by Felicity Arbuthnot
The letter (below) has been sent by the British Deputy Prime Minister of the coalition, Conservative-Liberal Democrat government, Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, to his fast dwindling political followers.."The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants." (Albert Camus,1930-1960.)
Here are some thoughts in response, which have been put to him. The politically attuned should not hold their breath for a response.
A "no-fly zone" is another oxymoron, a total contradiction in terms. It means that Colonel Quaddafi's "brutal, savage and unacceptable treatment", has been replaced by our "brutal, savage and unacceptable treatment, using depleted uranium (i.e., nuclear waste) weapons and blowing Libyan people to bits in their uncounted numbers. ("It is not productive" to count coalition deaths as US., Generals, led by General Mark Kimmit have reiterated.)
The region and peoples will become another Falluja, with the yet-to-be-conceived, even, born with deformities, often making them unrecognisable as human infants. Headless, limbless, organs on the outside of the body, one cyclops eye, no eyes, no brain. Reality, witnessed by the writer over many years.
Arm twisting at the UN., and of the Arab League is also a well worn path. We have been there before. When Yemen voted against bombing Iraq in 1991 - the US Ambassador at the UN., told his Yemeni counterpart, that it was :" the most expensive vote you have ever made" - and cancelled seventy million$s worth of aid to Yemen.
Bombing people does not: "protect innocent people" and: "uphold universal human rights." This is Orwell-speak.
There is also much evidence that a large part of this "revolution" has been fomented from outside, with moneys not a million miles from Washington, by Libyan long time exiles. Shades of Iraq and Ahmed Chalabi, Iyad Allawi and "Curveball" - Mr Janabi. And a fine mess that got Britian, America and Iraq into.
Prime Minister David Cameron and yourself, with respect, have morphed amazingly quickly into the despised potential war criminal, Tony Blair. It is the: "right approach", you both sing from the same hymn sheet. Blair said, on the eve of the holocaust which Iraq has become: "I know I'm right, I know I'm right ..." The ruins of Mesapotamia, the five million orphans, one and a half million dead, four million refugees inside and outside the country, the million widows, have proved him about as wrong as it is possible to be.
Already there are reports of forty five deaths - given the blitzkrieg unleashed, surely a massive under-guestimate - with three hospitals hit. Did not Britain and America call thrity tragic deaths in Benghazi, a "massacre"?
What might be the "right approach", for the UN., an organisation: "avowed the save succeeding generations from the scourge of war", would be to have possibly sent in (genuine) UN., Peacekeepers, until the situation stabilizes. As no doubt intended, it is now too late, with another war of aggression raging. the: "supreme international crime", which is the invasion of a sovereign state, which poses this country, France, or America, no threat.
Incidentally, Britain has let its own citizens die, terribly in Iraq and other countries, because we "do not negotiate with terrorists." Yet your government advocates, with the US., arming insurgents, to overthrow a legitimate, sovereign government. Illegal. Further, the crowd control methods now so decried by you and your colleagues, the weapons from the air, and even the training, has been a massive earner for the UK.
The attack from the East of the country, where we are "supporting the rebels", according to Sir Andrew Green, former Ambassador to Saudia Arabia and Syria - who also points out that most of the oil wealth and installations are in the east of the country. (Daily Mail, 19th March, 2011.)
It is astonishing that as a father, you can argue for this course. You have clearly never stood by a hospital bed in a war zone and seen the ravage just one bullet, or one missile, can do the the body of a child or an adult. A friend in Libya has already witnessed children vomiting in terror at you onslaught. The more moral and peaceful world the Liberal Democrats have said they stood for died on the vote, two nights ago.
Libya has the ninth largest oil reserves on earth. As Iraq, and as the desire for the vital resources through Afghanistan, no one with half a brain does not believe your concern for humanity is the real reason. There were no calls from your Party, or the Conservatives, for "no fly zones" of any hue, or for restraint, in "Operation Cast Lead" (Christmas-New Year 2008-2009) as Israel bombarded the people of Gaza, caught, like "fish in a barrel", to use a term about wanton slaughter, from another US General. That certainly looked like "brutal, savage and unacceptable" treatment, to most observers.
Last July, when you became acting Prime Minister when David Cameron was away, you said, in an exchange with Jack Straw, the previous Labour Foreign Secretary:
"Perhaps one day you could account for your role in the most disastrous decision of all, which is the illegal invasion of Iraq." (Sky News 21st July 2010.)
This is written on the eighth anniversary of the beginning of that illegal invasion. The invasion George W. Bush declared a "Crusade." As you embark on the course of decimating another ancient Islamic land, for oil - one with an even smaller population than Iraq - another "Crusade", to install another compliant puppet regime, I can only say, shame on you all.
Dear ... ,
As you will have seen in the news our coalition government has successfully led efforts in the UN Security Council to agree a ‘no-fly zone’ across Libya.
Colonel Gaddafi’s treatment of his own people has been brutal, savage and wholly unacceptable. We have worked with Libya’s regional neighbours, especially the Arab League, and countries across the globe, to secure a resolution in UN Security Council. This resolution will allow us to act lawfully in deploying our forces to up-hold a ‘no-fly zone’ in Libya.
The Prime Minister gave a statement yesterday, which you can read here. And on Monday we will have a full debate in the House of Commons, followed by a vote. In addition we will be publishing a summary of the legal advice of the Attorney-General.
That is the right approach. This is a coalition government that will act decisively to protect innocent lives and uphold universal human rights. But one which will do so working with, not against, international law and the international community.
Nick Clegg MP
Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats