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Over to Obama

Nick Robinson | 21:54 UK time, Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Tonight Britain, France and Lebanon have tabled a United Nations resolution which would impose a no-fly zone on Libya.

The resolution also proposes a ban on Libyan commercial aircraft landing in other countries - to stop them being used to carry arms and mercenaries - and a call for tougher monitoring to enforce the UN arms embargo, the asset freeze and the travel ban which are designed to put pressure on the Gaddafi regime.

London and Paris have made their move without knowing whether the United States will back it. The question that is ringing around Downing Street is "what does Obama think?"

Rather than wait for an answer the prime minister, along with President Sarkozy, has decided to try to force the diplomatic pace.

Today, after G8 foreign ministers followed the EU in refusing to sign up to a no-fly zone, the foreign secretary was forced to admit that "not every nation sees eye-to-eye on issues such as a no-fly zone".

His French counterpart Alain Juppe went further, declaring that "we are stuck" and blaming it not just on China's traditional resistance to intervening in other countries' internal affairs but on the fact that "Europe is impotent".

Today the German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle declared:

"Military intervention is not the solution. From our point of view it is very difficult and dangerous... we do not want to get sucked into a war in North Africa and we would not like to step on a slippery slope where we all are, at the end, in a war."
What, though, of President Obama? The Americans have stressed that if there is to be a no-fly zone the initiative should come from the region.

That's why tonight's resolution is being presented in co-operation with Lebanon, which represents the Arab League on the UN Security Council. The White House is said to want to see Arab military involvement, not just diplomatic backing.

The question which is worrying Downing Street though is - would even that be enough?

The British government is waiting to find out whether President Obama is opposed to any military intervention and whether his concerns about the situation in the Gulf - Bahrain and Saudi Arabia - will override any interest he has in North Africa.

Above all they are wondering just how long will it be before we find out what the president thinks about Libya.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    The Germans not wanting war in North Africa? Am I allowed to make that joke?

    But in all seriousness I think we are morally obliged now to help the rebels, especially after seeing what Gadaffi is doing. At the risk of drawing parrallels with 1956 and Suez, damn the US and go it alone. Prove to the world that the two European Security Council members are willing to act together and put their money where there mouth is in their own backyard.

  • Comment number 2.

    It seems to me that the lesson from Libya, Egypt & Tunisia is that if you're an autocrat facing opposition, the best response is to avoid any hint of compromise (look where that got Mubarak and Ben Ali...). Instead, it is better to flatten a few cities, and torture and murder a few thousand people, safe in the knowledge that the world will wring it's hands and do nothing.

    Meanwhile, China and Russia will support any autocrat incurring the opprobrium of the West. China, in particular, has manipulated this situation with great (if unethical) cunning. By preventing a united international consensus, they ensure that the West looks feeble. More importantly, just watch who gets access to all Libya's oil when this is over. Both of these are essential geopolitical victories in China's long-term plan to replace the US as the single global superpower.

  • Comment number 3.

    Well written article Mr R,
    Thanks I enjoyed it.
    I look forward to reading other comments when they appear.
    Worrying times we live in I fear.

  • Comment number 4.

    I'm not sure those are really the important questions, Nick.

    It seems to me you are not questioning the timescales and process at all, when these surely bear closer scrutiny by the press.

    Is not the lengthy debate our governments are having about a clear and present need to prevent genocide not evidence that the position of most governments is either "wait and see" or even tacitly pro-Gaddafi? Folks are being murdered in droves just outside the borders of Europe - why are our leaders taking a position based on the theory of states rather than on the protection of life?

    By the time we find out what Obama thinks and (should the Security Council agree) get some fighter planes in the air over Libya, we may be asking a different set of questions:

    1) What would a free Libya have looked like?
    2) Why have our governments not stood by our espoused values of freedom and democracy by acting to defend the Libyan people?
    3) Is the price of oil more accurately measured in blood than in $ per barrel?

  • Comment number 5.

    #2 a very good point, though we're damned if we do and damned if we don't.

    Whatever you see as the rights and wrongs of it, Tony Blair seemed to go into Iraq in an honest quest to do some good, partly as a response to the failure in Rwanda and Srebrenica. He gets called a war criminal but those who allowed the systematic rape, murder and torture of millions of people are sleeping very soundly in their beds.
    It makes me realise that the world's a cruel place.

  • Comment number 6.

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

  • Comment number 7.

    But I dont think Cameron has followed Sarkozy to recognise the rebel/revolutionaries so far. Egypt and Tunisia would have legitimate reasons to intervene. The west, with or without Obama, could assist them short of a re-run of El Alamein!

  • Comment number 8.

    Just a thought; I would hope that the Foreign Office has had a quiet chat with their American opposite numbers to remind them of the number of times the UK stood with them over escapades like Iraq and Afghanistan.

    I'm not actually convinced a no-fly zone would be effective other than as a way of delivering a message and salving our conciences. But there are few other practical proposals on the table, so we might as well try. It would be nice if the Arab League put up most of the aircraft and left the UK and France to help with the co-ordination side of things.

    It's purely a personal (and selfish) opinion, but if we don't get unequivocal US support, I assume the American Administration will be understanding if we were to advise them that our forces in Afghanistan will be leaving with immediate effect to assist with enforcing the no-fly zone ?

  • Comment number 9.

    I can understand why Mr.Cameron wants to redeem his reputation by dragging allies into an operation he hasn`t thought through and his foreign secretary doesn`t want.

    If it receives Mr.Obama`s endorsement he can say the policy was justified even if it is vetoed in the UN.

    However this is about more than vanity or face saving.How does he deal with Saudi Arabia? or Bahrain?,if rebellious protesters are shot down by security forces.Does he act on humanitarian grounds and intervene,or do commercial interests prevail?

    There is also the lack of a British carrier.Akrotori is a thousand miles from Tripoli,aircraft would have to be refuelled in the air both ways.Malta has a small civilian airfield which would take fast jets but lacks infrastructure.The French carrier is being repaired which means dependence on US carriers or Arabic air forces.The latter have proved unreliable in Libya,would they want to police or bomb other Arabs alongside US carriers?

    As the questions multiply so will the doubts among our putative allies.Will Mr.Obama help Mr.Cameron? We don`t know,but as he reflects on Cameron`s request deep into the night, he will look east at the Japanese catastrophe,be aware of unintended consequences and be reluctant to be involved in another crisis.





  • Comment number 10.

    Mr Cameron called for continguency planning for a no fly zone over 2 weeks ago, to sniping from Douglas Alexander and Labour. Mr Cameron was the first leader to think 'ahead' of the game, knowing that Gadaffi would brutalise libyan people.
    It would appear that due to the non action of Germany and the USA in particular, many more libyans will be bombed and slaughtered.

    Where was Baroness Ashton the useless EU 'foreign minister'?

    She was sniping at the UK government and should be removed from office immediately. Another hopeless incompetent from the Brown government and list of incompetent appointments along with dumb and dumber Ed and Ed.

  • Comment number 11.

    I am certain that Mr.Obama is too astute a politician to be taken in by the following scenario: He signs up the a joint UN resolution safe in the knowledge it will be vetoed by Russia and China, which it duly is.

    Perfidious Albion and Reynaud then pressure him to act without a UN sanction because he has already commited to the operation and there is now a clamor to act.

    Unworthy suggestion,isn`t it?





  • Comment number 12.

    At this juncture, I think that POTUS Obama will judge that the moment has not quite arrived for the US to become involved militarily.

    Many more Libyan civilians must die first and there is also probably a political need for Arab Street to put up some military assets too before the US makes its own moves.

    Enormous military power can be imposed by a single US aircraft carrier to deal with Gaddafi's air-power, air-defences, military comms and tanks, which would be enough to tilt the balance in favour of the Libyan opposition.

    The less said about impotent POTEU Rompey the better, it is not really his fault but clearly if the chosen EU leader has been Tony Blair, then I think that the EU would be flexing its full diplomatic, economic and military muscle over Libya.

    POTUS Reagan was one of the very few politicans I admired but he had mixed results when dealing with Gaddafi so maybe it falls to Obama to complete the job.

    As usual, we fall back on the Yanks and expect them to sort it out -- and we Europeans don't even have the grace to be grateful.

  • Comment number 13.

    It's time we showed the the world what this, and all previous US administrations, are really all about: namely, what's in this for me?

    The US bemoans China's hegemony over its relations with 3rd world countries and its ruthless search for resources to fuel its expansion. But ask yourself, what exactly has the US been doing since the late 19th century. We hear much of the countiries instinctual hatred of colonialism, and the insidious part it played in the preeminence of the Old World in a bygone era. Yet, time after time, the US practises imperial neo-colonialism across the globe as a means of maintaining its own global superpower status. Witness its support for a number of "dodgy" regimes that practice(d) totalitarianism, with ample supplies of weaponary, logistics and intelligence always available on demand. Countries like, say, Egypt.

    So why the heistation now? It really isn't rocket science to realise that by seemingly siding with Libyan rebels, countries like Bahrain, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia - to mention a few - may be seriously destabilised and thus threaten US "interests". So much for "truth, justice and the American way"; all's fair in love and war, and the acquisition of cheap oil, and military bases close to those dangerously non-aligned nations likely to put a spoke in "the master plan". Remember Jeane Kirkpatrick and her "subtle" distinction in the 1970's between authoritarian states deserving of US support, and totalitarian states requiring US intervention - such as with Nicaragua and the arming of the Contras under Reagan's watch. Today, the rhetoric may be less strident and overt, but the philosophy, nevertheless, remains the same.

    Further more, if the EU has any pretensions of being a political force on the world stage in future it needs to learn how to speak with one voice, bringing its own unique perspective to the debate, and not as an adjunct to, and unconditional supporter of, US interests. The influence of the US on the world stage will inevitably diminish in the coming century, and I for one, do not want to get sucked into the maelstrom that will inevitably result when its resources fail to live up to its ambitions, and perceptions of itself.

    However, with Germany steadfastly pursuing an economic agenda that is entirely nationalistic in scope - especially given their bilateral economic ties with Libya - and the rest hiding beneath the bedclothes for fear of being asked to actually do something that does not serve their own narrow and parochial self-interest, what chance of a united front, let alone a coherent plan of action. Instead we are left as a continent clinging to the coat tails of a gradually declining "empire" for the projection of our voice in matters of world importance, and ulitmatley our protection from the newly emerging bogey men across the planet.

    If it takes France and the UK to give the rest of the EU a kick up the behind, and start to take an interst outside their own borders, then so be it. The alternative is to be a slave to events, and all that entails.

  • Comment number 14.

    Is it too cynical to suggest that, as always, Brtitain and France's foreign policy is dictated by their commercial interests.

    Having sucked up to Gadaffi in an effort curry favour for our commercial interests Britain now needs to prove that is really on the side of the rebels.

    In my view much of the talk about a no fly zone is simply a bit of PR magic to reposition Britain as a supporter of democracy in Libya. The Foreign and Commonwealth think that is the best way to protect and promote British commercial interests in Libya.

    If anyone is any doubt as to the accuracy of this analysis compare the reaction to events in Libya to the more muted response in relation to Bahrain. Of course Briish companies (aided by Prince Andrew) have been making a fortune selling arms and internal security equipment to the Gulf for years.

    So lets not pretend we are taking a principled stand or adopting a morally based foreign policy.


  • Comment number 15.

    Great article that Britain and France have tabled a UN Resolution that would impose a no fly zone over Libya this would prevent Gaddafi from flying his MiG-23s and Su-22s and bomb the rebels and if needed they can bomb the Air Force airfields so the Libyan Air Force can not fly off of them rendering them useless or hard to use.

    Something needs to be done, to help turn the tide for the rebels against Gaddafi, who if wins will unleash on a murder spree, which will have the blood of Barack Obama for doing nothing and being leaderless. So if Obama will not act, then France and the UK need to go ahead and go to the UN and if Russia and China veto it, then the blood will be on their hands, and do a Suez type mission and enforce the no-fly zone with or without Obama.

    Finally as for Germany and the rest of the EU getting behind I wouldnt worry about it, it was quite obvious Germany was never going to get involved, and the EU represents too many darn interests and is a useless organization in Brussels and Strasburg thats needs to be gone or the UK needs out of. It be nice to have the EU and US backing on the no fly zone to go along with it on a NATO mandate, but Obama is showing himself here to be incompent of leadership on Libya which is his "Bay of Pigs" and the EU for once has a chance to make itself really be took seriously, but chose not to.

  • Comment number 16.

    spot on, #4 aka monkey_chunks. events are moving even faster than the media can spin new opinions and windy debates. people are being slaughtered folks. which part of that is so hard to comprehend? and we thought death camps, genocide, etc. magically left the planet after stalin, hitler among others?

  • Comment number 17.

    Sarkozy and Cameron might have a hidden agenda for pushing the no-flying-zone but for the general public of Europeans with human considerations for the Libyan people, it is about time that Europe do something on their own! It is almost shameful that this continent never can act by itself. In a close neighboring country just across the mediterranean waters we all love, people are being slaughtered by a crazy dictator - and we do nothing but talk and wait for the Americans.

    Nicolas and David! Your people, your voters, wishes to see you act. You have the means and the power to rapidly destroy Gadaffi's air-force as well as his armored tanks presently used to murder our Libyan brothers and sisters. It is time to take away this mad-man from the political scene of North-Africa.

  • Comment number 18.

    Basically the Germans and others against the no-fly zone are seeking to replace the UK and France as business partners in Libya. They assessed correctly at the start that Gadaffi would win and to oppose would result in cancelled contracts.

  • Comment number 19.

    The worrying thing in all this for me is the delay it takes for governments to come to a collective decision and actually take action.

    This is not the first time that we have had situations like this and you would think by now that governments would have some automatic agreed phased options that come into play.All we seem to get is a lot of talk while people are dying and democracy is being lost.

    If Gaddaffi ( like Sadaam) is not heeding warnings and the governments are reluctant to initiate military action themselves,then the least they can do is to supply the freedom fighters in Libya with weapons to defend themselves but they need to do that now before they get killed.

    Procrastination is the thief of time and if governments fail to act now it will be too late and more lives will be lost.

    It's not rocket science is it?

  • Comment number 20.

    "Your second link is a gem. Shows at a glance that the worst the 40%ers have had to put with is paying about 22% of gross income in income tax. I'm relieved. I'd got the impression from some that these people were really hit hard by Income Tax." Idontbelieveit

    Sorry but that is so woefully wrong that you either didn't understand what you were reading or deliberately miss-represented it, or both.

    The worst 40%ers pay is 22%? If you're on £149k you're a 40%er. On that salary you'd pay 37,400@20% = 7,480 and 111,600@40% = 44,640, total 52,120 which is 34.98%. Add in c£5,730 NIC and the total take is 38.5%.

  • Comment number 21.

    "9. At 11:57pm on 15 Mar 2011, bryhers wrote:
    I can understand why Mr.Cameron wants to redeem his reputation by dragging allies into an operation he hasn`t thought through and his foreign secretary doesn`t want."


    I can understand that if Mr Cameron demonstrated that he could walk on water you'd just mope that it probably meant he couldn't swim.

  • Comment number 22.

    "My hypothesis is that people on good salaries, paying tax at source, can pay a substantial proportion of their income in tax. People on very low incomes quite rightly lose a lower proportion. Very rich people also pay a low proportion in tax because they have the opportunity and skilled advice to avoid it.

    Got anything that demonstrates that is not true? Your figure in #175 are not doing that."

    Jon, shifting the question...you implied I was making up the 1% pay 25% and 10% pay 50% figures, I showed you I wasn't. Now some rambling hypothisis that very rich people avoid tax. Of course they do, can you blame them? Even though 1% pay 25% that's clearly not enough for you and you want more. Can't you see that that is precisely WHY the very wealthy avoid tax? What's your answer? Go after the non-doms? They're trying that and 30,000 have left the UK as a result. You STILL don't get it that 40% of something is more than 50% of nothing. Want to chase the very wealthy out of the UK? Fine, and when that 1% are no longer contributing 25%, who will you go after to make up the difference?

  • Comment number 23.

    And vested interests win the day again - the UN is the right place to sort these issues out, but its still filled with the wrong people and attitudes. It really doesn't look like Cameron and Sarkozy's plan has much of a chance of getting off the ground, but hats off to them for at least trying to do something.

    There is another problem with it - it won't in itself stop Gaddafi from chasing after his opposition, just simply slow him down. Will there then be another UN resolution to provide rebels with more support (guns, soldiers on the ground) before Gaddafi wipes them out? After all there has been western leader after leader thats stood up in front of the cameras and told Gaddafi to go.

    Then, do we move on and have another look at North Korea, Zimbabwe, Iran or even other countries that are currently large trade partners - where dictators starve, beat, maim and kill their people?

    Is this the beginnings of a UK foreign policy that's starting to look a little bit like Blair's? (and those who routinely threw vitriole at him for this but find themselves supporting Cameron's approach should ask themselves why that is)

    Lots of questions and precious few answers - not much use for people with sticks up against bombs, artilley and machine guns and if they survive that, torture.

  • Comment number 24.

    Interesting questions Nick, I know I dont praise you that often, but this is a good piece. You're right, Obama is going to be the key to this and to any NFZ/Air Exclusion Zone (AEZ). And you and other posters are also right to bring up the issue of other gulf states and Japan and regardless of whether America has the political will to get involved in anything, also whether she has the appropriate military chess-pieces in the right position should things dramatically deteriorate. I guess we'll soon find out, if one of the carriers on its way to Libya turns back and heads back to the Gulf. Thats what I'd be watching at the moment, that will give you an indication of Americas intentions. FWIW, I think he's trying not to get sucked into anything, regardless of how the wider US population feel about Gadaffi; I dont think they necessarily have the level of empathy with the rebels cause either.

    The really interesting bit is the European angle. It could be argued that the detente that the UK and the French signed a couple of years ago to share aircraft carriers, air to air refuelling assets, etc is being backed up by some degree of political will. Fair enough. That particular arrangement at least appears to be holding. The one that is less of a surprise, but more I would say a cause for concern is the level of inaction, indecision and obfuscation by the wider EU themselves. I mean lets look at it, here is an organisation that has tried to present itself as a counterweight to US influence in Europe and the world and has poured countless billions into its own Foreign service, is acquiring or is trying to covet military assets from member nations to its own command structure, to form its own EU Defence Force. And, the first real crisis that comes along, it shows that it is just as paralysed, just as bound by inertia as it always was, despite the fact that what is going on in Libya will have a direct effect on Europe, regardless of whether Gadaffi successfully puts down the rebellion or not - trade, refugees, asylum seekers, oil, whether he goes back into the cold and resorts to funding guerilla groups, all of these things could have an effect.

    So, in the absence of a clear lead from Washington, or from the UN, what is this much vaunted and hugely funded European monolith doing? It would appear, nothing. The kind of leadership that should be expected from the likes of Van Rumpouy and the execrable, overpromoted apparatchik Ashton to the remaining partner nations is completely absent.

    The problem Cameron and Sarkozy face is that the talk maybe robust, hell it may even be sincere. The problem is, that between them, they do not have the assets to make it work by themselves, to either set up the NFZ (which would mean Suppression of the surface to air threat - man portable and road mobile SAMs plus AAA and radar systems, plus possible neutralisation of the Libyan Air Force on the ground, like we tried in Gulf War 1 (as if that didnt cost us enough aircrew lives & Tornados as it was). Neither nation has a conventional carrier at its disposal with the appropriate assets to carry out the tasks, they would be reliant on probably the Italians; the UK doesnt have the personnel or the aircraft to be able to do this and support Afghanistan at the same time; the two of them may talk about it, but the fundamental is that they cant make it stick. And, Gadaffi is likely to know that.

    It could well be that any real lead may have to come from the Arab League. But, depending on who its made up of and how much their own internal positions may or may not be threatened by Arab Spring type situations within their own borders, their support for the rebels could end up being muted as well.

    Its almost a perfect storm, with the Libyan rebels being the ones who are left to their own devices. Maybe they are going to have to realise that if they are going to topple Gadaffi, they're going to have to do it all by themselves or not at all. Now it appears that Gadaffi's forces have turned the corner and have gone back on the offensive, it is likely to be only a matter of time before Bengazi falls and the retribution begins.

    Very interesting times we live in....

  • Comment number 25.

    This is one instance when I really hoped I'd be proved wrong. Right at the start of this tragedy I posted that certain unspecified parties would not be too hard on Gaddafi because he could win leaving the more gung ho types at the back of the queue when it comes to kissing Gaddafi's donkey and even his camel to get access to his oil. And now it all seems to be coming to pass. The world has just got a lot worse.
    Regards, etc.

  • Comment number 26.

    23 - Hard to disagree with any of that, and as you say far more obvious questions than obvious answers.

    We definately don't want more of Blair's Crusade, country can't afford it and it's very hard to see that much has been gained when compared to what it has cost in human lives and in money.

    I suspect Obama's reticence is caused by similar feelings.

  • Comment number 27.

    110. Fubar saunders prev blog
    Your post is a classic example of how your views and true reality are at odds. Many polish did come to the uk to work in construction. And it did affect english companies. But all the trades I have met in the residential sector over the years in outer london and in rural areas have been english. Yes, english fubar. Infact people can go and have a look in their yellow pages now. Look at carpenters, decorators,roofers, electricians etc and they can try and spot the polish names. Very very very few. And this is what I mean by admitting the truth but also rectifying right wing scaremongering propaganda. The same applies to asylum seekers. The right wing press will highlight a particular shocking story but the story will not be the norm, nothing like it, yet it leaves this impression. We also see absolute lies in the media. People read these stories and take them for gospel.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxmlaur5UsA
    But more interesting of all fubar, is your ukip political agenda, where you criticise immigration in the way you do. The polish for example coming here quite legally to make better lives for themselves and sending money home. Identical in its principle to you moving from england to belgium to find work and hence paying for your english home in the process..
    You see fubar, when it comes to hypocrisy, inane posts, and a lack of integrity, you are unsurpassed.

  • Comment number 28.

    Cameron still looking ridiculous as the hated leader of a failed state claiming he wants to bring down the hated leader of another failed state.

    Is he trying to start a war to shift attention from the worsening collapse of the disunited kingdom domestic economy?

  • Comment number 29.

    Why is everyone waiting for the USA to join in? The Arab League has already declared their interest in a no-fly zone and so we should be working more closely with them, not a country that's thousands of miles from the region.

    What is the Arab League's stance on Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states interfering with Bahraini politics? What is Cameron's stance on this? I know the UK doesn't have the best record on staying out of other countrys' affairs, but the Saudis are there to attack civilians.

  • Comment number 30.

    10. At 00:22am on 16 Mar 2011, FairandTrue wrote:
    "Mr Cameron called for continguency planning for a no fly zone over 2 weeks ago, to sniping from Douglas Alexander and Labour. Mr Cameron was the first leader to think 'ahead' of the game, knowing that Gadaffi would brutalise libyan people.
    It would appear that due to the non action of Germany and the USA in particular, many more libyans will be bombed and slaughtered."

    The contradiction Mr,Cameron has not thought through and you refuse to face is the demand for intervention won`t stop with Libya.Every protestor in Bahrain or Saudi Arabia, on the streets or nursing their wounds in hospital, will be demanding we act on their behalf.

    Do we want to intervene on behalf of unknown forces in a conflict whose outcome we can`t control and could be anti western? Mr.Hague certainly doesn`t.He knows that Iran would love to reach across the Gulf to the Shia rebels opposing their Sunni leaders.

    Outcomes could be disastrous to our national interest.Do nothing,keep cool.




  • Comment number 31.

    At one level we applaud the attempts of people in nation states to carry out protest to bring about something more akin to our ideal of liberal democracy. That enthusiasm grinds to halt when Saudi Arabia enters the equation. If Libya reverts to what it was before the uprising are we in the UK any worse off? Some politicians say that it will encourage more tyranny in other rogue states. I am not sure that we have thought this all through although I concede that its a difficult issue.

    I am not sure that we should follow the USA; that hasn't been overly successful in the past. If we can't persuade the EU states to support a no-fly zone we should accept this however much we disagree with it.

  • Comment number 32.

    Whilst supporting the call for a no fly zone in Libya, I think it could be in vain as Gadaffi will win through in the end unless other measures are taken ensure his removal; thus avoiding a terrorism lead backlash against the UK etc. Whilst on the subject what should be the west's response to the events happening in Bahrain, as we maybe seen to have double standards, trying to enforce democracy in Libya whilst letting the sheiks enforce dictatorship in Bahrain, Saudi and the UAE. Perhaps we should call for a no drive zone between Saudi and Bahrain? No wonder Obama is taking his time with this one and not just reacting like Bush would have done.

  • Comment number 33.

    The threat to Benghazi and the inevitable refugee problem could surely justify Egypt's intervention with support from the Arab league and GB and F. providing air protection should Gaddafi start bombing Benghazi?

  • Comment number 34.

    N010 FairandTrue,
    You are right to draw attention to the brutality of the Libyan leader against his own people. The Royalist thugs governing in a number of the Gulf States are doing the same. Should we impose a no-fly zone there? Are they coming for the wedding? Should they be locked up as soon as they land?
    Will the Old Etonian Clown and Wisteria claimant have the bottle for such action?

  • Comment number 35.

    He`s not a chess player or a details man,he`s surface and presentation,clever about small things,without stategic vision.

    For this he relies on Mr.Osborne,more tuned to the zeitgeist and enacting his own vision of the future.

    His constant change of emphasis and focus before the election showed what we were getting.From heir to Blair in politics,continuity man to Brown in economics, he was transmogrified by the crisis into shape shifting uncertainty with three economic policies a week until nudges from Osborne turned him to neo thatcherite where`s he`s now settled.

    It appears his views on the economy are soon to be trumped by adventures in Libya.Perhaps Cameron of the Meghrab, with appropriate keffiyeh, would be a fitting title for his early retirement.




  • Comment number 36.

    The Year the World Caught Fire
    And we just stood and watched

    "We did everything we could, but the world was too slow."
    "As a whole we could have done it, but not on our own."
    "It is not for us to sort out Africa - we offered to help, but they did nothing."

    These are the sort of quotes we could be hearing by the end of the year. The cynical side of me says they have already been written and are in the files of Cameron, Hague and their foreign counter parts waiting to be brought out.

    By the time the West has summoned up the will to do something about the potential horror on its doorstep, it would have already have happened and be over. And don't you just get the impression that that is exactly what all the Western leaders want?

    They want the problem to go away - either because Gadaffi resigns or because he wins; they don't care which. As Hague has pointed out quite truthfully, we have to deal with the person in power - we have no choice in that.

    The trouble is, despite the rhetoric, I am not convinced European and US heads CARE who is in power.

    Strangely, the two people who really did seem to care were Bush and Blair. And because when it came to doing something about it they messed up, we vilify them.

    It is ironic, and probably rather sad, that for the Libyan Rebels, Bush and Blair are probably what they need - they would not want the heavy military intervention, but they would want that real sense of "getting on with it"

    With Cameron and Obama you get the sense of "how fast can I appear to run, but still arrange to lose the race?"

    What is happening in the UN this week is crucial - I really WANT them to prove me completely wrong and to actually do something positive that makes a big difference before it is too late. I may not be hopeful, but I am hoping all the same.

  • Comment number 37.

    Regardless of any misguided belief of our "Moral obligation", Cameron seems hell bent on sticking our national neck on the chopping block. Gaddaffi has already singled out Britain as one of his new nemeses. Not to mention that we simply do NOT have the resources to actually enforce any kind of military threat, let alone a no fly zone.
    Camerons brilliant ideas club has just completely destroyed the Armed forces, getting rid of our air strike capability with no carriers, no harrier fleet, limited personnel and Morale that is through the floor. And is now suggesting that we spread ourselves even thinner by adding Libya to our list of current crises. All he needs to do now is scrap he vangaurds and then threaten nuclear war.

  • Comment number 38.

    It's not really over to Obama as such. He'll do what he's told.
    US foreign policy in the M-E is dictated by their relationship with Israel (witness recent US veto over Israeli settlements)and the security of oil supplies.
    If they step in over Libya how do they then react to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia?
    That's what happens when you place self interest above all else. Ethics doesn't come into it.

    The 'dodgy dossier' and bogus WMD approach is now dicredited which leaves few options. You can't have a 'pick and choose' foreign policy and still have credibility.

  • Comment number 39.

    "where you criticise immigration in the way you do. The polish for example coming here quite legally to make better lives for themselves and sending money home. Identical in its principle to you moving from england to belgium to find work and hence paying for your english home in the process.."

    You might like to find the part of my post where I criticised the Poles, lefty. I KNOW those who are tradesmen are doing exactly the same as I am doing. I dont criticise them for that.

    The people I DO criticise are YOUR party for having an open door immigration policy to all and sundry, NOT JUST immigration from WITHIN the EU, which thanks to Major and Maastricht we are tied into and cannot prevent. YOUR party has overseen a wave of immigration to the UK that it is not equipped to sustain and has resulted in the people YOUR party was formed to represent being consigned to the scrapheap and then disenfranchised by you. This is an allegation you can do NOTHING to refute, because it is true. You make no attempt to defend the policy because a) you cannot and b) you know in yourself that this is an issue that your party got wrong, would not address, didnt talk about and accused members of the public of bigotry in response.

    I'm not talking about Polish builders. I'm talking about thousands of overseas staff for the NHS. I'm talking about Inter-Company Transfers being abused by multinational Service Providers. I'm talking about over 60% of the new jobs being created over the years of the Brown Bubble going to candidates from overseas, suppressing wage inflation, therefore widening the gap between rich and poor even further on YOUR party's watch, I'm talking about the increased demand on housing, benefits, health resources, infrastructure, transport, the whole caboodle.

    When I came out here to Belgium, it was to fill a role the client had been looking to fill for 7 months, but couldnt find a candidate to meet the criteria, anywhere else in Europe willing to take it on. I could work through my UK Ltd company for 6 months. Then, I had to use my OWN money to start a Belgian Ltd Co, over six THOUSAND Euros. I have to pay into the social security system here for THREE years before I can take ANYTHING out. See the differences? Compared to the UK where you have Tier 1 visa holders who are there NOT directly to fill advertised vacancies, but selling pizza slices from lock-ups on Shaftsbury Avenue or flipping burgers in Birmingham, but still placing demands on the system when we have as many economically inactive in the UK as we do.

    This all happened on YOUR partys watch, lefty11. You and your kind were so busy lining your own pockets, putting peace-pods into government departments, fiddling your expenses, being sleazier than the tories ever could be, that you didnt give two hoots for those who elected you. You're more concerned with your pathalogical hatred and petty jealousies of the right than you are with representing your own citizens.

    Your responses to my direct accusations about the behaviour of your party, your defence of their behaviour, is getting weaker and weaker by the day. Serious accusation and all you can retort with is personal jibes about me, because the substance of what I accuse YOUR party of is true.

  • Comment number 40.

    Cameron condemning the Legal government of Libya for putting down an armed rebellion begs the question, what would the UK government do if a large group of armed "rebels" seized control of Birmingham or Manchester and where building up for a march on London, judging by his response to this situation, he would send in a couple of PCSO's to give them a strong talking to and hand out some £60 fixed penalty notices.

    Remember 2008 when the valiant Russian military rode to the aid of the brave "rebels" in South Ossetia, Georgia? What was your reaction that time Dave?

    In that instance Russia where the "aggressors", because Ossetians weren't our "kind" of rebel, Gaddaffi is the aggressor this time because he just isn't our "kind" of despot.

    Not only hypocracy, but incompetent hypocracy...

  • Comment number 41.

    35. bryhers wrote:

    'It appears his views on the economy are soon to be trumped by adventures in Libya.Perhaps Cameron of the Meghrab, with appropriate keffiyeh, would be a fitting title for his early retirement.'

    Lol.

    Only out-Lolled by your naked hypocrisy. :)

  • Comment number 42.

    No10 FairandTrue,
    Baroness Ashton is a European civil servant whose main duty is to carry out policies determined by the Council of Ministers.
    I would have thought that even 'dumb' Tory political bloggers may have known that.

  • Comment number 43.

    #34 - good point about royals being invited to the 29/4 wedding. According to this site: http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/8246586-king-of-jordanbahrainsaudi-arabiajapanmalysia-all-are-invited-to-th-royal-wedding the Saudi and Bahraini royal family are invited. If this site is correct then I hope Wills and Kate have since changed their minds...

  • Comment number 44.

    We must at least draw the line at warning Khadafi to stop before Benghazi where hundreds would be massacred & thousands would try to flee to Europe.
    The views of the Germans & some other countries are ridiculous:there is no risk of being sucked into a war,or even losing lives.
    The mere presence of a few NATO planes flying high over Libya would keep Khadafi's aircraft away.

  • Comment number 45.

    Blah,blah and more blah. Meanwhile I give it 6 months afore someone is cosing up to Mr G after he's overwhelmed these rebel forces....afterall its the sweet stuff that comes out of his part of the ground....and last in will get nowt!

  • Comment number 46.

    27. lefty11

    "more interesting of all fubar, is your ukip political agenda, where you criticise immigration in the way you do. The polish for example coming here quite legally to make better lives for themselves and sending money home. Identical in its principle to you moving from england to belgium to find work and hence paying for your english home in the process.."

    Good spot lefty.

    I wonder if right wing Belgians walk around muttering about 'those bloody English'?

  • Comment number 47.

    Difficult situation. Most people (I’m guessing) support the popular uprisings in Libya and across the region, hope they succeed and lead to more palatable regimes. And everyone (here I’m not guessing) is disturbed at the prospect of brutal treatment being dished out by the likes of Gaddafi against people who dare to rebel but fail. However, British military intervention (e.g. declaring and enforcing a NFZ over Libya) at this point? No, not for me. Not in the absence of (unlikely outcome) UN approval; or short of that backed - and participated in - by the EU and by key states in the Arab world. (Don’t care so much about the US – might be good, in fact, for us to get some distance there). I can see how it’s an appealing notion (in light of us having already armed Gaddafi) to even things up a bit and let the two sides fight it out. In practice, though, it would be step one in a non-self-defence war with our objective being regime change in another country. Multiple regime change, potentially, given the risk of proliferation. This is not, when you think about it, a position we want to be in unless we’re playing our part in a wider effort, sanctioned and supported by both our region (Europe) and their region (North Africa and the Middle East). If that support isn’t there we should confine our anti Gaddafi (and other despotic regimes in the vicinity) activities to the non-military. Regardless of what President Obama says – the American position is a matter for them.

  • Comment number 48.

    The UN is not fit for purpose.

    Why is is even called the United Nations when inclusive nations are not united but governed by brutal regimes which enslave peoples.

    What do we in UK really stand for, what does the EU really stand for.

    Isn't it outrageous that where we once stood against the might of the Nazi war machine to protect others and the world from attrocity and violence and an inhumane despotic regime that now we do not even have the ability to do the same against a regime who's armed forces are so poorly equiped and trained and minimal and who's present leader is more fit for a "care in the community" program.

    How the mighty have fallen.

    How can it be that we pretend to lead, when factually we are basically hanging onto shirt tails and shouting from the rear.

    A no fly zone is totally inadequate and wholely pretentious when Gaddafis ground forces have the equipment and munitions supply capability to defeat those who rebel for freedom and along the way afflict murderous attrocity by murderously punishing so many of those who oppose him and his regime.

    As is so often the true reality, if it turns up at all, the calvery is always late, and after events which afflict so much carnage.

    This event, just factually proves that we do not have an independent military, because we do not have the ability to act independently against aggression anywhere and in that, factually our defensive abilitys are also just as poor for they are also so heavily reliant on others, who we just do not know if they would be as reliable in defense as they are unreliable in attack.

    "Be the Best"!!!!! Our military declare. LOL


    At what!!!!!!!!

    About the best we can manage without assistance is just dealing with football crowds and demonstrators and maybe serious UK civil disturbance.

    I doubt if our weaknesses and our weakness of moral resolve will go un-noticed.

    Hence, unless USA acts, we are unable to act, and also at any table of importance both UK & France are relegated to minor relevence and influence for our words are worth little without support from USA.

  • Comment number 49.

    The Arab autocracies do not want the Arab Spring to succeed. America until now has supported brutal regimes in exchange for stability. Ditto most of Europe. What chance have the Libyan rebels really got and please, please can we be spared this disgusting rot about supporting democracy.

  • Comment number 50.

    39 - "The people I DO criticise are YOUR party for having an open door immigration policy to all and sundry, NOT JUST immigration from WITHIN the EU, which thanks to Major and Maastricht we are tied into and cannot prevent."

    It's worth remembering that when the eastern european countries entered the EU in 2004, it WAS possible to have restrictions. The UK chose not too and opened its doors fully & unhindered on 1 May 2004. Other countries were more cautious; Finland, Greece, Portugal and Spain opened as of 1 May 2006 and Italy as of 27 July 2006. The Netherlands lifted all restrictions on 1 May 2007 and Luxembourg on 1 November 2007.

    So it's just nonsense to say Labour had no choice in the matter.

  • Comment number 51.

    41. At 09:50am on 16 Mar 2011, TheBlameGame wrote:
    35. bryhers wrote:

    'It appears his views on the economy are soon to be trumped by adventures in Libya.Perhaps Cameron of the Meghrab, with appropriate keffiyeh, would be a fitting title for his early retirement.'
    Lol.
    Only out-Lolled by your naked hypocrisy. :)

    Or consistency.Read Mr.Robinson`s latest offering and you see why people have reservations.This is about more than saving a politician`s face.


  • Comment number 52.

    Still don't know if the rebels represent the majority in Libya or not, if they are a minority group trying to take power then Gaddafi has every right to put them in their place. England did it to the IRA.
    If the rebels represent the majority then they should be able to overpower the minority on their own, as they seem to have taken over quite a few military bases along with the military hardware.

    I either case we should keep out of their problem ( with the exception of any humanitarian aid ), just remember Iraq and Afghanistan was going to be a five minute war.

  • Comment number 53.

    46#

    "I wonder if right wing Belgians walk around muttering about 'those bloody English'?"

    You may laugh, but we had an experience over here six months ago in a local delicatessen which was almost word for word exactly that!

    Happened when their chip&pin machine wouldnt accept a UK issued Mastercard, only local "switch" type cards instead (which I didnt have at the time), leaving me to dash out to a Hole In The Wall machine, which is when my wife heard the offending outburst... He used a different word though, one that rhymes with "ducking"...

    Naturally, we no longer buy anything from him.... :o)

  • Comment number 54.

    46#

    Oh and incidentally, there are major differences in what lefty "spotted" and what I was getting at in his case and in the situation I find myself in over here in Belgium... later post details that.

  • Comment number 55.

    40. At 09:49am on 16 Mar 2011, P Steadman wrote:
    Cameron condemning the Legal government of Libya for putting down an armed rebellion begs the question, what would the UK government do if a large group of armed "rebels" seized control of Birmingham or Manchester and where building up for a march on London, judging by his response to this situation, he would send in a couple of PCSO's to give them a strong talking to and hand out some £60 fixed penalty notices.

    Remember 2008 when the valiant Russian military rode to the aid of the brave "rebels" in South Ossetia, Georgia? What was your reaction that time Dave?

    In that instance Russia where the "aggressors", because Ossetians weren't our "kind" of rebel, Gaddaffi is the aggressor this time because he just isn't our "kind" of despot.

    Not only hypocracy, but incompetent hypocracy...


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

    With due respect, Russia is a total different kettle of fish, namely because they hold huge power over UK via supplying UK with around 60% of the coal/coke used in our powerstations generation of electricity, hence Russia has the power to turn our power and economy on and off.

    When someone/something, holds the key to your life support system, then offending them or attacking them is not really a good policy under any circumstances, hence NO hypocracy involved.

    This is a reality of our UK position, we rely upon so many resources from around the world that we basically have to be nice to whoever otherwise by certain actions we can basically cut our own economic/social throat.

    It's all very well that some numpties with high morals call for us to stop trading with some nations, but if we were to do that then you can kiss goodbye to much that supports and pays for many of our nations social and benefits systems and ultimately our nations wellbeing in all things.

    Maybe if more people in UK understood the realitys of whats entailed to maintain their materialistic existances and all that supports and maintains their existance of endemic ignorance then they would be of better understanding to make ridiculous comment.

  • Comment number 56.

    47 - "However, British military intervention (e.g. declaring and enforcing a NFZ over Libya) at this point? No, not for me. Not in the absence of (unlikely outcome) UN approval"

    I wonder how things would have turned out in Cuba if Che had insisted on UN approval before taking action?

  • Comment number 57.

    My post on the Guardian from 15/03/2011:
    The Libyan freedom fighters have asked the West for help via a no fly zone to stop Gaddafi bombing them and innocent people, and to give them half a chance at democracy.

    The Japan tragedy has pushed Libya off the front pages. However, I did read somewhere today commentary from a Libyan freedom fighter that, without this help from the West, their battle (against a demonic ruler, keeping the riches of the country for himself and his family) would be lost. What does the West think Gaddafi will do to the freedom fighters should he re-take Benghazi? Invite the fighters all to a celebration party in his tent? I don't think so! There will be genocide!

    Is the West comfortable with genocide? Is the West happy to keep pontificating whilst people die like this? Will the West be able to look in the mirror when the mass hidden graves appear? Oh, of course, the West will nicely ask Gaddafi (this utter mad man) for permission to inspect and identify the bodies for the families (if theren't not burnt in order to hide their identities), if it ever gets him in to a courtroom in the Hague for crimes against humanity!

    Isn't it a time for action versus platitudes and tons of bureacratic bullshit? I am getting very worried indeed for the freedom fighters and I am beginning to feel the shame of being a member of the West.

    Also, will the Libyan freedom fighters, if there are any alive at the end of this awful struggle against this demonic ruler, feel so let down by the West that they turn against it? I wouldn't blame them one bit if they did.

    Please, the powers that be, do something to help them before it is all too late and too futile!

  • Comment number 58.

    Well the Che equivalents - the Libyan rebels - have indeed not gone the UN route, Andy (56), have they? Any case, not sure why the attempted point (weak though it is) given you agree completely and utterly with my take on this matter.

  • Comment number 59.

    Do you recall how we let thousands of people get massacred in Bosnia before finally using our warplanes to have Milosevic give up in a few days?
    Khaddafi should at least be threatened with SOMETHING ( a raid on his tent in Tripoli?),if he tries to enter Benghazi?

  • Comment number 60.

    39 fubar
    You apparently rolled around the floor laughing because as you wrote "all the people I've been talking to at work, chippies, plumbers, decorators..." - I didn’t know you could speak Polish!!
    So this was just rubbish then and you are backtracking.

    Anyway, you wrote...........................
    I'm not talking about Polish builders. I'm talking about thousands of overseas staff for the NHS. I'm talking about Inter-Company Transfers being abused by multinational Service Providers. I'm talking about over 60% of the new jobs being created over the years of the Brown Bubble going to candidates from overseas, suppressing wage inflation, therefore widening the gap between rich and poor even further on YOUR party's watch, I'm talking about the increased demand on housing, benefits, health resources, infrastructure, transport, the whole caboodle.
    -----------------------------------
    Ok before I answer that. 1.What was ukips strategy/policy on this.
    2.Don’t forget you have stated you don’t care about monetary equality so I wonder why you mention wage suppression when you don’t care about it??





    When I came out here to Belgium, it was to fill a role the client had been looking to fill for 7 months, but couldn’t find a candidate to meet the criteria, anywhere else in Europe willing to take it on. I could work through my UK Ltd company for 6 months. Then, I had to use my OWN money to start a Belgian Ltd Co, over six THOUSAND Euros. I have to pay into the social security system here for THREE years before I can take ANYTHING out. See the differences? Compared to the UK where you have Tier 1 visa holders who are there NOT directly to fill advertised vacancies, but selling pizza slices from lock-ups on Shaftsbury Avenue or flipping burgers in Birmingham, but still placing demands on the system when we have as many economically inactive in the UK as we do.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Well that’s what you say fubar. Whos to know? But if we do take you for your word, you are saying that you aren’t a burden to the Belgian system. But I wonder what your employers would make of you having the time to be on here each and everyday and so prolifically, and on a plethora of other political sites too. I wonder what they would say if they new you voted for and defend a party (ukip) who want independence from europe. Whos leader has insulted Belgium by calling it a “non country”. Perhaps many Belgians if they new would say that you are a burden to them, an unethical hypocritical type burden? Perhaps they will train up some of their youth so they don’t have to employ people who don’t like their country and want independence from it but are still happy to earn £600 per day living and working there.



    This all happened on YOUR party’s watch, lefty11. You and your kind were so busy lining your own pockets, putting peace-pods into government departments, fiddling your expenses, being sleazier than the tories ever could be, that you didn’t give two hoots for those who elected you. You're more concerned with your pathalogical hatred and petty jealousies of the right than you are with representing your own citizens.
    Your responses to my direct accusations about the behaviour of your party, your defence of their behaviour, is getting weaker and weaker by the day. Serious accusation and all you can retort with is personal jibes about me, because the substance of what I accuse YOUR party of is true.
    --------------------------------------------
    Your getting a bit hysterical now fubar. Lining my own pockets? You then go on your usual tirade, yawn. Like I said, from now on, I want to know about your political ethics, ie ukip and their policies. Only fair when you take such pleasure in detailed analysis and mockery of others political views.





  • Comment number 61.

    'Today the German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle declared'

    This Guido Westerwelle?:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/davidhughes/100079891/germanys-panicky-reaction-to-the-japanese-earthquake-is-dangerously-irresponsible/

    Sounds the kind of guy whose declarations under pressure should be taken very seriously.

  • Comment number 62.

    With history of UK governments acting attrociously and imorally self-serving in instances of war it resultingly negatively affects the trust of many to support UK where moral justification is highest.

    The lies of Labour & Iraq & the attrocious realitys of Afganistan do leave a taste of endemic incompetance in the mouth of UKs ability to formulate and implement anything at all.

    If we make such a hash of our own nation, then its probably best we do not get involved in other disputes because though we proclaim we have the best army in the world, it's meaningless when it is managed by political incompetants.

  • Comment number 63.

    What a pathetic figure David Cameron cuts. He urges a no fly zone, then expects the US to provide the planes.

    We as a nation are not capable of implementing a no fly zone, so it is not our place to table a resolution for one.

    What would Mr Cameron use, the aircraft carriers? Or did we forget to put aircraft on them??

    This guy is an embarrassment.

  • Comment number 64.

    51. bryhers

    'Or consistency.Read Mr.Robinson`s latest offering and you see why people have reservations.This is about more than saving a politician`s face.'

    Read the latest offering.
    But I'm not referring to consistency over this current issue.
    I'm referring to foreign policy over the last decade.
    Before Liberal Interventionism became contaminated.

  • Comment number 65.

    Lefty11

    "So this was just rubbish then and you are backtracking."

    No. Not backtracking on anything. Just filling in the details for your errant mind to be de-fluffed from rhetoric to fact.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ok before I answer that. 1.What was ukips strategy/policy on this.
    2.Don’t forget you have stated you don’t care about monetary equality so I wonder why you mention wage suppression when you don’t care about it??
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Firstly, UKIP have never been in government and unless the public wake up from their torpor are not likely to form a majority government in my lifetime, so what their policy is doesnt really matter. They had no part in the decision making process that the LABOUR government of the day DID follow. YOUR party. YOUR government. Trying to absolve YOUR party of responsiblity for what they DID do by questioning what others WOULD have done is pathetic, tiny minded and carries absolutely no weight. For the record the 2010 UKIP Manifesto position on immigration was this:

    End uncontrolled mass immigration; Introduce an immediate five-year freeze on immigration for permanent settlement; Regain control of Britain’s borders to stop foreign criminals from entering the UK; End abuse of the UK asylum system and expel extremists; Introduce a strict new points-based visa system and time-limited work permits; Triple the number of UK Borders Agency staff engaged in controlling immigration (to 30,000).

    I dont care for YOUR take on monetary equality because all it involves in the politics of jealousy, soaking those who have earned or inherited more than you. You and your ilk project your own inadequacies and shortcomings onto others. The way you'd make things more equal is to make everybody poorer, not lift the lowest earners up. If you had, you wouldnt have got rid of the 10p tax band and you'd have done the one decent thing the LibDems proposed which was raising the starting threshold to 10,000GBP. But you didnt. Why lefty, why??? What do you have to hide? Answer instead of blustering and fobbing me off. You cant. Thats the simple truth. No amount of wriggling is going to change that.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well that’s what you say fubar. Whos to know?
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    I have no reason to lie. My truth against your flannel and obfuscation.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    But if we do take you for your word, you are saying that you aren’t a burden to the Belgian system. But I wonder what your employers would make of you having the time to be on here each and everyday and so prolifically, and on a plethora of other political sites too.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    So long as I deliver what my client asks of me, he is happy. I dont involve him in any of this. The workload he sets me is his business and nobody elses. You just dont like it because I have the time to be able to dismantle your shroud waving hysterics.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    I wonder what they would say if they new you voted for and defend a party (ukip) who want independence from europe.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    So far as I'm aware, employers/clients dont judge employees/contractors over here by their political leanings. The ask can you do it, you say yes, you do it, they pay you. End of.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Whos leader has insulted Belgium by calling it a “non country”. Perhaps many Belgians if they new would say that you are a burden to them, an unethical hypocritical type burden?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    And the last time you spoke to a Belgian was when, precisely? Beyond repeats of Poirot on ITV3 and those funny chocolates shaped like Sea Shells that you might buy the missus from a petrol station, you knowledge of Belgium is what? Including the domestic political situation over here? Back to the head of a pin and the works of Shakespeare again.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Perhaps they will train up some of their youth so they don’t have to employ people who don’t like their country and want independence from it but are still happy to earn £600 per day living and working there.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Yep, perhaps they will. Like we should have done back in the UK, instead of importing it from all over the rest of the world. Good on them if they do.

    Remind me exactly how many NEETS Labour put into work of any kind, meaningful or not over thirteen years, lefty? Compared to how many there are out there with meaningless degrees, who can barely spell, who cant get arrested by any employer because the foreigners are better educated, cheaper and more dynamic??
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Your getting a bit hysterical now fubar. Lining my own pockets? You then go on your usual tirade, yawn. Like I said, from now on, I want to know about your political ethics, ie ukip and their policies. Only fair when you take such pleasure in detailed analysis and mockery of others political views.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Yep, thats it mate. soon as the awkward questions come along, you run off and put your fingers in your ears and bury your head in the sand instead of having any substance. I can quite happily quote the UKIP manifesto to you, if you want, but any talk of ethics from your side of the house is completely laughable. Your party wouldnt know ethics if it bit them on the behind.

  • Comment number 66.

    I think Cameron has forgotten that the "special relationship" is a one way road, as he should well know from his experience of riding his bike!!!

  • Comment number 67.

    UK military capabilitys are not capable of preventing "one to fly over the cuckoos nest" let alone prevent flying over Libya.

    Maybe there are some more Libyan prisoners in England, or Scotland who we could release as long as Gaddafi leaves the rebels alone!!!

  • Comment number 68.

    65 fubar


    No. Not backtracking on anything. Just filling in the details for your errant mind to be de-fluffed from rhetoric to fact.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Backtracking then.


    Firstly, UKIP have never been in government and unless the public wake up from their torpor are not likely to form a majority government in my lifetime, so what their policy is doesnt really matter. They had no part in the decision making process that the LABOUR government of the day DID follow. YOUR party. YOUR government. Trying to absolve YOUR party of responsiblity for what they DID do by questioning what others WOULD have done is pathetic, tiny minded and carries absolutely no weight. For the record the 2010 UKIP Manifesto position on immigration was this:
    ----------------------------------------------
    Im not trying to absolve anything. I have openly admited labours mistakes, however I have tried to put them into context and distance them from your propoganda and hypocrisy and untruths. You say that ukips policy doesnt really matter??????????? why vote for them then?????????? is it ok to vote bnp then????????????. Im afraid your political views dont stand up to even the lightest bit of scrutiny and rather renders your criticism of others weaker than weak.


    End uncontrolled mass immigration; Introduce an immediate five-year freeze on immigration for permanent settlement; Regain control of Britain’s borders to stop foreign criminals from entering the UK; End abuse of the UK asylum system and expel extremists; Introduce a strict new points-based visa system and time-limited work permits; Triple the number of UK Borders Agency staff engaged in controlling immigration (to 30,000).
    --------------------------------------
    So it does matter then, seeing as you posted their imigration policy. This immediate five year freeze on immigration for permanent settlement. How would this work when trying to offer a non uk citizen a job that we desperatley need to be filled and that a uk rsident cant do to the same ability or isnt as qualified? Would it be part of the package to say, thanks for helping us, you can move your family here but we dont value you enough to offer you permanent residency for at least 5 years. What if it was a three year contract. This policy would act as a disincentive to many and is a typical ukip ill thoughtout one cap fits all detrimental hotchpot.
    End abuse of the UK asylum system
    Any system is open to abuse .How would they end it? Detail fubar, come on you voted for this
    and expel extremists. And what is the definition of extremists?





    I dont care for YOUR take on monetary equality because all it involves in the politics of jealousy, soaking those who have earned or inherited more than you. You and your ilk project your own inadequacies and shortcomings onto others. The way you'd make things more equal is to make everybody poorer, not lift the lowest earners up. If you had, you wouldnt have got rid of the 10p tax band and you'd have done the one decent thing the LibDems proposed which was raising the starting threshold to 10,000GBP. But you didnt. Why lefty, why??? What do you have to hide? Answer instead of blustering and fobbing me off. You cant. Thats the simple truth. No amount of wriggling is going to change that.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Another backtrack. YOU said that you didnt care about the gap betwwen rich and poor, monetary inequality and you would be happy to buy me a drink to celebrate this fact and how it was unequivicable. But seeing as your views often waiver under closer inspection I am interested in the fubar solution of increasing wages at the bottom while at the same time increasing wages at the top. Where is this extra, undefined and mysterious pot of money outside of normal economic monetary peramiters going to come from. Perhaps we could use the richest country in the world as a beacon of utopia. Perhaps not, as the richest country in the world also has some of the worst social proplems in the world. Its this uninteligent, nirvana of greed fubar, the one that sais the accumilation of wealth and goal to be the richest, leaves society happy and with millions of gratefull and fulfilled citizens. Of course the complete opposite to most realities as we can see in the world.
    ps. labour have plans to increase the personal allowance. And your insistence in bringing up the 10p tax band when it wasnt even implemented, just shows how desperate you are.



    I have no reason to lie. My truth against your flannel and obfuscation.
    ---------------------------------------------
    yawn.



    So long as I deliver what my client asks of me, he is happy. I dont involve him in any of this. The workload he sets me is his business and nobody elses. You just dont like it because I have the time to be able to dismantle your shroud waving hysterics.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    But I thought you were aghast at the public sector with all its waste and inefficiency and the cost of all this. But its ok in the private sector, you £600 a day and all the time in the world to infect and smother uk political blog sites with right wing bile. By you having so much time on your hands proves that you are either overpaid or underproductive. The exact criticisms you have of the public sector. More hypocrisy from you fubar, if thats possible.




    And the last time you spoke to a Belgian was when, precisely? Beyond repeats of Poirot on ITV3 and those funny chocolates shaped like Sea Shells that you might buy the missus from a petrol station, you knowledge of Belgium is what? Including the domestic political situation over here? Back to the head of a pin and the works of Shakespeare again.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    I work regularly for a belgian. A very decent man indeed.




    Yep, perhaps they will. Like we should have done back in the UK, instead of importing it from all over the rest of the world. Good on them if they do.
    ----------------------------
    But then you would be unemployed? Cant agree with it both ways fubar.



    Remind me exactly how many NEETS Labour put into work of any kind, meaningful or not over thirteen years, lefty? Compared to how many there are out there with meaningless degrees, who can barely spell, who cant get arrested by any employer because the foreigners are better educated, cheaper and more dynamic??
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    just dogwhistling fubar, people with degrees who can barley spell? Better educated and cheaper and more dynamic? Please expand


    Yep, thats it mate. soon as the awkward questions come along, you run off and put your fingers in your ears and bury your head in the sand instead of having any substance. I can quite happily quote the UKIP manifesto to you, if you want, but any talk of ethics from your side of the house is completely laughable. Your party wouldnt know ethics if it bit them on the behind.
    ------------------------------------
    It seems that you are chief question avoider fubar. One of the reasons you said you voted ukip was because they were the only party to knock at your door. Well im sending the mormons over to knock on your door this weekend. Definitely preferable to the drivel thats in your head right now.................................

  • Comment number 69.

    Thing is, is this Iraq MK II .

    The first rebellion in Iraq against Saddam was allowed to be crushed and then when Saddam was defeated/removed the response was to try and crush our forces.
    If we were to get involved, then there are no guarantees that Iran, AlQueda, & Palestinian/Lebenese groups etc would not use the opportunity to wage another proxy war against us via using Algeria, Niger, Chad & Sudan to infliltrate insurgents/terrorists.

    Thing is, most of these groups also hate Gaddafi but it's whether who they decide is the best option/choice for "my enemys enemy is my friend".

    I would have thought that realistically, the option of removing Gaddafi would be of greatest benefit and moral outcome for these groups, but I think that any UK troops in there would have to be pulled out very quickly to avoid similar turncoat attacks as were experienced in Iraq.
    Thus this would enevitably lead to a power vacuum and may just result in just further civil fighting and attrocity unless the UN was to step in and police elections and creation of civil administration.

    Thing is, would this ultimately just result in a differnt bunch of corrupt officials, hence little/no overall gain from anything, especially nothing from lost lives.

    It's easy to want to do something, but the complications which need to be considered are so vast and unless some huge attrocity is evidentially proven, then I think there is very little chance of international intervention by any means.

  • Comment number 70.

    64. At 11:42am on 16 Mar 2011, TheBlameGame wrote:
    51. bryhers

    'Or consistency.Read Mr.Robinson`s latest offering and you see why people have reservations.This is about more than saving a politician`s face.'

    "Read the latest offering.
    But I'm not referring to consistency over this current issue.
    I'm referring to foreign policy over the last decade.
    Before Liberal Interventionism became contaminated."

    My response is situational,it`s about now not then.The climate of opinion moves on as circumstances change.Action which was seen as appropriate after the Twin Towers may not be appropriate now.

    As Keynes remarked,"When circumstances change I change my mind.What do you do?"


    65. At

  • Comment number 71.

    68 - "This immediate five year freeze on immigration for permanent settlement. How would this work when trying to offer a non uk citizen a job that we desperatley need to be filled and that a uk rsident cant do to the same ability or isnt as qualified?"

    Short term residency doesn't put off workers in the Channel Islands or IOM. 2-5 years, that's your lot there and people are lining up to work. Of course they do have a reasonable income tax policy, maybe that's the answer?

    Besides, Lefty, you need to throw off that 19th century view that you start down the factory on your 16th birthday and are still working there on your 65th when they give you an engraved watch. 21st century this is, mobile world-wide workforce. 5 years is a long assignment and who's to say you couldn't be granted permanent residence at the end of the 5 year period?

  • Comment number 72.

    70 - "My response is situational,it`s about now not then."

    Course it is. 'Now' is Cameron and whatever he does, you'll criticise it. Very situational.

  • Comment number 73.

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

  • Comment number 74.

    70. bryhers wrote:

    'My response is situational,it`s about now not then.The climate of opinion moves on as circumstances change.Action which was seen as appropriate after the Twin Towers may not be appropriate now.'

    As Keynes remarked,"When circumstances change I change my mind.What do you do?"

    Situational?
    I take it that you now disagree with Tony Blair's 'Doctrine of the International Community' (Chicago April 1999) and his 5 considerations for foreign intervention?
    Seems as though Libya meets all five.
    What's changed since then bryers? He said Europe needs to shoulder its responsibilities and not rely on the US. Should we return to the isolationism against which he spoke so passionately? Did he wait for international concensus before wading into Iraq?

    Maybe it's just the current messenger you don't like.
    Consult that wise old bird of yours.

  • Comment number 75.

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

  • Comment number 76.

    "Over to Obama" is the title of Nick Robinbson's blog.

    Having read other posts on this I thought I was posting on the wrong blog?

    Perhaps Obama is keeping his powder as dry as are Russia and China? There are many forms of power - not least 'soft' economic power employed by Russia and China. What have India and Pakistan have to say about Libya - they are members of the UN too.

    The Arab League are very shy - but google the Arab League and the UN too - and discover their membership nations.

    Furthermore, as usual, the global media are ramping up everything to fill their satellite and air time.

    Great Statespersons, in today's media frenzy, should not rise to the bait of media - nor should any 'ordinary' people anywhere who are fed this media stream.

    Obama is not prevaricating - he is simply not rising to the bait of over-powerful media lunatics. These same mega powerful media lunatics are more interested in their own power over politicians than they are about the well-being of those they purport to report on or for?

  • Comment number 77.

    73#

    Well, I did take the time to reply to you lefty, but someone in BBC Towers took exception to it. Quelle surprise. You'll just have to guess, wont you, because I'm not typing that lot out again.

  • Comment number 78.

    Please mr Obama don't let the Ghaddafi to use the blood of free Lybians in exchange for oil. He is ready to do it and you are on the fence. You are a true African, a true Lybian. Get up and Lead not to be led. Cameroon, Sarkozy, ..., are all waiting on you. You inauguration speech is still very freesh on people's mind. God will not let the Lybians down.

 

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