Libya: Asia's Ambivalence

Apr 04, 2011
*Special to asia!

China and India abstained from the UN vote, then other Asian countries kept quiet or issued statements that stopped short of supporting the resolution to intervene in Libya. Why?

Pakistan said it was “following, with serious concern, the developments in Libya in the wake of the military strikes.” It added that the loss of lives was “regrettable” and the “peaceful political solution needs to be evolved by the Libyan people themselves in the spirit of mutual accommodation and national reconciliation”.

In the weeks after the vote, the debate over the legitimacy and justification of a UN intervention in Libya is increasing.

In defending his decision intervene militarily in Libya, US President Barack Obama said, “We knew that 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.”

Regrettably for some, the conflict does not present itself in such black-and-white terms as for the United States. Stained conscience or not, it is just as, if not more, unconscionable for countries to put at risk the lives of their citizens who were in Libya for the simple purpose of earning a living.

For them, the best response was a measured and cautious one.

dan-chyi chua

Dan-Chyi Chua was a broadcast journalist, before forsaking Goggle Box Glitz for the Open Road. A three-year foray led her through the Middle East, China, SE Asia, Latin America and Cuba, and she's now grounded herself as a writer for, content with spending her days in Jerusalem.

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