According to the new U.K. report on Libya, Britain’s military intervention – alongside the U.S. and France – was based on “erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding” of the reality inside Libya, which included a lack of appreciation about the role of Islamic extremists in spearheading the opposition to Gaddafi.
In other words, Gaddafi was telling the truth when he accused the rebels around Benghazi of being penetrated by Islamic terrorists. The West, including the U.S. news media, took Gaddafi’s vow to wipe out this element and distorted it into a claim that he intended to slaughter the region’s civilians, thus stampeding the United Nations Security Council into approving an operation to protect them.
The same people in the State Co-ordinating Committee of the Pacific Green Party of Oregon who voted to expel me from the Party were the ones who proposed — and overrode my block of — support for the bombing of Libya.
Just as the larger scene of national politics, where the folks who were wrong about Iraq (think Hillary) are the ones who are celebrated, and the ones who were correct are marginalized still, so in our state Green Party.
Update 20 September 2016: To buttress my point, which is that it is best to oppose “humanitarian intervention,” not only on theoretical grounds of violence not solving political problems, but also on sound historical experience, I offer the recent op-ed of the thoughtful whistleblower Colleen Rowley:
The danger from “genocide” has even become an official U.S.-NATO pretext for advocating and launching military intervention. With disastrous results. It’s therefore not surprising that Workable World’s keynote speaker, W. Andy Knight, was a supporter of the infamous regime-change war that virtually destroyed Libya, under the guise, paradoxically, of the U.S. and NATO’s “responsibility to protect.” That is not just a side issue: It signals the dirty business of wars and regime-change intrigues currently underway behind the scholarly façade of “global governance.” . . .
Despite decades of speeches proclaiming that “we are all Europeans,” when it comes to the crunch, people revert radically to their national identity. Germans resent Greeks for being debtors; Greeks resent Germans for keeping them in debt. All the more so in that there is no way out. Elections are increasingly meaningless within the member states, because major economic decisions are taken essentially in Brussels, by the E.U. institutions. This is causing increasing disillusionment and depoliticization in Europe. Europeans take virtually no interest in the European Parliament. They do not feel represented by it, and indeed they are not. Democracy works best in small circumscriptions: Greek city states, Iceland, villages. The bigger it gets, the less “democratic” it can be.
Ms Rowley draws the conclusion, which I support, that it is better to devolve, rather than centralize, political power, for the reason that it will generally produce more peaceful outcomes (since this was written, by the way, the voters of Britain chose to leave the European Union). The movement for a Free Cascadia is related to the opposition to bombing Libya. Just as it was misleading to believe that we could immediately intuit what Gaadafi was even talking about in his threatening speech, so we ought not to be so sure we can help the Ukraine get along with its neighbor Russia; so we ought to listen to the rural residents of our own state who are upset at regulations from Washington, D.C.