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Libya airstrikes could start 'within hours of resolution'

Mark Mardell | 20:06 UK time, Thursday, 17 March 2011

The United Nations seems on the brink of taking a momentous decision. After hanging back for days the Americans have now not only backed the British and French resolution on Libya but beefed it up. The fact that the French foreign minister, Alain Juppe, will be here in person is a sign of French confidence that the Russians and Chinese won't block the resolution.

The latest draft I have seen goes well beyond calling for a no-fly zone. It says that the Arab League, individual nations and organizations like Nato are authorized to "take all necessary measures...to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat...including Benghazi, while excluding an occupation force."

I am told the first strikes will be unilateral ones by British and French aircraft. They could be in the air within hours. It is likely five Arab air forces will take part. Hillary Clinton has said it will mean bombing Libyan air defences. Nato will step up if asked but could take a while.

Although there have been other recent UN operations this would be the most serious intervention in a crisis for a long time, a marked contrast to the division over Iraq. That does not ease the worries of some in the administration that this will still be labeled an American war and they will be dragged deeper and deeper into the affairs of another Arab nation.

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  • 1. At 9:10pm on 17 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    We shall believe it when we see it, and most of us really want to see it.

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  • 2. At 9:23pm on 17 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    I hope all goes well.

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  • 3. At 9:26pm on 17 Mar 2011, bryhers wrote:

    Clausewitz wrote that war is a continuation of politics by other means.

    Cooperating with Europe to wage war on Mr.Quaddafi? I am unclear about the politics.

    To rehearse the objections:-Libya is not a strategic interest for the United States,other Arab governments are also repressive,and Mr Obama has no control over outcomes,or an exit strategy.

    Is it to rescue Mr Cameron from his impetuosity?,deflect pressure on Saudi Arabia and Bahrain?, which has a large US naval base,and insulate them from Iran with its ambition of Shia hegemony in the Gulf?

    Arab air forces will take part,just as well.The French carrier is being repaired,the Ark Royal with its Harriers has just been decomissioned.I hope they will rethink on that one before it becomes razor blades.

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  • 5. At 9:39pm on 17 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    2.

    Second that.

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  • 6. At 9:57pm on 17 Mar 2011, bryhers wrote:

    1

    on 17 Mar 2011, Nostrano wrote:
    "We shall believe it when we see it, and most of us really want to see it."

    Why? we are not a branch of the Red Cross,I can`t see it`s in Britain`s national interest when the charges against Libya could be equally well applied to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

    As far as the other Arab states are concerned,the structures remain,the protestors have merely toppled two leaders.Quadaffi is surrogate for every despotism in Arabia,we preserve those we need,bomb those who give despotism a bad name by making it visible.

    Then there are outcomes we don`t control,we ask which groups among the insurgents are the best organized,the most cohesive? The answer is the islamists.They`re dangerous enough in Iran,do we want them on our doorstep?

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  • 7. At 9:58pm on 17 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    3. bryhers

    It seems to me that the risks, assuming it's not going to be too late, in not recognising and helping the Libyan opposition force, are far greater than in not doing so. It appears to be a national conflict to help bring about democracy, but what happens in Libya is bound to influence the stability or instability of the surrounding States. Egypt is obviously the important key-stone nation because of it's geopolitical status. If Europe and the US can influence the events discretely in Libya to help bring about democracy, this is bound to help the moderates of Egypt establish theirs. It might also help to sort things out in Bahrain because it's not yet clear if the demonstrations- too brutally quashed- are really for democracy, or for a sort of Hezbollah inspired anarchy or radicalism.
    Whereas Libya established a Delegation of Transition, disdainfully ignored by too many, as yet there is no such signal from Bahrain.

    The risks as I see them, are that if Europe, the Arab States and the US do nothing, it will be an open invitation to general radicalism. As the Iranian regime was also supportive to the Egyptian uprising, Armadinejad might well have been banking on European and American inaction to be able to have a free hand to infiltrate and influence the proceedings as much as possible in Northern Africa, and even in Egypt. However things go in Libya it's over for Gaddafi in any case. Everything now seems to depend on what will take place within the next few days.
    Let's hope it's goes well and rapidly.

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  • 8. At 10:09pm on 17 Mar 2011, VinceC wrote:

    I can see the reasons why intervention is being considered. I do despair that we have; reduced the RAF by 2 Squadrons recently, cut Airmens wages by reducing expenses they used to get, sack personnel on their return from Afghanistan, promise those who remain loyal in their jobs more tours in battle zones whilst looking at reducing their pensions. How much more can this government do to destroy our ability to defend our country and destroy morale. This is the same party who complained about the last government not having enough helicopters in Afghanistan. Looks like they sorted that out by making troops redundant so we didn't have to buy helicopters. Come on Mr Cameron are you being serious? If so treat our forces with the respect they deserve.

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  • 9. At 10:11pm on 17 Mar 2011, Sir Digby Chicken Caesar wrote:

    Why would Britain want to risk those oil deals they secured by releasing the mass murderer of Lockerbie until the lie that he was imminently dying?

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  • 10. At 10:16pm on 17 Mar 2011, bryhers wrote:

    7

    You are repeating the neocon argument which failed in Iraq and will fail in Afghanistan.Underlying the formal structures of power are tribal,religious,ethnic and social differences which will bubble to the surface when social controls are relaxed as they did in Iraq and will in Afghanistan when the foreigners leave.

    Unfortunately Americans don`t recognize this and the British once did.
    Democracy requires a consensus on how to institutionalize conflict.How do you proceed when some conflicts are irreconcilable,the position of woen in islamic society for instance,or Sunni hegemony in the Gulf.

    Not to say that Arabs are incapable of democracy,but it cannot be imposed externally by force.Let them evolve at their own speed,resolve their own conflicts.Stay cool,keep out.

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  • 11. At 10:20pm on 17 Mar 2011, Janis Vehi wrote:

    Certainly, there are plenty of possibilities here, but it sounds pretty dire by all accounts, - it's hard to believe mommar gaddafi, has been much of a saint, diverting oil revenues, to finance his own fortunes at the expense of the libyan people, , this is a rich oil nation, that could easily have afforded basic infrastructures, health education, social services, for their own people., 2 % of all oil revenues in the world is not a small amount,

    natural resources, like oil or minerals, agriculture and any industry, rely , on workers to process , the potential into actual profit., and they should be respected, as natural beneficiaries, of making any wealth possible, in any nation., certainly, we need and admire, and respect entrepreneurs, like Henry Ford, that opened up new industries, and i don't begrudge any rich man, if luck and good fortune, has brought him satisfaction and happiness, we should likely all earn our bread through the labours of our own integrity, and not on the suffering of others., --Bill Gates could see to give half his billions, to a common good, why couldn't mommar give even a tenth.,

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  • 12. At 10:26pm on 17 Mar 2011, jhett wrote:

    I am quite suspicious of Sarkozy's and Cameron's eagerness to help the rebels. It looks like a good cause, but a vengeance in disguise. Cameron wants to get back at Gaddafi for the release of Al Megrahi and Sarkozy was hurt by the broken promises, made by Gaddafi?

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  • 13. At 10:36pm on 17 Mar 2011, SONICBOOMER wrote:

    Well if it does happen and it would seem that it just being a 'no fly zone' is unlikely - that 'all necessary measures to protect civilians' measure - it could also mean limited naval to shore bombardment.
    Most sensible people I think quite understand the unwillingness of the US to potentially get embroiled in yet another Mid East/Muslim nation conflict, so it would be a largely Anglo-French show.
    With hopefully some support from friendly Arab states - all those billions spent on shiny combat aircraft - in cases like Egypt heavily lubricated by tax $ for years.

    Though Anglo-French forces might require additional in flight refuelling tanker support from US forces to sustain over a period. (The RAF assets for this are ageing - the replacement A330 tankers are only just emerging and in flight test - the current assets are heavily committed supporting the UK-Afghanistan air bridge too).
    France has KC-135 tankers brought from the US in the 1960's and like their USAF counterparts, upgraded since, but only 11 of them. Supplemented by some C-160 Transall aircraft possibly.

    They could handle the anti-air defence system task - RAF aircraft did that for years over Iraq from 1991-2008 in support of their US allies.
    Both RAF and French aircrews have extensive combat experience, the latter over Afghanistan since 2001, the RAF pretty much non stop since 1991.

    The wild cards could include Gaddafi, if the action blunted his offensive, cutting off his nose to spite his face - as Saddam did with oil wells in the first Gulf war.
    Keeping to a likely UN part of the resolution - needed to get it through - ruling out any ground forces, Which suits since neither want or could politically sell it at home.

    Though US forces, largely in the shape of the local Carriers, might well not take part in offensive sorties, if Gaddafi's forces attempted to hit out (if they have the ability) could come in as a defensive shield. 'Securing international sea lanes'. Perhaps not unlike the actions against Iran in the 'tanker war' in the Persian Gulf in the late 1980's.

    All this is academic if the UN do not pass the needed resolution. Meaning Russia and China abstaining not vetoing, you have you wonder what they'll ask of the West in return for this.

    Edit. The resolution has passed.

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  • 14. At 10:39pm on 17 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    It's gone through. The resolution. It's a first for the United Nations for many years. Historic! At last!

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  • 15. At 10:44pm on 17 Mar 2011, Scott0962 wrote:

    If it comes about it will be an astonishingly quick bit of work by the UN Security Council. I can't help but wonder what concessions were given the Russians and Chinese for such a rare display of cooperation. If any evidence were needed of how few friends Mr. Gadaffi has this would surely suffice.

    The words of the resolution could be interpreted to include almost anything but ground combat troops. It will be interesting to see how far the West is prepared to go to aid the rebels and end the threat posed by Mr. Gadaffi's forces. Air cover and surveillance certainly but what else? Arms and ammunition for the rebels? Observors to call in close air support? Naval gunfire? Medical units? Special ops?

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  • 16. At 10:54pm on 17 Mar 2011, Scott0962 wrote:

    One has to ask what's the difference between Gaffi's troops putting down an armed rebellion and troops using force to quash demonstrations in Bahrain? If it's a moral imperative to help the people of Libya overthrow their government what do we owe the people of Bahrain who are only trying to ask their government for reforms?

    Perhaps Gadaffi should have offered the U.S. a base in Libya.

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  • 17. At 10:56pm on 17 Mar 2011, Maria Ashot wrote:

    Godspeed!

    Staying up, waiting for the vote, and hoping.

    I realise many of our readers do not pray and indeed find prayer a risible proposition, but I do pray, and am praying and will pray until the matter is safely concluded.

    During the entire time Belgrade was being bombed by Nato, I prayed for the success of the Nato mission, even though they were bombing a city and people who had been brought up in the faith of my ancestors. And I was enormously relieved when the operation to remove Milosevic finally culminated in the liberation of Serbia from his criminal presence.

    How we pray -- those of us that do -- is less important than what we pray for, and how we live. We hear a lot about how "religion has been at the root of wars and oppression," but that is a gross oversimplification. Militant atheism has also caused unspeakable suffering, and monumental loss of life.

    In fact, all of history is about Civilisation confronting Barbarism. We could not have any of the advances we enjoy today if Civilisation did not on occasion at least win its battles against Barbarians.

    For someone who commands an army and equips mercenaries to send heavy artillery and aircraft to assault ordinary citizens, children, babies, pregnant women and their expectant mates, old people, students, the disabled, medics, teachers, clergy in indiscriminate campaigns designed to terrorise and exterminate anyone opposed to arbitrary, self-serving despotism is the height of Criminality. It does not matter what claims they make, nor does it matter what beliefs inspire their martyred victims: what matters is that innocents are being slaughtered and tortured by a bully armed to the teeth...

    And in such a situation, God, who is Love but also Justice, cannot but praise and embrace as His own sons and daughters those heroes who use their brains and the arms God gave them to defend the powerless from a sadistic tyrant.

    So, if you pray, by all means do so tonight, for all those terrified children and their families.

    And if you don't pray, watch and see, and hope.

    God bless the heroes and the heroines, and we all thank you.

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  • 18. At 11:02pm on 17 Mar 2011, onlythetruth wrote:

    The front page story on your website contains a story that NATO forces bombed 40 innocent tribal leaders in Pakistan yesterday. The people of Pakistan are outraged and angry.The US supported the Mubarak regime for 30 years and still supports kings and rulers that mistreat women and are not democratic such as Saudi Arabia,Bahrain and Yemen.How does Britain and the USA decide which dictators to support and the ones they bomb? NATO was set up to defend member states from attack, not to interfere in other nation's civil wars. Britain and the US are slashing social programs to balance their budgets. Where is the money coming from for these operations?
    If Libya is attacked and Qaddafi can follow through on his threats of disrupting sea lanes in the Med,and allow thousands of immigrants into Europe,think of the consequences! We can not afford the unintended consequences of this attack. Bombing a country is an act of war.Is Britain and the USA ready for another war? Food for thought.

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  • 19. At 11:11pm on 17 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12781009


    Hallelujah.


    And here's a prayer for those who are going to do dangerous work this evening. May they return home safe and sound.

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  • 20. At 11:26pm on 17 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Well, whaddya know:

    (Reuters) - Italy is ready to make its military bases available to enforce a U.N. Security Council resolution imposing a no-fly zone on Libya, an Italian government source told Reuters Thursday.

    The airbase at Sigonella in Sicily, which provides logistical support for the United States Sixth Fleet, is one of the closest NATO bases to Libya and could be used in any military operation.

    "It's a positive development," an Italian government source told Reuters minutes after the U.N. Security Council voted in favor of the no-fly zone.

    Asked whether Italy would offer its bases for the enforcement of the U.N. resolution, the source said: "Yes, we've said we are ready to do that."

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  • 21. At 11:31pm on 17 Mar 2011, JohnConstable wrote:

    Maybe I was a bit permature earlier on this blog when asserting that this Libyan episode has been an embarassing and humbling moment for all Europeans.

    It seems likely now that some Europeans will stand alongside the US and the Arab League and do the right thing in the name of humanity and assist the Libyan people in throwing off the yoke of the Gaddafi family business.

    I am usually pretty harsh on politicians, however I accept that they have worked extremely hard, French, English, Americans, various Arabs and others, to get this resolution passed.

    They have left it a bit late, but in this case, better late than never.

    Most importantly, POTUS Obama has delivered and in the final analysis, that is all that matters.

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  • 22. At 11:32pm on 17 Mar 2011, McJakome wrote:

    2. At 9:23pm on 17 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:
    I hope all goes well.
    5. At 9:39pm on 17 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote re 2:
    “Second that.”

    I agree completely.

    6. At 9:57pm on 17 Mar 2011, bryhers wrote:
    “Why? we are not a branch of the Red Cross,I can`t see it`s in Britain`s national interest when the charges against Libya could be equally well applied to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.”

    Other posters, here and elsewhere, have asked similar questions. Why intervene in Libya and not in Bahrain, why there and not in Yemen, etc.?

    The idea that we should intervene in every country from Morocco to Bahrain simultaneously does not make sense. The idea that we should begin a program to intervene in all those places seriatim does not make sense. Either would be too costly and too difficult even if the west were not already overstretched.

    The “Why Libya and why now?” is more easily answered. It is in Europe’s backyard and Europe will benefit most [besides the local population] from peace in the Maghreb. Europe will face problems like refugees and increased terrorism if it does nothing. The unmentionable elephant in the room is that Europe needs the oil.

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  • 23. At 11:38pm on 17 Mar 2011, Anteros wrote:

    Target Qadhafi. When he falls, Libya's military falls.

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  • 24. At 11:41pm on 17 Mar 2011, sailor45 wrote:

    This is pure craziness. The UN finally decides to assert itself as a key player in world affairs and decides to kill more civilians? Libya is in a civil war and this is not something the UN should be getting involved in. It is not civilians being killed there, it is a bunch of out of work thugs who are pretending they are a legitimate alternative to the current government.

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  • 25. At 11:56pm on 17 Mar 2011, Maria Ashot wrote:

    Bryhers:

    I am not a neocon by a long shot. My entire family marched five times in the effort to stop the Bush+Cheney-inspired action against Iraq. Although, I must say, I was not in agreement, either, with those of the organisers who proclaimed Islam -- with its dreadful treatment of women, children, gays and non-Muslims -- an "enlightened religion of peace."

    I stopped marching when it became obvious there was not going to be any stopping the Bush-Cheney-Halliburton war machine.

    But this is different, and your objections remain off-target however often you might repeat them.

    Pan Am 103, the atrocity at Lockerbie, is justification enough for removing Q/G/K.

    So are his actions and illogical, way over-the-top threats and declarations of the past 10 days or so.

    So are his mercenaries sent on missions to exterminate Libyan families. (And quite certainly, to rape and loot and torture in the process.)

    So are the 100 billion or so in dollars or euros or pounds of looted wealth that rightfully belongs to the people of his country.

    So are the many thousands of victims of his 42 years of Stalinist totalitarianism, the suppression of basic freedoms and the persecution of anyone intelligent enough to object to his methods.

    It is in the direct interest not only of the USA but also of every European nation and I would put it to you of the entire community of nations (including China, India, Russia, Brazil and Germany, who abstained, and Italy, who objected) to adopt a policy of Zero Tolerance for Lunatics in charge of armies, nations, national treasuries and vast reserves of strategic resources (and soon that will include basic potable water, so that pretty much covers the entire planet).

    In case you haven't noticed, we have a crisis we are still contending with in the global economic system; we have a crisis in the environment; we have a population crisis; we have education and health and pension stresses that are daunting for even the most affluent and advanced societies -- and now we have a huge drama to address as a united human race, in Japan and along the Pacific Rim. Because keep in mind that whatever contamination is going on -- and let us hope it is minimal -- it will affect the fish stocks and marine biology as well, in a way that neither Three Mile Island, nor Chernobyl did...

    So we have plenty on our plates, as a planet. And we really, truly can no longer allow any berserk murderous tyrants to wreak havoc on any significant piece of real estate.

    There's Lukashenko, "Europe's last dictator" -- but he has not hired mercenaries from Timbuktu and sent bombing raids against Brest or Gomel.

    There's the King of Bahrain -- already applying deadly force against protesters, yet still, it seems, willing to listen to advice and apparently receptive to at least some influences... So not quite at the level of utter incompetence yet.

    And then there is Hadafit in Tripoli: completely demented, with Junior at his side spewing venomous drivel, threatening entire cities with extermination, demanding that neighbours and relatives "denounce the traitors amongst them..." Of all the men currently seated in a capital city as chief-of-everything, this is the only one that most closely resembles Adolf Hitler in both style and substance.

    Not even the North Koreans have ventured quite so far down the path of outright insanity and megalomania.

    So your objections are not appropriate to the facts on the ground as they are known the world over.

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  • 26. At 00:01am on 18 Mar 2011, U14817080 wrote:

    How sweet MANIFEST DESTINY!!

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  • 27. At 00:03am on 18 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    From Sky News:

    "The council also authorised all necessary measures to protect civilians from attacks by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's forces."

    "The US, UK, France, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gabon, Lebanon, Nigeria, Colombia, South Africa and Portugal voted to approve the resolution, while China, Russia, Brazil, Germany and India abstained."

    -----------

    Let's see:

    US, UK, France and Lebanon were sponsors.

    Bosnia vote against this resolution? Never.

    Colombia either thought the resolution said "Venezuela" or is hoping that it will next time.

    Nigeria wants to play in the big leagues, and knows this will have big time resonance in Cote D'Ivoire.

    South Africa wants to play in the big leagues, understands repression, and is maybe trying to give a hint that it's time to go to a neighbour who shall not be named.

    Portugal is England's oldest ally. (Check it out, it's tue.)

    Gabon would never stand in the way, and hopes this will be remembered when the time comes.

    And the abstentions:

    India's workers were abused in Libya, and India sees no need to pull America's tail - or, indeed, China's tail.

    Brazil wants to play in the big leagues, it sees no reason to pull America's tail, and, on top of it all, it gets a Presidential visit notwithstanding a nuclear crisis in Japan and a war crisis in North Africa. Brazilians know a little bit about military dictatorships, too.

    In the end, Germany was aboard when the ship sailed.
    Germany and France have been joined at the hip since the European Coal and Steel agreement. Germany is America's favoured ally on the Continent. The Chancellor knows what it's about.

    China has been aboard for two weeks, and was getting impatient. China wants to be seen as responsible, big league player.

    China also seems not to have liked the way its workers were badly treated by the madman on the evacuation.

    China may have a rule against "non-interference with the internal affairs" of other nations, but it also has an even bigger rule: don't mess with China.

    And as for Russia?

    It'll be interesting to see what Russia got for this. I don't think it was very much. Certainly not as much as they wanted. Did somebody finally realize that there was nothing to be gained by being the lone holdout on a disaster that could end in the mass killing of civilians, for the honour of protecting a mass-murdering madman?

    Is that what finally fell into place last night or this morning?


    In any case, at the end of the day, another rabbit is pulled out of the hat at Flushing Meadows.



    And there I was, all worried, thinking they might have cut it too close ...

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  • 28. At 00:07am on 18 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    Aljazeera reports that weapons are on the way from Egypt to the rebels. (officially)

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  • 29. At 00:08am on 18 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    22. JMM

    Perhaps it's not only that. By stopping a megalomaniac, GB, France, the USA and perhaps even the moderate united Arab States can be a positive influence towards a democratic outcome, not only in Libya, but consequently generally in North Africa, and strategically more important in Egypt where there also seems to be a struggle against radical influence.

    The people of Bahrain have given no clear signal, as the Libyan opposition did with its delegation of transition. Although no one condones the brutality of the authorities, the purpose of the protests, also supported by the Hezbollah, are not yet clearly defined. As the Hezbollah and thus Iran might also have instigated this rebellion, it would be difficult to believe that they did it to bring about democracy there. Yet again by trying to do the right thing in Libya, and with luck succeeding, it should generally, hopefully, represent a positive influence for other States.

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  • 30. At 00:09am on 18 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    Benghazi live.

    http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/

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  • 31. At 00:10am on 18 Mar 2011, I Didnt Vote For Him wrote:

    I am actually amazed that the UN could come to some kind of consensus, although I hope the five nations that abstained will be remembered for their condoning of Ghaddafi's brutality.

    I tend to be wary of Western involvement in the affairs of the Middle East. But now that we have a resolution I believe it would be better to go in fast and very hard, seeking a speedy and defined resolution, rather than mount a few CAP's and let things drag on. Finishing Ghaddafi off quickly, or demonstrating to his current followers that it is in their interests to remove him, reduces the time he would have to make mischief or reconstruct his weapons of mass destruction. I note that Hilary Clinton expressed concern over the possibility that he still held stocks of chemical and nerve agents and could use them on civilian populations.

    As for those asking why Libya is the sole target for this rather than Bahrain; I believe the answer is realpolitick. Bahrain is a notional ally in a more sensitive location, but I suspect their leaders will have been made aware of the story of Admiral Byng. It is the traditional British way to shoot one as an example to the others.

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  • 32. At 00:10am on 18 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    22. At 11:32pm on 17 Mar 2011, JMM wrote:

    I agree completely.

    6. At 9:57pm on 17 Mar 2011, bryhers wrote:
    “Why? we are not a branch of the Red Cross,I can`t see it`s in Britain`s national interest when the charges against Libya could be equally well applied to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.”

    __________

    I was wondering whether the decision by the Red Cross to pull out of Benghazi was a critical point in the story.

    When the Red Cross pulls out, gosh, that's a bad sign.

    Perhaps that focused some minds.


    ----------

    Spare a thought for the protesters killed, beaten, jailed and tortured in Bahrain, Yemen, and elsewhere, and for those in Saudi Arabia who dared to dream of reform.

    A green light for their suppression by force was almost certainly the price paid for Arab League support, and for Lebanon's vote today.

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  • 33. At 00:12am on 18 Mar 2011, Tinkersdamn wrote:

    Given that earlier today Gaddafi threatened an imminent attack on Benghazi "without mercy", this action may have been necessary to avoid a massacre. I do hope the West keeps its involvement to a minimum and allows the Libyans to determine their own future to the greatest degree possible.

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  • 34. At 00:13am on 18 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    10. bryhers

    Why do people so insist on treating the birth of democracies as 'failures'?
    Admittedly the US went about it the wrong way in Afghanistan. That's already understood. Europe also has a weighty responsibility there because certainly France knew what was going on and who needed help, and when. But rather than deal directly with the Afghanis who were fighting the Taliban, the US chose to solve the problem via the very State that conceived the problem in the first place- Pakistan. And the status-quo continues even today, made far worse by backing a corrupt leader who thinks fraud is normal in 'young democracies', and gives priority to fellow Pashtuns.

    So the US went in too late and came out far too early. Had they gone in when the help was called for, well before 9/11, maybe there wouldn't have been a 9/11, and thus not even the great urgency to invade Iraq. But in history there's always a reason for everything, and more so when one doesn't learn from it.
    And I don't really appreciate being labelled a 'neocon' which is another meaningless label that goes along with incoherent expressions like 'exporting democracy'.

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  • 35. At 00:16am on 18 Mar 2011, Alex wrote:

    If this UN resolution is such a godsend why don't we vote to bomb Bahrain, the Saudis, the Jordanian King, Assad in Syria, Teheran and all the other despotic monster regimes on the planet. We pick and choose by standards that are hypocritical and convenient and then posture that we a doing a moral thing.
    We're choosing sides between a murdering madman and a murdering mob. What the press has labelled as pro democratic is nothing of the sort because if the mob ends up taking power in Lybia it will become an Al Quaida nation state. Is this the humanity that we are encouraging? This is not a choice between good and evil. Its a choice between two forms of insanity and to apply compassion to geopolitics is to be stupid.

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  • 36. At 00:26am on 18 Mar 2011, AmericanHeretic wrote:

    Why or why do we want to get involved in this? Sure Gaddafi has been a naughty boy that needs a good spanking. However, whichever side wins in Libya, we will have people that want the "12th Imam to rule all of the mountain tops of the world." They would still want to impose Sharia on the west. They would still espouse a religion that allows only four options, to kill, convert, tax or enslave the infidel. Do we believe that we can buy the friendship of the Muslim Brotherhood by helping them take the reins from that other tyrrant? The better policy would be to let the Muslims fight their own wars.

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  • 37. At 00:33am on 18 Mar 2011, chronophobe wrote:

    Well, there's the sausage. Ugly process, to be sure. But it was done right. Aside from the immediate benefits in Libya (we all hope!) there are significant secondary benefits. I can think of three off the top of my head:

    -- Restores some credibility to the UN, and especially the Security Council.

    -- China engaged, if only passively, in sanctioning multilateral use of force for 'moral' reasons in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation.

    -- Arab states engaged in same.

    A banner day for those who see value in multilateralism and international law.



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  • 38. At 00:35am on 18 Mar 2011, Jim wrote:

    I hope the French do not surrender before it starts again.

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  • 39. At 00:47am on 18 Mar 2011, johninlongmont wrote:

    I think we need to be more concerned about what comes out of Libya after Gadaffi...not to mention Egypt, Tunisia, et.al.

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  • 40. At 00:47am on 18 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    Maria Ashot

    This has nothing to do with NATO -- each member acts separate from NATO.

    No member of NATO has been attacked !

    Germany is forbidden to become involved --by its Constitution.


    "God bless the heroes and the heroines, and we all thank you." ?

    --- Hardly a Christian viewpoint ?????

    --enemies also have innocents among them !

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  • 41. At 00:51am on 18 Mar 2011, jdwill wrote:

    onlythetruth wrote:

    "The US supported the Mubarak regime for 30 years and still supports kings and rulers that mistreat women and are not democratic such as Saudi Arabia,Bahrain and Yemen."
    The U.S. doesn't "support" these regimes!!! All International and diplomatic relations are, and have been for centuries, carried out from government to government!! Such normal diplomatic conversations do not constitute, by any means, "support"! It does seem that too many citizens labor imder the delusion that normal day-to-day relations between countries constitutes "support", which "label" is obviously a complete misapprehension of the normal and actual relationship between nations!!

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  • 42. At 00:52am on 18 Mar 2011, EX CONSTANTIA VICTORIA wrote:

    As usual many have the attitude that if you can't fix it all (Saudi Arabia, et. al) don't fix anything. They said the same about Iraq and Afghanistan. And while I am of the that opinion western style democracy, freedom, and tolerance is incompatible with Arab Muslim culture and a pipe dream, if the Brits and French want to stop Gaddafi's mercenaries from slaughtering the Libyan people all the best of luck to them.

    Libya can't do much worse than Gaddafi just like Iraq and Afghanistan couldn't have been worse than under the Taliban and Saddam.

    If they trade the madman dictator Gaddafi for a sane dictator it will be an improvement.

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  • 43. At 01:03am on 18 Mar 2011, Harley wrote:

    The Americans were "slow" in acting because they had to put together a coalition of European and Arab nations that would go to war without their manpower...but their bullets. They also needed to get the Russians and Chinese to sit back and twiddle their thumbs while all this is happening. Don't think for a moment the V.P Biden of the USA was in Russia a couple of weeks ago to simply chit chat with Putin - Libya was on the discussions; indeed, at the top of the discussions.

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  • 44. At 01:06am on 18 Mar 2011, mlaprep wrote:

    Hmmn. Looks like the great face-saving crusade of 2011. Mr. Q is quite the wretch, but not any worse than his neighbors. The Lybians have had great education and medical care handed to them by Mr. Q, and Lybian women are among the most independent and well educated in the Arab world. He and his comrades are corrupt... so what? So's are Obama and the Democrats, will the UN authorize air strikes against Washington and Chicago, next? It seems that certain loudmouthed heads of state and Secretaries of State have backed the wrong horse. Doesn't strike me (no pun intended) as sufficient reason to get into another Moslem internal quarrel. Certainly our boys and girls are worth more than Cameron's and Clinton's pride.

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  • 45. At 01:27am on 18 Mar 2011, southcst1 wrote:

    It's on like Donkey Kong!!!!

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  • 46. At 01:52am on 18 Mar 2011, LiveFreeOrDie1776 wrote:

    Unfortunately this provocation will not succeed in light of the tinderbox that is the current Middle East. This may be the spark that provokes the hornets nest to explode.

    Any time a self-proclaimed, quasi-socialist pacifist like Hillary Clinton goes "hawkish" you can be certain it is for temporary political gain. The problem is that when her husband bombed the aspirin factory in his now infamous "wag the dog" strategy of distraction he instigated the war with Osama bin Laden.

    Likewise, "pacifist" Jimmy "Hi Y'all" Carter deposed the Shah of Iran and executed a half-hearted attack, sacrificing the lives of US military and encouraged and fomented the Islamic revolution in Iran.

    Lyndon Johnson's half-hearted "escalation" in Viet Nam ended in defeat and the genocide of millions in Cambodia.

    There is no substitute for bold leadership and this 30 day old weak response from the US to a real and present disaster will only be the beginning of the end. The pale blue berets of the UN acting on behalf of what is left of the British Empire will not prevail. Not because our forces or people are weak but because our leadership and vision is weak.

    Damn the godless, soulless, feckless, effete Marxist left to hell.

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  • 47. At 02:12am on 18 Mar 2011, placebodomingo wrote:

    It is a good thing Hillary Clinton answered the 3:00am call and forced the Obama administration to do something about ridding Libya of a crazed murder. She will be given the credit by the people of Libya if its not too late.

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  • 48. At 02:37am on 18 Mar 2011, deinan wrote:

    "The Cool Ruler Rides Again" - if you had watched Al Jazeera or followed this blog http://www.libyafeb17.com/, you will have learned that the rebels, after initially taking towns, raided ammunition dumps, and that is where they got their weapons. They also once took over 7 tanks, after the Libyan army was pushed out of a town, and later a couple planes. However, the rebel leader made it known (once again heard on Al Jazeera) that they are woefully unarmed in comparison to Gaddafi's forces, and that is why they were close to a panic in Benghazi. Please don't GUESS - but listen and learn from informed sources.

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  • 49. At 02:39am on 18 Mar 2011, Gonzo wrote:

    Nothing like waiting until the horses have all left, and the barn has burned down, to close the door. Obama's Administration has once again proved to be an artist of the absurd. Good think Gaddafi waited until Obama had picked his NCAA brackets before he decided to move on Benghazi!

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  • 50. At 02:41am on 18 Mar 2011, Pouncekitty wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 51. At 02:42am on 18 Mar 2011, deinan wrote:

    placebodomingo - you are guessing as to what goes on in the Obama admin. I heard with my own ears, Clinton stating at a hearing that no-fly zones often do not work - and she gave the example of Iraq. I have also read that it was Obama who decided to take action after the recent comments by Gaddafi, But, I believe, that a no-fly zone was an option that had not been taken off the table for several weeks now - that is why, probably, that AWAC planes started flying over Libya a week or so ago. The news is there for a reason - to become informed.

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  • 52. At 02:49am on 18 Mar 2011, CuriousAmerican wrote:


    This means what exactly?

    The UN will send a strongly worded letter in all caps, in triplicate?

    .......I feel so much better.......

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  • 53. At 04:08am on 18 Mar 2011, TexasSage wrote:

    Too little too late.
    As late as a week ago, the rebels might have had a chance with outside air support. Unless you're willing to put foreign boots on the ground, it's just about hopeless. This ill conceived plan, assuming it is more than a just horse and pony show, will do nothing but heap more misery on the Libyan people while achieving nothing.
    Where are Ronald Reagan or Maggie Thatcher when you need them?

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  • 54. At 04:13am on 18 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    49. At 02:39am on 18 Mar 2011, Gonzo wrote:
    “Nothing like waiting until the horses have all left, and the barn has burned down, to close the door. Obama's Administration has once again proved to be an artist of the absurd. Good think Gaddafi waited until Obama had picked his NCAA brackets before he decided to move on Benghazi!”
    52. At 02:49am on 18 Mar 2011, CuriousAmerican wrote:
    “This means what exactly?
    The UN will send a strongly worded letter in all caps, in triplicate?
    .......I feel so much better.......”
    ____________
    Here is the text of the relevant portions of the resolution:
    “3. Demands that the Libyan authorities comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, human rights and refugee law and take all measures to protect civilians and meet their basic needs, and to ensure the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance;
    “Protection of civilians
    “4. Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in cooperation with the Secretary-General, to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory, and requests the Member States concerned to inform the Secretary-General immediately of the measures they take pursuant to the authorization conferred by this paragraph which shall be immediately reported to the Security Council;
    “5. Recognizes the important role of the League of Arab States in matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security in the region, and bearing in mind Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, requests the Member States of the League of Arab States to cooperate with other Member States in the implementation of paragraph 4;
    “No-fly zone
    “6. Decides to establish a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians;
    “7. Decides further that the ban imposed by paragraph 6 shall not apply to flights whose sole purpose is humanitarian, such as delivering or facilitating the delivery of assistance, including medical supplies, food, humanitarian workers and related assistance, or evacuating foreign nationals from the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, nor shall it apply to flights authorised by paragraphs 4 or 8, nor other flights which are deemed necessary by States acting under the authorization conferred in paragraph 8 to be for the benefit of the Libyan people, and that these flights shall be coordinated with any mechanism established under paragraph 8;
    “8. Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, to take all necessary measures to enforce compliance with the ban on flights imposed by paragraph 6 above, as necessary, and requests the States concerned in cooperation with the League of Arab States to coordinate closely with the Secretary General on the measures they are taking to implement this ban, including by establishing an appropriate mechanism for implementing the provisions of paragraphs 6 and 7 above,
    “9. Calls upon all Member States, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, to provide assistance, including any necessary overflight approvals, for the purposes of implementing paragraphs 4, 6, 7 and 8 above;
    “10. Requests the Member States concerned to coordinate closely with each other and the Secretary-General on the measures they are taking to implement paragraphs 4, 6, 7 and 8 above, including practical measures for the monitoring and approval of authorised humanitarian or evacuation flights;
    “11. Decides that the Member States concerned shall inform the Secretary-General and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States immediately of measures taken in exercise of the authority conferred by paragraph 8 above, including to supply a concept of operations;
    “12. Requests the Secretary-General to inform the Council immediately of any actions taken by the Member States concerned in exercise of the authority conferred by paragraph 8 above and to report to the Council within 7 days and every month thereafter on the implementation of this resolution, including information on any violations of the flight ban imposed by paragraph 6 above;
    “Enforcement of the arms embargo
    “13. Decides that paragraph 11 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall be replaced by the following paragraph : “Calls upon all Member States, in particular States of the region, acting nationally or through regional organisations or arrangements, in order to ensure strict implementation of the arms embargo established by paragraphs 9 and 10 of resolution 1970 (2011), to inspect in their territory, including seaports and airports, and on the high seas, vessels and aircraft bound to or from the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, if the State concerned has information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that the cargo contains items the supply, sale, transfer or export of which is prohibited by paragraphs 9 or 10 of resolution 1970 (2011) as modified by this resolution, including the provision of armed mercenary personnel, calls upon all flag States of such vessels and aircraft to cooperate with such inspections and authorises Member States to use all measures commensurate to the specific circumstances to carry out such inspections”;
    ______ ______
    ______ ______


    In case this isn’t clear,

    Article 4 allows the use of force to protect civilians. In effect, it is authorization to use air strikes to shoot up Mad Muammar’s tanks and artillery that are attacking any community in Libya in which there are civilians. It isn’t actually limited to air strikes, either. It merely excludes an “occupation force”. So naval bombardment is ok, and, arguably, even the use of special forces it probably ok, since they could hardly constitute an “occupation” force. To the extent that arming the provisional government and its fighters serves to “protect civilians”, it also permits supplies to be brought in – which, apparently, Egypt has now announced it is already doing.

    By this time tomorrow, the coast road and environs may be littered with a fair number of burnt out hulks. I would also expect a number of military command facilities to be less functional than at present.

    Article 8 allows the use of force to destroy Mad Muammar’s aircraft on the ground or in the air. It permits the use of force to destroy his radar systems. It permits the use of force to destroy his command and control systems. It permits the use of force to destroy his anti-aircraft missile systems. It permits the use of force to disable his airfields.

    Article 13 effectively allows the use of force to sink Mad Muammar’s ships if they refuse to surrender.

    Those are pretty broad powers.


    Just exactly what additional powers do you think anybody would want or need?

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  • 55. At 04:15am on 18 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 56. At 04:17am on 18 Mar 2011, minmin1 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 57. At 04:19am on 18 Mar 2011, macksfield wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 58. At 04:22am on 18 Mar 2011, moronpolitics wrote:

    Well, as "Present" Slick Obama said ...."just so long as the US isn't seen as leading. That's the important thing." Or, before the election... "Each regional sphere of influence belongs to the dominant country in that region... Iran for instance in the Middle East." So, now that the UN has spoken English, Italian and American boys can die to keep the various tyrants in place in their respective countries. How nicely everything works together for good. So spaketh the Word.

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  • 59. At 04:25am on 18 Mar 2011, Vietcong wrote:

    Our priorities are to attack an airport, instead of helping the Japanese put out the reactor core meltdown?
    Let's send every ship to rescue the Japanese.

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  • 60. At 04:36am on 18 Mar 2011, TheTruth34 wrote:

    This action by the U.N. is very strange. A no-fly zone is to expensive for the Do-Gooders to maintain. I see a biship sliding over to take the Castle.
    Watch out Tripoli.

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  • 61. At 04:46am on 18 Mar 2011, Franklin wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 62. At 04:52am on 18 Mar 2011, moronpolitics wrote:

    Action taken to support the rebels 2 weeks ago would have meant much less death, pain and suffering. Why the delay? There is no acceptable excuse.

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  • 63. At 04:53am on 18 Mar 2011, RealRick wrote:

    A little strange that they already have professionally made signs and in English. A bit odd.

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  • 64. At 05:05am on 18 Mar 2011, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    54. At 04:13am on 18 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:
    49. At 02:39am on 18 Mar 2011, Gonzo wrote:
    “Nothing like waiting until the horses have all left, and the barn has burned down, to close the door. Obama's Administration has once again proved to be an artist of the absurd. Good think Gaddafi waited until Obama had picked his NCAA brackets before he decided to move on Benghazi!”
    52. At 02:49am on 18 Mar 2011, CuriousAmerican wrote:
    “This means what exactly?
    The UN will send a strongly worded letter in all caps, in triplicate?
    .......I feel so much better.......”
    ____________

    .............Just exactly what additional powers do you think anybody would want or need?
    ----------------------------------

    ........And all of that will be ENFORCED by WHOM?........(staring intently into your eyes...looking for a glimer of reality setting in)

    Its ALL just a piece of paper unless there is FORCE to back it up. I don't exactly see the EU, AU or any other "U" lining up to put their money and lives of their sons on the line to jump into the middle of a civil war that has no clear "good guys"...or clear reward for the risk...

    Sun Tzu says....If your enemy is doing something stupid, don't stop him....

    "When you get mugged by reality, it hurts like a pit bull in room full of chew toys...and you're the chew toy..."

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  • 65. At 05:12am on 18 Mar 2011, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    63. At 04:53am on 18 Mar 2011, RealRick wrote:
    A little strange that they already have professionally made signs and in English. A bit odd.
    ----------------------------------

    yes...a bit odd...

    If they understood american politics better...the sign would read...

    "OBAMA...WHERE ARE YOU...WE NEED YOU"
    (I'll promise to vote for you 100,000 times, Chicago style in the next election)

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  • 66. At 06:05am on 18 Mar 2011, SONICBOOMER wrote:

    38, you mean like here?

    http://www.suite101.com/content/france--libya-in-chad-198087-a3728

    While there are concerns if it's not too late, this constant ill-informed carping about the UN from some seems to show a very, very limited understanding of how the world actually works.
    Clue; it's not like a bad Hollywood action movie.

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  • 67. At 06:59am on 18 Mar 2011, Major Mike wrote:

    It's odd for the United States to be following instead of leading. I suppose after Bill Clinton waffled while a million Rwandans were being slaughtered that I ought to accept that many of our "leaders" won't. Certainly George Bush learned after freeing Iraqis and Afghanis from cruel tyrrany that no good deed goes unpunished. Particularly in a world where Sunni and Shi'ite revel in murdering each other in the devout service of the same god, while doing that god's bidding. Still, it's good to see sometning being done. We can't reverse time and save the Rwandans and Bosnians and Sudanese and Congolese and all the others slaughtered while we dithered, but maybe we won't mess up this time. Will someone wake Obama and tell him it's OK to come out of hiding now?

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  • 68. At 07:08am on 18 Mar 2011, frontierland wrote:

    The UN, mask of the Western based New World Order, yet another step towards Global Hegemony.
    No American Interests? Are you that one dimensional? France, Great Britain working for the US Federal Reserve.

    One step closer to Iran, one step closer to full spectrum confrontation with Russia and China. This is the Grand Chessboard. Libya fits into the larger strategy.
    Next stop, Global Governance, Global Currency.
    Wake up folks.

    Perpetual War.

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  • 69. At 07:39am on 18 Mar 2011, William Bayer wrote:

    All evening, after passage of the UN resolution, I've seen/heard variouis media representatives interpret the part about "*** while excluding an occupation force" as meaning that no ground forces can be used. I believe this needs clarification, because I wouldn't interpret ground forces as necessarily constituting an "occupation force" if they merely went in to do a specific job or engage in a specific battle without intent to stay and/or without remaining after the job/battle was concluded. Therefore, my own interpretation of the resolution, as it has been reported, is that it does not preclude the use of ground forces, but merely precludes ground forces remaining in Libya as supposed "peace-keeping" forces.

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  • 70. At 07:43am on 18 Mar 2011, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    67. At 06:59am on 18 Mar 2011, Major Mike wrote:
    It's odd for the United States to be following instead of leading. I suppose after Bill Clinton waffled while a million Rwandans were being slaughtered that I ought to accept that many of our "leaders" won't. Certainly George Bush learned after freeing Iraqis and Afghanis from cruel tyrrany that no good deed goes unpunished. Particularly in a world where Sunni and Shi'ite revel in murdering each other in the devout service of the same god, while doing that god's bidding. Still, it's good to see sometning being done. We can't reverse time and save the Rwandans and Bosnians and Sudanese and Congolese and all the others slaughtered while we dithered, but maybe we won't mess up this time. Will someone wake Obama and tell him it's OK to come out of hiding now?

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

    SHHHHH....your not supposed to talk about that....

    ..Don't you know all Democrat presidents are ok...its only Republican presidents that do bad things.....

    ...Didn't you get the memo...

    Democrat war = okey dokey..no problem there...keep moving along folks..nothing to see here...

    Republican war = end of the world, protest in the street, etc...

    Consider yourself repremanded...now get back to watching TV and Sports..and have a couple of beers..and enjoy some Charlie Sheen meltdown..=]

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  • 71. At 07:45am on 18 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    In #3 bryhers observed:To rehearse the objections:-Libya is not a strategic interest for the United States,other Arab governments are also repressive,and Mr Obama has no control over outcomes,or an exit strategy.






    Correct.

    Now, should we start discussing a very dangerous situation in Yemen, in which al-Qaeda is about to take over from the country's weak regime?

    If not, what about at least Ivory Coast?

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  • 72. At 07:50am on 18 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    15. At 10:44pm on 17 Mar 2011, Scott0962 wrote:
    If it comes about it will be an astonishingly quick bit of work by the UN Security Council. I can't help but wonder what concessions were given the Russians and Chinese for such a rare display of cooperation.






    I could tell ya but I recall that Interested Foreigner has already explained that in his capable 'translation'.



    [Interesting, you don't ask what was the price for Germany 'abstaining'.]

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  • 73. At 07:55am on 18 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    IF: Asked whether Italy would offer its bases for the enforcement of the U.N. resolution, the source said: "Yes, we've said we are ready to do that."



    I can already smell kerosene from afterburners of U.S. Navy's SuperHornets taking off from Sigonella. In a hurry. :-)

    [whereras in Aviano...]

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  • 74. At 08:01am on 18 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Maria Ashot: Pan Am 103, the atrocity at Lockerbie, is justification enough for removing Q/G/K.






    I recall, Maria, that quite a few posters claimed here and in HYS for quite a few years, that Gaddafi was not responsible for PanAm 103 bombing, and that he was made a scapegoat by U.S.A., despite an evidence he was innocent like a new-born baby.

    And that it was Islamic Republic of Iran which was really behind it.

    Now, if that were the case, what should we do about Tehran ayatollahs?

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  • 75. At 08:07am on 18 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    IF: "Colombia either thought the resolution said "Venezuela" or is hoping that it will next time."




    [Don't cry for me Caracas
    until I'll use my maracas.]

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  • 76. At 08:13am on 18 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #27 IF: "The US, UK, France, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gabon, Lebanon, Nigeria, Colombia, South Africa and Portugal voted to approve the resolution, while China, Russia, Brazil, Germany and India abstained."






    Not sure about such powers as Gabon and B&H but according to the latest news Portugal desperately needs a EU bail-out. Pronto.

    [while Germany badly needs oil, 'cause its nuclear power stations are not PC in this earthquake and tsunami-prone country.]

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  • 77. At 08:15am on 18 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    38. At 00:35am on 18 Mar 2011, Jim wrote:
    I hope the French do not surrender before it starts again.





    "Going into combat without the French is like going hunting without an accordion"
    (Patton)

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  • 78. At 08:18am on 18 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    CuriousAmerican wrote: "OBAMA...WHERE ARE YOU...WE NEED YOU"
    (I'll promise to vote for you 100,000 times, Chicago style in the next election)



    "Vote early, vote often!"

    (Windy City's mayor, R. Daley in 1960)

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  • 79. At 08:22am on 18 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Vietcong wrote:
    Our priorities are to attack an airport, instead of helping the Japanese put out the reactor core meltdown?
    Let's send every ship to rescue the Japanese.





    Hey, Vietcong!

    USS "Ronald Reagan" group is already there. Helping.

    Rather than in Haiphong. :-)

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  • 80. At 08:25am on 18 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re # 67:"We can't reverse time and save the Rwandans and Bosnians and Sudanese and Congolese and all the others slaughtered while we dithered"




    "All the others" including Cambodians, Congolese, Sudanese, Tibetans...

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  • 81. At 08:39am on 18 Mar 2011, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    PM....how many news feeds to have coming in?...

    your knowledge and insight is bar none....

    I love talking with people who talk about things BEFORE it makes the news cycle...It means they are either pushing the buttons themselves..or are very close to the source...

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  • 82. At 08:41am on 18 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    MM: Libya airstrikes could start 'within hours of resolution'




    Late morning Libyan local time: can't see anything flying toward Tripoli from the north.

    Can you?


    [perhaps they took off from Gabon]

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  • 83. At 08:48am on 18 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Gaddafi's regime welcomes a no fly-zone:


    http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2011/03/17/exp.arena.libya.nofly.resolution.cnn?hpt=T1

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  • 84. At 08:48am on 18 Mar 2011, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    77. At 08:15am on 18 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:
    38. At 00:35am on 18 Mar 2011, Jim wrote:
    I hope the French do not surrender before it starts again.

    "Going into combat without the French is like going hunting without an accordion"
    (Patton)

    ------------------------
    "I'd rather have the Germans in front of me..than the French behind me"

    "what we need to do is re-arm the Germans and keep going east, otherwise we'll be here again having to do whole damn thing all over again"

    "Rommel, you magnificent bastard...I read your book...!!"

    "No one ever won a war by dying for their country, you win a war by making the other poor bastard die for his country..."

    Its a sad commentary when such plain speaking in high leadership is rare and special....and almost NEVER in our political leadership....

    We need a political West Point...


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  • 85. At 09:02am on 18 Mar 2011, XPIOLT wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 86. At 09:44am on 18 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    moronpolitics, (#62. At 04:52am on 18 Mar 2011)

    ”Action taken to support the rebels 2 weeks ago would have meant much less death, pain and suffering. Why the delay? There is no acceptable excuse.”
    Then it makes little sense to pose the question.

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  • 87. At 09:48am on 18 Mar 2011, scotbot wrote:

    Can't believe this is happening, and all on trumped up charges of mass killings of civilians -- where's the evidence?

    All I've seen and heard is the Western media repeating statements by the revolutionaries, whom it transpires are not actually ordinary people from the streets of Libya, but from a para-military organisation known as the National Front for the Salvation of Libya.

    It was the NFSL who called for the day of protest on February 17th, not a spontaneous populist uprising seeking democracy and freedom.

    Call me cynical, but I've heard all these fabricated pretexts for much once too often in my lifetime -- the Kuwaiti baby icubators (didn't happen), Bosnian-Serb concentration camps (didn't exist), Racak Massacre (didn't happen), sophisticated Al-Qaeda bond-esque hideouts in Afghanistan (didn't exist), Iraqi weapons of mass destructions (didn't exist).

    In short, lie after lie after lie have taken this country in wars against sovereign countries and the gullible little sheeple lap it all up.

    Shameful.

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  • 88. At 10:04am on 18 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    powermeerkat, (#74. At 08:01am on 18 Mar 2011)

    "... I recall, Maria, that quite a few posters claimed here and in HYS for quite a few years, that Gaddafi was not responsible for PanAm 103 bombing ..."

    Moreover, they're still babbling the same foolish nonsense. ("Is Obama deliberating or dithering on Libya", The Cool Ruler Rides Again, #48)

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  • 89. At 10:32am on 18 Mar 2011, crackerjack charlie wrote:

    It seems the UN and its voting members are delusional and expect a different outcome from the same book we all have read before. Humpty allways falls off the wall no matter how many time you read it. The outcome never changes. In the aftermath everyone is left with a big mess. God help us as if this escalates as most of the voting member governments will run for the hills, leaving only a few to remain holding this bag of dung. Will this end differently? Dont bet on it.

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  • 90. At 10:58am on 18 Mar 2011, GRGRY wrote:

    At any moment now Obama will be calling on the UN to declare a "no fly zone" over Wisconsin. Kenya believe it?

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  • 91. At 11:14am on 18 Mar 2011, modernJan wrote:

    "I am told the first strikes will be unilateral ones by British and French aircraft. They could be in the air within hours. It is likely five Arab air forces will take part."

    Which ones? I can't help finding it awkward if for example Saudi Arabia or Syria would intervene in Libya "for freedom and democracy"... and what would that do to those countries' internal opposition?

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  • 92. At 11:51am on 18 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    87. scotbot

    What more does one really need? If you stand by the idea that the UN resolution is based on 'trumped up charges' you can't have made much effort in looking for proof to counter such ideas. There's more than enough available.

    And why not also take into consideration at least ten years of terrorism, including the Lockerbie bombing? The last was the Berlin attack, and this was enough for Reagan to go in hard and give Gaddafi a lesson. Since then, at least up until these events of coming down far too hard on his own people, he had been mouse-like quiet. I don't think Reagan bothered too much about obtaining UN permission, but this time, the stakes are different, and a lot more volatile.

    It's quasi certain that there are radical elements trying to influence the course of events, not only in Libya, but generally where there's instability and hestitation between the choice of democracy and Islamic totalitarianism. This is probably another reason why this resolution was voted by the UN, and a military engagement has to be made. An outcome hopefully leading to Libyan democracy would be also be a positive influence on all the neighbouring States that are also going through a delicate, unstable process and are subject to pressure imposed by radical elements.

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  • 93. At 12:17pm on 18 Mar 2011, William Ripskull wrote:

    I'm sure the 1000's of dead civilians and rebels that were killed because of US and UN inaction are very relived. Obama is such a loser moron coward! I never thought I would hear myself praising her, but I have to admit, I gained a little respect for Hillary for realizing this and effectively saying publicly "enough is enough, I'm quitting this guy". Of course I'll believe it when I see it about her not running.

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  • 94. At 12:32pm on 18 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #81

    Neither. You don't rely on the news (just like no really succesful investor ever relies on the news) since they only convey what has already happened (mustard after dinner) and after all the crews flocked to "the next best thing".


    [and "follow leader of the pack"]

    You don't subscribe to news wires. [although it doesn't hurt]

    You learn the pertinent countries/regions' history/languages/culture/mentality and then you watch the emerging trends.

    If you still cannot recognize them for what they are, draw your own conclusions and ANTICIPATE what's very likely to happen then no tool of any kind will ever help you.

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  • 95. At 12:38pm on 18 Mar 2011, danclarkie wrote:

    Words and politics rallied back and forth in comfortable offices are very cheap and easy, getting actual pilots or soldiers on the ground or in the air over Libya show an actual level of support.
    I was at a Libyan protest at the weekend in Berlin and the stories and pictures of the atrocities being committed against the population of Libya that I heard and saw were truly appalling.
    The fact that we can stand by and do nothing or point at Saudi Arabia and say "its bad there too but nobody is doing anything" is shocking.
    Forget about the oil and the politics and the money and all the other trivial side matters, what counts is the sanctity of human life!
    The Great Britain I grew up in was one that always stood forward to protect these ideas, if necessary for years, if necessary alone.

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  • 96. At 12:41pm on 18 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    GRGRY wrote:
    At any moment now Obama will be calling on the UN to declare a "no fly zone" over Wisconsin. Kenya believe it?




    No, but how about a no-tunneling zone under Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas? Idaho but Alaska.


    Abyssynia!


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  • 97. At 12:54pm on 18 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #93


    "I gained a little respect for Hillary for realizing this and effectively saying publicly "enough is enough, I'm quitting this guy". Of course I'll believe it when I see it about her not running."






    "Repeat, I've never had sex with that woman, Monika Lewinsky..."


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  • 98. At 1:15pm on 18 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    72. At 07:50am on 18 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    [Interesting, you don't ask what was the price for Germany 'abstaining'.]

    __________

    I don't think there was a price.

    I think the French, the British, and the Americans all counted on Angela Merkel being unable to do something that would have been, ultimately, morally wrong. At the end of the day, she's a tough and very moral person.


    ----------

    On another note,

    I see that the Poles are aboard for logistics. No surprise there.

    I also see that Belgium, Canada, and Norway are aboard. No surprises there, either (for Canada it was telegraphed more than a week ago when a frigate sailed hastily from Halifax. Aircraft are to follow.)

    Although I haven't seen the announcement yet, I expect that Denmark would be aboard, and if the Dutch hadn't lost a helicopter, I thought they would be aboard too. Maybe they still will be.

    In the middle East the news this morning is that Egypt is sending weapons, and is supplying logistical support and air bases. Jordan and the UAE have apparently committed squadrons of aircraft for combat. Qatar is apparently also onside but I'm not sure what that means militarily.

    There are, apparently, five Arab states that will be contributing forces, not sure who is the fifth.

    It's not as broad as it could be, but it looks like a dozen or more nations, all told, without counting the US, and without any indication, yet, that American forces are necessarily going to be at the sharp end. Clearly American AWACS aircraft have been busy for a week. American satellites are always busy, too. One would expect that exercise has yielded a fairly comprehensive target list.

    ----------


    Little disappointed - and surprised - that military planning isn't a bit more advanced. I would have thought that aircraft would already have been in action overnight and this morning, and that a number of cruise missile calling cards might already have arrived at the Fuhrerbunker in Tripoli. For the people of Libya, every minute counts.

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  • 99. At 1:20pm on 18 Mar 2011, chris fagan wrote:

    Libya declares cease fire , if it is true, then what is supposed to happen should the rabble in Ben Ghazi attack the army? Or doese the no fly we could we'll bomb you apply to both sides

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  • 100. At 1:27pm on 18 Mar 2011, papspee wrote:

    why did no one sort mugabe or amin,another war that we cant afford,like the heather that is taking 3 people 2 lorries and the cost of the plants to plant in aldershot when we all running out of jobs and money.what did cameron have for dinner last night.

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  • 101. At 1:28pm on 18 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    Gaddafi promises "hell to those who attack Libya'. (Echoes of Saddam).
    However between fiery words and cowardice, if not sensible decision making, it looks like the latter is the Libyan preference after all. The Libyan minister of Foreign affairs suggest an immediate cease-fire..

    Even if this is implemented, Gaddafi has to go. That has to be a condition. Another condition is that steps must be taken to establish a transition of power towards establishing a democracy, assuming this is what the majority of Libyans want. Without such guarantees there should be no wavering on the part of the Europeans engaged.

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  • 102. At 1:39pm on 18 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    77. powermeerkat.

    You might be surprised, unless Gaddafi has already duck out. They play good rugby (the French) which makes American football look like an excessively armoured, dress rehearsal, ballet dance..

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  • 103. At 2:32pm on 18 Mar 2011, bryhers wrote:

    JM 22

    " Other posters, here and elsewhere, have asked similar questions. Why intervene in Libya and not in Bahrain, why there and not in Yemen, etc.?

    The idea that we should intervene in every country from Morocco to Bahrain simultaneously does not make sense. The idea that we should begin a program to intervene in all those places seriatim does not make sense. Either would be too costly and too difficult even if the west were not already overstretched."

    Clearly we can only intervene within our own sphere of influence.But to make a moral case for intervention, which I think you`re trying to do, you need to explain why a protestor shot in Bahrain or the Yemen has a lesser claim on our sympathy than one shot by Mr.Quaddafi?

    It`s a nonsense isn`t it.But my case isn`t moral,it`s pragmatic relating to national interest.Libya is not stategically important to us,we have no exit strategy or control over successor regimes.

    In those circumstances,give humanitarian aid impartially,stay cool,keep out.Let the Arab League deal with it.



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  • 104. At 2:53pm on 18 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Nos: You might be surprised, unless Gaddafi has already duck out. They play good rugby (the French) which makes American football look like an excessively armoured, dress rehearsal, ballet dance..
    -------
    Funny, Nos...but I bet u wouldn't say that if u were out there!
    :)

    After all, the majority of American football players are 6-3/4 and up, 250 lbs and up, so on...

    I do hope they will resolve their money dispute soon, tho, after all, in an industry that makes so much, why argue over an amount so little?

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  • 105. At 2:55pm on 18 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Ripskull: Of course I'll believe it when I see it about her not running.
    --------
    I would def vote for Hillary for Pres, but Obama is questionable...

    I think she has done an outstanding job as Sect. of State and she is the diamond in the rough...

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  • 106. At 3:06pm on 18 Mar 2011, bryhers wrote:

    Maria Ashot

    But this is different, and your objections remain off-target however often you might repeat them.

    Pan Am 103, the atrocity at Lockerbie, is justification enough for removing Q/G/K.

    Historical truth is often stranger than fiction.There is no doubt that Mr.Quaddafi funded terrorism in Ireland and Germany.However,there are not only serious doubts about his culpability for the Lockerbie bombing, but also compelling reasons why the truth has not been told.

    The destruction of Pan Am Flight 103,over British airspace with numbers of US citizens, was an act of war.But the reaction of both the USA and Britain was muted.
    According to "Times Online",US intelligence documents blamed Iran for the atrocity.Mr.Al Megrahi intended to produce this document at his appeal if it had proceeded.

    The Buzz on the street is that neither the instigators,conduits or agents are as commonly supposed.If this is true,why hasn`t it come out earlier? Why did Mr.Quaddafi pay compenstion?

    First, blasting Pan Am 103 out of the sky was an act of war,probably instigated by Iran...Second,the mores of Arab leaders doesn`t allow ignorance of what is happening within your borders or among your subjects.

    You will need to put the narrative together for yourself with the clues I have given.I can`t say more.

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  • 107. At 3:11pm on 18 Mar 2011, Mirino wrote:

    103. bryhers

    There seems to be a tendency to over simplify what is actually taking place. The resolution allowing military intervention isn't only destined to save Libyan lives. It is made with the knowledge that if no lead is given where it can be given, and if all caution is thrown to the wind, radical elements that are also trying to influence the course of events generally, including in Egypt, may well gain the upper hand. There are clear indications of this influence.

    The Libyan opposition had the foresight to elect a Delegation of Transition, also in order to clearly state the objective of a transition of power towards a democratic Libya, to the international Community.
    We know that the Hezbollah has staged demonstrations in Beirut (March 6th) in favour of the popular uprising in Bahrain whose population is made up of a majority of Shi'ites. We know that these demonstrations have been brutally repressed. What we don't yet know is what the population really want. Would the Hezbollah, Iran's Doberman, be pushing for a democratic outcome in Bahrain? Would that make sense?

    What's important now is to position oneself to be able to influence the course of events towards obtaining a Libyan democracy, assuming this is what the majority of Libyans really want. This, by extension should hopefully have a stabilising effect generally, especially in Egypt where obviously it's absolutely crucial. Egypt is also under the pressure of radical influence.

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  • 108. At 3:37pm on 18 Mar 2011, macksfield wrote:

    Dear moderator,
    the following comments have offended me please remove them. The content is filled with lies, exaggerations and subtle insults. I ask that you only be consistent in your moderation and remove these comments immediately. Its important when you are censoring that all books are burned equally.

    Offensive comments:
    """Bush-Cheney-Halliburton war machine

    Admittedly the US went about it the wrong way in Afghanistan. That's already understood.

    Had they gone in when the help was called for, well before 9/11, maybe there wouldn't have been a 9/11

    We pick and choose by standards that are hypocritical and convenient and then posture that we a doing a moral thing.

    Sure Gaddafi has been a naughty boy that needs a good spanking.

    I hope the French do not surrender before it starts again

    "The US supported the Mubarak regime for 30 years and still supports kings and rulers that mistreat women and are not democratic such as Saudi Arabia,Bahrain and Yemen."

    Hmmn. Looks like the great face-saving crusade of 2011""""

    thank you for your honest response.

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  • 109. At 4:33pm on 18 Mar 2011, BluesBerry wrote:

    I've read that this is the latest plan:
    Britain, France, the US, along with several Arab countries, will join forces to place a protective ring around the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi. This plan us apparently to enact the new security council resolution calling for states to protect "civilians". This will also place feet on the ground, which will have to be temporary because the UN has specified no occupation. Actually, I think the plan has been initiated in order to protect (hide) the number of foreigners/mercenaries to say nothing of CIA, IM16 and MOSSAD that are embedded with the so-called rebels and make plans for getting these foreigners out.
    The resolution does authorize air strikes against tank columns or engaging naval ships bombarding Benghazi, but it is simply impossible for my limited brain to conceive that these actions can be done without collateral damage, which the west will, of course, blame on Gaddafi.
    British and French forces have been placed on standby; the US said it would support the action if Arab countries agreed to take an active role. I wonder if Obama is specifically referring to Saudi Arabia in Bahrain.
    Meanwhile, Libyan authorities have cautioned that all maritime traffic in the Mediterranean could be in danger if it was targeted by foreign forces - something else that could be blamed on Gaddafi.
    The resolution reflects the extent of desperation felt in Britain, France, the US and certain parts of the Arab world at the prospect of being caught with their pants tangled around their feet. There are already feet on the ground, these feet likely belonging to the CIA, M16, IDF/MOSSAD, and various mercenaries.
    There is no plan to send in ground troops. Why should there be. They are already there - incandestinely, secretly operating from the shadows.
    Libya airstrikes could start within hours of the resolution, but the resolution calls for
    - protection of civilians
    - AID
    - no occupation.
    How you avoid collateral damage (civilians, infrastructure, etc.) with airstrikes, your guess is as good as mine.

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  • 110. At 4:33pm on 18 Mar 2011, bryhers wrote:

    Nostrano 107

    The democratic outcome which you think we should be promoting may easily produce regimes like Hezbollah.

    In countries with no democratic organs or tradition the group that is most cohesive and organized stands the best chance to gain power.

    If that is the popular will, let them live with the consequences,we don`t need to be midwife to the change and live to regret it afterwards.

    That democracy can lead to tyranny was Plato`s principal objection.The Arab street is anti American and Anti Western.If democratic structures evolve,why do you imagine they will be liberal rather than reactionary?

    There is plenty of evidence to the contrary in socities without democratic organs or traditions,especially where there are unresolved sectarian,ethnic or cultural issues.

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  • 111. At 4:53pm on 18 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    This was the essence of my point before about Chancellor Merkel:

    1536: German Chancellor Angela Merkel says her country will not take part in military intervention, but adds: "We unreservedly share the aims of this resolution. Our abstention should not be confused with neutrality."

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  • 112. At 5:37pm on 18 Mar 2011, modernJan wrote:

    110. At 4:33pm on 18 Mar 2011, bryhers wrote:

    "That democracy can lead to tyranny was Plato`s principal objection."

    That may well be but Churchill's principal defense of democracy was that it is the least worst system of government invented by humans to date. Democracy could lead to bad people getting elected but it also makes it easier to remove them again and most of all the probability that bad people will become the rulers are greater when the rulers are not elected. A strong constitution protects against mob rule (a supermajority is then needed to abolish rights and supermajorities are hard to come by in most countries), so that is the essential key when establishing a democracy. Iraq and Afghanistan have failed to draft a strong constitution, but that does not mean a liberated Libya or Iran will too and it has nothing to do with democracy itself, but with the kind of people who draft the constitution.

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  • 113. At 5:56pm on 18 Mar 2011, U14817681 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 114. At 8:09pm on 18 Mar 2011, McJakome wrote:

    54. At 04:13am on 18 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote: IF, in this, “It permits the use of force to destroy his command and control systems.” Considering the type of ultra-centralized dictatorship that has been the Libyan regime of Col. Q, destroying command and control could be defined as “take out Col. Q!”

    On another point, you have noted a 3rd [or is it 4th?] coup by President Obama. On this and other strings, the hate-filled rants against President Obama have increased in number and vitriol. These people really must hate America, since they are unhappy with Pres. Obama restoring the prestige of America in every corner of the world and on every front.

    Or is it just that each success of the president makes unseating him in the next election that much more difficult? I love my country, and I am ecstatic that:

    1. Our prestige is up and continues climbing.
    2. Our previous reputation for promoting peace, justice and democracy is recovering.
    3. We have not done a barge in and shoot from the hip world outlaw impression yet again.
    4. We have gotten countries that previously burdened us to now take up some of the burden themselves*.
    5. We have gotten Europe to take charge of its own neighborhood, for a change.
    6. We have not risked the lives of our military first when others should have done their share*.
    7. We have not launched another military intervention when we already have too many ongoing.
    8. Our president has listened to both the diplomats and the US military and made a good decision based on both inputs.

    [*These remarks do not apply to the steadfast, loyal, and more-tha-merely-willing UK, Canadian and Polish militaries, than whom one could not ask for better allies.]

    This is a total and welcome change from the previous administration, and most Americans will probably show their appreciation on election day. This time, barring some unimaginable gaffe, I will be voting for President Obama [which I now regret not having done before], as I hope many others will do also.

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  • 115. At 8:57pm on 18 Mar 2011, bryhers wrote:

    112. At 5:37pm on 18 Mar 2011, modernJan wrote:
    110. At 4:33pm on 18 Mar 2011, bryhers wrote:

    "That democracy can lead to tyranny was Plato`s principal objection."

    "That may well be but Churchill's principal defense of democracy was that it is the least worst system of government invented by humans to date. Democracy could lead to bad people getting elected but it also makes it easier to remove them"

    Not always,bad people suspend the constitution,(Hitler),they fake the results,(Zimbabwe),or they kill the opposition,(Ivory Coast,Sierra Leone,
    Pakistan)

    You focus too closely on formal structures of power,an ehtnocrentric position based on western democracy.You underestimate underlying social structures and cultural imperatives like the role of women,ethnic,tribal and religious divisions.

    The democratic norm of political and legal equality only works when you have a uniform system of values to which the majority subscribe.It is easily broken on the rock of irreconcilable social and cultural division.

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  • 116. At 10:22pm on 18 Mar 2011, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    94. At 12:32pm on 18 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re #81

    Neither. You don't rely on the news (just like no really succesful investor ever relies on the news) since they only convey what has already happened (mustard after dinner) and after all the crews flocked to "the next best thing".

    [and "follow leader of the pack"]

    You don't subscribe to news wires. [although it doesn't hurt]

    You learn the pertinent countries/regions' history/languages/culture/mentality and then you watch the emerging trends.

    If you still cannot recognize them for what they are, draw your own conclusions and ANTICIPATE what's very likely to happen........
    ----------------------------------

    Good advice...that is why you are the Jedi master and I the humble student...

    Use my brain, do my research, know my topic and consider likely outcomes considering past patterns and trends.......

    ....but thats no fun!!!...I want to say it's all Bush's/America's fault...

    Don't make me think for myself and do the hard work of gathering my own independent reasearch and spend the time to grind thru all the complicating cultural and historical facts on a particular issue....that sounds too much like HARD WORK...

    I just want to be told what to think by the little box in the living room with the pretty lights...thats much easier...where is my remote control anyway...I wonder what Charlie Sheen said today...??

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  • 117. At 00:28am on 19 Mar 2011, GH1618 wrote:

    How are strikes by aircraft of two nations "unilateral"?

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  • 118. At 01:49am on 19 Mar 2011, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    117. At 00:28am on 19 Mar 2011, GH1618 wrote:
    How are strikes by aircraft of two nations "unilateral"?
    -----------------------------------------------------

    ...well...it depends on what the definition of "is" is....

    The ability to defy logic is directly proportional to the liberal politics of the subject being observed...

    ..the more liberal...the more "right" they are, even if they are doing the exact same thing you hated in the "other" guy....

    did that help clear it up for ya?

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  • 119. At 02:10am on 19 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Well, Gary, at least I thought it was funny.

    Sort of like the old "Spanish Inquisition" sketch:
    "Our Chief weapon is surprise and fear."

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  • 120. At 7:20pm on 19 Mar 2011, d_m wrote:

    #119 Interestedforeigner:

    That sounds a little like 'shock and awe'. The more the things change the more they stay the same.

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