- Like Cast Lead against Gaza, Odyssey Dawn is criminal
imperial war, willfully attacking non-combatants and civilian targets,
including vital infrastructure, hospitals, non-military airports and buildings,
ports, power generating facilities, and other sites unrelated to military
- These and more besides so-called rebels killing hundreds
on the ground, targeting anyone thought to be pro-Gaddafi, including African
guest workers there for employment, not political allegiance.
- In his article titled, "Libya and Obama's Defense
of the 'Rebel Uprising,' " James Petras said:
- Libyans see rebels as "invaders, breaking doors,
blowing up homes and arresting and accusing local leaders of being 'fifth
columnists' for Gaddafi. (They) and their imperial mentors have targeted
the entire civilian economy, bombed Libyan cities, cut trade and commercial
networks, blocked the delivery of subsidized food and welfare to the poor,
caused the suspension of schools and forced hundreds of thousands of foreign
professionals, teachers, doctors and skilled contract workers to flee."
- These are Obama's freedom fighters - cutthroat killers,
armed, funded and now trained by US and UK Special Forces, as well as CIA
and MI 6 intelligence operatives. Besides earlier reports of their presence
along with British and Egyptian commandos, London Independent writers Kim
Sengupta and David Randall headlined (on April 3), "Western military
advisers become visible in Benghazi," saying:
- Mission creep is clearly visible, "usually described
as experts, consultants and advisors" showing up in the rebel stronghold,
downplaying their presence when spotted. Whatever their numbers and mandate,
can many more be far behind in the early stages of a protracted, bloody
- So far, shock and awe bombing leads it, killing scores,
perhaps hundreds, more. Daily the numbers mount. Even independent and surprising
reports confirm it.
- In fact, Libya's top Vatican representative, Bishop Giovanni
Innocenzo Martinelli, told Agenzia Fides, the Vatican news service:
- "The so-called humanitarian air raids have taken
the lives of dozens of civilians in various areas of Tripoli" alone.
"Of particular concern, in the district of Buslim, a building collapsed
because of the bombing killing 40 people. Yesterday I reported that the
bombing had affected some hospitals, albeit directly. I can now confirm
that one of these hospitals is in Misda," about 100 miles south of
- In other interviews, Martelli cited numerous civilian
deaths and injuries, "confirmed to me by people who have lost loved
ones" from bombings. Civilian areas are hugely impacted, often willfully,
other times because bombs and missiles can't distinguish between military
and non-combatant targets.
- Moreover, US rules of engagement (ROE) authorize war
crimes. In Iraq, orders were to kill all military age males. In Afghanistan,
drone and ground attacks kill civilians daily, often willfully, bogusly
claiming insurgent kills. War is hell, especially on civilians.
- When nations wage them, especially America, liberation,
humanitarian intervention, and protecting civilian lives aren't part of
strategic planning. Quite the opposite, in fact. Civilians and non-military
targets are willfully attacked, taking a shocking, little reported toll,
focusing largely on vilifying adversaries as justification for imperial,
- Yet doing it violates international and US law, including
US Army Field Manual (FM) 27-10 standards, incorporating the Nuremberg
Principles, Judgment and Charter, as well as The Law of Land Warfare (1956):
- -- FM's paragraph 498 states that any person, military
or civilian, who commits a crime under international law is responsible
for it and may be punished;
- -- paragraph 499 defines a war crime;
- -- paragraph 500 refers to a conspiracy, attempts to
commit it, and complicity with respect to international crimes;
- -- paragraph 509 denies the defense of superior orders
in the commission of a crime; and
- -- paragraph 510 denies the defense of an "act of
state," absolving them.
- Two points are key:
- -- these provisions apply to all US military and civilian
personnel, including top commanders, the Secretary of Defense, his subordinates,
and the President and Vice President of the United States; and
- -- under the Constitution's Supremacy Clause (Article
VI, paragraph 2), all international laws and treaties are the "supreme
Law of the Land."
- Nonetheless, US combat operations are always lawless,
in direct violation of US and international law. Strategic bombing, in
fact, involves destroying an adversary's economic and military capability.
Terror bombing is another matter. It's against civilians to intimidate,
break their morale, cause panic, weaken an enemy's will to fight, and inflict
mass casualties and punishment.
- Yet Geneva and other international laws forbid targeting
civilians. The Laws of War: Laws and Customs of War on Land (1907 Hague
IV Convention) states:
- -- Article 25: "The attack or bombardment, by whatever
means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended
- -- Article 26: "The officer in command of an attacking
force must, before commencing a bombardment, except in cases of assault,
do all in his power to warn the authorities."
- Article 27: "In sieges and bombardments, all necessary
steps must be taken to spare, as far as possible, buildings dedicated to
religion, art, science, or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals,
and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are
not being used at the time for military purposes."
- The besieged should visibly indicate these buildings
or places, notifying an adversary beforehand.
- Fourth Geneva also protects civilians in times of war.
It prohibits any type violence against them, requiring treatment for those
sick and wounded. In September 1938, a League of Nations unanimous resolution
- "bombardment of cities, towns, villages, dwellings
or buildings not in the immediate neighborhood of the operations of land
forces....In cases where (legitimate targets) are so situated, (aircraft)
must abstain from bombardment" if this action indiscriminately affects
- The 1945 Nuremberg Principles prohibit "crimes against
peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity." These include "inhumane
acts committed against any civilian populations, before or during the war,"
including indiscriminate killing and "wanton destruction of cities,
towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity."
- The 1968 General Assembly Resolution on Human Rights
prohibits attacks against civilian populations. America does it repeatedly
- by land, sea and terror bombings.
- Examples of US. Terror Bombings
- During WW II, US air forces bombed Tokyo several times
with incendiaries. On April 18, 1942, four months after Pearl Harbor, Lt.
Col. Jimmy Doolittle led a raid. It did little damage but proved Tokyo
was vulnerable to attacks.
- On February 24, 1945, 174 planes firebombed Toyko, destroying
one square mile of the city. Two weeks later on March 9, 279 bombers demolished
16 square city miles, killing an estimated, 100,000 civilians, injuring
many more, leaving over one million homeless. About five dozen other Japanese
cities were also firebombed, at a time most structures in the country were
wooden and easily consumed. For what reason?
- In early 1945, Japan sent peace feelers. Moreover, two
days before the February Yalta Conference, Douglas MacArthur sent Roosevelt
a 40-page summary of its terms. They were near-unconditional. The Japanese
agreed to an occupation, ending hostilities, surrendering its arms, removing
its troops from occupied territories, submitting to criminal war trials,
and allowing its industries to be regulated. In return, they only wanted
their Emperor retained in an honorable capacity.
- Roosevelt spurned the offer. So did Truman. In March,
Tokyo was firebombed, then in August atomic bombs were used for the first
time against Hiroshima and Nagasaki, even though Japan was negotiating
surrender. In fact, top US officials knew doing so had no bearing on the
war's outcome. It was effectively over, so why use them?
- Based on Truman's papers, nuclear bombs were diplomatic
weapons against Soviet Russia, to let Washington dictate post-war terms,
give America a strategic Cold War advantage, and get a leg up exploiting
regional resources. Human rights and lives never enter into this calculus.
Moreover, America now claims a unilateral right to use nuclear and other
terror weapons preemptively, including against non-nuclear, non-belligerent
states for whatever reasons cited, whether or not true.
- Post-WW II, neither Soviet Russia, China, or other countries
threatened America. Creating adversaries is always for imperial and profiteering
advantage, so slaughtering millions of North Koreans very much furthered
those aims, even though they responded to repeated U-S influenced Republic
of Korea (ROK) provocations. Later came millions of Southeast Asians.
- Gabriel Kolko wrote the definitive history of the Vietnam
war in his 1985 book: "Anatomy of a War: Vietnam, the United States,
and the Modern Historical Experience." He saw America's invention
as a predictable consequence of its ambition, strengths, weaknesses, and
quest for world dominance.
- Nonetheless, it miscalculated. Vietnamese tired of colonial
rule, so communists in the North gained control. They won peasant loyalty
by promising more equal land distribution. In addition, their top leaders
were intellectuals. They planned well and were patient. The contrast in
the South was stark. America installed the authoritarian Ngo Dinh Diem
regime to build a strong army, crush opposition, and serve Washington reliably.
- From the 1950s, military advisors were supplied, escalated
under Kennedy, then accelerated when Lyndon Johnson became president. After
the bogus August 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, war began to establish client
regimes and military bases across East and South Asia, to encircle China,
and crush nationalist anti-imperial movements.
- Operation Rolling Thunder continued from February 1965
through October 1968. For 44 months, over one millions tons of ordnance
were used in targeted and indiscriminate bombings. It aimed to destroy
North Vietnam's economy and curtail help reaching National Liberation Front
(Viet Cong) resistance in the South.
- Over the course of the war, eight million tons of bombs
were dropped from 1965 - 73, threefold the amount in WW II, amounting to
300 tons for every Vietnamese man, woman, and child.
- As in Korea, napalm was also used with other incendiary
devices. In addition, terror weapons like anti-personnel cluster bombs
spewed thousands of metal pellets hitting everything in their path, plus
indiscriminate land mines still claiming lives.
- From 1961 to 1971, the dioxin-containing defoliant Agent
Orange was used as well, mainly in the South, Cambodia and Laos. Millions
of gallons were sprayed with devastating human consequences. It's one of
the most toxic known substances, a potent carcinogenic human immune system
suppressant. It accumulates in adipose tissue and the liver, alters living
cell genetic structures, causes congenital disorders and birth defects,
and contributes to diseases like cancer and type two diabetes.
- These consequences were never considered nor the effects
of expanded spraying to destroy vital food crops like rice. Also in 1970,
US forces conducted Operation Tailwind, using sarin nerve gas in Laos,
causing many deaths, including civilians. Admiral Thomas Moorer, former
Joint Chiefs Chairman, confirmed it on CNN in 1998. Then under Pentagon
pressure, CNN retracted the report, fired its award-winning journalist
Peter Arnett and co-producers April Oliver and Jack Smith because they
refused to disavow it.
- The Indochinese war also engulfed Cambodia and Laos.
From March 1969 through May 1970, Nixon ordered secret bombings (without
consulting Congress) to destroy North Vietnam and Viet Cong sanctuaries.
Around 3,500 sorties caused 600,000 Cambodian deaths, mostly civilians,
helping the marginal Khmer Rouge rise to power in 1975. Over 500,000 tons
of ordnance were until August 1973. Over 25,000 US ground forces also invaded.
They destroyed dozens of towns, villages and hamlets, killing many thousands
more, mostly peasants, guilty of living in the wrong country at the wrong
- A second 1962 Geneva Accord recognized Laos as a neutral
country, banning foreign military personnel. The reality on the ground
was different. From 1964 - 1973, America dropped over two million tons
of ordnance during 580,000 sorties - the equivalent of a planeload of bombs
every eight minutes, round-the-clock for nine years. The aim was to destroy
North Vietnamese supply lines along the Ho Chi Minh Trail and target the
Pathet Lao government and North Vietnamese Army in control of the country's
- Secret bombings again used terror weapons, including
napalm, white phosphorous and cluster bombs - leaving millions of unexploded
bomblets in fields, roads, forests, villages, and rivers. Laos had a population
of about 6.5 million. About one-third of it was either killed, injured,
or displaced. Overall, Southeast Asia's wars killed about three to four
million, inflicted vast destruction, and caused incalculable human suffering
to this day.
- Fast forward to Iraq from 1991 to now. Shock and awe
Gulf and 2003 bombings destroying:
- -- power plants;
- -- dams;
- -- water purification facilities;
- -- sewage treatment and disposal systems;
- -- telephone and other communications;
- -- hospitals;
- -- mosques;
- -- thousands of homes, apartments and other dwellings;
- -- irrigation sites;
- -- food processing, storage and distribution facilities;
- -- hotels and retail establishments;
- -- transportation infrastructure;
- -- oil wells, pipelines, refineries and storage tanks;
- -- chemical plants;
- -- factories and other commercial operations;
- -- government buildings;
- -- schools;
- -- historical sites; and
- -- other non-military related targets.
- Twice, virtually everything needed for normal functioning
was destroyed or heavily damaged. Moreover, since 1991, the combination
of war, sanctions, disease and depravation killed millions or Iraqi civilians,
mostly children, turning the "cradle of civilization" into dystopian
- In 1999, it struck Serbia-Kosovo. Muslims were called
defenseless victims, Serbs genocidal monsters in preparation for America's
first-led NATO imperial war, to dominate the Balkans and be a model for
future aggressions against nations not fully acceding to US interests.
- To that time, the attack's ferocity was unprecedented,
given the destructiveness of modern weapons and technology.
- Nearly everything was attacked, causing massive destruction
and disruption, including:
- -- known or suspected military sites and targets;
- -- power plants;
- -- factories;
- -- transportation;
- -- telecommunications facilities;
- -- vital infrastructure including roads, bridges and
- -- fuel depots;
- -- schools;
- -- a TV station;
- -- the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade;
- -- hospitals;
- -- government offices;
- -- churches;
- -- historical landmarks; and
- -- more in cities and villages throughout the country.
- An estimated $100 billion in damage was inflicted. A
humanitarian disaster resulted. Environmental contamination was extensive.
Large numbers were killed, injured or displaced. Two million people lost
their livelihoods. Many their homes and communities and for most their
futures from what America planned and implemented jointly with NATO.
- Moreover, America, NATO and international community leaders
still support the organized crime-connected KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army)
government and its leader Hashim Thaci, a thug, now prime minister since
January 2008. Under him, Kosovo as it was no longer exists. Afghanistan
- The same story repeated, begun four weeks after 9/11,
though planned many months earlier. It's now America's longest war, still
ongoing, and won't end until Washington tires and leaves, perhaps because
of exhausting resources to pursue all its imperial conflicts.
- So far, they still rage in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan
and Libya, besides allied with Israel against Palestine, as well as proxy
wars in Somalia, Central Africa, Yemen, Bahrain, Haiti, Honduras, Colombia,
wherever America targets, and at home against Muslims, Latino immigrants,
and working Americans.
- A Final Comment
- Obama is America's latest warrior president, criminally
culpable like his predecessors, a man International Law Professor Francis
Boyle wants impeached, and is drafting papers to do it for lawlessly bombing
Libya, and readying US forces to invade.
- Ralph Nader also wants him impeached for committing war
crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. March 18 on Democracy Now, (one
day before Libya bombing began) he said:
- "Why don't we say what's on the minds of many legal
experts that the Obama administration is committing war crimes, and if
Bush should have been impeached, Obama should be impeached. (Bush officials)
were considered war criminals by many people. Now, Barack Obama is committing
the same crimes. In fact, worse ones in Afghanistan. Innocents are being
slaughtered. We are creating more enemies. He is violating international
(and US) law."
- He's now compounding it in Libya. He pledged peace, expanded
wars, and broke every major campaign promise, solely serving corporate
and imperial interests. His terror wars affect humanity, including at home.
- With nearly two years in his term remaining, he may destroy
it before a second one unless impeachment removes him first, followed by
International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecution for crimes of war and against
humanity. It's the permanent tribunal to do it - so far with power but
no teeth, to let rogue leaders get away with murder, the worst of them
in Washington under both parties.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the
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