Bill Van Auken /IndyMedia & Deborah Dupre / Bay View – 2011-06-12 01:41:01
NATO’s Terror Bombing of Libya
Bill Van Auken /IndyMedia
(June 9, 2011) — The relentless bombardment of Tripoli over the past 48 hours represents a new stage in one of the most naked acts of imperialist aggression since the wars of conquest launched by Hitler and Mussolini in the 1930s.
Warplanes struck the Libyan capital 62 times between Tuesday and early Wednesday morning.
The daylight air strikes underscored that Libya, its air force and air defense system devastated by earlier attacks, remains virtually defenseless in the face of the US-NATO blitzkrieg.
At least 31 people were killed and dozens wounded. The bombings have demolished civilian government buildings, while damaging homes, hospitals and schools. Their intended collateral effect is to terrorize TripoliÂ’s population of 1.7 million.
The sharp escalation in the bombing campaign comes just days after the deployment of British and French attack helicopters, widely seen as the prelude to a direct ground invasion.
Meeting in Brussels on Wednesday, a summit of NATO foreign ministers agreed to continue the 10-week-old bombing campaign Â“as long as necessary,Â” while US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the NATO secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, pushed for other NATO member states, including Germany, Poland, Turkey and Spain, to join in the bombing of the oppressed African nation.
In an earlier period, such air attacks were described as Â“terror bombings.Â” They were carried out by HitlerÂ’s Luftwaffe against defenseless populations Â—in Guernica during the Spanish Civil War in 1937, in Warsaw in 1939, in Rotterdam in 1940 and in Belgrade in 1941Â—with the aim of annihilating the targeted countryÂ’s armed forces, destroying its state and breaking the morale of all those opposed to foreign occupation.
In North Africa, similar campaigns of aggression and terror were waged by MussoliniÂ’s fascist regime against Ethiopia andÂ— then, as now Â—Libya.
There is little to distinguish these earlier acts of aggressionÂ— for which leaders of the Third Reich were prosecuted at NurembergÂ—from the present US-NATO war. In both their aims and methods, they are largely similar.
The US-NATO war is being conducted under the pretense of enforcing a United Nations resolution authorizing Â“all necessary measuresÂ” to protect the countryÂ’s civilian population. The leaders of the US and the major European powers all acknowledge that this resolution is a joke.
The real aim of this war, like those waged in the 1930s, is imperialist conquest. The US, Britain, France and Italy are all openly pursuing Â“regime-changeÂ” in Libya, seeking to topple the existing government of Muammar Gaddafi and impose a new client state that will work as the puppet of the major powers and the Western energy conglomerates.
They have seized upon the popular upheavals sweeping the Middle East and North Africa to subjugate this sparsely populated country, which is strategically located between the two Arab nations where the most far-reaching uprisings have taken place Â—Egypt and Tunisia. Their purpose is not, as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have cynically claimed, to safeguard the Â“Arab spring,Â” but rather to put themselves in a military position to strangle it.
Acting under the pretense of enforcing a UN resolution and protecting civilian life, the US and its allies have caused immense suffering among Libyan civilians. They have likewise jettisoned the essential contents of the UNÂ’s founding charter, which outlawed wars of aggression and upheld the principle of national sovereignty, barring intervention in the domestic affairs of member states.
They have carried out acts of aggression with the patent aim of assassinating LibyaÂ’s head of state and destroying its armed forces and state infrastructure. In the process, they have bombed central Tripoli and parts of other cities to smithereens and have killed innocent men, women and childrenÂ—not to mention untold numbers of soldiers, many of them conscripts as young as 17.
The NATO bombing has also turned thousands of Libyans and migrant workers into refugees, fleeing for their lives. Many hundreds have died in the attempt to cross the Mediterranean. There is growing fear that the war will trigger a humanitarian disaster, depriving the civilian population of food, water and medical care.
Those responsible for these acts — Barack Obama, David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy and others — are guilty of war crimes.
At their meeting in Brussels, the NATO foreign ministers were told that preparations must be made for a Â“post-Gaddafi Libya.Â” It can be predicted with certainty that, if achieved, this objective will take the form of a second military campaignÂ—a reign of terror against the Libyan population, designed to crush any resistance to foreign domination.
What has Libya done to the countriesÂ—including Denmark, Norway and Sweden Â—that are now raining bombs down upon its cities and population? The answer is nothing. They are joining in the imperialist onslaught as the price of admission to the Â“post-GaddafiÂ” carve-up of the countryÂ’s assets, both its oil reserves and the tens of billions of dollars that have been Â“frozenÂ” in Western banks.
In carrying out this criminal imperialist adventure, the US and NATO have been able to exploit the near total absence of an antiwar movement in either America or Europe.
In the four decades since the Vietnam War, organized antiwar sentiment has played a political role on both continents. On the eve of the unprovoked US invasion of Iraq in 2003, millions took to the streets across the globe in an unprecedented international demonstration against war and imperialism.
Yet now, with US imperialism waging three wars of aggression simultaneously, and with the major powers in Europe joining in, the continuing opposition to war felt by broad masses of the population finds no significant public expression.
This political phenomenon is to be explained in large measure by the evolution of an entire middle-class ex-left layer which comprised the leadership of the antiwar protests of a previous period. While taking different political formsÂ—in the US, an ever-deepening integration into the Democratic Party, and in Europe, the trajectory of the Greens and other so-called Â“leftÂ” political formations Â—this evolution has common social and political roots: the increased wealth of this layer and its accommodation to imperialism under the thoroughly hypocritical slogan of Â“human rights.Â”
Prominent among this layer is a coterie of formerly Â“leftistÂ” academics Â—personified by the University of Michigan Middle East historian Juan ColeÂ—who virtually salivate over every new NATO bombardment, proclaiming each attack a blow for a Â“Free Libya.Â” In the shameless pro-war propaganda of some of these professorial scoundrels, there is an unmistakable echo of the positions taken by a similar middle-class layer in Germany during the rise of Nazism.
A new antiwar movement, based on the working class and a socialist perspective, must emerge in response to the assault on Libya, the continuing crimes in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, and new acts of militarism yet to come.
These wars are being carried out by a ruling financial elite in an attempt to offset the catastrophic consequences of the economic crisis gripping global, and above all US, capitalism. Militarism abroad is combined with a relentless war against the living standards and basic social rights of working people in every country. While the ex-left erstwhile leadership of the middle-class protest movement is moving to the right, this crisis is pushing workers to the left.
The struggle against war — for an end to the imperialist aggression against Libya, the withdrawal of all US and other foreign troops from the Middle East and Afghanistan, and a halt to the threat of new and even bloodier imperialist conflagrations — can be waged only as part of the fight to mobilize the working class politically against the profit system, the source of militarism.
To succeed, this movement must be based upon a new perspective and strategy of socialist internationalism, to unite the working class in every country in a common struggle to put an end to capitalism and begin the socialist reorganization of the world economy to meet social needs, rather than private profit.
NATO Inflicted Libyan Deaths, Injuries Not ‘Â‘PropagandaÂ’:’ â€¨â€¨
Deborah Dupreâ€¨â€¨/ Bay View
Sukant Chandan interviews hospital worker
at NATO bombing site in Libya
Sons of Malcolm TV
(June 10, 2011) — In the CIA kick-started war on Libya, The New York Times report Monday by John F. Burns, calling Libyan civilian casualties “propaganda,” does not square with a series of WBAIX in-hospital interviews (posted below) by Joshalyn Lawrence that show civilian victim survivors of US/NATO intensifying bomb raids, both witnessed by a human rights fact-finding mission including Cynthia McKinney and former members of parliament, who report it is NATO spin that mainstream media is reporting.
“Sightings of civilian casualties have been rare,” reported Burns on June 6. “Visits to bombing sites, hospitals and funerals have produced a succession of blunders, including patients identified as bombing victims who turned out not to be, empty coffins at funerals and burials where some of those interred turned out not to be airstrike victims at all.”
The Lawrence videos, on the WBAIX channel, of hospitalized civilians is evidence that, rather than injuries and killings by bombs being “rare” or reporting “blunders,” they are realities. Graphic images of the wounded are documented in the WBAIX videos created by Joshalyn Lawrence.
In the videos, one after another wounded innocent civilian described atrocities to Cynthia McKinney, in a fact-finding mission with a team including a delegation of former MPs and professors from France, all now in Tripoli.
The live-stream Lawrence videos (Click on The Free Voice of WBAI-in-Exile) on DeBar’s channel document the NATO attacks and the injured, showing their wounds and describing friends and co-workers killed.
McKinney’s fact-finder team is seen entering one hospital room after another, each with the injured and the doctor explaining how the injury occurred and showing the injuries. Houses are “completely destroyed” and meanwhile, according to McKinney, NATO has its own psychological operation in progress.
In a June 7 statement by McKinney, she refutes NATO claims about making “significant progress” in “protecting Libyan civilians” and “targeting military intelligence headquarters in downtown Tripoli.”
The fact-finder team, of which McKinney is a delegate, planned a program to visit camps of internally displaced persons in the area but this could not occur because of US/NATO attacks.
“[W]e are not able to complete our program while Tripoli is under attack. I will do my best to visit some of the areas bombed today when and if this attack lets up.”
Like The New York Times, The Washington Post headlined “Libya government fails to prove claims of NATO casualties” and the Los Angeles Times headline was â€œLibya officials put a spin on a conflict.â€
“These bombs and missiles are not falling in empty spaces: People are all over Tripoli going about their lives just as in any other major metropolitan city of about 2 million people,” stated McKinney.
“I don’t understand why they want to kill us,” said one young woman seen standing with others outside the Tripoli hospital room, explaining that the old are also being injured and killed.
“Why?” is the question repeatedly asked by the injured who are able to speak.
Political analyst Webster Tarpley answered that question Monday, June 6, on Press TV, stating that the â€œgoal of all this all along has been to smash Libya into various parts to drive Qaddafi out of power and to seize control of the oil to re-impose the yoke of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in still more severe form than we ever had it.â€
“And I think right now desperation is growing, especially in London and Paris, that old Suez 1956 combination of unreconstructed imperialists,” said Tarpley. “They are desperate now because their methods so far are not working. They tried high level bombing, combined with this rebel rabble underground with a lot of al-Qaeda fighters included in it and thatâ€™s not working.”
Wayne Madsen, who was among those in the hospital with McKinney and others, seeing the patients and witnessing the injuries, has reported that early mainstream media reports included photos of Libyan rebels waving weapons and discharging them into the air, while “NATO member nations were supposedly locked in debate as to whether or when to provide weapons to the rebels.”
“Someone in the media finally pointed out that the weapons being waved about in the photos were NATO standard issue,” reported Madsen.
Foreign Secretary William Hauge has said that NATO’s almost three month long mission is intensifying and it could last many more months, according to Press TV.
Tarpley speculates that the US aggression on Libya could bring President Obama down. Republicans who have been long-time warmongers “are now seizing on the Libyan war as a means of attacking Obama.”
The War Powers Act “would have required Obama to get congressional approval for what he is doing within 60 days, meaning by about May 20,” stated Tarpley. “At May 20, the second clock starts which gives him 30 days to pull out. If Obama does not pull out of the attack on Libya by about the 20th of June, he could be brought down by the Republicans in the House, who might use that as a vehicle to express their resentment so they build up some other issues.”
African Americans in Harlem urged public support on Wednesday as they protest the US/NATO attacks on Libyan Africans and the targeting of Libyan leader Col. Muammar Qadaffi, the man praised by Nelson Mandela for supporting the anti-apartheid struggle and the man who has said No to the establishment of a US military command (Africom) on the African continent to take African resources. (See â€œAfrican Americansâ€™ emergency gathering to stop Qadaffi assassinationâ€ by Deborah Dupre, National Human Rights Examiner.com)
McKinney asked June 7, “What were you doing today between 1:00 p.m. and now? The people of Tripoli endure the trauma of repeated bombings in their immediate environment.”
Referring to “imperialist” Nuremberg crimes against humanity in Libya, Tarpley said that “undoubtedly,” depleted uranium and cluster bombs are being used, “and all the rest.”
Investigations have revealed that the US Navy used cluster bombs on Libyans that injured the innocent, including children.
“[A]nd that’s what they call democracy these days.”
Deborah Dupre holds American and Australian science and education graduate degrees and has 30 years experience in human rights, environmental and peace activism. Email her at Gdeborahdupre@gmail.com and visit her website, www.DeborahDupre.com.
NATO Bombs Terrorize Libyan School Children
Human rights violations escalating in Libya due to NATO strikes and related abuses all tied to CIA
Deborah Dupre / Human Rights Examiner
(June 5, 2011) — Today, reports from Libya by independent journalists include NATO’s terrorizing children at school with bombs, evidence that the CIA has paved the way for the conflict by its involvement with Libyan rebels, and Cynthia McKinney in Tripoli Saturday visiting NATO injured hospital patients, one asking “Why do they want to kill us?”
Human rights violations in Libya are escalating due to NATO strikes and its related abuses according to Don DeBar today. DeBar is reporting on findings of the collaborating group of independent journalists and Cynthia McKinney.
Wayne Madsen reports that early support for Libyan rebels the CIA and French and British intelligence, “indicates that the Libyan rebellion was not based on events in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt, but was designed to authorize the rebels to move when a favorable situation presented itself.”
Weapons the Libyan rebels are using link back to America’s own CIA. Madsen reports:
“Many of the new weapons being used by the rebels are from the Belgian-based arms manufacturer Fabrique Nationale (FN), which has a CIA-connected subsidiary called FNH-USA. One FN rifle, the Fusil Automatique Leger (FAL), is the standard weapon being used by the rebels.
“The FAL, called the “Right Arm of the Free World” during the Cold War, only uses NATO standard rounds. The weapon was never used by the Libyan Army, which relied on Soviet weaponry. Claims by NATO that the rebels are using Libyan weapons captured from army arsenals and caches are, therefore, false.” Now, incidents of NATO terror rain on innocent people in Tripoli according to the journalists.
Children at Djil Attahadi primary school in Tripoli, Libya sing “Allah, Moammar, Libya bas’ (Allah, Moammar [Gadaffi], Libya — it’s all we need,” documented by Lizzie Cochran. (See: Gadaffi is all we need, Lizziies’ Liberation Channel, Youtube.)
The Djil Attahadi elementary school was shaken to its foundations Saturday 28 May 2011 by NATO bombing of an adjacent complex housing trainees of the civil militias reports Cochran who said, “The bomb caused the school to shake, many windows were blown in by two bombs 30mins apart.”
“The children were sitting their exams at the time and ran en masse out of the school in terror.”
Respect us as human beings
Cynthia McKinney, a leader of the Dignity delegation, visited a patient and his doctor in a Tripoli Hospital. (See Youtube video by Don DeBar, “Cynthia McKinney visits a hospital in Libya” that is embedded on this page at the left.)
The patient, a history teacher, said they want their message sent to the American government that “it should respect us as human beings.”
“I cannot sleep in the hospital because of the bombing,” said the injured patient.
The doctor explained to McKinney the human rights abuses happening to patients who are dying, including women who have been denied health care.
NATO injures 300 Libyans:
More Doctors, Blood Needed
Deborah Dupre / Human Rights Examiner
(June 4, 2011) — On the ground in Tripoli, journalist Lizzie Cocker has made contact with New York based journalist, Don DeBar, providing latest updates on the Libyan crisis where the alleged war crime committed by NATO, with its cluster bomb strikes killing innocent people and injuring over 300 citizens in Misrata, the incident then blamed on Gadaffi by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The Misrata hospital at the site of the strike is calling for more doctors and blood to save lives.
DeBar, with a group of independent journalists, not embedded in NATO forces, will be bringing news to the public about the crisis. These collaborating journalists also Cocker and Wayne Madsen.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.