Posted by: r.m. | March 23, 2011

say no to binary visions of the world

It feels too familiar. Too terribly familiar. This binary view of the world. This ahistoric view of the world

In 1990, I was against both the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the US (and ‘friends’) war against Iraq. The response? I was accused by too many of being “pro-Saddam Hussein”. I wasn’t alone, though. In 1991, after the end of the military stage of the Gulf War, many of us stood against the imposed “sanctions” against Iraq.  Same accusation. In 2003, we took the same position: no to the US invasion against Iraq. The accusations flowed once again.

It was the same with regards to Yugoslavia: No to Milosevic and no to the NATO war!

No to the September 11 criminal attacks against the US and No to the US war against Afghanistan.

No to Fateh el Islam’s attacks against the Lebanese Army and NO to the Lebanese Army destruction of Nahr el Bared.

We say it again now: No to Gaddafi’s criminal attacks against Libyan civilians. And NO – NO! – to the US/Europe war on Libya.

No to binary, ahistoric view of the world.

Yes to understanding context. Yes to understanding motivations. Yes to seeking another path – one that does not involve killing.

Check out these reports:

Economist Debate – As’ad Abu Khalil debates Menzies Campell

excerpt: “There are many reasons why Western governments cannot be trusted in their intervention in Libya. The Arabs are defying decades-long stereotypes about their passivity and fatalism, and yet the entire Western club seems intent on preserving the Arab tyrannical order that has served its political, economic and military interests. Saudi Arabia and Egypt were the linchpins of the American regional system. It is not that democracy cannot be imposed from outside—as liberal critics of George Bush often put it—but the notion that Western governments ever pushed for democracy and enlightenment in the Middle East is dubious at best.”

Stop bombing Libya (excerpt below).

Since Saturday night, the United States, France, and Britain have been bombing Libya with cruise missiles, B-2 stealth bombers, F-16 and F-15 fighter jets, and Harrier attack jets. There is no reliable estimate of the number of civilians killed. The U.S. has taken the lead in the punishing bombing campaign to carry out United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973.

The resolution authorizes UN Member States “to take all necessary measures . . . to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory.” The military action taken exceeds the bounds of the “all necessary measures” authorization.

“All necessary measures” should first have been peaceful measures to settle the conflict. But peaceful means were not exhausted before Obama began bombing Libya. A high level international team – consisting of representatives from the Arab League, the Organization of African Unity, and the UN Secretary General – should have been dispatched to Tripoli to attempt to negotiate a real cease-fire, and set up a mechanism for elections and for protecting civilians.


Nothing humanitarian about U.S. intervention(excerpt below)

Anyone who buys current U.S. claims about its mission in Libya needs to look closely at the history of past interventions, where stopping even an “immediate crisis” proved beyond the capabilities of the U.S.

For example, in the early 1990s in Somalia, the U.S. sent troops in the name of helping to distribute aid to a famine-stricken population. But within months, the mission shifted from providing food to intervening in a conflict between rival warlords. The presence of the U.S. military made it harder to distribute food aid. By the time the U.S. was driven from the country, its soldiers had killed or wounded more than 10,000 Somalis.

Similarly, when NATO, led by the U.S., began bombing Serbia in 1999, President Slobodan Milosevic intensified his ground operations, and ethnic Albanians in Kosovo paid with their lives.

Qaddafi is hoping to do something similar in Libya, and U.S. and European bombs are giving him an aura of legitimacy he couldn’t have claimed a week ago–by allowing him to act as if he is a staunch opponent of Western intervention in North Africa.

And from the Washington Post

Since the bombing began Saturday, U.S. and allied forces have launched 162 Tomahawk missiles and conducted more than 100 attacks with precision-guided satellite bombs said U.S. Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, commander of the allied task force charged with enforcing the U.N. resolution that authorized action in Libya. But he conceded that the airstrikes have been unable to halt attacks by Libyan government forces against civilians.

A doctor at a Misurata hospital said that about 80 people had been killed in the city since the adoption Thursday of the U.N. resolution, which called for a halt to attacks on civilians. Among the 12 said to have died Tuesday was a family of six; a tank shell hit their car. The doctor said that he had stopped counting the injured, that patients are being treated on the floor and that the hospital is running out of almost all medicines and supplies.

Remember what Lawrence Korb (Asst. Secretary of Defense) said before the 1991 Gulf War: If Kuwait grew carrots we wouldn’t give a damn. Libya does not grow carrots.





  1. Your stance of opposing war/sanctions on Iraq, Yugoslavia, Lebanon, Afghanistan, etc and now Libya is admirable. There are people (many of whom are exiled nationals of those countries) who are repeatedly used as tools by the neo cons and the warmongering governments and media. One often needs to ignore them as they usually resort to personal attacks. Maybe on one or two occasions one should state/clarify his or her position but otherwise it’s better to ignore their attacks.

    Another point. Closely associated with war profiteering is the treatment of human rights as a business. Thus the selective use of human rights abuses to suit ones agenda and quicken their rise to power in the name of freedom, liberty and justice. The term humanitarian intervention is a manifestation of this hypocrisy.

    Please do not stop your activism on opposing war as you are talented and dedicated and this alone weakens the pro war bigots.

    This is a good anti war piece:

  2. […] by Rania Masri, source […]

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