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Why I will vote "no" to Libya action

The Labour MP for Nottingham North sets out why he will oppose the West's military action in the vote in the House of Commons.
Graham Allen
20 March 2011

Putting our forces at risk of death and using force in the internal affairs of another country demands incontestable reasons. I will  vote against the action in Libya for 5 main reasons:

  1. As in Iraq this is a western owned action, the Arab world is barely represented militarily, even nearby “democratised” Egypt will not get involved.
  2. This our third current hostile action in the Muslim world, it could take one bombed wedding convoy, one mistreated prisoner, for the whole of Arab sentiment to change.
  3. Our intervention is selective and expedient: why only in oil rich Libya? What standards or criteria apply to no-fly zones so that may be applied in future, say in a Rwanda or a Gaza, to ensure they give us moral authority?
  4. We continue to support many autocratic regimes in the region - as we did with Mubarak and Gaddafi when it suited us - which repress democracy and womens rights.
  5. Currently in Libya (as in pre-invasion Iraq) Al Qaida has no base; in the death and destruction of a civil war with the West taking one side Al Qaida could hardly wish for a better, further breeding ground for terrorism which will eventually reach the UK.

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Paolo Gerbaudo Sociologist and political theorist, director of the Centre for Digital Culture at King’s College London and author of ‘The Mask and the Flag: Populism and Global Protest’ and ‘The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy’, and of the forthcoming ‘The Great Recoil: Politics After Populism and Pandemic’.

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Chair: Walid el Houri Researcher, journalist and filmmaker based between Berlin and Beirut. He is partnerships editor at openDemocracy and lead editor of its North Africa, West Asia project.

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