- Washington DC, March 19 Late today US and British
cruise missiles joined with French and other NATO combat aircraft in Operation
Odyssey Dawn/Operation Ellamy, a neo-imperialist bombing attack under fake
humanitarian cover against the sovereign state of Libya. Acting under UN
Security Council resolution 1973, US naval forces in the Mediterranean
on Saturday night local time fired 112 cruise missiles at targets which
the Pentagon claimed were related to Libya's air defense system. But Mohammed
al-Zawi, the Secretary General of the Libyan Parliament, told a Tripoli
press conference that the "barbaric armed attack" and "savage
aggression" had hit residential areas and office buildings as well
as military targets, filling the hospitals of Tripoli and Misurata with
civilian victims. Zawi accused the foreign powers of acting to protect
a rebel leadership which contains notorious terrorist elements. The Libyan
government repeated its request for the UN to send international observers
to report objectively on events in Libya.
- The attacking forces are expected to deploy more cruise
missiles, Predator drones, and bombers, seeking to destroy the Libyan air
defense system as a prelude to the systematic decimation of Libyan ground
units. International observers have noted that US intelligence about Libya
may be substandard, and that many cruise missiles may indeed have struck
- Libya had responded to the UN vote by declaring a cease-fire,
but Obama and Cameron brushed that aside. On Saturday, France 24 and al-Jazeera
of Qatar, international propaganda networks hyping the attacks, broadcast
hysterical reports of Qaddafi's forces allegedly attacking the rebel stronghold
of Bengazi. They showed a picture of a jet fighter being shot down and
claimed this proved Qaddafi was defying the UN by keeping up his air strikes.
It later turned out that the destroyed plane had belonged to the rebel
air force. Such coverage provided justification for the bombing attacks
starting a few hours later. The parallels to the Kuwait incubator babies
hoax of 1990 were evident. Qaddafi loyalists said Saturday's fighting was
caused by rebel assaults on government lines in the hopes of provoking
an air attack, plus local residents defending themselves against the rebels.
- At the UN vote, the Indian delegate correctly pointed
out that the decision to start the war had been made on the basis of no
reliable information whatsoever, since UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon's
envoy to Libya had never reported to the Security Council. The bombing
started shortly after a glittering Paris summit "in support of the
Libyan people," where Sarkozy, Cameron, Hillary Clinton, Stephen Harper
of Canada and other imperialist politicians had strutted and postured.
- Token contingents from Qatar, the United Arab Emirates,
Jordan, and Saudi Arabia were supposed to take part in the attack, but
were nowhere to be seen, while some Arab states were expected to provide
financial support. The minimum estimated cost of maintaining a no-fly zone
over Libya for one year is estimated in the neighborhood of $15 billion
enough to fund WIC high-protein meals for impoverished US mothers
and infants for two years.
- From no-fly zone to regime change
- The alleged purpose of the bombing was to establish a
no-fly zone and to protect a force of CIA-sponsored Libyan rebels composed
of the Moslem Brotherhood, elements of the Libyan government and army subverted
by the CIA (including such sinister figures as former Justice Minister
Mustafa Abdel-Jalil and former Interior Minister Fattah Younis), and monarchist
Senussi tribesmen holding the cities of Benghazi and Tobruk. But twin Friday
ultimatums by President Obama and British premier Cameron, plus a speech
by Harper, made clear that the goal was the ouster of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi
and regime change in the North African oil-producing nation, whose proven
reserves of crude are the largest on that continent.
- Prospects for military success are uncertain, despite
the apparent NATO preponderance. No clear military objective has been articulated,
and disagreements about the scope of the war are likely. If Qaddafi's tanks
and infantry are engaged in house to house battles with the rebels in cities
like Bengazi and Tobruk, it will be hard for NATO to bring its air superiority
to bear without massacring large numbers of civilians.
- From hope and change to shock and awe
- While Obama's action is being widely compared to the
Bush-Cheney 2003 attack on Iraq, parallels to the April 1961 Bay of Pigs
fiasco are also strong. In that instance, a force of anti-Castro Cubans
organized by the CIA was militarily defeated in an attempt to take over
Cuba, resulting in calls from Allen Dulles to President Kennedy for air
strikes and a ground invasion. Kennedy rejected those calls and fired the
Dulles CIA leadership. Obama, faced by the military collapse of a CIA force
in Libya, has ordered such bombing, opening a second phase of the present
- The rebel region of Cerenaica has long been the scene
of Moslem brotherhood agitation against Qaddafi, much of it fomented from
across the Egyptian border with US assistance. After the failed 1995 assassination
attempt against the Libyan leader reported by MI-5 defector David Shayler
(for which MI-6 paid £100,000 to an al Qaeda subsidiary), eastern
Libya was the scene of a protracted Islamist insurrection. In the wake
of events in Tunisia and Egypt, it has become clear that the CIA has stipulated
a worldwide alliance against existing Arab governments with the reactionary
and oligarchical Muslim brotherhood, which was created by British intelligence
in Egypt in the late 1920s. Al Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), another
CIA front, is trumpeting full support for the rebels on its website.
- French President Nicolas Sarkozy was first to recognize
the Benghazi rebels, calling for a no-fly zone and air strikes a week earlier,
seconded by British Prime Minister Cameron. Until about 18 hours before
the UN vote, top US officials like Secretary of State Clinton and Defense
Secretary Gates were stressing the difficulties of a no-fly zone. French
Foreign Minister Juppé lamented that it was already too late for
a no-fly zone. Then, the US abruptly demanded a no-fly zone plus a blank
check for aerial bombing. Diplomatic observers are puzzled by Obama's turnaround.
Was he being blackmailed by the British and the French, the same imperialist
coalition that invaded Egypt to seize the Suez Canal back in 1956? Because
of Obama's decision, the US is now at war with a fourth Moslem nation after
Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan. In Pakistan, the simmering conflict is
threatening to escalate into the open at any time in the wake of the scandal
around CIA contractor Ray Davis, accused by the Pakistanis as a terrorist
- The Arab League, surprising many analysts, had voted
unanimously for a no-fly zone over Libya. The African Union, by contrast,
has resolutely opposed foreign intervention. Western diplomats have discounted
the AU position, giving rise to suspicions of racism. These are reinforced
by reports that the anti-Qaddafi rebels have lynched a number of black
Africans, claiming that they were mercenaries hired by Qaddafi.
- Interference in Libyan internal affairs violates UN Charter
- Diplomatic observers were shocked by the sweeping resolution
passed by the Security Council, which allows "all necessary measures"
to be used against Libya. The United Nations Charter strictly limits Chapter
7 military actions to threats to international peace and security, which
Libya has never represented, but rules out interference in internal affairs
of member states. The pretext cited in this case was the protection of
defenseless civilians, but it is clear that the rebels constitute an armed
military force in their own right. Since no state can be an aggressor on
its own territory, the Security Council resolution stands in flagrant violation
of the UN Charter. Russia, China, Brazil, Germany, and India abstained.
The resolution contains an arms embargo against Libya which the US is already
violating by arming the rebels through Egypt.
- Among US officials demanding aggression, UN ambassador
Susan Rice, Samantha Power of the National Security Council, and Secretary
of State Clinton have shown that they are as bellicose any neocon of the
- The Libyan Air Force has 13 airbases and some 374 combat
capable aircraft, many of them obsolete. Military observers will be watching
the performance of Qaddafi's air defenses, thought to be based largely
on older Russian SAMs. But Qaddafi also has mobile and hand-held surface
to air missiles. During a 1986 bombing raid on Tripoli aimed at killing
Qaddafi, the US lost one F-111 to Libyan fire. The Libyan Defense Ministry
has warned that Libya would retaliate against incursions by striking at
air and maritime traffic over the central Mediterranean. In 1986, Libya
fired two Scud missiles at the US Coast Guard station on the Italian island
of Lampedusa, but both missed. Whether Qaddafi has used his immense oil
revenues to procure more capable modern anti-ship missiles of Russian design
is another question that may be answered soon. A further problem for the
aggressors is the March 19 supermoon, which will illuminate the night sky
for several days; the preferred time for air attacks is the dark of the
- The propaganda choreography of the current aggression,
designed to mask Obama's warmonger role, requires the right-wing leaders
of Britain and France, the Suez 1956 partners, to take the lead. Obama
has assumed a low profile, not attending then Paris conference, not making
a formal Oval Office address to the American people, and letting the French
attack first. Obama is visiting Brazil. This charade is supposed to placate
the anti-US hatred of the Arab street. The result is that the inferior
Anglo-French military equipment and command structures may contribute to
unpleasant reverses for the aggressors, particularly if Sarkozy's Napoleonic
delusions lead him to meddle in military decisions.
- The Panavia Tornados to be deployed by London are obsolete;
seven (6 UK, 1 Italian) were shot down by Saddam Hussein during the first
Gulf War twenty years ago. Eurofighter Typhoons are ultra-modern planes,
but they have never been tested in real combat. The troubled French aircraft
carrier Charles de Gaulle flies the Dassault Raffale, also largely untested
in combat, plus the accident-plagued 30-year old Super-Étendard.
Mirage F1s of various vintages, none recent, are expected. This equipment
is vulnerable to attrition by Qaddafi's countermeasures.
- Anglo-American propaganda portrays Qaddafi as a kleptocrat.
In reality, Libya is one of the most advanced developing countries, ranking
53 on the UN Human Development Index, making it the most developed society
in Africa. Libya ranks ahead of Russia (65), Ukraine (69), Brazil (73),
Venezuela (75) and Tunisia (81). The rate of incarceration is 61st in the
world, below that of the Czech Republic, and far below that of the United
States (1). Longevity has increased by 20 years under Qaddafi's rule. Qaddafi,
while suppressing political challenges, had shared the nation's oil income
better than the rest of OPEC.
- US bureaucratic resistance to the imperial overstretch
involved in a war with Libya on top of the three existing conflicts may
also have been overcome thanks to the activation of pro-British networks
in the US government. If so, this would repeat a long-established pattern.
In 1990, Margaret Thatcher claimed to have performed an emergency "backbone
implant" on George H.W. Bush, convincing him to retake Kuwait from
Saddam Hussein. In 1999, Tony Blair pressed for the bombing of Serbia and
then for a ground invasion; Clinton wisely declined at least the latter.
In September 2001, Blair helped convince Bush the younger to use the 9/11
attack as a pretext for an attack on Afghanistan.
- The purpose of this attack, in the context of the CIA's
spring 2011 campaign of putsches, palace coups, color revolutions, and
people power insurrections, is to cripple the ability of US client states
to seek alternative arrangements through alliances with Russia, China,
Iran, and other states. The CIA onslaught takes the form of an attack on
the nation state itself. In 2008, Serbia was partitioned. This year, Sudan
is being carved in two, while Yemen in increasingly likely to face the
same fate. The UN resolution of Libya mentions Bengazi specifically, indicating
the clear intent of partitioning and balkanizing this nation along an east-west
division. Other countries can expect similar treatment. It is time to end
the destructive cycle of color revolutions before one of them turns into
a civil war in a country like Belarus, where an internal clash could easily
turn into a large-scale confrontation between Russia and NATO.