Press TV 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 cities. 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.
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 because 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 much 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.
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