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Today's newspapers offer warm endorsements for Britain's part in the Libyan intervention

By Matthew Barrett
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We can still hope the Libyan rebels will prevail in forcing Colonel Gaddafi to step down, and surrender the country. However, the situation in Libya is far from clear this morning, and complicated stories are emerging. Much focus is on Saif al-Islam, one of Colonel Gaddafi's sons, who appeared in Tripoli last night, and said Gaddafi's forces have "broken the backbone" of the rebels. 

The BBC reports "the sounds of gunfire and grenades" can be heard, and both sides are apparently claiming they control the capital. 

The editorials of today's newspapers - which will have been written prior to the more complex picture emerging this morning - are overwhelmingly positive towards Britain, and David Cameron, for leading the intervention in Libya:
  • Daily Mail: "After 42 years of brutal dictatorship – and a six-month war – the game seems finally up for that egregious, posturing sponsor of terrorism, Colonel Gaddafi. For this, at least, the free world can be profoundly thankful. In Britain, meanwhile, we can again be proud of the role played in the dictator’s downfall by our armed forces, who have displayed indomitable courage and professionalism in doing the job the politicians demanded of them – this time, mercifully, without loss of life" - Daily Mail Comment
  • The Times: "There was a case both moral and legal for assisting Gaddafi’s removal. Libya’s rebels must now exercise restraint" - The Times leader (£)
  • Daily Express: "The foreign policy of Britain in particular towards Libya has been a mess in recent years. The Blair government bet heavily on Gaddafi’s dynasty persisting and supervised the signing of major oil exploration contracts with it. That bet has been comprehensively lost. At least David Cameron starts with some goodwill with the likely new regime after Britain played a leading part in the aerial bombardment that has been so crucial to rebel successes." - Express Comment
  • The Independent: "The early Iraq mistakes have already been avoided. The initial decision to intervene in Libya was made on humanitarian grounds – not on the basis of spurious intelligence – and was authorised by a solid UN Security Council resolution, which had the support of the Arab League. France, Britain and the United States also started out from the premise that Libya's opposition would have to fight its own battles and there would be no Nato troops on the ground." - Independent Leader
  • Daily Telegraph: "It was to David Cameron’s credit that he and France’s Nicolas Sarkozy were able to persuade an initially reluctant international community to act. The passing of UN Resolution 1973, empowering the allies to take “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan citizens and authorising the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya, arguably saved many lives. Subsequently, Nato air cover allowed the anti-Gaddafi forces to advance on the capital, even though the process stalled on numerous occasions." - Telegraph View
  • The Sun: "Gaddafi has long held all life bar his own to be worthless. He has not hesitated to massacre dissenters he calls "rats". It is a credit to David Cameron that, unlike his predecessors who befriended this creature despite him bankrolling the IRA for years, he rallied the international community to oust him and give Libya a democratic new start." - The Sun Says

Interestingly, the Guardian's editorial on Libya makes no reference to Cameron, Obama, Sarkozy, or the intervention's role in preventing a genocide being carried out by Gaddafi. 

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: The mission isn't accomplished but the overnight news from Libya is a big vindication for Cameron

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