Freedom or racism and war in Libya

Nato-backed rebels struggled to assert control over oil-rich Libya today as government forces fought desperately to prevent the implementation of their regime-changing agenda: here.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV, the text with another video:

17.25 : Images of killed pro Gaddafi fighters

Not only have the soldiers of Gaddafi indulged in atrocities, the rebels are guilty of human rights violations as well. On a military base in the center of Tripoli thirty dead bodies were found of men who presumably fought for Gaddafi. At least two of them were executed, as evidenced by the fact that their hands were tied on their backs. The images are shocking.

The Dutch NOS TV news of 6pm identified the dead bodies as Black Africans.

From the (Conservative) Daily Telegraph in Britain:

16.59 Stuart Ramsay, the Sky correspondent on the edge of the battle for Abu Salim, central Tripoli, reports seeing the bodies of five black Africans, hands tied, who may have been executed.

Rebels find album of Condoleeza Rice’s photos in Gadhafi compound: here.

After being terrorized for five months by NATO bombs and missiles, the people of Tripoli are now facing sudden death and a looming humanitarian catastrophe as a result of the NATO campaign to “protect civilians”: here.

Guardian: British and French ground forces help rebels prepare Sirte attack: here.

MORE than 140 eminent African leaders will sign an open letter in Rosebank, Johannesburg today to express their concerns over the all-out war raging in Libya in a bid to oust Colonel Muammar Gaddafi: here.

4 thoughts on “Freedom or racism and war in Libya


    NATO nations set to reap spoils of Libya war

    As rebels take Tripoli, foreign powers are eyeing the prize of Libya’s high quality crude oil.

    Rachel Shabi Last Modified: 25 Aug 2011 17:20

    – – – – – – – –
    “It does the flow of Arab uprisings a disservice to now glorify NATO’s mission. A liberal intervention for humanitarian ends may be the comfortable hook; but securing assets and resources, as usual, is the real goal. ”
    – – – – – – – –

    France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy, like his counterparts in the UK, Italy, the US and other countries, is keen to garner oil contracts once a new government emerges in Libya [Reuters]

    It looks like the more telling news on Libya has migrated to the business pages. With jubilant reporting of Gaddafi’s imminent downfall seizing headlines, it’s the financial pages that have the clinical analysis. So, for instance, it is in this section that the Independent reports a “dash for profit in the post-war Libya carve up”.

    Similarly, Reuters, under the headline, “Investors eye promise, pitfalls in post-Gaddafi Libya” noted that a new government in that country could “herald a bonanza for Western companies and investors”.

    Before Tripoli has completely fallen, before Gaddafi and his supporters have stepped down and before the blood dries on the bodies that have yet to be counted, Western powers are already eyeing up what they view us just rewards for the intervention.

    There are no more illusions over how far NATO forces exceeded the UN security resolution that mandated its campaign. For months, NATO officials insisted it was operating within brief – an air campaign, designed to protect civilians under threat of attack. But now it is described as an “open secret” that NATO countries were operating undercover, on the ground.

    Add to that the reluctance to broker a negotiated exit, the practice of advising, arming and training the rebels, and the spearheading of an escalation in violence and it looks like NATO’s job morphed from protecting civilians to regime change.

    Oil for regime change

    And there’s a reason for this sudden rush of honesty over its involvement. As alluded to by the Economist, each country’s contribution to the NATO effort in Libya is expected to have some impact on how much of the spoils it gets in the looming post-war period.

    The French Le Figaro newspaper is keen to talk up Libya as “Sarkozy’s war”, while the British Telegraph drops references to the involvement of British military and intelligence officers, including MI6 and the RAF.

    Aiding the Libyan rebel forces of the National Transitional Council has created a debt of gratitude. In the context of responsibility for what happens next in Libya, an anonymous British official told the Economist that NATO’s involvement in the Libyan uprising means that: “Now we own it.”

    As Reuters reports, “Western companies look well positioned as billions of dollars in oil exploration and construction contracts come up for grabs as part of the reconstruction effort.”

    Leaving aside the massive profits from the rebuilding that Libya is now going to need, there are vast oil spoils to distribute. The Libyan oil industry produced 1.6 million barrels a day prior to the war. The country is thought to have 46 billion barrels of reserves – the largest in Africa.

    Winners and losers

    And this is what the information manager at the rebel-controlled Arabian Gulf Oil Company, Libya’s largest oil producer, had to say about who it now intends to trade with: “We don’t have a problem with Western countries like the Italians, French and UK companies. But we may have some political issues with Russia, China and Brazil.” Those last three countries weren’t involved in the NATO mission in Libya.

    None of that is to bemoan the downfall of a terrifying dictator who has kept Libyans crushed and brutalised for decades. Gaddafi’s demise is welcome; the courage of Libyans who fought his regime is staggering and only a stone would fail to be moved by their celebration of freedom now.

    But it does not negate those factors to point out that NATO countries have not previously seemed bothered by the bloodiness of this dictator’s 42-year-rule – or that the striking feature of the West’s relationship to the Middle East has been its cynical alliances with repressive rulers, propped up to shut down their populations while opening up resources to foreign access.

    It is exactly this track record – of being a corrosive influence and a self-interested broker – that has made Middle Eastern countries wary of any Western intervention in the tide of revolutions now sweeping the region. Libyan rebels asked for help, but were wary of what was viewed as a necessary alliance with Western forces. It does the flow of Arab uprisings a disservice to now glorify NATO’s mission. A liberal intervention for humanitarian ends may be the comfortable hook; but securing assets and resources, as usual, is the real goal.

    Follow Rachel Shabi on Twitter at: @rachshabi

    Rachel Shabi is a British journalist specialising in the Middle East and the author of the award-winning book, Not the Enemy – Israel’s Jews from Arab Lands.

    Her reports from Jerusalem were shortlisted for this year’s Orwell prize for political journalism.

    The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.


  2. Aug 26, 4:00 AM EDT

    In empty Tripoli hospital, piles of dead bodies

    Associated Press

    TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Dozens of bodies lie in an abandoned Tripoli hospital in a neighborhood of the Libyan capital that has seen some of the heaviest clashes this week between rebels and Moammar Gadhafi’s loyalists.

    The four-story hospital in the Abu Salim neighborhood was completely empty Friday morning. Shattered glass is scattered over the floors, dark with dried blood stains and with medical equipment strewn about.

    In the hospital yard next to the parking lot is a pile of 20 decomposing bodies, all of them darker skinned than most Libyans, covered with blankets. Gadhafi had recruited fighters from sub-Saharan Africa.

    In one hospital room are 21 bodies, piled onto gurneys. Another body lies on the driveway outside, a white sheet over it. The identities of the deceased are not known.

    © 2011 The Associated Press.


  3. Aug 25, 3:06 PM EDT

    Bodies raise specter of mass killings in Tripoli

    Associated Press

    TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — The bodies are scattered around a grassy square next to Moammar Gadhafi’s compound of Bab al-Aziziya. Prone on grassy lots as if napping, sprawled in tents. Some have had their wrists bound by plastic ties.

    The identities of the dead are unclear but they are in all likelihood activists that set up an impromptu tent city in solidarity with Gadhafi outside his compound in defiance of the NATO bombing campaign.

    It is impossible to know who killed them, but the discoveries raise the disturbing specter of mass killings of noncombatants, detainees and the wounded.

    Between Bab al-Aziziya, seized by rebels on Tuesday, and the Gadhafi stronghold neighborhood of Abu Salim, where fighting raged Thursday, AP reporters saw about two dozen bodies Thursday. Five or six were in a tents erected on a traffic circle that housed the activists and were decorated with the flags of many African nations.

    One had an IV in his arm, and another body was completely charred, its legs missing.

    At least a dozen other bodies were found in a grassy area and a canal nearby. Several of the dead had been shot in the head, with their hands tied behind their backs. A body in a doctor’s green hospital gown was found in the canal. The bodies were bloated.

    One of the dead had a strip of cloth in bright green, the national color of Gadhafi’s Libya, tied around his wrist. The man was darker skinned than most Libyans. Gadhafi had recruited fighters from sub-Saharan Africa.

    According to the rebel Military Council of Misrata, a western port city, prisoners held by Gadhafi forces at Metiga air base in Tripoli were locked up and had grenades thrown into their cells. The council said rebels have so far retrieved 13 badly burned bodies.

    Gadhafi’s regime held thousands of political prisoners.

    © 2011 The Associated Press


  4. Pingback: Anti-democratic hypocrisy in Qatar and the USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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