edits May 16
Note: Mixed sarcasm and other sharp verbal tools below, with spots of meltdown. Proceed with caution.
The UK Telgraph the other day reported on a troubling new tactic from Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi:
In a sign that the regime is trying to force a refugee crisis as a weapon against its NATO enemies, almost 1,900 people from Libya arrived in five boats on the Italian islands of Lampedusa and Linosa this weekend alone. Another vessel sank – bringing the total lost to four boats. Hundreds of bodies are now washing ashore...It’s like the human shields he's always used everyone as, but used in an offensive capacity! It’s about time the West took seriously the threat posed by this madman and his refugee-generating ... madness.
Here's how it worked: His repression caused protesters to suddenly be able to take over half the country in about two days. It also forced them to decide every black man they saw was an “African mercenary.” hired by Gaddafi to rape their women and "detract" them. Probably hundreds of black Libyans and foreign workers were lynched in a variety of ways, while others escaped by loudly joining the rebels, by hiding, or by fleeing for refuge in regular Libya, or further afield yet. Most of the displaced African workers seeking to escape are in rebel held-areas, but as we've seen, the fault clearly lies with Gaddafi.
There's an air embargo over Libya for unclear reasons, so no one - military, civilian, or otherwise, can fly into, within, or our of the nation, except foreign military forces. This is the UN's doing, but as usual, it's Gaddafi's fault ultimately. So now the people he's forcing to flee have to do so by land or by sea.
Hundreds of these African workers sat in a makeshif camp at the rebel-held but surrounded port of Misrata for weeks before being shipped out in trickles. This was occasionally managed on European aid and evacuation ships that were also assisting the rebels and trying to ignore the nefarious government of Libya. This had put a no-sail-without-inspection zone, an unheard of measure over the port (I mean really, what government, even in war time demands to inspect incoming ship cargo?). So despite the occasional "enforcement" shelling, the rebels in charge and the ship's crews would decide what comes off the ships and who goes on. The government occasionally force an early departure, which tends to leave some people behind.
That's Misrata, and in other ports like Benghazi or Derna, there's no conceivable government hand in such things. All of this would make the flood of refugees not entirely Gaddafi’s doing. But apparently, the Libyan government does run the boats in question . As the Telegraph says:
“Some of the refugees said they were forced on to the boats by Libyan troops and police, the International Organisation for Migration reported.”Huh! That could only mean Gaddafi, and there finally is proof this is crime against humanity #4,408. One terrifying variant of this is how “others were given free passage, in contrast to the normal practice where migrants are charged fortunes for the crossing.” That bastard, usually! And in this case too!
And if the sinkings are purposeful, as the article faintly suggests, these must be regime-controlled ships, with bombs built in to rupture them near shore and flood Italy with corpses. It’s a tactic as old as war itself, except the article did note the bodies were "washing ashore along the Libyan coast." Surely a warning to others that there is no escape. That's crime 4,411.
So the bodies aren't being sent to Italy so much just yet, but it’s believed Gaddafi has long-range artillery capable of catapulting baskets of burned refugees, or of limbs severed from children, all the way to any city in southern Europe. Unless the people there want to see that, they had better support the war effort to just get rid of this insane tyrant before he does something else ridiculously evil.
And he might have already. Another Telegraph article adds two new twists, without quite specifying either one as Gaddafi crimes against Humanity. One point is only suggested in the accompanying photograph. It shows coast-guard men rescuing some of these weaponized people hurled against Europe's rocky shore. The workers are wearing all but hazmat suits to guard against germs. This might well mean the authorities secretly know the refugees are ill with something contagious, probably injected by Gaddafi, making this a biological weapons attack on Europe to boot! Human shield bio-weapons! Some are children! He's just crazy enough to do it, someone stop him! That's crime #4,437!
And the other twist is the chilling story told by a 16 year old boy on one of these refugee boats. It was probably a Gaddafi-run one, since evil occurred. Some Nigerians on board were spooked enough by bad weather and rough seas to throw a couple people overboard, as a sacrifice to the sea gods. The witness might thank them he reached shore alive, but he thinks that would have happened anyway, and one of the vitims was his brother. He also reported numerous rapes of female passengers, and it might have been by escaping Gaddafi mercenaries on Viagra and Scotch. Either way, none of this would have have happened without the base fact, as the Telegraph points out this is all happening "as the conflict in North Africa has escalated," which we know is all Gaddafi’s fault.
All these atrocities are surely in preparation for the tyrant’s final act, when a bomb finally manages to kill him, in whatever obvious command and control facility he’s in that day. Imagined intelligence officials tell me that in that case, he plans to use his own guts – intestinal shields if you will – to gunk up the bomb. That’s clearly a final crime against humanity, as that bomb will be property of some NATO country, and in the service of UNSC Resolution 1973 for protecting civilians. The evil bastard will be in violation for attacking his own people, right to the very end.
Lord help us. Why haven't we done it already? Do we lack moral clarity, or what?