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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Japan Calls For Help Evacuating At-Risk Residents - Nhật kêu gọi sơ tán những cư dân ở vùng nguy cơ

Japan Calls For Help Evacuating At-Risk Residents - Nhật kêu gọi sơ tán những cư dân ở vùng nguy cơ

Why Japan's Tsunami Triggered an Enormous Whirlpool Tại sao động đất Nhật bản gây ra nước xoáy lớn

Why Japan's Tsunami Triggered an Enormous Whirlpool Tại sao động đất Nhật bản gây ra nước xoáy lớn

Saif al-Islam Muammar Al-Gaddafi the future for Libya

Saif al-Islam Muammar Al-Gaddafi the future for Libya1

Saif al-Islam Muammar Al-Gaddafi the future for Libya2

Libya Under Missile Attack - Li-bi bị tấn công tên lửa

Libya Under Missile Attack - Li-bi bị tấn công tên lửa

GUY RAZ, host:

From NPR News, this is special coverage of the military situation in Libya. I'm Guy Raz.

The United States and its allies at this hour are engaged in Libya.

President BARACK OBAMA: Today, I authorize the Armed Forces of the United States to begin a limited military action in Libya in support of an international effort to protect Libyan civilians. An action has now begun.

RAZ: That's President Obama speaking this afternoon in Brazil.

In Libya, French warplanes took the lead today in launching attacks against the forces of Moammar Gadhafi. The strikes were intended to stop Gadhafi's march against rebels in the eastern part of the country, near the city of Benghazi. Then came cruise missiles launched by American and British forces. More than a hundred of those missiles rained down, targeting Libyan air defenses.

European, American and Arab leaders met in Paris earlier today to discuss how to coordinate an intervention. Meanwhile, Gadhafi sent troops backed by tanks into the country's second largest city, the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

We'll start today with NPR's Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman who is in the studio with me. Tom, what do we know about the military campaign at this point?

TOM BOWMAN: Well, as you say, it started with the French taking on Libyan troops around Benghazi, the last rebel stronghold in the east and it was followed quickly by cruise missiles being fired by warships, British and U.S. warships in the Mediterranean, 110 cruise missiles, each have 1,000-pound warhead, taking out the radar sites, the missiles sites of Moammar Gadhafi so they can implement that no-fly zone. They wouldn't be able to fly safely through Libya without being targeted by these missiles.

RAZ: How could Moammar Gahhafi respond to this? I mean, this is a pretty big campaign now, more than 25 countries involved and presumably will get bigger over the coming days. I mean, how could he respond to these attacks?

BOWMAN: Well, one way he could respond is terrorism. I mean, clearly, he's been linked to terrorism in the past. The last time the U.S. took part in a military operation was in 1986 when there's Libyan complicity in the La Belle discotheque bombing in Berlin, which killed two U.S. soldiers and injured many others.

And two years we had the Lockerbie bombing, which Libyan agents took part in more than - nearly 200 people were killed in that bombing over Scotland. So there's concern particularly about terrorism. Also, he has a good amount of mustard agent, mustard that he could use either against rebels or against civilians. He - western hostages, he could play that card as well. So there were a lot of concerns here about what he could do now that he's cornered.

RAZ: Tom, Defense Secretary Robert Gates was not too keen on imposing a fly zone. Of course you remember just a few weeks ago at a congressional hearing he said, let me be clear, this is a military intervention. It seemed like he was also staking out his position here.

BOWMAN: Absolutely. He talked about loose talk of a no-fly zone. He think - he thought that people really didn't realize what this meant. He said it meant going to war. And, again, taking out those radars and missile sites that we're seeing right now.

But the question is, will this be enough? If you start that no-fly zone, and the U.N. resolution said no-fly zone plus all measures to go after Libyan forces. Will this be just the beginning?

Now, Gadhafi isn't overthrown, you could chop the country in half. You get a Benghazi on one side with the rebels, Tripoli with Gadhafi on the other. And then there's going to be a question of what do you do now? Do you arm the rebels? Do you send ground troops in? U.S. has said no ground troops. But, again, this could go on for a long time.

RAZ: That's NPR's Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman who's following the latest on this story. We'll be hearing from Tom in the coming hours. Tom, thanks.

BOWMAN: You're welcome.