Litigation in Libya

Lawyers love rhetoric, the process, which explains why criminals who are guilty murderers receive their punishment after years of talking… Litigation and appeals involve the endless assessment of evidence which means fees. For Obama the lawyer and politician, re-election is the paramount fee that he could receive in his career. His lack of leadership during the current Libyan crisis, however, will be remembered by fellow litigants who also assess evidence.

As soon as the Arab League approved a no-fly zone over Libya, A-10 Warthogs, the premier ground attack fighter in the American arsenal, should have been in the air attacking armor while cruise missiles took out runways and support facilities. The Arab League provided President Obama with the rhetorical cover necessary to engage Daffy Qaddafi’s regime but Obama’s pusillanimous delay allowed momentum to shift away from the rebels. This could mean there will be a stalemate unless Western ground troops intervene to topple the autocrat, who will attempt retaliation through terrorism.

What caused President Obama to shift his policy from words into action?

“…Mrs. Clinton changed course, forming an unlikely alliance with a handful of top administration aides who had been arguing for intervention.

…The shift in the administration’s position — from strong words against Libya to action — was forced largely by the events beyond its control: the crumbling of the uprising raised the prospect that Colonel Qaddafi would remain in power to kill “many thousands,” as Mr. Obama said at the White House on Friday.

The change became possible, though, only after Mrs. Clinton joined Samantha Power, a senior aide at the National Security Council, and Susan Rice, Mr. Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations, who had been pressing the case for military action, according to senior administration officials speaking only on condition of anonymity. Ms. Power is a former journalist and human rights advocate; Ms. Rice was an Africa adviser to President Clinton when the United States failed to intervene to stop the Rwanda genocide, which Mr. Clinton has called his biggest regret.”


www.nytimes.com/2011/03/19/world/africa/19policy.html

Gallery Launch - Libya War

Why couldn’t Obama and his male advisers figure this out? Group think?

As U.N. Backs Military Action in Libya, U.S. Role Is Unclear

By DAN BILEFSKY and MARK LANDLER
Published: March 17, 2011

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations Security Council voted Thursday to authorize military action, including airstrikes against Libyan tanks and heavy artillery and a no-fly zone, a risky foreign intervention aimed at averting a bloody rout of rebels by forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

After days of often acrimonious debate, played out against a desperate clock, as Colonel Qaddafi’s troops advanced to within 100 miles of the rebel capital of Benghazi, Libya, the Security Council authorized member nations to take “all necessary measures” to protect civilians, diplomatic code words calling for military action.

Diplomats said the resolution — which passed with 10 votes, including the United States, and abstentions from Russia, China, Germany, Brazil and India — was written in sweeping terms to allow for a wide range of actions, including strikes on air-defense systems and missile attacks from ships. Military activity could get under way within a matter of hours, they said.

Benghazi erupted in celebration at news of the resolution’s passage. “We are embracing each other,” said Imam Bugaighis, spokeswoman for the rebel council in Benghazi. “The people are euphoric. Although a bit late, the international society did not let us down.”

The vote, which came after rising calls for help from the Arab world and anguished debate in Washington, left unanswered many critical questions about who would take charge, what role the United States would play and whether there was still enough time to stop Colonel Qaddafi from recapturing Benghazi and crushing a rebellion that had once seemed likely to drive him from power. After the vote, President Obama met with theNational Security Council to discuss the possible options, European officials said. He also spoke by telephone on Thursday evening with Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, the White House said.

Speaking on a radio call-in show in Tripoli before the vote, Colonel Qaddafi raised the level of urgency on the vote, saying that his forces would begin an assault on Benghazi that night.

“We will come house by house, room by room. It’s over. The issue has been decided,” he said, offering amnesty to those who laid down their arms. To those who continued to resist, he vowed: “We will find you in your closets. We will have no mercy and no pity.”

After the Security Council’s vote, Libya’s deputy foreign minister, Khalid Kaim, said at a news conference in Tripoli early on Friday morning that the Qaddafi government welcomed the resolution’s calls for the protection of civilians, which he insisted his government had always sought. But he warned against foreign countries’ trying to arm the rebels. “That means they are inviting Libyans to kill each other,” he said.

Mr. Kaim said the Qaddafi government was ready for a cease-fire with the rebels, “but we need to talk to someone to agree on the technicalities of the decision.” And he declined to address the possibility that the government’s forces were continuing to push swiftly toward Benghazi.

James M. Lindsay, the director of studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, said of the Security Council’s decision: “It’s going to be tougher to stop Qaddafi today than it was a week ago. The issue is not going to be settled in the skies above Benghazi, but by taking out tanks, artillery positions and multiple-launch rocket systems on the ground.”

Mr. Lindsay said that would require helicopter gunships and other close-in support aircraft rather than advanced fighter planes. Other analysts said repelling Colonel Qaddafi’s forces might require ground troops, an option that has been ruled out by senior American officials.

A Pentagon official said Thursday that decisions were still being made about what kind of military action, if any, the United States might take with the allies against Libya. The official said that contingency planning continued across a full range of operations, including a no-fly zone, but that it was unclear how much the United States would become involved beyond providing support.

That support is likely to consist of much of what the United States already has in the region — Awacs radar planes to help with air traffic control should there be airstrikes, other surveillance aircraft and about 400 Marines aboard two amphibious assault ships in the region, the Kearsarge and the Ponce.

The Americans could also provide signal-jamming aircraft in international airspace to muddle Libyan government communications with its military units.

A European diplomat said that Britain and France were still waiting to hear what role the United States would take in any military action in Libya. “One decision that needs to be made,” he said, “is whether there will be a command and control operations in Britain or in France.”

Beyond that, the diplomat said that officials in Britain, France and the United States were all adamant that Arab League forces take part in the military actions and help pay for the operations, and that it not be led by NATO, to avoid the appearance that the West was attacking another Muslim country.

The United States has played a complicated role in the debate over military involvement, initially expressing great reluctance about being drawn into another armed conflict in a Muslim country but subsequently unnerved by the reports of Colonel Qaddafi’s gains.

But diplomats said the moral imperative of protecting civilians from Colonel Qaddafi and the political imperative of United States not watching from the sidelines while a notorious dictator violently crushed a democratic rebellion had helped wipe away lingering doubts.


www.nytimes.com/2011/03/18/world/africa/18nations.html

From the New York Times:

Preston
Fall River, MA.
March 17th, 2011
7:07 pm
Very mixed feelings here about the adoption in the UN just moments ago.
I had hoped that the people of Libya could have resolved this contest in a similar way that neighbors Eqypt and Tunisia just did. But now that a massacre is about to unfold, with Qaddafi’s brute force likely headed to a slaugher of the “rebels”, I am in favor of protecting those brave people.
And in supporting them, I am also aware that I am agreeing to the very real possibility of a long and protracted civil war struggle in which our country and other allies will be steadily drawn deeper and deeper into a regional conflict that may eventually drag in the likes of Iran.
And ironically, the destabilzation that ensues becomes fertile ground for al Qaeda and perhaps Hizbollah. We’ve already seen how America’s “good deeds” (removal of Saddam) can backfire (removing a major enemy of Iran).
Lastly, I wonder what, exactly, can Qaddaffi do in retaliation? Moments ago he said that he’d “go crazy” in his responses throughout the Meditteranean. Does he have the ability to do that? He sure might have a few tricks up his sleeve. Therefore, does our new mandate from the UN include taking him out?
I don’t have a good feeling about this at all…despite my concern for those rebels..

Paul deLespinasse
Corvallis, Oregon
March 17th, 2011
7:07 pm
If the U.S. is suckered in to military action in or over Libya by the Arab League’s decision, wait and see. I fear Arab League members will turn on us and revert to denunciations of “imperialism.” The Security Council’s decision does not force the U.S. to act, and perhaps this time we should invite the Europeans to do the job and receive all the thanks, if any.
It is much easier to destroy a government than to create one, and there must be a government before it can be democratized. Most of the discussions of Libya have been superficial. Evil though the current ruler there is, the people of Libya in general would likely be less damaged by his remaining than by the political vacuum his forced departure will create. Have we learned anything from our experience in Iraq?

Steve C.
Menlo Park, CA
March 17th, 2011
7:52 pm
A day late and a dollar short, I fear. This is the first real disappointment I have felt with President Obama. I see now that he is one of those who never wants to be in the wrong. Truly great men(and women) recognize what the right thing to do is, whether or not they can make a difference, and if they can, they do it. If you’re going to be wrong about something, be wrong about being politically correct, not about saving lives.
Of course, there is always the possibility that the military advisors he is depending on are hard core republicans, or even closet tea-party advocates. If that is the case, they would probably give President Obama deliberately incorrect assessments, hoping he will ultimately be vilified down the road, like at the next election. Wouldn’t surprise me for a minute. Think about it: if Obama went ahead and prevented the genocide that has already taken place, and was hailed as a hero by the rest of the civilized world, including the Arab populations, it wouldn’t bode well for the republicans and tea party members who exist solely to destroy him. Food for thought.

Skip Wenz
Corvallis, Oregon
March 17th, 2011
7:59 pm
This is good, and especially good because Egypt is involved. Not only is Egypt a neighboring state, and an Arab state, but it is also new a democratic state, or at least on its way to becoming one. Among other things, this has the potential to solidify alliances between the Europeans, the Egyptians and possibly whoever ends up running Libya after Gadaffi and his sleazy cohorts are gone.
Caution must prevail, of course. The war effort proper shouldn’t amount to much. Gadaffi and his gang are not real soldiers, just a bunch of thugs with armaments purchased by oil. The Gadaffi forces will break apart very quickly when confronted with the combined air power of the allied forces.
But the peace will be tricky. We’ll have to make sure that the anti-Gadaffi forces don’t end up being the butchers, and in fact we — meaning the U.N. and the allies, not the U.S. by itself — will have to help the Libyan people on their road to true democracy.
Finally, Kudos to Obama and Clinton. I really didn’t think they had it in them, but they have apparently worked very effectively behind the scenes. Let’s hope this all works out for the best for all involved — except for Gadaffi, of course.

Wendy
LA
March 17th, 2011
8:01 pm
Let me just make sure I have this straight. Qaddafi is killing the protestors/opposition, so we have voted for intervention. Great! This is all the justification Iran needs to help the protestors in Bahrain. After all, if the UN can assist one group of protestors, why can’t another country help another group of protesters??
Once Iran becomes involved with the Shiite Bahrain protestors, Saudi Arabia will move to further help Sunni government of Bahrain, so of course we will help our close ally Saudi Arabia. China, who abstained from the UN vote, will be on Iran’s side.
Let me be perfectly clear (as the President likes to say): This may be the beginning of World War III.

Lobster
Beijing, CN
March 17th, 2011
8:01 pm
Deft handling of a delicate situation by the Obama administration. Good diplomacy is about holding your cards close to your chest, and they have done just that.

Technic Ally
Toronto
March 17th, 2011
8:01 pm
The US administration has gone from the “impossibility” of a no-fly zone to this in a few short days.
Let’s hope it is not too late.
But Obama still seems to not have his hand on the rudder.

jeburke242
New York
March 17th, 2011
8:01 pm
Good! I hope British, French and American aircraft are already airborne and will soon make junk out of Gaddafi’s antiquated Soviet tanks.
Meanwhile, as the US and key European and Arab allies have finally stepped up to do the right thing, the Times has rummaged around to find an anti-American angle to give our adversaries something to pout about — namely, that the CIA has been gathering intelligence about deadly Islamic terrorists through relationships with Gaddafi’s intelligence service. As Michael Scheuer tells the Times, getting intelligence on American enemies is not easy and requires dealing with whoever has any. I suppose the Times would prefer to see US intelligence officers wandering the North African deserts asking passing Bedouins whether they know anyone in al Qaeda of the Magreb.
Anyway, if we and our allies get rid of Gaddafi, we won’t need him anymore, will we?

Sherif
USA
March 17th, 2011
8:01 pm
Not getting involved in Libya will be worse than getting involved in Iraq. In Iraq we got involved without the support of the international community and people of Iraq. In libya it is the other way people of Libya are on our side! Please act soon.

Yolande M.
Queens NY
March 17th, 2011
8:01 pm
It is hardly any wonder that no one takes the UN seriously, with their inconsistent manner of solving the world’s problems. It really is a waste of money for poorer countries who have to spend so much to maintain staff there. Abolish it I say, sooner rather thn later. Air strikes,eh? Why did we not hear this against Israel when they were busy killing Palestinians? But then Gadaffi is an easy target- a hybrid country- half African, half Middle Eastern. Countries in the region, and Africa should heed the old Caribbean adage- when your neighbour’s bed is on fire, wet yours!I would love to believe that all those posting support for these air strikes are really concerned for the ordinary Libyan in the street, but I am not a naiive person and far too street wise about world politics to believe that. I donot think it is all about oil either, it just about revenge againast Gadaffi for Panam 103? and the loss of Ameerican lives,which people still believe he was responisible for, and spreading the very overated ‘western democracy’ myth. No lessons have beeen learned at all from the Iraqi debacle, pity.

KM
Washington DC
March 17th, 2011
8:01 pm
Ivory Coast is next right? And attention will be paid to the humanitarian crisis currently unfolding in Liberia caused by the Ivorian war too right? How bout Somalia and Uganda for good measure? Thanks UN Security Council.

TC
DC
March 17th, 2011
8:01 pm
Will the UN will also authorize air strikes against the Bahrain government to protect the protesters?

seattlesh
Seattle
March 17th, 2011
8:01 pm
It was appropriate for the Obama administration to await this action by the UN. Congratulations US for not acting unilaterally as the world’s policeman.

Jon
VA
March 17th, 2011
8:01 pm
Follow Reagan’s lead. Hunt Gaddafi down with cruse missles. I also suggest carpet bombing Tripoli. Throw in a couple of bunker busters.
Let the fun begin!!

harry
SLC
March 17th, 2011
8:01 pm
We need to stay out of this mess, my view says the CIA started it as well as the other spontaneous events nearby, not saying that the locals don’t have a cause just you don’t have 7 or 8 nations erupt just because of Facebook.

rashipley
Chicago
March 17th, 2011
8:14 pm
I am troubled that we are once again expanding militarily. I think it naive to believe that ‘simple’ air strikes will suddenly topple this entrenched regime, without having to escalate to using boots on the ground. More lives lost, more families devasted and money wasted. It seems to me that if we are going to support the ‘uprising’ then provide arms as well as a truly effective economic blockade. While I am sympathetic with the population which is now seeking to overthrow this deispicable government, the truth is that Libya is not a threat to the US. More importantly, we cannot take care of our own house and I would hope that would be our focus, which will strengthen the country in the long run.

Kenneth Ranson
Salt Lake City
March 17th, 2011
8:14 pm
It is incredible how long it has taken the Obama administration to recognize the seriousness of the situation in LIbya. They were told days ago by their own national security advisor that Qaddafi would overwhelm the rebels. And it didn’t take a genius to figure this out. Anyone who has seen combat knows that a brick and a bad attitude only go so far against a main battle tank.
The administration’s response was a dialectic on the difficulties of enforcing a no-fly zone. Hillary Clinton’s statement that the Arab League resolution was a game changer is nonsense. For days afterwards the administration maintained its, “oh this is so hard,” stance.
The Security Council’s resolution will be in time only if the U.S. is prepared to act immediately. Qaddafi’s forces are deployed in the desert around Misrata and Ajdabiya. If the U.S. Strikes with high level bombing now, Qaddafi could be forced back to Tripoli in a matter of days. If the U.S. waits until Qaddafi’s forces have mixed with the civilian populations of Benghazi and other cities it will be too late.

TH
Ladera, CA
March 17th, 2011
8:14 pm
When the world fails to stand up for what is just and right, we are doomed. Sometimes it is a lone voice that stands for justice, as many lack the courage to do the right thing when faced with fear.
The right and just course of action is not dependent on how many people choose to back it. If so, then slavery was once just and right, since many people backed that form of depravity.
It is sad to see so many people fall under the guise of ‘moral relativity’. No, what is just and right is always so, no matter public opinion or international backing.
People can argue politik, economics, etc, but that doesn’t change the world community perhaps letting a tyrant keep rule of tens of millions of peoples by way of force.

light1
Oklahoma
March 17th, 2011
8:14 pm
This is an act of war! Does America (after all these many weeks & all the deaths) really want to send our troops in that region?
This is Obama’s watch! Remember this in 2012!

Andrew
Eden Prairie, MN
March 17th, 2011
8:22 pm
I acknowledge that this was a serious matter and a decision needed to be taken with much consideration, however the nature of this struggle has made procrastination costly. There is already a big cost paid, days of fight wasted. But, let us be fortunate to at least have done something.
However late, it is better than watching a people’s struggle being put down by a merciless fanatic while the international community in the year 2011 had been merely watching.

LRT
DC
March 17th, 2011
8:39 pm
This is insanity. The UN has again proven itself useless beyond measure. For over 40 years the current Lybian powers have been recognized as the official government of that nation and now we support some unknown criminals who are attempting to overthrow that recognized government. This is insanity!

lucaetbravo
Lafayette, IN
March 17th, 2011
8:39 pm
So, war with Libiya then.
Don’t think that this isn’t the first and foremost the will of the Obama administration. This result, with China and Russia abstaining would never have occurred without strong arm-twisting from the U.S.
It is astounding that we will be at war in a third Muslim country but I do not disagree with this result.

ron shapley
new york, new york
March 17th, 2011
8:39 pm
Yes, lets’ do battle in Libya to protect and preserve the oil that is shipped to China !!! We have NO dog in this fight…. stay out !!!!!

Moso
Seattle
March 17th, 2011
8:39 pm
Let France and UK lead the way. The U.S. does not seem to have the stomach for it, although it maintains an air force base in Aviano, Italy. I can understand the war weariness of most Americans, but surely they understand that the Libyan rebels–and women and children–will be slaughtered if Gaddafi forces are allowed to enter Benghazi. We have already witnessed the human catastrophe in Rwanda. The least the US can do now is not stand in the way. I have been a critic of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but, to the extent that she expedited the UN decision, I am grateful. And, Vive La France!

Abu al-Sous
Chicago
March 17th, 2011
9:17 pm
As an Arab, I really have mixed feeling about this resolution and a lot of questions. On one hand, we Arabs are trying to kick Western influence from the door, and this resolution brings them in from the window!
On the other hand, I real see many Libyans calling for this and I cannot go against that.
My questions are a lot and I like to document them here:
- Who elected the National Congress based in Benghazi? Based on what I know they appointed themselves and 23 of 33 members are not known.
- Why up to this minute the rebellious Libyan Army in Benghazi and Tubrouq did not interfere? Why they did not take command? They the heavy weapons, ships, and aircraft under their command have been used up to this point?
- Early on, why they have given Qaddafi enough time to regroup? Why they didn’t attack Sirt right away? If Sirt fell (Qaddafi’s hometown), then Tripoli would become a matter of time until it falls.
- Why this National Command early on released the British Commandos it captured?
- Why this command offered Qaddafi immunity if he leaves Libya? Under what Authority?
- The current command leaders, ALL of them the made the 2nd tier in Qaddafi’s government as of Late January, 2011
The leader of the current National Command may have good intentions (God only knows); but there is a lot of questions about them.
Will they relinquish power to the people?
Will they allow themselves to be investigated for any corruptions or crimes committed when they served Qaddafi?
These are very hard questions and only time shall tell. Let us home it works for the benefit of the Libyans, god knows they have suffered a lot under this tyrant and his goons (Barlisconi is one of them)

Tony
California
March 17th, 2011
9:17 pm
All this hand wringing about diplomacy taking a long time – back when the US was unilaterally deciding to attack Iraq and saying there was no time to wait, many Times readers were trying to slow things down (or stop the war effort altogether) by saying we had to bring allies along to give the war any hope of legitimacy and get support (i.e. troops, planes, and money) from our allies even though Saddam had already killed at least 20 or 30 times as many people as Qaddafi (over a million casualties in the Iraq-Iran war) and had been doing it for many years. He even used poison gas to kill his own people (think back to the last time a government used poison gas to kill its own citizens). While events on the ground may have outstripped the discussion in the UN, I really don’t think 2 weeks is too long to wait for a group of countries to decide to bomb another country into submission. There are certainly plenty of countries where the governments are so evil that they would think nothing of killing their civilians to stay in power and have in fact done so in recent history (China, Zimbabwe, Burma, Bahrain, Iran, Ivory Coast, Sudan, North Korea, etc., etc.), so having other countries decide to attack and kill that country’s citizens (even to protect its other citizens) is no small matter. Of course to be effective, we need boots on the ground, not to invade, but to accurately direct fire from close air support and target key regime elements (I suspect we already have special operations forces and CIA operatives in country already). After all, now that we’ve decided to do something, we should do it righ

Sharon
Connecticut
March 17th, 2011
9:17 pm
Did anyone see the Libian response to the Security Council Resolution by Deputy Foreign Secretary Khalid Kaim? It was strange — he was sort of happy and talking of how glad they were that the resolution spoke of protecting civilians and promoting a unified Libya. Kaim said that he challenges the world to bring a fact finding mission to Libya immediately. At the end of the press conference, some men waving green scarves and kissing Qadaffi photos came into the room chanting vigorously. Kaim referred to the chanters as average citizens letting their feelings be known (or some such).

mah
Chicago, IL
March 17th, 2011
9:17 pm
Here we go again. Unless US role is limited to implementing No-Fly zone, there will be another 10year commitment on US tax payers.

remarkblz
California
March 17th, 2011
9:17 pm
Even though it’s high time, Obama has had a good touch with this. We’ll have to see how this plays out, of course, but there is no way the west could stand by and let this thug get away with this. The west had to take a stand and send a message to all the other despots in that area and around the world. But what happened to Germany??

JoJo
Boston, MA
March 17th, 2011
9:17 pm
This seems to me to contrast sharply with the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Here there is a clear widespread internal grass-roots uprising asking for Western help, the U.N. is involved, not just the U.S.; it’s actual multilateral consensus-based action, not a scam “coalition” of the bribed by Bush,Jr.; it’s not based on lies; and it’s action that doesn’t seek (hopefully) to start an all-out war.

Ulrica
Illinois
March 17th, 2011
9:17 pm
It’s about time; this should have been done a long time ago and saved some lives

nmetro
Longmont, Colorado
March 17th, 2011
9:17 pm
So as politicians sat around a table, people were getting killed in Libya. It seemed like these politicians were hoping for a quick end to the rebellion in Libya, so oil could freely flow again. Never mind that Qaddafi has been crushing the rebellion with weapons from some of the same embers of the UN Security Council; including the United States.
Just over 10 days ago, before the nightmare unleashed in Japan, there were strong calls for a no fly zone and to keep Qaddafi’s forces in check. At that time, the rebels were on the doorstep of Tripoli. Now, Qaddafi’s forces are at their doorstep.
As some have said, better late than never. Also, the west will not win any popularity contests among the peoples of the Arab World; though, though the despots are applauding the inaction of the UN and NATO. The very people who call for democracy, stops short when there is a potential for their oil supply could be cut off.
Maybe, by imposing a no fly zone now and providing aid to the rebels, that the rebels could run the the despotic Qaddafi from trial. Hopefully, he is kept alive so he can tried in the World Court for crimes against humanity. But, if he meets his end by being killed by his own people; it would be equal poetic justice.

Lisa Bergson
Wrightstown
March 17th, 2011
9:17 pm
Finally. Good for the French. Shame on us. I just pray it’s not too late.

plang1
rhode island
March 17th, 2011
9:17 pm
obama is watching basketball with a few celebritys and planning a vacation.libya,japan and america need to stop bothering him with their whining!!!

TOD
Montville, NJ
March 17th, 2011
9:17 pm
The Arab League has requested a no fly zones. We have been supplying planes to these nations for years – for instance Saudi Arabia. Why don’t they join in the effort.

Ralph
NY
March 17th, 2011
9:17 pm
#22 The British and French have colonial ties to Libya? Since when? Did you go to school? Libya was an Italian colony. The British and latterly the French went there while the US was waiting to see who would gain the upper hand in WW2. The US has as much colonial responsibility there as Britain and France, predating both in military action there (listen the the Marine’s Hymn, second line). Does it ever strike armchair generals in the US that the Pentagon has intentionally hobbled the ability of NATO to wage war or peacekeeping without US participation? Now, again, such ignoramouses attack the a staunch military ally of the US complaining it doesn’t do enough. Then you wonder why you have no friends, and virtually no international standing?

Thomas Hwang
Northville, Michigan
March 17th, 2011
9:17 pm
I really think this should have happened a while ago. I mean, Colonel Qaddafi’s forces are just massacring their own citizens, just because they have something against the Government’s will. Just killing them and bombing their cities are just plain wrong. I’m glad that UN and US are eager to help Libyan Rebels fight. I would personally go there and fight alongside them, because I know what I am doing is right.

julie kreutzer
boulder colorado
March 17th, 2011
9:17 pm
I hope the Rebels and ordinary citizens know that help is coming. May it come very quickly! I hope that word is reaching them that the world supports them.

Ed
California
March 17th, 2011
9:17 pm
Remember the “No-Fly” zone over Iraq after the Gulf War? That did not drive Saddam Hussein from power. Unless we provide air strikes for the “rebel” forces in coordinated counterattacks, this could be a stalemate. Of course we could provide “advisers” to help them organize and strike back. We know “advisers” never do any of the fighting.
If we are going to do this, let’s stop with all the euphemistic language about “protecting civilians”. Why not just say we are going to crush Qaddafi? Knock out all his aircraft, land air mobile forces behind his lines, and have the USMC do an encore performance on the shores of Tripoli! Pound his armed forces, they’ll run or surrender, then capture the Colonel Qaddafi for trial.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said “We want to support the opposition who are standing against the dictator,” The same thing is happening in Bahrain. Are we going to intervene there next? We all know the answer to that one. Either we oppose and topple all despots (Libya) and kings (Bahrain, Saudi Arabia) or we let them fight their own fights.
After we change governments in Libya, what next? More than likely, Libya won’t turn out the way the U.S. and Europe think by this move. Prepare for another surprise.

Gary Scanlan
Australia
March 17th, 2011
11:52 pm
Too late and now absolute stupidity. While it is clear that Gaddafi’s forces were going to win this war in the next week or so, a poorly planned and rushed exercise by UN forces can only end in unwarranted loss of life and uncertain consequences other than the distinct possibility that Gaddafi will still be in power but aggressively anti-West (something he hasn’t been for about 8 years). How long did we plan for Iraq and look at the deficiencies; how long are we planning for this ? What do we really expect? No doubt, Iran will now see a closer alliance with Libya as good leverage and then Syria, Hamas etc will join the queue. Libya’s next door neighbour – Egypt – is still in a state of flux; what better opportunity to derail reform there. Yes, it is very unfortunate that Gaddafi will probably remain if no action is taken (too late) but the UN move will most likely make the situation far worse. And we wonder why so many reasonable countries (Germany et al) abstained from voting….

Daniel Brockman
Petaluma, CA
March 18th, 2011
12:06 am
A no-fly zone is a much more effective response than economic sanctions. Sanctions merely reinforce the power of the dictator relative to his opposition, and so sanctions confirm the dictator in power. Examples: Cuba, N. Korea, Libya, China, USSR, Iraq, etc. On the other hand, a no-fly zone constrains the military power, and hence the government, of the dictator. Events in Iraq and Serbia enabled refinement of military doctrines for no-fly zones. A no-fly zone is a refined act of war, and acts of war can have unintended consequences. If effected with care to protect civilians from danger, a no-fly zone acts directly on the government of the dictator and diminishes his power relative to his opposition.



About Jerry Frey

Born 1953. Vietnam Veteran. Graduated Ohio State 1980. Have 5 published books. In the Woods Before Dawn; Grandpa's Gone; Longstreet's Assault; Pioneer of Salvation; Three Quarter Cadillac
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