From Volume 38, Issue 34 of EIR Online, Published September 2, 2011
Africa News Digest

All-Out NATO Assault on Libya Exposes Obama Lies, Senate Cowardice

Aug. 27 (EIRNS)—The current all-out military regime-change operation against Libya exposes not only the lies of the Obama Administration, but also the cowardice of the U.S. Senate, led by chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee John Kerry, Lyndon LaRouche charged yesterday.

As is now reported in virtually all major news media, the "victory" of the rebel forces in Libya is totally dependent upon ongoing operations of the armed forces of France, Britain, and the United States in that country, in what can only be called an all-out air and ground war.

Obama blatantly lied when he said that there would be no U.S. troops on the ground. The U.S. had CIA operatives on the ground, and credible Pentagon sources report that many of the so-called CIA operatives are active-duty Special Forces personnel who have been temporarily seconded to the CIA for the purpose of evading the ban on American troops on the ground in the Libya operation. It had private contractors on the ground. It provided satellite intelligence. It provided air support. It was and is the leading element in a NATO coalition, whose command was and is U.S.-led.

According to a Aug. 23 Washington Post article: "British, French and Qatari Special Forces have been operating on the ground in Libya for some time and helped the rebels develop and coordinate the pincer strategy." Jordanian forces were also involved, according to other sources. While Obama claims that there were no boots on the ground, the article reports: "CIA operatives inside the country, along with intercepted communications between Libyan government officials, provided a deeper understanding of how badly Qaddafi's command structure had crumbled, according to U.S. officials."

The Washington Post also reported that "Six weeks ago Obama reached a decision that enabled the sharing of more sensitive materials with NATO, including imagery and signals intercepts that could be provided to British and French Special Operations troops on the ground in addition to pilots in the air."

The conflict and unrest are expected to continue, since this regime-change operation has no peacemaking perspective. With no strong central authority in the country, conflict between clans will guarantee perpetual unrest.

The criminal nature of the full-blown war is demonstrated by the willful violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1973, which called only for humanitarian aid, while France, Britain, and the United States instead used the resolution as a pretext to launch the war.

The UN resolution did not allow:

* Support of a faction within Libya to overthrow the government;

* Arming of a faction within Libya to overthrow the government;

* Bombing in support of a faction within Libya to overthrow the government.

On Aug. 24, South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe called for the International Criminal Court to investigate possible human rights violations committed by NATO forces in Libya. Answering questions in Parliament, Motlanthe pointed to the role of NATO forces in directing the war: "We note they [NATO] are attempting to create the impression that the rebels are acting on their own in their attacks in Tripoli but there are clear links and coordination at that level."

On Aug. 23, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) issued a statement, with similar strong charges:

"Libyan rebels have entered Tripoli. As gun battles break out across the city, it is timely to enter into a discussion as to how the rebels arrived there. It is time to review the curious role of NATO and the future of U.S. interventionism.

"A negotiated settlement in Libya was deliberately avoided for months while NATO, in violation of UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions 1970 and 1973, illegally pursued regime change. NATO chose sides, intervened in a civil war and morphed into the air force for the rebels, who could not have succeeded but for NATO's attacks.

"NATO acted with impunity. The NATO command recklessly bombed civilians in the name of saving civilians. Usurping the United Nation's traditional role, NATO looked the other way as the arms embargo was openly violated by UN member nations.

"NATO's top commanders may have acted under color of international law but they are not exempt from international law. If members of the Gaddafi Regime are to be held accountable, NATO's top commanders must also be held accountable through the International Criminal Court for all civilian deaths resulting from bombing. Otherwise we will have witnessed the triumph of a new international gangsterism."

All of these actions by the United States, France, Britain, and NATO (under a U.S. Admiral) have been carried out in violation of Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, which gives only the Congress the authority to declare war. To this day, President Obama has failed to seek Congressional approval for the Libya operation, in flagrant violation of the War Powers Resolution, as well, which demands that the President obtain Congressional authority to continue any military operations beyond 60 days.

The Intention of NATO in Libya Was Regime Change, Charges Mbeki

Aug. 28 (EIRNS)—The NATO nations' claim that they intervened with a ferocious six-month military campaign to defend opponents of the Qaddafi government, was exposed as a fraud by former South African President Thabo Mbeki on Aug. 26. Mbeki, presently the chief African Union (AU) mediator in Sudan, was addressing students in South Africa.

He said that the NATO nations "were and are bent on regime change," and revealed that a week before the UN Security Council voted for the no-fly zone over Libya, the AU Peace and Security Council had met and taken a resolution on the Libyan issue, which they conveyed to the UN. "They [the NATO nations] decided to ignore that and advised their own solutions which is why we are in the mess we're in."

He pointed out that the AU resolution had been conveyed to and accepted by the Libyan government, but when the time came for a team of peacemakers from five countries to travel to Libya, they couldn't. "The no-fly zone was already imposed and the peacemakers couldn't fly to Libya."

Mbeki stated that the situation in Ivory Coast early this year had been similar. In that case, Mbeki said, "[President] Gbagbo had accepted the AU's decisions and had agreed to resign, but when the AU alerted the UN to the fact that a team would be travelling to the country to implement the resolutions, they too were stopped."

Mbeki pointed out that the International Crisis Group (ICG), which could hardly be "justly accused of being sympathetic to (Muammar) Gaddafi," had found that the Libyan protest movement had exhibited a "violent aspect" from early on and that the view that Gaddafi would massacre thousands of unarmed protesters was the result of one-sided Western media reports.

Amid assessments that the complete victory being claimed in the Western media is premature, and speculation that the country could end up partitioned, Qaddafi has again offered to have talks with the rebels, but the rebels rejected the offer. NATO has pounded Sirte, a Qaddafi stronghold, for three days. But attempts by the rebels to negotiate with local leaders have so far been rebuffed.

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