Friday, March 18, 2011
Qadhafi calls a ceasefire posted by Richard SeymourDavid Hearst is very shrewd on the subject of Qadhafi's ceasefire:
Beware of getting what you wish for. The ceasefire Colonel Gaddafi has just announced is not a vindication of the decision of the UN security council to get tough, nor a result of the wide backing the vote got from the Arab League and, unusually, three members of the African Union.
It is the calculation of a man who, contrary to popular opinion is not mad, but behaving quite rationally. It is the move of a man who is trying to counter the threat of a foreign military intervention by splitting the coalition before it has really had time to gather in Paris on Saturday.
A ceasefire, if it holds, would partition the country, and allow Gaddafi to keep control of the most important part and the major oil ports which his forces have just won back. In one judo throw, Gaddafi has reversed the most powerful argument behind the resolution, preventing a massacre in Benghazi. The Libyan rebels in Benghazi certainly wanted a respite from Gaddafi's aircraft and heavy artillery, but hardly at the cost of abandoning their goal of liberating the whole of their country from a tyrant.