Why Gadhafi Must Go Now

Friday, 04 Mar 2011 01:10 PM

By Ralph Hostetter

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Moammar Gadhafi must go. On that there is universal agreement. It is the how and where that remain the problems.

No other Mediterranean nation is begging for his transfer to their soil.

Unless there is a fairly quick resolution to the problem, a civil war may erupt in Libya.

Over the weekend, the U.N. Security Council voted 15-0 for sanctions against Libya and Moammar Gadhafi for violent acts against peaceful protesters.

Al-Jazeera English had reported last week that the death toll among protesters had exceeded 200 in Bengahzi alone. Also, that more than 100,000 refuges fled into Tunisia to escape the violence of Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi .

Gadhafi has ruled Libya with a strong authoritarian hand for some 42 years.

Gadhafi came to power at age 27, staging a bloodless coup d'etat on Sept. 1, 1969, with a band of revolutionaries, deposing Libya's King Idris, thus ending the monarchy.

Gadhafi had been inspired by Egypt's second president, General Gamal Abdel Nasser, who drove the British out of Egypt during a confrontation in January 1952 at the Suez Canal. Gadhafi came to power shortly before Nasser's death in January 1970.

John M. Curtis, L.A. City Buzz Examiner, reports that Gadhafi's defiance comes from his near-delusional attachment to Nasser and Latin American Communist revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara, a compatriot of Fidel Castro of Cuba.

Curtis continues: "Gadhafi’s zealotry and past dust-ups with the United States, leads him to believe that he can hold on to power with intimidation and force."

In a nationwide address, Gadhafi called for calm in Libya. Gadhafi is blaming Osama bin Laden and radical Islam for the current unrest and uprisings.

Meanwhile, Gadhafi's forces attacked a mosque in the oil port of Az Zawiyah, 30 miles west of Tripoli, toppling the minaret and killing at least 23.

Additionally, Gadhafi warned protesters in Tripoli: "Either leave or you will see a massacre."

Libyan rebellions started only four days after Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak resigned on Feb. 11, spreading revolution into Libya.

Libya's eastern region running from Benghazi to the Egyptian border has now fallen into rebel hands. The uprising has already caused a 20 percent jump in world oil prices.

Gadhafi's failed leadership allowed Libya to become a bastion of North African terrorism as far back as December 1988 when Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270. Lockerbie was linked immediately to Gadhafi.

The Lockerbie bombing was believed to be in retaliation for President Ronald Reagan's attack on Gadhafi's headquarters in April 1986. The Reagan attack was in retaliation for the earlier Libyan bombing of the Berlin discotheque which killed a number of U.S. servicemen.

The Flight 103 bomber was captured and returned to Scotland where he received a life sentence.

Shamefully, Scotland released the supposedly dying Lockerbie bomber, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, who returned to Libya to a hero's welcome.

The present uprisings in Libya are reported to be a reflection of popular disgust for Libya's cruel, inhuman, and unstable dictator.

Gadhafi is not expected to leave quietly like Egypt's Mubarak, but rather to go down as a martyr.

An unnamed resident of Tripoli commented: "Now is the time of secret terror and secret arrests. They will go house to house and liquidate opponents that way and impose (Gadhafi's) control over Tripoli."

With growing numbers of protesters taking to the streets and taking control of Libyan cities, the possibility of Gadhafi regaining control is made more difficult as each day passes.

President Barack Obama said Gadhafi's violent crackdown "is outrageous and unacceptable." He urged the U.N. to condemn Gadhafi's gross and systematic violations of human rights by the Libyan authorities to stop the bloodshed.

Calls for a no-fly zone to be effective or even established in such a vast area as Libya would require more aircraft than there are available.

A no-fly zone can be established only after all aircraft and all airfields in the nation are taken under complete control or are destroyed, as the case may be.

At a press conference in Washington on March 3, President Obama announced that $30 billion of Libya’s assets have been frozen and that the United States is closely monitoring conditions in Libya, especially in the area of human rights violations.

No specific actions were suggested with the exception that the United States, in conjunction with other nations, would not condone Gadhafi's actions against his own people.

The eyes of the world are on Libya at the present time.

Gadhafi has been asked to step down by President Obama and other world leaders. He has refused and has indicated that he would have to be physically removed from office.

Gadhafi is well aware of the situation that Saddam Hussein faced when he was removed from a hole in the ground after he had been ordered to step down.

Gadhafi must realize that the world community, having come this far, is not about to acquiesce.

Gadhafi must step down or accept the consequences.

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