One of the many points that I have made about the Libyan situation is that Daffy Duck has been using mercenaries. Now I see that Jennifer Rubin, writing for the Washington Post also gets it – that Gadhafi is using mercenaries from other African nations.
When the whole thing erupted and the protesters took Benghazi, one of the things that happened at the time was the defection of the justice or interior minister who arrived at Benghazi with an army unit. All of the men defected to the side of the “rebels”. There had been a number of other defections, meaning that the Libyan military had been depleted (more than half did in fact defect). However, Daffy Duck has supplemented his forces by paying mercenaries from Chad, Algeria, and a number of other African nations. Some of these nations are actually denying these “charges”.
Jennifer Rubin makes the point that these mercenaries are “threatening American troops” and are in armed conflict with NATO, but that is not strictly true. First of all, there are no American troops inside of Libya. However, there are CIA, as well as British and possibly French SAS on the ground. On top of that the most threatened group are not soldiers but journalists and photographers because these mercenaries have been brutalizing any journalist that they have captured.
The information that these mercenaries were hired has come from someone who defected to the rebels – it could be Moussa Khoussa since he would know about the hiring of mercenaries because of his role as Foreign Minister before his defection. On the other hand, Daffy has spread the false information that Hezbollah are in Misrata. It is not in the least bit true. Hezbollah are not involved as mercenaries for the rebels. In fact the National Transitional Council spokesmen have been very clear abou the desire to not have the boots of other nations on the ground, even though rebels in Misrata do in fact desire that kind of assistance.
This means of course, that the NATO forces are being hamstrung by the terms of engagement, that they stick to enforcing the no-fly zone from the air, as they try to protect the Libyan population from the bombardment by Daffy Duck. (I posted another link on the Middle East round-up page relating to the situation in the Mountain region of West Libya, where the Berbers are fleeing into Tunisia – they are also being bombarded but their towns are not being protected by NATO). The Daffy bombardment of the Libyans is very widespread.
Also, Italy has changed its mind about the role it has been playing. Up until recently Italy had only allowed the use of its bases, but is now fully participating in the enforcement of the no-fly zone. Considering that Italy has been an ally of Daffy Duck, this is huge.