The Libyan Movement Towards Freedom: What Difference Will It Make?

Posted on September 25, 2011 in GlobeScope

By Kriti Pal:

February 17th (2011)

This is the beginning of the war that found its way towards the suppressed lands of Libya. Merely after 3 days of the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the movement, through the social networking forums Facebook and Twitter, turned its course towards Libya, where the people had long since been suppressed – reduced to victims of the prevalent crimes happening right under the nose of the supposed ‘creator’ of Libya- Muammar Gaddafi.

The protests, peaceful as they were, began thereon. It took a week and a half for Gaddafi to realize that the protests that were peaceful at that moment had the potential to go on and become a massive uprising against his regime; which they did. February 21st saw Gaddafi’s son coming out on state television and warning the demonstrators to either drop the war or face the repercussions.

After about a month of sitting and watching, Col. Muammar el-Gaddafi ordered his forces to take charge. They went ahead to assault the rebels in several cities. The government even attempted to attack the city of Brega but was fortunately beaten by the rebel forces. The attack could have been a brutal setback for the people considering it was planned to be carried out by both ground and air.

Meanwhile, the western nations continued to remain hell-bent on their policy of intervening with small but profitable countries; the American warships even took up station near the Libyan waters. The battle continued between the government and the ‘rebels’. NATO thereafter imposed a no-fly zone over the nation. The rebellion went on for quite a few months, where what could be seen was a man behaving like a child and refusing to give up his toy, despite of knowing that all he can do is break it- that’s what he was doing all along.

But now, months after the upsurge, it can be said that the civil war will come to an end; that because the opposition forces gave entered into Libya’s capital, Tripoli. The end of the war however does not imply that Libya will instantly enter a new era of freedom and democracy. The country will, in future, have to face the difficult test of avoiding tribal retaliations that initially lead them on to freedom. Furthermore, there are other issues which will have to be dealt with, such as the infrastructure damage that took place during the war, the number of refugees which touched new heights. All this will also require a certain amount of external support.

So one needs to ask: Even if as we all rightly say- it made a difference, will it be worth it for the Libyan people who gave in their all to bring this transition? Or will it merely ensure that the scars of a civil war run so deep that holding the society together becomes impossible?