Stop Nato: Updates on Libyan war 16 May 2011

16 May 2011 — Stop NATO

  • NATO Continues Libyan Air War, Naval Blockade: 6,808 Sorties
  • NATO Bombs Still Claiming Victims: Bishop Calls For Libyan Truce
  • Russia Backs African Union’s Road Map For Libyan Ceasefire
  • Libya: Kwame Nkrumah Foresaw Western Re-Conquest of Africa
  • Question For Caricom On NATO’s War In Libya

NATO Continues Libyan Air War, Naval Blockade: 6,808 Sorties

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

May 16, 2011

NATO and Libya


Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 6808 sorties, including 2656 strike sorties have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 15 May: 147

Strike sorties conducted 15 May: 48

A total of 21 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.

8 Vessels were hailed on 15 May to determine destination and cargo. 1 boarding (no diversions) was conducted.

A total of 936 vessels have been hailed, 40 boardings and 5 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.


NATO Bombs Still Claiming Victims: Bishop Calls For Libyan Truce

Catholic Culture

May 16, 2011

Libya: bishop calls for truce

The apostolic vicar of Tripoli has renewed has call for a truce in the Libyan conflict.

“Yesterday, in Marsa [el-]Brega, 16 people died, and several were killed in other parts of Tripoli. The [NATO] bombs are still claiming victims,” Bishop Giovanni Martinelli said on May 14. “A truce seems appropriate to help the civilians breathe again. Even last night there were several bombings, the strongest we heard around 3:00 a.m. They do not allow us to sleep.”

“In prayer, we invoke the grace of peace and reconciliation,” he added. “Certainly on one side and on the other there are sins to be forgiven, but you cannot forgive by throwing bombs.”


Russia Backs African Union’s Road Map For Libyan Ceasefire

Voice of Russia

May 16, 2011

Lavrov urges coalition forces in Libya to observe UN mandates

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has called on the coalition forces in Libya to stop violating the mandates stipulated by the UN Security Council resolutions.

At a press-conference following his meeting with his Namibian counterpart Utoni Nujoma he said: “Our countries are interested in an immediate cessation of the bloodshed in Libya. Russia supports the African Union’s proposal of a “road map” for the normalization of the situation in Libya”.

The Russian foreign minister also pointed out that there will be no visit of a Libyan rebels’ delegation to Moscow in the near future.


Libya: Kwame Nkrumah Foresaw Western Re-Conquest of Africa

Black Star News

May 16, 2011

Libya: Kwame Nkrumah Foresaw Western Re-Conquest of Africa

In the 1960s Kwame Nkrumah warned that unless the African continent united into a single continental government with a Africa-wide national army and command, the individual countries would never be able to protect their independence and secure their rich natural and mineral resources.

NATO’s illegal war against Libya and the vicious bombardments is the best evidence of Nkrumah’s fears coming to realization.

Using the insurgents in Benghazi as cover and abusing United Nations Resolution 1973, crafted to protect civilians caught in the civil war, the leaders of France and Britain, former imperial exploitators of Africa, have launched war on Libya and are determined to instal a puppet regime that will be pliant to Western interests.

All the social gains and programs built in Libya since the monarchy was deposed would likely be reversed and World Bank and IMF sanctioned regimes would take their place.

Yet this is the hour for Africa to stand up.

Challenging NATO’s illegal war would insert the African continent prominently on the world stage and change the continent’s heretofore servitude-like relations with the West. Yet even as NATO continues to destroy billions of dollars of Libya’s property through the bombardments, the entire continent is completely mute because of a leadership vacuum.

South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma traveled with a team of African leaders to broker a ceasefire and promote the African Union (AU) peace proposal that called for a halt to the fighting, a relief corridoor for civilians, and negotiations for a constitution and elections. The proposal was dead on arrival. Although embraced by Tripoli, NATO and its mouthpiece, Benghazi, rejected the AU plan.

Yet rather than fading into the underworld, Zuma should call a special meeting in South Africa, invite all African presidents and promote and publicize the plan. Zuma should also invite China, Brazil, India and Russia –which is now reconsidering its position given Vladimir Putin’s angry denunciations of the NATO war – and get these countries to endorse the AU Libyan peace proposal.

African leaders must call for an end to the charade – NATO’s Libyan operation is not about “saving civilian lives.” It is undisguised conquest pure and simple – with daily attacks by NATO planes and multiple failed assassination attempts against Muammar al-Quathafi.

Civil war erupted in Libya in February when insurrectionists in Benghazi seized control of that City. The rebels marched rapidly towards the east and overran several other coastal towns.

By the end of February and into March, the tide quickly reversed when the Libyan army launched counterattacks, rolling back the rebels to Benghazi, where a panicky exodus towards Egypt started. Fearful that a victorious Libyan army would massacre civilians in Benghazi, the United Nations Security Council voted for Resolution 1973 which authorized the use of “all necessary measures” to protect civilians in Libya.

Instead, NATO – in essence France’s erratic president Nicholas Sarkozi and British prime minister David Cameron – turned the authority into an outright aerial invasion of Libya in support of Benghazi, which has yet to prove that it has support throughout Libya.

Even with NATO taking over the war, spontaneous uprisings have not occurred in Western Libya; unlike as in Syria, where people have stood up against Bashar al-Assad’s ruthless security forces. Ironically, the U.S. and NATO have turned a blind eye to the massacres in Syria.

There are several possible reasons why many Libyans might question and be wary of Benghazi.

[] Benghazi has embraced monarchists, including the son of King Idris, deposed when al-Ouathafi seized power.

[] Benghazi’s leadership includes many former al-Quathafi officials, including the minister of justice, and two former generals in the Libyan army, who are now fighting among themselves for leadership of the rebel army.

[] Benghazi in a front page article in The Financial Times informed the world that Libya’s oil concessions post-Quathafi would be apportioned based on the level of support each Western country provides in deposing al-Quathafi.

[] Benghazi fighters are being trained by former al-Qaeda leaders, as well documented by The Wall Street Journal.

[] Benghazi has been selling oil, Libya’s national asset, illegally –even though the UN knows about it– through the dictatorship of Qatar.

[] Benghazi is being trained by the United States CIA as well as by French and British officers.

[] Benghazi has launched a campaign of revenge and witchhunting, killing anyone suspected of having previously worked with al-Quathafi; this has even been reported on the pages of the pro-Benghazi New York Times. (The International Criminal Court’s Luis Moreno Ocampo has said nothing about this as he focuses exclusively on “investigating” Tripoli).

[] Benghazi has executed Black Africans and dark-skinned Libyans, in the most vicious manner; there are videotapes on YouTube showing cheering Benghazi residents taking video images with cell phone cameras of the bodies of mutiliated Africans. Again the ICC’s Ocampo says nothing about this and The New York Times’ editors are not bothered by the barbarity against Black people.

In sum: Benghazi has demonstrated to nationalist Libyans that they are not capable of ruling the entire country and that their affiliation with the CIA and NATO does not speak well to any independent nationalist credentials.

Even Libyans who have tired of al-Quathafi’s 42-years regime might be wary of such a compromised and corrupted entity such as Benghazi – hence the absence of a national popular uprising.

National popular uprisings occurred in Tunisia and Egypt; and there is one underway in Syria. There was no need for NATO bombardment in each of those countries.

Libya is actually fighting a war against European invaders who are using Benghazi as cover for their own designs on Libya and its phenomenal oil wealth and its independent foreign policy.

How else to explain the fact that NATO is now openly using information from the Benghazi rebels to bombard Libya? How else to explain the multiple attacks against the al-Quathafi compound in Tripoli? Do all these elements fit within the dictate of Resolution 1973?

Yesterday, the mask of neo-colonialism was tossed aside when the British military commander Gen. David Richards said NATO should now start destroying Libya’s infrastructure.

Does this also fit within Resolution 1973? Or is it more in line with maximum infrastructure destruction to pave the way for future reconstruction contracts for Western companies?

The whole world is watching NATO’s criminality against Libya; what Russia’s Vladimir Putin termed a “call to crusade.”

That 53 African countries –Morocco has withdrawn from the AU– are not able to come together and stand with Libya and to challenge and counter NATO’s illegal aerial invasion proves that African countries are not yet independent.

Nkrumah’s fears have been vindicated.


Question For Caricom On NATO’s War In Libya

Trinidad and Tobago News

May 15, 2011

Question for Caricom on Nato’s ‘war’ in Libya

Rickey Singh

Last week, while the United Nations humanitarian aid chief, Baroness Valerie Amos, was pleading for at least a pause in hostilities in Libya to help “ease the humanitarian crisis”, NATO’s Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, was arrogantly boasting — amid continuing bombing strikes — that President Moammar Gadaffi’s “days are numbered… There is no future for him or his regime…”

Well, since the Caribbean Community has finally broken its silence on the United States-led NATO war on Libya, perhaps it should at least seek a clarification from the UN Secretary General about the “mandate” by which NATO is currently intensifying its bombing raids to end “the future of Gadaffi and his government.”

Western double standards in its war to rid Libya of the dictatorial regime in Libya, when compared with the spreading uprisings in the Middle East/North Africa region, for democratic governance, has long been noted by scholars and informed commentators and organisations in the USA, Britain and Europe.

But for all the killings and repression by state security/military personnel in those countries, it is on Gadaffi and Libya’s future that the US and its NATO allies remain focused for “regime change” by the use of military force under the pretext of “protecting civilians.”

So, will Caricom move from its recently stated position in favour of a negotiated settlement to the Libyan crisis and enquire of the UN Secretary General as to whose mandate is really being enforced by NATO in Libya to “get rid of Gadaffi”? That certainly was not a stated objective of the original “no fly zone” resolution the US and its NATO allies managed to secure from a divided UN Security Council.

It took some six weeks, after the start of the ferocious bombing strikes against Libya by the USA and its NATO allies before the Caribbean Community summoned the courage to let the people of our region — among the world’s poor and powerless — know where it stands on this very bloody conflict that cries out for a principled negotiated political solution. Better late than never.

And when Caricom Foreign Ministers issued their statement just over a week ago on the Libyan crisis, following a regular meeting in St Kitts and Nevis, they opted to endorse — some say took ‘shelter’ behind — the position earlier enunciated by the African Union (AU) with which our Community has an ongoing working relationship.

The AU which, incidentally, had its inauguration in 1999 in the hometown of the embattled Libyan President, Maommar Gadaffi, had called for an immediate halt to the NATO bombing raids. Some have resulted in deaths.injuries and destruction for both the anti and pro-Gaddafi forces. The AU, and also the Arab League, has called for a negotiated political, not military solution.

In their own assessment of the deepening Libyan crisis since 10 of the 15 permanent members of the United Nation Security Council approved a “no fly zone” resolution to “protect civilians”, Caricom Foreign Ministers have urged a speedy negotiated resolution that “would reflect the legitimate demands and aspirations (read that to involve respect also for democratic governance and national sovereignty) of the Libyan people…”

Those among us in this region — where self-contempt runs deep, and who are ever so willing to side with the wealthy and mighty western powers — may cynically remark: ‘Who cares about Caricom’s stand on Libya? After all Caricom has no economic or political clout of any significance!

They may even scoff at the AU’s plea for an end to bombings and ALSO expediently ignore that the US-led NATO war game in Libya is for “regime change” — getting rid of Gadaffi and his government.

It is, perhaps pertinent for our region’s governments and institutions to keep in mind a well known observation of the late William Demas, that outstanding political thinker and doyen among West Indian economists. He passionately felt that neither geographical size nor economic resources should deter this region from taking principled stand on issues of international importance, particularly in relation to sovereignty and the rule of law.

In the context of the current Libyan crisis, “regime change” in Tripoli, remains the core factor in the waging of an unauthorised war under the pretext of “protecting civilians”. It is also being viewed as a brazen display of abuse of political/military power inconsistent with the rule of law.

Caricom, therefore, now has a moral obligation to at least use its limited resources to help in mobilising support — along with countries of the African Union and Arab League — in backing the call earlier this week for a pause in the bloody conflict. It came from the United Nation’s aid chief to the UN Security Council on why it is essential to have an immediate cessation in bombardment in Libya in order to ease a worsening humanitarian crisis

Even as the Guyana-born former cabinet minister in the Labour Party administration of ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair was making her plea, there were media reports of hundreds more non-combat civilians — Libyans and migrant workers — drowning at sea in their desperate attempts to flee from the ‘war games’ in which Libya is now gripped.

In contrast to the UN official’s assessment, NATO’s Secretary General, Rasmussen, a former prime minister of Denmark, has been talking tough, declaring that Gadaffi should realise, sooner rather than later, there’s no future for him or his regime…” Since the UN Security Council’s “no fly zone” resolution in March, there have already been some 6,000 NATO military missions to Libya that have resulted in thousands of deaths of Libyans and migrants working in that North African state with which Caricom countries have long established diplomatic and cultural relations.

The US-engineered 2003 war on Iraq to get rid of the Saddam Hussein dictatorship should not become the guiding/example for “regime change” in Libya — or any other nation.

Right now, after the initial “breaking news” by President Barack Obama on the circumstances of the killing of Osama bin Laden, his Attorney General, Eric Holder, has been pushed on the defensive by leaked reports to deny that the death of the Al Qaeda leader was “not an act of assassination”.

Well, while it would be unwise to rush to the defence of those who preach and practice terrorism, the fact, as earlier officially claimed by the Obama White House, is that bin Laden was not armed when he was fatally shot in the head.

Further, no proof has yet been offered that the notorious Al Qaeda leader resisted arrest when confronted by the US special force that went to Pakistan to “take him out” — dead or alive. So, was his authorised “killing” an act of “murder”? And how should that kind of “murder” be differentiated from an “assassination”?

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