The final bloody moments of Muammar Gadhafi’s life were still shrouded in confusion today as conflicting reports emerged about who fired the shot that actually killed him.
Libya’s deposed leader was pulled out alive from a drain under a motorway in Sirte, the city of his birthplace, where he had been hiding with a small group of bodyguards.
Wounded and terrified, Gadhafi appeared deluded to the end, asking his captors: ‘What did I do to you?’ His last words were ‘Do you know right from wrong?’
The circumstances leading up to Gadhafi’s death are clearer. RAF Tornados helped launch the final airstrike by flying surveillance missions which cleared the way for French fighter jets to bomb a Gadhafi convoy.
The astonishing end for Gadhafi came after he and loyalist fighters tried to flee Sirte as it was overrun by forces of the National Transitional Council.
Gadhafi was in a convoy of up to 100 vehicles which tried to break out of Sirte – the last centre of resistance after eight months of civil war. The escape was spotted by NATO which launched two devastating strikes. At least 50 loyalist fighters were killed. Injured in both legs, Gadhafi made his way with bodyguards through trees. The groups hid in two concrete sewers but were spotted by rebels.
Gadhafi’s death closes a chapter in the NATO-led military campaign to help rebel forces remove him from power. Ever since the fall of Tripoli, the hunt for Gadhafi had prevented rebels from claiming outright victory.
France’s defense minister announced that the multi-million-pound bombing campaign of Libya by air forces including the RAF is over.
( David Williams at dailymail.co.uk)
The Libyan War began as a protest movement against long-time Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gadhafi and quickly escalated into a full-scale civil war. As the Libyan government forces increased their use of deadly force on the rebels, the United Nations imposed a “No-Fly Zone” over Libya in order to “protect Libyan civilians.” The Libyan No-Fly Zone’s enforcement was undertaken by a coalition of European nations and the United States. The Libyan No-Fly Zone was begun with airstrikes and ship-borne missile strikes at Libyan air-defense installations as well as Libyan ground forces.
The coalition enforcing the No-Fly Zone includes (as of March 31, 2011), the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Belgium, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, and Spain.
From March 19 to March 31, the foreign military operation was under American command. On March 31, the United States turned over command of the operation to NATO. President Obama cited this hand-over in his televised speech to the American public on March 29 as a significant downsizing of American involvement in the Libya War. As many analysts and commentators rightly pointed out, this claim was somewhat obsequious, as any NATO operation has significant American military, diplomatic, and political involvement, as the U.S. is NATO’s most powerful member.
In addition to air and naval firepower in open aid to the rebels, it was disclosed on March 31, that the American Central Intelligence Agency was on the ground aiding the rebels.
Throughout April, 2011, NATO airstrikes continued to pound Libyan military positions and units, while the ground war between Gadhafi’s forces and the rebels took on a see-saw effect, as several towns and positions changed hands between them. Many outside analysts saw the war grinding into a stalemate, with Gadhafi’s forces controlling most of western Libya, while the rebels held most of eastern Libya.
In the last week of April, the United States announced the introduction of its unmanned Predator drones to the war.
On April 30, 2011, the Libyan government announced that a NATO airstrike killed Gadhafi’s youngest son, Saif al Arab Gadhafi, aged 29, and three of Gadhafi’s grandchildren. In the rebel capital of Benghazi, celebratory gunfire erupted upon word that the younger Gadhafi’s death. The Libyan spokesman who announced Said Gadhafi’s death also claimed that the NATO strike was a failed attempt to kill the Libyan leader himself.
The Libyan war has now begun. It pits a coalition of European powers plus the United States, a handful of Arab states and rebels in Libya against the Libyan government. The long-term goal, unspoken but well understood, is regime change — displacing the government of Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi and replacing it with a new regime built around the rebels.
The mission is clearer than the strategy, and that strategy can’t be figured out from the first moves. The strategy might be the imposition of a no-fly zone, the imposition of a no-fly zone and attacks against Libya’s command-and-control centers, or these two plus direct ground attacks on Gadhafi’s forces. These could also be combined with an invasion and occupation of Libya.
The question, therefore, is not the mission but the strategy to be pursued. How far is the coalition, or at least some of its members, prepared to go to effect regime change and manage the consequences following regime change? How many resources are they prepared to provide and how long are they prepared to fight? It should be remembered that in Iraq and Afghanistan the occupation became the heart of the war, and regime change was merely the opening act.
The lies used to justify the NATO war against Libya have surpassed those created to justify the invasion of Iraq. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch both had honest observers on the ground for months following the rebellion in eastern Libya and both have repudiated every major charge used to justify the NATO war on Libya.
According to the Amnesty observer, who is fluent in Arabic, there is not one confirmed instance of rape by the pro-Gadaffi fighters, not even a doctor who knew of one. All the Viagra mass rape stories were fabrications.
Amnesty could not verify a single “African mercenary” fighting for Gadhafi story, and the highly charged international satellite television accounts of African mercenaries raping women that were used to panic much of the eastern Libyan population into fleeing their homes were fabrications.
There were no confirmed accounts of helicopter gun ships attacking civilians and no jet fighters bombing people which completely invalidate any justification for the No-Fly Zone in Security Council resolution used as an excuse for NATO to launch its attacks on Libya.
After three months on the ground in rebel controlled territory, the Amnesty investigator could only confirm 110 deaths in Benghazi which included Gadhafi supporters.
Only 110 dead in Benghazi? Wait a minute, we were told thousands had died there, ten thousand even. No, only 110 lost their lives including pro-government people. No rapes, no African mercenaries, no helicopter gun ships or bombers, and only 110 ten deaths prior to the launch of the NATO bombing campaign, every reason was based on a lie.
According to the Libyan Red Crescent Society, over 1,100 civilians have been killed by NATO bombs including over 400 women and children. Over 6,000 Libyan civilians have been injured or wounded by the bombing, many very seriously.
What seem to have finally tipped the balance in favor of direct western military intervention was the reported demand by Gadhafi that the USA oil companies who have long been major players in the Libyan petroleum industry were going to have to compensate Libya to the tune of tens of billions of dollars for the damage done to the Libyan economy by the USA instigated “Lockerbie Bombing” sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council throughout the 1990’s into early 2000’s. This is based on the unearthing of evidence that the CIA paid millions of dollars to witnesses in the Lockerbie Bombing trial to change their stories to implicate Libya which was used as the basis for the very damaging UN sanctions against Libya. The government of the USA lied and damaged Libya so the USA oil companies were going to have to pay up to cover the cost of their government’s actions. Not hard to see why Gadhafi had to go isn’t it?
Add the fact that Gadhafi had signaled clearly that he saw both Libya’s and Africa’s future economic development linked more to China and Russia rather than the west and it was just a matter of time before the CIA’s contingency plan to overthrow the Libyan government was put on the front burner.
NATO’s war against Libya has much more in common with NATO’s Kosovo war against Serbia. But one still cannot compare Gadhafii to Saddam or even the much smaller time criminals in the Serbian leadership.
(Libya War Lies Worse Than Iraq, By Thomas C. Mountain, July 23, 2011 “Information Clearing House” — Asmara, Eritrea at informationclearinghouse.info)
For almost five months, the combined military forces of the United States and NATO have pounded Libyan cities, towns, villages and ports in an effort to overthrow the government of Muammar Gadhafi.
These bombing operations, then numbering more than 16,000 sorties and 6,100 strikes, have been combined with a naval blockade that includes 17 warships. NATO warships in the Mediterranean have hailed 1,907 vessels, boarded 183 and diverted nine
(Reuters, July 24).
Repeatedly the Pentagon and NATO have claimed that the war on the North African nation of Libya is designed to “protect” civilians from the government in Tripoli, which, in reality, is fighting to crush an imperialist-backed insurgency. Yet many reports indicate that the war, which was launched by the U.S. and several western European countries on March 19, is a systematic campaign to terrorize and subjugate the Libyan people.
(Associated Press, July 25).
The Libya campaign was a unique international effort: 15 European nations working with the U.S. and three Arab nations. The air offensive was launched from 29 airbases in six European countries. But only six European nations joined with the U.S. and Canada to fly strikes against Gaddafi’s forces. The scale of the unpublicized U.S. role affirms hawks’ arguments: a divided NATO simply couldn’t have waged the war it did without extensive American help. What the hawks underestimated was the U.S. ability to operate without publicity—in military lingo, beneath the radar.
An international naval force gathered off Libya. To lower the U.S. profile, the administration elected not to send a super carrier. Even so, the dozen U.S. warships on station were the biggest contingent in this armada. In the opening hours of the campaign, an American submarine, the USS Florida, launched 100 cruise missiles against Libyan air defenses, crucially opening an entry corridor for the airstrikes that followed.
The U.S. and its allies were destroying Libya’s air force in order to tip the balance in the civil war in favor of anti-Qadhafi forces. A similar approach, aerial bombardment of Afghan government defenses, allowed Northern Alliance rebels to break through Taliban lines and enter Kabul in 2001. It could work again in Libya.
But who are these anti-Qadhafi forces? Rival tribes? Royalists? Radical Islamists? What kind of government will they establish if they win? What are their ideological and religious affiliations? If anyone in the media or the White House knows, they’re not telling.
Or perhaps, as in Iraq, the White House doesn’t have a governance plan for post-Qadhafi Libya. This, as in Iraq, could lead to chaos. No nation should go to war without considering the long-term consequences.
Since the Middle East began blowing up we’ve heard a lot of talk about Obama’s dilemma: How do we reconcile American values with American strategic interests? In a good country–at least a non-hypocritical one–they are the same.
Obama is employing circular logic. “Why strike only Libya, when other regimes murder their citizens too?” asks Chris Good in The Atlantic Monthly. “Obama’s answer seems to be: because the UN Security Council turned its attention toward Libya, and not other places.” But the UN reacted in response to the U.S.
In other words: We’re agreeing to a request that we made ourselves.
(Ted Rall at commondreams.org)
The mother of all lies was sent to the world through a Twitter message by Al Arabiya, February 23th. A message which makes Qadhafi out to be a Hitler, and even more outrageous and cruel: “the repression in Libya has already claimed 10,000 dead and 50,000 injured.” It may be a ballon d’essai to check if the world was able to swallow it; it did: Even the progressive people in Europe said: “We must stop the genocide.”, “Bengazi is like Guernica.”
But who is the source of this news? It was the terrorist rebels indeed (who kept repeating it): Al Arabyia says it received the news from “Sayed al Shanuka, Libyan member of the International Criminal Court, who was interviewed from Paris”
A few days later, March 3rd, it is Ali Zeidan’s turn, a self-appointed spokesperson from the Libyan League for Human Rights which always, only from Paris, presents more terrifying data: 6,000 victims (3,000 in Tripoli, 2,000 in Benghazi, 1,000 elsewhere). But Zeidan’s denunciation is not published in the LLHT website, and by the way Zeidan is neither the president nor the director: another fake source. Zeidan is indeed a spokesperson of Benghazi terrorists. And he is the same Zeidan who, on March 23rd, stated: “In future oil agreements, we will remember those who helped us” (by bombing more!).
It is indeed this data, 10,000 or 6,000 victims in a few days of protests, plus those allegedly “injured by Qadhafi,” which is taken as gold by the Human Rights Council in Geneva. (But when in June the chief Prosecutor Ocampo issues a warrant for the three, the figure is no longer 6,000 but 208).
No matter, it is the huge figure which is used as the basis for the UN resolutions and for the war. The assumption is that if, in few days, “Qadhafi killed so many people, what will happen if Libyan tanks enter Benghazi?” Indeed Dennis Ross, the White House political advisor, then stated: “Up to 100,000 people could be killed and everybody will blame us if we don’t intervene.”
This is what the UN resolutions and the war are based on…a twitter from a fake source. (By the way, even in former wars in the past 20 years, there were fake smoking guns: incubators switched off in Kuwait City by Iraqi soldiers; weapons of mass destruction, mass graves and girls crying in front of a camera that they escaped death or rape)
Prepared for publication by:Lisa Karpova
(Marinella Correggia at english.pravda.ru)
Like two evenly-matched bantam-weights tiring as they enter the final round of a matchup low on the global strategic undercard in which the crowd has long-since lost interest, NATO and Libya’s Colonel Muammar Gadhafi are staggering towards the final bell. NATO will keep jabbing away and win the bout on points, no doubt, but it’s looking increasingly likely that Gadhafi will leave the ring narrowly beaten, but still on his feet — probably claiming he was robbed.
Of course, NATO itself is ostensibly not a contender in the Libya conflict — its bombing campaign is supposedly intended simply to protect civilians in the bloody showdown between Gaddafi’s forces and those of the Benghazi-based rebel leadership who defied the odds to take up arms against Gadhafi. But it would be naive to imagine that NATO did not wield the casting vote on when and how the conflict ends, for the simple reason that the rebels are in no position to win — or even necessarily sustain their gains — without continuous Western air support. And the Western powers are clearly signaling that they believe its time to end the conflict with a political solution — one that involves sidelining Gadhafi, but not necessarily his regime. (Some might cynically brand this an “Egypt solution”, given the fact that the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak has not exactly removed his regime from power.)
(Tony Karon at world.time.com)
Many leaders and foreign ministers of European countries, as well as fellow Western countries like Australia, Canada, and the United States, made statements hailing Gadhafi’s death as a positive development for Libya. The city-state of Vatican City responded to the event by declaring it recognized the National Transitional Council as Libya’s legitimate government. World leaders such as Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard suggested that the death of Gaddafi meant the Libyan civil war was over. Some officials, such as UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, expressed disappointment that Gaddafi was not brought back alive and made to stand trial.
Reaction from the governments of countries including Cuba, Russia, Venezuela, Iran, Nicaragua and more was negative. Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez described the former Libyan leader’s death as an assassination and an “outrage”, Russia’s Vladimir Putin lashed out at U.S. for the killing of Gadhafi and asked “They showed to the whole world how he (Gadhafi) was killed; there was blood all over. Is that what they call a democracy?” and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega later called his killing a “crime” during his inauguration on 10 January 2012.[
(Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Libya’s Col Muammar Gadhafi is dead, but his shadow and the decades of his ‘iron’ rule have not quite departed to the other side. He has left behind a tumultuous political transition that has little in terms of institutions to build on and that is still trying to lay the foundations of what it is hoped will be ‘democratic’ and stable rule.
One year on, Libya has held its first ever elections for a congress that saw people vote with ‘peaceful dignity’, which appeared to be a pointed message against decades of ‘tyranny’ and an appreciation for what the present has to offer. Oil production is back up to pre-war levels and some foreign companies have resumed operations – though mostly in the oil sector.
But scores are still being settled, like the deadly stalemate between the cities of Misrata and Bani Walid that has escalated in recent weeks and appears to be on the brink of becoming a bloody battle which few Libyans have any appetite for. Militias around the country were also still proving to be a persistent headache with no simple drug that will relieve people from them.
People are desperate for a sense of tangible political progress – even some of those who supported the late colonel, like the man who asked to remain anonymous. “Nothing has changed, and maybe things are worse now”, he said.
(Libyans trying to move on from Gaddafi, By Rana Jawad BBC News, Tripoli, 22 October 2012 Last updated at 23:25 GMT)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s