Re­mem­ber Libya

The Dominion Post - - Opinion -

Kay Weir makes a good point that there is a good chance that the lat­est ap­par­ent chem­i­cal at­tack in Syria was staged to in­duce West­ern in­ter­ven­tion. How­ever, the rest of her let­ter ap­pears mis­lead­ing (let­ters, April 14).

A case in point: the Nato-led in­ter­ven­tion in Libya was the cor­rect, and moral, re­sponse to facts on the ground. On the eve of the in­ter­ven­tion, the head of the nascent Libyan National Tran­si­tional Coun­cil, stated that ‘‘... if pro-Gaddafi forces reached Beng­hazi, then they would kill half a mil­lion peo­ple ... we will have a catas­tro­phe in Libya’’, and Gaddafi him­self stated on state me­dia: ‘‘There will be no mercy. Our troops will be com­ing to Beng­hazi tonight.’’ Two days later regime forces en­tered the sub­urbs of Beng­hazi, shelling it with mor­tars and ar­tillery, but on the same day Nato air at­tacks started.

While the Libya in­ter­ven­tion may well be the ex­cep­tion that proves the rule, it can­not be lumped in with other US or Na­toled in­ter­ven­tions: it was clearly a hu­man­i­tar­ian in­ter­ven­tion, ir­re­spec­tive of other in­ter­ven­tions be­fore or after it, or of what the con­se­quences would be of re­mov­ing Gaddafi.

TERENCE LEAMY

Lyall Bay

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