Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:
After assuming command of NATO in 1950, then General Eisenhower said “If in 10 years, all American troops stationed in Europe for national defense purposes have not been returned to the United States, then this whole project will have failed.” The Cold War is over. NATO has long outlived its original purpose.The old system of alliances does little to do to protect sovereign nations, and instead gives more ability to industrialized, wealthier nations to exploit weaker States. Even NATO actions that are done under the guise of “humanitarian intervention” often have catastrophic consequences for the local population. As so many of these interventions have included bombing campaigns, civilian casualties are high. Often, NATO forces have used weapons banned by the Geneva Conventions, including depleted uranium and cluster bombs. Both of these weapons have long lasting and disastrous consequences for a local civilian population long after combat ends and forces withdraw.
Cluster bombs are particularly dangerous long after conflicts end. The weapon explodes midair and scatters up to 200 bomblets over an area and remain unexploded until someone or something comes in contact with them. In 2001, the BBC reported cluster munitions United States forces used in areas in Afghanistan were similar in appearance to “emergency food parcels wrapped in yellow plastic” U.S. Planes had been dropping and villagers had difficulty distinguishing the two. NATO used cluster munitions in the conflict in Yugoslavia and reports have indicated their use in Libya as well. Evidence also suggests the use of depleted uranium by NATO forces in both these conflicts.
In general, airstrikes of any kind cause scores of civilian casualties. An Amnesty International report found in at least 5 separate airstrikes, dozens of civilians — many of which were children — were killed and many more injured. Ali Ali Hamed Gafez, lost his daughter, niece, her three children, and several other relatives, in an airstrike which struck his home in Majer in August of 2011. His wife managed to survive, though had to have her leg amputated. Gafez told Amnesty “My home became a graveyard for my family and until today neither NATO nor the NTC have even contacted us, not even to say sorry or to ask about the victims. We have been forgotten.” As of March 2012, NATO has yet to contact any of the survivors of the strikes in Libya.
Read the full post at Diatribe Media