Paul Lachine

Una zona de exclusión aérea para Libia

WASHINGTON, DC – Los líderes de todo el mundo están debatiendo intensamente la conveniencia de establecer una zona de exclusión aérea para detener la violencia en Libia. Algunos citan como razón para actuar a Bosnia, donde la OTAN tardó demasiado en proteger a la población civil a mediados de los noventa. Otros recuerdan el caso de Rwanda, en el que el presidente Bill Clinton se lamentó más tarde por no haber actuado para salvar vidas inocentes. No obstante, el mejor indicio de lo que actualmente está en juego en Libia es la tragedia del sur de Iraq durante los últimos días de la guerra del Golfo Pérsico de hace 20 años.

En febrero de 1991, cuando las fuerzas de la coalición estaban derrotando al ejército iraquí, el presidente George H.W. Bush alentó a los iraquíes a “tomar el control de las cosas para obligar al dictador Saddam Hussein a retirarse.” Cuando los iraquíes chiítas, los kurdos y los árabes de los pantanos se rebelaron contra Hussein, creyeron que las fuerzas estadounidenses los protegerían del poder militar superior del brutal dictador.

En cambio, cuando los helicópteros artillados y las tropas de elite iraquíes empezaron a asesinar a su propio pueblo, las fuerzas de la coalición recibieron la orden de retirarse. El mundo presenció la masacre de miles de iraquíes.

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