The authorization of the “no-fly zone,” which is a euphemism for “No-Gaddafi in Libya,” by the United Nations Security Council is a dangerous gambit in that it undermines the very foundations upon which the U.N. was established. The manner in which a de jure government is not being allowed to stamp down an insurrection in its own territory makes a mockery out of two of the principal tenets of the U.N. Charter.
First, it is the prohibition against interference in the domestic affairs of a Member State under Article 2 of the Charter. Secondly, increasingly the United Nations Security Council is straying from its purpose by embarking on militarized action when international peace and security are not threatened in any real sense. Exactly when and where an internal conflict limited to Libya, with no legitimate threat to regional peace and security, became the cause for war-mongering by the United Nations? Where are the calls for no-fly-zones or “no bullet zones” over Bahrain and Yemen?
Once again the United States is forced by the blue-eyed British and French to engage in activities that sober diplomacy would have not undertaken. Naturally, when a country constantly begs the help of its European “allies” for its self-serving ambitions, then it must be prepared to go the mile when the “allies” have an agenda of their own to pursue. As long as these dominant powers in the United Nations Security Council are allowed to treat the Charter as a menu in a private dining room to satisfy their peculiar private cravings, the very legitimacy of the U.N. becomes suspect. It is a shame that China and Russia are so indebted to the American and European kindness that they are willing to sell out on principle.
That said – Gaddafi is a tyrant and he should be removed from power through legitimate means, one of which is revolution, armed insurrection. But one gets the sense, this antipathetic personality is being attacked because he is so unappealing. If his lunacy was ever an issue, then what has taken the West all this time to remove him from power? If his attack on the insurrection is cause for protecting the civilian population, the U.N. needs to clarify if the protection of civilian innocents is really the same as protecting the insurrection from losing the struggle for power.
It is becoming increasingly evident that international diplomacy is more about personality than policy. There are very many antipathetic characters around the world, who by their own doing and saying are deemed dimwitted and unstable. They seem to get the brunt of the Western ire. The sympa types are given a pass for their transgressions – and they include the Emarati, Saudi and Bahraini and Yemeni leaders. It is the fly that get swatted in this game – the elephants like Russia, China, and Iran are two risky to touch over violations of human rights and democratic aspirations of their populations.
One must also pause and realize that the Libyan and international media are re-enacting a “wag the dog” scenario where everything through the self-righteous lens of “journalism” is being skewed to the liking of the specific audience. When the media speaks of an impending genocide in Libya they cross the line into advocacy. Genocide is a code word. The batting down the insurrection in Libya by the Gaddafi forces in not genocide by any definition of the term. Massacre, yes; but genocide not.
Whether Gaddafi survives this politically and life-wise is really irrelevant to the damage that this adventurism on the part of the 10 authorizing U.N. Security Council members does to the credibility of the U.N. as means to preserve international peace and security.
What is at stake for the United States is also its international image of being a duplicitous and hypocritical Power. No wonder why the Sheikh of Bahrain and Saleh in Yemen have taken the advice of the Saudis to crush insurrections by all means – because as they see it, after Tunis, Egypt and Libya, the U.S. must also show for the sake of balance that it doesn’t tolerate brutality where its interests are greatly at stake.