Saturday, October 29, 2011

With 30,000 dead, what do faith leaders and human rights activists who pushed for war on Libya say now?

The end of Zein al-Abidine Ben Ali's rule in Tunisia's "Jasmine Revolution" on January 14, 2011 rang alarm bells across the Middle East. The U.S. seized the opportunity to put an end to Col. Gaddafi's rule in Libya -- with the help of hundreds of U.S. faith leaders, human rights activists, neocons, and the news media.

On March 14, 2011, in a letter signed by faith leaders and hundreds of others (see letter for names, affiliation), The Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, appealed to President Obama "to create a coalition that will impose as quickly as possible a no-fly zone for all Libyan military aircraft over the full extent of northern Libyan airspace".

Surely, these faith leaders knew that a no-fly zone is a euphemism for war.

"On 17 March, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1973. And within 42 hours an attack on the troops of the Libyan government, aimed, according to the British Defence Minster William Hague, at killing the Libyan leader, had begun."

Resolution 1973 was illegal under the UN Charter. The Libyan government did not have a representative present at the meeting at which the UN resolution was passed. There was no determination made that measures not involving the use of force had failed.

The attack on Libya was not a Just War as described both by Catholic doctrine, and in an analysis by the Christian Evangel Society. Similar restrictions on war exist in Islam.

On June 20, 2011, a letter signed by 40 former senior officials who served under President George W. Bush was released by the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) -- a two-year-old neoconservative group that is widely seen as the successor to the more-famous -- or infamous -- Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

The FPI urged Congress: "The United States should be leading in this effort, not trailing behind our allies. We should be doing more to help the Libyan opposition, which deserves our support. We should not be allowing ourselves to be held hostage to U.N. Security Council resolutions and irresolute allies."

US/NATO intervention exceeded the parameters originally set forth by UN Security Council resolution 1973, which authorized the international use of force to establish a "no fly" zone over Libya and to protect civilians; the UN resolution made no mention of regime change or government overthrow, though this clearly was NATO's main objective from the beginning. The Security Council also called for a Libyan arms embargo, a stipulation that NATO ignored by arming the Libyan rebels.

On September 16, 2011, the National Transitional Council was recognised by the United Nations as the legal representative of Libya, replacing Gaddafi's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

On October 20, 2011, with US/NATO and Qatari forces siding with the rebels in a civil war (now you know why Al Jazeera's coverage was one-sided), Col. Gaddafi was captured alive after his convoy was attacked by NATO warplanes. He was beaten and killed by the rebels the same day.

When his convoy was attacked, according to reports, Gaddafi was traveling under a negotiated truce, and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was informed of the "White Flag" truce negotiated and agreed to by Libya's NTC while visiting Libya on Wednesday October 19.

The National Transitional Council puts Libyan losses at 30,000 dead (given Libya's population of 6.42 million, this is the U.S. equivalent of 1.4 million dead) and 50,000 wounded", and much of what was said to justify the war -- genocide... Gaddafi is "bombing his own people"... save Benghazi... African mercenaries... viagra-fueled mass rape -- has proven to be a lie.

Gaddafi seized power in 1969 in a bloodless coup by overthrowing King Idris who had achieved power with British backing in 1949. After trying for more than 20 years, US/NATO led forces finally got rid of him.

Amnesty International has called for an independent inquiry into the alleged, 1996 massacre of 1270 prisoners in Abu Salim prison -- an estimate mostly based on the account of a single former inmate (Hussein al-Shafai -- now "living in the United States, where he has applied for asylum").

Investigators from CNN and other organizations found no evidence of mass graves at the supposed site -- only some animal bones.

When they pushed for war, faith leaders and the news media, did not report that Libya ranked first in Africa (53 globally) on the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) Human Development Index -- ahead of Saudi Arabia at 55, Iran at 70, South Africa at 73, Jordan at 82, Egypt at 101, Indonesia at 108, India at 119, Afghanistan at 155. They also did not report that according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Libya has the largest proven oil reserves in Africa".

In a just world, the warmongers would be held accountable for their criminal attack on Libya and the killing of Col Gaddafi. Instead the rush is on to strip Libyans of their wealth.

What do faith leaders and human rights activists who pushed for war on Libya say now?

Enver Masud
Founder and CEO
The Wisdom Fund


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