Dunno what’s stopping the buggers, but “The West” (according to The Guardian) “is edging towards a possible military confrontation with Muammar Gaddafi’s regime…”
The US has deployed naval and air force units around Libya, and Britain’s David Cameron has ordered contingency plans for a no-fly zone.
Mind you, by the time they get up and going, it could be all over for Gadaffi, because Cameron is reported to have told the Ministry of Defence and the chief of the defence staff to draw up the plans in coordination with Britain’s Nato allies and report back to him within days.
But things are moving fast in Libya.
Further stalling is implicit in Western officials saying any military intervention in the unfolding conflict would require the approval of the UN Security Council.
But Russia and China, who both hold a veto, have voiced their opposition to any outside interference.
Not having UN approvals hasn’t stopped the buggers in the past, of course, so Alf reckons it’s all go.
His big regret is that he is a bit old for military action, a judgement (should he show he might think otherwise) firmly held and volubly expressed by Mrs Grumble.
She knows full well that when Alf muses on joining the effort to topple Gadaffi, he is really hankering to get to grips with some of Gadaffi’s bodyguards.
It’s one of Gaddafi’s strong points: he hired a team of female bodyguards.
Alf should have been much more surreptitious with his brushing up on some of the lessons in his dad’s “A Soldier’s Guide to Hand-to-Hand Combat in the North African Desert”.
So it looks like he will have to stay at home and watch whatever happens on the TV news.
The no-fly zone being considered in the UK – by the way – would be designed principally to prevent attacks on Libyan people by the Gaddafi regime, mainly by his helicopter gun ships.
Cameron is not ruling out arming the Libyan opposition forces if Tripoli uses more violence to crush demonstrations.
Dunno why he hasn’t been so keen to help out in Egypt, where around 300 people were killed during protests against the Mubarak regime.
Or in any of the other countries where the people are trying to throw out the dictators who have been oppressing them.
For a quick check on who has been rioting where, Alf suggests a visit to NPR’s guide to protests in the Middle East and North Africa.
Oh, and let’s not be surprised to learn that the Brits aren’t moving without the blessing of Uncle Sam.
Officials said discussions on a range of possible military options had begun last week between British and US officials at the Pentagon. They said that the support of US and British armed forces might also be required to protect corridors to channel humanitarian relief into Libya through Tunisia and Egypt if further conflict brought about a mass displacement of the population and a collapse in the food supply.
As for Gaddafi, Alf admires his defiance, but fears the fellow is seriously unhinged. and – moreover – looks as daft as Bob Moody in a kaftan.
The Guardian gives ample evidence of his derangement.
“They love me, all my people love me,” he said in an interview with the BBC. “They would die to protect me.” He again blamed al-Qaida for the rebellions. “This is al-Qaida, not my people,” Gaddafi said. “They come from outside.”
Gaddafi no doubt is somewhat bewildered about the Brits, too, because The Telegraph in Britain has obtained a copy of a secret accord between him and Tony Blair.
The two leaders agreed to co-operate on defence matters in a range of areas, including exchanging information about defence structures and technology.
It was signed during the former Labour prime minister’s “Blair-well” tour of Africa in May 2007, in Gaddafi’s tent in the Libyan desert.
Hmm. Wonder if Tony got the chance to grapple with the bodyguards.
But Alf diverts.
Back to the accord.
Included in the document was an agreement on “co-operation in the training of specialised military units, special forces and border security units”. They also signed up to “exchanges of information on Nato and EU military and civil security organisations”. The document was personally signed by Mr Blair and Gaddafi.
A passing reference to it was contained in a joint communiqué between the two countries, which was issued at the time and posted on the Foreign Office website before being removed a few weeks ago.
Blair declined to comment.
If Alf had pulled a stunt like that, he would have declined to comment, too.
Mind you, if he had pulled a stunt like that, the media at least would no longer ignore him.