U.S. President Barack Obama: “The people of Libya are showing that the universal pursuit of dignity and freedom is far stronger than the iron fist of a dictator. The surest way for the bloodshed to end is simple: Moammar Gadhafi and his regime need to recognize that their rule has come to an end.”
China: “The Chinese side respects the choice of the Libyan people,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said a brief statement posted Monday on the ministry’s website. “The Chinese side is willing to work with the international society to play a positive role in the reconstruction process of Libya in the future.”
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron: “This has not been our revolution but we can be proud that we played our part.”
French President Nicolas Sarkozy: Col. Gadhafi should “avoid inflicting any more unnecessary suffering on his people by renouncing without delay what is left of his power and by immediately ordering the forces that are still loyal to him to cease fire.”
Libyan National Transitional Council’s representative in London, Mahmud Nacua: “NTC will move soon from Benghazi to Tripoli and they will appoint a new transitional government which will rule the country.”
NATO Chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen: “Our goal throughout this conflict has been to protect the people of Libya, and that is what we are doing,” he said. “Because the future of Libya belongs to the Libyan people.”
Italian Prime minister Silvio Berlusconi: Rebel forces are “realizing their aspiration of a new Libya that is democratic and united. The Italian government is by their side.” He added: “We ask that Col. Gadhafi put an end to this useless resistance and save his people from further suffering.”
My opposition to the NATO bombing of Libya has not been a secret. Therefore, it’s not surprising I am ambivalent about this latest (though not surprising) development.
On the one hand, I see newspapers like USA Today in the newsstand today with pictures of people dancing and celebrating (see picture below on front page today). If people are happy and rejoicing, the world must be the better for it. (On further research, however, the picture actually shows rebels celebrating in Bengazi, not of people in Tripoli celebrating, but a casual reader probably would probably not catch that, not when the picture is shown front and center underneath a banner title like “Gadhafi regime on ropes; rebels march to heart of Tripoli.”)
On the one hand, I am sad because what is happening appears to be less a story of a people overthrowing an unpopular ruler than a story of another West-dictated regime change. This is not a story of the people, or democracy.
Imagine what would happen to the world’s largest democracy – India – if a powerful external force like NATO enforced a no fly zone, coordinated with rebels to target government positions, sanctioned the nation, froze assets of Indian government abroad, and in general worked to make sure the government of India ceased to function. If the India nation should be slowly taken over by any of several rebels, would that be a triumph of the people – of democracy?
In any case, the world order being western-led, I accept reality. I just hope that whatever the outcome of the political struggle in Libya, a result that is acceptable to all parties ensue – without too much more bloodshed. However improper the fall of the Gadhafi government has been brought about, here is to a more prosperous, peaceful future for the Libyan people.
https://hiddenharmonies.org/2011/08/rebels-enter-tripoli/#comment-43803 (good comment by r v articulating my unease about this war)]