Sunday, March 20, 2011

That Libyan double standard and other half truths

Since Amr Moussa, maybe thinking about his eventual election as next president of Egypt, went on record dissociating himself of the attacks on Qaddafi bases, you can find many articles that go as far as mentioning the double standards of the West.  Indeed, if Sarkozy is bombing Libya why is Obama not bombing Bahrain or Yemen?

Of  course, this is a specious deviation of some form of anti US sentiment, coupled interestingly inside the US with a visceral anti Obama position, with some idiotic conservative commentators complaining that Obama is going to Brazil in such time of crisis.  I mean, if in the last 10 years any US president were barred for leaving the country because of the war, Bush would have never gone to South America as he did.  But let's move beyond such petty parochial calculations.

The fact of the matter is that the situation in Libya is extremely different than the ones in Yemen and Bahrain (and Egypt, and Tunisia, and Syria and etc...).  Ignoring this, escaping to the utter simplicity of "it is not our problem" or to a somewhat more elaborate utter naivete of the "double standard" is simply bad faith, or utter ignorance, and often both.

Right now, no Arab league ruler/tyrant, has used brute force the ways Qaddafi has done in Libya.  True, repression has happened, true, foreign troops went inside Bahrain, but none of them, that we know of, has dared to use tanks or airplanes to repress dissent.  Tanks were used in Egypt but to separate pro and anti Mubarak protesters and as far as I know none fired.

We are entering a new world order, and the intervention against Libya is part of that process, a hopefully new mentality where no local despicable violence can be tolerated any longer, where the UN will learn to act faster to preserve Human Rights, where democracies will understand that it is in their interests to intervene heavily if needed because in the end it is in the interest of all of us.

Finally, for those that claim, like Chavez, that all this business it is just a matter of the West wanting to take Libya's oil, I will reply that their position is even more off base and simplistic than those brandishing double standards theories.  A large majority of Libyan oil was already going West, there was no need to go to war for that.  And if the Western countries were harboring such plans, they would have to fight among themselves for that oil other before having to face the new rising economic powers for it.  It simply cannot be done as all the Iraq trouble for the US clearly shows: no one today can control on its own a large chunk of oil supply unless it is willing to pay a hefty price, making the worth of the endeavor extremely questionable.

New times might be coming and those who cling to past paradigms of isolationism and relativist cliches are going to be in for a real surprise. 

I hope, anyway.

3 comments:

  1. the intervention against Libya is part of that process, a hopefully new mentality where no local despicable violence can be tolerated any longer,

    I agree, this is setting a new boundary on violence. There is no way on earth we could move the boundary from aircraft, artillery and tanks to machine guns, assault rifles and clubs at this time. Maybe next time.

    Still it's progress of a sort.

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  2. Charly7:18 AM

    Britain and France have wanted to kill Kadafi for the last 25 years in retaliation for the bombing of lockerbie and a UTA DC-10 over Africa. They could not for a variety of reasons. Now they have a chance. Lets hope they kill the bastard quick. As they say: La vengeance est un plat qui se mange froid. It cooled for 20 odd years, high time to eat it.

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  3. A large majority of Libyan oil was already going West, there was no need to go to war for that.

    Also, if the west was primarily concerned about the reduction in Libyan production, then the appropriate decision of the west would be to back Gaddafi against the rebels since that would have ensured the quickest end to the conflict. I'm actually not a fan of western intervention, but the chavista propoganda on this topic has been off base, to say the least.

    ReplyDelete

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