SP: no support for hopeless war in Libya

31 March 2011

SP: no support for hopeless war in Libya

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel today spoke out against the Dutch military contribution into the enforcement of the no fly zone over Libya. ‘We are in favour of a ‘no fly zone’, he said, ‘but this has already been achieved. The first goal of the UN resolution which led to all of this was a cease-fire, but this is moving more and more towards participation in a war, with a military victory the sole target. Our intention is to see a return to the main point of the resolution, which was a cease-fire.’

Last week the government decided to contribute militarily to the enforcement of the no fly zone and the arms embargo on Libya declared by the UN. Van Bommel was already describing this double decision as a step on the way to an armed intervention, “My suspicions were confirmed,” he says, “and within a week the mission had already been broadened. There was open discussion of the possibility of providing the insurgents with weapons. This isn’t how you enforce a no fly zone, or how you protect Libyan civilians, but participation in a civil war.”

The SP foreign affairs spokesman also expressed his concerns over the disappearance of the original goal of UN resolution 1973, which was an immediate cease-fire. “By so clearly taking sides, the chance of dialogue between the parties is reduced. Nor do massive air attacks help in this. The rebels expect shortly to be armed by the coalition and a number of countries, including the United States, have stated that they are prepared to do this. The international action is thus encouraging the insurgents and steering them in fact towards a hopeless war.”

In today’s speech Van Bommel also argued for a return to the original aim of the cease-fire. “The no fly zone has been enforced and if Gaddafi again moves towards Benghazi or any other town with a view to attacking it, the means are on hand to protect the people from this dangerous dictator. For this reason the SP, as things stand, advocates restraint. “It may seem a long way off,” Van Bommel continued, “but the only way to avoid a long-lasting, hopeless war, is to get the parties to the conflict around the table. That’s why to promote a cease-fire is the only way forward.”

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