab League backs Libya no-fly zone, you might think the UN Security Council will now act and pass a motion authorizing enforcement of a no-fly zone in Libya.  That is not likely, with Russia and China holding veto power.  Even the USA is not inclined to get involved militarily in Libya at this time.  They are still involved in Iraq and remember well how that started in the same way.

I'm not sure what it will take to get NATO seriously involved in the Libyan rebellion.  It is a certainty that the Arab League will not get involved further, at least on a military action.  All they do is talk.

It might come down to the Libyan rebellion being completed destroyed by Col Gaddafi's forces.  Would the western countries act then?  Too little, too late methinks.

Am I advocating a no-fly zone?  Not least as it is being talking about broadly by the UK and France.  I think leveling the playing field for the rebel's would be a good idea.  Precision bombing of key airfields to take out Col Gaddafi's aircraft along with a hit to the bases housing his key ground-based strike forces would give the rebels some breathing room.

I believe the rebel forces need a couple of weeks to put in place some financial arrangements where they will be paid for oil still being shipped out of Tobruk.  This Globe and Mail article Keeping the oil flowing in post-revolution Tobruk points out a key strategy that is currently being overlooked by most of the press reports.  This rebellion will ultimately be sustained by money, not brave young men bent on being martyrs. The article points out an interesting fact.  Rebel forces have solid control of  major oil fields in the eastern part of Libya and are successfully delivering oil through Tobruk to two key customers: China and Europe.  Additionally, the oil workers in the rebel-held zone have cut off the oil supply to pipelines that go to Gaddafi held oil ports.

Please donate to the Red Cross/Red Crescent to their Middle East/Northern Africa Crisis fund. The Red Cross/Red Crescent is on the ground caring for people who are affected by this conflict.


Bruce Mackenzie said...

Hi Joe,

A commentary on Al-Jazeera noted how international law is not part of this discussion. After WWII the UN adopted laws for countries to follow that rule when they can invade and not. They were intended to reduce invasions and prevent WWIII, and have succeeded so far in that limited goal.

Clearly broken in the invasion of Iraq.

In a civil world, discussions of what to do and not to do start with the current laws, but they are not being mentioned in discussions of the No Fly Zone.

Joe Carr said...

So we can sit here and watch the war crimes happen while the Libyan people die at the hand of a dictator secure, in the knowledge that everyone is adhering to international law. That makes me feel better, Bruce.