Duality of US foreign policy
November 25, 2011
Libya’s crisis started in February 2011 with a civil revolution against the Qaddafi regime. Qaddafi who had been in power for over four decades was accused of stockpiling weapons and WMDs. Libyan crisis started as the protests by the rebels on 15th February led to firing on the crowd. Protests escalated to a rebellion. Soon the rebels formed an interim council against Col.Qaddafi and named it NTC, National Transitional Council. Soon United Nations passed a resolution against Libya on stockpiling of weapons and WMDs on September 2011.
Col. Qaddafi and his troops fought to save the city of Tripoli from bombardment. Economic, military, diplomatic all kinds of sanctions were being applied by the western governments. Britain even extended the 1973 law, according to which they can use all means to topple Qaddafi’s Government. As rebel forces were attacked by the Libyan Government, Col. Qaddafi said that mercy will be shown to all those who have rebelled. According to many critics, this gave an opportunity to western governments to intervene as President Obama mentioned that they cannot sit idly as crimes against humanity were being committed. And also that they didn’t want it to be another Srebrenic as happened during Bosnia in 1990 when thousands were killed and aid arrived late. On the other end, discovery of WMDs as happened in Iraq, and, this time, the threat of their falling in terrorist hands was another reason. As the resolution was put to vote in UN, Germany, Russia and China abstained, while France and UK succeeded in getting passed the resolution.
Qaddafi has always been targeted by the western governments and America, and he had been attacked more than hundred times, but each time he managed to escape.
Although USA is still embroiled in the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq which are more important than the war in Libya, there are questions on USA’s foreign policy decisions that smack of conflicting patterns as they supported dictators for different reasons. Oil factor and American interest in the region are also questioned sometimes.
Now many questions will emerge regarding the future of Libya. Although rapid changes are coming across the entire Arabian Peninsula, this sudden and complete turn of events in Libya which was ruled by the Col. Qaddafi for over 40 years, is a different scenario, regarding which many will contemplate. One important thing still remains that with more pressing issues like Palestinian issue to be resolved, USA is making efforts on less important issues like Libya.