Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Libyan Army Must Step Down!

It is evident that international opinion is quickly being refocussed on taking appropriate actions in Libya, to prevent widespread civilian massacre by the military. It is clear that there is on going back on the events of the past few days in Libya, that has seen masses of young males in pitched battle with security and army forces, or just generally congregating in large numbers where-ever they can in order to secure the territory of their urban spaces. The Libyan airforce has attacked protesters in green square, even though two pilots defected, flying off course and landing at a nearby airbase in Malta, one hour away. There are many allegations and claims of proof that anti-aircraft weapons have been used against civilian protesters, as well as foreign mercenaries that have been brought in, who act as snipers or patrol in drive-by styled shootings at civilian protesters in 4by4 vehicles, similar or identical to those used by the state security branch in Libya.

Yet there are no tangible plans for reform being announced, discussed or even voiced by the embattled Libyan government, which now seems to be run by the son of Muammar Gadaffi, a PhD graduate of the London School of Economics, and crisis-governance spokesperson of the government, who previously played a strong role in the quest for wider and deeper reform. Something is very deeply amiss with the government of Libya right now; it may be that the entire state has collapsed, and this does indeed seem to be case, and that a precious few are making disastrous decisions at the top. It may be that all semblance of order has disappeared and desperate actions are being taken.

The undeniable fact is that the number of deaths and casualites is probably a lot higher than what is currently being reported. It seems clear that the military has been coerced to move against the general populace - yet surely they must understand that they will be held accountable for their actions at some stage, whether Gadaffi steps down or not. And surely they must understand that the international community, having waited 7 years to intervene in Bosnia-Hercegovina, may now prove more willing to make an early intervention, with the approval of the UN and the Security Council. In fact, it may set a precedent for how to handle rogue states at a global scale, as the rapid pace at which changes are occurring in Libya requires a faster reaction time from the UN and the powerful nations of the Middle East and the West. The Emir of Qatar, when interviewed on Al Jazeera, directly called for the international community to take appropriate action that goes beyond condemnation, and Barack Obama said that he was keeping his options open.

If that doesn't amount to motions towards war I don't know what does. It is clear that there is the contemplation of using a rapid stabilising force intervention in Libya to stabilise the state, and to ensure that Libyan oil continues to flow. Heck, some people might already be calculating their potential profits, given the grand consortium of commercial interests that congregated behind the war on Iraq. It will be of dire consequence if international armed intervention in Libya isn't led by the UN, and Security Council resolutions in favour of action, and that the UN undertakes to ensure that the intervention is undertaken primarily on humanitarian grounds, and not as an oil saving exercise. As important as the price of oil is, the blood that is currently being shed into Libyan oil makes it an unethical investment in any event. BP, to be sure, must be reeling in shock with this disaster coming quick on the heels of the toxic mega-spill in the US.

The Libyan Army are running out of time. Their first charge is the protection of the citizens of Libya, as members of the armed forces. Yet they have seemingly gone on the attack upon their own country, and who is left to secure peace and security that is critical for society to function. The army are the last resort, when every other system of governance fails ... so when they fail a state has failed in total. The question remains, will they Libyan army step down, or will they have to face international forces in battle on one side, while they try to pin down their populace on the other? It seems infinitely logical for the Libyan military to either take a stand, or assume ultimate neutrality, and soon.

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