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The US, France, and Britain have increased the intensity of their attacks on Libya and announced that they will not stop the air strikes until Gadhafi relinquishes power. Sixty Libyans were injured in a recent such strike on Gadhafi’s compound in Tripoli.

The West’s actions are pure terrorism: attacking another country without declaring war and without allowing it the right of reprisal attacks. It is also a case of illegal collective punishment, a military crime of which Britain and France accused Israel in Gaza: pounding non-combatants to force government concessions.
The West openly ignores the UNSC resolution which limited the air strikes to the protection of Libyan civilians.

After withdrawing its meager six planes from the NATO operation in Libya, Kuwait pledged $177 million to the Libyan rebels. That places Kuwait in a curious de facto coalition of the United States and Iran, which support anti-Gadhafi forces.

In Bahrain, Kuwaitis joined Saudi Arabia against the US and Iran.

In Yemen, Kuwaitis and Saudis brokered a partial deal acceptable both to Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Protests in SyriaSo far, Syria seems to have avoided the threat of sectarian strife. Alawites joined Sunnis, Kurds, and Christians in opposing Assad’s rule. Syrians have proved themselves relatively secular, and bear no grudge against Assad’s Alawite sect. They appear to realize that his rule benefited himself and perhaps his party, but not the Alawites generally.

The divide lies between the government and the people. Assad’s Sunni troops so far are continuing to obey his orders to attack protesters. This exposes a curiously widespread phenomenon: soldiers ignoring their consciences and carrying out obviously immoral orders. The same soldiers riot when in their civilian capacity, such as in the town-cum-military base of Katana.

Assad’s procrastination cost him dearly. Unlike other analysts, we believe that he lost by keeping the troops headquartered instead of sending them out against the protestors immediately. After the troops had killed their first civilian victims, their loyalty would have been mostly assured, but by now the military units have grown hesitant. Assad’s mistake was allowing his soldiers time to think.

April 2011
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