At its monthly meeting on Wednesday, 8 June 2011, Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group expressed deep concern about NATO’s escalating military action in Libya. They expressed solidarity with anti-war groups in Portugal who, earlier in the day, had called for the immediate cessation of the armed intervention by NATO. They urged the Government to call for a negotiated and peaceful resolution to the civil war in Libya that would ensure that the Libyan people, and not NATO, determine the future of their country.
George Abendstern said,
“In March, David Cameron and those supporting military action in Libya told us that the goal was protect civilians. We were told that this would be a swift 90 day operation and that it would involve no ‘boots on the ground’. Critics like Conservative MP, John Baron and CND vice-chair Jeremy Corbyn, MP warned, at the time, that there was a major risk of ‘mission creep’ and doubted that NATO’s military intervention would be restricted to the protecting civilians. Time has quickly proved their fears to be well founded. NATO air-strikes have been ineffective in protecting many civilians who continue to suffer in military attacks, while, almost immediately, NATO’s agenda shifted to talk of ‘regime change’. British troops are already on the ground in a training role and NATO’s military action has been extended for, at least, another 3 months.”
“It is time for a change of direction on Libya. An escalation of violence will further destabilise the country and lead to more civilian deaths. The civilian population needs protection, through a negotiated settlement. They will not be protected by the warmongering rhetoric of David Cameron and William Hague; politicians who seem intent on dragging us into another apparently endless NATO war”, he added.