Editor's Notes Friday 25 November 2011
Once again Harper thumbs his nose at our Canada
' . . . since 1985 . . . Washington has spent more than one billion dollars to finance and manipulate its Libyan franchise.'
'So what we have here is war by increments. First, character assassination. Then the false accusation that innocent, unarmed civilians are being murdered. Then the call for a no-fly zone to keep the "Madman's" air force grounded — achieved within four days, the NATO air power then being turned into a lethal machine in support of forces, many of them Islamist extremists, financed with American money, and British and French advisors on the ground.
'The question is why?
|Photo-illustration by Geoffrey Dow.|
In another obscene gesture, Stephen Harper (the man who would be president) has trampled on Canada's self respect as a peacekeeper and trumpeted his vision of our country as a rump of the Washington war machine.
The excuse was to present Canadian Forces Lt.-Gen. Charles Bouchard with the Meritorious Service Cross one month after Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi was captured and murdered.
The setting, Thursday 24 November 2011, was the regal Senate chamber in the Parliament Buildings at Ottawa and included a 21-cannon salute and a thunderous fly past of CF-18 fighter jets, along with other aircraft that, contrary to the United Nations mandate of creating a no-fly zone over Libya, became a war machine for the western-financed and armed opponents of Gadhafi.
Following is the ugly truth of that which Harper was cheerleading the country to believe. I urge you to print it and read it more than once. It is a horror story of betrayal of trust.
On Thursday 17 March 2011, at the behest of Washington the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1973 (2011) by a vote of 10 in favour to none against, with 5 abstentions (Brazil, China, Germany, India, Russian Federation) that declared a no-fly zone over Libya.
The resolution authorized Member States, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, to take all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack in the country, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory — requesting them to immediately inform the Secretary-General of such measures.
The turmoil was presented to us as another manifestation of the poetically named Arab Spring. The difference between Egypt and Libya however was that the demonstrators in Libya immediately took up arms and started shooting.
On Tuesday 13 September 2011 Amnesty International issued a report of more than 100 pages that said rebels committed unlawful killings and torture.
"Members and supporters of the opposition, loosely structured under the leadership of the National Transition Council (NTC) … have also committed human rights abuses, in some cases amounting to war crimes, albeit on a smaller scale," the Amnesty report said.
It said opposition supporters "unlawfully killed" more than a dozen Gadhafi loyalists and security officials between April and early July. And just after the rebels took control of eastern Libya, the report said, angry groups of rebel supporters "shot, hanged and otherwise killed through lynching" dozens of captured soldiers and suspected mercenaries with impunity.
It would have been surprising if Muammar Gadhafi's forces had not shot back.
The 100-plus page Amnesty report, based on three months of investigation in Libya, draws no equivalency between the crimes of Gadhafi loyalists and those of the former rebels, who now hold power in Tripoli: The Gadhafi forces' crimes were greater, the list of them is longer, and they may have amounted to crimes against humanity, the report said.
But it said the crimes of the rebels were not insignificant.
No Black 'mercenaries'
"In February, there was this rumor about Gadhafi using black people as mercenaries; that's wrong," Nicolas Beger, director of the Amnesty International European Institutions office, told Associated Press Television News in Brussels on Monday 12 September.
"But the NTC has not done a lot to curb that rumor and now there is a lot of retaliation against sub-Saharan Africans. Whether they were or they weren't involved with the Gadhafi forces, they are at real risk of being taken from their work or their homes or the street to be tortured or killed."
Beger also said abuses were continuing under the new government.
"We have even spoken to guards who admit that they use force," he said. "They say, 'Yeah we use force in order to get confessions, in order to force people to hand in their weapons.' So this really needs to be controlled. This is one of the priorities that the new authorities have to really get a clear act on."
The Amnesty International report was based on a fact-finding visit to Libya between Feb. 26 and May 28, and covered events up to late July. The organization is based in Britain.
It is interesting to note that when Washington hires them, they are known as contractors, when an opponent hires them they are known as mercenaries.
Another difference between Egypt and Libya, as John Barry, national-security correspondent for Newsweek magazine since 1985 tells us, is that Washington has spent more than one billion dollars to finance and manipulate its Libyan franchise.
Please see Aug 30, 2011 2:12 AM EDT
"The U.S. military has spent about $1 billion on Libya’s revolution, and secretly helped NATO with everything from munitions to surveillance aircraft. John Barry provides an exclusive look at Obama’s emerging 'covert intervention' strategy."
To appeal to the innate, powerful, American (and world) sense of fairness, Hilary Clinton went about declaring that the no-fly resolution and the subsequent air attack was simply a humanitarian gesture to protect innocent civilians.
But it took just four days, from 20 March to 23 March to "largely" destroy the Libyan Air Force.
Here briefly is the sequence that led to the termination of Libyan air power.
On 20 March, several Storm Shadow missiles were launched against Libyan targets by British jets Nineteen U.S. jets also conducted strikes against Libyan government forces. In the opening hours of the campaign, an American submarine, the USS Florida, launched 100 cruise missiles against Libyan air defenses, crucially opening an entry corridor for the airstrikes that followed. A loyalist convoy south of Benghazi was targeted. At least seventy vehicles were destroyed, and loyalist ground troops sustained multiple casualties. Strikes also took place on the Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli from late 20 March to early 21 March.
By 21 March 2011, the Libyan government's SA-2, SA-3, and SA-5 air defense systems had been completely neutralized, while further strikes took place on targets in Tripoli, and according to the Libyan government, in Sabha and Sirt.
On 22 March, Coalition strikes continued, and a Libyan aircraft flying towards Benghazi was attacked. An American Eagle fighter jet on a bombing mission crashed after experiencing equipment failure. The pilot and weapons officer ejected and were recovered by a US rescue team inserted by helicopter. Six civilians were shot during the evacuation as they rushed to greet the troops.
By 23 March, the Libyan Air Force had been largely destroyed, with most of its aircraft destroyed or rendered inoperable. The Libyan government's integrated air defense system was also degraded to a point where Coalition aircraft could operate over Libya with almost total impunity. On that same day, Coalition aircraft flew at least two sorties against government forces in Misrata. Later in the day, it was announced that all government forces and equipment, with the exception of individual snipers, had retreated from the city or were destroyed. In the early morning hours, four Canadian CF-18 jets supported by two CC-150 Polaris tankers bombed a government ammunition depot in Misrata, marking the first time Canadian jets bombed Libya since the campaign began.
By all honest logic, one could have concluded that the goal of the UN resolution had been fulfilled by then and that no more over flights were needed other than to guarantee success.
But instead, entirely contrary to its mandate, the European air power was transformed into a flying war machine against the loyalists. On being challenged about civilian casualties, one NATO commander shrugged it off saying it was necessary to undermine the morale of Gadhafi loyalists.
So what we have here is war by increments. First, character assassination. Then the false accusation that innocent, unarmed civilians are being murdered. Then the call for a no-fly zone to keep the "Madman's" air force grounded — achieved within four days, the NATO air power then being turned into a lethal machine in support of forces, many of them Islamist extremists, financed with American money, and British and French advisors on the ground.
The question is why?
After Gadhafi pulled in his horns as a prompter and financial supporter of terrorism, and after he had paid financial compensation for the 1988 Pan America airliner bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed 270, Tripoli, London, Paris, and Washington became cozy. So cozy in fact, that the CIA and MI6 sent suspects for questioning to the Libyan torture chambers.
But the big oil companies of the three amigos and Italy, though already in Libya exploiting Africa's largest oil reserves, felt threatened by Gadhafi's nodding relationships with Russia, China, and India.
Gadhafi was also going about calling on African and Muslim countries to adopt a single currency, the gold dinar, which could have competed with the euro and the dollar.
It was probably not just the gold dinar, although that proposition was not to be taken lightly, but all of the above that combined to foster a sense of a slippery hold on Libya, together with a military/industrial complex smelling money at every shot, that resulted in orders coming down the pipe to Obama, Cameron, and Sarkozy, that now was the hour to rid themselves of an unstable partner in crime.
So the ram horns of "democracy" and "fair play" began to blow the tune of humanitarian bombing and Gadhafi's walls came tumbling down.
Lt.-Gen. Charles Bouchard said, “As commander of Operation Unified Protector I had the privilege of leading an exceptional international team,” Bouchard told guests assembled for the ceremony. “I can report to you that the members of the Canadian Forces performed their duty with gallantry, with courage and with pride.”
What gallantry? What courage? Flying high in the sky, safely well out of range of ground retaliation? Dropping bombs on targets that could only be hit by use of hi tech?
Why not a 21-gun salute and red carpet for those who have died on the ground in Afghanistan? And for the thousands more who have been mentally and physically wounded and who are brought back almost secretly?
Harper wants us to celebrate a betrayal of the United Nations mandate, the destruction of a viable infrastructure, the death of thousands of innocent civilians, and the installation of a government of Sharia Law that puts non-sectarian Libya back in the middle ages. His deceit is almost breathtaking.
No thanks. We have more self-respect and we have a determination that our country regains our worldwide reputation as a force for peace.
Meanwhile, take it easy, but take it.