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NATO Targets Gaddafi Compound As Senators Advocate Assassination

Kevin Douglas Grant |
April 25, 2011 | 9:57 a.m. PDT

Executive Editor

A trio of American senators, Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT), believe the U.S should be retaking the lead of the Libya intervention and taking leader Moammar Gaddafi out.

"I think the focus should now be to cut the head of the snake off. That's the quickest way to end this," Graham said. "Let's get this guy gone."

NATO has already been moving in that direction, bombing Gaddafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli on Monday. Gaddafi was unhurt, but three others were killed.

Stephen Walt at Foreign Policy wrote that the assassination strategy, while tempting, is a bad approach:

"First, due to the imperfect nature of intelligence and the inevitable "fog of war," targeted killings inevitably murder innocents along with the supposedly guilty. Second, and following from the first point, killing innocent bystanders may create more adversaries than it eliminate, thereby undermining the strategic purpose of the program itself.

Third, and perhaps most important of all, going after foreign leaders-no matter how despicable-helps legitimate a tactic that will eventually be visited back upon us." 

Meanwhile, things are getting worse in Misrata:

About 130 miles east of the capital, the rebel-held port city of Misurata came under heavy shelling Monday for the third day in a row from Gaddafi loyalist forces camped out on the southern and southwestern outskirts, said Mohamed Ali, a rebel spokesman. By 5 p.m. local time, he said, at least 12 people had been killed and more than 22 injured in the latest barrages, which began overnight.

Gaddafi’s forces have intensified their shelling and rocketing of Misurata in the three days since the government said it was lifting the siege. As a result, the death toll has been climbing at one of its highest rates since the battle for Misurata began two months ago.



 

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