Remember Libya: One of History's Terror Bombing Victims

Stephen Lendman

Vehicles belonging to forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi
explode after an air strike by coalition forces, along a road
between Benghazi and Ajdabiyah March 20. (Tomasevic/

Like Cast Lead against Gaza, Odyssey Dawn is criminal imperial war, willfully attacking non-combatants and civilian targets, including vital infrastructure, hospitals, non-military airports and buildings, ports, power generating facilities, and other sites unrelated to military necessity.

These and more besides so-called rebels killing hundreds on the ground, targeting anyone thought to be pro-Gaddafi, including African guest workers there for employment, not political allegiance.

In his article titled, "Libya and Obama's Defense of the 'Rebel Uprising,'" James Petras said:

Libyans see rebels as "invaders, breaking doors, blowing up homes and arresting and accusing local leaders of being 'fifth columnists' for Gaddafi. (They) and their imperial mentors have targeted the entire civilian economy, bombed Libyan cities, cut trade and commercial networks, blocked the delivery of subsidized food and welfare to the poor, caused the suspension of schools and forced hundreds of thousands of foreign professionals, teachers, doctors and skilled contract workers to flee."

These are Obama's freedom fighters - cutthroat killers, armed, funded and now trained by US and UK Special Forces, as well as CIA and MI 6 intelligence operatives. Besides earlier reports of their presence along with British and Egyptian commandos, London Independent writers Kim Sengupta and David Randall headlined (on April 3), "Western military advisers become visible in Benghazi," saying:

Mission creep is clearly visible, "usually described as experts, consultants and advisors" showing up in the rebel stronghold, downplaying their presence when spotted. Whatever their numbers and mandate, can many more be far behind in the early stages of a protracted, bloody conflict!

So far, shock and awe bombing leads it, killing scores, perhaps hundreds, more. Daily the numbers mount. Even independent and surprising reports confirm it.

In fact, Libya's top Vatican representative, Bishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, told Agenzia Fides, the Vatican News Service:

"The so-called humanitarian air raids have taken the lives of dozens of civilians in various areas of Tripoli" alone."

The United States Will Take Libya’s Oil and Gas by Force

Sergei Balmasov
New Eastern Outlook

"It is possible that now, after 40-odd years, the United States and Great Britain intend to put things back to the way they were before 1969."

According to statements made in Washington, the idea of a military intervention in Libya is being discussed. A NATO strike group with American and British troops at its heart is already drawing close to the shores of that country. The US representative to the UN Susan Rice is openly saying that the Pentagon is currently discussing details of an upcoming operation with its NATO allies.

“Peacekeeper” Obama’s arguments in favor of aggression are simple: Gadhafi is unjustifiably employing military force against peaceful demonstrators. We can tell what kind of peaceful demonstrators he is talking about from videos broadcast by Western news media that time and again show heavily armed opposition members.

Military intervention in Libyan affairs could become a reality within the next few days. The Pentagon has acknowledged that it has sent the aircraft carrier Enterprise to Libya from the shores of Somalia, and it will reach its destination within a day’s time. Referencing its Defense Department sources, Fox News reports that the Pentagon intends to send an additional Marine battalion to take part in the upcoming operation.

British Prime Minister David Cameron was one of the first to call for aggressive action against Libya. He said the world public cannot overlook what is happening in Libya.

These preparations were no surprise to Gadhafi. A week ago, when just as the orchestrated uprising against him was gathering force, he railed against Great Britain, whose warships had “suddenly” arrived off Libya’s shores, for preparing aggressive actions against his country.

At the time, however, the British were only showing support for the opposition, as though to say, beat the mad dog; we’ll lend a hand!

However, old man Gadhafi turned out to be a tough nut for the West to crack. The opposition has been unable to overthrow him using their own forces despite support provided by the “big guns” of the Western media, which unleashed a real psychological war against the Colonel.

The tens of millions of dollars that the CIA and MI6 invested to organize the coup have only yielded a partial success. The opposition has seized control of just the eastern part of the country. And even the Western propagandists have been forced to admit that things are not going well for the opposition.

Goldstone now praises Israel

Sami Moubayed
Asia Times

Behind all the media buzz about events in Libya, Yemen and Syria, the Arab-Israeli conflict resurfaced at the weekend in a bizarre manner.

Richard Goldstone, the South African judge who was author of a controversial 2009 report that carried his name - wrote an article for The Washington Post, sending shockwaves throughout the upper echelons of power in the Gaza Strip and Israel.

Goldstone, for two years hailed as a hero by the Arab street, had chaired the fact-finding mission appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and its report accused Israel of committing war crimes during the Gaza war of 2008. The report actually was tough on both the Israelis and the Palestinians - but that seemingly did not matter to the Arabs. What mattered to them was the strength of its words.

The Palestinian street eagerly endorsed the report, seeing it as a triumphant victory at the United Nations, although the same cannot be said for the Palestinian governments in Gaza and the West Bank. Although Hamas had facilitated the investigation, it nevertheless was very unimpressed with the report because it also accused the Palestinians of war crimes for deliberately targeting Israeli civilians.

For their part, the Israelis dismissed the Goldstone Report as biased, having refused to even cooperate with the UN probe. Jewish communities around the world trashed the report for being too harsh on Israel. Pro-Palestinian communities around the world trashed it for being too harsh on the Palestinians. Goldstone himself trashed it yet again on April 1, adding to the chorus saying that it was flawed and misleading. To understand what's happening, let's go back to early 2009.

Richard Goldstone's Fall from Grace

Stephen Lendman

The line from Gilbert & Sullivan's HMS Pinafor explains, saying: "Things are seldom as they seem. Skim milk masquerades as cream."

Goldstone's shameless reversal exposes the true man, a Judas, not what most people believed. Why is at issue? More on that below.

Two previous articles articles discussed his retraction, accessed through the following links, here and here.

On April 1, his Washington Post op-ed headlined, "Reconsidering the Goldstone Report on Israel and war crimes," saying:

"Our report found evidence potential war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity by both Israel and Hamas."

The latter ones, in fact, were minor by comparison, responding only to Israeli provocations. Israel's, however,

"were based on the deaths of and injuries to civilians in situations where....evidence (pointed to no) other reasonable conclusion."

However, dismissing irrefutable evidence, his and other inquiries uncovered, Goldstone softened his initial condemnation, ignoring how all Israeli investigations whitewash crimes of war and against humanity.

According to PCHR:

"Rather than uphold the rule of law, the Israeli investigative and judicial system is artfully manipulated to provide an illusion of investigative and judicial rigour, while systematically perpetuating pervasive impunity" for crimes too extreme to ignore.

Most often, in fact, investigations are avoided, Israel undertaking them only under extreme pressure. When initiated, however, absolution follows every time without exception, no matter how extreme or heinous the crimes. Only occasionally, however, are a few low-ranking soldiers charged minor offenses to distract from major ones.

As a result, IDF Chief of Staff, General Gabi Ashkenazi's investigation concluded that "throughout the fighting in Gaza, the IDF operated in accordance with international law."

In fact, daily crimes of war and against humanity were committed, mostly affecting civilian men, women and children. They were deliberately targeted in residential neighborhoods in clear violation of international law, prohibiting attacks against non-combatants and non-military related sites.

Goldstone’s U-Turn

Gilad Atzmon
Gilad Atzmon's Blog

If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document,’ writes Richard Goldstone in an attempt to retract his own UN report.

And yet I wonder: how different would it be? How different could it be? Goldstone is impressed with Israel dedicating some “significant resources to investigate over 400 allegations of operational misconduct in Gaza’, but it somehow leaves me bewildered.

Let us assume that at the time Goldstone and his team looked into the cold blooded murder of more than 1400 Palestinians, they would also be aware of an Israeli enquiry. What difference would it make?

‘For example,’ says Goldstone, ‘the most serious attack the Goldstone Report focused on was the killing of some 29 members of the al-Simouni family in their home. The shelling of the home was apparently (according to the Israeli investigation) the consequence of an Israeli commander’s erroneous interpretation of a drone image, and an Israeli officer is under investigation for having ordered the attack.’

For some peculiar reason, Goldstone allows Israel to reduce its institutional responsibility for a colossal war crime, into a chain of local errors, made by a few low rank officers who may, or may not, face criminal charges.

One should remind Goldstone that the decision to use artillery and carpet bombardment in Gaza wasn’t taken by ‘some’ military commanders on the ground: these decisions were taken by a democratically elected Israeli cabinet. Furthermore, these decisions were supported at the time by 94% of the Israeli Jewish population. The decision to rain barrages of white phosphorous over the most populated place on this planet was a strategic decision, and it was taken by Israeli military high command. The fact that Israel (may) sacrifice the military career of one Moishe’le or two Yank’le doesn’t change the validity of Goldstone original report at all; it only proves that Israel fails to take responsibility for its actions.

Libya and Obama’s Defense of the ‘Rebel Uprising’

James Petras
The James Petras Website

Over the past two weeks Libya has been subjected to the most brutal imperial air, sea and land assault in its modern history. Thousands of bombs and missiles, launched from American and European submarines, warships and fighter planes, are destroying Libyan military bases, airports, roads, ports, oil depots, artillery emplacements, tanks, armored carriers, planes and troop concentrations.

Dozens of CIA and SAS special forces have been training, advising and mapping targets for the so-called Libyan ‘rebels’ engaged in a civil war against the Gaddafi government, its armed forces, popular militias and civilian supporters (NY Times 3/30/11).

Despite this massive military support and their imperial ‘allies’ total control of Libya’s sky and coastline, the ‘rebels’ have proven incapable of mobilizing village or town support and are in retreat after being confronted by the Libyan government’s highly motivated troops and village militias (Al Jazeera 3/30/11).

One of the most flimsy excuse for this inglorious rebel retreat offered by the Cameron-Obama-Sarkozy ‘coalition’, echoed by the mass media, is that their Libyan ‘clients’ are “outgunned” (Financial Times, 3/29/11). Obviously Obama and company don’t count the scores of jets, dozens of warships and submarines, the hundreds of daily attacks and the thousands of bombs dropped on the Libyan government since the start of Western imperial intervention. Direct military intervention of 20 major and minor foreign military powers, savaging the sovereign Libyan state, as well as scores of political accomplices in the United Nations do not contribute to any military advantage for the imperial clients – according to the daily pro-rebel propaganda. The Los Angeles Times (March 31, 2011), however described how

“…many rebels in gun-mounted trucks turned and fled…even though their heavy machine guns and antiaircraft guns seemed a match for any similar government vehicle.”

Indeed, no ‘rebel’ force in recent history has received such sustained military support from so many imperial powers in their confrontation with an established regime.

Nevertheless, the ‘rebel’ forces on the front lines are in full retreat, fleeing in disarray and thoroughly disgusted with their ‘rebel’ generals and ministers back in Benghazi. Meanwhile the ‘rebel’ leaders, in elegant suits and tailored uniforms, answer the ‘call to battle’ by attending ‘summits’ in London where ‘liberation strategy’ consists of their appeal before the mass media for imperial ground troops (The Independent (London) (3/31/11).

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