War on Libya: NATO’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) are “Instruments of Peace”

Michel Chossudovsky

NATO’s “humanitarian war” is carried out through a “Shock and Awe” Blitzkrieg.

Mirage 2000, F-16 fighters, B-2 Stealth bombers, Tomahawk missiles, bunker buster bombs are not categorized as “Weapons of Mass Destruction”. They are instruments of peace.

In a visibly twisted statement, NATO Secretary General Rasmussen claims that NATO air raids have not resulted in civilian casualties. 

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Thursday dismissed Libyan claims that the alliance’s air strikes campaign has killed more than 1,100 people in the North African nation. NATO has “no confirmed information” about possible civilian casualties as a result of its bombing, Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters in The Hague.

On Wednesday, Libya’s prosecutor general accused NATO of killing 1,108 people and wounding 4,500, and he filed charges against the alliance’s chief in a Libyan court.

Fogh Rasmussen dismissed the claims. (Associated Press, July 14, 2011)

More than 5600 “strike sorties” have been carried out since March 31st. Each strike sortie involves the delivery of several guided missiles and smart bombs.

“NATO’s airforce arsenal does not kill, it protects lives.”

F-16 fighter used by Denmark and Norway. Denmark has dropped more than 500 bombs, Norway 350.

French Mirage 2000 with missiles

French Mirage 2000 firing a SCALP EG Long-Range Cruise Missile (DGA DR Photo)

B-2 Spirit Stealth Bombers carrying bunker buster bombs with conventional warheads were deployed to Libya at the outset of the air raids. 

Humanitarian Denials

Accused of “possible war crimes” by a Libyan court, Rasmussen casually denies, despite ample evidence, that civilian structures including government buildings, residential areas, airports and hospitals, have been targeted:

We are extremely careful and cautious in identifying legitimate military targets and avoiding civilian casualties,…  And actually we have no confirmed information about NATO being responsible for civilian casualties….  We are in Libya to protect civilians against attacks, so we could hope … that the Gadhafi regime will stop their attacks against civilians during Ramadan,” 

Rasmussen acknowledged that there have been “incidents” of so-called “friendly fire” “in which NATO has been blamed for accidentally killing rebel fighters”. He also stated that “the alliance has no ground troops in Libya to independently check Libyan claims of civilians casualties.”

There are British and French Special Forces on the ground in Eastern Libya from the outset, numerous intelligence operatives not to mention the representatives of the Western media.

“We have no blood on our hands”. “Gadhafi is a war criminal”. The incidents of civilian deaths including small children are simply not reported by Western journalists in Tripoli. When they are reported they are blamed on “the Gadhafi regime”.

Fogh Rasmussen added that he could not take the allegations [of civilian deaths] seriously coming from a regime “whose top representatives are faced with an indictment from the International Criminal Court because of possible crimes against humanity.” (Ibid)

Ironically, the Dutch government is sceptical and has forbidden the use of Dutch F-16 fighters for air strikes, limiting their role to reconnaissance:

“The Dutch government has sent F-16 fighter jets, but will not allow them to conduct air strikes. Britain and France are now carrying out the majority of air strikes and Fogh Rasmussen is pressing alliance members to help share the burden.

Rutte said NATO “can count on us,” but reiterated that his government will not grant NATO’s wish for its planes to be used for air strikes. “We have decided, in conjunction with Parliament, not to move into the area of air to ground bombing,” he said.

Fogh Rasmussen did not directly respond to a question if NATO would halt air strikes for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Instead he urged embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s regime to halt its crackdown on rebels.

Fogh Rasmussen met Wednesday with leaders of Libya’s National Transitional Council and assured them NATO will continue its bombing campaign in Libya as long as Gadhafi’s forces remain an active threat to civilians. The rebel leaders called for continued airstrikes, even during the upcoming holy month of Ramadan.”

Rebels have been battling Gadhafi’s forces since he began a violent crackdown on dissenters who began protesting his 42-year rule early this year. (Ibid)

No Civilian Casualties: The Coalition is “Running Out of  Bombs”

By late June, it was reported that the number of smart bombs (guided missiles) used in Libya was of the order 2000 and that the coalition was “running out of bombs”.

Britain, France, Denmark and Norway are involved in extensive air raids. The targeting of civilians is deliberate: 

“Both Denmark and Norway are understood to have asked for more bombs through the Nato Maintenance and Supply Agency and the German defence minister Thomas de Maiziere has granted permission to release stocks. (Daily Telegraph, June 28, 2011)

In the course of a 100 days air campaign, Denmark has dropped more than 500 bombs, Norway 350,  Britain “has dropped 480 precision munitions with a force of six Typhoons and 12 Tornado GR4s.”

Western press reports while invariably distorting the issue of civilian casualties tend refute Rasmussen’s claim that extensive bombings has not resulted in civilian deaths.

There have been mutterings among French commanders that the RAF’s rules of engagement are “over-the-top” and too restrictive. However, it is understood a rogue French bomb was responsible for the deaths of nine civilians in Tripoli last week.“(telegraph.co.uk, June 28, 2011)

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About the author:

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal, Editor of Global Research.  He has taught as visiting professor in Western Europe, Southeast Asia, the Pacific and Latin America. He has served as economic adviser to governments of developing countries and has acted as a consultant for several international organizations. He is the author of eleven books including The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003), America’s “War on Terrorism” (2005), The Global Economic Crisis, The Great Depression of the Twenty-first Century (2009) (Editor), Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011), The Globalization of War, America's Long War against Humanity (2015). He is a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.  His writings have been published in more than twenty languages. In 2014, he was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit of the Republic of Serbia for his writings on NATO's war of aggression against Yugoslavia. He can be reached at [email protected]

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