No Fly Zone Enforcers: War Criminals?

Was anyone else as shocked as I in seeing video footage of smoldering tanks and military vehicles in Libya? I reasonably assume that coalition pilots were wholly responsible for the carnage as the rebels lack the weaponry or firepower to take out so many assets. The declared “No Fly Zone” has become a kill zone for Libyan soldiers loyal to Moammar Qaddafi.

Part of the United Nations Resolution states:

A no-fly zone is “an important element for the protection of civilians as well as the safety of the delivery of humanitarian assistance and a decisive step for the cessation of hostilities in Libya”.

It “demands the immediate establishment of a ceasefire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians” and “that the Libyan authorities comply with their obligations under international law … and take all measures to protect civilians and meet their basic needs, and to ensure the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance”.

According to internet media, A-10 Warthogs and AC-130 Spectre Gunships are assets being used against the Libyan Army.

If, according to the Pentagon, these aircraft are “not being used in direct support of the opposition” forces, did they just sent them there on target practice? No. The Pentagon may pretend that these airplanes are not providing close air support to the rebel forces but the fact is that, when you take one of Gaddafi’s tank out of the way, you are directly supporting the opposition. Perhaps not in a coordinated way, but in a definitive way nonetheless.

Not exactly in line with the UN Resolution. This begs the question: Without war being declared by the United States (or by NATO, bless Obama’s little heart), are American military personnel in danger of being charged with war crimes for acting outside the scope of UN Resolution 1973? What if a plane goes down and the crew is captured? Does Qaddafi get his show trial or summary execution of American Airmen?

I will also throw out another concern. The UN Resolution also includes verbiage to the effect that foreign troops on the ground are outside the scope of the Resolution. The coalition is authorized to “take all necessary measures … to protect civilians … under threat of attack … while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory”.

If you do not believe that U.S. military personnel are on the ground in Libya as I write this, you are so, so naive. There are spotters there from ANGLICO, or special ops guys, or CIA types, or U.S. Army Rangers, or Navy Seals. ON THE GROUND IN LIBYA. Because that is the way it is done.