The liberty facade - Rizwan Asghar - Thursday, April 07, 2011

The Anglo-French-American consortium, using an ambiguous “no-fly zone resolution” approved by the UN Security Council, has launched a full-scale military assault on Libya on the pretext of protecting people form Gaddafi’s forces. Today western rulers are calling Gaddafi ‘a monster who must leave’. Perhaps, not much time has passed to dim the memories when former president George W Bush named Gaddafi a reliable partner in the war against terror.

The British Prime Minister David Cameron has termed the allied powers’ assault on Libya, a sovereign country, as both a legal and rightful act. But, in fact, hypocrisy and jingoism are glaringly obvious on the face of western claims. It is impossible to identify in these slogans of human rights raised by the west, the operation of any lofty principle.

Great phrases, such as ‘humanitarian agenda’ and ‘promoting democracy’ are being used just to lend an air of dignity and to cloak their intervention with the veneer of morality. The western leaders are trying to control the direction of Arab uprisings ignoring the sentiments of the Arab masses. These policies, driven by neo-imperialist strategic interests, are only aimed at seizing control of key oil rich areas and belie all humanitarian claims.

The overwhelming majority of Libyans are asking: Americans have come to save them from Gaddafi’s brutality but who will save them from the Americans?

In Bahrain, protesters fighting for their freedom are being gunned down by the ruling thugs. There are no sanctions or attacks to stop the carnage. This cruel silence of the international community in the face of gross human rights violations in Bahrain and Yemen is a classic case of irony.

Robert Gates has recently stated that there are only three repressive regimes in the whole Middle East: Iran, Syria and Libya. It is no surprise as these countries have defied American dictates in the region and consistently opposed Israel’s aggressive designs.

It is more than ironic to see the Obama administration still unhesitatingly protecting and nurturing autocratic regimes because their loss will cost the US its allies who are strategically vital to its imperialist interests.

Today, the US has turned a blind eye to the intervention of Saudi troops to snuff out freedom fighters in Bahrain but 21 years ago, NATO troops had jumped into an all-out war against Iraq when Saddam Hussein intervened in Kuwait on the “invitation of local revolutionaries”. This presents a fascinating contrast of extremes.

The US has refused to learn lessons from the past 10 years. Military intervention can seem simple but is, in fact, a complex affair with the potential for unintended consequences. This is a highly unpalatable and frightening option pregnant with the possibility of widespread chaos and prolonged social instability.

In an almost mindless way, the Obama administration has committed another profound and unnecessary mistake, an instance of what Joseph Conrad called “human folly,” further igniting an ever-deepening hatred for the US in the Muslim world. Using force to secure peace in Libya may mark an initial move towards a faster route leading to a point that will make future peace in the whole region impossible.

Email: rizwanasghar7@yahoo. com

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