I wondered why Harper took the extension of the so-called "mission" in Libya to Parliament. He didn't have to. As prime minister he alone can decide whether or not to go to war.
One of the arguments was that it was sanctioned by the UN. However, what got passed in Parliament was a motion to ignore the UN mandate and go right for a Bush style "regime change".
A continuation of the Bush Doctrine, now dubbed the Harper Doctrine.
These are the actions that the UN Security Council prescribed for the international community in terms of dealing with the man who wanted oil companies to pay more.
1.imposing a no-fly zone over Libya;And those measures came with the following specific demands:
2.imposing an arms embargo;
3.prevention of the provision of armed mercenary personnel and
4.the freezing of financial assets, both state owned and private, held outside Libya.
“the immediate establishment of a cease-fire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians;” and “ the need to intensify efforts to find a solution to the crisis which responds to the legitimate demands of the Libyan people…with the aim of facilitating dialogue to lead to the political reforms necessary to find a peaceful and sustainable solution.”
But John Baird and Peter Mackay claimed that the Libyan "mission" cannot be achieved until the regime of Moammar Gadhafi is overthrown. I've heard similar lines before but always from American neocons.
Gadhafi should only be overthrown if that's what the majority of Libyans want, but we don't know, or obviously even care, what the majority of Libyans want. And they can't tell us because they are too busy dodging the damn bombs we're dropping on them.
The NDP used to be the party that peace activists flocked to, but every single one of them approved of this. They try to take the high road by suggesting that we can only completely destroy this country if we increase humanitarian aid.
The war profiteers were high fiving in the background because they are all too often the recipients of "humanitarian aid". The most humanitarian thing to do would be to stop dropping bombs.
The rebel forces have been unable to capitalize because there are not enough of them to move in. A ragtag group of Islamic fundamentalists, some according to West Point with ties to Al-Qaeda , and former Gadhafi forces who may or may not remain loyal to the cause.
Only Elizabeth May can claim any moral authority here. I am so proud of her.
I keep thinking of the young NDPer with the T-shirt 'I still hate George Bush'. I think she needs to put it away now.
Roland Paris, director of the Centre for International Policy Studies at the University of Ottawa, believes that we are creating another quagmire.
After stumbling into an Afghan mission based on mistaken assumptions, surely we have an obligation to scrutinize the details of any plans for international participation in Libya’s reconstruction…All important questions, but ones that we may have the answers to. The rebel forces already have a bank and a national oil company, courtesy of Canada and the USA.
For starters, is there a plan to deploy ground forces in Libya? If so, under what circumstances? Who would provide troops? How quickly could they be deployed, where would they go, what would they do?
Another priority may be restoring basic services to the population, including food, medical supplies, health care, electricity, fuel, policing and justice. How can international actors help to provide these services without engendering problems of dependency, economic distortion and local resentment that are sometimes the unintended effects of massive aid interventions?
What about the work of rebuilding Libya? The rebel council’s democratic principles offer a foundation, but a thin one. What role will the UN and other outsiders play? The notion that Libyans should “own” their political transition makes sense, but what does this mean in practice? What if Libya can’t support Western-style democracy? In the wide spectrum between Col. Gadhafi and Thomas Jefferson, what outcomes would be acceptable, and to whom?
And they have also hired the most expensive lobbying firm on the planet. Who is paying them I wonder?
I see another decade of war. Harper already bored with Afghanistan, leaving a stronger Taliban and an insanely corrupt government behind, will probably move our troops to Libya.
Lawrence Martin told us in his book Harperland, that our current warring prime minister, does not seek peace in the world, but follows the neocon doctrine of a 'Clash of Civilizations'.
Jack Layton had better start paying attention. His job is to oppose this government, not hold their hand while they are out buying bombs.
He suggested as much to the Liberals when they were the official opposition. Now he needs to put his money where his mouth is.