A guest commentary by Frank Marafiote –
It’s just about all over except for the execution of Libyan rebels that is sure to follow once Muammar Gaddafi regains control of his country. Today we have a report that Gaddafi’s forces are just outside the rebel stronghold of Benghazi. In a matter of days, this city of 800,000 will fall back into the hands of the despotic Colonel.
As reported by Al Jazeera, Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, has said forces loyal to his father are nearing the rebel stronghold of Benghazi in the country’s east and predicted an uprising against the regime would be crushed within the next two days. Saif al-Islam told France-based TV channel Euronews on Wednesday: “The military operations are finished. In 48 hours everything will be over. Our forces are close to Benghazi. Whatever decision is taken, it will be too late.”
Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration stalled just long enough to ensure that there would not be time to help the rebels. All this, of course, in the name of our oil interests in the region. And with the Japanese nuclear crisis in the news, that almost seems like a good call — we will continue to need Libyan oil.
On the other hand, this Nero-like fiddling represents the very worst of our hypocritical foreign policy in action. And the main architect of that policy is our own Hillary Clinton. I expected better from her. I know that many others did as well.
Frank Marafiote, Editor
The Hillary Clinton Quarterly
Read the Al Jazeera report here.
UPDATE: March 16, 2011
The latest word on the Libyan conflict is that the Obama Administration and Secretary Clinton are rethinking their hands-off policy.
As reported in the New York Times tonight —
The rapid advance of forces loyal to Colonel Qaddafi, combined with rising calls from the Arab world to prevent a rout of the opposition, has changed the calculations of the administration, which had clung to a belief that interfering in a Middle East uprising could provoke an anti-American backlash.
“The turning point was really the Arab League statement on Saturday,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday to reporters traveling with her in Cairo. “That was an extraordinary statement in which the Arab League asked for Security Council action against one of its own members.”
That’s certainly welcome news. We only hope that this change of view has not come too late for those fighting for democracy.