Saturday, March 19, 2011

EDM 1565: Libya, North Africa and the middle East

It's my view that the current situation in Libya is not the kind of clear cut ethical question that some people, on both sides of the debate, would have us believe. For me whether we come down for or against military intervention rests on an assessment of whether our proposed actions will work (rather than simply making us feel like we're doing something) and whether the wider impact of the action will not work to the detriment of the revolutionary process taking place across the Middle East and North Africa.

The moral certainty that has been displayed by some when debating this question has made me feel rather uncomfortable, particularly when many seem unable or unwilling to provide supporting evidence for their claims.

Whatever happens now it is likely there will be a humanitarian disaster in Libya and it is up to us to ensure we are helping these democratic upsurges across the region for the chance of a long term solution, as well as taking stock of the immediate tragedy as it unfolds.

On balance I'm opposed to the proposed military intervention, but I recognise that others take a different view for perfectly legitimate reasons. I'm sure this discussion will continue over the coming weeks and you can still vote in the poll (right) which seems pretty evenly split at the moment.

I am backing EDM 1565 on this issue proposed by Jeremy Corbyn and seconded by Caroline Lucas. If you also agree with it you may like to encourage your local MP to sign too. It reads as follows;

That this House does not believe that Western intervention in Libya or elsewhere will bring about the peace, justice and democracy that is being sought by millions of people in North Africa and the Middle East; and calls for a rethinking of British and European foreign policy and a more concerted effort to apply international law and its human rights clauses in any negotiations or actions relating to the historical process that is now taking place.
As the air strikes pile in we've moved a long way on from talk of a no fly zone. The days and weeks ahead will no doubt see news that supports both sides of the argument, but it will only be the long term impact that will truly make it clear whether this was the right course of action.


DocRichard said...

Jim, we disagree about the necessity of military action to stop a massacre, but I ask again: do we agree over blocking Ghaddafi's Libya State TV?

This is effective, non-violent action that could shorten the conflict significantly.

If you disagree, say why. If you agree, join the action.

Anonymous said...

You don't seem to have an option on your vote poll for staying well out of it.

What happens when the 'rebels' (whoever they are and whatever they are for) overcome the government? If they start massacring government supporters in Tripoli do we change sides?

Jim Jepps said...

'the arab league should sort this out themselves' would be that option.

Or that you hope the rebels lose.