The full tables for the YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here. Here are some of the highlights.

The poll asked about Libya, but as it was conducted between Thursday afternoon and Friday afternoon the questions were rather overtaken by events. There are a couple of early straws in the wind though. Asked whether David Cameron has responded well or badly to the situation in Libya, 37% thought he had done badly, 44% well – a net score of minus 7 compared to minus 16 a fortnight ago when the same question was asked.

Most of this shift appears to have happened between Thursday and Friday as news of the UN resolution emerged – amongst people who filled in the survey overnight on Thursday approval of Cameron’s handling of Libya was still minus 13, amongst people who filled it in from Friday morning onwards approval of Cameron’s handling rose to minus 3. Of course, the whole of the survey was conducted prior to the start of actual military operations on Saturday – we won’t know the effect of that on public opinion until tomorrow.

In this poll support for a no-fly zone stood at 69%, with 14% opposed. Of course, theoretical support for a “no-fly” zone won’t necessarily translate into support for the present air strikes on Libya – we shall find out next week.

Secondly there were a group of questions on the Alternative Vote. Voting intention in the referendum currently stands at YES 33%, NO 32%, Don’t know 27%, won’t vote 7%. For the first time in a YouGov referendum poll, there were also figures weighted by likelihood to vote, though at this stage they made very little difference to the overall position – weighted by likelihood to vote the numbers were YES 39%, NO 37%, Don’t know 23%.

41% of people said they thought the present system was fair, compared to 30% who think it is unfair. However, only 26% people said they thought AV would be fairer, compared to 24% who think FPTP would be fairer and 14% who think there is nothing to chose between them.

On the cost of the referendum itself, 37% of people think it is a waste of taxpayers’ money, compared to 43% who think it is right that money is being spent on giving the public the final say.

Finally there were some questions about nuclear power. 43% of people said the recent events in Japan had made them less supportive of nuclear power, 48% that it had made no difference. Overall people remained broadly split over nuclear power – 40% said they supported its use, 48% that they opposed its use. The majority of people (60%) thought that nuclear power stations in the UK were safe.

There was, incidentally, a very strong gender contrast on the nuclear questions. Large gender differences in polls are actually quite rare, men and women normally have pretty similar views, nuclear weapons and power are one of those areas where their views are very different. Men are supportive of nuclear power by 54% to 37%, women are opposed to it by 25% to 57%.


179 Responses to “YouGov on Libya, AV and nuclear power”

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  1. Great round up Anthony, I look forward to next Sunday’s polling with earnest. And to think there are elections, by elections and referenda….. [ooh and a budget].

  2. I would be interested to see if there is an upswing in support for Nick Cleg and the LibDems from this.

    As sad as it sounds, wars tend to increase the popularity of the government, especially wars considered legal…

  3. Chris Huhne is signalling this weekend concern that “… the cost of meeting new safety conditions and insuring plants, as well as satisfying evacuation requirements in the event of a disaster, could make new reactors economically unviable.”

    My concern would be whether guarantees that private finance will cover the cost of decommissioning and storing contaminated material for (x) tens of thousands of years are really credible.

  4. @all

    Some of you may recall that I release every four weeks a set of pretty pictures visualising the polls for a four-weekly period. The latest batch is due tonight. Unfortunately, due to hardware problems (my laptop *not* good) they will not be released tonight. I’ll use someone else’s (public libraries *good*) and release them on/before Wednesday…hopefully

    @TheGreenBenches

    The upshot of the above is I have to buy another laptop, and the exigencies inherent in getting a computer useful for stat work mean it won’t be cheap. While this isn’t an enormous problem (squaddies get their arms blown off in Afgnhanistan, so I can hardly complain if my civic duty means I can’t afford a holiday in 2012. Or, come to think of it, 2013… :-( ), it isn’t a trivial exercise either. So it would help if I knew who to direct my pro-AV fire at on the Red side. The anti-AV Blues are fairly easy to identify and hence target (“MONTGOMERIE, YOUR MOTHER WAS A WEASEL AND YOUR SHOES SMELL LIKE WEE. GET A PROPER JOB, YOU WASTREL”), but I get the impression Red are torn – so Miliband(s) pro, Balls con, Johnson pro (quite touchingly so, I thought), Prescott con (why am I not surprised?), and so on. So any pointers would be appreciated.

    Regards, Martyn

  5. Libya:
    I think the jury is out and that we are very much in the initial stages. The great and most important difference between this and previous ‘no fly zones’ is the permission to attack assets on the ground. To put it crudely, UN control of the skies enables the Libyan ‘infantry’ to hold and take ground.
    Gaddafi probably has 5-8000 troops, orientated to mechanization, say 2 brigades of armour and 2 reg of proper artillery supplemented with the old fashion Stalin organ grinders. The UN will take out any tank or artillery piece threatening the rebels.

    I don’t think Gaddafi an win a infantry based war.

  6. On the AV front. I am not convinced that the general public care. It is probable only us political anoraks who even think about it.
    I was at an AGM recently where there was concern as to the influence of smaller group on a larger body. The advise given to the membership :- Only vote for those who will help us.

    This will happen with AV. Certainly if AV were the rule, I would only vote for the one candidate who represented my views. All this second ‘preference’ is nonsense. It could only become relevant if it were compulsory, perish the day!

  7. @Martyn

    Balls said he was pro-AV this week, Martyn. I don’t know if that’s a recent change, although I can’t see why it would be – it’s well known that Labour’s split on the issue so a tactical change of position makes no sense here.

    The most prominent opponent of AV in the Shadow Cabinet is John Healey. I think Mary Creagh and Caroline Flint are also opposed, but I wouldn’t swear to it.

    Most of the rest of the Shadow Cabinet are, I think, pro-AV.

  8. @ GLENN OTTO

    “Certainly if AV were the rule, I would only vote for the one candidate who represented my views. All this second ‘preference’ is nonsense. It could only become relevant if it were compulsory, perish the day!”

    That is the conclusion I have reached too :-)

  9. Martyn

    Try this:

    http://labour-uncut.co.uk/2010/12/29/no-campaign-release-labour-names/

    Though you will see from the comments that it may not be as definitive as you might like. the ‘No To AV’ Campaign tending to have a somewhat casual relationship with the truth.

  10. Glenn Otto / Colin

    You two are edging me towards a Yes vote.

    I have an intrinsic dislike of any position that describes perfectly valid options which may well be appropriate for many as “nonsense”.

  11. @ Old Nat

    Has any of the SNP cabinet stated the Party’s position regarding Libya?
    8-)

  12. oldnat
    You two are edging me towards a Yes vote.
    I have an intrinsic dislike of any position that describes perfectly valid options which may well be appropriate for many as “nonsense”.

    Glad to hear it.

    Glenn Otto / Colin

    Good to see an effective fifth column!

  13. Martyn,

    Start with tom Harris. Scots Labour in general are a pretty Conservative Bunch… Toby Perkins MP is another… Many of the female MPs are pro AV… i

  14. Amber

    Yes

    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2011/03/18133758

    “The fundamental principle of international intervention is that it must be done under the authority of a United Nations mandate, and therefore I welcome the agreement of a ‘no fly zone’ with the clear legal underpinning of a Security Council resolution.

    “The resolution – which proposes a range of measures – is a lesson to the nay-sayers who have dismissed the UN and sought to undermine its authority at every turn. This agreement – which carries the support of the Arab League, as well as the wider international community – is a vindication of the ability of the UN to act.”

    ……….

    “What is vital now is that military intervention delivers the objective of securing the welfare and saving lives of innocent civilians – which is now extremely urgent – that there are agreed aims, and that there is a clear exit strategy.”

  15. English voters like to see foreigners being blown up by the RAF.

  16. @ Colin

    Thank you for the list of names for the Provisional Opposition in Libya. I was aware of the names already but it was kind of you to post them for me.

    Mr Abdel-Jalil was one of Col Gaddafi’s most trusted allies, but last month he said he wanted to quit after being unable to secure freedom for hundreds of prisoners. The issue of innocent people in jail in Libya had been raised by the Gaddafi Foundation, headed by Col Gaddafi’s son Seif al-Islam.

    That is my concern, Colin. I remain unconvinced that the situation in Libya is a spontaneous rebellion by the people. I believe that we are involved in a power struggle between Gaddafi’s sons for who is to succeed the Colonel. Do we really want the UN & our military to be part of that?
    8-)

  17. @ Wolf

    English voters like to see foreigners being blown up by the RAF.
    ————————————————-
    I think that’s a bit harsh. I think they like to see foreign things being blown up by the RAF. They do not like to see/ know that actual people have been killed (unless they are told the people are terrorists & tyrants; then it’s okay).

    And I think this is more about Sarkozy thinking French voters would like to see some aggression against foreigners. I’d think most of the people of France will not want to know about the people who are being killed.
    8-)

  18. I find it very interesting that the French seem to be operating under a different remit than that of the US/UK.

    I am wondering if it is deliberate that the media is focusing on the US/UK just taking out air defence systems,essential to operating a no-fly zone unimpeded by enemy aircraft & anti missile emplacements,while the French have actually attacked tanks & APC’s on the ground,whether they were engaged in comabt or not.

    Is this the UK/US distancing itself from some French action?

    Listening to SKY NEWS,the French wider action has not been missed by Gaddafi forces,SN correspondent within the last hour claimed that he was stoppd and asked if he was French,he explained he was British & they let him go,he suggested in strong terms that they made it clear if he had have been french he would have been shot.

    I don’t agree with this action,gaddafi is a mad man,like iraq though this could lead to wider consequences.

    If we give ‘rebels’ protection in Libya,don’t we have to do it in say Saudia Arabia if this happens? then we would need a second mortgage to fill up the car.

  19. @ Old Nat

    Thank you for indulging my laziness :-)

    I particularly note this part: “This agreement – which carries the support of the Arab League, as well as the wider international community……”

    It is a very clever statement, politically. The SNP support is effectively conditional. If the Arab League & the African Congress (possibly also the Chinese & Russians) become vociferous against the tactics being used, the SNP can support whichever side is winning the argument with the public.

    Nicely done.
    8-)

  20. Amber

    Thanks-a pleasure.

    You are perfectly entitled to the concern expressed in your last para.-of course.

    For my part , I am content at the evidence for a popular uprising . This was evident , not only in the east, but in Zawiyah, a town some 30k from Tripoli. I have read as much as I can on what happened there, and watched every minute of the tv coverage. I think Zawiyah will feature very highly in the catalogue of State suppression by force of peacefull demonstration, if ICC ever get their hands on him.

    I am sickened to hear of the tank barrage on Misrata today, and the deaths there. The death roll from the tank bombardement of Benghazi’s western suburbs is now 94 -bodies in a mortuary-reported by a doctor to BBC.

    What on earth is Gaddaffi doing?

    He made his Foreign spokesman give a worldwide TV statement that they had obeyed the 1973 Resolution ceasefire.-that night he rolls his tanks to Benghazi & attacks housing & hospitals & schools the very next morning !

    Same today in Misrata.

    Is this regime not in control of it’s military-or is it just lying on a global scale?

    Today Saif Gaddaffi told Christine Amanpour of CNN that the citizens of Benghazi are living a “nightmare” under armed militia & religious fanatics & the “coalition” should go & rescue them !!!

    One third of that city fled east in terror when his tanks attacked it. THey are now reported on Al Jazeera as being calm , relaxed & relieved after the French anti-tank strikes.

    This is like some awful farce .

    You have to pinch yourself when you hear this mad regime speak , and realise they are actually in charge of a whole country.

  21. @ Richard

    …the French have actually attacked tanks & APC’s on the ground,whether they were engaged in comabt or not.
    —————————————————-
    I have also read about this. The French fired on a column of armoured vehicles, tanks & civilian vehicles that were heading towards Tripoli.

    We are being told that the column was Gaddafi troops retreating back to Tripoli. The UN resolution does not allow for such actions. In their first strike, France has broken the terms of the UN resolution.
    8-)

  22. @ Colin

    We shall respectfully agree to differ on Libya – as we do on many subjects. I sometimes think that we two, individually, reflect the two sides of public opinion that is represented in the polls!

    Time will probably show that neither of us were entirely right or wrong. I have noticed that’s often how it ends.
    8-)

  23. Amber

    I like your sentiments-but I really wish you would just say-Gaddaffi should observe the UN 1973 ceasefire .

  24. Amber

    I deliberately added no comment about Salmond’s statement, but you confirm what I thought – also the emphasis on their being an exit strategy!

  25. AmberStar

    In my opinion there are two elements to this action,No-fly zone & interfering in a civil war,or at least a civil uprising,depending on your terminology.

    The French seem to be doing both,Cameron seems to be as close to Sarkozy as Blair was to Bush & this is potentially very troubling.

    If we had any sense we (US/UK) would carry out the precision strikes,like we are doing,then let the French and Arab nations do the no-fly zone itself.

    If Gaddafi has no planes or runways left,no SAM sites to hit allied aircraft then they can take over.

  26. Wolf/Amber

    While the question of English attitudes has arisen –

    Nice to see a few English expats celebrating their national traditions next month

    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/235665/Royal-snub-with-only-13-street-parties-for-Scotland/

    Good on them. I just love these quaint things.

    (And if anyone wonders why I say these are English expats, look at the comment from the organiser in Edinburgh talking about negotiations with the St John’s Ambulance)

  27. I was a supporter of both Gulf Wars.

    However i can do what politicians can’t,admit i was wrong,foreign force can not bring democracy to a country,it has to be done from within,it may take many years & many lives lost,however there is no other way.

    Look at our own history.

    And what is democracy anyway?

    Saddam was democratically elected,he was the only candidate allowed to stand & if was against the law not to vote,but he was democratically elected,just Iraqi democracy.

    Strange world.

  28. British Election Study conducted by Essex University has found support for AV has fallen to 29%, #NO2AV on 38%, Don’t Knows making up 33%

  29. THE GREEN BENCHES
    British Election Study conducted by Essex University has found support for AV has fallen

    Nothing new on their website – http://www.essex.ac.uk/bes/
    Would you have a link?

  30. @Amber

    Don’t wory, you have still go your suppoters :D. I agree totally on what you say and it comes back again about how the media have portrayed the Libyan rebels as like the “spokespeople of democracy” when really we actually have no idea who they are.

    Personally I am take the view of Noam Chomskey that at the end of the day Western governments can only support a dictarship for so long before when a rebellion is coming and the likely outcome of this rebellion could be people who are a pro-westerners, pro-capitalism etc. the American’s will have to conceed on that long “stability” that they supported. I also find it interesting that while the world is watching France, the US, Us and other western allies is bombing libya in hope they will rid Gaddafi meanwhile in Syria, Zimbabwe, Ivry Coast, Saudi Arabi, Yemen, Quatar, Bahrain and China they are censoring everything, torturing their own people, shouting down protesters etc. Will we be getting involved in that.

    America is picking a fight with a country that is decending into a total civil war which will divide the country into two or possibly three seperate states if the outcome of this is not in the rebels favour. But even so we are supporting an opposition to Gaddafi that we do not much about.

    YES….some of the opposition do want democracy but it is said that this “rebel opposition” may at face value are united but they are united on one cause….to rid Gaddafi. Meanwhile this “united opposition” is a coalition in itself with some seeing Libya’s future as either becoming a democratic-secular state, an Islamic Republic, an Islamic Kingdom, a semi-democracy and some who just want to rid one tyrant with another tyrant (possibly even his sons).

    So while it may seem favourable now to all jump on the bangwagon I would be cautious about this uprising. This is not Egypt, this is Libya’s battle with many complex factors and even with or without Gaddafi the end result will be a civil war.

    P.s. people forget Tunisia was NEVER about democracy but was about changing the head of state and economic conditions.

  31. @ Colin

    I like your sentiments-but I really wish you would just say-Gaddaffi should observe the UN 1973 ceasefire .
    ———————————————-
    Gaddafi & the rebels should observe the UN1973 ceasefire. And so should the French Airforce. I abhor all armed conflict. I want them all to stop.

    Why can the international community via the UN not offer to send in representatives to mediate/ negotiate/ arbitrate at the first whiff of trouble? Why can they not be more pro-active?

    Only if the offer of mediation is rejected out of hand, should there be any possibilty of military intervention. To refuse to mediate until there is a ceasefire by both sides is ludicrous. It turns into a he said/ she said about who fired on who; which troops were acting in self-defence.

    The rebels admit they did not observe the cease-fire; that they sought to drive the Libyan army away from Benghazi. They put a plane in the air despite calling for a NFZ. Both sides only care about winning. I am suspicious of the motives of both sides & find them equally offensive.
    8-)

  32. @Martyn

    ‘Start with tom Harris. Scots Labour in general are a pretty Conservative Bunch… Toby Perkins MP is another… Many of the female MPs are pro AV… i’

    There is a large section of older MPs in Scottish Labour who are against electoral reform.

    I am aware that Mark Lazarowicz supports PR however and Douglas Alexander, Willie Bain, Alistair Darling and Lindsay Roy support AV.

  33. Just watching Aljaz about the forthcoming elections.

    It seem that the only parties that can win are the NDP or the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Back to square one or extreme Muslim government.

    Wonder who the west will support

  34. forthcoming elections — Egypt of course

    Sorry

  35. I read in the paper today that the government may combine tax and NI into just tax. If this is the case will it mean that pensioners will pay a basic rate of 32% tax or will they be exempt the NI part? If they are expected to pay I anticpate that the tories may lose a significant part of the pensioner vote, on which it appears they will depend to win any future election.

    As someone who accepts the need for cuts at this time, I find it difficult to understand how we can continue to afford the role of one of the worlds policemen. However, unfortunately, as Wolf hinted, war seems to be a vote winner. It will be interesting, therefore to see what boost, if any, the coalition get from their recent foray in the middle east.

  36. @ Andy C

    Thank you. Your support, is by me, much appreciated.

    I agree with you regarding Tunisia. I also think that Egypt was also quite similar to Tunisia; people want more support from their government during times of economic difficulty.

    They have been told to work hard, get an education, be productive & their life will improve. But it doesn’t. Meanwhile, those exhorting the populance to change & improve do neither of those things themselves! They seem to sit in comfort, unaffected by the economic difficulties of their people.

    I do not believe that the core feelings are about process per se; IMO, it is about the outcomes which Tunisians & Egyptians think will be achieved by changing the process. I sincerely hope they are not disappointed.
    8-)

  37. I would like to apologise to Anthony and his readers for the way in which I have been cruelly depriving you all of my expert psephological commentary in recent weeks.

    It is interesting that despite being the overwhelming beneficiaries of a collapse in Lib Dem support, Labour is still unable to sustain double-digit poll leads nearly one year into the current parliament.

    In fact, looking at the tables which AW has posted, almost all of Labour’s advance in support since the general election has been due to Lib Dem defections (with very little evidence so far of any success in winning over converts directly from the Conservatives).

    Personally, I doubt the Tories are being significantly helped by their response to the Libyan crisis. That sort of issue rarely makes a big difference to voting trends unless people perceive that it is ‘our own’ people who are affected (as in the case of the Falklands conflict), although the first gulf war did provide some modest short-term electoral benefit for the Major government in the early 1990s.

    Much more ominously for Labour was the findings of the qualitative research shown on today’s edition of ‘The Politics Show’, in which it was apparent that the coalition’s message that our current economic woes are the fault of the previous Labour administration has successfully hit home.

    Come the general election, that perception may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle to Ed Milband’s attempts to enter Downing Street – and it could well be 1992 all over again.

  38. Davey

    ‘I find it difficult to understand how we can continue to afford the role of one of the worlds policemen. However, unfortunately, as Wolf hinted, war seems to be a vote winner. It will be interesting, therefore to see what boost, if any, the coalition get from their recent foray in the middle east.’

    A point well made. One of the themes of ‘1984’ was the use of constant war to control and influence the public. It would be nice to feel that politicians of today are not quite so cynical.

  39. @Amber

    Thanks and I agree I hope that the change in process will pervail in both Egypt and Tunisia although I am more optismistic that being found in Egypt more than Tunisia (although that doesn’t stop me from saying I am cautiously optismitic that they will become a democracy although it will take a long time).

    The west now has to be careful about not trying to influence or cause conflict with these nations are they begin to mature and evolve their governments into democracy. Issues that America and the West cannot stomach like Israel, a independent state for Palestine and Iran will become evident and imporant issues come these countries elections and the outcome might not always be favourable to the west.

    So the west has got to be careful not to try and get in their and force these governments to change policy or it will have terrible consequences. But the new Egypt and Tunisia have also got to be careful about how far they change. Massive privatisation of public sector industries to mulitcorporations or American companies will self-evidently cause uproar. Although it might be attractive to appease the West through monopoly (similar to how Russia pushed ahead privatisation) the people may not like the outcome and can very easily overthrow an elected government as the overthrew a democratic government.

    Gaddafi’s prophecy “the West will take our oil and industries” might become true and when that outcome is high unemployment, lower wages, wealth inequality then these democratic states may not stay democratic very long.

  40. @ Robin Hood

    re: your penultimate paragraph. Why are you surprised? The coalition message is just stating the obvious, to all but the most blinkered.

  41. Apparently the Arab league are expressing reservations
    about the military strikes,saying that they have gone beyond what they thought would happen.I have a very bad
    feeling about all this.

  42. @ Old Nat

    ““The fundamental principle of international intervention is that it must be done under the authority of a United Nations mandate, and therefore I welcome the agreement of a ‘no fly zone’ with the clear legal underpinning of a Security Council resolution.

    “The resolution – which proposes a range of measures – is a lesson to the nay-sayers who have dismissed the UN and sought to undermine its authority at every turn. This agreement – which carries the support of the Arab League, as well as the wider international community – is a vindication of the ability of the UN to act.”

    ……….

    “What is vital now is that military intervention delivers the objective of securing the welfare and saving lives of innocent civilians – which is now extremely urgent – that there are agreed aims, and that there is a clear exit strategy.””

    I’m glad all the parties in the UK are on the same page here. I was heartened by the fact that Congressional Republicans have been supportive of Obama’s efforts here (they were not supportive of Clinton’s efforts in Kosovo in 1999). In a situation like this where military action is taken that will have no immediate short term benefits, broad bipartisan support is crucial to the effort’s overall success.

  43. Now they have just retracted.So thats alright then.

  44. Amber

    THanks

    Gaddaffi must have been reading your post.

    Sky has just caried the latest dramatic live TV announcement from his regime.

    In a nut shell-All armed forces must observe a cease fire-everyone in Tripoli , plus all the desert tribes must proceed to Benghazi ( “by whatever transport is possible ” !! ) where everybody will ” sit down”, “say sorry for what has happened” & decide on what to do next.

    I am not kidding.

  45. Colin

    The alternative reading

    Gadaffi supporters should take off their uniforms and head for Benghazi (it wasn’t just desert tribes).

    For those who insist that there is no tribal/national (delete as appropriate) differences between the opposing parties – listen to the statement.

  46. @ Colin

    Just FYI
    “On a per capita basis, no country sent more young fighters into Iraq to kill Americans than Libya — and almost all of them came from eastern Libya, the center of the anti-Gaddafi rebellion that the United States and others now have vowed to protect, according to internal al Qaeda documents uncovered by U.S. intelligence.

    According to a cache of al Qaeda documents captured in 2007 by U.S. special operations commandos in Sinjar, Iraq, hundreds of foreign fighters, many of them untrained young Islamic volunteers, poured into Iraq in 2006 and 2007.

    The documents, called the Sinjar documents, were collected, translated and analyzed at the West Point Counter Terrorism Center. Almost one in five foreign fighters arriving in Iraq came from eastern Libya, from the towns of Surt, Misurata and Darnah.”
    ——————————————————
    I suspect the official opposition could be in cahoots with one of Gaddafi’s sons; & perhaps other rebellions are being encouraged or even directed, as Gaddafi claims, by groups which could be considered extremists by the public.

    President Obama must be very careful. Until now, the Libyan fighters in Iraq were assumed to have been there on behalf of Gaddafi. Informed opinion is now considering that, whilst he may not have done enough to contain them, it was not Gaddafi who was encouraging them. 8-)

  47. @ Colin

    I think Ghadaffi is a combination of both an outright liar and someone who is completely out of his mind. I think he believes that if he can issue propoganda claiming a ceasefire, foreigners will simply believe him and he can propogandize against the west. Some Libyans were anonymously telling CNN that Ghadaffi was having his forces move bodies killed by his forces over to the palces of the airstrikes so that he could claim they were civilians killed by coalition forces.

    Does he really think that if he claims a “ceasefire” but continues to fire on his people that the world will believe him? Quite possibly. I mean the Russians seem that dumb, at least publicly. I mean, I suppose if you say anything on television, Russians (at least those who run Russia) will automatically believe it.

    As for the Russians and Chinese, they never fail to absolutely disgust me. It’s one thing to say “I’m not getting involved, this is not my problem.” It’s quite another to actively support genocide (as they both did in Kosovo) and support a maniacal dictator who mercilessly slaughters his own people in order to remain in power. I hope that the average citizens of the Arab world can look at this situation and actually see who their true friends are. Because as it now stands, the slaughter of innocent Arab civilians is just fine by the Russians and the Chinese but not fine by the U.S., the UK, and France.

  48. Amber

    Go for it gal-you’ll find Osama in there somewhere :-)

  49. @ Amber Star

    “I remain unconvinced that the situation in Libya is a spontaneous rebellion by the people. I believe that we are involved in a power struggle between Gaddafi’s sons for who is to succeed the Colonel. Do we really want the UN & our military to be part of that?”

    This was my initial concern with any type of military involvement in Libya. I think it’s perfectly valid. But the last two weeks or so has demonstrated, at least imo, that this is a true rebellion, that it’s not a battle between warring factions, and that military action does have to be taken. I think too that it’s clear that the role of the intervening powers is not to go and nation build and tell Libya what to do but instead to remove a threat by taking out his capacity to make war against his own people.

  50. SOCAL

    THanks

    I agree with much of that.

    RE the Russians-I suppose if you’ve just seen the prospects of repeat orders for your Libyan SAMs & Air defence kit blown to bits, you would be a bit irritated.

    RE THe Chinese-trade is everything-they will trade with anyone where it suits ( some would say -so do we) so they will never criticise. Anyway-saying dictatorships are bad is a bit daft in their case.

    I have just read an interview with a captured/wounded tank crew member from the ones which attacked Ajdabiya yesterday.

    He says , amongst other things :-

    They were not allowed any communications media in barracks.
    They were told Mossad had taken over the town.
    They had to wipe out every person-adults & children, because they were all crazed on drugs & alchohol & would all fight to the death.
    THey were to fire on every building, including hospitals.

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