龙信明 BLOG     Global Edition              Shanghai Diary     Watching China


Let's Take a Look at Libya

Things are not Always What They Seem

Protecting Libya's Civilians by destroying the country.
I am not going to make a case for Ghaddafi's canonisation as a saint.

My knowledge of the man is limited to things I read in the Western media, and the only certainty is that much of that information is incorrect - supplied by the US propaganda machine.

But let's quickly review a few things that bear on the current situation.

  • Where did This Begin?


  • Some years ago, the US mounted a large air campaign in conjuction with the UK, with the approximate purpose of 'teaching Libya a lesson'.

    The facts leading to that aerial assault have never received attention in the West; we have instead been fed with a biased and sanitised version that was in the interest of the US to promote.
    Briefly, Libya was accused of bombing a bar in Germany and killing a US serviceman, the reward for which was Reagan's violent bombing assault on Libya. Ghaddafi claimed innocence in that regard, and later facts proved him to have been telling the truth. There was never any evidence connecting Libya to that bombing. When the accused were finally brought to trial in 1997, there was nothing to link them to Libya, but there was substantial evidence pointing in other directions. It appeared that Libya had been set up by Israel's Mossad.

    At that time, Israel had been feeding grievances against Libya for some years, and wanted to launch its own air assault but concluded Libya was too far away and too well-defended to be worth the risk. That set the stage for a false flag operation that proved to be eminently successful.

    Some Jews from Israel went to Libya with false passports under the pretense of being carpet merchants, and apparently rented quarters near Ghaddafi's Palace. More importantly, the quarters were in direct line from the palace to the Mediterranean where US ships were constantly offshore, intercepting Libyan communications.

    The Jews had brought with them some directional radio transmission equipment, and took advantage of their position to transmit various false information about a Libyan intention to effect some kind of terrorist act, to plant a bomb somewhere. Over a short period of time, the details of this plan were leaked and the location was inferred to be Germany.

    Mossad then sent a couple of Jewish agents to a German bar and detonated a bomb. Apparently it was poorly done and one US serviceman died; the intention was not to kill anyone but just to cause terror and lay the blame on Libya. And it succeeded. Reagan bombed the hell out of Libya, and the Israeli government was feeling very proud and smug.

    Later, there was a day when a group of Jews from Israel were travelling to the UK. These were apparently members of various departments in Israel that played a part in setting up Libya for the US bombing campaign. Ghaddafi did indeed have a bomb placed on that plane, but this was why he placed it there.

    Before we condemn him for being heartless and cruel, for being a monster and a terrorist, let's remember that, because of Israel, the US and UK did in fact bomb the hell out of Libya, destroyed much of the capital city and other installations, attacked Ghaddafi's home with the intention of killing him but succeeded only in killing his child.

    So if a totally unjustified air assault that killed at least thousands and perhaps tens of thousands of Libyans, and caused hundreds of millions in damage, was ok, then why isn't bombing an airplane and killing 200 people ok?

  • Is it All One-Sided?


  • In 1984 Libya was blamed for shooting a policewoman in London. There were numerous problems with this version of events, and a British TV documentary linked the death to the CIA, but to most people Libya was guilty simply because it was Libya.

    Some years back, Libyan Airlines Flight LN 114, a Boeing 727 with a French crew, was shot down by Israeli warplanes over Egypt on the authorisation of Dado Elazar, the Israeli Chief of Staff. Commenting on the decision to blow up the civilian airliner, Golda Meir, then Prime Minister of Israel, showered Elazar with praise, and exulted, "I want to tell you that I don't just appreciate you, I admire you!"

    And rather more recently, the trigger-happy captain of a US warship shot down an Iranian airliner in Iranian airspace, killing everyone on board. President George Bush did two things: he gave the captain a medal, and he said, "I won't apologise, no matter what the truth is."

    I am not excusing the crime of the Lockerbie aircraft, but then you cannot excuse the same crimes by the US and Israel, nor the crime of the unjustified bombing of a country. You can't have it both ways. Unless you're white or Jewish.

    During the intervening years, Ghaddafi has shown many signs of reform. He paid compensation to the victims of that destroyed aircraft, he voluntarily suspended all efforts to develop nuclear technology and weapons, and was receiving high praise from the West for his improvements to the system of government, to social services and to various social freedoms.

    In fact, Ghaddafi had proposed to take approximately 20 billion dollars from the country's surplus oil wealth and distribute it to the general population as a kind of dividend. The situation in Libya was not at all as bleak as the US media have portrayed it.

  • So what went wrong?


  • No small country, especially one with oil, will survive long in the world today without obdience to the US, without giving free rein to US corporations to come and loot. And this was the situation in Libya.

    Ghaddafi's great sin was to recently propose the nationalisation of the country's oil industry - just as most of the other countries including Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran had done.

    On January 25, 2009, Gaddafi announced that his country was studying the nationalisation of foreign companies due to lower oil prices, and proposed the nationalisation of U.S. oil companies, as well as those of UK, Germany, Spain, Norway, Canada and Italy.

    "The oil-exporting countries should opt for nationalisation because of the rapid fall in oil prices. We must put the issue on the table and discuss it seriously," said Gaddafi. "Oil should be owned by the State at this time, so we could better control prices by the increase or decrease in production," said the Libyan leader.

    His intentions infuriated the main foreign companies operating in Libya: Anglo-Dutch Shell, British Petroleum, U.S. ExxonMobil, Hess Corp., Marathon Oil, Occidental Petroleum and ConocoPhillips, the Spanish Repsol, Germany's Wintershall, Austria's OMV , Norway's Statoil, Eni and Canada's Petro Canada.

    And in short order Ghaddafi and Libya went from a peaceful rising little star to being a demon in hell. That is the source of the impetus for the Libyan civil war.

  • Mission Creep, and More Misinformation


  • It is worse than it appears to be. The US pushed very hard for UN permission to create a "no-fly" zone - which is intended simply to prevent Libyan aircraft from flying in certain areas of their own airspace - ostensibly to prevent them from killing their own civilians.

    But the US has gone far beyond the creation of this zone. It has destroyed all Libyan aircraft and airbases in the country. It has repeatedly bombed Ghaddafi's home and headquarters in clear attempts to kill the man. The US has attacked the entire military capability of Libya in every way, destroying armored vehicles, ships, bases, fuel supplies, anything and everything that might make defence of one's country possible.

    The US claims there is no "mission creep", but that is little more than a sick joke today. Much of the world is condemning the US and UK actions, but the reason most general publics aren't objecting is because of the effective demonisation propaganda that was carried out prior to the invasion.

    The purpose of the US/UK/France invasion in Libya is not to protect civilians. The civil population is of no consequence to anybody in the West. The intent is to either kill Ghaddafi or get him out of the country so someone more amenable to US influence can be installed - as the new dictator.

    The US is now engaging in a substantial media offensive, broadcasting into Libya 24 hours a day, exhorting all troops to abandon their leader, inciting all the civil population to take up arms, and by all media accounts the US military believe they are having some success.

    We are told about Gadhafi placing multiple dead bodies at strike sites, and blaming these deaths on the West. Some readers may recall that this is an old story, one that's been used so many times before by the US when its bombing raids killed civilians. It's the same with the 'human shields' accusation, used frequently by both the US and Israel.

    In the last Gaza attack, Israel bombed a school and schoolyard, killing hundreds of children, then dismissed it with an accusation that the Palestinians were just using their children as human shields to protect an armory. How gullible we are, to believe any of these stories when there has never been any independent evidence and when human rights organisations deny them.

    You can read many articles on this topic in the WSJ, the NYT, the Washington Post.

  • The US Always Saves the Day - Or Does It?


  • In his recent speech, President Obama paid tribute to "our men and women in uniform" and because of them "countless lives have been saved."

    Well, not exactly. We have all read the press releases claiming a humanitarian crisis where Ghaddafi was "slaughtering" thousands of his own people, bombarding his own cities with bombs and artillery...

    Interestingly, the Russian government, in a recent interview on a British TV channel denied that any of this was happening. The Russians claim they've been monitoring Libyan space ever since the first signs of trouble, and claimed they have pored over all their satellite photos but have found none of what the US claims to have happened. Specifically, Russia says there is "no evidence whatever" of any damage to the cities Ghaddafi was accused of shelling, no evidence of warfare in those areas, no evidence of reams of bodies anywhere. In fact, almost nothing.

    Unfortunately, none of this information was carried by the Western media who have their own agenda coming from the White House and US military. In case you don't know, this isn't the first time that Russia has provided all its satellite photos to the Western media to counter false claims made by the US government propaganda machine - and in every case, the Western media studiously avoided publishing any of the factual information.

    Once again, with Libya, just as with Iraq and Iran, it appears that most of what we've been told is a lie. Just like the WMDs in Iraq; totally fabricated stories intended to demonise someone in preparation for yet another "regime change."

  • And Who are These "Freedom Fighters", Anyway?


  • And there is more. The "rebels" that are fighting against Libyan forces are not the Libyan people who want to be "free". Most of them are mercenaries - al Qaida, in fact - offered freedom by the US from their prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan, then sent to Libya as mercenary soldiers. They are almost surely being paid directly or indirectly by the US government.

    Here's a link (click here) to an article in the UK Telegraph where a Mr. Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, admitted that he had recruited al-qaeda members to fignt the US in Iraq and was now doing the same in Libya. US and British government sources said Mr al-Hasidi was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).

    The US military's West Point academy has said the two share an "increasingly co-operative relationship". In 2007, documents captured by allied forces from the town of Sinjar, showed LIFG members made up the second-largest cohort of foreign fighters in Iraq, after Saudi Arabia.

    So the US, with its (generally assumed) at least 50,000 prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan, is offering these (probably mostly innocent) prisoners freedom and amnesty, provided they agree to be transported to Libya and wage a ground war in lieu of US troops. But the media spin has this all as native Libyan 'freedom fighters'.

    There is little real evidence that any of the fighting in Libya today actually involves an uprising from among the civilian population, and in fact a large portion of that population supports their leader. I know you don't want to hear that, but it's true.

  • Libya's Nuclear War


  • One of the most important bits of information about this assault on Libya seems to have escaped the attention of our Western media - the fact that Libya is being bombarded with nuclear waste that will cause untold human suffering for generations to come.

    The Tomahawk missiles, of which hundreds have already been fired into Libya, each contain 360 Kgs. of enriched uranium and plutonium - remnants from the US stockpile of 500,000 Kgs. of nuclear waste. This highy toxic radioactive waste is used in cruise missiles and artillery because of its weight and ability to pierce any kind of armor.

    But when the missile warhead explodes, most of the radioactive waste is vaporised and spreads through the environment. With a half-life of 4.5 billion years, it's the gift that keeps on giving. This is nuclear war under a different name.

    The US bombarded Iraq with more than 600,000 Kgs. of this radioactive waste during operation Desert Storm, and more during the current invasion. Iraq today has by far the world's highest rate of deformed foetuses and children, and this situation will continue indefinitely into the future. Libyans will now suffer the same fate.

    And so will the US soldiers who were in Iraq during that first battle. There are by most reports many tens of thousands of American soldiers suffering from radiation sickness, various cancers and other illnesses that have been positively identified as a result of exposure to the depeleted uranium and plutonium missiles and artillery shells. But the US government denies all liability even to its own.

    How is it possible to justify such wantonly immoral acts, by pretending to the media that the purpose is to save civilian lives?

  • Invasions and War ad Infinitum, Just to Make the US Richer


  • Libya is just one more example of how the only real crime in the world is to go against the US "National Interest". Murder is fine, torture is ok, genocide will be overlooked. But don't ever cross the empire's commercial interests.

    Anyone can see what is happening in Libya. It is nothing less than a war of colonial conquest fought for oil, dressed up as a crusade for Western life and liberty. Nobody believes that what compelled President Obama to act so quickly was the immediate prospect of mass atrocities against the people in Libya.

    Today the dominant view in the Islamic world is that Americans are attacking Libya not to protect civilians, not to spread democracy, but to steal Libya’s oil.

    Some day, this has to stop. When will it happen?

    Read also: "Not America's Finest Hour" - The Aim is to Gain Control of the Oil in the Middle East and the Gulf