Months ago, the Libyan rebellion appeared to be flattering. There were advances but despite indirect support from several world powers, forces loyal to dictator Muammar Gaddafi were able to defend their position. At one time, the rebels were pushed back to its home city in the far east. That in fact was the last time I truly gave attention to the Libyan conflict, until today.

I woke up today with CNN, the BBC and Al-Jazeera showing live scenes from Tripoli. The rebels are overrunning Gaddafi forces. News are making round that Gaddafi’s sons have been taken under custody by the rebels. This is a piece of wonderful news in time when the Arab Spring itself is turning out into almost a disappointment, and especially in Syria where a massacre is under way. This near victory by the Libyan rebels against the Libyan tyrant is a big encouragement to the participants of the Arab Spring, perhaps provide little pushes needed to keep the flame alive in the whole region.

I know those on the far left of the political spectrum are framing the struggle in Libya as the US against native government. For all their opposition to US “imperialism”, Gaddafi’s tyranny goes unmentioned.

Perhaps it requires no reminder. It should be obvious, but detractors of the Arab Spring allege that behind all this are the US and other western powers. That is not entirely true. It is not true when what matters is considered.

These powers are giving support to the rebellion, but I must add only indirectly. Regardless of the support in Libya, the rebellion is organic in nature just like in Egypt and Tunisia. It is born out of local discontent.

Remember, these western powers were caught by surprise at the intensity and the breadth of the 2011 Arab uprising. The initial responses by Obama, Sarkozy and Cameron to Tunisia and Egypt were inadequate and they were roundly criticized for failing to act against suppression of peaceful protests, fearing western support will make these organic rebellions less legitimate in the eyes of the world and more importantly, the undecided locals. That was probably due to them smarting from past mistakes. That is not exactly the reaction of a global mastermind favored by conspiracy theorists.

In Libya, suppression of peaceful protests has turned the rebellion into armed one. Somebody had to do something. The killing has to stop.

I 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, and that eliminates my opposition to intervention. Even so, intervention has been limited to the enforcement of no-fly zone, endorsed by the United Nations for whatever it worth. And clearly, the UN-sanctioned foreign intervention was done out of reluctance: the US military was hesitant in participate in another struggle when its forces are stretched thin.

One disappointment that I have is these powers response to the discontent in Bahrain. The Bahraini government and Saudi Arabia were given a free hand to suppress non-violent protest over there. There is hypocrisy in US policy, sure.

But again, regardless of the hypocrisy, let it be reminded that many of these uprising is organic. It has native origin, not foreign. That is what important.

If the revolution is complete, when it is complete, then the next agenda should be about sustaining a democratic Libya. Not just a democratic Libya, but a Libya that is different from Gaddafi’s tyrannical socialist republic. A Libya that respects and protects its citizens’ individual rights.

3 Responses to “[2415] A legitimate good riddance to Gaddafi”

  1. on 23 Aug 2011 at 10:06 Bobby

    If we apply your principle where no one does altruism for real, then US is not providing military strikes for nothing.
    There’s a prawn behind the rock, and Libya will probably turn into another Iraq.

  2. on 23 Aug 2011 at 10:32 Hafiz Noor Shams

    Not suggesting the US is doing this for nothing.

    And unlikely that Libya will turn into another Iraq, given that there’s no real “Coalition of the Willing” on the ground. The US and others can’t afford it financially, and politically.

  3. […] these foreign soldiers would be greeted enthusiastically by most Libyans. Once I realized this, I decided to support the intervention. Besides, the Gaddafi government itself received foreign military aid, and even had foreigners […]

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