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Canadian Firm Gave Libyan Rebels Surveillance Drone

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the we're-watching-you dept.

Robotics 165

Joining the posted submitter club, suasfan22 writes with a bit in Wired about the use of a drone by Libyan Rebels. From the article: "The Libyan revolutionaries are more of a band of enthusiastic amateurs than experienced soldiers. But it turns out the rebels have the kind of weaponry usually possessed by advanced militaries: their very own drone. Aeryon Labs, a Canadian defense firm, revealed on Tuesday that it had quietly provided the rebel forces with a teeny, tiny surveillance drone, called the Aeryon Scout. Small enough to fit into a backpack, the three-pound, four-rotor robot gave Libyan forces eyes in the sky independent of the Predators, Fire Scout surveillance copters and manned spy planes that NATO flew overhead. Don't worry, it's not armed."

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165 comments

Damn... (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 2 years ago | (#37184098)

Buncha Canadian imperialists!!!

Idiots (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37184192)

Don't you realize Muslims are good with IED's?
You've practically given them a cruise missile.

Re:Idiots (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 2 years ago | (#37184682)

Yes cruise missiles are very similar to tiny helicopters...

Re:Idiots (1)

teslafreak (684543) | about 2 years ago | (#37184854)

Not really. More like a more maneuverable RPG.

Of course (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37184194)

The Libyan revolutionaries are more of a band of enthusiastic amateurs than experienced soldiers.

Lybian rebels are Al-Qaeda [infowars.com] .

Re:Of course (2, Insightful)

Riceballsan (816702) | about 2 years ago | (#37184478)

ah it's not like we'd be dumb enough to put al-queda into power because we see them as the lesser evil... wait we did? oh right I keep forgetting apparently we are all idiots.

Re:Of course (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 2 years ago | (#37186368)

hmm.. when did we do that? or are you talking about something Canada did?

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37184664)

Funny, Israel is giving unmanned drones to al-qaeda. Very funny.

Hell of a way to beta test (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37184110)

Hand it over to a bunch of dudes that strap APC turrets to the back of pickup trucks.

Re:Hell of a way to beta test (2)

drnb (2434720) | about 2 years ago | (#37184480)

Hand it over to a bunch of dudes that strap APC turrets to the back of pickup trucks.

I would think that if such guys can use the drone then the design is pretty good.

Re:Hell of a way to beta test (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37184858)

I would think that if such guys can use the drone then the design is pretty good.

Really?

Re:Hell of a way to beta test (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37184984)

Are you familiar with the term soldier proof? If the Toyota APC boys can use the drone it seems to have gone beyond soldier proof.

Yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37184112)

Not Armed...Yet. Given time and duct tape though?

Re:Yet... (1)

drnb (2434720) | about 2 years ago | (#37184154)

Not Armed...Yet. Given time and duct tape though?

And sufficient lift, which is probably not available.

Re:Yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37184210)

Not Armed

Well, that's the official story anyway.

Given time and duct tape though?

Forget the duct tape, they probably have a unified drone platform, with the same attachment points and sockets for all kinds of equipment.

Why does it even matter? (2)

F69631 (2421974) | about 2 years ago | (#37184318)

It is a piece of equipment that has been designed to help in a military operation. Why does it matter whether it is in itself armed or whether it "just" helps armed troops in attacking the other side more efficiently? When we get tangled up to such semantic differences, we see ridiculous claims about the newest military technology saving lives or stuff like that.

Re:Why does it even matter? (1)

Duradin (1261418) | about 2 years ago | (#37184536)

So dropping one guided munition isn't saving lives compared to carpet bombing a vast area to assure one hit?

Re:Why does it even matter? (2)

ZankerH (1401751) | about 2 years ago | (#37184710)

No, it isn't. Just because you're killing less people doesn't mean you're saving lives.

Re:Why does it even matter? (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | about 2 years ago | (#37185086)

no you are wasting less lives but are still wasting them....

Re:Yet... (1)

electron sponge (1758814) | more than 2 years ago | (#37186416)

Give Red Green some time, he could do it, eh? Canada is funny.

Ya!? (0)

rlanctot (310750) | about 2 years ago | (#37184168)

We're comin with the back bacon and poutine, ya better get ready, eh?

This trend will accelerate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37184176)

Like many things the movement of technology getting cheaper and easier to use will impact how things like wars unfold in the future. Pretty soon the US's dominance in drones and automated warfare will be countered by adversaries with similar means. I think it's only because the current two wars were against essentially backwards nations that the US has escaped relatively unscathed, but what happens when they start flying their own armed drones?

Re:This trend will accelerate... (2)

MakinBacon (1476701) | about 2 years ago | (#37184224)

Like many things the movement of technology getting cheaper and easier to use will impact how things like wars unfold in the future. Pretty soon the US's dominance in drones and automated warfare will be countered by adversaries with similar means. I think it's only because the current two wars were against essentially backwards nations that the US has escaped relatively unscathed, but what happens when they start flying their own armed drones?

That's how military technology works: Somebody invented a spear, so somebody else invented a shield. Then another person made a bow. Fast forward a few thousand years and we have robot planes that blow people to kingdom come before they even see them coming.

It's inevitable that the rest of the world will get their own version of the drones eventually, so Uncle Sam's just going to have to keep building better weapons like he always does. The entire history of mankind is little more than a massive arms race.

Re:This trend will accelerate... (1)

MichaelKristopeit420 (2018880) | about 2 years ago | (#37184422)

That's how military technology works: Somebody invented a spear, so somebody else invented a shield.

...

It's inevitable that the rest of the world will get their own version of the drones eventually.

how is it inevitable? your own example would suggest the next step is defending against the drones... perhaps with EMPs that would not only disable the drones, but disable all of the local technology that might have been used to create the versions of the drones you stated were inevitable.

you're an idiot.

Re:This trend will accelerate... (2)

Rik Rohl (1399705) | about 2 years ago | (#37185088)

The entire history of mankind is little more than a massive arms race.

Well, there's something the human race can be proud of.

Okay can someone explain this to me? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 2 years ago | (#37184184)

How are ground attack missions part of a "No Fly Zone"? And where are the anti-war protestors?
Just wondering if it is okay to make all the strikes you want without the approval of congress as long as it is just with drones?
And was the Libyan government any more evil, corrupt, and dangerous than Iraq?

Re:Okay can someone explain this to me? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#37184246)

And was the Libyan government any more evil, corrupt, and dangerous than Iraq?

Lockerbie bombing.

So yeah the country that does actual terrorism is worse than the one that was only accused of it.

Re:Okay can someone explain this to me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37184296)

United States has terror bombed libya countless times in the past.

Re:Okay can someone explain this to me? (2)

hedwards (940851) | about 2 years ago | (#37185106)

Citation necessary. Using the armed forces to attack is one thing, having a plain clothes operative sneak explosives onto a plane is a completely different matter altogether.

Re:Okay can someone explain this to me? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 2 years ago | (#37184386)

Invasion of Kuwait? Just incase anyone doesn't remember that was 23 years ago and the US bombed them for it.
I am actually all for getting rid of that government but the way it is being done frankly is in violation of US law IMHO.
The War Powers Resolution of 1973 says that.
"The War Powers Resolution requires the President to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days, with a further 30 day withdrawal period, without an authorization of the use of military force or a declaration of war. "

The current administration says that we have not been involved in hostile actions.
"The two senior administration lawyers contended that American forces had not been in “hostilities” at least since early April, when NATO took over the responsibility for the no-fly zone and the United States shifted to primarily a supporting role — providing refueling and surveillance to allied warplanes, although remotely piloted drones operated by the United States periodically fire missiles, too."

Is everyone really okay with this level of following the law? As I said is it okay to do what you want as long as it is with drones? What about cruise missiles then? They are just one way drones.
Sorry but when you unleash the military one should not play fast an free with the rules. Every i should be dotted and every t should be crossed.

Re:Okay can someone explain this to me? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#37184564)

Invasion of Kuwait was a war not terrorism. Also it was about control of the oilfield.

Re:Okay can someone explain this to me? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 2 years ago | (#37184644)

I said dangerous. Not to mention that Iraq did have a nuclear weapons program before the first gulf war and also had massive amounts of chemical weapons. If you want to go on and claim that they where no longer a threat because of the first gulf war I would say that Libya was also no long a threat because the US air strikes and the 20+ years of no terrorist attacks on the US and Gaddafi's dismantling of his nuclear program, promising no more terrorist actions, and dismantling his chemical weapons.
As I said I really have no problem taking him out with military action. He was a dangerous nut case. The problem I have is with not following the law. And I question the integrity of the "anti-war" movement as anything but partisan at this point.

Re:Okay can someone explain this to me? (4, Interesting)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 2 years ago | (#37185662)

As I said I really have no problem taking him out with military action. He was a dangerous nut case. The problem I have is with not following the law. And I question the integrity of the "anti-war" movement as anything but partisan at this point.

Well I can only speak for myself, and I don't consider myself part of the "anti-war movement", but I was (and still am) a vocal critic of the Iraq War.

If the second Iraq War had been initiated in response to a popular uprising against Saddam and had consisted of advisers and air support instead of 150,000 U.S. troops occupying the country, then I would have been cautiously supportive. Then I would have believed that Iraq was a threat, not to the U.S. which was always ridiculous, but to its own people (and not just in the generic way that living under a dictator is dangerous).

Of course that ship had already sailed (and then sunk), which is why the Iraqi people weren't as happy to see us as one might have hoped.

So that, for me, is why the difference in reaction. It's not about partisanship... I also became cautiously pro-Afghan war when it became clear they were taking it seriously. Then Iraq came along and fucked that up besides being a clusterfuck of its own.

I'm not anti-war, I'm anti-stupid. :)

Re:Okay can someone explain this to me? (1)

he-sk (103163) | about 2 years ago | (#37184794)

The problem with the War Powers Resolution is that the executive maintains that its unconstitutional and Congress does not have the balls to challenge this view in court.

Re:Okay can someone explain this to me? (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | about 2 years ago | (#37184812)

Sorry but when you unleash the military one should not play fast an [sic] free with the rules. Every i should be dotted and every t should be crossed.

:thumb_up:

If you can't get Congress to go along with whatever military action it is you want to involve yourself in, you probably have no business being there in the first place.

Don't even get me started on the irony of the current administration wanting to get the U.S. involved in a brand new foreign war when it has still been unable to extricate us from the previous TWO foreign wars that the prior administration got us involved in -- despite campaign promises to do exactly that.

Re:Okay can someone explain this to me? (1)

cduffy (652) | about 2 years ago | (#37184980)

Don't even get me started on the irony of the current administration wanting to get the U.S. involved in a brand new foreign war when it has still been unable to extricate us from the previous TWO foreign wars that the prior administration got us involved in -- despite campaign promises to do exactly that.

Campaign promises were not to extract ourselves from both wars -- only one of them. Should have listened to the details closer.

Re:Okay can someone explain this to me? (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | about 2 years ago | (#37185068)

Campaign promises were not to extract ourselves from both wars -- only one of them.

'Kay. I stand corrected. From which war did we manage to extricate ourselves?

Should have listened to the details closer.

Well, maybe. But since I pretty much figured he was lying no matter what he said, there really didn't seem to be much point.

Re:Okay can someone explain this to me? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 2 years ago | (#37185186)

And did that happen?

Re:Okay can someone explain this to me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37184400)

This is not about the antagonistic acts of the former regime. This isn't even the about supporting the rebels...

This is about the oil. Western nations are all too happy to lend their support so that their greedy corporations can get their grubby hands on Libya's oil and other lucrative "reconstruction" contracts.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Okay can someone explain this to me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37184650)

Yeah, too bad that we forgave them for that 10 years ago and moved the corporations in. The US/UK can be a fickle bunch at times....

Re:Okay can someone explain this to me? (2)

gQuigs (913879) | about 2 years ago | (#37184286)

How are ground attack missions part of a "No Fly Zone"?

They aren't. All the attacks are under the "protecting civilians" banner.

And where are the anti-war protestors?

Tired.

Just wondering if it is okay to make all the strikes you want without the approval of congress as long as it is just with drones?

AFAIK Congress hasn't undone the "blank check for war" they gave to the president after 9/11.

And was the Libyan government any more evil, corrupt, and dangerous than Iraq?

Meh.. it's hard to tell anything with the media filters... but they did seem more insane and more actively killing civilians.... (whereas with Iraq, they had already killed a lot of civilians and we did nothing)

Re:Okay can someone explain this to me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37184408)

The only thing to add is there is a small portion of the ground attacks being related to the no fly zone, when instating a no fly zone over a country you have to destroy known anti-aircraft installations and ground troops known to be armed with handheld anti-aircraft weaponry to ensure you have complete superiority over the airspace.

Re:Okay can someone explain this to me? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 2 years ago | (#37184554)

You do not need to take out troops with handheld missiles for a no fly zone. Just keep your aircraft over 5000m and they are not a threat. Think about it, most man portable missiles have a range of only 5km or so and that isn't straight up! If you want make it 6000m just for giggles and you have no worries. Modern air to air missiles will have no problem taking out anything flying below you. You make those strikes only if you are going to do CAS or if you are going to use combat helicopters. Both of which are not part of a no fly zone.

Re:Okay can someone explain this to me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37184610)

If your planes get shot down by ground based defenses, it's hard to enforce a no fly zone.

But don't let your bias get in the way of reality.

Re:Okay can someone explain this to me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37184432)

If we're looking for evil, corrupt, and dangerous governments, the USA (and other Zionist controlled governments (of which there are many)) doesn't need to look any further than within its own borders.

The problem isn't where the news says it is, because the news is intended to deceive you. This should be obvious by now.

anti-war protestors? (2, Insightful)

drnb (2434720) | about 2 years ago | (#37184516)

And where are the anti-war protestors?

Waiting for a republican administration apparently.

Re:anti-war protestors? (2, Insightful)

Gravatron (716477) | about 2 years ago | (#37184578)

Not all liberals are opposed to all wars, just the ones we find unjust. In this case, you had a bunch of rebels who asked for NATO's help, and got it, in a very controlled, un-escalated form. No boots on the ground, no skyrocketing costs, no casualties, etc. It's almost a police action. Only the most pacifistic of liberals have a problem with it. Now, the conservatives did, but that was because they hate any situation where Obama can get a foreign policy victory.

Re:anti-war protestors? (2)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 2 years ago | (#37184690)

So as long as it is cheap it is okay?
And the protests started before any of those things happened during the first Gulf war.

My main problem is with the not obeying the war powers act.

Re:anti-war protestors? (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 2 years ago | (#37185172)

The more costly it is the greater the necessary justification. Supporting rebels trying to overthrow a brutal dictator is really something that we should be doing more of. Especially when it's as cheap as it is. Granted we're still talking about many, many millions of dollars and probably billions of dollars, but ultimately, unlike Iraq, this is a war in which the people will thank us for our help.

As opposed to Afghanistan which could have more effectively been done with cruise missiles given the lackluster attention the administration paid it and Iraq which was a complete mistake from the get go.

As for the war powers act, if the President can't engage in this conflict in the manner that he is, then it's clearly unconstitutional. The war powers act was to prevent another Vietnam conflict, not to prevent the President from being able to exercise his powers as Commander and Chief.

Re:anti-war protestors? (1, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 2 years ago | (#37185360)

"unlike Iraq, this is a war in which the people will thank us for our help."
Some do in Iraq, some will not in Libya that is if they live. Just what makes you so sure that one brutal government will not be replaced by new one? May I suggest that you read the book A Tale of Two Cities.

Re:anti-war protestors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37186074)

You say it's cheap only because it is thusfar. You have no idea the outcome, so how can you suggest it will be cheap in the long run. Just because you don't thank the troops for Iraq doesn't mean many Iraqi's don't.

Yeah, the Taliban that are well known to be really hard to find would EASILY have been just wiped off the planet by waves of cruise missiles. Brilliant. Why aren't you a General with military strategy like that?! That's hilarious. I mean, didn't Bill Clinton try that? Didn't work out very well, did it? Gee, I wonder why that would be? What are you going to target? Some tents? I bet you'd be first in line to protest if a Republican started lobbing cruise missiles into another nation.

Have you even read the War Powers Act because it explicitly limits the presidents powers as Commander in Chief.

Re:anti-war protestors? (1)

drnb (2434720) | about 2 years ago | (#37184696)

The point you are missing is that the wars in iraq and afghanistan are still basically following the bush war plan but the protesters are surprisingly absent.

Re:anti-war protestors? (1)

cavePrisoner (1184997) | about 2 years ago | (#37185192)

Except for the part where the people asked for it, and proved with their own blood that they wanted to fight this fight. We refused to stand on the sidelines in an ongoing war and we made a difference. That's something to be proud of. Bringing war to a people at peace, even if they think they are unhappy, is something different entirely.

Most people in the US don't like congress. What if a foreign power came in to "liberate" us from congress? You'd be pissed, right? Well what if you were presently in a life or death fight against congress and a foreign power showed up to give you help? That's different. Isn't it?

Re:anti-war protestors? (1)

drnb (2434720) | about 2 years ago | (#37185370)

Did you read the post you replied to, or were you intending to reply to the original rather than the followup?

Re:anti-war protestors? (1)

cavePrisoner (1184997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37186084)

I was observing that it shouldn't be surprising that protestors are absent. And to compare the Libyan war in any way to something like Iraq is absurd. I thought Afghanistan was right. I thought Iraq was wrong, and I protested it. Getting involved in the Libyan war was the right thing to do.

Yes, I see that your point was probably meant in regard to the constitutional or maybe international legality of the involvement. My point is that protestors are not driven by fine legal points. They are driven by moral views. You can have something that is illegal but right, or legal that is wrong.

Re:anti-war protestors? (1)

drnb (2434720) | more than 2 years ago | (#37186506)

No. My point is that the Iraqi and Afghan wars are largely continuing using the Bush war plans and yet the protesters have gone away. What changed? Mostly it was the political party in power.

Re:anti-war protestors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37185722)

It could have something to do with the fact that a withdrawal is in progress.

Re:anti-war protestors? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#37184698)

I'm not a "pacifistic liberal". I have a problem with this because US is doing the exact same thing they did in Afghanistan 30 years ago - giving weapons to people who have similar short-term goals, while ignoring their long-term goals (see sig).

Re:anti-war protestors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37186054)

The US didn't give anyone weapons this time. The French did.

Re:anti-war protestors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37185714)

+1 for truth.

Re:anti-war protestors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37185818)

Oh, you mean like the Iraqi rebels that asked for help several times and were gunned down while dickheads like you protested? Or the Iranian rebels that asked for help several times and were gunned down while dickheads like you protested? Libya is only cheap because it's a tiny country, with relatively strong western influences compared to Iraq and it's right by the sea. You really don't have a clue what you're talking about. I'm just glad it's becoming more evident to the rest of the planet that liberals are clueless.

Re:anti-war protestors? (1)

nibbles2004 (761552) | more than 2 years ago | (#37186238)

Obama doesn't get a foreign policy victory from Libya, hate to tell you, the US involvement is minimal and they had to be dragggged into this. the Libyan Rebels, the British and the French get all credit for this, especially William Hague the British FM who was the 1st politician to call for this action and Obama poo-poo it,

Re:anti-war protestors? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#37184596)

Yes, minor action in Libya with no ground forces is exactly the same as making up lies, invading a country, and then torturing people.

Re:anti-war protestors? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 2 years ago | (#37184730)

And calling this a "No fly zone to protect civillans" isn't a lie? Bombing a country and killing it's citizens isn't an invasion? You are sending military forces into their territory. It isn't an occupation but it is still a violation of a nation by military forces. I will give you that no torture has happened yet by US forces.

Re:anti-war protestors? (2)

hedwards (940851) | about 2 years ago | (#37185226)

There was a civil war going on. We were specifically requested by one side to stick our noses in. Yes we could have opted not to involve ourselves in it at all, but it's hardly a violation of a nation to take sides in a civil war when requested to do so by one of the sides. And ultimately the support we provided was pretty modest mainly serving as an evener to keep the rebels from being shot in droves from the air.

Next thing you'll be telling us that the French shouldn't have aided American revolutionaries when they sought to kick the British out of what would become the USA.

Re:anti-war protestors? (3, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 2 years ago | (#37185324)

Yes if you partake in a civil war on the side that is trying to overthrow a government you violating that nation. How could it be anything else. If the some group in the US asked for the overthrow of the the government and say China started firing cruise missiles at a base in the US would you not consider that an act of war?
I mean really?
Think about what you are saying?
Yes it is taking a military action? Or if the US started to attack UK military bases because the IRA asked them too?

As I asked do you feel that the US and NATO are "enforcing a no fly zone to protect civilians" and nothing more? Do you feel that attacking another nation is okay? Do you feel that not obeying the laws of the US involving military action is okay?
I have no problem with taking action in Libya. I have a big problem with not obeying US laws while doing it.

Re:anti-war protestors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37185880)

"If the some group in the US asked for the overthrow of the the government and say China started firing cruise missiles at a base in the US would you not consider that an act of war?"

If the US government were shelling and bombing its own citizens in whole cities with tanks, artillery, bombs, and rockets, the US government would have lost any legitimacy and the UN could authorize other countries to intervene. I'm sure the (now illegitimate) US government would say it was an act of war and regard it as such. It wouldn't change the fact that they were no longer fit to lead after attacking their own civilians and that the justification for intervention is fairly clearly spelled out in the UN charter to which it is a signatory.

"As I asked do you feel that the US and NATO are "enforcing a no fly zone to protect civilians" and nothing more?

Yes. It was amply demonstrated that in order to stop Ghaddafi's forces from harming civilians it wasn't enough to tell them to stop. They did not heed warnings. They had to be physically stopped. Wherever they started shooting at civilians, Ghaddafi's forces became targets. If they laid down their weapons, they weren't.

"Do you feel that attacking another nation is okay?"

In circumstances such as this, yes.

"Do you feel that not obeying the laws of the US involving military action is okay?"

No. And Obama should answer for that. Doesn't change the fact that intervening in Libya was the right decision.

"I have no problem with taking action in Libya. I have a big problem with not obeying US laws while doing it."

Same here. But that's a different issue.

Re:anti-war protestors? (2)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 2 years ago | (#37186500)

If the US government were shelling and bombing its own citizens in whole cities with tanks, artillery, bombs, and rockets, the US government would have lost any legitimacy and the UN could authorize other countries to intervene. I'm sure the (now illegitimate) US government would say it was an act of war and regard it as such. It wouldn't change the fact that they were no longer fit to lead after attacking their own civilians and that the justification for intervention is fairly clearly spelled out in the UN charter to which it is a signatory.

OMG, I can't believe you. The UN does not determine which country or government of a country has a right of sovereignty. The UN is not the world's decider on anything concerning a country unless it's somehow placed within their venue or they are participating in an act of war. In a civil war, you are not firing on your own citizens, you are firing on terrorist and hostile military. Nowhere in any UN charter does it state that a country cannot defend itself against armed insurrection.

Someone must be feeding you full of crap or something. Please cite where you get these ideas.

Yes. It was amply demonstrated that in order to stop Ghaddafi's forces from harming civilians it wasn't enough to tell them to stop. They did not heed warnings. They had to be physically stopped. Wherever they started shooting at civilians, Ghaddafi's forces became targets. If they laid down their weapons, they weren't.

Lol.. So because government forces wouldn't listen to loud yelling, we entered into military action against them. You are proving the GP's point here. We for all intents and purposes invaded Libya for the reasons you stated.

Re:Okay can someone explain this to me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37184606)

"How are ground attack missions part of a "No Fly Zone"?"

The UN resolution was for more than a No Fly Zone. It also specifically allowed protection of civilians. And in the nighttime video shown on that page what do you think was happening? You were seeing Libyan government forces firing artillery at the city of Misrata -- not at a military base, not specifically at opposing army forces, but just shelling the city. Shelling civilians. They did that with artillery and rockets for MONTHS, indiscriminately. All over the city. Hundreds a day sometimes. The UN resolution empowered the NATO forces to stop that shelling, which in a practical sense would mean bombing those artillery pieces and any forces using them in such a manner. The Libyan government always had an option to avoid such an option: stop shelling civilians.

"And was the Libyan government any more evil, corrupt, and dangerous than Iraq?"

Probably not, although Libya actually did have chemical weapons [globalsecurity.org] and still had a small stockpile that had not yet been destroyed. In Iraq the case was trumped-up charges of weapons of mass destruction that no longer existed and it was not a UN authorized action. In Libya the world was about to witness another Yugoslavia where government tanks, bombers, artillery, and rockets would have been used to shell the city of Benghazi into capitulation, and that would have been only half the massacre that would have resulted once the government forces had control (Ghaddafi has previously inflicted terrible retribution on cities who crossed him).

War is a terrible thing. But this is one case where the need to intervene was pretty clear-cut. Where people can argue is whether NATO strayed from it's original mandate, but on the other hand, even when Ghaddafi's forces retreated from Benghazi in the face of NATO intervention they didn't exactly stop shelling civilian-filled cities. In fact, they intensified it in many other places, such as Misrata, Zintan, Zawiyah, and many others. Any city that had a popular, civilian uprising they basically surrounded and shelled with tanks, artillery and rockets until the city submitted (which happened in the case of Zintan and Zawiyah, almost in the case of Misrata). Imagine what he would have done if there wasn't a No Fly Zone -- he also would have been bombing the cities with aircraft. He had already started doing that in Benghazi before NATO intervened. At least NATO wasn't indiscriminate when they bombed ground targets, and they weren't dropping unguided bombs intentionally on residential areas filled with civilians. I mean, sheesh, early on some of Ghaddafi's *own*pilots* refused orders to bomb the cities, ejected from their planes or flew elsewhere, and defected to the rebels. This was not some hypothetical risk. It was in progress. That immediacy was why you even had the Arab League supporting intervention.

As for US politics and authorizing this sort of thing, I think there were serious problems with the way it was done. Obama was foolish to assert executive power over the decision and not get Congressional approval early, and I don't think using drones and eventually acting in a support role excuses the need for approval. But I strongly feel that intervention of some kind was the right decision. It was that or stand by and watch the massacre unfold. Does that set a dangerous precedent for intervention in other conflicts? Maybe. On the other hand, maybe dictators will think twice about ordering their armies to start shooting their own people, and maybe those armies will think twice about following those orders. We'll see.

don't ask us (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#37185964)

ask a libyan

the point is aggression is wrong, right?

well, the aggression of the qadaffi regime against it's own people has been defeated. as someone who doesn't like aggressive warmongering, you're happy, right?

oh i see. you believe in things like the toothfairy, the easter bunny, and that people like qaddafi go away by themselves, like a popped soap bubble. and that all the criminality they do in the meantime, until they will magically pop like a soap some day, is acceptable to you? is that it?

choose:

1. oppose qadaffi, with force, in the name of the people of libya, with the people of libya. that's really all the justification you need

2. or allow him to continue to exist, thereby making you complicit with evil by your inaction

there is such a thing as a pacifist in this world, and i appreciate them. but sometimes, i imagine some pacificists would sit there serenely, while witnessing a rape or murder. because force, ANY use of force, is apparently wrong to them

when do you pick up force of arms and oppose evil at work in the world? never? then to me, you are not a pacifist, you are an inert stump. you live in an ivory tower and sneer down at us poor fools in the messiness of life, and imagine yourself superior, because you won't roll up your sleeves and get messy in important struggles as well. you've simply ceased to matter to the world, by your own choice, and therefore, you have also forfeited your right to comment, on situations you yourself have chosen not to matter to

so stand for something in this world, ready to back up with force if necessary, or follow through on your own philosophy of not mattering in this world, and fuck off and shut up

Confusion in write-up? What's up Slashdot? (1)

bogaboga (793279) | about 2 years ago | (#37184324)

...Aeryon Labs, a Canadian defense firm, revealed on Tuesday that it had quietly provided the rebel forces with a teeny, tiny surveillance drone, called the Aeryon Scout.

This means the rebel forces got some hardware, right?

Small enough to fit into a backpack, the three-pound, four-rotor robot gave Libyan forces eyes in the sky independent of the Predators...(emphasis mine)

With this, my understanding then shifts to the fact that the Libyan government forces got "eyes in the sky" with this "hardware donation".

And here's why: The Libyan forces up until a few hours ago, referred to Libyan Government forces led by Mr. Gaddafi. Right?

I am confused. Or am I getting old?

Re:Confusion in write-up? What's up Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37184726)

Yeah, you're confused. These people are Libyan (as in nationality). They're also forces (they're fighting). That fact that they are rebels doesn't make them not Libyans.

Re:Confusion in write-up? What's up Slashdot? (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 2 years ago | (#37185238)

I think at this point we're recognizing the rebels as the legitimate governing power of the Libyan people. And yes, these things do get confusing, civil wars tend to get that way.

Re:Confusion in write-up? What's up Slashdot? (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 2 years ago | (#37185576)

Both the government forces and the rebel forces are Libyan forces; the robot was given to the rebel Libyan forces. The article already stated that, so didn't bother to qualify the second time around, due to context.

Either that, or the company decided to play fair, and gave one each to the government and rebels....

Testing Ground? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37184328)

While I have no problem with supporting democracy, I'm worried if these conflict zones are becoming testing grounds for arms manufacturers. Maybe it's just me, the blunt sales pitch on the video is a little shameless.

Eeh ?! Eeeeh !?!?!? EEEEEHHH !?!?!?! (1)

unity100 (970058) | about 2 years ago | (#37184346)

mateys ?!?!

good or bad? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#37184372)

It's good for the rebels, bad for the regime. Are we supposed to be cheerleaders? Is this story about technology or about the Libyan civil war?

Great tool by the way.

Does anybody think it's a good idea to meddle with internal conflicts of other nations?

Re:good or bad? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#37184608)

Yes. Just be smart.

Re:good or bad? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#37184732)

well, this is just a cheap toy, but what's so smart about meddling with other people's affairs? Who made you world's police?

America, fuck yeah?

Re:good or bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37185250)

Yes. Just be smart.

Or, actually, the opposite. Can you name a single case where some country's internal affairs were improved after intervention of some external force? Kaddafi maybe an asshole, but every nation gets no better government that it deserves. It's possible to eliminate him, but their next leader won't be any better.

Re:good or bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37184662)

Do you not think it's a good idea? If not, what makes the "sovereignty" of a tyrannical state so important in your eyes?

Re:good or bad? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#37184772)

The people of the country have to decide what to do, they have decided. But it's an internal affair of that country, a civil war. What I normally see is that all this help by others is normally done so that something can be had back from the country, with which they are meddling, be it becoming IMF debtor or some special contracts and/or then later affecting the new government in a way, to promote interests of those 'helping' hands, but which are not in the best interests of the people of that country.

They have to sort it out themselves and come to a conclusion that they find appropriate, not something others would want to impose on them.

Re:good or bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37184908)

Do you not think it's a good idea? If not, what makes the "sovereignty" of a tyrannical state so important in your eyes?

Who determines whether a state is tyrannical? Do you want to be killed because the state you live in is found to be tyrannical? What if your state is accused of having WMDs^W^W^W^W being tyrannical, but after it is invaded it turns out that it wasn't that tyrannical after all?

I would be too all for system of removing tyrannical states but it is not a practical possibility currently.

Re:good or bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37186012)

NO, but doing nothing isn't a good idea either.

Newsflash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37184402)

A company that sells weapons sold weapons to an armed group. Film at 11.

not armed? (1)

Kildjean (871084) | about 2 years ago | (#37184428)

It probably had an iPad to show the Lybians something scary that they havent't seen before, like a never ending Terrance and Phillip show...

"Don't worry, it's not armed." (1)

Snufu (1049644) | about 2 years ago | (#37184434)

Yet.

Sincerely,

Wacko Serial Bomber.

It was probably thought too rude to say no... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 years ago | (#37184440)

Poor-sport hockey fans on the west coast notwithstanding, isn't being polite a Canadian stereotype?

Re:It was probably thought too rude to say no... (5, Interesting)

Dr Caleb (121505) | about 2 years ago | (#37184580)

We are polite. Americans however confuse 'polite' with 'weak'. I don't understand why. As Churchill said, "If you must kill a man, it costs you nothing to be polite about it.".

Re:It was probably thought too rude to say no... (1)

Phrogman (80473) | about 2 years ago | (#37184592)

That's not entirely true, I am sure there is at least one rude Canadian up here. Oh sorry, I didn't mean to offend you by disagreeing with you... :P

Re:It was probably thought too rude to say no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37185020)

the biggest rude asshole in Canada is Steven Harper.

Re:It was probably thought too rude to say no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37184856)

Yes. But it is a stereotype. Canadian planes are also dropping bombs in Libya with NATO allies, which I suppose is a fairly rude thing to do.

We may be a polite and tolerant people overall, but that doesn't mean we won't act upon seeing egregious human rights violations or that massacres of cities full of civilians are about to occur. It's why our armed forces were in Yugoslavia, for example, and Afghanistan. We have a small military, so it's not a big contribution in Libya, but we're there. In fact the military head of the NATO forces over Libya is a Canadian.

The intervention seems to be something that is welcomed by the Libyans. When I saw the celebrations on TV in Benghazi a couple of nights ago I noticed among the very many rebel flags there were also French, Qatar, and Canadian flags being waved around.

Don't confuse "polite" and "tolerant" with "being willing to put up with anything".

Re:It was probably thought too rude to say no... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 years ago | (#37185332)

I was trying to make a joke, for crying out loud.

Same sh*t, different day... (0)

m1ndcrash (2158084) | about 2 years ago | (#37184540)

NATO couldn't go into a third open conflict in a row over natural resources (mind you, Libya supplies 2% of world's oil demand) in the name of democracy, so they choose to supply and air-support rebels.

Which rebels got this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37184862)

The Libyan rebels are a mixture of genuine disaffected Libyans, opportunistic ex-Gadhafi henchmen and al-Quaeda supporters.

Please tell you gave it to the first group and not to either of the other two. Please?

BTW any news on the ground-to-air missiles that have been looted from Gadhafi's military stores?

Didn't I see that... (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#37184954)

...in the Sharper Image catalog?

Very enterprising. (1)

Fubari (196373) | about 2 years ago | (#37185248)

Very enterprising.
Reminds me of "Market Forces" [amazon.com] (by Richard Morgan, author of Altered Carbon among others).
Kind of like venture capital firms, but competing for would-be regimes in sovereign states instead of startup businesses.
Rather plausible.

A coup in Cambodia. Guns to Guatemala. For the men and women of Shorn Associates, opportunity is calling. In the superheated global village of the near future, big money is made by finding the right little war and supporting one side against the other–in exchange for a share of the spoils.

Oh, and the "death match" road warrior duels to make Partner in a firm didn't hurt the story any. :-)

Thats too big... (1)

Zandali (2440080) | about 2 years ago | (#37185312)

because who has a 4 foot backpack? Their are r/c heli vehicles with extreme range and cameras on the white market. Big whoop.

"Don't worry, it's not armed." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37185470)

Not yet..

Someone get the duct tape, I'll grab a glock.

Hello (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37186268)

Arms embargo anyone?

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