Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What is Really the Situation in Libya? (Part 1)

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"War propaganda has entered a new phase, involving the coordinated action of satellite TV stations. CNN, France24, the BBC and Al Jazeera have become instruments of disinformation used to demonize governments and justify armed aggressions. These practices are illegal under international law and the impunity of the perpetrators must be stopped."
-Thierry Meyssan, Journalists who engage in war propaganda must be held accountable
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Welcome to “Democracy”: Gaddafi Summarily Executed Without Trial
Libyans get a taste of new found “freedoms” bestowed by NATO and Al-Qaeda rebels
Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
Friday, October 21, 2011
The hard fought “freedoms” that are apparently about to bestowed on Libyans after the NATO-backed overthrow of the Gaddafi regime were in full evidence yesterday when NTC fighters captured Gaddafi alive before summarily executing him with a bullet through the head. Aware of how bad this looked, the interim NTC Prime Minister hastily put out a cover story claiming Gaddafi had died in crossfire.
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The video above clearly shows that Gaddafi is dazed but very much alive as he is captured by Al-Qaeda-backed rebel forces who scream “Allah Akbar” as they pull him up onto a truck.
Later footage shows Gaddafi’s dead body being dragged through the streets. What happened in between the two videos has provoked several different and very contradictory explanations.
“According to an official version of events by the interim prime minister, Mahmoud Jibril, the vehicle transporting Gaddafi to hospital was “caught in crossfire” as NTC and pro-Gaddafi forces fought further,” reports the Guardian.
However, this is contradicted by another NTC official who stated, “They (NTC fighters) beat him very harshly, and then they killed him. This is a war.”
Indeed, forensic experts who later examined high quality images of Gaddafi’s body indicated that he appeared to have been shot in the head at close range, not from crossfire a distance away.
Amnesty International has called for a full international investigation to determine the exact circumstances of Gaddafi’s death, but the very world leaders who backed NATO’s “humanitarian” intervention to bring
“democracy” to the country, the likes of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and David Cameron, don’t seem to be too concerned that the very first act of Libya’s liberators was to summarily execute a man without trial – they were too busy gloating.
The NTC has patently decided to invent a fairytale about Gaddafi being killed in crossfire, going so far as to suggest that his own loyalists could have fired the fatal bullet, when all the available evidence clearly indicates that Gaddafi was shot like a dog in the street by the crazed rebels, who over the past 24 hours have been busy looting Sirte, and who are now set to seize power in Libya.
While the establishment western media hailed Gaddafi’s death as a watershed for the rebirth of freedom in Libya, gleefully broadcasting macabre images of his dead corpse with wanton abandon, the very first act of the victorious rebels was to prove to the world that they are nothing more than a gang of terrorists who couldn’t care less about the very principles that underpin “democracy” or “freedom” – innocent until proven guilty and the right to a fair trial.
Of course, we know why NATO and their NTC foot soldiers were less than enthusiastic about affording Gaddafi a UN war crimes trial, because like Slobodan Milosevic, Gaddafi would have used it to highlight NATO’s support for Al-Qaeda terrorists who killed U.S. troops along with a myriad of other embarrassing revelations.
Even if you believe Gaddafi was a tyrant and deserved to die, free and civilized societies do not allow men to be rounded up and shot like vermin. Nazis who oversaw the murders of millions of concentration camp victims were treated better.
Taking the moral high ground and treating even the rights of dictators with dignity and respect is what differentiates modern civilized nations from arcane, medieval autocracies, which thanks to NATO’s love bombs, is precisely what Libya will quickly begin to resemble.
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Libya and the Big Lie: Using Human Rights Organizations to Launch Wars
by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Global Research, September 29, 2011
The war against Libya is built on fraud. The United Nations Security Council passed two resolutions against Libya on the basis of unproven claims, specifically that Colonel Muammar Qaddafi was killing his own people in Benghazi and Libya. The claim in its exact form was that Qaddafi had ordered Libyan forces to kill 6,000 people in Benghazi and Libya. These claims were widely disseminated, but always vaguely explained. It was on the basis of this claim that Libya was referred to the U.N. Security Council at U.N Headquarters in New York City and kicked out of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.
False claims about African mercenary armies in Libya and about jet attacks on civilians were also used in a broad media campaign against Libya. These two claims have been sidelined and have become more and more murky. The massacre claims, however, were used in a legal, diplomatic, and military framework to justify NATO’s war on Libya.
Using Human Rights as a Pretext for War: The LLHR and its Unproven Claims
One of the main sources for the claim that Qaddafi was killing his own people is the Libyan League for
Human Rights (LLHR). The LLHR was actually pivotal to getting the U.N. involved through its specific claims in Geneva. On February 21, 2011 the LLHR got the 70 other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to sent letters to the President Obama, E.U. High Representative Catherine Ashton., and the U.N. Secretary-General Ban-ki Moon demanding international action against Libya invoking the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine. Only 25 members of this coalition actually assert that they are human rights groups.
The letter is as follows:
We, the undersigned non-governmental, human rights, and humanitarian organizations, urge you to mobilize the United Nations and the international community and take immediate action to halt the mass atrocities now being perpetrated by the Libyan government against its own people. The inexcusable silence cannot continue.
As you know, in the past several days, Colonel Moammar Gadhafi’s forces are estimated to have deliberately killed hundreds of peaceful protesters and innocent bystanders across the country. In the city of Benghazi alone, one doctor reported seeing at least 200 dead bodies. Witnesses report that a mixture of special commandos, foreign mercenaries and regime loyalists have attacked demonstrators with knives, assault rifles and heavy-caliber weapons.
Snipers are shooting peaceful protesters. Artillery and helicopter gunships have been used against crowds of demonstrators. Thugs armed with hammers and swords attacked families in their homes. Hospital officials report numerous victims shot in the head and chest, and one struck on the head by an anti-aircraft missile. Tanks are reported to be on the streets and crushing innocent bystanders. Witnesses report that mercenaries are shooting indiscriminately from helicopters and from the top of roofs. Women and children were seen jumping off Giuliana Bridge in Benghazi to escape. Many of them were killed by the impact of hitting the water, while others were drowned. The Libyan regime is seeking to hide all of these crimes by shutting off contact with the outside world. Foreign journalists have been refused entry. Internet and phone lines have been cut or disrupted.
There is no question here about intent. The government media has published open threats, promising that demonstrators would meet a “violent and thunderous response.”
Accordingly, the government of Libya is committing gross and systematic violations of the right to life as guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Citizens seeking to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are being massacred by the government.
Moreover, the government of Libya is committing crimes against humanity, as defined by the Explanatory Memorandum to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The Libyan government’s mass killing of innocent civilians amount to particularly odious offences which constitute a serious attack on human dignity. As confirmed by numerous oral and video testimonies gathered by human rights organizations and news agencies, the Libyan government’s assault on its civilian population are not isolated or sporadic events. Rather, these actions constitute a widespread and systematic policy and practice of atrocities, intentionally committed, including murder, political persecution and other inhumane acts which reach the threshold of crimes against humanity.
Responsibility to Protect
Under the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, you have a clear and unambiguous responsibility to protect the people of Libya. The international community, through the United Nations, has the responsibility to use appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian and other peaceful means, in accordance with Chapters VI and VIII of the Charter, to help to protect the Libyan population. Because the Libyan national authorities are manifestly failing to protect their population from crimes against humanity, should peaceful means be inadequate, member states are obliged to take collective action, in a timely and decisive manner, through the Security Council, in accordance with the UN Charter, including Chapter VII.
In addition, we urge you to convene an emergency Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council, whose members have a duty, under UNGA Resolution 60/251, to address situations of gross and systematic violations of violations of human rights. The session should:
-Call for the General Assembly to suspend Libya’s Council membership, pursuant to Article 8 of Resolution 60/251, which applies to member states that commit gross and systematic violations of human rights.
-Strongly condemn, and demand an immediate end to, Libya’s massacre of its own citizens.
-Dispatch immediately an international mission of independent experts to collect relevant facts and document violations of international human rights law and crimes against humanity, in order to end the impunity of the Libyan government. The mission should include an independent medical investigation into the deaths, and an investigation of the unlawful interference by the Libyan government with the access to and treatment of wounded.
-Call on the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights and the Council’s relevant Special Procedures to closely monitor the situation and take action as needed.
-Call on the Council to remain seized of the matter and address the Libyan situation at its upcoming 16th regular session in March.
Member states and high officials of the United Nations have a responsibility to protect the people of Libya from what are preventable crimes. We urge you to use all available measures and levers to end atrocities throughout the country.
We urge you to send a clear message that, collectively, the international community, the Security Council and the Human Rights Council will not be bystanders to these mass atrocities. The credibility of the United
Nations — and many innocent lives — are at stake.
According to Physicians for Human Rights: “[This letter was] prepared under the guidance of Mohamed Eljahmi, the noted Libyan human rights defender and brother of dissident Fathi Eljahmi, asserts that the widespread atrocities committed by Libya against its own people amount to war crimes, requiring member states to take action through the Security Council under the responsibility to protect doctrine.”
The letters signatories included Francis Fukuyama, United Nations Watch (which looks out for Israel’s interests and according to Israeli sources organized the entire session against the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya), B’nai B’rith Human Rights Commission, the Cuban Democratic Directorate, and a set of organizations at odds with the governments of Nicaragua, Cuba, Sudan, Russia, Venezuela, and Libya. Some of these organizations are viewed with hostility as organizations created to wage demonization campaigns against countries at odds with the U.S., Israel, and the European Union. Refer to the annex for the full list of signatories for consultation.
LLHR is tied to the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), which is based in France and has ties to the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). FIDH is active in many places in Africa and in activities involving the National Endowment for Democracy in the African continent. Both the FIDH and LLHR also released a joint communiqué on February 21, 2011. In the communiqué both organizations asked for the international community to “mobilize” and mention the International Criminal Court while also making a contradictory claiming that over 400 to 600 people had died since February 15, 2011. This of course was about 5,500 short of the claim that 6,000 people were massacred in Benghazi. The joint letter also promoted the false view that 80% of Qaddafi’s support came from foreign mercenaries, which is something that over half a year of fighting proves as untrue.
According to the General-Secretary of the LLHR, Dr. Sliman Bouchuiguir, the claims about the massacres in Benghazi could not be validated by the LLHR when he was challenged for proof. When asked how a group of 70 non-governmental organizations in Geneva could support the LLHR’s claims on Geneva, Dr. Buchuiguir has answered that a network of close relationship was the basis. This is a mockery.
Speculation is neither evidence nor grounds for starting a war with a bombing campaign that has lasted about half a year and taken many innocent civilian lives, including children and the elderly. What is important to note here is that the U.N. Security Council decided to sanction the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya on the basis of this letter and the claims of the LLHR. Not once did the U.N. Security Council and the member states pushing for war once bother to even investigate the allegations. In one session in New York City, the Indian Ambassador to the U.N. actually pointed this out when his country abstained from voting. Thus, a so-called “humanitarian war” was launched without any evidence.
Global Research Editor’s Note: U.N. Watch which actively promoted the LLHR statement has informal ties to the U.S. State Department. It was established during the Clinton Administration in 1993 under the Chairmanship of Morris B. Abram, a former U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva. U.N. Watch is formally affiliated with the American Jewish Committee (AJC), a powerful pro-Israeli political lobby organization based in New York City.
The Secret Relationship between the LLHR and the Transitional Council
The claims of the Libyan League for Human Rights (LLHR) were coordinated with the formation of the Transitional Council. This becomes clear with when the close and cagey relationship of the LLHR and the Transitional Council becomes apparent. Logically, the Obama Administration and NATO had to also be a part of this.
Whatever the Transitional Council is and whatever the intent of some of its supporters, it is clear that it is being used as a tool by the U.S. and others. Moreover, five members of the LLHR were or would become members of the Transitional Council almost immediately after the claims against the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya were disseminated. According to Bouchuguir individuals with ties to the LLHR or who hold membership include Mahmoud Jibril and Ali Tarhouni.
Dr. Mahmoud Jibril is a Libyan regime figure brought into Libyan government circles by Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi. He would undemocratically be given the position of Transitional Council prime minister. His involvement with the LLHR raises some real questions about the organization.
The economist Ali Tarhouni on the other hand would become the minister for oil and finance for the Transitional Council. Tarhouni is Washington’s man in Libya. He was groomed in the United States and was present at all the major meetings about plans for regime change in Libya. As Minister of Oil and Finance the first acts he did were privatize and virtually handover Libya’s energy resources and economy.
The General-Secretary of the LLHR, Sliman Bouchuiguir, has even privately admitted that many influential members of the Transitional Council are his friends. A real question of interests arises. Yet, the secret relationship between the LLHR and the Transitional Council is far more than a question of conflict of interest. It is a question of justice and manipulation.
Who is Sliman Bouchuiguir?
Sliman Bouchuguir is an unheard of figure for most, but he has authored a doctoral thesis that has been widely quoted and used in strategic circles in the United States. This thesis was published in 1979 as a book, The Use of Oil as a Political Weapon: A Case Study of the 1973 Arab oil Embargo. The thesis is about the use of oil as an economic weapon by Arabs, but can easily be applied to the Russians, the Iranians, the Venezuelans, and others. It examines economic development and economic warfare and can also be applied to vast regions, including all of Africa.
Bouchuguir’s analytical thesis reflects an important line of thinking in Washington, as well as London and Tel Aviv. It is both the embodiment of a pre-existing mentality, which includes U.S. National Security Advisor George F. Kennan’s arguments for maintaining a position of disparity through a constant multi-faced war between the U.S. and its allies on one hand and the rest of the world on the other hand. The thesis can be drawn on for preventing the Arabs, or others, from becoming economic powers or threats. In strategic terms rival economies are pinned as threats and as “weapons.” This has serious connotations.
Moreover, Bouchuiguir did his thesis at George Washington University under Bernard Reich. Reich is a political scientist and professor of international relations. He has worked and held positions at places like the U.S. Defense Intelligence College, the United States Air Force Special Operations School, the Marine Corps War College, and the Shiloah Center at Tel Aviv University. He has consulted on the Middle East for the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. State Department and received grants such as the Defense Academic Research Support Program Research grant and the German Marshal Fund Grant. Reich also was or is presently on the editorial boards of journals such as Israel Affairs (1994-present), Terrorism: An International Journal (1987-1994), and The New Middle East (1971-1973).
It is also clear that Reich is tied to Israeli interests. He has even written a book about the special relationship between the U.S and Israel. He has also been an advocate for a “New Middle East” which would be favourable to Israel. This includes careful consideration over North Africa. His work has also focused on the important strategic interface between the Soviet Union and the Middle East and also on Israeli policy in the continent of Africa.
It is clear why Bouchuiguir has his thesis supervised under Reich. On October 23, 1973, Reich gave a testimony at the U.S. Congress. The testimony has been named “The Impact of the October Middle East War” and is clearly tied to the 1973 oil embargo and Washington’s aim of pre-empting or managing any similar events in the future. It has to be asked, how much did Reich influence Bouchuiguir and if Bouchuiguir espouses the same strategic views as Reich?
The “New North Africa” and a “New Africa” – More than just a “New Middle East”
A “New Africa” is in the works, which will have its borders further drawn out in blood like in the past. The Obama Administration and its allies have opened the gateway for a new invasion of Africa. United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) opened the salvos of the war through Operation Odyssey Damn, before the war on Libya was transferred to NATO’s Operation Unified Protector.
The U.S. has used NATO to continue the occupation of post-Second World War Europe. It will now use AFRICOM to occupy Africa and create an African NATO. It is clear the U.S. wants an expanded military presence in Libya and Africa under the disguise of humanitarian aid missions and fighting terrorism – the same terrorism that it is fanning in Libya and Africa.
The way is being paved for intervention in Africa under the guise of fighting terrorism. General Carter Ham has stated: “If we were to launch a humanitarian operation, how do we do so effectively with air traffic control, airfield management, [and] those kind of activities?” General Ham’s question is actually a sales pitch for fashioning African military partnerships and integration, as well as new bases that could include the use of more military drones against Libya and other African countries. The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) have both made it clear that the Pentagon is actively trying to establish more drone bases in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula to expand its wars. In this context, the AFRICOM Commander said that there are ties between the Al-Shabaab in Somalia, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in North Africa, and the Boko Harem in Nigeria.
The War in Libya is a Fraud
General Ham has said: “I remain confident that had the U.N. not made the decision, had the U.S. not taken the lead with great support, I’m absolutely convinced there are many, many people in Benghazi alive today who would not be [alive].” This is not true and a far stretch from reality. The war has cost more lives than it could have ever saved. It has ruined a country and opened the door into Africa for a neo-colonial project.
The claims of the Libyan League for Human Rights (LLHR) were never supported or verified. The credibility of United Nations must be questioned as well as many humanitarian and human rights organizations that have virtually pushed for a war. At best the U.N. Security Council is an irresponsible body, but it has clearly acted outside of due legal process. This pattern now appears to be repeating itself against the Syrian Arab Republic as unverified claims are being made by individuals and organizations supported by foreign powers that care nothing for authentic democratic reforms or liberty.
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Libya: Mass killing and humanitarian disaster in NATO siege of Sirte
by Bill Van Auken
Global Research, September 29, 2011
Refugees from the Libyan coastal city of Sirte report that thousands have died as a result of relentless NATO bombardment and shelling by the the Western-backed “rebels.”
The two-week-old NATO siege of Sirte has left the city without adequate food, drinkable water, medicine and other basic necessities of life, creating hellish condition for its population of 100,000.
While the Benghazi-based National Transitional Council (NTC) has repeatedly issued announcements that the so-called rebels had advanced toward the city center under NATO air cover, they have again and again been forced to retreat under heavy fire from forces loyal to Col. Muammar Gaddafi, as well as what have been described as citizen volunteers.
In their frustration, the anti-Gaddafi militias have pounded the coastal city with artillery and mortar rounds, tank shells and Grad rockets, wreaking horrific destruction.
Thousands of refugees have tried to flee the city, forced to pass through checkpoints set up by the NATO-backed forces, where many have been taken prisoner, accused of being Gaddafi supporters.
The Wall Street Journal reported from one of these checkpoints, describing lines of cars and trucks, packed with civilians and piled with mattresses and other belongings:
“As refugees gathered, the Misrata fighters checked their names against lists of suspected Gaddafi loyalists. Some men were arrested while others were told to wait on the side of the road with their families.
“‘We’re going to punish even those that supported Moammar with words,’ said a bearded fighter to a man who protested his detention. ‘We are the knights that liberated Libya.’ ”
Reports from inside the city indicate a deepening humanitarian catastrophe. The aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF—Doctors Without Borders) reported Wednesday that it had been in touch with doctors at the main hospital in Sirte, who were facing an increasingly impossible situation.
“If the situation continues for a few more days or weeks, it will be catastrophic. Already the doctors in the hospital can’t do their work properly, and if it persists, the situation will become dramatic,” Dr. Mego Terzian, head of emergency programs for MSF-France, told the Reuters news agency.
“They said the hospital was overwhelmed with wounded,” said Terzian. “There are other kinds of emergencies—pediatric, gynecological and patients with chronic diseases who are not receiving treatment.
“They told us of huge difficulties, a lack of electricity, water and basic medicines to run the emergency room, including anesthetics, antibiotics, analgesics, and blood bags,” he told Reuters.
The MSF representative said that the doctors in Sirte had contacted the group asking for emergency medical supplies, but that the National Transitional Council had “forbidden” MSF volunteers from crossing through its siege lines to aid the population.
Terzian said that the group was investigating whether it could bring in supplies by sea, but that it was not optimistic. NATO warships are maintaining a blockade of Libya’s Mediterranean coast, which is an integral part of the barbaric siege of Sirte.
Another doctor interviewed by the Associated Press said that many of the wounded being brought into the city’s central Ibn Sina Hospital were civilians who appeared to have been hit by rebel shells. The doctor, Eman Mohammed, reported that the hospital had no oxygen in the operating rooms and few staff members to treat patients.
Lack of food, water, electricity and other basic necessities is also taking its toll on the general population, particularly the city’s children. Reporting from a clinic in the town of Harawa, just a few miles outside of Sirte, AFP said that large numbers of families were bringing in young children suffering from severe diarrhea and vomiting.
“Most patients coming to me are children,” Valentina Rybakova, a Ukrainian doctor who has worked in Libya for eight years, told AFP. “I saw 120 patients since morning and 70 percent of them were children. This is a big humanitarian crisis. We are trying to get help from everybody, but the main problem is that these people have no access to clean drinking water.” She said that her clinic, too, was suffering from a shortage of medicines, as well as critical lack of nursing staff.
“The situation in the city is very critical,” Muftah Mohammed, a fish trader who was leaving Sirte, told AFP. “Children are in a particularly bad condition. There is no milk for them. We have all been surviving on just macaroni for several days.”
“There is no food, there is no medicine, and every night, for five or six hours, NATO bombs all sorts of
buildings,” Sami Abderraman, 64, told the Spanish daily El Pais as he sought to leave Sirte. “Hundreds of women and children have died like animals.” Abderraman estimated that as many as 3,000 people have been killed in the siege.
Another refugee, who asked not to be named, told El Pais that “The people who remain are going to fight to the death.”
Riab Safran, 28, spoke to the Times of London as his car was being searched at a rebel roadblock outside of Sirte. “It was worse than awful,” he said. “They hit all kinds of buildings—schools, hospitals.” He said that he and his family had slept on the beach to avoid the NATO bombs and rebel shells, which had destroyed his own house on Saturday.
Ali Omar, who fled the city with 27 members of his extended family, recounted the carnage being carried out by the NATO-backed rebels advancing on Sirte from Benghazi in the east.
“The easterners are exterminating everything in front of them,” said the 42-year-old Omar. He and his family, he said, had been pinned down inside their home by heavy gunfire for seven hours on Sunday.
A number of the refugees have told reporters that those remaining in the city feared violence at the hands of the “rebels” after reports of many of those fleeing being detained and of women being abducted from cars leaving the city.
Among the most fearful are refugees who fled Tawergha, a town about 25 miles south of Misrata whose population is composed predominantly of black Libyans. Anti-Gaddafi militias charged that the residents of Tawergha had participated in the siege of Misrata by government troops and have retaliated with wholesale ethnic cleansing. Houses and stores in the town have been burned and daubed with racist graffiti. The new authorities in Misrata have announced plans to bulldoze the entire town so that none of Tawergha’s residents can ever return.
It is estimated that as many as 5,000 refugees from Tawergha sought safety in Sirte and now fear that they will be slaughtered by the militia forces attacking the city from Misrata to the west. Tawergha refugees who have managed to flee the fighting for Tripoli have found no refuge there either. Misrata militias manning checkpoints in the capital have detained them and thrown them into prison camps, accusing them of being “mercenaries.”
The inability of the Western-backed “rebels” to overrun either Sirte or Bani Walid, another city held by Gaddafi forces to the west, has deepened the crisis of the NTC, which has repeatedly failed to carry through announced plans to form an interim government and has seen its authority come under fire from Islamist militia elements.
This crisis has prompted calls from the NTC for NATO to intensify its bombing of Sirte and Bani Walid.
The demands led to a heated denial by NATO that it was not doing enough to support the sieges of the two cities. “NATO has not reduced its activity in Libya,” said the alliance’s spokesman, Col. Roland Lavoie, who pointed out that NATO warplanes had conducted 100 sorties on Tuesday, including 35 “strike sorties.”
Since launching the war on Libya last March, NATO has conducted 24,140 sorties, including 9,010 strike sorties, leaving much of the country in ruins and thousands killed and wounded.
Col. Lavoie added: “The number of strikes depends on the danger against the civilian population, in conformity of our mandate. We do not aim to bring support to NTC forces on the ground, this is why there is no operational coordination with NTC forces.”
This is, of course, a propaganda lie, which hardly conceals the fact that British, French, US and Qatari special operations troops, intelligence operatives and mercenary military contractors have organized, trained and armed the “rebel” armies, whose every advance has been made possible by NATO bombardments.
The so-called mandate claimed by NATO is the resolution pushed through the United Nations Security Council last March authorizing a no-fly zone and “all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack.”
At the time, the US and its NATO allies claimed that intervention was required to halt a supposedly imminent massacre of civilians in the eastern city of Benghazi. Since then, the NATO bombings and the civil war fomented by the Western powers have claimed far more lives than were ever threatened by the Gaddafi regime.
Now this resolution is being invoked to justify NATO and the militias it supports carrying out in Sirte precisely the kind of murderous siege against a civilian population that the US and the European imperialist powers pretended to be preventing.
The killing and destruction that continue more than six months after NATO began its bombardments and more than a month after it proclaimed the fall of the Gaddafi regime serve to underscore the predatory character of this war, which has been carried out based not on “humanitarian” concerns, but rather on imperialist interests.
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NATO's War on Libya is Directed against China: AFRICOM and the Threat to China's National Energy Security
by F. William Engdahl
Global Research, September 25, 2011
The Washington-led decision by NATO to bomb Gaddafi's Libya into submission over recent months, at an estimated cost to US taxpayers of at least $1 billion, has little if anything to do with what the Obama Administration claims was a mission to "protect innocent civilians." In reality it is part of a larger strategic assault by NATO and by the Pentagon in particular to entirely control China's economic achilles heel, namely China's strategic dependence on large volumes of imported crude oil and gas. Today China is the world's second largest importer of oil after the United States and the gap is rapidly closing.
If we take a careful look at a map of Africa and also look at the African organization of the new Pentagon Africa Command—AFRICOM—the pattern that emerges is a careful strategy of controlling one of China's most strategically important oil and raw materials sources.
NATO's Libya campaign was and is all about oil. But not about simply controlling Libyan high-grade crude because the USA is nervous about reliable foreign supplies. It rather is about controlling China's free access to long-term oil imports from Africa and from the Middle East. In other words, it is about controlling China itself.
Libya geographically is bounded to its north by the Mediterranean directly across from Italy, where Italian ENI oil company has been the largest foreign operator in Libya for years. To its west it is bounded by Tunisia and by Algeria. To its south it is bounded by Chad. To its east it is bounded by both Sudan (today Sudan and Southern Sudan) and by Egypt. That should tell something about the strategic importance of Libya from the standpoint of the Pentagon's AFRICOM long-term strategy for controlling Africa and its resources and which country is able to get those resources.
Gaddafi's Libya had maintained strict national state control over the rich reserves of high quality "light, sweet"
Libyan crude oil. As of 2006 data Libya had the largest proven oil reserves in Africa, some 35%, larger even than Nigeria. Oil consessions had been extended to Chinese state oil companies as well as Russian and others in recent years. Not surprisingly a spokesman from the so-called opposition claiming victory over Gaddafi, Abdeljalil Mayouf, information manager at Libyan rebel oil firm AGOCO, told Reuters, "We don't have a problem with Western countries like the Italians, French and UK companies. But we may have some political issues with Russia, China and Brazil." China and Russia and Brazil either opposed UN sanctions on Libya or pressed for a negotiated settlement of the internal conflict and an end to NATO bombing.
As I have detailed elsewhere, Gaddafi, an old adherent of Arab socialism on the line of Egypt's Gamal Nasser, used the oil revenues to improve the lot of his people. Health care was free as was education. Each Libyan family was given a state grant of $50000 towards buying a new house and all bank loans were according to Islamic anti-usury laws, interest free. The state was also free of debt. Only by bribery and massive infiltration into the tribal opposition areas of the eastern part of the country could the CIA, MI6 and other NATO intelligence operatives, at an estimated cost of $1 billion, and massive NATO bombing of civilians, destabilize the strong ties between Gaddafi and his people.
Why then did NATO and the Pentagon lead such a mad and destructive assault on a peaceful sovereign country? Clear is that one of the prime reasons was to complete the encirclement of China's oil and vital raw material sources across northern Africa.
Pentagon alarm over China
Step-by-step in the past several years Washington had begun to create the perception that China, which was the "dear friend and ally of America" less than a decade ago, was becoming the greatest threat to world peace because of China's enormous economic expansion. The painting of China as a new "enemy" has been complex as Washington is dependent on China to buy the lion's share of the US Government debt in the form of Treasury paper.
In August the Pentagon released its annual report to Congress on China's military status. This year the report sent alarm bells ringing across China for a strident new tone. The report stated among other things, “Over the past decade, China’s military has benefited from robust investment in modern hardware and technology. Many modern systems have reached maturity and others will become operational in the next few years,” the Pentagon said in the report. It added that “there remains uncertainty about how China will use its growing capabilities... China’s rise as a major international actor is likely to stand out as a defining feature of the strategic landscape of the early 21st century.”
In a matter of perhaps two to five years, depending on how the rest of the world reacts or plays their cards, the Peoples' Republic of China will emerge in the controlled Western media painted as the new "Hitler Germany." If that seems hard to believe today, just reflect on how that was done with former Washington allies such as Egypt's Mubarak or even Saddam Hussein. In June this year, former US Secretary of the Navy and now US Senator from Virginia, James Webb, startled many in Beijing when he told press that China was fast approaching what he called a “Munich moment,” when Washington must decide how to maintain a strategic balance, a reference to the 1938 crisis over Czechoslovakia when Chamberlain opted for appeasement with Hitler over Czechoslovakia. Webb added, “If you look at the last 10 years, the strategic winner has been China.” 
The same massively effective propaganda machine of the Pentagon, led by CNN, BBC, the New York Times or London Guardian will get the subtle command from Washington to "paint China and its leaders black." China is becoming far too strong and far too independent for many in Washington and in Wall Street. To control that, above all China's oil import dependency has been identified as her Achilles Heel. Libya is a move to strike directly at that vulnerable Achilles heel.
China moves into Africa
The involvement of Chinese energy and raw materials companies across Africa had become a major cause of alarm in Washington where an attitude of malign neglect had dominated Washington Africa policy since the Cold War era. As its future energy needs became obvious several years ago China began a major African economic diplomacy which reached a crescendo in 2006 when Beijing literally rolled out the red carpet to heads of more than forty African states and discussed a broad range of economic issues. None were more important for Beijing than securing future African oil resources for China's robust industrialization.
China moved into countries which had been virtually abandoned by former European colonial powers like France or Britain or Portugal.
Chad is a case in point. The poorest and most geographically isolated African countries, Chad was courted by Beijing which resumed diplomatic ties in 2006.
In October 2007 China's state oil giant CNPC signed a contract to build a refinery jointly with Chad's government. Two years later they began construction of an oil pipeline to carry oil from a new Chinese field in the south some 300 kilometers to the refinery. Western-supported NGO's predictably began howling about environmental impacts of the Chinese oil pipeline. The same NGOs were curiously silent when Chevron struck oil in 2003 in Chad. In July 2011 the two countries, Chad and China celebrated opening of the joint venture oil refinery near Chad's capital of Ndjamena. 5 Chad's Chinese oil activities are strikingly close to another major Chinese oil project in what then was Sudan's Darfur region bordering Chad.
Sudan had been a growing source of oil flows to China since cooperation began in the late 1990s after Chevron abandoned its stake there. By 1998 CNPC was building a 1500 km long oil pipeline from southern Sudan oilfields to Port Sudan on the Red Sea as well as building a major oil refinery near Khartoum. Sudan was the first large overseas oilfield project operated by China. By the beginning of 2011 Sudan oil, most all from the conflict-torn south, provided some 10% of China's oil imports from taking more than 60% of Sudan's daily oil production of 490,000 barrels. Sudan had become a point of vital Chinese national energy security.
According to geological estimates, the subsurface running from Darfur in what was southern Sudan through Chad into Cameroon is one giagantic oil field in extent perhaps equivalent to a new Saudi Arabia. Controlling southern Sudan as well as Chad and Cameroon is vital to the Pentagon strategy of "strategic denial" to China of their future oil flows. So long as a stable and robust Ghaddafi regime remained in power in Tripoli that control remained a major problem. The simultaneous splitting off of the Republic of South Sudan from Khartoum and the toppling of Ghaddafi in favor of weak rebel bands beholden to Pentagon support was for the Pentagon Full Spectrum Dominance of strategic priority.
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AFRICOM responds
The key force behind the recent wave of Western military attacks against Libya or more covert regime changes such as those in Tunisia, Egypt and the fateful referendum in southern Sudan which has now made that oil-rich region "independent" has been AFRICOM, the special US military command established by the Bush Administration in 2008 explicitly to counter the growing Chinese influence over Africa's vast oil and mineral wealth.
In late 2007, Dr. J. Peter Pham, a Washington insider who advises the US State and Defense Departments, stated openly that among the aims of the new AFRICOM, is the objective of "protecting access to hydrocarbons and other strategic resources which Africa has in abundance ... a task which includes ensuring against the vulnerability of those natural riches and ensuring that no other interested third parties, such as China, India, Japan, or Russia, obtain monopolies or preferential treatment."
In testimony before the US Congress supporting creation of AFRICOM in 2007, Pham, who is associated with the neo-conservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies, stated:
"This natural wealth makes Africa an inviting target for the attentions of the People’s Republic of China, whose dynamic economy...has an almost insatiable thirst for oil as well as a need for other natural resources to sustain it...China is currently importing approximately 2.6 million barrels of crude per day, about half of its consumption; more than 765,000 of those barrels—roughly a third of its imports—come from African sources, especially Sudan, Angola, and Congo (Brazzaville). Is it any wonder, then, that…perhaps no other foreign region rivals Africa as the object of Beijing’s sustained strategic interest in recent years...
Intentionally or not, many analysts expect that Africa—especially the states along its oil-rich western coastline—will increasingly becoming a theatre for strategic competition between the United States and its only real near-peer competitor on the global stage, China, as both countries seek to expand their influence and secure access to resources."
It is useful to briefly recall the sequence of Washington-sponsored "Twitter" revolutions in the ongoing so-called Arab Spring. The first was Tunisia, an apparently insignificant land on north Africa's Mediterranean. However Tunisia is on the western border of Libya. The second domino to fall in the process was Mubarak's Egypt. That created major instability across the Middle East into north Africa as Mubarak for all his flaws had fiercely resisted Washington Middle East pollicy. Israel also lost a secure ally when Mubarak fell.
Then in July 2011 Southern Sudan declared itself the independent Republic of South Sudan, breaking away from Sudan after years of US-backed insurgency against Khartoum rule. The new Republic takes with it the bulk of Sudan's known oil riches, something clearly not causing joy in Beijing. US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, led the US delegation to the independence celebrations, calling it "a testament to the Southern Sudanese people." She added, in terms of making the secssion happen, "the US has been as active as anyone." US President Obama openly supported seccession of the south. The breakaway was a project guided and financed from Washington since the Bush Administration decided to make it a priority in 2004.
Now Sudan has suddenly lost its main source of hard currency oil revenue. The secession of the south, where three-quarters of Sudan’s 490 000 barrels a day of oil is produced, has aggravated economic difficulties in Khartoum cutting some 37% off its total revenues. Sudan’s only oil refineries and the only export route run north from oilfields to Port Sudan on the Red Sea in northern Sudan. South Sudan is now being encouraged by Washington to build a new export pipeline independent of Khartoum via Kenya. Kenya is one of the areas of strongest US military influence in Africa.
The aim of the US-led regime change in Libya as well as the entire Greater Middle East Project which lies behind the Arab Spring is to secure absolute control over the world's largest known oil fields to control future policies in especially countries like China. As then US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is reported to have said during the 1970's when he was arguably more powerful than the President of the United States, "If you control the oil you control entire nations or groups of nations."
For the future national energy security of China the ultimate answer lies in finding secure domestic energy reserves. Fortunately there are revolutionary new methods to detect and map presence of oil and gas where even the best current geology says oil is not to be found. Perhaps therein lies a way out of the oil trap that has been laid for China. In my newest book, The Energy Wars I detail such new methods for those interested.
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Looming Tragedy: Vision of the “New Libya”: Visit the “New Iraq.”
Another “Liberation”, another Unimaginable International Criminal Tragedy
By Felicity Arbuthnot
Global Research, September 3, 2011
Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious. (Oscar Wilde, 1854-1900.)
As Eid, the great post Ramadan celebration of that month of abstinence, self sacrifice and reflection, dawned on Libya, marked there this year on August 31st, the NATO “liberated” country, after seven months, looks a lot like “liberated” Iraq after eight years.
Queues of cars now wait for petrol in another oil rich country; other queues form, carrying containers for water. The multibillion dollar development of Libya’s vast underground aquifers had been dubbed the “eighth wonder of the world. Libya`s water supply infrastructure has been been systematically bombed throught the country.
Shops are without food.
The all is: “absolute disaster”, according to an eminent legal observer, very familiar with the country.
And with electricity largely off, those seeking knowledge as to whether friends and relatives are alive, injured, fled, dead, find internet, and phones dead.
As the terribly injured overwhelm hospitals, many are bombed, damaged or without power and pharmaceuticals.
No power: no incubators, life support machines or surgery.
Another country with a modern, developed infrastructure reduced to a pre-industrial age – with the rebuilding contracts reportedly already being divvied out – in the West.
NATO Members, however, eat, as their bombs destroy humanity and vital necessities for the living. Over a “working lunch”, on the 14th of April, they “deplored violence” and underlined the: “need ... to restore water, gas, electricity and other services ...”
Still depriving others of the means to cook, or of any semblance of normality, at another “working lunch” (June 8, 2011) they further discussed their: “clear mandate to protect civilians (and) populated areas ...taking the utmost care to avoid civilian casualties.” This as: “Tripoli experienced what were perhaps the heaviest daylight bombardments by NATO since the air strikes began in March.” (Guardian, 8 June 2011)
As they masticated and munched, they vowed to bring “a speedy resolution ... to put an end to the violence”, under “Operation Unified Protector.” They are delusional and arguably psychotic.
Just twenty four hours later, on the 9th of June, the decade long destruction of Afghanistan eclipsed Libya. NATO Defence Ministers met to declare it: “NATO’s top operational priority.” General David Petraeus, returned from the ruins and about to be confirmed as CIA Head: “explained ... progress.”
“A working lunch commenced at 13.00 hours.”
A number of lunches later, on the 23rd August, NATO spokeswoman, Oana Lungesco, re-affirmed their “mandate to protect civilians.”
How this squares with hitting: “over five thousand [official figures] legitimate targets [in a] 24/7 operation [with] over twenty thousand sorties”, is confusing.
The actual number of strikes has not been reported. Its in the tens of thousands.
Equally so is how destruction of services essential to maintaining life, State institutions, schools, hospitals, archeological sites and treasures, attacking of all which is illegal under swathes of international law, are included in this “legitimacy.”
By September 1st, NATO operations from 31st March had reached: “a total of 21,090, including 7,920 strike sorties.” (1)
In context, this latest “shock and awe” brigandage is being rained down by a twenty eight country alliance, on a country of 7 million. The population of Tripoli is over 1 million (or was, until unknown numbers of souls were liberated from their lives in a bombardment which, started with the unleashing of one hundred and ten Cruise missiles, on March 20th, eight years to the day - GMT- of the start of the Iraq invasion.)
Coincidentally, the considerably Western backed and funded “uprising” in Benghazi, which preceded the bombing, began on the 15th of February, the eighth anniversary of millions, in the largest global peace rally in history, from Manchester to Melbourne, Hong Kong to Honolulu, rallying against an attack on Iraq.
The invaders though, have “learned from past mistakes.” The “New Libya”, will not be like the “New Iraq.” It is surely beginning to look chillingly like it. A legitimate head of State again has a million dollar bounty on his head and is “wanted dead or alive.” Since “boots are on the ground” only unofficially, the pack of playing cards with the “most wanted” on, has not yet been printed. But times are hard, and in 2003, the United States Playing Card Company, commissioned by the US Defence Intelligence Agency, received orders for 750,000 of the packs within a week. (2)
Further, if the US and UK were blindly ignorant of Iraq’s social and tribal complexities, those of Libya are more so in orders of magnitude. (3)
Just prior to the Iraq invasion, General Colin Powell was quoted as telling George W. Bush, that after the onslaught: “You will own twenty seven million people, Mr President.”
At the “Friends of Libya” gathering in Paris on 1st September, hosted by Prime Minister Cameron and President Nicolas Sarkozy, a gloating, unnamed British official is quoted in The Economist as saying that: “NATO’s involvement in the Libyan uprising means that now we own it.”
(For the omen-prone, watching Western threats to an ever rising number of countries, Syrian and Iran currently topping the list, 1st September marks the 62nd anniversary of the German invasion of Poland, and the Second World War.)
Sarkozy – recipient, claims Qaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, of his family’s funding for his 2007 French Presidential election campaign (4) - is widely reported to have been promised one third of Libya’s oil by the insurgents, the “National Transitional Council”, prior to NATO involvement. With “Friends” like these, Libya certainly needs no enemies.
“The international community will be watching and supporting” Libya, said Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, adding requirements to the new Libyan constitution. There is a “clear road map to democracy.” Afghan and Iraqi puppets, now joined by Libyan ones.
When it comes to the rebuilding of Libya, “investors can’t call the tune”, was one theme, it must be “Libyan led.”
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague blew that lie. Britain, he said: “would not be left behind.” Much focus was on rebuilding the oil industry. Heaven forbid that too, follows the Iraq model, with the bereaved, dispossessed and invaded blowing up the pipelines – and contractors.
It also transpires that the UK’s surely mis-titled “International Development Minister”, former oil trader, Alan Duncan, allegedly, had a hand in, and connections to Swiss based energy giant Vitol, which established links
with the NTC rebels, whilst starving Qaddafi’s troops of transportation fuels.
Vitol President, Ian Taylor, has allegedly donated very large sums to Cameron’s Tory Party. Opposition MPs are citing a possible covert “Libyan Oil Cell”, an allegedly billion dollar deal, questioning whether Mr Duncan’s fingerprints are on it.
As to the Conference, there was one dissenting voice. Bertrand Badie, an expert on international relations, told Xinhua: "I think this conference is a very bad sign, because [it consists in] starting a process of state building by an international conference dominated by western powers ... "
But even he did not mention mind-bending illegalities.
The half day carve up (sorry, “Meeting”) regarding assets of another sovereign land, was followed by “a dinner”, according to a US State Department spokeswoman.
Incidentally, the Paris Cabal took place on the forty-second anniversary of the Free Officers Movement bringing Qaddafi to power on the 1st of September 1969.
“You are either with us, or you are with the terrorists", said George W. Bush on 1st November 2002. Ten years is certainly a long time in politics. There are many who would say they are now funded by the same US and protected by the might of NATO.
Activist Sandra Barr, has compiled just a small snapshot of a vast tragedy. A few incidents amongst uncounted others, “collateral” humanity, to add to a pitiless twenty year rampage through mortality, legality, basic values and all the normal hold precious:
“13 May 2011: The murder of 11 Muslim Imams in Brega.
30 April 2011: The bombing of the Downs Syndrome School in Tripoli
30 April 2011: The bombing of a Gaddafi residence, murdering Saif Gaddafi, his friend and 3 Gaddafi children.
12 June 2011: The bombing of the University of Tripoli. Death toll not yet established.
22 July 2011: The bombing of the Great Man made Waterway irrigation system, which supplies most Libyans with their drinking water.
23 July 2011: The bombing of the factory which makes the pipes for the water system, and the murder of 6 of its employees.
8th August 2011: The bombing of the Hospital at Zliten. Resulting in the murder of a minimum, of 50 human beings, many of them children. The bombing of hospitals is against all international laws, and a most grievous crime.
9 August 2011: The bombing of the village of Majer, resulting in the murder of 85 civilians. 33 Children, 32 women and 20 men.
The persistent ongoing bombing of the civilian population in Zliten and Tripoli, death toll not yet established.
David Cameron has admitted that UK special services have assisted the terrorists on the ground, in defiance of the UN mandate.”
Today, Cameron has gone further, admitting that British forces played a: “key role.”
Ms Barr demands that the ICC take a stance. Sadly, it would amaze if they did.
On the 1st of May, Muammar Qaddafi’s youngest son, Saif al-Arab, and three grandchildren were reported killed in an allied air strike on Tripoli. Another nauseating anniversary: George W. Bush, declaring: “Mission Accomplished” - the destruction of Iraq.
One can only fervently pray that we do not hear another sickening, “Viceroy” Paul Bremer wannabe, declaring: “Ladies and gentlemen, we got ‘im.” With accompanying kangaroo court and lynchings.
The “New Libya”, it seems, with its formerly free, high quality health care, is in serious trouble.
This full page advertisement by Médicins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) appeared in the Mail and Guardian (South Africa (September 1st, 2011):
‘Tripoli, Libya: Months of conflict have put extreme strain on the Libyan health system.
We desperately need more staff" - Jonathan Whittal, MSF Emergency Coordinator Tripoli, August 23.
MSF URGENTLY NEEDS:
-Trauma surgeons
-Orthopaedic Surgeons
-ER Doctors
-OT Nurses
-Obstetricians and Midwives.
Available for short term contracts (3-4 weeks) - able to leave IMMEDIATELY.
MSF has been working in eastern Libya since February.” ‘
Another “Liberation” another unimaginable, international, Criminal Tragedy.
Felicity Arbuthnot is Global Research`s Human Rights Correspondent based in London
Notes
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The "Liberation" of Libya: NATO Special Forces and Al Qaeda Join Hands
"Former Terrorists" Join the "Pro-democracy" Bandwagon
By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, August 28, 2011
Extensive war crimes have been committed. NATO has blood on its hands. The heads of government and heads of state of NATO member countries are responsible for extensive war crimes
The "pro-democracy" rebels are led by Al Qaeda paramilitary brigades under the supervision of NATO Special Forces. The "Liberation" of Tripoli was carried out by "former" members of the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).
The jihadists and NATO work hand in glove. These "former" Al Qaeda affiliated brigades constitute the backbone of the "pro-democracy" rebellion.
NATO special forces with "boots and the ground" pass unnoticed. Their identity is not known or revealed. They blend into the Libyan rebellion landscape of machine guns and pickup trucks. They are not highlighted in the photo ops.
Special forces composed of US Navy SEALS, British Special SAS Forces and French legionnaires, disguised in civilian rebel garb, are reported to be behind major operations directed against key government buildings including Gadhafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound in central Tripoli.
Reports confirm that British SAS were on the ground in Eastern Libya prior to the onset of the air campaign. Special Forces are in close coordination with NATO air operations. "Highly-trained units, known as ‘Smash’ teams for their prowess and destructive ability, have carried out secret reconnaissance missions to provide up-to-date information on the Libyan armed forces." (SAS 'Smash' squads on the ground in Libya to mark targets for coalition jets, Daily Mirror, March 21, 2011)
NATO special forces and the CIA sponsored Islamic brigades under the command of "former" jihadists constitute the backbone of combat capabilities on the ground, supported by the air campaign, which now includes Apache helicopter raids.
The remainder of the rebel forces include untrained trigger happy gunmen (including teenagers) (see photo below), which serve the function of creating an atmosphere of panic and intimidation.
What we are dealing with is a carefully planned military intelligence operation to invade and occupy a sovereign country.
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Killing the Truth. The Role of the Western Media
The Western media constitutes a major instrument of war. NATO war crimes are obfuscated. Popular resistance to the NATO led invasion is not mentioned.
A narrative of "liberation" and "opposition pro-democracy rebel forces" is instilled in the inner consciousness of millions of people. Its called the "NATO Consensus".
"The NATO Consensus" which upholds the "humanitarian mandate" of the Atlantic alliance cannot be challenged. The bombings of civilian areas as well as the role of a terrorist militia are either trivialised or not mentioned.
Killing the truth is an integral part of the military agenda.
Realities are turned upside down.
The lie becomes the truth.
Its an inquisitorial doctrine. The NATO consensus dwarfs the Spanish Inquisition by a long shot.
The criminal invasion and occupation of Libya is not mentioned. The lives of independent journalists in Tripoli who report on what is actually happening are threatened. The catch words are "Liberation" and "Revolution" with NATO's mandate limited to R2P ("Responsibility to Protect").
Liberation or Invasion? By camouflaging the nature of the military operation, not to mention NATO atrocities, the Western media has contributed to providing the Transitional Council with a semblance of legitimacy and international recognition. The latter would not have been forthcoming without the support of the Western media.
NATO special forces and intelligence operatives on the ground are in permanent liaison with military planners involved in coordinating NATO strike sorties and bombing raids on the Libyan capital.
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The Truth About the Situation in Libya: Cutting through Government Propaganda and Media Lies
By Brian Becker
URL of this article: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=26150
Global Research, August 23, 2011
Libya is a small country of just over 6 million people but it possesses the largest oil reserves in all of Africa. The oil produced there is especially coveted because of its particularly high quality.
The Air Force of the United States along with Britain and France has carried out 7,459 bombing attacks since March 19. Britain, France and the United States sent special operation ground forces and commando units to direct the military operations of the so-called rebel fighters – it is a NATO- led army in the field.
The troops may be disaffected Libyans but the operation is under the control and direction of NATO commanders and western commando units who serve as “advisors.” Their new weapons and billions in funds come from the U.S. and other NATO powers that froze and seized Libya’s assets in Western banks. Their only military successes outside of Benghazi, in the far east of the country, have been exclusively based on the coordinated air and ground operations of the imperialist NATO military forces.
In military terms, Libya’s resistance to NATO is of David and Goliath proportions. U.S. military spending alone is more than ten times greater than Libya’s entire annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which was $74.2 billion in 2010, according to the CIA’s World Fact Book.
In recent weeks, the NATO military operations used surveillance-collecting drones, satellites, mounting aerial attacks and covert commando units to decapitate Libya’s military and political leadership and its command and control capabilities. Global economic sanctions meant that the country was suddenly deprived of income and secure access to goods and services needed to sustain a civilian economy over a long period.
“The cumulative effect [of NATO’s coordinated air and ground operation] not only destroyed Libya’s military infrastructure but also greatly diminished Colonel Gaddafi’s commanders to control forces, leaving even committed fighting units unable to move, resupply or coordinate operations,“ reports the New York Times in a celebratory article on August 22.
A False Pretext
The United States, United Kingdom, France, and Italy targeted the Libyan government for overthrow or “regime change” not because these governments were worried about protecting civilians or to bring about a more democratic form of governance in Libya.
If that were the real motivation of the NATO powers, they could start the bombing of Saudi Arabia right
away. There are no elections in Saudi Arabia. The monarchy does not even allow women to drive cars. By law, women must be fully covered in public or they will go to prison. Protests are rare in Saudi Arabia because any dissent is met with imprisonment, torture and execution.
The Saudi monarchy is protected by U.S. imperialism because it is part of an undeclared but real U.S. sphere of influence and it is the largest producer of oil in the world. The U.S. attitude toward the Saudi monarchy was put succinctly by Ronald Reagan in 1981, when he said that the U.S. government “will not permit” revolution in Saudi Arabia such as the 1979 Iranian revolution that removed the U.S. client regime of the Shah. Reagan’s message was clear: the Pentagon and CIA’s military forces would be used decisively to destroy any democratic movement against the rule of the Saudi royal family.
Reagan’s explicit statement in 1981 has in fact been the policy of every successive U.S. administration, including the current one.
Libya and Imperialism
Libya, unlike Saudi Arabia, did have a revolution against its monarchy. As a result of the 1969 revolution led by Muammar Gaddafi, Libya was no longer in the sphere of influence of any imperialist country.
Libya had once been an impoverished colony of Italy living under the boot heel of the fascist Mussolini. After the Allied victory in World War II, control of the country was formally transferred to the United Nations and Libya became independent in 1951 with authority vested in the monarch King Idris.
But in actuality, Libya was controlled by the United States and Britain until the 1969 revolution.
One of the first acts of the 1969 revolution was to eliminate the vestiges of colonialism and foreign control. Not only were oil fields nationalized but Gaddafi eliminated foreign military bases inside the country.
In March of 1970, the Gaddafi government shut down two important British military bases in Tobruk and El Adem. He then became the Pentagon’s enemy when he evicted the U.S. Wheelus Air Force Base near Tripoli that had been operated by the United States since 1945. Before the British military took control in 1943, the facility was a base operated by the Italians under Mussolini.
Wheelus had been an important Strategic Air Command (SAC) base during the Cold War, housing B-52 bombers and other front-line Pentagon aircrafts that targeted the Soviet Union.
Once under Libyan control, the Gaddafi government allowed Soviet military planes to access the airfield.
In 1986, the Pentagon heavily bombed the base at the same time it bombed downtown Tripoli in an effort to assassinate Gaddafi. That effort failed but his 2-year-old daughter died along with scores of other civilians.
The Character of the Gaddafi Regime
The political, social and class orientation of the Libyan regime has gone through several stages in the last four
decades. The government and ruling establishment reflected contradictory class, social, religious and regional antagonisms. The fact that the leadership of the NATO-led National Transition Council is comprised of top officials of the Gaddafi government, who broke with the regime and allied themselves with NATO, is emblematic of the decades-long instability within the Libyan establishment.
These inherent contradictions were exacerbated by pressures applied to Libya from the outside. The U.S. imposed far-reaching economic sanctions on Libya in the 1980s. The largest western corporations were barred from doing business with Libya and the country was denied access to credit from western banks.
In its foreign policy, Libya gave significant financial and military support to national liberation struggles, including in Palestine, Southern Africa, Ireland and elsewhere.
Because of Libya's economic policies, living standards for the population had jumped dramatically after 1969. Having a small population and substantial income from its oil production, augmented with the Gaddafi regime’s far-reaching policy of social benefits, created a huge advance in the social and economic status for the population. Libya was still a class society with rich and poor, and gaps between urban and rural living standards, but illiteracy was basically wiped out, while education and health care were free and extensively accessible. By 2010, the per capita income in Libya was near the highest in Africa at $14,000 and life expectancy rose to over 77 years, according to the CIA’s World Fact Book.
Gaddafi’s political orientation explicitly rejected communism and capitalism. He created an ideology called the “Third International Theory,” which was an eclectic mix of Islamic, Arab nationalist and socialist ideas and programs. In 1977, Libya was renamed the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. A great deal of industry, including oil, was nationalized and the government provided an expansive social insurance program or what is called a welfare state policy akin to some features prevalent in the Soviet Union and some West European capitalist countries.
But Libya was not a workers’ state or a “socialist government” to use the popular if not scientific use of the term “socialist.” The revolution was not a workers and peasant rebellion against the capitalist class per se. Libya remained a class society although class differentiation may have been somewhat obscured beneath the existence of revolutionary committees and the radical, populist rhetoric that emanated from the regime.
As in many developing, formerly colonized countries, state ownership of property was not “socialist” but rather a necessary fortification of an under-developed capitalist class. State property in Iraq, Libya and other such post-colonial regimes was designed to facilitate the social and economic growth of a new capitalist ruling class that was initially too weak, too deprived of capital and too cut off from international credit to compete on its own terms with the dominant sectors of world monopoly capitalism. The nascent capitalist classes in such developing economies promoted state-owned property, under their control, in order to intersect with Western banks and transnational corporations and create more favorable terms for global trade and investment.
The collapse of the Soviet Union and the “socialist bloc” governments of central and Eastern Europe in
1989-91 deprived Libya of an economic and military counter-weight to the United States, and the Libyan government’s domestic economic and foreign policy shifted towards accommodation with the West.
In the 1990s some sectors of the Libyan economic establishment and the Gaddafi-led government favored privatization, cutting back on social programs and subsidies and integration into western European markets.
The earlier populism of the regime incrementally gave way to the adoption of neo-liberal policies. This was, however, a long process.
In 2004, the George W. Bush administration ended sanctions on Libya. Western oil companies and banks and other corporations initiated huge direct investments in Libya and trade with Libyan enterprises.
There was also a growth of unemployment in Libya and in cutbacks in social spending, leading to further inequality between rich and poor and class polarization.
But Gaddafi himself was still considered a thorn in the side of the imperialist powers. They want absolute puppets, not simply partners, in their plans for exploitation. The Wikileaks release of State Department cables between 2007 and 2010 show that the United states and western oil companies were condemning Gaddafi for what they called “resource nationalism.” Gaddafi even threatened to re-nationalize western oil companies’ property unless Libya was granted a larger share of the revenue for their projects.
As an article in today’s New York Times Business section said honestly: “"Colonel Qaddafi proved to be a problematic partner for the international oil companies, frequently raising fees and taxes and making other demands. A new government with close ties to NATO may be an easier partner for Western nations to deal with."
Even the most recent CIA Fact Book publication on Libya, written before the armed revolt championed by NATO, complained of the measured tempo of pro-market reforms in Libya: “Libya faces a long road ahead in liberalizing the socialist-oriented economy, but initial steps— including applying for WTO membership, reducing some subsidies, and announcing plans for privatization—are laying the groundwork for a transition to a more market-based economy.” (CIA World Fact Book)
The beginning of the armed revolt on February 23 by disaffected members of the Libyan military and political establishment provided the opportunity for the U.S. imperialists, in league with their French and British counterparts, to militarily overthrow the Libyan government and replace it with a client or stooge regime.
Of course, in the revolt were workers and young people who had many legitimate grievances against the Libyan government. But what is critical in an armed struggle for state power is not the composition of the rank-and-file soldiers, but the class character and political orientation of the leadership.
Character of the National Transition Council
The National Transitional Council (NTC) constituted itself as the leadership of the uprising in Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city. The central leader is Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, who was Libya’s Minister of Justice until his defection at the start of the uprising. He was one of a significant number of Western-oriented and neoliberal officials from Libya’s government, diplomatic corps and military ranks who joined the opposition in the days immediately after the start of the revolt.
As soon as it was established, the NTC began issuing calls for imperialist intervention. These appeals became increasing panicky as it became clear that, contrary to early predictions that the Gaddafi-led government would collapse in a matter of days, it was the “rebels” who faced imminent defeat in the civil war. In fact, it was only due to the U.S./NATO bombing campaign, initiated with great hurry on March 19 that the rebellion did not collapse.
The last five months of war have erased any doubt about the pro-imperialist character of the NTC. One striking episode took place on April 22, when Senator John McCain made a “surprise” trip to Benghazi. A huge banner was unveiled to greet him with an American flag printed on it and the words: “United States of America – You have a new ally in North Africa.”
Similar to the military relationship between the NATO and Libyan “rebel” armed forces, the NTC is entirely dependent on and subordinated to the U.S., French, British and Italian imperialist governments.
the Pentagon, CIA, and Wall Street succeed in installing a client regime in Tripoli it will accelerate and embolden the imperialist threats and intervention against other independent governments such as Syria and Venezuela. In each case we will see a similar process unfold, including the demonization of the leadership of the targeted countries so as to silence or mute a militant anti-war response to the aggression of the war-makers.
We in the ANSWER Coalition invite all those who share this perspective to join with us, http://www.answercoalition.org/national/pages/join.html, to mobilize, and to unmask the colonial agenda that hides under the slogan of “humanitarian intervention.”
Brian Becker, National Coordinator, ANSWER Coalition
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NATO Slaughter in Tripoli: "Operation Mermaid Dawn" Signals Assault by Rebels' Al Qaeda Death Squads
by Thierry Meyssan
Global Research, August 21, 2011
Tripoli, Libya, Aug. 22, 2011, 1 AM CET– On Saturday evening, at 8pm, when the hour of Iftar marked the breaking of the Ramadan fast, the NATO command launched its “Operation Mermaid Dawn” against Libya.
The Sirens were the loudspeakers of the mosques, which were used to launch Al Qaeda’s call to revolt against the Qaddafi government. Immediately the sleeper cells of the Benghazi rebels went into action. These were small groups with great mobility, which carried out multiple attacks. The overnight fighting caused 350 deaths and 3,000 wounded.
The situation calmed somewhat on Sunday during the course of the day.
Then, a NATO warship sailed up and anchored just off the shore at Tripoli, delivering heavy weapons and debarking Al Qaeda jihadi forces, which were led by NATO officers.
Fighting stared again during the night. There were intense firefights. NATO drones and aircraft kept bombing in all directions. NATO helicopters strafed civilians in the streets with machine guns to open the way for the jihadis.
In the evening, a motorcade of official cars carrying top government figures came under attack. The convoy
fled to the Hotel Rixos, where the foreign press is based. NATO did not dare to bomb the hotel because they wanted to avoid killing the journalists. Nevertheless the hotel, which is where I am staying, is now under heavy fire.
At 11:30pm, the Health Minister had to announce that the hospitals were full to overflowing. On Sunday evening, there had been 1300 additional dead and 5,000 wounded.
NATO had been charged by the UN Security Council with protecting civilians in Libya. In reality, France and Great Britain have just re-started their colonial massacres.
At 1am, Khamis Qaddafi came to the Rixos Hotel personally to deliver weapons for the defense of the hotel. He then left. There is now heavy fighting all around the hotel.
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Libya: Swimming against the Tide of NATO's Media Propaganda
by Joost van den Heuvel
Global Research, August 21, 2011
Global Research Editor's Note
There have been major development since the filing of this report. August 21 2011. Latest news from Tripoli from GR correspondent Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya.
Tripoli has been the object of extensive bombings of residential areas, creating and atmosphere of panic. Meanwhile, rebel forces have entered into Tripoli and there is fighting in the downtown area.
Rebel forces are not the decisive factor. The decisive force are the extensive NATO bombings.
Rebels are few in numbers. One suspects that highly trained NATO Special Forces are operating covertly within rebel ranks.
Centre for Research on Globalization 21 August, 2011
If we were to believe the main stream media Tripoli is about to fall and the Rebels are closing in from all sides with their NATO airforce bombing everything that resists their infantery on the ground.
The Libyan government on the other hand claims that these reports are grossly exaggerated from the media working for the NATO- countries and Qatar. When you follow twitter it looks as if Jalil and Jabril are already the new kings of Libya, still without any ministers, but they can be provided for by France, Qatar, England and the United States.
From my position in the Netherlands I can only guess what is the truth, but based on the huge number of lies in the past by the western media who were responsible for resolution 1973, thereby approving the all-out war between the Libyan people. This injustice, together with the terrible history of American Foreign interventions, makes me want to support the opponents of NATO and this media war until the very end, although I can't be sure if they are speaking the truth.
This page presents the latest developments from those sources who question NATO's war for regime change in Libya. If you have any videos or information please send it to me through email, or by adding a comment below. Let's unite against this illegal war on the Jamahiriya of Libya.
AUGUST 21, 2011
In the night of saterday 20 and sunday 21 of August, 2011 there were reports in the media that there was heavy fighting going on in Tripoli. When you try to keep up to date you have to rely on the main stream media most of the time, which - you know - are very biased against Gaddafi and all the people who support him. Hardly ever do the media present the voice of those who oppose NATO and their Rebels. I guess the best thing to do is remain very sceptical and wait.
Here's a report by Lizzie Phelan through Russia Today from Sunday, August 21:
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In Pravda.ru (2) we can read a report by Lisa Karpova 'No Celebrations in the Future for NATO' from which I would like to present a few excerpts:
"The lies and disinformation have been flowing fast and furious. NATO is trying to use the media to create the false illusion of an impending NATO victory. For those of us who know better, it's extremely annoying to say the least.
They keep putting out reports that their terrorist clients have taken A, B and C, when it's total fabrication. A few of the terrorists get together and take a picture, trying to make themselves look like there are more of them than there really are, they ship the picture to their masters and instant Hollywood, next thing you know the rag group group gets chased away or better yet wasted by Libyan armed forces.
...You can almost sense the blood lust and the desperation of NATO, desperate for some kind of success, any kind of success, even if it's make believe media created. So there will be no celebrations in Paris, London or Washington.
Confidence is high in Libya. People are banding together more than ever before since the threat to their way of life has never been greater. The aggressors, the invaders, the bombers have won no one's hearts and minds." (2)
Rayyisse's Youtube Channel has presented a few new videos, unfortunately still only in Arabic:
Gaddafi's Speech in the early hours of sunday 21, 2011 (3)
Press Conference by Moussa Ibrahim reassuring the people in Tripoli (4)
People Celebrating again in Tripoli (5)
BREGA STILL IN THE HANDS OF THE GREEN PEOPLE OF LIBYA
Brega would again be in the hands of the Green Army, as we can read in a BBC-update (6):
"Pro-Gaddafi forces have been fighting back at the oil port of Brega, with the rebels admitting that they had fallen back from the eastern town's industrial zone under heavy bombardment.'
...However, rebel military spokesman Col Ahmed Bani confirmed that rebel forces had fallen back in the eastern oil port of Brega.Brega, home to Libya's second-largest hydrocarbon complex and where oil from the country's main fields is refined, has repeatedly changed hands during the six-month-old conflict. "Yesterday, the industrial zone was under our complete control, but the truth is that today the situation has changed due to heavy artillery shelling," Col Bani said on Saturday.
"We withdrew to the eastern part of the industrial zone."
SUPPORT IN TRIPOLI
In an audio broadcast shortly afterwards, Col Gaddafi congratulated his supporters for repelling the rebels. "Those rats were attacked by the masses tonight and we eliminated them," he said. "I know you are happy and I saw the fireworks in Green Square, I know that there are air strikes but the fireworks were louder than the air bombing." His son, Saif al-Islam, ruled out any possibility of surrender. "I see ourselves as victorious, I see our position is strong," he said in a speech on state TV. He did, however, urge the rebels to open talks. "If you want peace, we are ready," he said. The Libyan leader certainly has support in Tripoli, our correspondent says. Pro-Gaddafi men and women have received weapons training in recent weeks, while checkpoints have sprung up across the city (6)
Propaganda Attack on Tripoli
Here's a German analysis on the propaganda by NATO (7). For those who can speak German:
Der räuberische Angriffskrieg der NATO und ihrer Propaganda-Organe gegen Libyen wird immer bizarrer. Nach der erneuten Falschmeldung von einer angeblich vollständigen Eroberung von Brega durch die Contras der NATO, versuchen sich unseriöse Medien wie Al Jazeera, BBC, CNN, France24 und so weiter gerade an einer großen Propaganda-Attacke auf Tripolis.
MEDIA LIES? - REPORT FROM NGO BY MORRIS108 (8):
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TERROR IN THE STREETS OF BENGHAZI
In this article by Marie Edwards (9) we can read about the way gangs seem to rule the streets of Benghazi.
"In Benghazi homes are raided, neighbors dragged off, suspects executed. Many people are unemployed. Large companies, including German construction firm Bilfinger Berger, have pulled out of the city. Young men race around town with tires screeching, others strut around in public buildings brandishing their knives. At night, the streets are reminiscent of Sao Paolo gang wars, the only difference being that the youths here wear flak jackets."
IS ZLITAN CONQUERED BY THE REBELS OR NOT?
Watch a video by InomineX, made on August 20, 2011 in which he argues that one of the videos spread to prove that the Rebels would be in control of Zlitan is a false one. See (10)
IS GERMANY SECRETLY HELPING NATO FIGHT GADDAFI?
Read more about this article by Matthias Gebauer in der Spiegel (11)
Germany shocked the world in March went it opposed NATO action against Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. But recently released documents show that German soldiers serving in NATO units in Italy are helping to select targets for alliance airstrikes.
Great Honest Report (12) by Nazemroya on NATO's Bombings of Check points, mainly manned by Volunteers
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DEVELOPMENTS IN ZLITAN
123VivaDjazair (13) is working on translations for the speeches by Moussa Ibrahim that were given in Arabic. Here's a piece on the Briefing of August 20, 2011:
For the video 20.8 dr moussa address very little change and Zliten has become a grave for many of the rebels ....lots of them died and Dr Moussa expresses his sorrow despite the fact that it is not the Government's fault.
Zawia center has been heavily bombarded ( a huge crime by NATO) .. to pave way for the press and a handul of rebels to go in and make their propaganda videos ( there are still grey areas here) but I am sure the rebels do not control Zawia.
Brega oil complex was never entered .. rebels entered the housing complex miles away from the oil terminal but they were severely punished ...and they are out of the deserted housing complex.
(3) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtVuKIvg73A (Gaddafi Speech, August 21, 2011)
(4) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXXhsg2Fyj4 (Moussa Ibrahim Press conference, August 20, 2011)
(5) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrPOW9e_tuU (Demonstration in Tripoli, August 21, 2011)
(10) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJ0WWPHsnBw (Video InomineX on Zlitan, August 20, 2011)
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NATO, Rebels Accused of War Crimes in Libya
by Alex Newman
Global Research, August 19, 2011
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is being heavily criticized for civilian casualties and a series of bombings apparently targeting essential non-military infrastructure in Libya, with some observers calling the actions war crimes. The Libyan rebels being supported by coalition forces have also been accused of wanton savagery and even crimes against humanity.
Most recently, a NATO bombing campaign near the Libyan city of Zlitan earlier this month reportedly killed almost 100 civilians — more than half of them women and children. The attack sparked a new wave of outrage worldwide as journalists and activists called for investigations.
Representatives of the Gaddafi regime took a large group of foreign reporters to the site. They were reportedly shown bodies of women and children, including the remains of a baby. Multiple bombed out
homes were also presented to international journalists.
“Today was yet another crime by NATO against civilians,” Libyan regime spokesman Moussa Ibrahim was quoted as saying by Fox News about the attack, noting that over 1,000 civilians had been killed by NATO so far. “They are killing women and children. This happens every day. Help us to stop this madness.”
The Western military alliance defended the strikes, saying they were against “legitimate” targets. According to NATO spokespeople, the coalition believed the town was being used as a staging ground for pro-Gaddaffi forces and tribes aimed at repelling an upcoming rebel invasion of Tripoli.
But the victims cited in news reports said that was not the case. "NATO bombed us, for what reason? We did not do anything to them. We are civilian people," a man who lost his daughter and his home in the strike was quoted as saying in The Australian newspaper. “Why did they kill us? We had peace in my house with our family. What did we do to the other countries?"
International law expert Franklin Lamb, writing in the Foreign Policy Journal from Tripoli over the weekend, accused NATO of committing a “massacre” after visiting the bombing site. Citing international lawyers, U.S. congressional staffers and human rights activists visiting the war-torn nation, he charged that NATO had “committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
Other foreign reporters — particularly from Russia — have been fiercely critical of the NATO campaign for months. “Do those who planned this and other crimes have a right to live? I'm talking about the Bilderberg club. What would they feel if their families are also deprived of a quiet life, and then killed in cold blood?” wrote Russian columnist Konstantyn Scheglikov following the bombings, attacking the “NATO maniacs who do not like the resistance of the small North African country.”
Other reporters who toured the site offered similarly devastating analysis of what happened. Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya with the Centre for Research on Globalization said civilians in Tripoli and other major Libyan cities were “bombed indiscriminately by NATO” in recent weeks.
“In Zliten, 85 people were killed including 33 children, 32 women, and 20 men as a result of NATO’s deliberate targeting of residential areas and civilian infrastructure,” he wrote, posting a dozen pictures showing the aftermath of the attack, which he called “photographic evidence of NATO war crimes.”
International human rights groups also had questions about the bombing. "NATO continues to stress its commitment to protect civilians,” said Amnesty International’s Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui in a statement. “To that effect, it should thoroughly investigate this and all other recent incidents in which civilians were reportedly killed in western Libya as a result of air strikes."
In addition to the hundreds or even thousands of “collateral damage” deaths so far, NATO is also under fire for air strikes on civilian infrastructure. On July 25, the Associated Press reported that the international coalition bombed a hospital, leaving several doctors dead.
Another infrastructure attack that drew international condemnation was the bombing of facilities associated with Libya’s so-called Great Man-Made River system, a pipeline that delivers water to a large percentage of the population. The Pakistan Observer said the attack was “a clear war crime” and could easily lead to a “humanitarian disaster.”
On July 30, NATO warplanes also repeatedly bombed a Libyan television station, killing three and injuring 15. Surviving journalists blasted the attack and called for international support from other reporters.
“We are not a military target, we are not officers in the army and not a threat to civilians,” the Libya Broadcasting Department Employees said in a statement after the attack, which it called an “act of international terrorism” and a violation of international law. “We are doing our job as journalists in representing what from the bottom of my heart we believe is the reality of the NATO aggression and violence in Libya.”
Countless press-freedom groups including the International News Safety Institute and the International Federation of Journalists have demanded an investigation of the attack. But NATO defended the bombing, saying the TV station was being used to spread pro-Gaddafi propaganda.
A separate incident in early August involving NATO’s alleged failure to rescue ocean-bound refugees in distress has also been widely criticized around the world. According to news reports, up to 100 people died escaping Libya on a rickety boat after the engine died and nearby NATO ships failed to respond to SOS calls.
“The idea that NATO, with all its surveillance technology, was not aware of a boat of this size is a story that
not even Little Red Riding Hood would believe,” charged Italian Parliamentarian Roberto Castelli. The government of Italy has requested an inquiry to find out why the refugees were apparently left to die.
The internationally backed rebels trying to seize power in Libya have also been accused of numerous war crimes and wide-scale barbarity — some of it too horrendous even to mention. Numerous gruesome videos have been posted online showing beheadings, lynchings and other crimes, proving that at least some of the allegations are true.
“The evidence provided by these videos makes clear that the rebels' conception of warfare has more in common with that of Al-Qaeda than that of the Geneva Conventions,” explained John Rosenthal in a piece for the U.S.-based Hudson Institute. “The abuses documented in the videos could serve as textbook examples of precisely the sort of savagery that the Geneva Conventions were supposed to prevent.”
As The New American and countless other sources have reported, the NATO-backed rebels are, in many cases, led by self-described leaders of al Qaeda and other extreme Islamic groups that have boasted of battling American forces everywhere from Iraq to Afghanistan. Some of the leaders are even former U.S. prisoners who were held in Guantanamo Bay.
Suspicions about the rebels’ true motives and supporters were also raised when the self-proclaimed Interim Transitional National Council announced the creation of a new central bank weeks after the NATO invasion. It remains unclear whether the new monetary authority will follow the Gaddaffi regime’s state-owned model, or if it is to be privately owned like the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Though Western powers were arming the rebels well before intervention became official, the Obama administration and NATO publicly intervened in Libya in mid-March to enforce a United Nations resolution. Since then, the “mission” has morphed into “regime change,” with foreign powers hoping to oust dictator Gaddafi and install the rebels as the new government.
Without congressional approval, which Obama himself acknowledged in 2007 is required by the U.S. Constitution prior to foreign militarism, critics have charged that American involvement is itself illegal. And while the administration has already informed Congress that it would ignore any attempt to rein in the war, critics worldwide are still hoping that there will eventually be some accountability and justice if crimes were indeed committed.
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NATO Massacres of Civilians Aimed at "Cleansing" the Libyan People's Resistance
Photographic Evidence of NATO War Crimes
By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Global Research, August 10, 2011
TRIPOLI, Global Research, August 10, 2011 – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) conducted intensive attacks on Libyan civilians in the night of August 8 and in the early hours of August 9, 2011 from approximately 2:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. EET.
Civilians in Tripoli and many other cities in Libya were bombed indiscriminately by NATO.
A large number of casualties occurred in the city of Zliten, in the district of Misurata. In Zliten, 85 people were killed including 33 children, 32 women, and 20 men as a result of NATO’s deliberate targeting of residential areas and civilian infrastructure. Many of the injured civilian victims are in critical condition and near death.
Zliten has been under constant NATO bombardment for several days. The recent NATO attacks started at about 11:30 p.m. EET on August 8, 2011. At least 7 civilian homes belonging to local farmers were destroyed, killing entire families. In all 20 families were the targets of the NATO bombings.
The images below pertain to destroyed farm houses in Majer, near Zliten.
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Destroyed farm house in Majer, near Zliten. Copyright of all photos above. Matthew Ozanon 2011
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Colonel Roland Lavoie, NATO’s official military spokesperson for Operation Unified Protector, confirmed that NATO bombed Zliten at 11:45 p.m. on August 8, 2011 and 2:34 a.m. on August 9, 2011.
In a second round of bombing, NATO targeted the same homes once more when local residents had arrived to the rescue of those who had been bombed.
Dismembered bodies were recovered from the ruble throughout the day. According to a Libyan eyewitness, a pregnant woman was killed with her dead unborn child exposed out of her torn body.
Media Disinformation
The only members of the international press that reported the damage of the bombings in detail were Russia Today (RT), TeleSUR, Chinese Central Television (CCTV), and independent journalists.
CNN was present taking footage, but essentially released nothing and distorted the facts.(See photos below)
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Dead civilians in Zliten Hospital. CNN cameraman in background. Copyright, Matthew Ozanon 2011
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Dead civilians in Zliten Hospital. CNN camerman filming. Copyright, Matthew Ozanon 2011
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Many of the journalists from NATO countries also held meetings on how to disseminate the news.
NATO claims categorically that the areas bombed were “legitimate” military targets and that there is no evidence of civilian casualties.
Colonel Lavoie stated that NATO had solid intelligence which confirmed that the farm houses were “military bases.” This statement is false and in total contradiction with realities on the ground including photographic and film evidence (see the photographs above).
Areas in Zliten and Majer (Mager) were bombed by NATO for strategic reasons. The bombing of civilian areas is tied to the planning of NATO’s offensive against Tripoli.
The Libyan clans in these areas have made it clear that they would fight the Transitional Council should its forces try to move westward against Tripoli from their position in Misurata. NATO deliberately bombed these areas “to clear the way” towards Tripoli.
Thousands of people also came to the funerals of the victims of the NATO attacks.
Jamahiraya Satellite Channel was also bombed by NATO. This was part of NATO’s efforts to contain information from coming out of Libya regarding the realities of the war.
NATO is running out of steam and the Transitional Council is near collapse.
NATO’s killing of civilians is intended to force the Libyan population into surrendering. The “Responsibility to Protect” is an utter shame. A few days earlier NATO left another boatload of migrants and refugees die in the Mediterranean Sea.
HRW has sent a team to Tripoli from its head office in New York, which has pushed for a settlement between the Benghazi-based Transitional Council and the Libyan government. Although independent, Human Rights Watch (HRW) is known to liaise with the U.S. State Department.
A concrete factory and a Libyan cultural centre in Al-Khams were also bombed by NATO which has also announced that it will attack civilian sites.
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya reporting from Tripoli is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).
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Also See:
Libya seeks Freedom from Dictatorship! (Part 1)
21 February 2011
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2011/02/next-libya-seeks-freedom-from.html
and
Libya seeks Freedom from Dictatorship (Part 2)
19 April 2011
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2011/04/libya-seeks-freedom-from-dictatorship.html
and
Libya seeks Freedom from Dictatorship (Part 3)
21 July 2011
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2011/07/libya-seeks-freedom-from-dictatorship.html
and
Depleted Uranium Used in Libyia!
30 May 2011
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2011/05/depleted-uranium-used-in-libyia.html
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