Western hypocrisy in action – the UN vote on Libya

By Dark Politricks

It has just been reported in the main news that the UN has just passed a vote that would enforce a no fly zone over Libya. This comes as pro-Gaddafi forces start to gather outside the rebel stronghold in Benghazi. Will this vote come too late in the day to have any effect whatsoever or will it be the start of another Iraq-esque foreign mis-adventure that will see yet more young US and UK soldiers die in oil rich Middle Eastern deserts.

The draft resolution:

  • Imposes “ban on all flights in Libyan airspace” except for aid planes
  • Authorises member states to “take all necessary measures” to “protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack”
  • Excludes occupation force
  • Toughens arms embargo by calling on all member states to “inspect in their territory vessels and aircraft bound to or from Libya”
  • Widens asset freeze to include Libyan Investment Authority, Central Bank of Libya and Libyan National Oil Company among others

Now that the world community has decided to intervene in Libya does this mean it will also intervene in Bahrain or Saudi Arabia. What about all other rebellions against authoritarian or oppressive governments that we have left to their own devices over recent years such as Rwanda, China, Sri Lanka and countless others.

Why has it only taken a few weeks to get support for intervention in Libya yet the killing fields of Darfur in Sudan in which many more people have died from government forces have been left alone with little mention in the security council and no western desire to intervene or set-up a no fly zone to protect civilians from aerial bombardment by it’s own government.

This is a country in which government supported forces have raped and massacred thousands and displaced hundreds of thousands. It is also another country in which government forces have been using their superior armaments to bomb rebels and civilians from the air.

This is from a 2011 report into the current situation in Darfur which was published in February.

Sudanese warplanes are bombing areas of Darfur, according to a rebel movement. The Justice and Equality Movement said that Sudan’s air force continues to indiscriminately bomb areas in North Darfur and the border zone between North and South Darfur, targeting civilians and their property and livestock at random and deliberately.

So should we see this UN vote and probable intervention as a changing of the tide in which business deals, oil interests, and other monetary factors are always ignored when it comes down to doing the “right thing” and protecting civilians from their government no matter which country it may be or is it just another example of Western hypocrisy in action for all to see.

I for one am not going to start expecting the UN intervening a lot more round the world as it is pretty clear our defence of human rights are limited to very specific circumstances usually when it involves money, oil or geo-political chess playing.

What is it that has made Western leaders act so quickly and decisively on Libya yet dither and offer only platitudes and empty gestures when it comes to other countries suffering similar problems.

Why does the suffering of rebel Libyans in Benghazi rank so much higher than the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza or the long suffering Sudanese living in Darfur?

If pure logic, reason and empathy for human dignity lay behind every security council vote then China and Russia wouldn’t always veto or abstain resolutions like the UK/USA/French one passed today and the USA wouldn’t always veto or abstain every single resolution that centred around Israeli abuses and crimes of humanity against the Palestinians.

Our leaders are very good at grandstanding on the world stage in front of cameras, lecturing leaders of developing countries about human rights and the rule of democracy. However once the cameras are off they are perfectly happy to sell those same leaders western built guns, tanks, missiles and other armaments they know will be used against civilians and make oil deals with terrorists, dictators and despots.

As westerners we need to admit that it is this seemingly pick at will defence of human rights, support of dictators one moment and then calls for their overthrow the next that many people around the world look at, ignore any merit that our arguments may have and only see hypocrisy  in action.

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One Response to “Western hypocrisy in action – the UN vote on Libya”

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