(CNS) At least 40 civilians killed in ‘humanitarian’ airstrikes, bishop says

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At least 40 Libyan civilians have been killed as a consequence of airstrikes carried out by the United States and other Western powers, the leading church official in Libya said.

"The so-called humanitarian raids have caused dozens of victims among civilians in some areas of Tripoli," the Libyan capital, Bishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, the apostolic vicar of Tripoli, told the Vatican's missionary news agency Fides March 31.

"I gathered testimony from trustworthy people. In particular, in the neighborhood of Buslim, the bombardments caused the collapse of a civilian residence building, resulting in the deaths of 40 people," Bishop Martinelli said.

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Posted March 31, 2011 at 5:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Cennydd13 wrote:

I don’t know of any war in which the U.S. has fought in which there have been no civilian casualties…..no collateral damage.  War is not clean; no war ever is, and to think that war can be fough cleanly is a pipedream.  It is an unavoidable fact that in war, non-combatants are going to be hurt or killed, no matter how hard we try to prevent that from happening.

March 31, 7:41 pm | [comment link]
2. drjoan wrote:

Especially when the non-combatants are rounded up to protect military targets!

March 31, 8:47 pm | [comment link]
3. Cennydd13 wrote:

As Qadaffi has done.

March 31, 9:24 pm | [comment link]
4. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

Bishop Martinelli, who has called for mediation by the African Union in the conflict, has been critical of the military operation launched by the United States, France and Great Britain in support of rebels seeking to oust Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

There is a basic error in this report on Bishop Martinelli by CNS: the military operation was not launched “in support of rebels seeking to oust” the Libyan leader; it was launched to protect civilians under attack by the forces of the Libyan leader pursuant to UNSCR 1973.

It would be helpful to find out a bit more about Bishop Martinelli, and the sources for this information which contradicts that from both the US and other coalition militaries.  With the exception of one woman with an injury, the regime have so far been unable to demonstrate civilian casualties caused by the military action, although there are an estimated 8,000 caused by the military action against civilians undertaken by the Libyan regime; and then there are the eerily empty towns and cities which they have ‘cleansed’ by Gaddaffi’s forces after they were overrun.

March 31, 10:36 pm | [comment link]
5. Caedmon wrote:

There you go, Pageantmaster:

Your War.

April 1, 2:22 am | [comment link]
6. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

Not one of the dozens of countries in the coalition enforcing UNSCR 1973 has declared war Caedmon.  It is an enforcement action of a UNSC resolution to protect civilians from massacre.

April 1, 5:56 am | [comment link]
7. Br. Michael wrote:

6, please be honest.  Things are being blown up and people killed.  It is a war.  “Enforcement action” my foot.

April 1, 7:08 am | [comment link]
8. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

#7 Accurate use of language is important.  Enforcement of UN resolutions is not a declaration of war.  There is certainly military action, but ‘war’ is a defined word, although it is certainly capable of other colloquial usage.  It seems to me that part of the attempt in the US to replace the definition with a colloquial usage is driven by political considerations: define what is going on as WAR without a declaration, in order to attack your President for not getting a Congressional approval of a declaration of war.

That is of course a matter for you, but it does not mean your usage of the term war is either accurate, or followed by anybody else in the world, as evinced by the fact that nobody else has ‘declared war’ either, when contributing to the coalition effort.  Turkey, Britain, Qatar, Denmark, Norway, Spain, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, and so on are not at war, and none of them have or will declare war, because that is not what is going on as war is defined in international law.  But then I suppose the same people saying that the US is at war will also claim that international law and the United Nations do not exist.

April 1, 8:15 am | [comment link]
9. Br. Michael wrote:

Right.  Korea was a “police action” not a war.  Likewise Vietnam was a “police action” not a war.  Fine, use all the euphemisms you want.  If it is not a war then I am neither obligated to support this “kinetic military action” nor the troops who carry it out.  If it is not war then it is illegal military action.  If it is not war then the regularized rules of war do not apply.

April 1, 8:30 am | [comment link]
10. Branford wrote:

“Kinetic military action” is what we call it here - anything but “war” - but not matter what it is, it falls under our War Powers Act, so we shall see at some point what Congress says. That said, the fact that no one really knows who the rebels are is extremely troubling.

April 1, 9:54 am | [comment link]
11. evan miller wrote:

However regretable, such things happen in war, and by whatever name we choose to call this, military action between nations is war.

April 1, 11:43 am | [comment link]
12. Cennydd13 wrote:

When someone shoots at someone else, it’s an ambush…..an attempted murder.  When soldiers shoot at someone, it’s called an act of war.  When a nation’s leaders start killing their own people, that’s called civil war in the form of murder, and when the people who are being killed by their nation’s leaders start calling for international assistance in stopping the killing, others call it ‘illegal war’ when that help results in unfortunate civilians being injured or killed because of their presence in the zone of hostilities.  War is immoral when it’s waged for the wrong reasons, but we so often say that it’s moral when it’s being fought to save lives and free a people from despotic rule and for the right reasons.  I would rather err on the side of those fighting to save the lives of the persecuted innocents, and I will let God be the judge of my actions…..and no one else.

April 1, 12:33 pm | [comment link]
13. Caedmon wrote:

I believe “kenetic action” is the other euphemism used.  Sort of like how increased taxation is called “investments.”

Michael Schuerer obliterates the war’s cheerleaders on CNN:


April 1, 1:44 pm | [comment link]
14. Sick & Tired of Nuance wrote:

6. Pageantmaster wrote:

Not one of the dozens of countries in the coalition enforcing UNSCR 1973 has declared war Caedmon.  It is an enforcement action of a UNSC resolution to protect civilians from massacre.

So when will we start bombing the rebel forces that are rounding up and killing pro-Kaddafi civilians?


Of course, our political class and their toady media sychophants aren’t reporting about THAT.  Oh, no…that doesn’t fit the pre-selected narrative.

Impeach Obama.

April 1, 7:01 pm | [comment link]
15. Sick & Tired of Nuance wrote:

Spoo!  “Gaddafi”

April 1, 7:04 pm | [comment link]
16. Alta Californian wrote:

Conservatives opposed to a war?  Honey, get the camera!

April 1, 11:37 pm | [comment link]
17. carl wrote:

16. Alta Californian

Conservatives opposed to a war?  Honey, get the camera!

Of course.  After all, conservatives make up a disproportionate share of the people who actually join the organizations that fight.  You don’t find too many liberals in Uniform.  They seem to have other priorities.


April 2, 12:03 am | [comment link]
18. Br. Michael wrote:

To reinforce 14:

If I recall correctly, we went into Libya — or, at any rate, over Libya — to stop the brutal Qaddafi dictatorship killing the Libyan people. And thanks to our efforts a whole new mass movement of freedom-loving democrats now has the opportunity to kill the Libyan people. As the Los Angeles Times reported from Benghazi, these democrats are roaming the city “rousting Libyan blacks and immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa from their homes and holding them for interrogation as suspected mercenaries or government spies.” According to the New York Times, “Members of the NATO alliance have sternly warned the rebels in Libya not to attack civilians as they push against the regime of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.” We dropped bombs on Qaddafi’s crowd for attacking civilians, and we’re prepared to do the same to you! “The coalition has told the rebels that the fog of war will not shield them from possible bombardment by NATO planes and missiles, just as the regime’s forces have been punished.”
So, having agreed to be the Libyan Liberation Movement Air Force, we’re also happy to serve as the Qaddafi Last-Stand Air Force. Say what you like about Barack Obama, but it’s rare to find a leader so impeccably multilateralist he’s willing to participate in both sides of a war. It doesn’t exactly do much for holding it under budget, but it does ensure that for once we’ve got a sporting chance of coming out on the winning side. If a coalition plane bombing Qaddafi’s forces runs into a coalition plane bombing the rebel forces, are they allowed to open fire on each other? Or would that exceed the U.N. resolution?


April 2, 9:01 am | [comment link]
19. Br. Michael wrote:

Lest Obama get all the credit for the Libyan disaster I commend the following:

John McCain, Joseph Lieberman, and Lindsey Graham are the Senate’s most energetic proponents of sinking the nation ever deeper into the Libyan morass. In a joint interview on Fox last weekend, Senators McCain (R., Ariz.) and Lieberman (I., Conn.) were breathless in their rendering of the “freedom fighters” and the “Arab Spring” of spontaneous “democracy.” Friday they upped the ante with a Wall Street Journal op-ed, rehearsing yet again what an incorrigible thug Qaddafi is and how “we cannot allow [him] to consolidate his grip” on parts of Libya that he still controls.
But what about their own blundering? The senators most strident about the purported need to oust Qaddafi, to crush his armed forces, and to kill him if that’s what it takes to empower the rebels, are the very senators who helped fortify Qaddafi’s military and tighten the despotic grip of which they now despair.

There is more, a lot more, and it makes for fascinating reading.

April 2, 9:28 am | [comment link]
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