Yesterday, a CBS News headline read "Libya rebels beg for no-fly as bombings persist".
What is remarkable is that the article gives virtually no information on
who are those Libyans that are begging for a no-fly zone.
The only information CBS provides as to the identity of the beggars is in
the following paragraph:
In a firsthand look at why Libya's rebels are begging for a no-fly zone,
CBS News was first on the scene after a bombing. People ignored the
danger and raced to show the damage.
But there's no shortage of others begging for a no-fly zone.
According to the Agence France Presse (March 7), "The Gulf Cooperation
Council demands that the UN Security Council take all necessary measures to
protect civilians, including enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya".
The Guardian (March 4) reported that the British prime minister, David Cameron,
caused some surprise on both sides of the Atlantic when he called for
Britain and its allies to draw up plans for a no-fly zone over Libya,
was offered important support by Barack Obama on Thursday night.
American military planners had been instructed to draw up a full range
of options, including a no-fly zone, Obama said at the White House
during a press conference with his Mexican counterpart, Felipe Calderon.
And one has only to turn on CNN to see that most of the debate is about
a no-fly zone over Libya. Essentially missing are the voices of the Libyan
"Hafiz Ghoga, a spokesman for the protesters' new National Libyan Council,
insisted that calls for foreign intervention were entirely unwelcome, adding
that the protesters have taken most of the nation and "the rest of Libya
will be liberated by the people", according to Jason Ditz, at Antiwar.com.
Yesterday's editorial in the Guardian offers sound advice:
Some Libyan rebels have called for a no-fly zone, but until now - and
this may change - the mood of the Libyan uprising is that this is their
fight and their fight alone. Quite apart from the unwarranted legitimacy
a bombing campaign would (once again) confer on the Libyan leader among
his rump support in Tripoli and the damage it would do to attempts to
split his camp, a major western military intervention could have
unforeseen political consequences for the very forces it would be
designed to support. A no-fly zone saved lives in Kurdish northern Iraq,
but failed to protect the Shias in the south under Saddam Hussein. The
moral strength of the Libyan rebels and their political claim to
represent the true voice of the people both rest partly on the fact
that, like the Egyptians and the Tunisians, they have come this far
alone. The revolt is theirs, they are no one else's proxy, and the
struggle is about ending tyranny rather than searching for new masters.
Even if Gaddafi's forces succeed in checking the advance of rebel
forces, and the civil war becomes protracted, it is the home-grown
nature of this revolt that contains the ultimate seeds of the
destruction of Gaddafi's regime. Thus far, it is Gaddafi and his sons
who have had to import hired guns from abroad.
Jeremiah (Jerry) Haber (his nom de plume) -- an orthodox Jewish studies and
philosophy professor, who divides his time between Israel and the US -- is more specific:
President Obama has already said that Muammar Gaddafi has lost his
legitimacy as Libya's leader, so an important and necessary precursor to
the whole debate about providing military or non-military assistance to
Libya's revolutionaries, is formal recognition of their leadership: the
Interim National Transitional Council in Benghazi.
The Council has formed an executive team headed by Dr Mahmoud Jebril
Ibrahim El-Werfali and Dr Ali Aziz Al-Eisawi who will represent Libya's
foreign affairs and have been delegated the authority to negotiate and
communicate with all members of the international community and to seek
The Transitional Council's third decree dated March 5, ends: "we request
from the international community to fulfil its obligations to protect
the Libyan people from any further genocide and crimes against humanity
without any direct military intervention on Libyan soil."
That seems to leave open the question about whether a no-fly zone is
Libya has the largest proven oil reserves in Africa
according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
All that oil, writes
Pepe Escobar, a columnist for Asia Times, and "the allure, close by, of the
US $10 billion, 4,128 kilometer long Trans-Saharan gas pipeline from Nigeria
to Algeria, expected to be online in 2015" has many U.S. elites salivating
at the prospect of U.S.-European intervention in Libya.
Clearly, the "intervention option" is propelling the Anglo-American
juggernaut. A little behind, France tags along not to miss out on the
"peace dividends" that follow the intervention - Libyan oil. The
parallel with the Iraq war is striking, except that things are on a
Let's wait until the Interim National Transitional Council in Benghazi asks
for a no-fly zone or other assistance. In the meantime, check out reports
that may lead one to conclude that the Interim National Transitional
Council is itself a creation of the the U.S.
[But hardly any mention is made in the US of the 65 Afghan civilians
recently killed by a US air strike, or the nine Afghan boys collecting
wood on a hillside massacred by US helicopter gunships last week
Nor about repeated US air strikes on Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen that have
killed large numbers of civilians. When we do it, it's "collateral damage"
and "stuff happens." . . .
The oldest trick in the imperial playbook is to foment an uprising, then
call for outside help.
This writer has reported for weeks that Britain's elite Special Air Service
(SAS) has been rallying anti-Gadaffi forces in and around Benghazi, seizing
desert oil installations, and helping attack pro-Gadaffi forces. Britain has
stoutly denied this.--Eric Margolis, "Morally
Indignant Sharks Circle Libya While Osama Smiles,"
lewrockwell.com, March 8, 2011]
[All indications are that the US and its allies who are assisting the Libyan
rebels politically, militarily and financially have been hoping to extract a
"request" from the Libyan people within a day or two at the most as a
fig-leaf to approach the United Nations Security Council for a mandate to
impose sanctions under the auspices of the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO). The Libyan rebels are a divided house: nationalist
elements staunchly oppose outside intervention and the Islamists among them
are against any form of Western intervention. . . .
Obama's calculation is that if only a Libyan "people's request" could be
generated, that would in historical terms absolve him and the West of the
blame of invading a sovereign member country of the United Nations -
from a moral and political angle, at least - as well as push the Arab
League and African Union into the enterprise.--M K Bhadrakumar, "Arab revolt
reworks the world order," atimes.com, March 10, 2011
[France has become the first country to recognise the Libyan rebel
leadership, the National Libyan Council (NLC), as the country's legitimate
Libyan rebels," BBC News, March 10, 2011]
[Editorial: Almost all the western options talked about, or under
consideration, involve illegal military intervention of some kind.
. . . Arming the rebels would bolster Mr. Qadhafi's claim that a colonialist
plot is being hatched. . . . India, along with other developing countries,
has done well to express its opposition to the use of force as well as to a
no-fly zone to resolve the Libyan crisis.--"Oppose military intervention," The Hindu, March 10, 2011]
[The White House announced that it would send a government aid team into
rebel-held parts of Libya, . . . the administration stopped far short of
recognizing the rebels' Transitional National Council as Libya's legitimate
government.--Karen DeYoung, Edward Cody and William Branigin, "Obama concerned about Gaddafi's gains
but says noose is tightening on Libyan leader," washingtonpost.com,
March 11, 2011 -- What's the legal basis for this intervention?]
[ . . . it is odd that a specific rebel request not to put "boots on the
ground" was so wilfully disregarded. We must assume that at SIS headquarters
the James Bond urge simply overwhelms any consideration of
counter-productivity. . . .
Barack Obama says he "needs" Gaddafi to go, and David Cameron's position is
much the same. Why this need is so pressing when, just months ago, Gaddafi
was a dear ally and patron of western scholarship is a mystery. . . .
To this is added the bizarre claim that a "responsibility to protect" the
underdog in a civil war "devolves on to the security council" and, if not,
on to any Tom, Dick or Harry. In other words, military aggression is
anything you can pay a lawyer to justify. It is the Bush-Cheney theory of
zero national sovereignty, and could be used to justify every aggressive war
by Washington or Moscow over the last 50 years.--Simon Jenkins, "'No-fly zone' is a euphemism for war. We'd be mad to try
it," Guardian, March 11, 2011]
[He (Amr Moussa) hopes to succeed Mubarak as Egypt's next president. . . .
Two major Arab countries opposed the AL statement - Syria and Algeria - but
Moussa rammed it through, thanks to the AL heavyweights clamoring for
democracy to succeed and autocracy to end - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, the
United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan. . . .
The Western powers had earlier mentioned the AL and African Union (AU) in
the same breath as representing "regional opinion". Now it seems the AU
isn't so important - it has become an embarrassment. African leaders are
proving to be tough nuts to crack compared to Arab playboy-rulers.--M K
dissent on no-fly zone counts," atimes.com, March 15, 2011]
Obama to impose no-fly zone over Libya," csidonline.org, March 16,
2011 -- According to Guidestar, CSID appears to be funded entirely by the
U.S. government. One of its officers or employees, Radwan Ziadeh, lists his
address at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, DC.
[The resolution establishes "a ban on all flights
in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect
civilians." It also authorizes U.N. member states to take "all necessary
measures ... 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."
The vote was 10-0 with five countries
abstaining including Russia and China, which have veto power in the council,
along with India, Germany and Brazil. The United States, France and Britain
pushed for speedy approval.--Edith M. Lederer, "UN approves no-fly zone over Libya,"
Associated Press, March 17, 2011]
[It is the calculation of a man who, contrary to popular opinion is not mad,
but behaving quite rationally. . . .
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said he opposed foreign intervention and called for an
immediate ceasefire. Turkey's voice matters. It is Nato's only Muslim member
and any Nato operation would need to be approved by 28 member states.--David
Hearst, "Gaddafi's ceasefire may split the coalition - and
Libya," Guardian, March 18, 2011]
Norah Owaraga, in 2007, wrote in the African Executive Magazine: "[U]nlike
other oil producing countries such as Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, [Libya]
utilized the revenue from its oil to develop its [economy]. The standard of
living . . . is one of the highest in Africa, falling in the category of
countries with a GNP per capita of between US$2,200 and $6,000."--Satur C.
Ocampo, "Desert storm 2," Philippine Star, March 26, 2011
[They are entitled to free treatment, and their hospitals provide the best
in the world of medical equipment.
Education in Libya is free, capable young people have the opportunity to
study abroad at government expense. When marrying, young couples receive
60,000 Libyan dinars (about 50,000 U.S. dollars) of financial assistance.
[The Libyan government did not have a representative present at the
meeting after its nominated ambassador, former President of the General
Assembly Ali Abdel-Salam Treki was denied admission to the United States.
Nevertheless, although officially relieved of his duties more than a week
ago for defecting to the opposition, former deputy permanent representative
Ibrahim Dabbashi was on hand at the Security Council media stakeout
Wednesday to make a statement and take questions.--Curtis Doebbler, "Why the Attack
on Libya is Illegal," counterpunch.org, March 28, 2011]
[Having spent the past 10 years pretending to be anti-war - describing the
attack on Iraq as 'criminal' and the war in Afghanistan as 'a trifle
ill-judged' - the liberal and left-wing set that originally invented the
idea of 'humanitarian warfare' in the 1990s are once more at the forefront
of public debate. They've cast off the anti-imperialist garb that they
temporarily donned to make their disappointment with Blair and their
snobbish disdain for Bush appear principled, to reveal that, underneath,
there lurk the same old laptop bombardiers keen to visit their moralistic
fury upon some wayward nation.--Brendan O'Neill, "Yes,
this is a humanitarian war - that is what makes it so deadly,"
spiked-online.com, March 31, 2011]
[Did Gadhafi attack us? Did he attack a NATO country, thereby triggering
Article 5 of the treaty requiring us to go to war? Have his forces carried
out massacres of such magnitude in recaptured towns and cities as to morally
mandate our humanitarian intervention?
Where? What has Gadhafi done in any rebel city that has fallen to him to
compare with what Syria's Hafez al-Assad did in Hama, when he rolled up his
artillery in 1982 and slaughtered between 10,000 and 20,000 to teach the
Muslim Brotherhood a lesson in loyalty?--Patrick J. Buchanan, "A Community Organizer Goes to War," antiwar.com,
April 1, 2011]
[Needs Verification: By retaining Libya's oil wealth for the benefit of all
its people, Gadaffi had created a socialist paradise. There is no
unemployment, Libya has the highest GDP in Africa, less than 5% of the
population is classified as poor and it has fewer people living below the
poverty datum line than for example in Holland. Life expectancy is 75 years
and is the highest in Africa and I0% above the world average.--Stephen
Goodson, "The Truth About
Libya," rense.com, April 1, 2011]
[One might think the application of the Serbian model to Libya would raise
red flags in the U.S. news media since it suggests that NATO may end up
killing large numbers of civilians under a United Nations mandate to protect
civilians.--Robert Parry, "Trying 'Shock and
Awe' in Libya," consortiumnews.info, April 27, 2011]
[A boat carrying 72 passengers, including several women, young children and
political refugees, ran into trouble in late March after leaving Tripoli for
the Italian island of Lampedusa. Despite alarms being raised with the
Italian coastguard and the boat making contact with a military helicopter
and a Nato warship, no rescue effort was attempted.--Jack Shenker, "Nato units left 61 African migrants to die of hunger and
thirst," Guardian, May 8, 2011]
[The UN said it had no information regarding the nationality of those on the
vessel, but said that many of those waiting in Italy were Somali. The agency
added that it was unclear if anyone had mounted a rescue mission, but said
that Nato was not involved in any search.--Catrina Stewart, "Ship 'with
600 people aboard' sinks as refugees flee from Libya," Independent,
May 10, 2011]
[Specifically at issue was an Eni deal that would have given Gazprom access
to Libyan oil and would have had Eni help Gazprom build a pipeline across
the Black Sea. This project would have competed with a similar project
backed by the U.S. government that would have connected gas fields in the
Caspian region directly to Europe, bypassing Russia and Gazprom.--Kevin G.
Hall, "WikiLeaks cables show that it was all about the oil,"
mcclatchydc.com, May 16, 2011]
[The NATO attack on Libya, with the UN Security Council assigned to mandate
a bogus "no fly zone" to "protect civilians", is strikingly similar to the
final destruction of Yugoslavia in 1999. . . .
The assault on Libya, a crime under the Nuremberg standard, is Britain's
46th military "intervention" in the Middle East since 1945. Like its
imperial partners, Britain's goal is to control Africa's oil.--John Pilger,
"Welcome to the Violent World of Mr. Hopey
Changey," antiwar.com, May 28, 2011]
[A young French film-maker, Julien Teil, has filmed a remarkable interview
in which the secretary general of the Libyan League for Human Rights,
Slimane Bouchuiguir, candidly admits that he had "no proof" of the
allegations he made before the U.N. Human Rights Commission which led to
immediate expulsion of the official Libyan representative and from there to
U.N. Resolutions authorizing what turned into the NATO war of regime change.
Indeed, no proof has ever been produced of the "bombing of Libyan
civilians" denounced by Al Jazeera, the television channel financed by the
Emir of Qatar, who has emerged with a large share of Libyan oil business
from the "liberation war" in which Qatar participated.--Diana Johnstone,
"As the 'Humanitarian Warriors' Gloat... Here's the Key
Question in the Libyan War," Guardian, October 26, 2011]