Response to Nick Clegg, UK Deputy Prime Minister

The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.

— Albert Camus, 1930-1960

A letter ((As you will have seen in the news our coalition government has successfully led efforts in the UN Security Council to agree a ‘no-fly zone’ across Libya.

Colonel Gaddafi’s treatment of his own people has been brutal, savage and wholly unacceptable. We have worked with Libya’s regional neighbours, especially the Arab League, and countries across the globe, to secure a resolution in UN Security Council. This resolution will allow us to act lawfully in deploying our forces to up-hold a ‘no-fly zone’ in Libya.

The Prime Minister gave a statement yesterday, which you can read here. And on Monday we will have a full debate in the House of Commons, followed by a vote. In addition we will be publishing a summary of the legal advice of the Attorney-General.

That is the right approach. This is a coalition government that will act decisively to protect innocent lives and uphold universal human rights. But one which will do so working with, not against, international law and the international community.

Best wishes,
Nick Clegg MP
Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats)) has been sent by the British Deputy Prime Minister of the coalition, Conservative-Liberal Democrat government, Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, to his fast dwindling political followers.

Here are some thoughts in response, which have been put to him. The politically attuned should not hold their breath for a response.

To Mr. Nick Clegg:

A “no-fly zone” is another oxymoron, a total contradiction in terms. It means that Colonel Gaddafi’s “brutal, savage and unacceptable treatment”, has been replaced by our “brutal, savage and unacceptable treatment”, using depleted uranium (i.e., nuclear waste) weapons and blowing Libyan people to bits in their uncounted numbers. (“It is not productive” to count coalition deaths as US Generals, led by General Mark Kimmit, have reiterated.)

The region and peoples will become another Fallujah, with the yet-to-be-conceived, even, born with deformities, often making them unrecognisable as human infants. Headless, limbless, organs on the outside of the body, one cyclops eye, no eyes, no brain — a reality witnessed by the writer over many years.

Arm twisting at the UN and of the Arab League is also a well worn path. We have been there before. When Yemen voted against bombing Iraq in 1991, the US Ambassador at the UN told his Yemeni counterpart that it was “the most expensive vote you have ever made”, and cancelled seventy million$s worth of aid to Yemen.

Bombing people does not “protect innocent people” and “uphold universal human rights”. This is Orwell-speak.

There is also much evidence that a large part of this “revolution” has been fomented from outside, with monies not a million miles from Washington, by Libyan long time exiles. Shades of Iraq and Ahmed Chalabi, Iyad Allawi and “Curveball” – Mr Janabi. And a fine mess that got Britain, America, and Iraq into.

Prime Minister David Cameron and yourself, with respect, have morphed amazingly quickly into the despised potential war criminal, Tony Blair. It is the “right approach”, you both sing from the same hymn sheet. Blair said, on the eve of the holocaust which Iraq has become, “I know I’m right, I know I’m right …” The ruins of Mesopotamia, the five million orphans, one-and-a-half million dead, four million refugees inside and outside the country, the million widows, have proved him about as wrong as it is possible to be.

Already there are reports of forty-five deaths — given the blitzkrieg unleashed, surely a massive under-guestimate — with three hospitals hit. Did not Britain and America call thirty tragic deaths in Benghazi a “massacre”?

What might be the “right approach” for the UN, an organisation “avowed to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”, would be to have possibly sent in (genuine) UN Peacekeepers until the situation stabilizes. As no doubt intended, it is now too late, with another war of aggression raging, the “supreme international crime”, which is the invasion of a sovereign state which poses this country, France, or America no threat.

Incidentally, Britain has let its own citizens die terribly in Iraq and other countries because we “do not negotiate with terrorists.” Yet your government advocates, with the US, arming insurgents to overthrow a legitimate, sovereign government. Illegal. Further, the crowd control methods now so decried by you and your colleagues, the weapons from the air, and even the training, has been a massive earner for the UK.

The attack is from the East of the country where we are “supporting the rebels”, according to Sir Andrew Green, former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Syria, who also points out that most of the oil wealth and installations are in the east of the country. ((Daily Mail, 19th March, 2011))

It is astonishing that as a father, you can argue for this course. You have clearly never stood by a hospital bed in a war zone and seen the ravage just one bullet, or one missile, can do the the body of a child or an adult. A friend in Libya has already witnessed children vomiting in terror at your onslaught. The more moral and peaceful world the Liberal Democrats have said they stood for died on the vote two nights ago.

Libya has the ninth largest oil reserves on earth. As Iraq, and as the desire for the vital resources through Afghanistan, no one with half a brain believes your concern for humanity is the real reason. There were no calls from your Party, or the Conservatives, for “no fly zones” of any hue, or for restraint, in “Operation Cast Lead” (Christmas-New Year 2008-2009) as Israel bombarded the people of Gaza, caught, like “fish in a barrel”, to use a term about wanton slaughter, from another US General. That certainly looked like “brutal, savage and unacceptable” treatment, to most observers.

Last July, when you became acting Prime Minister when David Cameron was away, you said, in an exchange with Jack Straw, the previous Labour Foreign Secretary:

Perhaps one day you could account for your role in the most disastrous decision of all, which is the illegal invasion of Iraq. ((Sky News 21st July 2010))

This is written on the eighth anniversary of the beginning of that illegal invasion. The invasion George W. Bush declared a “Crusade.” As you embark on the course of decimating another ancient Islamic land for oil – one with an even smaller population than Iraq – another “Crusade” to install another compliant puppet regime, I can only say shame on you all.

Felicity Arbuthnot is a journalist with special knowledge of Iraq. Author, with Nikki van der Gaag, of Baghdad in the Great City series for World Almanac books, she has also been Senior Researcher for two Award winning documentaries on Iraq, John Pilger's Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq and Denis Halliday Returns for RTE (Ireland.) Read other articles by Felicity.

5 comments on this article so far ...

Comments RSS feed

  1. MichaelKenny said on March 21st, 2011 at 8:50am #

    I don’t think the attack on Libya has anything to do with oil or a “crusade” to install a puppet regime. For Europe as a whole, the problem is illegal immigration. European leaders want stability in Libya so as to stem the flow of illegal immigrants from further south which Europe is in no position to deal with. They believe that Gadaffi is no longer able to provide that stability and they hope that they can carry out a “quick fix” and get someone in power who will once again provide stability. France has the additional problem of elections yesterday and next Sunday in which the Front National did very well and Sarko got pasted. That’s why the French were in such a hurry. They had to have someting under way in time for the 2000 CET news bulletins on Saturday night! (Didn’t work!) I don’t think the rest will work either but that is ultimately all to the good. Yet another military fiasco will further weaken the US and discredit it even more than it is already. That is in everybody’s interest, including Europe’s.

  2. shabnam said on March 21st, 2011 at 9:49am #

    {I don’t think the attack on Libya has anything to do with oil or a “crusade” to install a puppet regime. }

    You have NO CREDIBILITY what so ever. You until the day before were saying the criminal West will not attack Libya especially the colonial Britain and France led by the judeofascists Carmeron and Sarkozy.
    Take you rant somewhere else before is too late.

  3. mary said on March 21st, 2011 at 11:32am #

    Mr|Kenny’s remarks were as preposterous as usual.

  4. mary said on March 21st, 2011 at 1:57pm #

    Felicity sent these words of hers through earlier

    Subject: I am Every Child.
    Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2011 16:42:17 +0000

    I am Every Child.

    Right. I will only say this once. For those saying “humanitarian intervention” is right in Libya.

    I am every child soiling himself or herself, in terror at the sound of the “liberating” planes.

    I am every child that throws up in terror.

    I am every child that loses their home, and if they survive, sit on the bricks of the place they called sanctity, safeness, being “kissed better”.

    I am every child whose limb you have blown off – whose parents you have blown to bits, who is alone and five years old.

    “Liberators”, Look yourselves in the mirror and weep.

  5. Rehmat said on March 21st, 2011 at 6:59pm #

    Illegal immigrants, you say, eh!

    In France there are between 8-10 million Muslims and more than half of them are third-to-sixth generation Muslims or White converts.

    In Germany, the Muslim conversion is the highest among the EU countries. Between 2004-05, 4,000 conversion took placed, mostly among women. Most of the German converts happen to be university graduates, doctors, scientists and diplomats. Dr. Murad Hoffman, former director of information NATO and Professor Muhammad Sven Kalisch are two of those converts. It’s not the Sharia’h or the immigration as a cheap source of working-class which scare the hell out of the White bigots – but the great rise in conversion among the White Europeans. And that’s being exploited by the Zionist Jewish mafia. First in Europe was “Turks are coming” and now it’s “Muslims are coming”.

    If the White Judeo-Christian societies can provide a good moral and family life – they would not lose White-folks to Islam. The original Muslims came to Europe as conquerers and rulers. They ruled Spain for over 850 years and helped Europe to come out of its Dark Age. Ottoman dynasty ruled more than 40% of Europe. It’s only the European colonization of the Muslim world after the 19th century – Muslims began immigrating to the western countries because their resources were looted by the colonists to develope European countries.