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Tunesia, Egyt and now Yemen: a domino effect in the Middle East?

 
 
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2011 02:26 pm
@spendius,
The US mentality of "going it alone" is too strong, and we need the balance - even from Russia - to stop the US from getting involved. We can't even "afford" the war in Afghanistan; getting involved in Libya is insane.
0 Replies
 
revelette
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2011 02:48 pm
Gaddafi has chemical weapons and he's ready to use them


Quote:
The first that Gaddafi’s poorly armed opposition would know of an impending attack on them from their country’s embattled leader would be the distant ‘crump’ of artillery fire.

Moments later the shells would start to land. For a few seconds there might be relief, laughter even, that the shells had either fallen short or gone over their heads.

But then the gentle desert breeze would blow the deadly smoke from the exploded munitions towards them and suddenly — too late — those fighting for democracy in Libya would realise Gaddafi hadn’t missed at all.

It could be a sudden choking in their lungs, a searing pain in their eyes, the rapid blistering of their skin.

As they slumped to the ground, blinded, vomiting or coughing up blood, they would die in the desert knowing two things. First, that despite his lies, despite his obfuscation, Gaddafi does still have biological and chemical weapons.

Second, that he was now desperate and deranged enough to use them.
For now, a biological or chemical attack by Gaddafi on his own people is still only the stuff of nightmares.

But what is worrying a growing number of Western military and intelligence experts is that it could become a terrifying reality at any moment.

Armed and very dangerous: Colonel Gaddafi has an arsenal of chemical and biological weapons at his disposal

Gaddafi may have promised to give up such weapons in 2003 as part of the deal that brought the rogue state back into the diplomatic fold, but the chilling fact is he still has enough to kill and maim an awful lot of people.






cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2011 03:26 pm
@revelette,
And he probably will, and the end result will be more dead Libyans - with no consequence for Gaddafi.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2011 04:49 pm
@cicerone imposter,
From where do you suggest the consequences should come?

Clearly, you don't want the US to be involved in delivering them, so who should?

cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2011 05:27 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
You sure don't understand English, do you?
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2011 05:49 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Quote:
And he probably will, and the end result will be more dead Libyans - with no consequence for Gaddafi.


And who goaded the protesters into the scenario seemingly without considering the possibility or that there were significant differences between the situations in Tunisia and Egypt?

Do such people, gratutiously indulging opportunities to pose as compassionate, really think that they are the only ones who seek to diminish bloodshed?

You can't call a guy a "mad dog" and then expect him to behave like the Archbishop of Canterbury.

cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2011 05:54 pm
@spendius,
Go ahead, spendi, volunteer yourself and do whatever you deem necessary in Libya. Have they asked for your help? You probably haven't noticed, but the UN is impotent as a military force. Good luck!
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2011 06:21 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Once again no answer.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2011 06:21 pm
From today's Independent (UK)
A summary of the various options available to the west in response to the situation in Libya & assessments of the likely effectiveness of those options.
Excuse the length, but I thought this was worth posting in entirety:

Quote:
What can the West do now – and can anything really hurt Gaddafi?

From freezing bank accounts to imposing a no-fly zone, the international community's next steps will be crucial to the region. Ben Chu and Jake Heller assess the options

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Option: Refer Gaddafi to the International Criminal Court

What it means

Threatens senior figures with prosecution for crimes against humanity. A resolution was passed by the United Nations Security Council at the weekend authorising a referral. Anyone who is responsible for an international crime in Libya since 15 February is now subject to the ICC. The investigation covers not only those who carry out the deeds, but those who give the orders and those who know about crimes but fail to prevent them. This is the first time a referral has been unanimously supported since the court was established in 2002.

What is its likely effect?

The referral sends a message to the regime that it can expect to be held accountable for the slaughter of its own people. The consequences for those targeted could be trial and imprisonment in The Hague, where the ICC is based. In theory, at least, this should be a disincentive for Colonel Gaddafi and those around him from ordering attacks against unarmed protesters. Yet the court is still lacking in international credibility since the world's biggest military power, the US, has not signed up to it.

Option: Asset confiscations

What it means

Hit the Libyan regime financially. The UN Security Council has voted to impose a freeze on the assets of Muammar Gaddafi and his family. The US Treasury has also frozen $30bn in Libyan assets in America. And at the weekend, Britain froze £1bn in assets held by Gaddafi and his children. But there has been no decision yet on whether the freeze should be extended to the estimated £60bn-£80bn holdings of the Libyan Investment Authority, thought to be controlled by the Gaddafi family.

What is its likely effect?

This provides another incentive for those close to Gaddafi to abandon him. Even if they survive, they will not get access to the funds he has salted away abroad. It could also impede the ability of the regime to access cash to pay the mercenaries Gaddafi has imported, which could be crucial if he survives the present assault. The imposition of an asset freeze in 1993 did help to persuade Gaddafi to co-operate with the inquiry into the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. But it is doubtful how significant an asset freeze would be.

Option: Sanctions

What it means

Cut off Libya from international trade. The United Nations and the European Union have imposed an arms embargo on Libya and a cargo inspection system. We have been here before: the US began imposing sanctions in Libya in the 1980s under President Reagan when the Gaddafi regime was suspected of terror links. These included a ban on US citizens travelling to Libya and on US firms investing in the country. The United Nations and the European Union imposed their own sanctions in 1992.

What is its likely effect?

Previous sanctions were largely lifted in 2004 when Gaddafi, under considerable pressure, gave up his weapons of mass destruction programme in the wake of the US invasion of Iraq. The danger is that if Gaddafi does survive, the pain of sanctions will be felt primarily by the Libyan people rather than the regime – just as they were in Iraq after the first Gulf War. And since there is no trade taking place at the moment these measures are likely to have little impact in the immediate term.

Option: Travel ban

What it means

Restrict the international freedom of movement of the Gaddafi regime. The United Nations Security Council has voted to impose a travel ban on Gaddafi and his family, which prevents them from travelling to any member of the United Nations. There have also been UN travel bans over the past decade on leaders from Ivory Coast, Sudan, Liberia and Iran. In 2002, the European Union imposed a similar ban on Robert Mugabe and other high-ranking Zimbabwean politicians that prevented them from travelling to Europe.

What is its likely effect?

In theory, a travel ban puts more pressure on Gaddafi – but the precedent is far from promising, even when the bans are enforced. The EU travel ban did not dislodge Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. And UN travel sanctions on African leaders have had similarly minimal impact. Such bans can also be flouted. In 2007, one of the members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard who was supposedly covered by UN travel restrictions managed to travel to Moscow unimpeded.

Option: No-fly zone

What it means

Prevent the Libyan air force from bombing protesters and rebels. Libyan pilots would face the threat of being shot down if they took to the skies. The head of US Central Command yesterday said that such an operation would also inevitably involve bombing missions to remove Libya's air defence systems. The US, UK and France imposed a no-fly zone in northern Iraq after the first Gulf War in 1991. And the United Nations Security Council voted to impose a no-fly zone in Bosnia in 1992.

What is its likely effect?

It would be difficult to get authorisation for a no-fly zone through the UN Security Council. China is likely to oppose it. The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, ruled out the idea yesterday calling it "superfluous". A US-UK only operation would have unfortunate echoes of the divisive 2003 Iraq invasion. And its effectiveness should not be overstated. The Bosnia no-fly zone was widely violated and the no-fly zones that followed the 1991 Gulf War did not remove Saddam.

Option: Military action

What it means

Direct armed force by the West to remove Gaddafi. There are precedents besides the US-led operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The UN Security Council sanctioned the ejection of Saddam Hussein by military force from Kuwait in 1990. In 1995, Nato launched military operations, without UN sanction, to protect Bosnia from Slobodan Milosevic and did the same in 1999 to protect Kosovo from the Serbian dictator. And Britain intervened unilaterally to help to end the civil war in Sierra Leone in 2000.

What is its likely effect?

Military action was successful in removing Saddam from Kuwait, in ending war in Sierra Leone and pushing Milosevic out of Kosovo. But it led to an expensive and lethal quagmire in Iraq and British and US troops are still being killed in Afghanistan. An invasion of Libya could suck foreign troops into a civil war. There is also the danger of seeming to add credibility to Gaddafi's warnings that the West is engaged in an imperial plot to


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/what-can-the-west-do-now-ndash-and-can-anything-really-hurt-gaddafi-2229688.html
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2011 06:24 pm
@spendius,
spendius wrote:
You can't call a guy a "mad dog" and then expect him to behave like the Archbishop of Canterbury.


I think the guy who called him 'mad dog' tried to take him out with a hellfire missile.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2011 06:25 pm
@msolga,
They have to say something Olga. The only trouble is that they don't know what to say and thus the mish-mash.
msolga
 
  0  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2011 06:26 pm
@spendius,
Which parts of their outline & assessment do you have problems with, spendius?
spendius
 
  0  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2011 06:27 pm
@spendius,
Suppose he offers China 10% off and one extra free with every five tanker loads which are free to pass through Suez.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  0  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2011 06:27 pm
@msolga,
All of it.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2011 06:27 pm
@spendius,
Def Sec Gates yesterday strongly warned against any military option, to include a no fly zone....
msolga
 
  0  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2011 06:29 pm
@spendius,
Well OK then.
Thanks for that. Wink
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2011 06:46 pm
@msolga,
How is it that anyone who opposed the U.S. intervention in Iraq - also intended to depose a brutal and unpredictable dictator - could contemplate a similar operation in Libya?

It appears from the article that the best available option is the International Criminal Court - perhaps they could talk Gadaffi to death as they did Slobodan Milsovech. 'If only the U.S. had signed up all would have been well...' what nonsense !

It does appear that none of the major powers has any serious interest in intervening in the hard to understand and harder still to predict internal affairs of Libya. Probably a good thing.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2011 06:59 pm
@georgeob1,
Well I didn't write the article, George, I posted it.

Quote:
It appears from the article that the best available option is the International Criminal Court

That seemed to be an "option" which was listed, I didn't notice any reference to it being "the best available option".

Quote:
'If only the U.S. had signed up all would have been well...' what nonsense !

I didn't see any "if only" sentiment, either.
It was a a reference to the ICC lacking "international credibility" because the US is not a signatory.
Do you disagree with that assessment?

Quote:
... The consequences for those targeted could be trial and imprisonment in The Hague, where the ICC is based. In theory, at least, this should be a disincentive for Colonel Gaddafi and those around him from ordering attacks against unarmed protesters. Yet the court is still lacking in international credibility since the world's biggest military power, the US, has not signed up to it.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2011 07:11 pm
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

Well I didn't write the article, George, I posted it.
And I merely commented on it.

msolga wrote:
Quote:
It appears from the article that the best available option is the International Criminal Court

That seemed to be an "option" which was listed, I didn't notice any reference to it being "the best available option".
True, but comparing the bad side effects and arguments against the options they listed, it looked very much the best (or probably more accurately, least bad) to me.

msolga wrote:
Quote:
'If only the U.S. had signed up all would have been well...' what nonsense !

I didn't see any "if only" sentiment, either.
It was a a reference to the ICC lacking "international credibility" because the US is not a signatory.
Do you disagree with that assessment?
The cheap shot about the US rejection of the ICC had nothing to do with the article. Russia, India and China didn't sign up either... why not list them?

However I do disagree with the assessment. The ICC lacks credibility because the signatories to this convention themselves lack credibility. The history of this strange institution demonstrates that very well.

cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Mar, 2011 07:15 pm
@georgeob1,
Your calling it a "strange institution" was spot on! Why do they even exist?
0 Replies
 
 

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