Day By Day

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

NATO's Quagmire

For several weeks now stories have been appearing in the American press to the effect that negotiations are taking place between Libyan strongman Muhammar Quadaffi and NATO officials aimed at ending fighting in that unhappy country. The implication has usually been that Quadaffi is on the ropes and is desperately seeking a way out of his dilemma. The story as it appears in the European press, though, has a very different cast. Richard Fernandez explains:
Reuters reports that some NATO countries participating in the Libya operation have punched themselves out, although Khadaffy is still standing. “New U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Monday that some NATO allies operating in Libya could see their forces ‘exhausted’ within 90 days.” European forces are wearing out from the beating they are delivering to the Libyan dictator.

“The problem right now, frankly, in Libya is that … within the next 90 days a lot of these other countries could be exhausted in terms of their capabilities, and so the United States, you know, is going to be looked at to help fill the gap,” Panetta said, speaking to troops in Baghdad.

AFP added that the Italians are pulling out their carrier and Norway is pulling out its planes. The Italians have called for a “political solution” in Libya. France is reported to be secretly negotiating with Khadaffy for a settlement, according to Saif Khadaffy, who says talks have been ongoing between a Libyan envoy and the French President. The reality is that Europe’s combat power will soon have to be cut back in Libya unless the US takes up the slack.
So it is the NATO invaders, not Quadaffi's loyalists, who are on the verge of collapse. Read it here. [emphasis mine]

Set aside the blatant duplicity and misinformation issuing from the American mainstream media. That's par for the course these days. What is really troubling is that NATO is desperately looking for a way to pass responsibility for the Libyan mess off to the United States. Let us hope our fine young president has the wisdom to refuse.

CNN reports that human rights groups have documented atrocities committed by the Libyan rebels -- you know, the ones we claim are the good guys. 

(CNN) -- Libyan rebels have looted and burned homes and abused civilians, a human rights group said Wednesday.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch said that in "four towns captured by rebels in the Nafusa Mountains over the past month, rebel fighters and supporters have damaged property, burned some homes, looted from hospitals, homes, and shops, and beaten some individuals alleged to have supported government forces."
 Hmmm. Isn't this the sort of thing we are supposed to be preventing. 

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