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SUNK IN LIBYA April 12, 2011

Posted by wmmbb in North Africa.
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Long story short: peace is not an option. That at least is what the proponents of the Libyan intervention argue, despite the fact that the African Union delegation, led by South African President Zuma appears to have got Muammur Gaddafi’s approval for a ceasefire.

Reuters reported (via The Raw Story)

Muammar Gaddafi has accepted a roadmap for ending the civil war in Libya, South African President Jacob Zuma said after leading a delegation of African leaders at talks in Tripoli.

Zuma, who with four other African heads of state met Gaddafi for several hours at the Libyan leader’s Bab al-Aziziyah compound, also called on NATO to stop air strikes on Libyan government targets to “give ceasefire a chance.”

No one at the talks gave details of the roadmap for peace in this oil-producing nation. Rebels have said they will accept nothing less than an end to Gaddafi’s four decades in power, but Libyan officials say he will not quit.

“The brother leader delegation has accepted the roadmap as presented by us. We have to give ceasefire a chance,” Zuma said, adding that the African delegation would now travel to the eastern city ofBenghazi for talks with anti-Gaddafi rebels.

NATO stepped up attacks on Gaddafi’s armor on Sunday to weaken the bitter siege ofMisrata in the west and disrupt a dangerous advance by Gaddafi’s troops in the east.

Juan Cole casts doubt on whether Gaddafi’s word can be accepted, while pointing that his violent-laced meddling in other countries has created ongoing problems. He seems to imply that the President of South Africa is on Gaddafi’s payroll.

Reuters reported, via The Raw Story:

Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi shelled the besieged town of Misrata on Monday after the African Union said he had accepted a plan to end Libya’s civil war.

Al Jazeera television quoted a rebel spokesman as saying five people died and 20 were wounded in Misrata, a lone rebel bastion in western Libya, which has been under siege for more than six weeks.

Rebels in Misrata told Reuters Gaddafi’s forces fired Russian-made Grad rockets into the city, where conditions for civilians are said to be desperate.

The insurgents said they would accept no plan that allowed Gaddafi to stay in power and prepared to advance on the eastern front after repelling a major government assault on Sunday against their town of Ajdabiyah.

Prospects for a ceasefire looked remote.

As the BBC reports now the AU delegation is presenting the peace proposals to the leaders of the rebel forces in Benghazi. Will Ross is sceptical, to say the least. He says, “the AU does not have a good reputation when it comes to solving crises”. And: “the situation is muddied by money”.

According to the reporters for The Guardian,Harriet Sherwood in Tripoli and Chris McGreal in Ajdabiya, the rebels are totally dependent on NATO air strikes:

Many areas were deserted after civilians fled the prospect of Gaddafi’s troops taking Ajdabiya for a second time in as many weeks.

Thousands of rounds of discarded bullet casings marked the site of some of the most intense fighting over the weekend.

The sudden change in the rebels’ fortunes again demonstrated how reliant they are on Nato air strikes to hold off government assaults.

Nato faces humiliation if Gaddafi’s army forces its way through Ajdabiya to threaten Benghazi, in defence of which Nato launched the air strikes. There is little sign of rebel defences there other than a line of artillery 15 miles from the city.

Any humiliation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has to be avoided at all costs, even if they are the lives of Libyans who otherwise might have lived. Any attempt at peace – the end to violence – has to be denigrated, so that violence is given a fair chance to work. There are pros and cons, but interestingly the UN can have no role in the peace process, and we are told that the AU, even when led by President Zuma, is Gaddafi’s handmaiden. So, don’t give peace a chance. Let us have killing instead.

And who will this benefit and how? Johann Hari is of the opinion that “we are not being told the truth on Libya”. The proponents of war, murder and destruction always tell the truth, so this is simply not possible. Johann Hari’s final observation:

So why are our governments really bombing Libya? We won’t know for sure until the declassified documents come out many years from now. But Bill Richardson, the former US energy secretary who served as US ambassador to the UN, is probably right when he says: “There’s another interest, and that’s energy… Libya is among the 10 top oil producers in the world. You can almost say that the gas prices in the US going up have probably happened because of a stoppage of Libyan oil production… So this is not an insignificant country, and I think our involvement is justified.”

For the first time in more than 60 years, Western control over the world’s biggest pots of oil was being rocked by a series of revolutions our governments couldn’t control. The most plausible explanation is that this is a way of asserting raw Western power, and trying to arrange the fallout in our favour. But if you are still convinced our governments are acting for humanitarian reasons, I’ve got a round-trip plane ticket for you to some rubble in Pakistan and Congo. The people there would love to hear your argument.

So there you have it. NATO has morphed into Mediterranean and Indian Ocean defence organization, and the United Nations Organization authorizes humanitarian war. The African Union has not credibility because it quisling of one side the Libyan civil war that began with protests against the excesses of a oil enriched dictatorship.

Some Russian observers are doubtful about the authenticity of the Libyan rebels. There are the weapons – and then there are the flags (not mentioned):

Implication: this war has been planned. So what is the next obvious move (bar inconvenient peace efforts)?

UPDATE:

The forces opposing the Gaddafi Government have rejected the proposed AU peace initiative. They can do that because they have the air support of NATO. Thus it is feasible to suggest that rather than protect civilians (and non-civilians for that matter) the intervention is now the source of preventable death and destruction. For the anti-Gaddafi forces to suppose they can win is fantasy without the support of NATO.

ELSEWHERE:

Juan Cole writes that the outcome of the ceasefire was predictable given the continued attacks by the Gaddafi forces on civilian targets. Still if a ceasefire is rejected, and both sides in conflict will seek to preserve their strategic and tactical advantages, then the only option now is further bloodshed. So much for the preservation of lives, civilian and combatant. Now the question is to what extent NATO wants to further bloody its hands.

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