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Mother Canada project in Cape Breton grounded 13 minutes ago
Mother Canada project in Cape Breton grounded
The controversial Mother Canada project planned for the Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia will not be going ahead.
Citing too many unknowns, Parks Canada withdrew its support for the $25-million project, backed by a private group, the Never Forgotten National Memorial Foundation.
“Parks Canada will no longer be working towards the realization of the memorial in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. As a result, the project will not be moving forward on Parks Canada land,” the news release said.
“Parks Canada appreciates the Never Forgotten National Memorial Foundation’s vision in honouring Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and wishes the Foundation success in its on-going pursuits.”
The news came as a shock and disappointment to the Never Forgotten National Memorial Foundation, community director Meg Stokes said in a statement Friday afternoon. Stokes suggested that the 24-metre statue, which had support in the former Conservative government, had become a political pawn.
“We are heartbroken that our project has fallen victim to politics and deeply saddened that so many people in Cape Breton were treated in this shocking manner by Parks Canada,” said Stokes in a statement.
“This is disappointing to veterans across the country and the current members of the Canadian Forces who support this project.”
Sean Howard, spokesman for Friends of Green Cove, the group that opposed the project, called the decision “bittersweet.”
“It has been a bitter struggle and we believe an entirely preventable struggle,” Howard told CBC News. “The project should never have been seriously contemplated for Green Cove.”
On Assange, Following the Rules or Flouting Them? | Human Rights Watch about 1 hour ago
On Assange, Following the Rules or Flouting Them?
It should not have been terribly surprising to Sweden or the United Kingdom that the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found that the various forms of confinement suffered by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange violate his human rights. The Working Group has many times warned that it is unlawful to force someone to choose between liberty and a fundamental right, such as asylum, which Assange now enjoys only so long as he stays inside the walls of the Ecuadorean embassy.
What is news are the deplorable rhetorical parries from the UK and Swedish governments, who both stated not just disagreement, but that the Working Group opinion would have absolutely no effect on their actions. This is not what one expects from democratic governments who usually support the UN mechanisms and international law.
“This changes nothing,” declared the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. The foreign secretary diplomatically called the ruling “frankly ridiculous,” disparaging the Working Group as “a group of laypeople, not lawyers” (in fact, many of the experts are professors of law or human rights or both). Sweden managed to avoid imprecation, but was no less unreceptive. The Foreign Ministry declared that the Working Group had no right to “interfere in an ongoing case handled by a Swedish public authority” and continued to insist that “Mr. Assange is free to leave the Embassy at any point.” As for the Prosecutor’s Office, it declared the UN body’s opinion “has no formal impact on the ongoing investigation, according to Swedish law.”
While the Working Group does not have the authority to force governments to heed its decisions, it is the authoritative voice of the UN on the issue of arbitrary detention, and its opinions are given great weight as interpretations of binding international law obligations. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights today attempted to remind Sweden and the UK of that in a discrete Note to Editors, saying the opinions should be taken into consideration as they are based on international human rights law that binds the relevant states.
Not much consideration appears to be happening. The UK has said that it will arrest Assange if he leaves the shelter of the embassy, either because of the European arrest warrant the Swedish prosecutor issued to investigate allegations of sexual offenses, or because he violated the conditions of his house arrest by going directly from his last UK court appearance to the Ecuadorean embassy in London to apply for asylum.
The Working Group found that Assange’s confinement – first in a UK prison, then under house arrest, and now in the embassy – violated his human rights. Given that Assange has claimed political asylum, a claim Ecuador recognizes but the UK and Sweden have not taken into account, the Working Group said his freedom of movement and security as a refugee should be respected, and compensation awarded.
Both Sweden and the UK are parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the treaty on which much of the decision rests, and are bound by other customary international law against returning refugees to locations where they risk persecution. Their failure to give due consideration to these international rights and obligations is what drove the conclusion that Assange’s confinement is “arbitrary.”
Let’s be clear: the issue is not Assange fleeing Swedish justice; he has continually expressed his willingness to be investigated by Sweden. What he won’t do is risk eventual extradition to the United States, which would like to prosecute him under the Espionage Act.
That is because WikiLeaks revealed the embarrassing diplomatic cables that Chelsea Manning leaked. And if you look at Manning’s fate, Assange has plenty to fear. Manning was abused in pretrial detention, denied the defense that the public interest justified her disclosures, and sentenced to 35 years. A secret US grand jury has been investigating Assange on related Espionage Act charges for close to five years. Neither Sweden nor the UK will promise Assange he won’t be extradited, and both are close US allies in national security and intelligence affairs.
So who are the losers? Assange, who has already been confined longer than the maximum term he would serve in a Swedish prison were he found guilty, and the Swedish women who made the original allegations, and whose government won’t pursue the matter if it means protecting Assange from extradition to the US.
And now the UK and Sweden are big losers as well. Their fatuous dismissal of the Working Group won’t impugn this necessary and neutral body that was established by the world’s governments to uphold rights. But both have severely damaged their own reputation for being so ready to dismiss upholding inconvenient human rights obligations and their credibility as global advocates for rights by refusing to respect the institution of asylum.
“You created the Islamic State”! – Journalist Brings Kerry’s Press Conference in Rome to a Halt – JAMAHIRIYA NEWS AGENCY about 23 hours ago
“You created the Islamic State”! – Journalist Brings Kerry’s Press Conference in Rome to a Halt
A press conference was held on Tuesday following the Rome Conference and a private meeting between US Secretary of State, John Kerry and the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Paolo Gentiloni.
While John Kerry discussed measures to combat the Islamic State, journalist, Marinella Correggia, stood and began to unfurl a banner protesting the war in Syria. Security officials swiftly removed the journalist, but not before she shouted to Kerry,
“You created the Islamic State”!
Privately, Ms. Correggia told Jamahiriya News Agency that the banners she and colleague Attilio Folliero prepared to present at the press conference read:
“Daesh son of
“Saudi Arabia, USA, Turkey…
State sponsors of terrorism”
Are the SAS in Libya? News crew films Western troops liaising with rebel forces | Daily Mail Online on Feb 04, 16
Are these men SAS helping Libyan rebels? News crew films Western troops liaising with gunmen
An Arab television channel has broadcast pictures which it says show Western special forces on the ground in Libya.
Footage by the Al Jazeera television channel shows a group of six Western-looking men – described as ‘possibly British’ – talking to rebel fighters near the besieged port city of Misrata.
With their peaked caps, wraparound sunglasses and assault rifles, the group certainly appear different to the rag-tag rebel army battling Colonel Gaddafi’s forces.
Scroll down for video
Special forces: The Western men are seen here walking away from the car and the pick-up truck, with the unarmed man in the pink T-shirt possibly an intelligence officer
They are clearly visible in the Al Jazeera report by experienced British war correspondent Tony Birtley, and they hurry away as soon as they realise they have been spotted by the camera crew.
Birtley’s front-line report from Dafniya, seven miles outside Misrata, shows five of the men are armed and wearing informal sand-coloured clothes and cotton Arab scarves.
The sixth, apparently the most senior of the group, carries no visible weapon and wears a pink, short-sleeved shirt. There was speculation last night that he is an intelligence officer.
In his report, Birtley, an award-winning veteran of 20 wars who has previously worked for the BBC, ITN and Sky News, says: ‘Here, a group of armed foreigners, possibly British, are seen liaising with the fighters. It could be to facilitate forthcoming helicopter attacks.’
One possibility is that the men could be former British special forces, working privately. It has long been thought that Britain has boots on the ground in Libya. In March it was announced that Britain was sending advisers to the country to provide ‘logistical advice’ to rebels fighting in the east of the country.
The Mail has been told that ex-SAS mercenaries, funded by Arab states, could be used as forward air controllers for the rebels, calling in pinpoint air strikes on Gaddafi’s forces.
One source said: ‘We could indirectly employ former military people. A lot of the oil companies over there already have ex-special forces personnel working there.’
The Ministry of Defence spokesman said last night: ‘We do not have boots on the ground – any military activity undertaken by the UK in Libya is in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1973.’
The Al Jazeera report was aired as South African president Jacob Zuma said Gaddafi was ready for a truce to stop the fighting.
Mr Zuma, who met Gaddafi at the weekend, said he was ready to accept an African Union initiative for a ceasefire. He did not say Gaddafi was ready to step down, the central demand of the rebels.
Rebels’ spokesman Fathi Baja said Mr Zuma was in Tripoli to negotiate an exit strategy for Gaddafi, although Zuma’s office denies that.
Mr Baja said: ‘Gaddafi is in big trouble, the circle around him is deserting him.’
He said Gaddafi was a coward who will not fight to the death.
NATO’s Secret Ground War in Libya | Global Research - Centre for Research on Globalization on Feb 04, 16
NATO’s Secret Ground War in LibyaGlobal Research, May 16, 201116 May 2011
The War on Libya – PART III
In Part I of this text, the events which led up and set the backdrop for the present conflict in Libya were discussed.
Part II examined the central role of media distortion and misinformation in justifying the NATO war on “humanitarian grounds”.
The following text examines US-NATO war plans and intelligence operations pertaining to Libya, prior to the onset of the insurrection in Eastern Libya and the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1973.
From the outset, the conflict in North Africa was intended to lead into an all out NATO war. The Pentagon and NATO are not only arming the Transitional Council in violation of international law, they also had forces on the ground from the start.
The Media War on Libya: Justifying War through Lies and Fabrications
- by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – 2011-05-02
Foreign Forces Were on the Ground in Libya prior to any type of U.N. Approval
U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 only passed, because Moscow and Beijing abstained. This was a tactical move meant to limit the war.
If the resolution had been vetoed by Russia and China, in all likelihood, the U.S., Britain, France, Italy (and the Western European members of NATO) would have resorted to “other means,” including an outright invasion. By abstaining and getting the NATO powers to vocally invest themselves to U.N. Resolution 1973 and to hide behind it, Moscow and Beijing managed to limit the options of the Pentagon and NATO.
The efforts of Moscow and Beijing, however, have not hindered Washington and its NATO allies from breaching international law or U.N. Resolution 1973. Washington has casually admitted that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was on the ground supporting rebel forces. According to Washington, the involvement of U.S. intelligence agents in Libya started as soon as the U.S. embassy in Tripoli was closed.  February 25, 2011, is the date that the U.S. embassy in Tripoli was reported as being closed. 
This is a casual omission that the U.S. had violated international law and was operating on the ground in Libya before any U.N. approval. Moreover, Italy had opened its military bases to use by the U.S., Britain, and France before any U.N. approval by repudiating its non-aggression pact with Libya on February 27, 2011.  In other words, the war against Libya had already begun.
Unnamed U.S. officials even told Reuters that U.S. intelligence operations were underway in Libya before President Obama signed a secret order in March 2011 that authorized covert U.S. actions against the Libyan government.  The U.S. was not alone in operating in Libya. It has been reported that dozens of British agents and commandos from MI6, the Special Air Services (SAS) unit, and the Special Boat Services (SBS) units were also operating inside Libya. 
These foreign forces in Libya were sent to prepare for the war by selecting targets to be bombed.  Even before the attacks were launched, both Britain and France even announced plans in November 2010 for war games that envisioned attacking Libya under the exercise codename “SOUTHLAND.”  The British and French military assets being mobilized for these drills ended up being used to attack Libya.  November 2010, according to the Italian journalist Franco Bechis of Italy’s Libero, also happened to be the time that Paris started planning for regime change in Libya.
Even if the November 2010 war games and the Italian article about regime change plans are dismissed, a war with Libya was intended from the outset of the crisis. Before the assault on Libya started, the Pentagon and its NATO allies had mobilized an excessive amount of military assets that went well beyond the needs of any evacuation operations in Libya. In the words of the British Defence Minister, Liam Fox:
As we have seen in Libya in the past 96 hours [Britain] still has the military capability to protect British interests. At a time when the commercial sector was unable or unwilling to fly, the [British] Government used a range of military assets, including Royal Navy warships each with a detachment of Royal Marines and C-130 Hercules aircraft to evacuate hundreds of Britons and citizens from a dozen other countries. In fact, British Armed Forces have been leading the way with HMS Cumberland being the first military asset from any country to enter and evacuate citizens from the Libyan city of Benghazi. 
Days later the British Ministry of Defence acknowledged that British troops were on standby waiting to enter Libyan territory:
The Black Watch [...] had been placed on heightened readiness, prepared to deploy to North Africa at 24 hours’ notice.
The 600-strong infantry unit returned from Afghanistan in late 2009 and is based at Fort George near Inverness. “They’re ready, just in case,” said a source. 
Under a humanitarian pretext, London has also sent military advisors to the Transitional Council. The British press reported about this in early-March 2011: “Britain is also preparing to send diplomats and specialist advisers to the eastern city of Benghazi, where the disparate Libyan opposition is based.”  At least one of these so-called “special advisors” was later apprehended near in the vicinity of Benghazi.
In reality, London blatantly lied about sending a British diplomat and his plain clothed security to Benghazi.  In this case, the plain clothed security guards were undercover British commandos. The British group was arrested by rebel forces when the security team lied about not being armed. Hidden weapons and a cache of explosives were found on them.  Why was the so-called British diplomat and his security team not directly flown into Benghazi?
The British story was very dubious and problematic from the start. Even more telling was the doubt-casting language which the BBC used to report the incident, while portraying it as a mere misunderstanding. It turned out that the armed group apprehended on March 6, 2011 near Benghazi by rebel forces was in the process of conducting a British intelligence mission: the diplomat was an MI6 secret agent and the security team consisted of seven British SAS commandos. 
At about the same time, three Dutch Marines were also caught by Libyan forces operating inside Sirte.  The Dutch government insisted that the Dutch troops were merely evacuating two Dutch workers.
The Libyan government, however, was not informed or aware of the Dutch operation. The captured Dutch Marines were later handed over by the Libyans to the Netherlands on March 10, 2011.  Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi took the occasion to warn NATO not to intervene inside Libya: “We told them [meaning the Dutch], don’t come back again without our permission. We captured the first NATO soldiers, we are sending them back home. But we are still keeping their helicopter.” 
The French also sent planeloads of what was reported to be medical aid to Benghazi.  In turn, Pakistani sources reported in late February that the U.S., Britain, and France had sent military advisors to Benghazi.
What these reports confirm is that there was a foreign military and intelligence presence in Libya before any U.N. mandate for a no-fly zone was granted. In this regard, the governments involved were in blatant violation of international law.
Another Case of Double-Standards: Yesterday’s Terrorists are Today’s Allies
Foreign intervention also consisted in embedding U.S., British and Saudi “intelligence assets” inside Libya. The latter consisted of Islamic para-militaries from Afghanistan and other conflict zones, which were dispatched to Libya. These intelligence assets are what the U.S. and its allies would themselves define as “terrorist elements.” This is utter hypocrisy.
Acknowledged by numerous reports, the U.S. and its allies are in bed with their own so-called terrorist enemies. This should come as no surprise. Washington and its allies have created, controlled, nurtured, and unleashed extremist and criminal fighting groups in Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Caucasus, Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Lebanon.
The Wall Street Journal report on rebel training in the Libyan town of Darnah (Derna/Darna) identifies the role of U.S. supported terrorists inside Libya:
Two former Afghan Mujahedeen and a six-year detainee at Guantanamo Bay have stepped to the fore of this city’s military campaign, training new recruits for the front and to protect the city from infiltrators loyal to Col. Moammar Gadhafi.
Abdel Hakim al-Hasady, an influential Islamic preacher and high-school teacher who spent five years at a training camp in eastern Afghanistan, oversees the recruitment, training and deployment of about 300 rebel fighters from Darna.
Mr. Hasady’s field commander on the front lines is Salah al-Barrani, a former fighter from the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, or LIFG, which was formed in the 1990s by Libyan mujahedeen returning home after helping to drive the Soviets from Afghanistan and dedicated to ousting Mr. Gadhafi from power.
Sufyan Ben Qumu, a Libyan army veteran who worked for Osama bin Laden’s holding company in Sudan and later for an al Qaeda-linked charity in Afghanistan, is training many of the city’s rebel recruits.
Both Messrs. Hasady and Ben Qumu were picked up by Pakistani authorities after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and were turned over to the U.S. Mr. Hasady was released to Libyan custody two months later. Mr. Ben Qumu spent six years at Guantanamo Bay before he was turned over to Libyan custody in 2007. 
The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) has been one of the components of the Transitional Council forces. According to a study authored at the Pentagon’s West Point, the area around Benghazi and Darnah in Barqa is the place known for supplying the second largest group of foreign fighters into Iraq; these fighters are tied to the LIFG, which is currently allied to the U.S. and NATO. 
NATO wanted a War in North Africa from the Start
The New York Times (February 28, 2011) asserted that the French government was opposed to military action and that NATO would “not” be used against the Libyans.  This was really an act of brinkmanship intended to pave the way towards a broader war in North Africa. Steven Erlanger analyses the bogus French position as follows:
[Prime Minister] Fillon, like Mr. Sarkozy, spoke cautiously about any military intervention in Libya, which Western diplomats said France has opposed inside NATO and at the United Nations. Mr. Fillon said the prospect of a no-flight zone over Libya needed a United Nations Security Council resolution, “which is far from being obtained today,” and would require the involvement of NATO. 
All the so-called debate within NATO and lack of enthusiasm about the alliance’s role in Libya was mere bravado and a theatrical act for the public. Gradually NATO would be presented as being involved only through a “technical role” in the war.  It is at this point the U.S. Defence Secretary, Roberts Gates, declared: “This isn’t a NATO mission. This is a mission in which NATO machinery may be used for command and control [against Libya].”  In reality, the project was a NATO project from the onset of the mobilization of the military forces encircling Libya.
NATO was also monitoring Libyan airspace before Libya was attacked.  In the frankest of terms Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Obama Administration, 10 Downing Street, and the E.U. were misleading the public. It is also worth noting that Anders Fogh Rasmussen was selected to be the secretary-general of NATO as a reward for his support as Danish prime minister for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Why has Operation Odyssey Dawn been Handed to NATO?
NATO is an undemocratic body and is not answerable to any constituency of voters. It is through NATO and international organizations that the voting public is being bypassed. The command of the war against Libya has deliberately been reassigned from the Pentagon to NATO as a clever means to bypass public scrutiny and accountability by the U.S. government and all other governments involved in this war.
Even the so-called NATO holdouts, Germany and Turkey, are supportive of this war. Berlin is sending more military resources to NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan so that the military forces of its allies can be freed up to attack Libya.
Moreover, Ankara did not prevent NATO from formally taking over the military operations against Libya. While the sentiment of the Turkish people is against the war, the Turkish government has been onboard with the U.S. and E.U. war against Libya. It is also worth quoting President Obama in regards to Turkey’s position on Libya:
In this effort, the United States has not acted alone. Instead, we have been joined by a strong and growing coalition. This includes our closest allies – nations like the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Turkey – all of whom have fought by our sides for decades. 
Washington is merely trying to hide behind its Western European allies.  The U.S. is leading the NATO operations, just as it was working behind the scenes with its allies to launch the war by imposing a no-fly zone. The U.S. only pretended to be opposed to the no-fly zones. The U.S. government actually firmly backed a no-fly zone when it was presented to the U.N. Security Council and the Pentagon had already mobilized the military resourced needed to attack Libya. 
Moreover, it is a U.S. flag officer that holds the post of Supreme Allied Commander Europe. U.S. Admiral James G. Stravridis is the supreme commander of NATO military operations. Admiral Stravridis does not need to have the approval of anyone in NATO for many of the combat decisions he makes. As a matter of public record, this was deliberately clarified by Senator Joseph Lieberman and Admiral Stravridis at the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing where Libya and U.S. military operations in Europe were discussed.  It should also be noted, while Admiral Stravridis can operationally work independently from the oversight of the rest of NATO’s members, he is totally subordinate to the Obama Administration and the Pentagon.
Turkey: A Trojan Horse?
Ankara has been portrayed as siding with the Libyan regime. In reality Ankara supports the Transitional Council and the NATO war against Libya. It has been claimed that Turkey has been advising Colonel Qaddafi and his regime, but this is misleading. Ankara has been playing the role of a negotiator and go-between, but it is not impartial.
Turkey is administering or running the airport in Benghazi from which the U.S., British, French, NATO, and Qatar have given covert and illegal combat support assistance to the Transitional Council.  It was actually NATO that assigned Ankara the airport authority role via a NATO agreement with the Transitional Council.  Moreover, one of NATO’s operational headquarters for the war against Libya is located in Turkey and Ankara’s naval forces are participating in the naval operations and embargo against Libya. Turkey is also a de facto combatant through its combat support role in the war.
NATO works on a consensus basis and if countries like Turkey and Germany were really against the war then they could have blocked NATO from getting involved in Libya.
NATO as a whole is a military combatant in Libya and therefore all NATO members are by extension to be considered combatants. When General Carter Ham was asked by Senator Sessions if Turkey was obstructing the military campaign or blocking NATO attacks as was being claimed, he confirmed that Turkey was supportive of the war.  General Ham is the commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and the military flag officer that originally led the war against Libya until operations were transferred over to NATO.
Before the NATO campaign against Libya, Ankara had been deepening its tied with Tripoli and had worked to establish a free-trade agreement between Turkey and Libya. Like its ties to Libya, the Turkish government has also been deepening its ties with Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine (Hamas), Russia, and several former Soviet republics. This has been presented as part of the renaissance in Turkish foreign policy, which sometimes is labelled as neo-Ottomanism. This, however, appears to also be a means of bringing these players into the orbit of Washington and the European Union. In this regards Turkey could be seen as working as a Trojan horse that is integrating these players into the imperial network of Washington’s empire. Turkey’s role in Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza also appear to be part of a coordinated effort to cut them off from Iran.
Arming the Rebels: The Coalition in Breach of U.N. Resolutions and the ATT
The U.S. and its allies have breached international law and U.N. Resolutions 1970 and 1973 by sending weapons to the Transitional Council. U.N. Resolution 1970 specifically states that no weapons are to be shipped into Libya. Qatar’s Prime Minister Al-Thani even said that the rebels will be armed at the start of the conflict.  Prime Minister Al-Thani did not make these statements in isolation; he made these statements during the London Conference on Libya and in conjunction with his meetings with the U.S., the E.U., and NATO.
Days later, General Abdel Fattah Al-Yunis (Al-Younis) and the Transitional Council told the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya Network that they had taken delivery of weapons which had been shipped into Libya from abroad.  A few days later, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, told CNN that Qatar was delivering weapons to the Transitional Council in Benghazi.  Afterwards Qatar’s Al Jazeera went on the offensive to shield Emir Al-Thani and legitimize his actions.
While interviewing the Secretary-General of NATO, Al Jazeera openly reported that Qatar was arming the Transitional Council.  This was part of the broader effort to normalize the breaches of U.N. Resolution 1970 and international law. In a noticeably tense interview, anchorwoman Ghida Fakhry asked Secretary-General Rasmussen if NATO members were arming the rebels or aiding them with intelligence as Qatar was openly doing, but Ramussen refused to answer Fakhry’s question. 
What Rasmussen did was avoid touching the subject by circumventing himself around it by repeating that NATO was merely enforcing U.N. Resolution 1973.  The question was asked on the basis of U.N. Resolution 1970, but Ramussen kept referring to U.N. Resolution 1973 and repeating that NATO was enforcing it.  Before the interview was over, Rasmussen was asked the question no less than four times by Ghida Fakhry. 
The logic that NATO and its allies are trying to use to justify arming the Transitional Council is that they are sending weapons into Libya as a means of “protecting civilians.” The weapons, however, are intended to be used to fight the Libyan military and for an offensive towards Tripoli. In this context, Qatar’s actions are not in isolation from the broader war campaign being led by Washington against Libya. The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) also prohibits arming the rebels, because they are not the legal government of Libya. The governments arming the rebels have tried to circumvent this legality by recognizing the Transitional Council as the legal government of Libya. 
The U.S. Government Redefines International Law and Reality to Justify its Crimes
The U.S. government is the party that has paved the way for arming the Transitional Council and unquestionably breaching U.N. Security Council Resolution 1970 and the ATT. The directive to arm the Transitional Council with weapons was passed down from Hillary Clinton to all the officials gathered at the London Conference on Libya.  Had it all not been an act, this would have constituted a radical change for a U.S. official who earlier was maintaining that U.S. and foreign intervention would be counter-productive.  Hillary Clinton has sought to justify arming the Libyan rebels through a creative interpretation of U.N. Resolution 1973: “‘It is our interpretation that (UN Security Council resolution) 1973 amended or overrode the absolute prohibition on arms to anyone in Libya, so that there could be a legitimate transfer of arms if a country should choose to do that,’ Clinton said.” 
The U.S. position became public at the same time that news broke out that the CIA was going to arm the Transitional Council.  The Washington Post was told by an unnamed U.S. official on March 30, 2011 that “President Obama has issued a secret finding that would authorize the CIA to carry out a clandestine effort to provide arms and other support to the Libyan opposition groups.”  Moreover, it would become public that Washington was sending arms into Libya through its Arab clients.
The Arab Role in Arming the Transitional Council
At the same time that Hillary Clinton was telling the international community that it was okay to breach the U.N. resolutions, the Pentagon was coordinating a breach of the Libyan arms embargo by giving the green light to the Egyptian military junta to arm the Transitional Council.  There were also reports that Egypt was supplying arms to the rebels:
“We know the Egyptian military council is helping us, but they can’t be so visible,” said Hani Souflakis, a Libyan businessman in Cairo who has been acting as a rebel liaison with the Egyptian government since the uprising began, according to the newspaper.
“Weapons are getting through,” said Souflakis. “Americans have given the green light to the Egyptians to help. The Americans don’t want to be involved in a direct level, but the Egyptians wouldn’t do it if they didn’t get the [U.S.] green light.”
A spokesman for the rebel government in Benghazi said arms shipments had begun arriving to the rebels but declined to specify where they came from [to reporters]. 
Later on, Mustafa Gheriani, a spokesperson of the Transitional Council, told the international press gathered in Benghazi that the Transitional Council has opened centres for “professional training” in combat. The New York Times is worth quoting for Ghoga’s response to a question asking if there were foreign military advisors and military instructors within these combat facilities. The New York Times reported Ghoga’s response as follows: “Asked if he [meaning Gheriani] meant that foreign advisors or trainers were present, he declined to reply but winked broadly, twice. ‘We have a lot of people being trained, real professional training, that we don’t talk to the world about,’ he said.” 
It should be noted this all happened well before Britain and France publicly acknowledged that they were sending military units to help train the Transitional Council for combat operationsa against the Libyan military. This is in contrast to what the British government publicly declared earlier when it announced that it had no intention of sending any military personnel to assist the Transitional Council.  Subsequently, the U.S. and Italy also held high-level bilateral meetings in Washington about arming the Transitional Council’s forces. 
More Double-Standards: Who is Sending Mercenaries into Libya?
London has put forward a plan for the Arab dictatorships, specifically the U.A.E. and Qatar, to send military units and military trainers into Benghazi and Libya.  Jordan, which has also been involved in the war on Libya and in the oppression of Bahrainis, will in all likelihood be involved. 
The British plan would see Qatar and Emirati troops land in Benghazi or alternatively the hiring of former members of the British military as private military contractors.  The latter are not only mercenaries, they are also British soldiers that are given special leave from military service to fight in an unofficial capacity.
The Daily Telegraph had this to say about the plan to send British mercenaries:
Western military chiefs are looking at the example of Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance, who in 2001 helped oust the Taliban, with support and leadership from CIA military teams and British Special Forces.
Another example [is] the 1990s Balkan wars, when a US mercenary company trained and led the Croatian army to significant victories over Serbian forces in an intervention quietly backed by Washington.
However, it is believed that former British personnel could be used as trainers and “force multipliers”.
Former members of the Special Air Service, Special Boat Serve and other elite British regiments are frequently employed by private military companies and Middle Eastern regimes as “advisers” for their own armed forces.
For operations where the British Government is not officially involved, Special Forces personnel are often allowed to temporarily resign or take leave in order to fight for others.
In the 1970s, former members of the SAS fought for the Sultan of Oman with Britain’s tacit support. Many of the SAS soldiers were allowed to temporarily resign from the British Army for the Oman campaign, then returned to service afterwards.
British officers estimate that it would take around a month to train the rebels to the point where they can mount a co-ordinated ground offensive against [the Libyan military]. 
Yet, before the British government even put forward such a plan there were reports that London, alongside Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S., was arming the Transitional Council’s fighters against the Libyan military.  This would have to include training by foreign contractors or military forces.
Phase Two of Operation Libya: Direct Ground Intervention?
The role of NATO and the military coalition against Libya is not limited to the air and the sea. During a U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Admiral Stravridis was obliged by Senator John McCain into acknowledging that NATO forces would eventually move into Tripoli.  Oana Lungescu, the spokeswoman for NATO, has denied that NATO plans on sending boots on the ground to Libya, but this stands in stark contradiction to operational command statements.
McCain has repeatedly demanded that Libya’s neighbours and NATO fund the war against Libya too.  Alongside Senator Lieberman, McCain had repeatedly called for the arming of the Benghazi-based forces from the start of the conflict. Both McCain and Lieberman started making these demands and calling for a no-fly zone while visiting Israel and consulting with Israeli leaders.  Both want a invasion of Libya.
A foreign military presence of some form is in the cards. It will not be like the previous NATO military occupations. While President Obama has stated that no U.S. combat troops will land in Libya, the U.S. Armed Services Committee and Admiral Stravridis have clarified that NATO is considering sending soldiers into Libya as part of a “stabilization regime.” 
In other words, an international force will be sent for so-called “peacekeeping” or “stabilization” missions similar to those in the former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan. This is another shape and name for occupation. The Pentagon and NATO are now looking at methods to publicly side-step the U.N. in order to invade Libya.
Both Cairo and Tunis are slated to play a role in a NATO-sponsored ground invasion. In early-March 2011, Hillary Clinton held consultations in Tunisia and Egypt with the Libyan opposition and the governments in Egypt and Tunisia.  She was actually coordinating for the war on Libya with Tunisia and Egypt.
Both the governments in Tunisia and Egypt are continuations of the old regimes in those countries. No authentic democratization process has taken place. The “counter-revolutionary” regimes have opened Tunisia and Egypt to further U.S. and E.U. economic control under so-called “democratic reforms” and new “foreign investment.”  With the launch of the war, Tunis would openly give its support for the war while the Egyptian military junta would provide covert support. It was susequently revealed in London that there were plans to sent British ground forces to the Libyan border with Tunisia.  The British government was to justify this under the pretext of helping refugees fleeing Libya. 
A foreign troop presence, specifically under the E.U. and NATO, would be geared towards dividing Libya into a loosely-knit protectorate or trusteeships. This would probably take shape under two separate administrations respectively based in Tripoli and Benghazi. If the occupation were to occur it would also be agreed upon by at least one or both of the governments of a divided Libya with capitals respectively in Tripoli and Benghazi.
The Justifications for War have Morphed: Deception of Mission Creep
President Obama and his allies initially said that the war was not about regime change, but they have backtracked.
While Obama was still denying that any regime change would take place, Senator McCain contradicted him and said: “Let’s be honest with ourselves and the American people. Our objective in Libya is regime change, whether the [Obama] Administration wants to call it that or not.”  Similarly in Canada, Prime Minister Steven Harper and his defence minister confirmed that regime change was an objective. 
All the hallmarks of deceit are present. The unstated goals in Libya have always been the same, but like in Iraq the goals stated publicly have changed. Obama, President Sarkozy, and Prime Minister Cameron have now admitted in a joint letter that the mission in Libya is not over until Qaddafi is removed.  This means regime change. It can also be part of a strategy to get Qaddafi to agree to the partition Libya to save himself and his regime.
Moving forward, Senator John McCain and Admiral Stravridis have stated that a strategic stalemate between Qaddafi and the Transitional Council in Libya is unacceptable for Washington or to the interests of the U.S. while also ironically and unwittingly mentioning that no-fly zones and U.N. sanctions “don’t succeed.”  If the no-fly zones and U.N. sanctions do not work in protecting civilians, then why were they imposed on Libya in the first place? The no-fly zones and sanctions imposed on Libya are not intended to protect civilians or to stop the internal fighting, but are intended for weakening the defences of Libya.
The no-fly zones cover the whole of Libya and not exclusively the areas controlled by the Transitional Council. If the rationale of the no-fly zones was to protect civilians, the no-fly zones would have been applied to the area around Benghazi and not to Tripoli and the western portion of Libya. What this means is that the White House and the E.U. have been using the no-fly zones as a pretext for waging a war of military aggression against Libya. As President Obama stated in a televised address on March 28, 2011, the U.S. is helping the Benghazi-based Transitional Council, because it is in the interest of the U.S. government. 
Regime change rather than protecting civilians is a stated goal of the war. The U.S. and the E.U. originally denied this, but with time have ratcheted up the talk about regime change while simultaneously racketing down denials about regime change in Tripoli. Obama has also declared this objective: “[T]here is no question that Libya – and the world – would be better off with Qaddafi out of power. I, along with many other world leaders, have embraced that goal, and will actively pursue it through non-military means.” 
More Deception: NATO and European Union Peacekeeping
The European Union has also made the preparations for deploying an E.U. military force to Libya called EUFOR Libya.  The German government has been a major, but subtle, backer of this.  This is being presented under the guise of a peacekeeping mission in Libya. This is essentially the same thing as using NATO peacekeepers, but under a different name.
NATO is moving into fill the so-called “post-conflict” voids in places that the Pentagon and its cohorts wage war. This has happened from the former Yugoslavia to Afghanistan and Lebanon. It is a new strategy of modern-day colonization.
The use of NATO can happen formally or informally. In Lebanon, NATO wanted to send troops, but when alarm bells began to ring amongst the Lebanese and Arab peoples the name of NATO was formally removed. Instead NATO members did send their troops to Lebanon, but not under the name of NATO. The operation became informal.
The role of NATO in Lebanon was not drawn in the spirit of peacekeeping. In fact, General Alain Pellegrini the former military commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in an interview with the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir confirmed that the Pentagon had planned to launch a NATO invasion of Lebanon to help Israel and to use NATO in occupying Lebanon in 2006.
The Pentagon and NATO are Prolonging the War to Deepen their Roles
Over a month after his claims about Qaddafi’s attempts to use chemical weapons on civilians, General Abdul Fatah Al-Yunis also said that NATO has been slow to act in support of the Benghazi-based Transitional Council. His previous statement about chemical weapons aimed at bolstering support for foreign military intervention is an outright lie. His latest statement, however, could either be a coordinated propaganda effort aimed at shoring up demands for more NATO military intervention or a genuine sign that NATO has deliberately been using measured responses to get the Transitional Council to become more dependent on foreign support and to prolong the internal fighting in Libya.  It may be both.
Al Jazeera had these statements to report about his press conference:
“Unfortunately, and I am sorry to say this, NATO has disappointed us. My staff have been in contact with NATO officials to direct them to targets that should protect civilians, but until now, NATO has not given us what we need,” he said.
“Civilians are dying daily because of lack of food or milk, even children are dying. Even by bombing. If NATO waits for another week, it will be a crime that NATO will have to carry. What is NATO doing? It is shelling some defined areas only,” he said.
“When a large force of tanks, and even artillery, is on its way to Benghazi, Ajdabiya or Brega, we always inform NATO straight away. Because we don’t have such weapons. NATO’s reaction is very slow. By the time the information reaches from one official to another until it reaches the field commander, it takes hours. [sic.]
“Will these forces wait for hours to bomb? No, they will go into the city and burn it down. That is why I want NATO to stand with us and support us, otherwise I will ask the [opposition] National Council to address this issue at the UN Security Council.” 
General Al-Yunis also stated: “If NATO wanted to remove the siege on Misurata, they would have done so days ago [during their attacks on the Libyan military.]”  In this regard, Al-Yunis is corrected. The U.S. and NATO are deliberately prolonging the war and for the time being are trying to keep a strategic stalemate in Libya as part of their effort to control the entire country. This has been part of their longstanding plans to weaken Libya either through partition or soft balkanization under a new federal system.
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya specializes in the Middle East and Central Asia. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).
1 Ken Dilanian, “CIA officers in Libya re aiding rebels, U.S. officials say,” Chicago Tribune, March 30, 2011.
2 Howard LaFranchi, “Libya: US closes embassy in Tripoli, sanctions loom,” Christian Science Monitor, February 25, 2011; Embassy of the United States in Libya, “U.S. Embassy Tripoli Warden Message – U.S. Government Suspension of Operations,” February 25, 2011: <http://libya.usembassy.gov/wm_022511a.html>
3 Nicolas Squires, “Libya: Italy repudiates friendship treaty, paving way for future military action,” The Daily Telegraph (U.K.), February 28, 2011.
4 Mark Hosenball, U.S. agents were in Libya before secret Obama order,” Reuters, March 31, 2011.
7 Michel Chossudovsky, “When War Games Go Live: ‘Staging’ a ‘Humanitarian War’ against ‘SOUTHLAND,’” Global Research, April 16, 2011.
8 Air Defence and Air Operation Command, Southern Mistral 11: Assets Deployed, February 15, 2011: <http://www.southern-mistral.cdaoa.fr/GB/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=38&Itemid=104>.
9 Liam Fox, “Liam Fox: Libya crisis shows why we’re right on defence reform,” The Sunday Telegraph (U.K.), February 26, 2011
10 James Kirkup and Richard Spencer, “Libya: British Army ready for mission at 24 hours’ notice,” The Daily Telegraph (U.K.), March 4, 2011.
12 Martin Chulov, Polly Curtis and Amy Fallon, “‘SAS unit’ captured in Libya.” The Guardian (U.K.), March 6, 2011.
13 Caroline Gammell, Nick Meo, and James Kirkup, “Libya: SAS mission that began and ended in error,” The Daily Telegraph (U.K.) March 6, 2011.
14 Ibid.; Dilanian, “CIA officers,” Op.cit.; The Chicago Tribune had this to say about the British intelligence mission: “The CIA officers in Libya are part of a contingent of operatives from Western nations. The public got a hint of the activity March 6, when a group of British special forces officers, and a member of the intelligence service, were detained by rebels and released.”
15 Michael Georgy and Maria Golovina, “Libya to hand over captured Dutch marines – Gaddafi son,” Reuters, ed. Philippa Fletcher, March 10, 2011; Associated Press (AP), “Gaddafi’s forces capture Dutch marines on rescue mission,” March 3, 2011.
18 Steven Erlanger, “French Aid Bolsters Libyan Revolt,” The New York Times, February 28, 2011.
19 Akhtar Jamal, “US, UK, French forces land in Libya,” Pakistan Observer, February 28, 2011.
20 Charles Levinson, Ex-Mujahedeen Help Lead Libyan Rebels, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), April 2, 2011.
21 Joseph Felter and Brian Fishman, Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq: A First Look at the Sinjar Records (West Point, N.Y.: West Point U.S. Military Academy, 2007), pp.7-12.
22 Erlanger, “French Aid Bolsters,” Op. cit.
24 David Brunnstrom, “NATO meets to decide alliance in Libya,” Reuters, March 23, 2011.
25 David Brunnstrom et al., “NATO to enforce Libya embargo, stuck on no-fly,” Reuters, ed. Paul Taylor, March 22, 2011.
26 Jamey Keaten and Slobodan Lekic, “World Leaders Meet in Paris for Critical Libya Talks,” Associated Press (AP) March 19, 2011.
27 Barack Hussein Obama, Remarks of the President in Address to the Nation on Libya (Address, National Defense University, Washington, D.C.: March 28, 2011).
28 Terri Judd, “French jets enforce no-fly zone as America plays done its role,” The Independent (U.K.), March 21, 2011.
29 Omar Karmi, “US deploys naval and air forces near Libya,” The National (U.A.E.), March 1, 2011; Ian Black et al., “Libya crisis: Britain, France and US prepare for air strikes against Gaddafi,” The Guardian (U.K.), March 17, 2011.
30 United States Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. European Command and U.S. Strategic Command in review of the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2012 and the Future Years Defense Program, 112th Congress, 2011, 1st Session, 29 March 2011.
31 Today’s Zaman, “Turkey will run Benghazi airport,” March 29, 2011.
33 U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Testimony on U.S. Transportation Command and U.S. Africa Command in review of the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2012 and the Future Years Defense Program, 112th Congress, 2011, 1st Session, 7 April 2011.
34 David Stringer, “Top envoys agree Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi must step down but don’t discuss arming rebels,” Associated Press (AP), March 29, 2011.
35 Rod Nordland, “Libyan Rebels Say They’re Being Sent Weapons,” The New York Times, April 16, 2011.
37 Anders Fogh Rasmussen, “Battle for Libya,” interview by Ghida Fakhry, Al Jazeera, April 8, 2011.
42 Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya “‘Operation Libya’ – Recognizing the Opposition Government Constitutes a Pretext for Military Intervention,” Global Research, March 13, 2011.
43 Nigel Morris and Oliver Wright, “Clinton: UN resolution gives us authority to arm Libyan rebels,” The Independent (U.K.), March 30, 2011.
44 Julian Borger and Ewen MacAskill, “No-fly zone plan goes nowhere as US, Russia and Nato urge caution,” The Guardian (U.K.), March 1, 2011.
45 Stringer, “Top envoys agree,” Op. cit.
46 Dilanian, “CIA officers,” Op. cit.
47 Karen DeYoung and Greg Miller, “In Libya, CIA is gathering intelligence on rebels,” The Washington Post, March 30, 2011.
48 Giles Elgood, “Egypt arming Libyan rebels Wall Street Journal reports,” Reuters, ed. Andrew Roche, March 18, 2011.
50 Nordland, “Libyan Rebels,” Op. cit.; the Emir of Qatar also confirms this by telling CNN’ Wolf Blitzer that there would be training programs for the arms being sent to the Transitional Council from outside Libya.
51 James Kirkup, “Libya: Arab states urged to train and lead rebels,” The Daily Telegraph (U.K.), April 22, 2011; In this regard, James Kirkup writes: “The British government has made clear it will not publicly participate in any training operation inside Libya, believing any ground-level intervention must be seen to done by Arab states.”
52 Atul Aneja, “Opposition allies mull ‘political solution’ in Libya,” The Hindu, April 8, 2011; Quoting Bloomberg, Aneja reports: “Unsurprisingly, the United States and Italy are each seriously considering arming Libyan opposition forces, following closed-door talks in Washington between U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and visiting Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, Bloomberg reported.”
53 Kirkup, “Libya: Arab states,” Op. cit.
54 Jordan Times, “’Jordanian fighters protect aid mission,’” April 2, 2011.
55 Kirkup, “Libya: Arab states,” Op. cit.
57 Scott Peterson, “Italy rejects Qaddafi, recognizes Libyan rebel government,” Christian Science Monitor, April 4, 2011; Elgood, “Egypt arming Libyan,” Op. cit.
58 U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. European Command, Op. cit.
59 U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. Transportation Command, Op. cit.
60 Jackson Diehl, “McCain: U.S. ‘making up reasons’ to avoid action on Libya,” The Washington Post, March 1, 2011.
61 U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. European Command, Op. cit.; Admiral Stravridis also told the U.S. Armed Services Committee that they should realize that NATO has a tradition of stationing troops in the former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan as a precedent for Libya.
62 Nicole Gaoutte and Viola Ginger, “Clinton will Travel to Egypt, Tunisia, Meet With Libyan Opposition Leaders,” Bloomberg, March 10, 2011.
64 Nigel Morris, “British troops could be deployed to Tunisia,” The Independent (U.K.), April 28, 2011.
66 U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. Transportation Command, Op. cit.
67 Mark Kennedy, “Canada joins UN coalition aerial mission on Libya,” Edmonton Journal, March 19, 2011; Agence-France Presse (AFP), “Canada wants Kadhafi out but will keep to UN mandate,” March 22, 2011.
68 The Daily Mail (U.K.), “MPs rebel over Libya mission creep as Cameron, Obama and Sarkozy promise to keep bombing until Gaddafi regime is gone,” April 15, 2011.
69 U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. European Command, Op. cit.
70 Barack H. Obama, Remarks of the President, Op.cit.
72 Hürriyet Daily News and Economic Review, “EU deploys to Libya despite UN concern as rebels welcome US drones,” April 22, 2011.
73 Der Spiegel, “Change of Course? Berlin Open to Humanitarian Involvement in Libya,” April 8, 2011.
74 For example the statements made by General Yunis have been used to push for increased military escalation by Senator McCain at the U.S. Senate Arms Services Committee.
75 Al Jazeera, “Libyan rebels ‘disappointed’ by NATO, April 5, 2011.
76 Borzou Daragahi, David S. Cloud, and Ned Parker, “Rebel leader in Libya demands more of NATO,” The Los Angeles Times, April 5, 2011.
ISIL building ‘army of the poor’ in Libya by offering African recruits up to $1,400 on Feb 04, 16
ISIL building ‘army of the poor’ in Libya by offering African recruits up to $1,400
LONDON — ISIL is building an “army of the poor” in its new haven in Libya by recruiting footsoldiers from Africa’s poorest nations, intelligence chiefs have warned.
The terror group’s Libyan chapter is swelling its ranks by offering cash bounties of up to $1,400 to people from impoverished neighbouring countries such as Chad, Mali and Sudan to join them. In countries where many earn less than $2 a day, even a few hundred dollars is the equivalent of a year’s salary.
Libyan officials admit that they are almost powerless to stop the incomers, many of whom reach Libya using existing people-smuggling routes used by African migrants heading to Europe.
ISIL is copying a strategy first used by Libya’s late dictator, Moammar Gaddafi, who recruited thousands of mercenaries from black Africa to serve in his armies and to suppress the revolution that overthrew him five years ago.
In much the same way, ISIL’s new “caliphate” in Gaddafi’s home city of Sirte now has a growing number of black African fighters alongside the Iraqis and Syrians who make up its core leadership.
Col. Muncif al Walda, a senior police officer in the nearby city of Misrata, told The Daily Telegraph: “Illegal immigration is a menace because it brings and encourages foreign fighters to come and fight with ISIL. Most of the migrants want to go to Europe, but some want to link up with ISIL. Unfortunately, here in Libya we are right in the middle of the migration rat run.”
Libyan officials spoke out as Britain and America increased their pressure on Libya’s new government to accept Western military help in tackling the growing ISIL threat.
Both Britain and the Pentagon have offered Tripoli a package that would involve up to 1,000 British troops and 5,000 Italian troops in a training role.
Unfortunately, here in Libya we are right in the middle of the migration rat run
The Libyan government is anxious about the political impact of “Western boots on the ground,” but diplomats fear that Libyan security forces are not up to tackling ISIL alone.
Since first establishing a foothold in Sirte a year ago, ISIL is believed to have built up an army of between 2,000 and 3,000 fighters, turning the port city into Libyan version of the group’s Syrian stronghold of Raqqah.
Col. Ismail Shukri, head of military intelligence in Misrata, said that around 70 per cent of ISIL’s army in Sirte was made up of non-Libyans.
“The majority are Tunisians, while the rest are made up mostly of Sudanese, Egyptians and then people from the Sub-Saharan countries stretching from Chad and Nigeria, along with a few from Algeria and the Gulf,” he said.
“Sadly, we have big open borders and long open areas, and through the routes for illegal immigration, we now have all this ideology coming through.”
Western Airstrikes in Libya to Fight Daesh 'Intrusive and Neocolonial' on Feb 04, 16
Western Airstrikes in Libya to Fight Daesh 'Intrusive and Neocolonial'
Western military intervention in Libya to stop its seizure by Daesh militants would be perceived as "intrusive and neocolonial", according to Dr Arturo Varvelli, Head of Terrorism and Research Fellow at the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI), as he told Sputnik it could instead strengthen Daesh’s control.
"The lack of clarity on the objectives of the possible mission […whether it is] containing ISIS [Daesh], state-building, protection of Tripoli, or whatever — is a serious mistake," Dr Varvelli told Sputnik, adding that quashing Daesh is not possible with airstrikes alone — "as recent incursions in Syria and Iraq demonstrate"- and could ultimately make the militants stronger.
"An external intervention could help ISIS [Daesh] in Libya to enlarge the cooperation with other radical groups — IS could then become stronger," Dr Varvelli told Sputnik.
The US and France have been pushing for military intervention following a meeting in Paris during which Italy also agreed to consider involvement.
Britain has not confirmed reports that it is ready to send in 1,000 troops. While according to London newspaper The Sunday Times, a team of British military and intelligence officers have undertaken a secret reconnaissance mission to Libya.
The reconnaissance mission, according to The Sunday Times, is comprised of six RAF officers, MI6 operatives, UK Foreign Office diplomats and US and French military personnel who flew into an airbase in eastern Libya.
Political Vision vs Military Aggression
Meanwhile, a civil war in Libya rages on as Daesh militants make further ground in the North African country, capturing the coastal region – along with its oil reserves – between Sirte and Sidra.
There are reports that the south Ras Lunuf oil pipeline has been bombed by Daesh, who have already destroyed Libya’s main oil field in Sidra after bombarding another oil plant, Hindia.
Italian newspaper, La Stampa, reported at the beginning of January that if Daesh succeeded in capturing oil reserves between Sirte and Sidra, it would trigger armed intervention from Europe – with Italy at the forefront.
Dr Varvelli, a Middle East expert, told Sputnik that Italy and its allies should re-focus on forming an official government – not military action.
"The ultimate goal should be the stability in Libya and this can only be achieved by pursuing policies of stabilization."
"It takes patience and political vision, not military aggression. A deal would however be fraught with tensions. Moreover, international pressure could lead a Libyan government to formally declare war on IS."
Since August 2015, Libya’s only internationally recognized government has been forced to operate from Tobruk after Daesh captured Tripoli.
By the end of 2015, Daesh issued a decree stating that Sirte was now governed by "the caliphate".
Sirte was once home to Libya’s former dictator Muammar Gaddafi before he was killed by a NATO led rebellion in 2011.
Many of the arms used by the rebels to overthrow Gaddafi are said to be in the hands of Daesh militants following western military intervention five years ago, allowing the country to descend into chaos as a civil war between the official government in the east and its rival group in the west continues.
Hillary Clinton Destabilized Libya so the West Could 'Exploit the Country' on Feb 04, 16
Hillary Clinton Destabilized Libya so the West Could 'Exploit the Country'
As the United States begins to warn of the growing threat of Daesh in Libya, political analyst Hafsa Kara speaks to Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear about Washington’s role in destabilizing the North African nation – and the personal involvement of Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
Speaking before the anti-Daesh coalition in Rome, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the terrorist organization was being defeated in Syria and Iraq, but gaining ground in Libya – a scenario for which the US and NATO bear responsibility.
"One of the reasons ISIS is in Libya is precisely because of the NATO onslaught of 2011 which led to a power vacuum in which terrorist organizations such as ISIS actually thrive," journalist and political analyst Hafsa Kara tells Loud & Clear host Brian Becker. "It was hugely predictable that this would happen given the Iraqi scenario of ten years before."
Much of the blame for Libya’s chaos can be placed directly on then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, currently the Democratic Party’s presidential frontrunner for the 2016 election.
"She was the flagbearer, if you will, of the NATO operation," Kara says. "Hillary Clinton was very much in favor it, and she applauded it and she supported it, and she sort of sold it to the US public…She is very central to the ouster of Gaddafi and the consequence chaos that ensued.
"And it’s utterly shameful that the person currently running for the highest office in the US is someone who gleefully celebrated the lynching and the extrajudicial assassination of a 70-year-old man," she adds, referring to former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
While the West bombed Libya on the pretense of protecting civilians, the true aim of the campaign may have been more self-serving.
"The endgame was always designed to benefit US interests, and that was primarily the goal regardless of how many people died."
At the time of his ousting, Gaddafi was helping Africa to become a more independent continent, free from the influence of imperialism.
"When you think about it, Africa is the wealthiest continent on the planet, and without African natural resources, almost all of Western industries couldn’t function," Kara says. "A destroyed Libya, which is incredibly oil- and gas-rich…is actually a much, much better source for Western corporations to exploit the country and region…"
While Secretary Kerry has expressed shock that Daesh is gaining a foothold in Libya, its growth should have come as no surprise.
"Wherever the US has spread or has expanded…that is where ISIS has actually thrived. So it is no surprise that as a result of not only the US, to be honest, but of the Western bombing campaign of Libya, that ISIS, and organizations that are affiliated to it, have actually thrived in Libya."
As the anti-Daesh coalition meets, is there any hope that it can restore order to the nations it has helped destroy?
"I hope they don’t do anything," Kara says. "Whatever these countries will do in the region will make a bad situation worse.
"Any further Western intervention will make a very bad situation far, far worse."
Benghazi committee to review secret tapes on Clinton’s role in Libya war | Fox News on Feb 04, 16
Benghazi committee to review secret tapes on Clinton’s role in Libya war
The special congressional committee probing the Benghazi terror attacks plans to review secretly recorded tapes that reportedly raise questions about then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's role in the 2011 U.S. military intervention in Libya.
The Washington Times first reported that Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., chairman of the House committee, told his staff to review the materials. The newspaper previously reported that the audio tapes showed Pentagon officials were so concerned with Clinton's push in 2011 to back Libyan rebels against Muammar Qaddafi that they opened their own back-channels with Qaddafi to try and prevent the U.S. from entering the civil war.
"Chairman Gowdy and the committee are aware of the details reported by The Washington Times, and we are reviewing them as part of the committee's inquiry into Benghazi," Benghazi committee spokesman Jamal Ware said in a statement, confirmed by FoxNews.com.
The decision could open up a new aspect of the Benghazi investigation, which is focused on the 2012 terror attack on the U.S. compound that killed four Americans, at a time when Clinton is moving toward a 2016 White House run. Clinton also may be called in the coming months to testify.
Gowdy said previously he may call Clinton as a witness, and according to the top Democrat on the panel, Clinton already has agreed to do so if she's asked.
Clinton's State Department has been under scrutiny for the level of security at the U.S. compound, and for efforts to initially describe the attack as a demonstration turned violent.
The newly reported tapes deal with the intervention by the U.S. and its allies in 2011.
At the time, Pentagon officials reportedly used an intelligence "liaison" to communicate with Qaddafi's son and a top Libyan leader outside of White House or State Department knowledge. The conversations were secretly recorded. The Times also reported that U.S. intelligence challenged Clinton's claims about a looming genocide in Libya, used to drive the case for U.S. military intervention.
The unnamed intermediary, who was referred to as an intelligence "asset" working for the Pentagon, not only conducted the conversations with Qaddafi's son, but reportedly shared his concern that Clinton was unnecessarily hyping the danger of a potential genocide by the regime as a way to drag Congress into the situation and shift public opinion in favor of an invasion.
"You should see these internal State Department reports that are produced in the State Department that go out to the Congress. They're just full of stupid, stupid facts," the U.S. intermediary reportedly told the Qaddafi regime in 2011. The paper said the liaison was "specifically dispatched by the Joint Chiefs of Staff."
Armed with a United Nations resolution, the U.S. led international bombing raids against the Qaddafi regime in March 2011, eventually aiding the rebels in ousting the longtime dictator, whom they killed.
The Washington Times story suggests that the Obama administration's efforts, led by Clinton, were focused on regime change, not a negotiated settlement, during the lead-up to the war.
The story says that the recordings indicated Clinton allegedly "ordered a general within the Pentagon to refuse to take a call with Qaddafi's son Seif and other high-level members within the regime, to help negotiate the resolution."
The liaison reportedly told a Qaddafi aide that President Obama told lawmakers that Libya "is all Secretary Clinton's matter." The asset also reportedly said the president was not getting "accurate information."
Secret Benghazi report reveals Hillary’s Libya war push armed al Qaeda-tied terrorists on Feb 04, 16
Secret Benghazi report reveals Hillary’s Libya war push armed al Qaeda-tied terrorists- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 1, 2015
Last of three parts
Libyan officials were deeply concerned in 2011, as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was trying to remove Moammar Gadhafi from power, that weapons were being funneled to NATO-backed rebels with ties to al Qaeda, fearing that well-armed insurgents could create a safe haven for terrorists, according to secret intelligence reports obtained by The Washington Times.
The reports included a 16-page list of weapons that Libyans supposedly tracked to the rebels from Western sources or their allies in the region. The memos were corroborated by a U.S. intelligence asset familiar with the documents as well as former top Gadhafi regime official Mohammed Ismael.
"NATO has given permission to a number of weapons-loaded aircraft to land at Benghazi airport and some Tunisian airports," the intelligence report said, identifying masses of weapons including tanks and surface-to-air missiles.
That report, which was prepared in English so it could be passed by a U.S. intelligence asset to key members of Congress, identified specific air and sea shipments observed by Libyan intelligence moving weapons to the rebels trying to unseat the Gadhafi regime.
"There is a close link between al Qaeda, Jihadi organizations, and the opposition in Libya," the report warned.
In the documents and separately recorded conversations with U.S. emissaries, Libyan officials expressed particular concern that the weapons and training given the rebels would spread throughout the region, in particular turning the city of Benghazi into a future terrorist haven.
Those fears would be realized a little over a year later when a band of jihadist insurgents attacked the State Department diplomatic post in Benghazi and a related CIA compound, killing four Americans including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. Today, more than three years after Gadhafi fell from power and was killed, Benghazi and much of the rest of Libya remain in chaos, riddled with violence among rival tribes and thriving jihadi groups.
Mrs. Clinton, now considering a run for president, was the moving force inside the Obama administration to encourage U.S. military intervention to unseat Gadhafi in Libya. The latest documents and audio recordings are likely to give her Republican critics on Capitol Hill fresh ammunition to question whether she had an adequate plan and whether her efforts led to the tragedy in Benghazi a year later and the general lawlessness and chaos that have gripped Libya since.
The Times reported last week that U.S. intelligence did not support the story that Mrs. Clinton used to sell the war in Libya, mainly that there was an imminent danger of a genocide to be carried out by the Gadhafi regime. The intelligence community, in fact, had come to the opposite conclusion: that Gadhafi would not risk world outrage by killing civilians en masse even as he tried to crush the rebellion in his country.
The Times also reported that the Pentagon and a key Democrat so distrusted Mrs. Clinton's decision-making on Libya that they opened their own secret diplomatic conversations with the Gadhafi regime, going around the State Department.
In one conversation recorded in summer 2011 between Libyan officials and an intelligence asset dispatched by the Pentagon as a back-door channel, the asset told Mr. Ismael, who served then as Gadhafi's chief of staff, that U.S. officials were considering taking some of the Libyan dictator's frozen money assets and sending it to the rebels.
"I'm in contact with some of the people over in Benghazi and they've told me point blank that their first use of this money is, is to buy military training, weapons and mercenaries," the Pentagon intelligence asset told Mr. Ismael on July 24, 2011.
In a separate conversation with Dennis J. Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat serving in the House, Gadhafi's eldest son, Seif, told the congressman that Libyan intelligence had observed Qatar, a major U.S. ally in the region, facilitating weapons shipments. Qatar has steadfastly and repeatedly denied arming the rebels.
"The Qataris have spent more than $100 million on this, and they have an agreement with the rebels that the moment you rule Libya you pay us back," Seif Gadhafi told Mr. Kucinich in a conversation recorded in May 2011.
"So, it's your position that your government has been trying to defend itself against an insurrection brought about by jihadists who were joined by gangsters, terrorists and that there's basically about 1,000 people who were joined by NATO?" Mr. Kucinich asked.
"Yes," Seif Gadhafi replied.
"You're saying that this relates to internal matters, matters internal to the region relating of a power struggle in which they then turned their attention to Libya to try to engulf Libya in their own desire for increasing their power?" Mr. Kucinich asked.
"For the Qataris, they are doing this with every country, with every country," Mr. Gadhafi said. "This is their plan, I mean in public. This is their own agenda. I mean, it's not something hidden, or something, you know, private. But now, we have, and plus the French and British have also have their own agenda, you know, commercial interests, political interests, they have their own interests. They told us, especially the French, and the Qataris and the British: We want those people to share the power with you, our own people, the heads of rebels."
The recorded conversations also included concerns that the U.S. might try to arm the rebels despite a U.N. arms embargo on Libya.
On March 27, 2011, days after the intervention began, Mrs. Clinton argued that the arms embargo could be disregarded if shipping weapons to rebels would help protect civilians, but defense officials in the United Kingdom disagreed with her interpretation of international law.
"We're not arming the rebels. We're not planning to arm the rebels," British Defense Secretary Liam Fox told the BBC the day Mrs. Clinton hinted otherwise.
Likewise, Qatari officials sent a letter Feb. 2, 2012, to the United Nations about the Libyan uprising, "categorically" denying that they had "supplied the revolutionaries with arms and ammunitions" as some had reported.
Attempts to contact the Qatari Embassy in Washington for comment Sunday were unsuccessful, but the classified Libyan intelligence report indicates that Qatar sent tanks, missiles, trucks and military advisers to the rebels.
Distrust between Libya and Qatar had simmered for years before the civil war in Libya erupted. Mr. Ismael told The Times in an interview that the Qataris had a grudge against the Gadhafi regime because it did not give them natural gas and oil concessions that were promised in 2007.
The Libyan intelligence reports provided to the Pentagon's emissary detailed specific weapons shipments they said came from Qatar.
"On 15th of March the ship loaded with arm[s] arrived to the seaport of Tobruk. On 4th April 2011 two Qatari aircraft laden with a number of tanks, [ground-attack] missiles and heavy trucks was arranged. On 11th April 2011 a number of boats departed Benghazi for Misrata, the shipment comprised assistance including SAM-7 [anti-aircraft] missiles. On 22nd April 2011, 800 rifles were sent from Benghazi to Misrata," the report said.
Whether such shipments were supposed to stay with NATO or go to the rebels remains in dispute. But academic analysts say the Libyan concerns that arming the rebels would benefit terrorists were shared widely.
NATO allies knew of the dangerous jihadi elements operating in Benghazi before the 2011 intervention began, according to Noman Benotman, president of the British-based Quilliam Foundation, a think tank dedicated to combating Islamic extremism.
Mr. Benotman also was a leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group but left the organization prior to the 2011 revolution.
"A lot of jihadists that had been locked up by the regime were released after the revolution started. They picked up many of the guns that were coming into the country and fought, but they were not fighting for democracy — they were fighting their own revolution, trying to build a state based on a vicious, violent, radical, Islamic ideology. They took advantage of the situation," he said.
"There were pro-democracy demonstrators participating in the revolution, of course, but there was also crystal-clear evidence of jihadists and jihadist tactics in Benghazi before the NATO intervention started, so no one can say there were no jihadists there," he said.