1. At this moment of time, the only genuine spot of democracy in the region is the state of Israel. The promise of a Westminster style of democracy apropos to this is a fair way off. The best we can hope for is a GRADUATION from the spirit of democracy we may soon find being forced upon the various autocratic regimes by the populace, over successive generations. It is NOT changing as fast as it appears to be. If the International community fails to intervene, the reality is, this passage from traditionalism to modernity would prove even more snail-like. From the Western outlook this would appear to be a calamitous situation for the the vicinity’s citizens.

    Appreciate the representation of your weblog, as an aside. 🙂

  2. I fully agree with Prof. McDonnell in that Resolution 1973 is a “remarkable” resolution following on the heels of another historical resolution. During my internship at the UN earlier this year, I was fortunate enough to attend a meeting on Security Council Resolution 1970. I believe that resolution (a “15-0 resolution”) paved the way for greater confidence in passing Resolution 1973. There had been an unprecedented international consensus: Res. 1970 was co-sponsored by the U.S, all African members of Council, Lebanon as an Arab state of Council, and, moreover, it received the full support of the Libyan Permanent Representative to refer the Situation to the International Criminal Court. Do these Resolutions evidence greater faith and trust in the international institutions of the UN and ICC? Or are their processes merely tools used by some to legitimize the desire to intervene? Is this a particular, one-off consensus on a special endeavor, or does it signify the greater international community’s general opinion on such situations? Time, of course, can only tell.

  3. I echo Professor McDonnell’s concerns on what the overall effectivness of the intervention in Libya will be as well as the role of the U.N. in fostering democracy in the arab world. As I have said in other comments, the world does not really know who the rebels in Libya are. They could have terrorist ties or be unfriendly to foreign concerns. Hopefully a new government in Libya will mean a more free society for its people, but I am afraid that only time will tell. Since the United Nations has effectively put the transition governement in Libya in power, it is likely that they will maintain a say in its policies, hopefully for the better. The last thing the world needs is to replace one dictator with another oppressive government.
    Libya will also undoubtedly need help in transitioning to democracy. The global community absolutely cannot abandon them during this crucial time. A democracy takes time to foster, especially in a nation where an oppressive regime has been in power for so long. To not help Libya in this time of transition would be one one the greatest blunders that the international community could make. To not assist in the democratic transition is to invite another oppressive regime to assume control.

  4. I cannot help but wonder if rumors prove to be true that Gaddafi and his loyalists have escaped Libya and made it into Niger, then will NATO forces follow and pursue them into Niger? And, I cannot help but wonder what the legal ramifications are of such an action or non-action? Did the UN Security Council envision the force it authorized in the face of an “imminent humanitarian catastrophe,” as Professor McDonnell frames it, would include actions in nations besides Libya? Is there disagreement among the Council as to the characterization of the authorized force? This issue is evolving as I write this post. Nevertheless, in an article posted a few days ago in The New York Times, an anonymous NATO official gives some indicia on NATO’s understanding of the situation. The official says, ‘“[t]o be clear, our mission is to protect the civilian population in Libya, not to track and target thousands of fleeing former regime leaders, mercenaries, military commanders and internally displaced people.’”


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