Monday, March 28, 2011
LIBYA AND THE CURIOUS CASE OF HUMANITARIAN WAR
Secrecy is the religion of the political class, and the prime enabler of its corruption. --Glenn GreenwaldAfter a period of official uneasiness about intervening in Libya's civil strife, the White House did a sudden about face, then ran with a propaganda blitz coordinated between the US, Britain, and France. A rebel uprising that was within days of being quelled in its stronghold in Benghazi, was to have its fortunes reversed, was to receive a flow of arms with perfect coordination, and begin chasing Gadhafi's forces back across the sands of Libya. President Obama celebrates clean hands in all of this, claiming that, at last, here is a chance to "align our interests with our values".
But something odd happened to this policy of humanitarian intervention. It was sold to the western public and to the Arab League as a policy of "defending civilians" with a No-Fly Zone. But the intention all along was to draft an "all measures necessary" provision into UN Resolution 1973. The aim was not impartial defense of people, but regime change. Once the votes were in, Britain and France made no bones about wanting Colonel Gadhafi's scalp. And US military spokesmen were careful to say that the violence was not directed at the Colonel himself, even while his compound, and the grand tent that served for his official receptions, went up in smoke. According to US Top Brass, if Gadhafi happened to get killed, it would be an accident, or the result of his own carelessness or imprudence.
Even though President Obama was ordering up a war, he presented no case to Congress; and in point of fact, he bypassed Congress. And the decision to enter hostilities was announced on March 19th, the anniversary of the war announcement made by George W. Bush, on March 19, 2003.
We all should be concerned if there is some common political ground for neocons and liberal interventionists. But one reason I object to the new war, is that it was advertised as one thing: defense of civilians. It is obvious now that the war is about regime change. It really goes after more than defanging the Gadhafi air force; for this is about arming the rebels (by way of Saudi and Egyptian channels) and making sure they can prevail at every step of their advance. Going from no-fly zone to no-drive zone. When French night-attack aircraft bomb sleeping soldiers on the outskirts of Benghazi, this war is revealed for what it is.
There is a reason why Obama (insert any other US administration) favors toppling someone like Gadhafi but not a Mubarak, someone like Syria's Assad but not Yemen's Saleh; and there is no point in the calculations that touches upon democracy or is concerned about defending civilians.
No African country has so far allowed the US military to base AFRICOM anywhere on its national territories. This will probably change; because for an empire, what cannot be obtained by diplomacy, is had by force. When Libya becomes a protectorate/puppet, the US military command's new AFRICOM will have a home. As in the past, empire uses conquest as its last resort.
The oil is an added goodie alright plus globalism's penetration into Libya. This war came on the heels of meticulous planning and propaganda. Gadhafi is not compliant enough, and would under no circumstances allow American basing in his country.
There is a cold cost analysis that is behind this foreign-armed and assisted coup d'etat. Egypt will end up with a troubling military pressure, on its western flank, the US basing in Libya, as a not so subtle nudge to keep people power under control in Egypt. A Libyan puppet who will take the collar will be a lot less worrisome than the Colonel, and more profitable to the powers that be.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich left a comment on the Guardian website, that references what is, perhaps, the suspect planning behind this war.
On November 2, 2010 France and Great Britain signed a mutual defence treaty , which included joint participation in "Southern Mistral" (www.southern-mistral.cdaoa.fr), a series of war games outlined in the bilateral agreement. Southern Mistral involved a long-range conventional air attack, called Southern Storm, against a dictatorship in a fictitious southern country called Southland. The joint military air strike was authorised by a pretend United Nations Security Council Resolution. The "Composite Air Operations" were planned for the period of 21-25 March, 2011. On 20 March, 2011, the United States joined France and Great Britain in an air attack against Gaddafi's Libya, pursuant to UN Security Council resolution 1973.
Have the scheduled war games simply been postponed, or are they actually under way after months of planning, under the name of Operation Odyssey Dawn? Were opposition forces in Libya informed by the US, the UK or France about the existence of Southern Mistral/Southern Storm, which may have encouraged them to violence leading to greater repression and a humanitarian crisis? In short was this war against Gaddafi's Libya planned or a spontaneous response to the great suffering which Gaddafi was visiting upon his opposition?
UPDATE: It looks like all the wolves will be making a meal of Libya.
Wow That Was Fast! Libyan Rebels Have Already Established A New Central Bank Of Libya
IN OTHER NEWS: Grayson Harper sends us this comment by email:
Biden stuck a reporter in a closet during a posh Orlando fundraiser to keep him from talking to the guests--had him in there an hour-and-a-half. Gave him bottled water and posted a staffer outside the door to stand guard. Sounds like something you'd expect to see on an episode of The Simpsons. We live in an absolute cartoon of a country. We have cartoon liberals and cartoon conservatives.