Saturday, March 12, 2011

Libya another Hungary?

As Kadhafi's aeroplanes strafe, bomb, and kill Libyan 'freedom fighters', the EU and US and the UN, and Arab League palaver about the need to throw an air cover over Libya.
The American president Obama, weaving a silken web of words, alludes to the strangling hold of sanctions on the Libyan strong man that will in the end force him from power. What 'Gatorade' is he drinking? Any child could spot the chink in Obama's logic: Kadhafi is not feeling the tightening noose of this legalistic recourse to action; he is killing his opponents with superior fire power and a trained military, which may or may not be fiercely loyal to him and his sons.
The inability of the world's big and not so big powers' ability thus far to agree on controlling the Libyan skies brings back memories of the 1956 uprising in Hungary against its Soviet 'protector'. Encouraged by Eisenhower, for example, who cheered them on from the sidelines, but did precious little more than that, lest he risk confrontation with the Soviet Union.
Obama is, as he is wont, taking a very cautious approach to aiding Libyan resisters with air cover. Mitch McConnell, the puff adder of the Republicans in the Senate, says that rescuing Libya from Kadhafi is not in the country's vital interests'. Some Democrats subscribe to a policy of non intervention, as well. Obama's secretary of Defence Gates does not favour the idea.
We say for the Republicans their instinct of isolation resurfaces wrapped in the American flag. For others, including Democrats, the lessons of two failed wars in Iraq and Afghanist and the uneasy truce in the Korean peninsula are a powerful antidote to military adventurism.
And the cherry on this cake of 'real Politik' is the assessment of US intelligence who see Kadhafi triumphing over those who have taken up arms against his 42 year old dictatorship.
On the other hand, victor, Kadhafi like a wounded bull elephant will seek blood inside and out of his oil rich desert preserve. Read: if it is true, as is now said, he masterminded the Lockerbie bombing, well for those old darlings who sweat at night about terrorist attacks in the US, they should take something basic to quell queasy stomachs for Kadhafi will seek revenge.
So is the moment akin to the Hungarian uprising? Yes, in the sense that the outside community is taking its sweet time to come to the aid of Libya's 'freedom fighters'. The powers may finally agree on his plan of action in say 10 days or a fortnight's time, but have the resistants the wherewithal in ammo to hold out till then?
If they don't, the cheer leaders from afar will wring hands in despair, shed crocodile tears, and then seek to approach the bloody handed Kadhafi.

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