by Stephen Lendman
The peacekeepers are coming! The peacekeepers are coming! War, mass killing and destruction continue, but they’re coming!
In fact, paramilitaries are coming to kill and terrorize Libyans wanting liberation, not occupation.
A blind eye won’t notice mass rapes and sex trafficking, as well as other atrocities and crimes. They’re commonplace, in fact, when Blue Helmets show up, operating as they please with impunity. More on that below.
Moreover, when they come they don’t leave as long as imperial powers want them there. Citizens of occupied countries have no say nor any rights. Their choice is obey or else.
Libya’s corpse belongs to NATO. It’s now Libya, Inc. to be carved up for profit with paramilitaries deployed for enforcement.
Under the UN Charter, the Security Council may act to maintain international peace and security, including by deploying peacekeepers host countries request.
The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations then enlists member states to provide contingents once the Security Council approves.
In place, they’re supposed to restore order, monitor the withdrawal of combatants, maintain peace and security, build confidence, enforce power-sharing agreements, provide electoral support, aid reconstruction, uphold the rule of law, facilitate economic and social development, help provide essential needs, and remain in place until government officials take over on their own.
A previous article called them occupiers, serving power, not popular interests in Haiti, South Lebanon, Rwanda, Kosovo, Bosnia, DRC Congo, Sudan, Somalia, various other countries, and its initial UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) since 1948.
Like elsewhere, it, too, failed to bring peace to Palestine. Yet it’s still there, performing no active role. In fact, it opposes the interests of the people they’re sworn to protect.
Since 1948, dozens of “peacekeeping” missions did more harm than good. At present, 16 Blue Helmet operations are deployed on four continents. They include:
• UNMISS in South Sudan, beginning on July 9, 2011 after the country was balkanized as part of an imperial scheme to prevent African unity, and exploit its resources – mainly oil;
• UNISFA in Sudan’s Abysei region bordering the North and South, beginning on June 27, 2011;
• MONUSCO in the Democratic Republic of Congo, replacing an earlier MONUC operation on July 1, 2010;
• UNAMID in Darfur, beginning July 31, 2007;
• UNOCI in Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), beginning April 4, 2004;
• UNMIL in Liberia, beginning September 19, 2003;
• MINURSO in Western Sahara since 1991;
• UNMIT in Timor-Leste since 2006;
• UNMOGIP Observer Group in India and Pakistan since 1949;
• UNAMA (special political) Assistance Mission in Afghanistan since March 2011;
• UNFICYP in Cyprus since 1964;
• UNMIK in Kosovo since 1999;
• UNDOF in Golan since 1974;
• UNIFIL in Lebanon since 1978;
• UNTSO in Palestine since 1948; and
• MINUSTAH in Haiti since 2004 after US marines ousted democratically elected Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
From inception, it had no legitimacy. In fact, it was the first time UN occupiers enforced coup d’etat authority against an elected president, instead of staying out or backing his right to return.
MINUSTAH, in fact, symbolizes the sham hypocrisy of all Blue Helmet missions and why occupied people deplore them.
UNIFIL in Lebanon never established peace and security. It did little more than take up space or get out of the way when Israel attacked.
UNMIK in Kosovo hid the grim reality of NATO terror bombing, mass killing, destruction, and balkanization of Serbia.
In fact, it collaborated with Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) thugs, its leader Hashim Thaci, and their connection to organized crime. In January 2008, Thaci, in fact, became Kosovo’s illegitimate prime minister, a gangster running a rogue state.
MONUSCO in Congo never brought peace and security. It facilitated the plunder of Africa’s most resource-rich country. It did nothing to stop the immiseration of millions, nor was it deployed to do so.
Credible reports, in fact, linked Blue Helmet forces with mass rapes and other atrocities.
The same ugly story repeats wherever Blue Helmets show up. In December 2004, London Times reports suggested UN staffers committed 150 or more sex crimes, including selling pornographic videos and photos, images of their handiwork.
Congolese women and girls were raped. Congo’s Minister of Defense, Major General Jean Pierre Ondekane, said peacekeepers in Kisangani would be remembered “for running after little girls,” not doing their job.
Two or more UN officials left after impregnating local women. In fact, sex trafficking, abuse and rape are commonplace wherever Blue Helmets are deployed.
They have power. Occupied people don’t. Who’ll stop them no matter what they do. They take full advantage, terrorizing local people with impunity.
On November 5, 2009, the London Independent published Bradley Klapper’s AP report headlined, “Fifty UN peacekeepers punished for sex abuses,” saying:
At least 50 were involved in “committing sexual abuses (and exploitation) on United Nations missions since 2007, the UN said today.”
On February 10, 2009, New York Times writer Neil MacFarquhar headlined, “In Peacekeeping, a Muddling of the Mission,” saying:
Besides earlier failures, “the most noticeable (recent ones include) the inability of troops in Congo and the Darfur region of Sudan to stop the violence that is killing civilians.”
In Congo, for example, Blue Helmets near an area where 150 people were killed, “did not intervene,” citing reasons without credibility.
On September 7, 2011, MacFarquhar headlined, “Peacekeepers’ Sex Scandals Linger, On Screen and Off,” saying:
UN missions have a notorious history of “sex scandals from Bosnia to the Democratic Republic of Congo to Haiti….forc(ing) the United Nations to change the way it handles accusations of trafficking, rape and related crimes.”
This week, in fact, hundreds of angry Haitians demanded MINUSTAH forces leave after troops raped a teenage male.
Human rights experts and others accuse the UN of coverup and denial instead of strong disciplinary action against offenders.
In January 2009, Save the Children reported Blue Helmet abuses. They included trading food for sex with girls as young as eight in Liberia. Similar practices are common in Burundi, Ivory Coast, East Timor, DR Congo, Cambodia, and Bosnia. Various other reports cite sex with young girls, rape and trafficking.
On July 16, 2009, IPS writer Marina Litvinsky headlined, “Rape by Regular Army a Growing Problem, HRW (Human Rights Watch) Says,” stating:
In DR Congo alone, “tens of thousands of women and girls have suffered horrific acts of sexual violence at the hands of the government army,” according to a new report, titled “Soldiers Who Rape, Commanders Who Condone: Sexual Violence and Military Reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
Little is done to stop it or hold culpable peacekeepers accountable. As a result, Congolese women and girls are ravaged with impunity. So are others most everywhere peacekeepers show up.
As a result, people live in constant fear that forces allegedly sent to help them will inflict harm.
In September 2009, Kathleen M. Jennings and Vesna Nikolic-Rstanovic prepared the MICROCON (Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict) Research Working Paper 17, titled, “UN Peacekeeping Economies and Local Sex Industries: Connections and Implications.”
Examining Blue Helmet missions in Bosnia, Kosovo, Liberia, and Haiti, the paper examined “the interplay between the peacekeeping economy and the sex industry, including domestic sex work, trafficking for sexual exploitation, and sex tourism.”
Despite UN “zero tolerance,” officials haven’t stopped decades of serious abuses. According to MICROCON:
It “suggests that the existence and potential long-term perpetuation of a highly gendered peacekeeping economy threatens to undermine, if not actively contradict, the goals and objectives to gender roles and relations that are generally an implicit or explicit component of most contemporary peace operations.”
In fact, sex trafficking and exploitation is wide-ranging, including slavery and prostitution. The UN calls it “transactional sex,” involving peacekeepers.
In countries like Bosnia and Kosovo, “domestic sex work and sex trafficking have become a seemingly permanent part of the” economy. Their peacekeeping missions affect both supply and demand. They “effectively creat(e) avenues (for) trafficking of women for sexual exploitation into/through these areas.”
Organized crime also gets involved. The prevalence of rape and sex slavery increases. Women and young girls are brutally exploited, and “documented cases of UN soldiers (show) that, far from helping the victims,” they become clients or otherwise are implicated in the trade.
Former prisoners said they saw girls forced into UN vehicles and driven away. International military and civilian personnel are directly involved in the sex industry, including trafficking.
A 2002 Turin Conference on Trafficking, Slavery and Peacekeeping report said “peacekeepers are often part of the problem.” Connected to organized crime, it’s well known that human trafficking provides “an important revenue source.”
UN “zero tolerance” is more rhetoric than policy. Wherever they’re deployed, peacekeepers serve power, not populations they’re mandated to protect.
Libya Soon to Be Occupied
Libyans will now experience what other UN occupied countries fear. They already live through daily hell as war rages. Insurgents are murdering anyone thought to be pro-Gaddafi. Black African guest workers are especially vulnerable.
On September 15, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, Philip Gordon, gloated about another imperial trophy, saying:
The Libya operation is “in many ways a model on how the United States can lead the way that allows allows allies to support.”
“What is new about Libya is the approach that the United States would do an initial phase that only the United States could do, and then that Europeans were playing a leading role in certain aspects.”
In fact, Pentagon commanders are fully in charge. US forces continue playing a leading role without publicly “taking center stage.” In all wars involving America, it leads, never follows, or plays back seat to any other nation.
No matter who’s out in front publicly, Washington’s fully in charge. It didn’t matter that Cameron and Sarkozy showed up in Tripoli yesterday, not Obama. He did his gloating at home.
The British and French leaders did theirs at a press conference with National Transitional Council (NTC) puppet head Mustafa Jabril, a figurehead stooge for Washington.
Given continuing violence in the capital, they didn’t stay long. Heavy security also accompanied their arrival and departure. NTC officials said they’ll stay in Benghazi until NATO’s campaign ends.
However, it may not be over when it’s over. Divisions in the ranks of victors are emerging. Islamist leaders openly criticize Jabril. AP reported that Tripoli military council spokesman Anes Sharif called for his resignation, saying:
“He’s been living for the last six months outside the country. He is appointing people depending on their loyalty to him, not depending on their worth and their activities in the revolution. We think he’s a project for a new dictator.”
Muslim cleric Ali al-Sallabi made similar comments. So have others. On August 30, New York Times writers David Kirkpatrick and Rod Norland headlined, “Tripoli Divided as Rebels Jostle to Fill Power Vacuum,” saying:
“There are growing hints of rivalry among the various brigades over who deserves credit for ‘liberating’ the city and the influence it might bring.”
Open divisions within rebel leadership ranks emerged, “but also between secularists and Islamists.”
Internal power struggles “illustrate the challenge a new provisional government will face in trying to unify Libya’s fractious political landscape.”
Given considerable tribal influence, greater fissures may emerge for something much different than what Washington has in mind, and for sure ordinary Libyans who yearn for former peace and stability under Gaddafi.
Moreover, Islamists and secularists have conflicting visions of a new Libya. Abdel Hakim Belhaj, a former Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) Al Qaeda leader/now CIA asset heading rebel forces in Tripoli, openly criticized Jabril. A close aid said he’ll “be gone soon.”
Ali Sallabi, Etilaf head, an Islamist umbrella group, called for his resignation, accusing him and other NTC officials of planned profiteering and “a new era of tyranny and dictatorship.”
On September 14, Times writers Kirkpatrick and Norland headlined, “Islamists Growing Sway Raises Questions for Libya,” saying:
At issue is “the ultimate character of the government and society that will rise in place of (Gaddafi).”
Likely conflict-producing power struggles may prove more troublesome than whether secularists or Islamists prevail. In various countries, Washington has allies in both camps. At issue only is if they’re client or independent states. Gaddafi’s “sin” was the latter.
Whoever finally takes charge, protracted conflict will continue after NATO declares victory and stops bombing.
So far it continues unabated. According to Cameron, “We must keep up with the NATO mission until civilians are all protected and this work is finished.”
Given the massive death and injury toll, there may not be many left or a Libya fit to live in when terror bombing and rebel rampaging ends.
Nonetheless, Sarkozy said, “We have done what we did because we thought it was the right thing to do.”
They committed grievous crimes of war and against humanity. It’s ongoing serial killing on an industrial scale.
It won’t stop across the region soon. According to General Carter Ham, AFRICOM commander, new campaigns ahead are planned to control all Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.
As a result, expect NATO’s killing machine to select new countries to destroy as part of its “responsibility to protect humanitarian mission.”
In fact, it’s to colonize and exploit the entire area, carving it up for profit.
Like Afghans and Iraqis, Libyans know what happens when NATO shows up. At least, those still alive can explain it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.