The fight over whether to employ a No-Fly Zone over Libya has been a much heated debate within the last few weeks. I believe we have to consider many hard to answer questions or points.
Here are eleven:
- How do we stop the Pro-Government troops from bombing their own citizens without firing a shot?
- Why is it assumed that the United States should be the front-runner in applying this No-Fly Zone?
- In order to enact a No-Fly Zone, you must bomb or “take-out” anti-aircraft facilities and disable the current pro-government air power. Is this not an act of war?
- Where is the definitive quick positioning of the United Nations in this regard? Is this not one of the instances where the UN is supposed to act, clearly and quickly?
- The United States most likely would have acted quickly if they were not already spread thin in Afghanistan and Iraq.
- Western influence within revolting countries is not necessarily a good thing, nor is it necessarily wanted or warranted.
- Would UN involvement in Libya cause a backlash against western countries even though they wish to “assist” the rebels?
- Remember, many of the western worlds countries are allied in some way with the governments being revolted against.
- Should any country lend any assistance?
- Given the nature of the revolt in Libya, do you think that power will never be restored to the Gaddafi regime no matter what outside assistance is decided upon?
- If we supply arms to the rebels, is that considered an act of war? Funding a rebel force against an established government…
If you know your history of the region, you can see this situation for what it is…a comedy of errors. If you don’t believe me, go back in the history books prior to the Iranian Hostage Crisis when the USA was allied with The Shah who had been restored to power in a 1953 coup against a democratically elected nationalist Iranian government that had been attempting to unconstitutionally remove the Shah. The coup was organized by the CIA and MI6 at the American embassy. The Shah had lost support from the Shi’a clergy of Iran, which included Ruhollah Khomeini who went on to overthrow the Shah and take 52 US Citizens hostage for 444 days. Ever since that point, the relations between Iran and the United States has been strained to say the least. Soon thereafter, the division seemed fairly simple. The Shiite factions of Islam were seen as the more radical anti-American, anti-western world. The Sunni were seen as the more “acceptable” to western opinions and Sunni led leaderships were often courted and allied with by western nations either looking to stabilize the region, increase their sphere of influence, or just make sure they got a good deal on oil.
Fast forward to present day. Now, you find a large amount of western allied primarily Sunni led countries in the middle east. Oddly enough, these countries that the western world has backed for so many years…are the ones being revolted against today. (What was the reason for the initial alliance again? Let me think…oh yes, “to encourage democratic ideals for the world”. In political talk, that means “I’m trying to get as close to you as possible so I can get a good price on oil and we can all get rich.”) These are the ones guilty of poor leadership and constant human right violations. The people in revolt are primarily Shiite.
When your policy as a country involves sticking your fingers into the daily run government of another country, you are eventually asking for trouble. That is historically proven.
In this case, we are finding out once again that unilateral action takes time. Time that people dying every day do not have. So, a decision has to be made.
So, perhaps there is one question that is the most important question to ask.
Do the Libyan people, pro-government & rebel factions want any type of military action from an outside country inside their country (UN or otherwise)?
———- Erik Sudberg