There are those who say that the war in Libya is a strategic ploy by the west for oil. There are others, who claim we are doing it to spread our values of freedom and democracy. This article in the Guardian does a decent job of setting outr the opposing sides.
It is hard to say which, if either of these perspectives is correct – or whether, as is perhaps more likely, it is some combination of the two.
What we can say with certainty is two things:
1) Democracy and freedom are values worth sharing. The Arab spring overwhelmingly proved that beyond a doubt.
2) Resources are dwindling and their current usage is unsustainable.
The question we need to ask ourselves is this: is war the solution?
Another question we might ask ourselves is what follows war? Even if we remove a regime that is clearly harming its people, how are we then to ensure that what follows is not the same or worse? How are we to be certain that the values we cherish – democracy, freedom, transparency, honesty, intergrity and so on – are put into place and inform the future of any given nation?
One interesting idea was put forth in this article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/26/libyan-oil-minister-transparency
Is such an idea plausible? Can one national government – particularly in its infancy – go it alone in changing the way governments do business?
Further, we might ask whether there are not non-violent means available that might work to the same ends.
Perhaps most of all, we should be asking ourselves; if this is a war for oil, should we not be looking to reduce our dependence on the black gold? Even the most abundant supplies will not last us long at current rates of consumption.
I neither pretend nor presume to have definitive answers to all the questions I have asked in this piece, but they are most certainly questions that we cannot afford not to ask.