The 21st March seems so long ago now.
This was what the BBC reported then:
The UN has not given coalition forces the “legal authority” to remove Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi by military action, David Cameron has said.
The UK prime minister told Parliament a UN resolution allowing strikes on the country was “limited in its scope”.
The head of the armed forces said it “absolutely” did not allow the targeting of Colonel Gaddafi.
But there is some confusion, as Defence Secretary Liam Fox has said such action is “potentially a possibility”.
Coalition forces, including those from the UK, France and the US, say they are trying to protect civilians from attacks by the ruling regime.
BBC political editor Nick Robinson said the UK government was walking a “legal tightrope” with the UN resolution and wanted to reassure Arab countries that it was not about “to topple” Col Gaddafi – and that Libya would not become “another Iraq”.
On the other hand, the coalition did not want to risk “telling Gaddafi what they will do”, our correspondent added.
United Nations Resolution 1973, passed last week, authorises “all necessary measures” short of an occupying force to protect citizens – but there have been questions about exactly what that could mean.
complete lack of surprise therefore to read this morning that attack helicopters had been deployed against Libya.
What are we to make of this?
Mr Hague admitted on Sunday that the NATO operation was “intensifying” and that there was no deadline for the mission.
“We’re not going to set a deadline. You’re asking about Christmas and who knows, it could be days or weeks or months. [But] it is worth doing,” he told BBC television.
“intensifying” “mission” “deadline” “it is worth doing”. They all sound like a strategy don’t they? As if (although I’m using the allegory purely for illustrative purposes only because as we know, removing Gaddafi by military action would be illegal) there were a plan to get in there and remove Colonel Gaddafi by military force or something like that.
The no fly zone was to be limited in its scope. It was to defend the civilian population against attack. Involvement by Britain was to be limited and it was to be brief. The Prime Minister said so.
And now William Hague seems to be comprehensively contradicting his boss.
What Hague has been saying makes it sound as if NATO is gearing up for a land war, which as we know was never the intention and would be against UN resolutions and the declared strategy and statements of the Prime Minister.
Filed under: Current Events | Tagged: colonel gaddafi, libya | 4 Comments »