Bombing Libya

A number of nations under the NATO umbrella, mainly the United Kingdom and France, supported by the United States of America, are conducting a bombing campaign in Libya, ostensibly to protect Libyan civilians against the excesses of the present Libyan government. The bombing is authorised by a UN resolution authorising all necessary measures. The Libyan government is fighting a rebellion, and there are fears that in the course of putting the rebellion down, the Libyan government will injure and kill many people, including people who are not fighting.

The bombing campaign, to protect the innocents, is directed against Libyan armed forces. Their airplanes have been destroyed and some Libyan military personnel have been killed. For them I guess the choice was to refuse to obey orders from the Libyan government and be shot, or be bombed by NATO.

There is always a indiscriminate and unjustified death when bombing takes place. Bombing is a very low risk activity for those who bomb, and a very high risk activity for those who are in the places where the bombing takes places, regardless of what they do, what they think and how they want to behave. Bombing is the activity of a coward.  The great danger of bombing is that eventually it stiffens the resolve of those bombed and creates, with the death of innocents, people who survive and turn against those who bomb, because they have lost members of their families. When you bomb you run the risk of conducting a most effective propaganda campaign against yourself, losing hearts and minds.

There is also an irony in that the perceived way to protect civilians is to bomb their country. Bombing is never an accurate science; there are always innocent killed or in the euphemism that politicians use to disguise the killing of people “collateral damage”.

So far, according to General Richards, Chief of Defence Staff, “hardly any civilian casualties as a result of the extreme care NATO has taken in the selection of bombing targets”. However the General wishes to widen NATO bombing and up its intensity to include infrastructure targets and command sites, “to increase the pressure” on the Libyan government, but that may lose more hearts and minds.

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