By Ian Hunter. Axis of Logic exclusive
Axis of Logic.
For most people outside Canada, it will come as news to you that we are having a general election. We have experienced five years of Conservative minority government, during which time we have drifted much closer to some of the more obnoxious tendencies of the United States. Our Prime Minister has so far been able to keep himself in power, despite having insufficient members in the House of Commons to win a clear majority. Yet he has generally behaved as though he is entirely in charge, and answerable to no one.
That suits many Canadians just fine; others pine for the days when Canada used to resemble a democracy.
The author of this piece, Ian Hunter, is a fellow Canadian. He asked me to look at a letter he was sending to the candidates running in his city, and I suggested he might like to have it published here as well. We have a significant number of Canadian readers, and this would help his plea reach a wider audience - the issue he addresses is much larger than a general election up here in the colonies. He is planning a Facebook campaign as well.
Both Ian and Axis of Logic encourage Canadians to forward his letter to your own candidates, or personalize it for yourself. None of the media in Canada are holding the government’s feet to the fire on Libya (or much else of importance, for that matter), so here is your chance to tell them what’s important to you.
We thank Ian for the opportunity to post his letter.
Axis of Logic editors
I am a Canadian citizen writing to you with great concern for the current state of my country.
A week before our Parliament was dissolved for the upcoming federal election, our Government committed itself militarily to enforce a No-Fly Zone in the North African state of Libya on the basis of humanitarian intervention. This is an incredibly important issue of Canadian foreign policy and it is the responsibility every single political party that is participating in the current federal election to clearly state their stance on this issue.
If in fact your political party is intending to support the military intervention in Libya, the following is a list of information on this conflict that - as my potential political representative to the Canadian Federal Government - you should seriously consider informing your party with.
Col. Muammar Qaddafi is being demonized as a dictator, a tyrant, and a mass murderer. Canadians are being told that it is for the sake of protecting innocent civilians from the Qaddafi government that we are involved in enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya. A brief historical background on Libyan government - and the rebels we are supporting - clearly demonstrates how flawed this argument is.
· In 1969, Muammar Qaddafi led a bloodless coup to overthrow King Idris I, a monarch imposed by the British after WWII. At the time, Libya was the poorest country in the entire world; with a literacy rate below 10%. Since then, the Libyan government has improved all aspects of their society.
· Libya now has a literacy rate above 90%.
· Libya has the lowest infant mortality rate of all of Africa.
· Libya also has the highest life expectancy of all of Africa.
· Less than 5% of the population was undernourished. In response to the rising food prices around the world, the government of Libya abolished ALL taxes on food.
· Libya has the highest gross domestic product (GDP) at purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita of all of Africa.
· Libya has the highest Human Development Index of any country on the continent.
· In Libya, a lower percentage of people lived below the poverty line than in the Netherlands, and again, far lower than that of the United States.
· They have free health care and treatment, and education is free of charge. Talented youth have an opportunity to study abroad at the expense of the Libyan government.
· Before the chaos erupted, Libya had a lower incarceration rate than the Czech Republic, and far lower than the United States.
· The core legal obligation expressed in article 2(7) of the UN Charter prohibits member states from any use of force unless it can be justified as self-defence after a cross-border armed attack; unless expressly authorized by the Security Council as essential for the sake of international peace and security. With respect to Libya, you need to take account of the fact that the Qaddafi government remains the lawful diplomatic representative of a sovereign state, and any international use of force even by the UN, much less a state or group of states, would constitute an unlawful intervention in the internal affairs of a sovereign state. This also implies that the Security Council’s decision - to allow foreign states to bomb Libya - is legal if, and only if, the outcome of this conflict represents a serious threat to international peace. Also UN Resolution 1970 (2011) forbids the delivery of weaponry of any sort to any citizen in Libya. UN Resolution 1973 (2011) while allowing the use of force to protect "civilians" does not mention attacking conventional ground forces not engaged in battle to help "rebels" nor does it bear any mention whatsoever of aiding rebellious forces to gain power.
· Libya is the only country currently experiencing civil unrest that our Government has deemed important enough to support militarily. The day after the Security Council vote, March 18, armed forces of Ali Abdullah Saleh’s government in Yemen carried out a massacre. The massacre took place in broad daylight at the central square in Sana'a, Yemen’s capital. At least 52 people were killed and more than 200 wounded, most by snipers firing from atop government buildings. Hilary Clinton stated: “The U.S. government “is alarmed by today's violence in Sana'a against anti-government protesters and is seeking to verify reports that this is the result of actions by security forces...We call on Yemeni security forces to exercise maximum restraint, refrain from violence, and permit citizens to freely and peacefully express their views." There are currently no calls from Washington for a U.N.-imposed “no-fly zone,” or the bombing of Saleh’s military. Not even a whisper from Washington about sanctions. On the contrary, U.S. military and other aid has continued to flow unimpeded to Saleh and his army. On March 16, the government of Bahrain, with the assistance of 2,000 invading Saudi troops and hundreds of United Arab Emirates security forces, dispersed the mass protests in the capital Manama and elsewhere. As in the case of Yemen, no threats of military intervention, sanctions or anything at all in the face of a blatant invasion and brutal repression. More than 20 Bahrainis have been killed and hundreds wounded, out of a total population of just over a million, over the past month.
· Another important aspect of this conflict often ignored in Canadian media is the role being played by the rebel groups of Eastern Libya. If the conditions in Libya prior to this armed insurrection were so favorable, then where did this uprising coming from? The answer is that the same groups the US and Great Britain have been funding for decades are now taking their chance to gain control over the nation.
· The rebels of Eastern Libya are represented by several different organizations: The National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL); The Islamic Emirate of Berka; The National Conference for the Libyan Opposition (NCLO); The Al-Jama'a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya, or the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG); and the Transitional National Council (TNC). The first group calling itself “Islamic Emirate of Berka”, the former name of the North-Western part of Libya, took numerous hostages, and killed two policemen as reported by western media a few days after protests began. On Friday, the 18th of February - the day after the revolt began - the group stole 70 military vehicles after attacking a port and killing four soldiers. All the worthy democratic aspirations of the Libyan youth movement notwithstanding, the most organized opposition group happens to be the National Front for the Salvation of Libya - financed for years by the House of Saud, the CIA and French intelligence. The key figure in the National Front for the Salvation of Libya is one Ibrahim Sahad who conveniently enough lives in Washington. According to the Library of Congress archives, Sahad is the same man the CIA used in their failed attempt at a Libyan coup of 1984. The Library of Congress confirms that the CIA trained and supported the NFSL both before and after the failed coup. It was this organization that called for the “Day of Rage” that plunged Libya into chaos on February 17 of this year. The rebel "Transitional National Council" is little else than the National Front, plus a few military defectors. This is the elite of the "innocent civilians" the "coalition" is "protecting". The UK based National Conference for the Libyan Opposition (NCLO) - is well known to be a CIA and MI5 supported and trained organization of anti-Kaddafi and counter-revolutionary Libyans.
As several documents have discovered, by far the most violent of the opposition groups is the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. The first is a secret cable to the State Department from the US embassy in Tripoli in 2008, part of the WikiLeaks trove, entitled, “Extremism in Eastern Libya,” which revealed that this area is rife with anti-American, pro-jihad sentiment.
The second document, or rather set of documents, are the so-called Sinjar Records, captured al-Qaeda documents that fell into American hands in 2007. They were analyzed by the Combating Terrorism Center at the US Military Academy at West Point. Al-Qaeda is a bureaucratic outfit and the records contain precise details on personnel, including those who came to Iraq to fight American and coalition forces and, when necessary, commit suicide.
The West Point analysts’ statistical study of the al-Qaeda personnel records concludes that one country provided “far more” foreign fighters in per capita terms than any other: namely, Libya.”
The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group mounted a major challenge to the Qaddafi regime in the 1990s. The destabilizing impact of that challenge was a major factor in the decision of the Qaddafi regime to abandon its traditional anti-imperialist rhetoric and seek an accommodation with Europe and the United States. Anas al Liby is a notable member of the LIFG. He remains on the U.S. government’s most wanted list, with a reward of $5 million for his capture, and is wanted for his involvement in the U.S. African embassy bombings. Al Liby was with bin Laden in Sudan before the al Qaeda leader returned to Afghanistan in 1996. Despite being a high-level al Qaeda operative, al Liby was granted political asylum in Britain and lived in Manchester until May of 2000. In 2009, to mark Qaddafi's 40 years in power, the LIFG apologized for trying to kill him and agreed to lay down its arms. Six LIFG leaders, still in prison, disavowed their old ways and explained why fighting Qaddafi no longer constituted "legitimate" jihad. The last 110 members of the LIFG were freed on 16 February; the day after the Libyan uprising began. One of those released, Abdul Wahab Mohammed Kayed, is the brother of Abu Yahya Al Libi, one of al Qaida's top propagandists.
There is an abundance of evidence proving that our Government is supporting religious extremists including Al Qaeda, and other rebels who are fighting against NATO troops in Afghanistan. In fact, Muammar Qaddafi and the Libyan revolutionary forces were the first to issue an arrest warrant for Osama bin Laden. The Libyan government spent years warning the world about the very serious threat posed by these Islamic deviants. According to former MI5 intelligence operative David Shayler, western intelligence turned a deaf ear to Libya's warnings because they were actually working with the al Qaeda group inside Libya to bring down Qaddafi and the Libyan revolution.
"Uranium tipped missiles fit the description of a dirty bomb in every way. I would say that it is the perfect weapon for killing lots of people."
Marion Falk, retired chemical physicist
at Lawrence Livermore Lab, California, USA.
· Since the March 18th, coalition forces have bombed Libya with at least 221 Tomahawk missiles killing at least 100 civilians. These massive bombs, along with the Cruise missiles launched from both planes and ships, all contained depleted uranium (DU) warheads. DU is the waste product from the process of enriching uranium ore. When a weapon made with a DU tip strikes a solid object like the side of a tank, it goes straight through it, and then erupts in a burning cloud of vapor. The vapor settles as dust, which is not only poisonous, but also radioactive. Internalized DU can cause kidney damage, cancers of the lung and bone, skin disorders, neuro-cognitive disorders, chromosome damage, immune deficiency syndromes and rare kidney and bowel diseases. Pregnant women exposed to DU may give birth to infants with genetic defects. Once the dust has vaporized, its effects are very long-term. As an alpha particle emitter, DU has a half life of 4.5 billion years.
There is overwhelming evidence proving Canada’s current military involvement in Libya is supportive of both the most radical elements of Al-Qaeda, and the removal of a sovereign Government that is only legal according to International Law if it represents a legitimate threat to international peace and security.
As such, Canadian citizens have been told since 9/11 that the enemies of peace and democracy are religious extremists who will stop at nothing to destroy Western Civilization. The Canadian Government claims to be doing everything it can to protect us from external threats; yet they are supporting the exact organizations in Libya that we are supposedly needed to be defended from. In this context, we are actually further endangering Canadian lives by supporting a military intervention in Libya.
The Libyan Government is not a totalitarian dictatorship. If your political party supports the military intervention in Libya, you are supporting illegal interference in the healthiest, richest, most egalitarian state in all of Africa.
By supporting the military intervention of Libya, your political party is claiming selectively that certain countries are more important than others to receive Canada’s assistance. If Canada was truly concerned with saving civilian lives, our Government would press for resolutions protecting the citizens of Iraq, Gaza, Afghanistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and elsewhere where civilians are being systematically murdered by their governments.
If your political party supports the military intervention in Libya, you are supporting an act of war that is illegal according to international law. You are therefore supporting the destabilization of our entire global order.
If your political party supports a Canadian military intervention in Libya, you are directly supporting Al-Qaeda and other extremist religious groups that our Government claims to be protecting us from. You are NOT supporting a peaceful protest movement; you are supporting an illegal armed insurrection. Canadian support of this mission is a direct threat to the safety of every single Canadian citizen.
As an informed citizen of Canada, I plead to you – and your political party – to strongly oppose any interference in a sovereign nation that poses no threat to World peace.