21 March 2011 — Stop NATO
- International Law Forbids “Humanitarian Bombings”: Russian MP
- German Foreign Minister Warns Of Protracted War In Libya
- Canadian Warplanes, Warship To Join Libyan Battle In 48 Hours
- Czech Foreign Minister Calls For NATO Takeover Of Libyan War
- Pentagon Chief: Hand Over Libya Military Operation To NATO
- Britain Wants To Shift Libyan Operation To NATO
- U.S. Admiral/NATO Commander In Charge Of Libyan Operations
- French Aircraft Carrier Headed Toward Libya
- As With Yugoslavia, Real World Community Blasts Attack On Libya
- Cruise Missile Hits Administrative Building With 300 People In It
- War Clouds Hover Over Tripoli
- Britain Deploys Warplanes To Italy, Surveillance Aircraft To Cyprus
- Obama Tarnishes Nobel Peace Prize With Military Attacks On Libya
- Libya: Largest Military Undertaking Since Invasion Of Iraq
- Russia: Pro-Government Youth Groups Protest War Against Libya
International Law Forbids “Humanitarian Bombings”: Russian MP
March 21, 2011
‘Humanitarian intervention’ in Libya exacerbates regional situation – Zavarzin
MOSCOW: The coalition military operation against Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, which started on Saturday, resembles the NATO operation against the former Yugoslavia in 1999, and ‘the humanitarian intervention’ exacerbates the regional situation, Chairman of the State Duma Defense Committee Viktor Zavarzin told Interfax-AVN on Monday.
“NATO strategists are trying to resolve an extremely complicated military-political situation of the region at one stroke. This looks to me as the alliance’s operation against the former Yugoslavia in March 1999. The same as before, the coalition is trying to implement the ‘humanitarian intervention’ concept,” he said.
The coalition “forgets that international laws do not accept the so-called humanitarian bombings. We have seen that before. Vast economic damage was done to the country. The escalation of force exacerbates the regional situation,” he said.
“Political or military expediency must not prevail over international laws,” Zavarzin stressed.
“Russia opposes the military operation in Libya, because it directly harms the civilian population. Alas, the use of foreign military force kills civilians and affects civilian sites,” he said.
Gaddafi disagrees with international norms and must be opposed, but civilian casualties are impermissible, he said.
German Foreign Minister Warns Of Protracted War In Libya
Xinhua News Agency
March 20, 2011
Berlin warns of lengthy war in Libya
BERLIN: Germany on Sunday warned that the West may find itself dragged into a protracted warfare in Libya as the U.S., British and French forces launched military strikes on the country.
“We have to see the risk of a lengthy mission,” Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told reporters. “We hope that our fears will not be borne out. We expressly hope that we won’t be right,” said the minister.
Westerwelle said one should be prepared for scenarios that are not so favorable.
Germany abstained in a UN Security Council vote on Thursday on setting up a no-fly zone in Libya. Permanent UNSC members Russia and China, as well as non-permanent ones Germany, India and Brazil abstained from the vote.
Canadian Warplanes, Warship To Join Libyan Battle In 48 Hours
March 20, 2011
Canadian pilots to enforce no-fly zone within days
Canadian fighter pilots will be engaged in the Libyan battle and enforcing a no-fly zone above the country “within 48 hours,” Defence Minister Peter MacKay said on Sunday.
MacKay says six Canadian CF-18 fighter jets are currently stationed in Italy, the primary staging point for coalition forces participating in the offensive against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
“They will be taking part in sorties to ensure that there is restricted airspace over Libya,” MacKay told CTV’s Question Period.
Canada will join the United States, France and Britain in maintaining the no-fly zone…
The offensive began on Saturday with precision strikes by French fighter jets and attacks on military targets with missiles from U.S. and British war ships. By Sunday, the coalition had declared the no-fly zone in place.
When asked whether Canadian pilots could be ordered to attack ground troops that are preparing to attack civilians, MacKay said the UN’s resolution allows for “all measures necessary” to keep civilians safe.
MacKay and Prime Minister Stephen Harper have previously said that the air mission is not without dangers and there is no guarantee Canadian troops will escape unharmed.
There are currently 140 Canadian military personnel, including pilots and air crew, in the region. The HMCS Charlottetown, which left Halifax on March 2, is stationed in the Mediterranean Sea.
The defence minister said the ship “has the capability” of participating in a naval blockade, although no orders have yet been given.
Czech Foreign Minister Calls For NATO Takeover Of Libyan War
Czech News Agency
March 20, 2011
Prague to back NATO´s joining military operation in Libya – ForMin
Prague: The Czech Republic will support NATO´s joining the military operation in Libya, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said on Czech Television today, adding that NATO should supervise the operation.
The Czech Republic will probably not join the operation for now, Schwarzenberg (TOP 09) said but he did not rule out possible deployment of a chemical warfare unit.
NATO countries´ ambassadors will discuss NATO´s participation in the Libyan operation today. According to preliminary information, NATO will probably join the operation.
“I´d like the operation to take place in the framework and also under supervision of NATO,” Schwarzenberg said.
He said “individual member countries, though big ones, should not act entirely independently from the allies.”
Schwarzenberg does not expect NATO to ask the Czech Republic to join the military operation in Libya. “We don´t have any naval force, and our aircraft are not made to take part in such operations,” Schwarzenberg said.
He admitted that Prague may provide a chemical warfare unit to NATO, if the allies asked for it…
Pentagon Chief: Hand Over Libya Military Operation To NATO
March 20, 2011
Gates: US expects to hand off Libya lead in ‘days’
ON BOARD A MILITARY AIRCRAFT: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday that the U.S. expects to turn control of the Libya military mission over to a coalition – probably headed either by the French and British or by NATO – “in a matter of days.”
The two key possibilities, he said, are a combined British-French command or the use of a NATO command. He acknowledged there is “some sensitivity on the part of the Arab League to being seen to be operating under a NATO umbrella.”
Britain Wants To Shift Libyan Operation To NATO
March 20, 2011
Britain hopes Libya operation command will shift to NATO
London: Britain’s defence minister said Sunday he hoped the command of the military operation in Libya to enforce a no-fly zone…would be taken over by NATO ‘within the next few days.’
NATO members were meeting in Brussels on Sunday to discuss whether the military alliance should take a formal role in the campaign and the logistics of the operation…
‘I hope that we will now fold into NATO command and control, but it’s not a NATO mission,’ Defence Minister Liam Fox told the BBC. ‘It is still a UN coalition of the willing nations…but we will co-ordinate it hopefully through the command and control structures that NATO already has.’
‘I hope it will happen in the next few days,’ he added. ‘It’s all dependent upon getting agreement from all the NATO nations.’
British Tornado jets bombed various targets within Libya in the first day of military action Saturday…
Fox did not rule out the possibility of allied forces treating Gaddafi himself as a legitimate target for air strikes…
U.S. Admiral/NATO Commander In Charge Of Libyan Operations
March 20, 2011
Libya conflict: US admiral leading coalition forces
Nato commander Samuel Locklear co-ordinating air and naval strikes against Gaddafi regime
-Locklear…has been in charge of missions to war zones such as Iraq and the Balkans.
The commander of the military effort to enforce the UN resolution against Muammar Gaddafi is a US admiral who is co-ordinating the air and naval strikes from the USS Mount Whitney, the flagship of the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet.
Samuel Locklear III is also a Nato commander and may be chosen to continue in the post. That would give the operation a degree of continuity, though his experience is naval and a key part of the job will be to enforce the no-fly zone and co-ordinate which countries are flying what planes, where and when.
The command structure of the operation should eventually fall within Nato’s responsibility, but French, British and US forces could not wait for agreement on this, which is expected to come within 24 hours.
Until Nato takes over, the coalition has put together a “needs must” chain of command, so strikes against Gaddafi’s forces were able to start on Saturday afternoon.
British forces are being led by Air Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, who is based at the armed forces joint headquarters in Northwood, Middlesex.
He is working with Rear Admiral Ian Calder, also at Northwood, and Air Vice Marshal Greg Bagwell at the Ramstein airbase in Germany.
Military commanders say this is not as complex as it might appear â€” and that video conference calls make co-ordination possible.
However they admit they would prefer the umbrella command of Nato and the protection that comes from having the support of the group’s 28 member nations.
“The UN resolution was only passed on Thursday last week, so Nato is actually working quite quickly, considering the complexity of the situation,” said a spokesman.
Locklear was raised in Macon, Georgia, and joined the navy at 17. He is well liked within Nato and has been in charge of missions to war zones such as Iraq and the Balkans.
French Aircraft Carrier Headed Toward Libya
March 21, 2011
French aircraft carrier leaves for Mediterranean
The French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle left its home port of Toulon in southern France for the Mediterranean as France claimed the coalition had successfully established a ‘no-fly zone’ over Libya.
France will continue to target Libya’s military installations and air defences, a French military spokesman said.
Within minutes of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s speech at the Paris summit on Saturday announcing the decision to cripple Colonel Qadhafi’s firepower, French Mirage and Rafale fighter planes hit tanks and armoured vehicles close to Benghazi commanded by forces loyal to the Libyan strongman.
Libya claimed that its anti-aircraft batteries had downed a French plane. But the claim was immediately denied by French authorities, who said all their fighter aircraft returned home safely. Libya also claimed dozens of civilians had been killed and injured by the air raids, and voices are already being raised against the predominantly Western military action. Russia called on Sunday for a halt to “non-selective” bombing of targets.
The Arab League, which appeared to fully support the operation on Saturday, called for a halt to the bombing raids on Sunday. “What is happening in Libya is different from the objective of imposing a no-fly zone. That is what we want, not the bombardment of the civilian population,” Arab League General Secretary Amre Mussa said.
However, French sources said that despite these reservations, countries such as the United Arab Emirates or Qatar would send planes for the raids.
The African Union too rejected “foreign military intervention” in Libya and called for an African solution to the conflict in that “brother country.”
However, five African Presidents meeting in Nouakchott, Mauritania, failed to come out with any solution, except to call yet another meeting for March 25. The Africans did not attend Saturday’s Paris summit that brought together 22 heads of state and government as well as representatives of international organisations, including the United Nations, the European Union and the Arab League.
As With Yugoslavia, Real World Community Blasts Attack On Libya
Voice of Russia
March 20, 2011
Attack on Libya indiscriminate, disproportionate
-”It must be stopped, and its masterminds brought to international justice. If this is not done, the entire Mediterranean may degenerate into unfettered violence. In 1999, the United States was after separating Kosovo. This time, it appears to be after splitting Libya. The pattern is the same, as is the puppet master behind the scenes.”
Russia, China and India have joined the African Union and the Arab League in denouncing the Western-led attack on Libya as disproportionate and indiscriminate. Indeed, reports speak about mounting civilian casualties in the offensive. At least 65 Libyan civilians are known dead and more than 150 wounded or injured.
One earlier victim of such attacks is Serbia, where NATO warplanes hit the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade and a passenger train during the bombing campaign of 1999.
Dr George Vukadinovic is a political analyst in Belgrade:
“Similarly to the 1999 NATO campaign over Kosovo, the offensive in Libya is fraught with unpredictable political and economic consequences for Europe and the Mediterranean. I believe the European Union showed poor judgment in joining the Libya attack. The Libya resolution of the UN Security Council was the result of haste and unilateral pressure on the members. In the vote on the resolution, the much-hyped European unanimity on major issues showed cracks, with Germany abstaining.”
We have a similar opinion from another Serbian analyst, Dr Gostemir Popovic:
“The attack on Libya is a unilateral action led by the United States. Dubbing Gaddafi an aggressor is part of American efforts to justify this war. It has nothing to do with the truth, because it is the attacking force that is killing Libyan civilians and destroying their once prosperous country. This war blatantly flouts international agreements. It must be stopped, and its masterminds brought to international justice. If this is not done, the entire Mediterranean may degenerate into unfettered violence. In 1999, the United States was after separating Kosovo. This time, it appears to be after splitting Libya. The pattern is the same, as is the puppet master behind the scenes.”
The anti-Gaddafi coalition claims to have already knocked out 20 of Libya’s 22 air defence installations. It says this improves security for Libyan civilians and creates conditions for bringing aid to them.
Gaddafi, meantime, stays defiant and pledges everything in his power to defeat what he calls a Western aggression against his country. Civilian volunteers on the Gaddafi side are welcome to take up arms and join a popular militia. Gaddafi hopes this force can grow to at least one million within the coming days.
Missile Hits Administrative Building With 300 People In It
March 20, 2011
Western forces launch cruise missile at Gadhafi residence
An administration building was knocked down; Gadhafi’s whereabouts at the time of the blast remain unknown; about 300 Gadhafi supporters were in the compound when the missile hit, injuries have yet to be reported.
In an attack that carried as much symbolism as military effect, a cruise missile blasted a building in Gadhafi’s residential compound in Tripoli late Sunday, near his iconic tent.
War Clouds Hover Over Tripoli
Xinhua News Agency
March 21, 2011
War clouds hover over Tripoli
TRIPOLI: War clouds are gathering over here as Western forces have started launching air strikes against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces after a no-fly zone is imposed on Libya.
At around 02:30 a.m. local time (00:30 GMT) on Sunday, missiles whistling from the sea hit the Tajura area near Tripoli and ensuing huge explosions sounded over the Libyan capital of Tripoli.
Air-defense forces loyal to Gaddafi immediately fought back with anti-craft guns, misbelieving Western warplanes were coming to attack. The traces of anti-aircraft gun shots could been seen in the night sky over Tripoli.
Intensive anti-aircraft guns lasted about 10 minutes in the southern and southwestern part of the city.
Soon early Sunday morning, some angry local residents rushed to a hotel in Tripoli where foreign journalists stay to protest the air assaults carried out by the Western forces.
The world’s major powers, Britain, the United States and France, Saturday started to launch strikes from the air and sea against Gaddafi’s forces…
France carried out the initial four air strikes, while the U.S. military said 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from American and British ships and submarines at more than 20 Libyan coastal targets.
French warplanes Saturday night attacked an air defense site in Tajura, about 10 km east of Tripoli, and destroyed several armored vehicles of Libyan government troops near Benghazi, the last stronghold of Libyan rebels.
Libyan Parliament Speaker Mohammed Abul-Qassim al-Zwai told a press conference that foreign fighter jets hit Tripoli and Misurata, which caused many casualties.
Sixty-four people have been killed and 150 others wounded in the air strikes since Saturday, Libya’s health officials said on Sunday.
Western warplanes have bombed civilian targets in Tripoli, causing the casualties, and several fuel tanks were also hit, Libya’s state television reported.
In a brief audio message carried out by Libya’s state television hours after the air strike, Gaddafi called the Western attacks “a crusader war” against the Libyan people, saying that the air strikes were designed to “terrify the Libyan people” and were “terrorist means.”
Gaddafi vowed to snatch a victory over Western forces, saying the western forces would be defeated.
All the Libyan people were united and have been given weapons, “ready for a long war” in the country, he said.
On Saturday afternoon before Western forces started the air strikes, the Libyan government invited a group of foreign journalists to visit a camp in Tripoli where Gaddafi reportedly resides in. Thousands of people, including many women and children were gathering there to protest any air strikes by western countries.
On Sunday morning, more Libyans joined the protests in Tripoli against Western forces amid fresh waves of air assaults by Western warplanes.
13. Britain Deploys Warplanes To Italy, Surveillance Aircraft To Cyprus
Xinhua News Agency
March 21, 2011
Britain deploys Tornado, Typhoon jets to Italian airbase
LONDON: The British Defense Ministry on Sunday confirmed that Britain had deployed Tornado and Typhoon to the Italian airbase of Gioia Dell Colle in the south of the country.
Major General John Lorimer, chief of the Defense Staff’s Strategic Communications Officer, said that a number of Typhoon aircraft have landed safely at the airbase in southern Italy where they are on standby for future tasking.
“It makes operational sense to be closer to the no-fly zone and our military assessment confirmed that this is the most suitable forward mounting base for these assets,” he said.
RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus continues to support the operation under UN Security Council Resolution 1973 with a number of assets, including E3D Sentry, VC-10 and Sentinel.
British military authorities are discussing with its allies the most effective way of putting the no-fly zone in place. It is likely that this will be part of a NATO-led operation.
“The no-fly zone is likely to be in place for however long we are tasked to do this. The UK’s stated aims are to support UNSCR 1973 and the Libyan people,” Lorimer said.
“Britain has a number of assets already in the region which have previously assisted in the evacuation of British Nationals from Libya and others which we are ready to support as required,” he said. “Currently within the region, we have E3-Ds which are keeping us abreast of events in the area, HMS Westminster is off the coast of Benghazi and HMS Cumberland is in the region should she be required.”
Deployed to Akrotiri, Cyprus, is a Joint Force Air Component HQ (JFACHQ) which coordinates movements of British air assets and controls the airspace in operational areas.
In addition, Lorimer said the British involvement with operations in Libya currently has no effect on operations in Afghanistan, and “we are keeping the situation under review.”
Obama Tarnishes Nobel Peace Prize With Military Attacks On Libya
March 20, 2011
Obama tarnishes Nobel Peace Prize with “indiscriminate”military action in Libya
Moscow harshly condemns an international military operation against forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, while Washington downplays its role in the hostilities.
It has taken US President Barack Obama just over one year – and less than that if we consider that he earlier agreed to keep open the Guantanamo Bay detention facility – to damage his Nobel Peace Prize, awarded in Oslo, Norway in October 2009.
On Saturday, US warships unleashed a massive sea-based missile salvo against targets inside of Libya, where Col. Muammar Gaddafi has been engaged in a desperate showdown against anti-government forces. The battle is largely centered on the city of Benghazi, where opposition forces have announced an “interim Libyan government.”
US warships and submarines fired more than 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Libyan territory to disable air-defense systems, allowing French and British fighter jets to more easily enforce a no-fly zone. The attack on Libya marks the third Muslim country that the United States is now engaged in military operations with.
So much for “sitting down and talking with enemies,” as Obama promised to do during his political campaign for the US presidency.
It should be no surprise that Washington is going out of its way to disassociate itself from the Libyan military campaign, or at least the leadership part of it.
“We did not lead this,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told a gaggle of reporters in Paris over the weekend. “We did not engage in unilateral actions in any way, but we strongly support the international community taking action against governments and leaders who behave as Gaddafi is unfortunately doing.”
Observers say Washington’s reluctance to advertize its hefty contribution in the military operation suggests that the Obama administration, already under attack inside of its own party for “towing the Bush line,” is an attempt to deflect hostility from the Muslim world, not to mention Main Street, U.S.A., which certainly cannot afford to foot the bill for yet another overseas adventure.
“They [the Obama administration] really want this to be a short, jolly operation,” remarked a senior British defense analyst, who asked not to be identified due to his position. “But all the bets are off on this one. Nobody is quite sure what the allied forces will be able to accomplish [in Libya] over the long haul.”
Incidentally, Saturday’s attack also marked the eighth anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, begun by Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush.
Russian officials have slammed the US missile attack, while calling on the international coalition to stop the “indiscriminate use of force” it says has killed civilians.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said the air strikes exceed the mandate of the UN Security Council resolution, which approved a no-fly zone and authorized all necessary measures to protect civilians.
“We are emphatically urging the coalition states to stop indiscriminate use of force,” Lukashevich told reporters, according to Interfax.
“We are firmly convinced that the mandate deriving from Resolution 1973 of the UN Security Council, which was adopted as a rather controversial step, cannot be used for attaining goals going clearly beyond its provisions, spelling out measures solely intended to protect civilians,” he said.
As “Operation Odyssey Dawn” kicked off on Saturday, missile strikes delivered on Libya also hit non-military facilities in the capital of Tripoli, as well as in Tarhuna, Maamur and Jmeil, Lukashevich said, before providing a grim picture of the attack’s collateral damage.
“As a result [of the missile strikes], 48 civilians have been killed and over 150 wounded,” Lukashevich revealed. “A medical center has been partially destroyed and roads and bridges have been damaged.”
Russia announced Sunday that it was evacuating some of its diplomatic staff and other citizens from Tripoli.
Meanwhile, Liberal-Democratic Party leader and State Duma Vice Speaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky has described the coalition forces’ military operation against the Gaddafi regime as pure “aggression,” while calling for a “new Nuremburg.
“Shame on NATO and all the murderers and barbarians, the Russian firebrand told media on Sunday. “All of these rogues will be brought to account one day. The aggressors will get their due for the numerous crimes committed at an independent international tribunal, in a new Nuremberg trial.”
The UN Security Council voted on Thursday to impose a no-fly zone against pro-Gaddafi forces, which has been accused itself of using inordinate force against anti-government forces.
Russia and four other council members – China, Germany, Brazil and India – abstained from the vote.
According to Gaddafi, Tripoli regards the West’s military operation against Libya “as an unlawful invasion of a sovereign state and sees it as nothing else but an act of terrorism.”
Speaking on Libyan television, Gaddafi said that the United States and Europe had “proven to the world that you are not civilized, that you are terrorists – animals attacking a safe nation that did nothing against you.”
Libya is ranked as one of the top-ten biggest oil producers in the world.
Libya: Largest Military Undertaking Since Invasion Of Iraq
March 20, 2011
Libya: Largest Military Undertaking since the Invasion of Iraq. Towards a Protracted Military Operation
by Michel Chossudovsky
Outright lies by the international media: Bombs and missiles are presented as an instrument of peace and democratization…
This is not a humanitarian operation. The war on Libya opens up a new regional war theater.
There are three distinct war theaters in the Middle East Central Asian region. Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq.
What is unfolding is a fourth US-NATO War Theater in North Africa, with the risk of escalation.
These four war theaters are functionally related, they are part of an integrated US-NATO military agenda.
The bombing of Libya has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for several years as confirmed by former NATO commander General Wesley Clark.
Operation Odyssey Dawn is acknowledged as the “biggest Western military intervention in the Arab world since the invasion of Iraq began exactly eight years ago.” (Russia: Stop ‘indiscriminate’ bombing of Libya – Taiwan News Online, March 19, 2011).
This war is part of the battle for oil. Libya is among the World’s largest oil economies with approximately 3.5% of global oil reserves, more than twice those of the US.
The underlying objective is to gain control over Libya’s oil and gas reserves under the disguise of a humanitarian intervention.
The geopolitical and economic implications of a US-NATO led military intervention directed against Libya are far-reaching.
“Operation Odyssey Dawn “ is part of a broader military agenda in the Middle East and Central Asia which consists in gaining control and corporate ownership over more than sixty percent of the world’s reserves of oil and natural gas, including oil and gas pipeline routes.
With 46.5 billion barrels of proven reserves, (10 times those of Egypt), Libya is the largest oil economy in the African continent followed by Nigeria and Algeria (Oil and Gas Journal). In contrast, US proven oil reserves are of the order of 20.6 billion barrels (December 2008) according to the Energy Information Administration. U.S. Crude Oil, Natural Gas, and Natural Gas Liquids Reserves).
Largest Military Undertaking since the Invasion of Iraq
A military operation of this size and magnitude, involving the active participation of several NATO member and partner countries is never improvised. Operation Odyssey Dawn was in the advanced stages of military planning prior to the protest movement in Egypt and Tunisia.
Public opinion was led to believe that the protest movement had spread spontaneously from Tunisia and Egypt to Libya.
The armed insurgency in Eastern Libya is directly supported by foreign powers. Rebel forces in Benghazi immediately hoisted the red, black and green banner with the crescent and star: the flag of the monarchy of King Idris, which symbolized the rule of the former colonial powers. (See Manlio Dinucci, Libya-When historical memory is erased, Global Research, February 28, 2011)
The insurrection was also planned and coordinated with the timing of the military operation. It had been carefully planned months ahead of the protest movement, as part of a covert operation.
US, British special forces were reported to be on the ground “helping the opposition” right from the outset.
What we are dealing with is a military roadmap, a timeline of carefully planned military and intelligence events.
United Nations Complicity
So far, the bombing campaign has resulted in countless civilian casualties, which are either categorized by the media as “collateral damage” or blamed on the Libyan armed forces.
In a bitter irony, the UN Security Council Resolution 1973 grants NATO a mandate “to protect civilians”
Protection of civilians
4. Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in cooperation with the Secretary-General, to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory, and requests the Member States concerned to inform the Secretary-General immediately of the measures they take pursuant to the authorization conferred by this paragraph which shall be immediately reported to the Security Council; (UN Security Council Resolution on Libya: No Fly Zone and Other Measures, March 18, 2011)
The UN resolution grants coalition forces carte blanche to engage in an all out war against a sovereign country in derogation of international law and in violation of the UN charter. It also serves dominant financial interests: it not only allows the military coalition to bomb a sovereign country, it also allows for the freezing of assets, thereby jeopardizing Libya’s financial system.
19. Decides that the asset freeze imposed by paragraph 17, 19, 20 and 21 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall apply to all funds, other financial assets and economic resources which are on their territories, which are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the Libyan authorities, …
No where in the UNSC resolution is the issue of regime change mentioned. Yet it is understood that opposition forces will receive part of the money confiscated under Article 19 of resolution 1973. In fact discussions with opposition leaders to that effect have already taken place. Its called cooptation and financial fraud:
20. Affirms its determination to ensure that assets frozen pursuant to paragraph 17 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall, at a later stage, as soon as possible be made available to and for the benefit of the people of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya;
With regard to the “Enforcement of the arms embargo” under para. 13 of the resolution, coalition forces will commit themselves without exception to enforcing an arms embargo on Libya. Yet from outset they have violated Art. 13, by supplying weapons to opposition forces in Benghazi.
Protracted Military Operation?
Concepts are turned upside down. In an utterly twisted logic. peace, security and protection of the Libyan people, are to be achieved through missile attacks and aerial bombings.
The objective of the military operation is not the protection of civilians but regime change and the break up the country, as in Yugoslavia, namely the partition of Libya into separate countries. The formation of a separate State in the oil producing area of Eastern Libya has been contemplated by Washington for many years.
Barely a week before the onslaught of the bombings, the director of National intelligence James Clapper emphasized in a testimony to the US Senate Armed Services Committee that Libya has significant air defense capabilities and that a no fly zone approach could potentially result in a protracted military operation:
Obama’s policy is “aimed at the goal of having Gadhafi leave office,” the national security adviser reiterated.
But Clapper’s testimony underscored how difficult that could be.
He told the Senate committee that he thinks “Gadhafi is in this for the long haul” and that he doesn’t think Gadhafi “has any intention … of leaving.”
Later, enumerating his reasons for believing that Gadhafi would prevail, Clapper said that the regime has more military supplies and can count on the army’s best trained, “most robustly equipped” units, including the 32nd Brigade, which is commanded by Gadhafi’s son, Khamis, and the 9th Brigade.
The bulk of its hardware comprises Russian-made air defenses, artillery, tanks and other vehicles, “and they appear more disciplined about how they treat and repair that equipment,” Clapper continued.
Clapper disputed assertions that a no-fly zone could be quickly and easily imposed on Libya, saying Gadhafi commands the Middle East’s second largest air defense system after Egypt’s.
“They have a lot of Russian equipment, and there is a certain quality in numbers. Some of that equipment has fallen into the oppositionists’ hands,” he continued.
The system comprises about 31 surface-to-air missile sites and a radar complex that “is focused on protecting the (Mediterranean) coastline where are 80 or 85 percent of the population is,” Clapper said. Gadhafi’s forces also have “a large, large number” of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles.
Army Gen. Ronald Burgess, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, endorsed Clapper’s assessment, saying momentum was shifting to Gadhafi’s forces after initially being with the opposition.
“Whether or not it has fully shifted to Gadhafi’s side at this time in-country I think is not clear,” Burgess said. “But we have now reached a state of equilibrium where … the initiative, if you will, may be on the regime side.”
Hours after Clapper spoke, Thomas Donilon, Obama’s national security adviser, offered a different assessment, suggesting sharply diverging views between the White House and the U.S. intelligence community.
He said the intelligence chiefs’ analysis was “static” and “unidimensional,” based on the military balance of power, and failing to take into account both Gadhafi’s growing isolation and international actions to boost his opponents. (White House, intel chief split on Libya assessment | McClatchy, March 11, 2011)
The foregoing statement suggests that Operation Odyssey Dawn could lead to a protracted drawn out war resulting in significant NATO-US losses.
NATO military setbacks were reported by Libyan sources from the very outset of the air campaign.
Within hours of the commencement of the bombings, Libyan sources (yet to be confirmed) pointed to the shooting down of three French jets. (See Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Breaking News: Libyan Hospitals Attacked. Libyan Source: Three French Jets Downed, Global Research, March 19, 2011).
The Libyan national TV network announced that a French fighter plane had been shot down near Tripoli. The French Army denied these reports:
â€œWe reject the information that a French fighter plane was shot down in Libya. All the planes we sent on missions today returned to baseâ€ said the spokesman of the French Army, colonel Thierry Burkhard, quoted by Le Figaro.” (Libya: A french fighter plane was shot down! The French Army denies this information, xiannet.net March 20, 2011)
Internal Libyan sources (to be confirmed) also reported on Sunday the downing of two Qatari military jets. According to Libyan reports, yet to be confirmed, a total of five French jets have been shot down. Three of these attacking French jets were, according to the reports, shot down in Tripoli. The other two French military jets were shot down while attacking Sirt (Surt/Sirte). (Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Libyan Sources Report Italian POWs Captured. Additional Coalition Jets Downed, Global Research, March 20, 2011)
Russia: Pro-Government Youth Groups Protest War Against Libya
Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 21, 2011
Russian youth groups protest military intervention in Libya
Activists from pro-Kremlin youth groups are protesting the Western-led military operation in Libya outside several Western embassies in Moscow.
A military operation against Libya’s strongman Muammar Gaddafi…began on Saturday, involving the United States, Britain, France, Italy, Canada and other countries.
Members of the Nashi and Stal (Steel) movements set up pickets in front of the British, French and U.S. embassies and the NATO mission in Moscow.
“Innocent people have already been killed in this massacre, and we demand that the West stop interfering in Libya’s sovereignty and cease attacks on its citizens,” Stal leader Oleg Sokolov told RIA Novosti.
“We are certainly not trying to support the Gaddafi regime, but it is clear that the West’s real intention is not to bring democracy to Libya,” Sokolov said.
Libyan television has reported that at least 50 civilians have been killed and over 150 wounded in the UN strikes and that many health and education facilities have been destroyed.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was attacked by protesters angry about the military intervention as he left a meeting of the Arab League in Cairo earlier on Monday.