The brutal massacres of civilians in Libya at the order of the country's dictator, Moammar Gaddafi, have shocked the world. His air force has carried out air strikes against unarmed civilians. On Feb. 25, Gaddafi followers aimed murderous fire at anti-government protests in his last stronghold, Tripoli. The government declares its intention of reconquering the country in civil war.
What can we in Canada do to end the killings?
On Feb. 26, the United Nations Security Council voted for sanctions against the Libyan regime, including an arms embargo and the freezing of assets belonging to Gadhafi and his family. These measures are hardly more than cosmetic, serving to polish up great-power credentials.
Who will protect Libyans now? One of the darkest and most shameful chapters in Western military intervention continues to play out in spades in Libya. The latest news -- yet it barely makes the news -- comes from Benghazi where one of the (literally hundreds) murderous militias opened fire on peaceful, white-flag-bearing protesters (protesting militias), killing at least 20 and wounding over 130. And they didn't use just small arms -- it was rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns and even an anti-aircraft gun.
The West's hypocrisy and oil-greed are coming home to roost with a vengeance in Libya as the Arab Spring in that country turns into a nightmarish winter characterized by armed gangs, economic collapse, a decline in services by an incompetent government and increasing political domination by radical Islamists.
When the U.S. invaded Iraq, riding a pack of lies and monstrous manipulation of the entire U.S. elite, major news services, academics, and politicians from both "sides" of the spectrum lined up in a shameful cheerleading line and off they went to war. It was one of the most shameful chapters in the long history of shameful acts of U.S. imperial foreign policy.
It actually didn't take too long for dissenting voices to come out of the woodwork. The lies were exposed, the liars identified, the manipulation denounced.
But watching the sorry spectacle of media coverage of the tragic farce unfolding around Libya, one has to wonder if anyone will ever expose the lies and hubris that have run throughout this faux Arab spring.
NATO members, including Canada, are continuing their massive bombing campaign against Libya in a war that may just break the record for the casual breaking of international law, and for lying about the motives for the war.
There is no mandate to engage in "regime change," yet everyone, including the Harper government, openly admits that that is, in fact, what they are doing. Canada has stated that only the removal of Gaddafi will satisfy NATO. Not the United Nations -- which gave a mandate to protect civilians from the Libyan government's attacks -- but NATO, that alliance whose mandate is supposed to be the mutual self defence of nations of the north Atlantic.