BBC BLOGS - Have Your Say
« Previous | Main | Next »

What should the international community do about Libya?

09:22 UK time, Thursday, 17 March 2011

The UN Security Council has backed a no-fly zone over Libya and "all necessary measures" short of an invasion "to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas". What can be done to resolve the Libya crisis?

Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi's forces have recently retaken several towns seized by rebels in an uprising.

Rebel forces reacted with joy in their Benghazi stronghold but a government spokesman condemned UN "aggression".

Loyalist forces are bearing down on Benghazi, home to a million people.

What should be the next steps for dealing with Libya? Is military intervention a realistic option? What are the implications for the region?

This debate has now been closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 6

  • Comment number 1.

    Set up a no fly zone without delay and ensure it is properly enforced for a start. Air strikes against Gaddafi's military infrastructure will probably also be required if a blood bath is to be avoided.
    Invasion by western ground troops should not happen under any circumstances though...remember Iraq?!

  • Comment number 2.

    Horse and stable door comes to mind it has been left too late to do anything concrete to resolve the situation quickly. It will be a long slow process to come to some agreement. Gaddafi knows that with each passing day he strengthens his hand in any bargaining position. The U.N. has become a waste of space and the E.U. is too scared to attempt any intervention because the Race Card will be played by those opposing. And Obama and the U.S. forget them as Libya was supplying oil to the E.U. and not the U.S. so they do not want to get involved as they are stretched in Afghanistan. A long slow process with casualties mounting on the rebel side though Benghazi could be the turning point as Gaddafi may over reach in his supply chain and who now some more efficient wepons could miraculously appear to assist the rebels

  • Comment number 3.

    The same as I said about a week ago to the same question only worded differently... Nothing.

    We're happy to let other countries fight their way through regime changes and dictatorships, why should Libya be any different *cough* OIL *cough*

  • Comment number 4.

    After stripping away the propaganda, this appears to be an internal struggle, but one which is in favour of the present government by dint of its greater fire-power. The international community has not intervened in other internal struggles, so this seems to be more of a pet project for UK/USA than a real international concern.

    Let me say, having lived in Libya, as well as Saudi Arabia, that I am not keen on the present regime. But that is no reason to exchange it for an unknown. I think that it's strange how this rebellion is happening in one country, then not moving on to the next until an outcome has been achieved. This smacks, to me, of a longer arm behind the scenes, moving the pieces to create this destabilisation. I'm sure I'll get slated for this, but that's the point of HYS.

  • Comment number 5.

    OH gosh, I am in shock - something interesting to discuss!

    I have nothing to say on this subject! ;-)

  • Comment number 6.

    Whatever the international community decide to do, will , I suspect be ineffectual and too late. It looks like that within a few days, any rebellion will be over, it's leaders will be dead or at best "missing" and the Ghadaffi clan will be firmly back in charge. Within a couple of years when the furore has died down, the need for stable oil prices will bring the good colonel and his brood back into the international fold as though nothing had happened.

  • Comment number 7.

    The UK needs to keep its nose out. For too long we have been acting like world's policeman.

    We did it in Iraq - and what thanks from the people of Iraq did we get ? The UK/US got rid of Saddam and what happened ? Years later we are still at war in Iraq. We need to learn our lesson and stay out of other country's affairs.

  • Comment number 8.

    Finally a REAL question!

    I think the international community seriously not to reconsider and rethink their motives for getting involved in other countries affairs.

    Britain specifically needs to stop being the USA's poodle and stop being driven by resources which will not solve our economic problems in the long term anyway.

    And if we're truly to help the Libyan people, surely we should also help liberate those in Zimbabwe, Congo and N. Korea too?

    And we also need to get out of bed with other dictators in the first place, and stop selling arms to the very people we dislike 30 years later.

    A line has to be drawn and stuck to.

  • Comment number 9.

    1. At 09:57am on 17 Mar 2011, aphoristic wrote:

    Set up a no fly zone without delay and ensure it is properly enforced for a start. Air strikes against Gaddafi's military infrastructure will probably also be required if a blood bath is to be avoided.
    Invasion by western ground troops should not happen under any circumstances though...remember Iraq?!

    = = = = = = ==

    Agreed in all aspects

  • Comment number 10.

    Gaddafi is stretched across Libya. Cut his supply lines back to Tripoli, make him look behind him and weaken his surge forward.
    Benghazi should be ringfenced with UN troops to protect the population and Gaddafi should be asked to meet to discuss a ceasefire or take on the UN troops and have his supply lines cut.

    Do not give weapons to the rebels as this would add to the conflict but support them with air cover and the protection of ground based artillery.

    Hold talks and delay Gaddafis forces.

  • Comment number 11.

    Nothing. It is an internal Libyan matter and has absolutely nothing to do with us.

    He wants to stay in power and will defend his leadership using force. They want to take power and will do so using force.

    Sounds like a civil war to me. Nothing to do with anyone outside of that country.

    We need to get our own house in order before trying to fix the rest of the world.

  • Comment number 12.

    mind our own business for once.

  • Comment number 13.

    . At 10:01am on 17 Mar 2011, teedoff wrote:

    After stripping away the propaganda, this appears to be an internal struggle, but one which is in favour of the present government by dint of its greater fire-power. The international community has not intervened in other internal struggles, so this seems to be more of a pet project for UK/USA than a real international concern.

    Let me say, having lived in Libya, as well as Saudi Arabia, that I am not keen on the present regime. But that is no reason to exchange it for an unknown. I think that it's strange how this rebellion is happening in one country, then not moving on to the next until an outcome has been achieved. This smacks, to me, of a longer arm behind the scenes, moving the pieces to create this destabilisation. I'm sure I'll get slated for this, but that's the point of HYS.

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

    Algeria, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Jordan even Zimbabwe are currently ongoing, started about the same time as Libya and they were not awiting the outcome of Libya.
    Bahrain is now under the ruling parties control, arrests of opposition leaders is now happening, the Saudi's have already shot protesters last week in Saudi and they have taken residence in Bahrain.

    This is one of many protests, we are not being allowed to watch the rest as they get little attention from media. Did you know about the uprising in Zimbabwe?? Thought not but it did begin.

  • Comment number 14.

    Tough one. Dammed if they do, dammed if they dont.
    From the lessons learnt in the Middle East, on balance, do very little and let them sort their own mess out. This will involve murder of large amounts of people and large scale destruction. Hopefully this will make the Islamic communities take a long hard look at itself and then it will see that it has to sort its own house out and not externalise THEIR problems and faults.
    Out of this evil may come good and the start of an Islamic Renaissance and the install of the values and culture that the Moors gave to the world, whilst the rest were in Darkness.

  • Comment number 15.

    There's very little chance the UN will vote for a no fly zone, Russia will probably veto it. It is my view that the West should stay well clear of this conflict. Other Arab countries have all that is needed in terms of aircraft and weapons to bring Gaddafi to the negotiating table, let them deal with it and leave us out of it.

  • Comment number 16.

    Why have the Americans been slow to react to this when the French have already recognised the rebels and Cameron is pushing to protect them?

    The answer is quite straight forward oil and military bases.

    If you set your stall out to protect the rebels from an unelected leader like Gaddafi then what do you do say with Saudi Arabia whose leaders are also unelected and who have threatened to put down with force any similar rebellion like the leaders in Bahrain are now doing?

    An interesting dilemma!

  • Comment number 17.

    Too late, surely.

    Also, now that Saudi Arabia is involved in Bahrain - what will we do there?

    The west is so totally reliant upon the Middle East for oil we cannot fall out with everyone without major consequences.

    Will we then take on North Korea, Burma, Zimbabwe, China in relation to Tibet?

    We have made supporting noises to the rebels in various areas who may now be horribly let down.



  • Comment number 18.

    It is probably too late to enforce a no fly zone. This should have been a UN matter with the UN pushing hard for a resolution but instead they dithered. Without the USA to give the lead and provide the might it seems the UN is is a toothless dog. The way the UN is set up really need to be reviewed if it has any role to play in the 21st century. The Arab league have also been mainly inactive but do they really want to get rid of a despot when they are mostly ruled by dictators themselves?
    In the end this is a civil war and will now play out to it's conclusion.

  • Comment number 19.

    "What should the international community do about Libya"
    The international community should have pulled it's thumb outta it's A** & decided on a definite stance two weeks ago. Would have helped if the UN would say/do something, come up with an opinion at least. Instead we've all just sat there dithering & watched as a psycho murders protestors. Great precedent to set, I'm sure other mass murdering dictators across the world are watching this almost total non reaction with great interest.
    Whilst I don't think that the west stomping it's great big boots of war over Libya is a good idea, I do think the sanctions imposed could have been far harsher & we could have made Gadaffi's life far more difficult. Could it be that we're all just waiting to see who comes out on top so we know who we have to broker the new oil deals with?
    As a previous poster said, Horse, stable door, bolted.

  • Comment number 20.

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

  • Comment number 21.


    Too little, too late. Best we keep our noses out of it now.

  • Comment number 22.


    Furthermore, let the Arab countries sort out it for themselves.

  • Comment number 23.

    I see the rebels are now using helicopter gunships, so will these be covered by the No Fly Zone or will it just be Gaddafi's planes.

  • Comment number 24.

    16. At 10:19am on 17 Mar 2011, RonC wrote:
    Why have the Americans been slow to react to this when the French have already recognised the rebels and Cameron is pushing to protect them?

    The answer is quite straight forward oil and military bases.

    If you set your stall out to protect the rebels from an unelected leader like Gaddafi then what do you do say with Saudi Arabia whose leaders are also unelected and who have threatened to put down with force any similar rebellion like the leaders in Bahrain are now doing?

    An interesting dilemma!

    ------------------------------------------------
    It will be if all the rebels loose, who will we get our oil from then. The UK and France will not be the favoured destination for their oil tankers

  • Comment number 25.

    Interfering in a State's internal problems has always created problems for the West - we nearly always seem to get it wrong.

    Two examples included the civil war in Vietnam (the commies proved that they were not the ogres that everyone thought they were and only they had the guts to sort out Cambodia for the benefit of the Cambodian people) and backing the Taliban in their civil war in Afghanistan (and we all know what happened next).

    Sometimes the interference works (Malaya is one of several examples) but each successful interference was backed by a very clear and focussed exit plan that had the full support of the majority of the local population. Making up exit plans on the hoof after the interference is always a total disaster (= Iraq, Afghanistan etc)

    In recent decades we keep getting it wrong. We back the Chinese who have a dreadful human rights reputation by giving them on a plate all of our manufacturing and expertise, we back authoritarian royal families in the Middle East, the UK even suggested a 'no fly' enforcement in Libya without having any means to carry out such an exercise.

    If there is any interference in Libya, it MUST be by the UN and Arab states must be heavily involved.

  • Comment number 26.

    I don't care what the rest of the world do about Libya s long as we stay out of it.

    We have poked our noses in too many places recently, it costs money we have not got and whatever we do is apparently wrong anyway.

    Plus the fact that as a Londoner I'm a bit reticent about using the Tubes when we start meddling in these areas.

  • Comment number 27.

    I honestly don't know. The first question to answer is what does the international community really want to do. The US has been sending out such mixed messages it wouldn't surprise me if they were still giving Gaddafi military support! Whenever we get involved in Middle Eastern conflicts, innocent people get hurt and this turns into anti-Western propaganda for the Muslim extremists and even moderates. Can the Arab world seriously expect Western help any more, when they are so hostile toward us? The Arab countries should really resolve this issue on their own, but they are all too spineless. Saudi Arabia seems hell-bent on propping-up authoritarian governments like its own, whilst spurting out blasphemy like it is against God's will for Arab people to demonstrate! (I am sure God could speak for Himself if he really wanted to!). The US and UK governments, and Russia, are hell-bent on supplying the very weapons that are now being used against the peoples of Libya and Bahrain. I think this is not an issue between the UN and Libya, but between the peoples of the World and the evil that continuously pours forth from the World's governments in both the East and the West!

  • Comment number 28.

    Nothing at all, other than help those who wish to leave the country,and then only humanitarian aid.
    What right has any organisation or country to interfere with the internal problems of a sovereign state.
    The UN is interfering with something outside its remit.

  • Comment number 29.

    18. At 10:24am on 17 Mar 2011, Alba Al wrote:
    It is probably too late to enforce a no fly zone. This should have been a UN matter with the UN pushing hard for a resolution but instead they dithered.

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

    When the UK first suggested a no fly zone no one wanted to know, including one of the most influential voices - America - much easier to laugh at posh Dave and silly Will. Too late now. Having said that, I'm still not sure it would have been such a good idea. But I do wonder if the situation in Bahrain might be different now had the UN acted immediately with Libya.

    The difficulty for the west as well, and what the Middle Eastern governments are probably completely baffled over, is those governments have not changed - it is the west which has changed.



  • Comment number 30.

    We could do what we did in Rwanda, absolutely nothing and let them wipe out each other. But then again, what about the Oil!

  • Comment number 31.

    "What should the international community do about Libya"? is the HYS question.

    What is missing from the preamble to this question, is the lack of more openness from Member countries of the Arab League? Google, who are the Arab League for more background?

    There are clear messages from other UN members, China and Russia, that they will not agree to a no fly zone, but wish to focus on a 'cease fire' first - yet no information from them on how that can be achieved.

    Above all, there appears to a media driven hysteria - jumping from what the UN says one day - the Arab League says another day - NATO another day etc., etc.

    There are also rare glimpses, mostly on BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service, of divisions between the complexity of two threads of followers of Islam? This is not just a simple case of Arab people seeking democracy across North Africa and the Middle East.

    Perhaps Russia and China has a point? Although cynical levels have to remain high amongst the world on this approach when you examine these two country's safe geographical distance; oppression, plus their own abundance of natural resources?

    Just a few thoughts?

  • Comment number 32.

    I notice that the silence coming from the wider Arab/Muslim world voicing support for these brave people resisting their despotic and authoritarian leaders, is deafening.

    Nobody out in streets burning flags.
    Not even blaming Israel and America for the situation.

    And we have the spectacle of these poor people begging the West to come to their assistance.

    I'm sure the irony is not lost.


  • Comment number 33.

    Its probably too late now. We should have imposed no fly zone at least a week ago and sent in troops. gaddaffi is no longer the legitimate ruler f Libya as he has attacked his own citizens.

    We in the democratic free world should not stand by and watch whilst gaddaffi and the saudis in Bahrain kill off any protests in favour of democracy and freespeech.

  • Comment number 34.

    Just do nothing. Sit back and relax. The lefties and liberal way. I just think the western nations have become craven and gutless due to left wing activists.

    Perhaps we should have left Saddam and the Taliban intact too? Perhaps we should have a parade against all forms of intervention LOL!

  • Comment number 35.


    A few sacrificial drones carrying NNEMP weapons strategically aimed to take out gaddafi's weapons and aircraft, and his propaganda machine should've done the trick.

  • Comment number 36.

    I cannot believe some people are advocating that the West should get involved in regime change in the Middle East. Talk about not learning from history. What next “light touch regulation” for the banks maybe”, extending massive amounts of credit to people who can’t pay it back perhaps? How about improving public services by throwing money at them - or relaxing laws for consuming and retailing alcohol to create a continental style “cafe society”?

    If you don’t learn from experience – you don’t learn at all – and the word that describes that condition of mind is stupid. Let’s not be stupid in the Middle East – let’s not get involved this time.

  • Comment number 37.

    Evil rules when good men do nothing.

  • Comment number 38.

    Seems to me the tide in the affairs of men was not seized at the flood.

    It's a tricky one for our polticians, as they generally find a reason to take which ever side seems likely to win. It's not clear which one that is here.

  • Comment number 39.

    I have a question for HYS - where is the middle east peace envoy? He did a fine job...

  • Comment number 40.

    What the 'International Community' should do, whoever they are, is sort this out without any help from the UK or the US.

    What they will do is sit by and do nothing a la Bosnia, waiting for the US to step in and the UK to follow, then shout 'imperialists' and that old cherry; 'crusaders'.

    Personally I don't care what they do so long as the UK is not involved. It will just turn into a stick for the rest of the 'international community' to beat us with.

  • Comment number 41.

    We as a democracy have become adept at changing language. By subtly changing the meanings of words and imposing sanctions on the use of certain words, control is exerted. The biro is mightier than the bullet. A can of oil in the hand is worth 10 cans of oil in the shale.

  • Comment number 42.

    37. At 11:01am on 17 Mar 2011, Talisman63 wrote:
    Evil rules when good men do nothing.
    ---------------------------------

    Unfortunately both sides blames good men when they interfere

  • Comment number 43.

    Sit back and do nothing or go in all guns blazing is a hard choice it needs to be considered carefully but quickly the result either way is unknown when your up against a madman?

  • Comment number 44.

    36. At 11:01am on 17 Mar 2011, Chazz Trinder wrote:

    "...If you don’t learn from experience – you don’t learn at all..."

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

    True enough. BTW I saw a caption on the BBC news site under a picture of a nuclear plant: "The debate about whether it is safe will run for decades to come" or such words.

    I don't know why there wasn't a picture of Mengele with the caption "The debate about whether he was a nice chap will run and run" while we're at it.

    The Scientologists call this approach "auditing", I believe.

    You ask the victim a question, and when they give a perfectly reasonable answer, you ask the question again as if he's said nothing. This is repeated until the person stops answering, and the questioner concludes the matter is still open for debate. A bit like HYS, I'd say.

  • Comment number 45.

    Why do so many people feel the need to do ANYTHING ? It's not our business what goes on with the internal affairs of another country - have they not learnt anything from our interference in Iraq and Afghanistan ?
    We are not the World's policeman, we cannot afford the money or lives which would be wasted on any interference - why is it so important to interfere in Libyan affairs, when the whole world stands idly by and watches -for instance- the Somali Pirates - double standards here then!
    Whatever the outcome in Libya, the West, and, thanks to Hague's bumbling, the UK in particular, will simply get brickbats rather than roses !

  • Comment number 46.

    its up to the people of libya to create regime change, any outside influence would create doubt in the minds of the people in years to come
    true democracy has to come from within, not imposed by foriegn forces

  • Comment number 47.

    keep your dirty money/oil grabbing hands out. when the students protested in the uk or against the war or poll tax would it be ok to arm the opposition and impose un sanctions, freeze britishassets and a no fly zone on the uk? what about israel - did you call for sanctions and a no fly zone? hypocrisy is the british foreign policy standard. hands off is what the world would say.

  • Comment number 48.

    if we can afford to get involved then we can afford to keep our hospitals and libraries open, all this debt buisness is a big con

  • Comment number 49.

    We should let Libya sort its own problems out and learn to stop sticking our noses into every other country's affairs.
    How about a HYS about abuses of freedom in THIS country, before we start pontificating to other nations? I see Brian Haw's right to free speech has been trampled on by Boris Johnson's boot boys. And the Government thinks it's "fair" that graduates should spend the next 30 years in debt, paying back twice the original cost of their student loans.
    Why aren't we being asked to comment on that?

  • Comment number 50.

    Stay away !! its so funny to see Cameron trying to get the UN to agree a no fly zone and no one else is interested !! Gadaffi has got everyone where he wants them doing nothing except making lots of useless threats . Tell you what David sort out unemployment , fuel bills , immigration , pensions , especially the EU etc etc that`s what we elected you for I think !!

  • Comment number 51.

    39. At 11:08am on 17 Mar 2011, Reading the books hidden in corners wrote:
    I have a question for HYS - where is the middle east peace envoy? He did a fine job...

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

    Touring the World with his misses giving speeches for £100,000 a pop.

  • Comment number 52.

    What should the international community do? Well the continent of Africa has countless blue helmets running around pretending to keep the peace and last I saw death coupled with destruction was still prevalent so you might as well discount the wonderful U.N. You can attempt sanctions, no-fly zones as well as other means of trying to isolate this made for t.v. family but don't hold out hope. I just wonder which European government will be the first to come forward and sign a deal with the devil and last but not least should Gaddahfi survive this (Which I'm sure he will) what will the population of Libya be a year from now? Be prepared for the African version of Killing Fields Part II.

  • Comment number 53.

    This is was a purely internal affair, why is Gaddafi bringing in African Mercenaries to fight against his own people. I can believe that the anti-war protesters have thrown there support behind Gaddafi instead of calling for an end to the war. They are arguing that western intervention will prolong the war, while they hope for a quick victory for pro Gaddafi.

    Is it about oil? Yes, Gaddafi has already said those that support him will be rewarded with it.

  • Comment number 54.

    CC is a man whose has lost whatever happens next!!!If he puts the rebels down now there will be a civil war which will go on for years and a breakdown of the whole country.If he negotiates a peace on his terms..he may exit his country with his life.But either way he could never return to rule by the gun as the world has changed.

    You have forgot to tell the world that the CIA has a price on CC head?

  • Comment number 55.

    The first thing they should do is plan an exit strategy.

  • Comment number 56.

    The West is continually accused of interfering in Middle Eastern countries affairs - so let the Arab league come together and enforce a no-fly zone.

  • Comment number 57.

    Gaddafi is much the sasme as Churchill, a mixture of fighter, actor and politician. Arabs must be proud of his resistance to Western assumptions of what is good for North Africa's amall mations, and our endless d=wheeler dealing with less honourable Arab leaders.
    Members of the Arab League have helped Israel subdue an Arab nation for 40 years and are now helping Bahrain to subdue its own people, so it is not suprising that they are 'helpful' in opposing one of the few arab leaders who puts his beliefs before his wallet.

  • Comment number 58.

    Why are the bbc asking again? most brits and americans feel the same, nothing, unless the muslimic nations act as one with one voice, instead of making a lot of noise, and expecting the west to bail them out, due to the age old issue of oil.

    Politicians and many doo gooders, may be concerned there is no democracy in that state, but I ask what muslimic nation has a true democratic system? even but most of the arab nations, still funcion under tribal law, and elitism. Yes our history with that country does go back to WW2, but the turmoil now does not suggest the need has changed.

    The faster the west develops other means of energy, instead of that dirty black liquid, the faster we will start to recover again and prosper again financialy, hence we should see these issues as no more than a wake up call, of our dependance on them.

  • Comment number 59.

    While no fan of Ghaddaffi, I find it ironic that foreign troops are in Bahrain keeping a dictator in power, with only lip service being paid by our politicians and media. Maybe Ghaddaffi can ask for foreign troops to keep him in power, as long as the oil flows cheaply.

  • Comment number 60.

    My biggest fear in this situation is the role of Iran.
    Are they trying to destabilise the whole Arab region for the political gain (using religion as a front for secular gain).
    This is the elephant in the room and may be a 'game changer' in the whole Middle East if there is any substance

  • Comment number 61.

    The vacillation of the International Community and David Cameron in particular is reminiscent of the actions of George Bush Senior and John Major in ending the first Gulf War.

    Their actions then in not pursuing the Iraqi Army lead to the destruction of much of the opposition to Saddam Hussein and eventually the decision of Tony Blair and George Bush Junior to invade Iraq a second time.

    The International Community has shown tacit approval for the regime change in North African, predominantly Arab Moslem states.
    Don't let these people down in the way we did the Iraqi Kurds and people of South Eastern Iraq.

    Whether Blair was right or wrong, just like Margaret Thatcher he showed leadership and decision making ability that is sadly lacking in the current ConDem government.

  • Comment number 62.

    The situation in the arab world appears similar to the 1848 "year of revolutions" in Europe. A few states (eg Denmark) adopted constitutional democracy quickly, some like France re-established a republic but most revolutions (Prussia, Austria, Hungary) were brutally suppressed and the cause of democracy delayed. Even France had reinstalled dictatorship within a few years. Dictators like Gaddafi need to think how they want to be remembered by history. On present course and speed it will not be very kindly.

  • Comment number 63.

    Under no circumstances shoudl we get involved in military action. Any money that would be attributed to such an action is better spent in this country. Stop imports / exports from and to Libya and other such sanctions by all means. If the US wants to go to war then let them and any other countries. Nor should we go into Bahrain!

  • Comment number 64.

    What should the international community do about Libya?
    09:22 UK time, Thursday, 17 March 2011

    The US says the United Nations should consider additional measures to a no-fly zone over Libya as the Security Council faces division over a draft resolution. What can be done to resolve the Libya crisis?

    --------------------------------------------------
    To be quite honest I think it is too late for them to do anything now, just let Gadaffi get on retaking Libya.

    I think the Libyan's bit off a bit more than they could chew, when they tried to take on a hard-core dictator like Gadaffi, after they were lulled into a false of confidence over how relatively easy it was in Tunisia and Egypt.


    The problem is Gadaffi has the upper hand and a no fly zone at this late stage would bog down the conflict longer, and I don't think the west has the stomach for a full scale invasion to depose him after the debacle of Iraq and Afghanistan.


    If the Arab league want to send in millitary forces to oust him, fine, but not western forces.

  • Comment number 65.

    The western world should back him 100% or Libya and its oil will be in the hands of groups, who do not favour western ways !!! Other countries in the middle east, will have the same probelm ?unless we help our friends in they time of need A no fly zone is a waste of time.

  • Comment number 66.

    The difficulty of enforing a no fly zone is being underestimated. It is very easy to get involved in a conflict and very hard to leave.

    Steven Quas Collins

  • Comment number 67.

    8. At 10:03am on 17 Mar 2011, Superlad wrote:
    "Finally a REAL question!"

    Tongue in cheek use of the word "finally" here, methinks as this topic has popped onto HYS every other day for about a fortnight now. Perhaps they can't be bothered raising any other issues.
    The last decent thing the British did in the North African desert was to film "Ice Cold in Alex" in 1958. Perhaps the best thing we could do would be to send in plucky John Mills and Anthony Quayle in unfeasibly short shorts to show them the way home.

    Unfortunately, however, Libya is a middle east country with a whole load of OIL reserves so we can pretty much guarantee that our involvement in that country will be to help the USA to pretty much cack it up. Again.

  • Comment number 68.

    59. At 11:35am on 17 Mar 2011, SudburySaturdayNight wrote:

    While no fan of Ghaddaffi, I find it ironic that foreign troops are in Bahrain keeping a dictator in power, with only lip service being paid by our politicians and media. Maybe Ghaddaffi can ask for foreign troops to keep him in power, as long as the oil flows cheaply.

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

    Um, he already is, most of his army defected so he started importing African mercenaries to fight and kill his own people. Foreign troops are keeping Ghaddaffi in power.

  • Comment number 69.

    Without sounding like a supporter of Col Ghadaffi's attempt to stay in power, i am just curious as to why the international community, obviously led by the Americans, doesn't sound ready to try and negotiate a way out of this conflict?? Why aren't people badgering both sides to put down their weapons and sit down and talk? Isn't anyone curious to know where the 'rebels' have all of a sudden got access to bunch of seemingly well trained 'merry men'? There are rumours of fighting men coming across Libya's borders to join the 'rebels'. It's really interesting how this group transformed from peaceful protesters,to the opposition, dissidents and finally rebels in the same media!!!
    Also where are all these people being interviewed with the British, American and other accents springing up from?? Stop both sides from fighting!!

  • Comment number 70.

    The West dithers, whilst Libya burns.

  • Comment number 71.

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

  • Comment number 72.

    Out of this evil may come good and the start of an Islamic Renaissance and the install of the values and culture that the Moors gave to the world, whilst the rest were in Darkness.
    ---

    And how did the moors "give" to the world? by invading Spain. Do you think the Spanish wanted them there for nearly 800 years?

  • Comment number 73.

    I think the argument for a no-fly zone is a humanitarian one. Libyan rebels potentially face a situation similar to Iraq and the gas attack on Halabja in 1988 where the military were slaughtering civilians under the orders of the incumbent ruler. Back in 1988 this was occurring at a time when we actually supported Hussein, and I recall very few voices seemed to be raised in concern when it happened.
    This time round we can do something about it to avoid innocent people being killed, and I feel we should, but without taking sides as far as possible with internal politics of the country. A no-fly zone is a sensible solution.

  • Comment number 74.

    61. At 11:36am on 17 Mar 2011, shillo wrote:

    "Whether Blair was right or wrong, just like Margaret Thatcher he showed leadership and decision making ability that is sadly lacking in the current ConDem government."

    Sorry but creating false documents (dodgy dossier) and telling lies to the populus as well as parliament is not "Leadership" in my view.

    But he is the UN's Special Envoy for the Middle East - and very noticable for his absence. Whats his view on things in Libya and Bahrain? What is he doing about stopping the bloodshed?

  • Comment number 75.

    It should do whatever it can to protect citizens of Libya from attack by Gadaffi & his forces. It should use military force if necessary.


    However, whatever it does it should also do exactly the same in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. If it chooses to ignore what is going on in Bahrain it should also ignore what is going on in Libya.

    Its two-faced nature stinks

  • Comment number 76.

    well considering this is the wests fault and we started all this i think its only fair we should back up the rebels now, we cant manipulate them into fighting and then just leave them!

    dont sart what you cant finish! uk, usa etc

  • Comment number 77.

    "What should the international community do about Libya?"

    Nothing.

    Countries should obviously get their own nationals out of Libya, and deal sympathetically with Libyan nationals who make it out, but after that it's up to Libya to sort itself out.

  • Comment number 78.

    Russia and China will probably veto any UN resolution. They have a vested interest in opposing UN interventions in a country's internal affairs.
    NATO has been used before to get round UN inaction, re Kosovo.
    It's no good complaining about UN vetos, that was how it was set up. The original permanent members of the Security Council gave themselves veto powers to ensure the UN did not act against their interests.
    My issue is that Europe(including the UK) seems incapable of acting without US support, this has been the case since Suez. The US will only act where it's interests are concerned.
    Most of the ME states have authoritarian, unrepresentative governments, which have enjoyed US/European support for economic and strategic reasons.
    The essential issue remains, stability or democracy. Put starkly, do we stand by and let Gaddafi re-impose his rule, with all the attendant bloodshed and then carry buying his oil and selling him weapons?
    Do we let the Sunni minority in Bahrain, assisted by the Saudis, put down the uprising by the Shia majority, because of considerations about oil and naval bases?
    Is it the case, we don't care how many people are tumbled into mass graves as long as our petrol prices don't increase?

  • Comment number 79.

    69. At 11:52am on 17 Mar 2011, Big Guy wrote:
    Without sounding like a supporter of Col Ghadaffi's attempt to stay in power, i am just curious as to why the international community, obviously led by the Americans, doesn't sound ready to try and negotiate a way out of this conflict?? Why aren't people badgering both sides to put down their weapons and sit down and talk? Isn't anyone curious to know where the 'rebels' have all of a sudden got access to bunch of seemingly well trained 'merry men'? There are rumours of fighting men coming across Libya's borders to join the 'rebels'. It's really interesting how this group transformed from peaceful protesters,to the opposition, dissidents and finally rebels in the same media!!!
    Also where are all these people being interviewed with the British, American and other accents springing up from?? Stop both sides from fighting


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

    why should we?
    let them learn you cant wave flags and cheer a terrorist that killed US and UK citizens then expect us to bail you out with a smile?

    payback for lockerbie

  • Comment number 80.

    66. At 11:49am on 17 Mar 2011, Steven Quas Collins wrote:
    The difficulty of enforing a no fly zone is being underestimated. It is very easy to get involved in a conflict and very hard to leave.

    Steven Quas Collins

    ----------


    no it really isnt hard at all and very easy to enforce.
    sam sites? ships with sams, way more advanced fighterplanes and wepsons systems?

    could be setup within 1 day of arrival

  • Comment number 81.

    Haven't we supplied the Arab nations enough arms for them to go and sort the problem out. It's their neighbor. They have piles of money from oil. If they really want an insane dictator sitting on their doorsteps I guess they are welcome to him.

    Our politician's vacuous pontification just makes us look weak since they are unlikely to back it up in a timely way with any action and frankly I don't want them to.

  • Comment number 82.

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

  • Comment number 83.

    It is amusing to watch the anti-Iraq war brigade squirming under the Libyan dilemma.

    It is the same as Iraq. Either one lets a dictator subjugate and murder his own people, as well as upsetting our oil supplies, or one intervenes with military action.

    It really is about time the naïve PC brigade grew up and saw that unpleasant choices may have to be made for the longer term good of all as dithering only makes things worse.

    The timid no-fly zone compromise will not prevent local ground forces fighting a protracted civil war; in fact it virtually guarantees that is what they will do.

    Either we do it properly this time and commit to removing Gaddaffi with whatever ground forces are required, or we let it fester like we did in Iraq such that we have to go back later and do it again.

    Surely the one lesson from Iraq is to do it right the first time so let us show we have at least learnt that.

  • Comment number 84.

    I was somewhat intrigued by Malcolm Rifkind's suggestion that Egypt should send troops in to reinforce the rebels in the East of Libya. Isn't Egypt in some sort of interim administration pending democratic elections? In which case, who in Egypt would have a mandate to invade another nation?

  • Comment number 85.

    Something would be nice.

  • Comment number 86.

    70. At 11:52am on 17 Mar 2011, AndyS wrote:
    The West dithers, whilst Libya burns.

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


    you can thanks the anti war brigade for that.
    thanks to them constantly nagging and saying that iraq was an ilegal war,
    WHICH IT WASNT OFFICIALLY!

    they have now made it very hard to do anything so cheers for creating more red tape!

    well done anti war brigade thanks to you by the time we get through the red tape they will all be dead! you really saved lives and the world didnt you? oops!

  • Comment number 87.

    At 11:25am on 17 Mar 2011, Stokkevn wrote:
    39. At 11:08am on 17 Mar 2011, Reading the books hidden in corners wrote:
    I have a question for HYS - where is the middle east peace envoy? He did a fine job...

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

    Touring the World with his misses giving speeches for £100,000 a pop.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I blame it on Thatcher........

    Nothing to do with the Arabs at all, they are just innocent bystanders whilst Blair, Thatcher, Reagan, Bush, Murdoch and Oil companies, etc really are promoting the regions chaos

    There was another HYS topic about smoking certain substances and the effect of psychosis (paranoid delusions) on young minds which may have more relevance

  • Comment number 88.

    UK should invade without delay, then lay a big pipe from North Africa to the UK , get some of that delicious oil .... Simple

  • Comment number 89.

    Absolutely nothing. Keep out of it. We don't have the resources anyway and even if we did, it's none of our business.

  • Comment number 90.

    At 11:58am on 17 Mar 2011, Sir Digby Chicken Caesar wrote:
    Out of this evil may come good and the start of an Islamic Renaissance and the install of the values and culture that the Moors gave to the world, whilst the rest were in Darkness.
    ---

    And how did the moors "give" to the world? by invading Spain. Do you think the Spanish wanted them there for nearly 800 years?

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Smells like another product of the leftwing 'education' (or lack of) system.
    Please read up on the matter and you will see that as Europe was in a state of darkness (it was called The Dark Ages), The Moors were an enlightened culture who kept the flame of Light and learning alive whilst the Roman Church oppressed any form of Knowledge not sanctioned by them, in Europe (usually with despotic and violent force).

  • Comment number 91.

    74. At 12:00pm on 17 Mar 2011, Tio Terry wrote:
    61. At 11:36am on 17 Mar 2011, shillo wrote:

    "Whether Blair was right or wrong, just like Margaret Thatcher he showed leadership and decision making ability that is sadly lacking in the current ConDem government."

    Sorry but creating false documents (dodgy dossier) and telling lies to the populus as well as parliament is not "Leadership" in my view.

    But he is the UN's Special Envoy for the Middle East - and very noticable for his absence. Whats his view on things in Libya and Bahrain? What is he doing about stopping the bloodshed?


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


    yes because they where wrong that means they where totally false? because no person ever gets anything wrong do they?
    IT WAS NOT ILLEGAL, saddam had a past history of WMD's its not like he was this innocent guy that wanted world peace was it?

  • Comment number 92.

    Mind our own business.
    We poked our noses into Afghanistan's and Iraq's affairs - that was enough.

  • Comment number 93.

    • 68. At 11:52am on 17 Mar 2011, Andy wrote:
    Um, he already is, most of his army defected so he started importing African mercenaries to fight and kill his own people. Foreign troops are keeping Ghaddaffi in power.

    I guess I didn’t express myself too clearly. My issue is more with the double standards and hypocrisy emanating from our politicians and talking heads about two, somewhat similar situations. That being, what powerful men will do to hold on to power and how the men that help them hold on to that power spin things and justify their actions.

  • Comment number 94.

    Nothing.
    If we get involved it will become all our fault in the future.
    Leave the Arab States to sort it out themselves.

  • Comment number 95.

    83. At 12:09pm on 17 Mar 2011, Paul J Weighell wrote:
    It is amusing to watch the anti-Iraq war brigade squirming under the Libyan dilemma.

    It is the same as Iraq. Either one lets a dictator subjugate and murder his own people, as well as upsetting our oil supplies, or one intervenes with military action.

    It really is about time the naïve PC brigade grew up and saw that unpleasant choices may have to be made for the longer term good of all as dithering only makes things worse.

    The timid no-fly zone compromise will not prevent local ground forces fighting a protracted civil war; in fact it virtually guarantees that is what they will do.

    Either we do it properly this time and commit to removing Gaddaffi with whatever ground forces are required, or we let it fester like we did in Iraq such that we have to go back later and do it again.

    Surely the one lesson from Iraq is to do it right the first time so let us show we have at least learnt that.


    -------------------------
    i 2nd this!
    do one anti war brigade, war is a necessary evil the world has not progressed enough yet to a point where "world peace" is a possibility

  • Comment number 96.

    The age of unelected representatives is over.
    I wonder whether the protests to remove monarchies will spread to the UK , or are britishers satisfied with their class ridden society with the upper classes lording over the lower classes ?
    Are the commentators in the BBC site representative only of the upper classes ?

  • Comment number 97.

    Having watched some of the "...Is The West History" documentary series, it appears that when the "West" (read Europe) turned to secularity over religion it made the leap towards the light of understanding and power that the "Middle East" (read Arab nations) continue to lack with their more religious outlook. This is why the Arab nations don't have their own weapons factories, but instead purchase from Russia/Europe/USA, and that is, perhaps, a small mercy.
    Bearing that in mind, though, we are completely implicated in any of the Middle East conflicts, as we have supplied the weapons of mass, or minor, destruction that they use. If you give the inmates the keys to the asylum, don't expect them to thank you, but watch your back closely.

    A previous commentator postulated that Iran could be behind this, and I think, if that is the case, it is a wonderful smokescreen to divert from their continued push toward nuclear capability. I would liken the situation to a game of chess, but that only has two players and is easily understandable. We are presently playing a completely different game from these countries and don't have a rule book for their game. I'd keep an eye on what's not happening, though, to see the truth behind this.

  • Comment number 98.

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

  • Comment number 99.

    Why do so many commentators deplore our governments concern to assure a secure supply of oil. “It’s all about the oil” - they say in a tone that suggests being concerned about oil is somehow shameful or underhand and that the politicians themselves are obtaining some sort of illicit benefit from it.

    Our entire civilisation and way of life is dependent on oil – without it we are back in the Stone Age. Our leaders would be failing in their duty if they didn’t give oil supplies a high priority. The saloon bar experts loudly complaining “it’s all about the oil” will be the first to moan if the price of petrol goes through the roof. It shouldn’t only be about the oil but let’s stop pretending we have the luxury of behaving as if oil doesn’t matter.

  • Comment number 100.

    They should do nothing in my opinion. Half of the country want Gadaffi the other half don't, both sides are armed. This isn't the military going after civilians instead it is now a civil war. The libyans should sort it out themselves. either Gadaffi will go or the rebels will.

    If they really wanted the west intervening they would not have arrested the special forces (SBS or SAS) when they had them in their country. They would in fact be begging the west to bring down its military might on Gadaffi. They can't request just a no fly zone and no other help.

    Anyways its a civil war so we should stay out of it. Only if what happened in bosnia with ethnic cleansing should the world intervene, and that hasn't happened. If a no fly zone is created then why aren't we intervening in other countries that have the same troubles as Libya but aren't in the news?. . . oh I've just answered my own question there.

    Its politicians scoring points

 

Page 1 of 6

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.