U.S. and British ships and submarines launched the first phase of a missile assault on Libyan air defenses, firing 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles Saturday at more than 20 coastal targets to clear the way for air patrols to ground Libya's air force.America in effect declared war on Libya. Did Congress approve Operation Odyssey Dawn?
Once the no fly zone is established, it should take little time to decimate Libya's woeful air power, assuming Uncle Sam isn't lying in its assessment of Libya's air capabilities:
"only a small number of aircraft were actually flying. A Pentagon analysis of Libya's air capabilities shows the overall readiness of Libyan aircraft is poor by western standards and most aircraft are now dated or obsolete in terms of avionics or upgrades. Eighty percent of the air force is judged to be "non-operational and "overhaul and combat repair capability is also limited."
So what's next? U.S. et al control air space over part of a country with a heinous dictator. The global economy squeezes Gadhafi financially, forcing his people to suffer another humanitarian crisis. Ask Madeline Albright about 500,000 Iraqi children.
The U.S. might have credibility under human rights if it didn't summarily execute thousands of people via drone fired missiles or systematically torture prisoners of war (renamed enemy combatants), renditioning them to countries known for torture, like our ally Egypt.
Libya is a terrible situation. Gadhafi has long been nuts. It just looks like an early Iraq and we know how that turned out. I'd like to see the whole U.S. plan on Libya, not just the "humanitarian aid" marketing spiel. What's the aim? By what method?
In addition to having a nutjob for a leader and a son who runs with the Bilderberg crowd, Libya has three unique conditions. One, American branded global corporations courted the Ghadafi's, striking many deals. Two, oil comes out of the ground for $1 per barrel. And three, most of Libya's sovereign wealth sits in domestic banks.
As for Madeline Albright, she knows about the use of power. Temporary use could maker her alot of money. My guess is she's not alone.
The AP story spoke of the precision of cruise missiles, however past conflicts show they have a margin of error. How many citizens might be killed from wayward cruise missiles, in the assault to protect Libyan citizens? Surely, the Pentagon did the math.
The first missiles struck at 9:00 am Tripoli time. What are people doing in coastal cities on Saturday morning? Downing a plateful of "shock and awe"?
Other countries using a heavy hand on citizens are Yemen, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. It remains to be seen what the U.S. does in that regard.
Update 7-1-11: African Union leaders are divided over the Libyan situation.
Update 8-28-11: Rebels declared victory over Gadhafi's forces and claim they rule the country. Their ruling skills will determine if Libya ends up like Iraq.