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The Solution For Libya


The Solution For Libya

By Richard Galustian

UN Libya chief Ghassan Salame speaking with some degree of despondency at the end of a month of talks in Tunis on Saturday

More failed talks. It’s enough. I feel compelled to suggest a decisive solution after 6 years of UN failure.

Let’s me first discuss the fact Egypt is central to France’s Libyan policy and to support for Haftar.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi arrived in Paris Monday night, beginning a State visit, his first with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Macron and Sisi met at Élysée Palace this week to discuss regional security, including particularly Libya, and of course Syria, as well as discuss the purchase of yet more Rafale fighters.

Only France and Italy have developed, though almost opposing, strategies for Libya, while the EU in Brussels, US and UK and worse of all, the UN, have none that are founded in reality.

France has, I believe the most grown up view of what needs to happen in Libya with the exception of Russia, though they presently seem to vacillate in their support for military strongman Haftar and the UN.

The Kremlin veers to supporting the ‘UN process’ which might prove to be Russia’s mistake.

This below UN quote shows the despondency and hopelessness of the Chief of UNSMIL which is best summed up by his own words and comments.

UN envoy Ghassan Salame said, after a month of talks in Tunis with a variety of Libyan actors, on Saturday that “no discernible progress has been made toward stabilising Libya and paving the way for elections.” Salame added discussions would continue, notably without giving a new date.

The UN’s central objective was to amend the now in reality moribund LPA amendments to a previous UN-mediated plan signed two years ago!

The first Prime Minister after the revolt against Gaddafi was Dr. Mahmoud Jibril who has such disdain for the UN he didn’t bother to attend the last meeting in Tunis. He did however attend a Libya Conference last week in Belgium.

The conference on Libya was held in Brussels in the name of ‘Peace-building and State-Building in Libya: What role for the European Union?’ with Jibril as the keynote speaker and also there in his capacity as head of the National Forces Alliance Party (NFA).

It should be remembered that in the first election after Gaddafi’s fall, it was the NFA Party not the Muslim Brotherhood sponsored party that got the more votes.

Here I offer a controversial scenario that could work if the US State Department would help, something unlikely since particularly it continues to be staffed by Hillary Clinton appointees which is inhibiting to say the least for Secretary Of State, Rex Tillerson.

The plan suggested is this:

1. The UN should pack their bags and leave the Libyan stage. They have after 6 years trying absolutely zero credibility for the Libyans.

2. The Muslim Brotherhood (and its political party affiliates and puppets) must be designated a terrorist organisation, also in the US, along with CAIR and the Al Qaeda affiliate LIFG former members must also be precluded by law from participation in Libyan political life.

3. The US and Russia convinces the Security Council to lift the ban on arms sales to the Libyan National Army, giving Field Marshall Haftar a strong hand to totally eradicate Islamic extremists and terrorists.

This isn’t extreme as extreme as it sounds when you consider the British Government ordered last week that all ISIS British nationals found in Syria should be summarily executed, without a court proceedings.

America must also take off the gloves when it comes to terrorists.

4. That its recognised that technocrats, educated people must only occupy the government which needs to be formed before any elections. Only two man are qualified and skilled technocrats, the only Libyans qualified to do it that I can identify, are Mahmoud Jibril and Abuzed Omar Dorda. He too is a very competent technocrat and diplomat and is well equipped, as is Jibril, to handle the position of Prime Minister. Interestingly for those who were not aware, Dorda was based in New York as Libya’s Permanent Representative to the UN from 1997 to 2003. He is amazingly well connected. It would be only right and proper that either man draw from the HoR in Tobruk competent candidates as Ministers for an interim government  Either man would make a very competant interim Prime Minister, until elections in 2018 or 2019.

5. That chosen. another controversial idea.  As a figure head, a unifying individual, with no repeat no executive powers but with good technocrat advisors, Saif Gaddafi be appointed as a ‘constitutional’ President, primarily important to ‘bind’ the tribes and the populace where there is little doubt of his popularity. His position would also be up for vote at election time. Even it should be he that establishes a South African type ‘Truth & Reconciliation’ tribunal, for peace not revenge.

In summary its an interim leadership to be immediately created.

There are some historical enmities that exist between these mentioned individuals and it’s up to America and Russia, I believe, to ‘bang heads’ and get agreement between these individuals, having got rid of the MB and terrorists/militias like former AQ LIFG, particularly men like Abdel Hakim Belhadj.

Such so called ‘former’ terrorists should be exiled to probably Turkey which has a Muslim Brotherhood government and though not admitted, have undeclared sympathies for ISIS.

Given the impotence of the UN and EU, I can only hope President Trump will intervene, if for no other reason than to stop ISIS, with the Muslim Brotherhood’s help, from taking over Libya and then inevitably moving into Tunisia.

Europe have already suffered one awful consequence from the Libyan turmoil on European soil. An assassination of a prominent Maltese figure.


The rumours amongst ‘the security community’ that the semtex explosive used to tragically kill investigative journalist Daphne Galizia in Malta last week originated from Libya, something yet to be confirmed by the forensic investigators. This has brought home to us all the need for the two superpowers to be more strident, with the rest of the world, in solving Libya’s situation which has gone on for six years already.

If Libya is not stabilised soon there could be a catastrophic domino effect in North Africa with the next target for turmoil almost certainly being Tunisia.

Given the impotence of the UN and EU, I can only hope President Trump will intervene, if for no other reason than to stop ISIS, with the Muslim Brotherhood’s help, from taking over Libya and then inevitably moving into Tunisia.

 

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U.K. Parliament report details how NATO’s 2011 war in Libya was based on lies


U.K. Parliament report details how NATO’s 2011 war in Libya was based on lies

By chance, I came across this article, which was published on Salon.com over a year ago! A German friend and journalist sent it to me and if even this report has escaped me, then I suppose that apart from the Salon readers something hardly anyone has heard of it.

British investigation: Gaddafi was not going to massacre civilians; Western bombing made Islamist extremism worse

A new report by the British Parliament shows that the 2011 NATO war in Libya was based on an array of lies.
“Libya: Examination of intervention and collapse and the UK’s future policy options,” an investigation by the House of Commons’ bipartisan Foreign Affairs Committee, strongly condemns the U.K.’s role in the war, which toppled the government of Libya’s leader Muammar Qaddafi and plunged the North African country into chaos.

“We have seen no evidence that the UK Government carried out a proper analysis of the nature of the rebellion in Libya,” the report states. “UK strategy was founded on erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding of the evidence.”

The Foreign Affairs Committee concludes that the British government “failed to identify that the threat to civilians was overstated and that the rebels included a significant Islamist element.”
The Libya inquiry, which was launched in July 2015, is based on more than a year of research and interviews with politicians, academics, journalists and more. The report, which was released on Sept. 14, reveals the following:

  • Qaddafi was not planning to massacre civilians. This myth was exaggerated by rebels and Western governments, which based their intervention on little intelligence.
  • The threat of Islamist extremists, which had a large influence in the uprising, was ignored — and the NATO bombing made this threat even worse, giving ISIS a base in North Africa.
  • France, which initiated the military intervention, was motivated by economic and political interests, not humanitarian ones.
  • The uprising — which was violent, not peaceful — would likely not have been successful were it not for foreign military intervention and aid. Foreign media outlets, particularly Qatar’s Al Jazeera and Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya, also spread unsubstantiated rumors about Qaddafi and the Libyan government.
  • The NATO bombing plunged Libya into a humanitarian disaster, killing thousands of people and displacing hundreds of thousands more, transforming Libya from the African country with the highest standard of living into a war-torn failed state.

Myth that Qaddafi would massacre civilians and the lack of intel

“Despite his rhetoric, the proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence,” the Foreign Affairs Committee states clearly.
“While Muammar Gaddafi certainly threatened violence against those who took up arms against his rule, this did not necessarily translate into a threat to everyone in Benghazi,” the report continues. “In short, the scale of the threat to civilians was presented with unjustified certainty.”

The summary of the report also notes that the war “was not informed by accurate intelligence.” It adds, “US intelligence officials reportedly described the intervention as ‘an intelligence-light decision.'”
This flies in the face of what political figures claimed in the lead-up to the NATO bombing. After violent protests erupted in Libya in February, and Benghazi — Libya’s second-largest city — was taken over by rebels, exiled opposition figures like Soliman Bouchuiguir, president of the Europe-based Libyan League for Human Rights, claimed that, if Qaddafi retook the city, “There will be a real bloodbath, a massacre like we saw in Rwanda.”
The British Parliament’s report, however, notes that the Libyan government had retaken towns from rebels in early February 2011, before NATO launched its air strike campaign, and Qaddafi’s forces had not attacked civilians.
On March 17, 2011, the report points outtwo days before NATO began bombing — Qaddafi told rebels in Benghazi, “Throw away your weapons, exactly like your brothers in Ajdabiya and other places did. They laid down their arms and they are safe. We never pursued them at all.”

The Foreign Affairs Committee adds that, when Libyan government forces retook the town of Ajdabiya in February, they did not attack civilians. Qaddafi “also attempted to appease protesters in Benghazi with an offer of development aid before finally deploying troops,” the report adds.
In another example, the report indicates that, after fighting in February and March in the city Misrata — Libya’s third-largest city, which had also been seized by rebels — just around 1 percent of people killed by the Libyan government were women or children.

“The disparity between male and female casualties suggested that Gaddafi regime forces targeted male combatants in a civil war and did not indiscriminately attack civilians,” the committee says.

Senior British officials admitted in the Parliament investigation they did not consider Qaddafi’s actual actions, and instead called for military intervention in Libya based on his rhetoric.
In February, Qaddafi gave a heated speech threatening the rebels who had taken over cities. He said “they are a tiny few” and “a terrorist few,” and called them “rats” who “are turning Libya into the emirates of Zawahiri and bin Laden,” referencing the leaders of al-Qaeda.
At the end of his speech, Qaddafi promised “to cleanse Libya, inch by inch, house by house, home by home, alley by alley,” of these rebels. Many Western media outlets, however, implied or reported outright that his remark was meant as a threat to all protesters. An Israeli journalist popularized this line by turning it into a song called “Zenga, Zenga” (Arabic for “alleyway”). The YouTube video featuring the remixed speech was circulated throughout the world.

The Foreign Affairs Committee notes in its report that, at that moment, British officials had a “lack of reliable intelligence.” William Hague, who served as the British secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs during the war in Libya, claimed to the committee that Qaddafi had promised “to go house to house, room to room, exacting their revenge on the people of Benghazi,” misquoting Qaddafi’s speech. He added, “A lot of people were going to die.”

Given the lack of reliable intelligence, both Lord Hague and Dr Fox highlighted the impact of Muammar Gaddafi’s rhetoric on their decision-making,” the report notes, also referencing then-Secretary of State for Defence Liam Fox.

George Joffé, a scholar at King’s College London University and an expert on the Middle East and North Africa, told the Foreign Affairs Committee for its investigation that, while Qaddafi sometimes used intimidating rhetoric that “was quite blood-curdling,” past examples showed that the longtime Libyan leader was “very careful” to avoid civilian casualties.
In one instance, Joffé noted, “rather than trying to remove threats to the regime in the east, in Cyrenaica, Gaddafi spent six months trying to pacify the tribes that were located there.”
Qaddafi “would have been very careful in the actual response,” Joffé said in the report. “The fear of the massacre of civilians was vastly overstated.”
Alison Pargeter, a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute and specialist on Libya who was also interviewed for the investigation, agreed with Joffé. She told the committee that there was no “real evidence at that time that Gaddafi was preparing to launch a massacre against his own civilians.”

“Émigrés opposed to Muammar Gaddafi exploited unrest in Libya by overstating the threat to civilians and encouraging Western powers to intervene,” the report notes, summarizing Joffé’s analysis.

Pargeter added that Libyans who opposed the government exaggerated Qaddafi’s use of “mercenaries” — a term they often used as a synonym for Libyans of Sub-Saharan descent. Pargeter said that Libyans had told her, “The Africans are coming. They’re going to massacre us. Gaddafi’s sending Africans into the streets. They’re killing our families.”

“I think that that was very much amplified,” Pargeter said. This amplified myth led to extreme violence. Black Libyans were violently oppressed by Libyan rebels. The Associated Press reported in September 2011, “Rebel forces and armed civilians are rounding up thousands of black Libyans and migrants from sub-Sahara Africa.” It noted, “Virtually all of the detainees say they are innocent migrant workers.”

(The crimes rebels committed against black Libyans would go on to become even worse. In 2012, there were reports that black Libyans were put in cages by rebels, and forced to eat flags. As Salon has previously reported, Human Rights Watch also warned in 2013 of “serious and ongoing human rights violations against inhabitants of the town of Tawergha, who are widely viewed as having supported Muammar Gaddafi.” Tawergha’s inhabitants were mostly descendants of black slaves and were very poor. Human Rights Watch reported that Libyan rebels carried out “forced displacement of roughly 40,000 people, arbitrary detentions, torture, and killings are widespread, systematic, and sufficiently organized to be crimes against humanity.”)

In July 2011, State Department spokesman Mark Toner acknowledged that Qaddafi is “someone who’s given to overblown rhetoric,” but, in February, Western governments weaponized this speech.
The Foreign Affairs Committee notes in its report that, despite its lack of intelligence, “the UK Government focused exclusively on military intervention” as a solution in Libya, ignoring available forms of political engagement and diplomacy.
This is consistent with reporting by The Washington Times, which found that Qaddafi’s son Saif had hoped to negotiate a ceasefire with the U.S. government. Saif Qaddafi quietly opened up communications with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton intervened and asked the Pentagon to stop talking to the Libyan government. “Secretary Clinton does not want to negotiate at all,” a U.S. intelligence official told Saif.
In March, Secretary Clinton had called Muammar Qaddafi a “creature” “who has no conscience and will threaten anyone in his way.” Clinton, who played a leading role in pushing for the NATO bombing of Libya, claimed Qaddafi would do “terrible things” if he was not stopped.
From March to October 2011, NATO carried out a bombing campaign against Libyan government forces. It claimed to be pursuing a humanitarian mission to protect civilians. In October, Qaddafi was brutally killed — sodomized with a bayonet by rebels. (Upon hearing the news of his death, Secretary Clinton announced, live on TV, “We came, we saw, he died!”)
The Foreign Affairs Committee report points out, nonetheless, that, while the NATO intervention was sold as a humanitarian mission, its ostensible goal was accomplished in just one day.

On March 20, 2011, Qaddafi’s forces retreated approximately 40 miles outside of Benghazi, after French planes attacked. “If the primary object of the coalition intervention was the urgent need to protect civilians in Benghazi, then this objective was achieved in less than 24 hours,” the report says. Yet the military intervention carried on for several more months.
The report explains “the limited intervention to protect civilians had drifted into an opportunist policy of regime change.” This view has been challenged, however, by Micah Zenko, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Zenko used NATO’s own materials to show that “the Libyan intervention was about regime change from the very start.”
In its investigation, the Foreign Affairs Committee cites a June 2011 Amnesty International report, which noted that “much Western media coverage has from the outset presented a very one-sided view of the logic of events, portraying the protest movement as entirely peaceful and repeatedly suggesting that the regime’s security forces were unaccountably massacring unarmed demonstrators who presented no security challenge.”
Amnesty International also said it was unable to find evidence for the accusation that the Libyan government had given Viagra to its troops and encouraged them to rape women in rebel-held areas. Then-Secretary of State Clinton, among others, had contributed to this unproven myth.

Islamist extremism and the spread of Libyan weapons

Today, Libya is home to the largest base of the genocidal extremist group ISIS outside of Iraq and Syria. Other Islamist groups seized large swaths of territory after the Libyan government was destroyed.

“It is now clear that militant Islamist militias played a critical role in the rebellion from February 2011 onwards,” the Foreign Affairs Committee states clearly.
“Intelligence on the extent to which extremist militant Islamist elements were involved in the anti-Gaddafi rebellion was inadequate,” the report adds. It cites former British Chief of the Defence Staff David Richards, who “confirmed that intelligence on the composition of the rebel militias was not ‘as good as one would wish.'”

The inquiry asked Richards if he knew if members of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group were participating in the rebellion in March 2011. He said that “was a grey area.” Richards recalled that “respectable Libyans were assuring the Foreign Office” that Islamist extremists would not benefit from the uprising, but admitted, “with the benefit of hindsight, that was wishful thinking at best.”

“The possibility that militant extremist groups would attempt to benefit from the rebellion should not have been the preserve of hindsight,” the committee comments. “Libyan connections with transnational militant extremist groups were known before 2011, because many Libyans had participated in the Iraq insurgency and in Afghanistan with al-Qaeda.”

NATO’s destruction of the Libyan government also caused some of its massive weapons and ammunition reserves to fall “into the hands of the militias” and to be “trafficked across North and West Africa and the Middle East,” the Foreign Affairs Committee notes.
“The international community’s inability to secure weapons abandoned by the Gaddafi regime fuelled instability in Libya and enabled and increased terrorism across North and West Africa and the Middle East,” the report states.

It cites a study by a U.N. panel of experts, which found the former Libyan government’s weapons in Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Gaza, Mali, Niger, Tunisia and Syria. The U.N. panel noted that “arms originating from Libya have significantly reinforced the military capacity of terrorist groups operating in Algeria, Egypt, Mali and Tunisia.”
A former British Parliament study cited by the report also found that Libyan weapons ended up in the hands of Boko Haram, the ISIS-affiliated extremist group that has carried out massacres of civilians in Nigeria.
Former Chief of the Defence Staff Richards told the inquiry that the U.K. had hoped to prevent the Libyan government’s weapons and ammunition from being seized, but he could not remember the British government “doing anything to achieve it.”

France’s economic and political motivations

The Foreign Affairs Committee confirms that “France led the international community in advancing the case for military intervention in Libya in February and March 2011.” The U.K. joined next, followed by the U.S.
The report also notes that the primary reasons France pushed for military intervention in Libya were Qaddafi’s “nearly bottomless financial resources,” the Libyan leader’s plans to create an alternative currency to the French franc in Africa, “Qaddafi’s long term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in Francophone Africa” and the desire to “Increase French influence in North Africa.”
Initially, the U.S. was undecided about military intervention in Libya, the report notes. “There were divisions in the American Government,” the investigation found. This is consistent with what President Obama has since said (he called the Libya war his “worst mistake”), and what The New York Times found in its own detailed investigation.

France and the U.K. were first to pressure the international community to impose a no-fly zone in Libya, ostensibly to protect civilians, the report says. Once it was on board, nonetheless, the U.S. pushed for more aggressive military intervention.

“The United States was instrumental in extending the terms of [U.N. Security Council] Resolution 1973 beyond the imposition of a no-fly zone to include the authorisation of ‘all necessary measures’ to protect civilians,” the report notes. “In practice, this led to the imposition of a ‘no-drive zone’ and the assumed authority to attack the entire Libyan Government command and communications network.”

Explaining France’s motivations, the report cites an April 2011 email to the U.S.’s then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton which noted that “Qaddafi has nearly bottomless financial resources to continue indefinitely.”

“Qaddafi’s government holds 143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver,” Clinton’s assistant Sidney Blumenthal wrote, citing “sources with access to advisors to Saif al-Islam Qaddafi,” Muammar Qaddafi’s son.

This gold “was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar,” Blumenthal said, citing “knowledgeable individuals.” He added, “This plan was designed to provide the Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French franc.”

“French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the factors that influenced Sarkozy’s decision to commit France to the attack on Libya,” Blumenthal wrote, referencing France’s then-President Nicolas Sarkozy, of the right-wing Union for a Popular Movement party.

The French intelligence officers articulated five factors that motivated Sarkozy:

“a. A desire to gain a greater share of Libya oil production,
b. Increase French influence in North Africa,
c. Improve his internal political situation in France,
d. Provide the French military with an opportunity to reassert its position in the world,
e. Address the concern of his advisors over Qaddafi’s long term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in Francophone Africa.”

Crucial role of foreign intervention

The U.K. Parliament report notes that the NATO bombing “shifted the military balance in the Libyan civil war in favour of the rebels.”

“The combination of coalition airpower with the [foreign] supply of arms, intelligence and personnel to the rebels guaranteed the military defeat of the Gaddafi regime,” the Foreign Affairs Committee adds.

Resolution 1973, the March 2011 U.N. Security Council resolution that imposed a no-fly zone in Libya, was supposed to ensure a “strict implementation of the arms embargo,” the report further points out. But “the international community turned a blind eye to the supply of weapons to the rebels.”
Rebel ground forces inside Libya were “enhanced by personnel and intelligence provided by” the U.K., France, Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, the investigation reveals.
Then-British Chief of the Defence Staff David Richards also told the inquiry that the U.K. “had a few people embedded” with the rebel forces on the ground.
Richards emphasized “the degree to which the Emiratis and the Qataris … played a major role in the success of the ground operation.”

Citing The Guardian, the report notes that Qatar secretly gave French-manufactured antitank missiles to certain rebel groups. The investigation also says Qatar, a theocratic monarchy, “channelled its weapons to favoured militias rather than to the rebels as a whole.”
Moreover, Alison Pargeter, the Libya specialist, told the committee, “I also think the Arab media played a very important role here.”
She singled out Al Jazeera, a Qatari news outlet, and Al Arabiya, a Saudi outlet, for spreading unsubstantiated stories about Qaddafi and the Libyan government. These news outlets “were really hamming everything up, and it turned out not to be true,” she said.  —–(how about BBC, CNN, FOX they also did their part)

Humanitarian disaster and echoes of the Iraq War

The Foreign Affairs Committee report blames the U.K., U.S. and France for failing to articulate “a strategy to support and shape post-Gaddafi Libya.”
The result of this, the report notes in the summary, “was political and economic collapse, inter-militia and inter-tribal warfare, humanitarian and migrant crises, widespread human rights violations, the spread of Gaddafi regime weapons across the region and the growth of ISIL in North Africa.”
The committee cites Human Rights Watch’s World Report 2016, which indicated:

“[Libya is] heading towards a humanitarian crisis, with almost 400,000 people internally displaced and increasing disruption to basic services, such as power and fuel supplies. Forces engaged in the conflict continued with impunity to arbitrarily detain, torture, unlawfully kill, indiscriminately attack, abduct and disappear, and forcefully displace people from their homes. The domestic criminal justice system collapsed in most parts of the country, exacerbating the human rights crisis.”

Before the 2011 NATO bombing, on the other hand, Libya had been the wealthiest nation in Africa, with the highest life expectancy and GDP per capita. In his book “Perilous Interventions,” former Indian representative to the U.N. Hardeep Singh Puri notes that, before the war, Libya had less of its population in poverty than the Netherlands. Libyans had access to free health care, education, electricity and interest-free loans, and women had great freedoms that had been applauded by the U.N. Human Rights Council in January 2011, on the eve of the war that destroyed the government.
Today, Libya remains so dangerous that the House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Committee was in fact unable to travel to the country during its investigation. It notes in the report that a delegation visited North Africa in March 2016. They met with Libyan politicians in Tunis, but “were unable to visit Tripoli, Benghazi, Tobruk or anywhere else in Libya due to the collapse of internal security and the rule of law.”
The U.K. Parliament’s Libya report comes just two months after the Chilcot Report, the British government’s Iraq War inquiry, which also admits that the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was based on numerous lies, and likewise reveals that the war only strengthened al-Qaeda and other extremists.
Citing the Iraq War inquiry, the Libya report draws comparisons between the actions of former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s administration and that of David Cameron. In 2010, Cameron created the National Security Council, ostensibly to provide a form of oversight that was lacking before the 2003 Iraq invasion.

The Libya report, however, calls on the British government to commission an independent review of the National Security Council. This review “should be informed by the conclusions of the Iraq Inquiry and examine whether the weaknesses in governmental decision-making in relation to the Iraq intervention in 2003 have been addressed by the introduction of the NSC,” the report says.
In the lone moment of humor in the otherwise macabre report, the Foreign Affairs Committee summarizes the humanitarian situation in Libya today writing, “In April 2016, United States President Barack Obama described post-intervention Libya as a ‘shit show’. It is difficult to disagree with this pithy assessment.”

UN losing poker hand


UN losing poker hand

by

In poker, smart players know that the best thing to do with a weak hand is dump it.  Not so the United Nations. Libya is doubling its stake continuing to back the failing Government of National Accord (GNA), hoping that by reopening its UN base in the capital, the previously fortified ‘Palm City Complex’, things will improve as well as sending in Gurkha ‘Security Guards’.  It might make a difference if they increase the numbers to 500, or even better, a 1,000, then the Gurkhas could wipe the floor with all the Tripoli-based militias.

The UN omit mentioning this. For 200 years the Gurkhas have been the most feared force in the British Army. If anyone can destroy the Tripoli militias, they can, but what’s the point? Why shore up an unelected five-man government?

The GNA was created by the UN two years ago to unite the country and end the civil war. Instead, the GNA’s cabinet are unable even to unite Tripoli, which is ‘controlled’ by various militias. Hence the need for Gurkhas, to stop militias overrunning Palm City, its ostentatious UN compound, itself a provocation to the Libyan people.

The elected parliament in Tobruk, rival to the GNA, is increasingly calling the shots. Thanks to the increasingly popular Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, Tobruk now controls the majority of the country and its oil infrastructure and ports. The idea that the GNA will ever rule over areas held by Tobruk is laughable. But, having created the GNA, the UN remains determined to back it.  Last week Haftar banned GNA personnel from visiting the east, so much for the alleged French July détente efforts.

What makes the UN case so hopeless is that outside powers are split and at odds – in particular France and Italy – over who to support.

One European country is even pondering supporting the son of the late Colonel Gaddafi, so desperate has the situation become.

Italy supports the GNA, because militias in western Libya are in a position to stop people-smuggling.  However, it faces parliamentary elections in 2018 and politicians are aware the electorate will focus on the immigration issue.

Most migrants from Libya end up in Italy, not France, and for Paris, migration is less important than combating terrorism. Haftar is already combating Islamist terrorists in Libya, making France a natural ally.

“Serraj leverages off of Italian support,” said Jalel Harchaoui, a doctoral candidate in geopolitics and Libyan commentator, adding “and you can be sure Haftar makes use of the prestige of France’s apparent support for his military campaign. On the ground, the inability of foreign states to coordinate among themselves on Libya has always generated more chaos.”

In July, Fayez Serraj, the UN GNA designated prime minister met with Haftar in Paris to sign a peace deal between the two sides. But neither leader actually signed the document. In an interview with France 24, Haftar later said: “Serraj is a good man, but he cannot implement what he agrees to.”

Russia showed its support for Haftar by inviting him aboard an aircraft carrier earlier this year. It has since hedged its bets, insisting it is working for reconciliation by talking to all sides, including the Misrata-based Al-Bunyan Al-Marsoos (BMB).

The BMB militia, surprisingly, pledged its support for an unknown multi-millionaire businessman Basit Igtet, a Swiss based Libyan with alleged links to Israel and designs on becoming president of Libya.

Be clear. The BMB Militia are enemies of Haftar’s LNA.

Lev Dengov, head of the ‘Russia’s Contact Group for a Libyan settlement’, recently said: “Tripoli and Tobruk personnel share the same embassy building in Moscow, engineered by us, to bring them closer to each other.”

Britain is trying to have it both ways. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who presumably facilitated the Gurkha’s deployment, visited Serraj to show support, flying east to see Haftar on August 24 at his headquarters, urging the field marshall to keep to the ‘unsigned’ agreement announced in Paris. Why should Haftar? It’s farcical.

The United States has kept a low profile thus far, though rumour has it there has been a shift in policy in the last few days. Expect Rex Tillerson to get involved in the near future.

With the big powers so divided, and the GNA experiment having failed, the new UN envoy, Ghassan Salame, a Lebanese politician, said by some to be distrusted by the Russians, would have done better to dump the GNA.

Instead Salame is planning to send UN staff and ‘British Gurkhas’, disguised as ‘guards’, into the Tripoli cauldron, putting many lives needlessly at risk to support a failed and unelected government.

When will the UN throw in its losing hand? And when will Russia return to the aces it had when it supported Haftar?

MEET THE KEY PLAYERS FIGHTING IN LIBYA


MEET THE KEY PLAYERS FIGHTING IN LIBYA

Since Qaddafi’s downfall, Libya has been overtaken by a chaotic mix of rival governments, armed groups and jihadi militants. ISIS has established bases in Libya, while an Al-Qaeda affiliated group is also active.

The Government of General National Congress (GNC)

Who?

On the 8th of August 2012 the NTC has officially handed over power to the General National Conference. In June 2014 the House of Representatives was democratically elected but the GNC did not accept this defeat. Thus they brought in the Misurata militias to burn the international airport of Tripoli and cause the biggest environmental disaster in Libya. All militias are financed by GNC and GNA otherwise they would have been overthrown.

 Where?

The GNC is based in Tripoli where they took power in August 2014, the GNC represents the Muslim Brotherhood and all other fanatic sects. Holds the capital of Tripoli under captivity till today together with the GNC.

Aligned with?

The GNC has a broad base of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, England, France and the USA support. All these countries support the Muslim-brotherhood as moderate muslims.

The Government of National Accord (GNA)

Who?

Established in early 2016 after a U.N.-backed negotiation process, the GNA represents the international community’s hope for a return to peace and stability in Libya. It is led by the Presidential Council, headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj, a trained architect with little political experience prior to his appointment.

Where?

The GNA is based in Tripoli, the country’s capital located in western Libya. Which is under captivity of  the two governments  the GNC and the GNA..

Aligned with?

The GNA has a broad base of international support. The U.S. ambassador to Libya, Peter Bodde, visited Serraj in Tripoli on Tuesday—the first visit by an U.S. ambassador since 2014, where Safira Deborah run out off  Tripoli even-though she praised the Islamists and  five years after Islamist militants killed four U.S. officials, including the then-ambassador Christopher Stevens—where he pledged support the NTC, promising to assist with expanding its “counter-terrorism capacity” and train Libya’s armed forces. Various militias who are financed are also supportive of the 2 governments in Tripoli.

Fayez al-Serraj

Prime Minister of Libya’s Government of UN backed Gov, Fayez al-Serraj, attends a news conference with the U.S. ambassador to Libya Peter Bodde and Marine General Thomas Waldhauser, the top U.S. military commander overseeing troops in Africa, in Tripoli, Libya. Serraj represents the international community’s hope for restoring stability to Libya. HANI AMARA/REUTERS

The Libyan National Army

Who?

The Libyan National Army (LNA) constitutes the remnants of the country’s military, defeated under Qaddafi in the 2011 revolution and disbanded. It is led by Khalifa Haftar, who has pledged to fight terrorism in Libya but has rejected the authority of the GNA and the GNC. Haftar served alongside Qaddafi in the Libyan military, but later plotted to overthrow Qaddafi and fled Libya to the United States in the mid 1980s. He thought he had a senior role in forces that overthrew Qaddafi in 2011 till he had General Abdel Fatah Younes assassinated .

Where?

Haftar and his forces are based in the eastern city of Tobruk and control much of eastern Libya, including valuable oil fields and pipelines. The LNA has also been battling for control of Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city, since 2014 against the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council (BRSC), a group of Islamist militias and jihadi groups including Ansar al-Sharia, the main militant group in the country.

Aligned with?

While Haftar has refused to endorse theGNC and GNA, he met with Serraj recently in the United Arab Emirates for talks; Haftar released a statement calling for changes to the U.N.-backed deal that formed the GNA. Haftar has also courted international support from Russia.

Khalifa Haftar

General Khalifa Haftar during a press conference in Amman, Jordan, August 24, 2015. Haftar commands armed forces in the east of the country and has so far refused to recognize the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli. KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The Self-proclaimed Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in Libya

Who?

Since late 2014, ISIS has gradually built up its fighters and presence in Libya. Some former pro-Qaddafi strongholds turned to the jihadi group after their leader’s downfall, while the group has also been boosted by a flow of foreign fighters, many from other Arab states. The group’s leader, Iraqi national Abu Nabil, was killed in a U.S. airstrike in late 2015; it is unclear whether a new leader has been appointed, although an ISIS publication carried an interview with Abdul Qadr al-Najdi in March 2016, identifying him as the “emir tasked with administering the Libyan provinces.”

Where?

From 2012 till 2015 the jihadi group main base was Derna on the East side of Libya till it was destroyed what was left moved their base to Sirte until late 2016, a coastal city in central Libya that was Qaddafi’s hometown and was captured by ISIS in June 2015. But after six months of fighting, pro-government forces liberated the city from the militants in December 2016. ISIS has carried out attacks in all Libya’s major cities, including Tripoli, and previously controlled the cities of Sabratha in the west but has since lost control of all three.

Aligned with?

The group is aligned with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the purported caliph of ISIS who is thought to be based between Iraq and Syria. ISIS in Libya has on occasion cooperated with Ansar al-Sharia, but the latter group has not given its allegiance to Baghdadi and has suffered defections to the former.

Misrata Libya ISIS

Libyan security forces and citizens inspect the damage after a car bomb attack on a security post in the Saddada area near the eastern Libyan city of Misrata, on April 13, 2016. The city was retaken from ISIS in December 2016 by pro-government militias. STRINGER/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Ansar al-Sharia

Who?

Formed in 2012 after a merger of several Islamist militias, Ansar al-Sharia (ASL)—whose name means “Partisans of Islamic Law”—are an extremists militant group calling for the imposition of Islamic law across Libya. The group was headed up by Mohammad al-Zahawi, a Libyan imprisoned under Qaddafi; but the group said in January 2015 that Zahawi had been killed, and it is unclear whether a replacement has been appointed. U.S. officials also blamed ASL for the Benghazi consulate attack, although the group denied responsibility.

Where?

ASL is based in Benghazi, where it has been fighting against General Haftar’s forces for several years as part of the Shura Council.

Aligned with?

In 2014, the U.N. added Ansar al-Sharia’s brigades in Benghazi and Derna to its sanctions list of groups and individuals associated with Al-Qaeda, the global jihadi franchise. The U.N. said that ASL ran training camps for fighters traveling to Syria, Iraq and Mali. The group itself has denied links to Al-Qaeda and has in recent years focused its energies on charitable and da’wah—spreading the faith of Islam—in a bid to shake off its image as a militant group.

Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council (BRSC)

An umbrella group of Islamist militias and jihadis, including ASL, the BRSC is based in Benghazi and battling against Haftar’s forces for control of the city. In this respect, it is fighting alongside ISIS, and the group has experienced tensions because of the association with the militant group, according to the European Council on Foreign Affairs.

Various militias and brigades

Libya is home to a vast collection of local and tribal militias, some of which support the U.N.-backed government, others which are concerned with local interests. Prominent among these are the Misrata brigades, which played a key role in liberating Sirte from ISIS; the Zintan brigades, who  captured Qaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam in 2011; and the Third Force, a GNA-backed militia accused of perpetrating an attack on an airbase in southern Libya earlier in May that killed 141 people, mostly soldiers loyal to Haftar.

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Israel’s Mossad Replaces CIA as Handler of Libyan Strongman Khalifa Haftar


Israel’s Mossad Replaces CIA as Handler of Libyan Strongman Khalifa Haftar

A recent revelation, albeit quietly by choice, has been trickling under the popular western-dominated news radar. This under-reported, to the point of outright censored, exposé, has to do with Israel secretly providing weapons and military assistance to Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), one of the factions in the so-called Libyan Civil War.

Libya has remained in a state of war for over six years – since 2011, when a western-concocted and directed uprising led to the demise of the country’s leader, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. The strongest faction in war-torn and chaos-ridden Libya is the eastern-based Tobruk-led Government, which is affiliated with LNA, who’s commander is Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, an old adversary of Gaddafi, who lived in the United States for several decades and became a U.S. citizen before returning to Libya in 2011.

In February of 2011 the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1970, which prohibits the export of war materiel to Libya. Only two months ago, in June 2017, the United Nations accused Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates of violating the embargo by providing secret military assistance and weapons to Haftar and the LNA:

The panel of experts which reports on violations of U.N. sanctions across Libya said Haftar’s forces had received aircraft as well as military vehicles from the United Arab Emirates, and had built up an air base at Al Khadim. The annual U.N. report provides rare detail on the level of outside intervention in Libya, where foreign backing for rival armed camps is widely seen as having exacerbated conflict.

“The United Arab Emirates have been providing both material support and direct support to the LNA, which have significantly increased the air support available to the LNA,” it said. The U.N. report included satellite imagery of Al Khadim air base, about 105 km (65 miles) east of Benghazi, between July 2014 and March 2017, showing a gradual build-up of infrastructure and aircraft, including drones “most probably” operated by the UAE.

The panel said it had confirmed a delivery of 93 armored personnel carriers and 549 armored and non-armored vehicles to the LNA in the eastern city of Tobruk in April 2016. The personnel carriers likely included Panther T6 and Tygra models, both made by companies based in the UAE, the report said, and were delivered by ship from Saudi Arabia.

Yet, despite recent reports establishing Israel as a supplier of war materiel and air power support to LNA-Haftar, there has not been a peep from either the United Nations or the Western media outlets. Here are a few excerpts from this highly significant revelation:

Khalifa Haftar, the military commander who controls the east of the Libya, has reportedly been receiving Israeli military aid following meetings with Israeli intelligence that were allegedly mediated by the United Arab Emirates.

A high-ranking military source in Haftar’s forces told The New Arab on Monday that the controversial UAE-backed military strongman has held secret meetings with the Israeli agents over the past two years. “Coordination between Haftar and Israel has been ongoing, he held talks with Mossad agents in Jordan in 2015 and 2016,” the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear for his safety, said.

“The meetings, which appear to have been mediated by the UAE, were held in strict secrecy,” he said, adding that he has seen documents that reveal Haftar met with Israeli intelligence agents going by the names Ackerman and Mizrachi. The source said that Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army [LNA] has been provided with Israeli military aid in the form of sniper rifles and night vision equipment.

The intimate partnership and military-intelligence coalition between Haftar and Israel are not as secret as the media outlets recently reporting on it claim. For instance, only a month ago, on July 5, 2017, it was openly reported that one of Haftar’s ministers and close associates, Omar Al-Gawairi, had met with Israeli officials in Greece.  However, the word ‘secret’ was inserted in the title- “Libyan minister met with Israeli officials in ‘secret’ meeting”:

An east Libyan minister has been pictured meeting with two prominent Israelis over the weekend. The Minister of Media, Culture and Antiquities for the General National Congress in the eastern Beida authority, Omar Al-Gawairi, who is linked with Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, “secretly” attended a conference on the right of return for Libyan Jews in Rhodes, Greece, according to the New Arab.

Held at the Rhodos Palace Hotel between 29 June and 2 July, the conference focused on the 50th anniversary of the “last exodus of Jews from Libya” after the 1967 war with Israel.

In the picture, Gawairi is seen standing next to Yehiel Bar, the deputy speaker of the Israeli Knesset, as well as Israel’s Minister of Communications, Ayoub Kara.

….

Not only that, Haftar has been linked with Israelis before. He previously paid $6 million to use the services of the Canadian lobbying firm, Dickens and Madson, headed by Ari Ben-Menashe, who is an ex-junior officer in the Israeli intelligence:

The US Department of Justice had published the contract of six Million US dollars that was signed last year between the Israeli Businessman, Ari Ben-Menashe, and the Libyan side that was represented the Head of the House of Representatives (HoR), Ageela Saleh, the commander of the HoR army, General Khalifa Haftar, Abdul-Razek Al-Nadhouri, and Murad Al-Sharif.

According to the contract, which was published by the US Department of Justice, the Libyan side had hired Ben Menashe’s firm (Dickens & Madson) to get them the support of the US, the EU, Russia, and the UN for the army of the HoR under the leadership of Haftar to succeed in his war in Benghazi.

Montreal-based Dickens and Madson is run by notorious lobbyist Ari Ben-Menashe, a former employee of Israel’s Military Intelligence Directorate. It worth mentioning that Canada-based Dickens & Madson is under the management of Ben-Menashe, who is an Iranian-borne Israeli Businessman. He was previously an employee of Israel’s Military Intelligence Directorate from 1977 to 1987 and an arms dealer. He now lives in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and runs an international commodity exporting firm, Traeger Resources and Logistics Inc, according to online Wikipedia.

Just a few cursory glances through various Israeli defense related news and analyses sites makes Israel’s view and support of Haftar overtly clear. Last February Israel Defense published an analysis titled The Global Strategy of General Khalifa Haftar. It would be impossible to miss the value Israel placed on Haftar, turning him from a dictator CIA-Puppet in Libya to the only hope and salvation against Islamic factions and movements threatening Israel’s interests in the region. In fact, the analysis assumes an accusatory and scolding tone towards the United States’ recent semi-abandonment of Haftar:

However, in the naive mentality of the major international decision-makers, only Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army was the true enemy of national reconciliation. The former US Secretary of State, John Kerry, referred precisely to the former Gaddafi’s protégé when he said that the “battles of individuals, having only their own interest in mind, jeopardize the security of Libya.”

We know for a fact that, for some strange alchemy, the former Secretary of State stated the exact opposite of the truth, with haughtiness and self-conceit. Hence, we can infer that Haftar’s forces were inevitable to eliminate the jihadist militants in the Sirte region, which, however, is a fact.

Moreover, at the meeting of the African Union held in Brazzaville on 30 January last, Al-Serraj said he wanted to create an “anti-terrorist” unit and, to this end, he could meet General Haftar.

The agreement that al-Serraj has in mind is certainly the appointment of Haftar as Commander-in-Chief of the joint Libyan Armed Forces but above all the preservation of his Tripoli government and his current job.

At least by capitalizing on his international connections and support, namely the “disarmed prophets” of the West.

The role played by Israel in Libya, including its military support of another dictator initially supported and installed by the US-CIA, despite direct violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1970, does not seem so secret or covert. However, the blanket blackout by the Western media is eerie considering how the same media has been making one sensational accusatory splash after another against Russia for trying to insert its own influence in Libya. Just check out the title alone in an article published by Russia-Gate Junk News PlayerHuffington Post: Russia Is Emboldening A Libyan Strongman Who Could Dictate The Future Of The Country!” And it gets better (sarcasm intended) with the subtitle for the same article: “Khalifa Haftar could be the next Assad if the U.S. and EU don’t act fast!” Let’s check out a few more excerpts:

Six years after the revolution that drove former dictator Muammar Gaddafi from power, Libya remains deeply divided. Now, Russia is fueling another military strongman who threatens to make the situation far worse for Western powers and Libyans in what would be a major blow to the democratic hopes that sparked the 2011 Arab Spring uprising. How the international community responds ― especially on the heels of a U.S. strike against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government ― could be critical for the future of Libya and the surrounding region.

Amidst this chaos, Khalifa Haftar, a U.S. citizen and ex-Libyan military officer who once served and later turned on Gaddafi, has emerged as a key influencer in the country. If he plays his cards right, Haftar may have the fate of a nation in his hands.

As early as 2014, he called for the overthrow of the Libyan General National Congress and for the arrest of all the elected officials. And in a tactic used worldwide to delegitimize political opposition, he labeled his internal opponents “terrorists,” and even launched a military assault on the Libyan parliament building in Tripoli in an attempt to topple the elected government there. 

Running out of options, Haftar has now turned to the Russians for help fighting off Islamists preventing him from solidifying control. Recent reports indicate that Russia, which benefitted from having an authoritarian leader like Gaddafi in Libya, may be providing Haftar with military assistance in the form of both arms and surveillance equipment. And there are already reports of Russian forces massing near or in Libya, with Russian denials and state media accusing the West of exaggerating the Russian influence.

Many other similar, almost identical, headlines are being used by the Russia-Gate-Creating-Junk-Mainstream sites to vilify Russians for possibly meddling in Libya and possibly weaponizing Haftar’s military (or is it actually paramilitary) unit in Libya in violation of the ever-hypocritical-toothless UN resolution-to sample a few look at this, this, and this.

Then, there is this complete silence and blanket censorship on the Israel-Haftar coalition, secret arms transfer from Israel to Haftar, and even a six-million-dollar lobbying arrangement between Haftar and Israel …

Where were these outlets when Haftar was transported from the US to Libya by his CIA handlers in 2011, after more than two-decades-long grooming in Langley Virginia? You see, up until 2014, when the supposed fallout between US-Haftar forces occurred, you only had sites like this trying to expose documented factual background on Haftar. And then came the 2014 fallout, and once given the script by their handlers you had the mainstream scream ‘Bloody CIA-Man Haftar (See here, hereand here).

Considering Israel’s track record in the region, from playing both sides to far more nefarious false-flag creation, shouldn’t the international community and the media be paying more attention to the not-so-secret Israeli double-game in and weaponization of Libya than to some manufactured Russia-Gate connection with a far-fetched spillover in Libya?

The manner in which Israel’s Mossad tricked the United States into attacking Libya was described in detail by former Mossad case officer Victor Ostrovsky in “The Other Side of Deception,” the second of two revealing books he wrote after he left Israel’s foreign intelligence service. The story began in February 1986 when Israel sent a team of navy commandos in miniature submarines into Tripoli to land and install a “Trojan,” a 2-meter-long communications device, on the top floor of a five-storey apartment building. The device, only about 20 centimeters in diameter, was capable of receiving messages broadcast by Mossad’s LAP (LohAma Psicologit ­ psychological warfare or disinformation section) on one frequency and automatically relaying the broadcasts on a different frequency used by the Libyan government.

The commandos activated the Trojan and left it in the care of a lone Mossad agent in Tripoli who had leased the apartment and who had met them at the beach in a rented van. “By the end of March, the Americans were already intercepting messages broadcast by the Trojan,” Ostrovsky writes. “Using the Trojan, the Mossad tried to make it appear that a long series of terrorist orders were being transmitted to various Libyan embassies around the world.” As the Mossad had hoped, the transmissions were deciphered by the Americans and construed as ample proof that the Libyans were active sponsors of terrorism. What’s more, the Americans pointed out, Mossad reports confirmed it.

“The French and the Spanish, though, were not buying into the new stream of information. To them it seemed suspicious that suddenly, out of the blue, the Libyans, who had been extremely careful in the past, would start advertising their future actions. The French and the Spanish were right. The information was bogus,” he continues.

“Operation Trojan was one of the Mossad’s greatest successes,” Ostrovsky writes. “It brought about the air strike on Libya that President Reagan had promised.” He doesn’t mention, however, the other apparent direct result of the Mossad “success:” The bombing of PanAm Flight 103.

Despite the refusal by mainstream American media to revisit the well-documented facts presented above, they contain some obvious political lessons for the United States. For example, the U.S. government might decide to continue its sanctions on Libya in retaliation for the deaths of the 270 victims of the PanAm bombing, regardless of the verdict of the Scottish judges. In that case, however, true justice would also require the imposition of similar U.S. sanctions against Israel for instigating the U.S. bombing of Tripoli, in retaliation for the bombing of La Belle Discotheque, a crime which the Israelis knew from the beginning  the Libyans had not committed.

***** Editor’s note: Israel and the USA are betting on the wrong horse….

Sibel Edmonds is editor and publisher of Newsbud, founder and president of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC), and author of the acclaimed books Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story, and The Lone Gladio, a Political Spy Thriller. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN/Newman’s Own First Amendment Award. Ms. Edmonds is a certified linguist, fluent in four languages, and has an MA in public policy from George Mason University and a BA in criminal justice and psychology from George Washington University.

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