By Chidi Emmanuel
How many dead bodies will be enough before the Big Three (US, Britain, France) and their Arab League counterparts move for a resolution (even if it is non-binding) against Syria? ‘Gaddafi is killing his own people’ was the chorus from this Tom, Dick and Harry trio when the Western powers justified their Libyan invasion. The question at present is: What is President Assad doing right now? ‘Maybe he’s killing his own animals’? Hundreds of people have been slaughtered in Syria in the ongoing march to freedom and better governance. Unlike Libya, the US for now is limiting its response to the brutal crackdown on civilian protests in Syria to diplomacy and possible sanctions. The Arab League which championed the UN Resolution No 1973 is now reluctant to even condemn Bashar and the Syrian massacre.
Deploring what it called ‘the gross and systematic violation of human rights’ in troubled Libya, on Feb 26, 2011, the UNSC adopted Resolution 1970 (2011), demanding an end to the violence and deciding to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court while imposing an arms embargo ‘on the country’ and a travel ban and assets freeze on the family of Muammar Gaddafi and his government’s officials. The UN Council mandated all its member states to seize and dispose of all military-related materials bound for Libya. Resolution 1973 is the first of its kind from the UN. As a matter of fact, it broke the record for being the fastest-ever UNSC resolution. In these two resolutions, assets were frozen, Gaddafi and his cronies were referred to the International Criminal Court, an arms embargo was imposed, etc.
Some, if not all, of these restrictions have been violated by the same Big Three as they try to bend the rules to suit their interests. Western boots (CIA, French and British military personnel) are now on Libyan soil; arms are now sent to the rebels and to crown it all, the Obama administration has eased its sanctions against Libya to allow for the sale of oil controlled by the rebels. With this latest decision, ‘American companies can now deal directly with the rebels in marketing the Libyan oil.’
The move will allow Libya’s opposition forces to use the income from oil proceeds to buy weapons and other supplies. This new order modified sanctions the administration had imposed in February, freezing $34 billion in assets held by Libyan leader Gaddafi, his family members and top government officials. I guess all these support the maxim that “the US has no permanent friend nor permanent enemy but only permanent interest.” The question is: if the West can do it in Libya why not Syria, Yemen, Uganda, Zimbabwe etc?

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