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The Libyan Civil War
by Dr. Subhash Kapila Bookmark and Share

The Arab revolution for political transformation of their societies which was successful in bringing about regime changes in Tunisia and Egypt in the last two months ignited Libya also in its wake. Sadly, the political upheaval in Libya which like Egypt commenced on a peaceful note, today stands marked by violent attacks by heavy use of military force and including use of the Libyan Air Force to bomb the demonstrators on the orders of President Gaddafi who has been the dictator for more than 40 years. While the United Sates and European countries put their weight behind regime changes in Egypt and Tunisia, they have soft pedaled strong pressures against the Libyan dictator. Presumably Egypt and Tunisia did not have any significant reserves of oil and a nuclear program like Libya has.

Libya today is engrossed in a vicious civil war with half the country under the control of Libyan rebels now fighting for the ouster of President Gadaffi. The Libyan rebels would have a better fighting chance if only they were better organized and assisted in organized warfare against a dictator who has gone virtually berserk in unleashing the dogs of war against his own people. The Libyan rebels are mainly drawn from the ranks of the Libyan Armed Forces who angered by the unrestrained use of military force against unarmed civilian protestors mutinied and crossed over to the civil demonstrators to seek the ouster of the Libyan dictator.

The Libyan dictator in his desperate bid to retain control of Libya and over Libya’s boundless oil revenues has not hesitated to kill thousands of his own countrymen. Keeping in mind that sizeable number of his Armed Forces personnel are mutinying and seeking a regime change, it is inexplicable as to how he is still hanging on to power and unleashing disproportionate armed force against his own people.

The answer to this riddle now emerges that the Libyan dictator has enlisted thousands of African mercenary soldiers to protect his position and also that such African mercenary soldiers with no ethnic affiliation to the Libyan masses would not hesitate to kill mercilessly those seeking the regime change of President Gaddafi.

The crucial question that arises in the wake of such happenings is as to why the United States and European countries are passive spectators to the ongoing civil war in Libya which with each passing day is assuming alarming contours. Sounds of condemnation emanating from Washington and European capitals are muted. This lends credence to the media reports circulating that this inaction is prompted by the fact that Libya produces significant quantities of ‘sweet crude’ which does not require sizeable costs in refining. Western oil firms with sizeable stakes in Libyan oil have been pressurizing their Governments to adopted muted responses of condemnation.

The United Nations too has not displayed the alacrity with which in earlier years it had intervened for conflict management in similar situations. The United Nations with each passing year seems to be getting devalued as an institution for global conflict management and preservation of peace. Presently it stands paralyzed.

India decades back would spring to forge international consensus on such issues even at times in direct opposition to the stakes of the global powers. India today greatly strengthened politically and economically is apathetic to the civil war in Libya because presumably it is still trying to read the signals from Washington as to how it intends to tackle the Libyan civil war challenge. 

It is sad and revolting to witness that the United States and European countries which blow trumpets on their commitment to Human Rights and killing of innocent unarmed civilians have not moved beyond their rhetoric to prevent the civil war in Libya in which thousands of civilians are being killed on the orders of a dictator gone berserk.  

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Comment While I agree with you that the current civil war is regrettable, it is quite clear that NATO has learnt some lessons from Iraq, and that its present stance is that directly it becomes involved then a hue and cry is raised, accusing it of self-interest, and casualties blamed on its action. In the present situation, they are being damned by you because they don't intervene.

03/07/2011 20:53 PM

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