“And you all also may remember that early on, I said if you hide a terrorist, if you feed a terrorist, if you provide comfort to a terrorist, you’re just as guilty as the terrorist. ” George W. Bush. (Address to US., troops, Alaska, 16th February 2002.)
Given the ferocity of the attack on Libya, the country Tony Blair credited himself with bringing in from the cold and turning in to a new trading partner, Colonel Qadhafi, has been remarkably conciliatory. On 5th., April he wrote to President Obama, more in sorrow than in anger.(i)
The irony of a half African, Nobel Peace Prize winner, initiating bombing in Africa, instead of using his roots to nurture shoots of understanding and co-operation, is a fairly mind stretching irony. But why spoil an unbroken track record and become the only US., President in modern history not to attack a few countries who pose the United States no threat whatsoever.
On April 30th., Libya’s leader proposed a negotiated cease fire with the rebels, as long as NATO; “stop its ‘planes.” NATO and the insurgents, rejected the offer saying it: “lacked credibility.” Don’t bother to: “Give peace a chance.”
America, Woodrow Wilson’s: ” … only idealistic nation in the world.”, responded by participating in a missile attack which killed the Colonel’s second youngest son, Saif Al Arab, and three grandchildren under twelve.
Nato launched the air strike hours after the Libyan leader renewed calls for a ceasefire and negotiations, in an 80-minute televised address. “The door to peace is open,” he declared, adding that while the Libyan government would welcome a ceasefire “it cannot be achieved unilaterally.” “Come, France, Italy, Britain, America, come to negotiate with us – why are you attacking us?”
But it is April, the seemingly open season on the Qadhafi family, month. On April 15th., 1986 his adopted toddler daughter Hanna was killed in a US., bombing; his son Khamis reportedly died of wounds from another bombing, just four days before March this year, became April.
On 11th., April, Delegates from the African Union, also failed to broker a truce, rejected by the former Justice Minister, turned “rebel leader”, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, who had gone on behalf of the government to Benghazi to broker a peace deal – and switched sides. Quaddaffi himself had accepted the plan. In recently released Wikileak-ed US., diplomatic cables, Jalil is described as “open and cooperative.”(ii) Wonder what deal might have been struck.
NATO’s Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard said he is aware of unconfirmed reports that some Qadhafi family members may have been killed: “All NATO’s targets are military in nature … We do not target individuals”, he said. In broken record mode, he “regrets”: “all loss of life, especially the innocent civilians being harmed as a result of the ongoing conflict.” Interestingly all three attacks appear to have been on the same residential area, where the media yesterday found a decimated one story residential house, the television still on, food in the kitchen, fruit on the table and a football game machine in the garden.
NATO have, in time honored fashion, intimated that the home was a military compound. They said the same of the Ameriyah Shelter in Baghdad in 1991, where the still unknown number incinerated inside, upwards of 400, were woman and children. It had, of course, never been a military compound. They intimated the same of the media centre in Belgrade in 1999 – and, with a different slant, of Baghdad’s Palestine Hotel in 2003, where US., troops killed two journalists and wounded three. On that day (April 8th.,) two more buildings housing journalists were attacked, killing a third correspondent.
In 2008, Sgt. Adrienne Kinne, a former Arabic linguist in U.S., Army Intelligence, revealed that she had seen secret documents listing the Palestine Hotel as a possible military target, prior to the 2003 shelling incident. Reports from Kinne suggest that the attack on the hotel was a deliberate attempt to control news coverage of the U.S., invasion of Iraq, as the Palestine Hotel was a popular place for international journalists. The list of such attacks, globally, over decades, with accompanying collateral lies, is a woeful reflection on military integrity. (News, websites, Wikipedia.)
Yesterday’s attack, said a Libyan government spokesman, was: “An assassination attempt.” Hard to argue, since Britain’s Defence Secretary Liam Fox has said the Libyan Leader is: “a legitimate target”, and Prime Minister Cameron insists that he “must go.” (iii)
Dennis Kucinich (D-Oh.) is aghast:
“NATO’s leaders have blood on their hands. NATO’s airstrike seems to have been intended to carry out an illegal policy of assassination. This is a deep stain which can never fully wash. This grave matter cannot be addressed with empty words. Words will not bring back dead children. Actions must be taken to stop more innocents from getting slaughtered. Today’s attack underscores that the Obama Doctrine of so-called humanitarian intervention appears to be a cover for regime change through assassination and murder.” (iv)
But US., driven attacks have “form” in serial assassinations. In July 2003, Saddam Hussein’s sons, Qusay and Uday and his fifteen year old grandson, were shredded to pieces by US., troops machine gun fire, in a house in the ancient northern Iraqi city of Mosul. No arrests, no trial, simply assassinated, by illegal invaders. Arbitrary executions, unquestioned and unaccountable.
“Historically, America has not sought to impose its will on other countries. The service of our armed forces throughout the world has been uniquely important to the happiness of people everywhere …” stated President Obama in his Nobel Prize Award address. Tell that to the bereaved, bereft, broken, bleeding, bombed, orphaned, displaced. Breathtaking.
In Benghazi and elsewhere in Eastern Libya, the US., and allies are openly advising, backing, funding and arming rebels and insurgents, who have risen up against their own, sovereign government. “Terrorism has long been a tactic, but modern technology allows a few small men with outsized rage to murder innocents on a (sic) horrific scale”, expanded the President at the Nobel ceremony. Right on, Sir.
Incredibly the US., has already done an oil deal with the rebels. Another day, another ram raid. Also another mirror image of Iraq, who switched out of oil trading in US., dollars in November 2000.
Further, regarding Libya:
“The IMF estimates that the bank has nearly 144 tons of gold in its vaults. It is significant that in the months running up to the UN., resolution that allowed the US., and its allies to send troops into Libya, Muammar al-Qadhafi was openly advocating the creation of a new currency that would rival the dollar and the euro. In fact, he called upon African and Muslim nations to join an alliance that would make this new currency, the gold dinar, their primary form of money and foreign exchange. They would sell oil and other resources to the US., and the rest of the world only for gold dinars.
The US., the other G-8 countries, the World Bank … and multinational corporations do not look kindly on leaders who threaten their dominance over world currency markets or who appear to be moving away from the international banking system that favors the corporatocracy. ” (v)
Amid the politics and the horror of knowing that countries dressed as bastions of legality and democracy now have a policy of assassination, Saturday 30th., brought another tragedy. Also bombed by the “humanitarian interveners”, was a parent-funded school for children with Down’s Syndrome. Ismail Seddigh founded the school seventeen years ago, after his daughter was born with Down’s. Through therapy, crafts, music and inventive teaching methods, they aim to have the children able to cope with a main stream school by the age of six. “I feel really sad. I kept thinking, what are we going to do with these children?” Asks Mr. Seddigh. The strike happened before the children arrived, mercifully. The orphanage on the floors above was also bombed.
“If any government sponsors the outlaws and killers of innocence, they have become outlaws and murderers themselves. And they will take that lonely path at their own peril”, said George W. Bush, as he took that path to Afghanistan.
Shortly after 9/11, General Wesley Clark was, as has been recently re-remembered, told by a Pentagon colleague that the decision had been made to “take out” seven countries in five years. The countries were: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran. A little behind schedule, but short of a miracle, the path of greed and inhumanity is hewn.(vi)
Meanwhile, Britain’s little geographically, diplomatically and follicly challenged Foreign Secretary, William Hague has apparently lost the plot. Foreign missions in Libya’s capital have been targeted by crowds angry at a Nato air strike killing Colonel Quaddaffi’s son and grandchildren.. A UK., embassy building had been completely burnt out. Italian, French, US., embassies and the United Nations building – symbol of Security Council Resolution 1973 authorising the plight they find themselves in – were also attacked.
Mr Hague rails that the Quaddaffi regime has: “failed in its duty” to protect it and that Omar Jelban, Libya’s Representative in the UK., had been given 24 hours to leave the country. Hague said: “The Vienna Convention requires the Quaddaffi regime to protect diplomatic missions in Tripoli. By failing to do so, that regime has once again breached its international responsibilities and obligations. I take the failure to protect such premises very seriously indeed.” Truly jaw dropping.
Between 31 st., March and 24th., April, alone, there were 3,438 sorties over Libya and 1,432 strikes against little over six million people (vii) on a country that poses no threat to any NATO country, and has threatened no other. Fig leaf UNSCR 1973, does not make the decimation or assassinations legal. The Colonel has lost five of his family. Yet he and his government is demanded to prioritise protection of the British Embassy – while Britain is contributing substantially to the bombing – perhaps Libyans should also clutch a copy of the Vienna Convention for reading whilst on UK Embassy guard duty.
Since law experts across the globe are queuing up to see George Bush, Tony Blair, and their former Administrations on war crimes trials, and now Barack Obama, David Cameron, Liam Fox, William Hague and their colleagues would seem to be on equally dodgy ground, now in three countries, perhaps a little reading of international law closer to home might be in order.
“We stand at the threshold. It is time for you and me to move out of the dark void of brutal exploitation and greed into the light of compassion and cooperation”, wrote John Perkins, author of “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” recently.
Nearly two and a half thousand years ago, Thucydides (460 BC – 395 BC) wrote: “When will there be justice in Athens? There will be justice in Athens when those who are not injured are as outraged as those who are.” When will power learn?
Yesterday, 1st., May, the day of the Libyan assassinations, is the eighth anniversary of George W. Bush landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln in his little flying suit and announcing: “Mission accomplished.” Well, that’s all gone well, then.