June 27 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
the west side of
City Hall, 15th
Stop the NATO
bombing of Libya -
Stop Drone Attacks on Yemen, Pakistan!
On June 27, NATO will renew its bombing campaign in Libya
past its original 90-day timeframe. The bombing in Libya is
intensifying, with tremendous "collateral damage" as civilian
casualties mount. The US and NATO have no right to intervene in
Libya. Stop the bombing now! Meanwhile, US drone attacks
continue in Pakistan and now Yemen, where the people are in struggle
with their corrupt government. We demand an end to all drone
attacks around the Middle East, South Asia and around the world.
There are no "humanitarian" bombs. Join us as we protest
taking place around the United States today to protest the U.S./NATO
war in Libya. June 27 is the date that the UN resolution authorizing
the 90-day “no-fly zone” expires and a new 60-day authorization begins.
It is clear that
the US/NATO goal in Libya has nothing to do with protecting civilians
and is, in fact, the greatest danger to Libyan civilians today. NATO
has carried out over 12,000 air sorties to date, although, according to
British military officials, less than half the attacks have hit their
intended targets (London Daily Mail, June 25, 2011).
This means, given the escalation of attacks on Libya’s cities, that the
rate of civilian deaths as “collateral damage” will probably rise.
Last week, NATO
admitted killing civilians in a June 19 raid that hit a residential
neighborhood in Tripoli. The following day, as many as 19 more people
were killed—including several children—in a NATO attack around 40 miles
to the west of the Libyan capital. In the aftermath, Western
journalists described a scene of desolation, as workers employed
sniffer dogs to try to discover more bodies in the rubble.
The United States
and its allies argued that their armed intervention was needed to
counter a “massacre” of civilians by troops loyal to the Gadhafi
government. However, a recent
investigation by Amnesty International has cast doubt on claims that
Gadhafi’s forces had participated in mass rapes and murders. A senior
adviser for Amnesty, Donatella Rovera, told the press, "We have not found any evidence of a single
victim of rape or a doctor who knew about somebody being raped." She
said that on several occasions the rebels in Benghazi appeared to have
knowingly made false claims on the issue of rape.
Likewise, Amnesty could find no evidence to
back the claims of rebels that mercenary troops from Central Africa had
been used against them. "Those shown to journalists as foreign
mercenaries were later quietly released," said Rovera. "Most were
sub-Saharan migrants working in Libya without documents" (see the
British Independent, June 24, 2011).
Nor has evidence come forward that the
Gadhafi government has been using cluster bombs—as Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton and others charged. Human Rights Watch observed the use
of cluster bombs in fighting in Misurata last April, when civilians
were reportedly killed. But after extensive investigation, HRW could
find no proof that Gaddafi’s forces had used them. In fact, NATO
representatives admitted that they had employed “certain weapons” on
populated areas of Misurata at the time, leading to questions about
whether the cluster bombs had in fact been dropped by NATO (see http://humanrightsinvestigations.org).
As Libyan civilians die and the country’s
infrastructure is destroyed, it appears more and more obvious that the
attacks by the United States and its Western allies have nothing to do
with their professed goals of “peace and democracy.” In reality, they
see intervention in Libya as part of their efforts to roll back the
mass movements of the Arab Spring and to saddle the countries of the
Middle East and Africa with a new colonialism. The big Western powers
wish to reassert their control over the lucrative resources of the
region—above all, oil.
Republicans in Congress, after some squabbling, voted on Friday to
continue appropriations for the war in Libya. But people in this
country have no interest in continuing the carnage—or in paying for it.
So far the war in Libya has cost the United States over $716 million,
and the White House predicts the costs will rise to more than $1
billion by the end of September. Meanwhile, our cities and states say
that they cannot afford to pay their workers, and are cutting back
school programs and other necessary social services.
It is time to
demand: No to the U.S./NATO war in Libya! Self-determination for the
nations of the Middle East, Southwest Asia, and North Africa! End drone
bombings in Yemen and Pakistan! Money for jobs and education, not for
information, or to get involved in antiwar activities, contact Philly
Against War, www.phillyagainstwar.org. Be sure to
attend PAW’s next forum, with noted Middle East scholar Vijay Prashad,
speaking on “Palestine and the Arab Spring.” The event takes place on
Saturday, July 23, 2 p.m. at the Tabernacle Church, 37th & Chestnut