The military intervention of the United States and other allies in Libya to support the rebels was lacking in international ethics for many reasons; particularly when the West has dual standards of operation in the global arena. While the turmoil in Libya has raised concerns (read: interest) in the West, a similar turmoil in the pliant states of the Gulf has not raised even an eyebrow. This clearly endorses the apprehensions that it is more than democratic values and human rights at stake in Libya. The Unites States has no problems with the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia which are practically its petrol stations. It does have problems with Libya or North Africa. Therefore, it is not democracy or human rights; it is oil and particularly the oil powering the economy of China.
Leaving aside the ethical dimensions of the response of West, it has now been reported that in this war, the intervention by the United States was instigated by three women, starting with Samantha Power, who runs the Office of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights in Obama’s National Security Council. She’s an Irish American, 41 years old, who made her name back in the Bush years with her book, A Problem from Hell, a study of the U.S. foreign-policy response to genocide, and the failure of the Clinton administration to react forcefully to the Rwandan massacres. She had to resign from her advisory position on the Obama campaign in April of 2008, after calling Hillary Clinton a “monster” in an interview with the Scotsman, but was restored to good grace after Obama’s election, and the monster in her sights is now Qaddafi. According to Miami Herald, this lady has Obama’s ears.
America’s UN ambassador is Susan Rice, the first African-American woman to be named to that post. She’s long been an ardent interventionist. In 1996, as part of the Clinton administration, she supported the multinational force that invaded Zaire from Rwanda in 1996 and overthrew dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, saying privately that “Anything’s better than Mobutu.” But on February 23 she came under fierce attack in the Huffington Post at the hands of Richard Grenell, who’d served on the US delegation to the UN in the Bush years. Grenell dwelt harshly on instances where in his judgment Rice and her ultimate boss Obama were drooping the ball, and displaying lack of leadership amid the tumults engulfing the Middle East and specifically in failing to support the uprising against Qaddafi.
Both Rice and Clinton took Grenell’s salvo to heart. Prodded by the fiery Power they abruptly stiffened their postures and Clinton lobbed her furious salvos at Qaddafi, “the mad dog”. For Clinton it was a precise re-run of her efforts to portray Obama as a peace wimp back in 2008, liable to snooze all too peacefully when the red phone rang at 3am.
For his part, Obama wasn’t keen on intervention, seeing it as a costly swamp, yet another war and one opposed by Defense Secretary Gates and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But by now the liberal interventions and the neo-cons were in full cry and Obama, perennially fearful of being outflanked, succumbed, hastening to one of the least convincing statement of war aims in the nation’s history. He’s already earned a threat of impeachment from leftist congressman Dennis Kucinich for abrogating war-making powers constitutionally reserved for the US Congress, though it has to be said that protest from the left has been pretty feeble. As always, many on the left yearn for an intervention they can finally support and many of them have been murmuring ecstatically, “This is the one.” Of course the sensible position (mine) simply states that nothing good ever came out of a Western intervention by the major powers, whether humanitarian in proclaimed purpose or not.
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