Libya and the Big Lie: Using Human Rights Organizations to Launch Wars
by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
> Global Research, September 29, 2011
The war against Libya is built on fraud. The United Nations Security Council
passed two resolutions against Libya on the basis of unproven claims,
specifically that Colonel Muammar Qaddafi was killing his own people in
Benghazi and Libya. The claim in its exact form was that Qaddafi had ordered
Libyan forces to kill 6,000 people in Benghazi and Libya. These claims were
widely disseminated, but always vaguely explained. It was on the basis of
this claim that Libya was referred to the U.N. Security Council at U.N
Headquarters in New York City and kicked out of the U.N. Human Rights
Council in Geneva.
False claims about African mercenary armies in Libya and about jet attacks
on civilians were also used in a broad media campaign against Libya. These
two claims have been sidelined and have become more and more murky. The
massacre claims, however, were used in a legal, diplomatic, and military
framework to justify NATO’s war on Libya.
Using Human Rights as a Pretext for War: The LLHR and its Unproven Claims
One of the main sources for the claim that Qaddafi was killing his own
people is the Libyan League for Human Rights (LLHR). The LLHR was actually
pivotal to getting the U.N. involved through its specific claims in Geneva.
On February 21, 2011 the LLHR got the 70 other non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) to sent letters to the President Obama, E.U. High
Representative Catherine Ashton., and the U.N. Secretary-General Ban-ki Moon
demanding international action against Libya invoking the “Responsibility to
Protect” doctrine. Only 25 members of this coalition actually assert that
they are human rights groups.
The letter is as follows:
We, the undersigned non-governmental, human rights, and humanitarian
organizations, urge you to mobilize the United Nations and the international
community and take immediate action to halt the mass atrocities now being
perpetrated by the Libyan government against its own people. The inexcusable
silence cannot continue.
As you know, in the past several days, Colonel Moammar Gadhafi’s forces are
estimated to have deliberately killed hundreds of peaceful protesters and
innocent bystanders across the country. In the city of Benghazi alone, one
doctor reported seeing at least 200 dead bodies. Witnesses report that a
mixture of special commandos, foreign mercenaries and regime loyalists have
attacked demonstrators with knives, assault rifles and heavy-caliber
Snipers are shooting peaceful protesters. Artillery and helicopter gunships
have been used against crowds of demonstrators. Thugs armed with hammers and
swords attacked families in their homes. Hospital officials report numerous
victims shot in the head and chest, and one struck on the head by an
anti-aircraft missile. Tanks are reported to be on the streets and crushing
innocent bystanders. Witnesses report that mercenaries are shooting
indiscriminately from helicopters and from the top of roofs. Women and
children were seen jumping off Giuliana Bridge in Benghazi to escape. Many
of them were killed by the impact of hitting the water, while others were
drowned. The Libyan regime is seeking to hide all of these crimes by
shutting off contact with the outside world. Foreign journalists have been
refused entry. Internet and phone lines have been cut or disrupted.
There is no question here about intent. The government media has published
open threats, promising that demonstrators would meet a “violent and
Accordingly, the government of Libya is committing gross and systematic
violations of the right to life as guaranteed by the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights. Citizens seeking to exercise their rights to freedom of expression
and freedom of assembly are being massacred by the government.
Moreover, the government of Libya is committing crimes against humanity, as
defined by the Explanatory Memorandum to the Rome Statute of the
International Criminal Court. The Libyan government’s mass killing of
innocent civilians amount to particularly odious offences which constitute a
serious attack on human dignity. As confirmed by numerous oral and video
testimonies gathered by human rights organizations and news agencies, the
Libyan government’s assault on its civilian population are not isolated or
sporadic events. Rather, these actions constitute a widespread and
systematic policy and practice of atrocities, intentionally committed,
including murder, political persecution and other inhumane acts which reach
the threshold of crimes against humanity.
Responsibility to Protect
Under the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, you have a clear and
unambiguous responsibility to protect the people of Libya. The international
community, through the United Nations, has the responsibility to use
appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian and other peaceful means, in accordance
with Chapters VI and VIII of the Charter, to help to protect the Libyan
population. Because the Libyan national authorities are manifestly failing
to protect their population from crimes against humanity, should peaceful
means be inadequate, member states are obliged to take collective action, in
a timely and decisive manner, through the Security Council, in accordance
with the UN Charter, including Chapter VII.
In addition, we urge you to convene an emergency Special Session of the UN
Human Rights Council, whose members have a duty, under UNGA Resolution
60/251, to address situations of gross and systematic violations of
violations of human rights. The session should:
-Call for the General Assembly to suspend Libya’s Council membership,
pursuant to Article 8 of Resolution 60/251, which applies to member states
that commit gross and systematic violations of human rights.
-Strongly condemn, and demand an immediate end to, Libya’s massacre of its
-Dispatch immediately an international mission of independent experts to
collect relevant facts and document violations of international human rights
law and crimes against humanity, in order to end the impunity of the Libyan
government. The mission should include an independent medical investigation
into the deaths, and an investigation of the unlawful interference by the
Libyan government with the access to and treatment of wounded.
-Call on the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights and the Council’s relevant
Special Procedures to closely monitor the situation and take action as
-Call on the Council to remain seized of the matter and address the Libyan
situation at its upcoming 16th regular session in March.
Member states and high officials of the United Nations have a responsibility
to protect the people of Libya from what are preventable crimes. We urge you
to use all available measures and levers to end atrocities throughout the
We urge you to send a clear message that, collectively, the international
community, the Security Council and the Human Rights Council will not be
bystanders to these mass atrocities. The credibility of the United Nations —
and many innocent lives — are at stake. 
According to Physicians for Human Rights: “[This letter was] prepared under
the guidance of Mohamed Eljahmi, the noted Libyan human rights defender and
brother of dissident Fathi Eljahmi, asserts that the widespread atrocities
committed by Libya against its own people amount to war crimes, requiring
member states to take action through the Security Council under the
responsibility to protect doctrine.” 
The letters signatories included Francis Fukuyama, United Nations Watch
(which looks out for Israel’s interests and according to Israeli sources
organized the entire session against the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya), B’nai
B’rith Human Rights Commission, the Cuban Democratic Directorate, and a set
of organizations at odds with the governments of Nicaragua, Cuba, Sudan,
Russia, Venezuela, and Libya. Some of these organizations are viewed with
hostility as organizations created to wage demonization campaigns against
countries at odds with the U.S., Israel, and the European Union. Refer to
the annex for the full list of signatories for consultation.
LLHR is tied to the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), which
is based in France and has ties to the National Endowment for Democracy
(NED). FIDH is active in many places in Africa and in activities involving
the National Endowment for Democracy in the African continent. Both the FIDH
and LLHR also released a joint communiqué on February 21, 2011. In the
communiqué both organizations asked for the international community to
“mobilize” and mention the International Criminal Court while also making a
contradictory claiming that over 400 to 600 people had died since February
15, 2011.  This of course was about 5,500 short of the claim that 6,000
people were massacred in Benghazi. The joint letter also promoted the false
view that 80% of Qaddafi’s support came from foreign mercenaries, which is
something that over half a year of fighting proves as untrue.
According to the General-Secretary of the LLHR, Dr. Sliman Bouchuiguir, the
claims about the massacres in Benghazi could not be validated by the LLHR
when he was challenged for proof. When asked how a group of 70
non-governmental organizations in Geneva could support the LLHR’s claims on
Geneva, Dr. Buchuiguir has answered that a network of close relationship was
the basis. This is a mockery.
Speculation is neither evidence nor grounds for starting a war with a
bombing campaign that has lasted about half a year and taken many innocent
civilian lives, including children and the elderly. What is important to
note here is that the U.N. Security Council decided to sanction the Libyan
Arab Jamahiriya on the basis of this letter and the claims of the LLHR. Not
once did the U.N. Security Council and the member states pushing for war
once bother to even investigate the allegations. In one session in New York
City, the Indian Ambassador to the U.N. actually pointed this out when his
country abstained from voting. Thus, a so-called “humanitarian war” was
launched without any evidence.
Global Research Editor’s Note: U.N. Watch which actively promoted the LLHR
statement has informal ties to the U.S. State Department. It was established
during the Clinton Administration in 1993 under the Chairmanship of Morris
B. Abram, a former U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations in
Geneva. U.N. Watch is formally affiliated with the American Jewish Committee
(AJC), a powerful pro-Israeli political lobby organization based in New York
The Secret Relationship between the LLHR and the Transitional Council
The claims of the Libyan League for Human Rights (LLHR) were coordinated
with the formation of the Transitional Council. This becomes clear with when
the close and cagey relationship of the LLHR and the Transitional Council
becomes apparent. Logically, the Obama Administration and NATO had to also
be a part of this.
Whatever the Transitional Council is and whatever the intent of some of its
supporters, it is clear that it is being used as a tool by the U.S. and
others. Moreover, five members of the LLHR were or would become members of
the Transitional Council almost immediately after the claims against the
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya were disseminated. According to Bouchuguir
individuals with ties to the LLHR or who hold membership include Mahmoud
Jibril and Ali Tarhouni.
Dr. Mahmoud Jibril is a Libyan regime figure brought into Libyan government
circles by Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi. He would undemocratically be given the
position of Transitional Council prime minister. His involvement with the
LLHR raises some real questions about the organization.
The economist Ali Tarhouni on the other hand would become the minister for
oil and finance for the Transitional Council. Tarhouni is Washington’s man
in Libya. He was groomed in the United States and was present at all the
major meetings about plans for regime change in Libya. As Minister of Oil
and Finance the first acts he did were privatize and virtually handover
Libya’s energy resources and economy.
The General-Secretary of the LLHR, Sliman Bouchuiguir, has even privately
admitted that many influential members of the Transitional Council are his
friends. A real question of interests arises. Yet, the secret relationship
between the LLHR and the Transitional Council is far more than a question of
conflict of interest. It is a question of justice and manipulation.
Who is Sliman Bouchuiguir?
Sliman Bouchuguir is an unheard of figure for most, but he has authored a
doctoral thesis that has been widely quoted and used in strategic circles in
the United States. This thesis was published in 1979 as a book, The Use of
Oil as a Political Weapon: A Case Study of the 1973 Arab oil Embargo. The
thesis is about the use of oil as an economic weapon by Arabs, but can
easily be applied to the Russians, the Iranians, the Venezuelans, and
others. It examines economic development and economic warfare and can also
be applied to vast regions, including all of Africa.
Bouchuguir’s analytical thesis reflects an important line of thinking in
Washington, as well as London and Tel Aviv. It is both the embodiment of a
pre-existing mentality, which includes U.S. National Security Advisor George
F. Kennan’s arguments for maintaining a position of disparity through a
constant multi-faced war between the U.S. and its allies on one hand and the
rest of the world on the other hand. The thesis can be drawn on for
preventing the Arabs, or others, from becoming economic powers or threats.
In strategic terms rival economies are pinned as threats and as “weapons.”
This has serious connotations.
Moreover, Bouchuiguir did his thesis at George Washington University under
Bernard Reich. Reich is a political scientist and professor of international
relations. He has worked and held positions at places like the U.S. Defense
Intelligence College, the United States Air Force Special Operations School,
the Marine Corps War College, and the Shiloah Center at Tel Aviv University.
He has consulted on the Middle East for the Foreign Service Institute of the
U.S. State Department and received grants such as the Defense Academic
Research Support Program Research grant and the German Marshal Fund Grant.
Reich also was or is presently on the editorial boards of journals such as
Israel Affairs (1994-present), Terrorism: An International Journal
(1987-1994), and The New Middle East (1971-1973).
It is also clear that Reich is tied to Israeli interests. He has even
written a book about the special relationship between the U.S and Israel. He
has also been an advocate for a “New Middle East” which would be favourable
to Israel. This includes careful consideration over North Africa. His work
has also focused on the important strategic interface between the Soviet
Union and the Middle East and also on Israeli policy in the continent of
It is clear why Bouchuiguir has his thesis supervised under Reich. On
October 23, 1973, Reich gave a testimony at the U.S. Congress. The testimony
has been named “The Impact of the October Middle East War” and is clearly
tied to the 1973 oil embargo and Washington’s aim of pre-empting or managing
any similar events in the future. It has to be asked, how much did Reich
influence Bouchuiguir and if Bouchuiguir espouses the same strategic views
The “New North Africa” and a “New Africa” – More than just a “New Middle
A “New Africa” is in the works, which will have its borders further drawn
out in blood like in the past. The Obama Administration and its allies have
opened the gateway for a new invasion of Africa. United States Africa
Command (AFRICOM) opened the salvos of the war through Operation Odyssey
Damn, before the war on Libya was transferred to NATO’s Operation Unified
The U.S. has used NATO to continue the occupation of post-Second World War
Europe. It will now use AFRICOM to occupy Africa and create an African NATO.
It is clear the U.S. wants an expanded military presence in Libya and Africa
under the disguise of humanitarian aid missions and fighting terrorism – the
same terrorism that it is fanning in Libya and Africa.
The way is being paved for intervention in Africa under the guise of
fighting terrorism. General Carter Ham has stated: “If we were to launch a
humanitarian operation, how do we do so effectively with air traffic
control, airfield management, [and] those kind of activities?”  General
Ham’s question is actually a sales pitch for fashioning African military
partnerships and integration, as well as new bases that could include the
use of more military drones against Libya and other African countries. The
Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) have both made it clear
that the Pentagon is actively trying to establish more drone bases in Africa
and the Arabian Peninsula to expand its wars.  In this context, the
AFRICOM Commander said that there are ties between the Al-Shabaab in
Somalia, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in North Africa, and the Boko Harem
in Nigeria. 
The War in Libya is a Fraud
General Ham has said: “I remain confident that had the U.N. not made the
decision, had the U.S. not taken the lead with great support, I’m absolutely
convinced there are many, many people in Benghazi alive today who would not
be [alive].”  This is not true and a far stretch from reality. The war
has cost more lives than it could have ever saved. It has ruined a country
and opened the door into Africa for a neo-colonial project.
The claims of the Libyan League for Human Rights (LLHR) were never supported
or verified. The credibility of United Nations must be questioned as well as
many humanitarian and human rights organizations that have virtually pushed
for a war. At best the U.N. Security Council is an irresponsible body, but
it has clearly acted outside of due legal process. This pattern now appears
to be repeating itself against the Syrian Arab Republic as unverified claims
are being made by individuals and organizations supported by foreign powers
that care nothing for authentic democratic reforms or liberty.
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a Sociologist and Research Associate of the
Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG). He specializes on the Middle
East and Central Asia. He was on the ground in Libya for over two months and
was also a Special Correspondent for Flashpoints, which is a program based
in Berkeley, California.
 United Nations Watch et al., “Urgent Appeal to Stop Atrocities in Libya:
Sent by 70 NGOs to the US, EU, and UN,” February 21, 2011:
 Physicians for Human Rights, “PHR and Human Rights Groups Call for
Immediate Action in Libya,” February 22, 2011:
 The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Libyan
League for Human Rights (LLHR), “Massacres in Libya: The international
community must urgently,” respond, February 21, 2011:
 Jim Garamone, “Africa Command Learns from Libya Operations,” American
Forces Press Service, September 15, 2011:
 Gregory Miller and Craig Whitlock, “U.S. U.S. assembling secret drone
bases in Africa, Arabian Peninsula, officials say,” The Washington Post,
September 20, 2011; Julian E. Barnes, “U.S. Expands Drone Flights to Take
Aim at East Africa,” The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), September 21, 2011.
 Garamone, “Africa Command Learns,” Op. cit.
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Received on Thu Sep 29 2011 - 16:49:36 EDT