Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Can Somebody Tell Egypt's Generals to Get Off Their Asses?

Trying to bomb Muammar Gaddafi out of business isn't working.  He's become quite adept at hiding his heavy weapons from NATO strike fighters.  Worse yet, as he now proceeds the punitive destruction of the population of Misrata, his mercenaries are using Libyan civilians as human shields.

The rebels seem unable to topple Gaddafi's Libyan and mercenary forces without NATO air strikes and yet  Gaddafi  seems intent on forcing us to kill civilians to get at his army.

Somebody is going to have to go into Libya, on the ground, and put an end to this quickly.  The one and only somebody for that job is the Egyptian army.  They have brigades of state of the art American M-1A1 tanks that make very short work of the Soviet-era rust buckets Gaddafi fields.

There's really no love lost between Egypt and Gaddafi.   They've tussled before.  Anwar Sadat was on the verge of invading Libya and toppling Gaddafi in 1977 until he was talked out of it by other Arab leaders.  That was then, this is now.  Gaddafi's forces still aren't very good.   They're just good enough to transform the uprising into a drawn out, bloody civil war.

This is really an Arab problem and it needs to be solved by supportive Arab states and, of those, Egypt is right next door with the ready means to shut this madman down in days, not weeks.  NATO's prime directive is to protect Libyan civilians, not kill them.  We don't have some "collateral damage" quota.  Once he gets his people into urban areas air strikes are all but futile.

Egypt has a responsibility to protect the Libyan people, some of whom are from tribes resident across the Egypt-Libya border.  Egypt should also have some say in ensuring the next Libyan government isn't Islamist, the first al-Qaeda state, one awash in oil money.  With newly liberated Tunisia's help the job would be even easier.  Best of all, we wouldn't have to look like Crusaders yet again.


Anonymous said...

Here we go again with good ol Canadian niavity. Do you really think this man is not smart enought to cover his arse and hide from Britian, Canada and the US his tactics for victory?

The Mound of Sound said...

Well Anon, I think that was implicit in my point. He can prevail despite Western air power. He is rich enough to keep hiring African mercenaries from Chad and the DRC until the rebels are crushed. It's going to take a competent, modern military ground force to sweep Gaddafi's soldiers out of the way and take Tripoli and Egypt is about the only country that can do it. I don't know how that fits in with your remark about "good ol Canadian naivity".