By Debra Sweet
I've talked to a number of people in the last 10 days who describe themselves as "hoping for the best" from the US intervention into the North African country of Libya. They choose to believe the US arguments that the intervention is 1) for humanitarian reasons limited to "saving civilian lives"; 2) is legitimate because it has the backing of the UN and NATO.
But the facts don't support those hopes.
Jill McLaughlin, a World Can't Wait leader, writes in Don’t be Confused: U.S. “Intervention” in Libya is Immoral and Illegitimate Too:
The hypocrisy and the illegitimacy of the U.S. intervention in Libya runs thick as the blood that has been spilled by the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen. Prior to the attack on Libya the U.S. began using the weapon of fear in trying to justify and build support for its use of force.
Stephen Zunes, Chair of the Middle East program at the University of San Francisco, asks Intervention in Libya: Is It Really the Only Option? He notes the risks of US intervention in Libya to what the US did in Afghanistan in opposing the Soviet Union's war there:
One could certainly make an argument that the mujahidin fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s also had a just cause and that the civilian population of that country also needed to be defended from the threat of serious war crimes. However, 80 percent of the billions of dollars of US aid money sent to help the Afghan "freedom fighters" ended up in the hands of Hezb-i-Islami, an extremist minority faction, which slaughtered many thousands of Afghan civilians and is currently allied with the Taliban and attacking US forces.
Here is the transcript to Obama's address last night on Libya. A World Can't Wait supporter wrote me in response to it:
When listening to Obama's speech last night about Libya, and talking about the Libyan government's air attacks against civilians, attacking hospitals, ambulances mosques etc., and that it was necessary to intervene for humanitarian reasons, I couldn't help thinking of the Israeli assault on Gaza that did the same things to a civilian population, and the fact that there wasn't even a discussion about world intervention to stop the carnage there.
Revolution newspaper calls us to Stand Against the Bombing of Libya... Find Ways to Oppose This Outrage:
This is not the first time the U.S. has dressed up military aggression with the costume of "humanitarianism." This is not the first time the U.S. has united other imperialist countries and pushed through a UN resolution to use weapons of mass destruction. This is not the first time the U.S. has cried "evil dictator" to justify raining down death and destruction on a sovereign country.
The people of Iraq suffered under a no-fly zone for 12 years, when 500,000 children died due to the sanctions. No-fly zones are hardly no-killing zones; they only mean that much of the killing is from the air. There is no way an anti-war movement should support this U.S. intervention.