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Sunday, July 10, 2011


"NATO says..."

More NATO bombs fall on Libya, and, at least one news outlet picks a good picture to accompany their story. But the story, which is an AP story, asserts about the site which was bombed:
Government troops used the missile site outside the rebel-held port city of Misrata to fire indiscriminately on civilians in the area, NATO said.
Yes, "NATO said." But was it true? Did we get to read "...but AP could not verify this claim"? Of course not.

And again, what is the truth? Let's consult another source which is hardly likely to be sympathetic to the Libyan government - the Voice of America. Here's their story from July 5:

At least 11 Libyan rebels have been killed in clashes with pro-government forces near the opposition-held city of Misrata....more than 40 rebels have been wounded.
And July 8:
Medical sources say at least two rebels were killed in the shelling of the western city that has been under siege for months.
Now don't you think that if there were any chance they could label the dead as "civilians," they would have?

Here's one of the only sources I could find which seems to offer proof of such "indiscriminate bombing," claiming that "Day and night attacks from Grad ground-to-ground rockets claim victims indiscriminately. The hospitals are overwhelmed, attending to an average of 70 casualties a day." Really? And VOA isn't reporting that? They also report: "About 1200 of the city's inhabitants have been killed and more than 8000 injured. Hospital staff say that about 40 per cent are civilians." But who is a "civilian"? A doctor who is likely the source of the reporter's information says: "For me all of them are civilians because even those who take a gun are businessmen, engineers, students - none of us are soldiers." Well, on the one hand, he's certainly correct. Which points out why, in a civil war like this, the correct terms should be "combatants" and "non-combatants." Clearly, killing combatants, be they civilians or uniformed soldiers, is "acceptable" behavior (to the extent that any war or any killing is acceptable) and of a different character than killing non-combatants. But given that clarification, the numbers are still suspect. Obviously, some non-combatants have been killed, as always happens. But are they being killed by "indiscriminate bombing," as "NATO says"? Based even on reports from U.S. government-friendly media, I see no evidence of that.

And, as a counterpart to the picture of the Washington, D.C. demonstration which accompanies the first article linked above, here's a video of yesterday's action in San Francisco:

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