Imperial War on Libya

On March 19, ironically on the eighth anniversary of “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” a White House Office of the Press Secretary quoted Obama saying:

“Today I authorized the Armed Forces of the United States to (attack) Libya in support of an international effort to protect Libyan civilians,” he, in fact, doesn’t give a damn about. “That action has now begun,” he added, claiming military action was a last resort.

In fact, it was long-planned. All military interventions require months of preparation, including target selections, strategy, enlisting political and public support, troop deployments, and post-conflict plans.

Weeks, maybe months in advance, Special Forces, CIA agents, and UK SAS operatives were in Libya, enlisting, inciting, funding, and arming so-called anti-Gaddafi opposition forces, ahead of Western aggression for imperial control. More on it below.

A March 19 Department of Defense (DOD) Armed Forces Press Service release announced America’s led “Operation Odyssey Dawn,” saying:

Coalition (of the willing) forces launched “Operation Odyssey Dawn” today to enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1973 to protect the Libyan people from the country’s ruler….Today we are part of a broad coalition. We are answering the calls of a threatened people.

False! In fact, Washington-led naked aggression was launched to replace one despot with another, perhaps assassinate Gaddafi, his sons and top officials, colonize Libya, control its oil, gas and other resources, exploit its people, private state industries under Western (mainly US) control, establish new Pentagon bases, use them for greater regional dominance, perhaps balkanize the country like Yugoslavia and Iraq, and prevent any democratic spark from emerging.

According to DODspeak, Libya is being attacked, its people killed, civilian targets destroyed, and a humanitarian disaster created to save it. In other words, “destroying the village to save it” on a nationwide scale like Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Southeast Asia in the 1960s and 70s, and Korea in the 1950s since WW II alone. Besides numerous proxy wars in Central America, Africa and elsewhere. Wherever America shows up, blood spills followed by horrific human suffering, what Libyans can now expect.

Military and government targets include:

— command-and-control centers;

— air defense systems;

— Gaddafi, his sons and senior officials;

— communications systems;

— government buildings and other facilities; and

— military air fields, tanks, artillery, other weapons, munitions, fuel depots, mobile and other targets.

About 25 US, UK, French, Canadian and Italian ships are involved, 11 from America, including three nuclear submarines. The Pentagon is providing command, control and logistics support. Air and surface-launched munitions are being used, including against Tripoli, the capital and Gaddafi stronghold.

Moreover, invasion and perhaps occupation may follow, despite official denials.

Either way, widespread death and destruction is likely. Surgical war is an oxymoron. Expect considerable “collateral damage,” the Orwellian designation for war crimes against noncombatants and civilian targets.

In his 1992 book titled, “Beyond Hypocrisy,” Edward Herman referred to “nuclear chicken analysis,” defining “collateral casualties” as “civilians killed as a regrettable ‘spillover effect’ of a nuclear attack on a military target’ more generally, allegedly unintended casualties” of any type attack.

In other words, “inadvertent and tragic errors” that, in fact, constitute wanton murder and destruction of schools, hospitals, vital infrastructure and other non-military targets.

Pack Journalism Promotes War

A previous article explained how it enlists public support for imperial war.

Western media, including BBC and Al Jazeera, incite it, no matter how lawless, mindless, destructive and counter-productive. Smell it. It arrived again because inflammatory journalism stoked reasons to attack. As a result, America, Britain and France primarily readied strikes. Ground and submarine-launced cruise missiles inflicted widespread destruction. In addition, French jets struck “targets of opportunity,” preceded by exaggerated/unverified/inflammatory reports like the following:

On March 19, New York Times writers David Kirkpatrick and Elisabeth Busmiller headlined, “Reports Say Attacks by Regime Against Rebels Continue,” saying:

Unverified “(r)eports indicated that Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces were continuing to press their attacks despite warnings that such moves would provoke military action.”

On March 19, Financial Times writer Tobias Buck headlined, “Gaddafi launches assault on Benghazi,” saying:

Forces loyal to Gaddafi attacked “in violation of the regime’s promise of a ceasefire.”

Libyan state TV channel, Al Jamahiriya, reported it differently, saying “the people of Benghazi have risen up against the rebels and raised the flag of Libya over the government building in the middle of the city.”

On March 19, New York Times writers Steven Erlanger and David Kirkpatrick headlined “Allies Open Push in Libya to Block Qaddafi Assaults,” saying:

“American, European and Arab leaders began the largest international intervention” since 2003 against Iraq, omitting the illegality of both aggressions.

On March 19, New York Times writers David Kirkpatrich and Elisabeth Musmiller headlined, “France Sends Military Flights Over Libya,” saying:

Flying reconnaissance missions, it’s “the first sign” of premeditated war, launching new hostilities against a war-torn region, without explanation why.

On March 19, Times writers Steven Erlanger and David Kirkpatrick headlined, “Allies Open Push in Libya to Block Qaddafi Assaults,” saying:

Hostilities began to stop “Qaddafi’s war on the Libyan opposition,” after a no-fly zone was established.

As a result, war arrived preemptively. French President Sarkozy said it’s to stop Gaddafi’s “murderous madness,” no matter that he responded to violence. He didn’t instigate it. So would Sarkozy, Obama or any leader against armed insurrection.

Love or hate him, Gaddafi said:

“Libya is not yours. Libya is for all Libyans. This is injustice, it is clear aggression, and it is uncalculated risk for its consequences on the Mediterranean and Europe. You will regret it if you take a step toward intervening in our internal affairs.”

Hours earlier, he pledged a ceasefire. Conflicting reports disagree if he honored it. Is he or Western intervention stoking violence? US media reports point fingers one way.

Washington, Britain, France, other NATO allies, and complicit Arab States back armed anti-Gaddafi insurrection. They’re promoting it, inciting it, funding it, arming it, with clear imperial aims. A previous article explained.

On March 19, ahead of intervention, Al Jazeera headlined, “Gaddafi forces encroaching on Benghazi,” saying:

Gaddafi unleashed “a fresh act of defiance even as the United States and its allies prepared to launch military attacks on Libya.”

Unverified “(r)eports from Libya say pro-government forces have entered the western outskirts of the opposition stronghold of Benghazi, with the city also coming under attack from the coast and the south.”

Unnamed “(w)itnesses….said they heard large explosions….Government troops reportedly bombed the southern Benghazi suburb of Goreshi among other places.”

No verification was given, except to quote Mustafa Abdel Jalil, opposition National Libyan Council leader. More on him below. Al Jazeera’s Tony Birtley reported “a lot of jittery people…a lot of activity and a lot of firing going on.”

In contrast, Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim told the BBC that “the ceasefire is real, credible and solid. We are willing to receive (international and NGO) observers as soon as possible.” He insisted no air strikes were launched.

Hours later Al Jazeera headlined, “Airstrikes begin on Libya targets,” saying:

“French warplanes hit four tanks….on a day when opposition fighters in (Benghazi) reported coming under constant artillery and mortar fire.” Expect sustained strikes to follow.

Al Jazeera and other media reports don’t explain that  “opposition” officials from organizations like the National Libyan Council and National Front for the Salvation of Libya have close Western ties, pretending they’re credible. More about them below.

Headquartered in Qatar, moreover, Al Jazeera noticeably abstains from criticizing its government, now part of Washington’s anti-Gaddafi coalition-of-the-willing, complicit in illegal aggression.

On March 18, Obama stopped short of declaring war, announcing “all necessary measures” against Gaddafi without full compliance with UN Resolution terms, including an immediate ceasefire, withdrawing his forces, reestablishing essential services to all parts of the country, and letting in “humanitarian assistance,” including foreign imperial forces opposed to his leadership.

In other words, impossible terms to accept to be followed by others likely demanding he step down, permit balkanization, predatory Western investment, US bases, and free exploitation of his resources and people. Imagine comparable demands made on America – non-negtiable to be followed by military action for non-compliance.

On March 18, NATO Secretary-General Anders Rogh Rasmussen signaled war, saying the alliance was “completing its planning to be ready to take appropriate action in support of the UN resolution as part of the broad international effort.”

Launched the next day, the resources of another resource-rich Arab state will be divided among Western belligerents, to benefit Libyans, they claim.

On March 20, New York Times writers David Kirkpatrick, Steven Erlanger and Elisabeth Busmiller headlined, “Qaddafi Pledges ‘Long War’ as Allies Pursue Air Assault,” saying:

“On Sunday, American (stealth) B-2 bombers were reported to have struck a major Libyan airfield,” following initial attacks against Libya’s air defense systems, “missile, radar and communications centers around Tripoli,” Misurata and Surt.

Reuters said “US fighter planes backed by electronic warfare aircraft” attacked Gaddafi’s ground troops and air defenses. A Pentagon statement stated:

US Navy Growlers provided electronic warfare support over Libya while AV-8B Harriers from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted strikes….

Parliamentary secretary Muhammad Zweid said attacks “caused some real harm against civilians and buildings.” According to an unnamed US official, Libya’s air defenses are now “severely disabled.”

As of Sunday morning, visible destruction also included 14 tanks, 20 armored personnel carriers, two or more trucks, rocket launchers, dozens of pick-ups, and exploding munitions. Ahead of cruise missile attacks, France initiated reconnaissance flights and aggression.

On March 19, Middle East/Central Asian analyst Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya’s Global article headlined, “Breaking News: Libyan Hospitals Attacked. Libyan Source: Three French Jets Downed,” saying:

Regime change-planned naked aggression was launched. “The war criminals are back at it again,” Washington, of course, in the lead. On March 19, “sources in Libya have reported that three medical facilities were bombarded. Two were hospitals and one a medical clinic. These were civilian facilities.”

Targets attacked included Al-Tajura and Saladin hospitals as well as a clinic near Tripoli, unrelated to military necessity, distant from combat areas. Moreover, civilian air facilities were struck as well as “all Libyan military bases” – air, naval and ground. In addition, “a vast naval blockade around Libya has now been imposed,” America the lead belligerent.

Further, Libyan sources report “two French jets were also shot down….near Janzour” plus another “near Anjile.” Washington and co-belligerents “are creating a real humanitarian disaster,” waging war for peace, killing civilians to save them, and destroying Libya by “humanitarian intervention.”

Moreover, Washington enlisted Egypt and Saudi Arabia to supply “opposition forces” with weapons, in violation of Resolution 1973 prohibiting any sent. Of course, international and US law forbid aggressive war, but that never deterred imperial America from preemptively attacking, invading, occupying and colonizing nations illegally, Libya its latest target.

Libya’s So-Called “Opposition”

Included are the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, its officials with ties to the CIA and Saudi Arabia. Also, Muhammad as-Senussi, Libya’s so-called heir to the Senussi Crown, concerned only for his own self-interest.

Central is the National Libyan Council (NLC), announced on February 26, established officially on March 5, led by former Libyan Justice Minister Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, a Western-allied opportunist.

NLC is an umbrella group of local so-called opposition leaders headquartered in Benghazi. Bogusly, it claims to represent all Libyans. Abdel-Jalil calls it a “transitional government” ahead of future elections after Gaddafi is deposed.

At the same time, Abdel-Hafidh Ghoga, a Benghazi lawyer, refuted his leadership, calling himself NLC’s official spokesman. Both men, however, have similar aspirations, including controlling Libya by ousting Gaddafi.

As of now, Abdel-Jalil remains NLC’s official head, Ghoga its spokesman, and Omar El-Hariri in charge of military operations. General Abdel Fattah Younis may be another key member, his status, however, not confirmed. In total, NLC has about 30 members. Most aren’t named. Two known include, Mahmoud Jebril and Ali al-Essawi, former Libyan ambassador to India in charge of foreign affairs.

On March 5, Reuters headlined, “Rebel National Libya Council sets up (a three-member) crisis committee,” saying:

In charge of military and foreign affairs, members include Omar El-Hariri, Ali al-Essawi, and Mahmoud Jebril as leader.

Western Hypocrisy – Denouncing Violence While Backing It

At Obama’s behest, about 1,000 Saudi troops invaded Bahrain guns blazing, attacking peaceful protesters, arresting opposition leaders and activists, occupying the country, denying wounded men and women medical treatment, and imposing police state control in support of the hated monarchy.

Not an angry Western demand was heard to stop hostilities and leave. Nor against similar Egyptian army attacks or on civilians in Tunisia, Jordan, Algeria, Oman, Iraq, and Yemen, let alone daily against Palestinians.

On March 18, in fact, dozens of Yemenese were killed, scores more wounded in Sanaa, the capital, when security forces attacked thousands, demanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down.

Ally turned bete noire Gaddafi was targeted for removal. In contrast, Saleh is supported because of Yemen’s strategic location near the Horn of Africa on Saudi Arabia’s southern border, the Red Sea, its Bab el-Mandeb strait (a key chokepoint separating Yemen from Eritrea through which three million barrels of oil pass daily), and the Gulf of Aden connection to the Indian Ocean.

Instead of denouncing his brutality, Obama endorsed it, calling on “all sides (to pursue) a peaceful, orderly and democratic path to a stronger and more prosperous nation.”

Friday’s massacre was the bloodiest since resistance erupted in mid-February. Security forces and plainclothes police opened fire on demonstrators, shooting to kill, hitting some in the back of the head as they fled. Afterward, Saleh imposed a state of emergency and nationwide curfew.

Demonstrations, nonetheless, persist, Yemenese wanting his 32-year dictatorship ended. Achieving it, however, entails overcoming Washington’s imperial grip on regional client states, all run by favored despots.

A Final Comment

On March 19, Professor As’ad AbuKhalil’s Angry headlined, “Bush Doctrine revised: Obama puts his stamp,” saying:

“Western/Saudi/Qarari military intervention in Libya sets a dangerous precedent.” Under Bush, ousting regimes for democracy “was a bloody farce….” Obama’s model may be installing puppets “without having ‘boots on the ground,’ ” but don’t discount them. He expanded Bush’s Afghan war, began his own in Pakistan as well as in Somalia, Yemen and Bahrain, backing favored despots besides the Saudi monarchy.

AbuKhalil calls NLC’s Abdel-Jalil “a useful idiot.” Moreover, “Western enthusiasm for (Libyan) intervention” was never properly explained beyond nonsensical platitudes about “humanitarian intervention” to protect civilians.

In contrast, “why (didn’t) the hundreds of deaths in Egypt or Tunisia….warrant” similar outrage, let alone Israel’s Cast Lead, occupation and daily aggression against defenseless Plestinians.

Intervening militarily is Libya “is far more dangerous: it is intended to legitimize the return of colonial powers, (and) abort democratic uprisings all over the region. Bahrain (Yemen and Saudi Arabia) of today (are) the vision for Libya for tomorrow,” Western-dominated, of course.

Will it work? Love or hate Gaddafi, Libyans know what Iraqis, Afghans and Palestinians endure. Moreover, its society is fractious, divided by tribal loyalties, suspicious of Western intervention, and long-governed locally as well as nationally.

Against them is America’s military might under leaders not shy about using it. As a result, Libyans are experiencing firsthand what’s ahead under Western control, what makes Iraqis yearn for Saddam, almost saintly compared to Washington.

Stephen Lendman wrote How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War. Contact him at: Also visit his blog site and listen to The Global Research News Hour on Mondays from 11AM-1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests. All programs are archived for easy listening. Read other articles by Stephen.

10 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. 3bancan said on March 21st, 2011 at 9:32am #

    “Western media, including BBC and Al Jazeera, incite it, no matter how lawless, mindless, destructive and counter-productive”

    Al Jazeera sounds as if it were the official mouthpiece for the Libyan “rebels”…

  2. MichaelKenny said on March 21st, 2011 at 9:54am #

    The uprising in Libya began on February 15. If Mr Lendman is claiming that an attack on Libya was planned before that date, then he is talking nonsense. The world was taken by surprise by events in Tunisia and by their spread to other countries. The American (and more importantly, Israeli) interest was to keep the lid on things, not to provoke uprisings in, much less attack or invade, any other country. Few doubt that Libya will be yet another fiasco. To argue that the US planned in advance what they new would be yet another disaster, or that their Israeli masters let them do so, amounts to arguing that the leaders of the US and Israel are total idiots. If they are total idiots, then they’re condemned to fail, so why worry?

  3. lizburbank said on March 21st, 2011 at 2:48pm #

    ‘Anti-imperialist war’ forces are not telling the real story. US AFRICOM is LEADING the U.S. COMMAND IN LIBYA, part of Its “MENA” campaign serving geostrategic agenda which necessitates domination of the African continent to maintain global hegemony.
    Ghaddafi’s big ‘crime’, despite his shameful appeasement in recent years, was opposing AFRICOM & U.S. African agenda

    AFRICOM Commander on Commencement of U.S. Military Strikes in Libya
    By General Carter Ham Commander, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) STUTTGART, Germany,
    Mar 19, 2011 — At the direction of President Obama and Secretary of Defense Gates, U.S. Africa Command is commanding U.S. military support for the international enforcement of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 to protect the Libyan people… joins international partners seeking to halt the aggression in Libya.

    Obama administration plans forceful policy to end conflicts in Africa
    US president to emphasise democratic goals for African countries in speech to Ghanaian parliament

    3/17/11NATO: Libya Military Intervention: Model For North Africa
    AFRICOM and U.S. Hidden Battle For Africa
    Accra Daily Mail, March 30, 2010

    P.S. About the “Arab revolutions’: study the enemy, the analyses it does for ruling class, not public propaganda in order to counter deadly traps and avoid selling imperialist-zionist ‘strategic information’ to others:

    From Stratfor, ‘private CIA’ intelligence:
    …Egypt was a very carefully managed succession…the armed forces maintained their independence from the unpopular Mubarak regime, thereby providing the armed forces with the unity in command and effort in using street demonstrations to quietly oust Mubarak.
    Egypt: The Distance Between Enthusiasm and Reality

  4. milkman said on March 21st, 2011 at 4:00pm #

    You say:

    “In fact, Washington-led naked aggression was launched to replace one despot with another, perhaps assassinate Gaddafi, his sons and top officials, colonize Libya, control its oil, gas and other resources, exploit its people, private state industries under Western (mainly US) control, establish new Pentagon bases, use them for greater regional dominance, perhaps balkanize the country like Yugoslavia and Iraq, and prevent any democratic spark from emerging.”

    You offer nothing to back up this unsubstantiated accusation.

    Please obey your own commenting ettiquette:

    2. No unsubstantiated accusations. Back up your words with documentation or other credible evidence.

  5. lizburbank said on March 21st, 2011 at 4:09pm #

    Nice try overriding previous comment’s critical, well-documented info. re: US Africom’s lead in the war Mr. Milkman

  6. Rehmat said on March 21st, 2011 at 6:48pm #

    The invasion of Libya is NOT for the so-called ‘humantarian’ reasons but for its huge oil, uranium and gold reserves and an attempt to sabotage the democratic process being waged in various Muslim nation-state ruled by Western-puppets. Libya is attacked by Britain, France and Canada which are governed by Israel-Firsters David Cameron, Nicholas Sarkosy and Stephen Harper. The first two have Jewish roots and the third one claims that “criticism of Israel is an old fashioned anti-Semitism”.

  7. hayate said on March 21st, 2011 at 8:19pm #

    The source of the aggression – as always:

    Corporations Serve the State: Sanction Policies and the Zionist Power Structure


    James Petras


    “The biggest economic losers in the state centered “sanction” policies pursued by Treasury (read Levey/Cohen) have been the international banks, petroleum and gas companies and pension funds. The banks have lost access to investment funds and lucrative management fees; the petroleum companies have lost profits and access to oil fields. The military-industrial complex has lost arms sales. The agro-exporters have lost markets in food deficit oil producers. Who have been the “winners” – certainly not the Generals who are engaging in a third costly war when the sanctioners decided to escalate to the ‘military option’, once their sanctions policies failed to result in the overthrow of the Libyan regime.

    On the surface the main ‘winners’ of sanction policies are their advocates in the White House, Congress, Treasury, the leaders of the two major parties and the ideologues and Islamaphobes in the mass media. And of course, the biggest winners of them all are Israel and their Zionist power configuration embedded in the key agencies of Treasury, the key committees in Congress, and

    their colleagues in the most influential Middle East posts in the State Department (James Steinberg, Mark Grossman, Dennis Ross, Jeffrey Feltman) and Treasury(Cohen)

    If one asks the logical question why doesn’t Big Banking or Big Petroleum make a fight over policies prejudicing their economic interests and subjecting them to the harsh oversight of Levey/Cohen investigators in Treasury, the most reasonable assumption is that they are not willing to engage in a knockdown fight with three potent adversaries: the politically influential Zionists in the government who design, implement and enforce sanctions; their counterparts in the prestigious mass media who support their policies and the 300,000 active members of the 52 major American Jewish organizations who threaten to organize boycott campaigns. An implausible assumption is that the bankers and oil majors have become altruistic and patriotic and are willing to sacrifice billion dollar deals to serve our “national security” as defined by Levey/Cohen and their cohorts in AIPAC. When we speak of US ‘sanction policies’ or when we read of European bankers “following Washington’s lead” let’s be clear about what “state” within the US we are talking about and which agencies in Washington are ensuring that European banks follow “our” lead.

    While we might not shed tears about an intrusive government curtailing the profit-making of Big Oil and Big Banks, or interfering with free market operations, let us not forget that “the state within the state” that dictates economic policy is not accountable to our citizens; moreover, if it dictates foreign economic policy to the multi-nationals surely it has no scruples in doing the same to ordinary Americans. Next on the AIPAC/Levey/Cohen agenda is a “request” by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for an additional $20 billion dollars in “aid” to ensure Israel’s protection from the pro-democracy movements sweeping the Arab world and to finance a new batch of settlements in the West Bank.

    Israel needs US aid like American taxpayers need a hole in their pockets. According to the latest study of billionaires published in the March 20 2011 of Forbes ,Israel has more billionaires per capita than any country in the world.”


  8. hayate said on March 21st, 2011 at 10:38pm #

    EXCLUSIVE: Kucinich calls Obama’s attack on Libya ‘an impeachable offense’

    By Sahil Kapur Monday, March 21st, 2011 — 12:44 pm

    “The anti-war Democrat said Obama must know he violated the Constitution, referring to this quote from candidate Obama in 2007: “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”


    Other congress critters are “angry”, though this is probably only posturing among most of them since they feed from the same zionist supplied trough as coconut…er, obama does.

    Congress angered by Obama’s war in Libya

    Published: 21 March, 2011, 18:01


  9. hayate said on March 21st, 2011 at 10:42pm #

    Russia’s Zhirinovsky calls to revoke Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize

    23:34 21/03/2011

    “Russia’s head of the Liberal Democratic Party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, has appealed to the Nobel Prize Committee to revoke U.S. President Barack Obama’s Nobel Prize, the party’s press service said in a statement on Monday.

    “The situation in Libya is yet another shocking act of aggression by NATO forces and in particular by the United States. This is a clear reflection of colonial policy. This is another crude invasion into the domestic affairs of an independent state. There is only one goal: to take control of Libyan oil and the Libyan regime and not saving the Libyan people,” the press service quoted Zhirinovsky as saying.

    The colorful and flamboyant leader of Russia’s LDPR party plans to meet with Libyan Ambassador to Russia Amir al-Arabi on Wednesday to discuss the latest events in the North African country.”


  10. mary said on March 24th, 2011 at 3:42am #

    Keith Harmon Snow speaking on Russia Today