COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/27 March) — When the UN Security Council finally decided to impose a ‘no fly zone’ in Libya, many people both within and outside the Arab and Islamic world heaved with great relief. Without this historic decision, we would have witnessed a wanton carnage of the people in Benghazi as Qadaffi threatened to kill all the oppositions to his 42 years of rule.
Prior to this action, the real dilemma was to take action or no action before a full blown carnage. Some reports claimed that almost 2, 000 had already been killed. Would people simply stand as the body counts mount?
The US, EU and the UN had actually dilly dallied for weeks whether to intervene by imposing a ‘no fly zone’ or not, adding teeth to the ‘freeze order’ policy earlier adopted. They were aware of the mixed reactions within the Arab and Islamic World.
The clincher, I believe, happened when the whole Arab league with two abstentions (Syria and Algeria) unanimously endorsed the ‘no fly zone’ for the whole of Libya on humanitarian ground. The Arab League works by consensus meaning with NO vote against but allows abstention for their unanimous votes.
UAE, Qatar, Turkey not only endorsed the ‘no fly zone’ but contributed to the UN coalition forces to impose the no fly zone.
They know that Qadaffi is determined to kill ALL the oppositions if need be. And he will use all in his arsenal to kill. There is a mad man in Libya!
This is NOT Egypt or Tunisia, where the leaders have NO stomach to kill its own citizens. They have preferred to step down and this gesture will be remembered…
There are three established (at least, universally accepted) doctrines post Rwanda-and Burundi massacres for foreign intervention. These are the following:
- Blatant and widespread violations of human rights;
- Genocide or specter of imminent genocide; and
- Threats to humanity as in weapons of mass destruction in the hands of established mad men or irresponsible leaders.
In Rwanda and Burundi, the superpowers did not intervene. And forever they are haunted by that indecision for the millions who were massacred.
We can agree and disagree on the fine points of the ‘no fly zone’ policy but meanwhile, lives of hundreds of thousands are at stake. Everybody knows that without the French fighter planes entering the scene, there would have been massacre and total carnage in Benghazi.
Every nation and every individual need to draw the line of what is human and what is a crime against humanity regardless of belief, ethnicity and race.
In the case of Libya, we need to draw that LINE now, notwithstanding the fact that Qadaffi has been the patron and benefactor of many liberation fronts, including the Moro Fronts .
How do you impose a ‘no fly zone’ on Libya? No one participating in the debate and endorsing the ‘no fly zone’ policy believes that it can be done by simply uttering the word and scaring Qadaffi and his minions to follow? These guys were not born yesterday! During the debates on the issue, what is prohibited is deployment of ground troops or forces on Libyan soil. The bombing is concentrated on the strategic defense targets and airfields, precisely to impose the ‘no fly zone.’
That there will be casualties, no doubt, is included in the package. But the paramount consideration is to stop the carnage and outright genocide of its own people. People know that there will be endless debates on the issue. But in the final reckoning, hundreds and thousands of lives are at stake!
Years back, the young Qadaffi was the liberator of his people from the autocrat King Idris. But in 42 long years, he has become the very person that he detested when he was a young man.
Qadaffi has become not only the very image of his detested King Idris, but he also has introduced a dynastic de facto monarchy with his sons as heirs and princes. What a tragedy! Is this karma?
At least, King Idris did NOT use force to kill the oppositions and he had the grace to voluntarily go into exile.
No ifs and buts, Qadaffi has to go…! (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Balintataw is Fr. Eliseo “Jun” Mercado’s column for the weekly Mindanao Cross in Cotabato City)