"De samme kreftene og til dels de samme personene som ivret for at USA skulle gå til krig mot Irak, har nå lenge ivret for krigen mot Libya. Det er selvfølgelig en forskjell, fordi angrepet på Libya er legitimert av et vedtak i FNs sikkerhetsråd om flyforbudssone og beskyttelse av sivile liv. Men problemet med angrepskrigen mot Irak var ikke bare fravær av FN-vedtak, den var også feilaktig, mislykket og katastrofal av en rekke andre grunner, fra begynnelse til slutt. Hele ideen om at militært overlegne vestlige stormakter bør gå til krig med overlegne hærstyrker mot land på den andre siden av kloden, er en grunnleggende forfeilet strategi, hvis det er fred, demokrati og sosial utvikling som er målet. USA og Vesten har ikke nødvendigvis interesse av demokrati i andre land, noe Midtøstens historie viser med all ønskelig tydelighet. Da kan heller ikke den demokratiske opinionen i Vesten basere seg på at det finnes et slikt interessefellesskap mellom statslederne i Vesten og frigjøringskreftene i Midtøsten. Veien til helvete er brulagt med gode forsetter."
Bjørgulv Braanen: Intervensjon
"Tidligere var det antatt at folkemord og grove brudd på menneskerettighetene kunne legitimere innblanding fra «verdenssamfunnet», men man har ikke regnet med at dette også innbefattet utenlandsk militær innblanding i en borgerkrigsliknende situasjon. I prinsippet vet man heller ikke hvilken part som har flertallet på sin side. Vår sympati er utelukkende på de libyske opprørernes side, men det som til nå har rast i Libya, må karakteriseres som en borgerkrig, der regimet foreløpig ikke har gjennomført folkemord eller utrenskninger, selv om mange har fryktet at det kunne skje. Hovedproblemet med å gi grønt lys til militære intervensjoner i andre land, er at det er de militært sterkeste stormaktene som til enhver tid vil avgjøre hvilke regimer som skal styrtes og hvilke som skal bestå. I denne saken er det Tysklands utenriksminister Guido Westerwelle som representerer fornuften når han sier: «Ens eget instinkt sier ‘vi må gjøre noe’. Men militær intervensjon er å delta i en borgerkrig. Å vurdere alternativer til militær involvering er ikke det samme som ikke å gjøre noe»."
Bjørgulv Braanen: Historias elv
"Vi håper opprørerne i Libya klarer å slå tilbake Gaddafis framrykking og reorganisere motstandskreftene slik at de faktisk kan overta makten i landet. Men ingen vestlig intervensjon i verden kan skape nye sosiale maktforhold i Nord-Afrika. Noen ganger sprenger historias elv seg raskt framover, andre ganger hindres den av motstand og må ta omveier. Slik er menneskenes verden."
Neil Clark: Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya: beware the lies of March
"In this very week in 1999 Britain took a leading role in the bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
And on this very day in 2003, Britain took a leading role in the bombing – and invasion – of Iraq.
And now we're at it again in Libya.
Both in 1999 and 2003 our leaders lied to us about the real reasons for our country's involvement in military conflict. How can we be sure that what is happening in 2011 is any different?
If the US, Britain and France are acting out of genuine humanitarian concerns for Libyan civilians, why has there been no discussion of similar action against the government in Bahrain – which last week invited into the country military forces from that great democracy Saudi Arabia to crush pro-democracy protests – or against the regime in Yemen, where 45 anti-government protesters were killed on Thursday?
The other lesson to draw from the previous March conflicts is that military interventions – sold to the public as reasonably straightforward operations against dictators with little public support – rarely go to plan. Nato thought that a few days of heavy bombardment would force Milosevic to cave in – they were wrong: the war lasted 78 days and at the end of it the Yugoslav federal army was undefeated.
The invasion of Iraq, its neocon cheerleaders assured us, would be a cakewalk, with grateful Iraqis – all of whom hated Saddam Hussein – lining up to hand bouquets of flowers to their "liberators"."
Andreas Bryhn: Därför önskar jag ett stopp på bombningarna (lett redigert)
"Här är några av mina skäl.
- Västerlandets nykoloniala projekt är inget att ha.
- Det finns inget uttalat mål med anfallet mot Libyen.
- Notoriska pyromaner bör inte få bli brandmän och några av de värsta massmördarna bör inte anlitas till att förhindra massmord.
- Revolten och diktatorens motangrepp i Libyen 2011 skiljer sig från det internationella kriget i Spanien 1936.
- Det är rimligt att förutsätta att det fanns ytterligare alternativ till Khadaffis fortsatta förbrytelser och ett västerländskt bombkrig.
- Diktaturer bör störtas av undersåtarna."
Michael Lind: The Libyan war: Unconstitutional and illegitimate
"Including the United States, the Security Council nations that voted for the no-fly zone resolution have a combined population of a little more than 700 million people and a combined GDP, in terms of purchasing power parity, of roughly $20 trillion. The Security Council countries that showed their disapproval of the Libyan war by abstaining from the vote have a combined population of about 3 billion people and a GDP of around $21 trillion.
If the U.S. is factored out, the disproportion between the pro-war and anti-war camps on the Security Council is even more striking. The countries that abstained from the vote account for more than 40 percent of the human race. The countries that joined the U.S. in voting to authorize attacks on Libya, including Britain and France, have a combined population that adds up to a little more than 5 percent of the human race.
The truth is that the U.S. is joined in its war on Libya by only two second-rank great powers, Britain and France, which between them carved up North Africa and the Middle East a century ago, slaughtering and torturing many Arabs in the process. Every other major power on earth (with the exception of Japan, which is not on the Council and has been quiet) opposed the Anglo-French-American attack in North Africa, registering that opposition by abstentions rather than "no" votes in the Security Council."
Seumus Milne: The fate of the Arabs will be settled in Egypt, not Libya
"But Saudi Arabia's dangerous quasi-invasion of Bahrain is a reminder that Libya is very far from being the only place where hopes are being stifled. The west's closest Arab ally, which has declared protest un-Islamic, bans political parties and holds an estimated 8,000 political prisoners, has sent troops to bolster the Bahraini autocracy's bloody resistance to democratic reform.
Underlying the Saudi provocation is a combustible cocktail of sectarian and strategic calculations. Bahrain's secular opposition to the Sunni ruling family is mainly supported by the island's Shia majority. The Saudi regime fears both the influence of Iran in a Shia-dominated Bahrain and the infection of its own repressed Shia minority – concentrated in the eastern region, centre of the largest oil reserves in the world.
Considering that both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, home to the United States fifth fleet, depend on American support, the crushing of the Bahraini democracy movement or the underground Saudi opposition should be a good deal easier for the west to fix than the Libyan maelstrom.
But neither the US nor its intervention-hungry allies show the slightest sign of using their leverage to help the people of either country decide their own future. Instead, as Bahrain's security forces tear-gassed and terrorised protesters, the White House merely repeated the mealy-mouthed call it made in the first weeks of the Egyptian revolution for "restraint on all sides".
It's more than understandable that the Libyan opposition now being ground down by superior firepower should be desperate for outside help. Sympathy for their plight runs deep in the Arab world and beyond. But western military intervention – whether in the form of arms supplies or Britain and France's favoured no-fly zone – would, as the Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan argues, be "totally counter-productive" and "deepen the problem".
Experience in Iraq and elsewhere suggests it would prolong the war, increase the death toll, lead to demands for escalation and risk dividing the country. It would also be a knife at the heart of the Arab revolution, depriving Libyans and the people of the region of ownership of their own political renaissance.
Arab League support for a no-fly zone has little credibility, dominated as it still is by despots anxious to draw the US yet more deeply into the region; while the three Arab countries lined up to join the military effort – Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the UAE – are themselves among the main barriers to the process of democratisation that intervention would be supposed to strengthen."
Stephen M. Walt: What intervention in Libya tells us about the neocon liberal-alliance
"The only important intellectual difference between neoconservatives and liberal interventionists is that the former have disdain for international institutions (which they see as constraints on U.S. power), and the latter see them as a useful way to legitimate American dominance. Both groups extol the virtues of democracy, both groups believe that U.S. power -- and especially its military power -- can be a highly effective tool of statecraft. Both groups are deeply alarmed at the prospect that WMD might be in the hands of anybody but the United States and its closest allies, and both groups think it is America's right and responsibility to fix lots of problems all over the world. Both groups consistently over-estimate how easy it will be to do this, however, which is why each has a propensity to get us involved in conflicts where our vital interests are not engaged and that end up costing a lot more than they initially expect.
So if you're baffled by how Mr. "Change You Can Believe In" morphed into Mr. "More of the Same," you shouldn't really be surprised. George Bush left in disgrace and Barack Obama took his place, but he brought with him a group of foreign policy advisors whose basic world views were not that different from the people they were replacing. I'm not saying their attitudes were identical, but the similarities are probably more important than the areas of disagreement. Most of the U.S. foreign policy establishment has become addicted to empire, it seems, and it doesn't really matter which party happens to be occupying Pennsylvania Avenue.
So where does this leave us? For starters, Barack Obama now owns not one but two wars. He inherited a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, and he chose to escalate instead of withdrawing. Instead of being George Bush's mismanaged blunder, Afghanistan became "Obama's War." And now he's taken on a second, potentially open-ended military commitment, after no public debate, scant consultation with Congress, without a clear articulation of national interest, and in the face of great public skepticism. Talk about going with a gut instinct."
Ivan Eland: Another Imperial Quagmire?
"Which brings us to whether a no-fly zone would even do much good in Libya. Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi could still use his superiority in tanks, artillery, and other ground forces to gain advantage over the poorly armed and trained rebels. If the no-fly zone failed to end Gadhafi’s offensive, pressure would then likely build for the U.S. to attack Libyan ground forces directly, thus commencing interventionist quagmire number three.
But what about the vast accomplishments of interventionist quagmires numbers one (Afghanistan) and number two (Iraq)? As the U.S. gets ready to withdraw its remaining forces by the end of the year, Iraq is trending toward autocracy, with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki running the armed forces and national police himself, closing down political parties that organized demonstrations, killing protesters, and gaining control over the previously independent central bank, the election commission, and the agency that investigates corruption. Such consolidation of power under an Arab Shi’ite prime minister could very well result in a backlash among Kurds and Sunnis, thus rekindling the civil war."
Ivan Eland: Buy Two Wars, Get Another for Half Price
"The demonization of Gadhafi started back during the Reagan administration. Once a foreign dictator is demonized by the formidable U.S. government’s public relations juggernaut, pressure builds to oust him in any way possible after sanctions and a no-fly zone have failed to do so. So look out for a long U.S. entanglement in Libya and maybe a future American land war there.
Gadhafi’s human rights record is certainly nothing to write home about, but it is about the same as that of U.S. ally Saudi Arabia and not much worse than that of the Israelis in occupied Palestine, according to Freedom House. Besides, the U.S. has not used military forces to protect civilians being abused to an even greater extent than in Libya—in Rwanda, Sudan, the Congo, etc. And the Constitution says that the U.S. taxpayer is on the hook only to provide for a “common defense,” not to stop violence many countries around the world commit against their own people or neighboring nations."