Western governments only intervene to further their own interests
As Ghadaffi struggles to maintain his grip on Libya in the face of advancing forces, familiar calls for Western military intervention have grown louder. The US and UK governments continue to push the official line that all options are on the table and that military options are also being considered, at the same time that Ivo Daalder, Washington’s NATO ambassador, said the alliance had already decided to increase flights by AWACS surveillance aircraft from 10 to 24 hours.
The capture of British SAS forces with a junior diplomat who has now been confirmed to be an MI6 agent also shows that preparations for intervention may already be taking place on the ground in Libya. The case for intervention is gaining ground – similar to the case that was built for intervention in Iraq.
As calls for Western intervention increase we make the following points:
- One of the reasons now being given for intervention is that a dictator is killing his own people. This was one of the ever evolving reasons given for intervention in Iraq where the UK used a dodgy dossier and political manipulation. Some politicians have also said a civil war is a reason to intervene in Libya. Hafiz Ghoga, a spokesman for the rebel new National Libyan Council, insisted that calls for foreign intervention were entirely unwelcome, adding that the protesters have taken most of the nation and “the rest of Libya will be liberated by the people”. So even those on the ground reject Western intervention despite the insistence of some in the West.
- Western intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan saw the bombing of civilian populations, with complete disregard for human life leading to the death of countless Afghans. Nearly a decade after the invasion, Afghan civilians are still being killed at the hands of Western forces. Shock and awe tactics turned out to really be torture in Abu Gharib and other fruits of intervention include Guantanamo bay and Bagram. Western intervention continues to brutalise and kill people in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- The West has a tendency to present its military intervention as panacea to conflicts around the world. Their recent interventions have been utter failures. In December 2007, the Iraqi government reported that there were 5 million orphans in Iraq – nearly half of the country’s children. Iraq’s health has deteriorated to a level not seen since the 1950s, said Joseph Chamie, former director of the UN Population Division and an Iraq specialist. “They were at the forefront”, he said, referring to health care just before the 1991 Persian Gulf War. “Now they’re looking more and more like a country in sub-Saharan Africa.” The people of Iraq do not have basic security; let alone the fulfilment of their basic needs.
- Claims of spreading democracy have been exposed as a front for protecting Western interests. In Afghanistan Karzai has become not just an acceptable dictator but the mayor of Kabul as his authority over most of the country is non-existent. In Iraq and Afghanistan, elections were organised under occupation ensuring that the political process produces new clients who look after western interests.
- Western intervention has sometimes resulted in endless occupations and Japan and Germany still have US forces on their soil over 50 years after WW2. Western forces are still fighting in Afghanistan nearly 10 years after the original occupation.
If the West was really concerned about Ghadaffi killing his own people they would have spoken up years ago rather then sending their business elite to gain access to Libya’s coveted oil fields. If the West were so concerned about people, they would have intervened a long time ago in North Korea, where the people languish in poverty or Zimbabwe where government backed militias have brutalised opposition supporters. The difference between Libya on one hand and North Korea and Zimbabwe on the other is that the latter nations have no oil fields.
Whatever their stated reasons, Western governments only intervene to further their own economic, political and strategic interests and not the well being of the local population. All calls for intervention in Libya must be rejected and challenged.