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Action in Libya

Written By: - Date published: 10:07 am, March 20th, 2011 - 69 comments
Categories: International, war - Tags: ,

US, UK and French forces have begun attacks on government targets in Libya.

French planes flew reconnaissance yesterday and fired the first shots today.  They have destroyed a number of armoured vehicles and tanks.

UK submarines have attacked air defence targets and their planes have fired missiles.  In total US & UK forces have fired more than 110 missiles already.

Canada said a naval blockade had been implemented as well.  Italy has offered use of their airbases for operations.

UK PM David Cameron described the action as “legal, necessary, and right.”

Barack Obama said the US was taking “limited military action” as part of a “broad coalition”.  “We cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people there will be no mercy.”

Earlier Libya claimed to have implemented a ceasefire, but media reported pro-Gaddafi tanks rolling into Benghazi and attacks continuing in Misrata, Adibaya and other towns.  A fighter jet was shot down over Benghazi.

Libyan state TV is claiming “crusader enemies” are bombarding civilian targets in Benghazi, Zuwarah, Misrata after their ceasefire.

69 comments on “Action in Libya ”

  1. ianmac 1

    “A fighter jet was shot down over Benghazi..” I think that was one of very few rebel held planes that was shot down by pro-government forces. See “Airstrikes begin on Libya targets.” on

  2. Lanthanide 2

    It’s encouraging to see such a broad group of countries stepping up to the mark within just a couple of days of the UN resolutions.

    • Amazing, the UN says go to war and all of us dimwits do. Funny how Bahrain can get help from the Saudis to squash their civilian uprising, Yemen can kill it’s demonstrators point blank and Israel can bomb Gaza unpunished but Libya which by the way has the biggest oil reserves in Africa can be bombed with only a days notice.

      Do I like Gaddafi? No, but the ease with which you think that bombing a country to smithereens because we don’t like its ruler is unsettling to say the least.

      Just goes to show how effective the propaganda has been the last couple of weeks.

      • Marty G 2.1.1

        I think that just because countries are hypocritical in not stopping the Yemeni and Saudi regimes doesn’t invalidate doing the right thing for the people of Libya.

        In case you missed it, nearly all of the country changed to the rebels. Then Gaddifi massacred protesters in Tripoli and his forces began rolling back the rebels. Should the rest of the world just sit by and watch a massacre? Should the fact that they’re too hypocritical to stop other bad regimes mean they should never stop any bad regime?

        • Pascal's bookie

          It’s a little bit more complicated than that though.

          If the reasoning is based purely on ‘duty to protect’, then why does that duty not apply to other countries? Doing one and not the others discredits the idea of ‘d2p’ making it ‘d2p if and only if x’. What is the value of ‘x’? Given that is ‘x’ that is doing the heavy lifting in terms of intervene or not, then you can’t fall back on d2p as the answer to why we are intervening. Sorry.

          Secondly, there is the factor of these other revolutions and protests to take into account. If by intervening in Libya we are attempting to send a signal to both other regimes and the protesters, then we assume a responsibility to how we act in reaction to their modified behaviour. It’s easy to say that we can ignore the hypocrisy, but if you are in Bahrain staring down the barrel of a US made tank, it ceases to be point scoring exercise.

          How will such a person feel about western claims WRT to d2p, democracy, freedom and sexy when their own attempts at throwing ooff a tyrant are met with US made ordinance and nothing else but ‘calls for restraint’. It is hypocrisy, and it might not matter to the people in Libya being protected by that hypocrisy, but it matters a great deal to those on the wrong end of it. What effects will our hypocrisy have on the shape of their attempts at revolution.

          I’m thinking of how Ho Chi Min ultimately ended up stalinist partially due to the absolute lack of support that he saw from west when he was thinking about how Woodrow Wilson’s language about self determination might apply to Vietnam.

          Now that’s a stretch, but my point is that these things do not happen in isolation. Revolutionaries look for support wherever they can get it, and is we are offerring it using universalist claims like d2p and what have you, then we better live up to those claims, or they might just bite us in the arse.

          • Bunji

            Ultimately there are difficult points of rule of law versus moral requirements. Philosophers will often suggest there is little difference between the man who stands by and watches someone die when he could prevent it, and those who actively kill. But who has the right to enforce their morals on others? That’s why we have international law. It’s a problem of getting a consensus of the world’s governments (ie the UN) to agree to an action. The US goes in on its own, it’s imperialism, the US does nothing it’s complicit, and no-one else has the power. It has to get UN agreement, which takes time. There’s no perfect system, because we’re imperfect being who greatly disagree with each other. It’s got to be duty to protect where the world can get agreement unfortunately. Sorry if that’s too realistic over idealist, it’s certainly disappointing to me.

            Interesting sidepoint on Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh offered to in effect give up communism if the US would support him (as China was in civil war and Russia in disarray after WW2) – he was a nationalist over being a communist. But the US backed French imperialism in contrast to their stated values of self-determination. Hypocrisy has been going on a long time there…. (and didn’t that turn out well for them)

            • Pascal's bookie

              There is not much I’d disagree with there; what I’m concerned about is that this intervention, (along with many others we could name) is being sold on the moral arguments. The realist arguments that are the actual basis are left in the dark.

              This has numerous problems.

              Firstly, it suggests that the idealist rhetoric is being used to get the domestic (western) population on board, that the realist arguments wouldn’t do the trick. That’s bad not just as a matter of democratic principal, but bad because the domestic support for the action is puddle deep. If things go ‘wrong’ and the action drags on, support diminishes and we end up not being able to achieve whatever it is we are supposed to be achieving, but could well be making things worse.

              Secondly, the rhetoric we are using to get domestic support is also heard by everyone else in the world. When we use language that evokes our deepest political and philosphical traditions, (democracy freedom sexy), and fail to live up to those words, or if we use them selectively, then those notions get rightly tarnished.

              When we go in for realist reasons but use idealist language, that disconnect is noticed. It discredits (in the eyes of third parties and other actors), the actual things that the idealist language connects to. It only harms our attempts to spread those values in the long run.

        • travellerev

          The right thing? Marty, just wake the hell up why don’t you. While you were wanking at the chance to do the “right thing” for the Libyans with tomahawk bombs and jets conveniently parked over the last couple of weeks before the Libyan coast the US was bombing 80 civilians to death with drone attacks in Pakistan. The Saudi army (Who gets most of their arms from the US) attacked citizens in Bahrain and in Yemen government troops killed demonstrating citizens. And lest we forget. Israel used white phosphor when it attacked Gaza killing hundreds of innocent civilians most of whom children and while it was widely condemned it could happily carry on as usual.

          By the way how did innocent civilians who just wanted to get rid of their “dictator” all of a sudden get their own jets and heavy arms? Oh oops sold to them by the US and helped by the CIA. Funny how that always happens in oil rich countries.

          This doesn’t happen in NZ of course, here we are all obedient sheeple. All they have to do is send in a guy with a pretty face who is getting married to a another pretty face to say a few kind words to traumatised people and just because he is called a prince everybody falls over backward to try and please him.

          It just them damned “ragheads” who don’t want to play ball and give us their oil for next to nought that need a good bombing.

          Do you have any idea how racist you are?

      • Marty G 2.1.2

        and what propaganda? The US was dragged kicking and screaming into this. They should have put the no fly zone in weeks ago.

        • Pascal's bookie

          Before they had support from the Arab League?

          • Marty G

            before it was too late. it’s going to be bloody hard to get gaddifi’s forces out of some of those cities. they’re basically hoping to stop them moving between cities and bankrupt him, hoping the military will collapse.

        • Gus

          And so they should be dragged kicking and screaming into this.

          The Americans are currently engaged in two long running military operations which have cost the American people over 7000 lives (and 32000 injured), billions of dollars and an unmeasurable amount of political capital.

          This action has already cost over $62.5 million for the Tomahawks that they’ve launched and will have cost much more in personnel, and vehicle operations for what, some feel good factor about protecting innocent lives? If this cause was so important then Legaue of Arab nations not carrying it out themselves, its not like they don’t have the capabilities.


        • travellerev

          Marty please don’t make a fool of yourself by showing how incredibly gullible and naive you are.

          The US has been gagging for this and has in fact been financing the rebels and given them training and arms. They were loosing and that’s why all of sudden the UN had to come up with the no fly zone, Which by the way now seems to mean bomb the shit out of them straight away.

          They sailed their Mediterranean fleet to Libya weeks ago.

          Here is a bit of info about Gadaffi and how he “ran” Libya. The stuff the US does not want you to know:

          Before the chaos erupted, Libya had a lower incarceration rate than the Czech republic. It ranked 61st. Libya had the lowest infant mortality rate of all of Africa. Libya had the highest life expectancy of all of Africa. Less than 5% of the population was undernourished. In response to the rising food prices around the world, the government of Libya abolished ALL taxes on food .

          Just for starters.

          • uke

            Thanks for the link. It was very informative.

            The presentation of facts in the MSM has not rung true to me so far. When was the last time a government fighting a rebellion on its own soil (“popular” or “staged popular”) was so quickly subject to a UN-sanctioned attack? It is a really serious breach of sovereignty.

            Good to read some critical thinking out there.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.3

        Where did I say I support the UN resolution or that I supported what Gaddafi is doing? No where, actually. I specifically avoided passing judgement on those points, I wanted to see if I could bait anyone into reading things into what I said. Looks like I was correct.

        What I said was: it’s good that the UN passed a resolution and then a broad range of countries quickly stepped up to enforce it.

        If the UN is to achieve anything, it has to be able to act on it’s resolutions (when it eventually makes them). There’s no point having a supposed international authority that has no authority in practice.

  3. KJT 3

    Note the difference in US reaction to a dictator who nationalized oil levies and is shooting up his own people compared to the equally rotten dictatorships that allow US oil companies free rein.

  4. hellonearthis 4

    Is this conflict a combination of oil war and revenge for the Lockerbie by the British.

  5. Omar 5

    >hellonearthis 4 [ 20 March 2011 at 3:09 pm ]
    >Is this conflict a combination of oil war and revenge for >the Lockerbie by the British. [?]

    Absolutely. And more. It will be interesting to see how it develops. NATO has been on the ground for some time, which means they will not leave it to chance – or the goodwill of the opposition. A NATO protectorate ?

  6. He Marty,

    I guess you have to kill’em to save’em.

    Breaking news: Hospitals hit

    • Bright Red 6.1

      any evidence that hospitals have been hit? Even the gaddifi regime hasn’t claimed that.

      • travellerev 6.1.1

        Eat your heart out. Global research is an institute ran by Michael Chossudovsky who is frequent quest on RT (Russia TV is now on offer on Sky).

        • Bright Red

          yeah, I saw that text only report on some unknown website. I was asking for evidence.

          Like I say, even teh Gaddifi regime isn’t claiming hospitals were hit.

  7. David 7

    Are the Western powers now bombing Libyan really capable of doing “the right thing”? I don’t think so.

    Or to put it another way, “the right thing” for them has nothing to do with the right thing for the Libyan people or the Arab revolution.

    They are protecting their easy access to Libyan oil, Saudi and Gulf oil and their overall domination of the region.

    The structure of imperial domination has taken a huge hit from the uprisings, particularly the fall of Mubarak in Egypt, and the Western powers know they must do something to ensure that whatever new order emerges it will still be under their control.

    That easy bit was backing the Saudi / Kuwaiti / UAE invasion of Bahrain, to ensure the revolution is crushed in those countries.

    The hard decision was deciding what to do in Libya. They’ve now decided their interests are best served by turning on Gaddafi, and installing a friendly government there.

  8. clandestino 9

    This is a hard one. I was always uneasy about the way Western media has implicitly and in some cases explicitly supported the ‘rebel’ side in this civil war. To far flung observers, it would seem the whole of the country supports them or would if it were safe to do so. How can this be when we see video of many thousands in the ‘pro-Gaddafi’ camp taking to the streets and fighting the war etc.?

    Now that the West is being widely seen as doing the ‘right’ thing, there are still many unanswered questions like the above that get ignored in the excitement of it. Are the loyalists bought and paid for? Is it a class thing? Is it a tribal thing? All of the above?

    To me it’s regime change by another name, Europe wants a compliant, stable, democratic state on its doorstep to stem the flow of migrants, I suspect, perhaps even giving North Africans in Europe a democracy they may want to return to and ‘rebuild’ with newfound ‘hope’. The oil theory doesn’t really follow for me, as this will surely push prices to above the cost the world was paying for ‘Gaddafi’ oil, similar to the ridiculous Afghan pipeline conspiracy (if you really wanted it, it would be cheaper to pay them off than to start wars).

    The law of unintended consequences will apply.

    • David 9.1

      European leaders, and the US too certainly want “a compliant, stable” government in Libya, and elsewhere, but “democratic” has never been one of their concerns, as we can see by the undemocratic nature of every other compliant and until recently stable regime in the region.

      Discounting oil as a major factor in this (and other wars) doesn’t stack up. It’s not about short term price, it’s about long term supply. And most importantly at this stage reasserting US / Western control over what happens in the region.

      As fore the Afghan pipeline – which was planned with the cooperation of the Taleban – that fell through because the Taleban never gained complete control of the country, they failed to provide a government that was either compliant or stable. It’s far from being the only reason for the Afghan war, but why deny it was a factor?

  9. Hi folks!

    Remember Iraq?
    Whose interests were the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ defending?
    The Iraqi public? – yeah right.

    Iraq – OIL / Libya – OIL
    Spot the difference………

    If you haven’t yet read the UN Security Council resolution for yourselves – I’ve got a copy plus relevant International Human Rights Law info on my blog:

    Seen this?


    The link is here

    [lprent: Penny – the rule is that you cannot cut’n’paste on this site unless it is original material (ie I can’t find it in a 30 second search of google). Basically long screeds of pasted material are a pain for people to read. They want to hear your thoughts on a subject – not to read something that they can find in seconds if they’re interested.

    You can put in links, give short quotes and write your thoughts on the links to entice people to read it. But if you persistently just cut’n’paste here (and I have to waste time cleaning it up) I’ll eventually get annoyed and remove your ability to write here at all. ]

    • Bright Red 10.1

      Just because some military action is wrong does not make all military action wrong.

      To think that Libya is about oil is stupid. The US making buddies with Gaddifi in the 2000s, that was about oil. The easiest way to secure Libya’s oil would be for the rebellion to be crushed. Which the US nearly let happen.

      It was dragged into this by France and the Arab League at the last minute.

      You hypothesis requires that you ignore the popular uprising in Libya (8,000+ rebels killed so far) and ignore the fact that the US waited until the last possible moment to avoid an even greater bloodbath. One more day and Benghazi would have fallen.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        Those rebel units must have been completely inexperienced.

        They made huge gains in the first week from the east moving towards Tripoli but did not consolidate their advances and organise, instead they seemed to have partied their victories. Rookie mistake.

        • Bright Red

          you don’t get it. It’s all part of the West’s clever plot. 🙂

          In reality, the rebels expected Tripoli would rise up on its own. Unfortunately, the loyalist forces massacred the rebels in Tripoli and most of the rebel military hasn’t taken part in the fighting until now. It’s been dudes in pick-ups vs tanks, and their military mistakes compounded their lack of weaponary.

      • travellerev 10.1.2

        That would be correct if you actually believed that the oil companies were out to sell you cheap oil but they aren’t. They want the monopoly and Libya (Gadaffi is not the prime minister nor the government but a symbolic figure head) was selling their oil too cheap. By the way funny how BP just started to drill before the coast of Libya, eh?

        • Bright Red

          So what? BP and others have been in Libya for years. They were making good money off being friends with Gaddifi (remember the Lockebie bomber was released as a reward for Gaddifi letting in BP?). Why would they want a civil war?

          I mean, how does your conspiracy theory play out?

          BP wins over Gaddifi. Starts drilling for oil. (true)
          BP, what, finds some secret motherlode? I mean we already know that Libya has oil. OK, BP finds some secret motherlode (no evidence)
          BP decides it can make even more money from this motherlode if there is a civil war and Gaddifi is replaced (no evidence)
          Rebellion formented by BP (madness)
          West lets rebellion be nearly snuffed out before acting (true)
          BP hopes that this civil war will end some time in the foreseeable future and the new rulers will let them make even more money from the secret oil motherlode.

          First rule in the oil game: when a friendly dictator is letting you drill in his country, leave the dictator in charge.

          I get that you’re anti-US and I get that you’re paranoid but, really, being pro-Gaddifi is a step too far for you ev.

          • travellerev

            Ah, the old conspiracy and you’re paranoid put down again.

            The depth at which BP wants to drill is deeper than the depth it drilled in the gulf of Mexico. That went wrong. So what if Libya got wet feet and did not want to have the same disaster in what is primarily a big pond.

            Sadam was also a befriended tyrant with huge amounts of oil. He wanted the oil for Iraq and that was the end of him.

            The Taliban did not want a huge pipeline through Afganistan and ended the opium trade in 2001 and that was the end of them.

            Iran wants to sell its oil in other currencies than the dollar (like Sadam by the way) and voila they will be next.

            Libya was negotiating with China for investments oil infrastructure by the way so that would not have been taken to to kindly.

            Forgive me for not providing ample links to all of this info but I have to get back to my real life. Give it a google, you’d be surprised what you can find.

      • Pascal's bookie 10.1.3

        It was dragged into this by France and the Arab League at the last minute.

        Not really. France drafted, and the AL wanted, a NFZ, the US wanted a broad agreement/some sort of alliance. The pentagon (rightly enough) argued that a nfz wouldn’t achieve anything and so the US drafted the stronger ‘anything short of occupation’ resolution that was passed.

        The AL is now saying that the attacks have gone too far.

    • Hi Penny,

      Good to see you here!


    • Ok!
      Sorry about that.


  10. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2011/03/20/2011-03-20_action_in_libya_has_gone_too_far_arab_league_and_russia_complain_as_civilian_cas.html

    errr….. how do US-led ‘Coalition’ forces’ bombs and missiles support an ‘immediate cease fire’ in Libya?

    How does killing civilians ‘protect’ them?

    Iraq – here we go again?

    Penny Bright

    • Bored 11.1

      I think your question was adequately answered in passing by Tariq Ali (being interviewed by the lightweight Kim Hill on Saturday). His contention was that the West should keep out of actions such as this.

  11. The Voice of Reason 12

    Some interesting comments here. I’ve been back and forth on this one in the last few days and right now, I’m hoping Gaddafi holds on. Not because I think he deserves any support or symathy, but because it looks to me like the regime to follow will be worse than his.

    The ‘rebels’, as far as I can tell, are not democrats, despite claiming they will institute open elections after the fall of Gaddafi. Their leadership is primarily dissafected Gaddafi-ites. My prediction, should they prevail, is a mini Iraq. A civil war, no democracy and an unholy fight to get hold of petro dollars.

    Like Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi is a dictator. But that is not a good enough reason to intervene militarily.

    A couple of quick points for Trav. Sections of the military defected to the rebels and that is why they have some tanks, planes and heavy arms, not because the CIA magic’d them into Benghazi. The rebel leadership apparently refused to allow the defecting soldiers to lead or even train fighting units in the early days, but now appear to have got over their initial reluctance.

    Secondly, nothing in Marty’s comment was racist. You are the one that used a racist term, not him. You owe him an apology.

    • Actually voice of reason, the very fact that neither one of you is willing to do even the most rudimentary bit of research and accept whatever the media say about Muslims and Arab countries and their leaders is what is so racist.

      Just to give you an example which might shock you to bits. In pre-war Europe every western country had a group of Jews living in separated areas in their cities. Just about every average person accepted the “common” knowledge about Jews and how they were different and greedy and secretive and untrustworthy and when Hitler came with his anti-Semitism propaganda he had it very easy because it just confirmed what everybody already “knew”. If you had told all these average Joes they were racist they would have been incensed but as far as I am concerned this is just more of the same. You know how I know? I had to commemorate every year in February the one time these average Joe’s actually stood up for Jews in Amsterdam in the second WW. The tag line for this strike?

      “They may be rotten Jews but they are our rotten Jews.”

      That was what they wrote on the walls of the Jewish quarter in Amsterdam. That was OK to my fellow Dutchmen at the time and when I grew up I used to go to the old Jewish quarter and buy second hand clothes from the few Jews left after the war.

      The West has killed more than a million Iraqis and god knows how many Afghanis and now we are killing Libyans and not a single soul in this country gives a flying fuck because according to them they’re just some stupid Arabs in a desert somewhere and as somebody actually told me she thought it was just dangerous that them Arabs had control over “our” oil and you know what? I have lived with Muslims all my life and I have never in my life had anything other than friendship and mutual respect with them and I am sick to death from the easy uncritical shite you and Marty spout here without even the most basic understanding of Arab culture in general or Libyan culture in particular or Touareg or Tunesian or Egypt or any of the other many, many other different Mediterranean Arab cultures for that matter.

      The very fact that you think that we as the West have the right to bomb a country back to the stone age because they don’t seem to want the same coca cola crap we do and their social structure is different to ours without knowing their history and their culture is the very essence of racism so fuck you VOR is I politely decline to apologise.

      And here is some info about CIA involvement in Libya and take my advise give google a whirl. The Egypt US sponsored military has been funnelling money and arms to the “rebels” in Libya. And here are some search terms you might try:
      Libya, Israel, CIA, Egypt.

      • The Baron 12.1.1

        Are we really doing this again, Eve? Can you get off your high horse please?

        Not every bloody thing is about oil. There is a massively imbalanced conflict ongoing in Libya that without intervention will lead to a massacre. It is morally right for the West to intervene to prevent that.

        If you want to make the frankly astounding link that this is all again about oil then I bid you good luck. But don’t start getting insulting to others if they don’t believe you.

      • The Voice of Reason 12.1.2

        I guess you didn’t read all of my comment, Ev. My position is that we should not be bombing Libya. Marty sees it differently, apparently.

        I’m not a racist and my lengthy relationship with an A’dam Jew in the nineties here and in Holland has given me more than enough insight into how they were treated before, during and after the war. I lived with her near the Jewish quarter for an oh too short time and I got to know the area and history reasonably well. And, trust me, if you decline a visit to the Anne Frank house because you’d rather go to watch Ajax play, you tend to learn a lot of Dutch Jewish history in a very short space of time!

        I repeat, nothing in Marty’s comment was racist. Nothing in mine is either, so now you owe me and Marty an apology. Not just for claiming we are racists when nothing either of us has said warrants the description, but also for attributing attitudes and beliefs to us that you just fucking made up because you have no valid excuse for your claim. Actually, isn’t attributing attitudes and beliefs like that a common trait in, er, racists?

        And, just for the record, I’m reasonably well read on african/moor/taureg/arab etc cultures and have been to the middle east a couple of times. I do my research on any subject I comment on here, because I prefer to speak with relative authority. I remain a loyal fan of the region’s various kinds of music and I can tell you that the cows in the paddock nearest to the living room absolutely love Tinariwen, Amadou and Mariam and above all, the late, great Ali Farka Toure.

        • travellerev

          Good for you. Now read up on the the last 80 years of CIA and US policies towards the Arab world and you’ll be fine.

          • The Voice of Reason

            How about you just lay off the personal abuse and apologise for calling me and Marty racist without good cause? Or are you too scared to admit a mistake?

            • travellerev

              No, I don’t have a problem apologising or admitting a mistake but I am still of the opinion that both of you are racist. Maybe not of the evil dumb way most racists are pictured but more of the patronising lefty middle class white guy type.

              You may not like that but I am entitled to my opinions. I have known people who listened to all the right music read all the right books and still didn’t have clue what their fellow middle class, no I take that back the richer people they would have liked to have been or the politicians they looked up to are up too. Or worse still who cannot see wrong in Obama starting two wars of aggression and intensifying another but because he was voted in as the first black guy and can not be criticised for fear of being called a racist.

              Reading up on cultures is not the same as living together in one fucking neighbourhood having to deal with all the different idiosyncrasies, religious differences and habits. Going on a holiday is nice but has no bearing on really getting to know people for real. Living with say a Turkish family on one side and a Moroccan family on another and perhaps a Suriname family living above you, that is when you get really tested for tolerance and your ability to accept other cultures. My guess is that never happened to you.

              Also I think that you really should read up on say the family of secrets (Bush), False flag events such as the golf of Tonkin and 911 to name a few, western politics and geopolitical manipulations and maybe you should learn to talk to me about yourself and leave Marty out of it. If he wants me to apologise than he will have to pick his own fight. He’s a big boy he can handle it and I suggest you do the same.

              If you think that is personal abuse than you are even more immature than I thought you were. Just my personal opinion but there you have it, take it or leave it.

              • The Voice of Reason

                What a weirdly demented person you are, Ev. You know nothing about me, except the information I’ve chosen to share on this site. Fuck your ‘opinion’, find me an actual example of my being racist or you really should apologise. Really. Same for Marty, who as far as I know doesn’t deserve the tag either, which was the point I made at the start.

                I’m not a racist and I have actively lived my life espousing an anti-racist message. You don’t even know the colour of my skin, but you’re happy to characterise me according to your own race based bigotry. That’s not an opinion you’ve got there, Ev, it’s an illness.

                • Good for you VOR.

                  You’re entitled to your opinion too even though you base your entire opinion like I do (we have after all nothing else) on what you read on this site.

                  Sleep well.

                  • The Voice of Reason

                    There are two kinds of people I can’t stand in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures, and the Dutch.

                    [Nah… this is getting beneath both of you. …RL]

                    • LOL.

                      Again, you are entitled to your opinion and if that means you base your opinion about an entire people (17 million of us) on your experience with one Tulip so be it and I can rest my case.

                      Have a nice night, I know I will.

                    • The Voice of Reason

                      It’s a joke, RL. Austin Powers. It’s said by Austin’s dad to a mad Dutchman. As it happens, Nigel Powers was played by Michael Caine … not a lot of people know that.

                      [Oh very good. That one went right over the top. Linky for the lost like me…RL]

  12. Tiger Mountain 13

    When a no fly zone is imposed over Gaza to the benefit of Palestinians I might believe the imperialists have really changed their spots. US military intervention always, not sometimes, has an ulterior motive, otherwise it would be universally rather than selectively applied.

    Why ascribe humanitarian motives to a US regime that stumps up for military hardware while millions of American citizens remain homeless and without decent health care.

    • Blighty 13.1

      just because they’re hypocrites doesn’t mean they’re not doing the right thing in this case.

      Simple question: would you rather that Gaddifi’s forces retook Benghazi and Tobruk and massacred the people there?

      Because that was the alternative.

      • travellerev 13.1.1

        No, the question is do we want the West to kill Libyan civilians or not.

        The West has attacked Libya and not Gaddafi.

        Gaddafi could have been dealt with with one bunker buster bomb but that would have meant the Libyan people would still be in control of their own oil and not the big international oil companies.

        As it happens the Libyan government has opened its arms caches to the people of Libya, not standard dictator fare I hope you will agree and the people of Libya are preparing for an all out war with an international army send in by the global elite.

        Thousands gathered to volunteer as a human shield to protect their leader and the international attack on Libya has done wonders for the unity in Libya because as probably escaped the general population over here; the rebels in Libya did not have the support of the Libyan population unlike the demonstrators in Egypt for example.

        The Arab league has condemned the bombings and if anything Gaddafi if not Libya will serve as another rallying point for Arabs against the US and NATO.

        Now ask yourself if say Maori and sympathetic Pakeha disenchanted with Nationals policies with regards to the foreshore and seabed issues had taken up arms and had started an armed and murderous uprising how would you feel if the US decided to attack the NZ government because they were trying to disarm the armed rebels?

        I’m sure there are millions of Native peoples around the world who could muster up a huge sympathy with said rebels.

  13. Tiger Mountain 14

    Just keeping things in perspective. Everyone that has taken the time out today to tap out a few words on this subject should be cautious about how much we pontificate really, it is not our bodies on the line this time.

    The times the yanks don’t intervene, e.g. Rawanda, Palestine, or intervene negatively -Grenada, Chile, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, Iraq, far outweigh the occasional time there might be a useful spin off from their activities which is little cause for joy. Every life is worth something which is my point “that was the alternative” is not about hypocrisy, it is about definite strategic decisions. During the 1980s the UN damn near went broke because the US would not pay their dues. Once the cold war was decided they began to cough up again.

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