October 30, 2011
The Wisdom Fund

With 30,000 Dead, What Do Faith Leaders and Human Rights Activists Who Pushed For War on Libya Say Now?

by Enver Masud

The end of Zein al-Abidine Ben Ali's rule in Tunisia's "Jasmine Revolution" on January 14, 2011 rang alarm bells across the Middle East. The U.S. seized the opportunity to put an end to Col. Gaddafi's rule in Libya -- with the help of hundreds of U.S. faith leaders, human rights activists, neocons, and the news media.

On March 14, 2011, in a letter signed by faith leaders and hundreds of others (see letter for names, affiliation), The Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, appealed to President Obama "to create a coalition that will impose as quickly as possible a no-fly zone for all Libyan military aircraft over the full extent of northern Libyan airspace".

Surely, these faith leaders knew that a no-fly zone is a euphemism for war.

According to Curtis Doebbler, a prominent US international human rights lawyer: "On 17 March, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1973. And within 42 hours an attack on the troops of the Libyan government, aimed, according to the British Defence Minster William Hague, at killing the Libyan leader, had begun."

Doebbler states: "Resolution 1973 was illegal under the UN Charter." The Libyan government did not have a representative present at the meeting at which the UN resolution was passed. There was no determination made that measures not involving the use of force had failed.

The attack on Libya was also not a Just War as described both by Catholic doctrine, and in an analysis by the Christian Evangel Society. Similar restrictions on war exist in Islam.

On June 20, 2011, a letter signed by 40 former senior officials who served under President George W. Bush was released by the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) -- a two-year-old neoconservative group that is widely seen as the successor to the more-famous -- or infamous -- Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

The FPI urged Congress: "The United States should be leading in this effort, not trailing behind our allies. We should be doing more to help the Libyan opposition, which deserves our support. We should not be allowing ourselves to be held hostage to U.N. Security Council resolutions and irresolute allies."

US/NATO intervention 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 ignored by arming the Libyan rebels.

On September 16, 2011, the National Transitional Council was recognised by the United Nations as the legal representative of Libya, replacing Gaddafi's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

On October 20, 2011, with US/NATO and Qatari forces siding with the rebels in a civil war (now you know why Al Jazeera's coverage was one-sided), Col. Gaddafi was captured alive after his convoy was attacked by NATO warplanes. He was beaten and killed by the rebels the same day.

According to reports, when his convoy was attacked, Gaddafi was traveling under a negotiated truce, and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was informed of the "White Flag" truce negotiated and agreed to by Libya's NTC while visiting Libya on October 19.

The National Transitional Council puts Libyan losses at 30,000 dead (given Libya's population of 6.42 million, this is the U.S. equivalent of 1.4 million dead) and 50,000 wounded", and much of what was said to justify the war -- genocide... Gaddafi is "bombing his own people"... save Benghazi... African mercenaries... viagra-fueled mass rape -- has proven to be a lie.

Gaddafi seized power in 1969 in a bloodless coup by overthrowing King Idris who had achieved power with British backing in 1949. After trying for more than 20 years, US/NATO led forces finally got rid of him.

Amnesty International has called for an independent inquiry into the alleged, 1996 massacre of 1270 prisoners in Abu Salim prison -- an estimate mostly based on the account of a single former inmate (Hussein al-Shafai -- now "living in the United States, where he has applied for asylum").

Investigators from CNN and other organizations found no evidence of mass graves at the supposed site -- only some animal bones.

When they pushed for war, faith leaders and the news media, did not report that Libya ranked first in Africa (53 globally) on the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) Human Development Index -- ahead of Saudi Arabia at 55, Iran at 70, South Africa at 73, Jordan at 82, Egypt at 101, Indonesia at 108, India at 119, Afghanistan at 155. They also did not report that according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Libya has the largest proven oil reserves in Africa".

Last week, award-winning author, journalist, and film-maker, John Pilger wrote:

Running up the Stars and Stripes in "liberated" Tripoli last month, US ambassador Gene Cretz blurted out: "We know that oil is the jewel in the crown of Libyan natural resources!"

The de facto conquest of Libya by the US and its imperial partners heralds a modern version of the "scramble for Africa" at the end of the 19th century.

The rush to strip Libya of its wealth has begun.

What do faith leaders and human rights activists who pushed for war on Libya say now?

In a just world, the warmongers would be held accountable for their criminal attack on Libya and the killing of Col Gaddafi -- including compensation for the deaths and destruction they have caused.

NOTE: Estimates of deaths in the 2011 Libyan civil war vary. However, if NATO's objective was to protect civilians, they would have focused on stopping traffic between warring cities (eg. Tripoli and Benghazi) instead of taking sides in a civil war.

Eric Margolis, "Col. Khadaffi's Secret Tunnels of Death," Toronto Sun, December 8, 1997

Enver Masud, "Pan Am 103: Lockerbie Verdict 'Astonishing'," The Wisdom Fund, February 6, 2001

"Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Libyan Arab Jamahiriya," United Nations Human Rights Council, January 4, 2011

Jim Lobe, "Neocon Hawks Take Flight Over Libya," Inter Press Service, February 26, 2011

Enver Masud, "Libya Oil Grab Disguised As Humanitarian Assistance," The Wisdom Fund, March 8, 2011

Enver Masud, "Revealed: America's Hidden Hand Behind The UN Resolution For A No-fly Zone Over Libya," The Wisdom Fund, March 19, 2011

Eric Margolis, "Libya: A New Crusade,", March 21, 2011

Pepe Escobar, "Libya Endgame: Divide, Rule And Get The Oil," Asia Times, March 25, 2011

Curtis Doebbler, "Why the Attack on Libya is Illegal,", March 28, 2011

"Libya: A 'Socialist Paradise' Under Colonial Attack," The Wisdom Fund, April 1, 2011

Enver Masud, "LIBYA: TALKING POINTS," The Wisdom Fund, April 1, 2011

"Recollections of My Life: Col. Mu'ummar Qaddafi, The Leader of the Revolution," pakdefenceunit, April 5, 2011

"The Lies Behind the West's War on Libya," The Wisdom Fund, April 14, 2011

Robert D. Crane, "Qaddafi Launched Program to Privatize Libya's Oil to Every Citizen of Libya," The Wisdom Fund, May 12, 2011

"Libyan Rebels Reject Truce, U.S. Targets Qaddafi," The Wisdom Fund, May 31, 2011

"Libya: Independent Reporters Silenced, News Broadcasts Suspect," The Wisdom Fund, August 23, 2011

Pepe Escobar, "Welcome to Libya's 'Democracy'," Asian Times, August 24, 2011

Enver Masud, "America's Libyan Rebels," The Wisdom Fund, August 28, 2011

Ron Paul, "Mission Accomplished in Libya?,", August 30, 2011

John Pilger, "The Son of Africa Claims a Continent's Crown Jewels For The U.S.," The Wisdom Fund, October 20, 2011

Enver Masud, "Five Things You May Not Know About Muammar Gaddafi And Libya," The Wisdom Fund, October 24, 2011

[The notion that the NATO bombings somehow was to do nothing but protect civilians is simply not the case.--"As NATO Ends Libyan Bombing Campaign, Is the U.S. Seeking Greater Military Control of Africa?,", November 1, 2011]

Damien McElroy, "Libya: Nato to be investigated by ICC for war crimes," Telegraph, November 2, 2011

[Reports abound that black Libyans are being subjected to beatings, torture, rape, killings - and, in several instances, horrific public lynchings.--Jesse Jackson, "U.S. can't stand by while racism ravages Libya,", November 8, 2011]

[A young French film-maker, Julien Teil, has filmed a remarkable interview in which the secretary general of the Libyan League for Human Rights, Slimane Bouchuiguir, candidly admits that he had "no proof" of the allegations he made before the U.N. Human Rights Commission which led to immediate expulsion of the official Libyan representative and from there to U.N. Resolutions authorizing what turned into the NATO war of regime change. Indeed, no proof has ever been produced of the "bombing of Libyan civilians" denounced by Al Jazeera, the television channel financed by the Emir of Qatar, who has emerged with a large share of Libyan oil business from the "liberation war" in which Qatar participated.--Diana Johnstone, "As the 'Humanitarian Warriors' Gloat... Here's the Key Question in the Libyan War," Guardian, October 26, 2011]

Maggie Michael, "Freed of Gadhafi, Libya's instability only deepens,", March 3, 2012

Chris Stephen, "After Gaddafi, Libya splits into disparate militia zones: The rebel strongholds of Benghazi, Misrata and Zintan have become increasingly independent of Tripoli's new regime," Guardian, June 9, 2012

Patrick Cockburn, "A Region in Turmoil: Lawlessness and Ruin in Libya,", September 5, 2013

Patrick Cockburn, "Three years after Gaddafi, Libya is imploding into chaos and violence,", March 16, 2014

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