Faced with a third losing war against a Muslim country in a decade, General Sir David Richards, head of the UK army, says what Libya needs is a dose of “shock and awe”.

Sir David Richards

As predicted by Stop the War, the Nato attack has already gone far beyond a no-fly zone, with the killing of eleven Libyan clerics the latest “collateral damage” caused by Nato bombing raids, of which there have been over 2000 in just two months.

Now, the head of the British army, General Sir David Richards, wants permission to extend the bombing to Libya’s infrastructure.

The reason is obvious. Under the guise of “protecting” the Libyan people, the US and its allies are fighting a war for regime change — which is illegal under international law — with the ultimate intention of re-asserting western power in the region.

This follows the wave of Arab revolutions which has raised the prospect that the network of dictators and tyrants, which the west has supported for decades to control the region and its resources, will be swept away by people power.

As Tariq Ali points out, “The sheer cynicism is breathtaking. We’re expected to believe that the leaders with bloody hands in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan are defending the people in Libya.”

We’ve been here before. In 2008-9, Israel’s barbaric attack on Gaza destroyed the infrastructure supporting the 1.5 million Palestinian inhabitants, killing 1400 of them, the majority being women and children. Gaza’s infrastructure still remains largely in ruins, the devastation having been followed by Israel’s siege which, as well as denying the supply of basic resources, prevents the import of construction materials, which would enable rebuilding from the ruins of Israel’s bombardment.

Iraq knows only too well the impact of an attack on its infrastructure. The “shock and awe” devastation by the USA and Britain in 2003 destroyed much of the country’s essential facilities, which resulted in a horrific scale of Iraqi deaths, and has left much of Iraq, eight years later, without continual access to electricity and fuel, or a functioning sewage system, or access to clean water.

Whatever infrastructure “targets” General Richards has in mind, this is what the consequences will be for the Libyan people.

It is outrageous that an army General can make such overtly political statements, but what Richards has highlighted is that the US, Britain and their allies — at war with a third Muslim country in the past decade — would rather inflict endless slaughter on Libya than admit that it is facing yet another defeat, like in Iraq and Afghanistan. The prospects for the Libyan people are very grim.

Following General Richards comments, Stop the War’s protest on Monday 16 May, when parliament debates the war in Libya, could not be more timely.

Stop the bombing of Libya
Protest Monday 16 May 5pm
Downing Street
London SW2A 1AA

From Stop the War Coalition website

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