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Inside, confidential and off the record

Too late ?

The sound that Col. Muammar Qaddafi will be awakening too in the not too distant future shall be French Mirage jets strafing his compound, for the UN’s Security Council last night unanimously voted to establish a “no-fly” zone over Libya and moved to authorize “all necessary measures” to protect the civilians… the rebels… in Libya’s east. Interestingly the actual vote was 10-0, for there were five abstentions, including Russia and China. [Ed. Note: The Security Council has 15 members of which 5 are “permanent:” The US; the UK; France, Russia and China. The current non-permanent members are Bosnia-
Herzegovina, Brazil, Gabon, Lebanon, Nigeria, Colombia, Germany, India, Portugal and South Africa. Besides Russia and China who abstained, the other abstaining members were Germany, India and Brazil. We found these abstentions at the very least to be interesting and in some instances quite confusing. Why, for example, did Germany abstain? What purpose is served by India abstaining?], The no-fly zone will likely be put into place by Monday at the latest, and the US Sec’y of State, Ms. Hilary Clinton, said that the US would obviously take part in establishing the zone and that that would “include bombing targets like the Libyan defense systems.” We understand that the Pentagon is prepared to use its weaponry against Libyan armed services regulars.

Spokesmen for the rebel forces in and around Benghazi in Libya’s east lauded the UN’s decision. Spokespeople for the regime in Tripoli obviously decried the decision. Qaddafi himself said last evening following the UN’s vote
that “The UN Security Council has no mandate [here]. We do not acknowledge their resolution. If the world is crazy we will be crazy too.”

We shall imagine then that the next two or three days will witness material attacks by the Libyan air forces upon Benghazi and other eastern cities that are rebel strongholds. Qaddafi said that there shall be “no mercy or compassion” for those who oppose his regime, and for the past several days troops loyal to him have moved eastward from town to village, heading toward Benghazi, in an attempt to squash the rebel movement. We can only wonder if the UN’s decision was too late. Sadly it probably has been.


-Dennis Gartman/ The Gartman Letter / 03/18/ 2011

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