After weeks of several countries debating whether a no fly zone should be imposed, 10 nations voted in favour, 0 against, and 5 absentees; authorising its implementation. It was clear from the very beginning that Libya’s revolt was deemed risky and vulnerable. The first mistake of the Libyan people was that the protesters retreated back indoors, and returned to the streets with groups of armed opposition fighters. Egyptians had been killed in their revolt by the police force loyal to Mubarak yet they held onto their large unity protests. How unfortunate it is that the people of Libya fell into a wrong turn and embraced the same violence Gaddafi was using against them.
A country rich in oil, has consequently been on the US’s radar probably for a long time. They had long before decided that they would intervene in Libya, and after Gaddafi’s bombing to recapture the rebel held towns, what better excuse could the US and UK have? They didn’t even need to go out of their way to demonise Gaddafi to justify their imperialist intervention. Gaddafi is bombing his own people, therefore surely this makes it fair for western countries to come along and do the same.
Lets not forget, that data was released by Guardian, showing that £215m worth of export licenses for controlled products were granted to companies selling stuff to Libya in the year to the end of September 2010. Of that amount, just under £8m were for equipment defined as military. Those products include riot control gear, tear gas, several arms including sniper equipment and so forth. Gaddafi must feel some sort of betrayal as his business friends changed their faces into caring politicians and revoked licenses and told him to step down. Not to defend Gaddafi or praise his actions in anyway, but anyone would be angry and say how dare they, how dare they supply me with weapons in return for money and then tell me to leave my throne, how dare they and with what authority? This is the two faced, arrogant character of the West.
The no fly zone began with air strikes from French planes. Then the US joined and fired over 110 tomahawk missiles, which each cost approximately $1 million. As businessmen say, you have to spend money, to make money, and we all know that governments operate and approach everything business like. Many celebrated and agreed with the imposed no-fly zone believing it to be the only best option. Now I ask you, when have the US or UK ever been concerned about innocent blood? When have these imperialist forces ever been concerned about the loss of civilian life? When these same forces have raped and destroyed human rights in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine to name a few, do we really expect them to restore it in Libya? When these same countries looked the other way when Israeli expelled Palestinians from their own land and conducted a mass murder and still do in Gaza until this day? Do we really expect that instead of Colonel Gaddafi’s bombs, the western bombs will protect civilian life? The international community is inconsistent with double standards. Triple standards if you will.
Never in the course of history, have governments lent out a hand to help unless they know their actions will benefit their own interests. And Libya is an oil prize. When the Hutu’s killed the Tutsi’s in Rwanda in 1994, nobody interfered. The international community sat back and watched a genocide in which the killed accumulated at nearly 3 times the rate of the Jewish killed during the Holocaust. They sat and watched thousands of children forced into being soldiers during Sierra Leone’s civil war.
Most people suggest that Libya was interfered with so it does not become another Rwanda or Sierra Leone. And that it will not become another Iraq because it is UN led therefore it is legitimate. Taking this into account is the occupation of Afghanistan legitimate, because it is UN led?
In the words of Louis Farrakhan from his recent interview, it is America’s “noble motive to hide their wicked agenda”. Now people may discredit this as Nato has agreed to enforce the no fly zone and naval embargo, but the alliance remainds divided about whether Nato should also attack Libyan ground forces that are massing near Libyan towns and cities.
We now have to wait to see what will become of Libya. And from the looks of things, it will not be anything good.
For more of Selin’s writing, visit her blog http://wordsofconscience.tumblr.com/
Views expressed in articles are the author’s and do not represent Comment Middle East