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Cameron's first war

Nick Robinson | 23:45 UK time, Thursday, 17 March 2011

When the prime minister first spoke about a no-fly zone for Libya I wrote a post entitled Cameron's first war?:

David Cameron
"It happens to every prime minister.
 
"There comes a moment when they take a decision which could lead to the loss of British servicemen and women's lives in military action."

Some of David Cameron's allies suggested I was guilty of hyperbole.

Yet officials in Downing Street, the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign Office will be working into the early hours taking the final steps to co-ordinate military action in Libya with the French, the Americans and Gulf states including Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Earlier a government source told me that British forces could be in action as early as tomorrow (Friday), but more likely within days.

Although Defence Secretary Liam Fox stated a few days ago that a no-fly zone could be established without air strikes, I understand that they are being actively considered.

The biggest problem is, I'm told, successfully establishing targets.

The hope of ministers is that tonight's UN decision will persuade senior figures in the Gaddafi regime to refuse to obey orders, to turn on their leader or to defect to the opposition.

For the next few hours this looks set to be as much about psychological warfare as it is about the use of military force.

Colonel Gaddafi must decide whether to try to take Benghazi before Britain, France and the Gulf states can agree on their military strategy or whether to sit tight and provide no casus belli.

David Cameron will feel a sense of vindication tonight.

An idea which was condemned as sabre-rattling, unworkable and unnecessary has been agreed after days of intense diplomacy.

What he will also know is that the hard part starts now.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Regardless of whether people think that the decision is the right one or not, this must be viewed as a diplomatic triumph for Cameron, he has got international agreement for his no-fly zone plus additional options.

  • Comment number 2.

    Let us wish the mission, however it is defined, a success. This is not a decision taken lightly, but doing nothing would leave Gaddafi with a free hand to ruthlessly crush those who have good reason to oppose him. Doing nothing would also send out a clear signal to other despots that they can do whatever they want.

    But Libya is only one country. Why is the world silent on other matters? Why is the UK still doing arms deals with the Saudis who are currently helping to crush rebellion in Bahrain?

    If Britain is to play any meaningful role, was it really a good idea to scuttle the Ark Royal, scarp Nimrod and severely deplete the planes of the RAF?

  • Comment number 3.

    To some degree this may well be seen as Cameron's Falklands.

    On a personal note I am pleased. Gadaffi is a nasty piece of work that the world can do without. And credit goes to China and Russia for not vetoing. This day has left me with a great level of optimism regarding the world's political future.

  • Comment number 4.

    Seems that liberal interventionism is alive and well, and, with reports of celebrations in Benghazi tonight, Cameron, Hague and the hawkish Michael Gove deserve significant credit for building a solid international consensus around this issue. While I remain more than a little cynical about the PM’s personal capacity to believe in anything at all, I heartily endorse the view of Malcolm Rifkind, Tory grandee and former Foreign Secretary that this provides a “tremendous morale booster to the Libyans themselves”.

    More thoughts on my personal blog: http://hackery.tumblr.com/post/3929311155/comment-cameron-was-right-on-libya-chubby-blogger

  • Comment number 5.

    I think Cameron should take a sense of achievement in getting this UN decision.

    I understand that going forward there are many hurdles, it may be too late, the end-game is not being openly disussed, the collateral damage is not being raised but that is not what we are discussing in this blog entry.

    Right now, at this moment in time, Cameron looks good, looks confident, looks diplomatic.

  • Comment number 6.

    As soon as the coalition was formed I knew there would be at least one war starting soon. Well hopefully Cameron's, non military non compulsory national service wont become compulsory military service in 2012 just after the olympics. however i wouldnt be surprised if it does, how else is he going to reduce youth unemployment except by making them into cannon fodder.
    After all, there is now almost no careers advice available and schools already cant afford to take time out to do more than create exam passes not free thinkers.
    I am a seriously concerned parent of a 16 year old boy and I do not wanted to have my suspicions proved right. I am not sacrificing my children for this country or any other. Quite frankly the way the government has dealt with its responsibilities leaves me no faith or belief in any of their policies and extremely cynical about any of their ideals.

  • Comment number 7.

    You can tell that a previous subscriber never did national service having done my two years which I was not looking forward to like most of my army pals we would not have missed it given the choice, as for cannon fodder that is what we thought we were. on another matter having been to japan with the army the way the japenese are conducting themselves is heartening no running away stoically getting on with the task in spite of the huge risk to their lives in a way that we should applaud

  • Comment number 8.

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

  • Comment number 9.


    We should remember that we are no longer the world's 'policeman'. We are no longer powerful enough or rich enough to continue to shoulder a burden we have carried since WW2. It is right that other European countries contribute. The USA is also unable and not prepared to 'go it alone'. It should not be expecred to do so. It is time the UN took the responsibilities it was created for,lest it follows the League into inefectuality and oblivion.

  • Comment number 10.

    Who aided Gadaffi in the past? Didn't Mr Blair attend meetings along with other European governments? Look at the sales of weapons, go 'google it' and read. Am I a leftist? Hell no! Enough food on this planet and absolutely no need for poverty so why do we still see these problems? Do you think war and it's weapons are cheap? A good investment to secure oil erm, . . . sorry democracy? We suddenly have no need for austerity measures when it comes to re-arming for a 'cause'. Seen the banker salaries today? Seen any people starving on the news today? Ever wondered why people go hungry in this (still) plentiful World?

  • Comment number 11.

    I would like to know exactly what qualifications the moderators of this page hold? The "House Rules" are, ambiguious to say the least, i dont expect this to feature on the page but i at least know its been "semi-read". BBC the last bastion of backdoor censorship, well done you!

  • Comment number 12.

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

  • Comment number 13.

    Bearing in mind the perfomance so far by this government where Libya is concerned, this is likely to end in chaos.

    There is also the financial cost to be considered - how is it we have the money for this, when, according to the government, we are penniless?

    We should just stay out of it.

  • Comment number 14.

    Well done, Dave. Let's hope we can get a puppet in there sharpish and steal our corporate masters some oil. I just wish I could run the serious risk of being blown out of the sky so one of our precious oil lords can purchase a new 400 foot yacht. Man, I feel a wave of patriotism washing over me at the mere thought. So intense!

  • Comment number 15.

    We could never have left the "rebels" to their fate - Cameron made the right decision early on.

    Libyas military is laughably weak, so the slightest of support will hopefully tip the balance in the rebels favour.

  • Comment number 16.

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

  • Comment number 17.

    @ thejessa It's quite possible for people to pass exams and still be free thinkers. On the other hand, perhaps not all free thinkers are capable of passing exams?

  • Comment number 18.

    Tory David Davis is now saying the same as UKIP's leader Nigel Farage - the UK does not have the hardware to do the job.
    When you're dealing with a 'madman', you need everything, because the 'madman' has nothing to lose, and this guy won't be intimidated by UN backed "resolution measures".
    Will Cameron give everything? You can be sure Gaddafi certainly will!

    Mr Cameron certainly has a task ahead of him, but as he's unlikely to U-turn and reinstate the amazing Harriers before the scrap metal merchants start dismantling them, the supremacy of the air will have to be seized and led by another country.
    In fact, the might of the British forces will probably have to take a back seat, and let other countries take the 'resolution' lead, given the present state of UK defence.




  • Comment number 19.


    Vindication for Cameron and at what price? Russia, China and other countries including Germany abstained, but as per usual a British PM has to have a war to enhance his international reputation. But look at Tony's reputation when the body count began to rise!!!!

    If Cameron is so concerned about murder and mayhem, why not include the Ivory Coast in the package and let's really get in to the problems of Africa.

    Is this Cameron's war to destract attention from domestic policy, and to ensure that Gaddafi does not turn off the oil for the UK after all the bluster and attention seeking from Cameron and Vague.

  • Comment number 20.

    It is a civil war so I do not agree military intervention from foreign countries. All talks have been about targeting Gadaffi's troops and airforce but most Libyans appears to be supporting him so this idea of taking the side of the rebels is nothing more than an act of interference. What is to protect civilians from rebel attacks?

  • Comment number 21.

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

  • Comment number 22.

    Why the UK? Why did we have to lead this effort? Why will we use our resources, people and money, to fight yet another foreign war? If we have the finances to start another war, then we are not all in this together and the government cuts do not have to be so tough. One sercvieperson lost will be one too many.

    Hague says this is because of british interests. What interests? It's all fake, with a fake Prime minister, Fake foreign secretary, fake cabinet and government. Will the real UK conservative party please come out of hiding or have they all moved to UKIP (I wouldn't be surprised)?

    I object to being in the wars we are in, let alone starting another one. Just think what useful things the country could be doing with the money that is wasted on these wars. What do we have to do to get a government that believes in peace. We are not the worlds policeman, we are a small nation with money problems and we need our heads seeing to.

    I hope this does for Cameron, Osborne and Hague like Iraq did for Blair and Brown. I don't like Gaddafi any more than everyone else, but we are picking a war we didn't have to fight.

    And where's Cleggy in all this? Remarkably quiet now they are feeding from the masters table.

  • Comment number 23.

    Heard on the news the rebels used a chopper the other day and presumably have more air power at their disposal.

    Presumably, in the interests of fairness, Cameron will equally bomb the rebels and their airpower to make sure that the situation doesn't reverse and leave the rebels massacring the Libyan loyalists who incidentally are the legitimate rulers (rightly or wrongly) of Libya.

    It's just going to be a mess as there are clearly two large groups of opinion in Libya and I fail to see how we will stop one group from persecuting and probably massacring the other. Look at Iraq and how the Sunnis and Baath party members suffered when the west gave power to the Shias.

    We would all be so much better off if we could only wean our leaders off having wars, both financially and in having fewer enemies.

  • Comment number 24.

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

  • Comment number 25.

    Nice way to put it "Cameron's first war", what about Afghanistan or is that too banal and old news now?

  • Comment number 26.

    With what shall we fight dear David, with what? Those Harriers would be jolly useful, oh; an aircraft carrier would be important, oh; not being overcommitted already would be great, oh. Still, if anyone manages to damage Lybia's defences beyond repair, the good old arms industry can always sell them new ones.
    This action would have been good about a week or two ago, stood a real chance but now? Gaddafi has nothing to lose, we send our forces out with no kit and this is how Cameron gets vindication? Take another look at the story Mr Robinson - take a step back and reflect, the Shakespeare/Roosevelt rhetoric about 'there comes a moment' just does not wash - the action is too little, too late.

  • Comment number 27.

    I thought the UK got rid of Blair.....seems like we have him back.
    This is NO comparison to the Falklands, our territory was invaded, and to compare the two is, quite frankly, offensive.

    WAKE UP PEOPLE!
    This has NOTHING to do with deposing a despot, this is about access and control of a country's natural resources, i.e. OIL.
    This war is to keep the Corporations happy, so we need to stop with this moral high ground rubbish we keep hearing.
    If we are so opposed to dictators how come we have never tabled a resolution to take military action against Mugabi?
    Or for that matter those killing civilians in Bahrain?
    The UK even sold Gadaffi weapons.....

    Aircraft can take ground but they can't hold ground, for that you need soldiers ON the ground, don't be fooled into thinking this is an air thing and nothing else. We are still in Afghan, barely out of Iraq and we will end up committing UK troops on the ground in Libya.
    We have so short memories folks, in the Balkans the aircraft made minimal difference, they had to fly high altitude to avoid SAMs and troops were necessary on the ground.

  • Comment number 28.

    At least David Cameron is, so far, handling Libya in the manner in which Labour should have handled Iraq and Afghanistan i.e. without 'botching and bungling'.

    Support against the Gaddafis should grow and those supporting Gaddafis out of fear will turn against them at some point.

    The international community should immediately step up efforts for the arrest of Gaddafi for crimes against humanity and be patient ... the Libyans around Gaddafi in Tripoli will turn against Gaddafi at some point.

    Gaddafi should negotiate his end game now or face the wrath of free Libyan people.

  • Comment number 29.

    Looking forward to the British government declaring a "no fly zone" over Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. And doing the same if the Chinese people all rebel. opps I forgot the Saudi's are controlling the oil supply and the Chinese are just a bit too powerfull. Further more I wonder what would happen if the British people revolted. I guess that would all be kettled. This no fly zone is about one thing and that is OIL. It has nothing to do with freedom. I don't hear any discussions in the UN about Mugabee? They are just hypocrites.In fact I wouldn't put it past this prime minister to have a motive of going up in the polls!

  • Comment number 30.

    I would be interested in where the no fly zone enforcement planes will be based and who will be contributing planes. Almost all of the warplanes in the Nato inventory does not processed a lot of time on station over Libya unless based in nearby Arab countries (iffy) or supported by just about every aerial refueling tanker in Europe. Also would Italy and Greece allow sorties from their airbases? Does the Americans have the aircraft, manpower & munitions for enforcement after pressing needs in Central Asia, Iraq, Korea and elsewhere.

    This is another high attrition environment for aircraft. Hope the politicos realize that their expensive planes will likely to have a really shorten service life even if they don't suffer battle damage.

    Interesting timing for the retirement of HMS Ark Royal and the grounding of the Harriers. There isn't much UK forces available for this little war.

  • Comment number 31.

    As71 1.

    Forgive me for not cashing in on your enthusiasm. We are now at war with Libya. War will lead to inevitable loss of lives and none of us have any knowledge at this moment in time, where this could eventually end up. Very worrying times. A diplomatic sucess for DC. Not sure I would agree if this escalates throughout the Middle East.

    At least we are being honest and the reason for going to war with Libya is to change the regime and it's certainly nothing to do with the oilfields?!

  • Comment number 32.

    Cameron's First War? Is Zimbabwe the next one? Argentine over The Falklands? Or perhaps Venezuela?

    The world is full of megalomaniacal dictators and tinpot Political Leaders who despise democracy, free speech and the supposed freedoms we all think we, as Britons, enjoy but do we really think that imposed 'freedom' from tyranny and abuse of power is something that Britain can (a) afford and (b) should be embarking upon when we Britons are not as 'free' as we are hoodwinked into believing?

    Anyone voted for membership of the European Union recently? Anyone elect Barroso, Van Rompuy or Ashton to make decisions affecting the UK?

    Anyone vote for the politicians who sit on the UN Security Council who made this decision on OUR behalf?

    How do the English feel about MPs from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland voting for English Universities fees to go UP whilst their population of young academians will be having to pay low fees - if any fees at all?

    Did we get a voter's choice on whether Foreign Aid should be distributed from taxpayers to foreign countries that have Space Programs and nuclear weapons but some of the poorest people on Earth?

    And finally, when the UK is already engaged in a War of Attrition with the insurgency in Afghanistan, we still have a limited military presence in Iraq and we have the constant threat of home-grown terrorism from within the midst of our imposed immigrant population how the heck can we afford yet another war?

  • Comment number 33.

    It would have been preferred to have a YES vote from our EU partner Germany, if only to show solidarity.

    I commend the decision of Russia and China not to veto the proposal.

    A fine line now exists between the law that has been passed by the UN and "inappropriate action".
    The UN resolution gives backing in the aim of protecting CIVILIANS.
    However, Civilians who have picked up weapons are no longer Civilians.

    I hope restraint is observed by all UN Backed Forces to minimise the loss of life of ALL Troops and ALL Civilians.

    Unfortunately for the Civil Warring protagonists, there is a general ideology that martyrdom is political correctness on both sides.
    This makes it is possible the infighting continues for a long time.

    Irrespective of Gaddafi a split country is a further possibility.

  • Comment number 34.

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

  • Comment number 35.

    There will be no UK soldiers body count in Libya, it doesn't have the geographic challenges of Afghanistan or Vietnam, where the battle ground suits guerilla warfare. Tactically, this is more of a Kuwait scenario. Secondly, this intervention is at the request of the people of Libya. Their desperate pleas for international intervention are reminders of the please of the people of Ivory Coast, who were ignored for too long. This intervention also has the backing of a number of Arab nations and the Arab League. As soon as other African nations calls for intervention in Zimbabwe, then I look forward to the intervention that is required in Zimbabwe, but for Britain or the US to lobby for that would be seen as imperialist intervention. Thirdly, if the UK govt had made cuts to every department except the MoD, it would be accused of being militaristic and warmongering whilst children starved on the streets/died on hospital trollies yadder yadder. Finally to take the moral high ground and say that the UK/Us should keep out because they lost the moral authority post Iraq is like saying that a convicted murderer should not intervene to save someone elses life. You can score points against the coalition if you like, but you end up sounding slightly petulant if you are not careful. Either that or to sound so morally pious it's tedious.

  • Comment number 36.

    Surprisingly I agree with Tony Benn on this one. Qaddafi is a nasty piece of work but its simply none of our business. I thought we got rid of Tony Blair, now we got Blair Mk 2. The adventure will be seen by the Arab street as an attempt to grab their oil. In the end it will be bad for democracy, cost lives and do us no favours.

  • Comment number 37.

    It is interesting that this is being viewed as a UK led initiative. Was it not the Sarkosy administration that campaigned and aligned the UN security council to ensure the saving of France's face (political and economic) given France's rush to recognise the 'Libyan Republic' (attempt to deflect local criticism that they backed the wrong side in the early days of the recent Tunisian revolution?).

  • Comment number 38.

    How come it is always little Britain who has to go to the rescue?

    1 - The country is inviting future terrorism
    2 - We are financially crippled
    3 - How much is this costing? Us taxpayers are paying yet again!
    4 - More British lives sacrificed

    How soon before "no fly zone" means WAR - probably a few days after Libya fights back.....then what?

    I am sick of British Prime ministers always sniffing around the Americans when they make BIG combat descisions, and also trying to show the world how powerful we are (which is laughable) by heading up these "Britain to the rescue" missions....

    I am sympathetic to Libya, but let someone else go to the rescue for a change.....I'd prefer if Britian sent the xxx million pounds that wil be spent in Libya to japan.

  • Comment number 39.

    'Cameron's First War' is a poor description,laden with bias and sarcasm. It is an honourable thing to defend civilians against a deranged dictator who turns his military forces and foreign armed mercenary thugs onto his people. This has been debated and approved by the United Nations as well,so it is far from being a war being declared by a British Prime Minister.I think Cameron and Hague have behaved properly and with great care and caution,perhaps even too much,but they have learnt the lesson that Blair never did in that you need UN approval for such actions.This is simply the right thing to do. Inaction would have rendered Cameron a far worse reputation. You can be guilty of murder through inaction as surely as if you pull the trigger.

  • Comment number 40.

    oh "Dodgy Dave" what have you done?
    do you know some of the reasons why military experts around the world were expressing doubt that an operation such as this could work?
    firstly = the horse has bolted! gaddafi's troops are in just about everywhere they want to be which will include at least part of benghasi in the next 24 hours, that means it will be impossible for aircraft to attack them without serious collateral damage i.e. innocent people and their property.
    secondly - any attacks on libya by foreign forces will flash across our screens and those of the arab world instantly. gaddafi will profit greatly from the scenes of carnage and the arab world will question its leaders.
    thirdly - the resolution is manna from heaven for gaddafi, it is in his eyes vindication that the west are anti arab this being another in a line of many arab states they have plundered for oil.
    and finally it wont work as there will be little "obvious" military only convoys on the move. gaddafi has and will continue to deploy his troops in civilian areas.
    this will be a huge noose around Cameron and our necks for years to come. well done Dave> though you might want to forget about reducing any deficit now as you will have to buy-in the resources you just binned.

  • Comment number 41.

    I have seen the comments that this is none of our business, but is it moral to watch this man murder his own people. Some people have commented this is about the oil, but this is a case for humanity, I just hope that it is not too late as Gadaffi forces are fast approaching Bengazi.
    However I must add that many Western countries already have blood on their hands for dealing with a leadership that has for many years harboured and trained terrorists, including Al Queda and the IRA.
    Gadaffi and his family must go but who will step in ?

  • Comment number 42.

    Why, oh, WHY, are we, once again, embarking on a potential war and interfering in another country's affairs ??? Have we not learned our lesson yet ??? We have already spent millions on evacuating not only OUR valued citizens BUT others as well.

  • Comment number 43.

    Blah blah blah "I love David Cameron" by Nick Robinson.

  • Comment number 44.

    "In fact, the might of the British forces will probably have to take a back seat, and let other countries take the 'resolution' lead, given the present state of UK defence."

    You're probably closer to the truth here than what you realise. I dont realistically expect us to contribute much beyond what, 4-6 Tornado GR4's, if that, quite possibly one of the AWACS; think most of the lead hardware and personnel is going to be a mixture of US/France and Egypt. Possibly even UAV's to deal with some of the ground based SAMs/artillery.

    The UK simply doesnt have the kit to take it on in a larger capacity. We're just along for the ride.

    In fairness to Cam and I dont tend to have much positive to say about him, this is, politically and diplomatically SO FAR a positive move. Granted, it has its dangers and we also have to see how things pan out elsewhere, particularly Saudi and how we are going to be expected or not to provide a similar diplomatic lead in the Gulf... because make no mistake, thats where the high stakes are. Not Libya. Saudi, Bahrain, Oman, Iran... thats the danger point. Thats when you're going to see oil going north of 200$ a barrel... this is a mere side-show by comparison.

    Lets just hope the planners dont make the same cock-ups they did with Iraq once they tip the balance in favour of the rebels. Because, make no doubt about it, depending on the rebels level of armament, if you start selectively taking air and artillery and armour out of the equation, this will potentially change the outcome.

    Unless, as Nick intimates, that Gadaffi just goes for it, lock stock and barrel this weekend before any UN-backed assets are in place, which is not going to happen for a few more days. If he can take Benghazi by the middle of next week - doesnt matter if he doesnt leave a building or a citizen standing - then its game over.

  • Comment number 45.

    Where is the money coming from to support the Libya intervention?
    The PM et al perpetually states the state of the economy is dire but they want to enforce a 'no fly' policy.
    If the government can afford that then they can afford a tax cut instead.
    Get in there Nick and find out please.

  • Comment number 46.

    I am far from Cameron's biggest fan, but I did think how some pundits were using his support for a no fly zone as a stick to beat him with. Not so much on whether it is a good idea, which is a matter of opinion, but I even saw one essentially saying Cameron looked like a fool to world leaders for stating he thought it was a good idea when there was no support elsewhere from the the truly main powers and he should have kept his mouth shut. Therefore, I think Cameron can feel a little vindicated.

    Whether it will make any difference is hard to say - some experts say yes, some say no, others say it will things worse - but at least everything went through the proper channels.

  • Comment number 47.

    can we expect Will hague to lobby the UN security council for a resolution to impose a no-fly zone and any measures deemed appropriate to protect the "UN-ARMED" people of Bahrain, Quatar, Yemen and Saud Arabia from attack by their own leaders and Foreign troops???

    come on William you know how it works now lets save some lives!!!!

    oh dear so sorry I forgot David Cameron just flew round flogging them a load of arms with which they can turn them on whom they wish. I.E. the only threat they face "Their People"

  • Comment number 48.

    '36. At 07:25am on 18 Mar 2011, Political_Incorrect wrote:
    Qaddafi is a nasty piece of work but its simply none of our business.


    No arguing the man's less than stellar traits.

    As to when 'it' is any of our business, if history is to be a guide, from the family of PC Fletcher to those of Lockerbie victims and beyond, there may be some who have cause to point out that cherry picking moments is not always satisfactory.

  • Comment number 49.

    Whatever views there are on rights and wrongs of intervention, and these are all well held, Sarkozy, Cameron and the Lebanese representative are to be congratulated on achieving a UN vote on this.

    Now whatever happens next it is imperative there is an endgame and an exit plan worked out.

    There's a nasty possible outcome here that sees Benghazi saved just to see UK/French troops manning an East Libyan border while Gaddafi makes merry forever more in his 'heartlands'.

    From a political viewpoint it will be interesting to see if Miliband persuades Labour fully behind Cameron on this one and what of the LibDems - more difficult real government decisions for them.

    Cameron has set a foreign policy precedent with this one - he's going to have a lot more hard decisions ahead if protecting innocents / regime change is a big part of that (a la Blair).

  • Comment number 50.

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

  • Comment number 51.

    Hey, I like 32.

    Any chance of Cameron attacking the EU and freeing us from the dictatorship that denies our rights and freedoms as Britons? Let's start with a no-fly zone and then.....actually no, let's start with a referendum and see how it goes from there.

    do you know, if we stopped fighting all these foreign wars and stopped bankrolling Europe we could probably get rid of the deficit altogether and start a sovereign wealth fund.

    The fog is clearing from my eyes as I speak.....Freedom for tooting (and the rest of the UK!!)

  • Comment number 52.

    UN approval? Apart from the USA and France, the others who voted yes are a lot of maybes. Gabon? You have to be joking!!! A reflection perhaps of the desperation of Boy Cameron and his classmate Vague.

    Major players like Russia and China abstained. They will sit back, and rightly so, and watch Boy Cameron take us up the road to who knows where.

    Is this a case of bankrupt Bunker Britain not being relegated to the same division as Gabon without once last war?

  • Comment number 53.

    Do the allies have an exit strategy???? There is a bigger war to come!!!
    Send all the money to Japan cos the world needs it to be still there in 3 months time...Next is Congo,saudi,bahrain,N korea,etc etc One rule for them and another rule for us..It will help restore the US economy with all the missiles need to be made...Oh dear oh dear

  • Comment number 54.

    beware of what you wish for...

  • Comment number 55.

    Why is no-one in the BBC reporting on Karen Buck's Speech?
    BBC bias again?

  • Comment number 56.

    1. AS71 wrote:

    Regardless of whether people think that the decision is the right one or not, this must be viewed as a diplomatic triumph for Cameron, he has got international agreement for his no-fly zone plus additional options.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I agree; whatever people may think about Cameron, this has certainly put him on the International map; all in all, a good week politically & diplomatically for the PM.
    Securing a UN vote on anything has to be congratulated & it's good to see GB at the head of the table for a change.

    Whether this plan pays off is a different matter though.

  • Comment number 57.

    All I can say is why on earth do we want to get involved in Libya, we clearly are not learning anything from serious past mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    We simply do not have the resources to act like this and my thinking is that there are countries far closer to hand who should be dealing with any action required namely the Arab States or even the southern European countries such as Italy as it is on their doorstep not ours.




  • Comment number 58.

    It's not often that a news item leaves me feeling enraged and horrified but this one did. Cameron is a fool to get involved in Libya. Hiding behind the fig leaf of the UN makes no difference. Has he learnt nothing from the horrors of Afghanistan? And how the hell is he proposing to pay for his vanity war when, apparently, we can't even afford to pay bin-men to collect our rubbish every week?

    I can only imagine that like Blair, and especially the odious Brown, he fancies himself on the world stage, posturing and preening and lapping up the adoration. Well guess what, Mr Cameron, getting your face on the cover of Time will cost British lives, and millions we don't have. Are really so proud of yourself?

  • Comment number 59.

    Yes, the ideal way to enforce a no-fly zone would be to send one of our aircraft carriers with some nice Harrier jets to... ooops!

  • Comment number 60.

    To those saying we do not have the military capacity to do what is needed we will not be working alone, thankfully. I am hoping that enough of Gadaffi's regime will defect now that the UN has shown more decisiveness avoiding any more loss of lives but to be honest I think Gadaffi is mad and this condemnation by the International Community may in fact spur him on. Whichever way, for the Libyan people the only way forward is for him to go. The lack of military power could work in our favour as other nations will now have to step up to the mark considering our committment in Afghanistan is still ongoing. The talk of France, Italy and Arab Nations like Lebanon leading this is quite heartwarming that it is not just us and the USA ploughing in while the rest of the world watches. All credit to Russia, China, Germany and the other 2 nations for not vetoing the resolution and abstaining instead.

    This does vindicate David Cameron to some extent but the last few weeks have shown up Obama's weakness by his reticence on how to proceed. Politically difficult for him to get involved because they led the way on Iraq and Afghanistan but maybe if they had been more supportive to start with Gadaffi would not have been shipping in arms and foreign mercenaries as he has been over the last week.

    I just hope this does not turn into another Iraq.

  • Comment number 61.

    Like many people I am divided:- Like the US we don`t have a strategic interest in Libya,the policy is inconsistent,(Bahrain,Saudi Arabia), we have no control over the outcome,or exit strategy,Britain lacks a carrier.

    However,our forces are commited and deserve support.To fight an unpopular war creates a double jeopardy for those in the front line.

  • Comment number 62.

    What exactly has Gaddafi done illegally in this war to justify this action? There is military force trying to remove him from power, and he is acting to quell that uprising. Do you think any of the UN nations would do anything differently if military force were taken against their country?

    I understand and commend the need to protect civilians, but Gadaffi is not committing genocide against his own people as far as I am made aware. Maybe I'm wrong on this and he is, but then I think an international war crime like that would require him specifically to be targetted to be removed to stand trial.

    Additionally air power has an apalling record of protecting civilian lives. If we need to enforce a no-fly zone because it is not right for the Libyan military to attack rebels in civilian populated areas, then why was it ok for us to do the same in Iraq? Why are we intervening to tell Libya they cannot do something which we used as a major tactic to protect western military lives at the expense of iraqi civilian ones?


    If war crimes are being committed then target the leaders that have authorised them. If no war crimes have been committed then stay out of other nations' affairs.

  • Comment number 63.

    The Skeptic in me see's this as DC attempting to get his name in the history books, and back door politiking to the yanks after the megrahi debacle, as well as making sure EU, namley UK gets a solid fuel supply, which in turn will get him votes.

    The idealist in me would like to see the end of such a vile despot, but where does it end? Other contributors have already pointed out the other peoples of the world under the boot of tyranny, is skint Britain going to help them as well? I'd rather see the funds routed to a reduction of taxes to the British people. We're taxed up the backside as it is, and ANOTHER campaign will not help. All on the supposed broke economy after the war criminal Blair and Bank Breaker Brown ruined this country.

    I'm certainly not happy about the UK trying to be 'World Police' about this.

  • Comment number 64.

    One thing is for certain if it all goes wrong for Cameron and his Cronies it won't be his fault.

  • Comment number 65.

    lancer67 wrote:

    "It is interesting that this is being viewed as a UK led initiative."

    It's mainly (actually, almost entirely) the British media that are reporting that ast the case - reading news websites from the rest of the world, they rightly list the UK as one of the nations supporting this, but precious few think we are 'leading' it.

  • Comment number 66.


    1. AS71 wrote:

    "Regardless of whether people think that the decision is the right one or not, this must be viewed as a diplomatic triumph for Cameron, he has got international agreement for his no-fly zone plus additional options."

    On a lighter note you may think Munich was a diplomatic triumph fr Hitler.



  • Comment number 67.

    20. At 05:53am on 18 Mar 2011, hizento wrote:
    It is a civil war so I do not agree military intervention from foreign countries. All talks have been about targeting Gadaffi's troops and airforce but most Libyans appears to be supporting him so this idea of taking the side of the rebels is nothing more than an act of interference. What is to protect civilians from rebel attacks?
    ---

    You really think that?

    what reports have you been watching.

    Talk about gullible

  • Comment number 68.

    I am from Libya and I live in UK and I have never been a supporter of Gaddafi. I love my country to bits. I can't understand how could the security council depend on media reports to issue such a resolution... Have we forgotten about Iraq and the WMD which was abig lie?... Air strikes will only give Gaddafi more support as the muslim world will look at it as offence against a muslim country.... this is a fact!

    I feel sorry for my people in Libya

  • Comment number 69.

    Why should Cameron feel vindicated? How are we supposed to inforce a no fly zone without any planes or carriers?

  • Comment number 70.

    OK Great- A no fly zone.....
    Now where's the aircraft carriers and Harrier jets that the Cameron government so hastily got rid of in SDSR a few months ago.
    And no Liam - its not just a case of well lets do it from Malta or Cyprus!
    Just admit it - the Coalition made an obvious mistake on this one - whilst loads of other nations have got fixed wing carriers - Britain is left like a powerless fool.

  • Comment number 71.

    While i wellcome the resolution,i wish to ask if the same rules are going to be used against the rebels in case they overthrow the Gaddafi regime,for we all see that Gaddafi has civilians on his side too.What do you think the rebels will do to the civilians that support Gaddafi? Are we nt seeing another Rwanda?

    What about the situation in Ivory Coast? Are civilians there not worthy protection? When will the world's big powers ever be fair and look at all situations equally.

    Much as the rebels in Libya are going to be protected so should the civilians in Ivory Coast

  • Comment number 72.

    This is the Turning point for UK's foreign policy. For the first time, US has decliined to jon the band wagon.If anything goes wrong in Libya, the whole blame game will end up on the idea of "enforcing the no-fly zone". The risks, esp for NATO, are enormous, and it seems unlikely that US will actively support the success story, as they are more keen on "winning hearts and minds" of the muslims, and the Arab World.

  • Comment number 73.

    i commend Russia and China for not vetoing this vote.. It would have been better had they supported it.. but a much needed step in a sane direction for a troubled World.

  • Comment number 74.

    New UN "Black gold rush" resolution just passed!

    Sorry Sudan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Yemen, DR Congo, Palestine and others......maybe next time eh.


    "Exit Strategy"? you're having a laugh
    maybe by helicopter? damn! we've already lost one, ok by sea on an aircraft carrier (mental note buy wee sarkozy some of that wine he likes and ask a favour).

  • Comment number 75.

    This is not about asserting ones position in the World, but doing what's right for a country which won't ever get democracy until Colonel Gaddafi is removed from office.

    The United is more than capable of going it alone, but does have its allies on this one, who want to make sure that the whole situation is dealt with as peacefully as possible.

    The United Nations might not all back what the UK, USA, France etc are doing with this, but nobody wants the people of Libya to suffer as a direct result of Colonel Gaddafi's actions.

    This is not a war like Afghanistan, because Libya is just being monitored and protected. It will only be if that gets seriously out of hand will President Obama feel the need to ask the PM, French President and others about taking a further course of action. Hopefully that will be avoided, because it could open up a whole can of worms in the Middle East and the military situation could esculate into something on a large scale.

  • Comment number 76.

    Maybe a silly question, but where are the Italians in this? They are geographically close; they have at least one aircraft carrier; they are the former colonial power- yet not a peep is heard from them.

  • Comment number 77.

    This is a facade. Gadaffi's army are not dependent on air superiority for military advantage. If the Colonel has any sense he'll just ground his planes and carry on regaining control with his infantry and tanks.

    Can't see how this is a 'victory' for Cameron. More like the avoidance of massive egg on face having stuck it so far out beyond our allies in the desire to get involved militarily. The only lasting effect this is likely to have is the ruination for another generation of relations with another developing nation.

    Haven't the lessons of Iraq been learned? Or is our national love of a scrap simply too great?



  • Comment number 78.

    The opportunity cost of Cameron's vindication as Mr Robinson puts it, is that resources that could have been used in schools, hospitals, care homes and other areas of welfare provision are redirected towards flattening Gaddafi's army and his ambitions and probably to killing innocent Libyans as well. The thought that the same Arab League that sanctioned and facilitated this action is the same one that is currently stifling the democratic aspirations of Bahrainis is hard to reconcile with Mr Cameron's claims that he is doing all of this for the promotion of liberal democracy in Libya. In truth, it has to do with preserving the flow of oil and a desire to deflect attention from the woes of the domestic economy. A worthy son of Thatcher indeed.

  • Comment number 79.

    Oh Dear... the drums of war sound again..... but it's is 'legal' this time. What will the Americans do? Could the journalists now tell us who our Libyan allies are? What are our objectives? are they shared? The best information is the Libyan society is a armed clan system who have been hiring mercenaries from the south. This is not a good basis for reliable consistent allies (remember southern Iraq?)

    How will we get out?

    Maybe posters here can tell us what they think about these questions especially if they have actually visited the Megreb. (how many posting on here have been to 'North Africa'?)

    And of course had we been at the "Heart of Europe" David C could have shown his leadership and maybe got better advice from the experts of the ex colonial power who are still around. TB ignored the UK experts on Iraq. It's another ill informed Bush type 'coalition of the willing'

    But we will end up if we are not careful with leaving with our tails between our legs as we did in Iraq, and David plans to do in Afghanistan.

    As another poster asked why Libya (oil?) and not the others insurrections world wide or more generally what can we all do about 'failed' and failing states.

    I suspect we have not got the materiale, not the money, nor the commitment to do any good and GGO will lose our credit rating with the bankers.

  • Comment number 80.

    Of course this is about oil, but not to steal it, just to make sure that it is available to those who wish to purchase it freely at a reasonable price.
    Should a country like Iran gain control of the majority of the world's oil supply, then we would be held to ransom, do we really want to be in that position. Yes, any conflict is unpalattable, but we have to see this in the context of the greater good.
    The solution, start actively seeking an alternative source of energy, also, to release the research already carried out regarding this.
    We all suspect that alternatives have been found, and proven, but are being suppressed in order as to not upset to energy status quo, (oil).

  • Comment number 81.

    Cameron's first war?

    More like Obama's first war.

    Deal has been done. Obama can take out Gadaffi, so long as he (and the west) leave the other despots a free hand in the gulf. Note that the protesters in Bahrain have been taken out almost simultaneous to this development. Good or bad? Suppose it depends if you are in libya or bahrain.

    All the same I would be broadly in favour of Obama's new war if it follows this basic pattern:

    1) No fly + air strikes to take out concentrations of government ground combat power

    2) Temporary safe haven for rebels

    3) Arm/train rebels and assist them with air power to fully take control of country

    4) No ground troops (other than special forces for FAC, training, coordination)

    The 'all necessary means' deal which Obama has acheived is very different to snootys no fly zone which would just have resulted in indefinite civil war/stale mate.

    Loss of life is sad - but personally I feel it may be correct sometimes if it is short, sharp, effective and acheives a good end.

  • Comment number 82.

    I can not see were we are going to get the man power from to play peace keepper.
    Mr Camaron as all ready chopped the armed forces down because he said we could not affored them or can he find the money from making even more cuts to the NHS and Benefit system

    Because so far since he as come to power my every day cost have gone up by 20%


  • Comment number 83.



    Countires that abstained from the vote were China, Russia, India, Brazil and Germany. Al Jazeera have quoted Germany’s UN envoy as saying it sees "considerable dangers and risks" in military action."The likelihood of large-scale loss of life should not be underestimated. If the steps proposed turn out to be ineffective, we see the danger of being drawn into a protracted military conflict that would affect the wider region,"
    I can understand the need to protect life but im not sure if in the west the public have been given enough detailed information and I wonder how much propaganda is in the information we have been given. What will happen to the many people who support gaddafi. What are the religious undertones if any in this conflict. What is the plan post gaddafi. Why are we intervening here and not in other conflicts where many other innocent people are dying. After iraq and some of the wests other historical mistakes, im concerned that we maybe making the same mistakes again and im feeling very uneasy about britains involvement in any more military campaigns. As i have little faith in this coalitions ethics and ability in domestic policy, i have grave concerns for their international ones.

  • Comment number 84.

    Nothing good will come of this

    I agree that something needs to be done but I think we should have left it to the other Arab nations - they all wanted the NFZ and they have more than enough aircraft to do the job. They want to stand back and let the Western nations do the dirty work though, then they can say "It's not us - it's the West'

    Militarily we should stay out of this one - let the Arab nations sort it out themselves if they are that bothered about it

  • Comment number 85.

    55#

    Probably something to do with not giving an oxygen thief the oxygen of publicity.

    Or, trying hard not to embarrass Buzz Lightweight any more than he already has been...

  • Comment number 86.

    #9 I understand how you feel about your son. I also have children of a simillar age and I am no fan of military adventures but there is a problem with the authorisation of war in a democratic society where the risk is almost exclusively paid by a professional volunteer military. In other words I feel its all to easy to stand by and tolerate or even support a war if you and yours are not directly at risk. I'm not saying that there hasnt been protest and that you oppose war and I acccept that military personnel volunteer for this but I do feel that if the whole nation had relatives serving in these conflicts the political authorisation of the conflicts would have completely different implications. I feel as a society we have almost been sleepwalking as the coffins roll through wotton basset not really sharing the nightmare of those families who are directly affected and not truely valuing their sacrifice.So many young people sacrificed or disabled in the wars of the last 10 years. You can of course take the view that no war is just or necessary and that is an honourable position to take. but some of the nation certainly feel proud that our prime minister is standing up for the right thing to do in libya. Perhaps they are right I just feel that this would be more justifiable if the whole nation was politically mobilised because the whole nation was sharing the potential sacrifice. Perhaps the vietnam war would still be going on if the US didnt have conscription at the time. This is one (perhaps perverse) argument for conscription to set against all the many many good arguments against it. Anyhow I do believe that there are just wars sometimes - I cant tell whether our involvement in Libya falls into this category - but I know that I am humbled by the families of all nations that will be committing their young people to do the fighting and have done so in the recent past. Probably just like you I also pray for a swift and peaceful resolution of this and the other conflicts.

  • Comment number 87.

    Well done to David Cameron, Britain and France for driving this UN resolution through. To those who say we're acting as the world’s policeman - rubbish. This has a UN mandate which is completely different from the scenario in Iraq. We’re also talking about a no fly zone and air strikes not an invasion.

    I'm also sick of hearing this ridiculous argument about 'consistency'… that somehow because Mugabe etc are in power we shouldn't intervene anywhere? I don't think that is a particularly powerful argument when there are so many compelling reasons in this case why we should act. Let us remember that the Libyan people have revolted. They initiated this rebellion which started out as a peaceful demonstration and have been valiantly fighting against the odds ever since...against Gaddafi's foreign mercenaries, his heavy artillery and his aircraft. Clearly the moral imperative isn't enough for some people. I'll never understand that, particularly after the shameful episode we had in the Balkans during the 1990’s but it's a free country so you're entitled to your view.

    However what people must at least appreciate is the world is a smaller place. It's not good enough to say “it's not our problem”. So have the vision to be pragmatic and at least serve your own interests. Because you can bet your mortgage that if we don’t act, we will reap the consequences through floods of immigration to Europe and further destabilisation of the region from an even more belligerent Gaddafi. It's not the 19th century and Britain can't exist in splendid isolation anymore.

    I do hope that this episode gives the government pause to think about cutbacks to the armed forces but in the meantime I hope Gaddafi gets everything coming his way.

  • Comment number 88.

    Ah, the wisdom of the HaveYourSay crowd and Harriers and Carriers...

    {facepalm}

    Forgive them Lord, for they do not have the faintest what they're blithering on about. Ignorance is indeed bliss.

    Here endeth the lesson.

  • Comment number 89.

    now come on Tories please tell why on the one hand we can chauffeur drive and upgrade the return flight of someone we know killed one of our police officers (we actually had them in custody).
    but wait 27 years for revenge?
    is Dave hellbent on avenging Maggie's cock-up?

    do you think if it had happened in say the US or Russia or Libya their governments would have let the killer go???

    then again i suppose in context you were "Anti" anti apartheid and couldn't wait to give Gen Pinochet a comfy billet in recognition for his crimes against humanity.
    So why Libya? why now? of "OIL" the countries in the OIL rich part of the world whats OIL the fuss about Libya?

  • Comment number 90.

    I know that oil is involved. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. As opposed to Iraq, which had links to 9/11 and Afghanistan, this feels a very different situation. Cameron has gone through the correct channels, has backing from Arab states. He is acting independently from the US president, which already puts Cameron in front of Blair in terms of foreign policy. This will be seen as a success for Cameron because it was his idea. Although this will secure our oil, Cameron's response was triggered by the attacks on the Libyan people and will be seen as the West caring, for a change. Hopefully the stigma of the Iraq war can be scraped off Britain's international reputation. I do have one question.

    Where are the taliban and al-queda? It's funny how they claim to fight for Arab's freedoms from suppression, yet they haven't been seen whenever an Arab leader suppresses their people. It's nice to see that their reputation is now down the drain, to say the least.

  • Comment number 91.

    For me, the prima facie justifications for military action are (i) self defence and (ii) protecting one sovereign state from the venal aggression of another. This is neither. The UN (for all its flaws) is where the authority must therefore come from. Such seems to be in place, and we are part of a joint effort, so I'm on board - although not literally, thank heavens.

    The desired outcome is surely that Gaddafi does not now blitz Benghazi - the UN sanctioned threat suffices - in which case a humanitarian disaster is averted (or at least mitigated/delayed) and the dynamics of the Libyan civil war are tilted in favour of the rebels.

    But things doesn't always work out in the way we want, do they?

    It could well be that Gaddafi presses on regardless, then we'll be faced with the all too common spectacle of a dictator who HAS carried out atrocities but is still in place. And we'll be militarily engaged.

    At that point we'll have to decide whether to continue - i.e. to wage war against him with the rationale being firstly regime change, and secondly not so much to prevent a humanitarian disaster as to retribute for it (and perhaps prevent more). So regime change really.

    This is where it gets choppy.

    I'm quite happy, btw, to credit David Cameron with being influential in achieving this agreement at the UN, if indeed he was.

  • Comment number 92.

    Now that Came-loon has his UN resolution will he be asking for a similiar stance to be taken in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia? No I didn't think so. Is this 'statesmanship' simply to deflect attention from matters closer to home? It's certainly a favourite tactic of politicians when their administration comes under pressure.

    William Hague's assertion that French and UK planes could enforce it within hours is laughable. Will someone ask him where the planes are coming from? History tells us that to fight on too many fronts is a recipe for disaster.

  • Comment number 93.

    you also have to ask why the FRENCH want to be involved??? suddenly after all these years wanting to right the wrongs of sitting idly by whilst human tragedies occur???

    or???

    to get back the F1-Mirage jets they sold Gaddafi????
    shooting their own planes down "The Pub Landlord" will be buying everyone a beer with that news.

  • Comment number 94.

    Daid Cameron has lost my vote, how dare he take us into war. Has he not learnt anything from war lord Bush. It doesn't ever achieve anything, it makes matters worse, this is not the Faulkands. But most of all why are we getting involved? This has nothing to do with us. We have no idea who is really supporting who, how do we know who's really behind all of this. How do we really know how many are supporting Gadaffi and how many are not? Stop and think David, could this be a ploy for certain minorities to cause an upheaval to get a stronghold. Oh and one more thing - money! you are asking us all to take cut backs, how much is this war going to cost us? David doing this will not make you - it will break you.

  • Comment number 95.

    "David Cameron will feel a sense of vindication tonight." Did you pinch this line from Andy Marr's triumphalist speech outside Downing Street during the Iraq invasion? What is the best way to divert a population from problems at home? I know, lets have a war and trot out all the liberal hacks to justify the mass killing.Then the people will not be looking at all the crimes being committed by bankers and corporations back in the UK or the support they are getting from their Condem lackys

  • Comment number 96.

    "The biggest problem is, I'm told, successfully establishing targets."

    Let's hope they don't use that SAS planning team to do this ... we could be bombing anywhere in North Africa!

  • Comment number 97.

    "but as per usual a British PM has to have a war to enhance his international reputation. But look at Tony's reputation when the body count began to rise!!!!"

    Using a truthful and diplomatic approach to getting UN backing for limited humanitarian, defensive intervention to protect civilians from being attacked by helicopter gunships and fighter jets, is a massively different proposition to Blair's lies in support of a disastrous and unlawful military invasion of a sovereign state.

    One is a lawful humanitarian exercise, the other is a crime against peace.

  • Comment number 98.

    Zimbabwe was not given this much attention, could it be they have no OIL? Hypocrisy at what expense?

  • Comment number 99.

    I am sure that everyone here has actually read the Security Council Resolution. :-) It is here and short of invasion allows states to do almost anything!

    http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2011/sc10200.doc.htm

    I wonder exactly what the deal is since it is contrary to Chinese and Russian policy on intervention. The BBC Diplomatic Corespondent will surely tell us.

  • Comment number 100.

    Post # 36 Political_Incorrect

    'The adventure will be seen by the Arab street as an attempt to grab their oil.'

    Yes, the capacity for the infamous 'Arab street' to be two-faced and utterly contemptible is even greater than that of the British political Left.

    I am not in favour, on grounds of lack of military capacity and British domestic self-interest, of getting involved in this shemozzle, but the slimy opportunists of the Left will now proceed with the 'all about oil' and 'we sold him the weapons' fictions (as usual, well over 95% of Libya's military hardware inventory is Russian or Czech). If, on the other hand, Messrs Cameron and Hague had stepped away and said 'nothing to do with us Guv' the Left would have used the opposite tack - 'The Tories stand back and allow genocide....!'

    As for the 'all about oil' aspects, well just by all means crack on without all the Mid East/Gulf's oil folks. Much of my SIPP portfolio is held in non- Arab oil related stocks and in the absence of that oil the stuff would be fetching $250 a barrel and rising. Consequently I would be doing financially just fine. But I have other responsibilities to wider family, friends and my fellow man. I'm personally not in favour of the concommitant resource based World War 3 and TWEACWAHEE (that's the appropriate acronym for Total World Economic Annihilation Crash With A Human Extinction Event)that would follow the strategic disaster of cessation of ME/Gulf oil flows for any extended period.


    Post # 60 juliet50

    'The lack of military power could work in our favour...'

    Oh dear - bless you!

    I just know you'd have been saying that back in the 1933-1936 era. A shame it cost 50 million lives to blow that lamentable theory out of the water.

    'All credit to Russia, China, Germany and the other 2 nations for not vetoing the resolution and abstaining instead.'

    Good grief! In the case of Germany it's enlightened self-interest, in the cases of Russia and China it's a case of 'let the usual suspects get themselves mired in the shambles and we'll pick up the strategic resource interests later' 'All credit' indeed - ridiculous!

    poost #62 Wulfyn
    'I understand and commend the need to protect civilians, but Gadaffi is not committing genocide against his own people as far as I am made aware. Maybe I'm wrong on this and he is....'

    No, you really don't understand the mechanics of doing so and, yes, you are wrong.

    As for the rest, on balance Post #32 - Menedemus, gets my UKIP-ish vote.


 

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