The Real Rogue Nation In The Middle East

Britain found itself increasingly isolated today as country after country came out to criticise the bombs falling on Libya.

Russia, China, the Arab League and the Latin American Alba bloc all condemned the attacks after a weekend which saw up to 48 civilians killed by Western air strikes.

The RAF joined the assault this morning after French jets had fired the first shots on Saturday.

Tornado jets bombed the Libyan capital Tripoli and US and British ships rained 112 cruise missiles on coastal cities.

Chancellor George Osborne appeared on the Andrew Marr show hours after the attacks to say that he hoped to see Arab countries directly involved in the war.

But Arab League general secretary Amr Moussa distanced himself from the intervention and said he had not wanted to see the killing of civilians.

Unaware of the comments Mr Moussa was about to make, Mr Osborne said the involvement of Arab countries would mean “people will see that this is not, as I say, David Cameron or the British or the Americans acting alone.”

But Mr Moussa said: “What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone, and what we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians.”

Anti-war campaigners warned that the imperialist bombing campaign against a third oil-rich country in 10 years would create “many civilian casualties” and enslave the population under the domination of the west.

Libyan TV said 48 people had been killed and 150 people wounded in the weekend attacks.

The speaker of the Libyan parliament said civilian areas had been targeted.

The Stop the War Coalition held a demonstration at Downing Street calling for an end to the bombing today.

Spokesman Andrew Burgin warned that the motive of the intervention was regime change, which is illegal under international law.

“It looks like they are going way beyond the terms of the UN resolution,” he said.

“The firing of 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles was a declaration of full-scale war on Libya, not just the supposed no-fly zone which we’ve been presented with.

“This will result in substantial civilian casualties and may already have.”

International relations expert Mark Almond of Bilkent University, Turkey, told Russia Today that US President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy had made it clear they wanted to “overthrow” Muammar Gadaffi’s regime “and they wish to do so by assisting the rebels against him on the ground.”

France, Italy, Canada, Denmark, Spain and Norway are also supporting what Colonel Gadaffi called a “crusade.”

He said: “You have proven to the world that you are not civilised, that you are terrorists — animals attacking a safe nation that did nothing against you. We will fight for every square in our land.”


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