Libya: Arms For “Democracy”
By Farooque Chowdhury
31 March, 2011
Arms are required for “democracy” in Libya. 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 US and UK, the two “democracy” defenders felt the need to, formally, arm Libyan “democracy” rebels. At the London Libya Conference (LLC), Clinton and Hague perceived that the UN resolution provides them the legal coverage to arm their Libyan friends of “democracy” in the theater of intervention to oust Gadhafi, their friend turned foe.
Susan Rice, the US’ UN envoy informed that the US had “not ruled out” arming the rebels. Hague, the UK foreign secretary, 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. 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 “endeavor” 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 Gadhafi 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” had they arms. He expressed: 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 LLC 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. 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 NATO member, 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, Sarkozy’s favorite trans-Mediterranean political partner. Some officials attending the LLC 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 geostrategic move? Or, are there reasons lying in home? Admiral James, NATO’s commander in Europe, told that intelligence analysis had revealed “flickers” of al-Qaeda or Hezbollah presence inside the movement. In an open letter to the international community, Gadhafi called for a halt to the “monstrous assault” and asserted that the Benghazi-band is supported by the 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 Gadhafi. 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 recognize. History, it seems, is on the side of the world powers.
Obama plans to “deny the [Gadhafi] 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 [Gadhafi’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 U.S. 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.
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