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Rebel fighters in Zawiya, Libya - 19 August 2011

I see that Libyan rebels fighting to overthrow Col Muammar Gaddafi are claiming to have captured two strategic coastal cities as they close in on Tripoli.

They say they have seized Zlitan, 160km (100 miles) east of the capital, and Zawiya, about 30km west of Tripoli, following fierce battles on Friday. The government denies the rebel claims, saying the army is in control in both cities, Reuters news agency reports. Meanwhile, plans are being made to evacuate many foreigners from Tripoli.

I don’t know about you but I have a profound sense on indifference here, in essence I have no dog in the fight.

Ghadaffi is a grotesquerie who deserves to be toppled and made to pay for the decades of crimes for which he has been responsible. One other advantage of his fall would be that the Pan-Am bomber Megrahi could be sent back to Scotland.

However, the assorted “rebels” disturb me and I can’t really see them being any better than the current incumbent in the Presidential bunker. Above all, I cannot discern WHY the US and UK have any military presence here. It strikes me as utterly pointless.

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  1. I could see the purpose in stopping Gadaffi taking Benghazi- and risking a massacre but once that was averted we should have pushed the two sides to reach an accommodation with each other.

    That would have been enough to undermine Gadaffi’s absolute rule without us actually spending months on a war where we know don’t really know what the likely end game is.

    From where we are now though I think we have to finish Gadaffi off or we will look very weak.

  2. So we intervened apparently to stop a massacre in Benghazi.

    There’ll be one in Tripoli if the battle ends there.

  3. Above all, I cannot discern WHY the US and UK have any military presence here.

    Could it be something to do with the O.I.L?

  4. Agree with all the above. A pointless waste of our money. Bengazi could have been protected without this effort.
    Incidentally, as of a few weeks ago NATO had flown over 11,000 sorties (I don’t know what the current number is). Fans of military action on Iran may ponder how many sorties it would take to get any sort of traction on the regime there.

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