Britain’s duty to protect Libyan civilians serves its own interests, too
The international community has a moral obligation to prevent war crimes.
7:01AM GMT 17 Mar 2011
SIR – Simon Heffer displays an outdated and insular mentality (“We don’t have the luxury of an interventionist policy”, March 15). It is the duty of the international community to prevent genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Britain is part of the international community and it is misguided to suggest that we have no obligations in this regard.
We are still a major military power and we must play our part. In the long run, it will usually be in our national interest.
Guestling, East Sussex
SIR – Regardless of their opinion on the wisdom of interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, surely people will judge severely the refusal of international leaders to intervene to stop the psychotic attacks on ordinary human beings by a lunatic out to destroy them for wanting freedom. It is clearly an act of craven, self-interested cowardice.
No one is asking international leaders to declare war on a giant nation. Colonel Gaddafi is small beer, and is despised by most of his fellow Arabs.
Rev John Abrami
SIR – I am the headmaster of a comprehensive school. A few weeks ago staff reported an incident to me which is ongoing, and which I cannot resolve.
We have a gang of older boys in the school who delight in bullying the younger children, taking money from them, charging them for use of particular areas of the playground, etc. A few weeks ago, a small number of the first-year pupils decided to take a stand and occupied the play area, refusing to yield to the threats of the gang.
As a result of this, the gang has started picking off individuals from this group and beating them up. Fortunately for me, this taking place outside the school gates, and, as such, is beyond my sphere of responsibility.
They have also tightened their grip on other areas of the school grounds, and toughened their line against other pupils, although thankfully to date this has not resulted in any serious visible escalation of tension.
We would like to step in, but fear doing so for two reasons. First, the parents of the gang members are valuable financial supporters of the school. Secondly, we do not want to set a precedent. If we intervene here, we could trigger a wave of similar protests, with youngsters at other local schools creating unrest.
What should I do?
Pilgrims Hatch, Essex
SIR – Am I alone in seeing the irony of the despotic ruler of Saudi Arabia agreeing action to depose the despotic ruler of Libya yet lending support to the despotic ruler of Bahrain (report, March 16)?