US President Obama has deplored the violence used by Gaddafi’s regime against Libyans:
- bombardment by air force,
- random firing and sniping by all manner of small arms and heavy weapons,
- use of mercenaries to kill citizens,
- speeches by the leadership calling for violence against youth, protesters, foreigners, and muslims, and
- killing medical personnel and relief workers giving aid to the wounded.
He stated that he has called for a review of all available options.
Let me suggest some options the USA, Canada and other countries could take:
- Secure the borders of Libya to prevent mercenaries from entering Libya,
- close the airspace over Libya to prevent everything but relief flights,
- “bomb” hospitals in Libya with GPS-guided parachuted medical supplies,
- secure beach-heads all along the Libyan coast to permit rapid influx of material and equipment for any eventuality,
- secure airports in Libya or build landing strips as appropriate,
- secure other critical infrastructure that might be destroyed by any “scorched earth” policy: communication, transportation, utilities and petroleum infrastructure,
- supply communications equipment so that citizens can call directly for action in the face of violence and reporters can inform the world what is happening in Libya,
- distribute food, water and medicines to citizens so they can remain close to home rather than going into danger,
- resupply former units of Libya’s military to prevent the post-regime chaos seen in Iraq, and
- dispatch forward elements to mark targets and pull the teeth of the tyrant: mercenaries, “loyal” military units, and propaganda machines.
If those options do not result in a rapid shift to normal operations, give the regime 24h notice and turf them out by force. I would recommend using the proper military units to train and equipment sufficient citizens to provide a force-majeur to decide the matter.
Of course there is a possibility of chaos in the situation but I would bet that the citizens of Libya can replace a maniac with a rational democratic government in a matter of months rather than the years the US and others have taken to fail at that task in Iraq.