- So far, weeks of conflict produced more stalemate than
resolution, policy disagreement among NATO partners, and hawkish US broadsheets
like The New York Times and Washington Post calling for escalated conflict
to oust Gaddafi.
- In its April 14 editorial headlined, "Stop the Blame
Game," The Times called for stepped up bombing, arming so-called rebels,
and saying, "No political settlement in which the dictator remains
in place will work. The West and its partners must be ready to maintain
political, economic and military pressure until (he's) gone."
- On April 16, a Washington Post editorial headlined, "The
Libya stalemate," saying:
- "THE CONTRADICTIONS at the heart of US policy in
Libya are becoming more acute." On the one hand, Obama, France's Sarkozy,
and Britain's Cameron said bombing will continue until Gaddafi's gone.
On the other, Obama "acknowledged that the war between rebels and
(Gaddafi's forces) is stalemated."
- If he's "lucky," Gaddafi "will be betrayed
and overthrown by his followers or somehow induced to step down voluntarily.
We can only hope that the NATO alliance does not collapse between between
now and then."
- Never explaining a just cause for war (perhaps because
there is none), The Times, WP, and most other major media sources want
a major escalated conflict, no matter the horrific death, injury and destructive
toll, including environmentally by irradiating Libya with depleted uranium
bombs, missiles, shells, and high-caliber bullets, mostly killing civilians
but harming everyone.
- On April 15, Immanuel Wallerstein headlined his latest
commentary, "The Middle East: Allies in Disarray," explaining
the discord among allies and other nations, including Britain, France,
Germany, Russia, China, India and Brazil, as well as Israel, Saudi Arabia,
and Pakistan on other issues. "It seems almost no one agrees with
or follows the lead of the United States."
- America may retain global giant status, says Wallerstein,
but it's "a lumbering giant, uncertain of where it is going or how
to get there."
- For years, he's said America is in long-term decline.
Its "measure," he now believes, "is the degree to which
its erstwhile closest allies are ready both to defy its wishes and to say
so publicly." It's also "the degree to which it does not feel
able to state publicly what it is doing, and to insist that all is really
under control." The consequence, Wallerstein thinks, is "more
global anarchy," but who'll gain or lose most going forward "is
a very open question."
- Perhaps with less belligerence, America would retain
better relations with allies, especially non-belligerent ones, using their
resources productively for commerce and development, not conflict.
- However, the more Washington spends on militarism, the
faster it frays ties with allies and trading partners, accelerating its
decline as other noted analysts besides Wallerstein believe. Eventually,
perhaps all its influence will erode, especially for attacking non-belligerents
for entirely unwarranted reasons.
- A previous article explained that, in 2003, Gaddafi came
in from the cold, became a valued Western ally, had meetings and discussions
with top officials like UK Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown,
France's Nicolas Sarkozy, Italy's Silvio Berlusconi, US Secretary of State
Condoleeza Rice, and others. He also participated in the 2009 G-8 Summit
in L-Aquila, Italy as Chairman of the African Union. At the time, he met
and shook hands with Obama.
- On May 16, 2006, Washington restored full diplomatic
ties, removing Libya from its state sponsors of terrorism list. At the
time, Rice called the move:
- "tangible results that flow from the historic decisions
taken by Libya's leadership in 2003 to renounce terrorism and to abandon
its weapons of mass destruction programs....Libya is an important model
as nations around the world press for changes in behavior by the Iranian
and North Korean regimes."
- She also praised Gaddafi's "excellent cooperation"
in fighting terrorism. Moreover, he opened Libya's markets to Western interests,
arranged deals with Big Oil, notably BP, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell,
Occidental, France's Total, Italy's Eni Gas, among others. By all appearances,
he joined the club, so why turn on him now?
- He came around, but not entirely. Washington wants total
subservience, useful puppets saluting when given orders. Gaddafi's "transgressions"
include refusing to join AFRICOM, America's newest command for total control
of the continent and Mediterranean Basin. All African countries participate
except Sudan (now balkanized), Zimbabwe (an outlier), Ivory Coast (after
regime change), Eritrea (likely on the hit list), and Libya, heading for
conquest, colonization, and control of its wealth and resources, including
perhaps its unreported most important ones.
- An earlier article explained, accessed through the following
- Besides its better known resources, profiteers covet
Libya's ocean-sized aquifer, the world's largest fossil water system with
enough of it to last 1,000 years at 2007 consumption levels. Oil is replaceable,
not fresh water, making it all the more valuable, especially in private
hands to sell at inflated prices, shutting out low-income Libyans from
their source of life and sustenance, including for irrigation.
- Money control is another issue as financial writer Ellen
Brown explained in her article suggesting Libya's more about banking than
oil. Controlling its money, that is, under a privatized central bank, (the
newly formed Central Bank of Benghazi), replacing the state-owned Central
Bank of Libya, creating its own money interest free for productive economic
growth, not profits and bonuses for vulture bankers.
- Money control alone got Gaddafi targeted for removal,
Washington and key co-belligerents choosing their time to do it, a process
now ongoing as a Washington-led NATO imperial exercise.
- On April 15, a joint letter from key co-belligerents
America, Britain and France affirmed escalated war until Gaddafi's gone,
masquerading as "humanitarian intervention." Saying it's "impossible
to imagine a future for Libya with (him) in power," it dismissed alternative
outcomes as "betrayal."
- Frayed relations aside, expanded Washington-led imperialism
may leave Obama as vulnerable as Sarkozy, his latest approval rating at
record lows and sinking.
- On April 11, France 24 International News said one year
before 2012 presidential and legislative elections, he "stands at
a mere 20%." His party is split over his imperial policy in Libya
and Ivory Coast, instead of focusing state resources on domestic needs
during the current economic crisis.
- Perhaps Obama's turn is next, handing trillions of dollars
to Wall Street and spending more on militarism and imperial wars than the
rest of the world combined, while slashing desperately needed social spending
when it's most needed. Eventually voters will react when their pain threshold
is reached and surpassed, creating a new battleground at home for change.
- With Americans neglected in time of crisis, imagine an
anyone but Obama campaign in 2012, a scenario another war won't change
when majorities want current ones ended to devote more attention domestically.
- Gaddafi's Unreported Agenda
- As despots go, he's not all bad. Under his 1999 Decision
No. 111, all Libyans get free healthcare, education, training, rehabilitation,
housing assistance, disability and old-age benefits, interest-free state
loans, subsidies to study abroad and for couples when they marry, and practically
free gasoline. Moreover, Libya's hospitals and private clinics are some
of the region's best.
- Overall, though affected by poverty and unemployment
like elsewhere, Libyans achieved the highest African standard of living
because Gaddafi used oil revenues for economic development. According to
"Qaddafi and the Libyan Revolution:"
- "The young people are well dressed, well fed and
well educated....Every Libyan gets free, and often excellent, education,
medical and health services. New colleges and hospitals are impressive
by any international standard. All Libyans have a house or a flat, a car,
and most have televisions" and other conveniences. "Compared
with most citizens of Third World countries, and with many (others), Libyans
have it very good indeed," including decent housing or a rent-free
- Gaddafi's Green Book, in fact, states, "The house
is a basic need of both the individual and the family, therefore it should
not be owned by others." It also covers other socially beneficial
policies and says:
- -- "Women, like men, are human beings.
- -- ....(A)ll individuals have a natural right to self-expression
by any means....;
- -- In a socialist society no person may own a private
means of transportation for the purpose of renting to others, because this
represents controlling the needs of others.
- -- The democratic system is a cohesive structure whose
foundation stones are firmly laid above the other (through People's Conferences
and Committees). There is absolutely no conception of democratic society
other than this.
- -- No representation of the people - representation is
a falsehood. The existence of parliaments underlies the absence of the
people, for democracy can only exist with the presence of the people and
not in the presence of representatives of the people."
- Green Book ideology rejects Western democracy and capitalism,
especially neoliberal exploitation, another reason for wanting Gaddafi
- Under him, Libyans get impressive social benefits. Also
free use of land for agriculture to foster self-sufficiency in food production.
Moreover, all basic food items are subsidized and sold through a network
of "people's shops."
- In addition, since the 1960s, women had the right to
vote and participate politically. They can also own and sell property independently
of their husbands. Under the December 1969 Constitutional Proclamation
Clause 5, they have equal status with men, including for education and
employment, even though men have a leading role in society.
- The UN Human Rights Council Libyan Report
- On January 4, 2011, its "Report of the Working Group
on the Universal Periodic Review: Libya Arab Jamahiriya" said Gaddafi's
government protected "not only political rights, but also economic,
educational, social and cultural rights." It also praised his treatment
of religious minorities, and "human rights training" of its security
- Had Washington and NATO not intervened, it would have
been overwhelmingly approved. Now it's postponed, pending conflict resolution
that either way may require reassessing internal conditions in a country
deeply scared by imperial war.
- A Final Comment
- In his new book, "The Face of Imperialism,"
Michal Parenti defines it as:
- "(T)he process whereby the dominant investor interests
in one country bring to bear military and financial power upon another
country in order to expropriate the land, labor, capital, natural resources,
commerce, and markets of that other country. In short, empires do not just
pursue power for power's sake. There are real material interests at stake,
fortunes to be made many times over....The intervention is intended to
enrich the investors and keep the world safe for them."
- Claiming humanitarian, national security, nation building,
or other motives is deceitful subterfuge. It's used to enlist public support
for imperial conquest, plunder and control by replacing despots or democrats
with useful puppets who know retaining power requires saluting and following
- Libya is a Washington-led NATO project for greater regional
dominance, the rights and welfare of its citizens to be sacrificed for
the interests of capital. It's how the dirty game always works but never
gets explained frankly, truthfully and openly so people everywhere know
who wins, who loses and why.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
email@example.com. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the
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