Failed Empire

Chronicling the collapse of a failed society

American War Crimes: U.S. Military Forces Deployed Cluster Bombs in Libya

cluster bombs

Perhaps not the most unbiased of sources, but it offers a perspective worth considering:

 The HRI said it has convincing evidence that the cluster bombing blamed on pro-Gaddafi forces was actually carried out by the US navy.

The report says at the time of the attack, Human Rights Watch and a reporter working for US media immediately blamed forces loyal to Libya’s embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi for the cluster bombing that threatened civilian lives.

According to the report, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay and the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were quick to condemn the act. …

The Libyan regime had flatly denied reports that they have used internationally banned cluster bombs in the ongoing clashes with revolutionaries.

As I’ve stated previously, Gaddafi is a war criminal and deserves to be treated as such.  But the standard corporate narrative that portrays the United States as being a pinnacle of justice and a defender of human rights is utterly laughable, and needs to be challenged at every step.

It is quite probable that the United States has used cluster bombs in Libya, as it appears they have done in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  Cluster bombs are against international law and their deployment should be considered deplorable, as they are a particularly brutal form of weapon.  However, focusing on the type of weapon used misses the larger issue.  War of any kind is reprehensible, and any entity which engages in warfare should be considered, by definition, guilty of war crimes.

Barack Obama is a war criminal not for sanctioning the use of cluster bombs in Libya, but for allowing military action of any kind to take place.  His crime is particularly egregious in that he failed to obtain approval from the American public before  sending American weaponry – and therefore American taxpayer money – into yet another war of aggression.

What kind of pathology exists within the human species that even now, well into  the 21st century, we still expend such vast sums of money and resources on violence and war?  How long will we continue to tolerate such atrocities?  Our stance towards warfare should be painfully simple:  It is never, under any circumstances, an acceptable course of action.  It is always avoidable.  Always.

Our constant resort to violence represents a vestige of our more primitive, animalistic origins.  Apes and wolves may solve their differences through violent means, but human beings have absolutely no reason to do so.  We alone of all the species bear the capacity for critical reflection and analysis, and it is an embarrassment that we too often fail to utilize these tools, and choose instead to maim and slaughter.

The use of violence as a means to settle disputes should be viewed as barbaric and despicable under all circumstances, but particularly when perpetuated by a nation that pretends – or at least aspires – to be the world’s lone protector of justice and human rights.  We should keep this in mind as election season begins to enter full swing, and withhold our support from any candidate who proudly and brazenly proclaims that “all options are on the table.”

Individuals who hold such vies are clinging to an antiquated, primitive world view in which the law of the jungle still reigns supreme.  If we are to continue to progress and mature as a species, we cannot allow such people to hold positions of power in our society.

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2 responses to “American War Crimes: U.S. Military Forces Deployed Cluster Bombs in Libya

  1. Astra Navigo May 30, 2011 at 11:11 am

    We’re in good company here.

    The Israelis have used white phosphorus against civilian targets in Gaza – that, too, is against international law. The United Nations and Amnesty International verified it. Of course, because it was Israel, and they were supported by the American Empire, nothing was done.

    We can’t count on anything being done here, either.

    As Hunter Thompson said in the runup to Gulf War I, “Of course there’s gonna be a war. It’s the same as pornography. You don’t go see a porn-film and not see somebody come.” All options are always on the table — this is how the violence-sated masses are kept mollified – we’re broke, out of work, and sliding down the toilet-hole at record speed, but Cletus and DaisyMae Sixpack have to know where their tax-money is going – and there’s no better way than to give ’em a war, so they can send Little Johnny Sixpack to kick some raghead-ass.

    Societal leaderships are reflective of a society’s members. Obama was elected on the back of the Bush-engineered financial-system bailout-backlash; an anomaly to a system which consistently elects people who give us ‘god-guts-guns’ and git-‘r-dun bullshit. All you have to do by way of proof is to look at the progression from Nixon to Ford to Reagan to Bush to Palin, who spent the weekend in a motorcycle parade with a group of guys who would have felt right at home at the Nuremberg rally.

    But hey. We’re the Greatest Nation on Earth.

    Happy Memorial Day.

    (I hope you don’t mind my shameless links to some self-written material – they were the only ones that fit.)

    • Andrew B. May 31, 2011 at 3:08 am

      I would agree that Obama seemed to be an anomaly, but in form only. In terms of substance he simply carried on the same corporate agenda that had been perpetuated under every president since Reagan. I think the corporate elite realized that after eight disastrous years of the Bush regime the public was becoming highly disgruntled; things were so bad that even the most apathetic of Americans sensed that something wasn’t quite right in Washington. Obama represented a clever repackaging of a familiar product, designed to present an image to the masses that was the complete antithesis of the cowboy Reagan/Bush prototype. But under the surface business continued as usual, as we all know.

      I read your article regarding Israel’s use of white phosphorus. Personally I find it rather absurd that we have such elaborate rules to define acceptable behavior in war. Murder is illegal, but mass murder is somehow okay as long as we don’t use certain weapons. The utilization of cluster bombs and white phosphorus is abhorrent, but I think we do ourselves a great disservice by distinguishing between different types of death. Murder is murder, regardless of the method chosen. But I think I’m preaching to the choir here.

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