THE ROVING EYE Why Gaddafi got a red card
By Pepe Escobar
Surveying the Libyan wasteland out of a cozy room crammed with wafer-thin LCDs
in a Pyongyang palace, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's Dear Leader,
Kim Jong-il, must have been stunned as he contemplated Colonel Muammar
"What a fool," the Dear Leader predictably murmurs. No wonder. He knows how The
Big G virtually signed his death sentence that day in 2003 when he accepted the
suggestion of his irrepressibly nasty offspring - all infatuated with Europe -
to dump his weapons of mass destruction program and place the future of the
regime in the hands of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Granted, Saif al-Islam, Mutassim, Khamis and the rest of the
Gaddafi clan still couldn't tell the difference between partying hard in St
Tropez and getting bombed by Mirages and Rafales. But Big G, wherever he is, in
Sirte, in the central desert or in a silent caravan to Algeria, must be cursing
them to eternity.
He thought he was a NATO partner. Now NATO wants to blow his head off. What
kind of partnership is this?
The Sunni monarchical dictator in Bahrain stays; no "humanitarian" bombs over
Manama, no price on his head. The House of Saud club of dictators stays; no
"humanitarian" bombs over Riyadh, Dubai or Doha - no price on their
Western-loving gilded heads. Even the Syrian dictator is getting a break - so
So the question, asked by many an Asia Times Online reader, is inevitable: what
was the crucial red line crossed by Gaddafi that got him a red card?
'Revolution' made in France
There are enough red lines crossed by The Big G - and enough red cards - to
turn this whole computer screen blood red.
Let's start with the basics. The Frogs did it. It's always worth repeating;
this is a French war. The Americans don't even call it a war; it's a "kinetic
action" or something. The "rebel" Transitional National Council" (TNC) is a
And yes - this is above all neo-Napoleonic President Nicolas Sarkozy's war.
He's the George Clooney character in the movie (poor Clooney). Everybody else,
from David of Arabia Cameron to Nobel Peace Prize winner and multiple war
developer Barack Obama, are supporting actors.
As already reported by Asia Times Online, this war started in October 2010 when
Gaddafi's chief of protocol, Nuri Mesmari, defected to Paris, was approached by
French intelligence and for all practical purposes a military coup d'etat was
concocted, involving defectors in Cyrenaica.
Sarko had a bag full of motives to exact revenge on The Big G.
French banks had told him that Gaddafi was about to transfer his billions of
euros to Chinese banks. Thus Gaddafi could not by any means become an example
to other Arab nations or sovereign funds.
French corporations told Sarko that Gaddafi had decided not to buy Rafale
fighters anymore, and not to hire the French to build a nuclear plant; he was
more concerned in investing in social services.
Energy giant Total wanted a much bigger piece of the Libyan energy cake - which
was being largely eaten, on the European side, by Italy's ENI, especially
because Premier Silvio "bunga bunga" Berlusconi, a certified Big G fan, had
clinched a complex deal with Gaddafi.
Thus the military coup was perfected in Paris until December; the first popular
demonstrations in Cyrenaica in February - largely instigated by the plotters -
were hijacked. The self-promoting philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy flew his white
shirt over an open torso to Benghazi to meet the "rebels" and phone Sarkozy,
virtually ordering him to recognize them in early March as legitimate (not that
Sarko needed any encouragement).
The TNC was invented in Paris, but the United Nations also duly gobbled it up
as the "legitimate" government of Libya - just as NATO did not have a UN
mandate to go from a no-fly zone to indiscriminate "humanitarian" bombing,
culminating with the current siege of Sirte.
The French and the British redacted what would become UN Resolution 1973.
Washington merrily joined the party. The US State Department brokered a deal
with the House of Saud through which the Saudis would guarantee an Arab League
vote as a prelude for the UN resolution, and in exchange would be left alone to
repress any pro-democracy protests in the Persian Gulf, as they did, savagely,
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC - then transmuted into Gulf
Counter-Revolution Club) also had tons of reasons to get rid of Gaddafi. The
Saudis would love to accommodate a friendly emirate in northern Africa,
especially by getting rid of the ultra-bad blood between Gaddafi and King
Abdullah. The Emirates wanted a new place to invest and "develop". Qatar, very
cozy with Sarko, wanted to make money - as in handling the new oil sales of the
United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may be very cozy with the
House of Saud or the murderous al-Khalifas in Bahrain. But the State Department
heavily blasted Gaddafi for his "increasingly nationalistic policies in the
energy sector"; and also for "Libyanizing" the economy.
The Big G, a wily player, should have seen the writing on the wall. Since prime
minister Mohammad Mossadegh was deposed essentially by the Central Intelligence
Agency in Iran in 1953, the rule is that you don't antagonize globalized Big
Oil. Not to mention the international financial/banking system - promoting
subversive ideas such as turning your economy to the benefit of your local
If you're pro-your country you are automatically against those who rule -
Western banks, mega-corporations, shady "investors" out to profit from whatever
your country produces.
Gaddafi not only crossed all these red lines but he also tried to sneak out of
the petrodollar; he tried to sell to Africa the idea of a unified currency, the
gold dinar (most African countries supported it); he invested in a multibillion
dollar project - the Great Man-Made River, a network of pipelines pumping fresh
water from the desert to the Mediterranean coast - without genuflecting at the
alter of the World Bank; he invested in social programs in poor, sub-Saharan
countries; he financed the African Bank, thus allowing scores of nations to
bypass, once again, the World Bank and especially the International Monetary
Fund; he financed an African-wide telecom system that bypassed Western
networks; he raised living standards in Libya. The list is endless.
Why didn't I call Pyongyang
And then there's the crucial Pentagon/Africom/NATO military angle. No one in
Africa wanted to host an Africom base; Africom was invented during the George W
Bush administration as a means to coerce and control Africa on the spot, and to
covertly fight China's commercial advances.
So Africom was forced to settle in that most African of places; Stuttgart,
The ink on UN Resolution 1973 was barely settled when Africom, for all
practical purposes, started the bombing of Libya with over 150 Tomahawks -
before command was transferred to NATO. That was Africom's first African war,
and a prelude of thing to come. Setting up a permanent base in Libya will be
practically a done deal - part of a neo-colonial militarization of not only
northern Africa but the whole continent.
NATO's agenda of dominating the whole Mediterranean as a NATO lake is as bold
as Africom's agenda of becoming Africa's Robocop. The only trouble spots were
Libya, Syria and Lebanon - the three countries not NATO members or linked with
NATO via myriad "partnerships".
To understand NATO's global Robocop role - legitimized by the UN - one just has
to pay attention to the horse's mouth, NATO secretary general Anders Fogh
Rasmussen. As Tripoli was still being bombed, he said, "If you're not able to
deploy troops beyond your borders, then you can't exert influence
internationally, and then that gap will be filled by emerging powers that don't
necessarily share your values and thinking."
So there it is, out in the open. NATO is a Western high-tech militia to defend
American and European interests, to isolate the interests of the emerging BRICS
countries and others, and to keep the "natives", be they Africans or Asians,
down. The whole lot much easier to accomplish as the scam is disguised by R2P -
"responsibility to protect", not civilians, but the subsequent plunder.
Against all these odds, no wonder The Big G was bound for a red card, and to be
banned from the game forever.
Only a few hours before The Big G had to start fighting for his life, the Dear
Leader was drinking Russian champagne with President Dmitry Medvedev, talking
about an upcoming Pipelineistan gambit and casually evoking his willingness to
talk about his still active nuclear arsenal.
That sums up why the Dear Leader is going up while The Big G is going down.