Joint Op-Ed by Presidents Obama, Sarkozy, and Prime Minister Cameron: "Libya's Pathway to Peace"

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
April 15, 2011
Libyan Man Cheers as Speakers Address the Crowd

The op-ed below by President Barack Obama, Prime Minister David Cameron and President Nicolas Sarkozy appears in today's International Herald Tribune, Le Figaro, and Times of London. The piece can be read online here.

Libya's Pathway to PeaceJoint Op-ed by Barack Obama, David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy

Together with our NATO allies and coalition partners, the United States, France and Britain have been united from the start in responding to the crisis in Libya, and we are united on what needs to happen in order to end it.

Even as we continue our military operations today to protect civilians in Libya, we are determined to look to the future. We are convinced that better times lie ahead for the people of Libya, and a pathway can be forged to achieve just that.

We must never forget the reasons why the international community was obliged to act in the first place. As Libya descended into chaos with Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi attacking his own people, the Arab League called for action. The Libyan opposition called for help. And the people of Libya looked to the world in their hour of need. In an historic resolution, the United Nations Security Council authorized all necessary measures to protect the people of Libya from the attacks upon them. By responding immediately, our countries, together with an international coalition, halted the advance of Qaddafi's forces and prevented the bloodbath that he had promised to inflict upon the citizens of the besieged city of Benghazi.

Tens of thousands of lives have been protected. But the people of Libya are still suffering terrible horrors at Qaddafi's hands each and every day. His rockets and shells rained down on defenseless civilians in Ajdabiya. The city of Misurata is enduring a medieval siege, as Qaddafi tries to strangle its population into submission. The evidence of disappearances and abuses grows daily.

Our duty and our mandate under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 is to protect civilians, and we are doing that. It is not to remove Qaddafi by force. But it is impossible to imagine a future for Libya with Qaddafi in power. The International Criminal Court is rightly investigating the crimes committed against civilians and the grievous violations of international law. It is unthinkable that someone who has tried to massacre his own people can play a part in their future government. The brave citizens of those towns that have held out against forces that have been mercilessly targeting them would face a fearful vengeance if the world accepted such an arrangement. It would be an unconscionable betrayal.

Furthermore, it would condemn Libya to being not only a pariah state, but a failed state too. Qaddafi has promised to carry out terrorist attacks against civilian ships and airliners. And because he has lost the consent of his people any deal that leaves him in power would lead to further chaos and lawlessness. We know from bitter experience what that would mean. Neither Europe, the region, or the world can afford a new safe haven for extremists.

There is a pathway to peace that promises new hope for the people of Libya -- a future without Qaddafi that preserves Libya's integrity and sovereignty, and restores her economy and the prosperity and security of her people. This needs to begin with a genuine end to violence, marked by deeds not words. The regime has to pull back from the cities it is besieging, including Ajdabiya, Misurata and Zintan, and return to their barracks. However, so long as Qaddafi is in power, NATO must maintain its operations so that civilians remain protected and the pressure on the regime builds. Then a genuine transition from dictatorship to an inclusive constitutional process can really begin, led by a new generation of leaders. In order for that transition to succeed, Qaddafi must go and go for good. At that point, the United Nations and its members should help the Libyan people as they rebuild where Qaddafi has destroyed -- to repair homes and hospitals, to restore basic utilities, and to assist Libyans as they develop the institutions to underpin a prosperous and open society.

This vision for the future of Libya has the support of a broad coalition of countries, including many from the Arab world. These countries came together in London on March 29 and founded a Contact Group which met this week in Doha to support a solution to the crisis that respects the will of the Libyan people.

Today, NATO and our partners are acting in the name of the United Nations with an unprecedented international legal mandate. But it will be the people of Libya, not the U.N., who choose their new constitution, elect their new leaders, and write the next chapter in their history.

Britain, France and the United States will not rest until the United Nations Security Council resolutions have been implemented and the Libyan people can choose their own future.

Barack Obama is the 44th president of the United States, David Cameron is prime minister of Britain and Nicolas Sarkozy is president of France.

You can also find the op-ed here on WhiteHouse.gov.

Comments

Comments

sigy
|
Indonesia
April 16, 2011

Sigy in Indonesia writes:

Yes...it should reveal out from peoples of Libya itself, the failure happened will make the country become failed country ... in the region,need a lot of social scientists of Libya to realize this idea

Zharkov
|
United States
April 17, 2011

Zharkov in the U.S.A. writes:

How can NATO justify their radioactive contamination of these countries with Depleted Uranium, which many consider to be crimes against humanity?

"We are there to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas"– William Hague

"I was watching ABC News last night and, lo and behold, there was a DU impact. It burned and burned and burned." - Doug Rokke, ex-director of the Pentagon’s Depleted Uranium Project commenting on Libya attack.

"Depleted uranium tipped missiles fit the description of a dirty bomb in every way… I would say that it is the perfect weapon for killing lots of people."– Marion Falk, chemical physicist (retd), Lawrence Livermore Lab, California, USA

DU is the waste product from the process of enriching uranium ore. It is used in nuclear weapons and reactors. Because it is a very heavy substance, 1.7 times denser than lead, it is highly valued by the military for its ability to punch through armored vehicles and buildings. When a weapon made with a DU tip strikes a solid object like the side of a tank, it goes straight through it, then erupts in a burning cloud of vapor. The vapor settles as dust, which is not only poisonous, but also radioactive.

An impacting DU missile burns at 10,000 degrees C. When it strikes a target, 30% fragments into shrapnel. The remaining 70% vaporizes into three highly-toxic oxides, including uranium oxide. This black dust remains suspended in the air and, according to wind and weather, can travel over great distances. If you think Iraq and Libya are far away, remember that radiation from Chernobyl reached Wales; Fukushima reactor particles travelled around the world.

Particles less than 5 microns in diameter are easily inhaled and may remain in the lungs or other organs for years. Internalized DU can cause kidney damage, cancers of the lung and bone, skin disorders, neurocognitive disorders, chromosome damage, immune deficiency syndromes and rare kidney and bowel diseases.

Pregnant women exposed to DU may give birth to infants with genetic defects. Once the dust has vaporized, don’t expect the problem to go away soon. As an alpha particle emitter, DU has a half life of 4.5 billion years.

In the "shock and awe" attack on Iraq, more than 1,500 bombs and missiles were dropped on Baghdad. Seymour Hersh has claimed that the US Third Marine Aircraft Wing alone dropped more than "five hundred thousand tons of ordnance." Much of it DU-tipped.

Al Jazeera reported that invading US forces fired two hundred tons of radioactive material into buildings, homes, streets and gardens of Baghdad.

A reporter from the Christian Science Monitor took a Geiger counter to parts of the city that had been subjected to heavy shelling by US troops. He found radiation levels 1,000 to 1,900 times higher than normal in residential areas. With its population of 26 million, the US dropped a one-ton bomb for every 52 Iraqi citizens or 40 pounds of explosives per person.

The tragedy is that we will only know years after the bombing has stopped the extent of short- and long-term damage to the population, as the people of Fallujah in Iraq are now discovering from the horrific consequences of the depleted uranium and white phosphorous weaponry the US used on the city in 2004.

In the first 24 hours of the attack on Libya by the US and its allies £100 million worth of ordnance was used. No doubt much of it destroyed armaments and military installations sold to Libya by the very same countries now doing the bombing. The European Union’s arms control report said member states issued licenses in 2009 for the sale of £293.2 million worth of weapons and weapons systems to Libya. Britain issued arms firms licenses for the sale of £21.7 million worth of weaponry to Libya and were also paid by Colonel Gadhafi to send the SAS to train his 32nd Brigade.

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