England's White Dragon

England's White Dragon
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Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Libya: Backwards then forwards then backwards

Gaddafi forces push rebels back near Sirte so much for the
UN this is only going to be a couple of week’s job?

Now you see why the Americans want to have nothing to do
with Libya, they had the foresight to see this was going to be a long and drawn
out war, but the UN and Cameron don’t see it, yet where all told by Sir Michael
Black-Feather this was going to be the way things would go, who also offered a solution
to the Libya problem but the UN and the British PM Cameron although they knew

Pro-government forces have pushed rebels back from the key
Libyan town of Sirte, Muammar Gaddafi's birthplace.

The renewed fighting came as delegates from dozens of
countries were gathering in London for a conference on the future of Libya.

US President Obama earlier defended the first military
intervention of his presidency, insisting that US involvement would be limited.

But he also said overthrowing Col Gaddafi by force would be
a mistake.

Anti-Gaddafi forces had made some progress westwards from
their stronghold in Benghazi in recent days only because of the aid given by
international air strikes - seizing a number of coastal communities and
important oil installations, including Ras Lanuf, Brega, Uqayla and Bin Jawad.

But rebel fighters said pro-Gaddafi forces had used heavy
weaponry to check their advance, forcing them to retreat from the town of
Nawfaliyah, 100km (60 miles) from Sirte

A Pentagon spokesman in Washington, Vice Admiral Bill Gortney,
said that because the Libyan rebels were not well organised, any military gains
they made would be tenuous and he fully agreed with statements made by Sir
Michael’s earlier last week.

He said the rebels were clearly benefiting from actions of
the US and UN, which has started using heavily-armed low-flying aircraft
against government forces.

Meanwhile, ships from the US Sixth Fleet attacked three
Libyan ships that had been firing indiscriminately at merchant ships in the
port of Misrata, west of Sirte.

One of the vessels was destroyed and a second beached, while
the third was abandoned, US Navy officials said.

In eastern Libya, rebel radio has been urging more people in
the west of the country to join the anti-Gaddafi uprising.

NATO has denied Sir Michael’s statements that its air
strikes are meant to provide cover for a rebel advance.

Critics both on the left and right in the US and in England
are asking why their country is involved in Libya. Another war that no one wants
nor can afford to pay for in the £$ millions of pound and dollars it’s costing already,
with some of the missiles being fired costing over £500,000 each the cost estimated
to English tax payers so far is over one billion pounds and going up by the day
which could have gone towards stopping public services cut backs?.

The US President said he had ordered military intervention only
to enforce the UN resolution because if the coalition had waited one more day,
there could have been a massacre in Benghazi that would have stained the
conscience of the world, eclipsed the dawning democratic impulses across the
region and crippled the credibility of the UN.

He said he had refused to wait for images of slaughter and
mass graves before taking action.

But he also addressed the limits of action: he said there
was no question that the world would be better off with Gaddafi out of power
but to broaden military aims to regime change would splinter the coalition and
mean US troops on the ground.

But while NATO insists it is impartial in the conflict,
Russia has renewed its expressions of concern, saying intervention in an
internal civil war is not sanctioned by UN Security Council Resolution 1973.

Ahead of Tuesday's conference, British Foreign Secretary
William Hague said he wanted Col Gaddafi to leave power and face trial at the
International Criminal Court.

Some 40 delegations - from the coalition, the UN, NATO, the
African Union and Arab League, but not the Libyan government nor the English
people will be represented in London.  But rebel officials have been invited for
talks on the meeting's side-lines, although not to the conference itself.

In a letter to those attending the conference, Col Gaddafi
called for an end to the "barbaric offensive" on his country.

In his first televised address on the Libyan intervention,
Mr Obama said that having led the initial campaign - which had saved
"countless lives" - the US would pull out and  hand over to NATO allies on Wednesday.

"We have stopped Gaddafi's deadly advance," he
said at the National Defence University in Washington DC.

But the lead in enforcing the no-fly zone and protecting
civilians on the ground would now move to the Americans' allies, he added.

"We must always measure our interests against the need
for action," the president continued. "But that cannot be an argument
for never acting on behalf of what's right."

Earlier, in a video conference with French President Nicolas
Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David
Cameron, Mr Obama had agreed that Col Gaddafi "had lost any legitimacy to
rule and should leave power, and that the Libyan people should have the
political space to determine their own future", the White House said.

Khaled Kaim: "The solution is for all parties to be
involved in peace-making"

An Italian proposal to end the crisis includes offering Col
Gaddafi an escape route from Libya, ensuring a quick ceasefire and facilitating
dialogue between rebels and tribal leaders.

Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said he had discussed the
proposals with Germany and France.

Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim, meanwhile, has
called on those attending Tuesday's conference in London to act as
"peacemakers, not warmongers".

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