PROTECTING THE PEOPLE OF SIRTE September 6, 2011Posted by wmmbb in North Africa.
Ostensibly the purpose of the no-fly zone over Libya was to protect the civilian population from a government that sought to attack them and kill many of them by artillery fire and aerial bombing.
The same principle was not applied by the UN Security Council to the situation in Syria or Bahrain. Now it seems the roles have been reversed in Sirte. Chris Hedges provides details that I at least have no read elsewhere. He writes in Truthdig:
The NATO airstrikes on the city of Sirte expose the hypocrisy of our “humanitarian” intervention in Libya. Sirte is the last Gadhafi stronghold and the home to Gadhafi’s tribe. The armed Libyan factions within the rebel alliance are waiting like panting hound dogs outside the city limits. They are determined, once the airstrikes are over, not only to rid the world of Gadhafi but all those within his tribe who benefited from his 42-year rule. The besieging of Sirte by NATO warplanes, which are dropping huge iron fragmentation bombs that will kill scores if not hundreds of innocents, mocks the justification for intervention laid out in a United Nations Security Council resolution. The U.N., when this began six months ago, authorized “all necessary measures … to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack.” We have, as always happens in war, become the monster we sought to defeat. We destroy in order to save. Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council estimates that the number of Libyans killed in the last six months, including civilians and combatants, has exceeded 50,000. Our intervention, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, has probably claimed more victims than those killed by the former regime. But this intervention, like the others, was never, despite all the high-blown rhetoric surrounding it, about protecting or saving Libyan lives. It was about the domination of oil fields by Western corporations.
The US, France and Britain, will inevitably deny that it is the greed for oil and fossil fuel dependency that motivates their involvement in the overthrow of Gaddafi, but they will not restrain their corporations from participating in the commercial plunder soon to be on offer.