ROVING EYE There's no business like war
business By Pepe Escobar
To follow Pepe's articles on the Great
Arab Revolt, please click here.
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.
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
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.
For the moment at
least, it's quite easy to identify the profiteers.
The Pentagon Pentagon
supremo Robert Gates said this weekend, with a
straight face, there are only three repressive
regimes in the whole Middle East: Iran, Syria and
Libya. The Pentagon is taking out the weak link -
Libya. The others were always key features of the
neo-conservative take-out/evil list. Saudi Arabia,
Yemen, Bahrain, etc are model democracies.
As for this "now you see it, now you
don't" war, the Pentagon is managing to fight it
not once, but twice. It started with Africom -
established under the George W Bush
administration, beefed up under Obama, and
rejected by scores of African governments,
scholars and human rights organizations. Now the
war is transitioning to NATO, which is essentially
Pentagon rule over its European minions.
This is Africom's first African war,
conducted up to now by General Carter Ham out of
his headquarters in un-African Stuttgart. Africom,
as Horace Campbell, professor of African American
studies and political science at Syracuse
University puts it, is a scam; "fundamentally a
front for US military contractors like Dyncorp,
MPRI and KBR operating in Africa. US military
planners who benefit from the revolving door of
privatization of warfare are delighted by the
opportunity to give Africom credibility under the
facade of the Libyan intervention."
Africom's Tomahawks also hit -
metaphorically - the African Union (AU), which,
unlike the Arab League, cannot be easily bought by
the West. The Arab Gulf petro-monarchies all
cheered the bombing - but not Egypt and Tunisia.
Only five African countries are not subordinated
to Africom; Libya is one of them, along with
Sudan, Ivory Coast, Eritrea and Zimbabwe.
NATO NATO's master plan
is to rule the Mediterranean as a NATO lake. Under
these "optics" (Pentagon speak) the Mediterranean
is infinitely more important nowadays as a theater
of war than AfPak.
There are only three
out of 20 nations on or in the Mediterranean that
are not full members of NATO or allied with its
"partnership" programs: Libya, Lebanon and Syria.
Make no mistake; Syria is next. Lebanon is already
under a NATO blockade since 2006. Now a blockade
also applies to Libya. The US - via NATO - is just
about to square the circle.
Arabia What a deal. King Abdullah gets
rid of his eternal foe Gaddafi. The House of Saud
- in trademark abject fashion - bends over
backwards for the West's benefit. The attention of
world public opinion is diverted from the Saudis
invading Bahrain to smash a legitimate, peaceful,
pro-democracy protest movement.
of Saud sold the fiction that "the Arab League" as
a whole voted for a no-fly zone. That is a lie;
out of 22 members, only 11 were present at the
vote; six are members of the Gulf Cooperation
Council (GCC), of which Saudi Arabia is the top
dog. The House of Saud just needed to twist the
arms of three more. Syria and Algeria were against
it. Translation; only nine out of 22 Arab
countries voted for the no-fly zone.
Saudi Arabia can even order GCC head Abdulrahman
al-Attiyah to say, with a straight face, "the
Libyan system has lost its legitimacy." As for the
"legitimate" House of Saud and the al-Khalifas in
Bahrain, someone should induct them into the
Humanitarian Hall of Fame.
Qatar The hosts of the
2022 soccer World Cup sure know how to clinch a
deal. Their Mirages are helping to bomb Libya
while Doha gets ready to market eastern Libya oil.
Qatar promptly became the first Arab nation to
recognize the Libyan "rebels" as the only
legitimate government of the country only one day
after securing the oil marketing deal.
The 'rebels' All the
worthy democratic aspirations of the Libyan youth
movement notwithstanding, the most organized
opposition group happens to be the National Front
for the Salvation of Libya - financed for years by
the House of Saud, the CIA and French
intelligence. The rebel "Interim Transitional
National Council" is little else than the good ol'
National Front, plus a few military defectors.
This is the elite of the "innocent civilians" the
"coalition" is "protecting".
Right on cue,
the "Interim Transitional National Council" has
got a new finance minister, US-educated economist
Ali Tarhouni. He disclosed that a bunch of Western
countries gave them credit backed by Libya's
sovereign fund, and the British allowed them to
access $1.1 billion of Gaddafi's funds. This means
the Anglo-French-American consortium - and now
NATO - will only pay for the bombs. As war scams
go this one is priceless; the West uses Libya's
own cash to finance a bunch of opportunists Libyan
rebels to fight the Libyan government. And on top
of it the Americans, the Brits and the French feel
the love for all that bombing. Neo-cons must be
kicking themselves; why couldn't former US deputy
defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz come up with
something like this for Iraq 2003?
The French Oh la la,
this could be material for a Proustian novel. The
top spring collection in Paris catwalks is the
President Nicolas Sarkozy fashion show - a no-fly
zone model with Mirage/Rafale air strike
accessories. This fashion show was masterminded by
Nouri Mesmari, Gaddafi's chief of protocol, who
defected to France in October 2010. The Italian
secret service leaked to selected media outlets
how he did it. The role of the DGSE, the French
secret service, has been more or less explained on
paid website Maghreb Confidential.
Essentially, the Benghazi revolt coq au
vin had been simmering since November 2010.
The cooks were Mesmari, air force colonel Abdullah
Gehani, and the French secret service. Mesmari was
called "Libyan WikiLeak", because he spilled over
virtually every one of Gaddafi's military secrets.
Sarkozy loved it - furious because Gaddafi had
cancelled juicy contracts to buy Rafales (to
replace his Mirages now being bombed) and
French-built nuclear power plants.
explains why Sarkozy has been so gung ho into
posing as the new Arab liberator, was the first
leader of a European power to recognize the
"rebels" (to the disgust of many at the European
Union), and was the first to bomb Gaddafi's
This busts open the role of
shameless self-promoting philosopher Bernard
Henri-Levy, who's now frantically milking in the
world's media that he phoned Sarkozy from Benghazi
and awakened his humanitarian streak. Either Levy
is a patsy, or a convenient "intellectual" cherry
added to the already-prepared bombing cake.
Terminator Sarkozy is unstoppable. He has
just warned every single Arab ruler that they face
Libya-style bombing if they crack down on
protesters. He even said that the Ivory Coast was
"next". Bahrain and Yemen, of course, are exempt.
As for the US, it is once again supporting a
military coup (it didn't work with Omar "Sheikh
al-Torture" Suleiman in Egypt; maybe it will work
oh so convenient bogeyman resurfaces. The
Anglo-French-American consortium - and now NATO -
are (again) fighting alongside al-Qaeda,
represented by al-Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQM).
Libyan rebel leader Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi
- who has fought alongside the Taliban in
Afghanistan - extensively confirmed to Italian
media that he had personally recruited "around 25"
jihadis from the Derna area in eastern Libya to
fight against the US in Iraq; now "they are on the
front lines in Adjabiya".
Chad's president Idriss Deby stressed that AQM had
raided military arsenals in Cyrenaica and may be
now holding quite a few surface-to-air missiles.
In early March, AQM publicly supported the
"rebels". The ghost of Osama bin Laden must be
pulling a Cheshire cat; once again he gets the
Pentagon to work for him.
privatizers Few in the West may know
that Libya - along with Egypt - sits over the
Nubian Sandstone Aquifer; that is, an ocean of
extremely valuable fresh water. So yes, this "now
you see it, now you don't" war is a crucial water
war. Control of the aquifer is priceless - as in
"rescuing" valuable natural resources from the
This Water Pipelineistan -
buried underground deep in the desert along 4,000
km - is the Great Man-Made River Project (GMMRP),
which Gaddafi built for $25 billion without
borrowing a single cent from the IMF or the World
Bank (what a bad example for the developing
world). The GMMRP supplies Tripoli, Benghazi and
the whole Libyan coastline. The amount of water is
estimated by scientists to be the equivalent to
200 years of water flowing down the Nile.
Compare this to the so-called three
sisters - Veolia (formerly Vivendi), Suez Ondeo
(formerly Generale des Eaux) and Saur - the French
companies that control over 40% of the global
water market. All eyes must imperatively focus on
whether these pipelines are bombed. An extremely
possible scenario is that if they are, juicy
"reconstruction" contracts will benefit France.
That will be the final step to privatize all this
- for the moment free - water. From shock doctrine
to water doctrine.
Well, that's only a
short list of profiteers - no one knows who'll get
the oil - and the natural gas - in the end.
Meanwhile, the (bombing) show must go on. There's
no business like war business.