International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Airstrikes begin on Libya targets

Gaddafi has been told numerous times to stop killing his people, and he has refused, still convinced that the uprisings are due to al-Qaeda.  Air strikes were launched by the French, as well as the United States, Canada, Italy, and the United Kingdom.  International military intervention has started its first wave of intervention against Gaddafi, and according to Al-Jazeera, a second attack is evident, but it is not clear as to when it will begin.  It’s almost frustrating to read that international intervention has only just begun, only because it was very clear from numerous sources that many people were being kill daily by Gaddafi.  It’s hard to understand the politics that surround the choices that the international community makes in regards to interventions; there are other violent uprisings going on in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, but I highly doubt any interventions will be made, mainly because the US’ Fifth Fleet is in Bahrain.  At least something is finally being done to stop Gaddafi.


5 responses to “Airstrikes begin on Libya targets

  1. efpolsci March 19, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    What I really don’t understand is why France was the initiating party in this airstrike, since it so famously opposed the US-led invasion into Iraq in 2003. A French fighter jet reported the first strike Saturday afternoon, and it was not long before hundreds of US and British missiles followed. It is interesting to note, however, that this response from the international community came just months after uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia were not adequately addressed by the international community as a whole. It is also interesting that the 22-member Arab League supported this movement and pushed for other support elsewhere.

    Could this potentially be simply a common theme spreading like wildfire soon to die down? Or is it possible that we are seeing a global shift away from harsh dictatorships and the promotion of human rights?

  2. ehsaunde March 19, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Qaddafi has obviously stepped over the edge, threatening the biggest powers in the world not to oppose his harsh leadership. I think it is interesting how he claims that he is fighting Al Queda forces, obviously a soft spot for America and our ally nations, when it is clear that he is just wiping out any rebel forces that would threaten his leadership. I’m not sure what he is trying to accomplish since his step down from power is already long over due. I think the nations opposing him should keep in mind the consequences of overthrowing the current regime. It is possible that Qaddafi is the only thing keeping Libya a semi-stable nation, supposedly free of Al Queda extremist influences. However, something must be done to show the dictator that his actions against his own people are grossly unacceptable. I’m curious as to why the African nations have refused to join the military action and opted for finding a peaceful solution when Qaddafi is clearly not willing to negotiate.

    Check out this article the NY Times just posted about the airstrikes.

  3. cbilgrie March 22, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    I agree that it doesn’t make a ton of since that France opposed the invasion of Iraq yet now leads the airstrikes of Libya, but it also seems that there is more legitimate reason to go into Libya. Libya is currently in a state of rebellion and Gaddafi is oppressing his own people. While Saddam Husain has a history of oppressing the Kurds, he wasn’t actively engaged in a civil war. Admittedly he was still oppressing the Kurds but I think there’s a huge difference between the two circumstances. Perhaps a different way to look at it that going into Libya now will bring about changes and will affect the current situation; things would have gotten worse if we didn’t go in. Not sure the same can be said of out invasion of Iraq, things weren’t great in the country but if we hadn’t gone in at that time it could have been months or years before a situation arose that needed immediate attention.

    • marygrace22 March 23, 2011 at 1:40 pm

      I agree that international powers had to step in. One question that interests me about this topic was actually sparked by the Daily Show.
      It was suggested that what Obama has authorized in the form of air strikes, is actually beyond his power to authorize. That a rose, by any other name is still a rose, and an act of war follows that same rule. Despite the fact that the air-strikes are not being called an act of war, it does not change the fact that legally (according to Jon Stewart), it can be classified as so.
      This concerns me on multiple levels, including the comparison to Bush and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Jon actually brought up a quote from, then Senator, Obama saying that the President does not have the authority to authorize any sort of military act unless it directly combats an imminent threat to American safety.

  4. myongha March 28, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    I agree that it is the international community’s responsibility to stop the massacre in Libya, and imposing no-fly zone is an effective strategy to prevent Gaddafi from dropping bombs on its citizens. In this sense, the international powers’ airstrike in Libya is legitimate. However, the problem is that although it is just a matter of time before the Gaddafi’s government gets overthrown, it appears that we do not have a clear long term objective. Some argue that there is a possibility that Libya will be split into two countries, while some argue that a civil war will remain prevail throughout the country. It is, of course, important to stop the atrocities and protects Libyan people’s liberty, yet we must consider a long term goal and find a way to encourage Libyan people to reconcile with the Libyan government.

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