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NATO actions not in Libyan people’s interest

Published time: October 26, 2011 00:16
Edited time: October 26, 2011 04:16

NATO military helicopters in Tripoli, Libya (AFP Photo / Joseph Eid)

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John Rees of the Stop the War Coalition in London says that NATO's actions in Libya will bring about a government which will not be in the interests of the Libyan people.

­“The Western powers intervened in Libya not to protect the revolution, but to colonize the revolution, and they’ve succeeded in doing that – and the [National Transitional Council’s] request for continued military help underlines that fact very clearly,” he told RT.

Rees believes that the West has simply hijacked the Libyan conflict to pursue its own interests.

“The events in Libya show that the revolution was started off as a genuine organic expression of the Libyan people’s desire, was taken over by the West, has now got a [NTC] leadership which is wholly dependent militarily, economically, politically on the West,” he explained. “And what is being driven through in Libya is a government which at the end of the day won’t be in the interests of most Libyan people.”

The very same people who now have a foothold in Libya and who have been using the language about protecting the world from terrorism are those who have conducted the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Rees noted.

“And that will be a situation which destabilizes the entire Middle East,” he concluded.

Conn Hallinan, a columnist for Foreign Policy in Focus, a project of the US-based Institute for Policy Studies, argued that NATO intervened in Libya without fully understanding the deep rift in Libyan society.

“NATO commanders were very explicit: They expected, when NATO went in, that very quickly the Gaddafi forces would basically run for the desert and roll up and surrender,” he told RT. “Well, they didn’t – it went on for at least 35 weeks. And I think that was a shock, and I think it also became clear that it wasn’t just the fact that they were up against the dictator, that there is a division in the country.”

“It’s really partly a civil war – partly it’s between west and east, partly it’s between different tribes; there’s also ethnicities involved in terms of the south and the north,” Hallinan explained. “It’s much more complex than most people were led to believe, and so I think that they are asking NATO to stay because the interim government does not have control over the militias.”

Another factor of instability is unaccounted-for weapons, and analysts noted that some of the weapons stockpiled by the Gaddafi regime are extremely dangerous.

“If they get outside of Libya, it’s going to cause a distressing amount of damage in a lot of different places,” Hallinan concluded, echoing remarks by Rees.