The 2011 London Conference on Libya: The International Community, minus Africa, Asia and Latin America

by Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai

In the Era of the Gentiles, there will be attempts to attack the principle of order and intelligibility in the world. International relations will be subjected to universal unreason in order to distort human destiny.

However, “Logos, the immanent reason, which governs the system of nature, in all its complexity and interrelations” will prevail, since it is “the cosmic reason that is identified with our fate, providence and divine nature” of God, the Father. The Second Coming of Jesus, the Christ, will destroy the work of the anti-Christ, whose advanced party is already mesmerizing the world.

The geo-politics of this Era will be governed by unreason, but reason will always gain in ascendancy over unreason, till time indefinite.
“The International Community,” Is a term used very often by scholars, politicians and journalists with vacuous ambiguity.

I am someone, who insists on the importance of linguistics and logical analysis of empirical statements, which constitute the paths to valid knowledge, I hereby respectfully request the politicians to clarify the use of the term.
As of now, the term, “International Community”

is not precise. When used by some politicians, it is inclusive, but when used by others, it is pejoratively exclusive.
This is why the rallying cry for universal action often falters, because of the unclear inference as to those being addressed.
The London Conference was not reflective of the international community’s composition. Discussions at the Conference failed the test of logical empiricism. The Conference established an Interim National Council.

The fact that a London Conference on Libya was summoned to hold on March 29, 2011, is , perhaps evidence of the inconclusive outcome of the hurriedly convened meeting on Libya, which was held in Paris earlier. The African Union was absent at the Paris meeting.
In international conference practice, a diplomatic meeting of Heads of State is the venue for detailed and constructive discussions that could create the international legal basis for action. Certainly, the Paris was exclusive.

Like most things done in a hurry, there were glaring omissions, both in protocol and the substantive agenda.

Reason took a back seat; logic was blocked from the deliberations. The reasons for the decision to approve of a no-fly zone, which were aimed at preventing Kaddafi from killing his own people, were very cogent, but very sweeping. The Libyan government was not heard from and this violated the well-worn legal principle of “audiatur alteram partem.” The term used in the UN Resolution 1973, “by any means necessary,” sounds very radical, reminiscent of the pronouncement by Malcolm X.

This was why some members of the international community expressed reservations and this was why the approval of the UN Security Council had notable abstentions.

The decisions of the Paris meting were based on justifiable morality, but erred to observe the norms of international law. As Sir Fredrick Pollock said in his Oxford Lectures in 1893,” If international relations were based on international morality, framers of state papers would rely solely on moral arguments. But this is not what they do. They also rely on treaties, conventions and other legal treatises”
It very true that the role of international law has greatly diminished in international affairs in the last ten years. This has had the result that some actions of some states have been based on impunity and arbitrariness.

Geo-political wrangling, power politics, as prescribed by Hans Morgenthau, seem to have taken over in international relations.
The crisis in the world economy has forced leaders to cogitate their policies, although some still act without restraint.Howver, there are some heaven-born prophets, who wallow inexorably in sheer conceit, pontificating inanities of inconsequential import claiming infinite wisdom.
In this conflict, diplomats on all sides, with asps under their lips, have attempted to demonize the main target by telling Himalayan, ice-cold lies, that are absolutely contemptuous of truth.

When the idea of the No-fly zone was conceived, no -one considered the plight of commercial pilots flying through the Libyan air space, in the height of night, who would be blinded by flying missiles.

Learned opinion appears to hold the view that the coalition went too far in advancing the cause of the rebels.
By supporting the rebels and setting up an interim National Council of émigré Libyan citizens, the coalition became partisans/ combatants instead of peace-makers and defenders of the people. So it appears.

The obvious disadvantage of having young men as Heads of State is the natural fact that certain events that should guide their judgments had happened before they were born.

It would have been unacceptable if the International community had aided the IRA, ETA, the Red Brigade or the Chechnya rebels.
I do not know whether this open and legal support for a rebellion by itinerant Muslim jihadists of unknown affiliations will not set the stage for attempts to overthrow elected and legitimate but corrupt and dictatorial regimes.

We seem to be introducing disorder into the international system, encouraging political mal-contents to rise against their governments, with the support of the “International Community.” Yes, Kaddafi’s behaviour has been unconscionable, but we should think about the prospects we are creating for ETA, the Chechnya rebels, the Red Brigade, the Tupamaros, and all the assemblies of political dissidents around the world.
By calling them rebels and at once aiding them to effect a change of their government, the coalition inadvertently overlooked the legal requirement to adhere strictly to the UN Resolution 1973 and the relevant sections of International Law, International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Conventions.

Military coercion is not permitted under the Declaration of Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States, in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

Also, there should no threat or the use of force against the territorial integrity and political independence of a state. A civil war requires international peaceful mediation, the use of arbitration and good office and not immediate fire action before the exhaustion of diplomatic actions.
President Hu Jintao of China, bluntly told President Sarkozy, during the latter’s diplomatic visit to Beijing on 30th Marchm2011, to open the new French Embassy that China does not support the use of force in international affairs and called for the respect of Libya’s territorial integrity and political independence.

The states that are members of the United Nations are a community governed by international law. This needs re-statement in view of an obvious weakening of International law in the last ten years.

A dispassionate review of the development of international law under the various UN Secretaries-General has shown that great strides were made Under Dag Hammarskjold, Dr. Kurt Waldheim, Peres de Cuellar and Boutros Boutros Ghali. They were knowledgeable and independent. The strict application of international legal norms to international affairs was felt.

The principle of equality of sovereign, independent states must be respected. “The dwarf and the giant are men,” even though both suffer from hormonal disorders.

In international Law, the principle of unanimity is necessary because it helps to forge stronger consensus instead of a few speaking for the many.
The Paris coalition was challenged by Russia, China, Venezuela, Brazil, Cuba etc, for over-stepping its mandate. There was also some confusion as to who was responsible for the operation and what the end-game was.
For a leader to be the subject of universal opprobrium is a mystery warped in an enigma. Kaddafi is at the mercy of the brotherhood.

There is a cowardly practice among world politicians and journalists who tend to regard opposing views to their established positions as subversive.
The result is that people echo their governments’ views, even where these are logically flawed. Robust discussions are weakened by this eye-service culture.

In order to avoid a situation, where unitary views dominate in international affairs, a bipolar world is very important for balanced reasoning.
There are some people, who cannot frame the synthesis of their own opinion. They always concur. However, with time, such people change their positions, when the tide turns.

I remember that former US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld had once said that the Iraq people would kiss American soldiers and give them flowers! He was wrong.

He put together a “Coalition of the Willing,” which later fizzled out.
Meanwhile, there were demonstrations in Washington, DC on 27th March 2011, with the demonstrators demanding explanations for the US involvement in yet another war, in the face of dwindling financial resources and unemployment.

Many US Congressmen and Senators across the political divide have asked questions about American involvement, without Congressional approval. The US President, Barack Obama explained the reasons for US involvement on 30th March, 2011.
State must not go beyond the international law principles of JUS COGENS, the UN CHARTER and other universally accepted norms of international law.

Colonel Kaddafi is an arrogant, self-opinionated and authoritarian dictator. The collaboration his people saw him receive from world leaders like Tony Blair, his flamboyant addresses s at the African Union and at the United Nations, weakened their resolve to challenge him
The US praised him for surrendering his nuclear arsenal. The Scottish Government released the Lockerbie “alleged “bomber” to Kaddafi. All these resulted in a tacit acceptance of his dictatorship.

The UN has not defined the tenure of political leaders and so, there is no legal basis, not to admit Kaddafi into the Councils of nations.
It took the self-immolation of a frustrated youth and popular uprisings in ancient Arab nations to make the West react to the social injustices the Arab citizens had endured in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Algeria, Tunisia and Yemen for decades.

People around the world, who are conversant with Arab intellectual history, will attest to the fact that when the Ba’ath Socialist Party and its leaders criticized the ancient regimes in the Arab world, well funded intelligence outfits frustrated their efforts, driving many of them out of Arab states. The more vocal advocates were imprisoned.

The World did not anticipate that the revolutionary impetus, which had built up over the decades would explode in the way we have seen.
It would seem as if the thinking is that if Kaddafi is removed, Libya will then be a democracy. The point is that Libya is a conservative Arab society, whose citizens share the zealotry of Islamic world-view.

Kaddafi has established a grass-roots organization, which has been indoctrinated to imbibe tenets of Libyan beliefs that foreigners are primarily after Libyan oil.
“Saving the Iraqi people from Saddam Hussein, who killed his own people, “was the engaging slogan that served as the convincing ethos to remove Saddam Hussein after Court proceedings that left much to be desired. Since Saddam was hanged, there have been killings, arson, murders, in Iraq. A democratic order is far from being in place.

To regulate world affairs based on the interest and opinion of one nation is a slow advance to cataclysm. We must not forget that this Universe of Man is God’s creation and HE alone regulates what goes on here. There are karmic reactions that result from what seems “right, legal and moral,” because the Supreme judge cannot be convinced by governmental proclamations.

The question is how far are states willing to go in attacking leaders, who kill their people? Why has this new consciousness waited for so long?
Where was this consciousness during Apartheid in South Africa, Pol Pot’s murderous regime, Idi Amin’s slaughter of his people, Jean Bokassa, the Butcher of Central African Republic, the Chilean dictator, General Pinochet, Saddam’s overkill and the slow death by oppressed citizens in most nations under heavy military and police intelligence surveillance?

Those who are conversant with the history of the Middle East will recall how the Baath Socialist Movement tried to analyze the societal rot in ancient Arab states and they proffered solutions that would have entrenched democratic principles of governance in the Arab world. Their prescriptions were branded as revolutionary.

Meaningful resistance to Arab leaders, including Kaddafi, was weakened by the Western governments’ diplomatic flirtations with Kaddafi.
He has galvanized his local authorities to accept his prescriptions on governance. If and when Kaddafi leaves, the Libyan nation will still belong to the Islamic community and will continue to be a member of OPEC.
The present collateral damage has to be repaired. Libyan oil, which apparently is part of the geo-political game in Libya, will still be Libyan property.

Murmar Kaddafi may be wrong or right in claiming that the rebels are an advance team of the Great Maghreb Jihadists, whose eventual aim is to establish a Mediterranean outpost for attacks on Europe.
The London Conference must ensure that further deliberations on Libya are devoid of the frenzy over the mad acts of Kaddafi, but a reasoned assessment of the way the Libyan movement for societal change should go.

Supposing there are elections and Kaddafi’s men win? Supposing it is later discovered that the rebels are not really Libyan citizens? Supposing that the leaders of the rebel movement owe allegiance to one of the many Islamic organizations that are ideologically hostile to the West?
To push Libya into the orbit of uncertainty, will elicit future regrets. The devil we know may be better than a rag-tag army of rebels, untested in the art of statecraft, diplomacy and governance and whose legitimacy has yet to be investigated.

The London Conference established an interim National Council as an organ, which the International Community hopes would set up an administration. Since no regime change is envisaged, two parallel administrations will be a novel system, which time will determine its workability.
William Hague’s filibuster, though eloquent and smooth did not specifically answer specific questions.

The expected involvement of the Arab League failed to materialize. Qatar does not possess that strength to make an impact.
Reviewing the outcome of the London Conference on Libya, the Curatorium of Bosas International Law Bureau, Abuja, held that the humanitarian legal issues were not fully discussed. That the wickedness of all wicked governments must come to an end.

The impression that members of the Bureau have is that it would appear that the Coalition has been sowing discord among brothers.

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