The background to the video and image below is the ongoing bombardment of Sirte by NATO aircraft in support of the rebel brigades who are indiscriminately firing tank, mortar and artillery shells into this urban, civilian-populated area. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has refused to comment on why NATO is not fulfilling its UN mandate to ‘protect the civilian population.’
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It has been described as a moment Prime Minister David Cameron and President Nicolas Sarkozy “will savour for years,” “the ultimate photo opportunity” and “a moment which will shape French and British foreign policy.”
When Cameron and President Sarkozy went to Benghazi yesterday to express their support for Libyan rebels, they went straight to the site at which the rebels publicly beheaded an alleged pro-Gaddafi “mercenary” only weeks before.
Cameron and Sarkozy visited Tripoli today in a carefully staged public relations operation.
The two held a press conference with Chairman Mustapha Abdel Jalil and Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril as the two western leaders pledged to carry on bombing Libya as long as it takes. There was, of course, no mention of the recent seal of approval Mahmoud Jibril gave to the ethnic cleansing of Tawergha and no mention of the ongoing reign of terror directed against pro-Gaddafi supporters and black-skinned Libyans.
The unfortunate fact is that these leaders are not interested in finding a peaceful political accommodation between the people of Libya, but are committed to the unconditional surrender and to the brutal suppression by military force of all forces who do not share their vision of Libya’s future. This will include the taking by force of Sabha. As Chairman Jalil said:
“There will be fierce battles in Sabha with equipment that we do not yet have, and we ask for more equipment to retake these places”
As usual, the BBC faithfully relayed the messages being sent out by the British government (all the Libyan people are so grateful etc.) so we have to look to Russia Today for any kind of objective reporting of the facts on the ground:
A particularly worrying feature of Sarkozy’s recent pronouncements have been his references to Syria and the fact he obviously sees Libya as a prelude to what he wishes to achieve in that country. The preparations for an attack on Syria are already being laid (itself a prelude to attacking Iran), both in the media, by supplying arns to violent elements of the opposition and imposing economic sanctions designed to destabilise the country further.
In this context, it is fortunate that the position of Russia, reiterated by Vitaly Churkin, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations is sensibly:
“If you want to protect civilians the last thing you do is start a civil war”