CCDS Statement on Libya
By The Committees of Correspondence for Democracy & Socialism
March 27, 2011
In war, the first casualty is truth. Nowhere is this maxim more relevant than the current air and naval bombing campaign against Libya initiated by the U.S., France and Great Britain, and involving other NATO countries.
The air and missile strikes on Libya are acts of war. All the talk of ‘no fly zones,’ ‘protecting civilians from massacre,’ ‘humanitarian intervention’ and so on are diversions if not falsehoods. A ‘no fly zone’ means more than preventing military aircraft from taking off as we have already seen. It means destroying aircraft and their hangars. It means destroying any airports and airfields. It means destroying refineries and fuel supplies. And most important, it means destroying ‘command and control centers,’ which means bombing any structure or location where the military planners think Gaddafi or his loyalists might be.
We’ve seen this movie before in Iraq. It means the usual ‘collateral damage’ of widespread civilian death and destruction—all done in the name of preventing civilian deaths. And as in Iraq, the US is dropping bombs containing depleted uranium, which will destroy Libyan lives for generations. It’s one reason why the African Union refused to support the UN measure and why the Arab League began criticizing it as soon as they saw the reality of what they had put their name too.
We in the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism join with many others around the world to oppose this aggression and call for its immediate and unconditional cessation. Cease Fire!
We urge that Libyans resolve their differences without resort to arms. We support international diplomatic efforts aimed at assisting Libya to resolve their conflict politically – a path that was ignored in the lead up to the intervention by the U.S. and others.
At bottom – ‘kinetic military activity’ – the new Pentagon euphemism for imperialist war is simply a grab for power and oil in a third world country temporarily weakened by an internal crisis. Libya has huge oil reserves that are state owned—including much oil that is easily accessible. Libya has a huge territory where oil exploration has yet to be completed, due to former disputes between the government and foreign oil explorers. Due to past Western boycotts of Libya, China and India have joined its prime customers, and there is now competition and rivalry for future oil deals with the Libyan government.
With the escalating confrontation between Israel and the Arab states, and the mass movements arising in the Arab states for economic and political democracy, the US and its allies are focused on controlling events on the ground. A key means to this end is the establishment of a U.S. military command center in Africa – AFRICOM. AFRICOM is spearheading the military intervention in Libya for the U.S. But it is located in Germany because African countries have refused to host the command center. The war on Libya offers the justification for placing this new imperial command center in an African nation.
Unjust wars abroad always extract a price at home. This one has a high price in White House hypocrisy. While claiming to advance democracy abroad, these acts of war have been carried out with complete disregard of the US Constitution and the War Powers Act. These laws place war making powers in the hands of the American people through Congress.
On the first night of the attack on Libya, the US rained $240 million of cruise missiles on Libya. The total costs for the US deployment will exceed $1 billion per month. Yet, the American people are told to tighten their belts because there is no money for healthcare, education, transportation, law enforcement, job safety, pensions, social security. The empire can no longer provide guns and butter. The attack on Libya and the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan are inextricably bound to the attacks on the rights of American workers to organize and bargain collectively for a decent living.
Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Barbara Lee (D-CA) and a few other Members of Congress are standing up and speaking against this threat to our Constitution, the inevitable loss of our livelihood, the lives of our soldiers and the people of Libya. We strongly urge others in Congress to open debate on this matter, and cut off the funds supplying it.
Many mass actions are scheduled in the coming days and weeks against the efforts to impose austerity measures and against the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We urge the formation of ‘Jobs Not Wars’ contingents to join them, raising the banner of ‘Hands off Libya, Stop the Bombing Now!’, ‘Let Libyans Shape Their Own Future!’ and ‘Bring ALL Our Troops Home Now!’
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