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Responsibility to Protect Justified Imperialist Goals in Libya

Destruction in Benghazi, Libya in July 2015 after fighting between pro-government forces and an alliance of former anti-Gadhafi rebels. | Photo: Reuters

Πηγή: telesur
March 18 2017

Libya is a striking example of the humanitarian norm being used selectively to justify a breach of sovereignty and foreign intervention.

March 19 marks six years since the United States began its “humanitarian intervention” in Libya with the help of NATO. Amid the Arab Spring uprisings against authoritarian governments in the region, intervention in Libya was justified under the concept of “responsibility to protect.” The intervention ended in regime change, leaving many critical that the norm was abused for imperialist means, rather than humanitarian sentiments.

The Responsibility to Protect, otherwise known as “R2P,” aims to prevent human rights abuses, genocide and war crimes through international response. This principle justifies intervention in another sovereign state based on moral grounds.

Critics, however, have argued that R2P has commonly been used as a means to serve the foreign policy interests of Western powers. Policy analyst David Rieff has referred to R2P as a “two-tiered system of interveners and intervened upon,” which is dictated by the rules of historically imperialist powers.

“For those of us who feared that R2P was just a warrant for war, our fears have been vindicated,” said Rieff to the Economist at the time of the NATO intervention in Libya.

According to the R2P norm, a sovereign state is responsible for protecting its own citizens and preventing atrocities, and the international community also has a responsibility to step in when a state fails to protect its citizens. But this should only occur when all other diplomatic options have been exhausted and military action should be a last resort, according to the R2P doctrine.

However, this concept actually leads to an asymmetrical system with imperialist overtones, according to Ugandan political commentator, Mahmood Mamdani, who argues that through the language of R2P, non-Western countries are more often defined as rogue or failed states and singled out for intervention.

Furthermore, Mamdani argues that states earmarked for outside intervention on humanitarian grounds are seen not as “active agents in their own emancipation, but as passive beneficiaries of an external ‘responsibility to protect,’” which is seen largely as a “legitimate exercise.”

“The result is once again a bifurcated system whereby state sovereignty obtains in large parts of the world but is suspended in more and more countries in Africa and the Middle East,” Mamdani wrote in 2010.

In the case of Libya, the R2P concept was used by the UN Security Council to condemn Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi’s regime, impose sanctions and then justify intervention into the country by “all necessary means” to protect civilians. There was concern that unrest and violence under Gadhafi would lead to serious human rights abuses. Others, however, have argued that the NATO intervention was more about wanting to control Libyan oil, than it was for humanitarian motives.

Well before the Security Council resolutions, Gadhafi had been demonized by the West as an evil authoritarian dictator. Already wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, Gadhafi had long been accused of losing his legitimacy for slaughtering his own people.

Professor of African American Studies and Political Science Horace Campbell, explains that amid the demonization of Gadhafi’s regime, “The Security Council authorization was stretched from a clear and limited civilian protection mandate into a military campaign for regime change and the execution of the President of Libya, Moammar Gadhafi.”

Campbell argues that Gadhafi’s rule should have been condemned, but the guise of humanitarian intervention from NATO also should have been opposed. He criticized the organization as “the instrument through which the capitalist class of North America and Europe seeks to impose its political will on the rest of the world, however warped by the increasingly outmoded neoliberal form of capitalism.”

One of the major players pushing for R2P-style intervention in Libya was former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Her decision was likely influenced by international criticism for the failure to prevent the Rwandan genocide in 1994 under then-president Bill Clinton, a tragic miscalculation which many see as a key example of the importance of acting on the “responsibility to protect” doctrine.

But the Libya intervention overstepped the bounds of R2P and soon morphed into a full-blown military operation. While speed was seen as critical in Libya, the intervention dragged on for more than seven months and ended with the killing of Gadhafi.

Clinton adviser, Sidney Blumenthal, only 11 days into the intervention wrote that the “humanitarian motive offered is limited, conditional and refers to a specific past situation,” as revealed in the infamous Benghazi email leaks.

The push for international intervention in Libya was not without dissent. In particular, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — known as the BRICS countries — were concerned as to how exactly an R2P-style intervention would be carried out, particularly when ceasefire offers were rejected and Libyan rebel forces were given support.

As former Australian Foreign Minister and one of the primary architects behind the original R2P norm, Gareth Evans noted in 2012, “The BRICS complaints were not about the initial military response, but what came shortly after, when it became clear that the U.S., Britain and France were set on regime change.”

President Obama defended the intervention in March 2011, saying that "when our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act," while also claiming that "we are naturally reluctant to use force to solve the world's many challenges."

Many countries, even those who voted in favor of the resolution, became concerned as the conflict dragged on, unaware that the intervention would be so devastating.

Obama later admitted in April 2016 that the intervention which ousted Gadhafi and subsequently threw Libya into chaos was the worst mistake of his presidency.


Siemens to take part in Crimea power project in spite of sanctions

Πηγή: NewEurope
By Dan Alele
August 8 2016

Siemens is ready to build part of a power plant in Crimea, in spite of the European and international embargo.

According to an investigation by Reuters, the builders of two power plants in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory Crimea have finalised plans to install turbines made by a joint venture of Siemens.
Siemens says its joint venture is only for making turbines for a separate plant on Russia’s Taman peninsula, which is separated from Crimea by a strait, but not for plants inside in Crimea itself.

However, three separate sources told Reuters that two power plants in Crimea are being built to house Siemens turbines. The sources, who are all familiar with the technical details of the plants, said they are compatible only with Siemens turbines.

The sources include one person involved in the plant project itself, one employee of a company working alongside state builder Technopromexport on the project, and one person from a company that bid on the construction tender. All three spoke on condition of anonymity.

EU sanctions bar European individuals and companies from providing energy technology to Crimea, and from taking any actions designed to circumvent those rules.

If the turbines end up in Crimea – which one of the sources said could happen as soon as within the next two months – it could test the limits of what is allowable under sanctions imposed by the European Union after Russia annexed the territory from Ukraine in 2014. Legal experts say there are no court precedents to say whether Siemens could be held responsible if a third party brought the turbines to Crimea.

The European Commission in Brussels had no specific comment about the Siemens turbines and said it was up to EU member countries to enforce sanctions rules on their companies: “The restrictive measures adopted by the EU are clear. Their implementation is in the hands of the member states,” a spokeswoman said. (with Reuters)

5 explosive secret intelligence memos on Libya everyone must read [VIDEO]

Πηγή: The Canary
August 8 2016

Libya is a mess following the western military intervention that started in 2011. We were told it was necessary because there’s an evil dictator who had to be taken out as he was massacring his own people. But is that really why we went to war with Libya?

Muammar Gaddafi did have much blood on his hands – from the so-called Toyota War (or Chadian-Libyan conflict) to taking responsibility for Lockerbie. Not to mention his handy role in George W. Bush’sextraordinary rendition program.

Gaddafi was an interventionist who favoured shady backroom deals and covert action, as well as support of proxies abroad to accomplish his goals.

When anti-Gaddafi protesters took to the streets of Libya in the midst of the ‘Arab Spring’, the UK, US, and France declared Gaddafi’s rule illegitimate. The soon to follow NATO military intervention on behalf of Libyan rebel militants ended with the brutal execution of Gaddafi on the road out of Sirte – ironically, the very city which Libyan ISIS has now made its de facto headquarters.

Some say Gaddafi deserved it. After all, he haphazardly exported enough Semtex around the world, in support of ‘revolutionary’ causes, to supply a small army of indiscriminate killers.

Libertarians, humanitarians, as well as Responsibility 2 Protect (R2P) ‘true believers’ are right to condemn Gaddafi’s legacy of interventionism.

But when western governments militarily intervened in Libya’s civil war, which included bombing urban centres and arming proxy forces, were they really motivated by notions of justice, democracy, and a desire to protect Libyan civilians?

Listed below are five leaked, declassified, and censored intelligence documents which reveal the ugly truths behind what has been described as the West’s “dirty war” in Libya. Direct excerpts from secret documents are in quotes:

1) France wanted control over Gaddafi’s billions in gold and silver bullion as revealed in Hillary Clinton’s 27 March 2011 confidential intelligence brief:

According to knowledgeable individuals this quantity of gold and silver is valued at more than $7 billion. French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began. This was one of the factors that influenced President Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to commit France to the attack on Libya.

2) The US and UK knew al-Qaeda terrorists were embedded in rebel groups, yet armed them anyway. Read this quote from another Hillary Clinton 27 March 2011 confidential intelligence brief:

French and British Special Operations troops are working out of bases in Egypt, along the Libyan border. These troops are overseeing the transfer of weapons and supplies to the rebels… …Sarkozy is also concerned about continuing reports that radical/terrorist groups such as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Groups and Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) are infiltrating the NLC and its military command… …[there’s] a seemingly endless supply of AK47 assault rifles and ammunition… …French, British, and Egyptian Special Forces troops are training rebels inside of western Egypt, and to a limited degree in the western suburbs of Benghazi.

3) A secret Libya to Syria ‘weapons pipeline’ was set up to fuel the devastating conflict in Syria as revealed in this 12 October 2012 Pentagon ‘Secret’ Intelligence Information Report (Defense Intelligence Agency):

Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The weapons shipped during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s, and 125 mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.

During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the ((Qaddafi)) regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria.

4) Fake propaganda was planted in the media to make Gaddafi look like a fanatical monster that must be stopped. This from a 27 March 2011 Hillary Clinton confidential intelligence brief:

I communicated more than a week ago on this story—Qaddafi placing bodies to create PR stunts about supposed civilian casualties as a result of Allied bombing—though underlining it was a rumor. But now, as you know, Robert Gates gives credence to it. (See story below.)

Sources now say, again rumor (that is, this information comes from the rebel side and is unconfirmed independently by Western intelligence), that Qaddafi has adopted a rape policy and has even distributed Viagra to troops.

5) Secretary of State Clinton was informed there was no real humanitarian basis for NATO’s bombing, though NATO would continue its devastating bombing of Libya for another seven months anyway. This according to Hillary Clinton’s 30 March 2011 confidential intelligence brief:

…extending US influence…should be obvious. It is a vital national interest today, now, at this moment. The humanitarian motive offered is limited, conditional and refers to a specific past situation.

See below video of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton grilled by a congressional committee over the secret weapons shipments sent from Libya to fuel the war in Syria: