Question for Caricom on Nato’s ‘war’ in Libya

By Analysis by Rickey Singh
May 15, 2011 – trinidadexpress.com

Muammar Muhammad al-GaddaffiLAST WEEK, while the United Nations humanitarian aid chief, Baroness Valerie Amos, was pleading for at least a pause in hostilities in Libya to help “ease the humanitarian crisis”, NATO’s Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, was arrogantly boasting — amid continuing bombing strikes — that President Moammar Gadaffi’s “days are numbered… There is no future for him or his regime…”

Well, since the Caribbean Community has finally broken its silence on the United States-led NATO war on Libya, perhaps it should at least seek a clarification from the UN Secretary General about the “mandate” by which NATO is currently intensifying its bombing raids to end “the future of Gadaffi and his government.”

Western double standards in its war to rid Libya of the dictatorial regime in Libya, when compared with the spreading uprisings in the Middle East/North Africa region, for democratic governance, has long been noted by scholars and informed commentators and organisations in the USA, Britain and Europe.

But for all the killings and repression by state security/military personnel in those countries, it is on Gadaffi and Libya’s future that the US and its NATO allies remain focused for “regime change” by the use of military force under the pretext of “protecting civilians.”

So, will Caricom move from its recently stated position in favour of a negotiated settlement to the Libyan crisis and enquire of the UN Secretary General as to whose mandate is really being enforced by NATO in Libya to “get rid of Gadaffi”? That certainly was not a stated objective of the original “no fly zone” resolution the US and its NATO allies managed to secure from a divided UN Security Council.

It took some six weeks, after the start of the ferocious bombing strikes against Libya by the USA and its NATO allies before the Caribbean Community summoned the courage to let the people of our region—among the world’s poor and powerless—know where it stands on this very bloody conflict that cries out for a principled negotiated political solution. Better late than never.

And when Caricom Foreign Ministers issued their statement just over a week ago on the Libyan crisis, following a regular meeting in St Kitts and Nevis, they opted to endorse—some say took ‘shelter’ behind—the position earlier enunciated by the African Union (AU) with which our Community has an ongoing working relationship.

The AU which, incidentally, had its inauguration in 1999 in the hometown of the embattled Libyan President, Maommar Gadaffi, had called for an immediate halt to the NATO bombing raids. Some have resulted in deaths.injuries and destruction for both the anti and pro-Gaddafi forces. The AU, and also the Arab League, has called for a negotiated political, not military solution.

In their own assessment of the deepening Libyan crisis since 10 of the 15 permanent members of the United Nation Security Council approved a “no fly zone” resolution to “protect civilians”, Caricom Foreign Ministers have urged a speedy negotiated resolution that “would reflect the legitimate demands and aspirations (read that to involve respect also for democratic governance and national sovereignty) of the Libyan people…”

Those among us in this region — where self-contempt runs deep, and who are ever so willing to side with the wealthy and mighty western powers—may cynically remark: ‘Who cares about Caricom’s stand on Libya? After all Caricom has no economic or political clout of any significance!

They may even scoff at the AU’s plea for an end to bombings and ALSO expediently ignore that the US-led NATO war game in Libya is for “regime change”—getting rid of Gadaffi and his government.

It is, perhaps pertinent for our region’s governments and institutions to keep in mind a well known observation of the late William Demas, that outstanding political thinker and doyen among West Indian economists. He passionately felt that neither geographical size nor economic resources should deter this region from taking principled stand on issues of international importance, particularly in relation to sovereignty and the rule of law.

In the context of the current Libyan crisis, “regime change” in Tripoli, remains the core factor in the waging of an unauthorised war under the pretext of “protecting civilians”. It is also being viewed as a brazen display of abuse of political/military power inconsistent with the rule of law.

Caricom, therefore, now has a moral obligation to at least use its limited resources to help in mobilising support—along with countries of the African Union and Arab League—in backing the call earlier this week for a pause in the bloody conflict. It came from the United Nation’s aid chief to the UN Security Council on why it is essential to have an immediate cessation in bombardment in Libya in order to ease a worsening humanitarian crisis

Even as the Guyana-born former cabinet minister in the Labour Party administration of ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair was making her plea, there were media reports of hundreds more non-combat civilians — Libyans and migrant workers — drowning at sea in their desperate attempts to flee from the ‘war games’ in which Libya is now gripped.

In contrast to the UN official’s assessment, NATO’s Secretary General, Rasmussen, a former prime minister of Denmark, has been talking tough , declaring that Gadaffi should realise, sooner rather than later, there’s no future for him or his regime…” Since the UN Security Council’s “no fly zone” resolution in March, there have already been some 6,000 NATO military missions to Libya that have resulted in thousands of deaths of Libyans and migrants working in that North African state with which Caricom countries have long established diplomatic and cultural relations.

The US-engineered 2003 war on Iraq to get rid of the Saddam Hussein dictatorship should not become the guiding /example for “regime change” in Libya — or any other nation.

Right now, after the initial “breaking news” by President Barack Obama on the circumstances of the killing of Osama bin Laden, his Attorney General, Eric Holder, has been pushed on the defensive by leaked reports to deny that the death of the Al Qaeda leader was “not an act of assassination”.

Well, while it would be unwise to rush to the defence of those who preach and practice terrorism, the fact, as earlier officially claimed by the Obama White House, is that bin Laden was not armed when he was fatally shot in the head.

Further, no proof has yet been offered that the notorious Al Qaeda leader resisted arrest when confronted by the US special force that went to Pakistan to “take him out” — dead or alive. So, was his authorised “killing” an act of “murder”? And how should that kind of “murder” be differentiated from an “assassination”?

Source: Question for Caricom on, Nato’s ‘war’ in Libya

4 Responses to “Question for Caricom on Nato’s ‘war’ in Libya”


  • Islamic nations such as Libya is better ruled by dictators. Who is going to step in to lead Libya after “Mommar” goes? Can there really be democracy in it’s truest sense when Islam is the predominant system of belief. Take for instance Pakistan. Pakistan’s democracy is the biggest joke there is in that part of the world. The President says one thing, the ISI (secret service) does what it wants, and the radicals keep the nation “off balance”. Now this has been going on since Pakistani independence.

    Turkey has been held up as the model Democratic Islamic nation. However, all of that is changing as the radicals continue to gain ground. The only other nation espousing democracy is Iraq and yet the infighting at times can be very bitter. Will the Iraqi democracy ever hold strong? One never knows. The rest of the Islamic world is led by “tin pot” dictators. Syria is killing it citizens “en masse” along with other Islamic nation where there are uprisings.

    Despite efforts to remove the dictators, the real question is “who will lead after they are gone”.

    In Egypt the Islamic brotherhood (they want world islamic domination), is moving as a growing political force, so in exchange for the dictator, the radicals are taking over. The same perhaps in Libya after Moammar is gone…. You never know with these nation.

    Democracy is a Western Christian concept based on the thesis “all men are created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights”

    What is the thesis for Islamic democracy? That is the real question. That has to be defined FIRST before any true democracy emerges in the Middle East.

  • Yeah mamoo, they should all take a page from the glorified Hindu kingdom India , where bride burning is the norm, girl children are endangered species, and the caste system is a way of life , as millions of chiefly dark skin Indo Nationals ,live below the poverty line , while a few elites ,idly boast of how great their style of democracy is ,and dance away to non kissing , Bollywood music along the Ganges River, while praying for another life hereafter, in Europe , North America , or better yet ,Sweet, Sweet , T&T ,aka Rainbow Country.
    For the record, it did not become so desirable on May 29th ,2010 either, but 1962 under …..,well, you can fill in the blanks Cuz mammoo, and please no revisionism. Some much wiser than yours truly say thanks in great measure to ‘Ahh wee bouy Robbie,’ both 1986,and 1995 ,were ‘costly aberrations,’ hopefully , 2010 ain’t , ehhh mamoo?
    The way you choose to attack our Muslim brothers and sisters , I can just guess which Nobel literature winner is your favorite.
    Let me guess , the one who dumped his European wife, for a Pakistani Muslim. “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive,’ hmmmm mamoo?

    • Neal wrote:”Yeah mamoo, they should all take a page from the glorified Hindu kingdom India , where bride burning is the norm, girl children are endangered species, and the caste system is a way of life…”

      India has the tenth largest economy in the world. All the nations with the lowest GDP is African nations. So you can’t teach me or anyone anything with your lil racist Laventy rant. Please spare us your diatribe Nealos. Amin slaughter 500,000 of your cousins, Rwanda saw the death of a futher 800,000 along with AIDS and other diseases you African motherland is weeping from the hatred inflicted upon her by her children. In the Congo there are over 20,000 rapes per year. Where is your voice on that??? You are notably silent. As Dr. King said “your silence speaks volumes” and “the day we choose be silent about the things that matter, that is the day we die.”

      What can the Muslims learn from Africa– nothing really. What they can learn from India a nation of tolerance. Tell me Nealos India have the second largest Islamic population in the world after Indonesia, yet how many of them are involved in terrorism? Virtually none. Why because India is a true democracy, the Prime Minister is Sikh, the President is Hindu and the leader of the ruling party is Catholic. Now tell me where could that ever happen in the islamic world? They burn churches, slaughter innocent people and generally behave like animals in heat for the 72 virgins.. bombing, killing and doing the unspeakable to their own women and children.

      Nealos wrote”The way you choose to attack our Muslim brothers and sisters”. Let me assure Nealos while you have another drink of barrel water in Laventy. I don’t have to attack anyone. As a great man once said “those who live by the sword, shall die by the sword”. You are your own worst enemy my friend…Your choice.

  • Valerie Amos was born long before Guyana was, so she isn’t “Guyana-born”.

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