View Poll Results: What, if anything, should the West do to help Libya?

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  • We should set up a no-fly zone

    14 31.82%
  • We should invade Tripoli and depose Gaddafi

    3 6.82%
  • We should provide guns and ammo to the rebels

    7 15.91%
  • We should provide food and humanitarian assistance

    23 52.27%
  • We should stay out of it entirely

    20 45.45%
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Thread: What, if anything, should the West do to help Libya?

  1. #1
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    What, if anything, should the West do to help Libya?

    It's not often that I agree with George Will rather than The Economist, but this week I think the conservative commentator got it exactly right by expressing extreme reluctance to get involved in Libya...even while the normally-reasonable Economist was beating the war drums.

    Some of the questions that Will poses:

    - If a pilot is downed and captured, are we ready for the hostage drama?
    -If we decide to give war supplies to the anti-Gaddafi fighters, how do we get them there?
    -Presumably we would coordinate aid with the leaders of the anti-Gaddafi forces. Who are they?
    -Libya is a tribal society. What concerning our Iraq and Afghanistan experiences justifies confidence that we understand Libyan dynamics?
    -Because of what seems to have been the controlling goal of avoiding U.S. and NATO casualties, the humanitarian intervention - 79 days of bombing - against Serbia in Kosovo was conducted from 15,000 feet. This marked the intervention as a project worth killing for but not worth dying for. Would intervention in Libya be similar? Are such interventions morally dubious?
    -Could intervention avoid "mission creep"? If grounding Gaddafi's aircraft is a humanitarian imperative, why isn't protecting his enemies from ground attacks?
    -In Tunisia and then in Egypt, regimes were toppled by protests. Libya is convulsed not by protests but by war. Not a war of aggression, not a war with armies violating national borders and thereby implicating the basic tenets of agreed-upon elements of international law, but a civil war. How often has intervention by nation A in nation B's civil war enlarged the welfare of nation A?

    George F. Will - On Libya, too many questions
    I think that those who want to impose a no-fly zone need to clearly articulate what problem it will solve. Most of the aircraft that have been killing rebels are helicopters, not bombers. A no-fly zone won't stop them.

    Furthermore, it is simply not reasonable to expect any mission to go perfectly. Are we really prepared to be implicated in the deaths of Libyan civilians? Are we prepared to escalate the mission by putting troops on the ground if Gaddafi escalates it? The National Libyan Council (i.e. the semi-official umbrella group for the rebels) has specifically asked the West NOT to intervene with troops on the ground. It is highly unlikely that our presence would be welcomed, especially if we're killing civilians.
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  2. #2
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    Re: What, if anything, should the West do to help Libya?

    The US will only create itself a worse name if tries to help because civilians will die and some of those deaths at least will be blamed on us.
    I don't think we should help the people who specifically asked us not to help them when it comes to fighting.
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    Re: What, if anything, should the West do to help Libya?

    Quote Originally Posted by iamitter View Post
    The US will only create itself a worse name if tries to help because civilians will die and some of those deaths at least will be blamed on us.
    I don't think we should help the people who specifically asked us not to help them when it comes to fighting.
    Exactly, the people have said they want to do this on their own! And in the view by the rest of the Middle East, our involvement would change it from a homegrown democratic movement to just another example of US military imperialism.
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    Re: What, if anything, should the West do to help Libya?

    All of the above. The USA should not get involved unilaterally. If NATO votes to get involved, then we of course should be part of the NATO force... but all NATO countries must understand that "friendly" civilians will be killed by NATO actions during the scope of their involvement in a Libyan civil war. About the only thing NATO could immediately do to help the rebels would be to bomb military fighters and helicopters while they are on the tarmack... understanding that in doing so, Libyan forces have enough anti-aircraft arms to potentially blow a few NATO fighters out of the sky.

    I understand the stomach-turning knots that most of us feel when watching the horrific news of what is happening over there. We WANT to help those poor people. The problem is that no matter what we do to help, it will end up hurting at least some of them... and for that, they will never forgive us.

    Edit: I voted in the wrong box. I have no problem with sending humanitarian aid.
    Last edited by DiAnna; 03-09-11 at 06:35 PM.

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    Re: What, if anything, should the West do to help Libya?

    I say do nothing...absolutely nothing. England use to own them. Let them sort it.

  6. #6
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    Re: What, if anything, should the West do to help Libya?

    Quote Originally Posted by DiAnna View Post
    All of the above. The USA should not get involved unilaterally. If NATO votes to get involved, then we of course should be part of the NATO force... but all NATO countries must understand that "friendly" civilians will be killed by NATO actions during the scope of their involvement in a Libyan civil war. About the only thing NATO could immediately do to help the rebels would be to bomb military fighters and helicopters while they are on the tarmack... understanding that in doing so, Libyan forces have enough anti-aircraft arms to potentially blow a few NATO fighters out of the sky.

    I understand the stomach-turning knots that most of us feel when watching the horrific news of what is happening over there. We WANT to help those poor people. The problem is that no matter what we do to help, it will end up hurting at least some of them... and for that, they will never forgive us.
    Would you support giving them supplies (food, clothing, water) and do the humanitarian aid or nothing at all.. ?
    I think if Thomas Jefferson were looking down, the author of the Bill of Rights, on whats being proposed here, hed agree with it. He would agree that the First Amendment cannot be absolute. - Chuck Schumer (D). Yet, Madison and Mason wrote the Bill of Rights, according to Sheila Jackson Lee, 400 years ago. Yup, it's a fact.


  7. #7
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    Re: What, if anything, should the West do to help Libya?

    Quote Originally Posted by LookingGlass View Post
    I say do nothing...absolutely nothing. England use to own them. Let them sort it.
    Wasn't Italy the former posseser of Libya?

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    Re: What, if anything, should the West do to help Libya?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ockham View Post
    Would you support giving them supplies (food, clothing, water) and do the humanitarian aid or nothing at all.. ?
    I already edited my post to confess I had accidentally hit the wrong box. I would support humanitarian supplies, of course.

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    Re: What, if anything, should the West do to help Libya?

    There's only one thing the west can do to end this crisis.

    They must send in...



    Chuck Norris.

  10. #10
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    Re: What, if anything, should the West do to help Libya?

    I said no-fly zone and food and humanitarian assistance. But even a no-fly zone carries with it certain implications and consequences, as it is essentially an act of war, so if it is implemented we really need to be careful. As the saying goes, "You break it, you buy it."

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