Full Press Release:
WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders urged an immediate US/NATO withdrawal from Libya after the advance of rebel forces into Tripoli, and called on President Obama to support a political solution to the crisis in Libya through diplomacy, with the involvement of the African Union, Arab League, and United Nations.
“The African Union’s mediation committee offered a positive outline for an immediate ceasefire, followed by negotiation without preconditions and democratic elections in Libya. This is the perfect moment for President Obama, NATO, and the UN to support the efforts of the African Union to broker a resolution. All elements of Libyan society must be invited to the table to determine the country’s new direction. The Libyan people must be allowed to decide their own future,” said Romi Elnagar, member of the Green Party of Louisiana and the Green Party’s International Committee (http://www.gp.org/committees/intl).
“If US and NATO forces prolong military action and attempt an occupation to stabilize Libya, the result will be more civilian lives lost and a disaster similar to the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the evaporation of hopes for freedom and democratic self-determination for the Libyan people,” Ms. Elnagar added.
See “African Union Statement on the NATO Invasion of Libya: It’s Time to End the Bombing and Find a Political Solution in Libya” by Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the UN, New Vision (Uganda), June 17, 2011 (http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/12/757904). According to the statement, “Gadaffi accepted dialogue when the AU mediation Committee visited Tripoli on April 10, 2011. Any war activities after that have been provocation for Africa. It is an unnecessary war.”
The Green Party opposed the US/NATO assault on Libya from the beginning (http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=399) and Greens have strongly criticized President Obama for public statements, after the beginning of the attack, in which he changed the goal from “humanitarian intervention” for the protection of Libyan civilians to ousting Gaddafi. Attacking a country to remove its leadership is a violation of international law. The Libyan war was also conducted without congressional approval, even after the US House in June voted against authorizing continued military operations in Libya for one year.
The Green Party supports nonviolent resistance to oppression, as most Palestinians have practiced for decades and Egyptians more recently, and deplores the killing of unarmed civilians.
“The severity of bombing raids over the past few months suggests that Gaddafi himself has been and may still be the target. The bombing inevitably turned indiscriminate and led to widespread civilian death and injury. NATO’s claim of protecting civilian lives has become increasingly implausible. Unfortunately, Secretary of State Clinton’s refusal to grant the Libyan UN ambassador a visa has censored Libya’s own collected statistics on civilian casualties resulting from the raids,” said Farheen Hakeem, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States.
Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party’s 2008 presidential nominee, recently conducted a fact-finding tour of Libya and reported on NATO’s bombing of civilians at Al Fateh University, Campus B, in Tripoli on June 9 in her blog at Black Agenda Report (http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/more-nato-humanitarian-interventionthe-bombing-al-fateh-university-campus-b).
Green Party leaders noted that, while attacking Libya in the name of democracy and liberation, the US has withheld criticism of violent repression of popular movements for democracy in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel, which are US allies.
Greens have agreed with the call by the United National Antiwar Committee “for an immediate halt to US intervention in regions and countries where mass mobilizations are challenging oppressive regimes” (Statement on Libya, http://nepajac.org/libya.htm) and warned against US efforts to co-opt movements for democracy in African countries and force them to accept Africom (United States Africa Command), a program to impose US military presence and strategic objectives in African countries.
“The unprovoked assault on Libya has constituted a third war, with US troops still occupying Iraq and Afghanistan/Pakistan, against the government of a majority Muslim nation. It has opened a dangerous new front in a wider unending US war that is at least in part motivated by a desire to control the planet’s largest oil reserves in the coming decades. These policies, unless reversed, may eventually ignite a global conflict in this century of dwindling oil resources and advancing climate change. Already, the US has spent $3.7 trillion on wars during the past decade, draining sorely needed funds from public services and other domestic necessities and aggravating the current fiscal crisis. It’s time to retire the Bush-Cheney-Obama policy of military aggression,” said Muhammed Malik, co-chair of the Miami-Dade Green Party (http://www.miamidadegreenparty.org) and a member of the Green Party’s International Committee.