Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The "Selectivity" argument against Libya Intervention

<Photo (Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/MCT) 

One of the main objections to Operation Dawn Oddesey is that of selectivity, consistency or hypocrisy.

It runs like this: "Why Libya? What about all the other dictators in MENA and further away? What about Yemen, Bahrein, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Cote d'Ivoire? What about Burma, Zimbabwe, and China? And Israel? and the USA? And the UK, with its burgeoning repression of demonstrations?  What about Kagame of Rwanda, who is clearly setting off on the road that leads to dictatorship?"

It is a good question, one that deserves a full answer. In the answer we will find a route map to a far more peaceful, democratic and sustainable world.

The reason that it is so important that the democratic revolution in Libya succeeds is that it is the third of the Arab Spring uprisings. Tunisia was first to go, and over relatively quickly and easily. Egypt was more difficult, but succeeded because the Army rightly refused to attack the people.

Now we have Libya, where the dictator has used massive lethal force against the revolution. If Ghaddafi wins, he will set the standard for other dictators. They will follow his lead, and use military force. This would result in huge loss of life and destruction of property, and probably crush the revolution, perpetuating dictatorships, torture, oppression and war. It would also, arguably, lead to an increase of violent Islamic extremism.

That is why Gaddafi must not win.

When Gaddafi is gone, we can work on a pathway for peaceful reform. Essentially, the UN needs to set out a legal framework to deal with the passage from dictatorship to democracy. We need to provide disincentives for those, like Kagame of Rwanda, who are setting out on the pathway to dictatorship. And we need a Global Index of Human Rights to help anyone who needs to know, at a glance, the kind of regime that rules the country they are intending  to visit or do business with.

The UN's Responsibility to Protect (R2P) arose out of the mess in Bosnia and Iraq. It is an enormously important step towards a just and peaceful world, but it needs further definition. The Index of Human Rights is a suitable  complement to R2P.

So critics of Dawn Oddesey should join in the effort to create a legal framework in the UN which would make tragedies that we now see in Libya that much less common.


pati said...

Why do you constantly point fingers at a man who is doing everything for the good of his people and country? who gives you the right to judge a man who has for the past 17 years strived to build and reconcile Rwanda. it strikes me that there is a movement composed of liberals who can't stand it when an African is doing good in Africa and doesn't use / need NGO's to build said country.

Why not talk to Rwandans instead of theorizing and spreading rumors and conjecture that have been hashed and re-hashed over the last year. You ARE WRONG about PAUL KAGAME And you should be ashamed of yourselves in trying to tarnish his good name. We are proud of what he has accomplished and the path he is leading us on. We believe in him and seriously look at you nay-sayers and wonder what the African has to do. But you know what, we don't care what you think or say, we know we have to focus and get the job done, because no one is going to build our country for us.
and nothing you say or do (always negative) will deter us from the ultimate goal of building a strong and self-reliant nation that takes care of all Rwandans. You will not take us back to the dark ages with your constant negativity.

DocRichard said...

I am sorry to upset you Pati, but Kagame has blocked the formation of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda. Its vice president was decapitated in what appears to be a political murder. It looks. sadly, as if Kagame is setting off down the slippery slope that leads to dictatorship.

pati said...

What really gets me is the condescending attitude of the Western liberals. everything you say must be right. The fact that you claim "this appears to be a political murder" doesn't make it a fact. You are spreading a rumor Doc. The way you research for the negatives and make them fact is the attitude that really gets me. The VP of the Green party killers were apprehended and thats a FACT.

Murders happen in every country, even yours but the media doesn't immediately say that its the government that did it. i can cite hundreds of cases in the same vein where someone is killed in the UK or US and we can also cleverly tie (conspiracy theory) it to the government in power in both countries. what does this prove other than trying so hard to negate good that is being done by an AFrican.

The Green Party was banned because of their ideology at the time. They are however free to participate in the future because they are clearly trying to professionalize their party along political and not ethnic lines and become a model for opposition parties and you can find them here: http://rwandagreendemocrats.org/spip.php?article119
Do you see the president blocking their website in Rwanda, this is free for all to see and as you see from the Party's president they have issued a statement as of 7th March 2011, two weeks ago. Does that seem like a party that has been banned??

Do your research and report transparently on a fair level ground. You have access to working in partnership with some of the great African leaders instead you spend all your time breaking them down with your negative media writings.

However like i said, we are the masters of our own destinies and we will continue to fight the good fight. A la Luta la Continua!!!!

Ojijo said...

WE ARE GOING TO ICJ...AND THEN ICC...this neocolonialism must stop...!!!

DocRichard said...

Sorry Ojijo, I do not fully understand your point. Please explain more clearly.