Saturday, 7 May 2011

Why we oppose western intervention in Libya
Statement by Stop the War Coalition 16.04.11

Cameron, Sarkozy and Obama have openly declared that Nato military intervention in Libya is a war for regime change.The three leaders' joint statement says explicitly that the purpose of the bombing is the removal of the current Libyan regime and is not the humanitarian justification for intervention that was given at the United Nations and in the British Parliament. There are rightly demands by MPs to recall Parliament to debate the shifting reasons for war. War for regime change is illegal.Far from ending suffering, Nato's war is prolonging the fighting and is itself causing civilian casualties across Libya. The British and French governments are opposing moves, such as by the African Union, for negotiations to end the ground conflict and instead are pressing reluctant allies to escalate the bombing or explore wider military intervention.Saudi Arabia, Qatar and those few Arab states that support the bombing are themselves complicit in the suppression of movements for democracy in their own countries and in Bahrain, where peaceful protesters have been gunned down and the main opposition party banned.The powers which took us to war in Iraq and which are occupying Afghanistan are no friends of the Libyan people. The Saudi dictatorship is no friend of democracy.They have subordinated the Libyan opposition in Benghazi to the interests of Britain, France and the US - obtaining guarantees that Western corporations' oil and commercial interests will be protected whatever the Libyan people might otherwise freely decide.That's why at a time of savage austerity Cameron is prepared to find whatever money it takes to pursue this military adventure.This war is already widening beyond the reasons given at the UN. It is escalating while support for it at home and abroad is falling.Instead of prolonging and intensifying the conflict, we call for an immediate end to Nato bombing and military intervention.Many states that are opposed to Nato's war are offering alternative ways to bring an end to the fighting in Libya. That is welcome. The Libyan people as whole must ultimately decide on how that is done - not Britain, France and the US, which are pouring petrol on the flames and whose military adventures across the Arab region have brought disaster down the decades.

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