Thursday, March 31, 2011

Freedom for Libya: Back and Forth

The fight remains well and truly on, and the loyalist fighting force gets the best of it anytime they aren't in the Intervention Coalition's bombsights.

That means, for the east and midcoastal region, the battles are following fairly closely one of the axiomatic courses of North African warfare: it looks about like a soccer (football) match between two loosely coached teams, with guns... lots of rushes half-a-field-length followed by desperate retreats to protect one's own "goal net", that being in this case one's base of supply. Like said sport, the only way to reliably secure victory is to tighten up he coaching discipline and make well-ordered moves of position and control to advance into the hostile zone. For now, it is pretty clear that only one side has the potential of doing that... and sadly, it's not the squad I'm cheering for.

In the regions closer to Tripoli, and out west, it has been almost too easy for the Loyalists... with one exception: Misrata. The rebels are still besieged mightily and at great distress, but they are at least contesting control of the central part of the city. For how much longer, I simply have no way to judge.

The political machinations continue, with some key defections from the regime and some public meetings designed to make it look like the Intervention is a united effort. There has even been talk of setting aside the arms embargo in part to allow weapons and direct support to the rebel forces. There is also a "yes we are / no we aren't" game being played by some Western politicians as to whether covert assets are in the field... cute of them to be playing politics with the lives of 'disposable people', isn't it?

This won't all be resolved until either (a) regime loyalists decide to stop being loyalists... and put daggers in the backs of the whole Qaddafi family, or; (b) one or more of the nations in the Intervention Forces decide to toss diplomatic niceties in the trash and goes all-in to win this thing for the Rebellion, or; (c)... actually, there is no (c). Letting Qaddafi and kin survive, either in power or in comfortable exile, is simply an invitation for unending trouble.

So hang on to your hats, folks. This is going to be a rough ride.


BBC World's daily live coverage can be found *here*, but be aware it is not operated 24 hours a day, nor is it continuous. They archive it at the end of each day.

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