Mission Gallop 24


It is worth reminding ourselves that the stated aim of SCR 1973 is negotiations, not the wiping out of one side in Libya. Killing children by bombing a residential house in a residential suburb is not remotely defensible; for Cameron to claim that killing children is “protecting civilians” is awful – those children were civilians, whoever may have been their grandfather.

I could accept that SCR 1973 could be stretched to include knocking out air defences as pre-emptive action against a challenge to the no-fly zone. That it stretches to widespread attacks on the “command and control” facilities of one side of a civil war, is plainly nonsense. The resolution calls for negotiations between the two sides; it cannot therefore be construed to mean that the only way to protect civilians is the utter destruction of one side. Then the “command and control” excuse was used to attack civilian telephone networks, then TV networks, then civilian electricity supplies. Now it is used to justify the murder of children in a family home.

I am frankly astonished that more concern is not coming from the Liberal Democrat side of the coalition about this mission gallop.


24 thoughts on “Mission Gallop

  • Tom Welsh

    While desultorily following the Libyan escapade through the BBC and whatever media reports percolate through the Web, I have repeatedly heard official British government and military sources say things like, “Of course everyone knows the UN resolution is merely a pretext. The real purpose of the exercise is to get rid of Gaddafi”. Nobody in the US or British governments has the slightest respect for the UN, and they both ignore it (or blacken its name) routinely. I expect the same goes for the French and Italians, although the French tend to put things more diplomatically (no doubt from sheer force of habit).

    Like Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other leaders of nations that are not “one of us”, Gaddafi’s card has been marked for many years. His fundamental crime was the Eighth Deadly Sin: not jumping when Washington said, “Jump!” Once that was noticed, the sniper’s rifle was set up, aimed, and loaded; it only remained to wait for the right circumstances to arise before pulling the trigger. Unfortunately for the men in Washington, they were over-anxious and as a result suffered from premature exultation. Instead of giving the departing Guide a helpful shove, they found themselves taking sides in an indecisive civil war.

  • Walk Tall Hang Loose

    In fact, the resolution “Demands the immediate establishment of a cease-fire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians”.

    Since Gadafi offered a cease-fire, and the rebels refused one, it is the latter (and their supporters) who are in breach of the resolution.

  • spectral

    British Prime Minister David Cameron declined to comment on what he also called the “unconfirmed report.”

    He told BBC television: “The targeting policy of NATO and the alliance is absolutely clear. It is in line with the U.N. resolution 1973 and it is about preventing a loss of civilian life by targeting Gaddafi’s war-making machine, so that is obviously tanks and guns, rocket launchers, but also command and control as well.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/01/us-libya-idUSTRE7270JP20110501

    I am trying to understand what is difference between you post Mr.Murray, and “your” PM statement? And yet expecting “concern” from the ruling party?

    “Libyan officials took journalists to the house, which had been hit by at least three missiles.”

    At least three!? The building which apparently not even close to Colonel’s compound. I am astonished and flabbergast when people calling upon UN resolutions, and in Machiavellian manner delve into so-called legalities of that useless and licence-to-kill institution. No UN and its resolution, or, Security Council can supersede the sovereignty of the state and its constitution. UN is an imperial tool of NATO and the Western world. Not single UN agency, which are mainly served by Western staff is in service for better, just and cooperative world; UN should be banished from world politics, legal lexicon, and daily life.

  • deep green puddock

    the instance is undoubtedly and perfectly clearly the ‘command and control’ interpretation of a family residence is decidedly dishonest and in reality is vindictive ‘summary justice’. Does anyone believe for an instant that Cameron and Haugue were not aware of the blatant attempt to eradicate Gadaffi.
    I don’t have much good to say about Gadaffi- as I am firmly wedded to the idea of representation, and democratic principles, and that includes regular elections, something that is not excused by Gadaffi’s feeble evasion of these ideas. However his weasel words are hideously and precisely mirrored by Cameron and his cronies.
    I am also just as attached to the due process of law and justice and I would not have the slightest hesitation in seeking Gadaffi’s prosecution, just as I would not hesitate to have Blair and his cronies answer for their actions.

    It is difficult not to think that we are sinking into a period of institionalised criminality,and the evasion of democratic accountability and orchestrated by the corrupt political system, and propagated by the complacency of the electorate.

    Where do we go from here?

  • Ivan K.

    First, let me say the UN, though it has doubtlessly become a tool of international crime, isn’t just that; the UN has under its wing activities that are of palpable benefits for many poor people around the world. However, I’m well aware that the UN has suffered a kind of spiritual death, a death of credibility from which it is never going to recover – because that would have to involve public repentance on part of the western powers. It’s over, in my opinion. Now the danger is that the majority of world’s nations will throw the baby with the bathwater. That may still be avoided if people around the world focus on the goal of sustaining peace and international cooperation.

  • Ivan K.

    Second, the calculations in NATO, and all other Western centers of power, may well include the calculations in this paper:
    http://csis.org/publication/libya-will-farce-stay-us-and-france-and-britain
    in which the assassination and deliberate killing of civilians are contrasted with a prospect of protracted civil war with hundreds of thousands dead. The paper is unhinged – it ignores international law; and it is based on delusions – it simply isn’t true that killing Gaddafi can prevent a protracted war. But it has a lucidity, it’s narrowness of mind is laser-like.

  • Ivan K.

    “It is difficult not to think that we are sinking into a period of institionalised criminality,and the evasion of democratic accountability and orchestrated by the corrupt political system, and propagated by the complacency of the electorate.
    Where do we go from here?”

    By following the Libyan example of preservation and support of civil society based on communities/tribes, as outlined here: http://mercurymail.blogspot.com/2011/04/libyan-turmoil-101-gaddafitribesrussiaf.html

  • spectral

    In whole this situation fancy word of “framing” comes to mind.
    The “framing” (just politeness prevent me to use more appropriate word) is therefore employed for its constituents, to justify the aggression.
    Now, let assume that this IS “humanitarian” mission, why then there is need for 350 jets, nuclear aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines, and other ships? All this beside the bases in Italy. The “framing” is of course euphemism, which is well known form of propaganda effort: how to sell the war and conquer foreign land and its assets, regime change.
    Thinking over Cameron’s statement again, I cannot but to notice perversity of him, and Anglo-French establishment. Just like Tony Blair, Thatcher, Eden, Churchill; he, Cameron, the PM is in lockstep with tradition of the predecessors.

    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R41677.pdf

    In this US Congress document, titled as: Instances of Use of US Armed Forces, is documented US foreign interventions/aggressions.
    Euphemism is employed again: Instances of Use. So, we have here 31(!) pages of “Instance of Use” all over the world, whether legal or not we do not know. Does it matter? Of course it does not. Does legalities matter for example: Guernica, for those in Baghdad shelter – 350 or so murdered by the “finest force on the earth”, or Faluja, or …
    So “legality” boils down to past experience, history. Should I trust/believe to US,UK,UN,France,Italy in word NATO, in their rationalization of the aggression, statements etc.
    The best way to protect civilians is killing them, and encouraging “civil right movement” to take up arms. Freezing (steeling) assets of legal government, imposing blockade.
    There is definition of the insanity given by Albert Einstein, it seems to me perfectly suitable and consistent with practice for those who are seeking legality/justification of the aggression.

  • Dick the Prick

    What’s going on in Algeria? Not a dicky bird, not a whisper, not a sound. Just a matter of time, really. Ho hum; typical hatchet job – Gadaffi probably did his last bad deal and there’s evidence leading it straight back to London or Paris. I guess you can’t really get more sabre rattling than cruise missiles. It’s time he fucked the fuck off, frankly.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    Yes, clear repeat of Operation El Dorado Canyon under Reagan, which also attempted to assassinate Gaddafi by airstrike, also failed and also killed civilians including children – the only dispute being over whether the child killed in the 1986 strikes was actually Gaddafi’s adopted daughter or whether he posthumously adopted her for propaganda purposes (which isn’t a big difference – it killed civilians including children either way).

    These repeated attempts at assassination have ended any chance that Russia or China wouldn’t veto any resolution to intervene to protect the civilians being massacred in Syria (though i suspect they’d have blocked that anyway and only supported the Libya intervention initially in order to ensure Gaddafi would fall out entirely with the NATO governments and give his oil and arms contracts to Russia and China and their allies instead)

  • Ruth

    Is there any real evidence that Gadaffi’s son and grandchildren were killed?

  • CanSpeccy

    “I am frankly astonished that more concern is not coming from the Liberal Democrat side of the coalition about this mission gallop”

    I am frankly astonished that you are astonished. Can you be so naive as to suppose that there was any intention at the outset other than regime change?

    The UN merely provided the war criminals a pretext and a thin veil for their actions.

    The assault on Libya never had anything to do with civil rights or humanitarian concern. It is part of a struggle with China for control of African resources.

    In Libya, oil was being sold at high prices to Western nations and the proceeds were being spent on infrastructure provided by the Chinese at prices that were no doubt a small fraction of the price that would have been charged by Western countries.

    The West cannot compete with Asian labor that’s paid 4% of what Western labor currently earns. This was obvious from the outset, and was pointed out by James Goldsmith in 1994 as the GATT agreement was about to be signed.

    Now there is panic and the West is resorting to the folly of violence to reverse the consequences of their folly over globalization.

  • its1789

    But the west doesn’t really give a damn about human rights, democrcacy, or whether civilians live or die in foreign countries; this is all a pretext, a propaganda edifice designed to provide cover for military agression in pursuit of our strategic and econonomic interests, which in this case require a new regime in Libya which is far less indepenent and more dependent than Gadaffi’s regime.

    Democracy, as we’ve known it, cannot survive in the age of neo-imperialism. Control and propaganda are becoming central to our form of government, that has precious little to do with democracy, but resembles oligarchy.

    We now live in a form of corporate state, with business, the media, and state, increasingly merging into a new whole, seperate from the rest of the population, who increasingly resemble serfs under fuedalism.

  • Ruth

    ‘We now live in a form of corporate state, with business, the media, and state, increasingly merging into a new whole, separate from the rest of the population, who increasingly resemble serfs under feudalism.’
    I agree

  • spectral

    I watched the other day documentary: The Lost Libraries of Timbuktu.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00hkb0z

    The host of the movie, beautiful woman Aminatta Forna, at some point mention that Gaddafi visited the city and asked citizens, what is it that they would like to have in city? The answer was: the water. And, Mr. Gadaffi brought the water to Timbuktu, he financed the digging of channel from the Niger river to the city. As simply as that.

    From this article:
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/04/why-is-gaddafi-being-demonized/
    I found out that Gadaffi financed, with lion share, project of the first African satellite, launched 2007 with help of Russians and Chinese. Than Libya and Alger were about to set up African Monetary Union which should replace (how he dared) IMF and the French financial scheme ECOWAS, they even have embassy in Brussels. When the West wanted to join, Africans rejected them. In 2020 Alger should launch the first totally indigenously built satellite.

    Now, important sentence from the article:
    “It is increasingly obvious that after Libya, the western coalition will go after Algeria, because apart from its huge energy resources, the country has cash reserves of around €150 billion.”

    Those above-mentioned are real “crimes” of Mr.Gadaffi, not those pesky human right, or democracy, or protect civilians. Fencing themselves from colonizers which keep them in dark and debt-slavery, by gaining independence and emancipating the continent Gadaffi incur the wrath of the “white man”. Barbarians are at gate, again!

    While he has many fault of its own: controversial and eccentric with dictatorial trait Ghaddafi in his struggle for self-sufficiency paying high price. In past decade and half he had made deal with the devils, in his pursuit of equity financed economy he allowed many things which we can find in toolbox of neoliberal economies. The concessions that he made in the process may cost him and the nation dearly.

  • DRE

    Neo-feudalism. C’mon people do keep up. Chomsky was writing about this at least a decade ago.

    It makes it clear why both the right and left have nothing to much to offer but the same bland corporatism. They’ve been infiltrated. Democracy is not at an end point, certainly not western democracy, not when its used together with freedom as a brand description for imperial wars.

  • angrysoba

    “Jubilation in the US of A. OBL has been killed. They just love that word ‘killed’.”

    I agree that scenes of people celebrating someone’s death, anyone’s death (even Osama bin Laden’s) is ghoulish. That said using the word “killed” is not something I have a problem with. I think using euphemisms such as “neutralized” or “taken out” or, in the context of civilians, “collateral damage” is far worse.

  • CheebaCow

    Now that OBL is dead, lets see if the GWOT slows down any. I wager 400 Quatloos that nothing changes.

  • lwtc247

    “I am frankly astonished that more concern is not coming from the Liberal Democrat side of the coalition about this mission gallop.” – Then you’re still living in lala land Craig. Please get out of it, it doesn’t suit you at all.

  • lwtc247

    Be a liberal by all means (if you must), but don’t party liberalism is a poor joke as illiberalism occurs on access to power.

  • ingo

    I agree with LWtc 247, now is the time to jump ship, you never fitted, they so obviously did not want your verbal suport, nor have they taken any heed of your advice.
    You are an Independent liberal of the old hue, live with it and resign.
    You are not better off by being inside the tent and at least outside you can beath. IMHO that would be the best message yet on here, but then I’m also a fool who has forsaken party politics after having been exploited, ignored and abused for 34 years.

  • Björn Blomberg

    The Vatican reports via its website AsiaNews that the Catholic church in Tripoli is being visited by loads om Muslim women who are demanding the help from the Pope to end this war via negotiations. The Pope has strongly condemned the neocolonial war launched by Sarkozy and Cameron after an agreement between GB and France in November last year. This stance is motivated in detail in this editorial from the Vatican http://www.asianews.it/news-en/The-war-in-Libya,-another-Vietnam-21393.html

    Luckily Cameron and Sarkozy will not have to use whatever few brains they have left to comment on this. They will only have to parrot what Josef Stalin said after having received similar criticism from the Pope: The Pope – how many military divisions does he have?

    Liberal Democrats in Sweden where I live are euphorical about our participation in this neocolinial war. The rest of us who have not become completely brainwashed will have to organise ourselves and form a solidarity movement for Libya.

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