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China expresses regret for military strike against Libya

03-20-2011 15:00 BJT

BEIJING, March 20 (Xinhua) -- China's Foreign Ministry on Sunday expressed regret over the multinational military strike against Libya, saying that it did not agree with resorting to force in international relations.

"China has noticed the latest development in Libya and regrets the military strike against Libya," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said.

China, as always, does not agree with the use of force in international relations, Jiang said, when asked to comment on the strike carried out by multinational forces early Sunday.

China believes that the tenet and principles of the United Nations Charter and relevant international laws should be adhered to, and Libya's sovereignty, independence, unification and territory integrity should be respected, she said.

"We hope stability could be restored in Libya as soon as possible so as to avoid more civilian casualties caused by the escalation of military conflicts," she said.

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The hawk in No. 10

19 March 2011
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Will Cameron play the Bush to Obama’s Blair?

Eight years ago an American president led a passive British prime minister into a war both countries would regret. David Cameron is eager for history to repeat itself, with the national roles reversed. While Barack Obama dithers, Cameron demands tough action against Libya — with a western-imposed no-fly zone seemingly uppermost on his mind. ‘Do we want a situation where a failed pariah state festers on Europe’s southern border,’ he asks, ‘potentially threatening our security, pushing people across the Mediterranean and creating a more dangerous and uncertain world for Britain and for all our allies, as well as for the people of Libya?’

Yet a failed state is exactly what Libya would become if Britain and America intervene. Cameron’s hawkish position may win him friends in Washington — Senator John McCain has been particularly glowing about ‘the leadership that Prime Minister Cameron has shown’ — but he is deceiving himself about the Libyan insurgency. Not all of Gaddafi’s enemies are the West’s friends, and many would be eager to turn their arms against foreigners. As one fighter in Benghazi told the Guardian, ‘If the Americans came, the people would fight them in the streets, just like Iraq.’

And a no-fly zone would be hardly more than a prelude to the Americans coming. Gaddafi’s air power is secondary — his tanks, artillery, and mercenaries are his primary weapons. Not only a no-fly zone, but airstrikes, at a minimum, would be needed to delay him. Yet short of introducing ground forces, nothing America and Britain could do would guarantee victory for the rebels.

What happened in Iraq after the first Gulf War is instructive. Shia encouraged by George H.W. Bush to believe they would be supported by America rebelled against Saddam Hussein and were slaughtered. Sanctions, bombing runs, and continual patrols of the skies above northern Iraq were necessary to avert a massacre of Kurds. After ten years, Saddam was still firmly in place.

Nor did airstrikes and sanctions stop ethnic cleansing in the Balkans. A backbencher might do well to ask Cameron the question that the US columnist George Will put to Libyan interventionists: ‘What lesson should be learned from the fact that Europe’s worst atrocity since the second world war — the massacre by Serbs of Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica — occurred beneath a no-fly zone?’

A cynic might suggest that Cameron is simply grandstanding: he can afford to talk tough because the Royal Air Force will not be charged with enforcing whatever military measures western powers take. US air power is the world’s policeman — Cameron would be the world’s Neighbourhood Watch. That would be nice enough if the Prime Minister were egging on a fight against street criminals. But civil wars are not so easy to police, and loose talk of intervention often ends up costing lives.

The only conceivable intervention that might not lead to more bloodshed in Libya — that might not transform a civil war into a war against invaders — would be one by other Arab states. Alas, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Morocco so far have shown a much keener interest in stamping out the uprising in Bahrain than in putting paid to Gaddafi’s tyranny. Cameron worries that defeat for Gaddafi’s foes would short-circuit the Arab spring. But the West’s friends in Riyadh are already suffocating the region’s cries for freedom.

That leaves the Libyans to win their own freedom, and the prospect grows dimmer by the hour. This week, Gaddafi’s forces took back Ajdabiya, leaving Benghazi as the only rebel stronghold. But western leaders are wrong to think that if the rebellion fails now it will never succeed. Egypt and Tunisia have given Arabs throughout the region an example of revolutions that can succeed without David Cameron or America—just as Iraq and Afghanistan have given Muslims the world over examples of what corruption and misery and western efforts at forcible democratisation can bring. Cameron’s interventionism would substitute the discredited example for the hopeful one. It would also involve America and Britain in another war as disastrous as the one into which Bush led his poodle.

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Russia "Regrets" Military Action, Calls for Ceasefire in Libya

The Russian Foreign Ministry is urging the international forces and the Gaddafi regime to do everything they can to stop civilian suffering, and agree an immediate ceasefire, describing the military action in Libya as regrettable.

Russian officials have steadily been against any foreign intervention into Libya’s domestic affairs, saying the West should let such turmoil-gripped countries choose their own way of development.

Russia expresses regret over the start of armed intervention by foreign forces in Libya, Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich said in a statement on Saturday.

"We strongly urge both Libyan sides and the parties involved in the military operation to do everything possible in order to prevent the suffering of the civilian population and stop the violence as soon as possible," the spokesman said.

Moscow is mostly concerned about civilian casualties, the number of which is very likely to increase as the intervention proceeds.

There are also concerns, mostly expressed by Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Dmitry Rogozin, that because of the foreign intervention, unrest may spread to other areas in North Africa.

Rogozin added that in his personal opinion, the US, UK, France and Italy are somewhat overstepping the bounds of the UN resolution.

There have been no reports about casualties among Russian citizens or employees of the Russian diplomatic mission which continues its work in Tripoli, but as a precaution some members of the mission, together with other Russian citizens, are going to be evacuated via Tunisia.

On Saturday, several hours prior to the vote on the UN resolution over Libya, President Medvedev dismissed Russia’s ambassador to Libya, Vladimir Chamov, without official explanation.

Mikhail Margelov, chairman of the Federation Council Foreign Affairs CTTE, pointed out that the main goal of the 1973 UN Security Council resolution was originally to protect the civilian population, and not to overthrow the Gaddafi regime.

“In that respect we think that the 1973 resolution is mostly a humanitarian resolution,†he said. â€œMy personal concern is that any military operation that is conducted by the West in the Arab world can lead to a very unpredictable scenario…All the parties involved in the conflict may get together and start fighting against the foreign invaders,†said Margelov, adding that such examples are evident in the history of the Greater Middle East and that, first of all, a political solution should go prior to the military one.

“We think that the Gaddafi regime has already lost its internal and international credibility but we also think that the people of Libya should solve their problems themselves,†stressed Margelov.

Russia believes the only solution to the problem is that the two parties declare an immediate ceasefire and try to find a mutually acceptable political solution.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is about to begin a visit to the region. On Sunday he visits Egypt before heading to Algeria. Both countries border Libya and are closely watching what happens there.

This is Lavrov’s first trip to Egypt since the revolution and he is going to discuss bilateral issues with both Egypt and Algeria as well as the situation in Libya as seen from its neighbors

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Russia and China have the same concern that I have:

 

This is a problem that the Libyan People brought upon themselves. If they want Col. Gadaffi out, they should get him out themselves, without any foreign intervention.

 

Also, UN Resolution 1973 was designed to police a no-fly zone. If the Western Allies proceed to oust Gadaffi using the UN resolution as a basis for permission to do so, they have overstepped the bounds of that resolution.

 

Some countries did not vote against the resolution but they didn't veto it either and already China and Russia have voiced their concerns. These are concerns that the Western Allies should take very seriously because if they pursue Gadaffi they have to expect retaliation from African countries, possibly Arab countries, and maybe even from China and Russia.

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Mummy,

 

If you have such disdain for "the West" and do not support its efforts to defend its values and interests, I don't understand why you don't pack up your family and move to Moscow or Beijing? You might be happier. Seriously. I am not being flip. You really might feel more content and optimistic about your future.

 

Although, should either of those governments do something you don't like, you might find it difficult to get away with being critical. And, you would likely not be able to get online and complain about it. But, that is a small price to pay for feeling like you would belong to a country that represents your desires and interests, no?

 

You could move to the Chinese countryside or to Siberia and give up using anything that is in any way connected to fossil fuels, and lead your ideal life, raise your kid in that vein. I don't understand why you don't do it?

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Adding to Security in anonymity's point above and like I said previously, not all the West are zealots. In fact, the political scene here in Britain is almost aggressively secular.

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What's frustrating, is not that you don't agree with my viewpoint, it's that you don't understand my viewpoint.

 

I have no disdain for the West. I have no disdain for the East. I have no disdain for the Middle East. I have no disdain for any country. What I disdain is the "need" for countries to feel that they must intervene in other countries affairs for the good of the world. It's total utter nonsense.

 

You may think that this is not another Iraq but the problem here is bigger than what happened in Iraq.

 

Let me explain:

 

In Iraq, the US & UK went and invaded the country without any UNSC resolution. They went in to do one thing: oust Saddam under the guise that he was harboring terrorists and had weapons of mass destruction. Other countries may not have liked it but they stood aside and let the coalition do their job because they kept the civilian casualties to a minimum.

 

It's very different here. A UNSC resolution has been given. It has clauses, ambiguous clauses, but clauses nonetheless, that say that invasion is not an option.

 

If the US, UK, France and the other support countries plan of getting this job over in a matter of days doesn't come to fruition, there are two likely scenarios: 1. They will be in this for the long haul and many more civilians will be killed. 2. They will try to oust Gadaffi so as to end the mission as quick as possible.

 

Either scenario is a serious problem. It's more serious than the Iraqi problem because the Western Allies have been given permission by the UN to police a no fly zone but may end up breaking the rules of engagement. As no country opposed the resolution (5 did not veto it, and in fact some of them, most notably China would have opposed it, except that Africa and the Arab nations wanted the resolution pushed through), it means that the world is looking very closely at what the allies are doing.

 

If they break the terms of the resolution, and some countries already feel they are, they can expect that these countries will be harshly critical of the situation. At best, it will alienate the US and its allies further in the middle east. Another situation that could arise is that the rebels will no longer feel that they are being helped and will join forces with Gadaffi (yes join with their enemy) against the "invaders". If this were to happen, it would be likely that Africa and Arab countries could also come to the aid of Gadaffi against the common enemy.

 

If that were to happen, this war will become bigger than anyone has imagined.

 

And what if it escalated to a situation that Russian and/or China had to intervene? What then?

 

This is not a just war and if we're not careful, it could turn into a world war.

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Mummy, the world has been engaged in a world war for most of the last 60 years, with the exception of a brief, relative respite during the 90's after The Wall fell. We are in a world war now with rogue and terrorist entities. Everybody is involved and the front is all around us. As overtly violent as these visible "wars" are, they are not nearly as dangerous as the thousands of unseen ones that are being fought every single minute of every single day, and which many people don't know anything about.

 

The greatest threats of destruction in the future will likely not come from large military actions (like the so-called WWI and WWII's), rather they will come in the form of isolated catastrophic acts of terror, bio-terror, and cumulative violence by thousands of tiny conflicts as pressures for resources become more acute.

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Why are there terrorist organisations? They don't just come into being because a bunch of individuals have nothing else for doing. They all have an agenda. That agenda can be political, religious or social.

 

For instance, in Ireland, there were / are terrorist organisations who's main cause was / is to make a united Ireland. So there agenda was political, religious and social:

 

The IRA (Irish Republican Army) were a terrorist organisation dedicated to removing British Forces from Northern Ireland. They have called a cease fire due to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

 

The Real IRA was created because they opposed the Good Friday Agreement. Their targets were British Military and Security personnel. They have since disbanded.

 

The Continuity IRA was formed due to a division within the IRA. Their targets include Military & Security Personnel, along with citizens who are Loyal to the British Crown. They are still in existence and they are on the United States' list of terrorist organisations.

 

The question could be asked: If the British had never occupied Ireland, would there ever have been such terrorist organisations?

 

In the case of Al Qaeda, I don't think such an organisation exists, at least not to the extent that we are led to believe. I think a lot of Islamic terrorists use "Al Qaeda" to describe themselves due to the notoriety that the U.S. Government has bestowed upon that group of individuals who performed the terrorist attacks on the U.S. in 2001. Prior to 2001 most people had never heard of Al Qaeda and the term was never known by the U.S. security organisations prior to 1998. And even then, the term was in reference to a very small faction that the U.S. did not consider a major threat. But thanks to the U.S., they have created the largest, most evil terrorist organisation that never existed.

 

The question can be asked about the Middle East and the terrorist organisations:

 

If Western Countries had never created/changed the borders of those countries; or had never supported or put tyrants in positions or power; or had never created a Jewish state, would there be Islamic militants on the scale that there are today?

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And, the bottom line remains....the world could not sit by while Ghaddafi slaughtered his own people. Not when there is a wave of pro-democracy uprisings throughout the region attempting to break their heads above the dark surface.

 

But, I am glad this is a UN-mandated action, that the Europeans are largely in the lead and that some Arab countries are contributing to the fight.

 

And, if someone insists on making this all about oil, then at least recognize this: Libya's oil is primarily bought by Europe. But, regardless of who buys the oil, if Libyan supplies were disrupted, the entire world energy market would be negatively impacted. On the heels of a global economic crisis, we hardly need the additional pressure.

 

We need to get off of fossil fuels as quickly and realistically as possible. And, we need to stand by those peoples agitating for democracy. I am very pleased with the UN mandate and European efforts in this.

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Maybe I'm a skeptical, but I've known of many people slaughtered by their governments in many parts of the world, the only places where our western countries feel compelled to intervine are those where oil is extracted, a bit shocking, isn't it?

 

I'm not implying that Russia or China do better.

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You don't seem to see the point: UN-mandated or not, this sort of intervention by other countries only creates more terrorists.

 

It happened in Ireland. It happened in Spain. It happened in Columbia. It happened in Palestine. It happened in Iraq. It will happen in Libya.

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You don't seem to see the point: UN-mandated or not, this sort of intervention by other countries only creates more terrorists.

 

It happened in Ireland. It happened in Spain. It happened in Columbia. It happened in Palestine. It happened in Iraq. It will happen in Libya.

I'm sorry I don't catch what kind of intervention you're talking about in Spain, are you talking about the Basque Country or about the bombings in Madrid in 2003?

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[quote name='mariacm wrote:


mummy']You don't seem to see the point: UN-mandated or not, this sort of intervention by other countries only creates more terrorists.

 

It happened in Ireland. It happened in Spain. It happened in Columbia. It happened in Palestine. It happened in Iraq. It will happen in Libya.

I'm sorry I don't catch what kind of intervention you're talking about in Spain, are you talking about the Basque Country or about the bombings in Madrid in 2003?

 

I'm talking about Basque Country with its terrorist organisation E.T.A. who want to gain independence from Spain through terrorism. 

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The counter-point to the argument that military actions create more terrorists:  

maybe in the short-term; and Ghaddafi IS a terrorist.  But in the long term, there is the potential for stable democracies in the Middle East and North Africa to diminish the over-all  impetus toward terror from emerging in that part of the world.  So how could the world not support the reformers?  Even if we are not yet sure what or who will come next. 

This thesis is, essentially, the underlying strategy for having launched the Iraq invasion--somewhat like a domino theory, although I never heard anyone speak of it that way (too much attention paid to the WMD concern).  And, that strategy has had some effects, as this "Arab-Spring" suggests. In case you have not noticed, anti-Americanism or anti-Western sentiment have not  been over-arching themes of the democratic uprisings.  In fact, the reformers have been looking toward Western models of government and economic growth as their driving visions.

There are no good answers, but doing nothing would have been the worst of a bunch of bad options.

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[quote name='mummy wrote:


mariacm wrote:

mummy']You don't seem to see the point: UN-mandated or not, this sort of intervention by other countries only creates more terrorists.

 

It happened in Ireland. It happened in Spain. It happened in Columbia. It happened in Palestine. It happened in Iraq. It will happen in Libya.

I'm sorry I don't catch what kind of intervention you're talking about in Spain, are you talking about the Basque Country or about the bombings in Madrid in 2003?

 

I'm talking about Basque Country with its terrorist organisation E.T.A. who want to gain independence from Spain through terrorism. 

 

So, there was no foreign intervention here, there was a terrible repression to all the nationalisms within the country during Franco's dictatorship, but it was and still is an inner conflict I hope some day we'll be able to solve in the polls.

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[quote name='mariacm wrote:


mummy wrote:

mariacm']I'm sorry I don't catch what kind of intervention you're talking about in Spain, are you talking about the Basque Country or about the bombings in Madrid in 2003?

 

I'm talking about Basque Country with its terrorist organisation E.T.A. who want to gain independence from Spain through terrorism. 

 

So, there was no foreign intervention here, there was a terrible repression to all the nationalisms within the country during Franco's dictatorship, but it was and still is an inner conflict I hope some day we'll be able to solve in the polls.

 

I guess it depends on how you define "foreign intervention".  Here was a tyrant that was recognised by France, UK and the US as a loyal friend and ally.  If there was no Franco, there probably would never have been an E.T.A.

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The counter-point to the argument that military actions create more terrorists:  

Please don't misquote me.  I never said military actions create more terrorists.  I said: historically, foreign intervention has created terrorists.

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[quote name='mummy wrote:


security_in_anonymity']The counter-point to the argument that military actions create more terrorists:  

Please don't misquote me.  I never said military actions create more terrorists.  I said: historically, foreign intervention has created terrorists.

 

Fine.  But the counter-point still applies.

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[quote name='security_in_anonymity wrote:


mummy wrote:

security_in_anonymity']The counter-point to the argument that military actions create more terrorists:  

Please don't misquote me.  I never said military actions create more terrorists.  I said: historically, foreign intervention has created terrorists.

 

Fine.  But the counter-point still applies.
 Unfortunatley, though, we don't live in an ideal world where the removal of one government will create the dreamworld government you seem to hope will arise.  And even if it did, you can be sure that some individuals, who see a government that is pro-western, will form an organisation to bring it down for that very reason.  

You must never forget that it was for this reason that Gadaffi got into power in the first place.  

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I don't really believe in "dreamworlds" on earth, beyond what two people, or perhaps a small handful of people, can create for themselves. But, I do believe in pushing--hard--for incremental improvements and changes in the world at large and that, in most things, the status quo just isn't good enough. Thankfully there are always going to be those who are willing to push for whatever positive change they can get.

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Actually, we have gotten off topic a little bit, and that is partially my fault.

The fact is that this UN resolution ONLY authorizes using force to prevent Ghaddafi from further attacking his own people and so that humanitarian assistance can be delivered.  

It does NOT authorize removing him or, as you pointed out, putting an occupation force in on the ground.  (Although, I hope this does result in his getting out of the way.)

I am always surprised when anyone objects to a humanitarian intervention and, yes, someone should have done something about Rawanda and Dafur.   The world as a whole has to live with those shames.

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I am always surprised when anyone objects to a humanitarian intervention and, yes, someone should have done something about Rawanda and Dafur.   The world as a whole has to live with those shames.

Do you even read what I write? Or just glance through part of it and fill in the gaps?  It is clear from what you state here that you have no idea where I stand on the subject.

To say anything further would be a waste of my time and an insult to your intelligence.  

 

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No, I read you. I have been working on other stuff all day, and when you post something to this thread, I get a little notification and read. Why do you think I am not?

 

I was responding to Maricam re: the Rawanda and Dafur bit, and I was responding to you regarding your comprehensive lack of support for this humanitarian-motivated, international action in Libya.

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