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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
... Libya?

I have missed quite a few bulletins over here, things has moved on and I've lost touch.

We started to enforce a UN-backed no-fly-zone to protect citizens.

So... are the planes shooting Libyan aircraft and tanks to:
  • Undermine Gaddafi?
  • Protect the Rebels?
  • Support the Rebels?
  • Protect civilians from Gaddafi?
  • Protect civilians from the Rebels?
  • Misc depending on who you ask?
When they first started it was to stop a bloody assault on Benghazi, where the Rebels were on the verge of collapse.

So are the Rebels:
  • Civilians in the need of protection?
  • Now combatants and not civilians, hence not eligible for UN protection?
Seriously, what is going on? I'm lost!:confused:
 
G

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The UN resolution wasn't dictated as a no-fly zone that everyone expected it to be. Instead it stated the following in paragraph #4
Protection of civilians:

4. Authorises member states that have notified the secretary-general, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in co-operation with the secretary-general, to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), 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, and requests the member states concerned to inform the secretary-general immediately of the measures they take pursuant to the authorization conferred by this paragraph which shall be immediately reported to the Security Council
Which basically endorses ANY action to be taken to protect civilians but falls short of sending troops into the country.

Full UN resolution and analysis HERE
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Although not knowing it word for word, that matches what I understood the UN resolution was drawn up for.

However, press coverage as it stands seems to suggest that "protection" of civilians seems to be very much inline with the non-civilian aims of the rebel forces.

That is the bit that confuses me.
a) are we really getting a decent idea from the press of what UK tax money is paying for in these operations?
b) what part of the UN resolution makes attacking Gaddafi's forces OK, if he is targeting armed rebels who are arguably combatants, not civilians? After all, the specific, voiced threat to Benghazi has now arguably passed...

If the connection is there, I don't see it and must have missed it.
Hoping someone can fill in those blanks...
 

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Hmmm - seems like nonsense to me.

If someone asked me to describe a "no-fly zone", it would involve stopping anyone else taking to the air, and anyone who was in the air would be intercepted / escorted back to base / shot across the bows (a nautical term, but you know what I mean) / shot down if necessary or as a last resort. Plus option to defend oneself 'robustly'.

What's happening in Libya is simply taking sides.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not necessarily against regime change or getting Ghadafi out, but if that's what we're going to do then let's at least be honest about it and call it what it is.
 
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You've gotta remember though that although the various states asked the UN to dictate a NO FLY ZONE they didn't, instead the UN dictated Protect civilians by "all necessary measures" which goes further than a no-fly zone. It's one of the things that angered a lot of arab states that were supporting the request for a No-fly zone
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I know what you're saying Kymmy, but that does not clarify nor explain the existance of a very strong correlation between Rebel advances and UN, now NATO, airstrikes. What I am trying to ascertain is if that is just coincidentally down to the "protection" of citizens, or are airstrikes intentionally aligned with anti-Gaddafi forces

It seems to me, based on what I see and read that this is indeed as Twickers suggests: action specifically against Gaddafi, regardless of what the resolution stipulates, in which case, lets just call it what it is!!
 
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If the rebel forces wasn't there then the UN resolution wouldn't exist. It is though a convenient way of forcing the regime change that most countries have wanted for 30+ years
 

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It's funny that if you are a civilian living on top of a large reserve of oil, the UN can pass a very quick and far reaching resolution to "protect" you. But if you happen to be in Myanmar or Burma, (or other parts of the world for that matter) call it whatever you like, the UN Security Council always struggle to find any agreement and fails to act as the aggression and violence shown by the Giunta against its people is to be considered as an "internal" matter....
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If the rebel forces wasn't there then the UN resolution wouldn't exist. It is though a convenient way of forcing the regime change that most countries have wanted for 30+ years
That is where the UN resolution falls down on it's own logic.

Seems protesting civilians were in danger of harsh/lethal clamp downs by Gaddafi's forces before the Rebels coalesced and tooled-up in the East. In much the same way as protesters have been shot in several other countries: Syria, Bahrain, Iran etc.

So., according to the UN, if it is a fighter jet or a tank it's a threat to civilians, if it is a sidearm, it's not....
 
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At that point though the Lybian air force wasn't attacking their own people and snipers were not killing civilians and tanks were not blasting indiscriminately..

Just look at the actions by some Lybian air force pilots in the last few months defecting or ejecting due to the new orders to attack innocent people, if his own pilots has suddenly been forced to take such actions then you know that the escalation was not for the good of the lybian people but some poor attempt at Gaddafi to keep control. Previous to this the regime has been tolerated upto a point which he has now crossed
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
At that point though the Lybian air force wasn't attacking their own people and snipers were not killing civilians and tanks were not blasting indiscriminately..
But I do believe some protesters were being shot at. Gaddafi didn't just escalate from threats to heavy armour and air to ground missiles

It took Libyan airstrikes to provoke an international response.

So I guess, as long as the Saudis in Bahrain or Syrians stick to assault rifles, they won't get a look in....

Can I clarify this, then?

Do you feel that the correlation between Rebel advances and NATO action is coincidental, a consequence of moves to protect civilians, and not a coordinated effort to support the rebels?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
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As it should do, remember that the UN resolution only protects civilians and not rebels so if the rebels started using weapons against civilians then the coalition should be forced to act.

To many people look for hidden meanings/reasons behind stuff like this where in simple terms it's all about using weapons of war (which doesn't normally count guns unless in extreme circumstances otherwise a police force would be in contradiction) against unarmed civilians. Also you need definitive proof that this is happening.. Easy for back door troops to go into a dissident house and remove everyone never to be seen again but harder to use and aircraft/tank to fire explosive munitions at said house.

Remember that in Bahrain it's not a rebel army against another army with civilians being targeted by one army, instead it's armed civilians (bricks/guns) putting themselves into harms way by mass protest which is their choice.. Sorry to say but that's partially how the UN has to look at it.
 

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Interesting link.

Needs sound:
BBC News - Today - Nato protection 'applies to both sides' in Libya

NATO rep seems unwilling to commit to a straight answer on whether the same applies to threbels as to Gaddafi should the tables turn amongst other things.
I think that the hope is that Gadaffi goes before the situation is reached that NATO becomes the Rebels Air Force.
When he goes I suppose NATO can ease off and let them negotiate.
Then we'll give 'em the bill. ; - 0
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
As it should do, remember that the UN resolution only protects civilians and not rebels so if the rebels started using weapons against civilians then the coalition should be forced to act.

To many people look for hidden meanings/reasons behind stuff like this where in simple terms it's all about using weapons of war (which doesn't normally count guns unless in extreme circumstances otherwise a police force would be in contradiction) against unarmed civilians. Also you need definitive proof that this is happening.. Easy for back door troops to go into a dissident house and remove everyone never to be seen again but harder to use and aircraft/tank to fire explosive munitions at said house.

Remember that in Bahrain it's not a rebel army against another army with civilians being targeted by one army, instead it's armed civilians (bricks/guns) putting themselves into harms way by mass protest which is their choice.. Sorry to say but that's partially how the UN has to look at it.
Well, you did not really answer my question on what you thought the answer was.

As far as how the UN acts, I have not heard of armed protesters in Bahrain. Maybe there are. Nonetheless, being armed with a brick is hardly justification for deadly force. And protesting should not be viewed as putting oneself in harms way.

And what are the Libyan rebels if not armed civilians with a handful of army defectees? I certainly have heard nothing about armed protesters in Syria: only police gunning down protesters.

Regarding what can be proved. It has long been known that all these places seem to place a very low price on the life of citizens: a person dead by a bullet or a tank shell is still a person dead, who shouldn't be.

In my eyes it doesn't give much credibility to the UN regardless how they act... Call me a paranoid conspiracy theorist, but I don't buy the reasons we are fed by the UN and our leaders as to why we are acting in North Africa: too many inconsistencies.
 

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To my mind it's a complete mess .

Also ( deviating from topic a bit ), I think this mess is partly due to the way deposing Gaddafi has been handled . They blocked access / froze all his funds , and didn't let him go anywhere. I know it may not always be the moral thing to do , but if you want a dictator to step down then being pragmatic, you have to let him keep at least some of his money and give him somewhere to go. If he can't go anywhere and can't access at least some of his ill-gotten gains, then he has nothing to lose ( and potentially everything to gain ) by staying put and trying to tough it out.

Which is exactly what we have here . Unpalatable though it may be , a deal needs to be struck.

Go now, take XX millions, and s*d off to France or Swtzerland or somewhere and keep out of it, otherwise we WILL stop your bank accounts. Job done.
 
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Well, you did not really answer my question on what you thought the answer was.
I didn't answer it as my answer would be against the forum rules in advocating breaking the law.. but it does involve a barrett m99 inserted into a body cavity..
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
As long as the body cavity were attached to a North African megalomaniac, and not a Baltic-based Honda/Ural enthusiast, then I am a little more relaxed about said .50 calibre flying about...
 

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On the issue of the effect of the resolution:

As Kymmy has said, the resolution authorises any member of the UN to take military action to protect civilians. The French, Americans and we seem to assume that anything controlled by the Libyan government is going to be used to attack them and is therefore fair game. If they are right, their actions are justified and legal (whatever legal means in an international context)

They should also use military actions against anything they thought was going to be used by the rebels against civilians. However, as the rebels are so much more lightly equipped, they provide less visible and smaller targets. Gadaffi has got a lot of military hardware which makes him easier to hit than a rebel, so even if the bombing was entirely even-handed, it would be likely to hit him harder. He doesn't seem to have learned from his disastrous defeat in the "Toyota War" with Chad (see wikipedia).

On the issue raised by Twickers.

I couldn't agree more. I wrote a letter to the Times weeks ago to the same effect. The chief prosecutor of the International War Crimes Tribunal is strutting about saying that Gadaffi can't escape and the whole World is saying he has no future. He has to fight on. WE are forcing him to. He doesn't need my money but I would happily send a contribution of £100 to a fund to buy him a nice stretch of the Italian or French Mediterranean coast and allow him to go there and live unmolested, provided he did it NOW. There are higher causes than individual justice and it seems to me that saving a single life is more important than successfully prosecuting him for his misdeeds. And hundreds of people are dying each day. That's what liberal opinion is doing.
 
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