Archive for the ‘Libya’ Category
Arming ‘indirectly’: US, Frace and Italy to buy Libya rebel oil, Britain and Kuwait to simply throw money at them
AP: US administration gives go-ahead for oil deals with Libya rebels
The Obama administration has eased its sanctions on Libya to allow for the sale of oil controlled by the rebels. The move will allow Libya’s opposition forces to use the income from oil sales to purchase weapons and other supplies.
The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued the order Tuesday. It will allow U.S. companies to engage in transactions involving oil, natural gas and other petroleum products if the petroleum exports will benefit the opposition Transitional National Council of Libya.
Expatica.com: Italy and France to work with Libya rebels on oil sales
Rome is set to host a meeting of the international contact group on Libya early next month which will also discuss ways of helping oil sales from rebel-held eastern Libya to aid the uprising against Kadhafi.
Reuters: Britain, Kuwait setting up fund to aid Libya rebels
Britain hopes for international agreement in the coming week on setting up a fund to help Libya’s rebel-held east, Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Tuesday.
The fund is aimed at helping the rebel’s interim national council help pay public sector salaries and with other costs.
“In the coming week, we hope to agree internationally the process for establishing a temporary financial mechanism to provide a transparent structure for international financial support for the financial requirements of the (national council) such as public sector pay,” Hague told parliament.
Kuwait will contribute 50 million Kuwaiti dinars ($182 million) to the rebel council, a rebel leader said on Sunday.
And, of course, Qatar is already arming the rebels
Egypt and Saudi Arabia are also suspected of exporting arms to Libya
It is the Pentagon’s Africom versus China’s web of investments – the ultimate prize: Africa’s natural resources.
Pepe Escobar, Al Jazeera, April 26, 2011
From energy wars to water wars, the 21st century will be determined by a fierce battle for the world’s remaining natural resources. The chessboard is global. The stakes are tremendous. Most battles will be invisible. All will be crucial.
In resource-rich Africa, a complex subplot of the New Great Game in Eurasia is already in effect. It’s all about three major intertwined developments:
1) The coming of age of the African Union (AU) in the early 2000s.
2) China’s investment offencive in Africa throughout the 2000s.
3) The onset of the Pentagon’s African Command (Africom) in 2007.
Beijing clearly sees that the Anglo-French-American bombing of Libya – apart from its myriad geopolitical implications – has risked billions of dollars in Chinese investments, not to mention forcing the (smooth) evacuation of more than 35,000 Chinese working across the country.
And crucially, depending on the outcome – as in renegotiated energy contracts by a pliable, pro-Western government – it may also seriously jeopardise Chinese oil imports (3 per cent of total Chinese imports in 2010).
No wonder the China Military, a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) newspaper, as well as sectors in academia, are now openly arguing that China needs to drop Deng Xiaoping’s “low-profile” policy and bet on a sprawling armed forces to defend its strategic interests worldwide (these assets already total over $1.2 trillion).
Now compare it with a close examination of Africom’s strategy, which reveals as the proverbial hidden agenda the energy angle and a determined push to isolate China from northern Africa.
One report titled “China’s New Security Strategy in Africa” actually betrays the Pentagon’s fear of the PLA eventually sending troops to Africa to protect Chinese interests.
It won’t happen in Libya. It’s not about to happen in Sudan. But further on down the road, all bets are off.
Meddle is our middle name
The Pentagon has in fact been meddling in Africa’s affairs for more than half a century. According to a 2010 US Congressional Research Service study, this happened no less than 46 times before the current Libya civil war.
Among other exploits, the Pentagon invested in a botched large-scale invasion of Somalia and backed the infamous, genocide-related Rwanda regime.
The Bill Clinton administration raised hell in Liberia, Gabon, Congo and Sierra Leone, bombed Sudan, and sent “advisers” to Ethiopia to back dodgy clients grabbing a piece of Somalia (by the way, Somalia has been at war for 20 years).
The September 2002 National Security Strategy (NSS), conceived by the Bush administration, is explicit; Africa is a “strategic priority in fighting terrorism”.
Yet, the never-say-die “war on terror” is a sideshow in the Pentagon’s vast militarisation agenda, which favours client regimes, setting up military bases, and training of mercenaries – “cooperative partnerships” in Pentagon newspeak.
Africom has some sort of military “partnership” – bilateral agreements – with most of Africa’s 53 countries, not to mention fuzzy multilateral schemes such as West African Standby Force and Africa Partnership Station.
American warships have dropped by virtually every African nation except for those bordering the Mediterranean.
The exceptions: Ivory Coast, Sudan, Eritrea and Libya. Ivory Coast is now in the bag. So is South Sudan. Libya may be next. The only ones left to be incorporated to Africom will be Eritrea and Zimbabwe.
Africom’s reputation has not been exactly sterling – as the Tunisian and Egyptian chapters of the great 2011 Arab Revolt caught it totally by surprise. These “partners”, after all, were essential for surveillance of the southern Mediterranean and the Red Sea.
Libya for its part presented juicy possibilities: an easily demonised dictator; a pliable post-Gaddafi puppet regime; a crucial military base for Africom; loads of excellent cheap oil; and the possibility of throwing China out of Libya.
Under the Obama administration, Africom thus started its first African war. In the words of its commander, General Carter Ham, “we completed a complex, short-notice, operational mission in Libya and… transferred that mission to NATO.”
And that leads us to the next step. Africom will share all its African “assets” with NATO. Africom and NATO are in fact one – the Pentagon is a many-headed hydra after all.
Beijing for its part sees right through it; the Mediterranean as a NATO lake (neocolonialism is back especially, via France and Britain); Africa militarised by Africom; and Chinese interests at high risk.
The lure of ChinAfrica
One of the last crucial stages of globalisation – what we may call “ChinAfrica” – established itself almost in silence and invisibility, at least for Western eyes.
In the past decade, Africa became China’s new Far West. The epic tale of masses of Chinese workers and entrepreneurs discovering big empty virgin spaces, and wild mixed emotions from exoticism to rejection, racism to outright adventure, grips anyone’s imagination.
Individual Chinese have pierced the collective unconscious of Africa, they have made Africans dream – while China the great power proved it could conjure miracles far away from its shores.
For Africa, this “opposites attract” syndrome was a great boost after the 1960s decolonisation – and the horrid mess that followed it.
China repaved roads and railroads, built dams in Congo, Sudan and Ethiopia, equipped the whole of Africa with fibre optics, opened hospitals and orphanages, and – just before Tahrir Square – was about to aid Egypt to relaunch its civilian nuclear programme.
The white man in Africa has been, most of the time, arrogant and condescending. The Chinese, humble, courageous, efficient and discreet.
China will soon become Africa’s largest trading partner – ahead of France and the UK – and its top source of foreign investment. It’s telling that the best the West could come up with to counteract this geopolitical earthquake was to go the militarised way.
The external Chinese model of trade, aid and investment – not to mention the internal Chinese model of large-scale, state-led investments in infrastructure – made Africa forget about the West while boosting the strategic importance of Africa in the global economy.
Why would an African government rely on the ideology-based “adjustments” of IMF and the World Bank when China attaches no political conditions and respects sovereignty – for Beijing, the most important principle of international law? On top of it, China carries no colonial historical baggage in Africa.
Essentially, large swathes of Africa have rejected the West’s trademark shock therapy, and embraced China.
Western elites, predictably, were not amused. Beijing now clearly sees that in the wider context of the New Great Game in Eurasia, the Pentagon has now positioned itself to conduct a remixed Cold War with China all across Africa – using every trick in the book from obscure “partnerships” to engineered chaos.
The leadership in Beijing is silently observing the waters. For the moment, the Little Helmsman Deng’s “crossing the river while feeling the stones” holds.
The Pentagon better wise up. The best Beijing may offer is to help Africa to fulfil its destiny. In the eyes of Africans themselves, that certainly beats any Tomahawk.
British FM Says Assassination Depends on Gadhafi’s Behavior
Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com, April 24, 2011
Citing the lingering stalemate in Libya, a number of top Western officials are raising the prospect of assassinating Moammar Gadhafi as a means of either winning the war or escalating it, depending on which they were advocating.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R – SC) said assassinating Gadhafi would be the “quickest” way to end the stalemate, while John McCain (R – AZ) said it should be the first step toward increasing the number of US air strikes in Libya. Graham in particular had been calling for the assassination for weeks.
Officials have speculated that the assassination would be much easier now that the US has added Predator drones to the war. The first such strike was reported over the weekend.
Liberal supporters of this ‘humanitarian intervention’ have merely become useful idiots of the same old nefarious purposes
David Swanson, The Guardian, April 21, 2011
The US department of justice (DOJ) has submitted a written defence of the US role in this new war in Libya to the US Congress. The DOJ claims the war serves the US national interest in regional stability and in maintaining the credibility of the United Nations. Who knew?
The regional stability line would be a stretch for the UK but is downright nuts for the US. Who, outside of US strategic command types working on weapons in space, thinks Libya and America are in the same region? (In fact, the US is in Northcom and Libya in Africom, in the lingo of the Pentagon’s structure of global domination. Europe is in Eucom.) And what has done more good this year for the region that Libya is actually in than instability (think Tunisia, Egypt)?
The bit about the credibility of the United Nations is really cute coming from a government that invaded Iraq in 2003 – despite UN opposition and for the express purpose (among others) of proving the UN irrelevant. This also comes from the same government that just this month refused to allow the UN special rapporteur to visit a US prisoner named Bradley Manning to verify that he is not being tortured. How does that maintain UN credibility? And how exactly does authorising the CIA to violate the UN arms embargo in Libya maintain UN credibility? How does violating the UN ban on “a foreign occupation force of any form” in Libya maintain UN credibility?
So, one of the main justifications offered to the first branch of the US government is that the war in Libya is justified by a UNresolution, the credibility of which must be maintained even while violating it. But the DOJ memo also stresses that such a justification is not needed. A US president, according to this memo, albeit in violation of the US Constitution, simply has the power to launch wars. Any explanations offered to Congress are, just like the wars, acts of pure benevolence.
The DOJ memo also argues that this war doesn’t really measure up to the name “war”, given how quick, easy and cheap it’s going to be. In fact, President Obama has already announced the handover of the war to Nato. I think we’re supposed to imagine Nato as separate from the US, just as Congress does when it conducts no investigations of any atrocities in Afghanistan that the US attributes to Nato. Do the other Nato nations know that this is the purpose Nato serves in US politics?
Eman Goma, Reuters, April 24, 2011
Kuwait will contribute 50 million Kuwaiti dinars ($177.2 million) to Libya’s rebel council to help pay salaries in the breakaway east of the country, a rebel leader said on Sunday.
“His Highness the Emir gave us a financial grant valued at 50 million Kuwaiti dinar. This amount will help us a lot in paying the salaries of employees who did not receive their little salaries for two months,” said Mustafa Abdel Jalil, head of the Libyan rebel national council.
“We are capable of only covering 40 percent of this amount. We are in need of urgent aid,” he told a Kuwait news conference.
On April 4, Kuwait became the second Arab state after Qatar to officially recognize the Libyan rebel forces.
Abdel Jalil said the rebels had also received weapons from “friends and allies,” but did not specify which countries or organizations had donated them.
“We requested light and medium arms, and we received some from our friends and allies which have enabled us to free Misrata now,” he said.
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Afrohistorama, April 23, 2011
Col. Mu’ummar Qaddafi, 2011/04/05 Translated by Professor Sam Hamod, Ph.D. Recollections of My Life: Col. Mu’ummar Qaddafi, The Leader of the Revolution. April 5, 2011.
In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful…
For 40 years, or was it longer, I can’t remember, I did all I could to give people houses, hospitals, schools, and when they were hungry, I gave them food. I even made Benghazi into farmland from the desert, I stood up to attacks from that cowboy Reagan, when he killed my adopted orphaned daughter, he was trying to kill me, instead he killed that poor innocent child. Then I helped my brothers and sisters from Africa with money for the African Union.
I did all I could to help people understand the concept of real democracy, where people’s committees ran our country. But that was never enough, as some told me, even people who had 10 room homes, new suits and furniture, were never satisfied, as selfish as they were they wanted more. They told Americans and other visitors, that they needed “democracy” and “freedom” never realizing it was a cut throat system, where the biggest dog eats the rest, but they were enchanted with those words, never realizing that in America, there was no free medicine, no free hospitals, no free housing, no free education and no free food, except when people had to beg or go to long lines to get soup.
No, no matter what I did, it was never enough for some, but for others, they knew I was the son of Gamal Abdel Nasser, the only true Arab and Muslim leader we’ve had since Salah-al-Deen, when he claimed the Suez Canal for his people, as I claimed Libya, for my people, it was his footsteps I tried to follow, to keep my people free from colonial domination — from thieves who would steal from us.
Now, I am under attack by the biggest force in military history, my little African son, Obama wants to kill me, to take away the freedom of our country, to take away our free housing, our free medicine, our free education, our free food, and replace it with American style thievery, called “capitalism,” but all of us in the Third World know what that means, it means corporations run the countries, run the world, and the people suffer. So, there is no alternative for me, I must make my stand, and if Allah wishes, I shall die by following His path, the path that has made our country rich with farmland, with food and health, and even allowed us to help our African and Arab brothers and sisters to work here with us, in the Libyan Jamahiriya.
I do not wish to die, but if it comes to that, to save this land, my people, all the thousands who are all my children, then so be it.
Let this testament be my voice to the world, that I stood up to crusader attacks of NATO, stood up to cruelty, stood up to betrayal, stood up to the West and its colonialist ambitions, and that I stood with my African brothers, my true Arab and Muslim brothers, as a beacon of light. When others were building castles, I lived in a modest house, and in a tent. I never forgot my youth in Sirte, I did not spend our national treasury foolishly, and like Salah-al-Deen, our great Muslim leader, who rescued Jerusalem for Islam, I took little for myself…
In the West, some have called me “mad”, “crazy”, but they know the truth yet continue to lie, they know that our land is independent and free, not in the colonial grip, that my vision, my path, is, and has been clear and for my people and that I will fight to my last breath to keep us free, may Allah almighty help us to remain faithful and free.
Libya: transitional government-connected “exiled prince” advocates escalating war, reimposing pre-Gaddafi monarchy
Libya’s ‘exiled prince’ suggests monarchy’s return
AFP, April 20, 2011
Muhammad al-Senussi, the heir apparent to Libya’s overthrown monarch, voiced support Wednesday for the return of a constitutional monarchy to steer his country back to democracy.
Senussi told the European Parliament he was ready to help his country but that it was up to the Libyan people to choose their destiny if rebels prevail in their battle against Moamer Kadhafi’s 42-year dictatorship.
“Let me stress that it is up to the Libyan people to decide whether they go down the road of a constitutional monarchy or that of a republic,” he told the 27-nation European Union assembly.
Libya’s 1951 constitution, which was amended in 1963, created a constitutional monarchy with his great uncle, Idris al-Mahdi al-Senussi, as the king, who was later overthrown by Kadhafi.
“It may not have been active for 42 years but, suitably updated, it could form the basis of a new Libya,” the 48-year-old prince said.
“It is my belief that there is no more solid and sensible basis than the constitution available for political transition in Libya and neither is any likely to be agreed in the near term,” he added.
“My own duty is clear,” Senussi said.
“Whether the people want a return to a constitutional monarch or not, I will do everything I can to assist in creating a democratic state for Libyans based on a representative parliament chosen by free and fair elections.”
Senussi said he has good relations with the Transitional National Council, the opposition group based in the eastern city of Benghazi.
But while he said he supports any group “working in the people’s interest,” he stressed that the TNC is “just that — transitional.”
The prince said he expects the TNC to move to Tripoli whenever Kadhafi falls, but “the existing body will need to make way for a new council made up of representatives from all over Libya, so they can have a referendum to choose the form of government they desire.”
Senussi, who has lived in exile in Britain since 1988, was invited to Brussels by the parliament’s European Conservatives and Reformists Group, which includes British Prime Minister David Cameron’s party.
Libyan crown prince calls on world to do “more” against Gaddafi
Monsters & Critics, April 20, 2011
The exiled crown prince of Libya, whose family was ousted by Moamer Gaddafi four decades ago, Wednesday urged the international community to boost its economic sanctions and military action so the long-time ruler is ‘squeezed even tighter.’
‘Just a few months ago, no one envisaged a situation where Gaddafi would not rule Libya,’ Mohamed al-Senussi said as he met with members of the European Parliament.
‘Yet we are now thinking and talking about a transition process to a democratic Libya.’
Internationally backed rebels have been fighting for months to oust Gaddafi, who has retained control on the western part of the country, including the capital Tripoli.
NATO has deployed jets over the North African country since March to attack Gaddafi troops and military equipment under a United Nations mandate to protect the Libyan population.
‘I would like to thank the UN and NATO for their protection of civilians … (Gaddafi) only understands one language, the language of force,’ Senussi said. ‘But we want more in order to protect innocent people (and) … to put more pressure on Gaddafi.’
The Libyan opposition’s representative in Brussels, Ghasm Nagaa, also expressed frustration that NATO has not done more, for instance to target mercenaries recruited by the Gaddafi regime who he said ‘are left to circulate with a certain freedom.’
‘Libyans have started doubting the aims of NATO,’ he added, arguing that there are ‘hidden hands’ within the military alliance.
Senussi sidestepped questions on what more exactly he would like to see the international community do. But he did note that there currently is no support in Libya for a land-based military mission involving international troops.
‘I personally support any action that the Libyan people agree to,’ he said. ‘At the moment, the situation is very bad and may lead to other decisions being made on this.’
Senussi argued that the goal should be to ‘get rid’ of the security forces and mercenaries that he said are doing Gaddafi’s bidding, and eventually weaken him enough so that he leaves power.
The rebels have insisted on Gaddafi’s departure as a pre-condition for a ceasefire.