Urgent: preclude military intervention in Libya employing all possible means of peaceful conflict resolution

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It would be very dangerous to once again resort to force, in principle, but also because in this case we shouldn’t underestimate Muammar Gaddafi’s military capabilities.

They are quite well known to those who until just a few days ago were selling him armament. In Sirt in September, 1999, along with the majority of African presidents and ambassadors from many European and Eastern European countries, I had the opportunity to witness a formidable “demonstration” of the immense military capabilities amassed by Libya at that time: French fighter planes, thousands of Japanese tanks, armored vehicles on parade against the backdrop of the sea, many types of rockets and missiles...

Military action on the part of the West would create a serious precedent and would have negative effects, possibly undermining the liberation movements already underway in the Maghreb and in the Arab world. We need to talk. We’ve just witnessed the terrible results achieved in Kosovo and Iraq.

In that regard, we should think before quickly accusing Gaddafi of crimes against humanity. After so many deaths and the precedents of Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and Bagram... it’s difficult to accuse some while exonerating others.

Thus I believe that now, more than ever before, it is essential to grant the United Nations, including Russia and China, the authority to immediately negotiate a cease fire agreement and to seek the appropriate solutions.

With all that has transpired since the beginning of the century, isn’t it time to change our “partial” policies of force and, with a duly reinforced United Nations, to try other formulas that don’t result in so many deaths and so much suffering and displacement?

The West must understand once and for all that the peoples who are now rising up don’t need weapons but rather aid to sustain the development that will provide equal dignity for all.