A letter to the UN - Farooq Sulehria - Thursday, March 24, 2011

Source : http://thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=37870&Cat=9

Weeks ago, when Fidel Castro pointed out in an essay the possibility of Nato intervention in Libya, I thought Havana’s old sage is stretching his imagination a little too much. I knew Arab revolutions, like any other revolution in the last hundred years, would invite imperialist intervention. However, I did not expect it Libya-style. I was expecting Nato coming to fortify the Libyan Ceausescu against protesters. There is a den of permanent thieves exercising the veto power on your floor. Ironically, the moment your Security Council passed a resolution for an assault on forces loyal to Qaddafi, the chief permanent thief was busy droning Pakistan (30 were killed exactly the day the resolution was “passed”), lionising its vassal sheikhdoms for their entry into Bahrain to gun down protestors on the streets of Manama, overlooking the massacre in Yemen and publicly threatening President Jean-Bertrand Aristide against returning to Haiti before elections. This hypocrisy on display is rank even by your own stinking standards.

I hope you remember that not long ago, in 2003, Italy, France, Germany and Britain were urging you to lift the arms embargo on Qaddafi’s rogue regime. You unsurprisingly obliged. I wonder if you noticed the bombers Qaddafi dispatched to bomb the Libyan revolutionaries were French-supplied Mirages. Now Paris is bombing Tripoli with Mirages. By the way, France bombing North Africa is a movie Arabs have watched before.

I know the standard reply you will shoot back at me. I also understand the desperation in Benghazi.

Tripoli’s Ceausescu was serious in liquidating the resistance when we watched him on Al-Jazeera a few days ago, delivering a tragic-comic speech, “We will come inch by inch, home by home, alley by alley ... We will find you in your closets. We will have no mercy and no pity.”

In view of such obvious dangers, besieged people would understandably cry for help. Cuba, itself subjected to harsh sanctions, no more sends revolutionary troops to lend Third World struggles a helping hand. The residents of Benghazi did not want Al-Qaeda either. They have learnt lessons from Iraq. Still, in their desperation, they have been waving placards conspicuously inscribed with “No to foreign intervention.” Even if they want an intervention, I wonder why you let Tripoli’s Ceausescu decisively crush the revolution before establishing your no-fly zone.

In Europe, old hands might find a resemblance here with Italy’s “liberation” by the Allied forces at the end of World War II when they made certain that their advance was stalled long enough so that the Nazis could finish off the Resistance Forces, led by communists, north of Rome.

In the Muslim world, people vividly recall the last time an Arab country was blessed with your no-fly zone. It consequently led to the Iraq invasion and regime-change in 2003.

Before establishing a no-fly zone over Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, “to protect Kurds,” your den of permanent thieves let him brutally roll over Kurdish villages and towns. This no-fly zone became a convenient excuse for Washington. As the Monica Lewinsky affair began to dominate headlines, the bombing in Iraq’s no-fly zone intensified. Perhaps we better avoid splitting hair regarding Iraqi. The myth and reality about “weapons of mass deception” has been clearly established by now, though at the cost of over a million Iraqi lives.

You want to sell me the fashionable example of Kosovo? Did Nato bombing of Serbia indeed save people from slaughter? In fact, no. Before Nato began bombing Serbia in March 1999, 2,000 Kosovo-Albanians had been killed in the preceding year. Another 300,000 had been expelled from their homes. Most displaced Kosovo Albanians became what you call IDPs. Most of these IDPs, became foot soldiers for the Kosovo Liberation Army (KSA), thus fuelling the insurgency. However, in the wake of the Nato attack, a desperate Serbian army uprooted roughly a million more and drove 850,000 Albanians right out of their country across the borders in less than two weeks. After 11 weeks, 10,000 Albanians had been killed, 120,000 houses (one fifth of all Albanian homes in Kosovo) had been destroyed and 215 mosques, one third of all, flattened.

I hope you remember that Nato jets focused on targeting civilian infrastructure inside Serbia (bridges, TV station, railways) while Serbian tanks in Kosovo were not targeted. There were over 400 Serbian tanks there. When Nato declared victory, only 13 of these tanks had been hit, and that too by the last phase of the war. Let us not forget that, instead of helping Kosovo Albanians, the Nato aggression claimed 1,500-2,000 innocent Serbian lives too.

East Timor? Again, your intervention came after half the East Timorese population had been liquidated by the Indonesian army. More importantly, East Timor was forced to implement a neo-liberal agenda, dictated by Australia, when it became independent. None of these is an inspiring example of humanitarian intervention helping prevent slaughter.

In case of Benghazi, anti-aircraft guns would have been the a solution. But the permanent thieves lording over you have their eyes on oil prices. I wonder if you would establish a new-fly zone over Gaza next time Israel goes berserk?

The writer is a freelance contributor.

Email: mfsulehria@hotmail.com

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