Libya: Costs outweigh benefits
Updated: 2011-10-24 14:31
The US is likely to pay a fairly high price for conducting regime change under the pretext of humanitarian rescue, according to Doug Bandow on the website of The National Interest on Oct 21, 2011.
Actually, this was no humanitarian operation, as most of civilians have been killed through the fighting itself, instead of by the forces of the Qaddafi regime, says Bandow, a former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan. "The last pretense of humanitarianism disappeared when the alliance continued bombing the remnants of Qaddafi's forces after his regime collapsed. NATO airstrikes persist even today, though Qaddafi's forces are largely defeated and threaten no civilians."
The Obama administration's Libyan adventure means that future Western operations, even with better justifications, are less likely to receive United Nations approval, believes Bandow. "China and Russia aren't likely to be fooled again. They certainly will demand a higher price for any future acquiescence."
The Libya action will also "discourage other pariah regimes from coming in from the cold", predicts Bandow. The North Korean Foreign Ministry was quoted as saying, "Libya's nuclear dismantlement, much touted by the U.S. in the past, turned out to be a mode of aggression whereby the latter coaxed the former with such sweet words as 'guarantee of security' and 'improvement of relations' to disarm and then swallowed it up by force."
With the evolution of the new Libyan government uncertain, no one can guarantee that a liberal democracy will eventually created in Libya, says Bandow. "The National Transitional Council has only limited control over the armed factions now effectively ruling most of Libya. The NTC forces—an amalgam of violent jihadists, tribal opponents and liberal democrats—imposed vigilante justice, including more than a few murders, along their way to victory."