AJP is a member of the Canadian Peace Alliance which produced the statement below:
September 6, 2011
The Government of Canada has hinted at another possible extension of its military role in Libya. The Canadian Peace Alliance is opposed to any new extension and is calling for all Canadian forces to be brought home. Please call your Member of Parliament and demand that they put and end to Canada's role in the war in Libya.
UN resolution1973 has already been far exceeded in practice. What began as mandate to protect civilians became a call for regime change and a widely expanded military campaign that has killed hundreds of civilians.
Now that Tripoli has fallen to the fighters of the National Transitional Council (NTC), NATO leaders, are in Paris discussing their further role in the country. But their arguments are contradictory. On the one hand, they are saying that the NATO intervention helped end the war quickly, on the other they are saying that the war isn't over and they need to extend their role to protect civilians.
In reality, the Paris meeting of the “Friends of Libya is about a scramble to gain lucrative contracts to both rebuild the country and to secure access to Libya's vast energy reserves for western corporations. We have seen this scenario before in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. One only needs to look at the Afghan context, where during the 10 years of NATO occupation and billions of aid dollars looted by western corporations, there has been a steady decline in the standard of living for most Afghans.
The interests of the western powers are not the same as the interests of the Libyan people. Those divergent interests will become more stark in the days ahead, creating the conditions for conflict between the west and the Libyan people.
What should also be a great concern for Canadians is that the Harper Government is also using the Libyan conflict to call for more Canadian interventions overseas. While visiting Canadian soldiers in Italy he said that Canada is willing to use force to attack “dictators”. This amounts to a blanket call for regime change in other countries around the world.
It is not up to the Government of Canada to decide the future of governments around the world. Libya belongs to the Libyan people – not NATO and not Canada.
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