The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Declaration of War on Libya?


A fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, Bennis is author of Calling the Shots: How Washington Dominates Today's UN. She said today: "Libya's opposition movement faces a ruthless military assault. They have already paid a far higher price in lost and broken lives than activists in any of the other democratic uprisings shaping this year's Arab Spring. They are desperate. So it is not surprising that they have urged, demanded, pleaded for international help, for support from the most powerful countries and institutions most able to provide immediate military aid. [Thursday night] the UN Security Council gave them what they asked for.

"Or did it? The legitimacy of the Libyan protesters' demand does not mean that the decision by the United Nations and the powerful countries behind it was legitimate as well. The Libyan opposition, or at least those speaking for it, asked for a no-fly zone, for protection from the regime's air force, to allow them to take on and defeat their dictatorship on their own terms. Many of us opposed that idea, for a host of reasons including the dangers of escalation and the threat of a new U.S. war in the Middle East. But whatever one thinks about that demand, the Security Council resolution went far beyond a no-fly zone. Instead, the United Nations essentially declared war on Libya."

President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Ratner states that U.S. military action without Congressional authorization is unconstitutional.

Author of How America Gets Away With Murder, Illegal Wars, Collateral Damage and Crimes Against Humanity, Mandel said today: "This follows a depressingly familiar pattern: Create a righteous furor over a tragic third-world conflict, blame it all on a local strong man who you have directly or indirectly supported in the past, demonize him as a war criminal by referring him to your trusty attack-dog tribunal, in this case ICC, which has been very selective about who it prosecutes, all to justify unleashing the war machine. NATO motives are dressed up in humanitarian rhetoric but humanitarian military intervention usually causes more inhumanity than it prevents. Also, the execution always follows the geo-strategic goals, in this case pretty clearly a desperate attempt to control the course of the Arab revolutions and the oil. Gadafi is a petty thief compared to the monstrous criminality of what U.S. (and Canadian) leaders have done and continue to do in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Just yesterday, the U.S. military reportedly killed over 40 people in Pakistan." Mandel is a professor of law at York University in Canada.

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