Friday, April 01, 2011

Fred Karno's Katastrophik Kapers

With the "paper of record", confidently telling us (no link) that Gadaffi's regime "starts to crumble", we also learn that his "armed forces are not close to breaking point despite hundreds of allied air strikes". This is according to Admiral Mike Mullen, who has told a US Congress committee that Col Gaddafi's troops still had 10 times the rebels' firepower.

Meanwhile, the frontline of fighting has ebbed and flowed on the outskirts of Brega, a town about 800km (500 miles) east of Tripoli that has changed hands repeatedly during days of clashes. Rebels entered the town early yesterday, but were soon chased out as pro-Gaddafi forces fired shells.

By the end of the yesterday, the BBC reported that it was unclear if anyone was in control of the town, with reports saying rebels were preparing to launch yet another assault.

Further west, pro-Gaddafi forces continued to pound the besieged city of Misrata with artillery and tank fire. "If it continues for a couple more days, I'm afraid it will overwhelm the city and it will be a complete massacre," a resident told the BBC.

Nato said it was investigating reports of civilian casualties in Western air strikes on Tripoli. Earlier, the top Vatican official in the Libyan capital, citing witnesses, said 40 civilians had been killed in strikes by Western forces on the city. So much for protecting the civilians ... but I suppose you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.

And now the Septics are pulling out. US Defence Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Admiral Mike Mullen have announced that American combat missions are to end on Saturday. Gates said no one should be surprised by the move, but he called the timing "unfortunate".

The Kermits and the Great War Leader, with his clockwork hairyplanes and no pilots, are going to have to take up the slack. This is getting positively embarrassing. We were better equipped in the 1940s ... see above ... when once again we were the junior partner.