Gaddafi and Western Military Intervention
If anyone is to blame for the current crisis in Libya it is Muammar Gaddafi and the criminals and puppets that call themselves ‘rulers’ in the Arab world.
By launching an assault upon the Muslims in Libya, Gaddafi plunged lower than ever before in his 42 year record of depravity, offering the Western colonial states the perfect excuse to intervene. By failing to send troops to assist their Muslim brothers and sisters, the illegitimate Arab regimes opened the door to these same colonial powers, even endorsing their intervention through the Arab League.
The people of Libya have ‘been rescued’ by the very people who sold Gaddafi the arms he uses against them; who led the destructive invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan; who made the names of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay infamous;
who, till today, support the regimes that the people are revolting against, still selling them arms to use against their own people.
Muslims in Libya cannot be ignorant of the multiple threats they face. Whilst some argue that they have felt they have had no alternative but to accept UN/Western aid in defending themselves at this time, others have been more forthright, adamant they will never accept troops on the ground.
However we arrived at this situation, one thing must be made clear to all. The Western governments that have led the
intervention cannot be trusted in anyway at all. As such, their present and future actions need to be scrutinised forensically. If they had genuinely desired to protect civilians or liberate people from their former ally, with no benefit to themselves, they could have aimed for a ‘decapitation strike’, as they attempted against Saddam in 2003. They could have placed pressure on Egypt and other neighbours to intervene, or armed the opponents of Gaddafi from the outset. Anyone who believes there are currently convergent interests between the people of Libya and Western powers has to realise that this is a coincidence.
The United States, Britain and France are not humanitarian organisations that intervene selflessly to help others, whilst incurring financial and human costs to themselves. They are colonial states who have calculated it is now in their interests to terminate their favourable relationship with Gaddafi and Sons, and so directly intervene.
Tony Blair laid out some of the real dilemmas for the West in an article for the Times in March 2011, where the debate is about the risks versus the benefits of intervening, saying that: “In a region where our strategic interests are dramatically and profoundly engaged, it is unlikely that the effect of a regime going rogue and brutalising its own people will remain isolated within its own borders.”
Britain and Europe have a specific interest in preventing a refugee catastrophe. They also have a strategic need to protect energy and trade interests. However, they also have an interest in salvaging the reputation of their interventionist foreign policy that is still scarred by ventures in Iraq and Afghanistan. A smooth and efficient intervention in Libya, promoting regime change, might salvage this policy in the eyes of the general public. Gideon
Rachman recently wrote: “The supporters of outside intervention believe that they are battling not just to stop atrocities in Libya itself, but to lay down a marker for the future… Bernard Henri-Lévy, a French philosopher who played an improbable role as a link between the Libyan rebels and President Nicolas Sarkozy, has said: “What is important in this affair is that the ‘duty to intervene’ has been recognised.” Blair – the master of manufacturing a false argument – gave a series of ‘ifs’ ‘coulds’ and ‘maybes’ to conclude with one of his apocalyptic scenarios in order to justify military intervention. “If Colonel Gaddafi were allowed to kill large numbers of Libyans to squash the hope of a different
Libya, we shouldn’t be under any illusion.
We could end up with a pariah government at odds with the international community — wounded but still alive and dangerous.” The United States, has fewer trade interests in the region, and fewer diplomatic connections. They will be looking for opportunities in the region, but at lower risk, as they are bogged down in two other wars of occupation, euphemistically labelled ‘nation building’. Some in the US administration may even judge that if they cannot enjoy the fruits of a stable Libya, then no one else will – not Europe, nor China and especially not the Muslims – and so care little for the mayhem between the Gaddafi and UN mandated opposition. As George Friedman highlighted in his book
“The next 100 years, a forecast for the 21st Century” he addresses US interests in – Eurasia. “The US has had the ultimate aim of preventing the emergence of any major power in Eurasia… the goals of these interventions was never to achieve something – whatever the political rhetoric might have said – but to prevent something.
The United States wanted to prevent stability in areas where another power might emerge. Its goal was not to stabilize but to destabilize… It wanted to prevent a large, powerful Islamic state from emerging. Rhetoric aside, the United States has no overriding interest in peace in Eurasia..”
LESSONS FROM OTHER CONFLICTS
When one looks at past UN or Western interventions – Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq 1991, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq 2003 – it can perhaps give us an idea of what possible scenarios to expect in the future.
1. Chaos, blood shed and destruction – Western intervention can often lead to greater bloodshed. In Bosnia there was a UN arms embargo imposed which prevented the Bosnian Muslims from defending themselves. Then UN (socalled)
‘peacekeepers’ oversaw the massacre of Srebrenica. In Somalia, the US left chaos, later backed an Ethiopian invasion, further destabilising the region after a brief stability, and forcing compliance from a regime that was seen as
too independent. Afghanistan, for all its deficiencies, had law and order under the Taliban, which was overturned by the Us led invasion in 2001. Iraq, an industrialised and developed state under a brutal regime, saw its infrastructure decimated by ten years of sanctions, bombing and eventually invasion. Contrary to the received wisdom, Mr Blair’s cheerleading of NATO bombing in Serbia failed to stop ethnic cleansing in Kosovo (the exodus of refugees continued after the launch of the NATO attack); nor did it topple Milosevic (the Serbian people did that much later).
2. Division and Sectarianism – Divide and rule has long been a policy of colonialists. Iraq currently has a semidetached northern region, and sectarianism and mistrust between the Sunni dominated central region and the Shia south – where there was none before. It is not for no reason that people are alarmed when they hear western journalists and politicians talking about the possibility of an ‘East’ and ‘West’ Libya
3. A Military Presence for years to come – Afghanistan currently still has 130,000 Western troops. Iraq still has 47,000 US troops. In addition there are US bases in Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain. Kosovo – on Turkey’s doorstep – has an enormous US base in Ferizaj. None of these are surprising when one considers that 65 years after World War 2, the United States still has a military presence in Japan; and Britain still maintains its bases in Cyprus.
4. Conferences to promote weak and malleable political leaders and non Islamic constitutions – After the invasions
of Afghanistan and Iraq western colonial powers set about gathering a mixture of real political leaders, as well as malleable figures who could be pressured by them to adopt a consensus situation that suited the West. This was no different to how the British and French ran their ‘nation building’ conferences in the Middle East after World War 1. They then presented the weak and dependent embryonic assemblies with fait-accompli constitutions, designed to produce weak, ineffective non- Islamic governance – whose vulnerability meant a permanent reliance on the west.
The result has been the corruption of Karzai’s regime, and the chaos of Nouri al Maliki’s; as well as the client states across the Muslim world. None of these governments would dare carry a bold enough vision to liberate their countries from slavery to external colonial interference.
5. Debt and Dependency – Western states rarely conduct the missions for free. Future Libyan governments would do well to anticipate a hefty bill, most likely expected in the form of a percentage of revenues from the sale of oil or resources. The Americans have already touted to their allies the value of mineral deposits throughout Afghanistan – the trillion dollar opportunity.
6. Reconstruction contracts – Western firms have made a hefty amount from repairing the damage to infrastructure. What usually happens is that they pay into an ‘aid fund’ to help rebuild damaged states, which is then used to pay their own businesses (US/UK construction companies) to do the rebuilding, thereby aiding their own economies.
Even if Gaddafi falls, by the Will of Allah Almighty, great dangers lie ahead for the people of Libya now that the colonial West has declared her interest in the region. They require great foresight, vigilance and principle to face the perilous road ahead
“O Believers: Have patience, compete with each other in patience, be ever-vigilant and have taqwa of Allah, if you are to be successful”. [Surah 3:200]
Khalifah Magazine May 2011