Tag Archive: secretary-general


The leader de facto of Libya, Muammar al-Gaddafi.

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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.

The Noes.
Conservative

John Baron (Basildon & Billericay)
Labour
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)
Green
Caroline Lucas (Brighton Pavilion)
SDLP
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/

RAF Tornado GR4 (ZA597) at an English air disp...

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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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Amr Moussa, the secretary-general of the Arab League, has called for a no-fly zone over Libya, and has said the bloc wants a role in imposing it.

The comments comes as the organisation meets in the Egyptian capital Cairo on Friday for talks on the ongoing crisis.

“I do not know how nor who will impose this zone, that remains to be seen. The Arab League can also play a role, that is what I will recommend,” Mussa said in an interview with a German magazine.

“I am talking about a humanitarian action. It consists, with a no-fly zone, of supporting the Libyan people in their fight for freedom against a regime that is more and more disdainful.”

Support from the West for a no-fly zone appears to hinge on the outcome of the meeting as consensus is sought for such an action.

“The European Union and the [UN] Security Council are not going to do anything unless they get support from the Arab League,” Qatar University’s Youcef Bouandel told Al Jazeera.

via Libya tops Arab League agenda – Africa – Al Jazeera English.

 

Please, please Arab League…agree to a no-fly zone.

The Gulf Cooperation Council, with Saudi Arabia a key member, has already agreed that Gaddafi’s government is illegitimate and support’s a no-fly zone. If Saudi Arabia can convince Egypt to join in, then two of the best equipped air forces in the Arab/North African world could ground Gaddafi’s fearsome air-force.

The Arab community must be the one to front and support any foreign intervention in Libya, or else the neocolonial arguments will just fracture the country more and send waving nationalists over to Gaddafi’s side.

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