Copy the Law of the Jungle

While it was true that Col Muammar Gaddafi of Libya went to the extremes and started killing his own citizens, what the NATO is doing in that country is untenable as well. I have written about it in an earlier blog post, but found that further actions by NATO requires another post.

Yesterday, NATO missiles were launched on the personal property of Col Gaddafi. That was not part of the deal. The explicit instruction from UNSC (UN Security Council) Resolution was to protect the citizens of Libya who were under attack by government forces. The NATO forces were not supposed to extend that mission with a regime change policy.

Such actions as the one yesterday give doubt to observers on the true intent of the U.K. and French governments who are spearheading the military attack. Is it to protect Libyan people or seize power by killing Col Gaddafi ? Is it to seize the oil assets of Libya and impose a Western democracy on Libya ?

We have to think as global citizens here, as blind support of UNSC resolutions and Western military attacks would not lead to everlasting peace, as we have repeatedly seen around the world. India did the right thing by abstaining from the UNSC vote on Libya. Just copying what Libya has done should not be the way for democratic nations which have to follow the rule of law. Eliminating a leader by force is not acceptable under any international law. What is happening in Libya could well happen in any country – including India, so UNSC ought to be extremely careful before concluding that military action is inevitable and then should go on to aggressively monitor the approved military attack. There is no demonstrated evidence in the public domain to convince anyone that they do an aggressive tracking and take actions to restrain indiscriminate attack like the one yesterday in Tripoli.

What is then the use of the collective wisdom and international conscience that is supposed to be embedded in the UN Charter ?

Now I am realizing that Indian Government indeed followed the right philosophy in abstaining from the vote, while it did not wish to be seen as anti-democratic by voting against the resolution. It should now use its soft power to influence the UNSC as a responsible member to stop further NATO attacks against the Libyan leadership and their families. Col Gaddafi will go as per his schedule, but NATO should not just go out and kill him.

That would be following the Law of the Jungle, right ?


Vijay Srinivasan
30th April 2011


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