Illegitimacy of No-Fly-Zone against Libya: Reflections of American World Order

The imposition of the ‘No-fly-zone’ against Libya under the UN Security Council Resolution 1973 on March 17 and subsequent unlawful aggressions by the US, UK and France for two days (March 19-20) seem to show the emerging trend of a new pattern of relationships and activities in international relations which the US desires of being a kind of ‘cowed conformity’ and ‘slavish submission’ by the States believing in pursuing independent foreign policy. This is possible because of the existing nature of the ‘social media networking’ and Western World politics seems to be working on the basis of Machiavellian interpretation of the nature of most of the people as ‘vulgar’ and ‘self-centered’. Plato called this tendency as the root cause of ‘ignorance’ resulting in the failure of peace, stability and order in Polis. That is why Mahatma Gandhi had rejected Machiavellianism and Zionism. How easy it is for many people to believe in what the US and its hawkish allies said about Libya while they forget that all the excuses for continuing UN Sanctions against Iraq for 12 years (killing over 2 million people) and finally attacking it on 19 March 2003 were all lies. We forget and ignore the misuse of American Veto against 42 resolutions in the UNSC concerned with the violation of International Laws and the rights of the Palestinians for 42 times since 1972.

Therefore, a proper objective spectrum of understanding is required in the case of Libya. It is not a case for supporting Qadhafi but certainly an important question to look beyond it. The whole Arab world is in crises not because of internal factors but more because of external pressures and vicious designs to create a ‘new middle east’. It is also important to note that the US, Israel and Western Europe are not for democracy, human rights, peace and stability in this region as their own records are poor. Earlier they practiced ‘divide and rule’ within their colonies but now doing it at the regional level. They want this region free from assertive states, assertive and strong leaders, market socialism, state-controlled economy, independent media and policy makers. They want to remove any force of resistance to Zionists forces/Israel. Such a design will have spill-over effects around the regions–”Central Asia, Turkey, South Asia and Africa.

Towards Lawlessness

We also forget how the whole West Asia has been made fragile after the occupation of Iraq, destruction of Afghanistan, suppression of Palestinians and mounting pressures and threats on Iran. Who would have long graph in committing crimes against humanity, crimes of aggression, war crimes, crimes against peace and genocide? US, Israel, UK, France or Libya. We must address this question in black and white. Israeli war crimes against Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese are well recognised facts. UK partnership with US in various crimes cannot be ignored. France killed 1.5 million Algerians in 1950s war of independence. France does not accept the concept of Minority and it claims to be the best model of democracy. Italian occupation caused the elimination of one-fourth of the total population of Libya by the end of World War II. Certainly I am not in favour of any kind of dictatorship but I prefer to admire a Hobbesian State based on one-sided social contract than being in the Hobbesian ‘State of Nature’. Western intervention is breaking the Leviathan by promising Lockean State with conveniences but the main objective of the West is not democracy. We can see it in Iraq and Afghanistan. Future Libya is forced to become a fragmented, fragile and unstable Iraq or ‘cowed conformist’ like Qatar which is the first Arab country to send four fighter jets in support of the West. In the case of Libya, many more pro-imperialist forces would be exposed.  

The way the resolutions were crafted with dubious sentences and words and immediate military action against Libya by those forces which even veto even a mildly critical resolution against Israel need to be debated. Over 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired in the afternoon of March 19 from both U.S. and British ships and submarines striking more than 20 integrated air defense systems and other air defense facilities along the Libyan coast. French air force has launched strikes against Gaddafi troops. Missiles were fired from five U.S. ships – the guided-missile destroyers USS Stout and USS Barry, and three submarines, USS Providence, USS Scranton and USS Florida. The US has at least 11 naval vessels in the Mediterranean, including three submarines, two destroyers, two amphibious warfare ships and the USS Mount Whitney, a command-and-control vessel that is the flagship of the Navy’s 6th Fleet. There are also Navy P-3 and EP-3 surveillance aircraft in this area. At least 64 people were killed and 150 others wounded. Six F16 jet fighters from Norway will take part in the Western-led military operations against Libya after the Norwegian Air Force has been given the go-ahead. Canada also declared its war against Libya. They also bombed his residential building. Second cease-fire was declared by Libya but the West is again indulged in disinformation campaign that civilians are under attack.

Therefore, continuous provocations against the government of Libya, incitement and all kinds of supports to the rebels and criminals, condemnation and pressure on Libya to surrender to the rebels, disinformation campaign against the government, demonization of Qadhafi, misuse of the UNSC for passing resolutions–”1970 and 1973, and finally the military aggressions on Libya clearly expose the ulterior, criminal conspiratorial, neo-colonial and imperialist intentions against a country which has the small population of 6.5 million with the largest reserve of oil in the African continent with vast territory. They attacked Libya and resorted to dangerous resolutions by the UNSC on the pretext of safeguarding the civilians and civilian areas as well as for humanitarian causes.

Resembling Iraq

It is important to recall Iraq where the US and UK (in collaboration with Israel) made a series of criminal measures for ‘dual containment’ during 1980-1988, ‘gradual destruction’ (by attacking Iraq in 1991 and then imposing severe Economic Sanctions followed by the heavy funding of anti-Government mercenaries and exiles), imposition of ‘no-fly-zone’ on Iraq and creation of ‘safe-havens’ (to consolidate Kurdish secessionism) and so on. Since 1995, the US worked on the politics of WMD and then on Iraqi linkages with al-Qaeda after September 2001 and finally bombings and occupation of Iraq where it succeeded in plantings its agents in the form of rulers.

After Iraq, many things changed drastically in the Arab world where some governments are blessed with American as their ‘new god’. So most of the Arab governments, their intelligence agencies and media like Al-Jazeera are filling in the gaps. I remember private my informal discussion with the scholar Iraqi Ambassador His Excellency Salah al-Mukhtar (under the Baath party rule) who long time back called Al-Jazeera as American sponsored news agency. On March 17, al-Zahaf al-Akhdar (The Green Page), a cartoon on the back page excoriated al-Jazeera, its Saudi rival al-Arabiya and the BBC, decrying their "false" or "biased" coverage. Al-Fajr al-Jadid (The New Dawn) described Al-Jazeera’s coverage of March 16 as an outpost of Israel’s Mossad. The broadcaster’s owner, the "corrupt Zionist" emir of Qatar, was condemned for supporting Libya’s rebels. They created similar situations whereby every one under the scene created by the media believed in the US and Western interpretation.

In other words, the West is behaving like Zionist Israel and Libya is treated like Palestinians in Gaza Strip. It also indicates Euro-Atlantic rejection of the status quo and celebration of ‘revisionism’ under which the US and its partners seem to show ‘Rambo Super-positivism’. It makes a complete break with the established order in international politics guided by the UN and International Laws. It heralds a ‘dark age’ of ‘mercenary-interventionist policies’ of the strong against weak. It is also tragic to note that the US and its puppets are determined to convert the UN into their raqqasa (hired dancer). This enforced conformity was to be realized on the basis of a set formula under which the US State Department and the CIA propagated their agenda of freedom, democracy, human rights and free market economy. In fact there was no ground whatsoever for the approval of the anti-UN resolution and the airstrikes against an independent country which was very near to achieve full control over law and order problem created by Al-Qaeda, CIA-sponsored agents, Al-Jazeera and the Western media.

Siding with Brigands for Chaos

The scene created by the aggressors look more dangerous in space and time if it is compared with Iraq in 2003. It is only with five weeks of the upsurge that too created by the US and CIA agents who armed and emotionally exploited the rebels to create chaos in Libya. The aggressors called it Revolution despite it being a work of brigands. They never call the massive appeal and demonstrations of the Palestinians, Iraqis, and others as Revolution. When the Libyan government viewed the armed gangs engaged in disturbing law and order and took required actions, the aggressors called it murder while on the same day the Zionists are killing the Palestinians in Occupied Territories and Americans are killings in India’s neighbourhood. They called the Libyan army mercenaries, spread the rumour of personal assets of Qadhafi and plagiarism by his son in his Ph.D including the rumour of Qadhafi escape to Venezuela.

The West justified aggressions to protect civilians but it did not report that the cease-fire declared by the Government after the 1973 Resolution was passed was broken by the rebels compelling correcting measures from the government. Libyan government accused the West of helping anti-national forces to disturb peace and stability. The US-Europe controlled/sympathetic media and analysts gave a wrong impression that foreign workers are leaving Libya due Qadhafi and rebels are peaceful in their demonstration. The media did not highlight demonstrations everywhere in Europe and the U.S. against this aggression on the innocent Libyan people. Government spokesman, Mousa Ibrahim said: "If Libya goes down, the whole Mediterranean shall go down, the whole of Africa, the north of Africa. We are arming our people, men and women. We will not allow Libya to be lost like Palestine, like Iraq, like Somalia, like Afghanistan." Western journalists were met with the anger of hundreds of protesters screaming anti-American slogans and chanting boisterously in support of Qadhafi. Regime supporters flooded the cemetery grounds for the mass funeral, which was broadcast live on state television.

Let us look at the factsheet. Anti-government forces are against foreign workers. They are also armed and involved in violence and lootings. It was on February 15, 64 youths showed up and similar acts were displayed. They formed Youth Committees on February 17 and captured buildings, government troops, and terrorized people. In Beida and other cities, they used dynamite and broke into compounds of security forces, ransacked them and put them to the torch.  They broke into Benghazi Army base and looted arms. They took control of bulldozers belonging to foreign companies and raided vast armouries.  They also looted a university’s computer lab and fired various buildings. They captured tanks and anti-aircraft guns including 300 fighters at Abraq air base. Islamic groups have kept distance except Al-Qaeda which is a part of the CIA project.

It was on this ground, Libyan leadership resorted to the use of arms to restore peace and order in the country. Qadhafi blamed it on drug addicts, agents of Al-Qaeda and the US. The West never told the world that Libyan government certainly lacked in civil rights but their stakes in economic and cultural rights are exceptional. Libya is in transitional phase of socialist revolution which is based on a kind of ‘Bedouin Socialism’ based on ‘People’s Committees’. There is no President, no Parliament and no political Party. It is pursuing Third Universal Theory and the government provides free housing, cars, education and other facilities to Libyans.

Libya suffered heavy casualties during the Italian rule and international pressure after the 1969 Revolution when it nationalized economic institutions. Libya was tagged with terrorism. In 1980s, it was put under Sanctions due to Lockerbie bombings of two passenger planes. Turkkaya Ataov, expert of terrorism, did not find Libyan hands in it. Despite this, Qadhafi agreed to pay compensation unilaterally demanded by the West to be free from Sanctions. In 1986, US attacked Tripoli where Qadhafi’s daughter was killed. He later invited foreign investment and rebuilt relationship with Italy. He halted research in nuclear and chemical weapons.  He played active role in the African Union and invited exiles to return. He was making a gradual move towards democratic principles. On the contrary, the Western policies continued to create divisions between the government and some sections of the people and finally attacked the former to create complete lawlessness in Libya so that weak leadership should think of its own safety rather than the security of the people.

Tampering with the UN

The West mobilized media and ignorant leaders of the Arabian Peninsula and corrupt rulers of Africa to spread rumours against Libyan revolutionary leader who at least gave stability, security, dignity and prosperity in the country. Such rumours can be compared with the kind of false campaign of the US, UK and others about the possession of the Weapons of Mass Destruction by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein including the allegation of his links with Al-Qaeda involved in 9/11 terrorism. In the midst of such falsehood, the US got tremendous support from the Arab world who sided with the US to seek favour to avoid such interventions in their fields.

As a result of high-tech and political manipulations the aggressors managed to pass a resolution 1970 in the UNSC in February. It is not only dangerous but shows the vulnerability of the UNSC to the US, UK and France in particular. This resolution ‘refers the situation to the International Criminal Court (ICC) based in Hague. The Security Council referral gives the ICC jurisdiction over crimes committed in Libya. The ICC may investigate crimes including war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. 114 out of 192 are not the members of the ICC. Libya is not a party to the ICC Rome Statute. The ICC Prosecutor will report regularly to the Security Council. The resolution imposes an arms embargo and other arms restrictions. All states are prohibited to provide any kind of arms to Libya. All states are prohibited from allowing the transit to Libya of mercenaries. Libya is prohibited from exporting any arms to any other state. States are called upon to inspect suspicious cargo that may contain arms. All states are called on to strongly discourage their nationals from traveling to Libya to contribute to human rights violations.

It imposes targeted sanctions on seventeen Qadhafi loyalists who are subject to an international travel ban. Just like Iraq (Resolution 687 of 1991) a Sanctions Committee is established to impose targeted sanctions on additional individuals and entities who commit serious human rights abuses, including ordering attacks and aerial bombardments on civilian populations or facilities. The resolution called upon to work together to facilitate humanitarian assistance and support the return of humanitarian agencies. The Security Council expresses its readiness to consider additional measures to achieve the delivery of such assistance. The Security Council will keep these sanctions under review and strengthen, modify or lift them in light of the situation.

Disabling Libya under UNSC Resolution 1973

It is disturbing to note great disappointments over the use of phrase and wording, deliberately crafted by the US and Zionists– ‘to take all necessary measures to protect civilians and civilian places’ in UNSC Resolution 1973. This is not simply a resolution for the no-fly zone but a total approval of a naked aggression on Libyan people under Chapter VII of the UN Charter to get full freedom to bomb Libya by all means without any conditions. It is an all out war against Libya. No fly zone is basically meant for preventing country’s fighter planes to use its sovereign space. This resolution has been approved under this name of no fly zone but its nature is more dangerous. The resolution demands 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 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 five abstentions (Brazil, China, Germany, India, Russian Federation), the Council authorised Member States, acting nationally or through regional organisations 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.

The Council stressed the need to intensify efforts to find a solution to the crisis that responded to the legitimate demands of the Libyan people, noting actions being taken on the diplomatic front in that regard. It further demanded that Libyan authorities comply with their obligations under international law and take all measures to protect civilians and meet their basic needs and to ensure the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance. Why similar actions are lacking in the case of Israel? It further decided that all States should deny permission to any Libyan commercial aircraft to land in or take off from their territory unless a particular flight had been approved in advance by the committee that was established to monitor sanctions imposed by resolution 1970 (2011). In tightening the asset freeze and arms embargo established by that resolution, the Council further detailed conditions for inspections of transport suspected to be violating the embargo, requesting States enforcing the embargo to coordinate closely with each other and the Secretary-General on the measures they were taking towards implementation.

It reaffirms its intention to keep the actions of the Libyan authorities under continuous review and underlines its readiness to review at any time the measures imposed by this resolution and resolution 1970 (2011), including by strengthening, suspending or lifting those measures, as appropriate, based on compliance by the Libyan authorities with this resolution. It requested the Secretary-Secretary to create an eight-member panel of experts to assist the Security Council committee in monitoring the sanctions. The UNSC meeting of 55 minutes took the decision of long years of the destruction of Libya.  The resolutions requests the Secretary-General to create for an initial period of one year, in consultation with the Committee, a group of up to eight experts (“Panel of Experts”), under the direction of the Committee to carry out the following tasks:

(a) Assist the Committee in carrying out its mandate as specified in paragraph 24 of resolution 1970 (2011) and this resolution;

(b) Gather, examine and analyse information from States, relevant United Nations bodies, regional organisations and other interested parties regarding the implementation of the measures decided in resolution 1970 (2011) and this resolution, in particular incidents of non-compliance;

(c) Make recommendations on actions the Council, or the Committee or State, may consider to improve implementation of the relevant measures;

(d) Provide to the Council an interim report on its work no later than 90 days after the Panel’s appointment, and a final report to the Council no later than 30 days prior to the termination of its mandate with its findings and recommendations;

Certainly, both the UNSC resolutions –”1970 and 1973 against Libya are not for democracy but for destroying it as they destroyed Iraq. Sanctions are always genocidal in effects on human resource development. Iraq is the example where every section of society was adversely affected. It will not bring freedom as we can see in Baghdad, Basra, Kirkuk and Erbil where Americans are more secured than Iraqis. Resolutions passed by the Security Council contradicts the UN Charter and the purpose of the establishment of the UN itself as both the resolutions are coercive measures of the strong over weak states further clearing the path for full fledged aggressions. India, China and Russia played highly objectionable and ambiguous role disclaimer but the statement of the CPI (M) political party in India is appreciable. It termed the aerial strikes as a “dangerous act of aggression” and said it was a “calculated intervention” in an internal conflict. The party asked all democratic and progressive forces in India to strongly protest yet another military aggression by America and its allies on an Arab-African country. It said: “They are now repeating what they did in Iraq, which led to deaths of millions of people and large scale.” Certainly, it will not uphold the principle of the UN in this case as it is selective, prejudices, unfair and obsessive imposition of neo-imperialism and slavish mind-set of most of the Arabs. It will establish a precedent for a long series of violations of International Laws. The UN seems to be reduced to a cabin in the US State Department and like an EU office-room in Brussels for giving a free hand to aggressors. Both the resolutions and aggressions on Libya and forthcoming phase of sanctions are counter-productive to democracy, stability, peace and development in Libya. On the other hand, the take-over of the UN by the manipulating, destructive forces and oppressive forces is bound to pervert the nature and purpose of the UN Security Council.