Tag Archives: Bahrain

Coalition attacks Libya to impose No Fly Zone

The UN coalition forces have launched operation Odyssey Dawn in their bid to end Gaddafi assault on Benghazi.

In a matter of few hours the scenario changed dramatically in Libya.

Backed by the UN approval to adopt all necessary measures authorising No Fly Zone (NFZ) over Libya to protect civilian lives France led the coalition attack over Muammar Gaddafi forces.

Interestingly it is a Euro led attack spearheaded by France aided by UK with US playing the unusual second fiddle.

French President Nicholas Sarkozy has shown a great zeal in bid to uproot Gaddafi, remember France was the first country to recognise rebels as the government.

Sarkozy finds an unusual partner in David Cameron, who backed by the opposition and after serious thinking takes the opportunity as what some sections in media described as his finest hour in politics.

Amidst all this the big brother US which more often than not champions the cause of democracy around the world, took a long long time in a long time to jump the gun.

It was only after the Arab league and gulf nations intervened that President Barack Obama made his mind to intervene in the state of affairs of imposing a no fly zone.

Not discounting the fact that a leader willing to kill his people should not be stopped, but the way things have unfolded over the last one month make for an unusual picture.

Though the ground rules for the NFZ have been established stressing that there won’t be any occupation, what also comes to mind that in bid to secure NFZ and ground Gadaffi human lives will be lost.

Also the way West has reacted to the uprisings does pose a question or two.

While it wasted no time in getting NFZ imposed on Libya the moment Gadaffi announced his forces were coming to Bengazi, there has been no such action towards situation in Bahrain where the troops have already fired at protestors.

In fact they have been aided openly by Saudi and Kuwaiti forces to curb protests but no action in sight so far.

Also it hasn’t been the case that there is a total boycott of Gadaffi regimen, in Tripoli the colonel still has supporters who storm in the face of the media pleading their support for him.

To label him as someone who has lost all the support won’t be just. In this case the step should be towards reforming Libya and not taking merely Gadaffi out.

How things now will turn is beyond anyone’s guess, how long will it last, how many casualties will it result in, and how will it end are questions that remain to be answered.

Nevertheless the 27X7 media interest has made it a spectacle with each broadcaster dishing their perspective of the developments. Add to it the in numerous live tweets from ground zero and world over have turned this crisis into entertainment of sorts.

Amidst this a question posed by a civilian to scribes outside a hospital as aired on Al Jazeera poses an unanswered question to me and questions the interest of west in liberating Libya.

“The Americans, the British and the French over the years gave all these weapons to Gaddafi to rule us and now they are coming and dropping bombs to save us. How is it justified?”, said the civilian.

The answer lies in economics and not politics, but is something which is lost in the spectacle that media has made out of the uprising.

 

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People power in hands of military

The future of people’s power rests in the hands of military.

As digitization empowers people giving them chance to be heard across boundaries via twitter, facebook and blogs, it’s still gun power that calls the shot.

The difference between successful revolt and valiant attempt depends on which side the trigger is.

Given the present scenario of Middle East and African countries being an army man is the toughest job. To shoot your own people or defy the supreme command, the choice is not easy.

While in Tunisia and Egypt the guns remained silent, people became powerful ensuring that the balance tilted in their favour toppling the repressive regimens.

In Bahrain and Libya, forces marched to the regimens orders and the world witnessed mayhem on the streets of these countries.

War planes besieged parts of the Libyan capital on Monday according to news reports from Tripoli, killing many innocent people demanding their rights.

The question on the intent of armed forces arises on what will their stand be, for these rulers too were sometime men in uniform who were once worshipped. Will the present crop of military chiefs go their predecessor’s way?

Will the guardian of democracy, USA alter its stand and policy in the region? Will it still try to buy out the leadership by aids? These questions will have a significant bearing on the events in the coming years.

If the sentiments of people not only on the streets of Egypt, or Libya but also in states are something to go by, high time the superpower alters its stand.

Couple of days while at a news channel assisting some production work I received a few audience calls from US for a live show and a caller from Dallas said: “For how long will the administration spend my tax money on its fancy policies, we don’t pay taxes for wartime charity.”

High time these views are given a thought for the betterment of not only the revolt affected region but for US itself.

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Middle East uprising, rethink call for the US

Pro democratic movements spreading like forest fire in Middle East throw a strong hint for the US-maybe its time to give its foreign policy some change.

The Egyptian uprising signalled at this change, Hosni Mubark regimen was in good books of the western big brother and was getting USD 2 billion in aid. This was mostly used for military, strengthening Mubarak and his might.

With the people making it clear that no ‘carrot and stick approach’ will work, Mubarak and Obama administration had little option but to respect the popular voice. Remember Obama administration was initially for gradual transfer of power, a stand they quickly and before Mubarak.

In the name of stability they have shielded the autocratic regimens of the oil rich regions for quite a long time. The champions of democracy elsewhere have for long turned a blind eye to the agony people in the region suffered at the hands of the oppressive regimens.

While Egypt was a wake up call after Tunisian jolt, which took the west by surprise, the subsequent series of protests in Algeria, Bahrain, Yemen protests signal at change of American stance.

Case in point is Bahrain, the small island nation in the Persian gulf where the king Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa has been warned of a revolution as per reports. With people demanding reforms the King is reported to have planned of giving each family something in the range of USD 2700 to appease the situation.

What brings US in is the fact that Bahrain plays hosts to its Naval fleet to counter the Iranian effect in the region and is important for the US, much like Egypt.

As kings, rulers and dictators feel the heat of rebel, its time US rethinks its stand and avoid a gaffe like Egypt where it is snubbed by the ruler and people alike.

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