There is so much about the Western military involvement in Libya that just does not stack up!
Saudi Arabia has troops in Bahrain, getting rid of protestors by severe means, even though those protests have been peaceful. No comment from the West. That apparently is okay.
In Zimbabwe for years and years we have seen the sheer brutality of a local hero turned complete nutcase in Mugabe, and no real involvement from the West. Now in Syria and Yemen protesters are being killed.
In Libya there are major protests against the government, as there are in many other countries in the Middle East.And their leader seems to have been hated, then embraced and now hated again by the West.
And very speedily the West( well , some of them) join forces to tell Gaddafi to stop killing his people.They are of course absolutely right that noone in power has the right to kill their citizens ( or others actually ) but where did this new found concern for protesters come from.
The US and the West were equivocal about Egypt for days, although we can be sure that they were in the back rooms talking.And they have ignored impassioned pleas for involvement where despotic regimes have killed people. But in Libya the action was fast and furious. We didn't even get the pretence of weapons of mass destruction that we saw in Iraq.They say that Gaddafi has to go and yet a no fly zone may simply ensure prolonged civil war if he stays in Tripoli and the country is divided.
Nato has now taken control of this group of countries bombing Libya. The US no longer seems to want to be seen as the lead aggressor. The US's involvement in these campaigns has been painful and prolonged. But how will they avoid the terrible damage and carnage of other such campaigns?
Do the million civilians killed in Iraq leave no lasting imprint on the West's conscience? Is it really about avoiding the monstrosities of the Gaddafi regime? And why does that concern seem to start and end with Libya? Not Syria? Not Yemen?
We can too sadly know that there will be civilian deaths , that bombs will accidentally kill children,women and men going about their business. We can too easily predict that Libya , which is one of the wealthiest countries in Africa will have its infrastructure destroyed.
And if , and its a big IF, the Nato group destroy Gaddafi will they rebuild the country and take the oil? What's the chances that Halliburton will be in there for the contracts? We wish it was simply a matter of doing good, and applying some of the doctrines of international law. But the application of those doctrines seem to be very selective. We're willing to bet that no matter how many people are killed by the regime in Syria or Yemen that Nato will not intervene.
Nothing suggests to us that the invasion of Libya is about standing up for the rights of the protestors. What will happen when Libya has its own elections and happens to elect people or parties that do not have the interests of the US and Europe at heart? Do we remember Palestine?
Cynical we may be , but it's very hard indeed to believe for a moment that this is a generous humanitarian gesture. Mainly because no such intervention has ever happened in countries who have had leaders even worse than Gaddafi. Mugabe has killed and starved people , brutally and horribly, for years and has brought Zimbabwe to ruin. Any intervention ?
There is clearly something that the West see they want in Libya.
Its not democracy , we fear, given that they have supported Gaddafi for the last few years and also many other dictatorial regimes in the Middle East. Bets on it has to do with the geographic position of Libya, close to Europe, and sitting in the middle of a troubled region and the fact that this sparsely populated country exports oil at 1.2 million barrels per day. The next Western base at the top of Africa?
Here's the hard bit . There was such hope in the world when Obama was elected that the cynical self interested aggressor actions of the Bush era were well and truly behind us. That dream has been shattered. But the other hope was that as the West acted aggressively in the middle East and nearby it would have learned that while the might of the military made the initial invasions seem easy, the getting out was hugely difficult and the unintended consequences were often huge.
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