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British Officials: Bombing Alone Will Not End Gadhafi Rule

The Guardian reports that British government officials say that bombing alone will not be sufficient to make Col. Moammar Gadhafi step down. The paper reports:

Instead, they are pinning their hopes on the defection of Muammar Gaddafi's closest aides, or the Libyan leader's agreement to flee the country.

"No one is envisaging a military victory," said one senior official who echoed Tuesday's warnings by Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, head of the navy, that the bombing cannot continue much beyond the summer.

Stanhope, whose comments caused fury in Downing Street, was expressing publicly what many senior defence officials say in private, officials made clear.

The Guardiansays that European NATO countries are frustrated that the United States hasn't deployed low-flying A-10 "tank busters" nor its helicopters. The U.K. has used Apaches and the French have also deployed helicopters in the conflict.

The Guardian also has a piece about Tripoli that is worth a read. Close to four months into the conflict, the citizens of the city are just hoping to get back to normal. Xan Rice, the Guardian reporter, manages to take a trip through Tripoli without government minders and reports:

The picture that emerged was of a people weary of the inconveniences of war, and weary of being held hostage to the whims of one man - a people now just waiting for the end.

"He [Gaddafi] is finished, we know it," said a shop owner in his 50s, as he sat behind his cash register. Like all the people critical of the regime, he requested anonymity, for it still has plenty of ears and eyes on the street.

In the backroom of another store, a small, friendly man old enough to remember the days before Gaddafi, confirmed this. "Most people want him out and more people can talk about this now than before because he is under pressure. But you still have to be careful. If you are caught, God knows what will happen to you."

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