The American response to such crises follows a regular, fixed pattern: It always comes at great delay and is accompanied by a festive pledge that this time too we shall only see surgical aerial strikes, without ground incursions. Yet then, before you even have time to switch channels to some entertainment show, American tanks are sinking into the desert sands while sustaining vicious fire from 12-year-old kids armed with a Kalashnikov and a turban.
After all, in order to resolve the Libya situation there is no need for a wall-to-wall coalition or hundreds of Tomahawk missiles launched from aircraft carries (who knows where these missiles landed and what they hit.) Just like the case of Saddam Hussein in Iraq or Bin Laden in Afghanistan, only one bullet is needed.
This time, it needs to be fired into Muammar Gaddafi’s head. Yet in order to fire this accurate bullet, which would sure change the picture completely and spare the lives of thousands of soldiers and innocent civilians, one needs superb intelligence information and the kind of operational skill that the Americans, with all their might and the noise they make, were never able to achieve.
This is incomprehensible really: Think for a moment about the immense sums of money spent by the US and Europe annually on defense. Yet even the modest operation suggested above is beyond their joint capabilities. So what are they doing then? They’re bombing. Or more accurately, they’re spraying bullets and missiles across Libya, indiscriminately.
By the way, Gaddafi’s assassination is not an objective in and of itself. It’s also possible to capture him alive and bring him to justice at The Hague, so that all other active Muslim dictators will see the example.
So should Gaddafi be assassinated or shouldn’t he? The answer is yes, he should be killed. Yet the question is not only whether we want to see this happen, but rather, whether we are even able to make this happen. Here, the answer is still negative, regrettably. This is the case both because of intellectual weakness that undermines America’s judgment, and also because of operational limitations.
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