Should the West arm Libyan rebels?
30-Mar-2011 (3 comments)
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Clare Spencer | 11:22 UK time, Wednesday, 30 March 2011



Commentators discuss the US and UK announcement that they do not rule out supplying weapons to Libyan rebels.

In Foreign Policy Blake Hounshell puts forward the arguments for providing arms to rebels:

"One reason is that weapons are probably going to pour in anyway, perhaps from Egyptian stockpiles or factories and perhaps paid for by Gulf Arab states (indeed, the Wall Street Journal has reported that this is already happening, though Egypt denies it). Another is that the West, or the United States, will have more influence with the rebels if it is arming them than if it doesn't - and thus may be better placed to shape events going forward. And, of course, the most straightforward reason for giving the rebels weapons is because they may not be able to protect themselves - let alone defeat ... >>>

recommended by Darius Kadivar


Soosan Khanoom

should the west arms rebels?

by Soosan Khanoom on

what a stupid question is this ?........ The rebels are armed to the teeth by west and have full support of Nato.....yet still this is news today from Reuters:

"It took more than five days of allied aerial bombardment to destroy government tanks and artillery in the strategic town of Ajdabiyah before rebels rushed in and chased Gaddafi's troops 300 km (200 miles) west in a two-day dash along the coast.Two days later they are back close to where they started. "

The Russians and Chinese are laughing at the US and its eagerness to bankrupt itself and drop out of the game for world dominance...................

...He who laughs last laughs best. 


Darius Kadivar

Where as Thomas Friedman as usual can't make up his mind ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

Also in the New York Times Thomas Friedman points to double standards involved in arming Libyan rebels:

"In Libya, we have to figure out whether to help rebels we do not know topple a terrible dictator we do not like, while at the same time we turn a blind eye to a monarch whom we do like in Bahrain, who has violently suppressed people we also like - Bahraini democrats - because these people we like have in their ranks people we don't like: pro-Iranian Shiite hard-liners. All the while in Saudi Arabia, leaders we like are telling us we never should have let go of the leader who was so disliked by his own people - Hosni Mubarak - and, while we would like to tell the Saudi leaders to take a hike on this subject, we can't because they have so much oil and money that we like. And this is a lot like our dilemma in Syria where a regime we don't like - and which probably killed the prime minister of Lebanon whom it disliked - could be toppled by people who say what we like, but we're not sure they all really believe what we like because among them could be Sunni fundamentalists, who, if they seize power, could suppress all those minorities in Syria whom they don't like."

Darius Kadivar

Roger Cohen urges the West to finish Off Gaddafi (NY Times)

by Darius Kadivar on

In the New York Times Roger Cohen urges the West to finish what it started in the Arab world:

"Three months later the genie is not only out of the bottle, it has shattered the bottle. I said of Libya in an earlier column: Be ruthless or stay out. So now the West is in, be ruthless. Arm the resurgent rebels. Incapacitate Gaddafi. Do everything short of putting troops on the ground. Gaddafi, as President Obama has said, 'must leave'. So that Libya can be an Arab country that is imperfect but open. "