International

Gaddafi’s murderous regime must be eradicated

It is really lamentable that Arab states are still passively looking on while the Libyan tyrant Muammar Gaddafi is slaughtering his own people simply because they have dared demand an end to his 42-year autocracy.

As many as six thousand Libyans, mostly innocent civilians, are believed to have been murdered and many other thousands wounded in killings perpetrated by the regime’s thugs, mercenaries and henchmen.

Men were summarily executed in their homes, in full view of their wives and children, worshipers killed in their mosques and innocent, peaceful protesters were riddled with bullets rather indiscriminately. Soldiers refusing to obey orders to kill innocent civilians were summarily executed.

Raving and ranting as usual, Gaddafi called all opponents rodents, stray-dogs and al-Qaeda terrorists who he said ought to be exterminated. His words were simply a call for genocide.

It is true that what is happening in Libya can’t be defined as a full-fledge genocide. However, it can be described as real crimes against humanity, as several human rights activists have attested.

The world must not drag its feet until these crimes against humanity evolve into a full-fledged genocide.

Needless to say, Muammar Gaddafi is a psychopath that could embark on the unthinkable, such as gassing conceivably hostile towns with poisonous chemical gases as Saddam Husein reportedly did in Halabcha in northern Iraq many years ago. Aiding, or more correctly, rescuing the Libyan people from this genocidal dictator is therefore an urgent task incumbent on the nations of the world, especially those who possess the means to do so.

Arab states that have the capability such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia have no excuse adopting this ignominious posture of watching Gaddafi’s thugs slaughter Libyan men, women and children. They should instantly dispatch forces and military gear of all types to Benghazi to help the provisional government there repulse Gaddafi’s attacks. And there should be no worry about the issue of violating Libyan national sovereignty.

In the final analysis, a leader who slaughters his people at will and sends warplanes to wreak death and destruction on his population centers can’t invoke national sovereignty.

Unfortunately, some Arab states are waiting to see the ultimate direction of the wind in Libya before making a final stand toward the Libyan revolution. This is an immoral and opportunistic attitude that accords little value to human life. After all, the blood of our Libyan brothers and sisters must not be subject to narrow political calculations.

Other Arab states are awaiting the West, e. g. NATO or the United States, to do the job on their behalf. That is unfortunately the posture taken by most Arab states. It is a stance that caricatures an Arab world where the despotic regimes accord very little respect or sensitivity to the feeling of the masses.

Still, some states are reportedly helping the demented Libyan leader by sending pilots to fly his Migs and kill Libyan civilians. If true, this is more than despicable; it is treasonous, pure and simple. The Libyan people don’t want the world to fight Gaddafi on their behalf. However, there are limits to what an unarmed people, equipped with only some light weapons, can do in the face of a barbarian regime that is armed to the teeth and which can buy mercenaries in the thousands who would do anything for cash of which Gaddafi has a huge surplus.

Western reluctance visa-a-vis direct military intervention in Libya is understandable. And, as mentioned above, the Libyan people and their provisional leadership are not really eager to see NATO soldiers repeat the Iraq scenario on their soil. However, much can be done without carrying out an invasion of Libya, an act that might allow Gaddafi to rally Libyans to his side. For example, NATO can immediately impose a no-fly zone over Libya, which would deprive the Libyan tyrant of the use of his air force against his people.

Moreover, NATO could easily bomb all Libyan airbases and runways in areas still controlled by the Gaddafi regime.

A third possibility is the arming of Libyan freedom fighters with effective anti-aircraft weapons which would neutralize Gaddafi war planes.

True, there are no guarantees that even all these scenarios would achieve the desirable end or convince the tyrant to give up. Ultimately, the world might have to finish this evil man by way of a pin-point surgical air strike that would consign him to the dustbin of history.

In any case, the Libyan people who are facing a real ordeal need to see real action, not more words, not more dithering from the international community. More dithering and hollow condemnations would only demonstrate to the criminal tyrant that the world is not really serious about its threats and that he could keep up the killing without having to worry about the consequences.ence, a speedy action needs to be carried out now, not tomorrow, because tomorrow might be too late for hundreds or thousands of Libyans whose lives would be cut short by the mad man of Libya.   

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 April 2011 on page no. 23

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