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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Did Qaddafi Bomb Peaceful Protesters?

Today we will examine an embarrassing case in which Qaddafi backers get so busy fabricating stories that their web of deception develops logical contradictions that expose the whole illusion. This happens when incompatible stories denying Qaddafi's use of aircraft against unarmed protesters in February are examined side by side as we will do below.

No doubt these air attacks played a substantial role in earning Qaddafi and his son ICC arrest warrants this week:
Today, 27 June 2011, Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued three warrants of arrest respectively for Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi, Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Senussi for crimes against humanity (murder and persecution) allegedly committed across Libya from 15 February 2011 until at least 28 February 2011, through the State apparatus and Security Forces.
Almost from the being of the Arab uprising in Libya, Qaddafi met the peaceful protesters with maximum violence. By 21 February, he was already using war planes against demonstrations in Tripoli and Benghazi. It was specifically his use of jets and helicopters against the people, a step not yet taken in Bahrain, Yemen or Syria, that earned him a "No Fly Zone."

Death from above is hideous stuff so naturally Qaddafi apologists have had to refute the stubborn fact that Qaddafi used war planes on his own people. To the rescue came the Russian military with the following story:

“Airstrikes in Libya did not take place” – Russian military
Published: 01 March, 2011, 18:24

The reports of Libya mobilizing its air force against its own people spread quickly around the world. However, Russia's military chiefs say they have been monitoring from space – and the pictures tell a different story.

According to Al Jazeera and BBC, on February 22 Libyan government inflicted airstrikes on Benghazi – the country’s largest city – and on the capital Tripoli. However, the Russian military, monitoring the unrest via satellite from the very beginning, says nothing of the sort was going on on the ground.

At this point, the Russian military is saying that, as far as they are concerned, the attacks some media were reporting have never occurred.
All those who supported Qaddafi took this as proof that the people who said they were bombed by Qaddafi's planes were just lying. Activists who wouldn't believe a word coming out of the Pentagon took this report from the pro-Qaddafi, Russian military as gold. This story has been cited all over the Internet as proof that the stories about planes and helicopters is just so much western demonization of the Libyan leader.

For example Information Clearing House ran with Did Gaddaffi Bomb His Own People? NO! and this video:


So as long as you believe the Russian military and trust what they report, the Libyans didn't carry out any air strikes of any sort, so obviously they didn't bomb any protesters, right?

Problem is Saif Qaddafi, Mummar's son, had a different story. He said the war planes were only bombing ammo dumps so they wouldn't fall into the hands of protesters.
in Reuters Mon, Feb 21 18:51 PM EST:
Residents reported gunfire in parts of Tripoli and one political activist said warplanes had bombed the city. But state TV showed government supporters rallying and Qaddafi's son Saif al-Islam Qaddafi said warplanes had hit only ammunition dumps.
YaLibnan had a little more detail:
There are also reports that warplanes have bombed parts of the city, and helicopters carrying armed African mercenaries have landed in the streets.

But Qaddafi son, Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, said warplanes had hit only ammunition dumps.

He did not say why jets had carried out the air strikes, but on Sunday he accused protesters of raiding ammunition depots in the eastern city of Benghazi.
You can hear Saif Qaddafi make the same claim in English and his own voice at ~01:18 of this YouTube video I made and uploaded on the last day of February.



So if the much touted Russian observers didn't see the ammo dumps being bombed, they wouldn't have seen the demonstrators being bombed either, so their report is worthless.

As for Saif Qaddafi, we already know his testimony is worthless.

This is the kind of 'stuff' that the pro-Qaddafi people use to sow confusion and attempt to deny the Libyan freedom movement the support it deserves.
In The Final Call, June 7, 2011, Bill Fletcher, Jr. asks "Why Isn't Bahrain Being Bombed?" We hear many rhetorical renderings of this concerning Bahrain & Yemen among anti-imperialists lately.

The problem with this question as agitation is that it speaks exclusively to the choir. It is convincing only to those who already know that Bahrain isn't being bombed because it is a NATO protectorate, because of the fleet and the Saudis, etc.

Otherwise, if one approaches his question as a neutral observer with a good grasp of the details, one might say that Bahrain isn't being bombed because Bahrain hasn't attacked protester from the air and so hasn't provided the excuse for imposing a 'non-fly' zone that would make bombing Bahrain 'legal.' If you are not wearing blinders, you could conclude that and leave it at that because that is the bottom-line.

It is absolutely true that with Saudi help Bahrain has imposed a very brutal crackdown on freedom fighters there. Many have been murdered while NATO has looked the other way. This is true. But I have not heard that Bahrain was using aircraft to attack demonstrators. They have yet to cross that line, and the same could be said about Yemen and Syria as far as I know.

So even if there were forces in the UN that wanted to bomb Bahrain and had the clout to push it through, what would be their rational?

We know the road that has led to bombing Libya. It was legalized by the "no fly zone." DefSec Gates had already put the UN on notice that a vote for the "no-fly zone" was a vote for bombing Libya and when they brought in Article 4, just about anything became 'legal.' NATO had all the excuse it needed to rummage around in the internal affairs of an oil rich country in North Africa.

What opened the door to all of this was Qaddafi's use of jets and helicopters on his own people. That allowed the demand for a non-fly zone to gain enough traction, even with the Arab League, to get through the Security Council and that was all the cover the NATO interventionists needed. Game on.

The anti-Qaddafi forces are often blamed for bringing NATO into this fight. IMHO the blame resides with Qaddafi. He elected to deal with what began as peaceful opposition by increasingly violent means. When he started using aircraft he crossed a line that gave NATO an opening. After that it's like calling the police. sometimes you have to call them. Problem is they always arrive with their own agenda.
Here are the links to my articles at WL Central:
2011-06-22 No Libyans allowed at ANSWER Libya Forum
2011-04-13 Doha summit supports Libyan rebels
Current Events in Libya
2011-03-11 Who's running Egypt?
Libyans are spilling their blood for us all!
2011-02-24 Arming Gaddfi
2011-02-14 Senior Egyptian army officers ordered massacre
2011-02-13 Tales of Tyrants: Ben Ali, Mubarak & Suleiman
2011-02-12 Algeria Protesters Defy Ban, Demand Change
The Mubarak Screw Up & the Suleiman Danger
2011-02-10 Mubarak is Defiant
2011-02-10 Mubarak Expected to Step Down!
2011-02-09 The Google Search for Wael Ghonim
2011-02-08 The New Egyptian Normal: Thousands Demonstrate in Cairo, Alexandria
2011-02-06 Tunisia's Revolution Continues
2011-02-04 Tunisian Anonymous activists take on Egyptian cause
2011-02-04 Protesters roar back with "Day of Departure" for Mubarak
2011-02-03 Algerians plan Feb 12 protest against 19- year-long state of emergency
2011-02-01 Jordan's King Sacks Government as Protests Grow
2011-02-01 Tunisian Islamic Leader Returns as EU Freezes Ousted President's Assets
2011-02-01 Army Vows Not to Shoot as Protesters make Million Man Marches in Cairo, Alexandria Today [UPDATE: 2]
2011-01-30 Million Egyptian Protest Planned as Resistance Continues
2011-01-29 No Internet? No Problem! Anonymous Faxes Egypt
2011-01-28 In Jordan Thousands Demand New Government
2011-01-28 Mubarak Refuses to Step Down!
2011-01-28 Egypt is on Fire!
2011-01-27 Libya is in Revolt as Gaddafi Worries
2011-01-27 Algerians Plan Big Protest Rally for February 9th
2011-01-27 Tunisia Protests Continues as a Warrant is Issued for Ben Ali
2011-01-27 Tens of Thousands Rally in Yemen, Demand Change
2011-01-27 Mubarak Blinks as Egyptian Protests Continue for 3rd Day

North African Hacker Humor

Here is a recap of my other DKos diaries on the Internet, North Africa and Anonymous:
'Brother' Qaddafi Indicted plus Libya & Syria: Dueling Rally Photofinishs
An Open Letter to ANSWER
ANSWER answers me
No Libyans allowed at ANSWER Libya Forum
Are they throwing babies out of incubators yet?
Continuing Discussion with a Gaddafi Supporter
Boston Globe oped supports Gaddafi with fraudulent journalism
Doha summit supports Libyan rebels
Current Events in Libya
Who's running Egypt?
Amonpour Plays Softball with Gaddafi
Californians Support North African Revolts
Google Supports Revolts | Anonymous does too!
Secret U.S. Intelligence Source on Middle East Revealed !
Arming Gaddfi
Are "mutinous officers" are being executed in Egypt now?
Algeria's 19 year long State of Emergency to end soon, President says
Senior Egyptian Army Officers Ordered Massacre!
Tales of Tyrants: Ben Ali, Mubarak & Suleiman
The Mubarak Screw Up & the Suleiman Danger
BREAKING: Mubarak is Defiant
The Google Search for Wael Ghonim
Tunisia's Revolution Continues
Google Goes Rebel, Supports Egyptian Protest
Tunisian Anonymous activists take on Egyptian cause
Protesters roar back with "Day of Departure" for Mubarak
Act Now to Stop Mubarak's Thugs From Killing More! w Petition
Act Now to Stop Mubarak's Thugs From Killing More!
They Should Have Helped That Street Vendor
Million Egyptian Protest Planned as Resistance Continues
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution Redux
No Internet? No Problem! Anonymous Faxes Egypt
Egypt is on Fire!
North African Revolution Continues
Egypt Protests Continue, Tunisia Wants Ben Ali Back
BREAKING: Protesters Plan Massive "Day of Wrath" in Egypt Today
Tunisians Thank Anonymous as North Africa Explodes
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution
Tunisia: A Single Tweet Can Start A Prairie Fire!
Anonymous plans Op Swift Assist in Tunisia
Arrested Pirate Party Member Becomes Tunisian Minister
Is Libya Next? Anonymous Debates New Operation
Tunis: This Photo was Taken 66 Minutes Ago
The WikiLeaks Revolution: Anonymous Strikes Tunisia
EMERGENCY: DKos Must Act Now to Protect Tunisian Bloggers!

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