by Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich
Washington, Apr 11, 2011
African Peace Plan Does Not Oust Gaddafi Rebels, U.S. Say ‘He has to Go’: Where?
Starting Another Humanitarian Crisis
With the support of the U.S. and the U.S.-backed NATO the “rebels” have rejected an African Union peace plan which included a cease-fire, an end to U.S./NATO air strikes, humanitarian aid, and political reforms.
“It’s easy for the rebels to reject a peace proposal: The U.S. is spending more money on this war than any other nation. The cost of the war has reportedly passed $600 million and there is no end in sight,” said Kucinich.
“The mysterious ‘rebels,’ who by themselves have been unable to force Gaddafi to terms, want the U.S./NATO to hand over control of Libya to them — this even though they have not been able to demonstrate broad-based public support throughout the country. It is understandable the rebels would demand regime change. That’s the Obama Administration position.
“In the past week the Administration has rejected a communication from Gaddafi which sought to end the war and to bring about a peaceful agreement. The Administration today asserts that it has not read the African Union’s plan to bring about a peaceful agreement; nevertheless, Secretary Clinton continues to call for regime change. If regime change is the price of peace there will be no peace in Libya, and consequently millions of innocent civilians will be caught up in the middle of an intensifying civil war.
“Humanitarian intervention has quickly given way to covert operations, regime change, and unending civil war. The U.S./NATO have taken sides in a manner that puts politics ahead of protecting civilians and undermines the argument that the United States and NATO attacked Libya to avert a humanitarian disaster. It is beginning to appear that the potential of a massacre was not a justification for action, it was pretext.
“We’re now prolonging a civil war. We are putting civilians at risk: Regime change, providing extraordinary air combat assistance, rejecting peace plans, assisting in rebels gaining control over oil resources, continuing covert operations, consideration of arming the rebels, all adds up to more innocent people getting killed,” said Kucinich.
Kucinich pointed out that this week, UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, warned that tens of thousands of children are at risk due to intense fighting, citing 20 children, most of them under the age of 10, that have lost their lives just in the last month.
The United States and NATO militarily intervened in Libya pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 to avert a humanitarian crisis and to protect civilians. During his national address last month, President Obama declared that the United States had “stopped Gaddafi’s deadly advance.” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon similarly declared at the international conference in London last month that a humanitarian crisis had been diverted.
“If we in fact diverted one humanitarian crisis, we are about to start another.” Kucinich concluded, “Inevitably, Libyans must resolve their own internal affairs without outside intervention. When the people of the United States truly understand the cost of these interventions, this Administration may have more to be concerned about then regime change in Libya.