Libyans stand firm in defense of their revolution led by Muammar Gaddafi. US imperialism and its NATO allies have bombed the North African state since March 19, 2011., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Crimes against humanity mounting in Libya courtesy of US and NATO
Published on August 25, 2011
“The video shows the war crimes committed by Nato, as well as those committed by the Western media, which has decided to obfuscate the casualties and human suffering of the Libyan people and uphold the humanitarian fiction of Nato’s R2P mandate.” – Professor Michel Chossudovsky
By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
As bombs and heavy artillery continue to fall like rain over Libyan capital Tripoli, the western media agencies have chosen to be highly selective in its reporting. Crimes against humanity are being perpetrated with impunity, but with the virtual news blackout, voices of outrage are not being heard globally.
According to Prof. Michel Chossudovsky of the site Global Research on Globalization, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) launched intense attacks on Libyan civilians in the night of August 8 and in the early hours of August 9, 2011 from approximately 2:00 am to 4:00 am Eastern European Time (EET).
According to Global Research, civilians in Tripoli and many other cities in Libya were bombed indiscriminately by Nato. A large number of casualties occurred in the city of Zliten, in the district of Misurata. In Zliten, 85 people were killed including 33 children, 32 women, and 20 men as a result of NATO’s deliberate targeting of residential areas and civilian infrastructure. Many of the injured civilian victims are in critical condition and near death.
Zliten has been under constant Nato bombardment for several days. At least seven civilian homes belonging to local farmers were destroyed, killing entire families. The 20 families who were affected were the targets of the NATO bombings.
NATO’s official military spokesperson for Operation Unified Protector Colonel Roland Lavoie, NATO’s official military spokesperson for Operation Unified Protector, confirmed to US media in a press conference that the Nato did bomb Zliten on August 8 and 9, said the targets were legitimate.
Global Research posted a video on its site directly belying and condemning Lavoie and the Nato’s declarations about the bombing.
“The video shows the war crimes committed by Nato, as well as those committed by the Western media, which has decided to obfuscate the casualties and human suffering of the Libyan people and uphold the humanitarian fiction of Nato’s R2P mandate,” said Chossudovsky.
The video is titled “Make No Mistake. Nato is Committing War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity in Libya” and shot and edited by Julian Teil, Mathieu Ozanon, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya.
On Aug. 8 when Libyans and the rest of the Muslim world marked the breaking of the Ramadan fast, Nato launched its “Operation Mermaid Dawn” against Libya. According to reports, a Nato warship sailed up and anchored just off the shore at Tripoli, delivering heavy weapons and debarking rebel forces, who were led by Nato officers.
Killing civilians left and right
The United Nations Security Council has given the task to Nato to protect civilians in Libya. Consequent reports have been proving that instead of protecting civilians, however, Nato forces have been killing them left and right and justiiying them as part of their offensives against the government of Muamar Ghadafi. Nato drones and aircraft have been shown on mainstream media reports to conduct bombing attacks in all directions while Nato helicopters strafed the streets with machine guns.
In news media in the US, reports about Nato’s operations in Libya have given attention to the mounting casualties but without mentioning who precisely are to blame for the civilians killed. Reports have also focused on the activities of “rebel forces” who have conveniently been described as freedom fighters instead of fighters sent, trained and supported by Nato and its member countries.
In the New York Time’s editorial last August 22, it said that “There is little doubt that the rebels would not have gotten this far without Nato’s air campaign and political support from President Obama, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain. When critics in Washington and elsewhere declared Libya a quagmire, these leaders refused to back away.”
Already, the New York Times mentioned what it thinks should be done in Libya if and when Quadafi is removed from power.
“As we learned at a very high cost in Iraq, all parties must have a role in building a new political order or those excluded will turn to violence. Decision-making — including how to restart damaged oil wells and share oil revenues — must be transparent,” it said.
CNN media withholding facts about Nato’s operations in Libya
In another report by Nazemroaya who is a Canadian research associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), it was stated that in the second round of bombing, NATO targeted the same homes once more when local residents had arrived to the rescue of those who had been bombed.
“Dismembered bodies were recovered from the ruble throughout the day. According to a Libyan eyewitness, a pregnant woman was killed with her dead unborn child exposed out of her torn body,” he wrote.
According to Nazemroaya, the only members of the international press that reported the damage of the bombings in detail were Russia Today (RT), TeleSUR, Chinese Central Television (CCTV), and independent journalists.
CNN was present taking footage, but essentially released nothing and distorted the facts,” he wrote.
In various photographs posted on Global Research, dead civilians were shown piled in Zliten Hospital like cardboard and next to them a cameraman identified with CNN was in the background. The said cameraman was seen taking video footage, but no report was released by the CNN.
Nazemroaya also said many of the journalists from NATO countries also held meetings on how to disseminate the news.
“Nato claims categorically that the areas bombed were ‘legitimate’ military targets and that there is no evidence of civilian casualties. Nato bombed areas in Zliten and Majer for strategic reasons. The bombing of civilian areas is tied to the planning of NATO’s offensive against Tripoli. The Libyan clans in these areas have made it clear that they would fight the Transitional Council should its forces try to move westward against Tripoli from their position in Misurata. Nato deliberately bombed these areas “to clear the way” towards Tripoli, ” he said.
In other pictures, it was seen that thousands of people came out to attend the funerals of the victims of the NATO attacks.
“Jamahiraya Satellite Channel was also bombed by Nato. This was part of Nato’s efforts to contain information from coming out of Libya regarding the realities of the war,” said Nazemroaya. “Nato’s killing of civilians is intended to force the Libyan population into surrendering. The “Responsibility to Protect” is an utter shame. A few days earlier Nato left another boatload of migrants and refugees die in the Mediterranean Sea,” he said.
HRW appeals to all sides to uphold human rights
In a related development, the independent Human Rights Watch has sent a team to Tripoli from its head office in New York, which has pushed for a settlement between the Benghazi-based Transitional Council and the Libyan government. The HRW is known to liaise with the US State Department.
In its August 22 statement, the HRW said forces loyal to Gaddafi, forces of the National Transitional Council (NTC) and Nato allies should ensure that they take all feasible steps to avoid harming civilians. It said the NTC supported by Nato should instruct its forces not to engage in acts of revenge.
“The pro-Gaddafi forces, fighters of the National Transitional Council, and NATO must do everything feasible to protect civilians caught in the fighting,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at HRW. “NTC forces should not carry out reprisals against those who fought for or supported the Gaddafi government.”
Nato’s secret plan after Ghadafi’s ouster
Another contributor to Global Research Jason Ditz in his article “alleged that a 70-page plan detailing the United States and Nato forces’ designs for the occupation Libya after the planned ouster of President Muamar Ghadafi has been leaked. The said plan was, Ditz said, approved by political leadership of the rebel Transitional Council in East Libya and it “paints a grim picture of the new regime Nato is planning on installing after the war.”
According to Ditz, the Nato plan includes keeping large portions of the Gadhafian security apparatus intact, with a number of the leaders of the brutal regime’s crackdown left in position on condition of loyalty to the new, pro-West regime.
“Even more controversial will be the ‘Tripoli task force,’ a 15,000-man force operated by the United Arab Emirates which will, after Gadhafi is out of power, occupy the capital city of Tripoli and conduct mass arrests of Gadhafi’s top supporters. The arrests won’t stop there, as of course they never do for a regime looking to stifle dissent,” he said.
Ditz also said the plan includes discussion of a new state radio network that will broadcast orders to the public to support the new government, and warning anti-Gadhafi factions that haven’t endorsed the new regime to stand down.
” The assumption in the report is that these factions, termed a “fifth column,” would also be arrested. The new state media will of course be necessitated all the more by the NATO attacks on the existing media. The Transitional Council confirmed the authenticity of the report, and while the rebel ambassador to the United Arab Emirates expressed ‘regret’ that the truth had come out. He said it is ‘important that the general public knows there is an advance plan,’” Ditz said.
According to independent journalist, the Nato plan won’t likely sit well with the Libyan people who are demanding democratic reform.
“Neither will it go well with those NATO members who acquiesced to the war on the assumption that it was doing something other than swapping brutal regimes in Libya,” he said.
Carve up Libya’s oil fields
Political analyst William Engdahl in an interview with told RT.com said that a regime change in Libya will suit Western oil interests. He said Libya is gong to face a period of prolonged chaos.
“What emerges from that, I think it suits some of the Western oil interests, especially the British and the French, who are fighting like piranhas over grabbing the most juicy oil fields for their own companies,” said Engdahl to RT.com.
Engdahl is the author of “Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order.’
According to the analyst, the what’s happening in Libya and major efforts of the US and Nato forces to pour at least US$1 billion into the so-called Transitional National Council.
“It’s rival tribal clan warfare that is going on in Libya. This is not a democracy movement by any stretch of the imagination.”
Engdahl told Rt.com that the rebel protests in Libya is actually an insurgency that’s being supported covertly by US-financed armed shipments to the rebels. He said US and Nato want to “carve up the oil fields and get them into Western hands, rather than in Libyan state hands, which Gaddafi held firmly on to.”
Humanitarian needs in Libya
In an email sent to Bulatlat.com, the international medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders, or MSF) said it is preparing to expand its medical response in western Libya to meet urgent humanitarian needs.
MSF is an international medical humanitarian organisation that has been working in Libya since February 25th 2011. It relies solely on private financial donations to fund its activities in Libya and does not accept funding from any government, donor agency, nor from any military or politically affiliated group. The MSF team in Libya is made up of 44 Libyan staff and 30 international staff.
“Due to an increase in wounded admissions to the MSF-supported hospital in nearby Yefren, MSF has sent medical teams to assess the frontline area south of Zawiyah. Today, MSF has sent another team inside Zawiyah town to support the general hospital which has also seen an influx of newly wounded and to assess conditions in the town,” it said in a statement dated August 22, 2011.
Mike Bates, MSF head of mission in Libya said health structures in the area have been overwhelmed with high numbers of surgical cases and health personnel are completely exhausted.
In the area of Tripoli, several medical facilities report serious shortages of materials and staff, according to MSF’s emergency coordinator, Jonathan Whittal, who has been present in the Libyan capital city since the beginning of August.
Whital said some hospitals have run out of life-saving medication and equipment. There is little electricity and insufficient fuel to run ambulances and some crucial equipment.
“The current fighting in the city will put strained medical facilities under even more pressure,”he said.