Via Weasel Zippers:
Reuters— The U.N. Security Council voted on Thursday to authorize a no-fly zone over Libya and “all necessary measures” — code for military action — to protect civilians against leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces.
Ten of the council’s 15 member states voted in favor of the resolution, with Russia, China and Germany the five that abstained. There were no votes against the resolution, which was co-sponsored by France, Britain, Lebanon and the United States.
The French appear to be taking the lead on this…yes, The FRENCH.
…the French say they’re ready to begin airstrikes at 6:00 ET tonight. And that will entail attacking Qaddaffy’s air-defense network and radars and radio towers and such. (That always needs to be done as a first step if you’re flying over hostile territory, of course.)
I actually think the French can do this and turn the war around.
Andrew McCarthy has a dissenting view on the use of force in Libya:
I respectfully dissent from Wendesday’s NRO editorial, which urges that the United States go to war with Libya.
The editorial doesn’t put it that way. Indeed, it doesn’t call for President Obama to seek a congressional declaration of war, or at least an authorization for the use of military force, as the Bush administration understood was required before commencing combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. In this case, complying with the Constitution is almost certain to result in a resounding “no” vote from the people’s representatives — and if you think getting the Patriot Act reauthorized was uphill, figure getting Congress to bless another adventure in Islamic nation-building as Olympus … squared. So apparently ensuring that the American people support a war against Libya is a step is to be dispensed with. The editors instead claim that “the request by the rebels and the Arab League [is] all the authorization we need,” a proposition that I imagine would have come as something of a surprise to Madison, Jefferson, et al.
You think Cindy Sheehan will come out of the shadows to protest this action? Will Code Pink be able to tear themselves away from their latest enthusiasm?
McCarthy goes on:
Is it really so obvious that the “rebels” would be better for us than Qaddafi? News flash: The Muslim Brotherhood has a history of not just plotting but actually carrying out the assassination of foreign leaders. Indeed, while we are not happy that Qaddafi is a foreign leader, he does happen to be one, and, as already noted, the Brotherhood’s top clerical leader is openly calling for him to be killed. If we just have a look at Gaza, Sudan, Somalia, and Iran, where Islamist governments reign (the one in Gaza is actually run by the Muslim Brotherhood), it’s fair to say that “ravage” is too gentle a word for what they do to their societies. Look at how Turkey is devolving after eight years of Islamist rule. Clearly, it wasn’t so obvious to the Bush administration that the available alternatives were manifestly preferable to Qaddafi. I don’t know why the editors are so confident on this point.
I repeat, the editors may well be right that a Libyan regime run by the “rebels” could end up being better for us than Qaddafi — at least marginally. But it also might be worse — Qaddafi hasn’t attacked us in many years; the Muslim Brotherhood is actively seeking to destroy the West. In either event, the issue is not what we ought to be hoping for or even working toward diplomatically. It is whether hastening the post-Qaddafi era is so clearly in our interests that it’s worth going to war over.
(Foreign Policy) — The top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee argued against implementing a no-fly zone over Libya on Thursday, and also said that Congress must pass a formal declaration of war if the Obama administration decides to take that step.