It's Bad, Difficult, and Ineffective...?
We hear some voices supplicating the world powers to come to the help of the Intifadha in Libya by imposing a no-fly-zone to prevent the beleaguered Qaddafi from using his aircrafts against civilian protesters. On the face it may appear to have some plausibity, but Libyans wouldn't accept to be rescued by military missions. Libyans, by the facts of their history, are very suspicious of big powers' intentions. They've long struggled to curb these powers meddling in their affairs and to have their own say on how to run their country.
Perhaps if such a mission could be arranged through the UN, it may be seen differently. However, arranging it by the UN will not be an easy job. Given the current world climate, some members with veto powers, will shy away from the idea of intervening in the internal affairs of a soveriegn member state especially under the auspices of human rights violations! Russia and China would not go for it.
NATO countries have the ability to organize and sustain such a mission. A complicated mission, as this certainly will be led by USA. Here where suspicions and problems aglore will arise. The USA, especially after the Iraqi fiasco, is seen as an aggressive and hegemonic superpower. Any attempt to portray a military mission by the USA and its allies as only humanitarian one, only for peaceful and benevolent purposes, will deceive nobody and will not convince many Libyans either. History is what it's, it cannot be changed overnight.
In addition to being a problematic mission to agree on and organize, it will be even more difficult to implement. Libya is a big country. Its airspace extends deep into Africa and cannot be effectively controlled only from the Mediterranean coast. Therefore bases have to be established in the inside of the country, soldiers have to be stationed, supply routes have to be found and extended, et cetera. This will only look more like an occupation than a simple rescue operation. It'll only infuriate Libyans further. They will absolutley refuse it by any means available to them
But even in the extreme case such a mission could be arranged, it'd not be succeed in its the purposes. Uprisings are a complicated issue. They almost never follow one pattern. Their strenght lies in being flexible and fluid, which would give them the ability to adapt to the circumstances at hand. Hit and run tactics, as the revolts going on these days in western cities and towns in the country seem to follow, are difficult to suppress by any means and especially from the air. So even if remnants of the regime are still in control of some aircrafts and helicopters, they could rarely use them if any. For using them in these circumstances, in addition to being ineffective against scattered crowds, they will certainly cause noticeable damages that would be difficult to hide and will only increase the anger and disgust even of those who are still hedging their bets.
This Intifadha is a Libyan revolution. It's a historical event and will change history. It's happening after a long time of cowering to this barbarian despot. Thus it's as much a catharsis from humiliation as a liberation from tyranny. It's a purely Libyan affair. Libyans fighting other Libyans. The two factions, though unequal, on one side are the unarmed people and on the orther is the well-armed regime. Let them duke out! As tragic and as agonizing the loss of life and property they're perhaps the libations Libyans have to offer on the altar of their freedom. As such, call it a revolt, call it a revolution, call it whathaveyou, but never a civil war. If Libyans are fighting other Libyans it's only because the entrenched regime of 42-years of Colonel Qaddafi and his mercenaries are refusing to give up! And Libyans are determined to make an end to this regime comes what may.
However, if the world community wants to help, at this point any help must come in the form of a moral stand. Counries must begin to take the necessary measures to put more pressure and isolate the regime. People should decry and sanction what remains of this savage despot. But squeezing the regime we all know may work only to a point. Hopefully Libya will not get to that point but in the not distant future, the world must be prepared to organize relief missions, of medical supplies, food, and other basic necessities. Qaddafi still has at least one card to play, that's to starve the areas still under his control to surrender. He's unscruppulousness enough not to hesitate to use anything in his disposal to bring the Libyan people once again to subjugation. To victory! Long live Libya united, democatic, and prosperous!