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Libya: Back to the future

Updated: 2011-03-22 09:21

By Huang Xiangyang (chinadaily.com.cn)

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The joint military action by the Western powers against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's forces is tantamount to an undeclared war against a sovereign nation.

It runs against the principle of the UN Charter and relevant international norms that call for respect for the sovereignty, unification and territory integrity of an independent nation.

It is a typical example of the strong bullying the weak.

I am not a big fan of Gadhafi, who has ruled Libya for 41 years. He may be "a tyrant who is merciless" to his people, as claimed by the United States and its allies. He may have inflicted civilian casualties in his offensives against the rebels, as in the case of any civil war in any country. But this does not constitute a veritable excuse to invade and split a sovereign nation.

The unprovoked air strikes on the night of March 19 only served to escalate the situation in Libya and beyond, after Gadhafi said he would accept the UN Security Council resolution of a no-fly zone and abide by a cease-fire.

"High moral ground" does not justify the use of force against nations under so-called tyrants in today’s world. If the Western powers are bent on launching this "crusade of justice", the list of targeted nations could go on forever.

No country could feel any sense of security.

The talk about Gadhafi's committing "unspeakable atrocities" sounds similar to accusations against Saddam Hussein of developing weapons of mass destruction a few years ago. The world was fooled then, and tens of thousands of civilian lives were lost. Let us pray that tragedy will not befall Libya this time.


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