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Libyan civil war started by Western countries?


Djordje
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The sole legal ground under international law for NATO to be intervening in Libya is the UN Security Council resolution, which only permits them to act in order to prevent civilian casualties. Since the only way absolutely to ensure that there will be no civilian casualties, either from NATO action, from rebel action, or from Gadaffi's forces, is a ceasefire, and Gadaffi has today agreed to that but the rebels have rejected it, obviously NATO should now be attacking the rebels as the sole remaining danger to civilian lives, since all shooting would stop under a ceasefire.

 

Since NATO is not going to do this, the entire mission is exposed as the imperialist fraud -- utterly illegal at international law -- that it always was.

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NATO has already announced its intention to attack rebels who attack civilians. I have linked to this earlier in the thread.

 

Otherwise, how is your argument any different from the argument that "since Libya would not kill civilians if there were no rebels at all, the rebels should all surrender or be shot by NATO"?

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But given that all military action inevitably involves some civilian deaths, and that this is even more of a problem with untrained, undisciplined militia firing guns whose operation they hardly comprehend, shouldn't NATO be stopping the rebels already without waiting for specific incidents of civilian deaths to be documented? The fact that they are going to cause such deaths in the future and have already done sone is a statistical certainty, and the UN Security Council resolution orders them to prevent only this problem.

 

The issue seems to depend on how many civilian deaths are too many, or how negligent the cause of those deaths has to be to count as criminal rather than innocently accidental. Since all these questions call out for bright-line distinctions to be made on matters of degree and for factual evidence to be sifted and evaluated, the International Court of Justice, not some political body like the Security Council, is the only fair judge of this. But even though the ICJ is empowered to review the actions of the Security Council under article 24 of the UN Charter to ensure that they are consistent with the fundamental purposes of the UN Charter, for some reason they don't, and this means that international law is ultimately unjust.

 

It's irritating that the Western media simply become brainless propagandists on this issue, uncritically thumping the drum for NATO with no interest in the legality of what is happening, but just the unreflective assumption that the countries in which they incidentally happen to live are always right. Who needs a Propaganda Ministry when the free press performs that role spontaneously?

 

With respect to NATO warning the rebels that they, too, will be bombed if they kill civilians, we may now have the truly ridiculous situation of NATO intervening in a civil war so that it can bomb both sides, which seems to be required by the UN Security Council resolution legally authorizing NATO action. Since NATO forces killed innocent civilians in its bombing of Brega a few days ago, no doubt the Security Council authorization, properly interpreted, requires NATO now to bomb itself as well to protect civilians. Couldn't the effect of all these reciprocally opposing interventions have been less expensively achieved by just staying out of the conflict altogether?

Edited by Marat
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It appears Gaddafi has been using cluster bombs on civilian areas and cities:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/16/world/africa/16libya.html?_r=1&hp

 

Again, I think you fail to distinguish between actions which unintentionally and unpredictably kill civilians, and Gaddafi's actions to deliberately inflict civilian casualties.

 

However, there's a worrisome change in US, French and British policy on the situation:

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/15/obama-sarkozy-cameron-libya

 

President Obama today signals the return of America to the forefront of the international effort in Libya, writing a joint article with David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy in which the three leaders commit their countries to pursue military action until Colonel Gaddafi has been removed.
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It appears Gaddafi has been using cluster bombs on civilian areas and cities:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/16/world/africa/16libya.html?_r=1&hp

 

Again, I think you fail to distinguish between actions which unintentionally and unpredictably kill civilians, and Gaddafi's actions to deliberately inflict civilian casualties.

 

However, there's a worrisome change in US, French and British policy on the situation:

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/15/obama-sarkozy-cameron-libya

 

President Obama today signals the return of America to the forefront of the international effort in Libya, writing a joint article with David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy in which the three leaders commit their countries to pursue military action until Colonel Gaddafi has been removed.

 

What, no timeline? No, shucks this isn't worth it if we can't get it done by a date certain? And no complaints from the peanut gallery?

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Since NATO is now bombing the city of Tripoli, and there is no way that you can drop bombs on a major urban area -- from the bombsight a plane flying 400 mph at an altitude of 30,000 feet while trying to guess at how windspeeds are going to affect the trajectory of the bombs as they fall -- without killing innocent civilians, all we have now are two opposing powers fighting over control of Libya while killing civilians.

 

NATO just said that they want Gadaffi to go in order to ensure that civilians will not be hurt, but since Gadaffi already accepted a ceasefire in which civilians also would not have been hurt, the only people who have chosen to continue fighting and risk civilian casualties are the rebels, whom NATO is now militarily supporting. By militarily supporting the only side in the fighting which does not want a ceasefire, in the full awareness that all military action inevitably kills innocent civilians, NATO is guilty once again of violating the UN mandate. which is its sole legal authority for action at international law.

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Since NATO is now bombing the city of Tripoli, and there is no way that you can drop bombs on a major urban area -- from the bombsight a plane flying 400 mph at an altitude of 30,000 feet while trying to guess at how windspeeds are going to affect the trajectory of the bombs as they fall -- without killing innocent civilians, all we have now are two opposing powers fighting over control of Libya while killing civilians.

You seem to be about 40 years behind in guided weapon development. Also about 50 years behind in tactical bomber aircraft.

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Well, we know that NATO has already admitted bombing rebel forces at Brega, so if they can't even distinguish their allies from their enemies, the odds that they can distinguish civilians from military personnel when they bomb a city -- especially in a rebellion where there are still no military insignia of the rebel army registered with the International Red Cross so that it is even theoretically possible to distinguish civilians from rebels according to the criteria of international law -- seem miniscule. But unless NATO can guarantee that it is not itself killing civilians, it is in violation of the only grounds at international law for its intervention, so all the NATO leadership could be arrested and charged as war criminals. The fact that this issue is not even being debated in the West simply shows how meaningless the distinction is between countries with a free press and free speech, but where the thought collective simply confines every media to the same narrow dogma, and those with official censorship which more clumsily and obtrusively accomplish the same thing.

 

It is also a rather obvious case of stage-managing public information that there is now the hysterical story of Libya using cluster bombs at the very moment the NATO mission is morphing in extreme violation of international law from protecting civilians to regime change. Just as the 'French air attack on Stuttgart' and 'French cavalry incursions into neutral Belgium' were cited by the Imperial German News Service in 1914 to excuse the invasion of Belgium and France, and later, the Allies screamed stories about the vicious Huns raping Belgian nuns on their march through Belgium, these fantasies all do their job for the short span of time they are required to mobilize public opinion into its preferred mode of stupid, self-satisfied outrage, and then when the stores are later all proven false, it is much too late for those historical footnotes to have any substantive political impact.

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Frankly, I'm confused who is playing with whose mind here, but going back to my original thoughts on this issue, it's only becoming more a political issue, adding the "rebel" factor. They are now demanding aid in the form of money and equipment and the US/France/GB are toying with the idea of ground forces. Our (the US) policy has gone from removing Gaddafi, to no intention and now back to the ultimate goal of removal. I'm beginning to wonder just who is behind the American Government policy, since everything I'm seeing being done and by those doing it, are the exact things the same people opposed, going back into Reagan's tenure.

 

CR; Collateral Damage (killing of civilians) or damaging unintended infrastructure, has always been a recognized problem and somebody needs to be on the ground setting up targets for lacer guidance, in the first place and those people (if they exist) must be accurate.

 

It appears Gaddafi has been using cluster bombs on civilian areas and cities:[/Quote]

 

There are also reports, the 'rebels' are behind those charges...to receive additional aid. Is it inconceivable in your mind this operation was ill advised in the first place and the resulting unintended consequence of being wrong is politically destructive? Is that a reasonable purpose for war? In my mind, the only reasons we have for even being involved in the AREA, would be in Israel's defense or if there was an imminent threat to the World's economy and we're appearing to be otherwise, unconcerned about either.

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Well, we know that NATO has already admitted bombing rebel forces at Brega, so if they can't even distinguish their allies from their enemies, the odds that they can distinguish civilians from military personnel when they bomb a city -- especially in a rebellion where there are still no military insignia of the rebel army registered with the International Red Cross so that it is even theoretically possible to distinguish civilians from rebels according to the criteria of international law -- seem miniscule.

The distinction between two groups of armed men in military vehicles is much more difficult than the distinction between civilians and military forces.

 

But unless NATO can guarantee that it is not itself killing civilians, it is in violation of the only grounds at international law for its intervention, so all the NATO leadership could be arrested and charged as war criminals. The fact that this issue is not even being debated in the West simply shows how meaningless the distinction is between countries with a free press and free speech, but where the thought collective simply confines every media to the same narrow dogma, and those with official censorship which more clumsily and obtrusively accomplish the same thing.

So you're proposing that the intended interpretation of the UN resolution is such that no intervention is possible, because any military strike to protect civilians might possibly harm them? Then what purpose does the UN resolution have?

 

Your interpretation can't be reconciled with the intentions of the authors of the resolution, and I suggest you're intentionally choosing an unrealistically narrow interpretation to ridicule them.

 

It is also a rather obvious case of stage-managing public information that there is now the hysterical story of Libya using cluster bombs at the very moment the NATO mission is morphing in extreme violation of international law from protecting civilians to regime change. Just as the 'French air attack on Stuttgart' and 'French cavalry incursions into neutral Belgium' were cited by the Imperial German News Service in 1914 to excuse the invasion of Belgium and France, and later, the Allies screamed stories about the vicious Huns raping Belgian nuns on their march through Belgium, these fantasies all do their job for the short span of time they are required to mobilize public opinion into its preferred mode of stupid, self-satisfied outrage, and then when the stores are later all proven false, it is much too late for those historical footnotes to have any substantive political impact.

Are you suggesting that news agencies such as the New York Times and NGOs like Human Rights Watch are intentionally fabricating evidence to support the US government?

 

Incidentally, the NATO operation is not "morphing". NATO is as yet reluctant to make the changes Sarkozy, Cameron and Obama have suggested. Save your anger for later.

 

CR; Collateral Damage (killing of civilians) or damaging unintended infrastructure, has always been a recognized problem and somebody needs to be on the ground setting up targets for lacer guidance, in the first place and those people (if they exist) must be accurate.

http://en.wikipedia....artin_Sniper_XR

 

There are also reports, the 'rebels' are behind those charges...to receive additional aid. Is it inconceivable in your mind this operation was ill advised in the first place and the resulting unintended consequence of being wrong is politically destructive? Is that a reasonable purpose for war? In my mind, the only reasons we have for even being involved in the AREA, would be in Israel's defense or if there was an imminent threat to the World's economy and we're appearing to be otherwise, unconcerned about either.

Given that the cluster munitions have been photographed and examined by Human Rights Watch and the New York Times, the only plausible version of this hypothesis is that the rebels got their hands on cluster bombs from a Gaddafi ammunition dump and used them on themselves.

 

As for the advisability of the operation, I disagree, but largely on the grounds that charging in without a plan is potentially a grave mistake. Intervention to protect civilians will not solve the rebellion; governments should have either announced their intention to oust Gaddafi from the outset (and face opposition), set up a diplomatic method of resolution (which likely wouldn't work), or not attacked at all.

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With respect to the issue of the number of innocent civilian casualties caused by the purported intervention to prevent those casualties, which is the sole ground of NATO's intervention, in comparison with the number of innocent civilian casualties caused as an inevitable side-effect of Gadaffi's legally well-grounded enforcing of Libyan domestic criminal law which must allow the use of lethal force against those attempting to overthrow the sovereign power by force of arms, this is an issue which has to be assessed neutrally and objectively by an adjudicator. This is why the International Court of Justice, as I suggested earlier, should review the factual basis of the legitimacy of NATO's intervention.

 

Unfortunately, as the situation now stands, a politically self-interested NATO now purports to review the legitimacy of the intervention at international law which it arm-twisted its way into getting from a very narrow majority of the UN Security Council -- 10 to 5 abstentions, one vote more than necessary for authorization of military action. Courts are expert at neutrally and objectively assessing facts to determine whether statutes come into operation or not. and since the ICJ can review Security Council action under article 24 of the UN Charter, it should do so.

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The longer propaganda remains in contact with reality, the more the mask of power falls off. Now Donald Trump, normally just a Palinesque buffoon, has performed the valuable service of actually formulating Western intentions in Libya by saying, in last Sunday's CNN interview with Candy Crowley, that since the U.S. has spent a billion dollars intervening in Libya, it ought to own Libya's oil.

 

The mask continues to loosen in other areas as well. Thus BBC World News recently showed films of national delegations from various NATO countries driving up to the headquarters of the Libyan rebels for a meeting. We may well doubt whether the subject of that meeting was just a sincere discussion about how to avoid civilian casualties, which is the only legal reason for NATO's presence in Libya. Now Britain has annouced that British military officers are going to advise rebel forces. I guess this is also just to ensure that the rebels avoid civilian casualties.

 

The plain fact is that since Gadaffi has already long ago agreed to a ceasefire which would instantly end all civilian casualties in Libya, while the rebels have refused a ceasefire and NATO also continues to support the rebels and bomb cities where the civilian population is so densely packed that it is impossible to avoid civilian casualties, the only forces in Libya causing the continuation of civilian casualties are the rebels and NATO.

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Hmm, Syria has now killed more than 80 innocent Syrian civilian protesters, but neither NATO nor the U.S. seem to care, even though Syria has now perfectly fulfilled the conditions which the U.N. Security Council just a short while ago agreed constitute a valid reason for attacking Libya. What is the difference to justify such totally different treatment of Syria and Libya? I guess Syria is just lucky not to have any oil.

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  • 2 months later...

Amnesty International, a reasonably neutral observer, has just said on BBC World that 'both sides' are committing violations of international law in the Libyan conflict. So I guess that where both sides are violating international law, NATO just backs the side whose victory most helps its economic interests. That's worth dying for ...

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Here is a link to an Amnesty report on the Human Rights situation in Libya mid last year - perhaps some of the posters could acquaint themselves with the realities of life in Libya before painting it as the land of milk and honey

 

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE19/007/2010/en/65e2d9ca-3b76-4ea8-968f-5d76e1591b9c/mde190072010en.pdf

 

After reading that, I suggest people read the Jan 2011 UN Report on Human Rights in Libya:

 

http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/session9/US/A_HRC_WG.6_9_L.9_USA.pdf

 

The report said that the Ghaddafi government protected "not only political rights, but also economic, educational, social and cultural rights," and praised it for the nation's treatment of religious minorities, and the "human rights training" received by security forces. No less than 46 delegations to the controversial Human Rights Council made positive comments, with rare criticism from, the United States and UK. It was to be approved at a vote in April but I suspect the war got in the way!

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  • 1 month later...

The Libyan civil war appears to be in its final phases, as rebels have taken the city of Tripoli. The Libyan dictator is currently a wanted individual, as a reward has been distributed for his arrest, dead or alive. Article source: Libyan rebels put bounty on Gadhafi as noose tightens.Gaddafi should surrender himself now to the authorities.The ongoing war now is becoming worst.And that may affect to much to the economy of Libya,to the people,the state and to the other foreign people as well.

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Libyan civil war started by Western countries? Follow the money.

 

Having read through this thread, there is a lot of concentrated debate on casualties (civilian or otherwise) international and common law; who did what to who; historical examples etcetera, and these arguments are many, and weighty and deserve to prevail.

I would like to change tack just a little to address the original question.

For the purpose of this exercise it is necessary to understand that casualties, be they civilian, rebel or military are largely irrelevant - a view apparently shared somewhat by the waring factions - also adherence to, or contravention of international law or common law is mostly irrelevant.

 

Did western countries start the conflict in Libya? well, no. But only in the same way the fuel in my car didn't start it's engine. Although even the most mechanically inept wouldn't argue that the fuel is a pretty important factor in it's operation.

I've always maintained that to understand why things happen; how situations like Libya occur, all one need to is to follow the money.

Who stands to gain? who stands to loose? How would this gain manifest itself?

 

One of the [sFN] posts - a while back - stated that "Libya's oil is traded on the open market." ... And there it is.

It would be wrong to think that this war and many like it are "All about oil." The key word here is 'Traded'. Traded for what exactly?

Oil is currently pegged to the USD as the global reserve currency (occasionally it is traded in other currencies as a hedge against fluctuations in the future market.) Many oil producing nations are attempting to peg their oil exports to other currencies. Kuwait already did in May; Saudi Arabia looks like it wont just yet, but the rest of OPEC is seriously considering it.(1)

Such an abandonment of the USD would not be good for the US economy, it's bond market or it's exchange rate.

If trading in another currency - or multiple currencies - is a problem for US interests; the creation of an independent, specie-backed currency to rival the Dollar and to a lesser extent the Euro, would really screw things up!

Gaddafi's Raison d'être, as well as universal health care, free education, subsidised housing, executions, national service, terrorist financing, human rights abuses and a bizarre dress sense (2) (a raison d'etre shared by more than a few western leaders) also include plans to introduce, or rather re-introduce the Gold Dinar. (3) “a single African currency that would serve as an alternative to the U.S. dollar and allow African nations to share the wealth. It is surely no coincidence that Iraq’s prior leader, Saddam Hussein, was trying to do the same thing just prior to U.S. invasion for all of those “weapons of mass destruction.”

Gaddafi also held meetings with other oil producing nations to try and get them on-board with this plan. One country trading it's oil for gold rather than Dollars would be problem enough for the US, but a domino effect of many countries adhering to a new trading currency would be unacceptable.

The west certainly does not want Libya to trade in this way with it's own state run central bank. Far better to have commodities traded in Dollars with a private; for profit, fractional reserve banking system which is friendly to the west's interests. (4)

So, Gaddafi's regime needs to go. Troops are already overstretched fighting all over the the place, and to invade another middle eastern country would be deeply unpopular in the light of wars fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would be far easier to find a group of anti Gaddafi militia - like the LIFG - arm them with imported FN-FAL rifles, Micro UAVs (5) and let them get on with the dirty work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/2816034/Fears-of-dollar-collapse-as-Saudis-take-fright.html

http://www.resourceinvestor.com/News/2007/11/Pages/OPEC-Considers-Move-Off-U-S--Dollar-Peg--Will.aspx

http://www.economist.com/node/8380713

 

(2)

http://www.libyafeb17.com/2011/02/why-do-you-libyans-want-gaddafi-gone-here-are-some-reasons/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_in_Libya

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Libya

 

(3)

http://www.goldstockbull.com/articles/libya-invasion-gaddafi-plan-gold-dinar/

 

(4)

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2008/03/08TRIPOLI230.html

 

(5)

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&newspaperUserId=27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3af970e701-ca0b-4013-89d8-5265c6db75e1&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest

 

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/07/2011755223504921.html

 

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...

It would be wrong to think that this war and many like it are "All about oil." The key word here is 'Traded'. Traded for what exactly?

Oil is currently pegged to the USD as the global reserve currency (occasionally it is traded in other currencies as a hedge against fluctuations in the future market.) Many oil producing nations are attempting to peg their oil exports to other currencies. Kuwait already did in May; Saudi Arabia looks like it wont just yet, but the rest of OPEC is seriously considering it.(1)

 

/snipped

 

 

[1]

http://www.telegraph...ake-fright.html

http://www.resourcei...-Peg--Will.aspx

http://www.economist.com/node/8380713

...

 

not really - these articles are talking about the currencies of the the Countries of the Gulf Cooperation council which are/were pegged to the dollar. There were also proposals to change the trading currency of oil - but three years down the line I don't believe anything has changed as it would need an en bloc change of OPEC and the non-OPEC producers.

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