NATO kills 85 civilians in Western Libya
Published Aug 19, 2011 9:32 AM
The U.S./NATO forces now waging war against the North African oil-producing
state of Libya committed one of their worst atrocities on Aug. 8, killing 85
people while bombing Majar in Libya’s west. Located near Zlitan, Majar
was shown on Libyan state television after the attacks killed children, women
News reports showed burned bodies of young children, and children receiving
treatment for serious wounds in the local hospital.
In response to this massacre, the Libyan government declared three days of
national mourning. NATO forces admitted that their jets had bombed the town on
three different occasions the night before, but claimed the locations struck
were military targets.
This attack on Majar followed the same pattern that has been in force since
March 19. Then, the U.S. and NATO military fighter jets and warships began to
bomb Libya under the guise of implementing a so-called “no-fly
zone,” which was mandated by United Nations Security Council Resolution
1973. During the time since a Western-backed rebellion began in Benghazi
on Feb. 17, hundreds of thousands of Libyans and guest workers living in Libya
have fled across the borders.
Over this six-month period — despite U.S./NATO efforts to build up those
fighting the Libyan government as a credible force — the opposition
Transitional National Council has remained deeply divided and incapable of
launching a serious military campaign against the capital, Tripoli. These
rebel forces have openly called for and applauded the U.S./NATO bombing of
their own country.
Just recently the putative leader of the TNC’s military was killed in an
obviously planned assassination when he was summoned to return to the rebel
stronghold of Benghazi. Journalists have reported clashes among the rebels
themselves in full view of the international media.
Canadian journalist on fact-finding mission
Scott Taylor, a journalist from Canada, whose government is serving as the
titular head of the NATO bombing campaign in Libya, recently visited the
country on a fact-finding mission. His assessment is that the claims of rebel
advances in the West of the country have been largely fabrications promoted
through the corporate media.
This reporter pointed out: “For more than five months now NATO planes
have supported the rebels, and NATO warships have enforced a one-sided embargo
against Gadhafi’s forces. And all foreign-held financial assets have been
frozen, making it virtually impossible for Libya to purchase any war materiel,
or even basic necessities such as fuel.” (The Chronicle Herald, Aug.
Nonetheless, the writer continues, “Despite all these measures, the
ragtag collection of fractious units that compose the rebels have been unable
to make any serious tactical headway against Gadhafi loyalists — let
alone topple the leader.”
Taylor stressed that during his trip to the capital of Tripoli during the first
full week of August, he witnessed firsthand how the Libyan government has
solidified its control over the city and most of the western region of the
country. He says that foreign diplomats confirmed the stability of the capital
and that Moammar Gadhafi’s approval rating has soared to 85 percent.
The existing shortages inside the country are blamed on the NATO forces that
are bombing Libya. Leaflets dropped on the city periodically by the imperialist
forces are often poorly written and most Libyans find the messages quite
amusing to read.
In a speech delivered over Libyan television on Aug. 15, Gadhafi said:
“NATO will eventually be defeated in Libya with the willingness of the
people to resist and liberate their land. The Libyan people will behave as they
did during their 1 September Revolution,” pointing out that the
continuous bombing during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan will further anger
the general population, turning it even more against the West.
Gadhafi continued, “The only solution remaining for the agents of
colonialism is the use of deception and psychological warfare following the
failure of their various kinds of war with all types of weapons.”
(Afrique en Ligne, Aug. 15)
As the Libyan leader was addressing the country, there were simultaneous
reports that NATO was bombing Tripoli and the suburbs of Zaouia and Sorman. On
the same day video footage was released by the British Ministry of Defense
showing crews from the Royal Air Force Marham base in preparation for the
long-range bombing of Libya. (edp24.co.uk, Aug. 15)
One such video showed a number of Tornado GR4 jets being loaded with Storm
Shadow missiles at the Norfolk base just prior to leaving for another bombing
mission over Libya. In another video the fighter jets are shown bombing
what is described as a Libyan frigate in the harbor at Tripoli.
Rallies oppose U.S.-NATO war on Libya
On Aug. 13, a rally was held in Harlem to protest the ongoing war in Libya and
the Western sanctions leveled for a number of years against the Southern
African nation of Zimbabwe.
A national speaking tour featuring former U.S. Congressperson Cynthia McKinney
has reached more than 20 cities from coast to coast. McKinney, recently
returned from a fact-finding trip to Libya, has exposed the multitude of
falsehoods about the actual situation taking place in the country and the
McKinney is scheduled to speak in Pittsburgh on Aug. 21 and Cleveland on Aug.
22. In Detroit on Aug. 27, the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War
Injustice, along with other organizations such as the National Conference of
Black Lawyers, the Green Party, Workers World Party, the Freedom Road Socialist
Organization, the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization and the New Marcus
Garvey Movement will host a public speakout against the U.S./NATO war on Libya
at the U-M Detroit Center beginning at 4 p.m.
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