2 readers online now  |  69 million page views

Update II - Send in the Apaches - Bust instead, Obama crumbles and caves in again

Reader comment on item: Back to the Shores of Tripoli?
in response to reader comment: Update - Only 24h after handing command over to NATO

Submitted by Michel C. Zala (Switzerland), Apr 1, 2011 at 14:14

The Coalition of the willing is already falling apart, as Gaddafi forces pushed the Opposition back to Brega and is (still) laying siege at Misurata.

On the very same day, the Lybian foreign minister defects to the UK, likely to deliver mission critical and postwar (criminal prosecution) intelligence to allied intelligence orgs, the Germans were calling for "negotiations", thus further obstructing the actual mission of eliminationi of Gaddafi.

In a tragic macchiavellistic way, this makes perfect sense. The Germans simply can not afford yet another blunder and disgrace, where a coalition proves to be successful and courageous, while the Germans find themselves on the wrong side of history. Already isolated, ridiculed, considered as untrustworthy, the Germans now intend to outright sabotage any possible victory, as it would make them look incredibly stupid.

On the other side, Obama once again lacks any kind of leadership skills and the needed courage to see this comparably straightforward and low cost campaign aggressively through, announcing today an end to US bombings and direct engagements, while rumors of CIA involvement and speciual forces on the ground float around in the media.

It is exactly this kind of half baked, haphazard effort, combined with the typical diplomatic doublespeak, which historically ended up in protracted conflicts, longterm binding of US forces and unnecessary victims, civilian, as well as military. Not even the professor seems to be able to draw the right conclusions from history.

Gaddafi's strategy is simple, yet effective. He decentralizes his troops into small units, equipped with light artillery, rpgs, rockets on trucks and snipers, disguises his bands in civilian cloths, flanks the opposition on both sides of the main street, upon which they move back and forth, then pushes these untrained civilians, doctors, lawyers, workers back into the towns and lastly shells those towns indiscriminately, then hiding these small and mobile units within an urban environment, which is impossible to clean up from 20000 feet by fast moving jets alone without risking collateral damage and civilian deaths.

But here is the point: NATO and above all the US do have the tactical instrument to counter this strategy.

Helicopter Gunships of the likes of the Apache or Comanche, equipped with hellfire missiles and gatling guns, set up for nighttime warfare could rain hell, chaos and subsequent panic into these mercenary bands. Easy, fast and efficiently could thus Gaddafi's army of disloyal bandits be destroyed, upon which even the rag tag opposition forces could rapidly move forward and free the coastline towns one by one, gaining supporters, as they progress.

But that takes courage and the will to prevail. It takes the willingness to speak the truth and work for nothing else than a full victory. But the word victory seems to be inexistent in the vocabulary of Obama, who lacks even the backbone to state the actual mission objectives clearly. Does it come as a surprise now, that all these mixed signals he sends out, are throughout the world, but foremost by the despots of the region, perceived as incoherent, helpless, weak and hipocritical?

Does it come as a surprise, the almost helpless manoeuvering by Obama considered, that he finds himself under attack by Democrats and Republicans alike? As usual, he tries to navigate the middle ground, catering to literally all sides and interested parties, but fails to acknowledge and understand, that sometimes, there is no middle ground, and one must take a stance and follow through. He also does not grasp the historical fact, that decisive action, resulting in a quick victory is preferable to a protracted conflict resulting in much greater loss of life in the long run.

Anything but a full regime change with a subsequent prosecution of Gaddafi for war crimes and crimes against humanity, will be perceived bay the Arab world and celebrated by despots of the likes of Assad or the Iranians, as utter failure of the mighty western world. From Al Kaeda to Hezbollah, Hamas to Achmadinejaad they all will proclaim victory over the lackluster Sheitan, USA. Heck , even the Lybian People, who a few days ago still waved Pro-American signs, will turn away again in disgust. America again will be losing out on a massive chance to change perceptions, doing the right thing and being thanked for it, sending a strong signal to IRAN and Syria, severely diminshing Russian influence in the middle east, securing a potentially strategic trade partner (Oil), strengthening American exceptionalism and character, promoting the ideals and values we as a nation stand for for decades to come and so much more.

By lacking the will and conviction to pursue a clear victory, in contrast to a Reagan or even Bush, flip-flopping and sending mixed signals to the left as right, literally leaving our allies to hold the bucket, we will lose immense credit and credibility throughout the world. If this was the test, Biden foresaw at the beginning of the Obama Admin., then Obama as failed the test utterly and miserably. I am ashamed for my own commander in chief and saddened by this historical chance he pissed away.

Once again, McCain was right on the mark, whereas Obama fumbled, and now it has come down to sheer luck, where one has to hope, that Gaddafi's clan deteriorates under the pressure of finances and defections. Unless something utterly surprising, such as a revolte or assassination, happens, Gaddafi will as a minimum negotiate some form of Asylum out or the nation of Lybia will be partitioned for years to come under a costly longterm NATO umbrella, unwilling or incapable to eliminate him.

Either way, Obama has literally handed over any initiative to other parties, including Gaddafi himself and either of above scenarios must be clearly understood as outright defeat. The blame for it lays squarely with Obama, as this extensive engagement was (The elephant in the room, nobody wants to acknowledge, let alone talk about) undoubtedly geared towards regime change, and not just the protection of Benghazi, which could have been accomplished by the French alone.

The US People, the commentators here, the world opinion are all confused. Obama proclaims that Gaddafi must go, engages in military action, yet stops short of actually follwing through on his own words, by citing the humanitarian effort and UN restrictions to only protect civilians. The USA comprises 60% of NATO forces, albeit they only "enable"??? If I remember correctly, in all questions and conflicts concerning democracy and building nations, America always leads the way. Do we lead? Where is the shining beacon? Is Obama truly a leader? How do we define leadership? Doublespeak, everchanging missions and objectives, all the while allowing for an oppressed people who desperately called us for help to suffer and die? Does it really come as a surprise, that the Arabs consider the US as bigots, driven solely by self interest?

I repeat myself here once again: The US under Obama fumbled a massive chance to rake in a wast amount of (direct and indirect, open and hidden, political, diplomatic, geo-strategic and economical) benefits from a comparably low cost and limited military action. There is now a grave concern, that we will come out of this blunder as total losers on every dimension of the issue. Unless some form of miracle happens, the Gaddafis and Kaedas of the world will again celebrate a victory over the Grand Infidel of the West and nobody but Obama must be blamed for it, as he had it in his powers to achive a different outcome early on and quickly.

2 Years into this administration and America is a disaster zone. The Billboard in Montana with Bush saying:" Miss Me Yet?", starts to make tragic sense.

.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Update II - Send in the Apaches - Bust instead, Obama crumbles and caves in again by Michel C. Zala

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2021 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)