A Breathtakingly Immoral Plan
One of the largest humanitarian dramas on the planet is playing out in the waters off the coast of Libya. Thousands upon thousands of desperate refugees are risking their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean, and many of them aren't making it.
The European Union has drawn up plans to respond to this crisis...with force.
The European Union has drawn up plans for military attacks in Libya to try to curb the influx of migrants across the Mediterranean by targeting the trafficking networks. It is to launch a bid on Monday to secure a UN mandate for armed action in Libya’s territorial waters.
It seems incredible that someone would think the proper way to respond to the suffering and dying of hungry refugees is to bomb them, and yet that may not even be the worst part.
Britain is drafting the UN security council resolution that would authorise the mission, said senior officials in Brussels. It would come under Italian command, have the participation of around 10 EU countries, including Britain, France, Spain, and Italy, and could also drag in Nato although there are no plans for initial alliance involvement.
That's right. Bombing refugees could end up getting NATO involved (i.e. the United States).
How could that happen? The human traffickers that Europe wants to declare war on are also working with Libya Dawn, the regional government/militia group, and they have promised to "confront" any military strike.
What's more, the two rival governments in Libya are both heavily armed. They even both have air forces.
So bombing Libya involves a great deal of risk. Then you must consider the founding rule of NATO, if one is attacked then all are attacked.
And it still gets worse.
Libya has the third largest and most active ISIS cell in the world.
It just so happens that the most powerful enemy of ISIS in Libya is the guys that Europe is getting ready to bomb.
Every bomb that Europe drops in Libya will be a gift to ISIS, which is a repeating theme because the wars of our allies in both Syria and Yemen have helped al-Qaeda.
The real problem with this plan is the fact that it has almost zero chances of working.
In the small Libyan port of Zuwara, one of the main points of departure for migrants seeking to reach Italy, dozens if not hundreds of fishing boats line the quay. It’s an innocuous sight: blue wooden skiffs knocking against each other in the breeze. But if Europe wants to use military force to smash Libya’s smuggling trade, these are the boats they will have to destroy.
Are we really going to destroy the fishing fleet of an impoverished nation in the name of preventing refugees from fleeing to safety? At best it would condemn the refugees to exile, since most of them are not Libyan. And then you have to ask, would it stop anyone?
As one Syrian said earlier this year: “Even if there was a government decision to drown the migrant boats, there will still be people going by boat, because the individual considers himself dead already. I don’t think that even if they decided to bomb migrant boats, it would change people’s decision to go.”
Finally, let's take a moment to remember that it was NATO that helped make this situation the disaster it is today.
Three years ago the New York Times‘ Nicholas Kristof wrote: “Libya is a reminder that sometimes it is possible to use military tools to advance humanitarian causes.”
Three years ago former Obama official Anne-Marie Slaughter argued that intervention was a matter of upholding “universal values,” and wrote “Why Libya sceptics were proved badly wrong," especially those that said “in a year, or a decade, Libya could disintegrate into tribal conflict or Islamist insurgency, or split apart or lurch from one strongman to another.”
Three years ago President Obama decreed: “Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different.”
In fact what we saw in Obama's pro-war camp was just a repeat of Bush's "Mission Accomplished" moment.
Leaked memos show that the western powers had been plotting regime change for Libyan government for years and those Libyans that plotted were put in positions of power in the new government.
At least until the new government was pushed into exile by the Islamic militias we had armed.
The president told us it was to prevent genocide. Opponents were accused of being indifferent to suffering (as if bombs are the cure to suffering). Once again the press told us that this action demonstrated a shift in thinking.
The evidence of these genocidal actions by the Gaddafi government were proven false by Human Rights Watch, even while the bombs were still dropping.
You can bet that one more time we will be told that we are bombing a country for humanitarian reasons, and that people who don't support the war are the ones guilty of "not caring". This time it will be in the name of "saving migrants" from a disaster that we created when we "saved them" last time.
And once again there will be a vocal group that will swallow this transparent lie - line, hook, and sinker - never bothering to question the consistent failure of "humanitarian wars".