Make Libyan war an election issue

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By Paul S. Graham

The more we learn about the so-called humanitarian intervention in the skies above Libya, the less it looks like a war Canadians should support. Like the bogus humanitarian claims Tories and Liberals have used to support extending Canadian participation in the occupation of Afghanistan, the war against Libya has more to do with imperialism and any humanitarian benefit is simply “collateral.”

US Democratic Party Congressman Dennis Kucinich recently drew attention to the amazing similarity between the NATO invasion of Libya and a NATO war game entitled “Operation Southern Mistral 2011.”

“While war games are not uncommon, the similarities between ‘Southern Mistral’ and ‘Operation Odyssey Dawn’ highlight just how many unanswered questions remain regarding our own military planning for Libya.

The ‘Southern Mistral’ war games called for Great Britain-French air strikes against an unnamed dictator of a fictional country, “Southland.” The pretend attack was authorized by a pretend United Nations Security Council Resolution. The ‘Southern Mistral’ war games were set for March 21-25, 2011.

On March 19, 2011, the United States joined France and Great Britain in an air attack against Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1973.

Scheduling a joint military exercise that ends up resembling real military action could be seen as remarkable planning by the French and British, but it also highlights questions  regarding the United States’ role in planning for the war. We don’t know how long the attack on Libya has been in preparation, but Congress must find out. We don’t know who the rebels really represent and how they became armed, but Congress must find out. (Denis Kucinich, Kucinich: President Had Time to Consult with International Community, Not Congress? | Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich, Press Release, March 29, 2011)

Professor Michel Chossudovsky, of Global Research, in an article entitled When war games go live: “Staging” a “humanitarian” war against “Southland,” shows that the similarity is no coincidence.

Rep. Kucinich does not appear to have a Canadian counterpart who is questioning why we are involved, much less speaking out against it. Harper’s decision to send jet fighters to bomb Libya was supported unanimously by Canada’s MPs, some of whom one would expect to do their homework before being caught up in media-hyped war hysteria.

Did any of them stop to consider why we are doing nothing to stop the governments of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, Qatar and Oman from murdering their citizens in large numbers? Did none of them find it odd that the uprising in Libya was armed and violent from the beginning — in stark contrast to the peaceful mass movements Canada has refused to defend? Isn’t it strange that we will rush to war against Gaddafi who, arguably is no better or no worse than any number of despots but we will not do a thing to restrain the routine brutality of the Israeli state against Palestinians?

The war in Libya is the pink elephant on the campaign trail that none of our politicians want to acknowledge. We have to change this.

Originally posted at Paul S. Graham.

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