Update: It’s been about four months since a version of this article first appeared in Gwangju News Magazine. A lot has developed since then, like for example Gaddafi is dead, he was murdered under a white flag by NATO forces. Makes you wonder if there will be any mercy shown to our forces now when we use a white flag…
In any case, now the Al Qaeda flag flies in Libya along side the Libyan flag (London Telegraph), reminding us who the ‘revolutionaries’ really were. The Gaddafi government, for all it’s alleged abuses (as in staged or just made up, see below…) actually produced the highest standard of living in Africa by the UN’s own estimates. Now they live under a very strict version of Sharia (Islamic) law and the nation is now, regarding its resources and policies, essentially another puppet state for the Wall Street/London controlled NATO empire.
Seoul – The Libyan war is arguably the first war in history that will be remembered as a UN war. Ban Ki-moon, the Korean UN Attorney General, is already feeling pressure over the ongoing air strikes and the possibility of a land invasion. For example when he recently visited Egypt he was forced to flee the city of Cairo ’s Tahrir Square by angry stone throwing protesters.
And he’s not the only one taking heat. US President Obama and the White House have been so desperate to avoid calling this a war to the American public that deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes went as far as to refer to it as “kinetic military action”.
Normally after the UN passes a resolution for military action the sovereign governments involved pass similar resolutions before taking action. This time the primary force, the US military, did not even consult the US Congress, as required by the US constitution, before committing to action. The governments of France and Britain have formally recognized the rebels as the legitimate government of Libya , but so far the Americans are providing the bulk of the military power solely on UN orders. For example of the initial 124 cruise missiles fired into Libya , 122 were American.
In addition Russian officials are saying that taking sides in a sovereign nation’s civil war violates the UN Security Council Resolution of 1973. Others are even saying that the UN initiating a war all on its own is essentially an example of world government.
There is also suspicion about who these rebels in Libya really are, especially after one of their leaders, Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi told the Italian Newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore that he recruited a few dozen men from eastern Libya to fight US forces in Iraq. The Washington Times reports that former Al Qaeda operative Noman Benotman estimates there are over 1,000 Al Qaeda fighters among the Libyan rebels. Even the Wall Street Journal admits that there are “flickers of Al Qaeda” reported by US officials among the rebels.
Despite all this the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has confirmed the UN resolution allows arming the rebels, even while Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the prospect of arming the Libyan rebels “conducive to terrorism”. How can the UN explain that they are fighting Al Qaeda in most of the world but simultaneously supporting them in Libya ? Before these fighters were known as Al Qaeda they were known as the Mujahedin, and in the 1980s they were trained and armed by the US to fight the Russians in Afghanistan . That is important to remember because today suddenly Time Magazine is calling the Libyan rebels “ Libya’s New Mujahedin”.
Besides air cover the rebels seem to be getting help from western special forces, as The MailOnine reports British MI6 agents have been on the ground aiding rebels for at least two months. The NY Times also reports that US CIA agents have been working with the rebels for several weeks.
Radio talk show host Alex Jones thinks these actions by the UN are a disturbing trend… “This sets an incredible precedent where the UN puts out a resolution, within 48 hours or less a new war is launched and the rebels were publically backed, the core of them by British intelligence, SAS, the US CIA, that’s all been admitted… an incredible precedent and a big move towards global government.”
UN leaders are calling this a humanitarian war to help liberate the Libyan people from their dictator, Muammar Gaddafi. Gaddafi is certainly a dictator, but the reports about him massacring his own people are not clear. For example western media was saying that Gaddafi used airstrikes on protesters, but later the Russian government said their satellite images indicate that never happened.
Meanwhile the UN allows the US to do drone (unmanned) airstrikes in Afghanistan , Somalia , and Pakistan causing 2,777 civilian deaths just in Afghanistan in 2010. According to Pakistani government statistics reported by the Dawn newspaper, for every alleged enemy combatant killed by an airstrike, 140 Pakistani civilians have died. UN forces have also confirmed that they are using depleted uranium in the bombs used in Libya , which is a hugely controversial radio active substance previously banned from warfare. The point is that the UN’s humanitarian record is far from perfect and to initiate a “humanitarian war” probably isn’t going win over much public opinion.
Another aspect of this war is Libya , like Iraq , is an oil producing powerhouse that produced 1.6 million barrels per day before the fighting started. In 2009 Gaddafi proposed nationalizing its oil reserves which would allow the Libyan government to take control of the production and prices of the oil away from the big oil cartels. “The solution (for the economy) is for the Libyan people to directly receive oil revenues and decide what to do with them”, Gaddafi said on a national broadcast.
This makes suspicious that as the rebels capture the oil fields, they are pumping and selling the oil, they hope up to 300,000 barrels a day soon, according to rebel representative Ali Tarhoni, reported by ChannleNewsAsia.com.
Making this war even more confusing is as recently as just a year ago Gaddafi was held in high favor by western leaders. Just last year President Obama donated $400,000 dollars to charities run by the Gaddafi family, and the two leaders are pictured shaking hands at 2009’s G8 Summit. Gaddafi’s son on Euronews TV, says he has the details of bank transfers showing that French President Sarkozy’s presidential campaign accepted a yet to be disclosed amount from the Libyan government.
If the Libyan rebels fail then Ban Ki-moon and the UN will have a difficult decision to make. They will have to decide between giving up on ousting Gaddafi or they will have to start what would certainly be an extremely unpopular land invasion.