Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for October, 2011

Grotesque and hypocrite the new Libyan Government statement on the persecution of the alleged killers of Gaddafi. Stating that these could not have been regular opposition groups and that the new government knows the rules of war… and taking prisoners.

“With regards to Qaddafi, we do not wait for anybody to tell us,” NTC vice chairman Abdel Hafiz Ghoga.

 “We had already launched an investigation. We have issued a code of ethics in handling of prisoners of war. I am sure that was an individual act and not an act of revolutionaries or the national army,” the top interim official said.

 “Whoever is responsible for that (Qaddafi’s killing) will be judged and given a fair trial.”

What a lie, as both NATO and the insurgents – that became the army of the new Libyan government – have thrown tons of munition on any spot they thought Gaddafi would be at a certain moment. A fair trial of Gaddafi has never been on the agenda of neither NATO nor the insurgents, who became the new government. Only the International Criminal Court in The Hague lent itself to suggest that such a trial was a viable option, never protesting in public against the repeated attempted killing of their indicted trial candidates, Gaddafi and his close circle.

Photograph published in The Independent 2011/07/24 with this caption: "Nato planes bomb a Gaddafi compound in Tripoli last month. Air strikes by allied forces have become increasingly ineffective"

NATO and insurgents were out to kill all those months, but failed in spite of all the high tech devices put to the task. Now a few hot heads – which are necessarily part of any insurrectionist forces – finished Gaddafi’s life by hand, and they will be made into culprits, to wash the virtual bloody hands of NATO and the new  government.

Photograph published on the web site of the Daily Mail 2011/10/21 with the following caption: "Celebration: Rebel fighters carry a young man holding what they claim to be the gold-plated gun of Colonel Gaddafi which was taken from him."

It is sad that such distortions of reality  are published in the international press without any direct rebuttal.

Gaddafi should have been put on trial. His murder will hamper any attempt to cleanse Libya of decades of dictatorship.

It is most disturbing to notice that – apparently – distant killing by regular armies using state of the art guided missiles airplanes with remote sensing, and the like, is not conceived as murder and somehow a civil way of getting rid of an adversary, whereas traditional lynching on the spot or firing a gun at a victim at close range is perceived as a barbaric act that can be classified as a crime of war or murder.

—-
Two additional sources that give details on other summary executions of pro-Gaddafi forces  in the same town of Sirte, less in the picture than the person of Gaddafi:
– Media Lens: “Killing Gaddafi” 2011/10/27
– Human Right Watch report on Libya: “Apparent Execution of 53 Gaddafi Supporters” 2011/10/24

Read Full Post »

How anybody can protect civilians by throwing bombs from the air? When we find the sight of the mutilated body of Gaddafi on show in a freezer of a butcher store appalling, what about the multiplication of the principle – now in Libya – on the backstage of global news? Which accounts are settled in the shadow? Who gets hold of whom for what, in a situation without rule of law? What has been the example given by the Alliance forces dropping explosives from the air, not bringing members of the contested regime to justice, but to punish them on the spot by attempted annihilation?

When it is true that a fleeing or escaping convoy of Gaddafi has been attacked by NATO airplanes with their deadly load just outside of Sirte, why to muddle about the subsequent lynching that seems to have taken place? NATO tried to lynch from the air, long distance and  ‘high tech’, opposition forces finished the job by hand on the ground.

Who will hold out her or his phone camera to document the revenge between civilians triggered by such examples, raging now in Libya?

It is sufficient to have read the recent report of Amnesty International “LIBYA: THE BATTLE FOR LIBYA: KILLINGS, DISAPPEARANCES AND TORTURE” published on September 13. 2011, to know that the perpetration of violence was/is not only a monopoly of the Gaddafi regime in Libya, but has entered the veins and bloodstream of this society.

"Muammar Gaddafi's 'trophy' body on show in Misrata meat store Libyans queue to see dictator's body as wounds appear to confirm he was killed in cold blood" (The Guardian October 22, 2011)

These are the days of the ‘little axes’, in so many hands, falling down on so many heads… How dare heads of state – like Sarkozy – speak through broadcasts to the Libyan people, “Its time now for reconciliation” , whereas those that need to be reconciled have been left behind with a collapsed state and hardly any governmental or citizen’s networks to undertake such a huge task of building a civil society and reconcile?

Many millions have been wasted on advanced technological military exercises. Nobody wanted to invest in diplomatic and civil campaigns to bring about regime change.

The nazi regime lasted a mere twelve years and ‘de-nazification’ several decades. We Europeans have not been able to stop the wild enforced regime change by an outsider high technology military force. NATO has been send in, paid by our tax money. What has been sold to us by Aljazeera and the like as a ‘people’s revolution’ may in the end well have mutated into a ‘coup d’état’ where the top have been toppled, but the echelons just below it remain in control.

Who then will be responsible for the ‘de-gaddafization’ of Libya?

This is certainly not a task for generals and their milieu of the military industrial-complex, it is not something NATO is good at and still we Europeans lay the solving of humanitarian crisis in the hands of the military  allowing the derivation from ‘problem solving’ into  ‘problem making’. It is sad that in times where ‘development aid’ and ‘humanitarian aid’ is discredited by many politicians, and scratched off the budget in many EEC countries, that military investments in missions like the one in Libya are well supported by the same representatives, we all have voted into our parliaments. There are even – recently – several examples of military missions paid for by  budgets earmarked for development aid.

Don’t we need new institutions, or at least a radical reformatting of the tasks of big organisations like NATO to try out other methods of human protection and appeasement?

Read Full Post »

Some side images of the killing of Gaddafi near Sirte, of the alleged bombing by NATO of a retreating/escaping convoy of Gaddafi (*), reminded me of the Highway Of Death in Kuwait in 1991, the bombarding of retreating Iraqi troops… a massacre not only of soldiers and their equipment but also of civilians related to the Iraqis that tried to make their way out of Kuwait City. Kicking your adversary in the ass… there is a ‘virtual black book of military history’ to which a page seems to have been added by NATO. Do you let your enemy escape or will you destroy him? What are the long lasting effects of such non glorious  military acts of revenge on an enemy that has lost or is about to loose. Is there art in ‘the bombing of retreating troops’?

The pictures I choose are not the most gruesome that exist. The Kuwait highway bombing photographs include charcoaled faces of  people burnt alive by the aerial strike, images that have burnt themselves in my memory as a reminder that ‘the art of surrender’ is a much more noble art that should be exercised by the troops of our European nations. We need a civilian campaign on how war is conducted.

There is not enough public scrutiny on NATO military strategies. The critical level of reporting in the news of war events remains often 19th century imperial, rejoicing in what is thought to be ‘a victory for the good of the human race’. The NATO involvement in this last phase of the Libyan war seems to be completely out of line with their mandate based on the UN resolution that asks to bring to court the Libyan head of state Gaddafi, not to kill him or have him killed without a trial.


Let me give one example of historical back firing: the massacre of the retreating Croatian troops of the fascist regime of Ante Pavelic in May 1945, near the town of Bleiburg at the Slovenian/Austrian border by partisan troops (40/50.000 killed). This negative event has remained a rallying point for Croatian nationalist ever since and played its nasty role in the much later enfolding new Balkan War at the end of the 20th century..

*) Mail on-line gruesome photographs, scroll down the page for the vehicles bombed out by NATO photograph

Read Full Post »

A dictator is never alone. A dictator is a system whereby one man or woman is the figurehead with whole strata  of society deriving their social position and wealth from their participation in a system of rule both headed and symbolised by a specific ruler. Removing just the figurehead and his or her direct entourage does not cleanse a nation of its dictatorial past. With a figurehead removed in a spectacular way, entrenched deeper layers of a system of dictatorship tend to remain largely intact. Summary execution – which may have happened today to Gaddafi by unruly troops of the new power – bypasses any attempt at reestablishing a just society.

Trying a dictator in court may help to lay bare the social strata that have been keeping a dictatorship in place. The dictator and his entourage may defend themselves and point to others who were part of their rule and may now pose as liberators. The defence of a dictator in court  may also expose all forms of international support for a regime by countries, parties and other leaders who may only recently have turned against a dictator whereas before they were supporting a totalitarian system in economic, military and diplomatic ways.

The killing of Gaddafi without any form of justice serves many interests: many members of the new Libyan government involved in Gaddafi’s regime; Libyan businessmen that derive their wealth from dealing with the Gaddafi rule; political leaders both retired and active who have received Libyan support or did make economic deals; academics, intellectuals, artists, architects and so on  that did get Gaddafi’s financial support or who performed for him. The killing has been tried by NATO many times in the last months, throwing tons of bombs on Gaddafi’s premises and saying that they were not targeting the leader as such. Now we will have to wait to see if sufficient details of the circumstances of the violent death of Gaddafi will come out to establish at least some form of truth of what has happened today.

Those who dance in the streets  to rejoice the violent death of a dictator may well be the recruiting force for the next totalitarian regime in the making.

====

written Thursday October 20th 2011

See also these related articles from previous months on Libya, Gaddafi and international law:

– 2011/05/02 NATO’s Collateral Tyrannicide: will it bring Justice and Peace?
– 2022/05/16 Yet another telephone call from Libya to The Hague…
– 2011/05/26 2006 Saddam ~ 2008 Karadzic ~ 2011 Mladic captured alive: what about Gaddafi?
– 2011/05/28 G20 2011 dinner: dessert from the desert: a Libyan Oil Cocktail
– 2011/07/23 The disembodied Leviathan of Libya
– 2011/08/02 Emblem for the International Criminal Court: Iustitiae Languor
– 2011/08/21  What will be the last view of Gaddafi of this world?

Read Full Post »