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    Middle East
     Apr 20, 2011


THE ROVING EYE
Mission regime change
By Pepe Escobar

To follow Pepe's articles on the Great Arab Revolt, please click here.

How to turn a ''kinetic military action'' - which is not a war - into some sort of endgame, by bending a United Nations resolution that was allegedly passed to minimize a humanitarian threat? You write a lame op-ed. Just ask The Three Amigos - US President Barack Obama, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and neo-Napoleonic French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

In a joint article published last Friday, The Three Amigos insisted they don't want to remove Libya's Muammar Gaddafi by force. But they also insist bringing democracy by bombing will continue

 
(allegedly to protect democracy-seeking civilians). And continue they will because Gaddafi must ''go and go for good''.

So much for the original UN mandate. So much for a real ceasefire. The ''enlightened'' West and its coalition of the semi-willing does not do ceasefires, although the BRICS nations - top emerging powers Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - have officially condemned the bombing and called for a much-needed reform of the UN Security council.

Russian president Dmitry Medvedev accused the minuscule coalition of the semi-willing and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) of being the weaponized arm of the ''rebels''. In his words, ''the UN forces should help disengage the parties, and in any case should not assist any of the parties.''

As far as Washington, London and Paris go, that's irrelevant. So now it's official. The bombing goes until Gaddafi is removed. Welcome to Mission Regime Change.

History repeats itself
It's no surprise UN resolution 1973 reveals itself to be a farce - as much as the manufactured Libyan ''revolution'', which has essentially orchestrated by French intelligence, British MI6 and the US Central Intelligence Agency since Gaddafi's former chief of protocol, Nuri Mesmari, defected to Paris in October 2010.

Dodgy exiles abound - from the British-supported network of Prince Mohammed el-Senoussi, currently exiled in London, to Khalifa Hilter, a CIA asset until recently exiled near Langley, Virginia and self-appointed ''military commander'' of the ''rebels''.

The ''rebels'' now expect that the no-fly zone ramblingly implemented by NATO will translate - farcically - into a weapons supply channel; a 21st-century rerun of the arming of the mujahideen in Afghanistan during the 1980s, with Britain, France and Qatar playing the former starring roles of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the US.

And there will be (Western) boots on the ground - sooner rather than later, as the narrative is already being spun across Atlanticist corporate media.

Next glorious chapter: a column of glorious M1 Abrams tanks taking Tripoli in chivalric mood, with the rag-tag ''revolutionaries'' showered with flowers (''If you're going / to Tripolitania / be sure to wear / some flowers in your hair''). It didn't work in Baghdad in 2003 under neo-conservative patronage; it might as well work in Tripoli under humanitarian imperialism.

With the ''rebels'' under this Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds-style spell, no wonder the African Union (AU) mission trying to establish a ceasefire floundered. What these rebels with a cause don't know is that their masters' cause prevails. They are rebels as much expendable as were the Nicaragua contras and the Afghan mujahideen.

Take me to Somalia
No wonder the apocalyptic theme of the moment is ''Somalia''. On March 2, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that Libya might become ''a giant Somalia". On March 30, former foreign minister and now prized defector Moussa Koussa said he feared civil war, under which ''Libya would be a new Somalia".

The Africom, then NATO, ''humanitarian intervention'' is actually creating the conditions of a Somalia. The wall of mistrust between the Gaddafi regime and the ''rebels'' is insurmountable, bound to degenerate into a Somalia.

Gaddafi's repression of what was essentially a military coup morphed into an armed rebellion has been of course brutal. But that never warranted a definition of genocide - or was enough to justify R2P (''responsibility to protect''). By the same standard, the UN would have to vote for a NATO-enforced no fly zone if China threatened to repress an insurrection in Tibet.

And frankly, R2P enforced by bombing is a cruel, tragic joke. Even more when compared with the UN's - and NATO's - non-reaction to a real massacre, the 1991 hardcore repression by Saddam Hussein of mass rebellions in both northern and southern Iraq, when over 200,000 people were actually killed, not arguably a few thousand as in Libya.

In Iraq in 1991, Washington had vociferously incited the Shi'ites to rebel against Saddam - just as the CIA today helps the Libyan ''rebels'' against Gaddafi. Yet when push came to shove, Washington did absolutely nothing. And to top it off, a no-fly zone was in effect (the Americans lifted it so Saddam's gunships could massacre Shi'ites in peace). Farce, farce, utmost farce.

The Pentagon agenda
As far as the Pentagon is concerned, Gaddafi is a serious nuisance. He's blocking the ''progress'' of Africom; he's in charge of a strategic stretch of the Mediterranean; and he's made deals with China. As a nationalist with a pan-African streak, allowing China access to the Mediterranean, he's the ultimate scourge of Africom's agenda of militarizing Africa for American benefit. So he has to be at least isolated.

But the fall of Gaddafi is not a priority. The Pentagon would rather deal - or not deal - with a cornered Gaddafi in an impoverished Tripolitania than face a powerful, unified Libya that in the future might stand up again against Western imperialist designs. The Pentagon ''votes'' for balkanization.

For the moment, the Pentagon - via Africom and NATO - is just taking care of the Big Picture in the air and in the seas, while subcontracting possible ground operations to European minions. Things are going great - as in the partition of Sudan and the possible Somalia scenario in Libya. When the boots hit the ground they will be provided by the European minions; see the French example in the Ivory Coast.

What comes ahead may be even messier. NATO as a weaponized arm of the UN is already a fact on the ground. If NATO gets rid of Gaddafi, the next target is Syria. As much as Libya allows Chinese trade access to the southern Mediterranean, Syria allows the Russian Navy access to the eastern Mediterranean.

The Pentagon / NATO / Africom agenda is and will always remain the same. To prevent real emancipation of the Arab world. To prevent real emancipation and unity of Africa. For all his serious flaws as a ruler, Gaddafi was a bad example. With the ghastly IMF blackmailing poor African countries, Gaddafi instead financed African development projects.

This is not only about Libya - far from it. This is the message of the ruling elites in Washington - and their satrapies in London and Paris - for Africa. We're going flat out for the military subjugation of Africa, and for the control of Africa's natural resources. Keep doing deals with China, and this is what you get. With NATO as global Robocop, nothing can stop us - with or without regime change, but always under the cover of farce.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com.

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Fatal Tomahawk attraction (Apr 14, '11)
Libya: Ceasefire or bust (Apr 13, '11)

 

 
 



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