Sunday, March 6, 2011

Embarrassed in Libya

Flag of Libya between 1951-69Image via Wikipedia
Reports on al Jazeera say that 8 S.A.S. were captured by rebel forces near Bengazi. Amid a ‘no-comment’ by the UK foreign ministry was an admission that there was a diplomatic group in the area trying to make contact with the rebels.

OK. Well. Aside from the perception that this constitutes foreign interference – after all the S.A.S. are elite special forces – this would be a terrible embarrassment for the S.A.S. On the one hand, it is good that the UK is trying reach out; on the other, sending in S.A.S. without some sort of advance ground work might not have been the best idea. It’ll all probably work out for the best as it unfolds.

In other news out of Libya, the rebel troops have taken Ras Lanuf and its oil refinery. That refinery accounts for 60% of oil exports. That’s a blow to the Qaddafi. Sirte – Qaddafi’s birthplace – is the next target. If Qaddafi loses Sirte, that may be the tipping point on the military front and, if the rebels form a government, the West will need to make a hard decision – recognize or not. Not that anyone listens to me, but I would recommend a race to the microphone to announce recognition of the new government.

A word about the flag - it's the first flag of independence in 1951 and is the one you see the rebels waving on TV.
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