Many inside and outside of Libya are discussing the possibility of establishing a no-fly zone for that nation. It would stop Qadaffi from bombing the people of Libya who have thrown off his rule but still suffer under his violence. It would keep Kaddafi from bringing in more Syrian jets to continue this bombing and it would slow the rate at which Gadaffi could bring in mercenaries from other African states to slaughter people on the ground.
Many Libyans have voiced opposition to any ground forces coming in to assist fighting what’s-his-names but they are somewhat interested in a no-fly zone for the reasons mentioned. I can see pros and cons to the concept but there is one important thing to remember. America should respond to any request from the UN, EU, AU or whatever, for America’s help in such a project with a hearty “Fec off, ya gobshites!!!”
It is not that the Libyans don’t deserve help against this monster. And America would benefit greatly from a democratic Libya. But no-fly zones are not just a matter of announcing one and shooting down all planes that disobey. It involves bombing everything that even resembles an anti-aircraft gun, a radar installation on a military runway. Some civilians will be killed. Every air-strike will have Qadaffi’s “people” and “journalists” from CNN and the Palestinian film actor’s guild swarming around planting burning Korans and stuffed animals all over the scene telling the compelling story about blood thirsty American forces taking vengeance against Libyan kids. The news media mugs get a narrative that they like and it will only take a bit of spin to pull the blame off Obama and spread it on to the war-mongering American nature that poor Obama and Democrats tried to resist but Rethuglians forced upon – blah, blah, evil corporations, blah, blah, blah.
In short, a no-fly zone may or may not be the right thing to do but America should not be sucked in to helping anyone with their military. No where, no how, no way.
Iraq under the Baathists and Afghanistan under the Taliban were two of the most totalitarian states of the modern era and the US had their own security self-interests in defeating them. They could have just knocked down the regimes and left but they took on the responsibility of reconstruction and ensuring democratic institutions were given a chance to succeed. And they will never be forgiven for this intervention. Think what they would have to live down when they use bombs against Gadaffi and friends – people whom our world’s cultural elite are forced by circumstances to condemn but secretly admire for his anti-American street cred and fashion sense.
Let the Turkish do it. Or the Russians. Hey, the Chinese are big on helping out in Africa; ask them.