Stick to the Resolution

The international military intervention in Libya is not about bombing for democracy or for Muammar el-Qaddafi’s head – let alone keeping oil prices down or profits up. But many voices now capturing media attention are beginning to confuse the basic message of the UN Security Council's historic Resolution 1973.

MELBOURNE – The international military intervention in Libya is not about bombing for democracy or for Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s head – let alone keeping oil prices down or profits up. Legally, morally, politically, and militarily, it has only one justification: protecting Libyans from the kind of murderous harm that Qaddafi inflicted on unarmed protestors four weeks ago; has continued to inflict on those who oppose him in the areas that his forces control; and has promised to inflict on his opponents in Benghazi and other rebel-held territory.

When that job is done, the military’s job will be done. Regime change is for the Libyan people themselves to achieve.

It should not be necessary to rearticulate and reargue these basic points. But it is. Despite the best efforts of US President Barack Obama, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and others who have stayed admirably focused and consistent, other voices – from the right, the left, and the simply muddled – are now capturing media attention, and are beginning to drown, or at least confuse, the basic message.

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