World class ‘hypocrisy’ in Libyan attacks (FCN, 03-22-2011)
Video: Farrakhan warns, advises Obama on Libya (FCN, 03-10-2011)
(FinalCall.com) – On Saturday, March 19, the U.S. launched air strikes against “military targets” in the North African country of Libya, sending more than 120 tomahawk cruise missiles from U.S. ships and U.S. and British submarines.
France, a partner in this “coalition of the willing,” had sent fighter jets to do damage to Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi’s military vehicles entering or retreating from the rebel stronghold of Benghazi. Before the invasion began Col. Gadhafi’s representative at the UN had announced a ceasefire from the Libyan leader, who also called for international monitors to make sure both sides complied.
But international and domestic politics appeared at work: With French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s lagging popularity for next year’s election, Mr. Sarkozy was in “desperate need of a boost to his political stature,” according to the L.A. Times.
Mr. Sarkozy took the reins of the Libyan crisis to summon world leaders to an emergency war council at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris. Not wasting any time, after the 20 guests reached an agreement on military action, he announced French planes were in the air in preparation to strike Libyan targets.
Coalition forces in the invasion are being overseen by AFRICOM. The multinational coalition, as stated on the AFRICOM website, is “part of Operation Odyssey Dawn, which is the name for U.S. Africa Command’s military planning and operations related to the crisis in Libya.”
With reports of the Arab League’s call for a no-fly zone over Libya, little mention is made in the Western press that Syria and Algeria opposed a no-fly zone. Noted one news account, “the states in support of the resolution–Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Oman, and Yemen–are hardly paragons of democracy.”
Also initially different from the western media discussion was the real aim of UN Security Council Resolution 1973, which only “authorizes all necessary measures to protect civilians in Libya from attacks” by Col Gadhafi.
In actuality “the resolution as currently drafted authorizes a war across the board against Libya–air strikes, naval blockade, even a land invasion,” said Francis Boyle, a professor of international law at the College of Law in Champaign, Ill., appearing on the Canada’s online Real News Network.
According to Prof. Boyle occupation of Libya is inevitable. “The only exception in there is against a foreign military occupation force,” he told the Real News Network. “But under the laws of war, there is a distinction between a land invasion and an occupation force. For example when the United States invaded Haiti in 1994 and put 24,000 troops in there, it still took the position under the Clinton administration that we were not a foreign military occupation force. So this was very carefully drafted to permit troops on the ground,” he explained.
This is also a double standard. Many pundits on Sunday morning news shows agreed attacking Libya to protect “civilians” when Yemen and Bahrain were attacking and killing unarmed civilians “appeared” to be a double standard.
Not only is this a double standard, but it also shows the hypocrisy of Western foreign policy. The U.S. and its allies turned a blind eye to Bahrain and Yemen’s killing of unarmed civilians and allowed Bahrain to bring in Saudi Arabian troops to control demonstrators.
Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) got it right. On Sunday, March 20, he warned the U.S. is going down a treacherous slippery slope of international diplomacy by getting involved in Libya.
“It doesn’t make sense,” he said, for the U.S. to help Libyan civilians when the citizens of countries like Bahrain and Yemen are also oppressed.
“We had better get this straight from the beginning,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” “or there’s going to be a situation where war lingers on, country after country, situation after situation, all of them on a humane basis, saving people.”
Others have pointed to America’s history of double standards and allowing countries like Israel to literally get away with murder. To get a look-see at how the U.S. wields its diplomatic axe, we revisit the massacre that took place in 2008-2009 in the Palestinian town of Gaza. Israel’s siege on the Palestinian city of Gaza ended in the massacre of nearly 1,400 unarmed, men, women and children by the Israeli Defense Force.
Unless you are the U.S., there is a difference between establishing war crimes have been committed and holding those responsible to account, said the executive director of the International Bar Association Mark S. Ellis during a 2009 interview with Al Jazeera.
Even if the majority of UN General Assembly member nations were expected to vote in favor of a resolution, only the weight of the Security Council counts. And even if the resolution received a majority vote, like the recent unanimous vote against continued building of settlements on Palestinian land, the Obama administration used U.S. veto power to kill the resolution–thus neutralizing the majority vote.
The Goldstone Report, which called for a war crimes investigation of Israel, never got to first base. According to Al Jazeera reporter Kristen Saloomey, “Remember–the key recommendation of Goldstone is to get a credible investigation into the alleged war crimes that the Goldstone commission found evidence of in Gaza, and the UN Security Council is the only body that can move forward and demand an investigation.”
The U.S. with its permanent member and veto status is how it conducts much of its foreign policy, much of which, is in defense of Israel. According to Prof. Boyle, “This (resolution) was very carefully drafted to permit a land attack if necessary. We know that British Special Forces have been in Libya for quite some time. So my guess is they have prepared for a land attack if and when that decision is made. Personally, I think that has been underway by the United States, Britain, and France for quite some time … .”
(Jehron Muhammad can be reached at Afric[email protected].)