Finally and hopefully not too late to accomplish the task the Security Council voted with 5 abstentions and no votes opposed to impose a no fly zone in Libya to protect innocent civilians from attack by the Gaddafi regime’s airpower. China, Russia,Brazil, India and Germany were the abstainers. The resolution is also sufficiently broad that it authorizes force to be used to attack troop formations that threaten innocent civilians. This is a major step forward in advancing the cause of human rights and fighting against tyranny. The United States, Britain, France and Canada and other UN countries will supply the personnel and aircraft necessary to carry out the operation. The Gaddafi regime which only minutes before was threatening Benghazi announced an immediate cease-fire once the resolution was passed. This was clear proof that the resolution and following action was the right course of action.(Subsequent events however seemed to suggest that this was a ploy to cover further regime troop advances into Benghazi. These were then attacked by airpower with fatal results for the troops. A second cease fire has been announced by Tripoli but it is unclear whether the coalition forces have accepted it as real , at least for the moment.There is now an emerging debate about the extent and wisdom of the no fly zone and what ought to be the limits of the end game being pursued by the international coalition. In this respect the writing of Douglas Bandow of the Cato Institute and writers at The Nation magazine raises some serious questions and doubts that need to be thought through. There are still many potential traps in the strategy of protecting civilian lives that the coalition forces will need to try to avoid. Peacemaking, the protection of citizens and the end to human rights violations as opposed to regime change still needs to be the top concern. )
On the Japan front the crippled nuclear reactors in Fukushima continue to bedevil the engineers who are struggling to cool the spent fuel rods and replace the water that is missing from the pools in which they are stored. The government had declared a no go zone in a 12 mile radius around the stricken plant but the U.S experts and Government have widened this in a recommendation to their citizens to 50 miles and also advised their citizen if possible to leave the country. So the crisis and misery continue although there are some hopeful signs that the authorities in Japan were beginning to get a better handle on the problem.There was also some preliminary discussion of the Chernobyl solution of building a sand, boron and concrete casing for the reactors in the longer run.The head of the international AEA has said today in Tokyo that radiation levels in Tokyo were not a danger too human health.(Subsequent events appear to suggest that real progress has been made with respect to reactors 5 and 6 in reconnecting the cooling systems and cooling by water cannon and fire fighting equipment by very brave crews from Japan and the U.S .army of the reactor 3 has been partially successful. The overall death total from the tsunami and earthquake unfortunately continues to rise to over 8000 with as many as 20000 plus being projected as the final total.)
A terrible tragedy for the Japanese people and for all of humanity.