Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has said that it was the US pressure that forced his country to join NATO’s military operations in Libya.
Press TV talks with Dr. Webster Griffin Tarpley, an author and historian to discuss the latest developments in Libya.
Press TV: How long will NATO continue its air raids, more importantly how much longer will Muammer Gaddafi stay in power.
Tarpley: I think Gaddafi is destined to stay in power for quite a while. I think he is likely to view the fall of people like [French president Nicolas] Sarkozy, [British Prime Minister David] Cameron, maybe [US President Barack] Obama, and maybe some others.
NATO would like to continue their attacks but the problem they have is that they are going to run up against this mid-September deadline that is built into this United Nation Security Council Resolution, and at that point they will need a new resolution, and I will be very surprised if Russia decides to put more eggs on its face by not vetoing such a resolution.
We also have to look at the fact that the coalition is falling apart. As of right now, Libya time, Norway has dropped out of the coalition. Over here we have got Anne-Marie Slaughter, who is a leading hawk, one of the first advocates for the bombing under the humanitarian cover now saying it’s time to compromise. She is basically admitting defeat.
As a result of the death of [Chief General Abdel Fattah] Younes, there are now so many questions about the terrorist faction fights among the top hunt shows of the rebel council there in Benghazi that the British press is saying that Cameron won’t be able to continue. [Italian Prime Minister Silvio] Berlusconi says that the he didn’t want to do it, he was forced to do it by Obama, and he was talked into it by President [Giorgio] Napolitano of Italy, who is interestingly enough is an old communist who is now become a war monger for NATO.
So, if you look at this coalition it is in total disarray. One other thing, if you are following the House of Representatives in this budget fight, when that gets over with, you are going to have a lot of mad Tea Party Republicans looking for an issue they can use against Obama. I have an idea, Libya and Obama’s violation of the War Powers Act might be that issue.
Press TV: Do you think the revolutionaries can capture Brega and is that key point holding Gaddafi in power?
Tarpley: Again I can’t accept this terminology, because people working for NATO and the CIA and Al-Qaeda are not certainly the revolutionaries. The Libyan revolution is what has been in power for the past 40 years. I don’t think a few hundred yards or a few kilometers here or there is going to make much difference. If you have been to Tripoli, as I have just seen, that there is a solid base of support for Gaddafi.
We have now got NATO bombing the television station. I am horrified. These are people that I know. You have got a guy there called Dr. Shakir, he is known as the Larry King of Libya with his late night interview program. I was honored to be his guest, little bit more than a month ago.
Now, that is declared terrorism, NATO now says that a peaceful television broadcast is terrorism and they get to kill the people involved. I really wonder whether Western journalists want to go down that path because some Libyan television journalists have been killed. This is now NATO declaring international anarchy. They can kill anybody they want to. That’s the kind of dangerous situation out of which larger wars have been known to grow.
Press TV: If the US wants to help Libya it can overthrow Gaddafi’s regime quickly why are they allowing these civilian deaths to rise, and how long will this continue?
Tarpley: I don’t see any where the United States could overthrow Gaddafi. I think that’s much harder to do as we have found out. NATO has been trying to eliminate physically as hard as they could and they have failed. I think the attack on the television station is an example of NATO lashing out as they realized the defeat, actual defeat, political defeat, and the collapse of the coalition is staring them right in the face, because the center of gravity of the attacking forces, is the attacking coalition.
The only think you can do beyond that is a ground invasion which is specifically forbidden by the UN Security Council Resolution. And if you want Obama impeached watch that. It will go very fast if he tries to send the marines into Libya. The place is, in a certain way, an armed camp, there is one to two million Kalashnikovs in the hands of average people. There is a tribal organization which is made to order for guerrilla warfare, I can’t think of any place that will be more difficult to invade, than Tripoli and its environs and that is based on firsthand experience.