ROVING EYE AfPak comes to
Africa By Pepe Escobar
To follow Pepe's articles on the Great
Arab Revolt, please click here.
Be it liberal hawk or neo-conservative
interventionism, one's got to love the proficient
American way of techno war. Just as quite a few
insider circles in Washington - and London - had
been making a lot of noise for ramping up Western
interventionism in Libya, the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization (NATO) this Monday hit Muammar
Gaddafi's Bab al-Azizya compound in Tripoli for
the second time in five weeks.
insists it was not targeting the colonel - but a
"communications center" inside the compound.
Right; as if United Nations Security Council
resolution 1973 authorized bombing
Gaddafi's compound as a means
of "protecting civilians".
activity" took place after former US secretary of
state Henry Kissinger had been hammering his
endgame for Libya on at least three different
occasions; at George Washington University's
Elliot School of International Affairs; at an
Aspen Institute session on "Values and Diplomacy",
also in Washington; and at the Bretton Woods II
conference in New Hampshire.
plan: invade Libya and keep this thing going until
at least the spring of 2012. The (wacky) agenda;
keep MENA (Middle East/Northern Africa) in total
disarray as a diversionist tactic/pretext for
Washington to attack Iran on behalf of Israel - to
the benefit of the military-industrial complex.
Maybe prospective US presidential candidate Field
Marshall von Trump - aka the Donald - should
command the invasion.
Gaddafi is the
perfect villain for this Anglo-French-American
farce unworthy of French playwright Georges
Feydeau. For all his dictatorial megalomania,
Gaddafi is a committed pan-African - a fierce
defender of African unity. Libya was not in debt
to international bankers. It did not borrow cash
from the International Monetary Fund for any
"structural adjustment". It used oil money for
social services - including the Great Man Made
River project, and investment/aid to sub-Saharan
countries. Its independent central bank was not
manipulated by the Western financial system. All
in all a very bad example for the developing
Breaking up Libya would be just the
hors d'oeuvres for breaking up other parts of
Africa where China has sizable investments. Yes,
because if Western boots hit the ground in
northern Africa, the "footprint" will reach the
Sahel - which is already in turbulence; Mali and
Niger are receiving weapons from the "rebels" in
Libya that are ending up in the hands of al-Qaeda
in the Maghreb (AQIM). The powers that be in
Algeria and Morocco - where pro-democracy protests
continue non-stop - are already freaking out.
All these variables should be kept on
close watch. For the moment, this spring's
humanitarian blockbuster has got to be The Drones
of Libya - another Pentagon/White House/State
Department co-production straight out of
Hollywood, sorry, Creech Air Force Base in Nevada.
Bring on the humanitarian
drones Why haven't they thought about this
before; an army of drones (only five for the
moment, based in southern Italy) instead of boots
on the ground. Pentagon chief Robert Gates
actually claimed the drones will strike Libya for
"humanitarian reasons" (any hint of irony was as
invisible as a drone camera). Gates had already
misled the US Congress a few weeks ago, saying
that the US role in Libya would end once NATO was
So now it's time to crank-up
that X-Box; time for the "cubicle warriors" to
raise hell by dragging a mouse. Here's American
techno war at its best; bring on the kids who grew
up playing video games to fight - virtually - in
the desert; the system's controls after all are
modeled after video games.
Here are some
things the Hellfire missiles will be up against in
Libya. A gross domestic product per capita of
US$14,192; unemployment benefits of around $730 a
month; nurses being paid $1,000 a month; no major
taxes; free education and medicine; interest-free
loans for buying a car and an apartment. Quite a
few unemployed Americans wouldn't mind a one-way
ticket to Tripoli.
The attack of the
drones is on so Washington may pretend it's not by
any means expanding its "kinetic military action"
- which is not a war. Kissinger was right on at
least one count after all: President Barack Obama
has made a bet on this air war to run through 2012
and feed on his re-election.
that pesky "collateral damage" issue (Who cares?
Drones can fly 24 hours straight and provide, in
Pentagon newspeak, "extended persistence").
Gaddafi's military has already morphed into
civilians and are melting away Mao Zedong and Ho
Chi Minh-style. Obama's Vietnam looms - what with
Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff, saying this is "certainly moving toward
Stalemate (and "collateral
damage") as in AfPak; at least 25 people were
killed by a Predator in Mir Ali, 35 kilometers
east of Miranshah, in the North Waziristan tribal
area - just as the arrival of the drones was
hailed by the Libyan "rebels". Enterprising
Gaddafi-related forces - and tribals - anyway are
already busy working on their Pakistani-inspired
shoot-a-Predator techniques, as in groups of four
people placed apart using rocket-propelled
What a pity Northrop Grumman
still cannot deploy its mighty X-47B - a lean,
mean killer drone which was launched last February
with its own Blue Oyster Cult-ish music video (see
). The killer will only be available in 2013 -
after War-o-Bama gets re-elected.
Meanwhile, a clean video game war will run
with a few "morally acceptable" accidents (as in
"collateral damage"). And here operation Odyssey
Dawn comes back full circle. The US is back where
it feels most comfortable - not playing Ulysses in
the Mediterranean, but playing Zeus from above,
with Predators instead of thunderbolts.
super fresh, old-school, throw down, futuristic
dance contest remix of Fatboy Slim's Weapon of
Choice would now be in order. Featuring,
instead of Christopher Walken, a Pixar-designed
dancing drone. And as master of ceremonies, Field
Marshall von Trump, finally free to invade and
take the oil. Didn't work in Iraq. Might as well
work in Libya.