Strikes spark Gaddafi ‘kill’ debate

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by SHASH2K2, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

    May 10, 2010
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    Bihar, BanGalore , India
    Strikes spark Gaddafi ‘kill’ debate

    Is it OK to kill Gaddafi?
    That, in essence, is the debate taking place in Britain with David Cameron’s ministers adopting a somewhat different line from British military commanders.​
    No one is saying the intention is to assassinate Muammar Gaddafi though it is hard to see how the political changes desired by Cameron can be achieved so long as the Libyan leader remains in charge, even in a truncated country.​
    Yesterday, in a second successive night of missile attacks from the sea and air by British, French and American forces, Gaddafi’s compound in Tripoli was hit and badly damaged. The Libyan leader was not there at the time but the inference is that he was being targeted personally.​
    Late tonight, an explosion was heard in Tripoli, followed by rounds of anti-aircraft gunfire that lit up the night sky above the Libyan capital, a Reuters report said.​
    The defence ministry in London would not comment on a report in London’s Evening Standard that the cruise missile which hit Gaddafi’s compound was fired by a British Trafalgar-class submarine. ​
    Journalists escorted to the scene of a damaged administration block in the compound by Libyan officials reported seeing smoke rising from the three-storey building and pieces of cruise missile scattered around the area. ​
    About 300 Gaddafi supporters were said to have been in the compound at the time, but it is not known if any were hurt. ​
    The normal practice for the British, judging from past wars, is to infiltrate members of the elite SAS (Special Air Services) into enemy territory and get them to mark the targets which can then be destroyed with precision weaponry, hopefully with a minimum loss of civilians.​
    If Gaddafi is foolish or “unlucky” enough to hide in such a target, it would be too bad if he was killed — so runs the thinking. This, experts say, is another way of saying Gaddafi is indeed being targeted. ​
    Ministers in Britain appeared to be at odds with their own senior military commanders on this issue. ​
    The chief of the defence staff, Gen. David Richards, was adamant that seeking to hit the Libyan dictator was not allowed under the terms of the UN Security Council resolution.​
    “Absolutely not,” he insisted heatedly in an interview. “It is not allowed under the UN resolution and it is not something I want to discuss any further.” ​
    But after defence secretary Liam Fox suggested over the weekend that Gaddafi could be a “legitimate target”, sources at 10 Downing Street, speaking for Cameron, also argued it was legal to target anyone killing Libyan civilians. ​
    Foreign secretary William Hague refused to rule out an attack on Gaddafi. “I’m not going to speculate on the targets,” he said. “That depends on the circumstances at the time.”​


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