Off the fence
On the 8th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq the lessons of two disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have clearly not been learned. A new war has been declared on the Gaddafi regime which will involve more civilians being killed and will not necessarily bring peace to Libya nor a resolution to the conflict there. It sets the western world on an escalation of military intervention, involvement in a civil war and an attempt at regime change which risks ending up with a western occupation of at least part of Libya. The experience of Iraq shows that genuine democracy and freedom cannot grow from aerial bombardment and foreign occupation.”
As the first Tomahawk missiles fall on Libya there is no guarantee that the violence in that country will end soon and that the democratic aspirations of the rebels will be met. This is an interventionist act of war by western leaders against a dictator who, until very recently, they were happy to support with all kind of military advice and hardware.
Despite the obvious relief for the people of Benghazi one has to question the real motives of the western powers in launching this new war and their selective intervention generally in the Arab uprisings.
It should be noted that while the UN Security Council was voting to impose a no-fly zone in Libya, at least 40 civilians were killed in a US drone attack in Waziristan in Pakistan, there was a brutal suppression of pro-democracy protests in Bahrain (home of the US fifth fleet) by an invading US-backed Saudi army and 40 protesters were gunned down in Sanaa, Yemen. In Iraq, three weeks ago, 30 protesters were gunned down for seeking democratic change from the Maliki Government that is supported by 50,000 occupying US troops.
The mild condemnation made by Western leaders of the violent suppression of the Bahraini democracy protests is very telling. The situation there is proportionally as bloody as in Libya and was carried out with the help of an invading army. This shows the hypocrisy and duplicity of western leaders.
It is very likely that this military intervention in Libya is designed to dampen down the popular Arab revolutions of recent months and may be nothing less than a cynical exercise in reasserting western domination of the region. They are using Gaddafi’s threats against his own people as an excuse to intervene militarily and take back control of an important strategic and oil rich region.
The Irish Anti-war Movement supports the struggles of the ordinary Arab people for freedom and democracy but is against the sinister military interventions of western powers.
Jim Roche is PRO of the Irish Anti-war Movement (IAWM).