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10.15pm: The government has won by 557 votes to 13 – a majority of 544.
via Politics blog + Commons Libya debate – live | Politics | guardian.co.uk.
Now that’s a majority and a half. Clearly it shows widespread support for the intervention in Libya… but we also have to note the real tone of the debate, and it was far from positive. Reading through a few of the comments, it shows that people are uneasy. With a British submarine, alone with American ships, launching missiles at 20 targets on the coast (Gaddafi‘s missile defence system, clearing the way for the pilots), we’ve become involved more than perhaps some MPs expected. The Arab League is also wavering in support, condemning the bombing of civilians – despite the fact that intervening in a near-civil war was always going to result in civilian casualties, especially as Gaddafi’s supporters were, he claimed, willing to be bussed in to key targets to act as human shields. The prospect of assassination of Gaddafi, hinted at by Secretary of State for Defence Liam Fox, is outrageous to many – frankly, I find that speaking openly of it is a foolish move. If you want to assassination someone, you don’t bloody tell Fleet Street. At least the Israeli’s have the common sense not to admit it if they do it. Having said that, assassinating Gaddafi is foolish in-and-of-itself. Martyrdom for Gaddafi is not an advantage to anyone – forcing him out may be our best option, but openly killing him. If he does chose to go down with the ship, so be it. Good riddance. But we can’t openly support it, or plan for it. Our legal mandate is to defend civilians, not assassinate politicians.
John Baron (Basildon & Billericay)
Graham Allen (Nottingham North)
Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley)
Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North)
Barry Gardiner (Brent North)
Roger Godsiff (Birmingham Hall Green)
John McDonnell (Hayes & Harlington)
Linda Riordan (Halifax)
Dennis Skinner (Bolsover)
Mike Wood (Batley & Spen)
Caroline Lucas (Brighton Pavilion)
Mark Durkan (Foyle)
Margaret Ritchie (Down South)
Labour’s Katy Clark (North Ayrshire and Arran) and Yasmin Qureshi (Bolton South East) acted as tellers for the noes.
An excellent summary of the debate can also be found here :-http://blogs.ft.com/westminster/2011/03/unease-in-the-commons-as-mps-debate-libya-action/
BBC News – Gaddafi loyalists standing firm in Libya.
Fascinating new video from the BBC.
Who gave us the right to intervene? The rebels, the international community and morality.
The rebels invited us to help them in their struggle for freedom. The international community came together, realised the need for intervention, and passed a legal mandate. They realise that instability in Libya, the region and the world, not only harms the people of Libya but us all, as we are all interconnected. Morality is out basis – it is wrong to stand by and allow crimes to take place when we could prevent them. If a man is being mugged in the street, you call the police, and if you’re strong, you help him against his assailant. It is right to attack his assailant, if it saves the innocent man. All we are doing, is defending the innocent from a thug.
It is strange to still see so much support for Gaddafi but it’s understandable. If this sways you, wondering why we are invading, just look at the pictures of French flags being flown in Benghazi. They are all Libyans, and most know that Gaddafi must leave.
Also: The United States has joined the conflict, firing Cruise missiles into Libya from a warship in the region. The war has come to Tripoli.
Correction: The plane shot down over Benghazi was, as a minority of reports claimed earlier, flown by a rebel pilot, not Gaddafi loyalists.
British planes are in action over Libya, Prime Minister David Cameron has said.
He spoke after hosting a meeting of the government’s emergency management committee Cobra in Downing Street.
Earlier he said Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi had broken his own ceasefire and will now face the consequences of his actions.
Speaking after a summit of world leaders in Paris, Mr Cameron said “the time for action has come”.
After the Cobra meeting, he said: “British forces are in action over Libya. They are part of an international coalition to enforce the will of the United Nations.
“We have all seen the appalling brutality meted out by Col Gaddafi against his own people.”
He added that the action was “legal, necessary and right”.
Mr Cameron praised the British servicemen and women involved and said they were the “bravest of the brave”.
It was a “just cause” and in “Britain’s best interests”, he said.
via BBC News – Cameron says British forces are in action over Libya.
In case you’re relying on me as a source of news, it is confirmed – Britain has just entered a new conflict, the intervention in Libya. We will deploy planes in support of an international no-fly zone over the country
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As French planes engage with the Libyan air force and apparently have hit four loyalist tanks on the outskirts of Benghazi, the rebels take down a Libyan Air Force plane over Benghazi (possibly…), and world leaders gather in Paris, the Western-led, Arab-supported, intervention in Libya is in full swing.
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