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Top Ten Ways that Libya 2011 is Not Iraq 2003

As an antidote to partisan Republican mutterings that hope to confuse the Obama administration's current commitment to a limited American military action in Libya with the grievous mistakes of Little Bushie's protracted land war in Iraq, please consult this short list from Professor Juan Cole's Informed Comment site.

Here are the differences between George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the current United Nations action in Libya:

1. The action in Libya was authorized by the United Nations Security Council. That in Iraq was not. By the UN Charter, military action after 1945 should either come as self-defense or with UNSC authorization. Most countries in the world are signatories to the charter and bound by its provisions.

2. The Libyan people had risen up and thrown off the Qaddafi regime, with some 80-90 percent of the country having gone out of his hands before he started having tank commanders fire shells into peaceful crowds. It was this vast majority of the Libyan people that demanded the UN no-fly zone. In 2002-3 there was no similar popular movement against Saddam Hussein.

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