- North Africa
- Conflicts - Demonstration
Libya: Muammar Gaddafi won’t budge, civil war looms
Libyan strong man Muammar Gaddafi appears to be winning his battle against the people’s revolution after enervating protesters with series of air strikes and threatening a Vietnam-type state of affairs if the international community intervened.
"We will enter a bloody war and thousands and thousands of Libyans will die if the United States enters or NATO enters. We are ready to hand out weapons to a million or 2 million or 3 million, and another Vietnam will begin," Gaddafi told Tripoli supporters at a gathering televised live.
Gaddafi’s tirade has forced the international community to contemplate its military intervention; weakened protesters resolve and augmented his [Gaddafi’s] defiance to resignation calls.
"Gaddafi will hang on for a while. It’s not going to be easy for an unarmed crowd to face highly armed forces eager to shoot their own people," an anonymous protester in Tripoli was quoted by the Associated Press.
Following Gaddafi’s threat of violent resistance to a Libyan revolution, the Arab League said it was against direct outside military intervention.
To this regard, the U.S. government is cautious about imposing a no-fly zone over Libya, stressing the diplomatic and military risks involved, but has however moved warships into the Mediterranean.
Experts agree that any sort of foreign military involvement in Arab countries is a sensitive topic for Western nations following years of bloodletting and al Qaeda violence in Iraq after a 2003 U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein.
Gaddafi’s use of force against his own people has seen protesters in the eastern bastion of Benghazi seeking for U.N.-backed air strikes counter attacks by Gaddafi’s employed military mercenaries.
The report of an unequipped rebellion in Brega has been interpreted by some analysts as signs that Gaddafi is regaining grounds. His [Gaddafi] military troops attacked and captured the oil export terminal city of Brega- east of Tripoli.
The assault on Brega appeared to be the most significant military operation by Gaddafi since the uprising erupted in mid-February and set off a confrontation that Washington says could descend into a long civil war unless Gaddafi steps down.
Speaking beofre loyalists in Tripoli, Gaddafi said the unrest in Libya was part of a conspiracy by the West to colonize Libya and seize its oil.
"We put our fingers in the eyes of those who doubt that Libya is ruled by anyone other than its people," referring to his system of ," Gaddafi told a gathering in Tripoli referring to the direct democracy he launched in 1977.