Libya: More Murder and Plunder Masquerading as “Humanitarian Intervention”…
March 22, 2011 by orwellwasright
Operation Odyssey Dawn - bombing in the name of peace...
On March 20th 2003 Western forces launched their “Shock and Awe” attack on Iraq, heavily bombarding Baghdad and elsewhere, massacring hundreds if not thousands of innocent men, women and children. On March 20th 2011 the very same forces attacked Libya, beginning what many believe will be yet another mass slaughter. Perhaps it’s a coincidence that both these massacres began on the eve of the Vernal Equinox, the time of the Sun’s resurrection which throughout history was often celebrated with a blood sacrifice to “impregnate the Earth”. Perhaps not.
Whether or not you believe that occult elements are at play in this latest round of imperial slaughter and mayhem, what is obvious to all but the most duped and apathetic is that once again we have another war launched by the imperialist powers thinly veiled as a “humanitarian intervention”, dressed up as a mission of peace driven by the use of heavy bombardment and murder, where the truth lies diametrically opposed to the propaganda being pushed by the mainstream media. Nothing is what it seems; the lies and deceptions are as Orwellian as ever. The similarities with Iraq go well beyond the date of the opening salvo – indeed, there are many consistencies between the current attack on Libya and numerous other military interventions and acts of aggression carried out by the US, NATO and their allies in recent years.
The propaganda currently being pumped out by the mainstream media, led by the usual suspects in the American corporate press and the liars and sycophants over at the BBC, is essentially a re-run of the Iraq invasions and Kosovo: a largely fabricated case for humanitarian intervention based on violence stoked by special forces troops and covert operations, with the consistent demonisation of the leader recast as a mass murdering tyrant to justify a heavy saturation bombing campaign in the name of human rights and justice. Any historical context that might cast the so-called “Allies” in a negative light – for instance large-scale sales of weapons to the new enemy figure – is carefully omitted from the narrative.
The assault on Iraq during the first Gulf War was launched on the back of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait – an invasion carried out with the tacit support of the US, who then betrayed their puppet dictator and launched a huge slaughter, killing more than 100,000 people. The war was sold to the American public with a horror story in which Iraqi troops were accused of throwing Kuwaiti babies out of hospital incubators. Trouble is, the story was a complete fabrication, utilizing fake testimony from an unnamed nurse who turned out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the United States, coached by the pubic relations firm Hill & Knowlton, a company with a track record of providing services to notorious human rights abusers around the globe.
THE FAKED 15-YEAR OLD KUWAITI GIRL TESTIMONY BEFORE CONGRESS, 1990
And let’s not forget the fabricated “evidence” to justify the 2003 invasion – the non-existent WMDs, the yellow cake from Niger, the repeated, false association between Saddam and 9/11 … all since proven to be lies, and the occupation continues…
In Kosovo, the Western media went all out saturating their broadcasts of a photograph of a thin man behind a fence accompanied by cries of “concentration camps!” The truth was rather different: the ITN film crew were on the inside of a refugee camp, and had asked the man to take his top off to pose for the camera. The photo was another propaganda coup from the so-called “free press” of the West, which eventually led to a lethal 78 day bombing campaign which caused a fragmentation of the region from which they have yet to recover. Around the same time, NATO member Turkey – receiving some 80% of their arms from the Clinton administration – proceeded to murder, torture and massacre Kurds in untold numbers. There was no call for a humanitarian intervention there – after all, they were our allies.
In addition to such fabrications, the Western media conveniently omitted any mention of CIA/MI6 use of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA-UCK) to instigate violence in the region, subsequently used as part of the justification for the NATO “humanitarian intervention”. It should be noted that since this campaign KLA leaders such as Hashim Thaci and Agim Ceku have been tied to criminal syndicates involved in arms, drugs, and human trafficking, prostitution and illegal organ harvesting, in addition to the numerous war crimes carried out under the auspices of NATO. This blatant criminalization of Kosovo politics was carried out with the full consent of the EU and the US. It should also be noted that the US themselves described the KLA as a terrorist organization up until 1998, when Bill Clinton reclassified them as “freedom fighters” and unleashed them on the Serbs. NATO’s strategy of high altitude bombing quickly moved from legitimate military targets to the wholesale destruction of infrastructure, hospitals, television stations and civilians – all in the name of “humanitarian intervention” …
And as the historical record now shows, the refugee crisis and the swathe of massacres was precipitated by the NATO bombing campaign.
Similarly, the media build-up to the current attack on Libya has been characterised by the same level of fabricated propaganda against a backdrop of covert actions utilising known terrorist groups. The rebellion against Colonel Qaddafi, which the mainstream media would have us believe is a completely independent and organic grassroots uprising against a brutal oppressor, has actually been manipulated by agents from the CIA, MI6 and covert special forces groups such as the SAS for a number of weeks. A team of British SAS were recently arrested by Libyan rebels, echoing the arrest of SAS soldiers in Bazra in 2005, equipped with weapons, explosives and Arab-looking disguises, caught shooting at an Iraqi police checkpoint, in a textbook example of divide and rule tactics.
Arms and al-Qaida-affiliated fighters have also been flowing into the country to fuel the insurrection from Saudi Arabia and Egypt directly from NATO and other Western sources in an attempt to foment the overthrow of Qaddafi. There are additional reports that Israeli-affiliated African mercenaries have also infiltrated Libya to support the attempted insurrection. It is the reaction of the Libyan government – a completely justified response to a violent insurrection aided by agents from foreign governments with reciprocal force – that the Western press is characterising as the oppression of unarmed protesters.
Stories of atrocities carried out by Qaddafi have also turned out to be of questionable veracity, for instance the accusation that Qaddafi was using his air force to strafe crowds of protesters. These accusations remain unsupported, but that hasn’t stopped them being repeated ad nauseum across the mainstream media. If there is a grain of truth in them (and it’s not simply a case of Qaddafi’s forces legitimately striking back at armed, Western-backed “rebels”), one has to wonder why such a supposedly unpopular leader has recently handed out 1 million machine guns to the public to fight against a foreign occupation. Hardly the tactics of a dictator fearing overthrow from within. Perhaps the media will release photographic or video evidence supporting their claims, but if the past is anything to go by … well, perhaps they won’t.
Fox News got in on the act of making things up recently as well, using the well worn “human shields” hoax popular amongst defenders of Israeli barbarism towards the Palestinians. Fortunately, CNN correspondent Nic Robertson set the records straight:
Libya - Fox News Lies about a report on human shields in Libya
A predictable but entirely unfounded response to the above observations is the accusation of being a Qaddafi sympathizer. Those who make such accusations are guilty of obfuscation and missing the broader point. Certainly, Qaddafi is no angel – likewise Slobodan Milošević and Saddam Hussein were guilty of despotism, crimes against humanity and more. But those who make such charges miss the irony of their rhetoric, given that they support the unbridled use of violence by far more powerful military forces against largely civilian populations, leading to death tolls that far exceed those committed by the puppet dictators they seek to overthrow. That these dictators and despots committed their own atrocities with weapons supplied by Western nations is never mentioned, for doing so would lay bare their hypocrisy. “We must kill to avoid killing,” is the ideology they promote, oblivious to the inherent contradiction that lies within.
This hypocrisy is plain to see in the recent release of photos of American troops in Afghanistan posing for trophy shots with murdered civilians. While the BBC are busy ramming down the throats of the public endless news about our impressive fighter planes and their “precision” bombing and manufacturing tales of massacres at the hands of Qaddafi, photos such as this are completely ignored:
US Army "Kill Team" pose with with murdered civilians
And of course, there’s little mention of the genuinely brutal oppression in places like Bahrain, where the Saudi military were called in to massacre protesters there, or the recent outbreak of airstrikes and incursions into Gaza by the IDF over the weekend. Because they’re our “allies” and their crimes – like our own – are completely permissible.
Just another day in the Empire…
The manipulative pro-war argument in Libya
BY GLENN GREENWALD
Please see link for entire, well reasoned article.
. . . .
Anyone looking for principle and logic in the attack on Moammar Gaddafi's tyrannical regime will be disappointed. . . . Why is Libya so different? Basically, because the dictators of Yemen, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia -- also Jordan and the Persian Gulf sheikdoms, for that matter -- are friendly, cooperative and useful. Gaddafi is not. . . .
Gaddafi is crazy and evil; obviously, he wasn’t going to listen to our advice about democracy. The world would be fortunate to be rid of him. But war in Libya is justifiable only if we are going to hold compliant dictators to the same standard we set for defiant ones. If not, then please spare us all the homilies about universal rights and freedoms. We'll know this isn’t about justice, it's about power.
I understand -- and absolutely believe -- that many people who support the intervention in Libya are doing so for good and noble reasons: disgust at standing by and watching Gadaffi murder hundreds or thousands of rebels. I also believe that some people who supported the attack on Iraq did so out of disgust for Saddam Hussein and a desire to see him removed from power. It's commendable to oppose that type of despotism, and I understand -- and share -- the impulse.
But what I cannot understand at all is how people are willing to believe that the U.S. Government is deploying its military and fighting this war because, out of abundant humanitarianism, it simply cannot abide internal repression, tyranny and violence against one's own citizens. This is the same government that enthusiastically supports and props up regimes around the world that do exactly that, and that have done exactly that for decades.
By all accounts, one of the prime administration advocates for this war was Hillary Clinton; she's the same person who, just two years ago, said this about the torture-loving Egyptian dictator: "I really consider President and Mrs. Mubarak to be friends of my family." They're the same people overseeing multiple wars that routinely result in all sorts of atrocities. They are winking and nodding to their Yemeni, Bahrani and Saudi friends who are doing very similar things to what Gadaffi is doing, albeit (for now) on a smaller scale. They just all suddenly woke up one day and decided to wage war in an oil-rich Muslim nation because they just can't stand idly by and tolerate internal repression and violence against civilians? Please.
For the reasons I identified the other day, there are major differences between the military actions in Iraq and Libya. But what is true of both -- as is true for most wars -- is that each will spawn suffering for some people even if they alleviate it for others. Dropping lots of American bombs on a country tends to kill a lot of innocent people. For that reason, indifference to suffering is often what war proponents -- not war opponents -- are guilty of. But whatever else is true, the notion that opposing a war is evidence of indifference to tyranny and suffering is equally simple-minded, propagandistic, manipulative and intellectually bankrupt in both the Iraq and Libya contexts. And, in particular, those who opposed or still oppose intervention in Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt, Iraq, the Sudan, against Israel, in the Ivory Coast -- and/or any other similar places where there is widespread human-caused suffering -- have no business advancing that argument.
What will be the results of US bombing in Libya?
I don't know, but here is an MP3 audio account of the results of US Bombing in Iraq.
The toxic legacy left by the US in Iraq, Kelley Beaucar Vlahos
What is a" Civilian?"
The "bait" in the US/European "bait & switch" with regard to Libya, was a simple "No-Fly-Zone." That is, control the skies to make sure that Gadaffi doesn't use his Western supplied aircraft to bomb civilians. In the end, they also added the "switch," a bit about protecting civilians, which was somewhat open ended. What does that mean?
Yesterday, 3/22/11 at 8:00 AM, OPB/NPR's, Jeff Norcross, I believe it was, said something to the effect that the US bombing was protecting the "rebels." Of course the UN resolution approving the intervention referenced "civilians," not rebels. Was this a slip of the tongue, or simply an acknowledgement that, as we all know, the intervention was intended to let the West and the US ramp up the war and actively kill Gadaffi's forces on the ground to support the rebels? The answer is, like I wrote, "as we all know," an intervention aimed at enabling the rebels, whoever they are (apparently no one yet knows, or else they don't want you to know), to supplant the Gadaffi regime and allow Western interests to increase their influence in the country, in order to secure more agreeable energy contracts and eradicate any sentiment that may remain about socialist politics. The ignoble Arab League has since complained about the expansion of the war beyond a "No-Fly-Zone" of course.
Many news sources, including even Democracy Now!, keep referring to most, if not all killings by the Gadaffi regime as being killings of "civilians."
So, you may ask, what is a "civilian?"
Definition(s) of "civilian."
One traditional definition, relevant to this situation, is this:
1. A person following the pursuits of civil life, especially one who is not an active member of the military, the police, or a belligerent group.
1. Inclined or eager to fight; hostile or aggressive.
2. Of, pertaining to, or engaged in warfare.
One that is hostile or aggressive, especially one that is engaged in war.
Oh well. . . .
What is the current reality as regards to US/Western intervention?
Military Admits Challenge Of Distinguishing "Civilians" and "Rebels" In Libya
Posted by Michael Scherer Tuesday, March 22, 2011
. . . . "While the U.S. mission is clear--protect civilians, not rebel fighters--the meaning of this mandate on the ground is a bit more blurry. Here is the key parts from the transcript:
Q: As you go after the regime's ground forces, to what degree can it really be said that you're not providing close air support for the opposition, even if you're not being in contact with them?
GEN. HAM: We do not provide close air support for the opposition forces. We protect civilians. Some -- I suspect some would argue that some within the opposition may be civilians. And if they are attacked by regime forces, then we would be obliged, if we possess the capability, to try to protect them from attack. But we have no mission and no intent to provide close air support to the opposition. . . ."
Libya fails Powell Doctrine
By Dick Morris - 03/22/11 05:50 PM ET
. . . .
"Defined war goals? The only one stated is to protect innocent civilians from Gadhafi’s forces. How we are going to do this from the air is a question that remains unanswered. In any event, we are clearly confused between the goal of regime change on the one hand and protecting civilians on the other. Our aerial attacks have little to do with protecting anyone and everything to do with killing as many of Gadhafi’s soldiers and disabling as much of his army as possible. .. . ."
Libya: Allied air strikes secure Misrata for rebels
. . . . Residents said yesterday that the aerial bombardment destroyed tanks and artillery and sent many of Muammar Gaddafi's forces fleeing from Misrata, ending a siege and attack by the regime that cost nearly 100 lives from random shelling, snipers and bitter street fighting.
Mohammed Ali, an IT engineer at Misrata's main hospital, said that waves of air strikes began shortly after midnight on Wednesday.
"They bombed a lot of sites of the Gaddafi army. There is a former hospital where his tanks were based. All the tanks and the hospital were destroyed. A column of tanks was destroyed on the edge of the city," he said. "After that there was no shelling. We are very relieved. We are very grateful. We want to thank the world. The Gaddafi forces are scattered around. All that is left is the snipers and our fighters can take care of them."
Ali said people in Misrata wanted the coalition to keep up the air strikes until all Gaddafi's forces were driven away from the town to ensure that those who were able to escape with armoured vehicles and guns did not return. . . . .