I quote Robert Hunter, Ex-US Ambassador to NATO: ‘With Muammar al-Qaddafi now closing in on a final campaign to defeat the rebels opposing his regime, the world’s attention has centered on what the United States and others should do — or even can do — to aid those who are trying to bring down the Qaddafi government. Some observers caution that any sort of intervention would be unwise, if not dangerous. They warn that arming the Libyan rebels today could empower the next Osama bin Laden, who could one day use Western-supplied arms and training against his benefactors. Others cite the disastrous U.S.-led intervention in Somalia in the early 1990s and the ongoing difficulties of fostering civil society in Afghanistan. Even imposing a no-fly zone over Libya could require, as U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has cautioned, destroying Qaddafi’s air defenses, an act of military aggression against a sovereign state that is not at war with the United States. And such actions could call to mind the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, an event that still has negative resonance in much of the Arab and Muslim world, to say the least.’
In my opinion, this is an internal strife, a Libyan military/ civil problem (Civil war?) and Gaddafi has a ‘good’ sizable portion of loyalists with him against these rebels; otherwise, he would not have hung around in Libya till now! If US or any other of its western allies intervene, it will only create political instability, under the guise of creating democracy in Libya and the Arab world would view such interventions as that of a western ‘aggressor’ nation, particularly the US! In this prevailing situation, United Nations should take action to facilitate coercive actions from the Libyan dictator to solve the ‘rebellion’ problem quickly and fast! A solution should be reached within Libya and no NATO air-strikes should be encouraged whatsoever! Such Air-strikes have failed in the Middle East/ Africa in the past – Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia etc and Bosnia, Kosovo! In fact, due to NATO air-strikes, the refugees ( as there are many who want to escape from Libya!) will spillover to Europe, UK and the US. Is such a fall-out ‘really’ required?
At the most, the NATO Allies can pass a resolution to establish a ‘No-Fly’ zone over Libya, in order to prevent any more civil casualties and restrain Gaddafi’s air strikes on innocent Libyan population. And add to that, an affirmative UN action in ensuring peace within Libya. At this stage, no western or NATO air-strikes/ intervention would be considered as on the right side of history!