America's Imperial War on Libya - by Stephen Lendman
Obama's claimed humanitarian intervention, if fact, is lawless imperialism by any standard, America's latest target to be conquered, colonized, controlled and pillaged for greater power and profit.
As a result, daily NATO atrocities continue, a shocking display of imperial arrogance against another nonbelligerent state, targeted for other than declared reasons.
Begun on March 19, NATO announced June 1 that Operation Unified Protector (the renamed Operation Odyssey Dawn) will continue unabated through September to inflict mass casualties and turn Libya to rubble like Serbia/Kosovo in 1999, Iraq in 1991 and 2003, Afghanistan in 2001, and earlier campaigns since (and during) WW II by bombing, killing and destroying gratuitously. In fact, doing so violates international law and moral principles, ones Western powers long ago abandoned, especially Washington.
Arranged in Brussels, America and key NATO allies extended operations with no deadline. Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan, in fact, said concluding them "depends on conditions on the ground" to assure mission objectives are accomplished, including killing Gaddafi and those around him by attacking his private compound repeatedly with bunker-buster bombs for that purpose.
Relaying orders given him by Washington, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said extended intervention "sends a clear message to the Gaddafi regime - we are determined to continue our operation to protect the people of Libya."
In fact, imperial Washington, Britain, France and other involved states ignore humanitarian concerns. They're participating solely for war spoils, whatever share America allows after taking everything it most wants, including another colonial conquest, its resources, material wealth, and sites for one or more new Pentagon bases for greater regional control.
In the process, Libyans are being slaughtered to "save" them, victimized by thousands of sorties, intensified in recent days, supplemented by US/UK/French/and Egyptian commandos, private mercenaries, insurgent cutthroats, and attack helicopters introduced June 4, preparatory perhaps for a ground invasion though whether one comes isn't certain.
Pentagon Apache Helicopter Gunship Killing Machines
Boeing calls its radar controlled AH-64D Apache Longbow "the world's most capable multi-role combat helicopter (gunship)....today and in the future," produced for numerous countries, including America, Britain, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.
Its enhanced capabilities include:
-- "Longer-range weapons accuracy and all-weather/night fighting," compared to earlier models;
-- "Detection of (moving or stationary) objects without being detected;" and
-- Ability to prioritize "up to 128 targets in less than a minute."
In fact, for low level combat, it's the ultimate killing machine, discussed on June 5 by London Guardian writer Kim Sengupta in his article headlined, "NATO strike force in Libya enjoys quick success with apache gunships," saying:
Deploying them "brings greater versatility to NATO's patrolling of Libya from (the) air" by destroying targets aerial bombardments miss, including ground radar, commercial trucks called military vehicles, and anything on the ground of interest. Civilians are also attacked, pretending it's done to save them.
In response, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov both condemned the escalation, saying it's heading toward a land operation.
Perhaps with combat troops aboard a large naval task force offshore, able to invade and/or unleash "shock and awe" capability full force if ordered, including powerful bunker-buster terror bombs and other mass destruction weapons.
Already, extensive casualties have occurred, including hundreds of civilians killed and thousands injured, many seriously, the toll mounting daily. They're largely omitted from Western media reports, ordered to suppress all bad news, sticking to the official humanitarian intervention line - the Big Lie promoting war, not condemning it responsibly.
On June 1, even the UN Human Rights Council fell short, issuing a "Report of the International Commission of Inquiry to investigate alleged violations of international human rights law in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya," claiming both sides committed crimes of war and against humanity, saying but not highlighting:
It's "established that some acts of torture and cruel treatment and some outrages upon personal dignity in particular humiliating and degrading treatment have been committed by (rebel forces), in particular against persons in detention, migrant workers and those believed to be mercenaries."
In fact, insurgents have committed mass atrocities against suspected pro-regime sympathizers. Gaddafi responded defensively, not preemptively, notions airbrushed from Western media reports, including information from a March 1 Pentagon briefing in which Defense Secretary Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mullen admitted no knowledge that he attacked his own people.
On June 4 from Tripoli, independent UK journalist/activist Lizzie Cocker told Progressive Radio News Hour listeners she found strong regime support, including widely displayed Libyan flags and school children singing: "Allah, Moammar, Libya bas, Libya (under him), it's all we need."
On Tripoli state television, moreover, former US congresswoman/2008 Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney expressed solidarity with Libyans against Western imperial aggression.
Also reporting from Tripoli, investigative journalist Wayne Madsen said Libya's Western-backed Transitional National Council looted hundreds of millions of dollars of state and private funds, spending or offshoring it in foreign banks. Their larceny, in fact, is so extreme that Washington refused more funding from ITS looted billions.
In addition, insurgent rebels "obtained brand new weapons not found in Libyan stockpiles at the outset of" fighting. Little reported is that Washington, Britain and France enlisted, armed and funded them well ahead of hostilities.
Further, reports suggest that "rebels have agree to recognize Israel and (let IDF forces) maintain a 30-year lease for a military base in eastern Libya" to be used against Egypt in case relations deteriorate.
Killing Gaddafi and Extending War
On April 30, Gaddafi's personal compound was bombed, killing his youngest son Seif and three grandchildren, a war crime by any standard. Falsely calling it a military site concealed its gravity. Gaddafi, in fact, survived by being 500 feet away. Next time, he may not be as lucky.
On June 2, the House defeated Rep. Brad Sherman's (D. CA) amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations bill to prohibit funding Pentagon operations in Libya.
On June 3, H. 51 was also defeated, "Directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove" US forces from Libya.
Bipartisan leadership, in fact, supports war, including in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. With Obama, they disdain peace, no matter the cost in human lives or growing domestic opposition.
In America, only bankers, war profiteers, Big Oil, and other corporate favorites matter. Peace, democratic values, and vitally needed social services be damned when budget priorities focus most on enriching them.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.