Moral Low Ground


Shades of Belgrade ’99: NATO Attack on Libyan State TV Kills 3 Innocent Civilians

A NATO attack on Libyan state television headquarters has killed three innocent civilians and wounded at least 15 others, CNN reports.

The strike on the Libyan Broadcasting Authority occurred before dawn on Saturday. Khaled Bazelya, the director of state television’s English channel, called the attack “an act of international terrorism” and a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

“We are the employees of the official Libyan TV,” Bazelya told international reporters. “We are not a military target, we are not commanders in the army and we do not pose a threat to civilians. We are performing our job as journalists representing what we wholeheartedly believe is the reality of NATO’s aggression and the violence in Libya.”

NATO admitted responsibility for the strike, claiming its action was legitimate.

“The strike, performed by NATO fighter aircraft using state-of-the art precision guided munitions, was conducted in accordance with the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973, with the intent of degrading Gadhafi’s use of satellite television as a means to intimidate the Libyan people and incite acts of violence against them,” NATO said.

But one can only wonder what the reaction would be if Muammar Gaddafi’s forces somehow managed to blow up a television station in Paris, London or New York, being that media outlets in Western nations serve as propaganda tools that foment support for acts of violence against the Libyan government and nation.

The deadly attack was eerily reminiscent of NATO’s 1999 attack on Yugoslavia, during which the alliance intentionally bombed the headquarters of Serbian state television in Belgrade while some 200 employees were working there. At least 16 innocent civilians were killed, including cameramen, makeup artists and security guards. That strike occurred despite the fact that the building housing the TV station was located in a heavily populated area of downtown Belgrade and that a NATO planning document predicted up to 350 deaths in the event of such an attack, including 250 innocent men, women and children living in nearby apartment buildings.

Then, as now, NATO claimed that it was targeting the enemy’s propaganda machine. Then, as now, the attack was really meant to terrorize and demoralize civilians. Then, as now, NATO and its member states committed acts of state terrorism comparable to those being carried out by the “enemy.”

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