Nearly two weeks after U.S. and European jets started pounding forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi’s, President Barack Obama has finally broken his silence on what’s being labeled as the third Western war on the Muslim world. The U.S. leader tried to explain to Americans why the U.S. had to get involved in Libya. And ever the suave and persuasive orator that he is, Obama managed to do so.
Indeed, even as the U.S, France and Britain come under fire for Libyan strikes some of which have ended up killing civilians, it’s not possible to ignore the fact that the West was offered a perfect opportunity — excuse? — to intervene in the Arab country by the Libyan strongman himself who unleashed despicable savagery against his own people.
Of course, given the long and sordid history of Western machinations in the region, it’s natural everyone is suspicious of its intentions. How can anyone forget what happened — and is still happening — in Afghanistan and Iraq?
This is why many suspect the Western interest in Libya is driven by the oil factor.
It has taken Uncle Sam eight years and more than 5,000 American lives, not to mention more than a million Iraqi lives and destruction of an ancient civilization, to realize the absurd and unjust nature of its foreign policy. Nonetheless, this is a welcome change in the US policy, if it’s indeed a change. Does it mean the US has finally realized that it’s not the lord of all it surveys and regime change is not its job but the people of Libya, or for that matter, of Iraq and Afghanistan?
We’ll wait and see.
Arab News, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (March 31)