Gaddafi’s arms suppliers & UN-ICC justice

Posted on | mei 10, 2011 | 1 Comment

On 23 March 2011, NATO imposed an arms embargo on Libya, as a precursor to the air strikes that unfolded in the weeks to follow. The action was based on UN Resolution 1973, and according to NATO’s web sites it was intended to ‘This is part of NATO’s contribution to the broad international effort to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas in Libya under attack.”

Six weeks later, we know that the above statement was a lie, because NATO has been targeting and killing civilians. UN investigative team on the ground to ascertain human rights violations is only looking at the crimes of the Gaddafi regime, while ignoring those of US and NATO that were among the arms suppliers for the colonel’s regimes.

In the last three decades, Libya has been purchasing weapons from:

Russia, France, Sweden, Belgium, Brazil, Greece, Italy, Malta, Germany, UK, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Poland, Latvia, Czech R., China, and from US and Israel through third parties, thus allowing the US the luxury of condemning Libya as one of the world’s most armed nations. In early April 2011, there were allegations that two former Palestinian Fatah movement members were instrumental in supplying Israeli-made weapons to Gaddafi. The Associated Press has reported that U.S. government approved a $77 million sale of 50 armored troop carriers to Gadhafi, in a move to help defense contractors.

This is is not a complete list, but it indicates that billions in oil revenue went to purchase weapons that are now waiting to be used in the ongoing civil war in which NATO has taken sides. There are no reliable figures on how much Gaddafi had been spending each year for arms purchases. From EU members alone, it is estimated that in 2009 and 2010, Libya purchased $500 million, a tiny amount compared with an average of $1 billion spent annually to purchase weapons from the Soviets in the 1970s.

The irony is that the International Criminal Court is investigating war crimes in Libya, namely, Gaddafi and his officials. ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo will be issuing arrest warrants and reporting to the UN Security Council on 4 May 2011. There is no doubt that Gaddafi should be brought up on charges for crimes against humanity. However, so should Western leaders and Israel who are responsible for the deaths of thousands of Muslims not just in 2011, but in the last half century.

Seven years ago, I wrote on WAIS:

“On 28 October 2004, Emma Ross, AP Medical writer, reported from London that according to one household survey 100,000 more have died in Iraq than would be expected based on the death rate before the U.S. invasion. The unofficial estimates of Iraqi”war casualties range from 10,000 to 30,000.”

In 2011, we know that the US and its allies have completely destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan, killing, injuring, and displacing millions of people. Wikileaks lists the death toll of Iraqi civilians at 100,000-110,000.Who stands trial for these war crimes? Not that human beings are an issue of numbers, but have all the authoritarian Muslim leaders and paramilitary groups combined killed nearly as many of their own citizens as the US and its NATO allies in the last ten years in Muslim countries?

If justice is to be carried out and have any credibility before the eyes and ears of the entire world and not just in US and Europe, it must not be justice delivered only by those who have the votes in the UN and ICC. All those whose policies have resulted in war crimes and human rights violations must face trial, not just the political opponents of the US and its NATO allies. Otherwise, there is lack of credibility, UN-ICC justice makes a mockery of human rights violations, and Western duplicity will only further alienate non-Western countries and drive a segment of the population toward radical action as has been the case throughout the history of imperialism.

Now that Osama bin Laden is dead – he was not that significant to begin with until the US made so – the question is whether US foreign policy will become emboldened by that highly symbolic development and turn even more militaristic. Arming Gaddafi to the teeth, and then trying to resolve the internal political conflict that developed with planes, ships, and tanks is the road to disaster regardless of the outcome in Libya.

AUTHOR: Jon Kofas
E-MAIL: jonkofas [at]


One Response to “Gaddafi’s arms suppliers & UN-ICC justice”

  1. Gaddafi’s arms suppliers & UN-ICC justice : NL-Aid « Yahyasheikho786's Blog
    mei 11th, 2011 @ 00:28

    [...] Gaddafi’s arms suppliers & UN-ICC justice : NL-Aid. [...]

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