You are hereLibya

Libya

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /usr/local/share/drupal-6.31/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.

Libya

Washington Fights Fire With Fire in Libya

How Not to End Violence in a War-Torn Land 
By Nick Turse, TomDispatch.com

Is the U.S. secretly training Libyan militiamen in the Canary Islands? And if not, are they planning to?

That’s what I asked a spokesman for U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). “I am surprised by your mentioning the Canary Islands,” he responded by email.  “I have not heard this before, and wonder where you heard this.”

As it happens, mention of this shadowy mission on the Spanish archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa was revealed in an official briefing prepared for AFRICOM chief General David Rodriguez in the fall of 2013.  In the months since, the plan may have been permanently shelved in favor of a training mission carried out entirely in Bulgaria.  The document nonetheless highlights the U.S. military’s penchant for simple solutions to complex problems -- with a well-documented potential for blowback in Africa and beyond.  It also raises serious questions about the recurring methods employed by the U.S. to stop the violence its actions helped spark in the first place.   

Ever since the U.S. helped oust dictator Muammar Gaddafi, with air and missile strikes against regime targets and major logistical and surveillance support to coalition partners, Libya has been sliding into increasing chaos.  Militias, some of them jihadist, have sprung up across the country, carving out fiefdoms while carrying out increasing numbers of assassinations and other types of attacks.  The solution seized upon by the U.S. and its allies in response to the devolving situation there: introduce yet another armed group into a country already rife with them.   

Follow the Money: Three Energy Export Congressional Hearings, Climate Undiscussed

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

In light of ongoing geopolitical tensions in Russia, Ukraine and hotly contested Crimea, three (yes, three!) U.S. Congressional Committees held hearings this week on the U.S. using its newfangled oil and gas bounty as a blunt tool to fend off Russian dominance of the global gas market.

U.S. Sen Mary Landrieu at the U.S. Sen. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; Photo Credit:  U.S. Sen. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

Though 14 combined witnesses testified in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Energy and Power and U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, not a single environmental voice received an invitation. Climate change and environmental concerns were only voiced by two witnesses. 

Using the ongoing regional tumult as a rationale to discuss exports of U.S. oil and gas obtained mainly via hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"), the lack of discussion on climate change doesn't mean the issue isn't important to national security types.

Indeed, the Pentagon's recently published Quadrennial Defense Review coins climate change a "threat force multiplier" that could lead to resource scarcity and resource wars. Though directly related to rampant resource extraction and global oil and gas marketing, with fracking's accompanying climate change and ecological impacts, "threat force multiplication" impacts of climate change went undiscussed. 

With another LNG (liquefied natural gas) export terminal approved by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in Coos Bay, Ore., to non-Free Trade Agreement countries on March 24 (the seventh so far, with two dozen still pending), the heat is on to export U.S. fracked oil and gas to the global market.   

So, why wasn't the LNG climate trump card discussed in a loud and clear way? Well, just consider the source: ten of the witnesses had ties in one way or another to the oil and gas industry.

A ‘60-Minutes’ Scandal: Lara Logan, Hotness and Benghazi Gone Wild

By John Grant


Lara Logan is a formidable TV reporter who has covered wars and other stories at significant risk. She’s supremely confident and has a powerful journalistic institution supporting her. But as a would-be ethical journalist, she seems to rely too much on her sexual allure and to be too tight with elite elements of the US military establishment.

Humanitarian Wars and Their NGO Foot-Soldiers

By Daniel McAdams

October 05, 2013 "Information Clearing House -   In February, 2011, Soliman Bouchuiguir told a lie. It was a big one. As the head of the Libyan League for Human Rights, Bouchuiguir initiated a petition that was eventually signed by 70 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) demanding that the US, EU, and UN “mobilize the United Nations and the international community and take immediate action to halt the mass atrocities now being perpetrated by the Libyan government against its own people.”

The petition invoked the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine, a 2005 UN policy shift away from respect for national sovereignty toward green-lighting “humanitarian intervention,” including with military force, anywhere human rights are suspected of being violated.

Bouchuiguir’s petition was designed to tick all the necessary boxes of the R2P criteria. It reported that Libyan leader Gaddafi was deliberately killing peaceful protestors and innocent bystanders. He was using snipers to fire on Libyans at random, using helicopter gunships and fighter jets to attack, and even firing artillery shells into the crowd. The petition was where we first saw the oft-repeated line that the Gaddafi regime was employing foreign mercenaries against his own people.

Speaking in support of his petition before the UN Human Rights Council a few days later, Bouchuiguir claimed that Gaddafi had already killed 6,000 of his own people and was determined to kill many more. Based on his testimony and the petition signed by the 70 NGOs, Libya was suspended from membership in the UN Human Rights Council. On the strength of that suspension the issue was moved along rapidly to the UN Security Council, where teeth would soon be put into the campaign for military intervention.

What is behind this human rights NGO? The Libyan League for Human Rights is a member of the International Federation for Human Rights, which as an organization took up and added the weight of its large membership to Bouchuiguir’s petition. It should not be much of a shock to learn that the International Federation for Human Rights relies heavily on governmental sources for funding. Governmental funding of NGOs has been an increasingly effective tool for mobilizing popular support for governmental policies. A land or resource grab is hardly as compelling to the masses as a claimed human rights crisis when a foreign intervention is planned.

Given this, it should be no surprise that the US government, through its own well-funded “democracy-promotion” NGO, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), is a major supporter of the International Federation for Human Rights. In fact, NED’s long-serving president, Carl Gershman, was one of the first signatories to Bouchuiguir’s Libya regime-change petition.

In the powerful film, Lies Behind the Humanitarian War in Libya,” filmmaker Julien Teil asks Bouchuiguir whether it was difficult to gather 70 NGOs behind his petition. He replies, “to tell the truth it’s not very difficult at all, cause all NGOs are acquainted.” That is key: the NGOs are all under the umbrella of US and other government-funded organizations like the International Federation for Human Rights. The seeming diversity of 70 signatures is in fact a Potemkin Village, masking the true uniformity of opinion and sponsors.

Why is the story of Bouchuiguir’s petition turning into a UN Human Rights Council action turning into a UN Security Council action turning into a NATO war on Libya so important? His claims were all lies. They were all made up, as he himself admits in the Teil documentary.

Asked months later by Teil how his claims of the number of deaths, rapes, wounded, and missing could be documented, Bouchuiguir replied, “there is no way.” He added that he got the numbers he used from the Libyan rebels themselves, a fact which was never pointed out when the numbers were first cited. The UN Security Council took up his claims, passing the fateful UNSC Resolution 1973 authorizing force against Libya, without investigating them. Pressed one last time in the film for evidence of his claims, Bouchuiguir answered finally, “there is no evidence!”

For his efforts, Bouchuiguir was made Libyan ambassador to Switzerland once the NATO invasion was over and the rebel government was put in place. The international community gathered its NGOs together and moved on to the next target: Syria. Close to 99 percent of the mainstream media articles on Syria rely on a single source, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. It is a one-man operation in London run by Rami Abdulrahman, whose day job is running a small clothing shop. Once again, one man and an NGO have been able to ignite international opinion in favor of “humanitarian” intervention. It would do us well to more closely examine the role of the NGOs in promoting international conflict, particularly the governments behind them.

After decades US still has huge poison gas stash: Washington Demands Syria Destroy Chemical Weapons Lickety-Split

By Dave Lindorff

 
The US is demanding, in negotiations at the UN, that all Syrian chemical weapons, stocks and production facilities be eliminated by June 30 of next year. This has an element of hypocrisy, because the US itself has been incredibly slow about eliminating its own stocks of chemical weapons.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has referred to Syria as having one of the largest chemical stockpiles in the world. But the US and Russia both still have stocks of chemicals many times as large. Syria’s neighbor Israel, which refuses to admit it has the weapons and has yet to ratify the treaty banning them, is suspected of also having a large arsenal.

We don’t gas children, we shred them: Obama’s Grotesque Hypocrisy over Cluster Munitions

By Dave Lindorff


Syrian civilians and children should count themselves lucky that mass opposition in the US, the UK and much of the rest of the world to the idea of a US bombing blitz aimed at punishing the Syrian government for allegedly using Sarin gas in an attack on a Damascus neighborhood forced the US to back off and accept a Russian deal to get rid of Syria’s chemical weapons.


The Bellicose Obama Regime: Once Again, the Answer Is Bombing

By John Grant


Here we go again.

Polls suggest the American people are fed up after two full-bore wars and the killing of an ambassador in Benghazi following our escapade in Libya. Yet, the Obama administration seems poised to launch another war in Syria.

“We can’t do a third war in 12 years!"

Libyan Door to Syrian Door to Iran

"Our intelligence community does assess with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin."

I do assess with varying degrees of horror (some of the varying degrees rather high even) that a lot of people are going to die.  And how dare they die from chemical weapons when they should be dying from hellfire missiles and cluster bombs and napalm and depleted uranium and white phosphorous.  We have a responsibility to protect these people from dying of the wrong type of weapon and in too small numbers.

I'm in Dallas protesting the rehabilitation of our last criminal president because of the precedents he set for our current criminal president.  So, precedents are on my mind.  One precedent for an illegal humanitarian NATO war on Syria is, of course, the illegal humanitarian war on Libya two years ago.  And the pair of precedents (Libya and Syria) will put the target of the neocon/neoliberal cooperative war project squarely on Iran.

Syria will suffer, of course.  There will be no more an example of a humanitarian war that actually benefitted humanity after Syria than before.  The precedent will not be one of having accomplished something, but of having gotten away with something.

For some truly illuminating background on what was done to Libya, and some relevant discussion of what awaits Syria (if we don't prevent it), I recommend Francis Boyle's new book, Destroying Libya and World Order. 

Boyle served as a lawyer for the government of Libya repeatedly, over a period of decades, more than once successfully preventing a military assault by the United States and the United Kingdom.  Boyle details the aggression toward Libya of the Reagan administration: the lies and false accusations, the sanctions, the provocations, the assassination attempts, the infiltration, the blatant disregard for international law.

Boyle's history brings us up to and through the 2011 assault, and traces its precedents to a very similar war over a decade earlier in Bosnia.  Boyle finds the unconstitutional and illegal assault on Libya a clear impeachable offense for President Obama.  And why would we think otherwise?  Only because we let Clinton and Bush get away with everything they got away with.  It would seem unfair now to impeach Obama for a crime his predecessors committed as well.

But past, as well as current, presidents can be impeached, censured, prosecuted, and/or publicly shamed.  Five of them came to Dallas today; there shouldn't be any trouble finding them.  And the criminal attack on Libya can be treated as the crime it was.  The excuse of protection was used to quite openly pursue the overthrow of a nation's government, bombing large numbers of civilians in the process, while arming brutal thugs and creating predictable blowback in neighboring nations as well.

In contrast, in Bahrain, nonviolent pro-democracy activists are left to their own devices as a U.S.-backed dictatorship jails, tortures, and murders them.

In Syria, the United States has worked against peace and for violence.  That violence is not a justification for further and heightened violence.  And every member of an intelligence "community" that announces that Syria might possibly have used a chemical weapon should be doing community service for the people of Fallujah and Basra and Baghdad, not prodding the world's only stupor power into another genocide.

 

Reaping the Whirlwind: A Violent Act Again in a Violent Nation

 

By Dave Lindorff


I ran the Boston Marathon back in 1968, and, my feet covered with blisters inside my Keds sneakers, dragged across the finish line to meet my waiting uncle at a time of about 3 hours and 40 minutes. It was close enough to the time that the current bombing happened in this year’s race -- about four hours from the starting gun -- that had I been running it this year, I might still been near enough to the finish line to have heard the blasts.

The Future's So Much More Fun than the Past: How to Avoid the Bummer Myth

 

By John Grant


“The elite always has a Plan B, while people have no escape.”
            - Ahmad Saadawi


True, He’s the First Black President But Obama’s the Worst President Ever

 

By Ron Ridenour


Yes, I mean it: the worst ever!


We’ve had James Monroe and his doctrine of supremacy over Latin America. We’ve had Theodore Roosevelt and his invasion of Cuba; Nixon, Reagan, Bush-Bush and their mass murder, and all the war crimes and genocide committed by most presidents. Yes, but we never had a black man sit on the white throne of imperialism committing war crimes.


Individual Honor versus Unpleasant History The Battle Still Rages Over What Vietnam Means

 

By John Grant


"The experience we have of our lives from within, the story we tell ourselves about ourselves in order to account for what we are doing, is thus a lie -- the truth lies rather outside, in what we do."

                -- Slavoj Zizek

Links? We Don’t Do No Stinkin’ Links: Cognitive Dissonance at the New York Times

 

By Dave Lindorff


For a masterpiece in cognitive dissonance, just look to the foreign editors and the  managing editor of the New York Times, who ran two stories in Saturday’s paper without referencing each other at all.


Hey, Hey, Barack! What Do You Say? How Many Kids Have You Killed Today?

 

By Dave Lindorff


I personally found the president’s inaugural speech not just insipid, but disgusting. It reached its gut-churning nadir near the end where he said:


US Intelligence Analysts: American Power is in Terminal Decline

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

The US is on the way out as a hegemonic power. 


That is the primary conclusion of a new report out of the National Intelligence Council -- a government organization that produces mid-term and long-range thinking for the US intelligence community.


A Case of Just Looking Stupid? The Not-So-Bright Bulbs at the White House and Pentagon

 

By Dave Lindorff


Let me see if I’ve got this right.


Remember Bani Walid

 

Remember Bani Walid

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

For courageous Jamahiriya fighters, it's their finest hour. Despite overwhelming force, use of chemical and other illegal weapons, and US-sponsored mass murder, they hang on valiantly.

 

Western major scoundrels shamelessly ignore the slaughter or misreport it. More on that below.

 

Genocide in Bani Walid

 

Genocide in Bani Walid

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Washington bears full responsibility for waging multiple wars on humanity. It planned, initiated and controls direct and proxy conflicts across North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

 

Bani Walid made headlines for three weeks. Genocide threatens its residents. Obama's dirty hands are all over this crime of war and against humanity. Media scoundrels ignore it. More on this below. 

The Sticky Wicket in Benghazi and Seal Team Imperialism

 

 

By John Grant


In the parlance of the classic British colonial era, President Obama is faced with a bit of a sticky wicket in Benghazi, Libya. That metaphor, of course, refers to a patch of rough grass making it hard to hit the ball through the wicket in the British sport of cricket. British colonials liked to bring a little of England to the warm climes they colonized and played cricket on native-tendered grass between dealing with unruly wogs and quaffing gin and tonics to fight boredom and malaria.

Besieged Gaddafi Stronghold Bani Walid Under Attack

 

Besieged Gaddafi Stronghold Bani Walid Under Attack

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Washington's war on Libya rages. Fighting didn't stop after NATO said its seven-month 2011 "mission" ended. Ravaging a nonbelligerent country wasn't good enough.

 

Building Bridges Instead of Imperial Wars

 

John Grant

 

“Blows that don’t break your back make it stronger.”
- Anthony Quinn in Omar Mukhtar, Lion of the Desert
 

 

For years, I’ve been working either in the journalism realm or as an antiwar veteran activist expressing the core idea that the United States of America is an “empire,” that its militarist foreign policy is “imperialistic” and that many of our perennial and current problems are rooted in the reality that, as an imperial nation, like many empires in history, we’re overextending ourselves and destroying something that is dear to all American citizens who love this country.

The US is the World's Biggest War-Monger

 

By Dave Lindorff


There is a massive deception campaign in the US, and in its global propaganda, which seeks to portray the United States as a poor set-upon nation that would like world peace but just has to keep a military stationed around the globe to “police” all the world’s “trouble spots.”


UNAC Statement on attacks on US Embassies in Libya and other Middle Eastern, North African and SW Asian Countries

Adding Insult to Injury

The massive, angry demonstrations and attacks on U.S. embassies sweeping through the Muslim world comes in the context of a campaign against Muslims carried out by the U.S. government in an attempt to justify their wars against Muslim countries. This campaign includes preemptive prosecutions where FBI agents create phony plots and encourage behavior that can be prosecuted and attacks on civil liberties at home; the Peter King hearings; NYPD spying on Muslims; raids and detentions; and states that have passed anti-Muslim laws. It includes the physical attacks on Muslims, on mosques and on people who racist whites think are Muslims, like Sikhs, and opposition to Muslim building projects like Park 51 and much more.

This atmosphere encourages the kind of hateful anti-Muslim video that was produced. At some point, it had to be expected that Muslims around the world would react. The U.S. will spin this by focusing on the film and implying that all Muslims are crazy and do not support freedom of speech. However, this is a self-serving lie and a diversion from the real root causes. Humiliation is a necessary component of the cycle of abuse. It should be noted that similar attacks on Judaism and the Holocaust are prosecuted as hate crimes and that artists and musicians who have created work offensive to many Christians have been vilified and threatened.

We need to put the blame squarely where it belongs -- on the U.S., which has been at war with the Muslim world in order to dominate and control resources and power. We have seen the utter destruction of Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan; drone attacks on Muslim countries we are not at war with, including Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia; and the persistent economic starvation and political suffocation of the Muslim people in Egypt, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and other countries by US backed dictators enforcing Western dominance in the region. So-called “targeted assassinations” kill many innocent non-combatants and are viewed simply as “collateral damage” rather than murders, demonstrating how little the U.S. government values non-Western lives.

The fact that these protests came as a surprise to the U.S. State Department is a reflection of the arrogance and stupidity of a government that claims it is bringing freedom and democracy to the region through drone missiles, sanctions, assassinations, and occupations and expects the people to be grateful.

The unfortunate deaths of the American Ambassador in Libya and members of his security team are the direct result of violent, hypocritical, internally conflicted US policies in the region, whether the unanticipated result of the rioting triggered by the film or blowback for longstanding U.S. atrocities rooted in the ongoing wars. It is long past time to reject those policies and begin a new era based on respect for the dignity and humanity of every individual and of all the various cultures and religions of the world.

We must stand in solidarity with all the victims of U.S.-sponsored violence and repression.

END THE WARS & OCCUPATIONS! BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

NO DRONE ATTACKS! NO SANCTIONS! HANDS OFF SYRIA & IRAN!

END RACIST REPRESSION, RAIDS, FRAME-UPS & ISLAMOPHOBIA AT HOME!

Funding Teachers Doesn't Get Embassies Attacked

We're not out of money. We've stopped taxing billionaires and corporations, and we're funding war-preparation so generously that we're sparking a global arms race that will eventually generate some enemies with which to justify the war preparation . . .  which will make sense to students who were never taught to put events into chronological order.  They couldn't be taught that because their teachers had to be laid off so that greedy billionaires could stuff a little more cash into their fat "Job Creator" tote bags.

We Don’t Need No Bloody Treaties: Britain Blows a Fuse over Ecuador’s Asylum Grant to Wikileaks’ Assange

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

The concerted and orchestrated campaign to capture Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and ultimately to hand him over to the tender mercies of a kangaroo court in the US, where he would likely be tried for spying and other possibly capital offenses, continues as Britain threatens the Ecuadoran Embassy with a police assault.

 

Democracies Don't Start Wars, But Fake Democracies Sure Do!

 

 

By Dave Lindorff


We’ve all heard it said by our teachers when we were in school, we’ve all heard it said by politicians, including presidents: “Democracies don’t start wars.”


Informed Activist

Support WarIsACrime



Donate.








Tweet your Congress critters here.


Advertise on this site!




Facebook      Twitter





Our Stores:























Movie Memorabilia.



The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.