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Rebels Enter Tripoli

It appears that the Rebels have entered Tripoli yesterday without much resistance, although pockets of intense fighting continue to exist.  The WSJ reported world reaction as follows:

U.S. President Barack Obama: “The people of Libya are showing that the universal pursuit of dignity and freedom is far stronger than the iron fist of a dictator. The surest way for the bloodshed to end is simple: Moammar Gadhafi and his regime need to recognize that their rule has come to an end.”

China: “The Chinese side respects the choice of the Libyan people,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said a brief statement posted Monday on the ministry’s website. “The Chinese side is willing to work with the international society to play a positive role in the reconstruction process of Libya in the future.”

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron: “This has not been our revolution but we can be proud that we played our part.”

French President Nicolas Sarkozy: Col. Gadhafi should “avoid inflicting any more unnecessary suffering on his people by renouncing without delay what is left of his power and by immediately ordering the forces that are still loyal to him to cease fire.”

Libyan National Transitional Council’s representative in London, Mahmud Nacua: “NTC will move soon from Benghazi to Tripoli and they will appoint a new transitional government which will rule the country.”

NATO Chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen: “Our goal throughout this conflict has been to protect the people of Libya, and that is what we are doing,” he said. “Because the future of Libya belongs to the Libyan people.”

Italian Prime minister Silvio Berlusconi: Rebel forces are “realizing their aspiration of a new Libya that is democratic and united. The Italian government is by their side.” He added: “We ask that Col. Gadhafi put an end to this useless resistance and save his people from further suffering.”

My opposition to the NATO bombing of Libya has not been a secret.  Therefore, it’s not surprising I am ambivalent about this latest (though not surprising) development.

On the one hand, I see newspapers like USA Today in the newsstand today with pictures of people dancing and celebrating (see picture below on front page today).  If people are happy and rejoicing, the world must be the better for it.  (On further research, however, the picture actually shows rebels celebrating in Bengazi, not of people in Tripoli celebrating, but a casual reader probably would probably not catch that, not when the picture is shown front and center underneath a banner title like “Gadhafi regime on ropes; rebels march to heart of Tripoli.”)

On the one hand, I am sad because what is happening appears to be less a story of a people overthrowing an unpopular ruler than a story of another West-dictated regime change. This is not a story of the people, or democracy.

Imagine what would happen to the world’s largest democracy – India – if a powerful external force like NATO enforced a no fly zone, coordinated with rebels to target government positions, sanctioned the nation, froze assets of Indian government abroad, and in general worked to make sure the government of India ceased to  function. If the India nation should be slowly taken over by any of several rebels, would that be a triumph of the people – of democracy?

In any case, the world order being western-led, I accept reality.  I just hope that whatever the outcome of the political struggle in Libya, a result that is acceptable to all parties ensue – without too much more bloodshed. However improper the fall of the Gadhafi government has been brought about, here is to a more prosperous, peaceful future for the Libyan people.

[Editor’s Addendum]:

http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2011/08/rebels-enter-tripoli/#comment-43803 (good comment by r v articulating my unease about this war)]

  1. August 22nd, 2011 at 13:12 | #1

    When Bush defended his decision to invade Iraq, he said something along the lines, “history will prove me right.”

    He might be “right” assuming the new Iraqi government remains forever friendly to the U.S., and that it is able to suppress various anti-U.S. constituents within that country.

    With NATO militarily helping the rebels, this scenario is repeating again over another group of people.

    The key ingredient to these various people becoming friendly to the U.S. is indeed economic prosperity. If the U.S. is not even committed to such to begin with, then she is likely to sow more hatred.

    Being the only super power, Americans don’t like to contemplate the consequences of invading or toppling foreign governments. Because, for the time being, threats to America’s safety is minor from these countries.

    History has taught us that civilizations rise and decline. What would happen if America’s military rapidly declines over the next 50 years?

    Indeed, a safer world for America requires a more prosperous Libya for the Libyan people. That’d be the only way to prove Obama ‘right.’

  2. August 22nd, 2011 at 14:31 | #3

    What are you talking about? You mind elaborating?

  3. August 22nd, 2011 at 14:43 | #4

    @YinYang #3

    I think FOARP meant to say the KMT – Sun Yat Sen and others who overthrew the Qing dynasty – had support from U.S. and others in the West in creating the ROC (economic, political, and ultimately military). I think the same “foreign support” can be attributed to the CCP for the economic, political, and military it received from the Soviet Union.

    But perhaps I am putting words in FOARP’s mouth. I’ll let him elaborate himself.

    In any case, I do agree to a certain extent that sometimes the narrative of history has to be fought over. It is the victors who write history, after all. Thus whether the Libyan rebels are illegitimate pawns that played into the hands of the West – or brave founding fathers of a new and prosperous state opportunistic about getting help from the outside – may have to wait to be decided in the future – depending on the trajectory of history for the new evolving regime…

  4. Charles Liu
    August 22nd, 2011 at 15:37 | #5

    Had we not violated UN Resolution 1973 and protected anti-Kadafi civilians only, divided Libya’s sovereinty in this civil war we created, may be we have a high horse to ride on. But not now.

    Libya is basically stateless, far worse off than before our military intervention. This is not the end of, just watch. Anyone thinks the unelected rebel government implicated for human rights violation (yeah, nobody is saying that now) will bring domcracy to Libya is fooling themselves. We’ll end up propping up tyrants, like before, so we can have our oil.

    To the victor comes the spoil, as if Iraq/BP/Chevron, Karzai’s Unocal Afghan gas pipeline, didn’t give us enough clues already:


  5. pug_ster
    August 22nd, 2011 at 16:22 | #6

    FOARP is talking out of his ass again.

    This kind of fighting actually intensified in Ramadan. I guess NATO doesn’t respect it.

  6. August 22nd, 2011 at 22:32 | #7

    Thanks for explaining. Interesting view.

    One thing for sure – don’t get weak. If you do, internal opposition will get strong enough support externally, then fate will no longer be in your hands.

  7. Crap
    August 23rd, 2011 at 00:19 | #8

    FOARP is implying that the Soviet Union supplied the Communists to beat the KMT. It’s a stupid Cold War canard that is trotted out by people who don’t know what they’re talking about.

    Soviet strategy was pretty much ruinous for the Communists, and if the CCP had followed their Soviet advisers, they would have almost certainly been defeated around 1927, or around the Long March period. The Communists would have then failed in China, just like they did in Germany. It was the Soviets who tried to restrain the CCP during the Civil War, not crossing the Yangtze, etc. They were practically the last ones to have diplomatic relations with Chiang Kaishek. The only significant aid they provided was handing over weapons captured from the Japanese in the northeast, all the while stripping the region of its industrial base. The CCP won in spite of the Soviet Union, not because of it.

    I mean, seriously? Is there a communication problem? How could you not get his point. He’s not talking about Sun Yatsen or the Qing Dynasty. The guy is fucking transparent; he’s too dumb for that.

  8. pug_ster
    August 23rd, 2011 at 03:57 | #9


    The only problem is that we are talking about Libya and you are talking about… China’s civil war. Besides, are you implying that nobody helped Chiang Kai Shek? Maybe both of you are talking out of your asses.

  9. raventhorn2000
    August 23rd, 2011 at 05:48 | #10

    All I can say is, if the Rebels lose this battle and retreat, with all the help NATO has given them, they would be really embarassed.

    Indeed, the Rebels may have over committed their forces, to make a show of “progress” for NATO, who is about to review their support in Libya in the coming weeks.

    And now, it appears that Rebels over claimed their “progress” in Tripoli. 1 of Gaddafi’s sons, Saif, appeared before journalists as not captured, as claimed earlier by the Rebels.

  10. raventhorn2000
    August 23rd, 2011 at 05:58 | #11

    While FOARP chooses to draw the parallel between Libya and Chinese Civil War, I think his parallel is rather undefined (since he does not even describe the parallels).

    But let’s list them (and contrast some):

    both had foreign aid superficially, (however, in China, the support was limited to supplies and weapons, no foreign troops were used directly or indirectly during the civil war. Libya however, saw NATO bombing of 1 side).

    China was perhaps a proxy war between US and USSR (the 1st in the Cold War), with 2 foreign powers interested in establishing foothold in China for their own purposes. But in the end, NEITHER succeeded.

    Libya has essentially 1 foreign power (alliance) interested in breaking into the Libyan government. Thus, we see that foreign power’s direct involvement in bombing 1 side. It is not merely a proxy war, but a real war in the name of supporting 1 side in a civil war.

    I note: A Civil War by definition must be confined to hostilities between domestic factions, even if factions may receive material aid from outside (via trade, loans, or donations).

    Libya is not a Civil War by definition, because NATO and US were involved in the hostilities (bombing of 1 side).

  11. August 23rd, 2011 at 08:19 | #12

    As long as we’re looking at a Chinese parallel to the Libyan “civil war”, may I suggest the puppet / proxy ‘rebel’ forces in Libya actually correspond to the Manchukuo Japanese puppets, not Sun Yat-sen / Kuomindang:

    “…Britain, France, the U.S. and most of the other imperialist bandits have given diplomatic recognition to the grouping they themselves cobbled together. There should be no confusion about who these “democratic” forces are. They are the contras of Nicaragua, the Cuban mercenaries at the Bay of Pigs, and earlier the Manchukuo puppet regime set up by Japan to facilitate its imperialist invasion of China…”

    from Workers World Editorial: “Speak up now – U.S./NATO out of Libya!”

    As a USA citizen, I cannot afford to be laissez-faire about NATO knocking over another regime it happens to not like, as is happening in Libya. Its an illegal, unpopular and patently odious war; the commission of undeniable war crimes and constant stream of NATO war propaganda lies are a palpable shame to me; it’s a squandering of citizens’ taxes when the US economy has serious problems…I could go on and on with all the reasons it’s wrong.

    I’m sorry to note the English branches of Xinhua and People’s Daily have been relaying a lot of disinformation about Libya, especially regarding Tripoli in the last 24 hours; the capture of Gaddafi’s son being one of the most egregious lies that was spread. Normally something like oases in a corporate media minefield, I’m at the point where I’m dreading looking at those webpages.

    As a US citizen perhaps I don’t have a right to disparage China’s foreign policy, except to say that objectively in Libya’s case it looks like another appeasement of US/NATO aggression.

    Despite the political ambiguity and wishful thinking from the Chinese gov’t regarding the fate of Libya, I get the sense that the China may very much be a loser in this battle as the “rebel” leaders are making statements that after they seize state power they will remember who their friends are, and it’s not China:

    “…Behind all of the talk about aiding “democracy” and providing assistance, [Western] powers and the major oil companies whose interests they promote are now scrambling to get as big a share as possible in a new carve-up of Libya’s oil reserves, the largest on the African continent.

    A spokesman for the ACOCO oil firm created by the “rebels” with NATO’s backing announced on Monday that a post-Gaddafi regime would reorder contracts to the benefit of the Western powers and at the expense of their rivals.

    “We don’t have a problem with Western countries like Italians, French and UK companies,” said the spokesman, Abdeljalil Mayouf. “But we have some political issues with Russia, China and Brazil.” The three latter countries abstained on the UN Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force and voiced opposition to the US-NATO intervention.

    All three countries have billions of dollars in investments in Libya. Prior to the US-NATO war, there were 75 Chinese companies operating in Libya, employing 36,000 workers on some 50 projects. Russian companies, including the oil firms Gazprom Neft and Tatneft, had operated in the country, and Brazil’s state-owned energy conglomerate Petrobras and construction firm Odebrecht were also involved in major deals there.

    “We have lost Libya completely,” Aram Shegunts, director general of the Russia-Libya Business Council, told Reuters.

    “Our companies won’t be given the green light to work there,” he added. “If anyone thinks otherwise, they are wrong. Our companies will lose everything because NATO will prevent them from doing their business in Libya….”

    from “Fierce fighting continues in Tripoli”, World Socialist Web Site

  12. Charles Liu
    August 23rd, 2011 at 08:33 | #13

    Nato bombing Tripoli to allow the rebel to advance. This is completely contrary to UN Resolution 1973. I hope this never happens to China.

  13. August 23rd, 2011 at 10:14 | #14

    @raventhorn2000 #11

    I don’t know if foreign troop participation per se should define whether outside military support defines whether a civil war is truly a civil war or international meddling.

    Money and supplies can make a powerful force in dictating the result of a civil war per se – with or without direct military participation. However, I do think that outside military support does form a good proxy for assessing who’s really in control. While those who take money and supplies are often beholden to those who give money and supplies, it is often not so. Those who give money and supplies may or may not succeed in buying influence. However, where outside power is directly involved in military campaigns, control resides in those with the guns. So in Libya’s case, it should be clear that those in control include NATO, making the case in Libya not a civil war, but international meddling. The key is not necessary military participation, but control. If NATO were to participate militarily, but under the command of Libyan rebels, then that participation per se should not make the civil war necessarily a foreign intervention. Just my 2 cents…

    The control theory I am advancing here goes to your other point in comment #11.

    China was perhaps a proxy war between US and USSR (the 1st in the Cold War), with 2 foreign powers interested in establishing foothold in China for their own purposes. But in the end, NEITHER succeeded.

    That’s a good test of whether any civil war is a true civil war or international meddling. If the foreign “helpers” never really drove the conflict and never controlled the political entity it is supporting, then the conflict is most likely a true civil war. If the foreign “helpers” drove the conflict, was in practical control of the entities – then it’s probably not a civil war.

    What’s the case of Libya?

    The NATO drove the conflict and looks to control the political entity to arise from the Libyan turmoils.


    BENGHAZI, Libya—Turkey revealed it has been bankrolling Libyan rebel leadership over the past month and vowed its unconditional future support, underscoring the jostling for influence in post-conflict Libya already under way among members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization,

    Turkey’s message Tuesday was delivered by its Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu during a surprise visit to Benghazi. He is the most senior official from a NATO member state to visit the rebels’ eastern stronghold since Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s regime started its quick unraveling over the past week in the face of a NATO-backed rebel assault against the capital Tripoli and surrounding areas in the country’s western half.

    Turkey, a pivotal player in Middle Eastern affairs, enjoyed warm ties with Col. Gadhafi’s regime and its companies control a big chunk of the lucrative infrastructure sector in the oil-rich North African country. Ankara at first reluctantly backed the start of NATO’s operations against Col. Gadhafi in March but then switched sides and recognized the rebels when its efforts to broker a peaceful solution failed.

    Of course, @Sweet & Sour Socialism in #12 also gave some money quotes on the parties jostling for control in Libya. It may be hard (from our perspective, since we are not insiders) to see who is in control of who and what, but if these paybacks are realized in the future, then we can probably say with high confidence that Libya did not undergo civil war, but was the target of foreign meddling.

  14. August 23rd, 2011 at 10:21 | #15

    @Sweet & Sour Socialism #12

    Many good points.

    Regarding Xinhua: I have been really disappointed with Xinhua’s english coverage of Libya, too. It makes it seem like Xinhua does not have a foreign bureau in Libya – or in Northern Africa – that it is only capable of just parroting the mass corporate media propaganda coming out of Libya. So whatever the faults of Western corporate media, it looks that they – for now – are the only source to go for up to date (though often propagandist, and false) news. That’s sad…

    Regarding the geopolitics of this Libyan conflict: there are definitely many theories, and yours are as good as anyone else’s. I tend to subscribe to yours. But I also give China some slack in appeasing NATO imperialism. China can only pursue its development pragmatically – not according to its sense of right and wrong. It is rising in a Western dominated world. In some ways it will have to become Western (competing with Western media, joining Western-created international institutions, playing by Western laws and rules). It cannot stand up for little countries here and there like Libya or Iraq based on its own sense of justice. So in the coming years, I expect to see a lot more appeasements. Hopefully, as China develops, it will develop an independent and compelling vision and voice that others in the world can latch to. The result is not a conflict with the West, but a independent voice that will work and hopefully change the West for the better… (That’s my hope anyways).

  15. August 23rd, 2011 at 14:39 | #17

    Actually, I have a different take on the Libyan situation. The new Libya would be like another Iraq or South Sudan, there would be no single dominant party able to keep the country working in one piece. I foresee a Libya fragmented into a few tribal groups areas.

    Gaddafi has never been friendly to the PRC, his condition of recognition of the PRC in the 1970s was for the former providing nuclear weapon to him. The Chinese government would not agree and it wasn’t until late 1970s that diplomatic relationship was established, but Gaddafi still allowed ROC to have an office until 1980s, as late as 2000s, Gaddafi was hosting Chen Shui-Bian and even joked that he is also a pan-green!

    Well, the new government in Libya won’t really care that much for French or British companies, they will go for the best tender (or which ever govn’t that is able to provide the best kickback), just use Iraq or Afghanistan as yard stick. That’s the reality. Nobody has been a winner since the “Arab’s Spring”. Some might say that China has blundered by not vetoing resolution 1973, however, Gaddafi has never been a friend, he is in fact the most vocal proponent of saying “China is the new colonial power” in Africa.

    To be honest, the waves of Arab revolutions we see lately are mostly result of internal dissents. The NATO attack on Gaddafi is simply the last straw that broke the camel’s back. Gaddafi does has strong support but he also have very die-hard enemies both within and outside Libya. From what I see, Beijing already knew Gaddafi will go down. For example, the first aid that China sent was to the rebels. Now that Gaddafi has fallen a new round of geopolitic game has to be played.


  16. August 23rd, 2011 at 15:17 | #18

    There’s also another important reality we have to face here. China’s relationship with US, UK, France and the Arab League etc is more important than with Gaddafi. There is simply no incentive what so ever for China to back Gaddafi.

    Sweet & Sour Socialism’s worries that China’s construction contract in Libya would be lost but is not exactly true. The rebel side has stated earlier that they would honored old contracts with Chinese companies. China is actually doing all the “cheap labour” construction jobs in Libya. Gaddafi did not give a single lucrative oil contract to Chinese companies. He also gave very little to UK and France despite the reception he received when in Europe. That’s why they want Gaddafi gone when the opporturnity arise. And when Gaddafi is really gone, the various rebel factions would want to get the best deals for themselves, old favours matter little in real politics.

  17. August 23rd, 2011 at 21:24 | #19

    @Ray #17, @Ray #18

    Yes. Very good points. We’ll just have to see how things shake out in the reconstruction of Libya. Still China (together with Brazil, Russia, India, and Germany) abstained and had criticized the NATO airstrikes. Until China become top dog economically, politically, and militarily via the West, there is always a chance that West interferes with China under similar circumstances.

  18. August 24th, 2011 at 03:17 | #20

    Strongly agree with Global Times and Chinese government! Gaddafi lost support of Libyan people and had to go!

  19. raventhorn2000
    August 24th, 2011 at 05:18 | #21


    If you are not going to write anything intelligible for more than couple of lines, then you are SPAMMING!

    Strongly DISAGREE with your form of comments.

  20. August 24th, 2011 at 06:35 | #22

    Global Times:

    ” The Libyan civil war resulted from Gaddafi losing the support of his people, particularly those in the east. The spread of the Arab Spring and the help of Western governments were unlikely to have a deep impact without the support of the people. “

    From the above post:

    “The Chinese side respects the choice of the Libyan people,”

    (CF. also the meetings with the NTC back in June – a splittist regime if you will, although apparently this did not constitute interfering in internal affairs – and the change-over at the Libyan Embassy in Beijing)

    I would say the attitude of the Chinese government to this crisis has been quite pragmatic. Unlike some people who, incredibly after the man lost more than 80% of the country to insurrection in February, insisted in claiming that Gaddafi ‘clearly’ still had the support of the majority of the Libyan people, they recognise that Gaddafi went because the people wanted him to go.

  21. August 24th, 2011 at 07:06 | #23

    The west is still interfering in China! The US actively supported the Nationalist side but the latter still lost the mainland. As recently as the 1990s, France and even the Netherlands still sell arms to the ROC while the US still do the same. I agree that unless China can achieve economic parity with at least the whole of Europe, opporturnist will do it whenever they can. Tibet and Xinjiang are good reminder.

  22. August 24th, 2011 at 07:22 | #24

    I think you are either being dishonest or misguided here. Unlike in Tunesia, Egypt, Bahrain etc Gaddafi is winning until the west intervenes. In western election any government would be lucky to get 30% of all popular votes (from all elegible voters) to form a government. So I don’t know what you mean by Gaddafi having lost the support of his people. Care to elaborate?

    Let’s be realistic here, Gaddafi would still be in power if part of NATO did not attack his forces and the Bahraini governement would also be out of power if not for Saudi’s intervention and western support. Imagine a western embargo and freezing of Bahraini or Saudi assest.

    That’s the issue we are addressing here, the west always have double standard when dealing with other government. And when it is convenient you would quote Global Time, I am willing to bet when others quote it you would thrashed it as a propaganda piece. So I hope there is no objection in the future when others use Global Time or other Chinese news to show the official position of the Chinese govn’t.

    Frankly, the Arab revolution is overdue as most rulling Arab elite has lost touch with the common people. I don’t think the future governments will be that friendly to the west. The MAJORITY of the people in Egypt is already calling for the review of the relationship with Israel. So far the biggest loser is Israel, we will have to watch and see how things unfold.

  23. August 24th, 2011 at 07:43 | #25

    @Ray – I never object to the use of Global Times to show the government’s position (or, at least, what it wants nationalists to think its position is), mainly because it is directly owned by the CCP, which excercises day-to-day editorial control over it, even to the extent of ordering Global Times jourmalists to astro-turf the internet with pro-CCP comments.

    It’s kind of odd that you need this explained to you, but here goes: When a dictator loses control of the vast majority of his country and much of his armed forces mutinies due to a spontaneous uprising, and then can only re-assert that control by using paid mercenaries and soldiers who very often surrender at the first shot, it’s a fair bet that he’s not all that popular. GT recognises this, even if you don’t.

    Funnily enough also, whilst I wouldn’t normally rely on GT as the single source on a point of fact, I will quote GT when I approve of the opinions they express. When I don’t approve, I also say so.

    I don’t need to believe in an all-encompassing conspiracy to know that GT and China Daily are controlled by the party, not least because they are owned by the self-proclaimed “mouthpiece of the party” – the People’s Daily, and because people who have worked there have written about what goes on there (faking interviews, articles, letters etc. etc.) . In contrast, to believe that all “western media” are purposefully biased against China, requires you to believe in a secret conspiracy involving millions of people who do not see eye-to-eye on any issue.

    I agree that the revolutions were over-due. I think the repression in Bahrain will come back to haunt us. I would not be surprised if increased democracy in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya had some consequences which were not entirely positive for Europe and the US, but I think this is the price of freedom, and is acceptible as such. Egypt’s relationship with Israel was bound to be re-cast following the fall of Mubarak, and this is what we are seeing. So far, I welcome this development.

  24. August 24th, 2011 at 07:45 | #26

    I don’t know if you guys got this news. I read yesterday that the Libyan embassy in Beijing has been flying the rebel flag (which is actually the pre-Gaddafi flag) instead of Gaddafi’s all green flag.

    [Editor’s Note: See http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/photo/2011-08/23/content_13169936.htm%5D

  25. raventhorn2000
    August 24th, 2011 at 07:51 | #27


    Looks like Global Times is saying something you wanted to hear. (And don’t you think they know that?)

    Do you think they really meant what they said? (A civil war in Libya, in what logic is that war “civil war” at all?)

    You “agree” with them?? Or is it that they are “agreeing” (lip-servicing) with you??

    And I quote, “The Chinese side respects the choice of the Libyan people”.

    Do not confuse “RESPECT” with “agreement”. (Which is a common mistake among Westerners when it comes to ideological differences, ie. the inability to distinguish between “RESPECT” and “agreement”).

  26. August 24th, 2011 at 07:54 | #28


    Yup. The Chinese government has recognised that Gaddafi is no longer the choice of his people. Very sensible. I discussed the flag change further here:


  27. raventhorn2000
    August 24th, 2011 at 08:07 | #29

    I don’t know which Global Times article is saying,

    “The Libyan civil war resulted from Gaddafi losing the support of his people, particularly those in the east. The spread of the Arab Spring and the help of Western governments were unlikely to have a deep impact without the support of the people.”

  28. Charles Liu
    August 24th, 2011 at 10:24 | #30


    Without NATO breaching UN Resolution 1973 and bombing the bajezus out of Libya’s legitmate military and pro-Kadafi civilians, the rebels would have no chance. Are the rebels really in control of Tripoli? Despite of propaganda in our press, fighting has intensified in Tripoli, Saif al Islam is giving press conference after been “arrested”.

    The lesson here for the Chinese is don’t be a banana republic. As for Libya, there’s not much to do, other than call for UN to inject itself into mop up operation. Maybe then China has a chance to get a piece of the pie.

    Let’s be honest for once, this was never about preventing bloodshed or or democracy or UN Res 1973 – it’s about the oil.

  29. August 24th, 2011 at 10:35 | #31


    Follow the link above.

  30. raventhorn2000
    August 24th, 2011 at 10:44 | #32

    I think China is right to be reluctant to “help”.

    China, has had plenty of history with foreign “help” in Chinese domestic politics, and it has not been very pleasant.

    (Before someone jump on the bandwagon of reminding us how the Allies helped China during WWII against Japan, one should also remember it was the same “Allies” who handed over Germany’s colonies in China to Imperial Japan as a reward for Japanese help in WWI.)

    China and the Chinese people should be skeptical of this “Civil War” in Libya, because we have seen in our history what happens to a nation when foreign powers get involved in domestic political disputes, even if the disputes seemed unresolvable.

    That said, OUR skepticism doesn’t mean certainty either. Thus, China should “respect” the outcome of this war in Libya (and I refrain from using “civil”), even if we do not agree with the legitimacy of the methods of the foreign powers.

    It is also our history that many outcomes are legitimized AFTERWARDS, beggars can become Emperors, if the Heaven Mandates it so.

    Now, Libya is in the hands of the Rebels and NATO. War is easy, compared to the task of legitimizing the aftermath.

    If the Rebels fracture, and another and true Civil War occurs in Libya’s power vaccuum, it will completely delegitimize whatever noble goals they set out in the beginning, as much as how Egypt now turned into a Military Dictatorship on the brink of War with Israel.

    *So, We “respect” this temporary outcome, no matter how “temporary” it might be.

    And we watch. The proof will be in the pudding, not in the current celebrations.

  31. Charles Liu
    August 24th, 2011 at 10:58 | #33

    Help? If “helping Libya” means wreck the country so they can help themselves with Libya’s oil, yeah that’d be it.

  32. August 24th, 2011 at 10:58 | #34


    Except for certain semantics, I broadly agree with most of your points. Actually though, given the end result in Iraq (as in, many of the contracts for renovating the Iraqi oil infrastructure going to Chinese companies) it seems likely that China will play a not unprofitable part in the rebuilding of Libya, just so long as peace is what follows this apparent victory for the Rebels. Given the greater similarity in terms of economic development and political history between China and Libya than between Libya and the EU nations or the US, this would not surprise me.

  33. Wahaha
    August 24th, 2011 at 19:02 | #35

    He might be “right” assuming the new Iraqi government remains forever friendly to the U.S., and that it is able to suppress various anti-U.S. constituents within that country.

    That is impossible under democracy, as there will be lot of parties.

    West wont support all of them, and those who dont get support from West will seek other supports.

    Without political support, no way would China be able to get business in Iraq.

  34. Wahaha
    August 24th, 2011 at 19:07 | #36

    How dare a major super-power provide it’s ideological allies with the means necessary to overthrow a government they consider to be corrupt and oppressive.



    In case you dont know, the people you talked about were very happy and celebrated when Gadhafi’s sons were killed by NATO.

    Dont you mind ?

  35. cp
    August 24th, 2011 at 23:21 | #37

    Seeing as the rebel leaders consists of turncoats and every kind misfit in between, it looks like NATO can add another muslim-democracy to their long list of satisfied clients.

    To compare a period of history that included imperialism and 2 world wars to the Libyan coup is nothing short blatant ignorance of history.

  36. Charles Liu
    August 24th, 2011 at 23:53 | #38


    And these rebels when they take a town, what do they do? Kill civilians. Last few days media coverage shown them posing in front of burning civilian vehicles as proof they fought and won. I really wonder what happened to the driver of the car.

    Also, our supposed independent media on one hand questions Libyan government’s claim of civilian death, pointing out baby bottles were placed on the ground on purpose to fake dead babies. Guess what, when they showed pictures of rebels standing next to unmarked green uniforms placed on the ground, they show it as proof of Kadafi loyalists running away in their underware – without questioning such absurd propaganda.

  37. August 25th, 2011 at 01:28 | #39


    I hope you do not think that I am not troubled by the deaths of innocent people, as I said back when this started, innocent deaths are inevitable in a bombing campaign, and only excuseable if such a campaign prevents more innocent deaths than it costs.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but I think certain commenters here would oppose this action whatever its virtues. This is fine if it is motivated by the idea that national sovereignty should be inviolable under all circumstances, although I do not agree with this idea. This is not so fine if it is motivated by the idea that whatever Europe and the US do must be opposed.

    As a side-note, I think we have seen an encouraging development in PRC policy over the years. In 1994 China abstained from voting to try those responsible for the genocide in Rwanda before an international court (Resolution 955) as, in the opinion of the Chinese government, genocide within a country was a strictly internal matter. In Resolution 1970, though, the PRC voted to refer the Gaddafi government to the ICC, with the ICC prosecutor saying that:

    “If people were on the square and they were attacked by soldiers, tanks or aeroplanes, in a widespread and systematic way, it’s a crime against humanity.”

    Essentially, the PRC government is slowly, but steadily, moving away from the position that national sovereignty is inviolable even where genocide is being committed (and whilst genocide can sometimes have a hazy meaning, what happened in Rwanda was unarguably genocide), to one where, under certain circumstances, national governments can be held accountable for their actions by international courts even where these actions are carried out entirely within their own borders. In this it mirrors a similar development to that seen in the other permanent UNSC members.

  38. raventhorn2000
    August 25th, 2011 at 05:15 | #40

    “I hope you do not think that I am not troubled by the deaths of innocent people, as I said back when this started, innocent deaths are inevitable in a bombing campaign, and only excuseable if such a campaign prevents more innocent deaths than it costs. ”

    Ah, the same “End justifies the Means” argument. Where have we heard this kind before?

  39. August 25th, 2011 at 05:55 | #41


    On these pages, time after time.

  40. raventhorn2000
    August 25th, 2011 at 06:16 | #42

    FOARP :@raventhorn2000
    On these pages, time after time.

    Perhaps you do not study history. Your argument has been made by many Conquerers OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

  41. raventhorn2000
    August 25th, 2011 at 07:41 | #43

    CNN reports, Special forces from Britain, France, Jordan and Qatar are on the ground in Libya in numerous cities.


  42. August 25th, 2011 at 08:25 | #44

    Allen :

    Regarding Xinhua: I have been really disappointed with Xinhua’s english coverage of Libya, too. It makes it seem like Xinhua does not have a foreign bureau in Libya – or in Northern Africa – that it is only capable of just parroting the mass corporate media propaganda coming out of Libya…

    Actually Xinhua English was providing some reports from Libya that I used on my blog; they weren’t all bad. I just learned to skim or ignore the US/NATO war propaganda, the things qualified by “Obama/Clinton/Cameron/NATO spokespeople say…” I’d rate their overall coverage as uneven, still better than any major Western media I can think of.

    What got me was the way that Xinhua totally lost their bearings when the proxy rebels entered Tripoli. There was the false report of Gaddafi’s son’s capture that everybody got wrong. But why headlines like “Gaddafi’s son captured”, not “Rebels claim etc.”. At the same time Xinhua had an Al-jazeera sourced article about tanks busting out of the “Gaddafi compound” firing at random, it was like a CIA-generated fantasy — obvious black propaganda. And these are just two of many examples of poor journalism that were rife that day.

    It really put a whammy on me, and later it became clear that the foreign journalists were all in one hotel in Triopoli at the time and couldn’t get out to see what was happening, thusly rumors became news because I guess journalists can’t publish “We don’t really know what’s happening.”

    The other thing that hit me — ironically in that it was coming through a Chinese state media outlet — is that this is more or less how TAM ’89 played out in the MSM — even the unbelievable “tank carnage” was back. I’m not clear at that time to what extent journalists in Beijing were restricted from moving about; however, there’s no lack of documentation from people who accurately reported what was happening when the students in the Square peacefully dispersed; but journalists in hotels were reporting things that it was impossible for them to see or know about, and the most sensationalized and worst-case scenarios are the ones that the major media ran with…and the rest is journalistic history / infamy.

  43. August 25th, 2011 at 08:40 | #45

    @Sweet & Sour Socialism
    Yes, when all major news agency is reporting the same news, whether it is verified or not, everybody will follow suit for fear that they might lose out by not reporting.

    Xinhua obviously erred on this one. They should have state that it was press release from the rebels.

    Basically, on the reporting of the capture, all major news agency got duped by the rebel press release. I do have to admit that news agencies tend to have the habit of reporting news they like to believe or see happen like TAM etc.

  44. Charles Liu
    August 25th, 2011 at 10:54 | #46

    @Sweet & Sour Socialism Special forces from Britain, France, Jordan and Qatar are on the ground in Libya

    Sounds like the Manchurguo thing Japan used to occupy China. Looks like colonialism is back in Africa.

  45. August 25th, 2011 at 12:49 | #47

    @Charles Liu

    Which will only cause an inevitable backlash in the form of local Nationalist factions bent on kicking all foreigners out at any cost. (And then the inevitable militar dictatorship in some form).

    Look at Iraq, in view of the imminent pull out of US forces, Al-Sadr (local religious faction) with his militia is already warning that any American personnel remaining in Iraq after the Official deadline would be considered fair target.

    Egypt is itching for a war with Israel (after even the Revolutionaries were blaming Israeli spies in conspiracy theories).

    Such patterns are inevitable, when foreign powers stir up the hornet’s nest of domestic politics.

  46. Charles Liu
    August 25th, 2011 at 13:35 | #48


    Then what happens to democracy? Humanitarian goals? Do you see FOARSE bringing up UN Res 1973 anymore?

    Such hypocrisy.

  47. raventhorn2000
    August 25th, 2011 at 14:08 | #49

    @Charles Liu

    Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.

    Oscar Wilde (the original cynic).

  48. raventhorn2000
    August 26th, 2011 at 06:34 | #50


    More Bludgeoning by Democracy.

    NPR yesterday had journalists reporting in Tripoli that Rebel forces apparently conducted executions of pro-Kadafi fighters who were captured.

    Those executed had their hands and feet bound, and shot on the street, and their bodies left there (perhaps as public warning to other pro-Kadafi fighters still in the city). Rebels said the bodies were “mercenaries”. (as if that made it OK).

    Exact number of executed was not available, but it may be significant, considering it didn’t take the journalists very long, even in the heavy fighting and the chaos, to spot the bodies and notice that they were bound.

    *Call me crazy, but that seems to be War Crime, specifically in regards to treatment of captured prisoners of war.

  49. raventhorn2000
    August 26th, 2011 at 07:38 | #51
  50. raventhorn2000
    August 26th, 2011 at 07:47 | #52


    Just as a reference citing by Amnesty International on the subject of prisoner abuses in Libya, not intended to express any agreement or disagreement with Amnesty International on this or any other issue.

  51. raventhorn2000
    August 26th, 2011 at 08:47 | #53


    more cited source for the execution and abuses of prisoners by the Rebels.

  52. Charles Liu
    August 28th, 2011 at 18:47 | #54

    So we attacked Libya on the cause of humanitarian interventionism – to avoid bloodshed. But now NATO is helping the revel to take Sirte by force – thru bloodshed:


    I hope people see the irony in this. Whatever happened to Res 1973? Did it ever say “protect only civilians we like, and free to bomb/kill pro-Kadafi supporter”?

    Utterly sickening.

  53. Al
    August 28th, 2011 at 20:09 | #55

    I also hope some people will notice that the “media/propaganda” strategy leading towards each one of this “humanitarian intervents” is exactly the same every single time: pacific protesters (with guns and weapons, but this goes mostly unnoticed…), unnamed witnesses (mostly so called “activists”), evil response from government that supposedly recklessly fire on the aformentioned “pacific protesters” (even when they are actually only defending themselves, the country or the citizens), supposed mass murders (unproven or later proven false normally), mass graves (unproven or later proven wrong), unspeakable acts of cruelty by the evil government against poor people (some of which, frankly speaking, quite “queer”..and normally later, when the operation is already completed, proven wrong) etc. etc. And then we “protect” the civilians from the supposedly evil government by “bombing the country and waging aggression wars, how funny….
    It happened in Iraq, it happened in Lybia, it’s happening in Syria, it’s the strategy applied with Iran and in many other cases…but “people” still believes what is being told…

  54. Al
    August 28th, 2011 at 20:10 | #56

    i forgot, it also happened with Serbia and the ex-yugoslavia

  55. pug_ster
    August 29th, 2011 at 07:25 | #57


    As bad as Qaddafi is, at least he was able to held the country together more or less. Now some Al Qaeda Islamic Radical is a top military commander for the rebel Army. Civil war will go on for years while the West will steal the oil out from that country.

  56. raventhorn2000
    August 29th, 2011 at 07:47 | #58

    I think a former Qaddafi general is being named as the new Security Chief by the Rebels. Many Rebel factions are protesting over the decision.

    It’s pretty clear that lots of shady deals were made by the Rebel Government, and they are going to cause a lot of internal bickering that might lead to civil war.

  57. Charles Liu
    August 29th, 2011 at 11:11 | #59

    Appearantly nearly nobody is focusing on the ethnic cleansing the unelected rebels are committing:


    “…African Union says Libyan rebels may be indiscriminately killing black people…”

    This is while NATO and the rebels continue to attack Sirte, endangering and slaughtering pro-kadafi civilians. Where’s FOARSE and his UN Resolution 1973???

  58. Charles Liu
    August 30th, 2011 at 11:04 | #60


    “Now what?” A great question, as Libya lies in ruin, Western powers keeping UN out in order to carve up the oil, no longer concerned with “humanitarian crisis” or “preventing massacre” of pro-Kadafi civilians in Sirte, happily bombing away in aid of the unelected rebellion NATO proped up.

    Imagine all those Free Tibet hippies, WUC terrorist fronts (one of the general of Libia rebellion is a known terrorist), Falun Gong nutjobs ever become the appointed transitional government of China? Western missionaries toting blankets and bottle water, so the Chinese who didn’t die by the sword can now die spiritually, by the bible?

    Will 1.3 billion people really be better off then? I hope this never happens to China.

  59. raventhorn2000
    August 31st, 2011 at 06:42 | #61

    When FOARP and others talk about the necessity of collateral damage to “prevent” civilian deaths, it is classical “break eggs to make omelette” argument.

    It only shows that at the core of MOST human rights advocates’ argument, there is a fundamental 1-sided-ness that is logically wrong and practically unethical.

    When they are backed to the wall on the pure cost of their proposed actions, they resort to the “I don’t care, I know at least 1-side is Evil, and Evil must be dealt with” argument.

    And in effect, they demonstrate what nearly always happens. They make a deal with the proverbial devil, let it loose, they stand back, and they wash their hands when “Mission Accomplished”.

    They are never caught in the middle or in the aftermath. They leave others to be collateral damages.

  60. raventhorn2000
    August 31st, 2011 at 07:39 | #62

    Libyan Rebel government reject UN Peacekeepers. Hm…. By some’s logic, they must be hiding something…


  61. Charles Liu
    September 1st, 2011 at 01:20 | #63

    Now the powers that be are doing the same thing to Syria – interfer in other’s domestics, instigate conflict to destabliz other’s functioning society and sovereignty, for our own agenda and interest:


    “A group of states is provoking the Syrian opposition into boycotting discussions on “quite realistic” reforms proposed by President Bashar Assad, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.”

  62. raventhorn2000
    September 1st, 2011 at 07:45 | #64

    It worth revisiting some previously held Western views of the world.

    For example, I believe we looked at this Aon 2011 “Political Risk map”. http://www.aon.com/risk-services/political-risk-map2/map/Interactive_Risk_Map/2011_Political_Risk_Map/index.html

    (1) note generally, almost all the “low risk countries” are Western nations. Iceland was medium-low risk, because of known banking crisis. Japan, Chile, French Guyana are “low risk” non-Western nations.

    Note further, these risks are largely assessed in terms of risks to “Western companies” and banks, and thus decidedly 1-sided point of view.

    (2) Note the missed predictions: Tunisia was “medium low risk”, Libya and Egypt were “Medium risk” same as China. All three have had their Revolution in 2011. Oops, that’s all I have say.

  63. September 1st, 2011 at 20:12 | #65

    To follow up on comment 14:

    Looks like the West did direct and control the demolition of Ghadafi’s regime. http://sweetandsoursocialism.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/nato-faces-catastrophic-success-in-libya-peoples-daily/

    Looks to me less and less like an internal struggle with outside help, and more like an outright outside intervention to me…

  64. Charles Liu
    September 3rd, 2011 at 07:29 | #66

    reminds me of Gulf of Tonkin, yellow cake uranium, WMD…

  65. Charles Liu
    September 3rd, 2011 at 13:48 | #67

    Really, what’s the difference between Kadafi killing people he doesn’t like, and NATO installed rebel council killing people they don’t like?


    Or Kadafi razing Benghazi or NATO installed rebel council razing Serti?


  66. raventhorn2000
    September 7th, 2011 at 06:28 | #68

    Now some Western Media are reporting that not only were there arbitrary racist round up’s of dark-skinned African migrant workers in Libya by the Rebels, execution of captured pro-Kaddafi soldiers,

    now there are wide-spread house raids and looting of suspected pro-Kaddafi supporters.

    The Rebel Transitional Council acknowledge that local towns’ “bosses” have been conducting their own arrests without informing the Council, but insists that no one’s rights are being violated, and ONLY those pro-Kaddafi soldiers or mercenaries are being raided, and NOT those who were merely political supporters of Kaddafi.

    But anecdotal accounts indicate that some raids turned up no weapons or secrets of any kinds, other than cash, motorcycles, and safety deposit boxes of personal valuables, making the raids looking more like looting fests.

    What’s more, no legal papers of any kind to indicate the raids were legal. No warrants, no notices. Homeowners just return to find their homes ransacked.

  67. raventhorn2000
    September 7th, 2011 at 06:35 | #69


    Looting in Libya threatens Algeria, as weapons smugglers use the chaos of Libya to loot the largely unguarded Kaddafi weapon depots in Tripoli, or Rebel fighters out to make some personal profits by their own looting and resold to smugglers.

    Algeria faces a recent uptick in terrorist attacks tied to Al-Qaeda.

  68. raventhorn2000
  69. Charles Liu
    September 7th, 2011 at 13:52 | #71

    First Kadafi doesn’t have enough arms, they are buying from the Chinese. Now they have too much arms, and are exported out of Libya into the hands of Al Qaeda:


    Which of this contradiction is real? Or is this a set up for some sort of “China arms Al Qaeda” propaganda ahead of 2012 presidential election?

    Remember I called it here.

  70. raventhorn2000
    September 7th, 2011 at 14:45 | #72

    It’s better than France, who openly admitted arming the Rebels in June. which is arguably also illegal under the UN sanctions (applying to ALL of Libya).

    portions of the UN sanction allows for arms supplies to “protect civilian lives.” But French interpretation would effectively allow even arming the Rebels with WMD’s.

  71. raventhorn2000
    September 7th, 2011 at 15:39 | #73

    US man shoot up a IHOP restaurant, killing 3 National Guardsman.

    1 of 3 weapons he had was from Chinese arms company Norinco, which was banned since 1994.

    I guess it’s pretty easy to get around bans, even in US.


  72. perspectivehere
    September 25th, 2011 at 18:54 | #74

    Some “Critical Views” on the Libyan Civil War by a blogger Caustic Logic (screen name for Adam Larson):


    From the “Site Manifesto”:

    “The Libyan Civil War: Critical Views makes no claim to present the full picture of what’s going on – just some of the more important parts your governments and media might not be telling you about as they seek to justify a war they longed for well before the “protests” of 2011.

    The sources and viewpoints called on here – like all human works – have their biases, mostly unusual and fairly overt. This stands out to the general public, steeped as they are in the pervasive, effectively invisible, and near-total bias of the Western mainstream media. We’ve been asked by narrowly-owned news sources to proceed on the simplified good-rebels-vs.-evil-dictatorship construct without any of these complicating considerations. This slant makes news into propaganda, and that’s the opposite of a free society we claim to be fighting for over there.

    The types of questions I raise here: “Who are the rebels and how did their rebellion start?” “How evil has the government response really been?””Why is regime change the only solution the West proposes to end the crisis?” “What are the ulterior motives of those who insist it is?”

  73. perspectivehere
    October 8th, 2011 at 08:31 | #75

    Peter Lee, who writes for Asia Times and the blog “China Matters”, has consistently produced analyses and predictions of the Libyan conflict since the beginning of the conflict that have been extraordinarily insightful and accurate, with commentary on China’s role. Worthwhile to follow.

    March 19, 2011
    China and the Libyan muddle

    March 22, 2011

    July 19, 2011
    Another take on Libya hubris for China

    “The Labyrinthian International Geopolitics of the Libyan Conflict,” The Asia-Pacific Journal Vol 9, Issue 31 No 2, August 1, 2011.

    China: the West’s bogeyman in Libya
    September 17, 2011

  74. Charles Liu
    October 14th, 2011 at 15:32 | #76


    people are still fighting with the rebels… Where’s the democracy and freedom? Too free now? What about law and order, functioning society, and all that BS necessary to enable democracy?

  75. pug_ster
    October 17th, 2011 at 20:39 | #77


    If your friends and family are asian, tell them NOT to serve your country.

  76. raventhorn
    October 18th, 2011 at 07:20 | #78

    NTC Libyan forces fire up pro-Gaddafi protesters in Tripoli.


  77. raventhorn
    October 19th, 2011 at 11:56 | #79

    Oh, we haven’t heard about Kosovo for a while. Whatever happened to that shining example of Western HR interventionism, after so many years?


  78. Charles Liu
    October 19th, 2011 at 13:17 | #80

    Did I hear Obama sent troops into Darfur again? No doubt the Chinese mechete BS is gonna come up again.

  79. pug_ster
    October 20th, 2011 at 07:50 | #81


    Looks like Gadhafi bit the dust. Just think when Gadhafi was running the show in Libya, people had universal healthcare, affordable college get money from the government when you are married. How the country turned back to the stone back to the stone ages, but hey, they got the ‘brutal dictator’ out.

  80. raventhorn
    October 20th, 2011 at 08:23 | #82

    I’m not going to praise Gadhafi, or evaluate the up and down’s of his career as a leader.

    If the Libyan people really want him gone and dead, that’s their choice. If on the other hand, this was the result of some Western Morality judgment on what’s “good for Libya”, then I question the “good” in this.

  81. October 20th, 2011 at 09:15 | #83

    I see more conflict coming from different factions in Libya in the coming future. One thing MG failed to do is ending the tribalism in Libyan politics.

    MG is a bloody dictator but I sincerely believe that if Africa has more guys like him it would be better off due to the socialist reform mentioned by pug_ster. Most dictators just enriched their own clan and put money away in Swiss bank account.

  82. perspectivehere
    October 20th, 2011 at 09:25 | #84

    The below link is a clearly pro-Gaddafi site, and it is denying reports of Gaddafi’s death as media lies. It is also claiming that the rebels are not in control of most of Libya. Obviously there is a high degree of likelihood that these claims are wishful-thinking, morale-boosting words for supporters of the losing side. But if it turns out to be correct, it will be a pretty strong indictment against the global mainstream media for spreading misinformation by presenting the views of only the NTC.


    Time will tell.

  83. zack
    October 20th, 2011 at 10:22 | #85

    hey, even if it’s not true, the elites in the West desperately need to distract the ppl from the OWS protests

  84. October 21st, 2011 at 09:46 | #86

    MG put Libya money overseas and I think this was too tempting for some. I can’t believe he even let UK company print his currency. This should be a lesson for any dictator keeping their wealth in the west.


  85. pug_ster
    October 21st, 2011 at 18:07 | #87

    Obama should give back his Nobel Peace Prize. I mean, look at the number of terrorists killed under his command. Anwar al-Awlaki, Bin Laden and now Gaddafi. 10 terrorists will replace these terrorists and there will no less peace around the world.

  86. raventhorn
    October 23rd, 2011 at 11:51 | #88

    I believe, putting Gaddafi’s body on ice on display for public viewing, is against the Geneva Convention which prohibits public display of prisoners (or bodies).

  87. raventhorn
    October 23rd, 2011 at 11:54 | #89


    “In 1973, the 22nd International Conference of the Red Cross adopted a resolution by consensus in which it called upon parties to armed conflicts “during hostilities and after cessation of hostilities … to facilitate the disinterment and return of remains”.[20] In a resolution adopted in 1974, the UN General Assembly called upon parties to armed conflicts, regardless of their character, “to take such action as may be within their power … to facilitate the disinterment and the return of remains, if requested by their families”.[21] More recently, the Plan of Action for the years 2000–2003, adopted by the 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in 1999, requires that all parties to an armed conflict take effective measures to ensure that “every effort is made … to identify dead persons, inform their families and return their bodies to them”.”

  88. zack
    October 23rd, 2011 at 12:01 | #90

    i’ll wager noone’s going to do anything to indict any of the rebels who desecrated Gadaffi’s corpse; oh you’ll have the usual crocodile tears and hand wringing of the rebels’ western backers but you’ll see, nothing will happen to them.
    THey still want that oil after all; perhaps China should use the possibility of ICC indictment of sarkozy and other rebels as leverage to ensure their contracts in libya are honoured

  89. October 23rd, 2011 at 23:52 | #91

    Here is a link to Article 15 of the Geneva Convention on Wounded and the sick.


    Here is a possible take on how Article 15 should apply to display of dead leaders.


    I particularly like this paragraph:

    As this summary indicates, the duty owed to the dead is somewhat subjective. What sort of conduct constitutes disrespect? How can we determine when neglect of the dead has ceased to be mandated by considerations of military necessity and become evidence of the war crime of mistreatment of the dead? There are no hard and fast answers to these questions. However, if the dead are left on the battlefield for some time after the fighting has ended, their very presence is evidence of failure to meet the obligations imposed by law. If the dead are left on the field solely so that they might be seen by journalists or photographed, that is stronger evidence that the threshold of mistreatment is near. If the dead are placed on display as propaganda (dragging the bodies through the streets as occurred in Somalia is a ready example), then the threshold has been crossed and a war crime has been clearly committed.

    So what should the displaying of Qaddafi’s body on the street be categorized as? I’ll leave it to each individual to decide…

    Now I don’t like the term “war crime” here as I ascribe that to the highest of violations. Suffice it for me to point out that the displaying dead for propaganda purposes may – under many circumstances – cross the standard norm into the barbaric. Of course, this whole NATO operations in Libya can be argued to be barbaric in the first place…

  90. Terry Chen
    October 24th, 2011 at 03:26 | #92

    Westerners like to boast about how the west is a much better place to live than africa, yet you don’t bother to elaborate WHY africans live in terrible conditions. Ever wonder what Africa would be like if its countries were given a break from western imperialism and exploitation? Ever wonder how much better it would be if the US didn’t keep setting up its own puppet fascist regimes in the region?

    Besides, libya WAS NOT a terrible place to live before the Nato fascist’s invaded the place. Libyans had free education, free housing loans, and free medicare. Apart from that, any libyan that decided to go to an american university was given FULL scholarship by Quadaffi’s government. Most importantly, before the recent unrest libya had the highest HDI in the whole africa. The HDI accounts for the general well-being of the WHOLE population, not just the rich people or a certain proportion of people.

    Judging by the fact that all books written by gaddafi are strictly prohibited by the NTC(even western media sources reported this), it seems as if the libyans aren’t going to have the supposed freedoms that NATO keeps using as an excuse to invade a whole country through mercenaries and constant carpet-bombing.

    Nato carpet-bombing has brought whole cities to the ground and have killed tens of thousands of libyans(by CONSERVATIVE estimates). There were two days where 3000 libyans in tripoli were massacred by NATO air-raids. A first world country with the highest living standards in africa has become a third-world country where many don’t even have basic necessities. Even IF libyans get the supposed ‘freedoms’ people living western countries have(keep in mind that people from every country and culture have different perceptions of freedom), was it worth it?

    Gaddafi lifted MILLIONS out of poverty. Unfortunutely, all the good work he did was ruined in just a few months by the NATO regime and its hired mercenaries.

  91. pug_ster
    October 24th, 2011 at 12:24 | #93

    When Gaddafi was captured, he was apparently sodomized when one of the rebel fighters shoved something in his behind. The new leadership of Libya is sworn to Shaira law. At least France did okay, as they secured 35% of Libya’s oil.

  92. jxie
    October 24th, 2011 at 22:27 | #94

    Speaking of sodomy, anybody knows there is actually an act in the US called the Prison Rape Elimination Act? At least all “famous” Chinese prisoners (Wei Jingsheng, Wang Dan, Liu Xiaobo, etc.) didn’t have to worry about being one of the 2+ millions.

    If there was ever a 35% oil promise, I highly doubt it will be delivered in full faith at the end.

  93. raventhorn
    October 25th, 2011 at 05:51 | #95

    Gaddafi’s body was on public display, along with the body of 1 of his sons and his former interior minister.

    Now, NTC of Libya announced that the bodies were buried in a secret location in the desert. (Again, questionable legality under the Geneva Convention, which stipulated that the bodies should be returned to the family of the dead).

    *News today, more than 50 pro-Gaddafi soldiers’ bodies were found in a hotel, apparently executed while their hands were bound behind their backs.

    (Of course, the beauty of “Democratization” is that the West is never responsible for the crimes committed by its proxies).

    *Speaking of Orwellian newspeak style word meaning modifications in the West, Somehow all these new words the West is using in its PR just all sound like threats.

    I guess looking back, that was always the historical trend repeating itself.

    Ie. the “promise” of the West always goes, I promise you “X”, but “X” means I win if you do what I say, and “X” also can mean that I’ll go medieval on your ass if you don’t do what I say.

    (I guess that explains US prisons too) 🙂

  94. pug_ster
    October 25th, 2011 at 07:35 | #96



    I don’t know about that. According to the article, it was already decided months in advance.

    Liberation said a letter from the NTC dated April 3 informed the emir, another major backer of the revolt, of a deal “to assign 35 percent of crude oil to France in exchange for its total and permanent support of our Council.”

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