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Do you support foreign military action in Libya?

March 21, 2011

Western powers launched a second wave of air strikes on Libya on Monday after halting the advance of Muammar Gaddafi’s forces on Benghazi and targeting air defenses to let their planes patrol the skies.
The U.N.-mandated intervention to protect civilians drew criticism from Arab League chief Amr Moussa, who questioned the need for a heavy bombardment, which he said had killed many civilians. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the U.N. resolution resembled “medieval calls for crusades.”
But the United States, carrying out the air strikes in a coalition with Britain, France, Italy and Canada among others, said the campaign was working.
The intervention is the biggest against an Arab country since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Do you support the U.N.-mandated intervention in Libya?

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Have the Western forces been prudent in their air strikes or shown disregard for civilian casualties?

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Would you support U.N.-backed ground troops in Libya?

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where does it end? In Yeme, Syria, Bahrein, Saudi Arabia,Jordan, UAE, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Thailand, Venezuela?

This is a slippery slope caused by Anderson Cooper and Fouad Ajami “greased” by oil. Do we never learn?

Posted by neahkahnie | Report as abusive

How many wars will it take till we know, that too many people have died? The majority of them at the hands of U.S. weaponry. Shame on us!

Posted by Marla | Report as abusive

here we go wading in again blinkered, what is the end game if mr. gaddafi don’t play ball with the west? another occupation of another muslim country? more overstretched british forces poured into another conflict? why arn’t the arab nations taking the lead and dealing with the problem surely the political implications for western involvement is obvious.

Posted by MR.MAGOO | Report as abusive

It is no business of the west. I from Canada do not support our military action in Libya. There are better ways and it saddens me to see Canada jump on the US bandwagon.

This military action does not benefit the world as a whole, and I hope that Canadians as well as the rest of the world can see this. The end does not justify the means.

Posted by Squeezle42 | Report as abusive

At the end of the day, this is a civil war, and 2% of the world’s oil production is simply not worth it ladies and gentlemen of the United Nations.

It is extremely unfortunate that the innocent citizens of Libya are the victims of Muammar Gaddafi’s crazy antics, but ultimately this is their war, and it should remain as such. The United States and its allies should seek to help those on their own sidewalks prior to lending it’s resources to other nations. We too vote strongly for an end to all violence and world peace, but we do not have a magic wand to do so immediately, and as history has proven over and over again, before any major reform or change, war precedes.

Posted by SidewalkSocial | Report as abusive

So the rebels are now jumping for joy. There is an old saying that says people who jump for joy should beware of the ground moving beneath their feet. It’s a bit too soon to know how this will play out. One thing for certain is that there will be winners and more losers.

Posted by Driffid | Report as abusive

The last formal declaration of war was 70 years ago…

Posted by NotaSage | Report as abusive

“Only the dead have seen the end of war”. (Plato)
War , will never end. From one side or the other, there will be someone who star killing for money or power. Even if you pick a side or not , the effects of war will affect your way of living.

Posted by Bilwas-Films | Report as abusive

So now the Arab League–whatever the h3ll that is–has done a 180 and jumps on us for attacking Qaddafi’s air control system. This is exactly why we should never get involved with this stupidity. For heaven’s sake Americans–wake up!

And Obama was gonna get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan? –yeah, right!

Posted by Samdog_07 | Report as abusive

The Arab league, the African Union, China, Russia – a paltry few other nations are against this. Would it have passed a vote in the General assembly, not a pedophile’s chance in Hell.

Thank goodness for the Security Council and those who won’t use their veto. Hear that Mssrs Putin and JinTou?

Posted by Popsiq | Report as abusive

You used poor phrasing in the second question and you will note that you had the lowest participation in that question.

Your question: “Have the Western forces been prudent in their air strikes or shown disregard for civilian casualties?”

should have had the following choices:

* Western forces have demonstrated care in avoiding civilian casualties during the airstrikes
Western forces have shown disregard for civilian deaths

Posted by stonekat | Report as abusive

Why should Western power take notice of this small African nation in turmoil? It is because of oil, not because of democrazy.
In any conflict, Western people are always the aggressors. History is the witness to this.

Posted by Yappy | Report as abusive


Posted by Ismailtaimur | Report as abusive

You know the truth is that it doesn’t end. Of course it doesn’t end as long as there are ruthless dictators like Gaddafi on the planet, and people who are willing to stand and fight. For those of you who think we can just sit here and watch the stock market in the safety of our own nation, wake up. We don’t control the world anymore, and the only reason we ever came close to doing it was that the rest of the world was bombed back into the middle ages after WW II. Now we are learning that unless we have that kind of a head start, we can’t compete. If we don’t start standing for Democracy again instead of big money, we will be a has-been in a very short time. The big money is moving quickly to Asia, so now is the time to get back to our principles instead of our financial interests.

Posted by lhathaway | Report as abusive

This exercise by the US, UK, and France has nothing to do with Gaddafi. We don’t know exactly the reasons but it is not about a “ruthless dictator.” If that were the case, we would have been bombing most of Africa and the middle east. Use your brains, people.

Posted by Hannah2 | Report as abusive

All of the arab nations even Saudi Arabia will be burning under the bombs of the US. This is it boys the final battle between Muslims and Christians. It’s the crusades all over again just like George W. Bush said when he invaded Iraq.

Man your weapons the fight is going to Iran soon.

Posted by JEYF | Report as abusive

We should have used those resources to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities and their mullahs. They are the real threat to us. Libya was of no particular importance to us and was not a threat. The rebels want us to do the heavy lifting so they can take over, but they will hate us as much as Qadaffi does.

Posted by zotdoc | Report as abusive

A good strategic analysis of the situation by Stratfor: libya-west-narrative-democracy

Posted by DrOffsuit | Report as abusive

I must say, today’s comments here are some of the dumbest I’ve seen in a long time…

If there hadn’t been airstrikes, Gaddafi was about to slaughter thousands, and then the chant would’ve been “Oh, the USA can go into countries that benefit them, but they let this slaughter happen, just like in Rwanda!”

Now that the US has followed the request of the Arab League, African Org., to stop a slaughter in a very limited engagement and the same accusations pop up.

One can’t have it both ways; accuse the international community of “allowing” slaughter to happen in Rwanda, then criticizing us for trying to stop it this time.

And how about we wait for data on the ground to tell us whether US forces killed civilians and not take the King of Liars, Gaddafi’s word for it?

Russia and China’s playing both sides of the fence is getting EXTREMELY tiring at this point. I agree the USA should back away now that we’ve dropped the air defenses, but I wanted to post here lamenting the extremely poor quality of the comments here today.

Posted by kenk1966 | Report as abusive

Kenk1966 +1

Bomb Gaddafi’s airforces and ammo dumps. Any military columns that appear from Gaddafi’s side. Let the rebels fight their way to freedom. They are doing the heavy lifting (fighting and dying). Our Air Forces and Navys are flying jets and pressing buttons.

This is the kind of war we should have brought to Iraq in 1991. We should have been protecting the citizens in the north and south when they tried to rebel against Hussein. We should have protected them. It would have been easier and cheaper than invading the country for a ground war the second time ’round. Instead the Republican President and his men told us stories about WMD. What the Republicans are doing now as a party to run inteference on Obama amounts to hypocrisy. I’m sure if Obama did nothing then the Republicans would have roasted him for that too.

The Republicans have been completely counter-productive for the past 6-8 years. They supported the people who took down our economy. Gave them bailouts. Turned a blind eye. Spent our wealth on two unnecessary unproductive ground wars. Now they’ve done everything they could to undermine our current president when our country needs all our leaders to make productive suggestions and carefully steer our country out of this economic quagmire. I supported them in previous elections but NEVER again. I’ll vote 3rd or 4th party if necessary. Whatever. I’ll always vote against them.

If the West hadn’t gone in there would have been a brutal slaughter and the maniac would have still been in charge (recharged too). He would have cracked down that much harder on his own people.

All he had to do was step down. Peacefully. Recognize that folks.

During all these protests in every case the gov’ts have started shooting first. They have started killing their own peoples, their own neighbors.

Let’s help the Middle East leave the 6th century behind and join the 21st century. No ground wars. Just airplanes. Our gov’t also needs to quit funding these kinds of dictators – see Yemen and Egypt for examples.

Posted by Joeaverager | Report as abusive

While I do support the NATO action, I would rather see Quadaffi step down, with a Diplomatic soloution. the Libyan civilians must be protected from both air and land.Perhaps UN blue helmets can be sent in to protect civilians from Quadaffi’s ground assault that cont. Even now.

Posted by fredmartello | Report as abusive

If the Arab League of Nations, France, and the UK feel it is necessary to attack Libya then we should let them do so. Quadaffi must be stopped. However, who says the U.S. should have to lead or be involved? We are already fighting two wars and we cannot afford a third. These other countries have missiles and bombs, why the hell don’t they take care of it? These countries appear to have no conviction. They want us to lead so they will have someone to blame if it doesn’t pan out the way they want it to. We should have submitted our approval at the UN and then been done with it. We, the United States, cannot police the world. For once I’d like to see the Arab League of Nations take care of their own! They have the means to get rid of Quadaffi. Now they are criticizing us as usual. Why don’t they just admit that they support the governing methods of Quadaffi and reveal their true colors. France and Britain need to step up if they really want to do something about this. We should support them, short of being involved.

Posted by Blackbird1996 | Report as abusive

Gaddafi must be eliminated ” a la Saddam”

Gaddafi is a psychopath who abused Libya, had scores of innocent people in Libya, Europe, etc killed

Gaddafi abused human rights for more than 41 years

Like David Koresh or Rev Jones of Jonestown, he thinks he
is a prophet…..he has always overestimated himself… he must go and let Libya live in peace and prosperity
He dilapidated Libya’s resources for his own gratification. He is a murderous dictator and must go now

Posted by munser | Report as abusive

Obama opted for the lesser of two evils.

And now he is working to minimize US exposure to the financial and geopolitical blowback by pressing to have allies carry the load for a change. Good for him.

And yes, those nations that believe democracy and freedom are what is best for people around the world should stand up and help defend those who would fight for it, no matter where they exist. Yemen, Syria, Iran, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, anywhere.

This isn’t about religion Mr. Putin and others who prefer the status quo, it is about one less dictatorship or theocratic regime in the world capable of supressing human rights, democracy, and personal freedoms…including the right to worship as you choose, and to speak your minds as you choose, absent violent repression.

Posted by NobleKin | Report as abusive

So where are all the people calling Obama a war criminal? I guess it’s just criminal when a Republican is in office. Or I am to gather that finally people have woken up a bit to realize the world is better off without tyrants and that doing nothing really means supporting those tyrants actions?

Posted by Bdy2010 | Report as abusive

The difference between what happened in Egypt versus what happened in Libya is that Libyan citizens took up arms against their government.

The moment they did that, civil disobedience became a civil war.

It seems to me that deciding to support a military action like this is a low cost opportunity to pick up GW Bush’s baton in trying to encourage democracy to be adopted in the area.

There must be a strategic benefit or we wouldn’t act.

Posted by breezinthru | Report as abusive

this war is not about the freedom of Libyans. It is all about controlling Libyan OIL.
What about the democracy in Saudi Srabia (one of the most brutal regimes in the world)!! What about Bahrain? They wont do anything to these countries coz they already have the control over their OIL. And what about the other half of Libyans who support Gaddafi? Their opinion doesnt count?
Why doesnt the west bomb China then, poor Tibetans, under brutal Chinese rule for more than 50 years? Coz Tibet doesnt have any OIL that the west cannot exploit.
Why no fly zone in Ivory Coast…more people dead there than in Libya. Its so sad to see that western powers ignoring all these and expecting the people around the world believe their selfish reasoning.

Posted by foofah | Report as abusive

You really gotta love these polls. You got a majority supporting Obama’s cowardly air strikes, while at the same time, that same majority opposes sending in ground troops that can effectively end the whole situation immediately.

Posted by gruven137 | Report as abusive

Please I pray to my GOD that we do not let this golden chance to take out this insane madman now that we have been given the green light to go for it pass us by?

Posted by vtyankee14 | Report as abusive

Recently Ireland changed its government, in peaceful election. The people voted to change a government that was damaging the interests of the people of Ireland. Until the people in countries across the world want to vote to change their governments, dictators like Gadaffi and his ilk steal away peoples freedom and there precious lives. Freedom has to be taken by you, or is taken from you.

Posted by yarak | Report as abusive

George W. Bush stated that the Iraq war was justified to free the Iraqi people and spread democracy. That was a full invasion. Now we have potentially the whole Arab world doing exactly that (take matters in their own hand) and we don’t even want to give them aircover and drop some bombs?? Come on people, stop the hypocrisy. Have you seen anyone burning US flags? I haven’t and I think that is a good thing for once. So let’s give them a helping hand. They may thank us. Other than that, we should stop buying their oil. No oil, no money for their leaders/dictators.

Posted by Bert2 | Report as abusive

The US Constitution demands that every US President obtain a Declaration of War from Congress unless the US is in imminent danger. – -

President Obama ignored Congress and went on a junket. – -

President Bush II was guilty of the same crimes and it’s a pity and an indictment of our society that he wasn’t impeached. – -

Just because we ‘don’t like’ a foreign leader does not give our country the right or the moral imperitive to meddle offensively in their matters. – -

Having the UN front for our trespasses doesn’t make them right.

We were supposed to be in and out of Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. None of these predictions came true.

We can’t afford to be the world’s policeman.

Posted by INOV8TN | Report as abusive

It is interesting to read historical accounts of those actually subject to tyranny such as a Russian in a Stalin gulag and a Jew in Auschwitz both wished for the bombs to rain from the sky to release them from their hell on earth. They did not care if they were killed in the process but at least it would be an indication fellow humanity was willing to fight to save them.

Alas the Berlin wall came down to late for most and the Allies were not able to prevent the worst of the genocide against other by the German Nazi not only against Jews. Are we now to condemn these victims of tyranny to a similar fate as we sit on the side lines pontificating on how nasty war is and gee why don’t they just sit down nicely and work it out? If we lived in pacifist fairy land great idea but we do not and never have.

So for those on the streets now of Africa and the Middle East bravely facing death unarmed or with comparatively less fire power than their rivals as in Libya. Do we once again forsake them because it is none of our business given they are other or do we realise finally we are as responsible for them and their families happiness as we are for our own?

One day soon we may search vainly the sky and horizon for release from heavy chains or imminent destruction of all we love and cherish.

Posted by markjuliansmith | Report as abusive

100 cruise missiles shot over the first day or two alone at a reported $700,000 a piece ($70 million dollars for the first day alone) a downed fighter jet I would imagine is somewhere between $15-$22 million dollars for a total of $92 million dollars and that’s just for a few different types of equipment during the first few days the tip of the ice berg that isn’t counting all money it costs to move aircraft carriers, battle ships, fuel and everything else involved with this silliness.

For what? To get some rebel fighters who no one knows who they are who appear to be hardcore muslim radicals (some interviewed said they didn’t like Gaddafi because he wasn’t muslim enough) and may even have ties to al queda into power?

Why? What a waste of American money, time and resources.

Posted by cjjn | Report as abusive

Not good times for anyone any where in the world mostly brought on by greed around the world but at no time can any of us avoid an opportunity to support a democratic development where dictatorships have forever kept the world on edge and caste a dark shadow on human hope. As weary tired and broke as we can be..We have to help those who are even more weary and tired of living but not living at all.

Posted by MrEz | Report as abusive

Okay, so the Cameron/Obama/Sarkozy/Harper gang’s justification is that a ruthless dictator must be stopped from killing his own people. What the hell happened to North Korea? In Libya, the opposition has guns. In North Korea, the people are getting raped but are too brainwashed to realize. Kim Jong-Il is literally starving his people while eating food from his 5-star chef!

Posted by iclrl2015 | Report as abusive

So let me get this straight. Most of Europe, and a good many Americans – especially Obama – decried our move to take out Saddam, but this is OK? Aside from the fact that Saddam owned -and used- chemical weapons, could’ve taught Gaddafi a thing or two about killing his own people, Iraq is strategically positioned on the border of Iran and the Persian gulf. What in the world will taking out Gaddafi do for us?
And besides, do the Western leaders really believe they can “sort of” make war? The world has been feminized. Our leaders don’t have balls anymore – and I’m talking about the men!

Posted by beofaction | Report as abusive

We have a thing which the artist Mel Chin has represented in full size and it has allegedly been dropped on civilians. It is known as a Daisy Cutter, a ten-thousand pound bomb. Its name is a clue: it detonates above ground and for acres there will stand nothing taller than a Daisy.
We target and murder people often, and while I do not approve and I believe it is counterproductive, why is a mass murdering dictator given diplomatic immunity? Just one at his last known address would either finish the problem, or demoralize the survivors.
One Daisy Cutter, not scattered strikes on private soldiers, would stop MoMo G., and only two more would stop his sons.

Posted by BOBBY99 | Report as abusive

If Saddam ever had and used chemical weapons, and at one time he did, he got them from US Taxpayers. We bought them and gave them to him to use against Iran and the Kurds.
We stripped him of these weapons before the eight year idiot war was started by bush. bush lied, and we still have billions a week expense doing it.
We fund most of the dictators in the world. Democracy will break out eventually, in spite of our efforts.
Daisy Cut MoMo and let Libya try to get some democracy.

Posted by BOBBY99 | Report as abusive

Who is going to pay for the wars? We are already under water for national budget and also big deficit. I see no reason to pick up another “easy” war. This will not benefit the cotry a a whole only the military industry.

By the way, congress didn’t authorize the launch of airstike. It is against constitution.

Posted by ukok | Report as abusive

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