What next in Libya? The initial demonstration of strength we saw yesterday is really just the beginning. (Follow live updates here.)

Don't count your chickens yet, mate. Pic: AFP

As US Defence Secretary Gates has rightly observed “a no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya to destroy the air defences”. This underscores the inevitability of escalation for which a no-fly zone has set the scene, one way or another.

Even if Gaddafi, out of character, orders his aircraft or ground installations not to engage the foreign forces from here on, or they revolt out of fear or relief, that is not the end of it.

Any military operation requires strict adherence to what are called Rules of Engagement (RoE) that determine the instances in which force can be used. At its most rudimentary level this is often “don’t fire unless fired upon” and in the instance of a no-fly zone includes sufficient numbers of warning to any unauthorized aircraft.

But these rules rarely account for moral considerations that an individual soldier – or pilot – might encounter.

For example, an aircraft policing a no-fly zone might spot a helicopter gunship mowing down citizens as has been a frequent occurrence during the turmoil. Should that pilot wait to deliver perhaps the required three warnings or should they shoot down the gunship immediately?

What about if a pilot spots an equally horrific massacre of innocent civilians by ground forces? According to the principles of a running not setting up a no-fly zone generally they would be required to stand idly by. But should they? Could they? Would they?

Pilots are humans too and you can expect them to have a human response. The danger is that one overreach on the principles of a no-fly zone compels an escalation in the method of intervention by the Western forces to something more than simply monitoring the skies.

But that is not necessarily a bad thing.

The no-fly zone is a relatively painless first step that is serving as a dramatic warning to the despot leader to back down. Gaddafi’s departure is widely considered the circuit breaker of the situation. And on balance with an American F-18 now occasionally screaming over his palace he is more likely to want to get out of the country.

Ultimately it is a game of risk. Whether it will take a no-fly zone in its current form or an escalation to a full scale air campaign to knock down Gaddafi we don’t know. This is what we saw with Operation Deny Flight, the UN sanctioned no-fly zone imposed over Bosnia between 1993-95, that was expanded to include close air support and coercive air strikes.

But both are much less costly, lengthy, bloody and confronting than a land campaign with troops that would have the sniff of an occupying force and President Obama has rejected outright.

We should remember that at the end of the day, the Libyans themselves were crying out for change and we have a responsibility to not stand idly by as a humanitarian crisis unfolded.

In international affairs there is a widely accepted doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) championed by former Foreign Minister Gareth Evans. Under certain conditions the international community has a responsibility to override sovereignty to protect the citizens of other countries from various atrocities.

The UN’s statement two weeks ago on Libya was the strongest ever endorsement of the R2P principle and provided a strong basis for action even if Russia or China had vetoed rather than abstained from the UN vote as long as there was broad consensus in the international community.

The time for sanctions and the freezing of assets long passed with violence only escalating. With a majority of Western citizens evacuated away from fear of reprisal attacks it was about time we took the next step.

Military options should always be a last resort. But realistically what else was there that we could do?

We should remember that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing and hold our breath that Gaddafi will back down soon before any escalation occurs.

Thom Woodroofe can be followed on Twitter @thomwoodroofe

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    • Scarneck says:

      11:58am | 21/03/11

      Once again, I’m not so sure the UN and others have thought this through too thoroughly - What if there is some truth to the claim by Gaddafi that the rebels have been infiltrated by Al-Qaeda? Who takes control if Gaddafi is removed from power?

    • John A Neve says:

      07:19pm | 21/03/11

      Just where did you get your “tens of thousands of innocents”?
      As to being “narrow minded”, all the information at this stage points to an oil based invasion. If this is not the case, please tell why the UN and the good old Us of A haven’t moved into Africa?
      Many of the African states and countries there have killed, dispossessed and tortured thousands.

    • acotrel says:

      07:31pm | 21/03/11

      A no fly zone in LIbya?  It all depends on the interpretation of the UN dictum. - She’ll be right, mate! - It’s all under control.

    • Jugg says:

      10:35am | 22/03/11


      How do you reconcile your theory, given that there are huge amounts of oil in Africa?  When I say huge, I mean ‘huge’.  This defeats your own theory.

    • Traxster says:

      11:24am | 22/03/11

      If not Al-Qaeda,keep an eye on the Mullahs,they’ll be sniffing around in there somewhere.

    • John A Neve says:

      02:19pm | 22/03/11


      Yes, there is oil in Africa, based on what little I’ve read, small amounts, although more could be found. However, there is no infrastructure and to build such would take time and big dollars.

      So sorry Jugg, this has no bearing on my case, there is a big difference between none resources and pie in the sky.

      What do you have to support your case Jugg?

    • Jugg says:

      03:17pm | 22/03/11

      Yes, your efforts must have been very little.


      That was 2005 and obviously there is more.  Using that as a calculation, is nearly 33 million barrels of oil PER DAY a ‘small amout’ of known resources.

      At current rates of say $100 per barrel.

      $3 300 000 000 USD per day.

      Peanuts really.

      (Oh and that’s with the apparent lack of infrastructure you speak about)

    • John A Neve says:

      04:04pm | 22/03/11


      It is a known fact that for every expert who says one thing you can find one that says the opposite. But I’ll repeat all the reports I’ve read suggest, known African oil reserves are small compared to the middle east. As to infrastructure, there is no comparision.

      But this is of course getting of the topic, the fact is there is no valid reason for the UN of the US of A getting involved in Libya other than oil.

    • Jugg says:

      04:19pm | 22/03/11


      There’s no argument on there being no oil in Africa.  Your assertions are silly.

      Yes, you are right, a Dictator should be allowed to slaughter his country’s people any time he likes.  Preventing him doing that could never be justifed under any circumstances.

    • John A Neve says:

      07:15pm | 22/03/11

      There has never been an argument about oil in Africa, so what is your point?

      As to your “tens of thousands of innocents”, we have already been down that path. Not only are the numbers inflated, but you are unable to deny the fact that they may be revolutionaries or insurgents.

      Like it or not, this is a repeat of Iraq, this is about replacing Gaddafi with some American puppet.

    • John A Neve says:

      12:10pm | 21/03/11

      The real question here is, are the UN and the good old US of A going to invade every country where those in power kill some of their population?

      Or will they only invade those that have oil?

      An even more important question is, will Australia continue to be subservient to the good old US of A in these matters?

      Is the lose of young Australian lives of less importance than sucking up to the good old UA of A?

    • Jugg says:

      12:56pm | 21/03/11

      Oil deals were already done in Libya prior to this.  When Libya signed the nuclear disarmament, trade became more open and oil was already being sold out of Libya.

    • John A Neve says:

      04:28pm | 21/03/11


      Oil deals were being done in Iraq, we still invaded them!
      So what is your point?

      The reality is America want control of oil, they want leaders who are compliant to their wishes.

    • Jugg says:

      06:56pm | 21/03/11


      The French has the oil deals in Iraq, that’s why they weren’t part of the coalition forces initially.  Oil moves regardless of who’s in power.  The country that has the resource needs the wealth and so sells it to the international community.  It doesn’t matter who’s in control, they still export the oil.  Whomever pays, buys.

      Any thoughts about the tens of thousands of innocents as a motivator?

      Feel free to maintain your narrow minded outlook if it helps you feel better.

    • acotrel says:

      07:26pm | 21/03/11

      Who was the guy who was involved in the Lockerbie disaster, and got released and repatriated,  just when the Brits were doing an oil deal with LIbya?

    • the pieman says:

      12:12pm | 21/03/11

      Its tough to make an informed comment as we are playing a stacked deck here.
      1 We dont want the citizens murdered

      2 We would like gaddaffi out, a better option maybe an open election.

      3 Who gave the orders to Obama to go into shooting mode.
      ( He would not be able to make this decision; between vacationing, playing golf, eating icecreams and tipping ball games.)

      4 Why did the allies keep out of it till it had got to such an advanced stage.

      5 Could it be that this war has been manouvered and planned by persons unknown. With a view of jacking up the price of oil; or gaining more control of the oil fields

      Are these same elite people the same people who run the worlds reserve Banks?
      Thats what has me in a fix.

    • Kika says:

      01:17pm | 21/03/11

      The Arab League decided to approve the no fly zone, not the shape shifters. Not this time, unfortunately Pieman.

    • John A Neve says:

      02:02pm | 21/03/11

      What has a No Fly Zone got to do with bombing tanks and trucks?

    • Mick says:

      03:36pm | 21/03/11

      in order to create a no fly zone you need to eliminate the enemy’s ability to shoot your planes out of the sky. You have to remove his anti air, radar and support systems. Taking out trucks that can repair AA sites, AA batteries and thier support structures, im guessing the tanks where probably just targets of oportunity or collateral damage.

    • John A Neve says:

      04:34pm | 21/03/11

      Based on what I’ve read to date, we’ve used missiles!
      Missiles could have been used to destroy their runways. No the fact is the UN and the good old US of A want a change of leadership. This is about destroying Gaddafi’s army. It has little to do with a No Go Zone.

    • Bruce says:

      05:00pm | 21/03/11

      Not sure why we are bothering to help. The west will eventually be critisized for their involvement, no matter what the outcome.

    • Scotty says:

      05:03pm | 21/03/11

      HEHEHE So much for giving Obama the Noble Peace Prize. Now they are interfering in sovereign countries in the middle east. Who is Rudd and Obama going after next, what fools. China,  Nth Korea, Burma, some other African oil countries they do not like the look of. Gillard is also implicit in this and just shows how desperate Rudd is to prove himself he is willing to bring down other countries as he and Gillard are doing to Australia. Third World stuff.

    • Tator says:

      05:47pm | 21/03/11

      it is about equalising the playing fields.  Plus establishing the NFZ also means taking out all air defences, many of which are actually armoured vehicles and look like tanks to the unfamiliar with armoured vehicles (ZSU 23-4 Shilka for example which Libya has 250 of).  Plus if you were a NATO pilot tasked with enforcing a NFZ but saw an armoured unit slaughtering civilians, wouldn’t you take action???  Tank plinking anyone.

    • Jugg says:

      06:58pm | 21/03/11


      Tanks and Trucks have the capacity to bring down planes.

      @ The Punch - that you edit a perfectly reasonable and polite response to the pieman, demonstrates you have little interest in freedom of speech (isn’t that what the media is all about???)

    • Gregg says:

      01:12pm | 21/03/11

      You really have to wonder about the mentality of some of our supposed world leaders as if something like Iraq and Afghanistan is not enough, not to mention Vietnam for the USA.

      Like over in the Balkans there was massive genocide and it took so long before there was action to curtail it.
      Here we have had a number of uprisings against leaders, and the reaction by different leaders varying.
      Gadaffi may be something of a weirdo and a mean one at that if pushed but he has been the accepted leader of Libya no matter what thoughts there are of him.

      Groups of militants have used the situation in other countries to sum up the courage to defy his control of the country and in any other country you would expect that force would be used to oppose militant rebels, the same thing happening in numerous places around the planet.

      Is it to be the way of the future destabilising of the planet with any country on the leader not liked list, a leader who does not conform to western standards and the country deemed weak enough, that force is to be used to remove the leadership?

      Bet my arse we’ll be going after Putin next, and what about Saudi Arabia, Myanmar, North Korea and then there’s all those persecuted in China.
      Even in France, they’ve been removing gypsies and so what if they start to rebel and then all the students are not too happy there or across the channel in the UK, so should we start making the UK a no fly zone too!

      The planet becomes a crazier place with each passing week and it’s not any global warming we should be concerned about.

    • Bill Cosby says:

      01:23pm | 21/03/11

      Gaddafi is fighting a rebel movement that has taken over areas of a country still under his rule, he is not exterminating a captive group of citizens, he is fighting a group of revolutionaries. With all opinions aside i think what he has been doing is deplorable, but it is up to the people of Libya to stand against him,as seen in the Egypt revolution. This is in no way any other countries business nor is it in anyones best interest to prologue this war through UN actions, which are bound to force a long and taxing stalemate that is in not in the Libyans best interests.

    • Robert S McCormick says:

      01:27pm | 21/03/11

      The despotic, murderous Libyan regime has said that “Children are volunteering to form part of the human shield being set up to protect Gaddafi”
      That is a lie. Gaddafi & his sons are forcing them to take part. Most of these little girls & boys would have no idea as to what they are doing nor the danger they are putting their own lives in.
      This action by Gaddafi & his sons is typical of cowards, They haven’t got the guts to come out & fight themselves. Doubtless they are spending their time in amassing & smuggling out of Libya as much money as they can before they are thrown out - that is, of course, if they haven’t already stolen most of it already.
      Their turn will come for there is no place for them to run to and that drag-wearing lunatic & his sons will, eventually, face court - hopefully it will be of their own people or some Arab country. The Arabs do not easily forget nor are they particualrly gentle when it comes to the treatment they dish out to their criminals!

    • John A Neve says:

      02:09pm | 21/03/11

      Robert S,

      If only all the people in the world were like you. A world free of bias would be a world worth living in.
      How do you dream up such crap?
      I liked you Gay touch, that injected a little colour into your post.

    • TheRealDave says:

      02:47pm | 21/03/11

      I like the bit where Ghaddafi organised his ‘Human Shields’ to come into his compound and he would address them, defy the ‘Crusaders’ and all that…..then word got out the bombings started and the ‘Heroic Leader’ chose to address his ‘people’ via phone…from somewhere else…..surprisingly the assembled masses decided to depart.

      You couldn’t write better comedy…..and I’ve watched a season of Jimeoin

    • John Guru says:

      02:31pm | 21/03/11

      It is pretty plain to see that they (France,Britain, USA) are applying the old Iraq plot/strategy steps:
      1.Obtain UN resolution to impose sanctions - tick now as done
      2.Obtain UN resolution to impose a no-fly zone - tick now as done
      3. Use No-fly zone resolution to destroy all defences - in progress
      4. Keep no fly zone and sanctions in place until country is bought to its knees - still to come
      5. When country is a basket case, find a pretence to overthrow the leader and invade the country and gain control over it’s oil reserves -  still to come
      This appears to me to be the underlying strategy that is playing out in Libya.
      Don’t be fooled by the UN (France,Britain, USA) rhetoric, as we have seen it all before.
      You can’t say “the Libyans themselves were crying out for change ” - there is no information available to say that the majority of the Libyan population favor the rebels.  It seems to me that there are still a lot of Gaddafi supporters in Libya.
      Don’t forget that the rebel’s forces in Libya are armed and violent - they not innocent unarmed protesters.  Libya should be left alone to sort itself out without physical external interference.

    • Brett H says:

      02:44pm | 21/03/11

      This is hilariously hopeless commentary.

      The UN resolution authorised the possibility of bombing of ground forces as well as an NFZ, but does not allow for any ground invasion. The ROE you’re talking about is peacekeeping which this isn’t.

      What happens on the ground including any regime change is entirely up to the Libyan’s themselves. If Gaddafi still wins there will be a massive purge like no other and if the rebels win, who knows what will happen. We can assume the envoys from Britain have ascertained that the rebels are going to at least pay lip service to democracy but who can say.

      What we can say is that regardless of the intervention or not, Gaddafi is a raving loon who will purge his own people if he prevails. All NATO will do is level the war playing field, and put pressure on Gaddafi testing the actual loyalty of his army.

    • Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells says:

      03:18pm | 21/03/11

      USA left Britain and France in the lurch in the Suez crisis in 1956 - bet they do the same again if this one gets sticky…

    • AdamC says:

      03:54pm | 21/03/11

      Disgusted, actually, the US was furious that Britain and France attacked Nasser’s Egypt in the first place. I don’t know where your understanding come from, but it has no element of fact at all. The US, then as now, had a rather naive attitude to nationalistic socialists in the devloping world.

    • PaulB says:

      03:41pm | 21/03/11

      If this is “necessary” then an attack on Bahrain and Yemen is equally “necessary”.  Bahrain has a large American Naval base and, like the Saudis (who are helping suppress protest there), they are allies to America.  The silence on this is somewhat deafening if a little unsurprising.  Maybe the Americans just haven’t received their orders yet from their Mid-Eastern Masters.

    • stephen says:

      04:29pm | 21/03/11

      The US was caught in the middle here : It is already fighting two wars, one in Iraq and the other in Afghanistan. It didn’t want another, yet she did not want to stand by and have been in the awkward situation of a Rwanda, where UN incompetence caused the death of a million people.
      (Apparently, coming to a country’s assistance late involves ‘nightmare’ logistics, which makes the job not twice as hard, but a hundred.)

      What’s surprizing here is the apparent eagerness of France and Britain’s involvement. The former may have a debt to pay, (‘63 ?), but the UK ?
      Maybe they feel guilty over the Suez after all. (Or is it because Gaddafi really was the Lockerbie bomber, and was a payback under pressure from the US Administration ?)
      America is not after Libya’s oil.
      She signed oil agreements with Brazil a week ago, which will be the US’s major supplier of crude.

    • US Forces get the nod... says:

      04:38pm | 21/03/11

      Just more war crimes commited by France,the USA and the UK to control the flow of oil out of Libya and the defence of the Suez.
      I bet if Libiya was Suni and the protesters were Shite demanding one vote for one Shite like in Bahrain there would be no use of force….no..tomahawks…no killing of innocent people.

    • stephen says:

      05:13pm | 21/03/11

      I can well understand the reluctance of the US to go to this step. It is difficullt to bomb a leader out of existence without getting up close and personal.

      Additionally I am sure there are people in Washington crossing all their fingers and toes that Saudi Arabia doesn’t end up in the same situation.  As the Wikileaks expose shows the USA is in such a $$ OIL $$ dependent relationship with the Saudi’s & bending over taking it like a good friend should a internal bloodbath occur there it would be deeply distressing to have to explain any inaction.

      PS good to see the important issues of the day being heavily discussed 26 comments or this article over 100 for Julia having a boyfriend, not a wife to take to the royal wedding!

    • stephen says:

      11:21pm | 21/03/11

      If the US did not act, and there was a bloodbath, the only mob who would have some explaining to do would be the Arab League.
      There are maybe 4 ‘local’ Armies within 1 refuelling distance from Libya.
      So why didn’t they act, (especially the Saudis) and why now are they sqawking when civilians get killed ? The League pressured the UN to act, and they have.
      PS And you’ve got a crappy name.

    • Damian Parkhill says:

      06:06pm | 21/03/11

      The amount of people crying that there shouldn’t be a no fly zone make me want to be sick…....... you lot do know that if Gaddafi wins he has said he will slaughter every man, woman, child, goat, duck and other that was in anyway means or form associated with the rebellion - that he used a ceasefire he proposed to buy time to send Armour into the rebel capital so the Allies couldn’t bomb them? or how about the fact that while most of the western media sat on their collective rears and reported rehashes of inconsequential BS like Biber cutting his hair or the on-going conflict over the leadership of the ALP that over 8000 civilians have died already from aggression by the Libyan army? (Many thanks to the Guardian newspaper and Al Jazeera for doing everything they could to get the news out in the face of media blackouts, internet filters, satellite jamming, propaganda, dead journalists and pro-Gaddafi sock puppetting - Very very very VERY shameful that a Aussie should have to turn to another countries media to get updates on critical world events!)

      Show some damn compassion!

    • John A Neve says:

      06:41pm | 21/03/11


      Just what makes you think the Guardian or Al Jazeera are any more believable than the rest of the media?
      Assuming your 8,000 figure is correct? How many of them were revolutionaries?

      The fact remains they are Libyan people fighting in Libya, we would not be involved without their oil wells.

    • Damian Parkhill says:

      07:33pm | 21/03/11

      But oil still doesn’t change the fact that one hell of a lot of people are going to be saved in the process.

      The 8000 figure was published as a approximate by Benghazi’s ruling council but how many were revolutionaries is hard to count due to Gaddafi’s indiscriminate shelling of civilian area’s in rebel held towns (Best part is now his criticizing the US saying they hit civilian areas when he was doing the same!)  and his employment of snipers to kill anyone that might look like their a protester (also a well documented fact).

      As for the comment about if the media is reliable - most of the facts printed by both have appeared on other news sources after the bombing started, not to mention I’d trust live commentaries, collaborated reports and video by journalists on the ground over opinions posted on the Punch any-day raspberry (which seem to be callous and US hate driven).

      Also keep in mind that it can go the other way around…. after all, what news source has reported that America is in it for the oil? or what evidence do you have? keep in mind that America has taken a back seat in this and it was the -French- who dropped the first lot of some much needed democracy on Gaddafi’s troops, and also keep in mind that most of the no fly zone will be under control of the French, UK, UAE and Qatar (I didn’t even know until yesterday Qatar even had a airforce).

      At the end of the day I’d sooner see the Libyan army get some democracy dropped on it than leave those rebels to be slaughtered at the hands of Gaddafi, and who knows? maybe with enough luck Gaddafi will be defeated, the rebels will take the nation with as little force as possible and the world just -might- become a slightly better place.

    • John A Neve says:

      06:13am | 22/03/11

      Your comments regarding the reliability of your information is in disagreement with your first post! There you stated the Guardian and Al Jazeera were the only media to give us a true account.

      As to the result; the government of Libya the western world has lived and worked with for forty years. Now there is some thing wrong with them!
      We don’t even know the views of the rebels, but you seem to think they will make a better government! Come on Damian, what sort of warped thinking is that?

    • Damian Parkhill says:

      12:02pm | 22/03/11

      Nice try John but I didn’t say no reporting was happening full stop raspberry

      And nothing has been “ok” about the Libyan government or its relations to the west full stop, try and remember this is a dictatorship that has financed terrorist such as the West Berlin bombings during the 70’s and the Lockabie (not sure if spelled right?) bombings and also that the US has bombed them before over these actions - not to mention the regime’s long standing history of human rights violations.

      And yes we do know the view of the rebel’s - their view was that they shouldn’t be killed for peaceful protests and that they needed to take up arms to free their nation from Gaddafi…........ It is really as simple as that.

    • John A Neve says:

      02:28pm | 22/03/11


      I repeat, western governments have worked and traded with Libya for forty or more years.
      Yes, America has bombed them in the past, but let’s face it, they have bombed just about every one over time and supported despots as well.

      As to the rebels views; no one knows what they want, who they are or their real motivation. It could well be that they are CIA inspired.

      I repeat, they are being invaded for control of their oil and time will prove me right.

    • Michael R. says:

      07:13pm | 21/03/11

      Thom Woodroofe, like Kevin Rudd and Obama, is about to get an ugly lesson in consequentialism (the view that the value of an action derives solely from the value of its consequences). Once again these one-world interventionist enforcers of “universal aspirations” demonstrate how abundantly unqualified they are to bring about their much celebrated “change”. Change happens at the cultural and religious level (particularly important in Islamic countries where the retrograde force of fundamentalism is ever present). Toppling dictators without laying the groundwork to tame fundamentalist Islam is just offering the Arab world on a plate to the mullahs. Ideas have consequences but, alas, Woodroofe, Rudd and Obama demonstrate their ignorance of Islam but offering nothing but “confidence” that the “arc of history” will liberalise the Arab world. They are wrong. The Western world is on the decline, China is on the rise, and the Arab world is reverting to fundamentalist Islam. Enough of these lazy peddlers of “hope, change and tricky bits”, give us leaders who know the real forces that shape the world. Give us leaders who know Islam, like Geert Wilders.

      Robert Spencer: “... peaceful Muslims have never formulated an Islamic response to the jihadists’ claim to represent pure and true Islam—and as long as they do not and apparently cannot do so, the jihadists will continue to hold the intellectual initiative within Islamic communities worldwide”.

      Without acknowledging this unpleasant fact, the “hope and change” peddlers are empty vessels making an awful lot of teleprompted noise along the road to a neo-Ottoman Empire. For when the mullahs come marching, the moderates don’t have a theological leg to stand on.

    • James1 says:

      01:57pm | 22/03/11

      That Spencer article is badly dated, and as a result is factually incorrect.  You need to check out the debates within Islam, and particularly the Islamic scholarship coming out of Cairo the last few years about the nature of jihad (including a fatwa on suicide bombing as unIslamic).  Assuming you have decent Arabic skills, and given that you claim to know so much about internal debates in Islam, you must do.  Otherwise, you would just be an uninformed average joe commenting on something about which you know very little.  Or are you of the opinion that these silly Muslims should debating in English for our benefit?

    • Handicapper says:

      08:54pm | 21/03/11

      What a bunch of retards.
      I mean the ones who say it is about oil. I suspect these comments came in from the tribal lands in North Pakistan.
      Or the ones who think this is all Rudd’s fault. NO points for guessing where these retards put their check marks on voting day.
      Or the ones who think we are going after Putin next.
      Or the ones who think we just should have left Qaddafi to murder his own people on a grand scale and sat back and smoked our pipes whilst nodding wisely.

    • TCB 24 X 7 says:

      10:36pm | 21/03/11

      There are 20,000 reported incidents against Authority in China a year.
              Imagine another Tiananmen Square uprising.
      My Question would be then, how would the West deal with the Chinese.

    • Stew Henstock says:

      06:42am | 22/03/11

      My question….why is the US crusading in Libya when they did nothing in Sudan,Tiananmen Square,Burma,Korea etc etc etc
      It seems they like to pick and choose their targets.
      Can you imaging if the US parked a nuclear sub off the coast of China and launched 112 Tomahawks.
      Even the Arab League are opposed to the type of intervention being carried out.
      Another F for US foreign policy.Maybe they want to extend /heighten the war on terrorism.

    • johhny wright says:

      07:24am | 22/03/11

      Kevin’s gloating over being one of the first to think of blasting Libya’s NFZ reflects his lack of insight into the repercussions of a geo-politically devastating piece of gate-crashing. It is a good idea but it just won’t work as it has been designed by Obama and his European amateurs and promoted by our foreign minister’s shooting from the hip, all for the sake of getting his name into UN lights. For a moment it seemed he was about to offer some of our military forces to finish Gaddafi off quickly but then he remembered that we have no viable offensive or defensive resources…a frightening state of affairs that worsened during his prolix PM’ship.

    • Golly Gosh says:

      08:15am | 22/03/11

      I really have a ‘problem’ with the US waltzing in to any country they decide is in peril of ‘human rights’.  Sure, I totally agree this guy is a madman, but, does the west have the ‘right, as opposed to a moral obligation, to do as they please.  These types of acts are precisely what those countries rail about of the US.  I am not claiming right or wrong here, however, I am, dead against ‘firepower’ or ‘might is right’ in any circumstances.  Tell me please, ANY circumstances, where they outcome has been without more problems and heartbreak.

    • Jugg says:

      01:01pm | 22/03/11

      The US didn’t decide.  The UN did.

    • John A Neve says:

      03:00pm | 22/03/11


      The good old US of A is the UN.
      Many of the UN’s members don’t even pay their dues. The UN is broke, it’s soul purpose is as a front for the coalition of the willing.
      Like the old League of Nations the UN is a toothless tiger.

    • Jugg says:

      04:29pm | 22/03/11


      So I expect that the other 191 member nations of the United Nations will be surprised to hear you have determined they aren’t members.

      So let’s summarise…33 million barrels of oil per actual day being produced is only a small amount and 191 other member countries have absolutely no say in the running of the UN?

      Your myopic mentality is showing…

    • John A Neve says:

      07:27pm | 22/03/11

      I do wish you’d stick to the facts, keeping up with your imagination is difficult. Tell us all where have I ever stated that there aren’t other members of the UN?

      As to oil, what ever the amount and I doubt you figures, it’s small compared the the middle east. But even if you are correct, please tell us all why the UN and the good old US of A has not moved into Africa to remove their despots?

    • Jugg says:

      09:19pm | 22/03/11


      “The good old US of A is the UN.”

      Since they are moving into Libya ‘just for the oil’, why then aren’t they moving into Africa ‘just for the oil’ since we have established that there is 33 million barrels per day - apparently a small amount.

      You ask me to reference my source and I did, (you haven’t referenced a thing, just made a bunch of very silly statements) and so now you say ‘oh, I don’t believe it’...on that logic, there’s no point having an intelligent conversation with you. You can’s seem to have one.

    • John A Neve says:

      06:57am | 23/03/11

      It is a sad day when you have to ask me exactly what I have kept asking you! I’ve asked you at least twice why the UN and that good old US of A hasn’t thrown the despots out of Africa.

      As to the amount of oil in Africa, not really any thing to do with this debate.
      Even little research will prove me to be correct, the amount of known oil in Africa is far less than the middle east and in comparision the infrastructure is nonexistant.

      The attack on Libya is only about one thing, that is control of oil.

    • PJ says:

      03:33pm | 23/03/11


      JAN got ‘pwned!!!

    • Pete says:

      08:40am | 22/03/11

      Now the coalition needs to make sure Gaddafi is ousted, because if he isnt and he survives, How many airliners will fall out of the sky above some small village?

    • richo says:

      08:44am | 22/03/11

      Pro-democracy protesters in Bahrain are being shot down and murdered, yet the US refuses to intervene and in fact has spoken in support of the Bahrain leaders. So in one case (Libya) the US says we must fight for democracy and overthrow Gaddafi’s regime, yet in Bahrain they are fighting against democracy and aiding the leaders. Hypocrisy at its worst.

      In Egypt the US supported Mubarak, in Tunisia they supported Ben Ali, yet in Libya and Iran they went against the leaders. So they pick and choose where they want to support democracy protests and they pick and choose which atrocities to ignore and which to act against.

    • Bloggs says:

      12:28pm | 22/03/11

      Pro democracy people in Bahrain are Shi’ite Muslims and will nto support the US.  The rulers are Sunni and US sympathisers.  This is in fact part of the reason for wanting the rulers out, in addition to the ruling family being of the minority Sunni.

      Saudi is the opposite, ruled by Wahabi Sunni with Shi’ite as a minority, mainly in the East close to Bahrain.

      In Libya the USA does not have an ally.

      The US supports them who support the US. No surprises there.

    • Bloggs says:

      11:00am | 22/03/11

      Teh answer is to follow the RoE rigidly.  no question.

      But a better answer is to not get embroiled in other people’s squabbles at all.  Libya is none of the West’s business.  No-one in Libya will thanks them for it and no-one will care in another 20 years after another Gaddafi emerges to rule.  They cannot rule themselves and only a hard leader cna rule.  So we should just leave them alone to sort out their own mess.

    • Jugg says:

      12:18pm | 22/03/11

      I note the response of the pro-Democrat, Hollywood celebrity based Democrat supporters who rallied against George Bush over his willingness to go to war.  The silence is deafening.


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