Religious war in the Balkans was orchestrated by USA and NATO

by Sergei Balmasov
Pravda.ru
October 20, 2011

On July 18, the USA and NATO were accused of the massacre in the Balkans. Such accusations wouldn’t be surprising, if they came from the Serbs, for instance. This time, it goes about Croatia and Britain. To be more precise, it goes about the former commander of UN forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina, British General Michael Rose, and Vice President of the Republic of Srpska (RS, a part of Bosnia and Herzegovina), Emil Vlajki. The latter represents the Croats in the RS.

Mr. Rose directly accused the USA and NATO of the Srebrenica massacre. According to him, the massacre took place because UN’s peacemaking efforts were systematically disrupted during the conflict in Bosnia in 1992-1995.

The statement became Michael Rose’s response to another portion of criticism regarding the inaction of UN troops during the Bosnian war. According to the general, after the deployment of UN troops in BiH, which mostly played the humanitarian role, NATO with the United States at the head were systematically undermining UN’s peacemaking efforts, violating the embargo on arms shipments in Yugoslavia. NATO and the USA were simultaneously arming and training the Bosnian Muslims, the general said. According to Rose, it gave the Muslims certainty of their ability to defeat the Serbs with the power of weapons. It also shattered confidence in the UN mission in the eyes of the parties of the conflict. The UN was thus unable to succeed in its peacemaking initiatives. NATO’s and USA’s air raids were unable to show influence on the events that were taking place on the ground. It virtually resulted in the collapse of the UN mission in 1995, which made General Ratko Mladic attack Srebrenica, Michael Rose said.

According to the British general, if NATO forces had been deployed in BiH in 1992, as BiH’s President Alija Izetbegovic wanted in order to put an end to the conflict in Croatia, neither the war, nor the massacre would have happened. UN peacemakers in Bosnia could not do anything against it because they had no mandate for it, nor were they equipped and trained properly for combat operations. That role belonged to NATO, but the alliance only confined itself to bombardments, the British general concluded.

As for the notorious statement from Emil Vlajki, he demanded the USA should bring its apologies for the Balkan events. Vlajki said that he wanted the States to apologize for convincing the leader of Bosnian Muslims Alija Izetbegovic to refuse from observing the terms of the Lisbon Treaty from 1992, which guaranteed peace in Bosnia.

According to Vlajki, the USA initiated the bloody war, which took the Serbs back to the pre-civil society of mutual hatred and feudalism. He also criticized the Americans for breaking the UN embargo for the delivery of arms in BiH during the war. Foreign Mujahideeds were thus given an opportunity to enter Bosnia, the official said. Vlajki also accused the Americans of turning BiH into a time bomb.

“Why did you deceive the Croats and made them unite with the Muslims into the Croatian-Muslim federation of BiH, which marked the beginning of the end of the Croatian nation in this part of Bosnia and Herzegovina? They were interfering with our elections all the time after the Dayton Accord, because they were previously supporting the illegal, illegitimate and anti-Croatian government of platformists in the BiH Federation, established on the base of illegal decree from High Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) Valentin Inzko,” he said.

To put it in a nutshell, Emil Vlajki warns of another conflict that may erupt in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It may happen because of the efforts of the United States again, he added. According to him, America was pursuing its own interest in this case. “To realize the idea of their prominent political scientist Samuel Huntington, they turned BiH into the key territory on which two civilizations – Islam and Christianity – would clash. The final goal of the States, Vlajki believes, was to slow down the unification of Europe.

Leonid Ivashov, the President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, commented on the notorious statements from the British general and the Croatian politician.

“I’d like to remind here of the international conference, which took place in 2009. The conference was devoted to the tenth anniversary of NATO’s war against Yugoslavia. There were two reports made during the meeting, which said that the destruction of that country was planned in the West long before the events in 1991-1999. A report from French General Pierre Gallois was especially interesting at this point. He told of the secret meeting at the French General Staff in 1985, during which NATO’s leading countries were elaborating the plans to destroy Yugoslavia.

“The report from Michel Chossudovsky of Canada was a very interesting one too. He particularly said that the World Bank was also planning the destruction of Yugoslavia. The existence of this socialist state and its system, which differed from the systems of other Western states, was threatening Europe and the West in general. Yugoslavia did not fit in the picture of the world, which Washington and Brussels would like to build.

“As for the Srebrenica events, one shouldn’t forget that it was the Americans, as well as the Vatican to a certain extent, that fostered hatred between the Serbs and the Bosnians. It was them, who pushed the Islamic clergy of Bosnia towards publishing the fatwah about the struggle against the infidels. The goal was different here – they wanted Islam and Christianity to clash.

“As for technical issues, the job was done by mercenaries from Western countries, from the USA, first and foremost. It goes about private military campaigns, in which soldiers would guise themselves as warriors of hostile sides. They would commit numerous crimes trying to provoke massacre.

“Unfortunately, one has to acknowledge today that the West achieved its goal. Yugoslavia was destroyed, but the Americans are trying to destroy even the proud Serbian spirit to completely bury their aspiration for independent politics. That was the time when the West tested a completely new kind of war, the continuation of which we can now witness in Libya and Syria,” Ivashov said.

Guerra Libia es un Entrenamiento para Guerra Global

Por Rick Rozoff
Adaptación Luis R. Miranda
19 de junio 2011

Mientras la guerra de Occidente contra Libia entra en su cuarto mes y la Organización del Atlántico Norte ha volado más de 11.000 misiones, incluyendo 4.300 bombardeos, sobre la pequeña nación, el único bloque militar ya está integrando las lecciones aprendidas de los conflictos en su modelo internacional modelo de intervención militar basado en guerras anteriores en los Balcanes, Afganistán e Irak.

Lo que la OTAN llama una Operación Unificada Protectora ha proporcionado a la Alianza el marco en el que continuar la Asociación de Reclutamiento de Auxiliares de Paz, como Suecia o Malta, afiliados de la Iniciativa de Cooperación de Estambul como Kuwait y los Emiratos Árabes Unidos y la Alianza del Diálogo Mediterráneo como Jordania y Marruecos en el mundo del bloque bélico. Suecia, Jordania y los Emiratos Árabes Unidos también tienen personal militar asignado a la Fuerza Internacional de Asistencia para la Seguridad en la guerra de casi diez años de duración en Afganistán. En el primer caso, las tropas de la nación escandinava se han dedicado en su papel de primer combatiente, matar o ser asesinado. En dos siglos en Afganistán, ha proporcionado ocho aviones de guerra para el ataque a Libia, con las fuerzas de marina.

Los conflictos militares liderados por los Estados Unidos y sus aliados de la OTAN en los últimos doce años – en contra Yugoslavia, Afganistán, Macedonia, Irak, Somalia, Sudán, Pakistán y Libia – han contribuido al mayor presupuesto militar estadounidense que se duplicó en la última década; así como ayudó a quintuplicar las exportaciones de armas de EE.UU. en el mismo período.

El Pentágono y la OTAN están actualmente concluyendo los ejercicios militares llamados Sea Breeze 2011 en el Mar Negro frente a la costa de Ucrania, cerca de la sede de la Flota Rusa del Mar Negro con base en Sebastopol. Entre los participantes figuran los EE.UU., Gran Bretaña, Azerbaiyán, Argelia, Bélgica, Dinamarca, Georgia, Alemania, Macedonia, Moldavia, Suecia, Turquía y Ucrania, la nación anfitriona. Todos, excepto Argelia y Moldavia son miembros de las Naciones Unidas que aportan contingentes para la guerra de Afganistán de la OTAN. Las maniobras una vez al año se reanudaron de nuevo el año pasado después de que el Parlamento de Ucrania las prohibió en 2009. Los ejercicios de este año se organizaron por iniciativa del jefe del Estado Mayor Conjunto de EE.UU., el almirante Michael Mullen. Simulacros del año pasado, pertenecientes a Sea Breeze, la más grande en el Mar Negro, incluyeron 20 buques de guerra, 13 aviones y más de 1.600 efectivos militares de los EE.UU., Azerbaiyán, Austria, Bélgica, Dinamarca, Georgia, Alemania, Grecia, Moldavia, Suecia, Turquía y Ucrania.

Este año, los misiles de crucero guiados desde el USS Monterrey se unieron al ejercicio. El buque de guerra es el primero desplegado en el Mediterráneo, y ahora el Mar Negro, por fases del enfoque adaptado del Pentágono, que en los próximos años incluirá por lo menos 40 Standard Missile-3 interceptores en Polonia y Rumanía y el destructores Aegis, en los mares Mediterráneo, Negro y el Báltico. Versiones actualizadas de los misiles, el bloque de IB, Block IIA y IIB, son vistos por los analistas políticos rusos y los comandantes militares como una amenaza a largo plazo y, como tal, contra el potencial estratégico de la nación.

Como ex diplomático indio MK Bhadrakumar escribió en una columna reciente:

“Sin duda, los EE.UU. están aumentando la presión sobre la flota rusa del Mar Negro. La provocación de los Estados Unidos se está llevando a cabo en el contexto de la crisis en Siria. Rusia está obstinadamente bloqueando intentos de EE.UU. en el caso de Libia, al estilo de la intervención en Siria. Moscú entiende que la razón principal de los EE.UU. para presionar por un cambio de régimen en Siria es conseguir que la base naval rusa en ese país desaparezca.

“La base es el único punto de apoyo de Rusia en la región mediterránea. La Flota Rusa del Mar Negro cuenta con la base de Siria para mantener una presencia efectiva en el Mediterráneo. Con el establecimiento de bases militares de EE.UU. en Rumanía y la aparición del buque de guerra de EE.UU. en la región del Mar Negro, el arco de presión sobre Rusia se estrecha. ”

El USS Monterey, cuya presencia en el Mar Negro ha sido criticada como una violación de la Convención de Montreux de 1936, volverá al Mediterráneo donde el último superportaaviones nuclear de Estados Unidos, el USS George HW Bush y su grupo de ataque de portaaviones con 9.000 miembros del servicio y un ala aérea de 70 aviones también está presente, después de haber visitado recientemente las Fuerzas Navales de EE.UU. Europa / África y la sede de la Sexta Flota en Nápoles, Italia, al norte de Libia.

La semana pasada el buque de asalto anfibio USS Bataan participó en un ejercicio de certificación con su homólogo francés, FS Tonnerre en el Mediterráneo. El sitio web de Marina de los EE.UU. declaró que la certificación “proporcionará a Tonnerre con una mayor flexibilidad en su apoyo a la Operación Unificada Protectora de OTAN”, el nombre clave para la guerra de la Alianza contra Libia. El USS Bataan; grupo anfibio. incluye un estimado de 2.000 infantes de marina de la 22ª Unidad Expedicionaria de la Marina y decenas de aviones de combate y helicópteros de ataque, que está listo para la acción en Libia y, si el patrón se mantiene, Siria.

Los aliados de EE.UU. y la OTAN y sus socios – Albania, Argelia, Croacia, Egipto, Grecia, Italia, Malta, Mauritania, Marruecos, España, Túnez y Turquía – llevaron a cabo el ejercicio marítimo Phoenix Express 2011 en el Mediterráneo Oriental y Central desde junio 1 a 15 , que incluyó maniobras de apoyo a la Iniciativa Global de los Estados Unidos contra la Proliferación.

También a principios de mes la OTAN ejecutó las operaciones navales y militares Northern Viking, el último de una serie de ejercicios bajo ese nombre, en Islandia, con 450 miembros militares de la OTAN de los EE.UU., Dinamarca, Islandia, Italia y Noruega. El sitio web del Comando Europeo de Estados Unidos, citó al comandante noruego diciendo, “ejercicios como [Northern Viking 2011] permite a los pilotos a prepararse para escenarios del mundo real, como Operation Dawn Operación Odyssey”, el nombre de la campaña militar occidental en Libia del 19 al 30 de marzo.

Esta semana el Secretario General de la OTAN, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, visitó Gran Bretaña y España, para reunirse con el primer ministro David Cameron y el secretario de Relaciones Exteriores, William Hague en el primer país, y el primer ministro José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, ministro de Relaciones Exteriores, Trinidad Jiménez, y el ministro de Defensa, Carme Chacón, en el segundo.

En Londres Rasmussen se centró en las guerras en Libia y Afganistán, bajo el mando de la OTAN, y promovió la aplicación de la ala europea del sistema internacional de interceptores de misiles de E.E.U.U.

Quizás en parte como respuesta a la reprimenda que la OTAN y sus países miembros recibieron recientemente del para ellos es su autoridad, el secretario de defensa de EUA, Roberert Gates – se jactó:
“La OTAN es más necesaria y deseada que nunca, desde Afganistán hasta Kosovo, de la costa de Somalia a Libia. Estamos más ocupados que nunca. ”

En España se dirigió a la cámara alta del Parlamento de la nación en un discurso titulado “La OTAN y el Mediterráneo: los cambios por venir” y, según el sitio web del bloque, destacó “el papel cambiante de la OTAN en el Mediterráneo, centrándose especialmente en la Operación Unificada Protector y el futuro papel de la OTAN en la región.” Él también prometió que “podemos ayudar a que la Primavera Árabe verdaderamente florezca.” Libia y Siria, Argelia y el Líbano vienen a la mente como los objetos de la solicitud falsa de la OTAN, y Egipto y Túnez, también, como Rasmussen ya ha mencionado, en lo que respecta a la formación de la OTAN a sus militares y la reconstrucción de sus estructuras de mando, de acuerdo con las normas de la Alianza, como se está haciendo en Irak.

La guerra contra Libia, es el primer conflicto armado de la OTAN en el Mediterráneo y en el continente africano, y a través de este se está consolidando el control del Mediterráneo, el cual ya fue establecido por la vigilancia de la Operación Esfuerzo Activo en curso y la misión de interceptación lanzado en 2001 en virtud del artículo 5 de la OTAN sobre la provisión colectiva de asistencia militar.

Mientras Rasmussen fue a Gran Bretaña, el embajador ruso ante la OTAN, Dmitri Rogozin, dijo que la Alianza Atlántica “está elaborando en una operación terrestre”, y afirmó: “La guerra en Libia … significa el comienzo de su expansión hacia el sur.”

Dos días antes, los EE.UU. y la OTAN completaron operaciones en el Báltico (BALTOPS) 2011, que incluía 20 barcos procedentes de once países europeos y el buque insignia de la Sexta Flota de la base mediterránea de EE.UU., USS Mount Whitney, otros buques de guerra estadounidenses y el Comando de Ataque del Grupo de Portaviones, Grupo de Ataque 8.

Al mismo tiempo en el mar Báltico, se realiza el ejercicio Amber Hope 2011, cerca de la costa de Lituania, que dura 11 días y que se puso en marcha el 13 de junio con la participación de 2.000 militares de los miembros de la OTAN: los EE.UU., Canadá, Estonia, Letonia, Lituania, Noruega y Polonia y la Asociación para los miembros de la Paz Georgia y Finlandia. Las ex repúblicas soviéticas y los afiliados de la Asociación para la Paz: Armenia, Azerbaiyán, Belarús, Kazajstán. Moldavia y Ucrania fueron observadores.

La segunda fase del ejercicio se iniciará el 19 de junio y, según el Ministerio de Defensa lituano, “las tropas seguirán un escenario establecido sobre la base de las lecciones aprendidas por los lituanos y los Estados extranjeros en Afganistán, Irak y en la costa somalí”, en el último caso, una alusión a la campaña realizada por la OTAN llamada Operación Escudo del Océano. El bloque también ha transportado a miles de tropas de Uganda y Burundi a Somalia para luchar en la capital, Mogadiscio.

A principios de esta semana la OTAN también celebró una conferencia con los jefes de defensa de 60 miembros y Estados asociados en Belgrado, Serbia, que fue bombardeado en varias ocasiones por aviones de la OTAN hace 12 años, también se centró en la labor del bloque en la actual guerra en Libia.

La Conferencia Socio-estratégica y Militar contó con la participación del francés Stephane Abrial General Supremo de la OTAN y Comandante Aliado de Transformación con sede en Norfolk, Virginia, que dijo: “Estoy convencido de que la operación en Libia será un éxito”, aunque admitió que las hostilidades se pueden prolongar en el futuro.

La Fuerza Rotacional del Mar Negro, una fuerza especial que incluye marines y la fuerza aérea, continuó con ejercicios de entrenamiento militar en Rumanía, un ejercicio de dos semanas en Bulgaria el 13 de junio con las tropas de la nación anfitriona y, por primera vez, Serbia, en una de las cuatro bases aéreas y de infantería en el país, adonde personal del Pentágono se trasladó desde 2006. La formación anterior de Rumanía fue una de los otras cuatro bases adquiridas en esa nación.

La prensa local informó que la mayoría de los infantes de marina de EE.UU. que participan llegó a la Novo Selo Range “directamente de Afganistán” en aviones Hércules C-130.

El teniente coronel Nelson Cardella del Cuerpo de Marines de EE.UU., dijo de los ejercicios: “Nuestras tropas estarán capacitadas para mejorar la interoperabilidad de nuestro personal” para las guerras en Afganistán y el futuro.

Noticias de Bulgaria Standart anunciaron que “el año próximo el ejercicio de la Fuerza de rotación se llevará a cabo en Serbia.”

La misión de la Fuerza de rotación del Mar Negro, formado el año pasado, es integrar las fuerzas armadas de los doce países de los Balcanes, la región del Mar Negro y el Cáucaso – Albania, Azerbaiyán, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croacia, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldavia, Montenegro, Rumanía, Serbia y Ucrania – a través de la OTAN para su despliegue en Afganistán y otras zonas de guerra y situaciones posteriores a conflictos.

Cada una de las guerras que los EE.UU. y sus aliados de la OTAN han librado desde 1999 ha dado como resultado el aumento en el número de bases disponibles para ambos brazos militares del complejo militar industrial. A esto se suman los contingentes expedicionarios en las naciones subyugadas y adyacentes en el sureste de Europa, el Mediterráneo Oriental, el Golfo Pérsico y Asia Meridional y Central.

Así como en Yugoslavia, las guerras de Afganistán e Irak han contribuido al desarrollo de la alianza liderada por la OTAN y a un aumento en su capacidad de intervención militar en cualquier lugar para después realizar operaciones internacionales como las de Libia, por lo que la experiencia de Libia se está empleando para conflictos futuros.

Libyan War is a training ground for Global War Template

by Rick Rozoff
June 19, 2011

As the West’s war against Libya has entered its fourth month and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has flown more than 11,000 missions, including 4,300 strike sorties, over the small nation, the world’s only military bloc is already integrating lessons learned from the conflict into its international model of military intervention based on earlier wars in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq.

What NATO refers to as Operation Unified Protector has provided the Alliance the framework in which to continue recruiting Partnership for Peace adjuncts like Sweden and Malta, Istanbul Cooperation Initiative affiliates Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates and Mediterranean Dialogue partnership members Jordan and Morocco into the bloc’s worldwide warfighting network. Sweden, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates also have military personnel assigned to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in the nearly ten-year-long war in Afghanistan. In the first case, troops from the Scandinavian nation has been engaged in their first combat role, killing and being killed, in two centuries in Afghanistan and has provided eight warplanes for the attack on Libya, with marine forces to soon follow.

The military conflicts waged and other interventions conducted by the United States and its NATO allies over the past twelve years – in and against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Macedonia, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan and Libya – have contributed to the American military budget more than doubling in the past decade and U.S. arms exports almost quintupling in the same period.

The Pentagon and NATO are currently concluding the Sea Breeze 2011 naval exercise in the Black Sea off the coast of Ukraine, near the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet based in Sebastopol. Participants include the U.S., Britain, Azerbaijan, Algeria, Belgium, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Macedonia, Moldova, Sweden, Turkey and host nation Ukraine. All but Algeria and Moldova are Troop Contributing Nations for NATO’s Afghan war. The once-annual maneuvers resumed again last year after the Ukrainian parliament banned them in 2009. This year’s exercise was arranged on the initiative of chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen. Last year’s Sea Breeze drills, the largest in the Black Sea, included 20 naval vessels, 13 aircraft and more than 1,600 military personnel from the U.S., Azerbaijan, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Moldova, Sweden, Turkey and Ukraine.

This year the guided missile cruiser USS Monterey joined the exercise. The warship is the first deployed to the Mediterranean, and now the Black, Sea for the Pentagon’s Phased Adaptive Approach interceptor missile program, one which in upcoming years will include at least 40 Standard Missile-3 interceptors in Poland and Romania and on Aegis class destroyers and cruisers in the Mediterranean, Black and Baltic Seas. Upgraded versions of the missile, the Block IB, Block IIA and Block IIB, are seen by Russian political analysts and military commanders as threats to Russia’s long-range missiles and as such to the nation’s strategic potential.

As former Indian diplomat M K Bhadrakumar wrote in a recent column:

“Without doubt, the US is stepping up pressure on Russia’s Black Sea fleet. The US’s provocation is taking place against the backdrop of the turmoil in Syria. Russia is stubbornly blocking US attempts to drum up a case for Libya-style intervention in Syria. Moscow understands that a major reason for the US to push for regime change in Syria is to get the Russian naval base in that country wound up.

“The Syrian base is the only toehold Russia has in the Mediterranean region. The Black Sea Fleet counts on the Syrian base for sustaining any effective Mediterranean presence by the Russian navy. With the establishment of US military bases in Romania and the appearance of the US warship in the Black Sea region, the arc of encirclement is tightening.”

USS Monterey, whose presence in the Black Sea has been criticized as a violation of the 1936 Montreux Convention, will return to the Mediterranean where the U.S.’s newest nuclear supercarrier, USS George H.W. Bush, and its carrier strike group with 9,000 service members and an air wing of 70 aircraft is also present, having recently visited U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Africa and Sixth Fleet headquarters in Naples, Italy, due north of Libya.

Last week the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan engaged in a certification exercise with its French counterpart FS Tonnerre in the Mediterranean. The U.S. Navy website stated that the certification “will provide Tonnerre with additional flexibility during their support to NATO-led Operation Unified Protector,” the codename for the Alliance’s war against Libya. The USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group includes an estimated 2,000 Marines from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit and dozens of warplanes and attack and other helicopters, and is poised for action in Libya and, if the pattern holds, Syria.

The U.S. and NATO allies and partners – Albania, Algeria, Croatia, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey – conducted the Phoenix Express 2011 maritime exercise in the Eastern and Central Mediterranean from June 1-15, which included maneuvers in support of the U.S.’s global Proliferation Security Initiative.

Also earlier this month NATO held this year’s Northern Viking air and naval exercise, the latest in a series of biennial drills under that name, in Iceland with 450 NATO military members from the U.S., Denmark, Iceland, Italy and Norway. The United States European Command website cited the Norwegian detachment commander saying, “exercises like [Northern Viking 2011] allowed the pilots to prepare for real-world scenarios, like Operation Odyssey Dawn,” the name for the Western military campaign in Libya from March 19-30.

This week NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen visited Britain and Spain, meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague in the first country and Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero, Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez and Defence Minister Carme Chacon in the second.

While in London Rasmussen focused on the wars in Libyan and Afghanistan, both under NATO command, and promoted the implementation of the European wing of the U.S. international interceptor missile system.

Perhaps in part responding to the dressing down NATO member states had recently received by the person Rasmussen truly, if unofficially, has to account to – U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates – he boasted:

“NATO is more needed and wanted than ever, from Afghanistan to Kosovo, from the coast of Somalia to Libya. We are busier than ever before.”

In Spain he addressed the nation’s upper house of parliament in a speech titled “NATO and the Mediterranean: the changes ahead” and, according to the bloc’s website, emphasized “NATO’s changing role in the Mediterranean, particularly focusing on Operation Unified Protector and NATO’s future role in the region.” He also pledged that “we can help the Arab Spring well and truly blossom.” Libya and Syria, tomorrow Algeria and Lebanon, come to mind as the objects of NATO’s false solicitude, and Egypt and Tunisia too, as Rasmussen has already mentioned, in regard to NATO training their militaries and rebuilding their command structures in accordance with Alliance standards, as is being done in Iraq.

The war against Libya, NATO’s first armed conflict in the Mediterranean and on the African continent, is solidifying control of the Mediterranean already established by the ongoing Operation Active Endeavor surveillance and interdiction mission launched in 2001 under NATO’s Article 5 collective military assistance provision.

While Rasmussen was in Britain, Russian ambassador to NATO Dmitri Rogozin said that the Atlantic Alliance “is being drawn into a ground operation,” and asserted “The war in Libya means…the beginning of its expansion south.”

Two days before, the U.S. and NATO completed Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2011, which included 20 ships from eleven European nations and the flagship of the Mediterranean-based U.S. Sixth Fleet, USS Mount Whitney, other American warships and Commander, Carrier Strike Group 8.

Concurrently in the Baltic Sea, the 11-day Amber Hope 2011 exercise was launched in Lithuania on June 13 with the participation of 2,000 military personnel from NATO members the U.S., Canada, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Poland and Partnership for Peace members Georgia and Finland. Former Soviet republics and Partnership for Peace affiliates Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Ukraine are attending as observers.

The second phase of the exercise will begin on June 19 and, according to the Lithuanian Defense Ministry, “troops will follow an established scenario based on lessons learnt by Lithuanian and foreign states in Afghanistan, Iraq and off the Somali coast,” in the last case an allusion to NATO’s ongoing Operation Ocean Shield. The bloc has also airlifted thousands of Ugandan and Burundian troops into Somalia for fighting in the capital of Mogadishu.

Earlier this week NATO also held a conference with the defense chiefs of 60 member and partner states in Belgrade, Serbia, which was bombed repeatedly by NATO warplanes 12 years ago, also focusing on the bloc’s current three-month-long war in Libya.

The Strategic Military Partner Conference was addressed by, inter alia, French General Stephane Abrial, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation based in Norfolk, Virginia, who said, “I’m convinced that the operation in Libya will be successful,” though conceding that the hostilities may be prolonged well into the future in his opening statement.

The Black Sea Rotational Force, a Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force, followed military training exercises in Romania with a two-week exercise in Bulgaria on June 13 with troops from the host nation and, for the first time, Serbia on one of the four air and infantry bases in the country the Pentagon has moved into since 2006. The earlier training in Romania was at one of another four bases acquired in that nation.

The local press reported that most of the U.S. Marines involved arrived at the Novo Selo Range “straight from Afghanistan” on Hercules-C-130 transport aircraft.

Lieutenant Colonel Nelson Cardella of the U.S. Marine Corps said of the drills, “Our troops will be trained to improve the interoperability of our staffs” for the Afghan and future wars.

Bulgaria’s Standart News announced that “next year the Black Sea Rotational Force exercise will take place in Serbia.”

The mission of the Black Sea Rotational Force, formed last year, is to integrate the armed forces of twelve nations in the Balkans, Black Sea region and Caucasus – Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine – through NATO for deployment to Afghanistan and other war zones and post-conflict situations.

Each of the wars the U.S. and its NATO allies have waged since 1999 has gained the Pentagon and the Alliance new military bases and expeditionary contingents in subjugated and adjoining nations in Southeastern Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean and Persian Gulf, and South and Central Asia.

Just as the Yugoslav, Afghan and Iraqi wars contributed to developing a U.S.-led NATO international military intervention capability for use against Libya today, so the Libyan experience is being employed for future conflicts.

No end in sight for NATO in Libya

Russia calls latest NATO attack ‘illegal’ and a great departure from what was permitted by the UN resolution.

AP
May 25, 2011

The military campaign in Libya began with what seemed a narrowly defined mission: to enforce a no-fly zone and protect civilians from attack.

Two months later, the campaign has evolved into a ferocious pounding of the country’s capital, Tripoli, in what appears an all-out effort to oust Moammar Gadhafi. But that goal remains elusive, raising the prospect of a quagmire in the desert. And the political will of the countries involved is being sorely tested.

The Libyan opposition remains weak. NATO, the North Atlantic military alliance which took over command of the campaign from the U.S. on March 31, appears to have no clear exit strategy. Two of the allies, Britain and France, have descended into public squabbling over bringing the fight closer to Gadhafi with attack helicopters. And the French foreign minister said Tuesday his country’s willingness to continue the campaign was not endless.

Part of the challenge lies in the original U.N. resolution: It authorized the use of air power but forbade ground troops, even as it authorized “all necessary means” to protect civilians following Gadhafi’s brutal suppression of the popular uprising against his rule.

From Yugoslavia to Iraq, recent history has shown that ousting a regime through air power alone is, at best, exceedingly difficult.

In Libya, it is not for lack of trying. What seemed at first to be limited strikes on military targets – tanks heading for the rebel-held city of Benghazi here, some anti-aircraft batteries there – has now expanded to the point that early Tuesday saw the biggest bombardment of the capital since the conflict began.

The targets have come to include, for example, Gadhafi’s presidential compound; one of the leader’s sons was killed April 30. NATO’s official line is that the compound was a command-and-control center and it was not trying to kill Gadhafi. But clearly no one in the alliance would have shed a tear had the Libyan leader died.

There are signs of frustration, or perhaps desperation, among the allies. To avoid anti-aircraft fire, the campaign at first relied largely on high-altitude precision bombing, generally from above 15,000 feet (4,500 meters) – nearly three miles (five kilometers) high. But France said Monday that it now plans to deploy helicopter gunships to hit targets more precisely in urban areas while risking the lives of fewer civilians.

So far, no allied servicemen or women have been killed in the campaign. But by using helicopters and flying far lower, the French would be putting their pilots at greater risk, underscoring their intense desire to finish the Libyan operation sooner rather than later.

“I can assure you that our will is to ensure that the mission in Libya does not last longer than a few months,” Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said during a question-and-answer session at the French parliament Tuesday.

He said the action “may take days, weeks in my opinion (but) certainly not months.”

The danger to pilots could be significant. Although Libya’s surface-to-air missile network has been effectively destroyed, Gadhafi’s forces are said to retain hundreds of heavy machine guns, automatic cannon and shoulder-launched missiles that would pose a danger to helicopters at lower altitudes.

In past conflicts, NATO has shied away from using slow-moving and low-flying helicopters and AC-130 gunships against opponents with such weaponry.

During the bombing of Kosovo and Serbia in 1999, the alliance quickly abandoned plans to deploy Apache attack helicopters after the defenders shot down or damaged half a dozen strike jets in the opening days of the campaign.

Not content with their own announcement, French officials also said that Britain would deploy helicopters too. British officials angrily denied that any decision had been made.

NATO declined comment about the proposed deployment of helicopter gunships because none had yet been placed under its command, saying only through a spokesman that it would be “grateful for all contributions.”

The U.S., which launched the international air campaign March 19 and handed off command to NATO shortly afterward, also welcomed the offer of helicopters.

U.S. officials said Tuesday that the “robust pace” of strikes in Tripoli was intended to send Gadhafi a message that “the pressure is not going to relent.”

“It’s actually going to increase. I think we want to underscore to Gadhafi that the foot is not going to come off the gas pedal in terms of the decisions he’s going to have to make,” said Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, traveling with President Barack Obama in London.

“It’s a set of messages all of which convey to Gadhafi that leaving is in his best interests and the best interest of the Libyan people,” Rhodes said.

But a NATO diplomat said frustration was growing in the North Atlantic Council, the alliance’s governing body.

“There will be some tough questions asked about the endgame” if the conflict drags on until the end of June, when the military campaign needs to be reauthorized by the council, said the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of standing rules.

Theo Farrell, a professor of war studies at King’s College, London, said the introduction of attack helicopters in Libya might divert potential resources from the war in Afghanistan.

“Since mostly air and naval assets are involved in Libya, these resources wouldn’t in any case be useful in Afghanistan,” Farrell said. “The only area where it is a distraction is in terms of senior leadership attention and strategic planning.”

The choppers, he said, were a different matter.

“The more this happens, the more there would be tension about the diversion of resources.”

He said this comes at a critical time in Afghanistan, where “the war is being won operationally and lost at the same time strategically” because of growing war-weariness in NATO countries and problems with President Hamid Karzai’s government and the militants’ safe havens in neighboring Pakistan.

Libya and the Imperial Re-Division of Africa

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Global Research
April 26, 2011

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.[1] 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.

Today's friends are tomorrow's foes

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. [2]

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. [4] 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.

Current chiefs of state such as Sarkozy and Berlusconi befriended the man they call today a dictator.

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.” [4]

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. [5] 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. [6]

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. [7] 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.” [8]  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. [9]

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 addition 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. [10]

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). [11]

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. [12]

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.). [13] 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. [14] 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. [15]

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). [16] 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. [17]

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. [18] 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. [19]

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. [20] 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.” [21]

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.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya specializes on the Middle East and Central Asia. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).