The Western powers are, under the guise of 'humanitarianism', seeking to reassert influence in the Arab region. Shaken and weakened by the Arab revolts, especially revolution in Egypt, the US, UK and France in particular are determined to 'intervene' by force in Libya.
A 'no fly zone' means military action. It cannot be enforced without air strikes. Tonight's UN resolution for the use of force in Libya - with 10 countries in favour, 5 abstaining - opens the road to war.
There was speculation earlier about air strikes within hours, though it's now being suggested that some time in the next few days is more likely. Whatever the time frame, this will be disastrous for the Libyan people. Their revolution will become the property of Western imperialist powers.
On BBC2's Newsnight Stop the War president Tony Benn said, "This is going to damage the popular movement in the country by allowing it to be presented as an arm of Western intervention."
Saudi Arabia - with its history of strong financial and military backing from the US - 'intervened' this week in Bahrain, to help suppress the popular revolt. It is hypocritical for the Arab League leaders, many of them fearful of their own people, and Western states to present themselves as agents of liberation and opponents of tyranny.
Andrew Murray, chair of Stop the War Coalition, wrote this '10 reasons to say no to western intervention in Libya' earlier in the week. As he notes:
'The political campaign to launch a military intervention in Libya – ostensibly on humanitarian grounds but with patently political ends in sight – is gathering steam among the NATO powers. A “no-fly zone” has now been urged by the Arab League – for the most part a collection of frightened despots desperate to get the US military still more deeply involved in the region. That would be the start of a journey down a slippery slope.'
Also see my previous round up of arguments opposing military action.