Monday, March 9, 2015

How Noam Chomsky cleans up Mummar Qaddafi

شهداء وجرحي معركة اجدابيا اطفال وابرياء قتلهم القدافي Steve Walt argued in FP
[Gaddafi’s] forces certainly harmed innocents while defeating rebels in urban areas, as U.S. forces have done in Iraq and Afghanistan. And he did threaten "no mercy" in Benghazi, but Gadhafi directed this threat only at rebels to persuade them to flee. Despite ubiquitous cellphone cameras, there are no images of genocidal violence, a claim that smacks of rebel propaganda.
On 15 March 2011, government forces advancing from Brega (which they had captured just a few hours earlier) hit Ajdabiya with a rolling artillery barrage. Air and naval strikes also hit the city. The city had been subjected to airstrikes for the previous three days. Rebels had stated on 13 March, that they would defend the city to the death. However, as soon as the attack started, all of the rebel forces that were not local (from Ajdabiya) were in full retreat, with some of the civilian population, toward Benghazi. Following the artillery strikes, loyalist ground troops attacked. The rebels had expected the loyalists to come in from the west, and they did. However, another separate government force had outflanked the rebels and attacked the city from the south. The loyalists quickly overran the western rebel defences and took the western gate into the city. Also, government soldiers had taken the eastern gate of the city, preventing any more rebels from retreating toward Benghazi. The city was surrounded and the junction at Ajdabiya was under government control, opening the way for them to Benghazi. After the encirclement was complete, government battle tanks went into Ajdabiya all the way to the city center. They encountered the rebel remnants and street fighting ensued. While the fighting was going on in the streets, two old rebel air-attack fighters, sent from Benghazi, attacked the government naval ships that had been pounding the city from the sea. According to independent news sources, only one ship was hit, while the rebels claimed they hit three warships, of which two sank. After a few hours, most of the city was under government control, however, in order to avoid surprise attacks by hidden rebels during the night, the tanks retreated to the outskirts of the city. The rebels thought they had won. However, just before midnight, a new round of artillery fire hit Ajdabiya, coming from the loyalist forces that were all around the town.[11][22][23] On 16 March, fighting continued with neither side having the upper hand in the battle or in full control of the town.[24] Government forces returning from the front said in interviews that rebel resistance was fierce. During the day, a force of rebel reinforcements, coming from Benghazi, came to within a few kilometers from the eastern entrance to the city before they were engaged by loyalist troops. They made a small corridor to link up Benghazi with Ajdabiya, but pro-Gaddafi troops still had a strong presence on the eastern outskirts of the city. Also, rebels had managed to retake the southern entrance to the city, while the western entrance was still under government control. Three rebel helicopters had attacked pro-Gaddafi forces on the highway at the west entrance where they were preparing for a final push into the city with more weapons, ammunition and troop reinforcements coming in from Sirte.[10][25] Just after midnight on 17 March, government troops attacked the southern gate of the city. After three hours of fighting they had retaken it. Later during the morning loyalist forces closed the corridor on the eastern side of the city. With this, the city was once again firmly surrounded. While the fighting was going on in Ajdabiya, more government troops landed from the sea, in an amphibious attack, at the small oil port town of Zuwetina, that is to the north on the road between Ajdabiya and Benghazi. The town fell quickly to loyalist forces.[26] However, rebel leaders claimed that they had surrounded the government landing force and were engaging them.[27] The next day the rebels claimed, several of their fighters, along with a number of civilians, were killed and 20 government soldiers captured in fighting at the port.[28]
Updated 17 Mar 2011, 6:36pm The United Nations Security Council has cleared the way for air strikes to halt Moamar Gaddafi's offensive against embattled rebel forces in Libya, with the first bombing raids possible within hours. It approved a resolution permitting "all necessary measures" to impose a no-fly zone, protect civilian areas and impose a ceasefire on Mr Gaddafi's military. ... The vote comes as Mr Gaddafi told Libyan rebels that his armed forces were coming to their capital Benghazi tonight and would not show any mercy to fighters who resisted them. ... Residents in Benghazi said the Libyan air force had unleashed three air raids on the city of 670,000 and there had been fierce fighting along the Mediterranean coastal road. Mr Gaddafi had warned those who resisted would be shown no mercy. "We will come, zenga, zenga. House by house, room by room," Mr Gaddafi said in a radio address to the eastern city. He warned that only those who lay down their arms would be spared vengeance to be exacted on "rats and dogs".
“We are coming tonight,” Colonel Qaddafi said. “You will come out from inside. Prepare yourselves from tonight. We will find you in your closets.” Speaking on a call-in radio show, he promised amnesty for those “who throw their weapons away” but “no mercy or compassion” for those who fight.
17 March 2011 Saif el-Islam Qaddafi in interview with French TV: “Military operations are over. Within 48 hours everything will be finished. Our forces are almost in Benghazi. Whatever the decision, it will be too late.” 27 March 2011, Human Rights Watch’s Tom Malinowski: Washington director of Human Rights Watch.
[W]e should acknowledge what could be happening in eastern Libya right now had Qaddafi’s forces continued their march. The dozens of burned out tanks, rocket launchers, and missiles bombed at the eleventh hour on the road to Benghazi would have devastated the rebel stronghold if Qaddafi’s forces had been able to unleash them indiscriminately, as they did in other, smaller rebel-held towns, like Zawiyah, Misrata, and Adjabiya. Qaddafi’s long track-record of arresting, torturing, disappearing, and killing his political opponents to maintain control suggests that had he recaptured the east, a similar fate would have awaited those who supported the opposition there. Over a hundred thousand Libyans already fled to Egypt fearing Qaddafi’s assault; hundreds of thousands more could have followed if the east had fallen. The remaining population, and those living in refugee camps abroad, would have felt betrayed by the West, which groups like Al Qaeda would undoubtedly have tried to exploit.
Libya: Cluster Munitions Strike Misrata   4/15/11 Human Rights Watch Witnesses Attack Into Residential Area (New York) - Government forces loyal to the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, have fired cluster munitions into residential areas in the western city of Misrata, posing a grave risk to civilians, Human Rights Watch said today.
I point out that the UN, the ICC, HRW as well as numerous eye witnesses and reporters say that cluster munitions have been used on the civilian population of Misrata. YT:Gaddafi's War Crimes in Ajdabiya, Libya. March 26, 2011. YT:Brave Libyans Face Gaddafi's Tank in Benghazi, Mar. 19, 2011. بنغازي YT:Gaddafi's Forces Advance to Benghazi Before They Got Bombed, Mar. 19, 2011. Uploaded on Mar 24, 2011 This video was taken as Gaddafi's forces were advancing to take the city of Benghazi (Libya) on March 19, 2011. The convoy is shown in the area between Gmenis and Tika. The video was confiscated from a captured soldier who was with Gaddafi's military convoy. Later that evening, the French air force bombed Gaddafi's troops and saved the city from a total annihilation. YT:Gaddafi's Military Convoy After the French Attack Near Benghazi (Libya), March 20, 2011 YT:Precision Bombing by French Air Force of Gaddafi's Military Convoy, Gymenis (Libya), Mar. 19, 2011. "UN clears way for Libyan no-fly zone". 18 Mar 2011. "Nato takes control of enforcing Libya no-fly zone". 25 March 2011
YT:More Than 200 Executed by Gaddafi Mercenaries in Tripoli (Libya) Aug. 21, 2011 طرابلس YT:Gaddafi's Mass Grave: 700 Dead Bodies Found in Gargerish, Tripoli, Oct. 5, 2011. طرابلس YT:A Libyan Freedom Fighter Burned Alive for Not Saying Gaddafi is King of Kings (June 2011)
This is from Democracy Now on Tuesday:
AARON MATÉ: You spoke before about how the U.S. invasion set off the Sunni-Shia conflict in Iraq, and out of that came ISIS. I wonder if you see a parallel in Libya, where the U.S. and NATO had a mandate to stop a potential massacre in Benghazi, but then went much further than a no-fly zone and helped topple Gaddafi. And now, four years later, we have ISIS in Libya, and they’re beheading Coptic Christians, Egypt now bombing. And with the U.S. debating this expansive war measure, Libya could be next on the U.S. target list. NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, that’s a very important analogy. What happened is, as you say, there was a claim that there might be a massacre in Benghazi, and in response to that, there was a U.N. resolution, which had several elements. One, a call for a ceasefire and negotiations, which apparently Gaddafi accepted. Another was a no-fly zone, OK, to stop attacks on Benghazi. The three traditional imperial powers—Britain, France and the United States—immediately violated the resolution. No diplomacy, no ceasefire. They immediately became the air force of the rebel forces. And, in fact, the war itself had plenty of brutality—violent militias, attacks on Africans living in Libya, all sorts of things. The end result is just to tear Libya to shreds. By now, it’s torn between two major warring militias, many other small ones. It’s gotten to the point where they can’t even export their main export, oil. It’s just a disaster, total disaster. That’s what happens when you strike vulnerable systems, as I said, with a sledgehammer. All kind of horrible things can happen.
YT:Gaddafi's Ukrainian Snipers Caught in Abu-Salim Neighbourhood (Tripoli, Libya), Aug. 25, 2011 YT:Mercenaries from Chad, Niger, Mali, and Sudan Captured in Zliten, Libya, Aug. 9, 2011 YT:Gaddafi's African Mercenaries from Chad & Mali, (Nafusa Mountain, Libya), July 2011 YT:Mass Grave: Gaddafi Hides Bodies From His War Crimes, Joudayam (Libya) May 10, 2011 الزاوية YT:Some Civilians Bombed By Gaddafi's Forces in Misurata (Libya), May 1, 2011. مصراته YT:Gaddafi & Sons' Forces Massacre in Jalu, Libya on April 30, 2011. جالو YT:Gaddafi's Forces Use Banned Cluster Bombs in Misurata, Libya (Apr. 16, 2011) مصراتة YT:Libyan Soldiers Loyal to Citizens Burnt by Gaddafi in February, 2011. Uploaded on Feb 21, 2011 Tyrant Gaddafi burnt soldiers in Benghazi, Libya who refused his orders to attack innocent citizens in Libya. About 60 were burnt with a military flame blower. The hysterical crying of men can be heard. After Gaddafi's forces shelled and bombed the city of Ajdabiya killing hundreds and as he approached Benghazi with the stated intention to doing the same to this city of over a million, The rebels want NATO's help in building a free and independent Libya whereas NATO wants another North African regime that is in their pocket. Most likely this explains why they have been slow to respond to Gaddafi's merciless shelling of Misrata. They have been attacks on rebel forces or the shooting down by NATO of one of the few ancient MIGs the rebels have managed to make airworthy. Difference on just how to play the rebels was no doubt also behind the differences among NATO allies that came out at today's Doha conference. 4/13/2011  This was the view expressed at the conference by Qatar's Sheik Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani when he said "And what are the rebels except civilians who have taken up arms to defend themselves in a difficult situation and an uneven battle?"  Earlier this week an African Union delegation of five, led by South Africa's president Jacob Zuma, attempted to broker a ceasefire and a peace deal. Their 'road map' received Gaddafi's blessing because it allowed him to stay in power however it was nixed by the rebels for the same reason. Most in the opposition now see Gaddafi as a bad faith actor who can only be trusted to bring down a reign of terror on any opposition if he is allowed to remain in power and gain the upper hand. Even while he said that he was accepting the African Union peace plan, he continued his artillery and rocket attacks against Misrata on Monday, a city he has had under siege for six weeks "where conditions for civilians are said to be desperate."  
Air strikes have been reported from the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, and fierce clashes elsewhere, as forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi continued their offensive against opposition forces. In a radio address on Thursday, Gaddafi called pro-democracy fighters in Benghazi "armed gangsters" and urged residents to attack them. "You all go out and cleanse the city of Benghazi," he said. "We will track them down, and search for them, alley by alley, road by road ... Massive waves of people will be crawling out to rescue the people of Benghazi, who are calling out for help, asking us to rescue them. We should come to their rescue." President Barack Obama said from Brazil, where he is starting a five-day visit to Latin America. "We cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people there will be no mercy." 
Earlier Saturday in Libya, Gadhafi's troops pushed into the outskirts of Benghazi after a unilateral cease-fire declared by his government failed to materialize, prompting western leaders meeting in Paris to announce the start of military intervention.