by Ahmed Moor
There is a lot about the Western intervention in Libya that could go wrong – and it remains to be seen whether bombing Gaddafi and his mercenaries is a good decision.
However, large numbers of people around the world appear to support the objectives of the anti-regime forces. Also, the indigenous resistance movement – which requested help – would have been annihilated in the absence of those air strikes.
George Bush’s legacy of destruction extends beyond the piles of brick, flesh and mortar that we have been tallying for a decade now in Iraq and Afghanistan.
More than any other figure in the post-war 20th century, the last American president did more to erode the gains in legitimacy made by supranational institutions and their proponents.
After the Iraq war, the United Nations began to be perceived as a US rubberstamp body – or worse – as a meaningless exercise in bureaucracy.
The UN can only function legitimately through consensus (or consensus-lite) decision-making and it was clear that the US was strong-arming weaker states in 2003.
George Bush and the neoconservatives hijacked the legitimate language of consensus-based intervention for their own ill use.
So activists are not wrong to react cynically when they hear that language today; I don’t believe that bombing Gaddafi is a humanitarian gesture.