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March 21, 2011

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D.G.

""It was right to intervene. If that had happened the tyrants of Yemen, Syria, Bahrain, Omar and Saudi Arabia would be celebrating and their democracy campaigning would be downcast."

That's good point. How's the democracy campaigning in Saudi Arabia going? Heard a few rumblings at the beginning of the month, but oddly silent at the moment. You'd think the pro-democracy campaigners would be marching, etc.

rwendland

On Fukushima , I've come across a rather shocking recent Reactor 3 photo, which indicates it is more damaged than I had realised:

http://tinyurl.com/5wsqour

The steel containers(?) rather block the view, but it seems some of the top of the concrete containment building is missing, not just the steel roof. Suggesting the top section of the spent nuclear fuel (SNF) pond walls may be gone. Looks like there is more work to get some semblance of control than I thought.

Adamski

"“They certainly needed protection this weekend. They were hopelessly outgunned by Gaddafi who was hell-bent on killing them."

Are you aware that the UN resolutions 1970 & 1973 that are being imposed contain an arms embargo that all members of the UN are legally required to observe and enforce?

You see those rebels fighting to defend their cities? Paul's humanitarian intervention & The UN has just cut them off from any hope of more ammunition, never mind better weapons....

The only reason Gaddafi re-took Zawiya is that the rebels ran out of ammunition. And now that will be repeated elsewhere because although air strikes can destroy some exposed military hardware its not going to work where military forces are already in population centres (well, not without massive civilian casualties).

Only the revolutionary forces can prevail in the cities - and Paul's so called humanitarian intervention has just made it harder for that to happen.


To re-cap: Britain is still giving money to Gaddafi in the form of oil payments I believe (why not give the oil money to the rebels?), has not recognised the Transitional National Council in Benghazi (why not?), has not seized and sequestered the Gaddafi families assets in Britain and handed them over to the rebels to buy guns (why not?) - indeed incredibly the rebels are subject to an arms embargo by the UN security council (applied equally to both sides, but of course maintaining Gaddafi's military superiority in terms of arms as he has been armed for years by the West, the rebels haven't) - perhaps this because they fear the rebels having too much independence (they want the revolution to become beholden and dependent on them so that it will result in a set up in Western elite interests rather than Libyan people's interests)

"It was right to intervene. If that had happened the tyrants of Yemen, Syria, Bahrain, Omar and Saudi Arabia would be celebrating and their democracy campaigning would be downcast."

But it is the tyrants who are intervening...
Some of the same dictatorships who have sent troops to Bahrain to crush democracy movements are actively involved in the no fly zone

They understand what this is about even if Paul doesn't...


HuwOS

"557 were in favour of stopping the slaughter of unarmed democracy demonstrators by a deranged tyrant"

And of course the others were in favour of the slaughter of people by a deranged tyrant.
After all, if people are going to be slaughtered then it might as well be us and our friends doing the killing after all if we don't use our brilliant weapons and aircraft to kill people they might look like a pointless waste of money.

Hounds, gentlemen, please.

What lack of imagination leads those who represent the people to fall back on military action so very frequently, is there something in the air in Westminster?

Paul Flynn

Sensible, well-balanced reporting by David Williamson in the Western Mail this morning. That's from my biased standpoint. Disappointingly he told me yesterday that the WM's circulation has not increased since he was appointed their parliamentary correspondent six months ago. Strange


"WELSH politicians from across the party spectrum yesterday backed the armed mission in Libya but acknowledged the danger and uncertainty which defines the road ahead.

Labour Newport West MP Paul Flynn is a leading critic of the war in Afghanistan and opposed the invasion of Iraq but he said the latest mission will send an important message to despots.

He said he hopes that dictators will follow the example of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and step down rather than follow the example of Colonel Gaddafi and attempt to use the military to crush opposition.

He said: “I believe this is a situation more like Uganda than anything else where you had Idi Amin, clearly deranged, with the power of the state to slaughter his own people. Gaddafi announced he was going to kill people who were campaigning for democracy without compassion or mercy.

“There are times when the international community has to intervene.”

Describing the danger facing the rebels, he said: “They certainly needed protection this weekend. They were hopelessly outgunned by Gaddafi who was hell-bent on killing them.

“One hopes there will be a collapse of morale within the Gaddafi army and they will desert.”

However, Mr Flynn said he accepted the scale of the risks involved in intervening in a country torn by instability.

He said: “I think it’s got a real chance of being successful. I think it’s got a real chance of being a disaster as well.”

Brecon and Radnorshire Liberal Democrat MP Roger Williams said he wanted assurances that there was a strategy for how the operation should end.

“My concerns are that we understand what a satisfactory conclusion to this would be. I think that needs to be spelled out a bit more clearly.”

The MP said he was concerned about possible outcomes.

“There’s a suggestion there may be a division of Libya with a Gaddafi-run state and another part of Libya that’s supported by the West or the Arab League but outside the control of Gaddafi. I think that probably raises more problems than it solves.”

Read More http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2011/03/22/welsh-mps-on-call-to-arms-91466-28379147/#ixzz1HJX5NNLS

Paul Flynn

557 were in favour of stopping the slaughter of unarmed democracy demonstrators by a deranged tyrant.

Paul Flynn

Yes HuwO'S like all military operations it's a confused mess. We need some luck. With Gaddafi and other despots on one side and democracy campaigners on the other. We have no choice. we must act and hope that events will favour us.

Paul Flynn

Adamski, as I recall there was no affirmative vote on Afghanistan in 2001 on the understanding that we would have left within a short period.. But, you are correct I would have voted for.The Afghan tragedy was the decision to go into Helmand in 2006. There was no vote then but there was a debate. Mine was the only opposing speech made. I referred to this yesterday in the PLP. The two gravest mistakes were Iraq and Helmand. Rwanda was also an error we came near to repeating.

HuwOS

"* The U.S. does not want to command this operation for more than a few days"

To be fair rwendland, the US wishes a figurehead to play at a leadership role in what will be and never would be anything else, a US led operation.

All those who don't want NATO led operation, don't want it
yes because of Afghanistan but also because it means US led.

I have to say, I despise this type of calling of hounds and sounding of horns and find it much more obnoxious and objectionable than Patrick finds fox hunting or badger culling.

Never mind, tally ho! eh Paul?

HuwOS

So 557 members of parliament were in favour of our external forces killing Libyans in the hope that our help will mean that there will be fewer deaths of Libyans at the hands of Libyans and the further hope that of the Libyans who are killed by Libyans that the majority will be the right Libyans to die.

In the meantime, our help means that Gadaffi can rightly claim to be fighting external forces rather than purely Libyan opposition and further cement his support among those who waver and create a nice division amongst the Libyans with suspicion that the opposition forces are pawns of the West.

Adamski

One would have thought that you had learn some lessons Paul after you voted for the Afghanistan debacle in 2001....

rwendland

... duh, typo. Meant:

* Germany and Turkey are not keen on the operation whoever controls it

rwendland

The 'command and control structure' and 'rules of engagement' of this air operation seem quite a mess. With respect to NATO, I've gathered from this evening's news reports that:

* The U.S. does not want to command this operation for more than a few days

* The Arab League does not want to join in if NATO is running it (probably because Afghanistan is in NATO's name)

* Italy is not sure it will permit use of its airfields unless NATO is in charge

* France is not keen on NATO running the operation

* Norway has suspended its contribution until 'command and control structure' and 'rules of engagement' are clarified

* France and Turkey are not keen on the operation whoever controls it

* Russia and China are shocked by the intensity of the air attack, especially away from protection in eastern Libya. Not what they expected from the UN discussions.

It all seems confusion before it has really started.

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