Operation Odyssey Dawn And Contradictions

The world wakes up this Sunday to a new war. 

The so called Coalition forces - prime among them being the USA, the UK, and France - have launched operation Odyssey Dawn against Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

This is within two days of the U.N. imposed no-fly zone in Libya which was voted 10-0 in the UN Security council.

This picture of the leaders posing for a photograph after the summit makes me wonder about one thing. 

How do these guys manage to pose for a photo after planning to start  a thing as bad as a war? A war which will result in death of thousands of people, which will result in a monetary loss of millions of dollars, which will result in extensive damage to life and property. A war which will set back a nation by years.

Importantly, the emerging nations - Brazil, Russia, China and India, along with European powerhouse Germany had abstained from this voting. But this hasn't stopped the Coalition from going ahead with the armed operations. 

While French reconnaissance aircraft surveyed the Libyan landscape late yesterday evening, the residents of Libya were subjected to a barrage of Cruise missiles since yesterday night.

The power of technology and money have made the American, British and French forces to just sit pretty on their battleships in the Mediterranean,  or fly high above the skies, and rain the missiles and bombs on the innocent Libyan people.

Just have a look at the statement given by British Prime Minister - David Cameron - late yesterday night.

"Tonight, British forces are in action over Libya. They are part of an international coalition that has come together to enforce the will of the United Nations and to support the Libyan people.
We have all seen the appalling brutality that Colonel Gaddafi has meted out against his own people. And far from introducing the ceasefire he spoke about, he has actually stepped up the attacks and the brutality that we can all see.
So what we are doing is necessary, it is legal, and it is right."

Well, what he is telling Britain and the world that the actions are fully legal and will benefit only the Libyan people. Wish these leaders show such generosity and concern for the citizens of such nations in times of peace.

If the wars fought across the world in the last decade are anything to go by, then this would also look to be a protracted engagement. You have the war in Afghanistan and Iraq as standout examples.

The name of this operation - Odyssey Dawn - itself is a misnomer. Odyssey, as defined by the dictionary, is a long, wandering and an eventful journey. Certainly these leaders don't want the war to stretch for long. I wonder who gave this name to the operation.

This war is seen to be a culmination of the civil war in Libya which started in Feb 2011. The crisis in the Arab World and the victories of the Tunisian and Egyptian people had motivated the Libyan citizens to overthrow Colonel  Gaddafi.

With Gaddafi using armed forces against his own people, the world leaders have been prompted into this action. 

Just a few hundred miles away from Libya is the nation of Bahrain. The people of Bahrain too have been protesting against their monarchs, with an attempt being made to overthrow the current regime. The leaders in Bahrain too have responded with use of force against the peaceful demonstrators. 

This is where you have the contradiction. The Coalition nations on one hand are seen against Gaddafi. On the other hand, they are seen supporting the King of Bahrain.

Why is it so? What makes them support an authoritarian regime while oppose another? What makes them back the steps taken for suppressing an internal civilian conflict in Bahrain while oppose the same in Libya.

So much for uniformity.  So much for having the same yardstick to be applied everywhere.

This is simple contradiction. This is simple behavioral inconsistency.

The U.S. is apprehensive of supporting Bahrain openly. This has made it ask its trusted friend in the Arab world, Saudi Arabia, to help Bahrain. And they have responded kindly by rushing its 2000 odd forces across the King Fahd causeway joining the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, to help the rulers of Bahrain suppress the uprising.

One thing is certain. If a similar uprising or protest is seen in Saudi Arabia, and if they respond with similar military actions, the very same Coalition nations would be seen backing them. 

This is when someone should read out to David Cameron what he had said on the night of the launching of Operation Odyssey Dawn. 

It would be apt to close with a line which Oscar Wilde said a long time back. 

The well-bred contradict other people. The wise contradict themselves.”
Operation Odyssey Dawn And Contradictions Operation Odyssey Dawn And Contradictions Reviewed by Vyankatesh on Sunday, March 20, 2011 Rating: 5

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