Globalization And The War On Libya Series, Parts I – III

PART I – THE WAR ON LIBYA AND THE COMING IMPERIAL REDIVISION OF AFRICA


The London Conference on Libya was a forum for a new imperial carve-up of Africa. Plans to attack Libya have been longstanding and part of a strategy to control the supercontinent formed by Eurasia and Africa, known as the “World-Island.” But before all this – according to Nazemroaya’s riveting investigation – there is an economic backdrop that led to Libya’s destabilization and prepared the way for today’s full-blown conflict, putting the country on the path to becoming a gateway for Africa’s predators.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

With the start of Washington’s rapprochement with Tripoli came a new era of Libyan neo-liberal economic reforms. Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi, the Austrian-educated son of Colonel Qaddafi, was pivotal in this process. Tripoli itself would also begin to carve a niche in the global banking and investment sectors. But the neo-liberal reforms would come at a price. Saif Al-Islam’s IMF-style reforms began to erode the internal stability of Libya and accentuated already existing tensions. To make matters worse, Washington also demanded Tripoli allow the Pentagon and CIA to gain influence over different aspects of Libyan state security and intelligence. From there the seeds were planned for the present conflict in Libya.

Here We Go Again: “Cry ‘Havoc’ and Let Slip the Dogs of War!”

Before rapprochement with Colonel Qaddafi, for years the U.S., Britain, France, and their allies have worked to destabilize Libya. Even according to U.S. government sources the U.S. has attempted regime change in Tripoli several times. [1] According to Wesley Clark, the former military commander of NATO, the Pentagon also had active plans for launching a war against the Libyans.

The U.S. and its NATO allies are now embroiled in a new war that has the patented characteristics of the wars and invasions of Iraq and the former Yugoslavia. A large naval armada off the shores of Libya has been bombing Libya for weeks with a public aim of ousting the Libyan regime. At the same time Libyan internal divisions are being fuelled. Misinformation is systematically being spewed. Like Saddam Hussein before him, the U.S. and the E.U. powers have armed and helped Colonel Qaddafi. It is also very important to hold the U.S. and the E.U. accountable for these weapon sales and the training of Libyan forces.

Also, like in Iraq, another Arab dictator has been befriended by the U.S., only to be betrayed and turned on. Before rapprochement with the United States at the dawn of the Iraq-Iran War, Saddam Hussein was a Soviet ally and considered an enemy by Washington. The case of Colonel Qaddafi is the same. Ironically, Qaddafi even warned all his fellow Arab leaders gathered in Damascus for the 2008 Arab League Conference about the U.S. government’s habit of betraying its Arab dictator friends. In Damascus, Qaddafi warned the gathered Arab leaders:

Why won’t the [U.N.] Security Council investigate the hanging of Saddam Hussein? How could the leader of an Arab League state be hanged? I am not talking about Saddam Hussein’s policies or our [meaning the other Arab leaders] animosity towards him. We all had our disagreements with him. We all disagree with one another. Nothing unites us except this hall. Why is there not an investigation about Saddam Hussein’s execution?

An entire Arab government is killed and hung on the gallows – Why?! In the future it is going to be your turns too! [The rest of the Arab officials gathered start laughing] Indeed!

America fought alongside Saddam Hussein against Khomeini [in the Iraq-Iran War]. He was their friend. Cheney was a friend of Saddam Hussein. Rumsfeld, the [U.S.] defence secretary during the bombing of Iraq [in 2003], was a close friend of Saddam Hussein.

At the end they sold him out. They hung him. Even you [the Arab leaders] who are the friends of America – no I will say we – we, the friends of America, America may approve of our hanging one day. [2]

At the end of the 1991 Gulf War, the U.S. deliberately encouraged open revolt against Saddam Hussein’s regime, but stood back and watched as Saddam Hussein put down the Iraqi revolts by force. In 2011, they have done the same thing against Qaddafi and his regime in Libya and have even taken it a few steps further. Not only has the revolt in Libya been instigated by Washington and its allies, but it has been nurtured and armed by them too. In the wake of the Gulf War, Washington and its partners instigated the revolts against Saddam Hussein’s government. The “no-fly zones” were then established by the U.S., Britain, and France over Iraq under the pretext of protecting “the Iraqi people from Saddam.” For years Iraq was systematically attacked. The Iraqi Republic was bombed and its capabilities to defend itself were eroded.

Today, the U.S. and its allies have imposed a no-fly zone over Libya with the pretext of protecting “the Libyan people from Qaddafi.” If they wanted to protect the Libyan people from Qaddafi, why did they arm Qaddafi and do business with him after the 2006 and 2008 riots and violence in Libya? There is much more to this narrative, which is part of a broader march to war.

A New Imperial Re-Division of Africa: The London Conference

The London Conference on Libya reveals the true colours of the coalition formed against Libya. In a clear breach of international law, the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, and their allies are making decisions about the future of Libya ahead of any changes on the ground. [3] Democracy is a bottom-up process and governance is an internal matter to be decided upon by the Libyans themselves. These decisions can not be made by foreign powers that have been the staunch supporters of some of the worst dictatorships.

The nations gathered at the conference table in London have no right whatsoever to decide on whether Qaddafi must stay or go. This is a sovereignty right that only Libyans alone have. Their involvement in the civil war is a breach of international law, as is their siding with one of the camps in the civil war.

The London Conference on Libya can be likened to the Berlin Conference of 1884. Unlike 1884, this conference is aimed at dividing the spoils of war in Libya, instead of the direct carving up of an entire continent. Also, Washington, instead of staying away like in 1884, is the leading power in this new conference involving the affairs of the African continent.

The position of the U.S. and its Western European allies is very clear:

- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and British Foreign Secretary William Hague led the crisis talks in London between 40 countries and institutions, all seeking an endgame aimed at halting Qaddafi’s bloody onslaught against Libya’s people.
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Although the NATO-led airstrikes on Qaddafi’s forces that began March 19 aren’t aimed at toppling him, dozens of nations agreed in the talks that Libya’s future does not include the dictator at the helm.
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“Qaddafi has lost the legitimacy to lead, so we believe he must go. We’re working with the international community to try to achieve that outcome,” Clinton told reporters.
- As she spoke, U.S. officials announced that American ships and submarines in the Mediterranean had unleashed a barrage of cruise missiles at Libyan missile storage facilities in the Tripoli area late Monday and early Tuesday — the heaviest attack in days.
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German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle echoed Clinton’s point. “One thing is quite clear and has to be made very clear to Qaddafi: His time is over. He must go,” Westerwelle said. “We must destroy his illusion that there is a way back to business as usual if he manages to cling to power.”

The London Conference on Libya, however, not only deals solely with Libya, but holds the blue prints to a new imperialist re-division of the entire Africa continent. Libya, which became a holdout when Qaddafi changed his mind, will be used to complete the “Union of the Mediterranean” and as a new bridgehead into Africa. This is the start of major steps that will be taken by the U.S. and the E.U. to purge the growing Chinese presence from Africa.

A New Imperial Re-Division of Africa: “Operation Odyssey Dawn”

The name “Operation Odyssey Dawn” is very revealing about the strategic intent and direction of the war against Libya. The Odyssey is an ancient Greek epic written by the poet Homer that recounts the voyage and trails of the hero Odysseus of Ithaca on his way home. The main theme here is the “return home.”

The U.S. and the imperialist powers are on their own odyssey of “return” into Africa. This project is also tied to Southwest Asia and the drive into Eurasia, which will ultimately target Russia, China, and Central Asia. Washington does not want Eurasia alone. Together Africa and the Eurasian landmass make the super continent known as the “World-Island.” It is the World-Island that U.S. strategists want.

The U.S. and NATO are using the civil war in progress in Libya, which they have fuelled, as their pretext for longstanding plans of military aggression. A systematic media disinformation campaign, similar to the one used against Iraq from 1991 until 2003, has been in gear. In fact, the media has led the way for the war in Libya as it did in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The U.S. and its cohorts have also used the atmosphere of popular revolt in the Arab World as a cloud to insert and support their own agenda in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and to encircle it like hyenas and jackals over weak and wounded prey.

The Libyan Prize of the Mediterranean

There is an old Libyan proverb that says “if your pocket becomes empty, your faults will be many.” In this context, Libyan internal tensions are not dominated by breadbasket issues. This sets Libya apart from Arab countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Morocco, and Jordan. [5] In Libya a lack of freedom and corruption has been capitalized upon by external actors. If it were not for this, Libyans would never be exploited into fighting one another.

Libya has come a long way since 1951 when it became an independent country. In 1975, the political scientist Henri Habib described these conditions:

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.[6]

According to Habib the state of poverty in Libya was the result of the yoke of Ottoman Turk domination followed by an era of European imperialism in Libya. [7] Habib explains: “Every 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.” [8] The political science professor goes on to say:

The climax of this oppression came during the Italian administration (1911 – 1943) when the Libyans were not only oppressed by the [foreign] authorities, but were also subjected to the loss and deprivation of their most fertile land which went to colonists brought in from Italy. The British and French who replaced the Italians in 1943 attempted to entrench themselves in [Libya] by various divisive ways, ultimately to fail through a combination of political events and circumstances beyond the control of any one nation. [9]

Even under political mismanagement and the corrupt status quo, the wealth of Libya is vast. It has the highest standards of living in Africa. There are multiple reasons for this. Currently having the African continent’s largest energy reserves, which were discovered in 1959, is one of them.

As well as its energy reserves, how Libyan energy revenues are used by the state has an important role on the economic livelihood of Libya too. Libyan energy reserves were nationalized after the 1969 coup against the Libyan monarchy. It should be noted that these Libyan energy reserves are a source of wealth in Libya that if fully privatized would be a lucrative spoil of war.

To a certain extent, the isolation of Libya in the past as a pariah state has also had a role in insulating Libya. As most the world has globalized economically, Libya has been delayed in its integration into the global economy. Despite having vast sums of money stolen and squandered by Qaddafi’s family and their officials, social services and benefits, such as government housing, are also available in Libya. It has to be cautioned too that none of this means that neo-liberal restructuring and poverty are not afoot in Libya, because they very much are.

Until the conflict in 2011 ignited, there was a huge foreign work force in Libya too. Thousands of foreign workers from every corner of the globe went to Libya for employment. This included nationals from Turkey, China, sub-Sahara(n) African, Latin America, the European Union, Russia, Ukraine, and the Arab World.

Neo-Liberalism and the New Libya: Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi and Rapprochement

From 2001 to 2003, rapprochement began between Libya and the United States and its partners in the European Union. What changed? Colonel Qaddafi did not stop being a dictator or change his behaviour. Rapprochement was brought by an end of defiance towards the U.S. and the E.U. by Tripoli. Libya had bowed to U.S. and E.U. pressure and a modus vivendi came into effect.

Qaddafi’s credentials as a democratic or just leader were never an issue. Nor was the use of brute force. Subservience was the real issue. The force used against the riots in 2006 and 2008 did not even faze the E.U. and Washington, which continued their business with Tripoli. Even U.S. government sources imply that economic interests in Libya subordinate issues of international law or justice; for example, BP pushed the British government in 2007 to move forward with a prisoner exchange with Libya so that a Libyan oil contract could be protected. [10]

Almost overnight, Libya became a new business bonanza for U.S. and E.U. corporations, especially in the energy sectors. These lucrative contracts also included military contracts for almost 344 million euros or about 482 million U.S. dollars in military hardware, training, and software from E.U. members (including chemical and biological agents). [11] Yet, two more things were demanded by Washington and those were imperial tribute and the opening up of the Libyan military and intelligence apparatus to U.S. influence. As a result Libya ended all support for the Palestinians and handed the U.S. government its dossiers on resistance groups opposed to Washington, London, Tel Aviv and their allies. This turned Libya into a so-called “partner” in the “Global War on Terror.” This process moved forward thus:

- Although U.S. sanctions on Libya were lifted in 2004 and terrorism-related restrictions on foreign assistance were rescinded in 2006, Congress acted to limit the Bush Administration’s ability to provide foreign assistance to Libya as a means of pressuring the Administration and the Libyan government to resolve outstanding terrorism claims. The Bush Administration’s October 2008 certification […] ended standing restrictions on the provision of U.S. foreign assistance contained in appropriations legislation for FY2008 and FY2009. Assistance requests submitted by the Bush and Obama Administrations for FY2009 and FY2010 included funding for programs to re-engage with Libyan security forces after “a 35-year break in contact” with their U.S. counterparts and to support Libyan efforts to improve security capabilities in areas of common concern, such as border control, counterterrorism, and export/import monitoring. [12]

Libya also became active in global banking and finance. The U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of New York even made 73 loans to the Arab Banking Corporation (ABC), which is a bank mostly owned by the Central Bank of Libya, totalling an amount of $35 billion (U.S.). [13] According to Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont in a complaint to U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Benjamin Bernanke, the mostly Libyan-owned bank has received over $26 billion (U.S.) in near zero interest rate loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve that it has been lending back to the U.S. Treasury at a higher interest rate. [14] The Arab Banking Corporation is currently exempted from sanctions on Libya and may serve in creating a fiscal link between Wall Street and Benghazi.

Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi was vital in this process of opening up Libya to trade with Washington and the European Union. In 2000 Saif Al-Islam graduated from university in Austria and became heavily tied to foreign associates who would become his advisors and friends. Prince Andrew of Britain, the special trade envoy of Britain, would even reportedly become close friends with Said Al-Islam. The relationship is reported to have been so close that Chris Bryant, a senior Labour Party politician, demanded within the British House of Commons that Prince Andrew be removed from his position at the start of the conflict with Libya. [15] These foreign advisors from Western Europe and North America would have a huge influence on the changes that would be brought about in Libya.

A “New Libya” would start to emerge under Saif Al-Islam, who would push for neo-liberal economic reforms in his country. It would be around 2005 to 2006 that major class differences would start to visibly emerge in Libya. The Libyan Revolutionary Committees Movement, which if still in place would have most probably insured that the present conflict would never have escalated, would also be disbanded by Saif Al-Islam. Saif Al-Islam would also go to London and be introduced by contacts in Britain to Noman Benotman, a former member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). [16] He would become friends with Benotman who with Ali Al-Sallabi, a Libyan citizen based in Qatar that was wanted for ties to terrorism by Tripoli, would negotiate a truce between the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and the Libyan government. It is also worth noting that all the ministers and ambassadors who have defected or left Libya were all selected for their posts by Saif Al-Islam.

The intertwined social and economic changes that began to emerge in Libya also acted as social stressors that also magnified the existing cleavages in Libya. Just as neo-liberal reforms heightened the tensions in the former Yugoslavia, the social and economic differences brought about by neo-liberalism in Libya also heightened the internal animosity in the country. In this lay the partial seeds of the present divisions in Libya.

Rapprochement with Tripoli and Imperial Extortion

In late-2008, the U.S. government got Tripoli to pay imperial tribute. Libya capitulated and agreed to an uneven reparation agreement with Washington. The agreement is called the “Claims Settlement Agreement between the United States of America and the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab.” Under the agreement Libya would concede $1.3 billion U.S. dollars to Washington, while Washington would give the Libyans $300 million U.S. dollars. Article 4 of the agreement’s annex states:

Once contributions to the Fund Account reach the amount of U.S. $1.8 billion (one billion eight hundred million U.S. dollars), the amount of U.S. $1.5 billion (one billion five hundred million U.S. dollars) shall be deposited into Account A [the U.S. account] and the amount of U.S. $300 million (three hundred million U.S. dollars) shall be deposited into Account B [Libya’s account], which in both cases shall constitute the receipt of resources under Article III (2) of the Agreement. [17]

Despite all this, Libya has remained a relatively wealthy country. In 2010, Tripoli even made an offer to buy a portion of British Petroleum (BP), one of the largest corporations in the world. [18] The National Oil Company of Libya also remains one of the largest oil companies in the world.

Even with the lucrative business deals that emerged with the rapprochement between Tripoli, the U.S. and the E.U. have always had an objective of further their gains and control. The E.U. powers and Washington merely waited for the right opportunity. Plans for taking over and controlling Libya and the Libyan energy sector were never abandoned. Nor could Washington and Western Europe accept anything less than a full-fledged puppet government in Libya.

Upheaval and Qaddafi’s Response

Even with the rapprochement with Tripoli, the U.S. and its E.U. partners continued to cultivated ties to so-called “opposition” figures and organization to keep in reserve or as a future option. This is why the National Salvation Front of Libya has been mostly active in Washington. In the words of a timely Congressional Research Service (CRS) report prepared on February 18, 2011 for the U.S. Congress and its committees:

The National Conference for the Libyan Opposition (an umbrella organization of opposition groups headed by the National Libyan Salvation Front (NLSF) […]) and Internet-based organizers called for a “day of rage” to take place on February 17. Similar events had been organized by anti-government groups in many other countries in the Middle East and North Africa over the previous month. On February 17, [2011] hundreds of protestors took to the streets in Benghazi and in other cities in its vicinity. [19]

Colonel Qaddafi has ruled Libya under a harsh dictatorship that has systematically used violence and fear. Yet, the level of violence that has put Libya in a state of upheaval has been distorted. [20] many of the initial reports coming out Libya in early-2010 were also unverified and in many cases misleading. These reports made about the upheaval in Libya have to be studied very careful. According to the same CRS report prepared for the U.S. Congress, initial reports all came from “local [Libyan] media accounts, amateur video footage and anecdotes, and reports from human rights organizations and opposition groups in exile.” [21]

Qaddafi’s objectives are to preserve his regime and not to undo it. After Qaddafi became aware of the growing foreign threat towards the continuation of his regime, his responses through the use of force were restrained. The regime in Tripoli does not want to give further excuses to the U.S., the E.U., and NATO for military intervention in Libya.

Qaddafi had exercised restraint for the sake of preserving his dictatorship. The Libyan regime knew very well that a bloody civil war would be used as a justification for intervention under a humanitarian pretext. That is why Qaddafi opted to try to negotiate where he could instead of using force. The use of violence is not to the favour of the Libyan regime or Libya, but rather works in the favour of the U.S. and the E.U. states.

[1] Christopher M. Blanchard and James Zanotti, “Libya: Background and U.S. Relations,” Congressional Research Service February 18, 2011, p.12; the sources quoted are as follows: Joseph T. Stanik, El Dorado Canyon: Reagan’s Undeclared War with Qaddafi, (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 2003) ; Bernard Gwertzman, “Shultz Advocates U.S. Covert Programs to Depose Qaddafi,” The New York Times, April 28, 1986; and Clifford Krauss, “Failed Anti-Qaddafi Effort Leaves U.S. Picking Up the Pieces,” The New York Times, March 12, 1991.

[2] Muammar Qaddafi, Speech at the Twentieth Arab League Summit in Damascus (Address, Twentieth Arab League Summit, Damascus, Syria: March 29, 2008).

[3] David Stringer, “Top envoys agree Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi must step down but don’t discuss arming rebels,” Associated Press (AP), March 29, 2011.

[4] Ibid.

[5] This does not mean that the issues in these Arab countries are exclusively breadbasket issues, because personal freedom and corrupt rule are also major motivations for public anger in the respective Arab societies of the mentioned states. What this means is that the issue of economic livelihood is an important factor in these other protests. Also, the 2008 Libyan protests were reported to be also tied to unemployment, but economic issues are not the driving force in the events taking place in Libya.

[6] Henri Pierre Habib, Politics and Government of Revolutionary Libya (Montmagny, Québec: Le Cercle de Livre de France Ltée, 1975) p.1.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Blanchard and Zanotti, “Libya: Background and U.S.,” Op. cit., pp.12-13.

[11] European Union, “Twelfth Annual Report According to Article 8(2) of Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP Defining Common Rules Governing Control of Exports of Military Technology and Equipment,” Official Journal of the European Union, vol. 24 (C9) (February 13, 2011): pp.160-162; the conversation rate used to present the value of these contracts is 1 euro equals 1.40279 U.S. dollars (based on the rate on March 8, 2011).

[12] Blanchard and Zanotti, “Libya: Background and U.S.,” Op. cit., pp.13-14.

[13] Donal Griffin and Robert Ivry, “Libya-Owned Arab Banking Corp. Drew at Least $5 Billion From Fed in Crisis,” Bloomberg, April 1, 2011.

[14] Bernard Sandards, Letter to Ben S. Bernanke, Timothy Geithner, and John Walsh, March 31, 2011.

[15] British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) News, “Duke of York must lose trade job, says Labour MP,” February 29, 2011.

[16] It would be Noman Benotman who would arrange Musa Al-Kusa’s defection to Britain.

[17] Claims Settlement Agreement between the United States of America and the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, August 14, 2008, p.4; the CRS report being cited herein also mentions this, but makes a mistake about the amount being given to Libyan and asserts that it is “$300 billion.”

[18] Andrew England and Simeon Kerr, “Libya hints at taking stake in BP,” Financial Times, July 5, 2010.

[19] Blanchard and Zanotti, “Libya: Background and U.S.,” Op. cit., p.5; it is worthy to note that the two researchers quote the Saudi-owned Asharq Al-Awsat (the specific article cited is as follows: Khaled Mahmoud, “Gaddafi ready for Libya’s ‘Day of Rage,’” Asharq Al-Awsat, February 9, 2011) which interestingly enough makes a link between previous Libyan protests on February 17, 2006 about the offensive cartoons published in Denmark about the Prophet Mohammed that transformed into anti-Qaddafi protests.

[20] This fact in no way justifies any of the state violence in Libya, but has to be examined. The context of the violence in Libya has to also be looked over too.

[21] Blanchard and Zanotti, “Libya: Background and U.S.,” Op. cit., p.5.

PART II – THE MEDIA MISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN BEHIND THE WAR

The <a href="http://www.voltairenet.org/article169761.html"International Criminal Court chief prosecutor has announced that he is seeking the arrest of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi for crimes against humanity, purporting to have evidence of his “widespread and systematic attacks on unarmed Libyan civilians”. In the second chapter of his study on the War on Libya, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya dismantles the double standards and media fabrications that helped to sell the war, and which are now likely to constitute the “evidence” for the ICC charges being brought against Gaddafi.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

The Violence in Benghazi

The starting epicentre of the violence in Libya was Benghazi, which is located within the boundaries of the coastal region of Cyrenaica or Barqa. [1] According to the U.S. government’s own sources:

On the evening of February 15, [2011] the […] demonstrations began when several hundred people gathered in front of the Benghazi police headquarters to protest the arrest of attorney and human rights activist Fethi Tarbel. As the February 17 [2011] “day of rage” neared, protests escalated in Benghazi and other cities despite reported police attempts at dispersion with water cannons, tear gas, rubber bullets, and batons. There were multiple reports of protestors setting police and other government buildings on fire. [2]

The maelstrom irrupted in Benghazi after a group of protesters rushed a local barrack to take the weapons in the armoury. When this happened, the Libyan forces in the local garrison reacted by firing upon the protesters. From there the situation in Benghazi and Libya escalated and things spiralled out of control.

A pause is in order and has to be taken here. This is where critical analysis is needed. There are two ways to perceive the events in Benghazi. One perspective is from the standpoint of a revolutionary and the other is from the perspective of the state and the soldiers. If all biases are put aside both perspectives will have their adherents.

It must be stated that the Libyan authorities for years have oppressed political opposition and that all humans have a natural right to resist tyranny. [3] On the other hand it has to be understood that in any country, including the United States and Britain, soldiers and security forces will fire on any of their own citizens that attack a military or police compound with the intention of taking its arms. [4] In this sense the events in Libya and Egypt, as well as the reaction of the U.S. and the E.U., can also be contrasted against one another.

The legitimacy of these actions can be argued over and questioned from both sides. The point here is not the legitimacy of what happened. The point here is that it must be emphasized clearly that all the governments that criticized Tripoli are hypocritical. These governments are hypocritical, because they would respond very similarly, if not identically, had this occurred in one of their states. These same governments would also support any country that would have reacted like this had that country been a proxy or ally. This is why the violence in Bahrain, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia are ignored and Israel is given a green light for its crimes against humanity.

There is no monopoly on violence at the level of the state. The Kent State University Massacre of May 4, 1970, when peaceful anti-war student protesters in Ohio were killed by the U.S. National Guard, is proof of this. One only needs to look at the reactions of the White House, London, and the E.U. towards the atrocities in Bahrain against an unarmed civilian population fighting for elementary human rights to see how phony their crocodile tears and postures are. It is also the U.S. that arranged for the Al-Sauds to intervene militarily into Bahrain and to militarily suppress the Bahraini people.

Double-Standards about Libya and Bahrain and other Arab Dictatorships

In Egypt, the U.S. and the E.U. called for restraint from both the protesters and the Mubarak regime and asked for both sides to negotiate with one another. The calls for restraint were pure hypocrisy. The U.S. and the E.U. made the calls for restraint to both sides even though the Egyptian protesters were unarmed and peaceful and the Mubarak regime was the side that was using violence and was the solely armed party for most the conflict. Calls of restraint should have been made only to the Egyptian regime and not to the predominately peaceful unarmed protesters. The cases in Bahrain and Tunisia are not much different either.

A totally different attitude has been applied by the U.S. and the E.U. to Libya than the attitude that has been applied to Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and the corrupt Palestinian Authority. No sanctions were applied against the authorities in Bahrain by the U.S. and the E.U. when the Bahraini military without warning blatantly attacked peaceful protesters in Manama’s Pearl Square. The Bahraini protesters were completely peaceful, but this did not stop the ruling Al-Khalifas from ordering indiscriminate live firings on the crowds of Bahraini protesters.

In Bahrain a reign of terror and murder has been unleashed on the Bahraini people by the Al-Khalifas and the Al-Sauds, which has merely been ignored by the E.U. and Washington. A whole population is being systematically terrorized by an unwanted, hated, and foreign-imposed ruling family. Hospitals and children have been brutally attacked. Doctors and union leaders have been killed. Mosques have been bulldozed to the ground and an entire population has been put into detention. Bahrain is a second Palestine. Ironically, the Al-Khalifas have been thanked by Washington, NATO, and the leaders of the E.U. for joining the coalition against the Libyans. The Al-Khalifa regime has also been presented by the U.S. and the E.U. as a model Arab government.

In a blatant act of hypocrisy, the regimes of the Arab petro-sheikhdoms, which pushed forward an Arab League demand for a no-fly zone over Libya, have been presented as stewards and representatives of the Arab masses by Hillary Clinton and E.U. leaders. [5] How are they representatives of the Arab peoples, Arab choices, or even Arab popular opinion? The Arab Gulf (Khaliji) emirs are the anti-thesis of popular representation.

In reality these Arab sheikhdoms are a few individuals who act as they like and are not representative of any of the views of their own citizens in any way. So it is extremely phony and two-faced when Hillary Clinton, Monsieur Sarkozy, and David Cameron present these Arab sheikdoms as representing the Arab people and of Arab positions. These Arab despots are not the representatives of the sentiments of Arabdom, they only represent themselves and repress real Arab sentiments.

In contrast to the verbal condemnations and sanctions against Libya, no actions were taken against the Al-Khalifas in Bahrain. While the jet attack claims against Libyans were fabricated, the evidence of indiscriminate firing on protesters – including by tanks – were verified by video footage from within Bahrain and by human rights groups. The reactions to Bahrain and Libya and the media reports about both Arab countries have been diametrically opposed.

Double-Standards about Mercenaries

Most of the forces used by the Al-Khalifahs in Bahrain are foreigners and mercenaries. This includes foreign military personnel from both Jordan and Saudi Arabia. As mentioned earlier, the Al-Sauds even sent military reinforcements to Bahrain to crush the civilian protests. Yet, there has been a systematic and exaggerated emphasis placed on Qaddafi’s foreign mercenaries. Has the use of foreign mercenaries in Bahrain been highlighted? The answer is no.

Moreover, the U.S., Britain, France, and their allies are no in any position based on moral grounds to criticize Tripoli for using mercenaries. All these powers actively and openly use and employ mercenaries – far more than Libya – under the terminologies of private contractors or security firms. Britain even has a whole brigade of mercenaries, the Brigade of Gurkhas, which even trains with U.S. forces. The French Foreign Legion is also a group of foreign soldiers employed by Paris. Washington itself is the largest employer of mercenaries and bounty hunters on the planet.

This is also the reason that the sixth section of the U.N. sanctions resolution 1970 (Peace and Security in Africa) passed against Tripoli by the U.N. Security Council specifically prevents mercenaries from countries that are not signatories to the International Criminal Court (I.C.C.) from being prosecuted. [6] Additionally, this is tied to British and U.S. plans to send an army of mercenaries into Libya as part of their future ground operations. Resolution 1970’s Article 6 states:

Decides that nationals, current or former officials or personnel from a State outside the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya which is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of that State for all alleged acts or omissions arising out of or related to operations in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya established or authorized by the Council, unless such exclusive jurisdiction has been expressly waived by the State[.] [7]

The Daily Telegraph in Britain has also pointed this out too in an informative news commentary that exposes the double-standards being applied under the name of international justice and humanitarianism. It is as follows:

The key paragraph said that anyone from a non-ICC country alleged to have committed crimes in Libya would “be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction” of their own country. It was inserted despite Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN, saying that all those “who slaughter civilians” would “be held personally accountable”.

Speaking to reporters outside the council chamber, Gerard Araud, the French UN ambassador, described the paragraph as “a red line for the United States”, meaning American diplomats had been ordered by their bosses in Washington to secure it. “It was a deal-breaker, and that’s the reason we accepted this text to have the unanimity of the council,” said [Gerard] Araud.

[8]

Resolution 1970 also puts an arms embargo on Tripoli and makes a whole set of demands from Libya that none of the other Arab states that are oppressing their populations have been asked to comply with. Even when reports of killings by government forces were being made, nothing of the sort was applied to Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan, or Bahrain.

In another case of double-standards and a mockery, the Arab League has also suspended Libya from the pan-Arab organization due to the use of violence. The majority of the members of the Arab League, from the Palestinian Authority to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, have brutally used violence against peaceful protesters even while they were criticizing Libya. When other Arab leaders are also using force to suppress their own citizens they are being given a platform by the U.S. and the E.U. to spurn Libya. Using a phrase used by Palestinians, Lebanese, and Iraqis to describe the behaviour of the Arab sheikhdoms and presidential dictatorships against there countries, it can be said that another “Arab conspiracy” is taking place. Libya is being betrayed, just as the corrupt heads of the members of the Arab League betrayed Palestine, Lebanon, and Iraq.

Fuelling the Flames: Arming Both Sides

In Libya, the U.S. and its E.U. partners are fanning the flames of sedition. A prolonged civil war is in their interest. It allows them to weaken Libya as a state and it has allowed them to manipulate global public opinion in a managed discourse favouring interventionism. Both deception and the tactics of divide and conquer are at play. Simply stated, the U.S. and the E.U. are playing both sides. They have provided material support to both sides. They first supported Qaddafi through military hardware and training that lasted up until the start of 2011, while they now support the forces opposed to Qaddafi. If they refer to Libya as a “killing field” then it should be pointed it out that it is a “killing field” that they created and made possible.

Washington has had a hand in all of the violence in Libya. Neither the Bush Jr. Administration nor the Obama Administration have shied away from training the Libyan military:

- For FY2010, the Obama Administration requested $350,000 in International Military Education and Training (IMET) funding for Libya to “support education and training of Libyan security forces, creating vital linkages with Libyan officers after a 35-year break in contact.” Participation in the IMET program also makes the Libyan government eligible to purchase additional U.S. military training at a reduced cost. The Bush Administration’s FY2009 request for IMET funding indicated that “the Government of Libya would pay for additional training and education with national funds.” However, no IMET funding was provided in FY2009, according to State Department budget documents.

- The Obama Administration also requested Foreign Military Financing assistance for Libya for the first time in FY2010, with the goal of providing assistance to the Libyan Air Force in developing its air transport capabilities and to the Libyan Coast Guard in improving its coastal patrol and search and rescue operations. FY2011 FMF assistance is being requested to support Libyan participation in a program that assists countries seeking to maintain and upgrade their U.S.-made C-130 air transport fleets. [9]

London’s arms sales to Qaddafi’s government have also been significant: “According to the Department for Business Innovation [and] Skills (BIS), £181.7 million (Dh1.09 billion)-worth of arms export licences were granted from [Britain] to Libya in the third quarter of 2010 — up from £22 million in second quarter.” [10] On the basis of the agreements between Tony Blair and Colonel Qaddafi, Britain was even training members of the Libyan police force, including a major and a brigadier, at Huddersfield University in West Yorkshire during the start of the conflict in Libya. [11]

The double-standards being applied by these powers are visible in every nuance and fabric of their actions. The Associated Press (AP) unwittingly points this out in a report summing up the London Conference on Libya:

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said negotiations on securing Gadhafi’s exit were being conducted with “absolute discretion” and that there were options on the table that hadn’t yet been formalized.

“What is indispensable is that there be countries that are willing to welcome Gadhafi and his family, obviously to end this situation which otherwise could go on for some time,” he said.

Frattini had said earlier that he hoped some nation would offer a proposal.

But the Italian diplomat insisted there was no option of immunity for Gadhafi. “We cannot promise him a ‘safe-conduct’ pass,” he stressed.[12]

While condemning Qaddafi, saying that he will have no “immunity,” they also are talking about a “safe-haven” where he will be immune. Furthermore, while the British have said that they know very little about the Transitional Council in Benghazi, Admiral James Stavridis has told the U.S. Armed Service Committee that he is, either as the head of U.S. European Command (EUCOM) or NATO, very well aware of the composure of the opposition. [13] This is contradictory; in this case London says one thing, but the head of military operations for NATO says something else.

At the same time the U.S., Britain, and their allies have left open an option to even betray the Transitional Council. This is typical foreign policy behaviour for London, Washington, and their allies. William Hague has hinted about this: “‘We [meaning Britain, the U.S., and their allies] must never be complacent about the way events like this could turn out,’ Hague said. ‘If things go wrong in the region on a sustained basis, there could be new opportunities for terrorism or extremism.’” [14] Thus, the spectre of Al-Qaeda and its ties to the Transitional Council is starting to emerge in the picture and discourse.

The Propaganda War: Media Distortion about Libya

Perception management has been used to start the war against Libya and to garnish support for the aggression against Libya. This is part of a tradition that the Pentagon and NATO have followed. All the major wars the U.S. has fought in have involved major media lies. In Vietnam there was the Gulf of Tonkin incident, in Yugoslavia the claims of ethnic genocide, in Afghanistan the tragic events of 9/11 (September 11, 2011), and in Iraq the lies about weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and cooperation between Baghdad and Osama bin Laden. The mainstream media has been the first line of attack in these wars of aggression.

In regards to Iraq, the U.S. government brought a false witness to the U.S. Congress who while pretending to be a Kuwaiti nurse testified that Iraqi soldiers threw 312 Kuwaiti babies out of incubators to die. [15] This was used to galvanize public opinion in the U.S. in order to go to war with Iraq in 1991. The infamous Nurse Nayirah testimony was given by Nijrah (Nayirah) Al-Sabah the daughter of the Kuwaiti envoy to Washington. She was even given acting lessons by a public relations (P.R.) firm before her false testimony, which George H. Bush Sr. referred to when justifying going to war with Iraq. [16]

- The Fabricated Jet Attacks on Civilians

At the end of the Gulf War, Saddam Hussein was demonized after he put down rebellions that were instigated by the U.S. and its allies. Now Qaddafi is presented like Saddam Hussein as a monster killing his own people. The justification for establishing the no-fly zones over Libya, which in effect was a smokescreen for launching an undeclared war, were the media claims that Libyan military jets were attacking civilian protesters. The Financial Times is worth quoting to illustrate how the media claims were used to argue for military intervention by NATO leaders:

We must not tolerate this regime using military force [referring to the the jet attacks] against its own people,” David Cameron, [the British] prime minister, said. “In that context I have asked the Ministry of Defence and the Chief of the Defence Staff to work with our allies on plans for a military no-fly zone.” [17]

U.S. and E.U. officials made hard verbal condemnations against Colonel Qaddafi when these reports about jets firing on protesters were made. There is nothing that corroborates this. The reports turned out to be false like the claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. These types of criminal fabrications should not be allowed to go unpunished either.

The Russian military was monitoring Libya from space and saw no signs of jet attacks on civilians. [18] No satellite evidence even showed damage caused by jets. Nor was one piece of video evidence produced about this, while all sorts of footage had been coming out of Libya. The Pentagon, the E.U., and NATO all had access to the same satellite technology and intelligence to verify if such attacks were made, which means that they knew the reports were false.

Libyan military planes only got involved later on during the conflict during missions to bomb ammunition depots to prevent the rebels from getting arms. This was fairly later in the conflict and after the media claims were made that jets were firing on protesters. Libyan air power was also virtually non-existent before and after the foreign intervention. Admiral Locklear, who is the U.S. Navy commander that led the attacks at the onset of the war, even told reporters that “[Libya’s] air force before coalition operations was ‘not in good repair,’ and that [Libya’s] tactical capability consisted of several dozen helicopters.” Despite this reality, Libyan air power was systematically portrayed as a major threat to Libyan civilians.

- Who is behind the Massacres and Acts of Brutality in Libya?

Stories were also presented that Libyan forces were killing individuals from within their own ranks that refused to fight. Video evidence from within Libya actually proved that video footage presented alongside these reports about Libya was spun. It was not the Libyan forces that killed these men, but elements within the Libyan opposition. Videos showing torture and brutal treatment of civilians, including a small boy, by elements from within the rebel fighters are also appearing.

The Salvador option is being used in Libya. Speculatively, these elements were probably working as foreign agents. Footage has surfaced of a small boy in a Libyan hospital being helped by doctors after he was tortured. The doctors are looking at the little boy who has a thin pole shoved through his body, going through from near his penis all the way through to his left shoulder. The video demonstrates something very important. What happened to the little boy was not the work of any laymen. These were individuals who had to be trained in torture, because of the way the pole was sent through the body of the little boy who was not killed by the incision. This points to actors outside of Libya. These cases of torture resemble the brutal cases and murders that were being carried out in El Salvador and later in Anglo-American occupied Iraq.

It has to also be emphasized that Britain sent commandos into Iraq that were disguised as local Arabs to bomb local mosques and areas with civilians in order to create sectarian fighting amongst the Iraqis. [19] It is not beyond the realm of possibility that this is also being replicated amongst the Libyans and other Arab peoples in order to divide them and to fuel civil strife. Nor should the doctored pictures made by Britain and the U.S. about Iraqis greeting Anglo-American forces as liberators be forgotten either.

The Racist Victimization of Black Libyans by the Mainstream Media

Although Qaddafi has used mercenaries from Europe and Africa, racist and exaggerated reports about mercenaries were inseminated globally about the so-called “African mercenaries.” Many members of the Libyan military and the Libyan general population were presented as foreigners from other African countries. In reality, many Libyans are black-skinned.

Being an Arab does not ascribe one to any particular phenotype or physical look, because it is the use of the Arabic language that defines the Arab identity. Arabs can be black-skinned or of a Mediterranean complexion or of a fair-skinned complexion with blond hair. The same is true about being a Berber. This is also very true of all Libyans and other North Africans.

In Libya many Libyans are black-skinned. They are not foreigners or mercenaries. Amongst the Negroid Libyans are the Haratins (Harratins) and the Tuareg people (Kel Tamajaq or Kel Tamashq) in the south. These Libyans are as Libyan as the other inhabitants of the country. Although there are foreign mercenaries in Libya, what the outside media managed to do was present footage of some of these black-skinned Libyans serving in the Libyan military and police forces under the label of foreign mercenaries. This was done to demonize Qaddafi and to create an atmosphere for intervention, because Qaddafi was presented as killing his people with a massive army of African mercenaries. In additions, the plight and murder of the scores of “Black Libyans” or foreign workers from sub-Sahara(n) Africa, which in many cases were barbarically decapitated and mutilated, have been ignored and not even covered by the same media outlets that talked about Qaddafi using African mercenaries.

- Misinformation about the Momentum of Anti-Qaddafi Protests

Leading up to the war on Libya, all sorts of inaccurate reports were made by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Sky News, CNN, and other major networks. For example Al Jazeera reported that Shokri Ghanem, a top energy official in Libya, had fled Libya, but Reuters confirmed that this was not true. [20] Ghamen protested to Al Jazeera’s misreporting in an interview with Reuters: “‘This is not true, I am in my office and I will be on TV in a few minutes’ Ghamen said by telephone.” [21]

At the very outset of the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq the North America media almost daily that U.S. tanks were at near the gates of Baghdad. Something similar has been reported about Libya in regards to the anti-Qaddafi protests. Incorrect reports were also made about cities that had fallen, but in reality old videos were being aired or footage of other Libyan cities were being shown on network television.

Other reports claimed that there was major fighting in Tripoli and parts of it had fallen, when Tripoli was actually peaceful for days. Later on, the words “claim” and “claimed” were systematically used when these reports were made in an effort to vindicate distorted or incorrect information. On February 26, 2011 reports were made claiming that all the main Libyan cities where no longer under the control of the Libyan government. This was false. Cities like Sabha (in central Libya), Sirte/Surt (on the coastal mid-point of Libya), Ghat (on the southern border with Algeria), Al-Jufra, Al-Azizya (close to Tripoli), and Tripoli itself were all under the control of Qaddafi’s government. [22] Overall the original coverage of the events in Libya grossly blew the violence out of proportion in order to justify the agenda of foreign intervention. Like the case of Iraq, with time the people of the world will realize this, but will there those who helped create these fabricated reports be held accountable for starting and supporting a war?

The Propaganda War within Libya

It should, however, be cautioned that a propaganda war is being fought by multiple sides. The U.S. and its allies have not held the solitary monopoly on propaganda. There are four major sides to the media war. The Libyan government in Tripoli and the Benghazi-based Transitional Council have also been involved in “perception management.” Aside from the foreign-based mainstream media there are two distinct sides of the media war within Libya. At the start of the NATO intervention in North Africa, the Libyan government in Tripoli reported that French and Qatari fighter jets were shot down. The Libyan government exhibited on Jamahiriya News what it claimed were three downed French and two downed Qatari pilots. The news came during the opening salvos of the war and it was brief and was never discussed afterward. [23] Additionally, the Libyan government and the Libyan Jamahiriya Broadcasting Corporation also tried to present the capture of an Italian civilian vessel as a military victory by Libya against Italy and NATO.

The Transitional Council too has been waging an intense propaganda war. With the help of Qatar the Transitional Council has established its own television and news channel. [24] This is how the Los Angeles Times described the news sources run by the Transitional Council:

“It’s not exactly fair and balanced media. In fact, as [Mohammed G.] Fannoush [the former librarian who runs the media for the Transitional Council] helpfully pointed out [in his own words], there are four inviolate rules of coverage on the two rebel radio stations, TV station and newspaper:

“No pro-[Qaddafi] reportage or commentary (at least until the tyrant in Tripoli is deposed).

No mention of a civil war. (The Libyan people, east and west, are unified in a war against a totalitarian regime.)

No discussion of tribes or tribalism. (There is only one tribe: Libya.)

No references to Al Qaeda or Islamic extremism. (That’s [Qaddafi’s] propaganda.)”

[25]

Moreover, Fannoush himself as the head of the opposition media acknowledged to the Los Angeles Times that the media in Benghazi serves as a mouthpiece for the Transitional Council. [26] The New York Times, which has predominately been supportive of the Transitional Council has been more blunt about the Transitional Council’s credibility: “[L]ike the chiefs of the Libyan state news media, the rebels feel no loyalty to the truth in shaping propaganda, claiming nonexistent battlefield victories, asserting they were still fighting in a key city days after it fell to Qaddafi forces, and making vastly inflated claims of his barbaric [acts].” [27]

The Transitional Council’s forces have even detained and interrogated Russian journalists. This is because of the generally unfavourable coverage of the NATO war in Libya by Russian journalists. Two reporters from Komsomolskaya Pravda and three television journalists from NTV, which is owned by Gazprom, were abducted and released in early-April 2011 by the Transitional Council. [28]

The Transitional Council Leadership Always Supported Military Intervention

Contradicting statements are not only being made by the U.S. government and Western European governments. The self-appointed figures of the Benghazi-based Transitional Council opposed to Qaddafi are also making contradictory statements. The Transitional Council has been described as being similar to Qaddafi’s regime, because “the operation around the rebel council is rife with family ties.” [29] Moreover, the Transitional Council’s claims against Qaddafi are also similar to those made by Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress against Saddam Hussein.

Take for example the position of General Abdul Fatah Al-Yunis (Al-Younis), Qaddafi’s interior minister who defected. General Al-Yunis has said: “[H]e believed that the [W]est should be ready to launch airstrikes against Colonel Gaddafi’s palace in Tripoli to prevent him [from] attacking the Libyan people with chemical weapons or causing terrible casualties in some other way. He [also said that he] was also in favour of establishing an international no-fly zone as soon as possible.” [30]

More importantly, there is a huge divide between the Transitional Council and the Libyans they purportedly represent. In Benghazi and its environs there were English posters and signs in English intended for foreing media cameras, saying “No Foreign Intervention,” “Libyan People Can Manage it Alone,” and “No To Foreign Military Intervention” as a message representing popular sentiment amongst the Libyan people on the anti-Qaddafi side. Wide sentiment against the U.S. and Britain in particular also existed in Benghazi and the region of Barqa.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in Libya

Despite what media sources from outside Libya were claiming at the outset of the revolt in Libya, Qaddafi’s back was not against the wall. He controlled most the country and a majority of the population, specifically in the western and southern parts of Libya, still supported him for a multitude of reasons. Hereto, Qaddafi still has wide support within the security and military apparatus of his country, not to mention his own tribe, militias, and the common people of Tripoli.

What the war against Libya has done is widen Qaddafi’s base of support. Patriotism has been a huge factor. Many good people who opposed Qaddafi at one point or another have united and locked ranks with Qaddafi and his regime. They have done this, because they believe that they have to stand united to save Libya from falling prey to the U.S. and its coalition and becoming a new and divided colony. To them Qaddafi is not the real target; Libya and Africa are the real targets.

In a manner of speaking the good, the bad, and the ugly have been united under the Libyan regime’s ranks. This is also one of the reasons that the Pentagon and Brussels are working to make sure that internal divisions in Libya are continuously fuelled. They will use the Libyan people against one another to divide Libya.

The Libyan people have been led into a trap and they are being misled. It must also be pointed out that the good, the bad, and the ugly have also gathered together on the Benghazi-based opposition side led by the Transitional Council.

The enemy’s of genuine freedom and of the Libyan people have taken advantage of the situation in Libya. There is plenty of blame to go around in Libya, but its people must not fight one another. Libya collectively and as a whole lost the moment violence started. Nor can the Libyans let foreigners settle their differences. Any solution must be an internal one without any foreign interference.

[1] Cyrenaica is a name that is being used more frequently now by the press and governments in North America and the European Union, including the U.S. government. It was a name used for Eastern Libya from antiquity. It was last officially used in Libya in the era of the monarchy.

[2] Christopher M. Blanchard and James Zanotti, “Libya: Background and U.S. Relations,” Congressional Research Service (CRS), February 18, 2011, p.6.

[3] Thus, citizens have the right to take up arms against any illegitimate authority that uses violence to maintain control over them, whether this is an occupying power or an oppressive regime. It is under the umbrella of this principle that resistance movements carry arms and that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was created. The protesters in Benghazi could be understood as exercising a natural right in achieving their emancipation. To justify this, however, their motives and their intent have to be known. If chaos or emancipation were goals has to be questioned and if the riot started due to external actors must also be taken into play.

[4] This does not justify the action of any governments or authorities, but it has to be acknowledged that it is standard practice.

[5] Nicole Gaouette, “Clinton Says Arab League Vote for No-Fly Zone Changed Minds,” Bloomberg, March 16, 2011.

[6] [United Nations Security Council, U.N. Security Council Resolution 1970 (Peace and Security in Africa), 6491st Meeting, February 26, 2011, S/RES/1970 (2011): the selection and wording of the name for Resolution 1970 was used as a means to disguise the violation of Libyan sovereignty.

[7] Ibid., pp.2-3.

[8] Jonathan Swaine, “Libya: African mercenaries ‘immune from prosecution for war crimes,’” The Daily Telegraph (U.K.), February 27, 2011.

[9] Blachard and Zanotti, “Libya: Background and U.S.,” Op. cit, p.14.

[10] Alice Johnson, “Fox Defend’s West’s arms sales to Libya,” Gulf News, April 3, 2011.

[11] David Barrett and Rebecca Lefort, “Britain trains 100 members of Gaddafi’s feared police,” The Daily Telegraph (U.K.), March 6, 2011.

[12] David Stringer, “Top envoys agree Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi must step down but don’t discuss arming rebels,” Associated Press (AP), March 29, 2011.

[13] Ibid.; 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.

[14] Stringer, “Top envoys agree,” Op. cit.

[15] To Sell A War, Martyn Gregory (Thames Television. 1992).

[16] Ibid.

[17] Daniel Bombay, James Blitz, and Roula Khalaf, “West casts military net around Libya,” Financial Times, March 1, 2011.

[18] “‘Airstrikes in Libya did not take place’ – Russian military,” News, Russia Today (RT) (Moscow: March 1, 2011); the RT report was made by journalist Irina Galushko.

[19] British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) News, “Iraq probe into soldier incident,” September 20, 2005.

[20] Alexander Lawler, “Libya top oil official says still in office,” Reuters, March 31, 2011.

[21] Ibid.

[22] During the times of the reports, this was verified as incorrect through personal accounts from within Libya.

[23] On a personal note, personal internal contacts in Libya tried to get the images of the pilots, which Libyan state-television had aired, and their information, but Libyan broadcasters would not release it. Security reasons were used to justify the decision. Libyan state-television also directed the personal contacts to the Intelligence Ministry, which would not release any of the information or the images. This was all preposterous, because the images were already aired and presented to the public in Libya.

[24] David Zucchino, “The voice of Libya’s rebellion is up and spinning,” The Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2011.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid.

[27] David D. Kirkpatrick, “Hopes for a Qaddafi Exit, and Worries of What Comes Next,” The New York Times, March 21, 2011.

[28] Russian News and Information Agency (RIA Novosti), “All five Russian journalists set free by Libyan rebels,” April 8, 2011; ITAR-TASS, “FM insists Russian journalists observe security rules in Libya,” April 9, 2011.

[29] Kirkpatrick, “Hopes for a Qaddafi Exit,” Op. cit.

[30] Liam Fox, “Liam Fox: Libya crisis shows why we’re right on defence reform,” The Sunday Telegraph (U.K.), February 26, 2011.

PART III – THE SECRET NATO GROUND WAR


After months of equivocations meant to mislead public opinion, it’s curtain time for the ground attack on Libya. While the U.S. and its allies try to make it look like a recent decision in response to the violence inflicted against civilians, this author exposes the hypocrisy behind this portrayal and shows that the ground operation in Libya started even before the enforcement of the UN no-fly zone. Furthermore, he unmasks the hypocrisy of putting a NATO face on an operation which is blatantly being led by the U.S.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 only passed, because Moscow and Beijing abstained. This was a tactical move meant to limit the war. If the resolution had been vetoed by Russia and China, in all likelihood, the U.S., Britain, France, Italy (and the Western European members of NATO) would have resorted to “other means,” including an outright invasion. By abstaining and getting the NATO powers to vocally invest themselves to U.N. Resolution 1973 and to hide behind it, Moscow and Beijing managed to limit the options of the Pentagon and NATO.

The efforts of Moscow and Beijing, however, have not hindered Washington and its NATO allies from breaching international law or U.N. Resolution 1973. Washington has casually admitted that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was on the ground supporting rebel forces. According to Washington, the involvement of U.S. intelligence agents in Libya started as soon as the U.S. embassy in Tripoli was closed. [1] February 25, 2011, is the date that the U.S. embassy in Tripoli was reported as being closed.[2]

This is a casual omission that the U.S. had violated international law and was operating on the ground in Libya before any U.N. approval. Moreover, Italy had opened its military bases to use by the U.S., Britain, and France before any U.N. approval by repudiating its non-aggression pact with Libya on February 27, 2011. [3] In other words, the war against Libya had already begun.

Unnamed U.S. officials even told Reuters that U.S. intelligence operations were underway in Libya before President Obama signed a secret order in March 2011 that authorized covert U.S. actions against the Libyan government. [4] The U.S. was not alone in operating in Libya. It has been reported that dozens of British agents and commandos from MI6, the Special Air Services (SAS) unit, and the Special Boat Services (SBS) units were also operating inside Libya. [5]

These foreign forces in Libya were sent to prepare for the war by selecting targets to be bombed. [6] Even before the attacks were launched, both Britain and France announced plans in November 2010 for war games that envisioned attacking Libya under the exercise codename “SOUTHLAND.” [7] The British and French military assets being mobilized for these drills ended up being used to attack Libya. [8] November 2010, according to the Italian journalist Franco Bechis of Italy’s Libero, also happened to be the time that Paris started planning for regime change in Libya.

Even if the November 2010 war games and the Italian article about regime change plans are dismissed, a war with Libya was intended from the outset of the crisis. Before the assault on Libya started, the Pentagon and its NATO allies had mobilized an excessive amount of military assets that went well beyond the needs of any evacuation operations in Libya. In the words of the British Defence Minister, Liam Fox:

As we have seen in Libya in the past 96 hours [Britain] still has the military capability to protect British interests. At a time when the commercial sector was unable or unwilling to fly, the [British] Government used a range of military assets, including Royal Navy warships each with a detachment of Royal Marines and C-130 Hercules aircraft to evacuate hundreds of Britons and citizens from a dozen other countries. In fact, British Armed Forces have been leading the way with HMS Cumberland being the first military asset from any country to enter and evacuate citizens from the Libyan city of Benghazi. [9]

Days later the British Ministry of Defence acknowledged that British troops were on standby waiting to enter Libyan territory:

The Black Watch […] had been placed on heightened readiness, prepared to deploy to North Africa at 24 hours’ notice.

The 600-strong infantry unit returned from Afghanistan in late 2009 and is based at Fort George near Inverness. “They’re ready, just in case,” said a source.

[10]

Under a humanitarian pretext, London has also sent military advisors to the Transitional Council. The British press reported about this in early-March 2011: “Britain is also preparing to send diplomats and specialist advisers to the eastern city of Benghazi, where the disparate Libyan opposition is based.” [11] At least one of these so-called “special advisors” was later apprehended near in the vicinity of Benghazi.

In reality, London blatantly lied about sending a British diplomat and his plain clothed security to Benghazi. [12] In this case, the plain clothed security guards were undercover British commandos. The British group was arrested by rebel forces when the security team lied about not being armed. Hidden weapons and a cache of explosives were found on them. [13] Why was the so-called British diplomat and his security team not directly flown into Benghazi?

The British story was very dubious and problematic from the start. Even more telling was the doubt-casting language which the BBC used to report the incident, while portraying it as a mere misunderstanding. It turned out that the armed group apprehended on March 6, 2011 near Benghazi by rebel forces was in the process of conducting a British intelligence mission: the diplomat was an MI6 secret agent and the security team consisted of seven British SAS commandos. [14]

At about the same time, three Dutch Marines were also caught by Libyan forces operating inside Sirte. [15] The Dutch government insisted that the Dutch troops were merely evacuating two Dutch workers.

The Libyan government, however, was not informed or aware of the Dutch operation. The captured Dutch Marines were later handed over by the Libyans to the Netherlands on March 10, 2011. [16] Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi took the occasion to warn NATO not to intervene inside Libya: “We told them [meaning the Dutch], don’t come back again without our permission. We captured the first NATO soldiers, we are sending them back home. But we are still keeping their helicopter.” [17]

The French also sent planeloads of what was reported to be medical aid to Benghazi. [18] In turn, Pakistani sources reported in late February that the U.S., Britain, and France had sent military advisors to Benghazi. [19]

What these reports confirm is that there was a foreign military and intelligence presence in Libya before any U.N. mandate for a no-fly zone was granted. In this regard, the governments involved were in blatant violation of international law.

Another Case of Double-Standards: Yesterday’s Terrorists are Today’s Allies

Foreign intervention also consisted in embedding U.S., British and Saudi “intelligence assets” inside Libya. The latter consisted of Islamic para-militaries from Afghanistan and other conflict zones, which were dispatched to Libya. These intelligence assets are what the U.S. and its allies would themselves define as “terrorist elements.” This is utter hypocrisy. Acknowledged by numerous reports, the U.S. and its allies are in bed with their own so-called terrorist enemies. This should come as no surprise. Washington and its allies have created, controlled, nurtured, and unleashed extremist and criminal fighting groups in Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Caucasus, Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Lebanon. [20] [21]

The Wall Street Journal report on rebel training in the Libyan town of Darnah (Derna/Darna) identifies the role of U.S. supported terrorists inside Libya:

Two former Afghan Mujahedeen and a six-year detainee at Guantanamo Bay have stepped to the fore of this city’s military campaign, training new recruits for the front and to protect the city from infiltrators loyal to Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

[…]

Abdel Hakim al-Hasadi, an influential Islamic preacher and high-school teacher who spent five years at a training camp in eastern Afghanistan, oversees the recruitment, training and deployment of about 300 rebel fighters from Darna.

Mr. Hasadi’s field commander on the front lines is Salah al-Barrani, a former fighter from the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, or LIFG, which was formed in the 1990s by Libyan mujahedeen returning home after helping to drive the Soviets from Afghanistan and dedicated to ousting Mr. Gadhafi from power. Sufyan Ben Qumu, a Libyan army veteran who worked for Osama bin Laden’s holding company in Sudan and later for an al Qaeda-linked charity in Afghanistan, is training many of the city’s rebel recruits.

Both Messrs. Hasadi and Ben Qumu were picked up by Pakistani authorities after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and were turned over to the U.S. Mr. Hasady was released to Libyan custody two months later. Mr. Ben Qumu spent six years at Guantanamo Bay before he was turned over to Libyan custody in 2007.

[22]

The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) has been one of the components of the Transitional Council forces. According to a study authored at the Pentagon’s West Point, the area around Benghazi and Darnah in Barqa is the place known for supplying the second largest group of foreign fighters into Iraq; these fighters are tied to the LIFG, which is currently allied to the U.S. and NATO. [23]

NATO wanted a War in North Africa from the Start

The New York Times (February 28, 2011) asserted that the French government was opposed to military action and that NATO would “not” be used against the Libyans. [24] This was really an act of brinkmanship intended to pave the way towards a broader war in North Africa. Steven Erlanger analyses the bogus French position as follows:

[Prime Minister] “Fillon, like Mr. Sarkozy, spoke cautiously about any military intervention in Libya, which Western diplomats said France has opposed inside NATO and at the United Nations. Mr. Fillon said the prospect of a no-flight zone over Libya needed a United Nations Security Council resolution, ’which is far from being obtained today,’ and would require the involvement of NATO“. [25]

All the so-called debate within NATO and lack of enthusiasm about the alliance’s role in Libya was mere bravado and a theatrical act for the public. Gradually NATO would be presented as being involved only through a “technical role” in the war. [26] It is at this point that U.S. Defence Secretary, Roberts Gates, declared: “This isn’t a NATO mission. This is a mission in which NATO machinery may be used for command and control [against Libya].” [27] In reality, the project was a NATO project from the onset of the mobilization of the military forces encircling Libya.

NATO was also monitoring Libyan airspace before Libya was attacked. [28] In the frankest of terms Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Obama Administration, 10 Downing Street, and the E.U. were misleading the public. It is also worth noting that Anders Fogh Rasmussen was selected to be the secretary-general of NATO as a reward for his support as Danish prime minister for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Why has Operation Odyssey Dawn been Handed to NATO?

NATO is an undemocratic body and is not answerable to any constituency of voters. It is through NATO and international organizations that the voting public is being bypassed. The command of the war against Libya has deliberately been reassigned from the Pentagon to NATO as a clever means to bypass public scrutiny and accountability by the U.S. government and all other governments involved in this war.

Even the so-called NATO holdouts, Germany and Turkey, are supportive of this war. Berlin is sending more military resources to NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan so that the military forces of its allies can be freed up to attack Libya.

Moreover, Ankara did not prevent NATO from formally taking over the military operations against Libya. While the sentiment of the Turkish people is against the war, the Turkish government has been onboard with the U.S. and E.U. war against Libya. It is also worth quoting President Obama in regards to Turkey’s position on Libya:

In this effort, the United States has not acted alone. Instead, we have been joined by a strong and growing coalition. This includes our closest allies – nations like the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Turkey – all of whom have fought by our sides for decades. [29]

Washington is merely trying to hide behind its Western European allies. [30] The U.S. is leading the NATO operations, just as it was working behind the scenes with its allies to launch the war by imposing a no-fly zone. The U.S. only pretended to be opposed to the no-fly zones. The U.S. government actually firmly backed a no-fly zone when it was presented to the U.N. Security Council and the Pentagon had already mobilized the military resourced needed to attack Libya. [31]

Moreover, it is a U.S. flag officer that holds the post of Supreme Allied Commander Europe. U.S. Admiral James G. Stavridis is the supreme commander of NATO military operations. Admiral Stavridis does not need to have the approval of anyone in NATO for many of the combat decisions he makes. As a matter of public record, this was deliberately clarified by Senator Joseph Lieberman and Admiral Stavridis at the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing where Libya and U.S. military operations in Europe were discussed. [32] It should also be noted, while Admiral Stavridis can operationally work independently from the oversight of the rest of NATO’s members, he is totally subordinate to the Obama Administration and the Pentagon.

Turkey: A Trojan Horse?

Ankara has been portrayed as siding with the Libyan regime. In reality Ankara supports the Transitional Council and the NATO war against Libya. It has been claimed that Turkey has been advising Colonel Qaddafi and his regime, but this is misleading. Ankara has been playing the role of a negotiator and go-between, but it is not impartial.

Turkey is administering or running the airport in Benghazi from which the U.S., British, French, NATO, and Qatar have given covert and illegal combat support assistance to the Transitional Council. [33] It was actually NATO that assigned Ankara the airport authority role via a NATO agreement with the Transitional Council. [34] Moreover, one of NATO’s operational headquarters for the war against Libya is located in Turkey and Ankara’s naval forces are participating in the naval operations and embargo against Libya. Turkey is also a de facto combatant through its combat support role in the war.

NATO works on a consensus basis and if countries like Turkey and Germany were really against the war then they could have blocked NATO from getting involved in Libya.

NATO as a whole is a military combatant in Libya and therefore all NATO members are by extension to be considered combatants. When General Carter Ham was asked by Senator Sessions if Turkey was obstructing the military campaign or blocking NATO attacks as was being claimed, he confirmed that Turkey was supportive of the war. [35] General Ham is the commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and the military flag officer that originally led the war against Libya until operations were transferred over to NATO.

Before the NATO campaign against Libya, Ankara had been deepening its ties with Tripoli and had worked to establish a free-trade agreement between Turkey and Libya. Like its ties to Libya, the Turkish government has also been deepening its ties with Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine (Hamas), Russia, and several former Soviet republics. This has been presented as part of the renaissance in Turkish foreign policy, which sometimes is labelled as neo-Ottomanism. This, however, appears to also be a means of bringing these players into the orbit of Washington and the European Union. In this regard Turkey could be seen as working as a Trojan horse that is integrating these players into the imperial network of Washington’s empire. Turkey’s role in Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza also appear to be part of a coordinated effort to cut them off from Iran.

Arming the Rebels: The Coalition in Breach of U.N. Resolutions and the ATT

The U.S. and its allies have breached international law and U.N. Resolutions 1970 and 1973 by sending weapons to the Transitional Council. U.N. Resolution 1970 specifically states that no weapons are to be shipped into Libya. Qatar’s Prime Minister Al-Thani even said that the rebels will be armed at the start of the conflict. [36] Prime Minister Al-Thani did not make these statements in isolation; he made these statements during the London Conference on Libya and in conjunction with his meetings with the U.S., the E.U., and NATO.

Days later, General Abdel Fattah Al-Yunis (Al-Younis) and the Transitional Council told the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya Network that they had taken delivery of weapons which had been shipped into Libya from abroad. [37] A few days later, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, told CNN that Qatar was delivering weapons to the Transitional Council in Benghazi. [38] Afterwards Qatar’s Al Jazeera went on the offensive to shield Emir Al-Thani and legitimize his actions.

While interviewing the Secretary-General of NATO, Al Jazeera openly reported that Qatar was arming the Transitional Council. [39] This was part of the broader effort to normalize the breaches of U.N. Resolution 1970 and international law. In a noticeably tense interview, anchorwoman Ghida Fakhry asked Secretary-General Rasmussen if NATO members were arming the rebels or aiding them with intelligence as Qatar was openly doing, but Ramussen refused to answer Fakhry’s question. [40]

What Rasmussen did was to circumvent the subject by repeating that NATO was merely enforcing U.N. Resolution 1973. [41] The question was asked on the basis of U.N. Resolution 1970, but Ramussen kept referring to U.N. Resolution 1973 and repeating that NATO was enforcing it. [42] Before the interview was over, Rasmussen was asked the question no less than four times by Ghida Fakhry. [43]

The logic that NATO and its allies are trying to use to justify arming the Transitional Council is that they are sending weapons into Libya as a means of “protecting civilians.” The weapons, however, are intended to be used to fight the Libyan military and for an offensive towards Tripoli. In this context, Qatar’s actions are not in isolation from the broader war campaign being led by Washington against Libya. The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) also prohibits arming the rebels, because they are not the legal government of Libya. The governments arming the rebels have tried to circumvent this legality by recognizing the Transitional Council as the legal government of Libya. [44]

The U.S. Government Redefines International Law and Reality to Justify its Crimes

The U.S. government is the party that has paved the way for arming the Transitional Council and unquestionably breaching U.N. Security Council Resolution 1970 and the ATT. The directive to arm the Transitional Council with weapons was passed down from Hillary Clinton to all the officials gathered at the London Conference on Libya. [45] Had it all not been an act, this would have constituted a radical change for a U.S. official who earlier was maintaining that U.S. and foreign intervention would be counter-productive. [46] Hillary Clinton has sought to justify arming the Libyan rebels through a creative interpretation of U.N. Resolution 1973: “‘It is our interpretation that (UN Security Council resolution) 1973 amended or overrode the absolute prohibition on arms to anyone in Libya, so that there could be a legitimate transfer of arms if a country should choose to do that,’ Clinton said.” [47]

The U.S. position became public at the same time that news broke out that the CIA was going to arm the Transitional Council. [48] The Washington Post was told by an unnamed U.S. official on March 30, 2011 that “President Obama has issued a secret finding that would authorize the CIA to carry out a clandestine effort to provide arms and other support to the Libyan opposition groups.” [49] Moreover, it would become public that Washington was sending arms into Libya through its Arab clients.

The Arab Role in Arming the Transitional Council

At the same time that Hillary Clinton was telling the international community that it was okay to breach the U.N. resolutions, the Pentagon was coordinating a breach of the Libyan arms embargo by giving the green light to the Egyptian military junta to arm the Transitional Council. [50] There were also reports that Egypt was supplying arms to the rebels:

We know the Egyptian military council is helping us, but they can’t be so visible,” said Hani Souflakis, a Libyan businessman in Cairo who has been acting as a rebel liaison with the Egyptian government since the uprising began, according to the newspaper.

Weapons are getting through,” said Souflakis. “Americans have given the green light to the Egyptians to help. The Americans don’t want to be involved in a direct level, but the Egyptians wouldn’t do it if they didn’t get the [U.S.] green light.”

A spokesman for the rebel government in Benghazi said arms shipments had begun arriving to the rebels but declined to specify where they came from [to reporters].[51]

Later on, Mustafa Gheriani, a spokesperson of the Transitional Council, told the international press gathered in Benghazi that the Transitional Council has opened centres for “professional training” in combat. The New York Times is worth quoting for Ghoga’s response to a question asking if there were foreign military advisors and military instructors within these combat facilities. The New York Times reported Ghoga’s response as follows: “Asked if he [meaning Gheriani] meant that foreign advisors or trainers were present, he declined to reply but winked broadly, twice. ‘We have a lot of people being trained, real professional training, that we don’t talk to the world about,’ he said.” [52]

It should be noted this all happened well before Britain and France publicly acknowledged that they were sending military units to help train the Transitional Council for combat operations against the Libyan military. This is in contrast to what the British government publicly declared earlier when it announced that it had no intention of sending any military personnel to assist the Transitional Council. [53] Subsequently, the U.S. and Italy also held high-level bilateral meetings in Washington about arming the Transitional Council’s forces. [54]

More Double-Standards: Who is Sending Mercenaries into Libya?

London has put forward a plan for the Arab dictatorships, specifically the U.A.E. and Qatar, to send military units and military trainers into Benghazi and Libya. [55] Jordan, which has also been involved in the war on Libya and in the oppression of Bahrainis, will in all likelihood be involved. [56]

The British plan would see Qatar and Emirati troops land in Benghazi or alternatively the hiring of former members of the British military as private military contractors. [57] The latter are not only mercenaries, they are also British soldiers that are given special leave from military service to fight in an unofficial capacity.

The Daily Telegraph had this to say about the plan to send British mercenaries:

Western military chiefs are looking at the example of Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance, who in 2001 helped oust the Taliban, with support and leadership from CIA military teams and British Special Forces.

Another example [is] the 1990s Balkan wars, when a US mercenary company trained and led the Croatian army to significant victories over Serbian forces in an intervention quietly backed by Washington.

[…]

However, it is believed that former British personnel could be used as trainers and “force multipliers”.

Former members of the Special Air Service, Special Boat Serve and other elite British regiments are frequently employed by private military companies and Middle Eastern regimes as “advisers” for their own armed forces. For operations where the British Government is not officially involved, Special Forces personnel are often allowed to temporarily resign or take leave in order to fight for others.

In the 1970s, former members of the SAS fought for the Sultan of Oman with Britain’s tacit support. Many of the SAS soldiers were allowed to temporarily resign from the British Army for the Oman campaign, then returned to service afterwards.

British officers estimate that it would take around a month to train the rebels to the point where they can mount a co-ordinated ground offensive against the Libyan military

. [58]

Yet, before the British government even put forward such a plan there were reports that London, alongside Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S., was arming the Transitional Council’s fighters against the Libyan military. [59] This would have to include training by foreign contractors or military forces.

Phase Two of Operation Libya: Direct Ground Intervention?

The role of NATO and the military coalition against Libya is not limited to the air and the sea. During a U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Admiral Stavridis was obliged by Senator John McCain into acknowledging that NATO forces would eventually move into Tripoli. [60] Oana Lungescu, the spokeswoman for NATO, has denied that NATO plans on sending boots on the ground to Libya, but this stands in stark contradiction to operational command statements.

McCain has repeatedly demanded that Libya’s neighbours and NATO fund the war against Libya too. [61] Alongside Senator Lieberman, McCain had repeatedly called for the arming of the Benghazi-based forces from the start of the conflict. Both McCain and Lieberman started making these demands and calling for a no-fly zone while visiting Israel and consulting with Israeli leaders. [62] Both want a invasion of Libya.

A foreign military presence of some form is in the cards. It will not be like the previous NATO military occupations. While President Obama has stated that no U.S. combat troops will land in Libya, the U.S. Armed Services Committee and Admiral Stravridis have clarified that NATO is considering sending soldiers into Libya as part of a “stabilization regime.” [63]

In other words, an international force will be sent for so-called “peacekeeping” or “stabilization” missions similar to those in the former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan. This is another shape and name for occupation. The Pentagon and NATO are now looking at methods to publicly side-step the U.N. in order to invade Libya.

Both Cairo and Tunis are slated to play a role in a NATO-sponsored ground invasion. In early-March 2011, Hillary Clinton held consultations in Tunisia and Egypt with the Libyan opposition and the governments in Egypt and Tunisia. [64] She was actually coordinating for the war on Libya with Tunisia and Egypt.

Both the governments in Tunisia and Egypt are continuations of the old regimes in those countries. No authentic democratization process has taken place. The “counter-revolutionary” regimes have opened Tunisia and Egypt to further U.S. and E.U. economic control under so-called “democratic reforms” and new “foreign investment.” [65] With the launch of the war, Tunis would openly give its support for the war while the Egyptian military junta would provide covert support. It was susequently revealed in London that there were plans to sent British ground forces to the Libyan border with Tunisia. [66] The British government was to justify this under the pretext of helping refugees fleeing Libya. [67]

A foreign troop presence, specifically under the E.U. and NATO, would be geared towards dividing Libya into a loosely-knit protectorate or trusteeships. This would probably take shape under two separate administrations respectively based in Tripoli and Benghazi. If the occupation were to occur it would also be agreed upon by at least one or both of the governments of a divided Libya with capitals respectively in Tripoli and Benghazi.

The Justifications for War have Morphed: Deception of Mission Creep

President Obama and his allies initially said that the war was not about regime change, but they have backtracked.

While Obama was still denying that any regime change would take place, Senator McCain contradicted him and said: “Let’s be honest with ourselves and the American people. Our objective in Libya is regime change, whether the [Obama] Administration wants to call it that or not.” [68] Similarly in Canada, Prime Minister Steven Harper and his defence minister confirmed that regime change was an objective. [69]

All the hallmarks of deceit are present. The unstated goals in Libya have always been the same, but like in Iraq the goals stated publicly have changed. Obama, President Sarkozy, and Prime Minister Cameron have now admitted in a joint letter that the mission in Libya is not over until Qaddafi is removed. [70] This means regime change. It can also be part of a strategy to get Qaddafi to agree to the partition Libya to save himself and his regime.

Moving forward, Senator John McCain and Admiral Stravridis have stated that a strategic stalemate between Qaddafi and the Transitional Council in Libya is unacceptable for Washington or to the interests of the U.S. while also ironically and unwittingly mentioning that no-fly zones and U.N. sanctions “don’t succeed.” [71] If the no-fly zones and U.N. sanctions do not work in protecting civilians, then why were they imposed on Libya in the first place? The no-fly zones and sanctions imposed on Libya are not intended to protect civilians or to stop the internal fighting, but are intended for weakening the defences of Libya.

The no-fly zones cover the whole of Libya and not exclusively the areas controlled by the Transitional Council. If the rationale of the no-fly zones was to protect civilians, the no-fly zones would have been applied to the area around Benghazi and not to Tripoli and the western portion of Libya. What this means is that the White House and the E.U. have been using the no-fly zones as a pretext for waging a war of military aggression against Libya. As President Obama stated in a televised address on March 28, 2011, the U.S. is helping the Benghazi-based Transitional Council, because it is in the interest of the U.S. government. [72]

Regime change rather than protecting civilians is a stated goal of the war. The U.S. and the E.U. originally denied this, but with time have ratcheted up the talk about regime change while simultaneously racketing down denials about regime change in Tripoli. Obama has also declared this objective: “There is no question that Libya – and the world – would be better off with Qaddafi out of power. I, along with many other world leaders, have embraced that goal, and will actively pursue it through non-military means.” [73]

More Deception: NATO and European Union Peacekeeping

The European Union has also made the preparations for deploying an E.U. military force to Libya called EUFOR Libya. [74] The German government has been a major, but subtle, backer of this. [75] This is being presented under the guise of a peacekeeping mission in Libya. This is essentially the same thing as using NATO peacekeepers, but under a different name.

NATO is moving into fill the so-called “post-conflict” voids in places that the Pentagon and its cohorts wage war. This has happened from the former Yugoslavia to Afghanistan and Lebanon. It is a new strategy of modern-day colonization.

The use of NATO can happen formally or informally. In Lebanon, NATO wanted to send troops, but when alarm bells began to ring amongst the Lebanese and Arab peoples the name of NATO was formally removed. Instead NATO members did send their troops to Lebanon, but not under the name of NATO. The operation became informal.

The role of NATO in Lebanon was not drawn in the spirit of peacekeeping. In fact, General Alain Pellegrini the former military commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in an interview with the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir confirmed that the Pentagon had planned to launch a NATO invasion of Lebanon to help Israel and to use NATO in occupying Lebanon in 2006.

The Pentagon and NATO are Prolonging the War to Deepen their Roles

Over a month after his claims about Qaddafi’s attempts to use chemical weapons on civilians, General Abdul Fatah Al-Yunis also said that NATO has been slow to act in support of the Benghazi-based Transitional Council. His previous statement about chemical weapons aimed at bolstering support for foreign military intervention is an outright lie. His latest statement, however, could either be a coordinated propaganda effort aimed at shoring up demands for more NATO military intervention or a genuine sign that NATO has deliberately been using measured responses to get the Transitional Council to become more dependent on foreign support and to prolong the internal fighting in Libya. [76] It may be both.

Al Jazeera had these statements to report about his press conference:

Unfortunately, and I am sorry to say this, NATO has disappointed us. My staff have been in contact with NATO officials to direct them to targets that should protect civilians, but until now, NATO has not given us what we need,” he said.

[…]

Civilians are dying daily because of lack of food or milk, even children are dying. Even by bombing. If NATO waits for another week, it will be a crime that NATO will have to carry. What is NATO doing? It is shelling some defined areas only,” he said.

When a large force of tanks, and even artillery, is on its way to Benghazi, Ajdabiya or Brega, we always inform NATO straight away. Because we don’t have such weapons. NATO’s reaction is very slow. By the time the information reaches from one official to another until it reaches the field commander, it takes hours. [sic.]

Will these forces wait for hours to bomb? No, they will go into the city and burn it down. That is why I want NATO to stand with us and support us, otherwise I will ask the [opposition] National Council to address this issue at the UN Security Council.” [77]

General Al-Yunis also stated: “If NATO wanted to remove the siege on Misurata, they would have done so days ago [during their attacks on the Libyan military.]” [78] In this regard, Al-Yunis is corrected. The U.S. and NATO are deliberately prolonging the war and for the time being are trying to keep a strategic stalemate in Libya as part of their effort to control the entire country. This has been part of their longstanding plans to weaken Libya either through partition or soft balkanization under a new federal system.

[1] Ken Dilanian, “CIA officers in Libya are aiding rebels, U.S. officials say,” Chicago Tribune, March 30, 2011.

[2] Howard LaFranchi, “Libya : US closes embassy in Tripoli, sanctions loom,” Christian Science Monitor, February 25, 2011; Embassy of the United States in Libya, “U.S. Embassy Tripoli Warden Message – U.S. Government Suspension of Operations,” February 25, 2011.

[3] Nicolas Squires, “Libya: Italy repudiates friendship treaty, paving way for future military action,” The Daily Telegraph (U.K.), February 28, 2011.

[4] Mark Hosenball, “U.S. agents were in Libya before secret Obama order,” Reuters, March 31, 2011.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Michel Chossudovsky, “When War Games Go Live: ‘Staging’ a ‘Humanitarian War’ against ‘SOUTHLAND,’” Global Research, April 16, 2011.

[8] Air Defence and Air Operation Command, Southern Mistral 11: Assets Deployed, February 15, 2011.

[9] Liam Fox, “Liam Fox: Libya crisis shows why we’re right on defence reform,” The Sunday Telegraph (U.K.), February 26, 2011.

[10] James Kirkup and Richard Spencer, “Libya: British Army ready for mission at 24 hours’ notice,” The Daily Telegraph (U.K.), March 4, 2011.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Martin Chulov, Polly Curtis and Amy Fallon, “‘SAS unit’ captured in Libya.” The Guardian (U.K.), March 6, 2011.

[13] Caroline Gammell, Nick Meo, and James Kirkup, “Libya: SAS mission that began and ended in error,” The Daily Telegraph (U.K.) March 6, 2011.

[14] Ibid.; Dilanian, “CIA officers,” Op.cit.; The Chicago Tribune had this to say about the British intelligence mission: “The CIA officers in Libya are part of a contingent of operatives from Western nations. The public got a hint of the activity March 6, when a group of British special forces officers, and a member of the intelligence service, were detained by rebels and released.”

[15] Michael Georgy and Maria Golovina, “Libya to hand over captured Dutch marines – Gaddafi son,” Reuters, ed. Philippa Fletcher, March 10, 2011; Associated Press (AP), “Gaddafi’s forces capture Dutch marines on rescue mission,” March 3, 2011.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Steven Erlanger, “French Aid Bolsters Libyan Revolt,” The New York Times, February 28, 2011.

[19] Akhtar Jamal, “US, UK, French forces land in Libya,” Pakistan Observer, February 28, 2011.

[20] “Our terrorists” by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, Voltaire Network, 15 November 2009.

[21] “Once NATO enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan, now NATO allies in Libya“, by Webster G. Tarpley, Voltaire Network, 24 May 2011.

[22] Charles Levinson, “Ex-Mujahedeen Help Lead Libyan Rebels”, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), April 2, 2011.

[23] Joseph Felter and Brian Fishman, Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq: A First Look at the Sinjar Records (West Point, N.Y.: West Point U.S. Military Academy, 2007), pp.7-12.

[24] Erlanger, “French Aid Bolsters,” Op. cit.

[25] Ibid.

[26] David Brunnstrom, “NATO meets to decide alliance role in Libya,” Reuters, March 23, 2011.

[27] David Brunnstrom et al., “NATO to enforce Libya embargo, stuck on no-fly,” Reuters, ed. Paul Taylor, March 22, 2011.

[28] Jamey Keaten and Slobodan Lekic, “World Leaders Meet in Paris for Critical Libya Talks,” Associated Press (AP) March 19, 2011.

[29] Remarks at National Defense University by Barack Obama in Address to the Nation on Libya , Washington, D.C., Voltaire Network, March 28, 2011).

[30] Terri Judd, “French jets enforce no-fly zone as America plays done its role,” The Independent (U.K.), March 21, 2011.

[31] Omar Karmi, “US deploys naval and air forces near Libya,” The National (U.A.E.), March 1, 2011; Ian Black et al., “Libya crisis: Britain, France and US prepare for air strikes against Gaddafi,” The Guardian (U.K.), March 17, 2011.

[32] 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.

[33] Today’s Zaman, “Turkey will run Benghazi airport,” March 29, 2011.

[34] Ibid.

[35] U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Testimony on U.S. Transportation Command and U.S. Africa Command in review of the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2012 and the Future Years Defense Program, 112th Congress, 2011, 1st Session, 7 April 2011.

[36] David Stringer, “Top envoys agree Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi must step down but don’t discuss arming rebels,” Associated Press (AP), March 29, 2011.

[37] Rod Nordland, “Libyan Rebels Say They’re Being Sent Weapons,” The New York Times, April 16, 2011.

[38] Ibid.

[39] Anders Fogh Rasmussen, “Battle for Libya,” interview by Ghida Fakhry, Al Jazeera, April 8, 2011.

[40] Ibid.

[41] Ibid.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Ibid.

[44] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya “‘Operation Libya’ – Recognizing the Opposition Government Constitutes a Pretext for Military Intervention,” Global Research, March 13, 2011.

[45] Nigel Morris and Oliver Wright, “Clinton: UN resolution gives us authority to arm Libyan rebels,” The Independent (U.K.), March 30, 2011.

[46] 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.

[47] Stringer, “Top envoys agree,” Op. cit.

[48] Dilanian, “CIA officers,” Op. cit.

[49] Karen DeYoung and Greg Miller, “In Libya, CIA is gathering intelligence on rebels,” The Washington Post, March 30, 2011.

[50] Giles Elgood, “Egypt arming Libyan rebels Wall Street Journal reports,” Reuters, ed. Andrew Roche, March 18, 2011.

[51] Ibid.

[52] Nordland, “Libyan Rebels,” Op. cit.; the Emir of Qatar also confirms this by telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that there would be training programs for the arms being sent to the Transitional Council from outside Libya.

[53] James Kirkup, “Libya: Arab states urged to train and lead rebels,” The Daily Telegraph (U.K.), April 22, 2011; in this regard, James Kirkup writes: “The British government has made clear it will not publicly participate in any training operation inside Libya, believing any ground-level intervention must be seen to done by Arab states.”

[54] Atul Aneja, “Opposition allies mull ‘political solution’ in Libya,” The Hindu, April 8, 2011; Quoting Bloomberg, Aneja reports: “Unsurprisingly, the United States and Italy are each seriously considering arming Libyan opposition forces, following closed-door talks in Washington between U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and visiting Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, Bloomberg reported.”

[55] Kirkup, “Libya: Arab states,” Op. cit.

[56] Jordan Times, “’Jordanian fighters protect aid mission’,” April 2, 2011.

[57] Kirkup, “Libya: Arab states,” Op. cit.

[58] Ibid.

[59] Scott Peterson, “Italy rejects Qaddafi, recognizes Libyan rebel government,” Christian Science Monitor, April 4, 2011; Elgood, “Egypt arming Libyan,” Op. cit.

[60] U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. European Command, Op. cit.

[61] U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. Transportation Command, Op. cit.

[62] Jackson Diehl, “McCain: U.S. ‘making up reasons’ to avoid action on Libya,” The Washington Post, March 1, 2011.

[63] U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. European Command, Op. cit.; Admiral Stravridis also told the U.S. Armed Services Committee that they should realize that NATO has a tradition of stationing troops in the former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan as a precedent for Libya.

[64] Nicole Gaoutte and Viola Ginger, “Clinton will Travel to Egypt, Tunisia, Meet With Libyan Opposition Leaders,” Bloomberg, March 10, 2011.

[65] Ibid.

[66] Nigel Morris, “British troops could be deployed to Tunisia,” The Independent (U.K.), April 28, 2011.

[67] Ibid.

[68] U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. Transportation Command, Op. cit.

[69] Mark Kennedy, “Canada joins UN coalition aerial mission on Libya,” Edmonton Journal, March 19, 2011; Agence-France Presse (AFP), “Canada wants Kadhafi out but will keep to UN mandate,” March 22, 2011.

[70] 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.

[71] U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. European Command, Op. cit.

[72] Barack H. Obama, Remarks of the President, Op.cit.

[73] Ibid.

[74] Hürriyet Daily News and Economic Review, “EU deploys to Libya despite UN concern as rebels welcome US drones,” April 22, 2011.

[75] Der Spiegel, “Change of Course? Berlin Open to Humanitarian Involvement in Libya,” April 8, 2011.

[76] For example the statements made by General Yunis have been used to push for increased military escalation by Senator McCain at the U.S. Senate Arms Services Committee.

[77] Al Jazeera, “Libyan rebels ‘disappointed’ by NATO, April 5, 2011.

[78] Borzou Daragahi, David S. Cloud, and Ned Parker, “Rebel leader in Libya demands more of NATO,” Los Angeles Times, April 5, 2011.

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