Last March, a coalition of Western powers and Arab autocracies banded together to sponsor what was billed as a
short little military operation to “protect Libyan civilians”.
On March 17, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1973 which gave that particular “coalition of the willing” the green light to start their littlewar by securing control of Libyan air space, which was subsequently used to bomb whatever NATO chose to bomb. The coalition leaders clearly expected the grateful citizens to take advantage of this vigorous “protection” to
overthrow Moammer Gaddafi who allegedly wanted to “kill his own people”. Based on the assumption that Libya was neatly divided between “the people” on one side and the “evil dictator” on the other, this overthrow was expected to occur within days. In Western eyes, Gaddafi was a worse dictator than Tunisia’s Ben Ali or Egypt’s Mubarak, who fell without NATO intervention, so Gaddafi should
have fallen that much faster.
Five months later, all the assumptions on which the war was based have proved to be more or less false. Human rights organizations have
failed to find evidence of the “crimes against humanity” allegedly ordered by Gaddafi against “his own people”. The recognition of the Transitional National Council (TNC) as the “sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people” by Western governments has gone from premature to grotesque. NATO has entered and exacerbated a civil war that looks like a stalemate.