One Year On. (Part I, II, III AND IV) Why we attacked Libya.
Editor’s Note: Axis of Logic columnist T.J. Coles begins his series on the destruction of Libya after one year of occupation of that country with an analysis of England’s role, examining the reasons that belie the myth of a ‘humanitarian war.” In his letter, introducing this article he states: “I don’t forget Britain’s war crimes, and in this era of ‘information’ people move on too quickly.”
– Axis Editor & Publisher
March 19, 2011 – RAF Tornado jets take off from Marham air base in Norfolk, UK to begin Britain’s attack on the people of Libya. Photo: Chris Radburn/Press Association
In 2010, BAE Systems, Barclays Capital, and BP financed a Chatham House project called Rethinking the UK’s National Ambitions and Choices. The authors of one of the key reports, which laid the basis for the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review, explained that “Voters [in the UK] will not actively call for a more effective foreign policy.” Therefore, “The government should define its international mission as managing risks on behalf of British citizens”, rather than on behalf of the sponsors of UK foreign policy.1
Also in 2010, the Ministry of Defence explained that out to 2040,
“Scrambles for energy, minerals and fertile land are likely to occur with increasing intensity. These scrambles may not always be motivated by immediate shortage, as many states compete for access to long-term supplies.”
In pursuing these aims, the MoD predicted “High numbers of civilian casualties, despite declining numbers of combatant deaths.” As a result, “Influence activity, the battle of ideas, and perceptions of moral legitimacy will be important for success” (emphases in original).2 Hence Westerners had to perceive that the destruction of Libya had to do with humanitarian intervention.
An earlier edition of the MoD study predicted a “latter-day Scramble” for Africa’s resources. A House of Commons paper, Energy Security, predicted “a new Scramble for Africa.”3 “With the largest proven oil reserves in Africa, and extensive gas reserves, Libya is potentially a major energy source for the future”, then-Foreign Secretary David Miliband explained in 2009.4 In 2000, in response to Euro-American liberalisation demands, Gaddafi agreed, in rhetoric but not in practice, to privatise the oil sector.5
At this point, MI6 switched from supporting anti-Gaddafi terrorists to supporting Gaddafi, shortly after which SAS mercenaries were authorised by the Gordon Brown government to train Gaddafi’s forces.6 Despite this new alliance, Gaddafi would not play ball. In 2004, the Libyan-British Business Council (LBBC) was established. The LBBC boasts a membership of over one-hundred-fifty major companies, including BAE, Barclays, and BP: the sponsors of the UK National Security Strategy.
David Cameron & Nicolas Sarkozy join hands for the destruction of Libya at the Paris Summit on Libya on March 19, 2011. Photograph: Ian Langsdon/EPA
If you ever want the truth about international relations, just follow the money. The LBBC explained that in 2004, after the UN Security Council ended the international sanctions, “Libya embarked on a process of slow but fundamental economic change. It invited international oil companies to invest in the development and expansion of its oil and gas reserves.” All was not rosy, however:
“Foreign investors and other firms doing business in Libya continued to experience significant challenges: slow and arbitrary decision making, late or incomplete payments and an absence of transparency and predictability. The most business-friendly legal reforms were not introduced until 2009 and 2010 and even then, the IMF expressed doubts about their status.”7
As a result, Gaddafi had to go. Indeed, a Chatham House meeting of over 100 “experts”, including many from the LBBC, met in June 2011—as NATO bombs continued to rain on Libyan children. Anti-Gaddafi collaborator Ashur Al-Shamis assured his Anglo paymasters that “The Jamahiriya – that’s Gaddafi’s model of state and statecraft – is in the last throws(sic). Nationally and internationally, it is going … this stinking, dying carcass.”8Britain worked closely with the opposing National Transitional Council. The LBBC concluded that:
“… the National Transitional Council has committed Libya to genuine economic diversification and reform and to creating a business environment conducive to international partnership and private sector participation. After the country’s negative experience of centralised economic control, it is likely that future governments will also espouse diversification and reform. And geographical proximity makes Europe a major market for Libya’s oil and gas and a natural business partner.”9
Thousands of mourners gathered one year after the UK, US and NATO attacked from the air, killing civilian men, women and children across Libya. The woman in the photo is holding a photo of a missing loved one at a funeral in Benghazi, Libya, Monday, March 5, 2012 for 155 Libyans found in buried in a mass grave, slain by the US/UK/European aggressors and their hired mercenaries. (Photo: Manu Brabo. Related comment: Axis of Logic)
The fact that the SAS trained Gaddafi’s forces in the preceding years, that the Cameron-Clegg regime had armed Gaddafi,10 that during the Arab Spring UK special forces trained Bahraini, Saudi, and Yemeni snipers,11 that David Cameron took an arms delegation on a tour of the region in late February,12 that Cameron authorised the Kuwaiti government to do whatever it takes to defend the Kuwaiti regime,13 and that UK special forces were arming and training anti-Assad rebels in Syria with the full knowledge that the regime would crack down harder on civilians,14 mean that we cannot take seriously any rhetoric about concern for human rights in Libya, and anyone who repeats such nonsense—like Yvonne Ridley—is essentially saying “I’m a shameless hypocrite and a puppet of the elite.”15
- Alex Evans and David Stern, “Organizing for Influence”, Chatham House, June, 2010, London: Chatham House.
- Ministry of Defence, “Strategic Trends Programme: Global Strategic Trends – Out to 2040”, 9 February, 2010, London: MoD.
- Ministry of Defence, “Strategic Trends: 2007-2036”, 23 January, 2007, London: MoD and House Commons Library, “Energy Security”, 9 May, 2007.
- David Miliband cited in Ben Smith, “UK relations with Libya”, Standard Note SN/IA/ 5886, 2 March, 2011.
- Gaddafi said, for example: “Libya wants to encourage foreign capital investment and partnership, not only for the benefit of this country but for the entire African continent to which Libya is the gateway for Europe.” In doing so, Gaddafi drafted a Constitution. However, “The constitution never saw the light, reportedly because Qaddafi rejected it, claiming it tampered with the fundamentals of the Jamahiriya. … [T]he reform process was highly orchestrated, in effect an affair of marginal and cosmetic rather than radical or wholesale changes.” International Crisis Group, “Popular Protest in North Africa and the Middle East (V): Making Sense of Libya”, Crisis Group Middle East/North Africa Report N°107, 6 June 2011, Brussels: ICG.
- Secret files were uncovered by Human Rights Watch—which has shameless ignored NATO’s war crimes in Libya—in the abandoned offices of Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa, revealing extensive links between Gaddafi, the CIA and MI6: Reuters, “CIA, MI6 helped Gaddafi on dissidents”, 3 September, 2011. On the SAS, see Thomas Harding, “SAS trains Libyan troops”, Telegraph, 11 September, 2009.
- Libyan-British Business Council, “About Libya Trade and Investment in the New Libya”, undated.
- Alistair Burt MP, Sir Richard Dalton, Lindsey Hilsum, Ashur Al-Shamis, and Claire Spencer, “Libya: Prospects and Challenges”, 8 June, 2011.
- Libyan-British Business Council, “About Libya Trade and Investment in the New Libya”, undated.
- The Campaign Against the Arms Trade reported that Cameron-Clegg-approved weapons were flowing to Gaddafi until just weeks before the opposition uprisings. Ben Smith, “UK relations with Libya”, Standard Note SN/IA/ 5886, 2 March, 2011.
- See, for instance, Jerome Taylor, “How Britain taught Arab police forces all they know”, Independent, 19 February, 2011. Jamie Doward and Philippa Stewart, “UK training Saudi forces used to crush Arab spring”, Guardian, 28 May, 2011; Britain’s support for Yemen’s forces was not reported, but can be found here: House of Commons, “Yemen: Military Aid”, 30 November, 2011, Column 919W.
- BBC, “Cameron Middle East visit ‘morally obscene’ says Lucas”, 25 February, 2011.
- Cameron’s speech is an exercise in hypocrisy, and is similar to one delivered by former Prime Minister John Major to the regime in Kurdistan in 2011, indicating that they have the same speechwriters. Cameron said, for instance: “It is not for me, or for governments outside the region, to pontificate about how each country meets the aspirations of its people.” Cameron, “Full Transcript: David Cameron Speech to the National Assembly, Kuwait”, The New Statesman, 23 February, 2011.
- See my, “Britain’s Secret Proxy War in Syria”, Axis of Logic, 8 February, 2012, . In a BBC interview, Hillary Clinton acknowledged that outside “interference” would provoke Assad into escalating violent retaliation. Neither she nor the BBC reported that that is exactly what has been going on since at least November 2011, when CIA and MI6 forces began arming and training the opposition.
- For a small sample of the grotesque, widespread apologetics for state violence, see Yvonne Ridley, “I was wrong to oppose military intervention in Libya – wrong, wrong, wrong”, Redress.cc, 30 April, 2011, Nick Cohen, “EU support for Arab rebels is shamefully late”, Observer, 13 March, 2011. Cohen’s article attempts to garner support for violence by evoking “white guilt” over Europeans’ lack of concern for “olive-skinned” people, failing to note that Europe’s role is not a lack of concern, it is active participation in oppression. See also Professor Michael Clarke, Professor Malcolm Chalmers, Dr Jonathan Eyal, Shashank Joshi, Mark Phillips, Elizabeth Quintana and Dr Lee Willett and Saqeb Mueen and Grant Turnbull (eds), “Accidental Heroes: Britain, France and the Libya Operation,” An Interim RUSI Campaign Report, September 2011.
Libya: One Year On (Part 2): Recording NATO’s War Crimes ( 5)
Editor’s Note: We are pleased to publish this second installment on our series, “Libya: One Year On,” by T.J. Coles. It is utterly important that the details of the 2011 US/Israeli/NATO destruction and continuing occupation of this peaceful country be documented for the historical record. While many examples exist of the old adage, “The victor writes the history,” the “victor” no longer has control of the press as it once did. While they can continue to write their revisionisms (deceptions), the alternative media now has truth-to-power in producing permanent records of what has really happened in the imperialist barbarism executed against sovereign nations like Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.
Humanity is indebted to T.J. Coles and other scholars for their pain-staking, exhaustive research and comprehensive coverage of these wars. The history being written today is not only in words but also in images. We include a few of them below and some are graphic.
The war crimes of the US, Israel and NATO in Libya are staggering and thus far have been carried out with impunity. But if this weary old planet survives their economic and environmental crimes, history will judge them, their decision-makers and the corporate cabal that funds their wars … and without mercy.
– Les Blough, Editor
NATO war planes attacking Libya in Spring, 2011
A proud Nicolas Sarkozy ordered the French Air Force to lead the devastating aerial attack on Libya with Mirage jets from the Solenzara 126 Air Base on Corsica Island in the Mediterranean on March 24, 2011.
One of the thousands of NATO air strikes beginning in March, 2011. By October they repeated this bombing of Libyan cities and towns 9,300 times.
Tripoli Street in Misrata before and after
Martyr Square, Tripoli, before and after the bombing
The city of Sirte, birthplace of Col. Qadaffi and the last stronghold of the Libyan Resistance was utterly destroyed by NATO bombing when thousands of people were killed, maimed and displaced.
By September, at least ICRC: 13 mass graves found in Libya. ICRC spokesperson Steven Anderson said “more mass graves are being found every week”. Unidentified bodies were exhumed for burial in unmarked graves. There were 12 different such sites in and around Tripoli according to the Geneva-based Red Cross.
To no avail the women of Misrata demonstrated
in the streets against the NATO assault.
“There are mirrors
Which should have wept with shame and horror”
– Pablo Neruda
From at least August 2011 to the beginning of the coup, UK special forces secretly trained the anti-Gaddafi opposition on a farm in Libya.1 Their SAS colleagues, who had previously trained Gaddafi’s forces,2 were apparently so annoyed about the deception that they attempted to leak a 70-page document concerning the secret services’ role in dividing to conquer.3
The coup was first attempted in 1995 when MI6 wired £100,000 to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group in order to provoke “orchestrated unrest in Benghazi … The coup plotters expected to establish control of Libya at the end of March 1996 … want[ing] rapprochement with the West.”4 It would appear that the botched effort succeeded in February 2011, when an armed uprising spread across the country.
After the failed coup of 1995-6, Gaddafi agreed in word but not in deed to economically liberalise the country for Western businesses.5 In anticipation that Gaddafi would renege on his pledge, European countries began mounting opposition groups. These included: the London-based Libyan Muslim Brotherhood; the London-based National Conference for the Libyan Opposition, led by Ibrahim Sahad of the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, another UK-based opposition group; the Manchester-based Libyan Constitutional Union; and the Germany-UK-based Libyan League for Human Rights.6
Just as the coup began in February 2011, Robin Lam, Director-general of the Libyan-British Business Council, which boasts a 150-company membership (including Shell, BP, Barclays and HSBC), wrote that:
Our contacts have always gone beyond the Qadhafi regime and include some of the key figures who are now forming the nucleus of an alternative government in Benghazi. Our contacts have enabled us to keep in direct touch with developments in Libya in the last two weeks and as soon as the dust settles, we plan an early visit to the country to engage and expand our network. … Lord Trefgarne will call on Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, the Minister of Trade, to put the seal on this process.7
UK Elite Forces acknowledged that “Since the early days of the rebellion, British special forces, along with their French, Jordanian and Qatari counterparts have been arming, advising and training rebel forces,”8 in violation of Britain’s own UNSCR 1970. The rebels, and thus by proxy the UK, engaged in massive human rights abuses during the coup and NATO bombing.
Rebel War Crimes
Contrary to hysterical media lies about Gaddafi’s alleged plan to “ethnically cleanse” Benghazi,9 the UK-armed-and-trained rebels committed an actual ethnic cleansing of Sub-Saharan Libyans, sparking a major refugee crisis—the consequences of which they continue to suffer. The UN Human Rights Council’s Report of the International Commission of Inquiry in Libya reported a year after the NATO assault that the “Thuwar” (NATO mercenaries) committed serious violations, including war crimes and breaches of international human rights law, the latter continuing at the time of the present report. The Commission found these violations to include unlawful killing, arbitrary arrest, torture, enforced disappearance, indiscriminate attacks, and pillage. It found in particular that the Thuwar are targeting the Tawergha [black Libyans] and other communities.10
A year after the bombing, Amnesty reported that
The 30,000 residents of the town of Tawargha [the entire population], who were forcibly displaced during the conflict, are still barred from returning to their town, where their homes have been looted and burned down. They remain in poorly resourced camps in Benghazi, Tripoli and elsewhere in Libya and face an uncertain future.11
The Western media were complicit in harming Sub-Saharan Africans. By accusing them of being “mercenaries” for the sole purpose of demonising Gaddafi, they were dehumanised in the minds of Western publics. In March 2011, Amnesty reported no evidence concerning Gaddafi’s use of mercenaries.12 In 2012, Amnesty mentioned “suspected foreign “mercenaries” – most of whom were in fact migrant workers.”13 Conversely, the UK’s Olive Group is a mercenary company, and a member of the Libyan-British Business Council—a fact conveniently ignored by the media.14 In the Western media lexicon, UK mercenaries are “privative security contractors.”
By July 2011, 1.1 million Libyans had been affected by the bombing and coup, and “fighting in Nafousa, Zawia and Misrata ha[d] resulted in an acute humanitarian crisis in these areas. Secondly, there are growing tensions elsewhere as the effects of the sanctions are increasingly felt,” the World Health Organization reported. If we are to believe the lies about humanitarian intervention, the Western allied powers sanctioned Libya—putting 280,000 at risk of starvation—in order to save Libyans from Gaddafi. “[T]he continuing conflict is severely jeopardizing its ability to maintain health care services”, WHO reported. Despite this, NATO kept bombing and the SAS/MI6 continued to train and arm the rebels. “Recent assessments in Misratah and other parts of eastern Libya found that hospitals were overwhelmed, medical staff were exhausted, and supplies of essential drugs and medical supplies were running critically low.”15
UNICEF reported on 17 October that thirty schools had been damaged in Ajdabiya and Misrata alone. “Burnt out tanks, armoured cars and spent ammunition shells line the road between Benghazi and Ajdabiya, an apocalyptic landscape left by the battles that took place here.”16 Also in that month, the Red Cross reported that the organization “has been able to meet with representatives of civil society, who reported dire needs in terms of drinking water, food supplies – in particular baby food – and hygiene items.”17
A year after the bombing, “Tomina and Kararim are ghost towns because Misrata officials [of the Western-backed interim government] are blocking thousands of people who fled from returning home,” said Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director of Human Rights Watch.18
Amnesty reported that “torture is being carried out by officially recognized military and security entities as well by a multitude of armed militias operating outside any legal framework.”19 This should be of grave concern to UK taxpayers because “We are supporting the NTC’s own plans for political transition in Libya, through the Friends of Libya group and the allocation of up to £20.6m in UK funding”, the Foreign Office reported.20
Children in Pieces
According to UNICEF, the West’s “humanitarian intervention” put 2 million Libyan children at risk of death, injury, illness, starvation, dehydration, and/or forced migration. Commenting on the Western media’s shameful omission of children during the coup and bombing, UNICEF noted in April 2011 the almost complete absence of children from images and reports out of the country. We didn’t see children, we didn’t hear from them and – much as we probed and queried – we simply didn’t know what was really happening to them. We do now, and it’s worse than we feared … We now know a little of their lives, because we have learned how they died. The youngest child to bear the brunt of the fighting in Misrata was reportedly nine months old, and most of those who died over the last two weeks were under the age of 10 … Many other children are traumatized by what they are going through. Many have limited access to essential daily needs, including water and food, and none are in school. Other children, like those in the city of Zintan, south-west of Tripoli, are completely cut off. Trapped amid the shooting and shelling, they may be experiencing a tragedy similar to the events in Misrata.21
A few of the many Libyan children killed by NATO governments.
Amanda Melville, a Child Protection Officer for UNICEF, “highlighted the tremendous emotional toll war takes on a child.” She noted that “Children are experiencing a range of different problems. I mean, most of them are related to feeling afraid.”22 A UNICEF reporter wrote that
The most obvious threats to children are the weapons around them. Landmines and explosive remnants of war contaminate areas around Misrata, Ajdabiya and the Nafusa Mountains … In some cases, the damage done to children by the conflict is not physical, but psychological. Many Libyan children who have been through traumatic experiences are now in urgent need of psycho-social support. Parents at two displacement camps I visited recently, near the coastal city of Al-Bayda, told me stories of their young children’s near-constant nightmares and insomnia. In Benghazi, a three-year-old girl at a children’s recreation club burst into tears because she thought the camera hanging from my shoulder was a gun.23
What kind of adults would ever put children in that position? Presumably adults who were themselves badly affected in childhood and have yet to grow up—people like the SAS, MI6, Clinton, Obama, Sarkozy, Cameron, Clegg, and Hague.
From late March to 1 December 2011, at least 1090 verifiable deaths of Libyan boat refugees fleeing across the Mediterranean to Europe were confirmed by the Western press. In reality, the figure is likely much higher. In many cases, the men, women, and children were turned away by the very European countries that trained and armed the rebels and initiated the bombing. The refugees were left to drown by NATO ships and aircraft, which stood by. The reason is simple, and was explained by numerous European think-tanks in the previous years: Europe does not want an influx of immigrants from North African countries.24
As for NATO, the reason for its deliberate inaction is also simple: NATO’s self-appointed role is pipeline and resource “security”, not humanitarianism; the latter is a PR pretext.25 Médecins Sans Frontières issued the following statement. The organization criticises inconsistent European policies claiming to protect civilians by engaging in a war while closing its borders to them … MSF draws attention to the discrepancy between the reception offered by Tunisia and Egypt – which have accepted nearly 630,000 people fleeing neighbouring Libya – and that provided by European states, which have turned back boat people – who are risking their lives to reach Europe – from their territorial lands and waters.26
“Since the end of March , two vessels sailing from Libya have disappeared — one carrying 320 people and the other 160,” UPI quoted Laura Boldrini, spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (Italy), as saying.27 Time magazine reported a group of 72 African [sic] migrants — men, women and a few children, from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan and Nigeria — drifting on the Mediterranean for 16 days in late March and early April … watched their stocks of water and cookies steadily dwindle. Those supplies had been dropped onto their boat, they said, by a helicopter marked “ARMY,” after its Ghanaian captain had phoned a refugee organization in Rome to send help. … Days later, survivors say, two helicopters lifted off from a nearby warship — believed by Guardian reporters to have been France’s Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier — and flew low over the refugee boat. The passengers held up the two babies onboard, to show the pilots the desperation of their plight. The pilots flew away. Then, as the boat drifted, its fuel tanks empty, the passengers began to die of starvation, one by one, until just 10 were left alive.
Ethiopian survivor Abu Kirke “said he survived by eating two tubes of toothpaste and drinking his own urine.” On 6 April, “about 250 people drowned when their boat sank off the Italian island of Lampedusa.”28 Commenting on the previous disaster, the Guardian reported that “the boat encountered a number of European military units including a helicopter and an aircraft carrier after losing fuel and drifting, but no rescue attempt was made and most of the 72 people on board eventually died of thirst and hunger.”29 CNN reported in May 2011 that “Hundreds — possibly thousands — of African migrants have drowned or disappeared at sea trying to flee Libya for Europe.”30
Also in May, “The UN sa[id] almost all of the estimated 600 African migrants who were on board an overcrowded ship that sank off the Libyan coast are believed to have died,” the Associated Press reported. Between 25 March and 10 May alone “About 14,800 [refugees] have made the gruelling journey across the Mediterranean in rickety ships run by smugglers who rarely provide enough food and water. … At least 800 people had been lost at sea in three boat sinkings before the latest ship went down with 600 aboard off Tripoli”, AP reported.31 In June, the Socialist Worker reported that
Hundreds of refugees from Libya were left to drown by Nato ships … They say that their sinking vessel appealed for help from passing Nato and Italian ships, but none would stop. The United Nations (UN) says that more than 150 people died when a boat overloaded with 850 refugees fleeing Libya’s capital Tripoli sank in the Mediterranean [in late May-early June] … One man died after becoming so mad with hunger he ate his own shit. … Mothers and their children are often separated into different [Tunisian refugee] camps, not knowing if the other is even alive.32
The Associated Press reported in August that
Twenty-five African migrants trying to reach Italy from Libya died in the hold of a rickety boat so packed with people that they could not get out as they struggled to breathe … The 15-metre boat was carrying 296 people, including women and children … As the air became unbreathable from exhaust fumes, migrants tried to exit but the boat was too packed for those standing above to move aside.33
The Daily Mail reported in December 2011 that
Around 100 Libyan refugees are believed to have died after a boat carrying them got into difficulties off the Italian island of Lampedusa … Many were understood to have been badly dehydrated when they were found, while the Italian media reported that ‘dozens and dozens of people’ had died of thirst and hunger. … [Some 300 people, including pregnant women] had been crammed into the drifting 65ft boat for more than 36 hours.34
Anglo-American-NATO War Crimes
The Shell, Statoil, Talisman Energy-sponsored International Crisis Group, chaired by such bastions of human rights as Turki al-Faisal, Shimon Peres and Zbigniew Brzezinksi, admitted that
Although the declared rationale of this intervention was to protect civilians, civilians are figuring in large numbers as victims of the war, both as casualties and refugees, while the leading Western governments supporting NATO’s campaign make no secret of the fact that their goal is regime change.
Contrary to media lies about immediate regime change, “To insist that he [Gaddafi] both leave the country and face trial in the International Criminal Court is virtually to ensure that he will stay in Libya to the bitter end and go down fighting”, the International Crisis Group observed (emphasis in original).35 That was precisely the idea:
A Chatham House paper published in June 2011 acknowledged that the goal was not to protect civilians or to formally depose Gaddafi but “to maintain the status quo for several months to come … to deplete the regime’s resources.”36 Once the country had been reduced to rubble (all the buildings in Sirte were damaged, for instance), the IMF and World Bank stepped in to reconstruct the country along Euro-American-approved lines.37
According to its own records, NATO launched 9,700 “strike sorties”: 6,300 were military, meaning that NATO hit 3,400 civilian targets.38 According to the UN’s human rights mission, on average 60 civilians died for every twenty strikes: approximately three civilians per strike.39 If we multiply 3 by 9,700 divided by 20, it can be estimated that 1,455 civilians died as a result of NATO strikes, added to the 1,300 who reportedly died in a single NATO attack.40
In total, NATO probably killed around 2,700 civilians by direct bombing (about the same number as NATO’s Serbian-Kosovar victims), and of course many more will die from the cancer and deformities caused by depleted uranium. In May 2011, Foreign Policy Journal’s Thomas C. Mountain reported that
NATO aircraft are routinely equipped with anti-armor missiles fitted with depleted uranium war heads. It has been widely reported that NATO has fired hundreds of anti-armor missiles in many parts of Libya, including in the immediate environs of the Libyan capital Tripoli. This means that thousands of kilos of depleted uranium have been used in Libya in the past weeks. … Irradiate the Libyan people to save the Libyan people? How else could you describe the NATO attack on Libya?41
On 30 April, Reuters reported that
Shattered glass litters the carpet at the Libyan Down’s Syndrome Society, and dust covers pictures of grinning children that adorn the hallway, thrown into darkness by a NATO strike … The force of the blast blew in windows and doors in the parent-funded school for children with Down’s Syndrome and officials said it damaged an orphanage on the floor above … Inside the school, the power had been knocked out by the strikes, the floor was wet because of a leaking pipe and desks were covered in glass and debris.
NATO offered no compensation. “Seddigh’s school prepared children with Down’s Syndrome up to the age of 6 to go to normal schools, giving them speech therapy, handicrafts and sports sessions and teaching them to read and write. It handles 50 to 60 children a day.”42
Referring to Misrata, Médecins Sans Frontières reported in June that “bombing continues nearby, producing scores of victims.” The rebels had no air force, and Gaddafi’s had been destroyed by April, according to UK military sources. That can only mean NATO bombs. “The months of [rebel] siege left behind massive destruction, including a central pharmacy that is now a pile of rubble.”43 Providing photographic evidence, Global Research correspondent Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya reported in June that
Tripoli’s Nasser University (Campus B of Al Fatah University) was bombed. University staff were injured and killed …. The unspoken objective is to destroy Libya’s economy and to prevent it from developing as a nation-state. This is why schools and universities, hospitals, shipyards, factories, not to mention residential areas, have been the target of NATO bombings.44
Also in June 2011, the noble and courageous Cynthia McKinney, ex-Congresswoman and former Green Party Presidential Candidate, reported back from a fact-finding mission in Libya that “NATO is preventing shipments of fuel, food and medicine to come in. There have been efforts to get medicine into the country that have been denied by NATO. It is impossible to go on any street and miss the huge queues”, she said. McKinney reported that “universities and other civilian facilities are being bombed by NATO.”45 In the video, McKinney’s fact-finder team is seen entering one hospital room after another, each with the injured and the doctor explaining how the injury occurred and showing the injuries. Houses are “completely destroyed” and meanwhile, according to McKinney, NATO has its own psychological operation in progress. “These bombs and missiles are not falling in empty spaces: people are all over Tripoli going about their lives just as in any other major metropolitan city of about two million people,” [she said].46
Russia’s state-owned Pravda reported that in July, NATO hit a water pipes factory in al-Brega, murdering six guards, this being the factory which makes pipes for the great man-made irrigation system across the desert which brings water to seventy per cent of Libyan homes … [NATO also] hit the pipeline factory producing pipes to repair it … Cameron, Obama and Sarkozy have the blood of hundreds of innocent people on their hands, the paper reported, failing to add that the Medvedev regime also have blood on their hands for not vetoing UNSCR 1973.47 In late August, UNICEF reported that “the country is facing a potentially disastrous water shortage … at risk of failing to meet the needs of the country’s almost 6 million people.”48On 2 September, UNICEF reported that “The disruption of the water supply to Tripoli through the country‘s ‘Great Man-Made River’ pipeline system has left approximately 4 million people without potable tap water.”49
On August 5, 2011, “NATO air missiles targeted a children’s hospital in Zlitan … killing 50 children. This event clearly reveals NATO war crimes and shows that civilians are being targeted during the bombing campaigns”, Global Research reported.50 AP reporter Paul Schemm noted in August that
The Libyan government showed foreign journalists … a destroyed flu clinic and food warehouses it said had been hit earlier in the day by NATO airstrikes, killing eight people … A nearby complex of food warehouses were also hit … and one was still burning when the journalists arrived. Each warehouse had a hole torn in the roof … “Is this the protection of civilians?” said local resident Rajab Sharaf, standing outside the burning building as the cinderblock walls buckled outward from the heat.51
Schemm was careful to use words like “allegedly” and “apparently” when reporting statements made by Gaddafi’s regime, but he used no such words in the uncritical reporting of UK Ministry of Defence officials who claimed that the RAF had struck only military targets: that was taken as gospel.
It appears that the US did the most to litter Libya with ordnance awaiting children’s limbs. “American warplanes from all services flew more than 5,350 sorties from April 1 through Aug. 23, according to statistics provided by the Pentagon. More than 1,200 of those were strike sorties, and 262 of those dropped ordnance on their missions”, the Air Force Times reported effusively. “When fighters from Libya’s rebel movement launched a battle to capture Tripoli on Aug. 20, NATO jets helped clear the path.”52
According to Pentagon spokesman George Little, the US also bombed Libya with 145 drone strikes—52 of which bombed Tripoli after Gaddafi had been overthrown.53
Aside from the destruction waged by the proxy militias, the UK directly contributed to the massive civilian toll: The Daily Mail noted “British jets carrying out bombing and strafing runs.”54 If Gaddafi had only limited military capabilities, as numerous Western military sources confirmed,55what exactly were British bombers strafing?
This also contradicts the “precision bombing” nonsense reported in other media. UK “troops on the ground”—a violation of UNSCRs 1970 and 1973—“use a process called ‘painting a target’ to pinpoint a site to be attacked. A laser beam from a portable device is bounced off a building or military installation from a few hundred yards,” before the target is bombed. It is easy to imagine the kind of mistakes that can be made using this process, and to imagine psychopathic soldiers wanting to have a little “fun.”56
By 31 August, the Western-installed puppet regime estimated that some 50,000 people had been killed. The devastating news was given 133 words by the Independent’s propagandist Kim Sengupta.57 As further evidence that NATO targeted civilians, Hillary Clinton mentioned in September efforts to “provide housing for Libyans who have been bombed out or had their homes destroyed.”58 If Gaddafi had no air force by April, who “bombed out” the civilians? In September, it was also reported that the British Royal Navy had been engaging in “psychological operations.”59
By November, much of the country had been wrecked. In Sirte, just 25% of the residents had returned. Red Cross delegate Charlotte Bennborn reported that “There is still a lack of clean water, electricity is limited and infrastructure has been badly damaged.” The returnees were living on monthly food rations given by the Red Cross, and receiving blankets and jerrycans in order survive in their “badly damaged houses.”60
A year after the bombing, the town of Al Qubah “had spent three months without an adequate or regular supply of potable water,” reported the Red Cross’s Sari Nasreddin. “The water network stopped functioning because no maintenance was performed on the original pumps during the conflict”, namely because NATO bombed the pipe factories. People were relying on water-trucking services, which were not able to supply enough water for all those in need.”61 A year after the bombing, Amnesty released a report:
scores of Libyan civilians who did not directly participate in hostilities were killed and many more injured as a result of NATO strikes. Regrettably more than four months since the end of the military campaign, NATO has yet to address these incidents appropriately, including by establishing contact and providing information to the victims and their relatives about any investigation which might have been initiated.
Amnesty’s limited mission recorded at least 115 civilians killed by NATO air strikes. Perhaps the depths of human suffering caused by the coup and bombing were most tragically articulated by Mustafa Naji al-Morabit, quoted in the Amnesty report:
My family has been destroyed; I lost my two little boys and my wife, Ibtisam, who was also my best friend. It is really difficult to go on, to get up every day and face life; I tell myself that I must find the strength for my son, the only child I have left. He can’t forget the horror of that day, when his mum and his little brothers were blown to bits. How can I help him to overcome this trauma? I myself can’t cope and there is no one to turn to. No one from NATO or from the authorities has got in touch to ask what happened or to offer any explanation or even one word of apology. We are living a miserable life; we have nothing left, our home and everything in it were destroyed.62
1. Tim Shipman and David Williams, “SAS rounded up and booted out as Libyan mission turns to farce”, Daily Mail, 7 March, 2011,
2. Ryan Kisiel and Claire Ellicott, “Now the SAS has to train Libyan troops”, Daily Mail, 12 September, 2009, #
3. Al-Jazeera, “Libya,” 8 August, 2011,
4. Leaked memo cited in Mark Curtis, 2010, Secret Affairs, London: Serpent’s Tail, p.227.
5. See footnote 5 of my “One Year On. Why We attacked Libya”, Axis of Logic, 28 March 2012,
6. International Crisis Group, “Popular Protest in North Africa and the Middle East (V): Making Sense of Libya”, Middle East/North Africa Report N°107, 6 June 2011, Brussels: ICG,
7. Robin Lamb, “Libyan British Business Council: Director General’s Newsletter”, 28 February, 2011,
8. UK Elite Forces, “British Special Forces In Libya”, 24 August, 2011,
9. For what Gaddafi actually said, see Reuters, “Libya: We will hit civilian targets in response to foreign attack”, Ha’aretz, 17 March, 2011, For analysis of the myth of “ethnic cleansing” threats, see, for example, the Chicago Tribune’s Steve Chapman quoted in Foreign Policy, 3 April, 2011,and Alan J. Kuperman, “5 things the U.S. should consider in Libya”, USA Today, 22 March, 2011,
10. United Nations Human Rights Council, “Human rights situation that require the Council’s attention Report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Libya”, Nineteenth session, 8 March, 2012, A/HRC/19/68,
11. Amnesty International, “Militias threaten hopes for New Libya”, Index: MDE 19/002/2012, February, 2012, London: AI,
12. Amnesty International, “Q&A: Human Rights and War in Libya”, 21 March, 2011,
13. Amnesty International, “Militias threaten hopes for New Libya”, Index: MDE 19/002/2012, February, 2012, London: AI,
14. Libyan-British Business Council, “Members”, undated,
15. World Health Organization, “Libya crisis: Meeting humanitarian health needs,” 12 July, 2011,
16. Guy Hubbard, “Communities band together to reopen schools damaged in the Libyan conflict”, UNICEF, 17 October, 2011,
17. Red Cross, “Libya: ICRC supplies Sirte hospital with urgently needed medical assistance”, 1 October, 2011,
18. Human Rights Watch, “Libya: Displaced People Barred from Homes”, 21 February, 2012,
19. Amnesty International, “Libya: Deaths of detainees amid widespread torture”, 26 January, 2012,
20. Foreign Office, “Foreign Secretary updates Parliament on the Middle East and North Africa”, 13 October, 2011,
21. James Elder, “UNICEF on the ground in Benghazi, as Libyan children face increasing threat,” UNICEF, 19 April, 2011,
22. Guy Hubbard, “In the wake of the Libyan conflict, UNICEF provides support to traumatized children”, UNICEF, 24 October, 2011,
23. Christopher Tidey, “Libya’s other crisis: 2 million children at physical and emotional risk as conflict drags on”, UNICEF, 12 July, 2011,
24. See, for instance, Mona Yacoubian, “Promoting Middle East Democracy”, Special Report 127, United States Institute for Peace, October, 2004, Yacoubian: “North Africa’s population explosion and lack of economic opportunity heightened European fears of massive illegal immigration that would destabilize Europe.” See also Susi Dennison, Anthony Dworkin, Nicu Popescu, Nick Witney, “After the Revolution: Europe and the Transition in Tunisia”, Policy Brief No. 28, European Council on Foreign Relations, March 2011, London: ECFR, This paper notes: “A gesture of goodwill in the area of [educational] mobility would also be useful to counter the impression that southern EU states’ primary concern in relation to the situation in Tunisia is border control to prevent illegal migration.”
25. One needs to click the Work in Practice bar. Having done so, one can read NATO’s website statement: “NATO looks to protect critical energy infrastructures, transit areas and lines, while cooperating with partners and other organisations involved with energy security.” NATO, “NATO‘s role in energy security”, undated, NATO website,
26. Médecins Sans Frontières, “Europe must accept the boat people fleeing Libya”, 19 May, 2011,
27. United Press International, “African refugees die as Libya boat sinks”, 10 May, 2011,
28. Vivienne Walt, “Did NATO Leave 62 Africans to Die at Sea Off Libya?”, Time, 9 May, 2011,
29. Jack Shenker, “Libyan migrants’ boat deaths to be investigated by Council of Europe”, Guardian, 9 May, 2011,
30. Nima Elbagir and Jomana Karadsheh, “Hundreds missing after overcrowded boat from Libya capsizes”, CNN, 10 May, 2011,
31. Associated Press, “600 believed dead in Libya refugee boat sinking,” 10 May, 2011,
32. Socialist Worker, “Refugees from Libya left to die by Nato ships speak out”, Issue: 2255, 11 June, 2011,
33. Associated Press, “Italy finds 25 migrants dead on boat from Libya”, 1 August, 2011,
34. Daily Mail, “Fleeing refugees die of dehydration on boat bound for Italy”, 1 December, 2011,
35. International Crisis Group, “Popular Protest in North Africa and the Middle East (V): Making Sense of Libya”, Middle East/North Africa Report N°107, 6 June, 2011, Brussels: ICG,
36. Alistair Burt MP, Sir Richard Dalton, Lindsey Hilsum, Ashur Al-Shamis, and Claire Spencer, “Libya: Prospects and Challenges”, 8 June, 2011,
37. UNSMIL explained its mission: “Efforts to revive and sustain Libya’s economic growth present one illustration of the role of UNSMIL in providing an overall supportive framework for other actors, including the World Bank and IMF, to directly assist national authorities.” United Nations Security Council, “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Support Mission in Libya”, S/2012/129, 1 March, 2012, 12-24473 (E) 050312. Likewise, the international meeting with the Transitional National Council held in London was attended by, among others, the World Bank’s Senior Counsellor for the UK and Ireland, Andrew Felton: UK Foreign Office, “The London Conference on Libya: attendees”, 29 March, 2011,
38. NATO, “Operation Unified Protector: Final Mission Stats”, 2 November, 2011,
39. United Nations Human Rights Council, “Human rights situation that require the Council’s attention Report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Libya”, Nineteenth session, 8 March, 2012, A/HRC/19/68,
40. Joe Wolverton, “Has the U.S. Issued Kill Orders Against Reporters in Libya? ”, The New American, 30 August, 2011, and
The Examiner, “Targeted Killings of non-mainstream reporters in Libya ordered: Attempts to bury truth,” 22 August, 2011,
41. Thomas C. Mountain, “NATO Poisons Libya With Depleted Uranium”, Foreign Policy, 14 May, 2011,
42. Lin Noueihed, “Libya disabled children school hit in NATO strike”, Reuters, 30 April, 2011,
43. Médecins Sans Frontières, “Libya: Trauma surgery in Misrata”, 23 June, 2011,
44. Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, “Breaking News: PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE: NATO Bombed Libya’s Nasser University”, Global Research, 12 June, 2011,
45. RT, “NATO operation in Libya is collective punishment – ex-congresswoman”, 14 June, 2011,
46. The Examiner, “Human rights fact-finders show Libyan deaths and injuries are not propaganda”, 7 June, 2011,
47. Pravda, “NATO war crime: Libya water supply” 23 July, 2011,
48. Roshan Khadivi, “UNICEF acts to stave off potential water crisis caused by fuel shortages in Libya”, UNICEF 29 August, 2011,
49. Roshan Khadivi, “Emergency aid arrives as UNICEF and partners work to restore Libya’s water system,” UNICEF, 2 September, 2011,
50. Global Research, “NATO Missiles Target Libyan Hospital, Kill 50 Children”, 5 August, 2011,
51. Paul Schemm, “Libya Hospital Reportedly Hit by NATO bombing”, Associated Press, 25 July, 2011,
52. Scott Fontaine “NATO jets helped clear path to Tripoli,” Air Force Times, 26 August, 2011,
53. RT, “US drones bombed Libya more than Pakistan”, 20 October, 2011,
54. Daily Mail, “SAS ‘Smash’ squads on the ground in Libya to mark targets for coalition jets”, 21 March, 2011,
55. See, for instance, Shashank Joshi, “ARGUMENTS FOR a No Fly Zone over Libya”, Royal United Service Institute, February, 2011, ;
Christopher M. Blanchard, “Libya: Unrest and U.S. Policy,” Congressional Research Service, 7-5700, RL33142, 29 March, 2011,
56. Daily Mail, “SAS ‘Smash’ squads on the ground in Libya to mark targets for coalition jets”, 21 March, 2011,
57. Kim Sengupta, “Rebel leaders put Libya death toll at 50,000”, Independent, 31 August, 2011,
58. Hillary Rodham Clinton, “Clinton Press Availability on Libya,” US State Department, 1 September, 2011,
59. Jonathan Marcus, “Libyan conflict: The final phase?”, BBC, 9 September, 2011,
60. Red Cross, “Libya: aid for 10,000 people returning to Sirte”, 18 November, 2011,
61. Red Cross, “Libya: hardship and danger remain”, 16 February, 2012,
62. Amnesty International, 2012, “Libya: The Forgotten Victims of NATO” Strikes, London: AI,
Libya One Year On (Part 3): The Propaganda and the Law
By T. J. Coles. Axis of Logic Exclusive
Axis of Logic Exclusive
Monday, Apr 23, 2012
Editor’s Introduction: We offered the following introduction to T. J. Coles second installment in this series, Libya: One Year On, Recording NATO’s War Crimes, Part II and it applies just as well to his entire 4 Part Series on NATO’s destruction of Sovereign Libya:
“It is utterly important that the details of the 2011 US/Israeli/NATO destruction and continuing occupation of this peaceful country be documented for the historical record. While many examples exist of the old adage, ‘The victor writes the history,’ the ‘victor’ no longer has control of the press as it once did. While they can continue to write their revisionisms (deceptions), the alternative media now has truth-to-power in producing permanent records of what has really happened in the imperialist barbarism executed against sovereign nations like Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.
“Humanity is indebted to T.J. Coles and other scholars for their pain-staking, exhaustive research and comprehensive coverage of these wars. The history being written today is not only in words but also in images. We include a few of them below and some are graphic (see Part II for the photos).
“The war crimes of the US, Israel and NATO in Libya are staggering and thus far have been carried out with impunity. But if this weary old planet survives their economic and environmental crimes, history will judge them, their decision-makers and the corporate cabal that funds their wars … and without mercy.”
– Les Blough, Editor
“We have a magnificent structure of ideas for justifying evil.”
– Jiddu Krishnamurti
In contrast to the long build-up to the occupation of Iraq, the assault on Libya happened quickly, giving the antiwar movement little time to mobilise. In selling the allied bombing to the world, NATO countries engaged in an unprecedented, cartoon-style propaganda campaign in which every Libyan was said to support intervention against the villainous Gaddafi. Meanwhile, the proxies armed and trained by British, French, and US intelligence were portrayed as freedom fighters. The media spun a myriad of lies in an effort to justify the allied bombing.
Barely reported was the fact that the West’s proxy militias deliberately targeted non-aligned journalists. The Voltaire Network reported that journalists Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya and Thierry Meyssan were “entrenched in the Hotel Rixos, around which heavy fighting is taking place. Reportedly, the order was given to shoot them down.”1
Nazemroaya relayed extraordinary live footage to RT of being trapped in the Hotel, which, fortunately, was later evacuated by the Red Cross. He reported that NATO was supporting rebel snipers who were targeting the sequestered reporters. Global Research reported:
“The independent journalists are the target because they say the truth. The coverage of the war on Libya has centered on Gadaffi. Not a word has been mentioned regarding the devastation and loss of life caused by NATO’s bombings of civilian targets, including the intensive bombings of Tripoli.”2
ABC reported that “A sniper shot Mohammed Nabbous, a resident of Benghazi and founder of its first independent TV news channel Libya Alhurra.” Nabbous had previously given an interview to KPFA in which he noted the Western media’s support for the rebels.3 This is corroborated by Nazemroaya’s reports concerning snipers. CNN reported that “NATO acknowledged trying to silence Gadhafi’s broadcasts. NATO strikes killed three employees of Libya’s state broadcaster in Tripoli … and wounded 15 others.”4 Cynthia McKinney’s eyewitness and video reports dispel the Western lies that Gaddafi’s newscasts concerning NATO’s civilian victims were propaganda.5
Not for the first time, the British government expressed contempt for their own citizens when, a year after the coup and bombing, Amnesty reported that Nicholas Davies-Jones and Gareth Montgomery-Johnson “have been held by the Suweihli militia since their capture in Tripoli.” Only British journalists covering the egregious behaviour of Syria’s Assad were deemed worthy of governmental support.
The Suweihli militia operate throughout Libya. They “seized the men while they were reportedly filming in the capital.” The freelancers were mostly working for Iran’s Press TV which, along with Russia’s state-owned RT, has been one of the few news networks to accurately report Western- and Western-backed abuses.6
A British Parliamentary inquiry into the bombing found that:
“The apparent conflict between the military and political objectives meant that the Government failed to ensure that its communication strategy was effective in setting out the aims of the operation. In future, the Government’s communication strategy needs to be more effective so that the public are confident of the aims and goals of such operations.”7
Retired Navy Commodore Steven Jermy gave evidence to the Committee. Jermy had previously served in the Falklands, maintaining Britain’s illegal occupation of Malvinas.8 “[T]he Foreign Secretary made clear in public statements that the British would wish to see Gaddafi gone … The remarks of the Foreign Secretary have, at times, come perilously close to admitting this point.” Though not as close as the Commodore, who just admitted it himself.9
The word “admitted” follows the Ministry of Defence’s doctrine of deception, that the stupid public have to have “perceptions of moral legitimacy” in order to back wars waged in pursuit of securing strategic resources.10 That said, the media succeeded in confusing the British public into acquiescence:
A Reuters-Ipsos poll surveyed Euro-American public opinion (Reuters being an agency collaborating with the Orwellian Westminster Foundation for Democracy). “While most people (79%) think the UK cannot afford it, and half (51%) think the problems “are none of our business and we should not interfere”, two-thirds (63%) say the UK and allied forces should seek to remove Colonel Gaddafi.” As it is impossible to have “half” saying one thing and “two-thirds” saying another, it can only mean that many of those surveyed held two opposing viewpoints. This is the essence of Orwell’s doublethink, which is designed to neutralise rationality.
According to the poll, “All four countries”, Britain, Italy, France, US, “are fairly evenly split on whether the action being taken is effective in protecting Libya citizens”—which was never the objective — “and the end result is equally unclear to them.” The poll found that “Britons and Americans are the least convinced that the outcome will be a democratically elected government (17% and 20%).” Just 17% thought that the UN was in charge, and 57% disapproved of Cameron’s handling of the situation.11
Madeleine Moon (Labour MP) claimed that
“[what] I cannot understand is the almost dual-speak where one minute we are saying that regime change and targeting of individuals is part of our mission and then we are saying that it is not.”
Normally, politicians are actors, speaking lines given to them by speechwriters in a manner coached by PR specialists. So maybe when left to speak freely, they really are that stupid?12
“Perceptions of Moral Legitimacy”
Before, during and after the bombing, the Western media engaged in massive amounts of lying and omission in support of the assault. The most important examples are these:
The anti-Gaddafi demonstrations in February 2011 were peaceful. (This paints a picture of “good” demonstrators versus “evil” Gaddafi).
The demonstrations, which were primarily based in Benghazi, were part of the MI6-sponsored armed coup. Press reports revealed that MI6 agents had been training the opposition since late 2010.13 Added to which, the UK Elite Forces acknowledged supplying the anti-Gaddafi rebels with weapons in the early phases of the uprising.14 AFRICOM Commander, General Carter Ham, noted on 4 March that “the government of Libya continued its more than two-week campaign of attacking demonstrators and rebel groups” (emphasis added).15 This was not clarified in media reports.
The Statoil, Talisman Energy, Shell-sponsored International Crisis Group (ICG) noted that the opposing Transitional National Council,
“was headquartered in the eastern city of Benghazi, a traditional base of anti-regime activity that provided army defectors a relatively secure area of operations.”
The ICG quoted one Libyan as saying that “a big misconception is that the Libyan uprising was organised in the east; in fact, the online protest calls originated from Libyans abroad, in Switzerland and the United Kingdom.”16
The US State Department reported a year before the coup that its Middle East Partnership Initiative, which is part of the Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative, trained Gaddafi’s opponents in the use of the internet. One of the ten Libyan dissidents who received training commented: “This conference has opened my mind to all of the tools available, which I will use to promote various projects and engage different audiences.”17
This way, revolution seems indigenous and not a covert method of external regime change. (LIE #8, below, reveals that America’s new found “reluctance” to engage in international affairs is part of its contemporary propaganda strategy targeted at the war-weary American public.)
Commodore Jermy said that the Libyan Army and Police Force “were forced from Benghazi by 18 February” by the rebels.18 Imagine if, during the Occupy London protests, Iranian intelligence had been arming and training the demonstrators with instructions to overthrow the unelected Cameron-Clegg regime, and had driven the Police Force out of London. Most Britons would expect the Army to be brought in to quell the insurrection. Yet, when the British secret services do exactly the same in Libya, the Gaddafi regime is expected to sit back quietly and wait to be overthrown.
Gaddafi’s air force bombed civilians. (This is a reflexive appeal to the emotions of Western media audiences, designed to get them to support military intervention.)
The ICG reported that “there are grounds for questioning the more sensational reports that the regime was using its air force to slaughter demonstrators.”19 In late February 2011, Russia Today (RT) reported that the Russian military had been closely monitoring the said area with satellites and found that no such attacks were taking place.20 On March 8, the US Ambassador to NATO—and “liberal interventionist”—Ivo Daalder informed the press that “to date, the overall air activity has not been the deciding factor in the ongoing unrest.”21
In a pro-No Fly Zone paper published weeks before the NATO bombing, Britain’s Royal United Services Institute acknowledged “Libya’s obsolete air defence systems and its depleted air force” and “an unprofessional military, shorn of many of its units.”22 At the commencement of the NATO bombing, the House of Commons Library acknowledged that “the Libyan air force … consist[s] mainly of ageing Soviet-era MiG and Sukhoi fast jet aircraft, a small number of Mirage F1s and 35 attack helicopters.” The report concluded that “Many of those aircraft are thought to be non-operational or currently in store.”23
Libyans asked for intervention. (By omitting all of the vested business and energy interests that the Western powers have in Libya, the media portrayed the bombing as a selfless act, driven by the request of helpless civilians to be saved from imminent slaughter. In the minds of the Western publics, this absolved their governments of guilt and provided a legal-moral veneer to the bombing).
The media reports quoting Libyans calling for military intervention came mainly from Benghazi—the very place where the Western-backed NTC were orchestrating an armed uprising. September-October 2010 Gallup polls found that 50% of Libyans in Tripoli were “satisfied” with “Freedom in your life”, compared to 29% who were not. Benghazi was more evenly split, but even there little indicates that most people sought regime change (thus armed intervention): 34% of Benghazis were “satisfied”, compared to 33% who were not. On the basis of the polls, it would appear that the Western powers decided to base the opponents in Benghazi because that is where Libyans were less satisfied with Gaddafi.24
The factual reports of a few newspapers were swamped by the relentless coverage of pro-war networks and newspapers. Although they were in the minority, sources as diverse as Al-Arabiya, Russia Today (RT), Eurasia Review, and the Guardian reported that the majority of Libyans did not want Western intervention, and contrary reports failed to acknowledge that the pro-interventionist calls were coming largely from Benghazi (almost certainly from the Western proxy militias).25 In his Chatham House speech attended by anti-Gaddafi rebels and Libyan-British Business Council delegates (how impartial), Channel Four’s Lindsey Hilsum, for instance, admitted to reporting primarily from Benghazi.26 This exemplifies the incestuous nature of the establishment and the media.
Gaddafi was about to commit an “ethnic cleansing” or a “genocide” in Benghazi. (In other words, Gaddafi was going to crush the Western-backed uprising, so the Western powers had to convince their domestic publics to support armed intervention in order to save them. In doing so, they had to pretend that the armed rebels were not only civilians, but civilians who represented the majority of opinion in Libya. Using the Iran example above, imagine if the British Army was on its way to London to quell the insurrection and Iran accused the Cameron-Clegg regime of planning an “ethnic cleansing.” In doing so, it passed a UN Resolution—imagine that Iran is on the Security Council—calling for a No Fly Zone over Britain to prevent the British Army from quelling the armed rebellion).
As noted, the ICG reported that “there are grounds for questioning the more sensational reports that the regime was using its air force”, adding: “let alone engaging in anything remotely warranting use of the term ‘genocide’.”27 The Chicago Tribune’s Steve Chapman noted in Foreign Policy:
“Obama implied that, absent our intervention, Gadhafi might have killed nearly 700,000 people, putting it in a class with the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. White House adviser Dennis Ross was only slightly less alarmist when he reportedly cited ‘the real or imminent possibility that up to a 100,000 people could be massacred.’ But these are outlandish scenarios that go beyond any reasonable interpretation of Gadhafi’s words. He said, ‘We will have no mercy on them” — but by ‘them,’ he plainly was referring to armed rebels (“traitors”) who stand and fight, not all the city’s inhabitants. ‘We have left the way open to them,’ he said. ‘Escape. Let those who escape go forever.’ He pledged that ‘whoever hands over his weapons, stays at home without any weapons, whatever he did previously, he will be pardoned, protected’ … I emailed the White House press office several times asking for concrete evidence of the danger, based on any information the administration may have. But a spokesman declined to comment. That’s a surprising omission, given that a looming holocaust was the centerpiece of the president’s case for war.”28
It is interesting that Gaddafi “left the way open” to the rebels: when Anglo-American troops bombed the Iraqi city Fallujah in 2004 with nuclear weapons, they sealed it off (in violation of the Geneva Conventions), preventing women and children from leaving.29
Returning to Gaddafi’s phantom “ethnic cleansing”, even the disgraceful University of Texas academic Alan J. Kuperman, who openly supports an act of Aggression against Iran in which “there is no question that some people would die”,30 had to admit that:
“Gadhafi directed this threat only at rebels to persuade them to flee. Despite ubiquitous cellphone cameras, there are no images of genocidal violence, a claim that smacks of rebel propaganda. … Indeed, Libya’s rebels started the war [read: Euro-American allied powers “started the war” via their proxies] knowing that they could not win on their own, and that their attacks would provoke harm against civilians.” 31
In contrast, Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, and the UN reported that the Western-backed rebels committed an actual ethnic cleansing against Sub-Saharan Africans in Libya, driving out the entire 30,000 residents of Tawargha, killing women and children, burning down their homes, and barring them from returning.32
Gaddafi employed mercenaries. (Like the allegations concerning Gaddafi using his air force, and the reports about an impending “ethnic cleansing”, these media rumours were designed to further demonise the Colonel, and by association garner support for the use of force).
The UN Human Rights Commission reported that:
“an organised group of Sudanese fighters were brought in by the Qadhafi government specifically to fight the thuwar [anti-Gaddafi rebels]. The Commission has not found that these fighters were promised or paid material compensation substantially in excess of that promised or paid to local Qadhafi forces, a requirement for these individuals or groups to fall within the definition of a ‘mercenary’ under the United Nations Convention against Mercenaries or under Organization of African Unity (OAU) Convention on Mercenarism. The Commission also determined that there were fighters within the Qadhafi forces who, though of foreign descent, were born in Libya or resident there. They would also fall outside the definition of mercenaries.”33
It is also worth remembering that when Britain and America employ mercenaries, the media describe them as “private security contractors.” In March 2011, Amnesty reported no evidence of the use of mercenaries by Gaddafi.34 In 2012, Amnesty reported “suspected foreign “mercenaries” – most of whom were in fact migrant workers.”35
By accusing black Libyans of being mercenaries for sole purpose of demonising Gaddafi in support of the bombing, the Western media were complicit in the ethnic cleansing, demonizing thereby dehumanising black Libyans in the eyes of Westerners, as well as contributing to the racist positions of the anti-Gaddafi rebels. Amnesty reported: “Sub-Saharan Africans and black Libyans remain particularly vulnerable to arbitrary arrest on account of their skin colour and the belief that al-Gaddafi forces used African mercenaries.”36
What was not reported is the fact that the Olive Group, a UK mercenary firm, has been contracted to protect the Western business people who have descended upon Libya.37 One of the most fervent pro-war politicians was the British MP Malcolm Rifkind, whom, as noted below, tacitly acknowledged that protecting civilians was not the UK’s concern. Rifkind is also the Executive Chairman of Armor Group, another mercenary firm which, along with Aegis, are continuing to occupy Iraq (with 20,000 mercenaries) in order to guard the Department for International Development personnel who are privatising Iraq’s businesses and resources.38
The Arab League was first to call for armed “intervention.” (A racist propaganda technique which made it appear to non-Arab Westerners that the very dictators whom the Western powers have backed for decades suddenly expressed concern for Libyan civilians, and that they were the real drivers of the war, asking the Western powers to help their fellow Arabs. Just like Lie #3, the technique was designed to give Western allied powers a veneer of “moral legitimacy” and to dissuade Western publics from thinking that the invasion was a war of imperialism.)
Christian Tuner, Middle East and North Africa Director of the UK Foreign Office, confirmed that “12 March  is the key moment at which the Arab League was calling for that no-fly zone to be implemented and, in terms of the diplomatic co-ordination [between Allied nations] … that was what led to a strong call for action which the League was supporting.”39 Indeed, if one checks the chronology of reporting, David Cameron’s speechwriters announced that Britain was considering imposing a No Fly Zone as early as 28 February, not long after Clinton’s speechwriters and the rebels announced that they would not negotiate with Gaddafi.40
The anti-Gaddafi militias, represented by the Transitional National Council, were popular and represented the majority of opinion in Libya. (This thickens the veneer of “moral legitimacy.”)
The oil company-funded International Crisis Group noted that:
“the NTC has had to struggle with internal divisions, a credibility deficit and questions surrounding its effectiveness … Formation of a new cabinet was supposed to curb militia-on-militia violence as well as defiance of the National Army; it has done nothing of the kind. Instead, violence in the capital if anything has escalated, with armed clashes occurring almost nightly. … Many Libyans felt that a disproportionate number of committee members were from eastern regions which were the first to escape regime control. … [R]esponding to criticism, the NTC announced that it would “systematise representation” on the basis of population and area size, though this initiative seems never to have fully materialised.”41
A Chatham paper, commenting on a debate attended by rebels and Western business people, conceded that “participants disagreed over the degree of support for the NTC in the streets of Benghazi.”42 Under the Orwellian appellation Stabilisation Response Team (read: occupation force), the UK sent a coterie of taxpayer-funded propagandists to support the TNC, which indicates the extent of the NTC’s popularity among Libyans. The report reads:
“Continuing to develop communications and ensuring transparent decision-making can help contribute to maintaining and deepening understanding and acceptance of the NTC. … Strong communications are critical to maintaining popular support for the NTC and to explain what is already being done. Delivering concrete action, and being seen to do so, is also important in meeting already high expectations of the Libyan people and in sustaining their support.”
The document goes on to offer suggestions on how to deceive the Libyan public.43
The Obama regime were reluctant to “intervene.” (This technique is designed to portray the US as a “reluctant” interventionist in order to deny the fact that its primary foreign policy objective is accessing resources and imposing favourable climates for business, as well as Presidential posturing on the side of a war-weary public).
In 1997, the Pentagon committed the United States to achieving Full Spectrum Dominance of land, sea, air, space, and information by the year 2020, “to close the ever-widening gap between diminishing resources and increasing military commitments.”44 With the largest known oil reserves in Africa, Libya, along with Nigeria, Iraq, Iran, and the Caspian, is key to Full Spectrum Dominance. Indeed, numerous establishment reports—from Anthony Cordesman, the European Council on Foreign Relations, etc.—noted the presence of dozens of international, mainly US, energy companies in Libya dating back to 2004, when Gaddafi agreed to economically liberalise the country.45
Oxford specialist, Professor M.J. Williams, testified to the British Parliamentary Committee that:
“On the surface it looked as if the US was largely not engaged in the operation, the reality is quite different. The plan was to pursue a “covert intervention” strategy rather than an overt one. The US was involved in all planning and deliberations regarding the campaign for the duration of the operation. This reflects a new US approach to international affairs, one that will remain the de facto course under the Obama Administration and may reflect a wider change due to mounting domestic pressure from the US electorate to save money buy [sic] cutting back on foreign adventures. … The reality is that this war, just like the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo, was largely an American operation.”46
UK Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey wrote that:
“The majority of effective strike power has been provided by the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, the United States Marine Corps Harriers (until withdrawn for political reasons by President Obama—too visible involvement for the American public to stomach) and, quietly and with no fanfare, by United States naval and air force aircraft (3,475 sorties—approximately 1/3rd of the total).”47
NATO’s role in Libya was humanitarian intervention.
NATO’s self-appointed mission is energy “security” (a.k.a. theft). In 2007, NATO’s then-Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer informed a NATO meeting that:
“it was the oil companies which already quite some time ago approached NATO – not exclusively NATO, also the European Union – to see how these international organizations could be helpful … I can tell you that the present strategic concept of NATO, of dating back, as you know, to 1999, is already talking about the free flow of energy … Let’s be glad that the gas is flowing again [referring to Kosovo].”48
Kosovo makes for an interesting comparison. British House of Commons Library papers published at the commencement of NATO’s bombing in 1999 acknowledged that, like Gaddafi in more recently years, Serbia’s Milosevic was not carrying out an ethnic cleansing of Kosovar Albanians, that 2,000 people on both sides had been killed in the “civil war”—not ethnic cleansing—from 1998-9, and that the Finnish forensic team could find no evidence to prove who committed the Racak massacre. (Given that British Special Forces had been in Kosovo since at least October 1998, we may guess the identity of the real culprits).49
Added to which, the mercenary construction company Kellogg, Brown & Root was the first to arrive in Kosovo in 1998 to construct Camp Bondsteel—the world’s biggest US military base—right on the Former Yugoslavia’s main energy pipeline junction.50 Returning to NATO’s role in energy “security”, its website explains that:
“NATO looks to protect critical energy infrastructures, transit areas and lines, while cooperating with partners and other organisations involved with energy security. .. NATO leaders recognize that the disruption of the flow of vital resources could affect Alliance security interests. … Some 65 per cent of the oil and natural gas consumed in Western Europe passes through the Mediterranean each year, with major pipelines connecting Libya to Italy and Morocco to Spain. Since October 2001 NATO ships have been patrolling in the Eastern Mediterranean .”51
NATO’s mandate was to protect civilians.
NATO had no UN mandate. Added to which, under the Geneva Conventions, “civilians”, or non-combatants, is a loose term. That means that the UK-armed and trained rebels were classified as “civilians” by the allied powers. When the media and the Security Council discussed protecting “civilians”, they were not referring to the unarmed men, women, and children of Libya who were not participating in hostilities. Rather, they were referring to the armed, Western-backed rebels. This point was not explained to the public in the media’s version of events. This gave the false impression that allied powers wanted to protect the unarmed men, women, and children of Libya, when in fact they wanted to provide air support to the rebels.
An unreported House of Commons Library paper explained that Resolution 1973 “offers protection to a wide category of people in Libya, even if they are or have been fighting. In humanitarian law,” the authors added, “A ‘civilian’ is ‘any person not a combatant’; but the definition of combatant is narrow and does not cover rebel forces,” unless they abide by the Geneva Conventions (carrying arms openly, wearing uniforms, etc). The allied powers took it upon themselves to designate the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, and other proxies, civilians (non-combatants).52
There were no alternatives to the use of force.
That UK Special Forces were training and arming the opposition as early as 2010 proves that the allied powers had no interest in peace: they wanted to overthrow Gaddafi, impose a Western-friendly regime, and do so under a humanitarian pretext. The US had no intention of finding a peaceful solution either: On March 7, United Press International reported that US General David Petraeus was caught asking Defense Secretary Robert Gates if he was “Flying a little bigger plane than normal — you gonna launch some attacks on Libya or something?”, to which Gates replied, “Yeah, exactly.”53
A day later, following previous peace efforts made by Hugo Chavez (rejected outright by the rebels as “a trap”),54 ABC News Australia reported that “Gaddafi this morning offered to meet rebel leaders in a “people’s conference” and step down with certain guarantees.”55Again rejected. This important story was not reported at all in Britain or America. We will never know what the “certain guarantees” were, but we can assume that Gaddafi wanted to step down in a way that would allow him to save face (and his life).
The International Crisis Group reported that “The complaint that Qaddafi cannot be trusted is one that can be levelled at any number of leaders on one side or another of a civil war.”56 Given that the British secret services were working with the opposition in the 1990s, then with Gaddafi from 2000 onwards, then with the rebels again, and that the US is formally committed to Full Spectrum Dominance, the real question is: could Gaddafi trust the West? Obviously not:
“To insist that he [Gaddafi] both leave the country and face trial in the International Criminal Court is virtually to ensure that he will stay in Libya to the bitter end and go down fighting”, the ICG reported. This was precisely the idea. A Chatham House paper published in June acknowledged that the goal was to “maintain the status quo” in order to “deplete the regime’s resources.”57
The ICG commented that:
“the longer Libya’s military conflict persists, the more it risks undermining the anti-Qaddafi camp’s avowed objectives. Yet, to date, the latter’s leadership and their NATO supporters appear to be uninterested in resolving the conflict through negotiation. To insist, as they have done, on Qaddafi’s departure as a precondition for any political initiative is to prolong the military conflict and deepen the crisis. Instead, the priority should be to secure an immediate ceasefire and negotiations on a transition to a post-Qaddafi political order.”58
Knowing his days were otherwise numbered, Gaddafi continued to offer to negotiate and honour the ceasefire demanded by UNSCR 1970, which the rebels rejected. On 17 March, the UK’s Ambassador to the Security Council, Mark Lyall Grant, referred to Gaddafi’s compliance as “a grotesque offer of amnesty.”59 In the Western intellectual culture, dropping bombs on children is exercising a “responsibility to protect”, whereas abiding by Security Council Resolutions is “a grotesque offer of amnesty.”
Gaddafi violated the ceasefire demanded by UNSCR 1970.
In February 2011, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1970, which forbade foreigners from arming Libyan factions or supplying proxy finances. Britain immediately violated the Resolution by failing to withdraw the covert special forces already in Libya, by funnelling money to the rebels through Kuwait, and by meeting with them to provide training and arms (which the UK Elite Forces acknowledged).
Despite an effort by Gaddafi to negotiate, it was clear that both America and the rebels would not accept a peaceful settlement: “The United States is not negotiating with Gaddafi,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on 27 February, mirroring the rebels: “there is no room for negotiation” (27 Feb).60
UNSCR 1970 “Demands an immediate end to the violence,” a demand which the rebels ignored. Gaddafi, on the other hand, was expected to abide by the Resolution as armed thugs were tearing the country to pieces. “What will happen if Gaddafi not only announces a ceasefire, but is forced to respect it, as is likely in the next few days?,” asked Malcolm Rifkind MP on 21 March (emphasis added). “Does that mean it is all over? I do not think that that would be an appropriate interpretation of the resolution,” proving that Britain had no interest in peace, that the goal was “regime change.”61
The allied powers had a problem, however: if Gaddafi was allowed to step down early, how could the allied powers continue justifying bombing the country to smithereens? The goal was to wreck the country so that the IMF and World Bank could loan Libya’s new puppet regime “reconstruction” money, and to enable Euro-American businesses to establish themselves in the country.62 Short of using nuclear, weather, or seismic weapons, this takes time.63
The Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa announced that Libya would abide by the ceasefire, but the rebels would not. A day before the NATO bombing began, the Associated Press reported that “A Libyan rebel spokesman has dismissed the cease-fire announcement, claiming Moammar Gadhafi’s forces are still attacking key cities in the east and the west”, providing no evidence.64
When asked for evidence by the Today programme that Gaddafi had violated the ceasefire, Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague provided none, replying: “I think we will know a ceasefire when we see it.” Natascha Engel MP informed Parliament that “those words did not fill me with complete confidence that we know what we are doing.”65Agence France Presse reported that the rebels “said they were coordinating with Western nations on targets for air strikes against Qadhafi’s forces, as a coalition of countries geared up to launch attacks.” In other words, while the allied powers prepared to bomb, Gaddafi was expected to cease firing.66
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 authorised the use of force. (Perhaps the biggest lie of all).
“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,” the US-UK-France-drafted Resolution 1973,
“Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in cooperation with the Secretary-General, to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians.”
Paragraph 9 of Resolution 1970 prohibited arming any faction in Libya and prohibited the deployment of ground forces. As noted, the UK had violated the Resolution since its inception, and continued to do so. Returning to UNSCR 1973, which explicitly “Act[ed] under Chapter VII of the [UN] Charter”, Chapter VII does not authorise the use of force. Chapter VII begins at Article 39:
“Use of force” is not included, and certainly not specified or authorised in Article 42. The British government appears to be aware that they committed Aggression—the supreme international war crime—against Libya. A Tory-Liberal-Labour committee report concerning Operation Ellamy states:
“We commend the Government for publishing a summary of the Attorney General’s legal advice and respect the decision not to publish the advice in full but are disappointed that the Prime Minister felt unable to share the advice with us on a private and confidential basis.”67
Why, other than concealing an admission of a war crime, would the government publish only parts of the Attorney General’s statement, and withhold the rest from an in-house committee?
Added to which, NATO is not mentioned in UNSCR 1973, which makes NATO’s use of force a war crime. Commodore Jermy testified that,
“the use of NATO air power to support offensive operations by rebel forces against those of Gaddafi falls outside UNSCR 1973’s authority, and thus do not appear to comply with international law.”
Former UN Legal Advisor, Patrick M. Lavender, testified:
“The use of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to implement United Nations’ Resolution 1973 (2011), adopted by the Security Council at its 6498th meeting, is ultra vires” (beyond legal power). The Ambassador to the Security Council Mark Lyall Grant affirmed that “The authorisation in the resolutions is for member states and organisations as appropriate; it does not mention NATO.”68
NATO engaged in unprecedented “precision air strikes” and made unprecedented efforts to avoid civilian casualties and civilian infrastructure.
A 5,000-word account of NATO’s bombing of civilians and civilian targets—drawing on coalition documents and mainstream press reports—has been published elsewhere.69 In addition to the information provided in that article, here are some facts dispelling the “precision air strikes” propaganda.
During the Parliamentary vote on the motion of whether or not to attack Libya, which, in keeping with the British concept of democracy, happened two days after the bombing had started, Madeline Moon (Labour MP) noted that “We must be up front and acknowledge that civilians will die.”
Likewise, Diane Abbott (Labour) stated that “There will be civilian casualties—there always are in such deployments,” adding that “The British people are very humane”—an example of the doublethink which so perplexed Moon. Both Abbott and Moon voted for the bombing. Other MPs spoke of “post-war reconstruction.” If the bombing was so precise, why would the country need World Bank and IMF “reconstruction” money?70
UK ambassador to NATO, Mariot Leslie, informed the post-war Parliamentary Committee that “you cannot say with honesty and certainty “I know for a fact that I have not killed a civilian.”” Strange, then, that the “unbiased” media would claim the opposite. “[Britain has] a higher respect for life than Gaddafi,” claimed Defence Secretary Liam Fox, before he was disgraced for betraying national secrets. Presumably that’s why Fox’s government armed Gaddafi until just weeks before the insurrection? Presumably that’s why the SAS were training Gaddafi’s forces in the previous years? Presumably that’s why Mariot Leslie informed the Select Committee that “We will never know whether some civilians have been accidentally killed by NATO because we have nobody on the ground to do the post-strike assessments.” We care so much about human life that we don’t investigate the deaths we cause. Major General Capewell acknowledged that “it’s difficult to determine who is a soldier and who is not.” According to the Parliamentary Committee:
“From the official MoD [Ministry of Defence] Libya updates, it would appear that a disproportionate amount of effort has been expended upon attacking structures that may or may not have contained Libyan military planning/intelligence units. … [T]he urban targeting problem should have been one of the prime considerations affecting the decision to enter into this Operation. … Damage or destruction of legitimate military targets has been achieved only once for every five sorties flown.”71
The International Crisis Group gave a few examples:
“Rebels waited in vain for Bani Walid residents to rise up against regime security forces. In the end, the town’s capture on 17 October was the result of another month of bloody battle and a combination of sustained NATO attacks, exchanges of ground missile fire … The battle for Sirte unfolded in a similar manner.”
Added to which, NATO’s self-appointed mission was to provide air support to the rebels, who were committing major war crimes (frequently via the use of indiscriminate firepower.) The ICG:
“Without sufficient numbers of local residents facilitating their entry, rebel forces used enormous amounts of heavy weaponry – including antiaircraft guns, recoilless rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, Grad rockets and tanks – against buildings in civilian residential areas. Local residents eyed rebels with suspicion, fearing they would engage in retaliation – and fearing, as well, actions by determined pro-Qadhafi forces in their midst. … The battle for Qadhafi’s Bab al-Aziziya compound took two days and the southern district of Abu Slim took three. Rebels unleashed anti-aircraft guns, recoilless rifles and rocket-propelled-grenades against retreating fighters in Abu Slim’s Hayy Nasr and Umm Durman districts, reducing Hayy Nasr’s carpet market to a smoking ruin.”72
AP reported that “as time went on, NATO airstrikes became more and more precise.” This tacitly concedes that up to August, the air strikes were largely indiscriminate, and evidence suggests that the bombings were indiscriminate throughout the operations.73
1. Joe Wolverton, “Has the U.S. Issued Kill Orders Against Reporters in Libya? ”, The New American, 30 August, 2011,
2. Global Research, “Libyan Rebels Threaten Canadian Journalist”, 26 August, 2011,
3. Cited in Joe Wolverton, “Has the U.S. Issued Kill Orders Against Reporters in Libya?”, The New American, 30 August, 2011,
4. Jomana Karadsheh and Ivan Watson, “Libya says NATO strikes targeted state broadcaster”, CNN, 30 July, 2011,
5. The Examiner, “Human rights fact-finders show Libyan deaths, injuries not ‘propaganda’”, 7 June, 2011,
6. Amnesty International, “Libya: Release or transfer British journalists and Libyan colleagues”, 28 February, 2012,
7. House of Commons Defence Committee, “Operations in Libya”, Ninth Report of Session 2010–12, Volume I: Report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence, 8 February, 2012, London: Stationary Office,
8. For the legal details, see my “Britain Threatens Nuclear Attack on Argentina”, Axis of Logic, 29 February, 2012,
9. House of Commons Defence Committee, “Operations in Libya”, Ninth Report of Session 2010–12, Volume II, 8 February, 2012, London: Stationary Office,
10. Ministry of Defence, “Strategic Trends Programme: Out to 2040”, 4 February, 2010 (3rd), London: MoD,
11. Ipsos-Mori-Reuters, 13 April 2011,
12. House of Commons Defence Committee, “Operations in Libya”, Ninth Report of Session 2010–12, Volume I: Report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence, 8 February, 2012, London: Stationary Office,
13. Tim Shipman and David Williams, “SAS rounded up and booted out as Libyan mission turns to farce”, Daily Mail, 7 March, 2011,
14. Elite UK Forces, “British Special Forces In Libya”, 24 October 2011,
15. General Carter Ham, AFRICOM, 4 March, 2011,
16. International Crisis Group, “Popular Protest in North Africa and the Middle East (V): Making Sense of Libya”, Crisis Group Middle East/North Africa Report N°107, 6 June, 2011, Brussels: ICG,
17. Middle East Partnership Initiative (US State Department), “MEPI Highlights North African Activists Use New Media Technology to Engage Citizens”,
18. House of Commons Defence Committee, “Operations in Libya”, Ninth Report of Session 2010–12, Volume II, 8 February, 2012, London: Stationary Office,
19. International Crisis Group, “Popular Protest in North Africa and the Middle East (V): Making Sense of Libya”, Crisis Group Middle East/North Africa Report N°107, 6 June, 2011, Brussels: ICG,
20. RT, ““Airstrikes in Libya did not take place” – Russian military”, 2 March, 2011,
21. Julian Borger, “Nato weighs Libya no-fly zone options”, Guardian, 8 March, 2011,
22. Shashank Joshi, “ARGUMENTS FOR a No Fly Zone over Libya”, Royal United Service Institute,
23. Claire Taylor and Ben Smith, “Establishment of a Military No-Fly Zone over Libya”, House of Commons Defence Library, Standard note SN/IA/5909, 21 March, 2011,
24. Julie Ray, “Ahead of Protests, Many Libyans Discontent With Freedom, Jobs”, Gallup, 25 February, 2011,
25. Guardian, “Libya is united in popular revolution – please don’t intervene”, 1 March, 2011; Eurasia Review, “Libyans Want The World To Keep Out”, 9 March, 2011; Al-Arabiya, “Libya rebels form council, oppose foreign intervention”, 27 February, 2011,
26. Alistair Burt (member of the LBBC), Sir Richard Dalton (member of the LBBC), Lindsey Hilsum, Ashur Al-Shamis, and Claire Spencer, “Libya: Prospects and Challenges”, 8 June, 2011. Hilsum:
“I spent about six weeks in Benghazi. I got to Tubruq on 23 February – that was just under a week after the uprising – athen [sic] spent that time in Benghazi, Ajdabiya and along that shifting frontline around Brega and Ra’s Lanuf.”
These areas are where MI6 had been training the rebels. See footnote 13.
27. International Crisis Group, “Popular Protest in North Africa and the Middle East (V): Making Sense of Libya”, Crisis Group Middle East/North Africa Report N°107, 6 June, 2011, Brussels: ICG,
28. Steve Chapman, “Did Obama avert a bloodbath in Libya? Panicking over a dubious threat”, Foreign Policy, 3 April, 2011 (details in theChicago Tribune)
29. Courageously, Oxfam stayed in the city: Oxfam, “Rising to the Humanitarian Challenge in Iraq”, July, 2007, Briefing Paper, London: Oxfam, On the use of nuclear weapons, the US-UK governments have not admitted this, but there were higher levels of radiation found in Fallujah than in Hiroshima: Chris Busby et al., “Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005–2009”, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 6 July, 2010 and Patrick Cockburn, “Toxic Legacy of US Assault on Fallujah ‘Worse Than Hiroshima’”, Independent, 24 July, 2010,
30. Kuperman on “Crosstalk”, RT,
31. Alan J. Kuperman, “5 things the U.S. should consider in Libya”, USA Today, 22 March, 2011,
32. For the shocking details and sources, see my “One year on. Why we attacked Libya”, Axis of Logic, 28 March, 2012,
33. Human Rights Council (UN), “Report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Libya”, 8 March, 2012, A/HRC/19/68 Advance Unedited Version,
34. Amnesty International, “Q&A” , 21 March, 2011,
35. Amnesty International, “Militias threaten hopes for New Libya”, Index: MDE 19/002/2012, February, 2012,
38. Ian Bruce, “Charity urges Westminster to regulate UK mercenary firm”, Herald Scotland, 14 February, 2008,
39. House of Commons Defence Committee, “Operations in Libya”, Ninth Report of Session 2010–12, Volume I: Report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence, 8 February, 2012, London: Stationary Office,
40. Alex Stevenson, “UK military prepares for Libyan no-fly zone”, 28 February, 2011, politics.co.uk,
41. International Crisis Group, “Holding Libya Together: Security Challenges After Qadhafi”, Middle East/North Africa Report No. 115, 14 December, 2011,
42. Chatham House, “Libya’s Future: Towards Transition”, May, 2011,
43. International Stabilisation Response Team, “Libya”, 20 May-30 June, 2011,
44. US Space Command, “Vision for 2020”, February, 1997,
45. Anthony H. Cordesman, “Libya: Three possible outcomes and the role of governance, money, gas, and oil”, Center for Strategic and International Studies, March 22, 2011 and Daniel Korski, “What Europe needs to do on Libya”, European Council on Foreign Relations, 25 February, 2011,
46. House of Commons Defence Committee, “Operations in Libya”, Ninth Report of Session 2010–12, Volume II, 8 February, 2012, London: Stationary Office,
48. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, “Transatlantic leadership for a new era: Speech by NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer at the Security and Defence Agenda”, NATO, 26 January, 2009,
49. Tim Youngs, M. Oakes and P. Bowers, “Kosovo: NATO and Military Action”, House of Commons Library, Research Paper 99/34, 24 March, 1999,
50. Dan Briody, 2004, The Halliburton Agenda: The Politics of Oil and Money, NY: Wiley.
51. Once one accesses the website, one needs to click on the subheadings. NATO, “NATO’s role in energy security”, undated,
52. Ben Smith and Arabella Thorp, “Interpretation of Security Council Resolution 1973 on Libya”, House of Commons Library, SN/IA/5916, 6 April, 2011,
53. Roger L. Wollenberg, “Petraeus, Gates joke about Libya strike”, United Press International, 7 March, 2011,
54. Associated Press, “Chávez proposes ‘committee of peace’ to mediate between west and Gaddafi”, Guardian, 3 March, 2011,
55. ABC, “Rebels say Libya peace talks offer a trap”, 8 March, 2011,
56. International Crisis Group, “Popular Protest in North Africa and the Middle East (V): Making Sense of Libya”, Crisis Group Middle East/North Africa Report N°107, 6 June, 2011, Brussels: ICG,
57. Alistair Burt MP, Sir Richard Dalton, Lindsey Hilsum, Ashur Al-Shamis, and Claire Spencer, “Libya: Prospects and Challenges”, 8 June, 2011,
58. International Crisis Group, “Popular Protest in North Africa and the Middle East (V): Making Sense of Libya”, Crisis Group Middle East/North Africa Report N°107, 6 June, 2011, Brussels: ICG,
59. Mark Lyall Grant, Statement to the Security Council on UNSCR 1973, 17 March, 2011,
60. Al-Arabiya, “Rebel Libyan army in east ready to help Tripoli, Offers ‘any kind of assistance’ to Libya uprising”, 27 February, 2011 and Mohammed Abbas, “Libya rebels form council, oppose foreign intervention”, The Windsor Star, 27 February, 2011,
61. British Parliament, “United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973”, 21 March, 2011,
62. See footnote 37 of my “Libya one year on (Part 2)”, Axis of Logic,
63. For primary sources on weather and seismic weapons, see my “Weather Weapons and Earthquake Bombs”, Axis of Logic, 6 January, 2012,
64. Associated Press, “Libyan rebels dismiss cease-fire declaration”, March 18, 2011,
65. Hague and Engel in British Parliament, “United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973”, 21 March, 2011,
66. Agence France Presse, “Libya accuses rebels of breaching truce”, 19 March, 2011,
67. House of Commons Defence Committee, “Operations in Libya”, Ninth Report of Session 2010–12, Volume I: Report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence, 8 February, 2012, London: Stationary Office,
68. Jermy, and Lavender in House of Commons Defence Committee, “Operations in Libya”, Ninth Report of Session 2010–12, Volume II, 8 February, 2012, London: Stationary Office ; Lyall Grant in House of Commons Defence Committee, “Operations in Libya”, Ninth Report of Session 2010–12, Volume I: Report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence, 8 February, 2012, London: Stationary Office.
69. See my “Libya one year on (Part 2)”,
71. Leslie and Fox in House of Commons Defence Committee, “Operations in Libya”, Ninth Report of Session 2010–12, Volume I: Report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence, 8 February, 2012, London: Stationary Office. On Fox’s betrayal of national “secrets” by employing his friend, see Robert Verkaik, “MI6 warned Werrity that he was jeopardising British policy in Iran”, 22 October 2011; Capewell and Committee report in House of Commons Defence Committee, “Operations in Libya”, Ninth Report of Session 2010–12, Volume II, 8 February, 2012, London: Stationary Office.
72. International Crisis Group, “Holding Libya Together: Security Challenges After Qadhafi”, Middle East/North Africa Report No. 115, 14 December, 2011.
73. Hadeel Al-Shalchi and Rami Al-Shaheibi, “NATO, sleeper cells drove rebels‘ Tripoli push,” Associated Press, 24 August, 2011.
Libya One Year On (Part 4): Opened for Business: the corporate takeover
Editor’s Comment: The following report is the 4th and final report in the series, “Libya One Year After” by Axis of Logic Columnist, T.J. Coles. We thank him for establishing a fully documented and accurate history of NATO’s destruction of Libya 2011. Read Parts I, II and III of this important series that exposes the deceptive foundation provided by the invader for their war on the people of Libya. If you haven’t already done so, read T.J. Cole’s first three reports in this important series:
The victor no longer has the luxury of writing their own “history” of their war crimes. Coles shows that NATO’s destruction of Libya was nothing more nor less than the crimes of first degree murder and armed robbery on a grand scale.
– Les Blough, Editor
In the mid 1990s, the British secret services sought to depose Muammar Gaddafi by working with their mujahideen terrorist allies, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), whose members they had trained in Afghanistan in the 1980s.1 Gaddafi defeated the LIFG, jailing its leaders and launching attacks against LIFG bases. Gaddafi, fearing a coup, sought rapprochement with Britain. In 2000, Oil Diplomacy quoted Gaddafi as saying: “Libya wants to encourage foreign capital investment and partnership, not only for the benefit of this country but for the entire African continent to which Libya is the gateway for Europe.”2
At that point, MI6 betrayed the LIFG and began working closely with Gaddafi’s regime.3 MI6 and the CIA even helped Gaddafi to capture LIFG leader Abdel Hakim Belhadj, who “said that he was tortured by CIA agents before being transferred to Libya.”4 History repeats. In the twelfth century, the Order of the Knights Templar received contract to plunder what is now Libya. By the early thirteenth century, the Templar had accumulated too much personal wealth and influence. Consequently, the Pope, Philip IV and Edward II had many of the Knights Templar arrested and tortured.5 In the world of power and greed, friends and allies change and disappear as quickly as the wind.
More Blood for Oil
From 2004 to around 2009, numerous business-linked politicians courted Gaddafi publicly. They included Tony Blair, working on behalf of Shell, BP, and JP Morgan;6 then-Foreign Secretary and European Council on Foreign Relations member David Miliband; and Neil Kinnock MP. The latter “discussed Shell’s business in the region and helped promote the UK’s wider energy agenda,” the Guardian reported, adding that “British oil interests got its second major boost in Libya … when BP won rights for exploration and development work there.”7
|Tony Blair courting Col. Qaddafi in Tripoli for oil and gas in 2007|
In 2007, BP’s chief executive Tony Haywood bragged of Libya’s potentially “large resources of gas, favourable geographic location and improving investment climate. … It is BP’s single biggest exploration commitment.”8 The website also noted that “BP will spend $50 million on education and training projects for Libyan professionals during the exploration and appraisal period, and, upon success, a further $50 million from commencement of production.”9
|Pro-war Anthony Cordesman on Libya in 2011|
According to the pro-war Anthony Cordesman, energy companies at work in Libya after Blair’s deal also included Eni, Total, Repsol YPF, StatoilHydro, Occidental, OMV, ConocoPhillips, Hess, Marathon, ExxonMobil “and others,”10 including the BG Group. A European Council on Foreign Relations report explained that Europe’s economic relationship with Libya has … made it more difficult for some leaders to extricate themselves from relationships with Gaddafi’s regime. Libya exports natural gas to Italy via the 520 km Greenstream underwater pipeline, and to Spain in the form of LNG [liquefied natural gas]. … Austria receives 21.2% of its crude oil imports from Libya, France 15.7%, Germany 7%, Greece 14.6%, Ireland 23.3%, Italy 22.0%, Netherlands 2.3%, Portugal 11.1%, Spain 12.1%, United Kingdom 8.5%.11
NATO stated that “65 per cent of the oil and natural gas consumed in Western Europe passes through the Mediterranean each year, with major pipelines connecting Libya to Italy and Morocco to Spain.” NATO’s statement concluded that “Since October 2001 NATO ships have been patrolling in the Eastern Mediterranean.”12
|David Miliband in March, 2011 complaining that Qadaffi’s son, Saif was permitted to give a talk at London School of Economics in May, 2010|
In 2009, David Miliband stated that “With the largest proven oil reserves in Africa and extensive gas reserves, Libya is potentially a major energy source for the future,” adding that “We work hard to support British business in Libya, as we do worldwide.”13 Around that time, the Labour government commissioned Malcolm Wicks MP to research an extensive energy review, later approved by Miliband’s brother, Ed (the Energy Secretary at the time). Wicks observed that “The UK already imports LNG [liquefied natural gas] from both Algeria and Egypt in North Africa, where Libya also has great potential.”14
Libya and the BMENAI
More than just the energy issue, however, is Libya’s role in the Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative. After the collapse of the rival Soviet Union in 1991, Europe began an economic liberalisation scheme for North Africa titled the Mediterranean Neighbourhood Policy.15 The goals were to end the region’s unemployment and to close the “gateway” to Europe for Sub-Saharan African refugees. Both reasons had to do with preventing immigration to Europe.16 Around the same time, the US concocted a similar scheme involving broader economic liberalisation (the Greater Middle East project).17
|The west salivates over Libya’s oil and gas.|
In 2004, once the all-important oil fields of Iraq had been secured, the Euro-American plans merged at the G8, and were renamed the Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative (BMENAI). In keeping with “democracy promotion”, the BMENAI had no input from the people of the region or their unelected dictators, most of whom expressed outrage.18The objectives are to open Euro-American creditor banks, lower trade tariffs, and liberalise corporate law.19
In 2004, the Libyan-British Business Council was established, providing a forum for some one-hundred-fifty companies, including Shell, BP, Barclays, HSBC, and BAE Systems. Its aims are “to maintain a favourable business climate and minimise bilateral difficulties” in order to “overcome common barriers to market entry … [b]y acting as an influential and informed advocacy group on behalf of UK business in Libya.”20
|Foreign oil companies chafing at the bit
to safely extract oil from Libyan oil fields.
In 2010, following the G8’s Libya 2025 liberalisation scheme, the European Commission (EC) published a position paper on Libya’s economy. The EC’s “main external donors” include various UN agencies and “large oil companies … ENI, Petro-Canada, Exxon, Stat Oil Hydro …, a private university and NGOs.” Those organisations made suggestions on the EC’s paper. The follow-up concept note was “circulated to … various international financial institutions (in particular the World Bank).” Once it was approved by those paymasters, the final position paper read:
“hydrocarbon wealth has made Libya, on a per capita basis, one of richest countries in Africa. … [I]t is understood that the country has very limited external debts. … [A]ll citizens have free access to a generous package of health care … [However, t]he EC strategy has one overarching objective: to consolidate Libya’s integration in the rules-based international political and economic system.”21
The “rules-based” system means compliance with Full Spectrum Dominance22 in the New World Order.23 The EC demanded:
“a deep and comprehensive free trade area (FTA) to cover trade in goods and services, investment issues and other key trade rules (intellectual property rights, competition, public procurement, trade and sustainable development, sanitary and phyto-sanitary rules, statistics, customs, and trade facilitation)[,] … as well as [discussing] many sectoral issues, in particular energy, transport, environment, industrial and enterprise policy, tourism and cultural heritage, agriculture and rural development, fisheries and an integrated approach to maritime affairs, including maritime governance, science and technology, education and training, etc. … Libya needs to adopt modern administrative and management techniques.”24
In other words, the powers that be had planned for a full corporate takeover of Libya, and their well-funded propaganda machine tried to convince their Western domestic publics that NATO was acting as a guardian of human rights.
A Thorn in Their Side
The largely consolidated Euro-American business interests had a problem. Like Mubarak, Ben Ali, and Assad, Gaddafi would not fully comply. As a result, CNN put out vulgar propaganda, claiming that the former leaders of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, whom they admitted had links with the mujahideen (“al-Qaeda”), had renounced terrorism. Plan B was to work with those former leaders in order to overthrow Gaddafi. However, as the mujahideen (“al-Qaeda”) were blamed for the 9/11 atrocity, any future overt association between the US and the LIFG would outrage many Americans (hence the pretence that the LIFG members had renounced violence).25
The business world’s fears were realised: Gaddafi would not fully comply with the liberalisation demands. The energy company-sponsored International Crisis Group noted that the reform constitution “never saw the light, reportedly because Qaddafi rejected it, claiming it tampered with the fundamentals of the Jamahiriya,” Gaddafi’s socioeconomic system. “[T]he reform process was highly orchestrated, in effect an affair of marginal and cosmetic rather than radical or wholesale changes.”26
A report into Gaddafi’s non-compliance found that Libya’s National Oil Company “fell short of its mandate to promote investment in Libya by international oil companies including PetroCanada, RWE, Wintershall, Shell and Eni”, Reuters reported. “It says many of these firms stopped or reduced exploration and surveying activities in the country in the first half of 2010.”27 The Libyan-British Business Council, which by its own admission had maintained links with Gaddafi’s opponents in case they had to switch sides, wrote that
Foreign investors and other firms doing business in Libya continued to experience significant challenges: slow and arbitrary decision making, late or incomplete payments and an absence of transparency and predictability. The most business-friendly legal reforms were not introduced until 2009 and 2010 and even then, the IMF expressed doubts about their status.28
In 2010, the US State Department began training Libyan dissidents in how to efficiently use the internet to provoke unrest.29 According to the ICG, anti-Gaddafi Libyans living in Britain also began mounting an internet campaign to encourage anti-Gaddafi elements in Benghazi to rise up. At that time, MI6 switched sides again and began training and arming the anti-Gaddafi rebels, whom, re-enacting the 1995-6 coup attempt, hijacked the Arab Spring and sought to depose Gaddafi.30
The most conclusive evidence that the coup was planned long ago came from the UK Foreign Office in March 2011, which commented on the “1.86 billion Libyan dinar bank notes that were printed in the UK before the current crisis.”31 Likewise, then-Defence Secretary Liam Fox said that “None of the self-professed experts whom I have been able to talk to predicted Tunisia or Egypt, or the speed of what has happened in Syria or Libya” (emphasis added).32
So, Libya and Syria were predicted (because Fox must have known about the secret service’s presence there), but not the “speed” of the takeover. As noted elsewhere, UK Special Forces have also been arming and training the opposition in Syria since at least November 2011.33
Also noted are the US plans dating back to 2004 to foster internal revolution in the Middle East and steer events to outcomes favourable to US interests (i.e. getting rid of Mubarak but not the Egyptian Army, etc).34 There is a major difference between Syria and Libya, however: Syria does not have substantial reserves of oil, so NATO will not attack it.
With NATO’s help, the anti-Gaddafi rebels raped, pillaged, bombed, shot, and destroyed most of Libya, ethnically cleansing black Libyans with MI6 and SAS training and weaponry.35 At the time of the insurrection, Robin Lamb, Director-general of the LBBC wrote that the rebels “are more rather than less likely to welcome an increased role for the private sector.” The quid pro quo was: you do what we say and we’ll get you into Office.36
Opened for Business
Within ten days of the NATO bombing, a business meeting convened in London to discuss Libya’s “transition” to “democracy.” The meeting was attended by, among others, World Bank Senior Counsellor for the UK and Ireland, Andrew Felton.37 Not for the first time, the Security Council became a de facto imperial enforcer. According to the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), “A joint World Bank/International Monetary Fund mission to Libya from 13 to 28 January  focused on a macroeconomic overview, public expenditure and public financial management.”38
Like their Labour “opponents” before them, David Cameron’s speechwriters—as NATO bombs were still falling on children—said that of the countries, “Libya is … one of the richest in Africa. Its proven oil reserves are the ninth largest in the world and in relation to their GDP, bigger than Saudi Arabia.” On pulling the strings behind the scenes, Cameron’s speechwriters acknowledged that “Of course there is a role for foreign advice, help and support but we don’t want to see an army of foreign consultants driving around in four by fours giving the impression this is something being done to the Libyans, rather than done by them.”39 As the MoD explained, “perceptions of moral legitimacy” are what count.40
Cameron’s speechwriters added that “we expect the new Libyan authorities to meet their pledge of ensuring transparent and accountable financial systems.”41 The corporate elite are planning a privatisation bonanza. Just some of the British companies descending on Libya include the private healthcare companies Bupa and Keystone, British Water and Biwater, the propaganda agency Bell and Pottinger, Macmillan Education, numerous banks, and several drug companies.42
|William Hague & Hillary Clinton led support for war on Libya on March 29, 2011|
According to Foreign Secretary William Hague’s speechwriters, “We are now building a longer-term UK-Libyan partnership to help develop a new and fully functioning healthcare system in Libya through NHS [National Health Service] support and promoting opportunities for UK companies.”43 One LBBC member, Stuart Smalley, “held the post of Chief Executive at a regional specialist university NHS trust in Manchester” from 1996 to 2001, “where he was responsible for developing one of the largest PFI [private finance initiative] schemes outside London.”44
Private Finance Initiatives are a New Labour-era scheme in which taxpayers finance corporate investments and corporations reap the profits. Ed Howker and Shiv Malik noted in their study that “Labour’s PFI schemes [amounted to] £56bn, [but] they will cost Britain just a tiny bit more: £267 billion.”45 It doesn’t take too much to imagine what will happen to Libya’s once nearly-debt-free economy.
A year after the coup, as the country lay a smoking ruin, Hague’s speechwriters stated that British firms would be “training workshops for Libyan lawyers” and “provid[ing] support including on preparations for elections and sharing institutional knowledge and expertise with Libyan Ministries.”46 The Tory-Liberal “coalition” should be experts in “democracy promotion”, given that no one in the UK voted for a coalition, that Chatham House acknowledged the results of the election were “inconclusive”, yet Britain still ended up with an unelected “coalition” (around 80% of which is Tory, with a little Liberal thrown in for good measure).
1. Mark Curtis, 2010, Secret Affairs, London: Serpent’s Tail.
2. International Crisis Group, “Popular Protest in North Africa and the Middle East (V): Making Sense of Libya,” Crisis Group Middle East/North Africa Report N°107, 6 June 2011, Brussels: ICG,
3. Cherry Wilson, “Secret Libyan files claim MI6 and the CIA aided human rights violations”, Guardian, 3 September, 2011,
4. Yvonne Bell, “CIA, MI6 helped Gaddafi on dissidents: rights group”, Reuters, 3 September, 2011,
5. Eleanor Ferris, “The Financial Relations of the Knights Templars to the English”, The American Historical Review, Vol. 8, No. 1, October, 1902, pp. 1-17 ; Clarence Perkins, “The Trial of the Knights Templars in England”, The English Historical Review, Vol. 24, No. 95, July, 1909, pp. 432-447 ; Clarence Perkins, “The Knights Templars in the British Isles,” The English Historical Review, Vol. 25, No. 98, April, 1910, pp. 209-230.
6. Vincent Moss, “Tony Blair’s fortune to treble to £45million next year”, Daily Mirror, 31 January, 2010,
7. Terry Macalister, “Revealed: how Shell won the fight for Libyan gas and oil,” Guardian, 30 August, 2009,
8. Haywood in “BP Agrees Major Exploration and Production Deal with Libya”, BP, 29 May, 2007,
9. BP, “BP Agrees Major Exploration and Production Deal with Libya”, 29 May, 2007,
10. Anthony H. Cordesman, “Libya: Three possible outcomes and the role of governance, money, gas, and oil”, Center for Strategic and International Studies, March 22, 2011,
11. Daniel Korski, “What Europe needs to do on Libya”, European Council on Foreign Relations, 25 February, 2011,
12. One needs to click on the webpage subheadings which fold out into text. NATO, “NATO’s role in energy security”, undated,
13. David Miliband cited in Ben Smith, “UK relations with Libya”, Standard Note SN/IA/ 5886, 2 March, 2011,
14. Malcolm Wicks, “Energy Security: A national challenge in a changing world”, Department of Energy and Climate Change, August, 2009, London: BIS Publications,
15. Centro Studi di Politica Internazionale (CeSPI), the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) and Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), 2010, Islamist Mass Movements, External Actors and Political Change in the Arab World, Stockholm: IDEA.
16. Mona Yacoubian (CFR, CSIS), “Promoting Middle East Democracy”, Special Report 127, United States Institute for Peace, October, 2004,
17. Marina Ottaway and Thomas Carothers, “The Greater Middle East Initiative: Off to a False Start”, Policy Brief 29, March, 2004, Washington: Carnegie Endowment,
18. Jeremy M. Sharp, “The Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative: An Overview,” Congressional Research Service, Order Code RS22053, 15 February, 2005,
19. Robert Looney, “The Broader Middle East Initiative: Requirements for Success in the Gulf”, Strategic Insights, Volume 3, Issue 8, August, 2004, pp.1-9; Richard Youngs, “Trans-Atlantic Cooperation on Middle East Reform: A European Mis-judgment?,” Foreign Policy Centre briefing paper, November, 2004, London: The Foreign Policy Centre.
20. Libyan-British Business Council, “What We Do”, undated,
21. European Commission, 2010, Libya: Strategy Paper and National Indicative Programme 2011-13, Brussels: European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument,
22. US Space Command, “Vision for 2020”, February, 1997,
23. Daniel W. Drezner, “New World Order”, Foreign Affairs, March/April, 2007,
24. European Commission, 2010, Libya: Strategy Paper and National Indicative Programme 2011-13, Brussels: European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument,
25. Nic Robertson and Paul Cruickshank, “Libya: the Jihad Code”, CNN, 10 November, 2009,
26. International Crisis Group, “Popular Protest in North Africa and the Middle East (V): Making Sense of Libya,” Crisis Group Middle East/North Africa Report N°107, 6 June 2011, Brussels: ICG,
27. Jessica Donati and Marie-Louise Gumuchian, “Special Report: The Gaddafi oil papers”, Reuters, 23 December, 2011,
28. Libyan-British Business Council, “About Libya Trade and Investment in the New Libya”, undated,
29. US State Department, “MEPI Highlights North African Activists Use New Media Technology to Engage Citizens”,
30. International Crisis Group, “Popular Protest in North Africa and the Middle East (V): Making Sense of Libya,” Crisis Group Middle East/North Africa Report N°107, 6 June 2011, Brussels: ICG,
31. Foreign Office, “1.886 billion Libyan dinar bank notes that were printed in the UK before the current crisis”, March, 2011,
32. House of Commons Defence Committee, “Operations in Libya”, Ninth Report of Session 2010–12, Volume I: Report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence, 8 February, 2012, London: Stationary Office,
33. See my “Britain’s secret proxy war in Syria”, Axis of Logic, 8 February, 2012,
34. Ibid., footnote 1.
35. See my, “Libya one year on (Part 2)”, Axis of Logic,
36. Robin Lamb, “Libyan British Business Council, Director General’s Newsletter”, Libyan-British Business Council, 28 February, 2011,
37. Foreign Office, “The London Conference on Libya: attendees”, 29 March, 2011,
38. United Nations Support Mission in Libya, “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Support Mission in Libya”, S/2012/129, 1 March, 2012, No. 12-24473 (E) 050312.
39. David Cameron, “The future of Libya belongs to its people”, Foreign Office, 5 September, 2011,
40. Ministry of Defence, “Strategic Trends Programme: Out to 2040”, 4 February, 2010 (4th), London: MoD,
41. David Cameron, “The future of Libya belongs to its people”, Foreign Office, 5 September, 2011,
42. Libyan-British Business Council, “Members”, undated,
43. William Hague, “Reaffirming the UK’s commitment to Libya”, Foreign Office, 16 February, 2012,
44. Libyan-British Business Council, “Members of Staff”, website, undated,
45. Ed Howker and Shiv Malik, 2010, Jilted Generation, London: Icon.
46. William Hague, “Reaffirming the UK’s commitment to Libya”, Foreign Office, 16 February, 2012,
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