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An Appeal to President Sarkozy to Save Libya

In light of the evaporation of American power, does all hope now rest upon ... France? (And don't miss Michael Totten: What if Gaddafi wins?)

by
Robert Zubrin

Bio

March 14, 2011 - 12:02 am
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Dear President Nicolas Sarkozy:

As I’m sure you are aware, it is now public knowledge that the United States can do nothing to stop the massacre of the Libyan people by mercenaries under the control of that country’s former dictator. This news caught many here by surprise, as we had believed our military forces to be significantly more capable than those in the employ of Colonel Gaddafi. However no less a person than our secretary of defense, Mr. Robert Gates, has testified that we lack the capacity to intervene, and if Mr. Gates says that is the case, then it must be so. Indeed, to suspect otherwise would be to entertain the thought that Mr. Gates might lie to Congress to gain acquiescence with a policy of allowing a regime that had committed acts of war against the United States to defeat and slaughter a populace attempting its overthrow. Clearly, no man of integrity could possibly act in such a manner.

Therefore, in light of the evaporation of American power, all hope now rests upon France. Here’s what you can do to help the provisional government attempting to resist Gaddafi’s onslaught to turn the tide, and achieve a quick and decisive victory.

  1. Arm the provisional government. France has frozen several billion dollars of the Gaddafi regime’s assets. These are the property of the Libyan state, whose legitimate representative is, as you have recognized, the provisional government. Accordingly, you should allow the provisional government to use these funds to buy arms made in France or in the reserve arsenals of the French military, including the full range of infantry weapons and field artillery, among others. This will give the provisional government the armament it needs to defend itself while boosting the French economy and reducing your national deficit. The United States might do this as well, as we have $32 billion in frozen Gaddafi assets. However these are being held in reserve in case they are needed by Goldman Sachs.
  2. You could use your electronic warfare aircraft to jam Gaddafi’s communications, thereby making it difficult for him to coordinate his forces.
  3. You could use your satellites and reconnaissance aircraft to provide intelligence to the provisional government, thereby alerting it to the movements of Gaddafi’s forces in advance, as well as to provide spotting information to direct the fire of the provisional government’s artillery.
  4. You can use your air and sea power to wipe out Gaddafi’s airplanes, helicopters, and tanks. This is preferable to imposing a “no-flight zone,” as it is quicker, cheaper, and far more effective as a means of putting an end to the conflict. Since imposing a “no-flight zone” requires striking at Gaddafi’s ground-based air defenses in any case, you might as well get the job done the first day and take out his aircraft on the ground at the same time. In contrast to the United States, you certainly have the means to do this, including a 125 ship navy led by the nuclear powered aircraft carrier Charles DeGaulle, 10 nuclear submarines, and 30 frigates, with 147 naval aircraft backed up by 874 land-based aircraft. The carrier alone should be sufficient to do the job. It is true that the United States nominally possesses 11 large and 10 small aircraft carriers, and many more of every kind of ship and airplane as well, that could, in theory, be used for the same purpose, but unfortunately they are all currently indisposed.

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