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What should the international community do about Libya?

13:48 UK time, Thursday, 24 February 2011

The situation on Libya's border with Tunisia has reached crisis point as tens of thousands of foreigners flee unrest in the country, the UN says. How can the crisis in the region be solved?

About 2,000 people are crossing into Tunisia every hour but once there many of them have nowhere to go. Most are Egyptian but there are also significant numbers of Chinese and Bangladeshis.

There are also reports that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is attempting to regain control of rebel areas in western Libya.

World foreign ministers earlier condemned attacks on Libyan civilians and the European Union imposed sanctions including an arms embargo, asset freeze and travel ban on Col Gaddafi and his close entourage.

Will sanctions make a difference? What should be the next steps for dealing with Libya? How can Libya be helped? Should Col Gaddafi be encouraged to step down? What are the implications for the region?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 10

  • Comment number 1.

    Apparently Gaddafi is now saying Bin Laden is to blame for the uprising..
    "Bin Laden ... this is the enemy who is manipulating people. Do not be swayed by Bin Laden," he said.

    "It is obvious now that this issue is run by al-Qaeda. Those armed youngsters, our children, are incited by people who are wanted by America and the Western world."

    Is the guy really so insane (no need to answer) he honestly think that if he throws al qaeda & Bin Laden in there somewhere we'll jump in the fighter planes & warships (oops!) & help him bomb his own people. The guys a mentalist. Unfortunately the US & UK are so unpopular in the ME at the moment I'm not sure there's much we CAN do till the UN grows some balls & starts sanctions.

  • Comment number 2.

    They should say one thing and do another, just like our government does, they condemn Libya outloud and trade with them under the table and sell weapons to him, both armaments and chemical, and guess what they are probs the US Halliburton or the UK BAE Systems! But i bet once Gaddafi has gone the US will be in their torturing and murdering their way in to a new long term oil contract! just hope this time it doesnt take 2m lives!

  • Comment number 3.

    Full range of options huh?

    Ok that's leave the US manual open at chapter entitled "How to use force and get away with it."

    .... Doesn't it?.

  • Comment number 4.

    AH, referred. Read deleted :( I think I know the word that did it so I'll try again with some different phrasing. (apologies if the first one gets through too)
    Apparently Gaddafi is now saying that Al qaeda & Bin laden are to blame for the uprising in Libya. Is he really so far gone that he thinks if he mentions "The big bad" we'll jump in our non existant aircraft carriers (oops) & fighter jets & come help him bomb his own people? (no need to answer that).
    The guy is obviously unhinged, unfortunately the UK is fairly unpopular in the middle east atm so I'm not sure there's much we CAN do without exacerbating the situation. Lets hope the UN mans up soon.
    It would also be helpful if we could substantiate Abdel Al Jalil's claims that he has proof Gaddafi ordered the Lockerbie bombing.

  • Comment number 5.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 6.

    Gaddaffi is about to unleash a massacre. The international community have many options but only one which will stop him.

    However I suspect they will respond as usual with some all expenses paid beanos for the elite to exotic locations before deciding on some ineffectual sanctions.

  • Comment number 7.

    Some reconnaissance aircraft to monitor what is going on would be useful right now. Oh wait, we had them, but some bright spark sent them to Manchester to be scrapped.

  • Comment number 8.

    Let the people decide, aid in the form of medical supplies and food where needed and finally infrastructure.

    The Europeans that have gas and oil supplied should still be supplied and the profits due paid into a rebuilding fund. Let them modernise, do not make the mistakes we made in Africa.

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 10.

    It should do nothing because whatever was done, within a short period of time it would become a 'Crime against Islam' & the jibes against the US, EU & Israel would start. The Libyans will have to be very brave to get rid of this dreadful man but it looks as if they're doing well. The army is already seeing the future & I expect thenm to turn on Gaddafi. We can do nothing because we're hated & mistrusted, perhaps rightly.

  • Comment number 11.

    Probably too late at this point to do anything, a week of indecisiveness on the part of the rest of the world has allowed Col Gaddafi to consolidated forces still loyal to him and bring in more mercenaries from outside Libya. Unlike Egypt, Libya doesn't have a strong, independent army that can take control of the situation. Unfortunately, I see weeks of bloody fighting as Gaddafi retakes the country by force, with many, many people killed in the process.

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    Keep out of it. It's nothing to do with us.

    Haven't we learned anything from Iraq and Afghanistan? Why do we keep sticking our noses into others' business?

  • Comment number 14.

    Wow what a situation for our today's politicans, now they will really have to think, they can't really afford another Iraq type adventure, they are dependent at least to some extent on Libyan oil, after all that's why they sent the "dying bomber" home, they won't want to offend whoever holds the reins of power in Libya 6 months down the line, what ever they do they will be criticised for neglecting to look after the welfare of the ordinary Libyan people, who one way or another are going to suffer whether at the hands of Gaddafi or under the weaponry of a "liberating army".

    Seems like they might end up being in the same sort of soup as the last bunch in Whitehall and Westminster. Maybe it's time to forget the oil, come home and seriously get to grips with developing all those renewable power options that are all around us.

  • Comment number 15.


    Clearly, Gaddafi is living in a dream-world. I admire the anti-Gaddafi-protestor's for their courage and tenacity. I wonder where the revolution will next hit? What's the bet it's going to be Zimbabwe? Duck your nut, Mugabe, your card's been marked and they're coming for you next.

  • Comment number 16.

    Col Gaddaffi and his henchmen, a friend to the west for many years, will not go without a big fight? his oil money will make it very hard for the forces' opposed to him to win, The arms dealers' from The western world will be lining up with special offers' to get they fingers on his vast amount of money, Many gun for hire companys will be contacting him to offer they services'!!! The terrorist Bogey man Bin Larden was reported some months ago as dead {kidney probelms} so he has nothing to do with Libya?? But his own innocent people will be killed by his troops for hire, {those who want him gone,} unless the muslim brotherhood ,send help soon????

  • Comment number 17.

    I have already had a comment on Libya removed from a previous HYS, and I am not about to praise Gaddafi's regime or our Government's response to the crisis just to get this one through. In 2008 our trade with Libya represented a deficit of £800 million, but we were basking in the imagined sunshine of (the Lockerbie bomber's return) an apparent boost in exports.

    Perhaps one day we will learn that rats do not go on holiday because someone gave them some very tasty scraps to eat one day.

  • Comment number 18.

    What should the international communitiy do? ...absolutely nothing except prohibit arms shipments to the region. Libyans need to earn freedom rather than have it give to them.

    How many success stories exist where freedom was "given" to a peoples by another? In order to be appreciated and to establish a national identity, freedom must be fought for and earned. I'm encouraged by language from the region that speaks of an inclusive representative government. Best of luck Libya!

  • Comment number 19.

    I guess a logical set of questions would be:

    1. In the absence of anyone doing anything, how many people are going to get killed?
    2. What is 'acceptable collateral damage' in this situation?
    3. If the answer to Question 1 is 'more than the answer to Question 2', what needs to be done about it?
    4. If military action, can the Arab world stand up on its own two feet for the first time and deal with it themselves?
    5. If so, what military alliance could be put together and who would lead it?
    6. If that were possible, do they need help from the West and if so, what kind?
    7. If the answer to 4 is No, who else could take action?
    8. If us, what is the most appropriate?
    9. If this involves killing people, how do we sell this ethically to our peoples?
    10. What will we do in future to stop us getting into this situation for the umpteenth and first time?
    11. What will be the levels of unemployment induced by curbing the arms trade globally?
    12. Will war result as a result of trying to do that?

    Dunno if that's a complete range, but it'd go a fair way.

    Questions 10 - 12 seem to be the ones which will induce a step-change in world affairs though.

  • Comment number 20.

    The great thing about all this, amidst all the turmoil, is that apparently none of the "experts" in Arab affairs at the BBC or anywhere else saw Tunisia, Egypt, etc., or this coming :)



  • Comment number 21.

    Let this be a warning from the USA: Prepare yourselves for a severe slap on the wrist, you naughty scamps! We are the masters of rhetoric, we inspire others to try and out "rhetoric" us. Our politicians, especially the one on top, is the master of the "rhetorical question". I see the BBC must have been studying him, as the lead in to this thread was a classic "rhetorical" example : )

  • Comment number 22.

    1. At 3:10pm on 24 Feb 2011, RubbishGirl wrote:
    "...Apparently Gaddafi is now saying Bin Laden is to blame for the uprising..
    "Bin Laden ... this is the enemy who is manipulating people. Do not be swayed by Bin Laden," he said..."

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    And well he might. The amount of help his opponents get from outside will depend on very careful analysis as to the chances of islamists taking power should he (an anti-islamist I gather) fall.


  • Comment number 23.

    MeerKat #10. Recommended reply.

  • Comment number 24.

    3 Questions and 3 answers.

    Why Obama and the West was so direct while taking to Mubarak?
    Mubarak- step down – I mean now!
    Why Obama is not using similar words against Kadafi, that for decades promoted terror, Europeans Islamisation and anti American policy?

    1: Oil in Libya not in Egypt.

    2;*** The west is ready to give away moral values for economical benefit
    On the reception of the Lockerbie bomber in Libya, Kaddafi son words to the bomber read by a mouth movement expert were that his freedom was on the economical negotiations with UK.
    Next the bomber was received by father Kaddafi.
    Those actions convey to the Arabs the message that the terrorists are heroes.

    3:Following an interesting post I have to share with you!
    Gadhafi has been tied to Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s spiritual adviser for more than 23 years.
    The Libyan dictator also has financed and strongly supported the Nation of Islam and its leader, Louis Farrakhan. Obama has ties to Farrakhan and his controversial group…
    Jeremiah Wright, former pastor of Obama’s longtime Chicago church, went with Farrakhan to visit Gadhafi in 1984.
    ***Obama policy, starting day one is a total loss!

  • Comment number 25.

    Let's not encourage the West here, after all there is a great deal of Oil to be had and we all know how that turns out.
    At the moment we should just make it clear that an attack on our citizens and assets would incur a response.

  • Comment number 26.

    He is clearly insane.

    Why cant we send in some SAS and neutralise him? and his sons...

    Quite apart from his obvious crimes against humanity, he is threatening the stability of Libya, and whole the region, and he is single handedly causing economic havoc with oil prices jumping, which will badly affect poor countries.

    I cant understand why we can invade Iraq, he can blow up Pan Am flight 103, but we cant send in the SAS?

    Other Countries neutralise people less bad than Gadaffi, and it doesnt seem to be a problem for them!

  • Comment number 27.

    His telephone talk was the "Song of the Swan". A full-blooded despot is he that is playing now a double game with his bifed tongue accusing both America and Al-Qaida alike. Sorry, Col. Gaddafi, you cannot push your camel into the eyes of the American needle, if to take a leaf out of the Holy Koran to know your intention in your talking on phone. With Lockerbie, you were the downright terrorist and now you preach what you should not - ever.

    But then it is not to be forgotten that he did in his might to disburse the oil revenue by directly giving profit share to the Libyan people. Sure, it was a noble idea for any OPEC country to do so while the gulf caliphates elsewhere stash their loot in the oil sale in unknown banks under the Alps and along the thickets of the Rhyn River in Aunty Europe! But, every despot known in the history -be he a democratically elected one or become one by decite- have a foolish thought in their mind that they are eternal with their power. They either forget the fate of King Faisal or King Birendra to be wiped out in cold blood murder or they forget the end in their fate that might drag them to a press conference like the one in Baghdad famously known for a pair of size tens jet-set
    on the face of them in the name of a "farewel kiss".

    The bogey Col. Gaddafi brings out in the Al-Qaida is as big a fraud as the one in the WMD that Bush invented inside Iraq. Libyans are frustrated. Unemployment and the cost of living added to the nonchalance of a dictator sitting for 40 years as their president is good enough reasons to see him as a duck to try and fry in the pan of power politics. That too in the so called "Arab World" where changes hardly take place in state governance with general public entering into it.

    All that apart, I clearly doubt a third hand is at work now in the "Arab World" to drive people to yearn for changes in the governing systems of countries around.

    All of us remeber one thing for certain. That Mr. Barak H. Obama (BHO) has come with the coin word "Change" to become the Hob'ble president of the USA. Like many, I too thought that the "Change" was for his great nation that he was seeking then. Now with the "Change" taking place across the "World of Oil", I am cent per cent certain that Dubya could have achieved more in the "BHO way" than in his own way that spilled more blood unncessarily. Good stead Mr. Obama. Your subtle way of bringing in changes across the world deserves kudos, sir!

    Back to the point; it is just matter of days that the Libyan tent will be folded up and the country will be back on track with peoples' power running it. The itch for Libyan oil should not tempt the West & Co., to do any such nonsense akin to Iraq. If BHO effects the "Change" he envisioned to the world in every discipline, then he and his administration should enumerate it in every kingdom and emirate and caliphate in the ME and the "Arab World".

    40 years are too long to rule a nation, Mr. Gaddafi.
    That is ok with Zimbabwe in the worst form and Singapore in the best form. Not with a member in the OPEC family - the Sauds included.

    Say quits, Col. Gaddaffi

  • Comment number 28.


    What we should do now, is a bit late, knowing there are still several other muslimic states that still have very little democratic style politics. Instead leave space for them to ask for particular assistance via the united nations, and allow other democracies have more involvement.

    One of the biggest problems we have is interfering with many other states for a financial issue on behalf of only one or two british firms, under the umbrella of british interests. When it's all over do we ever count the cost and benefit of this style approach.

  • Comment number 29.

    14. At 4:35pm on 24 Feb 2011, SimpleOldSailor wrote:
    Wow what a situation for our today's politicans, now they will really have to think, they can't really afford another Iraq type adventure, they are dependent at least to some extent on Libyan oil, after all that's why they sent the "dying bomber" home, they won't want to offend whoever holds the reins of power in Libya 6 months down the line, what ever they do they will be criticised for neglecting to look after the welfare of the ordinary Libyan people, who one way or another are going to suffer whether at the hands of Gaddafi or under the weaponry of a "liberating army".

    Seems like they might end up being in the same sort of soup as the last bunch in Whitehall and Westminster. Maybe it's time to forget the oil, come home and seriously get to grips with developing all those renewable power options that are all around us.

    -----------------------------------

    I agree.

    Seems the Wests' oil dependency is going to cause a few problems in the near future. If this unrest spreads to Saudi Arabia then we'll probably see the US becomming more involved to protect their interests. Remember, oil is traded on the dollar and this unrest could have serious implications on the dollars' strength.

    In the UK, maybe we should re-open the coal mines (although not a very green idea). Wouldn't that be ironic?

  • Comment number 30.

    Put George Bush back in the presidency and Tony Blair as Prime Minister again. Have them howling at the UN about WMDs in Libya and how looney Gaddafi wants to 'take over the world' and how he is murdering his own people (And he really is doing that!), assemble a 'coalition' of whomever, get some murky statelite photos of 'biowarfare trucks', claim that Gaddafi intends to attack Israel and has a secret nuclear project for a 'bomb' for that purpose hidden in a tent in the desert, and then send the fleet and the Marines in to wipe out the thugs and mercenaries and then have the Libyan people hang Gaddafi a la Saddam Hussein style in a public event transmitted worldwide and be done with it! What is that to simple? Well it worked before whether you you were for the Iraq war or not! As Tony Blair said in a bit of selfjustification Iraq is better off today than under Saddam. So it is. So would Libya be without psychopath Gaddafi and his criminally insane family. Does anyone doubt that? How it shows that a placating slow to react fumbling Democrat is now in the White House.

  • Comment number 31.

    #10. Meerkat.

    Particularly in the Libyan events, there seems NO hand of Israel.

    Libya declared openly that it gave up its secret nuclear program long ago unlike Iraq with its Osirak. The Tehran protests for what?

    Confusing.

  • Comment number 32.

    The bombastic propagan-duh pundits on U.$. talk-hate radio and tell-lie-vision newes [sic] promulgate the usual 'officiall-dumb' for dealing with Libya: bomb Gaddafi's tent... and keep supporting Israel at all cost. Much of the world is a mess because Amerika's foreign policy is delusional, violent and criminally insane. But not for long! Rome is burning.

  • Comment number 33.

    Gaddaffi is most dangerous when he's off his meds. He nay be nuts but he's not stupid. We need to play this very carefully.

  • Comment number 34.

    ''It is the other's gaze that wins out''.

    How does Libya look on Gadaffi ??
    Can America see themselves as others do ??

    What Next?
    '' The First Problem of the media is what DOES NOT get translated,or even published in the dominant political languages''.

    The next steps are vigorous, painstaking and patient.

    Jacques D.

  • Comment number 35.

    Issue an international arrest warrant for Gaddafi charging him with crimes against humanity and freeze all of his families assets in the UK for starters!

    Though what is the point posting here on the BBC, the BBC will always back the government of the day right or wrong, and the government will always favour its sponsors over the people. That means BP, Shell UK and various arms dealers will probably decide what is in their best interests and despite the fact that we armed Gaddafi and he is using the weapons we sold him to kill his own people it will be business as usual. Why do people bother listening to what our leaders say as we know they will toe the line with what the US says. And as I write this Bradly Manning is being tortured in the US for exposing war crimes! You would think the US would be grateful that one of its soldiers following his conscience did the right thing and exposed criminal wrong doing, but no, better to shoot the messenger and carry on pretending we are the good guys when everyone can see we aren't. Still a fractured destabilized world does help the arms industry doesn't it Call Me Dave?

  • Comment number 36.

    It's not us it is Al-Qaida! It is the terrorists and they are everywhere! Well who can blame him for giving it a go, the US is still using the same old line to justify killing people and the people are still swallowing it.

  • Comment number 37.

    The Libyans will take care of Ghadafi and his cabal. We should offer them moral support. Military assistance should be considered if he continues to mow down unarmed men, women and children. His rambling speech was an indication that he is scared silly. He knows the end is near.

  • Comment number 38.

    13. At 4:26pm on 24 Feb 2011, milvusvestal wrote:

    Keep out of it. It's nothing to do with us.

    Haven't we learned anything from Iraq and Afghanistan? Why do we keep sticking our noses into others' business?
    __________________________________
    It's nothing to do with us? If we sold a madman a gun and he shot your neighbour with it for complaining would it still be nothing to do with us?

  • Comment number 39.

    Nothing at all. None of our business. Just let them get on with it and stop interfering. They will sort themselves out and we have bigger problems like the deficit to contend with.

  • Comment number 40.

    38. At 6:07pm on 24 Feb 2011, moreram wrote:

    13. At 4:26pm on 24 Feb 2011, milvusvestal wrote:

    Keep out of it. It's nothing to do with us.

    Haven't we learned anything from Iraq and Afghanistan? Why do we keep sticking our noses into others' business?
    __________________________________
    It's nothing to do with us? If we sold a madman a gun and he shot your neighbour with it for complaining would it still be nothing to do with us?

    It's not the seller that pulls the trigger so yes do nothing, i agree.

  • Comment number 41.

    The world body should not allow a tin pot dictator to commit genocide. And that goes for Mugabe. Ghadafi has blamed al Quaeda, the United States, Europe and the media for his troubles. He refuses to realize that the people just don't want him after 42 years of misrule. His bizarre speech shows how out of touch with the world he has become. They call him "mad dog" for a reason.

  • Comment number 42.

    Report: Qaddafi Ordered the Lockerbie Bombing
    by Maayana Miskin (Arutz)

    A Libyan minister who has rebelled against dictator Muammar Qaddafi over the latter's brutal assault on protesters has alleged that Qaddafi personally ordered the Lockerbie bombing. Former Justice Minister Mustafa Mohamed Abud Al Jeleil made his claim Wednesday in an interview with the Swedish newspaper Expressen.

    Why have we not heard about this yet on BBC?



    Al Jeleil said he has proof that Qaddafi “gave the order for Lockerbie.” The report did not specify the evidence Jeleil claims to hold.

  • Comment number 43.

    At 4:26pm on 24 Feb 2011, milvusvestal wrote:
    Keep out of it. It's nothing to do with us.

    Haven't we learned anything from Iraq and Afghanistan? Why do we keep sticking our noses into others' business?
    ----------------------------------------------
    The problem there is that if the boot was on the other foot and the ordinary people of your country were being massacred by a brutal millitaristic despot, would you still tell other countries to stay away and not try to help?.


    Om networking sites like twitter and facebook and others, ordinary Libyans are asking why the international community are staying so silent in their hour of need.

    It is too easy for people to pontificate from their ivory towers thousands of miles removed from the barbarity on the ground.


    This is a totally different situation than either Iraq or Afghanistan; unarmed civillians are being mown down by a heavily armed millitary and have no means of defending themselves.

  • Comment number 44.

    5. At 3:37pm on 24 Feb 2011, Trench Broom wrote:
    It's odd, because the UN & EU rush to condemn and pass resolutions when a 'palestinian' receives a superficial toe injury from a rubber bullet.

    Yet they drag their feet for days when hundreds are being mown down in Libya.

    The UN human rights council has been very quiet too. Not surprising, since 80% of the council's time is spent on Israel at the behest of the Islamic bloc.

    Perhaps if the UN and their EU Israel obsessives weaned themselves off of their addiction, they could focus on other countries?

    The same happened with Darfur. Whilst hundreds of thousands were being slaughtered, the UN, EU and the human rights council were worried about 20 Israeli settler caravans in the west bank.

    The problem is that the morally reprehensible left wing and the Islamic bloc that dominate the UN and EU, don't give a hoot about this. They don't give a hoot about Muslim V's Muslim killings.

    ============================
    All I would say to Trench Broom is ‘when in glass houses don’t throw stones’!
    I have just taken a glance at the list of UN resolutions regarding Israel, and wiki lists over 200. A large proportion of them are against Israel, and all of them are somewhat more serious than a ‘toe injury’.
    The UN Security Council which passes these resolutions comprises permanent and temporary members. The permanent members comprise:
    The USA, UK, RUSSIA, FRANCE, and CHINA.

    You say 'The problem is that the morally reprehensible left wing and the Islamic bloc that dominate the UN and EU, don't give a hoot about this. They don't give a hoot about Muslim V's Muslim killings.'

    By the tone of your post, trivialising the Palestinian plight, you dont worry too much about them!




  • Comment number 45.

    the people of Libya want to overthrow the country's leader because of his wheeling and dealing with the international community members,not caring about the population of Libya, the same international community would prefer to harm the people of Libya by using sanctions rather than aggree with them on the overthrow of the countries worst enemy.

  • Comment number 46.

    Send in an assassin and put the mad dog down.

  • Comment number 47.

    5. At 3:37pm on 24 Feb 2011, Trench Broom wrote:

    It's odd, because the UN & EU rush to condemn and pass resolutions when a 'palestinian' receives a superficial toe injury from a rubber bullet.

    Yet they drag their feet for days when hundreds are being mown down in Libya.

    The UN human rights council has been very quiet too. Not surprising, since 80% of the council's time is spent on Israel at the behest of the Islamic bloc.

    Perhaps if the UN and their EU Israel obsessives weaned themselves off of their addiction, they could focus on other countries?

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Doesn't Israel continually ignore UN resolutions.

    Didn't Rumsfeld try to use that fact that Iraq had ignored a few as a pretext for invasion (only then resorting to ordering Blair to cook something up)?

    Is that odd as well?

  • Comment number 48.

    Release a few more mass murderers.

    That seems to make them happy.

    If that doesn't work, we should focus on the military. In all of these protests, the key has been the military's willingness to crack down on citizens.

    We should be celebrating the courage and restraint of the Egyptian military from every roof top. Every soldier in the Middle East should be hearing that the Egyptian soldiers who refused to kill their fellow citizens are heroes.

    Stress the courage aspect. More courage in restraint than brutality. Courage is big over there.

    We should also leave dignified exits open for regime supporters. They should be given a chance to be on the right side of history. If they fear persecution after a regime change, they'll dig in. It may not be high justice, but it's far better than a civil war. Civil wars suck.

    We should also trumpet that message. That's very important. Civil wars only become romantic struggles for freedom when the people who fought them are dead. In reality, they are a living hell. We should talk about the horrors of civil wars. Remind them of the years of torn loyalties, shattered families, cousins shooting each other, the rapes...

  • Comment number 49.

    Gaddafi is a terrorist. He came to power by force. The international community should not have recognised him and his team as the official government of Libya but we did so because they have oil. If any other country has a military coup we refuse to deal with them and we don't officially recognise them but when oil or money is involved our politicians are the first to give in and welcome the terrorist leaders onto the gravy train.

    Western governments are responsible for keeping Gaddafi in power all of this time - we have ruined the lives of innocent Libyans by accepting Gaddafi and his corrupt and murderous ways. We should now be helping Libyans to take back their country - we have made more than enough money from Libya over the years so we can afford to use our military to help them.

  • Comment number 50.

    Voices of "conscious" were absent when Italy invaded and occupied Libya, now every one is concerned about the fate of Libya under a despot who ruled it for 42 years and his predecessor King was no better. Surge of support for the Libyans is good to see, but the hysteria of concern is fine, let the Libyans decide their fate. History of foreign intervention has thus far been a sad experience. Let people have the liberty to carve their future instead of being coxed by "interest groups."

  • Comment number 51.

    When Egypt have a civil war everyone is behind them, well they only sell us potatoes.

    Now it is Libya, all hell is let loose as precious oil is at risk. I hope the oil companies are funding the Navy for their input, it is their workers that need exit. This is the risk of working in a country like Libya, if you want to take the big money then take the risk, don't expect the taxpayer to bail you out when that risk unfolds. How many people would willingly go and work in a country run by a military dictator. I'm not saying don't to their aid, just BP and shell cough up the £millions in cost as the taxpayer is bankrupt.

  • Comment number 52.

    At 3:37pm on 24 Feb 2011, Trench Broom wrote:

    It's odd, because the UN & EU rush to condemn and pass resolutions when a 'palestinian' receives a superficial toe injury from a rubber bullet.

    Yet they drag their feet for days when hundreds are being mown down in Libya.

    The UN human rights council has been very quiet too. Not surprising, since 80% of the council's time is spent on Israel at the behest of the Islamic bloc.

    Perhaps if the UN and their EU Israel obsessives weaned themselves off of their addiction, they could focus on other countries?
    -------------------------------------
    The above comment shows the complete disregard for Palestinian lives. The unfolding events in the Middle East do not absolve Israel from the odious treatment of Palestinians. Israeli soldiers mistreat Palestinians with impunity. Israel has ignored the UN's resolutions for over 40 years.

  • Comment number 53.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 54.

    Send in a hit squad,both Uk and USA have pleanty of them and rid the world of this perasite cockroach or whatever you want to call him, and prevent loss of life in Lybia and give the world peace

  • Comment number 55.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 56.

    At 7:00pm on 24 Feb 2011, Zaheer Uddin wrote:
    Voices of "conscious" were absent when Italy invaded and occupied Libya, now every one is concerned about the fate of Libya under a despot who ruled it for 42 years and his predecessor King was no better. Surge of support for the Libyans is good to see, but the hysteria of concern is fine, let the Libyans decide their fate. History of foreign intervention has thus far been a sad experience. Let people have the liberty to carve their future instead of being coxed by "interest groups."

    ---------------------------------------------------
    Letting the Libyan people decide their future for themselves is all very well in theory, but how do you propose they do that, when as unarmed civillians they are up against one of the most formidable and brutal millitary regimes in the Arab world?

    Don't forget it is also ordinary Libyan Muslims who are crying out through the Internet for international assistance.

  • Comment number 57.


    41. At 6:16pm on 24 Feb 2011, nyakairu wrote:
    The world body should not allow a tin pot dictator to commit genocide. And that goes for Mugabe. Ghadafi has blamed al Quaeda, the United States, Europe and the media for his troubles. He refuses to realize that the people just don't want him after 42 years of misrule. His bizarre speech shows how out of touch with the world he has become. They call him "mad dog" for a reason.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPnJM3zWfUo&NR=1

    Find some shade Mr Gaddafi, before it's too late. LOL

  • Comment number 58.

    Nothing.

  • Comment number 59.

    What will the UK send second world war aeroplanes.they would probably take the guns of as it will cost to much.

  • Comment number 60.

    What should the international community do about Libya?

    How many decades have you had this question going BBC? Isn't it time this one was closed down!

    The International Community will do as it always does, it will act in it's own individual interests. Really!

  • Comment number 61.

    China had most nationals in Libya.

    China has most money.

    Step up to the plate China, this could be your first decision as new world leader.

  • Comment number 62.

    Unpunished breakage of International

    laws are Non-existant international laws,

    Regardless of what you want at the Mall.

  • Comment number 63.

    What should the international community do about Libya?

    Well, - whatever they do it needs to be done through the UN and shouldn't involve military action.

  • Comment number 64.

    43. At 6:27pm on 24 Feb 2011, Greenback wrote:

    At 4:26pm on 24 Feb 2011, milvusvestal wrote:
    Keep out of it. It's nothing to do with us.

    Haven't we learned anything from Iraq and Afghanistan? Why do we keep sticking our noses into others' business?
    ----------------------------------------------
    The problem there is that if the boot was on the other foot and the ordinary people of your country were being massacred by a brutal millitaristic despot, would you still tell other countries to stay away and not try to help?.
    Om networking sites like twitter and facebook and others, ordinary Libyans are asking why the international community are staying so silent in their hour of need.
    It is too easy for people to pontificate from their ivory towers thousands of miles removed from the barbarity on the ground.
    This is a totally different situation than either Iraq or Afghanistan; unarmed civillians are being mown down by a heavily armed millitary and have no means of defending themselves.

    *******************************************************************

    The trouble is if we did go in and help then we are obligated to provide money for rebuilding and we are in debt ourselves. The only reason we have for going in is revenge for Lockerbie and Yvonne Fletcher who were murdered by Libya. I don't think it will be long before those responsible are bought to book and then we can apply for extradition to face trial and hence save British lives.
    Your problem deal with it!

  • Comment number 65.

    52. At 7:03pm on 24 Feb 2011, nyakairu wrote:

    At 3:37pm on 24 Feb 2011, Trench Broom wrote:

    It's odd, because the UN & EU rush to condemn and pass resolutions when a 'palestinian' receives a superficial toe injury from a rubber bullet.

    Yet they drag their feet for days when hundreds are being mown down in Libya.

    The UN human rights council has been very quiet too. Not surprising, since 80% of the council's time is spent on Israel at the behest of the Islamic bloc.

    Perhaps if the UN and their EU Israel obsessives weaned themselves off of their addiction, they could focus on other countries?
    -------------------------------------
    The above comment shows the complete disregard for Palestinian lives. The unfolding events in the Middle East do not absolve Israel from the odious treatment of Palestinians. Israeli soldiers mistreat Palestinians with impunity. Israel has ignored the UN's resolutions for over 40 years.

    **********************************************************************

    Utter rubbish, everyone knows that Israel is and has always just been defending itself against islamic oppression. I'm just glad too be in a country that supports them.

  • Comment number 66.

    In the current troubles throughout North Africa and the Middle East, having the media there providing instant world wide communications, whenever possible, is having the most effect on preventing further violence. Mubarak would still be president in Egypt if it wasn't for John Simpson, the BBC, CNN and all the other journalists who kept the world informed of what was going on. Right now the media may be more effective in bringing the crisis in Libya to a swift peaceful end, rather than any military intervention. I would not want to be in their shoes right now and I know it's a lot more dangerous in Libya than it was in Egypt. I might not always agree with how they portray the news, often in a very biased and exaggerated way but they do appear to be playing a very vital role in reducing the bloodshed (even though it may be the bloodshed that draws them there in the first place).

  • Comment number 67.

    The people,thats the ordinary people of Libya,deserve better than a madman who would inport nutters from East Africa to slaughter the very citizens who have kept him in the life of luxury for over 40 years and allowed him to spawn sons just like him.These dictators and their families who infest the arab countries are a disease that needs to be eradicated forever.Dont worry about catching these monsters and putting them on trial,track them down and put them out of everybodies misery instantly.

  • Comment number 68.

    We should investigate the former Libyan official claim that Ghadafi ordered the downing of Pan Am airline at Lockerbie. If the claim is true, Britain would be justified to go to Libya using all means necessary to bring Ghadafi to justice.

  • Comment number 69.

    67. At 8:02pm on 24 Feb 2011, stevethemouth wrote:

    The people,thats the ordinary people of Libya,deserve better than a madman who would inport nutters from East Africa to slaughter the very citizens who have kept him in the life of luxury for over 40 years and allowed him to spawn sons just like him.These dictators and their families who infest the arab countries are a disease that needs to be eradicated forever.Dont worry about catching these monsters and putting them on trial,track them down and put them out of everybodies misery instantly.
    =================================================
    What proof do you have that the mercenaries are from East Africa?

  • Comment number 70.

    The international community is paralysed because in internal matters the UN is almost powerless. The Russians, Chinese and the London Borough of Barnet don't want the UN to interfere, so it will never happen.

    Add to that the UN is made up of countries similar to Libya. A two person state with a tin pot dictator has the same number of votes as India or China. You can see that the word "democracy" is somewhat inadequate to explain UN voting. In essence, their pronouncements are hypocrisy, and their Resolutions being thought to make up "International Law" is ridiculous.

  • Comment number 71.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 72.

    I wonder if Gordon Brown's BP-al-Megrahi swap is in jeopardy now?

  • Comment number 73.

    The International community should sit back and let the Libyans resolve their problems. In the meantime there are problems at home everywhere that need resolving. In the end people always get what they want, or at least they get what they deserve.

  • Comment number 74.

    73. At 8:27pm on 24 Feb 2011, Dr John Galt wrote:
    This comment is awaiting moderation. Explain.

    ------------------------------

    Cannot you leave it there?

  • Comment number 75.

    We could always send over the Tories and the FIBerals to destroy Libya from within. They can take over the Libyan government, make everyone unemployed, make interest rates rise, make inflation rise, reduce pay, pensions and government benefits and sell off all of Libya's assets to foreign companies just like they have done here. Then Libya can collapse inwards just like the UK is doing right now.

  • Comment number 76.

    73. At 8:27pm on 24 Feb 2011, Dr John Galt wrote:
    This comment is awaiting moderation. Explain.
    ---------------
    Cannot yopu leave it there?
    Ok everyone had the freedom of speech but we ALL know whats comming next.
    Go away galty!


  • Comment number 77.

    The people of Libya are ready to find democracy, good luck to them!

  • Comment number 78.

    The International community are powerless to interfere, especially as members states will all disagree with each other on what action to take. Libya will have to fend for itself. Hopefully democracy will be the outcome, any Islamic right wing takeover would be a disaster for the world, and the death of any nation who doesn't bow down to their religion. We can only pray for a democratic peoples republic run by a reasonable, educated and progressive new government. The same goes for all the other Arab nations. (time to join the twenty first century), or else continue to live under oppressive dictators, or mad religious freeks.

  • Comment number 79.

    What should the international community do about Libya?

    Let the UN handle it and with us and other countries condemning Gadaffi, let's hope he can be toppled by his own people as in Egypt. We all know that if UK or USA starts to flex their muscles all we will get is lily bellied liberalist accusing us of having some hidden agenda.

  • Comment number 80.

    There is only on answer ..let them get on with it ..it is not the problem of the UK and it is certainly not the problem of the US who should for once take the advice to Butt out the US is thousands of miles away from North Africa so please let the area sort out its own problems..Libya is a different culture from both the UK and The US so let them sort it out for themselves

  • Comment number 81.

    I have heard that President Robert Mugabe has sent militia/soldiers to go and help COL Gaddafi!

  • Comment number 82.

    How CAN the 'International Community' do anything about Libya?

    It's the so called International Community, that either props up or opposes dictatorial regimes according to what profitable resurces their territory contains which is the underlying reason why these situations occur in the first place!

    As for the question over how British nationals should get back then the answer is simple. Whether they were just politically blinkered or just in total denial in order to generally pursue lucrative assignments, if they got out there under their own steam then they should get back under their own steam!

  • Comment number 83.

    • 53. At 7:09pm on 24 Feb 2011, Trench Broom wrote:
    Another thing I'll add is that the Arab and Islamic world is full of "death to America" and "death to the west".

    We hear Muslims constantly bleating on about the west interfering in "Muslim lands".

    Yet now we see them asking for western help.

    There are dozens of Muslim countries in the world. Perhaps some of them can help do some good for a change, rather than always spreading hatred. Let them sort out Libya.

    I'm sick of the hypocrisy from the Muslims.
    =================
    If people made comments about Jews in a collective sense as you do with Muslims, that would be anti-Semitic and racist.

    This is at least the 3rd comment you have made generalising about Muslims in a negative ridiculous and inaccurate way.

    Not all muslims are the same, not all Christians are the same, not all Jews are the same, not all Hindu’s are the same etc etc.

    What is your point, other than a racist slur?

  • Comment number 84.

    80. At 8:47pm on 24 Feb 2011, joleon1 wrote:

    There is only on answer ..let them get on with it ..it is not the problem of the UK and it is certainly not the problem of the US who should for once take the advice to Butt out the US is thousands of miles away from North Africa so please let the area sort out its own problems..Libya is a different culture from both the UK and The US so let them sort it out for themselves
    ************************************************************************

    Quite right the cultures don't mix as we know only too well. east is east and west is west

  • Comment number 85.

    83. At 9:06pm on 24 Feb 2011, Andy_Pandy1968 wrote:

    • 53. At 7:09pm on 24 Feb 2011, Trench Broom wrote:
    Another thing I'll add is that the Arab and Islamic world is full of "death to America" and "death to the west".

    We hear Muslims constantly bleating on about the west interfering in "Muslim lands".

    Yet now we see them asking for western help.

    There are dozens of Muslim countries in the world. Perhaps some of them can help do some good for a change, rather than always spreading hatred. Let them sort out Libya.

    I'm sick of the hypocrisy from the Muslims.
    =================
    If people made comments about Jews in a collective sense as you do with Muslims, that would be anti-Semitic and racist.

    This is at least the 3rd comment you have made generalising about Muslims in a negative ridiculous and inaccurate way.

    Not all muslims are the same, not all Christians are the same, not all Jews are the same, not all Hindu’s are the same etc etc.

    What is your point, other than a racist slur?

    *********************************************************************
    Funny how the race card is played when the truth hurts a bit

  • Comment number 86.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 87.

    What a ridiculous question BBC. As if I, or anyone else, could possibly know. Stupid really!

  • Comment number 88.

    Yet again the UN does nothing other than mutter a few words of frustration while all the time civilians are getting killed in Libya. It was the same in Iraq when their tyrant used chemical weapons on his own people and then put two fingers up to the UN inspectors. It is a good job that some countries are prepared to put up.

  • Comment number 89.

    rE #2 "But i bet once Gaddafi has gone the US will be in their torturing and murdering their way in to a new long term oil contract! just hope this time it doesnt take 2m lives!"



    If memory serves it was British Petroleum which got long term oil leases in Libya after a Qaddafi's terrorist, Megrahi, has been freed from UK jail "on humanitarian grounds" (allegedly having only 3 months to live).

    BTW. PanAm103 bomber is miraculously still alive and well.

  • Comment number 90.

    I see the US bashers have come online, asking the US not to intervene. I wish the US listened to such advice historically. I do. The US should have listened when the American Expeditionary Force was sent to France to fight a war that had "nothing to do with us." Big mistake.

    Yes, Rome is burning, and the barbarians are cheering. Welcome to the dark ages. Enjoy democratic and non-self-interested China when we are gone.

    Oh, and here is a homework assignment. List every historic superpower you can think of on a piece of paper. Then rank each one, during their height of power, in terms of imperialistic nature, philanthropy, democracy, contributions to science, tolerance, religious freedom.

    Then go and tell people that live in Taiwan, Georgia, the former West Germany, and Libya that they are not allowed to ask for help because the EU thinks the US can only intervene when the UK or France are under attack. Then the US must pay to rebuild countries that attacked them. If the is not the case, the US is simply meddling and being self-interested (we are the only country that is like that by the way). Its true, the UK could care less if oil was $400 a barrel or if Russia invades Georgia, or if there are uprisings in former BRITISH colonies. They have it all sorted out in utopia.

    Back to the list...I wonder where Greece, Rome, Persia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Russia will fall in your rankings. You can imagine living under any one of these great, historic empires if it makes you feel better. What you are going to get is China. So, with that said, sit in your cozy coffee-haus and blog about how much you hate the modern world under western influence before it is censured. Support Gaddafi for all I care. You are clearly disconnected from reality.

    For my part, I think revolutions must be home-grown, but assistance should never be denied (Thanks France). I hope the US supports this endeavor.

    For the rest of you, quite complaining about the US when there are real "criminals" out there. You will have something to complain about before too long. The problem is that your lame generation has never had to live through a real crisis yet, leaving your sense of "criminal acts" without any relative perspective. That will change. You will beg to return to 2011 when it does. I promise. Your rants will have merit one day.

  • Comment number 91.

    What should the international community do about Libya?

    Apologise for putting Gaddafi in power perhaps?

  • Comment number 92.

    International Community? The UN? This same "international community" that had the murderous Libyan regime on its Human Rights Council among the other barbarian regimes on the council? What a joke...

  • Comment number 93.


    '"Anyone" responsible for killing should be accountable to the law. A "real man" doesn't use arms against people, a "respectable man" should not attack people'.

    Your words Gaddafi, old boy.

    What comes 'round, goes 'round. I hope you live long enough to regret them?

  • Comment number 94.

    I object to any intervention by the US or UK because they will be aafter one thing.

    not human rights or peace there just in it for the oil.

    Remember Iraq

    They have taken all the oil fields and left the country in ruin

  • Comment number 95.

    86. At 9:19pm on 24 Feb 2011, Whitefall wrote:

    Libya is one of the many Islamic states which we should be bombing in order to force them to surrender to us. Every Islamic states is our self-declared enemy, because all Islamic states follow the political ideology of Islam, which sanctions and mandates warfare against unbelievers, as it has done consistently since the 7th century.

    This is a war of self-defence, because this is a war which was declared (against all unbelievers) by its founder in the 7th century, and his followers have been fighting it ever since. So when I advocate bombing Islamic states, I do so with the righteousness of Churchill, when he advocated bombing the Nazis, out of self-defence.

    This is a war: One side will win and the other will lose. There is no middle ground. It's either us or them, and I'd rather it be us!

    **********************************************************************
    Errrr Taxi for Whitefall

  • Comment number 96.

    Absolutely nothing, just sit back, relax and let things take their natural course. Old Bliar and Dubya could have saved themselves some semblance of reputation and their respective countries a lot of time, money and effort and wasted life if they had just held back and waited a few years on Iraq. Old Tony must be sick as a pig about how things have turned out for him, with his name in tatters...

  • Comment number 97.

    What it always does- wait -see what pans out and then get back to normality.

  • Comment number 98.

    86. At 9:19pm on 24 Feb 2011, Whitefall wrote:
    Libya is one of the many Islamic states which we should be bombing in order to force them to surrender to us. Every Islamic states is our self-declared enemy, because all Islamic states follow the political ideology of Islam, which sanctions and mandates warfare against unbelievers, as it has done consistently since the 7th century.

    This is a war of self-defence, because this is a war which was declared (against all unbelievers) by its founder in the 7th century, and his followers have been fighting it ever since. So when I advocate bombing Islamic states, I do so with the righteousness of Churchill, when he advocated bombing the Nazis, out of self-defence.

    This is a war: One side will win and the other will lose. There is no middle ground. It's either us or them, and I'd rather it be us!

    ====================================================================

    have you ever read the bible or Torah because it has exactly the same ideologies
    but if you said to them what you are saying to muslims you would be called racist and anti-Semitic

    go away to your idiot White supremacy meating

    and also about the anti-amercan stuff
    the americans soudn't be in the middle east
    there not there to promote democracy there in it for the oil

    they don't just say death to america because they are muslim it's a political issue

  • Comment number 99.

    I think the international community, via the UN, could fund the IMF to send in a temporary management team to keep the economic and fiscal system ticking over. Brains in management rather than nepotism.

    This would allow essential services such as law and order, schools and health services to continue to be funded.

    The IMF could, after seeing the books, make a collateralised decision on the need or otherwise for an emergency loan to get the country up and running as quickly as possible.

    A free interim goverment with brains and previous experience from many interventions including Greece, Ireland, UK (1976) would not be refused by the remnants of the old guard. The IMF accountants would be expat Libyans.

    This approach could be supported by a dedicated website set up by the IMF (the UN is a little tainted) that puts maximum transparency before the Libyan people. A degree of democracy can be introduced online by putting decisions to the people and getting their online yeah or neih. It doesn't matter that voting is by sample rather than by population because if the response is 50/50 the proposal can be modified until it is largely acceptable. The web site can direct others to publically accesible website access points.

    Certainly the IMF would move a lot quicker than the new Iraqi parliament in delivering stability, trust and the rapid reintroduction of essential services from near or far.

    I am trusting here that the two main tools of opposition, freedom of assembly and freedom to paint a picture of a better future, have already been introduced via the internet. Assembly is performed non-physically on Facebook and the picture of a better future is painted by just seeing how much better it is in other countries on the internet. Better even in other countries that do not have the natural oil and gas advantages of Libya.

  • Comment number 100.

    I thought it was common knowledge that extreme islamic agents provocateurs had a big part to play in stirring up unrest in various arab countries. This was bound to happen sooner or later considering their links with the West, and some commentators say they have sources claiming these uprisings were planned and coordinated. However, there is still a real popular disaffection with dictatorial rule, and the "arab man in the street" needs to have his say without fear of intimidation by the extremists. If the "international community" is to get involved it should be to facilitate the expression of the populace and to prevent harassment from the extremist power-seeking minority. Perhaps a UN peacekeeping force could be deployed, but with countries other than the USA and the UK involved, to avoid the "red rag to a bull" phenomenon. There is also the real issue of oil supplies, which would be totally disrupted under extremist control. None of this, however, exonerates Gaddafi, who appears to have ordered the deaths of innocent people, recently and in the past, and the US tried to wreak revenge on him in the mid eighties by bombing Tripoli (remember the "Lakenheath Is Bombing Your A**") message? Gaddafi has to go, but the spectre of being replaced by terrorists must be avoided at all costs.

 

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