A reader asks:
Why does all the discussion about assisting the rebels in Libya center on military intervention? The biggest thing we could do for those fighting Qaddifi would probably be to get food supplies into the eastern part of the country. Libya imports most of its food, so we wouldn't even be impacting food producers there. And food supplies are already getting tight.
The second biggest form of assistance would probably be supplying ammunition for the weapons that the rebels already have. Beyond that, we could even supply more weapons (especially anti-aircraft – give the rebels the means to create their own No Fly Zone). But neither of those constitutes a military intervention of the kind that would raise hackles in the rest of the Muslim world.
Just a thought. There are more ways to help than just sending in the troops.
The first delivery of food aid into Libya since the fighting began is due to arrive in Benghazi [last night] after a convoy of trucks entered the country from Egypt [on Monday], the UN World Food programme said. It said the convoy is carrying 70 metric tonnes of high-energy, fortified date bars. Additionally, a shipment of 1,182 metric tons of wheat flour which was turned back from Benghazi last Thursday amid security concerns, set sail for Libya again [yesterday].
(Photo: Men who recently crossed into Tunisia from Libya wait in line for food in a United Nations displacement camp on March 08, 2011 in Ras Jdir, Tunisia. As fighting continues in and around the Libyan capital of Tripoli, tens of thousands of guest workers from Egypt, Tunisia, Bangladesh and other countries have fled to the border of Tunisia to escape the violence. The situation has turned into a humanitarian emergency as fledgling Tunisia is overwhelmed with the workers. By Spencer Platt/Getty Images)