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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Libya: Global Alert is confirmed that NATO MUSTARD GAS used against civilians in Beni Walid and Sirte September 11, 2011


 

Libya: Global Alert is confirmed that NATO MUSTARD GAS used against civilians in Beni Walid and Sirte September 11, 2011

NATO commits crimes against humanity in LIBYA to respond to resistance – massacres, chemical warfare, ethnic cleansing, indiscriminate bombing and Voice of the oppressed,  September 11, 2011

Television Alrai confirms the use of mustard gas against the population of Bin Walid

According to television reports Alrai, NATO used a chemical weapon mustard gas against the Libyan population Ben Walid at 5.00 pm yesterday. Journalists in this TV channel reports that early morning, NATO ordered the renegade away from Ben Walid.

Death of a head of Al-Qaeda in Ben Walid

The news coming out of Ben Walid indicate the death of Al-Qaeda leader, Abdulrahman Abo Shnaf Mouftah. From a reliable source reports that the terrorist was killed in a battle in the Valley last night Dinar.
Also, the Renegades defeated in battle against the Libyan national army retreated to the city of Tarhuna. Later that day, NATO aircraft bombed and fired missiles, depleted uranium against the population of the city of Ben Walid.

Communication via satellite phone confirms that NATO bombings have caused many victims killed and wounded and the city is covered with clouds of smoke caused by NATO bombing.

Again NATO bombings on Sirte after a night of sound bombs.

After the great battle in the Red Valley located 90km east of the city of Sirte, the Libyan armed forces have forced the withdrawal of the renegades to Ben Jawad which is located 150km from Sirte. After ground fighting, NATO bombing began again. Having enhanced the use of sound bombs to give deaf people, NATO began attacking again. The bombs of NATO planes reach the houses of civilians. In one house they killed 7 people, six of the same family. Civilians in combat zones confirm that 36 have died renegades along with three British soldiers fighting alongside the renegade.

Taourgha, a city cleansed of its inhabitants by the renegades

Reportedly Taourgha city that is located 50km east of the city of Misrata has been completely emptied of its inhabitants by the renegades of Misrata. Note that Taourgha population are black. Renegades have slain many of the adults to terrorize others in the population of this city has been deported to another unknown place.

****Editors note: although the article is old these pictures have not circulated around the world in showing what NATO really did to Libya. Especially to Ban Walid and Sirte which in any given time the Ratverments with the NATO government do it all over again in the past three years. Babies in Ban Walid and Sirte have already been born with the side effects of the depleted uranium exactly like Iraq. The Tawergans are still kept in certain areas with barred wire and are not allowed to return home. THIS IS WHAT THE AMERICAN/NATO/EU/ISRAEL want to show us their kind of DEMOCRACY WHICH IS NOTHING MORE THAN THEIR DESPOTIC/DICTATORIAL WAY OF CONTROLLING A SOVEREIGN COUNTRY WHO DARED TO BE INDEPENDENT AND SUFFICIENT NOT NEEDING THE ROTHSCHILD’S BANKING SYSTEM, REFUSING TO JOIN AFRICOM. 

source: libia-sos.blogspot.ch

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

Statement of the Council for Social and tribes Rafla on 26/01/2014


Statement of the Council for Social and tribes Rafla on 26/01/2014

Bloody dramatic events taking place in Libya the homeland

Important, those of you who understand Arabic will enjoy this. January 25, 2014 – Short Explanation in English Below (click read more)

The Great Werfalla Tribe of Libya (largest Tribe in Libya 2 million strong – from Bani Walid) speaks and tells the world what is happening in Libya. The Tribes of Libya are cleaning their country of Radical Islamists, NATO mercenaries and puppets. NOW CURRENT ATROCITIES ARE BEING COMMITTED AGAINST THE INNOCENT CIVILIANS OF LIBYA BY AL QAEDA, MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, ANSAR ALSHARIA AND OTHER NATO MERCENARIES TRYING TO KEEP THEIR EVIL CONTROL OF LIBYA BY ANY MEANS. THESE EXTREMIST GROUPS (many of them from foreign countries) ARE USING BOMBS, SARIN GAS, PHOSPHOR BOMBS against any tribe who stands against them.

The Great Werfalla tribe stands with, fights with and supports in any way the Libyan popular resistance made up of honorable Libyan heroes to bring their country out of the darkness left by NATO and the US.

source for the translation: libyanwarthetruth.com

“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