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March 09, 2011

Gadaffy Strikes Oil Production

Earlier it seemed as if Qadaffy was on his way out -- circumstances had unfolded so quickly the regime was being panicked out of power. It would have taken just a little bit more to push the situation towards a speedy resolution -- which is in virtually everyone's interests, minus Qadaffy and his sons and his various mercenaries.

But the regime has now regrouped, and is fighting back, possibly effectively. What could have been a Bum's Rush out of power may now settle into a long civil war and/or two two different states at war.

This has direct impact on America, because as long as this goes on, oil supply is threatened, and we all pay an Instability Tax at the pump. A big one.

And now he's going directly after the pipes.

If he can't have it, no one will. I have to ask: Would he try this shit with Bush? Or Hillary, for that matter?

Weakness breeds contempt. Obama is the weakest president in memory -- even Jimmy Carter was willing to approve a dangerous-as-hell helicopter commando raid to get our hostages out of Iran.

Obama, meanwhile, golfs.

Colonel Gaddafi's forces today blasted an oil terminal to smithereens as Libya's bloody civil war entered its blackest day.

Rebels retaliated by firing back with rockets as a fireball exploded from one of the oil tanks and the sky above the Es Sider terminal, in the east of the country, filled with hideous smoke.

A witness said one of the smoke plumes was the biggest he had seen in the conflict so far.

The fresh onslaught came as Gaddafi deployed tanks and snipers to 'shoot anything that moves'.

Forces loyal to the Libyan dictator poured into the city of Zawiyah in a desperate bid to oust the hardcore band of protesters and army defectors who have taken control.

Witnesses said dead bodies were lying in the ruins of many buildings destroyed in air raids earlier in the week and there was no one in the streets of the centre of the city of 290,000.

'We can see the tanks. The tanks are everywhere,' one rebel fighter said by telephone.

Eye witnesses said that the city had been almost flattened after a 13-and-a-half hour barrage from rockets, tanks and war planes

The hellish scenes unfolded as senior officials in the U.S. spoke of their fears that the country had reached a painful stalemate.

Click on the link to see daylight skies blackened with oil smoke.

Gadaffy's strategy seems to be an economic siege -- take away the rebels' money (in the form of oil), and in a half year or year they'll be starved out of the fight.

I can't help but think there is a fairly low-cost, high-impact option available -- one even the Arab League is calling for.

Gadaffy's advantage is that he has the typical equipment a tyrant has -- tanks, big artillery guns, jets. Without these -- which are frankly the softest targets in the world for airpower to take out -- he has what the rebels have, which is a bunch of guys with guns.

It seems to me the battle is turning in his favor. I sure wish we had a president intellectually curious enough to ask if that is in America's best interests.

No Fly Zone or No Jet Zone? We don't need a no-fly zone, by the way. A no-fly zone is difficult to enforce. You have to have planes up all the time (which could in fact be shot down).

There is a much easier method of denying an enemy use of the skies. And that's not enforcing a no fly zone, but enforcing a no jets, period, zone.

We have ordnance specifically designed to take out airports and all aircraft parked within them. And if we're all out of those, we can ask the French if they'll sell us some of theirs.

It's a bomb with thousands of small sub-munitions which scatter and bounce about upon impact, spreading out over a large area, and then blowing up in small explosions.

These explosions are not huge but aircraft are the flimsiest, softest weapons platforms in war. You don't need to score a direct hit on them with a large, penetrating munition to take them out of the fight.

Aircraft are on the ground 90% of the time. The easiest way to create a no-fly zone is to blow planes up where the sit, helplessly, on the tarmac.

And they need strips to land on. And the bombs I'm talking about blow lots of pockmarks in landing strips making them hazardous to land upon (if usable at all).

This idea that we need to enforce a no-fly zone -- it's crazy. It's another example of taking the best, most logical option off the table in the interest of some gauzy sentimentalist idea of "peace" and only discussing far more difficult and ineffectual options.

No planes = no flying. We could do this within the hour.

I keep thinking about this bizarre incentive system Obama's created: conduct terrorist campaigns against US citizens and you shall have protection and license from the US. But if you're a US ally, we'll work to put you out of office.

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posted by Ace at 04:36 PM

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