War is not the answer for Libya


First Libya's Col. Gaddafi unleashed a military onslaught against the democratic struggle of his own people, firing tank and artillery shells into demonstrations in the streets of Libya's cities. Now, after pressing for United Nations authorization, the U.S., Britain and France have begun an open-ended air war in Libya, using cruise missiles, bombers and fighter jets, with the stated aim of protecting Libyan civilians. It is a very disturbing picture.

The UN resolution comes under the umbrella of protecting civilians but there are other interests at play. Libya is oil-rich and much of that oil winds up in European markets. Global oil politics are involved here.

The sight of Britain and France, former colonial powers in Africa, now bombing this North African country in the name of democracy should raise warning signs for all of us. President Obama has repeatedly stated his intention to turn away from the military-might posture of previous U.S. administrations. Yet, in the name of humanitarian and democratic concerns, he has joined the old colonial powers in a dangerous military venture, setting a bad precedent for further U.S. military interventions.

What is the end game? What efforts are being made to arrange a real ceasefire, based on protection of Libya's democratic forces? A face-saving negotiated exit for Gaddafi? Both China and Russia abstained from the UN vote and are increasingly criticizing the U.S.-UK-French military actions. Are efforts being made to involve these major world powers, and others, in achieving a peaceful end to this crisis, one that also advances the interests of the Libyan people?

Some say it's hypocritical for us to be firing missiles on Libya but not Bahrain or Yemen, where dictators are crushing democracy movements. But we don't want our government to fire missiles there either!

President Obama was right in resisting warhawks' calls for early military intervention in Libya. He needs to stand up against them once again, by moving toward a quick cease-fire. Surely the United States can work with other world leaders to defend and protect the Libyan people with the vast economic and diplomatic powers it possesses. This, along with getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan, is the way to move toward establishing U.S. leadership as a beacon for democracy, peace and social justice.

Photo: An F-16 jet fighter flies over the NATO airbase in Aviano, Italy, last Sunday.(AP/Luca Bruno)


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  • Imperialism has not changed.
    --jim lane in dallas

    Posted by jim lane, 03/28/2011 6:39pm (5 years ago)

  • For Christ's sake, is there ANYTHING that Obama can do that isn't immediately supported by this paper? At the time we face a massive, all-out assualt on working people's rights here at home, Obama lauching a new war. How many children could have health care, how many families covered by home heating help, how many schools could be built or homes for the homeless put up for what is now being wasted in this latest imperialist adventure?

    As much as we know that Obama will be the D that we may have to vote for in the next election, it is exactly this kind of stupid, ridiculous caving in to the right, corporate pressures that are making in increasing more difficult to try to explain to working folk why there is a difference between this guy & Bush (who started two wars, Obama's only continued them & started one new one now)! The selling job for this boondoolgle is a carbon copy of Bush's job in Iraq, and just as democratic, constitutional in how it was carried out. How the hell do we mobilize a fight against this kind of imperialist adventure, the wasting of public funds, throwing away of the lives of our youth & the intervention in other's affairs, and still tell folks that the D's represent anything worth voting for, when Obama is putting forward policies exactly like the enemies?

    Count me as one of those that certainly sees the hypocrisy in our invading Libya, just days after "the royal family" in Saudi Arabia sent its hirelings in neighboring nations to slaughter its citizens struggling for justice! No, we absolutely should not be sending troops there, either, but from OUR point of view, WHEREVER any stinking "royal family" is shooting down its people, we need to stand we them!

    What this is about, absolutely & without any doubt, is US imperialism's long-held wet dream of wanting to get rid of Guaddifi. For all the verbage about "democracy," "justice" & 'protecting innocent lives," the ultimate objectives of imperialist interventions have never, never, never been about anything other than protect corporate interests.

    Obama has, certainly in the past few monthes, shifted his policies, always cloudy at best, dramatically against working folk. The creation of the Budget Commission & its staffing with ultra-right wing forces was an error of outrageous proportions, one that has given tremendous ideolgical/political support to the corporate drive to cut the budget, attack Social Security and people's programs.

    Just as other elements in our so-called coalition hurt their own interests, as well as the wider people's concerns, by caving to the right, Obama is greatly strengthening the hand of our enemies by starting another imperialist war! It was, we should remember, the Air Traffic Controller's Union that endorsed Reagan prior to his attack on & destruction of that union. A majority of the police/firefighter unions in Ohio supported Kasich, the GOP enemy of working folk here, putting him in office and enabling him to lauch the attack against those very unions.

    Posted by bruce bostick, 03/26/2011 8:11am (5 years ago)

  • Lies when Tonking goulf,lies in first goulf war, lies, in continuation of... second goulf war,lies in 9-11 (was an inside job) to start the Afgan (never end) war. Always is lies before start a war. Now : present lies. Are we even trying how the imperial-colonial media is fulishing the people now? Imminent masacres? who said?. Lies at this war de media put in Gadafi's mouth words he never said. Don't you remember? Iraqui soldiers kiling babies in the incubators...Ones again: not fascists neocons are fulishing me, not democrats either

    Posted by genio, 03/22/2011 10:40pm (5 years ago)

  • Shame on Obama. Same escenario than in Irak 2003. Libio leader is a simbol of anticolonialism. worquers in Libia make as much 3 times as workers in Marroc just an example. No mention the oil is nationalice. Dawn with colonial-imperialist powers. Long live Gadafi.

    Posted by genio, 03/22/2011 9:12pm (5 years ago)

  • First of all reports in the NYT seem to indicate that the civilian killing spree by the Libyan government was hyped up for international justification for intervention.

    Second, Obama seems to have become a hawk himself (in keeping with his attraction to the Blue Dogs) or he cannot stand up to the hawks and the military command which implies we don't have civilian control of the military anymore.

    Third, any notion that US imperialism is capable of moving "toward establishing U.S. leadership as a beacon for democracy, peace, and social justice" seems not to take into account that it already claims to be just such a beacon as indicated by the mendacious statements about the reasons for attacking Libya made by Obama in South America-- a crude attempt in the manner of Bush to mislead the working people of the US as to the true intentions of the attack.

    Posted by Thomas Riggins, 03/22/2011 7:59pm (5 years ago)

  • It's encouraging to see the PWW editorial board move up to the level of the NY Times. It says the air war in Libya "is a very disturbing picture." And further, that it is "a dangerous military venture, setting a bad precedent for further U.S. military interventions."Oh, the outrage!

    But I don't think it is proper to imply that the President is weak by saying "President Obama was right in resisting warhawks' calls for early military intervention in Libya. He needs to stand up against them once again, by moving toward a quick cease-fire." Did the 'war hawks' order the air war?

    What is disturbing to me is the subtle defense of the military attacks. The editors accepts the idea that the US has the right "to defend and protect the Libyan people" and by working with other world leaders, we can "move toward establishing U.S. leadership as a beacon for democracy, peace and social justice."

    Hey, at least they didn't say "re-establishing U.S. leadership"

    Posted by UnionCat, 03/22/2011 6:10pm (5 years ago)

  • The US Peace Council statement puts forward a very clear anti-imperialist stand. They state:

    What is happening in Libya today is not a “humanitarian effort” on the part of the international community, as it is hypocritically claimed, but a clear effort by the US Government and its NATO allies to impose full control over the countries of North Africa and the Middle East in their broader drive to rearrange the whole region according to their military-strategic and economic interests.
    [end of quote]

    I hesitate to equate the struggle in Libya to those recently in Egypt and Tunisia. Those people did not request outside forces to bomb their neighbors. More needs to be known about who is fighting in Libya, what they want to achieve, and who is backing them before characterizing them as "democratic forces".

    Whatever the aspirations of the Libyan "democratic forces", the USA and associated nations are in Libya for the oil, not for democracy. We can best support global "democracy" by maintaining an unwavering anti-imperialist position in relation to our own government, and demanding that the USA immediately cease our war in Libya.

    Posted by Eric Brooks, 03/22/2011 4:37pm (5 years ago)

  • This is a marvelous piece by the editorial board on the difficult situation into which the nation has been plunged by its war hawks.The last paragraph on Obama's role is the best done.He should get a copy of
    this.Turning over the command to proxies will bluff
    nobody.The same UN that authorised should be asked to
    order a, that is enough. Economic crises is the harbinger
    of change, armaments can only thwart or derail it to our
    dismay. USA has much to bother at home for change
    and to re-regulate. The five nations that abstained,
    Russia ,China,Germany, India, Brazil,should join forces with the two that changed mind last minute due to intense lobbying -South Africa and Nigeria, all members of th UNSC ,the seven ,should be entrusted the task of a peaceful democratic change .Rama kant Sharma.

    Posted by Rama kant Sharma, 03/22/2011 10:22am (5 years ago)

  • I want the authors of this article to address the question that brought the world to intervene? What about the imminent massacre of Benghazi?

    Assuming that everything else you say is true - Oil interests dictated U.S. actions, it's all geopolitics - What about the massacre at Benghazi?

    Do you believe that allowing Gaddafi's forces to roll in and kill the men, women and children there is acceptable if it means that imperialism does not gain ground?

    The talk of negotiations from Venezuela or anywhere else is superfluous. Gaddafi wasn't going to negotiate. He said the protesters were drug addicts, al-Qaeda supporters and that he would go house to house.

    When the UNSC resolution was passed, people danced in Benghazi. The Libyan tanks were read to roll in and wipe them out. There was no chance for dialogue. That takes time, we, and especially the rebels, didn't have that.

    Were there lives worth sacrificing for a principle? Would you have made the same choices in power? This is frightening.

    Posted by Kenney M., 03/22/2011 9:52am (5 years ago)

  • How can we expect by way of getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan "toward establishing U.S. leadership as a beacon for democracy, peace and social justice" without a conscious anti-imperialist movement. U.S. imperialism is bipartisan and has proven that it will support democracy peace and social justice only on its terms unless forced to do otherwise. We need to remove the teeth of the military industrial complex.

    Posted by David Bell, 03/21/2011 10:45pm (5 years ago)

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