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Commentary :: War and Militarism
Imperial Plans for Libya Post-Gaddafi
11 Aug 2011
anti-war
Imperial Plans for Libya Post-Gaddafi - by Stephen Lendman

A previous article suggested NATO's Libya war is unraveling, having misjudged the commitment of Libyans to resist, fight back, and support Gaddafi. Access it through the following link:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/08/natos-libya-war-unraveling.html

Nonetheless, daily bombings continue intensively, averaging 51 daily strike sorties in the last week alone, targeting Tripoli and other Gaddafi controlled areas mercilessly.

Despite clear evidence of war crimes, NATO claims civilians and civilian targets aren't struck. In fact, they're targeted deliberately and repeatedly, killing hundreds and injuring many more as part of a campaign to cow targeted populations into submission.

In the last 48 hours, Tripoli power facilities were bombed, knocking it out to parts of the city. Earlier, Libya's Great Man-Made River system and a factory producing pipe for it were struck to reduce fresh water supplies. A food warehouse was destroyed to decrease available amounts.

Three ground-based satellites were disabled, killing three employees and injuring another 15. Hospitals and medical clinics are targeted so less healthcare can be provided, and oil facilities are bombed, reducing available stockpiles. Numerous other civilian targets are also struck repeatedly, including infrastructure and residential neighbors unrelated to military necessity.

As stated above, it's part of NATO's terror bombing campaign to cow Libyans. So far, they've become more embolden, knowing the unacceptable alternative.

On August 8, AFP reported at least 85 civilians killed in Majer village near Zlitan in western Libya. Government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim called it "a crime beyond imagination," saying the dead included 32 women, 32 children, and 20 men from 12 families, massacred in cold blood.

NATO spokesman Col. Roland Lavoie called the farmhouses bombed (with civilian families, not belligerents) "legitimate target(s)."

He lied, saying "very clear intelligence demonstrat(ed) that 'former' farm buildings were being used as a staging point for (pro-Gaddafi) forces to conduct attacks against the people of Libya. We do not have evidence of civilian casualties at this stage...."

Reporting from Tripoli, independent journalist/activist Lizzie Phelan commented on how Libyans reacted to the massacre, saying:

"I watched their heartbroken and incensed loved ones bury the 33 children, 32 women, and 20 men NATO (called) 'mercenaries.' Most (people in) Zlitan....turned out for their burial, chanting furiously against NATO."

"Person after person came to tell us how NATO was creating a generation of Libyans so filled with rage that they would see no recourse but to send themselves to martyrdom in revenge against the west."

Farmhouses bombed were "some distance apart from one another." They'd "been hosting scores of refugees from....Misrata, who fled from the horrifying (rebel) atrocities," what NATO and western media never report.

In fact, many of those massacred came to help after bombing began. Follow-up attacks slaughtered them, unconscionable war crimes, including by pilots carrying out illegal orders.

"At the funeral, survivors said "they would sacrifice their lives for their leader Muammar Gaddafi." Grief stricken children chanted, "The blood of our martyrs will not be forgotten."

The attack followed a decision by National Transitional Council (NTC) head Mustafa Abdul Jalil to sack his entire executive committee, a sign of further disarray besides the assassination of rebel commander Adbul Fatah Younis and two of his aides last month, allegedly for holding talks with Gaddafi officials. If true, he wanted reconciliation to end the conflict.

For Washington, its NATO partners, and TNC puppets, however, peace and reconciliation aren't options. As a result, Libyans can expect more attacks and/or destabilization to inflict relentless pain and suffering, even if fighting winds down to stalemate and Washington accepts a face-saving solution.

It may be no more than an unacceptable "Kosovo Model," a fifth column resolution, giving anti-Gaddafi extremists a foothold to parlay toward total control.

Post-Gaddafi Planning

On July 25, the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) convened a conference, hosting 50 government, diplomatic, and other experts to assess the Libya war and way forward. It concluded the following:

(1) No military solution is possible because rebels can't take Tripoli or other strategic Gaddafi-controlled areas. Moreover, Libya's military adjusted "to its degraded condition, and defections slowed to a trickle. While time is not on Gaddafi's side, neither" does it favor rebels.

(2) "Even so, the post-Gaddafi era" already began. Washington and its NATO partners should adapt to it that way.

(3) Giving too much money to TNC officials is as bad as too little.

(4) Washington shouldn't "become wedded to the TNC," but should flexibly "accept a wide variety of outcomes. TNC officials perhaps are "fragment(ed) and out-of-touch with conditions on the ground."

(5) The UN has some legitimacy in Libya. Gaddafi only fears Washington. A possible new Security Council resolution will be needed for Libyan reconstruction that will be considerable with parts of the country turned to rubble, mostly non-military sites.

On August 9, the Australian posted a London Times Tom Coghlan article headlined, " Iraq haunts plans for post-Gaddafi Libya," saying:

Washington, its NATO partners and TNC officials "prepare(d) a (70 page) blueprint for a post-Gaddafi Libya (that) charts the first months after" he falls, believing it's a fait accompli. In fact, it may be more imperial arrogance, similar to Iraq and Afghanistan, besides America's humiliating defeat in Vietnam and Korea stalemate.

Claiming the document draws from lessons learned, it relies on Gaddafi defections after he's ousted or killed. Whether rebel fighters will accept them is uncertain, given disparate elements in their ranks.

A United Arab Emirates-supported "10,000 - 15,000 strong 'Tripoli task force' " is planned to control Tripoli, "secure key sites and arrest high-level Gaddafi" loyalists.

Whether true or not, it claims 800 government security officials are already covertly recruited, ready "to form the 'backbone' of a new security apparatus." Another 5,000 non-ideologically committed Gaddafi loyalists will become part of the interim government's forces "to prevent a security vacuum."

In addition, it claims rebels in and around Tripoli have 8,660 supporters, including 3,255 in Gaddafi's army. Moreover, mass high-ranking official defections are "considered highly likely, with 70 per cent of them (supporting) the regime out of fear alone."

Again, these unverified claims may be more propaganda than factual. Leaking to the Times, in fact, may be to entice defections. In other words, if Gaddafi loyalists believe others are deserting, and the regime appears near collapse, they may not wish to feel like rats on a sinking ship so will come over to avoid going down.

Notably, TNC planner Aref Ali Nayed expressed regret about the leak, but said:

"It is important that (Libyans know) there is an advance plan, and it is now a much more advanced plan."

Perhaps so or maybe it's propaganda intimidation to discourage resistance and encourage giving up on Gaddafi to end bombings and fighting on the ground. Why continue if defeat is imminent, but is it?

Evidence shows Libyans are winning. Rebels are in disarray, and though NATO bombing inflicted extensive numbers of deaths, injuries and destruction, popular support for Gaddafi is strong. Moreover, Libyans remain emboldened to resist, steadfastly unwilling to have their country colonized and plundered.

Nonetheless, other document details include:

-- securing key security, telecommunications, power, transportation infrastructure, and other important sites;

-- deploying Nafusa Mountain and Zentan fighters, not rebels, in Tripoli;

-- having mostly Tripoli residents serve as interim security forces in Gaddafi loyalist areas;

-- providing an emergency one-month $550 million to supply gas and oil to western Libya after Gaddafi falls;

-- having the UN provide humanitarian aid, supported by the UAE, Qatar and Turkey;

-- "a pre-recorded program of announcements by rebel leaders and clerics would initiate the Tripoli task force plan, call for calm and warn against revenge attacks on regime supporters;" an out-of-country FM radio station was set up for this purpose;

-- if Gaddafi is killed, negotiating with his sons, called "regime captains;" and

-- "multiple rebel groups" will be avoided, as well as having a "clear plan to deal with a hostile fifth column."

A Final Comment

Despite intensive bombing since mid-March, Gaddafi remains firmly in control, enjoying overwhelming support with good reason. The alternative is too grim to accept.

As a result, whether the above document is factual, wishful thinking, or propaganda, imperial Washington is a long way from prevailing.

Nonetheless, make no mistake. Libya is Obama's war. At the same time, America hasn't won one since WW II. Hopefully Libyans will keep that record intact and retain their sovereignty, free from intolerable imperial dominance.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen (at) sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.
See also:
http://sjlendman.blogspot.com

This work is in the public domain
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