Lies, Damn Lies, and Humanitarian Intervention – by Stephen Lendman
Masquerading as “humanitarian intervention,” Washington launched full-force barbarism on six million Libyans, all endangered by America’s latest intervention. More on how below.
Beginning March 19, it was visible. However, months of planning preceded it, including US and UK special forces and intelligence operatives on the ground enlisting, inciting, funding, arming and supporting violent insurrection to oust Gaddafi and replace him with a Washington-controlled puppet like in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
The scrip is familiar, playing out now in Libya – full-scale “imperial barbarism,” a term James Petras used in a September 2010 article titled, “Imperialism and Imperial Barbarism,” saying:
“The organizing principle of imperial barbarism is the idea of total war,” including:
— use of mass destruction weapons, unleashed on Libya as explained below;
— targeting the entire country and society; and
— dismantling “the entire civil and military apparatus of the state,” replacing it with “colonial officials, paid mercenaries and unscrupulous and corrupt satraps” – puppets, figures As’ad AbuKhalil calls “useful idiots.”
Moreover, as Petras explains:
“The entire modern professional class is targeted (and) replaced by retrograde religious-ethnic clans and gangs, susceptible to bribes and booty-shares. All existing modern civil society organizations are pulverized and replaced by crony-plunderers linked to the colonial regime. The entire economy is” disrupted by “shock and awe” bombings and ground attacks, affecting essential civilian infrastructure on the pretext of destroying military and “dual use” targets.
As a result, mass casualties follow, many post-conflict from disease, homelessness, starvation, depravation, and environmental contamination. All wars are ugly, especially modern ones Washington wages, unleashing full force human and overall destruction, mostly affecting noncombatant men, women and children – imperialism’s hidden victims.
Already, unknown hundreds of Libyans have been killed, wounded, or disabled, besides countless numbers affected overall. Expect much worse ahead, including violent, US-backed proxy insurgence, perhaps later joined by Pentagon troops if current air and ground attacks don’t accomplish “Operation Odyssey Dawn’s” objectives.
UN Resolution 1973
Claiming authority under the UN Charter’s Article VII, it, in fact, violates Article 51, stating:
“Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defense shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.”
Effectively, UN Resolution 1973 authorized war, not peace. Moreover, it denied a sitting government, despotic or otherwise, the right of self-defense. A Western-backed insurgency initiated attacks, permitting a head of state to respond.
Further, the UN Charter explains under what conditions intervention, violence and coercion are justified. None exist in Libya.
In addition, Article 2(3) and Article 33(1) require peaceful settlement of international disputes, not “shock and awe” attacks. Article 2(4), in fact, prohibits force or its threatened use, including no-fly zones that are acts of war.
Further, Articles 2(3), 2(4), and 33 absolutely prohibit any unilateral or other external threat or use of force not specifically allowed under Article 51 or otherwise authorized by the Security Council – that may not violate its own Charter. In fact, Washington bullied enough members to do so, planning naked aggression in response.
Ostensibly to protect civilians, Resolution 1973’s paragraph 4 authorized Member States “to take all necessary measures….” As a result, a giant interventionist loophole was created they knew Washington would exploit.
Under paragraph 6, moreover, “establish(ing) a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians,” in fact, harms them by US “shock and awe” attacks.
Further, paragraph 7’s authorization for “flights whose sole purpose is humanitarian” denies them because Pentagon-controlled airspace will destroy any encountered Libyan aircraft, claiming it hostile, not delivering food, medical or other essential supplies or personnel.
In addition, supplying insurgents with weapons and munitions violates paragraph 13, “Call(ing) upon Member States, in particular States of the region, acting nationally or through regional organisations or arrangements, in order to ensure strict implementation of the arms embargo established by paragraphs 9 and 10 of resolution 1970 (2011), to inspect in their territory, including seaports and airports, and on the high seas, vessels and aircraft bound to or from” Libya.
In fact, besides covertly supplying its own weapons, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and perhaps other regional and/or NATO countries are arming insurgents, at the behest of Washington – violating Resolution 1973.
As a result, Libyans are at the mercy of US imperial aggression, disdaining all international laws, principles and standards. At war, Washington causes mass casualties and destruction. Now begun, expect much more ahead.
In addition, “coalition” participation is fig leaf cover for US aggression. AFRICOM’s General Carter Ham has full command authority, directing UK, French and other belligerent partners, besides America’s full air, sea and ground might.
Expect protracted conflict, perhaps “boots on the ground,” putting a lie to Obama’s promise for “humanitarian intervention” to end in “a matter of days, not weeks.” Already, insurgency has been ongoing for weeks, perhaps months covertly, the worst yet to come, but already conditions are bad. They always are when Washington arrives.
Weapons of Mass Destruction Used
Since the 1991 Gulf War, Washington used nuclear weapons covertly – in depleted uranium (DU) form. Contaminating exposure is deadly. All US missiles, bombs, and shells have solid DU projectiles or warheads in them. Even bullets because in all forms, DU-tipped munitions easily penetrate armor, irradiating air, ground and water when used. DU, in fact, painfully kills from later contracted illnesses and diseases, including cancer and many others.
When weaponized DU strikes, it penetrates deeply, aerosolizing into a fine spray which then contaminates wide areas. Moreover, its residue is permanent. Its microscopic/submicroscopic particles remain suspended in air or swept into it from contaminated soil.
Atmospheric winds then carry it far distances as a radioactive component of atmospheric dust, falling indiscriminately to earth and water. Virtually every known illness and disease may result from severe headaches, muscle pain and general fatigue, to major birth defects, infection, depression, cardiovascular disease, many types of cancer and brain tumors. As a result, permanent disability or death may follow.
Moreover, DU use is illegal under international law. Although no specific convention or treaty bans radioactive weapons, including DU, they’re, in fact, illegal de facto and de jure under the Hague Convention of 1907, prohibiting use of any “poison or poisoned weapons.”
In all forms, DU is radioactive and chemically toxic, thus fitting the definition of poisonous weapons Hague banned. America is a signatory. As a result, DU weapons use for any purpose violates international law. Moreover, all DU weapons meet the U.S. federal code WMD definition in 2 out of 3 categories:
The US CODE, TITLE 50, CHAPTER 40, SECTION 2302 defines a Weapon of Mass Destruction as follows:
“The term ‘weapon of mass destruction’ means any weapon or device that is intended, or has the capability, to cause death or serious bodily injury to a significant number of people through the release, dissemination, or impact of (A) toxic or poisonous chemicals or their precursors, (B) a disease organism, or (C) radiation or radioactivity.”
As a result, commanders up the chain of command, including civilian ones to the highest level, authorizing DU weapons use for any purpose are war criminals.
Moreover, under various UN Conventions and Covenants, weapons causing post-battle environmental or human harm are banned. Nonetheless, Washington uses them indiscriminately, including DU. As a result, millions of Iraqi, Serbian/Kosovar, and Afghan nationals, as well as belligerent US troops have been gravely harmed, yet Pentagon and administration authorities deny all responsibility.
Libyans will now be victimized by DU poisoning. Wherever it strikes and spreads, it’s unforgiving, disabling and deadly. If enough is used, a future cancer epidemic will follow, too late to help those harmed.
Helen Caldicott calls radiation a “Destroyer of Worlds,” doing it by killing people silently, painfully, illegally, and at times genocidally.
In 2005, before his death, no wonder Nobel laureate Harold Pinter condemned US aggression saying:
“(T)he United States no longer bothers about low intensity conflict. It no longer sees any point in being reticent or even devious……It quite simply doesn’t give a damn about the United Nations, international law or critical dissent, which it regards as impotent and irrelevant.”
Under Bush, Obama or anyone else, it does what it pleases – the law, human welfare, and environmental considerations be damned.
A Final Comment
On March 21, Reuters said missile and air attacks on Libya continue. The New York Times headlined, “Allies Target Qaddafi’s Ground Forces, but Resistance Continues (unconfirmed) Reports Say.” The Washington Post said, “Libyan rebels launch offensive; coalition pounds Gaddafi forces,” that may be observing a ceasefire. Al Jazeera reported “Rejoicing in Libya’s Benghazi,” continuing its biased war reporting, siding with anti-Gaddafi forces.
In contrast, independent web sites, analysts, and on-air programming offer detailed, truthful information, including the Progressive Radio News Hour this writer hosts on the Progressive Radio Network.com, featuring distinguished guests, dominant media sources spurn.
Middle East/Central Asian analyst Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is one of many reliable sources. On March 20, his Global Research.ca article headlined, “BREAKING NEWS: Libyan Sources Report Italian POWs Captured. Additional Coalition Jets Downed. Qatar has joined the War,” saying:
— unconfirmed “(i)nternal Libyan sources reported….the capture of an Italian vessel and military personnel, who were detained;”
— Gaddafi’s government “started supplying (Libyans) with food rations, medicine, and weapons to defend themselves;”
— unconfirmed “Libyan sources reported” downing two more “coalition” jets, “identified as Qatari military planes;” and
— unconfirmed Libyan sources claim five “coalition” jets downed, three attacking Tripoli, two others over Sirt.
March 22 marks day four of a protracted conflict. It’s certain to cause widespread deaths, injuries, disabilities and destruction. It’s assured when America arrives – on cruise missiles, bombs and shells, not white horses promoting peace and democratic values, what all US administrations disdain.
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.