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Star Comment: Put a stop to bloodletting

LIBYA’S parliament yesterday asked the United Nations for “international intervention” to prevent the country being torn apart by warring militias.

The UN warned yesterday that the death toll from the civil war in eastern Ukraine has doubled in the last fortnight — and said its calculation that 2,086 people have lost their lives in that conflict was “very conservative.”

In Iraq US warplanes are bombing extremist fighters of the Islamic State (Isis) while Washington tries to arm their opponents and EU countries drop aid to besieged religious minorities at risk of massacre.

And in Gaza the looming end of a three-day truce could soon see Israeli forces renew their murderous assault on the Palestinian people.

These are separate conflicts, but there is a connection between them all. Every one is the result of imperialist foreign policies followed by the United States and its major allies, including Britain.

In Libya, a secular if undemocratic regime was overthrown by Nato military might in 2011.

Since then Libya has become a failed state. The government is incapable of controlling its territory or even preventing its most senior ministers from being kidnapped. 

The looting of the army’s weapons dumps has filled the entire country with rival gangs, all armed to the teeth and prepared to use force to obtain their ends, which range from imposing sectarian religious visions on areas under their control to mere banditry. Scores of embassies have closed and thousands have fled. 

Ukraine’s civil war is a direct result of the February 22 coup which overthrew that country’s elected government.

Street gangs and gun-toting fascists toppled the corrupt Viktor Yanukovych presidency and were immediately recognised by the United States and European Union.

Moves to ban the Russian language, combined with brutal attacks on communists, socialists and trade unionists which killed dozens, prompted calls for autonomy by regions of eastern Ukraine which quickly armed themselves when faced with a full-scale invasion by Kiev’s forces — which include neonazi paramilitaries such as the Right Sector battalion ambushed near Donetsk yesterday.

This bloody war would not be happening if the US and EU had not determined on illegal regime change in Kiev. 

It could be stopped now if the West stopped its unconditional backing for Kiev and made an effort to get the Ukrainian regime to agree to negotiations over the rebels’ concerns, which both the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and the Russian government support.

The rise of Isis, which is now putting the very existence of Iraq as a country at risk, is again the result of Western policy.

Iraq’s sectarian mayhem would not be taking place were it not for the criminal invasion of the country in 2003.

More recently, Western support for rebels seeking to defeat the Bashar al-Assad government in Syria has extended a vicious civil war and ended by arming fundamentalist Islamist groups to the teeth.

Isis happily admits that most of its weaponry comes courtesy of the US, as well as Washington’s allies in Saudi Arabia. 

Arms handed to so-called “moderate” rebels soon ended up in the hands of the most violently sectarian terror movement yet to emerge in the Middle East, either because the moderates turned out not to be moderate or because Isis was able to bribe or intimidate them into handing weapons over.

As in Afghanistan in the 1980s, when the US armed Osama bin Laden in a bid to overthrow that country’s socialist government, Washington has now panicked about the threat from a monster of its own creation.

And Israel’s genocidal attacks on Gaza would not be possible if Tel Aviv was not bankrolled by the US and encouraged in its attempts to colonise Palestinian land.

This is a world at war. These conflicts will not be “solved” by the West — only an end to imperialist interference in other countries has a chance of stopping the bloodletting. 


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