From Volume 38, Issue 33 of EIR Online, Published August 26, 2011
Africa News Digest

NATO'S Post-Westphalia Overthrow of Qaddafi

Aug. 22 (EIRNS)—NATO carefully prepared conditions beforehand for the much publicized rebel "march into Tripoli" that was staged yesterday. As part of a massive NATO assault, before dawn, Royal Air Force Tornado and Typhoon aircraft mounted a precision strike on the military intelligence operations room in Tripoli, according to Maj. Gen. Nick Pope, spokesman for Britain's Chief of Defence Staff. He specified that "Nine Paveway guided bombs were delivered with great accuracy on the target."

Later, he said, "an armed reconnaissance patrol identified and destroyed one of Gaddafi's main battle tanks positioned on the outskirts of the city." The British actions complemented other NATO actions against the Libyan government defensive positions designed to deny rebel access to the city.

The facility the U.K. hit yesterday was close to the Baroni intelligence facility which the RAF had successfully bombed 24 hours previously.

Confirming these developments, U.S. intelligence sources have provided a picture of the heavy role of U.S. and other NATO forces in the so-called "rebel" move into the Libyan capital of Tripoli over the past 72 hours. On the morning of the rebel forces' move into the city, the NATO aerial bombardment included British fighter planes which bombed critical Libyan military positions, using targeting intelligence provided by NATO and U.S. AWACS. The key, according to one senior U.S. intelligence source, was that NATO and U.S. "assets on the ground" negotiated the defection or stand-down of crucial Qaddafi loyalist military units inside the capital city, so that when the rebels entered the city, they were able to move to surround the Qaddafi command compound, before sustaining any serious resistance.

A second senior U.S. military source confirmed the account, adding that it was primarily French Special Operations Brigade and U.S. Special Forces troops from the 5th Special Forces Group who were on the ground in Tripoli, neutralizing the pro-Qaddafi resistance forces in advance of the rebel moves. Staging out of Tunisia in the west, the largely French commando teams also provided key military support to Berber tribes in the mountain areas south of the coastal region. British operations were largely centered to the east of Tripoli.

While the final outcome is still not settled—and Qaddafi's whereabouts were still unknown as of the close of the day on Aug. 21, what is absolutely clear, is that the operation was militarily dominated by NATO and the United States, in violation of both the U.S. Constitution and the United Nations Security Council resolution, which did not authorize regime change. The Libya "success," assuming the final collapse of the Qaddafi government, will be heralded as a precedent for the post-Westphalia doctrine of "R2P" ("Responsibility to Protect"), which overturns the entire Westphalian system of sovereignty.

As of this moment, the anticipated head of the National Transitional Council will be Mustafa Abdul Jalil, who was Qaddafi's Justice Minister until his defection in February 2011. A rift has already developed between Britain and France over the Libyan spoils. French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced a special meeting on Libya's future in France for later this week—without first conferring with British Prime Minister Cameron.

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