Libya intervention: Driven by oil or humanitarianism?

By Zhang Xinyi (
Updated: 2011-03-24 11:27
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The massive air raid "Operation Odyssey Dawn," led by the United States, United Kingdom and France, against Libya has brought the North African nation once again under the spotlight.

The operation, which is causing severe civilian casualties and infrastructure damage, goes far beyond the U.N. resolution calling for a no-fly zone and is sparking global outrage over "excessive violence."

The League of Arab States (LAS) was the first advocate of U.N. resolution 1973. Arab League Secretary-General Amre Moussa said the "double standard" pursued by the Western coalition in Libya violated the original intent of the U.N.-mandated no-fly zone, which was to protect civilians.

The "double standard" is a long-standing issue. The rhetoric of the Western coalition is littered with virtuous phrases, but there is nothing in their hearts but a desire to undermine the interests of other countries.

Values are also a kind of national interest, and countries need to fight for the "moral high ground" in international relations. In most cases, values must be subordinated to the interests, and that's why the "double standard" is introduced.

The standard of the Western coalition for the political turmoil in North Africa and Middle East is more than double. Actually it is multiple because of the complexity and conflicting interests. All the actions western coalition are about to take are mostly based on the careful study of the actual situation rather than "values" and "standards."

People still remember that Saddam was portrayed as a hero fighting against fundamentalism by Western media during the Iran-Iraq war. The United States provided intelligence services to both sides at the right moments to ensure neither got the upper hand. And people still remember that the French president treated Gaddafi as an honored guest only three years ago.

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