The No-Fly Zone, that was not

You have probably heard the saying “If Bush knew the history of Persia, he would not  have gone into Iraq”- again, that’s just a story told.

But let’s make the argument for Libya.  How did it become the norm to enter  a country based on assumptions. You don’t know the history, you don’t know its people, and maybe the closest you’ve seen these people is via a satellite dish.

Why is it that the US and its “allies” – using that world lightly- think that African leaders are just seating waiting to be attacked? And in the age of information overload, how did they think that “a no-fly zone” would be agreeable to those who were paying attention? But more important, what no-fly zone?

The truth is that, nothing about Libya, or rather the situation in North Africa, ideal. Should the NATO forces be in Libya, should France have intervened in Cote D’Ivoire? And more disturbingly, where is the AU? – These are a not questions with a yes or no answers for the lines are blurry and very gray.  However, intervention was probably not the  rule here. It should have been the exception.  NATO’s “intervention” has caused even more casualties. The rebels are already selling oil that doesn’t belong to them, and the Arab league has left the building.

So who is left?

A recent report by NATO says that Qaddafi’s loyalist troops have taken into hiding among civilians and driving regular pick-ups- making it hard to decipher who the enemy and friend is. Really? Please be shocked- because the rest of the world did not see this coming. How dare Qaddafi hide?

The question is not when Qaddafi will leave, but if he will leave. The most dangerous insanity is that of a smart man, whose security is one of the best in the world.  So maybe it would have been wiser not to instigate him into actually becoming mad.  This is especially important since not all his people want him to leave. In pictures you see rebels- and there are “tons” of them. Pictures do speak a thousand words, because it seems that every breathing Libyan who is not a loyalist is a rebel. Except that is not remotely true. The rebels are an “elite” group. They want power. Unlike the leaders of the Egyptian revolution0- the rebels are led by an elite group who have been wanting to seat in Qaddafi’s chair for a while now.

We should try to not romanticized the presence of NATO in Libya. It sounds good when countries are saying “we need to prevent another Rwanda”- this is all good. Genocide is bad. Except this was not a genocide. It is was internal   but lets desist here.  Alright, how about humanitarian intervention – to that we ask, where are they in Congo? Cote D‘Ivoire was in turmoil until France mightily matched into the palace and drag Gbagbo away.

Lets not kid our selves. One, Libya has oil, and two..well they have oil. If we have learned anything from the wars in  Iraq and Afghanistan’s it is that foreign intervention is associated, to a great extent, with political and economic interests of those countries that “intervene”.  So lets forget this “good intentions” speech, and go for the real gold.

Needless to say, the Libyan citizens are royally screwed. They are being attacked and killed by three groups-Loyalists, Rebels and NATO.  But off course we are not hearing of these “ordinary” citizens, for as much as the world is concerned, – the rebels are the “ordinary” citizens. – So give them more weapons, advice them, train them to become killing machine, and before you leave, make sure you have those oil contracts.

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Filed under Africa, History, Politics

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