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No to Western military intervention in Libya

I have been concerned in recent days to see well-meaning people promote the idea that a ‘no-fly zone’ or ‘arming the rebels’ would be a progressive act in Libya. Political leaders suggesting they want to send bombers to Libya and pump a whole load more guns into the situation are not interested in peace and are clearly not interested in a political process and are not progressive. If they are, why are they not calling for a ceasefire, or willing to give space to the attempts that already exist for achieving a negotiated settlement?

For me, the best argument against such a no-fly zone was provided by US Secretary of State for Defence, Robert Gates when he said “A no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya to destroy the air defenses.” A no-fly zone will require a major NATO military offensive against Libya and doubtless many more deaths in the country. It is scandalous that the UK is advising the opposition armed forces, has sent in the SAS, has the Black Watch regiment on 24-hours notice for deployment and is setting up a new forward joint taskforce headquarters in Malta.

What disappoints me further is that the Labour front-bench has yet to demonstrate it has learnt the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan. Jim Murphy belittled the strength of anti-war feeling when he talked of ‘one and a half unpopular wars’ – now Ed Miliband must demonstrate his commitment to a peaceful settlement.

Support the demonstration this Saturday.

No to western military intervention in Libya
2pm, Saturday 12th March at Downing Street
See facebook event here.

4 Comments

  1. Darrell says:

    @Ben,

    I am sorry but it is deeply wrong and mistaken for people to call for the Libyan people to make peace or negotiate a settlement with Gaddafi. I am not calling for a ceasefire because I don’t want peace – I want the Libyan people to win their war with the regime and topple it. Socialism and progressive politics do not automatically adopt a pacifist stance because to do so in this instance would be to betray the Libyan people.

    This probably explains why I am advocating the two things you argue against – we simply don’t want the same ends and I am advocating them because I believe they are neccessary to facilitate the end I want to see. You want some phoney ‘peace’ which disarms the Libyan people and I am sorry is scandelous in my eyes…

  2. Nancy Howell says:

    You are assuming that the propaganda machines are correct. Ghaddafi was nicer to his people with the resources he had for years than Western countries to their people. How quickly all forget about how the puppet masters or powers that be so skillfully crafted a supposed uprising of the “people” against the Shah of Iran. Today, we know it was the Western powers. We have no right to meddle. If it smells like OIL, looks like OIL, and flows like OIL, it must be OIL. Have the people of the world not learned? Smells like a world takeover to me.

  3. Galen10 says:

    Totally misguided post. Sitting on our hands whilst Gaddafi and his thugs retake the country and slaughter the opposition? No thanks.

    You are just another one of those people with no grasp on reality whose uncritical, kneejerk response of: “it’s another Iraq, it’s another Iraq!!” blinds you to the moral bankruptcy and strategic idiocy of doing nothing.

    Do you seriously imagine that the number of deaths will be SMALLER if Gaddafi and his mercenaries shoot their way into Benghazi, and then start rounding up the opposition?

    It isn’t only going to be Gaddafi with blood on his hands if we all stand around doing nothing more than spout platitutudes and attend “right-on” demos. Don’t assume that all progressive, left of centre people share your views. They don’t.

  4. Darrell says:

    @Nancy

    Here we go – how deluded can you possibly get? Thanks for giving us a masterclass on how the left comes to side with brutal and barabric dictatorships against their own people. Nothing progressive exists in this leftism, this ‘infantile disorder’ to borrow a phrase. It’s completly reactionary. Is it any wonder the people of Eastern Europe chose capitalism when push came to shove, is it any wonder most people turn away from the left in disgust if this is what we have to say?

    You can’t be nice to people by denying them basic democratic rights. End of.

    @Galen 10

    Totally right. Good to see voices of sanity and principle on the left.

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