As the West and their collaborating Arab League countries that have now marshalled forces to attack Libya are gleefully thumping their chests over their anticipated military successes against Muammar Gaddafi, they seem not to be questioning the implications of their actions beyond the Gaddafi factor.
This so-called five-nation International Coalition (including the UK, US, France, Italy, and Canada) has only one ultimate goal—to destroy Gaddafi's military capabilities to the advantage of the rebels seeking to overthrow him. Disguised as an effort to save the lives of civilians, the Coalition will go all out to incapacitate Gaddafi's forces. That's the overriding objective and nobody should try to deceive anybody that the Coalition's action is just a response to a humanitarian need. How do you solve humanitarian problems by creating other humanitarian ones?
The leaders of France, the UK, and US have not hidden their determination to cripple Gaddafi (having openly said all along that “Gaddafi must go”); and now that they are propped up by the UN Resolution 1973 that justifies their pounding of Libya, nothing will stop them from achieving that objective. Thus emboldened, they are encouraging this military action and will prosecute their desire to its fullest extent.
The first offensives have already been launched with 20 French jet fighters either patrolling the Libyan airspace or firing shots to destroy military vehicles (tanks) that they claim belong to Gaddafi's forces.
In this operation codenamed “Odyssey Dawn,” the Coalition claims to be creating conditions to be able to set up a “no-fly” zone. It has launched 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles against 20 Libyan military targets (integrated air defence system made up of long-range missiles in western parts of Libya). This airstrike is the first phase of a multi-phased military action that a Pentagon official claims was “urged by the Libyan people themselves and the Arab League.”
Although we are yet to know the details of the scope to be covered by this military engagement, it is not difficult to guess that nothing short of destroying everything that is considered an asset to Gaddafi will be done. Thus, from the very beginning, we can tell that the Coalition's target is the elimination of anything that is traceable to Gaddafi's military arsenal—military hardware, airstrips, installations, etc. Crippling Gaddafi means destroying Libya's military capabilities. The Libyan threat to the West would then have been neutralized, after all.
Disturbing questions raised by this military intervention, which no one seems to be asking or even answering arise:
• Why has the Coalition begun its military action by this heavy bombing (we are told near Benghazi and Tripoli) even when that action is not taking place where civilian lives are endangered, as one might determine on the basis of the UN Resolution 1973? To prepare conditions for a “no-fly” zone? May be; but will the Coalition account for the casualties (collateral damage) occurring at these installations? Or those lives don't really matter to them and the UN?
• By targeting Gaddafi's forces and halting them from attacking Benghazi, is the Coalition not already taking sides in favour of the rebels so that they can intensify their uprising to topple Gaddafi?
• What has been set in motion seems unstoppable until the Coalition's objectives are achieved. But what happens if there is evidence that the Gaddafi forces are no more fighting with (or attacking) the rebel strongholds, which inevitably means that there is no more fighting in Libya? Will the Coalition withdraw its forces in that instance or remain in Libya to assist the rebels overthrow Gaddafi at all costs?
• Is regime change not the ultimate aim of this Coalition, after all? Is that what the UN Resolution 1973 authorizes?
• Where do the rebels get their armaments from? And why are the Coalition and the UN not condemning the rebels too for doing the very things that they are using against Gaddafi?
• Launching strikes in Libya will definitely cause massive destruction of infrastructure belonging to Libya, not Muammar al-Gaddafi. How will Libya be rebuilt after the destruction has been completed? Certainly, no one seems to be bothered about this issue. The main target, it seems, is Gaddafi and his loyalists. Probably, the reconstruction will open a goldmine for companies in the West to exploit, given the prospects of Libya's oil.
• Is the Coalition not directly taking action to overthrow Gaddafi on behalf of the rebels? And is that what the UN has endorsed?
There may be more questions to ask but it should be clear by now that the Coalition seems to be going beyond the provisions of UN Resolution 1973 already. If the intention is to prevent the pro-Gaddafi forces from launching attacks on Benghazi and the territories still under rebel control, then, what has already begun unfolding belies the Coalition's real purposes. The concerted action being carried out by the Coalition is a premeditated one with only one objective, which is to physically eliminate Gaddafi and pave the way for his opponents to assume control over Libya.
Undeniably, the rebels will not enjoy legitimacy and unalloyed support from those loyal to Gaddafi. As to what will happen after the Coalition has succeeded (with superior military capabilities) in crippling Gaddafi, we may not know immediately. But we may ask: For how long will the Coalition forces hang on to protect the rebels in Libya? Then, after Gaddafi, what next?
It seems with this involvement of the Coalition forces, Libya has been pushed on to a long and tortuous journey into a bleak future.