Saving Libyans By Killing Libyans

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As The Washington Post put it, the US has has "been drawn deeper into the chaotic fight in Libya.”

[Global: Libya]

Monday evening President Barack Obama made his justification and defense for military intrusion into Libya in an address to the nation, saying the action that he directed was in the US interests and had already gone well in avoiding an annihilation and mass execution of “horrific scale.”

The president tried to make a case for US imperialism’s right to carry out military aggression anywhere in the world where it sees “interests and values” affecting political and economic concerns.

He did not explain to the American people how and why he had arrogated to himself the right to launch a war without first giving explanation and elucidation to its causes and aims, much less looking for votes of sanctions from the US Congress.

President Obama put forward narratives of the events that were to lead up to the Libyan intervention that was patently false.
His opening salvo: “For more than four decades the Libyan people have been ruled by a tyrant—Muammar Gaddafi.”

Finally, by President Obama's estimation, the Libyan people "took to the streets to claim their basic rights" but Gaddafi began "attacking his own people.” Therefore, Gaddafi had lost “the legitimacy to lead.”

In the face of a forthcoming carnage and slaughter in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, Obama continued, he felt compelled to authorize military force because “It was not in our national interest to let that happen.”

This blotchy history should be reviewed. Successive US Administrations in recent years instituted ever closer—and more
profitable and money-spinning—relations with the Libyan so-called “tyrant.”

In the wake of September 11th, 2001 attacks, Gaddafi's secret service became one of the most important regional allies of the American CIA in the so-called “global war against terrorism.” During George W. Bush's administration, his national security advisor, Condoleezza Rice, flew to Tripoli to further fortify and prop up the US-Libyan bond and partnership.

Under President Obama the relation had become even more amiable. Back in April 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomed Gaddafi's son—and national security minister—to the State Department, proclaiming the administration’s desire to "deepen and broaden our cooperation" and to "build on this relationship.”

Wasn't that part of the four decades the president attacked? In February, another one of Gaddafi’s sons, Khamis, spent at least four weeks in the US on tour which was overseen by the State Department to view US military installations.

Khamis was forced to cancel a planned visit to the West point military academy at the last minute in order to return to Libya to fight the so-called “rebels.” Presumably, American “values” was placed on hold during the decade in which Secretary Clinton and the previous administration focused on finding favor—and making oil deals—with Gaddafi.

The violence that erupted in Libya was not merely a matter of peaceful Libyan citizens taking to the streets for democracy
as their counter parts did in Tunisia and Egypt. We have all seen the armed insurrectionists, even carrying multiple rocket launchers on trucks.

The country is fractured along regional and tribal lines, with Western powers and intelligence agencies stoking an insurgency that developed along the lines of a civil war. President Obama's claim that the Libyan government was on the brink of beginning a bloodbath of near genocidal magnitude in the city of Benghazi is presented as fact. Yet there is no evidence that killings on any similar scale took place in other cities that had fallen to the rebels but were retaken by forces loyal to Gaddafi.

The US Air Force along with a smaller numbers of warplanes supplied by Washington’s NATO’s allies has operated as the air force of the rebels, wiping out from the air troops loyal to the government in Tripoli--clearing the way for the US-backed forces on the ground.

So President Obama presented an outright fictitious and bogus justification for this action. He went on to suggest that the US role was largely over, with his administration acting to “transfer responsibilities to our allies and partners,” in a word NATO.

The president offered the Libyan intervention as something other than a US war. Even the staging of the his address—held at the National Defense University before an attentive listening audience a of military officers, rather than in the White House Oval Office, and scheduled early so as not to interpose and disturb prime time television—was meant to suggest that this was not something equivalent or similar to the US war in Iraq or Afghanistan.

By placing US military operations in Libya under formal NATO command no more removes Washington from playing a key and critical role than the formal command of NATO in Afghanistan would make the war there any less of an US operation. NATO is dominated by the US military, which will continue to play the decisive role in the attacks on Libya. The US pays the largest chunk of NATO's bills.

The Obama administration talked about the winding down of US military operations. Yet The Washington Post reported that
the Pentagon then deployed AC-130 and A-10 attack planes. These are aerial gunships, which are used to massacre ground troops with heavy machine gun and cannons. As The Washington Post put it, the US has has "been drawn deeper into the chaotic fight in Libya.”

The president conveniently conceded that while the US might act “wherever repression occurs" the US "must always measures our interests against the need for action.”

This might explain why President Obama sees no need to intervene against the atrocious attacks by the despotic kingdom of
Bahrain where a true unarmed uprising is being crushed.

The same hands off approach applies to US relations with Yemeni despot, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has given the CIA and US Special Forces permission to hunt down and kill supposed Islamist activists in Yemen.

Deputy National Security advisor Denis McDonough was more honest. “I think it’s very important that we see each of these instances in the region as unique. We don’t get very hung up on the question of precedent," he said, "because we don’t make decisions about questions like intervention based on consistency or precedent. We make them based on how we can best advance our interests in the region.”

Finally--there you go: the truth. So When President Obama talks about “American values” and “principles of justice and
human dignity,” don’t hold your breath.

It's always about US interests.

"Speaking Truth To Empower."


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