Libya: Coalition of convenience

The military intervention by Western coalition forces in Libya will only create more uncertainties and worsen the humanitarian crisis in the country and the region. In fact, the humanitarian situation in Libya has deteriorated since the United States, France and Britain launched air strikes on March 19.

The deepening political crisis and worsening humanitarian situation in Libya run counter to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which sanctioned imposition of a no-fly zone over the country to protect civilians.

Destroying Libya

Many countries are criticizing the coalition for deepening the crisis by abusing the UN mandate, and have demanded an immediate end to military intervention in Libya.

The coalition forces’ lack of proper planning and objective has come as a shock. Almost a week passed before the coalition forces agreed to a command structure. On Thursday, the US and other member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) finally reached an agreement on who would take over the command from the US to lead the operations in the next stage.

This is unimaginable given the importance of the Libyan crisis and the overriding military supremacy that NATO enjoys today. There is enough justification to ask whether the coalition has the sincerity to carry out the UN mandate without violating it in any way.

These misgivings have sprung up because Libya’s future looks bleak and regional stability is in jeopardy after a week of military operation by the Western coalition. It seems that the Western coalition has opened a Pandora’s box in Libya.

For all we know, suffering may have just begun for the Libyan people and there is no guarantee when it will end. But no matter what happens, the Iraq story should not be repeated in Libya.

Recent years have seen the West intervening in many countries. Western powers do not think twice before using force against a sovereign state on the pretext of humanitarianism. The Libyan crisis marks the pinnacle of such interventionism because the West has acted with less support within and outside its bloc compared to the attack on Iraq eight years ago.

By using the excuse of humanitarianism, the West cannot fool all the people into believing that the military action in Libya is for a just cause. Two factors seem to have made the West decide on the military action in Libya: the country is rich in oil and embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi has for long been an eyesore for the West.

The turbulence in Libya gave the West a ready excuse to launch its military campaign that may end Gadhafi’s rule but will certainly leave the country in tatters and its people shattered.

* This an Editorial from China Daily

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