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Libya bombing: Deja vu?

Updated: 2011-03-25 15:57
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Editor's note: The no-fly zone imposed over Libya by the United Nations Security Council is the result of international efforts to quell the violence and end the humanitarian crisis in the North African country.

However, after days of cruise missile attacks and air bombardments by the West-led coalition forces, purportedly to reduce the Libyan government's military capabilities, there is evidence humanitarian disasters there are getting worse and may trigger further escalation of armed conflicts.

Is the bombing justified or is it yet another case of "might makes right"?

Libya bombing: Deja vu?
Libya bombing: Deja vu?

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Responses from major countries and international organizations

Libya bombing: Deja vu?

China: Called for immediately cease-fire and hoped all parties could resolve issues through peaceful means. It wants all actions taken by the Security Council to follow the UN Charter and norms governing international law and respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Libya.

Libya bombing: Deja vu?

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin: "The resolution (on no-flyer zone) is defective and flawed. It allows everything. It resembles medieval calls for crusades."

India: Expressed "regret" over the air strikes called for the "cessation of armed conflict"; said the US-led international coalition has no right to interfere in Libya's affairs.

Brazil:Called for a cease-fire in Libya in the hope that an effective cease-fire be implemented as soon as possible to allow the protection of civilians and the start of dialogue between the Libyan government and its opponents.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:Called for an immediate end to violence by all parties and for the responsibility to protect civilians and said "all those who violate international humanitarian and human rights law will be held fully accountable".

Arab League:What was happening in Libya differed from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone, and what they wanted was the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians.

Responses from readers of China Daily Website

Libya bombing: Deja vu?

I am appalled at the military intervention in Libya by the United States and its European allies after a UN vote allowed them to establish a "no-fly" zone over the North African country.

The increasing influence of globalization means we are increasingly coming in contact and doing business with people of different countries and cultures, whose values reflect their separate history and geography. Naturally, the political systems they have in place reflect this diversity.

--- Ross Grainger

If we're to have a real democratic and civilized world, we'll need a counter balancing force, and opinions around the world, in the face of problems and conflicts happening as in Libya, and the wider Middle East and Arab world.

Just because a handful of UN members voted for resolution 1973, this does not give them a free reign to do what they want in Libya or give them a full license to kill Libyans, government and civilians alike. Also, the world is made of more than 190 countries, so even if the whole world speaks with one voice - but in reality this is clearly not the case as only 10 have voted in favor of it with a 5 percent approval rate for the resolution - the voice of the Libyan people is much more important.

---The Dragon

The goal is about oil and regime change, dressed up as humanitarianism by the US and some western allies. We should all condemn the senseless and frantic bombing of Libya and call for the immediate stop to the invasion of the country and the total abuse of UN 1973.


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Libya bombing: Deja vu?

Huang Xiangyang (copy editor of China Daily):

I am not a big fan of Gadhafi, who has ruled Libya for 41 years. He may be "a tyrant who is merciless" to his people, as claimed by the United States and its allies. He may have inflicted civilian casualties in his offensives against the rebels, as in the case of any civil war in any country. But this does not constitute a veritable excuse to invade and split a sovereign nation. (Click to read full comment here)

Ted Carpenter (vice-president for defense and foreign policy at the Washington-based Cato Institute) :

The reality is that the protection of civilians may be a secondary goal of the intervention, but the real goal is to unseat Muammar Gaddafi. For a variety of reasons, Obama felt that he cannot openly admit that toppling Gaddafi is the primary objective. Also ff the coalition comes out openly about overthrowing Gaddafi, it is well-beyond these (UN) mandates. (Click to read full comment here)

Li Qinggong (deputy secretary-general of the China Council for National Security Policy Studies) :

Politicians in the West are using the military action in Libya as a means to extricate themselves from their current political predicaments. In the US, the ongoing social crises as well as public demonstrations in Wisconsin and other states have plunged many state organs into functional paralysis. France, the spearhead of the latest Western action in Libya, is also suffering from widespread social problems. (Click to read full comment here)

Li Qingsi (professor with the School of International Studies of Renmin University of China) :

The intervention by outside powers into the internal affairs of a sovereign nation means a big step backward in the world's pursuit of democracy and peace and demonstrates the double standards some Western countries have adopted toward the social unrest that has occurred in various Middle East countries. (Click to read full comment here)


Whither Libya?

Libya bombing: Deja vu?

What will become of Libya? Will Colonel Gadhafi fight to the last bullet and follow Saddam Hussein's path? Or will he flee his country before it's too late? Or, most unlikely, will he seek peace with the rebels?

No matter how things pan out, it's always innocent civilians who suffer most.

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