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Will Libya ceasefire resolve crisis?

08:53 UK time, Friday, 18 March 2011

French military jets are preventing forces loyal to Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi from attacking the rebel-held city of Benghazi, French President Nicolas Sarkozy says. Can the crisis in the country be resolved?

It is believed to be the first act of intervention since the UN voted on Thursday for a no-fly zone over Libya.

Hours earlier, pro-Gaddafi forces launched an assault on the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi, a BBC journalist witnessed.

Will a ceasefire bring peace to Libya? Is a no-fly zone the only way to resolve the crisis in the country? Are there other viable options? What are the implications for the region?

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

Comments

Page 1 of 13

  • Comment number 1.

    It is to be hoped that Gadaffi and his supporters will now recognise that they are nearing the end of the road and start negotiating their departure.

    If it is necessary for the UN forces to attack his ground forces, the geography of Libya should make it possible to minimise loss of life. The rebels should be able to make it difficult for Gadaffi's forces to shelter in the towns, while in the open desert they and their supply columns will be very vulnerable to air attack, without too much "collateral damage".

    If the resolution works and Gadaffi is defeated, it will be an important lesson for other dictators who might be inclined to put down insurrections with military force.

  • Comment number 2.

    The only sensible course (if we are really serious about it) is to bring Ark Royal back into service and use that to deploy our Harriers (which would also need recovering).

    Deploying our 4 yes that is what we have FOUR Tornado GR4's out of Cyprus is a joke, the only problem is, it is hardly funny for the PBI's that have to fly them.

    That wont happen though, simply because Cameron and His Lackeys would then have to admit they got it wrong.

    2 Things Politicians never do.

    1) Speak the truth
    2) Admit when they are wrong.

  • Comment number 3.

    I supported Cameron because the Labour Government was the worst disaster to ever befall this country. But his posturing on Libya is a grave mistake. This is nothing to do with us and we cannot afford it. We should stop crawling up the derierre of the Americans who our not our, or anybody's friends. Obama is a useless hypocrite.

  • Comment number 4.

    No it has not been the correct decision, we *THE UK* should stay well out of it, let the French and anyone else deal with it.

    It is not our business, we have no need to be there.

  • Comment number 5.

    No. Yesterday's HYS was overwhelmingly in favour of Britain keeping its nose out of Libyan affairs.

    We can't afford this. We don't know that the rebel leadership is any more democratic than the present government. We're likely to precipitate action by the Libyan government in Benghazi by trying to humiliate them. We are setting the UK up as a target for terrorists.

    I'm horrified and disgusted by the warmongering and self-aggrandisement of Cameron, who is proving himself to be a reincarnation of Blair in a blue tie.

  • Comment number 6.

    Pigs may fly!

  • Comment number 7.

    Please! The world gets about 2% of its oil from Libya, so let's just 86 all this talk of that being a major reason?

    There is a much broader point here.

    We are always being told that the West (Europe & USA) is being gradually eclipsed by the east in terms of being the world economic superpower. Many Arab states are taking in fabulous amounts of wealth from oil revenues. So, in light of all that, why does it have to be the west that makes the running in sorting out Libya? I can only think of two reasons:

    1) Cultural: The rising nations (India, China et al) and Arab states see it as bad manners, or inexpedient to get involved in policing the world in the way that the Western (supposedly declining) powers have done since WW2.

    2) They simply do not care about political oppression and regional destabilisation.

    If these powers are indeed set to inherit pole position in the world power rankings, neither of these reasons gives one a very hopeful view of the future. These sunrise nations should surely, by now, be facing up to the full responsibilities of having huge international muscle?

    Alan T

  • Comment number 8.

    Not a chance,
    unless we send a carrier! DOH

  • Comment number 9.

    I do wish our Government would stay out of all this. Let the Arab's enforce the no fly zone. Whatever happens the Uk will end up taking the flak.(literally)
    If I were a cynic I might even suggest that Uk France and Italy are just volunteering so they can show case their new Euro fighter and drive up sales(to Arabs?). Just as well I'm not.

  • Comment number 10.

    A series of judicious air strikes against Gaddafi's air fields, together with strikes against his ground forces(he only has the equivalent of one weak armoured brigade) should restore the balance in favour of the opposition.
    The most effective outcome of this resolution will be the defection of more of Gaddafi's generals and officials to the opposition.

  • Comment number 11.

    Here we go again ! When will the U.K. learn to stop getting involved in every Bally Military Action in the World. I thought we were skint and the Military losing numbers. This makes absolutely no sense and could seriously backfire on Mr.Cameron and the U.K. !!!!

  • Comment number 12.

    We used to only interfere when a country invaded another but now it seems we feel we have a right to step into the internal matters of every country in the world. The truth is that we only take an interest when it suits our purpose. Much as we may dislike Gadaffi he is not invading another country, it's a matter to be resolved by the Libyans themselves. Bahrain is calling in troops from another country and we say nothing. Never mind, if the rest of the world behaves as we do perhaps we can call on some other country to send in their troops to get rid of Cameron

  • Comment number 13.

    Well, they have done it again. The warmongers in the government have suckered us into another shooting match for no clear reason, with no clear outcome, and no clear good guys, for the sake of oil.

    Was there a vote in Parliament? Where the people consulted? Can we afford it?

    What a stupid country we are!

  • Comment number 14.

    We are being dragged into the Arab mire again - and all because of oil. If Libya was just sand, I doubt very much that UN Resolution 1973 would have been generated. This could so easily all end in tears. I await the first downed Coalition/Allied aircrew being paraded in front of the cameras in Tripoli. Please let the Libyan Arabs settle their own disputes and keep our noses out.

  • Comment number 15.

    Looking at operation Desert Storm, the Iraqi army were all but defeated before the ground invasion began. If the UN can supply enough air-power there is no reason why a military victory cannot be handed to the Libyan rebels on a plate.

    Wheter or not this is a good idea though is a whole other can of worms....

  • Comment number 16.

    This has nothing to do with the Uk.

    We should keep out of it. We have already sacrificed enough of our own people fighting wars that don't concern us.

    If we have got money to do this, then the government is lying to us regarding the current economic situation.

  • Comment number 17.

    Nothing to do with the UK, unlucky for Gadaffi we are short of oil and not carrots otherwise we may be angry with Zimbabwe.
    Also when one of these rebel forces gets injured or killed does he then become a civilian, listen to the reporting of this on all the news channels. Or in the words of Jack Nicholson maybe "we cant handle the truth".

  • Comment number 18.

    >>14. At 10:00am on 18 Mar 2011, Alasdair Campbell wrote:
    We are being dragged into the Arab mire again - and all because of oil.

    I say again, the world gets just 2% of it's oil from Libya.

  • Comment number 19.

    This no fly zone is going to cause more problems in the long run. Why should British service men and women be used to enforce a no fly zone in Libya? Let the rebels deal with the issue, it is their country and they are doing a good job of sorting the problem out for themselves. Why is the African Union not getting involved? This is part of Africa is it not?

    To that end, why all the concern about Libya, what about the many other countries that have problems. Many civilians are dying in the Ivory Coast, Bahrain has seen civilians die and so has Zimbabwe.....all due to their governments.

  • Comment number 20.

    Will a no-fly zone resolve the crisis in Libya?

    NO, this is how we started in Iraq and look at the mess that turned out to be, the shysters who promote these highly selective wars for their own profit make me ashamed to be British (sorry, I meant to say british).


  • Comment number 21.

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

  • Comment number 22.

    573. At 09:29am on 18 Mar 2011, LeftieAgitator wrote:

    Pay for the operation with Gaddafi's frozen funds.

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

    Too late on the other one sorry....


    A good idea it is to help Libya and he is destroying towns. The money should be put into a fund to rebuild, if there is any left.

    There might even be enough for a few planes for the UK.

  • Comment number 23.

    I see the new headline, "Ministers expected to be given opportunity to vote on military action in Libya next week".

    What's the betting that by then we'll already have sacrificed a couple of pilots, friendly-fired a few Frenchmen, mis-directed a bomb on a bus full of civilians and shot a hundred or so Libyan troops who think they're doing their sworn duty by supporting their leader, Ghadaffi?

    But I'm off to send an email to my MP, imploring her to vote against military action, anyway.

  • Comment number 24.

    There is no crisis in Libya that is different from crisis in other states across the world where the workers/local citizens are not valued by the politicians that govern those states.

    It is only a difference of degree.
    Some people are said to be able to vote the leaders out. Others are not able to.
    In the end the same type of leaders remain in both types of state. Some use force in their own countries to kill their own people and keep them under control. Others use force in others countries to keep the leaders there under control, and whilst doing so do not take any notice of how many locals are killed.
    All the time the locals in both types of states have no control over their lives.

    So NO. In the long term there will be no change in the lives of locals in Libya. The only change they will see is a different set of leaders. They will still remain subject to a set of people prepared to use force to ensure they remain in control. No change at all.



    I am so sick of politicians that masquerade as guardians of civilans in other nations.

    They don't take positive action to keep their own people from sinking into poverty, and actually actively help them to fall faster by removing public service posts and enact laws that make it easy for big corporations to fire people at will and pay nominal wages, yet they claim they are going to help people abroad.

    When they venture abroad, all they do is cherry pick the third world nations with valuable resources that their own big corporations depend upon.

    They ensure they have people in these resource rich nations who they can bribe, and will maintain a steady cheap supply of resources to the big corporations who have gone and set up their manufacturing bases in second world states, taking the livelihoods of workers and citizens of states like the UK away.

    All these politicians do is maintain money in their own pockets, money in the pockets of the elite behind the big corporations, money in the pockets of their bribed despots.

    Meanwhile the local citizens suffer and the citizens in the resource laden states suffer.

    It is only people from the UK rebel and move to remove these corrupt politicians in the UK who wage war to loot other states, will UK citizens have any future in this new world. If they don't they will be left as the dirt on the feet of politicians here. The same happens to the native citizens where natural resources come from. The despots thrive there whether they are called Gadaffi or WestLoverRebel.
    The same happens to people where manufacturing shifts to. The local oligarchs flourish as in China and India, but there are hundreds of millions there who live in abject poverty, who will never see the benefit of manufacturing shifting to there. All they will do is move from sustainable living in villages, to work in cities with debt, unaffordable housing, long houses and low wages, whilst the oligarchs thrive. So the cycle goes on.
    Rip off after rip off. One century there is slavery, another there is colonisation with effective slavery, another there is effective colonisation with use of bribed despots with effective slavery. All the time the local natives/workers remain in slavery whilst the elite wage war with each other as to who will hold the money in a particular decade.

  • Comment number 25.

    I feel quite torn

    On one hand I feel we should stay out of foreign affairs.

    On the other, I have just see footage of the people of Benghazi celebrating the UN resolution. Feeling for the first time they are not going to be slaughtered for standing up for their rights and a better life, when Gadaffi rolls into town.

  • Comment number 26.

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

  • Comment number 27.

    ...and off we go again! More expense and potential bloodshed for oil; please don't give me that 'humanitarian' rubbish - it wasn't true last time and it isn't true now.

    If there was no oil in Libya (and in percentage terms there isn't very much) the rest of the world wouldn't even notice what's going on over there.

  • Comment number 28.

    No, we're getting dragged once again into someone elses' conflict. We should stay out of it and let them sort it out themselves.

    And isn't it strange how money can be found at short notice to finance this yet we have been told since the election that we are crippled by debt.

  • Comment number 29.

    Have the people of Libya asked for it? I don't know. If so, then it is probably a good idea because in a few days when Gadaffi has won he will then come after all the rebels viciously. So the no fly zone is a good deterrent. However, I'm suspicious after Iraq that with Gabon, Nigeria and Colombia voting for the no fly zone with UK, and China & Russia abstaining there are some backroom hidden agendas going on. Greed rather than compassion being the motivation.

  • Comment number 30.

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

  • Comment number 31.


    I still think the idea of using a cyber-attack and strategically aimed non-lethal NNEMP drones at Libya. Don't attack the man, attack his infrastructure.

  • Comment number 32.

    So we are drastically scaling back our military capability but at the same time increasing our military obligations by assisting with regime change in a country that poses no imediate threat to the UK. The logic of this defies belief but then, logic and politics are mutually exclusive in the decades of shiny suit sound-bite politicians. And a "No Fly" zone wont inflict regime change - you need boots on the ground - reality check. Why does this once great, but seriously no longer, over populated, near bankrupt, imports only, off shore European island, still think it runs the world and meddle in other country's affairs ? If it is a moral argument then I look forward to Zimbabwe next. If it is oil, I understand that more but it still cannot justify our military aggression in the name of regime change. Are we to see Gaddafi captured, tried and hanged just as Saddam ? The whole debacle is repulsive and I for one strongly oppose the leader of the political party I voted for on this issue. Oh and by the way Mr. Cameron, you just scrapped the means of projecting your political will through the means of seaborne air power. You are sir, in my humble opinion, a plonker.

  • Comment number 33.

    To translate a United Nations no-fly zone as Cameron war-mongering, or protecting oil supplies, just shows that some people would rather comment on here than educate themselves. There are complex issues on both sides... but what the hec - a good dose of snap judgement and conspiracy will help sort it out.. I'm off to find out what's happening in the world from a guy in the football shirt, at my local.

  • Comment number 34.

    Right or wrong, it is Britain taking the lead in this. And we suddenly find it "affordable" and as usual the money to pay for it has materialised in the government coffers overnight.

    Why can't (say ) Switzerland take the lead? Because they have the sense to be indepenent. Why can't we? Why can't we copy the Swiss?

    No doubt we shall have some new enemies after it is all over.

  • Comment number 35.

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

  • Comment number 36.

    Considering Gaddafi already controls about 90% of Libya a
    no fly zone is a bit late.Trying to support the Rebels is a lost cause,
    all Gaddafi has to do is sit a few miles outside Benghazi and wait,while his troops brew up a cup of tea and plane spot.
    And if people are depending on sanctions working forget it.

  • Comment number 37.

    No, we need peace not war. One will never achieve long lasting peace by meeting war with war. We have to be so careful about not getting involved in a war again and believe me the language of the UN agreement is about a military conflict not just a no fly zone. We may not like Gaddafi as a dictator, but look what happened in Iraq. Libya could ally with Iran and North Korea, it could attack Italian airpsace, it could down a UK airforce jet, etc. It is very rare in history that a war can be started and it go to plan and end in a few weeks peacefully-we only have to look at the realities in Iraq and Afghanistan to learn those lessons. It may actually fuel more of a bloodbath in Libya by forcing Gaddafi to move quickly and use more firepower, especially airstrikes, and place his tanks etc in civilian areas instead of surrounding Benghazi and negotiating a relatively peaceful surrender which was a possibility. And the long range damage is already done to the Arab world--once again it is the UK and USA at the forefront--not Russia or Germany or China--same old same old. So our nation gets to prepare ourselves again for another potential deepening military conflict, while simultaneously eliminating aircraft, pilots, aircraft carriers and 17000 troops as part of the cutbacks at home. All in all when this conflict is over I am not so sure it will have made this country of Libya safer or England either. It sends a repeated message to the world and especially the Arab world that the West will intervene whenever they want when they see the potential for oil and trade and potential arms sales or this myth of imposing democracy.
    Remember what was the first thing Cameron did in Egypt--he went in before ANY other political leader and brought a team of arms sales delegates--probably the same ones we will take into the "New Libya" or Bahrain or Yemen or Saudi Arabia or wherever else we choose to go.
    There is a bigger concern. When we get involved for humanitarian reasons I applaud it--but we did nothing in Bosnia, nothing in Ruanda, nothing in Sudan-Darfur, nothing in Zimbabwe and all the terrible atrocities that still continue. So why, why is it always in Moslem countries and ones that have oil that we get involved in? We have this insatiable desire to bring democracy to the Arab world but our idea of democracy does not tango with deep Islamic beliefs-it is a different culture.
    Furthermore I believe the world's focus should be on a UN agreement implementing an airlift to bring food and water and medicines and blankets to the hundreds of thousands who have been made homeless by the tsunami in Japan. The world response is not happening there, or at least very slowly. Don't be fooled by this action--we would not, repeat not be getting involved in this conflict if there was zero oil in Libya!! because the rewards are too great. I truly believe it is time we had a Minister for Peace with equal powers as the Minister for Defence.

  • Comment number 38.

    Cameron and Sarkozy were absolutely right in pushing the no-fly zone argument. With any luck it will prevent a massacre of Libyan opposition.

    I think this is the coalition's opportunity to reassess its spending on defence and accept that their ambitions for defence spending are unrealistic.

  • Comment number 39.

    There doesn't seem to be any logic in where we throw our weight... Zimbabwe has been a mess for years and nothing happens. Libya has been a mess for a few weeks and we are piling in. How about letting the Libians sort things out for themselves rather than getting involved in yet another Arab conflict?

  • Comment number 40.

    So who abstained in the vote?
    Russia and China.
    Guess they will get the oil rights when this is over.
    Do we ever learn?

  • Comment number 41.

    From what I can see of my BTyahoo! news page, Libya has already closed its own airspace....

  • Comment number 42.

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

  • Comment number 43.

    Does this mean the UK is supporting the rebels/terrorists against a legitimate government? Three months ago Gaddafi & co were recognised by the UK and the rest as the legitimate government, so what has changed? I hope some other countries have got some aircraft because looking at a map Libya is a sizeable country and I am not sure the UK has enough planes to do much especially without carriers. Looks suspiciously like Cameron is doing a Blair, wants to be a "world leader". And I thought we were skint, but never mind he can always raise taxes so the public can pay for his posturing.

  • Comment number 44.

    13. At 10:00am on 18 Mar 2011, piscator wrote:
    Well, they have done it again. The warmongers in the government have suckered us into another shooting match for no clear reason, with no clear outcome, and no clear good guys, for the sake of oil.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    I'm sure someone will be along shortly to explain why it's actually the anti-war movement's fault that we're once again committing to military action. My money's on Andy.

    War is Peace
    Ignorance is Strength
    Freedom Is Slavery.

  • Comment number 45.

    Can anyone please give me the real reason why we are getting involved ?

  • Comment number 46.

    It's a good idea to let the French get on with it. Then they could start another Vietnam, just like they did in the 1950s.

  • Comment number 47.

    Nothing to do with us. We should stay out but we just can't seem to help ourselves!

    I don't get it. Rebels took Eastern Libya by FORCE, the government is taking it back by FORCE.
    Exactly what Mandate did the 'rebels' have in the first place to start the overthrow of the government? Because to me it looks as though Gaddafi has enough support to get his country back.

    Unfortunately the similarities with Iraq are uncanny.
    Libya is:
    1.A Secular Islamic state
    2.Ruled by infamous dictator who has repeated two fingered the West
    3.Previous 'scuffles' with the West which led to Pariah status
    4.Oil rich
    5.Recently embarrassed the UK e.g. al-Megrahi case (for the US and Iraq it was the first Gulf war and Bush wanting to 'finish of the job')

    Why are we not implementing a no fly zone in the Ivory Coast (hundreds have been killed in recent weeks and the government is shelling civilians)
    Why are we not massing our ships on the coast of Bahrain?
    Why did we not intervene in Darfur and Sudan?
    The list is endless.

    Intervention will prolong and extend an already dangerous situation and bring many more causalities. And when its all over we in the West will be hated even more by the Muslim world for 'killing' their brothers and sisters.

  • Comment number 48.

    1. At 09:41am on 18 Mar 2011, stanblogger wrote:
    It is to be hoped that Gadaffi and his supporters will now recognise that they are nearing the end of the road and start negotiating their departure.

    If it is necessary for the UN forces to attack his ground forces, the geography of Libya should make it possible to minimise loss of life. The rebels should be able to make it difficult for Gadaffi's forces to shelter in the towns, while in the open desert they and their supply columns will be very vulnerable to air attack, without too much "collateral damage".

    If the resolution works and Gaddafi is defeated, it will be an important lesson for other dictators who might be inclined to put down insurrections with military force.
    ________________________________________________________

    Are we sure the rebels speak for the majority of the Lybian population or is it like the IRA just a religious terrorist group that needs putting down. Anyone know any numbers

    If Gaddafi does regain control of Lybia I am sure he will not forget who backed the NFZ and their ports will not be the favoured ports for his oil and gas of which he has a fair amount.

  • Comment number 49.

    Constant, indecisive chat and 'Rome burns' comes to mind...
    .If Gadaffi gets to Benghazi in the next 24 hrs.....a 'no fly zone' will be a total waste of .....
    Mind you there are plenty of people out there who do not care....'Nothing to do with us'.... or we are 'imperialists'...for trying to help .......and the 'silence' from the Muslim world.
    There's a whole lot of heads buried in that sand......and that will be a very good position to take when Gadaffi starts to fill up the torture chambers.

  • Comment number 50.

    2 decades ago the very same governments [ now spear heading the no fly Zone] were equipping such dictator states with weaponry! We need to realize and learn from lessons learn t [ what has been achieved in IRAQ?? we have more people lose their lives /more misery].
    On the other hand - why do the western governments shy away from countries in similar turmoil, like Ivory Coast??

    Why is the African Union not involved? Doesn't Libya belong to part of North Africa? Let the people of the country deal with their issues - rather than induce more violence [ by interfering ]and lose more lives of service men from other countries.

  • Comment number 51.

    Morally speaking all the arguments that persuaded me the Blair/Bush attack on Iraq was wrong do not apply to this situation.

    The attack on Iraq was not passed by the UN. It was unilateral action taken by the US and UK which had been vetoed by other security council members.

    The attack on Iraq was said to be about to be about finding weapons of mass destruction (which turned out not to exist)
    The no fly zone is meant to be about protecting civilians.

    This action was actually asked for by one side of the conflict, while the other side of the conflict already has gained external assistance. The no-fly zone is also supported by other countries in the region, so won't be widely seen as unwanted western interference.

    So morally speaking I have no problems with this one, financially speaking I have some concern, we're already making cuts all over the place and military action isn't cheap and I have concern that we have our troops spread to thinly already.
    Hopefully with a UN resolution there will be plenty of others helping out and we can just do the minimum required to show solidarity with our Rhetoric.
    Some are complaining we're just doing this for the oil, which is odds with complaining we can't afford to do this. If we did get some nice oil contracts out of this I don't see it as being a bad thing, but I'd be suprised if a no fly zone worked out as a net gain financially.
    If we somehow

  • Comment number 52.

    21. At 10:06am on 18 Mar 2011, ProfPhoenix wrote:
    173. At 1:55pm on 17 Mar 2011, Phosgene wrote:
    165. At 1:40pm on 17 Mar 2011, TheMasonsArms wrote:
    "Indeed. And where are the lefties and muslims who are so quick to oppose Israel and the US, now?

    As Libya shows, yet again, muslims do much worse things to other muslims than Israel does. Yet the lefties and muslims who feign outrage over Israel are strangely silent now. Libya is getting coverage, but not as much as Gaza did, and I'm not seeing muslims and lefties demonstrating over Libya, the way they did over Gaza."

    ----------

    I don't see YOU demonstrating, therefore YOU support Gaddafi's butchery.

    If this reasoning seems pretty bad, you should think about it a bit harder: it's YOUR reasoning used to show YOU are "strangely silent".

    Think about this on your next fun in the sun holiday in Gadaffi's paradise on earth. Say hi to your uncle Mo and be thankful he's still there.

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

    Dear Phosgene/moreram which ever you are.
    This is a nasty response. Personal and abusive, just as you have been giving me with you ill informed allegations that I have accused you of antisemitism. Although you cannot locate a post where I have done so. I do admit to this with regard to moreram, but not you. In this way you have poisoned my reputation on HYS with untruths.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    You've actually copied that across from a different thread just so you can keep your little spat going ? Why bother ? It's extremely tiresome.

  • Comment number 53.

    "Will a no-fly zone resolve the crisis in Libya"? is the HYS question.

    What's the point of asking - we have no say - nor any choice in the matter?

  • Comment number 54.

    A new day, a not-so "new" Libya debate. You asked this very same question last week, and yesterday's main HYS topic was also about Libya. Determined to ram it down our throats to the exclusion of all domestic topics, aren't you?

    In answer (yet again), only time will tell if a no-fly zone works. But Britain should not get involved, nor could it. We're scrapping aircraft carriers and sacking fighter pilots, so we don't have the personnel or hardware to spare. And it's really none of our business anyway.

  • Comment number 55.

    33. At 10:27am on 18 Mar 2011, MK_Steve wrote:

    To translate a United Nations no-fly zone as Cameron war-mongering, or protecting oil supplies, just shows that some people would rather comment on here than educate themselves. There are complex issues on both sides... but what the hec - a good dose of snap judgement and conspiracy will help sort it out.. I'm off to find out what's happening in the world from a guy in the football shirt, at my local.

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

    Rather than posting a snap response yourself, implying that the majority of people on HYS are stupid and haven't thought this through, why not put forward a considered argument of your own.

    This could be done whilst either wearing a football shirt, rugby shirt or cricket apparel if you so wish.

  • Comment number 56.

    Its gonna do a whole lot of nothing.

    I hope the people crush gadwhatever. This is the purest form of democracy in my opinion. The people standing up against a government they don't approve of. None of that wishy washy voting rubbish, were you end up with the same government again - only with a different name.

  • Comment number 57.

    How many HYS posters advocating we don't get involved in Libya were gung-ho for the invasion of Iraq?

  • Comment number 58.

    Where was the no-fly-zone over the Congo or many other African nations guilty of butchery a thousand times worse than what Lybia is guilty of?

    This stinks of rank hypocracy. Still, OIL HAVE A NO FLY ZONE ANYDAY!

  • Comment number 59.

    Possibly.
    What it definitely will do is cost us a lot more money (that we can't afford) & encourage the ME to hate us just that lil bit more.
    Never mind, Gung Ho Davey gets his little war to be remembered by (just like uncle Tony & Auntie Maggie)so everything is alright with the world.
    HA!

  • Comment number 60.

    Are our troops happy to drop bombs on Ghadaffi's soldiers, whose only crime is to support their sworn leader?

  • Comment number 61.

    3. At 09:45am on 18 Mar 2011, John Sparks wrote:
    I supported Cameron because the Labour Government was the worst disaster to ever befall this country. But his posturing on Libya is a grave mistake. This is nothing to do with us and we cannot afford it. We should stop crawling up the derierre of the Americans who our not our, or anybody's friends. Obama is a useless hypocrite.
    ------------

    Completely agree. Obama is a puppet. The yanks seriously need to wake up and open their eyes.

  • Comment number 62.

    25. At 10:18am on 18 Mar 2011, Mike wrote:

    I feel quite torn

    On one hand I feel we should stay out of foreign affairs.

    On the other, I have just see footage of the people of Benghazi celebrating the UN resolution. Feeling for the first time they are not going to be slaughtered for standing up for their rights and a better life, when Gadaffi rolls into town.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    While you’re pondering the rights & wrongs of our intervention, consider whether or not we should intervene to protect the innocents in Bahrain who are currently being murdered by Saudi forces at the invitation of the Bahrain government. You might also wish to consider the innocents that have been murdered by Israeli forces in recent years, far too many of them have been children. It is completely outrageous that the people that we think we have elected are so selective in the wars that they prosecute, mainly for their own profit.

  • Comment number 63.

    I can't see how harping on ad nauseam about Labour's alleged follies (and at the time, actively supported by the then Oppositon Tories, I note) helps. With regard to this imbroglio, I wonder when we're going to impose a no-fly zone over Bahrain, where the corrupt local Sultanate and their equally corrupt and despotic Saudi Sunni allies are busy making war on the Shi'ite majority? The US fifth fleet is stationed off the Bahraini coast, so getting there isn't a problem. Don't hold your breath though, there's enough bluster and hypocrisy to go round.

  • Comment number 64.

    Although I'm going against the grain of most posts on here. I'm proud that my country, along with others, continues to stand up for the freedoms of other citizens in other countries. It is not always about us!

    For those that argue we did nothing to help fight Mugabe in Zimbabwe, we couldn't as we didn't have the backing of neighbouring countries. Unlike for Libya where we do have the support of the African and Arab countries that have asked for this assistance. It is by the sounds of it a proposal led by France, Britain and Lebanon and not the US, who the cynics would argue that we follow in every decision.

    This is not another Iraq, which was not supported by the UN but this I would liken to the Balkans Crisis and we are supporting the oppressed from a ruthless military and dictatorship.

    I do agree that the government was short-sighted in its cuts to defence, especially as I am someone who is waiting for a start date to join the Navy.

  • Comment number 65.

    At last a decent French leader who has not used its UN veto to stop action against UN action against an oppressive dictator.
    The message from the UN should send a warning message to all dictatorships.

  • Comment number 66.

    In theory probably a good idea. In practice it will be a disaster to implement. We should not get involved in other country's disputes anymore.

  • Comment number 67.

    Bring up G12 please (one for the bill hicks fans)

  • Comment number 68.

    When dealing with a madman, this is just about the worst imaginable scenario.

    It might have been appropriate elsewhere, but Gaddafi is completely unbalanced and has no regard for the consequences of his actions; all a no-fly zone will do is inflame this crazed idiot even more.

    Whoops - I ought to have realized that calling Mr Gaddafi a crazed idiot without satisfactory proof that he is one is not politically correct, and this post will not therefore be published....

  • Comment number 69.

    It does appear to be tactically very late and as such the job proposed is going to be far harder and perhaps more involving than pundits currently assume. Whatever your opinion on the action,the way the international community have dragged their heels over any kind of decision is disheartening.

    Is it the right thing and should Britain be involved necessarily even if it is the right thing? These are two different questions. Most would agree that Saddam H and the Taleban needed defeating but quite a few of us would not support the approach and/or British involvement in the conflict.

    There are valid questions over the sides we choose and the conflicts we decide to involve ourselves in. There is an ongoing charge of hypocrisy that will only get louder if for example things get worse in the Gulf States.

    There is also a really important question about Britain's role on the world stage in military and political terms. Can we afford to be at the centre of all these actions and do we still have the capability to act in this manner. It seems to be less the case all the time. We are reducing our capability through cost cutting and other 'strategic' decisions in a time when we are already clearly over extended in a war which only has the support of a small proportion of the population and at best the weary acceptance of the rest.

    Another post mentions Switzerland which of course gave up wars somewhere in the 1400's and following a spell as mercenaries has pretty much maintained a comfortable and profitable neutrality ever since. We have become a small and slightly struggling nation on the edge of Europe and we are not an Empire any more and more and more people suspect that we would be better off acting in a far more modest way on the world stage.

  • Comment number 70.

    Why is it always predominantly the US, UK and France that have to enforce UN resolutions? Wouldn't it be more more sensible for other middle eastern countries to use their resources to police the no fly zone/undertake any bombing. This would avoid any accusations of western imperialism and save the UK US and France money they cannot afford to spend.

  • Comment number 71.

    Not in my name. All that the mass of the demonstrators will get is a change at the top. The so called revolutionary council is filled with members of the old regime. The "West" would not be helping if this was a grass roots revolution. All they want is a swift change of leadership and then to carry on with "business as usual".

    They are a bunch of hypocrites. It's less than a month since Cameron was leading a delegation of arms merchants to the area.

  • Comment number 72.

    An emphatic YES that the UN Security Council has made the right decision, as would any sane person, to protect civilians from a bloodthirsty dictator's murder of Libyan people.

    Saif spouting about his daddy's marauders off to liberate Benghazi from 'gangsters' is sickening. They'd know all about gangsters of course, their own abominable behaviour makes Al Capone pale into insignificance. Eagerly awaiting the next theatrical performance exhibiting their brainwashing attempts.

    When their 'buy one, get one free' hitmen see the light, they'll scarper back to the countries from which they crawled.

    Freedom, democracy and a better way of life is surely the implication of both the Libyans striving for it and courageous countries willing to help them (as opposed to the lily-livered more concerned with turning a blind eye towards ongoing atrocities).

    A Gaddafi-free-zone is a rapid reality. Gloves off, let battle commence!

  • Comment number 73.

    3. At 09:45am on 18 Mar 2011, John Sparks wrote:
    I supported Cameron because the Labour Government was the worst disaster to ever befall this country. But his posturing on Libya is a grave mistake. This is nothing to do with us and we cannot afford it. We should stop crawling up the derierre of the Americans who our not our, or anybody's friends. Obama is a useless hypocrite.

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

    Dontcha just love the toreees, talk about anything and they always start with a dig against labour.




  • Comment number 74.

    And when this is over and the West has deposed yet another Middle East tyrant freeing millions of Muslims and allowing them to have democracy for the first time will Muslims change their attitude towards the West.

    Will Muslims finally acknowledge they owe a debt of gratitude to the West, will they stop hating us , will they stop terrorist attacks against us, will they stop offensive demonstrations at our soldiers’ funerals and will they show some respect for our culture and way of life?

    Perhaps they will prove me wrong this time – but based on past experience I am not holding my breath.

  • Comment number 75.

    stanblogger wrote:

    It is to be hoped that Gadaffi and his supporters will now recognise that they are nearing the end of the road and start negotiating their departure.
    -----------
    To where? They are Libyans. This is a civil war. It's Libyans fighting Libyans. Both claiming their country.
    ===============
    If it is necessary for the UN forces to attack his ground forces, the geography of Libya should make it possible to minimise loss of life. The rebels should be able to make it difficult for Gadaffi's forces to shelter in the towns, while in the open desert they and their supply columns will be very vulnerable to air attack, without too much "collateral damage".
    --------------
    Oh dear, another war? And I though this was about a NO FLY ZONE. Sounds like regime change time again. Countless thousands to die again. That's ok though. They're only Libyans. Once you get involved by fighting on just one side, you automatically alienate the other. I'd have thought we'd have realised that from Iraq. But don't worry about the rest of us in the UK, who are already suffering from job losses, pay cuts etc. Seems we do have, after all, plenty of spare cash lolling around for such jaunts. As for when the body bags start arriving ...........

    ==========
    If the resolution works and Gadaffi is defeated, it will be an important lesson for other dictators who might be inclined to put down insurrections with military force.
    -----------
    I seriously doubt it. Libya isn't some backyard banana republic. It's a country at war with itself. And why stop with Libya? After all why not deal with all such countries. Threaten them also with the big stick. Let's deal with Somalia and its pirates. Let's have serious words with all the other dictators in the area...... Saudi's etc. Ooops the oil.

    Yes, I do have serious reservations. All I've ever noticed is that countries that fight wars in another country usually end up with them coming back home to their back yard. Usually with a procession of body bags. And no wonder countries such as Iran and North Korea have taken the nuclear option. Seems it's the only way to stop the west from interfering in a countries internal affairs.

  • Comment number 76.

    Anyone who was against the war in Iaq but supports getting involved in a potential war with Libya is nothing more than a hypocrite and a very careless one at that.

    I believe we were right to finish off The regime in Iraq and it wasn't an illegal war, (otherwise Bush and Blair would be behind bars now) the problem is the American and British governments should have done it the first time round when the regime was on it's knees, then maybe hundreds of thousands of lives would have been saved.

    If our government are to be believed (and let's face it apart from being incompetent, telling lies is the only thing they have done consistently)we have no finances available to get involved in a conflict like this.

    One thing is for certain because of their incompetence in managing our country's defences we are in no shape militarily to get involved.

    A more major concern should be that while Cameron is sabre rattling against Libya Iran are developing their nuclear capability at a pace and they pose a far greater threat to us than Libya do or at least did until we got involved.

    There has been a lot of talk about arming the rebels, we don't even know who the rebels are.

    In the 80s Britain and America supported and trained the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan simply because they were fighting the Soviet Union. By doing that the British Government played a major role in the creation of Al-Qaeda who have done this country far greater harm than the Russians (who had it not been for them we may well have been a German state by now) ever have.

    A few years ago Gadaffi was persuaded to give up his nuclear intentions (thanks to Blair) and sponsering of terrorism, well I think it's safe to say that that deal is now off the table.

    The one point that is now crystal clear is that Britain should now be increasing our defence capability not weakening it as is government policy at present.

  • Comment number 77.

    58. At 10:47am on 18 Mar 2011, Norman Brooke wrote:
    Where was the no-fly-zone over the Congo or many other African nations guilty of butchery a thousand times worse than what Lybia is guilty of?

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

    No - where IS the no fly zone on the Ivory Coast? You're absolutely right.


  • Comment number 78.

    Am I alone in thinking "Here we bl***y go again". Why does it always have to be the UK in the vanguard of these military adventures? What good is this really doing for us here in Britain, except putting more lives as risk, and setting ourselves up for either more long term military commitments or at the very least an expensive exercise with unknown outcomes. If Libya does not secure its revolution, then it will be business as usual for Gaddafi and he will have a long memory!! Why can the oil rich nations of the ME not sort out this dictator on their own doorstep? Perhaps criticism of Gaddafi's form of dictatorship is a little to close for comfort for some other leaders in the area. In the meantime, the UK taxpayer gets to fork out yet again!!!

    We've been more than happy to do business with Libya and its regime in the past and no doubt will be happy to do so in the future, whatever form it takes, as we need to sell them arms and we need to buy their oil. That's the reality of the situation however you try to put some "democracy" spin on the thing. Unless and until we break our dependence on oil, we will continue to get dragged into situations like this. Robert Mugabe is a dictator every bit as vile as Gadaffi, or indeed Saddam Hussein in Iraq, but I don't see all and sundry rushing to enable democracy to be protected in Zimbabwe - but then again Mugabe isn't sitting on a sea of oil, is he!?

  • Comment number 79.

    45. At 10:38am on 18 Mar 2011, Oysterman wrote:
    Can anyone please give me the real reason why we are getting involved ?

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

    Oil.

    It'd be nice if politicians were honest for once in their miserable lives.

  • Comment number 80.

    57. At 10:47am on 18 Mar 2011, LeftieAgitator wrote:
    How many HYS posters advocating we don't get involved in Libya were gung-ho for the invasion of Iraq?
    ----------

    Actually if it wasn't for the disasterous decisions over Iraq and Afghanistan more people would support this action. There was largely a supportive mood for Kosovo and this is similar but those other failures backed by lies have rendered us wary.

    In response to your question, not me guv, never believed in either war.

  • Comment number 81.

    Here we go again - meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  • Comment number 82.

    of course! send in our aircraft carrier and the harrier jets, sort it out in no time... oh hang on just like the falklands unlucky alf gets rid of the aircraft carrier just before we needed it...

  • Comment number 83.

    Q. So the UN Security Council has voted to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and "all necessary measures" to protect civilians short of an invasion. Has the right decision been made? A. No, can we not learn. What happened when we intervened in Afghanistan in the 1980s – we created the Taliban and Al-Kaida. Then we had to go back to fight our creations. We must stop interfering in the affairs of other countries. If we don’t like what they are doing, we must not have any dealings with them.

    Q. Is a no-fly zone the best way to resolve the crisis in Libya? No.

  • Comment number 84.

    apart from increasing the stolen wealth of the UK nothing. In the past 400 years britain has invaded and colonised over 100 countries stealing their mineral wealth. Enough is enough. The USA has invaded 70 countries in the past 15 years alone - wikianswers.com. How many millions of civilians were murdered by these 2 nations alone? then we have france with it's colonial past. When will the west grow up and become civilised? I am ashamed of the UK for this and other foreign policy errors. There can be no justification. When we see blair and bush and Israel held to account for their war crimes, then we may redeem some moral high ground. But the UK/USA/UN did nothing as the israeli's brutally crushed their own people in violation of human rights and international law. more than 1000 people were murdered by israel but no UN sactions nor no fly zone. Where is the international criminal court in this arena? Where is the freeze on israeli assets? Where is the call for trial of blair and bush? None. This is a humanitarian catastrophy and has no legal nor moral basis. British soldiers have attacked ciivilian targets in Iraq and Afghanistan as is clearly evident. One law for all. that is the demonstrable need. Shame on britain.

  • Comment number 85.

    There are two big objections. First, Libyan internal affairs, bloody though they may be, are no business of powers such as the USA, UK or France. Neighbouring states may have reason to act, if the situation affects them (such as a refugee influx).
    Secondly, it is all much too late as usual. Gaddafi has already consolidated his position and now has reason to advance quickly on Benghazi before the tedious process of UN-sponsored action has any effect.
    Yet again we see the so-called 'international community' taking the wrong decisions, at the wrong time, for the wrong reasons.

  • Comment number 86.

    To quote an old Indian proverb "He who rides the tiger can never dismount".

    I suppose Gadaffi can go into exile but I cannot for the life of me think of anyone who would want the daft so-and-so.

    He canot get off the tiger as it will proberbly devour him (this is what the proverb means).

    So he is in till the death, his that is his (and unfortunately a lot of his innocent countrymen as well).

    With the world dithering about not setting precedents, and not upsetting the other oil rich arab countries I would say any no-fly zone is a politicians sound-bite excuse to be seen to be 'doing something'.

    What lousy memories we have. A year ago this man could have taken a wheelbarrow into the Lybian national bank, filled it with gold, put it on a plane and flew into Heathrow, then wheeled his barrow up Mayfair to deposit it in a bank in his name. And we would have done NOTHING.

    The time for us, or anyone outside of Libya to do anything is long past.



  • Comment number 87.

    If we have miliatary personel available after the coaliton have sacked them, then they should be going to help Japan's humanitarian crisis.

    Seems to me that Britain has replaced America as the 'cowboy' Nation both in domestic and foreign policy.

  • Comment number 88.

    Too little too late as per usual.

  • Comment number 89.

    A grave mistake I think. Firstly, we cannot afford it. To achieve whatever the objectives may be necessarily mean we will have to remove Gadaffi. And that necessarily mean we will have to invade and occupy Libya. We clearly haven't learnt the lesson of Iraq. Besides, Gadaffi is not as isolated as we may like to think. He has popular support among the street Arab. The Arab League represent only the puppet dictators for the most part, not their people.

    It is highly significant that all 5 abstentions at the UN are the major new powers of the world - India, China, Brazil, Russia and Germany.

    If we were really intervening because we care for human rights then maybe we'll stand half a chance of success. But we are silent on the massacres in the Gulf by the brutal and vile dictators of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. No UN action there !. It is sheer rank hippocracy. Truth is the Gulf Arab dictators are willing puppets but Gadaffi isn't. And we need his oil. That's why we are playing so self righteous and I fear we will pay a very heavy price. Both in prestige and economically.

  • Comment number 90.

    57. At 10:47am on 18 Mar 2011, LeftieAgitator wrote:
    How many HYS posters advocating we don't get involved in Libya were gung-ho for the invasion of Iraq?
    --------------
    Not me. And not for Afghanistan either. It doesn't work.
    The purpose of our armed forces is to protect this country and its citizens from external threats - either direct threats or indirect ones (such as attacks on our trade routes, shipping etc.)
    I don't see where Libya fits into any of that.

  • Comment number 91.

    Why is it every conflict in the world Britain is always there?? there are enough NATO countries so use their aircraft, their personel and their money. This country is in a mess and we are interfering in other peoples problems, it is not as if our Government are doing anything in the UK to solve our problems just deflecting attention away from them!!

  • Comment number 92.

    A no-fly zone is a logical development. Since we know from previous news that UK and Dutch Special forces are operating in Libya, presumably armed with Stingers, the addition of AWACS and Combat Air Patrols will neutralise the Libyan Air Force very quickly. If the rebel ground forces can then repel the government tanks it will be a done deal. However, there is bound to be a subsequent power struggle, and that may be harder to deal with.

  • Comment number 93.

    73. At 10:58am on 18 Mar 2011, JohnH wrote:
    3. At 09:45am on 18 Mar 2011, John Sparks wrote:
    I supported Cameron because the Labour Government was the worst disaster to ever befall this country. But his posturing on Libya is a grave mistake. This is nothing to do with us and we cannot afford it. We should stop crawling up the derierre of the Americans who our not our, or anybody's friends. Obama is a useless hypocrite.

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

    Dontcha just love the toreees, talk about anything and they always start with a dig against labour.

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

    As opposed to the nannynulabour followers who bring thatcher into every single topic.

  • Comment number 94.

    Why should the UK be getting involved in this? Haven't they learned lessons from the last two conflicts? The UK is not a major world power - let other countries do their bit for a change if teh UN feels it necessary to get involved with another country's affairs. What about the cost? - Not in my name!

  • Comment number 95.

    Oh Dear, Mr Cameron now wants to "project" Briish power abroad weeks after decimating the Military ability to do so having decomissioning the Navy carriers and their Harriers aircraft.

    What were they thinking of!?

  • Comment number 96.

    Oh dear oh dear, Iraq post '92 all over again although the logistics are totally different. The No fly zone will make no difference to Ghadaffi at all because by definition he is the one in Government and no one seems to understand the History behind Libya. The Italians, the French the British and the Germans all found their factions of support in Libya because it is fiercely tribal. When I was there Idris was on the throne leading the Sennusi to the exclusion of toher tribes supported by the British. They could be just as bloody. Ghaddafi rose in the army rather like Nasser did in Eygpt and the same retaliation will occur as did in Iraq despite the no fly zone. No issue will arise like that of Hussain because Ghaddafi is not invading another country.

    Of course the arabs are all being rather cute about this because they will not lift a finger against another brother state and the West will be called interfering again. After all if they are not prepared to police their own area why should they be armed by us. No I fear that Libya will have to fight its own wars and settle it's own hash. The interregnums in Egypt and Tunisia are being very silent. Sorry, but this is one for the arabs to sort out and that's not to say that their will not be sacrifices by many very brave people just as they have been since time immemorial. Perhaps this is time tom think about ethical politics that never happened under Robin Cook.

  • Comment number 97.

    74. At 10:58am on 18 Mar 2011, Chazz Trinder wrote:
    And when this is over and the West has deposed yet another Middle East tyrant freeing millions of Muslims and allowing them to have democracy for the first time will Muslims change their attitude towards the West.


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

    No they will continue to hate us, and we will get shouted down and branded racist bigots everytime we dare to voice a concern about it.

  • Comment number 98.

    I do not recall a no-fly zone being imposed on the Israelis to stop their massacring of the Lebanese population in 2006 nor targeting their aircraft,attack helicopters and tanks. But of course, seeing that the Israelis control the US puppet regime no surprises there. This vote with the main World powers abstaining, once again ridicules the UN as being worthless and a pawn of the Americans. Unfortunately, the repercusions of this will reverberate for the next 50 years.

  • Comment number 99.

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

  • Comment number 100.

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

 

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