Grad rockets fired indiscriminately into populated areas by Kiev regime – a war crime NATO has condemned before, but only when politically convenient.
“The Grad rocket cannot be targeted, so shooting it into a town full of civilians, with no specific military objective, violates the laws of war.” These words were found in a 2011 Human Rights Watch (HRW) document titled, “Libya: Rocket Attacks on Western Mountain Towns – Grads Striking Civilian Areas,” one of many reports ceaselessly cited by the United Nations and in turn, NATO as part of justifying a military intervention in the North African nation.
At the time, accusations of indiscriminate bombardment of populated areas by air and artillery, and the use of punitive squads to detain, beat, torture, and/or arbitrary arrest citizens served as the rhetorical and legal foundation of NATO’s “humanitarian war.”
In fact, the text of UN Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973 sound like in fiction, what is taking place verbatim before the eyes of the world in Ukraine today:
Deploring the gross and systematic violation of human rights, including the repression of peaceful demonstrators, expressing deep concern at the deaths of civilians, and rejecting unequivocally the incitement to hostility and violence against the civilian population made from the highest level of the Libyan government.
Stressing the need to hold to account those responsible for attacks, including by forces under their control, on civilians.
Yet even in 2011, after NATO succeeded in passing its resolutions, it itself promptly violated them both by arming terrorists and targeting the Libyan government in what was clearly not the mere implementation of a “no-fly-zone” but rather a proxy war waged by NATO in the air and its terrorist forces on the ground fought to carry out regime change in favor of Western interests. So flagrantly did the West abuse the cause of human rights to advance its own insidious political agenda that it permanently undermined the West’s ability to again cite “human rights” to likewise invade and overthrow the government of Syria next.
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It is no surprise then, that even with the same international organizations like Human Rights Watch meticulously documenting, almost verbatim the same crimes against humanity NATO cited in its intervention in Libya, now taking place in Ukraine perpetrated by the regime in Kiev, NATO is not only disinterested in “intervening” to stop them, but is in fact, the principle sponsor facilitating Kiev’s war upon the Ukrainian people.
Indeed, in HRW’s report titled, “Ukraine: Unguided Rockets Killing Civilians – Stop Use of Grads in Populated Areas,” it is stated explicitly that (emphasis added):
The use of indiscriminate rockets in populated areas violates international humanitarian law, or the laws of war, and may amount to war crimes.
Grads are unguided rockets that cannot be targeted accurately, and are often fired in salvos from multi-barrel rocket launchers to saturate a wide area. Human Rights Watch called on all parties to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, particularly Ukrainian government forces, to stop using Grad rockets in or near populated areas because of the likelihood of killing and wounding civilians. Insurgent forces should minimize the risk to civilians under their control by avoiding deploying forces and weapons in densely populated areas.
HRW the goes on to document its investigation into several incidents in which Kiev and its indiscriminate use of grad rockets on populated areas left scores of dead civilians in their wake. HRW also notes that the Kiev regime has denied both specific attacks and the general tactic of using grad rockets despite HRW monitors observing otherwise.
To make matters worse, HRW’s conclusions in Libya generally were predicated upon interviews of “witnesses” and even second-hand reports from dubious anti-government political groups. In Ukraine, HRW is observing first hand the use of this weapon system on Ukraine’s population – to which NATO has responded with only additional, stalwart support for the perpetrators.
In addition to grad rockets, the regime in Kiev has also deployed immense ballistic missiles topped with 1,000 pound (450kg) warheads against its own population. CNN had reported not only Kiev’s use of OTR-21 Tochka ballistic missiles, but also the fact that Kiev’s NATO backers had refused to disclose additional information about the atrocity amid a blatant cover up. Several analysts interviewed by CNN noted the bias the West was exhibiting by neither exposing the atrocity nor condemning the Kiev regime for it.
In sharp contrast, many may remember the feigned indignation of the West when allegedly the Libyan government fired Scud missiles during the closing days of the Libyan conflict. According to the Telegraph in its article, “Col Gaddafi fires scud missile at rebel territory as Nato braces itself for final violent showdown,” one Western official claimed:
That it didn’t hit anything or kill anyone is not the point. It’s a weapon of mass destruction that Col Gaddafi is willing to train on his own people.
For NATO and its stable of media outfits and politicians, Libya’s use of ballistic missiles was considered the use of “weapons of mass destruction” against Libya’s “own people,” while Ukraine’s use of ballistic missiles is a matter to be covered up and spun.
Such a revelation regarding NATO’s response to blatant war crimes by its proxy regime in Kiev from CNN – a Western corporate media outlet – illustrates that not only is Kiev committing in reality the atrocities NATO cited in fiction to justify its intervention in Libya, but also that NATO itself is helping Kiev continue committing these war crimes. By providing Kiev with both political impunity and direct material support that has incrementally expanded since the conflict began earlier this year, such atrocities will only escalate as hostilities grind on.
The West’s constant deferral to “international norms” when condemning the actions it provokes of other nations through its own belligerence reveals the depths of hypocrisy and depravity within which Western foreign policy dwells. If what the West practices, including the selective enforcement and violation of human rights whenever it suits its political agenda constitutes “international norms,” then perhaps it is time for new “norms.”
Tony Cartalucci maintains the Land Destroyer Report and is an independent American geopolitical analyst based in Thailand.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.