By Reid J. Epstein
NATO commanders who authorized the Libya bombing campaign should be
“held accountable” to international law and hauled before the world
court for civilian deaths, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) said Tuesday.
“NATO’s top commanders may have acted under color of international
law, but they are not exempt from international law,” Kucinich said in a
statement released by his office. “If members of the Qadhafi regime are
to be held accountable, NATO’s top commanders must also be held
accountable through the International Criminal Court for all civilian
deaths resulting from bombing. Otherwise, we will have witnessed the
triumph of a new international gangsterism.”
Kucinich, who in March suggested President Barack Obama’s authorizing
of airstrikes on Libya were “an impeachable offense” and sponsored a
July measure to defund the military effort there, criticized what he
called an evolving rationale for the NATO offensive.
The seven-term Cleveland congressman released his statement just as
forces loyal to Qadhafi appeared to have abandoned their defense of his
heavily fortified Tripoli compound. It was not clear where Qadhafi is,
though a Russian chess official said he spoke with the dictator and
reported he remains in the capital.
“The reasons for the U.S./NATO intervention in Libya keep changing,”
he said. “First, it was about the potential for a massacre in Benghazi.
When the massacre did not materialize and once the war against Libya was
under way, the reasons for intervention changed.”
And Kucinich questioned the motivation behind U.S. intervention in Libya.
“Was the United States, through participation in the overthrow of the
regime, furthering the aims of international oil corporations in
pursuit of control over one of the world’s largest oil resources?” he
asked. “Did the United States at the inception of the war against Libya
align itself with elements of Al Qaeda, while elsewhere continuing to
use the threat of Al Qaeda as a reason for U.S. military intervention,
presence and occupation?”