Critical perspectives on the U.S.-led NATO war on Libya

The western media has hyped the rebels’ “victory” in the war in Libya.  But it’s impossible to know what is really going on if you only get the mainstream media.  Reports are trickling out from independent journalists that contradict the disinformation being spread by mainstream media.  Franklin Lamb reports in Countercurrents.org from Tripoli:

NATO is widely viewed as having violated the three main terms of UNSCR 1973, to wit, NATO did engage in regime change, it did take sides in a civil war, it did arm one side, and it did refuse to allow a negotiated diplomatic settlement which many here and internationally believe could have been achieved by early April, thus saving hundreds Libyan lives. NATO’s more than 160 days of bombing are seen as egregious violations of UNSCR 1973, Article 2 (7) of the UN Charter and numerous provisions of international law, all part of its campaign to secure Libyan oil and this rich countries geopolitical cooperation for the US, UK, France, Italy and their NATO allies.

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On Monday night August 22, 2011 this observer met with Saif al Islam. He was not captured and he is not dead. At least not as of 11 p.m. 8/22/11 or roughly 24 hours after the NTC (National Transitional Council) and the ICC claim he was captured and was being prepared for transport to The Hague. Saif was defiant and he gave assurances that his family was safe and that NATO would be defeated politically for its crimes against Libyan civilians.

Saif took western camera man and reporter on a short tour of Tripoli showing them that NATO was not in control—not 95% in control of Tripoli as the NTC rep in London has been claiming since Sunday night and not 80% in control of Tripoli as the White House & NATO’s “Operation protect the Libyan civilians” CEO, Rasmussen, has claimed. But the rebels do appear to currently control large swatches of Libya’s capitol. A journalist named “Kim” S. from the UK Independent who has been with the rebels for the past more than two months and who seemed to literally sort of stumble into our hotel yesterday told me this morning that NTC claims made during the period he was with them were “complete bullshit.”

In “Western Media Reports on Libya False”, Stephen Lendman, writer and radio host in Chicago said:

When they talk about a conflict like this Libya one that is just an outrageous American-led imperial war for conquest; absolutely illegal and with no humanitarian concern for the Libyan people, even the so-called rebels are not rebels they’re mercenaries; they have been hired.

Most of them may not even know what they are doing. They were paid; they were brought in mostly from outside the country; they’re probably being paid more than they ever go before so, you know, you need a job and you get a paycheck and you were told “We want to liberate this country from bad people”. And they go in and do what they’re told to do because they want to keep getting their paycheck.

About the so-called celebrations in the streets of Tripoli – I absolutely discount them. There were polls taken a week or two ago that showed across the country including in the eastern part of the country in the Benghazi area – wherever they conducted these polls, which is not an easy thing to do in any country at war so you can’t vouch for the absolute accuracy of this – but polls showed the longer the NATO bombing went on the higher approval rating Gaddafi got; and the last numbers I saw – 85 percent of the Libyan people approve of Gaddafi.

Global Research reports that over 200 African leaders condemned NATOʻs Libyan War as part of a plan to recolonize the continent:

A group of African intellectuals has written an open letter criticising the NATO-led military attacks on Libya, saying Africa ran the risk of being re-colonised.“Nato has violated international law… they had a regime change agenda,” said one of the signatories, University of Johannesburg head of politics, Chris Landsberg.“The re-colonisation of Africa is becoming a real threat,” he told reporters in Johannesburg. The letter was signed by more than 200 prominent Africans, including ANC national executive member Jesse Duarte, political analyst Willie Esterhuyse of the University of Stellenbosch, former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils, lawyer Christine Qunta, former deputy foreign affairs minister Aziz Pahad, former minister in the presidency Essop Pahad, Sam Moyo of the African Institute for Agrarian Studies, former president Thabo Mbeki’s spokesperson Mukoni Ratshitanga, and poet Wally Serote.

The leaders accused the UN Security Council of approving an illegal policy of regime change:

Landsberg said it was up to the Libyan people – and not the United Nations Security Council – to decide if their leader, Muammar Gaddafi, who had been in power for 42 years, had overstayed his welcome. The letter reads: “Contrary to the provisions of the UN Charter, the UN Security Council authorised and has permitted the destruction and anarchy which has descended on the Libyan people. At the end of it all, many Libyans will have died and have been maimed (and) much infrastructure will have been destroyed.” The Security Council had not produced evidence to prove that its authorisation of the use of force was an appropriate response to the situation in Libya. “Thus they (Security Council) have empowered themselves openly to pursue the objective of ‘regime change’ and therefore the use of force and all other means to overthrow the government of Libya, which objectives are completely at variance with the decisions of the UN Security Council,” reads the letter, which was also supported by the Congress of SA Trade Unions, the SA Communist Party and the Media Review Network. The Security Council also “repudiated the rule of international law” by ignoring the role of legitimate regional institutions in solving conflict.

The African leaders also accused NATO countries of being “rogue states”:

Landsberg said Britain, France and United States “continue to act as a rogue states”. “A rogue is an errant state that does not live by rules… the tragedy is that they are not likely to be charged in the International Criminal Court.”

In an interview on Global Research, John Robles says that the Libyan “revolution” is more of a western-backed insurgency than a true revolution of the people.   He notes that “the African Union has refused recognition to the so-called Transitional National Council, consisting of what by all accounts is a fairly motley, heterogeneous grouping of anti-government forces in Libya, aided and abetted by major NATO powers like France, Britain, the U.S. and Italy and by Persian Gulf monarchies like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.”

Rather than withdrawing after the end of the Gaddafi regime, Robles believes that NATO will establish military bases in the country:

…assuming previous Yugoslav and Afghan precedents as a likely scenario, we have a lot to go on. We have the fact that the Turkish Foreign Minister announced yesterday that NATO’s role will continue in Libya after the installation of the rebel government, the so-called Transitional National Council.
And similar soundings have emanated from major figures and NATO countries that suggest, far from NATO’s role ending, it may in a certain sense just be beginning. And that parallels almost identically what happened in Yugoslavia in 1999 and what has happened in Afghanistan in the past decade, where NATO bombs itself into a country and sets up military bases and doesn’t leave. The U.S. still maintains Camp Bondsteel in the contested Serbian province of Kosovo, which is a large, expansive base, by some accounts the largest overseas military facility built by the US since the war in Vietnam. And it remains there over 12 years after the end of the 78-day bombing campaign against Yugoslavia.

Similarly, the U.S. has substantially upgraded air bases in Afghanistan, including those bordering Central Asian nations and close to the Iranian border, and there is no indication they are ever going to abandon them, as they are not going to abandon military bases in Iraq and other places. It’s a lot easier to bring NATO into one’s country or have it forced in than to get it out.

In a CNN interview, former CIA officer Michael Scheuer also blew the lid off of the fraudulent justifications for the US-led war in Libya.  He describes the CIA’s role in backing the insurgent groups and the blowback that could follow.

This is especially troubling when you consider the composition of the Libyan rebels.   According to Michel Chossudovsky, “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 New York Timesalso describes the now cozy relationship between the former al Qaeda linked organization and NATO.   Training and supporting Islamist fighters sounds a lot like Reagan’s Afghanistan strategy that brought the world the blowback of 9/11.

Meanwhile Finian Cunningham reveals the hypocrisy of the “humanitarian” rationale for the NATO war on Libya.  He reports that in the tiny Kingdom of Bahrain, “US Ally Kills Children… So When Is NATO Intervening?”:

This is the face of state terror against civilians in the US and British-backed Gulf oil kingdom of Bahrain – the latest victim a boy shot dead by police. But there will be no call by Washington or London for a Libya-style NATO intervention to protect human rights here. No call for regime change. No call for an international crimes tribunal.

Fourteen-year-old Ali Jawad Ahmad was killed on 30 August when Saudi-backed Bahraini riot police fired a tear gas canister at the youth from close range. On the day that was supposed to be a celebratory end to Ramadan – Eid al Fitr – people across Bahrain were shocked by yet another “brutal slaughter of innocents” by the regime and the stoic silence of its Western backers.]

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It is scarcely believable that Washington or London is unaware of the Bahraini state terror over recent months and in particular the massive, indiscriminate use of tear gas on civilian homes. Bahrain – a former “protectorate” of Britain – has close links between its ministry of interior and British security personnel. The Gulf island is home to the US Navy Fifth Fleet, from where the entire Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea down as far as the coast of Somalia are surveyed. The territory of Bahrain is less than 60 kilometres long and only 17 kilometres wide.

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