Twelve days ago, the UN Commissioner for Human Rights condemned the Libyan government’s repeated attacks on civilians and civilian facilities in Misrata and warned that these attacks could be treated as criminal.
“Under international law,” said Commissioner Navi Pillay, “the deliberate targeting of medical facilities is a war crime, and the deliberate targeting or reckless endangerment of civilians may also amount to serious violations of international human rights law or international humanitarian law.”
Commissioner Navi is absolutely right. Under Section II, Article 85, item 3a of the 1977 Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949: “grave breaches of this Protocol” include “making the civilian population or individual civilians the object of attack.”
This protocol, we might say, is precisely what justifies our own actions in the Libyan conflict. Officially, the only reason for which we launched our attacks on Libya, and for which we now support the NATO airstrikes against it, is to protect its civilian population.
Many suspect that NATO is seeking to assassinate Muammar Gaddafi and will not hesitate to kill civilians in pursuing this end. Last night, a NATO airstrike on the Tripoli home of his youngest son, Seif al-Arab Moammar Gaddafi, failed to hit Gaddafi himself but killed Seif along with three of Gaddafi’s grandchildren.
Can anyone explain to me why this NATO airstrike on the house of Seif Gaddafi did not recklessly endanger the lives of his children, or why the children of Seif Gaddafi are not protected by the 1977 Protocol to the Geneva Conventions, let alone by our official “mission” to protect the civilian population of Libya?
I also have another question. How many more Libyan children are we willing to kill?….The article continues on the Huffington Post