As at 5th April, 2011, thereare six (6) salient observations I wish to make about the most disturbing sequence of military events that have unfolded in Libya ( I crave indulgence for some space to state what established law and international practice expects in this situation):-
1. Fig-leaf cover of the law to promote war.
This military exercise in Libya, under the fig-leaf cover of UN Resolution 1973 was and remains a pre- existing crawling peg war plan – and – in
truth is naked aggression unleashed against the government
2. An attack on Libyan sovereignty
The brazen attack on the sovereignty of the Libyan state is evidenced by the following:-
i) An assumption that the US/NATO has a right to violate sovereignty on the pretext of somehow protecting the persons in Benghazi, with a professed entitlement that the US/NATO can arm rebel groups in support of attacks on the established government in Libya – while de facto asserting that the government must remain impotent and allow the attacks and division of the country to take place.
ii) Whoever heard of there being a “humanitarian mission” started by way of the launching of over a hundred high technology missiles into a country to kill people while professing to be saving lives? With that brand of logic – is it Ghadaffi the manifestly insane one – or – the leaders of the US/NATO?
iii) Commandeering the wealth in billions of a sovereign nation’s bank assets while recognising a minority rebel group, setting out to export stolen oil, proclaiming that a rebel group is assisted in
establishing its own central bank and simultaneously stirring up unrest in Libya by supplying arms, then rejecting peace talks as is the wish of the African Union. Such actions plainly expose the illegal conduct of the US/NATO in attempting to install its own puppet government in Libya.
These actions do not command any respect amongst decent and right-minded individual citizens throughout the world, nor does it command any respect by responsible nations in the international community. China and Russia, as permanent members of the Security Council are aware of the serious implications of further escalation of this Libyan war.
3. Credible global criticism of US/NATO actions
Intelligent, well informed and credible persons across the global can and have put to bed this “humanitarian mission” pretext and causus belli foisted on the international community:- http://rt.com/news/nato-ground-operation-libya/
4. Manifest imperialist war
This is a modern day imperialist war, and one of the most flagrant violations of the principles of sovereignty and the rule of international law that I have witnessed within the past decade. But, of course, there is the greater loss of life and the ruse of WMDs in Iraq, with now about a million dead to provide “better” precedent.
5. Illegality of the assassination attempt on a national leader
By attempting to assassinate an established leader of a nation state, namely, Mommar Ghadaffi, there has been a further violation of the basic rules under the Hague Convention; Geneva Conventions
and the established civilized principles under customary international law. Not even Article 53 of the Vienna Convention stating:-
”… a peremptory norm of general international law is a norm accepted and recognized by the international community of States as a whole as a norm from which no derogation is permitted and which can be modified only by a subsequent norm of general international law having the same character.” can sensibly permit what in effect the US/NATO powers are doing by way of the route of unleashing war rationalised to be anticipatory self-defence. If so, all peace efforts can then readily be inverted into pre-emptory war making.
6. The United Nations was established to preserve and promote global peace – not war We all need to remind ourselves, and do so sanely, that the guiding principles for the United Nations as stated at Article 1 of the UN Charter read as follows:- “The purpose of the United Nations is stated by Article 1 to be: ”to maintain international peace and
security, and to that end, to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace.”
One cannot achieve peace by escalating war! With such conduct NATO might better be termed “ Not – Another – Terrorist – Organization.”
Courtenay Barnett is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been a practising lawyer for over twenty nine years, has been arrested for defending his views, has faced two death threats and an incident of threatened arson on his home, and has argued public interest and human rights cases. His web site Global Justice here!