Libya: The Madness Continues – Writes Dr Michael J.K. Bokor

UN Security Council in session/UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras
It is now abundantly clear that the International Coalition is bent on removing Gaddafi from office through violence. The New York Times has reported the West’s WAR PLAN that should not leave any shred of doubt in anybody’s mind that the West entered Libya not to solve humanitarian problems but to remove Gaddafi from office and install in his place those who will serve their interests.

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The ultimate objective of such a successful operation in Libya is to create opportunities for re-entering Africa through the puppets that they will put in power. Libya’s case is a classic example of this chilling arrangement that must be monitored closely. Let no one doubt it at all that the West is not doing any humanitarian work in that country but establishing a platform for multi-varied political, economic, and military purposes.

Quoting Obama administration and allied officials, The New York Times’ report has it that NATO plans to step up attacks on the palaces, headquarters and communications centres that Gaddafi uses to maintain his grip on power in Libya.

Details of the report are obviously unambiguous on what the United States has up its sleeves as it teams up with the partners in the International Coalition to implement the agenda of destabilizing Libya and destroying its infrastructure as the best option to remove Gaddafi from office.

Here is what the war plan contains, according to The New York Times’ report: White House officials said President Obama had been briefed on the more energetic bombing campaign, which included a strike early on Monday on Gaddafi’s residential compound in the heart of Tripoli, the capital.

United States officials said the effort was not intended to kill the Libyan leader, but to bring the war to his doorstep, raising the price of his efforts to continue to hold on to power. “We want to make sure he knows there is a war going on, and it’s not just in Misurata,” said a senior administration official, who requested anonymity in discussing military planning.

The NATO campaign, some officials said, arose in part from an analysis of Gaddafi’s reaction to the bombing of Tripoli that was ordered by President Ronald Reagan a quarter-century ago. Alliance officials concluded that the best hope of dislodging the Libyan leader and forcing him to flee was to cut off his ability to command his most loyal troops.

“We don’t want to kill him or make a martyr out of him in the Arab world,” said a senior NATO diplomat familiar with the evolving strategy. “But if he sees the bombing happening all around him, we think it could change his calculus.”

As the report has it, military officials privately acknowledge that removing Gaddafi from power is the desired secondary effect of striking at state television and other symbols of his authoritarian rule. “His people may see the futility of continued resistance,” one Pentagon official said.

This report is as disheartening as the heightened military bombardment is unwarranted, especially under the terms of the UN Resolution 1973 that propelled the International Coalition’s actions in Libya.

Now that NATO has shifted to a top gear in its plans to cause more devastation—even where there is no fighting or humanitarian problem, one is completely baffled as to what exactly the UN has authorized the West to do in Libya.

What is more troubling is the silence that the UN Secretary–General has kept even in the face of gross abuse of the terms of UN Resolution 1973. It seems having already sold his conscience to the marauding powerful voices in the UN, Ban Kim Moon has lost his bearings and can’t even know that the blessing that the UN gave the West to operate in Libya is being abused. The UN is now an accomplice in creating WAR instead of seeking PEACE. Such an institution is not what the world needs today.

On the same sad note, it is depressing that none of the African leaders seems to care enough for the plight of Libya to complain. The stark truth is that those destroying Libya are not doing so because they love the Libyan people or because they are interested in helping Libya develop more rapidly beyond where Gaddafi has led it.

They are bent on destroying everything in Libya that has propped up the country so far as it asserts its influence in international politics. The West hates countries that stand on their feet to challenge it. Under Gaddafi’s rule, Libya has emerged as a force to reckon with beyond Africa and that stature poses a big threat to the West’s interests; hence, the dogged determination to reduce the country to rubble.

Under this circumstance, one would expect African leaders to make their voices of protest heard so that public opinion can be mobilized to seek better ways to resolve the Libyan crisis. Unfortunately, none of the African leaders regards the problem as worth his bother. So much destruction is going on in this country but no one in the African Union is reacting to it. They’ve turned deaf ears to everything emanating from there. What a pity?

Where is the spirit of fellow-feeling that undergirds the African Union Charter?
As Africans (forget about Libya’s membership of the Arab League), if we fail to solidarize with each other, we open ourselves to manipulation and selective sabotage by those who have always sought our downfall. When the European powers colonized Africa, they did so for their own good and our bad. Granting us a political freedom (an independence based on nothing but national anthems—mostly written and sung in the colonial masters’ own language—and colourful but uninspiring national flags) while manipulating our systems at the economic level hasn’t helped us develop strongly enough to rub shoulders with them. We are easy preys.

We are still tied to their apron strings or turned into marionettes that they manipulate anyhow at will for comfort while we suffer the pains. The impunity with which the West does things related to Africa is disturbing; and the Libyan situation is a clear instance of how much havoc we are exposed to. I am completely angry at African leaders for not rising to the occasion to make collective decisions against what is happening to Libya.

It shouldn’t be said that the African leaders chose to leave Libya to its own fate when their support was most needed to tilt the balance of public opinion against the intransigence and wickedness of the West.

So far, Vladimir Putin, the Russian Prime Minister has emerged as the only strong voice to condemn the West, especially in establishing the illegality of its destruction of Libya. According to The New York Times report, Mr. Putin on Tuesday delivered his most passionate critique of the Western intervention in Libya, underlining a rare open disagreement with his protégé, President Dmitri Medvedev.

At a news conference in Copenhagen, Mr. Putin was asked to elaborate on his comment that the UN resolution allowing airstrikes resembled “a medieval call for a crusade.” He responded by launching into an extended caustic attack on the NATO campaign, saying it violated the principle of sovereignty and the wishes of the Libyan people. I salute him!!

Where is the supporting voice from Africa to add up to Putin’s? Disappointing silence!

A lot has already been said by some opponents of this massive military operation against Libya (including the Head of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI) to indicate that the approach that the West has adopted toward resolving the Libyan crisis is not the best option nor will it offer any long-lasting solution even if they succeed in killing or overthrowing Gaddafi. But the devastation still goes on.

Doubtless, the internal problems facing Libya go beyond the individual leader after whose blood the West has been since it thrust itself into the crisis. Thus, even in a post-Gaddafi period, Libya still faces a more wretched future than the West seems to know or care about. What is the guarantee that the West has any good intention for Libya beyond removing Gaddafi from office because the rebels claim they want a more representative government? Why will the West choose to directly fight Gaddafi instead of solving the humanitarian crisis that was the mission it entered Libya to accomplish? There is no need for the West to fight the battle on behalf of the rebels.

The intensification of the bombardment of Libyan infrastructure is disgusting. They seem to be biting off more than the UN Resolution 1973 requires. Now that the West has carried the fight to where there is no existing humanitarian problem to solve and is rather creating panic and needless destruction, the time has come for those who truly seek peace and not war to step out of their closets to make their voices heard. The UN has already doomed itself and can’t be relied on to reverse the destruction.

At this point in the prosecution of the West’s destructive agenda, Libya seems to be bereft of friends. If the West succeeds in achieving its objectives in Libya, nothing will stop it from doing so in other countries in future if the partners in this International Coalition (who represent the most heartless, vicious, and exploitative economic, political, and military systems in the world) deem it fit to do so and band together under the least pretext. Must less powerful countries become targets for easy picking as such by the West?

Nothing can be more pathetic than what has been set in motion in Libya. No country in Africa should feel safe enough to neglect Libya at this crucial time. But do the other African leaders have any strong moral or political will at all to speak back to the West? Having sold their conscience to the West (mostly for personal gains), how much courage do they have left to talk back without being punished themselves? Indeed, Africa’s plight is permanent!!