Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Reasons behind the West’s attack on Libya

(Thanks to I. for drawing my attention to this excellent article! VS)

Colonel Muammar Qaddafi is an easy figure to hate. Given his eccentric behaviour, he is the butt of many jokes that are easily conflated into hate against the man and his policies. Qaddafi need not be our favourite tyrant but the West’s attack on his regime as well as the country’s infrastructure is not motivated by the desire to rescue the Libyan people. The West has ulterior motives for attacking Qaddafi and trying to dislodge him from power in Libya where he has held sway since July 1969. Qaddafi came to power in a bloodless military coup against King Idriss, the Anglo-Italian puppet in power at the time. He had also leased the Wheeler Military Base, the largest in Africa, to the Americans. Upon assuming power, Qaddafi promptly sent them packing. The Americans, the British and the Italians have not forgiven him for such insolence even if periodically, they appear to have toned down their rhetoric against the mercurial colonel for their own vested interests.

Let us first dispense with the West’s claims that its operations are intended to help the people of Libya. The March 17 UN Security Council resolution (No. 1973) was rushed through on the spurious pretext to enforce a no-fly zone because it was alleged that Qaddafi’s forces were using planes and helicopters to attack the rebels. Interestingly, the rebels are fully armed, sometimes more heavily than Libya’s regular army. The West’s campaign, however, has far exceeded the original “no-fly zone” mandate. Both Russia and South Africa have criticised this expansion under which Western planes and helicopters are attacking Libya’s infrastructure and bombing civilian targets. It has essentially become a full-scale war on Libya and its people despite US President Barack Obama’s sophistry that the US is not involved in “hostilities.” Even the US Congress does not buy this argument. Many American legal experts have also questioned Obama’s claim but for US power brokers, legality has never been a constraint in their quest for domination and plunder of other people’s resources.

Repeatedly, civilian targets have been hit, the most recent of which was the missile strike on a residential compound west of Tripoli on June 19 in which 15 civilians including three children were killed. This was the second attack in as many days when NATO missile strikes killed civilians. NATO officials alleged the compound belonged to Khoweidi al-Hamidi, a close associate of Qaddafi, as if that justified the attack. “The facility which was struck was identified as a command and control node through rigorous analysis based on persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance carried out over a prolonged period of time,” NATO said in a statement on the night of June 21. Libyan officials described al-Hamidi as a “private citizen,” rejecting NATO assertions about his association with Qaddafi. Even if the assertion is true, does that justify killing civilians?

“Children do not live in military compounds,” Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim told journalists standing near smouldering debris at the walled compound in Surman, 40 miles west of Tripoli, “Families don’t live in military compounds.” An Associated Press reporter who visited a nearby hospital morgue where the bodies were taken described seeing between eight and 10 corpses, including those of two children. The reporter also saw the remains of a residential house in the bombed-out ruins. Al-Hamidi escaped unharmed, but his wife and two grandchildren were among the dead, Ibrahim said. Al-Hamidi, one of Libya’s wealthiest citizens, took part in the coup that brought Qaddafi to power in 1969. His daughter is married to one of Qaddafi’s sons but none of this can be used as justification to bomb civilian targets. At the end of April, a NATO missile strike had destroyed Qaddafi’s home in which his son and three grandchildren were killed.

There was no shortage of Western journalists trying to justify the West’s crimes. Typical of these was Rosie DiManno, a rightwing pro-Zionist, Muslim-hating reporter for the Toronto daily, the Toronto Star. She wrote on June 21: “Dead babies quicken the blood for a moribund regime, pumping oxygen back into the decaying body politic. NATO has just handed Moammar Gadhafi (sic) a lifeline. What remains to be seen is whether the alliance’s member nations — some of which were already intractably opposed to military intervention in Libya — will be pulled further apart by escalating doubts over the mission’s self-imposed objective: Gadhafi’s total capitulation and exit.” She described civilian deaths as “collateral damage” — a sanitized euphemism for mass murder — and lamented the weak-kneed attitude of some NATO members suffering from self-doubt. “Collateral damage,” Ms. DiManno assures her readers “is an unfortunate fact of aerial attacks.” It is a fact, nonetheless and they had better get over it, she was saying. After all, Arab and Muslim lives have little value. As a committed Zionist, Ms. DiManno has created a hierarchy of human life in which Muslims and Arabs are at the bottom of the pole.

We need to consider why Qaddafi has been targeted by the West and not Hamad ibn Isa al-Khalifah of Bahrain or Abdullah ibn Saleh of Yemen — the latter badly injured in a missile strike on June 3 and currently recuperating in a Riyadh hospital. The despots of Yemen and Bahrain are just as oppressive and have killed proportionately as many people as the mercurial colonel of Libya. Khalifah and Saleh are Western puppets and serve its interests. Qaddafi, on the other hand, is viewed not only as a soft target but one who has been challenging Western political and economic hegemony in the region.

In addition to Libya’s much coveted sweet crude, albeit comprising a mere 2% of Western needs, Qaddafi’s real “crimes” are to be found elsewhere. He wanted to free African countries from the shackles of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and greedy Western multinational corporations. He attempted to free Africa from paying exorbitant fees — $500 million a year — to use European communications satellites for telephone, TV and radio service. Unable to raise the money themselves, Qaddafi put up $300 million of the $400 million needed to help the African countries. Further, the $30 billion belonging to the Libyan State Bank that the US froze, according to African writer Jean-Paul Pougala were “...earmarked as the Libyan contribution to three key projects which would add the finishing touches to the African federation — the African Investment Bank in Syrte, Libya, the establishment in 2011 of the African Monetary Fund to be based in Yaounde with a US$42 billion capital fund, and the Abuja-based African Central Bank in Nigeria.” The African Monetary Fund is expected to completely eliminate the pernicious influence of the IMF and its enforced privatization agenda.

The Libyans are unlikely to see a penny of the frozen $30 billion. Remember the $40 billion of Iranian assets the US frozen in 1980? Even after the Algiers Accord was signed in January 1981 under which the US was to return this money, it has not done so, advancing endless excuses. The original $40 billion would be nearly $500 billion in today’s terms. The West is ruled by highway robbers; plundering others’ resources is their favourite pastime.

Qaddafi’s challenge to IMF control of Africa also has precedence in what happened in July 1991 to the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). Six years earlier, its founder, Agha Hasan Abedi, had personally delivered $30 million to Zimbabwe to prevent defaulting on loans to the IMF. So livid was the West with Abedi’s behaviour that BCCI was charged with spurious allegations of money laundering of drug money. Its worldwide operations were shut down. At the time of closure, it had assets worth $20 billion, making it the seventh largest bank in the world. Two things led to its undoing: its rapid growth rate and success, and Abedi’s decision to bail out Zimbabwe. The West wanted to grab Zimbabwe’s assets, a quest they have not succeeded in achieving so far and Robert Mugabe continues to thumb his nose at the gnomes of the Western financial industry but BCCI is now history.

Qaddafi’s other sin was that he floated the idea of a gold dinar as an alternate currency to the dollar and the euro. He had secured approval of most African as well as some Middle Eastern countries. Again, this was not something that the West would easily allow. One of the reasons for Saddam Husain’s hanging was also that he wanted payment for oil in euros. The Americans wanted to make him an example to others even though the euro belongs to America’s European cousins. Qaddafi’s gold dinar project would have put an end to the monopoly of both the dollar and euro. Given the two currencies’ uncertain plight at present, particularly the dollar, it is not surprising Western rulers would not allow an upstart from the backwaters of North Africa to challenge their financial hegemony.

There is a third aspect as well. Like a number of other countries (Iran, Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Somalia) Libya, too, is not a member of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS). Established in 1930 in Switzerland, BIS serves as an international clearing house for all international transactions. Central Banks of countries registered with the BIS have all their transactions processed through BIS. Considering that trillions of dollars are transacted on a daily basis worldwide, it gives the BIS enormous clout and control, not to mention a tidy profit on such transactions all of which goes into the pockets of Western bankers (extortionists). As Eric Encina noted in Market Oracle: “One major problem for globalist banking cartels is that in order to do business with Libya, they must go through the Libyan Central Bank and its national currency, a place where they have absolutely zero domination and or power-broking [sic] ability. Hence, taking down the Central Bank of Libya may not appear in the speeches of Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy but this is certainly at the top of the globalist agenda for absorbing Libya into its hive of compliant nations.”

Qaddafi may be a dictator but he is no worse than the likes of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia or the now-deposed Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak or a host of others in the region. So why has the West picked on him? His real “sins” are to be found in his attempts to break loose from the global financial and political nexus headquartered in New York, London, Geneva, and Tel Aviv. This the West would not allow because it would undermine their exploitative policies and domination of the global financial markets, especially in resource-rich regions like Africa and the Muslim East.

There is more to Libya than meets the eye, and it certainly has nothing to do with the West’s contrived concern for the well-being of the Libyan people. They are merely pawns in a much larger global game.