The New York Times Duped NATO Into Libya "Friendly" Fire

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Perhaps if NATO continues to take out tanks on both sides, even the Times might come to its senses and start advocating for a negotiated settlement by both sides in the Libyan civil war.

[Black Star News Editorial]

Perhaps convinced by The New York Times' accounts about Benghazi having only "rudimentary" weapons, NATO launched strikes against tanks in what's being referred to as a "friendly" fire incident.

Friendly fire? Is this an admission that NATO is fighting on the same side as Benghazi? Is that what Resolution 1973 called for?

NATO's initial decision not to apologize for neutralizing tanks and armored vehicles operated by Benghazi was the correct one. If tanks and other armored vehicles are to be destroyed to dissipate the Libyan civil war then all tanks must be destroyed--those belonging to Benghazi and those to Maummar al-Quathafi.

NATO Rear Adm Russell Harding had initially said, "I'm not apologizing." He also added, "Up until yesterday, we had no information that the--opposition forces were using tanks."  NATO has now backtracked a little, with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen saying, "I strongly regret the loss of life."

He did not necessarily regret taking out tanks with air strikes, in the same manner in which dozens of al-Quathafi's tanks were neutralized. If NATO is really there to protect civilians, then it must continue to destroy all tanks. NATO must not serve as the air force of Benghazi, no matter what French President Nicolas Sarkozy --whose mental health is questionable as shown in an April 1 New York Times article-- wants.

NATO inherited an awfully flawed Libyan mission from a Western alliance of primarily France, Britain and the United States. These countries had been authorized by the United Nations, under Resolution 1973 to intervene and use any means necessary to protect civilians in Libya's civil war.

The Resolution was turned into a farce by Sarkozy. An account in The New York Times on April 1 confirmed that Sarkozy, who certainly qualifies as a war criminal for his actions, intended to bombard Libya with or without the U.N.'s endorsement. After all, it's merely an African country that he's dealing with and African lives are at stake. "We won," he reportedly declared after Resolution 1973 was passed, as if its was some football game.

The April 1 Times article raised serious questions about Sarkozy's mental stability, revealing that he had left his foreign minister Juppe out of the loop, as he plotted with his friend Bernard-Henri Levy, to launch a private war on Libya.

The alliance was never interested in "saving the lives" of Libyan civilians. The attacks and bombardments on Tripoli were not in any way connected to reversing the siege on Benghazi. Even after al-Quathafi's forces were routed from Benghazi by the alliance's air forces, the bombardment and aerial attacks on other parts of Libya continued and continues. How many civilians have been killed to save civilians?

Are Libyan infrastructure and equipment being deliberately targeted with future contracts for reconstruction in mind?

The operation's command, initially was coordinated between the U.S. (Africom), France and Britain. It was formally handed over to NATO; presumably because the U.S. did not want a lion's share of cost and burden. In light of the Times' expose about Sarkozy's and Levy's plot to attack with or without U.N. approval, it was also wise for the U.S. to create some distance. Eager to flex his new found muscle, France's new little Napoleon ordered some strikes in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, as well, so as to appear even handed about his "concern" for civilians.

Was it even legal for the U.N.-endorsed operation to be outsourced to NATO? The "powers" can write their own rules, as Sarkozy has made clear.

The alliance has engaged in duplicity, demanding that the army of al-Quathafi observe a ceasefire while pumelling it from the air and clearing the way for Benghazi to advance from east to west. If there are two combatants how can only one observe a "ceasefire"?

At the same time, articles appeared in The New York Times about Benghazi's "ragtag" army and "rudimentary" military equipment. It seems even NATO commanders believed The New York Times and concluded that the tanks destroyed yesterday, which were clearly not "rudimentary" weapons, belonged to al-Quathafi.

Ironically, the very same New York Times has also been publishing pictures of Benghazi firing rockets towards Brega and even transporting mobile rocket launchers from east to west in truck convoys.

So much for the Times "rudimentary" weapons account. What the Times is doing is building a case for the West to arm Benghazi. Weapons already have been smuggled in through Libya according to news accounts.

Instead of pushing for a ceasefire, a negotiated settlement, a new constitution for Libya and elections, the Times has hitched its wagon solely on Benghazi, not considering whether millions of other Libyans who may or may not want al-Quathafi gone, are yearning for Benghazi to seize the entire country.

The Times, an alleged "liberal" Western newspaper has shown it's true colors as cheerleader of the aggression against Libya; the Times is the same newspaper that sold the Iraq war to millions of Americans with shoddy reporting by Judith Miller about Sadam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction.

Now, once again, The Times is wrongfully equating Benghazi, the former favorite city of King Idris, with the Blackberry-Facebook revolutionists of Tunisia and Egypt. Benghazi includes pro-democracy advocates; but Benghazi also includes monarchists, al-Quathafi's former ministers, generals and colonels, such as former Justice minister Mustafa Jalil and Gen. Abdel Fattah Younis, exiled intellectuals, and, Al-Qaeda affiliates and other Islamists, a fact well documented by researchers for the U.S. military.

A few Times' articles have made preposterous references to reporters not seeing "signs of Al-Qaeda" in Benghazi. Are they supposed to wear T-shirts that say, "Al-Qaeda R Us"? If the Times is so good at spotting al-Qaeda, why doesn't it locate Osama bin Laden?

The Times has not written a single editorial calling for a genuine ceasefire by both sides and peace talks. The Times has not condemned the blood money through illegal smuggling of oil by Benghazi in contravention of the U.N. sanctions or Sarkozy's shameful plot, with his friend, Bernard-Henri Levy.

Perhaps if NATO continues to take out tanks on both sides, even the Times might come to its senses and start advocating for a negotiated settlement by both sides in the Libyan civil war.

The New York Times is shamefully encouraging and promoting the dismemberment of an African country.


"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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