Whoops, now the Arab League is unhappy with us

(Update, March 22: the head of the Arab League subsequently backed away from his complaint about coalition violence against civilians and now says he’s ok with the UN resolution and the resulting military strikes.)

Remember how it became ok for the Western powers to intervene in Libya once the Arab League gave its approval, meaning that the Muslim world would not condemn the Western action as a prohibited intrusion of non-Muslims into a Muslim country?

Now guess what had happened. AP reports (via Jihad Watch):

Arab League criticizes allied airstrikes on Libya

CAIRO—(AP The head of the Arab League has criticized international strikes on Libya, saying they caused civilian deaths.

The Arab League’s support for a no-fly zone last week helped overcome reluctance in the West for action in Libya. The U.N. authorized not only a no-fly zone but also “all necessary measures” to protect civilians.

Amr Moussa says the military operations have gone beyond what the Arab League backed.

Moussa has told reporters Sunday that “what happened differs from the no-fly zone objectives.” He says “what we want is civilians’ protection not shelling more civilians.” [Italics added.]

U.S. and European strikes overnight targeted mainly air defenses, the U.S. military said. Libya says 48 people were killed, including civilians.

Now this is just laughable. In order to stop Kaddafi’s forces from harming civilians, weapons must be used against them. These weapons consist of exploding hot metal, the purpose of which is to penetrate and kill the bodies of men and to destroy their equipment. When using such weapons, especially when aimed at military units that are operating in the middle of a civilian population, as Kaddafi’s soldiers are, it is virtually impossible to avoid killing civilians. So the Arab League wants the West to stop Kaddafi’s forces, and it criticizes the West for using the only possible means of stopping Kaddafi’s forces.

You just have to laugh.

Which reminds me how, in a reply to a reader earlier this morning, I began playing around with the spelling of Kaddafi’s name, and I wondered whether it was inappropriate to make jokes in the context of a war. But really, everything about this Libyan incursion is so absurd that it’s impossible to take it seriously.

And, by the way, how soon will we be hearing that America’s intervention in Libya is driving more young Muslim men into radicalism?

- end of initial entry -

Bjorn Larsen writes:

So the Arab League has given its approval for the West to “protect civilians in Libya”. But given all the weapon systems we have been selling to the various countries in the Middle East, why aren’t the members of the Arab League now taking to the skies in their shiny American / French / British planes and providing their own protection of their civilian Arab brethren?

Carl P. writes:

Has anyone pointed out that in order to put down the rebellion or fight the civil war (however one wants to view it), the government has to inflict suffering on civilians, since the rebels are part and parcel of that population in the cities they occupy. This whole endeavor is just picking one side in a civil war and then attacking the other. Meanwhile, the real threat to the U.S., Iran, goes unthreatened, while our effort and treasure is wasted on bringing down Libya which is no threat to us. Absurd.

N. writes:

Once again we see that no matter what the West does, the Arab nations won’t like it. There’s no real way of knowing what the Arab League thought a “no fly” zone would entail, but it appears they want some sort of magic that on the one hand stops Kadafi from advancing, but on the other hand never harms anyone not actively bearing arms for the dictator.

As I’ve pointed out before, the Egyptian military has more than enough hardware and manpower to drive right through to Tripoli and install a new government. Certainly the Egyptian air force has enough warplanes of various sorts to control the sky over Libya.

So what we have here is a desire for dry water, or fried ice: the Arab countries want two things at once that are mutually exclusive. Therefore it seems certain that no matter what Western nations do or don’t do in Libya, the Arab nations will blame us all for the outcome.

Clark Coleman writes:

We could try to impose a no-fly zone strictly by trying to intercept Libyan air force planes in the air. That might get approval from the Arab League. But, we would risk our own planes and pilots if we did not first take out the radar and anti-aircraft facilities on the ground. These facilities are located near the edge of cities, i.e. close to civilians. It is hard to imagine that the Arab League were unaware of such aspects of modern warfare.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 21, 2011 11:35 AM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):