Green Party: The US must honor Libyan rebels’ call for no military attacks

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders today warned that western military intervention, now unfolding with air strikes against Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi’s forces allegedly to create a no-fly zone, could escalate into a new US/NATO war on a Muslim nation rather than the stated goal of humanitarian protection for Libyan civilians and aid for rebels.

“Libyan rebel leaders have compared their cause to the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt and expressed their wish for no military involvement from other countries. The resolution of the conflict in Libya should not be led by foreign powers that have an interest in controlling Libya’s oil — the largest reserves in Africa. The military intervention by the US, UK, and France could easily turn into a situation like Iraq and Afghanistan, in which US bombs cause widespread civilian death and destruction,” said Romi Elnagar, a member of the Louisiana Green Party and a member of the party’s International Committee.

The new Libyan Interim National Transitional Council in Benghazi issued a decree on March 5 stating “we request from the international community to fulfil its obligations to protect the Libyan people from any further genocide and crimes against humanity without any direct military intervention on Libyan soil.”

Human rights lawyer Abdel-Hafidh Ghoga, spokesman for the National Transitional Council, said, “We are against any foreign intervention or military intervention in our internal affairs… This revolution will be completed by our people with the liberation of the rest of Libyan ­territory.”

Greens said that the intervention could quickly backfire and incite regional outrage against the US. According to the Washington Post, “The Arab League secretary general, Amr Moussa, deplored the broad scope of the US-European bombing campaign in Libya on Sunday and said he would call a new league meeting to reconsider Arab approval of the Western military intervention…. ‘What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone,’ he said in a statement on the official Middle East News Agency. ‘And what we want is the protection of civilians and not the shelling of more civilians.’”

“The conflict in Libya is a civil war — a rebellion against a violent regime. We question whether the enthusiasm among western leaders for a military assault on Gadhafi’s forces, including calls for a ground invasion by some Republicans in the US, is motivated by humanitarian concerns or by an oil grab. Not content with escalating the Afghanistan War and expanding it into Pakistan, President Obama might get his very own war-without-end if he acts without regard for the wishes, views, and needs of people in north Africa,” said Farheen Hakeem, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States.

The Green Party has supported movements for democracy throughout the Middle East and Africa and their efforts to remove violently repressive and corrupt dictators like Muammar Gadhafi. But Green leaders insisted that the imposition of a no-fly zone by foreign attack is an illegitimate intervention in a civil war that Libyans have the right to resolve without interference from western powers for whom humanitarian claims have been cover for economic and geopolitical domination.

Greens noted that the US offered no such assistance during the Algerian Civil War of the 1990s (in which the US encouraged a military takeover after Islamists won the election, precipitating a civil war that cost between 150,000 and 200,000 lives) or the Congo War, which alone killed 4 million people (1998-2003), the bloodiest conflict since World War II.

“Greens remain skeptical of US intentions, noting the selective attention to the suffering of civilians resisting repressive governments in the Middle East. Why no intervention when US client-state Bahrain recently slaughtered its opposition? Even more shockingly, the US supported Israel’s air and ground assault on illegally occupied Gaza in 2008 and 2009, in which over 1400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed in contrast to 13 Israelis, 10 of whom were soldiers. The history of US failure to protect civilians from avoidable mass killings in the Middle East should give every thinking person pause,” said Muhammed Malik, co-chair of the Miami-Dade Green Party and a member of the Green Party’s International Committee.

Mr. Malik helped organize a rally at the Federal Courthouse in Ft. Lauderdale on Feb. 26 against US military intervention in Libya. This summer, he will address the dangers of military intervention at a forum, entitled “Self-Determination: Opportunities and Challenges” at Florida International University.

  1. Don DeBar says:

    Although I support the conclusion of this piece that the US has no business invading or bombing Libya, the parroting of the official line that Gadaffi is a killer and has been bombing his own people is way off base. The Russian government even issued an official statement to the effect that tey have been conducting satellite surveillance of Libya airspace since the beginning of the “rebellion” over a month ago, and that, up to the time of the statement (about two weeks ago) there was NO military aerial activity whatsoever and no aerial assaults anywhere in the country.

    Also, there was a report in the English language daily Pakistan Observer in late February that US amphibious troops had already entered eastern Libya and were arming the “rebels” controlling Benghazi.

    There has also been released a West Point report from 2007 that names and describes in great detail the Libyan opposition in the eastern part of the country, listing them as US intel assets.

    Do people not remember the demonization campaign against Saddam Hussein (“campaigns” would be more accurate, since it was done before BOTH invasions and during the “no-fly” and sanctions period intervening)? The “incubator babies” from Kuwait in 1991? The charges of rape by the Republican Guard in 2003? The link to al Qaeda (which was WAY off the charts, given the secular nature of pre-invasion Iraq)?

    The demonization campaign served to divide the “Left” (as self-identified, not as measured objectively) by equating support for the present regime as support for a “violently repressive and corrupt” dictator. In the face of this, opposition to the US actions was compromised, with the result that, despite hundreds of thousands marching on February 15, 2003 and beyond, it was impossible to raise an effective opposition block against the war until after it was underway.

    This piece, by assuming the veracity of the charges being levelled by imperialism against Gadaffi and the Libyan military, helps to soften the impact of our opposition and serves to cloud the actual situation while standing on one leg to oppose military intervention. The fact is, the situation in Libya is NOT a peoples’ uprising, but a US intel operation that is the first forward action of the newly developed and deployed (from Stuttgardt!) US AFRICOM, being taken against the country (Libya) and leader (Gadaffi) that Nelson Mandela credited with doing more to end apartheid than any other leader or nation on the planet.

    Go to my Facebook page and read back over the last five weeks of posts for facts – original source papers, news articles, videos and more, including my own first-hand reports on life in Tripoli.

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