By Andrew McKillop
21st Century Wire
March 15, 2011
G8 foreign and state ministers meeting in Paris today decided to do… nothing, in order to end Ghadafi’s revenge drive against insurgents, still employing his air force to bombard remaining bastions of insurgent power in eastern Libya.
The drive by France and Britain to impose a no-fly zone over Libya failed to win round the United States, Canada, Russia, Japan and the 2 other European Union powers of the G-8 group, Italy and Germany, who claim the G8 power bloc must first obtain full UN Security Council approval, that is approval by China, or simply increase non-military pressure on the Ghadafi regime. Meanwhile the insurgents, short of ammunition, logistics and fighting manpower are beating a constant retreat to their first, and perhaps last bastion – Benghazi.
The Arab League’s surprise decision, 13 March, in favour of imposing a no-fly zone over Libya was with no surprise met with rage by the Ghadafi regime. The decision backed by all member states – Libya being absent – was described as having “negative consequences” for all Arab nations by the Ghadafi regime’s Libyan Foreign Ministry on Sunday, but opens the way for Arab nations to break out of their traditional inertia and subservience to external powers. Among the Arab countries voting the decision, Egypt is fully capable of setting, and enforcing a no-fly across Libya and hammering any attempt at resistance by Ghadafi’s comic opera military forces.
POLITICAL SANDSTORM FAVOURS THE MAD DOG
While we can easily criticize Ronald Reagan for being a vanguard of the hysterical and anti-human neoliberal doctrine, Reagan hit right in an April 1986 press conference, where he described Muammar Ghadafi as the mad dog of the Middle East. Since then, nothing has changed except that the Mad Dog has become more rabid, cruel and toxic, especially to his own people.
Today however G8 deciders and world public opinion is riveted by the Japan nuclear crisis, probably the greatest nuclear catastrophe since the Chernobyl crisis – also of April 1986. Attention is turned elsewhere and diverted. This enables the Mad Dog to cannily and caninely profit from any weakness inside the international community. Damage to nuclear power and its image as the key energy source for improving energy security and limiting vulnerability to oil price hikes will with no possible doubt, if only for a short period, re-install oil as the most critical energy resource.
Colonel Ghadafi’s 1.3 million barrels a day of oil export capacity, if he returns to total and tyrannical power, is therefore a powerful bargaining chip in the present highly charged, tense geopolitical and economic scene. As the radiation charged winds over Tokyo decide the flee-or-stay response of Japan’s decreasingly supine and obedient salary man masses, the Mad Dog can power ahead, unpunished, with the destruction of remaining insurgent power bastions. To be sure, Libya after the failed revolution would only be a repressive police state even more evil than the present – but Libyan oil might again flow to the fuel tanks of the civilized world’s innocent consumer masses, for a short while at least.
SARKOZY CALLING FOR GHADAFI TO GO
French television and media obediently and patriotically repeat the so-sincere demand of president Nicolas Sarkozy for Mr Ghadafi to quit. Coming from the mouth of the same politician who warmly shook hands with Ghadafi in July 2007, trying hard to sell Libya a French nuclear power plant with all the trimmings, this kind of exercice de faux-cul, that is hypocrisy or realpolitik, bodes ill for further attempts by this politician, Sarkozy, to make any particular further effort to unscrew the Mad Dog from his heavily incrusted and battened down full metal jacket power system inside Libya.
One example suffices. Those foreign expatriate pilots of Ghadafi’s slender airforce – flying airplanes that are mostly French supplied – who did not rapidly flee Libya with their planes, especially to Malta and demand political refugee status (with a 15-million-dollar airplane as a bail collateral) are now hostages. Expatriate pilots remaining in Libya, according to reports on Italy’s RAI and France’s FR2 and FR3 television channels, week ending 13 March, are now forced to fly by Ghadafi. Their families are held hostage, and are they are threatened with certain death if the pilot father does not obey orders.
With such basic, low tech and desert bedouin methods of getting obedience, Ghadafi is in his element and provides further proof of what must be done with a rabid dog. For realpolitik reasons, because of the Japan nuclear catastrophe, and because oil is scarce, however, the needed, right and just treatment of the Mad Dog has not yet been decided. Arab nations themselves, particularly Egypt, could jump-start this yawning gap in the march of History, but that would deliver yet another massive culture shock in what is already a very fast changing world.
COPYRIGHT ANDREW MCKILLOP 2011
READ MORE LIBYA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Libya Files