Saif admits Qaddafis are Brutal Foreign Occupiers

Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, son of the dictator, gave an interview yesterday to the Washington Post. In it he justified the Libyan army’s horrific attacks on the besieged city of Misrata:

‘ “You know what happened in Misurata? It’s exactly what happened in the Cold River [Nahr al-Bared], in Tripoli, Lebanon. The Lebanese army went and attacked three or four civilian districts in Tripoli to fight Jund al-Sham, the soldiers of Islam, you know that terrorist group in Lebanon. They destroyed maybe half the city, they didn’t kill civilians there, but they fought the terrorists because they were inside the buildings. The Americans, the West, they supplied the Lebanese army, and it is a legitimate mission to fight terrorists inside Tripoli of Lebanon. You remember? And I remember they sent an airlift with the Hummer vehicles, arms and munitions. The same thing in Grozny in Chechnya, when the Russian army fought the terrorists, because the terrorists went inside the buildings in Grozny. The same thing happened with the Americans in Fallujah. You know Fallujah? It’s exactly the same. You are not fighting or killing innocent people or civilians, because it is not in the interests of anybody to kill civilians, but the terrorists are there, the terrorists are there. ‘

Saif Qaddafi

Saif Qaddafi

The Qaddafi kids are spoiled, sadistic billionaire brats who have been acting out in fancy places in Europe while large numbers of Libyan working people were left unemployed or poverty-stricken, despite their country’s oil riches. ( Before the uprising, unemployment in Libya was estimated at 30%, and by some estimates a similar proportion was under the poverty line.) This slick interview with the glib comparisons is typical of the way they think they can get away with anything, anything at all. What they don’t seem to understand is that when they speak, they reveal their own alienness and hostility to the working and middle class Libyans they rule and exploit. See this blog of an American in Benghazi for what people there think of the Qaddafis.

Let’s take Hannibal Qaddafi, the youngest son. Last year he eluded arrest after he beat up his wife, to the point that shrieks of horror were coming from their $8000 a night suite at Claridge’s in London. A witness reported, “She was bleeding heavily from her nose and face. Her nose was clearly broken and it looked like she would need surgery.” She later denied she was beaten. When police came, his security men attacked them and Hannibal slipped out to make his way to the Libyan embassy to elude arrest. In 2008 he had been arrested with his wife for beating his Tunisian and Moroccan servants within an inch of their lives while he and his wife were staying at a “luxury resort” in Geneva, Switzerland. Bail was set at several hundred thousand dollars for the delightful couple. When Switzerland dared jail him for two days, Muammar Qaddafi declared economic warfare on Switzerland in retaliation. The thuggishness of the sons is reflected in the thuggishness of the foreign policy.

Then there was the time in 2004 when Hannibal was arrested for hotrodding his Ferrari at 90 miles an hour through central Paris and up and down the Champs Elysee, running several red lights. When French police tried to arrest him, two cars full of his bodyguards pulled up and beat up the police. Gaddafi was let go by French authorities, infuriating the French police.

Then there is Saadi, who tried to play professional soccer, but failed a drug test. Saadi used his family connections to make a killing in the petroleum business. Or there is Muhammad Qaddafi, who once menacingly insisted that Pope Benedict was obliged to convert to Islam.

The notorious Khamis heads up his own, murderous brigade in the Libyan military, and is accused of recruiting mercenaries to attack protesters last February and early March, which helped turn a largely peaceful protest movement into a civil war.

Or Saif al-Islam Qaddafi himself, who plagiarized many passages from others in his London School of Economics Ph.D. dissertation (that is, he is an inveterate cheat and liar). He later gave $2.4 million to the university, making the pledge before he was graduated. He was more recently caught on tape inciting Libyan troops to massacre the then-peaceful urban protesters against his father’s regime. His book manuscript at Oxford University Press, later pulled because of the plagiarism, had examined the role of soft power in democracy.

But let me return to the comparison he made, of what his military is doing to Misrata and some other recent sieges of cities by militaries. Saif Qaddafi’s comparisons are absolutely bizarre, suggesting that whatever exactly are the mental problems of his father, they are hereditary. The Yeltsin wars on little Grozny are estimated by the Russian Duma’s human rights commission to have killed on the order of 27,000 and to have displaced 268,000. Is that really the comparison he wants to make to what his forces are attempting to accomplish in Misrata?

Or, Falluja? Is he actually comparing the Libyan army’s attempt to subdue a Libyan city to the invasion of an Iraqi city by a foreign army of occupation? By the way, the US telegraphed its attack on Falluja and encouraged civilians to leave, which most apparently did; Qaddafi’s forces have not behaved similarly in Misrata, to say the least, as Aljazeera makes clear:

Likewise, Nahr al-Bared was a Palestinian city-camp of some 70,000 people outside Tripoli, to which Palestinians kicked out of their homes by the Israelis in 1948 had been transported by the UN. Palestinians will never be given citizenship by the Lebanese because they would upset that country’s religio-ethnic balance. They are stateless and cannot own property or very easily work. The Israelis de facto put them in a series of prisons in Lebanon, from which they cannot escape, and the Lebanese (most of them Shiites and Christians) refuse to pay the cost of the Israeli imposition of the Nakba on Sunni Arabs, nor should they have to. Nahr al-Barid was completely destroyed by the Lebanese army in 2007 to get at maybe 50 terrorists of the Fatah al-Islam group. The Palestinians have lost their homes all over again, and are in UN-provided temporary shelter, full of despair.

What Saif Qaddafi’s three comparisons have in common is that they are incidents of horrific destruction and disproportionate use of force exercised by outsiders on locals of a different ethnicity. Presumably what he wanted to play up was that the NATO powers did not vocally condemn any of these three military actions at the time, and indeed one was undertaken by a NATO member. But without meaning to, what he most clearly did was to reveal how he thinks of cities such as Misrata and Benghazi, as under the occupation of the Qaddafis, as “other” and alien, and as fair game for massacre. He more or less admitted that the Qadadfa tribe is a regime of foreign military occupation over the rest of the Libyans, which is willing to kill thousands of plebeians to maintain that occupation for the benefit of the spoiled, sadistic billionaire brats.

42 Responses

  1. Juan, I like you. You’re a good man. But I find you to be just as much a propagandist as the spoiled brats of Libya, Just because Saif is an S.O.B. doesn’t mean the protesters are wonderful people. You and the liberal intelligentsia in America have gotten us into an unnecessary war in Libya. The protesters are no different than Saif. They are all idiots. Get America and NATO out of there.

    • @Jim and Ben Hunter, Could you please expand more on how terrible the protesters (i.e revolutionaries/majority of libyan) are, and could you please support your arguments? Because to my knowledge they are people who have decided to stand up for their freedom and their rights and that they have had enough of the oppression that Gaddafi’s family and their thugs practiced on them.

      These are professionals and well educated people who have peacefully protested for their rights only to be faced with bullets to their heads, necks and chests. This in turn turned the whole thing into a fight for freedom (I couldn’t see any other way, especially since the other option was death like we now see in Misrata).

      We all know Gaddafi and his long history of supporting terrorism. Not only brutally murdering Libyans over the past 42 years but the innocent all over the world in almost every continent. Some of those terrorist acts were fully executed by his thugs or through groups that he supported with financials means as well as with weapons.

      Terrorist acts are the same regardless of where they happen and who executes them. Killing innocent civilians is WRONG and that is what Gaddafi is doing not the protesters.

      Libyans peaceful people and dont like what is going on, but what is the other option? death? what about the future generations?. A prove on how peaceful and loving the people of Libya are, is that Gaddafi had to hire mercenaries to kill those who decided to rise against him.

      I hope I clarified somethings to you and others who may read this

      • Adam,

        Ben’s formulation, ending with, “Okay…,” was meant to indicate sarcasm. He isn’t agreeing with Jim; he’s expressing shock and disgust at Jim’s statement.

    • Great article.
      What is happening in Libya is genocide in real terms committed by Gaddafi’s brigades against mostly armless people, who are erroneously referred as rebel. The vast majority of Libyans stand together against this criminal family, but were suppressed using brute force in as happened in Tripoli for example.

    • we are not idiots Jim, we suffered for decades because America and other Western governments supported such dictators. Now when they have taken a humane stance you don’t like it. A stance like this should be encouraged to change atitudes of people in the Middle East about your country that has lost its reputation in Iraq. To have some humanity is not a bad idea Jim.

  2. The points about economic mismanagement are not very convincing. Those figures of unemployement and poverty could apply to many countries around the world. They could even apply to the US in a few years. Furthermore they could apply to the US even today if the US workforce did not hire millions people for stupid activiites like groping people when they want to fly somewhere, and telescamming, and filling the airwaves with ficticious stories both for political purposes and for an industry known as advertising.

    With your examples of the behavior of the Quaddafi family you have made a good case of why Cuba or North Vietnam or VVenezuela should bomb Quaddafis forces. The Quddafis are billionaire brats who have betrayed a potential revolution. Do any of the leaders of the rebels quote Che or even Thomas Paine?

    • “Do any of the leaders of the rebels quote Che or even Thomas Paine?”

      Whatever the rebels may be, one hopes they have enough sense to avoid “Che” as a guide, much less to quote him.

      • Yeah, better to quote a religious prophet.

        Latinamerican revolutionary movements had true popular support and they would have liberated all countries between Mexico and Argentina in a couple of months if they had just enjoyed a fraction of the military support enjoyed by these heroic libyan “revolutionaries”. The most powerful armies on earth are providing them with air superiority, close air support, logistical bombing, special forces and military experts, but alas they don’t even manage to take a tiny town. If they had wide popular support they will be unstoppable by now with all that NATO warmachine working for them.

    • But how many of those other 3rd world countries exported 2,000,000 barrels of oil per day, with a population of only 8 million to share the proceeds? Seems that in order to have widespread poverty we have outright theft going on here. And even Palin’s Alaska believes that oil revenues from public land should be split between its citizens.

      A Libyan doesn’t have to quote Tom Paine to make the case that every man, woman and child should be expecting a daily check from that oil.

      • Out right theft certianly seems likely. It would certainly be nice to have people from the Libyan government testify so that one could get a better idea whether or not there are legitimate reasons for Libya’s lack of wealth considering its oil exports or whether the money was handeled with normal human stupidity or neglegence or gross negligence.
        Reguardless of the answer it does not justify western intervention in this conflict. Ghaddafi obviously has numerous die hard supporters in Libya or he would have been defeated already. The residents of Misrata are obviously not defenseless or else Quadaffis forces would have recaptured the city by now.
        The fact that people are tragically dying can not in and of itself be used to justify western intervention either. People die tragically in all civil wars. One could ask, how many people have to die before western intervention is justified? One could just as easily ask how low does the death count have to go before intervention is not justified.
        Furthermore whose figures are to be believed? Learning the truth about how the story of the baby in the incubator in Kuwait was made up has left un unforgettable impression on me that anything reported that serves the intrests of US imperialists is to be treated as a untrustworthy story.
        This was reinforced by reports after the invasion of Kosovo that many of the massacre stories were made up or exaggurated.
        I say kill the King Cobra first and worry about the Cottonmouth later. Or how about this, kill the closest threat first and the more distant one afterwards. Of course ones location will influence which enemy is closer.
        As a reminder, love your enemy but love your enemies victims even more. That applies to Quaddafis victims as well as the victims of the USA. Go Che, Go Che, it is almost the first of May!

    • Well if the money the country generated from oil revenues…etc was at least used to build a good infrastructure for Libya then maybe people would have had to spend large sums of money to get treated for their more serious health problem as they had to travel to Tunisia or even Egypt for a better healthcare. I am not implying that minor health problems can be treated at government hospitals because most people go to private clinics so that they dont end up misdiagnosed or even killed by the mistakes and lack of proper care at public hospitals.

      Remember that 400 kids have been injected with HIV in 1999 in Benghazi? Can you trust to take your child to such hospitals?

      Gaddafi had stowed away more than $150 BILLION when many Libyans were struggling to make end meet, with salaries as low as $250 a month.

      I didnt know that che was quoted, what was the quote and WHO said it?

  3. In 2005, official estimate of unemployment in Libya was 13%: link to – result of Gaddafi’s liberalization.

    In 2009, there was an unofficial 21% estimate: link to But this is according to census data, not unemployment statistics.

    Considering the differences in estimating methodology, there are no grounds to believe that unemployment in Libya is really bad for a third world country. But it is certainly worse than before the neoliberal reforms.

    Most importantly, civil war and sanctions most will bring the Libyan economy down, and then the winner will have quite a lot to explain to the Libyans.

    Now bring the Western “peacekeepers” in, introduce purely market economy – and try to blame everything on the old rulers. We know how this social experiment worked in Iraq!

    • So your alternative is to do just the sanctions, leaving them in place for years while people starve? Or maybe your preference is to just do business as normal with Gaddafi.

      That’s the problem. We all know sanctions don’t work and invasions don’t work, but we have believed ever since the Nuremberg Trials that atrocities should have consequences. Well, should we now abandon this belief?

    • Well I can also say that according to Reuters, it’s 30% link to

      and also the CIA page says 30%…Who to believe?? well I suggest you hear from Libyans who lived there and know roughly how many people do have a job. I mean at least in their own social circles. I was there in November and I know that there are MANY who either dont have a job or are terribly under employed.

      Unless they count an engineer who is working as a secretary and getting paid 200 bucks a month is a job or a teacher who teaches at a high school and gets paid $250 is a job. Prices in Libya are comparable to those in North America with exception of things like prices of gas and bread. I am from Tripoli and my family lives there so im not coming up with this stuff

  4. Great post, Professor, reminding us (if we needed reminding) of what sort of people these are, who enrich themselves at the expense of the people, for whom they have such contempt.

    After Syria’s Asad assured the rebel group with which he met last week that “there’s no longer any reason to live in fear,” his goons continue to murder their compatriots (10 or more since Sunday). People the world over are getting a real education when it comes to believing one syllable that is uttered by these scumbags. They’re all cut from the same filthy cloth; they’re all lying, murdering psychopathic trash and they all need to go — right into custody, that is, awaiting prosecution for their crimes. (But then, we already know that — damn it.)

  5. According to CIA data, unemployment in Saudi Arabia is just 11%: link to (looks like this does not include women).

    For comparison, for Israel they show just 6.4%, basically, full employment: link to

    But for Libya that’s hopping 30%, basically, economic disaster: link to

    No, this does not look like a credible source.

  6. I agree with the observation that the Qaddafi sons are deeply unpleasant people, but I’m not sure of the wisdom in downplaying what happened in Fallujah. The attack on Fallujah had no real military benefit in a country which was already securely under occupation. It was a revenge mission, a fact which was discussed openly in op-eds which appeared in the months ahead of the attack, encouraging a “Carthage” style razing of the town to show the Iraqis who is boss. As soon as Bush was re-elected, the coming operation was featured heavily in the US news cycle, with the revenge motive prominent in the coverage. Although civilians were allowed to leave (to become refugees), men of military ages were specifically barred from leaving, regardless of their sympathy. Rumsfeld publically declared that no civilians who stayed behind would be harmed, but later it was revealed that the US military had broad shoot-to-kill orders. Intense weaponry was used in the operations, and in recent years a spike of horrific birth defects and cancers have struck the people living in the area. Fallujah was an appalling crime, to the disgrace of the US miiltary and its leadership.

    • And the ‘military age’ was interpreted to just about be any male between the cradle and the grave ( I think it was between 12 -60?) At any rate they were sent back into the city to be legitimatize targeted as ‘fighters’ …because as the military spokesman patiently explained “anyone who stayed behind was a fighter’.

  7. This charming gentleman’s comments sound like they are not directed at a broad, reasonable audience around the world. To me they seem to be appealing to the leadership and/or oligarchs in places like Russia and China. They appeal to a particularly nasty and cynical strain of realpolitik. They say, “look at how others have crushed opposition in the past – they are the ones in power today. We will kill these insurgents, and we will continue to be in power tomorrow. You don’t have to love us, but this is your opportunity to get on the side of power and wealth…” (Given that the 2014 Winter Olypics will be in Sochi, Russia – quite close to Chechnya, maybe this is a pitch for the 2020 Summer Olympics to be in Libya?)

    Or in the immortal words of some of science fiction’s most evil beings, “Resistance is futile!” SciFi fans know what word inevitably follows…

    • Gaddafi propaganda is repeated by the majority of leftist organisations and online, see coments above which call my aunts, uncles and cousin in Missrata facing bombardment and no escape (ships limited to foreign migrants and wounded, except fishing trawlers from Benghazi) ‘spoiled brats’.

      Demands were clear from beginning videos and calls to Jazeera Arabic document peaceful protest and calls for end to 42 years of brutality, not even sham elections, no constituion, unlimited corruption and infrastructure in shambles (main hospital in Misrata the 3rd largest city has been ‘under maintenance’ for years, clinics private hospitals and trips to poorer Tunisia and Egypt is how Libyans get healthcare). There is a huge amount of video and photos of bodies torn apart by heavy calibre weapons during weeks of peaceful protests, including

      an 8 year old girl in shahat, shot with 14.5 mm anti-aircraft machine gun in her home as protestors were outside

      link to

      Same with this man’s wife in Tripoli suburb of Tajora, he says her head was blown to pieces by type of bullet which explodes on impact

      link to

      a guy peacefully protesting again shot in head with heavy weaponry

      link to

      and same in Tripoli

      link to

      Peaceful protestors in Tripoli infront of mosque, women and men shouting solidarity with 100s killed in Benghazi at beginning of uprising

      link to

      Protests in Misrata
      link to

      these cowardly spoiled brats in Mirata then withstood almost 2 months siege bombardment and repeated invasions as punishment, without help city will fall and suffer revenge spree of rape and dissapeared already happened in Misrata outskirts and in the reoccupied cities of Zwara and Zawiya

      The inhuman ideologues commenting harangue Cole for siding with victims of Gaddafi’s current atrocites and commiting another sin by pointing out the FACT that US Army in Fallujah at least allowed some civilians an escape route.

      That was a foreign army of occupation but they did let some cvilians escape, I watched video of this in many reports on Jazeera which was on side of the victim as it consistently is (fine when they are Palestinian snd Iraqi but when it comes to Libyans Angry Arab and his ilk think this means boring obsessive coverage of Libyan whiny cowardly ‘spoilt brats’). Jazeera showed horrific civilian casualties, siege conditions, hositals inder stress and abandoned any objectivity in Fallujah, Misrata and Libya gets much less time as they compete with other (less bloody) Arab revolutions and new policy means limit on graphic images.

      I learned about fate of our family friends the Abu Fnas from this video link to of their kids blown literally to pieces in Misrata at end of March, showed this video and other incidents (link to from Misrata to people like above commentators and got heartless replies that really woke me up. It’s not just neocons or right-wing extremists, many on left have exactly same immorality will support and justify anything as long as politics is right.

  8. Professor Cole,

    A couple weeks ago, I wrote a comment taking you to task for referring to people as “defenders” of the Khadaffy government. I was reminded of the bogus slurs hurled at Iraq War opponents, like you and me, who had never written a kind word about Saddam Hussein in our lives, but who were being accused of defending Saddam by the war’s proponents. I wrote that your characterization of opponents of the Libya mission was similarly unfair.

    I’d like to apologize for that comment, Professor. There really are people out there, sometimes on these very threads, who laud Khadaffy as a great socialist and anti-imperialist, in a way that nobody did regarding Saddam Hussein.

  9. Juan,

    I don’t think anyone disagrees that the Qaddafi family is terribly corrupt and has concentrated the nation’s wealth in their hands. But that doesn’t justify external interference in Libyan affairs.

    Need I remind you that in the US we also have an extremely wealthy and corrupt ruling class, that is also capable of extreme violence against innocent civilians? Does that mean outside forces like say China or France should intervene to overthrow the US government?

    Libyans, just like Americans, should be allowed to control their own future without external interference.

    • Without outside interference from france the US would not even exist, europe in turn would have been in a lot of trouble without foreign interference from the US.

      The entire arguement of letting nations sort out their own “destiny” sounds grand but in reality it can be far more harmful.

      Overall its not too bright to always be always for intervention or to be always against it. It makes more sense to support a scenario which you believe will end up supporting and assisting the majority of citizens.

  10. Thank you for this great article.

    Just one little point to correct. While it is true that Khames is “accused of recruiting mercenaries to attack protesters last February and early March”, it’s also true that the accusation is untrue. As Human Rights Watch found out in Estern Libya, there were no mercenaries in Eastern Libya.

    To find out some more facts about the heroic deeds of the “largely peaceful protest movement” in Libya, visit Uruknet and watch some videos there:

    link to

    Can you stand truth?

  11. JUAN COLE: “By the way, the US telegraphed its attack on Falluja and encouraged civilians to leave, which most apparently did;”


    “FALLUJAH, Iraq — Hundreds of men trying to flee the assault on Fallujah have been turned back by U.S. troops following orders to allow only women, children and the elderly to leave.

    The military says it has received reports warning that insurgents will drop their weapons and mingle with refugees to avoid being killed or captured by advancing American troops.

    As it believes many of Fallujah’s men are guerrilla fighters, it has instructed U.S. troops to turn back all males aged 15 to 55.”

    link to

    “Countless violations of international law and crimes against humanity occurred in Fallujah during the November massacre. Evidenced by the mass slaughtering of Iraqis and the use of illegal weapons such as cluster bombs, napalm, uranium munitions and chemical weapons during the November siege of Fallujah when the entire city was declared a “free fire zone” by military leaders, the brutality of the U.S. military has only increased throughout Iraq as the occupation drags on.

    According to Iraqis inside the city, at least 60 percent of Fallujah went on to be totally destroyed in the siege, and eight months after the siege entire districts of the city remained without electricity or water. Israeli style checkpoints were set up in the city, prohibiting anyone from entering who did not live inside the city. Of course non-embedded media were not allowed in the city.”

    “During “Operation Spear” on June 17th, 2005, U.S.-led forces attacked the small cities of Al-Qa’im and Karabla near the Syrian border. U.S. warplanes dropped 2,000 pound bombs in residential areas and claimed to have killed scores of “militants” while locals and doctors claimed that only civilians were killed.

    As in Fallujah, residents were denied access to the city in order to obtain medical aid, while those left inside the city claimed Iraqi civilians were being regularly targeted by U.S. snipers.

    According to an IRIN news report, Firdos al-Abadi from the Iraqi Red Crescent Society stated that 7,000 people from Karabla were camped in the desert outside the city, suffering from lack of food and medical aid while 150 homes were totally destroyed by the U.S. military.

    An Iraqi doctor reported on the same day that he witnessed, “crimes in the west area of the country…the American troops destroyed one of our hospitals, they burned the whole store of medication, they killed the patient in the ward…they prevented us from helping the people in Qa’im.”

    Also like Fallujah, a doctor at the General Hospital of al-Qa’im stated that entire families remained buried under the rubble of their homes, yet medical personnel were unable to reach them due to American snipers.

    Iraqi civilians in Haditha had similar experiences during “Operation Open Market” when they claimed U.S. snipers shot anyone in the streets for days on end, and U.S. and Iraqi forces raided homes detaining any man inside.”

    link to

  12. It’s also very readily lapped up by the majority of leftists, see coments above. They called my aunts, uncles aand cousin facing bombardment and no escape (ships limited to foreign migrants and wounded, except fishing trawlers from Benghazi) ‘spoiled brats’ for wanting an end to 42 years of brutality, not even sham elections, no constittuion, unlimited corruption and infrastructure in shambles (main hospital in Misrata the 3rd largest city has been ‘under maintenance’ for years, clinics private hospitals and trips to poorer Tunisia and Egypt is how Libyans get healthcare). The only thing the inhuman ideologues commenting above are interested in is Cole pointing out that Fallujah which happened years ago at leasst allowed some civilians an escape route.

    That was a foreign army of occupation but they did let some cvilians escape, I watched that in a report on Jazeera which was on side of the victim as usual (in Libya Angry Arab and his ilk think this means boring obsessive coverage of Libyan spoilt brats, I’ll use the same language when an ideologically appropriate army is carrying out atrocities) and shhowed civilian casualties, siege conditions, hositals inder stress. I saw video of our family friends the Abu Fnas kids blown literally to pieces in Misrata at end of March, showed it to people like above commentators and got heartless replies that really woke me up. It’s not just neocons or right-wing extremists, many on left have exactly same immorality will support and justify anything as long as politics is right.

  13. Also like Fallujah, a doctor at the General Hospital of al-Qa’im stated that entire families remained buried under the rubble of their homes, yet medical personnel were unable to reach them due to American snipers.

  14. Bahrain’s secret terror.

    Seems the luckless civilians of Bahrain are being secretly, massacred and genocided. No UN resolution for them.

    Whats the exchange rate between Bahraini civilians and Libyan civilians?

    A Bahraini civilian might be worth a half a Libyan, maybe, but I doubt it!


  15. Engaging in a little revisionist history, Prof Cole?

    (Extract: Remembering Srebrenica, Thinking of Fallujah by Ghali Hassan
    Global Research, July 27, 2005)

    The Srebrenica “massacre” was universally condemned in Europe and the US as “genocide” and crimes against humanity. The Serbs who have been accused of the killings were described by Western governments and Western media as “Serb evils”. They are indicted for war crimes and promises have been made to bring them to “justice”, that is, Western justice. However when something worse than the Srebrenica “massacre” happened in Fallujah, it was described by Western leaders and their media accomplices as a “necessary step to hold elections and bring freedom and democracy” to Iraq.

    The Iraqi city was the subject of heavy US bombardments before and after the 2003 Occupation. In November 2004, US occupying forces embarked on “pacifying” the city of Fallujah in order to make an “example” of Western brutality. Water, food and electricity were cut off to the city of 300,000 citizens – in violation of the Geneva Conventions. The aim was to empty the city of its women, children, and the elderly while preventing the departure of able-bodied males from leaving, then US forces bombed the city with all the remaining civilians. Many people were able to leave, but others stayed in their homes and massacred by US forces.

    For several weeks, US forces bombed the city continuously, with deliberate violence that has been described as “war crimes”. …

    link to

    • Yeah, I reported on all that.

      What I said was that of the some 200,000 – 300,000 people in Falluja, most of them were allowed to leave before the invasion began. Perhaps a few hundred young men suspected of having blown up things in Baghdad were not, but most of the city left and was allowed to do so by the Marines. I contrasted this situation to that in Misrata, where Qaddafi’s forces have the city under siege, are not allowing people to leave, and are shelling civilian apartment buildings and using cluster bombs on non-combatants. My point was that first of all Saif Qaddafi should have his head examined for volunteering to compare what he is doing in Misrata to what happened in Falluja, but that even that comparison does not reflect well on the Qaddafis.

      • Dear Professor Cole,

        Your apologism here doesn’t hold up in relation to the facts reported above by your readers.

        Here you seem just as much an unrepentant advocate for American exceptionalism as G.W. Bush and Richard Cheney.

        Falluja was a war crime and a massacre.

        What is happening in Misrata while also a violation of the Geneva conventions is a materially less severe one.

  16. A small correction re: Grozny and Chechnya losses. An ex-post analysis in 2005, using 2002 Census results and several cross-checking methods, found (on Chechen-Ingush side) something like 16500 lost in action, 8500 civilians killed in action, and 40000 preliminary deaths due to worsening living conditions. These are the numbers for both wars. The analysis is here (sorry, only in Russian): link to

    No way the numbers you give regarding losses during 1995 Grozny attack could be correct or even close.

  17. I have to say that there is something very odd going on.
    This feels like the Twilight Zone. Who is behind the Candid Camera?

  18. Hi Professor Cole,

    This is a very important post, pulling off the genteel mask which Saif Qaddafi dons in public.

    Most of the atrocities committed by Saif Qaddafi are not even reported. In Austria in July 2007, a Ukrainian girl “fell” off a balcony at a private party at his residence in Vienna.

    Her death was reported, after Saif fled Austria. Heavy duty lobbyists were engaged to make sure charges were not filed.

    I can’t even find this in English language Google. But here’s the ORF (Austrian state broadcast report) on Saif Gaddafi and Ukrainian balcony death in Vienna.

    Amazing what money and threats can buy.

  19. the rebels leaders were all working for gadafi for the last 40 years,and they have corrupted the libyan people,vereyone in libya knows that they are thieves,and for your information ,a lot of the people in east libya are very extreme islamist,so you are replacing gadafi with islamists

  20. Great analysis. People seem to forget that the Lybians, originally protesters, faced a sophisticated military force composed of Lybians and mercenaries turned by the orders of one man on the civilian population. This means that a national defense force became a force of occupation. The Lybian regime recruited thousands of mercenaries because it did not have enough support from Libyans themselves. The civilians (called rebels by the media), as a result, had to ask for help from outsiders while having to take up arms. This is the story. Comparisons with Latinamerican ‘revolutions’ that never had the support of large sectors of the population, are not in place here. Historically, LatAm countries are republics,some like Argentina, with 200 years of history. Rocky? Yes. But the democratic spirit runs deep in LatAm countries despite all odds, so dictators were never able to completely overrun the republican institutions in place. Libya does not have that benefit. This is a 21st century popular uprising being crushed with disproportionate force by the likes described in the Professor’s article, whose impunity and sense of entitlement recall the bloody princes of Europe. I just cannot believe the entire world is not outraged by the bloody reality in Libya, especially when this is the first time a genocide is being watched in real time, filmed by the victims themselves, and shared with the whole world.

  21. “( Before the uprising, unemployment in Libya was estimated at 30%, and by some estimates a similar proportion was under the poverty line.)”

    Funny fact! North Korea has 80% under poverty line, and is a threat to the region. Luckily for them, they don’t have oil under the ground :-)

    Common senses still can’t come across for some people …

    • Not sure I’d exactly characterise North Korea as a threat to the region. They are a real nuisance for the South Koreans but no threat to the Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese or Vietnamese.

      Of course if we were stupid enough to provoke them to self-destruction, there’s be some nasty bombs exploding over Japan. If someone were to provoke Russia, America, France, Israel, the UK, India, Pakistan – it’s the same deal.

      Yet we don’t label most of those countries a threat to their region or the world.

Comments are closed.