Statement by the International Peace Bureau

Tony Gosling tony at
Thu Mar 24 21:54:25 GMT 2011

Anti-democratic corporate Cameron enforces democracy with bombs.

>From: maw.emails at
>Subject: Statement by the International Peace Bureau
>Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2011 20:34:00 +0000
>Movement for the Abolition of War - Emails
>MAW is a member of the International Peace 
>Bureau (Geneva) and works closely with it. The 
>attached statement on the Libyan crisis was made 
>by IPB today.  It sets out a clear position 
>which is in line with MAW's thinking.
>For any further information call 01908 511948 or 
>email tony.kempster at
>Libya: International Peace Bureau condemns 
>military strikes and urges political 
>negotiations to protect the civilian population
>21 March 2011. A new historical era opened three 
>months ago with the popular uprisings in Tunisia 
>and then Egypt, the first of the ‘Arab spring’ 
>season. These rebellions brought hope to 
>millions and youthful energy to societies 
>suffering decades of repression, injustice, 
>inequality, especially gender inequality, and 
>increasing economic hardship. The Libyan revolt 
>was inspired by these largely nonviolent 
>victories, but, as the world has witnessed with 
>dismay, has rapidly become militarized and is 
>now embroiled in a full-scale civil war.
>The western powers’ fateful decision to push 
>through the UN Security Council a resolution to 
>authorize military strikes and a no-fly zone has 
>transformed the situation into one reminiscent 
>of the Iraq crisis of 2003. While supporting the 
>objective of protecting the civilian population, 
>in Benghazi and elsewhere, IPB condemns yet more 
>armed attacks by western powers on yet another 
>Muslim country. Have these same powers learned 
>nothing from their disastrous failures over the 
>last 10 years? It is clear that non-military 
>methods have not been utterly exhausted. Were 
>all economic sanctions imposed and enforced? Was 
>massive electronic jamming put into operation? 
>Were all oil and gas sales cancelled? – and will we ever be told?
>Western media fascination with the minutiae of 
>battle tends to obscure historical memory, 
>without which any clear assessment is 
>impossible. Have we all forgotten who sold arms 
>to, and struck energy deals with, Col. Gaddafi 
>in the first place? Do the phrases ‘no-fly zone’ 
>and ‘air strikes’ not bring back painful 
>memories of the slide into disastrous occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan?
>There is no lack of alternative courses of 
>action. In IPB’s view, the most urgent task, and 
>the most effective way to carry out the 
>UN-mandated ‘Responsibility to Protect’ the 
>civilian population, is to engage immediately 
>both the Gaddafi regime and the rebels in 
>serious negotiations. These should focus, first 
>on a genuine and multi-lateral ceasefire, and 
>then on the foundations of a political 
>settlement based on participatory democracy. The 
>UN already has a special representative in place 
>in Tripoli. Cynical or not, Gaddafi has made a 
>ceasefire gesture – which could be used as a 
>starting point. Western states, especially the 
>US and the former colonial powers, should keep 
>out. The UN Secretary-General and a panel of 
>highly respected figures from the Muslim world 
>should be invited to take part in whatever talks 
>can be arranged. An offer to call off the air 
>strikes could be used as a confidence-building 
>measure. In the medium-term, consideration 
>should be given to a UN-authorised peacekeeping 
>presence, preferably not composed of western 
>military forces, with a classical peace-keeping 
>(not peace-enforcement) mandate. Why is it that 
>investment in mediation, diplomacy, 
>trust-building and similar efforts is always a 
>tiny fraction of the money spent on armed intervention?
>Arab peoples have shown that they have the 
>courage to break away from past habits and have 
>demonstrated impressive discipline and dignity 
>in confronting their oppressors. The western 
>world should now respond by finding the courage 
>to break with its own past habits, and to apply 
>the enormous creativity of its own societies in 
>the search for new ways of resolving conflicts. 
>Success in Libya - or indeed elsewhere in the 
>region - would offer tremendous inspiration to 
>peoples locked in deadly conflict in other regions.
>It is still not too late for those leading this 
>latest military gamble to pull out of the 
>quagmire that looms ahead. We urge the world to 
>mobilise now against war and foreign 
>intervention, and in favour of negotiated solutions.
>What is done in the coming days and weeks will 
>determine the possibilities for a long-term 
>settlement. Foreign bombing only threatens a 
>wider conflagration with unpredictable consequences.
>There are all kinds of wider considerations to 
>be explored, and important lessons that need to 
>be assimilated. In particular, that the five 
>permanent members of the Security Council cannot 
>continue to police the world as if we were still 
>in 1945; and that it is time for a global outcry 
>against the massive expenditure devoted to the 
>military system ($1,500 billion per annum), and 
>in particular the international arms trade, with 
>its accompanying corruption and double standards.
>The International Peace Bureau is clear on its 
>own priorities. We need to disarm in order to 
>develop. The basic needs of the population must 
>be catered for as the absolute priority, not as 
>a by-product of ‘national security’. We appeal 
>to the arms-producing countries and industries 
>to urgently start converting military research 
>and production to civilian purposes. The world 
>will never achieve the Millennium Development 
>Goals if it fails to abandon the 
>military-dominated way of thinking and action. 
>We have learned in recent years that democracy 
>cannot be imposed, and that regime change is 
>only a matter for the population itself. The 
>time is now ripe to assist the people in the 
>Middle East/North Africa region in building 
>societies based on the vision of a culture of 
>peace, as hoped for by peoples everywhere. Such 
>a programme was agreed by the UN in the 
>preparation of the International Year for a 
>Culture of Peace in 2000 and the following 
>Decade on a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence 
>that has just come to an end, and that must now be energetically renewed.
>The International Peace Bureau is dedicated to 
>the vision of a World Without War. We are a 
>Nobel Peace Laureate (1910), and over the years 
>13 of our officers have been recipients of the 
>Nobel Peace Prize. Our 320 member organisations 
>in 70 countries, and individual members, form a 
>global network which brings together expertise 
>and campaigning experience in a common cause. 
>Our main programme centres on Sustainable 
>Disarmament for Sustainable Development. We welcome your participation.
>Current project: Global Day of Action on 
>Military Spending, April 12, 2011:
>MAW Emails
>Movement for the Abolition of War (MAW)

+44 (0)7786 952037
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poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
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