Libya: The stalemate that the West fears Part II – By Dr Michael J.K. Bokor

A group of people heading towards the Libyan border with Tunisia/UNHCR.A.Duclos
The US has authorized the use of armed, unmanned Predator drones over Libya to give “precision capabilities,” which will not only cause more devastation of Libya but also create false hopes in the rebels even as the pro-Gaddafi forces stand their grounds in defence of their cause. In effect, the end to the Libyan crisis is not in sight. It is so because of the intransigence of the West not to use other options.

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Indeed, by deploying new arsenal in this military engagement, the US seems to be performing a leadership role that won’t wash with opponents of this military intervention on behalf of the Benghazi rebels. At best, it only tells us something about the US itself.

Indeed, the US hasn’t suffered the pangs of war (forget about is so-called Civil War) or devastation that it inflicts on other countries. If it does, it will hesitate before unleashing its firepower on other countries. From the manner in which the US panicked at the 9/11 event (and is still being haunted by it), one can tell that it is not a country that is capable of soaking up pressure.

That being the case, and knowing very well how it couldn’t easily contain the traumatizing impact of the 9/11 event, why will the US lead the campaign to create fear in others? Why should the US be bent on destroying other countries’ infrastructure and citizens just because it thinks that it will help it assert its influence as a global “strongman” or just because of its hatred for Gaddafi even though it is comfortable doing business with Libya under his rule?

As human beings, should the US leaders not have any empathy for the people whose lives their mission in Libya is destroying? Or is it because the destruction affects other people only? In any case, no human being’s life should be deemed as more precious than the other’s. If it were so, we would lose our humanity, after all. But that’s what one can infer from the impudence with which the destruction in Libya is being carried out.

Within this context, it is disappointing for the US to continue to side-step the useful lessons of history to do the wrong thing. As if suffering from a pathological crisis, the Republican Senator, John McCain, has visited Benghazi to boost the morale of the rebels, an indication that the US is deeply involved in the regime change that it has denied being the prime motive of the military operations against Gaddafi.

John McCain deserves pity. Or is he just demonstrating the irrepressible instincts of a failed politician? Having suffered immensely from war situations (following the traumatizing experiences he had as a prisoner of war in Vietnam), one would expect John McCain to act with circumspection in commenting on or participating in war situations.

But, alas, he seems to be maddened by his recollection of his own torture and the US’s political and military setbacks at the hands of the Vietnamese and is embarking on a journey to relive those experiences as he commiserates with the Benghazi rebels. His visit is uncalled-for and will not change the dynamics in favour of the rebels. It only betrays the US’s hidden agenda.

We can tell from hindsight that the US’s participation in the devastation of Libya on behalf of the Benghazi rebels is the direct continuation of that agenda of pursuing the military option to prove that the US is the “Policeman of the World.” Having already fooled the former Soviet Union to expend its resources on the expensive but futile arms race, the US has remained since the end of the Cold War as the world’s only Superpower—a tag it is all too enthusiastic to retain at all costs, regardless of the cost it bears in taking up the management of global conflicts, or as if the country is a heaven-on-earth where there are no homeless citizens, or as if there is no citizen who is living below the poverty line.

We can also tell that the passion for dominating, bullying, and exploiting others to reinforce that image of its “Superpower” status is the only motivation that is driving the US to make the kind of sacrifices that we’ve seen in the operations in all those countries, including Libya.
Otherwise, what is the pressing need for the US and its NATO allies and the puppets in the Arab League and the United Nations to join hands with the Benghazi rebels to overthrow Gaddafi?

We can tell that the initial humanitarian crisis that prompted the action against Gaddafi seems to be worsened by the continued support that NATO gives to the rebels to intensify their battle against the pro-Gaddafi forces. If NATO hadn’t continued paving the way for the rebels to launch their ground attacks in the towns that are currently seeing fighting, the situation would have been different. Misrata continues to have a humanitarian problem because NATO is in cahoots with the rebels to sustain the fight against the pro-Gaddafi forces, which would have withdrawn by now had better solutions been found to the crisis.

There is speculation that the US’s involvement in the Libyan situation is driven by the desire to establish its geo-political center in that Mediterranean region to facilitate its military engagements in support of the African and Asian Command’s sphere of influence. Thus, eliminating Gaddafi and installing their stooges in Libya will open up that area for the fulfillment of that dream. Who will doubt this speculation?

From a more pointed perspective, speculation has it that the US is leading this crusade against Gaddafi because of its morbid desire to look for sources of constant supply of crude oil. Libya is the world’s 7th largest supplier of crude oil; and considering the role that Gaddafi played in giving crude oil producers some negotiating power in the fixing of oil prices, he is certainly a threat and must be eliminated.

Again, the US knows how China has virtually captured the sources feeding it with crude oil and may want to use military might to establish its hold on some major suppliers for strategic reasons. Saudi Arabia is already under its armpit but it needs more grounds; hence, its presence in Libya at this time. The US’s own fossil oil resources may not be sufficient for its future ambitions, I daresay.

Now that Qatar has begun selling crude oil on behalf of the rebels and arming them, there is hope among the rebels that they will succeed in overthrowing Gaddafi. Now that the US, Britain, France, and Italy have begun sending military missions to support the rebels on the ground, there is every indication that the war will continue. And because the war is not being fought in the uninhabited desert regions of Libya but in civilian-populated towns and cities, no one can rule out humanitarian problems.

Thus, under the guise of solving such humanitarian crisis, the West is boosting the efforts of the rebels, which in itself is the main cause of the persistent fighting in Libya. The real civilian protesters who launched the uprising in Benghazi to overthrow Gaddafi have left the center stage, which the rebels have now taken over and are using to launch their armed rebellion.

I want to suggest here that by continuing to bolster the confidence of the rebels and by providing the logistics and intelligence support that will promote the rebellion, the West is exceeding the legal and moral limits that UN Resolution 1973 defined for their initial interventions on humanitarian grounds. Any intention to return to the UN for a more biting mandate to enable them to prosecute their war against Gaddafi will confirm long-held suspicions that their presence in Libya has more to do with a hidden agenda than the pursuit of mere humanitarian purposes.

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