Will the bombing of Libya , overwhelmingly endorsed by the United Nations security council last week, turn into either another Iraq or Afghanistan?
There have been protests in many Middle East countries where people have rightly demanded changes in the way their societies are governed. But the situation is being made worse by endless demands by Western commentators and armchair generals to intervene.
The condemnation of Libya‘s leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is just the latest in a long line of hypocritical stances by the West. Some of the same Western leaders who were happy to meet Gaddafi are now lining up to attack him. If they thought that he would be toppled in the same way as leaders were in Tunisia and Egypt, then they had got it terribly wrong.
Many other leaders in other Arab countries are also equally nervous. Faced with their own internal problems, there is the fear that the situation in Libya could spark further protests, not only against them, but also against the so-called US-UK-led coalition now using their planes to bomb the country back into the dark ages.
There is another price to be paid for this crisis, at least in the short term. Libya is one of the world’s top oil-producing countries, and disruption to their supply means that the price of oil, which had already risen since the beginning of the protests in the Middle East, is set to push upwards, threatening the already fragile world economy.
With the situation in the Middle East coupled with the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the world could be heading for another crisis, the beginning of events which many commentators predict could lead to a new world war.
It’s a matter of when, not if….