18 May 2011

Gaddafi's Libya - Part II

The current stalemate in Libya does not augur well for the rebels. The rebels, in control of most of eastern Libya, are running short on arms and ammunition. 

Challenging the might of Gaddafi’s powerful secretive state apparatus is no mean thing. The rebels stated on a positive note, capturing most of eastern Libya. However, even after more than a couple of months of the start of the rebellion, the anti-Gaddafi forces, even though backed by NATO, are not, much to their dismay, in a position to overthrow Gaddafi. 

Libya is no Egypt: the Libyan state is sparsely populated - just over 64 lakh in a country of 18 lakh sq km; Internet is tightly controlled; no private media is allowed; cities and towns are separated by hundreds of kilometers. In a country where the State controls all media and communication tools, information flow is slow and ineffective in mobilising public opinion (much in the way it happened in Tunisia).

In his radio broadcast to the rebels, the Libyan strongman threatened to storm the rebel-held areas, showing “no mercy, no pity. We will come. House by house, room by room...vengeance awaits rats and dogs... It’s over. The issue has been decided...We are coming tonight...We will find you in your closets.”

What has not helped the cause of the rebels is the lack of unanimity among the three major powers in the NATO, especially the U.S., the UK, and France - the U.S. says throwing out Gaddafi (does that include his assassination) is the major aim, France and UK have said that the objective is to protect the rebels by enforcing a no-fly zone, as suggested by the UN resolution.

NATO's military strikes have destroyed the Libyan air force while also killing one of Gaddafi’s sons. However they have not dented Gaddafi's brutal measures against his countrymen. 

With either side digging in heels for the long haul, it seems the Libyan stalemate is here to stay. 


abhiram_nayan said...

Who is right, the U.S. or France & UK?

Nish said...

Till before the revolts started, U.S. was an ally of Gaddafi...But now, they have not been quite successful in moving Gaddafi out of power...So, how does the U.S take into consideration the present scenario? As its plans of trying to support the democracy-stand are wearing off...Will it still suppport the rebels or is it waiting for a moment to switch its mind again?