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.

Libya: Hoocoodanode?

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".

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shaharazade's picture

People seem unwilling or unable to grasp the simple concept of cause and effect or even blow back from our 'foreign policy'. US foreign policy is nothing but reeking bloody havoc and death on the humans who live in nation states we declare a threat or whatever to our interest's. The US/ NATO humanitarian intervention like Yemen, Ukraine, Somalia, Afghanistan and any other country or region the US empire starts intervening in is not going to be contained within the boarders of nation states we have liberated. Blow back from decades, even centuries of the Great Game does nothing but keep fomenting endless bloody war globally.

The US is the Super Power the military enforcer for global dominion and profit for our 'interest's'. Our interests are not democratic or humanitarian. Our so called enemies are created by design and the death, displacement, poverty and destruction of both humans and the planet left in the wake of our foreign policy and endless war seems to me to be as they say a feature not a bug. I was reading the other day that the US military strategist assholes want to take on China. lol. Setting the world on fire for profit and dominion is bound to cause refugees who flee for their lives. Look at Iraq. Then there is the CIA covert dirty wars that proceed the onslaught of bombs, drones, interments, insurgents and 'sectarian' violence'.

How crazy and deluded are the people in this country to think that the US war criminal's are keeping us safe or even protecting our 'interests'. Perhaps now that these thugs have turned their greedy nasty ass eyes on der Homeland by dealing away our sovereignty,militarizing our police and destroying our rights civil and human they will stop and think about what makes our planet such an inevitable 'dangerous world'. Sadly it won't as the US and it's allies have created these ever morphing boogie men who are too blame for our crimes against humanity and the planet.

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joe shikspack's picture

if only it were possible to address the idiots that support the euphemistic "humanitarian interventions" all at once and lay some of the common wisdom of my youth on them - "fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity."

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Pluto's Republic's picture

Refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq have sought, and do seek, to travel to Europe to escape the US and Saudi-funded wars that have consumed their countries.

However, these are not the people who are on the boats crossing the Mediterranean these days.

The current crisis is a commercial enterprise in human trafficking. The passengers are paying customers who are attempting to migrate to Europe from from Sub-Saharan Africa. They disembark from Libya because it is the closest point from Africa to Europe.

See, Harvard International Review:
Destination Europe: The Surprising Persistence of Immigration to Europe

These parts of Africa were colonized by Europe in the past. This is blowback from that, perhaps, not from the Libyan atrocity, per se. (Although, the deliberate destabilization of the Middle East by the US has made the migration logistically possible.)

Europe's response to what will be a massive human migration to its shores — via illegal human trafficking from Sub-Saharan Africa — is the topic here.

The unspeakable and depraved war crimes and assassination that the US and NATO committed in Libya are a separate topic with separate outcomes. At least, that is how it looks to me and how it reads from who are analyzing the current crisis.

I am very interested in discussing how you think Europe should go about resettling the human wave of untold millions of Sub-Saharan Africans who will descend upon them. (If it were geographically possible, millions would be descending upon the United States, as well, so it's not hard to imagine.)

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____________________
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
— Voltaire

mimi's picture

France is for it, Great Britain and Latvia strongly against it. France says there must be a general EU rule for asylum seekers and that there must be a method to distinguish between refugees (migrations due to fear for their lives) and immigrants (migration to look for better living conditions economically). France, Germany and Sweden is taking in refugees, other EU member states are not. .

EU discusses refugee intake and distribution. There is a need for refugees, who already arrived in Europe and need protections and are in Italy and Greece, both countries overwhelmed with the influx. Those refugees should be distributed according to quotas which are dependent on the intaking country's GDP, population size and unemployment rates and the number of asylum seekers it has already accepted and taken in. That EU suggestion is supposed to be a draft for a migration strategy that should be the precursor to a permanent long term solution for refugee distribution in the EU.

On the other side they discuss relocation of already acknowledged refugees from outside of EU countries, like refugees from refugee camps surrounding Syria. The UN has asked UNHCR Europe to relocate 20 000 refugees from the camps. The EU has not decided yet about how many it may relocate. They may discuss and decide upon that may be on Wednesday.

In New York EU-delegate Federica Mogherini assured the UN-Security council that no asylum seekers, who are rescued from the boats in the Mediterranean Sea, will be sent back against their will. Priority is to save lives. The business of traffickers with the misery of the refugees is not only a humanitarian emergency but a political security crisis. That's why they want to attack trafficker gangs, as they are related to terrorist groups, who finance "terrorist activities". EU says they want to identify boats and destroy them. Russia is against it and several other countries in the UN security council sceptical.

How the EU wants to identify the boats filled with refugees and destroy them while at the same time saving their lives, is "a mystery".

Seems to me the EU is worth shit, if they can't even agree on a quota regulation for all member states. But what do I know. Above is according to ARD Radio from five hours ago.

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mimi

mimi's picture

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mimi