Friday, March 18, 2011

Who will finally eliminate Gaddafi?

Nobody knows yet exactly how Obama intends to actually participate on the Libyan scene. The UN vote has clearly given the Franco-British coalition the green light for a military intervention in Libya, even though the resolution, worded in diploTalk, had to speak fuzzily of a "no-fly zone" in order to avoid scaring off certain necessary collaborators. To call a spade a spade, this language minimized the risk of a veto from Russia or China. But nobody knows, for the moment, exactly how and when the mad Libyan dictator will actually be wiped off the scene. The operation could be executed clinically, of course, by a single small bomb dropped on a bunker… but that would be an unfortunate way to end this drama. Ideally, the job should be performed on the ground by Libyans: that's to say, by the same citizens whose stolen productivity and resources were used by the dictator to purchase weapons that were then turned upon these innocent folk in a totally uncivilized and barbarian fashion.

The iconic European parliamentarian Daniel Cohn-Bendit (instigator of mai 68 in France) imagines that Gaddafi could either commit suicide, or "be suicided" by his compatriots. But those solutions, too, would be a pity.

Incidentally, Cohn-Bendit has just congratulated Nicolas Sarkozy on his handling of the Libyan affair.

The only decent way of dealing with Gaddafi is to lock him up and then judge him for crimes against humanity.

To my way of thinking, while preparing his defense, the ex-dictator might even be allowed to reside in a simple well-guarded tent.

BREAKING NEWS [Friday 15.45 France]: The rebel chief Khalifa Heftir has suggested that, if Gaddafi's ceasefire offer is genuine, then he should give himself up into the hands of Libyan rebels, rather than await his arrest by foreigners. Will the mad dictator be moved by that gentlemanly idea from one of his beloved compatriots? A French military blog has indicated that the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle will be leaving on Monday for Libya. Meanwhile, Italy seems to be edging towards the Franco-British coalition by evoking the likelihood of allowing her military bases to be used. Italy has also decided to close her embassy in Tripoli.

Tomorrow morning [Saturday], Sarkozy has convened a tripartite meeting in Paris, on the question of Libya, with David Cameron, probably Ban Ki-moon, and various European partners and representatives of the Arab League and the African Union. A question remains: Will anybody from the US be present in Paris?

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