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Prompt military moves afoot over Libya

By�the CNN Wire Staff
March 18, 2011 8:23 a.m. EDT

(CNN)�-- Military action against the Moammar Gadhafi regime could begin in the coming hours, a French government spokesman said on Friday, hours after the U.N. Security Council authorized the use of force to protect besieged civilians in Libya.

Speaking in an interview with RTL radio, Francois Baroin said France plans to participate in what he described as "swift" efforts.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain has started preparations to deploy aircraft, and "in the coming hours" they will move to air bases where they will be positioned for any "necessary action."

One Libyan official, Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim, said the Gadhafi regime supports a cease-fire. But a defiant Gadhafi, in an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro on Friday sloughed off the threat of an attack, saying, "I'm going to win because the people are with me."

The decisive Security Council move comes after weeks of civil war between the Gadhafi regime and opposition forces, a conflict spurred by an anti-government uprising and regime violence against civilians -- which the U.N. resolution cites as "outrageous."

The council Thursday night voted 10 to 0 with five abstentions to authorize "states to take all necessary measures to protect civilians" and it imposed a no-fly zone, banning all flights in Libyan airspace, with exceptions that involve humanitarian aid and evacuation of foreign nationals.

It was not immediately clear just how an international military operation and possible strikes against the Libyan military might unfold.

The United States and NATO partners have contingencies in place to act within hours, according to an administration official familiar with planning.

The contingencies include air strikes and cruise missile attacks designed to cripple Libyan air defenses and punish military units leading Gadhafi's push on opposition strongholds in the east, the official said.

U.S. President Barack Obama will insist on a major Arab role in any no-fly zone, the official said.

The Arab League's U.N. ambassador, Yahya Mahmassani, said two Arab countries would take part in a no-fly zone operation, but he was not sure which two.

U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Thursday that establishing a zone would take "upwards of a week."

But the U.S. military does not view a no-fly zone alone as sufficient to stop Gadhafi. Military officials have said that this move would not halt the heavy artillery the regime is using on the ground.

All commercial air traffic has been shut down in Libya, an official at Eurocontrol said on Friday.

Kaim, speaking in Tripoli, told reporters after the vote that the country will safeguard civilians and its territorial integrity. He called on the international community to send a fact-finding mission to the African nation but not lend material support to rebels.

The opposition, with devoted but largely untrained and under-equipped units, has suffered military setbacks this week. But their hopes were buoyed by the U.N. vote, particularly in rebel-held Benghazi, where an assault by pro-Gadhafi forces has been expected.

The resolution singles out the city. It says U.N. member states can "take all necessary measures ... to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force."

Gadhafi's son Saadi told CNN Thursday evening that troops will change their tactics and take up positions around Benghazi Saturday or Sunday and assist people fleeing from the city.

The younger Gadhafi said there will be no large-scale assault. Instead police and anti-terrorism units will be sent into the rebel stronghold to disarm the opposition. Unspecified humanitarian groups can help with the exodus of civilians from Benghazi, Saadi Gadhafi said.

In a radio address aired on Libyan state TV, Gadhafi criticized residents of Benghazi and called them "traitors" for seeking help from outsiders.

Along with France, Britain and the United States voted for the resolution, which condemns the "gross and systematic violation of human rights, including arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, torture and summary executions."

It details enforcement of an arms embargo against Libya, the freezing of assets and a ban on most flights.

"The United States stands with the Libyan people in support of their universal rights," said U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice.

The abstentions came from China, Russia, Germany, India, and Brazil. Germany said it was concerned about a protracted military conflict. China said it opposes the use of armed force in international relations.

CNN's Richard Roth, Arwa Damon, Nic Robertson, Tommy Evans, Elise Labott, John King, Alan Silverleib, Raja Razek, Jennifer Rizzo, Joe Vaccarello, Yousuf Basil and Reza Sayah, and journalist Mohamed Fadel Fahmy contributed to this report.

 

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The quote for the title of my post is some of the words of David Cameron, British Prime Minister.

What are the "interests"?  The answer is obvious.

Read on.... the words I've put in red is the best way that Libya should free itself from this dictator... not by the "Western Zealots"

West overzealous on Libya
Al Jazeera's senior political analyst discusses the risks and opportunities inherent in UNSC Resolution 1973.
Marwan Bishara Last Modified: 18 Mar 2011 14:02
2011318133338525738_20.jpg
Five countries abstained from voting in favour of the UNSC resolution calling for a no-fly zone in Libya [AFP]

Now that the United Nations Security Council resolution for a no-fly zone has been passed, how will it be implemented?

 

The UNSC Resolution 1973 has made it legal for the international community to protect the Libyan people from Muammar Gaddafi's lethal and excessive force - by, among other things, imposing a no-fly zone and carrying out military strikes and other military action short of occupation.

 

However, the overzealousness of certain Western powers like Britain, France and, as of late, the US, to interpret the resolution as an open-ended use of force, is worrisome. With their long history of interference and hegemony in the region, their political and strategic motivation remains dubious at best. Likewise, their rush to use air force individually or collectively could prove morally reprehensible - even if legally justified - if they further complicate the situation on the ground.

 

This sounds like 'damned if they do, damned if they don't'?

 

Well, the onus is on these Western powers to prove that their next move and actions are based on a strictly humanitarian basis and are not meant as a down payment for longer-term interference in Libyan and regional affairs.

 

They need to demonstrate how their 'change of heart' from supporting the Gaddafi dictatorship over several years to condemning him as a war criminal and acting to topple him, is not motivated by more of the same narrow national and Western strategic interest.

 

Unfortunately, the Libyan dictator's statements and actions (and his recent cynical and contradictory threats and appeals) have played into Western hands, making it impossible for Libyans, like Tunisians and Egyptians before them, to take matters into their own hands.

 

Those who abstained at the UN Security Council, including Germany, India and Brazil, wanted to co-operate in charting a brighter future for Libya, but are also suspicious of the overzealous French and British eagerness to jump into a Libyan quagmire with firepower.

 

What then should Libyans, Arabs and other interested global powers do to help Libya avoid a terrible escalation to violence or a major humanitarian disaster?

 

Now that the international community has given the Libyan revolutionaries a protective umbrella that includes a full range of military and humanitarian actions, it is incumbent upon the Libyan opposition to mobilise for mass action in every city and town both in the east and west and challenge the regime's militias.

 

As the Libyan regime loses its civilian, tribal and international legitimacy, so will his security base be shaken over the next few days and weeks.

 

In fact, if the Libyan revolutionaries avoid complacency and exploit their newly gained legitimacy and protection in order to work more closely with their Arab neighbours and to demonstrate their political and popular weight in the country, the regime could very well implode from within.

 

The most effective and constructive way to use the newly mandated use of force by the UN Security Council is to use as little of it, as accurately, as selectively as possible, and ideally not use it at all. It is still possible for the threat of the use of international force, coupled with domestic popular pressure, to bring down the weakened regime.

 

An escalation to an all out war is in no one's interest, especially Libya's.

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Have to agree that the Western world intervening is completly in there own interests and will more than likely make the situation worse.

 

The rebles were doing very well on there own and I think eventually there nieghbours would have stepped in and supported there cause.

 

We f**ked up allowing Abdelbaset al-Megrahi to be released and become a national hero, but were doing even worse getting involved for all the wrong reasons.

 

As others have stated humanitarian aid and intervention would have been a better way forward in this current situation.

 

I'm sorry to say this but current Western leaders are weak, self indulgent and very poor as representatives of there respected countries.

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For those of you jumping to a knee-jerk ideological assumption that this is the West intervening and that the rebels were doing fine without them, please take note of the facts:

 

This military action is mandated by the United Nations Security Council

 

It has the cooperation and backing of neighboring Arab nations

 

Europeans are largely in the lead

 

The rebels were being slaughtered and pushed back by Ghaddafi forces, which were using heavy military assets against them.

 

Facts do have value.

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Are the West all 'zealots'? I think it's absurd to say all the problems of Iraq and Afghanistan are the fault of the Western man, because they're not necessarily. So no, Western politics is not entirely made up of zealots.

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For those of you jumping to a knee-jerk ideological assumption that this is the West intervening and that the rebels were doing fine without them, please take note of the facts:

 

This military action is mandated by the United Nations Security Council

 

It has the cooperation and backing of neighboring Arab nations

 

Europeans are largely in the lead

 

The rebels were being slaughtered and pushed back by Ghaddafi forces, which were using heavy military assets against them.

 

Facts do have value.

Speak for yourself for "knee-jerk" reactions.  I have been following the Libyan events for some weeks now and have never once agreed with Westerners going into Libya to "liberate" the Libyans.  

It is the West intervening, despite UN backing.  It's also worth noting that Brazil, Russia, India, China and Germany did not veto the resolution.  That's 5 of the biggest countries in the world!  That's saying a LOT!  Germany, especially, did not feel comfortable with the wording of the resolution, especially the use of "believe" as it is too open-ended.

These are the key points:
  • Demands "the immediate establishment of a ceasefire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians".
  • Demands that Libyan authorities "take all measures to protect civilians and meet their basic needs, and to ensure the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance".
  • Authorises UN member states "to take all necessary measures ... to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory".
  • Decides "to establish a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians", but says humanitarian flights and flights authorised by the UN and Arab League can take place.
  • Strengthens the arms embargo imposed on February 26 by calling on UN member states "to inspect in their territory, including airports and seaports, and on the high seas, vessels and aircraft bound to or from" Libya if the country has information with "reasonable grounds" to believe the cargo contains banned military items, or that armed mercenaries are being transported.
  • Orders all states to prevent any Libyan owned, operated, or registered aircraft - or any aircraft believed to be carrying prohibited weapons or mercenaries - to take off, land or overfly their territory without prior approval from the UN committee monitoring sanctions.
  • Adds travel bans on the Libyan ambassador to Chad and the governor of Ghat, both directly involved in recruiting mercenaries for the Libyan regime of Muammar Gaddafi.
  • Extends an asset freeze to seven more individuals including three additional Gaddafi children, the defence minister, the director of military intelligence, the director of the external security organisation, and the secretary for utilities.
  • Freezes the assets of five key financial institutions: the Central Bank, the Libyan Investment Authority, the Libyan Foreign Bank, Libyan Africa Investment Portfoilio, and the Libyan National Oil Corporation.
  • Asks Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to establish an eight-member panel of experts to help the UN sanctions committee monitor implementation of sanctions against Libya.

The Arabs are deferring action to the international community without suggestions as to how that action should be implemented, and with no firm commitment for their own direct involvement. The Arab League ministers state that a no-fly zone should only be for the purpose of protecting Libyan civilians, and should end as quickly as possible. They continue to express concern over foreign intervention, while requesting precisely that. Their ambivalence is palpable.

Europeans are largely in the lead?  You say this like it's deferring responsibility from the U.S.  You for one have been one who always wanted Europe to lead the interventional crusade into Libya.  The fact is that only France and England are only 2 countries in Europe who are involved in this charade.  They do not represent Europe.  They represent their own selfish reasons for entering the country.  Germany has made a bold statement to these countries by not vetoing the security council's resolution.  If it all pans out badly, Europe will not be to blame.  England, France and U.S. will.

Let's not forget that the rebels chose to go to war against Gadaffi.  It's a choice they made.  Why are Western countries so concerned about Gadaffi murdering his own people, when they are not concerned with many other countries doing the same thing right now?  Where is the consistency?  It's an excuse.  An excuse to secure the oil and distribute it through their own corporations. The resolution was only passed because the price of oil has risen and is not likely to come down until there is stability in Libya because companies are reluctant to port in Libya and if they pay for the oil they are unsure who they pay - Gadaffi or the rebels.  So there is your answer:  it's not to save the Libyans, but to bring stability back to the region and get the oil industry in that country back to full production so that the price of oil comes back down to more manageable levels.

You're right:  facts do have value. 

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[quote name='mummy wrote:


security_in_anonymity']For those of you jumping to a knee-jerk ideological assumption that this is the West intervening and that the rebels were doing fine without them, please take note of the facts:

 

 

 

This military action is mandated by the United Nations Security Council

 

 

 

It has the cooperation and backing of neighboring Arab nations

 

 

 

Europeans are largely in the lead

 

 

 

The rebels were being slaughtered and pushed back by Ghaddafi forces, which were using heavy military assets against them.

 

 

 

Facts
do
have value.

Speak for yourself for "knee-jerk" reactions.  I have been following the Libyan events for some weeks now and have never once agreed with Westerners going into Libya to "liberate" the Libyans.  

It is the West intervening, despite UN backing.  It's also worth noting that Brazil, Russia, India, China and Germany did not veto the resolution.  That's 5 of the biggest countries in the world!  That's saying a LOT!  Germany, especially, did not feel comfortable with the wording of the resolution, especially the use of "believe" as it is too open-ended.

These are the key points:
  • Demands "the immediate establishment of a ceasefire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians".
  • Demands that Libyan authorities "take all measures to protect civilians and meet their basic needs, and to ensure the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance".
  • Authorises UN member states "to take all necessary measures ... to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory".
  • Decides "to establish a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians", but says humanitarian flights and flights authorised by the UN and Arab League can take place.
  • Strengthens the arms embargo imposed on February 26 by calling on UN member states "to inspect in their territory, including airports and seaports, and on the high seas, vessels and aircraft bound to or from" Libya if the country has information with "reasonable grounds" to believe the cargo contains banned military items, or that armed mercenaries are being transported.
  • Orders all states to prevent any Libyan owned, operated, or registered aircraft - or any aircraft believed to be carrying prohibited weapons or mercenaries - to take off, land or overfly their territory without prior approval from the UN committee monitoring sanctions.
  • Adds travel bans on the Libyan ambassador to Chad and the governor of Ghat, both directly involved in recruiting mercenaries for the Libyan regime of Muammar Gaddafi.
  • Extends an asset freeze to seven more individuals including three additional Gaddafi children, the defence minister, the director of military intelligence, the director of the external security organisation, and the secretary for utilities.
  • Freezes the assets of five key financial institutions: the Central Bank, the Libyan Investment Authority, the Libyan Foreign Bank, Libyan Africa Investment Portfoilio, and the Libyan National Oil Corporation.
  • Asks Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to establish an eight-member panel of experts to help the UN sanctions committee monitor implementation of sanctions against Libya.

The Arabs are deferring action to the international community without suggestions as to how that action should be implemented, and with no firm commitment for their own direct involvement. The Arab League ministers state that a no-fly zone should only be for the purpose of protecting Libyan civilians, and should end as quickly as possible. They continue to express concern over foreign intervention, while requesting precisely that. Their ambivalence is palpable.

Europeans are largely in the lead?  You say this like it's deferring responsibility from the U.S.  You for one have been one who always wanted Europe to lead the interventional crusade into Libya.  The fact is that only France and England are only 2 countries in Europe who are involved in this charade.  They do not represent Europe.  They represent their own selfish reasons for entering the country.  Germany has made a bold statement to these countries by not vetoing the security council's resolution.  If it all pans out badly, Europe will not be to blame.  England, France and U.S. will.

Let's not forget that the rebels chose to go to war against Gadaffi.  It's a choice they made.  Why are Western countries so concerned about Gadaffi murdering his own people, when they are not concerned with many other countries doing the same thing right now?  Where is the consistency?  It's an excuse.  An excuse to secure the oil and distribute it through their own corporations. The resolution was only passed because the price of oil has risen and is not likely to come down until there is stability in Libya because companies are reluctant to port in Libya and if they pay for the oil they are unsure who they pay - Gadaffi or the rebels.  So there is your answer:  it's not to save the Libyans, but to bring stability back to the region and get the oil industry in that country back to full production so that the price of oil comes back down to more manageable levels.

You're right:  facts do have value. 

even if I should say Amen I must add that not only France and England are involved....unfortunately
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Of course not only are France and England involved but there are only 5 European countries on the UN Security Council at present: France and the UK are permanently on it but Germany, Bosnia Herzegovina, and Portugal are present members.

 

If you would like to read the resolution, you can find it here:

 

http://daccess-dds-ny.un....N1126839.pdf?OpenElement

 

Paragraphs 13 and 18 are the notable paragraphs that are open to interpretation. Don't be surprised if France, UK and US kill "friendlies" due to their "mistakes" of "believing" that individuals or aircraft were used for the purposes mentioned in those paragraphs.

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