Sunday, April 10, 2011

Libya: African Union Tries Brokering Cease Fire With Gadafi, Cartoons

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 27JAN10 - Jacob G. Zuma, Pr...President Jacob Zuma - Image via Wikipedia

From Denny: Talks are in session with Gadafi and the rebels about a cease fire, brokered by the African Union and South African President Jacob Zuma. The hope is to end air strikes as well.

Read that as giving Gadafi cover for some time to either weasel out of the country or get his bearings back from so much bombing. After all, he wrote President Obama, like some affectionate pen pal, begging him to end the American air strikes as we worked to create the No-Fly Zone by eliminating most of Gadafi's air capability.

On Monday, the African Union group is slated to talk to the rebel leaders. The rebels demand Gadafi step down.  They vow not to negotiate unless, and until, Gadafi agrees to do so.

This week, Gadafi and the rebels have battled back and forth over the oil port cities, one taking a city, the next day giving it up. Aside from the NATO air strikes finally targeting more accurately and in a timely fashion, the Libyan civil war is pretty much in the position of a Mexican Stand-Off.

For the rebels a stand-off is a victory considering how little or no military experience and training the rag tag troops have garnered. The CIA advisers are on the ground helping them to better organize their supply lines and understand how to wage guerrilla warfare effectively.  They have improved dramatically the efficiency of their supply lines, have learned how to raid weapon depots for war goodies and learn more effective tactics for waging skirmishes.

The help with strategy has paid off for the rebels as they have recaptured the town of Ajdabiya in spite of Gadafi forces using civilians as their human shields. Those human shields have complicated NATO's efforts to target effectively, resulting in unnecessary killings and much criticism this week. Welcome to world outrage 101 usually reserved just for America. It isn't so easy from the cheap seats now is it NATO countries? Your turn to enjoy the scorn.

Today NATO struck many positions in and around Ajdabiya, taking out 14 tanks.  "We have observed horrific examples of regime forces deliberately placing their weapons systems close to civilians, their homes and even their places of worship," said Lt. Gen. Charlie Bouchard, commander of NATO's Operation Unified Protector. "Troops have also been observed hiding behind women and children. This type of behavior violates the principles of international law and will not be tolerated."

Meanwhile, there is hope for the African Union to get this cease fire realized since Gadafi has agreed at least in principal to the idea.   A curiosity is how many Gadafi forces that have been killed are carrying identification cards from the countries of  Syria, Algeria and Chad.

 Here's the real question:  How much of Gadafi's military truly remains since the No-Fly Zone bombings?  Anyone done a head count? Gadafi has resorted to mercenary troops.  Have many of his own military either have been decimated by the air strikes or outright deserted him?

Worse is word that the rebels are pressing into service young boys from high school age down to about 12 years old as soldiers, sending them to military camps for immediate training.  This civil war may not last as long as the dooms day guys think.  After all, it sure looks like both sides are running out of live bodies to put into uniforms.

Chip Bok

Steve Kelley

John Sherffius

Signe Wilkinson

Bill Day

Nick Anderson

Nick Anderson

Henry Payne

Henry Payne

Ed Stein

Dan Wasserman

Drew Sheneman

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