Op-Ed Contributors

Politics behind attacks on Libya

By Li Qinggong (China Daily)
Updated: 2011-03-22 07:56
Large Medium Small

US, British and French forces began their military strikes against Libya on Saturday in an operation the United States has codenamed Operation Odyssey Dawn.

The military action followed a West-engineered United Nations Security Council resolution on the establishment of a "no-fly" zone in Libya and started with an hours-long bombardment of the North African country.

Western countries have long harbored the intention of dethroning Libya's Muammar Gadhafi regime. The recent military strife in the country between government troops and rebels offered an immediate and a rare excuse for Western military intervention.

In the wake of political, economic and social crises in neighboring Egypt, Tunisia and other Middle East countries, Libya was soon hit by a similar social unrest, with opposition forces calling for Gadhafi to relinquish his decades-long hold on power. But the crisis in Libya was partly a result of political incitement from Western countries, which seem to have seen a glimmer of hope that Gadhafi might be driven from power by unrest such as that in Egypt.

The Gadhafi regime, however, chose to take a tough stance and mobilize the military. In the face of the more powerful government troops, Libya's opposition forces were soon on the brink of collapse, a result beyond the expectations of the US-led Western nations. Against this backdrop, the Western countries plotted a "no-fly" zone resolution within the UN Security Council and then launched military assaults in the name of guaranteeing the implementation of the UN mandate.

But no matter what the well-decorated excuses, the latest military action in Libya is part of Western political and strategic intentions.

The US and other Western countries have long regarded the Libyan ruler as a thorn in their flesh that, they believe, should be uprooted. However, any means adopted by the West over the past years failed to produce a power change in the oil-rich African country. Under these circumstances, the ongoing Middle East unrest was seen as a rare opportunity for the West to oust Gadhafi and realize a power change in Libya.

   Previous Page 1 2 Next Page