Stop Bombing Libya

The Anti-War Committee issued this statement on August 6th, 2016.

On August 1st 2016 the US military launched a new offensive against Libya, in what the Pentagon has described as an expansion of their efforts in the Middle East against ISIS. US planes bombed the city of Sirte, where ISIS members were said to be fighting with local militias that support the recently installed, UN/US backed government.

We, the Anti-War Committee, condemn this attack, and all further expansions of this seemingly endless war on terror. We have watched as the situation in Libya has gone from bad to worse. We have listened to the Obama administration’s claims of “humanitarian intervention.” And we have seen the devastating results. We know there is no such thing as “precision targeting” when it comes down to the final body count.

We believe bombing campaigns are not a “humane” way to help people, and should not be considered aid at all. Bombs can only destroy infrastructure, destabilize communities, and kill innocent civilians. Yes, they kill ISIS as well, but at too high a cost. The people of Libya are not collateral damage in their own homes. This new escalation of fighting will only hurt them more, and cause more unrest in the surrounding areas.

The US has been actively involved in the destabilization of Libya since 2011, when NATO forces went after Muammar Gaddafi and removed him from power. Since then we have seen that our involvement has done more harm than good. This is why ISIS is there now. And violence only begets more violence. Before we go forcefully imposing our political agenda on every country in the Northern and Southern hemispheres, we should take a look at our own broken systems of government (like our dysfunctional Congress or the war the police wage against black and brown citizens in the streets of our cities every single day) and start there.

While it’s currently being said that no US ground troops will be deployed to Libya, we know that can change quickly in the march to war. But US soldiers are not the only lives we should be concerned about. Libyan lives also have value, and the best way to protect life is to deescalate the situation, not contribute to the violence. The United States military proclaims itself always to be the “liberator”. But the truth is, we should let the people of Libya decide what happens in their country. We could be supporting that effort in lots of ways, but instead the US bombs. It’s illogical and it’s immoral.

We, the peace community, must continue to take to the streets and pressure our elected officials to stop this vicious cycle of violence and demand an end to this war.  We must demand no escalation in Libya and an end the war on terror! * *