Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Gadhafi Says Stop Strikes; Rebels Wants More From NATO

Moammar Gadhafi sent a letter to President Obama imploring that airstrikes end in Libya, but there is little chance of that, especially with rebel leaders like Gen. Abdul Fattah Younes complaining that NATO is not doing enough to help the opposition.

"We can confirm that there was a letter, but obviously not the first," White House spokesman Jay Carney said earlier today.

The Associated Press obtained what it described as a "rambling, three-page letter" in which Gadhafi petitioned Obama to stop an "unjust war against a small people of a developing country."

"You are a man who has enough courage to annul a wrong and mistaken action," Gadhafi wrote in the letter received at the State Department and was quickly forwarded to the White House.

The Obama administration is shrugging it off at this point, since Gadhafi has not budged on important demands that he end all hostilities and withdraw his troops.  

"The conditions the President laid out were clear, which is action, not words -- cessation of violence, withdrawal from the cities and the menacing sort of positions that the Gadhafi forces had taken.  And I would just leave it at that, that words are different from actions," Carney said.

It is a completely different story for the opposition. The Libyan rebels have spent the past few days lamenting the absence of NATO air strikes. The rebel leadership publicly lashed out at the alliance yesyreday, saying NATO's inaction would cost civilian lives if Gadhafi goes unchecked.

NATO has blamed the weather and it fear of taking out innocent civilians near targets like Gadhafi's armor and batteries, but an alliance spokeswoman today indicated strikes would slowly increase, The New York Times reports.
The  withdrawal Monday of U.S. attack planes put the pressure on European countries, especially France, to offer more strike capability, The Guardian reported.

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