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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/3/11

War Crimes In Libya - The Smoking Guns

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The bombing was so comprehensive that it eliminated both resistance and most of the people of the city, who either fled or were killed or injured. It was indiscriminate. In Sirte, "the ground did not stop shaking all night" before the NTC troops entered and began their destruction.

NATO knew or should have known that fierce bombing would impact civilians. The fact that many were killed and many more fled is further evidence of the indiscriminate nature of the attacks. NATO acted in coordination with the NTC rebels and those rebels likely used Qatar-supplied arms, as admitted by the commander of Qatar's forces (see below).

NATO alliance partner Qatar provided arms to the NTC rebels and put troops on the ground to train the NTC. Those troops coordinated between NTC rebel and NATO military forces. This violates the UN mandates for NATO and contradicts NATO's own claims about its behavior in Libya.

UN Security Council Resolution 1973 (2011) stated that the goal of the Libyan intervention was to protect civilians. It authorized the creation of a no-fly zone, an arms embargo, a freezing of Libyan assets, a ban on all flights from Libya of any type without NATO permission, and a panel of experts to assure that the resolution was followed by NATO.

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NATO claimed to follow the UN resolution to the letter. On its web page, NATO asserted: "No NATO ground troops have participated in the operation -- NATO's success to date has been achieved solely with air and sea assets." NATO, October 2011

But Qatari ground troops were on the ground training and coordinating NTC ground efforts with NATO air power. "NATO's success to date" had an additional essential and highly relevant component -- the coordination of its air efforts with ground strategies, tactics, and information that that was offered by Qatar as described by Qatar's Major General Hamad bin Ali al-Atiya on October 26 (see below).

The resolution did not authorize NATO to take sides in the conflict since that would have been an act of war, a preemptive war to be specific.

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But isn't aligning with the NTC rebels taking sides? Qatar was part of the NATO effort in Libya.

"We were among them and the numbers of Qataris on ground were hundreds in every region ," said Qatari chief of staff Major General Hamad bin Ali al-Atiya.

Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting in Doha of military allies of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC), Atiya said the Qataris had been 'running the training and communication operations.'

' Qatar had supervised the rebels ' plans because they are civilians and did not have enough military experience. We acted as the link between the rebels and NATO forces ,' he said.

Libya's interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil told the meeting that Qatar had been "a major partner in all the battles we fought." Al Arabiya News, October 26 (author's emphasis)

The scenario outlined by General Hamad was confirmed by an extensive report in the Wall Street Journal by Sam Dagher and Charles Levinson in Tripoli and Margaret Coker in Doha, Qatar.

"Qatar provided anti-Gadhafi rebels with what Libyan officials now estimate are tens of millions of dollars in aid, military training and more than 20,000 tons of weapons. Qatar's involvement in the battle to oust Col. Gadhafi was supported by US and Western allies, as well as many Libyans themselves." Wall Street Journal, October 17

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The article goes on to explain why Qatar was chosen as the agent for the war effort masquerading as a humanitarian mission.

"As violence escalated in Libya, Western diplomats said it soon became clear that without an armed ground effort by the rebels, the NATO strikes would only enforce a stalemate. But U.S. and European governments thought it too risky to directly arm a rebellion against a sitting leader." Wall Street Journal, October 17

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