While I have made quite clear my passionate support for the democratic revolutions throughout the Arab World, and my firm belief that UN Security Council Resolution is vital to protect the people of Libya from a ruthless armed dictator, let me just be clear that I will not support any Neo-Con takeover of the international mission.
There are already signs of this happening in the UK; with the military Chiefs at odds with the Prime Minister on the UN mandate over targeted assassinations and regime change. Add to this the optics of Tomahawk missiles and Pentagon briefings, and we have uncanny and worrisome echoes of the Iraq War, which finally – almost fatally – hi-jacked UN principles of humanitarian intervention for Neo-colonialist Neo-conservative ends. The abiding message of the multinational force assembled should be….
To allow the Libyan people their rights of self determination.
I know there are some who think it is hypocritical to target the heavy armour of Gaddafi’s brigades, and yet not go after him with hellfire missiles or tomahawk strikes. But there are good reasons to forswear such an object.
1. It’s illegal, and not in the UN mandate
2. It’s ineffective, and will turn Gaddafi into victim rather than perpetrator, making the UN seem as hypocritical and brutal as he is.
3. It does nothing to help negotiations. Gaddafi can still call a ceasefire, and negotiate with the revolutionaries (as Mubarak did). Threats of death only lead to a die-in-the-ditch extremism.
Back in the field, the brutality of Gaddafi’s repression is becoming ever clearer. For those who worry about targeted airstrikes, just check out the indiscriminate shelling of people’s houses in the video from Misrata below, filmed only yesterday.
As Reuters reports
Doctors in Libya’s rebel-held city of Misrata are operating on people with bullet and shrapnel wounds in hospital corridors after attacks by government forces killed dozens and wounded many more, residents said on Tuesday.
“There is a catastrophic situation here,” a resident, called Mohammed, told Reuters by telephone. “We call on humanitarian organisations to intervene as soon as possible to provide food and medical help.”
A rebel spokesman described chaotic scenes at a clinic which has been turned into a makeshift field hospital, as people arrive with bullet and shrapnel wounds.
Another resident, called Saadoun, said the four young children were killed when they were being driven out of the city. He said the parents were safe.
“The children have been turned to pieces. We do not know which part is for which child. It’s horrible. Horrible,” said Saadoun. “Their father … has collapsed and is in total shock.”
Accounts pieced together from people inside Misrata speak of a town where residents huddle in their homes because they fear if they go out they could be hit by snipers on rooftops or tanks in the centre of town firing shells.
In a few weeks, Gaddafi inflicted his kind of damage on one of his own cities. Imagine he had been allowed to lay siege to Benghazi (a much much bigger city) on Saturday, and dug in. The Libyan dictator would have unleashed the kind of carnage would would have turned Benghazi into another Sarajevo, or worse.
But though I support the enforcement of Resolution 1973 I will NOT support, or give cover to Cameron, or any other neo-imperialist neo-con, to pursue their own agenda or vendetta at the expense of another country. This would be a betrayal of the Febuary 17th movement, a blow against Arab Self Determination, and fulfil all the understandable fears of those who disapprove, or have misgivings about this intervention.
In such a situation, my support for the US and UK positions will cease cease, and my fury about another perversion of humanitarian intervention, will be undying.
Crossposted at Daily Kos