Rebels Reeling & The Case Against No-Fly Zone Option

Rebel forces in Libya have lost the city of Brega, and are withdrawing to cities closer to Benghazi. If Benghazi falls, the Rebellion can be considered to have been completely defeated.

It is very essential that food, medicine, and weapons begin to flow into Benghazi through Egypt – I still feel that this is preferable to the No Fly Zone option from a military standpoint for reasons already outlined. It needs to happen sooner, rather than later.

As it turns out, founder of the American Strategy Program agrees with me from a political standpoint, saying in part

[…] But as noble as the notion of helping the Libyan opposition may feel and sound, the American impulse to help, to impose with allies a “no-fly zone”, changes the narrative of protest and change in Libya and sets up a dynamic that could easily backfire on America’s interests and reputation. It could also rob success from those seeking to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi.

[…] A no-fly zone is popular because it scratches an emotional nerve of those wanting to help stop a dictator terrorising people from the skies, but it’s a very high-cost, low-return tactic – that may have even more enormous political risks attached.

[…] The story will no longer be the educated, the social network-connected, the aspiring youth rising up to say they are done with the corrupt, rotting terms of the social contract between government and the governed in these countries, the story becomes: what is the West doing now?

[…] The cameras would leave the protesters and move to visuals of aircraft carriers and foreign, mostly white, mostly Christian soldiers on yet another “crusade” for Western values in the Middle East. That would be the narrative that would take flight in the Arab media and in the Arab mind.

[…] Establishing a no-fly zone gives Col Gaddafi the narrative he needs to escape his isolation and to begin reconnecting with a people who have in their minds decades of humiliation and disregard from the West.

[…] The invasion of Iraq, hugely unpopular in the Arab world, has planted seeds of distrust that will grow large if US and Nato warships and planes are deployed in their country.

[…]If the US and Nato change the frame and take the cameras away from the people, no matter how well-meaning the intention, we help undermine the very people we purport to help.

I encourage readers to read the article in its entirety at the BBC, and be sure that any persons of influence known to any reader are made aware of the grave risks associated with the No Fly Zone option.

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Rebels Reeling & The Case Against No-Fly Zone Option

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