It’s not been a good day for the Libyan rebels, whoever they might be. Despite air support from the coalition, they have lost some ground.
Qaddafi has some words to say on their identity. There’s no reason to believe him, of course, although it would be highly ironic if he turned out in this case to be correct:
In an open letter to the international community, meanwhile, Gadhafi called for a halt to the “monstrous assault” on Libya and maintained that that the rebels were supported by the al-Qaida terrorist network.
“What is happening now is providing a cover for al-Qaida through airstrikes and missiles to enable al-Qaida to control North Africa and turn it into a new Afghanistan,” he said…
I wonder whether the Obama administration has pondered what would be the result if Qaddafi holds out. He has shown himself to be no stranger to the support of terrorism himself, and he might be even more strongly motivated to retaliate by supporting terrorism against Western countries who aided and abetted those who tried to unseat him. Have Obama and his advisers considered the old adage “when you strike at a king you must kill him” in deciding to go against Qaddafi without seeking his death?
[NOTE: I had long thought that quote came from Machiavelli or some other cynical realist who specialized in the study of the workings of power in the world. It surprised me to discover it was actually said by Ralph Waldo Emerson to Oliver Wendell Holmes, in response to an essay by the latter critiquing Plato.]