Friday, March 11, 2011
The announcement that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet with the Libyan opposition is good news but not enough. It is a PR gesture at a time when the American intelligence community has already concluded that Col. Qaddafi will win a protracted civil war. Indeed, he retook a town yesterday and apparently has seized the momentum. What the rebels need is a long list of items starting with organization, training, strategic and tactical plans and logistics. They underestimated Qaddafi and his grip on power and now Qaddafi's sons are pledging to retake the country. A meeting, while good for photographs, does not provide the force needed to dislodge a determined dictator. Real PR in this case is getting involved on the ground and in the air -- something that the US and European powers are reluctant to do. Should the rebels fail, there will be a bloodbath in the country and a black mark on the leadership of western powers.