US, allies plan military action against Libyan dictator

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, March 18, 2011 14:50 EDT
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A day after the United Nations approved a no-fly zone over Libya and military interventions to halt attacks on civilians, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that Americans will participate in military actions against forces loyal to the dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

The president specified that unless there is a cease-fire now and Gaddafi leaves, the U.S. would begin helping “our European allies” enforce the no-fly zone “through military action.”

Generally that entails a bombing campaign to eliminate air power. President Obama specified that “the United States is not going to deploy ground troops into Libya,” adding that France and the U.K. would take lead on the mission, with the U.S. providing “capabilities” to enhance their forces.

Though a “cease fire” was declared in the country after the U.N. resolutions passed, it did not immediately stop the violence. In fresh fighting today, at least 28 civilians were confirmed dead across Libya according to CNN, with hundreds more wounded.

“If the world is crazy, we will be crazy too,” Gaddafi said during a Thursday interview with a Portuguese news station. “We will make their lives hell, if they are making our lives hell too.”

Gaddafi further claimed the U.N. had “no mandate” to intervene, insisting the charter did not allow for intervention in domestic affairs.

The U.N. Security Council vote to approve action against Gaddafi and his forces passed unanimously. Russia and China abstained from passing ballots.

Image credit: Libyan protester’s sign, via AFP.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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