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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Edito: Une nouvelle guerre ?

by Jean-Emmanuel Ducoin

Editorial: A New War?

Translated Monday 21 March 2011, by Kristina Wischenkamper and reviewed by Henry Crapo

How can we help the Libyan insurgents with more than mere moral indignation but without triggering yet another senseless and deadly war, and starting with the Arab peoples themselves? This is the Corneillian dilemma that every internationalist and world citizen has been pondering, however confusedly, now for days and days, without any satisfactory conclusion being presented by the actors in the drama playing out in Libya. So the Security Council of the UN has just responded in its own way by adopting a resolution authorizing the use of force against the army of Muammar Gaddafi. Air strikes. In the coming hours these will probably be called "surgical" ...

Despite the proposed "ceasefire" already undertaken by a —we suppose — desperate Gadhafi, are we officially at war? Another war? Although the "framework" of the intervention seems limited for the moment and a last-minute diplomatic solution is not completely ruled out, one question still haunts us: isn’t the Security Council risking an escalation of violence by imposing a logic of war with hazardous consequences? Recent history demands from us the utmost caution ... Beware short memories; only the fate of the Libyans should be important to us now, and the future of a region that is in legitimate revolt. We know only too well the potential and very real dangers of war; we also know what any attempt to co-opt the Arab revolution would mean: it would be a catastrophic signal to all those people fighting for their emancipation ...

It is with a real sense of anger, shared with all, that we look upon the tragic fate reserved by Gaddafi for his population, and particularly for the insurgents, killed one by one, bastion after bastion. We knew that the man from Tripoli, trapped in his own folly, was capable of the worst to maintain his power and (political) life, and that he would use all military means available to crush the ongoing revolution, to bleed Benghazi, the symbol of symbols.

Citing the past but still poignant war in Spain, many have been saying: “The time had come”. From the moment the UN resolution, the main instigators of which were France and Great Britain, was passed, the uninterrupted bursts of “at last!” have seemed to overwhelm all possible apprehensions that any onlooker, however undialectic, ought to be expressing. Are we be fooled by the diplomatic hocus-pocus that has marked the Libyan drama for days now? For example, why did the USA finally agree to vote in favour of the resolution when, from the beginning, they have kept two irons in the fire, protecting their own interests while steadfastly not implementing any possible direct or indirect aid (from the Arab States) to the Libyan rebellion? Why let the situation deteriorate to this point?

So there you have it: those who bomb Afghanistan or Iraq would “protect’ Libya. Those who did not lift a finger when Israel massacred Gaza, nor when, just a few hours earlier, insurgents in Bahrain were crushed with the aid of Saudi troops, now want us to believe that they are acting out of a spontaneous love for the Arab peoples!

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