Action against Libya right or wrong?

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by Foinikas, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    As many of you probably already know by now,many countries of the European Union and the United States are taking action against Gaddafi's forces by imposing a no-fly zone.
    Many Arab countries are also thinking or have already agreed to take part to the war against Gaddafi's forces.

    So far,French jet fighters have already taken action with Al Jazeera saying they already destroyed 4 Libyan Army tanks.The United Kingdom is also rushing to Libya to assist France and the other allies in protecting Benghazi and the rebels from Gaddafi's forces and retribution.

    What do you think about all that?
     
  2. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Ooo, nice to have been brought up, this subject :)

    I find it hard to opinionise on this new intervention. It seems random at best, really. True, Muammar Gadhaffi has no business bombing his own people. And yes, this particular revolution of the Arab Spring seems to be fiercest. But international war?

    Muammar Gadhaffi isn't the first to call airstrikes against his own people. It's an extreme, but not unfamiliar tactic. I recall it happening in Darfur in recent times. And in Iraq and, if I'm not terribly mistaken, Turkey, Israel and Russia as well. Sure, the Iraqi regime has since been removed. But it clearly can't be the only reason for the international community to react this way.

    I think there's an old bill to settle with Muammar. We haven't quite forgotten about Lockerby, after all. Since the Second Iraq War, Muammar has been crawling up to the West in fear of befalling a similar fate as Saddam had. He did manage to latch on to Europe's pseudo-dictator Berlusconi. And all seemed well - but in the end, old bills were not forgotten.

    In the mean time, Saudi-Arabia is offering support to Bahrein. The support, however, is a polar opposite to the support the West is giving to Libya. The Saudis seeks to enforce the despot residing in Bahrein. In the mean time, the Bahreini protesters get repressed and shot at, at least by internal forces. The West sits idle and refuses to have an opinion.

    I trully believe that the balance sheet of Muammar Ghadhaffi is so bad that this latest show of despotism simply won't stand. It creates a perfect casus belli for the West. Maybe Libya is too close to Europe. Maybe there is a true democratic sense in the Western approach. But in the end, I think the current affairs are just a reason to dethrone Muammar.



    On a sidenote, I really want to say a word of praise about the US, who, for once, managed to grasp the idea that their primary involvement could escalate matters agains the effort in and above Libya. Let's hope it's a lesson learned and passed on.
     
  3. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Well you mentioned Turkey,they were bombing Kurds or shooting them,but they were considered rebels and hid in the mountains so they don't count as "their people".You mentioned Israel and again Israel was bombing the Palestinian which are under Israeli occupation.You mentioned Russia,yeah they weren't very "subtle" during the first years of the conflict in Chechnya,they bombed BOTH Russians and Chechens in Grozny for example to kill terrorists and Chechen separatists.

    Anyway,I'm not saying you are wrong or something but I'm saying that this time yeah Gaddafi is bombing his own people actually because there are thousands if not hundreds of thousands....maybe even millions of people who are against Gaddafi.
    And the whole randomness is to stop Gaddafi right now because the last few days he has been winning the war.

    And let's not forget that Gaddafi kept lying from the beginning.Quotes like "My people love me.Hahaha.All Libya loves me." while at the same time half the country had revolted against him.A few days ago he declared a ceasefire on his behalf....lol only to keep pounding some cities and towns with artillery and aircraft.

    And even now he refuses to leave.He wants to stay in power.
     
  4. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Well, the thing is, the difference between a rebel, a member of the oposition - or a patriot for that matter, is not that big. No doubt there's some sort of tribal thing going on in Libya as well, that's africa for you. Which, by your standards, could easily have the Libyan in the abovementioned list. It´s merely a matter of perspective.
     
  5. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    Personally I wish the UK had stayed out of it.

    Gaddafi is a murderous despot, an extremely devious one who has survived in place for four decades. He does enjoy the support of at least part of Libya otherwise they wouldn't be in the early throes of civil war. The East doesn't support him but by moving swiftly from protests to an armed insurgence (however justified) this has moved from 'oppressed civilians' to an internal conflict / civil war. Has the international community got the right to intervene / take sides because they have an axe to grind aganist Gaddafi? Why aren't they taking action to demilitarise both sides?

    The international community's action smacks of hypocrisy when the action against Libya is compared to other conflicts past and present where they turn a blind eye or limit their disapproval to meaningless statements. Even more farcical is that Saudi Arabia is one those lending support and acting the 'good ally' when they themselves are involved in supressing unarmed demonstrators both at home and in Bahrain. Whilst in no supporting Gaddafi it's hardly surprising he's fighting an armed uprising rather than welcoming them with open arms and much love.

    I'm waiting for the Gaddafi response but expect it to be 2-fingers whilst he makes Benghazi pay and the threat of terrorist acts against the western imperialists. I'm sure also now that targets in Tripoli have been hit that a lot of civilian corpses will appear for world media consumption.
     
  6. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    What I heard on the news here,well at least what they were discussing here was that the Libyan Army has a very thick network of Anti-aircraft systems.Most of them are considered old or at least in need of repairs or lack spare parts etc. but they said that Gaddafi was preferring quantity over quality.I don't know if that's true but they kept talking about Libya having a lot of AA weapons and jet fighters.

    When it comes to jet fighters the Western forces is by far superior with F-16s,Rafale,Eurofighter Typhoon and Tornado fighters being state-of-the-art air stuff.

    Well you know,every war is a new opportunity to try new weapons.It's true.

    Now as to what else they'll do I don't know.It seems as if Gaddafi wants to finish his job fast as if he's gonna achieve something with that.I don't know why he wants to crush the rebellion so fast,even now when a more than a dozen strong nations are about to bomb his army and force him out of power.
     
  7. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    From what I understood, last night's bombings were aimed to take out the Libyan ground-to-air defense system, mostly with Tomahawks. Despite the fact that last time, the US lost a (one) F111, I don't think it will be too much of a problem, really.

    I don't think that the current measures against Libya will result in the overthrowing of the Gaddafi gouvernment, though. At least, that's not the primary aim, which is the protection of civilians. The reaction of Muammar will be determining for the rest of the conflict. Being the old desert fox he is, I don't think he will seek to push the hand of the West. He'll try to weasel himself from under abdication somehow.

    However, if the opposition in Benghazi is quickly crushed, his internal war is just about finished. In that case the West will come too late, and everything will simply fall back to where it was before. That's the card Muammar is trying to play now. As it appears though, resistance in Benghazi is too strong for that.
     
  8. Running Wolf

    Running Wolf Join the Madness

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    We could switch countries for a while: Germany abstained from a vote. I wish they'd participate.

    I'm not a huge fan of war. In fact I despise it. And attacking military bases with own military means is considered an act of war I guess.

    But in this case I would consider the cause just - if the cause of the UNO and EU remains to aid the people and NOT to force our system upon them or exploit their oil fields.
    A huge part of the Lybian people begged for the intervention of the UNO - and the UNO ignored that call way too long in my opinion - maybe even much too long to accomplish something.

    What is a country? Is a country the government/tribe that rules it, or does a country, a nation, actually consist out of the people that live in it? The latter, right?
    So when those people - the greater part of those people - ask for a change in their government, shouldn't the government listen then? Instead of hiring mercanaries to shoot the own people down - because even the countries own military is PRO change and AGAINST the government.

    The West constantly preaches morals, human rights and ideal forms of government - but suddenly when a nation wants to overthrow its own dictator and gives the West every reason to come and help the cause, suddenly we become cautious. "Oh no, we'll have to dispose of the refugees ourselves if Gaddafi can't take care of it anymore." "Oh no, we won't get our precious oil any more." "Oh no, we'll actually have to do something now to help people and not just theoretically talk about it. Oh no. Poor us."
    I almost exploded when our (incompetent) foreign minister stated that Germany already took action against Gaddafi:
    "We requested him to step down and froze his bank accounts."
    If I had been Gaddafi I would have laughed at that as well. He must have been trembling with fear. -.-

    I fear that even now the UNO is too late. The momentum of the revolution is lost. The opposition lost many cities to Gaddafis troops and people had time to become afraid of possible consequences. Revolution always has a major psychological side and I fear that Gaddafis fast progress was able to crush huge parts of the revolutionary spirits.

    Time will tell
     
  9. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    lol - I love the contradiction between you two, Ella and RW :)

    The UK recently came from a trigger happy PM which led the UK into two wars which eventually showed themselves to be beyond their grasp.

    Germany has a reputation of sitting on their hands where it comes to military intervention since 1945 or so. Completely different history.
     
  10. Running Wolf

    Running Wolf Join the Madness

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    You're right we are "carefully considering" at best when it comes to military actions. But with all our history considered does it mean we have to stand by and watch when things like Rwanda, Darfur, Kosovo and now Lybia happen? I think not.

    And just to give a short overview about the general german opinion in this: My opinion is an exception, most are glad we stayed out of it. *sigh* the workings of democracy.
     
  11. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    I think you are mistaking the F-111 with the F-117 Stealth bomber which the Americans lost during the war in Kosovo by the Yugoslav Army :D
    Since then the Serbs have the slogan "Sorry we didn't know it was invisible".Anyway,that's a question,the fact that we do know that the best of the best of NATO aircrafts are taking part in the operations against the Libyan Army and we're talking about F-16s,Rafale,Eurofighters....wow....man these are considered some of the most potential jet fighters in the world,but then again Libya has a huge network of anti-aircraft weapons and SAM sites,EVEN THOUGH many if not most of them are old and outdated weapons and missile systems....they say it's the second largest AA network in the Arab world after Egypt.
    Gaddafi's in a rush to win the civil war.

    Right now I read on Reuters:

    Local people in Misrata, the only big rebel stronghold left in the west of Libya, said Western air strikes overnight hit pro-Gaddafi forces at their base south of the city, but that did not halt their attacks.

    "There is fighting between the rebels and the Gaddafi forces. Their tanks are in the center of Misrata," Abdelbasset, a spokesman for the rebels, said by telephone from the city. "There are so many casualties that we cannot count them."

    "He (Gaddafi) is using a scorched earth strategy. Burning and destroying everything in his way," said Abdelbasset.

    It was impossible to verify accounts from Misrata because the Libyan authorities have prevented journalists from reaching the city. There was no immediate comment from Libyan officials.

    Gaddafi's forces -- including units of the 32nd brigade commanded by his son Khamis -- have been laying siege to Misrata for days, residents have said, but until Sunday rebel fighters had kept them confined to the city's outskirts.

    DESTRUCTION

    Misrata is Libya's third biggest city and is about 200 km (120 miles) east of Tripoli. Local people say parts of the city have been destroyed by an artillery bombardment in the past few days that killed many people.

    A resident called Sami said the tanks were supported by pro-Gaddafi snipers stationed on rooftops in the center of town who were shooting at anyone who came into range.

    "Two people were killed so far today by snipers. They (snipers) are still on rooftops. They are backed with four tanks, which have been patrolling the town. It's getting very difficult for people to come out."

    He also said ships were blockading the city's Mediterranean port to prevent rebels bringing in supplies.

    He said he believed the pro-Gaddafi forces had entered the city center because once there, Western military aircraft would not target them for fear of killing civilians in adjacent houses.




    Full article here http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/20/us-libya-misrata-idUSTRE72J26820110320
     
  12. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Errr... no. When Muammar made his speach today, he showed a golden fist crushing a US F111. It's a reference to that one victory he scored in 1986.

    Most people have forgotten about this. Still, it's worth mentioning for perspective reasons.
     
  13. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    lol I'm usually a 'hawk' but have limited sympathy for the rebels, once they chose to take up arms.

    If Libya didn't have oil or the west it's history with Gaddafi, the UN resolution wouldn't have happened. The stated aim of the action is protection of citizens but scratch the surface and it's all about regime change. The same day as the resolution was agreed the Ivory Coast president (who lost the election) & supporters were shelling the opposition ~ has there been the same moral swing/call for action to tackle that?

    A significant number in the rebel held areas did ask for intervention as soon as they started to lose the momentum however even amongst that camp there are differing views ranging from none to all-out. Indeed there were contributers on BBC (phone) this morning decrying the raid as invalidating the citizens' uprising. The Arab League has also called an emergency session as their understanding of the resolution was just a no-fly zone not bombing other targets (although it's difficult to lend this credibility). Russia is also already asking US/UK/France to stop indiscriminate bombing.

    This conflict is internal between two armed sides. Neither side has any electoral legitimacy although as Gaddafi's regime has been in power for 4 decades they are the state in any meaningful interpretation.

    The UK has no love for Gaddafi ~ he funded and supplied the IRA for decades not to mention the Lockerbie bombing. What I find totally hypocritical is the selective nature of UN action and disingenuous stated aims. You do not protect citizens by choosing to attack the largest city to stop smaller scale action in the second largest which is already defended.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2011
  14. Running Wolf

    Running Wolf Join the Madness

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    WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT! *is currently watching the news*

    Originally I understood the UN action as a no fly zone - no one in he media told us anything about "our" pilots bombing Gaddafis troops (as they obviously did)
    Turn around, I did not agree with that *grumble*


    "lol I'm usually a 'hawk' but have limited sympathy for the rebels, once they chose to take up arms."
    I dunno, I'm not sure I would stand by and let myself and others get shot for wanting a better future. I couldn't say if I would stay peaceful and act as Ghandi propose. I'm pretty sure I'd either flee or do exactly that which the 'rebels' now did. Especially since Gaddafi pays foreigners to kill his own people. I didapprove
     
  15. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    I'm not saying they were wrong to take up arms but having chosen that path they shouldn't expect others to bail them out. A significant portion of the armed forces and general populace did NOT choose to join the uprising so why should they not challenge/fight back against armed rebels?

    Simple answer is that it's not black and white.
     
  16. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Hmm, you will note that there isn't too much of a difference between bombing from the air from, for instance, fighter-bombers - and bombing from the ground by tanks or mortars. In a sense, bombing from the ground is even worse, since it's much less accurate then bombing from tanks, cannons or howitzers.

    Planes, cannons, anti-aircraft batteries, they are all manned by people. Troops, you might call them.

    On a sidenote, showing military - or even civilian casualties is a tactic in itself. Since it's sly Muammar at the wheel, there's no sense of truth where his communication is involved.
     
  17. Running Wolf

    Running Wolf Join the Madness

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    I'm not sure if I got that right, Tur.

    I thought that the UN mission was to ensure that none of Gaddafis bombers could greatly kill people. Thus the UN bombers would destroy antiaircraft stuff and Gaddafis bombers in the air.
    The UN was not to bomb tanks and 'normal troops'.
    I mean, it was clear that people would be killed. that's not my problem (okay that sound awful, but I don't mean it as bad as it sounds) my problem is that I understood the intervention as means to prevent further butchering of people - and not as means to decide the situation for one side or the other.
     
  18. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Yeah I read about that right after I posted my previous post.One out of 45 aircraft or something.
     
  19. ScreenXSurfer

    ScreenXSurfer Better Than You

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    Another Vietnam/Gulf War inbound.
     
  20. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Belgian,Qatari and Norwegian aircraft are gathering in the NATO base in Souda,in Crete.Southern Greece.It's logical because Greece and Italy are the closest,perhaps,NATO countries to Libya.Especially Crete is just north of eastern Libya.They said all that about the aircraft on the news plus something about more alliance forces coming there or to be expected to come.