The UK is once again involved in military action. This time in Libya but this time for humanitarian reasons and this tine with UN support.
But I don’t believe this was necessarily the right thing for the UN to get involved in.
Protests against Gaddafi began and innocent people were killed by the dictator. Those wanting Gaddafi forced from power then began to fight back. Yes, unarmed civilians being killed is a crime against humanity and should be dealt with by international courts.
But this has become someone else’s fight because of the decision of Libyan protesters to fight back with weapons. They knew that Gaddafi would fight back but continued to make the choice to fight the regime. UN involvement could also intensify attacks against innocent civilians by pro Gaddafi forces.
We have already seen that bombing sites within Libya has fueled Gaddafi and his supporters with a desire to fight to the death. They have not stopped fighting the rebels and with UN forces involved, it could increase the length of any battle because Gaddafi supporters wont be able to beat UN forces or force through a surrender from anti Gaddafi rebels.
There is still a lot of support within Libya for Gaddafi. It is simply not true to say the people of Libya have called for Gaddafi to leave power.
Supporting the rebels is to show support to remove Gaddafi and this becomes an issue then of forcing through democracy with violence. Nations have no place to go into countries and force through democracy with violence. The problem of dictatorship goes much deeper and to use bombs to create democracy is to not deal with the wider issue.
We have seen the possibility that Gaddafi is using civilians as human shields against UN air strikes. If this is happening, it makes continued air strikes impossible.
If many hundreds of thousands of Gaddafi supporters begin to fight the rebels and beat them, it will be very difficult for UN forces to walk away and not send in ground troops. This will then become a fully blown war and could very easily become another Afghanistan.
And if Arab nations withdraw support, it will again create anger amongst the Islamic community. In reality, there will still be people who will be angered by yet more action by the West in a Muslim country.
Attacks against Libya also raise questions about contradictory foreign policy by the UK and UN forces and set a precedent. Yemen have shot innocent civilians during protests, protests in Bahrain have seen violence against protesters supported by Saudi Arabia. Then of course we have the issue of Mugabe.