War Resisters’ International – an international network of more than 80 antimilitarist groups in more than 40 countries – declares:
We are sick and tired of military interventions that shield behind false «humanitarian motives» – be that in Libya or elsewhere.
We are sick and tired of the logic of violence as a form of resolving social and political conflicts.
Yet once again we have to address these themes as if nothing has been learnt in the last hundred years.
We absolutely reject foreign military intervention in Libya, whatever the excuse.
We also reject the use of violence as a response to the multiple conflicts in Libya.
Above all, we reject the ethical and political lessons that the intervening governments offer, justifying bombing and death in a war against their erstwhile ally, Gaddafi. The arms sold mainly by European countries are now an object for destruction by some of these same powers, while they send – or allow to be sent – more arms, this time to factions opposed to Gaddafi. The fact that this hypocrisy is not new does not lessen our outrage each time it occurs. They supported Mubarak and his forces in Egypt, and Ben Ali in Tunisia, as long as possible – only changing sides when it was no longer useful.
We reject too foreign military intervention in the processes of change begun in North Africa, unfinished processes that certainly will require more time so that the people can gain freedom and social justice. We hope that the fall of dictatorships can mean an end to the violations of the human, economic, social, and cultural rights of persons and peoples, especially the hateful gender violence and discrimination encouraged by the fallen regimes. The international role should not be to shape the future for these countries, but rather to offer support for the construction of a society that will respect the desires and rights of the people. What we are seeing in Libya, however, is that foreign military intervention is creating the base for long-term armed conflict, sharpening divisions while strengthening social militarisation and the use of violence. In Libya what began as a popular unarmed struggle against dictatorship has now become a civil war which will culminate with international military intervention installing in power one military faction in the manner of the fraudulent «peace processes» in Iraq and Afghanistan.
WRI actively struggles, today as yesterday, to obstruct militarism, to reject war and the causes of war. The nonviolent actions that generated change in Tunisia and Egypt point the way, still unfinished but affirming the respect and life of persons and peoples. WRI continues to support this way, concretely by supporting Egyptian conscientious objector Maikel Nabil Sanad, detained for «insulting the
army and obstructing public security» (for opinions written in his blog) by sending an international observer to his trial, and by publishing in Arabic WRI’s Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns.
WRI Executive Committee, April 2011