Gaddafi warns Obama: 'You will regret it...'

There is a method to Gaddafi's madness here. He is leaving himself no room to back down, daring the UN coalition to remove him bodily from office.

This will almost certainly take ground troops which the UN has specifically forbidden. A few airstrikes over a "few days" as Obama has indicated the military action will be initiated will not remove Gaddafi from office. And the rebels do not have the strength themselves to accomplish that goal.

So the Mad Colonel has thrown down the gauntlet and is baiting the West into either looking like idiots when they can't dislodge Gaddafi through air strikes or making the politically unpalatable decision to employ ground forces in order to lever him out of office.

The New York Times:

Colonel Qaddafi's comments, in open letters to President Obama and other leaders that were the Libyan leader's first public response to the threat from the West, were the latest indication that military confrontation in the skies over Libya may be imminent. And their tone suggested that Colonel Qaddafi was leaving himself little room to back down in order to avoid a clash with the West.One letter was addressed to Mr. Obama and a second to President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations.

"Libya is not yours. Libya is for all Libyans," Colonel Qaddafi wrote, according to the government spokesman. "This is injustice, it is clear aggression, and it is uncalculated risk for its consequences on the Mediterranean and Europe."

"You will regret it if you take a step toward intervening in our internal affairs," he added.

His threat against ships in the Med is empty boasting. If his navy put to sea, it would be blown out of the water, and he has no sophisticated anti-ship missiles as far as we know. Suicide actions are not out of the question but that also seems unlikely given Gaddafi's secular-socialist regime.

He is calling the West's bluff. And unless the UN coalition is prepared to put boots on the ground, he may yet survive.

There is a method to Gaddafi's madness here. He is leaving himself no room to back down, daring the UN coalition to remove him bodily from office.

This will almost certainly take ground troops which the UN has specifically forbidden. A few airstrikes over a "few days" as Obama has indicated the military action will be initiated will not remove Gaddafi from office. And the rebels do not have the strength themselves to accomplish that goal.

So the Mad Colonel has thrown down the gauntlet and is baiting the West into either looking like idiots when they can't dislodge Gaddafi through air strikes or making the politically unpalatable decision to employ ground forces in order to lever him out of office.

The New York Times:

Colonel Qaddafi's comments, in open letters to President Obama and other leaders that were the Libyan leader's first public response to the threat from the West, were the latest indication that military confrontation in the skies over Libya may be imminent. And their tone suggested that Colonel Qaddafi was leaving himself little room to back down in order to avoid a clash with the West.

One letter was addressed to Mr. Obama and a second to President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations.

"Libya is not yours. Libya is for all Libyans," Colonel Qaddafi wrote, according to the government spokesman. "This is injustice, it is clear aggression, and it is uncalculated risk for its consequences on the Mediterranean and Europe."

"You will regret it if you take a step toward intervening in our internal affairs," he added.

His threat against ships in the Med is empty boasting. If his navy put to sea, it would be blown out of the water, and he has no sophisticated anti-ship missiles as far as we know. Suicide actions are not out of the question but that also seems unlikely given Gaddafi's secular-socialist regime.

He is calling the West's bluff. And unless the UN coalition is prepared to put boots on the ground, he may yet survive.

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