Eyes for Peace: “The NATO bombing killed 2% of the population in Libya” May 17, 2012


Eyes for Peace: “The NATO bombing killed 2% of the population in Libya”

May 17, 2012

The advocacy organization Human Rights Human Rights Watch calls for NATO to investigate the deaths of at least 72 civilians in the bombing of the Alliance during the military operation in Libya in 2011.

However, some NGOs estimate that the death toll may reach 2% of the civilian population. In a recent report, Human Rights Watch (HRW) analyzes eight air strikes carried out by the Allies in Libya and says that according to his “field research” and “interviews with witnesses and local residents,” there were 72 civilian casualties , including 20 women and 24 children.

However, NATO rejects the allegations and claims that only carried out attacks on military regime Muammar Gaddafi , according to statements by Oana Lungescu, spokesman for the Alliance.

For his part, counsel Purification González, International Collective Eye for Peace, believes that if the Alliance is not going to investigate the attacks is because he fears could come to light more cases. The NATO bombing “have killed almost 2% of the civilian population” in Libya, that is, about 60,000 people, according to the Peace Eye citing local sources. ****(till today its more than 2% with the every day killing, bombing and death by torture we have arrived to 500.000 people who have been killed from both sides)

The military campaign deployed by NATO in Libya between March and October 2011 was authorized by a resolution of the Security Council of the United Nations in order to protect civilians against armed conflict between the regime of then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and the rebels.

However, subsequently the NATO bombing contributed to the capture, lynching and murder without trial of Gaddafi and some of his relatives. But behind international intervention there were also economic interests , according Purification González.
“Large corporations are using NATO governments through wars and to plunder the resources, in this case to keep the oil and strategically positioned for future wars and to support Israel,” says the lawyer.

UN cornered by the vast evidence of torture and unpunished murders, today acknowledged the existence of serious problems in governance, security and human rights in Libya, including the practice of torture and deaths in secret detention centers.
Confirmation of these violations was presented by the special UN envoy to Libya, Ian Martin, in a report to the Security Council devoted to analyzing the situation in the Arab country.
The official said that the expectation of rapid changes created tension in the political system and led to disappointment at the lack of progress five months after the coming to power of the current government.
In response, Martin urged the authorities to show tangible progress in the short-term, even before the next general elections and the formation of the new administration.
As for the secret prisons, the UN envoy hypocritically estimated four thousand in the number of people held by terrorist groups serving NATO-NTC involved, along with NATO, in the coup against the Libyan government and the Assassination against Muammar Gaddafi.

Also confirmed that the abuse and torture continue as a common practice in those facilities, particularly in an existing in Misrata, where reported deaths from this cause, as well as other centers in Tripoli, Zawiya and Zintan.
Martin also warned about the tension in different parts of the country and explained various armed clashes in Sabha in March with the death of 150 people and 500 wounded, and others in the southwestern part of Libyan territory, in April.

****Editors note: This piece was written in 2012 but most of the photos were not circulated for reasons that a lot of bloggers were blocked as the west does not want the truth to come out. So please circulate these photos just to show what NATO and the so-called Rebels ex prisoners who were from Qatar, Guantanamo, Saudi Arabia, Egypt the list is long. The same thing is happening in Syria and Ukraine

source:libya-sos.blogspot.ch

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THE ILLEGAL WAR ON LIBYA, EDITED BY CYNTHIA MCKINNEY: BOOK REVIEW


THE ILLEGAL WAR ON LIBYA,

EDITED BY CYNTHIA MCKINNEY: BOOK REVIEW

BY LADY KHAMIS  (‘The Girl Who Loves Khamis’)

   “Think of this book as your primer on war propaganda, deliberate media deception, hidden political and personal agendas, and finally, on what a set of politically powerful and well-connected people will do to a country when they have access to military power and the will to use it”.

  So writes editor Cynthia McKinney at the start of this must-read, gripping collection of chapters by different authors, showing the world that the illegal war on Libya in 2011 was a war on civilians – the very people the West claimed to be protecting. A set-up like the Iraq war – but far less publicised.

  Just like the Israeli-led false flag ‘Operation Trojan’ project of 1986 that led Libya to be bombed then in an attempt to murder its leader, Muammar Qadhafi, so the latter was again framed in 2011.

  America’s real aims, she continues, were to ‘clean up’ the old pro-Soviet regimes of Iraq, Libya and Syria. To attack and destroy the SEVEN countries of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. And The Project For The New American Century – as desired by Wolfowitz, Cheney, and Rumsfeld etc. – to destabilise the Middle East and turn it upside down.

  McKinney has been told that the US keeps mercenary forces at an offshore base near the Libya-Tunisia border – which are carrying out joint operations with al-Qaeda in Eastern Libya. And that US forces operate in Tripoli under the protection of al-Qaeda’s Abdulhakim Belhadj – where they control the shipping terminal and Mitiga Airport.

  My own opinion is that America deliberately brought al-Qaeda to power in Libya – and is seeking to do the same in Syria – under the usual covert plot of publicly pretending to do otherwise. (Think CIA and their ‘war on drugs’). This will best continue America-‘israel’ plans for chaos across the Islamic world.

  The chapter by Wayne Madsen poignantly describes the scene at the house of Qadhafi’s son, Saif al-Arab, hours after the latter was murdered here by a US warplane, along with a friend and three of Qadhafi’s grandchildren on 30th April 2011. No evidence of it being a ‘military compound’ was ever found. It was an attempt to kill Qadhafi himself – who had just left the building to tend to some animals just 500 feet away. Indeed, the book shows a photo of a traumatised gazelle wandering amongst the rubble. (McKinney later describes the scene too and the “shredded” children).

  Madsen also writes how Bernard-Henri Levy, the Jewish French ‘philosopher’ (?!) was forging links with the rebels in Benghazi and then travelling to ‘israel’. Rebel support for ‘israel’ was a key demand in return for more support from Nato.

  One of Nato’s first targets in Tripoli was the Office Of Investigation Of Corruption. The real reason several Qadhafi ministers defected to the rebels is because they were being investigated by the Libyan Government for fraud. (This was covered up by the Western media). The documents on corruption were backed up – but are now “in a safe location”.

  Belhadj was issued with a false Libyan passport – showing him with a beard. Such a photo was not permitted by Qadhafi’s government.

  Many rebels are al-Qaeda fighters released from Guantanamo Bay – armed with weapons not found in Libya’s stockpiles. Many weapons used by the rebels in 2011 came from a CIA-connected subsidiary. One rifle, used as standard by the rebels, only uses Nato standard rounds. This weapon was never used by the Libyan Army – which relied on Soviet weaponry. Rebels also used US-made machine-guns – again chambered for Nato rounds. (This proves Nato and Western media claims that the rebels only used weapons captured from Qadhafi forces were lies).

  Rebels agreed to allow ‘israel’ to have a 30-year lease for a military base in East Libya – that will be used against the Egyptian military should there be any future ‘problems’.

  Uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt were used to pretend Libya was a state rebelling too, but Madsen reminds us that an American diplomat was operating as a CIA agent in Libya in 2010 – forging links with a rebel ‘sleeper-cell’.

  Madsen also claims that it has long been believed that Qadhafi’s former head of Libyan Intelligence, Musa Kusa, was a double agent for the CIA.

  Shortly after the rebels seized Benghazi, they plundered Libya of its money. They emptied the entire Central Bank’s cash vault in the city – even hiring a professional safecracker from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to open the safe. The rebels now had 900 million Libyan dinars – stealing it from the Libyan people.

  The next chapter contains the true scale of suffering, terror and death Nato unleashed on civilians in Tripoli, Zlitan etc. A testimony from one doctor is so harrowing that I defy any normal person to read it without feeling tears of anger. Children so frightened that they even contemplated suicide. And the other real scandal is of the media’s silence, its cover-up, and the way the people could not tell the world what was happening - and that many did not even know why they were being targeted just to get rid of their leader.

  The chapter “Nato Bombs The Great Man-Made River”, by Mark Metcalfe, tells the fascinating story of “the eighth wonder of the world”; how Qadhafi installed clean water for all the Libyan people – a project now derailed after Nato targeted the civilian population by bombing the pipe-making plant at Brega – murdering six security guards. 

  The segment “Black Genocide In Libya”, by T-West, describes how the targeting of black people by the rebels in Libya was a deliberate fomenting of ethnic strife by Nato - in order to break up the country. With a Euro-centric central bank that ties into the stock exchange and America and European corporate banking headquarters in Qatar, and a small group of puppets of the more Arab-centric Eastern Libya controlling the oil.

  The rebels have foisted the old monarchy’s flag and anthem on Libya – symbols that represent the British-ruled Libya of that time – so as to create a federal system that revives total European manipulation, with the Arab monarchies of Qatar, UAE, and Saudi Arabia underneath this.

  A Libyan Army jet stolen by rebels was mistakenly shot down over Benghazi – by the rebels themselves – but the media used the situation to pretend the jet was Qadhafi attacking civilians.

  Western journalists reported how Libyan Army jet pilots were disobeying Qadhafi and missing targets so as to avoid civilians. But, in fact, the pilots had been ordered to drop bombs harmlessly in order to avoid casualties and act as a warning to rebels – (who were systematically attacking army and police posts). Qadhafi was not going to be baited into the mass-bloodshed the West wanted from him – so the West made it up anyway.

  Controlled by Jews – the Sephardim wing of France and the Ashkenazim wing of the US – they influenced the output of Reuters, the Associated Press etc.  20% of the rebellion believed the lie that Qadhafi himself was a Jew!

  But T-West’s chapter ultimately shows us what a traitor Obama has been to all black people – the very people who voted him into power believing he was an icon for their cause.

  Stephen Lendman’s piece then excellently sets out the legal case for trying Nato for the war crimes of “daily civilian terror bombings to break their morale, cause panic, weaken their resistance, and inflict mass casualties of punishment” to “conquer, colonise, occupy, and plunder another vassal state”, with “humanitarian intervention” as “mere subterfuge”.

  The next segment is by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya and is an exploration of the magnificent plans that Qadhafi had for the future – such as ridding the government of corruption, the Wealth Redistribution Fund for all Libyans, the United States Of Africa, and the South Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Sato) – to protect Africa and Latin America from Nato.

  The West was horrified – and feared other populations would demand more fairness too.

  Saif al-Islam put Mahmoud Jibril into the position of a virtual Prime Minister – controlled by the US and the EU. Jibril would open up Libya to foreign corporations to plunder, and privatisation and poverty in Libya.

  Jibril met with Levy to discuss deposing Qadhafi – who was investigating Jibril for corruption. Jibril believed the Libyan people were not fit to govern themselves and that the ‘elite’ should always control the wealth of any nation. Jibril later fled to Cairo to meet the rebel ‘council’ leaders of both Libya and Syria.

  Italy’s Prime Minister Berlusconi even admitted that Nato’s bombings were not conducted as a result of a revolt against Qadhafi – but were intended to cause a revolt against Qadhafi…

  Another chapter by Nazemroaya explains the West and Israeli plots of reconfiguring the Middle East – by using wars as ‘creative destruction’ –deliberately targeting countries to create or exploit any religious differences or racial and ethno-linguistic tensions etc. Internal violence to bring countries to their knees and implement the doctrine of divide, rule and conquer.

  This supports the Zionist’s ‘Yinon Plan’ – partitioning individual countries – both in North Africa, as well as around ‘israel’ – into smaller and weaker states. Iraq was the primary target (and we see it today falling into the pre-planned Sunni, Shi’a, and Kurdish entities)…

  The break-up of Libya, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria are also part of the Plan (and we are already seeing at this moment how the created chaos has now taken hold in all four).  The primary aim being to ensure that ‘israel’ has regional superiority. For the West, it continues the latter’s global empiric ambitions. Divided, exploited, colonised and dysfunctional societies – too weak to fight back against their oppressors and their puppet clients.

   Other targets and victims of these same plots are Iran, Turkey, Somalia, Pakistan and Sudan (Sudan has, of course, already been divided into two warring separate countries).

  After America invaded Iraq, Ariel Sharon told them to next attack Syria, Libya and Iran (and Tony Blair recently called Sharon ‘a man of peace’)!

  The assassination of Rafik Hariri in Lebanon was used as part of the ‘israeli’ Plan to destabilise Syria. (I personally believe that Hariri’s death – and that of many innocent bystanders in the same massive car bombing – was a Mossad/CIA operation – designed to frame Assad’s Syria).

  Nazemroaya continues that there are unknown snipers targeting Syrian civilians and army – to cause chaos and internal fighting. Christians are targeted by unknown groups. Most likely, the attacks include a coalition of US, French, Israeli, Jordanian, Turkish, Saudi, and Gulf Arab forces -working with some Syrians on the inside.

  This is part of a reign of terror that they are trying to spread in Syria – as they did in Libya.

  A Christian exodus is being planned for the Middle East, he concludes. An Islamic world free of Christians and Jews – who the Muslims have historically peacefully co-existed with – is the desired outcome. This would replenish the Christian population of the EU – and be used to support a new Crusade. The precursor to The Clash Of Civilisations…

  Dr. Christof Lehman’s chapter is next and he explains that the US uses al-Qaeda as either an enemy or an ally – depending on what role suits its agenda at the time.

  He also explains the evil hold that France has over Africa. Removing leaders like Qadhafi and Gbagbo (Ivory Coast) because they dared to plan to get rid of the African franc currency. This is because the African franc is one of the biggest sources of income for France. Worse still, France not only controls the value of it, but also has absolute control over no less than EIGHT African countries’ economies…Shockingly, 85% of all foreign exchange reserves of these eight states are 100% under the control of the French treasury!

  Qadhafi lobbied to help the people of these eight countries to free themselves from France’s enslavement and impoverishment of them.

France viewed him as the obstacle to even more French colonial expansion in North Africa.

  My favourite chapter is by an outstanding journalist, Keith Harmon Snow – whose knowledge and passion for the subject of Africa and the West’s utter hypocrisy in dealing with it is breathtaking.

  He, like other parts of the book, exposes the media’s manipulation of the facts of the situation in Libya in 2011: “Real facts are hidden behind these facades created through well-planned and coordinated psychological operations, like the one that played out in the media over the invasion of Libya. What the capitalist system seeks to hide are the Western mafias and their elite kingpins who are perpetuating the shock doctrines of disaster capitalism. This is what happened in Libya”.

  Snow deliciously debunks the myths of the West’s propaganda against Qadhafi’s “Green Book” philosophy: “No wonder the elites ruining the world don’t want you to read the Green Book, they might be prone to the arising of dangerous thoughts such as these that criticise the system of oppression that now threatens all life on planet Earth”.

  Snow is referring to Qadhafi exposing how Western ‘democracy’ is, in fact, based on propaganda, monopolisation and manipulation etc. for the benefit of only the rich elites.

  Snow acknowledges the repression practiced by Qadhafi’s government in Libya – but reminds us that it was only because Libya faced a constant barrage of coups, dirty tricks, undermining, infiltration and assassination – by Western powers and their agents. And that Qadhafi benefited the Libyan people far more than the Western regimes have done for their own populations: “The faults of the Libyan regime pale in comparison to the faults of foreign regimes in the countries that persecuted Libya”, as Western governments enslave and repress their people while serving private elites for corporate profit.

  But Snow’s piece mainly explores the wars in Africa – secretly waged by ‘israel’ and the West - that have led to the loss of many millions of lives.

  He reminds us that ‘israel’ trained Idi Amin – before Britain brought him to power by force in Uganda. (Later, he turned on ‘israel’ and so the West turned on him). Under the current dictator, Yoweri Museveni, Uganda was used as a base for the 1996 invasion of what is now DR Congo. It has also been used for the ‘israel’ and Nato invasion of Sudan (now Sudan and South Sudan) – a war that was, and still is today, primarily caused and maintained by ‘israel’, America, Canada, France and Britain.

  Israel’s shipment of tanks for the horror of the war crimes in Darfur – via Uganda – was helped by America – and utterly covered up by the Western media. (Has anyone ever told George Clooney about this)?!

  In 2011, Qadhafi was interviewed and demonised by ‘journalist’ Christiane Amanpour – but she was, in fact, a (Zionist) covert agent for the US State Department. She had also covered up the US’s involvement in DR Congo and Rwanda. US ‘Special Forces’ were on the ground shelling refugee camps and slaughtering innocent people – as part of the fuelling of the Tutsi and Hutu genocide wars that served the West’s interests (while at home, Western leaders pretend to bleat about “Responsibility to Protect” these “tragedies” from happening again)…

  Ethiopia’s leader, Meles Zenawi, has been conducting genocide against his own people for years, but as a puppet of the West, the latter says nothing. Ethiopia provides a base for covert Western military operations against Somalia, Sudan and even Syria.

  African mercenaries – trained by America since 2004/2009 – in Mauritania, Chad, Niger and Nigeria were used as death squads to invade Libya in 2011 (under the guise of being ‘freedom fighters’ from Libya itself).

  Snow asks why is Qadhafi a notorious household name in the West, when genuine despots such as the following are not? “Daniel Arap Moi, Gen. Gnassingbe Eyadema, Paul Biya, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, and Omar Bongo”. (Add Museveni, Zenawi and Paul Kagame too).

  Why is it never said that it is the Western wars of annihilation that go on in Somalia – involving Ugandan troops trained by US ‘Special Forces’ – as well as Darfur, Rwanda, DR Congo, Sudan and Central Africa etc?

  While Qadhafi undoubtedly aided many noble liberation movements, Snow also raises interesting questions about some of the people Qadhafi himself armed and his reasons for doing so – but that is a whole other book!

  The final chapter is a transcript of Qadhafi’s speech to the General Assembly of the United Nations on September 23rd 2009.

  It is chilling reading – as, retrospectively, its context is forever coloured by the events that subsequently occurred.

  Qadhafi speaks of wars that benefit only the few; military interventions of aggression and hostile acts by those with Power Of Veto. He calls the UN Security Council the “Terror Council” – for its treatment of the Third World – using terror, intimidation and sanctions to serve its own interests: “Wars of aggression waged against us by superpowers”, “that have violated the sovereignty of independent states. It has led to war crimes and genocide…in violation of the Charter of the United Nations”.

  He speaks of Africa “colonised, isolated and persecuted, and its rights usurped. Its people enslaved and treated like animals and its territory colonised and placed under trusteeship”. “How can we feel safe”? “Can we trust the Security Council or not”?

  Conversely, he calls Barack Obama a “son of Africa” and “our son”. But did he envisage really that Libya would be attacked? And, if so, that it would not be Obama who would be the one to do it?

  Completely deluded (?) about Obama’s true evil nature (“I am very good at killing people”, Obama informed us in 2013), Qadhafi calls Obama’s election win “a wonderful thing”, that Obama will be “a temporary relief for the next four or eight years”. “We would be content if Obama could remain President of the US forever”, he unwittingly (?) extols…

  Even worse, he says Obama “spoke truly when he said that democracy cannot be imposed from the outside”.

  Yes, this statement is true but not Obama’s belief in it!

  I wish that I could force every Westerner to read this magnificent book – then maybe the real revolution will begin…

  I will end my review with the final line of Qadhafi’s speech:

  “We should live in peace – always”.

Lady Khamis (‘thegirlwholoveskhamis’)

For libyaagainstsuperpowermedia.org

A victory for the people of Libya? Ten myths of the war against Libya


A victory for the people of Libya? Ten myths of the war against Libya

By:  Maximilian C. FORTE

1.  Genocide
2.  Gaddafi is “bombing his own people”
3.  Benghazi Save
4.  African mercenaries
5. in May. fueled by Viagra mass rape
6.  Responsibility to Protect (R2P)
7.  Gaddafi – the Devil
8.  Freedom Fighters – Angels [or rebels Santos]
9.  victory for the Libyan people
10.  defeat for “the left”

Since Colonel Gaddafi has lost his military control in the war against NATO and the insurgents or rebels or new regime, numerous talking heads have taken  to celebrating this war as a “success”

They believe that this is a  “victory of the Libyan people” and we should all be celebrating. Others proclaim  victory for the “responsibility to protect,” humanitarian interventionism, “and condemn the” anti-imperialist left. “

Some who claim to be “revolutionaries,” or believe they support the “Arab revolution,” somehow find it possible to sideline  NATO’s role in the war, instead extolling the democratic virtues of the insurgents, glorifying his martyrdom, and expanding their role until everything  else is pushed from view. I wish to dissent from this circle of acclamation, and remind readers of  the role of fabrications ideologically motivated “truth”  that were used to justify, enable, enhance, and motivate the war against Libya-and to emphasize how damaging the practical effects of those myths have been to the Libyans, and all those who favored peaceful, non-militarist solutions.

These ten myths are some of the most repeated claims  by the insurgents, and / or by NATO, European leaders, the Obama administration, the mainstream media, and even the so-called “International Criminal Court”, the main actors speaking in war against Libya. In turn, we look at some of the reasons why these claims are better seen as imperial folklore, as the myths of the broader support of all myths-that this war is a “humanitarian intervention,” designed for ” protect civilians. “

Again, the importance of  these myths lies in their wide propagation, with little doubt, and  the lethal effect. Moreover, can severely distort the ideals of human rights and their invocation of the future, thus helping the continued militarization of Western culture and society.

1. Genocide.

Just a few days after street protests began on February 21 very quick to defect  Libyan deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Ibrahim Dabbashi,  said  :

“We are expecting a real genocide in Tripoli planes still bringing mercenaries to the airports..”  This is excellent: a myth that is composed of myths.  With that statement was linked  three key myths together  -  the role of   airports   (of Hence the need for that gateway drug of military intervention: the no-fly zone), the role of ”  mercenaries  ” (meaning, simply, black people), and  the threat of ”  genocide (geared toward language of the UN doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect). As goofy and totally unfounded assertion that era,  he was intelligent, improvising three horrible myths, one of them grounded in racist discourse and practice that endures to the present, with new atrocities reported against black immigrants in Libya and Africa on a daily basis. He was not alone in making these claims.

Among others like him,   Soliman Bouchuiguir, president of the Libyan League for Human Rights  , told Reuters on March 14 that if Gaddafi’s forces reached Benghazi, “there will be a suite of royal blood, a slaughter as we saw in Rwanda. “ That’s not the only time he remembered about Rwanda. Here was Lt. General Roméo Dallaire, the much  worshiped Canadian force commander of the UN peacekeeping  mission for Rwanda in 1994, currently an appointed senator in the Canadian Parliament and co-director of the project will intervene in Concordia University. Dallaire, in a race to judgment dizzying speed,  not only made ​​repeated references to Rwanda when trying to explain Libya, he  spoke of Gaddafi   as “employing genocidal threats to ‘cleanse Libya  house by house. ‘”This is a If it was taken selective attention to Gaddafi’s rhetorical excesses too seriously, when on other occasions, the powers that be rather quick to dismiss it:  U.S. State Department spokesman,   Mark Toner   scared Gaddafi alleged  threats Europe,  saying that Gaddafi is “someone who has given to overblown rhetoric”.

How very calm, by contrast, as very convenient, because on February 23,   President Obama said   he had instructed his  administration to reach a “choice” to take against Gaddafi.

But  “genocide” has a well established   international legal definition, as seen repeatedly in the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, where  genocide involves the persecution of a “one national, ethnical, racial or religious group “

Not all violence is “genocidal.”  domestic violence  is not genocide. Genocide is not just “lots of violence”  nor violence  against undifferentiated civilians. How much Dabbashi, Dallaire, and others do not was to identify  the group of national, ethnic, racial or religious persecution, and how they differ in terms of the alleged perpetrators of genocide.  They really should know better   (and do), one as UN ambassador and the other as a more exalted and lecturer on genocide expert. This suggests that myth-making was either deliberate, or founded on prejudice.

What foreign military intervention did, however, was to enable the actual genocidal violence that has been routinely sidelined until very recently:  the horrific violence against African migrants and black Libyans  , identified solely on the basis of their skin color .That has carried out  unhindered, without apology  , and until recently,  without much notice  . Indeed,   the media   even collaborates  , rapid to assert without evidence that any captured or dead black man must be a “mercenary”. This is  the genocide that the white, Western world, and those who dominate the “conversation” about Libya, have missed (and not by accident).

Two. Gaddafi is “bombing his own people”.

We must remember that one of the reasons why early in rushing to impose  no-fly zone was to  prevent  Gaddafi using his air force  to bomb “his own people”, a distinct phrasing that echoes what proven in  the demonization of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

On February 21, when the first alarmist  “warnings” about “genocidewere made ​​by the Libyan opposition, both   Al Jazeera   and the   BBC   claimed that Gaddafi had deployed his  air force against protesters, as the BBC “reported “: “Witnesses say warplanes have fired on protesters in the city.” However, on March 1, in a   press conference at the Pentagon  , when asked: ”  Did you see any evidence that he [Gaddafi] actually has fired on his own people from the air?  There were reports of him, but do you have independent confirmation? If so, to what extent? “answered U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, ”  We have seen the press reports, but we have no confirmation of that. ” Backing him up was Admiral Mullen: “That is correct.  we ‘ve seen no confirmation whatsoever. “

In fact, claims that Gaddafi also used  helicopters against unarmed protesters  are   totally unfounded, a pure invention based on false claims.  This is important since it was Gaddafi’s domination of Libyan air space that  foreign interventionists wanted to nullify, and therefore myths of atrocities perpetrated in the air took on added value of providing a starting point for  foreign military intervention  that went far beyond any mandate  to “protect civilians”.

David Kirkpatrick of   The New York Times  , as early as   March 21   confirmed that, “the rebels feel no loyalty to the truth in shaping their propaganda, claiming that there are no battlefield victories, asserting they were still fighting in a key city days after it fell to Qaddafi forces, and making highly exaggerated claims of his barbaric behavior “. The “so inflated claims” are what became part of the  folklore of the imperial environment events in Libya,  that suited Western intervention. Rarely did the Benghazi-based question journalistic crowd or contradict their hosts.

Three. Save Benghazi.

This article is being written as the Libyan opposition forces march on Sirte and Sabha, the two last remaining strongholds of the Gaddafi government, with ominous  warnings to the population to be delivered, or otherwise. Apparently,  Benghazi  became somewhat of a  “holy city”  in international discourse  dominated by leaders of the European Union and NATO. 

Benghazi was the  only city on earth that could not touch. It was like a sacred place.  Tripoli?   Sirte?   Sabha? These can be sacrificed, as we all look on, without a hint of protest from any of the existing powers-that, even as   the first reports   of how the opposition has slaughtered people in Tripoli. So back to the  Benghazi myth.

If we wait another day, “said Barack Obama  in his  March 28 address  , Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte,  could suffer a slaughter  that have affected the region and stained the conscience of the world. “

In a   joint letter,  Obama with Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy,  said:. “By responding immediately, our countries advancing Gaddafi forces stopped the bloodbath he had promised to inflict on the citizens of the besieged city of Benghazi has been prevented. Tens of thousands of lives have been protected. ” Not only  French aircraft bombed  retreating column, what we saw was   a very short column   that included trucks and ambulances, and  that clearly could have neither destroyed nor occupied Benghazi.

Apart from the “exaggerated rhetoric” Gaddafi, the U.S. were quick to dismiss when it suited its purposes, it is not up to date yet you provided no evidence that programs of Benghazi would have witnessed  the loss of “tens of thousands” of lives as proclaimed by Obama.Cameron and Sarkozy  This by Professor Alan J. is best explained Kuperman in  ”  False pretense for war in Libya?  “

“The best proof that Gaddafi did not plan genocide in Benghazi is that do not occur in the other cities that were fully or partially recovered, including Zawiya, Misurata, and Ajdabiya, which together have a population greater than Benghazi ….  Gaddafi acts were far from Rwanda, Darfur, Congo, Bosnia, and other killing fields  …. Despite ubiquitous mobile phones equipped with cameras and video, there is  no graphic evidence of deliberate slaughter  …. Nor Gaddafi increasingly threatens slaughter of civilians in Benghazi,  as Obama says  .’s warning ‘mercilessly’, March 17, targeted rebels only, as reported by The New York Times, which noted that Libya’s leader promised a amnesty for those “who throw their weapons away.” Qaddafi even offered the rebels an escape route and open border to Egypt, to avoid a fight “to the bitter end.”

In a bitter irony, what evidence there is of massacres, committed by both sides, is now found in Tripoli in recent days, months  after NATO imposed its “life-saving” military measures .

Revenge killings daily reported most frequently, including   the slaughter of black Libyans and African migrants   by rebel forces. Another sad irony: in Benghazi,  which the insurgents have held for months, well after Gaddafi forces were repulsed, not even that has prevented violence: revenge killings have been reported  there too, the lowest number 6 below.

April. African mercenaries.

Patrick Cockburn   summarized the functional utility of  the myth of the “African mercenary”  and the context in which it arose: ”  Since February, the insurgents, often supported by foreign powers, said the battle was  between Gaddafi  and his family on the one hand,  and the Libyan people, on the other. Their explanation of t that large pro-Gaddafi forces was that they were all mercenaries, mostly from black Africa, whose only motive was money. “

As he notes,  black prisoners were put on display for the media (which is a violation of the Geneva Convention), but Amnesty International later found that all the prisoners had supposedly been released since  none of them were fighters, but rather were undocumented workers  from Mali, Chad and West Africa.

The myth was useful  for the opposition to insist that this was a war between “Gaddafi and the Libyan people,” as if he had no domestic support at all an absolute and colossal lie so that one might think that only children small could believe  such a fantastic story.  Myth is also  useful for cementing the intended rupture between “the new Libya” and Pan-Africanism,  realigning Libya with  Europe and the “modern world”, which the opposition so explicitly crave.

The “African mercenary” myth, as was deadly,  racist practice, is a fact that paradoxically has been both documented and ignored it. Months ago he offered me a   comprehensive review of  the role of the media, led by   Al Jazeera, as well as planting media, in creating the African mercenary myth.

Deviations from the norm of  vilifying Sub-Saharan Africans and black Libyans  that instead documented the abuse of these civilians, were the   Los Angeles Times,   Human Rights Watch  which found  no evidence of mercenaries at all in eastern Libya (in contradiction to the claims presented as truth by   Al Arabiya   and  The Telegraph, among others such as   TIME   and  The Guardian).

In a rare departure from  the propaganda about the black mercenary  threat which Al Jazeera and its journalists helped to actively disseminate,  Al Jazeera  produced  a single report   focusing on theft, murder, and abduction of black residents  in the eastern Libya (now that  CBS  , Channel 4 , and others are noting the racism, Al Jazeera is trying to ambiguously   show some interest ). Finally, there is a growing recognition of these facts of media collaboration in the racist media defamation  of civilian deaths insurgents see FAIR: ”  NYT Points Out of the racist overtones of misinformation in Libya, which helped spread  “. 

The racist attacks and murders of African Saharan black Libyans and  continues to the present.

Patrick Cockburn   and   Kim Sengupta   speak of the recently discovered mass of “rotting bodies of 30 men, almost all black and many handcuffed, slaughtered as they lay on stretchers and even  in an ambulance in central Tripoli“.

Even while showing us   video of hundreds of bodies   in the Abu Salim hospital,  the BBC dares not highlight the fact  that most of those who are clearly black people, and even wonders about who might have killed.  This does not is a question for the anti-Gaddafi forces  interviewed by Sengupta: “Come and verify. These are blacks, Africans, hired by Gaddafi, mercenaries,” shouted Ahmed Bin Sabri, lifting the tent door to show the body of a dead patient, his gray dark red blood-stained shirt, the saline pipe running into his arm black with flies. Why had an injured man receiving treatment been executed? “

Recent reports reveal the insurgents involved in   ethnic cleansing against black Libyans in Tawergha, the insurgents calling themselves “the brigade for purging slaves, black skin,” vowing that in  the “new” Libya  to Tawergha blacks would be   excluded from health care and schooling   in nearby Misrata, from which black Libyans had already been   expelled by the insurgents.

Today,  Human Rights Watch has reported: “Dark Skin Libyans and sub-Saharan Africans face  particular risks because rebel forces and other armed groups  have often considered them  Gadhafi mercenaries from other African countries have seen.  Violent attacks and killings of these  people in areas where the National Transitional Council took control “.

Amnesty International   has also just reported on the disproportionate detention of black Africans in rebel-controlled Al-Zawiya of and the  targeting of unarmed, migrant farm workers.

Reports continue to rise   as it is being written, with other human rights groups finding evidence of  the insurgents targeting Sub-Saharan African migrant workers. As president of the African Union,   Jean Ping, recently stated. “NTC seems to confuse black people with mercenaries. All blacks are mercenaries  If you do that, it means (that)  one third of the population of Libya, which is black , is also mercenaries. they are killing people, normal workers, mistreating them. ” (For more information, see the  list of the last reports   I have collected.)

The “African mercenary” myth continues  to be one of the most vicious of all the myths, and the most racist. Even in recent days, newspapers such as the   Boston Globe  uncritically and unconditionally show  photographs of   black victims   or   black detainees   with the immediate assertion that they must be mercenaries, despite the lack of evidence.

Instead, it is usually provided with casual assertions that Gaddafi is ”  known to have “recruited Africans from other nations in the past, without even bothering to  find out if those shown in the photos are black   Libyans. The lynching of two black Libyans and sub-Saharan African migrant workers  has been continuous and has not received any expression of concern, even nominal U.S. and NATO members , nor has aroused the interest of the  so-called “International Criminal Court”.

It is no coincidence, and some that is justice for the victims, and that is all stop these heinous crimes that  clearly constitute a case of ethnic cleansing.  The media, only now, is becoming increasingly aware of the need to cover these crimes, if any overlooked for months.

May. Viagra-fueled rapes mass.

The reported crimes and human rights violations of the Gaddafi regime are awful necessary, it is not that one has to wonder  why someone would make up stories  like that of Gaddafi’s troops, with erections powered by Viagra, going on a rape spree.
Maybe it was sold, because it is the kind of story that  ”  captures the imagination of the public traumatized  “. This article was taken so seriously that some people  started writing to Pfizer to get it to stop selling Viagra to Libya, since its product was allegedly used as a weapon of war. People who otherwise should know better, set out deliberately to mislead international public opinion.
The Viagra story was first disseminated by Al Jazeera, in collaboration with its rebel partners,  favored by the Qatari regime that funds Al Jazeera. It was then  redistributed  by almost all other  major Western media  .

Luis Moreno Ocampo ***(THE RAPIST), chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, appeared before the world media to say that   there was “evidence”   that   Gaddafi distributed Viagra   to his troops in order to ”  increase the possibility of rape  “and that Gaddafi   ordered  the rape of hundreds of women. Moreno-Ocampo insisted: ”  We are receiving information that Gaddafi decided to rape  “and that”  we have information  that   there was a policy to rape  in Libya those who were against the government. ” Also exclaimed that Viagra is “like a machete,” and that ”  Viagra is a tool of massive rape. “

In a surprise to the Security Council of the UN Declaration   U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice  also asserted that Gaddafi  was supplying his troops it with Viagra to encourage mass rape.

She offered   no evidence   to support THIS claim. In fact,  U.S. military and intelligence sources flatly contradicted Rice, telling NBC News that  “there is no evidence that Libyan military forces are receiving Viagra  and participation in systematic rape against women in rebel areas.”  Rice  is a liberal interventionist who was one of those  to persuade Obama to intervene in Libya.  She used this  myth because it helped her make the case at the UN  that there was  no “moral equivalence”  between Gaddafi abuses on the rights and insurgent .

U.S. Secretary of State   Hillary Clinton  also stated  that “Gaddafi’s forces on security and other groups in the region are trying to divide the people by using  violence against women and rape as a weapon of war, and United States condemns this in the strongest possible terms. ” He added that  it was “deeply concerned”  by these reports of “large-scale violations.” (Ha, so far,  said nothing at all about racist lynchings of the rebels  .)

On June 10,  Cherif Bassiouni, who is leading an inquiry into the rights of the United Nations on the situation in Libya, suggested that  the reporting of Viagra and mass rape was part of a “  massive hysteria  “.

In fact, both sides of the war have made ​​the same accusations against each other.  Bassiouni also told the press   of a case of “a woman who claimed to have sent  70,000 questionnaires and received 60,000 responses, of which 259 reported sexual abuse “.

However, his teams  asked for those questionnaires, they  never will-”was, but she goes around the world telling everybody about it  … so now I have that information to Ocampo and Ocampo is convinced that here we have potential 259 women who have responded to the fact that they have been sexually abused, “Bassiouni said.

He also noted that “there appears to be credible that the woman was able to send  70,000 questionnaires  in March  when the postal service was not working “.

In fact, Bassiouni’s team  “uncovered only four alleged cases” of rape and sexual abuse: ”  Can we come to a conclusion that there is a systematic policy of rape in my opinion, can not we?  “. In addition to the UN,  Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International said in an interview   with French daily   Libération  , that  Amnesty had “not found cases of rape  ….

Not only  we are not all victims, but  we have not even met people who have met victims.  Regarding boxes Viagra that Gaddafi is supposed to have had distributed, which were found intact near tanks that were burned completely. “

However, this  did not stop some news manufacturers  from trying to maintain the rape claims, in modified form.

The BBC   came to add another layer of only a few days after Bassiouni humiliated the ICC and the media:  the BBC now claimed  that rape victims in  Libya “honor killings” faced. This is news to the few Libyans  I know, who  ever heard talk about honor killings in their country.

The academic literature  on Libya turns into  little or nothing  on this phenomenon in Libya.  Myth of honor crimes  serves a useful purpose for  keeping the mass rape claim on life support: it suggests that women no show and witness, for shame. Also just a few days after Bassiouni spoke,  Libyan insurgents, in collaboration with CNN, made ​​a last effort to save the rape allegations:   a cell phone with a video of the violation it was presented ., claiming that it belonged to a soldier of the government  of men appearing in the video are in civilian clothes. No evidence of Viagra.  It is  no date  on the video and we have no idea  who recorded it or where. Those with mobile phone stated that many other videos existed, but they were conveniently being destroyed to preserve the “honor” of the victims.

6. Responsibility to Protect (R2P).

Having asserted, wrongly as we saw, that Libya before the impending “genocide” at the hands of Gaddafi’s forces, it became easier for Western powers to invoke 2005 UN doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect  .

Meanwhile, it is not entirely clear at the time that  the Security Council  adopted Resolution 1973 that  the violence in Libya  had even reached the levels seen in  Egypt, Syria and Yemen.

The most common refrain against critics of the selectivity of this supposed “humanitarian interventionism” is that the fact that the West can not intervene   everywhere   does not mean it should not intervene in   Libya. Maybe … but that still does not explain  why Libya was the chosen destination. This is a critical point because   some of the first reviews of theR2P   expressed in the UN raised the issue of  selectivity, of who decides and why some crises where civilians are targeted (  eg Gaza) are essentially ignored, while others receive maximum concern, and whether R2P served as the new fig leaf for hegemonic geopolitics.

The myth  at work here is that  foreign military intervention  was guided by humanitarian concerns.  For the myth, one has to willfully ignore at least three key realities.

One  you have to ignore  the new scramble for Africa, where Chinese interests are seen as competing with the West for access to resources and political influence, something thatAFRICOM wants to challenge  .  

Gaddafi challenged AFRICOM’s intent   to establish military bases in Africa.  AFRICOM has become  directly involved   in the Libya intervention and specifically ”  Operation Odyssey Dawn  “.

Horace Campbell   argued that ”  U.S. involvement  in the bombing of Libya is becoming a public relations ploy for  AFRICOM  “and an” opportunity to give AFRICOM credibility  under the facade of the Libyan intervention “. In addition,  Gaddafi’s power  and influence on the continent had also been  increasing, through aid, investment, and   a series of projects  designed to reduce  Africa’s dependence on the West  and to challenge Western institutions multilateral by building African unity it represented a rival U.S. interests.

Secondly, you have to just ignore the  anxiety  of Western oil interests   on “Gaddafi resource nationalism  “(threatening to take back what oil companies had gained), an anxiety now clearly manifest   in the   European corporate rush   Libya  to   collect  the spoils of victory, but one has to  ignore the fear  of what Gaddafi was doing with those oil revenues in  supporting greater African economic independence,  and for history to support national liberation movements  that challenged Western hegemony.

 Thirdly, one has to also ignore the fear in Washington that the  U.S. was losing control over the course of the ”  Arab revolution  “. How can stack up these realities, and match them against ambiguous and partial  “humanitarian concerns”, then the conclusion that,   yes,   human rights is what mattered most, seems entirely implausible and unconvincing- especially with the atrocious record of NATO and the U.S. violations of human rights  in  AfghanistanIraq, and before that  Kosovo [Serbia]. The humanitarian perspective is simply neither credible  nor even minimally logical.

If  R2P  is seen as founded on  moral hypocrisy  and contradiction  -now definitively revealed-it will become much more difficult in the future to cry wolf again and expect to get a respectful hearing. This is especially the case since little in the way of diplomacy and peaceful negotiation preceded the military intervention-while Obama is   accused by some   of having been slow to react, this was if anything  a rush to war, in a rate that far surpassed by  Bush’s invasion of Iraq.

We not only know of the  African Union   about how its efforts to establish a peaceful transition were impeded, but Dennis Kucinich also reveals that received reports that  a peaceful solution is at hand, only  to be ”  scuttled by officials of the Department. “These are absolutely critical violations of the R2P doctrine, showing how those ideals could instead be used for a practice that involved  a hasty march to war, and war aimed at regime change  (  which is itself a violation of international law  ). 

That R2P served as a justifying myth that often achieved the opposite of its stated objectives, it is no longer a surprise. I’m  talking not even  here  the role of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in bombing Libya  and aiding the insurgents, even as a copy of  the Saudi military intervention  to crush the pro-democracy protests  in Bahrain, nor of cast ugly mantle in an intervention led by consumer tastes indisputable human rights who have committed war crimes with impunity in  Kosovo [Serbia],  Iraq  and  Afghanistan.

I am taking a narrower approach, such as  the documented cases  where  NATO  even not only willfully failed to protect civilians in Libya, but deliberately and consciously attacked in a manner that constitutes  terrorism  by most definitions officers used  by Western governments.

NATO  admitted to deliberately targeting Libya’s state television,  killing three  civilian reporters, in a move condemned by international journalist federations as   a direct violation of resolution 2006 of the Security Council  which prohibits attacks against journalists.

A U.S. Apache helicopter in a repeat of the infamous crimes listed in the  Collateral Murder video  -  gunned down civilians in the central square of Zawiya,  killing the brother of the information minister among others. Taking a fairly wide of what constitutes “command and control facilities” concept  targeting NATO civilian  residential space resulting in the death of some of the  members of the Gaddafi family, including   three grandchildren .

As if to protect  the myth of “protecting civilians”  and the unconscionable contradiction of a  “war for human rights, the  mainstream media  often  kept  silent   about  civilian deaths  caused by  NATO bombings.

R2P has been invisible when it comes to civilians targeted by NATO.

As for the failure to protect civilians, so that’s actually a  international crime, have numerous reports of  NATO ships ignoring the distress calls of refugee boats in the Mediterranean fleeing Libya.

In May,   61 African refugees died  on a single vessel, despite making contact with vessels belonging to  NATO  member states.  In a repeat of the situation,   dozens died in early  August   on another vessel.

In fact,  NATO  Watch, at least   1,500 refugees fleeing Libya have died at sea   since the war began. Were mostly  sub-Saharan Africans  , and they died in multiples of the death toll suffered  by Benghazi during the protests. R2P was utterly absent for these people.

NATO  has developed  a peculiar  terminological twist for Libya, designed to  absolve the rebels of any role  in the commission of  crimes  against civilians, and abdicating its responsibility to protect call.

Throughout the war,  spokespersons for NATO and the governments of the U.S. and Europe  always portrayed all actions of the Gaddafi forces as “threatening civilians,” even when in either defensive actions, or combat against armed opponents.

For example, this week  the NATO spokesperson, Roland Lavoie  , “appeared to struggle to explain how  NATO strikes were protecting civilians  at this stage in the conflict. Asked about  NATO’s assertion that hit 22 armed vehicles near Sirte on Monday,   was unable to say how the vehicles were threatening civilians, or whether they were in motion or parked. “

By  protecting the rebels, to the same extent that spoke of protecting civilians, it is clear that  NATO intended  to see Gaddafi’s armed opponents as mere civilians.

Interestingly, in  Afghanistan, where  NATO and the U.S.  fund, train and armed  that Karzai regime in attacking “his own people”  (as they do in  Pakistan), the armed opponents are labeled “terrorists” or “insurgents”-even if most of them are civilians who have never served in an army of official recognition. They are insurgents in Afghanistan, and their deaths at the hands of  NATO  are listed separately counts of civilian casualties. By  magic, in Libya, they are all “civilians”. In response to the announcement of  the UN Security Council  voting for military intervention, a volunteer translator for Western reporters in Tripoli made   ​​this key observation  : “? Civilians holding guns, and want to protect it is a joke .  We are civilians. What about us? “

NATO  has been a shield for the insurgents in Libya  to victimize unarmed civilians  in areas they came to occupy. There was no hint of any “responsibility to protect” in these cases.  NATO helped the rebels  in the  famine of Tripoli   of supplies, subjecting its civilian population  to a site that deprived  those of  water, food, medicine and fuel.

When Gaddafi was accused of doing this to   Misrata, the international  media  were quick to cite  this as a war crime.

Save Misrata, kill Tripoli  -whatever you want to label as “logic”  humanitarian   is not an acceptable option. Leaving aside the documented crimes by the insurgents against black Libyans and African migrant workers, the insurgents were also found by   Human Rights Watch  to have engaged in “looting, arson, and abuse of civilians in [four] people recently captured in western Libya. “

In Benghazi, which the insurgents have held for months now, revenge killings have been reported by  The New York Times   as late as May this year, and by   Amnesty International  in late June and the judgment of the Board of the National Transitional insurgents. Responsibility to Protect?  was now sounds like something deserving wild mockery.

7. Gaddafi, the Devil.

Depending on your perspective, either  Gaddafi is a heroic revolutionary, and thus  the demonization by the West is extreme, or Gaddafi is a very bad man, in which case the demonization is unnecessary and absurd.

The myth is that the history of power Gaddafi was marked by atrocity, only  that he is completely evil, without any redeeming qualities, and anyone accused of  being a “follower of Gaddafi”  must somehow  feel more ashamed  than those who  openly support NATO.

This is binary absolutism  at its worst, virtually any permission made ​​regarding the possibility that some may not support Gaddafi, the insurgents, nor NATO. Everyone was to be forced into one of these fields,  no exceptions allowed.  The result was a phony debate, dominated by fanatics of either side. lost in the discussion, recognition of the obvious: however much Gaddafi had been “in bed” with the West in the last decade, his forces were now fighting NATO-driven take over of his country.

The other result was  the impoverishment of historical consciousness, and the degradation of more complex appreciations of the full breadth of the Gaddafi record. This would help explain why some do not rush to condemn and disown the man (without having to resort to crude caricature children and their motivations).

While even   Glenn Greenwald   feels the need to properly insert, “No decent human being possibly harboring any sympathy for Gaddafi,”  I have known decent human beings in Nicaragua, Trinidad, Dominica, and among the Mohawks in Montreal, I very much appreciate Gaddafi’s support  -not to mention his support for various  national liberation movements, including the struggle against apartheid in  South Africa.

Gaddafi regime has many faces: some are seen by his domestic opponents, others are seen by recipients of his aid, and others smiled  at the likes of   Silvio Berlusconi,  Nicolas Sarkozy,   Condoleeza Rice,  Hillary Clinton   and   Barack Obama  .

There are many faces, and they are both true. Some refuse to “disown” Gaddafi,  to “apologize” for his friendship  towards them, no matter how distasteful, indecent, and embarrassing other “progressives” may find him. That has to be respected, instead of this now  fashionable bullying bumps and the gang  that reduces a range of positions on a lesser charge:  “you support a dictator”  . Ironically, we support many dictators, with our own tax money, and they usually offer  no apologies for this fact.

Speaking of the breadth of Gaddafi registration, which must resist the simplistic reduction revisionist, some might care to note that   even now  , the U.S. State Department  website in Libya   points to a  Library of Congress Country Study   on Libya that features some of the Gaddafi government  many social welfare achievements  in recent years in the  areas of  health care,  public housing  and   the education. In addition, Libyans have the highest literacy rate in Africa (see UNDP, p 171.) And Libya is the only African country to “high” in the Human Development Index of UNDP.  Even the   BBC recognized these achievements:

” Women in Libya are free  to work and to dress as they like, subject to family obligations. Life expectancy is in the seventies. And per capita income-while not as high as could be expected given Libya  ‘s oil wealth  and relatively small  p  -offering of 6.5 m is estimated at  $ 12,000 (£ 9,000), according to the World Bank.  Illiteracy has been almost wiped out  because homelessness is a chronic problem in the pre-Gaddafi era  where corrugated iron shacks dotted many urban centers around the country. “

So if one supports health care, makes a medium compatible with dictatorship?  And if “the dictator”  funds public housing and subsidizes incomes,  which simply erasing facts from our memory?

8. Freedom Fighters of Angels.

The complement to the demonization of Gaddafi was  the angelization of the “rebels”  .My goal here is not to counter the myth through investment, and demonizing all of Gaddafi’s opponents, who have many serious and legitimate grievances, and in large numbers have clearly had more than they can bear. I am interested in place  as “we” in the  North Atlantic part of the equation,  the construction of   the   ways that suit   our  intervention.

A standard way, repeated in  different ways through a range of media  and government spokesmen U.S. , can be seen in this   New York Times  ‘   depiction of  the rebels  as “secular-minded professionals-  lawyers , academics, businesspeople-who talk about democracy, transparency, human rights  and the rule of law. “

The list of professions  familiar to the American middle class  which respects them, is meant to inspire  a shared sense of identification  between readers and the Libyan opposition, especially when you consider that it is in the  hand of Gaddafi, where the forces of darkness dwell: the main “professions” we find are  torturer, terrorist, and African mercenary.

For many weeks it was  almost impossible to get reporters  embedded with the rebel National Transitional Council in Benghazi to begin to provide a description of what constitutes anti-Gaddafi movement, if it was one organization or many groups,  what their agendas They were, and so on.

The subtle thread in the reports was that cast  the rebellion as entirely  spontaneous and indigenous  - that may be true in part, and may also be an oversimplification.

Among the reports that significantly complicated the picture were those that discussed the  CIA ties to the insurgents   (for more information, see   this  ,   this  ,   this  , and that  ), while others highlighted the role of the  National Foundation  for Democracy, the International Republican  Institute  , the National Democratic Institute and  USAID  , which have been active  in Libya since 2005  , which detailed the role of various   expatriate groups , and reports of the active role of   “radical Islamist”  militias  embedded within the overall insurgency, with some pointing to   Al Qaeda  connections  .

Some feel a definite need to be on  the side of “good, “especially  as neither Iraq nor Afghanistan  offer a sense as fair claim.  Americans want the world to see them as doing good, it is, not only indispensable, but also irreproachable. You can wish for anything better than being seen as the forgiveness of their sins in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a special moment, where the bad guy can safely be the other once again.  A world that is safe for America is a world that is unsafe for evil.  Marching Band, cane handles, Anderson Cooper , confetti, we got it.  

9. The victory for the Libyan people.

To say that the current turn in Libya represents  a victory by the Libyan people  in charting their own destiny, at best, an oversimplification that masks the range of interests involved from the beginning in  the development and determining  the course of events on the ground, and that  ignores the fact that much of the war Gaddafi was able to rely on a solid base of popular support.

As early as February 25, just one week after the start of the first street protests,  Nicolas Sarkozy had already determined that Gaddafi “must go”. On 28 February,  David Cameron,  began working on a proposal for  a no-fly exclusion  of these statements and decisions were made ​​without any attempt at dialogue and diplomacy.

At March 30,   The New York Times   reported that  for “several weeks” CIA operatives had been working inside Libya, which would mean they were there  from mid-February, ie, when the protests began-they were joined then  inside Libya “dozens of British special forces officers and intelligence MI6. “

The   New York Times   also reported in the same article that “several weeks” before (again, in mid-February), President Obama Several “signed a secret finding authorizing the CIA to provide  arms and other support to the rebels Libyans  “with the support of” other “has a number of possible”  covert actions  “.

USAID had already  sent a team   to Libya   in early March.  late March,   Obama publicly stated   that the goal was to overthrow Gaddafi. In terms awfully suspicious, ”  said a senior U.S.   administration had hoped that  the Libyan uprising  would evolve ‘organically,  ‘like those in  Tunisia  and Egypt,  without foreign intervention “sounding as t exactly  what kind of statesmen  ta makes when something  begins in a way  that is not “organic” and when comparing events in Libya, marked by a potential legitimacy deficit when compared to those in Tunisia and Egypt.

However, on March 14 the  NTC   Abdel Hafiz Goga  said: “We are able to control all of Libya, but only after the no-fly zone is imposed we”-that is not yet the case even six months later.

In recent days it has also revealed that what the rebel leadership   swore, “boots foreign field” oppose  is actually a reality   confirmed by NATO  ”  troops of special forces  from Britain, France Jordan and Qatar on  the ground in Libya  have stepped up operations in Tripoli and other cities in recent days to help rebel forces as they conducted their final advance on the Gaddafi regime. “

This, and   other summaries  only scratching the surface of the range of external support provided to the rebels.  Myth is that nationalist, self-sufficient rebel, fueled entirely by popular support.

At the moment, war supporters are proclaiming the intervention a “success”. It should be noted that there was another case in which an  air campaign, deployed to  support local armed militia  on the ground,  with the help of U.S.  covert military  operations, also succeeded in deposing another regime, and even much faster.  That case was Afghanistan. Success.

10. Defeat of “the left.”

As if reenacting the pattern of articles condemning “the left” that came in the wake of  the Iran  election protests in 2009 (see as examples   Hamid Dabashi   and   Slavoj Žižek  ), the war in Libya once again seemed to have submitted a  chance to go to the left, as if this were top on the agenda, as if “the left” was   the   problem to be addressed.

Here we see articles, in various  states of intellectual and political deterioration, by  Juan Cole   (see some of the rebuttals: ”  The case of Professor Juan Cole, “”  An open letter to Professor Juan Cole: The answer to a libel “,”  WSWS ‘answers’ Professor Cole on Libya: An admission of intellectual and political bankruptcy“), Gilbert Achcar   (and   this especially), Immanuel Wallerstein, and   Helena Sheehan  who apparently some of its most important conclusions reached in the airport at the end of his first visit to Tripoli.

There seems to be some  confusion over roles and identities. There is no homogeneous left, nor me  ideological agreement  among  anti-imperialists (which includes conservatives and liberals, between anarchists and Marxists).

Nor was the “anti-imperialist left”  in any position to make a real or damage on the ground, as in the case of  the actual protagonists.

There was little chance that the anti-interventionists in influencing foreign policy, which took shape in  Washington, before the serious critiques against intervention were published.

These points indicate that at least some of the reviews are moved by concerns that go beyond Libya, and they even have little to do with Libya ultimately. The most common accusation is that  the anti-imperialist left  is somehow coddling a dictator.

The argument is that this is based on a flawed analysis-in criticizing the position of  Hugo Chávez, Wallerstein says Chávez’s analysis is deeply flawed, and offers this among the criticisms: “The second point missed by Hugo Chavez’s analysis is that there is  not going any significant military involvement  of the western world in Libya “(yes, read it again). In fact, many of the counterarguments deployed against  the anti-interventionist  eco left or all the top myths that were dismantled above, that get their breed almost entirely wrong geopolitical analysis, and that pursue politics focused on part on personality and events of the day. This also shows us the deep poverty of the policy assumptions primarily on simplistic and one-sided ideas of  “human rights”  and “protection”(see Richard Falk’s critique), and the success of  the new military humanism  in diverting the energies left.

And a question persists:  if those opposed to intervention were faulted for providing  a moral shield for “dictatorship”  (as if  imperialism was not itself  one global  dictatorship), what about those  humanitarians  who have supported increasing  xenophobia and racism militants so many accounts engage in ethnic cleansing?

Does this mean that  the pro-interventionist  people racist? Even object racism? So far, I have heard  only silence  from those quarters.

The agenda on the forehead, beating  masks anti-imperialist straw man an effort to curb dissent against  an unnecessary war  that has lasted and expanded  human suffering; advanced the cause of war corporatists, transnational  companies  and  neoliberals, destroyed the legitimacy of  multilateral institutions  that were once openly committed to peace in international relations; violated  international law  and human rights, witnessed the emergence of  racist violence, to  the imperial state to justify  its continued expansion, violated  national laws, and reduces  the discourse of humanitarianism  to a mere handful of slogans, reactionary impulses, and policy formulas that  privilege war  as a first option.

Actually, the left is the problem here?  

Maximilian Forte   is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada Professor. Their website can be found at http://openanthropology.org/ ~ ~ V   like his   previous articles  on Libya and other facets of imperialism.

“Lessons from Libya: How Not to Intervene”


“Lessons from Libya: How Not to Intervene”

 

Policy Brief, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

September 2013

Author: Alan Kuperman, Former Research Fellow,International Security Program, 2000–2001

Belfer Center Programs or ProjectsQuarterly Journal: International Security

This policy brief is based on “A Model Humanitarian Intervention? Reassessing NATO’s Libya Campaign,” which appears in the Summer 2013 issue of International Security.

"Lessons from Libya: How Not to Intervene"

In this March 2, 2011 photo, Libyan protesters burn copies of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s “Green Book” during a demonstration against him in Benghazi, eastern Libya.
AP Photo/ Kevin Frayer

BOTTOM LINES

• The Conventional Wisdom Is Wrong. Libya‘s 2011 uprising was never peaceful, but instead was armed and violent from the start. Muammar al-Qaddafi did not target civilians or resort to indiscriminate force. Although inspired by humanitarian impulse, NATO’s intervention did not aim mainly to protect civilians, but rather to overthrow Qaddafi‘s regime, even at the expense of increasing the harm to Libyans.

• The Intervention Backfired. NATO’s action magnified the conflict’s duration about sixfold and its death toll at least sevenfold, while also exacerbating human rights abuses, humanitarian suffering, Islamic radicalism, and weapons proliferation in Libya and its neighbors. If Libya was a “modelintervention,” then it was a model of failure.

• Three Lessons. First, beware rebel propaganda that seeks intervention by falsely crying genocide. Second, avoid intervening on humanitarian grounds in ways that reward rebels and thus endanger civilians, unless the state is already targeting noncombatants. Third, resist the tendency of humanitarian intervention to morph into regime change, which amplifies the risk to civilians.

 

A MODEL INTERVENTION?

Many commentators have praised NATO’s 2011 intervention in Libya as a humanitarian success for averting a bloodbath in that country’s second largest city, Benghazi, and helping eliminate the dictatorial regime of Muammar al-Qaddafi. These proponents accordingly claim that the intervention demonstrates how to successfully implement a humanitarian principle known as the responsibility to protect (R2P). Indeed, the top U.S. representatives to the transatlantic alliance declared that “NATO’s operation in Libya has rightly been hailed as a model intervention.” A more rigorous assessment, however, reveals that NATO’s intervention backfired: it increased the duration of Libya’s civil war by about six times and its death toll by at least seven times, while also exacerbating human rights abuses, humanitarian suffering, Islamic radicalism, and weapons proliferation in Libya and its neighbors. If this is a “model intervention,” then it is a model of failure.

FLAWED NARRATIVE

The conventional account of Libya’s conflict and NATO’s intervention is misleading in several key aspects. First, contrary to Western media reports, Qaddafi did not initiate Libya’s violence by targeting peaceful protesters. The United Nations and Amnesty International have documented that in all four Libyan cities initially consumed by civil conflict in mid-February 2011—Benghazi, Al Bayda, Tripoli, and Misurata—violence was actually initiated by the protesters. The government responded to the rebels militarily but never intentionally targeted civilians or resorted to “indiscriminate” force, as Western media claimed. Early press accounts exaggerated the death toll by a factor of ten, citing “more than 2,000 deaths” in Benghazi during the initial days of the uprising, whereas Human Rights Watch (HRW) later documented only 233 deaths across all of Libya in that period.

Further evidence that Qaddafi avoided targeting civilians comes from the Libyan city that was most consumed by the early fighting, Misurata. HRW reports that of the 949 people wounded there in the rebellion’s initial seven weeks, only 30 were women or children, meaning that Qaddafi’s forces focused narrowly on combatants. During that same period, only 257 people were killed among the city’s population of 400,000—a fraction less than 0.0006—providing additional proof that the government avoided using force indiscriminately. Moreover, Qaddafi did not perpetrate a “bloodbath” in any of the cities that his forces recaptured from rebels prior to NATO intervention—including Ajdabiya, Bani Walid, Brega, Ras Lanuf, Zawiya, and much of Misurata—so there was virtually no risk of such an outcome if he had been permitted to recapture the last rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

The conventional wisdom is also wrong in asserting that NATO’s main goal in Libya was to protect civilians. Evidence reveals that NATO’s primary aim was to overthrow Qaddafi’s regime, even at the expense of increasing the harm to Libyans. NATO attacked Libyan forces indiscriminately, including some in retreat and others in Qaddafi’s hometown of Sirte, where they posed no threat to civilians. Moreover, NATO continued to aid the rebels even when they repeatedly rejected government cease-fire offers that could have ended the violence and spared civilians. Such military assistance included weapons, training, and covert deployment of hundreds of troops from Qatar, eventually enabling the rebels to capture and summarily execute Qaddafi and seize power in October 2011.

THE INTERVENTION BACKFIRED

The biggest misconception about NATO’s intervention is that it saved lives and benefited Libya and its neighbors. In reality, when NATO intervened in mid-March 2011, Qaddafi already had regained control of most of Libya, while the rebels were retreating rapidly toward Egypt. Thus, the conflict was about to end, barely six weeks after it started, at a toll of about 1,000 dead, including soldiers, rebels, and civilians caught in the crossfire. By intervening, NATO enabled the rebels to resume their attack, which prolonged the war for another seven months and caused at least 7,000 more deaths.

The best development in postwar Libya was the democratic election of July 2012, which brought to office a moderate, secular coalition government—a stark change from Qaddafi’s four-decade dictatorship. Other developments, however, have been less encouraging. The victorious rebels perpetrated scores of reprisal killings and expelled 30,000 mostly black residents of Tawerga on grounds that some had been “mercenaries” for Qaddafi. HRW reported in 2012 that such abuses “appear to be so widespread and systematic that they may amount to crimes against humanity.” Ironically, such racial or ethnic violence had never occurred in Qaddafi’s Libya.

Radical Islamist groups, suppressed under Qaddafi, emerged as the fiercest rebels during the war and refused to disarm or submit to government authority afterward. Their persistent threat was highlighted by the September 2012 attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three of his colleagues. Even more recently, in April 2013, a vehicle bomb destroyed half of the French embassy in the capital, Tripoli. In light of such insecurity, it is understandable that most Libyans responding to a postwar poll expressed nostalgia for a strong leader such as Qaddafi.

Among neighboring countries, Mali, which previously had been the region’s exceptional example of peace and democracy, has suffered the worst consequences from the intervention. After Qaddafi’s defeat, his ethnic Tuareg soldiers of Malian descent fled home and launched a rebellion in their country’s north, prompting the Malian army to overthrow the president. The rebellion soon was hijacked by local Islamist forces and al-Qaida, which together imposed sharia and declared the vast north an independent country. By December 2012, the northern half of Mali had become “the largest territory controlled by Islamic extremists in the world,” according to the chairman of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Africa. This chaos also spurred massive displacement of hundreds of thousands of Malian civilians, which Amnesty International characterized as “Mali’s worst human rights situation in 50 years.”

Sophisticated weapons from Qaddafi’s arsenal—including up to 15,000 man-portable, surface-to-air missiles unaccounted for as of 2012—leaked to radical Islamists throughout the region. NATO’s intervention on behalf of Libya’s rebels also encouraged Syria’s formerly peaceful protesters to switch to violence in mid-2011, in hopes of attracting a similar intervention.The resulting escalation in Syria magnified that country’s killing rate by tenfold.

LESSONS

NATO’s intervention in Libya offers at least three important lessons for implementing the responsibility to protect. First, potential interveners should beware both misinformation and rebel propaganda. If Western countries had accurately perceived Libya’s initial civil conflict—as Qaddafi using discriminate force against violent tribal, regional, and radical Islamist rebels—NATO would have been much less likely to launch its counterproductive intervention.

The second lesson is that humanitarian intervention can backfire by escalating rebellion. This is because some substate groups believe that by violently provoking state retaliation, they can attract such intervention to help achieve their political objectives, including regime change. The resulting escalation, however, magnifies the threat to noncombatants before any potential intervention can protect them. Thus, the prospect of humanitarian intervention, which is intended to protect civilians, may instead imperil them via a moral hazard dynamic. To mitigate this pathology, it is essential to avoid intervening on humanitarian grounds in ways that reward rebels, unless the state is targeting noncombatants.

A final lesson is that intervention initially motivated by the desire to protect civilians is prone to expanding its objective to include regime change, even if doing so magnifies the danger to civilians, contrary to the interveners’ original intent. That is partly because intervening states, when justifying their use of force to domestic and international audiences, demonize the regime of the country they are targeting. This demonization later inhibits the interveners from considering a negotiated settlement that would permit the regime or its leaders to retain some power, which typically would be the quickest way to end the violence and protect noncombatants. Such lessons from NATO’s use of force in Libya suggest the need for considerable caution and a comprehensive exploration of alternatives when contemplating if and how to conduct humanitarian military intervention.

 

RELATED RESOURCES

Crawford, Timothy W., and Alan J. Kuperman, eds. Gambling on Humanitarian Intervention: Moral Hazard, Rebellion, and Civil War (New York: Routledge, 2006).

Kuperman, Alan J. “The Moral Hazard of Humanitarian Intervention: Lessons from the Balkans,”International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 52, No. 1 (March 2008), pp. 49–80.

Roberts, Hugh. “Who Said Gaddafi Had to Go?” London Review of Books, Vol. 33, No. 22 (November 2011), pp. 8–18.

UN Human Rights Council, nineteenth session, “Report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Libya,” A/HRC/19/68, advance unedited version, March 2, 2012.

 

Alan J. Kuperman is Associate Professor of Public Affairs in the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin. During 2013–14, he will be a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace, in Washington, D.C.

 

Statements and views expressed in this policy brief are solely those of the author and do not imply endorsement by Harvard University, the Harvard Kennedy School, or the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

 

For more information about this publication please contact the IS Editorial Assistant at 617-495-1914.

For Academic Citation:

Kuperman, Alan. “Lessons from Libya: How Not to Intervene.” Policy Brief, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, September 2013.

 

source: belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu

Libya and the manufacture of consent


Libya and the manufacture of consent

 

‘There were two interventions, not one, by NATO. One of them lasted about five minutes. That’s the one that was taken under UN Security Resolution 1973, which called for a no-fly zone over Benghazi when there was the threat of a serious massacre there… but the three traditional imperial powers of France, Britain and the United States carried out a second intervention that had nothing to do with protecting civilians and certainly wasn’t a no-fly zone, but was rather about participating in a rebel uprising’

By whitewashing the Libyan rebels and demonising the Gaddafi regime did the leading US intellectual Noam Chomsky help facilitate an imperialist invasion? In a wide-ranging interview with ChomskyDan Glazebrook asks him.

This was a difficult interview for me. It was Noam Chomsky who first opened my eyes to the basic neo-colonial structure of the world and to the role of the corporate media in both disguising and legitimising this structure.

Chomsky has consistently demonstrated how, ever since the end of World War II, military regimes have been imposed on the Third World by the US and its European allies with an ascribed role to keep wages low (and thus investment opportunities high) by wiping out communists, trade unionists, and anyone else deemed a potential threat to empire. He has been at the forefront of exposing the lies and real motives behind the aggression against Iraq, Afghanistan and Serbia in recent years, and against Central America and Southeast Asia before that. But on Libya, in my opinion, he has been terrible.

Don’t get me wrong: now the conquest is nearly over, Chomsky can be quite forthright in his denunciation of it, as he makes clear during the interview. “Right now, at this moment, NATO is bombing a home base of the largest tribe in Libya,” he tells me. “It’s not getting reported much, but if you read the Red Cross reports they’re describing a horrifying humanitarian crisis in the city that’s under attack, with hospitals collapsing, no drugs, people dying, people fleeing on foot into the desert to try to get away from it and so on. That’s happening under the NATO mandate of protecting civilians.”

What bothers me is that this was precisely the mandate that Chomsky supported.

US General Wesley Clark, NATO commander during the bombing of Serbia, revealed on US television seven years ago that the Pentagon had drawn up a “hit list” in 2001 of seven states they wanted to “take out” within five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran. Thanks to the Iraqi and Afghan resistance, the plan has been delayed — but clearly not abandoned. We should, therefore, have been fully expecting the invasion of Libya.

Given former US president George Bush’s cack-handedness over winning global support for the war on Iraq, and Obama’s declared commitment to multilateralism and “soft power”, we should have been expecting this invasion to have been meticulously planned in order to give it a veneer of legitimacy. Given the CIA’s growing fondness for instigating “colour revolutions” to cause headaches for governments it dislikes, we should have been expecting something similar as part of the build-up to the invasion in Libya. And given Obama’s close working relationship with the Clintons, we might have expected this invasion to follow the highly successful pattern established by former US president Bill Clinton in Kosovo: cajoling rebel movements on the ground into making violent provocations against the state, and then screaming genocide at the state’s response in order to terrorise world opinion into supporting intervention.

In other words, we should have seen it coming, and prominent and widely respected intellectuals such as Chomsky should have used their platform to publicise Clark’s revelations, to warn of the coming aggression, and to draw attention to the racist and sectarian nature of the “rebel movements” the US and British governments have traditionally employed to topple non-compliant governments. Chomsky certainly did not need reminding of the unhinged atrocities of the Kosovo Liberation Army, the Nicaraguan Contras, or the Afghan Northern Alliance. Indeed, it was he who helped alert the world to many of them.

But Chomsky did not use his platform to make these points. Instead, in an interview with the BBC one month into the rebellion — and, crucially, just four days before the passing of UN Security Council 1973 and the beginning of the NATO blitzkrieg — he chose to characterise the rebellion as “wonderful”. Elsewhere he referred to the takeover of the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi by racist gangs as “liberation” and to the rebellion as “initially non-violent”.

In an interview with the BBC, he even claimed that “Libya is the one place [in North Africa] where there was a very violent state reaction repressing the popular uprisings,” a claim so divorced from the truth it is hard to know where to begin. Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is currently being prosecuted for the murder of 850 protesters, whereas, according to Amnesty International, only 110 deaths could be confirmed in Benghazi before NATO operations began – and this included pro-government people killed by rebel militia. What really makes Libya exceptional in the North African Arab Spring is that it was the only country in which the rebellion was armed, violent, and openly aimed at facilitating a foreign invasion.

Now that Amnesty has confirmed that the Libyan rebels have been using violence since the very start and have been rounding up and executing black Libyans and African migrants in droves ever since, I began the interview by asking Chomsky whether he now regrets his initial public support for them.

He shrugs. “No. I’m sure what Amnesty International reports is correct — that there were armed elements among them, but notice they didn’t say that the rebellion was an armed rebellion. In fact, the large majority were probably people like us [sic], middle-class opponents of Gaddafi. It was mostly an unarmed uprising. It turned into a violent uprising, and the killings you are describing indeed are going on, but it didn’t start like that. As soon as it became a civil war, then that happened.”*****(he wasn’t there neither Amnesty International and can not have an opinion it was an armed rebellion with four POLICEMEN and a few SOLDIERS brutally murdered.)  

However, in fact it did start like that. The true colours of the rebels were made clear on the second day of the rebellion, 18 February, when they rounded up and executed a group of 50 African migrant workers in the town of Bayda. A week later, a terrified eyewitness told the BBC of another 70 or 80 migrant workers who had been cut to pieces in front of his eyes by rebel forces. These incidents — and many others like them -- had made clear the racist character of the rebel militias well before Chomsky’s BBC interview on 15 March. But Chomsky rejects this. “These things were absolutely not clear, and they weren’t reported. And even afterwards when they were reported, they were not talking about the uprising. They were talking about an element within it.“****(Again it was reported immediately by a colleague of mine to the Business Insider with pictures and videos LIBYAN REBEL WAR CRIMES: The Videos America Doesn’t Want You To See  and Prior to the 17th of February, so-called “innocent” protesters had killed 4 policemen ― and succeeded stealing a depot of arms, killing some soldiers! The Libyan army tried to defend itself, which was natural enough.Then came the “day of rage” (17th February 2011). (Bear in mind that YouTube [which immediately published alleged videos from that day] had been blocked in Libya for over a year!) Mr.Chomsky does not read trivial blogs like mine and other colleagues  who endanger their lives and the lives of their families with prosecution putting it mildly but for sure death, so in my opinion he was bias with the rebels from the start.)

This may be how Chomsky sees it, but both incidents were carried by mainstream media outlets like the BBC, US National Public Radio and the British newspaper The Guardian at the time. Admittedly, they were hidden away behind reams of anti-Gaddafi bile and justified with the usual pretext of the migrants being “suspected mercenaries”, yet Chomsky’s expertise in analysing media should have been able to see through that. Moreover, the forcing out last month of the entire population of the majority black Libyan town of Tawarga by Misurata militias with names like “the brigade for purging black skins” was recently given the official blessing of Libyan National Transition Council (NTC) President Mahmoud Jibril. To present these racial crimes as some kind of insignificant element seems wilfully disingenuous.

But Chomsky continues to stick to his guns. “You’re talking about what happened after the civil war took place and the NATO intervention, whereas I’m not.*****(there was never a civil war before the NATO INTERVENTION GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT.)Two points, which I’ll repeat. First of all, it wasn’t known, and secondly it was a very small part of the uprising. The uprising was carried out by an overwhelmingly middle-class, non-violent opposition***(non violent my ass pardon my English with four  murdered policemen?). We now know there was an armed element and that quickly became prominent after the civil war started. But it didn’t have to, so if that second intervention hadn’t taken place, it might not have turned out that way.”

Chomsky characterises the NATO intervention as having two parts. The initial intervention, authorised by the UN Security Council to prevent a massacre in Benghazi, he argues was legitimate. But the “second” intervention, in which the triumvirate of the US, Britain and France acted as an air force for the militias of Misurata and Benghazi in their conquest of the rest of the country, was wrong and illegal.

“We should remember that there were two interventions, not one, by NATO. One of them lasted about five minutes. That’s the one that was taken under UN Security Resolution 1973, which called for a no-fly zone over Benghazi when there was the threat of a serious massacre there, along with a longer-term mandate of protecting civilians. It lasted almost no time, [as] almost immediately, not NATO but the three traditional imperial powers of France, Britain and the United States carried out a second intervention that had nothing to do with protecting civilians and certainly wasn’t a no-fly zone, but was rather about participating in a rebel uprising, and that’s the one we’ve been witnessing.”

“It was almost isolated internationally. The African countries were strongly opposed — they called for negotiations and diplomacy from the very beginning. The main independent countries — the BRICS countries — also opposed the second intervention and called for efforts at negotiations and diplomacy. Even within NATO’s limited participation, outside of the triumvirate, in the Arab world, there was almost nothing: Qatar sent a couple of planes, and Egypt, next door and very heavily armed, didn’t do a thing.”

“Turkey held back for quite a while and finally participated weakly in the triumvirate’s operation. So it was a very isolated operation. It has been claimed that it was carried out under an Arab League request, but that’s mostly fraud. First of all, the Arab League request was extremely limited and only a minority participated — just Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. They actually also issued a request for two no-fly zones — one over Libya and the other over Gaza. We don’t have to talk about what happened to the second one.”

On most of this we agree. My argument, however, is that it was always painfully clear that Security Council Resolution 1973 was intended by the triumvirate as a fig leaf for precisely the “second intervention” Chomsky decries.

“It wasn’t clear, even for those five minutes, that the imperial powers accepted the resolution. It only became clear a couple of days later when they started bombing in support of the rebels. And it didn’t have to happen. It could have been that world opinion, most of it — the BRICS, Africa, Turkey, and so on — could have prevailed.”

It seems bizarre and na–ïve for a man of Chomsky’s insight to feign surprise at the imperial powers using UN Resolution 1973 for their own purposes in order to topple one of the governments on their hit list. What else would they have used it for? It is also exasperating: if it had been anyone else talking, I would have told them to read some Chomsky.

Chomsky would have told them that imperial powers don’t act out of humanitarian, but instead that they act out of totalitarian impulses and to defend and extend their dominance of the world and its resources. He would also have told them, I would have thought, not to expect those powers to implement measures designed to save civilians, because they would only take advantage of them and do the opposite.

However, on this occasion Chomsky seemed to be following a different logic. Does Chomsky accept that his whitewashing of the rebels and demonising of Gaddafi in the days and weeks before the invasion was launched, may have helped to facilitate it?

“Of course I didn’t whitewash the rebels. I said almost nothing about them.

The original interview took place before any of this — it was in the period when a decision had to be made about whether even to introduce a UN resolution to call for a no-fly zone — and incidentally I said after that had passed that I thought that a case could be made for it, and I would still say that today.

Yet, even after the British, French and US aggression in Libya had become abundantly clear, Chomsky published another article on Libya on 5 April. By this time thousands, if not tens of thousands, of Libyans had been killed by NATO bombs. This time Chomsky’s piece opened by criticising the British and American governments not for their blitzkrieg but for their alleged support for Gaddafi “and his crimes”. Didn’t this feed into the demonisation that justified and perpetuated NATO’s aggression?

“First of all, I don’t accept your description. I wouldn’t call it NATO aggression, as it’s more complex than that. The initial step — the first intervention, the five-minute one — I think was justifiable. There was a chance — a significant chance — of a very serious massacre in Benghazi. Gaddafi had a horrible record of slaughtering people,****(please give me some evidence of Gaddafi slaughtering his people Mr. Chomsky, I do not accept hearsay)  and that should be known — but at that point, I think the proper reaction should have been to tell the truth about what’s happening.”

I can’t help wondering why the responsibility to “tell the truth about what’s happening” only applies to Libya. Should we not also tell the truth about what’s happening in the West? About its unquenchable thirst for diminishing oil-and-gas reserves, for example, or about its fear of an independent Africa, or its long track record of supporting and arming brutal gangsters against governments it wants removed? Chomsky is familiar enough with the examples. Should we not tell the truth about the crisis currently enveloping the Western economic system and leading its elites increasingly to rely on war-mongering to maintain their crumbling dominance? Isn’t all this actually a lot more pertinent to the war on Libya than recounting the alleged crimes of Gaddafi from 20 years ago?

Chomsky argued with US academic and activist James Petras in 2003 over his condemnation of Cuba’s arrest of several dozen US agents and execution of three hijackers. Petras had argued then that “intellectuals have a responsibility to distinguish between the defensive measures taken by countries and peoples under imperial attack and the offensive methods of imperial powers bent on conquest. It is the height of cant and hypocrisy to engage in moral equivalences between the violence and repression of imperial countries bent on conquest with that of Third World countries under military and terrorist attack.”

On the present occasion, Chomsky has done worse than this. Far from drawing moral equivalences, he has simply airbrushed out of the picture the crimes of NATO’s Libyan allies, whilst amplifying and distorting the defensive measures taken by Libya’s government in dealing with an armed and US-backed rebellion.

I remind Chomsky of his comment some years back that Libya was used as a punch bag by US politicians to deflect public attention away from domestic problems. “Yes, it was. But that doesn’t mean that it was a nice place.”

It’s a lot less nice now.

****(editors note: I have intervened in this interview with green colour just to show how misleading some things are)

source: weekly.ahram.org.eg/2011/1073/intrvw.htm