*Rev. Jesse Jackson is weighing in on the Libya debate, telling an audience in Ireland that he has apprehensions about the excessive use of international military force in the country and other parts of the Middle East.
Addressing the Trinity College Historical Society in Dublin on Tuesday (March 22), Jackson said he was very concerned the UN mandate had been “stretched” beyond its original purpose to protect the Libyan people from the humanitarian threat posed by Col Muammar Gaddafi to his people.
“Something had to happen to stop the genocidal march. On the other hand the UN’s resolution was about containment and cessation not about aggression. It was not a resolution to wipe out Gaddafi but a humanitarian mission to save the victims of genocide,” he said.
“It seems that the definition of the mission has been stretched beyond its original intent. Therefore we are getting closer and closer, from oversight, to more action on the ground.”
It was particularly worrying that the multinational coalition had gone from imposing a UN mandated no-fly zone to attacking Col Gaddafi compound in Tripoli. This action meant there was a real risk the situation would worsen, he said.
“To attack the compound where Gaddafi essentially lives, that’s going beyond what that mandate was and that is compounding the crisis and is opening up another war front.”
The international community had moved themselves into a situation whereby if they killed Gaddafi they would be in serious violation of the UN mandate, and if he survived they would face a “more entrenched enemy” who would expand the sense of tension in the areas.
Jackson was in Dublin to receive the College Historical Society’s gold medal for outstanding contribution to public discourse, recognizing his contribution to civil rights discourse and American political discourse. Last night he was also awarded honorary life membership of UCD Law Society.