Obama, Cameron and the Libya blame game



Your comment about the British and French very keen to take the glory for the air-strikes while dependent on early American strikes, as well as Obama's unfriendly comment that Sarkozy "wanted to trumpet the flights he was taking in the air campaign, despite the fact that we had wiped out all the air defenses” is factually wrong. French military aircraft entered Libyan airspace on March 19, 2011 at 2:30pm local time. About 20 French aircraft (8 Rafale from the St Dizier airbase, 2 Mirage 2000 from the Nancy airbase, 2 Mirage 2000 from the Dijon airbase, 6 KC-135 refueling tankers, and one AWACS) intervened over Libya that day, and in effect stopped Gadaffi's offensive against Benghazi by destroying between 6:45pm and 8pm local time the tanks and armored vehicles from the Gadaffi's column which was about to enter the city (from which, had one more day elapsed, it would have been nearly impossible to drive them out, for fear of collateral damage among the civilian population). The US (and UK) did not start launching cruise missiles against Libyan shoreline air defenses before 9:30pm local time that same day. So France that day stopped the Gadaffi offensive against Benghazi before the US had started to wipe out the Libyan air defenses. The rebels in Benghazi were in no doubt about this. If the Americans mock and disregard one of the last countries in Europe willing to actually spend money on its military, accept deaths in combat, and effectively support the US in military operations abroad, then they shouldn't be surprised if the French population revert to their traditional skeptic view of the US...


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