Sunday, November 13, 2011

171. Was Nato involvement in Libya justified?

This blog:

More on Lybia: Ghadaffi. 
The end of a country. 

Did Ghadaffi bomb his citiczins ?
If he did not, then we created Regime Change on false grounds, and then we are fully responsable for all its negative consequences. 
Note: We also created Regime Change on false grounds in Iraq, and it had terrible consequences, even though the Saddam regime was already a very rogue regime. 

Western countries have embraced the principle of ‘Responsibility to Protect ‘.
Nato has helped the Libyan rebels because the West feared genocide.

There were allegations that Ghadaffi killed his own people with bombs from planes.
To prevent this, Nato has installed No Fly zones.

The cruicial question is: Did Ghadaffi kill his people by throwing bombs?
Answer: NO.

So: Was Nato intervention legal?

Answer: NO.

Very remarkable: Nato planes started to throw bombs on cities to help the rebels win the war, thereby killing innocent citizens.
Was this a criminal act by Nato ?

Answer: Yes. 


Who caused Nato to interfere ? 

               What reasons did they give ? 

I will give four reasons, and show each time why they were unreliable: 

1)   Libyan Human Rights letter.

One reason for Nato to create a No-Fly zone was the letter of 21 febr. from the leader of the Libyian Human Rights League or LLHR , mr. Bouchouiguir. 

He sent the letter to Obama, to Ban ki Moon and to the EU High Representative.  
He demanded action on the basis of the ‘Responsibility to Protect ‘ ( R2P ) doctrine.
The letter described an armageddon where innocent citizins were killed at random.  See: [1]
"The government of Libya is committing gross and systematic violations of the right to life "

The LLHR letter was immediately endorsed by 70  NGO organisations from Geneva. This gave LL+HR's letter the extra weight.  


"Ghadaffi throws bombs on peacefull protesters" was the buzz in the papers, and according to Ananpur this was the main reason for Nato intervention. 

Note: none of the official accusations said that Ghadaffi bombed his civilians, but the idea was all over the papers. 

But there is not one video that shows a plane throwing bombs on civilians! 
And not one video that shows helicopters from which soldiers are shooting on civilians.

This is in itself nowadays sufficient proof that it did not happen.  

There are dozens of videos of large demonstrations against Ghadaffi, long before the No Fly zone was installed. Non of these people are afraid of air-bombings from Ghadaffi, so much is clear.

There are many hours of video where western journalists that are in Benghazi can speak freely to the people. They never mention once a bombing by Ghadaffi. 
Here are some of the availalable video's:

18 febr. Al Jazeera. Tobruck, Benghazi ( Video )
21 Febr. Al Jazeera. ( Video )
1 March. Russian TV. ( Video
5 march: Reuters. Deborah Lutterbeck. ( Video
11 march. Real News, Jihan Hafiz. Mass protest. ( Video
11 march. Real News, Jihan Hafiz.  Ras Lanuf. ( Video
21 march: BBC Paul Kenyon.  Part 1.  Part 2.
23 march. BBC. Protest on 17 febr. unarmed. Then yellow helmets. Who were they? 237 deads.(video )
23 march: BBC interview Saadi Ghadaffi about military baracks - Khateeba- in Benghazi. ( Interview
13 sept. Interview with Mahdi Nazemroaya, who was in Lybia 2 months. Nato carpetbombed Libya.

About the 70 NGO's who endorsed the LLHR letter: These NGO's were in Geneva and had no contacts with Libya. They relied on Bouchouiguir.  [2]

French journalists have interviewed Bouchouiguir in Geneva, in june 2011, where he is now the new Libyan ambassador.  You will hear the answers on many questions directly from Bouchouiguir’s interview. Here is the whole interview..

 2) Ali Zeidan letter. 

On 2 March mr Ali Zeidan ( from LLHR ànd  from the Transitional Council ) published a statement that 6000 people  were killed so far. 
3000 in Tripoli, 2000 in Benghazi and 1000 in other cities. 

Did Zeidan provide any proof ?  No. 
Did he speak the truth? No.  
Now we know from two sources how many people died in Benghazi: 237 according to the BBC and 300  according to Bouchouiguir. 

Bouchouiguir names the cabinet ministers for the TC that were members of this Human Rights Group. 

3)  Libya's UN ambassador changed sides and uses wrong terminology, with a purpose.

Another reason for the West to take action was the Libyan UN ambassador Dabbashi who already on 21 february  changed sides and stated: “We are expecting a real genocide in Tripoli. The airplanes are still bringing mercenaries to the airports”.

Prof. Max Forte explains ( Myth 1) why the ambassador used these words, and why they are not the right words:
    The concept of 'genocide' is well defined, and can not be used here.
    Mentioning the airports was the right preparation for a No-Fly zone.

In march 2008 Ghadaffi lanced his Wealth Distribution Program. ( Mahdi)  He was fed up with the corruption and wanted to give the oil revenues directly to his people. This was alarm fase 1 for the Elite of Libya, and they started to sabotage the plan. This could be the reason why the ambassadors and high placed Libyans changed sides so quickly, and why thio was not a lower class revolte, but a middle class revolte, as Jian Hafiz learned when she was in Libya.

4) Ghadaffi held a speech threatening to take revenge in Benghazi.  

Obama said that Ghadaffi had threatened his people, but that is not true. Ghadaffi said that he would have no  mercy for the rebels. So here it was Obama himself who lied and thus demonised Ghadaffi. 

International law goes like this, if I am correct: 
- A sovereign that is confronted with a peaceful demonstration is not allowed to crack down on a demonstration by killing its civilians. 

- A sovereign that is confronted with an armed rebellion has the right to resist the rebels, with arms.
If a sovereign would not have this right, anarchy would result in every country, as anyone could start his own uprising.   

It is said many times that Libya is full of weapons. As we have not even one video that shows a peacefull group of protesters being shot at by snipers,( like here )  we may safely believe that it did not happen.

There was an armed rebellion in Benghazi and other places, so Ghadaffi had the right to threaten the rebels with violence and even to use violence against them.( Not against the demonstrators). 

Yet, Ghadaffi’s threats were taken as if they were illegal,  as if they were against peacefull protesters, and as proof that a massacre would happen if he would reconquer Benghazi.     

Now, is there a chance that Ghadaffi would start killing peacefull protesters?
Not likely, as professor Alan J. Kuperman wrote in “False pretense for war in Libya?”: 

“The best evidence that Khadafy did not plan genocide in Benghazi is that he did not perpetrate it in the other cities he had recaptured either fully or partially—including Zawiya, Misurata, and Ajdabiya, which together have a population greater than Benghazi….Khadafy’s acts were a far cry from Rwanda, Darfur, Congo, Bosnia, and other killing fields….Despite ubiquitous cellphones equipped with cameras and video, there is no graphic evidence of deliberate massacre….Nor did Khadafy ever threaten civilian massacre in Benghazi, as Obama alleged. The ‘no mercy’ warning, of March 17, targeted rebels only, as reported by The New York Times, which noted that Libya’s leader promised amnesty for those ‘who throw their weapons away’. Khadafy even offered the rebels an escape route and open border to Egypt, to avoid a fight ‘to the bitter end’ ".

In a bitter irony, what evidence there is of massacres, committed by both sides, is now to be found in Tripoli in recent days, months after NATO imposed its “life-saving” military measures. Revenge killings are daily being reported with greater frequency, including
the wholesale slaughter of black Libyans and African migrants by rebel forces. Another sad irony: in Benghazi, which the insurgents have held for months now, well after Gaddafi forces were repulsed, not even that has prevented violence: revenge killings have been reported there too.

5. The fact that the Arab League asked for intervention seems to have been an important factor  for the decision for interference. 
Recently information has surfaced that, in turn,  France and Great Brittain, have put a lot of pressure on the Arab League to make them  ask for intervention. I heard this at a meeting at Clingendael Institure , The Hague.




How did it start?  Who started it?  What information do we have? 

I have two sources: Jinan Hafiz ( Real News)  and Paul Kenyon ( BBC)
Their stories are not uniform.
The story of mrs Hafiz is not even clear consistent. But she is genuine, I believe, so I will try to make an interpretation that is as good as possible.

This is what I think happenend:
On Facebook  there was a 'Day of Anger" -demonstration planned on 17 febr. by Benghazi youth. 
But on 15 th of febr. the lawyer that helped families of the Benghazi prisoners that were  
killed in the Abu Salim-prison revolt was arrested.  
The family of the prisoners went to demonstrate because of that, on 15 th of febr. 
Governement soldiers shot on these demonstrators, and some were killed.
The next day the funeral of these victims went past the Khateeba, and they were shot at,  again. ( I am not sure if this) 
Then the people decided to attack the Khateeba.
This fight took place from 16 to 20 february. Then, on the 20th the soldiers were driven out. 
Ghadaffi's son Saadi flew to Benghazi and led the army in the Khateeba for a few days, but fled when the army lost. 
As the people were really attacking the soldiers, these soldiers fired back.  

The real mistakes of the Ghadaffi regime were: 
- a.  to arrest this lawyer. 
- b. to shoot at the demonstrators on 15 febr. 

I would not be surprised if these decisions, a. and b.  were done by moles. 
Who organised the facebook demonstration? 
Why did this Human Rights organisation organise the Abu Salim demonstration just 2 days before the "Day of Anger"- demonstration ? It was more that 15 years and 5 months ago, and not the 15th anniversary as was said by Jihan Hafiz. So this was a 'produced'  demonstration, just as the facebook demonstration. 
Is it true that Bernard Henry Levy ( BHL)  met one man of the TC in Australia, six months before the revolte?
Mahdi Nazemroaya writes: "About six months before the conflict erupted in Libya, Mahmoud Jibiril actually met with Bernard-Henri Lévy in Australia to discuss forming the Transitional Council and deposing Colonel Qaddafi." 
Mahdi's source: [4] Private discussions with Mahmoud Jiribil’s co-workers inside and outside of Libya.
If that info of Mahdi can be corroborated, it would be very  meaningful. 
Here are the video's that are my sources: 

From Real News 1: we learn this:
( at 7 min) It started on the 15th of febr. 
In the Abu Salim prison many Benghazi prisoners were killed in a prison uprising on 6 october 1996.  The Benghazi family of these prisoners went on the street to demonstrate.
They had done this before.(Do I understand this correctly?)
Then (on the 15 th?) the lawyer of these prisoners and theiur families,  was arrested, which made the people more angry. Then the Government soldiers started to shoot protesters.  
They decided to attack the military compound, the Khateeba, a large fenced army base.  
When they succeeded they found arms there. 
The people that were killed on the 15th, were buried the next day. The leaders of the funeral dicided to  pass by the Khateeba, just to show the soldiers that  they were not afraid.  And then the soldiers from the Khateeba started to shoot. 

From the BBC: Part 1
( 4 min) It began as a Human Rights protest over the Abu Salim prisoners , 15 years and several months before. 
( 4.57) "We decided to start the uprising on the 17th to get Ghadaffi out." Was this a demonstration, or  an uprising ? The man who speaks says that it was their goal to have an uprising, regime change. Not a change of policy, which is normally the goal of a demonstration.    
( 5.24) Thousands of protesters went across the bridge. Peaceful and unarmed. 
Then among them appeared men with sticks and guns. Probably mercenaries. They also shot at people. 
"They were shooting at us, to kill us"
Anders Breivik killed 90 people in 1 hour. Here we are told there are thousands of demonstrating  people on the streets, who are dispersed by some men with yellow hats. Most with simple sticks, some allegedly with guns. After 3 days of fighting between the governement army ( Note: every government is legally alowed to use weapons at a time of rebellion) and rebels, a total of 237 people were killed.  
Only 2,5 times as many as Breivik killed in 1 hour, after 3 days of rebellion. 

One thing is certain:  Ghadaffi's soldiers were not using un-legitimated  violence. 

( 8,23 min)  Mass funerals began. They went past the Khateeba on purpose and attacked it. 
The soldiers responded and shot into the protesters. It went on for 3 days. 
From  11 min on there is a good description of how the people conquered the Khateeba. 
A suicide bomber finally opened the wall, and the people went in. 
The soldiers in the Khateeba gave up or fled. 
A total of 237 people died during these 5 days. 

I think that 237 dead people is very low for the  conquering of a military base by unarmed people. 
Soldiers have the duty to defend the government, so they are allowed to shoot at the armed rebels, but not excessively.  The number of 237 shows that it was not done excessively. That is my impression. 

In history it must be a unicum: a town of 850.000 people that commits a coup d'état, without any weapons, and wins the battle, with no more that 237 people dead.  This government must have been a government of softies! 

From the BBC, Part 2:  
(7.22) After the beginning of the revolte Saadi Ghadaffi arrived at the Khateeba.  Did he give orders to shoot?  Witness: Ghadaffi jr. said "Give them one more day (of revolt), and then if nothing changes, fire on them." 
From the fact that in the end the Khateeba was conquered, it follows that the soldiers did use their guns rightfully. Remember: one armed Breivik could kill 69 unarmed people in one hour.
In the interview Saadi says ( 11 min.): "The attackers had weapons. It was normal that the soldiers fired back." "It were the fundamentalists who attacked the regime".


Some further information: 

Of course there were people shot by snipers, but this was a revolt against the government, so a government has the right, or evenb the duty, to fight rebels. If not, every country would quiclkly end in anarchy. 
Did the snipers kill innocent people? 
Was that intentional?  
Unlikely. It has no effect if you want to repress a rebellion. 
On 21 Febr. the LLHR wrote:Thugs armed with hammers and swords attacked families in their homes. This would be a very strange technique for Ghadaffi's army to restore 'peace'. But these things did happen in Southern Sudan, where US and Israel have tried for many years to accuse North Sudan governement of atrocities. One witness said that it were groups sponsored by foreign powers who did raids like this and killed people.  According to Moshe Sharett's diary, this was also an Israeli technique for eliciting revenge from Palestinians.  

The Nato planes were later used to bomb Ghadaffi's troups, and in this way support the rebels. 
But a Serbian journalist shows us that Nato was bombing before any rebels were present, and even they purposely bombed civilians and ambulances: ( Video )

The same Serb journalist,  Milovan Drecun,  visited a big gathering of all Libyan ethnic tribes. He found out that all tribes supported Ghadaffi, and did not like foreign intervention. ( Video
They accuse Nato of genocide. They say Nato bombs civilians, universities, hospitals.

Real News is an organisation that I trust. Amy Goodman's station Democracy Now is also an organbisation that I trust.  So the reporter Jinan Hafiz who was in Benghazi since 24 february has things to say that I find very relevant. 
Her two video's form 11 march are already mentioned above, under 1).  
On april 4 she was back in the US and was interviewed by Real News's  Paul Jay. 

Mrs Hafiz is not always coherent, but some information is very interesting.

There was no involvement from America , according to Hafiz.  
In Egypt: a revolution of the working class, but helped by America ( NED, USAid, IRI.  )( This is Confirmed by Hillary Clinton: )
In Libya: almost never contact between journalists and Libyans before.

Benghazi fell on the 20th febr, and Hafiz got there on 24 febr.
Liberated area. Enthousiasm. 
Libyans refused help, in the beginning. They do not like America.

Paul Jay: "Why did it get in an arms struggle in Libya ?"( and not in Egypt)  
It started 15th of febr. Although it had been announced on facebook for the 17th of february *.  
It started from family members of the Abu Salim massacre, where 1200 prisoners were killed in 1996.**
Their lawyer Fahti Terbil was arrested. That sparked the revolte.
The government shot on the demonstraters.  Shot to kill.
*  Now, was it spontaneous, or was it planned ?
**  It is not clear what happened then. ( Wiki) ( CNN )  ( Koussa Moussa)  
BBC: Panorama. Part 1. 
Saami tried to assasinate Ghadaffi, and was not killed by Ghadaffi, but put in prison.   
The UK had close secret relations with Ghadaffi. 

Why did it get to an armed struggle so quickly ?   Because the rebels were fighting a government that had anti aircaft  weapons.  The people wanted to bring down a military coupound.
They succeede and found arms.
How many dead? ( 2.25 min)
Doctor: 250 killed between 17 to 20 febr. And 1000+ injured.  Just Benghazi.
The fighters were very strategic: suicide first. Then force that went in, then people with camera’s.
The people who were killed on the 15th , and those who buried them wanted to pass by the military barack, just to show the soldiers they had no fear. Then the soldiers shot, and that caused the revolt in Benghazi.

Ook rijke Benghazi deden mee. Maar ook enkele heel arme mensen .
De meeste demonstreerden niet uit armoede.
Maar ze demonstreerden omdat ze niet alles konden zeggen. In Egypte konden de mensen wel met jourrnalisten spreken.
In Libya willen ze vooral vrijheid, ook om tot God te bidden, of om tot journalisten te spreken.
Comment of Jan Verheul: Hafiz tells us that the revolt in Libya was done by the middle class, and their goal was to get freedom. Freedom of speech and of religion. 
A city of 850.000 people that revolts just to get freedom of speech. Quite remarkable. 

Wat is de stemming?
In Egypte waren ze erg anti amerikaans. 
In Libya kijken ze naar US foreign policy, en willen er niks mee te doen hebben. Bang dat de CIA er achtrer zit.
De Benghazi wilden geen hulp van Amerika.
Maar toen de Ghaddaffi strijders dichterbij kwamen, werden ze bang. En toen zeiden ze: we hebben air-strikes nodig ( bombarderen van Ghadaffi troepen door Nato vliegtuigen.)
Een man zei: “ de VS wil ons zo wanhopig maken dat we hun help wel willen. “
Wat vind je van The National Council ?
Er zijn veel klachten over de overlopers van Ghadaffi’s mensen.
Dat is de vraag nu: zullen we de overlopers nu berechten of later?

6) The BBC accuses the UK of cooperation with Ghadaffi.
BBC: Panorama.
Saami tried to assasinate Ghadaffi, and was not killed by Ghadaffi, but put in prison.   
The UK had close secret relations with Ghadaffi. 

A few words on the moral legitmation of Nato intervention. 
The BBC commentator says:  Human Rights sources think that thousands of people may have been tortured and disappeared under Ghadaffi's regime. 
1. Now is the time to proof it.  Exactly how many ? 
2. The people who are the driving force behind Nato intervention are the ones responsable for hundreds of thousands of deaths. Even in Iraq only !  
3. This Nato intervention has cause already so much more innocent deaths that there is really no moral legitimation possible.
More so, because it happened exactly so in Iraq, and because it was absolutely to be expected: a war always results in lots more of casualties. 
4. Libya was just months ago complimented because of the progress on the Human Rights  aspects. Also Saif al Ghadaffi, the son that most probaby would be successor, has much more democratic goals. (*)

Mahdi Nazemoraya says that he had the impression that on both sides foreigners were stirring up the hatred by stimulating atrocious acts. On 24 min.  Snipers on boths sides,  Gangrapes, etc.
Mahdi: I think that 3000 peopel were killed in Tripoli because of teh carper bombing by Nato.
Mahdi: Tripoli was taken through a siege:  no water, oil, food. That was the startegy. Tripoli lost the war through psychological means. ( Mahdi )

[1]We, the undersigned non-governmental, human rights, and humanitarian organizations, urge you to mobilize the United Nations and the international community and take immediate action to halt the mass atrocities now being perpetrated by the Libyan government against its own people. The inexcusable silence cannot continue.

As you know, in the past several days, Colonel Moammar Gadhafi’s forces are estimated to have deliberately killed hundreds of peaceful protesters and innocent bystanders across the country. In the city of Benghazi alone, one doctor reported seeing at least 200 dead bodies. Witnesses report that a mixture of special commandos, foreign mercenaries and regime loyalists have attacked demonstrators with knives, assault rifles and heavy-caliber weapons.

Snipers are shooting peaceful protesters. Artillery and helicopter gunships have been used against crowds of demonstrators. Thugs armed with hammers and swords attacked families in their homes. Hospital officials report numerous victims shot in the head and chest, and one struck on the head by an anti-aircraft missile. Tanks are reported to be on the streets and crushing innocent bystanders. Witnesses report that mercenaries are shooting indiscriminately from helicopters and from the top of roofs. Women and children were seen jumping off Giuliana Bridge in Benghazi to escape. Many of them were killed by the impact of hitting the water, while others were drowned. The Libyan regime is seeking to hide all of these crimes by shutting off contact with the outside world. Foreign journalists have been refused entry. Internet and phone lines have been cut or disrupted.

There is no question here about intent. The government media has published open threats, promising that demonstrators would meet a “violent and thunderous response.”

[2]  When asked how a group of 70 non-governmental organizations in Geneva could support the LLHR’s claims on Geneva, Dr. Buchuiguir has answered that a network of close relationships was the basis.

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