Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, January 20th, 2018

Gadhafi Stands Still

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Gadhafi Stands Still

Libya is in crisis. It is both severe and alarming. The situation prevailing there definitely points at the end of the regime of Moammar Gadhafi, who has been ruling the country for more than forty years. But, he himself is not willing to leave. Even after the heaviest NATO shelling of his whereabouts in Tripoli on Tuesday, June 07, 2011, his voice suddenly appeared on Libyan Television saying, "We will not kneel" and "We will not surrender". These are the very sentences he is reported to have said almost an hour after the thirty NATO air-strikes. He has called the NATO involvement in Libya as a conspiracy to capture Libyan oil. He, like most of the authoritarian rulers behave, doesn't seem to let his rule diminish conveniently. All that has to be lost as a result of this obstinate behavior is the considerable number of people dying mercilessly.

The conflict between NATO and Col. Gadhafi's forces have risen after the clash between Gadhafi and the protestors in his country, who want Col. Gadhafi to quit his longer than forty years authoritarian rule. These protestors are basically the people who have evident inclination towards democratic principles and they want an end to the rule which is imposed on them against their will. Their struggle must be seen in the perspective of the movement started in Middle East and North African Countries for the uplift of democratic reforms in their political systems that have been the victim of autocratic dominancy. But their protests have been neglected by Col. Gadhafi and rather they are responded by the weapons that have resulted in the death of many guiltless people. International community has already urged Gadhafi to quit, which he has clearly rejected and made NATO to take serious action against him. The recent aggressive attitude of NATO forces is to pressurize him to quit without further confrontation.

The diplomatic endeavors in this regard have not been able to bear fruits and NATO and protesting forces believe they will never do. China and Russia who had previously opposed aggressive attitude towards Gadhafi to quit, seem to be in the forefront of the diplomatic solution, but have turned more emphatic. They have accepted that Gadhafi's regime is no more justified and must be considered illegitimate, on the other hand they have recognized the rebel-led National Transitional Council as the legitimate authority in Libya, and they have already started talks with them in Behghazi, in order to assist them for future planning of the country's political, economic and administrative structures. They have also offered safe exit to President Gadhafi if he agrees for diplomatic solution of the clash. Russia and China seem to be struggling for a reputable place in international politics. They seem to be creating a political policy, different from that of Europe and America, in order to make the world recognize them as growing powers in the world.

NATO on the other hand, does not have any other option but to turn aggressive. The worsening situation of peace and order in Syria, Libya and Yemen has direct impacts on them. They have to shoulder the responsibility of providing safe shelter to thousand of refugees who leave their countries and move to Europe. Already, thousand of refugees have landed on the shores of Italy for safe haven, which is a real concern for European countries. Keeping themselves aligned with the international rules regarding refugees they also have to keep an active check that terrorists do not penetrate through their security with refugees. Apart from that, the absence of a democratic and militarily capable government in Libya can really give a golden opportunity to militants to flourish and form their stronghold and afterwards bother the European Nations. Therefore, NATO has no interest in any sort of leniency for Gadhafi. They believe that Gadhafi would have to leave at the end after they carry on their three fold strategy with full concentration; i.e. shelling the Gadhafi's whereabouts and forces, backing the protestors strongly and isolating Gadhafi diplomatically. The strategy seems to be working except one drawback and that is the loss of more lives.

International Crisis Group (ICG) in this regard seems to be favoring seize fire for they consider any sort of continuation of the clashes in the utter loss in the region. It believes that NATO and its rebelling allies must announce a seize fire as they consider Gadhafi incapable and unwilling to carry on the war. In their view, Gadhafi is getting obstinate as the result of the aggressive attitude of NATO and its rebelling allies; therefore seize fire is the only option and it can generate fruitful results, but it must be based on the condition that Gadhafi resigns. Though ICG's stand is in accordance to the demands of a peaceful settlement of the issue but it is at the same time difficult to prognosticate that Gadhafi resigns and afterwards goes for the trial for the humanitarian offenses he is believed to have committed, because in his view he still has people in his favor except few rats and NATO who is more interested in her own self-centered incentives rather than the problems of the country.

It is as clear as crystal that Gadhafi stands isolated with his forces both diplomatically and militarily. Though his forces have upper hand against the rebelling forces but the assistance of NATO has pushed him more defensive and he is quiet sure of his certain defeat, yet again he is clinging to his egoistic stand. Now, his stand is no more logical, it is emotional and egoistic. His authoritarian principles have turned him so much self-centered that he no more believes in the well-being of his people. Yes, NATO forces can be wrong in interfering in his country but his countrymen do possess the right to govern themselves through a proper political system. He must not quit just because of the NATO forces but because his people are in dire need of a system based on justice, not inheritance and discrimination. It is not important how long he rules but it really counts how well he rules.

The writer is a new growing columnist of the daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at sherzai@outlookafghanistan.com

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