In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

War crimes in Libya and the March shift

Posted by seumasach on April 8, 2012

Michael Collins

War is a Crime

7th April, 2012

Foreign Policy just published a roundup of weapons contributed to the Libyan rebels in the regime change effort.  The e-Journal is a publication of the Washington Post.  Colum Lynch’s April 4 article relies on the March 20 UN report to the UN Security Council by a panel of experts appointed to track the UN resolutions and responses from the start of the conflict.

These two paragraphs, noncontroversial in establishment world, outline clear violations of Principle VI (a), (b), and (c), of the Nuremburg Principles, affirmed by the United Nations General Assembly.

“As the late Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi’s forces prepared to crush the Libyan uprising last summer in Benghazi, Britain, France, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and other allies moved quickly to reinforce the beleaguered rebel forces.

“With military supplies, training, advice — and of course the backing of NATO war planes — this coalition of governments provided critical support to change the course of the conflict, ultimately leading to Qaddafi’s downfall. ” Colum Lynch, Foreign Policy, March 4

It’s right there. The rebels were getting their clock cleaned by the legal government of Libya.  The UN Security Council approved a humanitarian mission run by NATO to protect Libyan civilians based almost exclusively on evidence from one questionable source, an activist who was part of the Libyan rebels group.

NATO, Qatar, and the UAE supplied tons of cash and material, plus an air force, to the rebels.  Through Qatari troops on the ground, the NATO air force was able coordinate air strikes that, in effect, dragged the Libyan rebels across the finish line.  In that process, a sovereign nation was attacked without provocation.   Thousands were slaughtered, many more maimed, with incidents of ethnic cleansing documented.

Those acts violate the Nuremberg Principle VI:  (a)  Crimes against peace (i) and (ii) – “waging a war of aggression;” (b) War crimes – “wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity;” and (c) Crimes against humanity – “deportation and other inhuman acts done against any civilian population, orpersecutions on political, racial or religious grounds …”

Principle III says “heads of states” can be held to account for these violations.  Send the NATO leaders involved to The Hague and let them sort it out.  If you do the crime, you do the time.

The excuse for war was the presumed bloodbath, a Rwanda!, that Gaddafi would inflict on the rebel cities.  NATO nations knew that this was not going to be the case, based on Gaddafi’s behavior prior to the NATO attack.  Alan J. Kuperman debunked the myth of a humanitarian mission:

“But intervention did not prevent genocide, because no such bloodbath was in the offing. To the contrary, by emboldening rebellion, US interference has prolonged Libya’s civil war and the resultant suffering of innocents.

“The best evidence that Khadafy did not plan genocide in Benghazi is that he did not perpetrate it in the other cities he had recaptured either fully or partially — including Zawiya, Misurata, and Ajdabiya, which together have a population greater than Benghazi.”  Alan J. Kuperan, False Pretenses for War in Libya? Boston Globe, March 14

The full UN report is and worthy of detailed review.  It documents the assault on Libya from the organization that authorized that assault.

The March shift

We’re through with the years of indefinite delay from the end of a foreign war to the point at which the truth emerges.  It’s not going to take three decades to find out what really went in at the latest Gulf of Tonkin (the outright lie that launched Vietnam).  The behavior of leaders, the greed of their Wall Street-big banker patrons, and a real unemployment rate of 22% are everyday realities for citizens.  Why should we greet any of the grand schemes presented without initial disbelief?

The following poll number are all from March 2012.  Majorities oppose aid and intervention in Syria; supportimmediate withdrawal from Afghanistan;and oppose providing military aid to Israel should Israel initiate an attack on Iran.  A near majority favors bringing troops home from Europe, i.e, neutering NATO.

While the rulers pretend to honor the will of the people, the people are actually showing some will.  They are moving quickly beyond the litany of lies that take so much from so many to serve so very few.

It is time to reflect on what our leaders have done and make sure they get the message.  Your time is over.  Leave promptly.

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