Libya will long be remembered as one of history's great crimes. For over eight months, NATO's killing machine ravaged the country, killing tens of thousands.
Years of protracted conflict lie ahead. Libyans will keep struggling until they're free from NATO's scourge.
UN Resolution 1973 authorized a no-fly zone. In fact, it lawlessly declared war. A prosperous, peaceful, nonbelligerent country and its way of life was destroyed.
Civilians and non-military sites were deliberately targeted. Cold-blooded murder and mass destruction were planned.
Sirte, a city once home to 100,000, symbolizes NATO's depravity. Terror bombing destroyed it. Thousands were massacred.
Under international law, it's a war crime.
Under the 1907 Hague Regulations, Fourth Geneva, Geneva's Common Article III, and various other international laws, civilians are protected persons. So is civilian property. Attacking them is prohibited. War crimes are clearly defined. The principles of distinction and proportionality also apply:
• distinction between combatants and military targets v. civilians and non-military ones; attacking latter ones are war crimes except when civilians take direct part in hostilities; and
• proportionality prohibits disproportionate, indiscriminate force likely to cause damage to or loss of lives and objects.
In addition, precautions must be taken to avoid and minimize incidental loss of civilian lives, injuries to them, and damage to non-military sites. Under Fourth Geneva, they must be given "effective advance warning" and "neutralized zones" where they can be as protected as possible.
Fourth Geneva also prohibits collective punishment; the use of human shields; private property destruction; torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; denying the population adequate amounts of food and medical supplies; and assuring free passage of all "consignments" intended for civilian purposes.
Nonetheless, in all US/NATO wars, including Libya (besides earlier American ones), these provisions are systematically and willfully violated.
Civilians and nonmilitary sites are considered legitimate targets. Western powers spuriously claim every effort to spare them. Media scoundrels ignore their crimes.
The UN Charter's Article 2(7) states:
"Nothing contained in the present charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter VII," pertaining to threats to peace, its breaches, or acts of aggression.
NATO's humanitarian responsibility to protect duplicity terrorized and slaughtered civilians lawlessly. Millions of Libyans won't forgive or forget, including Sirte survivors.
Under siege for weeks, food, medical supplies and other essentials were cut off. Basic infrastructure was destroyed, including power, water and sanitation systems.
Homes, schools, mosques, hospitals and other civilian sites were bombed. Terror weapons were used including thermobaric fuel-air bombs and white phosphorous able to burn flesh to the bone.
Virtually every structure was destroyed or damaged. Rebel rats looted what they found. Even news reports described a scorched earth campaign, including grim scenes reminiscent of Grozny in Russia's Chechen war, Guernica, the Warsaw Ghetto, and other historical terror bombing targets.
On October 27, Human Rights Investigations (HRI) headlined, "Responsibility to protect: the liberation of Sirte," saying:
Over 400 air strikes targeted Sirte for weeks. Each delivered powerful munitions. In addition, rebel rats "indiscriminately shell(ed) the town with tank fire, heavy mortar fire and artillery."
NATO declined comment "on why it did nothing to protect (civilians) and why it has been complicit in these war crimes."
• "....(U)ndisciplined and in some cases genocidal mobs" committed horrific atrocities. NATO authorized their "murderous rampage," as well as elsewhere across Libya.
• "....Red Cross officials have said they have found (267) dead in Sirte, most of whom they believe were killed" the day Sirte fell.
International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo hasn't "pursued action against pro-NATO forces. In fact, he has been involved (complicity) in spreading propaganda and inciting racial hatred during the conflict."
On October 11, Transitional National Council (TNC) chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil told rebel rat fighters, "You have the support of all the members of the transitional council." He also authorized other war crimes.
"Currently what is left of Sirte is being thoroughly looted." BBC said reconstruction is unlikely. Crumbled remains will stay "a memorial to Colonel Gaddafi's victims," shifting blame for horrific NATO crimes onto him instead of reporting responsibly.
Clearly, said HRI, "responsibility to protest (R2P) has been hi-jacked by NATO and its supporters as a justification for its military campaign and has lost its humanitarian content, becoming little more than a weapon in the propaganda war to draw ill-informed citizens into consent for military action."
In fact, too many people who know better took the bait and believed it. They still do, thinking NATO intervened for humanitarian reasons.
Bosnians, Serbs, Iraqis, Afghans, Libyans and other NATO victims know better. Ask them. They'll explain.
On October 25 on Russia Today, nuclear expert Christopher Busby discussed a new report about "uranium-enhanced weapons" used against Fallujah, Iraq in 2004. Horrific birth defects and congenital diseases resulted.
Washington and NATO use depleted uranium (DU) weapons in all wars. Busby exposed evidence of enriched uranium, "the kind used in nuclear reactors and bombs," he said, adding:
His "results prove the existence of a new secret uranium weapon. We have found some US patents for thermobaric and directed charge warheads which employ uranium powder to increase their effect."
Calling it "quite scary," he explained bomb crater evidence "in Lebanon in 2006 after the Israeli attacks and found one which was radioactive and which contained enriched uranium. We found enriched uranium in car air filters from Lebanon and also from Gaza. Others have found evidence of its use in Afghanistan and possibly also in the Balkans."
Busby called the discovery "astonishing with many global implications."
It suggests NATO used these weapons in Libya, including against Sirte. As a result, epidemic levels of cancer, other diseases, and congenital birth defects will follow.
Libya not only was ravaged, likely permanent contamination makes wide areas hazardous. No amount of radiation is safe. It's harmful, cumulative, permanent, unforgiving, and deadly.
Science never found a safe threshold. Radiation poisoning causes cancer, leukemia, other diseases, birth defects, stillbirths, miscarriages, sterility, malformations, open lesions, and more, including permanent genetic damage passed on to offspring.
Busby said it "poison(s) the gene pool of whole populations. This is a war crime and must be properly investigated....It has probably been used in Libya, so we must wait and see what levels of cancer and congenital diseases appear there."
After heroically holding out for weeks, NATO and rebel rats now control Sirte. NSNBC called their operation "one of the most outrageous war crimes of the century," including hundreds of summary executions.
On October 24, Human Rights Watch reported 53 Gaddafi supporters murdered at a Sirte hotel.
On October 26, Russia Today (RT.com) said:
"Three hundred bodies of alleged Gaddafi allies have been found in Sirte, shot in the head with hands tied behind their backs. Are (NATO forces) guilty of ordering political executions....?"
RT called NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen's comments at a recent Brussels news conference "a grimly prophetic joke," saying:
"Our military forces prevented a massacre and saved countless lives."
In fact, mass destruction, slaughter and atrocities defined its campaign from inception. Knowledgeable observers are horrified by the depravity of NATO's campaign without end.
Whether or not bombing ends October 31, NATO came to Libya to stay. Blue Helmet paramilitary enforcers will join them.
On October 29, RIA/Novosti headlined, "NATO will stop bombing Libya but won't leave," saying:
"The Security Council did not end the war." It's not over, and NATO's not leaving. "They will simply change the name of the operation" to one called "the Friends of Libya coalition."
A dozen or more countries will be involved, including America, Britain, France, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and other regional states.
"To sum up, the war will continue for some time, and NATO will remain in NATO for a long time to come...."
In fact, NATO comes to stay. Like Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, permanent bases will be built. Occupation, colonization and plunder will follow.
Humanitarian considerations, free elections, and other democratic values are non-starters.
Iron-fisted rule is coming. Libyans know their liberating struggle won't end easily or quickly, but they're committed never to quit.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.