Monthly Archives: August 2011

Palestinian Rights Absent from Israeli Protest Demands

The Monitor Remembers the 9/11 attacks

Meet The New American Sweatshop

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.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at

To follow Pepe’s articles on the Great Arab Revolt, please click here.

(Copyright 2011 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)

 Libyan Power Vacuum Could Lead to Nightmare Scenarios 

 Libyan Power Vacuum Could Lead to Nightmare Scenarios

It is going to be Syra’s turn

The visuals beamed from Tripoli last night had an eerie familiarity. Cars blowing horns, Kalashnikovs firing into the air, youth and children aimlessly wandering on streets littered with heaps of debris, western cameramen eagerly lapping up the precious words in broken English by any local fellow holding forth on the stirring ideals of the 1789 French Revolution and the Magna Carta – the images are all-too-familiar. Somewhere else, some other time, one had seen these images, but couldn’t exactly place them. Could they have stealthily crept up from the attic of the mind, a slice of memory that was best forgotten or purged from the consciousness? Now, the morning after, it is clear the television channels were only replaying the scenes from Baghdad in 2003.

The narrative from Tripoli bears uncanny resemblance to Baghdad: A brutal, megalomaniacal dictator, who seemed omnipotent, gets overthrown by the people, and a wave of euphoria sweeps over an exhausted land. As the celebrations erupt, the western benefactor-cum-liberator walks on to the centre stage, duly taking stance on the ‘right side of history’. In the 19th century, he would have said in Kenya or India that he was carrying the ‘white man’s burden’. Now he claims he is bringing western enlightenment to people who are demanding it.

But it is a matter of time before the narrative withers away and chilling realities take hold. In Iraq, we have seen how a nation that was tiptoeing toward the OECD standards of development hardly 20 years ago has been reduced to beggary and anarchy.

A coup d’etat

Libya’s democratic opposition is a myth conjured up by the western countries and the ‘pro-West’ Arab governments. There are deep splits within the opposition and there are factions ranging from genuine liberals to Islamists to plain lumpen elements. Then there are the tribal divisions. The infighting among the various factions seems a recipe for another round of civil war, as the factions that have neither legitimacy nor authority jostle for power. The acuteness of the rifts burst into the open last month when the opposition’s commander-in-chief Abdul Fattah Younes was lured back from the front on a false pretext, taken away from his bodyguards and brutally tortured and killed by the rebels belonging to an Islamist faction.

The western media have begun openly discussing the role played by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO], which time and again intervened to tilt the military balance against Muammar Gaddafi. The revolution looks more like a coup d’etat instigated by Britain and France. Even then, it took the western alliance an awfully long time stretching over 6 months to get its ‘boys’ into Tripoli. Gaddafi is still keeping them guessing as to the manner of his grand exit. The stunning truth is that Gaddafi should decide when to stop fighting despite having the men and the material to prolong his defiance for a while.

His course of action in the coming hours or days would have great bearing on what follows. If there is going to be heavy bloodshed, revenge acts by the victors over the vanquished will likely follow. In political terms, Gaddafi’s imminent fall doesn’t mean the opposition has won. Divested of the NATO’s tactical support, the opposition would have lost. The big question, therefore, is going to be about NATO’s future role in Libya. Alongside appears the question of whether the NATO would now turn attention to Syria.

NATO embraces Arab world

With the mission of ‘regime change’ successfully accomplished, NATO ought to leave the Libyan theatre. The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 has been overtaken. But the NATO’s withdrawal is too much to expect. Libya’s oil has been the leitmotif of the western intervention. Gaddafi’s recent proclivity to turn to Russia, China, Brazil and India to bring them into Libya’s oil sector obviously threatened the western interests. The pro-democracy rhetoric emanating out of London and Paris had all along had a hollow ring. The NATO’s intervention in Libya has stretched the limits of international law and the United Nations Charter. The alliance finds itself in the ludicrous position of seeking the legitimacy for its continued presence in Libya from the shady elements who masquerade as the ‘democratic’ forces, whose popular support is thin on the ground, on the pretext that there is still a job to be done.

There is indeed going to be a job to be done. It could well turn out to be Iraq and Afghanistan all over again. Resistance to foreign occupation is bound to appear sooner rather than later. Libyan tribes are steeped in the folklore of resistance. On the other hand, a great paradox of geopolitics is that anarchical conditions provide just the requisite pretext for occupation. The story of Libya is not going to be any different from that of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The West’s Libyan intervention introduces new templates in the geopolitics of the Middle East and Africa. It has brought NATO to the eastern Mediterranean and Africa. This is of a piece with the United States’ post-cold war strategy to mould the trans-Atlantic alliance into a global organization with the capability to act in global ‘hotspots’ with or without UN mandate. A pivotal role for the alliance in the ‘new Middle East’ seems all but certain. There is an ominous ring to the recap of the Libyan chapter by British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg: “I want to make it absolutely clear: the UK will not turn its back on the millions of citizens of Arab states looking to open up their societies, looking for a better life.”

Was he talking about Syria? Surely, Clegg couldn’t have been suggesting that Britain is raring to “open up” the societies in Saudi Arabia or Bahrain or Yemen and make the tribals living out there into modern-day citizens. With the Libyan operation drawing to a close, all eyes are turning on Syria. The Wall Street Journal speculates: “Libyans’ success affects the potentially more important rebellion in Syria… Already there are signs Libya is giving inspiration to the rebels trying to oust [Bashar al] Assad.” But then it also adds a caveat without which the discussion will remain incomplete: “There are crucial differences between Libya and Syria, and the Libyan template will be hard to replicate in Damascus.”

High stakes in Syria

However, the western mind is famous for its innovative capacity. Without doubt, Syria occupies the heart of the Middle East and conflict breaking out there will most certainly engulf the entire region – including Israel and, possibly, Iran and Turkey. On the other hand, the calibrated western moves in the recent weeks, racheting up sanctions, are strikingly similar to those taken in the prelude to the Libyan intervention. Sustained efforts are afoot to bring about a unified Syrian opposition. Last weekend’s conclave held in Turkey – third in a row – finally elected a ‘council’ ostensibly representing the voice of the Syrian people. Evidently, a focal point is being carefully crafted, which could be co-opted at a convenient point as the West’s democratic interlocutor representing Syria. The fig-leaf of Arab League support is also available. The ‘pro-West’ Arab regimes, which are autocratic themselves, have reappeared in the forefront of the western campaign as the flag carriers of representative rule in Syria.

Conceivably, the main hurdle would be to get a United Nations mandate for the western intervention in Syria. But the Libyan experience shows that an alibi can always be found. Turkey can be trusted to play a role here. When Turkey gets involved, Charter 5 of the NATO can be invoked. The heart of the matter is that regime change in Syria is imperative for the advancement of the US strategy in the Middle East and Washington is unlikely to brook any BRICS obstacles on its path, since the stakes are very high. The stakes include the expulsion of the Hamas leadership from Damascus; the break-up of the Syrian-Iranian axis; isolation of Iran and a push for regime change there; weakening and degradation of Hezbollah in Lebanon; and regaining Israel’s strategic dominance over the Arab world. And, of course, at the root of it all lies the control of oil, which George Kennan had said 60 years ago are “our resources – and not theirs” [Arabs’] – which are crucial for the continued prosperity of the western world. Mock at him if anyone claims that cash-strapped western governments and their war-weary citizens have no more appetite for wars.

Finally, all this means in geopolitical terms the rolling back of Russian and Chinese influence in the Middle East. A subtle western propaganda has begun pitting Russia and China as obstacles to regime change in the region – standing on the ‘wrong side of history’. It is a clever ideological twist to the hugely successful Cold-War era blueprint that pitted communism against Islam. The body language in the western capitals underscores that there is no conceivable way the US would let go the opportunity in Syria.

Missing Links – The Truth Behind the 911 Attack

Wikileak’s Cables leaked or released?

Full Show – 8/30/11. Is Afghanistan America’s "Forgotten" War?

Libya – The Nanny Lie and NATO’s Bombs, 1 of 2:

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Libya – The Nanny Lie and NATO’s Bombs, 2 of 2

Libya: Chatter

Independent journalists have been silenced by the murderous NATO/terrorist occupation force in Libya, independent journalists have been threatened by the murderous NATO/terrorist occupation force in Libya, independent journalists have been killed by the same forces of evil in Libya. Yet for every one of them, there are thousands of us.

What is the latest chatter from Libya, now that the NATO/terrorist elements, which are trying to destroy the Jamahiriya, have enforced a cloak of silence over Tripoli? (Needless to say, to carry out massacres without anyone reporting them. For the record, this column has been speaking out about this from the beginning, and yes, this columnist has received numerous death threats…but this is not the first time and it will not be the last. If I didn’t buckle under the pressure exerted on me over Iraq, I will certainly not buckle over Libya).

First let us confront the chatter with the western news, which is that hunky-dory squeaky-clean product placed ironed and crisp on the breakfast table alongside the 2,500-calorie nuclear bomb people consume themselves into an early grave with. What, pray, is this story?

Oh another of those ra ra ra NATO defeats a dictator and installs a (violins) nice democratic government which, erm, passes the resources of the country over to the lobbies which dictate the policies of NATO member states, the marketing work having been done by the politicians. Sniff.

So apparently Tripoli is secure and the rest of Libya is controlled by NATO/terrorists and the last stronghold (music) is at Sirt (pronounced “Surt”, as in “durt” by western news…”people”??). OK, fine. Does anyone actually believe any of this?

Now for the latest chatter. (Stop music). As I have said before, my sources are people who I know personally, or else are people I have vetted. I admit that not having my own eyes on the ground means that I cannot cross-check every story but also, being there and lying, as western sources have done, is not an option.

For a start, we had the fourth or fifth report that Khamis al-Qathafi has been killed from the western press. What again? But from the ground we have several sources commenting that he is indeed alive and well and active. So much so that his brigade was reportedly engaged today in killing the terrorist leaders from Qatar/UAE mercenaries. What were they doing there? Does this not contradict the terms of UNSC 1970 and 1973 (2011)?

We now have China as well as South African blocking the NATO/terrorist policy of stealing Libya’s money – money earmarked for projects in Libya and in Africa. They are stealing the futures of African children. While Muammar al-Qathafi built projects, NATO/terrorists are trying to destroy them.

We have another NATO/terrorist massacre in Sirt, because they think Muammar al-Qathafi is there. So this is protecting civilians, bombing a city which has attacked nobody? And now NATO/terrorist forces are giving Sirt a deadline for surrender?

After how they have behaved in Tripoli, which they still do not control today, it is not surprising that the real people of Libya are determined to put up a massive and prolonged fight. This is not over yet by any means. NATO dare not pull out because its terrorists have not yet won a single battle without massive air cover and illegal intrusion into the internal affairs of a sovereign state and every day NATO is in Libya, the worse it will get.

For those who support freedom and democracy, in a word, cool! Cameron, Sarkozy and Obama are spending MILLIONS every week in this flagrant breach of international law, which they will answer for, while at home there is no money for schools, healthcare and subsidies. But what a wonderful way to govern the world.

The answer is from the people, and this is implacable. The hearts and the minds of the international community are united against NATO and its satanic terrorist forces – rapists and murderers and paedophiles portrayed by western channels as “freedom fighters”. They did not even bother to research the footage of their darlings laughing themselves stupid at the way they have been wined and dined by NATO/terrorist and western media sources.

Leaked docs: UN wants troops in Libya – mandate optional

Terrorist false flag operation in the works?

The Undeclared War

by Konstantyn Scheglikov

The undeclared /silent/ war aimed for total elimination of the Libyan people continues. Libyans refused to serve former colonists. They obtained their freedom and they won’t give it up.

Since August 21st, joint squads of NATO and Al-Quaeda, with the support of air force and marine artillery, try to gain control of Tripoli, along with continuous attempts to take over other Libyan cities. The NATO strike force takes part in all attacks. In spite of all the above mentioned, resistance to fascist aggression in Libya only increases.

NATO continues massive air strikes for total destruction of Libyan cities. The goal is to wipe out Tripoli entirely as a punishment for resistance. All this aggression is hardly covered by western mass media.

Recently two “media bombs” struck Libya: first with about 50,000 rebels in underground tunnels beneath Tripoli and second-about Gaddafi’s planned terrorist attack on September 1st.

During guerrilla war when enemy air forces control all air space, it is impossible to host so many fugitives and transfer them anywhere in the city. Moreover, after all the atrocities committed by NATO and Al-Quaeda slayers, no one will capture them-hatred towards killers and dismemberers is enormous even with mostly calm and peaceful people. NATO will declare their collateral damage exactly as planned to pass it off as “Gaddafi regime atrocities.”

WWII started on September 1st 1939. Now it seems that the war in Libya is transferring to another phase. Ramadan is over and Muslim people now can fight with full strength.

Following that, NATO and Al-Quaeda gangs will be kicked out of these districts in Tripoli that they still hold because those hitmen don’t control the entire city. They only loot, destroy and kill. NATO simply gifted the city to these looters by appointing Abdul Al-Khakim Belkhadge as their keader calling him Tripoli’s “military governor.”

It is not a secret that this man is one of the heads of a terrorist group closely linked to Al-Quaeda. But soldiers and officers of NATO themselves also do a fair share of looting and killing. We know their capabilities thanks to reports from Afghanistan, Iraq, Abu-Greib and Guantanamo prisons.

NATO enforced the release from Tripoli jails of no less than 10,000 inmates–triggermen and criminals. They supplied them with arms and a chance for looting and elimination of civilians, creating total havoc. It is one of the leading methods of “war” practicced by the West.

This is always the method they use in combat-someone else does the dirty work, while they foment and encourage this activity in every victim country selected as targets in various conflicts

These criminals and triggermen are led by Al-Qaeda, which was given a blank cheque. And now Al-Qaeda triggermen under NATO cover and an information blockade are butchering everyone in Tripoli they can reach.

NATO encourages these actions. They are incorporated into NATO’s War-Leading Doctrine-to terrorize the habitants. NATO considers that this way they can force Libyans to surrender as well as betray others. But turnbacks are in a minority.

Militiamen and the Army are combating, they are deceiving NATO and Al Qaeda triggermen. Gaddafi himself and his sons and his squadrons move all over Tripoli, being unseen by the rats.

NATO is planning to commit a terrorist attack in Tripoli. What will it be, carpet bombing or mining buildings, we will know on September 1, 2011. They will destroy the city and its civilians, and they will destroy al-Qaeda militants to give a version of this attack as though it was committed by Gaddafi.

One can wonder whether al-Qaeda militants know that their masters from the CIA would not hesitate to sacrifice them and all those who had been released from prison and went into town to rob and kill. Will they be destroyed, mixed with the ground or burned?

Did you know that a terrorist attack in Tripoli by the hands of the Libyan army and militia is not possible at all? Unlike NATO, Gaddafi and his supporters will never kill innocent civilians. In fact, until now, despite the murders, not a single act of terrorism was enacted in Europe. Libyans can’t kill women, children and the elderly. Only those who call themselves civilized can.

NATO stops at nothing to carry out the seizure of natural resources and the territory of a once independent country. And only international support for this country can stop it.

To win over NATO, fortitude and the desire to win is enough, plus allying against this enemy of mankind. Our voluntary participation in the war against the terrorist threat will help Libya to win and see what happens next.

I think that after all the crimes committed by NATO, NATO functionaries should be called warlords, and their soldiers and officers – called gunmen, who are after all, outside of the law, and therefore they are legitimate targets for any reasonable person who wants to live in a free world, not a police state.

While confronting the Nazi aggression in Libya, we are just beginning to discover its true scale. The Libyan people have already tasted the delights of forcible democratization in combination with bombs and ethnic cleansing. And they said: “No!”

No pasaran! The enemy will not pass!


As we learned from media reports, NATO will try to get a UN Security Council resolution to legitimize the present situation with the introduction of these new groups of terrorists under the pretext of Al-Qaeda seizing power in Libya.

Of course, NATO troops will not distract al-Qaeda from slaughtering the local population after the resolution. Even now, they actively cooperate with each other. NATO transfers all the captured Libyans into the hands of al-Qaeda militants, who behead them to intimidate local residents.

All this is happening with the approval of NATO functionaries who think that other people, besides Westerners, are subhuman. They have infected their employees with this notion too, including soldiers. That is why NATO troops commit grave crimes against humanity in all countries where they are present.

NATO should not get the UN Security Council resolution on the occupation and destruction of the Libyan people, not under any pretext.

Al-Qaeda and NATO’s Islamic Extremists Taking Over Libya

By Alex Newman

August 30, 2011 “New American” — Elements of al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremist groups were known to be key players in the NATO-backed uprising in Libya from the beginning, but now it appears that prominent Jihadists and terrorists are practically leading the revolution with Western support.

One terror leader in particular, Abdelhakim Belhaj, made headlines around the world over the weekend after it emerged that he was appointed the chief of Tripoli’s rebel Military Council. Prior to leading rebel forces against Gaddafi’s regime, Belhaj was the founder and leader of the notorious Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).

Eventually the terror “Emir,” as he has been called, was arrested and tortured as an American prisoner in the terror war. In 2004, according to reports, he was transferred to the Gaddafi regime — then a U.S. terror-war ally.

By 2010, Belhaj was freed by Gaddafi under an amnesty agreement for “former” terrorists. And more recently, the terror leader and his men were trained by U.S. special forces to take on Gaddafi.

“We proudly announce the liberation of Libya and that Libya has become free and that the rule of the tyrant and the era of oppression is behind us,” Belhaj was quoted as saying by ABC after his forces sacked one of Gaddafi’s compounds. His leadership is now well established.

While most news reports about Belhaj acknowledged that the LIFG has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department, many accounts inaccurately downplayed the group’s links to terror and al-Qaeda. But evidence suggests the two terrorist organizations actually merged several years ago.

According to a study by the U.S. military, the organization had an “increasingly cooperative relationship with al-Qa’ida, which culminated in the LIFG officially joining al-Qa’ida on November 3, 2007.” And even before that, former CIA boss George Tenet warned the U.S. Senate in 2004 that al-Qaeda-linked groups like the LIFG represented “one of the most immediate threats” to American security.

A few reporters, however, have highlighted the seriousness of the problem. “The new military dictator of Tripoli is none other than the infamous Abdul Hakim Belhadj, an international terrorist, a famous, notorious ‘genocidal’ of al-Qaeda who has carried out international terrorism all across the globe,” noted investigative reporter Webster Tarpley, adding that the terrorist has boasted of killing American soldiers.

Journalist Pepe Escobar, one of the first to report the news of Belhadj‘s rise to power, explained in the Asia Times that the repercussions would be widespread. “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,’” he noted. It will also compromise “the carefully constructed propaganda of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO’s) ‘humanitarian’ intervention in Libya.”

Israeli intelligence group Debka also drew attention to the situation in a recent analysis. “Belhadj is on record as rejecting any political form of coexistence with the Crusaders excepting jihad,” the organization noted in a piece entitled “Pro-Al Qaeda brigades control Qaddafi Tripoli strongholds seized by rebels.”

Belhadj, of course, is hardly the only al-Qaeda terrorist leading rebel forces in the NATO-backed takeover of Libya. Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, another key insurgent military commander, has also boasted of his links to terror groups and his battles against U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Countless other “former” terrorists, many of whom are well-known to American officials, are also deeply embedded in the new rebel regime. And according to CNN, hundreds of al-Qaeda-linked Islamic extremists have been set free from Libyan prisons in recent days and weeks by rebel forces.

“Nobody knows what these released prisoners are going to do next,” explained Noman Benotman, identified as a “former Libyan Jihadist” and senior LIFG leader. “Will they take part in the fighting and if they do will they join pre-existing rebel brigades or form a separate fighting force?”

On top of that, because the rebel government has already been recognized by Western governments, it will soon be receiving billions of dollars that were seized from the Gaddafi regime. Massive aid packages and overwhelming military support have been flowing to the rebels for months.

Al-Qaeda fighters and other Islamic extremists are also now in possession of huge stockpiles of advanced military weaponry including missiles and possibly even weapons of mass destruction. Concern about chemical agents falling into their hands is growing quickly.

NATO powers, which secretly armed the rebels before Western intervention became official, also flooded the nation with arms. And Gaddafi’s stockpiles have been thoroughly raided, adding even more fuel to the fire as the weapons begin to flow toward Jihadists around the world.

And the battle is indeed expanding. Al-Qaeda is now targeting regimes that did not back the Libyan rebellion. After an attack on an important Algerian military academy that left 18 dead, for example, a statement released by al-Qaeda said the strike was due to Algeria “continuing to support the Libyan dictator Gadaffi to fight against our brothers.”

As The New American reported in March, top al-Qaeda figures actually backed and praised the rebellion in Libya from the very beginning. Many key terrorist leaders were known to be intimately involved with the NATO-backed uprising.

Ironically perhaps, Gaddafi claimed from the start that the rebels were Western agents and al-Qaeda leaders. But despite U.S. Senators McCain and Lieberman having praised the regime several years earlier as an “ally” in the terror war deserving of American weapons, Gaddafi’s statements were dismissed by most analysts.

Eventually, however, even top U.S. officials confirmed that there were at least “flickers” of al-Qaeda among the rebel leadership. Now it is becoming increasingly apparent that they are firmly in control. And evidence of widespread war crimes by NATO and its extremist proxies on the ground is mounting by the day.

Congressman and GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul warned that the worst for Libyans may be yet to come. “We face a situation where a rebel element we have been assisting may very well be radical jihadists, bent on our destruction, and placed in positions of power in a new government,” he said in a statement released last week. “Worse still, Gadhafi’s successor is likely to be just as bad, or worse, than Gadhafi himself.”  

The aftermath of NATO’s Libya war will almost certainly be bloody and fraught with problems. And even though the truth is difficult to discern amid a web of lies emanating from both sides, what has been learned doesn’t paint a bright picture for the future.

Sharia law is enshrined in the draft Constitution, and the violence shows no signs of easing thus far. The rebel “Transitional Council” also announced early on that it had created a Western-style central bank to take over from Gaddafi’s state-owned monetary authority.

Even as Libya spirals deeper into chaos and Gaddafi vows to fight on for years, NATO may well be planning further “regime change” missions for other Middle Eastern nations. Islamic extremists, meanwhile, are arming and preparing themselves for more violence as they exploit the situation to gain more power. Analysts say the nightmare is only beginning.

 Ex-Bush Official Col. Lawrence Wilkerson: “I am Willing to Testify” If Dick Cheney is Put on Trial 

 Ex-Bush Official Col. Lawrence Wilkerson: “I am Willing to Testify” If Dick Cheney is Put on Trial

NATO’s ugly face

View it yourself!

Images don’t lie, except NATO’s fake ones produced in Doha, Qatar and perhaps elsewhere on Hollywood sound stages.

For months, NATO marauders and rebel killers gang raped Libya – murdering, destroying, ravaging on the pretense of protecting.

On August 22, Obama, a duplicitous unindicted war criminal, described the above images as “basic and joyful longing for human freedom.”

On August 25, Secretary of State Clinton, another unindicted war criminal, said “(t)he events in Libya this week have heartened the world.”

Let them and their conspiratorial allies go to Tripoli, Brega, Misrata and other ravaged Libyan cities and see for themselves.

Let them view streets filled with mangled corpses, blood, agony on the face of the living, destruction everywhere in sight, and human misery beyond what scales can measure.

Let them see firsthand the fruits of their victory. Let them taste, smell, and witness Tripoli’s growing humanitarian disaster.

On August 27, Russia Today reported “widespread shortages of fuel, water and electricity, and humanitarian aid supplies are yet to reach the country. The situation on the ground is very close to a catastrophe.”

 “Tripoli is now facing severe shortages of running water, electricity, gasoline and medicine….The city’s municipal services are paralyzed.”

Destruction, garbage and maggot-infested corpses fill streets. Communicable and other disease outbreaks may follow, including from contaminated water, soil, and air.

Let them imagine hidden rage and the popular will to resist this and much more.

Let them consider what may, in fact, unfold ahead – continued resistance, struggle, and commitment for real freedom, not serfdom under NATO pillagers.

Not banker occupation. Not Big Oil plundering their resources. Not Washington, London and Paris deciding what’s “best” for Libya.

Not settling for servitude under monstrous rulers there to destroy their life force, spirit, and will to say this won’t stand!

Not surrendering on their knees. Choosing death on their feet instead, committed to struggle for real liberation. Willing to pay the price because the alternative is too grim to accept, and won’t be.

Through at least August 27, independent journalists remained trapped, virtual prisoners, inside Tripoli’s Corinthia Hotel, unable to provide real news and commentaries on this and other vital events in Tripoli and other areas.

Their reports are sorely missed. Hopefully efforts continue to free them safely to return home.

On August 26, the International Action Center headlined, “LIBYA – Resistance to US/NATO Conquest Continues,” saying:

Despite NATO’s full force and the worst kind of insurgent banditry, “heroic resistance to imperialist conquests” continues.

“All the corporate media (deception) claiming mass surrender,” Gaddafi fleeing, his sons arrested, and other disinformation “turned out to be nothing but lies and psychological warfare.”

As in Iraq and Afghanistan, “arrogant(ly) declar(ing) victory and ‘mission accomplished’ ” won’t end popular struggles continuing in “many forms.”

Libyans “heroically withstood not only (months of bombing), but also….racist corporate media propaganda (portraying America and) NATO’s military machine….as great white liberators.”

Now they face pillaging on a grand scale. Responsibility to protect, in fact, disguises an opportunity to plunder, once killing and destruction end or at least subside.

Disaster capitalism is planned for Libya. Naomi Klein explained it in “The Shock Doctrine,” exposing the myth of free market democracy. She revealed how neoliberal pillaging exploits security threats, terror attacks, economic meltdowns, natural disasters, and wars.

Ahead expect social services ended, public ones privatized, and freedom on the chopping block to be lost. Planned is a new Western version of Libya, replacing a socially responsible one under Gaddafi.

It was a key reason why he was targeted for removal so corporate predators could swoop in to pick apart Libya’s corpse.

As a result, spoils will be divvied up among them. Then on to the next target, and ones after that until all Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia are colonized, occupied by one means or other, and plundered.

In fact, parasitic pillaging is Washington’s idea of free market triumphalism, including privatizing public enterprises, regulatory freedom, tax cuts for the rich, impoverishing the rest, exploiting them, corporate handouts, and militarized control for enforcement.

It supports the Bilderberg notion of a global classless society – a New World Order with rulers and serfs. No middle class, no unions, no democracy, no equity or justice, just empowered oligarchs, freed to do as they please under a universal legal system benefitting them.

It’s right out of Milton Friedman’s play book, articulated in his 1962 book, “Capitalism and Freedom,” saying:

“only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When a crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around…our basic function (is) to develop alternatives to existing policies (andbe ready to roll them out when the) impossible becomes the politically inevitable.”

Friedman believed that government’s sole function is “to protect our freedom from (outside) enemies (and) our fellow-citizens. (It’s to) preserve law and order (as well as) enforce private contracts, (safeguard private property and) foster competitive markets.”

Everything else in public hands is socialism, an ideology he called blasphemous. He said markets work best unfettered of rules, regulations, onerous taxes, trade barriers, “entrenched interests,” human interference, and the best government is practically none.

In other words, anything government does business does better so let it. Ideas about democracy, social justice, and a caring society, he believed were verboten because they interfere with free-wheeling capitalism.

He said public wealth should be in private hands, profit accumulation unrestrained, corporate taxes abolished, and social services curtailed or ended. He believed “economic freedom is an end to itself (and) an indispensable means toward (achieving) political freedom.”

Applied to Libya, neither one is possible unless popular resistance prevents or regains what Washington and its allies plan to take, leaving nothing but servitude for Libyans.

That harsh reality has to be resisted, no matter what it takes or for how long. Hopefully, Libyans are up to the task. Given their rage against planned NATO  occupation and plunder, very likely quitting is something they don’t contemplate.

Perhaps it’s the wild card Washington doesn’t expect. A previous article headlined, It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over. Another was titled, Libya: Keep the Freedom Flame Alive.

Remember John Lennon’s lyrics imagining “Nothing to kill or die for….Living life in peace, and “hop(ing) someday….the world will live as one.”

So why not if enough in it try.Accomplishing tough things take a while. The impossible takes a little longer. Step one is ending Friedman’s version of the best of all possible worlds, NATO, and corporate occupation of Washington. Achieving that would be a major step toward freeing Libyans and perhaps finishing the job elsewhere for the kind of world everyone deserves. It’s there for the taking with enough commitment.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

By Stephen Lendman

Hundreds Arrested in Sustained Tar Sands Protests at White House

Mohanned Magam, Murdered by NATO’s terrorists in Libya

Mohanned Magam was 23 years old, a young Libyan anti-war activist proudly supporting his beloved Jamahiriya against the marauding gangs of terrorists and thugs unleashed by NATO against his Government, against his people, against Libya and ultimately, against Africa. His crime? None. But then again NATO’s terrorists do not need a pretext to murder.

This is one of the last messages sent by Mohanned to Mathaba, an independent news agency:

My name is Mohanned Magam, i’m from Libya. I was given your contact by a friend who says you are a friend of the Libyan people. We are making this appeal because we are suffering great hardships because of the daily bombing of our cities and the blockade of Libya by NATO forces. Too many civilians have already been killed, men women and children by NATO which is making our life harder with each passing day. So we are making this appeal to you to help us organise an event to raise public awareness about our suffering with a march around the world’s capitals against the aggression on Libya and to defend our unique Direct People Democracy in Libya. Please help us because we are dying day by day here. We ask Mathaba if it is possible to be involved in organizing this march and to let as many people as possible to know about this event. We would really appreciate your kind help and God willing we can help to stop this war in Libya.

Thank you very much.
Best Regards
Mohanned Magam

It is polite, it is polished, it is non-violent. He does not call for the blood-letting or “slitting the throats” of Negroes, like NATO’s terrorists do, he does not call for the implementation of Sharia law, like NATO’s terrorists do, he does call for committing gang-rapes on defenceless women, like NATO’s terrorists do, he does not ask for children to be impaled on stakes, like NATO’s terrorists do. He calls for a political awareness campaign for the truth to be told.

Mohanned died this weekend for the truth. This truth NATO and its terrorists have tried to suppress from the beginning. And for Mohanned’s sake, let us tell the truth again loud and clear for all to hear.

The entire Libya campaign was based upon a false flag event when the NATO-backed Benghazi terrorists torched buildings, slaughtered people in the streets, ran amok and then staged a “massacre” by firing into a crowd (including Gaddafi supporters) and then blaming the “massacre” on Colonel Gaddafi. NATO’s military and media wings swung into action with a massive Saddam WMD-style campaign of lies, as the UK entered its sixth war under five Prime Ministers, Sarkozy looked for a slice of Libya’s oil and who else, the USA was ready behind the scenes, using NATO “to save the US taxpayer money and to save the lives of American boys”.

The fact that the clique of NATO countries dismissed offers for peace several times, the fact that they dismissed an offer of a free and fair democratic election shows they were not on the side of peace and they were not on the side of freedom and democracy. They were on the side of lining their own pockets with Libya’s oil, which was patently obvious recently with their meeting to divide up the spoils.

Militarily, the “rebels” or “terrorists” or whatever they call themselves, are a joke because without NATO’s air power, they were winning absolutely nothing. Indeed, they were more famous for how fast they could flee than how well they could fight. Let them take no credit from this at all.

As for NATO, it entered this conflict under the rules of engagement and under the international law covering the case, namely the UN Charter, the UNSC Resolutions 1970 and 1973 (2011) and the Geneva Conventions on war crimes. The fact that due to the heroic resistance of the Libyan Armed Forces and the People of Libya, like Mohanned, who stood up to the barbarous assault by NATO from the air and the obscene atrocities of its terrorists on land for six long months and were so successful that NATO had to resort to breaking all the laws mentioned above (court cases pending), says it all.

Message from a group of special persons who loved Mohanned

My dear brother Mohanned Magam the martyr has passed away today in Abou Salleem’s bombing – Mohanned worked for Libya as a volunteer day and night to get Libya’s safety back, he worked with journalists and helped in preparation for the million man match in Tripoli, he was so happy that day. May Allah rest him in peace. We love you my brother, we are proud of you our hero.

(Message passed to me by his dear friend Ksenija)

Today, a group of young people of all nationalities from a great number of countries, people who tried to help Mohanned, are crying tears of sadness for his passing on and they are shedding tears of desperation because NATO and its terrorists have just taught us, clear for all to see, that the people of the world are facing an Axis of sheer, pure and unadulterated evil.

Mohanned is not today with us, he is in a far better place. For the good people of the world, it becomes obvious that we must take a stand in the name of good over evil, fighting for God against Satan, for the Satanic forces have already been unleashed on the streets of Libya by their Lord, NATO.

Libyan Rebel Leader Spent Much of Past 20 Years in Langley Virginia

By Chris Adams

March 30, 2011 “McClatchy” — WASHINGTON – The new leader of Libya’s opposition military spent the past two decades in suburban Virginia but felt compelled — even in his late-60s — to return to the battlefield in his homeland, according to people who know him.

 REP. Dennis Kucinich Video added August 29, 2011

Khalifa Hifter was once a top military officer for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, but after a disastrous military adventure in Chad in the late 1980s, Hifter switched to the anti-Gadhafi opposition. In the early 1990s, he moved to suburban Virginia, where he established a life but maintained ties to anti-Gadhafi groups.

Late last week, Hifter was appointed to lead the rebel army, which has been in chaos for weeks. He is the third such leader in less than a month, and rebels interviewed in Libya openly voiced distrust for the most recent leader, Abdel Fatah Younes, who had been at Gadhafi’s side until just a month ago.

At a news conference Thursday, the rebel’s military spokesman said Younes will stay as Hifter’s chief of staff, and added that the army — such as it is — would need “weeks” of training.

According to Abdel Salam Badr of Richmond, Va., who said he has known Hifter all his life — including back in Libya — Hifter — whose name is sometimes spelled Haftar, Hefter or Huftur — was motivated by his intense anti-Gadhafi feelings.

“Libyans — every single one of them — they hate that guy so much they will do whatever it takes,” Badr said in an interview Saturday. “Khalifa has a personal grudge against Gadhafi… That was his purpose in life.”

According to Badr and another friend in the U.S., a Georgia-based Libyan activist named Salem alHasi, Hifter left for Libya two weeks ago.

alHasi, who said Hifter was once his superior in the opposition’s military wing, said he and Hifter talked in mid-February about the possibility that Gadhafi would use force on protesters.

“He made the decision he had to go inside Libya,” alHasi said Saturday. “With his military experience, and with his strong relationship with officers on many levels of rank, he decided to go and see the possibility of participating in the military effort against Gadhafi.”

He added that Hifter is very popular among members of the Libyan army, “and he is the most experienced person in the whole Libyan army.” He acted out of a sense of “national responsibility,” alHasi said.

“This responsibility no one can take care of but him,” alHasi said. “I know very well that the Libyan army especially in the eastern part is in desperate need of his presence.”

Omar Elkeddi, a Libyan expatriate journalist based in Holland, said in an interview that the opposition forces are getting more organized than they were at the beginning up the uprising. Hifter, he said, is “very professional, very distinguished,” and commands great respect.

Since coming to the United States in the early 1990s, Hifter lived in suburban Virginia outside Washington, D.C. Badr said he was unsure exactly what Hifter did to support himself, and that Hifter primarily focused on helping his large family.

Youtube: Hilfer arrives in Benghazi

Welcome to Colonialism 2.0

By Rakesh Krishnan Simha

August 29, 2011 “Information Clearing House” — The assault on Libya by a coalition of mostly Western nations begs the question: Is colonialism making some sort of a comeback? While their economies are collapsing in slow motion, it is hard to picture Western countries prospecting for real estate across the globe, as they did 300 years ago. But as unreal as it seems, it is happening.

Few will shed tears for Gaddafi because it was his impetuosity that cost Libya its freedom; of more concern is the fact that after 40 years the country’s considerable oil wealth has reverted to Western control. Iraqi oil too is flowing west. Iran could very well be the next target of American and British warplanes.

Ironically, it is when the West is weak that the emergent nations of Asia and Africa have reason to worry. Colonialism 2.0 isn’t just a catchphrase; it is simple economics: the wealthy will always need to be vigilant against the desperate.

In the 18th and 19th centuries when the world was being colonized by the likes of Spain, Britain, France, Belgium, Portugal and the Dutch, India and China were the two richest countries in the world, together accounting for over 50 per cent of world GDP. And yet the two giant Asian nations ended up under colonial jackboots.

If you think colonization happened when the East was decadent and the West was rising or that India and China neglected their militaries and ignored the foreign threats lurking at their shores, you couldn’t be more wrong. Both countries had very powerful armies and naval flotillas led by able commanders.

Military edge

In the early 1700’s, India’s legendary Admiral of the Fleet, Kanhoji Angre, routed the British, Dutch and Portuguese navies on the high seas. For 33 years until his death in 1729, the Indian remained undefeated. The British were so pissed they called him a pirate.Indian ships of that time were so advanced in design and durability that the British inducted them into their fleet. In the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, Horatio Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory was an Indian built vessel.

According to the Indian Navy’s website, “This so agitated British shipbuilders on the River Thames that they protested against the use of Indian built ships to carry trade from England. Consequently, active measures were adopted to cripple the Indian shipbuilding industries.”

The southern Indian kingdom of Mysore was the first in modern history to use rockets in war, and they used it with deadly effect against the British in the Battle of Guntur in 1780. The literally shell-shocked British army fled from the battlefield. A few unexploded rockets were later shipped to the Royal Arsenal in London, where William Congreve, the British weapons expert, reverse engineered them to launch modern rocketry in Europe.

Most Indian rulers also possessed keen geopolitical awareness. For instance, they did not allow European merchants to keep garrisons or conduct inland trade. When Thomas Roe, the British monarch’s emissary, landed in western India in 1616, he was made to wait a year before the Indian emperor granted him an audience. Three years later, Roe despite many entreaties and considerable bowing before the grandees at Delhi, returned without a trade treaty because the emperor saw no point in trading with a country that had not one product or commodity to offer India.

Thin end of the wedge

However, one slip-up by a weak emperor let in the hordes. A hundred years after Roe’s exit, an English embassy had a stroke of luck when one of its members, William Hamilton, a physician of questionable medical skills, managed to relieve the figurehead emperor of severe pain in his groin. The emperor gratefully signed a decree giving the British inland trading rights, customs duty exemptions, and the right to keep a garrison. The rest as they say is history.

According to professor Rajesh Kochhar, emeritus scientist at the Indian Institute of Science Education & Research, Chandigarh, “These exemptions gave the English traders commercial advantages not only over other European companies but also over Indian traders. More importantly, the various official orders granting trade concessions gave the British a cause to defend, with military strength if needed.” Does that sound familiar?

Return of the East

Today, the east is rising once again. Economists are stunned by the unprecedented flow of manufacturing, finance and wealth to the east. Magid Igbaria, former professor of management information systems at Tel Aviv University, wrote in The Virtual Workplace: “For all but the last 500 years of human history, the world’s wealth measured in human capital and in goods was concentrated in Asia. During the past five centuries, the world’s wealth has been concentrated in the West. This era is coming to an end. Today, the great concentrations of human capital, financial power, manufacturing power, and informated power are once again accumulating in the East.”

Indeed, in 30 years India is predicted to overtake the US, even though it is only one-fourteenth the size of the US economy now. That is an incredible rate of wealth accretion.

The question is will the US and Europe simply watch the world go past? On the contrary, there is a concerted effort by a US-led coalition to stop this trend. Here are a few ways the West is trying to stay on top:

Base instincts: Today the US-led coalition has over 750 military bases across the globe. Despite the huge costs, this extension of military power is essential to their hegemony. A slew of European nationalities has followed the American military in its misadventures around the world. No empire in history has attempted such sweeping control. In Pliny’s days the Roman, Indian and Chinese empires co-existed in their spheres of influence and never attempted to destabilise each other. The good old days.

Divide and rule: The Americans are playing up India as a major “regional” power allied with the West. This is not only insulting to the Indians (why should India only be a regional power?), it also scares the hell out of the Chinese. The communists in Beijing, therefore, come out with kneejerk statements calling for India’s breakup, which in turn makes the Indians consider China a natural enemy. Amazingly, in the past 2500 years, China and India never had even a skirmish, until the British arrived on the scene and planted the seeds of border problems.

Climate bogey: After polluting the environment for more than a century, the West now wants India and China to reduce emissions. It’s a thinly disguised attempt to slow these rapidly growing economies. India’s Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has done an about turn and now his views seem to align with Western interests, which led to key Indian negotiators quitting in disgust. Newsweek, the Pentagon mouthpiece masquerading as journalism, was sufficiently pleased with Ramesh to label him the “global rock star of climate change”.

Dollar gambit: Wouldn’t you feel almighty if you obtained a license to print US dollars off your home printer? While the rest of the world has to earn a living the hard way, the Americans just print dollars to pay their bills. Need a few hundred billion dollars to pay for the war in Iraq? Want to buy Venezuelan oil? Russian titanium? No problem. The US mint cranks the lever and billions of dollars start rolling off the presses. In fact, in recent years even that pretense has been given the heave-ho – now trillions of dollars are generated electronically in the accounts of the US  Federal Reserves. It’s as simple as that.

There is another way the dollar trade works against the interests of non-Western countries. Countries like China and Russia invest their earnings in US treasury bonds; these dollars are used by the Americans to maintain their global military supremacy, build increasingly modern weapons, and reward their allies with cash, weapons, and security umbrellas.

WTO: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has called it “archaic, undemocratic and inflexible” and dominated by a small group of developed countries which indulge in protectionism. One of its aims is to pry open the agricultural markets of Asia, including India. Incidentally, India has the highest number of farmer suicides in the world.

Nixing nuclear tech: The 11th commandment: Thou shall not acquire nuclear technology. Indian and Japanese nuclear scientists perfected the fast breeder reactor (which generates more nuclear fuel than it uses) so they never have to look outside for hard-to-get uranium). However, most likely under US pressure, both nations have quietly shelved their technologies.


pace crunch: America’s space ambitions are currently grounded because of deep cuts. India has the world’s largest number (177) of satellites in space. NASA is aware of it; it is looking at joint ventures with the Indian Space Research Organisation which has reliable rockets and something like 20,000 engineers and scientists. Few are aware that during the 1990s, India requested the Russians for a role in the International Space Station, but the Americans said no. Now NASA wants a free ride on Indian rockets, and India’s feckless politicians are happy to oblige.

General Manuel Noriega was once upon a time in Panama, the CIA’s most valuable asset, doing their dirty work: drug trafficking, racketeering, money laundering, murdering. However, the Agency wanted total control of Panama and so in 1989 the US invaded the country, and accused him of doing precisely what they had ordered him to do. While serving a 20-year sentence in an American prison, Noriega wrote this memorable line: “If there is someone willing to buy a country, there is someone willing to sell it.” For many countries in the East, their biggest worry is like Noriega there are plenty of collaborators in high places willing to sell their country for a few million dollars wired into a Swiss bank, along with US green cards for their families.

In the first era of colonialism, the then dominant Eastern nations opened up their economies and territories to comparatively backward Western nations over a span of several decades, finally ending up as their colonies. Under the guise of globalization and ‘free’ trade, Colonialism 2.0 could happen in much the same way.

Rakesh Krishnan Simha is New Zealand-based writer.

This item was first post at

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War for Africa: ‘Libya key to new US bases, cheap labor & resources’

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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”. [1] 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.

1. Click here

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at

To follow Pepe’s articles on the Great Arab Revolt, please click here.

(Copyright 2011 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)

Libya’s New Generals: Conflicting Loyalties

Khalifa Haftar: Washington’s Wager

By al-Akhbar

August 28, 2011 “al-Akhbar” —  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 Deby 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.

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 NATOs 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 Abd al-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.

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 Deby’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.

Link embedded in this article by ICH


How Libya Was Won, by NATO and Special Forces

By Stephen Morgan

August 28, 2011 “Digital Journal” – -Last week NATO shamelessly weighed-in on the side of the rebels with the help of special forces on the ground. Without it, the rebels would never have won. There is now talk that NATO has broken international law. So what role did they really play? “Subka and his unit waited at the rebel frontline, known as Kilometre Sixty, aboard a column of battered, black pickup trucks mounted with heavy machine guns and a few tanks recently captured from Gaddafi’s forces. “We are with the England team,” he told the Guardian “They advise us.”

Special forces from Britain and France are on the ground advising on strategy and tactics for the coming assault and pin pointing targets for NATO airstrikes, in order to clear the path for the rebel advance. Resistance from loyalists has been stiff, but Subka is confident. “We don’t worry about those units – they are Nato’s concern.”

However, on Friday NATO was quick to deny the crucial role it was playing. Al Arabiya reported a press conference at which its spokesperson Lungescu insisted that NATO was sticking to its United Nations mandate, limited to protecting civilians from any attacks. “There is no military coordination with the rebels,” she said.

When asked for his opinion on the statement Shashank Joshi, a Libyan war expert at the Royal United Services Institute in London, pulled no punches. The NATO denials are “absolute rubbish,” he said. “There’s overwhelming evidence that NATO was not only helping the rebels but that it was a decisive and critical partner to the rebels. It was really engaged in a close and intimate level of coordination and support, without which the rebels could not have won this conflict, so I don’t believe a single word NATO is saying,” he added.

More and more information is now coming to light on the decisive role played by NATO in the fall of Tripoli. Moreover, while kept secret until now, we are also learning more about how special forces from Britain, France, Qatar and Jordan helped pave the way for the victory. It is now clear that Gaddafi would probably still be in power without them.

In an op-ed on Saturday Andrew Rawnsley said “ I asked a member of the National Security Council whether there was any chance that the rebellion could have overthrown Gaddafi without outside assistance. He responded bluntly: “None at all. There’s no chance they could have done it without us.”

Just two weeks ago the situation was entirely different. Everything seemed bogged down in a protracted stalemate on all fronts. The assassination of General Younes had cast doubts over the opposition’s ability to remain united enough to overthrow the regime and conversely, Gaddafi appeared to be more durable than anyone had expected. All eyes were fixed on political efforts to find a negotiated settlement, which seemed the only plausible solution to end the conflict.

What broke the stalemate in Libya was the West’s decision to make a radical change in its strategy of regime change and the character of its military intervention through NATO. With fears about splits in NATO and even doubts about its very existence if the mission floundered, together with the overhanging fear that the West would again be held responsible for another failed state, envoys bent over backwards in talks with the regime to find a way out of the conflict, even to the point of offering Gaddafi the possibility of staying in Libya, exempt from ICC prosecution.

But Gaddafi wouldn’t budge and he evidently had the support of his inner circle, who gave no indication that they were likely to cave in. Caught between a clicking clock and a closed door, the West decided it had no choice but to launch a major military offensive, in the hope that it would force Gaddafi to surrender.

NATO swung into action quickly. Karen DeYoung and Greg Miller from the Washington Post reported that NATO and U.S. military and intelligence officials had revealed that, ”an opposition strategy (was) put in place two weeks ago with the advice of British, French and Qatari special forces on the ground”

Preparations for a possible attack upon Tripoli had, in fact, been going on much longer. British, French, Qatari and Jordanian special forces had spent months training rebels from the Western Mountains for a future attack on Tripoli. Eventually, they succeeded in organizing the raggedy groups of rebels into a cohesive force, which was prepared to follow an organized battle plan, under a central command.

On the key Saturday, August 13, when the rebel forces advanced on coastal and southern towns and rebels in Misrata made a determined push on Zlitan, TIME reported that NATO flew 105 sorties “including 36 strike missions against targets near Tripoli, Brega, Gharyan, Sirte and Zlitan. The targets included military facilities, command and control nodes, and both surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missile sites.”

A reporter with the rebels described the scene around Zlitan, “Testimony to the deadly effect of Nato’s bombing was evident along the highway leading out of the city. Concrete buildings used as bunkers by Gaddafi’s forces were flattened, while tanks were ripped apart, their turrets and tracks strewn across the road. Further south, all that remained of an ammunition truck was a blackened carpet of splinters.”

When asked if NATO was acting as the rebel’s air force a NATO official acknowledged in a typically oblique way that “the effect of what we were doing was not dissimilar.”

Such precision bombing wasn’t possible without the profession expertise of special forces troops on the ground spotting targets and advising on tactics. This was underlined by another report in the Guardian, which explained that “the information from the ground gave British commanders the confidence to order RAF pilots to release laser and GPS-guided bombs and missiles on buildings identified as being used by Gaddafi forces. (even including a Turkish restaurant!)

However, the Washington Post revealed that these special forces also involved undercover US intelligence units. “CIA operatives inside the country intercepted communications within the government” providing “a deeper understanding of just how badly Gaddafi’s command structure had crumbled.” The effect was devastating. The Wall Street Journal pointed out that NATO had destroyed Gaddafi’s military communications to such an extent that “he is forced to use the TV to send messages to his troops about where to attack and defend.”

Intelligence gathered was, in turn, passed onto the rebels on the ground to facilitate their advance. NATO “provided a lot of imagery on the locations of the Gaddafi forces, so, as the rebels were getting into their positions when they came around the south and up into the west side of Tripoli, (they) had a good sense of where (Gaddafi’s) forces were at.”

In this way, NATO obliterated Gaddafi’s defenses often in advance of rebels reaching each town and/or during key moments in the battles. The BBC reported that “Nato’s relentless pounding of armour and artillery east of Zawiya greatly softened up government units, breaking down much of the resistance that would otherwise have slowed the rebel path.”

Illustrating how effective the attacks were and how grateful the rebels were, the UK Independent printed an interview with a rebel soldier involved in the attack on Sabratha. “Mr Nato came and fired six missiles at seven o’clock in the morning. Boom, boom, boom and it was all over,” “Oh yes, we are all very grateful to Mr Nato here.” Asked why he thought they would win, another rebel replied “I believe in Allah – and Nato.”

However, the preferred policy of the West was still to try to negotiate a political settlement, by surrounding Tripoli and forcing Gaddafi back to the negotiating table on their terms. The Financial Times spelled out Western concerns on August 17, when it warned that “the rebels’ commanders must take care not to jeopardize the stability of the post-Gaddafi state by launching an all-out assault on Tripoli. Even if successful, such an attack would almost certainly result in a bloodbath among rebels, regime supporters and civilians. The seeds of vengeance and anarchy would be sown.”

But by now the situation was no longer in NATO’s hands. The rebels had the wind behind their sails and an unstoppable momentum had built up. Intoxicated with their successes, the rebels sights were fixed on one goal only- getting as quickly as possible to the center of Tripoli and hoisting the rebel flag on Martyrs’ Square. Once reports of uprisings in the capital came through, nothing was going to hold them back. neither NATO nor the NTC, nor even their own commanders.

Consequently NATO had no choice but to go the whole nine yards and hope for the best. As the rebels approached Tripoli, global intelligence agency STRATFOR described the scene “What is happening now is the movement of the forces into attack positions, logistical support being brought in, preliminary targeted artillery fire and air strikes with special operations teams already in place doing careful targeting, and psychological warfare against the defenders.”

Identifying the pivotal role of NATO should not take away from the incredible heroism and tenacity of the rebel fighters. In particular, the final word must go to the courageous people of Tripoli. Had they not risen up, the rebel fighters would probably have been stalled at the gates of the city. As the Guardian stated, “The secret of the uprising’s final days of success lay in a popular revolt in the working-class districts of the capital, which did most of the hard work of throwing off the rule of secret police and military cliques. It succeeded so well that when revolutionary brigades entered the city from the west, many encountered little or no resistance, and they walked right into the center of the capital.”

Worrying pockets of resistance from Gaddafi forces remain, which suggest that the West is not quite won. Indeed, the Libyan “Wild West” will take a long time to be tamed. ‘Order first, then law will follow” was a motto of the earlier American frontier settlers. Bringing order to Libya’s “Wild West” is likely to be a difficult and bloody affair and, until such time as the multitude of different militias and tribes agree to lay down their arms, power and law may well continue to rest mainly in the hands of gunslingers.

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The Libyan Soldiers The True Heroes of NATO’s War

by Glen Ford

While NATO has proven its capacity to kill thousands of Libyan soldiers from the skies, it has failed to convey respectability to the marauding “rebels” under its wing, who pose as freedom fighters. The latter, however, should not get too used to their spot in the limelight, which is sure to wane as soon as their usefulness as NATO stooges eventually dries up. Meanwhile, for this author, the incinerated bodies of her soldiers have already secured Libya’s place in history.

Pro-Gaddafi troops during the battle for Ajdabiyah, March 2011.
Photo: Reuters

The story is not over – not by a long shot – but the saga of the Libyan resistance to the superpower might of the United States and its degenerate European neocolonial allies will surely occupy a very special place in history.

For five months, beginning March 19, the armed forces of a small country of six million people dared to defy the most advanced weapons systems on the planet, on terrain with virtually no cover, against an enemy capable of killing whatever could be seen from the sky or electronically sensed. Night and day, the eyes of the Euro-American war machine looked down from space on the Libyan soldiers’ positions, with the aim of incinerating them. And yet, the Libyan armed forces maintained their unit integrity and personal honor, with a heroism reminiscent of the loyalist soldiers of the Spanish Republic under siege by German, Italian and homegrown fascists, in the late 1930s.

The Germans and Italians and Generalissimo Franco won that war, just as the Americans, British, French and Italians may ultimately overcome the Libyan army. But they cannot convey honor or national legitimacy to their flunkies from Benghazi, who have won nothing but a badge of servitude to foreign overseers. The so-called rebels won not a single battle, except as walk-ons to a Euro-American military production. They are little more than extras for imperial theater, a mob that traveled to battle under the protective umbrella of American full spectrum dominance of the air. They advanced along roads already littered with the charcoal-blackened bodies of far better men, who died challenging Empire.

One thing is sure: the Americans and Europeans have never respected their servants. The so-called rebels of Libya will be no different.

Washington, Paris and London know perfectly well that is was their 18,000 aircraft sorties, their cruise missiles, their attack helicopters, their surveillance satellites and drones, their command and control systems, their weapons, and their money, that managed to kill or wound possibly half the Libyan army. Not the rabble from Benghazi.

The rebels should not take too seriously being fawned over by the ridiculous hordes of corporate media tourists that have come to Tripoli to record the five-month war’s finale. They are highly paid cheerleaders. And, although it may appear that they are cheering for the rebels, don’t be fooled – at the end of the day, the western corporate media only cheer for their own kind. They are celebrating what they believe is a victory over the Libyan demon they have helped to construct in their countrymen’s minds.

Next year, rebel, that demon might be you. Or next year, it might be many Libyans, including those who were no friends of Col. Moammar Gaddafi. The Americans treat their native minions like children in need of supervision – and there is a certain logic to this, since whoever would entrust his nation’s sovereignty and resources to the Americans is, surely, either exceedingly stupid, or hopelessly corrupt. But Libya’s honor and her place in history has already been secured by a small African army that held out nearly half a year against the NATO barbarians.

Tripoli: Media blackout, why?

The NATO approach to freedom of expression is threatening independent journalists, closing social network accounts, blocking Twitter and hacking into websites. For some reason it must be. Despite these Fascist policies, those who have felt millions of people gathering around us, desperate for information, have a duty to say what is going on.

For all of those who have been contacting me daily, asking for new information, desperate to hear some news in the midst of NATO’s media blackout and lies about how the “Gaddafy regime collapsed”, in first place, God Bless you and in second place, indeed you represent the hearts and minds of the international community. Of that I have no doubt. From Manila to Moscow, Russia, where according to a recent poll 91% of the population supports Muammar al-Qathafi, from Sydney to Strasbourg, from Brasilia to Bangkok.

For all these good people, who respect international law and who abhor NATO’s act of butchery followed by thieving of a sovereign nation’s resources, even before the fight is over, who abhor NATO’s supporting of Al-Qaeda elements and backing of racist thugs who slaughtered Negroes in the streets, here is what I have.

It is impossible for me to sit at my keyboard outside Libya and declare that I am the guardian of the truth. Indeed, I have very rarely written anything other than opinion-editorial pieces on Libya because I do not have my eyes on the ground. The eyes on the ground I have used are independent journalists, who have now been silenced, and eye witnesses inside Libya.

 These are either people I already knew there, after working for years in media covering Africa (I was a partner and international director of a media group covering the continent and built up many contacts and continue to be active in several Pan African projects) or else those I have contacted through the Internet, with families in Libya or those supposedly in Libya themselves. With the Internet you never know. Who appears to be perfectly credible could be some punk in a basement apartment in New York, or the girl next door having some fun. The secret is to filter and vet those who claim to be who and what they are…in this case, filter number one, do they speak Arabic? If not, thank you and bye bye. Filter two, what is their e-mail address? If it is anything connected with Libya, then my interest is aroused.

What we have to do is to respect all sources, treat them all as possibly credible but then confront what they say with the information we are receiving. Unfortunately, the western media has been a disgrace, so much so that I have cancelled SKY, BBC, CNN and Al-Jazeera from my cable package because they might manipulate the truth and dupe themselves but they cannot call the international community stupid.

We all know very well what happened, and even before they tried it on, we were all informed about the “alternative Tripoli” built in Qatar and filmed there (some say India) and we have all seen the discrepancies between the different “Tripolis” we were shown.

I am not a dream seller. I know very well if I declared that Colonel Gaddafi’s forces had routed NATO and defeated the terrorists who ran amok in the Libyan capital beheading people in the streets, raping women and girls, torching buildings and looting (many of them foreigners) there would be a collective cheer so loud I would hear it from where I sit.

What I can say is the following. NATO’s media blackout, why? What are they afraid of? Why have independent journalists been threatened? Why have their social network accounts been hacked and closed and why have their Twitter accounts been blocked? As usual, we are dealing with pith-headed simpletons because obviously these days anyone who has a social network account has already informed the members of emails and alternative means of contact.

Secondly, if NATO’s campaign was going so well, then why are there thousands of mercenaries in Tripoli, from British to French to Germans to Qataris? Why is NATO arming the “rebels”? Why is NATO putting boots on the ground? Why is NATO bombing Libyan Armed Forces positions? Obviously it is not going well, because NATO has been unable to fight the fight using the original laws covering the conflict and adhering to the rules of engagement.

It is like a boxing match where one fighter, when losing, pulls a gun and shoots his opponent. Is that called winning?

Thirdly, in the absence of media reports due to NATO’s democratic blackout (freedom of expression, eh what?) what I can say categorically is that in Tripoli massacres are being perpetrated by the terrorist scourge NATO supports. This has been backed up by countless eye witnesses living inside the capital who have seen the most horrific violations of human rights – another feather in NATO’s cap. This raises the question, what on Earth were Cameron and Hague, Obama and Clinton, Sarkozy and Juppe thinking when they aided and funded these fanatics?

Quite where the lines are drawn is very difficult to say with any accuracy because reporting without sources makes this impossible. What the blackout has done is to give NATO and its mercenaries and, allegedly, thousands of special forces (violation of UNSC Resolutions covering this conflict), freedom to take the capital city before the TV comes back on and we are shown the result. I am receiving reports of carpet bombing by NATO aircraft aiding the terrorists against the Government forces.

The information NATO is giving is that the city has been taken. The information from the British Foreign and Commonwealth office is that the city has not been taken. The information from the ground is that it is far from taken. Indeed, South African President Jacob Zuma declared on Friday that most of it is in the hands of the Libyan Government – and there is only one Libyan government, that of the Jamahiriya, loyal to Muammar al-Qathafi. This would explain the media blackout.

This is the situation today. Tomorrow, nobody can say. Elsewhere, the NATO/terrorists occupy part of Misratah and are blocked outside al-Brega, while NATO has taken to frenetic and savage bombing attacks against Sirte.

Whatever the outcome, and to be frank, nobody can tell what will happen if this escalates (the Libyan Armed Forces have plenty of options at their disposal should they care to use them) the fact that NATO has resorted to breaking all the rules of engagement and all the laws covering this conflict says it all. True, in the end it could carpet-nuke Tripoli and invade it with 40 armies.

But is that winning? Does the boxer win his match if he shoots his opponent? Remember, the Libyan Armed Forces have, since the beginning, been defending themselves and the civilian population from marauding gangs of terrorists, whose massacre of civilians, including pro-Gaddafi forces, gave NATO its casus belli, just like Saddam’s WMD.

One final question. How will NATO explain the thousands of deaths its troops and its mercenaries are suffering? The thing is, whatever the outcome, Colonel Gaddafi’s forces stood and fought back. That makes him a hero and NATO a villain, and the history book will be implacable for Messrs. Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy and the snivelling cowards who did not have the guts to stand up to them.

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