NATO’s terror bombing of Libya

Bill Van Auken

A Norwegian F-16 fighter jet ready for another bombing raid over
Libya. (Photo: Forsvaret/Lars Magne Hovtun)

The relentless bombardment of Tripoli over the past 48 hours represents a new stage in one of the most naked acts of imperialist aggression since the wars of conquest launched by Hitler and Mussolini in the 1930s.

Warplanes struck the Libyan capital 62 times between Tuesday and early Wednesday morning. The daylight air strikes underscored that Libya, its air force and air defense system devastated by earlier attacks, remains virtually defenseless in the face of the US-NATO blitzkrieg.

At least 31 people were killed and dozens wounded. The bombings have demolished civilian government buildings, while damaging homes, hospitals and schools. Their intended collateral effect is to terrorize Tripoli’s population of 1.7 million.

The sharp escalation in the bombing campaign comes just days after the deployment of British and French attack helicopters, widely seen as the prelude to a direct ground invasion.

Meeting in Brussels on Wednesday, a summit of NATO foreign ministers agreed to continue the 10-week-old bombing campaign “as long as necessary,” while US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the NATO secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, pushed for other NATO member states, including Germany, Poland, Turkey and Spain, to join in the bombing of the oppressed African nation.

In an earlier period, such air attacks were described as “terror bombings.” They were carried out by Hitler’s Luftwaffe against defenseless populations—in Guernica during the Spanish Civil War in 1937, in Warsaw in 1939, in Rotterdam in 1940 and in Belgrade in 1941—with the aim of annihilating the targeted country’s armed forces, destroying its state and breaking the morale of all those opposed to foreign occupation.

In North Africa, similar campaigns of aggression and terror were waged by Mussolini’s fascist regime against Ethiopia and—then, as now—Libya.

There is little to distinguish these earlier acts of aggression—for which leaders of the Third Reich were prosecuted at Nuremberg—from the present US-NATO war. In both their aims and methods, they are largely similar.

Global Economic Crisis Deepening

Stephen Lendman

The real victims of the global financial crisis are the poorest of
the poor.
Photo: AFP

In the 1960s, economist Arthur Okum began calculated America's Misery Index by adding the unemployment and inflation rates for a sense of public pain or lack of it in good times.

In May, it hit a record high exceeding 25, surpassing the earlier June 1980 21.98 top, based on how both measures were then calculated, not today's methodology, manipulated to hide painful truths.

At issue is:

over 22% unemployment, including discouraged workers and the so-called "birth-death model" estimate of net non-reported jobs from new businesses minus losses from ones no longer operating; during hard times, painful truths are hidden by creating non-existent jobs out of whole cloth instead of subtracting them to reflect fewer, not additional new businesses;
double digit inflation, including soaring food, energy, healthcare, college tuition, and other costs omitted or understated in core figures;
rising poverty, more than one in seven affected according to way understated Census Bureau figures, using threshold measures developed 40 years earlier;
record numbers on food stamps;
record measures of food insecurity - Feeding reporting one in six American facing hunger;
predicted record 2011 numbers of home foreclosures, estimated at 1.2 million after one million lost last year;
record homelessness numbers up to 3.5 million on any given night, needing refuge wherever they can find it or face life on city streets; and
other measures of worsening conditions during a Main Street depression, affecting Europe, Japan and elsewhere like America.

Economic recovery? Explain how to millions unemployed or underemployed, foreclosed homeowners, bankrupt business owners, impoverished legions, and many others food insecure at a time US and European leaders enforce austerity when massive social stimulus is needed.

Internet Censorship Bill Introduced

Stephen Lendman

It's a smoke screen to introduce new censorship provisions that violate First Amendment freedoms, without which all others are at risk.

During his presidential campaign, Obama pledged to "(s)upport the principle of network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet."

In fact, he failed to deliver on every major promise made, including the last frontier of press freedom, protected from censorship and corporate control.

Post-9/11, both he and Bush expanded intrusive government surveillance, including Internet monitoring of personal communications. On April 1, 2009 the Senate introduced two bills, endangering a free and open Internet - S. 773: Cybersecurity Act of 2009 and S. 778 to establish a White House cybersecurity czar.

Both measures included provisions to give federal authorities unprecedented Internet control by:

federalizing critical infrastructure, shifting power away from providers and users to Washington; and
letting the president shut down Internet traffic for alleged "national security" reasons or during a claimed "emergency."

Neither measure passed. Had they, personal privacy and security would have been compromised through one provision alone - by giving the Commerce Secretary access to all relevant data relating to critical infrastructure networks without restriction.

In other words, privacy and judicial review protections guaranteed under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Privacy Protection Act, and financial privacy regulations no longer would apply.

GOING ROGUE: NATO’s War Crimes in Libya

Susan Lindauer, former US Asset covering Libya at the United Nations
Veterans Today

It’s a story CNN won’t report. Late at night there’s a pounding on the door in Misurata. Armed soldiers force young Libyan women out of their beds at gun-point. Hustling the women and teenagers into trucks, the soldiers rush the women to gang bang parties for NATO rebels—or else rape them in front of their husbands or fathers. When NATO rebels finish their rape sport, the soldiers cut the women’s throats.

Rapes are now ongoing acts of war in rebel-held cities, like an organized military strategy, according to refugees. Joanna Moriarty, who’s part of a global fact-finding delegation visiting Tripoli this week, also reports that NATO rebels have gone house to house through Misurata, asking families if they support NATO. If the families say no, they are killed on the spot. If families say they want to stay out of the fighting, NATO rebels take a different approach to scare other families. The doors of “neutral homes” are welded shut, Moriarty says, trapping families inside. In Libyan homes, windows are typically barred. So when the doors to a family compound get welded shut, Libyans are entombed in their own houses, where NATO forces can be sure large families will slowly starve to death.

These are daily occurrences, not isolated events. And Gadhaffi’s soldiers are not responsible. In fact, pro-Gadhaffi and “neutral” families are targeted as the victims of the attacks. Some of the NATO tactics may have occurred in hopes of laying blame on Gadhaffi’s door. However the attacks are backfiring.

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