War Crime: NATO Deliberately Destroyed Libya’s Water Infrastructure
By Nafeez Ahmed, The Ecologist | Report
The military targeting of civilian infrastructure, especially of water supplies, is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions. Yet this is precisely what NATO did in Libya,while blaming the damage on Gaddafi himself. Since then, the country’s water infrastructure – and the suffering of its people – has only deteriorated further.
Numerous reports comment on the water crisis that is escalating across Libya as consumption outpaces production. Some have noted the environmental context in regional water scarcity due to climate change.
But what they ignore is the fact that the complex national irrigation system that had been carefully built and maintained over decades to overcome this problem was targeted and disrupted by NATO.
During the 2011 military invasion, press reports surfaced, mostly citing pro-rebel sources, claiming that pro-Gaddafi loyalists had shut down the water supply system as a mechanism to win the war and punish civilians.
This is a lie.
But truth, after all, is the first casualty of war – especially for mainstream media journos who can’t be bothered to fact-check the claims of people they interview in war zones, while under pressure from editors to produce copy that doesn’t rock too many boats.
Critical Water Installations Bombed – Then Blamed on Gaddafi
It was in fact NATO which debilitated Libya’s water supply by targeting critical state-owned water installations, including a water-pipe factory in Brega.
The factory, one of just two in the country (the other one being in Gaddafi’s home-town of Sirte), manufactured pre-stressed concrete cylinder pipes for the Great Manmade River (GMR) project, an ingenious irrigation system transporting water from aquifers beneath Libya’s southern desert to about 70% of the population.
On 18th July, a rebel commanderboastedthat some of Gaddafi’s troops had holed up in industrial facilities in Brega, but that rebels had blocked their access to water:“Their food and water supplies are cut and they now will not be able to sleep.”
In other words, the rebels, not Gaddafi loyalists, had sabotaged the GMR water pipeline into Brega. On 22nd July, NATO followed up by bombing the Brega water-pipes factory on the pretext that it was a Gaddafi “military storage” facility concealing rocket launchers.
“Major parts of the plant have been damaged”, said Abdel-Hakim el-Shwehdy, head of the company running the project. “There could be major setback for the future projects.”
Legitimate Military Target Left Untouched in the Attack
When asked to provideconcrete evidence of Gaddafi loyalists firing from inside the water-pipe factory,NATO officials failed to answer. Instead, NATO satellite images shown to journalists confirm that a BM-21 rocket launcher identified near the facility days earlier, remained perfectly intact the day after the NATO attack.
Earlier, NATO forces had already bombed water facilities in Sirte, killing several “employees of the state water utility who were working during the attack.”
By August, UNICEFreported that the conflict had “put the Great Manmade River Authority, the primary distributor of potable water in Libya, at risk of failing to meet the country’s water needs.”
The same month, Agence France Presse reported that the GMR “could be crippled by the lack of spare parts and chemicals” – reinforced by NATO’s destruction of water installations critical to the GMR in Sirte and Brega.
The GMR is now “struggling to keep reservoirs at a level that can provide a sustainable supply”, UN officials said. “If the project were to fail, agencies fear a massive humanitarian emergency.”
Christian Balslev-Olesen, UNICEF Libya’s head of office, warned that the city faced “an absolute worst-case scenario” that “could turn into an unprecedented health epidemic” without resumption of water supplies.
Stratfor Email: “So Much Shit Doesn’t Add Up Here”
While pro-rebel sources attempted to blame Gaddafi loyalists for the disruption of Libya’s water supply, leaked emails from the US intelligence contractor Stratfor, which publiclyendorsed these sources, show that the firm privately doubted its own claims.
“So much shit doesn’t add up here”, wrote Bayless Parsley, Stratfor’s Middle East analyst, in an email to executives. “I am pretty much not confident in ANY of the sources … If anything, just need to be very clear how contradictory all the information is on this project … a lot of the conclusions drawn from it are not really air tight.”
But the private US intelligence firm, which has played a key role in liaising with senior Pentagon officials in facilitating military intelligence operations, waskeenly aware of what the shutdown of the GMR would mean for Libya’s population:
“Since the first phase of the ‘river’s’ construction in 1991, Libya’s population has doubled.Remove that river and, well, there would likely be a very rapid natural correction back to normal carrying capacities.”
“How often do Libyans bathe? You’d have drinking water for a month if you skipped a shower”,joked Kevin Stech, a Stratfor research director. “Seriously. Cut the baths and the showers and your well water should suffice for drinking and less-than-optional hygiene.”
The Truth – Government Officials Were Trying to Keep Water Flowing
Meanwhile, UNICEFconfirmed that Libyan government officials were not sabotaging water facilities, but in fact working closely with a UN technical team to “facilitate an assessment of water wells, review urgent response options and identify alternatives for water sources.”
Nevertheless, by September, UNICEF reported that the disruption to the GMR had left 4 million Libyans without potable water.
The GMR remainsdisrupted to this day, and Libya’s national water crisis continues to escalate.
The deliberate destruction of a nation’s water infrastructure, with the knowledge that doing so would result in massive deathsof the population as a direct consequence, is not simply a war crime, but potentially a genocidal strategy.
It raises serious questions about the conventional mythology of a clean, humanitarian war in Libya – questions that mainstream journalists appear to be uninterested in, or unable to ask.
NATO War Crimes In Libya: Deformities of Newborns Because of Depleted Uranium Bombs
Regarding this depleted uranium report below, we brought in the first sophisticated radiation detectors with us on our fact finding commission in May of 2011.
Libyans knew that depleted uranium was being used by NATO in their bombing raids and they were very concerned.
There is no doubt that NATO/US broke every agreement imposed by the Geneva Convention.
War crimes against humanity in Libya by NATO and its member countries is unmatched in the world.
This is a crime beyond the wildest imagination, Libya was a naive country, no drugs, no AIDs, very few birth defects, very small number cancer patients– look at the evil left behind by the psychopaths of the one world order.
A new report from Human Rights Watch(better later than never, after backing the US-NATO propaganda during the entire aggression against Libya) has expressed deep concern with the confirmed information of the use, by both France and Britain, of Internationally prohibited weapons on raids in Libya in 2011 under the UN Resolution 1973.
1973 authorized NATO to bomb sites for military yet there were 60,000 bombing raids against civilian targets, great man made river, hospital, hotels, homes, schools, power plants and on and on.
Those NATO countries used bombing Libya with cluster bombs with depleted uranium radioactive metal, for its ability to penetrate the concrete.
As a result of the saturation of agricultural crops, livestock and water sources that have become seriously polluted with radiation resulting in the appearance of grossly deformed Newborns in Libya as well as the Libyan citizens
In Libya now being recorded by the WHO (world health organization), the highest deformation in fetuses inside Libya and reached 23% of newborns and also the high incidence of new forms of cancer that were not known among ordinary Libyans and now amounting to 18% of the total of cancers that have been diagnosed by the organization’s branch in Libya .
Despite this serious health disaster countries involved with NATO are now demanding that Libya pay them one billion seven hundred million dollars for their help in toppling the Gaddafi regime.
This is beyond absurd, first they stole 500 billion of Libyan money in the EU and the Fed and used it destroy Libya with bombs laden with radiation.
They destroyed the infrastructure, the government and left Libyans with terrorists in charge of their country, 2 million in exile and Libya should pay for this??
The leaders in these corrupt governments are so arrogant they think they can destroy a country and make that country pay for it – Libya already paid and paid – 500 times over.
Despite the fact that these weapons were originally intended for disposal and the US was supposed to pay for the disposal, they should be compensating for Libya because they used it (illegally) to get rid of dangerous weapons arsenal overflowing in storage with the British and French.
Statement of the People’s National Movement Libyan dialogue about the Geneva meeting.
January 18 · Edited ·
About the Geneva dialogue session held from / 16 / to / 17. 01.2015
Statement Libyan people’s National Movement
Libyan National Popular Movement around a dialogue session held in Geneva from 16 to /17.01.2015, Congress see recommendations of a dialogue session held in Geneva from 16 to / 17. 01.2015, which included a prominent Libyan members of Parliament whom he enrolled him in whom it has sections, as well as some members of the so-called Transitional Council and former members of a group (94) expired National Congress as well as some other characters from militias that represent the dawn of Libya.
Some of the issues addressed in this statement is the urgent human rights and humanitarian issues such as prisoners and hostages and prisoners in secret prisons and that cannot be addressed by only concern or urge the media, but the need to call for an urgent investigation and referral of the accused to domestic and international criminal investigation and the immediate release of all those arrested and detained. In the absence of intentional parties the task of representing the broad spectrum of the Libyan people of direct relevance to the problem of political, security and human rights of the political organizations of the opponents of the regime and the tribes and cities of Libyan opposition to this regime, which has been completely excluded from the political system may have been in the absence of the national army leaders a clear role and in the fight against terrorism, extremism, militias. It also shows the observer’s field position to the armed conflict between the armed forces and security forces and the militias of armed operations named Dawn, Sunrise, and Qaswarah Libya. Libya at the time of the national army is excluded, we find that from this dialogue between parties who are active leaders of the outlawed militias or linked with a direct link, and the aim float these groups and armed militias, money laundering crimes in killing the Libyans and the burning and destruction of the country’s infrastructure of airports and universities to oil installations and urban displacement. And they already are aiming through this moves to, as instrument and forgiveness gives this forum to impunity and extreme privation in the political process through dialogue, and Wade civil political action via the coupling between democratic elections and terrorize and take care of the representative of the United Nations and some Western ambassadors in an attempt to revive the project of political Islam in the region, even at the cost of blood and at the expense of the sovereignty and territorial integrity and social and civil reconciliation, and at the expense of the security and stability of the States of Neighbour’s borders and other regions, plus more importantly, to foil the armed forces and security services efforts in the fight against terrorism, so that it is through these steps to save these gangs facing defeats successive siege in several regions, and will give them this work a new opportunity to manoeuvre and recover our breath and realize the moral gains by converting defeat in front of the armed forces and security services to another form of adjustments and provides a safe exit and save them from the accountability and help them to impunity under new names, such as naming a substitute for naming armour Brotherhood, notorious pariah popularly National Guard ..
These data confirm the people’s national movement on the following:
– First: in order to achieve the Geneva dialogue goals and ambitions that are looking masses of the Libyan people have the freedom and stability and rebuild state institutions and law, it requires the presence of all the political parties and social and tribal forces and human rights organizations and humanitarian different backgrounds and visions political movement have noticed the absence of the opposition components of February, and which as mentioned above constitute the majority of the Libyan people and that can not be to the success of this dialogue, the absence of significant political parties, which are limited to: –
Political organizations opposed to February and the resulting.
Representatives of the Libyan tribes and cities.
Humanitarian organizations and civil society organizations concerned with the displaced and displaced people and prisoners and missing persons.
Independent national figures known for their patriotism and neutrality, which we consider participation in this dialogue, a key factor to make it a success.
– Secondly: We found this statement has no basis and no clear mechanisms for it, but merely that this dialogue will go in accordance with the principles of the so-called system of the revolution February 17, and if the principles and mechanisms of Feb.17 made us to arrive to the now, which requires consensus first on the foundations of the interlocutors and mechanisms for dialogue enables interlocutors from drawing a road map leading to the restoration of security and stability and the rebuilding of State institutions and defeat terrorism widespread throughout Libya, this command is Very important the interlocutors agreed before engaging in this dialogue. The basis for the dialogue is Libya, independence and the right of the people of Libya in security, stability and self-determination, and to choose the political system freely chosen.
– Third: Before thinking about any operational or political mechanisms, this dialogue should come for radical solutions lead to a ceasefire and the withdrawal of weapons and the withdrawal of the militants and bring an end to all armed actions in the country because no effective political process succeed as long as the weapons is not the management and control of the formal institutions of the country.
– Fourth: To be by consensus and any operational mechanisms and address the problem of militias and avoids any actions leading to float and impunity for the crimes against the nation and its citizens that impunity would undermine security and stability in any future opportunity.
– Five: Considering that the Libyan Parliament elected from the fraction of the Libyan people, is the authority entrusted with the legislation and the formation of the Government and all State institutions, judicial and Executive should repeal all legislation by community which led to congestion and imposed by force of arms on National Conference expired, such as the law of political isolation and the law and the law of custody.
– Six: Can not create a positive political atmosphere in the presence of tens of thousands of detainees held in secret and public prisons outside the authority of the state of the missing and the martyrs and the thousands who did not know their loved ones from them all, the urgent need for interlocutors to take urgent decisions to liquidate this legacy and the release of all detainees, and when the judiciary to comply with them by mistake in the right home to accounting and of all parties.
– Seven: The culmination of all these procedures after a confidence-building between the parties by consensus among all parties in the House of Representatives to form a national unity Government of all parties in a balanced manner, the initial functions and substantially implement the dialog during the time outputs agreed upon the return of stability to the country proceeds with the specific tasks which the compliance management among all parties on the Constitution that meets the aspirations of the Libyan people in freedom and democracy, justice and equality as the Government installed the pillars of security and stability. By reorganizing and restructuring the military and security bodies and institutions the police, broadcast and handle all grievances and reparations on a broad cross-section of citizens over the years and dealing with economic problems and issues of basic services to the citizen and crowning it all to launch the political process by deciding a permanent or national charter.
– Eight: Notice of motion to the head of the United Nations Mission for vision aims to urgently form a national unity Government without the national climate as mentioned earlier with confined conflicting dialogue in February and alerted the United Nations mission head movement that continue to this methodology will lead to aggravate things and possibly sliding into chaos and all-out civil war could be avoided, if the response to the motion methodology in this statement which primarily include dialogue to all political factions and gradually Implementing a dialog output steadily and gradient in the implementation of the dialogue output is steady steps and careful.
Everyone knows Bush and Blair as the Butchers of Baghdad – but there is another contender for this title – the little known Jim Steele.
Retired US Colonel James (Jim) Steele is the living proof of the US’s complete complicity in the setting up and maintaining of death squads and prisons in Iraq, in which the most horrendous cruelty and torture took place – and still does. Brutality so normal to Jim Steele that he would just sit there and conduct meetings with people, while victims screamed in the background, utterly ignored by him and his cohorts.
As an American, Jim Steele began his notable overseeing of death squads when he went to El Salvador – during the CIA’s dirty civil war there. Eagerly learning underneath him was none other than David Petraeus – the Butcher Of Mosul – notorious for personally overseeing the operation that saw the murders of THREE Royal Arab Princes: Uday, Qusay and little Mustafa Hussein on 22 July 2003.
Later, Steele went to work for the Pentagon – and George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld – in Iraq. Rumsfeld came up with the torture programme code-named ‘Copper Green’. They paid no attention to the Geneva Convention as they regarded it as ‘quaint’.
Steele’s job was creating and overseeing the Shia death squads that led to Iraq’s civil war-like violence in 2006.
He oversaw the detaining and killing of Sunni Muslims and the creation of the Shia commando units. The most notorious of these – known for its extreme violence and killings – was the Wolf Brigade. Many of its members were from the equally barbaric Badr Brigade. Therefore, both were regularly targeted by the legendary Sheikh Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
The Wolf Brigade was also under the control of the Iraqi Interior Ministry – an institution so extreme in its violence that it makes Saddam’s ‘regime’ look like pet tigers.
The Shia commandos had already began shocking levels of brutality and torture – in secret Iraqi prisons ran by the CIA.
Dozens of bodies of Sunni Muslims were turning up in the rivers of Baghdad every single day…
Jim Steele was a regular visitor to the prisons ran by his Shia Muslim death squads – including another in the Sunni city of Samarra.
In a television programme on al-Jazeera UK, first broadcast last year (2013), the true level of America’s attitude towards human rights was laid bare in stark detail.
The prison room Steele sat in had blood everywhere…
He was also seen in another room, where a man – still alive – was hanging from the ceiling…
Torture methods included the pulling of the ears – using pliers – and deliberate dislocation of the shoulders of the victims…
People were heard screaming – throughout the night… Even 14-year-old children were victims…
Steele would sit there and just ignore it– like it was the most normal thing in the whole world…He did not care, was totally complicit in it all – and his bosses knew everything…
Back home, he now does tours – giving speeches, being applauded and very well paid. It seems Steele will never face justice for his crimes. This is America’s shame.
Before the war started, I would read or listen in despair as silly but genuinely ‘caring’ people said we must go into Iraq to end the culture of torture Saddam was allegedly inflicting. That such cruelty will end when we – the ‘good’ people – go and save the Iraqis. My opinion was that torture in Iraq would dramatically increase if Saddam were removed. I was right. But the real scandal is how much unimaginable suffering America itself – and its allies – brought to Iraq. ‘Copper Green’ was used at Abu Ghraib jail and brought a new twist into torture – sexual humiliation and worse.The Western media always referring to ‘abuse’ at Abu Ghraib constantly angers me. People were not just abused there – they were murdered there. Tortured to death. The West will continue to sanitise what really went on, despite the pictures proving it went well beyond ‘abuse’.
Other, even more shocking, pictures remain covered up by the US government and held in secret.
It was also kept off the mainstream news that US soldiers shot prisoners just for fun from a watchtower – as the inmates were outside in a courtyard, peacefully spending what little time they had outside of their cells.
And that, on another occasion, a prisoner was bitten by a snake in the courtyard and the Americans were told he would die if he did not get medical treatment. He was left to die.
In another prison, the CIA interrogated an Iraqi general of Saddam’s army. General Mowhoush made the terrible mistake of going to the site to try and find out about his four sons – who had all been arrested about a week earlier. To his surprise, he then found himself promptly being arrested. Gen. Mowhoush was beaten, tortured, and put into a sleeping bag – and then zipped up so that he could not breathe. The CIA agents then sat on him until the poor man suffocated to death.
An American general, General Abizaid, has recently stated that the invasion of Iraq was purely for the purpose of getting the oil.
But it was also a plot to strengthen ‘israel’ and break up Iraq.
The Sunni are now understandably ejecting the CIA-created Shia death squads from Sunni areas – with the help of the CIA-armed and sponsored ISIL.
The world has had more than enough of psychopaths like Steele, Petraeus, Abizaid etc. It is time the US and its servants, who helped invade the country, faced justice for their wickedness – a wickedness that will be felt in the very psyche of the noble people of Iraq for decades to come…
(You can read more about Steele and Rumsfeld in Iraq on this site, in a posting titled ‘James Steele: America’s Mystery Man In Iraq: Dirty War In Iraq’, posted 14th April 2013).
Lady Khamis (‘thegirlwholoveskhamis’) For libyaagainstsuperpowermedia.org
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 1945was 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.