Libya:Gaddafi appeals to US Congress
Laaska News June 11,2011
The embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has written a letter to US Congress asking the Americans to directly mediate a ceasefire with the opposition.
In the missive, carried by several US media outlets, Colonel Gaddafi calls for the cessation of military operations by NATO to provide the opportunity to “address the crisis by political rather than military means.”
He also asks the Unites States, which he refers to as “a great democratic nation”, to help “determine the future of the Libyan people”.
Asked for the reasons behind Gaddafi’s decision to talk to the opposition and ask for US help, many analysts see this as an attempt by the beleaguered Libyan leader to hang on to power and just stay alive. In an interview with the Voice of Russia, the Institute of the Middle East president Yevgeny Satanovsky said that with the situation in Libya in a dead end Gaddafi has either to start negotiations with the NATO and the opposition or risk physical elimination.
“Gaddafi has failed to get China, Russia or India over to his side, despite lucrative oil export offers… It looks like he has realized full well that defeating NATO is not an option, especially after NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen made it perfectly clear that the alliance is ready to fight as long as it takes and even launch a ground operation. Gaddafi saw that there are just two options available to him: to go down swinging or withdraw to Sahara and lead a guerilla war before dying a hero’s death.”
As to the reasons behind Gaddafi’s appeal to the United States, some pundits point to the recent US critique of fellow NATO countries, which though they voted for a military operation in Libya, still avoid being directly enmeshed in the fighting there. In Moscow a prominent international affairs expert Sergei Karaganov says that apparently sensing the emerging rift among the coalition members Gaddafi decided to address individual NATO members, rather than the alliance as a whole.
Some believe that the US is less determined to continue the military operation than other members of the alliance. Yevgeni Satanovsky again:
“Gaddafi realizes full well that with next year’s elections already looming tall, President Obama is being pestered by questions why America is fighting in Libya. Obama is withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, slashing defense spending and, at the very same time, he is splurging on a military campaign in Libya America has absolutely no need for, even from the standpoint of oil imports. Because the main buyers of Libyan oil are Italy, France and Germany, not the United States…”
The White House has remained mostly tight-lipped about the letter with State Department spokesman Mark Toner saying only that the Administration is aware of Gaddafi’s missive. Pundits do not think there will be any positive response from Washington which is very likely to stick to its oft-repeated demand for the Colonel to step down as soon as possible.