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No-Fly Zone

Reader comment on item: Back to the Shores of Tripoli?

Submitted by Nick (United Kingdom), Mar 10, 2011 at 14:47

Daniel Pipes, are there any circumstances under which you would endorse the implementation, by the US and or other international forces, UN, NATO etc. etc. of a no-fly zone to protect Libyan civilians from bombardments by Qadafi? Or to reformulate, would you be open to a no-fly zone in which the UN and or NATO and or the UK for example play a fundamental leading role, with the United States not taking a front seat?

In principle I agree with the premise that the US (UN is perhaps another story) is not here to do social work, and that military involvement should be to further the interests of the US. This seems however to me to be a complicated proposition, as the argument can be made that US interests may indeed be furthered by supporting the Libyan people's just demands for an end to the Qadafi dictatorship, and of course the removal of the 'mad dog' Qadafi. And whilst conspiracy theories will no doubt flow throughout the Arab world should the US take action which involves engagement in another Muslim majority country, there is I believe potentially the opportunity for a situation of a different kind, on a scale, scope and with a purpose and mission quite different to that of Afghanistan or Iraq for example.

I would appreciate your expanded comments on this matter

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Daniel Pipes replies:

I am against the no-fly zone. It's not about American interests but humanitarian concerns. That is not a proper basis for military intervention.

The idea of the UN taking a leading role is a bit preposterous, as it depends completely on member states to staff its forces. The UK taking the lead is only marginally less implausible.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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