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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/12/11

NATO's Afrika Korps Escalates War Of Attrition Against Libya

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Message Rick Rozoff
June 11, 2011

NATO's Afrika Korps Escalates War Of
Attrition Against Libya
Rick Rozoff

The relentless and
intensifying Western air war against Libya will soon enter its fourth month. For
the first thirteen days starting on March 19 under the control of U.S. Africa
Command and Operation Odyssey Dawn and thereafter the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization-led Operation Unified Protector, the air assaults represent the
second longest armed aggression in NATO's history, already surpassing by a week
the 78-day bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999. Only the now nearly decade-long war in
Afghanistan exceeds the current campaign in length.

The U.S.-dominated
military bloc not only acknowledges but fairly boasts of conducting almost
11,000 air missions and over 4,000 combat sorties since March 31. Preceding
that, hundreds of air strikes and over 160 cruise missile attacks were launched
by the U.S., Britain, France and other NATO powers.

Altogether, following
in the North African footsteps of Napoleon Bonaparte's France, imperial Britain,
Benito Mussolini's Italy and Adolf Hitler's Germany, Western nations are engaged
in the longest war against an African country in modern times and the most
intensive armed aggression against one ever.

At the end of last month a
Libyan government spokesman announced that NATO air attacks had killed 718
civilians and wounded 4,067 more between March 19 and May 26. In the interim the
North Atlantic military alliance has intensified bombing of the nation's capital
and other parts of the country to an unprecedented level and introduced British
and French helicopter gunship and U.S. Hellfire missile-wielding Predator
unmanned aerial vehicles operations.

On June 1 NATO Secretary General
Anders Fogh Rasmussen declared that the Alliance had authorized continuation of
the war for three more months, until the end of September, and a week later he
confirmed that the defense chiefs of NATO's 28 member states, including the
Pentagon's Robert Gates, endorsed the decision to extend so-called Operation
Unified Protector for another 90 days during a defense ministerial meeting at
NATO Headquarters in Belgium.

In addition to the deployment of British
Apache and French Gazelle and Tiger attack helicopters - the first equipped with
what the Daily Mirror described as "a deadly missile dubbed 'the mincer'" a
"­gruesome anti-personnel missile containing 80 5in-long steel darts called
flechettes," the U.S. has dispatched the mammoth USS George H.W. Bush nuclear
supercarrier with an accompanying strike group to the Mediterranean Sea for what
portends a military endgame for the North African state of slightly over six
million people.

The above-cited British newspaper recently referred to
the George H.W. Bush, now on its maiden deployment and at the time engaged in
war games, Exercise Saxon Warrior, with the Royal Navy's HMS Dauntless and HMS
Gloucester, as the "world's most powerful warship," adding that "The 97,000-ton
Bush carries in excess of 70 aircraft from eight squadrons and 5,300 sailors and

On June 6 it anchored off the coast of the Spanish
Mediterranean city of Cartagena; as the U.S. Navy disclosed, marking the first
time "the nation's newest Nimitz-class aircraft carrier has visited mainland

The George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group is en route to the
headquarters of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet in
Naples in the south of Italy, within easy striking distance of

After 85 days of constant bombardment, which constitute the
longest daily bombing campaign since the Vietnam War, have left smoke clouds
rising over Tripoli every night and increasingly during the day as well, the
Western destruction of government assets and infrastructure, military and
civilian, has only begun.

As has the war waged against the civilian
population by NATO powers, including Libya's former colonial master Italy,
without pause even in the face of African Union peace proposals accepted by the
Libyan government.

Almost immediately exceeding even the broadest
interpretation of the mandate granted by United Nations Resolution 1973 to
protect Libyan civilians, NATO is deliberately and mercilessly executing a
campaign to comprehensively impair the Libyan government's ability to function
in any capacity - including providing safety and services to its citizens - in a
brutal attempt to convince the population that any alternatives, even the
fragmentation of the country and foreign domination and occupation, are superior
to continuing to resist an endless reign of terror from the skies.

the West, the cost of defiance, even of not outright capitulating or merely
maintaining a semblance of independence, is death, destruction and the fatal
wounding of the nation itself. Examples abound - the former Yugoslavia,
Afghanistan and Iraq - with surely more to follow.

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Rick Rozoff has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist work in various capacities for forty years. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. Is the manager of the Stop NATO international email list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato/
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