06/03/2011, 00.00
Send to a friend

Hunting for Gaddafi

by Piero Gheddo
NATO air strikes were launched to defend the civilian population but now hit the innocent. Media have fallen silent for want of reasons to justify what is a clear violation of human rights. Appeals for a truce by the pope and the bishop of Tripoli go unheeded.

Milan (AsiaNews) – The war in Libya is no longer front-page news in both print and electronic media. In a country not far from Italy, dozens of planes drop bombs every night (and sometimes during the day) on Tripoli and other cities in Tripolitania, but no one talks about it anymore. The war in Libya is now taboo. Such silence is deafening, says the Apostolic Vicar to Tripoli, Mgr Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, in his almost daily appeals against this mad, mad war. Ostensibly started as a “humanitarian intervention” to protect Libyans from Gaddafi’s violence, it has now turned into a manhunt, with other innocent people paying the price.

“NATO has intensified bombings and continues to create victims. The missiles are falling everywhere and, unfortunately, not only affect military zones, but also civilian areas. The people in Tripoli are suffering, even if nobody talks about it,” Mgr Martinelli told AsiaNews a few days ago.

Only last week, the bishop had complained about strikes against a hospital, a low-income neighbourhood and a Coptic church located a few hundreds of metres from military barracks.

NATO, meanwhile, announced it was extending its mission in Libya by another 90 days. “This decision sends a clear message to the Gaddafi regime,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said, which means that NATO will continue until Gaddafi resigns or is hit by one of its “smartest bombs”.

Describing air strikes as a humanitarian intervention to protect the Libyan people is a boldface lie, and takes some nerve. Who in his or her right mind can believe that daily and nightly strikes against Tripoli are meant to defend the Libyan people? This explains why Western newspapers and TV are no longer talking about the war in Libya. They no longer know how to justify what is a clear violation of human rights by countries that would like to export democracy and respect for the rights of man to the Arab-Muslim world.

What is more, what gives NATO the right to kill a tyrant? Did God bless NATO and its member states for conducting for months a war against a people in order to get rid of a man, even if he is a dictator?

The initial humanitarian intervention is turning into a state crime. The United Nations said that the ‘No Fly Zone’ was needed to prevent Libyan planes from bombing rebel positions in Cyrenaica. In a few days, the Libyan air force was out of action.

Then NATO began striking Libyan ground forces moving towards Benghazi.

Now for more than two months, it has been bombing the cities of Cyrenaica, not to protect the Libyan people from Gaddafi, but to get at Gaddafi.

This is intensifying the hatred between Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, the two regions of the country that are respectively for and against the Libyan strongman.

On several occasions, Mgr Martinelli proposed a ceasefire, backed by appeals from Benedict XVI (the latest just a few days ago) to be followed by diplomatic negotiations between the two parts of Libya. He also slammed the West for siding with Cyrenaica, saying that the rights and interests of both sides of the Libya people and nation must be taken into account.

The anomalies of this war are legion and show that the West is affected by massive disinformation as well. Let me repeat my rhetorical question. Can God give his blessing to NATO, the governments and peoples of its member states, as they pursue this strange war (started and continued for economic, not humanitarian reasons) against a man labelled a monster (but all that is said about him must be verified) and the half of his people that supports him?

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Msgr Martinelli: Christmas, a sign of peace in a Libya still at war
War against Libya a reckless outrage
Mgr Martinelli makes plea as risk of humanitarian catastrophe looms in Sirte
Mgr Martinelli: Libyans full of optimism and a desire to start over
Filipinos Catholics, heroic witnesses in Libya


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”