Friday, 18 March 2011

Libya No-Fly Zone approved by UN

That's the overnight news; and although some sources are trying to suggest it was the French who secured this (they did play an important part) or that US president Obama was behind it (he seems to have done nothing but dither) it was the persistent leadership of our own David Cameron, along with Foreign Secretary William Hague, that made this UN Resolution 1973 happen at all. cameron first raised the prospect of a No-Fly Zone (NFZ) in the House of Commons over two weeks ago, on 28 February.

The Prime Minister was making an emergency statement to the House of Commons as I started to write this, and Jonathon Isaby has now posted a summary of that.

Now, there are arguments for why the NFZ is a good thing, and other arguments why it is bad. It is unlikely to resolve the issues afflicting Libya (there are plenty of other potentially brutal dictators waiting to take over from Gaddaffi), but the simple humanitarian needs of a civilian population under threat to their lives from their own government is compelling for many.

At least having a UN resolution behind this preventative action is hugely different from the all-out attack on Iraq some eight years ago, and the waiting for that resolution this time was the right approach, even though further lives have been lost as a result of the delay. We couldn't have managed it alone anyway.

That additional loss of life, though, was because of others' dilly-dallying, not our own leadership here in Britain. Cameron and Hague had exactly the right approach and come out of this better than any other country's leadership anywhere in the world, bar none.

The same cannot be said of the Labour opposition, though, as Guido notes in a tweet, and provides some detail here.

P.S: by a curious twist of fate, this resolution has come into being just in time for Comic Relief's Red Nose Day this year!

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