“He should have seen it coming” was a comment I heard from a news anchor about Libyan president tyrant Mommar Gaddafi after the U.N. voted Thursday, March 18 to approve the resolution “to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack” – that is from an attack by their own president. The resolution, sponsored by the United Kingdom, France, Lebanon and the United States, passed with an abstention from Germany.
There was criticism from political experts both inside and outside Germany. In my opinion, this position shows the government’s intention to avoid military intervention as a solution for achieving democracy and social justice in developing countries. Germany was one of the first countries to support the Libyan civilians’ right to peaceful demonstration, inspired by neighboring countries and the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, and to achieve democracy and social justice. Germany, among other nations, repeatedly called for Gaddafi to let the Libyans express themselves peacefully without the government using any form of violence.
But of course as many tyrants before him, he simply disregarded the world community’s request and went on his way, attacking his own people in a most outrageously awful crime against humanity. He even had the audacity to stand in front of the world and simply claim that the demonstrators were terrorists or influenced by western countries who tried to put their hands on the country’s oil resources. As if this would have justified his crimes…
However, Gaddafi’s vanity and miscalculations prevented him from seeing what was obvious…that his forces no matter how strong they are (or were)…are no match for NATO. He also failed to notice that even his closest allies are giving up on him and joining the side of the rebels. This has led the country into a situation whose outcome remains very uncertain.
Following the news avidly since the situation erupted, as well as the mounting causalities of innocent civilians, at the end of the day I couldn’t help but think about who was really paying the price. I mean it’s the people. And I wonder, are we simply fated to repeatedly pay the price for our tyrants’ desperate, brutal attempts to cling to power no matter what? I also thought about all the people who’ve lost a brother, sister, daughter, son or friend to the brutality of Gaddafi, and about how prosecuting him, or those who supported him, will never bring those lost back.
As I’ve watched this military intervention and the rebels take back town by town, I couldn’t help but also ask myself difficult questions like: What’s next? Who’s next? And what about the neglected situations in Yemen and Bahrain?
It seems to me that we can get lost in circles of violence and spirals of military interventions. I wonder which countries in the future may become involved in these engagements. I mean protests have also been put down violently in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain.
I can’t seem to find many answers to my questions these days. And I have to say that part of me is not so optimistic about where all this might lead.