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      Volume 10 |Issue 25 | July 08, 2011 |


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Cloning Monsters

Libyan rebels and emergency workers rush to the site of a blaze at a weapon storage facility in Rajma, 30km (18 miles) east of Benghazi. Photo: AFP

The West is currently committing in Libya the same blunder as the US in Iraq under Saddam Hussein's jackboot and Afghanistan under Russian occupation. Gaddafi eviscerated the Libyan democracy and made a mess of that country, no doubt. But, Nato is sure to leave it in a far worse imbroglio.

So far Libya has had only one Gaddafi and if Nato succeeds in ousting him and paving the way for a ragtag band of heavily armed rebels thirsting for blood, oil and power, to run that country, then in place of one monster, the hapless Libyans will have thousands. If the West thinks its blue-eyed rebels will remain malleable after being ensconced in power, it is sadly mistaken. Theirs is only an alliance of convenience with the West like the short-lived one between the US and the Afghan rebels who wanted the Russians driven out at any cost. Sarkozy, Cameron et al may be grinning from ear to ear as the anti-Gaddafi forces inch towards Tripoli, but the day may not be far off when they laugh out of the other side of their neo-colonial mouths. Osama bin Laden must be laughing himself silly, wherever he may be, on seeing al- Qaeda cadres among the Libyan rebels being backed by the western forces.

France, whose missiles are killing innocent civilians in their numbers in Libya, has gone to the extent of airdropping huge consignments of arms for the rebels, claiming that its action is aimed at protecting civilians! The provision of weapons such as assault rifles, machine guns, rocket propelled grenades and anti-tank missiles is in violation of a UN arms embargo against Libya but Nato has put the spin on the UN Security Council Resolution 1973, which it craftily invoked to justify its air raids on Libya. That resolution, it claims, allows for all necessary measures to 'protect civilians'.

Interestingly, the most ludicrous defence of France's arms drops has come from Britain. A British foreign office spokesman was quoted by the media the other day as having said: "We do think the United Nations resolutions allow in certain limited circumstances defensive weapons to be provided, but the UK is not engaged in that. Other countries will interpret the resolution in their own way." (Emphasis added)

The unnamed foreign office spokesman's casuistry may remind one of what Humpty Dumpty tells Alice of words and their meanings: "When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty says, in a rather scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less.' Likewise, the West makes any UN resolution mean what they want it to mean - neither more nor less.

Nato is unleashing hell from heaven on Libya regardless of civilian casualties, and all chances are that the West will be able to oust Gaddafi sooner or later to install a puppet regime ready to barter oil for favours from Nato allies in the short term. The Sudanese army has already captured a town in southern Libya considered a gateway to oilfields, purportedly to enable the rebel forces to establish financial independence. The ulterior motive of the western forces attacking Libya is patently clear. They want to suck the Libyan oilfields dry to power their hobbling domestic economies. The US, which flouted its own laws to dump military aid on Sudan in spite of the latter's abominable abuse of child soldiers, seems to be getting dividends for its 'investment'; the Sudanese are doing the dirty work for their western masters, who will now have unrestricted accesses to Libyan oil.

Thousands of Libyans march in a main squre in central Tripoli as a speech by Libya's embattled leader Moamer Gaddafi was played to mark 100 days of NATO operations.
Photo: AFP

It is a supreme irony that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Gaddafi. Why is it that the ICC has baulked at taking similar action against the US and the UK responsible for killing over 800,000 people in an illegal war in Iraq? This is what former Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Nobel Laureate, Mohamed ElBaradei has asked in his well researched book, The Age of Deception, Nuclear Diplomacy in Treacherous Times: "Should the United Nations request an opinion from the International Court of Justice as to the legality of the Iraq War? If the answer is that the war was, in fact, illegal - and moreover, if consideration is given to the massive civilian casualties incurred - should not the International Criminal Court investigate whether this constitutes a 'war crime' and determine who is accountable? Should Iraq request reparations at the International Court of Justice, or another forum, for the damages incurred during a war launched in violation of international law and on the basis of falsehoods?"

Nato forces are taking out sledgehammers to crack nuts in Libya and the West is likely to accomplish its mission of hanging Gaddafi like Saddam, but Libya is, we repeat, bound to find itself in a far worse predicament. To get rid of one dictator the West has cloned thousands of other blood-thirsty monsters. El Baradei has described the fallout of the Iraqi war thus: 'The United States and its allies promoted an ethos of violence and cultural division that harkened back to an earlier era of human history." This is equally true of Libya. Oh, democracy, what crimes are committed in thy name.

— Editorial Desk, The Island, Reprinted with permission.

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