header image

Violence in Libya

Posted by: Annie Voy | March 21, 2011 | 13 Comments |

The situation in Libya is rapidly evolving. Here is an interactive site from The Washington Post that provides a useful time line of events, supplemented with photos and news/radio clips. Be sure to click through both the “Latest Reports” and “Behind the Uprising” sections.

under: Links
Tags: , ,

Responses -

If Gaddafi had stepped down like Mubarak did, this conflict wouldn’t need to be so stretched out and violent. With the support of the UN, specifically the efforts of the United States and France, it’s probably only a matter of time until he’s removed from power. Gaddafi’s resistance to the calls of Libyan citizens only emphasizes the failures of totalitarian governments. Hopefully if the UN intervention is successful it can be a good starting point for a new government in Libya to better open trade with the rest of the world. Being across the Mediterranean from Europe could be very advantageous for future exports.

I find the Libya situation quite compelling. I wonder what would have happened if he did choose to just step down and would have listened to the voices of his people. However, i find the current situtation with the “no fly zone” imposed to be quite interesting. It is of great interest to me that the Arab League called for the the UN and United States to come to the assistance of Libya impose a no fly zone, but yet none of these countries are doign anything to help the cause, and some are even criticizing the way the UN and US are approaching the situation, which i think is unjust and unfair.

Part of the problems in African countries could be attributed to the problems of the rulers of the countries. Since people are trying to leave their countries for safety, their evacuation (clearly) cuts their contribution to their nation’s GDP (as well as putting any goods they produced into jeopardy).

If we step back for a moment, the problems in Libya should not be that surprising. Libya is close to the Middle East, who control an important resource–oil. As long as the rulers have access to their funds and oil reserves, we will have a harder time trying to stop uprisings in countries across the world.

With the recent turmoil in other middle eastern countries, it is easy to pin Libya’s uprising as a natural overflow from it. What was interesting to note, however, was that even with the highest GDP per capita, 1/3 of the population lives below the poverty line. That is a large part of the population. Considering that Libya had that much money coming into the country and still had so many people in poverty, barely scraping by, the Libyan people had every right to rebel. Gaddafi supporters are the people who have been receiving the benefits of the oil exports.

I do no believe, however, that the violence in Libya against Gaddafi by the U.S is entirely without ulterior motive. Based on the interactive map, that laid out the crude oil exports by country, Libya is a huge oil supplier for many major powers. In the end are we just making it easier for the U.S to go in and replace Gaddafi with a puppet government so that the U.S will have easier access to oil in the end?

As one report said, the no-fly-zone should be in place, but the Arab League is trying to get that and that there be no western military involvement. I don’t see any reason besides apeasing the wishes of the Arab League why the fighters cannot be piloted by Western pilots. If the western powers can control the airspace, and the Libyan rebels can take back Libya from the ground, then it would seem to be a very viable option. Either way, the no-fly-zone will be in place to protect civilians, and limit non-military casualties.

I would agree with a previous post that one particularly interesting aspect of these events is the declaration of the no fly zone by the United Nations Security Council. The United Nations is sometimes criticized for not having the power to enforce their policies, but this seems to be an example of them having a real effect, since it was enough to warn the warn the Libyan government into a cease fire (even though some military action continued).
It’s also pretty incredible that the allies have rallied together so quickly and decided to intervene. As the situation in the Middle East and North Africa continues to grow it makes an observer when they will stop, and what it will take for them to stop. Also, one wonders if any of the US military support will become long term.

This situation in Libya is very interesting. As much as I don’t like the U.S. getting involved in another war-like event, it makes me wonder how this whole thing would be without foreign involvement. I also wonder how long Gaddafi and his forces will keep going, or if they will hit a point where they feel pressured to cease fighting. I’m also curious as to the aid with injured people, and if hospitals and the like are still functioning despite the chaos.

It looks as if this whole conflict has a simple outcome set in stone, since a government cannot operate effectively without the support of those it governs. Since the United States and UN are stepping into this situation it will progress much quicker than if the Libyan rebels were on their own. On the other hand, the question which arises is, assuming that the rebels take control of Libya, where will the country go from there? As Ian mentioned, there is plenty of geographic advantages in Libya to create a strong open market economy. Will this happen, or will we see a shift in power to another leader like Gaddaffi and no change overall?

This was a very insightful slideshow/article to read about the situation in Libya. I agree with those who commented above about the concerns as to what will happen in Libya if the rebels do succeed in throwing out Gaddafi. I, of course, do hope that Gaddafi is thrown out of Libya and brought to justice for his violent acts against innocent civilians. However, the rebels are going to need help to set up a fair, democratic government which has the power to provide the key factors needed for a healthy economy: a secure financial system, protected property rights, etc. GDP per capita is high in Libya, but it is not a correct representation of the actual wealth of the country, as one third of the population is still below the poverty line due to corruption in the government. I am concerned that the temptation to control the oil in Libya will lead to yet another corrupt government. Natural resource conflicts tear many countries in Africa apart, and they can often end up being more of a curse than a blessing.

From our standpoint its hard to imagine that a country and its leader could turn to civil war and cause such turmoil within the country they are trying to reign supremacy. But like I read in the Bottom Billion, they are far behind our modernist position in which these the powerful countries of the world are at currently. They are more around the 18th and 19th centuries in terms of development as to why such turmoil could be overlooked by us. Because there are innocent lives dying due to Gaddafi’s regime, I believe that intervention is necessary. But, I think the US needs to avoid involvement as we are already in our own fight in the middle east. We simply can’t afford all the resources to be involved in multiple wars or military operations. Support through people aid would be a better alternative as it wouldn’t be near as as capital intensive. We should let NATO take charge of the whole situation as it would put the pressure on multiple nations and not just single out the US.

This article was very helpful in seeing how this government upheaval has expanded in Libya. I find it interesting how the UN says that they are doing what it takes to protect Libyan civilians, but it would be nice to know exactly what measures are being taken. My guess is that the UN is involved, but not as extensively as they are trying to be perceived. I think it is easy for many countries like the U.S., Italy, and France to get involved and oppose the violence that is occuring in Libya right now, but I could understand the frustration of citizens of this country not wanting our intervention. Our cultures are completely different than Libya and so how could we possibly understand how to best help these people? My other question is why is this government uprising happening now? Why not years ago or what has been the turning point to change these dictatorships?

I do not view this outbreak as a civil war as mentioned in the earlier posts. This is an uprising against a tyrant, a fight for freedom and equality.

What is very interesting to still see is the loyalty that much of the Libyan military still has for Moammar Gadhafi. They will kill fellow Libyan citizens on his orders and even civilians that are not involved in the conflict. This is very different from the uprising in Egypt where Egyptian forces were called to the fight, but many would not kill their fellow countrymen.

Besides that note, our involvement in this issue, as much as we have been told will be short, will not. We will be involved with Libya until a new government takes hold and that will included our time and resources setting up this government and giving aid to the victims of the conflict.
This is not all bad though, we will in the end have a good relation with Libya and probably be able to place a few military bases there as token of the Libyan gratitude.

Overall, this conflict needs to end quickly and my suggestion is special forces mission to capture Moammar Gadhafi and bring him to international court for trial. The longer he is in power the more death and problems will occur.

I think that NATO and the U.S. Government did not think through their strategy for Libya, however to their credit they had a limited amount of time to respond. The situation there is rapidly evolving, but what is the plan? Do we arm the rebels? They do not even know how to fight. Also, they should not have assumed that Quaddafi would just step down, he seems more mentally unstable than the other dictators from the area. Indeed it seems that while NATO claims not to be targeting Quaddafi for assasination, they have hit his compound several times and have even killed his son. However, removing the leader is the ONLY way for this conflict to have a speedy resolution. Right now it doesnt look like its going to happen.