Thursday, March 10, 2011

Leading UK anti-war voices oppose calls for Libya intervention

Via today's Guardian Letters:

Tony Benn
The mood for intervention in Libya is growing in Washington and Whitehall (Washington's war drums beat louder, 8 March). Such action should be opposed by everyone hoping for democracy there. The record of the west in the region is of support for autocracies in cynical self-interest.

Western governments have prioritised cheap oil, arms sales and support for Israel's oppression of the Palestinians above the rights of the Arab peoples. David Cameron exemplified this approach by touring the region selling arms to dictators at the very moment of maximum repression. This approach has not changed. The clamour to intervene in Libya has more to do with control of that country's oil resources than with support for Libya's people.

Any western intervention in the region would be directed to furthering those interests. Interference in Libya could strengthen Gaddafi's hand and deepen the civil war. Such interference is at the root of the region's troubles.

The disaster in Iraq should have taught us that military intervention cannot hasten democracy. The future of Libya and the other states in the region must be determined by the people of those countries alone.

Tony Benn, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Lindsey German Stop the War Coalition, Kate Hudson CND, Andrew Murray Stop the War, John Pilger, Sami Ramadani Iraqi Democrats against Occupation, Mohammed Sawalha British Muslim Initiative

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