Today British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy were in Tripoli to bask in the glory of a successful campaign to remove the murderous dictator Mummar Qaddafi from power.
For once, they did a good deed in stopping Qaddafi from using his air force, navy and heavy weapons to massacre the people of Benghazi, Misrata and Tripoli and they claim that their actions were motivated only by humanitarian concerns. This is certainly not the case.
The US, UK and EU countries made peace with Qaddafi some time ago and had already brought him fully into the imperialist fold before the uprising. He had joined the IMF, established military-to-military relations with the pentagon and, we now know from documents found in Tripoli since it's liberation, the CIA was even using his torture dungeons for "special renditions."
They were happy to keep paying him for Libya's oil no matter how many people he slaughtered to maintain his dictatorship. That is why they made no substantive moves to stay his murderous suppression of the uprising until it had survived it's first month, gone over to armed struggle, and was starting to show that it had staying power.
Today when Sarkozy said "This was a just cause," he told the truth, but when he said there was "no hidden agenda," he lied.
While they were already getting Libya's oil, due to the current world economic crisis, it was critical for them to maintain that supply, and once civil war was looking like it might be settling in for a very long and bloody fight, it was critical that they act to minimize the disruption to "their" oil supply.
In this regards, the world economic crisis served the Libyan revolution in two ways. First NATO countries, unlike with Iraq, which happened at another time under different economic circumstance, couldn't afford years of sanctions against Qaddafi either before or after a massacre and were forced to support the Thuwwar so as to shorten the war and the disruption of the oil supply. Second, they couldn't afford to use the war to create lucrative rebuilding contracts by devastating Libya's infrastructure like they did in Iraq.
The short story is that the capitalist crisis has so weakened the imperialist powers that their options in dealing with the Libyan situation were somewhat limited. This is why the NTC could cut a deal for air support without also accepting NATO boots on the ground. Some, including the NATO leaders themselves, will argue that they are fresh out of boots anyway, but that hardly undercuts my argument that the Libyan revolutionaries benefited from a weaken NATO.
So while today's speeches were full of flowery words about "democracy" and "freedom", what they really want is at least as much influence over Libya as they had under Qaddafi, if not more.
So when Cameron said:
"Let us be clear: This is not finished, this is not done, this is not over."He no doubt had in mind more than catching Qaddafi and clearing out the remaining pockets of resistance, which the NTC now believes will take another two weeks of siege because their strategy is to avoid bloodshed as much as possible and Qaddafi is holding civilians hostage and using them as human shields in the few areas he still controls.
We are given a clue as to what else NATO may have in mind to complete their mission by a piece that came out in the Christian Science Monitor today:
some US defense analysts warn that it may be difficult to cement any victory in Libya without ground troops.According to Dr. Nora Bensahel, senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security:
Without some sort of troops on the ground, the risks go up that this will not be a quick or easy transition.The Thuwwar have come this far without NATO boots on the ground and the remaining Qaddafi loyalist seem relatively well contained. I'm sure Qaddafi would have loved nothing better than to pop Cameron and Sarkozy in Tripoli so I'm sure they felt it was well secured before their visit.
Civil society is returning to Tripoli at lightening speed and has been up and running in Benghazi for months. Hell, this evening I'm even seeing tweets that say they have already restored water and electricity to the parts Bani Walid they have just liberated and even Qaddafi's birthplace in Sirte has fallen.
Given all this, it would seem to be a strange time to be talking about boots on the ground but not only NATO but now the Russians and the Chinese have been calling for some sort of international "peace keeping force" now that the war has ended. Everybody wants an opportunity to get their spooks on the ground so that they can "influence" Libya's future.
IMHO, Libya's answer should be "thanks, but no thanks," Libya is for the Libyans now and so is their oil.
In a related story, documents captured in Tripoli and revealed yesterday, show just how close NATO was to Qaddafi before the uprising began. Britain was posed to upgrade the T-72 tanks of the feared and hated Khamis Brigade just before the Libya uprising started according to Public Service Europe:
Documents captured in Tripoli show just how close Britain came to enhancing the capabilities of Gaddafi's elite forcesNote that the company doing the upgrade, General Dynamics, is one of the biggest defense contractors in the US, but this deal was done by it's UK subsidiarity to skirt the US prohibition on selling weapons to Qaddafi.
Just days before the Libyan revolution commenced, General Dynamics UK - a subsidiary of General Dynamics US - was poised to commence with an £85m contract to upgrade Colonel Gaddafi's military. This deal was signed three years ago with the then Labour Government's blessing. After former Prime Minister Tony Blair brought Gaddafi back in from the cold, British defence manufacturers were given free rein to offer Libya their products.
In total, Blair helped secure some £350m worth of defence contracts. As well as the General Dynamics UK agreement, this also included an MBDA deal for £147million - for the supply of anti-tank missiles and £112m for a communications system. Other deals for air-to-air missiles and patrol vessels worth a further £600m never came to fruition. General Dynamics UK supplies the Bowman tactical communications and data system to the British Army, and has exported it to the Netherlands and Romania.
Documents unearthed in the barracks of Gaddafi's elite Khamis Brigade show that the Libyans were preparing to have 22 vehicles, including T-72 tanks and other armoured vehicles upgraded with new communications equipment on the eve of the uprising.
It is quite likely that the tanks to be upgrade were among those used against Libyan civilians and subsequently destroyed by NATO air strikes.
Since it is unlikely that NATO countries were upgrading Qaddafi's tanks so that he could use them against Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, and certainly not Israel, it would seem that they should have foreseen that they most likely would be used against the Libyan people. Especially since he had done it before.
ATTENTION CYNTHIA MCKINNEY: Did you know that your "Brother Qaddafi" was friends with, and financially supported a white supremacist group in Canada?