March 1st, 2011
This journal entry is about the article “Obama Aides Brace for Longer Conflict in Libya” that was published on the website of FoxNews on 1st March 2011. The report is written by James Rosen on how the efforts of NATO may not have a tangible result anytime soon. As a result, top U.S. officials have begun to prepare for the possibility that the ‘Libyan conflict will drag on much longer than the real-time revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt.’
As the Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that ‘sometimes you have actually have to listen to what people say, and [Gaddafi] is saying that he is not leaving’ U.S. may be met with a longtime resistance before Gaddafi leaves the government willingly or unwillingly. So far the Western involvement in Libya has failed to dislodge Gaddafi’s stance.
In my opinion, two aspects of the western involvement in the Libyan revolution have to be kept in mind. Firstly, despite all the claims of the U.S, this venture has the potential to blow into a war. For instance, General James Mattis, commander of U.S. Central Command told a Senate panel that ‘the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya would effectively protect Libyan protesters and rebels from aerial attacks by the regime.’ However lawmakers cannot have any ‘illusions’ about such operations because the establishment of an effective no-fly zone translates to the idea that the U.S. fighter jets would first have to destroy Libyan air defenses and take control. This can essentially mean giving U.S a monopoly of the Libyan defenses and in view of the fight that Gaddafi has been putting up it has the potential to stretch into a long war.
Secondly, this is a wonderful time in the history of North African countries that have a long history of tyrannical dictatorships. This revolution started in Tunisia, continued in Egypt and now is being struggled for in Libya. However, in any case for a policy to be sustained and respected by people, it is important that the change must come from within rather than outside forces. It cannot be denied that the desire for democracy is noble and a worthy cause to be fighting for and so it is a great time for the Libyan people to be united and fight the government on their own terms rather than being dependent on Western countries. For all we know, once Gaddafi leaves the Western involvement may come to an end and Libyans may have gotten ‘too’ used to being dependent on outside forces to keep a future democracy from descending into chaos.