Generational Dynamics: Forecasting America's Destiny Generational
 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 2-Jun-2011
2-Jun-11 News -- Fighting continues in Libya, amid chaotic international politics

Web Log - June, 2011

2-Jun-11 News -- Fighting continues in Libya, amid chaotic international politics

Defense Secretary Robert Gates disagreed with Obama on Libya

Fighting continues in Libya, amid chaotic international politics

The "siege of Misrata" that lasted for weeks appears to have ended, at least for now, after Gaddafi's forces were forced to withdraw, according to AP.

Tripoli Street, Misrata, Libya, view from a snipers' nest (AP)
Tripoli Street, Misrata, Libya, view from a snipers' nest (AP)

The epicenter of the siege had been Tripoli Street in downtown Misrata, Libya. It's now safe to down the street, as shown in the above picture, but during the siege Gaddafi's snipers killed civilians and bombed out buildings.

In the meantime, there's still no discernible objective for the "humanitarian" mission. The fighting in Libya, that President Obama promised would over within "days, not weeks," is far from over, after several months. The Nato "humanitarian" air war in Libya had been scheduled to expire on June 27.

But on Wednesday, Nato announced that it would extend the campaign for another three months, according to the Telegraph. According to a Nato official in Brussels:

"This decision sends a clear message to the Gaddafi regime. We are determined to continue our operation to protect the people of Libya. We will sustain our efforts to fulfil the United Nations mandate [to defend civilians from Gaddafi's forces]. We will keep up the pressure to see it through."

Is this for real? The only "clear message" that's being sent is that there is no clear message. It's just more of the same.

And the politicals game-playing in Washington is only going to increase. on Wednesday, GOP leaders in the House of Representatives postponed a floor vote on a resolution by left-wing Rep. Dennis Kucinich that "directs the president to remove the United States armed forces from Libya" within 15 days.

The vote was postponed because House Speaker John Boehner "is concerned that if this were to come to the floor now, it would pass," according to an aide quoted by Politico, since there are enough Republicans and Democrats opposed to the Libya war.

Libya and Niger (BBC)
Libya and Niger (BBC)

The war effort in Libya has been a mess since it started. First the US was leading the way. Then the US was going to turn the whole thing over to Nato. I understand that some 25% of the no-fly zone air flights are still American forces.

And the political situation at the international level is just as chaotic. Jacob Zuma, the jocular president of South Africa, went to spend a couple of days with this friend, Muammar Gaddafi, with the objective of negotiating a truce. To the surprise of no one (except perhaps Zuma), Zuma's proposes were thoroughly rejected by BOTH Gaddafi and the rebels, according to AP.

Russia has been doing all it can to add to the political chaos. As we've reported several times, Russia's objective has actually been promote a stalemate in Libya, so that Nato's forces are tied down, giving Russia's forces free hand to take on other projects in Central Asia. The Russians are demanding that all actions taken by Nato be approved by the U.N. Security Council, where Russia has a veto, giving Russian an effective veto over all Nato operations. The Russians feel free to pursue military operations without bothering to get a Security Council resolution.

An editorial in Lebanon's Daily Star begins as follows:

Show No Mercy "Despite numerous setbacks to his disgraced regime, Moammar Gadhafi continued Tuesday to display his trademark obliviousness toward reality, and with his people’s suffering unabated, it is time for the international community to take decisive action to get this criminal out of office – and Libya – as soon as possible."

It's pretty clear now that this is not going to happen.

There's no clear objective on the part of Nato, but Gaddafi's forces are following their own clear objective that they stated right at the beginning: They're going to fight until the last bullet.

Car bomb explodes outside Benghazi hotel

A car bomb exploded outside an international hotel in Benghazi, Libya, destroying four cars, but causing only one injury. Tripoli Post

Libyan migrants flood into Niger

Truck carrying migrants fleeing Libya for Niger (BBC)
Truck carrying migrants fleeing Libya for Niger (BBC)

Niger's city of Agadez has been transformed from a bustling trade hub in the middle of the Sahara desert into a refugee centre for the thousands of African migrants fleeing the violence in Libya. Some 65,000 migrants have made the dangerous trip to Agadez since the beginning of May. BBC

Defense Secretary Robert Gates disagreed with Obama on Libya

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said his biggest disagreement with President Barack Obama was over the decision to intervene in Libya, which he strongly opposed. "[One disagreement] in two-and-a-half years isn’t bad," he said.

He added: "I think one of the reasons it’s probably time for me to leave is that sometimes too much experience can get in the way, and you can get too cautious. It may … be making me more cautious that I ought to be." From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, that would indeed be a major difference between Gen-Xers and the Silent Generation. Politico

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 2-Jun-11 News -- Fighting continues in Libya, amid chaotic international politics thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (2-Jun-2011) Permanent Link
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