Libya NFZ and selective support for Arab uprisings

The Libyan people deserve support in overthrowing their tyrant and protection against his threats of retaliation and further repression, absolutely. But why do the people of Bahrain, Syria and Yemen apparently deserve less from the governments of the West? Is it just that their despots are perceived to wear a slightly less alarming face? Will the intervention in Libya do all that humanitarians wish for it to do? How full hearted is the West’s support for this unprecedented ‘Arab Spring’?
Some attempts to answer these and more questions:
Abdel al-Bari Atwan in The Guardian:

Welcome though it seems on humanitarian grounds, there are six serious problems with this UN resolution

Andrew Rawnsley in The Observer:

The durability of the international coalition behind the Libyan intervention will be tested in the crucible of conflict

Issandr El Amrani at The Arabist:

A tragedy has been taking place in Libya, whose people deserve help, but that doesn’t mean not thinking through consequences.

Please treat this as a new open thread on the conflicts.

Categories: crisis, ethics & philosophy, media, Politics

Tags: , , ,

2 replies

  1. I know 2/3rds of SFA about this stuff, but talking to someone who does (admittedly with some RWDB tendencies) and they said that intitially The West couldn’t intervene because Gaddafi is the acknowledged leader of Libya and is entitled to react against an armed uprising in his country. Then he started bombing civilians and that apparently was the trigger for the UN to do something. Whether that will mean any less bloodshed or loss of life in the end is yet to be seen.
    I don’t know if this is the case in the other countries.

  2. If there’s just one lesson out of Afghanistan/Iraq its have only one war at a time. Who knows how the situation in Libya will escalate, nor how long it will last. I hope Gaddafi voluntarily steps down soon, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if it ends up in a stalemate and a decade on there’s still a NFZ being enforced.

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