Australia: Mixed Reactions to Libya Intervention

Thought it was worth capturing some of the early reactions in the Australian blogosphere to the Libya No-Fly Zone and intervention. The Australian government has been a strong supporter of the UN resolution.

Hoyden About Town’s tigtog has an open thread:

The Libyan people deserve support in overthrowing their tyrant and protection against his threats of retaliation and further repression, absolutely. But why do the people of Bahrain, Syria and Yemen apparently deserve less from the governments of the West? Is it just that their despots are perceived to wear a slightly less alarming face? Will the intervention in Libya do all that humanitarians wish for it to do? How full hearted is the West’s support for this unprecedented ‘Arab Spring’?
Libya NFZ and selective support for Arab uprisings

Public Opinion’s Gary Sauer-Thompson questions the goals of the intervention:

What is political endgame here? What is the role the U.S. or the Europeans might be expected to play should Qaddafi fall? What steps will follow should the No Fly Zone and indirect intervention not succeed in driving Qaddafi from power? The best answer is regime change — displacing the Gaddafi government of Libya and replacing it with a new regime built around the rebels.
Liberal interventionism + Libya

At his self-titled blog, Middle East commentator Anthony Loewenstein has been a strong voice against the no-fly zone and accompanying air assault:

Hillary Clinton is pushing for a war with absolutely no clue what may happen.

Shame on all the Western journalists and commentators cheering on the no-fly zone with an understanding that goes no further than “we must do something“. If you want to be in the military, get in uniform and fight a war. If not, settle down.
Any thoughts about what our new war against Libya is really supposed to achieve?

Duckpond was faster off the mark than the NFZ coalition. His concerns stop short of opposing the intervention:

The purpose of the attack was to stop Gaddafi using aerial bombing, artillery and tank fire against civilian targets. What happens when the aerial attacks are called off? Is this precedent going to be followed from now on when civilians are subject to military attacks? My sense is that the scale and intensity of the aerial attacks are disproportionate to the intended objectives.

And they are just some of the progressive bloggers.

Peter at Qohel self-styled as ‘Australia's Leading Independent Conservative Blog’ questions this apparent hypocrisy by the left:

But how is using force to bring about regime change in Libya OK, when using force to bring about regime change in Iraq was not OK, was about oil, meant that George Bush was Satan, or acting for the bushitlerchimphalliburton global industrial machine?

… No matter what the outcome, no matter how good the West’s intentions, no matter how free of commercial imperatives, no matter how driven by humanitarian concern, 1500 years of history tell us we will come out looking like the villains.
Libya vs Iraq

Even right wing Herald Sun journalist Andrew Bolt seems equivocal:

l’m all in favor of preventing a massacre of civilians, but what is the end game here?

… Are the allies happy if Gaddafi staying in control of Libya, apart from the rebel’s enclave around Benghazi? How long will this no fly zone be imposed?

There seems to have been little of the debate about effectively declaring war on Gaddafi as there was about declaring war on Saddam. And there are much fewer Western security interests at stake, too – no WMD programs, no funding of terrorists, no history of invading neighbors.
Libya: but what next?

At News Corporation’s blog site The Punch, Thom Woodroofe is having the pragmatist’s bet each way:

Military options should always be a last resort. But realistically what else was there that we could do?

We should remember that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing and hold our breath that Gaddafi will back down soon before any escalation occurs.
A necessary attack, now for the really tricky bit

Yesterday a friend asked me if an anti-intervention rally was planned for Melbourne this week. I could not find any mention of one on the web. Perhaps he should contact Indymedia where an anonymous writer gives reason for opposing the intervention:

As a leftist who supports the inspiring democracy uprising in Libya I was very disturbed to see the start of military action by France, Britain and the U.S. Let me be crystal clear from the start, I believe Gaddaffi to be an odious ruthless dictator who has no legitimacy and violently oppresses his own people. However I do not believe the intervention is a good thing for the following reasons…

Why military action in Libya is wrong.

1 comment

  • irene

    non avremo dovuto intervenire,ma lega araba lo ha chiesto,si è fatto e ora si ritirano.
    Ma perchè nessuno dice niente quando l Arabia Saudita invia suoi militari nel Bharein,perchè li nessuno reclama,perchè nessuno dice niente della loro violenza sulla popolazione civile disarmata che protesta
    Due pesi due misure che non ho mai compreso

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