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For the Love of Gaddafi!

An examination of the role of the United States in revolutions of the recent past may shed light on the origin and intent of the current upheaval in Libya.

by Peter Duveen

PETER'S NEW YORK, Saturday, March 5, 2011--It always amazes me the way people take what comes out of the mainstream news outlets at face value. It has been proven time and time again what a terrible source of information these outlets are, and how they are used as conduits of propaganda for the United States government. Some prominent examples include the manner in which it was reported by the U.S. Army that Pat Tillman, a famous sports player turned solider, heroically gave his life in combat in 2004. It was later revealed that Tillman was taken out by "friendly fire," under circumstances that have apparently never been cleared up. He may have in fact died a hero, but for far different reasons than the government would like to admit.

Then there was the case of the beautiful Jessica Lynch, a young female soldier who was allegedly mishandled by Iraqis during the initial U.S. invasion of that country in 2003, but rescued heroically by U.S. forces. She later denied the story put out by the government, and said she was treated well by the Iraqi doctors and nurses who basically saved her life. We all know the real story now, but it should have been immediately evident that the first reports were bogus. The mainstream media apparently does not believe it is its job to inform the American public. It thus uncritically prints as news whatever it is handed by the government.

Now we have news coming out of Libya that the country is in total rebellion and Muammar Gaddafi [also spelled Khadafi, Qaddafi, etc.) must go, that he is murdering thousands of his countrymen to maintain his power in a cruel and ruthless manner.

A recent report out of National Public Radio, from a correspondent that had permission to fly into the country by the family of the ruling principal, was that Tripoli seemed relatively calm, and that Gaddafi had supporters as well as opponents among the population. In the meantime, Hillary Clinton is saying, by what authority I cannot even imagine, that Gaddafi must step down, and that the United States is getting together with the Europeans, who also think they have the right to say who leads an oil-rich country in North Africa and who does not, to force Gaddafi out. A further update tells us that the Libyan strongman no longer controls the oil in his country. The story changes, of course, by the minute.

Ninety-nine point nine percent of Americans know literally nothing about Libya. They have never been there, they probably do not know any Libyans, and they have absolutely no concept, not even the slightest idea of what is going on on the ground in that country, or how to interpret it. It is of great interest that, among all the countries that have fallen to a spate of supposedly popular revolutions in North Africa, Libya is the first major oil producer among them, and it is also the first of these countries about which commentators at our beloved National Public Radio have asked whether U.S. intervention is appropriate. I cannot view this as a coincidence.

Are Americans aware that most public policy is hatched, not by congressmen, senators, or the president and his cohort, but within the wolf-pack of nonprofits known as "think tanks." Legislation is generated by special interests or teams of social engineers sported by these think tanks, And one of these think tanks, once described by a well-placed journalist as "the citadel of the foreign policy elite," namely, the Council on Foreign Relations, has been espousing "regime change" as the policy flavor for a number of years now. How convenient that this spate of revolutions is resulting in just that.

Many of you are convinced that the North African revolutions are indigenous products. But to me they smack of the many other revolutions that were eventually demonstrated to have been underwritten by the United States. We need not go back further than the overthrow of Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. Replacing him was Cory Aquino, who was installed by "people power," a political process that still remains a mystery to me. Years later, I spoke to some of those who participated in this revolution of sorts, not really as revolutionaries so much as undercover instigators. I was told that the U.S. supplied walkie-talkies and other communications equipment through funds delivered by way of the Vatican so that the revolution could proceed more smoothly. There must have been a lot of other help provided that I have no way of knowing about, or desire to check out. (When the eyes roll up in the back of the head, and the body is cold, no need to check the pulse.)

Later, in 2001, a democratically elected president, Joseph Estrada, lost his job in what was generally billed by the Philippine press as a second Philippine revolution. Accusations of corruption surfaced, there was an uprising on the streets, and Estrada was forced out in what was effectively another coup. My working assumption is that the United States was heavily involved in Estrada's overthrow.

In 1998, long-time President Suharto of Indonesia was deposed. But some months beforehand, then President Bill Clinton sent heavy-hitter Walter Mondale as his economic hit man to read Suharto the riot act after the long-time Indonesian president had the temerity to propose a currency board to help stabilize the country''s finances. Whatever was agreed to in meetings with Mondale, it was not enough to save the Suharto presidency. He was booted out in the face of what was reported as widespread unrest, and somebody else stepped in as president (BJ Habibe). At the time, I remember reading an article about some of the events, which quoted an individual from an organization called the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (currently headed by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, sometimes better known as the "Bomber of Belgrade"). I thought it strange that such an organization, with an American spokesperson, should be functioning in Jakarta. I researched what this organization did, and found out that it promoted grass-roots formation of pro-democratic movements. It was apparent to me that this organization could have been used to foment unrest within the country.

When presidential elections were held in 1999, Abdurrahman Wahid, an Islamic cleric, was chosen by the people. But such a man, who might abide by the principles of honesty upheld by the Islamic faith, could never be a suitable clone for the United States, and an oil-rich and strategically placed country like Indonesia could not be allowed to settle its own fate. Charges of corruption suddenly surfaced against Wahid, and he eventually was forced to step down in the hullabaloo.

I might add in passing that there was a quite deliberate attempt to destabilize Malaysia around the same time (1998). Vice President Al Gore gave a speech that basically proposed a "popular" revolution to overthrow the very popular prime minister of that country, Mahathir Mohammed, who successfully insulated Malaysia from the destructive currents of the then-raging "Asian economic flu" that severely impacted many of the Southeast Asian economies and threatened to spread to Europe. Gore's unkind words never bore fruit, fortunately for all of us.

Then there were all the so-called "colored revolutions" of the Balkans and former states of the Soviet Union, but I'll only mention the one in Ukraine (Orange), because Congressman and former Republican candidate for president Ron Paul was insightful enough to call it a U.S. job and cite the U.S.-run agencies responsible for the trouble--the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and other quasi-governmental organizations that are supposed to provide pro-democracy guidance and support to populations in other countries, as if our own country did not need such guidance. Paul understood that such support could easily be filtered to particular factions in a country, those factions, for example, that were in opposition to a sitting head of state who did not particularly harmonize with U.S. policy for the region. And, according to Paul, that would be illegal, so Paul called an investigation into the matter. This was reported in the New York Times , and if you question it, you can probably easily fish it out on the internet.

It amazes me that people cannot recognize American intervention at its outset, but just take at face value what the media puts out about a given situation. Most people seem to be climbing on board the premise that the North African revolutions of late are authentic indigenous movements. I am a bit less sanguine about what is happening. As a result, I have not paid too much attention to these revolutions. Hearing about lies, and the foolish people who are hoodwinked by them, bores me, especially when such misinformation is perpetrated by manipulative governments against their own people. To me, the new spate of revolutions look like a simple replay of previous events around the world. Do I know? No, of course I don't "know." I do not have the resources to check out every single detail. But my working assumption is, ahem, here we go again. It is truly wearisome to hear the propagandistic reports coming out of the media, and to see everybody line up lock stock and barrel with the premise that what is being reported should be taken at face value. I have already seen the Philippine revolutions taken at face value, the deposing of Suharto go unchallenged in the press, and the Ukrainian change of leadership highlighted in Congress by Ron Paul. There are lots of other examples that weary me too much to detail.

The news from conventional sources, my friends, appears to be tailored to generate a particular reaction from the general public to support whatever policy the current administration is trying to implement. These distorted reports give the policymakers momentary and long-term cover, so that, by the time it is established that the reports are false, the policies have already been put into place that were said to have been based on those reports. The most famous examples of recent times are, of course, the U.S.invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2001, immediately after "9-11," the U.S. charged Afghanistan with harboring Osama Bin Laden, the poster boy of international terrorism that the U.S insisted was responsible for 9-11. The Afghans only asked for some kind of tangible evidence in order to hand Bin Laden over, but none being forthcoming, the United States invaded the country anyway. The device used, of course, is to make impossible demands, and when these are resisted, to use the resistance as a pretext for an invasion. It is such an old device, and was used to invade Yugoslavia during that country's conflict with its semi-autonomous region, Kosovo. In the meantime, no formal process has ever been set up to charge Bin Laden with any crime in connection with "9-11," probably because no such evidence exists that would survive public scrutiny. The second example, the invasion of Iraq, was conducted under the cover of charges that Saddam Hussein was harboring "weapons of mass destruction"--poison gas, nuclear weapons, and that sort of thing (box cutters, anyone?) We all know how that went.

Back to Gaddafi. He was the one leader who consistently opposed the United States for many years. President Reagan ordered the bombing of several targets in Libya in the mid-1980s after Gaddafi was assigned the blame for supporting various "terrorist" causes. Gaddafi claimed his adopted daughter was killed in the attacks. Later, a Libyan national was convicted in a court in Scotland for his alleged role in engineering the bombing of an airliner that fell to pieces over that country. An alternative theory involving the destruction of the airliner was that several passengers were on their way to the States to blow the whistle on some errant U.S. government program, and were blown out of the sky in retaliation (see Ralph Schoenman and Mya Shone's radio broadcast, Libya and Lockerbie, the Untold Story). Interestingly, the gentleman originally convicted of the crime has been let out of jail and repatriated to Libya, in what could be interpreted as a tacit admission by the authorities of his innocence.

It seemed for a while that Gaddafi was gradually being brought into the fold of Western powers after he chose to put an end to a program to develop nuclear weapons, and claimed culpability for the Lockerbie bombing, paying an enormous sum in reparations. This opened up the floodgates to new investment, and is said to have sparked an economic revival in Tripoli.

Through all the ups and downs over the years, Gaddafi held on to power, gradually assuming the status of an icon. Was he ruthless? I do not know. Was he more ruthless than the next guy, including the sitting U.S. president? I doubt it. The way to find out is to go to the country and ask the people, and I have not done that. So I have no idea what Libyans think of Gaddafi. Will I depend on the mainstream media to find out? Most certainly not. As I said, NPR admitted that some of the recent reports of government violence against citizens coming out of Libya may have been exaggerated. But already Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is formulating policy based on them, or on some reports, or on wishful thinking, or what-not. In fact, the latest reports say that Western military are supporting Gaddafi's opposition, which allegedly now control the country's oil industry. Do I smell some dead fish under the carpet here?

Try to understand something. As dysfunctional as many of the governments in the Middle East may be, they are thriving to some extent or there would be no people in those countries. Surely Libya, with its sought-after oil and rebuilding campaign in Tripoli, has to be one of the engines of growth for the region. Many, many Tunisians and Egyptians depend for their livelihood on the jobs they hold in Libya. It appears that tens of thousands of these workers have fled the country, so that what we have is an incredible economic dislocation, because some "rebels" decided to take over the country in the name of demanding expanded freedoms. Who benefits from the economic dislocation that these so-called "revolutions" have created? Who is it that would like to see to it that relative prosperity in these countries in North Africa comes quickly to an end? It all seems like quite a strategic hit. You all like your jobs. But do you find yourself cheering for a situation you know little about, and for which you will sacrifice little no matter how things turn out? So what are these "revolutions" about, then? They certainly must be, at least in part, about gaining a greater share of the revenue stream from Libya's oil. They also must be about considerably weakening the economic strength and independence of the region. One can just see the planners in Washington listing North Africa as a security threat to the United States because of its up-and-coming prosperity, and creating a plan to destabilize the region. One has to reflect a little bit on the fact that the two nations who lost heads of state as a result of the recent spate of "revolutions"--Egypt and Tunisia-- just happen to flank Libya on either side. If the goal of the West is to totally control the flow of the remaining oil on the planet (some of us collect stamps, others, coins, others, baseball cards; power- and money-hungry governments collect resources and revenue streams), Libya would indeed be a major target of its schemes.

Let's look for a moment at what the characteristics of a pseudo-revolution run by the CIA might be: 1) overproduced (flashy banners, T-shirts, etc. coming out of nowhere; 2) well funded; 3) marked by the use of fancy communications tools such as Twitter, Facebook and cell phones; tooted in the media as the best thing ever next to apple pie; 4) monikers quickly assigned to the festivities, such as "Orange" revolution in the case of the Ukraine; 5) excessive demonization of the ruling head of state by the American press; 6) the presence of very westernized "activists," often children of parents from the country in question, who may or may not be on the CIA payroll. You can make up your own list, which will probably be more comprehensive than mine.

We have heard that the United Nations Security Council has approved an investigation into alleged crimes against humanity by the Libyan leadership, linked to an international court that neither Libya nor the United States recognize. The U.N. will be no protection to Libya. U.N. head Ban Ki Moon is deep in the pocket of the U.S. Administration, unlike his predecessor, Kofi Annan, who showed a little guts now and then and issued sporadic but muted criticism of the world's self-proclaimed unipolar democracy.

Secretary of State Clinton, of all people, in unusually candid remarks issued a day or two ago, excoriated the American media for its failure to inform the American people. For accurate coverage of the events occurring in Libya, we cannot in any way depend on the American mass media, which is basically controlled by the government through the Central Intelligence Agency and by other covert means. This kind of control was spelled out in an article by Carl Bernstein as long ago as 1977, but it would be a mistake to consider the tactics used by the CIA as somehow no longer in effect, or even operating exclusively outside the confines of the United States itself, as the organization's mandate demands. It is quite apparent that the nation's "free press" has been disabled by a government bent on total control, a government that has acted extra-constitutionally and subverted the law of the land in the name of national security. The media as it stands in the United States is contending for the top spot as the greatest enemy of the American people. Americans should begin to address this situation. They should no longer sit on their duffs and take reports coming out of their radios, newspapers or televisions at face value, but should let their views become known to these media outlets. If Americans manage to win back control of the media by embarrassing its major players into reporting the news on a consistent basis, rather than participating in a conspiracy to rob the citizens of this country of their rights and powers, Americans may have a shot at tacking back their country!

This article contains no

This article contains no evidence that the revolutions occurring in the middle east are orchestated by the west. There is no argument linking the examples of us intervention and overreach with the current events, but there is plenty of evidence that the uprisings are spontaneous mass movements. Media reporting has been clear that the uprising is being crushed with force. It is suggested that one has to go to libya to have a valid opinion on the matters, and that is false. When media reports can be confirmed it is unnecessary to witness events firsthand. NPR is also accused of being a phony news operation, but in fact it is probably the most responsible news organization in the country. It is publicly funded and does not have to rely on corporate sponsorship. For all of these reasons I strongly disagree with the sentiments expressed in this article and as a member of the 911 truth movement I would like to say that the article does not speak for me. When one does not know something as the author admits in the article it is best not to hazard an opinion based on speculation and promote it as fact.

NPR

Vulich, I think you overrate NPR. NPR is beholden to the US government for its funding, and for its nonprofit sponsors, often elitist-linked organizations such as the Rockefeller Fund, etc. Its reportage is often incredibly skewed. One would never know, for example, from their reporting on war issues that 60-70 percent of the American people now oppose the war, according to polls. That, at least, is my understanding, and correct me if I am wrong. NPR has not given the 9-11 truth movement a fair hearing, nor has it reported on 9-11 issues in a truthful and forthright manner. There are many ways to skew reporting so that it comes over as a very slick production. Selective interviewing is a big one. There are many more that the astute observer could add. I do consider NPR incredibly phony, like most of the other MSM outlets, if not more so. I consider myself a "truther," and would mind very much if I were hoodwinked by another State Department scam, the way I was with 9-11.

I am for reforming NPR, but it cannot be done by thinking that NPR is properly reporting the news. I have probably not answered all of your concerns. I can only greet with dismay your inference that your opinions are somehow representative of those of the entire 9-11 Truth Movement. But I welcome a discussion of the material presented in my essay.

My views represent me and me

My views represent me and me alone, I never implied that my view are representative of the entire 911 truth movement. On the other hand 911blogger is a public face of the 911 truth movement and it is fair to say that the content posted here is supposed to be representative of us, so I just wanted to make a personal statement of my views as a member of the 911 truth movement. I wanted to disassociate myself from the ideas expressed in the article and I thought it would be important to put that up so that people know that we do not all agree on this. I do not share your view of NPR, it is important that we ally ourselves with progressive media, not alienate them for not focusing on 911 truth. As you know neoconservatives brought us 911 and they are also antagonistic towards government and seek to weaken it's ability to hold corporations accountable to the public. Right now the Republican house of representatives is trying to cut public funding for NPR. I consider this to be immoral in the extreme, but if you do not make any distinctions about media sources then I guess you would say that they are not to be supported? Then why should we cite sources? For the sources to be credible they have to have been published somewhere...

Footnotes

I don't see them. The custom of citing reliable sources to support claims is wilting.

Footnotes

Snow, footnotes are not required, although I agree it is a good thing to have them. My original contained links, which disappeared when the article was cut and pasted in the 911blogger composer. I shall try to quickly cobble together a list of pertinent links and publish them as a comment. Thanks for asking. You can find links in a version that was published as a diary at www.opednews.com.

18 footnotes

from the net of voltaire

despite a monumental cock up with pentagon-related research that has not been retracted as far as i know, M.Meyssan has a cracking good non aligned news site:

Libya: Are the US and EU Pushing for Civil War to Justify NATO Intervention?
by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya*

Of all the struggles going on in North Africa and the Middle East right now, the most difficult to unravel is the one in Libya. After Egypt, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya focuses on the maelstrom unfurling next door and mulls over Libya’s ominous future. Is “manufactured destruction” or creative destruction at work? Is oil-rich Libya being set up for a civil war to pave the way for a U.S. and NATO armed intervention? Qaddafi is an independent Arab dictator; one should definitely be opposed to dictatorship, but should also not forget about foreign tutelage.


 


25 February 2011

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 CentCom: Control of the "Great Middle East"

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Footage from an amateur video shows protestors watching a police station burn in Tobruk.

Something is Rotten in the so-called “Jamahiriya” of Libya

Something is Rotten in the so-called “Jamahiriya” of Libya There is no question that Colonel Muammar Al-Gaddafi (Al-Qaddafi) is an oppressive dictator. He has been the dictator and so-called “qaid” of Libya for about 42 years. Yet, it appears that tensions are also being ratcheted up and the flames of revolt are being fanned inside Libya. This includes statements by the British Foreign Secretary William Hague that Colonel Qaddafi had fled Libya to Venezuela. [1] This statements served to electrify the revolt against Qaddafi and his regime in Libya.

Although all three have dictatorship in common, Qaddafi’s Libya is quite different from Ben Ali’s Tunisia or Mubarak’s Egypt. The Libyan leadership is not outright subservient to the United States and European Union. Unlike the cases of Tunisia and Egypt, the relationship that exists between Qaddafi and both the U.S. and E.U. is a modus vivendi or an accommodation between the three parties. Simply put, Qaddafi is an independent Arab dictator and not a “managed dictator” like Ben Ali and Mubarak were.

One can be against dictatorship, but also just as equally against foreign tutelage, which is why the approach of the U.S. and the E.U. towards Libya must be scrutinized. In Tunisia and Egypt the status quo remains; this works for the interests of the United States and the European Union. In Libya, however, upsetting the established order is a U.S. and E.U. objective.

The U.S. and the E.U. now seek to capitalize on the revolt against Qaddafi and his dictatorship with the hopes of building a far stronger position in Libya than ever before. Weapons are also being brought into Libya from its southern borders to promote revolt. The destabilization of Libya would also have significant implications for North Africa, West Africa, and global energy reserves.

Colonel Qaddafi in Brief Summary

Qaddafi’s rise to power started as a Libyan lieutenant amongst a group of military officers who carried out a coup d’état. The 1969 coup was against the young Libyan monarchy of King Idris Al-Sanusi. Under the monarchy Libya was widely seen as being acquiescent to U.S. and Western European interests.

Although he has no official state or government position, Qaddafi has nurtured and deeply rooted a political culture of cronyism, corruption, and privilege in Libya since the 1969 coup. Added to this is the backdrop of the “cult of personality” based around himself that he has also enforced in Libya. The man in short is a megalomaniac who has always dreamed of grandeur and being praised as a hero and leader.

Qaddafi has done everything to portray himself as a hero to the masses, specifically, the Arabs and Africans. His military adventures in Chad were also tied to leaving his mark in history and creating a client state by carving up Chad. Qaddafi’s so-called “Green Book” has been forcefully portrayed and venerated as being a great feat in political thought and philosophy. Numerous intellectuals have been forced or bribed to praise it.

Over the years, Colonel Qaddafi has tried to cultivate a romantic figure of himself as a simple man of the people. This includes pretending to live in a tent. He has done everything to make himself stand out. His reprimanding of other Arab dictators, such as King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, at Arab League meetings have made headlines and been welcomed by many Arabs. While on state visits he has deliberately surrounded himself with an entourage of female body guards with the intent of getting heads to turn. Moreover, he has also presented himself as a so-called imam or leader of the Muslims and a man of God, lecturing about Islam in and outside of Libya.

Libya is run by a government under Qaddafi’s edicts. Fear and cronyism have been the keys to keeping so-called “order” in Libya amongst officials and citizens alike. Both Libyans and foreigners have been killed and have gone missing for over four decades. The case of Lebanon’s Musa Al-Sadr, the founder of the Amal Movement, is one of the most famous of these cases and has always been a hindrance to Lebanese-Libyan relations. Qaddafi has had a very negative effect in creating and conditioning an entire hierarchy of corrupt officials in Tripoli. Each one looks out for his own interests at the expense of the Libyan people.

Fractions and Tensions inside the Hierarchy of Qaddafi’s Regime

Because of the nature of Qaddafi’s regime in Tripoli, there are a lot of internal tensions in Libya and within the regime structure itself. One of these sets of tensions is between Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and his father’s circle of older ministers. Libyan ministers are generally divided amongst those that gather around Saif Al-Islam and those that are part of the “old guard.”

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Muammar Al-Qaddafi’s five of his seven biological sons: (from left) Muhammad, Saif al-Islam, Saadi, Hannibal, and Mutassim. The sixth and seventh, Said Al-Arab and Khamis, aren’t seen in public often, although the former has recently hit the headlines because of defection to the protesters’ camp.

There are even tensions between Qaddafi and his sons. In 1999, Mutassim Al-Qaddafi tried to ouster his father while Colonel Qaddafi was outside of Libya. Mutassim Qaddafi holds a Libyan cabinet portfolio as a national security advisor. He is also famously known amongst Libyans for being a playboy who has spent much of his time in Europe and abroad. There is also Khames Ghaddafi who runs his own militia of thugs, which are called the Khames militia. He has always been thought of as possible contender for succession too against his other brothers.

There have always been fears in Libya about the issue of succession after Colonel Qaddafi is gone. Over the years, Qaddafi has thoroughly purged Libya of any form of organized opposition to him or prevented anyone else, outside his family, from amassing enough power to challenge his authority.

The Issue of Loyalty and Defection in Libya

Undoubtedly, little loyalty is felt for Qaddafi and his family. It has been fear that has kept Libyans in line. At the level of the Libyan government and the Libyan military it has been both fear and self-interest that has kept officials, good and corrupt alike, in line. That mantle of fear has now been dispelled. Statements and declarations of denunciation against Gaddafi’s regime are being heard from officials, towns, and military barracks across Libya.

Aref Sharif, the head of the Libyan Air Force, has renounced Qaddafi. Interior Minister Abdul Fatah Al-Yunis (Al-Younis), who is from Benghazi and oversees a branch of the special operations work in Libya, has resigned. Yunis is reported to be Qaddafi’s “number two” or second in charge, but this is incorrect. Abdullah Sanusi, the head of Libyan Internal Intelligence and Qaddafi’s in-law through marriage, is the closest thing to a “number two” within the structure of power in Tripoli.

Reports have been made about two Libyan pilots defected to Malt and Libyan naval vessels refusing to attack Benghazi (Bengasi). Defections are snowballing amongst the military and government. Yet, there must be pause to analyze the situation.

The Libyan Opposition

At this point, however, it must be asked who the “opposition” in Libya is. The opposition is not a monolithic body. The common denominator is the opposition to the rule of Qaddafi and his family. It has to be said that “actions of opposition or resistance against an oppressor” and an “opposition movement” are also two different things. For the most part, the common people and corrupt Libyan officials, who harbour deep-seated hate towards Qaddafi and his family, are now in the same camp, but there are differences.

There is an authentic form of opposition, which is not organized, and a systematic form of opposition, which is either external or led by figures from within the Libyan regime itself. The authentic people’s internal opposition in Libya is not organized and the people’s “actions of opposition” have been spontaneous. Yet, opposition and revolt has been encouraged and prompted from outside Libya through social media networks, international news stations, and events in the rest of the Arab World. [2]

The leadership of the internal opposition that is emerging in Libya is coming from within the regime itself. Corrupt officials that have rebelled against Gaddafi are not the champions of the people. These opposition figures are not opposed to tyranny; they are merely opposed to the rule of Colonel Qaddafi and his family. Aref Sharif and Al-Yunis are themselves Libyan regime figures. It has to also be considered that some Libyan officials that have turned against Qaddafi are doing it to save themselves, while others in the future will work to retain or strengthen their positions. Abdel Moneim Al-Honi, the Libyan envoy to Arab League in Cairo, can be looked at as an example. Al-Honi denounced Qaddafi, but it should be noted that he was one of the members of the group of Libyan officers who executed the coup in 1969 with Qaddafi and that later in 1975 he tried to take power in a failed coup. He would flee Libya and only return in 1990 after Qaddafi would pardon him.

Al-Honi is not the only Libyan diplomat to resign. The Libyan ambassador to India has also done the same. There is an intention on the part of these officials to be members of the power structure in a Libya after the ouster of Qaddafi:

- Libyan Ambassador to India Ali al-Essawi told the BBC that he was quitting, opposing his government’s violent crackdown on demonstrators.
Mr. Al-Essawi was reported to be a Minister in Tripoli and could be an important figure in an alternative government, in case Libyan President Muammar Qadhafi steps down.

- The second Libyan diplomat to put in his papers was Tripoli’s Permanent Representative to the Arab League Abdel Moneim al-Honi, who said in Cairo that he had quit his job to “join the revolution” in his country.
“I have submitted my resignation in protest against the acts of repression and violence against demonstrators, and I am joining the ranks of the revolution,” said Mr. Al-Honi.

- The Second Secretary Hussein Sadiq al Musrati, announced his resignation from China, in an interview with Al-Jazeera, and called on the Army to intervene in the uprising. [3]

Again, these revolting officials, like Al-Yunis and Sharif, are from within the regime. They are not mere diplomats, but former ministers. There is also the possibility that these types of “opposition figures” could have or could make arrangements with external powers.

External Forces at Play in Libya

The governments of the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, and Italy all knew very well that Qaddafi was a despot, but it did not stop any of them from making lucrative deals with Tripoli. When the media covers the violence in Libya, they should also ask, where are the weapons being used coming from? The arms sales that the U.S. and the E.U. have made to Libya should be scrutinized. Is this a part of their democracy promotion programs?

Since rapprochement between the U.S. and Libya, the military forces of both countries have moved closer. Libya and the U.S. had military transactions and since rapprochement Tripoli has been very interested in buying U.S. military hardware. [4] In 2009, a Pentagon spokeswoman, Lieutenant-Colonel Hibner, affirm this relationship best: “[The U.S.] will consider Libyan requests for defen[c]e equipment that enables [Libya] to build capabilities in areas that serve our mutual interest [or synchronized U.S. and Libyan interests].” [5] The qualifier here is U.S. interests, meaning that the Pentagon will only arm Libya on the basis of U.S. interests.

In what seems to have happened overnight, a whole new arsenal of U.S. military hardware has appeared in Libya. American-made F-16 jets, Apache helicopters, and ground vehicles are being used inside Libya by Qaddafi. [6] This is a shocking revelation, if corroborated. There are no public records about some of this U.S. military hardware in the the arsenal of the Libyan military. In regards to the F-16s, Libyan jets are traditionally French-made Mirages and Russian-made MiGs.

Silvio Berlusconi and the Italian government have also been strong supporters of Qaddafi’s regime. There is information coming out of Libya that Italian pilots are also being used by the Libyan Air Force.] [7] Mercenaries from Chad, Sudan, Niger, and Nigeria are also being used. This has been verified through video evidence coming out of Libya. The Libyan regime is also considering contracting the American or European security firms (mercenaries). [8]

The Politics of Al Jazeera

The Libyan government has shut down the internet and phone lines and an information war is underway. Although one of the most professional news network in the world, it has to be cautioned that Al Jazeera is not a neutral actor. It is subordinate to the Emir of Qatar and the Qatari government, which is also an autocracy. By picking and choosing what to report, Al Jazeera’s coverage of Libya is biased. This is evident when one studies Al Jazeera’s coverage of Bahrain, which has been restrained due to political ties between the leaders of Bahrain and Qatar.

Reports by Al Jazeera about Libyan jets firing on protesters in Tripoli and the major cities are unverified and questionable. [9] Here too, the reports that Libyan jets have been attacking people in the streets have not been verified. No visual evidence of the jet attacks has been shown, while visual confirmation about other events have been coming out of Libya.

Al Jazeera is not alone in its biased reporting from Libya. The Saudi media is also relishing the events in Libya. Asharq Al-Awsat is a paper that is strictly aligned to U.S. interests in the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region. Its editor-in-chief is now running editorials glorifying the Arab League for their decision to suspend Libya – why were such steps not taken for Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, or Yemen? Inside and outside the Arab World, the mainstream media is now creating the conditions for some sort of intervention in Libya.

The Role of Foreign Interests in Libya

Qaddafi and his sons have run Libya like a private estate. They have squandered its wealth and natural resources amongst themselves and their officials. One of Gaddafi’s son’s is known to have paid the American singer Beyoncé Knowles a million or more U.S. dollars for a private music concert. [10]

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Clinton meets with Libyan National Security Advisor Mutassim Qaddafi, Muammar’s fourth son, in Washington on April 21, 2009.

The positions and actions of foreign corporations, the U.S., and the European Union in regards to Libya should not be ignored. Questioning the role of foreign governments and corporations in Libya is very important. The Italian and U.S. governments should be questioned about the role that pilots of Italian nationality and newly bought U.S. weaponry are playing in Libya. It is very clear that democracy is only used convenient as a pretext against dictators and governments that do not bow down and serve U.S. and E.U. interests. Just looking at the way Mutassim Qaddafi was welcomed with open arms in Washington on April 21, 2009 by Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration shows the regard the U.S. government has for democracy and democratic ideals. Upon their meeting, Secretary Clinton publicly said: I am very pleased to welcome Minister Gaddafi to the State Department. We deeply value the relationship between the United States and Libya. We have many opportunities to deepen and broaden our cooperation and I am very much looking forward to building on this relationship. So, Mr. Minister, welcome so much here. [11]

What the U.S. and the E.U. want to do now is maximize their gain in Libya. Civil war seems to be what Brussels and Washington have in mind for doing this.

The Balkanization of Libya and the Push to Civil War

Qaddafi’s son, during a televised speech, Saif Al-Islam has made statements about deviant Taliban-like faith-based organizations taking over Libya or attempting to take it over. Nothing is further from the truth. He has also warned of doom and civil war. This is part of the Qaddafi family’s efforts to retain power over Libya, but a path towards civil war is unfolding in Libya. Amongst the ranking members of the military, Mahdi Al-Arab, the deputy chief of Libya’s military staff, was said to have renounced Qaddafi. [12] Al-Arab, however, has modified his position by saying that he does not want to see Libya spiral into a civil war that will allow foreign intervention and tutelage. [13] This is why Al-Arab prevented the people of his city, Zawarah, from joining the revolt and going to nearby Tripoli. [14]

The drive towards civil war in Libya is fuelled by two factors. One is the nature of Qaddafi’s regime. The other is an external desire to divide and weaken Libya.

As a paranoid autocrat, Qaddafi has always worked to keep Libyans divided. For years there have been fears that Qaddafi’s sons would start a civil war amongst themselves or that some other high ranking officials could try to jockey for power once Qaddafi was gone. Civil war on the basis of ethnicity, regionalism, or tribalism is not a big threat. Tribes and regions could be co-opted or allied with, but the people that would spark a civil war are regime figures. The threats of civil war arise from the rivalries amongst regime officials themselves.

The flames of revolt are being fanned inside Libya. Chaos in the Arab World has been viewed as beneficial in many strategic circles in Washington, Tel Aviv, London, and NATO Headquarters. If Libya falls into a state of civil war or balkanizes this will benefit the U.S. and the E.U. in the long term and will have serious geo-political implications.

All the neighbouring states in North Africa would be destabilized by the events in Libya. West Africa would also be destabilized, because the tribal boundaries running in Libya and Chad extend into countries like Niger, Algeria, and Sudan. It would also have a significant effect on Europe and global energy. Already the events in Libya are being used to validate the drive to control the Arctic Circle and its energy resources. [15]

What Will Be Qaddafi’s End?

It is very likely that Qaddafi will not have as fortunate an exit from power as Ben Ali in Tunisia and Mubarak in Egypt. Finding refuge for Qaddafi will not be as easy. In general Qaddafi is considered a liability by other governments, because of his erratic behaviour. Nor is a friend of many of them.

Saudi Arabia, which can be portrayed as a refuge for Arab dictators, will most likely not give Qaddafi refuge. Libya and Saudi Arabia have bad relations. He is also wanted for investigation in Lebanon. Generally, Qaddafi’s relationship with the leaders of the Arab petro-sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf is tense and negative. He will not be granted refuge anywhere in the Persian Gulf.

In general, Arab governments will also be afraid to host him. In his efforts to present himself as a champion of the people, he has insulted many of his fellow Arab dictators. There is something to be said, however, when Qaddafi’s statements at Arab League meetings or about Palestine and Iraq are far more popular or candid than the rest of the Arab dictators.

Nor will Qaddafi find refuge in the U.S. Canada, Turkey, Iran, Japan, China, Israel, India, Australia, New Zealand, or South Korea. It is also highly improbably that any Latin American, European, or ex-Soviet countries will give him refuge either. A country in sub-Sahara(n) Africa is the mostly likely place Qaddafi could seek refuge in.

His options are limited and he is determined to hold power. Civil war seems to be looming in the horizon for Libya. It is highly unlikely that he will leave Libya peacefully and the U.S. and its allies have probably calculated this. On February 23-24, 2010, he met with the leaders of the three biggest tribes in Libya (Werfala, Tarhouna, and Wershfana), to secure their support. [16] His own tribe, Qaddafa is supporting him and it seems that the Madarha and Awlad Slieman tribes are also supporting him. [17]

The Threats of NATO Intervention and the U.S. and E.U. Control over Libya

Libya has been in the cross-hairs of the Pentagon for years. According to Wesley Clark, the retired general who was the supreme military commander of NATO, Libya was on a Pentagon list of nations to be invaded after Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. The list included Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, and lastly Iran. In Clark’s own words:

So I came back to see him [a high ranking military officer in the Pentagon] a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, ’Are we still going to war with Iraq?’ And he said, ’Oh, it’s worse than that’. He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, ’I just got this down from upstairs’ — meaning the Secretary of Defence’s office — ’today’. And he said, ’This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran’. [18]

In one way or another all the nations on the list have been attacked directly or indirectly and all of them, but Syria and Iran have succumbed to the U.S. and its allies. The only exceptions are Iran and its ally Syria. In Lebanon, the U.S. has made partial gains, but that is now receding with the decline of the Hariri-led March 14 Alliance.

Libya started secret negotiations with Washington in 2001, which materialized into formal rapprochement after the fall of Baghdad to British and American troops in 2003. Yet, the U.S. and its allies have always wanted to expand their influence over the Libyan energy sector and to appropriate Libya’s vast wealth. A civil war provides the best cover for this.

Libyans Must Beware of the Pretext of Humanitarian Intervention

The Libyan people should be on their high guards. In is clear that the U.S. and the E.U. are supporting both sides. The U.S. and the E.U. are not the allies of free peoples. In this regard, the U.S. supports Qaddafi on the ground through military hardware, while it supports “opposition.” If the so-called Western governments were serious about democracy, they would have cut their business ties to Libya, specifically in the energy sector, before 2011.

Both Washington and the powers in Brussels could co-opt opposition forces. They have supported Gaddafi, but they do not control him or his regime like they controlled Ben Ali in Tunisia and Mubarak in Libya. Libya is a much different story. The objectives of Washington and Brussels will be to strengthen their control over Libya either through regime change or civil war. “Actions of opposition to Gaddafi” are strong, while an organized “opposition movement” in not strong yet. The two are different. Nor is democracy guaranteed, because of the nature of the coalition opposed to Gaddafi, which includes corrupt regime officials.

There is now talking about “humanitarian intervention” in Libya, similar to Yugoslavia and Iraq. A “no fly zone” over Libya has been mentioned, as has NATO military intervention. The aims behind such statements are not humanitarian, but are intended for invasion and control. Should they come into fruition, Libya would be an occupied country that will be plundered and all its assets privatized and controlled by foreign corporations like in the case of post-2003 Iraq.

Today, in Libya and the Arab World the ghosts of Omar Mukhtar and Saladin are still very much alive and active. Getting rid of Gaddafi and his sons alone is not the solution. The entire corrupt system of governance in Libya and the culture of political corruption must also be unhinged. At the same time, however, foreign tutelage should also not be allowed to take root hold in Libya. If the Libyan people are mobilized and steadfast, they can fight such schemes.

 Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Multidisciplinary sociologist and scholar in Canada. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) specializing in geopolitics and strategic issues. He is also a lecturer and author about the topics of the Middle East, Central Asia and the former USSR. He has been published and cited in languages including English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Russian.


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[1] “UK Hague: some information that Qaddafi on way to Venezuela,” Reuters, February 21, 2011.

[2] One is taken aback by the proliferation of pre-1969 coup Libyan flags. Where did all these flags come from?

[3] 3 Libyan Diplomats resign,” The Hindu, February 22, 2011.

[4] James Wolf, “U.S. eyes arms sales to Libya,” Reuters, March 6, 2009.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Information from sources in Libya; not publicly confirmed yet.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.; I have been given two explanations for this. The first explanation is that government agents from Libya have been disseminating misinformation to Al Jazeera. This includes reports made to Al Jazeera that jets have been attacking civilians in the streets. Gaddafi has used this to try and discredit Al Jazeera internally in Libya by pointing out to the Libyan people that no jet attacks have occurred and that Al Jazeera is broadcasting misinformation. The second explanation is that Al Jazeera is simply spreading misinformation. Whatever the case, both explanations agree no Libyan jets have attacked protesters yet.

[10] Marine Hyde, “Beyoncé and the $2m gig for Colonel Gaddafi’s son,” The Guardian (U.K.), January 8, 2010; it was Mutassim and not Hannibal Gaddafi that the music concert was for (the article is wrong). The article is not authoritative and has been cited to illustrate that these types of escapades are even vaguely known by the mainstream press in Britain and Western Europe. Foreign corporations also play a role in this story.

[11] U.S State Department, "Remarks With Libyan National Security Adviser Dr. Mutassim Qadhafi Before Their Meeting,” April 21, 2009.

[12] Information from sources in Libya; not publicly confirmed yet.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.

[15] David Ljunggren, “Libya turmoil puts focus on Arctic oil: Greenland,” ed. Robert Wilson, Reuters, February 23, 2011.

[16] Information from sources in Libya; not publicly confirmed yet. I have been told that Qaddafi promised them reform and that he would step down in about one year in time. I was also informed that he claimed that none of his sons would control Libya either.

[17] Ibid.

[18] General (retired) Wesley Clark, “92 Street Y Exclusive Live Interview,” interview by Amy Goodman, Democracy Now, March 2, 2007.

 

Useful links

Stephen Lendman just published a piece, "America's War On Libya," that covers much the same ground as my own. Lendman says:"Despite popular passion for democratic change, uprisings in Egypt and Libya were externally orchestrated, funded and armed by Washington to replace one despot with another. Democracy won't be tolerated. It's never been at home." http://www.opednews.com/articles/America-s-War-on-Libya-by-Stephen-Lendm...
On Al Gore's statements encouraging revolution in Malaysia: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/malaysia-fury-at-al-gores-interference...
Ron Paul on the "Orange" Revolution in the Ukraine: http://antiwar.com/paul/?articleid=4135
Alternative theories on Lockerbie: Ralph Schoenman and Mya Shone, Taking Aim, Libya and Lockerbie: the Untold Story. http://takingaimradio.com/shows/audio.html
Article on State Department's failure to produce credible evidence against Bin Laden for 9-11: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&add...
On Hillary Clinton's statement about the American media: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/03/hillary-clinton-calls-al-_n_830...
Carl Bernstein's classic article about the infiltration of the American news media by the CIA: http://www.carlbernstein.com/magazine_cia_and_media.php
My article with links: http://www.opednews.com/Diary/For-the-love-of-Gaddafi-by-Peter-Duveen-11...