Thursday, April 21, 2011

Escalation in Libya II

First we had the "military advisors" - foreign mercenaries - to help the Libyan rebels. Now we have the arms shipments:

The US plans to send $25m worth of non-lethal equipment to the rebel opposition in eastern Libya, in a move likely to further entangle the west in the two-month-old civil war.

The proposal to send surplus Pentagon equipment, including vehicles, medical supplies, protective vests, binoculars and radios, follows Italy's decision to join Britain and France in sending military advisers to the Libyan opposition and a French pledge to intensify air strikes.

This is of course illegal. The UN imposed an arms embargo on Libya through UN Security Council Resolution 1970 [PDF]. It forbids
the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya... of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, and technical assistance, training, financial or other assistance, related to military activities or the provision, maintenance or use of any arms and related materiel
There are limited exceptions for flak jackets and vehicles for use by aid agencies and media, but they certainly don't cover arming and equipping a rebel army.

The US voted for this resolution. Now, a little over a month later, they want to piss all over it. So much for international law.