Libya: Is It Diplomatic Cacophony Or Does The US Want Gaddafi To Prevail?

The Obama administration and Europe have been undecided and divided for three weeks over what to do about the situation in Libya. The Libyan rebel national council have repeatedly asked for a no-fly zone to be implemented, but so far no concrete actions have been implemented by NATO. While international condemnations have been pouring in ,across the board, over war crimes and other serious human rights violation perpetrated by Gaddafi on his own people, no tangible actions have followed the outcries. The outcome of the Arab revolution in Libya  is a critical test for the overall movement, and its success or failure in North Africa and the Middle-East. Some leaders in the West might be cynically hedging their bets and even hoping that Gaddafi will  prevail in order to prevent the Arab movement to spread and  blow the lid on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Division  Within The Obama Administration

The Obama administration’s various surrogates have issued contradictory statements on how to deal with Libya and Gaddafi.

Secretary Clinton seems to be a proponent of a more aggressive policy on the matter. In a few days, she will travel to the region and will be meeting with Gaddafi’s opposition. The US Secretary Of State will also hold meeting with Egyptian and Tunisian officials.

However, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has been aan advocate of a very cautious approach. Gates said that before a no-fly zone can be set up, a military attack has to take place in order to downgrade Gaddafi’s air force, heavy artillery and tanks.

On Thursday, the director of the NSA, James Clapper, went even further by stating that ultimately Gaddafi will prevail. Clapper told a Senate panel that the battle’s momentum had begun to shift in favor of Gaddafi. “I think, over the longer term, that the regime will prevail. Even if Gaddafi doesn’t defeat the rebels, Libya could end up split into two or three parts in a Somalia like situation,” said NSA’s Clapper.

Today, in an attempt to clarify the position of his administration on the issue, President Obama said during a press conference that “all options were on the table, including military options”. The US President also added that “Gaddafi must step down”.

Division  Within The European Union

The European Union is divided as well over which strategies should be implemented in the Libyan crisis. Germany and Italy have criticized the French and British proposal to recognize the rebel national council and to impose a no-fly zone. At a EU meeting in Bruxelle on Friday, German and Italian officials questioned how representative the Libyan National Council is and what its intentions for the future of the country are.

On the other hand, Britain and France are pushing harder for concrete actions. The two countries have already drafted a resolution for the UN to review and are calling on complete air exclusion zone if Gaddafi uses chemical weapons or air power against Libyan citizens.

In France, on Thursday, the Sarkozy administration took the lead and went a step further by becoming the first country to recognize Libya’s opposition as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people. France plans to send an ambassador to rebel-held Benghazi in the coming days, and Sarkozy is the one pushing for military action to help the opposition.

Editor’s Note: All photographs courtesy of  BRQ.

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8 Responses to Libya: Is It Diplomatic Cacophony Or Does The US Want Gaddafi To Prevail?

  1. Richard March 11, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Clearly the US and EU are blowing off a lot of hot air. They used “Responsibility to Protect” for legal authority and went in without clear regional support in the Balkans. Now they claim they need both. Why don’t they stop lying?

  2. Gilbert Mercier
    Gilbert Mercier March 11, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Exactly. Sarkozy is so far the only one pushing for action, but it could be to placate the 5 million French of Arab origins who were highly critical of Sarkozy’s position in regard to Tunisia and Egypt.

    I think that this “lip-service diplomacy” has to do with preventing the “contagion” of the Arab revolution to Saudi Arabia. If the Libyan rebels succeed, it will show that the movement can topple the Saudis as well. And of course, the United States is not in favor of this prospect at all.

  3. Matt March 11, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    If your own government is slaughtering you and the west who talk about values have turned their back on you and are allowing Qaddafi to slaughter you, with hate in their hearts who do they turn to, where do they turn to radical Islam who fills the vacuum al-Qaida. If the US says the uprisings reforms weaken al-Qaida then repression and inaction by the west allowing Qaddafi to slaughter his own people strengthens al-Qaida. They will bury their weapons and go back to the Mosques, but in the future I am sure you will be hearing from them via the global Jihad.

  4. Jim Bains March 11, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Why not supply the revolutionaries with surface-to-air missiles, rocket propelled grenades and other weapons? After all, the U.S. provided this kind of weaponry to Al Quida and the other reactionary forces in the 80s and 90s. It would be nice to see my government on the right side for a change.

  5. Steve March 11, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    This entire situation seems totally absurd. There is a civil war going on in an Arab country, and once again the West wants to meddle in it! How does anyone know that the group which supposedly represents the rebels, is actually speaking for all of them? What about the voices of the Libyans who actually do like Gadaffi? We have a situation where armed rebels are marching towards the Libyan capitol intending to overthrow the government, yet we are surprised and appalled that Gadaffi is putting up a defense? What would happen if a group of armed revolutionaries were marching towards Washington DC, with the intent of overthrowing the American government and deposing Obama? Why are so many in the West interpreting this situation so totally out of context?

  6. Mike March 13, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    If the Arab League of Nations wants to impose a no fly zone over Libya, it can only mean bad news for the region. Al Quaida and Iran are behind the terrorist insurgents and should be wiped out. Khadafi is an impediment to their goal of total muslim dominance in the area. We should wipe out the “rebels”,Khadaffi,
    who voluntarily shut down his nuclear facilities and allows christians to worship in his country without fear of death should be protected.

  7. Mike March 13, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Jim Baines, your a Obama Pupp

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