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New War Rationale: ‘Protect Civilians’

By Robert Parry, Consortium News

The world has grown accustomed to the euphemism “collateral damage” to deaden human outrage over the killing of civilians. It is a phrase deployed when a big power or one of its friends gets a little trigger-happy while going after some “bad guy.”

Such civilian deaths are deemed regrettable, perhaps worthy of a half-hearted apology, but nothing that merits a special tribunal to prosecute the noble officials responsible for the “mistake.” Of course, the same international audience is supposed to get angry when some “rogue” state or group kills civilians in pursuit of its military goals. Then, a tribunal is called for.

But the war in Libya has brought into prominence a parallel euphemism that justifies not only accidental killings but the military conflicts that guarantee such deaths. The new rationale for war is “to protect civilians,” an Orwellian twist that NATO and the Obama administration adopted in March to justify an air-and-ground war to achieve regime change in Libya.

Naturally, the NATO powers repeatedly denied that “regime change” was their goal, although their war planes and intelligence agencies have coordinated military operations with Libyan rebels whose stated goal has been to eliminate longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi, an objective that appears close to success.

NATO authorities have denied, too, that their missile strikes against Gaddafi’s compound were “assassination attempts,” although one attack did kill one of Gaddafi’s sons and three of his grandchildren. Yes, these victims were “collateral damage.”

But the key to the Libyan war was the United Nations Security Council’s passage of a resolution on March 17 authorizing a “no-fly zone” over Libya and permitting member states “to take all necessary measures … to protect civilians and civilian populated areas.”

Less noticed, the UN resolution also demanded “the immediate establishment of a ceasefire” and “the need to intensify efforts to find a solution to the crisis,” but those words of peace essentially became window-dressing for war.

Peace proposals from the African Union and offers from Gaddafi’s side for a ceasefire and even democratic elections were spurned out of hand by the NATO-backed rebels. AU officials were literally chased away when they arrived in Benghazi to seek negotiations.

In other words, NATO and its allied rebels never took seriously the parts of the UN mandate seeking “to protect civilians” by resolving the conflict through negotiations. Instead, the war was expanded westward toward Tripoli to achieve Gaddafi’s ouster, i.e. regime change.

The Security Council’s phrase “to protect civilians” was just the camel’s nose under the tent for war.

After the UN resolution was passed, NATO unleashed its planes to devastate Gaddafi’s defenses, incinerate his soldiers in the field and blast away parts of Libya’s capital city of Tripoli. NATO nations and Arab members of the coalition also dispatched military trainers to upgrade the rebels’ fighting capacity; supplied weapons to the insurgents; and provided crucial intelligence and command-and-control assistance.

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Sirte – the Apotheosis of “Liberal Intervention”

By Craig Murray

There is no cause to doubt that, for whatever reason, the support of the people of Sirte for Gadaffi is genuine. That this means they deserve to be pounded into submission is less obvious to me. The disconnect between the UN mandate to protect civilians while facilitating negotiation, and NATO’s actual actions as the anti-Gadaffi forces’ air force and special forces, is startling.

There is something so shocking in the Orwellian doublespeak of NATO on this point that I am severely dismayed. I suffer from that old springing eternal of hope, and am therefore always in a state of disappointment. I had hoped that the general population in Europe is so educated now that obvious outright lies would be rejected. I even hoped some journalists would seek to expose lies.

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Rebel Assassins Terrorizing Libyans

  Rebel Assassins Terrorizing Libyans - by Stephen Lendman

 

In his new article headlined, "9/11 After A Decade: Have We Learned Anything?" Paul Craig Roberts said:

 

"Today Americans are unsafe, not because of terrorists and domestic extremists, but because they have lost their civil liberties and no protection from unaccountable government power."

 

Libya: Keep the Freedom Flame Alive

  Libya: Keep the Freedom Flame Alive - by Stephen Lendman

 

Trapped for days in Tripoli's Rixos Hotel, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) arranged for the release of over 30 foreign journalists yesterday. 

 

They're now at the Corinthia Hotel, awaiting a boat for transport to Malta, then home via Europe that can't arrive until fighting subsides. Given the chaos and violence, it could be a while.

NATO's Libya War: A Nuremberg Level Crime

  NATO's Libya War: A Nuremberg Level Crime - Stephen Lendman

 

The US/UK/French-led war on Libya will be remembered as one of history's greatest crimes. It  violates the letter and spirit of international law and America's Constitution.

 

The Nuremberg Tribunal's Chief Justice Robert Jackson (a US Supreme Court Justice) called Nazi war crimes "the supreme international crime against peace."

 

Obama's NATO War for Oil in Libya

What do you call it when the full force of a US/NATO aerial bombardment is coupled with political support for a ragtag rebel group that, when victorious, promises to hand over its oil resources to its Western backers? A war for oil.

READ ARTICLE AT THE NATION

Libya War: It Ain't Over Till It's Over

  Libya War: It Ain't Over Till It's Over - by Stephen Lendman

 

Mark Twain once called reports of his death greatly exaggerated. The same hold for Libyans, not ready to submit to NATO colonization, occupation, plunder and exploitation. Not at least without a fight.

 

The stakes are high - stay free or die socially, economically, politically, emotionally, and/or perhaps physically.

 

Libya and Beyond: How Did We Get There and What Happens Next?

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 23, 2011) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who has led the fight in the House challenging the Obama Administration’s actions in Libya,  today released the following statement:

Libyan rebels have entered Tripoli. As gun battles break out across the city, it is timely to enter into a discussion as to how the rebels arrived there. It is time to review the curious role of NATO and the future of U.S. interventionism.

What's Happening in Libya

 

Libya Coverage Provides a Peek Behind the Curtain
 
By Don DeBar

Coverage of the situation in Libya over the past three days, while useless to anyone trying to understand what is actually happening in Libya, nevertheless provides an interesting peek into the modus operandi of the global media that has broad application for the decoding of its coverage of all of the issues that touch our lives.

The manufacture of events in Libya has been underway since the lead-up to the US-led invasion, including the narrative that enabled the UN resolutions 1970 and 1973 - prominent among these were the claim that the Libyan government was conducting an aerial war against protestors, countered by satellite evidence from the Russian military showing no such attacks took place, and the claim that African mercenaries were firing on protestors, which was both untrue and provoked racist killings of Libyans with African features and skin by rebel gangs.

NATO's Planned Bloodbath in Tripoli

  NATO'S Planned Bloodbath In Tripoli - by Stephen Lendman

 

NATO intends to get the bloodbath it wants through intensified terror bombing and low-level strafing of civilians and nonmilitary sites. 

 

No matter that it grossly violates international and constitutional law, what Washington-led member states long ago trashed.

 

LIBYA AFTER GADAFFI: STATEMENT BY STOP THE WAR COALITION

STOP THE WAR COALITION
22 August 2011
Email office@stopwar.org.uk
Tel: 020 7801 2768
Web: http://stopwar.org.uk
Twitter: http://twitter.com/STWuk
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stopthewarcoalition

The fall of the Gadaffi regime in Libya marks yet another turning point in what
has been a truly remarkable year in the Middle East. The victory of the rebels,
backed by Nato bombing in a six month campaign initiated by the British and
French governments, also heralds the rehabilitation of a discredited doctrine
-- that of 'humanitarian intervention' -- after the debacle of Iraq and
Afghanistan. 

Time to end Nato's war in Libya

Whether Gaddafi goes or not, this costly intervention has thwarted peace talks and betrayed its 'humanitarian' mission

By Dennis Kucinich at The Guardian

Libyan Deaths, Media Silence

Were Dozens Killed in Majer NATO Airstrikes?
By FAIR

Allegations of Libyan civilian deaths as a result of NATO bombing have often been covered in the corporate media as an opportunity to scoff at the Gadhafi regime's unconvincing propaganda (FAIR Blog, 6/9/11).

But dramatic new allegations that dozens of civilians were killed in Majer after NATO airstrikes on August 8 have been met with near-total media silence.

Black Libya City Said to Fall to Rebel Siege

 

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report

Western-backed rebels have made good their vow to “purge slaves, black skin,” with their reported capture of Tawurgha, a black Libyan city, after a long siege. Elsewhere, just 30 miles from the capital city of Tripoli, NATO bombed 85 civilians to oblivion. Facing a September 27 United Nations deadline on its “humanitarian” mission, “NATO has resorted to terror bombing to clear the way for the rebel advance.”

Falsified Major Media Reports on Libya

  Falsified Major Media Reports on Libya - by Stephen Lendman

 

Major media specialize in what they do best: truth inversion (aka bad fiction), not doing what journalists are supposed to do - their job, especially covering imperial wars for dominance and rich spoils.

 

With Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) falling apart and rebel forces in disarray, today's headlines belie the truth, reported by independent "un-in-bed-with" journalists and other sources.

Gadaffi supporters 'retake Misrata'

By Morning Star

Libyan forces have retaken Misrata from the Western-backed rebels, according to government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim.

If confirmed it would mean that the rebels have lost the only city they held in the Western Tripolitania region.

Mr Ibrahim claimed on Monday night that soldiers had fought their way into the centre of the town, which is the third largest in Libya after Tripoli and Benghazi, and were mopping up isolated pockets of insurgents.

He credited local tribal forces with playing a key role in recapturing the city.

A Nato spokesman said yesterday that the situation on the ground remained "very dynamic."

Videos of Possible NATO Bombings in Libya

NATO bombing of the Faculty of Law, February 8 11 Zliten
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTcGbkPE7V4

NATO bombing in Al Ajilat 05 08 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdtEZZ8WM-k

NATO bombed the fishing port of Zliten May 8 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLt8UfEsXQU

NATO bombing on the University of Nasser
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D57vzrbsh3M

CNN NATO Bombing Hospital, Food Storage Killing 11 Civilians In Zletin, July 25 11
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iw13Pcz6KBY

NATO bombed and destroyed food stores in Zliten
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRK7oI9Dnlk

NATO bombed mosque and other buildings in Zliten,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eXZxh3_zUw


NATO bombed clinic in Zliten, Libya, at least 6 dead
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK946LCuzyc

NATO bombs a family home in Zliten killing two and wounding three April 8 11
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-Wcn12as7g

NATO bombed schools and colleges in Libya August 4, 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFMpCs0sX3Q

NATO Industrial Safety Center bombing in Tripoli
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQNJR9m5q-U

NATO bombed Down Syndrome Center and the construction of kindergartens in Tripoli
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0VyKhXMgwI

NATO bombed the Libyan Television Three dead and fifteen wounded July 30,2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHKAhI3iq3c

NATO continues attacks on residential areas of Tripoli July 30, 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90mu2Oh_ZIM

NATO again bombed civilian targets in Libya July 30, 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8s7OIRxbSr4

NATO bombed Libya center Alsaknah
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKGCMbUVWz4

Nato bombed water supply
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5Y6rD4NvXY

NATO bombing in Zliten food stores July 21 11, War in Libya
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxZlXiJq1AM

NATO bombs destroy civilian homes and a church in Tripoli June 6, 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EXEnSzMjdw

Scientists deteuct uranium contamination
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnG875_XQN4

NATO bombed hospital oxygen plant in Libya
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQxd4we5ctk

Oil refinery fire in Brega in Libya for the NATO bombing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHb--nne4OA

NATO does not rule out bombing archaeological Sabratha
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eP-oL4MhCXI

NATO bombed hotel in Tripoli, radio and television
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCsI6YtqQbU

Bombarded Hospital in Libya
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbmBAYr6eV0

LIBYA NATO bombed civilian areas in Tajoura, eastern suburb of Tripoli 5 JUNE 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vf8hzasGkwU

Ruins of Tripoli by the NATO bombing of August 9, 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4Po3eXMmN8

Imperial Plans for Libya Post-Gaddafi

  Imperial Plans for Libya Post-Gaddafi - by Stephen Lendman

 

A previous article suggested NATO's Libya war is unraveling, having misjudged the commitment of Libyans to resist, fight back, and support Gaddafi. Access it through the following link:

 

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/08/natos-libya-war-unraveling.html

 

NATO's Libya War Unraveling

  NATO's Libya War Unraveling - by Stephen Lendman

 

On August 1, Ramadan began. Nonetheless, fighting continues. The good news is Libyans are winning. The bad news is NATO knows it but keeps bombing, averaging 52 daily strike sorties in the past week alone.

 

On August 2, London Telegraph writer Damien McElroy headlined, "Libya: Gaddafi regime rallies after rebel turmoil," saying:

 

Reading Nietzsche in Starbucks

By John Grant

When the human waste of politics gets to piling up so deep you want to run screaming into the night, a good remedy is to fall back to the powerful historical minds and immerse yourself in some great writing. I ran into this dilemma last Sunday, after a morning of reading The New York Times about the continuing blackmail antics of Rep. John Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell and their merry band of Teabag Republican cutthroats.

Libya: What America's Media Won't Report

  Libya: What America's Media Won't Report - by Stephen Lendman

 

America's media staunchly back all US imperial wars, regurgitating officials lies as truths. Moreover, they never explain their illegality or daily crimes of war and against humanity against civilians, as well as non-military related infrastructure and other sites. 

 

America's Big Speed-Up: No Wonder the Jobless Rate is Staying at Depression Levels

By Dave Lindorff

My wife Joyce and I were renting a car for the week this morning at a Hertz office just outside Philadelphia.  There was a line of people either waiting to pick up a vehicle, or to return one.  

The harried clerk behind the counter -- the only guy in the office -- was fielding calls while trying to serve the first guy in line, who was trying to rent a car for a vacation trip with his wife to North Carolina’s Outer Banks.  No sooner would the poor clerk sit down at the computer to start typing in the information from the man’s driver’s license than the phone would ring -- a phone that was located on a desk in a cubicle behind him, requiring him to get up and run around to the back cubicle.

The man at the counter, and others in the line, sighed audibly.

Bombing Media Outlets for Free Speech

NATO says it has bombed three Libyan satellite dishes in the capital, Tripoli, in an effort to prevent Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi from using state television to intimidate civilians.

But the Libyan Broadcasting Coproration condemned the attack Saturday, saying three employees were killed and 15 more wounded. An LBC official said the channel is not a “military target” and its employees were doing their jobs as journalists, posing no threat to civilians.

A NATO spokesman said the strike was “necessary,” because he said Mr. Gadhafi used television broadcasts to “oppress and threaten” the Libyan people and incite attacks against them. He said the strike on the satellite dishes was carried out after “careful planning” to minimize the risk of casualties or long-term damage to television transmission capabilities.

Abdul Fatah Younis Killing: War Death or Assassination?

  Abdul Fatah Younis Killing: War Death or Assassination? - by Stephen Lendman

 

On July 28, New York Times writer David Kirkpatrick headlined, "Death of Rebel Leader Stirs Fears of Tribal Conflict," saying:

 

The killing of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) military commander, Gen. Abdul Fatah Younis (Gaddafi's former Interior and Defense Minister) and two other rebel officers, "stirred fears that a tribal feud could divide" anti-Gaddafi forces.

Daily NATO War Crimes in Libya

  Daily NATO War Crimes in Libya - by Stephen Lendman

 

Among them is waging war on truth, Western managed news calling lawless imperial wars liberating ones. No wonder John Pilger says journalism is the first casualty of war, adding:

 

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