1 October 2016News

PN analyses the recent foreign affairs committee report on UK "intervention"

Benghazi residents hold Italian, British, French, US, Qatari and Libyan rebel flags in April 2011.Photo: Al Jazeera English CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

France led the charge against Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 not out of a concern for Libyan civilians, but out of national self-interest. That is the claim put forward in a house of commons foreign affairs committee report on Britain’s participation in the war against Libya, published on 14 September (see box below). This article…

14 May 2012Blog

Review of Human Rights Watch's report 'Unacknowledged Deaths: Civilian Casualties in NATO’s Air Campaign in Libya', published May 14, 2012.

Human Rights Watch published its findings today on civilian casualties resulting from NATO's air strikes against Libya in 2011 in a report entitled 'Unacknowledged Deaths: Civilian Casualties in NATO’s Air Campaign in Libya', concluding that at least seventy-two civilians were killed as a result of the strikes, of which a third were children.

The seventy-six page report is based on extensive field investigations…

31 March 2012Letter

I respond to the March editorial on Libya. It hints that the rebels had a choice of nonviolent resistance. Do we withdraw our support when that tactic is postponed, however temporarily?

The rebels were accompanied by NATO forces and defectors from Gaddafi, who a present hold some power. What choices did the rebels have?

To hope for an effective, nonviolent struggle without intervention from such people is looking for perfect answers in a highly-complex situation.

1 March 2012Comment

Western powers wanted 'leadership change, regime stabilisation' in Libya

In a letter printed last issue, Martin S Gilbert questioned our earlier article about Libya (PN 2537), asking: ‘If it was a coup, how could western “spooks” have gained control?’ and ‘how could this popular revolution be turned into a coup?’ He suggested that: ‘This was the Spanish civil war of our time, an event that could have stopped Hitler.’ He criticised the approach of the Socialist Workers’ Party, which he characterised as: ‘if it’s American and NATO, it must be bad’, and he called…

24 January 2012Letter

I question your article “Coup against Gaddafi” (PN 2537). It shows how politicians could have betrayed the rebellion. But chaotically, it moved too quickly for that outcome. If it was a coup how could Western “spooks” have gained control? Consistently, the rebels refused any form of negotiation that kept Gaddafi in power. Their stance was against oil-interests which only wanted a return to oppressive “stability”.

I avoid the question of how many lives could have been spared if Gaddafi…

1 November 2011Comment

A perspective on events in Libya.

As PN goes to press, the airwaves are filled with slightly-troubled self-congratulation at the death of Muammar Gaddafi, former ruler of Libya. As the retrospectives begin, there is one fact that is undeniable. While it is commonly said that this NATO military action was authorised by the UN, security council resolution 1973 only actually authorised military action (a) to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya (paragraph 8) and (b) “to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas under threat of…

1 September 2011News

Western planners back leadership - but not regime - change in Libya, argues Milan Rai.

In the aftermath of the fall of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, anxious questions are being asked about the capacity of the NATO military alliance to learn the “lessons of Iraq”. The debate is testimony to the power of the western propaganda system to obscure plain facts, both about Libya and about Iraq.

It has been clear for a very long time that western leaders are seeking in Libya not a democratic revolution, but something resembling a coup. In this, they have been partially…

1 July 2011Feature

Milan Rai examines the diplomatic record of peace initiatives over Libya.

As PN went to press, over three months into the NATO war on Libya, Libyan rebels said that they were expecting a new peace proposal from the regime, transmitted via a special committee of the African Union (AU), which met to discuss the conflict on 26 June.

The key issue is whether the rebels (and their British and French backers) will maintain their position that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi (and his family) must not only leave power, but leave the country, before a ceasefire and…

1 July 2011Comment

Reagan's 1986 attack on Libya and the UK peace movement's response.

On the night of Monday/Tuesday 14/15 April 1986, US aircraft bombed Libya as a response to alleged Libyan support for terrorism. The 18 April issue of (the then fortnightly) PN was already on its way to the printers when news came through; but a Stop Press supplement written on the Tuesday carried news as it came in – of the attack, and of some reactions in just the first few hours.

Peace groups respond to attack on Libya

At Upper Heyford airbase, one of the bases where the F1-…

1 June 2011Feature

Libya: NATO refuses to support humanitarian “pause”

Just before PN went to press, the United Nations and the African Union (AU) issued an urgent demand for an immediate ceasefire in the war in Libya, a demand that was being resisted by the NATO military alliance that is carrying out air strikes on behalf of the Libyan rebels.

While the AU was calling for an open-ended ceasefire to allow a negotiated solution to the conflict, the priority for the UN was a short-term, one- to three-day, humanitarian “pause”.

On 12 May, the head…

1 June 2011News in Brief

We’ve just become aware of a new group “British citizens for peace in Libya”, which seems to have started in April, rapidly upgrading itself to “Global citizens for peace in Libya”, which carried out a second fact-finding delegation to Libya on 14 May. GCFPIL is closely linked to “Avalon International Trusteeship”, which describes itself as “a good standing Nevada Non-Profit Organization which has dealt with humanitarian activities for many, many years”, but which also appears to be part of…

1 June 2011Letter

Yet another war in the Middle East is materialising in front of our very eyes. In Libya, as in Afghanistan, Vietnam or Iraq, our politicians start off shedding floods of crocodile tears for the innocent civilians/protestors. Then we persuade the UN to create a “no fly” zone; and under the umbrella of that resolution we agree to bomb Gaddafi’s forces.

Then our “military advisors” are sent in to assist the rebels. All of these steps have now been taken in Libya. We start off under the…

28 May 2011Blog

<p>Polls in the UK show confusion and a lack of enthusiasm for the war in Libya</p>

Two months on, the opinion polls show the British public is largely undecided about the Libya war, undecided and unenthusiastic.

The first two polls were contradictory. A Comres poll showed greater opposition than support: 35 per cent in favour of the military action and 43 per cent against it. A YouGov poll showed 45 per cent…

1 May 2011News

One of the most significant attempts to broker a peace deal to end the war in Libya failed in mid-April, undermined by western leaders who assured Libyan rebels of a military victory over Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The African Union (AU) sent a peace delegation to Libya’s capital Tripoli on 10 April. Led by South African president Jacob Zuma, the delegation met with Gaddafi, who, according to the AU, agreed on a roadmap for the resolution of the Libyan crisis.

The roadmap…

1 May 2011News

“The RAF’s over-budget Typhoon fighter jets are being deployed in Libya on missions for which they are ill-equipped, because military chiefs are anxious to justify their high cost,” military sources revealed to The Times on 23 April.

The first combat attack by the Eurofighter Typhoon was carried out on 12 April, the day before a highly critical report on the £37bn* Typhoon programme by the public accounts committee (PAC) of the house of commons was due to be published. The…