[STAND Core] Notes on Libya

Stand Core update on Libya from Daniel:

Hello All! I’m sure most of you have already heard about the situation in Libya, which is increasingly becoming a crisis of particular concern. We’ve been monitoring the situation along with staff in the DC office, and thought it would be helpful to provide you with an update on our deliberations. We’ll send out a follow-up action email this afternoon with advocacy opportunities. In the meantime, if you have any questions, articles of interest, or suggestions you want to throw out to the group–please “Reply All”–we’d definitely like your feedback, especially regarding your chapter’s capacity for rapid response on this issue. Here’s what we’ve got on Libya:

Potential Actors of Influence:

  • Ambassador Susan Rice: Encouraging UN Security Council action or UN member states action
  • Secretary Clinton: coordinate with Rice; Top level pressure on international actors and Libyan officials
  • President Obama: Demonstrate U.S. leadership with a strong statement on mass atrocities by the Qaddafi regime

Timeline/Ongoing Actions: We won’t know which actor above will be able to exert the most influence until we hear back from the UNSC meeting that took place yesterday. There might be things that come out of that that we were originally asking for and can cross off the list. Allyson (my advocacy counterpart in the GI-NET/SDC office) and I are keeping an eye on the UNSC meeting results, and will be circling back with staff on outcomes from that meeting. We’re narrowing down targets and figuring out which ask is the most crucial right now, so we’ll send out an action email once that becomes clear. Right now, it looks like we’re targeting the State Department with the no-fly zone ask (below).

What we and your chapter members can all do in the meantime: Post on the State Department FB page calling for a no-fly zone in Libya and a stronger statement from the administration on the situation. Read up on some of the articles about Libya being posted on STAND’s Facebook page, comment with questions or concerns, and throw out articles to this group too so every one can stay informed You can also check out my blog post for a quick recap: http://standnow.org/blog/gi-netsdc-call-us-action-libyan-crisis FB/Twitter posts pubbing the articles you find and sharing them with your chapter Use the messaging points below in your social media posts and emails to your chapter members (Let us know if there’s something else we can provide you with to assist your chapter’s advocacy efforts. We’re working on an action alert you can send out, as well as a one-pager and call-in talking points. WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED?)

Talking Points:

  •  The situation on the ground: orders to target civilians are coming from the highest level of the Libyan government– stopping intentional large scale targeting of civilians fits directly into our mission
  • Deterrence: Need to send message to other world leaders not to employ “the Libya option” in response to pro-democracy protests (i.e. the intentional targeting of civilians as a tool of domestic repression)
  • Only around 250 deaths are confirmed by HRW, but, by this point, we may be talking about thousands of civilian deaths: 250 deaths were confirmed before the orders were given for planes to shoot on crowds of protesters. See the GI-NET/SDC press statement “While a specific civilian casualty count cannot be determined, the nature of the attacks suggests the death toll increased dramatically on Monday.”
  • Many ambassadors and military officers have defected from the regime and called on international community to intervene.
  • Little information is coming out of Libya, information is coming through on the ground sources using satellite phones; mobile networks have been shut down
  • Threats were issued by the government at the highest levels if protesters didn’t return to their homes — “blood will run in the streets” rhetoric.
  • Potential enforcers of a no-fly zone are the US, Italy (NATO), and Egypt (among others), though the enforcement of the no-fly zone by a coalition force should take place under the auspices of UNSC approval. Enforcement of a no-fly zone encompasses the targeting of Libyan planes or Libyan air assets on the ground.

What’s happening behind the scenes (Some of this is what’s happening in the office, but I wanted to include it so you know what’s happening, who we’re coordinating with, and where some of our information is coming from):

  • The policy team in the DC office is meeting now to talk about the outcomes from yesterday’s UN Security Council meeting and other info they’ve received from partners and other actors. Daniel (not me) is doing targeted outreach to administration officials and international partners Allyson is doing targeted Hill outreach and looking into changing 1-800-G script Josh is monitoring the situation on the ground in Libya Shannon is working on letters to US and world leaders
  • Targets for UNSC: Rice & Clinton Calls to the State Deparmtent could be effective since they do not typically receive constituent phone calls President Obama has not made presidential statement, could also do a push for a statement (maybe via social media?
  •  Other asks: renewing US sanctions on Libya — feasibility/effectiveness TBD, Sam Bell and the policy team policy team are researching
  • Other actors on the scene, need to research potential leveraging opportunities: Oil companies acting in the area Arab League, Italy, China, Austria
  • Sam and the policy team will continue to keep staff updated as needed with talking points, potential targets, and asks

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about the present situation, or the contents of this email.

Again, look out for a targeted action alert later this afternoon, and feel free to toss ideas around on the Google Group.

Talk to you all soon! All the best, Daniel


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