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Should there be a no-fly zone over Libya?

11:33 UK time, Wednesday, 2 March 2011

British Prime Minister David Cameron has suggested that a no-fly zone should be imposed over Libya in a bid to tackle the current crisis. Is this a practical option?

Mr Cameron said that it was essential to "plan for every eventuality" in the country, adding: "It is not acceptable to have a situation where Colonel Gaddafi can be murdering his own people, using aeroplanes and helicopters and the like".

Foreign Secretary William Hague has indicated that a no-fly zone could be introduced without a UN Security Council resolution but there are concerns, shared by the US Defence Secretary, that this could split the international community.

Meanwhile, forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi are said to be moving into rebel territory in the east, capturing an oil installation in the town of Brega. Pro-Gaddafi jets also bombed an arms dump in the nearby city of Ajdabiya.

What is the best way to solve the crisis in Libya? Should Col Gaddafi be encouraged to step down? What are the implications for the region? Should the West consider military action in Libya?

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

Comments

Page 1 of 9

  • Comment number 1.

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

  • Comment number 2.

    Seeing as we've now got most of the UK citizens out (I'll wait for the cheque in the post?) who cares.

    Why are we getting involved? Again!

    Let them (the Libyans) sort it out...

    I watched a very interesting documentary on the Congo last night, were rape, and mutilation of men women and children seems common place. Do they have a no fly zone?

  • Comment number 3.

    While the idea is great in theory, in practise there will only be one way to enforce it, and that is to shoot down Gaddafi's military aircraft.
    To do so without a UN mandate would be going down the same route as Iraq, and therefore unlikely to happen.

    It would be nice to see some other countries take a postive lead, instead of merely saying "something must be done"... but being unwilling to actually do anything themselves.

    It always going to be a tricky one... if we do nothing, then some people will say we're not supporting the population, or we're implicitly backing Gaddafi. If we do do something, then another Iraq is a possibility, expecially as Libya does not have an political structure, and no opposition capable of forming a government.

    Frankly, a no-fly enforcement, with a UN mandate, is probably the most involvement anyone will want. The question is who will do the enforcing? I imagine everyone will suddenly have reasons why it can't be them.

  • Comment number 4.

    Obviously the anti Gaddafi rebels should not be allowed to be wiped out on the ground by superior air power. However without sanctions by the UN and a lack of real interest by the US (Libyan oil goes to Europe) that leaves UK. We cannot afford it and should not get involved in military confrontation.
    God forbid those fools in parliament involve us, also are they stupid enough to reduce equipment and cash from Afghanistan leaving our guys more vulnerable.

  • Comment number 5.

    I think the international community should stay out, and negotiate a deals or whatever with the next government of Libya. This might be Gadhaffi and Son, or it might be someone else. That is for the Libyan people to decide.

    I acknowledge that non-interference may prolong internal strife, but Western engagement might prolong it even more, with the added misery of casualties among UK and USA soldiers. Not to mention the anti-western propaganda that will be spewed out.

    I saw a rather silly posting on an earlier discussion that an exception might be made in Gadaffi's case, as leaving him in power was akin to leaving a wild, irrational, person in power. In this case, there would be grounds for many interventions, starting with Iran.

    I did initially think that the no fly zone was a sensible solution; it is not. It would likely lead to escalation if an allied plane was brought down and then we would have another Afghanistan war.

    And finally, any interference would likely bring out the masses of Guardianistas, and assorted lefties, in a nauseating anti-war demonstration. No thanks.

    I hope you will publish this post BBC as it is probably the first contribution to the discussion before the regular anti-Israeli crowd dominate the board.

  • Comment number 6.

    Wonder why, when Israel was attacking civilians with phosphorus etc, they didn't imopse a no fly zone over Israel?

    The world order needs to change, strip the permanant members of the (so called) security council of their veto powers, maybe then we can get a balanced policy towards all countires, not just a few.

    As a start, we could stop selling Saudi Arabia weapons. Will it happen? No chance, it's all talk. Makes me sick!

  • Comment number 7.

    A No Fly zone over Libya would be a military action against that country. Military action is illegal under international law except under two circumstances:

    1 As a response to an immediate or imminent attack by another country.

    2 On the instruction of the UN Security Council in order to restore international peace and security.

    The first condition clearly does not apply. The second would but only if authorised by the UN.

    The No Fly Zones enforced by the US and UK (and initially France) over Iraq during the 1990s were never authorised by the UN and so illegal. Therefore, our repeated bombing of Iraq during that period was a criminal act. Likewise, the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq in 2001 and 2003 were illegal as they were not carried out with the permission of the Security Council. Nor was the attack on Afghanistan an act of self-defence, since no evidence was presented (then or since) that Afghanistan had anything to do with the September 11th attacks (which were carried out by Saudis and planned in Germany and America).

    If we are to aid the Libyan people, it should be done in compliance with international law. We should not presume to lecture others until we start acting responsibly ourselves.

    Media coverage should reflect this too - it generally proceeds from the assumption that we have the right to interfere as we choose. In fact, we have no more right to interfere in Libyan affairs (without legal permission) than Libya does in ours.

    Quite frankly, the way the BBC (and others) take British and American posturing seriously -and official proclamations of benevolent intent as sincere- is ridiculous. Libya's 'stability' concerns our governments only because it has oil.

  • Comment number 8.

    cant we just get a UN mandate to take out gaddfi and his son? sniper's or just a missle and this could all go away alot quicker?

  • Comment number 9.

    We have no business here. It appalls me that the world (including GB) is so fixated on interfering in the Middle East while doing nothing in places like Zimbabwe where we have a much greater moral responsibility. Do we really want another Iraq? It is no longer our responsibility in Britain to police the world, but it worries me that we are being driven down that path by the PR talk of things like toxic gas designed to frighten us and paint a picture of a despot who needs to be removed. These stories may turn out to be as illusory as the so-called 'weapons of mass destruction'. I really hope that David Cameron has the insight not to turn into another Tony Blair.

  • Comment number 10.

    A no-fly zone over Libya is a hostile act leading to price inflation of petroleum. OPEC would over-charge Americans to encourage civility.

  • Comment number 11.

    Well it probably wont be us if this lasts a few years.

    It looks like we may be losing the Tornados quicker than planned. The Harriers are decommisioned and the Typhoon budget has doubled to £6.7bn.

    The chance are we'll be using windup paper aeroplanes at this rate.

  • Comment number 12.

    The UK calling for a "No fly zone" would be laughable, if it wasn't delusional. Thanks to the cuts we have no aircraft carriers that can patrol, and our typhoon jets are not fully operational, with only partially trained pilots according to reports today.

    Thanks to the broken economy the last government left, we are a busted flush as a military power (sending redundancy notices to front-line troops must be a new low, even for the UK), and we shouldn't be calling for the US servicemen and women to risk their lives, to back up our politicians rhetoric!

  • Comment number 13.

    If it has anything to do with the U.N. don't hold your breath.

  • Comment number 14.

    To 3. Khuli

    The joy of democracy. Everyone has an opinion, everyone thinks they are right and everyone disagrees with the man next to them.

    I have found in britain I dont actually care what the people think so much. Everyone is villainised for actually making a decision and some people dont like it.

    If we do nothing as you say we will have allowed Gaddafi's acts against his people. If we do get involved then we will be interfering again.

    It would be interesting to ask the people on HYS how we can be left out of this situation. How we can avoid being the villain just because we exist.

    Maybe the question should be- how can britain make the right decision over Libya?

    I imagine it would be long. I imagine fuzzy wuzzies arguing with war lovers.

    Maybe the question should be what is the greater good?

  • Comment number 15.

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

  • Comment number 16.

    Leave it to the people of Libya to resolve their own internal affairs. Cameron and his ilk are itching to start a war to try to keep the UK people off his back over the disastrous state of the economy worsened by his inept policies. Remember that conspiracy to make war is a crime. Bliar and Brown are very close to being called to account and will be closely followed by Cameron etc if he continues this course.

  • Comment number 17.

    6. At 12:14pm on 02 Mar 2011, Anthony Rat wrote:
    Wonder why, when Israel was attacking civilians with phosphorus etc, they didn't imopse a no fly zone over Israel?

    The world order needs to change, strip the permanant members of the (so called) security council of their veto powers, maybe then we can get a balanced policy towards all countires, not just a few.

    As a start, we could stop selling Saudi Arabia weapons. Will it happen? No chance, it's all talk. Makes me sick!

    ---------------------------------------------
    Six posts and the Israeli bashers emerge. Is it orchestrated or is there really a growth in anti semitism?

    This post, however, appeals to the removal of the veto from members of the UN security council. I suppose this would leave Libya and Iran OK with their seats on the Human Rights Council and the Council for Women's Rights.

    Here is a better proposal. Let the civilised countries, the democracies of the USA, Israel, and many European countries, pull out of this worthless organization, No more funding the UN by our tax payers, and boot them out of that luxury building in New York.

    This would be the beginning of a long term solution to problems in the ME.

  • Comment number 18.

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

  • Comment number 19.

    Yes without doubt. Its the bare minimum amongst a list of very unpleasant options even if its not ideal. Do we need to see mass graves in Libya before we do more than make angry speeches? Who will stop this man killing his own people? The Arab League should be at the forefront of this thing not taking a backseat and declaring this to be an internal issue. Why dont they administer this no fly zome if they are so distrustful of the west?

  • Comment number 20.

    A no fly zone would do little as Gaddafi's ground forces are also much better equiped and organised and such a policy as a no fly zone would be a rejection of natural selection.

    The great expectation in western public is that across the middle east, countrys undergoing present change will replicate western democracy.

    This is a totally false premise, a fantasy outcome.

    The reality is that whatever design of government is achieved the reality is that smaller preasure groups will think that they can simply and easily continue to change government policy via demonstrating. Hence I think the middle east, or those countrys undergoing regime change, will experience a long period of instability and reactionary violence which will further add to already poor economic and social conditions.

    The middle east needs to step back and not go the same route as Iraq or much of Africa which results in horrendous damage to the infrastructure which supports the present.

    It's all very well destroying government buildings in anger, but those buildings will be needed to administer a fairer society and be part of future prosperity, hence the costs of replacing them will just take away needed finances for improvements.

    I doubt that the opposition to Gaddafi will result in his regimes removal, they just do not have the military capability or organisational ability to withstand co-ordinated counter attack.

    I think that Libya may ultimately be split with Gaddafi seeking to maintain control of oil and letting the rest of opposing tribal areas to just get on with it as I doubt whether he will be allowed to behave as attrociously and genocidally as has been recent decades history in Sudan/Darfur, though such an attrocious possibility is a much greater realistic reality. I think there is more chance/prospect that Libya may turn into another Sudan/Darfur than for present regime in Libya to be removed of which many many more people are involved and not just Gaddafi. The elements for such an outcome are very visible. Gaddafi's regime has lost control of large areas and it's military capability to recover all these areas are very limited, especially if/when weapons/equipment are supplied to the opposition, which I am sure will become an increasing reality.

    Presently, the perception of public opinion morals for military aid to support Gaddafi's opposition is quite strong and military/equipment aid would be a more realistic option than western military getting directly involved and getting tied down for many years. There is also much public opposition to western military getting directly involved due to experience & not good perceptions of Iraq & Afganistan.

    Basically, any form of military help/aid, means supporting one killing machine or another of which both sides in such situations historically carry out attrocity also there is no guarantee of the shape or form or future democratic nature or other behaviour of the opposition in Libya.

    In such a situation, angry and vengeful men with low discipline and little/no self-restraint on opposing sides with guns is not a good combination, fierce brutality and attrocity is a guaranteed outcome in the vast majority of civil wars/revolutions, whether English Civil war, USA, French revolution, Sudan, Iraq, USSR, China, Vietnam, Libya, wherever/whoever, and in most of these there was outside help/aid interference to one side or another whereas in todays rule riden world there are a great many legal rules actually preventing interference.

    Revolution and civil war and their horrendous horrific consequences is the endemic natural evolutionary right of any nation, which is the main reason why the international community is restricted from what it can legally do and also restricts it from what it may wish to do, otherwise we get back to a situation of USA & Russia & even China or Saddams or whoever blatantly trying to change regimes for economic/resources/political/religious advantage, thus creating a free for all/all up for grabs mentality.

    The fact of the matter is, is that whatever happens in Libya, it will ultimately play itself out, whether 6 month or 6 years or 60 years as it always does elsewhere around the world, or even over 2000 years as with Israel/Palestine etc.

    With todays technology, the world has a grandstand view, basically like a Roman gladiator arena, it is within the power of watchers to do something either way, but it depends on the crowds mentality and demands, and ultimately the outcome is with senior and powerful watchers to make the ultimate thumbs up or thumbs down decisions.

    War is attrocious, civil war is attrocious, but lets not forget that so much good can consequentially result from such brutality and attrocity of loss of life, as has been the endemic reality and consequence of evolution of our species.

    On BBC 2 last night there was a program questioning whether our species has stopped evolving.

    The present reality across the middle east proves it has not stopped,civil war and war is wholely and endemically part of the evolutionary process of our species.

  • Comment number 21.

    Should there be a no-fly zone over Libya?

    No. It relates to monetary loss and not humanitarian loss.

    If introduced it will only come into force when much of the killing is over, despite reported claims by Hague it could be introduced without the UN's sayso.

    Much of the killing of black Africans trying to escape South and Sout_West is being ignored. The killing is by the anti-Gadaffi elements who the west is seeking to protect from Gadaffi's forces and is not by Gadaffi's forces. They are making out the black africans are mercenaries of Gadaffi but they are no different to the refugees amassed on borders of Tunisia/Egypt. All are refugees. Nothing is being done to protect them. Little is being done by states to help people on the borders of Tunisia and Egypt. It is being left to charities.

    States are in fact more concerned by possible influx of refugee immigrants into europe, possibly many millions. Refugees feeling from war/civil war situations have rights of sanctuary in any member UN state under the Declaration of Human Rights. These are being ignored and are being rejected by EU states who are concerned about how many they will have to cope with and some are even concerned that they may be muslims.
    This reveals the lie of going in to protect human rights.

    So why have a no-fly zone when much of the immediate killing will be over?

    There must be purpose to such a move.

    If it is not already in place, just as it isn't, despite the time elapsed to date, when it is known that much of the immediate and most human casulties take place early on then it must be for a medium term/long term objective unrelated to human casulties.

    Possible reason for such a move after a delay when killing has declined:

    It is suspected that a civil war situation could continue in Libya for a protracted period. In a civil war rebels may seek to blow up oil tanks/pipes. That must be avoided. However Gadaffi is well off. He may not worry about the oil loss or financial loss and will send in his gunships to target rebels anyway.

    Result : Blown oil fields/tanks/pipes - disruption to oil supply- rise in oil prices if replacement supplies cannot be procured from other states. Now this is the reason that Gadaffis planes should not fly, but the Wests' should. What an obvious con trick.

  • Comment number 22.

    16. At 12:25pm on 02 Mar 2011, Bob wrote:
    Leave it to the people of Libya to resolve their own internal affairs. Cameron and his ilk are itching to start a war to try to keep the UK people off his back over the disastrous state of the economy worsened by his inept policies. Remember that conspiracy to make war is a crime. Bliar and Brown are very close to being called to account and will be closely followed by Cameron etc if he continues this course.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I would love to see them held to account, but I somehow think they are going to come out of this smelling of roses & being praised even more:(

  • Comment number 23.

    Britain, even as a broken down 3rd rate military power, could do a lot for Middle East peace and prosperity. For instance, we could:

    Stand up for international law by sending Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Geoff Hoon, Jack Straw, Alastair Campbell, and Peter Goldsmith to the Hague to stand trial for committing international aggression. That would send a signal to world leaders everywhere.

    Withdraw from Afghanistan and pay reparations to it and Iraq.

    Commit to no aggressive action against Iran and call on the US to do the same (thereby strengthening democratic forces there).

    Stop supporting ethnic cleansing by Israel in the occupied territories and demand Israel withdraw to its legal borders and stop stealing Palestinian water and gas.

    Stop supporting Islamic Fundamentalism by ceasing our aid to Saudi Arabia.

    Support democracy in the Middle East by ending support for the military dictatorship in Egypt and other repressive regimes in the region.

    Cease selling arms and 'population control' devices (tear gas etc) to the region.

    call on the US to withdraw its troops from the region and obey international law.

    Call on all states to obey international law and do so scrupulously ourselves.



  • Comment number 24.

    Yeah, go on then, let's stick our oar in. It'll be a laugh. We're British and we've got to show Johnny Foreigner the error of his ways, so that we can turn his country into democratic paradises just like Afghanistan and Iraq.

  • Comment number 25.

    No.

    Humanitarian aid only.

    And stop winding up the Libyan government while foreign nationals are still trying to get out.

  • Comment number 26.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron has suggested that a no-fly zone should be imposed over Libya in a bid to tackle the current crisis. Is this a practical option?

    And what are we going to patrol this no fly zone with? I think we only have the Battle of Britain memorial flight, & the Red Arrows left:(

  • Comment number 27.

    UK should keep out of any military interference in Lybia. We simply cannot afford it. It is not our business.

  • Comment number 28.

    I would have thought the answer was simple. If he starts mass-murdering Libyan civilians with conventional, Chemical, or biological weapons from the air then surely it be the most humane thing to stop it.

    Surely we cannot be expected to turn our backs?

  • Comment number 29.

    Here we are again, being lead into a fight, due to the age old issue of greed and oil, when will our political system start to invest in altrenative technologies? and stop bowing down to the oil giants.

    Next comment from Cameron, will be the Brown and Blair's comment in british interest!

    If the wealth to uk, is worth all that cost, not just financial but longer term costs of loss of life, and in the end increasing costs to society, by supporting the many mamed, why can't the oil industry redirect some of their profits to establish safer political regiemes? Instead of walking away from their own responsibilities by expecting the british soldier to give their life for another persons denial of responsibility.

  • Comment number 30.

    We are not the world's police (nor is the US). We shouldn't have been in Iraq, nor Afghansitan, and we certainly shouldn't get involved in North Africa or the Middle East. Our troops exist solely to defend our territory. The nearest British territory to current events would seem to be Gibraltar - so unless that comes under threat, we should and must keep out.

  • Comment number 31.

    19. At 12:34pm on 02 Mar 2011, Calvin1234 wrote:
    Yes without doubt. Its the bare minimum amongst a list of very unpleasant options even if its not ideal. Do we need to see mass graves in Libya before we do more than make angry speeches? Who will stop this man killing his own people? The Arab League should be at the forefront of this thing not taking a backseat and declaring this to be an internal issue. Why dont they administer this no fly zome if they are so distrustful of the west?

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

    I respect your argument, having supported it myself. Yes. The Arabs should administer it, not the West. But getting rid of dictators who murder their own people takes us beyond Libya and its problems. Iran is doing quite well, not to mention several African dictators.

  • Comment number 32.

    In the UK it is cut that and cut this, we are deep in debt. Yet Cameron can find time and money for Libya and third world countries. Devote more time to improving the quality of life for the people in the UK that you represent.

    Rising cost for students, old people, Hospitals, Schools, roads, petrol prices, heating cost, food prices, housing, libraries closing etc etc etc. These are the issues i would like to see more done about. Not libya and other world concerns.

  • Comment number 33.

    Forgive me for asking, but don't you need an Air Force to enforce a no-fly zone?

    Thanks to the collective efforts of Labour and the current LibCon alliance, our Air Force has been diminished to the point of ineffectiveness - and I speak as someone who spent 16 years serving in an Air Force that could punch above its weight.

    Perhaps we should be asking: Do our politicians really have a grip on whats going on in the world? Do they understand that in order to back up threats like the imposition of a no-fly zone they need more than just words - and announcing it on the day that the very organisation that would carry out the enforcement of this no-fly zone suffered the loss of 2 squadrons of aircraft and the loss of 3000+ personnel adds insult to injury??

  • Comment number 34.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron has suggested that a no-fly zone should be imposed over Libya in a bid to tackle the current crisis. Is this a practical option?

    LOL.

    Because we have just dumped/trashed a number of our airforce/planes, and Ark Royal, UK capability for being involved in such a no fly zone is basically untenable.

    Hence Cameron is basically up for volunteering other nations who he knows will have little political stomach or public support for such a policy.

    He might as well suggest setting up a base on the moon to watch Gaddafi & bomb him, or call for a UN vote based upon "ip dip sky blue who's it not you"

    Lets not forget that Cameron has about the same/similar public vote support as Gaddafi's present non democratic support (based on Gaddafi with 1/3rd support of 6.5 million people)& a main difference is just that Cameron gained dictatorial position via the ballot box.

    It's all very well for Cameron to pop up & down saying "I'll do it, I'll do it" the reality is that he WON'T, if UK forces were to be involved it just means they will be further stretched and mangled before he dumps them on the dole queues.

  • Comment number 35.

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

  • Comment number 36.

    *
    UNIFIED MILITARY ACTION AGAINST THIS PHARAOH OF LIBYA IS THE ONLY SOLUTION . WORLD SHOULD ACT FAST AND SAVE THE INNOCENTS .MOSES BLESSINGS ARE WITH THE MASSES .

  • Comment number 37.

    Its disappointing to hear so many hate filled words in this debate. I thought our politicians were cold but man was I wrong. There are actual human beings dying every day in Libya. If not a no fly zone at least then someone please tell me how this can, at least, be contained. Most of you seem to be saying the international community should make pop-corn and prepare for a good show!

  • Comment number 38.

    The politicians promoting a 'no-fly zone' over Libya must know that it a proposal which is unlikely to get sanctioned by the UN Security Council. Russia and China will veto it, both these countries are opposed(for their own internal political reasons) to any international interference in a country's internal affairs. The French may veto too, they have a history of opposing international intervention in African states, while reserving the right to unilateral action in former French colonies.
    It allows politicians to look like they are doing something(while doing nothing) to head off accusations of inactivity or disinterest.
    Typically the UK and the rest of Europe will do nothing concrete until the US gets involved. Which will mean that the agenda for action will reflect US interests.
    That's not a criticsm, it is a statement of fact.
    However if pro-Gaddafi forces commit some horror, a mustard gas attack on a town say, especially if there is a TV crew nearby to get the pictures(provided it's not an Al-Jazeera crew), then action will be taken.
    Otherwise apart from humanitarian aid, I can see no involvement by the UK/EU or the USA.
    The politicos must be hoping that the Libyans end this thing themselves as soon as possible.

  • Comment number 39.

    I don't know whether there should be a no fly zone or not but i do know this: The USA and PARTICULARLY the UK should stay the hell out of it and leave it up to the people of Libya. I support the coalition and i support the armed forces to the end but if we get involved in somebody elses country AGAIN I will take to the streets in protest. The very thought of it shakes me to the core.

  • Comment number 40.

    Should there be a no-fly zone over Libya?


    That question has already been answered in a previous Libya debate.


    The international community simply do not have enough fly-swatters or bug spray to enforce a "no-fly" zone over Libya!!!

  • Comment number 41.

    Since when did we become the world's policeman? It's really none of our business. I would go further and say that the UK and USA are in no position to call Gaddafi "deluded" and "unfit to rule" especially when the USA elected George Bush Snr and George W Bush each twice, both of whom were not only deluded but very stupid people, and the UK elected Tony Blair 3 times who was totally deluded about WMD in Iraq. We should keep our noses out of it. I'm not a Libyan but there really are times when we need to think before we get involved in things that are nothing to do with us, this is a Libyan revolution that the people have created themselves and they should be the ones at the heart of it. David Cameron has shown himself to be a man of straw in that we already have troops stretched in Afghanistan and now he has sacked 11,000 armed forces only to want to start another war in Libya where he has no business doing so. In any case, I thought we were strapped for cash and couldn't afford to do anything.

  • Comment number 42.

    Do not intervene in my name.

    We have no right to spill a drop of Libyan blood (rebel or loyalist), any more than a foreign power would have the right to invade Britain if anti-monarchist protestors decided to take over Buckingham Palace.

    I have stuck with voting Conservative through thick and thin, but British intervention in Libya would be the step too far.

  • Comment number 43.

    7. At 12:15pm on 02 Mar 2011, David Traynier wrote:

    .....
    Libya's 'stability' concerns our governments only because it has oil.

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

    Bingo.

    Iraq ----> OIL
    Afghanistan ---> OIL SUPPLY ROUTES

    Determining the Western interests is not rocket science.

  • Comment number 44.

    No, the west should not place itself in this conflict. The UN should mediate it, and the Arab and Muslim nations surrounding Libya should enforce it. We have no business interfering, we cannot afford it, and our armed forces are already committed elsewhere and are facing huge cuts.

    Oil prices will rise, deal with it. But we have NO BUSINESS acting as world police. Does Germany? Does France? Does Switzerland? No? Well neither should we. If America want more unpopularity, more extremism and more problems, they should go right ahead. This shouldn't affect us nearly as much, as we are no where near as dependant on oil as the US. Just depends whether comedy Dave wants to be a new American lapdog, which, judging by his absurd posturing, he does.

  • Comment number 45.

    So just who is going to swat all those flies

  • Comment number 46.

    This is a Libyan problem; the only people who can solve it are the people of Libya.

    The UK government should do everything within their power to help the Red Cross and other such NGO's so that they can provide food, medicine and shelter to those people caught up in this conflict as well as supporting those nations that share a border with Libya but we should not involve ourselves in any military action.

  • Comment number 47.

    * 6/

    YES, ALL PHARAOHS OF ARABIA , INCLUDING SAUDI ARAB HAVE TO GO .VOICE OF MAJORITY SHOULD BE THE CRITERION NOT THE VETO POWER. VETO POWER IS A SWORD WHICH KILLS THE VERY SPIRIT OF MAJORITY/ DEMOCRACY .

    MOSES ESTABLISHED DEMOCRACY AFTER KILLING PHARAOH . NOW TIME HAS COME TO KILL ALL OFF-SPRINGS OF PHARAOH AND ESTABLISHED DEMOCRACY IN ENTIRE ARAB WORLD. USA/EU/SC/UNO SHOULD TAKE MILITARY ACTION WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY

  • Comment number 48.

    OK then lets have a no-fly zone so we can show off our new Typhoon fighters that no-one else wants to buy.

    The thing that amazes me is that once again the British Political Class are showing collective amnesia over events only a short time ago.

    Six, maybe nine months ago Gadaffi, Mubarak and that Tunisian gent could have wheeled a wheelbarrow full of gold and cash from their state coffers onto a plane, flew in to Heathrow, and pushed their barrow into a top London bank, without ANY politician speaking out.

    Then it's a bit of unrest and 'El Presidenta has to go'.

    Why whern't we freezing Gadafii's money this time last year?

    If it's not his now, then it wasn't his then.

    When the Barmy 'apeth has gone, will out politicians start freezing the personal (stolen) assessts of other tin-pot dictators?

    Me thinks not.

    Plus ça change






  • Comment number 49.

    6. At 12:14pm on 02 Mar 2011, Anthony Rat wrote:
    Wonder why, when Israel was attacking civilians with phosphorus etc, they didn't imopse a no fly zone over Israel?

    /////////////

    Similarly one could argue, a no-fly zone over Gaza when Hamas was raining missiles down on southern Israel from mosques, hospitals, schools and houses, using the civilian population as human shields.

  • Comment number 50.

    Why is it always us getting involved ? Italy is nearer and they have an airforce
    But As usual british tax payers are being asked
    To help sort out somebody elses problem we should
    Only do it in return for say 10% of Libyas GDP for next 10 years

  • Comment number 51.

    Does the RAF have any aircraft left that could be used to police such a no-fly zone?

  • Comment number 52.

    28. At 12:47pm on 02 Mar 2011, Luke wrote:
    I would have thought the answer was simple. If he starts mass-murdering Libyan civilians with conventional, Chemical, or biological weapons from the air then surely it be the most humane thing to stop it.

    Surely we cannot be expected to turn our backs?

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

    But this is what Saddam Hussein was doing, and we deposed him, and this caused a huge boring and self opinionated anti-war demonstration, with calls for Blair to be tried as a war criminal. Not to mention the repetative (though innacurate) citations of Iraqi casualties. No thanks, no intervention. My back is turned.

  • Comment number 53.

    I think Boy David just wants to big himself up on the world stage and make himself look statesmanlike. As usual, The Americans will do the policing...if they are that interested, which I suspect they're not.

  • Comment number 54.

    40. At 12:57pm on 02 Mar 2011, Burgess wrote:
    Should there be a no-fly zone over Libya?


    That question has already been answered in a previous Libya debate.


    The international community simply do not have enough fly-swatters or bug spray to enforce a "no-fly" zone over Libya!!!

    ---------------------------------------
    Yes it has. So how to make Libya a 'no fly zone'? Answer: Put a mountain of camel dung in a neighbouring country.

  • Comment number 55.

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

  • Comment number 56.

    We should keep completely out of it, unless and until our serious interests are directly threatened.

    It's very tempting to wade in there, for the very finest of motives, to protect the people from this maniac Gaddafi, to help them throw off his yoke. But, help who exactly? Anyone who thinks that any successor regime, perhaps aided to power by us, cannot be any worse than Gaddafi is very naive.

  • Comment number 57.

    Neither the idea of "No Fly-Zone" any Gospel nor DavCam is Satan to preach peace to Libyan. It is ture in saying by Gaddafi that the Europeans and the likes do not understand the power politics of the Arab World. For, too long a period of time, the British are under an undying Monarchy, the subject of a torn Royal full-bound book irrelevant to the present and not to say about the future.

    And look at those saints who yap no fly zone, human right this and that on Libya. Till a few months ago, Libya was like the one in a son lost and found back by the gleeming big-dad, the British. Blair rubbed his shoulders with "terrorist" Don Gaddafi exonerating him of his crime in Lockerbie. Absolving his sins in the Themes to make ready Gaddafi to receive a Nobel in Sweden soon.

    Those hermits now crowing for No-Fly Zone have N number of skeltons rattling in their cupboards, say Britain and the US and their coalition paramours who have done "that" with Iraq to bleed in pain till date and to their own pleasure in looting the modesty of a nation in Abu Ghraib unleasing dogs on naked pyramids of Iraqis!

    Those sages who have stifled the throats of thousands of Iraqi children for years with Fr. Bush's No-Fly Zone and his son's daylight rampaging in Haditha are now back at it in Libya to re-enact it in their oil lust.

    Human Rights!
    What a word in slander to prod into the way democracy is used to strip people of their fundamental rights in many of the coalition partners of the US for Iraq war! Taking names would contact the scissors of the moderators to censor my post from being beamed. So, I avoid it. Still, the US and the UK are Nelson to eye how democracy functions in the tip of the Malayan Peninsula. To the happenings in North Africa, we all are sages, hermits and everything Popish!

    Let Libya cook its own soup.
    You did enough in the kitchen of Iraq to turn it into a sty. Thanks. The Arabs are older then you in every sense to make them run on their own. You cannot go and govern a nation keeping your Green Zone in a flotilla of war ships as your office. You made the Persian Gulf so.

    Be at it.
    The Mediterranian is the sea.
    Don't go into it as a relic of the past.

  • Comment number 58.

    Britain, even as a broken down 3rd rate military power, could do a lot for Middle East peace and prosperity. For instance, we could:

    Stand up for international law by sending Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Geoff Hoon, Jack Straw, Alastair Campbell, and Peter Goldsmith to the Hague to stand trial for committing international aggression. That would send a signal to world leaders everywhere.

    Withdraw from Afghanistan and pay reparations to it and Iraq.

    Commit to no aggressive action against Iran and call on the US to do the same (thereby strengthening democratic forces there).

    Stop supporting ethnic cleansing by Israel in the occupied territories and demand Israel withdraw to its legal borders and stop stealing Palestinian water and gas.

    Stop supporting Islamic Fundamentalism by ceasing our aid to Saudi Arabia.

    Support democracy in the Middle East by ending support for the military dictatorship in Egypt and other repressive regimes in the region.

    Cease selling arms and 'population control' devices (tear gas etc) to the region.

    call on the US to withdraw its troops from the region and obey international law.

    Call on all states to obey international law and do so scrupulously ourselves.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Just to take issue with some of the points you raise:

    1: If Britain is a 3rd rate military power why do we have so many foreign officers attending our military academies like Sandhurst and Cranwell?

    2. I take it by withdrawing from Afghanistan you advocate returning Al-Qaeda into a position of strength from which to launch further 9/11 style atrocities? I also take it that you would advocate Al Qaeda paying reparations for the damage they have also inflicted on Iraq and Afghanistan?

    3. Commit to no aggression against Iran and encourage the US to do the same - so essentially, let Iran happily develop a nuclear capability which they would use if given the chance?

    4.Stand up for international law by sending Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Geoff Hoon, Jack Straw, Alastair Campbell, and Peter Goldsmith to the Hague to stand trial for committing international aggression - so presumably we would expect the US to do the same for George Bush etc? Also, as a democracy these people didnt decide to arbitrarily send troops to Iraq - the democratic elected members of the Houses of Parliament did. If you didnt like the invasion of Iraq, you should have voted MPs out of office in 2005. You didnt.

    5. Call on the US to withdraw its troops from the region and obey international law - so what happens when Iran decides to close the Straits of Hormuz - because it can - and the worlds oil supply is cut off. Or if Iran invades a number of its neighbours. And lets bear in mind that 3 months ago we didnt see the events in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya taking place - what will happen 3 months from now?

  • Comment number 59.

    "16. At 12:25pm on 02 Mar 2011, Bob wrote:
    Leave it to the people of Libya to resolve their own internal affairs. Cameron and his ilk are itching to start a war to try to keep the UK people off his back over the disastrous state of the economy worsened by his inept policies. Remember that conspiracy to make war is a crime. Bliar and Brown are very close to being called to account and will be closely followed by Cameron etc if he continues this course."

    Amusing how the lefty anti-war brigade are already getting themselves worked up into a lather over something that probably won't happen. I personally don't think military intervention is the right answer in Libya, but there is nothing wrong with Cameron considering the possibility. It is not a crime to make war - where do these lefties get these crazy ideas from. Wouldn't that make Churchill a war criminal? Is Mrs Thatcher a war criminal for liberating our Falkland Islands without (shock, horror) a UN mandate? No doubt some Guardianistas would say yes! The UK is a sovereign country and our prime minister can legally declare war on any country he wants to. We don't need a mandate from the UN, EU, Nato or anyone else. If you disagree with a prime minister's decision, then you can use the ballot box.

  • Comment number 60.

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

  • Comment number 61.

    The only no-fly zone is the UK.

    The scrapping of Nimrods & Harriers, loss of carriers, and 11,000 redundancies makes the suggestion laughable.

  • Comment number 62.

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

  • Comment number 63.

    "30. At 12:48pm on 02 Mar 2011, James Rigby wrote:
    We are not the world's police (nor is the US). We shouldn't have been in Iraq, nor Afghansitan, and we certainly shouldn't get involved in North Africa or the Middle East. Our troops exist solely to defend our territory. The nearest British territory to current events would seem to be Gibraltar - so unless that comes under threat, we should and must keep out. "
    ========================================================

    Our national interest, which our Government has a duty to defend for us, extends well beyond mere territory we own.

    Rightly or wrongly (and I'm not sure which) we are in Afghanistan to deny the land to terrorists for training and safe haven (as they had under Taliban rule). That is terrorists who would, and indeed have in the past, mount cowardly attacks against us and our close allies.

    Rightly or wrongly (definitely wrongly) we went into Iraq to deny Saddam the opportunity to develop weapons of mass destruction, and use them against our close allies.

    I do not advocate that we should involve ourselves in Libya, other than in purely humanitarian ways, but if our serious interests are threatened ....

    People sneer at oil as a motive for intervention, but large and sustained rises in it's price will severely harm every family in this country.


  • Comment number 64.

    Who is this Abraham character on here today?????

  • Comment number 65.

    It must very difficult to sabre rattle when you only have broom handles!

    Just where does Mr Cameron think we are going to fly our aircraft from?

    Malta, Italy maybe, but only if they agree. He should consider what would happen if this wasn’t Libya which is located conveniently to the main land Europe.

    We are an Island and we rely on our Navy but that cannot function properly without an aircraft carrier. This government is being so short sighted but it will be the boys and girls at the sharp end that will have to pay the price.

    As for the no fly zone it is uncanny that we can show so much interest and concern over Libya whilst other more humanitarian conflicts in Africa are ignored. I wonder what it is?

    Personally I think the UN should have its own fixed forces for such conflicts backed up by member nations so the UN has total control over its operations instead of relying on maybe / maybe not countries.

  • Comment number 66.

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

  • Comment number 67.

    17. At 12:30pm on 02 Mar 2011, ProfPhoenix wrote:
    6. At 12:14pm on 02 Mar 2011, Anthony Rat wrote:
    Wonder why, when Israel was attacking civilians with phosphorus etc, they didn't imopse a no fly zone over Israel?

    The world order needs to change, strip the permanant members of the (so called) security council of their veto powers, maybe then we can get a balanced policy towards all countires, not just a few.

    As a start, we could stop selling Saudi Arabia weapons. Will it happen? No chance, it's all talk. Makes me sick!

    ---------------------------------------------
    Six posts and the Israeli bashers emerge. Is it orchestrated or is there really a growth in anti semitism?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please explain what exactly is anti-semitic about the original post.

  • Comment number 68.

    Do we really have the resources to go into another conflict - which is what this is likely to turn into.

    We will be playing directly into the hands of the extreme Muslims who will see this as a direct threat and probably cause more problems that it solves.

    I agree with a previous comment about a blind eye being shown to Israel when similar action took place there.

  • Comment number 69.

    Seeing cameron on TV always reminds me of Thunderbirds, maybe theres more of a connection to Thunderbirds than the public realise, hence his suggestion of a no-fly-zone.

    I do wonder if in his TV appearances (and George Osbourne) strings have been airbrushed out.

    Its not hard to imagine cameron sitting in one toilet cubical & Osborne in another with a tin can each, joined by a length of string, whisper talking to each other, with Clegg being somewhere else, maybe Tracy Island, on holiday with Alistair Darling -

    "come in thunderbird 2, this is thunderbird 1, over"

    "hello thunderbird 1, this is thunderbird 2, hearing you soft and clear, over"

    "hello thunderbird 2 this is thunderbird 1, are thunderbirds up for go, over",

    "hello thunderbird 1 this is thunderbird 2, no not yet, over"

    "hello thunderbird 2 this is thunderbird 1, why not, over"

    "hello thunderbird 1 this is thunderbird 2, thunderbird 3 is not convinced, over"

    "hello thunderbird 2 this is thunderbird 1, doesnt he know we do not have enough thunderbirds to fly a no fly zone so we will be operating our own no fly zone because we cannot fly without flying machines to fly in a no fly zone and I only want to be able to say " thunderbirds are go, over"

    "hello thunderbird 1 this is thunderbird 2, "you can say it to me and I won't tell anyone, over"

    "hello thunderbird 2, this is thunderbird 1, oh, ok then, THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO, over"

  • Comment number 70.

    47. At 1:08pm on 02 Mar 2011, abraham wrote:

    * 6/

    YES, ALL PHARAOHS OF ARABIA , INCLUDING SAUDI ARAB HAVE TO GO .VOICE OF MAJORITY SHOULD BE THE CRITERION NOT THE VETO POWER. VETO POWER IS A SWORD WHICH KILLS THE VERY SPIRIT OF MAJORITY/ DEMOCRACY .

    MOSES ESTABLISHED DEMOCRACY AFTER KILLING PHARAOH . NOW TIME HAS COME TO KILL ALL OFF-SPRINGS OF PHARAOH AND ESTABLISHED DEMOCRACY IN ENTIRE ARAB WORLD. USA/EU/SC/UNO SHOULD TAKE MILITARY ACTION WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY

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

    So much for thou shalt not kill. Or even religion teaching peace.

    I do wonder where all these freedom fighters of the middle east (known to us as the cowardly terrorists strapping bombs on kids) are to free these poor civilians?

    We know al qaeda turned up in iraq to 'help' them. Only for the iraqi to ask us to help fight off those terrorists.

    And again a country falls into violence and instability and all eyes fall to the west to resolve the problem. Some saying we should support the demonstrators, others say we should leave it alone, everyone somehow blaming us anyway.

    And yet again I dont see the middle east resolving any problems. I dont see them working together to look after the populations. The only place in the middle east doing this is israel.

    But then they too will be called villain because they exist.

    What great times we live in.

  • Comment number 71.

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

  • Comment number 72.

    Firstly nothing should be done without a UN resolution and the backing of some middle Eastern countries.
    It is looking like a very risky move at the moment which could see us embroiled in another bloody conflict.
    If Gaddafi emerges in control once more how are the West going to deal with him ?
    One minute we are doing business and all buddy buddy
    The next we are telling him to step down, and threatening to impose military intervention.
    I suppose the two faced politicians would grovel back to befriend him and his..............oil.

  • Comment number 73.

    Why oh why can't we learn our lesson ! Keep out of meddling in the affairs of other countries. We have enough problems at home for Mr Cameron and his ministers to battle with without battling with Mr Gaddafi

  • Comment number 74.

    At 1:13pm on 02 Mar 2011, ProfPhoenix wrote:

    But this is what Saddam Hussein was doing, and we deposed him, and this caused a huge boring and self opinionated anti-war demonstration, with calls for Blair to be tried as a war criminal. Not to mention the repetative (though innacurate) citations of Iraqi casualties. No thanks, no intervention. My back is turned.

    ________________

    That's a loose account of what happened.

    It is true that Saddam Hussein had attacked his 'own people' (in fact people of other tribes in Iraq) but that was twelve years before the 2003 invasion. In fact, almost all Saddam's worst attrocities were carried out with US and UK assistance -including the suppression of the Shi'a rebelllion after the first gulf war.

    In the immediate run up to the invasion, Saddam's record was on a par with staunch US and UK allies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

    Furthermore, the invasion was not to despose Saddam. The White House made this clear on the eve of the invasion when it stated that America would still invade even if Saddam went into exile.

    As to the accuracy of the estimates of Iraqi deaths, we do not have a true figure because 'we don't do body counts'. However, reputable studies using standard methodology have put the figure for excess deaths well over half a million and perhaps over a million. They may turn out to be inaccurate but that's not really the issue - our callous lack of concern for our victims is.

    As for finding anti-war protests 'boring', well that sort of comment should probably be left to hang round the neck of its originator.

  • Comment number 75.

    Why should we get involved, if the Arab world can't police itself then leave them to it. Ghaddafi looks like he's going to be back in control fairly soon anyway. Already we apparently are going to have to foot the bill for flying Egyptian refugees home from Libya, why cant the Egyptians fly their own people home ? The sooner Ghaddafi calms things down , the sooner oil prices will stabilise, that should be our government's priority, not saving the world.

  • Comment number 76.

    Should there be a no-fly zone over Libya?

    Yes, but ony by the Arab airforces themselves, the west has been selling Arab nations fancy warplanes for years and it is about time they put them to good use in the defence of one of their own.

    If nothing is done Gadaffi will eventually regain control of all of Libya by a long war of attrition if necessary.


    There is no way in the long term a rag-tag bunch of rebels and protesters can hold out against a professionaly trained millitary if Gadaffi decides some time in the future to go all out millitarily against them with his entire army and airforce.

    ==================================================
    Just a note to the mods.

    When debates are closed down perhaps they should be moved into the archives area immediately instead of remaining on the front page.

    It is disconcerting to click on debate topic after debate topic in the debate menu box only to see the message

    "this debate is now closed"

  • Comment number 77.

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

  • Comment number 78.

    61. At 1:28pm on 02 Mar 2011, Sproutaholic wrote:

    The only no-fly zone is the UK.

    The scrapping of Nimrods & Harriers, loss of carriers, and 11,000 redundancies makes the suggestion laughable.

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

    For a laugh please tell me what the nimrods would be doing? Same as in afghanistan relaying communications? we have cheap unmanned drones for that. Doubt they would be sub hunting.

    We have a load of eurotrash/fighters we have bought at highly inflated prices and modified at further cost. Maybe we should get some use out of them?

    Also the idea is for an international effort. Maybe the europe can pull their finger out and be useful? A combined effort spreads the cost and reduces the man power for each contributer.

  • Comment number 79.

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

  • Comment number 80.

    52. At 1:13pm on 02 Mar 2011, ProfPhoenix wrote:
    28. At 12:47pm on 02 Mar 2011, Luke wrote:
    I would have thought the answer was simple. If he starts mass-murdering Libyan civilians with conventional, Chemical, or biological weapons from the air then surely it be the most humane thing to stop it.

    Surely we cannot be expected to turn our backs?

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

    But this is what Saddam Hussein was doing, and we deposed him, and this caused a huge boring and self opinionated anti-war demonstration, with calls for Blair to be tried as a war criminal. Not to mention the repetative (though innacurate) citations of Iraqi casualties. No thanks, no intervention. My back is turned.

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

    No, that's what Saddam Hussein did years before. He wasn't doing it at the time like you suggest (was doing) because the no-fly zone made it near-impossible. This is of course a good precedent for military no-fly zones and makes a good case for enforcing one now. Nevertheless the fact remains that in 2003 Saddam was not the threat to his people (or anyone else) that Tony Blair would have us believe: that is why so many people were against invasion.

  • Comment number 81.

    First of all, Libya is too big to have an enforcable no-fly zone over all of it. That means we would have to choose the areas to protect. (How about the oil-producing bits?)... Wouldn't it be easier to knock out Gadaffi's planes whilst they are still on the ground? I would be surprised if we or one of our allies doesn't have the technology to be able to pin point where they all are. Smart bombs from high altitude bombers would be all that was needed. Same for his helicopters. Plus, if we sold him all his planes, helicopters etc, did we not build in a kill-switch for when this inevitability would happen? just send out the signal now and he will have fleets of planes that won't start. We can then do a new deal on a 'parts and labour' contract that will mean we get all the oil we need.

    Of course this ignores the humanitarian issue, which will not be solved by having any kind of no-fly zone. If we are serious about deposing him, then 'shock and awe'. Otherwise, just stay out of it and let fate take it's course.

  • Comment number 82.

    Well said by We_Are_All_Utd. Having just announced job cuts by the 1000’s in our defence forces, why are we getting involved. UK PLC is skint yet another Prime Minister wants another conflict zone. Let someone else take the lead – hasn’t anyone told the Government that the sun set a long time ago on the Empire and we are no longer able to finance these dubious activities. Or are we now in the business of picking and choosing which regimes we overthrow?

  • Comment number 83.

    59. At 1:24pm on 02 Mar 2011, SaxonHero wrote:

    Amusing how the lefty anti-war brigade are already getting themselves worked up into a lather over something that probably won't happen. I personally don't think military intervention is the right answer in Libya, but there is nothing wrong with Cameron considering the possibility. It is not a crime to make war - where do these lefties get these crazy ideas from. Wouldn't that make Churchill a war criminal? Is Mrs Thatcher a war criminal for liberating our Falkland Islands without (shock, horror) a UN mandate? No doubt some Guardianistas would say yes!

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

    I think you'll find most Guardianistas understand the difference between defensive and offensive military action, as indeed do most experts in international law. Do you?

  • Comment number 84.

    *WEST SHOULD ACT FAST AS HE HAS STARTED THREATENING THE WEST ---THAT HE WILL GIVE BANK OPERATIONS TO CHINA, BRAZIL ETC .

    WEST HAS TO REMOVE HIM AT THE EARLIEST .GADAFI IS A PHARAOH AND HE HAS TO GO .

  • Comment number 85.

    I find it sicking that there is a large number of so called anti-war supporters advocating a world leader carrying out genocide against his own people because they see that as a better option than using military power to stop him.

    US and UK should do that they feel is necessary to stop this, after all you can't stop them without a UN resolution and you wont get it as they can veto it.

  • Comment number 86.

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

  • Comment number 87.

    Just what does Cameron think he is doing with this posturing and posing in the shadow of Obama? Not only should we not get involved in Libya in any way but, as someone who,like many others, was fooled by the lies and duplicity that took us to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, I am now led to say,we should also withdraw from those countries immediately.

    I find the hypocricy over Gaddafi to be monumentally nauseating. This is a man the US/UK backed for years, even after Pan Am, and now suddenly we have discovered that he is a nasty dictator and a nasty piece of work?

    Don't all politicians of all persuasions make you sick and want to vomit at their barefaced lies, hypocricy and total lack of moral integrity?

    Closely and similarly followed by the clever smart assed journalists that hover and pontificate into the camera or the mike over one rotting carcass or human tragedy after another.

    As said in another post on the same subject - countdown to Armageddon has begun. God bless Israel.

  • Comment number 88.

    52. At 1:13pm on 02 Mar 2011, ProfPhoenix wrote:
    28. At 12:47pm on 02 Mar 2011, Luke wrote:
    I would have thought the answer was simple. If he starts mass-murdering Libyan civilians with conventional, Chemical, or biological weapons from the air then surely it be the most humane thing to stop it.

    Surely we cannot be expected to turn our backs?

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

    But this is what Saddam Hussein was doing, and we deposed him, and this caused a huge boring and self opinionated anti-war demonstration, with calls for Blair to be tried as a war criminal. Not to mention the repetative (though innacurate) citations of Iraqi casualties. No thanks, no intervention. My back is turned.

    ######################################################

    It's obvious from your comments you wanted to turn your back from events preceding the Iraq invasion as you found the anti-war demo boring.
    I hope you found the casulties that resulted as a consequence of ignorance of the demo something that reinvigorated you, whether you beleve the numbers or not. What "you" achieved for world peace and the Iraqi people by deposing Saddam remains a mystery.

    It is not surprising you want to turn your back now if the opinionating before the Iraq war was boring to you. Maybe it is only when the action begins your interest is aroused, but it doesn't seem to be related to casulties. Reminders of those is simply repetitive.

  • Comment number 89.

    An addendum to my earlier post, of course, if Gaddafi threatens the oil fields and their production facilities, NATO forces will undertake a humanitarian/peace enforcement operation like greased lightening.

  • Comment number 90.

    26. At 12:44pm on 02 Mar 2011, Implementing similar expenses wrote:
    British Prime Minister David Cameron has suggested that a no-fly zone should be imposed over Libya in a bid to tackle the current crisis. Is this a practical option?

    And what are we going to patrol this no fly zone with? I think we only have the Battle of Britain memorial flight, & the Red Arrows left:(

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


    Well, the Battle of Britain memorial flight has more than paid for itself, unlike the spiralling cost of the Typhoons. And we're dumped the Harriers while they were still going.

    So perhaps we need to build a few Hurricanes, Spitfires and Lancasters. At least they seem to last.

    I can see it being like Dad's Army: "Open two three, aim two three, fire two three" with catapults.

  • Comment number 91.

    "Should there be a no-fly zone over Libya"? is the HYS question.

    What's wrong with you BBC. Calm down and try asking open-ended questions that start with:

    Why should there be a no-fly zone?
    What would a no-fly zone achieve?
    When would a no-fly zone be supported by the UN?

    What do the majority of the Libyan people really want? Has the BBC or any news wires even bothered to ask? Perhaps, but what must be emphasised, is that millions of 'ordinary' Libyans are probably terrified but have no access to express that to the rest of the world?

    This is all moving too fast and we should all back down and calm down. Civil war in Britain is not that far away - anymore than Civil War in America.

    Perhaps all politicians across the United Nations should take a deep breath and re-consider the options based on their own country's destructive history on their own populations - in the past - and today?

    No country, nation, religion, ideology, politics have ever been perfect throughout or before recorded, ancient history - we have, as a pathetic species, slaughtered each other or caused destruction on other species with our so-called 'civilisations' and economies.

    As a species, human beings are still shooting themselves in the foot - we are not advanced as we imagine ourselves to be.

    Back on topic - only Libyans know what they want. Until the global media behaves itself and gets a moral conscience - we will never know?



  • Comment number 92.

    I can't see what a no-fly zone will achieve. What will we do? Shoot down any military aircraft? Great. Then whoever does 'win' in Libya won't have an air force with which to defend themselves afterwards. Unless the UK sells them the planes we've just scrapped, of course. I wouldn't put it past our arms industry. If the Libyans want to rise up against their leader, who are we to get involved? As someone else has pointed out, these things sometimes need to happen, at their own pace. If Gadaffi responds with terrible weapons, he will only enrage his people further and hasten his own demise. He's been in charge for such a long time that there is, at the moment, no credible opposition party capable of taking effective control. We made the mistake in Iraq/Afghanistan of removing brutal dictators and then trying to hand the reins of power to people who were just not ready. The resultant power vacuum led to chaos and further bloodshed. And whoever does get into power may need to be just as brutal and intolerant if he is not be ousted himself. What if our actions only hasten the arrival of a fundamentalist theocracy? Some 'victory' that'll be! We'll have egg all over our stupid faces.

    Let us not forget either, that until only a couple of months ago, we were happily welcoming Gadaffi back into the international fold. Now the political wind has changed we conveniently forget all that and pretend to back the rebels. We have proven ourself to be false friends. The new government of Libya might just have memories better than those of OUR leaders. We'd have at least some credibility if we involved ourselves every time genocide or civil war broke out somewhere in the world, but we and the USA have been too selective to avoid accusations that we are simply cherry-picking conflicts in strategic or oil-rich nations. We didn't help out much in Rwanda or Zimbabwe, did we?

    In addition, we have just announced massive cuts to our Air Force (nice timing, guys!) that will impact directly upon our ability to enforce any such exclusion zone. We cannot even consider imposing a no-fly zone unless we can comfortably enforce it. Finally, I do not believe that Cameron has enough of a political majority to set our country on a war footing. His party did not win the last Election - they bought their way into power by persuading the yellow guys to sell their souls. So he can't possibly claim that we are all behind him. In short, this idea simply won't fly.

  • Comment number 93.

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

  • Comment number 94.

    62. At 1:31pm on 02 Mar 2011, Nic121 wrote:

    Lots of comments on this HYS like the above, so let's put a different slant on it with a fictional scenario:

    At the moment in the UK we're facing cuts and hard times, and let's say that a significant majority of people decided they'd had enough of this current ConDem Coalition govt and took to streets to demand the current PM and MPs step down? What if in response to this the govt sent the police, army and privately paid militia (mercernaries) into the streets and starting beating and firing live ammunition at us. What if all you had to defend yourself were bats and rocks? What if you spent weeks being besieged by these forces and people around you were dieing? What if you could see no hope of an end to it without interference from an outside force? How grateful would you then be if the US decided enough was enough and they were going to take action to stop the bloodshed? Would you say 'no, we're fine, we'll deal with it ourselves'? I very much doubt it.

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

    I think the problem with doing anything from outside is you seldom know the full picture.

    We had poll tax riots. Much of the country was in favour of the poll tax, which was fairer than the current council tax, but the rioters made far more noise. Anyone outside might have thought there was a mass attempt to topple a government. Had they moved on that assumption they would have removed a government which was voted back in, albeit under a different leader.

    We had a peaceful demonstration against the Iraq War, but the War went ahead.

    We had miners killing a taxi driver during the miners' strike.

    So humanitarian aid, including opening up borders if people need to get out, but humanitarian aid only.




  • Comment number 95.

    [quote]37. At 12:56pm on 02 Mar 2011, Calvin1234 wrote:

    Its disappointing to hear so many hate filled words in this debate. I thought our politicians were cold but man was I wrong. There are actual human beings dying every day in Libya. If not a no fly zone at least then someone please tell me how this can, at least, be contained. Most of you seem to be saying the international community should make pop-corn and prepare for a good show![quote/]

    While you're at it Florence, can you sort out Iran, and half of Africa??

  • Comment number 96.

    76. At 1:49pm on 02 Mar 2011, Sweeney wrote:
    Should there be a no-fly zone over Libya?

    Yes, but ony by the Arab airforces themselves, the west has been selling Arab nations fancy warplanes for years and it is about time they put them to good use in the defence of one of their own.

    If nothing is done Gadaffi will eventually regain control of all of Libya by a long war of attrition if necessary.


    There is no way in the long term a rag-tag bunch of rebels and protesters can hold out against a professionaly trained millitary if Gadaffi decides some time in the future to go all out millitarily against them with his entire army and airforce.

    ==================================================
    Just a note to the mods.

    When debates are closed down perhaps they should be moved into the archives area immediately instead of remaining on the front page.

    It is disconcerting to click on debate topic after debate topic in the debate menu box only to see the message

    "this debate is now closed"

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

    Sometimes there is still an open discussion. Perhaps a half hour warning?

  • Comment number 97.

    Its not any of our business.
    Leave the libyans to settle their own affairs.

    We elect governments to run things in our country.
    Its breathtakingly arrogant when they extend that remit and meddle in overseas affairs.

    How long until we hear cries of 'They've weapons of mass destruction that can be deployed to target Britain in 45 minutes'
    We haven't forgotten Tony Bliar, one of these days you'll be tried for war crimes.

  • Comment number 98.

    Military action, by any western nation, concerning the conflict in Libya, would be dangerously ill advised. Russia has expressed a firm opposition to any such military action, inclusive of any "no fly" zone. Russia has also been massing naval assets in the mideast, Mediterranean, Africa region. Whether Russia would feel forced to intervene on the "people's republic" of Libya's behalf remains a significant risk. Russia increasing feels obligated to stand for something in regard to its long term allies, and principles. The most fundamental principle of securing secular government in a socialist nation, against religiously motivated insurgency which has the intent of establishing a religion dominated state, is a very thorny issue for Russia which faces similar challenges in various areas, and is seeking to maintain secular control, even if by military means. The failure of the western world to fully and unequivocally support its own principle of secular governance, and the separation of religion and state, declaring that failure to be in support of "democracy", is the most dangerous and waffling political move since the end of the Cold War. It is doubtful that at least the People's Republic of China, and the Russian Federation, can accept that stance, and it is increasingly probable that they will, in some way or other, take the opposing position, even if not so much for the sake of Colonel Gaddafi's struggle, but for the sake of their own political integrity, and to preserve their own potential future course of actions, within their own future theaters, where they know that they will have to take action even more severe than that of Colonel Gaddafi's loyalists, against the rising tide of Islamist ambitions. It is not only ideological integrity that will come into question but the more fundamental geographic integrity, and this time, unlike the Cold War, there is likely to be no compromise. This failure of the west to support its own principles, blindly seeking to punish Colonel Gaddafi for his long association with communism and his alliance with the USSR, is likely to result in a realization in a large part of the world, under Russian and Chinese influence, that communism is the only remaining answer to the growing threat of religious tyranny subverting, co-opting, threatening, terrorizing, and in insurgency, taking over by overthrow, secular states that seek to maintain secular control over religion and politics. It is that issue which may result in a new, but much more heated, Cold War.

  • Comment number 99.

    64. At 1:35pm on 02 Mar 2011, Chris mather wrote:
    Who is this Abraham character on here today?????


    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    I find him both interesting, relevant and extremely irritating with his use of capitals.
    See post 55. I could have misunderstood him, but he seems to be saying that the west, including the USA, and Israel, should join with the Arab people to help overthrow their dictatorships. He is calling for a violent revotion, which many will find distasteful, but he is recognizing that a united attempt to sort out the ME problems is urgently required. To this end he is describing all as descendents of Abraham.

    I may have misunderstood him, but I think he has an interesting point and one that I would endorse: sooner or later, we in the west, along with Israel and freedom seeking Arab people, have to get stuck in.
    If I am mistaken, then I apologise to him, so no need for point scoring from the likes of More Ham and Phosgene.

  • Comment number 100.

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

 

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