Intervention in Libya
Laaska News April 06,2011.
S. Guk Apr 5 (VOR).
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has again offered a cease-fire to the rebels trying to unseat him, and has chosen Greece as a mediator. Is the present ceasefire offer different from previous ones?
Making scrambled eggs requires the breaking of eggs, meaning that the warring sides in Libya should hold talks to find out the true intention of each other, but both sides are refusing to talk. Meanwhile, the silent majority in the country who do not support any of the feuding sides are enduring untold hardship, including being killed by the cruise missiles and Tomahawks raining down on them from allied warplanes. Oleg Hlestov – Professor of International Law at the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic Academy was asked by Guk to comment on the legality of the intervention in the Libyan affairs by the so-called international coalition.
“From the onset, the alliance had no intention of carrying out the UN mandate of ensuring a “no fly zone” only. They had planned well before-hand to use their military superiority over Libya to repeat what NATO did in Yugoslavia and Iraq, where people were murdered, but without a UN resolution, although a resolution by the World Body means nothing to them”, Hlestov says. The U.S-led coalition couldn’t care less that the fragile world order is under a mortal threat from the “devil may care” attitude of Western nations, said Hlestov.
From the point of view of international law, the NATO action in Libya is illegal. The protection of civilians against mass destruction can be legitimate only if ordered by the Security Council of the UN, but on March 17, the Security Council adopted a resolution on the prevention of the use of warplanes by Gaddafi against the insurgents, meaning that the present action of NATO is outside the UN mandate, says Hlestov. In essence, the action of the alliance has turned the UN resolution on its bead, the law Professor argues.
Insurgents have taken up arms against the government, and a struggle for power has ensued, a frequent occurrence unfortunately. It is logical and humane to try to reduce the death toll, but what NATO is doing presently goes against the tenets of international law, meaning it is a gross violation of that law.
It has been confirmed that the American CIA and the British MI-6 are operating covertly in Libya, guiding missiles and bombs to their targets. Is this not preparations for a ground invasion, which is not in the Security Council resolution? Rumours are rife about the clandestine delivery of arms to the rebels by the U.S and allies via Egypt, in violation of the UN embargo on the supply of weapons to all the combatants in Libya.
The German Weekly ”Zeit” has carried a headline with a question mark -“Bombs to rain down on Damascus next week”? Why not? For Americans, the President of Syria Bashar Assad has long become a pain in the neck . And since the line prohibiting the use of force in the world is becoming thinner and blurred everyday, the next region where the mighty military alliance could use its power may be the Middle East, and the resolution on Libya may serve as a precedent to give NATO a carte blanche to move against Syria, Yemen and holy of holies, Saudi Arabia. Insurrection, mass unrest and armed struggle for power can occur at any time and anywhere.
International law epitomizes a guarantee of non-violence and the non-use of force to settle issues, but the NATO argument of the protection of civilians is untenable. Armed insurgents are not innocent civilians. The so-called international coalition would do well to use another pretext than to corruptly use Julius Caesar’s “O what rights are you here talking about”? before the vanquished.