Should the U.S./NATO establish a no-fly zone over Libya?

Huh. Here I was about to dispute that Libya is in the Middle East (Egypt being the only North African country I’d count as ME), but I see there is such an entity as theGreater Middle East to which it does belong. Who knew.

If any version of “we” were to get involved, “we” would end up blamed for anything bad that happens next…and chances are that after Gaddafi leaves there will be some bad stuff before there is any good stuff. The path to freedom isn’t easy for a place with no recent tradition of it.

Even so, they also took their planes with them when they defected, and I doubt that if they re-fect, whatever country has them now will let them take the planes back.

That’s not really an option. I can’t imagine the Chinese allowing such a resolution to pass.

Just because somebody made up a term doesn’t mean it makes sense.

Absolutely yes. When a government is massacring its citizens and when those citizens are calling for help decency demands it. Just like we shielded the Kurds from Saddam.

When there is clear and present danger you just have to do the right thing. I’m sure the new government of Libya won’t object and we should not care what other Arab League tyrants think. If our fine words mean anything it means we don’t sit by while dictators massacre those ‘yearning to be free’.

A chance for the West to get off on the right foot with a fledgling Arab democracy as well, rather than facing the ‘well, where the hell were you when we needed you?’ questions later on when we are competing with the Chinese for their friendship and oil.

Besides - the UK is already ignoring the whole sovereignty thing and conducting military operations to rescue civilians.

This open letter to the UN from Arab intellectuals and organisations calls for it.

How would a No Fly zone be enforced?
Can It be done with out a US carrier? maybe from Malta? would Egype help?

A report that the rebels have enforced a little no-fly themselves.

No I mean the defections of the leaders who were with Qaddafi until only days ago. Not the planes. It is only that I think that it is not to be hoped that these people really changed, and that once he is gone, they are suddenly democratic minded.

To Tagos: unless you know these peoples I think it is best not to ask for things for them. Those Arab intellectuals are not Lybians. And we have the Shebab of Lybia saying that there is only unity because no foreigners are being involved: http://twitter.com/ShababLibya - it is they are doing the fighting and dying and not some foreign arab intellectuals or English or American sitting away far. We should respect the Shebab.

I agree. It’s just laziness in thinking Arab = Middle East (and even then, it’s not all Arab). You might as well say the US is part of “Greater Europe”.

Military intervention and No Fly Zone are different things and seen as different things.

I agree their views should be respected. Does not mean they we should abide by them.

I have read several reports of other protesters asking for a no-fly zone. Considering we are not likely to see a referendum among the Libyan people about this issue, and that most do not have access to the military intelligence that the UN has, I would give the UN the final say in determining if it would be beneficial or not.

I saw that also. I am still hoping that the discussion over no-fly zone will become moot.

Until Ghaddafi starts using his warplanes to kill protesters, I don’t think the US or NATO should do anything other than provide humanitarian aid. Sure, we could easily enforce a no-fly zone, but even if it was explicitly asked for, what kind of message does that send to the nations of the Middle East?

That the UN will no longer tolerate brutal crackdowns, or gross violations of human rights. Make them think twice about using military forces to suppress protesters.

Egypt really did play it perfectly. They sent in the tanks, but used them to enforce a neutral ground until the protests played themselves out.

The message we are sending right now is that Western governments will not take serious action until Westerners have been evacuated. While those governments have a done a good job of helping many non-Westerners get out, a very large number of foreign workers from countries that do not have the resources to rescue them remain stuck there. And everyone knows who gets to board the boats and planes first.

If that is the only message we want to send, so be it. But I do not see it helping us in the long run.

Side note: I think Lieberman and McCain are idiots for advocating supplying arms to the rebels. They point to foreign intervention in the former Yugoslavia, forgetting about how well supplying rebels worked in Afghanistan. It will be hard enough to keep many of the arms floating around in Libya from entering the black market and heading south to fuel the conflicts there. The last thing we need to do is increase that supply.

Of course the US and NATO should do it. And the US by necessity will end up leading it-the European militaries are technologically advanced but due to their focus on social welfare they are often tiny and often lack projection capabilities. And the UN, due to the infamous Chinese veto is dominated by fanatical anti-Americans who’s more obssessed with Israel than Qadaffi. In addition we bombed Serbia but we weren’t involved in a bloody war there nor did it happen when we bombed Libya in the '80s.

So you just don’t care if we galvanize support for Qadaffi? Shouldn’t we consider the consequences to our actions?

What if he puts civilians in transports? You okay with shooting them down when Qadaffi broadcasts their corpses as the result of an American airstrike, and as evidence that this is all an international plot against him?

Infamous Chinese veto? The Chinese governments used the veto 6 times from 1946 to 2007, compared to the US with 82 uses and the USSR/Russia with 123.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:UNSC_veto.svg

Yeah, that and I just saw on CNN’s front page that Libyan jets have bombed a base that the opposition had taken over, so…yeah.