Opponents of Barack Obama from the Republicans and American public opinion insistently require him to intervene in the conflict in Libya on the side of the rebels. However, the US administration had been slow to take decisive action. The possible cause of the slowness in his article, explained Robert Fisk is a British expert on the Middle East, a journalist who has lived over 30 years in this region of the world. "Ribbon.Ru" publishes the translation of the author's material Fisk, prepared for The Independent newspaper.
Obama asked the Saudis to send weapons in Benghazi.
Americans, struggling seeking to avoid direct military intervention in Libya in the case of the continuity of opposition to the Gaddafi regime and its opponents appealed to Saudi Arabia send weapons to the rebels in Benghazi. However, the authorities of the Kingdom, waiting on the next Friday a "Day of rage" from its own Shiite minority, has imposed a ban on holding any public events and has not responded to a top-secret inquiry. And this despite the fact that king Abdullah of experiencing persistent personal hostility to the Libyan leader, planned to assassinate him just over a year ago.
Treatment of Washington fits in the history of American military relations with the Saudis. The Royal family played an active role in the scandal of Iran-contra during the administration of President Ronald Reagan. She immediately responded to the request of the United States to provide weapons to the Mujahideen fighting against the Soviet army in Afghanistan in 1980-m to year, and later - to the chagrin of the Americans financed and armed the Taliban.
Now, however, Saudi Arabia is the only Arab ally of the United States, which is located conveniently and strategically, and the ability to equip weapons to the Libyan guerrillas. Help Riyadh would allow Washington to reject any suspicion of my own participation in the chain of military supplies to Libya. Even despite the fact that the Saudis paid for the purchase of American weapons.
The Royal family was given to understand that opponents of Gaddafi need anti-tank tools to fight with his armor, and missiles surface-to-air to eliminate the threat from the air.
Shipping all of this in Benghazi will take no more than two days. Aircraft with a weapon can land on air bases in Eastern Libya or Benghazi airport. And if the rebels will be able to continue the attack on the main stronghold of Gaddafi, in the Western part of the country, political pressure on the US and NATO will be weakened - even the Republicans in the U.S. Congress will not as to actively request establishment over Libya zone no-fly.
Meanwhile, American generals explained that the establishment of such a zone would require preliminary strikes on the air defense system of Libya. And this, in turn, would mean that the United States entered the war on the side of opponents of Gaddafi.
For several days the American planes of distant radar detection are stationed at air borders Libya, maintaining constant contact with the Malta centre for monitoring airspace. The Maltese request all possible information about flying over Libya. Among other things, Americans are interested in data about the movement of a private plane of Gaddafi, who before the weekend he flew to Jordan and back.
Officially, the AWACS presence at the Libyan border to NATO as a part of operation "Active endeavour" (Active Endeavour), which began after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It involves intensive monitoring of airspace in the middle East region to combat terrorism.
Information from the aircraft surveillance, under the current mandate, is supplied to all NATO countries. Now, when in the lexicon of the West, Qaddafi again became "superterrorists", air operation of the Alliance in case of military necessity could easily be modified to search for possible targets in Libya.
English "al-Jazeera" last night broadcast the audio recordings of negotiations of pilots of aircraft of the U.S. air force and the Maltese terrestrial services. The Americans were interested in information on flights by Libyan aircraft, especially airliner Gaddafi.
The AWACS tail number LX-N90442 contacted dispatchers in Malta to obtain information about the Libyan Dassault-Falcon 900 5A-DCN on its way from Amman to personal airport Gaddafi "Maitega".
Heard of NATO AWACS 07 asks: "Do you have information about the Board with the transport code 2017, located 85 miles to the East of us?"
The Maltese Manager says: "Seventh, it seems Falcon 900. The altitude of 34 thousand feet, the destination, according to a flight plan - Maitega".
But Saudi Arabia is already facing the threat of a coordinated day of protests that intend to organize representatives of the Shiite minority. Inspired by the rise of religionists in neighboring Bahrain, they were called to start a protest against the family Al-Saud on Friday 11 March.
The authorities brought to the streets of Qatif province the reinforced police and military, and also banned any rallies.
Meanwhile the organizers of the event from among the Shia claim that about 20 thousand people are going to take to the streets. They are going to be put into the top ranks of women to security forces started to shoot at them.
However, if the Saudi government to comply with a request of the Americans and send Libyan rebels weapons, Barack Obama will almost lose the opportunity to condemn Riyadh for possible violence against the Shiites in the northeast Kingdom.
Thus, military U.S. interests in the region unexpectedly appeared in the center of the tangle of contradictions that arise from the awakening of the Arab world, the demands of democratization in North Africa, unrest among the Shia uprising against Gaddafi.
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