Britain escalates Libya war

This video is called 600 Libyans – Dead? – NATO IGNORED “SOS” MESSAGE.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Cameron escalates Libya war

Friday 27 May 2011

by Paddy McGuffin, Home Affairs Reporter

Prime Minister David Cameron gave final approval today for the deployment of four Apache attack helicopters to the war in Libya.

The introduction of the helicopters, which are used for close-range urban warfare, are the starkest indication yet that a full-on ground force invasion is planned.

There had been speculation about the decision since Monday after France said it would be deploying French Tiger helicopters and that Britain would be sending Apaches.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “Ministers have given clearance in principle for the deployment of attack helicopters in Libya. It is a matter now for military commanders to make decisions on deployment.”

UN security council resolution 1973 authorised air strikes to protect civilians from attacks by forces loyal to Muammar Gadaffi.

The UN vote followed the violent suppression of protests against Col Gadaffi’s regime and military strikes against his forces began on March 19.

The resolution does not allow for regime change, however, which is illegal under international law.

Nato has publicly denied targeting Col Gadaffi, but at least one strike has been launched on a building where he was thought to be present.

The language employed by both Mr Cameron and US President Barack Obama this week left little doubt that overthrowing Col Gadaffi was a key objective.

Anti-war campaigners denounced the deployment of Apache attack helicopters and said that it exposed the lie that the Nato assault is a humanitarian mission.

Stop the War Coalition convener Lindsey Germans said it “goes well beyond both the letter and spirit of the UN resolution and is an obvious precursor to troops being deployed on the ground.

The claims that this is a humanitarian intervention are looking more and more hollow while Nato forces are bombing Tripoli every night. This is now clearly about regime change.

“The role of Apache helicopters is that they are urban warfare helicopters and there will be fighting on the ground, it won’t be a limited role. It is time for us to renew our calls to end this intervention and get what troops are currently there out.”

The deployment was discussed at a meeting of the national security council at Downing Street on Thursday.

Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy said that it marked a serious intensification of Britain’s military commitment in Libya.

“It’s a totally different order from those in fixed-wing aeroplanes, thousands of feet up in the air. These are close combat, fast attack helicopters, vulnerable to ground attack,” he said.

“So the government’s got to reassure itself and reassure the public about the safety and the risk to our pilots. And in doing that it also has to be clearer about what the exit strategy is, what the end game in Libya is and what’s the politics that goes alongside the military effort.”

In Libya, Britain has slid into every interventionist fallacy. As the RAF roams Tripoli seeking Gaddafi homes to attack, the pretence of protecting civilians is exposed each night: here.

Nato pledged to extend its war on Libya by 90 days today, after weeks of bombing have failed to force regime change in the country: here.

USA: Robert Naiman, Truthout: “Voting on amendments to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, the House of Representatives took action to hasten the end of the wars in Afghanistan and Libya. By a 204-215 vote roll call – six switchers would have passed the amendment – the House narrowly failed to adopt a bipartisan amendment from Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts) and Justin Amash (R-Michigan) that would have required the Department of Defense (DoD) to develop a plan for an, ‘accelerated transition of military operations to Afghan authorities.’ By the spectacular vote of 416-5, the House adopted an amendment initiated by Michigan Rep. John Conyers prohibiting the introduction into Libya of US ground troops (that is, uniformed forces, not Special Forces or CIA agents that are already there)”: here.

Al-Jazeera footage captures ‘western troops on the ground’ in Libya: here.

Some of the world’s most sophisticated banks and investment firms rushed to do business with Moammar Gaddafi’s government in Libya after the United States rescinded the country’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism five years ago, according to an internal financial document obtained by The Washington Post: here.

USA: Congressman Kucinich continues to raise the issue of Libya, how Obama Admin is waging war without a declaration: here.

NATO extends authorisation for Libya bombardment to September: here.

6 thoughts on “Britain escalates Libya war

  1. Former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney Returns to Libya with DIGNITY Fact Finding Delegation of independent journalists.

    NATO has announced it will continue the criminal bombing of Libya for another 90 days. The U.S. Congress has postponed any vote on President Obama’s obvious violation of the War Powers Act. In the face of this, Cynthia McKinney has returned to Libya with a fact finding delegation to meet with Libyans under attack by NATO’s bombs. She plans to bring back to the U.S. documented evidence of NATO war crimes.

    NATO bombs have continually targeted Gadhafi and have killed his son and three of his grandchildren. NATO targeted the guest house where a large religious peace delegation of 150 Imams gathered to attempt to meet with opposition leaders to urge a peaceful solution; NATO’s bombs killed 11 imams and wounded another 47. These attacks have destroyed schools, hospitals and essential civilian infrastructure.

    Please sign the petition to demand Congress use the War Powers Act to order an end to the criminal bombing of Libya. We cannot allow Congress to put this third U.S. war with large civilian casualties on the back burner.

    Tell Congress: Use War Powers Act to stop bombing Libya! End NATO massacres of imams and other civilians!

    SIGN online petition at to send messages to House and Senate Foreign Relations Committees, congressional leaders, the Obama administration, the U.N. Secretary-General, Security Council, General Assembly President and member states, and the national and international media
    SIGN the online petition at

    Read Cynthia McKinney’s reports below of her visit to Libya last week.

    The International Action Center will send out new reports from the DIGNITY delegation of independent journalists in Libya now as Cynthia McKinney and others send them in.

    To counteract media censorship about NATO’s targets, we must all become the alternative media. Please help to circulate these reports.

    From: Cynthia McKinney

    NATO: A Feast of Blood
    24 May 2011

    While serving on the House International Relations Committee from 1993 to 2003, it became clear to me that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was an anachronism. Founded in 1945 at the end of World War II, NATO was founded by the United States in response to the Soviet Union’s survival as a Communist state. NATO was the U.S. insurance policy that capitalist ownership and domination of European, Asian, and African economies would continue. This also would ensure the survival of the then-extant global apartheid.

    NATO is a collective security pact wherein member states pledge that an attack upon one is an attack against all. Therefore, should the Soviet Union have attacked any European Member State, the United States military shield would be activated. The Soviet Response was the Warsaw Pact that maintained a “cordon sanitaire” around the Russian Heartland should NATO ever attack. Thus, the world was broken into blocs which gave rise to the “Cold War.”

    Avowed “Cold Warriors” of today still view the world in these terms and, unfortunately, cannot move past Communist China and an amputated Soviet Empire as enemy states of the U.S. whose moves anywhere on the planet are to be contested. The collapse of the Soviet Union provided an accelerated opportunity to exert U.S. hegemony in an area of previous Russian influence. Africa and the Eurasian landmass containing former Soviet satellite states and Afghanistan and Pakistan along with the many other “stans” of the region, have always factored prominently in the theories of “containment” or “rollback” guiding U.S. policy up to today.

    With that as background, last night’s NATO rocket attack on Tripoli is inexplicable. A civilian metropolitan area of around 2 million people, Tripoli sustained 22 to 25 bombings last night, rattling and breaking windows and glass and shaking the foundation of my hotel.

    I left my room at the Rexis Al Nasr Hotel and walked outside the hotel and I could smell the exploded bombs. There were local people everywhere milling with foreign journalists from around the world. As we stood there more bombs struck around the city. The sky flashed red with explosions and more rockets from NATO jets cut through low cloud before exploding.

    I could taste the thick dust stirred up by the exploded bombs. I immediately thought about the depleted uranium munitions reportedly being used here–along with white phosphorus. If depleted uranium weapons were being used what affect on the local civilians?

    Women carrying young children ran out of the hotel. Others ran to wash the dust from their eyes. With sirens blaring, emergency vehicles made their way to the scene of the attack. Car alarms, set off by the repeated blasts, could be heard underneath the defiant chants of the people.

    Sporadic gunfire broke out and it seemed everywhere around me. Euronews showed video of nurses and doctors chanting even at the hospitals as they treated those injured from NATO’s latest installation of shock and awe. Suddenly, the streets around my hotel became full of chanting people, car horns blowing, I could not tell how many were walking, how many were driving. Inside the hotel, one Libyan woman carrying a baby came to me and asked me why are they doing this to us?

    Whatever the military objectives of the attack (and I and many others question the military value of these attacks) the fact remains the air attack was launched a major city packed with hundreds of thousands of civilians.

    I did wonder too if the any of the politicians who had authorized this air attack had themselves ever been on the receiving end of laser guided depleted uranium munitions. Had they ever seen the awful damage that these weapons do a city and its population? Perhaps if they actually been in the city of air attack and felt the concussion from these bombs and saw the mayhem caused they just might not be so inclined to authorize an attack on a civilian population.

    I am confident that NATO would not have been so reckless with human life if they had called on to attack a major western city. Indeed, I am confident that would not be called upon ever to attack a western city. NATO only attacks (as does the US and its allies) the poor and underprivileged of the 3rd world.

    Only the day before, at a women’s event in Tripoli, one woman came up to me with tears in her eyes: her mother is in Benghazi and she can’t get back to see if her mother is OK or not. People from the east and west of the country lived with each other, loved each other, intermarried, and now, because of NATO’s “humanitarian intervention,” artificial divisions are becoming hardened. NATO’s recruitment of allies in eastern Libya smacks of the same strain of cold warriorism that sought to assassinate Fidel Castro and overthrow the Cuban Revolution with “homegrown” Cubans willing to commit acts of terror against their former home country. More recently, Democratic Republic of Congo has been amputated de facto after Laurent Kabila refused a request from the Clinton Administration to formally shave off the eastern part of his country. Laurent Kabila personally recounted the meeting at which this request and refusal were delivere d. This plan to balkanize and amputate an African country (as has been done in Sudan) did not work because Kabila said “no” while Congolese around the world organized to protect the “territorial integrity” of their country.

    I was horrified to learn that NATO allies (the Rebels) in Libya have reportedly lynched and then butchered their darker-skinned compatriots after U.S. press reports labeled Black Libyans as “Black mercenaries.” Now, tell me this, pray tell. How are you going to take Blacks out of Africa? Press reports have suggested that Americans were “surprised” to see dark-skinned people in Africa. Now, what does that tell us about them?

    The sad fact, however, is that it is the Libyans themselves, who have been insulted, terrorized, lynched, and murdered as a result of the press reports that hyper-sensationalized this base ignorance. Who will be held accountable for the lives lost in the bloodletting frenzy unleashed as a result of these lies?

    Which brings me back to the lady’s question: why is this happening? Honestly, I could not give her the educated reasoned response that she was looking for. In my view the international public is struggling to answer “Why?”.

    What we do know, and what is quite clear, is this: what I experienced last night is no “humanitarian intervention.”

    Many suspect it is about all the oil under Libya. Call me skeptical but I have to wonder why the combined armed sea, land and air forces of NATO and the US costing billions of dollars are being arraigned against a relatively small North African country and we’re expected to believe its in the defense of democracy.

    What I have seen in long lines to get fuel is not “humanitarian intervention.” Refusal to allow purchases of medicine for the hospitals is not “humanitarian intervention.” What is most sad is that I cannot give a cogent explanation of why to people now terrified by NATO’s bombs, but it is transparently clear now that NATO has exceeded its mandate, lied about its intentions, is guilty of extra-judicial killings–all in the name of “humanitarian intervention.” Where is the Congress as the President exceeds his war-making authority? Where is the “Conscience of the Congress?”

    For those of who disagree with Dick Cheney’s warning to us to prepare for war for the next generation, please support any one who will stop this madness. Please organize and then vote for peace. People around the world need us to stand up and speak out for ourselves and them because Iran and Venezuela are also in the cross-hairs. Libyans don’t need NATO helicopter gunships, smart bombs, cruise missiles, and depleted uranium to settle their differences. NATO’s “humanitarian intervention” needs to be exposed for what it is with the bright, shining light of the truth.

    As dusk descends on Tripoli, let me prepare myself with the local civilian population for some more NATO humanitarianism.

    Stop bombing Africa and the poor of the world!

    – – = = – – = = – – = = – – = = – – = = – –

    From Cynthia McKinney
    Anatomy of a Murder: How NATO Killed Gadhafi Family Members
    28 May 2011

    How many times must a parent bury a child?

    Well, in the case of Muammar Gadhafi it’s not only twice: once for his daughter, murdered by the United States bombing on his home in 1986, and again on 30 April 2011 when his youngest son, Saif al Arab, but yet again for three young children, grandbabies of Muammar Gadhafi killed along with Saif at the family home.

    Now, I watched Cindy Sheehan as she bared her soul before us in her grief; I cried when Cindy cried. Now, how must Gadhafi and his wife feel? And the people of Libya, parents of all the nation’s children gone too soon. I don’t even want to imagine.

    All my mother could say in astonishment was, “They killed the babies, they killed his grandbabies.”

    The news reports, however, didn’t last more than one half of a news cycle because on 1 May, at a hastily assembled press conference, President Obama announced the murder of Osama bin Laden.

    Well, I haven’t forgotten my empathy for Cindy Sheehan; I haven’t forgotten my concern for the children of Iraq that Madeleine Albright said were OK to kill by U.S. sanctions if U.S. geopolitical goals were achieved. I care about the children of Palestine who throw stones at Israeli soldiers and get laser-guided bullets to their brains in return. I care about the people of North Africa and West Asia who are ready to risk their lives for freedom. In fact, I care about all of the children–from Appalachia to the Cancer Alley, from New York City to San Diego, and everywhere in-between.

    On 22 May 2011, I had the opportunity to visit the residence of the Gadhafi family, bombed to smithereens by NATO. For a leader, the house seemed small in comparison, say, to the former Clinton family home in Chappaqua or the Obama family home. It was a small whitewashed suburban type house in a typical residential area in metropolitan Tripoli. It was surrounded by dozens of other family homes.

    I spoke with a neighbor who described how three separate smart bombs hit the home and exploded, another one not exploding. According to the BBC, the NATO military operations chief stated that a “command and control center” had been hit. That is a lie. As anyone who visits the home can see, this home had nothing to do with NATO’s war. The strike against this home had everything to do with NATO adopting a policy of targeted assassination and extra-judicial killing–clearly illegal.

    The neighbor said he found Saif Al-Arab in his bedroom underneath rubble; the three young grandchildren were in a different room and they were shredded to pieces. He told of how he picked up as many pieces as he possibly could. He told us that there are still pieces there that he could not get. He asked us to note the smell–not the putrid smell of rotting flesh, but a sweet smell. I did smell it and thought there was an air freshener nearby. It smelled to me of roses. He asked me why this was done and who was going to hold NATO accountable.

    Muammar Gadhafi was at the house. But he was outside near where the animals are kept. It is a miracle that he survived. From the looks of that house and the small guest house beside it, the strike was a complete success if the goal was to totally and thoroughly demolish the structure and everything inside it.

    NATO wants us to believe that toys, items and clothing, an opened Holy Koran, and a soccer board game are the appointments found in military command and control offices. I wonder if we could find such articles in NATO’s office in Brussels.

    The opened Holy Koran seemed to be frozen in time. In fact, there was a clock dangling from its cord–dangling in space. And indeed, for the four young people in that house at the time of NATO’s attack, time had stopped.

    The concussion fron the bombs were so great that eery tile on the walls and floors of the home had been knocked from the walls. Black burn marks scorched the walls. The force broke a marble or granite countertop. The bathtub was literally split into two parts. Shards of the bomb were everywhere. I wondered if the place was now contaminated with depleted uranium.

    The Gadhafi home is a crime scene–a murder scene. The United States prisons are full of men and women who are innocent–even on death row. I wonder where the guilty who are never prosecuted go.

    Now, if the International Court of Justice were really a repository of justice, it would be investigating this crime. Instead, it is looking for yet another African to prosecute. We in the United States are familiar with this: on our local news every night, we are saturated with photos of Black and Brown criminals with the implication being that White people don’t commit crime. The moment the face of someone arrested is not shown, then we know that the culprit is White. It’s the unwritten code that we people of color all live by wherever in the world we might happen to be. Global apartheid is alive and well and exists on many levels.

    I left the house sick in my heart. As I was about to depart, the neighbor begged me, asked me over and over again, why had this happened? What had they done to deserve this? He seemed to not want me to leave. Honestly, I think I was his little piece of America, his little piece of President Obama and I could help him to understand why this course of action was necessary from my President’s point of view. He said NATO should just leave them alone and let them sort out their problems on their own.

    I did leave his presence, but that man’s face will never leave me.

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. warned, “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”

    In response to my previous article, “NATO, A Feast of Blood,” I received the following quite about Buddha from Shiva Shankar who excerpted Walpola Rahula’s “What The Buddha Taught:”

    “… The Buddha not only taught non-violence and peace, but he even went to the field of battle itself and intervened personally, and prevented war, as in the case of the dispute between the Sakyas and the Koliyas, who were prepared to fight over the question of the waters of the Rohini. And his words once prevented King Ajatasattu from attacking the kingdom of the Vajjis. …

    … Here is a lesson for the world today. The ruler of an empire publicly turning his back on war and violence and embraced the message of peace and non-violence. There is no historical evidence to show that any neighbouring king took advantage of Asoka’s piety to attack him militarily, or that there was any revolt or rebellion within his empire during his lifetime. On the contrary there was peace throughout the land, and even countries outside his empire seem to have accepted his benign leadership. …”

    Please don’t allow special interest press and war mongering gatekeepers of the left to blot out the tragedy unfolding in Libya. Please don’t allow them to take away our chance to live in peace throughout our land and with countries inside and outside our hemisphere.

    Congress should vote to end NATO’s action in Libya and barring that should assert its Constitutional prerogatives and require the President to come to it for authorization of this war. And then, Congress should heed the wisdom of the people of our country who are against this war and vote for peace.

    SIGN the online petition at


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