Even as a major hurricane hit America's eastern seaboard, the administration
was determined to expand the war in Libya while threatening the regime in
Syria. Is there any limit to government's appetite to create more problems
for our nation and economy?
Americans may be tempted to celebrate the apparent victory of U.S.- and
NATO-backed rebels in Libya, since it seems the Gadhafi regime is
overthrown. But I believe any enthusiasm for our Libyan misadventure is
The Obama administration attacked Libya without a constitutional declaration
of war, without congressional authorization, without meaningful consultation
with Congress -- and without a dollar being authorized from the House or
Senate. It was a war started by a president who turned to the United Nations
for its authority and ignored the authority of the U.S. Congress.
Are we better off as a nation by ignoring and debasing our Constitution? Are
we better off having spent more than a billion dollars attacking a country
thousands of miles away that had not threatened us? Are we more financially
sound having expanded the empire to include yet another protectorate and
probable long-term military occupation? Are we more admired throughout the
world for getting involved in yet another war?
Still, many will claim that getting rid of Libyan ruler Gadhafi was worth
it. They will say that the ends justify the means. As the civilian toll from
NATO bombs adds up in a war started under the guise of protecting a civilian
population, even the initial argument for intervention is ridiculous. We
should not forget that there were no massacres taking place in Libya before
the NATO attack. The attack was dubbed a preventive humanitarian
intervention. But as soon as NATO planes started bombing, civilians started
Gadhafi may well have been a tyrant, but as such he was no worse than many
others whom we support and count as allies. Disturbingly, we see a pattern
of relatively secular leaders in the Arab world being targeted for
regime-change with the resulting power vacuum being filled by much more
radical elements. Iraq, post-Saddam, is certainly far closer to Iran than it
was before the U.S. invasion. Will Libya be any different?
We already see grisly reprisals from the U.S.-backed rebels against their
political opponents. There are disturbing scenes of looting and lawlessness
on the part of the rebels. We know that some rebel factions appear to be
allied with Islamic extremists, and others seem to have ties to the CIA.
They also appear to have a penchant for killing each other as well as
supporters of the previous regime. The tribal structure of Libyan society
all but ensures that an ongoing civil war is on the agenda rather than the
Swiss-style democracy that some intervention advocates suggest is around the
What is next after such a victory? With the big Western scramble to grab
Libya's oil reserves amid domestic political chaos and violence, does anyone
doubt that NATO ground troops are not being prepared for yet another
Neoconservatives continue to dominate our foreign policy, regardless of the
administration in power. They do not care that we are bankrupt, as they are
too blinded by their desire for empire and their affection for the
entangling alliances we have been rightly counseled to avoid. They have set
their sights next on Syria, where the U.S. moves steadily toward
intervention in another domestic conflict that has nothing to do with the
U.S. Already the U.S. president has called for regime-change in Syria, while
adding new sanctions against the Syrian regime. Are U.S. bombers far behind?
[The new rationale for war is "to protect civilians," an Orwellian twist
that NATO and the Obama administration adopted in March to justify an
air-and-ground war to achieve regime change in Libya.
Naturally, the NATO powers repeatedly denied that "regime change" was their
goal, although their war planes and intelligence agencies have coordinated
military operations with Libyan rebels whose stated goal has been to
eliminate longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi, an objective that appears close
NATO authorities have denied, too, that their missile strikes against
Gaddafi's compound were "assassination attempts," although one attack did
kill one of Gaddafi's sons and three of his grandchildren. Yes, these
victims were "collateral damage."
But the key to the Libyan war was the United Nations Security Council's
passage of a resolution on March 17 authorizing a "no-fly zone" over Libya
and permitting member states "to take all necessary measures ... to protect
civilians and civilian populated areas."
Less noticed, the UN
resolution also demanded "the immediate establishment of a ceasefire"
and "the need to intensify efforts to find a solution to the crisis,"
but those words of peace essentially became window-dressing for war.--Robert
Parry, "New War Rationale: 'Protect Civilians',"
consortiumnews.com, August 27, 2011]
[Genocide... Gaddafi is "bombing his own people"... Save Benghazi...
African Mercenaries... Viagra-fueled Mass Rape... Responsibility to
Protect... Gaddafi-the Demon... Freedom Fighters-the Angels... Victory for
the Libyan People... Defeat for "the Left"--Maximilian C. Forte, "The Top Ten Myths in the War Against Libya,"
counterpunch.org, August 31, 2011]
[ . . . bombing a government that had abandoned its nuclear program and
dropped plans for long-range missiles made peaceful denuclearization of
other nations, such as Iran and North Korea, well nigh impossible.
. . . The initial claims of prospective massacres were
propaganda, a la George W. Bush's WMDs in Iraq. In fact, Qaddafi had
slaughtered no civilians in any of the cities he had earlier retaken from
the rebels, and his incendiary rhetoric was directed against armed
insurgents.--Doug Bandow, "Obama Must Pay for His Illegal War," nationalinterest.org,
September 1, 2011]
[The intervention clearly exceeded the parameters originally set forth by
UN Security Council resolution 1973, which authorized the international
use of force to establish a "no fly" zone over Libya and to protect
civilians; the UN resolution made no mention of regime change or government
overthrow, though this clearly was NATO's main objective from the beginning.
The Security Council also called for a Libyan arms embargo, a stipulation
that NATO has ignored by arming the Libyan rebels.--David N. Gibbs, "Power Politics, NATO, and the Libyan
Intervention," counterpunch.org, September 15, 2011]
[A few hundred soldiers and no less than 80,000 civilians have been bombed
for weeks by NATO and the former "rebels". Only 20,000 civilians have
managed to escape. There's no food left. Water and electricity have been cut
off. Hospitals are idle. The city - under siege - is in ruins. Sirte imams
have issued a fatwa (decree) allowing survivors to eat cats and dogs.
What Gaddafi never did to Benghazi - and there's no evidence he might have -
the TNC is doing to Sirte, Gaddafi's home town.--Pepe Escobar, "The US
power grab in Africa," atimes.com, October 21, 2011]
[ . . . the Atlanticist media have failed to mention the major achievements
of the "Guide": the overthrow of the puppet monarchy imposed by the
Anglo-Saxons, the removal of foreign troops, the nationalization of
hydrocarbons, the construction of the Man Made River (the largest irrigation
project in the world), the redistribution of oil revenues (he turned one of
the poorest in the world into the richest in Africa), generous asylum to
Palestinian refugees and development aid on an unprecedented scale to the
Third World (Libya's development aid was more important than all the G20
states put together).--"The
lynching of Muammar Gaddafi," voltairenet.org, October 21, 2011]
[TNC militias did no real fighting. These divided, competing military bands
operate as scavengers or vultures, calling in air strikes and lying in wait
to pick over the death that NATO bombers have blasted in front of them. In
seven months of NATO bombing they have shown themselves capable of firing
endless weapons in front of cameras and brutalizing Black Libyans, yet
incapable of conducting any independent military action.
The imperialist war in Libya is reminiscent of past colonial wars in Africa
and Asia. Targeting of any civilian necessities, such as water, food,
medicine, and communication is specifically prohibited under international
law and considered a war crime under the Nuremburg and Geneva Conventions.
Yet during seven months of war those are exactly the civilian targets that
NATO planners focused on again and again.--"The Arab
Spring and the Coward's War on Libya," iacenter.org, October 24,
[Our war in Libya, whatever is to be said about protecting civilians, is
also ideological war. It is a war for pushers' democracy. It is a war for
the capitalism that goes with that democracy, is inseparable from it.--Tod
Honderich, "The Arab Spring and the Coward's War on Libya,"
counterpunch.org, October 25, 2011]
["Now the real resistance will begin! The Libyan people are now even surer
than they were during this summer that the NTC sold our country to the NATO
colonial countries. As NATO continues to hunt down Saif al Islam, many
around our country are making Saif the new leader of the resistance to
colonialism in Libya and in Africa."--Tod Honderich, "Libya: The Actual War Begins Now!," opinion-maker.org, October