NATO Targeting Libya’s Frozen Assets

Interview with author and historian, Webster Tarpley, Washington

Heavy clashes between forces loyal to Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi and revolutionaries have broken out as anti-regime forces are pushing towards the capital Tripoli.

Meanwhile, the embattled Libyan ruler has once again rejected calls to resign and leave the country, saying that he will never leave the land of his ancestors who fought Italian and British colonialists.

This comes one day after officials from some 40 countries met in Turkey to discuss ways to force out Gaddafi and reinforce opposition fighters.

Press TV has conducted an interview with American Author and Historian, Webster Tarpley to further discuss the situation in Libya.

Press TV: Dr. Tarpely, first of all let’s start with the direction NATO has taken with regards to the War in Libya. If you can please open that up for us a little bit. It has been quite a while, but yet the opposition fighters still are not making advances in a more rapid fashion that might be expected of them.

Tarpley: I would have to take issue first of all by or with your terminology. You called the Benghazi Rebel Council ‘the revolutionaries.’

There are a lot of people in Tripoli area of Libya who would say that the current Gaddafi regime is the revolution and that these rebels that are attempting to overthrow him are actually the counterrevolution.

If you look at their support for monarchies and if you look at the support from imperialism and colonialism, I think there is a strong case but obviously the events of today above all, a very severe military defeat for those rebels in their attack on Brega, where their assault has been thrown back with heavy losses comes in the wake of this meeting of the contact group in Istanbul, Turkey yesterday which was the scene of really an astounding action, a real act of folly, I think, where the United States and thirty other countries have decided now that this Benghazi Rebel Council is the legitimate government of Libya.

They are going to try to loot the frozen Libyan assets for the purpose of convoying that money into the pockets of people like [President of the rebel council, Mustafa Abdul] Jalil, [the rebel’s military Chief of Staff Abd Al Fattah] Yunis, and [Head of the Council’s Executive Bureau, Mahmoud] Jibril, and [Senior Rebel Commander Khalifa] Hafter and the rest of the visible leadership of that group.

The problem that it raises is of course that it is very well known that in the military arm of the rebellion we have a very strong representation of Al-Qaeda terrorists.

People who according to the US officials definition of the US government are terrorists that would include somebody like [Abdel-Hakim] Hasadi of [the city of] Darnah, somebody like … also of Darnah and Borhani of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group [LIFG] and the United States has actually facilitated the arrival of lots of foreign fighters be they from Afghanistan or Pakistan, really the entire greater Middle East.

People have been streaming in there to join the rebel side and of course this has not escaped the attention of the opposition forces here in the United States especially in the House of Representatives you have a significant Republican majority who are extremely distrustful in particular Congressman Michael Turner, Republican of Ohio, has taken the lead in denouncing the US government decision to recognize these rebels yesterday saying it is totally premature because you still do not know who they are and of course you do not.

Of the members of the Libyan Rebel Council, the Benghazi Rebel Council only about one third of them are known, the rest of them are secret and the story is that they are threatened by Gaddafi but others would also argue [that] they are being kept secret because they are from Al-Qaeda, they are people who have been to Guantanamo Bay or prisoners of war.

Press TV: Dr. Tarpley, these are definitely perplexing details that you just mentioned. I want to talk to you about the issue of arms. Who is providing the opposition forces with arms, and is the issue of providing arms something that contradicts resolution 1973, or has that resolution just turned into a document that exudes various subjective interpretations as time goes by?

Tarpley: Well, the resolution itself of course violates the UN charter but that does not stop the French in particular but also the British and the US and other NATO countries from violating this resolution.

In particular we know that the French have set up kind of an airlift into these south western mountains, southwest of the capital Tripoli. They have been flying in and playing loads of weapons. That is a blatant violation of the UN Security Council resolution which provides for an arms embargo on everybody.

We also know that the US and the British have been shipping in weapons across the Egyptian border into that stronghold of Cyrenaica [an ancient region of northeast Libya bordering on the Mediterranean Sea] or the Benghazi, Darnah and Tobuk area.

So they are violating the US resolution. It is going to be interesting to see. The recognition of the rebels is designed to open the door to give them money but that will also violate the UN Security Council resolution.

So we are at a point now where the international anarchy could hardly be greater and I would just recall to [US Secretary of State] Mrs. Clinton [that] she may be in the position now of giving material support to Al-Qaeda and people have been impeached in the United States for less.

So Secretary of State can be impeached just like any other officer of the executive branch and there maybe some Republicans in the House who are thinking in those terms right now.