Political power without the support of the people cannot endure. The Libyan strongman, Muammar Gaddafi, has carried out indiscriminate slaughter of his own people, just because they feel the game is up for him; that they are done with him.Mahatma Gandhi once remarked, ‘We must find a ray of light in the darkest corner of a tyrannical mind and try to rekindle it.’ With the long-oppressed people of Libya rising up against his brutal rule, Gaddafi must realise that he cannot continue to govern the country. His mercenaries cannot keep him in power for long. But they might be able to slaughter many people before leaving him to his fate.
The masters of world ‘democracy’ feel the demand. This reiteration of old imperialist ethics carries implication for those not in agreement to the world powers. With resorting to arms in Libya, it will be a democracy of the oil, by the oil, for the oil, a ‘democracy’ exported to grab oil, the strategic mineral, and to demolish the Libyan people’s journey to democracy capable to design their own economic and political life.
The United States and the United Kingdom, the two ‘democracy’ defenders felt the need to, formally, arm Libyan ‘democracy’ rebels. At the London Libya Conference, the US secretary of state, Hilary Clinton, and the British foreign secretary, William Hague, interpreted that the UN resolution provides them the legal coverage to arm their Libyan friends of ‘democracy’ in the theatre of intervention to oust Gadhafi, their friend turned foe.
Susan Rice, the US envoy to the United Nations, informed that the US had ‘not ruled out’ arming the rebels. Hague agreed that the resolution made it legal ‘to give people aid in order to defend themselves….’ Qatar, West’s one of the Gulf allies and defenders of ‘democracy’ and ‘human’ rights, also feels the need of the present ‘democracy’ hour. The ‘pro’-people Qatari premier said: ‘We cannot let the people suffer for too long.’ People, it seems, is the magical password that allows everyone to pass the door of legitimacy.
The French and the Italians disagreed with their Anglo-American friends’ interpretation of the UN resolution. Alain Juppé, the French foreign minister, contested: ‘It is not part of the UN resolution.’ Germany expressed reservations about the current military intervention in Libya.
This part of the story, interpreting the UN resolution, carries another connotation: competition to control stooges and oil. The powerful shall prevail in the job of providing interpretation.
The interventionists are uncertain about outcome of their ‘endeavour’ in Libya as their un-limits of power are now being shadowed by crises, public dissension in homes, and gradually increasing competition. With the present air strike power, the Libya strife can live longer than the designers imagined.
Libyan nouveau-‘revolutionaries’ fled in panicked scramble from the localities they occupied, the western media reported, as Gaddafi forces hammered them with assault. Their ‘courageous’ advance with interventionist air support turned into cowardice retreat. A spokesman for the Western ally in Libya boosted: They would have finished Gaddafi ‘in a few days’ if they had arms. He said Western political support and arms ‘would be great’. The routing of the Libyan ‘democracy visionaries’ in some areas shows their dependence on masters’ air power.
What’s in exchange of support? The London Libya Conference agreed to study a Qatari ‘benevolent’ proposal to sell oil from intervention-ally occupied areas of Libya, to provide revenue for the insurgents. Shall the revenue go to pay for arms? The dealers are not hiding their impatience for oil.
So, the interventionists are resounding battle cries. The British prime minister, David Cameron, acknowledged that ‘the Libyan people cannot reach that future on their own. … We are all here … to help the Libyan people in their hour of need.’ This ‘praise’-worthy Western-Eastern (as there are Qatar and the Emirates also) intervention in the energy-strategic land in Africa now also finds Sweden, although not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, as a friend. Sweden, as press reported, plans to send fighter jets to the Libyan air space.
Whom the ‘democracy’ architects support there in Libya? Clinton admitted that they ‘do not know as much’ of their Libyan ally, ‘visionaries’ for a ‘democratic’ Libya, the favourite trans-Mediterranean political partner of the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy. Some officials attending the London Libya Conference admitted that they had little knowledge of the Libyan partner. Then, is it an act of desperation? What’s the circumstance that makes one desperate, and don’t allow enough time to know a friend? Is it only a geo-strategic move? Or, are there reasons lying in home? Admiral James Stavridis, NATO’s commander in Europe, said intelligence analysis had revealed ‘flickers’ of al-Qaeda or Hezbollah presence inside the movement. In an open letter to the international community, Gaddafi called for a halt to the ‘monstrous assault’ and asserted that the Benghazi-band is supported by al-Qaeda.
It can be assumed that, on the basis of experience of past incidents of intervention, Special Forces from other countries are already in action in Libya. The US and France are sending diplomats to Benghazi to strengthen bonds of deal. Formal shipments of arms will now follow the supply line already established through old friends.
In the West, it has been mentioned that western intelligence has had its fingers in parts of the Libyan opposition for years. At the same time, today’s ‘democracy’ mongers were arms contractors of Gaddafi. They had vibrant business with the ruler. They now plan to take the ruler to the international criminal court, the arrangement one world power does not recognise. History, it seems, is on the side of the world powers.
Obama plans to ‘deny the [Gaddafi] regime arms, cut off its supply of cash, assist the opposition, and work … to hasten the day when Gaddafi leaves power’ as he outlined his objectives in Libya. He cautioned Gaddafi ‘that history is not on [Gaddafi’s] side.’ However, Obama has not forgotten one of the costly lessons learnt from Iraq: ‘To be blunt, we went down that road in Iraq. [R]egime change there took eight years, thousands of American and Iraqi lives, and nearly a trillion dollars. That is not something we can afford to repeat in Libya.’ According to Obama, the US goal remains regime change, but that could not be pursued as a military strategy because it goes far beyond the related UN resolution.
But, he has more hawkish friends and critics at home, some of whom are determined to act in a way so that history remembers them as champion of ‘poor’, ‘human’ rights, and ‘democracy’. But history ultimately laughs at pseudo-champions of people’s causes.
As such, the world must find a way to avert a bloodbath in a protracted civil war. Any US military intervention will be counterproductive, as it will raise hue and cry about the imperialist Americans trying to capture Libya’s oil resources. It will hijack the entire struggle of the Libyan people. An alternative is that Gaddafi agrees to step down and be allowed to live the rest of his life in exile in the same way another African dictator, Idi Amin, did after being overthrown.
The Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, has already offered to mediate. He may be asked to prod Gaddafi to step aside and come to Caracas to live in exile. This way bot
h Gaddafi and the Libyan people may escape a bloodbath and the crisis may be resolved nonviolently.
We must try to find a ray of humanity in the tyrannical mind of Gaddafi and persuade him to stand down. Chavez should urge his friend to stop brutalising his own people for political power.