By Jorge L. Rodríguez González
Protecting the civilian population is but the pretext, while NATO’s deliberate
bombing campaign is aimed at paving the way for the rebels to do away with
Gaddafi. The West wants the Jamahiriya.
A Humanitarian War, this how the United States and its collaborators describe the ongoing imperialist crusade against Libya. But, how can a war be called humanitarian? At least, this one cannot be described that way: after all, there have been hundreds of deaths, large infrastructure damage and even the use of depleted uranium, which is so harmful to human health.
However, Washington, Paris and London—the leaders of this war before they
transferred the main role to NATO—continue to crow: “we are protecting the
civilian population.” Though, the human victims were the first to appear in the pictures of this dirty war.
Why did they launch their bombs if their objective was that of protecting
innocent lives? A reasonable decision by the UN Security Council before passing resolution 1973—which gave the green light to the use of force—would have been sending observers to the field to corroborate what was really happening.
The proposal did not lack supporters, Muammar Gaddafi himself asked for it more than once, while some leaders like Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez defended the idea.
But the decision came in by authorizing the setting up of a no-fly zone and an
arms embargo, plus adding Gaddafi to the International Penal Court’s
hypocritical list of suspects. By that time, economic sanctions had been
enforced under resolution 1970.
Up to now, the military adventure has resulted in the deaths of innocent people, the destruction of military and civilian infrastructure—including hospitals and airports. It is just a replay of the 1999 war on Yugoslavia, which was also justified on humanitarian grounds.
Among its military objectives, NATO deliberately bombed power plants, government buildings, factories, schools and health facilities, including child healthcare centers. These are real war crimes!
However, for the chiefs of the military operations against Libya the deaths of
those who they say they defend, are but “collateral damage.” Britain’s foreign
minister William Hague himself, had the audacity to say that “a modern
humanitarian war” does not kill civilians. Much misinformation came from media outlets, which soon spread accounts of the alleged “barbarity” of Gaddafi. They continue to minimize reported deaths and and to sweeten misleading statements like those of Hague to convince public opinion that it is the powers who are the “heroes” which are trying to save the Libyan people and let them have the path “to democracy.”
They even described the grief of those who lost their beloved ones as a
“nonsensical” action carried out by Gaddafi, whom they said, had ordered the
holding of fake funeral ceremonies.
The victims of the NATO bombing, of the US Tomahawk missiles, and the French and British warplanes are not important. While if much talk takes place about the death toll of the West-encouraged civil war, then the allies are but a foreign force involved in an internal conflict, in which bombing clears the way to those who want to topple the government.
One of France’s initial steps—the first to launch the attack—was recognizing the opposition as legitimate representative of Libya, thus discrediting the Tripoli government.
The United States wants to arm the rebels and with that aim it disregards the
arms embargo established by resolution 1973. Some meetings have already taken place between the rebels and Washington’s representatives to address such as possibility as well as financial support. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described as “legal” such a possibility which is not new at all, since it had been considered by US military and government circles before the war broke out.
The idea is also shared by British Prime Minister William Cameron who alleges that the resolution somehow authorizes assistance to those who safeguard the population. If in the end, the document approved by the UN Security Council allows “all measures necessary” to protect the civilian population, each of the heads of state takes it according to his own understanding, while they forget the postulates about the zero violation of independence and sovereignty of the Jamahiriya.
Another proposal by Cameron is to divide the nation into two territories.
British military authorities insist on organizing and training the rebels, and
with this aim they want to hire more private security companies, some of which include former soldiers from elite air special services.
The real objective is doing away with Gaddafi to set up a new government
according to the interests of the superpowers. During a meeting this week in
Benghazi with representatives of the National Transition Council—self-proclaimed as the only representative of the Libyan people—a US diplomat expressed interest in their government project if they managed to overthrow Gaddafi.
PARADOXES OF HYPOCRISY
Why haven’t the United States and its allies invaded Saudi Arabia, Yemen or
Bahrain if they are really that concerned about “democracy”? Those who are
demanding political changes in these countries are being made the targets of
repression. However, they are allies, while their status-quo guarantees them
oil, control over their transportation routes and a strategic position to face
Iran’s influence. Why didn’t they bomb Egypt? Because they could not risk the big support provided by Cairo, both as to the Iranian nuclear issue and the negotiations between Israel and the National Palestinian Authority. Add to this the fact that it also provides a wall against any supplies for the Islamic
Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the Gaza Strip.
Not a single bomb has fallen on Morocco, which has illegally occupied Western Sahara since 1975 and whose jails operate as torture centers for the
independence fighters of the only African nation to get rid of its colonial
rule. And not to think that they could attack Israel, which occupies Palestine
and has imposed death with its bombers along the Gaza strip. Not a single word of condemnation about it.
But for Libya, there is a different plan. Gaddafi has not been an easy nut to
crack for the West given his policy which is based on the defense of
sovereignty, not only of Libya but of all African countries. Therefore,
Washington labeled Libya and its leader as enemies and terrorists, and thus they became the targets of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during the Cold War period. In 1986, US President Ronald Reagan unleashed a military campaign against that nation, which killed dozens of people, including one of Gaddafi’s daughters.
When the United Nations and Washington lifted the sanctions imposed on the
African nation for its nuclear program and after decades marked by tension, US companies like Western Petroleum Corp, Amerada Hess Corp and Chevron Texaco showed increasing interest in Libyan oil. Many European companies also shared the pie. Then, Gaddafi became a “friend” because of certain petroleum reserves still desired by the West. The Libyan leader was not willing to yield. Some US diplomatic cables revealed by Wikileaks exposed the White House’s obsession with Libyan oil fields and the difficulties facing transnational companies in undertaking operations in that country, which included Tripoli’s demand for a larger share of the benefits for the Libyan state.
The Colonel had to be taken out of the picture. And that is what they are trying to do. They first bet on the opposition for this objective, but as Gaddafi was closer to defeating the rebellion, there came the rush to get a Security Council resolution and then the “humanitarian” bombs began to fall. If the rebellion had failed, they would surely have to withdraw their companies from the rich Libyan oil reserves.
However, top US military circles in Washington are still doubtful that Gaddafi
may be defeated, due to his forces’ capacity for resistance. The rebels are not
very well organized either.
As initially predicted by the promoters of the military operation, it could last
longer than expected. And the United States stresses that the bombing campaign will only conclude if Gaddafi steps down from power and leaves the country, which suggests that many other tricks may still be cooking in the back burner.
A URANIUM-FLAVORED DEATH
The “Stop the War” Coalition denounced the use of depleted uranium in the war against Libya. During the very first day of the aggression, US B-2 aircraft
dropped 45 bombs weighing 2000 pounds each and containing—just like the Cruise missiles already launched—depleted uranium, a substance largely used in weapons and nuclear reactors.
Due to its heavy weight (1.7 folds denser than laid), depleted uranium may go
through armored vehicles and buildings. Following the blast, a cloud of burning steam rises and then falls and settles as poisonous and radioactive dust.
The particles of depleted uranium may enter and remain in the lungs and other body organs for years thus causing kidney and chromosome-related damage, cancer, skin diseases and cognitive and nerve conditions. Pregnant women who are exposed to this substance may deliver genetically affected children.
The Euractiv network denounced the NATO air raids which could lead to an
ecological disaster in Libya and deprive millions of citizens of drinking water
if they damage the facilities on the Big Artificial River. This is the world’s
largest water supply system with 4 000 kilometers of pipes that transfer 6
million cubic meters of water daily from the field of wells in Sahara up to the
cities located along the northern coastal strip. The artificial river crosses
the regions of Brega, Ajdabia and Benghazi, where the bombings are being
Underneath the arid lands of Libya there flows an underground ocean called
aquifer of Nubia, which is considered to be the largest in the world, and it
could also be at the center of interest of the aggressors.
Translated by South Journal blog.