By Stephen Lendman
23 June, 2011
US air and ground operations strategically target civilians, Pentagon (and NATO) denials notwithstanding. They lie despite clear evidence refuting them. Their latest crime claimed 19 Libyans, all civilians, including women and eight children, apologies not forthcoming and deceitful when they do.
NATO (code for the Pentagon) duplicitously called it a “precision strike on a legitimate military target – a command-and-control node which was directly involved in coordinating systematic attacks on the Libyan people.”
False! It targeted Gaddafi ally Khweildy al-Hamidy’s private estate, murdering civilians inside beneath the rubble, government spokesman Moussa ibrahim saying:
“This is very twisted logic. So you kill children. You kill mothers. You kill fathers, aunts and uncles, and then you try to explain it by twisted political military logic.”
Since NATO terror bombings began March 19, an average of nearly nine daily civilian deaths followed, besides unknown hundreds killed by rebel cutthroats in their controlled areas, murdering any suspected pro-Gaddafi supporters – what Western media reports and governments won’t explain.
Numerous reports confirm it, including TeleSUR on June 3 saying:
“British activists have verified the consequences of NATO attacks against civilians in Libya. A spokesman for British Civilians for Peace (BCP)” there with French, German, Italian and regional activists confirmed noncombatant deaths. They also “found no evidence of the Libyan army shelling civilians,” but observed NATO terror bombing atrocities firsthand.
BCP spokesman Dale Roberts said in two Libyan visits:
“I have seen and witnessed the effects of bombing on civilians. This has included schools, hospitals, infrastructure and civilian areas,” unrelated to military sites.
Roberts added that UK and Western media suppress truths because:
“European public opinion is against a war that was not debated in Parliament, even in my country, Great Britain,” adding:
“One of the main reasons why” UN Resolution 1973 passed was because “Libya was being blamed and made responsible for attacks on unarmed civilians. They are false. We visited the areas in Tripoli (the UN Resolution) cited….and it is clear that these areas were not attacked.”
Like all US-led wars, lies facilitate terror bombing Libya. They include baseless allegations, claiming despots massacre civilians or threaten neighboring states with WMDs to stoke fear and enlist popular support.
In his book “War is a Lie,” David Swanson explains “common themes in the war lying business, lies that keep coming back like zombies that just won’t die.” And no matter how often they’re later exposed, they’re used again effectively because major media managed news repeat them, knowing they’re spurious but do it anyway complicit with state crimes.
Except in self-defense, wars aren’t ever justified, legitimate or legal, especially America’s, the only global superpower facing no external threats, so manufactured ones assure more conflict for imperial expansion and unchallenged dominance, no matter the body count to achieve it.
As a result, the same pattern repeats, segueing from one aggression to another or multiple ones simultaneously, illegally, and disastrously, heading America for tyranny, ruin, and eventual bankruptcy. Morally it’s had that status for generations, notably since WW II.
“In a world with so many uncertainties and unpredictable actors,” says Immanuel Wallerstein, “the most dangerous ‘loose gun’ is….the United States.”
For example, so-called Pentagon “Kill Teams” murder with impunity. Some collect body parts as souvenirs or trophies the way US military personnel did in WW II, mutilating dead Japanese, as well as later in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, exhibiting depravity inculcated in young recruits during training.
US death squads have also been used in US wars since WW II. During the Korean War, tens of thousands were murdered, and in Vietnam, Counterspy magazine called Operation Phoenix “the most indiscriminate and massive program of political murder since the Nazi death camps,” perhaps exceeded post-9/11 in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, and numerous proxy wars, taking a horrendous human toll from combat operations alone.
Moreover, since WW II, US terror bombings killed millions of noncombatants to cow enemies into submission, what’s now commonplace in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya, as well as earlier in Iraq and could be resumed if ordered.
Sociologist Emile Durkheim once said, “The immorality of war depends entirely on the leaders who willed it.” In America, of course, it’s top administration and Pentagon officials. In his opening Nuremberg address, Justice Robert Jackson denounced the:
“men who possess themselves of great power and make deliberative and concerted use of it to set in motion evils which leave no home in the world untouched.”
He called them “men of station and rank (who don’t) soil (their) hands with blood,” but use “lesser folk” to do it, committing crimes of war and against humanity to enhance their status and privilege.
As a result, in Iraq and Afghanistan, US forces still order troops to kill every military-aged man on sight. Moreover, during training, enemies are dehumanized to make it easy, programming recruits to feel guiltless about horrific crimes.
Yet international and US laws are clear and unequivocal, including US Army Field Manual (FM) 27-10 standards that incorporate Nuremberg Principles, Judgment and the Charter and The Law of Land Warfare (1956):
— FM’s paragraph 498 states that any person, military or civilian, who commits a crime under international law is responsible for it and may be punished;
— paragraph 499 defines a war crime;
— paragraph 500 refers to a conspiracy, attempts to commit it and complicity with respect to international crimes;
— paragraph 509 denies the defense of superior orders in the commission of a crime; and
— paragraph 510 denies the defense of an “act of state” to absolve them.
Two points are key:
— these provisions apply to all US military and civilian personnel, including top commanders, the Secretary of Defense, his subordinates, and the President and Vice President of the United States; and
— under the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause (Article VI, paragraph 2), all international laws and treaties are the “supreme Law of the Land.”
Nonetheless, US forces commit regular atrocities, in Afghanistan for nearly a decade, Pentagon commanders dismissively saying operations will continue to achieve goals that include killing civilians, no matter how many alienated Afghans become willing Taliban recruits against a hated occupier.
Why not when terror bombings kill entire families, including young children. When thuggish troops conduct middle-of-the-night home intrusions, intimidating, arresting, and at times killing gratuitously. When remote control droning kills like sport. When people are homeless, hungry, unemployed and deprived because America came, occupied and doesn’t give a damn about human need.
After terrorizing Iraqis, in June 2009, Stanley McChrystal took charge of US/NATO Afghanistan forces to do it there. Earlier, he headed the Pentagon’s infamous Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), de facto death squad operations to kill with impunity.
After his sacking a year later, David Petraeus (CIA director designate) doubled NATO air strikes and increased Special Forces terror raids to inflict more death and destruction against people who won’t stop resisting until America’s occupation ends.
Of course, mostly civilians suffer, what major media reports won’t explain, regurgitating Pentagon lies about successful militant strikes, suppressing truths to let imperial wars rage, bogusly called liberating ones.
In fact, when Washington wants war, nothing deters officials from waging it or several simultaneously, inventing reasons to justify what only naive masses and co-conspirators believe.
So when Obama says “we” have moral authority to liberate Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis, Libyans or other nations he attacks, Nobel laureate Harold Pinter once reflected in January 2000 on then lawless 1999 Serbia/Kosovo operations, saying:
“When they said ‘(w)e had to do something,’ I said: Who is this ‘we’ exactly that you’re talking about?….Under what heading do ‘we’ act, under what law? And also, the notion that this ‘we’ has the right to act,’ I said, presupposes a moral authority of which this ‘we’ possesses not a jot! It doesn’t exist!”
In fact, it’s as immoral, unethical and illegal as for serial killers, motivated by whatever drives them, including a passion for violence, real or delusional rewards.
When they’re nations, not sociopaths, Orwellian doublespeak disguises real motives deceptively. For example, Obama calls Libyan attacks a “time-limited, scope-limited military action,” not war, no matter how much death and destruction is inflicted.
So claiming constitutional Article 2, Section 2 authority as armed forces commander in chief, in fact, violates Article 51 of the UN Charter, prohibiting attacks against other nations except in self-defense, and only until the Security Council acts.
Moreover, the Constitution’s Article 1, Section 8 is violated, granting Congress sole power to declare war, never the executive unilaterally, for any reason or with doublespeak mumbo jumbo disguising it.
War is war. It’s also hell on the receiving end, harmful to combatants, and detrimental domestically when popular needs go unmet.
As chief executive, Obama is responsible for mass murder and destruction. If rule of law standards mattered, he’d be impeached, convicted and jailed for high crimes – in fact, the supreme international one against peace and others related to it.
Instead, he’ll finish his current term, likely be reelected, and leave office rewarded with multi-million dollar book deals and six-figure lecture offers to extol a record demanding condemnation in a court of law, holding him fully accountable for high crimes, demanding harsh punishment. In fact, only victims face that fate.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
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.