Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Libya air force 'unable to fight'


Source: BBC

Col Muammar Gaddafi's air force "no longer exists as a fighting force", the commander of British aircraft operating over Libya has said.

Air Vice Marshal Greg Bagwell said the allies could now operate "with near impunity" over the skies of Libya.

He said they were now applying unrelenting pressure on the Libyan armed forces.

He was speaking during a visit to RAF aircrew based at Gioia del Colle in southern Italy.


"We are watching over the innocent people of Libya and ensuring that we protect them from attack," he said.

"We have the Libyan ground forces under constant observation and we attack them whenever they threaten civilians or attack population centres."

Allied aircraft

His comments come as Nato members debate who should lead the intervention, with the US keen to hand over to Nato.

They were echoed by Rear Admiral Gerard Hueber, US chief of staff for the Libya mission, who said: "We are putting pressure on Gadaffi's ground forces that are threatening cities." Asked if that meant air strikes, he replied: "Yes."

Speaking to reporters by phone from the command ship USS Mount Whitney, in the Mediterranean, he insisted there had been no reports of civilian casualties caused by allied action.

"Our mission here is to protect the civilian populace and we choose our targets and plan our actions with that as a top priority."

He said allied aircraft had flown 175 sorties in the last 24 hours - 113 of them by US aircraft.

Western aircraft have flown more than 300 sorties over Libya in recent days and more than 162 Tomahawk cruise missiles have been fired.

Snipers

Earlier, witnesses reported that international forces had launched new air strikes near Libya's rebel-held western city of Misrata.

Witnesses said tanks pulled back from their positions, from where they have been spearheading a siege of the city for days, but said snipers continued to target people from rooftops.

Mohamed, a spokesman for the rebels in Misrata, said: "Misrata was in a desperate state... we almost lost all hope, but the strikes came at a good time with good intensity and frequency.

"They even managed to take out some convoys inside the city which was very impressive.

"The strikes made such a difference - Gaddafi's forces are scared of them. I want to express our gratitude and appreciation for these actions - we will never, ever forget."

Muammar Gaddafi appeared on Libyan TV making a defiant address to supporters

Col Gaddafi's forces have also resumed their pounding of Zintan, near the Tunisian border, according to reports.

And there are also reports of fierce fighting between rebels and pro-Gaddafi forces in the strategic eastern town of Ajdabiya. Residents fleeing the town described shelling, gunfire and houses on fire.

Late on Tuesday, Col Gaddafi made his first public appearance in a week and gave a short speech to a crowd of supporters in Tripoli.

He urged "all Islamic armies" to join him, saying: "We will be victorious."

Naval blockade

Meanwhile, ships from Nato nations have started patrolling off the Libyan coast to enforce a UN arms embargo against Col Gaddafi's regime.

A spokesman for the Western military alliance, Canadian Brig Gen Pierre St Amand, said six vessels were taking part in the first day of patrols.

They aim to intercept and board ships suspected of ferrying arms to the Libyan government.

"If, after inspection, doubts remain as to the legitimacy of the cargo, the vessel will be diverted to a designated port for further inspection," Gen St Amand said.

Nato members are currently holding talks about assuming responsibility for the no-fly zone over Libya.

Turkey is an integral part of the naval blockade but expressed concern about the alliance taking over command of the no-fly zone from the US.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has arrived in the Egyptian capital Cairo for talks on both Libya and Egypt's hoped-for transition to democracy following the fall of Hosni Mubarak.

He was previously in Moscow, where President Dmitry Medvedev criticised what he called the "indiscriminate use of force" by coalition aircraft in Libya.

Mr Gates rejected the criticism of the air strikes, saying Col Gaddafi was lying about civilian casualties.

Russia abstained from last week's UN Security Council resolution that authorised armed intervention in Libya to protect civilians.

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Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah



Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah

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