March 28th, 2012

Quaero togam pacem.

The new Libyan reality

The Libyan rebel forces who ousted Gaddafi are responsible for numerous war crimes and human rights abuses, this was the "sensational" conclusion of a report made by the expert commission appointed by the UN, published by AP earlier this month. The report was done under the chairmanship of Philippe Kirsch, a Canadian judge, and it investigated the atrocities on both sides during the conflict in Libya.

The report notes that the rebels, even after the official end of the hostilities, continue to commit crimes against prisoners of war and the civil population in a number of regions. What's more, these crimes are increasing with time, and the control on the various armed groups of "rebels" is decreasing.

We should clarify something though. What's so sensational about this report is not its contents but the very fact it was published. In fact it doesn't contain anything particularly new and shocking that we didn't already know. The lack of regular military, police and courts in Libya and the complete impunity of the armed groups, the mass deaths of captured Gaddafi loyalists in the Libyan prisons - all of this has already been reported or at least hinted, and those who cared to look closer into it are already well aware of it. But, as much as the rules of Realpolitik dictate that for the majority of Western politicians the struggle for some abstract "human rights" is usually related to concrete political interests, the publishing of this report by AP can only be explained in one way. Namely, the amount of evidence about the atrocities committed by the "Libyan friends" of the US, UK, France and the Gulf monarchies, has passed a certain threshold beyond which it's already pointless to try to conceal or whitewash it.

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