Friday, July 8, 2011

The West Has Screwed Up in Libya?

After the riots and overthrow of dictators in Tunisia and Egypt, Col. Gaddafi should have seen the writing on the wall. He should have realized that forty year rule is long enough and instead of trying to install his sons in his place, he should called free and fair elections and offered to step down and handed over power to an elected Government. But dictators never learn, do they?

As the riots started and Ben Ghazi fell to opposing tribes, Gaddafi and his sons thought they could suppress the people by branding them thugs and drug dealers and by using brute force against them. The reality was quite different, after 40 years of rule, people wanted freedom of speech and a right to choose their own Government. After all a country is not one man's or one family's fiefdom.

To stop the killing of civilians in Libya, United Nations passed a timely resolution to prevent further bloodshed. However, the West took that as a License to Regime Change. This is blatant misuse of a UN resolution. NATO's bombing of civilians in Tripoli and elsewhere has by now probably killed as many if not more civilians than Gaddafi's brute attacks.

The main culprit in all this the French President Sarkozy, followed closely by Cameron, Obama and Berlusconi. Berlusconi seems to have seen the error of his ways of late and is trying to halt bombing by his NATO partners, but they are not listening to him as regime change is their real agenda and they say so openly. Berlusconi's enlightenment may also have something to do with huge economic losses staring Italy in the face by stoppage of uniterrupted oil flow from Libya. Also possibility of relicensing ENI's Libyan oil concessions to China and Russia may also be a factor.

NATO is in violation UN Resolution 1973. Perhaps this time the International Criminal Court (which took no action against Bush & Blair for causing death of over 100,000 Iraqi civilians) will show some courage and add the names of NATO leaders for crimes against humanity in addition to Gaddafi's! However, that may be too much to ask of ICC as up to now they have only found courage to charge minor African and Serbian leaders.

The UN Secretary General, Ban ki Moon's job is to bring peace to this world. He should have tried to bring all sides together in Libya and found a peaceful solution for a transition. Instead, he has failed to make any efforts to stop the carnage. He should resign and go home instead of seeking another term.

Gaddafi is a dictator and has been cruel to his people of late, but over the years, he has been a benevolent dictator. Food, Education (including higher education), Housing and Healthcare is substantially subsidized by the Libyan Government. This is something neither Obama, nor Sarkozy have been able to accomplish for their people. No wonder, Gaddafi still has support from a segment of Libyan population. The main opposition to him comes from larger tribes that Gaddafi has sidelined from power for a very long time. The West did not take all this into account before their gung-ho bombing of Tripoli.

Instead of removing Gaddafi, NATO's action have only served to strengthen him as it is beginning to appear that he may have outwitted the West. This is great shame, for it is time for him to step down and let Libyans elect a democratic Government.

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