Tuesday, 19 April 2011

(Unpublished) letter to The Times on Libya and the perils of viewing international law as the arbiter of what is 'right'

Sir,


Excluding ground troops and denying regime change as the aim gave Western leaders regional and UN blessing to confer legitimacy on their actions. However, it achieved this at great cost, especially for Libyan civilians. The inability of the world's most powerful military powers and alliance to tackle a tinpot dictator like Gaddafi as he massacres his own people and threatens, as Cameron says, a "bloodbath", ('Britain to meet UN as Libyans run out of food and clean water', The Times, 18 April 2011) is a shocking indictment of Western power and the international political system. Libyan civilians will suffer through our weakness and risk aversion. Choosing NOT to take a more robust military course is not automatically 'right' just because it conforms with the views of the Security Council, as the countless dead of Rwanda, Bosnia, DRC, Sudan and other nations show. Gaddafi now knows that he will not face an invasion force. Yet again, it seems a dictator may take on the international community and win.


Yours faithfully,

John Slinger

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