The Libyan Fiasco: "Neo-Colonialism with a Facelift" says Pepe Escobar
Pepe Escobar of Asia Times has been analyzing closely the Libyan War or, as he corrects himself per the White House, a "time-limited, scope-limited military action.”
On the Libyan Rebels' Military Commander:
And what about the INC's new military commander, Khalifa Hifter - a former Libyan army colonel who spent nearly 20 years in Vienna, Virginia, not far from the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley? Progressives will love to learn that the romantic "rebels" are now led by a CIA asset.
On the Rebel Coalition:
So the INC says the gift to the West for the Tomahawks, Tornados and Rafales is going to be a secular democracy. Someone else might say a coalition of opportunists and military defectors climbed upon the wave of mass radicalization in northern Africa, profited from the absence of political leadership among the working class and middle class, and struck a military alliance with Western imperialism. Which is more plausible?
The INC now is being paraded for the whole world to see as a Western puppet - totally dependent on political and military support. Welcome to Libya as a Pentagon-style forward operating base (FOB) - to the benefit of the Pentagon itself (via Africom), Western oil majors, and all manner of shady Anglo-French-American business interests (see There's no business as war business Asia Times Online March 30 ). Welcome to a new Libya hosting a US military base and NATO exercises, and not spending oil money in sub-Saharan African development projects.
UN Security Council Resolution 1973:
As major players - the BRIC countries and Germany – had already warned, United Nations Security Council resolution 1973 is being twisted like a pretzel. Queen Hillary now openly says that arming the "rebels" is legal. Another one of the queen's women combat squad, US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, said the US had "not ruled out" arming the rebels - mimicking the exact wording of President Barack Obama. Impressed, British Foreign Secretary William Hague agreed. So did Qatar.
What SHOULD have been done:
If the Anglo-French-American consortium really wanted to stop the violence in Libya the sensible solution would have been to dispatch an UN fact-finding commission to really analyze the facts on the ground. No one really knows how many civilians Gaddafi forces killed, or how many air strikes his regime conducted. No one really knows how many black Africans have been raped or murdered by the “rebels”, who assumed they were Gaddafi mercenaries.
Gaddafi himself agreed to an independent UN commission. The first measure of R2P is not to exercise the Tomahawk option; it is to mediate, call for a ceasefire and start negotiations.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is correct when he says this "humanitarian" war is fast becoming a "second Iraq" or "another Afghanistan". He also said Turkey is talking to both Gaddafi and the INC. Sensibly - and as part of NATO - Turkey is about to take over the harbor and the airport in Benghazi to speed up humanitarian aid. If there is a ceasefire the credit must go to Turkey - which is working hard to establish a humanitarian corridor, with support from Italy. Neo-Napoleonic Arab liberator French President Nicolas Sarkozy won't be amused.
Turkey is also linking up with the African Union (AU) - which has been totally marginalized by the Anglo-French-American consortium. France and Britain may be paranoid about the upcoming immigration waves from Africa, now that Libya - which was the cop on the beat for the Europeans - is not playing that role anymore. Italy - already coping with waves and waves of new arrivals at the isle of Lampedusa - at least is trying to work in the humanitarian front alongside Turkey.
Neocolonialism & Squashing the Great 2011 Arab Revolt
There's no guarantee Turkey's mediation efforts will work. The Pentagon/Africom/NATO foreign intervention in Libya - "legitimized" by a dodgy UN cover - is shaping up as a counter-revolutionary master coup. Make no mistake as to what is the ultimate target; to squash the great 2011 Arab revolt momentum, to show who's boss, and to present neo-colonialism with a facelift. To see how it develops, one just has to focus on Queen Hillary's speech.
Obama’s Humanitarian Bombing & UN Res. 1973 as Trojan Horse
Lies, hypocrisy and hidden agendas. This is what United States President Barack Obama did not dwell on when explaining his Libya doctrine to America and the world. The mind boggles with so many black holes engulfing this splendid little war that is not a war (a "time-limited, scope-limited military action", as per the White House) - compounded with the inability of progressive thinking to condemn, at the same time, the ruthlessness of the Muammar Gaddafi regime and the Anglo-French-American
United Nations Security Council resolution 1973 has worked like a Trojan horse, allowing the Anglo-French-American consortium - and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) - to become the UN's air force in its support of an armed uprising. Apart from having nothing to do with protecting civilians, this arrangement is absolutely illegal in terms of international law. The inbuilt endgame, as even malnourished African kids know by now, but has never been acknowledged, is regime change.
Which Civilians to be Protected and Smallish Coalition of the Willing
Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard of Canada, NATO's commander for Libya, may insist all he wants that the mission is purely designed to protect civilians. Yet those "innocent civilians" operating tanks and firing Kalashnikovs as part of a rag-tag wild bunch are in fact soldiers in a civil war - and the focus should be on whether NATO from now on will remain their air force, following the steps of the Anglo-French-American consortium. Incidentally, the "coalition of the wiling" fighting Libya consists of only 12 NATO members (out of 28) plus Qatar. This has absolutely nothing to do with an "international community".
The full verdict on the UN-mandated no-fly zone will have to wait for the emergence of a "rebel" government and the end of the civil war (if it ends soon). Then it will be possible to analyze how Tomahawking and bombing was ever justified; why civilians in Cyrenaica were "protected" while those in Tripoli were Tomahawked; what sort of "rebel" motley crew was "saved"; whether this whole thing was legal in the first place; how the resolution was a cover for regime change; how the love affair between the Libyan "revolutionaries" and the West may end in bloody divorce (remember Afghanistan); and which Western players stand to immensely profit from the wealth of a new, unified (or balkanized) Libya.
War is peace. Protesters are now off-camera, missile diplomacy is on camera. Packaged in moral uprightness, Tomahawks, Typhoons, Tornados, Rafales, Mirages, B-2s and F-18s - not to mention sexy European Storm Shadow cruise missiles and possible guest star the F-22 Raptor radar-evading stealth jet - now speak the language of democracy. These "military assets", displaying their "unique capabilities", are now "protecting the Libyan people". Run for cover - or become collateral damage.
Responsibility to Protect
The R2P enigma. Top American humanitarian imperialists - or liberal hawks - include US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, and National Security Council senior directors Samantha Power and Gayle Smith. They are all suckers for R2P - "responsibility to protect", the new international norm that supposedly prevents and stops genocides, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. R2P is still hazy. How many civilians must be killed before R2P kicks in? A few thousand? (a fair estimate of Gaddafi's victims before Odyssey Dawn). And where next for R2P? Here's a list of candidates. Yemen. Bahrain. Saudi Arabia. Israel. Uzbekistan. Ivory Coast. Sudan. Somalia. North Korea. Myanmar. Iran. Pakistan. And - remember Xinjiang and Tibet - China. Don't count on the UN to "protect" civilians in any of these destinations.
The Obama Doctrine -- Trying To Find the Right Side of History At Least Re Libya?
The new Obama doctrine, or Bush 2.0. The Obama administration turned George W Bush's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan into open-ended occupations; started an air/counter-insurgency war in Pakistan; bolstered a war in Somalia; bolstered a war in Yemen; and now started a war in Libya. The Western/Arab League war in Libya perfectly fits the new, two-pronged Obama doctrine of US outreach/regime alteration; outreach (former "regime change") for "evil dictators", alteration for "our" bastards. That accounts for Washington desperately trying to position itself on the right side of history at least in one chapter of the great 2011 Arab revolt - amid all the geostrategic imperatives of trying to somewhat control the course of the Arab revolutions, and to keep an eye on the oil.
On Saudi Arabia:
Democratic Saudi Arabia. To have the holy grail of medievalism and repression - the House of Saud - voting in the Arab League to bring democracy to Libya while quashing any progressive moves inside the kingdom (and invading a neighbor) will forever live in infamy as the Top Hypocrisy of the Great 2011 Arab Revolt. King Abdullah's billionaire package of "reforms", ie bribes, essentially bolster the House of Saud's two strategic pillars; the security/repression establishment (60,000 new jobs for the Interior Ministry), and the religious clerics (more money to the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice). Even if they have successfully preempted the kingdom's "Day of Rage", this proves how scared they really are.
What many don't know is that Operation Odyssey Dawn is personal - and has nothing to do with Greek heroism but Bedouin hatred. It revolves around the extremely bad blood between King Abdullah and Gaddafi since 2002, in the run-up to the war on Iraq, when Gaddafi accused Abdullah of selling out the Arab world to Washington. So this is not Operation Odyssey Dawn; it's Operation House of Saud Takes Out Gaddafi. With all the heavy lifting subcontracted to the West, of course, and the eastern Libya protesters posing as extras.
Odyssey Dawn - a "just war" - started exactly eight years after the Iraq war. In 2003, at the start of Operation Enduring Freedom - still ongoing, having "liberated" over a million Iraqis from life - George W Bush said, "American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger".