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U.N. Approves ‘All Necessary Measures’ to Protect Libyan Civilians

Posted on Mar 17, 2011
Wikimedia Commons / Bernd Untiedt, Germany Some rights reserved

On the same day that Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhadi told the people of rebel Benghazi he would show “no mercy,” the U.N. Security Council approved a resolution brought by the U.K., France and Lebanon to allow “all necessary measures” except invasion to protect Libya’s civilian population.


The UN Security Council has backed a no-fly zone over Libya and “all necessary measures” short of an invasion “to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas”.

In New York, the 15-member body voted 10-0 in favour, with five abstentions.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

Well,  being a conservative, Col. Gadfly can come to the United States and run on the Republican/Tea Bag ticket with Palin….. and if that doesn’t work out,... Gadfly can always get a job on Fox,....I hear Glenn Beck is leaving Fox which will leave a huge hole to fill with ranting Conservative sound bites!

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By Blackspeare, March 19, 2011 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

The latest——Libya has MWDs.  Is this Deja-vu or what?!

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By Blackspeare, March 18, 2011 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment

Looks like we’ve entered a new era of international foreign intrigue.  Whenever there is an armed struggle against a sitting regime the UN can now decide whether the regime in question is allowed to survive.  I wonder how the rebels in East Timor would have fared? Or the ones in Columbia? What about the Shining Path in Peru.  This could get pretty interesting in the future.  I’ll bet about now Qaddafi wishes he had a nuke!  Funny that the two major powers on the Security Council with veto power abstained——-were they bought off or is Russia anxious to see how their air defense system works.  As for China anything that costs the USA money or perhaps reputation is a win for them.  But in any event, Qaddafi is toast——the rebels will be supported until they push Qaddafi out.  Now we know why NK and Iran are pursuing nukes——you need a deterrent against UN resolutions that foment regime change policies from without!

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By diamond, March 18, 2011 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment

“Funny.  Peaceful protests don’t usually have tanks and antiaircraft guns as well as vehicle mounted machine guns.  I guess “peaceful” means something else in Libya?  Because anywhere else you’d describe that as a military coup.”

They were peaceful, until Gaddafi began slaughtering them in the streets. Would you admire them more if they had let him slaughter them ‘peacefully’. Gaddafi is a psychopath and has ruled as a dictator for over forty years. And now he’s finished. I doubt there will be any tears shed when he and his equally repulsive sons end up dead or in the Hague - just like Milosevic after his hideous activities during the Bosnian war. The same kind of slaughter is going on in Bahrain and Yemen. You can’t have it both ways: you can’t insist that the Middle East become democratic and then allow the protesters to be slaughtered for demanding that very democracy. Bush Snr. already did that in Iraq in the nineties when he encouraged Iraqis to rise up against Saddam and then abandoned them to their fate. The bogeyman they use to justify slaughtering the protesters is that they’re Shia (but Gaddafi has been claiming they’re ‘al Qaeda’ which is supposedly Sunni, so desperate is he) but in fact they are simply dissidents (mostly young and university educated) demanding democracy and their religious sect is only relevant to those who will find any excuse to support the status quo and by extension dictatorship.

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By Steve E, March 18, 2011 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

Obama’s bullshit speech today stresses that civilians will be protected. He exudes
that tough guy air as he never mentions oil interests, a true corporate puppet and
hypocrite applying his godless craft. Haliburton and the MIC are pleased with their
water boy. The Israelis are somewhat thankful as well. Hail to the leader, a true
pompous ass.

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DavidByron's avatar

By DavidByron, March 18, 2011 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

“mass protests by peaceful civilians”

Funny.  Peaceful protests don’t usually have tanks and antiaircraft guns as well as vehicle mounted machine guns.  I guess “peaceful” means something else in Libya?  Because anywhere else you’d describe that as a military coup.

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By DavidByron, March 18, 2011 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment


They’ve had one for 60 years :(

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By robertaustin, March 18, 2011 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

In another time and another place, a much reviled leader declared war on his own people in order to maintain the integrity of his nation - a war which resulted in the slaughter of more than a half million of his fellow citizens. So determined was this leader to destroy his enemies that he was willing to fight “until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword”

The time: 1861-1865
The place: United States of America
The Leader: Abraham Lincoln

Perhaps we should heed the lessons of history, and stay out of other people’s business. Even if that business seems particularly nasty from our vantage point.

Don’t, for one minute, think I am defending Gadhafi or condemning Lincoln by this argument. We can help those suffering under Gadhafi by offering food, water, and medical assistance. We can provide shelter to refugees and facilitate their relocation to new homelands. We must not, however, help to destroy a nation in the name of human decency, when we know such an action invariably results in more harm than good.

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By Go Right Young Man, March 18, 2011 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment

DavidByron, - “The US is about to start yet another criminal war against Arabs / muslims.’


David, what you’re writing here, according to both the United Nations and the Arab League, is incorrect.

According the the United Nations Charter this “No Fly Zone” over Libya is legal and binding (see item below).

This is not an attack on Arab Muslims. It was the Arab League, all Arab Nations, which requested the No Fly Zone over Libya.


UN News Service

Security Council authorizes ‘all necessary measures’ to protect civilians in Libya

17 March 2011 –The Security Council today effectively authorized the use of force in Libya to protect civilians from attack, specifically in the eastern city of Benghazi, which Colonel Muammar Al-Qadhafi has reportedly said he will storm tonight to end a revolt against his regime.

Acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which provides for the use of force if needed, the Council adopted a resolution by 10 votes to zero, with five abstentions, authorizing Member States “to take all necessary measures… to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamhariya, including Benghazi, while excluding an occupation force.”

The abstentions included China and Russia, which have the power of veto, as well as Brazil, Germany and India.

Expressing grave concern at the deteriorating situation, the escalation of violence, and the heavy civilian casualties, the Council established a no-fly zone, banning all flights – except those for humanitarian purposes – in Libyan airspace in order to help protect civilians. It specifically calls on Arab League states to cooperate with other Member States in taking the necessary measures.

The Arab League last weekend requested the Council to impose a no-fly zone after Mr. Qadhafi was reported to have used warplanes, warships, tanks and artillery to seize back cities taken over in what started out a month ago as mass protests by peaceful civilians seeking an end to his 41-year rule.

The resolution further strengthens an arms embargo that the Council imposed last month when it unanimously approved sanctions against the Libyan authorities, freezing the assets of its leaders and referring the ongoing violent repression of civilian demonstrators to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, March 18, 2011 at 11:58 am Link to this comment


MARCH 10, 2011


“In the last few days the UN have paved the way for a no-fly zone in Libya.

David Cameron and Barack Obama have also agreed to draw up “the full spectrum” of military responses to the crisis in Libya.

British PM David Cameron outlined his conversation with Obama, saying “We have got to prepare for what we might have to do if he [Gaddafi] goes on brutalising his own people…”

I find myself overwhelmed by Cameron’s humanist stand—it seems he really cares about the Libyan people.

And yet, I am left puzzled, for I have never observed Cameron, Obama or the UN being so touched in the same manner by the death of Palestinian civilians, who are also butchered on a daily basis by Israeli air raids. As it seems, in the quote above, Muammar Gaddafi performs far more integrity than Cameron, Obama and the UN. Gaddafi clearly manages to question the Western moralist agenda. If the UN is so enthusiastic to bomb Libya, shouldn’t it really start with Israel?

I would contend that for a moral interventional argument to be justifiable, it must be primarily grounded on moral integrity.

If America and Britain are, indeed, ‘morally driven’ why do they fail to protect the people of Palestine? Why do they allow Israeli airplanes decorated with Jewish symbols to drop bombs in Gaza? Is it because Israeli bombs are kosher somehow?

But I guess that we already know the answers— First, they want the Libyan oil and moral intervention is just a pretext for another oil war . Second, the American and the British governments are maintained financially by notorious Zionist lobbies: In America it is AIPAC, and in Britain it is the CFI.  It becomes clear that if we want our leaders to save this planet or at least to perform any kind of ethical integrity, Jewish lobbies must be confronted.

I’d like to suggest to Cameron and Obama that if they behaved morally for a change and imposed an immediate no fly zone on Israel they could contribute significantly to resolving one of the most dangerous conflicts in the world today.

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By Robert, March 18, 2011 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

Saudi-backed Crackdown in Bahrain Bxposes U.S. Hypocrisy

By Michael Hughes

“March 17, 2011 “Examiner”— Although U.S. officials condemned Bahrain’s use of deadly force against unarmed protestors on Wednesday, experts say the Obama administration is reticent to support the people because the Bahraini monarchy best serves U.S. regional interests. Critics accuse the U.S. of employing a double-standard – reluctant to oust the monarchy in Bahrain but more than willing to encourage Libyans to topple Moammar Gaddafi.”

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DavidByron's avatar

By DavidByron, March 18, 2011 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

UN charter also says that were any resolution passed authorising the use of force (and it was not), and were such a use of force compatible with the goals of the charter (and it is not) then the commander of such a force would have to be a UN official and not NATO or US commanded.  Certainly that will not be the case as it hasn’t been for many decades. 

This action violates international and US law.

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DavidByron's avatar

By DavidByron, March 18, 2011 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

In fact the resolution did not pass as it requires affirmative votes from all permanent members including China and Russia.

The US often plays this game of pretending it has a resolution when it doesn’t but the UN charter (chapter V article 27) is quite clear that you can’t pretend to pass a resolution simply on the basis of a non-vote.  an affirmative vote is required.

Its also debatable whether such a resolution would be legal under the terms of the charter, even it had been passed, but that question is moot I suppose.

The US is about to start yet another criminal war against Arabs / muslims.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, March 18, 2011 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

The Libyan people, on this very day, are screaming Where Is The Help? Where are the Americans?

The entire Arab world have elected to ask the U.N. - which means the Americans - for a “No Fly Zone” over Libya.


The United States is not the cause of the world’s ills.

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By madisolation, March 18, 2011 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

What a joke we’ve become. We use up huge amounts of scarce oil in order to wage war to “protect” the Libyan oil. The people who decide to wage war once again are following the orders of people who don’t have a humanitarian bone in their bodies. I’m not a fan of Pat Buchanan, but I agree with what he wrote today at

“..we set out to remake the world in our own image, even as Moscow and Beijing had sought to do.

As they failed, so will we.

As for Obama, with our foremost Asian ally going through the agony of its worst natural disaster and with revolution raging through the Arab world, he has given us his picks for the Final Four in the “March Madness” of college basketball — and set off with Michelle to party in Rio.

How relevant is he? And how relevant are we?”

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By Steve E, March 18, 2011 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

Rawanda and it’s civilians, not so much. Keep looking forward to “winning the
future”. Hey while we’re at it lets zap Iran, now that we are all geared and loaded
for bear. Better check with Tel Aviv to get the go ahead.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, March 18, 2011 at 1:06 am Link to this comment

Gaddafi is definitely a Right-Winger, and would be
Republican if in the United States.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 17, 2011 at 11:57 pm Link to this comment

I do not know if Moammar Gadhad is a Republican, but he sure acts like one! Why do conservatives seem so alike? Are the Republicans autocrats? I must have been looking at Republicans in the wrong light, it is all starting to come together now!

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Robespierre115's avatar

By Robespierre115, March 17, 2011 at 11:42 pm Link to this comment

The Arab world will probably just look at this with suspicious eyes considering the Obama regime has looked the other way while Saudi Arabia invades Bahrain, aiding that regime’s brutal crackdown.

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By expat, March 17, 2011 at 11:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“protect” the Libyan insurgents…

but leave the Bahrainis insurgents to be slaughtered by their racist saudi suni overlords with US weapons…


why the double standard?

connect the dots, spell it… O - i - L

How about a no fly zone for illegal Palestine occupier to not bomb civilians from the air with uSSa made f-16 in Gaza?

It’s beyond hypocrisy…

it’s murder.

Kadhafi is bad news, no doubt, but the real villain in all this is israel and all its anal vassals, US and europe included.  That is the real evil empire.

Thankfully, its days are numbered.  Financially, economically, environmentally, strategically, politically.

Not that they’re not dangerous, the last spasms of a wounded animals are the most dangerous when it goes for broke…  but desperate…  i.e.  pouring a couple gallons over already fused nukes @ 8000 degrees.

In the meantime Kadhafi might provide a little entertainment and bring the eiffel tower down to show he means business.

Hey, you reap what you sow.

An eye for an eye.

live by the sword, die by the sword.

Ain’t it what the bible babbles?

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By Healy, March 17, 2011 at 11:28 pm Link to this comment

“ protect civilians…”

Unnamed UN Spokesperson, later that day…

“That is, what we MEANT to say is: we are doing whatever we want to secure the Libyan oil. We musn’t forget the Libyan oil.  It helps make the world go ‘round, and certain corporate bank accounts go ‘ching’.”

It’s like what a guy said in a documentary I saw once about the US invasion of Iraq: “Do you really think we would be there if all they had were cabbages?”

Robert Healy

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, March 17, 2011 at 10:39 pm Link to this comment

If invasion is left out of the UN’s approval of the “no fly zone”, how
will the UN force Muammar Gaddafi to comply with the “no fly zone?”
I doubt Gaddafi pays any attention whatsoever to the UN’s “no fly zone,”
because the UN doesn’t have the muscle needed nor the will to enforce it.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, March 17, 2011 at 10:35 pm Link to this comment

If invasion is left out of the UN’s approval of the “no fly zone”, how
will the UN force Muammar Gaddafi to comply with the “no fly zone?”
I doubt Gaddafi pays any attention whatsoever to the UN’s “no fly zone,”
because the UN doesn’t have the muscle needed no the will to enforce it.

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