Faith & Philosophy

The Arab Revolt: The Western Nations in Strategic Dilemma in the Era of the Gentiles (3)

“As a partridge that broods but does not hatch”, so shall wicked political leaders and their nations be overthrown in the Era of the Gentiles, Atonement and the Brotherhood of Man.

The Earth belongs to the Lord of Hosts; men are only sojourners here and shall exit sooner or later. So, why all these noises that always end in the wilderness? The Galilee of the Gentiles will soon be in place.

For too long, Western states tolerated blatant autocracy in the Arab world, especially in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, Bahrain, Iraq, and Syria and in other ancient Arab regimes.

In his book on “Authority in The Modern State’ (1919), Harold Laski posited the role of mass participation in the governance of modern society. The autocratic rule in the Arab world is the cause of the recent upheavals in the Middle East. Western states should have insisted on democratic systems in the Arab world after the inauguration of the United Nations Organisation.

Western states failed to display the necessary foresight in their diplomacy of Arab political conditioning. Human faculties regulating statecraft yielded to monarchical affiliations in the Middle East

Absolutism in governance and medieval traditions were tolerated by nations that knew better. Current European thought contradicts its imperial history, in which hegemonic pursuits did not permit concerns for people in the colonies.
The spirit of jingo is discernible among the William Hague team at the British Foreign Office. However, they have not told the House of Commons the exact line and surface integrals of the war efforts by the Allied forces.

The African leaders are guiltier about the state of statecraft in Africa. The Organisation of African Unity was an Assembly of leaders, who did not see it fit to criticize the other governments, even when atrocities were being committed in neighbouring African States.
Some of the African leaders like Mobutu Sese Sekou, Emperor Haile Selasie, Sani Abacha and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, stashed away their national wealth in European banks. As a result, this weakened their ability to speak out on international affairs.

African leaders should have long called Kaddafi to order. They silently tolerated his arrogance and flamboyance. This is why no leader is supporting him, now that his cup is over-flowing.

Nations are adroit at identifying their national preferences.

The reasons why the West had been looking the other way, in most cases, can be attributed to the oil politics of OPEC nations, obvious Western strategic interests, the stationing of troops in strategic locations in the Middle East and the manipulation of some Arab leaders, whose sins were easily forgiven, even in the face of gross human rights and humanitarian violations against the citizens of those states.
Since the First Arab revolution, orchestrated by the Baath Socialist Movement, there has simmered in the consciousness of Arab intellectuals, a need to change the feudal structures in the governance of Arab states.

Their revolutionary efforts were frustrated by the well-funded intelligence outfits that decimated their organisations, forcing many of their leaders into exile and many intellectuals were thrown into prison.

What has happened in most Arab states is the saturation of despondency. What started in Tunisia as a demonstration by political mal-contents, later spread through the Arab world.

In the Era of the Gentiles, Atonement and the Brotherhood of Man, countries will be desolate, cities will be burned with fire and kings will be overthrown by strangers.

Prince Hassan of Jordan attempted successfully to undertake an intellectual, historical analysis of the remote and immediate causes of the turmoil in the Arab nations.

He called for a regional conference, which should include the “refusniks” to discuss issues concerning security, which must be based on legality, as well as the examination of diversity and pluralism in Arab states. Such an effort should shape an authentic vision for further understanding the complex Arab problems.

It is true that autocracy has destroyed any efforts at erecting democratic institutions in the Arab world. Feudalism, which has become anachronistic, was held up by military intelligence, legislative props and connivance by Western governments.
Diplomatic and political relations blossomed between, Tony Blair and Kaddafi. Other Arab leaders became immuned from criticism, even by the Western press. This encouraged autocracy in the Arab world.

Kaddafi got away with the bombing of the plane over Lockerbie killing over 200 innocent people. I still do not accept the reasons for the release of the “alleged” intelligence officer, who carried out the operation.
The Arab League and the United Nations have been under supine leaders, which weakened the enforcement of international law, especially during the presidency of George Bush.

In the concrete case of the UN and its Libyan resolution, it is important to observe as follows:
It is true that Col. Kaddafi had used disproportionate force against the opposition. It is true that Col. Kaddafi had ruled Libya for over forty years and had constituted himself into the Libyan institution with plenipotential authority, who could not be criticized. As a result, the democratic atmosphere has remained intimidating.

However, international law has not prescribed how long a leader can rule his people. That is the business of municipal/constitutional prescriptions.
The United Nations may wish to introduce and pass a resolution on the inadmissibility of leaders, who sit-tight for years, without advancing the cause of their people. Such situations lead to political and social upheavals within UN member states, which invariably engage the attention of the United Nations.

The United Nations should resume intellectual labour in formulating new rules, conventions and declarations, which the immediate post-Second World War did not foresee. The UN has not advanced the progressive development of International law, in any meaningful way, in the last ten years.
This can be seen from the reports of the CNN Senior UN Correspondent, Mr. Richard Roth s’ files or better the lack of them, since Mr. Banki Moon became Secretary-General. I call Richard Roth as a witness!

The UN Resolution 1973 was not unanimously passed by all the members of the Security Council. China and Russia abstained, while Brazil also abstained. It could have been better, if the General Assembly members, as a whole had voted on the resolution. In future, there should be a democratic approach to deciding on contentious international issues.

The claim by the British Foreign Secretary, Mr. Hague that Arab states have strongly supported the “no fly zone,” was later refuted by the Arab League Secretary-General, A. Mousa, himself, a maverick, who had earlier

supported the no fly zone, but later reneged because he has the ambition of contesting the Egyptian presidency. It will be bad politics if the Egyptian voters see an Arab leader who presided over the hanging of Saddam Hussein, overseeing the destruction of an Arab state.

The criticism by the Arab League weakened the campaign against Libya and the bombing inflamed the passions of Arabs in many Arab states.
There was a remarkable double-speak in saying that no regime change is envisaged, yet affirming the declaration that “Kaddafi must go”.
The UN Security Council seems to have not taken cognizance of Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter, which states that “All members must refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity and political independence of any state or in any other manner, inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations”.

Also, Article 2(7) of the UN Charter says that “Nothing contained in this Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters

which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state.”

Now, the international legal question, which has remained unresolved since 1945, is when does a matter remain “essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of a state”? When do such matters go beyond “the domestic jurisdiction of state”?
Such tricky legal problems’ resolutions belong to the progressive development of International law under the imaginative leadership of the United Nations, which has not been the case since Mr. Banki Moon became the UN Secretary-General.

He has played a diminished role in world affairs since the Arab revolt.
Should the United Nations stand by and watch dictatorial regimes punish their citizens, who want to speak out against the regime’s excesses and brutalities?

This decision as to what constitutes matters essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of a state should be subjected to a wider resolution by the General Assembly, rather than the Security Council.

Such a broadly-based decision would convincingly reflect the views of the “international community”, a term often used with vacuous ambiguity.
What seem to miff some observers is the apparent double standards that have been used in the present case. While the Libyan and Bahrain events are on all fours, Libya has been singled out for extraordinary confrontation, subjected to “a scourge of war” which the UN Charter does not encourage.
A more imaginative way to deal with the Kaddafi-type regimes is for all UN members to withdraw their diplomatic missions and imposed economic embargo on such states.

States can not keep their diplomatic relations with dictators, while condemning them over time!
It is difficult to decide to halt diplomatic relations with Arab states that have oil and that are the crux of the matter because of national interest considerations.

The problem of bombing a state to enforce UN resolutions is that the civilians one aims to protect end up being killed in frightening numbers like happened in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Vietnam and Pakistan.

The destruction that results from such bombings affect the citizens for very long. The Japanese are still suffering from the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The South East of Nigeria has still not been cleared of all bombs dropped during the Biafra war. Iraq, Cambodia, Pakistan are still to be cleared of mines.

We must not allow the devil to suggest punitive actions against social humans. The destruction of the Sons and Daughters of God remains the devil’s sworn occupation on Earth. We may inadvertently be aiding and abetting his satanic mission.
Kaddafi’s demagogic musings will only infuriate his adversaries but the people, who will suffer and are already suffering, are the innocent people, victims of geo-political contentions.

The tumult in the Arab world as a result of the bombardment of Libya should have been anticipated. The hurried eagerness to create a no-fly zone and commence military action could lead to the termination of the Kaddafi regime.

The question that would eventually be resolved in a long discussion is whether Libya would revert to its federal kingdoms of Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan. Who will control the oil gushes at Zelten, Dahra and Beida?

Libya has been dominated by Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs, Turks and by Italians (1911-12). During the occupation, Italy ruthlessly committed war crimes against the Libyan people, for which it recently paid billions of dollars to Libya. Italy regularly repatriated Libyans fleeing the Kaddafi regime. The new-found love for Libyan citizens in Benghazi is hard to understand.

After World War 11, the Big Powers could not agree on how to partition Libya and so in December, 1951, Libya, a Federation, became an independent state. The treaty of friendship and alliance, which was signed between Libya and Britain in 1953, failed to secure a review in 1964. This led to the evacuation of British and American troops.

Will history repeat itself in Libya after Muamar Kaddafi?

History itself and no other person or government has the answer. Will it now be the practice in international relations that states can be bombed after a resolution of a fraction of member of the Security Council? History and only the future will tell. By the way, does the Security Council now recognize “rebels” in international law?

How about ETA, the IRA, the Tupamaros, Chechnya rebels, the Tigers? A new disorder is inadvertently being ushered into world politics.

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