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NATO’s Law of the Jungle in Libya


By Peter Dyer

If there is one thing the “humanitarian” intervention in Libya has convincingly demonstrated it is this: the only real international law is the law of brute force.

The Libyan dust now appears to be settling. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has been summarily executed and the NATO intervention has officially ended. The dominant narrative is that the intervention was a timely, legal and morally justified action that fulfilled the primary purpose of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, passed on March 17: the protection of civilians in Libya’s civil war.

But there is an alternative narrative: three major powers invoked the United Nations Charter in order to violate it. The United States, the United Kingdom and France engineered a “humanitarian” intervention that was in reality an unprovoked act of war against a sovereign state.

The intervention resulted not only in illegal regime change — a violation of Article 2(4) of the UN Charter — but in the extrajudicial assassination of its head of state.

The primary stated purpose of UNSC Res. 1973 was indeed the protection of civilians – through an immediate ceasefire – but that was not how the resolution was implemented.

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