Yes, before all the ‘spring cleaning’ things I suggested I would do, I think it would be better to talk about more ‘recent’ things that happened, such as ‘Odyssey Dawn’.
Odyssey Dawn. What is it? Its the American codename for the military action taken against Libya. Why Libya (this might be an indicator in how much you haven’t been paying attention to the news)? Well, in Libya, the long reigning Colonel Gaddaffi was asked to resign from his post of dictator by waves of protesters in Libya. Gaddaffi, the person who led a military coup against the previous Libyan government, did not resign and started using military force against the rebels that started to fight them using light weapons. So now, the United Nations steps in and introduces the Security Council Resolution 1973, which authorizes a no-fly zone in Libyan air space, and asks all member states to help the international community enforce it. Basically paving ways for countries to go to war, or ‘intervene’ (a more ‘peaceful’ word).
So Odyssey Dawn happened on 19:00 GMT on Saturday (March 19th) evening. This assault against Libya is a multi-phase plan, which the first phase is thought to be already over. Although the name is Odyssey Dawn, an American codename, it is not only America that is attacking. The United Kingdom, France, Spain, Denmark, and Canada are all part of the coalition force that is attacking Libya.
American B-2 “Stealth” bombers have been deployed (unconfirmed, but thought to have bombed a major Libyan Airfield), as well as the French Rafale and Mirage-2000, and the British GR4 Tornado. However, Odyssey Dawn started with the 110 Tomahawk cruise missile attacks launched by the British and American naval vessels. These Tomahawk cruise missiles (deadly missiles that cruise at low altitude, close to the ground, avoiding obstacles to its pre-computer programmed target) have been fired at around 20 command and control sites. Military reports indicate that the missile strikes ‘severely disabled’ the Libyan regime from identifying coalition aircraft entering Libyan airspace and maintain effective control over the nation’s air defense systems. The actual objective of Odyssey Dawn has not been decided, and it is stated that regime change is only a hope. Some sources indicate that the command of the coalition forces will be delegated to the British or the French. Other details are to be made at the conference currently being held in Paris about the coalition strikes, amongst the nations taking part in the attack.
How has Gaddaffi reacted to this ‘outrage’? He has called upon his supporters to act as human shields infront of targeted buildings. If the coalition forces attack these supporters, who are thought to be unarmed, that would be killing innocent bystanders, a violation of the Geneva Convention (correct me if I’m wrong, I’m not exactly sure about this part…)
There have been numerous countries, such as Russia, who have criticized the military intervention, under the reason of humanitarian intervention. An interesting fact is that the attack by the Americans started exactly eight years after Operation Iraqi Freedom (when American and British forces attacked Iraq, without the approval of the UN, because they believed that Iraq possessed nuclear warheads, which weren’t found in the end). What will happen in Libya? Only the people currently at the Paris conference and Gaddaffi knows. Will Gaddaffi step down? Highly unlikely, as he stated that he is prepared for a ‘long war’ against the ‘terrorists’ and the ‘new nazis’ (targeted at the West: the countries part of the coalition forces).