Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bombing Libya: Airstrikes Open A Coalition War Against A Mad Dictator

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

I'm almost never in favor of going to war, but at least against Libya there is a real lifesaving component involved, and at least this time it's multilateral:
A coalition of American and European forces bombed Libyan targets by air and sea Saturday in the first phase of a military campaign to drive Moammar Gadhafi from power.

French warplanes fired the first shots in the broadest international military effort since the Iraq war, destroying government tanks and armored vehicles in the region of the rebels' eastern stronghold, Benghazi. Hours later, British and U.S. warships and submarines launched more than 110 Tomahawk missiles against Gadhafi's air defenses around the capital Tripoli and the western city of Misrata, which has been besieged by Gadhafi's forces, Pentagon officials said.

The aim of the operation, dubbed Odyssey Dawn, was to enforce a United Nations-sanctioned no-fly zone over Libya and stop Gadhafi from attacking overwhelmed rebel forces in the east.

"This is not an outcome the U.S. or any of our partners sought," President Barack Obama said from Brazil, where he is starting a five-day visit to Latin America. "We cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people there will be no mercy."
It doesn't hurt that this mission will prevent certain slaughter of his own people by a madman/dictator.

Libya is saying the airstrikes inflicted considerable damage:

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