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View Diary: Open thread for Night Owls: Gaddafi - a lesson in realpolitik (152 comments)

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  •  The Libyan situation has gone past the point (8+ / 0-)

    past the point where debating outside action to stop the violence is acceptable.

    It is clear that some kind of action will have to be taken - the madness will not otherwise stop.

    Having the US at the forefront of actions to prevent wholesale murder of defenseless citizens in Tripli, or elsewhere in Libya, is what many probably fear. Of course, action could be taken by nations under the banner of the UN, if they can be shaken into action (not mere rhetoric).

    Of course, there is a greater risk, that of sitting by, uttering virtuous condemndations - all while the innocent are slaughtered. That is truly a moral risk.

    It is also a political risk. One that would leave America's image in the Arab world highly damaged.

    •  UN Security Council is meeting tomorrow (7+ / 0-)

      in a special meeting to address Libya situation. Question is: will China thwart any efforts at action? they could impost a no-fly zone, but China has veto power.

    •  No easy call, but I'd start with no fly/no navy (5+ / 0-)

      You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

      by Cartoon Peril on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 09:02:52 PM PST

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    •  I think the hope in Washington may well be... (8+ / 0-)

      ...that events will move fast enough that there won't be much more killing in Libya. That may turn out to be true. Or thousands could be killed. But what action will work? Some have suggested making Libya a no-fly zone to keep the military from shooting and bombing civilians from the air. But that has it's own problems. Troops? That really has its own problems.

      Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 09:12:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A NO FLY Zone along with troops to take over (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OLinda, frenchman

        and guard the main air ports in the west and set up medical centers for wounded civilians would do the trick, imo.

        From what I understand, the hospitals there are rapidly running out of supplies.

        That would also stop the entry of more mercenary troops.

        "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

        by Lawrence on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 10:06:17 PM PST

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        •  I don't think troops could get there... (0+ / 0-)

 time and in large enough numbers to do what you propose.

          Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 10:22:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  French Foreign Legion could get there today, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            if necessary.  I'm sure they're already on alert.
            European quick reaction forces could also get there very fast.  The No Fly Zone would be easy to set up - NATO air bases are only a half hour flight time away.

            All that needs to happen is for the U.N. Security Council to set it up.  The other possibility is that they are sent in in order to evacuate E.U. citizens and then stay to treat the wounded for humanitarian reasons.

            Imo, something has to happen - we're facing a huge humanitarian catastrophe if this use of military forces, mercenaries, and even the air force continues.  There is no way that hospitals will be able to handle this.

            "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

            by Lawrence on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 10:34:26 PM PST

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          •  Agreed, but those air force colonels who defected (0+ / 0-)

            to Malta in expensive fighter planes could be sent back home to bomb some of Qaddafi's strategic positions.  They probably know best where the goods are stashed.

            Similarly, there seems to be an opportunity in Benghazi for foreign assistance, whether it takes the form of medical, humanitarian, or military supplies.

            Legalized corruption is destroying our democracy.

            by geodemographics on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 11:53:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  there was a question of western culpability (0+ / 0-)

      raised on AJ. the guest pundit tried to downplay it and said we weren't responsible. but that made me wonder, how much culpability does the arab world hold for sanctioning and legitimizing this madman? where was their condemnation? even moderate turkey maintained a relationship with him.

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