Libya VIII

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MegB
Libya VIII

Continued from here.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url=http://www.socialist-alliance.org/page.php?page=1098]Support the Libyan uprising but reject foreign military intervention[/url]

Australian Socialist Alliance statement March 18, 2011

Quote:
The threat of military air strikes against Libya by Britain, France, the US and allies - now supported by a March 17 UN Security Council resolution - may or may not force the despotic Libyan regime of Muammar Gaddafi to stop using its armed forces against the rebel-held city of Benghazi in the short term.

However, it does pose grave dangers for the sovereignty of Libya and for the wave of democratic revolts that have swept the Arab world this year.

The Socialist Alliance is a strong and active supporter of this wave of democratic uprisings. We welcomed the uprising in Libya that began on February 17 and have helped organise actions in solidarity with this uprising - as we have with the uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Yemen and Bahrain.

The Socialist Alliance has also consistently opposed and warned against the dangers of foreign intervention - especially from the governments of the rich and powerful nations in the West. These governments have long supported and propped up many dictatorial regimes in the Arab world.

We understand and sympathise with the desperation of the Libyan opposition - which was threatened by Gaddafi with a "merciless" attack on Benghazi, the second biggest city in Libya.

But we believe that if Western powers and their allies (including the Saudi monarchy now occupying Bahrain) begin a military intervention in Libya, this will threaten Libyan solidarity. It will weaken the democratic uprising politically and help rollback the wave of democratic uprisings across the Arab world.

Imperial military intervention in Libya may even help the despotic Gaddafi regime win some support within Libya and other less developed countries for being seen to stand up to the western interference.

Gaddafi has already tried to resume his previously discarded posture as a fighter against imperial aggression.

The governments of Britain, France, the US and other allies (including the Australian government) are not interested in the lives or liberty of the Libyan people. These powerful forces only seek to preserve their global privilege at the richest exploiters of the world.

If these powerful governments were serious in helping the Libyan people's uprisings, they would have found ways a lot earlier to enable the freedom fighters to obtain the anti-aircraft and other weapon that would have helped them fight off the warplanes, helicopters and tanks of the pro-Gaddafi forces.

Instead, they waited until the rebels suffered a string of demoralising military defeats before presenting themselves as "saviours".

The UNSC resolution calls on Member States "to take all necessary measures ... to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamhariya, including Benghazi, while excluding an occupation force."

However, history has taught us that these governments of the world''s richest exploiters can not be trusted to protect the people. They have always acted to further their own selfish interest as exploiter nations. For example, even though the UN has passed numerous resolutions on the right of Palestinians to self-determination, the UNSC has never once authorised force to be used against Israel for denying this right.

The Socialist Alliance opposes imperialist intervention into Libya. We call on the Australian government not to participate in this latest military adventure.

The Socialist Alliance believes the Libyan revolutionaries need solidarity. We support a campaign of international isolation of the Gaddafi regime, through the breaking of diplomatic ties with the Gaddafi regime and recognition of the rebel Interim Transitional National Council, and financial sanctions on leaders of the Gaddafi regime and its assets.

We also support immediate international aid (including military supplies without conditions) to the Libyan uprising.

 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Morning Star (England) wrote:
Once again, this country is at war and, once again, its intervention is deeply immoral, careless of the cost in human life and highly questionable in terms of international political ethics....

The resource wars of the 21st century predicted by EU boss Jacques Delors way back in the 20th are now firmly under way and Libya's oil is the resource in question at the moment.

It was always horribly predictable that this would eventually be the case but it's still instructive to look at the opposing sides and study their motivations.

One thing is clear. There's not a trace of "humanitarian motive" among the aggressor nations, whatever they might claim. However, they do have things in common.

Let's look at them. The countries that propose to take an active part in the "policing" of the no-fly zone fall into two distinct groups.

There are the Arab League nations, such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia, that have announced their willing-ness to take part in "protecting the population" of Libya.

It has to be said that their record of concern for the population doesn't seem to extend very far into their own territories, let alone other people's.

In oil-rich Saudi Arabia it took a huge rise in unrest in the region for King Abdullah to remember his concern for the population and order enormous increases in spending, including $67 billion on housing, which had been desperately needed - and ignored by the royal house - for many years.

And gas-rich Qatar, which announced on Friday that it "has decided to contribute in the efforts aiming at protecting civilians in Libya," must have had what amounts to a miraculous conversion, given that the "safety and security" of its own population has been compromised for years.

In the words of the US State Department, Qatar is a "destination country for men and women trafficked for the purposes of involuntary servitude and, to a lesser extent, commercial sexual exploitation," in other words, slavery. So much for concern for the population.

And then there are the Western countries falling over themselves to go on the offensive, chiefly Britain, the US and France.

What they share in common is different, but just as clear.

All three countries are gripped in economic crisis, wracked by demonstrations over cuts in wages, social services and jobs originating in the capitalist banking crisis and their efforts to make their working classes pay for the costs of bailing out the bankers.

It almost goes without saying that war is the last refuge of the capitalist scoundrel when it comes to boosting a struggling economy and, this time around, it seems that it's no different.

We must be clear here that the words "no-fly zone" are merely a blatant euphemism for a bloody war and this war is already killing civilians, who are dying in callous air attacks on "military targets" located in the middle of heavily populated towns and cities for motives that, to say the least, are highly questionable.

And all of that's before we even touch on the question of Libya's oil...

link

 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

A reminder for some: the UK Prime Minister Cameron is already "sneering at the prospect of a ceasefire" by the Libyan gov. The UN SC resolution, we should recall, was allegedly to stop the violence/killing of Libyan civilians. The method was to enforce a ceasefire.

That method has already been abandoned. And it's only been - what? - two days?

Morning Star wrote:
International relations expert Mark Almond of Bilkent University, Turkey, told Russia Today that US President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy had made it clear they wanted to "overthrow" Muammar Gadaffi's regime "and they wish to do so by assisting the rebels against him on the ground."

France, Italy, Canada, Denmark, Spain and Norway are also supporting what Colonel Gadaffi called a "crusade."

 

Are any of the cheerleaders of imperialism getting this? How many dead Libyan civilians is enough? Wasn't that the alleged "concern" of the NATO militarist regimes (like our own) in justifying their actions?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Quote:
The agents of the United States, England, France... try to substitute the struggle against fascism for the struggle against imperialism. We have observed their criminal efforts at the recent congress against war and fascism. In the countries of Latin America the agents of "democratic" imperialism are especially dangerous, since they are more capable of fooling the masses than the open agents of fascist bandits.

I will take the most simple and obvious example. In Brazil there now reigns a semifascist regime that every revolutionary can only view with hatred. Let us assume, however, that on the morrow England enters into a military conflict with Brazil. I ask you on whose side of the conflict will the working class be? I will answer for myself personally –in this case I will be on the side of "fascist" Brazil against "democratic" Great Britain. Why? Because in the conflict between them it will not be a question of democracy or fascism. If England should be victorious, she will put another fascist in Rio de Janeiro and will place double chains on Brazil. If Brazil on the contrary should be victorious, it will give a mighty impulse to national and democratic consciousness of the country and will lead to the overthrow of the Vargas dictatorship. The defeat of England will at the same time deliver a blow to British imperialism and will give an impulse to the revolutionary movement of the British proletariat. Truly, one must have an empty head to reduce world antagonisms and military conflicts to the struggle between fascism and democracy. Under all masks one must know how to distinguish exploiters, slave-owners, and robbers!

[url=http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1938/09/liberation.htm]Leon Trotsky, 1938[/url]

Doug

Of course none of the coalition are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts - but if it does allow the revolutionaries to win, that's a plus. They certainly weren't winning last week and looked to be headed toward a bloody defeat.

Future_is_Socialism

With all three main parties (the Libs, NDP and of course Harper and his cronies) jumping on the war wagon with regard to Libya, the most cogent and principled anti-war position is actually being taken by the Communist Party of Canada. Here's their statement of March 18th. Judge for yourself:



Hands Off Libya - No Foreign Intervention!
For a Peaceful Political Solution to the Conflict!
Keep Canadian Military at Home!

On Thursday of this week, the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 1973, authorizing the imposition of a "no-fly zone" on Libya and the use of "all necessary measures" short of an invasion - including naval blockades, bombardment and air strikes - against Col. Muammar Gaddafi's forces in order "to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas" in the rebel-held Eastern part of Libya. The resolution also imposes a ban on all air travel (including civilian flights) in Libyan airspace, toughens the arms embargo, and widens the freeze of offshore Libyan assets.

In reality, the UN decision hands the U.S. and its NATO allies a carte blanche to launch a full-scale onslaught against Tripoli and other government-held areas. Res. 1973 goes far beyond the "no-fly zone" concept to include attacks on Libyan military units and equipment which "threaten" the population, essentially expanding the scope of potential military action to include virtually every conceivable form of attack. Such a military assault will further enflame the internal conflict which has already exacted a heavy toll amongst the Libyan population, and will put "civilians and civilian-populated areas" at greater, rather than lesser risk.

The Communist Party of Canada condemns this Security Council action which was bullied through by the U.S., Britain and France, passing by a vote of 10-0 with 5 abstentions (China, Russia, Brazil, India and Germany), under the dangerous and thoroughly hypocritical doctrine of "humanitarian interventionism". This doctrine is dangerous because it provides a convenient pretext to override one of the most central and fundamental principles of the U.N. Charter - namely, respect for the national and territorial sovereignty of all member-states - thus providing official sanction for wars of aggression and occupation by the imperialist powers under the cover of ‘international humanitarian relief'.

Its invocation by Washington and its imperialist allies is also outrageously hypocritical, when US/NATO forces have inflicted thousands of casualties on innocent civilians in wars of occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq, and continue to do so up to the present day. Where is this burning concern "to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas" in these countries and in Pakistan, where the U.S. has repeatedly launched unmanned drone attacks causing hundreds additional deaths among unarmed civilians?

Or take what is happening right now in Bahrain and Yemen, where reactionary and dictatorial governments are slaughtering unarmed civilian protestors in broad daylight - protestors whose only ‘crime' is that they have peacefully taken to the streets to demand democratic change. Or the repeated Israeli massacres of Palestinians in Gaza and the other occupied territories - surely the most outrageous case of imperialist double standards. Why have Washington, London and Paris remained so conspicuously silent in the face of these outrageous atrocities?

The answer is very simple: because these are ‘US-friendly' client states which faithfully serve imperialist interests in the region. In Libya, on the other hand, the imperialist powers want a ‘regime change' to replace Gaddafi with a more ‘predictable' and pliant puppet government, and to strengthen their hegemony in North Africa & the Middle East where their ‘influence' (a.k.a. their economic interests centred on control of the region's vital oil resources) is increasingly threatened by the rising tide of democratic upsurge throughout the Arab world.

In response to the passage of the UN resolution, the Libyan government has announced an immediate cessation of military action and is calling for an "open dialogue" to find a peaceful solution to the conflict. Tripoli has also invited the United Nations and other international organizations such as the African Union to send fact-finding missions to the country to confirm the ceasefire decision, and to pave the way to a negotiated settlement.

Many may question whether Gaddafi's ceasefire offer is genuine. Unfortunately, the western powers are already dismissing this initiative without even bothering to confirm the intentions of the Libyan regime, and are preparing to launch military action, clearly revealing their true intent to impose regime change through military aggression.

However bad the current situation, it will be much worse with a foreign invasion. The Communist Party urges all Canadians who oppose war and aggression to speak out to demand that our government withdraw our troops and warships now, and to demand that the imperialist powers, including Canada, refrain from military aggression against Libya and instead support a peaceful resolution to this crisis. Let the Libyan people settle matters themselves with a political solution. "Hands off Libya!"

Central Executive Committee,
Communist Party of Canada
March 18, 2011

 

 

 

 

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

Libyan government forces retreat to Ajdabiya; repel pursuing rebel's hasty assault

 

Quote:

Libyan government forces pulled back 60 miles (100 kilometers) from Benghazi to the strategic junction town of Ajdabiya but showed no sign of giving in, AFP reported.

Khadafy forces sent rebels who followed up the withdrawal and were massed in their hundreds outside Ajdabiya fleeing in disarray when they opened up from the town with shell fire from their artillery and remaining tanks.


No doubt they will have thier supply lines cut off from the west by the rebels. They will be trapped in Ajdabiya if they stay there, attacked on the roads if they leave.
More details of the fighting around Ajdabiya here.
Quote:

Rebel fighters in Benghazi had now pushed down that highway to the outskirts of the city of Ajdabiya, which pro-Gadhafi forces have surrounded and been pounding with artillery and strikes since last week. The rebels swept into the nearby oil port of Zwitina, just northeast of the city, which was also the scene of heavy fighting last week - though now had been abandoned by regime forces. There, a power station hit by shelling on Thursday was still burning, its blackened fuel tank crumpled, with flames and black smoke pouring out.

 

Mohammed Abdul-Mullah, a 38-year-old civil engineer from Benghazi who was fighting with the rebel force, said government troops stopped all resistance after the international campaign began.

"They were running, by foot and in small cars," he said. "The balance has changed a lot. But pro-Gadhafi forces are still strong. They are a professional military and they have good equipment. Ninety percent of us rebels are civilians, while Gadhafi's people are professional fighters."

Rebel fighters descending from Benghazi met no resistance as they moved to the outskirts of Ajdabiya. In a field of dunes several miles (kilometers) outside the city, around 150 fighters massed. Some stood on the dunes with binoculars to survey the positions of pro-Gadhafi forces sealing off the entrances of the city. Ajdabiya itself was visible, black smoke rising, apparently from fires burning from fighting in recent days.

"There are five Gadhafi tanks and eight rocket launchers behind those trees and lots of 4x4s," said one rebel fighter, Fathi Obeidi, standing on a dune and pointing at a line of trees between his position and the city.

Ghadafi forces have ringed the city's entrance and were battling with opposition fighters inside, rebels said. The plan is for the rebel forces from Benghazi "to pinch" the regime troops while "those inside will push out," Obeidi said.

New fighting also broke out Monday in Misrata, the last rebel-held city in western Libya, according to reports from Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya.

 

So it would seem the government forces aren't in or own Ajdabiya completely; they are fighting rebels inside the city while they themselves are getting surrounded.

 

 

 

 

Caissa

MacKay's words seem to put to rest any notion of this being a UN Mission.

CBC wrote:

Canadian CF-18 fighter jets flew their first mission to enforce a UN no-fly zone over Libya Monday, as debate on Canada's role in the military intervention was expected to get underway in the House of Commons.

The CF-18s, which flew out of a base in Trapani Italy, did not fire shots or conduct any bombing, instead serving as armed escorts for fighters of another nation that conducted the bombing. But Canadian planes are expected to begin bombing missions as soon as Monday night.

Four CF-18 jets, plus two refuelers, took part in the mission, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Monday.

MacKay said he expects NATO will eventually take over the mission.

"Will it morph into a NATO-led mission? Remains to be seen," MacKay said. "There has been, shall we say, some divergent opinion as to when and where this will occur, but it is my understanding that this mission may well morph into a NATO-led mission."

 

Unionist

@Future_is_Socialism: I do personally appreciate your making us aware of this statement - and I support its content - but we beat the Communist Party to the punch on [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/international-news-and-politics/imperialist-... 25[/url], when we opened the first of our (now) three continuing threads demanding that imperialists keep their hands off Libya. Can I suggest that you re-post this statement in our Hands Off Libya (part III) thread?

 

Sven Sven's picture

I understand the skepticism that has greeted the U.N. (NATO?) intervention into Libya.  As exemplified by the piece M. Spector quoted above, that skepticism seems to be primarily rooted the fact that the intervention is being implemented by three Western nations who have a long history of imperial conduct (the USA, UK, and France) in an oil-producing, African country.  Perhaps, in this case, those are sufficient reasons, by themselves, for opposing this intervention.

The broader question I have is this: When can outsiders legitimately interfere with the internal affairs of another country?  Or, are the borders of sovereignty such that no matter what may be happening within the borders of a particular state, no intervention is ever legitimate?

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
@Future_is_Socialism: I do personally appreciate your making us aware of this statement - and I support its content - but we beat the Communist Party to the punch on [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/international-news-and-politics/imperialist-... 25[/url], when we opened the first of our (now) three continuing threads demanding that imperialists keep their hands off Libya. Can I suggest that you re-post this statement in our Hands Off Libya (part III) thread? 

To be fair, no other political party statements along those lines were introduced in those threads, so I'm not sure who this 'we' is that you are referring to.  We're not exactly a political party here.  But yeah, there were plenty of 'hands off' statements in those threads by individual posters.

Unionist

Slumberjack wrote:

To be fair, no other political party statements along those lines were introduced in those threads, so I'm not sure who this 'we' is that you are referring to.

Aw c'mon, SJ, I was just ribbing Future because of his statement that the Communist Party had taken "the most cogent and principled anti-war position". I was just bragging that we here on babble could also be cogent, principled, and anti-war, and quicker off the hop to boot!

I am very happy that the Communist Party has taken this stand, but what is necessary for us right now is to ensure that Canada takes this stand. That means putting pressure on our trade unions and other organizations, on the NDP, the Bloc, and in rapidly descending order, the Liberals, and the Cons. We need to do it. Here on babble, unfortunately, we're still busy debating with those who think that David Cameron is a humanitarian.

Anyway, I apologize to Future and the Communist Party for my misplaced levity.

 

Unionist

Sven wrote:

The broader question I have is this: When can outsiders legitimately interfere with the internal affairs of another country?  Or, are the borders of sovereignty such that no matter what may be happening within the borders of a particular state, no intervention is ever legitimate?

Hey Sven - long time no see - welcome back!

[url=http://rabble.ca/babble/rabble-reactions/abject-support-imperialism-babb... was a quick attempt on my part (though I was a bit rude to start) to answer that question when Caissa raised a similar point. [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/rabble-reactions/abject-support-imperialism-babb... down the same thread[/url] was a more thoughtful offering by N.Beltov on the same point. Plus a few other posts in between. Maybe a thread should be opened on that very topic?

 

Sven Sven's picture

Unionist wrote:

Sven wrote:

The broader question I have is this: When can outsiders legitimately interfere with the internal affairs of another country?  Or, are the borders of sovereignty such that no matter what may be happening within the borders of a particular state, no intervention is ever legitimate?

Hey Sven - long time no see - welcome back!

Thanks! I've actually been "here" all along...but have limited my "participation" to reading.

Unionist wrote:

[url=http://rabble.ca/babble/rabble-reactions/abject-support-imperialism-babb... was a quick attempt on my part (though I was a bit rude to start) to answer that question when Caissa raised a similar point. [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/rabble-reactions/abject-support-imperialism-babb... down the same thread[/url] was a more thoughtful offering by N.Beltov on the same point. Plus a few other posts in between. Maybe a thread should be opened on that very topic?

Thanks for pointing me to that posting.  I tend to agree with you (i.e., if there is genocide or other crimes against humanity, intervention may be appropriate).  In this particular case, while I acknowledge that many have deep sympathy for the rebels and would like to see them succeed, this matter does not rise to the level of "crimes against humanity".

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Sven wrote:

The broader question I have is this: When can outsiders legitimately interfere with the internal affairs of another country?  Or, are the borders of sovereignty such that no matter what may be happening within the borders of a particular state, no intervention is ever legitimate?

Hi Sven. Good question.

From my perspective, I oppose intervention in Libya by the armed forces of the UK, France, Canada, and the US, etc. not because they are "outsiders" but because their intervention is intended to preserve and extend their own imperialist geopolitical interests - interests that I oppose.

I have no problem with "outsiders" intervening to actually aid the rebels in Libya (see for example the position of the Socialist Alliance of Australia, which I quoted above). To me, it's a matter of international solidarity with progressive movements that are in struggle with their own capitalist rulers. That's because in my book, class solidarity comes above all else. National borders should not stand in the way of the struggle - especially phony national borders cobbled together by imperialist map-makers in the first place.

That's why, for example, I have no problem with "outsiders" who went to Spain to fight on the republican side of the civil war against Franco. Nor did I see a contradiction between calling for the U.S. forces to leave South Vietnam, while supporting the supply of military and other material aid to the rebels from North Vietnam. In political struggles, one supports one's friends and opposes one's enemies. It's a no-brainer.

I never advocate intervention by imperialist armies into foreign conflicts - regardless of the "humanitarian" or other rationales offered - because I know that they will end up stalling, limiting, sabotaging, and/or crushing the forces of national and social liberation by making sure that an imperial-friendly government is firmly in control before they leave (if they ever leave). You'll notice that no imperialist countries offered or attempted to supply weapons to the rebel forces in Libya. They may have soured on Qadhafi, their erstwhile client who has now outlived his usefulness to them, but that doesn't mean they want a revolution in Libya; revolutions tend to get out of hand and develop into something that the imperialists can no longer manage or control (cf. Cuba).

In short, there is no "principle" of non-intervention in my view. The only principle is solidarity. 

NDPP

Libya and the Hypocrisy of Humanitarian Intervention  -  by John V Walsh

http://www.counterpunch.org/walsh03212011.html

"In terms of the exercise of real authority, Gaddafi is likely to be replaced not by Libyans but by the foreign powers which assist in his overthrow. Going by what happened in Afghanistan and Iraq it will not take much for their actions to be seen across the Middle East as hypocritical and self-serving and resisted as such..."

Gaddafi is Likely to Fall, But What Next?  - by Patrick Cockburn

http://www.counterpunch.org/patrick03212011.html

"It is the next stage in Libya - after the fall of Gaddafi - which has the potential to produce a diaster similar to Afghanistan and Iraq. In both cases successful war left the US as the predominant power in the country. In Iraq this rapidly turned into an old-fashioned imperial occupation. 'The occupation was the mother of all mistakes,' as one Iraqi leader is fond of repeating.

The same problem is going to arise in Libya. There will be a lack of a credible local partner. The rebels have shown that they are politically and militarily weak. Indeed, if this had not been so, there would have been no need for a last minute foreign intervention to save them.

The local leaders who rise to the top in these circumstances are usually those who speak the best English and get on with the US and its allies. In Baghdad and Kabul those who initially rose were those who fawned the most and who were prepared to go before Congress to express fulsome gratitude for America's actions.

There is a further complication. Libya is an oil state like Iraq, and oil wealth tends to bring out the worst in almost everybody. It leads to autocracy because whoever controls the oil revenues can pay for powerful security forces and ignore the public.."

NDPP

Unionist wrote:

@Future_is_Socialism: I do personally appreciate your making us aware of this statement - and I support its content - but we beat the Communist Party to the punch on [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/international-news-and-politics/imperialist-... 25[/url], when we opened the first of our (now) three continuing threads demanding that imperialists keep their hands off Libya. Can I suggest that you re-post this statement in our Hands Off Libya (part III) thread?

NDPP

CPC Statement of March 8 posted March 12 in Libya III

http://rabble.ca/comment/1227855/Communist-Party-Canada

Freedom 55

Sven wrote:

The broader question I have is this: When can outsiders legitimately interfere with the internal affairs of another country?  Or, are the borders of sovereignty such that no matter what may be happening within the borders of a particular state, no intervention is ever legitimate?

 

Yes, that's what I've been wrestling with too. That's why, in another thread, I raised the example of the 1999 INTERFET intervention in East Timor. There, you had Western militaries coming to chase-off a brutal occupying army which they had been supporting for decades. It was done under the banner of 'humanitarian intervention', but these same countries which had armed and supported Indonesia for all those years obviously had imperialist aims. Nevertheless, outside intervention was supported and requested by the Timorese resistance. In that case, which takes precedence; an anti-imperialist stance against intervention, or responding to the calls for intervention by those who are in immediate harm's way?

If you look at East Timor today, things haven't improved all that much since achieving "independence", thanks in large part to the IMF, World Bank, and various foreign governments that gained a foothold as a result of the change in power. Does what we know now - 11+ years after the fact - change what our response would have been?

Fidel

[url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23835]America's Hidden Hand Behind The UN Resolution For A No-fly Zone Over Libya[/url]

Enver Masud wrote:
The behind-the-scene American role has been kept largely hidden from the public.

On March 16, 2011, I received a letter from Radwan A. Masmoudi, President, Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy (CSID), asking me to sign a letter urging President Obama:

. . . that with the recent unanimous vote of the League of Arab States, numerous calls for such action from states within the region, as well as wider calls from traditional American allies such as France and Britain for such action, legitimate sanction for the speedy imposition of a no-fly zone now exists and we call upon you now to assume a leading role in halting the horrific violence being perpetrated by Colonel Gaddafi's forces

. . . to create a coalition that will impose as quickly as possible a no-fly zone for all Libyan military aircraft over the full extent of northern Libyan airspace.

The letter was signed by hundreds of "scholars" first among whom were Larry Diamond, Director, Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, Stanford University; John L. Esposito, Director, Al-Waleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University; Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University; Francis Fukuyama, Institute for International Studies, Stanford University; Michele Dunne, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

I did not sign it, and informed Masmoudi that I oppose the no-fly zone.

CSID, established in 1999, "lists as its principle program accomplishments: democracy training workshops in Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan; establishing the Network of Democrats, publishing a newsletter on the status of democracy in the Arab world; organizing conferences, etc."

Quote:
"The NED basically does overtly what the CIA used to do covertly. It funds civil society groups and organizations that fit within U.S. strategic interests in various countries." -   Jeb Sprague

Those idiots! Bombing does not protect innocent people! Of course, they already know that from first-hand experience.

Unionist

Freedom 55 wrote:
Nevertheless, outside intervention was supported and requested by the Timorese resistance. In that case, which takes precedence; an anti-imperialist stance against intervention, or responding to the calls for intervention by those who are in immediate harm's way?

Um, F55, East Timor was a colony of Portugal, fought for and won its independence in 1975 (around the same time the African colonies were gaining independence after the sort of revolution in Portugal), and was promptly invaded, occupied, and illegally annexed by Indonesia under Butcher Suharto. Of course the East Timorese people had the sovereign right to call upon anyone - including the Devil Himself if need be - to help expel the invaders and restore their rights. This wasn't some opposition party in Indonesia, pissed off at the slow pace of change, calling in foreigners to help them win!

Quote:
If you look at East Timor today, things haven't improved all that much since achieving "independence", thanks in large part to the IMF, World Bank, and various foreign governments that gained a foothold as a result of the change in power. Does what we know now - 11+ years after the fact - change what our response would have been?

Of course not. National liberation doesn't always lead to paradise. But national enslavement is always hell. If the East Timorese people decide they want to be beholden to the IMF, the World Bank, or Bernie Madoff, that is their decision to make, without Indonesia telling them what to do at the barrel of a gun.

Fallout

Sven wrote:

I understand the skepticism that has greeted the U.N. (NATO?) intervention into Libya.  As exemplified by the piece M. Spector quoted above, that skepticism seems to be primarily rooted the fact that the intervention is being implemented by three Western nations who have a long history of imperial conduct (the USA, UK, and France) in an oil-producing, African country.  Perhaps, in this case, those are sufficient reasons, by themselves, for opposing this intervention.

The broader question I have is this: When can outsiders legitimately interfere with the internal affairs of another country?  Or, are the borders of sovereignty such that no matter what may be happening within the borders of a particular state, no intervention is ever legitimate?

I think you answered your question in the first paragraph. Why are the U.S. et al not concerned for civilian safety in Cote D'Ivoire? Or Sudan or Burma. The U.S. went into Somalia to help and pulled out as soon as it lost one helicopter, LOL. The U.S. has demonstrated they only 'help' those people in countries that affect their strategic interests. Doesn`t have to be oil, but it does have to be strategic. Doesn`t mean the U.S. WON`T help other countries for humanitarian or compassionate reasons, just that their, ehm, staying power is weak in those instances.

Now the U.S. is in a third simultaneous war in the middle east. This is just too much. All the newscasts are blurbing 'Operation Libya', people are pounding the war drum spouting the same stuff they spouted before Afghanistan and Iraq. Well at least they didn't try to insult us this time by claiming Ghaddafi has WMD, LOL.

So, when can a outsiders interfer in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation? I think we first need to be honest about WHY we would want to interfer.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Peter MacKay says the bombing of Libya is 'our moral duty'

Hmmm...Shouldn't it be 'our moral duty' to eradicate poverty in our country?

I guess that's all I need to know about the Tories and any other of our elected members of Parliament who think the same thing.

 

ETA ; I'm guessing that it will also be 'our moral duty' to attack Syria next...and Yemen...and Iran...Why stop there?...Oh,I forgot..That would only leave Saudi Arabia and Kuwait who own the asses of the 'Allied Forces'...Maybe they can take on Indonesia instead.

NDPP

Canadian Jets Escort Allies in Bombing Runs Over Libya

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canadian-jets-escort-allies...

"Canadian warplanes have flown their first sortie over civil-war-torn Libya as part of the international coalition attacking forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi. CF 18s served as escorts for other coalition aircraft that were conducting bombing runs. The Canadian planes, currently based in Sicily, have not dropped any bombs. Defence officials would nto disclose when the CF 18s might conduct their own bombing runs.

The House of Commons is holding a take note debate on Canada's engagement in Libya after question period Monday."

no bombs only escorts...

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Canada will bomb Libyan civilians if necessary but not necessarily bomb them.

See, if we bomb them, then it's their fault. It's necessary. If we don't bomb them, then we didn't have to. It wasn't necessary. Whatever Canada does - whether we bomb them or don't bomb them - then Canada will be good. We're always good. We're never wrong. And when we escort bombers, sometimes we just escort them. But if we HAVE to, um, you know ...

Ghislaine

It's nice to see some American Democrats coming out of the wood work today to denounce this. Kucinich is even calling for Obama's impeachment.

 

Doug

NDPP wrote:

The US, along with Britain and France, won the Security Council vote in the face of opposition from China, Russia, Germany, India and Brazil only by rounding up the votes of various minor countries including Gabon, Lebanon, Columbia and Portugal.

 

If China or Russia really were all that opposed, they would have vetoed it.

Fidel

Quote:
I ordered the German Air Force to conduct humanitarian warfare - that is, to attack only fighting troops. The Polish Government and army leadership ordered the civilian population to carry on the war as francs-tireurs from ambush. It is very difficult under these circumstances to hold one's self back. I want to stress that the democratic States should not imagine it must be that way. If they want it otherwise, they can have it otherwise. My patience can have limits here also. . . . - [url=http://www.humanitas-international.org/showcase/chronography/speeches/19... the humanitarian[/url], Sept. 1939 speech

Quote:
"I have... stated that it is U.S. policy that Qaddafi needs to go," Mr. Obama said in a press conference from Santiago, Chile. "But when it comes to our military action, we are doing so in support of U.N. Security resolution 1973. That specifically talks about humanitarian efforts, and we are going to make sure that we stick to that mandate." - President [url=http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20045543-503544.html]Obama[/url], the humanitarian
 

Humanitarian leaders on their patience coming to an end.

NDPP

The Libyan War: Unconstitutional and Illegitimate -  by Michael Lind

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/03/21/lind_libya_war

"The Anglo-French-American attack in North Africa is opposed by countries representing 40 percent of the human race. The US, along with Britain and France, won the Security Council vote in the face of opposition from China, Russia, Germany, India and Brazil only by rounding up the votes of various minor countries including Gabon, Lebanon, Columbia and Portugal. If the US promised favors to these weak nations in return for pro-war votes, it would not be the first time...

In any event, the claim that the international community supports the war cannot be sustained, in the face of the opposition of the BRIC's plus Germany...But when the Arab League withdraws its support as soon as the war begins -- well, that's just embarrassing.."

Bombing Does Not : 'Protect Innocent People'  - by Felicity Arbuthnot

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23829

'the welfare of the people, in particular, has always been the alibi of tyrants.' Camus

...and social democrats

Ghislaine

Some Democrats have more courage than NDPers up here:

 

[url=http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/03/21/dem_congressman_were_i... We're in Libya because of Oil [/url]

Fidel

Doug wrote:

NDPP wrote:

The US, along with Britain and France, won the Security Council vote in the face of opposition from China, Russia, Germany, India and Brazil only by rounding up the votes of various minor countries including Gabon, Lebanon, Columbia and Portugal.

If China or Russia really were all that opposed, they would have vetoed it.

India, Brazil and Germany abstained as well.

I think that there are key government members in some of those countries who are pro-USA, pro west in general including Russia.  But they have to be careful not to appear that way as electorates in those countries are generally not pro-western in their political views.

NDPP

Cuba:  'War on Libya Gross Violation of International Law

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23839

"The Cuban government issued a statement here Sunday night expressing its 'strong condemnation' of the foreign military intervention  in Libya's internal conflict.' The statement also pushed for dialogue and negotiation, and supports the 'inalienable right of the Libyan people to exercise self-determination without external interference.'

The Cuban authorities said the intervention 'constitutes a gross manipulation' of the United Nations Charter and of the authority of the UN Security Council, and shows the 'double standards which characterize its behaviour. UN Resolution 1973, adopted last Thursday by the Security Council does not authorize in any way these attacks on Libyan territory, which constitute a violation of international law,' the statement said."

West Coast Greeny

Doug wrote:

NDPP wrote:

The US, along with Britain and France, won the Security Council vote in the face of opposition from China, Russia, Germany, India and Brazil only by rounding up the votes of various minor countries including Gabon, Lebanon, Columbia and Portugal.

 

If China or Russia really were all that opposed, they would have vetoed it.

Or voted against it, and not abstained. The resolution passed 10 - nil.

West Coast Greeny

NDPP wrote:

Cuba:  'War on Libya Gross Violation of International Law

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23839

"The Cuban government issued a statement here Sunday night expressing its 'strong condemnation' of the foreign military intervention  in Libya's internal conflict.' The statement also pushed for dialogue and negotiation, and supports the 'inalienable right of the Libyan people to exercise self-determination without external interference.'

The Cuban authorities said the intervention 'constitutes a gross manipulation' of the United Nations Charter and of the authority of the UN Security Council, and shows the 'double standards which characterize its behaviour. UN Resolution 1973, adopted last Thursday by the Security Council does not authorize in any way these attacks on Libyan territory, which constitute a violation of international law,' the statement said."

Resolution 1973

Quote:
4. Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in cooperation with the Secretary-General, to take all necessary measures (my emphasis), notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory, and requests the Member States concerned to inform the Secretary-General immediately of the measures they take pursuant to the authorization conferred by this paragraph which shall be immediately reported to the Security Council;

Don't see anything there about banning airstrikes. Ergo, action is 100% legal under international law.

West Coast Greeny

N.Beltov wrote:

Canada will bomb Libyan civilians if necessary but not necessarily bomb them.

Actually, the number of civilian casualties confirmed reads zero, at this point. Unless you're sourcing the Libyan government, who also think the protesters are on drugs. Worth pointing out that the Libyan government will not allow reporters to tour allegedly bombed civilian sites.

NorthReport

What's your source for this? 

West Coast Greeny wrote:

Actually, the number of civilian casualties confirmed reads zero, at this point. Unless you're sourcing the Libyan government, who also think the protesters are on drugs. Worth pointing out that the Libyan government will not allow reporters to tour allegedly bombed civilian sites.

NDPP
Fidel

West Coast Greeny wrote:

Don't see anything there about banning airstrikes. Ergo, action is 100% legal under international law.

[url=http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/opposition-to-libya-ass... Moussa[/url] says they've already gone too far in enforcing the 1973 resolution.

And these are recent comments from three UNSC member countries:

Vladimir Putin wrote:
"The resolution is flawed. It allows everything and is reminiscent of a medieval call for a crusade. In fact, it allows intervention in a sovereign state." ...

Germany, which like Russia abstained at last week's UN Security Council meeting, also repeated its misgivings about the operation. And via a state newspaper, the Chinese government condemned what it called "armed action against a sovereign country" and expressed its regret that "the West will not give up their jurisdiction over justice and injustice".

"Regime change" in Tripoli is also not mentioned in the resolution.

West Coast Greeny

NorthReport wrote:

What's your source for this? 

West Coast Greeny wrote:

Actually, the number of civilian casualties confirmed reads zero, at this point. Unless you're sourcing the Libyan government, who also think the protesters are on drugs. Worth pointing out that the Libyan government will not allow reporters to tour allegedly bombed civilian sites.

Al-Jazeera's March 20th liveblog.

http://blogs.aljazeera.net/live/africa/libya-live-blog-march-20-0

Quote:
8:04pm International press, despite repeated requests, have not been allowed to go to the sites of the airstrikes and can't corroborate in any way what happened last night.

On second look, that is out of date. Libyan officials have now permitted journalists to travel on government-led tours of Tripoli. 

Al-Jazeera's March 21st liveblog (I trust you to find it)

Quote:
Libyan officals took journalists to see what they claimed was the damage from a missile attack. Officials said the missiles had struck very near to Gaddafi's tent.

Anita McNaught, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Tripoli, said journalists taken to the scene asked officials why there was no smoke or fire. One official said he didn't know because he wasn't a military expert.

I am a little hamstrung as to exactly what to source when talking about Libya. I don't think many of you would trust American or British media sources. The only other ones on the ground in Libya are Al-Jazeera. So I'm basically looking at them.

In other news, Fox has already embarrassed themselves. 

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2011/03/21/tsr.robertson.libya.fox.claims.cnn?hpt=C2

NDPP

West Coast Greeny wrote:

 

Don't see anything there about banning airstrikes. Ergo, action is 100% legal under international law.

NDPP

you can probably find support for your position here:

A Case For Preventive War

http://www.cbc.ca/news/pdf/williams-mastersresearchproject.pdf

"This paper has argued that preventive war can serve the cause of international stability...Most importantly, we have seen that if preventive war is to be productively applied to the cause of stability, it ought to be done with broad international support to ensure the clarity of the international community's message..."

 

Fidel

I guess Libyans they don't build with wood, like 1945 Tokyo razed to the ground by war criminals then. Must be something to do with a lack of timber in desert nations or something. I dunno.

Hey I'll bet Sarkozy is glad now that he doesn't have to return that election campaign money he received from Libya. Laughing Apparently Sarkozy is [url=http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/39442/sarkozy_fillon_fail_to_recover_in_... all that popular[/url] in his own country.

West Coast Greeny

Fidel wrote:

West Coast Greeny wrote:

Don't see anything there about banning airstrikes. Ergo, action is 100% legal under international law.

[url=http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/opposition-to-libya-ass... Moussa[/url] says they've already gone too far in enforcing the 1973 resolution.

And these are recent comments from three UNSC member countries:

Vladimir Putin wrote:
"The resolution is flawed. It allows everything and is reminiscent of a medieval call for a crusade. In fact, it allows intervention in a sovereign state." ...

Germany, which like Russia abstained at last week's UN Security Council meeting, also repeated its misgivings about the operation. And via a state newspaper, the Chinese government condemned what it called "armed action against a sovereign country" and expressed its regret that "the West will not give up their jurisdiction over justice and injustice".

"Regime change" in Tripoli is also not mentioned in the resolution.

Amr Moussa re-iterated he still supports the resolution

Quote:
MISGIVINGS DROPPED: ARAB LEAGUE secretary general Amr Moussa said yesterday the 22-member organisation remains committed to UN-mandated efforts to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya and called upon coalition members to give top priority to protecting civilians.

“We respect the UN Security Council resolution and do not seek to contradict this resolution, especially since it stated that there will be no invasion or occupation of Libyan lands,” he said at a press conference with UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon.

Mr Moussa has, apparently, dropped misgivings expressed 24 hours earlier about civilian casualties from western airstrikes.

Medvedev called Putin's comments "unacceptable". Technically, he runs the country.

Fidel

It doesn't say anything about free rutabagas for Libyans and their guests flying the jolly roger either.

Ergo, it must mean that Libyans can expect thousands of bushels of rutabagas dropped on them anytime soon. It's a logical conclusion to arrive at afterall...

NDPP

West Coast Greeny wrote:

 

Amr Moussa re-iterated he still supports the resolution

Quote:
MISGIVINGS DROPPED: ARAB LEAGUE secretary general Amr Moussa said yesterday the 22-member organisation remains committed to UN-mandated efforts to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya and called upon coalition members to give top priority to protecting civilians.

“We respect the UN Security Council resolution and do not seek to contradict this resolution, especially since it stated that there will be no invasion or occupation of Libyan lands,” he said at a press conference with UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon. Mr Moussa has, apparently, dropped misgivings expressed 24 hours earlier about civilian casualties from western airstrikes.

NDPP

the cheque's in the mail..

West Coast Greeny

Fidel wrote:

It doesn't say anything about free rutabagas for Libyans and their guests flying the jolly roger either.

Ergo, it must mean that Libyans can expect thousands of bushels of rutabagas dropped on them anytime soon. It's a logical conclusion to arrive at afterall...

I fail to see how rutabagas disable Gaddafi's air defenses, or halt armour.

I've got to study again. We'll see how everything looks tomorrow. I'll look at the UN Charter Article NDPP pointed out then. 

Fidel

Ya who is Putin but the Prime Minister of a G8 security council nation?

I'd much rather pay attention to the words spoken from the other side of a diplomat's mouth from a country that basically made its backyard into a giant Guantanamo for CIA renditions and torture in Egypt. Moussa has real cred by comparison. And the Gulf Cooperation Council of non-elected Arab kings and sheikhs toadying to the empire? Even more cred.

And Al Jazeera, as we know, is a news agency based in a country that is an absolute monarchy, Qatar? Who needs the BBC, Counterpunch or Globalresearch.ca when we have perfectly good news agencies basing themselves out of oil sheikdoms? Theyre prolly funded by al-CIA'da.

I think Libyans should start demanding those rutabagas not mentioned in the resolution. Squeeky wheel gets the grease as they say.

Freedom 55

Unionist wrote:

the East Timorese people had the sovereign right to call upon anyone - including the Devil Himself if need be - to help expel the invaders and restore their rights.

 

Agreed, although I wasn't asking whether the East Timorese had the right to ask for help, but rather, does an anti-imperialist position allow for that help to be provided? I would think that it does, but the recent discussions on anti-imperialism made me curious what others here thought. And if so, is that help limited to arms shipments and international brigades; or does anti-imperialism allow for the intervention of state actors (even with the knowledge that these states are acting in their own self-interest)?

NDPP

'Gaddafi Is A Legitimate Target And We'd Kill Him,' Reveals Liam Fox

http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/235850/Libya-Gaddafi-is-a-legit...

"Colonel Gaddafi himself could be targeted by air strikes if there is no risk to civlians, the Defence Secretary said yesterday. Dr. Liam Fox said allied forces would not take a 'gung-ho attitude' but refused to rule out targeting Gaddafi if the chance presented itself. He told the BBC's Politics Show yesterday: 'There's a difference btween someone being a legitimate target and whether you would go ahead with targeting.'

Ministers and opponents of the regime have called for military action to remove the dictator, but the UN resolution authorising military action does not legally allow regime change. Any explicit attempt to target the Libyan ruler may therefore prove controversial.

A Libyan spokesman last night claimed its armed forces had been ordered to follow a ceasefire despite facing 'barbaric armed aggression.' He said: 'We, the Popular Social Leadership of Libya, recommend to the Armed Forces to announce an immediate cease fire to all military units...'

The Foreign Secretary, William Hague acknowledged the possibility of non-occupying ground troops moving into Libya, which he claimed would not breech the terms of the UN resolution...Gadaffi vowed to fight a 'long war' to protect his homeland. From an unknown location he said: "We will not leave our oil to America or France or Britain or the enemy Christian states that are aligned now against us. We will not leave our land. We will fight for every inch.'

He claimed the leaders of Britain, France and the US were acting like fascist dictators and would 'fail like Hitler failed, Napoleon failed, Mussolini failed.' He added: 'All tyrants fall under the feet of the people.'"

surely on a progressive board, we realize that these Marquess of Queensbury rules governing their mad dog butcheries for blood and treasure mean absolutely nothing at all, especially when the 'enforcers' are themselves the criminals alleged? Since when does a UN resolution mean anything at all to powerful states like USA, Israel, the UK, EU if they choose to break, ignore or subvert them? For some time now - might makes right.

trippie

So the rebels in Lybia leading a socialist revelution right? Or is it tha Gaddafi is defending aSocialsit economy? Or is it the Western Countries are attacking Lybia so that a socialist economy can be built?

 

I'm so confused, Who am I rooting for again?

Frmrsldr

Doug wrote:

If China or Russia really were all that opposed, they would have vetoed it.

 

West Coast Greeny wrote:

Or voted against it, and not abstained. The resolution passed 10 - nil.

There are five Permanent Members of the U.N. Security Council: The U.S.A., the U.K., France, Russia and China.

It only takes one of these Permanent Members to vote against a Resolution (in this case, either Russia or China) to veto it.

Veto is the result of a Permanent Security Council Member voting agaist a Resolution.

Frmrsldr

West Coast Greeny wrote:

N.Beltov wrote:

Canada will bomb Libyan civilians if necessary but not necessarily bomb them.

Actually, the number of civilian casualties confirmed reads zero, at this point. Unless you're sourcing the Libyan government, who also think the protesters are on drugs. Worth pointing out that the Libyan government will not allow reporters to tour allegedly bombed civilian sites.

Who us, cause civilian casualties when we engage in "humanitarian missions" [Frmrsldr: goodspeak for war]?

What do you take us for?

Barbarians? Savages?

No, no.

Ours is a civilized culture. We are a civilized people.

When we as a society arrive at the democratic decision that the evil of war is necessary and unavoidable, we wage a civilized and "humane" war [Frmrsldr: whatever that is.]

Our "smart bombs" do not cause civilian casualties.

Two explanations of "civilian casualties" are offered:

1. Gadhafi's propaganda. There are no civilian casualties.

2. That "greasy rat, high on drugs, madman, war criminal" Gadhafi caused those casualties by using them as human shields.

Do Libyans burn their children too?

 

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