Wednesday, March 23, 2011


CONTINUE FOR A FOURTH NIGHT - Anti-aircraft fire rings out over the capital, Tripoli, as forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi try to ward off coalition airstrikes.  But there is no let up in the U.N.-backed mission, with British, French, U.S. and Dutch warplanes taking off from Italian soil, and plans in place to expand the coalition to 13 nations.  The aim is to control the airspace across northern Libya.  Left unclear - who will take charge after the U.S military relinquishes operational control.  Britain and Italy want NATO in command. France favors a committee of coalition nations and Arab partners.  The U.S. State Department downplayed the split.   Meanwhile, America’s military role in Libya faces objections among U.S. lawmakers.  Some object to President Barack Obama’s ordering military action without congressional consent.

Others, the added cost of involvement in another war.  Analyst Graeme Bannerman, with the Middle East Institute, says such criticism could affect Mr. Obama's legislative efforts.  Meanwhile, anti-aircraft crews began firing shortly after nightfall in the capital on Tuesday, four nights after an international military coalition launched an operation enforce a no-fly zone over the country.  The coalition air campaign suffered its first loss late Monday, with the crash of an American warplane in Libya. The U.S. Navy says both crewmembers ejected safely, after the aircraft encountered mechanical problems.  Despite the strikes, Gaddafi has remained defiant. The Libyan leader in televised remarks said Libya was “ready for battle, be it long or short”.

A U.N.-backed coalition is increasing its efforts to expand a no-fly zone over Libya and halt attacks on civilians by troops loyal to Moammar Gadhafi.  Gunfire and explosions shake the Libyan capital, Tripoli, for a fourth night as fighting rages on around the country between pro-democracy fighters and forces loyal to the Libyan leader.  In view of these current conflicts, we may wonder if the violence is justified and how we should apply the Gita's wisdom to this international fight.

Qualified violence is an unavoidable reality of this world, even when we view the world from a religious perspective.  Everyone embraces the principle of qualified violence on some level. ... The Gita opines that, should diplomacy fail, violent means are justifiable.  The Gita, however, speaks only in principle on the issue of qualified violence.  The current world crisis is far too complex to expect the Gita to provide a specific answer on how to proceed, militarily or otherwise.  Scripture does not provide pat answers for every human circumstance.  It provides revealed knowledge-as to the nature of God, the self, and its material predicament-that can help individuals make decisions about every aspect of human existence by considering the nature of ultimate reality.

Śrīla Bhakti Vedanta Tripurari Mahārāja :
“To Fight or Not Fight?  The Bhagavad-Gita and theIraq War”
Sri Caitanya Sanga - April 7, 2003, Vol. V, No. 8

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