Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Stop the Bombing" ?

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that the Irish Anti War Movement have released the following statement condemning the allied intervention in Libya.

NATO bombing is no solution
Full support for the Libyan uprising
No more western backing of tyrannical regimes
1. NATO bombing, no solution. Just eight years after they launched their shock-and-awe devastation of Baghdad and ten years after their invasion of Afghanistan, the same Western forces are pummelling yet another Muslim state with bombs, burning soldiers and tanks and killing civilians in the process.

Yet again, the claim is that their intervention is a question of moral principle. The passing of the UN security Resolution 1973 which authorised the bombing, was held up as an attempt to protect the Libyan rebels and stop Gaddafi brutally slaughtering his people. Why, then, did the same Western powers provide Gaddaffi with the arms that are now slaughtering the Libyan people?

Had NATO and the UN really wanted to support and protect the rebels, they could have acted differently. They could have sent arms directly to the rebels and dispatched anti-aircraft weaponry to Benghazi, Alzentan and Zintan, near the Tunisian border, and dropped weaponry and supplies to the rebels besieged in Ajdabiya and Misrata. They could have offered medical help and followed the example of many Libyan doctors in exile who hastened home to offer help to the injured. They could have simply united in recognising the Benghazi based National Council as the legitimate government of Libya.

So where lies the justification for the intervention? With 39.1 billion barrels of high quality oil reserves, and with the price of oil rising above $105 per barrel, western oil companies are keen to maintain their access to the Lybian oil fields. BP has huge investments there, but Italy and Spain are large buyers of Libyan oil, and most major European companies operate in Libya, including Spain's Repsol, Italy’s Eni, France's Total, Germany's Wintershall and Austria's OMV. As with Iraq, we cannot ignore that the question of oil looms large in this military intervention.

The NATO bombing has failed to halt the fighting or force Gadaffi’s forces into submission. It is actually making things worse. This is why even the dictator dominated Arab League have said that the bombing has gone well beyond a no-fly zone from the outset. The African Union has condemned the bombing as unjustified intervention in a civil war. These misgivings led Russia China Brazil, Germany and India to abstain in the original UN vote. Even in Britain, despite it being the first days of the military campaign, 43% of the population have already said they are against the action. The IAWM, too, calls for an immediate end to the bombing.

Read the rest of the article, and it gets much worse, here.

If you want my view on how everything in the above piece is nonsense, read my previous posts on how it could have been like the Iraqi rising in 1991 and how it's not about oil. I was naive if I thought just for one moment, that the far left would give NATO the benefit of the doubt that they were doing the right thing. Even though the citizens of Benghazi were 24 hours away from being massacred before the intervention, the IAWM still seem fit to blame capitalism and oil. But the truth is the Irish Anti War Movement is in fact an anti capitalist organisation that disguises its real agenda in criticism of the foreign policies of western countries. In fact, it is not even an anti war. The IAWM oppose the Israeli Palestinian peace process and as I understand it have called for the pro western regimes to be overthrown so that they can join in the struggle against Israel, not exactly my interpretation of being anti war. At this stage, just like Gadaffi, anything the IAWM have to say on the conflict is completely meaningless.


Gary said...

You are right, this always seems to be the cry of the far left peace-types and, as hard as it is, it is probably best to just ignore them.
By the way, their claim that the West armed Gahdafi is way off. He was armed mainly by the Soviet Union and then Russia (those are AK-47's and Soviet Tanks and Armored Personnel Carriers).

Russia has publicly protested the war but is privately delighted by it. It has forced several European nations to increase their reliance on oil from the Russian pipeline and Russia is making a fortune in profits...

Ted Leddy said...


Ignore them, I would love to but the media won't, and that's just because they're ratings gold.

When the west was confronting Gadaffi in the 80's it was war mongering. When relations improved in the naughties it was propping up a dictator, and now that NATO is finally dealing with the regime it is being accused of acting in order to access Libyan oil. In other words, no matter what the west does it will be wrong.

I assumed that the reason the Russians did not veto resolution 1973 was becasue they also had beef of some sort with Gadaffi. But the elimination of a competitor makes more sense.