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Genocide in Bani Walid
Genocide in Bani Walid
by Stephen Lendman
Washington bears full responsibility for waging multiple wars on humanity. It planned, initiated and controls direct and proxy conflicts across North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.
Bani Walid made headlines for three weeks. Genocide threatens its residents. Obama's dirty hands are all over this crime of war and against humanity. Media scoundrels ignore it. More on this below.
America's proxy war on Syria continues. Washington's directly responsible for recruiting, arming, funding and directing Syrian death squads.
On October 24, Voice of Russia reported that Russian Armed Forces chief General Nikolai Makarov said:
"The General Staff has information that the militants, who are fighting against Syrian government troops, are armed with the portable air defence systems of various countries, including the Stinger of U.S. production."
Disclaimers notwithstanding, Washington is directly responsible for supplying them. Makarov added:
"The US denies this fact. They say that they did not deliver anything to them (Syrian militants). However, we have reliable information that Syrian militants are armed with foreign portable air defence systems, including U.S. air defence systems."
They didn't arrive out of thin air. Voice of Russia said an "informed Syrian source" said "the US had made a decision to hand over a consignment of MANPADS to (anti-Assad) militants that are fighting against Damascus."
Man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) are shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles (SAMs).
On October 24, Russia Today (rt.com) headlined "US blocks Russia's draft statement in UN on peaceful resolution of Bani Walid violence," saying:
Russia's UN envoy, Vitaly Churkin, said the move "can't be serious. Blocking a draft statement that called (for) solv(ing) the country's political problems without violence is very strange."
Not at all when Washington plans genocide to assert control. Churkin knows it but used diplomatic language. Russia's statement called for "tak(ing) urgent steps to resolve the conflict by peaceful means and to preserve the rights of all Libyan citizens."
On October 23, Russia Today (rt.com) headlined "Bani Walid civilians bombed with gas," saying:
A Libyan national with family in Bani Walid told RT that pro-government militias "intercept food, fuel and medicine and use grad rockets and (poison) gas weapons against Bani Walid" residents.
Daily shelling threatens the city with genocide. It's been ongoing throughout most of October. Bani Walid is surrounded and besieged. Many deaths and injuries occurred. One source claimed 600 killed in one day. Another 1,000 were hospitalized.
Fighting rages across the city. Civilian neighborhoods are targeted. Conditions are grave. Everything is in short supply. The hospital was attacked. It "cannot house all the injured, and power only appears for a couple of hours a day."
A resident told RT that "militias want to eliminate us." He remained anonymous for his safety. In an extended interview, he said:
"I have got a call from my family. They tell me the situation in Bani Walid is horrible. There is an awful attack with all kind of shooting and bombing everywhere in the city. The civilian buildings are falling down."
"The situation in Bani Walid hospital is really bad. We don’t have a lot of medicine. We don’t have enough places for wounded civilians. Right now the hospital is keeping wounded people outside."
"No family would leave Bani Walid. All the people in Bani Walid say the same words: 'We’ll never go from our land.' "
"There are no Gaddafi people (in the city). Even a member of Libya’s National Transitional Council, after visiting Bani Walid, also said there were no Gaddafi people there."
"What is happening there is a battle between (Bani Walid’s people) and Misrata (militias), which wants to eliminate Bani Walid from existence. They want to do to Bani Walid what they did in Tahoura."
"There is almost no electricity. It only comes for two-three hours a day. It is three weeks that no food has been able reach Bani Walid as militias that surround the town are blocking the roads. They intercept food, fuel and medicine. There is no food inside Bani Walid, not even milk for kids, no necessities."
"Two hundred of those militias died yesterday, and the bodies are still there. They even left their wounded people there and Bani Walid hospital is taking care of those wounded people."
"Militias went inside the city, but they only went a few kilometers before getting kicked out. They used machine guns inside, and from outside they used grad rockets and gas weapons."
"Actually we found gas masks and the hospital’s reports very clearly say that civilians in Bani Walid have been bombed with (poison) gas."
"Moreover, when we took over the positions the militias of Misrata had been taking before being kicked out, the people of Bani Walid found there gas masks."
"There are photos and videos of this. It’s the proof against those militias that they are using (toxic) gas against civilians. Why would you be using a gas mask if you go inside Bani Walid using only machine guns and normal rockets?"
"What Bani Walid is doing is self defense. When Bani Walid first fell during the days of the fight for Gaddafi, (militias) took away everything there was in the city: cars, money, gold….Then the people of the town said 'It’s a fight for freedom, we have to go out,' so they went out and their houses were robbed and destroyed. No one cared."
"Right now the civilians in Bani Walid who are holding guns and fighting, they are fighting for their land which should not be taken from them. They just cannot go away."
RT added that earlier reports said hospital patients "suffered from symptoms typical of gas intoxication."
Healthy residents with no history of heart and lung diseases had difficulty breathing. They experienced increased heart rates, and suffered from muscle spasms. They also have blurred vision and intermittently fall unconscious.
Dr. Almahdi Azyadi told RT:
"They're really bombing. Many are reported to the hospitals because of the gas attacks, and it's happening almost every day. The gas is toxic, and there are some injuries."
Chemical weapons use is illegal. Washington and key NATO allies use them regularly. The 1907 Hague Convention banned them. WW I use of poison gas caused 100,000 deaths and about 900,000 injuries.
In the 1920s, Britain used poison gas against Iraqis. As Secretary of State for War, Winston Churchill advocated their use. In a secret memo he said, "I am strongly in favor of using poisoned gas against uncivilized tribes."
In 1928, the Geneva Protocol prohibited gas and bacteriological warfare.
America uses chemical, biological, and other banned weapons in all its direct and proxy wars. No-holds barred state terror is policy. Body counts don't matter. Media scoundrels maintain silence. Genocide goes on openly. They ignore it.
In 1989, 149 nations at the Paris Chemical Weapons Conference condemned use of these weapons. After committing itself to non-use, Washington continued development, production, and covert use. Biological and depleted uranium weapons are also used.
In 1997, America ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). It prohibits development, production, stockpiling, and use of these weapons. It also mandates their destruction.
Washington uses them freely. Huge chemical, biological and nuclear weapons stockpiles are maintained. New more dangerous weapons replace older ones.
CWC mandates non-complying nations be referred to the Security Council for action against them. America's veto power precludes efforts to deter its lawlessness.
Currently, 188 State Parties are CWC signatories. They include Russia and China. Israel signed it in 1993, but hasn't ratified it.
Chemical weapons include all toxic ones and their precursors able to cause death, injury, temporary incapacitation or sensory irritation. Munitions and other delivery devices are included.
Toxic substances are categorized as choking, blister, blood or nerve agents. Best known ones include choking chlorine and phosgene, mustard and lewisite blister agents (or vesicants), hydrogen cyanide blood agents, and sarin, soman and VX nerve agents.
Toxic chemicals used industrially are legal, despite their harmful effects. However, when used as weapons, they violate CWC provisions.
CWC's purpose is to ensure toxic chemicals are produced only for purposes unrelated to weaponry in any form.
On October 24, RT headlined "Siege of Bani Walid, Day 20: 'Militia committing genocide' - RT source," saying:
For three weeks, civilians have been killed "by toxic gas and heavy tank fire….(N)o resolution to the conflict (is) in sight." Indiscriminate shelling continues.
Footage RT believes is reliable shows dead bodies, "women and children with missing limbs and disfigured faces." A Libyan national in Egypt with relatives in Bani Walid told RT militias "are committing genocide."
The city is surrounded and besieged. Essential supplies are blocked. People are starving. Medicines aren't available to treat patients. Power is mostly off.
Militias "attack the city and are using heavy machinery to demolish houses. They are using internationally banned toxic gases against civilian people, and they bombard the population with tanks."
They're ordered "to kill all protesters. The city is blocked from all sides. There is no medicine, food, (or) humanitarian aid. There is nothing inside the city."
"There is bloodshed in Bani Walid and nobody can hear the people inside the city" cry for help. Militia "guns come from the outside including from" France and Washington.
Major media reports are "lies and forgery. We plead for the humanitarian agencies of the world to help us save our families inside Bani Walid. The people need immediate help and an intervention from the outside."
The UN did nothing. Washington blocked Russia's attempt to help. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pathetically said "the international community is closely monitoring the situation."
Instead of condemning Washington-led genocide, he called for peaceful resolution. UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said:
"The Secretary-General reminds all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law. He calls on all the Libyan authorities and those in Bani Walid to begin immediately a process to resolve the Bani Walid stand-off peacefully."
"The Secretary-General believes that the situation in Bani Walid can be resolved in a peaceful manner that preserves the rights of all Libyan citizens and permits the state to exercise its responsibilities there."
What else would a committed imperial tool say. He's part of the problem, not the solution. The world body does nothing to stop war, mass killing, destruction, and unspeakable human misery.
Late reports on Bani Walid are mixed. Some say fighting continues. Others say militias or government forces control the city. On October 25, RT headlined "Bani Walid's fate unknown amid conflicting reports of govt, militia takeovers," saying:
Libyan officials claim they control the city. Militias say they took over. Bani Walid is dying. A local activist called conditions "very difficult. The city is almost completely destroyed. Residents are buried in the rubble."
Many are children and the elderly. Government officials lied saying toxic gases weren't used. In southern parts of the city, resistance continues. It's just a matter of time until enough human life is lost to eliminate remaining remnants.
One day, when Bani Walid's true story is told, perhaps we'll learn many thousands died. Many others suffered horrific injuries. Appalling human suffering won't end soon.
Washington planned it that way. Its genocidal history claimed many millions of lives. Add Bani Walid to its odious resume.
A Final Comment
Mathaba estimates about 100,000 casualties since NATO formally announced its seven month Libyan mission ended last November. It claimed over 100,000 lives. Many more were injured and displaced.
Other disturbing Mathaba estimates include around one million Libyans forced into exile in the past year, and up to 20,000 held incommunicado as political prisoners. Many are subjected to torture and/or death.
Washington-led NATO turned Libya into charnel house hell. Obama bears full responsibility. He committed a Nuremberg level crime. Occupation harshness makes things worse.
A previous article said Jamahiriya Green Resistance remains strong. Frequent battles erupt. Tribes are involved. Local militias have their own agenda. Insurgents battle each other and Green Resistance for control. Government forces serve Washington and key NATO partners.
Libya will be remembered as one of history's great crimes. Expect protracted killing, destruction and unspeakable human misery before it ends.
Media scoundrels claim Libya was liberated. Nothing is said about America's imperial ravaging. It's standard policy in all US direct and proxy wars. Human lives have no value. Dominance alone matters.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen [at] sbcglobal.net.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.