There is a civil war in Libya and the one that started it is Muammar Gaddafi. He is a vicious man. The way he violently handled peaceful protests against his government justifies the rebellion that is underway in the country. Between the Gaddafi government and the rebels along with the protesters, I find it impossible not to support the rebellion morally. Despite that, I cannot support any foreign military intervention that sides with the rebellion.

The talk of military intervention gained prominence when there was suggestion to impose a no-fly zone in Libya. The fact that two US warships are approaching the waters off Libya heightens the possibility of US intervention in Libya.[1] It is a relief when US Defense Secretary Robert Gates poured cold water on the suggestion.[2]

At the risk of sounding sadistic, I do not support intervention because I like to see how the civil war will play out in the end. If the rebels and protesters won the war eventually, then it would be relatively easy to justify the new government arising from the popular rebellion. The new government would be formed popularly and organically.

Any foreign military intervention will rob some legitimacy from the new government. Accusation of US imperialism will fly, possibly making the rebellion less popular inside and outside of Libya. Furthermore, in times when the whole Arab world appears to move forward towards a more democratic environment, such external intervention is unhelpful.

Meanwhile, Gaddafi does have some support in Libya, however deluded he is about the level of support he has. There are still people fighting for him. These supporters would definitely try to justify Gaddafi’s so far outrageous claim of foreign intervention in Libya. Having an actual military intervention will hand Gaddafi and his supporters some undeserved moral victory.

Besides, the rebels themselves have stated that they do not want foreign government to intervene.[3]

If the rebels loses, then the Gaddafi government will further lose its legitimacy because the rebellion is seen by many as a popular movement.

And then, there is another issue which I have raised earlier: we cannot fight tyranny everywhere. If intervention is justified in Libya, what about other protests suppressed violently in other part of the world? Myanmar? Iran?

I do not even support any United Nations or any other organization’s peacekeeping mission in Libya, given the current situation. The rebels seem to be winning. An international peacekeeping force by the United Nations would halt progress made by the rebels and protesters, preventing or at least prolonging possible victory that would remove Gaddafi from power and along with it, hopefully his arguably socialistic policies. I do not want any intervention that would increase the likelihood of Gaddafi staying in power. I would support a peacekeeping mission only if Gaddafi has the upper hand.

Until then, I insist all we can do — apart from humanitarian aid — is sit, watch and hope for the best in the Libyan rebels and protesters.

Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved

[1] — WASHINGTON — A US warship with hundreds of Marines on board headed towards Libya on Tuesday, defense officials said, as US and European allies sought to pile pressure on embattled leader Moamer Khadafi. [US warship headed to Libya: officials. AFP. March 2 2011]

[2] — Military options, such as imposing a no-fly zone to prevent attacks on regime opponents, have consequences that need to be considered carefully, Gates said. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization hasn’t decided on any specific steps. [US signals caution about Libya military intervention. Lachlan Carmichael. AFP. March 3 2011]

[3] — Ghoga said the newly formed council was not contacting foreign governments and did not want them to intervene. [US signals caution about Libya military intervention. Al Jazeera. February 27 2011]

3 Responses to “[2327] No to foreign military intervention in Libya”

  1. on 04 Mar 2011 at 10:35 Bobby

    This too………shall pass.

  2. […] have voiced my opposition to foreign military intervention, fearing that would rob the legitimacy of the rebellion. That fear on legitimacy did not bear out, […]

  3. […] know I said no to foreign military intervention in Libya when its civil war erupted. I reasoned that such intervention would rob legitimacy from any success […]

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