View Full Version : We should arm insurgents to topple Gaddafi

03-24-2011, 10:44 PM
Thursday 24 March 2011

Libya: Now we must arm the insurgents so that Gaddafi can be toppled

The no-fly zone will last indefinitely unless Libya's people can fight effectively, argues Malcolm Rifkind.

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01856/rebels-rifkind_1856603b.jpg Opposition fighters collecting shells this week from a captured tank near the city of Ajdabiya Photo: Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty

By Malcolm Rifkind 9:00PM GMT 24 Mar 2011 12 Comments (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8404827/Libya-Now-we-must-arm-the-insurgents-so-that-Gaddafi-can-be-toppled.html#disqus_thread)

So far so good in Libya, but what about the endgame? Gaddafi can no longer use his air force because of the no-fly zone. His navy can no longer bombard towns because of the naval blockade imposed under UN authority. His army is losing tanks, artillery and other heavy weapons because of bombing and precision missiles. This is not just a no-fly zone. It is almost a no-combat zone, and all the better for it.

The regime now knows that it has lost eastern Libya and will never be able to reoccupy Benghazi. The fortunes of war have changed, which will be having a devastating impact on the morale of Gaddafi's generals and soldiers. His mercenaries will already be slipping away. Martyrdom was never part of their contract.

Of course, the need to protect civilians prevents US, British and French attacks on Gaddafi's troops that have penetrated insurgent-held towns. But although they cannot be directly targeted, they can be cut off from reinforcements and from resupply, including fuel and new weapons, which can only be brought along the coastal road from Tripoli. When these soldiers are separated from those who supply them it is only a matter of time before they have to flee or surrender. That has already happened in the suburbs of Benghazi.

So far so good, then: but what about the endgame? None of this will be enough to force Gaddafi from power. There is a serious risk of Libya remaining divided between the regime in Tripoli and an insurgent government in Benghazi. While Gaddafi is too weak to retain any serious hopes of reconquering the east of Libya, the insurgents, at present, are too weak to drive him out of Tripoli and the west.

A divided Libya would be inherently unstable, as conflict could break out at any time. It is therefore difficult to see how the no-fly zone could be lifted while Gaddafi remains in charge. Otherwise, he would be in a position to resume unrestrained attacks on Benghazi and the east of the country as soon as the allies had withdrawn.

The blunt truth is that the dictator needs to be toppled, not only to liberate the Libyans, but also to allow British and other western powers to withdraw.
Liberation can only be achieved by a transformation of the status and powers of those who have risen against Gaddafi. That will require three important decisions to be taken by Britain and the international community.
First, we must stop referring to the anti-Gaddafi fighters as "rebels". Describing them as such implies that the Gaddafi regime is still some sort of legitimate government. It is not. The regime has, effectively, become an outlaw in the eyes of the Libyan people, of the Arab world and of the international community. As it is no longer legitimate, those fighting against it are no longer rebels. They are best described as insurgents or opposition fighters.
Second, although it is too early to recognise the Libyan opposition as an alternative government, the United Kingdom, and other nations, must enter into formal discussions with the Libyan National Council, as the representative of the insurgents, and facilitate the early supply not only of humanitarian aid, but also of advice and help on how to create the institutions of government, the rule of law and a free media. That is not only urgently needed, but would help ensure that the ultimate replacement for Gaddafi would be a new government supportive of democratic reform, rather than one willing to install a new secular or religious tyranny.
But there is a third arm of the strategy, without which the others will have only modest impact: the overt or covert supply of military equipment to the insurgents. Even without aircraft, Gaddafi has a massive advantage over the opposition with his tanks and heavy artillery. It is difficult to see how he can be overthrown in the short to medium term unless there is a massive popular rising in Tripoli or a mass defection of his army to the insurgents. Neither is impossible, but nor can either be assumed given the fear that Gaddafi still inspires.
When I first argued that we should help arm the insurgents, I was advised that it was not possible because the UN arms embargo applied to the whole of Libya. I am not convinced that was the case but, in any event, the original UN resolution has now been superseded by one authorising a no-fly zone and "all necessary measures" to be used against Gaddafi's regime.
The new resolution expressly says that all necessary measures can be used, "notwithstanding" the arms embargo referred to in the original. That must mean that arms supplies can be provided to the insurgents if necessary to protect "civilian populated areas".
This is not a legalistic point. This is a crucial provision that must be used urgently. I am not naive. I know that we cannot be certain of the political respectability of all those who might be armed. Mistakes will be made. But the overriding need is for Gaddafi to go and this will not happen without the insurgents having the kinds of tanks, artillery and missiles that are, at present, being used against them by Gaddafi.
"Give us the tools and we will finish the job," was first said in rather different circumstances to our own history. It sums up, rather aptly, the present challenge that the international community has to face.
Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP is a former foreign secretary and defence secretary. He is chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee.

03-24-2011, 11:40 PM
Soon those insurgents will turn their rath against Israel just as Gaddafi did when in power.

Read the book:
A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide by Samantha Power as she is Obama's adviser and architect for destroying Israel

03-25-2011, 01:00 AM
My main concern about Libya, is what is going to happen after the demise of the Gaddafi dictatorship.

No-one seems to know who the 'leaders' of the insurgency are.

I personaly want Gaddafi to face an International court for his alleged terrorism and aircraft hi-jacking homicide of innocent civilians, found guilty and hung by the neck, the same as was done to that other lowlife a---h--- Saddam.

However, want in the hell are we going to do if or when the Gaddafi scum are replaced by sharia fundamentalist jihadi nutters of the Al-Qaeda ilk?

The same could happen in Yeman, Bahrain, Syria, and Egypt could fall in to the hands of the evil Islamic cancer of the Moslem Brotherhood who are basically the progenitor of ALL the evil fundamentalist terrorist Islamic jihadi scum networks that now exist worldwide.

And the main horror the the West faces, is the POTUS Obama is sitting in the White House, he is loathed by many Americians and basically despised as a weak leader by the Islamic/Moslem ummah.

We certainly live in interesting times, but we do have one shining light, Israel is our front line against the evil of a world wide sharia Islamic caliphate, and Israel will prevail, and the West will hopefully come to realize what they owe Israel, and provide the diplomatic support in the U.N. for the future of Israel's citizens to live in peace and security of their own secure borders of their Jewish homeland.