Libya: Extremists Terrorizing Derna Residents


Libya: Extremists Terrorizing Derna Residents

An armed motorcade belonging to members of Derna's Islamic Youth Shura Council that pledged allegiance to ISIS, drive along a road in eastern Libya on October 3, 2014. © 2014 Reuters

An armed motorcade belonging to members of Derna’s Islamic Youth Shura Council that pledged allegiance to ISIS, drive along a road in eastern Libya on October 3, 2014.
© 2014 Reuters

Summary Executions, Public Floggings, No Rule of Law

(Beirut) – Armed militias that control the eastern city of Derna are terrorizing residents through summary executions, public floggings, and other violent abuse. The abuses are taking place in the absence of state authorities and the rule of law. The groups include some that have affiliated with the extremist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS).

Human Rights Watch documented 3 apparent summary executions and at least 10 public floggings by the Islamic Youth Shura Council, an extremist group which publicly pledged allegiance to ISIS in November. Human Rights Watch also documented beheadings of three Derna residents in what appear to be war crimes, and dozens of seemingly politically motivated assassinations of public officials, judges and members of the security forces, and others, including women.

“Extremist militias controlling Derna in the absence of any state authorities have unleashed a reign of terror against its inhabitants,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director. “Commanders should understand that they may face domestic or international prosecution for the grave rights abuses their forces are committing.”

Since May, an armed conflict between forces allied with the elected Libyan government based in Tobruk and led by General Khalifa Hiftar and Islamist militias has engulfed eastern Libya. In and around Derna, in addition to the powerful Islamic Shura Youth Council, the militias include members of Ansar al-Sharia and the Abu Saleem Martyrs Brigade.

Human Rights Watch spoke with Derna residents who fled the city to escape persecution by Islamist militias and in anticipation of an announced military offensive by forces allied to Libya’s elected government. One Derna activist, who said he left the city at the end of October after receiving death threats for speaking out against the militias, described Derna as “fully under the control of fundamentalists” who have imposed an extremist ideology, and enforced a strict interpretation of Shari’a law with public executions and floggings. He said extremist militias shared the same ideology and the only dispute between them related to the Islamic Youth Shura Council’s pledge of allegiance to ISIS.

The United Nations should urgently establish an international commission of inquiry or similar mechanisms to investigate alleged war crimes and other serious violations by all sides of the conflict in Libya, with a view to ensuring future ACCOUNTABILITY, Human Rights Watch said.

Derna has had no significant presence of state authorities, including police and a functioning judiciary, since the end of the 2011 revolution in Libya that toppled Muammar Gaddafi.

Since 2013, unidentified assailants in Derna have assassinated at least five judges and prosecutors, and two women – a former lawmaker and a former security official. Unidentified armed militias have also attacked and destroyed tombs in mosques, including Derna’s historic al-Sahaba Mosque, which extremists have repeatedly targeted since 2011.

The Libyan air force, allied with the elected government, has conducted air strikes against militia targets in Derna, Benghazi, and elsewhere, while the militias have mounted purported suicide and other attacks in Tobruk, al-Baida, and Benghazi. Both sides have carried out indiscriminate attacks that amount to war crimes, killing and injuring civilians and civilian objects. *****(Adding in these war crimes they should add NATO’s crimes when they were bombing indiscriminate attacks all over the country killing over 100.000 civilians including children)

All parties to the conflict in Libya are required to abide by the laws of war. Certain serious violations of these laws, when committed with criminal intent, are war crimes. War crimes include “the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all judicial guarantees which are generally recognized as indispensable.” Murder on a systematic or widespread scale when used as state policy or by an organized group is a crime against humanity. Those who commit, order, assist, or have command responsibility for war crimes or crimes against humanity are subject to prosecution by domestic courts or the International Criminal Court (ICC). ****(Well ICC should take in account that the war crimes committed in Libya now are the result of F.U.K.US and NATO who they should also be charged for their illegal intervention killing thousands, murdering the leader of the country, using Depleted uranium, destroying the infrastructure of Libya, bombing hospitals killing injured people by the thousands. Using cluster bombs which are forbidden by international law but they used them anyway killing thousand of people. Bombing Sirte for over two weeks and not allowing the Red Cross to enter to give food, medicine and whatever else was needed. The list is too long to write but if ICC decides to charge for war Crimes first in the list should be OBAMA, CLINTON, McCain, SUSAN RICE, CAMERON, HAGUE, SARKOZY, BERNARD LEVI, Ki Moon of the UN, ERDOGAN OF TURKEY, THE HOUSE OF SAUDI last but not the least HAMAD BIN KHALIFA AL-THANI of Qatar and of course lets not forget NATO COUNTRIES WHO BOMBED LIBYA TOGETHER  WITH THE CHIEF AT THE TIME ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN. Then the ICC can charge for war crimes that the Libyans did to each other.)

Libyan authorities have shown themselves powerless or unwilling to investigate and prosecute those responsible for unlawful killings and other serious rights abuses in the country. International ACCOUNTABILITY efforts for serious crimes have stalled despite an existing ICC mandate in Libya and a UN Security Council resolution threatening individual sanctions. The UN Human Rights Council ended the mandate of its commission of inquiry into violations in Libya in 2012.

“UN Security Council threats of sanctions become hollow if they are never acted upon,” Whitson said. “As each day passes, more people die and more opportunities to reverse Libya’s downward spiral are being frittered away.”

Security Council and ICC

The ICC has jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide committed in Libya since February 15, 2011, under UN Security Council Resolution 1970. Human Rights Watch has urged the ICC prosecutor to consider additional cases addressing ongoing violations by all sides in Libya. In a November 11statement to the Security Council, the ICC prosecutor said that the combined effect of instability in Libya and lack of resources had undermined further efforts to investigate ongoing abuses. The Security Council, whose members unanimously gave the ICC authority to investigate in Libya, have special responsibility to extend their full support to facilitate the prosecutor’s continued work there, Human Rights Watch said.

On November 20, the Security Council added the extremist groups Ansar al-Sharia in Derna and in Benghazi to the Al Qaeda sanctions list. Members of these two entities are now subject to international travel bans and asset freezes.

On August 27, the Security Council passed resolution 2174 (2014) broadening international sanctions on Libya to include people who engage in or support acts that “threaten the peace, stability or security of Libya, or obstruct or undermine the successful completion of its political transition.” Such acts include “planning, directing, or committing acts that violate applicable international human rights law or international humanitarian law, or acts that constitute human rights abuses.” The Security Council is still to deliver on this threat of sanctions by designating individuals to be subjected to a travel ban and assets freeze under the expanded sanctions regime.

Attacks, Abuses in Derna

Human Rights Watch spoke with Derna residents who witnessed militia members carrying out cruel punishments, including summary executions and floggings. Human Rights Watch also spoke with family members and friends of victims, and community activists, and reviewed available online content, including videos, photos, and statements.

An activist who recently fled Derna told Human Rights Watch on November 13 that the Islamic Youth Shura Council emerged in April, gradually took control of the city and created its own public administration to rule Derna. The group, which rejects democracy and only accepts Sharia law, established a Legal Committee for Dispute Resolution and Reconciliation and appointed judges to a new Islamic court who have interrogated, prosecuted, and pronounced sentence on those deemed to have offended against their strict interpretation of Sharia law. Information the Islamic Youth Shura Council published says it has also set up a body called theDiwan al-Hisbah to oversee the “promotion of virtue and prevention of vice,” as well as a bureau for education and its own “Islamic police” force. Derna residents told Human Rights Watch that some of the judges at the Islamic Court were foreign nationals.

Summary Executions

Derna residents said they witnessed militants of the Islamic Shura Youth Council carry out public executions of three men accused of murder in two separate incidents. On July 27, militants of the group shot Al-Sanussi Nasri al-Huweidi, a Libyan, and an unidentified Egyptian national, for the alleged killing of Hamad Miloud al-Hassadi on July 25. According to a witness, the family of the victim handed the two alleged killers to the Islamic Shura Youth Council, which interrogated and declared them guilty on the same day.

One witness said armed men belonging to the group took the two accused to Martyrs place at al-Sahaba Square at around 1:30 a.m., where a member of the group shot both the accused in the head, one with a single bullet and the other with two, after the victim’s family declined to shoot them:

The Shura Council, which now became ISIS, hardly waited at all before executing the suspects. It all happened so fast within just two days. The sessions at the Islamic Court where people are interrogated and sentenced by a panel of three judges are not public. Usually, the court announces if it will carry out a death sentence beforehand. In this case the family of the victims refused to pardon the suspect, so the court carried out the sentence.

On August 19, the Islamic Shura Youth Council oversaw the public execution of Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed, an Egyptian national, at a football stadium in western Derna, after accusing him of killing Khalid al-Drissi, a Libyan. In a six-minute video posted online, an unidentifiable masked man reads charges against the accused man, who is kneeling, blindfolded and with his hands tied behind his back, on a plastic covered stretcher. The masked man first asks members of the victim’s family if they wish to pardon the alleged murderer and, when they refuse, hands a pistol to one of the family members, who shoots the accused man in the head, killing him.

Public Flogging

A Derna resident told Human Rights Watch on November 18 that he witnessed the public floggings of eight young men in Derna’s Old Mosque Square on October 25 or 26. He said two masked men alternate in flogging the men:

Masked men from the Shura Council lined up eight young men at Al-Sahaba Square and punished each with 40 whips after they were caught drinking alcoholic beverages at a “bachelor party” together with the groom. The council member starts by whipping the shoulders and then continues all the way down to the feet, 40 lashes. If an individual is caught drinking alcohol, they [Shura Council] will implement the “whipping punishment” [had al-Jald] on the spot.

Photographs and ACCOUNTS published by the Islamic Shura Youth Council on social media show two other public floggings in front of the Islamic Court. On each occasion, three men were flogged for allegedly drinking alcohol. Human Rights Watch was able to corroborate the floggings but not the dates on which they took place.

Assassinations

Human Rights Watch has tracked 250 cases of apparently politically motivated killings in Derna and Benghazi since the beginning of 2014. The victims included former and current members of the military and security agencies, as well as five judges and members of the public prosecution. In all cases, the killings were carried out by unidentified assailants. None of these unlawful killings have been investigated, and no one has been prosecuted or convicted for these crimes.

Mohamed Najib Hweidi, head of the appeals court for the Green Mountain region, was assassinated on June 16, 2013; Mohamed Khalifah al-Naas, deputy general prosecutor for the Green Mountain region was killed on November 9, 2013; Retired judge Youssef al-Kreimi died in Tunis on December 24, 2013 from wounds he sustained during an assassination attempt on November 25, 2013 in Derna; Abdelaziz al-Hassadi, Libya’s former general prosecutor, was assassinated on February 8, 2014; and former judge Mohamed Bouejeilah al-Mansouri was killed on April 28, 2014.

Unidentified assailants also targeted and killed two women, Fariha al-Barkawi and Salwa Yunis al-Hinaid, in 2014 in Derna in what appears to have been politically motivated assassinations. Two Derna residents, one an activist, said that the shooting death of a third woman in February only weeks after the killing of her husband, a former army officer, was not linked to politics but to a family dispute.

Unidentified assailants killed al-Barkawi, a former Derna city representative to the General National Congress (GNC), and a member of the National Forces Alliance, a political party with a non-Islamist agenda on July 17. One of her relatives in Derna, who spoke to Human Rights Watch on November 19, said al-Barkawi’s killing occurred five months after she resigned from the GNC, where she had called vocally for the presence of state authorities in Derna and criticized Islamist extremists. The relative said:

She was on her way to a market in western Shiha area to do some shopping for the month of Ramadan when she was killed by three bullets after her car was sprayed with a hail of bullets by a passing car with unidentified assailants. Although some passers-by tried to help her, it was too late. She died before she reached Al-Harish Hospital. There is no forensics examiner in Derna, so she was transferred to al-Bayda, which is 100 kilometers away and back the next day to be buried. The prosecutor’s offices are shut and the court was burned down early in 2011, during the revolution. There is no one who can investigate the killing.

Unidentified assailants gunned down al-Hinaid, a former employee of the state’s internal security apparatus under Muammar Gaddafi on September 9, 2014. A relative told Human Rights Watch on November 19 that gunmen killed al-Hinaid at around 8 a.m. as she left her house to buy bread, a regular routine. Several bullets hit her, and she died on the spot. No one has claimed responsibility.

Kidnappings and Beheadings

On November 1, a video statement by a group of nine masked young men, some of them armed, calling themselves Youth of Derna circulated on the social media. The statement pledged allegiance to the so-called Dignity military operation led by General Hiftar, who had been reinstated with 16 other officers in November by the elected government, and recognized the authority of the elected House of Representatives in Tobruk.

The group called on revolutionaries to take up arms and fight the “extremist militias in Derna including Ansar al-Sharia and ISIS,” and threatened to avenge unlawful killings and other rights abuses of the preceding three years that they alleged the “Muslim Brotherhood and extremist militias” had carried out, vowing to “show no mercy.”

The members of the group remain unidentified but they appear to have included at least one of three young men – Siraj Katish, Mohamed Btaou, and Mohamed al-Mismari – who were subsequently abducted in separate but seemingly coordinated incidents on November 5 in Derna. Their bodies were subsequently found in fields at Hisha, southern Derna. All three had been decapitated.

Derna residents identified al-Mismari as the likely spokesperson who appeared in the video, but Human Rights Watch was unable to confirm the identities of any of the nine youths. Derna residents said al-Mismari had spoken out against the Islamist militias in a June interview but that Katish and Btaou had no known public profiles as activists.

A Derna resident told Human Rights Watch on November 21 that unidentified armed men who arrived in three cars abducted Katish on November 5 as he stood in front of his house with three friends. A Derna resident familiar with the case told Human Rights Watch that on November 10 a shepherd alerted the Derna branch of the Red Crescent after finding the remains of two men, whose heads had been severed and were missing. The bodies were later identified by their families as those of Katish and Btaou. Al-Mismari’s was then found in an adjacent field; his head had also been severed, according to a news report. Human Rights Watch could not confirm the circumstances surrounding the abduction and killing of al-Mismari.

No one has claimed responsibility for these abductions and killings, although local residents have told Human Rights Watch they believe Islamist militants were responsible. One Derna resident who knew Katish said, “The extremists who pledged allegiance to ISIS are de facto in control of the entire city, they are now the strongest group there and they control everything, so they are undoubtedly responsible for the beheadings.”

In another incident, gunmen killed Moataz Bouruaq al-Shalwi near his house on November 13, according to a Derna resident who lives close by. Soon after, news circulated that militants of the Islamic Youth Shura Council had detained three people alleged to have killed al-Shalwi. Activists and news sites suggested that they faced imminent execution by shooting if the victim’s family desired it. There has been no news of the three since.

A May 28 news report said that the severed head of Abdul Moaz Turkawi, a Derna student who had previously challenged militia manning a checkpoint, was found in the compound of the city’s Al-Sahaba Mosque.

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BENGHAZIGATE:The killing of al Qaeda leader Faraj Al-Shalabi Connected to the Killing of Stevens


 

BENGHAZIGATE: The killing of al Qaeda leader Faraj Al-Shalabi Connected to the Killing of Stevens

The killing of al Qaeda leader Faraj Al-Shalabi ‫ ‬ customary in Prairie

Faraj al-Shalabi

According to news sources from El Marg City, Libya. They confirmed the death of Al Qaeda/Ansar Sharia/ Daash/ LIFG/ Nusra/Isis/ CIA/FBI/MI6/DGSE Secret Service leader, Faraj al-Shalabi, who is also a member of the Jewish Misurata militia. The news sources stated that Al Shalabi was found dead after his disappearance two days ago.

As reported in the mainstream media in the USA, the Obama administration and US State department told the whole world that ambassador Stevens and three SAS Americans were killed by the Ansar Sharia militia. The supposed Master mind of this killing (assassination?) was Faraj al Shalabi hence the State department issued that the Ansar Sharia is a terrorist group.  What the State department of America does not say is that Al Qaeda and its affiliates, listed above, are one and the same. On June 14, 2014, The US kidnapped Ahmed Abu Khattala (on Libya soil) . Khattala is a man who is not capable of tying his own shoes let alone master minding a sophisticated attack.

In other words, this was not “Osama bin Laden” hiding in a cave in Afghanistan, changing locations constantly to avoid detection. Khattala told his CNN interviewer, Arwa Damon, that he had not been contacted by any Libyan or American officials despite being an eyewitness to some of the events of September 11, 2012. “Even the investigative team did not try to contact me,” he told Damon, referring to the FBI. For further information on the kidnapping please press on the links above.

Ahmed Abu Khattala

Ahmed Abu Khattala

 Rumors abound about Obama wanting to run for the presidency of the US in 2016 for a 3rd term but Hillary Clinton also wants to run for the Presidency in 2016.  It’s only natural that both Obama and Clinton would like the BENGHAZIGATE scandal to disappear forever. It is only reasonable to assume that they are killing off any witnesses that were either involved or were eye witnesses to what happened on the night of September 11, 2012.  Both of these “criminal” politicians do not want the public to know the truth and the reason for the ORDER to “stand down” and do respond to call for help from the Ambassador.  One should always remember that Hillary Clinton and her husband are famous in the US for the trail of dead bodies that they have around them since Bill Clinton was the Governor of Arkansas.  Not long after Clinton took the White House, Hillary Clinton’s right hand man, Vince Foster, was found dead in a park in DC. The report said suicide but they could not explain how Foster could kill himself and then move his own body to a park in DC and then cover himself with leaves from a different park.  Suffice it to say, the Clintons and Mr. Obama are not averse to using any measures to maintain their power.  This is historical fact.

This article is just another verification of the illegal war that Obama waged against Libya: President Barack Obama has waged illegal wars (Libya).  Obama is well know for following his Zionist orders and using armed Islamic fundamentalists (Libya and Syria) to provoke civil wars (Ukraine) and assert the right of their puppet president to order the assassination of any person, including American citizens, without trial or even a hearing. The Obama administration has built up the infrastructure of a police state, greatly expanding the US spying apparatus and seeking to monitor and collect the telecommunications, email and Internet activities of virtually everyone on the planet.  Obama is now moving thousands of illegal aliens across the southern border of the US (being done illegally) and it is known that radical Islamists are filtering into the US this way as evidenced by prayer rugs and Korans found laying around the border of the US and Mexico.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives is pushing for an investigation.  Not an investigation of the countless crimes committed by Obama and Clinton against humanity, international law, the US Constitution and basic democratic rights, but of the White House talking points on Benghazi.  On May 8, the House voted 233-186, along nearly party lines, to establish a select committee to investigate the incident.

Its not enough that the Zionist Mafia (Obama) violated our sovereignty, but they imported Al Qaeda to destabilize Libya and now they are killing off witnesses who can shed light on what really happened. There are so many different scenarios playing in the western media currently that it is difficult to discern the truth of any of these reports. Confusing? Not a coincidence. You can read more on the page Benghazigate and other updates in the archives of this blog.

obama

many thanks to J. Moriarty for editing this article

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Libya, ALBA and the West: Humanity’s Choice Between Cooperative Solidarity and Murderous Competition


alfatah69:

In September 2013, the Belfer Center of Harvard University published a study confirming that NATO’s war on Libya was based on downright falsehoods. In June this year the US authorities announced data indicating that the economy contracted 2.9% in the first quarter. In the same month Facebook admitted accusations that it had abused its system so as to carry out an unauthorized experiment in mass psychological manipulation of its users

But no one in the NATO countries concerned is facing trial in the International Criminal Court for the criminal aggression against Libya. Stock market prices continue at high levels and the financial media say, six years after the international financial system collapsed in 2008, that the recovery is “gaining traction”. The millions of Facebook users continue to use that social network as if nothing has happened presumably because it has become such an integral part of their daily routine.

The connection between these diverse apparently unrelated events is that they show the integral corruption of the criminal system of Western capitalism. No matter where one looks. In international relations, in the United Nations, in the economy, in the financial system, in intellectual life, in the communications media, in sports bodies like FIFA or the International Olympic Committee, corruption is everywhere. Virtually every area of public policy is perverted so as to benefit corporate elites.

In Western media, innumerable liberal and progressive analysts express an almost neurotic longing for change. The academic and media phenomenon of Thomas Piketty’s study of capitalism openly acknowledges the social and economic injustice of capitalism. The media phenomenon of Edward Snowden explicitly recognizes the routine abuse on a massive scale about which many other people before Snowden had raised the alarm for decades.

Few have noted the paradox that these media phenomena are generated by the self-same inert broken system that Snowden and Piketty criticize. Far from being a virtuous demonstration of democracy, essentially what Piketty and Snowden and their promoters are saying comes down to something like, “Sure, the system’s broken but if we tighten a nut here and a bolt there the machinery will work again just fine”. Or perhaps, if the Princess could only overcome her revulsion and kiss the toad everyone could live happily ever after. Real human history has been very different.

Human history prior to 1945 was one of a century and a half of bitter struggle by untold millions of women and men around the world against the sadistic cruelty and injustice of genocidal Western capitalism. That long history of struggle achieved a few positive results at end of the Second World War, including the start of decolonization and recognition of the right to self-determination. One can argue that those changes have helped the majority world to resist in some degree since 1990 the persistent surges of aggression by the Western powers trying to defend their residual global domination.

In recent years, Libya has been the most representative case of North American and European sadism and hypocrisy. The opportune study in 2013 by Alan Kuperman of Harvard University’s Belfer Center concludes : “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.” Kuperman adds, “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.

While there has been wide recognition of the deceit-based failure of the wars against Afghanistan and Iraq, not for nothing have few admitted the disastrous failure of the war against Libya. More than any other recent conflict, the sadistic aggression against Libya revealed the falsity not just of Western governments and corporate media but also of Western alternative media, progressive intellectuals and progressive movements. Along the whole length of the Western political spectrum the most distinguished political academic and intellectual leaders were mistaken in the most humiliating and shameful way.

The destruction of Libya shows the completely rotten reality underlying the false claims to moral and intellectual superiority of Western political culture. The contagion of baseless prejudices and rumours glibly treated as fact also extended to many majority world intellectuals. It was truly remarkable how many supposedly cultured, sophisticated individuals, knowing practically nothing about Libya, expressed an irrational antipathy against both the Libyan Jamahiriya and its architect Muammar al-Gaddhafi.

Only a few leaders, notably Daniel Ortega, Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro, showed the necessary wisdom to accurately assess what was happening. This is indisputable. So one obvious conclusion is to question the judgment of all those Western political leaders, intellectuals and many supposedly progressive movements, whatever their political label may be. The aggression against Libya has proven to be the graveyard of the credibility of public political and intellectual life in North America and Europe.

The UN showed itself yet again to be a reliable accomplice of aggression violating its most fundamental principles. Almost alone, it was the governments of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas who maintained a consistent and correct position based on an accurate assessment of the facts. When almost all other world political leaders failed so grossly on Libya, it is indeed interesting to look at why Daniel Ortega, Hugo Chávez, Fidel Castro and their ALBA colleagues got things right.

More than anyone those leaders and their colleagues like Nicolas Maduro, Evo Morales and Rafael Correa understand the meaning of the true history of mass struggle against the Western imperialist powers throughout the majority world. They were right about Libya and they are right now in their defence of Cuba, Venezuela and Argentina in Latin America and, elsewhere, of the people and government of Syria and the people of eastern Ukraine. Last week they again showed the strength of their anti-imperialist political vision in two very important events for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Firstly, last week saw the first meeting of the Administrative Council of the long delayed Bank of the South, a South American alternative to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Secondly, last week also saw unanimous solidarity with Argentina from Latin American and Caribbean countries in the Organization of American States against US court judgments favouring predatory vulture funds. Both cases indicate the influence and prestige achieved in recent years of the ALBA countries’ vision of solidarity based regional integration.

As the economic and political crisis in the NATO countries deepens, the challenge to its global political and economic domination increases. The West promotes a vision based on greed and competition rigged via unfair trade, manipulative development cooperation and unjust debt. The increasingly influential ALBA vision, of solidarity and cooperation based on fundamental respect for nations’ self-determination is also the vision of the Libyan Jamahiriya. In Latin America, the deep moral battle between this vision and the destructive corporate greed of the West plays out mainly in the continuing vicious blockade of Cuba, the violent destabilization of Venezuela and, now, the wanton legal attack on Argentina’s economy.

Originally posted on Libya 360°:

tortilla con sal

In September 2013, the Belfer Center of Harvard University published a study confirming that NATO’s war on Libya was based on downright falsehoods. In June this year the US authorities announced data indicating that the economy contracted 2.9% in the first quarter. In the same month Facebook admitted accusations that it had abused its system so as to carry out an unauthorized experiment in mass psychological manipulation of its users

But no one in the NATO countries concerned is facing trial in the International Criminal Court for the criminal aggression against Libya. Stock market prices continue at high levels and the financial media say, six years after the international financial system collapsed in 2008, that the recovery is “gaining traction”. The millions of Facebook users continue to use that social network as if nothing has happened presumably because it has become such an integral part of their…

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Who is responsible for the catastrophes in the Middle East?


 

Who is responsible for the catastrophes in the Middle East?

by Bill Van Auken

“The United States of America is not responsible for what happened in Libya, nor is it responsible for what is happening in Iraq today,” Secretary of State John Kerry declared at a Cairo news conference held in the midst of his recent crisis tour of the Middle East.

As Kerry spoke, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and a growing Sunni insurgency were consolidating their grip over the north and west of Iraq, including the country’s borders with Syria and Jordan. Upwards of a million Iraqis had been displaced by the fighting, and thousands had been killed in the mounting sectarian slaughter.

Libya is in a state of complete collapse, with continuous fighting between rival militias, a government that exists in name only, oil production down by at least 80 percent, and over a million ****(unfortunately its over 3 million) people forced to flee the country’s violence. Many thousands ****(over 70 thousand) are incarcerated in a network of prisons run by armed groups that practice systematic torture.

Kerry’s statement merely made official the steady drumbeat from the political establishment and the media since the situation in Iraq turned into a complete debacle: “The US bears no responsibility.”

Typical was the commentary by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, a “human rights” imperialist who was a vocal proponent of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. He wrote: “The debacle in Iraq isn’t President Obama’s fault. It’s not the Republicans’ fault… overwhelmingly, it’s the fault of the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.” ***(Really? Maliki is the puppet of the USA so how is it his fault?)

Maliki, the stooge put in power and kept there by the US occupation, is made the fall guy.

Thomas Friedman, the Times’ foreign affairs columnist, wrote Sunday that Maliki is an “arsonist,” who, “the minute America left Iraq,” deliberately unleashed mayhem. This is the same Friedman who in 2003 declared that the US invaded Iraq “because we could,” spoke proudly of US troops going house-to-house and ordering Iraqis to “suck on this,” and declared that he had “no problem with a war for oil.”

Listening to the chorus of statements insisting that the US has no responsibility for the deepening tragedy inflicted upon the people of Iraq and Libya, one is reminded of nothing so much as the Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg, from Hermann Göring on down, rising one-by-one in the dock to declare themselves “not guilty.”

What are the crimes for which Kerry and so many others in the ruling establishment insist Washington bears no responsibility?

The description that they used for their own actions at the time was “shock and awe,” the unleashing of colossal destructive force upon a society already shattered by a decade of sadistic US sanctions. Killing hundreds of thousands of people and turning millions into refugees, the US war and occupation destroyed every institution of Iraqi society, while Washington deliberately fomented sectarian divisions as a means of overcoming Iraqi nationalism. The country’s deposed ruler, Saddam Hussein, was tried by a drumhead court and unceremoniously executed.

All of this was justified with warnings about the imminent threat from “weapons of mass destruction” and ties between Baghdad and Al Qaeda. As the whole world now knows, it was all lies.

There were no WMDs and there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq until US imperialism overthrew the country’s government and tore its social fabric to pieces. In fact, there was no Al Qaeda at all before Washington set about inciting a bloody war by right-wing Islamists in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

In Libya and now in Syria, the Obama administration abandoned the “war on terrorism” pretext for an equally cynical and fraudulent justification for regime-change: “human rights.” In Libya, the US and NATO heavily bombed the country while organizing and arming Islamist-led militias in a sectarian war that destroyed all of the existing governmental and social structures. As in Iraq, it ended its war with the brutal murder of the country’s secular leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

Washington is carrying out a similar war for regime-change in Syria, backing Sunni Islamist and sectarian militias that are led by ISIS, the same force that has overrun much of Iraq. The US hopes to end this war with the assassination of a third secular Arab head of state, Bashar al-Assad.

Just last week, Obama proposed to funnel $500 million in arms to the Syrian “rebels”—weapons that everyone knows will end up in the hands of ISIS, which the US is supposedly committed to defeating in Iraq.

As the contradictions and deceptions of Washington’s policy become ever more glaring, US officials simply act as though the American people won’t notice, or will believe anything. Or, for that matter, they won’t see that $500 million can be conjured up instantly to pay for a criminal war, while working people are being told “there is no money” for health care, education, housing or jobs.

The destruction that the US oligarchs have wrought in the Middle East, with all of its terrible human consequences, is the external manifestation of their destructive role within the US itself—smashing up the country’s manufacturing base, turning its economy into a gambling casino for financial parasites, destroying the jobs and living standards of millions of people. With no answers to the growing crisis at home, they turn to violence abroad, only compounding the catastrophes they have created overseas.

The “not responsibles” and “not guilties” from Kerry, Kristof, Friedman and the other advocates and apologists for American military aggression won’t wash. US imperialism is responsible for terrible crimes against humanity.

Yet no one has been held accountable. Not those in Washington—Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, et al.—who conspired to wage a war of aggression; not those in the current administration, from Obama on down, who conspired to shield their predecessors and continue the same predatory policies; not the military brass who carried out the war; not the private contractors who enriched themselves off of it; not the lying media that helped foist the war onto the American public; not the cowardly and conformist academics who justified and went along with it.

Together, they are responsible for the catastrophes that have been inflicted upon the peoples of Iraq, Libya and Syria.

Benghazi attacks suspect pleads not guilty in US court


Benghazi attacks suspect pleads not guilty in US court

By Olivia Hampton

Justice Department could bring additional charges

Abu Khatallah charged over deadly attack on American mission in Benghazi pleads not guilty during a brief appearance in US federal court.

The Libyan militia leader ****(we have said it over a thousand times he is not a militia leader he is the idiot of the village the real leader of the Militia who coordinated together with Morsi of Egypt and Obama of the U.S.A. his name is: Ismael Sallabi  the most feared person in Libya) charged over a deadly attack on the American mission in Benghazi pleaded not guilty during a brief appearance in US federal court Saturday.

A federal grand jury indicted Ahmed Abu Khatallah during the rare Saturday session on a single charge of conspiracy to provide material support and resources ****(he CANNOT TIE HIS SHOE LACES AND HE PROVIDED ALL THAT? PLEASE! We know how the FEDERAL GRAND JURY WORKS…. they fabricate everything just to COVER-UP THIS MINOR MISHAP WHICH ITS TAKING GREAT LENGTHS IN BRINGING AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT TO BE IMPEACHED AS THE SAME GOES FOR HILLARY CLINTON)   to terrorists for the attacks that killed US ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans two years ago.

He was ****(KIDNAPPED from Libya and then taken to the American ship where he was tortured and then he was flown) flown to Washington by helicopter shortly after sunrise from a US Navy warship where he had been held and interrogated since his high-profile capture two weeks ago, a law enforcement official said.

The suspect, believed to be 43 and also known as Ahmed Mukatallah, listened to the court proceedings through an interpreter and raised his right hand before public defender Shelli Peterson entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

Wearing a dark tracksuit, Abu Khatallah had a long, dark gray beard and mustache with curly hair, court sketches showed. He was not handcuffed.

The case’s lead prosecutor warned that the Justice Department could bring additional charges against Abu Khatallah during the ongoing investigation about the assault that saw gunmen storm the US mission in Benghazi and set it on fire.

“Right now, the right move was to not show all your cards at once, ****(what he means is that they are going to fabricate more lies to cover Hillary Clinton the arms dealer and Obama the coordinator)a senior law enforcement official explained.

A CIA annex was also targeted in the attacks that shocked Washington, quickly growing into a highly charged political issue. ****(of course it caused a highly charged political issue as the CIA ANNEX is to interrogate all kidnapped people from all over the world in a non-American soil! This for the American people does not exist and with the killing of the 4 Americans it came to light.)

Abu Khatallah is due back in court, located just a mile (1.6 kilometers) from the White House, on Wednesday for a detention hearing, and again on July 8 for a status hearing.

The US State Department has identified Khatallah as a senior leader of Ansar al-Sharia ***(again they got it wrong the man may belong to the group of Ansar al Sharia but is not responsible for the attack, the one responsible is Ismael Sallabi ), a Libyan group responsible for a spate of attacks and assassinations.

US commandos captured Khatallah — who could face the death penalty — two weeks ago in a covert raid on Libyan soil.

Libya accused Washington of violating its sovereignty, ****(it’s not the first time the Americans have done that, lets not forget Anas al Liby he was also kidnapped) though it had failed to fulfill an outstanding arrest warrant against Abu Khatallah because of the tense security situation in the flashpoint eastern city of Benghazi.

The raid represents a victory for President Barack Obama, who has faced intense criticism over his administration’s handling of the Benghazi assault and its aftermath.

Some Republicans have criticized the administration’s decision to try Khatallah in civilian court rather than through the Guantanamo Bay special military tribunals.

Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte expressed “serious concerns that conducting a rushed interrogation onboard a ship and then turning Khattalah over to our civilian courts risks losing critical intelligence that could lead us to other terrorists or prevent future attacks.” ****(No need just ask Obama and he will tell you when the next terrorist act will take place)

The case relies heavily on accounts from Libyan officials ****(who have dual citizenship Libya/American) and witnesses who have singled out Khatallah as taking part in the assault that day.

FBI investigators were only able to visit the crime scenes to collect evidence several weeks after the assault due to high security concerns.

Nevertheless, the government is “very confident in our ability to bring this case to prosecution and secure a conviction,” a senior law enforcement official said.

“The bottom line is you don’t commit the resources we committed to go to the other side of the world apprehending an individual, bringing him on a ship for prosecution if you are not very confident in your case.” ***(yes you do if you want to cover the ass of Obama and Clinton it’s not the first time and it will not be the last)

FBI Director James Comey hailed Abu Khatallah’s capture as a “major step forward” in the investigation, but stressed that the agency’s work was not yet over.

“This case remains one of our top priorities and we will continue to pursue all others who participated in this brazen attack on our citizens and our country,” he said.

The choice of the US District Court in Washington to try Abu Khatallah was unusual, as most terror suspects tried in the United States since the September 11, 2001 attacks have been tried in federal courts in New York and Alexandria, Virginia.

Khatallah had often been seen in public and defiantly spoke with reporters last year at a luxury hotel in Benghazi.

US officials have dismissed suggestions that the suspect was “hiding in plain sight,” or that the operation to capture him could have been conducted much sooner. ****(He was not hiding, he was actually interviewed by CNN, FOX and other channels so the US officials are lying through their teeth.) 

The Benghazi attack raised questions about security at US diplomatic facilities worldwide and the accuracy of US intelligence on militant threats.

Republicans charged that the White House failed to respond decisively and then tried to hide some facts in the grisly episode.

The Obama administration, in turn, has accused critics of politicizing a tragic event.