US War-Crime and Libya Now
The operation "Odyssey Dawn" was inspired, organized and sponsored from outside. By whom? By those who spreads "democracy" across the globe. Why? 'Cause "democracy" is the most convenient weapon to implant self-interests worldwide. Western media paves the way for this implanting. You REALLY think Libya will get prosperity and PEACE after "democracy" comes? Then recall "democratic" IRAQ and even more "democratic" AFGANISTAN. Also recall US using napalm on Vietnamese to install "democracy". If you still believe in staged by Western "independent" media theatrical performance titled "The Libyan rebels want democracy", don't be naive. MEDIA are the ones who spread worldwide 99% of lies about what's happening in Libya. Western media was the fuse of this artificial hysteria, which created pretext for war, NO "rebels", NO "the anger of the masses".
Into the Unknown
Feb 22, 2011: Fidel Castro, in a column published in state media in February 2011, said it was too early to evaluate what was happening in Libya. But, he said, it was clear the US would not hesitate to order NATO to invade. In his "Reflections", Castro outlined the importance of oil and what he argues is the long-standing aim of the US to control supplies.
"What is for me absolutely evident is that the Government of the United States is not worried at all about peace in Libya," he wrote…
Mar 26, 2011: As the first week of U. N.-sanctioned air strikes comes to an end, new perspective on the situation in Libya.
There's disagreement over whether NATO or a Franco-British command will lead the coalition, disagreement within NATO over what the objectives are, and disagreement among the rebels over whether they ought to push for Gaddafi's ouster or accept a temporary stalemate and partition. Many questions remain open, including whether the rebels have access to oil reserves, whether Col. Gaddafi has huge amounts of gold stashed away in Tripoli, how determined the army is to support Gaddafi, and how determined the rebels are to take him down. But the place to watch seems to Misurata, where Gaddafi's forces are currently entrenched. If air strikes and rebel assaults can't dislodge loyalists there, it would show the limits of the coalition and the rebel forces, and effectively draw the line of partition-unless Gaddafi's Government collapses from within.
A New Lease on Life
U. N. resolution resuscitated a moribund policy called the "responsibility to protect," a norm endorsed in the 2005 World Summit that "makes a state's presumed right of non-intervention contingent on its ability and willingness to protect its citizens," but which repeatedly failed and then in Libya Obama has taken the precedent of unilateral executive action even farther than George W. Bush.
Mohamed ElBaradei, the former director of the U. N. International Atomic Energy Agency and leading figure in the Egyptian revolution, thinks back on his past meetings with Gaddafi, and the impression the ruler gave of being out of touch with international politics. In one meeting, Gaddafi asks ElBaradei whether he's a Nasser fan and, "Why does the Egyptian Government hate you?" But it's when Gaddafi whips out a notebook and pencil to take notes on how NATO works that ElBaradei "realized that Qaddafi was less than fully informed on global security alliances and structures." ElBaradei touches on some of Gaddafi's quirks, like his ban on barbershops and penchant for meeting world leaders in tents, but mostly he sticks to anecdotes that show the gulf between how the world sees Libya and how Gaddafi and his son Saif would like to be seen.
Gaddafi's backing Idi Amin against Uganda, pushing for a United States of Africa instead of a less formal economic community, interfering with other country's politics, ignoring the crisis in Sudan, and being too close with terrorists made his anti-people stand clear to others.
Gaddafi was born near Sirte, 450 km (300 miles) east of Tripoli, in 1942 and after he seized power in 1969 he built it up from a sleepy fishing village into an important city and power centre of 100,000 people.
He still retains support and sympathy there, so whether or not he has chosen to retreat to the city to make a last stand, its capture will still be strategically and symbolically important to the rebels as they consolidate their victory.
With Odyssey Dawn, Obama had taken the precedent of unilateral executive action even farther than George W. Bush. Obama may have secured a U. N. Resolution, "But the U. N. Charter is not a substitute for the U. S. Constitution, which gives Congress, not the president, the power 'to declare war.'" After the Vietnam War, Congress passed the War Powers Resolution, which allows the president to act without congressional approval for 60 days in response to a "national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces." But no U. S. forces were attacked by Gaddafi. Because the Libya campaign is being run with existing funds, Obama goes even further than the precedent set by Clinton in 1999 when he bombed Kosovo on the argument that Congress' approval of funding was tacit approval of the war. Obama could argue, as Truman did with Korea, that the president has the right to wage war without congressional approval, but few people found this argument dubious, and thinks Congress should deny funding after three months and launch an investigation into presidential power.
"President Obama may have taken the U. S. out of the direct combat role, but he certainly did not take American forces out of the front line," Michael Clarke, director of the Royal United Services Institute think tank, wrote in a recent analysis. "The European allies were hardly 'going it alone' in this operation."
With the Pentagon facing deep budget cuts, the Libyan campaign will likely provoke a debate in Washington. There is zero appetite to repeat the massive interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the U. S. is still embroiled a decade later. The Libya campaign appears to offer an alternative. It hasn't been cheap. The Pentagon estimates U. S. operations there cost $896 million through the end of July.
The good news is that the U. S. will be repaid for its assistance to the Europeans - everything from fuel for the aircraft to munitions and spare parts, which cost a further $222 million, the Pentagon estimates. And compared with Afghanistan, which is still costing the U. S. taxpayer roughly $10 billion a month, Gaddafi's overthrow has been a bargain.
"That was a classic example of the U. S. using its technological supremacy to support local forces," the official said. "Now we have Libya as another example."
The NATOTM Role: According to two senior NATO officials, one American and the other European, these were the critical U. S. contributions during the six-month military campaign:
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 defences, crucially opening an entry corridor for the airstrikes that followed.
U. S. tanker aircraft refuelled European aircraft on the great majority of missions against Gaddafi's forces. The Europeans have tanker aircraft, but not enough to support a 24/7 air offensive averaging, by NATO count, around 100 missions a day, some 50 of them strike sorties. The U. S. flew 30 of the 40 tankers.
When the Europeans ran low on precision-attack munitions, the U. S. quietly resupplied them. (That explains why European air forces flying F-16s-those of Norway, Denmark, Belgium - carried out a disproportionate share of the strikes in the early phase of the campaign. The U. S. had stocks of the munitions to resupply them. When Britain and France, which fly European-built strike aircraft, also ran short, they couldn't use U. S.-made bombs until they had made hurried modifications to their aircraft.)
To target Gaddafi's military, NATO largely relied on U. S. JSTARS surveillance aircraft, which, flying offshore, could track the movements of rival forces. When more detailed targeting information was needed - as in the battles for Misrata and other towns defended by Gaddafi's troops - the U. S. flew Predator drones to relay a block-by-block picture.
U. S. Air Force targeting specialists were in NATO's Naples operational headquarters throughout the campaign. They oversaw the preparing of "target folders" for the strikes in Tripoli against Gaddafi's compound and the headquarters of his military and intelligence services. (Organizing precision strikes by high-speed jets is not a task for novices. The attack routes over Tripoli and the release times of bombs had to be precisely calibrated so munitions released even a second late by a strike aircraft would have the best chance of avoiding civilian homes.)
U. S. AWACS aircraft, high over the Mediterranean, handled much of the battle-management task, acting as air-traffic controllers on most of the strike missions. Again, the Europeans have AWACS, but not enough crews to handle an all-hours campaign lasting months.
Eavesdropping by U. S. intelligence - some by aircraft, some by a listening post quietly established just outside Libya - gave NATO unparalleled knowledge of what Gaddafi's military planned.
All this was crucial in supporting the European effort. But U. S. involvement went way beyond that. In all, the U. S. had flown by late August more than 5,300 missions, by Pentagon count. More than 1,200 of these were strike sorties against Libyan targets.
The administration largely stuck to Obama's decision that the U. S. would not put boots on the ground in Libya (although the CIA did have agents inside Tripoli). British and French Special Forces were on the ground, training and organizing the insurgents - as were units from two Arab nations, Qatar and Jordan. But their communications relied on a satellite channel run by the U. S. And the U. S. also supplied other high-tech gear - NATO sources declined to describe it, but apparently it had never been given before, even to allied Special Forces.
When a desperate Gaddafi began to launch Scud missiles into towns held by the opposition, a U. S. guided-missile destroyer offshore negated his offensive by shooting down the Scuds.
One senior NATO official pointed to the U. S. invasion of Afghanistan at the end of 2001 as a precursor of the Libya campaign. In Afghanistan, U. S. special forces riding with Northern Alliance troops downloaded on their laptops satellite pictures of Taliban deployments over the next hill, and used their sat phones and hand-held GPS targeting devices to call in airstrikes. The Taliban was overthrown in 63 days.
The campaign in Yemen provides a third example. For more than two years, U. S. special forces have been training and working with Yemeni troops to combat, among other insurgent groups, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The U. S. campaign in Yemen has used conventional weaponry on occasion: sorties by Harriers and even some cruise-missile strikes. But the burden of much of the campaign has fallen to special-forces units, supported by Predators.
The ongoing struggle in Pakistan is arguably yet another case study in what seems to be evolving as a new American way of war.
Predator strikes against alleged Taliban and allied Afghan insurgent groups massing in Pakistan have preoccupied international attention. But senior NATO officers in Kabul whisper that again "beneath the radar," CIA paramilitary operatives are inside Pakistan, leading groups of locally recruited frontier tribesmen. They apparently supply much of the targeting information for the Predators - especially against senior Taliban and al Qaeda operatives, who reportedly are the main targets of these CIA-led bands. Their mission may go beyond reconnaissance. According to one senior NATO officer in Kabul, some strikes credited to Predators actually result from raids by this covert force.
The killing of al Qaeda's operations chief, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, in the Pakistani frontier province of Waziristan, was the greatest single success in the campaign. U. S. officials attributed al-Rahman's death to a Predator strike. But on the question of how he was identified and tracked, the officials were tight-lipped.
Libyan rebel forces were converging on Muammar Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte, hoping to deliver the coup de grace of their revolution but uncertain if the fallen strongman was holed up there.
The fugitive Gaddafi's exact whereabouts where still not known and it was possible he was still in hiding in Tripoli, days after it fell to rebel forces and his 42-year-old reign collapsed.
"We just need to find Gaddafi. I think he is still hiding underneath Bab al-Aziziyah like a rat," said Tunally, referring to Gaddafi's compound in Tripoli, which rebels overran.
In Tripoli, the rebel leadership sought to establish control after days of confusion and sporadic skirmishing with the remnants of Gaddafi's forces. Several explosions and intermittent gunfire were heard.
The stench of rotting bodies and burning garbage still hung over the city and food, water and other supplies were running short, indications that despite the euphoria of victory, plenty of challenges lay ahead.
Gaddafi, 69, is on the run and the fear among his foes is that he intends to lead an insurgency against them. NTC officials rejected any idea of talks with him, saying he was a criminal who must be brought to justice.
NTC officials say Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and his spy chief should be tried in Libya, although they are wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
Rebel military spokesman Colonel Ahmed Bani said there was concern for the fate of 40,000 prisoners who he said had been detained by Gaddafi's forces and who were still unaccounted for. It was possible some were being held in underground bunkers in Tripoli that rebels had been unable to locate.
Officials said a vital gas export pipeline to Europe had been repaired and Libya's biggest refinery had survived the war intact.
In the west, Tunisian authorities reopened the main border crossing into Libya, restoring a supply route for Tripoli, after Gaddafi forces were driven out.
That should help relieve a looming humanitarian crisis in the city, where food, drinking water and medicines are scarce. Trucks loaded with food and other goods were regularly moving across the Ras Jdir crossing toward Tripoli, about two hours' drive away.
Tripoli residents queued for bread or scoured grocery shops for food. Many took a stoical view of their plight. The NTC issued messages urging electricity workers to get back to work and efforts to pay the salaries of public sector workers were underway.
"This is a tax we pay for our freedom," said Sanusi Idhan, a layer waiting to buy food.
Libya: We Saw and the One We Don't
Around 350,000 people have fled Libya in the last few months, most of them Egyptian and Tunisian migrant workers trying to get home. But other groups are trying to escape as well, including large numbers of African migrants who report being attacked by rebels who mistake them for Gaddafi's mercenaries. A similar humanitarian crisis is developing inside the country, where reports say tens of thousands of Libyans have left their homes in search of safety. How has the international community responded to this less visible crisis? Aid organizations have done what they can to help refugees, positioning supplies in neighbouring countries and helping transport migrant workers back home, but they haven't yet figured out how to operate safely within Libya's borders.
The time will remember operation Odyssey Dawn for its $720 million per day cost of US sponsored war-crime and Gaddafi for his anti-people dictatorial reign, And Libya will remember both till the end of time.