Read as our Sub-Editor, Nitum Jain tells us about the US-led military intervention, giving us a back ground and the current status. Our Founder and Editor-in-Chief,Â Anshul Tewari expands more on why this intervention was not necessary, and what could the possible pitfalls be.
The US-led military coalition hit Libyan defence areas yesterday, 20th March 2011. Named Operation Odyssey Dawn, the attack begun with the French firing at and destroying several Libyan tanks and armoured vehicles in east Libya and soon saw the US and UK joining by firing more than 110 Tomahawk missiles from their ships and submarines at about 20 Libyan air and missile defense targets in the capital, Tripoli, and the Mediterranean coast. Most of the targets were in close proximity to the headquarters of Mohd. Gaddafi.
The air strikes were decided upon by the officials of a number of countries who sat over the long-standing Gaddafi issue in a UN meeting in Paris. The reason stated was to restore humanity in the Arab nation and cease Gaddafi’s forces’ assaults on its people. Last time such a large-scale international intervention was staged in the Arab region was in Iraq in 2003, which still continues to claim lives on both sides.
Norway, Spain and Denmark have also announced that they too are partnering up with the participating nations in this intervention into Libya.
The Libyan State Television reports that 198 civilians became victim to the operation out of which 48 were reported dead. Most of the casualties are said to be children, however details are not given.
Citing the intervention as a colonial crusader aggression by the West, Gaddafi made a short announcement through an Audio message broadcast on the state television today.
“It is now necessary to open the stores and arm all the masses with all types of weapons to defend the independence, unity and honour of Libya,” said Gaddafi.
Libya is now demanding an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss this crisis. Mohammad al-Zawi, Secretary-General of the Libyan Parliament, has issued a statement that his country maintained “ceasefire” position throughout this “barbaric” attack by the coalition.
Since last morning, civilians who have been against Gaddafi have been protesting against the military attack. Sign boards like “No Fly Zone – Go Back” and “Obama, This Is About Humanity, Not Oil, Please Help Us” have been displayed. Makes us sad!
This intervention is not shocking! USA has had a track record of intervening in the civil matters of countries that have had any kind of local disrupt or civil war, and the results are known to all.
While scholars and thinkers give n number of reasons for us to believe that the intervention was the worst that the coalition could have done, here is why we think the intervention was not required by the United States of America and its allied forces.
1) Libya’s Long History Of External Interventions: The Middle East has had a long history of external interventions. In the past, countries like Libya were invaded and have scars that still dig deep in the hearts of Libyans. With this attack, the USA and the allied forces are doing nothing but rehearsing the dark history. Not realizing the harm it could have on the psychology of the civilians, the strike comes across as history repeating itself, and this time, it is worse than ever.
2) USA’s Invasion In Iraq: Moreover, USA has had a record of breaking down Iraq as a nation. Any person with a positive bent of mind would not want the same to happen to any other country, be it Libya or anyone else. Moreover, what started out as a war against arms in Iraq ended up being a war for Oil and revenge, thus proving that external interventions come along with strategic and economic interests, which might as well be the case in Libya.
3) No Pre-attack Help To Innocent Locals And Migrants: The story does not end here. According to a report in Al Jazeera, one of the leading news organizations of the Arab world, and our personal favourite too, no evacuation has been offered to the Libyan civilians and the African migrants who have been trapped in the country. This goes to show that theÂ intervening forces certainly did not care about loss of civilian, innocent life – which makes us disagree with the reasons for military intervention all the more.
4) Intervention Needed, but not military: We would like to make it clear here that we are not rejecting a need for intervention. An intervention was a must since the common man in Libya was sick and tired of the regime and wanted change. But we also want to make it clear that a military intervention was not needed at all. Bombing a nation for its betterment? Really?
5) No Clear Sense Of Consequences: Another point which instills our faith in a no military intervention strategy is that the intervening forces have no clear sense of the consequences of the intervention. They have no idea of the kind of impact the intervention would have on the minds of the people. Moreover, they do not know the ground reality. What Libyans need right now is solidarity and humility. They need power to overthrow the regime of Gaddafi. They need the emotional support, more than military ‘support’. Had the powerful intervener supported them strongly, their might would have grown stronger and the will to fight for their rights would have surely overthrown Gaddafi. We have our bet on the people.
6) Inability Of International Agencies To Help Conflicting Nations: Also, it is known to all of us that in conflict areas, measures to reinstall peace and provide healthcare by international agencies have been futile. Be it Vietnam, Cuba, Iraq or any other nation. The United Nations has not been successful in providing a helping hand to the locals.
Libya needs strategic intervention. We hope that this intervention does not lead to the creation of another Iraq. We hope that better sense prevails and life is not lost. Are you with us? Drop a comment below.
Image:Â Ø´Ø¨ÙƒØ© Ø¨Ø±Ù‚ | B.R.Q