Gaddafi feels force of “peace president”

The result of Barack Obama's “peacekeeping” in Libya, some sources say, has amounted to 145 dead and 445 injured civilians – those very civilians that Obama was so desperate to protect in Libya.

Just two years ago, Gaddafi – leader of the Libyan Revolution – said that he highly valued Obama because he was black and a son of Africa and still managed to become US president. Moreover, Gaddafi said back then that he would like Obama to remain the American president for the rest of his life.

I wonder if now, after the rocket strikes, Gaddafi still wants Obama to remain president for the rest of his life.

We don’t know that. We do know, though, that in the very beginning of the hostilities, Gaddafi sent Obama a letter in which he called him "our son", the noble Barack Hussein Obama. "Even if, God forgive me, war broke out between Libya and America, I would still love you. I do not want to change the image of you that I have created," – Gaddafi wrote in his address. The other day, Gaddafi wrote Obama another letter, but the "son of Africa" answered neither of them.

Instead, the answer came from Obama's senior fellow party member Hillary Clinton – definitely not a daughter of Africa, but the State Secretary of the United States. The point of her answer was that air strikes would continue until Gaddafi steps down. Therefore, whatever it was behind Gaddafi's epistolary appeals to Obama – playing it naïve or a sincere appeal to Obama's African roots – Gaddafi's plan failed.

He wanted (and still does) to see the US President as a "son of Africa", but Obama is not a son of Africa. He is a son of the US Democratic Party, and his political family consists entirely of enemies of Muammar Gaddafi.

Perhaps the Libyan leader had been informed of the reluctance with which Obama agreed to America's involvement in the military operation, so Gaddafi decided to make use of that. Indeed, rumors were heard within political circles that the White House had hesitated at first, but then something had happened that changed everything. Fellow party members must have explained to Obama, "Go ahead, or no second term for you!" And Obama stopped hesitating and gave the go-ahead to start the war.

So, whether Obama wanted it or not, he has now added a war of his own to the two he inherited from Bush – in Afghanistan and Iraq. His recent statements about the US discontinuing military activities and handing everything over to NATO, should not misguide anybody. First of all, the US has already delivered hundreds of air strikes in Libya; second, NATO operations in Libya are headed by an American general; and third, NATO member states fighting against Libya are still going to rely on America's military infrastructure, AVACS aircraft, space reconnaissance, and political support. And last, the US has reserved the right to resume direct military activities at any moment.

In the meantime, the US is going to watch its NATO allies very closely to prevent them from backing down and giving up the key objective, which is to remove Gaddafi, literally or figuratively. The Western coalition will settle for any option: Gaddafi's death in action, his assassination in a plot among his closest allies, or his voluntary exile. In the latter case, he will be found anyway, and either killed right away or put on trial and then killed, like Saddam Hussein.

This is why the war in Libya may go on for an unpredictably long time, and that war will be led by Barack Obama, especially if he is re-elected for a second term, for which he is already running. What is important is that he still has a chance to win despite his rather low support rating within the country, because the Republicans still don’t have any convincing candidate. It turns out that the hopes for Obama the peacekeeper are either stupid or naïve.

As politician Steven Carter wrote in US Time Magazine, “While Obama may have campaigned as a peace president back in 2008, he will be running for the second term as a war president”. Well, it seems like Obama has no choice. He hasn't established himself as a peacemaker; he hasn't managed to cease the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, or at least somewhat reconcile Israel and the Palestinians. He hasn't closed the Guantanamo base, in spite of his promises; and as for the secret military operations in other countries, according to Time, their number has exceeded those under the rule of Bush. The only achievement in his fight for peace was the Nobel Prize, which he received as an advance, for nothing, two months after his entry into office.

In other words, the image of Obama that Muammar Gaddafi created in his mind has nothing to do with the reality. And now Gaddafi can fully comprehend how mistaken he has been.

[Source: RT, Moscow, 13Apr11]

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