Marta Dassù 3/3/2011
The Italian debate on Libya is becoming a bit 'out of time. We started too slow, hoping in the status quo. It has been said that Gaddafi was not like Mubarak: in fact it is not, is much worse. We then focused on the so-called biblical exodus from the Maghreb: we are finally starting to get worried and its humanitarian consequences. Finally, while there is an air of civil war and were signed the first UN sanctions, we have opened a "great debate" on the Italian-Libyan bilateral treaty: a treaty that should not have been signed and that has now been overtaken by events (whatever the legal arrangement for suspending the operation).
In short, we are losing sight of the crucial point. The crucial point is that Qaddafi is not giving up and will not. Moreover, the prospect of recourse to the International Tribunal makes it more difficult than before a negotiated way out (exile?) With raissa of Tripoli. Meanwhile, Libya is broken into two parts: one part Cyrenaica, with the Provisional Government of Benghazi and Tripoli on the other. In between those fifteen hundred miles of sandy shore on which he built the famous highway to be financed by Italy. And a crowd of refugees on both sides, pressing to Tunisia and in part to Egypt. A full-blown humanitarian bombs, which adds to the deaths which have occurred with internal repression.
Such a stalemate, with all the dangers that door, it was predictable. Gaddafi's behavior is not very different from that of Milosevic, another dictator friend of Italy and eventually (1999) we bombed, along with the remote control system in Belgrade. The point is that the international management of the Libyan crisis threatens to spiral into a very similar economic sanctions for humanitarian corridors to the military bombardment. We are prepared for such a result? The feeling, looking at the Western interventions in the last two decades, is that this type of modern wars are born precisely this: as undeclared wars, and perhaps even desired, but that become unavoidable as the last link in a chain of actions-reactions. Which country in the forefront, much more exposed than others, Italy's interest in preventing the international response to the Libyan crisis follows the same dynamics. Because the outcome is already written: we end up bombing Tripoli.
If you decide to hit American and European offices and instruments of power of Gaddafi, as we begin to ask from Benghazi, the implications would be at least three. First, we would become allies of a party to the conflict, as it became at the time of the Kosovo-Albanian guerrillas. It 's a political choice that we intend to do? It is not easy to answer, because it is not clear, in reality, the galaxy is composed of highly fragmented opposition Cyrenaica. Secondly, the Chinese and Russian support to the first UN resolution was essential, but it is possible that Beijing (and perhaps Moscow) are permitted to vote in favor of military action, which would then essentially American and European. After bombing, the West would still be covered by the resentment of local population: the gratitude of free people and rare commodity.
Third, the use of force in intra-State conflicts do not end with the first surgery. Create indeed the premise of a long presence, military and politics, transforming in fact the "responsibility to protect '- that an intervention motivated by humanitarian reasons - in a semi-protectorate. Twelve years after the intervention in Kosovo are still there, with our soldiers and our money. It 'a charge that Italy and Europe are ready to take in Libya?
Given the importance of these consequences, the first groped several streets is reasonable - if the violence against the Libyan people do not come to grow rapidly. Part of the Libyan diaspora, for example, argues that in the inner circle of the Colonel there are still possible interlocutors, ready to bow out and Gaddafi to enter into negotiations with the interim government. An internal coup, with international support, it would be preferable in any case - at least as a way to get rid of raissa Tripoli - to outside intervention. Meanwhile, Italy will also enhance the humanitarian effort, trying to secure a more concrete support for Europe. Should also consider, with the United States and the Arab League (which has opened the African Union), the option of a "no fly zone", not as a first step towards military bombardment on a larger scale, but to avoid them, preventing repression such as to compel a real military action.
In conclusion: the costs and implications of the decisions we take must be clear. Too often in the face of past crises, Italy has been dragged - sometimes in the right direction, sometimes not - the spiral of events. In this case Italy, given its special responsibilities in the face of Libya, will groped to influence collective decisions. Recalling the main point: in the long term, the only true condition for the stability of Libya is that it is governed by its own people, instead of by local dictators or the old colonial powers.
This article appeared in the newspaper La Stampa, March 3, 2011.