Daily NATO War Crimes in Libya
by Stephen Lendman – July 29, 2011 – Mathaba
Among them is waging war on truth, Western managed news calling lawless imperial wars liberating ones, as George Orwell predicted in his book 1984: War is Peace, Slavery is Freedom, Ignorance is Strength
No wonder John Pilger says journalism is the first casualty of war, adding:
“Not only that: it has become a weapon of war, a virulent censorship (and deception) that goes unrecognised in the United States, Britain and other democracies; censorship by omission, whose power is such that, in war, it can mean the difference between life and death for people in faraway countries….”
In their book, “Guardians of Power,” David Edwards and David Cromwell explained why today’s media are in crisis and a free and open society at risk. It’s because press prostitutes substitute fiction for fact. News is carefully filtered, dissent marginalized, and supporting wealth and power substitutes for full and accurate reporting.
It’s a cancer, corrupting everything from corporate-run print and broadcast sources, as well as operations like BBC and what passes for America’s hopelessly compromised public radio and TV. They put out daily managed and junk food news plus infotainment, treating consumers like mushrooms – well-watered and in the dark.
During wars, in fact, they cheerlead them, reporting agitprop and misinformation no respectable journalist would touch.
On the Progressive Radio News Hour, Middle East/Central Asia analyst Mahdi Nazemroaya, in Tripoli, said some journalists also perform fifth column duties, collecting intelligence and locating targets to supply NATO bombing coordinates, notably civilian targets called military ones.
In a July 28 email, he said tell listeners that “NATO is trying to negotiate with the government in Tripoli.” More on that below. He added that they’re also “planning a new stage of the war against the Libyan people through (predatory) NGOs and fake humanitarian missions.” A likely UN Blue Helmet occupying force also, paramilitaries masquerading as peacekeepers Gaddafi controlled areas won’t tolerate.
NATO, in fact, calls civilian targets legitimate ones, including one or more hospitals, a clinic, factories, warehouses, agricultural sites, schools, a university, one or more mosques, non-military related infrastructure, a food storage facility, and others.
Notably on July 23, a Brega water pipe factory was struck, killing six guards. It produces pipes for Libya’s Great Man-Made River (GMMR) system (GMMR), an ocean-sized aquifer beneath its sands, making the desert bloom for productive agriculture, and supplying water to Libya’s people.
The previous day, a water supply pipeline was destroyed. It will take months to restore. The factory produced vital pipes to do it, a clear war crime like daily others. Moreover, the entire GMMR is threatened by a shortage of spare parts and chemicals. As a result, it’s struggling to keep reservoirs at a level able to provide a sustainable supply. Without it, a humanitarian disaster looms, very likely what NATO plans as in past wars.
On July 27, AFP said that:
“NATO warned that its warplanes will bomb civilian facilities if (Gaddafi’s) forces use them to launch attacks.” At the same time, a spokesman said great care is taken to minimize civilian casualties.
NATO lied. Daily, it’s attacking non-military related sites to destroy Libya’s ability to function in areas loyal to Gaddafi. Earlier, in fact, a spokesman claimed there was “no evidence” civilian targets were hit or noncombatants killed, except one time a major incident was too obvious to hide. Reluctantly it admitted a “mistake,” covering up a willful planned attack, knowing civilians were affected.
Libya (satellite) TV calls itself “a voice for free Libya….struggling to liberate Libya from the grip of the Gaddafi regime….” In fact, it’s a pro-NATO propaganda service, reporting misinformation on air and online.
On July 25, it headlined, “No evidence to support Gaddafi’s allegations that civilian targets were hit,” when, it fact, they’re struck daily.
Nonetheless, it claimed only military sites are bombed, saying Tripoli-based journalists aren’t taken to affected areas, “suggesting NATO’s gunners are hitting military targets, at least in the capital.”
In fact, corporate and independent journalists are regularly taken to many sites struck. Independent accounts confirm civilian casualties and non-military facilities bombed. Pro-NATO scoundrels report managed news, complicit in daily war crimes.
On July 28, Libya TV claimed “captured Gaddafi soldiers say army morale is low,” when, in fact, most Libyans support Gaddafi. Millions are armed. Gaddafi gave them weapons. They could easily oust him if they wish. Instead, they rally supportively, what Western media and Libya TV won’t report.
Moreover, captured soldiers say what they’re told, likely threatened with death or torture if they refuse, especially in rebel paramilitary hands, under NATO orders to terrorize areas they control.
As a result, civilian casualties mount, up to 1,200 or more killed and thousands wounded in pro-Gaddafi areas, many seriously as war rages. In addition, unknown numbers of combatant casualties on both sides aren’t known, nor is the civilian toll in rebel held areas.
Nonetheless, daily sorties and strikes continue. Since mid-July alone through July 27, they include:
July 14: 132 sorties and 48 strikes
July 15: 115 sorties and 46 strikes
July 16: 110 sorties and 45 strikes
July 17: 122 sorties and 46 strikes
July 18: 129 sorties and 44 strikes
July 19: 113 sorties and 40 strikes
July 20: 122 sorties and 53 strikes
July 21: 124 sorties and 45 strikes
July 22: 128 sorties and 46 strikes
July 23: 125 sorties and 56 strikes
July 24: 163 sorties and 43 strikes
July 25: 111 sorties and 54 strikes
July 26: 134 sorties and 46 strikes
July 27: 133 sorties and 54 strikes
Daily patterns are consistent. However, information on numbers and types of bombs, as well as other munitions aren’t given. Instead, misinformation claims a humanitarian mission protects civilians – by terrorizing, killing, and injuring them, solely for imperial aims. It’s why all US-led wars are fought, never for liberating reasons.
The entire campaign is based on lies. It’s standard war time procedure, to enlist popular support for campaigns people otherwise would reject.
In fact, no humanitarian crisis existed until NATO arrived. Moreover, in paramilitary controlled areas, Amnesty International confirmed only 110 pro and anti-Gaddafi supporter deaths combined, most likely more of the former than latter as rebel cutthroats rampaged through areas they occupy. Currently, the numbers of dead and injured civilians are many times that amount, largely from NATO attacks.
NATO, in fact, is code language for the Pentagon, paying the largest share of its operating and military budgets. Except for Germany and Britain, other members pay small shares, most, in fact, miniscule amounts.
Since NATO began bombing on March 19, daily attacks inflicted lawless collective punishment against millions in Gaddafi supported areas. Affected is their ability to obtain food, medicines, fuel and other basic supplies, exposing another lie about humanitarian intervention.
On July 25, OCHA’s fact-finding team said Tripoli contained “pockets of vulnerability where people need urgent humanitarian assistance.” Medical supplies are running low. The last major delivery was in January, and concerns are increasing about the “unsustainable food supply chain for the public distribution systems, especially as Ramadan approaches (on or around August 1 to about August 29) and the conflict persists.”
Moreover, “Libyan oil experts warned that fuel stocks could run out in two weeks.” Public transportation costs have tripled. Food prices have also soared. Tripoli residents experience electricity cuts, and clean water supplies are endangered.
Before conflict erupted, Libyans had the region’s highest standard of living and highest life expectancy in Africa because Gaddafi’s oil wealth provided healthcare, education, housing assistance and other social benefits. Imperial war, of course, changed things. Libyans now hang on to survive.
Seeking an End Game
On July 26, UPI headlined, “NATO seeks urgent exit strategy in Libya,” knowing this phase of the war is lost. Nonetheless, future strategies and campaigns will follow.
For now, however, “NATO is seeking an urgent exit strategy (to end) fighting and decide the future of (Gaddifi), even if that means letting him stay in the country though out of power, it emerged Tuesday after British and French foreign ministers met in London.”
In tribal Libya, Gaddafi’s power, in fact, is far less than reported, social anthropologist Ranier Fsadni saying:
“Gaddafi’s feeling for tribal Libya is certainly one factor that explains how he has managed to rule the country for so many years. (However), (t)here is no tribal office giving a single man a monopoly of institutional power at the apex….Several factors account for his longevity in power,” including sharing Libya’s oil wealth.
UPI said diplomacy is driven by a failed military campaign. As a result, “(i)ntense mediation efforts are underway at different levels at the United Nations and Europe, in African, European and Middle Eastern capitals and Russia.”
Neither side is commenting, but some observers think operations may wind down in weeks, based on an unannounced face-saving solution, despite continued destabilization and future conflict planned. It’s similar to Balkan and Iraq war strategies, a combination of tactics until Washington prevailed.
Libya faces the same end game, though years could pass before it arrives. As a result, Libyans can expect continued hardships. When imperial America shows up, that strategy persists until it prevails, no matter the pain and suffering inflicted.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org