Libya: Impose A No Fly Zone


As the news reported on the rebellion in Libya, some have suggested the imposition of a no-fly zone to bring Qaddafi down.

America should support the Libyan rebels in their effort to remove Qaddafi. He has been in power 42 years and has ruled long enough. Qaddafi replaced a king who had no term limit and ironically, Qaddafi has now served longer than most monarchs. He has held power for 10½ U.S. presidential terms. He needs to go.

The problem is it is illegal under international law for one nation to intervene in the affairs of another, unless acting in self-defense, invited by the host country, or under UN approval.

The UN properly used force in the Gulf War (1990), since it was illegal for Iraq to invade Kuwait. It was also lawful to impose a subsequent no-fly zone to keep the peace.

Here, Libya has not invaded another country, and as it stands, it would be illegal for the U.S. to unilaterally take military action.

One solution is to recognize the rebels as the legitimate Libyan government. Qaddafi has no real legitimacy, as he came to power in 1969 in a military junta, and not through a lawful electoral process. Let’s recognize the rebels as the true government of Libya and ask them if they want military help. I am sure they would say yes.

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2 Comments to “Libya: Impose A No Fly Zone”

  1. An interesting perspective….

    Some questions:
    – France has recognized the Libyan rebels as the legitimate government…which countries in the world need to do this in order to make our intervention legitimate? Does the UN establish legitimacy from the int’l law standpoint?
    – Does international law specify who is allowed to intervene? For instance, though Iraq invading Kuwait was “illegal,” does that mean that the international community should stand by and/or applaud, if North Korea were to intervene?

    Great article, though you heading at the top is redundant. You have “Libya-No Fly Zone” both in your heading and in the beginning of your article.

  2. UN recognition certainly establishes legitimacy. For example, after the Chinese Revolution (1949), Mao se Tung’s government took the mainland, while the Nationalists fled to Taiwan. 22 years later, in 1971, the UN finally recognized the People’s Republic of China on the mainland and unseated the Nationalist regime on Taiwan.

    The Security Council (14 states) decide on whether there may be intervention and which countries may participate.

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