Russia, China and India have joined the African Union and the Arab League in denouncing the Western-led attack on Libya as disproportionate and indiscriminate. Indeed, reports speak about mounting civilian casualties in the offensive. At least 65 Libyan civilians are known dead and more than 150 wounded or injured.
One earlier victim of such attacks is Serbia, where NATO warplanes hit the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade and a passenger train during the bombing campaign of 1999.
Dr George Vukadinovic is a political analyst in Belgrade:
“Similarly to the 1999 NATO campaign over Kosovo, the offensive in Libya is fraught with unpredictable political and economic consequences for Europe and the Mediterranean. I believe the European Union showed poor judgment in joining the Libya attack. The Libya resolution of the UN Security Council was the result of haste and unilateral pressure on the members. In the vote on the resolution, the much-hyped European unanimity on major issues showed cracks, with Germany abstaining.”
We have a similar opinion from another Serbian analyst, Dr Gostemir Popovic:
“The attack on Libya is unilateral action led by the United States. Dubbing Gaddafi an aggressor is part of American efforts to justify this war. It has nothing to do with the truth, because it is the attacking force that is killing Libyan civilians and destroying their once prosperous country. This war blatantly flouts international agreements. It must be stopped, and its masterminds, brought to international justice. If this is not done, the entire Mediterranean may degenerate into unfettered violence. In 1999, the United States was after separating Kosovo. This time, it appears to be after splitting Libya. The pattern is the same, as is the puppet master behind the scenes.”
The anti-Gaddafi coalition claims to have already knocked out 20 of Libya’s 22 air defence installations. It says this improves security for Libyan civilians and creates conditions for bringing aid to them.
Gaddafi, meantime, stays defiant and pledges everything in his power to defeat what he calls a Western aggression against his country. Civilian volunteers on the Gaddafi side are welcome to take up arms and join a popular militia. Gaddafi hopes this force can grow to at least one million within the coming days.