By Stephen Lendman
On March 18, Washington bullied Security Council members to approve Resolution 1973, a measure authorizing war on Libya. The 10 – 0 vote included five abstentions from China, Russia, Germany, Brazil and India, objecting to sweeping terms, including wide latitude for belligerence on bogus “humanitarian” grounds.
In fact, it’s to replace one despot with another, perhaps assassinate Gaddafi, colonize Libya, control its oil, gas and other resources, exploit its people, privatize its state industries under Western control, establish new US bases, use them for greater regional control, and perhaps balkanize the country like Yugoslavia and Iraq.
A same day White House press release headlined, “Readout of President Obama’s Calls with (UK) Prime Minister Cameron and (French) President Sarkozy,” saying:
“The leaders agreed that Libya must immediately comply with all terms of the resolution and that violence against the civilian population of Libya must cease.”
Obama also ordered Gaddafi to implement an immediate ceasefire or face military intervention, saying terms were non-negotiable.
The resolution authorizes “all necessary measures…to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack,” including a no-fly zone and illegal air strikes.
On March 18, Reuters headlined, “US Pushing for Air Strikes, No-Fly Zone in Libya,” saying: Washington urges “air strikes against Libyan tanks and heavy artillery.”
AP reported that an unnamed British MP said UK “forces were on stand by for air strikes and could be mobilized as soon as” March 17. French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said his country will join Britain and Washington in launching attacks. Doing so will be illegal aggression, America’s speciality, currently waging illegal wars against Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, plus proxy regional ones.
The latest involves Saudi troops, at Obama’s behest, invading Bahrain guns blazing, murdering civilians, arresting opposition leaders and activists, denying wounded men and women medical treatment, occupying the country, and instituting police state control.
For his part, Gaddafi responded to belligerence. He didn’t instigate it. International law supports him. A previous article explained, accessed through the following link:
Nonetheless, Resolution 1973 authorizes “shock and awe,” entailing mass destruction and “collateral damage,” assuring heavy civilian casualties.
Perhaps outsmarting the West, Libya’s Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa announced an “immediate cease-fire and the stoppage of all military operations,” knowing NATO’s alternative without it. In response, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said, “We will judge him by his actions, not his words.”
Addressing the House of Commons, he said Britain will deploy warplanes, “air-to-air refueling, and surveillance aircraft” over Libyan airspace, violating its territory. “Preparations….have already started, and in the coming hours they will move to airbases from where they can take the necessary action,” he added.
France, Britain, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will attend a Saturday meeting in Paris, along with EU, African Union, and Arab League officials to discuss further action against Libya. Knowing the threat, Gaddafi said his government will comply with all UN resolution terms.
Foreign Minister Koussa confirmed it, citing “strange and unreasonable” terms, noting signs that Western belligerence is planned, joined by two or more Arab states (perhaps Saudi Arabia and Bahrain), saying the resolution violates Libyan sovereignty and UN Charter authority, prohibiting outside intervention.
After the vote, Obama met with National Security Council members to consider options, coordinating them with Britain and France, his main co-belligerents for war. Already, US warships, hundreds of marines, and surveillance aircraft are deployed nearby, planning on intervention, including boots on the ground short of occupation.
On March 18, New York Times writers Elisabeth Busmiller, David Kirkpatrick and Alan Cowell headlined, “Allies Press Libya, Saying Declaration of Cease-Fire Is Not Enough,” stating:
Washington, Britain and France “pushed forward against Libya,” saying Gaddafi’s declaration won’t deter military intervention. British Prime Minister Cameron suggested it, saying:
“To pass a resolution like this and then just stand back and hope someone in the region would enforce it is wrong,” adding that after Saturday’s Paris meeting, Gaddafi will be told what’s expected.
In other words, unacceptable terms may be demanded that no sovereign leader would accept, including resigning as head of state, withdrawing all forces from eastern Libya, as well as other resistance sites (like Misurata and Zawiya), effectively dividing the country. Failing to comply then would provide cause to intervene, no matter how lawlessly.
On March 17, Secretary of State Clinton suggested how, saying a no-fly zone entails bombing targets inside Libya to protect planes and pilots, by taking out command and control capability, as well as weapons able to down aircraft.
In other words, war will be waged to prevent it, to protect Libyans and save lives by killing them, as well as inflicting widespread destruction, what’s always planned when America attacks.
On March 18, Stratfor Global Intelligence headlined, “Libya Crisis: Implications of the Cease-Fire,” saying:
Gaddafi’s action “complicates (Western) efforts to spearhead a campaign against Libyan government troops,” especially after Tripoli said it’s ready to open “all dialogue channels with everyone interested in the territorial unity of Libya.”
Moreover, it stressed protecting civilians and said it’s inviting international community and NGO representatives “to check the facts on the ground by sending fact-finding missions so that they can take the right decision.”
In other words, Gaddafi hopes his reversal neutralizes the West’s will for war, weakening its resolve, isolating America, Britain and France, the main three co-belligerents. Without just cause to attack, doing so will be clear naked aggression.
Al Jazeera’s War on Libya
Increasingly, Al Jazeera sounds more like BBC and America’s media, providing managed, not real news. It fell far short covering uprisings in Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Algeria, and since mid-February, Libya.
Professor As’ad AbuKhalil’s Angry Arab News Service called its Arabic coverage “blatantly political.” As for Bahrainians, they’re “on their own now: there is no Al Jazeera to support their cause and expose the regime, and the US and EU will do their best to rationalize and support government repression. Shame on Al Jazeera Arabic for abandoning the people of Bahrain, and for even invoking a sectarian element in their coverage, implying that only Shi’ites are protesting.”
It’s Libyan coverage has been especially one-sided, backing pro-Western interests. In Arabic and English, it’s featured National Front for the Salvation of Libya officials with ties to the CIA and Saudi Arabia, pretending they’re credible sources. Moreover, they gave Muhammad as-Senussi air time, Libya’s so-called heir to the Senussi Crown, calling for international community allies to oust Gaddafi and “stop the ongoing ‘massacre,’ ” they instigated.
On March 18, it headlined “Libya declares ceasefire but fighting goes on,” saying:
“….government forces continued to fire on the rebel-held western city of Misurata,” unnamed witnesses claimed.
Other reports used unverified evidence, including alleged air strikes Russian satellite imagery couldn’t detect, saying none were seen or damage on the ground.
As a result, Al Jazeera’s credibility is open to question. Bad reporting makes it all suspect, what’s painfully clear watching one-sided Libyan accounts, distorting facts for Western interests, aiding its drive to war.
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.