ISSN 2330-717X

Open Letter From The European Convention On Liberal Democracy Concerning Events In Libya – OpEd


By European Convention on Liberal Democracy

With the fall of Ajdabiya seeming just a matter of time, it is becoming increasingly apparent that – failing major defections by Gaddafi loyalists or decisive external intervention – the Arab Spring will be extinguished in Libya.

As a practical and effective measure to neutralise the Libyan air force, perhaps Gaddafi’s most potent military and psychological asset, the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya has now been called for not just by Britain and France, but also by the Arab League and of course all those fighting and dying against regime forces in Libya itself.


Consequently we, the undersigned Members of the European Convention on Liberal Democracy (ECLD) – a coalition of more than 30 pro-democracy groups and individuals across Europe and the United States – fully support the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya, and call on the United Nations Security Council and all those European leaders who have not yet done so, to support this measure and to put it into immediate effect. We welcome the belated decision of the United States to support this measure, and call on them to take a leading role in translating words into action.

Time is running out in Libya, and it must be recognised that the Security Council resolution currently being debated represents the last chance to effect a meaningful response to the crisis that enjoys the full support of the international community.

Intervention in Libya does not represent the latest outworking of neocolonialist ambition in the region, rather it is a necessary step to put a stop to the mass murder of the Libyan people by their own government. More than that, however, this action is vital to help preserve the greatest movement towards a democratic geopolitics outside the West since the end of the Cold War in 1989.

Now is the critical moment. The world’s Democracies must find the courage to send a clear message to the world’s Dictatorships: The use of violent force to put an end to the democratic aspirations of your people is no longer a tolerable policy option.

Rafael Bardaji – Former Executive adviser to Spanish Ministers of Defense Eduardo Serra and Federico Trillo and Founder, Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos (Spain)
Benjamin Bilski – Research Fellow and Lecturer, University of Leiden Law School (Netherlands)
Roberta Bonazzi – Executive Director, the European Foundation for Democracy (Italy)
Juan F. Carmona – Senior Analyst, Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos (Spain)
George Grant – Director for Global Security & Terrorism, The Henry Jackson Society (United Kingdom)
Leszek Jazdzewski – Editor in Chief, Liberté! (Poland)
James Kirchick – Contributing Editor, The New Republic (United States)
Marek Matraszek – Editor, From The Front (Poland)
Dr Alan Mendoza – Executive Director, The Henry Jackson Society (United Kingdom)
Douglas Murray – Director, Centre for Social Cohesion (United Kingdom)
Gary Schmitt – Resident Scholar and Director, Advanced Strategic Studies at the American Enterprise Institute (United States)
Robin Shepherd – Director of International Affairs, The Henry Jackson Society (United Kingdom)
Professor Brendan Simms – Professor in the History of International Relations, University of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Professor Rob Singh – Professor of Politics, Birkbeck, University of London (United Kingdom)
Emiliano Stornelli – Research Fellow, Magna Carta Foundation (Italy)
Dr Asle Toje – Foreign policy scholar and analyst (Norway)
Michael Weiss – Executive Director, Just Journalism (United Kingdom)

The European Convention on Liberal Democracy (ECLD) is a consortium of more than 30 European and American think-tanks, academics, diplomats, journalists and democracy advocates committed to the promotion of a robust and coherent European foreign and security policy, guided by principles of democracy, economic freedom, human rights and the rule of law.

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