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Qaddafi, Bush And The Iraq Big Lie

by Russ Baker, WhoWhatWhy.com:

 

While the US government expresses outrage over the brutality of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi toward his own people, we’re missing a complex but significant wrinkle that ties Qaddafi to America’s cover-up of the true path to war in Iraq.

In May, 2009, a man named Ibn Shaikh al-Libi supposedly committed suicide while being held in a Libyan jail. Al-Libi is a deeply, deeply interesting fellow. Back in 2002, he was tortured by Egypt under US direction. It appears that the reason the US government had him tortured was not to stop some imminent attack on the United States, but to generate alleged—and false— links between Al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein that could justify invading Iraq.

Al-Libi was captured and sent to Egypt, where under severe torture including waterboarding, he related what turned out to be false information about purported Saddam-9/11 links. Al-Libi later explained that he provided that material because that’s what his captors wanted to hear, and it ended his torture.

Nick Baumann wrote about it in 2009 in Mother Jones:

Al-Libi was the man whose false confession, obtained under torture, of a link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda provided the Bush administration with its casus belli for war with Iraq. It didn’t seem to matter that al-Libi’s claim that Bin Laden had sent operatives to be trained in the use of weapons of mass destruction by Hussein’s people didn’t make any sense. “They were killing me,” al-Libi later told the FBI about his torturers. “I had to tell them something.” A bipartisan Senate Intelligence committee report would later conclude that al-Libi lied about the link “to avoid torture.”

More on this at The Washington Note, where former Colin Powell aide Lawrence Wilkerson weighed in.

Given the enormity of what al-Libi’s revelations represent, then his continued presence and ability to witness the true background to the Iraq invasion made him a grave threat to the Bush-Cheney administration and the potential vulnerability of its leading lights to war crimes prosecution.

Thus, the fact that he suddenly “killed himself” while being held by Qaddafi’s police state at least raises the question of whether Qaddafi was doing a favor for the US. Of course, by 2009, when al-Libi suddenly died, Obama had become president—but it’s safe to say that deep, covert cleanup operations don’t end with an inauguration.

With the world delighting in the abdication of the dictator Mubarak in Egypt and now the Libyan Qaddafi’s potential demise, the least we can do is examine the threads back to our own country. If we do not pay attention to these things, we are all culpable.

Image Credit:  (thefullwiki.com)

al-Libi BEFORE serious torture

al-Libi BEFORE serious torture

 

Russ Baker is Editor-in-Chief of WhoWhatWhy.com and author of "Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America’s Invisible Government and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years."

 

7:27 am
February 25, 2011

blogs.alternet.org

Caribbean Blog International


February 28, 2011 | 10:09 AM Comments  {num} comments



Libya: Genuine revolution from bottom to top – expert
Related to country: Libya


RIA Novosti interview with Vitaly Naumkin:

 

 

The revolution in Libya that is in currently in full swing is holding the world’s attention.  Leaders of major countries have condemned Col. Muammar Gaddafi, but the Libyan leader has no intentions of resigning yet. Many experts assert that Libya is on the verge of a civil war and Gaddafi is doomed to lose his power sooner or later. Professor Vitaly Naumkin, director for the Institute of Oriental Studies, shares his views on the latest events in Libya and makes his predictions on what these ongoing revolutionary processes in the Arab world may lead to.

Samir Sakhbaz: Mr. Naumkin hello and welcome. Do you believe that what we are witnessing right now in Libya is really a so-called people’s revolution or is it being orchestrated from abroad?

Vitaly Naumkin: No, I don’t think it was orchestrated from abroad, I think it is a genuine revolution. Whatever we call it – revolution, rebellion, it is a popular move, and it hasn’t been orchestrated from abroad. I believe that it hasn’t been orchestrated at all, because it is a genuine movement from the bottom to the top, a so-called bottom-top type of movement.

S.S.: So the people who are at the bottom they are finally tired. Why today? Why not last year? Because I think they lived as bad last year, too.

V.N.: The same happened to the Tunisians and to the Egyptians. I think the impact of the Egyptian events was very big. Because what usually happens in Egypt happens in a lot of places over the Arab world. It was always the leading country and it was always giving examples to the others.

S.S.: And in Egypt it was a people’s revolution also?

V.N.: I think in Egypt there were probably some elements of orchestration, if not from abroad but at least from some well-organized groups probably inside of Egypt. I won’t subscribe to any conspiracy theory because I believe that all these movements are locally oriented and locally motivated but in Libya there is clear influence of the Egyptian revolution.

S.S.: How do you evaluate the way Gaddafi is managing the situation? Is he in control?

V.N.: No, I think he is not in control of himself, first of all. Because he has clearly lost any control of himself because it is real shame to kill his own people, to use heavy artillery and other weapons. It is a crime. And calling for all these African mercenaries – it is also another crime against his own people. If he is a real Bedouin revolutionary as he has been always calling himself, it is a real shame for such a man to do these ugly things.

S.S.: How long do you think he can remain in power? A few days, weeks?

V.N.: You can never predict events in the Middle East because it is a very unpredictable region in general. Given the resources Gaddafi has, it might happen that he can last for some period of time, but I’m absolutely sure that he is doomed and that he will lose very soon. The most probable scenario is that he will fail very soon in a very bad manner. There is a real hatred all over the Arab world against Gaddafi; nobody is supporting him except some of his tribes, some of his entourage inside the regime and some people who just benefit from his position.

S.S.: Well, ok. Gaddafi is gone, if not today, then tomorrow. But some experts they expect that the country is on the verge of a civil war. Is it a possible scenario? For example, Gaddafi leaves probably for Venezuela or somewhere else, is there a danger of a civil war in this case?

V.N.: There is a danger, but I wouldn’t exaggerate the danger of a civil war because there are enough supporters of this popular movement against Gaddafi inside Tripolitania, because as we all know Libya historically consists of three regions - Fezzan, Cyrenaica and Tripolitania.  Tripolitania normally has been supporting Gaddafi. And the popular base for the former King was mainly the eastern province in the former Cyrenaica, but as we can see now the people, and many of them in Tripolitania, are really against Gaddafi. So a possible split in Libya, a possible civil war cannot be excluded, but I believe that the unity of this country can be preserved and the people can unify.

S.S.: Is the revolution in Libya the last revolution in the Middle East or some other countries may become a victim of these events. Some predict that this wake will spread to the Middle East, Iran, Central Asia and even to the Caucasus, in southern Russia.

In general, I am against looking at the Middle East as it is a horserace, making a bid who is the next one. I am against it. I think there are regimes, states, nations and I hope that they will avoid the destiny of the fallen regimes. But it is absolutely necessary for the rulers of the rest of the states starting from Yemen to some other states to start reforms that can improve the social-economic and political situation in their countries in order to make people feel free and equal and to give them more opportunities to be represented in power and in public life.

S.S.: So there is room for optimism?

V.N.: There is some limited room for optimism. In general I am optimistic; I believe that the Arab nation is a great civilization and it has a lot of potential to develop and to make this transformation to the best in their history.

S.S.: That’s a good point to end our discussion. Thank you for your time and comments.

22:37 25/02/2011

rian.ru

Caribbean Blog International


February 27, 2011 | 12:22 PM Comments  {num} comments



Cynicism’s danse macabre

Reflections of Fidel

(Taken from CubaDebate)

 

 

THE politics of plunder imposed by the United States and its NATO allies in the Middle East is in crisis. This was inevitably unleashed with the high cost of grain, the effects of which are being felt with more force in the Arab nations where, despite their enormous oil resources, the shortage of water, arid areas and generalized poverty of the people contrast with the vast resources derived from oil possessed by the privileged sectors.

While food prices triple, the real estate fortunes and wealth of the aristocratic minority rise to billions of dollars.

The Arab world, with its Islamic culture and beliefs, has seen itself additionally humiliated by the brutal imposition of a state which was not capable of meeting the elemental obligations which brought about its creation, based on the colonial order in existence since the end of World War II, which allowed the victorious powers to create the United Nations and impose world trade and economy.

Thanks to Mubarak's betrayal at Camp David, the Palestinian Arab State has not come into existence, despite the United Nations agreements of November 1947, and Israel has become a powerful nuclear force allied with the United States and NATO.

The U.S. military-industrial complex supplies tens of billions of dollars every year to Israel and to the very Arab states that it subjugates and humiliates.

The genie is out of the bottle and NATO doesn't know how to control it. They are going to try and take maximum advantage of the lamentable events in Libya. No one is capable of knowing at this time what is happening there. All of the figures and versions, even the most improbable, have been disseminated by the empire through the mass media, sowing chaos and misinformation.

It is evident that a civil war is developing in Libya. Why and how was this unleashed? Who will suffer the consequences? The Reuters news agency, repeating the opinion of the well-known Nomura Japanese bank, said that the price of oil could surpass all limits:

"' If Libya and Algeria were to halt oil production together, prices could peak above US$220/bbl and OPEC spare capacity will be reduced to 2.1mmbbl/d, similar to levels seen during the Gulf war and when prices hit US$147/bbl in 2008,’ the bank stated in a note."

Who could pay this price today? What will be the consequences for the food crisis?

The principal NATO leaders are exalted. British Prime Minister David Cameron, reported ANSA, "'admitted in a speech in Kuwait that the Western countries made a mistake in supporting non-democratic governments in the Arab world.'" He should be congratulated for his frankness.

His French colleague Nicolas Sarkozy declared, "The prolonged brutal and bloody repression of the Libyan civilian population is repugnant."

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini declared "believable" the figure of one thousand dead in Tripoli […] ‘the tragic figure will be a bloodbath.’"

Ban Ki-moon added, "The use of violence in the country is absolutely unacceptable.’"

"…’the Security Council will act in accordance with what the international community decides.’"

What Ban Ki-moon is really waiting for is that Obama give the last word.

The President of the United States spoke Wednesday afternoon and stated that the Secretary of State would leave for Europe in order to reach an agreement with the NATO European allies as to what measures to take. Noticeable on his face was his readiness to take on the right-wing Republican John McCain; Joseph Lieberman, the pro-Israel Senator from Connecticut; and Tea Party leaders, in order to guarantee his nomination by the Democratic Party.

The empire's mass media have prepared the ground for action. There would be nothing strange about a military intervention in Libya, which would, additionally, guarantee Europe almost two million barrels of light oil a day, if events do not occur beforehand to put an end to the presidency or life of Gaddafi.

In any event, Obama's role is complicated enough. What would the Arab and Islamic world's reaction be if much blood is spilt in this country in such an adventure? Would the revolutionary wave unleashed in Egypt stop a NATO intervention?

In Iraq the innocent blood of more than a million Arab citizens was shed when this country was invaded on false pretenses. Mission accomplished, George W. Bush proclaimed.

No one in the world will ever be in favor of the deaths of defenseless civilians in Libya or anywhere else. I ask myself, would the United States and NATO apply that principle to the defenseless civilians killed by yankee drones, and this organization's soldiers, every day in Afghanistan and Pakistan?

It is cynicism's danse macabre.

 

Fidel Castro Ruz
February 23, 2011
7:42 p.m.

Translated by Granma International

granma.cu

Caribbean Blog International


February 25, 2011 | 9:16 AM Comments  {num} comments



Due West: Good-bye to a colonel and his Socialist People’s Republic
Related to country: Libya


By Konstantin von Eggert:

 

Libya’s official name is the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. There is no such word as "jamahiriya" in Arabic. It is a corruption of the word “jumhuriya” meaning “republic” and can be roughly translated as a "the masses’ state.” Muammar Gaddafi invented the word himself as a symbol of a supposedly unique Libyan system of governance. Eccentricity combined with populism and cruelty was his signature style. This year on September 1, Gaddafi planned to celebrate the forty-second anniversary since he overthrew King Idris while His Majesty was vacationing in Turkey and imposed his dictatorship on the Libyans. Now, apparently, there will be no celebration.

The moment Gaddafi called his own people “drugged cockroaches” and vowed to soldier on until death, he de facto became Libya’s ex-leader. Moreover, he forfeited many potential places for asylum where even on Tuesday morning he could still have sought refuge. The tragic question is how much more blood should be spilled before he leaves the stage.

A few months ago this seemed unthinkable. The eccentric colonel always took care to provide basic necessities in food and fuel to the 6.5 million population and, frankly, even more than basics for the upper strata of the society. Oil and gas never lacked in Libya, not even during the most difficult period of international sanctions against Tripoli. The money supply varied but it never ran the risk of running out completely.

In 2003, after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein by the US-led international coalition, Gaddafi decided that he did not want to follow the Iraqi dictator into political oblivion. Once a generous patron to terrorists of all hues, the Libyan leader became a respectable politician. He closed his nuclear program that always worried the West and opened his arms to embrace the international oil and gas companies. The United States, Britain, Italy, Russia and other countries competed for access to Gaddafi and his sons for the sake of lucrative contracts.

For a time I worked in one of the American oil companies myself. I remember a Libyan colleague who lectured me with an air of superiority: "We are the most important country in the Arab world. Foreigners are lining up to be allowed in." He hinted at his good connections at the very top of the Libyan power pyramid. I wonder what he thinks now looking out his window. His skills may not be in such a great demand any more.

Events in Libya are at least as instructive (if not more) as those in Tunisia or Egypt. Come to think of it, Tunisia boasts a French tradition of education, secularism and civic courts. Egypt is undoubtedly the heart of the Arab world, a country with a pride in its history and a certain tradition of parliamentary democracy. But Libya ... Honestly, no one ever thought it to be important in the general scheme of things in the Arab world, including the Arabs themselves. Newspapers and TV stations the world over are frantically looking for experts on Libya, of whom there are so few. What we face is a rapid transformation of the Arab world which will have global repercussions.

All are at a loss – UN, NATO, EU, Washington, Moscow, Brussels, and even Rome where Silvio Berlusconi was Gaddafi’s most important international advocate.

The weakness of the Western, Russian and other leaders, who until recently groveled in front of the mad colonel in hope of getting more contracts for their national companies, is in full view. If only NATO imposed a “no fly” zone over Libya to ground Gaddafi’s Air Force, which strafes protesters with gunfire!  If only Russia blocked its arms shipments to Gaddafi – symbolic as this would have been! Many Arabs would have welcomed such steps. They would have served as belated proof that the Western world and those who aspire to be on par with it are serious about values, not only about interests. But for this you have to have leaders tailored to a different size and made from different material, the kind Reagan, Gorbachev, Kohl and John Paul II were made of.

Still Gaddafi is on his way out and this cannot be bad.

I remember how twenty-five years ago a translator friend, who served in Libya, remarked: "You know, Kostya, if a name of a state contains the words "great," "people’s,"  or “democratic," it means, in my experience, that this state is neither great, nor democratic. It is usually just a second rate dictatorship.”

Looking at the TV footage of a madman spouting venom from the Bab al-Aziziya barracks in Tripoli, I could not get these words out of my mind.

19:54 23/02/2011

rian.ru

Caribbean Blog International


February 24, 2011 | 9:51 AM Comments  {num} comments



NATO’s plan is to occupy Libya
Related to country: Libya


REFLECTIONS OF FIDEL

(Taken from CubaDebate)

 

OIL became the principal wealth in the hands of the large yankee transnationals; with that source of energy, they had at their disposal an instrument that considerably increased their political power in the world. It was their principal weapon when they decided to simply liquidate the Cuban Revolution as soon as the first, just and sovereign laws were enacted in our homeland: by depriving it of oil.

Current civilization was developed on the basis of this source of energy. Of the nations in this hemisphere it was Venezuela which paid the highest price. The United States made itself the owner of the vast oilfields which nature endowed upon that sister nation.

At the end of the last World War it began to extract large volumes from oilfields in Iran, as well as those of Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the Arab countries located around them. These came to be the principal suppliers. World consumption rose progressively to the fabulous figure of approximately 80 million barrels per day, including those pumped in U.S. territory, to which gas, hydraulic and nuclear energy were subsequently added. Up until the beginning of the 20th century coal was the fundamental source of energy that made possible industrial development, before billions of automobiles and engines consuming combustible liquid were produced.

The squandering of oil and gas is associated with one of the greatest tragedies, totally unresolved, being endured by humanity: climate change.

When our Revolution arose, Algeria, Libya and Egypt were not as yet oil producers and a large part of the substantial reserves of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and the United Arab Emirates were still to be discovered.

In December of 1951, Libya became the first African country to attain its independence after World War II, during which its territory was the scene of significant battles between German and British troops, bringing fame to Generals Erwin Rommel and Bernard. L. Montgomery.

Total desert covers 95% of its territory. Technology made it possible to find significant fields of excellent quality light oil, currently providing 800 billion barrels per day, and abundant natural gas deposits. Such wealth allowed it to achieve a life expectancy rate of close to 75 years and the highest per capita income in Africa. Its harsh desert is located above an enormous lake of fossil water, equivalent to more than three times the land surface of Cuba, which has made it possible to construct a broad network of fresh water pipes which extends throughout the country.

Libya, which had one million inhabitants upon attaining its independence, now has a population of more than six million.

The Libyan Revolution took place in September 1969. Its principal leader was Muammar al-Gaddafi, a soldier of Bedouin origin who was inspired in his early youth by the ideas of the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser. Without any doubt, many of his decisions are associated with the changes that came about when, as in Egypt, a weak and corrupt monarchy was overthrown in Libya.

The inhabitants of that country have age-old warrior traditions. It is said that the ancient Libyans formed part of Hannibal’s army when he was at the point of liquidating Ancient Rome with the force that crossed the Alps.

One can be in agreement with Gaddafi or not. The world has been invaded with all kind of news, especially through the mass media. We shall have to wait the time needed to discover precisely how much is truth or lies, or a mix of the events, of all kinds, which, in the midst of chaos, have been taking place in Libya. What is absolutely evident to me is that the government of the United States is totally unconcerned about peace in Libya and will not hesitate to give NATO the order to invade that rich country, possibly in a matter of hours or a few days.

Those who, with perfidious intentions, invented the lie that Gaddafi was headed for Venezuela, as they did yesterday afternoon Sunday, February 20, today received a worthy response from Nicolás Maduro, Venezuelan Minister of Foreign Affairs, when he stated textually that he was "voting for the Libyan people, in the exercise of their sovereignty, to find a peaceful solution to their difficulties which will preserve the integrity of the Libyan people and nation, without the interference of imperialism…"

For my part, I cannot imagine the Libyan leader abandoning the country, eluding the responsibilities attributed to him, whether or not this news is partly or totally false.

An honest person will always be against any injustice committed against any nation of the world, and the worst injustice, at this moment, would be to remain silent in the face of the crime that NATO is preparing to commit against the Libyan people.

The chief of that military organization is being urged to do so. This must be condemned!

 

Fidel Castro Ruz
February 21, 2011
10:14 p.m.

Translated by Granma International

granma.cu

Caribbean Blog International


February 23, 2011 | 8:52 AM Comments  {num} comments



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