Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Libya After Qadhafi
German and Andrew Murray
SWC, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, August 29, 2011
LIBYA AFTER QADHAFI: STATEMENT BY STOP THE WAR COALITION
fall of the Qadhafi regime in Libya marks
yet another turning point in what has been a truly remarkable year in the
Middle East. The victory of the rebels, backed by Nato bombing in a six
month campaign initiated by the British and French governments, also
heralds the rehabilitation of a discredited doctrine
of 'humanitarian intervention' -- after the debacle of Iraq and
The defeat of Qadhafi
is now being used to justify military action on the grounds that it has
helped the Arab revolutions. David Cameron declared outside Downing Street
22 August 2011, 'This has not been our revolution, but we can be proud
that we have played our part.'
The hypocrisy of Cameron is
staggering, given the role of British and other western governments in
backing up dictators and despots in the region -- only halted in some
places by the actions of the Arab people themselves.
intervention has not been for idealistic values. It has been about regime
change, so that a leader more acceptable to western governments and
business could replace Qadhafi.
Right to the end, NATO was bent on a military victory and bringing the
Transitional National Council (TNC) -- the Benghazi administration -- to
power in Libya by force of arms. All proposals for talks to achieve a
political solution – whether from within Libya or outside - have been
While many Libyans may welcome the outcome, and
will be glad to see the back of Qadhafi, it
has a number of negative aspects.
From the international point of
view, the most significant thing is that the government of another Arab
state has been changed by external force applied by the big imperial
powers. There is no real suggestion that the TNC could have come to power
unaided. The NATO military intervention, stretching beyond breaking point
the mandate given by the United Nations, has been decisive.
will not be the end of the story. The experience of Iraq teaches that the
overthrow of a regime under such circumstances by no means signifies the
end of the war. Whether those who have supported Qadhafi
will meekly accept the authority of a new government imposed under such
circumstances is open to question.
Whatever happens, the deep
divisions within Libyan society remain. Likewise, given that the TNC is an
amalgam of forces, ranging from the democratic to the Islamist to leaders
who are the direct employees of western interests, it may have neither the
capacity to resolve existing differences nor the ability to prevent the
emergence of new ones, within its own ranks.
David Cameron spelt
out the close role Britain and the other western powers will expect to
have in running Libya, and in how much detail they have been planned,
including ‘stabilisation experts who have been planning for this
Under these circumstances, the main demand
must be an end to all forms of NATO interference in Libya – not just the
end of the bombing, but the withdrawal of special forces and a halt to all
forms of political interference. The only solution to the crisis in Libya
will have to be a Libyan solution. Recent history, from Iraq to
Afghanistan, teaches that too.
But beyond that, we must recognise
the danger that even a passing 'success' in Libya may embolden the US,
British and French governments to believe that the idea of 'liberal
interventionism', discredited after Iraq, can be revived on a broader
scale. Of course, however it ends the Libyan conflict has not gone as
expected and none of the leaders of the aggression have dared introduce
ground troops into the war. Nevertheless, the danger of extending the
intervention to Syria as part of a programme to control and suppress the
'Arab Spring' is not inconceivable and must be mobilised against.
The old rulers will not be missed if and when they depart. The decisive
issues – genuinely democratic and popular regimes across the Arab world,
the exclusion of great power interference in the region and justice for
the Palestinian people – remain in the balance and require our solidarity.
LINDSEY GERMAN, National Convenor, Stop the War Coalition
ANDREW MURRAY, National Chair, Stop the War Coalition
STOP THE WAR COALITION
020 7801 2768