Wednesday, August 31, 2011

NATO's Genocidal Rape of Libya

NATO's Genocidal Rape of Libya - by Stephen Lendman

Continuing NATO atrocities on Libyan civilians gave naked aggression a new name.

Call it what it is: Lawless, Willful, Malevolent Genocidal Gang Rape, the new supreme international crime against peace ongoing at this time.

In times of war, its legal name is Genocide - what NATO planners implemented since last March.

See for yourself. Independently produced images reveal what NATO, venal politicians, their PR manipulators, and media liars suppress or misreport.

A committed team of independent journalists, researchers and cameramen produced the Global Research.ca video accessed below through the following link:

http://omasiali.wordpress.com/2011/08/26/nato-commits-genocide-in-libya/

It's a snapshot of what Libyans endure daily under NATO terror bombings and rebel gang killings to destroy them, their futures and truth.

International law prohibits naked aggression and propaganda promoting it.

Article 21(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) says:

"Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law."

Propaganda and incitement to commit genocide is worst of all. Article 3 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide says the "following acts shall be punishable:

(a) Genocide;

(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;

(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;

(d) Attempt to commit genocide;

(e) Complicity in genocide."

Article 4 states:

"Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3 shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals."

"Direct and public" incitement to commit Genocide is also prohibited under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court's (ICC) Article 25(3)(e). It holds everyone "directly and publicly (involved in) incit(ing) others to commit genocide" culpable.

Article 3(e) of the Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Article 3(c) of the Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) also prohibit "direct and public" incitement to commit genocide.

Incitement (as opposed to legitimate free expression) is also forbidden by many other international human rights treaties.

America, Britain and France, NATO's three main belligerents, are signatories to numerous relevant treaties, including the Genocide Convention.

Under the Constitution's Supremacy Clause (Article 6, clause 2), all US Treaties and Federal Statutes are "the supreme Law of the Land."

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) defined propaganda and other forms incitement to commit genocidal mass killing as follows:

"Directly provoking the perpetrator(s) to commit genocide, whether through speeches, shouting or threats uttered in public places or at public gatherings, or through the sale or dissemination, offer for sale or display of written material or printed matter in public places or at public gatherings, or through the public display of placards or posters or through any other means of audiovisual communication."

Included are official NATO, Pentagon and/or political written or verbal communications, justifying naked aggression, mischaracterized as humanitarian intervention responsibility to protect.

Also included are supportive PR and/or media propaganda, disinformation, and or other forms of deceptions.

During Nuremberg Tribunal proceedings, German newspaper editor Julius Streicher was the first person prosecuted for incitement to commit genocide for publishing anti-Semitic diatribes.

However, international law hadn't yet criminalized incitement at the time, so he was tried for crimes against humanity.

Since March 19, NATO belligerents and their rebel gangs committed daily crimes of war and against humanity. On a massive scale, it's Genocide!

Terror Bombing Sirte

As rebel gang killings continue in Tripoli and elsewhere, NATO keeps terror bombing Sirte. It's Gaddafi's home town, a city of 100,000. On August 29, Mathaba.net warned of possible massacres. Moreover, rebel cutthroats surrounded the city, preventing anyone from leaving, saying:

Exits "from the city (are) completely blocked. Neither women, nor children are allowed to leave. Men, captured attempting to leave the town together with their families, are shot. Their families are sent back into the city under bombing."

"There is practically no way to bury the corpses...." Retired Russian Special Forces Lt. Col. Ilya Korenev (in Sirte) reported on the Russian web site Argumenti.ru that:

"(T)he situation resembles the terrible winter of '95 in Grozny, Chechnia, when there was bombing everything that moved, without proper guiding systems of accurate coordinates....At the moment, the NATO air force is in the air almost around the clock," raising the city to the ground, massacring people under rubble or slaughtering them in open spaces.

Growing Humanitarian Crisis in Tripoli

The combination of maggot-infested decomposing bodies, inadequate food, fuel, medical supplies and available care, no running water, spotty electricity, poor sanitation, garbage in streets, and ongoing rebel atrocities created a growing humanitarian disaster in Tripoli and elsewhere.

On August 29, the London Times reported nightmarish conditions in Tripoli, including all of the above, as well as:

"Hospitals are running out of oxygen, fixators for treating fractures, and drugs for conditions such as diabetes."

"Telephones work only intermittently. Most commercial life ceased months ago. Many people have no money left because the banks are shut and salaries have not been paid."

These conditions are compounded by rebel-committed assassinations and other terror killings. Rotting corpses are everywhere, including in hospitals and Abu Salim, a Gaddafi loyalist stronghold home to many government officials.

Before NATO showed up, Tripoli was called the "White Bride of the Mediterranean," a once modern, cosmopolitan metropolis, known for its historical attractions, wonderful beaches, and other attractions.

One tourist guide said:

"Tripoli is generally a quiet safe travel destination, where violent crime against tourists is rare....Tripoli's hotels represent a good variety of different standards, and restaurants offer interesting culinary experiences with Arabic and international cuisine."

Moreover, car rentals are readily available for trips around and outside the city. In addition, tourists manage fine in a city where English is widely understood and spoken.

That was pre-March 2011 Tripoli. Today, it's a ravaged, terrorized ghost town, its residents living under increasingly desperate conditions. Moreover, prices skyrocketed on everything from food to fuel to other essentials. As a result, what's ahead for residents may be too grim to bear.

At the same time, a leaked document calls for UN Blue Helmet occupation - imperial paramilitary "peacekeeper" enforcers wherever they're deployed. Read the full document through the following link:

http://www.innercitypress.com/martin1unlibya1icp.pdf

UN "peacekeeping" was addressed in an earlier article, accessed through the following link:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2007/02/un-peacekeeping-paramilitarism.html

In Haiti, for example, after Washington's coup ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the April 2004 Security Council authorized MINUSTAH force prevented peace and stability by working jointly with mobilized death squads, terrorizing Aristide supporters.

Libyans struggling for liberation can expect similar treatment ahead, besides continuing rebel gang atrocities.

The document, in fact, calls for establishing "various military or paramilitary formations under not always clear and solid command and control arrangements. These include the forces that fought on (Gaddafi's) side, (as well as) different formations commanded by or associated with the TNC."

In other words, a repressive NATO-controlled militarized presence is planned on the pretext of ensuring safety for Libyans who'll be terrorized if they prioritize freedom over occupation.

In fact, on August 30, Press TV reported an unnamed NATO official admitting that Britain and France already have troops in Libya, claiming it's "unfair to call them NATO forces."

In addition, Russia's NATO ambassador, Dmitry Rogozin, said "direct evidence" shows UK and French special forces directed ground operations against Gaddafi's military.

As recently as last week, however, NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu lied, saying coalition countries had no troops in Libya and wouldn't post-conflict.

At the same time, Britain's Daily Telegraph reported a UK elite Special Air Service (SAS) regiment helped rebel gangs hunt for Gaddafi. His whereabouts are still unknown. His wife Safia, daughter Aisha, sons Mohammed and Hannibal, as well as grandchildren fled safely to Algeria.

A Final Comment

On August 29, a disgraceful New York Times editorial headlined, "NATO's Teachable Moment," saying:

"The Western allies, especially the British and French forces backed up (read led) by the United States, can be justly proud. So can" Cameron, Sarkozy and Obama, "who ignored the naysayers who claimed that Libya was a quagmire and the battle not worth fighting."

Fact check

Obama's war was naked imperial aggression. Continued NATO terror bombing is Genocidal Gang Rape. Rebel cutthroats compounded their crimes on the ground. Africa's most developed country is now its least.

Thousands of Libyans are dead, many more injured, and the entire country ravaged by mass destruction, depravation, critical life-sustaining shortages, as well as continuing violence, and Libyans facing dystopian futures unless they're courageous enough resist what no one should accept.

NATO's war on free Libya may soon end. The liberating struggle has yet to begin. Perhaps it's the wild card NATO doesn't expect. Hopefully the human spirit will triumph over imperial might, though never easily or quickly.

It's happening in Afghanistan, reemerging in Iraq, blossoming across the region, so perhaps Libyans will surprise NATO planners the same way. Why not when the alternative is too intolerable to accept.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Israel's Operation Summer Seeds

Israel's Operation Summer Seeds - by Stephen Lendman

Ahead of the General Assembly's likely granting Palestine statehood recognition and full de jure UN membership in September or early October, Israel is preparing its army and arming settlers for disruptive protests.

Law Professor and former PLO legal counsel Francis Boyle explains that a simple two-thirds majority of states present and voting are needed. Abstentions and no-shows don't count. "Palestine has those votes for admission," he says! "The Israelis and the Americans know it."

Aside from Washington's illegal planned veto, if a Security Council resolution is introduced, Netanyahu apparently abandoned plan A, replacing it with a disruptive plan B.

On August 30, Haaretz writer Chaim Levinson headlined, "IDF training Israeli settlers ahead of 'mass disorder' expected in September," saying:

Settlement-by-settlement "red line(s)" were determined for "when soldiers will be ordered to shoot at the feet of Palestinian protesters if the line is crossed."

Arming settlers with tear gas, stun grenades, and perhaps other weapons is also planned, allegedly "as part of the defense operation."

Called Operation Summer Seeds, its "purpose is to ready the army (and settlers) for September and the possibility of confrontations with Palestinians following the expected" General Assembly granting them statehood and full de jure membership.

A document leaked to Haaretz stated a "working assumption" that "a public uprising" will follow Palestinian independence "which will mainly include mass disorder."

In fact, celebratory demonstrations are likely, not disturbances unless Israel and settlers incite them. Apparently, that's what's planned, again blaming victims of Israeli violence to maintain hardline occupation.

This time, however, it will be against a sovereign internationally recognized independent state, able to file a formal State to State complaint against Israeli officials.

In addition, as Boyle explains, it "can ratify the Genocide Convention and sue Israel for Genocide at the World Court, pursuant to" previous advice he gave Arafat and Abbas.

Moreover, it can "get a temporary restraining order" against Israel, requiring either Security Council enforcement approval, or if Washington vetoes it, to the General Assembly under the 1950 Uniting for Peace Resolution overriding it.

In addition, it can use this procedure to halt settlement construction once and for all and perhaps regain lost land.

These prospects frighten Israel and its Washington paymaster/partner. So they're are pulling out all the stops to prevent Palestinian statehood or at least disrupt it if achieved to maintain hardline policies, claiming they're in self-defense.

The Israeli document contends disorder will include "marches toward main junctions, Israeli communities, and education centers; efforts at damaging (Israeli) symbols of government."

"Also, there may be more extreme cases like shooting from within the demonstrations or even terrorist incidents. In all these scenarios, there is readiness to deal with incidents near the fences and the borders of the State of Israel."

In fact, Israel is the only nation without fixed borders, because of its longstanding plan to seize Palestinian land, as well as more from neighboring states for a Greater Israel. It's indeterminate in size depending on how much it can steal.

Israel's army has been holding training sessions near its Shiloh military installation. It's also trained settlement squads at its Lachish base, used as a command training center for that purpose.

In addition, two virtual defense lines for each settlement were established. If Palestinians cross the first one, they'll face settlers using tear gas and other disruptive measures.

If line two is breached, soldiers will use live fire at their legs.

In other words, Israel plans disruptions. Rules of engagement were established to unleash them. A heightened state of readiness exists. Palestinians will be blamed like always. Injuries and perhaps deaths may result.

Instead of recognizing the UN's new member, Israel plans hostile acts short of war, perhaps planned later as more naked aggression.

As a result, Peace Now's Hagit Ofran expressed alarm, saying:

"We hope the army is making clear that nonviolent protests (and celebratory marches are) legitimate, and no settlers (or IDF personnel) should use any violence against unarmed demonstrators."

Rabbis for Human Rights' Arik Ascherman raised "serious questions and problems" with regard to settlers acting illegally, saying:

"We're very concerned that (Israeli forces) will not reduce conflict but increase it."

In fact, more at issue is instigating it as Israel commonly does, blaming its violence on Palestinian to shift responsibility.

Notably in early August, Israeli Foreign Minister/Deputy Prime Minister Avigdor Lieberman outrageously claimed Palestinians are preparing for "bloodshed the likes of which we've never seen before," so when Israel sheds it they can be blamed.

Palestinian spokesman Ghassan Khatib accurately said Israel's "trying to fuel a fake picture of what will happen in September. These Israeli predictions of violence aren't true."

Palestinian Statehood and De Jure UN Membership Issues

A previous article explained Francis Boyle's work as PLO legal advisor to assure all Palestinians worldwide automatically become citizens of the State of Palestine if granted by the upcoming General Assembly vote. Access it through the following link:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/08/follow-up-comments-on-palestinian.html

On August 30, Ma'an News published his assessment and International and Comparative Law Professor John Quigley's concurring, saying:

The Palestinians' "initiative" to be introduced in the General Assembly "is no threat" to their rights, and "will only improve their standing. This is because as a matter of international law, states must ensure that human rights are not being violated."

As a sovereign state, Palestine will be "interacting" with others, "and this is a much stronger position. It can pursue remedies at the diplomatic level in its capacity as a state. It will do favors for other states. It can demand (them) in return. It can also pursue prosecutions of Israeli officials for war crimes," including illegal settlements, applying greater pressure available to sovereign states.

Moreover, "(r)ather than posing a threat to the refugees, (they'll), in fact, be in a much stronger position. Legally, while people might leave states, if the refugees are nationals then the state cannot refuse to allow them to return."

In 1988, the General Assembly accepted the PLO "as the sole representative of the Palestinian people." It's precisely what it's likely to do "in September if asked to accept Palestine as a state."

A Final Comment

The Virtual Jerusalem web site headlined, "Let Your Voice Be Heard," stating:

"Say No to Palestinian Statehood." Access its site through the following link:

http://www.virtualjerusalem.com/

The pro-Israeli group accuses the PA of including "terrorist(s)....whose stated mission is 'the elimination of Israel," no matter that saying so is a bald-faced lie.

Nonetheless, it accused Hamas of hundreds of terrorists attacks, calling self-defense against Israeli violence "terrorism," what scoundrels always say.

It falsely said the PA lacks "vital aspects of modern statehood, such as freedom, respect for human rights, and a functioning democracy. Palestinian statehood," it adds, "will make peace negotiations with Israel impossible."

In fact, they've been stillborn for decades because Israel and Washington promote violence, not peace, a notion they find intolerable.

Virtual Jerusalem doesn't even lie well, adding that Palestinian statehood "will be gravely detrimental to Israel's security and the safety of the Israeli people."

"Stand with Israel and make your voice heard," it says. Tell Obama to support Israel against Palestine. Of course, he, like past presidents since Lyndon Johnson, have done it throughout their tenure.

It's time more responsible world leaders recognized rule of law responsibilities by voting to grant Palestinian statehood and full de jure UN membership.

Why? Because it's the right thing to do!

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

NATO Style Liberation

NATO Style Liberation - by Stephen Lendman

Wherever it goes, NATO slaughters, ravages, lays waste, incinerates, contaminates, devastates, conquers, colonizes, plunders, exploits, impoverishes and immiserates.

Libya is its latest victim.

It's now a hellish inferno thanks to NATO and its rebel gangs, unleashed to commit mass murder with impunity.

NATO calls it humanitarian intervention responsibility to protect. It's Orwellian doublespeak for war - for Libyans, without mercy to destroy another independent state.

For America, Britain and France, it's for another imperial trophy.

For Libyans, it turned their world upside down through the barrel of a gun.

They call it naked aggression, mass slaughter, and turning Africa's most developed state into a dystopian nightmare.

It's why people of conscience say never forgive or forget.

Watch the Libya Truth video and compare the country before and after NATO, accessed through the following link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=aJURNC0e6Ek

With independent Tripoli-based voices silenced, it's hard getting accurate daily information. Nonetheless, some mainstream sources report rebel forces are committing reprisals, revenge killings, and perhaps indiscriminate murder across the city, repeating the same pattern they followed in other parts of the country.

On August 27, London Independent writer Kim Sengupta headlined, "Rebels settle scores in Libyan capital," saying:

"The killings were pitiless." Rebels murdered people in hospitals. "Some of the dead were on stretchers, attached to intravenous drips. Some were on the back of an ambulance that had been shot at. A few were on the ground, seemingly attempting to crawl to safety when the bullets came."

Dozens more dead were decomposing in summer heat, many with their hands tied behind their backs before being murdered in cold blood. Many were Black guest workers, victimized by taking employment at the wrong time in the wrong place.

In rebel-controlled areas, atrocities continue against suspected Gaddafi loyalists. As a result, up to 95% of Tripoli residents are at risk. A potential bloodbath may ensue, but who'll know if coverup replaces good journalism.

On August 28, London Independent writer Patrick Cockburn headlined, "Rebels wreak revenge on dictator's men," saying:

Dozens of rotting corpses "are an ominous foretaste of what might be Libya's future. The incoming regime makes pious statements about taking no revenge," but you'd never know it from visible carnage across the city.

"The crucial question for Libyans is whether the war will now truly end," or if Libya will replicate Afghanistan and Iraq where nothing so far is resolved, only an illusion of quasi-stability in Baghdad and other parts of the country.

Cockburn quoted Sky News reporter Alex Crawford's comments on rebel-committed bloodshed in Zawiya, saying:

"They were bringing in people with half their heads blown off, people with their legs blown off....We saw Gaddafi fighters who were tied up and executed...Rebel retaliations here are really upsetting."

Tripoli is experiencing the worst of them, war crimes by NATO-unleashed killers.

On August 26, Washington Post writer Simon Denyer headlined, "Libyan rebels carry out reprisal attacks," saying:

Mass killings "cast a dark shadow over (rebel-controlled Tripoli), and call into question whether" they'll keep reigning terror on city residents.

Amnesty International's (AI) Diana Eltahawy said:

"In Tripoli, we are seeing the same pattern in recent days that we saw earlier in the east," describing extrajudicial killings, torture and other forms of abuse committed against Gaddafi loyalists.

Denyer reported five Gaddafi supporters in a field hospital and fire station "in agony and blood, apparently left to die....without food, water or medical attention for two days."

Bodies of others loyal to him "lay rotting in the sun" near his compound. Some were face down with their hands bound behind their backs.

Dark-skinned residents are most at risk, whether Libyans or guest workers. Revenge killings and other atrocities are now the order of the day. As a result, it's unsafe for anyone suspected of being anti-NATO in rebel-controlled territory. It's been that way across the country since conflict began last winter.

War indeed is hell. Libyans know the worst of it that's far from over. McClatchy News Service offered another glimpse, saying:

"The dead had been pro-Gaddafi fighters, but they had not gone down fighting. Some had been shot inside their tents, possibly asleep, without shoes on. One had been shot inside an ambulance and another (in) a field hospital, still hooked to an intravenous drip. Others had gunshot wounds in the back of their heads, fueling speculation of executions by rebel fighters."

Reuters reported evidence of mass graves. The Los Angeles Times described "the visceral violence of rebel forces hammering away at residential neighborhoods known to be" pro-Gaddafi.

In fact, it includes practically all of them, so imagine what may lie ahead. The London Guardian quoted State Department official Heather Hurlburt admitting what should be widely known; namely that:

"I have not seen a whole lot of effort to keep defining this in humanitarian terms."

In other words, she officially called the pretext for intervening a lie, in more polite terms.

With tongue in cheek perhaps, she added:

"There is a perception in the UN that NATO's campaign has gone way beyond the mandate."

She, of course, knows it was planned that way well before bombing began on March 19.

New York Times articles, commentaries and editorials discussed little of what's explained above.

Instead, on August 28, writers Helene Cooper and Steven Lee Myers produced a typical Times Pentagon/administration handout piece headlined, "US Tactics in Libya May Be a Model for Other Efforts," suggesting perhaps raping Libya reflects US generosity.

"It would be premature to call the war in Libya a complete success for United States interests," they said. But rebels arriving in "Tripoli last week gave (Obama's) senior advisors a chance to claim a key victory for an Obama doctrine for the Middle East...."

In other words, imperial lawlessness that includes bombing, massacring, and laying waste across Libya should be replicated wherever US "interests are threatened," they suggested.

Those "interests," of course, mean unchallenged global dominance, no matter how many corpses it takes to achieve it. In Libya alone, it's many thousands, as well as millions adversely affected, heading for much worse if NATO occupation takes hold.

Before conflict began, Washington planned it after completing laying waste to vast parts of Libya. It's the same strategy used in Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan hoping for the same outcome, with Special Forces leading insurgents instead of imperial assault troops, then perhaps "peacekeepers," not NATO country contingents, as occupiers.

As in all wars, only wealth and power interests win at the expense of an intolerable price for ordinary people under falling bombs, as well as ravaged by marauding ground forces.

Yugoslavs know. So do Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis, Palestinians, many others, and now Libyans. Ask them. They'll explain better than Times and other major media sources that lie.

A Final Comment

Amidst the bad news, there's some good. Voltaire Network reported the French Foreign Affairs Ministry saying Thierry Meyssan, Mathieu Ozonan and Julien Teil left Tripoli aboard a rescue ship.

After a 36 hour trip, they and the other independent journalists arrived safely in Malta. On arrival, Meyssan expressed his gratitude, saying:

"Thank you all. Your mobilization was tremendous. We owe you our lives."

At the same time, they left many friends behind, facing a frightening fate at the hands of NATO and their rebel killers.

Never forget. Never forgive what US-led aggression did to millions of Libyans and so many others in the region.

On August 29, Global Research.ca reported the following:

"Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya left Tripoli Sunday at 1.00pm EDT together with the group of independent journalists of France's Reseau Voltaire."

Safely in Malta, they'll be heading home shortly.

An email sent this writer late Sunday afternoon said "we now have no independent journalists" in Tripoli.

Hopefully, they're all safe, heading home with much to recount from what they witnessed firsthand.

Libyans, however, are less fortunate. They remain to face the worst of what NATO has in mind. An August 29 email sent this writer perhaps expresses what many feel, saying: "Come back Gadaffi, all is forgiven."

Much about Libya will be discussed on future Progressive Radio News Hour programs, including on September 1, 3 and 4.

Listen live or archived for honest Libya coverage and important discussions on many other major topics.

Rest assured! This writer and radio host won't ever forget what was done, nor fail to continue supporting the rights of all people everywhere to live free from imperial domination.

Nothing less ever should be tolerated!

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Progressive Radio News Hour Guests for September 1, 3 and 4, 2011

The Progressive Radio News Hour Guests for September 1, 3, and 4, 2011

Thursday, September 1, at 10AM US Central time: Nawal El Saadawi

Saadawi is a leading Egyptian feminist, sociologist, physician, and important writer (including 27 books) on Arab women's problems and related issues.

Conditions in Egypt and Middle East uprisings will be discussed.

Saturday, September 3 at noon US Central time: James Fetzer

Fetzer is the distinguished Department of Philosophy McKnight University Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

He's a prolific author of numerous articles and over 20 books on the philosophy of science, and the theoretical foundations of computer science, artificial intelligence and cognitive science.

He's also the founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, a non-partisan association of faculty, students, and scholars, dedicated to exposing official lies, removing the shroud of deceit, and revealing truths behind 9/11.

That seminal event and its aftermath will be discussed.

Sunday, September 4 at noon US Central time: Mahdi Nazemroaya and Ray McGovern

Nazemroaya is a Middle East/Central Asian analyst and Research Associate for the Center for Research on Globalization.

Since June, he and other independent journalists reported truthfully on NATO's Libya war, putting themselves at great risk doing it.

He's now home safely and will discuss what he saw firsthand.


McGovern is a retired CIA officer (1963 - 1990), turned activist and political critic, addressing major world and national issues in lectures, interviews, and frequent articles.

His latest world and national views will be discussed.

NATO's Ugly Face

NATO's Ugly Face - by Stephen Lendman

View it yourself!

http://www.youtube.com/user/soket1234

Images don't lie, except NATO's fake ones produced in Doha, Qatar and perhaps elsewhere on Hollywood sound stages.

For months, NATO marauders and rebel killers gang raped Libya - murdering, destroying, ravaging on the pretense of protecting.

On August 22, Obama, a duplicitous unindicted war criminal, described the above images as "basic and joyful longing for human freedom."

On August 25, Secretary of State Clinton, another unindicted war criminal, said "(t)he events in Libya this week have heartened the world."

Let them and their conspiratorial allies go to Tripoli, Brega, Misrata and other ravaged Libyan cities and see for themselves.

Let them view streets filled with mangled corpses, blood, agony on the face of the living, destruction everywhere in sight, and human misery beyond what scales can measure.

Let them see firsthand the fruits of their victory. Let them taste, smell, and witness Tripoli's growing humanitarian disaster.

On August 27, Russia Today reported "widespread shortages of fuel, water and electricity, and humanitarian aid supplies are yet to reach the country. The situation on the ground is very close to a catastrophe."

"Tripoli is now facing severe shortages of running water, electricity, gasoline and medicine....The city's municipal services are paralyzed."

Destruction, garbage and maggot-infested corpses fill streets. Communicable and other disease outbreaks may follow, including from contaminated water, soil, and air.

Let them imagine hidden rage and the popular will to resist this and much more.

Let them consider what may, in fact, unfold ahead - continued resistance, struggle, and commitment for real freedom, not serfdom under NATO pillagers.

Not banker occupation. Not Big Oil plundering their resources. Not Washington, London and Paris deciding what's "best" for Libya.

Not settling for servitude under monstrous rulers there to destroy their life force, spirit, and will to say this won't stand!

Not surrendering on their knees. Choosing death on their feet instead, committed to struggle for real liberation. Willing to pay the price because the alternative is too grim to accept, and won't be.

Through at least August 27, independent journalists remained trapped, virtual prisoners, inside Tripoli's Corinthia Hotel, unable to provide real news and commentaries on this and other vital events in Tripoli and other areas.

Their reports are sorely missed. Hopefully efforts continue to free them safely to return home.

On August 26, the International Action Center headlined, "LIBYA - Resistance to US/NATO Conquest Continues," saying:

Despite NATO's full force and the worst kind of insurgent banditry, "heroic resistance to imperialist conquests" continues.

"All the corporate media (deception) claiming mass surrender," Gaddafi fleeing, his sons arrested, and other disinformation "turned out to be nothing but lies and psychological warfare."

As in Iraq and Afghanistan, "arrogant(ly) declar(ing) victory and 'mission accomplished' " won't end popular struggles continuing in "many forms."

Libyans "heroically withstood not only (months of bombing), but also....racist corporate media propaganda (portraying America and) NATO's military machine....as great white liberators."

Now they face pillaging on a grand scale. Responsibility to protect, in fact, disguises an opportunity to plunder, once killing and destruction end or at least subside.

Disaster capitalism is planned for Libya. Naomi Klein explained it in "The Shock Doctrine," exposing the myth of free market democracy. She revealed how neoliberal pillaging exploits security threats, terror attacks, economic meltdowns, natural disasters, and wars.

Ahead expect social services ended, public ones privatized, and freedom on the chopping block to be lost. Planned is a new Western version of Libya, replacing a socially responsible one under Gaddafi.

It was a key reason why he was targeted for removal so corporate predators could swoop in to pick apart Libya's corpse.

As a result, spoils will be divvied up among them. Then on to the next target, and ones after that until all Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia are colonized, occupied by one means or other, and plundered.

In fact, parasitic pillaging is Washington's idea of free market triumphalism, including privatizing public enterprises, regulatory freedom, tax cuts for the rich, impoverishing the rest, exploiting them, corporate handouts, and militarized control for enforcement.

It supports the Bilderberg notion of a global classless society - a New World Order with rulers and serfs. No middle class, no unions, no democracy, no equity or justice, just empowered oligarchs, freed to do as they please under a universal legal system benefitting them.

It's right out of Milton Friedman's play book, articulated in his 1962 book, "Capitalism and Freedom," saying:

"only a crisis - actual or perceived - produces real change. When a crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around...our basic function (is) to develop alternatives to existing policies (and be ready to roll them out when the) impossible becomes the politically inevitable."

Friedman believed that government's sole function is "to protect our freedom from (outside) enemies (and) our fellow-citizens. (It's to) preserve law and order (as well as) enforce private contracts, (safeguard private property and) foster competitive markets."

Everything else in public hands is socialism, an ideology he called blasphemous. He said markets work best unfettered of rules, regulations, onerous taxes, trade barriers, "entrenched interests," human interference, and the best government is practically none.

In other words, anything government does business does better so let it. Ideas about democracy, social justice, and a caring society, he believed were verboten because they interfere with free-wheeling capitalism.

He said public wealth should be in private hands, profit accumulation unrestrained, corporate taxes abolished, and social services curtailed or ended. He believed "economic freedom is an end to itself (and) an indispensable means toward (achieving) political freedom."

Applied to Libya, neither one is possible unless popular resistance prevents or regains what Washington and its allies plan to take, leaving nothing but servitude for Libyans.

That harsh reality has to be resisted, no matter what it takes or for how long. Hopefully, Libyans are up to the task. Given their rage against planned NATO occupation and plunder, very likely quitting is something they don't contemplate.

Perhaps it's the wild card Washington doesn't expect. A previous article headlined, It Ain't Over Till It's Over. Another was titled, Libya: Keep the Freedom Flame Alive.

Remember John Lennon's lyrics imagining "Nothing to kill or die for....Living life in peace, and "hop(ing) someday....the world will live as one."

So why not if enough in it try.

Accomplishing tough things take a while. The impossible takes a little longer.

Step one is ending Friedman's version of the best of all possible worlds, NATO, and corporate occupation of Washington.

Achieving that would be a major step toward freeing Libyans and perhaps finishing the job elsewhere for the kind of world everyone deserves.

It's there for the taking with enough commitment.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Washington Threatens Palestinian Statehood Bid

Washington Threatens Palestinian Statehood Bid - by Stephen Lendman

Washington wages wars multiple ways, including militarily, financially, and politically by supporting wrong over right each time.

For decades, it subverted peace negotiations and Palestine's bid for statehood. The Obama administration's now doing it again, besides waging multiple wars and undermining freedom wherever it surfaces, abroad and at home.

On August 26, Haaretz headlined: "US: We will stop aid to Palestinians if UN bid proceeds," saying:

America "will stop all financial aid to the Palestinian Authority if they" pursue statehood and de jure UN membership In September.

US Consul General Daniel Rubenstein told chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat that Washington will veto a UN Security Council resolution if it's sought unilaterally within June 1967 borders, despite its illegality under international law and its pledge not to do so against any state seeking UN membership.

Moreover, only the General Assembly has authority to affirm new members by a two-thirds majority. It's believed more than enough support exists to admit Palestine as a sovereign state full member.

Rubenstein also threatened to cut off aid and impose other unspecified punitive measures. Whether replicating in Palestinian what's ongoing in Libya wasn't suggested, but as Washington at times puts it:

Nothing is off the table, so expect harsh recriminations if Palestinians seek long overdue rights, ones entitled to all states.

In June, the Senate unanimously approved a measure to end funding if statehood is pursued. In early July, so did the House, voting 407 - 6. Its resolution also called for suspending aid in light of the PA's unity deal with Hamas.

Both House and Senate resolutions are non-binding as foreign policy is the purview of the Executive, except for the right to declare war, a power restricted solely to Congress.

The State of Palestine, in fact, exists. It was proclaimed in Algiers on November 15, 1988 when the PLO adopted the Palestinian Declaration of Independence.

PLO legal advisor Law Professor Francis Boyle drafted it with safeguards to assure all their rights as a sovereign state, and that full de jure UN membership doesn't comprise them.

Rubenstein's threat is another reminder of who's friend or foe. Washington's supportive when Palestinians are quiescent and subservient to Israel.

In other words, willingness to sacrifice independence and stay occupied are requisites to avoid attacks and other retaliatory actions.

It's time to ignore rogue threats and go for what's there to be gotten if pursued.

Not, however, without opposition from AIPAC. It's circulating action alert says in part:

If America "fails" to derail Palestine's statehood pursuit, "the consequences could be immense: Israelis could be dragged into foreign courts and charged with human rights violations....nations could implement sweeping economic sanctions....the Jewish presence in East Jerusalem could come under severe international challenge."

AIPAC asked for support to subvert Palestinian rights. Unless public anger resists, it may happen.

Francis Boyle emailed these relevant comments, saying:

Palestinians "act(ed) in good faith and with sincerity. (They've) been critically misled and misinformed," including by so-called experts, willing to sell their souls by falsifying facts in lieu of accurate analyses.

They don't care and perhaps don't "even understand that once (Palestine) become(s) a UN Member State, (it) can ratify the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court and then file a formal State to State Complaint against Israeli Officials, upgrading the lower level Complaint President Abbas filed at my advice."

"They also do not know that once (Palestine) become(s) a UN Member State, (it) can ratify the Genocide Convention and sue Israel for Genocide at the World Court, pursuant to the advice I had already given President Arafat and President Abbas, and get a temporary restraining Order against the Zionists, that would then go to the Security Council for enforcement, and if vetoed by the Americans, to the General Assembly for enforcement under the (1950) Uniting for Peace Resolution."

"With these proceedings, (it may) be able to halt the Zionist settlement project of all Palestine in the immediate future. How else" can it be done?

For issues Boyle raises and others, it's essential to proceed as planned to assure rights all Palestinians deserve no longer are denied.

Let imperial threats delay them no longer. Doing so is defeat.

A Final Comment

On August 28, Haaretz writer Barak Ravid headlined, "UN envoy Prosor: Israel has no chance of stopping recognition of Palestinian state," saying:

Israeli UN ambassador Ron Prosor "sent a classified cable to the Foreign Ministry last week, stating that Israel stands no chance of rallying a substantial number of states to oppose a" General Assembly resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood and full de jure membership.

Gaining only possible abstentions, Proser said Palestine's effort won't be derailed. "Only a few countries will vote against the" initiative. Up to 140 support it, more than enough for a two-thirds majority.

The position of most 27 EU member states remains unknown. Spain's on board. Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Czech Republic are opposed as well as America.

However, an unnamed senior Foreign Ministry source said, "(m)ost western countries will not be willing to be in the hall and vote against a Palestinian state."

At this point, the Foreign Ministry, Shin Bet and IDF officials believe it's now best trying to influence the resolution's language, "aiming at a resumption of negotiations after the vote."

Let's hope the current General Assembly session will grant Palestinians what they've been long denied. If so, it'll be a major step toward ending occupation, Gaza's siege, and greater justice.

They remain critically important unattained victories within reach if enough committed people pursue them.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Never Forgive, Never Forget

Never Forgive, Never Forget - by Stephen Lendman

After covering Libya's rape since last winter in dozens of articles, no forgiving or forgetting is possible for one of history's great crimes.

Nor is ignoring those responsible, condemning them forthrightly, and explaining why all wars are waged.

NATO outdid Orwell on this one, killing truth by calling war the responsibility to protect - by terrorizing, attacking, and slaughtering civilians like psychopathic assassins.

As a result, honest historians will redefine barbarism to explain NATO's savagery. It includes ongoing crimes of war and against humanity for the most malevolent reasons.

When is war not war? It's when committing cold-blooded murder is called the right thing. When major media scoundrels cheerlead it, and when most people believe it because they're too indifferent, uncaring or lazy to learn the truth.

NATO's rape of Libya is too ugly for proper words to describe. Only honest images can do it, and lots of them.

Instead, the Big Lie substitutes for honest journalism, especially on television where real (not fake) visuals can show mangled bodies, mass destruction, and other evidence of NATO crimes.

Where civilian deaths can be shown graphically in living color. Where responsibility can be placed where it belongs. Where right and wrong can best be explained. Where repetition can arouse public outrage. Where proper analysis in advance perhaps can prevent all wars.

None are liberating, lawful, or virtuous. All are shamelessly exploitive. Libya's one of the worst - unscrupulously benefitting powerful interests criminally, ruthlessly, and diabolically.

It doesn't get any worse than that. Ask Lybians. They'll explain.

Leading America's Pack Journalistic Lying

The New York Times is America's lead propaganda instrument, its reports getting enough global coverage to make a difference.

From the start, it cheerled war with Libya. It played the same role in Afghanistan, Iraq, and all previous US wars, deceiving its readers by dishonest journalism, commentaries, and editorials.

August 26 was no different. Two articles among others stand out. David Kirkpatrick wrote one headlined, "As Qaddafi Forces Retreat, a Newly Freed Imam Encourages Forgiveness," saying:

Pro-NATO Sheik Abdul Ghani Aboughreis helped incite last winter's uprising "with a fiery Friday sermon at the Mourad Agha mosque. His words sent thousands of demonstrators pouring into the streets. (His) mosque and neighborhood became a center of revolt and resistance...."

After six months of shamelessly supporting death and destruction against his own people, he now encourages "forgiv(ing) each other, to make sure to leave it to the law and not take revenge on each other."

As in all his Libya war articles, Kirkpatrick left unexplained months of crimes of war and against humanity, committed by NATO and paramilitary killers.
Instead, he highlighted alleged evidence of ongoing Gaddafi loyalist crimes.

In times of war, both sides commit them, but whatever government forces did pale compared to NATO's savagery and its hired assassins. Kirkpatrick and other Times writers failed to notice.

Anthony Shadid and Kareem Hahim were no better headlining, "Grim Evidence of Fighting's Toll Becomes Clearer in Libya," saying:

"As the fighting died down in Tripoli on Friday, the scope and savagery of the violence during the nearly weeklong battle for control of the capital began to come into sharper focus."

Evidence he cites is a shameful Amnesty International report (based on freed Al Qaeda and other paramilitary prisoners), saying:

AI "uncovered evidence that forces loyal to (Gaddafi) have killed numerous detainees held at two military camps in Tripoli on 23 and 24 August."

Perhaps so if other insurgents freed them, attacked Gaddafi forces in the process, and they fought back.

Instead, AI said:

"Loyalist forces in Libya must immediately stop such killings of captives, and both sides must commit to ensuring no harm comes to prisoners in their custody."

Like UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, AI tries to have it both ways, ruining everything it gets right by reports like this - equating horrendous NATO crimes with lesser ones committed by Gaddafi forces, perhaps many less than imagined. The fog of war makes it hard to know precisely.

Instead, Shadid and Hahim's article was shamelessly one sided. While citing clear evidence of rebel-committed atrocities, their article claimed:

-- Tripoli violence is now subsiding when, in fact, it rages;

-- rebels say Gaddafi loyalists killed their own, an absurdity on its face;

-- it's hard "to ascertain the fate of....dead men" in hospitals, as well as chaos committed inside; AP and Reuters reported it resulted from rebel-committed terror;

-- Gaddafi's "cloak of secrecy (and) mercurial rule" are being revealed, leaving unexplained why Washington and its NATO partners wage all wars;

-- slogans are being displayed, saying "Libya is free" and "Misurata is steadfast," though still Gaddafi controlled, it's believed, what Shadid and Hahim ignored, as well as not debunking claims of Libya's freedom; and

-- documents in Gaddafi's compound "seemed to show that (his) adopted daughter Hana, who was supposedly killed at age 4 in (1986), was alive (and) working as a doctor;" the key words "seemed to show" both Times writers implied were proof, adding that Tripoli Central Hospital workers claimed "a spacious and well-appointed office" there was hers.

Throughout the conflict, Times articles, op-eds and editorials backed it. Their unstated message is war is good, the more the better when America wages them.

Sadly, that's the state of managed Western news and opinion. It's a shocking indictment of its support for wealth and power, no matter how lawless and harmful to billions exploited ruthlessly, shameless, and repeatedly.

Final Comments

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reports continued fighting in Tripoli, inflicting many casualties.

Moreover, many injured can't be treated because of ongoing violence, inadequate staff, and enough supplies and capacity at local hospitals.

In addition, "numerous arrests" were made, "including foreign nationals." Their welfare is very much at risk, especially those singled out for revenge.

Fierce fighting also continues around Misrata and elsewhere. The end of conflict is nowhere in sight. Brega "look(s) like a ghost town."

In different areas, people are endangered by unexploded ordinance, as well as shortages of food, clean water, drugs, other medical supplies, and spotty or no electricity.

Washington-led NATO turned Libya into a hellish inferno - step one before occupying and exploiting its resources and people. Months ago its wealth was stolen. Ahead will be its future if Libyans don't struggle and win their freedom.

On August 26 on Russia Today (RT.com), journalist Pepe Escobar said Abdelhakim Belhadj, a former Al-Qaeda insurgent/now CIA asset commands rebel forces in Tripoli.

He explained that he was trained in Afghanistan by a "very hardcore Islamist Libyan group." Earlier he was captured in Malaysia, detained and tortured in Bangkok, then transferred back to Libya and imprisoned.

In 2009, he made a deal for freedom, in return for serving Western interests, Escobar saying:

"I can say almost for sure with 95% certainty that this is the guy" heading insurgents in Tripoli.

It shows how Washington both demonizes and uses Al Qaeda advantageously, including bin Laden. He was a longtime CIA asset until his death in December 2001 - not from Obama's staged raid.

Notably, Al Qaeda was a 1980s CIA creation during the Soviet-Afghan war. Moreover, Washington both supports international terrorism covertly and battles it by imperial wars and persecuting Muslims for their faith.

It's part of the fog to scare people enough to believe waging wars remove threats that, in fact, don't exist. So they have to be invented to enlist public support, unaware of the harm caused abroad and at home.

Only war profiteers benefit, not taxpayers they steal from or victims they attack. At the same time, corrosive militarism, financial wars, and other destructive policies destroyed America's soul. Its future as a free country is next.

So focused on bread and circus distractions, most people don't notice. How else can Washington get away with murder!

Finally, the fate of independent journalists trapped in Tripoli's Corinthia Hotel remains unclear. They're still in harm's way because a chartered ship for their safe passage out either hasn't arrived or it's too unsafe to reach it.

Further updates will follow.

In conclusion, Law Professor Francis Boyle's morning email said the following:

"After Six Months of fighting by the most powerful military alliance in the history of the world, Ghadafy has now become the Greatest African Warrior since Hannibal against the Romans - predecessors to the Americans."

"Generations from now, people will sing songs, write poems, and compose odes to Ghadafy all over Africa, the Arab World, the Muslim World, and the Third World long after Obama is dead and disparaged and discredited."

Sic transit Gloria mundi (Thus passes the glory of the world)!"

Keep Libya's freedom flame alive no matter how imperial monsters try to destroy it!

We're all Libyans now! Their struggle is ours!

It's high time we matched their courageous spirit against the world's most pernicious/destructive force.

Bowed perhaps, they're not broken! Isn't that enough to raise our consciousness to support them!

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/Never

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Rebel Assassins Terrorizing Libyans

Rebel Assassins Terrorizing Libyans - by Stephen Lendman

In his new article headlined, "9/11 After A Decade: Have We Learned Anything?" Paul Craig Roberts said:

"Today Americans are unsafe, not because of terrorists and domestic extremists, but because they have lost their civil liberties and no protection from unaccountable government power."

So have millions under occupation and/or attack by US/NATO forces, terrorizing them in the name of "democracy" to "set them free."

America is a global terror state. For decades, it's menaced humanity's survival by imperial wars for wealth and power, not liberation or democratic values. All US administrations reviled them, notably Obama's, including at home.

Under him, "unaccountable government power" terrorizes globally.

It's a truism that where large energy reserves exist, America has imperial plans to control them. Libya is now ground zero. US-led NATO assassins invaded to menace, intimidate, kill, plunder, and cause out-of-control chaos, notably in Tripoli, the struggle's current epicenter.

On August 16, Michel Chossudovsky's article headlined, "The Pentagon's 'Salvador Option:' The Deployment of Death Squads in Iraq and Syria," saying:

Reports suggest the use of "thousands of Islamist 'freedom fighters,' reminiscent of the enlistment of Mujahideen to wage the CIA's jihad (holy war)" against Soviet Russia in Afghanistan.

Chossudovsky wrote about possible plans "to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels. The Turkish army would house," train, and send them to Syria.

Thousands of similar elements are in Libya.

On August 20, independent journalist Thierry Meyssan said NATO debarked large numbers of jihadi forces with heavy weapons on Tripoli's coast. Special forces led them. Violence and mass killing followed. It still rages, slaughtering hundreds, perhaps thousands, and wounding many more.

On August 26, London Independent writers Kim Sengupta and Portia Walker headlined, "Bodies pile up as search for Gaddafi intensifies," saying:

"Fierce fighting and wild rumors (spread) as hunt gathers pace." So far, there's "no sign of an end to the conflict as" battles rage.

On August 26, London Guardian writer Simon Jenkins headlined, "Libya is not an advertisement for intervention," saying:

"Several claims....made about NATO's involvement (have) little basis in reality," including:

(1) Preventing a Benghazi massacre. It "was NATO propaganda."

In fact, mass killing only began when NATO arrived and hasn't stopped.

(2) Replacing Gaddafi to protect civilians and install a more democratic regime.

NATO plans occupation and puppet leaders taking orders from Washington, as well as plundering Libya for profit.

(3) "(N)o foreign troops on the ground" will be used.

"This NATO pledge was mendacious....British (and other Western) ground troops were extensively deployed in Libya," arriving before conflict began last winter.

(4) "Britain was not taking sides in a foreign civil war."

In fact, Washington, Britain, and other NATO countries partnered to oust Gaddafi. Insurgents, supported by air power, were recruited to do it. Western interests "most emphatically decided the fate of the Libyan people. (They) brought anarchy in the place of order....(They can't) disown the consequences."

From the start, Western leaders knew if they "toppled Gaddafi (they) would own the place. It was no good saying they "learn(ed) from Iraq. The lesson of Iraq was, don't do it in the first place."

Libya, in fact, is replicating it. NATO's Operation Mermaid Dawn hoped to end it in Tripoli. "Mermaid" is Tripoli's nickname. On August 20, it was launched from Sarim Street's Ben Nabi mosque after Iftar, the breaking Ramadan's fast.

Insurgents used mosque loud speakers to broadcast chants to Tripoli residents. NATO carpet bombing and strafing preceded and accompanied it to clear their way to advance unimpeded after initial loyalist counterattacks.

Activated sleeper cells around the city joined the fighting. Weapons were shipped in weeks in advance. Text messages urged residents to join insurgents. Battles raged. They still do. Likely protracted conflict will cause thousands of deaths and injuries, as well as destruction across Tripoli and other parts of Libya, besides the horrendous past six months' toll.

The Big Lie accompanies the campaign, including a Potemkin village replica of Tripoli's Green Square and Gaddafi compound in Doha, Qatar.

It was used to create fabricated scenes of euphoria, aired by Al Jazeera, an imperial co-conspirator. In fact, it was an elaborate hoax to convince residents Tripoli was in rebel hands. Perhaps seizure of Gaddafi's compound was also exaggerated, reminiscent of Orson Welles' famous 1938 War of the Worlds radio drama.

The hoax heard around the world sounded real enough to make millions think aliens had landed. Angry about public gullibility, Welles reportedly said, "If they'll believe everything, I'm going to give them something (really) unbelievable to believe."

Misinformation and the art of surprise work well enough to convince people of most anything. It's especially effective tactically in wars. The jury is out on if it'll work this time, given strong loyalist opposition to NATO occupation.

All along, the pretext used to intervene was to "protect civilians and civilian populated areas from threat of attack," as stipulated under the General Assembly's 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, adopting the responsibility to protect (RtoP).

A previous article explained paragraph 138, stating each nation must "protect (its) population from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity."

Paragraph 139 delegates responsibility to the UN "to use appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian and other peaceful means, in accordance with Chapters VI and VIII of the Charter, to help protect populations from" these crimes.

Military force isn't authorized, and the UN Charter prohibits it for humanitarian interventions. As a result, justifying it under RtoP is illegal. Doing so amounts to committing war crimes to prevent them.

The UN Charter's Chapter VI calls for peaceful conflict resolutions. If they fail, Chapter VII authorizes the Security Council to impose boycotts, embargoes, blockades and severance of diplomatic ties - not war.

As a result, Washington's led NATO intervention is naked aggression, supplemented by paramilitary assassins, terrorizing Tripoli residents and other Libyans they attacked, murdering Gaddafi loyalists.

After entering Tripoli, AP and Reuters reported massacres of his supporters near his compound, AP saying:

"The bodies are scattered around a grassy square next to (Gaddafi's) Bab al-Aziziya (compound). Prone on grassy lots as if napping, (they're) sprawled in tents. Some have had their wrists bound by plastic ties. The identity of the dead are unclear but they are in all likelihood activists that set up an impromptu tent city in solidarity with (Gaddafi) outside his compound in defiance of the NATO bombings."

AP noted "the disturbing specter of mass killings of noncombatants, detainees and the wounded." Some were "shot in the head, with their hands tied behind their backs. A body in a doctor's green hospital gown was found in the canal. The bodies were bloated."

Reuters reported 30 bodies "riddled with bullets....Five of the dead were at a field hospital nearby, with one in an ambulance strapped to a gurney with an intravenous drip still in his arm." Two other bodies "were charred beyond recognition."

The London Telegraph interviewed a surgeon saying hundreds were "coming in within the first few hours (of fighting). It was like a vision from hell. Missile injuries were the worst. The damage they do to the human body is shocking to see, even for someone like me who is used to dealing with injuries."

He said most casualties were civilians. Tripoli's three main hospitals are full of them. Unable to handle the volume, many suffer in agony or die untreated. Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres) warned of a medical catastrophe. Already there's a human one wrought by NATO and their rebel assassins on the pretext of humanitarian intervention.

What's involved, of course, is planned colonization, occupation and plunder of Libya's wealth and natural resources, including its Great Man-Made River (GMMR). Gaddafi rightfully called it the "Eighth Wonder of the World," consisting of the largest global underground network of pipes and aqueducts, distributing water from an ocean-sized aquifer.

Along with free education, healthcare, housing assistance and other social benefits, Gaddafi supplied it to Libyans. NATO wants it privatized to make it costly or unaffordable henceforth, along with charging for everything formerly gotten free.

The opening comments of a previous article bear repeating, saying:

The US/UK/French-led war on Libya will be remembered as one of history's greatest crimes. It violates the letter and spirit of international law and America's Constitution.

The Nuremberg Tribunal's Chief Justice Robert Jackson called naked aggression "the supreme international crime against peace....so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate (its) being ignored, because it cannot survive....being repeated."

Post-WW II, it got worse, highlighted by what Washington, its NATO partners, and rebel assassins are doing across Libya. At the same time, they scandalously avoid calling it war, when, in fact, it's that and more in the worst sense.

Make no mistake. For months, Libyans have been slaughtered and terrorized by vicious war criminals headquartered in Washington, London and Paris.

Unaccountable, they plan more conflicts across the region for total dominance at the expense of thousands more lost lives, as well as unspeakable human misery. It doesn't get any worse than that.

A Final Comment

A morning email alert said the following:

"Although journalists reporting from the Rixos Al Nasr Hotel in Tripoli were relocated to the Corinthia Hotel, also in Tripoli, on Wednesday August 24, in an effort to increase their safety, independent journalist and Canadian citizen Mahdi Nazamroaya continues to express grave concerns for his life. Mr. Nazemroaya told friends on Thursday that his safety was now even more at risk with armed groups entering the Corinthia hotel. Mr. Nazemroaya is unable to leave the hotel.

The planned departure of a boat which would have brought journalists and migrants outside of Libya was delayed and the transfer of journalists to the boat in all safety remains uncertain.

The Canadian Government has yet to act to ensure that Mr. Nazemroaya is repatriated to his home country despite having ties with the Hongarian embassy in Tripoli. Friends and family continue to demand that the government take concrete action to ensure that Mr. Nazemroaya is escorted back to safety. 

Mr. Nazemroaya is a recent graduate of the University of Ottawa where he also held a research assistant position."


For further information:
Mireille Gervais
Director, Student Appeal Centre, Student Federation of the University of Ottawa

The lives of other trapped independent journalists are also at risk, including Lizzie Phelan, Franklin Lamb, Thierry Meyssan, Mathieu and Julien Ozanon Teil, because they're unprotected at the rebel-held Corinthia Hotel.

As a result, assuring their safe passage out of Libya is urgent. So far, a chartered ship can't dock because of fighting. The longer it's delayed, the greater the risk. Further updates will follow.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Follow-Up Comments on Palestinian Statehood Vote

Follow-Up Comments on Palestinian Statehood Vote - by Stephen Lendman

A previous article discussed the upcoming September UN General Assembly vote, accessed through the following link:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/08/general-assembly-palestinian-statehood.html

Explaining the legal issues, it said delaying what's long overdue is neither wise nor right for all Palestinians who deserve it.

Their supporters agree, including Law Professor Francis Boyle, former PLO legal advisor in drafting its 1988 Declaration of Independence.

In September, the General Assembly will vote on granting full statehood recognition and de jure UN membership, what only it can grant, not the Security Council. The above linked article explained.

However, Oxford University Professor Guy Goodwin-Gill prepared an opinion, claiming granting it will result in the PLO losing its status. In addition, he said, diaspora refugees will be disenfranchised, left unrepresented by the PLO through the Palestinian National Council (PNC).

His opinion titled, "The Palestine Liberation Organization, the future State of Palestine, and the question of popular representation" can be accessed through the following link:

http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/238962-final-pdf-plo-statehood-opinionr-arb.html

Boyle discounted his concerns, saying he built explicit safeguards into the 1988 Declaration of Independence he drafted "to make sure that his doomsday scenario does not materialize."

Having carefully read Goodwin-Gill's opinion, Boyle emailed the following comments:

My Dear Palestinian Friends:
 
Goodwin-Gill's analysis "is based upon most erroneous assumptions. But in a nutshell, in the 15 November 1988 Palestinian Declaration of Independence that was approved by the PNC representing all Palestinians all over the world,  the Executive Committee of the PLO was set up as the Provisional Government for the State of Palestine—pursuant to my advice.

In addition, the Declaration of Independence also provides that all Palestinians living around the world automatically become citizens of the State of Palestine—pursuant to my advice.

So the Executive Committee of the PLO in its capacity as the Provisional Government for the State of Palestine will continue to represent the interests of all Palestinians around the world when Palestine becomes a UN Member State.

Hence all your rights will be preserved: for all Palestinians and for the PLO. No one will be disenfranchised. The PLO will not lose its status. This legal arrangement does not violate the Palestinian Charter, but was approved already by the PNC.

Unfortunately, this professor is not aware of all the legal and constitutional technicalities that were originally built into the Palestinian Declaration of Independence to make sure that his doomsday scenario does not materialize--at my advice.

All of your rights have been protected and will be protected by Palestine becoming a Member State of the United Nations, including the Right of Return.

Indeed, in the Memo I originally did for President Arafat and the PLO back in 1988, I explained how we could obtain UN Membership. All of the advice that I gave to President Arafat and the PLO in 1987 to 1989 was originally premised on the assumption that someday we would apply for UN Membership.

That day has come. Please move forward. I have been working for this Day since I first proposed UN Membership for Palestine along the lines of Namibia at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in June of 1987.

Palestine’s Application for UN Membership was my idea. When my Client and Dear Friend - the late, great Dr. Haidar Abdul Shaffi, Chair of the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East Negotiations instructed me to draft the Palestinian counter-offer to the now defunct Oslo Agreement, he most solemnly told me: “Professor Boyle, we have decided to ask you to draft this Interim Peace Agreement for us. Do whatever you want! But do not sell out our right to our State!”

And I responded to Dr. Haidar: “Do not worry, Dr. Abdul Shaffi. As you know, I was the one who first called for the creation of the Palestinian State back at United Nations Headquarters in June of 1987, and then served as the Legal Adviser to the PLO on its creation. I will do nothing to harm it!”

As I promised Dr. Haidar, I (did) nothing to harm Palestine and the Palestinians."

As a result, if the General Assembly grants statehood and full de jure UN membership in September, the rights of all Palestinians worldwide will be preserved. Claiming otherwise is entirely false.
      
Francis A. Boyle
Professor of International Law
Legal Advisor to the PLO and H.E. Yasser Arafat on the Palestinian Declaration of Independence.
Legal Advisor to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle Peace Negotiations (1991-1993) and H.E. Dr.  Haidar Abdul Shaffi
Author, Palestine, Palestinians and International Law (2003) and The Palestinian Right of Return under International Law (2011)
 
A Final Comment

On August 26, London Guardian writer Harriet Sherwood headlined, "Palestinian state could leave millions of refugees with no voice at UN," saying:

According to Law Professor Guy Goodwin-Gill, "(m)illions of Palestinian refugees outside the West Bank and Gaza could lose their representation at the UN if the Palestinian Authority succeeds in winning recognition of its state at the world body...."

Fact check

As the above article, the previous one linked, and Law Professor Francis Boyle's comments explain, Goodwin-Gill's analysis is entirely misguided and false. In fact, Boyle asserts:

"Guy's 'Opinion' is a shoddy disgrace. How much was he paid for this hit-job on Palestine? He should go back to his 'Chambers'!"

Very likely it's an underhanded effort to derail Palestinian statehood and full de jure UN membership in September. If so, Goodwin-Gill acted disreputably, losing all credibility in the process.

"The Palestinians bid to be accepted as a member state of the UN requires security council approval."

Fact check

False. Only the General Assembly can grant statehood and full de jure membership. If Washington uses its Security Council veto as threatened, the GA can circumvent it under the 1950 Uniting for Peace Resolution.

Someone perhaps paid Goodwin-Gill to produce misguided analysis to derail Palestinian statehood and full UN membership in September.

Guardian writer Sherwood regurgitated his opinion, omitting others able to refute him. Professor Boyle does it admirably. It deserves front page featuring in the Guardian, other leading broadsheets, and web sites supporting Palestinian rights.

This writer, Boyle, and many others forthrightly and honorably back them. So should everyone, including Guardian writers and Oxford law professors.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Libya: Keep the Freedom Flame Alive

Libya: Keep the Freedom Flame Alive - by Stephen Lendman

Trapped for days in Tripoli's Rixos Hotel, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) arranged for the release of over 30 foreign journalists yesterday.

They're now at the Corinthia Hotel, awaiting a boat for transport to Malta, then home via Europe that can't arrive until fighting subsides. Given the chaos and violence, it could be a while.

Among them are heroic independent journalists, unable to report vital truths on the ground. For now, only their safe passage home matters, but what they witnessed firsthand will be sorely missed.

As a result, it'll be much harder to know what's ongoing. Rest assured, this writer and others will report what's known as fully and accurately as possible to keep the freedom flame for all Libyans alive.

They deserve no less in light of what NATO has in mind, including carving up the Libya corpse for profit.

In fact, scrambling for its oil began began last April when Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said energy giant ENI CEO Paolo Scaroni had talks with Transitional National Council (TNC) officials "to restart cooperation in the energy sector and get going again the collaboration with Italy in the oil sector."

In June, the Washington Post said ConocoPhillips, other US oil giants, and related companies also held talks with TNC officials. Engineering firm Quantum Reservoir Impact CEO Nansen Saleri said:

"Now you can figure out who's going to win, and the name is not Gaddafi. Certain things about the mosaic are taking shape. The Western companies are positioning themselves. Five years from now, Libyan production is going to be higher than right now and investments are going to come in." Or so he hopes.

Though accounting for only 2% of world production, Libya is Africa's most oil rich state. Moreover, its high quality is especially valued, and reports suggest vast reserves yet to be explored.

On August 22, New York Times writer Clifford Krauss headlined, "The Scramble for Access to Libya's Oil Wealth Begins," saying:

The fighting hasn't ended, "but the scramble to secure access to Libya's oil wealth has already begun."

In fact, vultures began circling months earlier, believing Libya's corpse was only a matter of time. Perhaps so. Perhaps not. Despite all the hoopla, the jury is very much out.

Nonetheless, besides ENI and ConocoPhillips, other companies wanting back in include Britain's BP, France's Total, Spain's Repsol YPF, Austria's OMV, America's Hess, Marathon, perhaps ExxonMobil, and others.

Excluded will be Russia, Brazil, and especially China on orders from Washington, calling the shots absent Gaddafi, at least for now.

Moreover, the Obama administration and NATO partners prepared a detailed plan for Libya without him, including a United Arab Emirates-supported occupation force, supplemented perhaps by UN Blue Helmets.

In other words, lost Libyan sovereignty will be replaced by paramilitary occupiers under a puppet government serving Western interests, not Libyans. The very notion should inspire continued resistance as in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.

The Mossad-connected DEBKAfile's information can be right or wrong. That said, on August 23, it claimed "(t)housands of fighters from tribes loyal to Qaddafi are reported (to be) streaming to Sabha" in southwestern Libya where some believe Gaddafi may have fled.

"Prominent among them (are) members of his own Gaddadfa tribe," numbering about 100,000, based in Sirte on the coast between Tripoli and Benghazi.

DEBKA said UK, French, Jordanian and Qatari Special Forces "spearheaded the rebel 'killer strike' " on Tripoli and Gaddafi's Bab al-Azaziya compound. It's the first time Western and Arab troops "fought together on the same battlefield in any of the (2011) Arab revolts, and the first ever that Arab forces took part in a NATO operation."

Western elements involved included UK SAS commandos, and France's 2REP (similar to US DELTA force units) along with Jordanian Royal Special forces, "specialists in urban combat and capturing fortified installations...." Qatari special forces are also participating.

Despite other conflicting reports, DEBKA claimed Tripoli is largely under rebel control, adding "there is quite a way to go before the war is over." Based on continuing Afghanistan and Iraq hostilities, maybe longer than DEBKA or others imagine.

On the Progressive Radio News Hour (taped Thursday for Saturday airing), Law Professor Francis Boyle told listeners to expect continued conflict, as well as the danger of greater general war regionally, and perhaps beyond. He's not alone believing it, including Webster Tarpley who sees protracted civil war.

He and others also reject reports that Tripoli is largely in rebel control, saying unresolved street fighting continues.

The Big Lie Vying with Truth and Accuracy

Throughout months of conflict, an information war falsified pro-NATO/insurgent victories.

The idea, of course, is controlling the message, confusing the enemy, and making Libyans as well as populations in NATO countries believe things are going as planned, heading for victory.

In fact, conditions in Tripoli and elsewhere are chaotic. Nothing is resolved, and at issue is whether larger NATO forces will get involved if insurgents can't prevail.

So far, they've created mayhem, supplemented by heavy bombing and strafing. It's also believed that rebel forces incurred heavy casualties. Without air support, they'd have been easily routed.

On August 24, Voice of Russia broadcasting said:

"Russian agencies quote Ukrainian medical workers in (Tripoli) speaking of chaotic shooting, barricad(ing) building(s), carjacking(s) and mass looting around. Residents try to stay indoors."

"Eyewitnesses say armed gangs have ransacked the Embassy of Bulgaria and attacked the Embassy of South Korea and the residential compound of the Ambassador of Ukraine."

Fighting in Tripoli continues. As a result, "(a)nalysts believe it is too early to say that the rebels are in full control...."

So early, in fact, that major media gloating, disinformation, and managed news distort reality on the ground. Moreover, their exposed lies show nothing they report is credible.

The closest thing to truth and accuracy from The New York Times were a few admissions in Anthony Shadid's August 24 article headlined, "After Arab Revolts, Reigns of Uncertainty," saying:

"....Libya's unfinished revolution, as inspiring as it is unsettling, illustrates how perilous that change has become as it unfolds in this phase of the Arab Spring."

Fact check

A Western-instigated insurgency continues, not a revolution. Extremely violent and "unsettling," it's hardly inspiring for millions of Libyans who've suffered hugely since NATO and insurgent killers arrived.

As for the "Arab Spring," at best it hasn't bloomed, not even close, in fact, despite how inspiring it is to people throughout the region to continue struggling for rights long denied them.

Shadid did include a few kernels of truth, calling the TNC leadership "fractured and opaque." He added that enlisting "foreigners" as insurgents is "the kind of intervention that has long been toxic to the Arab world," and transitioning "to a new order (anywhere) may prove....tumultuous."

In Libya, Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia, and elsewhere in the region, it falls short of exhibiting democratic birth pangs nowhere in sight, what Shadid neglected to mention.

Also omitted was what government spokesman Dr. Moussa Ibrahim explained - that pro-Gaddafi forces control 20 cities and other areas across the country, adding:

"(W)e will continue fighting till Gaddafi comes back to power once again in Libya. The entire leadership is in Tripoli. The lawful armed forces (army and volunteers) control the city."

That's a far different picture from what NATO and Western media liars claim, as well as disreputable academics like Professor Juan Cole, saying in an August 22 article:

"The Libyan Revolution has largely succeeded, and this is a moment of celebration, not only for Libyans but for a youth generation in the Arab world that has pursued a political opening across the region."

"The secret of the uprising's final days of success lay in a popular revolt in the working-class districts of the capital....so (successful, in fact) that when revolutionary brigades entered the city from the west, many encountered little or no resistance, and they walked right into the center of the capital."

The above and Cole's entire article reeks of misinformation, distortions, and ball-faced lies. It represents a shameless display of intellectual dishonesty, combined perhaps with someone who knows better on the take.

Sadly, he's not alone, highlighting Big Lie power and deep pockets backing it - major media regurgitated official discourse in place of truth and accuracy. When repeated enough, it convinces most people unwilling to check facts to believe it.

Most true perhaps is that conditions continue to be fast-moving, fluid, chaotic, violent, and far from resolved. Also true is Gaddafi remains overwhelmingly popular. In addition, Libyans revile NATO and insurgent killers they want no part of. As a result, they may wage a tougher, longer fight than expected.

Whether it's enough to prevail over NATO remains to be seen. What's clear is that most Libyans hope so.

So do others believing everyone has the right to live free from imperial domination.

Maybe the Arab Spring spirit will inspire Libyans and others in the region and elsewhere not to quit. It's their only chance.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

General Assembly Palestinian Statehood Vote

General Assembly Palestinian Statehood Vote - by Stephen Lendman

Earlier articles discussed it, accessed through the following links:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/04/palestinian-statehood-and-other.html

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/04/declaring-independent-palestinian-state.html

They explain that in 1987, Law Professor Francis Boyle was Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) legal advisor in drafting its 1988 Declaration of Independence.

In the late 1980s, he was asked, "Why should the PLO crate an independent state?" He responded, saying:

If you don't, "you will forfeit the moral right to lead your people."

The second link discusses his "CREATE THE STATE OF PALESTINE" Memorandum of Law, describing characteristics for world community recognition. Palestine easily qualifies for statehood and full de jure UN membership.

Delay is neither wise nor right for all Palestinians who deserve it. The time to act is now, no matter how Israel and/or America will contest.

A recent article also said the following, repeated below to explain what's important to understand:

(1) Last March, Israel told UN Security Council members and other prominent EU countries it will act unilaterally if the General Assembly grants Palestine de jure membership in September inside 1967 borders, 22% of historic Palestine.

(2) If granted, Israel will likely deny recognition, continuing its illegal occupation, this time against a sovereign country. Moreover, expect it to accelerate West Bank/East Jerusalem land seizures, isolating Palestinians on smaller portions of worthless scrub land.

(3) While rhetorically favoring Palestinian statehood, Obama categorically rejects PA officials seeking it unilaterally. Instead, he wants Israel to decide its terms, size, locations and timetable. In other words, he supports Israeli veto power over Palestinian rights, including sovereignty. It's an unacceptable/illegal condition under international law.

In a White House statement, he also "emphasized that a vote at the United Nations will never create an independent Palestinian state" even though defying a two-thirds majority General Assembly affirmation is illegal.

Despite his and congressional opposition, Washington earlier provisionally recognized Palestine as an independent nation. According to UN Charter Article 80(1), it can't reverse its position by vetoing a Security Council (SC) resolution calling for Palestine's UN admission.

Any veto is illegal, subject to further SC action under the Charter's Chapter VI. Ultimately, the SC only recommends admissions. The General Assembly affirms them by a two-thirds majority. At this time, enough support exists to get it.

Moreover, UN Charter Article 80(1) and others empower the General Assembly to recognize Palestinian statehood and take all necessary measures to end Israel's illegal occupation. If sovereignty is granted, it's more than ever essential to do so, holding Israel fully accountable for not complying.

Up to now, however, Washington's threatened Security Council veto prevented de jure membership, despite its illegality under international law and its pledge not to do so against any state seeking UN membership.

In fact, the General Assembly has sole authority to admit new members, not the Security Council. If Washington uses its veto as threatened, the GA can circumvent it under the 1950 Uniting for Peace Resolution.

Legal Opinion Believing UN Statehood Threatens Palestinian Rights

On August 24, Ma'an News said:

"The Palestinian team responsible for preparing the United Nations initiative in September (got) an independent legal opinion (warning about) risks involved with its plan to join the UN."

It claims transferring PLO representation to a newly established statehood "will terminate" its legal status held since 1975 as "the sole legitimate" Palestinian representative.

It says doing so will remove an "institution" able to represent "the inalienable rights" of all Palestinians, including diaspora/refugee ones, adding that they'll be "disenfranchise(d)," unable to return home.

Oxford University Professor of Public International Law Guy Goodwin-Gill prepared the opinion. Ma'an News said it claims that the General Assembly can't create an "actual state" under occupation, so debate should focus on whether the Security Council or General Assembly "should be asked to grant" observer status only. In fact, it already has it.

At issue now is full statehood recognition and UN membership. Only the General Assembly can grant it, not the Security Council as explained above.

Yet Goodwin-Gill believes "dramatic legal implications" for Palestinian rights aren't considered if the PLO loses its status, including:

(1) Palestinian National Charter constitutional issues, as well as others relating to the PLO and its entities.

(2) Whether "the State of Palestine (can) effectively take on the role and responsibilities of the PLO in the UN."

(3) Also issues of "popular representation."

His document says the PLO-established Palestinian Authority (PA) "has limited legislative and executive competence, limited territorial jurisdiction, and limited personal jurisdiction over Palestinians not present in the areas for which it has been accorded responsibility."

Moreover, the PA "is a subsidiary body, competent only to exercise those powers conferred on it by the Palestinian National Council. By definition, it does not have the capacity to assume greater powers."

In addition, it can't "dissolve" its parent body or claim independence from the PNC or PLO. Also, the PLO and PNC derive their legitimacy "from the fact that they represent all sectors of the displaced Palestinian people, no matter where they presently live or have refuge."

Goodwin-Gill expressed special concern for Palestinian refugees, represented by the PLO through the PNC.

"They constitute more than half of the people of Palestine, and if they are 'disenfranchised' and lose their (UN) representation....it will not only prejudice their entitlement to equal representation....but also their ability to (air) their views, to participate in matters of national governance, including the formation and political identity of the State, and to exercise their right of return."

Former PLO representative/now Oxford University Professor Karma Nabulsi also expressed concerns, saying:

"Without question, no Palestinian will accept losing such core rights for such a limited diplomatic initiative in September. First, we will hot have liberated territory, (and by) losing the PLO as the sole legitimate (UN) representative....our people immediately lose our claims as refugees to be part of our official representation, recognized by the world."

She added that knowing the legal dangers should lead to an initiative that "will protect the status of the PLO" and rights of all Palestinians.

The PLO represents them all, not selective parts only. It also established the PA. Changes in who represents Palestinians "require an expression of the popular will and international recognition."

Assuring new rights gained in September loses no current ones is crucial she and Goodwin-Gill believe.

Supporters of Palestinian rights surely agree, including Professor Francis Boyle.

An international law/human rights law expert, his important book, "Palestine, Palestinians and International Law," covers a wealth of information, including the relevant legal history since 1987.

In an email to this writer after reading the Ma'an News article, he said:

"I have not read (Goodwin-Gill's) memo itself. But from (the Ma'an News) report, unfortunately, this lawyer is not aware of all the safeguards I built into the 15 November 1988 Palestinian Declaration of Independence to make sure that his doomsday scenario does not materialize."

In other words, despite Goodwin-Gill's good intentions, his fears are ill-founded as long as the PA's September bid includes all legal protections Boyle provided for them 23 years earlier.

That said, it's vital they proceed as planned. All Palestinians deserve what they've been long denied, and with enough support can get it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

NATO's Libya War: A Nuremberg Level Crime

NATO's Libya War: A Nuremberg Level Crime - Stephen Lendman

The US/UK/French-led war on Libya will be remembered as one of history's greatest crimes. It violates the letter and spirit of international law and America's Constitution.

The Nuremberg Tribunal's Chief Justice Robert Jackson (a US Supreme Court Justice) called Nazi war crimes "the supreme international crime against peace."

His November 21, 1945 opening remarks said:

"The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated."

He called aggressive war "the greatest menace of our times."

International law defines crimes against peace as "planning, preparation, initiation, or waging of wars of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing."

All US post-WW II wars fall under this definition.

Since then, America waged direct and proxy premeditated, aggressive wars worldwide, killing millions in East and Central Asia, North and other parts of Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, as well as Central and South America.

Arguably they exceed the worst of Nazi and imperial Japanese crimes combined, including genocide, torture mass destruction of nonmilitary related sites, colonization, occupation, plunder and exploitation.

Third Reich criminals were hanged for their crimes. America's remained free to commit greater ones, notably today against Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Palestine, and the ongoing Libya atrocity - a scandalous "supreme international crime against peace," demanding justice not forthcoming.

In fact, US war criminals are considered hostis humani generis - enemies of mankind. War crimes are against the jus gentium - the law of nations. Established international law addressed them, including the UN Charter. It's unequivocal explaining under what conditions violence and coercion (by one state against another) are justified.

Article 2(3) and Article 33(1) require peaceful settlement of international disputes. Article 2(4) prohibits force or its threatened use. And Article 51 allows the "right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member....until the Security Council has taken measures to maintain international peace and security."

In other words, justifiable self-defense is permissible. However, Charter Articles 2(3), 2(4), and 33 absolutely prohibit any unilateral threat or use of force not:

-- specifically allowed under Article 51;

-- authorized by the Security Council; or

-- permitted by the US Constitution only amendments ratified by three-fourths of the states can change.

In addition, three General Assembly resolutions also prohibit non-consensual belligerent intervention, including:

-- the 1965 Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of Their Independence and Sovereignty;

-- the 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations; and

-- the 1974 Definition of Aggression.

Moreover, various post-WW II Conventions, including the four Geneva ones and their Common Article 1 obligate all High Contracting Parties to "respect and ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances;" namely, to apply its principles universally, requiring High Contracting Parties "search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts."

At Nuremberg, the concepts of individual and command criminal responsibility were addressed, the Tribunal Principles holding that "(a)ny person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefor and liable to punishment....(c)rimes against international law are committed by men, not by abstract entities, and only by punishing individuals who commit (them) can the provisions of international law be enforced."

The Rome Statute's Article 25 of the International Criminal Court (ICC) codified this principle, affirming the culpability of persons committing crimes of war and against humanity.

In addition, commanders and their superiors are specifically culpable if they "either knew or, owing to the circumstances at the time, should have known that the forces were committing or about to commit such crimes, (and) failed to take all necessary and reasonable measures within his or her power to prevent or repress their commission or to submit the matter to the competent authorities for investigation and prosecutions."

Moreover, Nuremberg established that immunity is null and void, including for heads of state, other top officials, and top commanders. Further, genocide, crimes of war and against humanity are so grave that statute of limitation provisions don't apply.

As a result, every living past and present US president, top and subordinate officials, and Pentagon commanders involved in war(s) should be prosecuted for their crimes before a special Nuremberg-type tribunal, holding them fully accountable.

Genocide, other forms of mass murder, targeted and indiscriminate destruction, and other crimes of war and against humanity are too intolerable to go unpunished.

Nonetheless, America and its conspiratorial allies commit them - today, horrifically against Libya, a small nonbelligerent country being terrorized, destroyed, and plundered lawlessly in the name of "liberation."

America is the lead offender, committing what its 1996 War Crimes Act calls "grave breaches," defined as "willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological (or other illegal) experiments, willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health."

As a result, Libya is an ongoing atrocity, a Nuremberg level crime, one of history's greatest.

Yet on August 22, Obama had the audacity to say America, its "allies and partners in the international community (are committed) to protect the people of Libya, and to support a peaceful transition to democracy."

In fact, unspeakable war crimes are being committed to "protect the people of Libya." Included are civilians being terror bombed daily, to break their morale, cause panic, weaken their will to resist, and inflict mass casualties and punishment.

However, Geneva and other international laws forbid the targeting of civilians. The Laws of War: Laws and Customs of War on Land (1907 Hague IV Convention) states:

-- Article 25: "The attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited."

-- Article 26: "The officer in command of an attacking force must, before commencing a bombardment, except in cases of assault, do all in his power to warn the authorities."

Article 27: "In sieges and bombardments, all necessary steps must be taken to spare, as far as possible, buildings dedicated to religion, art, science, or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals, and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are not being used at the time for military purposes."

The besieged should visibly indicate these buildings or places and notify an adversary beforehand. Given today's intelligence and high-tech capabilities, belligerents can easily identify civilian and military targets.

Fourth Geneva Convention protects civilians in time of war. It prohibits violence of any type against them and requires treatment for the sick and wounded.

In September 1938, a League of Nations unanimous resolution prohibited the:

"bombardment of cities, towns, villages, dwellings or buildings not in the immediate neighborhood of the operations of land forces....In cases where (legitimate targets) are so situated, (aircraft) must abstain from bombardment" if this action indiscriminately affects civilians.

Long ago Washington trashed international and constitutional laws, planning for Libya what's ongoing in Iraq and Afghanistan - conquest, colonization, occupation, plunder and exploitation, excluding any form of democracy it reviles, including at home.

Major Media Scoundrels Lead Role in America's Wars

When America goes to war, its media are key, reporting disinformation, propaganda, managed news, and straight Pentagon handouts instead of real information, commentaries and analysis people deserve.

In the lead, The New York Times operates as the equivalent of an official information and propaganda ministry, posing as independent journalism.

August 24 was no exception, writers David Kirkpatrick and Alan Cowell headlining, "Qaddafi Defiant After Rebel Takeover," saying:

"Rebel fighters scoured Tripoli on Wednesday in their continued search for an elusive and defiant" (Gaddafi) after NATO landed them on Tripoli's shores with orders to terrorize and loot. They've taken full advantage, what Kirkpatrick and Cowell didn't explain.

Instead they gloated about a "rebel victory" very much not won, especially because nothing from Times or other major media reports is credible. Repeatedly they've been caught lying.

Other same day Times reports headlined:

"Libyans Rejoice in a Castle Filled With Guns and the Trappings of Power," referring to Gaddafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound they reportedly stormed with no verification of precisely what's going on.

"Waves of Disinformation and Confusion Swamp the Truth in Libya," referring mainly to what it calls "a republic of lies," not its own shameless daily propaganda, making everything it reports suspect, unreliable, or falsified.

"Airstrikes More Difficult as War Moves to Tripoli," ignoring NATO's ongoing terror bombing, including Apache helicopter gunships machine-gunning civilians on Tripoli streets, making it unsafe to be out when they're flying.

"After the Revolution, Hurdles in Reviving the Oil Sector," leaving unexplained Western plans for Libya's oil, excluding rivals China and Russia, as well as falsely calling Washington's insurgency a "revolution."

It's standard New York Times policy to represent wealth and power interests, betraying readers in the process who deserve better.

Fabricating Celebratory Tripoli Street Euphoria

On August 23, Metro Gael's Global Research.ca's article headlined, "The Libya Media Hoax: Fabricating Scenes of Jubilation and Euphoria on Green Square," providing another example of media lies, saying:

It "will surely go down in history as one of the most cynical hoaxes committed by corporate media since the manipulated pictures of Iraqis toppling Saddam Hussein's statue" after America's 2003 invasion.

Shamefully, Al Jazeera committed the latest fraud, airing fake live Green Square celebrations, its reporter, Zeina Khodr declaring, "Libya is in the hands of the opposition."

She lied and knew it. In fact, Al Jazeera's footage was "an elaborate and criminal hoax. The report had been prefabricated in a" Doha, Qatar studio.

Qatar is a NATO coalition member, its troops on the ground aiding insurgents along with US and UK special forces.

Libyan intelligence knew about the fake footage in advance, warning about it ahead of its release on "Rayysse state television."

The idea is old and familiar - to create an illusion of non-existant mass support for NATO and insurgents Libyans revile. It's done to diffuse popular resistance against them.

The full article can be read through the following link:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=26155

It explains a classic PsyOps deception, this time aired by an alleged trusted source, showing it's as corrupted as the rest, lying instead of reporting accurately.

A Final Comment

Mahdi Nazemroaya is a friend, a Middle East/Central Asian analyst, a Center for Research on Globalization (CRG) research associate, and a regular Progressive Radio News Hour contributor.

Providing accurate reports from Tripoli, he got death threats. Two other friends - Lizzie Phelan and Franklin Lamb, as well as other independent journalists also faced recriminations for doing what corporate media scoundrels don't - their job.

In an email, Mahdi said: "I am afraid I will be executed in cold blood."

That's been the NATO-wrought danger in Libya, notably in Tripoli, being carpet bombed and strafed by helicopter gunships, machine-gunning civilians in cold blood.

On August 24, CRG Director Michel Chossudovsky wrote about Mahdi, saying:

In Libya for over two months, he was dedicated to "honest factual reporting, with a concern for human life, in solidarity with those Libyan men, women and children who lost their lives in bombing raids on residential areas, schools and hospitals."

He literally risked his life doing it, telling this writer he had to stay supportively for the people he so much cares about. That commitment goes way beyond good journalism and analysis. It's an expression of character too few others have.

Mahdi has it, so do Lizzie, Franklin, and other honest journalists who went to a war zone to report truths - fully, accurately, and courageously, "challeng(ing) the lies of the mainstream media," said Chossudovsky.

In so doing, they "threaten the NATO-media consensus," in the process jeopardizing their own safety.

NATO wants to make Libya an Orwellian society in which "War is peace. Freedom is slavery," and "Ignorance is strength." Orwell also said: "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

It's also a courageous one when done at great personal risk. Mahdi, Lizzie, Franklin, and others reporting accurately are true heros, supporting Libyans and free people everywhere while putting themselves in harm's way.

It doesn't get any more heroic than that!

Note:

On August 24 at 4PM Tripoli time, the International Red Cross rescued (or negotiated the release of) over 30 journalists trapped inside the city's Rixos Hotel. A ship heading to Tripoli's seacoast will take them out of the country.

Reports from the London Guardian, CNN, and other corporate media sources falsely claimed Gaddafi loyalists held them hostage, when, in fact, they were threatened by insurgent hooligans.

Hopefully they're now safe, but won't fully be until heading home out of harm's way.

An overnight email from Mahdi said:

"In Corinthia Hotel. Will head to Malta then home via Europe."

Further updates will follow.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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