NATO’s war on Libya didn’t the Brits any love

Consider the following video, capturing any attack on tombstones of graves of Allied soldiers killed in North Africa in World War II:

Details from the BBC:

Attacks on the graves of British servicemen in Benghazi, Libya, have been described as “horrific” by Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt.

The Foreign Office said 200 graves and a Cross of Remembrance were damaged at the Benghazi British Military Cemetery.

The Benghazi War Cemetery was also targeted. Both cemeteries commemorate British and Commonwealth nationals who died during or after World War II.

The Libyan authorities apologised and pledged to catch those responsible.

The damage was “unethical, irresponsible and criminal”, the ruling National Transitional Council said.

Read the rest.

Consider too another story from David Zucchino, published last July in the Los Angeles Times:

Every morning, Salah Fatour is at his post with his worn rake and wheelbarrow, tending the garden of the dead.

In a city besieged by war, he finds peace among the graves of a long-ago conflict. He steps gently around the whitewashed tombstones, pulling a weed, caressing a flower, careful not to disturb the souls of soldiers who died on foreign soil seven decades ago.

Fatour, his rough hands calloused from raking, performs the sacred duties once carried out by his father, who tended the Benghazi War Cemetery for three decades after World War II. Fatour, who was born at the cemetery, has maintained it for 25 years, preserving the memories of the dead.

“I didn’t know them, but I feel that I know them very well now because I’m with them every day,” he says.

The cemetery memorializes 1,214 Commonwealth soldiers, many of whom died in the brutal desert battles the Allies fought with the Desert Fox, German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, and his Afrika Korps for supremacy in North Africa. Most were terribly young — 19, 20, 22 — eager Brits and Scots and Aussies and Canadians and South Africans who fought and died in the sands.

Read the rest.

So throughout the regime of Moammar Gaddafi, the graves were respected. Then NATO wages war, Gaddafi is killed, and the graves are desecrated.

And then there’s the arrests of a pair of British journalists in Libya, where they’re beinig held on suspicion of espionage.

From Chris Stephen of The Guardian:

Two British journalists arrested last month by a Libyan militia group in a direct challenge to the authority of the country’s new government have been accused of spying.

The militia staged a late-night press conference in a Tripoli hotel to unveil what they said was evidence of improper activities.

Gareth Montgomery-Johnson, 36, and reporter Nicholas Davies, 37, who work for Iran’s state-owned Press TV, were arrested 23 February by a Misrata militia based in Tripoli.

Dr Suleiman Fortia, a Misratan member of Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council, said the militia had government authority to hold the men because they represented the “February 17 Revolution”, the date on which Libya’s revolution began last year.

“We are all part of the government, the militias and government are together,” said Fortia. “Intelligence services around the world have the authority to hold onto suspects while they are investigating them.” He cited the example of Tripoli’s militia commander, Abdul Hakim Bilhaj, who was detained by the United States in 2004 accused of terrorism in an operation Bilhaj has said Britain was complicit.

Read the rest.

So why precisely did the British government lead the charge into war? To win friends and influence people?


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