Source: Press TV
Protesters and demonstrators in Libya have one call and that is an end to the long-time rule Muammar Gaddafi.
For more on the ongoing events in Libya, Press TV has interviewed former US ambassador to Iraq, Edward Peck, from Washington.
Press TV: How do you assess the US response up into this point of events that have been unfolded in Libya?
Peck: Well, I don't think there's been actually much of a response that is measurable and therefore, is difficult to comment on, because we have made so much noises and so many words but we haven't really done anything of a concrete nature which makes it difficult to assess what is actually accomplished.
Press TV: What can you tell us about the latest comment by US President Barack Obama who had stated that “Gaddafi must basically leave now?”
Peck: Well, it isn't up to Mr. Obama to decide whether or not Mr. Gaddafi is going to leave. He could make statement like that, but it is basically meaningless. It is just words. In a democracy such as ours, it is partially intended to get the people to do something, but you know it isn't really of a great significance as far as I can tell.
Press TV: Taking into account the behind the scenes calculations, does the US want the fall of another Arab dictatorship with prospects of a democracy for that country in the future?
Peck: Well, that is a tough one. Because would be a democracy, may be yes may be no. It is hard to say in advance. It could be something that resembles the democracy. It could result in the folks that we are considering to be the most important, not succeeding in getting rid of Gaddafi. In which case you could have an extensive of what that involves all sorts of developments which would not be in my mind, in the best interest of the United States. It could go that way just as easily as the way we would like it to. It is hard to predict future.
Press TV: Do you think that the US would have preferred to have Gaddafi stay in power?
Peck: Well, the way it is now, probably not because of what has happened the developments that have taken place. It may have been that when he was there, [they] were happy to have him there because the US has always felt that stability is better than chaos or disorganization, or that kind of development.
Whether it is or it isn't a judgment call and I am not in a position to make that for my government but I think we would have preferred a quiet transition. One in which the people slowly accommodated to doing things, a different way and the government would whistle on that since that seems to be too late now. What the American people would like to see is some sort of development which leads to stable, quiet, peaceful change over to something [that is] perhaps a little bit democratic.
Press TV: Well the Obama administration is considering a range of options from pressuring the Libyan regime. The question that is circulating in everybody's mind is military intervention in Libya. Is it possible or is it on the table basically?
Peck: Oh, that is a really tough one, because what the Americans actually be prepared to consider another invasion of another country. I hate to think so. I recognize that the way the thing are these days, it could happen, but another invasion on an Arab country. Don't do that. That would cause catastrophe I think.
Press TV: There are so many players, such as Britain, France, Italy. What could their objectives be?
Peck: That is something you have to ask them but I guess that the thing that concerns me is that the United states of America has enough going on now in the world of a military nature, in places where some people would suggest we really don't have any right to be, but I think it would be a major mistake to get involved in yet another war anywhere, involving with anyone. So I hope that they have enough understanding to recognize that is definitely not something that should not even think of as a course of action.
Press TV: Looking at the revolutions and uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, now in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, let's say a hypothetical situation. You were working in the US State Department and the Secretary of State asks you what is going on in the Arab world, how would you respond to that?
Peck: well, I think I would feel constraint and would tell him or her that whatever is happening in the Middle East right now may not turn out to be in the best interest of this country. In the sense that there are a lot of people who do not like what is and has been done to the Palestinians. This was one of the things that people of Egypt had against their leaders.
The fact was that he was facilitating what Israel was doing to the Palestinians, which the overwhelming majority of Arabs, Muslims do not support; but he was doing it for whatever reasons. It is not something that I can describe or talk about and that is one of the things that they had against him. So if indeed Mr. Mubarak has gone and that remains to be seen, because it isn't over until it is over. It is highly unlikely in my mind that the government of Egypt is to replace Mr. Mubarak. It is going to be a government which will be continuing that support which they did not think was good before.