Thursday, March 17, 2011

UN endorsed help for Libyan rebels

The UN Security Council has voted to protect the Libyan people from Gadhafi by authorizing the use of military force against his loyalist forces.  The motion specifically forbids any foreign troops on Libyan soil, so this will be an air strike force against the Gadhafi regime.

This is certainly what the Libyan rebels wanted, so I hope this tactic works in their favor, and also reduces the carnage that would otherwise be exacted by Gadhafi's forces as they advance through the country.  I hope the rebels can hang on for a day or two while the western and Arab countries assemble their arsenal and put it into action.  Precision strikes will be needed here, since the lines between the rebels, the loyalists and the citizens are narrow.

It looks like at least four western countries and three Arab countries will participate in this UN-sanctioned use of force against the Gadhafi regime.  At the moment, Gadhafi is still talking bravely.  In a CBC article titled CF-18 jets to help enforce Libya no-fly zone:

In an address Thursday evening on state TV, Libyan leader Gadhafi said his forces will begin the assault on Benghazi, proclaiming "the matter has been decided ... we are coming."
He said there would be amnesty for those "who throw their weapons away," but for those who resist "there will be no mercy or compassion."
Gadhafi said his forces would "rescue" the people of Benghazi from "traitors" and warned them not to stand alongside the opposition. "The people will see tomorrow if the city is one of traitors or heroes.... Don't betray me, my beloved Benghazi."

This rebellion is a long way from being over, despite the obvious joy the rebels are feeling after hearing the UN-sanctioned help is finally on its way.  The rebel forces will still be responsible for the ground fighting, and the strategy that involves. As the above quote reveals, Gadhafi is a long way from giving up.  It remains to be seen how his forces will react when they are subjected to superior fire power (from the air).  Will they fold, or will they fight on, and stay loyal to their leader?

I wish the rebels well, and hope their dreams of a free and democratic Libya come true soon.  I was never in favor of a no-fly zone, but certainly favor leveling the playing field so the rebellion has a chance.  Let`s hope the UN-sanctioned air cover does their job, but no more.  Ultimately, this rebellion belongs to the Libyan people.

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