Scores of people including women and children were killed late Monday in the NATO air attack on the Libyan village of Majer, south of Zlitan, which is located 160 km (100 miles) east of the capital, Tripoli.
Press TV talks with Dr. Webster Griffin Tarpley, an author and historian in Washington, about recent developments in Libya. The following is a rush transcription of the interview:
Press TV: Dr. Tarpley, on the one side, NATO is saying that it is hitting command and control centers, military facilities, weapons dumps and rocket launchers. On the other hand, Libyan officials are saying that residential areas are being targeted.
How can we make that distinction? How can we get the true news from Libya?
Dr. Tarpley: Well, NATO of course are famous liars. I myself have visited Libya; I visited a compound of the Al-Khoaldi family, 70 kilometers west of Tripoli. It was purely residential that included a petting zoo. I personally inspected it. I looked into every doorway and into every basement that I could reach.
There was nothing military about it and there were at least three women, four children, a Sudanese cook and some other people. So NATO is simply lying. But on the larger question, how does this civil war go on, I think the big news of the past 24 hours is the chaos of the Benghazi Rebel Government; this grows out of the assassination of Commanding General [Abdel Fattah] Younes about ten or twelve days ago now.
You have to imagine a country where the vice president and in that case that would be [Ali] Al-Esawi had joined with the defense minister [du Galley] and they had joined with the disgruntled general who happened to be a CIA agent who had lived in northern Virginia for twenty years.
Those three, the vice president, the defense minister and the disgruntled but ambitious general get together and arrange the assassination of the commanding general of the armed forces and the agency that carries out the assassination is the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group – meaning Al-Qaeda – because I take it that is exactly who the February 18 Martyrs’ Brigade is.
That is called democracy. That government is now in chaos. They are trying to patch that up. I do not think they will. They may have a civil war within a civil war.
Press TV: Let’s talk about the relation that the NATO forces especially the United States has had with these anti-Qaddafi forces. A lot of observers are saying that they are linked to Al-Qaeda, that there is a secret collusion between the United States and Al-Qaeda, a marriage of convenience in some people’s words.
How do you see this relationship now that the issue of civil war is being raised? Is that something that NATO was prepared to confront?
Dr. Tarpley: Well, the rivalry appears to have been between Younes, who had been a minister in Gaddafi’s governments and a long-time associate of Gaddafi’s – sort of internal opposition, and then this guy Khalifa Hifter or Hefter or Hafter in various English renderings, that was the person who had lived in northern Virginia, darling of the CIA, darling of the Pentagon and had gone back.
So there had been a conflict between Younes and Hifter. The reports were that the Younes people were trying to call in NATO strikes on Hifter and Hifter would respond by using his better connections to call in NATO strikes on the other side.
So this is totally chaotic. The embarrassment growing out of this political assassination with the help of Al-Qaeda is so great now that the Norwegians have dropped out completely as of August 1. Norway, which was 10 percent of the bombing effort, has dropped out, the Dutch and the Netherlands are still there but they refuse to bomb. Canada will drop out next month.
Berlusconi of Italy says that he was forced into this by the United States, by Obama and Hillary Clinton and by president Napolitano of Italy, an old communist interestingly enough, and by the votes of the neo-communists in the Italian parliament. Here in the United States we have got a 15 vote margin in the House of Representatives. The 15 votes flipped the other way. The House of Representatives will cut off funding for this.
Now that you have mentioned the Al-Qaeda, we here in Washington D.C. have an Al-Qaeda base and the Al-Qaeda base has been created by the State Department.
The Libyan Embassy on Virginia Avenue close to the Watergate Complex, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Key Bridge in the Whitehurst Freeway, right the middle of all that there is now an Al-Qaeda base because the Libyan Rebel Council, the Benghazi gaggle of Libyan Islamic Fighting group and Al-Qaeda, have taken over the building.
So here in Washington, we are at great danger compared to what we were before.
Press TV: If the situation is now near stalemate in Libya, do you think that NATO will in the near future maybe make the decision to start negotiations to stop the military campaign and even talk of a solution that would include a division in Libya?
Dr. Tarpley: I think you are going to have a lot of trouble dividing Libya because I think this is a country that has strong nationalism and the fact that Gaddafi is still in power in most of Libya, certainly most of the population, indicates that Gaddafi has real popular support.
People who are lukewarm on Gaddafi have been driven back into the Gaddafi camp by the atrocities and war crimes of NATO. So now the question is where does this all go. It seems to me that the NATO coalition is falling apart. The Benghazi Rebel Council is falling apart.
Again this is now the season of the town meetings here. The Congress is no longer in Washington. They are at home and they are getting an earful. I know in Vermont this morning, the Congressman from Vermont, Representative [Peter] Welch has gotten on earful from a bunch of citizens who want this war ended.
The United States is sick of war and the people are at least and this has no popular support. It never did. The point I would make is that from the very beginning the effective armed forces of the rebellion – and it was armed and violent from the first day – were the Libyan Islamic Group and Al-Qaeda. Since Al-Qaeda is the CIA Arab Legion and always has been, we have had fighters coming back from Afghanistan and Pakistan, all over the Arab and Islamic world have been brought in to fight for the Benghazi Rebel Council.
So the press has not done their job but this is a monstrosity and this is now the congeries and gaggle that have moved in to the Libyan Embassy on Virginia Avenue here in Washington DC. I think that is something to be really worried about; I think Congressmen will be hearing about that too.