|Libya must determine own fate|
If there is one thing clearly emerging from the situation in
Despite the accessibility of Internet, mobile phones, satellite imagery and countless other means of instantaneous social networking, the early media reports coming out of embattled President Moammar Gadhafi’s fiefdom have been consistently inaccurate.
In the first few days of the uprising, while the self-proclaimed rebellion was still limited to the eastern Libyan city of
The source of this unfounded claim turned out to be none other than British Prime Minister David Cameron, who should have subsequently fired the director of the MI6 intelligence agency.
Even after Gadhafi later appeared on Libyan television, looking like a waxed dummy and raving about fighting to the death, most pundits commenting on the crisis opined that the Libyan leader’s 40-year reign was about to expire within days, if not hours.
Then came the almost inexplicable momentum shift as security forces still loyal to Gadhafi began to recapture territory and towns from the rebels.
Commentators, who had been speculating as to whether or not Gadhafi would take his own life rather than face exile or prosecution suddenly had to reverse course. The supposedly despised madman of
This, of course, led to calls for an internationally enforced no-fly zone, which would theoretically eliminate Gadhafi’s rudimentary air force from the battlefield equation and presumably tilt the balance back in favour of the rebels. Many of these military authorities argued that the enforcement of a no-fly zone would somehow stop short of a direct combat intervention.
But as mad as he may be, Gadhafi has correctly labelled the rebellion in his country to be an internal security situation, and that any international intervention would be an act of unprovoked aggression. That includes US or NATO aircraft shooting down Libyan planes over Libyan airspace.
Very few and only the most intrepid Western reporters have managed to get close to any actual fighting inside
While there has indeed been a steady flow of refuge-seekers pouring out of
With so little confirmed information available about the situation on the ground, it would be difficult for the
Already bogged down in disastrous campaigns in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the US is loathe to be seen using its martial might to topple another “rogue” regime— especially with the entire Arab world tottering on the brink of a massive political upheaval.
If the Libyan people are going to overthrow Gadhafi, they are going to have to be seen as doing it themselves.
This has led to some serious discussions about the possibility of the
The problem with this concept is the fact that, up until now, no clear rebel leader has emerged and no one has released a public manifesto of what the rebellion hopes to achieve.
There is a lot at stake in
For example, we all recognize that the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang maintains an extensive network involved in nefarious and illegal activities.
Nevertheless, we would not automatically presume that if some other organization, let’s say Satan’s Choice, began a campaign of violence against the Hell’s Angels, that it would be in the interest of restoring law and order to Canadian streets.
And we certainly wouldn’t send in our police tactical units to take sides in what would amount to nothing more than a turf war.
If there is enough of a groundswell of resentment against Gadhafi, the Libyan people will indeed force him from power—and rejoice in their own accomplishment.
Given the lack of reliable information available to date, it has been almost impossible to make any accurate predictions, let alone produce a solid argument for a dubious military intervention.