Libya – a plea for an international intervention - comments Libya – a plea for an international intervention 2011-02-25T21:42:01Z 2011-02-25T21:42:01Z <p>Marian, I wholeheartedly agree with your reference to the Responsibility to Protect doctrine, as this concept has gained more common acceptance throughout liberal-minded democratic states. However, Quaddafi claims from his end that a conspiracy is going, grasping to terms as martyrdom etc. So he's quite a mass manipulator and/or a delusional madman (likely both).</p> <p>As foreign press is excluded or spindoctored (like CNN), there is a need as well for a certain degree of free speech to Libyan citizens at this time. To really open the channels up to the international world. And to fuel especially a message of hope and vocal support, that they should not fear, that the international community shall not remain indifferent to a genocidal leader - whose acts should be held accountable if the people let go of fear. A strong message would be : the loyalist military commanders who side with Quaddafi still cannot hide behind the consequences of indiscriminate murder, and would not be able to receive any rewards for their loyalty as Quaddafi's offshore billions will be frozen indefinately in foreign banks. As such, the pay-off of inclining is illusory.</p> <p>By the way, even before any Battlegroup or NRF forces would hit the shores of Tripoli, consider the need for international observers (UN ?) to properly account and document the instances of genocide - so if it comes to a capture of Quaddafi there would be an uncontestable body of evidence to hold against him. The spurious clips of killings are one thing, but there could be legal trifling about the actual bullet rounds which used the deaths of civilians... fairly tough call if the evidence is fragmentary or hypothetically deferred to 'opposing' hostile civil factions looting etc. So the body of evidence should be kept intact from the outset.</p> <p>The same regarding the allegations that Quaddafi is using contracted mercenaries (private military firms) to dispose of the rioting insurgents. There are many legal gaps prohibiting the clear establishment of a link between them and Quaddafi - if they flee the country without leaving 'hard' traces or names to identify them, there is only rumour and little paper that says : Quaddafi paid these men and there's signed contracts proving he ordered the mercenary snipers and foot soldiers to decimate the opponents. It's not just Quaddafi who should be held responsible but also these private military... if they don't just disappear at the time an armed intervention is authorized.</p> <p>By the way, the NATO Secretary General has in fact stated NATO would not deploy armed forces in Libya. The evacuation of citizens belonging to NATO member states waters down the argument to pursue a NATO 'hard action' at this time. 'Limit the consequences' is a prime concern for NATO, along with evacuation and humanitarian assistance, and be an 'enabler and coordinator' for NATO member states if they require so in the context of evacuation. There's also a big chance that Russia and China will obstruct the intervention plan if it comes to that in the UN Security Council.</p> Libya – a plea for an international intervention 2011-02-25T10:47:50Z 2011-02-25T10:47:50Z <p>I cannot but warn in the most urgent manner about taking an interventionist position on Libya, as this article proposes.</p> <p>Besides the fact that any intervention of ground troops is of high military risk (for the soldiers and for the population), the political costs in this case can be enormous. We Europeans should do anything but take a paternalising « typically Western » stance of interference with an ongoing revolt which we salute, but which is not ours, and to which we (as EU) have contributed nothing, quite on the contrary.</p> <p>In the case that the revolt should not be successful in the short term and a civil war breaks out, we as Europeans and Westerners should offer our help to the Arab League and the African Union to settle the conflict, including military measures as a last resort, under the mandate of the Security Council if possible. But we are not yet there, fortunately, and we should beware not to play the part of typically « Western », i.e. « benign » interventionists.</p> <p>First and foremost we have to respect the autonomy of the local people and their wider (Arab, African) community. Only in response to local demands and with legitimising bodies like the Arab League and the African Union can we claim to credibly defend universal values (human rights).</p> <p>A unilateral EU/Western intervention at this point of time would highly risk to disrupt the autonomous revolutionary process of deposing al-Gaddafi in view of establishing the bases for a more democratic, autonomous (!) Libya, and Arab world. We should not compromise ourselves even more in this region, forgetting Europe's colonial history and wanting to carry « the white man's burden ».</p>