Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Raft of the Lampedusa*

The West would do anything for the oppressed people of Libya, right?

"If we waited one more day, Benghazi... could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world." (Obama, quoted in False pretense for war in Libya? Alan J Kuperman,, 14/4/11)

"If we hadn't done anything, as of 2 weeks ago, we'd be talking tonight about the butcher of Benghazi... and 700,000 people, big city, whack, Gaddafi up the middle of it, gone." (Kevin Rudd, quoted on Q & A, 4/4/11)


"Dozens of African migrants were left to die in the Mediterranean Sea after a series of European and NATO military units apparently ignored their cries for help... A boat carrying 72 passengers - including several women, young children and political refugees - ran into trouble in late March after leaving Tripoli for the Italian island of Lampedusa. Despite the alarm being raised with the Italian coastguard and the boat making contact with a military helicopter and a NATO warship, no rescue effort was attempted. Nearly all of those on board eventually died from thirst and hunger after their vessel was left to drift in open water for 16 days." (African refugees cast adrift in the Mediterranean, Jack Shenker, Guardian/SMH, 10/5/11)

[* With apologies to Theodore Gericault]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

what NATOs non-action has done is shown us a window into its a political smokescreen, and not a matter of concern for peoples lives.

Missamou can use this evidence in his case against NATO:

Libya-France: French lawyer to prosecute NATO for 'crimes' in Libya

French lawyer to prosecute NATO for 'crimes' in Libya - A complaint will be filed in the coming days in Brussels, Belgium, against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for 'crimes' committed in Libya, including the killing of the Libyan leader's son and his three grandchildren, French lawyer Philippe Missamou, announced Thursday to PANA. 'This is a complaint for war crimes and crimes against humanity. I am filing it in Belgium because it is the headquarters of NATO. The Belgian court is competent to assess this complaint,' said the lawyer, who is known for handling political issues. He openly accused NATO of violating the rules of armed conflict in its actions in Libya particularly the protection of civilians.

'For instance the attack of the residence of the son of Libyan leader: it is absolutely not a military objective. It's a murder that should not go unpunished. We will use all legal means to obtain redress', said Missamou.

'What is happening in Libya has nothing to do with events in Tunisia and Egypt. In Libya, we are witnessing an armed insurrection. Insurgents loot, kill, burn. It is the duty of the Tripoli regime to respond by all means. What do we want authorities to do? Idly standby? It's unthinkable,' added the lawyer.