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Unpublished Paper
Dropped in Tripoli; Exploded in New York: Assessing the Collateral Consequences of NATO’s [Mi]sleading Intervention in Libya
ExpressO (2012)
  • Eberechi Ifeonu, University of British Columbia

Few days after the bloodied former Libyan President, Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi was arrested and hurled into a steaming vehicle and subsequently killed by his captors – an image that not only became an instant hit on YouTube but nearly bested that of the pop sensation, Justin Bieber – NATO announced the end of its “humanitarian mission” in Libya. While the mood in the African region, at best, was that of subdued resignation, in the West, there was a palpable air of accomplishment as leaders and the media celebrated what was regarded as the epiphany of a renewed commitment by the international community to military intervention in armed conflict in another state based on humanitarian ground, with the media curiously predicting that “after Gadhafi, Libya’s oil will flow – slowly.” This paper interrogates NATO’s military intervention in the Libyan crisis. It argues that the entire notion of “humanitarianism” on the basis of which NATO intervened was an insidious facade behind which lay the real purpose – vengeance and preservation – retaliation against Libya for the release of the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, and an unabashed desire to protect the economic interests of the hegemonic western power. The paper concludes that rather than reflecting an acceptable new paradigm, the manner of NATO’s operation in Libya, not only reinforces the scepticism and suspicion of the Third World countries concerning the concept of humanitarian intervention, which they view as an instrument of neo-colonialism, but also makes future similar United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution almost impossible.

  • International Law,
  • International Politics,
  • Humanitarian Intervention,
  • Libya,
  • Third World
Publication Date
June 6, 2012
Citation Information
Eberechi Ifeonu. "Dropped in Tripoli; Exploded in New York: Assessing the Collateral Consequences of NATO’s [Mi]sleading Intervention in Libya" ExpressO (2012)
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