Libya intervention: Driven by oil or humanitarianism?

16:12, March 23, 2011      

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The massive air raid "Operation Odyssey Dawn," led by the United States, United Kingdom and France, against Libya has brought the North African nation once again under the spotlight.

The operation, which is causing severe civilian casualties and infrastructure damage, goes far beyond the U.N. resolution calling for a no-fly zone and is sparking global outrage over "excessive violence."

The League of Arab States (LAS) was the first advocate of U.N. resolution 1973. Arab League Secretary-General Amre Moussa said the "double standard" pursued by the Western coalition in Libya violated the original intent of the U.N.-mandated no-fly zone, which was to protect civilians.

The "double standard" is a long-standing issue. The rhetoric of the Western coalition is littered with virtuous phrases, but there is nothing in their hearts but a desire to undermine the interests of other countries.

Values are also a kind of national interest, and countries need to fight for the "moral high ground" in international relations. In most cases, values must be subordinated to the interests, and that's why the "double standard" is introduced.

The standard of the Western coalition for the political turmoil in North Africa and Middle East is more than double. Actually it is multiple because of the complexity and conflicting interests. All the actions western coalition are about to take are mostly based on the careful study of the actual situation rather than "values" and "standards."

People still remember that Saddam was portrayed as a hero fighting against fundamentalism by Western media during the Iran-Iraq war. The United States provided intelligence services to both sides at the right moments to ensure neither got the upper hand. And people still remember that the French president treated Gaddafi as an honored guest only three years ago.

The military involvement of Western coalitions in the Middle East is closely associated with oil reserves and strategic interests. Iraq was invaded for oil. Now it is Libya.

The Western world was hit hard by the global credit crunch, and now it frequently invades others with bombs and aircraft carriers, and hopes to retain money with bombs or control strategic resources with military strength.

Why is France in the vanguard of the invasion this time? Does the French colonial bond trigger the impulse? Various insider stories are yet to unfold.

The United States withdrew to the second line this time due to the divergence of views among the cabinet members. It is said to a compromise between the realism of the secretary of defense and the idealism of the secretary of state.

It is quite thought-provoking that the final purpose of launching a military offensive against Libya does not lie in the sudden takeover of the government, an official with the U.S. military said on condition of anonymity. Maybe the United States wants to maintain more political choices.

The International environment and the changing internal political and cultural situation resulted in the political turmoil in the Arabic world. Islamic civilization shines brilliantly when it is interwoven with other cultures. From a long-term perspective, the evolution of the Arabic world is merely an endogenous process. It would be best if Western coalition remember the argument of Samuel P. Huntington, an American political scientist, who warned against the risks of political liberalization occurring too rapidly.

By Zhang Xinyi, People's Daily Online

 
 
     
 
 
 
     
 
 
 
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(Editor:王寒露)

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