March 18, 2011

Libya: the new Iraq?

Gaddafi has declared a cease after the UN approved a no-fly zone and authorized air strikes to protect the civilians/rebels in the eastern part of the country.
That was quite a good move on his behalf, not only he was complying to UN deliberation making harder for Europe and USA to justify an attack but furthermore the aggressive US reply to his olive branch has highlighted even to those who were not yet convinced that regardless of any action the attack and if necessary invasion will proceed as scheduled.
Obama stated few hours ago that a cease fire is not enough and that Gaddafi's troops must withdraw from recently conquered cities in the east of Libya, why this reaction? well let us see a map of Libya to understand what is going on:

As you can see the majority and the richest oil fields are located in eastern Libya, everything east of Sirt is the trophy prize Europe and USA want to get their hands onto.
Lybian troops have regained control of almost all eastern Libya and were getting close to Benghazi before cease fire. Gaddafi had nothing to lose to declare a cease fire in the current situation, he has complete control of all the oil terminals aside from Al Hariqa and of all the refineries and ports aside from Benghazi, so he is now controlling 90% of the output and supply channels of the country putting him in a position again to dictate terms to a oil-starved western world.
Obama made it clear in his last speech that they are not interested to openings or dialogues and that Gaddafi can save himself only by ceding control of half of his country to the rebels which are clearly pro-western and undoubtedly ready to do whatever their western sponsors will tell them to do.
The unprecedented efficiency of the United Nations in reaching a lightning decision on a thorny issue and approving military action against Gaddafi should have surprised everyone but then everyone is concerned with Japan and with the economy, a no-fly zone resolution is not a very interesting tweet those days.
The reality though is that a no-fly zone is meant only to avoid the failure of a western created revolution and the seizure of the oil fields in eastern Libya. Regardless, what is clear is that attacks will start by hook or by crook and that if a no-fly zone will not be enough to guarantee the victory of the rebels, a more decisive military intervention will follow. If the western world will be able to delegate the dirty job to the Libyan rebels and then bribe them out with concessions will not intervene on the ground if not we could see a military invasion in a matter of weeks.
The oil crisis time bomb is ticking and as shown by the unprecedented rush to the arms of France and England invoking an attack in a matter of hours the solution can be one and only, the disappearance of Gaddafi and a second Iraq split on a west-east fault that I'm sure will not fail to catch again media attention. The only question is if the United States will get involved or will rather delegate this one to their european allies.
One thing for sure we will not miss Gaddafi.

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