Category Archives: Libya

Hillary Laughed ‘I Came He Died’

The Reckless Lies of War Mongers: Why the Rise of Fascism is Again the Issue

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/02/27/why-the-rise-of-fascism-is-again-the-issue/

Weekend Edition Feb 27-Mar 01, 2015

The Reckless Lies of War Mongers: Why the Rise of Fascism is Again the Issue

by JOHN PILGER

The recent 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz was a reminder of the great crime of fascism, whose Nazi iconography is embedded in our consciousness. Fascism is preserved as history, as flickering footage of goose-stepping blackshirts, their criminality terrible and clear. Yet in the same liberal societies, whose war-making elites urge us never to forget, the accelerating danger of a modern kind of fascism is suppressed; for it is their fascism.

“To initiate a war of aggression…,” said the Nuremberg Tribunal judges in 1946, “is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

Had the Nazis not invaded Europe, Auschwitz and the Holocaust would not have happened.  Had the United States and its satellites not initiated their war of aggression in Iraq in 2003, almost a million people would be alive today; and Islamic State, or ISIS, would not have us in thrall to its savagery.  They are the progeny of modern fascism, weaned by the bombs, bloodbaths and lies that are the surreal theatre known as news.

Like the fascism of the 1930s and 1940s, big lies are delivered with the precision of a metronome: thanks to an omnipresent, repetitive media and its virulent censorship by omission. Take the catastrophe in Libya.

In 2011, Nato launched 9,700 “strike sorties” against Libya, of which more than a third were aimed at civilian targets. Uranium warheads were used; the cities of Misurata and Sirte were carpet-bombed. The Red Cross identified mass graves, and Unicef reported that “most [of the children killed] were under the age of ten”.

The public sodomising of the Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi with a “rebel” bayonet was greeted by the then US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, with the words: “We came, we saw, he died.”  His murder, like the destruction of his country, was justified with a familiar big lie; he was planning “genocide” against his own people. “We knew … that if we waited one more day,” said President Obama, “Benghazi, a city the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.”

This was the fabrication of Islamist militias facing defeat by Libyan government forces. They told Reuters there would be “a real bloodbath, a massacre like we saw in Rwanda”. Reported on March 14, 2011, the lie provided the first spark for Nato’s inferno, described by David Cameron as a “humanitarian intervention”.

Secretly supplied and trained by Britain’s SAS, many of the “rebels” would become ISIS, whose latest video offering shows the beheading of 21 Coptic Christian workers seized in Sirte, the city destroyed on their behalf by Nato bombers.

For Obama, Cameron and Hollande, Gaddafi’s true crime was Libya’s economic independence and his declared intention to stop selling Africa’s greatest oil reserves in US dollars. The petrodollar is a pillar of American imperial power. Gaddafi audaciously planned to underwrite a common African currency backed by gold, establish an all-Africa bank and promote economic union among poor countries with prized resources. Whether or not this would happen, the very notion was intolerable to the US as it prepared to “enter” Africa and bribe African governments with military “partnerships”.

Following Nato’s attack under cover of a Security Council resolution, Obama, wrote Garikai Chengu, “confiscated $30 billion from Libya’s Central Bank, which Gaddafi had earmarked for the establishment of an African Central Bank and the African gold backed dinar currency”.

The “humanitarian war” against Libya drew on a model close to western liberal hearts, especially in the media. In 1999, Bill Clinton and Tony Blair sent Nato to bomb Serbia, because, they lied, the Serbs were committing “genocide” against ethnic Albanians in the secessionist province of Kosovo. David Scheffer, US ambassador-at-large for war crimes [sic], claimed that as many as “225,000 ethnic Albanian men aged between 14 and 59″ might have been murdered. Both Clinton and Blair evoked the Holocaust and “the spirit of the Second World War”. The West’s heroic allies were the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), whose criminal record was set aside. The British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, told them to call him any time on his mobile phone.

With the Nato bombing over, and much of Serbia’s infrastructure in ruins, along with schools, hospitals, monasteries and the national TV station, international forensic teams descended upon Kosovo to exhume evidence of the “holocaust”. The FBI failed to find a single mass grave and went home. The Spanish forensic team did the same, its leader angrily denouncing “a semantic pirouette by the war propaganda machines”. A year later, a United Nations tribunal on Yugoslavia announced the final count of the dead in Kosovo: 2,788. This included combatants on both sides and Serbs and Roma murdered by the KLA. There was no genocide. The “holocaust” was a lie. The Nato attack had been fraudulent.

Behind the lie, there was serious purpose. Yugoslavia was a uniquely independent, multi-ethnic federation that had stood as a political and economic bridge in the Cold War. Most of its utilities and major manufacturing was publicly owned. This was not acceptable to the expanding European Community, especially newly united Germany, which had begun a drive east to capture its “natural market” in the Yugoslav provinces of Croatia and Slovenia. By the time the Europeans met at Maastricht in 1991 to lay their plans for the disastrous eurozone, a secret deal had been struck; Germany would recognise Croatia. Yugoslavia was doomed.

In Washington, the US saw that the struggling Yugoslav economy was denied World Bank loans.  Nato, then an almost defunct Cold War relic, was reinvented as imperial enforcer. At a 1999 Kosovo “peace” conference in Rambouillet, in France, the Serbs were subjected to the enforcer’s duplicitous tactics. The Rambouillet accord included a secret Annex B, which the US delegation inserted on the last day. This demanded the military occupation of the whole of Yugoslavia — a country with bitter memories of the Nazi occupation — and the implementation of a “free-market economy” and the privatisation of all government assets. No sovereign state could sign this. Punishment followed swiftly; Nato bombs fell on a defenceless country. It was the precursor to the catastrophes in Afghanistan and Iraq, Syria and Libya, and Ukraine.

Since 1945, more than a third of the membership of the United Nations – 69 countries – have suffered some or all of the following at the hands of America’s modern fascism. They have been invaded, their governments overthrown, their popular movements suppressed, their elections subverted, their people bombed and their economies stripped of all protection, their societies subjected to a crippling siege known as “sanctions”. The British historian Mark Curtis estimates the death toll in the millions. In every case, a big lie was deployed.

“Tonight, for the first time since 9/11, our combat mission in Afghanistan is over.” These were opening words of Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address. In fact, some 10,000 troops and 20,000 military contractors (mercenaries) remain in Afghanistan on indefinite assignment.  “The longest war in American history is coming to a responsible conclusion,” said Obama. In fact, more civilians were killed in Afghanistan in 2014 than in any year since the UN took records.  The majority have been killed — civilians and soldiers — during Obama’s time as president.

The tragedy of Afghanistan rivals the epic crime in Indochina.  In his lauded and much quoted book, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, Zbigniew Brzezinski, the godfather of US policies from Afghanistan to the present day, writes that if America is to control Eurasia and dominate the world, it cannot sustain a popular democracy, because “the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion . . . Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilisation.”  He is right. As WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden have revealed, a surveillance and police state is usurping democracy. In 1976, Brzezinski, then President Carter’s National Security Advisor, demonstrated his point by dealing a death blow to Afghanistan’s first and only democracy. Who knows this vital history?

In the 1960s, a popular revolution swept Afghanistan, the poorest country on earth, eventually overthrowing the vestiges of the aristocratic regime in 1978. The People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) formed a government and declared a reform programme that included the abolition of feudalism, freedom for all religions, equal rights for women and social justice for the ethnic minorities. More than 13,000 political prisoners were freed and police files publicly burned.

The new government introduced free medical care for the poorest; peonage was abolished, a mass literacy programme was launched. For women, the gains were unheard of. By the late 1980s, half the university students were women, and women made up almost half of Afghanistan’s doctors, a third of civil servants and the majority of teachers. “Every girl,” recalled Saira Noorani, a female surgeon, “could go to high school and university. We could go where we wanted and wear what we liked. We used to go to cafes and the cinema to see the latest Indian film on a Friday and listen to the latest music. It all started to go wrong when the mujaheddin started winning. They used to kill teachers and burn schools. We were terrified. It was funny and sad to think these were the people the West supported.”

The PDPA government was backed by the Soviet Union, even though, as former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance later admitted, “there was no evidence of any Soviet complicity [in the revolution]“. Alarmed by the growing confidence of liberation movements throughout the world, Brzezinski decided that if Afghanistan was to succeed under the PDPA, its independence and progress would offer the “threat of a promising example”.

On July 3, 1979, the White House secretly authorized support for tribal “fundamentalist” groups known as the mujaheddin, a program that grew to over $500 million a year in U.S. arms and other assistance. The aim was the overthrow of Afghanistan’s first secular, reformist government. In August 1979, the US embassy in Kabul reported that “the United States’ larger interests … would be served by the demise of [the PDPA government], despite whatever setbacks this might mean for future social and economic reforms in Afghanistan.” The italics are mine.

The mujaheddin were the forebears of al-Qaeda and Islamic State. They included Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who received tens of millions of dollars in cash from the CIA. Hekmatyar’s specialty was trafficking in opium and throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to wear the veil. Invited to London, he was lauded by Prime Minister Thatcher as a “freedom fighter”.

Such fanatics might have remained in their tribal world had Brzezinski not launched an international movement to promote Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia and so undermine secular political liberation and “destabilise” the Soviet Union, creating, as he wrote in his autobiography, “a few stirred up Muslims”.  His grand plan coincided with the ambitions of  the Pakistani dictator, General Zia ul-Haq, to dominate the region. In 1986, the CIA and Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI, began to recruit people from around the world to join the Afghan jihad. The Saudi multi-millionaire Osama bin Laden was one of them. Operatives who would eventually join the Taliban and al-Qaeda, were recruited at an Islamic college in Brooklyn, New York, and given paramilitary training at a CIA camp in Virginia. This was called “Operation Cyclone”. Its success was celebrated in 1996 when the last PDPA president of Afghanistan, Mohammed Najibullah — who had gone before the UN General Assembly to plead for help — was hanged from a streetlight by the Taliban.

The “blowback” of Operation Cyclone and its “few stirred up Muslims” was September 11, 2001. Operation Cyclone became the “war on terror”, in which countless men, women and children would lose their lives across the Muslim world, from Afghanistan to Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria. The enforcer’s message was and remains: “You are with us or against us.”

The common thread in fascism, past and present, is mass murder. The American invasion of Vietnam had its “free fire zones”, “body counts” and “collatoral damage”. In the province of Quang Ngai, where I reported from, many thousands of civilians (“gooks”) were murdered by the US; yet only one massacre, at My Lai, is remembered. In Laos and Cambodia, the greatest aerial bombardment in history produced an epoch of terror marked today by the spectacle of joined-up bomb craters which, from the air, resemble monstrous necklaces. The bombing gave Cambodia its own ISIS, led by Pol Pot.

Today, the world’s greatest single campaign of terror entails the execution of entire families, guests at weddings, mourners at funerals. These are Obama’s victims. According to the New York Times, Obama makes his selection from a CIA “kill list” presented to him every Tuesday in the White House Situation Room. He then decides, without a shred of legal justification, who will live and who will die. His execution weapon is the Hellfire missile carried by a pilotless aircraft known as a drone; these roast their victims and festoon the area with their remains.  Each “hit” is registered on a faraway console screen as a “bugsplat”.

“For goose-steppers,” wrote the historian Norman Pollock, “substitute the seemingly more innocuous militarisation of the total culture. And for the bombastic leader, we have the reformer manque, blithely at work, planning and executing assassination, smiling all the while.”

Uniting fascism old and new is the cult of superiority. “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fibre of my being,” said Obama, evoking declarations of national fetishism from the 1930s. As the historian Alfred W. McCoy has pointed out, it was the Hitler devotee, Carl Schmitt, who said, “The sovereign is he who decides the exception.” This sums up Americanism, the world’s dominant ideology. That it remains unrecognised as a predatory ideology is the achievement of an equally unrecognised brainwashing.  Insidious, undeclared, presented wittily as enlightenment on the march, its conceit insinuates western culture. I grew up on a cinematic diet of American glory, almost all of it a distortion. I had no idea that it was the Red Army that had destroyed most of the Nazi war machine, at a cost of as many as 13 million soldiers. By contrast, US losses, including in the Pacific, were 400,000. Hollywood reversed this.

The difference now is that cinema audiences are invited to wring their hands at the “tragedy” of American psychopaths having to kill people in distant places — just as the President himself kills them. The embodiment of Hollywood’s violence, the actor and director Clint Eastwood, was nominated for an Oscar this year for his movie, American Sniper, which is about a licensed murderer and nutcase. The New York Times described it as a “patriotic, pro-family picture which broke all attendance records in its opening days”.

There are no heroic movies about America’s embrace of fascism. During the Second World War, America (and Britain) went to war against Greeks who had fought heroically against Nazism and were resisting the rise of Greek fascism. In 1967, the CIA helped bring to power a fascist military junta in Athens — as it did in Brazil and most of Latin America. Germans and east Europeans who had colluded with Nazi aggression and crimes against humanity were given safe haven in the US; many were pampered and their talents rewarded. Wernher von Braun was the “father” of both the Nazi V-2 terror bomb and the US space programme.

In the 1990s, as former Soviet republics, eastern Europe and the Balkans became military outposts of Nato, the heirs to a Nazi movement in Ukraine were given their opportunity. Responsible for the deaths of thousands of Jews, Poles and Russians during the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, Ukrainian fascism was rehabilitated and its “new wave” hailed by the enforcer as “nationalists”.

This reached its apogee in 2014 when the Obama administration splashed out $5 billion on a coup against the elected government.  The shock troops were neo-Nazis known as the Right Sector and Svoboda. Their leaders include  Oleh Tyahnybok, who has called for a purge of the “Moscow-Jewish mafia” and “other scum”, including gays, feminists and those on the political left.

These fascists are now integrated into the Kiev coup government. The first deputy speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Andriy Parubiy, a leader of the governing party, is co-founder of Svoboda. On February 14, Parubiy announced he was flying to Washington get “the USA to give us highly precise modern weaponry”. If he succeeds, it will be seen as an act of war by Russia.

No western leader has spoken up about the revival of fascism in the heart of Europe — with the exception of Vladimir Putin, whose people lost 22 million to a Nazi invasion that came through the borderland of Ukraine. At the recent Munich Security Conference, Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, ranted abuse about European leaders for opposing the US arming of the Kiev regime. She referred to the German Defence Minister as “the minister for defeatism”. It was Nuland who masterminded the coup in Kiev. The wife of Robert D. Kagan, a leading “neo-con” luminary and co-founder of the extreme right wing Project for a New American Century, she was foreign policy advisor to Dick Cheney.

Nuland’s coup did not go to plan. Nato was prevented from seizing Russia’s historic, legitimate, warm-water naval base in Crimea. The mostly Russian population of Crimea — illegally annexed to Ukraine by Nikita Krushchev in 1954 — voted overwhelmingly to return to Russia, as they had done in the 1990s.  The referendum was voluntary, popular and internationally observed. There was no invasion.

At the same time, the Kiev regime turned on the ethnic Russian population in the east with the ferocity of ethnic cleaning. Deploying neo-Nazi militias in the manner of the Waffen-SS, they bombed and laid to siege cities and towns. They used mass starvation as a weapon, cutting off electricity, freezing bank accounts, stopping social security and pensions. More than a million refugees fled across the border into Russia. In the western media, they became unpeople escaping “the violence” caused by the “Russian invasion”. The Nato commander, General Breedlove — whose name and actions might have been inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove — announced that 40,000 Russian troops were “massing”. In the age of forensic satellite evidence, he offered none.

These Russian-speaking and bilingual people of Ukraine – a third of the population – have long sought a federation that reflects the country’s ethnic diversity and is both autonomous and independent of Moscow. Most are not “separatists” but citizens who want to live securely in their homeland and oppose the power grab in Kiev. Their revolt and establishment of autonomous “states” are a reaction to Kiev’s attacks on them. Little of this has been explained to western audiences.

On May 2, 2014, in Odessa, 41 ethnic Russians were burned alive in the trade union headquarters with police standing by.  The Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh hailed the massacre as “another bright day in our national history”. In the American and British media, this was reported as a “murky tragedy” resulting from “clashes” between “nationalists” (neo-Nazis) and “separatists” (people collecting signatures for a referendum on a federal Ukraine).

The New York Times buried the story, having dismissed as Russian propaganda warnings about the fascist and anti-Semitic policies of Washington’s new clients. The Wall Street Journal damned the victims – “Deadly Ukraine Fire Likely Sparked by Rebels, Government Says”. Obama congratulated the junta for its “restraint”.

If Putin can be provoked into coming to their aid, his pre-ordained “pariah” role in the West will justify the lie that Russia is invading Ukraine. On January 29, Ukraine’s top military commander, General Viktor Muzhemko, almost inadvertently dismissed the very basis for US and EU sanctions on Russia when he told a news conference emphatically: “The Ukrainian army is not fighting with the regular units of the Russian Army”.  There were “individual citizens” who were members of “illegal armed groups”, but there was no Russian invasion.  This was not news. Vadym Prystaiko, Kiev’s Deputy Foreign Minister, has called for “full scale war” with nuclear-armed Russia.

On February 21, US Senator James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, introduced a bill that would authorise American arms for the Kiev regime.  In his Senate presentation, Inhofe used photographs he claimed were of Russian troops crossing into Ukraine, which have long been exposed as fakes. It was reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s fake pictures of a Soviet installation in Nicaragua, and Colin Powell’s fake evidence to the UN of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

The intensity of the smear campaign against Russia and the portrayal of its president as a pantomime villain is unlike anything I have known as a reporter. Robert Parry, one of America’s most distinguished investigative journalists, who revealed the Iran-Contra scandal, wrote recently, “No European government, since Adolf Hitler’s Germany, has seen fit to dispatch Nazi storm troopers to wage war on a domestic population, but the Kiev regime has and has done so knowingly. Yet across the West’s media/political spectrum, there has been a studious effort to cover up this reality even to the point of ignoring facts that have been well established ….If you wonder how the world could stumble into world war three – much as it did into world war one a century ago – all you need to do is look at the madness over Ukraine that has proved impervious to facts or reason.”

In 1946, the Nuremberg Tribunal prosecutor said of the German media: “The use made by Nazi conspirators of psychological warfare is well known. Before each major aggression, with some few exceptions based on expediency, they initiated a press campaign calculated to weaken their victims and to prepare the German people psychologically for the attack …. In the propaganda system of the Hitler State it was the daily press and the radio that were the most important weapons.”

In the Guardian on February 2, Timothy Garton-Ash called, in effect, for a world war. “Putin must be stopped,” said the headline. “And sometimes only guns can stop guns.” He conceded that the threat of war might “nourish a Russian paranoia of encirclement”; but that was fine. He name-checked the military equipment needed for the job and advised his readers that “America has the best kit”.

In 2003, Garton-Ash, an Oxford professor, repeated the propaganda that led to the slaughter in Iraq. Saddam Hussein, he wrote, “has, as [Colin] Powell documented, stockpiled large quantities of horrifying chemical and biological weapons, and is hiding what remains of them. He is still trying to get nuclear ones.” He lauded Blair as a “Gladstonian, Christian liberal interventionist”.  In 2006, he wrote, “Now we face the next big test of the West after Iraq: Iran.”

The outbursts — or as Garton-Ash prefers, his “tortured liberal ambivalence” — are not untypical of those in the transatlantic liberal elite who have struck a Faustian deal. The war criminal Blair is their lost leader. The Guardian, in which Garton-Ash’s piece appeared, published a full-page advertisement for an American Stealth bomber. On a menacing image of the Lockheed Martin monster were the words: “The F-35. GREAT For Britain”. This American “kit” will cost British taxpayers £1.3 billion, its F-model predecessors having slaughtered across the world.  In tune with its advertiser, a Guardian editorial has demanded an increase in military spending.

Once again, there is serious purpose. The rulers of the world want Ukraine not only as a missile base; they want its economy. Kiev’s new Finance Minister, Nataliwe Jaresko, is a former senior US State Department official in charge of US overseas “investment”. She was hurriedly given Ukrainian citizenship.

They want Ukraine for its abundant gas; Vice President Joe Biden’s son is on the board of Ukraine’s biggest oil, gas and fracking company. The manufacturers of GM seeds, companies such as the infamous Monsanto, want Ukraine’s rich farming soil.

Above all, they want Ukraine’s mighty neighbour, Russia. They want to Balkanise or dismember Russia and exploit the greatest source of natural gas on earth. As the Arctic ice melts, they want control of the Arctic Ocean and its energy riches, and Russia’s long Arctic land border. Their man in Moscow used to be Boris Yeltsin, a drunk, who handed his country’s economy to the West. His successor, Putin, has re-established Russia as a sovereign nation; that is his crime.

The responsibility of the rest of us is clear. It is to identify and expose the reckless lies of warmongers and never to collude with them. It is to re-awaken the great popular movements that brought a fragile civilisation to modern imperial states. Most important, it is to prevent the conquest of ourselves: our minds, our humanity, our self respect. If we remain silent, victory over us is assured, and a holocaust beckons.

John Pilger can be reached through his website: www.johnpilger.com

Libya Then and Now: An Overview of NATO’s Handiwork

http://www.globalresearch.ca/libya-then-and-now-an-overview-of-natos-handiwork/5415563

Libya Then and Now: An Overview of NATO’s Handiwork

By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Global Research, November 22, 2014
New Dawn Magazine

In 2011, as the entire world watched the Arab Spring in amazement, the US and its allies, predominately working under the banner of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), militarily overran the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

The peaceful civilian protesters they claimed to be intervening to protect were not really what the US and its cohorts presented to the world. Many of these so-called “protesters” were armed, and when this became apparent they eventually began to portray themselves as “rebel forces.” These so-called “rebels” in Libya were not a military force that emerged spontaneously for the most part, but an insurgency movement cultivated and organised before any opposition activities were even reported in Libya.

Victims of NATO bombings. May  2011

After Libya’s rapprochement with the US and the European Union, it was unthinkable to many that Washington and any of its allies could even have been preparing to topple the Libyan government. Business and trade ties between Libya and the US, Britain, Italy, France, Spain, and Turkey had bloomed since 2003 after Colonel Muammar Qadhafi opted for cooperation with Washington. No one imagined that Saif Al-Islam Qadhafi’s “New Libya” with its neo-liberalism could be on a collision course with NATO.

Yet, the US and its EU partners for several years made preparations for taking over Libya. They had infiltrated the Jamahiriya’s government, security and intelligence sectors. Longstanding imperialist objectives existing since the Second World War, aimed at dividing Libya into three colonial territories, were taken out of government filing cabinets in Washington, London, Paris and Rome, and circulated at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.

In league with these colonial plans, the US and its allies had been cultivating ties with different members of the Libyan opposition and had always reserved the option of using these opposition figures for regime change in Tripoli. Putting together their colonial designs and mobilising their agents, the US and its allies began organising the stage for establishing the Transitional National Council (TNC) – simply called the Transitional Council – and similar bodies to govern Libya as its new puppet leadership. The British and French even held joint invasion exercises months before the Libyan conflict erupted with the Arab Spring in 2011, while various intelligence services and foreign military commandos from NATO and GCC countries were also on the ground in Libya helping to prepare for the destabilisation of the North African country and the toppling of the Jamahiriya’s government and institutions.

Realities have been turned upside down and the victims were grossly portrayed as the aggressors in the conflict. While the Transitional Council’s forces, augmented by mercenaries and foreign fighters, were torturing, raping, and murdering civilians and those that were standing in their way with the aid of NATO and the GCC, Muammar Qadhafi was inflexibly and exclusively blamed for all the violence inside Libya. Nor were the atrocities an exclusively Libyan versus Libyan matter. During the conflict, NATO committed serious war crimes and crimes against humanity in its effort to overrun and control the North African country. Not only did foreign journalists help justify and sustain the war, but they played major roles in assisting NATO’s war effort by passing on information about Libyan targets and checkpoint locations to the Jamahiriya’s enemies. The war, however, did not go as planned and Libyan resistance proved far stronger than the Pentagon and NATO initially imagined.

In the course of the confrontation and at the international level, a series of human rights organisations and think-tanks were utilised for preparing the stage for the conflict in Libya and the toppling of its government. These organisations were mostly part of a network that had been working to establish the mechanisms for justifying interventionism and creating the net of individuals and public faces needed for creating a proxy government in Libya in the false name of “democracy.” When the time came, these bodies coordinated with the NATO powers and the mainstream media in the project to isolate, castrate, and subjugate the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. These so-called human rights organisations and the mainstream media networks worked together to propagate lies about African mercenaries, Libyan military jet attacks on civilians, and civilian massacres by Muammar Qadhafi’s regime.

International news networks extensively quoted these human rights organisations in what would amount to a self-fuelled cycle of misinformation, while the same human rights organisations continued to make claims on the basis of the media’s reports. In other words, each side fed the other. It was this web of lies that was presented at the Human Rights Council in the United Nations Office at Geneva and then handed to the United Nations Security Council in New York City as the basis for the war in Libya. These lies were accepted without any investigation being launched by the United Nations or any other international bodies. Any Libyan requests for international investigation teams were ignored. It was from this point onward that NATO used the UN Security Council to launch its war of aggression against Libya under the pretext of protecting civilians and enforcing a no-fly zone over the Arab country. Although not officially accepted by the United Nations Security Council, the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) doctrine was being showcased as a new paradigm for military intervention by NATO.

All known advocates of Pentagon militarism and global empire demanded this war take place, including Paul Wolfowitz, John McCain, Joseph Lieberman, Elliott Abrahams, Leon Wieseltier, John Hannah, Robert Kagan, and William Kristol. The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and the neo-conservative crowd was the realist foreign policy camp in Washington. The entire US establishment lined up to pick off Tripoli and reduce it a weak and divided African protectorate.

Libya & the New “Scramble” for Africa

To put NATO’s war in Libya within the framework of historic analysis, one only needs to be reminded that the main thrust of the sudden physical European colonisation of Africa, called the “Scramble for Africa,” started when an economic recession originally called the “Great Depression,” but in retrospect renamed as the “Long Depression,” hit much of Europe and North America from roughly 1873 to 1893. In this period the entire tempo of Western European contact with African nations transformed.

Prior to this economic recession, Western European companies and enterprises were content dealing with African leaders and recognising their authority. Few Western European colonies in Africa had existed aside from a few coastal strips based on strategically-placed trading posts in Sierra Leone and Lagos in the possession of Britain; Mozambique and Angola in the possession of Portugal; and Senegal in the possession of France. At this time the biggest external force in Africa was the Ottoman Empire, which was beginning its long decline as a great power.

Even with Western European colonial incursions into Africa by Britain, France, and Portugal, most of the African continent was still free of external or alien control. Intensified European economic rivalries and the recession in Western Europe, however, would change this. Britain would lose its edge as the world’s most industrialised nation as the industrial sectors of the USA, France and Germany all began to increasingly challenge British manufacturers. As a result of the recession and increased business rivalries, the corporations of Western European countries began to push their respective governments to adopt protectionist practices and to directly intervene in Africa to protect the commercial interests of these corporations. The logic behind this colonial push or “scramble” was that these Western European governments would secure large portions of Africa as export markets and for resource imports for these corporations alone, while these African territories would effectively be closed off to economic rivals. Thus, a whole string of Western European conquest began in Africa to secure ivory, fruits, copal (gum), cloves, beeswax, honey, coffee, peanuts, cotton, precious metals, and rubber.

Although appropriating Libya’s financial and material wealth were objectives of the NATO war in 2011, the broader objectives of the criminal war were part of the struggle to control the African continent and its vast wealth. The “Scramble for Africa” was repeating itself. Just like the first time, recession and economic rivalries were tied to this new round of colonial conquest in the African continent.

The emergence of Asia as the new global centre of gravity, at the expense of the nations of the North Atlantic in North America and Western Europe, has also primed the United States and its allies to start an endeavour to close Africa off from the People’s Republic of China and the emerging centres of power in Russia, India, Brazil, and Iran. This is why the Pentagon’s United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM/AFRICOM) played a major role in the war.

The London Conference on Libya, where the Libya Contact Group was formed on 29 March 2011, was a modern version of the Berlin Conference of 1884, which attempted to solidify the gains made by European colonial powers in their first rush to control African societies and territory. The Istanbul Conference on Libya, where the Libya Contact Group met for the fourth time on 15 July 2011, was virtually a declaration of the intentions of the US and these countries to appropriate Libya’s vast wealth. This is a template for usurping the wealth of other countries in Africa and beyond. In this regard, the Transitional Council has served as nothing more than a proxy that was designed to help embezzle Libya’s vast wealth.

Moreover, Libya had to be neutralised in line with the intentions of this project to reclaim Africa, because of Qadhafi’s pan-African ambitions to unify the African continent under Libyan leadership. Libya and its development and political projects were effectively erecting a barrier to the re-colonisation of the African continent. In this regard, the war was launched by “Operation Odyssey Dawn.” This name is very revealing. It identifies the strategic intent and direction of the campaign in Libya. ‘The Odyssey’ is an ancient Greek epic by the poet Homer that recounts the voyage and trails of the hero Odysseus of Ithaca on his voyage home. The main theme here is the ‘return home’. In other words, the military assault’s codename meant that countries like the US, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, and Turkey were on their own odyssey of ‘return’ into Africa.

The Crown of Africa

Libya is a lucrative prize of massive economic value. It has immense oil and gas resources, vast amounts of underground water from the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System, important trade routes, substantial foreign investments, and large amounts of liquid capital. Up until 2011, Libya was blessed with a rare gift in regard to its national revenue in that it saved a significant amount. In fact Libya possessed more than US$150 billion in overseas financial assets and had one of the largest sovereign investment funds in the world at the start of 2011.

Until the conflict in Libya ignited, there was a very large foreign work force in the Jamahiriya. Thousands of foreign workers from every corner of the globe went to Libya for employment. This included nationals from places like the Philippines, Turkey, sub-Saharan Africa, China, Latin America, Belarus, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Romania, Canada, Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, and every corner of the Arab world. For years, these jobs inside Libya were an important source of economic remittances in the cases of some African economies, such as Niger. Moreover, many foreign workers from places like the Philippines and Italy even chose to make their lives in Libya and open their own local businesses.

Before the NATO war, Libyan society had come a long way since 1951 when it became an independent African country. In 1975, the political scientist Henri Habib described Libya on the dawn of its independence as a backward country saying: “When Libya was granted its independence by the United Nations on December 24, 1951, it was described as one of the poorest and most backward nations of the world. The population at the time was not more than 1.5 million, was over 90% illiterate, and had no political experience or knowhow. There were no universities, and only a limited number of high schools which had been established seven years before independence.”

According to Habib, the state of poverty in Libya was the result of the yoke of Ottoman domination followed by an era of European imperialism in Libya that started with the Italians. He explained that, “[e]very effort was made to keep the Arab inhabitants [of Libya] in a servile position rendering them unable to make any progress for themselves or their nation.” This colonial yoke, however, began its decline in 1943 after Italy and Germany were defeated in North Africa during the Second World War.

In 1959 Libya’s oil reserves were discovered. Despite political mismanagement and corruption, since 1969 these Libyan oil reserves were used to improve the standard of living for the country’s population. In addition to the revenue from Libyan energy reserves, the Libyan government played an important role in maintaining Libya’s high living standards. Although never fully nationalised, Libya’s oil would only, in progressive steps, fall under the control of Libyans after the 1969 coup against the Libyan monarchy by Qadhafi and a group of young military officers. Before 1969 most of the country’s oil wealth was actually not being used to serve the general public. Under Qadhafi’s leadership this changed and the National Oil Company was founded on 12 November 1970.

To a certain extent the isolation of Libya in the past as a pariah state played a role in insulating Libya economically and maintaining its standards of living. From an economic standpoint, most of the Arab world and Africa have become globalised as components of an integrated network of regional economies tied to the United States and the European Union. Libyan integration into this global economic system was delayed because of the past political isolation of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya when Washington, London, and Paris were openly at odds with Tripoli.

Despite having vast sums of money stolen and squandered by Qadhafi’s family and their officials, social services and benefits, such as government housing and numerous subsidies, were available to the Libyan population. It has to be cautioned too that the apparatus of a modern welfare state does not mean that neo-liberal restructuring and poverty were not afoot in Libya, because they very much were. What this means is that economics was not the driving force for the internal dimension of the fighting in Libya. For years, up until 2011, Libya had the highest standards of living in Africa and one of the highest in the Arab world. There is an old Libyan proverb, “if your pocket becomes empty, your faults will be many.” In this regard, Libya’s faults were not many in economic terms.

In 2008, Libya had protests that were reportedly caused by unemployment. Most protests in Libya from 2003 to 2011, however, did not have any real economic dimension dominated by breadbasket issues. This set the Jamahiriya apart from Arab countries like Tunisia, Egypt, and Jordan where breadbasket issues were important factors behind the protests that erupted during the same period in 2011. This, of course, does not mean the protest movements in the latter Arab countries were strictly the result of breadbasket issues and economics either. Demands for personal freedoms and backlashes against corruption were major motivating factors behind the fuelling of public anger in all these Arab states. In Libya, if anything, the frustration tied to the rampant corruption rooted amongst Jamahiriya authorities and officials had created shifting tides of resentment towards the government.

As briefly mentioned, Libya also has vast amounts of underground water stored in the ancient Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System, which is situated under the territories of Chad, Egypt, Libya, and Sudan. Libya and Egypt hold the largest shares of this water source. In a joint initiative, called the Nubian Aquifer Project, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the financial organisation Global Environment Facility (GEF), have all worked with the governments of these four African countries to study this vast source of underground water beneath the Sahara Desert. Using isotopes, the IAEA three-dimensionally mapped the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System.

In the Jamahiriya, the Great Man-Made River Project was initiated under the orders of Colonel Qadhafi followed by the establishment of the Great Man-Made River Authority in 1983 to exploit the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System for the benefit of Libya and the other regional countries in the Sahara and the Sahel regions. The project was domestically funded mostly by taxes on fuel, tobacco, and international travel, with the remainder of funding provided directly by the Libyan state. Up until 2008 the Libyan government had spent about US$19.6 billion dollars on the water project.

According to the Isotope Hydrology Section of the IAEA, the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System is the world’s largest fossil aquifer system and will be “the biggest and in some cases the only future source of water to meet growing demands and development” amongst Chad, Egypt, Libya, and Sudan. As fresh water supplies become limited globally, it was forecast Libya’s water supplies will be of greater value domestically and regionally. Huge water multinationals in the US, France and elsewhere were salivating at the idea of privatising Libyan fresh water and controlling the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System.

The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) had shares and invested in major international corporations such as oil giant British Petroleum (BP), the world’s largest aluminium producer United Company RUSAL in Russia, the US conglomerate General Electric (GE), the Italian bank and financial giant UniCredit, the Italian oil corporation Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (ENI), the German engineering and electronic conglomerate Siemens, the German electricity and gas company Rheinisch-Westfälisches Elektrizitätswerk (RWE), British publishing giant Pearson, and British telecommunications giant Vodafone (UK). Libya had purchased Exxon Mobil’s subsidiary in the Kingdom of Morocco, Mobil Oil Maroc, and bought half of Kenya’s oil refinery. The LIA bought all of Royal Dutch Shell’s service stations in Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Sudan in 2008. Tripoli announced in the same year that it was buying a major share of Circle Oil, an international hydrocarbon exploration company with operations in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. A Libyan agreement was also made with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to build a pipeline in the western part of its territory. Large investments were made by Libya in agricultural, industrial and service projects in Africa from Egypt and Niger to Mali and Tunisia.

In 2008 Goldman Sachs was given US$1.3 billion dollars by the Libyan Investment Authority. In unfathomable terms, Goldman Sachs told the Libyans that 98% of their investment was lost overnight, which means the Libyans lost almost all the money they gave Goldman Sachs. To Tripoli and other observers it was clear Goldman Sachs had merely appropriated the Libyan investment as a cash injection, because it needed the funds due to the global financial crisis. Afterwards, Jamahiriya officials and Goldman Sachs executives tried negotiating a settlement under which Goldman Sachs would give Tripoli huge shares in the Wall Street financial giant. These negotiations between Libya and Goldman Sachs for a settlement finally ended in 2009 with both sides failing to agree on a formula to replace the Libyan money that Goldman Sachs had effectively appropriated from Tripoli.

Goldman Sachs was not alone in filching Libyan investment funds: Société Générale S.A., Carlyle Group, J.P. Morgan Chase, Och-Ziff Capital Management Group, and Lehman Brothers Holdings were also all in possession of vast Libyan investments and funds. In one way or another, NATO’s war on Libya and the freeze of Libyan financial assets profited them all. They and their governments were also not happy with Qadhafi’s ideas and proposal to the United Nations that the former colonial powers owed Africa almost US$800 trillion dollars.

The fact that Libya happened to be a rich country was one of its crimes in 2011. Oil, finance, economics, and Libyan natural resources were always tempting prizes for the United States and its allies. These things were the spoils of war in Libya. While Libyan energy reserves and geopolitics played major roles in launching the 2011 war, it was also waged in part to appropriate Tripoli’s vast financial holdings and to supplement and maintain the crumbling financial hegemony of Wall Street and other financial centres. Wall Street could not allow Tripoli to be debt-free, to continue accumulating international financial possessions, and to be a creditor nation giving international loans and investing funds in other countries, particularly in Africa. Thus, major banks in the United States and the European Union, like the giant multinational oil conglomerates, had major roles and interests in the NATO war on Tripoli.

An Overview of the African Geopolitics of the War on Libya

NATO’s operations in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya have helped erode Libyan political unity, which has had clear implications for the North African country’s spatial unity and all the nations bordering Libya. Libya and its region have been destabilised. The domino effect can clearly be seen at work in Niger, Mali, and the Central African Republic where there has been fighting as a result, at least in part, of the NATO war on Libya.

Within a strictly African context, Libya sits at an important geographic point. The country is a geographic gateway into Africa and connects the northeast and northwest sections of the continent. Libya’s national territory falls within the Sahara and Sahel regions and events in Libya directly influence Sudan, Egypt and the regions of the Maghreb, West Africa, and Central Africa. Libya is also one of the states that provide access to the open sea for landlocked Chad and Niger. Aside from Tunisia, all of the countries on Libya’s borders touch and connect the bulk of Africa’s regions with the exception of the southern region of the continent. Casting out the Tunisian Republic, these bordering African states are Egypt, Sudan, Chad, Niger, and Algeria. Libya’s position is very special in this regard and this territorial embrace with these other large African states bordering multiple countries and regions is very important and would be pivotal if the Libyan project to connect the continent through a north to south and east to west transportation and trade corridor were to be developed fully.

From a socio-cultural standpoint, Libya has tribal and cultural ties to all of the bordering countries. Ethnic differences in Libya exist too, but are minor in degree. Libyans predominately consider themselves to be Arabs. The largest Libyan minority are the Berbers, which can roughly be divided into northern groups and southern groups. There was always awareness that tribalism in Libya, if given antagonistic political connotations, could be a very dangerous thing for Libya and the bordering countries. The tribes that Libyans belong go beyond Libyan borders and form a chain in an overlapping tribal network extending all the way from Niger into Burkina Faso and Mauritania. Tribal fighting in Libya could destabilise countries like Senegal and Mali in West Africa, Chad in Central Africa, Algeria in North Africa, and Sudan in East Africa. It is in this context that NATO powers began speaking about an Arab-Berber divide in North Africa in 2011. Regime change in Tripoli has left a political vacuum where politics has fuelled tribalism and regionalism in Libya, which is now warily watched by all of the countries bordering Libya and affecting them.

“A New Beginning” in Cairo: Obama’s attempts to Manipulate Islam

Identity politics and faith have also wound up as factors in the competing exchange of geopolitical currents governing the sea of events surrounding Libya. The questions of what is a Libyan and what is an ethnic Arab have been superimposed as factors in the war on the Jamahiriya as a means of attacking the pan-African movement and separating Libya, and North Africa in broader terms, from the rest of Africa. Faith and religiosity have also been mounted as dynamics that are being sought as geopolitical tools and weapons of influence.

President Barack Hussein Obama was elected by tapping into the hopes of the US public and presenting himself as a “prince of peace” and “messiah of hope.” Amongst his elegant speeches, he claimed to have a desire to reengage with the so-called Muslim World. Since 2009 Obama has consistently tried to utilise what he sees as both his African and Muslim credentials on the basis of having a Kenyan father who was a Muslim, to present himself as a “Son of Africa” and as someone sympathetic to Muslims. As part of his outreach to Muslims, President Obama gave a highly promoted speech at Cairo University on 4 June 2009. Obama’s presidential speech was named “A New Beginning” and was supposedly meant to repair the damages in the relationship between the US and the so-called Muslim World. The speech is described as such by the White House:

“On June 4, 2009 in Cairo, Egypt, President Obama proposed a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, based upon mutual interest and mutual respect. Specifically, the President said that the U.S. would seek a more comprehensive engagement with Muslim-majority countries, countries with significant Muslim populations, and their people by expanding partnerships in areas like education, economic development, science and technology, and health, among others, while continuing to work together to address issues of common concern.”

Many people in predominantly Muslim states were fooled by his pledges of peace and mutual respect. In his actions, Barack Obama proved to be no less of a war hawk than his predecessors in the Oval Office. His Cairo speech was significant because it actually marked the start of a new campaign by the US to geopolitically use Muslims and their hopes and aspirations. In the same timeframe as his speech, the US State Department began to engage with the Muslim Brotherhood and even prior to the speech asked for members to attend Cairo University to hear him.Almost as if foreshadowing the coming of the so-called Arab Spring, the speech in Cairo’s fourth point was about the rise of democracy and the instability of regimes suppressing democratic values. Many of the organisations and figures that became involved in the Arab Spring and supportive of the war in Libya would all hasten to Obama’s calls for a “New Beginning.” Amongst them was Aly (Ali) Abuzaakouk, who helped found the Transitional Council.

From Jakarta, Indonesia, in late-2010, Obama would go on with his themes of engagement with the Muslim World and speak about democracy, faith, and economic development in his second speech addressing Muslims. From that point on Al-Qaeda faded from the spotlight of US foreign policy and, well into the upheavals of the Arab Spring, the US worked to put the ghost of Osama bin Laden to rest by declaring in statements that were altered several times that the Al-Qaeda leader was killed in Pakistan by a team of CIA agents and US Navy commandos on 2 May 2010. What this all amounted to was the preparations for the fielding of US agents amongst opposition groups in the predominately Muslim countries of the Arab world and an attempt to subordinate the faith of Islam as a tool of US foreign policy by using fighters and proxy political parties that used the banner of Islam. Thus, Washington’s alliance with deviant militant groups claiming to fight under the banner of Islam was rekindled in 2011. This alliance manifested itself in the fighting in Libya and later further east on the shores of the Mediterranean in Syria and Lebanon.

Libya Now: Destitute, Divided, & in Conflict

The historic project to divide Libya dates back to 1943 and 1951. It started with failed attempts to establish a trusteeship over Libya after the defeat of Italy and Germany in North Africa during the Second World War. The attempts to divide Libya then eventually resulted in a strategy that forced a monarchical federal system onto the Libyans similar to that established over Iraq following the illegal 2003 Anglo-American invasion. If the Libyans had not accepted federalism in their relatively homogenous society they could have forfeited their independence in 1951.

During the Second World War the Libyans aided and allowed Britain to enter their country to fight the Italians and the Germans. Benghazi fell to British military control on 20 November 1942, and Tripoli on 23 January 1943. Despite its promises to allow Libya to become an independent country, London intended to administer the two Libyan provinces of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica separately as colonies, with Paris to be given control over the region of Fezzan, which is roughly one-third of Libya, the area to the southwest of the country bordering Algeria, Niger, and Chad (see map on page 60). Following the end of the Second World War, the victors and Italy attempted to partition Libya into territories that they would govern as trust territories. The American, British, French, and Soviet governments referred the matter to the UN General Assembly on 15 September 1945. There, the British and the Italians made a last-ditch proposal on 10 May 1949, called the Bevin-Sfora Plan for Libya, to have Libyan territory divided into an Italian-controlled Tripolitania, a British-controlled Cyrenaica, and a French-ruled Fezzan. This failed because of the crucial single vote of Haiti, which opposed the partition of Libya.

The British then turned to King Idris to softly balkanise Libya through the establishment of a federal emirate. A National Assembly controlled by King Idris and an unelected small circle of Libyan chieftains was to be imposed. This type of federalist system was unacceptable to most Libyans as it was intended to be a means of sidestepping the will of the Libyan people. The elected representatives from the heavily populated region of Tripolitania would be outweighed by the unelected chieftains from Cyrenaica and Fezzan.

This did not sit well with many Arab nationalists. Cairo was extremely critical of what the US and its allies were trying to do and called it diplomatic deceit. Nevertheless, even with the opposition of most Libyans, federalism was imposed on Libya in 1951 by Idris. Libyans popularly viewed this as Anglo-French treachery. Idris was forced to abolish the federalist system for a unitary system on 27 April 1963.

The imperialist project to divide Libya was never abandoned; it was just temporarily shelved by different foreign ministries in the Western bloc and NATO capitals. In March 2011, US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Jr. testified to the US Senate Armed Services Committee that at the end of the conflict in Libya, the North African country would revert to its previous monarchical federalist divisions and that it would have two or three different administrations. NATO’s Supreme Commander, Admiral Stravridis, also told the US Senate Armed Services Committee in the same month that Libyan tribal differences would be amplified as the NATO war carried on. There were even multilateral discussions held about dividing the country, but the exact lines were never completely agreed upon and negotiations kept on waxing and waning with the frontlines in the desert and mountains.

US plans to topple the Libyan government that were put together in 1982 by the US National Security Council under the Reagan Administration were also revised or renovated for NATO’s war in 2011. One can clearly see how these plans played out through the dual use of an insurgency and military attack. According to Joseph Stanik, the US plans involved simultaneous war and support for CIA-controlled opposition groups that would entail “a number of visible and covert actions designed to bring significant pressure to bear on Qadhafi.” To execute the US plan, Washington would first have to encourage a conflict using the countries around Libya “to seek a casus belli for military action” while they would take care of the logistical needs of CIA-controlled opposition groups that would launch a sabotage campaign against the economy, infrastructure, and government of Libya. The code name for these secret plans was “Flower.” In the words of Stanik:

“The NSC restricted access to the top-secret plans to about two-dozen officials. Flower contained two subcomponents: “Tulip” and “Rose.” Tulip was the code name for the CIA covert operation designed to overthrow Qadhafi by supporting anti-Qadhafi exile groups and countries, such as Egypt, that wanted Qadhafi removed from power. Rose was the code name for a surprise attack on Libya to be carried out by an allied country, most likely Egypt, and supported by American air power. If Qadhafi was killed as a result of Flower, Reagan said he would take the blame for it.”

It also just so happened that the Obama Administration’s US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates, who was the deputy director for intelligence at the time, endorsed Rose, the military subcomponent of Flower.

Since NATO toppled the Jamahiriya government, this is exactly what has happened in Libya. A free for all has come about, which has spilled over into neighbouring states such as Niger. There are multiple factions and different administrations including the Transitional Council in the District of Tripoli, the Misrata Military Council in the District of Misrata, several self-styled Emirates in Cyrenaica, and Jamahiriya loyalist and tribal governments in the Western Mountains and Fezzan. There have even been fusions where Jamahiriya loyalists and anti-Jamahiriya militias have joined to fight all others. The end product has been lawlessness and Somali-style civil war. The state has basically been “failed” by the US and its allies. Post-Jamahiriya governmental authority is only exercised by those in power outside of their offices and a few spaces. Violent crime has proliferated. Tripoli and other major cities are being fought for by different factions and Libyan weapons are being smuggled into different countries. Even US officials, which helped midwife the groups running rampant in Libya, have not been safe from the turmoil they helped create; the murder of US Ambassador John Christopher Stevens in Benghazi on 12 September 2012 is testimony to this.

Oil and gas production has been stopping. National assets have been sold off to foreign corporations and privatised. Libya is no longer a competitive economic power in Africa anymore. Nor is Libya a growing financial power. Tripoli virtually transformed from a debtless country to an indebted one overnight.

There is also a great irony to all this. The warplanes of the US-supported Libyan regime that has replaced the Jamahiriya began bombing Libyan citizens in 2014 as battles for control of Tripoli raged. The US, European Union, and NATO have said nothing about this whereas in 2011 they started a bombing campaign and war on the basis of false accusations the Jamahiriya government was doing exactly this. The deceit of these players is more than evident.

The above article first appeared in New Dawn Special Issue Vol 8 No 5

The War on Libya : An Imperialist Project to Create Three Libyas

The War on Libya : An Imperialist Project to Create Three Libyas

By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Global Research, July 29, 2011

TRIPOLI, July 28, 2011 The division of Libya into three separate countries is part of the US-NATO imperial design. It is part of a project shared by the U.S., Britain, Italy, and France.

The NATO war launched against Libya in March 2011 was geared towards the breakup of the country into three separate entities.

The NATO led war, however, is back firing. The Libyan people have united to save their country and Tripoli is exploring its strategic options.

Preface: Reality versus Fiction

Almost all of the text herein was written a few months prior to my trip to Tripoli. It is part of a series of articles on Libya which I have been updating. It is fitting to conclude it in Tripoli, Libya. To be here on the ground in Libya is to be witness to the lies and warped narratives of the mainstream media and the governments. These lies have been used to justify this criminal military endeavor.

The mainstream media has been a major force in this war. They have endorsed and fabricated the news, they have justified an illegal and criminal war against an entire population.

Passing through the neighbourhood of Fashloom in Tripoli it is apparent that no jets attacked it as Al Jazeera and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) falsely claimed. Now the same media networks, newspapers, and wires claim on a daily basis that Tripoli is about to fall and that the Transitional Council is making new advances to various cities. Tripoli is nowhere near falling and is relatively peaceful. Foreign journalists have also all been taken to the areas that are being reported to have fallen to the Transitional Council, such as Sabha and its environs.

The mainstream media reporting out of Tripoli have consistently produced false reports. They report about information from “secure internet services” which essentially describes embassy and intelligence communication media. This is also tied to the “shadow internet” networks that the Obama Administration is promoting as part of a fake protest movement directed against governments around the world, including Latin America, Africa and Eurasia.

The foreign press operating out of Libya have deliberately worked to paint a false picture of Libya as a country on the brink of collapse and Colonel Qaddafi as a despot with little support.

A journalist was filmed wearing a bulletproof vest for his report in a peaceful area where there was no need for a bulletproof vest. These journalists broadly transmit the same type of news as the journalists embedded with the armed forces, the so-called embedded journalists. Most of the foreign press has betrayed the sacred trust of the public to report accurately and fairly.

Not only are they actively misreporting, but are serving the interests of the military coalition. They are actively working “against Libya.” They and their editors have deliberately fashioned reports and taken pictures and footage which have been used to portray Tripoli as an empty ghost town.

Le Monde for example published an article on July 7, 2011 by Jean-Philippe Rémy, which included misleading photographs that presented Tripoli as a ghost city. The photographs were taken by Laurent Van der Stickt, but it was the editors in Paris who selected the pictures to be used for publication. Le Monde is an instrument of war propaganda. It is publishing material which serves to mislead French public opinion.

Sky News is no better. Lisa Holland of Sky News has always used the words “claimed,” “claim,” and “unverified” for anything that Libyan officials say, but presents everything that NATO says without the same doubt-casting language as if it is an unquestionable truth. She used every chance she had to degrade the Libyans. When she visited the bombed home of the daughter of Mohammed Ali Gurari, where the entire family was killed by NATO, she repeatedly asked if Qaddafi was responsible for the bombing to the dismay of those present, with the exception of the reporters who helped paint distorted pictures in the mind of their audiences and readers. She has deliberately distorted the underlying the reality of the situation, blaming Qaddafi, while knowing full well who had killed the Gurari family.

Other reports include those of Liseron Boudoul., Boudoul is a reporter for Télévision française 1 (TF1), who has been in Tripoli for months. She reported on March 22, 2011 that all the reports coming out of Tripoli are reviewed and censored by Tripoli. This statement was fabricated. If the Libyans had been censoring the news, they would not have allowed her to make that statement or for her and her colleagues to continue their disinformation campaign. Like all the other foreign journalists in Libya, she has witnessed the popular support for Colonel Qaddafi, but this important information has been deliberately withheld from her reports.

Much of what is being passed on as news by foreign reporters on the ground is a mirror of the US-NATO’s fake humanitarian mandate.


There is a real military-industrial-media complex at work in North America and Western Europe. Most of the media claims are nonsensical and contrary to the facts on the ground. They ignore the realities and hard facts. Were these to have been revealed, people in NATO countries would be mobilizing against their governments and against the NATO led war on Libya.

They have helped portray the victim as the aggressor. They use every chance they have to demonize the Libyan government, while upholding the legitimacy of NATO. Essentially many of these so-called journalists are professional propagandists.

The mainstream media has also basically worked as an intelligence branch of the Pentagon and NATO in multiple ways. The mainstream media has been party to atrocities and crimes and that point should not be lost when analyzing the war in Libya. British journalists have even been said to have given coordinates for bombings to NATO.

Libya: A Nation and its Society

Because of its geographic location, Libya has been at the crossroads, a meeting point of various ethnic groups and nationalities, The inhabitants of Libya are a mixed people of various stocks from Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, Europe, and Southwest Asia. Berbers, Egyptians, Greeks, people of Italian descent, people from the Levant, Iranians, Arabs, Turks, Vandals, Hadjanrais, Tuaregs (the Kel Tamajaq or Kel Tamashq), and several other groups have all contributed to the mosaic that constitutes the present population and society of Libya.

The genesis of the concept of a Libyan nation as a loosely-knit entity started with the imperial rule of the Ottoman Empire in North Africa. For the inhabitants of Libya it resulted in a shared feeling of similarity that intensified after the Italo-Ottoman War. After this war between the Ottoman Empire and Italy, the three Ottoman provinces in Libya fell under Italian colonial control.

From the Ottoman and Italian periods onwards up until the years after the Italian defeat the Eastern Libyans had much in common with their kindred in Egypt, while Western Libyans had much in common with their kindred in Tunisia and Algeria, and while Southern Libyans had much in common with their kindred in Niger, Chad, and Sudan. The inhabitants of Libya, however, also had much in common with each other. This included a shared history, a shared language with similar dialects of Arabic, a shared faith, and shared political goals.


Geographic proximity and a united feeling of animosity towards the Italians were also important ingredients in establishing a sense of nationhood. Under Italian rule of Libya this feeling of similarity amongst the local inhabitants eventually developed into a national identity as well as a resistance movement to Italian colonial rule. The aspirations of this indigenous resistance were local sovereignty and unity without any foreign yoke.

The Devil’s Game: Divide and Conquer

Libya has fallen deeper and deeper into a trap. The flames of internal fighting have been fuelled in Libya with the aim of replicating the same divisive scenarios that occurred in the former Yugoslavia and in Iraq. These plans are also aimed at igniting chaos in North Africa and West Africa in an effort to re-colonize Africa in its entirety.

The objective of Washington and its allies consists in confiscating and managing Libya’s vast wealth and controlling its resources. The have initiated a foreign-propelled civil war in Libya. Meanwhile the forces of Colonel Qaddafi have regained control of most of Libyan territory.

The coalition then decided to intervene when the Benghazi-based Transitional Council was lying in its deathbed and was in very desperate shape. If it had to, the Transitional Council was willing to make a deal with the “Devil” for its survival. Thus, the Transitional Council embraced its NATO enablers even closer.

It must also be asked, which Libyan tribes have publicly sided with the Transitional Council? This is a very important question that allows one to establish the extent of public support for the rebellion. Anyone who understands Libyan society also understands the heavy political weight and representation the tribes have.

Also, how many people remain in Benghazi? The demographics of that city have changed since the start of the conflict. Many people have fled to Egypt and abroad from Benghazi. This is not due to the fighting alone, but is tied to a lack of support for the Transitional Council, not to mention the foreign fighters that the TNC has brought, and the lawlessness prevailing in Benghazi.

Dividing Libya into Three Trusteeships

There have been longstanding designs for dividing Libya that go back to 1943 and 1951. This started with failed attempts to establish a trusteeship over Libya after the defeat of Italy and Germany in North Africa during the Second World War.

The attempts to divide Libya then eventually resulted in a strategy that forced a monarchical federal system onto the Libyans similar to the “federal system” imposed on Iraq following the illegal 2003 Anglo-American invasion. If the Libyans had accepted federalism in their relatively homogenous society they could have forfeited their independence in 1951. [1]

Great sacrifices were made by the Libyans who fought to liberate their nation. During the Second World War the Libyans allowed Britain to enter their country to fight the Italians and the Germans. Benghazi fell to British military control on November 20, 1942, and Tripoli on January 23, 1943.[2] Despite its promises to allow Libya to become an independent country, London intended to administer the two Libyan provinces of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica separately as colonies, while Paris was given control over the region of Fezzan (Fazzan), which is roughly one-third of Libya and the area to the southwest of the country bordering Algeria, Niger, and Chad. [3]

Following the end of the Second World War the victors and Italy attempted to partition Libya into territories that they would govern over as trust territories. It is because of the failure of this project that the Libyans gained independence as a united nation.

The political scientist Henri Habib describes this best:

The Allies, hav[ing] introduced a division in [Libya], hoped to have enough time to achieve their own ambitions. In the meantime, the Four Big Powers – the U.S.A., the U.S.S.R., the U.K., and France – met on two occasions at Potsdam and at San Francisco to discuss among other things the future of the former Italian colonies in Africa, including Libya. They referred the matter to the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Big Four. The latter met in London in September, 1945, and later in April, 1946, but were unable to agree. The U.S. proposed a collective United Nations Trusteeship over Libya; the U.S.S.R. proposed a Soviet Trusteeship over Tripolitania; while France wanted it returned to Italy. Eventually, the Soviets adopted the French view, but insisted on a Soviet-Italian Trusteeship. The British were ambiguous on the future; Britain and the U.S. later accepted an Italian Trusteeship on the condition, Britain insisted, that Cyrenaica be excluded. On February 10, 1947, a peace treaty with Italy was signed in Paris without settling the question of the Italian colonies. The Italians renounced all rights to their former colonies. They were secretly encouraged to make this renunciation in exchange for a vague promise of a U.N. Trusteeship over some of their former colonies. The Paris Conference had established as a corollary to the 1947 Peace Treaty with Italy a special Four Power Commission of Investigation to study the conditions in the former Italian colonies. They visited Libya from March 6, to May 20, 1948. They also consulted with the Italian government. The Commission was unable to arrive at a common decision, and conflicting recommendations were made, despite a strong desire made by the Libyan people for their independence. […] When the foreign ministers of the Big Four met on September 13, 1948, to receive the recommendations, they had little choice but to refer the whole matter to the General Assembly of the U.N. scheduled to meet on September 15, 1948.
Thus the question of the Libyan and other Italian colonies was placed on the U.N. General Assembly agenda. [4]

Once the matter was handed to the U.N. General Assembly, the British and the Italians made a last-ditch proposal on May 10, 1949, called the Bevin-Sfora Plan for Libya that consisted in dividing Libyan territory into an Italian-controlled Tripolitania, a British-controlled Cyrenaica, and a French-ruled Fezzan. [5] The motion failed by a vote of one and if it were not for the crucial vote of Haiti the U.N. would have portioned Libya into three separate countries. [6] (See map below)

The defeat of the plans to divide Libya at the U.N. would not be the end of the project to divide the North African country. There was still the internal card, division from within. This is where King Idris came into the picture.

Soft Balkanization through a Federal Emirate

Libya could have ended up like Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the Trucial Sheikhdoms which subsequently formed the United Arab Emirates. The British, the French, and the Italians did not give up their design for Libya, even when the U.N. General Assembly voted in favour of a united and independent Libya. They continued to try to divide Libya and even establish spheres of influence in consultaiton with the U.S. The focus was on Libyan federalism through an unelected National Assembly controlled by King Idris and a small circle of Libyan chieftains. [7]

The federalist system was unacceptable to many Libyans, which saw the new undemocratic National Assembly as a means of sidestepping the Libyan people. Moreover, the elected representatives from the heavily populated region of Tripolitania would be outweighed by the unelected chieftains from Cyrenaica and Fezzan. The official U.S. position was that the so-called “indigenous political leadership” of Cyrenaica and Fezzan enter the National Assembly with the elected representatives from Tripolitania on the “basis of equal representation for all parts of Libya.” [8] This was Orwellian double-speak that was meant to sidestep the will of the Libyan people. What was being pushed for by the U.S., Britain, France, and Italy was a country similar to the Arab sheikhdoms of the Persian Gulf.

In 1951, the U.S. State Department had this to say about the unelected National Assembly and King Idris:
The Department hopes and expects that all powers previously exercised by the Administering Authorities [meaning France and Britain] will, by the date fixed by the [U.N. General Assembly] (i.e., January 1, 1952) “have been transferred to the duly constituted Libyan Government”. Proclamation of independence is expected to follow thereafter, together with the assumption by [the] Emir (Idris Al Senusi) of his position as constitutional monarch of United Libya. [9]

This did not sit well with many Arabs. Egypt was highly critical and saw through the diplomatic deceit. The Egyptian and wider Arab opposition were based on the following rationale:

(a) the National Assembly (which prepared the [Libyan] constitution) should have been an elected rather than an appointed body (Egypt has contended previously that only an elected [or democratic] National Assembly in which the three parts of Libya […] were represented in proportion to their population could properly represent the people of Libya in the constitution-making process […]) ; (b) the form of government should be unitary rather than federal ; and (c) the present federation plan is merely a disguised method of maintaining old imperialist control over Libya by the interested great powers. [10]

In this regard, Henri Habib states: “When Libya obtained its independence in December 1951, federalism was imposed upon the country by King Idris and the foreign powers [specifically Britain, France, the U.S., and Italy] despite opposition from the majority of Libyans.” [11] He adds further: “Libyans saw their country deliberately divided by Britain and France, and [the] seeds of division planted among them.” [12]


Federalism, however, would be defeated by the steadfast pan-Arab demands for unity by the Libyan people:
Despite the initially strong opposition of King Idris and his British mentors, the country was forced by the nature of things to adopt the unitary system in April 1963. The federal experiment was a failure and even the king had to acknowledge it. A special royal decree was issued on April 27, 1963, abolishing federalism and establishing the unitary system. [13]

If Washington, London, Paris, and Rome had succeeded in their design, modern-day Libya would in all likelihood not have become a republic. Instead Libya would most probably have mirrored the model of the United Arab Emirates, as an Arab petro-sheikhdom in the Mediterranean and the only Arab sheikhdom outside of the Persian Gulf littoral.

Calculated Balkanization via Civil War: Dividing Libya into Trusteeships

There was more than just fate on the side of the Libyan people who had fought for their independence. The imperialist attempt to divide Libya into three territories was defeated by the Libyan people. In the words of Henri Habib:

Despite the attempts made by a number of powers to keep Libya divided and weak after 1951 by establishing a federal system in a homogenous state, the Libyans amended their own constitution in 1963, established a unitary state and removed a major obstacle to the unity of [Libya]. This obstacle was an administrative or structural impediment to the fuller evolution of independence which the Libyans sacrificed so much to achieve. [14]

During the previous scheme to divide their country many Libyans realized that the objective of the former colonial powers was to enhance the powers of King Idris. Idris was to serve as a foreign vassal and the “local manager” of foreign interests. His role would have been similar to the Arab monarchs in Jordan and Morocco. The purpose was to install a neocolonial regime while weakening Libya as a nation-State. [15]

Today, in the context of the US-NATO led war, the objectives to divide Libya into the three territories of Tripolitania, Cyrenaica, and Fezzan are very much alive. James Clapper Jr., the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, had testified to the U.S. Senate in March 2011 that at the end of the conflict Libya would revert to its previous federalist divisions which existed under the monarchy and that the country would have two or three different administrations. [16]


Thus, effectively Britain, France and Italy have resumed their neocolonial project to balkanize Libya into three separate states. All three countries have acknowledged sending military advisors to the Transitional Council: “Italian Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa said 10 military instructors would be sent and details were being worked out. He spoke Wednesday [April 20, 2011] after meeting with his British counterpart, Liam Fox.” [17] It is most likely that hundreds of NATO and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) military advisors and special troops are operating on the ground in Libya.

France has openly admitted funnelling weapons into the Western Mountains to forces hostile to the Tripoli government. [18] This constitutes a breach of U.N. security council resolution 1973. It constitutes a blatant violation of international law. The French government claims that they are sending weapons to civilians to protect themselves. This is a non-sequitur argument. It has no legal standing whatsoever and is an utter lie.

Weapons’ shipments have also been flown into Benghazi by these Western European powers and the U.S. under the disguise of humanitarian aid. Moreover there are signs that the small insurgency in the Western Mountains was coordinated by U.S. diplomats in November 2010. [19] One U.S. diplomat was asked to leave Libya in November 2010 for making unauthorized secret trips to the area, just as U.S. and French diplomats have done in Hama to stroke tensions in Syria. [20]

This war seeks to create divisions within Libyan society. Admiral Stravridis, the U.S. commander in charge of NATO, has told the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee in March 2011 that he believed that Qaddafi’s support base would shrink as the tribal cleavages in Libya came “into play” as the war proceeded. [21] What Stravridis indirectly spelled out is that the NATO operations in Libya will cause further internal divisions through igniting tribal tensions that will cement regional differences. This is one of the real aims of the bombing campaign. [22] The U.S. and NATO also know full well that if Colonel Qaddafi is gone that the Libyan tribes would bicker amongst themselves for power and be politically divided. This is why they have been very adamant about removing Qaddafi.

The U.S., Britain, France, Italy, and NATO have all banked on a power vacuum that would be left by Qaddafi if he leaves power or dies. This is why they want to kill him. They have calculated that there will be a mad dash to fill the power vacuum that will help divide Libya further and promote violence. They are also very well aware that any tribal conflicts in Libya will spread from North Africa into West Africa and Central Africa.

The NATO-led coalition against Libya is supported by covert intelligence operaitons on the ground as psychological operations (PSYOPS) to create internal divisions within the Tripoli government. This is intended to not only weaken the regime and to make it act more desperately, but it is also intended to compound the internal divisions within Libya.
Britain’s William Hague has offered sanctuary to any Libyan officials, such as Musa Al-Kusa, that wish to defect from Tripoli and has said that London will exempt them from international sanctions. [23] This British offer of “exemption” also illustrates that the international sanctions against Libya are a political weapon with very little moral or ethical meaning or drive.

Even within the Benghazi-based Transitional Council there are divisions that the Pentagon and NATO have been exploiting. The Wall Street Journal had this to report about the animosity between the so-called jihadist elements and the rest of the Transitional Council: “Some rebel leaders are wary of their [meaning the jihadists] roles. ‘Many of us were concerned about these people’s backgrounds,’ said Ashour Abu Rashed, one of Darna’s representatives on the rebel’s provisional government body, the Transitional National Council.” [24] It has also been disclosed that the Transitional Council forces are also fighting each other and using NATO against each other. [25]

Sowing the Seeds of Chaos: Al-Qaeda and Libya

U.S. officials have increasingly been talking about the expansion of Al-Qaeda in Africa and how the “Global War on Terrorism” must be extended into the African continent. This talking point severes the following objectives:

1. To bolster U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and a NATO-like alliance in Africa.

2. To control the Transitional Council, which is integrated by an Islamic militia as well prevent the development of an authentic and progressive opposition within Libya.

The U.S. and the E.U. would not not accept a truly independent Libyan government. In this regard, there are contingency plans which would allow the US and the E.U., if they so choose, to betray the Transitional Council or dispose of it like an outdated utensil. This is why the Pentagon and the mainstream media have started to speak about an Al-Qaeda presence in Libya.

Such scenario of betrayal should come as no surprise. The U.S. and its allies have consistently betrayed former allies. Saddam Hussein is one example and another is the Taliban government in Kabul, which was directly supported by the US.

Washington and its cohorts are deliberately keeping the Al-Qaeda card in reserve to use against the Transitional Council in case it refuses to cooperate with Washington and NATO. Regardless of a Transitional Council victory, they also want to use the Al-Qaeda card as a a justificaiton for future military interventions in Libya under the banner of the “war on terrorism”.

It is very likely that terrorist attacks will occur in Libya in some form like they did in Iraq following its 2003 invasion and occupation. These acts of terrorism will be covertly coordinated by Washington and its NATO allies.

In the words of Robin Cook the former foreign minister of Britain, Al-Qaeda is “originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians [sic.; Soviets].” [26] Washington and NATO are now planning to use Al-Qaeda and the militant Islamists that they themselves created to fight countries opposed to their agenda, such as Syria and Libya, and to implant a new generation of subservient Islamist politicians into Arab countries, such as Egypt.

Dividing Libya: Destroying the Nation State

This war in Libya has nothing to do with saving lives. Truth is turned upside down: Killing is saving lives, being dead is being alive, war is peace, destruction is preservation, and open lies are presented as the truth. People have been blinded by a slew of lies and utter deception.

In this conflict most of the propaganda, most of the lies, and most of the hatred have invariably come from people who are not actually involved in the fighting. Others have been used as their pawns and Libya as their battlefield. All the known advocates of Pentagon militarism and global empire demanded for this war to take place, including Paul Wolfowitz, John McCain, Joseph Lieberman, Eliott Abrahams, Leon Wieseltier, John Hannah, Robert Kagan, and William Kristol.

There has been a blatant infringement of international law. War crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed by NATO in Libya. These crimes will never be investigated by the International Criminal Court (I.C.C.) or the U.N. Quite the opposite: the U.N. Security Council and the I.C.C. are political weapons, which are being used against Libya. The UN is silent on the use of depleted uranium (D.U.) ammunition or the bombing of civilian targets

This is not a a humanitarian war: the first target of the war was the Mint which prints and issues Libyan dinars and the country’s food storage facilities. Several humanitarian organizations were targetted including schools, a children center, hospitals, the offices of the Down’s Syndrome Society, the Handicapped Women’s Foundation, the National Diabetic Research Centre, the Crippled Children’s Foundation. Among the hospitals and medical facilities which have been bombed is a complex used for medical oxygen production.


The bombings have also targetted residential areas, a hotel, restaurants, a bus filled with civilians, Nasser University (a campus of Al-Fatah University), and a conference hall with participants involved in anti-war activism. Meanwhile NATO was supplying the rebels with offensive weapons [27]

What is happening in Libya is an insidious process.
The underlying objective is create divisions within Libyan society.

The war is dragging out, which in turn creates a situation in which the Transitional Council becomes increasingly dependent on the US and NATO military alliance. This is why NATO has deliberately prolonged the war and reduced its support to the Transitional Council’s forces on the battlefield. This is one of the reasons why rebel forces have been pushed back. Even the so-called “friendly fire” incidents whereby NATO bombed the Transitional Council’s tank column heading towards Tripoli are suspect. Was this a deliberate attack with a view to prolonging the fighting. [28]

NATO has now bombed advancing Transitional Council forces several times. The Transitional Council has found it hard to explain why NATO has been bombing its forces and has even been placed in a position where it had to apologize on April 2, 2011 to NATO when its frontline volunteers were killed by NATO war planes. [29] Internal political fighting within the Transitional Council may also be a factor behind these “friendly fire” NATO bombings.

Many reports have described the conflict as intensifying:

The pro-Qadhafi forces mounted a fierce assault on Ajdabiyah since Saturday morning [April 9, 2011]. Following classic military tactics, regime forces first resorted to the heavy artillery firing, which was followed by incursions by infantry troops inside the town. By afternoon, shells were landing at Istanbul street in the city centre, causing panic among several opposition fighters, who chose to hastily flee in their vehicles towards Benghazi. However, some among the opposition ranks stood their ground, and managed to control the north-eastern access to the town. But another artillery barrage appeared to have dislodged them from their fragile moorings. As the battle raged, NATO forces were pitching in with air strikes, which seemed unable to silence the regime’s heavy guns. On Sunday [April 10, 2011], NATO claimed that air strikes had destroyed 11 regime tanks ahead of Ajdabiyah. The government said it had shot down two opposition helicopters, signalling the high intensity of the fighting on the ground as well as in the air. [30]

In reality there is a virtual stalemate. The Transitional Council is not moving westward, but has also been entrenched in its eastward positions due to NATO support.

One objective of NATO is to control both sides. The idea is that as both sides become more desperate they will also increasingly turn to Washington and Brussels for a way out of the war and make more concessions to U.S. and E.U. demands. The Israelis are also another player that can be turned to by both sides in Libya.

Both Tripoli and Benghazi have talked with the U.S. and the E.U. through different channels, which include using individuals in unofficial positions. Kurt Weldon, a former member of the U.S. Congress for Pennsylvania, went to meet with Libyan officials at the start of April 2011. Weldon made the trip to Tripoli in coordination with the White House. The U.S. media tried to casually gloss over Weldon’s visit running articles about how he did not meet Qaddafi.

At the onset of the fighting Tripoli accepted Venezuelan offers for mediation, which the U.S. and the E.U. undermined and the Transitional Council rejected. Tripoli even said that it accepted an initial March 2011 African Union ceasefire and reform plan, which were ignored by Washington and its allies. Tripoli even requested that the African Union, the U.N., and the E.U. investigate for themselves the claims against the Libyan government. Worldwide, most governments, from Brazil and Nigeria to Malaysia and China, voiced support for a negotiated settlement in Libya, but this has been ignored by the U.S., NATO, and the unrepresentative group of Arab dictators they call their allies.

The Qaddafi family’s subsequent requests for diplomatic negotiations were also turned down by the U.S. and the main E.U. powers. [31] Afterwards, Tripoli again accepted African Union offers for mediation spearheaded by the Republic of South Africa and a repeated African Union proposal for a ceasefire, which the U.S. and the E.U. undermined again and the Transitional Council rejected. [32] The repeated African Union proposal called for a ceasefire, the creation of humanitarian corridors, protection of foreigners, and finally dialogue between both sides in bringing democratic reform. [33] A massive people’s initiative for a reconciliation march across the war zone in Libya was even started, which received little press coverage outside of Africa and a few countries. [34]

The government in Tripoli has even put together a new constitution. [35] Tripoli even gave orders for the military to leave Misurata (Misrata/Misratah) and allow the local tribes to establish political order and security in the city and its surrounding district. [36] During talks with Greece officials from Libya even tried to use billions of frozen dollars to provide humanitarian aid to the Libyan people on both sides of the conflict, but had their plan obstructed and blocked by France. [37]

As they did during the invasion of Iraq, the political ranks have started to show breaks in London. Conservative parliamentarians in the British Parliament, such as John Baron, David Davis, and Peter Bone, are starting to criticize their leader, Prime Minister Cameron. [38]
Baron told the British press that the war on Libya has changed significantly: “When it was put before the House, the emphasis was very much on humanitarian assistance. This has changed into a mission of regime change [in Libya].” [39]

The Geo-Politics of Dividing Libya

Of significance, Washington does not want to have a visible presence in the war in North Africa. It has deliberately let its allies take the lead in the operation and painstakingly tried to distance itself from the war. It has presented itself as cautious and reluctant to go to war. [40] Washington’s allies are in reality acting on behalf of the Empire. NATO is also in the process of performing the role of global military force acting indirectly on behalf of the United States.

This war is not exclusively about controlling energy reserves and the Libyan economy. The war also encompasses a strategy to entrench U.S. and E.U. control over Africa as well balkanize the entire African region. The U.S. and the E.U. were adamant regarding Tripoli’s project to develop and unify Africa, as opposed to the neocolonial strategy of maintaining Africa as a provider of raw materials and (unmanufactured) natural resources. [41]

It is worth noting, in this regard, that the Director of National Intelligence, in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee during a session focusing on Libya, stated that Russia and China constitute “mortal threats” to the United States. [42] The war in Libya is also meant to shore up the drive into Eurasia, which targets Russia, China, Iran, and Central Asia.

The Arab sister-republics of Lebanon and Syria are targets too. Syria has been destabilized and the groundwork is underway in Lebanon with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL). Control over Libya, Syria, and Lebanon would also complete the Mediterranean Union, which is a geo-political project of the E.U. and Washington to control the entire Mediterranean. [43]

Towards An African NATO

The war against Libya will also be used to create a NATO-like military structure in Africa that will be tied to AFRICOM. While speaking to the U.S. Senate Arms Services Committee, General Ham of AFRICOM pointed out that a military partnership with African states and support for regional military cooperation in Africa were strategic for Washington. General Ham was pointing to the fact that U.S. was planting the seeds of a NATO-like military structure in Africa that would be subordinate to Washington. In General Ham’s own words:

Secondly, building the Coalition to address the situation in Libya was greatly facilitated through the benefits of longstanding relationships and inter-operability, in this case through NATO. This is the kind of regional approach to security that U.S. Africa Command seeks to foster on the continent [of Africa]. U.S. Africa Command’s priority efforts remain building the security capacity of our African partners. We incorporate regional cooperation and pursuit of inter-operability, in all of our programs, activities, and exercises so our African partners are postured to readily form coalitions to address African security challenges as they arise. [44]

Libya is the crown of Africa and from Libya there is a perfect opening for the U.S., NATO, and the E.U. into the African continent. U.S. and NATO bases may also be established in the eastern portion of Libya and used as a staging ground for a possible war against Sudan. These bases could be established at the request of the Transitional Council and justified as a means of providing stability to North Africa and as a means of protecting the Libyan people in Benghazi.

The Destruction of the Libyan State

Washington and the E.U. want to privatize the Libyan public sector under the control of their corporations, take over Libyan industries, and control every aspect of the Libyan economy. On March 19, 2011 the Transitional Council declared that it had established a new Benghazi-based Libyan oil corporation and a new national bank under the auspicious of the Central Bank of Benghazi, which would be responsible for all of Libya’s monetary policies. [45] The new Benghazi-based institutions are an opening for an economic invasion and the colonization of Libya. The Central Bank of Benghazi, which is controlled by Britain’s Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), could also be given control of the Arab Banking Corporation, which could be used as an umbilical cord by Wall Street and Canary Wharf for infiltrating Libya.

The Benghazi-based Transitional Council is already starting the process of exporting oil with the aid of Qatar from the Libyan seaport of Tobruk (Tobruq) near the Egyptian border. [46] The countries and corporations trading with the Transitional Council are all breaching international law. This act is not only intended to weaken Libya, but it also criminal and a form of economic exploitation.

Moreover, Libyan oil will be used to finance weapons sales. The Transitional Council will use the funds from oil sales that it receives to purchase weapons to fight the Libyan military. This will also violate the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The Associated Press reported about this on April 1, 2011 saying:

A plan to sell rebel-held oil to buy weapons and other supplies has been reached with Qatar, a rebel official said Friday, in another sign of deepening aid for Libya’s opposition by the wealthy Gulf state after sending warplanes to help confront Moammar Gadhafi’s forces.

It was not immediately clear when the possible oil sales could begin or how the arms would reach the rebel factions, but any potential revenue stream would be a significant lifeline for the militias and military defectors battling Gadhafi’s superior forces. [47]

France, Italy, and Qatar have all recognized the Transitional Council as the government of Libya. [48] The U.S., Britain, Germany, Turkey, and their allies have also all given various forms of recognition to the Transitional Council. They are all working now to control the new institutions of the Benghazi administered areas of Libya. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is also hovering over Libya under the pretext of furthering democracy amongst the Arabs. [49] They all plan on profiting off the interests from the loans that they are now giving to the Transitional Council.

Two Parallel Administrations in Libya

The U.S. and the E.U. are trying to manipulate the Libyan people to their advantage; they are using the Libyan people as cannon fodder. The objective is to create a deadlock and foment chaos across North Africa. Even the sniper attacks on both Libyan sides could be the work of U.S., British, French, NATO, Egyptian, and Khaliji (Gulf) Arab agent provocateurs. The objective is to manipulate the Libyans into destroying their country from the within. The destruction of Yugoslavia, namely the “Balkanization of the Balkans” is the model which is being applied to Libya, leading to its division and political subordination to Washington and Brussels.

There have been discussions about splitting the country up, between the regimes in Tripoli and Benghazi. The government in Tripoli would keep everything from Tripoli to somewhere near Misurata, while the Transitional Council would get to administer all the territory in the east running to the Egyptian border. [50] Two parallel Libyan governments are at present a reality. Benghazi already has U.N., U.S., E.U., Qatari, British, French, German, Turkish, and Italian diplomatic missions.

As mentioned earlier, the U.S. and the E.U. waited until the Libyan military had reached the doors of Benghazi and the Transitional Council was nearly on its deathbed to take action. This was no mere coincidence. David Owen, a member of the British House of Lords is worth quoting about the timing of the military intervention: “Without it, within hours, Benghazi would have fallen, and [Colonel Qaddafi] would have won.” [51] This was made to insure the indispensability of NATO to an acquiescent Transitional Council.
Israel and Libya

The supporters of the Transitional Council accuse the Qaddafi regime of being supported by Israel, while they themselves are openly supported by NATO and the Arab petro-sheikhdoms, which oppose democracy and freedom in their own countries. Both sides in Libya have to realize that NATO and Israel, as well as Saudi Arabia and the Arab petro-sheikhdoms, are allies and work closely together against the legitimate aspirations of the Arab peoples. They are merely being played one against the other.

Israel is also involved in this equation. The visit of Bernard-Henri Lévy to Benghazi serves Israeli interests. [52] Tel Aviv has sought to play both sides. Rumours about an Israeli plan to establish a military base on the Libyan eastern border with Egypt have also been circulating for months. What should also be considered is that just like the natural gas deal between Israel and Egypt, where Egyptian natural gas was sold to Israel below market prices, Libyan water from the Great Man-Made River could be diverted to Israel from a pipeline running through Egypt. Like South Sudan, it is being said that the Transitional Council will recognize Israel. Lévy has also said that the Transitional Council has told him that they intend to recognize Israel. [53]

The Role of Banks and Currency in the War on Libya

Banks have a role to play in this war. U.S. and European financial institutions are major players. The vast overseas financial holdings and sovereign funds owned by Libya are the “spoils of war” accruing to major Western banks and financial institutions.

In 2008, Goldman Sachs was given 1.3 billion dollars (U.S.) by the Libyan Investment Authority. [54] In unfathomable terms, Goldman Sachs told the Libyans that 98% of the investment value was lost, which means that the Libyans lost almost all their investment. [55] Goldman Sachs had merely appropriated Libya’s money wealth. The Libyan government and Goldman Sachs would then try to work something out by giving Libya huge shares in Goldman Sachs, but the negotiations failed in 2009. Nor was Goldman Sachs alone in taking Libyan money; the Société Générale SA, the Carlyle Group, J.P. Morgan Chase, Och-Ziff Capital Management Group and Lehman Brothers Holdings were all also holding vast amounts of Libyan funds. [56]


Signs of Hope: Libya’s Promise of Tomorrow. A New Strategic Axis?

The Libyans have realized that they need to continue on a pan-African path and to follow a model of self-sufficiency. Many in Tripoli have also started thinking about the future. Old disputes and animosities may also be put aside with other global players that are opposed to U.S. hegemony and opposed to NATO.

A strategic axis between Libya, Algeria, Syria, and Iran that will later include Lebanon may blossom as the Libyans begin to explore their strategic options on the political and security levels. Libya has realized that it has made mistakes and now knows that it must find a place in some sort of a global counter-alliance against the U.S. and its allies. Tripoli will eventually try to find a strategic equilibrium for itself in a geo-strategic concept that will balance Russia, China, and Iran.

A new strategic concept for the Libyans would also include Venezuela and the Bolivarian Bloc in Latin America. Venezuela, along with Syria, has been Libya’s staunchest supporter during the NATO war.

Eventually, Lebanon and Libya will also mend fences. The dossier of Musa Al-Sadr only remains between Lebanon and Libya on the insistence of Nabih Berri. The upper echelons within Hezbollah, including Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, have tried not to antagonize Berri and the leadership of the Amal Movement on the issue of Musa Al-Sadr as part of an effort to prevent divisions in the Shiite Muslim community of Lebanon, but if a strategic axis begins to form between Algeria, Libya, Syria, and Iran the issue of Al-Sadr will have to be resolved in Lebanon.

In France and Western Europe tensions are also rising internally and against Washington. Gaullism may become reinvigorated in a declining France. The people of Africa have also become even more aware of the exploitation of their continent and the importance of Libya to the rest of Africa.

Most importantly, the NATO bombings have helped bring much of Libya together too and have given the nation a new sense of mission.

The Libyan people have been reinvigorated with this sense of mission. They have been energized and a revolutionary spirit has been stirred and awakened in the youth.

When the dust settles, the people of Libya will begin to weed out political corruption. The worst enemy of all for the Libyans has been the enemy from within.

This war has chiefly been against the Libyan people. It has not been the Libyan military that has kept the country standing, but the Libyan people themselves and their resistance.

NATO has become tired and faces many internal and external pressures. Italy has now been forced to withdraw from the war. [58] Norway will also withdraw in August 2011. [59] France has even accepted what Paris and NATO refused to accept from the start of the conflict, namely to end the war and to stop bombing Libya if both sides in Tripoli and Benghazi start political talks. [60] In reality, Tripoli has been calling for political dialogue with an entire international chorus for months, but it has been the U.S. and the E.U. that have refused to listen. This also exposes the guilt of the U.S. and the E.U. in waging a war of aggression against Libya.

It should also be noted that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has also said that he was told that the war would end when the population of Tripoli revolted against Colonel Qaddafi. [61] This is a significant statement by the Italian Prime Minister. An analysis of cause and effect is very important here. It means that the war did not start as a result of any revolts, but was intended to instigate revolts against the Libyan government. This would explain why NATO has deliberately been targeting and punishing the civilian population. The aim has been to instigate them against Colonel Qaddafi.

The security of the familiar is gone. The issue of succession to Colonel Qaddafi was something that the Libyans thought little about or largely ignored prior to the conflict in Libya, but it is now something that has been addressed. If the war never happened, it is likely that there would have been a civil war in Libya once Qaddafi left. Now this is something that has been prepared for. Many of the corrupt people in Libya have also been exposed and have shown their true colours too. Libyans are no longer ignoring these problems as they did before.

Libya is not perfect and many of the Libyan people will be amongst the first to admit it. Now many of them are prepared to fix their problems at home for the sake of saving their country, their society, and their families. They face an uphill battle, but they are willing to fight and to make all the sacrifices needed for a better tomorrow. This inner recognition and will to change is the start of authentic change. These people will not give up even if NATO were to launch an invasion or increasing its bombings to devastating levels. Although the conflict is far from over, in the end history will judge the NATO war against Libya as a huge mistake and as the beginning of the end for NATO.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)


NOTES

•    [1] Henri Pierre Habib, Politics and Government of Revolutionary Libya (Montmagny, Québec: Le Cercle de Livre de France Ltée, 1975), pp.19-20.
•    [2] Ibid., p.68.
•    [3] Ibid.
•    [4] Ibid., pp.70-71.
•    [5] Ibid., p.72.
•    [6] Ibid., p.73.
•    [7] Eds. Fredrick Aandahl et al., The United Nation; The Western Hemisphere, vol. 2 of Foreign Relations of the United States 1951 (Washington, D.C.: United States Government, 1979), p.25.
•    [8] Ibid.
•    [9] Ibid.
•    [10] Ibid.
•    [11] Habib, Revolutionary Libya, Op. cit., p.19.
•    [12] Ibid., p.68
•    [13] Ibid., p.20.
•    [14] Ibid., p.2.
•    [15] Ibid., p.68.
•    [16] U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Testimony on the current and future worldwide threats to the national security of the United States, 112th Congress, 2011, 1st Session, 10 March 2011.
•    [17] Los Angeles Times, “3 Western powers sending military advisors to Libya,” April 20, 2011.
•    [18] Louis Charbonneau and Hamuda Hassan, “France defends arms airlift to Libyan rebels,” Reuters, June 30, 2011.
•    [19] Reuters, “Libya orders US diplomat to leave: report,” November 8, 2010.
•    [20] Ibid.; Voice of America (VOA), “US, Syria Clash Over Ambassador’s Hama Visit,” July 8, 2011; Bassem Mroué, “Syrian protesters attack US embassy,” Associated Press (AP), July 11, 2011.
•    [21] United States Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. European Command and U.S. Strategic Command in review of the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2012 and the Future Years Defense Program,112th Congress, 2011, 1st Session, 29 March 2011; Infra. n.22 and n.61 (the bombings are meant to cause regime change).
•    [22] Infra. n.61; see the omission of the Italian Prime Minister that the NATO bombings are not a result of any revolt, but are intended to cause a revolt in Tripoli against Colonel Qaddafi.
•    [23] Harriet Sherwood, “UK paves way for flight of Libyan defectors,” The Guardian (U.K.), April 5, 2011; the important details on Hague’s announcement and London’s position are as follows: “Libyan ministers and officials who were prepared to abandon the regime would be ‘treated with respect and in accordance with our laws’, he added. ‘In the case of anyone currently sanctioned by the EU and UN who breaks definitively with the regime, we will discuss with our partners the merits of removing the restrictions that currently apply to them, while being clear that this does not constitute any form of immunity whatsoever.’”
•    [24] Charles Levinson, Ex-Mujahedeen Help Lead Libyan Rebels, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), April 2, 2011.
•    [25] This information has been passed on through numerous sources on the ground in Libya including members of the Non-Governmental Fact Finding Commission on the Current Events in Libya.
•    [26] Robin Cook, “The struggle against terrorism cannot be won by military means,” The Guardian (U.K.), July 8, 2005.
•    [27] “Arms Embargo – NATO Boarding,” The NATO Channel (May 24, 2011); Mike Mühlberger was the videos producer and reporter. Because of the legal ramifications this video would have NATO removed this video.
•    [28] Stephen Fidler, Charles Levinson, and Alistair Mcdonald, “Friendly Fire Raises Tensions in Libya,” The Wall Street Journal, April 8, 2011.
•    [29] Tara Bahrampour, “Libyan rebels struggle to explain rift,” The Washington Post, April 2, 2011; Transitional Council leadership statements to the international press about the death of its volunteers are as follows: “‘It was a terrible mistake, and we apologize, and we will not let it happen again,’ said Abdul Hafidh Ghoga, vice president and spokesman of the opposition’s Transitional National Council.”
•    [30] Atul Aneja, “AU begins mediation as Qadhafi forces advance,” The Hindu, April 11, 2011.
•    [31] Elle Ide, “Italy recognizes Libyan opposition council,” Associated Press (AP), April 4, 2011.
•    [32] Chris McGreal and Harriet Sherwood, “Libya: Gaddafi has accepted roadmap to peace, says Zuma,” The Guardian (U.K.), April 11, 2011; Quoting from the article: “The [African Union] delegation, consisting of the presidents of South Africa, Congo-Brazzaville, Mali and Mauritania, plus Uganda’s foreign minister, landed at Tripoli’s Mitiga airport after Nato gave permission for their aircraft to enter Libyan airspace. The planes were the first to land in Tripoli since the international coalition imposed a no-fly zone over the country more than two weeks ago.”
•    [33] Simon Denyer and Leila Fadel, “Gaddafi accepts African Union’s road map for peace,” The Washington Post, April 10, 2011.
•    [34] Ian Black, “Libya’s biggest tribe joins march of reconciliation to Benghazi,” The Guardian (U.K.), March 23, 2011; On a personal note, I also was told by sources inside Tunisia and Libya that any people attempting reconciliation marches were attacked.
•    [35] Maria Golovnina, “Libya pledges constitution but Gaddafi role unclear,” Reuters, April 10, 2011.
•    [36] Michael Georgy, “McCain visits rebels, Libya adjusts Misrata tactics,” Reuters, August 22, 2011.
•    [37] Solomon Hughes and Kim Sengupta, “Gaddafi regime staked £12bn on secret deal in bid to open peace talks,” The Independent (U.K.), June 10, 2011.
•    [38] The Daily Mail (U.K.), “MPs rebel over Libya mission creep as Cameron, Obama and Sarkozy promise to keep bombing until Gaddafi regime is gone,” April 15, 2011.
•    [39] Ibid.
•    [40] Julian Borger and Ewen MacAskill, “No-fly zone plan goes nowhere as US, Russia and Nato urge caution,” The Guardian (U.K.), March 1, 2011.
•    [41] Discussion with Mohammed Siala (Libyan Minister of International Cooperation), July 4, 2011.
•    [42] U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Testimony on the current, Op. cit.
•    [43] Lebanon and Syria are already members and Libya is an observer member. Libya was scheduled to become a full member, but Colonel Qaddafi changed his mind, which upset France and the European Union.
•    [44] U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. Transportation Command, Op. cit.
•    [45] William Varner, “Libyan Rebel Council Forms Oil Company to Replace Qaddafi’s,” Bloomberg, March 22, 2011.
•    [46] Al Jazeera, “Libyan rebels ‘disappointed’ by NATO, April 5, 2011; Atul Aneja, “Opposition allies mull ‘political solution’ in Libya,” The Hindu, April 8, 2011.
•    [47] Brian Murphy and Adam Schreck, “Libyan opposition says it has oil deal with Qatar,” Associated Press (AP), April 1, 2011.
•    [48] Scott Peterson, “Italy rejects Qaddafi, recognizes Libyan rebel government,” Christian Science Monitor, April 4, 2011.
•    [49] Daryna Krasnolutska and Agnes Lovasz, “North African and Mideast Democracy a Condition for EBRD Loans, Mirow Says,” Bollomberg, April 21, 2011.
•    [50] Alan Fisher, “Libya leaders talk exit strategy,” Al Jazeera, March 4, 2011.
•    [51] Ibid.
•    [52] Kim Willsher, “Libya: Bernard-Henri Lévy dismisses criticism for leading France to conflict,” The Observer, March 27, 2011.
•    [53] Radio France Internationale, “Libyan rebels will recognise Israel, Bernard-Henri Lévy tells Netanyahu,” June 2, 2011.
•    [54] Margaret Coker and Liz Rappaport, “Libya’s Goldman Dalliance Ends in Losses, Acrimony,” The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), May 31, 2011.
•    [55] Ibid.
•    [56] Ibid.
•    [57] The Daily Mail (U.K.), “U.S. rescue chopper shoots six Libyan villagers as they welcome pilots of downed Air Force jet,” March 22, 2011.
•    [58] Voice of America (VOA), “Berlusconi Opposes Libya Mission; Rome Cuts Involvement,” July 7, 2011.
•    [59] Agence-France Presse (AFP), “Nato capabilities will be exhausted within 90 days in Libya,” July 11, 2011.
•    [60] Agence-France Presse (AFP), “France backs ‘political solutions’ in Libya crisis,” July 11, 2011.
•    [61] Lamine Chikhi et al., “Italy’s Berlusconi exposes NATO rifts over Libya,” ed. Elizabeth Fullerton, Reuters, July 7, 2011; Nicolas Carey (who was expelled from Tripoli and managed to immediately reappear in Misurata) also contributed to this report. As a note the reporting of Carey has to be carefully scrutinized.

Libya: NATO Provides the Bombs; The French “Left” Provides the Ideology

Libya: NATO Provides the Bombs; The French “Left” Provides the Ideology
by Pierre Lévy

Pierre Lévy is a French journalist.  He is a former editor of L’Humanité (1996-2001) and former member of CGT-Métallurgie.  He is now the editor of Le Nouveau Bastille-République-Nations.  The original article “Contre la banalisation et la normalisation de l’ingérence” was first published by Le Grand Soir on 28 September 2011.  Translation by Diana Johnstone.

Last April, former Le Monde diplomatique director Ignacio Ramonet published (in Mémoire des Luttes) a text entitled “Libya, the Just and the Unjust.”  The war had been started a few weeks earlier, inaugurated by French aircraft which had the honor of dropping the first bombs on Tripoli.  On March 19, “a wave of pride swept through the Elysée palace,” Le Monde reported.  At the time, experts and commentators had no doubt that within a few days or a few weeks at the very most the country would be rid of the “tyrant,” thanks to the anticipated popular uprising, facilitated by the aerial nudge from the coalition, aglow in the sage aura of Bernard-Henri Lévy.

To be sure, in his text Ignacio Ramonet took his distance from NATO.  He nevertheless stated from the very outset: “The Libyan insurgents deserve the help of all democrats.”  God be praised, certain democrats were not stingy with their help: in five months, more than 15,000 airstrikes delivered several thousand tons of bombs, not to mention the latest generation of missiles, special forces on the ground in the form of instructors — a gift prohibited in principle, but love is blind.  Only the result counted: Total victory.

The pun is easy but unavoidable, especially since Libération published the letter in which the National Transitional Council (NTC) promised to grant 35% of concessions to the French petroleum giant Total “in exchange” (the term used) for French military engagement (a document which naturally triggered a hasty denial from the Quai d’Orsay).  The fight for freedom is such a noble cause.  The author nevertheless concluded his article by taking note of “the strong odor of petroleum hanging over the whole business.”

Indeed.  But nevertheless, his approach was no different from that of all the Western leaders and media.  In particular, he accepted the analysis of the Libyan uprising as an active part of the “Arab spring.”  Lumping events together in that way disregards the reality of each separate nation.  And in this case it is even the opposite of the truth.

In Tunisia and then in Egypt, popular movements, which certainly were not identical, did share some important points in common.  In terms of domestic policy, the mobilization saw the convergence of the working classes with what are called the “middle classes” in a movement whose social demands were inseparable from democratic objectives; in each of those two countries, the workers’ struggles and strikes of recent years — harshly repressed — constituted an essential background for the development of the movement, all in a context of mass poverty.

In terms of foreign policy, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak were unquestionably puppets of the West, of which they were always an integral part, geopolitically, economically, and ideologically.

The Libyan situation was altogether different.  In social terms, to start with, the country was by far the most advanced in Africa according to the Human Development Index (HDI).  In that regard it is striking to consult the statistics provided by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), whether concerning life expectancy (74.5 years — before the war, that is), the eradication of illiteracy, the status of women, or access to health care and to education.  The standard of living and social protection were very substantially subsidized.  There is no need to belong to the Moammer Kadhafi fan club to recall these facts.

Moreover, by his history, Kadhafi can scarcely be put in the same category as his two former neighbors.  Indeed, Ignacio Ramonet correctly observes that around 2000 he did spur a gradual rapprochement with Western leaders, who ended up rolling out the red carpet for him, business being business.  However, they never considered him “one of the family”; he was always too unpredictable, and above all he never abandoned the “Third Worldist” tone of his discourse, particularly within the African Union in which he played a very special role.

Still, the privatizations and liberalizations undertaken in recent years did not fail to impact on class relations.  A certain category of the population got rich, sometimes very much so, while adopting liberal ideology.  Precisely some of those to whom the “Guide” entrusted the “modernization” of the country and privileged contacts with international high finance (and its university connections, notably in the United States) came around to the idea that, in this context, the historic leader was more of an obstacle than an asset for the completion of the process.  Part of the middle classes and well-to-do youth, especially in Benghazi for historic reasons, therefore constituted a social base for the rebellion — a rebellion which was armed from the start, not made up of peaceful crowds.

The countless reports and interviews with the “anti-Kadhafi” youth are enlightening.  Le Monde cited those well-to-do young women who shouted “no milk for our children, but arms for our brothers.”  A slogan which would probably have astonished the Egyptian demonstrators . . . and which in any case illustrates the absurdity of lumping these events together.

In short, the absence of social demands and even the presence of a demand for “more economic freedom”; (not systematic but nevertheless frequent and now louder) calls for a stricter application of “Islamic law”; NTC leaders closely linked to the Western business world or even trained there; and a movement which was only able to win thanks to NATO bombing — all that is not exactly what is known as a revolution.  Symbolically, the “new” Libyan flag is the old banner of King Idris the First, overthrown in 1969.  At this point the term that comes to mind would rather be a counter-revolution.

On that hypothesis — if only as a proposal for debate — then things look a bit different.  Of course that doesn’t mean that the insurgents who want to liquidate Moammer Kadhafi are all Western agents; many are surely sincere.  But so were many Chouans during the Vendée wars.  Many of them were massacred nonetheless — sometimes blindly but necessarily in order to save the young revolution.

And when it comes to “massacres,” the protégés of the Allied Powers don’t seem to need many lessons, to say the least.  That applies in particular to the veritable pogroms that took place — and may still be going on — against civilians with black skin.  Presented as “regrettable errors” by Western media when they couldn’t be totally ignored, they seem to have been much more widespread than what we have been shown.  Above all, they indicate a class racism, since, whether Libyans or immigrants, blacks make up the main ranks of what could be called in broad terms the working class, not exactly in the good graces of the insurgents, least of all in Cyrenaica.

In any case, the “protection of civilians” is not only a high point of hypocrisy on the part of Western leaders.  Above all it constitutes the pretext for intervention, absolutely contrary to the founding principle of the United Nations Charter: the sovereignty and equality before the law of each State.

It is this eminently progressive principle that Cuban, Venezuelan, and many other Latin American leaders rightly defend, to the chagrin of Ramonet.  The latter thus denounces their “huge historic error” in refusing to take the side of the rebels.  On the contrary, by adopting that position, they are making the greatest contribution imaginable to the social and political emancipation of peoples.  It is true that, when it comes to the idea of intervention, those Latin American leaders have been inoculated against it by the historic solicitude of the Yankees for their southern neighbors.

Caracas, Havana, and others are accused by Ramonet of practicing a Realpolitik by which States act according to their interests.  Thank goodness!  For the interest of Venezuela, Cuba, and other Latin American States (most particularly the progressive ones) is indeed to defend themselves against the “legalization” of intervention whose only aim is to justify imperialist powers minding other people’s business.

Ignacio Ramonet praises UN Resolution 1973 which authorized the use of force against Tripoli.  He sees an extra dose of legitimacy for that text in the prior approval by the Arab League.  Strange way of looking at things: that organization, whose submission to Western leaders is no secret, had not up to then made a name for itself by its active devotion to the freedom of peoples (and of the Palestinian people in particular).  Dominated by big players as progressive as Saudi Arabia, it is an indisputable point of reference when it comes to promoting democracy. . .

Ramonet adds that “the Muslim powers that were hesitant at first, such as Turkey, came around to taking part in the operation.”  Are we to understand that a Muslim power has a special legitimacy to bless the flight of Rafale and Mirage fighter-bombers?  That should make the Kurds happy.

Finally, to finish telling off Chavez, Castro, or Correa, Ramonet recalls that “many Latin American leaders had rightly denounced the passivity or complicity of the great Western democracies regarding the violations committed against civilian populations between 1970 and 1990 by military dictatorships in Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay.”

Let us recall what the author knows as well as anyone else: as for “passivity” or “complicity” of the “Western democracies,” in reality it was at their direct instigation, and with their active cooperation, that the bloody coups were carried out.  But even so, nobody ever heard that at the time the democrats of those countries called for air raids on Santiago or commando raids on Buenos Aires.  It is by themselves — and never from the outside — that peoples gain their freedom.

Beyond the case of Libya, that is the point, the most essential, which deserves to be discussed among all those who adhere to the right of peoples to decide their own destiny — what used to be called anti-imperialism.

Used to be?  In fact, it was so up until the fall of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact opened the way to the reconquest of the entire planet by capitalism, its dominations and its imperial rivalries.  And that left no other choice to countries except to align themselves with the canons of “human rights,” the “rule of law,” and the “market economy” — three terms which have become synonymous — or else find themselves under fire from the cannons of the planetary policemen shamelessly calling themselves the “international community.”

By the way, an interesting scene took place in Brussels on the occasion of the European summit last March 24 and 25.  It was nearly one o’clock in the morning.  The French president rolled into the pressroom.  Questioned as to the bombing raids begun five days before, he rejoiced: “It’s a historic moment (. . .) what is happening in Libya is creating jurisprudence (. . .) it is a major turning point in the foreign policy of France, Europe, and the world.”

In reality, Nicolas Sarkozy revealed there what is probably the least visible but the most significant objective of this war.  That very morning, the special advisor of the UN Secretary General also described as “historic” the resolution putting into practice the “responsibility to protect” for the first time since the adoption of that fearsome principle in 2005.  Edward Luck added: “Perhaps our attack against Kadhafi (sic!) is a warning to other regimes.”

Granted, when it comes to armed intervention against a sovereign State, the so-called “international community” is no beginner.  But it is the first time that the UN Security Council explicitly gave the green light, and that its secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, played an active role in unleashing hostilities.  The full implications of such a situation need to be weighed: the brutal challenge to the sovereignty of States has been legalized — even if not legitimatized.  The dominant planetary oligarchies, whose final horizon is “world governance” without borders, have thereby scored a major point: interventionism (“preventive” at that, according to Mr. Luck) can henceforth be the rule.

This conception, which explicitly contradicts the United Nations Charter, is a time bomb: it undermines the very foundations on which it was written and could mean a veritable return to barbarism in international relations.

For the uncompromising defense of the principle of non-intervention does not stem from some narrow, archaic, fundamentalist cult, but primarily from a basic principle: it is up to each people alone to make the choices that condition its future.  Otherwise, the very notion of politics loses its meaning — whatever dramatic paths it must sometimes face.

It is the exactly the same with intervention as with torture.  In principle, civilized people are against its use — but someone can always be found to insist that “in extreme cases” one should be able to make an exception (“to avoid murderous attacks” was what they said during the Algerian “events”; to “avoid the massacre of civilians” is the justification today at the Elysée and elsewhere).  Now, evidence shows that, once one exception is granted, soon ten, then a hundred, will be allowed, for the sordid debate has been accepted that weighs the suffering inflicted on a tortured person against what may be gained from it, always presented in humanistic terms.  It is the same thing with respect for sovereignty: a single exception leads to eradication of the rule.  There is no — not any! — circumstance that justifies intervention.  Suppose that Nicolas Sarkozy pursued a policy totally contrary to the interests of his country and his people (absurd hypothesis, of course) — that would in no way justify Libyan — or Bengali, or Ghanaian — aircraft dive-bombing the Champs Elysées.

And what is one to make of the statement that “The European Union has a specific responsibility.  Not only military.  It must think of the next stage of consolidation of the new democracies which emerge from such a nearby region”?  One can’t help noticing that Ramonet echoes word for word the ambitions displayed by Brussels.  Leave aside the “not only military” which indicates, if words mean anything, that the EU would have grounds to intervene militarily as well.  But this “specific responsibility” which European leaders constantly claim to possess, who gave it to them?  A “benevolence” naturally attributed to a great power and its neighborhood?  Such is precisely the description of an empire, albeit in gestation.

It is hard to avoid thinking of the speech given in Strasbourg by the current president of the Republic in January 2007, when he was, while campaigning, seeking to confirm his commitment as a “convinced European.”  On that occasion, he glorified “the shattered dream of Charlemagne and of the Holy Roman Empire, the Crusades, the great schism between Eastern and Western Christianity, the fallen glory of Louis XIV and Napoleon. . .”  Thereupon continued Nicolas Sarkozy: “Europe is today the only force capable of carrying forward a project of civilization.”  He went on to conclude: “I want to be the president of a France which will bring the Mediterranean into the process of its reunification (sic!) after twelve centuries of division and painful conflicts (. . .).  America and China have already begun the conquest of Africa.  How long will Europe wait to build the Africa of tomorrow?  While Europe hesitates, others advance.”

Not wanting to be left behind, Dominique Strauss-Kahn around the same time expressed his desire for a Europe stretching “from the cold ice of the Arctic in the North to the hot sands of the Sahara in the South (. . .) and that Europe, I believe, if it continues to exist, will have reconstituted the Mediterranean as an internal sea, and will have reconquered the space that the Romans, or Napoleon more recently, attempted to consolidate.”  And by the way, the highest distinction bestowed by the EU was baptized the “Charlemagne Prize” — a hint as to what European integration was from its origins and has never ceased to be: a project necessarily and essentially imperial and ultra-free-market.

The point then is not whether or not Colonel Kadhafi is an innocent choir boy exclusively concerned with the happiness of peoples, but rather what tomorrow’s world will be like: the free choice of each people deciding its future, or the acceptance of intervention as the norm, no doubt dressed up as “human rights”?

For there is one obvious truth that should never be forgotten: intervention has never been, and will never be, anything other than the intervention of the strong in the affairs of the weak.  The respect for sovereignty in international relations is what the equal vote is to citizenship: certainly no absolute guarantee, far from it, but a substantial asset against the law of the jungle.  The latter is what could very well take over the world stage.  If all that seems too abstract, let us come back to the recent history of Libya.  After years of being subjected to embargo and treated as a pariah, Colonel Kadhafi undertook the rapprochement mentioned above with the West, which notably took the form in December 2003 of an official renunciation of any nuclear arms program in exchange for guarantees of non-aggression promised specifically by Washington.  Eight years later, there is no getting around the fact that that commitment lasted only up until the day when they felt they now had reasons to trample it under foot.  Suddenly, in the four corners of the earth everyone can measure the worth of the word given by the powerful and just how much they value the commitments they have made.  The leaders of the DPRK (North Korea) thus publicly congratulated themselves for not having given in to pressure to abandon their nuclear program.  They were right.  It would be logical to draw the obvious conclusions in Teheran, in Caracas, in Minsk, and it many other capitals.  It would be perfectly legitimate.

Barely a few months before Libya, there was Ivory Coast — another point of pride for Sarkozy; already the UN Security Council gave its blessing to gunboat diplomacy, on the sole pretext of allegations of electoral irregularities — a first!

And already the Westerners are polishing up their (military and ideological) weapons for their next adventures.  Thus Paddy Ashdown, who notably spent four years as EU High Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina, confided to the Times that from now on we should adopt and get used to the “Libyan model” of intervention, in contrast to the “Iraqi model” of massive invasion, which showed its inadequacies.

For his part, the NATO Secretary General made a plea on September 5 for the Europeans to pool better their military means in this period of budgetary restriction.  For Anders Fogh Rasmussen, “as Libya proved, we can’t know where the next crisis will come, but it will come.”  At least that much is clear.

That being the case, does it really make any sense to analyze the Syrian crisis as the uprising of a people against the “tyrant” Bashar al-Assad?  On the contrary, one may be forgiven for thinking that he is just the next on the hit list of Western governments.  In that case, is there really nothing more urgent to do, even in terms of the cause of emancipation of peoples, than to align oneself with the latter, even unintentionally?

As for the positions taken by Ignacio Ramonet, one will not insult him by assimilating him to the “left” which has long since given up the memory of struggles.  But one is obliged to note that in this case he finds himself swept along with the latter which unhesitatingly chose its side in the Libyan affair.  That once again illustrates the sad paradox of our era: the forces of globalized capitalism and reinvigorated imperialism henceforth draw their essential ideological ammunition from “the left” — from “human rights” to immigration, from ecology to globalism (which is the exact opposite of internationalism).  But that is another debate.

Or is it?

An Open Letter to Canadian Politicians re. Attack on Libya

An Open Letter to Canadian Politicians

 

By Ian Hunter. Axis of Logic exclusive
http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_62795.shtml

 

April 15, 2011


Dear Candidate:


I am a Canadian citizen writing to you with great concern for the current state of my country.

 

A week before our Parliament was dissolved for the upcoming federal election, our Government committed itself militarily to enforce a No-Fly Zone in the North African state of Libya on the basis of humanitarian intervention. This is an incredibly important issue of Canadian foreign policy and it is the responsibility every single political party that is participating in the current federal election to clearly state their stance on this issue.


If in fact your political party is intending to support the military intervention in Libya, the following is a list of information on this conflict that – as my potential political representative to the Canadian Federal Government – you should seriously consider informing your party with.



Col. Muammar Qaddafi is being demonized as a dictator, a tyrant, and a mass murderer. Canadians are being told that it is for the sake of protecting innocent civilians from the Qaddafi government that we are involved in enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya. A brief historical background on Libyan government – and the rebels we are supporting – clearly demonstrates how flawed this argument is.


 

·      In 1969, Muammar Qaddafi led a bloodless coup to overthrow King Idris I, a monarch imposed by the British after WWII. At the time, Libya was the poorest country in the entire world; with a literacy rate below 10%. Since then, the Libyan government has improved all aspects of their society.


·      Libya now has a literacy rate above 90%.


·      Libya has the lowest infant mortality rate of all of Africa.


·      Libya also has the highest life expectancy of all of Africa.


·      Less than 5% of the population was undernourished. In response to the rising food prices around the world, the government of Libya abolished ALL taxes on food.


·      Libya has the highest gross domestic product (GDP) at purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita of all of Africa.


·      Libya has the highest Human Development Index of any country on the continent.


·      In Libya, a lower percentage of people lived below the poverty line than in the Netherlands, and again, far lower than that of the United States.


·      They have free health care and treatment, and education is free of charge. Talented youth have an opportunity to study abroad at the expense of the Libyan government.


·      Before the chaos erupted, Libya had a lower incarceration rate than the Czech Republic, and far lower than the United States.


·      The core legal obligation expressed in article 2(7) of the UN Charter prohibits member states from any use of force unless it can be justified as self-defence after a cross-border armed attack; unless expressly authorized by the Security Council as essential for the sake of international peace and security. With respect to Libya, you need to take account of the fact that the Qaddafi government remains the lawful diplomatic representative of a sovereign state, and any international use of force even by the UN, much less a state or group of states, would constitute an unlawful intervention in the internal affairs of a sovereign state. This also implies that the Security Council’s decision – to allow foreign states to bomb Libya – is legal if, and only if, the outcome of this conflict represents a serious threat to international peace. Also UN Resolution 1970 (2011) forbids the delivery of weaponry of any sort to any citizen in Libya. UN Resolution 1973 (2011) while allowing the use of force to protect “civilians” does not mention attacking conventional ground forces not engaged in battle to help “rebels” nor does it bear any mention whatsoever of aiding rebellious forces to gain power.


·      Libya is the only country currently experiencing civil unrest that our Government has deemed important enough to support militarily. The day after the Security Council vote, March 18, armed forces of Ali Abdullah Saleh’s government in Yemen carried out a massacre. The massacre took place in broad daylight at the central square in Sana’a, Yemen’s capital. At least 52 people were killed and more than 200 wounded, most by snipers firing from atop government buildings. Hilary Clinton stated: “The U.S. government “is alarmed by today’s violence in Sana’a against anti-government protesters and is seeking to verify reports that this is the result of actions by security forces…We call on Yemeni security forces to exercise maximum restraint, refrain from violence, and permit citizens to freely and peacefully express their views.” There are currently no calls from Washington for a U.N.-imposed “no-fly zone,” or the bombing of Saleh’s military. Not even a whisper from Washington about sanctions. On the contrary, U.S. military and other aid has continued to flow unimpeded to Saleh and his army. On March 16, the government of Bahrain, with the assistance of 2,000 invading Saudi troops and hundreds of United Arab Emirates security forces, dispersed the mass protests in the capital Manama and elsewhere. As in the case of Yemen, no threats of military intervention, sanctions or anything at all in the face of a blatant invasion and brutal repression. More than 20 Bahrainis have been killed and hundreds wounded, out of a total population of just over a million, over the past month.


·      Another important aspect of this conflict often ignored in Canadian media is the role being played by the rebel groups of Eastern Libya. If the conditions in Libya prior to this armed insurrection were so favorable, then where did this uprising coming from? The answer is that the same groups the US and Great Britain have been funding for decades are now taking their chance to gain control over the nation.


·      The rebels of Eastern Libya are represented by several different organizations: The National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL); The Islamic Emirate of Berka; The National Conference for the Libyan Opposition (NCLO); The Al-Jama’a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya, or the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG); and the Transitional National Council (TNC). The first group calling itself “Islamic Emirate of Berka”, the former name of the North-Western part of Libya, took numerous hostages, and killed two policemen as reported by western media a few days after protests began. On Friday, the 18th of February – the day after the revolt began – the group stole 70 military vehicles after attacking a port and killing four soldiers. All the worthy democratic aspirations of the Libyan youth movement notwithstanding, the most organized opposition group happens to be the National Front for the Salvation of Libya – financed for years by the House of Saud, the CIA and French intelligence. The key figure in the National Front for the Salvation of Libya is one Ibrahim Sahad who conveniently enough lives in Washington. According to the Library of Congress archives, Sahad is the same man the CIA used in their failed attempt at a Libyan coup of 1984. The Library of Congress confirms that the CIA trained and supported the NFSL both before and after the failed coup. It was this organization that called for the “Day of Rage” that plunged Libya into chaos on February 17 of this year. The rebel “Transitional National Council” is little else than the National Front, plus a few military defectors. This is the elite of the “innocent civilians” the “coalition” is “protecting”. The UK based National Conference for the Libyan Opposition (NCLO) – is well known to be a CIA and MI5 supported and trained organization of anti-Kaddafi and counter-revolutionary Libyans.


As several documents have discovered, by far the most violent of the opposition groups is the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. The first is a secret cable to the State Department from the US embassy in Tripoli in 2008, part of the WikiLeaks trove, entitled, “Extremism in Eastern Libya,” which revealed that this area is rife with anti-American, pro-jihad sentiment.


The second document, or rather set of documents, are the so-called Sinjar Records, captured al-Qaeda documents that fell into American hands in 2007. They were analyzed by the Combating Terrorism Center at the US Military Academy at West Point. Al-Qaeda is a bureaucratic outfit and the records contain precise details on personnel, including those who came to Iraq to fight American and coalition forces and, when necessary, commit suicide.


The West Point analysts’ statistical study of the al-Qaeda personnel records concludes that one country provided “far more” foreign fighters in per capita terms than any other: namely, Libya.”


The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group mounted a major challenge to the Qaddafi regime in the 1990s. The destabilizing impact of that challenge was a major factor in the decision of the Qaddafi regime to abandon its traditional anti-imperialist rhetoric and seek an accommodation with Europe and the United States. Anas al Liby is a notable member of the LIFG. He remains on the U.S. government’s most wanted list, with a reward of $5 million for his capture, and is wanted for his involvement in the U.S. African embassy bombings. Al Liby was with bin Laden in Sudan before the al Qaeda leader returned to Afghanistan in 1996. Despite being a high-level al Qaeda operative, al Liby was granted political asylum in Britain and lived in Manchester until May of 2000. In 2009, to mark Qaddafi’s 40 years in power, the LIFG apologized for trying to kill him and agreed to lay down its arms. Six LIFG leaders, still in prison, disavowed their old ways and explained why fighting Qaddafi no longer constituted “legitimate” jihad. The last 110 members of the LIFG were freed on 16 February; the day after the Libyan uprising began. One of those released, Abdul Wahab Mohammed Kayed, is the brother of Abu Yahya Al Libi, one of al Qaida’s top propagandists.


There is an abundance of evidence proving that our Government is supporting religious extremists including Al Qaeda, and other rebels who are fighting against NATO troops in Afghanistan. In fact, Muammar Qaddafi and the Libyan revolutionary forces were the first to issue an arrest warrant for Osama bin Laden. The Libyan government spent years warning the world about the very serious threat posed by these Islamic deviants. According to former MI5 intelligence operative David Shayler, western intelligence turned a deaf ear to Libya’s warnings because they were actually working with the al Qaeda group inside Libya to bring down Qaddafi and the Libyan revolution.


“Uranium tipped missiles fit the description of a dirty bomb in every way. I would say that it is the perfect weapon for killing lots of people.”


Marion Falk, retired chemical physicist

at Lawrence Livermore Lab, California, USA.


·      Since the March 18th, coalition forces have bombed Libya with at least 221 Tomahawk missiles killing at least 100 civilians. These massive bombs, along with the Cruise missiles launched from both planes and ships, all contained depleted uranium (DU) warheads. DU is the waste product from the process of enriching uranium ore. When a weapon made with a DU tip strikes a solid object like the side of a tank, it goes straight through it, and then erupts in a burning cloud of vapor. The vapor settles as dust, which is not only poisonous, but also radioactive. Internalized DU can cause kidney damage, cancers of the lung and bone, skin disorders, neuro-cognitive disorders, chromosome damage, immune deficiency syndromes and rare kidney and bowel diseases. Pregnant women exposed to DU may give birth to infants with genetic defects. Once the dust has vaporized, its effects are very long-term. As an alpha particle emitter, DU has a half life of 4.5 billion years.


There is overwhelming evidence proving Canada’s current military involvement in Libya is supportive of both the most radical elements of Al-Qaeda, and the removal of a sovereign Government that is only legal according to International Law if it represents a legitimate threat to international peace and security.


As such, Canadian citizens have been told since 9/11 that the enemies of peace and democracy are religious extremists who will stop at nothing to destroy Western Civilization. The Canadian Government claims to be doing everything it can to protect us from external threats; yet they are supporting the exact organizations in Libya that we are supposedly needed to be defended from. In this context, we are actually further endangering Canadian lives by supporting a military intervention in Libya.


The Libyan Government is not a totalitarian dictatorship. If your political party supports the military intervention in Libya, you are supporting illegal interference in the healthiest, richest, most egalitarian state in all of Africa.


By supporting the military intervention of Libya, your political party is claiming selectively that certain countries are more important than others to receive Canada’s assistance. If Canada was truly concerned with saving civilian lives, our Government would press for resolutions protecting the citizens of Iraq, Gaza, Afghanistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and elsewhere where civilians are being systematically murdered by their governments.


If your political party supports the military intervention in Libya, you are supporting an act of war that is illegal according to international law. You are therefore supporting the destabilization of our entire global order.


If your political party supports a Canadian military intervention in Libya, you are directly supporting Al-Qaeda and other extremist religious groups that our Government claims to be protecting us from. You are NOT supporting a peaceful protest movement; you are supporting an illegal armed insurrection. Canadian support of this mission is a direct threat to the safety of every single Canadian citizen.


As an informed citizen of Canada, I plead to you – and your political party – to strongly oppose any interference in a sovereign nation that poses no threat to World peace.

The Rape of Libya

The Rape of Libya
NATO Special Forces on the Ground

By Bill Van Auken
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=26216
Global Research, August 26, 2011
World Socialist Web Site

Five days after “rebels” entered Tripoli, under the cover of NATO bombing and led by foreign special forces, the abject criminality of imperialism’s takeover of Libya is becoming increasingly evident.

Fighting continues to rage throughout the Libyan capital, whose two million residents have been made hostages of the armed gangs and Western special forces troops that have seized control of the city’s streets.

The focus of NATO operations has become a frantic effort to hunt down and murder Muammar Gaddafi, who has ruled the country for 42 years. A $2 million bounty has been placed on his head, and the British media now openly boast that SAS special forces troops are leading the search for him and his family. A vast array of US armed Predator drones, AWACS spy planes and other surveillance equipment has been concentrated on the North African country to facilitate the manhunt.

The pretense that the US and its European NATO allies were intervening in Libya to “protect civilians and civilian populated areas from threat of attack,” as stated in the United Nations Security Council resolution, has effectively been abandoned. Behind the fig leaf of this resolution the naked imperialist and colonial character of the war has emerged.

The Security Council’s stipulations that ground troops not be introduced into the country, that an arms embargo be kept in place and that mercenaries be prevented from entering Libya have all been flouted in this criminal operation to seize control of an oil-rich former colony and loot its resources. There is barely any attempt to hide the fact that special forces, intelligence agents and mercenary military contractors have organized, armed and led the “rebels”, who have not made a single advance without the prior annihilation of government security forces by NATO warplanes.

After being terrorized for five months by NATO bombs and missiles, the people of Tripoli are now facing sudden death and a looming humanitarian catastrophe as a result of the NATO campaign to “protect civilians”.

Kim Sengupta of the Independent reported Thursday from the Tripoli neighborhood of Abu Salim, which the “rebels” stormed under the cover of NATO air strikes. Known as a pro-Gaddafi area, its residents have been subjected to a reign of terror.

“There was no escape for the residents of Abu Salim, trapped as the fighting spread all around them,” Sengupta reported. “In the corner of a street, a man who was shot in the crossfire, the back of his blue shirt soaked in blood, was being carried away by three others. ‘I know that man, he is a shopkeeper,’ said Sama Abdessalam Bashti, who had just run across the road to reach his home. ‘The rebels are attacking our homes. This should not be happening.

“‘The rebels are saying they are fighting government troops here, but all those getting hurt are ordinary people, the only buildings being damaged are those of local people. There has also been looting by the rebels, they have gone into houses to search for people and taken away things. Why are they doing this?’”

Asked why local residents were resisting the NATO-led force’s takeover of the city, Mohammed Selim Mohammed, a 38-year-old engineer, told the Independent, “Maybe they just do not like the rebels. Why are people from outside Tripoli coming and arresting our men?”

Meanwhile, other reports laid bare war crimes carried out by NATO and its local agents on the ground in Tripoli. Both the Associated Press and Reuters news agencies documented a massacre perpetrated against Gaddafi supporters in a square adjacent to the presidential compound that was stormed and looted on Tuesday.

“The bodies are scattered around a grassy square next to Moammar Gadhafi’s compound of Bab al-Aziziya. Prone on grassy lots as if napping, sprawled in tents. Some have had their wrists bound by plastic ties,” AP reported.

“The identities of the dead are unclear but they are in all likelihood activists that set up an impromptu tent city in solidarity with Gadhafi outside his compound in defiance of the NATO bombings.”

AP said that the grisly discovery raised “the disturbing specter of mass killings of noncombatants, detainees and the wounded.”

Among the bodies of the executed the report added were several that “had been shot in the head, with their hands tied behind their backs. A body in a doctor’s green hospital gown was found in the canal. The bodies were bloated.”

Reporting from the same killing field, Reuters counted 30 bodies “riddled with bullets”. It noted that “Five of the dead were at a field hospital nearby, with one in an ambulance strapped to a gurney with an intravenous drip still in his arm.” Two of the bodies, it said, “were charred beyond recognition.”

Amnesty International has raised urgent concerns about the killing, torture and brutalization of people being rounded up by the “rebels,” particularly African migrant workers who have been singled out for retribution because of the color of their skin.

In a report from a makeshift detention camp set up by the NATO-led forces in a Tripoli school, Amnesty stated:

“In an overcrowded cell, where some 125 people were held with barely enough room to sleep or move, a boy told Amnesty International how he had responded to calls by al-Gaddafi’s government for volunteers to fight the opposition.

“He said that he was driven to a military camp in Az-Zawiya, where he was handed a Kalashnikov rifle that he did not know how to use.

“He told Amnesty International: ‘When NATO bombed the camp around 14 August, those who survived fled. I threw my weapon on the ground, and asked for refuge in a home nearby. I told the owners what happened, and I think they called the revolutionaries [thuuwar], because they came shortly after.

“‘They shouted for me to surrender. I put my hands up in the air. They made me kneel on the ground and put my hands behind by head. Then one told me to get up. When I did, he shot me in the knee at close range. I fell on the ground, and they continued beating me with the back of their rifles all over my body and face.

“‘I had to get three stitches behind my left ear as a result. In detention, sometimes they still beat us and insult us, calling us killers.’”

A pro-Gaddafi soldier told a similar story, recounting that he was captured August 19 while bringing supplies to his unit. “He said that he was beaten all over his body and face with the backs of rifles, punched and kicked. He bore visible marks consistent with his testimony.”

Amnesty said that “rebel” leaders estimated that one-third of the detainees were “foreign mercenaries,” meaning sub-Saharan Africans. “When Amnesty International spoke to several of the detainees, however, they said they were migrant workers. They said that they had been taken at gunpoint from their homes, workplaces and the street on account of their skin colour.” Several said that they feared for their lives and that guards had told them that they would be “eliminated or else sentenced to death.”

Among those detained were a family of five from Chad, including a minor, who were taken off of a truck while being driven to a farm to collect produce. A 24-year-old man from Niger who had worked in Libya for five years told Amnesty that armed men had seized him from his home, handcuffed and beaten him and thrown him into the trunk of a car. “I am not at all involved in this conflict,” he said. “All I wanted to do was to make a living. But because of my skin colour, I find myself here, in detention. Who knows what will happen to me now.”

The human rights group also cited a report from a Reuters reporting team which saw a “rebel” pickup truck carrying three black men in the back. One of them told Reuters he was Nigerian. “He sobbed as he said: ‘I do not know Gaddafi. I do not know Gaddafi. I am only working here.’”

News reports and statements from international aid agencies warn of a humanitarian catastrophe in the city as a result of the NATO siege. Reporting from a local hospital, the Telegraph said: “As battle raged in the Tripoli streets hundreds of casualties were brought in, rebel fighters, Gaddafi’s soldiers, and unlucky civilians, laying next to each other in bed and even on a floor awash with blood, screaming or moaning in agony. Many died before they could be treated.”

The paper interviewed Dr. Mahjoub Rishi, the hospital’s Professor of Surgery: “There were hundreds coming in within the first few hours. It was like a vision from hell. Missile injuries were the worst. The damage they do to the human body is shocking to see, even for someone like me who is used to dealing with injuries.” Most of the casualties, he said, were civilians caught in the crossfire.

The Telegraph reported that Tripoli’s two other major hospitals were similarly overflowing with casualties and desperately understaffed, as were all of the city’s private hospitals.

The aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) warned that the city is facing a medical “catastrophe”.

The group told Reuters that “Medical supplies ran low during six months of civil war [i.e., NATO bombardment] but have almost completely dried up in the siege and battle of the past week. Fuel supplies have run out and the few remaining medical workers are struggling to get to work.” The lack of fuel means that hospitals that have kept their power by running generators can now no longer do so.

Health officials in Tripoli report that blood supplies have run out at the hospitals and that food and drinking water is unavailable over whole areas of Tripoli.

Meanwhile the governments of Algeria, Venezuela and South Korea have all reported that their embassies in Tripoli have been attacked and looted by “rebel” gunmen. While the governments of Algeria and Venezuela had opposed the NATO invasion and supported Gaddafi, South Korea, a close US ally, had taken no such positions.

The universal euphoria of the US and much of the European media, which is “embedded” with NATO and its “rebels,” cannot conceal the brutal reality that a war waged under the pretense of human rights and protecting civilians has unleashed immense death, human suffering and destruction.

Far from a “revolution” or struggle for “liberation,” what the world is witnessing is the rape of Libya by a syndicate of imperialist powers determined to lay hold of its oil wealth and turn its territory into a neo-colonial base of operations for further interventions throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

Libya’s imperial hijacking is a threat to the Arab revolution

Libya’s imperial hijacking is a threat to the Arab revolution

Only when those who fought Gaddafi force Nato to leave will Libyans be able to take control of their country

Seumas Milne,

The Guardian, August 24, 2011

They don’t give up. For the third time in a decade, British and US forces have played the decisive role in the overthrow of an Arab or Muslim regime. As rebel forces pressed home their advantage across Libya under continuing Nato air support , politicians in London and Paris preened themselves on their role as the midwives of a “new Libya”.

It’s all supposed to be different this time, of course. The lessons of the west’s blood-drenched occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan are said to have been learned: no boots on the ground, UN backing, proper planning and Libyans in the lead. But the echoes of Baghdad and, even more, Kabul have been eerie – and not only in the made-for-TV images of the sacking of compounds and smashing of statues, or the street banners hailing Nato leaders.

As in Afghanistan in 2001, the western powers have taken sides in a civil war, relying on air power and special forces to turn the tide against an unpopular authoritarian regime.

In Libya, the basis for foreign military intervention has been the claim that Muammar Gaddafi’s forces were about to carry out a massacre of civilians in Benghazi after he threatened to hunt down armed rebels “house to house”. Violent repression was certainly meted out against a popular uprising, but once insurrection had morphed into war there’s little evidence that the regime’s troops were in a position to overrun an armed and hostile city of 700,000 people. And reports from Amnesty and Human Rights Watch have since cast serious doubt on a string of war atrocity stories used to justify Nato bombing.

But they helped deliver UN resolution 1973, authorising “all necessary means” to protect Libyan civilians. That has since been used as Nato’s fig leaf to justify the onslaught against Gaddafi and deliver regime change from the air. And while the western powers claimed to be saving lives, thousands have died on the ground – including uncounted numbers of civilians killed by Nato’s own air attacks, such as the 85 reported incinerated near Zlitan earlier this month.

If stopping the killing had been the real aim, Nato states would have backed a ceasefire and a negotiated settlement, rather than repeatedly vetoing both. Instead, after having lost serious strategic ground in the Arab revolutions, the Libyan war offered the US, Britain and France a chance to put themselves at the heart of the process while bringing to heel an unreliable state with the largest oil reserves in Africa.

None of that means the euphoria on the streets of Libyan cities at the fall of a regime long decayed into dynastic despotism isn’t entirely genuine. Or that the rebels who fought their way across the country haven’t made heavy sacrifices for a victory they regard as their own – let alone that Libyans were incapable of bringing down the Gaddafi regime by themselves.

But the facts are unavoidable.Without the 20,000 air sorties, arms supplies and logistical support of the most powerful states in the world, they would not be calling the shots in Tripoli today. The assault on the capital was supported by the heaviest Nato bombardment to date. Western intelligence and special forces have been on the ground for months – in mockery of the UN – training, planning and co-ordinating rebel operations.

It was the leading Nato states that championed and funded the Transitional National Council – including members with longstanding CIA and MI6 links – and officials from Nato states who drew up the stabilisation plan now being implemented on the ground.

However glad people are to see the fall of the Gaddafi clan, it’s clear that such intimate involvement of the US and the former colonial powers taints and undermines the legitimacy of Libya’s transformation. They will expect a payback for their investment in the Libyan war: in oil and commercial deals, political support and perhaps even the return of western military bases.

The British government’s refusal to rule out sending troops to take part in a “stabilisation operation” is an ominous sign of where Libya may be heading. And if Libyans end up with the kind of democracy foisted on Iraq and Afghanistan, courtesy of their western advisers, that will be no liberation at all.

Beyond Libya, the apparent success of Nato’s operation has given an unwelcome boost to the doctrine of pick-and-choose liberal interventionism, just as its dangers had come to be recognised in the wake of the disasters of the war on terror. That matters in the Middle East now more than ever.

Since the Arab revolution despatched two western-backed dictators in quick succession at the start of the year, there has been a three-pronged drive by the west to bring it under control. In Egypt, US and Saudi money has been poured in to suborn it. In Bahrain, conservative Gulf states have been given support to crush the uprising by force. And in Libya, the western powers have attempted to hijack it, while channelling covert support to the brutally repressed opposition in Syria.

There are many in the region who now hope the fall of Gaddafi will give new momentum to the stalled Arab awakening, bringing down another autocrat, perhaps in Yemen. But the risk could instead be that it sends a message that regimes can only now be despatched with the armed support of Washington, London and Paris – available in the most select circumstances.

Nato’s intervention in Libya is a threat to the Arab revolution, but the forces that have been unleashed in the region won’t be turned back so easily. Many of those who have fought for power in Libya, including Islamists, clearly won’t accept the dispensation that’s been prepared for them. But only when Nato and its bagmen are forced to leave Libya can Libyans truly take control of their own country.

An open letter by Russian doctors in Libya

An open letter by Russian doctors in Libya | 04.04.2011 00:00 |

The account provided by the team of Russian Doctors constitutes an eyewitness account of what is happening on the ground in Libya. It contradicts the stream of media disinformation. It confirms that the coalition is routinely bombing civilian targets. For those progressives who have endorsed the US-NATO “humanitarian mandate”, this account provides us with evidence of extensive war crimes by those you claim to be coming to the rescue of civilians. Residential buildings, hospital are being targeted by the coalition’s smart bombs. The latter are extremely precise. The bombing of civilians is deliberate. These are so-called validated targets. they are part of a list of targets.




Libya: The destruction of a country. The bombing of civilian targets
Testimony of Russian doctors in Libya

Global Research, 28 March 2011

Global Research Editor’s note:

The account provided by the team of Russian Doctors constitutes an eyewitness account of what is happening on the ground in Libya. It contradicts the stream of media disinformation. It confirms that the coalition is routinely bombing civilian targets. For those progressives who have endorsed the US-NATO “humanitarian mandate”, this account provides us with evidence of extensive war crimes by those you claim to be coming to the rescue of civilians. Residential buildings, hospital are being targeted by the coalition’s smart bombs. The latter are extremely precise. The bombing of civilians is deliberate. These are so-called validated targets. they are part of a list of targets.

Mchel Chossudovsky, March 28, 2011

emphasis added, minor editing

__________________________________

Open letter of Russian doctors in Libya to the President of the Russian Federation

[…]

Today, there is blatant external aggression of USA and NATO against a sovereign country – Libya. And if anyone can doubt this, then we say this obvious fact is well known, because all this is happening before our eyes, and the actions of U.S. and NATO threaten the lives of not only the citizens of Libya, but to us who are on its territory. We are outraged by the barbaric bombing of Libya, which is currently carried out by a coalition of U.S. and NATO.

The bombing of Tripoli and other cities in Libya is aimed not only at the objects of air defense and Libya’s Air Force and not only against the Libyan army, but also the object of military and civilian infrastructure. Today, 24 March 2011, NATO aircraft and the U.S. all night and all morning bombed a suburb of Tripoli – Tajhura (where, in particular, is Libya’s Nuclear Research Center). Air Defense and Air Force facilities in Tajhura were destroyed back in the first 2 days of strikes and more active military facilities in the city remained, but today the object of bombing are barracks of the Libyan army, around which are densely populated residential areas, and next to it – the largest in Libya’s Heart Centers. Civilians and the doctors could not assume that common residential quarters will be about to become destroyed, so none of the residents or hospital patients was evacuated.

Bombs and rockets struck residential houses and fell near the hospital. The glass of the Cardiac Center building was broken, and in the building of the maternity ward for pregnant women with heart disease a wall collapsed and part of the roof. This resulted in ten miscarriages whereby babies died, the women are in intensive care, doctors are fighting for their lives. Our colleagues and we are working seven days a week, to save people. This is a direct consequence of falling bombs and missiles in residential buildings resulting in dozens of deaths and injuries, which are operated and reviewed now by our doctors. Such a large number of wounded and killed, as during today, did not result during the total of all the riots in Libya. And this is called “protecting the civilian population”?

With full responsibility as witnesses and participants of what is happening, we state that the United States and its allies are thus carrying out genocide against the Libyan people – as was the case in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Crimes against humanity, carried out by coalition forces akin to those crimes committed by the fathers and grandfathers of today’s Western leaders and their henchmen in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan and in Dresden in Germany, where civilians were also being destroyed in order to deter, to break the will of the people to resist (Germany remembers it, and therefore refused to participate in this new slaughterhouse). Today they want in such ways to make the Libyan people surrender their leader and the legitimate government and meekly lay down their national oil wealth for the countries of the coalition.

We understand that applying to the “international community” to save the people of Libya and we were living in Libya, is useless. Our only hope – is Russia that has the right of veto in the UN, and specifically its leaders – the President and the Prime Minister.

We still hope for you, as hoped in the past, when we took the decision to stay in Libya, and to help its people, medical duty playing its role in the first place. After an abortive coup attempt in late February, the situation calmed down in Libya and the government had successfully restored order. To everyone in Libya, it was clear that without American intervention the country would soon return to normal life. Convinced that Russia, which has veto power, would not allow the aggression of the United States and its allies, we decided to stay in Libya, but were mistaken: Russia, unfortunately, believed the false assurances of Americans and did not oppose the criminal decision of France and the U.S.

We are Ukrainians, Russians and Belarusians, the people of various professions (mainly doctors), working in Libya for more than a year (from 2 to 20 years). During this time, we became well acquainted with the life of the Libyan people and state with few citizens of other nations living in this social comfort, as the Libyans. They are entitled to free treatment, and their hospitals provide the best in the world of medical equipment.

Education in Libya is free, capable young people have the opportunity to study abroad at government expense. When marrying, young couples receive 60,000 Libyan dinars (about 50,000 U.S. dollars) of financial assistance.

Non-interest state loans, and as practice shows, undated. Due to government subsidies the price of cars is much lower than in Europe, and they are affordable for every family. Gasoline and bread cost a penny, no taxes for those who are engaged in agriculture.

The Libyan people are quiet and peaceful, are not inclined to drink, and are very religious. Today, the people are suffering. In February, the peaceful life of the people was violated by gangs of criminals and insane drugged youth – whom the Western media for some reason called “peaceful demonstrators”. They used weapons and attacked police stations, government agencies, military units – resulting in bloodshed. Those who direct them, pursue a clear objective – to create chaos and establish control over Libya’s oil. They misinformed the international community, and said that the Libyans are struggling against the regime. Tell us, who would not like such a regime? If such a regime were in Ukraine or Russia, we would not have been here and worked and enjoyed the social comfort at home in our own countries and in every possible way such a regime would be maintained.

If the U.S. and the EU today have nothing to do, let them turn their attention to the plight of Japan, the Israeli bombing of Palestine, the audacity and impunity of Somali pirates, or the plight of Arab immigrants in France, and leave the Libyans themselves to sort out their internal problems. We see that today in Libya they want to do another Iraq. Carrying out the genocide of an entire people and those who are found with him. We perform MEDICAL DEBT and cannot leave Libyans alone in trouble, leaving them to be destroyed by the forces of the coalition, in addition, we understand that when all the foreigners leave and no one will tell the truth (the small staff of diplomatic missions have long been silenced), the Americans will arrange here a bloodbath. Our only chance of survival – is a solid civil position of Russia in the UN Security Council.

We hope that you, Mr. President, and you, Mr. Prime Minister, as citizens of Russia and as decent people will not allow American and European fascists of the 21st century to destroy the freedom-loving people of Libya and of those who today turned out to be with them.

We therefore urgently request that Russia uses its right of veto, the right earned by millions of lives of the Soviet people during World War II to stop the aggression against a sovereign state, to seek immediate cessation of U.S. and NATO bombing campaign and to demand the introduction of African Union troops in the conflict zone Libya.

Note: The African Union Peace & Security Council delegates that had been accepted by both the Libyan government and the rebel leaders to mediate a peaceful solution between the various parties, were refused entry into Libya by the UN Security Council. This act should have been reprimanded by Russia and China, who should study the AU resolutions, mandate and support its wise decisions]

HANDS OFF LIBYA!

With Respect and Hope

Your Wisdom and Honesty,

Citizens of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, located in Libya

Bordovsky S., Vasilenko, S., Vegerkina A., Henry IV, Henry H., L. Grigorenko, DraBragg, A., Drobot V. Drobot, N., Yemets E., Kolesnikova, T., Kuzin, I., Kuzmenko, B., Kulebyakin V. Kulmenko T., Nikolaev AG, Papelyuk V. Selizar V. Selizar About . Smirnov, O. Smirnova, R., Soloviev DA, Stadnik VA, Stolpakova T. Streschalin G. Stakhovich Yu, Sukacheva L. Sukachev V. Tarakanov, T., Tikhon N. Tikhonov VI, Tkachev AV, Hadareva E., Tchaikovsky, O., Chukhno D. Chukhno O. Yakovenko D. et al

The collection of signatures under the Appeal to the heads of Russia and under the request of an international tribunal in The Hague for crimes of U.S. and NATO in Libya.

An open letter by Russian doctors in Libya
-
Homepage: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23999

Creative Destruction: Libya in Washington’s Greater Middle East Project Part II


August 25, 2011        New Book: Towards a World War III Scenario      

Creative Destruction: Libya in Washington’s Greater Middle East Project
Part II

by F. William Engdahl

For those who do not believe in coincidence, it’s notable that on March 19, 2011 the Obama Administration ordered the military bombing attack on Libya, ostensibly to create a ‘no fly zone’ to protect innocent civilians and on March 19, 2003, the Bush administration ordered the bombing of Iraq.  

The No Fly strikes were begun under US command with suspicious haste following the UN Resolution. To date the attacks have been led by US, British and French air forces and warships. A storm of Tomahawk cruise missiles and GPS-guided bombs has rained down on undisclosed Libyan targets with reports of many civilian deaths. No end is in sight at present.

Eight years earlier to the day, the Bush Administration began its Operation Shock and Awe, the military destruction and occupation of Iraq, allegedly to prevent a threat of weapons of mass destruction which never existed as was later confirmed. The Iraqi invasion followed more than a decade of illegal No Fly Zone operations over Iraqi airspace by the same trio—USA, Britain and France.  

Far more important than any possible numerology games a superstitious Pentagon might or might not be playing is the ultimate agenda behind the domino series of regime destabilizations that Washington has ignited under the banner of democracy and human rights across the Islamic world since December 2010.

With Washington’s exerting of enormous pressure on other NATO member states to take formal command of the US-led bombing of Libya, no matter under what name, in order to give Washington a fig leaf that would shift attention away from the Pentagon’s central role via AFRICOM in coordinating the military operation, the entire upheaval sweeping across North African and Middle East Islamic countries is looking at this writing more like the early onset of a World War III, one that some NATO members hint is expected to last decades.

As with World War II and World War I, this one as well would be launched to expand what David Rockefeller and George H.W. Bush in the past have called a “new world order.”

Gaddafi’s real ‘crime’

Unlike Tunisia or Egypt where a halfway credible argument could be made that the population was suffering from exploding food prices and a vast wealth gap, Gaddafi’s Libya, officially called Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, is very different.

There, according to Africans I have spoken to with direct knowledge, Libyans enjoyed the highest living standard on the Continent. Gaddafi did not stay on top for 42 years without ensuring that his population had little room to complain. Most health services, education and fuel was state-subsidized. Gaddafi’s Libya had the lowest infant mortality rate and highest life expectancy of all Africa. When he siezed power from ailing King Idris four decades ago literacy was below 10% of the population. Today it is above 90%, hardly the footprint of your typical tyrant. Less than 5% of the population is undernourished, a figure lower than in the United States. In response to the rising food prices of recent months, Gaddafi took care to abolish all taxes on food. And a lower percentage of people lived below the poverty line than in the Netherlands. Gaddafi calls his model a form of Islamic socialism. It is secular and not theocratic, despite its overwhelmingly Sunni base in the population. 1

Why is the United States so opposed to Gadaffi? Clearly because he is simply  “not with the program.” Gaddafi has shown repeatedly and not without grounds that he deeply distrusts Washington. He has constantly tried to forge an independent voice for an Africa that is increasingly being usurped by the Pentagon’s AFRICOM. In 1999 he initiated creation of the African Union, based in Addis Abbaba, to strengthen the international voice of Africa’s former colonial states. At a pan-African summit in 2009 he appealed for creation of a United States of Africa to combine the economic strengths of what is perhaps the world’s richest continent in terms of unexploited mineral and agricultural potentials.

Granted Gaddafi doesn’t have the best Western PR agencies like Saatchi & Saatchi of Hill & Knowlton to give his message the pretty touches that politicians like Barack Obama or David Cameron or Nikolas Sarkozy have. Nor is he photogenic like his Washington counterpart, making his grisly face easy to demonize in the media as a kind of new Hitler.

Gaddafi is a thorn in Washington’s side for other reasons though. He says that the 9/11 hijackers were trained in the US, yet he also urged Libyans to donate blood to Americans after 9/11. Gaddafi has been working for decades to build an independent voice for African states not controlled by either the US or former European colonial powers, his United States of Africa.

When all the Western media demonizing is stripped away, Gaddafi is the last of a generation of moderate socialist pan-Arabists still in power, after Egypt’s Nasser and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein have been eliminated, and Syria has aligned with Iran.2

So long as he remains, Libya poses an embarrassing economic alternative to Washington’s ‘free market’ globalization template which it is now desperate to impose on the one billion peoples of the Islamic world from Morocco across Africa and the Middle East to Afghanistan. For the powers driving this spreading war, it is a question of survival of the American Century, or what the quaint neo-conservatives called the New American Century, of the future survival of a sole American Superpower through spreading war and chaos as its own economy disintegrates more by the day.

Amr Mousa and dubious political games

The launch of Operation Odyssey Dawn, the coordinated US-British-French military attack on Libya following the UN Security Council resolution, was begun with shocking speed once Egyptian diplomat Amr Mousa, spokesman for the Arab League, conveniently arm-twisted his nervous brothers in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Arab states, clearly convincing them that by voting for the no-fly they might remain in the good graces of Washington and thereby avoid the fate of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak or Tunisia’s Ben Ali. Washington had clearly planned its military actions long before March 19.

Following weeks of diplomatic deception and what were clearly deliberately misleading signals from US Defense Secretary Robert Gates claiming to oppose a no-fly zone for Libya, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claiming to support one, and a US President appearing to be weak and vacillating, the Nobel Peace President Obama, the President who ordered escalation of the war in Afghanistan and defended the CIA torture prison at Guantanamo, ordered a de facto declaration of war against a sovereign nation, Libya, despite the fact that no US lives were endangered nor US territory threatened by what was essentially an internal Libyan armed tribal uprising against an established head of state and government. Moreover, Gaddafi’s Libya has never threatened an invasion of a neighboring state, an essential if forgotten precondition for any UN intervention.

As experience in Bosnia and in Iraq in the 1990s clearly showed, a No Fly Zone is not a neutral minor event but a full scale act of war, a violent taking control of the airspace of a sovereign territory, including destroying the anti-aircraft and air strike capacity of the target country.

Richard Falk, a distinguished professor of international law and UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian Human Rights, noted the utter lack of any basic criteria for a UN intervention in Libya:

What is immediately striking about the bipartisan call in Washington for a no-fly zone and air strikes designed to help rebel forces in Libya is the absence of any concern with the relevance of international law or the authority of the United Nations. None in authority take the trouble to construct some kind of legal rationalisation. The ‘realists’ in command, and echoed by the mainstream media, do not feel any need to provide even a legal fig leaf before embarking on aggressive warfare.

It should be obvious that a no-fly zone in Libyan airspace is an act of war, as would be, of course, contemplated air strikes on fortifications of the Gaddafi forces. The core legal obligation of the UN Charter requires member states to refrain from any use of force unless it can be justified as self-defence after a cross-border armed attack or mandated by a decision of the UN Security Council.

Neither of these conditions authorising a legal use of force is remotely present, and yet the discussion proceeds in the media and Washington circles as if the only questions worth discussing pertain to feasibility, costs, risks, and a possible backlash in the Arab world.3

Falk, who has spent most of the past five decades defending the now-forgotten notion that a rule of law is preferable to a rule of barbarian ‘might makes right,’ adds, “Cannot it not be argued that in situations of humanitarian emergency ‘a state of exception’ exists allowing an intervention to be carried out by a coalition of the willing provided it doesn’t make the situation worse?” He answers his rhetorical question:

With respect to Libya, we need to take account of the fact that the Gaddafi government, however distasteful on humanitarian grounds, remains the lawful diplomatic representative of a sovereign state, and any international use of force even by the UN, much less a state or group of states, would constitute an unlawful intervention in the internal affairs of a sovereign state, prohibited by Article 2(7) of the UN Charter unless expressly authorised by the Security Council as essential for the sake of international peace and security.

Beyond this, there is no assurance that an intervention, if undertaken, would lessen the suffering of the Libyan people or bring to power a regime more respectful of human rights and dedicated to democratic participation.

What I am mainly decrying here in the Libyan debate are three kinds of policy failure: The exclusion of international law and the United Nations from relevance to national debates about international uses of force; The absence of respect for the dynamics of self-determination in societies of the South; The refusal to heed the ethics and politics appropriate for a post-colonial world order that is being de-Westernised and is becoming increasingly multi-polar. 4

Notable in the latest Washington rush to war was the lack of any independent verification of what had become the universal image of a Gaddafi ordering his air force to shoot on what western media claimed were innocent unarmed civilians. CNN staged camera shots don’t qualify as neutral in this instance, nor BBC. Ibrahim Sahad, Libyan opposition figure and National Front for the Salvation of Libya spokesman, made the charge against Gaddafi literally while standing in front of the US White House. No one bothered to independently confirm if it was accurate.

More notable, once the Arab League agreed to back a Libyan No Fly option, opposition within the UN Security Council collapsed, giving Washington its desired cover of plausible international support for its desired military action.

The Security Council vote was 10-0 with five major countries abstaining including Russia and China, which have veto power, along with India, Germany and Brazil. The United States, France and Britain pushed for speedy approval. Conveniently ignored in the ever so select mainstream western media was the relevant fact that the direct neighbors of Libya, Algeria and Tunisia and the entire African Union voted against the No Fly Zone: “If you ain’t singing from our sheet of music, you don’t exist, Bubba…”

Nominally, the resolution for a no-fly zone was requested by the Libyan rebels’ Transitional National Council and the Arab League. In reality, as former Indian diplomat M. K. Bhadrakumar noted, “The plain truth is that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union commanded Arab League to speak since they need a fig leaf to approach the United Nations Security Council. . .The Western powers had earlier mentioned the Arab League and African Union in the same breath as representing ‘regional opinion.’ Now it seems the African Union isn’t so important—it has become an embarrassment. African leaders are proving to be tough nuts to crack compared to Arab playboy-rulers.” 5

Bhadrakumar, a former ambassador to Kuwait and Turkey, added, “The Arab League resolution was rammed through by Amr Mousa, Secretary-General of the Arab League, who hopes to succeed Hosni Mubarak as Egypt’s next president. Arab leaders, who depend upon the US for their continued existence, were not hard to persuade.” 6 Mousa, a savvy survivor, knows he stands no chance to be President if he doesn’t have Washington’s backing, covert or overt.

‘Coalition of the unwilling’

The entire Washington manipulation left its backers, a de facto ‘coalition of the unwilling,’ realizing they had been double-crossed by Washington. As soon as the relentless bombing of civilian as well as military targets in Tripoli and across Libya became clear, Amr Mousa conveniently claimed that killing civilians had not been part of the UN deal, as if he hadn’t thought of that possibility before.

Russia’s Putin called the US action a new “crusade” against Libya and the Islamic world, not without reason. China denounced the US intervention. Unfortunately, both countries had been silent when it could have counted during the UN Security Council voting when they abstained, perhaps out of fear of alienating the powerful oil producer countries of the Arab League.

Realizing that they had been tricked big-time by Washington, London and Paris, all of whom had apparently planned the military action against Libya long-before any UN or Arab League vote, European NATO members and others including NATO-member Turkey immediately began vehement protest.

Germany withdrew its military support equipment from the region over disagreement over the campaign’s lack of goals or direction as unity within NATO crumbled. Italy accused France of backing the No Fly in order to grab Libya’s oil riches out from under Italy’s state-controlled ENI/AGIP. Italy also threatened to revoke US, UK, and French rights to use its bases unless NATO were formally put in charge. As of this writing Washington had even less true international backing for its military adventure than even in the 2003 Iraq invasion.

For its part British government ministers were calling for assassination of Gaddafi, stating that the Middle East and North African war could go on some “30 years.” 7

Others made the comparison to the Twentieth Century upheavals and dismantling of European empires that made way ultimately for an American Century. Those upheavals, which lasted from 1914 through 1945 were remembered in history books as World War I and World War III—in reality one long thirty years’ war for global hegemony.

As the eventual “winner” of that mammoth contest, United States elites grouped then around the immensely powerful Rockefeller family and proclaimed what Time-Life publisher Henry Luce in a 1941 editorial named an “American Century.” That American Century is now in dangerous decline, a protracted death agony of decay and self-destruction that began manifestly in 1971, symbolized by President Richard Nixon’s unilateral decision to tear up the Bretton Woods monetary treaty and break the tie between the US dollar and gold, a fateful turn.

Another war for oil?

Yes, Libya’s oil is indeed a factor behind the British, French and US war fervor. According to what one highly-informed Middle East oil services expert familiar with the oil resources of the entire region told me privately in a recent discussion, Libya has vast untapped oil wealth, by far Africa’s largest, and “it is almost sulfur-free, the highest quality crude you find anywhere.” Until now, despite repeated CIA coup and assassination attempts to topple Gaddafi in the past, the Libyan leader was careful to not surrender total control over his oil resources to the Anglo-American oil cartel interests but to retain control to build the country, something definitely not to Washington’s liking.

Notably, the center of Libyan oil infrastructure is in the Benghazi region in the east where the Western-backed rebellion started. Benghazi is north of Libya’s richest oil fields, close to most of its oil and gas pipelines, refineries and Libya’s LNG port. The National Transitional Council of the Libyan Republic led by Mustafa Abdul Jalil is based there.

But it would be a mistake to reduce what is in fact Washington’s Greater Middle East Project, as George W. Bush called it at the time of the 2003 Iraq invasion, to merely a grab for the oil.

Rather, regime change from Gaddafi to a US-dependent puppet regime amounts to a critical piece in a well-planned long-term US strategy to dismantle national institutions and a culture going back well over one thousand years, in an attempt to force the entire Islamic world into what George H.W. Bush in 1991 and David Rockefeller in his autobiography more recently triumphantly called a “New World Order.” 8  Others call it an American-centered global imperium: “Big Mac’s, KFC chicken wings and Coke Zero for everyone! Poverty, chaos, killings and Orwelian uniformity—Welcome to our new world where We give the orders and you snap your heels…”

‘Responsibility to protect…’

As in the cases of the US-instigated  “spontaneous” and “democratic” revolts in Egypt and in Tunisia earlier,9 Washington is carefully orchestrating the Gaddafi succession from behind the scenes. As numerous critics of the Washington policy pointed out, the US intervention in Libya is not a neutral act to protect innocent civilians but rather a calculated attempt to force regime change by militarily shifting the balance to the well-armed opposition forces in Benghazi in the east of Libya.

By stopping Gaddafi government forces from restoring control over their territory from an armed uprising that has fostered a civil war, principles of international sovereignty have gingerly been thrown out the window and replaced by a vague and unsubstantiated notion of “responsibility to protect,” a precedent for use of force that many governments from Berlin to Rome to Beijing and Moscow now realize could have horrendous future consequences for them as well.

Once world opinion accepts the fuzzy notion that something being called “responsibility to protect,” however vaguely defined, trumps national sovereignty, what is to stop Washington from imposing a No Fly zone over China or Russia or anywhere for that matter, to prevent “human rights abuses”?

Who defines that nebulous “responsibility to protect”? Washington, of course. Were there truth in labelling in international politics today, it would be named “responsibility to protect Washington’s self-defined interests.”

Barack Obama openly declared Washington backing for the Libyan opposition within hours of the UN Resolution, leaving no doubt that the US role was never intended to be one of a neutral peace mediator. In a CNN Spanish language interview in San Salvador on March 23, Obama declared his “hope” that Libya’s opposition movement, given new protection by the US-led military assaults, can organize itself to oust Gaddafi from power. 10 Regime change is the name of Washinton’s game.

Not surprisingly, it’s also the name of France’s game. On March 25 French President Sarkozy urged Qaddafi’s followers to abandon his “murderous ways” and join the opposition. “We must hasten the decomposition of the system and the entourage of Qaddafi by telling them there’s a way to get out,” Sarkozy said. “Those who abandon Qaddafi in his crazy and murderous ways can join in the reconstruction of a new, democratic Libya.”

The UN No Fly Resolution is far more sweeping than most media report. It is a de facto declaration of military, economic and financial warfare against a sovereign state and an established, functioning government. In addition to authorizing the No Fly Zone, the UN Resolution establishes a “ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians,” other than “humanitarian” flights and flights sanctioned by the UN and the Arab League.

It orders member states of the UN to stop any Libyan owned, operated or registered aircraft from taking off, landing or overflying their territory without prior approval from a UN committee monitoring sanctions. It allows member states “to inspect in their territory, including airports and seaports, and on the high seas, vessels and aircraft bound to or from Libya,” if a country has “reasonable grounds” to believe they contain military items or armed mercenaries.

To put the nail in the Libyan coffin, it freezes assets of five financial institutions: Libya’s central bank, the Libyan Investment Authority, the Libyan Foreign Bank, Libyan Africa Investment Portfoilio, and the Libyan National Oil Corporation.11

The curious Libya ‘opposition’

The so-called Libyan opposition itself is a hodge-podge mix of political opportunists, ex-CIA-trained Mujahideen guerillas such as Abdel Hakim al-Hasidi of the so-called Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, who openly admits to close ties to al-Qaeda going back to Afghanistan.12 That certainly raises the level of incredibility of Washington’s most bizarre military crusade of recent times.

As well, the opposition includes former senior Gaddafi regime members who saw greener grass on the US, British and French-backed opposition side, and outright cutthroats who, encouraged by Washington, London or Paris smelled the chance to grab control of one of the richest lands on Earth.

Their “opposition,” unlike in Tunisia or elsewhere, was never “non-violent.” It was an armed revolt from the git-go, a war of tribe against tribe, not of surging aspirations for democracy. NATO member countries are being told by Washington to back one band of tyrants to oust another whose agenda does not comply with what the Pentagon calls Full Spectrum Dominance.

The Libyan “opposition” for most of the world is still a vague CNN or BBC image of stone-throwing youth crying out to the well-positioned cameras for “freedom, democracy.” In reality it is far different. As George Friedman of Stratfor pointed out, the “Libyan uprising consisted of a cluster of tribes and personalities, some within the Libyan government, some within the army and many others longtime opponents of the regime.” He adds, “it would be an enormous mistake to see what has happened in Libya as a mass, liberal democratic uprising. The narrative has to be strained to work in most countries, but in Libya, it breaks down completely.”13

It emerges that the main opposition to Gaddafi comes from two very curious organizations—the National Front for the Salvation of Libya and a bizarre group calling itself the Islamic Emirate of Barqa, the former name of the North-Western part of Libya. Its leadership claims the group is made up of former al-Qaeda fighters previously released from jail. Their record of bloodshed is impressive to date.

The main opposition group in Libya now is the National Front for the Salvation of Libya which is reported to be funded by Saudi Arabia, the CIA and French Intelligence. They joined with other opposition groups to become the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition. It was that organization that called for the “Day of Rage” that plunged Libya into chaos on February 17.14

The key figure in the National Front for the Salvation of Libya is one Ibrahim Sahad who conveniently enough lives in Washington. According to the Library of Congress archives, Sahad is the same man the CIA used in their failed attempt at a Libyan coup of 1984. The Library of Congress confirms that the CIA trained and supported the NFSL both before and after the failed coup.

On March 11 the French government became the first nation to recognize the National Front for the Salvation (sic) of Libya, which is now operating under the amorphous cover of an umbrella group calling itself the Libyan National Transitional Council, which is little more than the old NFSL, a group financed for years by the Saudis, the French and the CIA. 15

The new Transitional Council umbrella group is little more reportedly than the old NFSL — an unelected group of aged monarchist business exiles and now defectors from Gaddafi who smell opportunity to grab a giant piece of the oil pie, and have Saudi, French and CIA backing to drive their dreams of glory. These are the ones on whose behalf now NATO is fighting.

The National Transitional Council of the Libyan Republic, led by Mustafa Abdul Jalil, is based in Benghazi and controls most of the eastern half of the country. France and Portugal have so far officially recognized the Council as the sole “legitimate representative” of Libya.

The National Transitional Council also includes such former Gaddafi regime insiders as ex-Libyan Justice Minister Mustafa Abdel-Jalil and former Interior Minister General Abdel Fattah Younis, who defected earlier from the Gaddafi regime. They lobbied Washington and other Western governments for support soon after their formation. They want to mount an armed offensive against the government-controlled areas in the west to overthrow Gaddafi. That is hardly an innocent spontaneous Twitter democracy revolt, though the revolts in Tunisia and Egypt and elsewhere have been far from spontaneous either.16

In early March the Transitional Council sent their de facto foreign minister Ali al-Essawi and Abdel-Jalil crony Mahmoud Jebril to Paris where the French government, clearly smelling an opportunity to take the inside track of a future regime in Tripoli, gave the first recognition of the transitional council as the “legitimate representative” of the Libyan people.17 Immediately after, France became the leading advocate for a French-led (of course) military intervention on behalf of their new-found rebel friends in Bengazi.

While the French seem to have an inside track with the diplomatic wing of the rag-tag Bengazi rebels, the British seem to have focused their attention on the military wing, where former Gaddafi Interior Minister General Abdel Fattah Younis seems to be their man. Younis is now in command of a National Transitional Council “army.” 18

Hillary Clinton also moved to firm US ties to the insurgents. On March 13 she reportedly met in Cairo—now a place firmly in command of a Pentagon-dependent Egyptian military council after the Twitter youth had served their purpose of deposing Mubarak—with leaders of the opposition rebels. Announcing her meeting, she stated, “We are reaching out to the opposition inside and outside of Libya. I will be meeting with some of those figures both here in the United States and when I travel next week to discuss what more the United States and others can do,” she said. 19

In the western part of Libya, the contending opposition is led by the second group France has recognized, something calling itself ambitiously, the Islamic Emirate of Barqa, a former name for the northwestern part of the country. That group has been described as a group of “aged exiles and defectors from the former Gaddafi regime…waving the old King Idris monarchist flag.” 20 Not exactly a revolutionary youth Twitter movement of surging, demographically-driven aspirations.

Conclusion

As of this writing, what is clear is that far more is at stake for Washington and its “coalition of the unwilling” in the launching of a new war over Libya than anyone is admitting. If this marks the first shots in a new world war, or if various governments within and outside NATO have the strength to resist the persuasive power of the Pentagon war apparatus is unclear. What is clear is that the recent events that started in Tunisia at the end of 2010 are but part of a colossally large and increasingly desperate strategy of US-orchestrated “creative destruction.” To date it has been anything but creative for those living in the affected region.

Notes:

1 David Rothscum, The World Cheers as the CIA Plunges Libya Into Chaos, Global Research,  March 2, 2011, accessed in http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23474.

2 Ibid.

3 Richard Falk, Kicking the intervention habit: Should talks of intervention in Libya turn into action, it would be illegal, immoral and hypocritical, 10 March, 2011, accessed in http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/03/201138143448786661.html.

4 Ibid.

5 M K Bhadrakumar, America’s man in Egypt Amr Moussa pushes No Fly Zone call through Arab League with Saudi help but African Union rejects it, Asia Times, March 15, 2011, accessed in http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MC15Ak02.html.

6 Ibid.

7 Daily Mail Reporter, Germans pull forces out of NATO as Libyan coalition falls apart, London Daily Mail, 23 March, 2011.

8 David Rockefeller, Memoirs, New York, Random House, 2002, p. 405.

9 F. William Engdahl, Egypt’s Revolution: Creative Destruction for a ‘Greater Middle East'”, February 5, 2011, accessed in www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net.

10 CNN Wire Staff, Obama hopes resurgent Libyan opposition can topple Gadhafi, CNN, March 23, 2011, accessed in http://edition.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/03/22/obama.cnn.interview/index.html.

11 UN security council resolution 1973 (2011) on Libya, reprinted in The Guardian, March 17, 2011, accessed in http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/17/un-security-council-resolution.

12 Praveen Swami, et al, Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qaeda links, The Telegraph, London, March 26, 2011.

13 George Friedman, Libya, the West and the Narrative of Democracy, Stratfor, March 21, 2011, accessed in http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/friedman_on_geopolitics.

14David Rothscum, op cit.

15Ibid.

16 Anthony Shadid and Kareem Fahim, Opposition in Libya Struggles to Form a United Front, The New York Times, March 8, 2011.

17 Stratfor, Libya’s Opposition Leadership Comes into Focus, March 20, 2011, accessed in http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/20110307-libyas-opposition-leadership-comes-focus.

18 Ibid.

19Robert Dreyfus, Will the World Recognize the Libyan Opposition”, The Nation, March 10, 2011, accessed in http://www.thenation.com/blog/159138/will-world-recognize-libyan-opposition.

20 Matt Checker, Reasons against “intervention” in Libya, accessed in http://www.spiral-m.de/blog.html

F. William Engdahl is a frequent contributor to Global Research.  Global Research Articles by F. William Engdahl

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Libya war exposes U.S./NATO crimes against humanity

Libya war exposes U.S./NATO crimes against humanity

By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire

Published Jul 30, 2011 7:06 AM

For almost five months, the combined military forces of the United States and NATO have pounded Libyan cities, towns, villages and ports in an effort to overthrow the government of Moammar Gadhafi.

These bombing operations, now numbering more than 16,000 sorties and 6,100 strikes, have been combined with a naval blockade that includes 17 warships. NATO warships in the Mediterranean have hailed 1,907 vessels, boarded 183 and diverted nine. (Reuters, July 24)

Repeatedly the Pentagon and NATO have claimed that the war on the North African nation of Libya is designed to “protect” civilians from the government in Tripoli, which, in reality, is fighting to crush an imperialist-backed insurgency. Yet many reports indicate that the war, which was launched by the U.S. and several western European countries on March 19, is a systematic campaign to terrorize and subjugate the Libyan people.

On July 25 NATO forces bombed a hospital in the western city of Zlitan, killing seven people, including three physicians. (Associated Press, July 25) Air assaults damaged food warehouses in that city.

Just hours prior to the bombings in Zlitan, NATO carried out a series of air raids on the capital of Tripoli. Bombs hit a government compound, which NATO claimed was a command and control center for the Libyan military.

British military forces took credit for the July 25 air strikes on Tripoli. Major General Nick Pope, the defense staff’s chief communications officer, stated that the Royal Air Force struck the perimeter walls of the Bab al-Aziziyah complex, which has been described as a headquarters for Libyan leader Gadhafi. However, no casualties were reported in that strike on Tripoli.

On July 24 NATO bombed what it described as a military storage facility near the oil port town of al-Brega, a tank and multiple rocket launchers near Gharyan, and a surface-to-air missile launcher and tank in Tripoli. NATO forces also hit other cities and towns, including Waddan and Zintan, where they claimed to have struck military targets.

Contrary to NATO claims, the Libyan government said that a water storage facility was hit in al-Brega killing six security guards. Additional casualties were reported when groups fighting for the Transitional National Council suffered at least 50 deaths when they attempted to attack areas around al-Brega and Misrata during the week of July 18.

Amid the bombing escalations, the Pentagon and NATO have requested additional predator drones to carry out further strikes against Libya. President Barack Obama is considering the deployment of more of these weapons, which have been operational in this North African state for several months.

The Los Angeles Times quoted a NATO officer who said, “It’s getting more difficult to find stuff to blow up. Predators really enable you to study things and to develop a picture of what is going on.” (July 21)

He indicated that in order to deploy more drones in Libya it would be necessary to transfer them from existing theaters of war in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as other so-called “counter-terrorism” operations around the world. An unnamed Pentagon official allegedly said, “We are looking at all the possibilities. The reason why this is hard is that everything we have is currently committed elsewhere.”

Although piloted aircraft from the U.S., France, Britain and other NATO countries have carried out most of the bombing operations, Washington’s predator drones have launched 64 strikes against Libya since April.

Libyan war follows similar pattern

The Pentagon and NATO war against Libya is by no means isolated. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, the U.S./NATO war has escalated over the last two years since the Obama administration took power.

In December 2009 Obama announced the deployment of an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. While the war has spread to neighboring Pakistan, civilian deaths from drone attacks have accelerated and consequently worsened relations between Islamabad and Washington.

Since the beginning of the U.S. and allied states’ invasion and occupation of Iraq, there have been large-scale Iraqi deaths. The war’s pretexts were unjustified since the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein and the Arab Baath Socialist Party had not attacked U.S. territory or harmed its citizens or residents.

The Iraqi people’s ongoing resistance has prevented the withdrawal of U.S. forces that are scheduled to leave by the end of 2011. Resistance organizations inside Iraq have killed more than two dozen U.S. soldiers in recent months.

Journalist Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey cites violations of the Statute of The Hague International Penal Court to provide a legal rationale for charging Washington and NATO countries with war crimes in Libya. He notes that Article 3 of the Statute reads: “Attack or bombardment, by whatever means, against undefended cities, towns, villages, buildings or houses” violates international law. “NATO’s continuous use of civilian targets for military purposes, a scenario which this military organization wantonly and callously calls ‘collateral damage,’ fits this clause exactly and would be the cornerstone of a case accusing this organization of being guilty of war crimes.” (prava.ru, July 25)

The article also points to a clause on “Massive destruction of cities, towns or villages or destruction not justified by military necessity.” The author stresses, “The attack on Libya’s water supply network on July 22 and the attack on the factory making pipes for the supply system on July 23 in al-Brega were not covered under ‘military necessity’ in which case, under Article 3, this was an act of wanton destruction of civilian structures with military hardware.”

Other violations include use of chemical weapons in al-Brega, support for an armed insurgency against a U.N.-member state, and failure to work toward a negotiated settlement to resolve conflict within a particular country.

The U.S./NATO alliance and their surrogates in Libya have rejected numerous efforts by the African Union to broker a ceasefire inside the country. The arming of TNC forces and their recognition by the NATO states further impedes these peace efforts.

Anti-war opposition spreads across U.S.

Despite the corporate media’s virtual silence on the widespread opposition to the U.S./NATO bombing of Libya, protests have occurred throughout the country. The International Action Center’s national tour has brought out hundreds of people in each of the cities to hear former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney. She visited Libya earlier this year and witnessed firsthand Pentagon and NATO destruction.

Major efforts are underway in Detroit to build an Aug. 27 rally featuring McKinney at the University of Michigan Detroit Center. Co-sponsors include the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice, the National Conference of Black Lawyers Michigan Chapter, the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, the Freedom Road Socialist Organization and Workers World Party.

MECAWI activists plan to do massive outreach for the event and in defense of Libya at an Eastside community speak-out on Aug. 13 and at the African World Festival the following week.

NATO war crime: Libya water supply

NATO war crime: Libya water supply

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Pravda. 23 July 2011


A NATO terrorist attack has hit a water pipes factory in al-Brega, murdering six guards, this being the factory which makes pipes for the great man-made irrigation system across the desert which brings water to seventy per cent of Libyan homes, according to sources in Libya. The factory was hit after the water supply network was destroyed on Friday.

July 22 2011. A date for humanity to remember. NATO hit the Libyan water supply pipeline. It will take months to repair. Then on Saturday they hit the pipeline factory producing pipes to repair it.

Since when is a water pipes factory in al-Brega a legitimate target to impose a no-fly zone to protect civilians? Sine when is the water supply pipeline itself a legitimate target?

NATO has committed another war crime, targeting a civilian water supply network which brings water to 70% of Libya’s population, according to Pravda.Ru sources in Libya. The general manager of the Man Made River Corporation which controls the pipeline reports it was hit in a NATO strike on Friday. In another clear violation of the law, a consignment from Italy of 19 000 AK-47’s was caught in Ajdabiyah by the Libyan authorities, according to Libyan military sources.

The international community has two choices: to turn a blind eye like cowards and allow NATO to murder Libyan children, murder Libyan civilians and support terrorists with their strikes – we have received information that white phosphorous is being used against Libyan government positions now that NATO is getting desperate- remember Napalm anyone”? The second option is for the international community to use the proper channels to bring pressure on NATO itself and on the politicians in its member states to stop this murderous atrocity, this outrage against civilization and international law, now.

 

You vote for this campaign? Then you are a child murderer, or sympathise with child murderers. Cameron, Obama and Sarkozy have the blood of hundreds of innocent people on their hands.

 

If NATO’s contribution to protecting civilians is bombing their water supply then the international community will respond to this heinous war crime, whether or not the politicians do. Will anyone please do something about this horrendous war crime? Or will we all sit back while NATO destroys water supply lines, a civilian structure? Is this protecting civilians or is this an act of revenge because NATO is losing?

The Great Man-Made River Project in Libya

Libya’s thirst for ‘fossil water’

By John Watkins
BBC World Service

18 March 2006

Libyans like to call it “the eighth wonder of the world”.

The description might be flattering, but the Great Man-Made River Project has the potential to transform Libyan life in all sorts of ways.

Libya is a desert country, and finding fresh water has always been a problem.

Following the Great Al-Fatah Revolution in 1969, when an army coup led by Muammar Al Qadhafi deposed King Idris, industrialisation put even more strain on water supplies.

Coastal aquifers became contaminated with sea water, to such an extent that the water in Benghazi (Libya’s second city) was undrinkable.

Finding a supply of fresh, clean water became a government priority. Oil exploration in the 1950s had revealed vast aquifers beneath Libya’s southern desert.

According to radiocarbon analysis, some of the water in the aquifers was 40,000 years old. Libyans call it “fossil water”.

 


The quality of life is better now, and it’s impacting on the whole country

Adam Kuwairi, GMRA

After weighing up the relative costs of desalination or transporting water from Europe, Libyan economists decided that the cheapest option was to construct a network of pipelines to transport water from the desert to the coastal cities, where most Libyans live.

 

Proud nation

In August 1984, Muammar Al Qadhafi laid the foundation stone for the pipe production plant at Brega. The Great Man-Made River Project had begun.

 

Libya had oil money to pay for the project, but it did not have the technical or engineering expertise for such a massive undertaking.

Foreign companies from South Korea, Turkey, Germany, Japan, the Philippines and the UK were invited to help.

 


Water (BBC)
It is impossible not to be impressed with the scale of the project

In September 1993, Phase I water from eastern well-fields at Sarir and Tazerbo reached Benghazi. Three years later, Phase II, bringing water to Tripoli from western well-fields at Jebel Hassouna, was completed.

 

Phase III which links the first two Phases is still under construction.

Adam Kuwairi, a senior figure in the Great Man-Made River Authority (GMRA), vividly remembers the impact the fresh water had on him and his family.

“The water changed lives. For the first time in our history, there was water in the tap for washing, shaving and showering,” he told the BBC World Service’s Discovery programme.

“The quality of life is better now, and it’s impacting on the whole country.”

To get an idea of the scale of the Great Man-Made River Project, you have to visit some of the sites.


Libya is opening up, but it’s still hard for foreign journalists to get visas. We had to wait almost six months for ours; but once we arrived in Libya, Libyans were eager to tell us about the project.

They took us to see a reservoir under construction at Suluq. When it’s finished, the Grand Omar Mukhtar will be Libya’s largest man-made reservoir.

Standing on the floor of such a huge, empty space is an awesome experience. Concrete walls rise steeply to the sky; tarring machines descend on wires to lay a waterproof coating over the concrete.

Further west along the coast is the Pre-Stressed Concrete Cylinder Pipe factory at Brega. This is where they make the 4m-diameter pipes that transport water from the desert to the coast.

t’s a modern, well-equipped factory, built specially for the Great Man-Made River Project. So far, the factory has made more than half a million pipes.

The pipes are designed to last 50 years, and each pipe has a unique identification mark, so if anything goes wrong, engineers can quickly establish when the pipe was made.

The engineer in charge of the Brega pipe factory is Ali Ibrahim. He is proud that Libyans are now running the factory: “At first, we had to rely on foreign-owned companies to do the work.

“But now it’s government policy to involve Libyans in the project. Libyans are gaining experience and know-how, and now more than 70% of the manufacturing is done by Libyans. With time, we hope we can decrease the foreign percentage from 30% to 10%.”

Opening markets

With fossil water available in most of Libya’s coastal cities, the government is now beginning to use its water for agriculture.

Over the country as a whole, 130,000 hectares of land will be irrigated for new farms. Some land will be given to small farmers who will grow produce for the domestic market. Large farms, run at first with foreign help, will concentrate on the crops that Libya currently has to import: wheat, oats, corn and barley.

Libya also hopes to make inroads into European and Middle-Eastern markets. An organic grape farm has been set up near Benghazi. Because the soil is so fertile, agronomists hope to grow two cereal crops a year.

 

Poster of Muammar Al Qadhafi (BBC)
Water is seen as key to the country’s future prosperity

It is hard to fault the Libyans on their commitment. They estimate that when the Great Man-Made River is completed, they will have spent almost $20bn. So far, that money has bought 5,000km of pipeline that can transport 6.5 million cubic metres of water a day from over 1,000 desert wells.

 

As a result, Libya is now a world leader in hydrological engineering, and it wants to export its expertise to other African and Middle-Eastern countries facing the same problems with their water.

Through its agriculture, Libya hopes to gain a foothold in Europe’s consumer market.

But the Great Man-Made River Project is much more than an extraordinary piece of engineering.

Adam Kuwairi argues that the success of the Great Man-Made River Project has increased Libya’s standing in the world: “It’s another addition to our independence; it gives us the confidence to survive.”

Of course, there are questions. No-one is sure how long the water will last. And until the farms are working, it’s impossible to say whether they will be able to deliver the quantity and quality of produce for which the planners are hoping.

But the combination of water and oil has given Libya a sound economic platform. Ideally placed as the “Gateway to Africa”, Libya is in a good position to play an increasingly influential role in the global economy.


Colonizing Libya by Military, Financial, Political and Propaganda Terrorism

Colonizing Libya by Military, Financial, Political and Propaganda Terrorism

by Stephen Lendman

Monday Jul 4th, 2011 1:01 AM

anti-war

 

After three and a half terror bombing months and counting, destroying Libya for wealth and power continues, each imperial nation playing its part in this sinister dirty game, masquerading as liberation.

 

France finally admitted what’s already known, that it’s been supplying mercenary cutthroats with automatic weapons, rocket launchers, assault rifles, anti-tank missiles, and who knows what else. So have Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, perhaps other US imperial allies, and the Pentagon itself. In mid-April, The New York Times said Benghazi-based rebels got weapons from abroad without naming names.

 

For months, US and UK special forces provided training, The Times saying “professional training centers” were used to do it. In fact, recruiting, funding, and arming rebels began well before bombing began. America’s war was planned many months, perhaps years earlier. Obama picked his moment to launch it.

 

Even the International Criminal Court (ICC) is complicit, functioning as an imperial tool, not a legitimate tribunal. Its chief prosecutor Jose Luis Moren-Ocampo, in fact, targets victims, not criminal Washington, London and Paris conspirators, attacking a nonbelligerent country. It’s been standard US practice since WW II.

 

In May, Ocampo sought arrest warrants for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and brother-in-law intelligence chief, Abdullah Al-Sanousi, on “charges of orchestrating systematic attacks against civilians (amounting) to crimes against humanity,” with no evidence whatever to prove it.

 

Then end of June he issued arrest warrants against all three on alleged crimes against humanity, saying reasonable grounds exist to believe they’re “criminally responsible as indirect perpetrators of civilian killings and repression” – again with no corroborating evidence or authority. Libya, in fact, isn’t an ICC member, nor are America, China, Russia and India, some nations, openly critical of how it operates with good reason.

 

On June 28 in Tripoli, Franklin Lamb reported about Libyan Ministry of Health (MOH) “Current Statistics of Civilian Victims of NATO Bombardments on Libya (3/19/11 – 6/27/11” he obtained. Libya’s Red Crescent Society, neighborhood civil defense workers, and Tripoli’s Nassar University researchers confirmed them.

 

They include:

 

— 6,121 killed or injured;

 

— among them were 3,093 men injured, another 668 killed; 1,318 women injured, another 260 killed; and 641 children injured, another 141 killed; and

 

— among those seriously hurt, 655 are still hospitalized, another 4,397 released for outpatient care.

 

Except for one major incident killing 15 men, women and children, NATO claims only military targets are struck, even though many are schools, a university, commercial sites, hospitals, ports, airports, and residential neighborhoods unrelated to military necessity.

 

On July 1, up to one million pro-Gaddafi Tripoli residents massed in Green Square to hear him speak by telephone. Western media, including The New York Times, called it “defiant,” threatening to attack Europe if NATO bombing didn’t stop.

 

The Times misquoted him, claiming he said he’d take the battle “to Europe, target your homes, offices, families, which have become legitimate military targets, like you have targeted our homes.”

 

In fact, writer Kareen Fahim lied as part of a systematic anti-Gaddafi propaganda campaign. Al- Jazeera was just as duplicitous, repeating the above fabrications instead of reporting what he said.

 

In part, he challenged “Sarkozy, Cameron and Obama to switch on their TVs and watch the crowds, (so) they will find out that they are delusional because they entered a war which they (can) never win.”

 

He didn’t threaten to retaliate but said “we can (because) Europe is not far away, but (he added) lets not do this and watch the crowds, kids and women. They are not here because I ordered them to (come. It’s their) free will. In this war you are not facing me, you are facing these crowds. I am nothing. If you want peace with Libyans, it is up to the crowds. If you want anything, negotiate with (them).”

 

“The regime is not a Gaddafi regime. It is a Libyan (one). Is it a democracy to bomb the civilians? We don’t want a democracy which comes with bombs.”

 

“The socialist Jamahyria will win, the real democracy which serves the people….The Libyans said their words. They marched. Their tribes made it clear that the future is for Libyans. The oil is for Libya. Libya is ours. You are delusional, a group of traitors convinced (that) Libya is easy to get….You Libyan people are the only one(s) who can finish this war with a victory.”

 

“If they want to negotiate we welcome that. Otherwise we are continuing and they are definitely losing no matter how many weapons they drop (to) rebels. We will not betray our history nor our children and their future. The glory is for you brave Libyans. The struggle will continue.”

 

Growing numbers of Libyans support him the longer NATO terror bombings continue, mostly killing civilian men, women and children, NATO and major media denials notwithstanding.

 

Months into Obama’s war, Der Spiegel’s June 28 Matthias Gebauer article headlined, “Berlin Willing to Supply Weapons for Libya war because munitions running out,” saying:

 

Germany offered to help “despite its fundamental opposition to the war. (Its) defense minister (Thomas de Maiziere) has already approved (the) request” to supply bomb components, missiles, sensitive guidance technology, and more on request, making Germany openly complicit in terror bombing crimes.

 

Britain said it can’t continue its campaign much longer without help, facing shortages of air-to-ground missiles and perhaps other weapons and/or munitions. Back home, however, it’s not short of ways to force feed austerity on millions of Brits to wage global terror wars for power, privilege and plunder.

 

Merkel’s government wants its share. Germany’s Federal Security Council approval isn’t needed for her to act. However, the Bundestag (its parliament) wasn’t told about weapon shipments. Although Germany isn’t directly engaged in combat, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle “promised the rebels massive civilian aid after the possible toppling of Gaddafi’s regime.” Berlin also offered to help train post-Gaddafi era security forces. Clearly, Germany is complicit up to its ears in NATO terror. Direct or indirect hardly matters.

 

Like all US wars, Orwellian doublespeak defines the campaign, including “humanitarian intervention,” liberation, “Operation Unified Protector,” and NATO’s “Partnership for Peace” program to create trust among non-member states.

 

NATO, of course, is code language for the Pentagon. Trusting it is like befriending a rattlesnake or shark, concerned only with devouring their next meal. NATO does it globally from 30,000 feet and ancillary tentacles everywhere, reigning “liberal interventionism” death and destruction to “protect civilians” by murdering them.

 

Through July 1, NATO’s Allied Command Operations site (http://www.aco.nato.int/page424201235.aspx) mentions 13,460 sorties since March, including 5,047 “strike” ones “to protect civilians and civilian-population areas under attack or threat of attack” by “shock and awe” killing and destruction.

 

What do you call a war not called war? In mid-June, Obama did in 38 doublespeak pages sent Congress, using duplicitous reasoning to do what he damn pleases, law or no law, and whether or not congressional and/or popular approval backs him.

 

Russia’s NATO representative Dmitry Rogozin believes “we are witnessing the preparation stage of a ground operation which NATO, or at least some of its members (are) preparing to begin.”

 

In fact, plans have been in place for months, involving US (and very likely) other NATO forces, though whether or not it will be implemented isn’t known. On June 15, Infowar contributor Aaron Dykes claimed that:

 

“alarming reports from within the ranks of military stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas (confirm) plans to initiate a full-scale US-led ground invasion in Libya and deploy troops by October.”

 

Access his full article through the following link:

 

http://www.infowars.com/u-s-invasion-of-libya-set-for-october/

 

Ahead of it he said additional Special Forces are coming in advance this month. Overall, about 30,000 troops are involved, suggesting a major operation if true.

 

He also said “numerous calls and e-mails from other military personnel” confirm it, perhaps with a large contingent by September. “Among these supporting sources is a British SAS (special forces) officer confirming that US Army Rangers are already in Libya.”

 

Moreover, someone in USCENTCOM called “Specialist H….revealed that there have already been American casualties inside Libya. He confirmed that at least 2 soldiers and 3 civilians have died from combat bullet wounds” – what Obama, the Pentagon or America’s media won’t admit or discuss.

 

In fact, Obama assured Congress and the public that no US forces will be deployed. He lied. Special Forces and perhaps others have been there for months, providing training, support, and perhaps actual combat against Gaddafi.

 

It’s another reason why he should be impeached, removed, and tried for crimes of war and against humanity, as if more are needed with a litany already known.

 

Stay tuned. America’s Libya war and five others show no signs of ending. In fact, they’re intensifying. Obama, the peace candidate, is even more belligerent than his predecessor.

The secret war against Libya



THE SECRET WAR AGAINST LIBYA


Masses of information from the media constantly bombard us. Yet paradoxically often what is most significant goes unreported. Take for instance Tony Blair’s recent visit to Africa. Suddenly countries such as Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Ghana come under the spotlight. But one country which forever remains off the UK/US media map is Chad, lying just to the south of Libya and "over three times the size of California", according to the CIA’s official website.

Formerly part of French Equatorial Africa, it gained independence in 1960 and since then has been gripped by civil war. In a rare case of coverage, on May 21 1992, the Guardian carried four short paragraphs: 40,000 people were estimated to have died in detention or been executed during the tyranny of Chadian president Hissene Habre (1982-1990). A report of the justice ministry committee concluded that Habre had committed genocide against the Chadian people.

Unreported in Britain, two years ago, in a case inspired by the one against General Pinochet of Chile, several human rights organisations, led by Human Rights Watch, filed a suit against Habre in Senegal (his refuge since 1990) arguing that he could be tried anywhere for crimes against humanity and that former heads of state were not immune.

However, on 20 March 2001, the Senegal Court of Cassation threw out the case. Human rights groups are now aiming to secure an arrest warrant and extradition request from Belgium (where one of the victims of Habre’s torture now lives) and put him on trial there.

So behind the wall of silence, what precisely has been going on in Chad? In fact, the US and UK have been conducting over the last three decades a massive, secret war against Libya – often using Chad as its base. UK involvement in a 1996 plot to assassinate the Libya leader, President Col Mu’ammar Gadafi, as currently alleged by the maverick M15 officer David Shayler, has been reported as an isolated event. Yet the 1996 plot is best seen as part of a wide-ranging and long-standing strategy by the US/UK secret states to dislodge Gadafi.

Seizing power in Libya by ousting King Idris in a 1969 coup, Gadafi (who intriguingly had undertaken a military training course in England in 1966) quickly became the target of massive covert operations by the French, US, Israeli and British. Stephen Dorril, in his recently published book on MI6, records how in 1971 a British plan to invade the country, release political prisoners and restore the monarchy ended in a complete flop. In 1980, the head of the French secret service, Col Alain de Gaigneronde de Marolles, resigned after a French-led plan ended in disaster when a rebellion by Libyan troops in Tobruk was rapidly suppressed.

Then in 1982, away from the glare of the media, Hissene Habre, with the backing of the CIA and French troops, overthrew the Chadian government of Goukouni Wedeye. Human Rights Watch records: "Under President Reagan, the United States gave covert CIA paramilitary support to help install Habre in order, according to secretary of state Alexander Haig, to ‘bloody Gadafi’s nose’." Bob Woodward, in his semi-official history of the CIA reveals that the Chad covert operation was the first undertaken by the new CIA chief William Casey and that throughout the decade Libya ranked almost as high as the Soviet Union as the "b

US activities against the Libyan people

THE AGGRESSIVE AND TERRORIST ACTIVITIES OF THE US ADMINISTRATION AGAINST THE LIBYAN PEOPLE

http://www.mathaba.net/info/terror.htm

– In 1972 Washington refused to conduct any dialogue or any diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level with the Jamahiriya. On 30 May 1973, a US aircraft entered Libyan air space during the maneuvers of the Sixth Fleet.

– In 1974 the delivery of 8 DC 1309 planes to Libya was blocked, despite the previous payment of $60,000 in cash.

– On 3 January 1975 the US Secretary of State threatened to use force against oil-producing countries.

– In 1977 the Pentagon put the Jamahiriya on its list of enemies of the USA.

– In 1978 the USA waged an undeclared economic war against Libya with the aim of discontinuing Libya’s export business, including the delivery of Boeing planes for civilian air traffic.

– On 24 January 1978 the US Department of State declared that Libya was the first state against which the USA would take retaliatory measures on account of its position on the Palestinian question.

– During the period from 27 to 30 July 1978, the Sixth US Fleet conducted maneuvers near Libyan territorial waters.

– In 1979 the CIA began to recruit agents and mercenaries through "Thomas Allen Tunin", chief of the CIA unit in New Delhi, including the spy Mohammed Youssef Al-Magrief.

– On 8 and 9 August 1979 the Sixth US Fleet conducted maneuvers near Libyan territorial waters at 32.30