Sirte – the Apotheosis of “Liberal Intervention” 217


There is no cause to doubt that, for whatever reason, the support of the people of Sirte for Gadaffi is genuine. That this means they deserve to be pounded into submission is less obvious to me. The disconnect between the UN mandate to protect civilians while facilitating negotiation, and NATO’s actual actions as the anti-Gadaffi forces’ air force and special forces, is startling.

There is something so shocking in the Orwellian doublespeak of NATO on this point that I am severely dismayed. I suffer from that old springing eternal of hope, and am therefore always in a state of disappointment. I had hoped that the general population in Europe is so educated now that obvious outright lies would be rejected. I even hoped some journalists would seek to expose lies.

I was wrong, wrong, wrong.

The “rebels” are actively hitting Sirte with heavy artillery and Stalin’s organs; they are transporting tanks openly to attack Sirte. Yet any movement of tanks or artillery by the population of Sirte brings immediate death from NATO air strike.

What exactly is the reason that Sirte’s defenders are threatening civilians but the artillery of their attackers – and the bombings themselves – are not? Plainly this is a nonsense. People in foreign ministries, NATO, the BBC and other media are well aware that it is the starkest lie and propaganda, to say the assault on Sirte is protecting civilians. But does knowledge of the truth prevent them from peddling a lie? No.

It is worth reminding everyone something never mentioned, that UNSCR 1973 which established the no fly zone and mandate to protect civilians had

“the aim of facilitating dialogue to lead to the political reforms necessary to find a peaceful and sustainable solution;”

That is in Operative Para 2 of the Resolution

Plainly the people of Sirte hold a different view to the “rebels” as to who should run the country. NATO have in effect declared being in Gadaffi’s political camp a capital offence. There is no way the massive assault on Sirte is “facilitating dialogue”. it is rather killing those who do not hold the NATO approved opinion. That is the actual truth. It is extremely plain.

I have no time for Gadaffi. I have actually met him, and he really is nuts, and dangerous. There were aspects of his rule in terms of social development which were good, but much more that was bad and tyrannical. But if NATO is attacking him because he is a dictator, why is it not attacking Dubai, Bahrain, Syria, Burma, Zimbabwe, or Uzbekistan, to name a random selection of badly governed countries?

“Liberal intervention” does not exist. What we have is the opposite; highly selective neo-imperial wars aimed at ensuring politically client control of key physical resources.

Wars kill people. Women and children are dying now in Libya, whatever the sanitised media tells you. The BBC have reported it will take a decade to repair Libya’s infrastructure from the damage of war. That in an underestimate. Iraq is still decades away from returning its utilities to their condition in 2000.

I strongly support the revolutions of the Arab Spring. But NATO intervention does not bring freedom, it brings destruction, degradation and permanent enslavement to the neo-colonial yoke. From now on, Libyans like us will be toiling to enrich western bankers. That, apparently, is worth to NATO the reduction of Sirte to rubble.


217 thoughts on “Sirte – the Apotheosis of “Liberal Intervention”

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  • jay

    @Ruth”Without the Gaddafi regime extinguished the Libyan people will be in danger.”

    Yes, we will see how they get on the rebels, they themselves are being accused of warcrimes. Perhaps it will provide a good excuse to put boots on the ground. Oh no, wait a mo, we are admitting to having trained them.

    @Danj “NATO was losing; deals were being cut to keep Gadaffi in power etc.”

    Uping the ‘ante’: NATO acting as air power and also the training of the rebels (boots on the ground) lost the UN the fig leaf cover of a humanitarian action weeks ago.

    Agree with Craig 110%

  • colin buchanan

    Well done Craig! Great writing! It really is shocking how many seemingly ordinary people are involved in these crimes. The banality of evil or is it the evil of the banality of our lives.
    The left has disgraced itself and played a key role for NATO in helping them present the “rebels” as some kind of democratic, popular opposition. They have also pushed the evil dictator line. I haven’t concerned myself much with the merits or demerits of the colonel. It is beside the point. What we do know is that the people rallied round him against NATO. They are defending the sovereignty of their country. They are defending the existence of their country.It’s the arrogance of the western leftist/liberal that gets me: they think they’re fit to stand judgement on everyone. One day we will be judged.
    It’s quite clear the rebels can’t control Libya and so NATO must send in ground troops. They may already have done so. This isn’t just one more war: we must be able to see now that this is part of a drive to global war. We are engaged now in the fight for the survival of some kind of human civilization. NATO must be defeated! Victory to the Libyan people!!

  • Donny Darko

    David Cameron backtracks and changes his mind on most things, but mysteriously the one where he remained constant is Libya.. Why ??? It was obviously not his decision.

  • mike

    I don’t think there’s anything any one of us can add to that, Craig.
    Nail. Head. Hit.

  • Tom Welsh

    Well said, Syd Walker! I completely agree with everything you said.

    Jon, you seem very keen on democracy. But like Christianity and communism, democracy is something that has hardly ever been tried in anything like a pure form – and when it was tried, it has often failed abysmally. In the UK, USA, France, etc. at present we have “democracy” that isn’t.

    As a test case, have you noticed that most of the people in our countries don’t actually want to attack Libya? (Just as they didn’t want to attack Serbia, or Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Pakistan, and just as they don’t want to attack Iran). Over a million people paraded through central London to tell Tony Blair that the people were dead set against attacking Iraq. What difference did the people’s views and wishes make to our governments’ actions? None whatsoever.

    So the war to impose democracy on the Libyans (whether they want it or not) was waged by our “democractic” governments in spite of the fact that their own people were opposed to it!

  • banquo21

    Sir,

    The observation you have reluctantly made regarding the one sidedness of the Libyan Contact Group’s acceptance of the arms, navy, air force and mercenaries/contractors is very hollow. Many commentators on all the available comments pages of the mainstream media have pointed this out for months. As you point out to continue this massacre, when calls for ceasefires have gone unheeded, shows the world the corruption of the ideals of the crusader coalition for their own ends – not the Libyan population.

    The preferred military option to ensure regime change is still not complete. The bloodshed of innocent Libyan civilians is being witnessed daily, reported by the media. The leaders of the crusader coalition countries are praising their pilots, special forces (armed boots on the ground) and navy personnel as “heroic”. Heroes do not shoot their guns, fire their missiles or watch the drone generated TV images from 20 miles, 30,000 feet or 6,000 miles respectively.

    The raping of the Libyan people “frozen” assets continues with the recent grab by the unelected TNC terrorists to pay their “masters”. The UNSC appear to have sanctioned this rape with no oversight of the amounts to be release, where it is to be spent, who will decide how it is spent except a passing reference to illegal organisations and illegal, unelected terrorist gangs.

    In the UK the right to protest has disappeared, the right to free speech is being eroded by the day, kettling, police murder, sentences of 4 years imprisonment and the ilk are the outcome of the world in which we are currently living.

  • banquo21

    Ruth, You are failing to grasp that Gadaffi does not have wealth, gold, silver etc to spend to “create” disruption. He has beliefs, similar to some of the Libyan population.

    The demand of his to be able to put this to the people of Libya, similar to the South African solution. The SAs showed how the people could reconcile their differences and produce a settlement not gained by bloody civil war to it’s n’th degree.

    The crusader coalition have not accepted that any way other than their “democratic” way acceptable and continue in this murderous illegal civil war. All under the bannner of “humanitarian aid” and the “protection of civilians”.

  • Cloud

    But if NATO is attacking him because he is a dictator, why is it not attacking Dubai, Bahrain, Syria, Burma, Zimbabwe, or Uzbekistan, to name a random selection of badly governed countries?

    Cue counter-argument “So you’re saying just because we can’t fix every problem we shouldn’t do anything at all? What kind of moral cretin are you!!?!”, to which the counter-counter-argument may need some elaboration.

  • Azra

    Cloud, you are totally ignoring the fact that WE support those dictators, in fact WE supported Gadafi until it did not suit us any more, WE train the secret services of those countries with the most up to date torture methods and WE happily sell them torture equipment.If you think WE are supporting them on moral/humanitarian grounds, then I am afraid You are The moral cretin

  • tony_opmoc

    What pisses me off about the well meaning Liberals such as Craig, is that they are still in denial about how incredibly evil our “Western” society is.

    Sure, I lived the first 50 years of my life in this Virtual Reality, but then 9/11 happenned, and I knew instinctively that there was something very wrong.

    18 months later, when I was 100% sure, that the Official Story could not possibly be true, because it defied the most fundamental laws of physics, the enormity of it hit me in an instant.

    It was like a Religious Conversion, like St Paul on the Road to Damascus, except it was not God I was Discovering, it was Satan.

    And The Evil is Us.

    Libya is just the latest example, and I have almost given up hope.

    Nothing has improved since then. The human race which is led by complete psychopaths is destroying everything. Nearly everyone is totally brainwashed by the incessant propaganda.

    I don’t even bother anymore trying to tell people how the World really is, because when I do, they think I am insane.

    No one cares.

    Maybe my problem is my strict moral upbringing. My parents tried their hardest to make a Catholic Priest out of me, but I preferred Girls.

    I also studied and was trained in psychological techniques, so I understand the forces in play, and I have no answer to them.

    I gave up all religion at the age of 15.

    Tony

  • exiledlondoner

    Banquo21,
    .
    Ruth, You are failing to grasp that Gadaffi does not have wealth, gold, silver etc to spend to “create” disruption. He has beliefs, similar to some of the Libyan population.
    .
    Most Libyans have never lived under any regime other than Gaddafi’s, have never seen a free press, and have never had any political freedom. There may well be some support for him, but support is meaningless unless it’s informed support. If Gaddafi wanted to claim popular support, he’s had 42 years to demonstrate it through an open political society – instead he has tortured and murdered his opponents, turned Libya into a family kleptocracy, and denied the most basic political rights to Libyans.
    .
    As for Gaddafi not having wealth – you’re deluded. Just read a bit about the lifestyle enjoyed by his sons.
    .
    The demand of his to be able to put this to the people of Libya, similar to the South African solution. The SAs showed how the people could reconcile their differences and produce a settlement not gained by bloody civil war to it’s n’th degree.
    .
    There’s a fundemental difference – De Klerk agreed to step aside and allow free elections – Gaddafi threatened to slaughter his opponents.
    .
    The crusader coalition have not accepted that any way other than their “democratic” way acceptable and continue in this murderous illegal civil war. All under the bannner of “humanitarian aid” and the “protection of civilians”.
    .
    My enemy’s enemy is not my friend. I’m probably as distrusting of the motives of the coalition as you are, but that doesn’t mean I should be supporting a brutal tyrant against his people.
    .
    We can argue about whether the west should be bombing anyone in Libya, but the Libyan people have every right to evict Gaddafi and his thieving brood – even if that means civil war. The right to fight tyranny is universal.

  • tony_opmoc

    Scouse Billy,

    I have given up, thinking that the load of complete bollocks I write on various websites across the world, is going to make the slightest difference to anything.

    I haven’t however given up writing a complete load of bollocks in between trying my best to have an incredibly good time with my wife, family and friends.

    I don’t currently understand how the human race can proceed without at least the vast majority going through absolute hell.

    That in itself doesn’t personally bother me. I expect hell. I have already lived longer than most of my brothers and sisters. When you get to my age, you kind of expect that everything is slowly going to get worse as your body and brain degrades and you are eaten up inside by some horrible aweful cancer that causes you unbearable pain, but so far as I know, beyond the muscular disease I inherited and have had to cope with all my life, there is nothing else wrong with me – or my wife and kids. In fact my wife looks almost exactly the same as my daughter, except that we go to even louder parties and gigs.

    Our Children are Incredibly Well Behaved and conservative (notice the little c).

    Our Daughter is going to a Cheese and Wine Party tonight.

    She just wants to go down the Pub (Live Band) and a Club after – but all her friends are trying to be like their Mums.

    Tony

  • Suhayl Saadi

    nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/22-Aug-2011/Pakistan-to-send-more-troops-to-Bahrain
    .
    It’s continuing.

  • Ruth

    According to Reuters there are gold reserves worth $10 billion in Tripoli. I think this is a low estimate.

  • Ruth

    Lockman,
    You say ‘It is very sad that Libyan people cannot see what we are able to see.’ This to me shows a misunderstanding of the situation. Without the help of NATO the Libyan people could never have got rid of Gaddafi. This is seen as stage one.

    To be quite honest I’ve generally found that people from abroad have a much better grasp of what goes on. In fact it was a Libyan lady from Tripoli who said to me just after Megrahi’s release, ‘Ruth, you’ll see Megrahi walking the streets of Tripoli for many years to come’ I hope now that the political scene’s changed this will remain true. She also said with regard to Megrahi’s release, ‘It isn’t just Libyan intelligence involved but also the British.’

  • wendy

    so in order to save benghazi we now have to bomb the civilians, and go house to house in Sirte ..
    .
    makes sense innit.
    .
    any honest media reporting in the west yet ?

  • Валентин Левин

    NATO is the main terrorist in the Peace!
    Muammar Gaddafi is the real hero of our time/
    I wish the Gaddafi win!

  • Canspeccy

    Tony, has it right. When the fuckers start killing their own people, as on 9/11, to justify killing some other people, then you know that liberal democracy is a load of toxic lying bollocks. And when people like Craig Murray cannot admit the truth of 9/11 you know he’s unbelievably naive for a highly intelligent person, or he is angling for a job writing editorials for the Gruaniard or some other crap newspaper in cahoots with the murderous, lying liberal ruling elite.

  • Zurab

    I agree with you in your assessment of NATO. But every time you call Gaddafy a tyrant, you justify the enemies of the Libyan people. Not only NATO, American government or West Europe governments, but also those same so called “rebels” – killers and thieves in Libya. Whose ultimate goal of establishing democracy further away from the existing situation in Libya than Pluto.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “But every time you call Gaddafy a tyrant, you justify the enemies of the Libyan people.” Zurab.
    .
    So we’re supposed to lie and say that Gaddafi was not a tyrant? Cannot we hold two separate ideas in our minds at the same time?
    .
    Let’s just admit it. The world is at war. “You’re either with us, or against us”. George W. Bush.
    .
    Sorry, Mr Bush, I don’t accept that.

  • Nevsky

    My thoughts exactly about the bombing of Sirte.

    Are there any sceptical journalists attending the NATO briefings, who will laugh with derision at the sophistry and lies coming from the NATO spokespersons?

  • Tarig Anter

    Return Libya to Africa!

    Great South Africa! God Bless You!

    The World must know that Libya and the whole of North Africa are integral part of Africa.
    The land and the people do not belong to Arabs or Europeans or Islamist rebels and mercenaries or even to Gaddafi.

    It is stolen from Africans and must be liberated and returned to Africans.

    Shame that the indigenous black people of Libya who are the only owners of oil which made Libya to appear on maps are considered as foreigners or at best as a low grade citizens by Arabs, Gaddafi, and Islamist rebels and mercenaries.

    We Africans must reclaim Libya and all North Africa.

  • Tarig Anter

    Save North Africa from Arab Emirs and NATO

    The Palestinians of Gaza, particularly of Hamas, are the invisible organizers and agitators of unrest and insurgencies against anti-Islamist regimes under the pretense of democracy. This is obvious in the involvements of the Palestinian majority of Staff of Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya TV against anti-Islamist regimes. The World is getting more of Iran Islamic “revolutions” and theocracies. Sarkozi; Obama and Cameron are miserably short-sighted and greedy looters.

    Corrupt Arab authoritarian regimes should be toppled by real democratic and friendly popular movements; but not by Sunni global caliphate financed by Gulf States and organized by Hamas and Muslim brotherhoods with other terrorists. Arab Gulf states got too much petro-dollar with too little plans in life; and Gaza is exploiting the glutted and vulnerable Emirs and Sultans.

    They are taking chances against each other only. Arab regimes and League are good for nothing. All of them with no exception are anti-democracy. The funding Gulf States don’t have even elected municipalities. Government and wealth rest exclusively in the hands of unanswerable Emirs dynasties. When the majority of population in the Gulf kingdom of Bahrain protested peacefully against the ruling Arab Sunnite minority the Gulf States crushed them by violent force, and the “democratic” West kept quiet.

    It is time for Africans to support the indigenous peoples and reclaim North Africa from invading and colonizing Arabs and Europeans.

    Gulf States lack the sense of nationhood and nationality. And North African Arabized countries are still avoiding reconciliation with themselves long after Arab invasions and colonization. The term “Arab World” is unrealistic and unfair. And so is the Arab League.

    Muslim brothers in Egypt are pushing hard for fast constitutional amendments and rejecting new constitution because they want Islam and Arabic language as the only main source of legislation and official language; and to keep the mostly Christian Copts in second class carriage, despite they are the most native and biggest indigenous people in Egypt. They want Egypt to remain “Misr Arab Republic” and Islamic.

    Mosques are the basic security; propaganda; and business unit in their system which is exploiting Allah and not serving any genuine faith.

    The threats to democracy in Gulf States and in North Africa states are:
    1- Islamist groups;
    2- Authoritarian ruling families and juntas;
    3- The Arab League;
    4- Pan-Arabism; and
    5- Western and NATO military interventions.

    The problem is that most Africans assume that North Africa belongs to the Arabs and to Europeans; and it is not an integral part of Africa that was lost to invaders and colonizers. The war in Libya is between two evils. The bigger devil is NATO, Islamists, and Gulf Emirs coalition against the lesser devil of the tyrant and colonizer Gaddafi regime. I wish both of them to go to deepest hell. But first let the lesser evil inflict huge damages and humiliation on the bigger devil.

  • writeon

    I suppose Craig’s almost childlike innocence about certain aspects of the world, and his disarming honesty, coupled with his obvious humanity and true liberalism, is why we are so fond of him.

    His analysis of the debacle in Libya, yet another gross international warcrime, even though the end apparently justifies the means, where have we heard that before, and it makes up for everything, like leading a dying democracy to war again, so soon after Iraq, on a gigantic raft of lies, distortions, exaggerations, and hysterical war-propaganda. There are a frightening number of people on the ‘left’ and the ‘right’ who don’t seem to care about any of this, as long as Gaddafi bites the dust. And they call it democracy?

    It would be interesting to hear Craig’s views on his friend Juan Cole, the expert on the Middle East, who has allowed his obvious and perhaps understandable antipathy towards Gaddafi cloud his judgement to an extraordinary degree. But then all’s fair in love and war, isn’t it?

  • tony_opmoc

    Canspeccy,

    Thank You, but I think Craig is Innocent, just slightly brain damaged.

    I reckon he will live long enough to make a Full Recoveryand see The Full Picture and see at Least a Bit Of The Justice He is Fighting For.

    He has got many on his side – but we are Few

    But we are all there is

    Tony

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @Craig,

    One of your really good posts.

    You call Gadaffi “nuts’ – but he seems to have in a nutty way made some really good social provisions for his people, educated the women, provided health care, supported a number of liberation movements, had a vision for Libya and for Africa – now isn’t that all very nutty? Eccentric – I think would have been a better choice of word. But -as you said – you met the “nut” – so, who am I to speak?

    I think in other regards your post has a finger on the Libyan pulse.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    In response to Writeon :-
    “I suppose Craig’s almost childlike innocence about certain aspects of the world, and his disarming honesty, coupled with his obvious humanity and true liberalism, is why we are so fond of him.
    His analysis of the debacle in Libya, yet another gross international warcrime, even though the end apparently justifies the means, where have we heard that before, and it makes up for everything, like leading a dying democracy to war again, so soon after Iraq, on a gigantic raft of lies, distortions, exaggerations, and hysterical war-propaganda. There are a frightening number of people on the ‘left’ and the ‘right’ who don’t seem to care about any of this, as long as Gaddafi bites the dust. And they call it democracy?
    It would be interesting to hear Craig’s views on his friend Juan Cole, the expert on the Middle East, who has allowed his obvious and perhaps understandable antipathy towards Gaddafi cloud his judgement to an extraordinary degree. But then all’s fair in love and war, isn’t it?”

    I ask two(2) questions:-

    1. Where have all the journalists gone?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04PyD0mIm0k
    And –
    2. Why does Juan Cole support this imperialist intervention in Libya?
    http://www.thevoiceslu.com/let_and_op/2011/june/30_06_11/End_the_bombing_of_Libya.htm

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