Having not discouraged the Libyan people from making a stand against Gaddafi’s brutal and bloody regime there is now a strong moral imperative for the international community, including Arab states, to stand with the Libyan people.
It is becoming increasingly clear from hourly graphic media reports that unless opposition forces are given access to modern weaponry, Gaddafi’s forces will soon retake lost ground, reconsolidate the ‘mad dog’s’ grip on power, and advance to kill off anti-Gaddafi forces – with hundreds of women and children cut down in the crossfire.
This is not a call for international troops to land on Libyan soil – but rather a call to the international community to allow the Libyan opposition forces ‘access’ to modern and portable military equipment, so that the Libyan people are given the tools to finish the job. For the crisis in Libya is primarily a Libyan problem, best solved by the Libyan people, and requires a long-term Libyan solution.
Weaponry, such as light machine guns, anti-tank and portable shoulder-launched surface to air missiles, provided via an Arab country or a coalition of Arab countries, would immediately reduce Gaddafi’s overwhelming military advantage, empower the increasingly beleaguered opposition forces and shell-shocked population, and would effect a rapid ‘self-help’ no fly zone - as Gaddafi’s helicopter gunships and fast jets start are grounded following downed aircraft. This initiative would not replace a UN-backed no fly zone but would be complimentary and provide much needed and speedier response.