In a distinct echo of the tactics they pursued to encourage U.S.
intervention in the Balkans and Iraq, a familiar clutch of neoconservatives
appealed Friday for the United States and NATO to "immediately" prepare
military action to help bring down the regime of Libyan leader Muammar
Gadhafi and end the violence that is believed to have killed well over a
thousand people in the past week.
The appeal, which came in the form of a letter signed by 40
policy analysts, including more than a dozen former senior officials who
served under President George W. Bush, was organized and released by the
Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), a two-year-old
neoconservative group that is widely seen as the successor to the
more-famous - or infamous - Project for the New American Century (PNAC).
Warning that Libya stood "on the threshold of a moral and humanitarian
catastrophe," the letter, which was addressed to President Barack Obama,
called for specific immediate steps involving military action, . . .
Among the letter's signers were former Bush deputy defence secretary Paul
Wolfowitz; Bush's top global democracy and Middle East adviser; Elliott
Abrams; former Bush speechwriters Marc Thiessen and Peter Wehner; Vice
President Dick Cheney's former deputy national security adviser, John
Hannah, as well as FPI's four directors: Weekly Standard editor William
Kristol; Brookings Institution fellow Robert Kagan; former Iraq Coalition
Provisional Authority spokesman Dan Senor; and former Undersecretary of
Defense for Policy and Ambassador to Turkey, Eric Edelman.
It was Kagan and Kristol who co-founded and directed PNAC in its heyday from
1997 to the end of Bush's term in 2005. . . .
[Today, the Washington Post reported unrest in Libya which the Libyans
believe is led by a Col. Khalifa Haftar based in the U.S. On May 17, 1991
the Washington Times reported that three hundred and fifty Libyans would
arrive soon in the United States. So what's the connection? It turns out
that the Libyans who arrived in the U.S. in 1991 were not the Libyan
President Ghaddafi's terrorists. They were our folks, trained by our
CIA.--Enver Masud, "Libya: Who's
Terrorizing Whom," The Wisdom Fund, March 26, 1996]
[Now, having learned nothing from the horrors that they cheer-led like
excitable teenage girls over the past 15 years, these bohemian bombers,
these latte-sipping lieutenants, these iPad imperialists are back. This time
they're demanding the invasion of Libya. In the Guardian Ian Birrell brushes
aside the eight-year nightmare of Iraq in one sentence - we shouldn't be
"scarred by the foolishness of the Iraq invasion", he says - as he calls on
the international community to spearhead a "rapid intervention" to save the
people of Libya. . . .
[Hafiz Ghoga, a spokesman for the protesters' new National Libyan
Council, insisted that calls for foreign intervention were entirely
unwelcome, adding that the protesters have taken most of the nation and
"the rest of Libya will be liberated by the people."--Jason Ditz, "Libyan Opposition Spurns Calls for Foreign
'Help'," antiwar.com, February 27, 2011]
[It's hard for Libyans to envision limited U.S. intervention. Just the
suggestion of a U.S. effort elicits images of Iraq. They said they didn't
want to see troops on their ground or any semblance of the U.S. effort in
Iraq here.--Nancy A. Youssef, "Libyan rebels ambivalent about U.S. military help,"
McClatchy Newspapers, March 1, 2011]
[The Arab League has said it may impose a "no fly" zone on Libya in
co-ordination with the African Union if fighting continues in Libya.
Wednesday's Arab League ministers' meeting in Cairo rejected any direct
outside military intervention in Libya--"Arabs may impose Libya no fly zone," aljazeera.net, March 2,
[The "responsibility to protect" invoked by those demanding intervention in
Libya is applied so selectively that the word hypocrisy doesn't do it
justice. And the idea that states which are themselves responsible for the
deaths of hundreds of thousands in illegal wars, occupations and
interventions in the last decade, along with mass imprisonment without
trial, torture and kidnapping, should be authorised by international
institutions to prevent killings in other countries is simply
preposterous.--Seumas Milne, "Intervention in Libya would poison the Arab
revolution," Guardian, March 2, 2011]
[Forget "democracy"; Libya, unlike Egypt and Tunisia, is an oil power. Many
a plush office of United States and European elites will be salivating at
the prospect of taking advantage of a small window of opportunity afforded
by the anti-Muammar Gaddafi revolution to establish - or expand - a
beachhead. There's all that oil, of course. There's also the allure, close
by, of the US$10 billion, 4,128 kilometer long Trans-Saharan gas pipeline
from Nigeria to Algeria, expected to be online in 2015.
[Khalifa Hifter was once a top
military officer for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, but after a disastrous
military adventure in Chad in the late 1980s, Hifter switched to the
anti-Gadhafi opposition. . . .
Since coming to the United States in the early 1990s, Hifter lived in
suburban Virginia outside Washington, D.C. Badr said he was unsure exactly
what Hifter did to support himself, and that Hifter primarily focused on
helping his large family.--Chris Adams, "New rebel leader spent much of past 20 years in suburban
Virginia," McClatchy Newspapers, March 26, 2011]
[ . . . the French and the United States government came in and attempted
to, I think, transform the Arab spring to their advantage. So, for instance,
when we talk about the rebel leadership in Benghazi, one should keep in mind
that the two principal military leaders, one of whom was a former interior
minister in the Gaddafi regime, and the second gentleman was a general who
led troops in Chad in the 1980s and was then taken up with the Libyan
National Salvation Front, went off to live in Vienna, Virginia, for 30
years, about a 10-minute drive from Langley, and returned to Benghazi to, in
a sense, I think, hijack the rebellion on behalf of the forces of reaction.
It's very important to recognize, as Juan said quite correctly, that it's
Qatar and the UAE and the Gulf - the GCC, the Gulf - what is it? - Coordination
Council that is behind this - you know, which is the principal Arab support
for the humanitarian intervention, as it were, and these are the same places
where - the same organization, which has attempted and has now put down the
uprising in Bahrain.--"A Debate on U.S. Military
Intervention in Libya: Juan Cole v. Vijay Prashad,"
democracynow.org, March 29, 2011]
[Khalifa Haftar, a former army
colonel who recently returned to Libya after living for many years in Falls
Church, was initially hailed by the Transitional National Council as a
leader who could help discipline the new army and train its largely
But Saturday, Ghoga said Haftar had no leadership role in the army.
"We defined the military leadership before the arrival of Haftar from the
United States," he said, referring to the appointment of Abdul Fattah Younis
as commander of the armed forces and Omar al-Hariri as the council's senior
defense official. "We told Mr. Haftar that if he wants, he can work within
the structure that we have laid out."--Tara Bahrampour, "Libyan rebels struggle to explain
rift," washingtonpost.com, April 2, 2011]
[General Abdel-Fastah Younes, a Libyan General, who was formerly Gaddafi's
interior minister, says he is in charge, while CIA-linked General Khalifa
Haftar, who was a senior Libyan officer in the 1980s and was, until this
year, living near Langley, Virginia, says he is in charge. Haftar says
Younes is his chief-of-staff (a largely administrative position), while
Younes says that Haftar has been sacked. There is an opposition defence
minister, Omar al-Hariri, but neither general seems to pay much attention to
him.--Clive Williams, "Muddling along in
Libya," abc.net.au, April 26, 2011]
[In Libya, the Sudairi transferred armed fighters into Cyrenaica pending the
green light from France and Britain to start the insurrection against the
government of Tripoli. They are the ones who distributed weapons and the
red-black-green star and crescent flags, symbols of the Senoussi monarchy.
Their goal is to get rid of troublemaker Gaddafi and restore Prince Mohammed
on the throne of what was once the United Kingdom of Libya.
It was the Gulf Cooperation Council that was the first to call for military
intervention against the government of Tripoli. At the Security Council, it
was the Saudi delegation which led the diplomatic manoeuvres for the Arab
League to endorse the attacks by Western armies.--Thierry Meyssan, "The Middle East
counter-revolution," voltairenet.org, May 26, 2011]