Libya and the end of Western illusions*
Five months into the bombing campaign, it is no longer possible to believe the initial official version of the events and the massacres attributed to the “Gaddafi regime”. Moreover, it is now essential to take into account Libya’s legal and diplomatic rebuttal, highlighting the crimes against peace committed by television propaganda, the war crimes perpetrated by NATO military forces, and the crimes against humanity sponsored by political leaders of the Atlantic Alliance.
by Thierry Meyssan, Tripoli
16 August 2011
Just under half of Europeans still support the war against Libya. Their position is based on erroneous information. They still believe, in fact, that in February the “Gaddafi regime” crushed the protests in Benghazi with brutal force and bombed civilian districts in Tripoli, while the Colonel himself was warning of “rivers of blood” if his compatriots continued to challenge his authority.
During my two months’ investigation on the ground, I was able to verify that these accusations were pure propaganda intoxication, designed by the NATO powers to create the conditions for war, and relayed around the world by their television media, in particular Al-Jazeera, CNN, BBC and France24.
However, the reader who doesn’t know where he stands on this issue and who – despite the brainwashing of September 11 and Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction – is reluctant to accept that the United States, France, the UK and Qatar were actually capable of fabricating such lies, will be able to forge an opinion over time. NATO, the largest military coalition in history, has failed after five months of bombardments to overthrow the one it designated as a “tyrant.” Every Friday, a large demonstration in support of the regime is organized in a different city and all experts are unanimous in considering that Colonel Gaddafi enjoys at least 90% of popular support in Tripolitania and 70% across the entire country, including the “rebel” areas. These are people who every single day put up with the blockade, aerial bombardments and ground fighting. Never would they be defending with their flesh and blood someone who committed against them the crimes of which he has been accused by the “international community.” The difference between those in the West who believe that Gaddafi is a tyrant who fired on his own people, and those in Libya who believe that he is a hero of the anti-imperialist struggle, is that the former live in an illusion created by TV propaganda, whereas the others are exposed to the concrete reality on the ground.
That said, there is a second illusion to which the West has succumbed – and in the “Western” camp I now include not only Israel, where it has always claimed to belong, but also the monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Turkey which, though of Eastern culture, have chosen to embrace it -, the illusion to think that it is still possible to devastate a country and kill its people without legal consequences. It is true that, until now, international justice has been the justice of the victors or the powerful. One may recall the Nazi official who heckled the judges at Nuremberg telling them that if the Reich had won the war, the judges would have been the Nazis while those held accountable for the war crimes would have been the Allies.
More recently, we saw how NATO used the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia to try to justify post facto that the war in Kosovo was “the first humanitarian war in History,” according to the expression employed by Tony Blair. Or again, how the Special Tribunal for Lebanon was used in an attempt to overthrow the Syrian government, then to decapitate the Lebanese Hezbollah, and probably soon to accuse the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Not to mention, the International Criminal Court, the secular arm of the European colonial powers in Africa.
However, the development of instruments and organs of international justice throughout the twentieth century has gradually established an international order with which the superpowers themselves will have to comply or which they will have to sabotage in order to escape their responsibilities. In the case of Libya, the violations of international law are countless. The main ones, presented below, were established by the Provisional Technical Committee, a Libyan ministerial coordination organ, and expounded at various press conferences by the legal adviser to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, French attorney Marcel Ceccaldi .
TV channels which, under the leadership of their respective Governments, have manufactured false information to lead to war, are guilty of “crimes against peace“, as defined by the relevant UN General Assembly resolutions in the aftermath of World War II . The journalist-propagandists should be considered even more culpable than the military who perpetrated war crimes or crimes against humanity, to the extent that none of these crimes would have been possible without the one that preceded them: the “crime against peace.”
The political leaders of the Atlantic Alliance, who diverted the object and purpose of Resolution 1973 to engage in a war of aggression against a sovereign state, are personally responsible before international justice. Indeed, according to the jurisprudence established by the Tokyo Court following the Second World War, crimes cannot be ascribed to either States or organizations, but to individuals. Plundering the assets of a state, establishing a naval blockade and bombing infrastructure to cause people to suffer, attacking an army inside its barracks and ordering the assassination of enemy leaders or, failing this, terrorizing them by murdering their families, all amount to war crimes. Their systematic perpetration, as is the case today, constitutes a crime against humanity. This crime is imprescriptible, which means that Messrs. Obama, Sarkozy, Cameron and Al-Thani will be pursued by the law for the rest of their lives.
NATO, as an organization, is legally responsible for the material and human damage of this war. The law leaves no room for doubt that the organization must pay, even though it will surely try to invoke a privilege of jurisdiction to dodge its responsibilities. It will be up to the Alliance to decide how the bill for the conflict should be split among Member States, even though some of them may be on the verge of bankruptcy. This will be followed by disastrous economic consequences for their peoples, guilty of having endorsed such crimes. In a democracy, no one can claim to be innocent of the crimes committed in its name.
International justice will have to address more specifically the case of the Sarkozy “administration” – I use this Anglicism here to underscore the fact that the French president has been piloting his Government’s policy directly, without going through his prime minister. Indeed, France has played a central role in preparing for this war since October 2010 by organizing a failed military coup and then, as early as November 2010, by planning with the United Kingdom the bombing of Libya and the landing of ground troops on its soil, which was then believed to be feasible, and finally by actively conspiring in the lethal unrest in Benghazi which led to the war.
In addition, France, more than any other power, has deployed Special Forces on the ground – without uniforms, no doubt – and violated the arms embargo by supplying the insurgents, either directly or through Qatari airplanes. Not to mention that France has violated the UN freeze of Libyan assets, funnelling part of the fabulous cash from the Libyan Sovereign Fund to the CNT puppets, to the detriment of the Libyan people who wanted to guarantee the well-being of their children in the face of oil depletion.
These gentlemen from NATO, who hoped to escape international justice by crushing their victim, Libya, in a few short days so that it would not survive to pursue them, will be disenchanted. Libya is still there. She is filing complaints with the International Criminal Court, the Belgian courts (whose jurisdiction NATO falls under), the European Court of Justice, and the national courts of aggressor states. She is undertaking steps before the Council of Human Rights in Geneva, the Security Council and General Assembly of the United Nations. It will be not be possible for the big powers to extinguish these fires all at once. Worse, the arguments they will use to evade a court will ricochet against them in another court. In a few weeks or months, if they have not succeeded in destroying Tripoli, they will have no other way out to avoid humiliating convictions than to negotiate the withdrawal of the complaints at a very high price.