Libya and the boundaries of military intervention

Translation of article fragments journalist Liberty Charlsie Reknagla that is fully available on the English website of our radio.

Criticism strikes in Libya

Everyone wants to fasten the label on the operation in Libya. Some call it a humanitarian intervention, others — imperialism.

In a time when NATO bombs fell on Libya, almost every day brings a new voice of condemnation endorsed UN intervention.

One of the loud was the voice of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Hamenei. Speaking on March 21 in Tehran, he said to NATO:

"They [the rebels] bombs fall. You have to help them, give them weapons, give them equipment, give them anti-aircraft batteries. Instead, you waited a month and watched a murder nation. Now you want to go in there. You came to protect people. you need oil in Libya. "

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin also questioned the fact that the UN and NATO are doing. He agrees that Gaddafi is not democratic head of state, but says that it does not justify military intervention.

"It really looks like a medieval calls for crusades", — he said March 21.

Such criticism supporters operations in Libya answer that strikes are "humanitarian intervention." If the UN is not authorized States to take "all necessary measures" to protect Libyan civilian population, they argue, the world would be knocked out of the dictator to further atrocities.

"Responsibility to Protect"

The gap between those who defend the operation in Libya, and those who criticize it wide. At the heart of the dispute is one of the most complex issues of international politics: when one state has the right to interfere in the affairs of another by force?

Those who justify intervention in Libya on humanitarian grounds, based largely on the concept, which in recent decades has received brilliant support. The concept is known by the acronym R2P (Responsibility to Protect) — "responsibility to protect".

The concept of protection of civilians is rooted in the memory of the Holocaust and contemporary genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rwanda and Darfur. She received widespread global support in September 2005, when more than 150 Heads of State and Government at the opening of the UN General Assembly agreed that not only do they share the responsibility for responding to genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, but also to prevent them .

Supporters of the concept of R2P argue that the prevention of cruelty can be achieved by diplomatic, legal and political measures, including the possibility of economic sanctions. But they also believe that military intervention is sometimes necessary as a last resort.

How to prevent Kosovo?

But much of the state are divided in opinion, when and how military intervention must be used. This leads to the fact that the states accuse each other of ulterior motives.

Russia, China and India are nervously sizing or opposed the NATO intervention in Kosovo, which first led to the Protectorate, and finally — the separation of Serbia. It's fate, which they — as the former empire — very much like to avoid themselves.

Many Western politicians racking their brains, is not ready for military intervention to protect civilians too vague concept which can form the basis of foreign policy. You can selectively interfere with, for example, in Libya, but not to interfere in other crisis situations — such as Bahrain, Côte d'Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of the Congo — not exposing themselves under criticism for the action just for the sake of their own interests?

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