Asleep Over Libya

April 4, 2011
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World leaders have a duty to act with purpose, not tip-toe around issues. With the war that is constantly magnifying in Libya, they are doing ballet. They should demonstrate tenacity and leadership, and deploy ground troops to resolve the matter quickly.
It is clear that Western nations have sided with the rebels – as they should. It has been revealed that the US trained anti-Gaddafi forces, and NATO’s air force has obliterated his air capabilities. These are steps in the right direction, as Libya’s dictator is an international terrorist. He has admitted to ordering a number of assassinations on expatriate dissenters, including on British and US soil; bombed a German nightclub targeting US servicemen, and most significantly, ordered the Lockerbie bombing. The latter resulted in 270 deaths, including 251 of citizens of NATO countries. Therefore, the alliance has all the rights to forcefully oust him, upon which he should be tried in the International Criminal Court.
Despite hoping for his overthrow, NATO countries are acting over-cautiously, and making it a priority to re-assure the public that this is not to be another Iraq. Unlike Iraq, though, Libya has a structured and fully local transitional government, called the Interim Transitional National Council. It has already met with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, is recognized as Libya’s official government by France, and presides over the eastern half of the country. It seems likely that the Council will not have problems keeping control of the nation when it is given power, but Gaddafi is the obstacle in their way. However, with NATO limiting its assistance to air support, a lengthy civil war between the two sides is looming.
It took three weeks for NATO forces to overthrow Saddam Hussein, but is trying to this day to build a stable government in Iraq. In Libya, a democratic transitional government is ready to take power immediately, but an old dictator clinging to power is in their way. Why doesn’t NATO act with the same zeal here and deploy ground troops, where the prospect of democracy is actually tangible?

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