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This is Part 2 of a two part series. To read the previous installment, click the link in the ‘Related Articles’ box at the end of this article.
Today, however, the United States is involved with the world community in enforcing the United Nations Security Council’s No-fly-Zone over Libya. This is the right move. Qaddafi is a tyrant and did not hesitate to kill women and children with rockets, artilleries, tanks, and bombs. He has hired foreign mercenaries to kill his own people. Since the Libyan people are unarmed, and their revolutionaries are poor equipped and no match to Qaddafi’s heavily armed military, the world has an obligation to stop civilian massacre and champion the cause of freedom and democracy. Failure in Libya is no option. If Qaddafi remains in power the situation will strengthen other tyrants in the region to remain in power. It will also embolden extremists to demonstrate that Western democracies, and the United States in particular, care only about their own narrow interests and are ready to see innocent civilians being butchered than coming to their defense. Iraqis, for example, still remember President abandoning them in 1991 after he called upon them to rise-up against Saddam, only to be crushed by Saddam’s army without moving a finger.
In engaging with other countries in the world to prevent the slaughter of innocent civilians in Libya by a tyrant (a terrorist responsible for the bombing of PAN AM flight over Lockerbie then paying its victims $2 billion from the Libyan’s people money), and by refusing to send ground troops to Libya in order for the Libyan people themselves free their country from the mad dictator, the United States is shifting the dynamics in the Middle East toward its advantage by winning the heart and mind of people in the entire region and the world as a whole. It is refreshing to see global condemnation of US militaristic policy in Iraq in 2003 had transformed to global admiration in 2011 because of US-support of pro-democracy movements.
Qaddafi may not go quietly into the night even with a No-Fly-Zone. Saddam lasted in power for additional 12 years in Iraq after the enforcement of a No-Fly-Zone in 1991. However, the world today is not the same world of 1991. Qaddafi may kill many more Libyans with tanks and artilleries. At the end, however, he will be caught and put to justice to pay for the crimes that he and his sons had committed against humanity. He will be joining other dictators that followed the same path and ended up in the trash bin of history, from Mussolini to Saddam Hussein.
The success of the revolution in Libya will embolden people elsewhere in the Middle East to continue in their struggle to rid their countries of dinosauric tyrants. In choosing to be on the side of people and liberty, the United States is on the right side of history and becoming true to its democratic ideals and moral principles. Such a stance is an effective measure in allowing the forces of democracy succeed and take hold and deal a final blow to the forces of hate, reaction, and darkness from tyranny to Al-Qaeda.
ASPA member Alexander Dawoody is
assistant professor of public policy and administration at Marywood
University. Email: [email protected]