Thursday, 17 March 2011

Another 48 hours: The boy who cried Victory.

When Muammar Gaddafi's son boasted yet again about imminent victory, little did he know how his belicose rhetoric might focus the mind of the UN Security Council members.

He stated that a No Fly Zone would be pointless because his forces would be in control of Benghazi, long before the UN could act to stop him. Two days was all it would take to subdue a city of some million inhabitants.

Not for the first time, talk was of retribution and destruction, of victory within days, over the rats and dogs that stood against his regime.

It's clear that much of this talk was to intimidate disenters within Libya, as much as to impress the outside world, but the world was listening, and we could not stand by and risk slaughter on this scale.

But only two days ago there seemed little chance of agreement on a No Fly Zone, yet tonight, the resolution has been passed and action can be expected soon, thanks in no small part to Gaddafi's own propaganda machine.

There are many different ways this situation might develop now.

Will Gaddafi sue for peace straight away, will he try to capture as much ground as possible before calling a ceasefire, or will he retreat into his perceived stronghold and hope to brazen it out?

And what of the UN; is this a turning point?

Can this action be prosecuted quickly and with the absolute minimum loss of life and prove to the world that International co-operation in these matters really is the way forward?

One thing is for sure, the next 48 hours will be very different to the ones that have just passed.