This unsparing article fails to mention Canada, but our country is once again a junior partner in an enterprise in which it should take no pride.
The Libyan city of Sirte is being systematically destroyed by National Transitional Council “rebel” fighters and NATO fighter planes. The operation stands as a monumental war crime, for which primary responsibility rests with the leading forces behind the military intervention in Libya—US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.More here.
Sirte has been under siege for weeks. TNC forces have prevented all supplies from entering the city, including food, medicines, and other basic necessities. NATO bombs have rained down, together with a heavy and indiscriminate bombardment by TNC mortars, tank shells, and rockets. Basic infrastructure—including water, electricity, and sewerage systems—has been destroyed as part of the calculated effort to trigger a humanitarian crisis in the city and terrorise its inhabitants into submission.
Every building in Sirte, including apartment blocks, homes, hospitals, schools, and other civilian structures, has either been levelled or severely damaged by the “rebel” forces trying to finally take the city. Militiamen are looting homes, cars, and shops, with truckloads of residents’ stolen possessions now leaving Sirte every day.
A Reuters correspondent reported seeing a group of fighters firing machine guns at a safe in an electronics store for 15 minutes before they managed to open it and see what could be taken. Many homes, after they are looted, are being burned to the ground.
Journalists covering the brutal operation have been shocked by what they have witnessed. The BBC’s Wyre Davies reported: “This is almost a scorched earth policy. The pro-Gaddafi fighters defending this city won’t surrender, so Sirte is being systematically destroyed, block by block. Fighting is intense, incredibly destructive, and almost mind-numbing.” Reporters for the British Telegraph described Sirte as a “squalid ruin” that is “reminiscent of the grimmest scenes from Grozny, towards the end of Russia’s bloody Chechen war.”
The destruction of Sirte raises other historical parallels—Guernica, the Warsaw Ghetto, and the obliteration by the fascist powers of other urban centres in the 1930s and ’40s.
All those responsible for the Libyan war ought to be charged with war crimes—beginning with Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy. These figures launched an unprovoked war of aggression, which was the principal charge laid against Germany’s Nazi leaders at the war crimes tribunal in Nuremberg. NATO claimed authorisation for the war in Libya on the pseudo-legal basis of UN Resolution 1973—but the “no fly zone” terms of this document were immediately flouted as soon as it was adopted.