Operation odyssey dawn struck with quick might. France and Britain campaigned for the military offensive into Libya, but it was America that led the way.
In six days, the US-led coalition has fired hundreds of Tomahawk missiles against Muammar Gadhafi’s tanks, compounds and Libyan air defenses.
Nearly one week after waging war, no country has been able to clarify a clear goal or exit strategy for Libya. US and Western allies sold the humanitarian intervention as a means of protecting Libyan civilians from Gadhafi’s firepower, but coalition strikes are now being blamed for mounting casualties.
“We have not choices. Only victory or death. We have no other reason to live,” said a Libyan woman whose relative was killed in the crossfire.
There is also little sign of anti- Gaddhafi forces gaining much traction with only a few government forces switching sides.
“They are randomly shooting. They are killing a lot of people and civilians. The Americans, the Brits and French,” said a Gaddhafi supporter.
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama said the US will soon hand over control of the mission.
Question is, to whom?
As for the 22 Arab countries that pushed for the no-fly zone, their militaries are nowhere to be found. Only Qatar put up a handful of warplanes while being prohibited from flying too close to Libya.Meanwhile, NATO countries mired in disagreement over which route to take.
“The Turks have already said all they want a no fly zone and nothing more than that. The Germans are now stating that they are removing their navy from NATO control. So this is quite a muddled job indeed,” said Michael Hoffman, Editor of the Revisionist History Newsletter
With the cost of this odyssey at a reported $100 million per day, US lawmakers want some answers.
“We would’ve asked, what is the intelligence that we have. When Secretary Gates leads us to believe he doesn’t know plan ‘B’. We would’ve pursued that,” said US Congressman, Charles Rangel.
Just last month, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates publicly opposed American military intervention in Libya.A third US war he’s now forced to defend.
“This command and control business is complicated, and we haven’t done something like this kind ‘of on the fly’ before … so it’s not surprising to me that it would take a few days to get it all sorted out,” said US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.
Also hard to sort out is US Senator John McCain’s position on Libya.The Republican has repeatedly called for Gadhafi’s removal in recent months.
“He has American blood on his hand because he was responsible for the bombing of pan am 103,” said US Senator John McCain.
Yet just 18-months ago, McCain flew to shake hands with the Libyan leader and peddling American military equipment.
Tripoli peddling American military equipment and shaking hands with the Libyan leader and his son
“We intend to do everything we can to ensure relations between our countries deepen,” said McCain.
Today, the rift between Libya and US couldn’t be further apart as Gadhafi has vowed to fight fire with fire.
In the short term, we will beat them. In the long term, we will beat them,” said Gadhafi.