From the UN Security Council of 17 March:
“SECURITY COUNCIL APPROVES ‘NO-FLY ZONE’ OVER LIBYA, AUTHORIZING ‘ALL NECESSARY MEASURES’ TO PROTECT CIVILIANS, BY VOTE OF 10 IN FAVOUR WITH 5 ABSTENTIONS
Demanding an immediate ceasefire in Libya, including an end to the current attacks against civilians, which it said might constitute “crimes against humanity”, the Security Council this evening imposed a ban on all flights in the country’s airspace — a no-fly zone — and tightened sanctions on the Qadhafi regime and its supporters.
Adopting resolution 1973 (2011) by a vote of 10 in favour to none against, with 5 abstentions (Brazil, China, Germany, India, Russian Federation), the Council authorized Member States, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, to take all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack in the country, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory — requesting them to immediately inform the Secretary-General of such measures.”
What began as the establishment of a no-fly-zone (described by Defense Secretary Gates as an “on the fly” operation, translated unstructured) has become an all-out war, with the heaviest NATO bombing to date on Tuesday the 24th, a total of 2,500 air-strikes in the last two months. As far as is known, there is no exit plan/strategy, just continued bombing.
From the New York Times, May 22: “Samantha Power, a human rights crusader, is a member of the National Security Council, which advises President Obama on foreign policy. For nearly 20 years, since her days as a young war correspondent in Bosnia, Ms. Power has championed the idea that nations have a moral obligation to prevent genocide. From her perch on the council, she is in a position to make that case to the commander in chief — and to watch him translate her ideas into action.” Perhaps such as Libya? Disgusting!
It may be that the president fancies himself as a “humanitarian interventionist,” someone who takes a look at various parts of the world and decides that he’d better fix them, even if killing a bunch of innocent people is in the mix. His glorification of the current “Arab Spring” and consequent urging of young, inexperienced, unprepared Middle Easterners to take to the streets, a la community organizing mode, and turn themselves into cannon fodder in the process is disingenuous at best and criminal at worst.
Continuing his Osama victory lap in Great Britain, the president described the action vis-à-vis Libya of this country and England, along with the rest of NATO, as the saving of lives. For more than two months the U.S. and NATO have been bombing Libya in order to save lives? For the first ten days of the rape of Libya, the U.S. was the main player, spending $55 million per day raining death and destruction on Libyans in order to save lives. Since then, the U.S. has been quite active in its role supporting militarily the intrusion into that civil war, no matter the president’s silly reference to non-kinetic participation, something he seems to define as absolving him of responsibility regarding the War Powers Act.
In March, Obama said regime change was not the aim of the U.S. in Libya; however, he and British Prime Minister Cameron, in their joint press conference, made it very plain that regime change is the goal, notwithstanding anything the Security Council mandated, none of which was to effect a regime change in Libya, also a member in good standing in the United Nations. England and France, oil customers of Libya and probably tired of having to deal with Qaddafi, who doubtlessly takes them to the cleaners in behalf of his own corruption, have a high-profile stake in Libya and probably laugh behind Obama’s back, thinking to use him.
This whole sorry episode is indicative of just how lightly the major nations, including the U.S., take the UN. Obama, in his humanitarian interventionist role got a mandate not from the U.S. Congress, which would have been the normal procedure, but from the UN Security Council, which held its collective nose and approved an invasion/attack on Libya to “save lives.” This resolution has been turned on its head by Obama, the UN be damned. He has used it to declare war on a sovereign nation that has never posed a threat to the United States, and especially not in any recent history, i.e., Obama’s lifetime.
Obama has done to Libya what the Japanese did to Pearl Harbor in December 1941 at the cost of 3,000 American lives. No one ever mentions how many Libyans have been killed by U.S. bombs and missiles. The Europeans don’t have many of these weapons, if any. It is known that Qaddafi’s son and three grandchildren were killed in a raid on their house in a residential neighborhood. The targets are supposed to be military in nature but that approach seems to have gone out the window.
In other words, the U.S. and NATO have assumed the posture of terrorists, the killing of women and children and one can only wonder how the people in uniform feel about this. The UN objective, no matter its illegitimacy, was accomplished long ago. Now, Libya is just a killing field.