Libya live blog: U.S., allies launch missiles against Gadhafi forces
A Tomahawk missile is launched from the guided-missile destroyer USS Barry in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn late Saturday night.
March 19th, 2011
09:50 PM ET

Libya live blog: U.S., allies launch missiles against Gadhafi forces

The latest developments on the situation in Libya, where the government declared a cease-fire Friday after the United Nations voted to impose a no-fly zone in response to weeks of bloody clashes between forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi and rebels. Read our complete story and check out our full coverage on unrest in the Arab world. Also, don't miss a gripping, high-resolution gallery of images from Libya.

[9:50 p.m. ET, 3:50 a.m. in Libya] A woman in Tripoli says she was awoken this morning by a loud explosion from a nearby military base.

After being shaken from her sleep around 2:20 a.m., she said she heard gunfire and went to the roof of her building to observe.

"Then I heard the second explosion," she said. She saw fire rising up from the direction of Mitiga Airport, formerly known as the U.S. Wheelus Air Base.

She also said that people continue to live in fear of Gadhafi. "They're afraid to come out because when they do, he attacked them very, very severely," she says. "This is putting terror in all neighborhoods."

[9:30 p.m. ET, 3:30 a.m. in Libya] State TV in Libya reported early Sunday that 48 people were killed and 150 injured in coalition airstrikes. CNN was not immediately able to independently confirm the report.

[9:20 p.m. ET, 3:20 a.m. in Libya] Britain's Royal Air Force the RAF has launched Stormshadow missiles from a number of Tornado GR4 fast jets as part of a series of coordinated coalition strikes against Libya, the Ministry of Defense said.

"We made clear that if Gaddafi did not comply with the UN Security Council Resolution 1973, it would be enforced through military action. Our Armed Forces have therefore participated in a co-ordinated international coalition strike against key military installations," defense secretary Liam Fox said in a statement.

"The fast jets flew 3,000 miles from RAF Marham and back making this the longest range bombing mission conducted by the RAF since the Falklands conflict," he said. "HMS Westminster is off the coast of Libya and HMS Cumberland is in the region ready to support operations. Typhoon aircraft are also standing by to provide support."

[9:10 p.m. ET, 3:10 a.m. in Libya] Benghazi remains eerily quiet but tense after a day of fights between Gadhafi supporters and opposition fighters, CNN's Arwa Damon reports.

Anti-Gadhafi forces in Benghazi were buoyed by the international intervention but still expect more to come from Gadhafi.

"This is not yet a victory for them. They expect Gadhafi forces to carry something out again, they do not think this is over," she said. "People do not take Gadhafi's threats lightly. They have learned from four decades of his rule. They expect him to plan some kind of maneuver."

[8:45 p.m. ET, 2:45 a.m. in Libya] It is now mostly quiet in Tripoli, just minutes after sustained anti-aircraft gunfire, Robertson reports.

[8:33 p.m. ET, 2:33 a.m. in Libya] Heavy anti-aircraft gunfire can be heard in Tripoli, CNN's Nic Robertson reported.

Robertson said anti-aircraft gunfire also was heard a few hours ago, but it is now more intense. The current round followed a couple of loud explosions, Robertson reported from Tripoli.

[8:26 p.m. ET, 2:26 a.m. in Libya] The Department of State has issued a statement reminding media organizations that no U.S. officials remain in Libya, limiting its ability to provide assistance to U.S. citizens or other employees of U.S.-based news organizations. The State Department continues to advise against travel to Libya and urges U.S. citizens already in Libya to depart immediately.

[7:41 p.m. ET, 1:41 a.m. in Libya] After delaying his trip to Russian, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been keeping a close eye on the situation in Libya, a Pentagon spokesman said.

"Secretary Gates has been in near constant contact with the Joint Staff as planning for Operation Odyssey Dawn has evolved. He has conducted multiple individual and conference with National Security Adviser Donilon and President Obama. And, of course, he continues to receive a steady flow of operational and intelligence information," spokesman Geoff Morrell said.

[6:20 p.m. ET, 12:20 a.m. in Libya] A defiant Moammar Gadhafi says missile strikes launched Saturday night are grounds for a "crusade war" and vowed to fight back.

"The Libyan people will fight against this aggression. All you people of the Islamic nations and Africa. And all you people in Latin America, and asia to stand with the Libyan people in its fight agaist this aggression," he said.

"France has carried an aggression against Libya. The security council and the international community has a responsibility to do what it takes about this aggression against the sovereign state."

[6:01 p.m. ET, 12:01 a.m. in Libya] Hours after coalition forces launched the first wave of attacks against his military forces, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi said his people will fight back against undeserved "naked aggression."

Libyan state TV broadcast Gadhafi's response, which included a call for people to take arms in the "war zone."

[5:45 p.m. ET, 11:45 p.m. in Libya] Moammar Gadhafi is due to make an address soon, according to media reports citing Libyan TV.

[5:36 p.m. ET, 11:36 p.m. in Libya] Russia reacted "with regret" Saturday to the start of international military action in Libya, urging an end to violence on all sides.

It said the United Nations resolution that authorized the use of force had been "hastily adopted."

"We again urge all Libyan sides, as well as the participants of the military operation, to do everything they can to prevent the suffering of innocent civilians and to ensure a speedy cease-fire and an end to violence," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

[5:04 p.m. ET, 11:04 p.m. in Libya] Armed police are gathering outside government buildings in Tripoli and the streets are mostly clear of the revelers that had gathered earlier Saturday evening, CNN's Nic Robertson said.

Earlier, people were playing music and dancing in the street outside Gadhafi's palace compound in an apparent show of celebration, Roberston said. The missile strikes were inaudible over the music and revelry, he said.

[5:04 p.m. ET, 11:04 p.m. in Libya] Coalition strikes were launched despite a government-initiated cease-fire and "major reforms in economic and organizational contexts," a Libyan government spokesman says.

"The claim that this aggression is for the protection of civilians is contradicted by what has really happened on the ground tonight."

[5:04 p.m. ET, 11:04 p.m. in Libya] President Obama is planning for the U.S. portion of the military action in Libya to only last for a few days, according to a senior administration official.

"In terms of the heavy kinetic portion of this military action, the president envisions it as lasting days, not weeks," said the senior official. "After that we'll take more of a supporting role."

[4:58 p.m. ET, 10:58 p.m. in Libya] Air attacks on several locations in Tripoli and Misrata have caused "real harm" to civilians, a Libyan government spokesman said Saturday.

"I am very sorry and saddened that my country is facing a barbaric and armed attack," the spokesman said, adding that "this aggression will not weaken our spirits."

[4:28 p.m. ET, 10:28 p.m. in Libya] More than 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from U.S and British ships and submarines, striking more than 20 integrated air defense systems and air defense facilities ashore, a Joint Chiefs of Staff official said Saturday.

The goals of "Operation Odyssey Dawn" are to prevent further attacks on Libyan citizens and opposition groups and to degrade the capability of Moammar Gadhafi's forces to resist a no-fly zone, Vice Admiral William E. Gortney Director said.

The strikes were carefully coordinated based on an assessment of whether the targets posed a direct threat to coalition pilots or to the people of Libya, he said.

"This is an international military effort urged by the Libyan people themselves and other Arab nations," Gortney said, noting that U.S. military forces are on the "leadership edge" of the operation.

"This is just the first phase of what will likely be a multi-phase designed to enforce the U.N. Security Council resolution."

[4:10 p.m. ET, 10:10 p.m. in Libya] U.S. President Barack Obama said military action in Libya is not an outcome the United States had sought.

"The use of force is not our first choice, and it is not a choice I make lightly," he said in an audio message from Brazil. "But we cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people that there will be no mercy and his forces step up their assault."

He also said the United States will not deploy any U.S. troops on the ground on Libya. Obama emphasized that the United States was acting as part of a broad coalition of U.S. allies to enforce the U.N. Security Council resolution, and not unilaterally.

"The writ of the international community must be enforced," he said. "We are answering the calls of a threatened people and we are acting in the interests of the United States and the world."

[3:55 p.m. ET, 9:55 p.m. in Libya] The U.S. military has launched its first missiles in Libya against Moammar Gadhafi's forces in the western part of the country, a senior Defense Department official said Saturday.

U.S. Tomahawk missiles landed in the area around Tripoli and Misrata, the official said, adding that the action was taken after Gadhafi failed to comply with a cease-fire.

The first part of the multi-phase approach will be to degrade air defenses, CNN's Chris Lawrence reports, citing the Defense Department official. Most of the first strikes will be concentrated around Tripoli and Misrata, specifically to take out his air defenses. Ground forces will be targeted as well because they carry capability to shoot down planes, the official said.

[3:44 p.m. ET, 9:44 p.m. in Libya] British Prime Minister David Cameron said military action was necessary to enforce the cease-fire and prevent Moammar Gadhafi from attacking his people.

"What we are doing is necessary, it is legal and it is right," he said. "I believe we should not stand aside while this dictator murders his own people."

[2:32 p.m. ET, 8:32 p.m. in Libya] A U.S. defense official said the United States is poised to launch cruise missiles from warships in the Mediterranean Sea, and that these strikes would target Moammar Gadhafi's air defenses. The United States is prepared to "defend its allies flying over Libyan airspace and enforce the no-fly zone," the official said.

[1:15 p.m. ET, 7:15 p.m. in Libya] French planes fired on a Libyan military vehicle Saturday evening, according to the French Defense Ministry.

[12:43 p.m. ET, 6:43 p.m. in Libya] The United States is standing with its allies and partners in enforcing the U.N. resolution on Libya, and it is also behind the Libyan people, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Saturday. "We will stand with the people of Libya and we will not waiver (in our effort) to protect them," she said.

[12:39 p.m. ET, 6:39 p.m. in Libya] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised the Arab League's stance on Libya, saying it "changed the diplomatic landscape." The group last week approved the establishment of a no-fly zone in Libya.

[12:36 p.m. ET, 6:36 p.m. in Libya] The Libyan government "has lost all legitimacy," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Saturday, adding that the international community is right to enforce immediately the United Nations resolution. "Further delay will only put more civilians at risk," she said in Paris.

[12:34 p.m. ET, 6:34 p.m. in Libya] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that despite talk of a cease-fire from Libya, Moammar Gadhafi "continues to defy the world." "His attacks on civilians go on," she told reporters Saturday.

[11:04 a.m. ET, 5:04 p.m. in Libya] The French air force is opposing any aggression by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi against the population of rebel-held Benghazi, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Saturday. "As of now, our aircraft are preventing planes from attacking the town," Sarkozy said. "Our French aircraft are ready to intervene against tanks."

[10:58 a.m. ET, 4:58 p.m. in Libya] Countries attending a meeting in Paris sent Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi a warning, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Saturday.

"If there is not an immediate cease-fire and withdrawal of the forces that have been attacking civilian populations in the last few weeks, our countries will have recourse to military means," Sarkozy said. Sarkozy said the warning was endorsed by all participants at the Paris summit.

Libya's population "must not be deprived of its rights by violence and terror," Sarkozy said. "There is still time for Colonel Gadhafi to avoid the worst, by complying immediately and unreservedly with all the demands of the international community. The doors of diplomacy will open once again when the aggression stops."

[10:51 a.m. ET, 4:51 p.m. in Libya] U.S., European and Arab leaders met Saturday at a last-minute Paris meeting on Libya.  "There is minute-by-minute consultation between the United States and the militaries of other countries that are considering their support of action" under a U.N. resolution authorizing the use of force, a senior State Department official told reporters.

[10:40 a.m. ET, 4:40 p.m. in Libya] A French official confirms that French fighter jets are flying over Libya.

[9:55 a.m. ET, 3:55 p.m. in Libya] Moammar Gadhafi's military forces pushed into the rebel stronghold of Benghazi on Saturday. Artillery rounds landed inside the city, and pro-Gadhafi tanks rolled into the town firing rounds, witnesses said. Plumes of smoke rose in Benghazi as civilians said buildings came under small arms fire.

[7:35 a.m. ET, 1:35 p.m. in Libya] Oil production has been dropping and Libya wants foreign and Libyan employees to go back to the oil fields, Libyan oil minister Shukri Ghanem told reporters Saturday.

[6:19 a.m. ET Saturday, 12:19 p.m. in Libya] Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's government on Saturday sent harsh messages to leaders such as U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. "You have no right ever to intervene in our internal affairs," said a letter read by Libyan government spokesman Musa Ibrahim. The letter also said the government would never fire "a single bullet" against its citizens. Gadhafi's government continued to blame the conflict in Libya on al Qaeda.

[6:05 a.m. ET Saturday, 12:05 p.m. in Libya] A CNN team saw tanks belonging to forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi enter Benghazi on Saturday, and observed rebel tanks moving to confront them. Tank, mortar and artillery fire echoed across the city, interspersed with sustained bursts of small arms fire. Plumes of smoke could been seen rising above Benghazi.

[4:35 a.m. ET Saturday, 10:35 a.m. in Libya] CNN journalists observed tanks moving north from 5 kilometers south of Benghazi and other tanks moving through the western part of the city. It is not known which side the tanks belonged to. The journalists also saw tank and artillery rounds land inside the city.

[3:56 a.m. ET Saturday, 9:56 a.m. in Libya] A fighter jet was shot down and burst into flames Saturday in the area of Benghazi. Meanwhile, explosions could be heard in the city, which has been a stronghold for rebels opposing Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. It was not immediately clear who the fighter jet belonged to. Rebels have vowed to defend Benghazi to the death.

On Friday, the Libyan government said it was abiding by a cease-fire, but witnesses have said violence from pro-Gadhafi forces has continued.

[12:23 a.m. ET Saturday, 6:23 a.m. in Libya] Agence France-Presse reported airstrikes and explosions Saturday morning in an area southwest of Benghazi. CNN had not independently confirmed the report.

soundoff (770 Responses)
  1. snizzle fizzle gizzen gar

    they need to have a fireside chat!

    March 19, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Mat

    You are wondering what is going on? Why suddenly French become active, or pretending they do care?! Answer is simple RECENT Oil, Weapon and base contract from Arab countries like Bahrain, Saudi, Qatar, UAE.

    So, have no wonder if there was not $30B contract with Qatar, Bahrain, UAE and Saudi, they never make a such move. Everybody thinking about their own benefit and national interest.

    Just today, Mrs Clinton highlight there support for criminal act of Saudi, UAW, Qatar against Bahranian people. Again you are wondering, let me explain you, $60B contract from criminal Saudi, Bahranian Military Base as well as $28B with UAE.

    So there is double standards every where?

    UN make comment in Syria demonstrators, but Choose to be quite against Saudi invasion? Des it make a sense?

    Have no doubt Libya leadership need to go, but there are same people which signed contract with Gasafi for last 40 years and supported them.

    No word can justify this animal violence in Bahrain for foreign criminal force of Saudi, UAE and Qatar against 70% people of Bahrain.

    We live in fantasy and none real world. Everybody give a speech and justify their own actions. What Hollywood?

    March 19, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • fu9l

      Just today, Mrs Clinton highlight there support for criminal act of Saudi, UAW, Qatar against Bahranian people. Again you are wondering, let me explain you, $60B contract from criminal Saudi, Bahranian Military Base as well as $28B with UAE.

      so by that comment i see you back a iranian state in bahrain since 80% of the protesters there are form iran and want nothing more than to turn it into a islamic state i was there 2 weeks ago watching the ships leave the port for libya everyone there the fishermen the store owners the shop keepers all will tell you the same thing there iranian backed thugs at least get it right and support the right side the saudis asked the king if he needed help and the king said yes since he dosent even have a army never needed one this is nothing more than redderick from iran that there peaceful protesters when there killing workers attacking westerners and beating doctors

      March 19, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Fu9, Mat is an Iranian information operations type.

      March 19, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. tilmeismoney

    Cruze missles, now we're talking business. Give mad dog one for the gipper.

    March 19, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Robinzon Post

    We still are not clear who has invoked Breach? Was it somebod from inside Libya? Or did the Occident push itself in, again?
    Gaddafi or no Gaddafi, France or US: I still do not understand how will BOMBING a country "protect it's citizens"?
    And before somebody starts explaining, let me tell you 1 thing: I have already survived 1 NATO bombing of my country (Serbia, 1999), and I can tell you of an interesting phenomenon – when the bombing started, most of the people who were supporting the oposition to the dictatorial president (me included) became angry with the west, because bombs were droping on our heads, not just on the one head NATO said has caused everything. You cannot greet bombs, even if they are thrown with the pretext „these bombs are being thrown on you not because of you, do not worry, you didn’t do anything wrong, but are being thrown because of the president of your country, eventhough you migh have never voted for him“. What did they expect, that I say „yei, wow, super-duper!!“ It was me who didn't have electricity because power plants were destroyed; it was innocent people that died, because bombs missed their targets ("smart bombs", yeah, right), our lives were blocked, everybody suffered except the one that is said to have caused it, I can imagine he was in a well equipped bunker or something, sipping a 1958 Cabernet. Entire action didn't make us overthrow our dictator, it made us bitter and sad because we felt there's no way out.
    Let's not get carried away – first rule of a relationship is "what's in it for me?", that's just how the brain functions; no country is now intervening in Libya because they are just good and concerned about civilan liberty blah blah.
    And another thing: we have to try not to be sucked into the whirlpool of media spinning, if you are anyhow reading the news, try to look at the story from multiple angles. By the time news reach us, the story has turned itself around, like a record baby.

    March 19, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jady

      You're completely right. America is way to late to intervene in this and dropping bombs does not seem like the most effective way of protecting the Libyan people. With the West's advanced military forces you'd think we could pull off something more tactile and just go in and take out Gadhafi and liberate Libya. Is there hidden agendas? I don't know.

      March 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leon Chame

      Quote = Gaddafi or no Gaddafi, France or US: I still do not understand how will BOMBING a country "protect it's citizens"?
      It isn't for you to understand. Its for the the American, British and French people since this no-fly-zone is mostly composed with these three. Libya no-fly zone plan was rejected by EU leaders at emergency summit on Libya in Brussels (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/11/libya-no-fly-zone-plan-rejected) but no one is announcing this in the news (in English).

      quote = Let's not get carried away – first rule of a relationship is "what's in it for me?"
      Interesting question...what's it in for you?

      Libya May Lash Out With Terrorist Attacks, U.S. Official Says...
      and why not? If collateral damage in Libya which will most certainly happen, then all british, american and french citizens all around the world should be fair game for collateral damage also. It all depends on the point of view.

      March 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jean-Paul Sartre

      "And before somebody starts explaining, let me tell you 1 thing: I have already survived 1 NATO bombing of my country (Serbia, 1999).."

      I, for one, am sincerely happy that you did survive; you should indeed be pleased with that, at the very least.

      When you bomb something there really is no such thing as a "Smart Bomb" as the USA military attempts to define it; I suspect most thinking people know that. Innocent civilians are going to die and be injured... Clearly, IF you are going to bomb something, that is going to happen. There is always a rather callous "Cost/Benefit" analysis involved in these attacks or bombings, if you will; we may never know just what the elements of the decision making process was nor what the untold specific goal(s) of all this carnage was.

      Ultimately, this can only be judged through the long lens of time and history; although I am sure that this brings little comfort to you: "It is what it is..."

      March 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hania

      Don't you remember that Serbia bombing was only a convenience thing to cover Clinton adventures with Monica Levynski. And it worked. The attention was turned from what was happening under the table int he Oval Office to what was happening in Serbia. Those that suddenly decided to bomb Libia are not concerned about its citizens, they are concerned about thair self interest and that most likely means military bases, construction and oil contracts etc. From my point of view, since I just got a layoff notice after 25 year of dedicated work, I'm very happy that my government is more worry about supporting Gaddafi opponents, that about improving uneployment situation in the US. Nothing like engaging into another war to divert public attention from issues that really matter....

      March 19, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Janet McLean

    Well, finally something is being done to get this Mad Man under control. This closing of air space should have taken place
    2 weeks ago, but our President Obama does the side stepping again. Of course now we are in a situation that requires
    him to be at the White House while this conflict is happening and he and the family take off to Brazil for one of his many
    useless trips. This I find offensive since Brazil did not stand with the U.S. in its decision of a " No Fly Zone" over
    libya. When the breaking news occurred Obama, finally gets to the news stage with the president of Brazil and
    she talks for 20 minutes in spanish....which I found since the President of the U.S. was present she should have
    spoke in English or had a translator there. Obama barely mentions the problem with Libya and what was taking
    place. He was afraid he would offend the president of Brazil. I am so ashamed of this man and his lack of caring
    for his county and the position he holds. Also all of the trips with his family all over the world we are paying for.
    .with our tax dollars is outrageous...He needs to stay at the White House and take care of business and find
    something for his wife to do rather than being a Jet Setter....

    March 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • ksmary

      I am pretty sure the President of Brazil is not speaking in Spanish. Plus the majority of the United States citizens did NOT want us to act like cowboys and go into Lybia with guns blazing. Frankly, I for one, am very happy we are playing a support role rather than the lead in this case. As far as trips go, when members of the President of the United States families travel with him they are charged for all costs (food, lodging etc) so other than extra weight on Air Force One the cost to taxpayers in minimal.

      March 19, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • slc

      You are extremely stupid, Janet. You know nothing about international affairs. Zero.

      March 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • gpadilla

      Some simple research on the web will tell you that Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush took more "vacation" days during their first year than Obama did. Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton spent the least time on "vacation". Give these guys a break. Do they really ever have a "vacation"?

      March 19, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeanne-Mance Robichaud

      You dont even know what you are talking about. Brazilians speak Portuguese, not Spanish.

      March 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jady

      they speak Portugese in Brazil Janet... sheeeesh

      March 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • BSS

      Oh my goodness. Spanish?Really? The intelligence level of some bewilders me. Try being a tad versed in the subject of which you comment on before making yourself appear ignorant.

      March 19, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Gyan Kumar

    Gaddafi appears to be the "MAN IN THE BLUE TURBAN" that Nostradamus prophesied would attack Europe after MABUS (Osama Bin Laden) dies.

    March 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • arlo

      If a color was associated with Qaddafi, it would be green, not blue.

      March 19, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. KAO

    mikeybronx: I do not for one minute doubt our capabilities. Yes, it could be a quick decisive mission, but only when it is us against ALL of them. When we have to defend of them from others just like them, it can get messy very quickly.

    Reference: Viet-Nam 70s, Lebanon 80s, Bosnia 90s, Afghanistan 2001 – Present, Iraq 2003 – Present.

    In a straight up shootin' match, my money is ALWAYS on the US. Civil wars are much more complicated. We have rules of engagement, they don't. They will hide behind women & children to shoot at you, knowing that you won't fire back.

    Devinjgray: You and I are not very far apart on this, if at all. My point, is the US needs to step back from being the Calvary in every neighborhood brawl, that's what the UN is supposed to do.

    March 19, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • devinjgray

      I made the same point in a previous post, that I was very glad this was a U.N. action of which we were a part. For some reason the first time I read your post I thought you opposed U.S. involvement; but I think I misread that. I have a question for you, with your military knowledge. Our defense secretary said a couple of weeks ago that air defenses would have to be taken out first. Now we have French planes in the sky, one plane of undetermined origin crashed on the ground, and the U.S. "prepared" to launch missiles to take out air defense. Maybe from reports on the ground they thought they couldn't wait? What do you think?

      March 19, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • regertz

      It would be great if the UN could be the cavalry but they don't have the armed forces needed...And we'd have the "Left Behind", "No World Gov't" types howling if we tried to set it up. Plus there would be even more hesitation on approval than we just saw for this operation.

      March 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Linc2010

    In a Fight no one wins.

    March 19, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dev

      Actually for the most part one side wins......that's why there's the fight......

      March 19, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. thomas

    I hope US does not interfere with this mess. We have enough problems in our land and also iraq and afghanistan are on our plate. UK and French leaders are morons. Hello What the hell is Arab League for? How come they are not sending their troops to help the rebels if they have concerns for these rebels? All they want to sit back and enjoy the game hoping ghaddafi will get ousted and these idiots can get all the oil and money. Even the French and UK govt only care about oil and money and please they don't care about libyans. If the rebels and libyans wants freedom, they have to fight for it and oust ghaddafi. Just wait and see, these same rebels whom the UK and French are helping out today will come and bite them later. All they are doing is feeding a brood of vipers. Arab League should help the libyans and the rebels and not the stupid French and English. When is the Europe and the West going to learn?

    March 19, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Jonathan L. Gal

    Vive La France et Les Etas Unis!

    March 19, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Jonathan L. Gal

    Vive La France et Les Etas Unis ... Freres En Liberte!

    March 19, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • barney22

      France AND the United States? Wow, there's a first!

      March 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jean-Paul Sartre

      Yes, indeed!

      There would probably NOT be any USA if the gracious French didn't come to our rescue and fought so bravely with us against the British some 200+ years ago!

      March 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. just some guy mh

    I've heard the idea of arming the rebels thrown around on occasion, but honestly they don't really need guns or ammo, they need vehicles and coordinated support. I have a feeling that a good outcome could be more easily reached if the U.S. or coalition forces were to hand out radios to rebel forces to facilitate close air support in defense and recapture of territory. The rebel forces have enough english and french speakers to call for assistance from pilots in the air, not to mention how uplifting it would be for their people seeing the bomb laden wings of an A-10 or Rafael over their heads and at their tentative disposal.

    March 19, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. kren2510

    I am surprised that France has been the most outspoken defender of people and first to act! I have earned a new respect for French people

    March 19, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • barney22

      Uh...the French get cheaper oil from Libya.......

      March 19, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr Dez

      Kren

      The French have 2 major reasons and non of them are oil.
      Firstly it is widely believed that Libya supported with vast amounts of cash the President (who BTW is also corrupt allegedlly)
      SEcond – France will be overwelmed with refugees – this at a time of religious unrest on racial grounds

      Ciao

      March 19, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Menon

    Why hasn't the Western countries attacked Saudi Arabia for killing the unarmed protestors in Bahrain. Instead, they are supporting the puppet kings in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Don't forget where the 9/11 bombers were from. They were all Saudi's including Osama Bin Laden. I remember now, we want 4 dollar oil. That's why western countries won't take out the puppet kings. Got it. All of this is about Oil. Okay. Time to pump up my giant SUV and catch a ball game!

    March 19, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • fu9l

      because the protester in bahrain are not unarmed nor are they peaceful they have killed hundreds of workers have attacked westerners and are iranian backed thugs nothing more a few were interrorageted and it was found they were bused in from iran that case is nothing more than irans attempt of a hositle take over of a good goverment which was so peaceful they dont even have a army the saudis the u.s. and others will nit see bahrain turn into another iran based on hostile iran backed thugs who want another islaimc state just like iran....

      March 19, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • barney22

      So....we should attack Saudi Arabia? Everybody knows the Saudis finaced and recruited for 9/11 That was ten years ago. I thought we didn't attack unless attacked forst, but then there is the concept of allies........

      March 19, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tim

    I said the same thing at the beginning of the Iraq war as I say now: If the US (or even NATO) attacks every foreign country with despots & murderers, we would be in most of the African nations and more than a few of the Asians as well. Libya is the cause de celebre at the moment, but what about other countries such as Cote D'Ivore, Sudan, Somalia, Bahrain, Uganda, and so on. The list is endless. Now I mean no disrespect to the people of Libya. In fact, I applaud their efforts toward freedom and democracy and pray for their ultimate success. But I don't see how the US can single out one or two nations above all others, even if the actions are well-intentioned.

    March 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jean-Paul Sartre

      Never, and I sincerely mean NEVER, look for consistency in USA foreign policy matters!
      You will NEVER find it...

      March 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
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