“Attack Gadaffi to save thousands of innocent Libyans”
By Jim W. Dean
On February 25th our senior editor Gordon Duff wrote that we must attack Gadaffi now. We had boxed him in with freezing his assets and a war crimes investigation. He had nowhere to go and that tends to make a man go down swinging. And that can mean a big body count…thousands and thousands of extra people dying that didn’t have to if grownups did what they were supposed to.
The rebels had the momentum back then. The eastern part of the country fell quickly, the Libyan diplomatic community resigned, and the police and regular army were defecting. The unanimous UN security council vote was icing on the cake. It was time to close the deal, attack his command and control network and keep his air power down. He had already done enough nasty stuff to justify this.
But what has happened now is the old deer in the headlights syndrome. Obama thought his coded message to the Muamar & Son’s palace guard that the best way to save their own skins was to deliver up the boss. The international court jail in the Hague is usually empty so putting a hundred henchmen on trial would be no problem. But we sat back and waited for the heavy lifting to be done for us, the Santa Claus approach. We miscalculated. We gave the crazy man with tons of money time to regroup and plan his counterattack. Thousands more Libyans will die now. Oil could go up to $150 a barrel.
Muamar used his time well, sending his B-team squads out. They probed the defenses and fighting capability of the rebel captured towns close to Tripoli while he kept his anti-coup brigades close to home. The B-team folks learned that no night ambushes were being set up outside the captured towns to break up night time maneuvering for dawn attacks, a standard tactic for a weaker force. Ask Gordon Duff. He pulled 200 night ambushes during his year in Vietnam. Gadaffi
gave up ground and the cities in the East to avoid spreading his forces out while he dealt with his close in flanks.
The instant soldier rebels got over confident…but not their new national council. They knew they had no army, but just a mob really. Every kid in town had a Kalashnikov and thought that make him a soldier. The most rudimentary unit combat tactics were replaced with shooting into the air and yelling God is Great.
Media video clips showed no fire control whatsoever, nor officers or noncoms present to effect any discipline. Every car load was an independent force. They bunched up on the roads, vehicles and people all packed together, a dream come true for a fighter bomber or artillery spotter. Zero tactics. Nobody was thinking that Muamar’s people were also watching the three ring bravado circus. Al Jazeera effectively was a video spy in the rebels rank, showing that these unfortunate souls were no match for a professional opponent.
Back at the world opinion ranch the war of words continued with debates over no fly zones, Arab liberals going nutsover ‘western intervention, stealing the oil’, etc….while Muamar smiled and said “thanks for the free interference you are running for me while I polish up my counter offensive.”
The national council started putting the word out that they wanted a no fly zone, troops landed, stingers, anti-armour weapons and immediate trainers. They knew that going to Tripoli down the open coast road exposed to air strikes, artillery and ambushes galore would rout their mob army in two seconds.
The media bombing videos showed that bombs hitting a 100 yards away from the road sent the rebels running for their cars and pulling back. No pilots could miss highway strikes so many times. I have not seen a single rebel or position where anyone was digging in or sandbagging, not one shovel…and no bulldozers making protective berms to protect their anti-aircraft guns from long range 50 calibre fire. They could look this stuff up online at a ‘how to’ website, or call us. Only today did we get a report that a road had been broken with a direct hit.
The towns near Tripoli began getting hit with stronger forces…more armor as the earlier attacks revealed the rebels had no anti-tank weapons, no foreign Special Forces helping the defenders with those kinds of goodies. The defenders began taking serious causalities…and the mob army in the East was not about rush to Tripoli to save them. And still the UN, NATO, the Arab League talked and talked, with Muamar once again saying thank you.
I imagined Muamar on the phone with his UN contact requesting ‘can you guys give me about two more weeks to crush the rebels before you decide what action you are going to take?” Their answer, “No problem, Muamar.”
With Gadaffi’s obvious move to retake the rebel towns closest to him using his best troops to get them blooded with a sure victory, the rebel army now had to begin moving toward Tripoli to maintain any credibility at all. But Muamar was ready. He started out by bombing the rebel columns but always missing by a 100 yards. He was testing the world reaction to see if that triggered an immediate no fly zone decision. What they gave him was more debate over how difficult this was going to be, signaling that he had plenty of time.
If Gadaffi had been paying me to advise him, I would have said,
“Muamar, you have got to use your best troops now while you still have them and can maneuver freely. You are bunched up here in Tripoli and a much easier target for these units to be bombed and for command and control strikes. Move now while you can, take control of their key areas, especially the oil facilities so any concentrated foreign attacks will assure their destruction, and where you can then blame the high, devastating oil prices on them.”
Muamar now knew that he could retake the cities with coordinated attacks and also hold them without having to use large forces. The March 10th amphibious attack on Ras Lanuf, a reported 150 real troops coming in from a dummy ship in the harbor showed that the Tripoli people are not planning to surrender anytime soon. Now, if a no fly zone is imposed, the new Ras Lanuf defenders have supplies already on barges (like lots of explosives).
Food prices are already at a 20 year high, and would go higher. Can you say food riots, poor countries defaulting on their debt, etc…and the international community locked into a blame game fiasco? Can you imagine anyone taking the blame for not having taken Muamar and Sons out sooner?
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress today that time was on Gadaffi’s side…that the longer things dragged out he could survive. The rebels will need the no fly zone with the air defenses taken out, and also air
attacks on Muamar’s command and control as stage two of encouraging the palace guard to turn on Mr. G. Humanitarian supply ships are not coming into the Eastern Libyan ports without air cover.
As for the rebel army going to Tripoli and whipping Muamar and Sons, even with all of the above they would probably need outside help. Where is that going to come from…Jordanian officers…Saudis maybe…Iraqi ones??? I don’t think so.
Gadaffi is going to use civilians as human shields. Don’t be surprised to see bunches of them around his air defenses and other high value targets so if they are hit there will be lots of dismembered bodies to put on Al Jazeera. And he could rig his oil facilities with explosives to play that card. He can’t sell the oil anyway. If outside forces team up with the rebels, why would he not play that card, while he can?
France and Britain seem to be reading the tea leaves. France recognized the rebels today, and the Brits are signaling they might not wait for group approval. They might be planning to go in, maybe with us, to secure the oil terminals and resupply what towns are still in rebel hands. But that would be boots on the ground, something no one really wants to do.
For my money, the National Council will give them the OK…and they will go in with that…the ole ‘being invited in’. Those that don’t do the shooting will be given the refugee and humanitarian work to do (and pay for).
Don’t get me wrong. I will still be praying for a coup…the cheapest way out. But that could turn into a bloodbath, too. Zawiya fell yesterday after a gallant stand against Gadaffi’ best troops, the Khamis brigade. His PR son, Saif, was quick to hold a press conference and capture the line of the day.
‘Tell our brothers in the East, we are coming’.