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Why The US Must Follow Through and Eliminate Gaddafi

Reader comment on item: Back to the Shores of Tripoli?

Submitted by Michel C. Zala (Switzerland), Mar 29, 2011 at 12:52

Many readers here fail to grasp several upsides of a successful mission to eliminate Gaddafi.

If the Coaltion manages to oust this despote, which has to happen within few weeks and not months or even a protracted period, due to haphazard action up to and not limited to direct attempts on Gaddafi himself, it may very well be perceived as liberators of the lybian people.

I have monitored the usually very anti-US slanted coverage of Aljazeera and was amazed to see so many pro-US signs and interviews so far. I do by now believe that those sentiments of gratitude towards the US, Sarkozy and Cameron are legitimate and representative. If indeed a pro-democracy movement can be helped to power and the beginnings of a democracy of the likes of Egypt takes hold, the 4rth largest fossil fuel reserves will be exported to the EU (again) and the energy stronghold of the Russians on the EU will be decidedly weakened. Also, the Russians have severely isolated themselves. The propaganda targeted against NATO and the "Attack"-forces of the west (I also watched the TV Propaganda channel Russia Today extensively) is outright nasty and angry. They call the outlaw Gaddafi regime ( a Billion Dollar Russian Military equipment importer) a legitimate, internationally acknowledged government and the actions of the coalition unwarranted and imperialistic. While Lawrov spewed this self-aggrandizing crap, 17 people were killed by gov security forces in Ingushetia....this only as a sidenote to point out the Russian bigotry.

If the coalition succeeds, the Russians will hence find themselves severly isolated in the Arab world (apart from Syria) for decades to come, while the ROI of this intervention will foremost benefit the US, FR and UK. Lybia will be rebuilt by companies of these willing and courageous nations with the thanks of the Lybian people, and their coming democracy can thus be shaped and influenced by the nations based upon such forms of Gov.

If the coalition succeeds - and the question seems to be at present only, how long this will take - a strong signal will be sent to nations such as Syria and indirectly to the largest enemy, Iran. They'll think twice of contemplating to destabilizing the region further or employing brutal force against their own people. While I do not foresee any intervention in Iran or Syria, the tight anti-Gaddafi sanctions and utter diplomatic isolation alone were rather significant.

Not even Iran can afford such and may find themselves compelled to handle the opposition with much more care in the future. Any mission failure in Lybia would severely embolden the Iranians to project power further (as already done so in Iraq and Bahrein and very much likely in Saudi Arabia later). As the UN, US, Nato, Arab League can not afford an even higher level of hypocrisy, even the Sheiks and Emirs in Saudi Arabia may find themselves at some point on the wrong side of history. Some give to the pressure has already happened in SA, JOR and Yemen, which must be considered as positive at least.

Since most of aforementioned direct strategic benefits for the US are not clearly transparent, the US can also promote the notion of for once doing the right thing, when no direct national security interests are concerned. The intervention in Iraq will thus gain some hindsight legitimacy at least. The weight of the gained political capital throughout the arab world can prove to be priceless in the future. On the back of a comparably low cost intervention in Lybia, positive PR throughout the Arab World can be achieved, while doing nothing would have placed us smack on the wrong side of history. One of the traditional blames by the Arab World was hypocrisy - preaching one thing but doing another. Liberating Lybia may prove to improve our political credit in the region immeasurably. The images of pro-US demonstrations on the streets of Benghazi, shown in all Arabic TV channels, are from a PR viewpoint alone already extremely powerful and have obviouosly already changed a lot of arabic perceptions. This PR credit may well eventually pay off in trade and business for US corporations, whereas Chinese or Russian influence will in the aftermath of Gaddafi's fall undoubtedly and gravely be diminished.

Since in the meantime even the Iraq neighbors Syria and Iran find themselves forced by this pan-arabic pro-democracy movement or spring to turn increasingly inwards in order to address the concerns and opposition to their own oppressive regimes, pressure on Iraq, the undue influence and import of anti-gov insurgents and islamists from these countries, may decrease to some extent. A further success in Iraq will subsequently only strengthen the pro-democracy trends throughout the region and thus serve US national interests.

Lastly, not only the despots, but also the radical islamist organizations throughout the region were caught flat footed and utterly surprised by this rapidly progressing pan-arabic movement, which is by most accounts not religious in nature, but mainly a widespread movement towards freedom and democracy - political and not sectarian.

All of a sudden neither Israel nor the evil empire USA are enemy No. 1, but their own despots, mullahs and sheiks are becoming targets. In the case of the USA there is an outright reversal of roles apparent, where the US is perceived and depicted as a friend of the Arab mainstreet, an honest promoter of freedom and democracy.

There is no doubt in my mind, that these orgs like Hezbollah, Al Kaeda, Hamas etc. will try to "change the subject", provoque especially ISR by accelerating their plans for terror attacks. Many are in danger of actually losing their base to pro-democracy movements (GAZA, Yemen, SYR), which is something they desperately will try to avoid.

I am therefore not surprised by the recent Hamas actions to increase their rocket attacks on ISR in order to provoque them to retaliate. The same seems to be apparent in Iraq, Pakistan and recently in Yemen. The West would be well advised to be extremely vigilant, as nothing would detract better from the developments in Lybia or the Arab world, than a terror attack in London, Paris, Rome or Chicago. Al Kaeda needs the headlines desperately in order to promote their sectarian ideology and to change the subject.

If this pan arabic development progresses according to the current trends, Al Kaeda runs the danger of becoming an irrelevant force. Nations of the West - be cautious and vigilant, as the next terror attack is imminent, if my projections and analysis are correct.

In conclusion, I hope I was able to make the case that the US engagement in Lybia offers a lot of hidden benefits, strategically, politically and economically. If we demonstrate strong will and determination for only a couple of more weeks, will not allow to be distracted by hypocrits like the Russians or some Arab League nations who themselves govern by oppression and therefore are not very motivated to see democracy bloom, the upside of this engagement may prove to be the turning point in our entire relations with the Arabic world and may well result in a potentially enormous return on a comparably small investment.

Bush did the right thing for the wrong given reasons. Up to this day I do not think that he needed the justification of WMDs, but should have had the political will and honesty to justify the Iraq engagement by eliminating the worst despot of the entire arab world. We would have followed him anyway, as Saddam was tenfold the murderous bastard Gaddafi is.

In the case of Lybia however, the US has the incredible chance of doing the right thing for the right reasons, backed by a historically unique lawful coalition and literally all key world organisations. Never before in the recent history of Arabia was there a chance for the US to be actually celebrated and supported by mainstreet Arabs and muslims.

The US has incredibly much to win and not much to lose. The alternative, Gaddafi remaining in power, would result in a full-fledged loss for the US, increased influence of Russia and China in the region, loss of credibility, loss of respect, loss of self-respect within the US People, loss of economic ties to the region, increased dependence of the EU on Russian energy exports, thus the EU becoming a victim of RU blackmail, it would send the wrong signal to nations such as Iran or Syria, who would feel empowered to further destabilize the region, it would indirectly hamper the success in Iraq or Afghanistan, as it would lend a victory to all despotic regimes in the region and finally would offer Al Kaeda once again arguments and motivation to rally islamists against us.

We must however act fast, aggressively, determined, using the media blackout for once against Gaddafi, thus avoidig any danger of mission creep and a prolonged conflict which will only help Gaddafi. We already deployed some black ops special forces for target painting and must do so even more for a short period of time or accept some unavoidable collateral damage. Gaddafi does not play by the rules. Human shields, snipers, gangrape and intimadation up to hostage taking, media manipulation up to placing corpses killed by Gaddafi mercenaries at coalition targets in order to undermine the will of the coalition - all of the above Gaddafi, who has absolultely nothing to lose, considers as appropriate means to at best negotiate Asylum in Venezuela. Time is on his side. However, the coalition can only fail, if they splinter and allow the hypocrites, such as Italy, Germany, Russia or Turkey to undermine its will.

I can't bleive I am saying this: But this time, if we follow Sarkozy and follow through with a vengeance, victory is possible. If the positions of Erdogan or Merkel prevail, the whole mission will fall apart and end in misery for all parties concerned.


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