As a foreigner I can only comment upon what I have been reading. One of my points has been that when discussing this subject you are the ones who need to redefine your language because I am seeing a very high level of inaccurate statements in regard to Libya. Fundamentally, I agree with everyone that Østupid had no right to commit the USA to action in Libya without first going to Congress. Why was he so afraid of taking the issue to Congress.
Here is a list of statements that I consider to contain inaccuracies:
1. the “war in Libya” is illegal. On several levels this statement is inaccurate. First off, “the war” needs to be defined. The UN action is the implementation of the no-fly zone at the request of the people in Benghazi. The UN resolution was based upon certain actions undertaken by the Gadhafi regime including the use of aircraft to bomb cities such as Misrata, Benghazi and Brega. Gadhafi was also using the military and heavy military artillery in those and other towns, including the town of Zawiyah. There were heavy casualties at the time, but the numbers killed have not been verified.
Second, on this point, it was Seif al-Islam Gadhafi who had threatened Benghazi with being crushed. You need to know the history between Benghazi and Seif al-Islam to understand the exact nature of the threat. It was a very real threat.
Third, a promised ceasefire prior to any NATO action was just a ruse. Gadhafi was positioning his military on the outskirts of Benghazi and they were ready to strike when the French began the strikes against them.
However, what you should be talking about is related to the participation of the USA, on whether or not it is illegal without first getting Congressional approval.
2. This is “Øbama’s war” in Libya (include all statements that claim that somehow Østupid was leading the way on the issue of Libya – it was never true). Wrong. It was Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron who were pushing to have the UN resolution. Østupid had dithered until pushed by Hillary Clinton, Samantha Powers and Rice (not Condaleeza). The claim is that he had options on the table that he was considering, and the implementation of the no-fly zone was not one of his preferred options. He was never enthusiastic on the subject.
3. That “we are supporting our enemies” – this is also an inaccurate statement, since the people being supported are the National Transitional Council. Members of that council include people who have deserted Gadhafi including the former Justice Minister. These are not members of Al Qaeda. They have proclaimed that they are pro-West. So let’s take them at their word.
In an effort to support this charge that the rebels are “Al Qaeda” there have been a number of posts, especially from Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit (which I think is well below his standard), as well as HotAir, that made some conclusions that are not supported by the real evidence. For example, amongst the most misleading statements were things like:
“there are 1000 Islamists or sympathisers in Libya”, and there are 1000 rebels fighting, therefore all rebels are sympathisers with Al Qaeda. This was partially backed by some correspondent from the Christian Science Monitor who spoke to one man who did fit into the description of “Islamist”. The facts: there are several thousand who are fighting on the side of the “revolutionaries” or “freedom fighters”, and many of them deserted from the Libyan military. Yes, there are some who are Islamists and AQ sympathisers but they are fighting for the lives of their families, rather than for AQ. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. A second point is that the whole “rebel = AQ” meme started with Libyan regime propaganda. The rebels are constantly being called thugs and AQ etc. but most of the people who were protesting were unarmed individuals. The AQ meme was meant to justify the brutality of the Gadhafi crackdown. Please consider the actual source of the accusation.
“NATO has killed civilians”, which means that NATO has gone too far. The truth? It is hard to find out the truth because of all of the lies and propaganda. I have seen one report today that indicates some civilans might have died in a raid, but it is by no means certain (keep in mind that the area where there was a hit happens to be one where there has been anti-Gadhafi protests. It is worth considering the possibility that Daffy goons might have been behind the hit. Also no one is perfect, but the bombing raids have been high precision).
Here is something to consider: Gadhafi has been using the citizens of Tripoli as human shields. There has been a core group who have remained supporters probably because they are being paid to continue as supporters. These are the fools that have been willing to go to his compound at the start of air raids. Some people have been killed because they left the safety of their homes during an air raid. That is not the fault of NATO, but is the fault of their own stupidity. The bunker system that Gadhafi has built, has in fact been built under hospitals, schools and children’s playgrounds.
There was one controversial incident involving some imams who were killed in Brega. The coordinates for the raid had been given by the man who had built the bunker. There was no way that NATO would have known that those imams were in the guest house, that was above the bunker.
On top of this most of the alleged civilian deaths and casualties alleged to have been caused by NATO have been faked. For example, the BBC exposed the case of a little girl who was supposed to have been injured as a result of a raid. It turned out the child had been injured in a car accident, and that the “bomb” had Russian markings!!!
“our troops are involved… blah blah” – these statements are probably the most inaccurate because there are no American boots on the ground. The only task being done by Americans are those relating to the refuelling of aircraft. I am not even sure if the drones have been used, but then Americans are not needed to pilot the drones. In the first few weeks the American navy used their missiles to bombard Tripoli, but not since the command was handed over to NATO. This limited role has left NATO short of firepower, and short of manpower with regard to targetting the Gadhafi forces positions. The lack of firepower severely limits the success of the mission, and it allows Gadhafi to cling to power, which in turn means that he continues to unleash missiles and rockets in Misrata and Zintan in particular.
The NATO action is legal. It is the result of a UN resolution to stop Gadhafi from killing his own people. (I believe that the UN should issue a resolution condemning Assad of Syria for the same kind of crackdown – and this will only happen if China and Russia abstain). However, the US participation in the NATO action without Congressional approval should be considered as illegal.