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Issue #1555      11 July 2012

Culture & Life

NATO, Libya and the UN

While the US and its NATO partners continue their proxy war against Syria using mercenaries posing as “freedom fighters”, they are maintaining a propaganda campaign of prodigious proportions. The well-known CIA stooge that calls itself “Human Rights Watch” has predictably been wheeled in to the fray, suddenly discovering that Syria is positively overrun with “torture centres”. NATO’s subversion efforts are so blatant that the North Atlantic military outfit is understandably anxious to find a way to capture the moral high ground. Not an easy task, given NATO’s recent track record.

US defence Secretary Robert Gates at a NATO meeting when the Libyan No Fly Zone was discussed.

Apart from joining in the US-led war in Afghanistan, NATO’s most recent military adventure was the destruction of the State of Libya, which had used its oil income to build up a public health and education system that was the envy of the rest of Africa, and which also used its oil wealth to help other poorer African countries. Now it is a country standing on the brink of disintegration and complete chaos.

The so-called “rebel militias” that NATO was supposedly merely “supporting”, were actually paid a monthly stipend in return for their loyalty to NATO. The US of course denies that that makes them mercenaries, just because they fight for money. When these payments were cancelled in April, no less than 200 of these fighters for democracy promptly tried to assassinate the NATO-appointed interim Prime Minister, Abdurrahim al-Keib.

The payments – allegedly a “compensation” program for the rebels – had already consumed some US$1.4 billion before the program was suspended amidst claims that the lists of militia members used to make payments included the names of dead people and people who were never part of the fighting against Muammar Gaddafi. Another fraudulent stunt was to send people abroad for treatment who had never been injured. A free holiday at NATO’s expense. Even the NATO-installed government (the “National Transitional Council” or NTC) thought that was a bit rich!

Mind you, since the brutal murder of Gaddafi on October 20 last year, the entire motley crew of separatists, Islamists and just plain opportunists that make up the “rebel militias” have been helping themselves at every opportunity to whatever isn’t nailed down. Billions of dollars have gone missing from the country’s national treasury. A further US$2.5 billion in oil revenues have gone missing, too. Meanwhile the NTC is arguing with the NATO countries about Libya’s foreign assets which were frozen by imperialist governments as part of their anti-Gaddafi campaign, and which those same Western states seem reluctant to hand back.

In the meantime some 7,000 (probably more) Libyans have been detained inside the country. Their crime? They helped to defend Libya against NATO’s 10,000 air strikes or the NATO-organised, armed and funded insurrection. The NTC passed a law ordering all these people to be rounded up and also eliminated them from the electoral rolls. Many have been subjected to torture and in numerous cases extra-judicial killing.

To make matters worse, the imperialist tactic of encouraging the break-up of reasonable-sized countries into smaller, non-viable statelets is also being pursued in Libya (little countries can be pushed around so much more easily). In the Eastern part of the country the so-called “Barqa Council” is supporting secessionist tendencies and demanding autonomy from the authority of Tripoli. In the south of the country, meanwhile, fighting between the Toubou people and Arab tribesmen has killed many.

Meanwhile, Canada – which ostensibly led the NATO “mission” against Libya – has been rocked by scandal over the real cost of the war. Last October the government told the Canadian people the bombing of Libya had cost them US$50 million, but now the Canadian press reports that the actual cost was seven times higher, a cool US$347 million.

Nice to know it was all worth it, eh?

On the Russian website Pravda.Ru, Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey responded to the question of how to strengthen the UN with his own question: “How can you strengthen a body that is sick to the core? How can you strengthen a UN which purports to represent the world community when it has an obvious bias against Serbs and Africans, when it pretends its International Criminal Court is an international court while, for example, citizens of the USA cannot be tried there?

“Where was the UN Security Council when Iraq was invaded outside its auspices? Where was that Council when the FUKUS three [France/United Kingdom/United States] gave guarantees to Russia and China that they would fill in the details later on their mission in Libya and then proceeded to do a spectacular mission creep breaking all the rules in the book?

“If the UN wants to represent the world community, then why in 2012 is the Security Council composed of nations in the northern hemisphere and does not have one representative from Oceania, from Africa or from Latin America?

“It has proven useless in preventing the most horrific human rights violations and war crimes by the NATO/FUKUS axis in recent years: murderous imperialist orgies that have pandered to the lobbies that gravitate around the White House.”

Bancroft-Hinchey proposes this solution to his own question: “Let us split the UN in two and praise its wonderful humanitarian work, let us praise UN Women for its tremendous strides towards gender equality, women’s empowerment and defence of women’s rights, fighting against gender violence, against female genital mutilation, sponsoring girls’ schooling …let us remember António Guterres for his amazing work in UNHCR helping refugees … let us praise its enormous strides taken in science, in protecting cultural heritage.

“And let a new United Nations rise up that is not controlled by a handful of cliques pulling its strings, an organisation that is composed of and represents the peoples from the four corners of the Earth and fundamentally one that uses the same set of weights and measures in the implementation of international law, which it upholds for all.”

Hear! Hear!  

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