Angry Libyan rebels call on NATO for more support
7 Apr, 2011 20:33
Anti-Gaddafi rebels are losing the battle on the ground and are beginning to criticize NATO for not doing enough to help their cause.
Rebels argue NATO must do more to supply them with weapons and supplies so they can better face Gaddafi’s army. Meanwhile, NATO air strikes have also killed a number of rebel fighters by accident. NATO claims about one third of Gaddafi’s forces have been destroyed in airstrikes, the rebels say it is not enough and are calling for more help on the ground. Journalist Pepe Escobar from the Asia Times explained this is all a result of NATO incompetence. Gaddafi is not making it easy, he is resisting NATO and making the situation more complicated. NATO was not prepared for this, he argued. “He [Gaddafi] is using gorilla against gorilla,” he said “It’s working.”Gaddafi has pulled much of his forces into cities, making air strikes much more challenging. NATO could easily have targeted them in the desert, but Gaddafi is using strategy to shift the tides of war.NATO, and the United States can still topple Gaddafi, but it is not going to be as easy. Gaddafi’s currently controls much of the territory and is making progress against rebel fighters. As he succeeds it becomes harder for NATO to push back. NATO would have to provide more arms and training to rebels on the ground to see greater success because airstrikes simply are not working under current conditions. If the situation remains as it is now, Libya will begin to divide into east and west Libya, with one side under Gaddafi and the other under the rebels. A rebel government would control the east, under support from the west.“The US and the Brits want to arm the rebels,” Escobar argued. “This is already happening.”Over the next few months, he contended, it will increase; the US and others will continue to use their networks to arm the rebels in an effort to change the situation on the ground. Former Reagan administration official Paul Craig Roberts said Libya is quite different from the protests across the rest of the Arab world. It erupted not in the capital city, but in other cities where the oil lies and developed into an armed conflict. “This is an armed rebellion. The others were not. There was no armed rebellion in Egypt or Tunisia. There’s no armed rebellion in Bahrain, and really not in Yemen. There are protestors,” he said. “They are not armed. He argued it is highly likely that the US, via the CIA, is arming the rebels and training them to fight. “The whole situation in Libya is totally different,” Roberts remarked.