US President Barack Obama over exaggerated the humanitarian angle used to justify military action in Libya, claimed intervention was necessary to prevent a bloodbath, argue some human rights activists.
A report by Human Rights Watch shows that Gaddafi was not deliberately killing civilians but rather targeting armed rebels fighters who were targeting his government.
Obama insisted civilians were being targeted and that Gaddafi would kill them all if intervention did not take place. However, intervention has not stopped the killing of rebel groups and may have in fact put civilians at greater risk.
US interference has emboldened rebel fighters and encouraged them further, it has placed civilians in between government forces and rebel groups, further prolonging Libya’s civil war and brining about greater casualties.
Alan J. Kuperman, a professor at the University of Texas argued there is simply no evidence Gaddafi was targeting civilians, therefore there is no possibility Obama could have had evidence or reason to enter Libya and begin a military intervention.
“Civilians are caught in the middle,” he said. “We didn’t stop a bloodbath but we are prolonging and perpetuating the suffering of civilians in Libya.”
He argued that Gaddafi is targeting rebel fighters. There was never a bloodbath of civilians at the hands of Gaddafi.
“We knew that if we wanted – if we waited one more day, Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world,” Obama said in a speech.
“If Gaddafi were trying to massacre civilians there would be thousands killed, not a couple hundred killed,” Kuperman remarked.
Gaddafi said he would show no mercy to rebels, he did not speak about civilians. He even said rebel fighters who laid down their arms and surrendered would receive mercy, explained Kuperman.
“He made clear would not target civilians,” he said. “Obama exaggerated the threat.”
The US lead NATO intervention has prolonged the war. Had there been no intervention the civil war would have ended in March Kuperman argued.
“My rough guess at this point is we have actually increased the net suffering to civilians in Libya,” he said.
The international community should stay out of domestic issues, Kuperman contended. Intervention should be a threat, a potential last result only if civilians are truly targeted.