Libya’s Lesson for Iran: Beware of Rapprochement


Libya’s Lesson for Iran: Beware of Rapprochement

 

By Dan Glazebrook

Britain and the US used the so-called “rapprochement” with Gaddafi’s Libya to cultivate a fifth column and prepare the ground for war

Britain and the US used the so-called “rapprochement” with Gaddafi’s Libya to cultivate a fifth column and prepare the ground for war

Three years ago, in late October 2011, the world witnessed the final defeat of the Libyan Jamahiriya – the name by which the Libyan state was known until overthrown in 2011, meaning literally the “state of the masses” – in the face of a massive onslaught from NATO, its regional allies and local collaborators.

It took seven eight months for the world’s most powerful military alliance – with a combined military spending of just under $1 trillion per year – to fully destroy the Jamahiriya (a state with a population the size of Wales) and it took a joint British-French-Qatari special-forces operation to finally WIN control of the capital. In total, 10,000 strike sorties were rained down on Libya, tens of thousands killed and injured, and the country left a battleground for hundreds of warring factions, armed to the teeth with weapons, either looted from state armouries or provided directly by NATO and its allies. Britain, France and the US had led a war which had effectively transformed a peaceful, prosperous African country into a textbook example of a “failed state.”

Yet the common image of Libya in the months and years leading up to the invasion was that of a state that had “come in from the cold” and was now enjoying friendly relations with the West. Tony Blair’s famous embrace of Gaddafi in his tent in 2004 was said to have ushered in a new period of “rapprochement” with Western companies rushing to do business in the oil-rich African state, and Gaddafi’s abandonment of a nuclear deterrent apparently indicative of the new spirit of trust and cooperation.

Yet this image was largely a myth. Yes, sanctions were lifted and diplomatic relations restored; but this did not represent any newfound trust and friendship. Gaddafi himself never changed his opinion that the forces of old and new colonialism remained bitter enemies of African unity and independence, and for their part, the US, Britain and France continued to resent the assertiveness and independence of Libyan foreign policy under Gaddafi’s leadership. The African Oil Policy Initiative Group (AOPIG) – an elite US think tank comprising congressmen, military officers and energy industry lobbyists – warned in 2002 that the influence of “adversaries such as Libya” would only grow unless the US significantly increased its military presence on the continent. Yet, despite “rapprochement,” Gaddafi remained a staunch opponent of such a presence, as noted with anxiety in frequent diplomatic cables from the US Embassy. One, for example, from 2009, noted that “the presence of non-African military elements in Libya or elsewhere on the continent” was almost a “neuralgic issue” for Gaddafi. Another cable from 2008 quoted a pro-Western Libyan government official as saying that “there will be no real economic or political reform in Libya until al-Gaddafi passes from the political scene” which would “not happen while Gaddafi is alive,” hardly the image of a man bending to the will of the West. Gaddafi had clearly not been moved by the flattery towards Libya (or “appropriate deference” as another US Embassy cable put it) that was much in evidence during the period of “rapprochement.” Indeed, at the Arab League summit in March 2008, he warned the assembled heads of state that, following the execution of Saddam Hussein, a former “close friend” of the US, “in the future, it’s going to be your turn too…Even you, the friends of America – no, I will say we, we the friends of America – America may approve of our hanging one day.”

So much for a new period of trust and co-operation. Whilst business deals were being signed, Gaddafi remained implacably opposed to the US and European military presence on the continent (as well as leading the fight to reduce their economic presence) and understood well that this might cost him his life. The US too understood this, and despite their outward flattery, behind the scenes were worried and resentful.

Thus, the so-called rapprochement period was anything but. The US continued to remain hostile to the independent spirit of Libya – as evidenced most obviously by Gaddafi’s hostility to the presence of US and European military forces in Africa – and it now seems that they and the British used this period to prepare the ground for the war that eventually took place in 2011.

The US, for example, used their newfound access to Libyan officials to cultivate relations with those who would become their key local allies during the war. Leaked diplomatic cables show that pro-Western Libyan Justice Minister Mustafa Abdul-Jalil arranged covert meetings between US and Libyan government officials that bypassed the usual official channels and were therefore “under the radar” of the foreign ministry and central government. He was also able to speed up the prisoner release programme that led to the release of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group insurgents who ultimately acted as NATO’s shock troops during the 2011 war. The head of the LIFG – al-Qaeda’s FRANCHISE in Libya – eventually became head of Tripoli’s military council, whilst Abdul-Jalil himself became head of the “Transitional National Council,” that was installed by NATO following the fall of the Jamahiriya.

Another key figure groomed by the US in the years preceding the invasion, was Mahmoud Jibril, head of the National Economic Development Board from 2007, who arranged six US training programmes for Libyan diplomats, many of whom subsequently resigned and sided with the US and Britain once the rebellion and invasion got underway.

Finally, the security and intelligence co-operation that was an element of the “rapprochement” period was used to provide the CIA and MI6 with an unprecedented level of information about both Libyan security forces and opposition elements they could cultivate that would prove invaluable for the conduct of the war.

Thus rapprochement, whilst appearing to be an improvement in relations, may actually be a “long game” to lay the groundwork for naked aggression, by building up intelligence and sounding out possible collaborators, effectively building up a fifth column within the state itself. This is what the neo-conservatives in the US Congress opposing Obama’s “thaw” in Iranian relations apparently fail to understand. Thankfully, it is likely that the Iranians understand it perfectly well.

 - Dan Glazebrook is a political writer specialising in Western foreign policy. He is author of Divide and Ruin: The West’s Imperial Strategy in an Age of Crisis.

Photo: Moamer Gaddafi addresses delegates during the 12th African Union summit at the United Nations Headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on 4 Feb, 2009 (AFP)

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Libya descends into chaos


Libya descends into chaos

 

Thank you NATO, another foreign policy disaster.

The once-prosperous Libya, under Muammar al-Qaddafi enjoying the highest Human Development Index on the African Continent, has descended into chaos as rival gangs of militia fight each other and vow to destroy their rivals.

Thousands of foreign nationals are trapped inside the country and the fighting has become so severe that Tunisia has closed its main border with its neighbour to the East. Thousands of Libyan citizens and foreign nationals have been streaming across the Tunisian border in recent days and today, Tunisia closed the border to thousands of Egyptians fleeing Libya because they did not have visas. Elsewhere, Islamic militia have seized control of army bases and today claim to have overrun the city of Benghazi.

Misurata brigades began fighting Zintan brigades in early July, for control of the airport, where recent fighting has destroyed a large number of aircraft and set fire to three fuel depots, one of which is still burning.

Thank you NATO, another fine policy disaster.

 

INSANITY! US, Qatar, Saudi and Misurata Bomb Tripoli Airport to Force NATO to Further Destroy Libya


INSANITY! US, Qatar, Saudi and Misurata Bomb Tripoli Airport to Force NATO to Further Destroy Libya

 

by JoanneM 

The insanity of the Zionist, one-world-order criminals continues today in Libya. As reported, the Tripoli airport has been attacked by the Misurata militias who are made up of Islamic Extremists supported by the US, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

For a reader to understand what is happening in Libya there needs to be a bit of history about Misurata given. Misurata is a port city that was settled by Jews from Turkey over 100 hundred years ago. These Jews converted to Islam (or so they said). Misurata has the only mega port in Libya but it is able to accept on ONE container ship a day. Consequently, Misurata controls most of the import/exports in Libya. When we were in Libya from 2007 to 2011, we were requested many times to help Libya build a second large port at the port of Tripoli and this made great sense because Libya is the gateway to Africa. Not one proposal from any legitimate companies was ever accepted. We were to learn that Misurata is the home of the Turkish Mafia, started by and run by the Turkish Jews that control/own Misurata. We also were informed that the Turkish Misurata mafia controlled 60% of all contracts let in Libya and were the main problem in Libya regarding any business. Right before the fake revolution and illegal invasion of Libya by the US, NATO and others, the Libyan government discovered a huge Ponzi scheme (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_scheme) perpetrated on them by the Misurata Turkish mafia. The Misurata mafia duplicated the “Bernie Madoff” scheme and successfully stole 100 billion dollars from the people of Libya. This was discovered late in 2010 which was the final straw and precipitated the Misurata mafia joining the NATO attack on Libya to save them from losing their hold on Libya. After the fall of the legitimate Libyan government (blown up by NATO) the Misurata criminals made up of not only the Turkish mafia but now joined by gangs of radical Islamic psychopaths, decided that they should control all of Libya. First thing they did was catch and imprison (illegally) any civilians who had expressed their loyalty to the legitimate Libyan government or were against the NATO attack on Libya. They imprisoned thousands of innocent people and thousands have been tortured to death (no outrage from any humanitarian group about this). To this day there continue to be thousands in make shift prisons in Misurata. The Misurata gangs, militias, criminals, al Qaeda, mafia, etc., whatever you want to call them have attacked and killed thousands of innocent Libyans. They have attacked the city of Bani Walid with chemical weapons in 2012 in an attempt to control the Great Werfalla tribe of Libya but they failed. They have attacked Tripoli more than one time in an attempt to take over whatever puppet government is there. They have failed. They are actively in the business of selling human organs that they harvest from their young healthy captives, making money to support their criminal activities. They have no law, no order only mafia. The people of Libya and the tribes of Libya have officially disowned Misurata. Not one person in Libya will have anything to do with Misurata. The great tribes of Libya have even told Misurata in the past that they are no long part of Libya and that they are their own city/state.

The great fear of Misurata is that they will lose any power and control that they have in Libya and will be called to refund all of their stolen money and assets.

During the last week, all the criminal factions, radical Islamist gangs, Belhaj and his group (Al Qaeda), and some others all gathered together to discuss how they could gain complete control of Libya. You see, they have lost and are losing ground everyday in Libya. The great tribes of Libya have formed a military council to direct the cleansing of Libya of these criminal factions. General Haftar, working with his groups is cleaning areas of Libya every day. The Libyan resistance gains strength everyday and is working to bring an end to the criminal Misurata and other groups of Extremists now terrorizing Libya. Misurata knows they are losing and they are desperate. The only way Misurata ever got any power in Libya was via the US and NATO; ergo the “solution” to their problem – bring back NATO and blow up all the legitimate people of Libya who are trying to bring peace and justice back to their country. How to do this??

At their latest meeting in Tripoli with all their criminal buddies they decided that they would have to blow up the Tripoli airport and take it from the Zentan tribe that has been controlling and protecting it since 2011. Unfortunately, for the Misurata and their psychopathic supporters, the Zentan has the backing of the tribes. The Zentan tribe is made up of great fighters and has in its hands many weapons taken in 2011. They, the Misurata criminal group, was defeated. This however did not stop these psychos. They have the support of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the US in this endeavor. You see, Qatar is the hub for the US training of radical Islamists and wants to keep Libyan oil and money for itself via promises from Misurata. The US being the Zionist puppet is bound and determined to keep Libya destabilized as this keeps Africa destabilized and they plan to cause Libya to be split into 3 parts. The Saudi’s are the pawns of the US being made to comply via blackmail for reasons too long to go into here.

So, what we have now is the US, Qatar and Saudi Arabia supporting the Misurata mafia criminals in Libya. Their plan is to attack Tripoli and the airport until there is so much distress and danger that the only answer is NATO. The mantra has already begun. Misurata and its bloody partners in crime need NATO to bomb Libya again, kill any hope of the legitimate Libyan people to return peace to their country. After that, the plan is to install Misurata mafia in whatever government there is left and they own the entire country with the blessings of the US and as the puppets of the US/Zionists.

Today, it is being reported that an EU plane landed at Mitiga Airport (the old Wheeler Air force Base) in Tripoli to evacuate all EU citizens working in Libya as the situation is too dangerous there now. This all feeds into the hands of Misurata as they continue to cause problems until the UN/NATO will have step in.

The support in Libya of known US enemies (Al Qaeda) by the US government is not only a traitorous crime but a great crime against humanity world wide.

Who is responsible for the catastrophes in the Middle East?


 

Who is responsible for the catastrophes in the Middle East?

by Bill Van Auken

“The United States of America is not responsible for what happened in Libya, nor is it responsible for what is happening in Iraq today,” Secretary of State John Kerry declared at a Cairo news conference held in the midst of his recent crisis tour of the Middle East.

As Kerry spoke, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and a growing Sunni insurgency were consolidating their grip over the north and west of Iraq, including the country’s borders with Syria and Jordan. Upwards of a million Iraqis had been displaced by the fighting, and thousands had been killed in the mounting sectarian slaughter.

Libya is in a state of complete collapse, with continuous fighting between rival militias, a government that exists in name only, oil production down by at least 80 percent, and over a million ****(unfortunately its over 3 million) people forced to flee the country’s violence. Many thousands ****(over 70 thousand) are incarcerated in a network of prisons run by armed groups that practice systematic torture.

Kerry’s statement merely made official the steady drumbeat from the political establishment and the media since the situation in Iraq turned into a complete debacle: “The US bears no responsibility.”

Typical was the commentary by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, a “human rights” imperialist who was a vocal proponent of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. He wrote: “The debacle in Iraq isn’t President Obama’s fault. It’s not the Republicans’ fault… overwhelmingly, it’s the fault of the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.” ***(Really? Maliki is the puppet of the USA so how is it his fault?)

Maliki, the stooge put in power and kept there by the US occupation, is made the fall guy.

Thomas Friedman, the Times’ foreign affairs columnist, wrote Sunday that Maliki is an “arsonist,” who, “the minute America left Iraq,” deliberately unleashed mayhem. This is the same Friedman who in 2003 declared that the US invaded Iraq “because we could,” spoke proudly of US troops going house-to-house and ordering Iraqis to “suck on this,” and declared that he had “no problem with a war for oil.”

Listening to the chorus of statements insisting that the US has no responsibility for the deepening tragedy inflicted upon the people of Iraq and Libya, one is reminded of nothing so much as the Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg, from Hermann Göring on down, rising one-by-one in the dock to declare themselves “not guilty.”

What are the crimes for which Kerry and so many others in the ruling establishment insist Washington bears no responsibility?

The description that they used for their own actions at the time was “shock and awe,” the unleashing of colossal destructive force upon a society already shattered by a decade of sadistic US sanctions. Killing hundreds of thousands of people and turning millions into refugees, the US war and occupation destroyed every institution of Iraqi society, while Washington deliberately fomented sectarian divisions as a means of overcoming Iraqi nationalism. The country’s deposed ruler, Saddam Hussein, was tried by a drumhead court and unceremoniously executed.

All of this was justified with warnings about the imminent threat from “weapons of mass destruction” and ties between Baghdad and Al Qaeda. As the whole world now knows, it was all lies.

There were no WMDs and there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq until US imperialism overthrew the country’s government and tore its social fabric to pieces. In fact, there was no Al Qaeda at all before Washington set about inciting a bloody war by right-wing Islamists in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

In Libya and now in Syria, the Obama administration abandoned the “war on terrorism” pretext for an equally cynical and fraudulent justification for regime-change: “human rights.” In Libya, the US and NATO heavily bombed the country while organizing and arming Islamist-led militias in a sectarian war that destroyed all of the existing governmental and social structures. As in Iraq, it ended its war with the brutal murder of the country’s secular leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

Washington is carrying out a similar war for regime-change in Syria, backing Sunni Islamist and sectarian militias that are led by ISIS, the same force that has overrun much of Iraq. The US hopes to end this war with the assassination of a third secular Arab head of state, Bashar al-Assad.

Just last week, Obama proposed to funnel $500 million in arms to the Syrian “rebels”—weapons that everyone knows will end up in the hands of ISIS, which the US is supposedly committed to defeating in Iraq.

As the contradictions and deceptions of Washington’s policy become ever more glaring, US officials simply act as though the American people won’t notice, or will believe anything. Or, for that matter, they won’t see that $500 million can be conjured up instantly to pay for a criminal war, while working people are being told “there is no money” for health care, education, housing or jobs.

The destruction that the US oligarchs have wrought in the Middle East, with all of its terrible human consequences, is the external manifestation of their destructive role within the US itself—smashing up the country’s manufacturing base, turning its economy into a gambling casino for financial parasites, destroying the jobs and living standards of millions of people. With no answers to the growing crisis at home, they turn to violence abroad, only compounding the catastrophes they have created overseas.

The “not responsibles” and “not guilties” from Kerry, Kristof, Friedman and the other advocates and apologists for American military aggression won’t wash. US imperialism is responsible for terrible crimes against humanity.

Yet no one has been held accountable. Not those in Washington—Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, et al.—who conspired to wage a war of aggression; not those in the current administration, from Obama on down, who conspired to shield their predecessors and continue the same predatory policies; not the military brass who carried out the war; not the private contractors who enriched themselves off of it; not the lying media that helped foist the war onto the American public; not the cowardly and conformist academics who justified and went along with it.

Together, they are responsible for the catastrophes that have been inflicted upon the peoples of Iraq, Libya and Syria.

Why is Turkey becoming a target in Libya?


 

Why is Turkey becoming a target in Libya?

by Sami Kohen

Men stand in front of the Turkish Consulate in Benghazi, May 19, 2014. (photo by REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori)

 

ISIS’s seizing the Turkish Consulate in Mosul and taking hostage scores of consulate personnel and Turkish truck drivers was the most dramatic assault ever against a Turkish diplomatic mission and its citizens. Sadly, Turkish missions and citizens have been becoming targets of multitude of quarters, the latest being in Libya when 250 Turks working there were given a 48-hour ultimatum to leave the country.

Retired Libyan Gen. Khalifa Hifter, who has rebelled against the government and already controls the eastern regions of the country, has accused the Turks and Qataris of acting against his rule and engaging in espionage. Newspapers in Benghazi reported that people have been angered by Turkey’s attitude, therefore Turks had to leave.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called these claims “baseless and wrong” and said the legitimate ***(what legitimate government the 3%) government in Tripoli was responsible for defending the Turks against Hifter’s accusations. But in the end, Turkey had to evacuate these Turks.

Because of hot news from Syria and Iraq, events in Libya have been largely ignored despite the acute turmoil in the country. Hifter has the support of the army, police and most of the tribes. Clashes between forces loyal to him and the Islamists, including the Muslim Brotherhood, are continuing. The central government has become irrelevant.

It is not easy to predict how this struggle between rival forces will end, but for the time being Hifter controls most of the country. His decision to expel Turks and Qataris is one indicator of his standing. Although allegations used for this decision could be challenged as baseless and false, one has to wonder why there is such a perception among those controlling the country. It means that Turkey has given them the impression of taking sides against them in the raging political struggle for power in Libya.

The expulsion of Turkish nationals makes our Libya policy problematic. It is yet another sign of how Turkey is losing the gains made by Turkish diplomacy in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. After Syria, Egypt and Iraq, now Libya has become a country of problems for Turkey.

Of course, unexpected developments in those countries have played some part in this situation, but one cannot ignore the role of some wrong policies the Ankara government has pursued.

It is certainly imperative to correctly diagnose why all these countries once known as friends are now targeting Turkey.