After the United Nations Security Council’s recent vote in favor of using force including implementing a No-Fly Zone (NFZ) in Libya, Tomahawk missiles (112 of them with the price tag of $1 Million per missile) were fired from U.S. Navy and British Naval vessels yesterday.
Though I know that Qaddafi has been a supporter of terrorism and has stirred up trouble throughout Africa by arming rebel groups and I believe that a NFZ should be implemented to protect Libyan civilians, I have two fundamental issues with our involvement in this matter.
The first is that France, Britain and America, with America carying the bulk, made a strategic error in being the first countries to enforce the NFZ and to use weapons of mass destruction in Libya. It would have been more prudent if Western nations played a supporting role by allowing Muslim countries to have been the first to use military force. Turkey, for instance, is a member of NATO and had the capacity to have been among the first nations to enforce the NFZ. Given Western nations’ roles in being involved in military operations in Muslim countries, which hold vital strategic importance and/or are oil producing countries fed right into Qadhafi’s (Al-Qaeda’s also) talk points of “crusaders” attacking Libya for its oil. Did we forget that quickly about what happen in Iraq and the terrorism that was fomented against Western nations as a consequence of military action? Not wise at all.
The next point is that the rational for intervention to protect civilians against the criminal Qadhafi shows the hypocrisy of American foreign policy. Our intervention is based upon American self interests not giving a damn about innocent civilians dying at the hands of a dictator or during a civil war. We didn’t take action in the Democractic Republic of the Congo, which was engulfed the biggest bloodbath in recent history since the time of Adolf Hitler because they have been our “partner.” More recently, there has been protests against the bogus regime in Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), protest which started before Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, in which civilians continue to be brutally killed. It appears that we use the excuse of saving precious lives not for humanity’s sake but as an excuse to intervene when dictators are deemed to be replaced (“regime change”) and if they have a precious resource that Western nations’ economies depend on. In comparing Libya with Cote d’Ivoire, it’s evident that intervening in a land where oil is its most precious commodity is more important than intervening in a nation where coco beans are the largest export.
As the African Union (AU) has called for immediate halting of firing weapons of mass destruction by Western powers in Libya, I hope that America does not make the foolish decision to send ground troops into Libya. At the end of the day with all of the prognosticating that many are doing behind the safety of their laptops or on Al-Jazeera, the Libyan people are the ones, who are truly suffering right now. We can only pray that civilians deaths will be minimal in light of Qadhafi’s actions and the weapons being used by Western nations that will undoubtedly kill innocent civilians (so-called collateral damage.)