Who are the Rebels in Libya?

Over the past 10 years, it has become all too common to see more and more Western intervention in the countries of the world, specifically against countries which happen to be inhabited by Muslims. The Imperialist nations now occupy Afghanistan, Iraq and continue a bombing campaign either directly or indirectly via proxies in Libya, Somalia and Palestine. Imperialism aims itself like a gun at Libya at present, that being its apparent priority. As MP Ali Qanso of Lebanon stated, it seems that if their actions in Libya are a success, that Syria seems to be next on the hit list. Why Libya then? Why has Libya been chosen to be the target of the Imperial powers of the world including the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, France, Italy, Belgium, and Netherlands amongst others?

It is because consistantly, over the last 42 years, the Libyan Islamic Jamahiriya (roughly translated as People's Republic, or State of the Masses) has stood up to Imperialism and despite being a small country, has done more than any other state in recent memory to shatter Imperialism and help the fight against world hegemony. To list all of the parties and organisations which received substantial aid from Revolutionary Libya would be to write an encyclopedia of revolution, but a summarised list would include the Provisional IRA, ETA, PFLP and other Palestinian groups, Moro National Liberation Front, FSLN, ANC and South African Communist Party, MPLA, SWAPO, FRELIMO, etc. In addition, I can personally say that many groups in the United States - including many who have now turned against Qadhafi - received substantial aid, aid which affected but was by no means limited to the RNA, NOI, both the original Black Panthers and New Black Panthers, Young Lords and most Islamic organisations at the present time. This effort to support World Revolution, including aiding groups who maintained little support for Libya, was out of pure principle of revolutionary assistance towards the defeat of Imperialism in all territories they occupy. The Imperialists are not a forgiving people, and just as they never forgave Saddam Hussein and Iraq for SCUDing the Zionists in 1991 and threatening the Gulf monarchies, they have never forgiven Libya for her revolutionary assistance, and where the Imperialists hold grudges, they will seek to rectify them in the most violent ways.

The Al-Fateh Revolution in 1969 occured for a variety of reasons, including political, in that the Libyan monarchy was entirely pro-European and ambivalent about the Arab, African and Islamic causes, as well as economic factors, being that Libya, by some measures, was the poorest country in the world with its resources mostly entirely owned by European powers. Today, Libya is the wealthiest country in Africa, with free education, healthcare and a substantial stipend to married couples. All resources are owned collectively by the people, and the government is run by local councils as is mentioned in the Green Book.

The main reasons for the rebels existing in the first place are many, but several causes obviously include the remnants of Monarchist ideology in Benghazi, fostered by the privelaged status received under the Senussi monarchy and lack of privelage under the revolutionary government; the influence of radical Salafi ideology emerging from Egypt and the Maghreb which seeks to displace traditional Libyan Islam and establish a base area for Al Qaeda in the Maghreb; the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has always been the primary opposition group on the ground, now with arms and financial support emerging from both Tunisia and Egypt; and the announcement earlier this year that the revolutionary government would make a radical reformation to better place resources in the hands of the people, something which no doubt caused many opportunists to fear in their hearts and waiver in their loyalty and switch sides once armed revolts broke out, as the privelaged often do to maintain the status they feel they deserve.

The Libyan Civil War for now is a two-sided affair, pitting the forces loyal to the Al-Fateh Revolution and the Green banner of the Islamic Jamahiriya against forces loyal to counter-revolution and the old banner of the Monarchy, backed by the air force of Western Imperialist powers. However, it is probable that this will not and cannot remain a two-sided affair forever. The assassination of rebel commander Abdul Fatah Younis by other rebels showed the division within rebel ranks. Something continually unnoticed is the lack of actual ideological cohesion amongst the rebel organisations. The most commonly presented view of the rebels presented by the Western media is that of secular, democracy-loving liberals. While this is true of many within the top echelons of rebel ranks, it does not imply this is the view of all who fight under their banner. If the rumours are true, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, a franchise of Al Qaeda, declared the establishment of an Islamic Emirate. Considering the strength of radical Salafism in the Maghreb, this should be of little surprise to anyone, and it can be doubted by anyone reasonable, that co-existance can exist between them and the top leadership. In addition, there are Arab Nationalists in the rebel ranks, of a most reactionary form, as shown by the numerous reports of killings and massacres of dark-skinned Libyans; add to this reports of Hezbollah on the ground in the Misrata front (Hezbollah indeed at the very least offered to send troops), the strong presence of Pro-Senussi Monarchism in Benghazi, amongst other tendencies, such as former Jamahiriya defectors and the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya, and supported by their brothers in Tunisia and Egypt, and you have vastly different ideologies and tendencies, further exacerbated by tribal, regional, ethnic (Berber-Arab) and religious (Sunni-Salafi-Ibadhi) differences.

If even half of this comes into play, it is unlikely the Libyan Civil War will be over soon, for one also has to take into account the strong southern backing for Qadhafi, in the former province of Fezzan, as well as his support in Sirt and in rebel held regions. This leaves a dire future for Libya, one in which it is more likely than not that Libya will be a proxy war for a variety of world and regional powers. While some, such as Turkey, seem to simply want to get on the winning side, it is likely that Iran would prefer to see a pro-Iranian regime and back Hezbollah and their local allies; the propaganda value of a successful monarchist counter-revolution in a time of uncertainty and protest would be immeasurable, and so it is likely the Saudis and other Gulf countries will back the Monarchists; Islamic Fighting Group needs no allies except their own fellow radicals in the Maghreb and the Muslim Brotherhood will surely receive even more support than they already have, riding high as it looks like both al-Nahda and the Freedom and Justice Party will win state power through elections in Tunisia and Egypt respectively, and their Syrian wing plays a major role against the Assad Presidency. When adding Western European support which is likely to be for Pro-Western liberal elements, it practically ensures the division of Libya and as many have predicted, a situation resembling Afghanistan as of 1992.

This is not an accident either, for unless I am terribly mistaken, the idea was always to destabilise Libya and replace it with nothing. Libya played the leading role as the only major state promoting the idea of Pan-Africanism. In addition to this, it always saw itself as the true successor to the old dreams of Nasserism, and always saw the causes of Pan-Arabism, Pan-Africanism and Pan-Islam as intrinsically and eternally linked. This radical take on Pan-Arabism was not accepted by many Pan-Arab nationalists, who are not keen on accepting Africans or non-Arab Muslims as equals, for after all, Pan-Arabism in more recent forms has been the work of primarily Christian Arabs in the Levant. More threatening than simply ideology was action. In the sphere of Pan-Africanism, Qadhafi recently came to the (probably correct) conclusion that Pan-Africanism cannot be achieved between bourgeois states, since it is unlikely any will concede power for the greater whole, but can only be achieved from the ground up, by creating reconciliation and unity between tribes and groups on the ground to create a united Africa without only relying on the good-will of bourgeois politicians. This, combined with revolutionary principles and the beginning of an attempt to put Libya back on a gold standard (something surprisingly threatening in the days of speculative money), are the main reasons for Western intervention.

Despite the Western intervention and likelihood of a much more chaotic war, the end of the Revolution is not certain, and it is now still as likely as unlikely that after the chaos subsides and the stagnating and declining Imperialist economies force their retreat, that the green flag of revolution will return to the whole of Libya. There can be only two stances, the stance of revolution and the backing of the Libyan Jamahiriya and their allies in Africa, Asia and Latin America, or the stance of reaction and the backing of the Rebels and their allies in NATO and the Gulf. Those who choose the latter, cannot but aid the cause of Imperialism, and those who choose the former, do so out of principle.

Discussion of Who are the Rebels in Libya? on tHE r H i z z o n E:

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discipline posted:
Thanks for the article. I suspect sometimes that the Powers That Be create chaos in certain geographically located states in order to launch guerrilla and terrorist ops through adjacent territories that will keep other states busy and gives the PTB the ability to keep a knife close to the throats of states it is not reasonable to conquer in a more direct way. Guerrilla and terrorist ops can also count as drug traffickers, human traffickers, etc. This would go for Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Colombia, etc. Could it be possible, especially given the heterogeneous make up of these rebels, that the PTB simply want a destabilized state in Libya to run these kinds of operations into newly revolutionary Egypt and Tunisia?

Probably, that's what's happened in Somalia and Afghanistan. Also, the Al Qaida in the Maghreb is widely considered to be a French intelligence outfit that runs drugs from Nigeria into Europe.

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Qadaffi's Address to the World:

Oppressed people around the world, the battle has begun. Do not despair, help is nigh. Do you realize that this is the Night of Power? What is the Night of Power? It is better than thousands of other nights, it is the destiny, when the heavens are open to receive your prayers thousands fold.

Watch what is happening now in America. Did we hit them with our missiles? No, they came and struck us, 64 hits on Bab Al-Aziziya which is now destroyed, and finally I had to leave my home, where they killed many innnocents. But I will never leave Libya and in this fight, it is either victory or death.

Those of you in United States of America. I am not your leader. If you are in that failed state you should be preparing to leave. Go to Venezuela. If you remain, you must follow my deputy, spiritual leader Minister Louis Farrakhan. Listen to him. He will tell you all you need to know about what is unfolding.

Those of you in Europe, you too should prepare to be drowned in events and calumny. Not enough of you have risen up. You will have to accept the consequences, the good among you should head to Africa. Go to west Africa. North Africa is not safe now that the region is all a battle field. In West Africa you will find homes and good work.

Those of you in Serbia, true friends of Libya, and you are with me. Do not despair of the rat flag on only one house out of one million. All of you can cut pieces of green cloth, measured exactly two by one in dimension, that is your flag, the flag of people's power, of hope, of truth, of the future.

All you in the world who support truth, freedom, Jamahiriya, hang it on millions homes, cars. The green flag is yours and belongs to all the masses of the world. With the dawn of people's authority and the end of governments, we chose the green flag and made its colour and dimension easy for all. Choose any green. Cut it one by two, exactly, and hang it everywhere, carry it with you.

Soon the green flag will fly all over the world, as governments collapse, they failed their people, I alone did more than all of them. They served different masters. They did not intend to serve the people, never. They are owned by others. They do nothing for you. Ignore them and they are gone. Prepare yourselves by forming committees, openly or in secret, set up your local mathabas to meet and share. Chart the way forward. The green flag belongs to you all.

The future is jamahiriya, everywhere. Masses self-governing societies. Basic popular congresses and people's committees. Green committees to guide, defend, expose, call, show the way forward to people's power. It's all there in The Green Book, read it, copy it, share it. Use your own communication systems, don't rely on the enemy. Make your own communications. Take back your resources to your hands, do not be afraid of power, possess it. It is your power, wealth and arms that the governments, banks and militaries stole from you.

You cannot ask others to represent you. You cannot entrust theives with your wealth. You cannot ask others to fight and die on your behalf, to defend you. This your human responsibility, when you do this, the world will be free, organized, jamahiri system, freedom and happiness, abundance of wealth for all.

The era of the governments is coming to an end and they are fighting their last gasp. They are desperate. But they are bankrupt, not only financially speaking, they are bankrupt in morals, religion, education, intellect, ideas, they have no way forward. They are on the stage of collapse. That collapse is good for the world peoples who are suffering because they are not free.

O all good people of the world, know that Islam is not what is being put to you by the ignorant who make a public show of prayer but in reality are serving the devil. Islam is submission to the will of Allah, the One God of all humanity. This is the night of prayer. Your prayers are being answered. You are the Muslims, all those who pray and do not associate partners with Allah.

People of Bosnia, many of you are misguided, Arabs, the useless and weak. The people of Serbia who are Christians and others would be closer to God. There is only one God. That God is with the truth wherever it is found, read Qur'an to know the truth, do not listen to those who would mislead you. If God is with you, who can be against you?

What Sharia are you looking for other than the one which we have since I was the first to bring Quran as the Law of Society in the Jamahiriya. Is it the sharia of injustice? Oppression? Cowardice? Murder? Insanity? Drugs? Is it the sharia that elevates the rat with his gun that allows torture, rape, theft? No! That is not the sharia, ignoring all that is in the Quran.

Prayers are being answered. More than forty armies have gone against me, only because I spoke the truth, because I would not let the thieves pass me into Africa. I have promised Africa I will not betray you. I promise the world, the millions who have me in your hearts, that I am fighting to the finish.

Do not believe their trumpets. Whoever listens to the trumpets is making a mistake. You have your own mathabas to go to for information and to meet and deliberate. Pay no heed to them. By now this should be clear to you. Fire is water, water is fire. Know that the future is yours, governments are finished, a new era of the masses is coming, as predicted in The Green Book.

I hear you. Many of your messages reach to me. I cannot answer you individually but I feel your pain. Some of you were so affected by the lies in the recent days that you even contemplated suicide. No! No never, suicide is not an option, when we are in front of great victory. The costs will be high but we must not waver.

I see you Africans around the world, even in Australia, your pictures reach me. I see you collecting money for helping East Africa. It is the whites who brought these problems and cut us off from helping our brothers and sisters. Thank you for you prayers. But keep your money. Instead use it to fight those oppressors.

Form among you green committees, meet in secret or in open. Proclaim your allegiance to the green charter. Study The Green Book. Register your people's conferences, provide encouragement to others around the world, prepare for future world congress on crimes against humanity, you have six months to prepare.

March next year can be the biggest congress of the people, you can make it happen. Prepare already. Make a web site you must to make it, so all the crimes can be registered. While we fight to defend our nation, you fight on the battle field of truth, for the pen is mightier than the sword.

Some of you arrived to our western border, but had to return. You have families to take care of. Now the way is clear, but NATO will not allow for peace. They fear the example of the Great Jamahiriya. They can destroy our physical achievements but they cannot destroy the truth. The more they try the more we will be victorious, victory is with the people, never with the oppressors.

Thousands of you are waiting at various stations, I see you in Tanzania, in Congo, Ghana, Nigeria, and many other parts of Africa. How will you cross the deserts to Libya. Instead group yourselves where you are. The fight if it is not won in Libya will be coming to you. Prepare for it. Prepare traps for the invaders. You must defend your corners.

African governments are not strong. They control only a few centers of cities. They often provide no services and the people live without them. They will not stand in your way when the time comes. They are poor. They have been robbed by the racists, the colonialists, the white thieves from the north. Oppose them only if they oppose you. Be prepared. Build your mathaba. Defend your continent.

They can attack with their bombs, but we defend with truth. They can never fight us man to man. They are only cowards, sick, demented, hiding behind machines, they can never face the African one to one. African children can defeat any white mercenary, that is why they hide and destroy with hatred from far.

Do not let them use you. Be united. Build your defences for they are coming if they manage to pass Libya. If they destroy Libya then attack them from behind.

Avoid fighting if you can. The enemy wishes us all to be bogged down on their battle fields, that they want to engage us all in war. Afghanistan is now with us, Iraq is with us, Venezuela is with us. We want peace. We want justice. Work for conferences on crimes against humanity, use your mathaba networks, the mathaba are the headquarters of the green committees, go forth, victory is ours!
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Excellent post!

The western media demonizes Gaddafi, while ignoring the crime of its own allies, like the nations of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The U.N. has little credibility in deciding who is committing "crimes against humanity" and who is not. China has the worse human rights records in the world and has a permanent seat in the U.N. Security Council. The United States has arguably more prisoners than the Soviet Union during the Stalinist-era, yet it too has a permanent seat in the U.N. Security Council. The western world has no room to speak when it has committed atrocities on its own people and have supported dictatorships time after time when they felt it was necessary (as in crushing democratic movements).
it seems like i only come to fully grasp how great some leaders are once they are on the verge of being murdered or already have been dead for quite awhile

i mean ive been aware of the green book and libya but i guess its true what they were talking about in the other thread that struggle is edifying

noavbazzer posted:
it seems like i only come to fully grasp how great some leaders are once they are on the verge of being murdered or already have been dead for quite awhile

i mean ive been aware of the green book and libya but i guess its true what they were talking about in the other thread that struggle is edifying

I recently read John Cooley's Libyan Sandstorm and he tries really hard to be true to the facts (and Cooley does great investigative work) but also pooh pooh on Qadaffi but the bro comes out shining

Noavbazzer, It isn't bad, at this point, most people are going the opposite and fleeing to the sinking ship that is Imperialism.
I thought this article's title was funny: "Are more Libya-style mini-wars in the cards?"

hell yeah to everything

babyfinland posted:
Qadaffi's Address to the World:
...Those of you in Serbia, true friends of Libya, and you are with me. Do not despair of the rat flag on only one house out of one million. All of you can cut pieces of green cloth, measured exactly two by one in dimension, that is your flag, the flag of people's power, of hope, of truth, of the future.
...People of Bosnia, many of you are misguided, Arabs, the useless and weak. The people of Serbia who are Christians and others would be closer to God. There is only one God. That God is with the truth wherever it is found, read Qur'an to know the truth, do not listen to those who would mislead you. If God is with you, who can be against you?

Brother Gaddafi...

i can't get over the paragraph for serbia.
Geopolitics works in odd ways, I don't really blame the Brother for finding allies in Serbia while Albania prepares to send peacekeepers to Libya. Back in the 1990s, nobody from the Islamic or Arab world except Turkey and sort-of Pakistan was on the side of Bosnia and Kosovo against the Serbs. Everybody from the Iranians to Saddam were trying to get in with the Serbs, for a variety of reasons. So, it makes perfect sense that the Bosniaks/Muslims-by-Nationality and Albanians would end up in the Pro-US camp, because they had nowhere else to turn to. Due to the Arab backing for Serbia, and historical links between Yugoslavia and the rejectionist Arab camp, many Serbs tend to align with forces like Saddam or Qadhafi against the West.

Libya’s New Generals: Conflicting Loyalties

The Abu Salim district of Tripoli was the scene of heavy fighting between rebel forces and those loyal to Gaddafi. (Photo: AFP - Filippo Monteforte)
By: Basheer al-Baker

Published Sunday, August 28, 2011

The motives and goals of Libya's emerging political actors following the ouster of Gaddafi remain unclear. The assassination of Libyan rebels top commander Abd al-Fattah Younis last month has further fueled this uncertainty. In this series, al-Akhbar takes a closer look at Libya’s new military leadership divided among those with foreign loyalties like Khalifa Haftar, Salafi credentials like Abd al-Hakim Belhaj, and tribal allegiances like Suleiman Obaydi.

Part I: Khalifa Haftar: Washington’s Wager

A leading figure among the rebel military leadership, Khalifa Haftar is part of a very small circle of military and political elites that may decide the future of Libya. He continues to wield influence, despite his battlefield failures against Gaddafi’s forces, especially in eastern Libya. His role is expected to grow further, given his strong ties to the US. Hafter lived in the US for nearly twenty years before returning to Libya after the February 17 uprising. A former colonel in the Libyan army, Haftar belongs to the al-Farjani tribe with roots are traced to the Bani Hilal — a confederation of Arabian Bedouin tribes that have populated North Africa for centuries. In 1986, Gaddafi placed Haftar in charge of Libyan forces in Chad during the Chadian-Libyan conflict. Chad’s forces benefited from French aerial support and soundly defeated the Libyan colonel and his men. Haftar was captured in 1987 in Chad along with hundreds of Libyan soldiers. Those near Gaddafi accused Haftar of treason for abandoning the army and allowing his soldiers to fall prisoner.

Haftar and his men remained in prison for many years. Some of his forces were eventually released and they returned to Chad. Haftar and his remaining men joined the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL) in 1988, establishing its military wing, the Libyan National Army (LNA). In 1990, Chad’s president Hissene Habre was overthrown by Idriss Déby and Haftar and his forces were relocated to the Democratic Republic of Congo, then Zaire. They later received training in the American state of Virginia near the CIA headquarters at Langley. A report by the Congressional Research Service issued in December 1996 corroborated this information, also claiming that many members of the LNA remained in the US.
Haftar is seen as both loyal to the US and respected enough in Libya to be able to reunite the army and end the chaos caused by the remaining presence of armed groups and pockets of Gaddafi loyalists.

In mid-March 2011, Haftar entered Benghazi from Egypt to join the rebellion against Gaddafi. He took charge of the rebels’ army, which was in need of a field commander. Yet, reports indicate that Haftar was not very successful as a field command, often providing inaccurate information about the progress of combat. Some hold him responsible for the losses suffered by opposition forces on the eastern front. After NATO's intervention, Haftar and his team were replaced with other military officers who had either defected or resigned from the army because they had refused to work with Gaddafi. One of Haftar’s adversaries, General Abdul Fattah Younis, was appointed commander-in-chief of the rebel army but was assassinated on July 28. Younis was accused of being in contact with Gaddafi and was summoned to stand before an investigating committee. He was killed prior to appearing before the committee.

Some reports affirm that Haftar’s LNA was financed and armed by the US. The US had given similar support in the 1980s to Contras in Nicaragua fighting to overthrow Sandanista rule.

Haftar’s stocks in Washington’s books may rise given the latter’s concern about the presence of Islamist groups among the rebel fighting forces. The US has hopes that Haftar will be able reorganize the Libyan army and limit the influence of Salafi groups now surfacing in Tripoli. Some sources even suggest that Haftar might be appointed prime minister of the transitional government. He is seen as both loyal to the US and respected enough in Libya to be able to reunite the army and end the chaos caused by the remaining presence of armed groups and pockets of Gaddafi loyalists.

There are many hurdles, however, in Haftar’s path to power. For one, his adversaries in Libya have cast him in a negative light. Some say his weakness stems from his collaboration with the CIA, even before he was captured in Chad. These critics contend that his 1986 capture was staged by US agencies - and in cahoots with Haftar - in order to deal a blow to Gaddafi. They cite this collaboration as a prime example, arguing that had he not already had strong ties with Washington, he would not have received training in the US at a time when the latter’s relations with Libya were tense due to the Lockerbie bombing two years prior.

These suspicions are corroborated by US reports about Haftar. Some reports affirm that Haftar’s LNA was financed and armed by the US. The US had given similar support in the 1980s to Contras in Nicaragua fighting to overthrow Sandanista rule. Former President Ronald Reagan took it upon himself to overthrow Gaddafi, ordering a US air force bombing of Gaddafi’s compound in Bab al-Azizia in April 1986. However, Gaddafi was in hiding at the time and survived the attack.

A May 1991 New York Times report spoke of the CIA’s patronage of Haftar and his men. The report stated that the agency used to train them near a base in the Chadian capital N’Djamena. When Gaddafi asked the new government under Déby’s leadership to hand Haftar and his men over, Chad turned down request and allowed the US to move the group to Zaire. There, half of Haftar’s men agreed to return to Libya, while the rest, including Haftar, were taken to Kenya, before finally settling in the US. Once in the US, members of the group settled in different parts of the country and were granted political asylum, underwent further training, and received medical and financial assistance.

This article is translated from the Arabic Edition.

Basheer al-Baker

Source URL: http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/libya%E2%80%99s-new-generals-conflicting-loyalties

How al-Qaeda got to rule in Tripoli
By Pepe Escobar

His name is Abdelhakim Belhaj. Some in the Middle East might have, but few in the West and across the world would have heard of him.

Time to catch up. Because the story of how an al-Qaeda asset turned out to be the top Libyan military commander in still war-torn Tripoli is bound to shatter - once again - that wilderness of mirrors that is the "war on terror", as well as deeply compromising the carefully constructed propaganda of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO's) "humanitarian" intervention in Libya.

Muammar Gaddafi's fortress of Bab-al-Aziziyah was essentially invaded and conquered last week by Belhaj's men - who were at the forefront of a militia of Berbers from the mountains southwest of Tripoli. The militia is the so-called Tripoli Brigade, trained in secret for two months by US Special Forces. This turned out to be the rebels' most effective militia in six months of tribal/civil war.
Already last Tuesday, Belhaj was gloating on how the battle was won, with Gaddafi forces escaping "like rats" (note that's the same metaphor used by Gaddafi himself to designate the rebels).

Abdelhakim Belhaj, aka Abu Abdallah al-Sadek, is a Libyan jihadi. Born in May 1966, he honed his skills with the mujahideen in the 1980s anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan.

He's the founder of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and its de facto emir - with Khaled Chrif and Sami Saadi as his deputies. After the Taliban took power in Kabul in 1996, the LIFG kept two training camps in Afghanistan; one of them, 30 kilometers north of Kabul - run by Abu Yahya - was strictly for al-Qaeda-linked jihadis.

After 9/11, Belhaj moved to Pakistan and also to Iraq, where he befriended none other than ultra-nasty Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - all this before al-Qaeda in Iraq pledged its allegiance to Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri and turbo-charged its gruesome practices.

In Iraq, Libyans happened to be the largest foreign Sunni jihadi contingent, only losing to the Saudis. Moreover, Libyan jihadis have always been superstars in the top echelons of "historic" al-Qaeda - from Abu Faraj al-Libi (military commander until his arrest in 2005, now lingering as one of 16 high-value detainees in the US detention center at Guantanamo) to Abu al-Laith al-Libi (another military commander, killed in Pakistan in early 2008).

Time for an extraordinary rendition

The LIFG had been on the US Central Intelligence Agency's radars since 9/11. In 2003, Belhaj was finally arrested in Malaysia - and then transferred, extraordinary rendition-style, to a secret Bangkok prison, and duly tortured.

In 2004, the Americans decided to send him as a gift to Libyan intelligence - until he was freed by the Gaddafi regime in March 2010, along with other 211 "terrorists", in a public relations coup advertised with great fanfare.

The orchestrator was no less than Saif Islam al-Gaddafi - the modernizing/London School of Economics face of the regime. LIFG's leaders - Belhaj and his deputies Chrif and Saadi - issued a 417-page confession dubbed "corrective studies" in which they declared the jihad against Gaddafi over (and illegal), before they were finally set free.

A fascinating account of the whole process can be seen in a report called "Combating Terrorism in Libya through Dialogue and Reintegration". Note that the authors, Singapore-based terrorism "experts" who were wined and dined by the regime, express the "deepest appreciation to Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation for making this visit possible".

Crucially, still in 2007, then al-Qaeda's number two, Zawahiri, officially announced the merger between the LIFG and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb (AQIM). So, for all practical purposes, since then, LIFG/AQIM have been one and the same - and Belhaj was/is its emir.

In 2007, LIFG was calling for a jihad against Gaddafi but also against the US and assorted Western "infidels".

Fast forward to last February when, a free man, Belhaj decided to go back into jihad mode and align his forces with the engineered uprising in Cyrenaica.

Every intelligence agency in the US, Europe and the Arab world knows where he's coming from. He's already made sure in Libya that himself and his militia will only settle for sharia law.

There's nothing "pro-democracy" about it - by any stretch of the imagination. And yet such an asset could not be dropped from NATO's war just because he was not very fond of "infidels".

The late July killing of rebel military commander General Abdel Fattah Younis - by the rebels themselves - seems to point to Belhaj or at least people very close to him.

It's essential to know that Younis - before he defected from the regime - had been in charge of Libya's special forces fiercely fighting the LIFG in Cyrenaica from 1990 to 1995.

The Transitional National Council (TNC), according to one of its members, Ali Tarhouni, has been spinning Younis was killed by a shady brigade known as Obaida ibn Jarrah (one of the Prophet Mohammed's companions). Yet the brigade now seems to have dissolved into thin air.

Shut up or I'll cut your head off

Hardly by accident, all the top military rebel commanders are LIFG, from Belhaj in Tripoli to one Ismael as-Salabi in Benghazi and one Abdelhakim al-Assadi in Derna, not to mention a key asset, Ali Salabi, sitting at the core of the TNC. It was Salabi who negotiated with Saif al-Islam Gaddafi the "end" of LIFG's jihad, thus assuring the bright future of these born-again "freedom fighters".

It doesn't require a crystal ball to picture the consequences of LIFG/AQIM - having conquered military power and being among the war "winners" - not remotely interested in relinquishing control just to please NATO's whims.

Meanwhile, amid the fog of war, it's unclear whether Gaddafi is planning to trap the Tripoli brigade in urban warfare; or to force the bulk of rebel militias to enter the huge Warfallah tribal areas.

Gaddafi's wife belongs to the Warfallah, Libya's largest tribe, with up to 1 million people and 54 sub-tribes. The inside word in Brussels is that NATO expects Gaddafi to fight for months if not years; thus the Texas George W Bush-style bounty on his head and the desperate return to NATO's plan A, which was always to take him out.

Libya may now be facing the specter of a twin-headed guerrilla Hydra; Gaddafi forces against a weak TNC central government and NATO boots on the ground; and the LIFG/AQIM nebula in a jihad against NATO (if they are sidelined from power).

Gaddafi may be a dictatorial relic of the past, but you don't monopolize power for four decades for nothing, and without your intelligence services learning a thing or two.

From the beginning, Gaddafi said this was a foreign-backed/al-Qaeda operation; he was right (although he forgot to say this was above all neo-Napoleonic French President Nicolas Sarkozy's war, but that's another story).

He also said this was a prelude for a foreign occupation whose target was to privatize and take over Libya's natural resources. He may - again – turn out to be right.

The Singapore "experts" who praised the Gaddafi regime's decision to free the LIFG's jihadis qualified it as "a necessary strategy to mitigate the threat posed to Libya".

Now, LIFG/AQIM is finally poised to exercise its options as an "indigenous political force".

Ten years after 9/11, it's hard not to imagine a certain decomposed skull in the bottom of the Arabian Sea boldly grinning to kingdom come.

The "Liberation" of Libya: NATO Special Forces and Al Qaeda Join Hands
"Former Terrorists" Join the "Pro-democracy" Bandwagon

by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

The "pro-democracy" rebels are led by Al Qaeda paramilitary brigades under the supervision of NATO Special Forces. The "Liberation" of Tripoli was carried out by "former" members of the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).

The jihadists and NATO work hand in glove. These "former" Al Qaeda affiliated brigades constitute the backbone of the "pro-democracy" rebellion.

NATO special forces with "boots and the ground" pass unnoticed. Their identity is not known or revealed. They blend into the Libyan rebellion landscape of machine guns and pickup trucks. They are not highlighted in the photo ops.

Special forces composed of US Navy SEALS, British Special SAS Forces and French legionnaires, disguised in civilian rebel garb, are reported to be behind major operations directed against key government buildings including Gadhafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound in central Tripoli.

Reports confirm that British SAS were on the ground in Eastern Libya prior to the onset of the air campaign. Special Forces are in close coordination with NATO air operations. "Highly-trained units, known as ‘Smash’ teams for their prowess and destructive ability, have carried out secret reconnaissance missions to provide up-to-date information on the Libyan armed forces." (SAS 'Smash' squads on the ground in Libya to mark targets for coalition jets, Daily Mirror, March 21, 2011)

NATO special forces and the CIA sponsored Islamic brigades under the command of "former" jihadists constitute the backbone of combat capabilities on the ground, supported by the air campaign, which now includes Apache helicopter raids.

The remainder of the rebel forces include untrained trigger happy gunmen (including teenagers) (see photo below), which serve the function of creating an atmosphere of panic and intimidation.

What we are dealing with is a carefully planned military intelligence operation to invade and occupy a sovereign country.

Killing the Truth. The Role of the Western Media

The Western media constitutes a major instrument of war. NATO war crimes are obfuscated. Popular resistance to the NATO led invasion is not mentioned.

A narrative of "liberation" and "opposition pro-democracy rebel forces" is instilled in the inner consciousness of millions of people. Its called the "NATO Consensus".

"The NATO Consensus" which upholds the "humanitarian mandate" of the Atlantic alliance cannot be challenged. The bombings of civilian areas as well as the role of a terrorist militia are either trivialised or not mentioned.

Killing the truth is an integral part of the military agenda.

Realities are turned upside down.

The lie becomes the truth.

Its an inquisitorial doctrine. The NATO consensus dwarfs the Spanish Inquisition by a long shot.

The criminal invasion and occupation of Libya is not mentioned. The lives of independent journalists in Tripoli who report on what is actually happening are threatened. The catch words are "Liberation" and "Revolution" with NATO's mandate limited to R2P ("Responsibility to Protect").

Liberation or Invasion? By camouflaging the nature of the military operation, not to mention NATO atrocities, the Western media has contributed to providing the Transitional Council with a semblance of legitimacy and international recognition. The latter would not have been forthcoming without the support of the Western media.

NATO special forces and intelligence operatives on the ground are in permanent liaison with military planners involved in coordinating NATO strike sorties and bombing raids on the Libyan capital.

Intensive Bombing Raids over Tripoli

On August 27, NATO acknowledged the conduct of 20,633 sorties since March 31st, and 7,768 strike sorties. (These figures do not include the intensive bombing raids conducted in the two weeks prior to March 31st). Each fighter jet or bomber carries numerous missiles, rockets, etc. depending on the ordnance specification of the aircraft.

Multiply the number of strike sorties (7768 since March 31) by the average number of missiles or bombs launched by each of the planes and you get a rough idea of the size and magnitude of this military operation. A French Dassault Mirage 2000, for instance, can transport 18 missiles under its wings. America's B-2 Stealth bombers are equipped with bunker buster bombs

France's Mirage 2000 used in Operation Odyssey Dawn against Libya,

USAF Stealth B-2 Bomber used in Operation Odyssey Dawn

Pursuant to NATO's humanitarian mandate, we are informed by the media that these tens of thousands of strikes have not resulted in civilian casualties (with the exception of occasional "collateral damage").

Not surprisingly, already in mid April, three weeks into bombing campaign, the Atlantic Alliance announced that "NATO planes flying combat missions over Libya are starting to run out of bombs" (UPI, April 16, 2011);

"The reason we need more capability isn't because we aren't hitting what we see -- it's so that we can sustain the ability to do so," one NATO official told the Post. "One problem is flight time, the other is munitions." (Ibid)

The bombing raids over Tripoli were intensified in the course of the last two weeks. They were intended to support ground operations led by NATO special forces and the Islamic paramilitary brigades. With limited NATO ground force capabilities, NATO strategists decided to intensify the bombing raids.

Global Research's Correspondent in Tripoli, whose life is threatened for revealing NATO war crimes described a shift in the pattern of bombing, starting in mid-July, with increasingly intensive air raids leading up to the ground invasion on August: 20th:

"Until approximately 2:35 a.m EET , the strident noises of fighter jets over Tripoli could be heard. The bomb blasts triggered an atmosphere of fear and panic over the entire city, a poignant psychological and emotional impact on tens of thousands of people, from the young to the elderly. It also alerted people and brought them out onto their balconies while they witnessed the bombing of their country.

One of the explosions resulted in a huge mushroom cloud, pointing to the possible use of bunker buster bombs. ... There was something unusual in the pattern of this NATO bombing operation.

The bombings tonight were not like other nights. The sounds were different. The smoke plumes were different. In previous bombings the smoke would usually go up vertically like a fire, but tonight the smoke plumes were horizontal and hovering above Tripoli with a white cloud in the horizon.

People who were not directly affected by the bombs, within a radius of 15 kilometres experienced burning eyes, lower back pain, headaches." (Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, NATO Launches Bombing Blitzkrieg over Tripoli hitting Residential Areas , Global Research, July 17, 2011)

The mass killing of civilians in a Blitzkrieg environment as well as the creation of a generalized atmosphere of panic is intended to curtail the population's resistance to the NATO-led invasion.

The Death Toll

According to sources from our correspondent in Tripoli, the death toll in the course of the last week (20-26 August) is of the order of 3000. The hospitals are in a state of turmoil, unable to come to the rescue of the wounded. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) confirms that medical supplies are in short supply throughout the country.

In recent developments UNICEF has warned of shortages of water due to the NATO bombing of water infrastructure throughout the country. "This could turn into an unprecedented health epidemic “ said Christian Balslev-Olesen of UNICEF's Libya Office.

NATO warplanes deliberately targeted the peaceful vigil of tents in front of the Gadhafi compound in a gruesome massacre. The mainstream media acknowledges the massacre, while stating that gun wounds are the cause of death in crossfire between loyalist and rebel forces. The victims are :

"The identities of the dead were unclear, but they were in all likelihood activists who had set up an impromptu tent city in solidarity with Gadhafi in defiance of the NATO bombing campaign. (Forbes.com, August 25, 2011)

We are not dealing with collateral damage. Extensive war crimes have been committed. NATO has blood on its hands. The heads of government and heads of state of NATO member countries are war criminals.

The Central Role of Al Qaeda Operatives in the "Liberation of Tripoli"

According to CNN, in a twisted logic, the terrorists have repented: "former terrorists" are no longer "terrorists".

The LIFG is said to have been disbanded.

Following their disavowal of violence, these former LIFG leaders created a new political organization called the Islamic Movement for Change, which according to CNN "is committed to working within a future democratic process". "The Libyan Islamic Movement for Change (Al-Haraka Al-Islamiya Al Libiya Lit-Tahghir), is made up of former members of the now defunct Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG)" (Reuters, August 26, 2011)

In a contradictory about turn, former "bad guys" (terrorists) are heralded as "good guys" committed to "combating terrorism". The "former" members of the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) are now portrayed as "pro-democracy activists" who "have assumed leadership positions in several rebel brigades".

Labels have been switched: the CIA supported Al Qaeda affiliated LIFG has been transformed into the CIA sponsored Islamic Movement for Change (IMC), which supports the pro-democracy rebellion.

When was the LIFG disbanded?

In a bitter irony, the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) was listed until June 2011 by the United Nations Security Council as a bona fide terrorist organization. On June 21 2011, The Listing of Terrorist Organizations, conveniently vanished from the UN Security Council website pending the revamping of the website. (See annex below)

The LIFG entry was included in the (updated March 24, 2011, accessed April 3, 2011) United Nations Security Council "terror list" as follows


Name (original script):

A.k.a.: LIFG F.k.a.: na Address: na Listed on: 6 Oct. 2001 (amended on 5 Mar. 2009)

(The LIFG Listing is on p. 70, http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/pdf/consolidatedlist.pdf, (accessed April 3, 2011, no longer accessible)

Other information: Review pursuant to Security Council resolution 1822 (2008) was concluded on 21 Jun. 2010. The website is down and is currently being revamped

Who Leads Libya's Islamic Brigades?

Recent reports confirm what was known and documented from the outset of the "rebellion" in mid-March: The key military command positions of the rebellion are held by the "former" commanders of the Libya Islamic fighting Group (LIFG)".

The commander of the assault on Tripoli is Abdel Hakim Belhadj, (also known as Abu Abdullah al-Sadeq, Hakim al-Hasidi). He has been entrusted, with NATO's approval, of "one of the most powerful rebel brigades in Tripoli took charge of successful rebel efforts earlier this week to storm Gadhafi's Bab al-Azziziyah compound, further bolstering his prominent position in rebel ranks." (CNN, op cit)

"Sadeeq was a well-known figure in the jihadist movement. He fought the Soviet-backed government in Afghanistan and helped found the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group there." (Ibid)

But Saddeeq, according to CNN has repented. He is no longer a terrorist (i.e. a bad guy) "but a powerful voice against Al Qaeda's terrorism". (Ibid, emphasis added)

"In 2009, Sadeeq and other senior LIFG leaders formally repudiated al Qaeda style terrorism and disbanded their campaign to overthrow the Libyan regime.

The breakthrough was the result of a two-year dialogue with the regime brokered by Benotman [a former LIFG commander now in the employ of the London based Quilliam Foundation with a mandate in conflict resolution. CNN interviewed leading figures of the LIFG in Abu Salim prison in Tripoli in September 2009, shortly before the group's leaders were released. Although they were then behind prison bars, the leaders' disavowal of violence appeared genuine. (Ibid)

According to DebkaFile (Israeli intelligence online report), the "pro-Al Qaeda brigades "led by LIFG Commander Abdel Hakim Belhadj constitute the dominant force of the rebellion, overriding the authority of the Transitional Council. They are in control of strategic buildings including Gadhafi's compound.

"The LIFG chief now styles himself "Commander of the Tripoli Military Council." Asked by our sources whether they plan to hand control of the Libyan capital to the National Transitional Council, which has been recognized in the West, the jihadi fighters made a gesture of dismissal without answering. (Debka, Pro-Al Qaeda brigades control Qaddafi Tripoli strongholds seized by rebels, August 28, 2011 )

Abdul Hakim Belhhadj received military training in CIA sponsored guerrilla camp in Afghanistan. He constitutes a CIA "intelligence asset" in the Lybian war theater. An earlier report suggests that he has some 1,000 men under his command. (Libyan rebels at pains to distance themselves from extremists - The Globe and Mail, March 12, 2011)

The US-NATO coaltion is arming the Jihadists. Weapons are being channelled to the LIFG from Saudi Arabia, which historically, since the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war, has covertly supported Al Qaeda. The Saudis are now providing the rebels, in liaison with Washington and Brussels, with anti-tank rockets and ground-to-air missiles. (See Michel Chossudovsky "Our Man in Tripoli": US-NATO Sponsored Islamic Terrorists Integrate Libya's Pro-Democracy Opposition, Global Research, 3 April 2011)

A "Democracy" run by Terrorists

Reports also confirm that large numbers of terrorists imprisoned in Abu Salim jail were released by rebel forces. They are now being recruited by the former LIFG Islamic brigades, led by "former" jihadists pro-democracy commanders.

So all ends well in the smooth transition towards a democracy run by terrorists.

NATO's Islamic Jihad

There is indications that NATO, in coordination with Western intelligence agencies (including Israel's Mossad), is involved in recruiting Islamist fighters. Israeli intelligence sources confirm that NATO in cooperation with Turkey, is now directly training and recruiting in several Muslim countries a new jihadist generation of "Freedom Fighters". The Mujahideen after undergoing training are slated to participate in NATO's "pro-democracy" "humanitarian" military campaigns. The Israeli report by Debka pertains to Syria, which is next in line on the NATO military roadmap:

"Our sources report, is a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels... " (Debka File August 15, 2011 http://www.debka.com/article/21207/ )

The NATO led invasion and occupation of Libya is using Islamic fighters as the backbone of an alleged transition to democracy.

Concluding Remarks

The tragic events of 9/11 have played a key role in developing a massive propaganda campaign geared towards justifying a "war on terrorism" directed against Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda.

In a bitter twist, throughout the Middle East and Central Asia, the Western military alliance is using Islamic brigades, trained and groomed by the CIA, MI6 and Mossad, to wage its "Global War on Terrorism".

The war on terrorism constitutes a broad consensus instilled in the minds of millions of people, What is not known to Western public opinion is that the West's holy crusade against Islamic terrorism rather than targeting terrorists actually includes terrorists in his ranks, i.e Al Qaeda "freedom fighters" have been integrated into the ranks of US-NATO led military operations.

Rest assured, in the case of Libya, the rebels are "the good guys": they are "former" rather than "active" members of Al Qaeda.

The Western media has not reported on NATO war crimes. It has casually dismissed NATO atrocities: 8000 strike sorties represents more than 50,000 missiles and bombs dropped on the Libyan people.

There are various ways of concealing the truth. From the outset of the air campaign, the media has denied the existence of a war. Its causes and consequences are distorted. In turn, an effective propaganda campaign requires targeting people's mindset in newspapers, network TV and online.

People must be distracted from an understanding of the war on Libya. Atrocities committed by NATO with the support of the United Nations is rarely frontpage news. How best to camouflage the truth? By redirecting news coverage on Libya towards a number of trivial "talking points", including the size of Gadhafi's swimming pool, his female bodyguards, his cosmetic plastic surgery, etc. The Guardian, August 23, 2011)

Not included in the journalist's "to do list" is the coverage of the three thousand men, women and children who lost their lives in the course of a weeklong Blitzkrieg bombing of Tripoli using the most advanced weapons systems in human history.

Against this background of lies and fabrications, the lives of several independent journalists including Global Research's Correspondent Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya trapped in Tripoli were threatened, for saying the truth.


Part II: Abdel-Hakim Belhaj: The Conqueror of Bab al-Azizia

A Libyan rebel rests in his truck after gaining positions against regime forces. (Photo: AFP - Filippo Monteforte)

The Libyan rebels’ speedy takeover of Muammar Gaddafi’s fortified compound known as Bab al-Azizia in Tripoli last week came as a surprise to many. More surprising was the identity of the rebel commander leading the battle, Abdel-Hakim Belhaj.

Belhaj is former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), one of the fierce and radical Islamic groups of the 1990s. But the former detainee, who was released nearly a year ago from Abu-Slim prison in Tripoli, represents an important dimension of a revolution whose ties to radical Islam are highly contested.

Born in 1966, Belhaj studied architecture but his diligent involvement in religous activities as a young man in the 1980s led him to become one of the most prominent ‘Arab Afghans’ who left Libya to fight against the former Soviet Union after the latter’s invasion of Afghanistan. As a jihadist in Afghanistan, Belhaj founded The Islamic Fighting Group in 1989, which fought alongside Afghani mujahideen. Belhaj brought his military experience to bear on his leadership of Libya’s rebelsading the recent attack to end Gaddafi's rule.

Belhaj’s participation in combat under the banner of jihad was not confined to his Afghan experience. Belhaj became an itinerant fighter who moved between more than twenty countries, namely Pakistan, Turkey, Sudan and Malaysia. In 1993, Belhaj moved to Benghazi in eastern Libya, hoping to apply a jihadist approach in his country, which suffered under the oppression of Gaddafi's revolutionary committees. Benghazi had poor relations with the regime for a long time, so Belhaj succeeded in recruiting Libyan youth to overthrow Gaddafi. The veteran commander planned to infiltrate the revolutionary committees, hoping to change the regime's institutions from within.

According to online news network Islameyat, the plan was to undergo training and obtain weapons to lead an armed uprising against the Gaddafi regime. However, Libyan security was able to locate the group’s military training camp in mountains east of Libya. The camp was run by Saleh al-Shuhaibi, a defected Libyan officer who had joined the LIFG. Soon after the camp’s discovery, the regime launched airstrikes on the camp, killing many and hunting down the rest. One of the dead was Sheikh Salah Fathi bin Suleiman, Belhaj’s LIFG deputy. Others were detained and taken to Libyan prisons.

Following these events, Belhaj was able to leave Libya and moved between Afghanistan and several other Islamic countries. In February 2004, the CIA arrested him in Malaysia, while he was preparing to leave for Sudan. He was transferred to Thailand for investigation, and once the CIA confirmed that Belhaj was not a member of al-Qaida, they handed him over to Libyan authorities. Belhaj had topped Gaddafi's list of most wanted Islamic ‘heretics' and was imprisoned upon his return.

Belhaj remained in Abu-Slim prison in Tripoli until March 2010, when he was released alongside opposition scholar Sheikh Ali al-Salabi and 213 other prisoners. The unprecedented move was precipitated by the prisoners' years of work on a book. Beginning in 2008, Belhaj and the other prisoners began a study aimed at revising jihadist ideology. The 414 page review was released under the title Corrective Studies in Understanding Jihad, Accountability, and the Judgment of the People. The book describes a moderate Islamic route towards regime change, without concluding that military action is futile against tyrannical regimes. Gaddafi accepted the book as a sign of their rehabilitation and released the prisoners.

Corrective Studies rejected the salafi jihadist ideology, rendering Belhaj vulnerable to harsh criticism from other jihadist and Islamic groups. They accused him of betrayal and of ignoring the grievances of his incarcerated brothers. However, the former jihadist seized the golden opportunity as leader of the rebels’ military council and joined fellow Libyans from diverse personal and political backgrounds to fight against the injustice and hostility of a regime that suffocated the Libyan people for 42 years. He led the rebels through the revolution's fiercest battles against Gaddafi's forces in eastern and western Libya.

Yet, Belhaj is not the only Islamist in the new Libyan revolution: anywhere from 100 to 800 LIFG members joined. With the fall of Gaddafi's Bab-al-Aziziyah compound, Belhaj finally fulfilled his dream of spending the Eid al-Fitr holiday at the end of Ramadan in Tripoli.

the rebels killed a french spec forces

Pepe asks and answers "Why Qadaffi?"

Why Gaddafi got a red card
By Pepe Escobar

Surveying the Libyan wasteland out of a cozy room crammed with wafer-thin LCDs in a Pyongyang palace, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's Dear Leader, Kim Jong-il, must have been stunned as he contemplated Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's predicament.

"What a fool," the Dear Leader predictably murmurs. No wonder. He knows how The Big G virtually signed his death sentence that day in 2003 when he accepted the suggestion of his irrepressibly nasty offspring - all infatuated with Europe - to dump his weapons of mass destruction program and place the future of the regime in the hands of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Granted, Saif al-Islam, Mutassim, Khamis and the rest of the Gaddafi clan still couldn't tell the difference between partying hard in St Tropez and getting bombed by Mirages and Rafales. But Big G, wherever he is, in Sirte, in the central desert or in a silent caravan to Algeria, must be cursing them to eternity.

He thought he was a NATO partner. Now NATO wants to blow his head off. What kind of partnership is this?

The Sunni monarchical dictator in Bahrain stays; no "humanitarian" bombs over Manama, no price on his head. The House of Saud club of dictators stays; no "humanitarian" bombs over Riyadh, Dubai or Doha - no price on their Western-loving gilded heads. Even the Syrian dictator is getting a break - so far.

So the question, asked by many an Asia Times Online reader, is inevitable: what was the crucial red line crossed by Gaddafi that got him a red card?

'Revolution' made in France

There are enough red lines crossed by The Big G - and enough red cards - to turn this whole computer screen blood red.

Let's start with the basics. The Frogs did it. It's always worth repeating; this is a French war. The Americans don't even call it a war; it's a "kinetic action" or something. The "rebel" Transitional National Council" (TNC) is a French invention.

And yes - this is above all neo-Napoleonic President Nicolas Sarkozy's war. He's the George Clooney character in the movie (poor Clooney). Everybody else, from David of Arabia Cameron to Nobel Peace Prize winner and multiple war developer Barack Obama, are supporting actors.

As already reported by Asia Times Online, this war started in October 2010 when Gaddafi's chief of protocol, Nuri Mesmari, defected to Paris, was approached by French intelligence and for all practical purposes a military coup d'etat was concocted, involving defectors in Cyrenaica.

Sarko had a bag full of motives to exact revenge on The Big G.

French banks had told him that Gaddafi was about to transfer his billions of euros to Chinese banks. Thus Gaddafi could not by any means become an example to other Arab nations or sovereign funds.

French corporations told Sarko that Gaddafi had decided not to buy Rafale fighters anymore, and not to hire the French to build a nuclear plant; he was more concerned in investing in social services.

Energy giant Total wanted a much bigger piece of the Libyan energy cake - which was being largely eaten, on the European side, by Italy's ENI, especially because Premier Silvio "bunga bunga" Berlusconi, a certified Big G fan, had clinched a complex deal with Gaddafi.

Thus the military coup was perfected in Paris until December; the first popular demonstrations in Cyrenaica in February - largely instigated by the plotters - were hijacked. The self-promoting philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy flew his white shirt over an open torso to Benghazi to meet the "rebels" and phone Sarkozy, virtually ordering him to recognize them in early March as legitimate (not that Sarko needed any encouragement).

The TNC was invented in Paris, but the United Nations also duly gobbled it up as the "legitimate" government of Libya - just as NATO did not have a UN mandate to go from a no-fly zone to indiscriminate "humanitarian" bombing, culminating with the current siege of Sirte.

The French and the British redacted what would become UN Resolution 1973. Washington merrily joined the party. The US State Department brokered a deal with the House of Saud through which the Saudis would guarantee an Arab League vote as a prelude for the UN resolution, and in exchange would be left alone to repress any pro-democracy protests in the Persian Gulf, as they did, savagely, in Bahrain.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC - then transmuted into Gulf Counter-Revolution Club) also had tons of reasons to get rid of Gaddafi. The Saudis would love to accommodate a friendly emirate in northern Africa, especially by getting rid of the ultra-bad blood between Gaddafi and King Abdullah. The Emirates wanted a new place to invest and "develop". Qatar, very cozy with Sarko, wanted to make money - as in handling the new oil sales of the "legitimate" rebels.

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may be very cozy with the House of Saud or the murderous al-Khalifas in Bahrain. But the State Department heavily blasted Gaddafi for his "increasingly nationalistic policies in the energy sector"; and also for "Libyanizing" the economy.

The Big G, a wily player, should have seen the writing on the wall. Since prime minister Mohammad Mossadegh was deposed essentially by the Central Intelligence Agency in Iran in 1953, the rule is that you don't antagonize globalized Big Oil. Not to mention the international financial/banking system - promoting subversive ideas such as turning your economy to the benefit of your local population.

If you're pro-your country you are automatically against those who rule - Western banks, mega-corporations, shady "investors" out to profit from whatever your country produces.

Gaddafi not only crossed all these red lines but he also tried to sneak out of the petrodollar; he tried to sell to Africa the idea of a unified currency, the gold dinar (most African countries supported it); he invested in a multibillion dollar project - the Great Man-Made River, a network of pipelines pumping fresh water from the desert to the Mediterranean coast - without genuflecting at the alter of the World Bank; he invested in social programs in poor, sub-Saharan countries; he financed the African Bank, thus allowing scores of nations to bypass, once again, the World Bank and especially the International Monetary Fund; he financed an African-wide telecom system that bypassed Western networks; he raised living standards in Libya. The list is endless.

Why didn't I call Pyongyang

And then there's the crucial Pentagon/Africom/NATO military angle. No one in Africa wanted to host an Africom base; Africom was invented during the George W Bush administration as a means to coerce and control Africa on the spot, and to covertly fight China's commercial advances.

So Africom was forced to settle in that most African of places; Stuttgart, Germany.

The ink on UN Resolution 1973 was barely settled when Africom, for all practical purposes, started the bombing of Libya with over 150 Tomahawks - before command was transferred to NATO. That was Africom's first African war, and a prelude of thing to come. Setting up a permanent base in Libya will be practically a done deal - part of a neo-colonial militarization of not only northern Africa but the whole continent.

NATO's agenda of dominating the whole Mediterranean as a NATO lake is as bold as Africom's agenda of becoming Africa's Robocop. The only trouble spots were Libya, Syria and Lebanon - the three countries not NATO members or linked with NATO via myriad "partnerships".

To understand NATO's global Robocop role - legitimized by the UN - one just has to pay attention to the horse's mouth, NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen. As Tripoli was still being bombed, he said, "If you're not able to deploy troops beyond your borders, then you can't exert influence internationally, and then that gap will be filled by emerging powers that don't necessarily share your values and thinking."

So there it is, out in the open. NATO is a Western high-tech militia to defend American and European interests, to isolate the interests of the emerging BRICS countries and others, and to keep the "natives", be they Africans or Asians, down. The whole lot much easier to accomplish as the scam is disguised by R2P - "responsibility to protect", not civilians, but the subsequent plunder.

Against all these odds, no wonder The Big G was bound for a red card, and to be banned from the game forever.

Only a few hours before The Big G had to start fighting for his life, the Dear Leader was drinking Russian champagne with President Dmitry Medvedev, talking about an upcoming Pipelineistan gambit and casually evoking his willingness to talk about his still active nuclear arsenal.

That sums up why the Dear Leader is going up while The Big G is going down.

By Gary Brecher

Dude on the right look local?

A sharp-eyed reader named Pete S. sent me a picture off an Al Jazeera blog on Libya with what Pete thinks might be an SAS operator taking in the parade. This is the guy on the right in this photo, the one holding the rifle with the scope. The one with the badass fingerless leather gloves.

He does look a little pale for a Libyan, but then a whole lot of people have wandered along the North African coast at one time or another and passed some time with the local ladies, so I’d imagine there’s quite a lively gene pool in those parts.

But this guy does look better equipped, older and more professional than most of the insurgents. And he’s holding that scoped rifle in proper rest position, like he’s been trained. Of course he could just be ex-Libyan army. What really makes me think he’s a European is that turban. Something about these Euros, once they hit the desert they just can’t wait to get into local costume.

So maybe Pete’s right, and we’ve got live pix of Lawrence of Libya. Although if he is a foreign ringer, his name’s more likely to be Pierre of Libya, because it’s the French who are really taking the lead in this one.

So what do Libyan readers make of this shot?

Is this guy a fellow Libyan, entitled to wear an “I Survived Big Q” t-shirt? Or is he what us Americans like to call an “advisor,” as in advising people to lie down and die when he puts one in their heads with that fancy gun of his?

You tell me.

UPDATE: Pete just informed me that the picture has been taken down from Al Jazeera’s blog.

there is no way in hell that guy is libyan
im not sure what the war nerd's point here is though, since it's not even a secret that there are french, british, cia, us special forces, and so on on the ground

Impper posted:
im not sure what the war nerd's point here is though, since it's not even a secret that there are french, british, cia, us special forces, and so on on the ground

Dolan has been a retard about Libya, I think he's regretting not selling out on Iraq and is trying lamely to do it here

someone should tell dolan that while it seems possible, you can never really ironically sell out, you have to be the genuine artical
iirc it's the guys with guns
Check out Qaddafi's camo on the right he designed for the African Union

E: Attachment didn't work

Cuba Refuses to Recognize the Transitional National Council in Libya
by the Cuban Foreign Ministry

The Foreign Ministry of Cuba has withdrawn its diplomatic staff from Libya, where foreign intervention and NATO military aggression has exacerbated the conflict and prevented the Libyan people from advancing toward a peaceful negotiated solution, in full exercise of their self-determination.

The Republic of Cuba does not recognize the Transitional National Council, nor any provisional authority, and will only recognize a government established in Libya in a legitimate manner, without foreign intervention, through the free, sovereign, and common will of the brother people of Libya.

Ambassador Víctor Ramírez Peña and First Secretary Armando Pérez Suárez, accredited in Tripoli, have maintained impeccable conduct, strictly observing their diplomatic status, have endured risks, and have stood by the Libyan people in this tragic situation. They have directly witnessed the NATO bombings of civilian targets and deaths of innocent people.

Under the grotesque pretense of protecting civilians, the NATO has murdered thousands of them, disregarded the constructive initiatives of the African Union and other countries, and even violated the questionable resolutions imposed at the Security Council, in particular by its attacks on civilian targets, by its financing and arming of one side, and by its deployment of diplomatic and operational personnel on the ground.

The United Nations has ignored the clamor of international public opinion in defense of peace and ended up becoming complicit in a war of conquest. The facts confirm the early warnings of Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz and the timely condemnations issued by Cuba at the UN. Now the world can see better what purpose the so-called "Responsibility to Protect" serves in the hands of the powerful.

Cuba declares that nothing can justify the murder of innocent people.

The Foreign Ministry demands the immediate end to NATO bombings, which continue to claim lives, and reiterates the urgent need to permit the Libyan people to find a peaceful negotiated solution, without foreign intervention, in exercise of their inalienable right to independence and self-determination, to sovereignty over their national resources, and to the territorial integrity of that brother nation.

Cuba condemns the conduct of the NATO, which is aimed at creating similar conditions for intervention in Syria, and demands the end to foreign intervention in that Arab country. Cuba calls upon the international community to prevent a new war, urges the United Nations to abide by its duty to safeguard peace, and supports the right of the Syrian people to full sovereignty and self-determination.

Havana, 3 September 2011


Gaddafi 'contributed €50m to Sarkozy's 2007 presidential election fund'

Damaging new claims have emerged about the funding of Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign and his links with Gaddafi. The French investigative website Mediapart claims to have seen a confidential note suggesting Gaddafi contributed up to €50m to Sarkozy’s election fund five years ago. Similar allegations emerged a year ago, when Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam claimed Libya helped finance the 2007 campaign and demanded the French president return the money. In an interview with the Euronews TV channel, Saif al-Islam, who is currently being held in Libya after his father’s defeat and death, threatened to make details of the bank transfers public after the French leader threw his weight behind opposition forces. The latest allegations come at a crucial time for Sarkozy, who is seeking a second term in office in a two-round election in under six weeks. Mediapart journalist Fabrice Arfi told the Guardian he had seen leaked documents contained in the legal dossier of the affair, currently under investigation by a judge. He said:

We knew these documents existed but it is the first time we have had the details of what was in them. And there are lots of details, including dates, places and amounts.

One document, a government briefing note, allegedly points to visits to Libya by Sarkozy and his close colleagues and advisers, which it says were aimed at securing campaign funding. Shortly after Sarkozy’s election, Gaddafi was invited to Paris and allowed to pitch his bedouin tent in the grounds of an official French residence close to the Elysée Palace. He was described as the “Brother Leader” by the French. When previously asked about Saif al-Islam’s claims, a spokesman for the Elysée Palace told Le Monde:

We deny it, quite evidently.


et tu, sarko?

babyfinland posted:

Gaddafi 'contributed €50m to Sarkozy's 2007 presidential election fund'

Damaging new claims have emerged about the funding of Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign and his links with Gaddafi. The French investigative website Mediapart claims to have seen a confidential note suggesting Gaddafi contributed up to €50m to Sarkozy’s election fund five years ago. Similar allegations emerged a year ago, when Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam claimed Libya helped finance the 2007 campaign and demanded the French president return the money. In an interview with the Euronews TV channel, Saif al-Islam, who is currently being held in Libya after his father’s defeat and death, threatened to make details of the bank transfers public after the French leader threw his weight behind opposition forces. The latest allegations come at a crucial time for Sarkozy, who is seeking a second term in office in a two-round election in under six weeks. Mediapart journalist Fabrice Arfi told the Guardian he had seen leaked documents contained in the legal dossier of the affair, currently under investigation by a judge. He said:

We knew these documents existed but it is the first time we have had the details of what was in them. And there are lots of details, including dates, places and amounts.

One document, a government briefing note, allegedly points to visits to Libya by Sarkozy and his close colleagues and advisers, which it says were aimed at securing campaign funding. Shortly after Sarkozy’s election, Gaddafi was invited to Paris and allowed to pitch his bedouin tent in the grounds of an official French residence close to the Elysée Palace. He was described as the “Brother Leader” by the French. When previously asked about Saif al-Islam’s claims, a spokesman for the Elysée Palace told Le Monde:

We deny it, quite evidently.


Qaddafi's mistake was thinking that neocons have any honor or any shame.

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