Wednesday, September 21, 2011

NATO’s Humanitarian Effort in Libya

Number Killed or Wounded
On September 8, Naji Barakat, the Health Minister of the National Transitional Council, stated that about 30,000 people were killed during the war. At least 50,000 war wounded, about 20,000 with serious injuries, were currently estimated, but this estimate was expected to rise. However, there was no independent verification of the opposition claim.
Barakat said that at least 1,700 former rebel fighters died in the battle for Tripoli, along with about 100 civilians.
Human Rights Violations
Amnesty International found recent unlawful killings "perpetrated by organized groups who operate freely, openly and with impunity". Victims' families were generally unwilling to protest for fear of reprisals and to avoid the stigma of being labeled Gaddafi loyalists or "anti-revolutionary". In addition, opposition groups have detained hundreds of people in areas they control since the end of February, Amnesty says. These include people accused of "subverting the revolution," who say they were never shown an arrest warrant or any other document.
"In most cases, the manner of detention is better described as abduction rather than arrest," the report argues. "They were seized by groups of heavily-armed men, some of them masked, who did not identify themselves. They were then taken away in unmarked vehicles, usually pick-up trucks with anti-aircraft machine-guns mounted at the back."
It continues: "None of the detainees, whether Libyan or foreign civilians, or Libyan soldiers, have had access to a lawyer, been formally charged, or been given the opportunity to challenge their detention before a judicial authority."
The report states: "Victims are subjected to beatings and other abuses seemingly to extract confessions and to punish them for their alleged 'crimes'. In some cases, detainees are forced to sign or thumb-print statements under torture or duress without being allowed to read them. In fact, several detainees told Amnesty International that they were interrogated while blindfolded."
The al-Qaeda Connection
There’s more evidence that many of the men engaged in fighting against the Gaddafi regime have ties to an organization that killed 3,000 Americans 10 years ago:
Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.
In an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Mr al-Hasidi admitted that he had recruited “around 25 men from the Derna area in eastern Libya to fight against coalition troops in Iraq. Some of them, he said, are “today are on the front lines in Adjabiya”.
Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,” but added that the “members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader”.
His revelations came even as Idriss Deby Itno, Chad’s president, said al-Qaeda had managed to pillage military arsenals in the Libyan rebel zone and acquired arms, “including surface-to-air missiles, which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries”.
Chad, of course, lies to Libya’s south, and there are fears that a collapse of the central government in Tripoli could allow groups sympathetic to al Qaeda to set up camp in the vast deserts of Southern Libya:
The fall of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi might see the al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic terrorist groups filling up the void, US analysts have said.
The Obama administration finally acknowledged Wednesday, Aug. 31 that al Qaeda elements had been fighting in Libyan rebel ranks in last week's capture of Tripoli. This came about in a cautious remark from the office of President Barack Obama's terrorism adviser John Brennan: "Some members of the LIFG [Al Qaeda's Libyan Islamic Fighting Group offshoot] in the past had connections with al Qaeda in Sudan, Afghanistan or Pakistan. Others dropped their relationship with al Qaeda entirely. It seems from their statements and support for establishing a democracy in Libya that this faction of LIFG does not support al Qaeda. We'll definitely be watching to see whether this is for real or just for show."
CNN reported hundreds of Islamist militants were among the prisoners freed from a notorious Tripoli prison this week, according to a former Libyan jihadist.
The freed militants had been imprisoned in Tripoli’s Abu Salim prison by Moammar Gadhafi’s regime during the height of the insurgency in Iraq, according to Noman Benotman, once a senior figure in the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. Benotman said he believes as many as 600 militants may have been among the prison population at Abu Salim.
It’s not known how many prisoners were held in the vast facility. Human Rights Watch said Gadhafi’s prisons “have been filled to the limit in the last few months with thousands of people who were arrested for taking part in the anti-Gadhafi protests, or because of their suspected support for Libya’s democratic opposition.”
In a blog on al Jazeera a person stating he is Abdullah Al-Snousi stated, “What we are facing now in this war is NATO led by al-Qaeda. The European and western officials are lying to their people when they say they are fighting terrorism. In fact they are fighting with terrorism against the Libyan nation and they are following al Qaeda’s orders.
What we find really strange that the same people who brought to us these terrorists elements are the same people now supporting these very terrorist elements. Now the international coalition is not against terrorism but between the west and terrorism. And my colleagues, the heads of intelligence services all around the world know what I am talking about. Libyan head of security services Abdullah Al-Snousi.”
A Matter of Money
CNN reported that the rebels have started selling oil to the US. The rebel government in control of the eastern part of Libya has made its first sale of oil from territory it controls, the State Department confirmed Wednesday.
Tesoro, a U.S. oil refiner, entered into a deal May 25 with the Transitional National Council based in Benghazi, Libya for 1.2 million barrels of Libyan crude oil, the State Department said in a written statement. The shipment was scheduled to arrive aboard the MT Equator, a Liberian-flagged tanker, at the Single Point Mooring in Hawaii on Wednesday. The dollar value of the deal is not known.
The rebels have also established a central bank. In a statement released last week, the rebels reported on the results of a meeting held on March 19. Among other things, the supposed rag-tag revolutionaries announced the “designation of the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and appointment of a Governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi.”
The Gadhafi regime’s central bank — unlike the U.S. Federal Reserve, which is owned by private shareholders — was among the few central banks in the world that was entirely state-owned. At the moment, it is unclear exactly who owns the rebel’s central bank or how it will be governed.
The so-called Interim Transitional National Council, the rebels’ self-appointed new government for Libya purporting to be the “sole legitimate representative of Libyan People,” also trumpeted the creation of a new “Libyan Oil Company” based in the rebel stronghold city of Benghazi. The North African nation, of course, has the continent’s largest proven oil reserves.
However, the creation of a new central bank, even more so than the new national oil regime, left analysts scratching their heads. “I have never before heard of a central bank being created in just a matter of weeks out of a popular uprising,” noted Robert Wenzel in an analysis for the Economic Policy Journal. “This suggests we have a bit more than a rag tag bunch of rebels running around and that there are some pretty sophisticated influences.”
Wenzel also noted that the uprising looked like a “major oil and money play, with the true disaffected rebels being used as puppets and cover” while the transfer of control over money and oil supplies takes place. And other analysts agreed.
Even mainstream news outlets were puzzled. “Is this the first time a revolutionary group has created a central bank while it is still in the midst of fighting the entrenched political power?” wondered CNBC senior editor John Carney. “It certainly seems to indicate how extraordinarily powerful central bankers have become in our era.”
But some observers are convinced that the central bank issue was actually the primary motivation for the international war against Libya‘s dictatorship. In an article that has spread far and wide across the web, entitled “Globalists Target 100% State Owned Central Bank of Libya,” author Eric Encina maintains that the world’s “globalist financiers and market manipulators” could not stand the Libyan monetary authority’s independence, explaining:
“Currently, the Libyan government creates its own money, the Libyan Dinar, through the facilities of its own central bank. One major problem for globalist banking cartels is that in order to do business with Libya, they must go through the Libyan Central Bank and its national currency, a place where they have absolutely zero dominion or power-broking ability. Hence, taking down the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) may not appear in the speeches of Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy but this is certainly at the top of the globalist agenda for absorbing Libya into its hive of compliant nations.”
And when Gadhafi is gone and the dust has settled, according to Encina, “you will see the Allied reformers move in to reform Libya’s monetary system, pumping it full of worthless dollars, priming it for a series of chaotic inflationary cycles.” The future of Libya’s vast gold stockpiles could also be in jeopardy, he noted.
Numerous other analysts and experts have also pointed to the central banking issue as one of the top factors leading up to the Western backing of Libyan rebels. Monetary historian Andrew Gause, for example, recently shared his concerns about the matter publicly.
Ground Troops
Remember no ground troops would be used? An unnamed NATO official admitted that Britain and France have deployed ground troops inside the Libyan territory, but said it would be "unfair to call them NATO forces."
Meanwhile, the Russian ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, said there is "direct evidence" that British and French Special Forces were carrying out ground operations in Libya in violation of UN Security Council resolution 1973.
Additionally a plan for Libya by The United Nations has leaked out to the media. The plan proposes 200 military observers to begin with a multi-national force and 190 UN police. Also in the report the UN plans to have Libya’s elections within a nine month time frame. Matthew Lee, a journalist for, broke the story.
The 10-page document, apparently written by a special UN team led by Ian Martin, the former British head of Amnesty International, was obtained and published by Inner City Press, the UN watchdog website.
"It's a very detailed plan really spelling out [roles for] military observers, UN, police; it says things like NATO has an ongoing role and there's some things the UN can do without a mandate from the Security Council," Matthew Russell Lee said.

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