Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Libya seeks Freedom from Dictatorship (Part 2)

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President Obama Shreds The Constitution Over The Shores Of Tripoli
Says that congressional authorization is unnecessary -- UN Security Council approval is sufficient
Joseph A. Klein
Friday, June 17, 2011
Things are heating up over Libya and I do not mean just NATO’s sustained aerial bombing campaign. President Obama is facing a challenge in Congress and in court to his failure to seek congressional authorization for U.S. military involvement in the Libyan war in accordance with the United States Constitution and the War Powers Resolution. And while the Obama administration seems to think that all it needs to do is to act within the authority granted by the United Nations Security Council, tempers are beginning to fray at the Security Council too as the war drags on.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) sent a letter to President Obama on June 14th warning the White House that its continued deployment of U.S. military troops in the North African country appeared to violate the law requiring any U.S. President, within 60 days of his first reporting the launching of a military engagement, to secure Congressional authority for doing so. The letter told President Obama that he was out of time and demanded a legal justification for passing the deadline.
Meanwhile, ten congressmen, led by Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Walter Jones (R-North Carolina), filed a bipartisan complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on June 15th challenging the legality of Barack Obama’s military intervention into Libya without congressional authorization, alleging it violates the United States Constitution and the War Powers Resolution. The complaint seeks “injunctive and declaratory relief to protect the Plaintiffs and the country from a policy that a president may commit the United States to a war under the authority of the United Nations without authorization from Congress.”
The White House responded on June 15th with a report that purported to legally justify why President Obama could go it alone in Libya without congressional approval, even though the Obama administration has acknowledged that the Libyan war is not a response to a direct threat to the United States. Indeed, on March 28, 2011, President Obama described the Libyan conflict as one of the “times . . . when our safety is not directly threatened, but our interests and our values are.” President Obama also said that the United States would be involved for a matter of days or a few weeks. We have now been involved for three months and counting.
The administration is trying to argue that it does not matter since we are not really involved in hostilities over the ‘shores of Tripoli.’ According to the Obama administration’s reasoning, our limited support for our NATO allies who are doing the heavy lifting in conducting the aerial bombing does not rise to the level that would trigger the congressional approval requirements of the War Powers Resolution.
In a joint interview to explain their rationale, Harold Koh, the State Department legal adviser, and Robert Bauer, the White House counsel, argued that American forces had not been in “hostilities” at least since early April when NATO took over leadership of the bombing campaign.
The Obama administration lawyers also sought to justify their position that the War Powers Resolution does not apply to Obama’s involvement of U.S. military forces in Libya because there are no troops on the ground and American forces face little meaningful threat from an exchange of fire with Libyan forces:
“We’re not engaged in any of the activities that typically over the years in war powers analysis is considered to constitute hostilities within the meaning of the statute. We’re not engaged in sustained fighting. There’s been no exchange of fire with hostile forces. We don’t have troops on the ground. We don’t risk casualties to those troops.”
Who knew that the estimated expenditure of $1.1 billion by this September at the current scale of operations ($715.9 million, from mid-March through June 3), the flying of missile-firing drones in Libyan airspace, search and rescue missions and the continued flying of about a quarter of all air missions over Libya, including refueling and intelligence sorties, was so trivial?
Speaker Boehner’s spokesman Brendan Buck said that there were a number of questions regarding “the creative arguments” being made by the White House. That is an understatement.
Without getting too technical, the first thing to note in the War Powers Resolution is that it is not limited to requiring congressional authorization for U.S. military intervention in a foreign country when only ground troops are involved. Section 4 (a)(2) refers to the introduction of United States Armed Forces “into the territory, airspace or waters of a foreign nation, while equipped for combat, except for deployments which relate solely to supply, replacement, repair or training of such forces.”
What is it about the words “airspace of a foreign nation” that the Obama administration does not understand? Are they prepared to argue that our troops providing surveillance and logistical support are not “equipped for combat” in case they do meet armed resistance from Libyan government forces?
Moreover, according to public reports, U.S. personnel with Army Special Forces units and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have been on the ground in Libya to assist the rebel forces. And does anyone seriously believe that if one of our unarmed drones were to go down we would just leave it there and allow the Libyan forces to get hold of our valuable technology for possible sale to one of our adversaries such as China?
The exception in Section 4 (a)(2) of the War Powers Resolution for “deployments which relate solely to supply, replacement, repair or training” applies to those activities in support of our own troops, not those of other NATO countries engaged in an offensive military operation nor those of the Libyan rebel forces.
Section 8 (b) of the War Powers Resolution does allow “members of United States Armed Forces to participate jointly with members of the armed forces of one or more foreign countries” without any further specific congressional authorization, but only “in the headquarters operations of high-level military commands which were established prior to the date of enactment of this joint resolution.” In other words, our high-level military commanders can work with their NATO counterparts within the structure of pre-existing “headquarters operations” without further specific congressional approval. But this does not mean that the President is free to unilaterally put American military forces in harm’s way in support of NATO’s ongoing military intervention within the airspace of a country in which NATO has intervened without invitation.
The Obama administration makes much of the fact that the term “hostilities” is not specifically defined in the War Powers Resolution and then tries to put its own spin on the term by equating “hostilities” with direct combat operations, the use of ground troops and the likelihood of American casualties. This is important because the Resolution applies where United States Armed Forces are introduced “into hostilities or into situation where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances.” (Sec. 3)
The fundamental flaw in the Obama administration’s argument is that the authors of the War Powers Resolution apparently foresaw such a potential loophole and made it clear that our armed forces do not have to be involved in direct combat to be considered potentially engaged in hostilities. Section 8(c) defines the “introduction of United States Armed Forces” to include “the assignment of member of such armed forces to command, coordinate, participate in the movement of, or accompany the regular or irregular military forces of any foreign country or government when such military forces are engaged, or there exists an imminent threat that such forces will become engaged, in hostilities.” It is preposterous to argue that our close support of NATO sorties engaged in hostile bombing attacks in Libya does not inject our own armed forces into those hostilities. There is nothing in the War Powers Resolution that limits congressional authorization to situations where we are the singular leader of an ongoing military mission. When we deploy American armed forces to help one side engaged in hostilities in a foreign country, we too are necessarily engaged in those hostilities alongside our allies, albeit in a supporting role.
The most insulting argument that the Obama administration has made to justify its thumbing its nose at Congress is that President Obama is acting within the constraints set by the United Nations Security Council resolution, which authorized limited military force to protect Libyan civilians. On March 17, 2011, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1973, which authorized UN member states and regional organizations “to take all necessary measures . . . to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi.” The UN resolution mandated that such measures should not include “a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory.”
First of all, the UN Security Council is not a substitute for the U.S. Congress under the United States Constitution. The notion that since the Obama administration is operating within the constraints of the UN Security Council resolution, and therefore congressional authorization in this instance is unnecessary, represents a fundamental attack on U.S. national sovereignty and on the checks and balances that our Founding Fathers built into our Constitution.
Secondly, the mission in Libya has gone way past its limited objective of saving civilians, particularly in Benghazi, from the threat of imminent massacre and of establishing a no-fly zone to protect civilians from any further Libyan government air attacks. That objective was accomplished within the first few days. Despite the protestations to the contrary, it is clear from the pattern of NATO’s sustained bombing campaign in the capital of Tripoli that the military attacks are designed to get rid of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. We are now involved in a civil war, aiding rebel forces whom we know little about, including some who may have actually participated in the insurgency in Iraq against our own troops.
Finally, international consensus on the course of the war in Libya, if there ever truly was one, is in tatters. The UN Security Council is being pushed in different directions as France and the United Kingdom want more latitude in what they can do militarily and the African Union is questioning whether NATO forces have already abused the limited authority granted for military action under Security Council Resolution 1973.
Three African members of the Security Council—South Africa, Nigeria and Gabon - have asked that the Security Council issue an official statement clarifying the limitations on the use of military force in Libya. According to a draft of the statement obtained by Inner City Press, its sponsors included the following language in an attempt to unambiguously re-affirm the limits of Security Council Resolution 1973:
“The Security Council expresses its deep concern over the continuation of violence in Libya, and reaffirms its commitment to the full implementation of United Nations Security Council resolutions 1970 (2011) and 1973 (2011) in letter and spirit to ensure protection of civilians in Libya. The Security Council reaffirms that resolution 1973 (2011) explicitly excludes a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory… The Security Council reaffirms its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.”
Although the Obama administration told Congress not to worry about the Libyan war because the military mission was constrained by the UN Security Council resolution, the United States has reportedly opposed the African countries’ request to simply confirm those constraints.
The Obama administration is clearly hoping that the problem will soon go away with Qaddafi’s death or departure from Libya. An anti-Qaddafi member of Libya’s Mission to the UN expressed optimism that the tide is turning decisively against Qaddafi, telling Inner City Press that “the freedom fighters are now within 40 kilometers of Tripoli.”
In 2007, then-Senator Barack Obama stated that “[t]he president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”
Barack Obama was right then, and is wrong now with regards to Libya. He may be playing for time in the hope that Qaddafi is soon history, but President Obama’s contempt for the U.S. Constitution will leave a lasting stain that will further mar his own legacy in history.
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Report from Tripoli: More NATO "Humanitarian Intervention:" The Bombing of Al Fateh University, Campus B
By Cynthia McKinney
Global Research, June 14, 2011
Since coming to Tripoli to see first hand the consequences of the NATO military operations, it has become clear to me that despite the ongoing silence of the international press on the ground here in Libya, there is clear evidence that civilian targets have been hit and Libyan civilians injured and killed.
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This Tuesday morning I was taken from my hotel across the city through its bustling traffic to the Al Fateh University.
On 9 June, Dean Ali Mansur was outside in the parking lot. The sky was blue like Carolina blue. The clouds were white--no chemtrails in sight. Puffy and white. Dean Mansur was visibly upset. It seems that some of the young men at Al Fateh University, Campus B were fighting over girls. He explained to me that Libyans are hot blooded. With a gleam in his eye, he whispered to me that girls are important to young men.
Yes, that was clearly evident today as I approached the campus of Al Fateh University, Campus B, formerly known as Nasser University. Under the trees, throughout the lawn as we approached the campus gates, I could see young men and women talking to each other, talking on cell phones, walking to and fro, assembled, probably talking about the latest campus news--whatever that might be. Today, on the Al Fateh campus, life was teeming. Student life seemed vibrant. This feel and ambiance of this university was not unlike the hundreds of other universities that I have visited in the US and around the world.
Libyan boys and girls are like ours. My son would easily fit into the life of this university.
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The campus seemed vibrant, too. Cranes everywhere indicated a healthy building program, adding new buildings to enhance the student learning environment. Despite the students' fracas, Dean Mansur had everything to be happy about as he saw his university becoming bigger, better, and stronger. Her told me that they had even signed an agreement with a British university to begin programs in the English language. Not English studies, Dean Mansur emphasized, but an entire curriculum of study taught in the English language! Of course, he entoned, that's all disappointingly ended now.
Al Fateh University, Campus B consists of about 10,000 undergraduates, 800 masters degree candidates, and 18 Ph.D. students; 220 staff, 150 ad hoc professors, 120 employees. It has eight auditoriums, 19 classrooms, 4 extra large classrooms. It also has a rural campus at Al Azizia where 700 students are taught and are a part of the university system. Dean Mansur compares himself to a mayor because he has so many responsibilities presiding over a large community of students engaging in a rich and vibrant academic life.
Dean Mansur told me that life at the university and, for him personally, changed forever on the afternoon of Thursday 9 June, 2011.
He recalled that the university opened as usual around 8:00 am and was to close later that evening at about 8:00 pm.
Thursday, 9 June, he thought, was going to be just like any other day, except for the fracas over the girls that had cleared the campus of many of the students who didn't want to have any part in the fighting. So, outside in the campus parking lot, Dr. Mansur told me he was preoccupied thinking how he would deal with the disciplinary issue before him.
Then, out of nowhere and all of a sudden, he heard something loud up in the sky.
He said it began out of no where, a loud roar. Then a frightful high pitched the hissing sound. He said he looked up into the sky and couldn't hardly believe his eyes: something shiny up in the sky appeared dancing in front of him. He said it moved about like an atari game or something. It danced and zig-zagged all over the sky. He said he was transfixed on the object for what seemed like minutes but in truth must have only been seconds.
Up and down and sideways it raced in the sky and then, without warning, it just came crashing down into the
ground nearby. It was a NATO missile.
Tragically it had found its target: Al Fateh University, Campus B.
Dean Mansur said he saw one missile, lots of fire, lots of different colors all around it, and then a huge plume of smoke. He saw one missile, but heard what seemed like many explosions. He said he now can't honestly say how many.
Dr. Mansur said the force and shock of the blast held him frozen in his place. He said his heart stopped for a moment. He wasn't afraid, just frozen. He didn't run away; he didn't cower; he said he just stood stupefied.
The force of the blast cracked thickened concrete wells, shattered hundreds of windows and brought numerous ceilings down in lecture halls.
Whether it was a wayward Tomahawk Cruise Missile or a misdirected laser guided bomb, no one knows.
His immediate thoughts were for the thousands of his students in the university and for his own three children who study there.
After about 30 minutes, the Libyan press came to see what had happened. the University President and other
officials of the school all came. But to Dr. Mansur's surprise not the international press.
And what did they see?
The media saw the widespread structural damage to many of the buildings, all of the windows blown out in every one of the eight auditoriums. Doors blown off their hinges. Library in a shambles. Books and debris everywhere. The campus mosque was damaged. Glass heaped up in piles. Some efforts at cleaning up had begun.
Dr Mansur says that they have kept the university, wherever practicable, in much the same condition as it was on the day of the attack. Except that the main classroom area that students work in has been cleaned and will be renamed the Seif Al-Arab auditorium complex in memory of Muammar Qaddafi's son murdered on April 30, 2011 in his home by NATO bombs.
On Thursday, NATO missiles. Friday and Saturday are considered the weekend here. Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, the students are back to school undaunted by the bombing. In many of the classrooms I saw today, students were taking final exams amid the debris. As I walked around the campus, one male voice shouted out and spoke to me in Arabic: "Where's Obama?"
Good question I thought.
I've always wondered if the politicians who regularly send our young men and women away to war and who regularly bomb the poor peoples of the world have ever, themselves, been on the receiving end of a Cruise Missile attack or placed themselves and their family at the mercy of a laser guided depleted uranium bomb. Maybe, just maybe I thought, that if they had experienced first hand the horror of a NATO attack on a civilian target they might just stop and question for a minute the need to dispatch our armed forces to attack the people of Libya.
I didn't want to disturb the students taking exams so I found some students standing outside not taking exams to talk to. I asked them if they had anything to say to President Obama. One professor, a woman, spoke up readily and said, "We are working under fire: physical and psychological." One student spoke up and said that President Obama should "Free Palestine and leave Libya alone." He continued, "We are one family."
More on that later, but briefly, every Libyan is a member of a tribe and every tribe governs itself and selects its leaders; those leaders from all of the tribes then select their leaders, and so on until there is only one leader of all of the tribes of Libya. I met that one tribal leader yesterday in another part of Tripoli and I am told he is the real leader of this country. He presides over the Tribal Council which constitutes Libya's real policymakers. So when the young man said "We are one family," that is actually the truth.
Dr. Mansur, trained in the United States and spoke fondly of his time in the US and the many friends he made there. He is proud of his students and the richness of his university's community life. He was just like any University Dean in the United States.
In my view God intervened on Thursday 9 June, 2011.
On the day that the missile struck, not one student was killed. It could so easily have been different. It could have been a catastrophe taking the lives of hundreds of teenagers.
I am told that in the surrounding area immediately outside the university others were not so fortunate.
Reports are that there were deaths in the nearby houses.
It's a funny thing about war. Those who cause war become oblivious and removed from its consequences; they seem happy to inflict harm on others and become numb to its ill effects while war's victims find a way to normalize the abnormal and live with the constant threat of death and destruction.
After visiting Tripoli, I remain as opposed to war as ever before.
The students at Al Fateh University continue their studies despite the siege that their country is under.
And oh, that second group of students that I randomly spoke to? I asked them how much they pay for tuition. They looked at me with puzzled faces even after the translation. I asked them how much they pay for their books. Again, the same puzzled face. Tuition at Al Fateh University is 16 dinars per year--about $9. And due to the NATO embargo on gasoline imports, the school now has started 10 free bus lines to its surrounding areas in order to make sure that the students can get to school, free of charge.
I told them that I was about to enter a Ph.D. program in the US myself and that I needed tuition and book money costing tens of thousands of dollars. I continued that my cousin is in debt $100,000 because she went to the schools of her choice and received a Master's degree.
They said to me, "We thank Muammar Qaddafi. Because of Muammar Qaddafi we have free education. Allah, Muammar, Libya obes!"
Well as for NATO, they still cling to the chimera that their strikes are against military targets only and that theirs is a "humanitarian intervention."
I'm still waiting to find evidence somewhere in the world that bombing poor civilian populations of the Third World from the air is good for their voting rights, democracy, medical care, education, welfare, national debt, and enhancing personal income and wealth distribution. It seems clear to me that complex life issues require more complex intervention than a Cruise Missile could ever deliver.
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Rape in Libya: America’s Recent Wars have all been Accompanied by Memorable Falsehoods
When the war-going get tough, the professional P.R.Campaigns get Going
By Prof Peter Dale Scott
Global Research, June 13, 2011
The Asia-Pacific Journal, Volume 9, Issue 24
It is a troubled Time for NATO’s campaign against Libya. President Obama has seen a near-revolt in Congress against the costly war, while Defense Secretary Gates in Brussels has warned his European allies that their tepid response “is putting the Libya mission and the alliance's very future at risk.” Back home, according to the London Daily Mail, “Mr Gates has requested extra funds for Libya operations, but has been rebuffed by the White House.”
The past history of American wars tells us that, when the war-going begins to get tough, the professional p.r. campaigns get going, often with wholly invented stories. For example, when in 1990 Defense Secretary Colin Powell was expressing doubts that the United States should attack Kuwait, stories appeared that, as revealed by classified satellite photos, Saddam had amassed 265,000 troops and 1500 tanks at the edge of the Saudi Arabian border. Powell then changed his mind, and the attack proceeded. But after the invasion a reporter from the St. Petersburg Times viewed satellite photos from a commercial satellite, and “she saw no sign of a quarter of a
million troops or their tanks.”
Hawks in Congress, notably Tom Lantos and Stephen Solarz, secured support for the attack on Iraq with a story from a 15-year-old girl, that she had seen Kuwaiti infants snatched from their incubators by Iraqi soldiers. The story was discredited when it was learned that the girl, the daughter of the Saudi ambassador in Washington, might not have visited the hospital at all. She had been prepped on her story by the p.r. firm Hill & Knowlton, which had a contract for $11.5 million from the Kuwaiti government.
The history of American foreign interventions is littered with such false stories, from the “Remember the Maine” campaign of the Hearst press in 1898, to the false stories of a North Vietnamese attack on U.S. destroyers in the so-called Second Tonkin Gulf incident of August 4, 1964. We know furthermore that in their Operation Northwoods documents, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1962 proposed a series of ways, some of them lethal, to deceive the American people in order to engineer a war against Cuba.
Since the fiasco of the false Iraqi stories in 1990-91, these stories have tended to be floated by foreign sources, usually European. This was conspicuously the case with the forged yellowcake documents from Italy underlying Bush’s misleading reference to Iraq in his 2003 State of the Union address. But it was true also of the false stories linking Saddam Hussein to the celebrated anthrax letters of 2001. (Their anthrax was later determined to have come from a U.S. biowarfare laboratory.)
This recurring history of falsified stories to justify interventions should be on our minds as we now face the allegations, as yet neither proven nor disproven, that Gaddafi has been using rape as a method to fight insurrection, and may have been guilty of raping victims himself. These charges were made on June 8 by Luis Moreno-Ocampo, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), who claimed (according to Time Magazine there were indications that Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi had ordered the rape of hundreds of women during his violent crackdown on the rebels and that he had even provided his soldiers with Viagra to stimulate the potential for attacks.
(left: Luis Moreno-Ocampo)
According to Time, the rape stories are being circulated by doctors who claim to have met and treated patients but do not have patients' permission to reveal their identities. Earlier, according to a Libyan doctor interviewed in an Al Jazeera video, “many doctors have found Viagra and condoms in the pockets of dead pro-Gaddafi fighters, as well as treated female rape survivors. The doctor insists this clearly indicates the Gaddafi regime is using rape as a weapon of war.”
But what of Moreno’s charge that “Now we are getting some information that Gaddafi himself decided to rape, and this is new.” This is a sensational charge: until we learn there is a reliable source for it, one can suspect it was made to grab headlines.
One problem in investigating these charges is that Libyan culture is so unkind to rape victims that they are
reluctant to come forward. Researchers for Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International were unable to find one woman who said she had been raped. A U.N. human rights investigator, Cherif Bassiouni, told Agence France-Presse that the rape and Viagra stories were being circulated by the Benghazi authorities as “part of a ‘massive hysteria.’” In fact he had discovered only three cases.
Military conflict of course is normally accompanied by rape. What might constitute a war crime would be whether (to quote Time) Gaddafi “had provided his soldiers with Viagra.” Moreno actually said, according to the Associated Press, that “some witnesses confirmed that the [Libyan] government was buying containers of Viagra-type drugs ‘to enhance the possibility to rape.’"
Others have objected that the purchase of Viagra-type drugs falls far short of indicating a war crime. Former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, in Tripoli on an investigative mission, has pointed out in her emails that to date the one army known to have distributed Viagra as part of its war operations is the U.S. Army – as a bribe to entice information from aging tribal leaders in Afghanistan.
Time’s subtle enhancement of Moreno’s claim – from purchasing Viagra to providing it to soldiers, reminds us of the sorry record of the U.S. mainstream media in circulating past false stories to justify war. It is painful to say this, but virtually every major U.S. military intervention since Korea has been accompanied by false stories. Mr. Moreno-Ocampo should be pressed to come forward quickly with the supporting evidence for his charges, which should be based on more than the testimony of doctors working for the Benghazi regime.
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Military Escalation: "Phase Two" of the War on Libya
By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, June 1, 2011
A new phase of the war is unfolding leading to a process of military escalation as well the eventual landing of US-NATO commandos on Libya's shores.
An unprecedented deployment of naval power in the Mediterranean is occurring.
The USS George H W Bush supercarrier, the most advanced vessel in the US naval arsenal, together with its strike and carrier group has entered the Mediterranean, to join up with the Sixth Fleet in Naples.
Aircraft supercarrier USS George H W Bush (CVN77) is the World's largest naval vessel: with "four-and-a-half acres of space on its flight deck, making it capable of housing 90 jets and helicopters. It is home to 5,500 crew". Equipped with sophisticated electronic warfare systems, it is the World's largest "mobile military base" (Manlio Dinucci, "Boots on the Ground": Sarkozy and Cameron Prepare to Land in Libya, Global Research, May 31, 2011).
The USS George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group was sent on its "maiden voyage" to the Sixth Fleet area of naval operations, namely the Mediterranean. It was "certified ready for combat operations" a month before the onset of the war on Libya. USS George H.W. Bush Strike Group Certified Combat Ready, February 21, 2011)
Subduing the Enemy into Total Submission
"Freedom at Work" is the USS GHWB's "humanitarian logo"
The sheer size of the USS supercarrier George H. W. Bush, its advanced weapons systems, its destructive capabilities, not to mention its cost, are the outright expression of America's imperial ambitions run amok. Under the "Shock and Awe" doctrine, the USS George H. W Bush is intended to astound and subdue the enemy into total submission.
Military Escalation
Since the beginning of the war on March 19, approximately 10,000 sorties have been conducted. NATO acknowledges a total of 9036 sorties, including 3443 strike sorties over a two month period, (March 31, 2011-May 31, 2011).
With the deployment of the USS George H. W. Bush and its Strike Carrier Group together with other allied warships, a new stage of the war is unfolding.
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Military operations are no longer limited to a high altitude bombing campaign, where strike targets are "pre-approved" and planned in advance. The deployment of helicopters and low altitude air operations are envisaged. The latter are to support the deployment of US-NATO commandos and rebel forces on the ground.
Britain's HMS Ocean deployed out of Cyprus, is equipped as a Helicopter Carrier, for Apache helicopters.
The Apaches would be dispatched from HMS Ocean, Britain's largest warship. In mid-May, naval exercises were held off the coast of Cyprus involving British and Dutch navy warships with HMS Ocean playing a central role as a helicopter carrier. "The exercise included air defence practice and live firing at sea with amphibious exercises in coastal waters".
In turn, France confirmed that it would be deploying its Tiger attack helicopters.
We can therefore expect in the weeks to come a major shift in the nature of military operations; the sending in of commandos in support of land operations, with helicopters and low altitude air deployments playing an important role. (These low altitude flights would not be limited to predator drones).
The nature of air operations will, therefore, become more focussed. The stated objective is "to bring the air campaign closer to the ground". The USS GNWB supercarrier and strike group will play a key role in the implementation of the next phase of the war.
Video: USS H. W. Bush (CVN77) together with its Carrier Strike Group 2 (Source US Navy)
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HMS Ocean Helicopter Carrier
Apache Helicopters
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Simulating the Mediterranean War Theater: The "Saxon Warrior" War Games
In the week prior to its "maiden voyage" to the Mediterranean, the USS H. W. Bush (CVN77) together with its Carrier Strike Group 2, took part in extensive war games off the coast of Cornwall (UK) under the auspices of HM Royal Navy (19-26 May 2011).
Dubbed "Exercise Saxon Warrior", the war games were carried out in a maritime environment, with the participation of British, US, French, German, Swedish and Spanish war ships. All in all, the war games involved the participation of 26 separate naval units. ( EGFE Movements » Exercise Saxon Warrior) http://www.egfemovements.co.uk/2011/05/19/exercise-saxon-warrior/.
Of significance, the "Saxon Warrior" is among the largest war games conducted by the Royal Navy, in close liaison with the US Navy, NATO and the Pentagon:
"[They are] intended to hone the skills of the Bush Carrier Strike Group... so it can work smoothly with European forces during its current deployment. [in the Mediterranean against Libya ((M.C.)]
“The George H W Bush Strike Group is well prepared for this deployment,” said Rear Admiral Nora Tyson, the task group commander – and the first female admiral of a US carrier force.
“We’re delighted to be participants in Saxon Warrior. It provides an ideal opportunity for all the ships in the group to enhance our ability to operate seamlessly and effectively with other NATO units.” (George Bush bound for Portsmouth after war games with Royal Navy navynews.co.uk, emphasis added) http://www.navynews.co.uk/news/1195-george-bush-bound-for-portsmouth-after-war-games-with-royal-navy.aspx
The war games bear a direct relationship to the "real war". The Saxon Warrior simulated both the multi-national command structure as well as the naval configuration of the NATO led war in the Mediterranean, i.e. in terms of naval, air force, helicopter deployment and possible ground force operations. The 5500 sailors on board the USS George H. W. Bush are intended to be used in the case of commando landings on enemy territory:
[The Saxon Warrior is] "an exercise designed to develop theater-specific combat skills as well as enhance cooperation between multi-national forces and government agencies. ... Saxon Warrior presents a myriad of challenges to the multi-national and multi-platform force by creating a diverse and unpredictable war environment based on fictional geo-political and military scenarios." (George H.W. Bush Strike Group Participates in Saxon Warrior, http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=60543, emphasis added)
While conducted under the auspices of the British Navy, low flying military aircraft and helicopter exercises were also undertaken in South West England and parts of Wales, simulating conditions in a fictitious enemy country. The focus on helicopter and low altitude air operations is fully consistent with the next stage of the war on Libya (as discussed above).
The "Saxon Warrior" war games are viewed by the US military as providing "an opportunity, as a deployed force, to integrate coalition partners into our command structure and that is happening for the first time," (Capt. Patrick. O. Shea, USS Gettysburg commanding officer, .Military News: Gettysburg Participates in Saxon Warrior, May 24, 2011). http://military-online.blogspot.com/2011/05/gettysburg-participates-in-saxon.html
While The Royal Navy coordinated the war games, the US naval force, in terms of military deployments and "simulated command structures" was by far the key player.
The eight-day exercise involved "single-mission" stand-alone scenarios "encompassing surface, submarine, and air combat". The last day on May 26 culminated "with a simulated war" in a maritime environment.
While based on "fictional" geopolitical and military scenarios, the participants in "Saxon Warrior" were acutely aware that they were training for the war on Libya:
"We are training in a deployed operation, so it improves our readiness should we become involved in any real world operations." (Ibid, emphasis added)
Saxon Warrior presents an opportunity to face a variety of geopolitical situations that change from day to day, ...
“Saxon Warrior gives us a challenging environment in which to use our war fighting skills,” “We have to think quickly outside the box. The more agile we are, the more prepared we’ll be for any mission that comes up during deployment. That’s the beauty of Saxon Warrior.”
"The beauty of operating with coalition partners is that we practice with them, learn their strengths and then blend those strengths together to make the most potent coalition force possible.” George H.W. Bush Strike Group participates in Saxon Warrior 11 .norfolknavyflagship.com, May 26, 2011, emphasis added) http://www.norfolknavyflagship.com/news/from_the_fleet/article_ac34431c-87ce-11e0-afe1-001cc4c002e0.html
The Anglo-American Military Axis
These war games are part of a framework of advanced military co-operation between London and Washington, involving the de facto integration of British and US command structures. The war games had been scheduled to coincide with President Barack Obama's official State visit to the UK, highlighted as a "Special Relationship" between Britain and America.
Of significance, the high level meetings between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron were conducive to the formal establishment of a joint National Security Board, with an mandate to coordinate military decision-making as well as foreign policy. Headed by the U.S. and British national security advisers, the joint National Security Board seeks to further consolidate the Anglo-American military axis.
The Next Phase of the War on Libya
What is unfolding is an escalation of military operations, which at the same time is leading to a protracted war.
This shift in the direction of military operations geared towards aerial and helicopter support to "boots on the ground" commandos will not necessarily lead to an all out invasion, at least in the foreseeable future.
The USS H. W. Bush and its joint carrier group will be playing a key role in supporting ground operations through helicopter and low altitude air sorties.
"The Aircraft Carrier George H.W. Bush is flanked by a battle group consisting of the guided missile destroyers Truxtun and Mitscher, the missile cruiser Gettysburg and Anzio and eight squadrons of aircraft. It’s going to strengthen the Sixth Fleet, whose command is in Naples, alongside other units, including the nuclear submarines Providence, Florida and Scranton. Also added to the Sixth Fleet was one of the most powerful amphibious strike groups, led by the USS Bataan, which alone can land more than 2,000 marines, equipped with helicopters and vertical takeoff planes, artillery and tanks. It is flanked by two other amphibious assault ships, the Mesa Verde and the Whidbey Island, which from May 13-18 visited Taranto in Italy. The Whidbey Island has four huge air cushion landing crafts that, within a radius of 300 miles, can deliver 200 men at a time very quickly to the coast of a country without the ship being visible from land. (Manlio Dinucci, "Boots on the Ground": Sarkozy and Cameron Prepare to Land in Libya, Global Research, May 31, 2011) http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25063
Special Forces have been on the ground in Libya since the onset of the air campaign.
Mercenary forces on contract to NATO are also being deployed. (See Manlio Dinucci, A Secret Army of Mercenaries for the Middle East and North Africa, Global Research, May 24, 2011). http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24952
"Shock and Awe"
As part of a "Shock and Awe" strategy, bunker buster BLU 109 2000 pounds bombs are to be dropped on Libya using Britain's RAF tornado fighter jets. Shock and Awe is part of the "doctrine of rapid dominance" or "decisive force", used to intimidate the adversary into submission, as well terrify the civilian population. (see video clip below)
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Royal Air Force Tornado GR4A
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Nuclear Weapons against Libya
It is worth noting that the use of Shock and Awe tactical nuclear weapons against Libya has been contemplated as part of this "humanitarian war". In 1996, Libya was the "chosen country" in the Middle East and North Africa to be targeted with a B61-11 tactical nuclear weapon. The latter is a bunker buster bomb equipped with a nuclear warhead.
The plan to nuke Libya was never scrapped. Of utmost significance, shortly after the commencement of the bombing campaign on March 19, the Pentagon ordered the testing of the functionality of B61-11 nuclear bomb. These tests were conducted using the same B2 Stealth Bombers, out of the same US military base in Missouri, which were used to coordinate the B2 Stealth bombing raids on Libya at the outset of the war on March 19. (See Michel Chossudovsky, Dangerous Crossroads: Is America Considering the Use of Nuclear Weapons against Libya? Global Research, April 7, 2011) http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24202
These various developments point to a dangerous process of military escalation, which could potentially extend beyond Libya's borders. The broader economic and geo-strategic implications of this war are far-reaching.
Note
The George H.W. Bush Strike Group is made up of
Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 2,
USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77),
Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8,
Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22 staff,
guided-missile cruisers USS Gettysburg (CG 64) and
USS Anzio (CG 68),
and guided-missile destroyers USS Truxtun (DDG 103)
and USS Mitscher (DDG 57).
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The Media War on Libya: Justifying War through Lies and Fabrications
By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Global Research, May 2, 2011
The War on Libya - PART II
In the first part of this text , the events that led to the conditions that set the backdrop for the present conflict in Libya were discussed.
The present text examines the events which were conducive to the NATO-led war on Libya. Media distortion and misinformation have played a major role in opening the door to war in North Africa. The media has done nothing less than create a justification for war through a series of lies.
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. 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.
The maelstrom erupted in Benghazi after a group of protesters entered into 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 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 people have the right to resist tyranny. 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 people who attack a military or police
compound with the intention of acquiring weapons. In this sense the events in Libya are fundamentally different from those of Egypt.
The point is not the legitimacy of what happened when soldiers and security forces opened fire but rather the fact that the governments which have accused Tripoli are hypocritical. These same governments would have responded in exactly the same way.
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 in 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 negotiation 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. Calls of restraint should have been made only to the Egyptian regime and not to the peaceful unarmed protesters. The cases of Bahrain and Tunisia are in this regards similar.
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. 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 represenatation.
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 representatives of 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 by the media? The answer is no.
Moreover, the U.S., Britain, France, and their allies are not 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 why 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. 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 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[.]
The Daily Telegraph in Britain has also pointed this out in an informative news commentary which exposes the double-standards applied under the name of international justice and humanitarianism:
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.
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 its 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 their 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.
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.” 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.
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.
While they condemn 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. 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.’” 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) were blamed on the Taliban, 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. 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.
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N. Al-Sabah under the alias of Nurse Nayirah telling the U.S. Congress that Iraqis killed Kuwaiti babies.

Toppling of Saddam Hussein’s statue in Baghdad, a classical example of media distortion coordinated with the Pentagon.
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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, was the media claims that Libyan military jets were attacking civilian protesters. The Financial Times is worth quoting to illustrate how fake media reports were used to argue for military intervention by NATO leaders:
The Fabricated Jet Attacks on Civilians
“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.”
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 type 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. 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 ranks of the rebel fighters are also appearing.
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It was claimed by the mainstream media that these men were killed by Qaddafi loyalists, but video evidence proves this is false.
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The Salvador option is being used in Libya. Speculatively, these rebel 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. 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.
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Members of the British SAS caught and arrested by Basra police in Iraq for planing to detonate explosives in a public area dressed as locals.
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The Racist Demonization 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 addition, 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.
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One of the group of men whose murder was falsely blaimed on Colonel Qaddafi.
He happens to be a black-skinned Libyan and he appears to be the highest ranking person there.
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Misinformation about the Momentum of Anti-Qaddafi Protests
Leading up to the war on Libya, all sorts of inaccurate reports were fabricated 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. 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.”
At the very outset of the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq the Western media reported almost daily that U.S. tanks were 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 TV.
Other reports claimed that there was major fighting in Tripoli and parts of the city 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 were 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. 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 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 acknowledged that the propaganda war is being fought on multiple sides. The U.S. and its allies do not hold the 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 subsequently. 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. 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.)
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. 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].”
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.
The Transitional Council Leadership Always Supported Military Intervention
Contradicting statements are not only being made by Washington and its allies. 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.” 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.”
More importantly, there is a huge divide between the Transitional Council and the Libyans they purportedly represent. In Benghazi and its environs there were poster signs in English intended for foreign 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. Widespread sentiment against the U.S. and Britain in particular also existed in Benghazi and the region of Barqa.
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Anti-Qaddafi signs in Benghazi and its environs demanding no military foreign intervention in Libya.
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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in Libya
Despite what foreign media sources were claiming at the outset of the revolt, the Qaddafi government was in control of most of the country with the support of the majority of the population, specifically in the western and southern parts of Libya. 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 why the Pentagon and NATO are working to make sure that internal divisions in Libya continue to be 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.
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Libya and the Imperial Re-Division of Africa
The Imperialist Powers' Odyssey of “Return” into Africa
By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Global Research, April 26, 2011
Part I
Plans to attack Libya have been longstanding. The imperial war machine of the United States, Britain, France, Italy, and their NATO allies is involved in a new military adventure that parallels the events that led to the wars against Yugoslavia and Iraq. The war machine has been mobilized under the cover of “humanitarian intervention.”
In fact what the Pentagon and NATO have done is breach international law by intervening on the side of one of the combating parties in Libya in a civil war that they themselves have encouraged and fuelled. They have not protected civilians, but have launched a war against the Libyan regime in Tripoli and actively assisted the Benghazi-based Transitional Council in fighting the Libyan military.
Before the rapprochement with Colonel Qaddafi, for years the U.S., Britain, France, and their allies worked to destabilize Libya. Confirmed by U.S. government sources, Washington attempted regime change in Tripoli several times. According to General Wesley Clark, former NATO commander, the Pentagon had active plans for launching a war against Libya.
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 the declared objective 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. have armed and helped Colonel Qaddafi. It is, therefore, 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 was befriended by the U.S., only to be subsequently betrayed.
Prior to Iraq’s rapprochement with the U.S., at the outset of the Iraq-Iran War, Saddam Hussein was a Soviet ally and considered an enemy by Washington.
The case of Colonel Qaddafi is in many regards similar. Ironically, Qaddafi had warned Arab leaders in 2008 at a meeting in Damascus under the auspices of the Arab League about regime change. He pointed to the U.S. government’s “bad habit” of betraying its Arab dictator friends:
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.
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. Not only was the revolt in Libya instigated by Washington and its allies, the rebels have been supplied with weapons and military advisers.
When the U.S. and its allies triggered the anti-Saddam revolts in Baghdad in the wake of the Gulf War, “no-fly zones” over Iraq were established by the U.S., Britain, and France 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 in the first place? Why did they enter into business transactions in the wake of the 2006 and 2008 anti-government riots 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. Democracy is a bottom-up process and Libyan 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 Rodham 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 Gadhafi’s bloody onslaught against Libya’s people.
Although the NATO-led airstrikes on Gadhafi’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.
“Gadhafi 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.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle echoed Clinton’s point.
“One thing is quite clear and has to be made very clear to Gadhafi: 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. It identifies the strategic intent and direction of the war against Libya.
The Odyssey is an ancient Greek epic by the poet Homer which 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 intimately related to the broader military agenda in Southwest Asia and the drive into Eurasia, which ultimately targets Russia, China, and Central Asia.
Washington’s military agenda pertains to the African and the Eurasian landmass, namely a supercontinent known as the “World-Island.” It is control of the World-Island that is the object of U.S. strategies.
The U.S. and NATO have triggered a civil war in Libya, as their pretext for longstanding plans of military aggression. A systematic media disinformation campaign, similar to the one used against Iraq from 1991 to 2003, has been launched.
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.
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. In Libya, the lack of freedom as well as rampant corruption has created opposition to the regime, which has been used by the U.S. and its allies as a pretext to justify foreign intervention.
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.
According to Habib the state of poverty in Libya was the result of the yoke of Ottoman domination followed by an era of European imperialism in Libya. 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.” He also explains:
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.
Despite political mismanagement and corruption, Libya’s oil reserves (discovered in 1959) were used to improve the standard of living for its population. Libya has the highest standards of living in Africa.
In addion to its energy reserves, the Libyan state played an important role. 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 played a role in insulating Libya. As most of the world has become globalized from an economic standpoint, Libyan integration into the global economy has in a sense been delayed.
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. Thousands of foreign workers from every corner of the globe went to Libya for employment. This included nationals from Turkey, China, sub-Saharan Africa, 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, a process of rapprochement began between Libya and the U.S. and its E.U. partners. What changed? Colonel Qaddafi did not stop being a dictator or change his behaviour. Rapprochement brought an end to Tripoli’s defiance to its former colonial masters. Libya had bowed to U.S. and E.U. pressures and a modus vivandi came into effect.
Qaddafi’s credentials as a democrat or a dictator 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 as usual” with Tripoli. Even U.S. government sources implied that economic interests should not be jeopardized by issues of international law or justice; for example, BP pressured the British government in 2007 to move forward with a prisoner exchange with Libya so that a Libyan oil contract could be protected.
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 of the order of $482 million (U.S.) in military hardware, training, and software from E.U. members (including chemical and biological agents).
Yet, two more things were demanded by Washington, namely the imposition of an imperial tribute as well as the 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 Terrorism.” Washington would get involved in all aspects of Libyan state security:
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 reengage 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.
Libya has also become 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.). 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 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. 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 a university in Austria and became heavily tied to foreign associates who became his policy advisors and friends.
Prince Andrew of Britain reportedly became a close friend of Said Al-Islam: so close that Chris Bryant, a senior Labour Party politician, demanded in the British House of Commons that Prince Andrew be removed from his position as special trade envoy at the start of the conflict with Libya.
Western advisors to Tripoli played an important role in shaping Libyan policy. A “New Libya” started to emerge under Saif Al-Islam, who pushed for the adoption of IMF-style neo-liberal economic reforms.
Starting in 2005-2006, significant social and income disparities started to emerge in Libya. The Libyan Revolutionary Committees Movement was in large part disbanded by Saif Al-Islam. Had the Committees Movement remained, they would most probably have sought to prevent the present conflict from escalating.
Moreover, Saif Al-Islam went to London and established ties in Britain with Noman Benotman, a former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). He became friends with Benotman.
Supported by Saif Al-Islam, Benotman and Ali Al-Sallabi, a Libyan citizen based in Qatar (who was on Tripoli’s terrorist list), negotiated a truce between the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and the Libyan government.
It is also worth noting that all the ministers and ambassadors who defected or left Libya were chosen by Saif Al-Islam.
As in the case of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, the neo-liberal reforms applied in Libya created social and income disparities which in turn contributed to political instability.
Rapprochement with Tripoli and Imperial Extortion
In late-2008, the U.S. government got Tripoli to pay what was tantamount to an “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.
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 world’s largest corporations. The National Oil Company of Libya also remains one of the largest oil companies in the world.
Even with the lucrative business deals that resulted from the rapprochement, the U.S. and the E.U. have always had an objective of furthering 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 organizations with a view to implementing regime change at some future date. 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 (February 18, 2011):
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.
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. Many of the initial reports coming out of Libya in early-2011 were also unverified and in many cases misleading. These reports have to be studied very carefully. 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.”
Qaddafi’s objectives are to preserve his regime and not to undo it. After Qaddafi became aware of the growing foreign threat directed towards his regime, the use of force was on the whole restrained. The regime in Tripoli did 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.
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Financial Heist of the Century: Confiscating Libya's Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF)
By Manlio Dinucci
Global Research, April 24, 2011
Il Manifesto (translated from Italian) - 2011-04-22
The objective of the war against Libya is not just its oil reserves (now estimated at 60 billion barrels), which are the greatest in Africa and whose extraction costs are among the lowest in the world, nor the natural gas reserves of which are estimated at about 1,500 billion cubic meters. In the crosshairs of "willing" of the operation “Unified Protector” there are sovereign wealth funds, capital that the Libyan state has invested abroad.
The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) manages sovereign wealth funds estimated at about $70 billion U.S., rising to more than $150 billion if you include foreign investments of the Central Bank and other bodies. But it might be more. Even if they are lower than those of Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, Libyan sovereign wealth funds have been characterized by their rapid growth. When LIA was established in 2006, it had $40 billion at its disposal. In just five years, LIA has invested over one hundred companies in North Africa, Asia, Europe, the U.S. and South America: holding, banking, real estate, industries, oil companies
and others.
In Italy, the main Libyan investments are those in UniCredit Bank (of which LIA and the Libyan Central Bank hold 7.5 percent), Finmeccanica (2 percent) and ENI (1 percent), these and other investments (including 7.5 percent of the Juventus Football Club) have a significance not as much economically (they amount to some $5.4 billion) as politically.
Libya, after Washington removed it from the blacklist of “rogue states,” has sought to carve out a space at the international level focusing on "diplomacy of sovereign wealth funds." Once the U.S. and the EU lifted the embargo in 2004 and the big oil companies returned to the country, Tripoli was able to maintain a trade surplus of about $30 billion per year which was used largely to make foreign investments. The management of sovereign funds has however created a new mechanism of power and corruption in the hands of ministers and senior officials, which probably in part escaped the control of the Gadhafi himself: This is confirmed by the fact that, in 2009, he proposed that the 30 billion in oil revenues go "directly to the Libyan people." This aggravated the fractures within the Libyan government.
U.S. and European ruling circles focused on these funds, so that before carrying out a military attack on
Libya to get their hands on its energy wealth, they took over the Libyan sovereign wealth funds. Facilitating this operation is the representative of the Libyan Investment Authority, Mohamed Layas himself: as revealed in a cable published by WikiLeaks. On January 20 Layas informed the U.S. ambassador in Tripoli that LIA had deposited $32 billion in U.S. banks. Five weeks later, on February 28, the U.S. Treasury “froze” these accounts. According to official statements, this is "the largest sum ever blocked in the United States," which Washington held "in trust for the future of Libya." It will in fact serve as an injection of capital into the U.S. economy, which is more and more in debt. A few days later, the EU "froze" around 45 billion Euros of Libyan funds.
The assault on the Libyan sovereign wealth funds will have a particularly strong impact in Africa. There, the
Libyan Arab African Investment Company had invested in over 25 countries, 22 of them in sub-Saharan Africa, and was planning to increase the investments over the next five years, especially in mining, manufacturing, tourism and telecommunications. The Libyan investments have been crucial in the implementation of the first telecommunications satellite Rascom (Regional African Satellite Communications Organization), which entered into orbit in August 2010, allowing African countries to begin to become independent from the U.S. and European satellite networks, with an annual savings of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Even more important were the Libyan investment in the implementation of three financial institutions launched by the African Union: the African Investment Bank, based in Tripoli, the African Monetary Fund, based in YaoundĂ© (Cameroon), the African Central Bank, with Based in Abuja (Nigeria). The development of these bodies would enable African countries to escape the control of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, tools of neo-colonial domination, and would mark the end of the CFA franc, the currency that 14 former French colonies are forced to use. Freezing Libyan funds deals a strong blow to the entire project. The weapons used by "the willing" are not only those in the military action called “Unified Protector.”
Il Manifesto, April 22, 2011
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Canada's Involvement in the US-NATO led War on Libya: Some Important Facts
by Ian Hunter
Global Research, April 18, 2011
Letter Addressed to Candidates in the Upcoming Federal Elections in Canada
Dear Candidate,
I am a Canadian citizen writing to you with great concern for the current state of my country.
A week before our Parliament was dissolved for the upcoming federal election, our Government committed itself militarily to enforce a No-Fly Zone in the North African state of Libya on the basis of humanitarian intervention. This is an incredibly important issue of Canadian foreign policy and it is the responsibility every single political party that is participating in the current federal election to clearly state their stance on this issue.
If in fact your political party is intending to support the military intervention in Libya, the following is a list of information on this conflict that - as my potential political representative to the Canadian Federal Government - you should seriously consider informing your party with.
Col. Muammar Qaddafi is being demonized as a dictator, a tyrant, and a mass murderer. Canadians are being told that it is for the sake of protecting innocent civilians from the Qaddafi government that we are involved in enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya. A brief historical background on Libyan government - and the rebels we are supporting - clearly demonstrates how flawed this argument is.
· In 1969, Muammar Qaddafi led a bloodless coup to overthrow King Idris I, a monarch imposed by the British after WWII. At the time, Libya was the poorest country in the entire world; with a literacy rate below 10%. Since then, the Libyan government has improved all aspects of their society.
· Libya now has a literacy rate above 90%.
· Libya has the lowest infant mortality rate of all of Africa.
· Libya also has the highest life expectancy of all of Africa.
· Less than 5% of the population was undernourished. In response to the rising food prices around the world, the government of Libya abolished ALL taxes on food.
· Libya has the highest gross domestic product (GDP) at purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita of all of Africa.
· Libya has the highest Human Development Index of any country on the continent.
· In Libya, a lower percentage of people lived below the poverty line than in the Netherlands, and again, far lower than that of the United States.
· They have free health care and treatment, and education is free of charge. Talented youth have an opportunity to study abroad at the expense of the Libyan government.
· Before the chaos erupted, Libya had a lower incarceration rate than the Czech Republic, and far lower than the United States.
· The core legal obligation expressed in article 2(7) of the UN Charter prohibits member states from any use of force unless it can be justified as self-defence after a cross-border armed attack; unless expressly authorized by the Security Council as essential for the sake of international peace and security. With respect to Libya, you need to take account of the fact that the Qaddafi government remains the lawful diplomatic representative of a sovereign state, and any international use of force even by the UN, much less a state or group of states, would constitute an unlawful intervention in the internal affairs of a sovereign state. This also implies that the Security Council’s decision - to allow foreign states to bomb Libya - is legal if, and only if, the outcome of this conflict represents a serious threat to international peace. Also UN Resolution 1970 (2011) forbids the delivery of weaponry of any sort to any citizen in Libya. UN Resolution 1973 (2011) while allowing the use of force to protect "civilians" does not mention attacking conventional ground forces not engaged in battle to help "rebels" nor does it bear any mention whatsoever of aiding rebellious forces to gain power.
· Libya is the only country currently experiencing civil unrest that our Government has deemed important
enough to support militarily. The day after the Security Council vote, March 18, armed forces of Ali Abdullah Saleh’s government in Yemen carried out a massacre. The massacre took place in broad daylight at the central square in Sana'a, Yemen’s capital. At least 52 people were killed and more than 200 wounded, most by snipers firing from atop government buildings. Hilary Clinton stated: “The U.S. government “is alarmed by today's violence in Sana'a against anti-government protesters and is seeking to verify reports that this is the result of actions by security forces...We call on Yemeni security forces to exercise maximum restraint, refrain from violence, and permit citizens to freely and peacefully express their views." There are currently no calls from Washington for a U.N.-imposed “no-fly zone,” or the bombing of Saleh’s military. Not even a whisper from Washington about sanctions. On the contrary, U.S. military and other aid has continued to flow unimpeded to Saleh and his army. On March 16, the government of Bahrain, with the assistance of 2,000 invading Saudi troops and hundreds of United Arab Emirates security forces, dispersed the mass protests in the capital Manama and elsewhere. As in the case of Yemen, no threats of military intervention, sanctions or anything at all in the face of a blatant invasion and brutal repression. More than 20 Bahrainis have been killed and hundreds wounded, out of a total population of just over a million, over the past month.
· Another important aspect of this conflict often ignored in Canadian media is the role being played by the rebel groups of Eastern Libya. If the conditions in Libya prior to this armed insurrection were so favorable, then where did this uprising coming from? The answer is that the same groups the US and Great Britain have been funding for decades are now taking their chance to gain control over the nation.
· The rebels of Eastern Libya are represented by several different organizations: The National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL); The Islamic Emirate of Berka; The National Conference for the Libyan Opposition (NCLO); The Al-Jama'a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya, or the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG); and the Transitional National Council (TNC). The first group calling itself “Islamic Emirate of Berka”, the former name of the North-Western part of Libya, took numerous hostages, and killed two policemen as reported by western media a few days after protests began. On Friday, the 18th of February - the day after the revolt began - the group stole 70 military vehicles after attacking a port and killing four soldiers. All the worthy democratic aspirations of the Libyan youth movement notwithstanding, the most organized opposition group happens to be the National Front for the Salvation of Libya - financed for years by the House of Saud, the CIA and French intelligence. The key figure in the National Front for the Salvation of Libya is one Ibrahim Sahad who conveniently enough lives in Washington. According to the Library of Congress archives, Sahad is the same man the CIA used in their failed attempt at a Libyan coup of 1984. The Library of Congress confirms that the CIA trained and supported the NFSL both before and after the failed coup. It was this organization that called for the “Day of Rage” that plunged Libya into chaos on February 17 of this year. The rebel "Transitional National Council" is little else than the National Front, plus a few military defectors. This is the elite of the "innocent civilians" the "coalition" is "protecting". The UK based National Conference for the Libyan Opposition (NCLO) - is well known to be a CIA and MI5 supported and trained organization of anti-Kaddafi and counter-revolutionary Libyans.
As several documents have discovered, by far the most violent of the opposition groups is the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. The first is a secret cable to the State Department from the US embassy in Tripoli in 2008, part of the WikiLeaks trove, entitled, “Extremism in Eastern Libya,” which revealed that this area is rife with anti-American, pro-jihad sentiment.
The second document, or rather set of documents, are the so-called Sinjar Records, captured al-Qaeda documents that fell into American hands in 2007. They were analyzed by the Combating Terrorism Center at the US Military Academy at West Point. Al-Qaeda is a bureaucratic outfit and the records contain precise details on personnel, including those who came to Iraq to fight American and coalition forces and, when necessary, commit suicide.
The West Point analysts’ statistical study of the al-Qaeda personnel records concludes that one country provided “far more” foreign fighters in per capita terms than any other: namely, Libya.”
The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group mounted a major challenge to the Qaddafi regime in the 1990s. The destabilizing impact of that challenge was a major factor in the decision of the Qaddafi regime to abandon its traditional anti-imperialist rhetoric and seek an accommodation with Europe and the United States. Anas al Liby is a notable member of the LIFG. He remains on the U.S. government’s most wanted list, with a reward of $5 million for his capture, and is wanted for his involvement in the U.S. African embassy bombings. Al Liby was with bin Laden in Sudan before the al Qaeda leader returned to Afghanistan in 1996. Despite being a high-level al Qaeda operative, al Liby was granted political asylum in Britain and lived in Manchester until May of 2000. In 2009, to mark Qaddafi's 40 years in power, the LIFG apologized for trying to kill him and agreed to lay down its arms. Six LIFG leaders, still in prison, disavowed their old ways and explained why fighting Qaddafi no longer constituted "legitimate" jihad. The last 110 members of the LIFG were freed on 16 February; the day after the Libyan uprising began. One of those released, Abdul Wahab Mohammed Kayed, is the brother of Abu Yahya Al Libi, one of al Qaida's top propagandists.
There is an abundance of evidence proving that our Government is supporting religious extremists including Al Qaeda, and other rebels who are fighting against NATO troops in Afghanistan. In fact, Muammar Qaddafi and the Libyan revolutionary forces were the first to issue an arrest warrant for Osama bin Laden. The Libyan government spent years warning the world about the very serious threat posed by these Islamic deviants. According to former MI5 intelligence operative David Shayler, western intelligence turned a deaf ear to Libya's warnings because they were actually working with the al Qaeda group inside Libya to bring down Qaddafi and the Libyan revolution.
"Uranium tipped missiles fit the description of a dirty bomb in every way. I would say that it is the perfect weapon for killing lots of people." Marion Falk, retired chemical physicist at Lawrence Livermore Lab, California, USA.
· Since the March 18th, coalition forces have bombed Libya with at least 221 Tomahawk missiles killing at least 100 civilians. These massive bombs, along with the Cruise missiles launched from both planes and ships, all contained depleted uranium (DU) warheads. DU is the waste product from the process of enriching uranium ore. When a weapon made with a DU tip strikes a solid object like the side of a tank, it goes straight through it, and then erupts in a burning cloud of vapor. The vapor settles as dust, which is not only poisonous, but also radioactive. Internalized DU can cause kidney damage, cancers of the lung and bone, skin disorders, neuro-cognitive disorders, chromosome damage, immune deficiency syndromes and rare kidney and bowel diseases. Pregnant women exposed to DU may give birth to infants with genetic defects. Once the dust has vaporized, its effects are very long-term. As an alpha particle emitter, DU has a half life of 4.5 billion years.
There is overwhelming evidence proving Canada’s current military involvement in Libya is supportive of both the most radical elements of Al-Qaeda, and the removal of a sovereign Government that is only legal according to International Law if it represents a legitimate threat to international peace and security.
As such, Canadian citizens have been told since 9/11 that the enemies of peace and democracy are religious extremists who will stop at nothing to destroy Western Civilization. The Canadian Government claims to be doing everything it can to protect us from external threats; yet they are supporting the exact organizations in Libya that we are supposedly needed to be defended from. In this context, we are actually further endangering Canadian lives by supporting a military intervention in Libya.
The Libyan Government is not a totalitarian dictatorship. If your political party supports the military intervention in Libya, you are supporting illegal interference in the healthiest, richest, most egalitarian state in all of Africa.
By supporting the military intervention of Libya, your political party is claiming selectively that certain countries are more important than others to receive Canada’s assistance. If Canada was truly concerned with saving civilian lives, our Government would press for resolutions protecting the citizens of Iraq, Gaza, Afghanistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and elsewhere where civilians are being systematically murdered by their governments.
If your political party supports the military intervention in Libya, you are supporting an act of war that is illegal according to international law. You are therefore supporting the destabilization of our entire global order.
If your political party supports a Canadian military intervention in Libya, you are directly supporting Al-Qaeda and other extremist religious groups that our Government claims to be protecting us from. You are NOT supporting a peaceful protest movement; you are supporting an illegal armed insurrection. Canadian support of this mission is a direct threat to the safety of every single Canadian citizen.
As an informed citizen of Canada, I plead to you – and your political party – to strongly oppose any interference in a sovereign nation that poses no threat to World peace.
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'US To Recoup Libya Oil From China'
Interview with Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary of US Treasury
By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
URL of this article: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24366
Global Research, April 17, 2011
Press TV
Press TV has interviewed Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary of US Treasury from Panama City, who gives his insight on the revolution in Libya and why US President Barack Obama needs to overthrow Qaddafi when no other US presidents did.
Press TV: Russia has criticized NATO for going far beyond its UN mandate. In other news a joint Op Ed is going to be written by Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy who have said that “leaving Qaddafi in power would be an unconscionable betrayal to the Libyan people”.
We do know that the mandate does not call for regime change; the Obama administration has been saying they are not in there for regime change; but things seem a little different now don't they?
Roberts: Yes they do. First of all, notice that the protests in Libya are different from the ones in Egypt or Yemen or Bahrain or Tunisia and the difference is that this is an armed rebellion.
There are more differences: another is that these protests originated in the eastern part of Libya where the oil is - they did not originate in the capital city. And we have heard from the beginning credible reports that the CIA is involved in the protests, and there have been a large number of press reports that the CIA has sent back to Libya its Libyan asset to head up the Libyan rebellion.
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In my opinion, what this is about is to eliminate China from the Mediterranean. China has extensive energy investments and construction investments in Libya. They are looking to Africa as a future energy source.
The US is countering this by organizing the United States African Command (USAC), which Qaddafi refused to join. So that's the second reason for the Americans to want Qaddafi out.
And the third reason is that Libya controls part of the Mediterranean coast and it's not in American hands.
Press TV: Who are the revolutionaries. The US say they don't know who they're dealing with, but considering the CIA is on the ground in contact with revolutionaries - Who are the people under whom Libya will function in any post-Qaddafi era?
Roberts: Whether or not Libya functions under “revolutionaries” depends if the CIA wins - we don't know that yet. As you said earlier, the UN resolution puts constraints on what the European and American forces can achieve in Libya. They can have a no fly zone, but they are not supposed to be in there fighting together with the rebels.
But of course the CIA is. So we do have these violations of the UN resolution. If NATO, which is now the cover for the “world community,” succeeds in overthrowing Qaddafi, the next target will be Syria. Syria has already been demonized.
Why are they targeting Syria? - Because the Russians have a very large naval base in Syria. And it gives the Russian navy a presence in the Mediterranean; the US and NATO do not want that. If there is success in overthrowing Qaddafi, Syria is next.
Already, they are blaming Iran for Syria and Libya. Iran is a major target because it is an independent state that is not a puppet of the Western colonialists.
Press TV: With regards to the expansionist agenda of the West, when the UN mandate on Libya was debated in the UN Security Council, Russia did not veto it. Surely Russia must see this expansionist policy of the US, France and Britain.
Roberts: Yes they must see that; and the same for China. It's a greater threat to China because it has 50 major investment projects in eastern Libya. So the question is why did Russia and China abstain rather than veto and block? We don't know the answer.
Possibly the countries are thinking to let the Americans get further over- extended, or they may not have wanted to confront the US with a military or diplomatic position and have an onslaught of Western propaganda against them. We don't know the reasons, but we know they did abstain because they did not agree with the policy, and they continue to criticize it.
Press TV: A sizeable portion of Qaddafi's assets have been frozen in the US as well as some other countries. We also know that the Libyan revolutionaries have set up a central bank and that they have started limited production of oil and they are dealing with American and other Western firms. It begs the question that we've never seen something like this happen in the middle of a revolution. Don't you find that bizarre?
Roberts: Yes it's very bizarre and very suggestive. It brings back the fact of all the reports that the CIA is the originator of this so-called revolt and protest and is fomenting it and controlling it in a way that excludes China from its own Libyan oil investments.
In my opinion, what is going on is comparable to what the US and Britain did to Japan in the 1930s. When they cut Japan off from oil, from rubber, from minerals; that was the origin of World War II in the pacific. And now the Americans and the British are doing the same thing to China.
The difference is that China has nuclear weapons and it also has a stronger economy than do the Americans. And so the Americans are taking a very high risk not only with themselves, but with the rest of the world. The entire world is now at stake on American over-reach; American hubris - the drive for American hegemony over the world is driving the rest of the world into a World War.
Press TV: In the context of America's expansionist policies, how far do you think the US will stretch beyond the UN mandate? Are we going to see boots on the ground?
Roberts: Most likely - unless they can find some way of defeating Qaddafi without that. Ever since we've had Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and now Obama, what we've learned is law means nothing to the executive branch in the US. They don't obey our own laws; they don't obey international law; they violate all the civil liberties and buried the principal of habeas corpus, no crime without intent, and the ability for a defendant to be legally represented.
They don't pay any attention to law so they're not going to pay any attention to the UN. The UN is an American puppet organization and Washington will use it as a cover. So, yes, if they cannot run Qaddafi out they will put troops on the ground - that's why we have the French and the British involved. We're using the French elsewhere in Africa also; we use the British in Afghanistan - they're puppets.
These countries are not independent. Sarkozy doesn't report to the French people - he reports to Washington. The British PM doesn't report to the English people he reports to Washington. These are puppet rulers of an empire; they have nothing to do with their own people and we put them in office.
Press TV: So these other countries would welcome having NATO troops on the ground?
Roberts: Of course. They are in the CIAs pocket. It's a CIA operation, not a legitimate protest of the Libyan people. It's an armed rebellion that has no support in the capital city. It's taking place in the east where the oil is and is directed at China.
Press TV: Where do you see the situation headed? There seems to be a rift between NATO countries with Britain and France wanting to increase the momentum of these air strikes, but the US saying no, there is no need.
Roberts: The rift is not real. The rift is just part of the cover, just part of the propaganda. Qaddafi has been ruling for 40 years - he goes back to Gamal Abdel Nasser (before Anwar Sadat) who wanted to give independence to Egypt.
He (Qaddafi) was never before called a brutal dictator that has to be removed. No other president has ever said Qaddafi has to go. Not even Ronald Reagan who actually bombed Qaddafi's compound. But all of a sudden he has to go. Why?
Because he's blocking the US African Command, he controls part of the Mediterranean and he has let China in to find its energy needs for the future. Washington is trying to cripple its main rival, China, by denying China energy. That's what this is really about; a reaction by the US to China’s penetration of Africa.
If the US was concerned about humanitarianism, it wouldn't be killing all these people in Afghanistan and Pakistan with their drones and military strikes. Almost always it's civilians that are killed. And the US is reluctant to issue apologies about any of it. They say we thought we were killing Taliban or some other made-up enemy.
Press TV: Who will benefit from all of this other than the US? The other countries that comply with US wishes - What do they stand to gain from this?
Roberts: We are only talking about NATO countries, the American puppet states. Britain, France, Italy, Germany, all belong to the American empire. We've had troops stationed in Germany since 1945. You're talking about 66 years of American occupation of Germany. The Americans have military bases in Italy - how is that an independent country? France was somewhat independent until Washington put Sarkozy in power. So they all do what they're told.
Washington wants to rule Russia, China, Iran, and Africa, all of South America. Washington wants hegemony over the world. That's what the word hegemony means. And Washington will pursue it at all costs.
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Also See:
Libya seeks Freedom from Dictatorship (Part 1)
21 February 2011
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2011/02/next-libya-seeks-freedom-from.html
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