On June 15 2011, the Canadian government extended its military support of the US/NATO-led intervention in Libya. Intervention in the conflict, which has now turned into a full fledged civil war, was initially done on humanitarian grounds to protect civilians and was sanctioned by UN Security Council Resolution 1973 in March 2011.

The situation in Libya has changed drastically since and so has the objective of the intervention. NATO is now calling for regime change and will not withdraw its forces unless Col. Gadhafi is removed from power. This is not what Canada signed up for. This is no longer about protecting civilians; this is about forcibly toppling a leader that doesn’t support the agenda of Western powers and Canada has no place to be there.

NATO’s intentions are no longer in line with the Security Councils’ resolution as removal of Col. Gadhafi was never a stated. Also, there is no reason to believe the his ousting will lead to stability in Libya or protection of its civilians. The alternative to Ghadafi is a group of disorganized and untrained rebels who’s ability to run the country is questionable. Thousands of Libyan refugees are fleeing the country as NATO (using Canadian jets) intensifies air strikes on Tripoli, attacking civilians along with Gadhafi’s forces.

Sadly and surprisingly, Elizabeth May was the only MP in the House of Commons to reject the extension of Canada’s mission in Libya. I congratulate her for standing up and being the only one to represent the voice of Canadians, while the rest bowed down to party politics and pressure from Harper. A recent poll by the Globe and Mail showed that 71% of Canadians are against the mission.

As Jeffery Simpson pointed out, Canada went into Libya with little knowledge and lofty ideals. The government has been quite successful in tricking Canadians; there was virtually no public opposition to this military mission disguised as humanitarian aid. What will happen next is anyone’s guess, but I hope and pray that it doesn’t get more ugly and that peace soon prevails in Libya.

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