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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/27/12

NATO's Spurious Humanitarian Intervention: Post-Ghadhafi Libya

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An ostensible mission to protect civilians in Libya, sanctioned by Security Council Resolution 1973, was bastardized into a mission to lend support to the rebels and to overthrow Gadhafi in order to establish a more western-friendly government and extend NATO's control over Libyan oil.   Now that the civil war has ended and the National Transitional (NTC) has assumed power, it is manifestly conclusive that NATO has achieved its de facto objectives.

The most probable motive for the U.S. participation in the Libyan "humanitarian" campaign pertains to the refusal of Gadhafi to support American plans for the region and his attempts to create an independent Africa free of American influence.   He had challenged the institutions of global capital such as the World Bank, IMF and WTO and has refused to join American military alliances, in particular, AFRICOM.   As well, Gadhafi was campaigning in African nations to transfer their currency to a common currency called the dinar, forcing the United States to purchase oil from African countries in gold dinars.

It is clear that the U.S. and NATO forces had no intention of complying with Resolution 1973 and embarked on their own agenda to support the rebels in their campaign to overthrow Gadhafi.   Barak Obama, David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times on April 15, 2011, in which they stated that: "But it is impossible to imagine a future for Libya with Qaddafi in power"any deal that leaves him in power would lead to further chaos"so long as Qaddafi is in power, NATO must maintain its operations."    It is clear that the three NATO leaders had an agenda that exceeded that UN mandate and that the removal of Qaddafi from power violated the UN resolution and was hence in violation of international law.

It is a highly probable that the rebels would not have succeeded without CIA training and support, weapons from the NATO countries and NATO air cover.   On November 12, 20-11, the Economist reported that: "The Libyan rebels who triumphed in their six-month uprising against Colonel Muammar Qaddafi could not have prevailed without arms, air cover, funding and diplomatic support from NATO and Arab allies."

Furthermore, it is clear from Amnesty International reports that innocent people were targeted without any reasonable justification as reported in an AI study in March 2012 which disclosed that: "Dozens of civilians have been killed in NATO airstrikes on private homes in residential and rural areas where Amnesty International, UN experts, other international NGOs and journalists found no evidence of military objectives at the strike locations at the time of the strikes."    These actions constitute a violation of the Geneva Conventions.

As well, NATO warplanes bombed the pipe factory in Brega killing six people.   These pipes were used to repair the man-made irrigation system that supplies water to 70% of the Libyan people and is critical to repairing and maintaining their water supply.

Reinforcing the suspicion that the U.S. and NATO leaders were embarked on a mission to remove Gaddafi from power and to establish a more Western-friendly leader for the purpose of securing access to Libya's oil wealth was the speedy recognition of the NTC and its appointment of the latest prime minister, Abdurrahim El Keib.

The Western-approved government, consisting of the NTC, has drafted election laws that will exclude a majority of Libyans from running for office.    According to the Wall Street Journal (January 3, 2012), the new election law: "appears most ambitious"in laying out more than 20 classes of people who will be prohibited to stand as candidates in the vote" and "Could be used to against three-quarters of the country."   It contains no representatives of the Berbers (Amazigh), Touareg, Tebou or any "black' or non-Arab Libyans. As well, the Guardian (January 12, 2012) claims that: "The TNC refuses to say who its members are"Although it appointed a cabinet last month, policy decisions are taken inside what amounts to a black box"Meeting are held in secret, voting records are not published."

In addition to the new electoral laws, the new prime minister, El Keib: "has sent Libya on a bumpy road towards democracy by naming a cabinet of secularists and thereby snubbing prominent Islamists" according to the Guardian (November 2011).   The Guardian claims that: "The cabinet is likely to find approval from Libya's Western backers, concerned about hardline Islamists.   Such a move might be welcomed by his Western supporters but will trigger strong opposition from the Islamists especially since they were an important part of the revolution against Gaddafi."

The most revealing manifestation of the NATO agenda to establish a Western-oil-friendly government in Libya is the background of the people who have assumed leadership roles in the post-Gadhafi Libya.

The current president, Abdurrahim El Keib, who has been in the United States since 1975, was chosen by the NTC on October 31, 2011.   He was a professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Alabama where his research was sponsored by such entities as the Electric Power research Institute, the United States department of Energy and the Alabama Power Company.   In 2006, he resigned his position at the University of Alabama to become the Chair of the Electrical Engineering of the Petroleum institute in the UAE which is funded by several international oil companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Total and the Japan Oil development Company and has connections to the University of Maryland, University of Texas at Austin and Rice University.   In the summer of 2011, he quit his position at the Institute to join the NTC after a 36 year absence from Libya.

According to Indira A. R. Lakshmanan in an article published by the Bloomberg News on March 8, 2012, El Keib: "Appealed to U.S. companies such [as] Exxon Mobil Corp. and Microsoft Corp. to invest in his oil-rich country, saying [that] Italian and French companies are already moving quickly to take advantage of opportunities in energy and infrastructure.   El Keib also made his case for investment to 190 executives from 100 U.S. companies."

Another key figure in the rebellion is Mahmoud Jibril who served as the interim Prime Minister as a member of the NTC for a period seven and one half months during the civil war.   He did his graduate studies in the U.S. at the University of Pittsburgh finishing in 1985, followed by a number of years of teaching at the same university under Richard Cottam, a former U.S. intelligence officer.   From 2007 to 2011, he served in the Gaddafi Regime as Head of the National Economic Development Board.   According to the Boston Globe (March 28, 2011), Jibril: "played a key role in persuading the United States and its allies" to militarily intervene against Gaddafi.

In a leaked U.S. diplomatic cable written on November 2009, Gene Cretz, America's ambassador to Libya, described Jibril as: "as serious interlocutor who "gets' the US perspective."   In the cable, Jibril also regrets that: "The US spoiled a golden opportunity to capitalize on its "soft power' after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989 by putting "boots on the ground' in the Middle East."

Kalifa Haftar was appointed leader of Libya's opposition military forces by the NTC.   As another Libyan ex-pat living in the United States since the early 1990s until his return after the February 127th uprising, Haftar lived in Suburban Virginia only a few miles from Langley, suspiciously unemployed for the entire period of his stay.

In an article published in the Washington Times on March 26, 1996, it was reported that: "Many Libyans believe that [there is] a plan to overthrow Libyan Leader Moammar Gadhafi and that its leader is Col. Khalifa Haftar, a contra-style group based in the United states called the Libyan national Army."   Le Monde Diplomatique published a chapter out of the book Manipulations Africaines indicating that: "Haftar created and financed by the CIA in Chad, vanished into thin air with the help of the CIA.   As well, the Jamestown Foundation, based in Washington, D.C., published a study in which it reported that: "Not only did the CIA sponsor and fund the LNA (Libyan National Army), it engineered the entry of the LNA officers and men into the United States where they established a training camp."

Hence three of the high ranking members of the Libyan opposition spent an extended period of time in the United States and two of them conveniently appeared just when they were needed in the civil war.   All of them have close ties to various institutions in the U.S.

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I have been a professor of political science at Seneca College in Toronto. I have published five books the last of which "Selling Out: Consuming Ourselves to Death" was released in May/08. As well, I have been featured in CounterPunch, Z (more...)
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