At the start of the Libyan campaign, President Obama had emphatically stated that the action was not aimed at regime change in Libya but to protect the population being persecuted by Gaddafi. However, at the latest moot between the allies in Berlin, it has been unequivocally asserted that future of Libya with Gaddafi at the helm of affairs was inconceivable.
By Malik Muhammad Ashraf
History presents irrefutable evidence that great powers have invariably shown an irresistible propensity to subjugate small nations, intervene in their internal affairs on different pretexts, impose their cultures on them and even make attempts to create a world order conforming to their cultural values and political ambitions; a phenomenon known as imperialism. In the post-World War II era, imperialism has assumed a humane configuration and is being practised under different forms in the name of ‘humanitarian intervention’, using the UN as a conduit. The powers that be have manoeuvred the UN-adopted concept of ‘responsibility to protect’ to handle international affairs to their own liking.
The driving force behind this concept is that human rights are universal and every state should protect them and if a particular state fails to do so, other states must ensure their protection. Put in simple words, if a regime is guilty of abusing human rights and does not heed to the appeals of the international community or the UN in this regard, the other nations or the UN must intervene to save the population of that country from oppressive regimes. The concept was invoked for the first time for intervention in Nigeria in 1967 to end the civil war, followed by similar actions in Srebrenica in 1992, Rwanda in 1994 and Serbia in 1999.
The latest examples of this concept at play are the regime change in Ivory Coast through military action and the intervention in Libya under the umbrella of the UN. The UN resolution for intervention in Libya never authorised military action but the US and its allies, who, since long, had been looking for an opportunity to settle scores with Gaddafi have exceeded the UN mandate by resorting to air strikes against targets inside Libya — which reportedly have also done extensive collateral damage — and extending military support to anti-Gaddafi forces on the ground. At the start of the Libyan campaign, President Obama had emphatically stated that the action was not aimed at regime change in Libya but to protect the population being persecuted by Gaddafi. However, at the latest moot between the allies in Berlin, it has been unequivocally asserted that the future of Libya with Gaddafi at the helm of affairs was inconceivable, which means that they are definitely striving for a regime change in Libya. The most perturbing aspect of these ostensibly humanitarian interventions has been that they have resulted in more human casualties and bloodshed than they were meant to save and protect against. And, regrettably, they have been selectively used by the ‘assault gang’ comprising the US, Britain and NATO to achieve their non-humanitarian objectives. Their criminal apathy and indifference to the sufferings of the Palestinian, Kashmiris and other people around the globe groaning under oppression tells the whole story.
The assault gang bypassed the UN to attack Iraq on the pretext of taking out weapons of mass destruction, which were never found. Nevertheless, they succeeded in their real objective to get Saddam Hussain and to seize control of the oil wealth of the country, remaining oblivious to the human lives that have been consumed by the conflict and the never-ending sectarian strife triggered by their blitzkrieg in Iraq. Do they care about it? Do they feel any grain of remorse for what they have done to that country? Certainly not.
The military action in Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11 with a mandate from UN is yet another manifestation of the imperialist mindset of the assault gang, considering the fact that some other options could have been tried to deal with the phenomenon of terrorism. Their actions in Afghanistan and the tribal belt of Pakistan have caused an exponential increase in terrorism worldwide instead of curbing it, the ostensible objective of their offensive in Afghanistan. It has also badly affected Pakistan. The madness continues with incalculable loss of human lives and resources. The imperialists refuse to recognise the demographic and historical ground realities in Afghanistan. It is, however, encouraging to note that the representative government in Pakistan, of late, has started resisting the arm-twisting tactics of the US imperialists and is exhibiting unswerving determination to regain the sovereignty that was surrendered by the outgoing dictator. A similar kind of approach and strategy is needed at the global level to forestall the designs of the imperialists.
The philosophy of making the world a better place through the use of military muscle, subscribed to and practised by the American imperialists and their cronies has certainly brought misery to the human race and is likely to trigger more conflicts and abuse of human rights. Therefore, to make the world a better place, the new form of imperialism in the name of ‘humanitarian intervention’ will have to be checked in its tracks through the collective efforts of the world community, particularly the Third World countries. They must strive for reforms in the UN structure and increase in the permanent members of the UN Security Council that gives equal representation to different geographical regions, vested with the veto power as enjoyed by the current five permanent members. Another option could be abolishing the veto power altogether and giving effect to the UN Security Council resolutions on the basis of simple majority. Undoing the monopoly of the western countries and their clout in securing the support of the UN for their ulterior motives can greatly help in saving the world from the depravity of the new form of imperialism. Apart from UN reforms, the developing countries can also ensure their security and obviate the chances of their vulnerability to the machinations of the assault gang through regional organisations designed to enhance regional security, and economic and political cooperation among the member countries
The writer is a former diplomat and can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org