The Tragedy of the Libyan Boat People and the American Media

Posted by John Rosenthal

Last Thursday, hundreds of refugees fleeing Libya were rescued by the Italian coast guard from a stranded boat some 90 miles off the coast of Lampedusa. According to survivors, dozens of other refugees died on the boat. The incident was briefly covered by American news organizations, but only in such a way as to minimize [...]

Italian Report: US Pressured Berlusconi to Support Libya Campaign

Posted by John Rosenthal

Back in late March, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the U.S. had been asked to intervene in Libya by NATO allies, including Italy. Now, however, according to revelations in Il Corriere della Sera, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has confided to colleagues that Italy was in fact pressured to participate in the Libya [...]

A Political Court: The ICC, Gaddafi, and Libyan Rebel War Crimes

Posted by John Rosenthal

Last month, to much fanfare, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Muammar al-Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, and Libyan military intelligence chief Abdullah Al-Senussi. ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo had filed an application for the warrants in May. Among those celebrating the court’s decision was, of course, the Libyan opposition’s National Transitional [...]

Libya: Rebels Have Weapons, But Do They Know How to Use Them?

Posted by John Rosenthal

Yesterday, the French daily Le Figaro revealed that France has been air-dropping armaments to Libyan rebel forces to the south of Tripoli in the Nafusa mountain region….But a report today in the daily Libération gives reason to wonder if the rebels have the training necessary to use the weapons that they have been given. See [...]

Libya: Paris Arming Rebels for Assault on Tripoli

Posted by John Rosenthal

According to an article in the Wednesday edition of the French daily Le Figaro, France is arming rebel forces to the south of Tripoli in the hope of facilitating a rebel assault on the Libyan capital. Never mind that UN Security Council Resolution 1973 includes an embargo on arms shipments to Libya… See my new [...]

Libya: Is an Oil Refinery Cafeteria a Legitimate Military Target?

Posted by John Rosenthal

In an article in Monday’s edition of the Italian daily Il Corriere della Sera, correspondent Lorenzo Cremonesi reports from what he describes as the former cafeteria of the oil refinery in the Libyan coastal city of Brega: “former” because, according to Cremonesi’s report, it was hit twice over the weekend by NATO missiles. See my [...]

Amnesty International Official: No Evidence of ‘Mass Rape’ in Libya

Posted by John Rosenthal

In an interview with the French daily Libération, Amnesty International official Donatella Rovera has cast doubt on widely-publicized charges that Libyan government troops loyal to Muammar al-Gaddafi have engaged in mass rape or even used rape as a “weapon of war.” For a translation of her remarks, see my new post at Big Peace here.

French Expert Mission Highlights Al-Qaeda Role in Libyan Rebellion

Posted by John Rosenthal

A new report from two French think tanks concludes that jihadists have played a predominant role in the eastern-Libyan rebellion against the rule of Moammar Qaddafi, and that “true democrats” represent only a minority in the rebellion. The report, furthermore, calls into question the justifications given for Western military intervention in Libya, arguing that they [...]

What is a “Supporting Role”? America in the Libyan War

Posted by John Rosenthal

On Tuesday, NATO aircraft pounded Tripoli in what is reported to have been the heaviest bombing of the Libyan capital since the initiation of western airstrikes in March. The onslaught raises numerous questions about America’s role in the Libyan war. See my new post on Big Peace here.

Questions for John McCain

Posted by John Rosenthal

On a visit to Benghazi, Senator John McCain’s called the Libyan rebels his “heroes.” Pajamas Media editor David Steinberg has had the excellent idea of seeking comment from the senator’s office on the extensive video evidence of atrocities committed by his “heroes.” While one is at it, the senator should probably also be reminded that barely a year [...]