UN okays "all necessary measures" against Gaddafi

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The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously yesterday to call for the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya, as well as "all necessary measures" to protect civilians.

The resolution, number 1973, allowing military action was passed shortly before forces loyal to Libyan ruler Moammar Gaddafi were expected to roll into Benghazi, the rebel stronghold, and crush the uprising. Within hours of the council's action, however, Gaddafi announced a ceasefire.

Celebrations erupted in Benghazi, as rebels and their supporters flooded the streets, waving flags and chanting. But reports via Facebook and Twitter indicate that there is still fighting on the ground, and that Gaddafi's missiles are beginning to fly into the western part of the country.

The move to approve the resolution, sponsored by the United States and Lebanon, comes after weeks of wrangling and intense discussion. While Republicans had pressed President Barack Obama to seek action unilaterally or through NATO alone, he and U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton made clear that they did not want to move forward on any military action without agreement from the international community, specifically a Council resolution authorizing the use of force.

The Republican leadership repeatedly condemned Obama for not quickly deploying troops to the region. But the president, apparently, worried about a repeat of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, in which the Bush administration led an invasion that began what most now consider a disastrous war - without international approval.

Most expected the resolution to fail in the UNSC, or that language authorizing the use of force would be stripped from it, but a request from the Arab League this past weekend, said Clinton, changed minds and brought about a "sea change" in the thinking of the international community.

Li Baodong, China's UN ambassador said after the vote, "China is always against the use of force when those means were not exhausted." He complained, "specific questions" China asked were not answered, but nonetheless, "[China] attaches great importance to the requests of the Arab League and the African Union."

China, one of five countries on the council with veto power, abstained from the vote, giving a tacit approval to the use of force, as did Russia. India, German and Brazil - non-permanent members of the council with no veto power - also abstained. The vote was 10 to zero in favor.

Baso Sangqu, speaking on behalf of South Africa, which currently holds a seat on the council, said his nation was concerned about "what is fast becoming a civil war in Libya." He added that any solution "must also preserve the solidarity and integrity of Libya."

Many non-aligned countries worried that the U.S., NATO and/or the European Union would use the conflict in Libya as a pretext to invade and occupy the country. However, the requests of the Arab League and the UNSC provision that there be no occupational force seems to have moved some support towards intervention.

Andrei Savivykh, speaking on behalf of socialist-oriented Belarus, which plays a large role in the Non-Aligned Movement and frequently butts heads with the U.S. and the European Union, said earlier today, "It is obvious that the UN Security Council Resolution is aimed at de-escalation of the conflict and protecting civilians. We expect that all the UN member states will act to meet this primary objective."

Much remains up in the air. No one yet knows what kind of a role the U.S., along with Britain, France and other NATO countries, will play or, as reports of continued fighting surface, what will happen on the ground in Libya.

The full vote of the council is as follows: Ten countries - Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Gabon, Lebanon, Nigeria, Portugal, South Africa, France, the U.S. and the United Kingdom - voted for, none voted against and five countries - China, Russia, India, Germany, Brazil - abstained.

Image: Anti-Gaddafi posters in rebel held territory BRQ Network // CC BY 2.0

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  • So the US government is quick to respond to the Libyan Rebels needs...............But gives bailouts to the same banks that foreclosed on thousands of Americans, and leaves them homeless. Obama sure duped the Voters.

    Posted by ugotduped, 04/05/2011 1:36am (4 years ago)

  • Cigarettes manufactured in the US killed more people than Gaddafi? So when is the US government going to close the Cigarette factories? Are other foreign countries coming to bomb the US government or US cigarette manufacturers?

    Posted by itolduso, 04/04/2011 10:23pm (4 years ago)

  • If Gaddafi is so bad, then why do the majority of civilians in Lybia support him?

    Posted by ugotfooled, 04/04/2011 3:47pm (4 years ago)

  • Outside intervention was justified in this situationas a massacre of insurgents loomed. Nevertheless, we should be alert to the possibility ofmanipulation by Western Imperialism for the purpose of economic advantage.

    Posted by Rob Moir, 04/02/2011 5:46pm (4 years ago)

  • I thought this a cautious and reasonable view. Given the record of Western Imperialism, I think that is much to worry about. However, it does appear to me that international military intervention was necessary. Imperialist manipulation may show its hand down the road.

    Posted by Rob Moir, 04/02/2011 5:43pm (4 years ago)

  • This started with Gaddafi, and must end with Gaddafi. Or it will just be dragged out..............How long did it take for Bush to get rid of Saddam?

    Posted by red, 03/30/2011 10:34pm (4 years ago)

  • After all the crying and moaning about bringing the troops home from Iraq and Afganistan. Not only has Obama left them there, he has entered them into another war in Lybia...... Cuts medicare,Medicade,Social Securty & unemployment from the US taxpayers.........But surprisingly has money to arm the Lybian Rebels that dont pay taxes..........The American voters must feel duped now.

    Posted by itolduso, 03/30/2011 6:44pm (4 years ago)

  • The United States will need to send in ground troops if they really want that oil.

    Posted by red, 03/29/2011 8:28pm (4 years ago)

  • It is 100% obvious that the so-called West will take advantages of the sloppy and vague languages to 1973 to take military actions against Libya, against Gaddafi, as they want to steal oil and get rid of the obstacle of their capitalist ambitions. As some Russians say Medivedev betrayed the Russian and Soviet principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of independent countries. Putin has to come up with some words, implying this issue. The majority of Russians are with Putin as against Medivedev, who is a lawyer like Obama but does not know the history and even the international laws. The foreign ministry of Russia headed by one of the most experienced diplomat, Lavrov, reportedly wanted to use veto but forced to compromise to abstain from the voting. Der Spigel has an article which describes the current switch to so-called human rights from the preservation of peace, in contrast to the existing laws of starting wars. Clinton as one of the war criminals started the so-called human rights intervention by military in Yugoslavia, which resulted killing more people and even encouraged criminal elemenets in Kosovo, who even killed Servians and others to sell their organs for implant. Now the UN investigation has proven this acrimal acts while one of the criminals, the president of Kosovo, still enjoying his criminal acts.
    As the history shows, the West never abides by any laws or UN resolutions.

    Posted by kotoko tateishi, 03/29/2011 3:32am (4 years ago)

  • Obama in his speech said he believed it was in the national interest of the United States and allies to use force.............Can he be more specfic on the national interest?

    Posted by red, 03/29/2011 1:44am (4 years ago)

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