America’s New Middle East Agenda – by Stephen Lendman
A previous article on Syria quoted Middle East analyst Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, explaining Washington’s longstanding plan to “creat(e) an arc of instability, chaos, and violence extending from Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria to Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Iran, and the borders of NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan.”
He explained it also includes redrawing the Eurasian map, balkanizing or reconfiguring countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, perhaps Baltic states, the entire Persian Gulf, Syria, Lebanon, and, of course, Libya to assure Western control of its valued resources, besides already having created three Iraqs. The strategy involves “divid(ing) and conquer(ing to serve) Anglo-American and Israeli interests in the broader region.”
Currently it’s playing out violently in Libya, addressed in numerous previous articles as Western intervention heads closer to invasion, knowing air strikes alone can’t topple Gaddafi unless a “lucky” one kills him. It’s a key administration goal despite official denials, while defending the right to bomb his compound having no other purpose than assassination.
Notably on April 26, Los Angeles Times writer David Cloud headlined, “NATO widens air war in Libya, targeting key sites in Tripoli,” saying:
Predator drones are being used “to strike directly at the pillars of the regime, including (Gaddafi), in the heart of Tripoli,” according to a senior NATO officer, explaining:
“This is a shift, absolutely. We’re picking up attacks on these command-and-control facilities. If (Gaddafi) happens to be in one of those buildings, all the better,” stopping short of saying he, in fact, is the target.
Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin criticized the attacks, saying:
“They said they didn’t want to kill Gaddafi. Now some officials say: ‘Yes, we are trying to kill Gaddafi.’ Who permitted this, was there a trial? Who took on the right to execute this man, no matter who he is?”
Putin denounced the efforts, saying they exceed the UN resolution’s mandate. As a result, Libya asked Russia to convene a new Security Council meeting to address illegitimate NATO action, functioning as the insurgency’s air force, taking sides instead of staying neutral in Libya’s internal affairs.
China also objects to Western military “advisers” intervening, special forces aiding insurgents besides CIA and MI 6 agents doing it also for months. Now Britain will deploy troops on Tunisia’s border with Libya, inching closer to invasion. UK Defense Minister Liam Fox justifies it, saying Britain’s prepared for the “long haul,” adding:
“It is essential that the international community gives a very clear signal to the Libyan regime that our resolve isn’t time-limited….Politically, economically, militarily, we are moving forward,” stopping short of explaining key Western goals.
They’re unrelated to humanitarian intervention or protecting civilians, the bogus reasons always given (besides WMDs or other spurious security threats) to attack, conquer, colonize, and plunder targeted countries. Now it’s Libya’s turn at the same Syria experiences Western destabilizing intervention, perhaps ahead of “shock and awe” and whatever else US/NATO planners have in mind.
In fact, the Obama administration threatens the entire region, using “constructive chaos” to create “an arc of instability, chaos, and violence,” affecting all Eurasian countries to solidify unchallengeable US control.
Moreover, at a time when “Let them eat cake” arrogance trumps growing public needs, America plans more than ever military spending. In addition, Britain’s Fox said the Libyan campaign won’t “be limited by pounds, shillings and pence” to conclude the mission successfully.
Nor do royal weddings costing her majesty’s subjects a shocking $10 billion, including official understated expenses, security, and declaring a national holiday, depriving millions of Brits of a day’s pay they can’t afford to lose.
In America, congressional calls are increasing to assassinate him, Washington’s favored regime change method besides externally instigated coups. In recent days, figures like Republican Senator Lindsey Graham called for:
“cut(ting) the head of the snake off. Go to Tripoli, start bombing Gaddafi’s inner circle, their compounds, their military headquarters….The people around Gaddafi need to wake up every day wondering ‘will this be my last?’ The military commanders supporting Gaddafi should be pounded. So I would not let the UN mandate stop what is the right thing to do.”
He wasn’t asked to explain how violating UN Resolution 1973, its Charter, as well as international and US law is “right” when daily war crimes keep mounting. Nonetheless, others in Congress agree, including Senator John McCain, preferring winning on the ground only because it’s chancy “taking him out with a lucky air strike.” Senator Joe Lieberman also says he’s “got to start thinking about whether they want to more directly target (him) and his family.”
Bipartisan support in both Houses concurs, as well as Obama, despite official denials. In fact, current efforts may be to accomplish Ronald Reagan’s failed 1986 objective. At the time, White House press secretary Larry Speakes called killing Gaddafi “a fortunate by-product of our act of self-defense,” against what he didn’t explain nor apologize for murdering 37 Libyans, including his daughter, as well as injuring dozens more, mostly civilians, those always harmed most in wars and other conflicts.
Earlier, however, House and Senate members from both parties criticized Obama for not seeking congressional authorization for war, saying it exceeded his constitutional authority, but stopping short of wanting attacks stopped.
In fact, under the Constitution’s Article 1, Section 8, only Congress may declare war, what hasn’t happened since December 8, 1941 against Japan, making all US wars since illegal. Obama once taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago. In addition, as a presidential candidate in December 2007, he told the Boston Globe:
“The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”
That was then. This is now as Republicans and Democrats plan authorizing it after the fact either by resolution or a symbolic “sense of the House and Senate” motion or confirmation.
If so, it will legitimize the illegitimate as Congress can’t invalidate UN Charter provisions explaining under what conditions intervention, violence and coercion (by one state against another) are justified. Article 2(3) and Article 33(1) require peaceful settlement of international disputes. Article 2(4) prohibits force or its threatened use, including no-fly zones that are acts of war.
In addition, Articles 2(3), 2(4), and 33 absolutely prohibit any unilateral or other external threat or use of force not specifically allowed under Article 51 or otherwise authorized by the Security Council.
Moreover, so-called “humanitarian intervention” amounts to modern-day colonialism to achieve geopolitical objectives. Besides, America never showed concern for human rights in pursuit of strategic aims.
Notably, dovish US diplomat, advisor, and father of Soviet containment George Kennan (advocating diplomacy over force) explained what became America’s post-WW II foreign policy. In his February 1948 “Memo PPS23,” he stated:
“….we have 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population. (It makes us) the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships (to let us) maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national society. To do so we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world benefaction….”
“We should dispense with the aspiration to ‘be liked’ or to be regarded as the repository of a high-minded international altruism….We should (stop talking about) unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are hampered by idealistic slogans (ideas and practices), the better.”
As a result, when America intervenes militarily, it’s for policy goals, never for human rights or humanitarian priorities, rhetoric notwithstanding.
Why Gaddafi Is Targeted
Previous articles explained that he wasn’t fully on board, or put another way, “with the program.” Specific reasons are explained below.
(1) He opted out of AFRICOM, one of nine global Pentagon commands, to control the Africa and the Mediterranean Basin, including its strategic energy transit routes and choke points, crucial to keep open for world economies. All African countries participate except Sudan, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Eritrea, and Libya. He also backed an initiative to create a United States of Africa, whereas Washington wants easily exploitable divisions.
(2) Besides ranked ninth in the world with 42 billion proved barrels of oil reserves (and large amounts of gas), its untapped potential is believed much greater. Moreover, being nearly sulfur-free, it’s even more valued for its extremely high quality. At issue isn’t access, it’s control over who develops, produces and receives it in what amounts.
(3) In January 2009, Gaddafi wanted to nationalize Libyan oil, but his timetable faced internal resistance. According to Pravda.ru’s March 25, 2011 article titled, “Reason for war? Gaddafi wanted to nationalise oil,” he considered the option because of low oil prices at the time, saying:
“The oil-exporting countries should opt for nationalisation because of the rapid fall in oil prices. We must put the issue on the table and discuss it seriously. Oil should be owned by the State at this time, so we could better control prices by the increase or decrease in production.”
In February 2009, he asked for public support to distribute Libya’s oil wealth directly to the people. However, senior officials feared losing their jobs “due to a parallel plan by Gaddafi to rid the state of corruption.” He was also advised about the possibility of capital flight.
As a result, Libya’s Popular Committee voted 468 – 64 to delay nationalization plans, even though a 251 majority viewed the change as positive.
Note: Gaddafi didn’t consider how powerful insiders manipulate all markets up or down for profit, including oil, irrespective of demand. It’s brazen fraud but goes on all the time, especially on Wall Street in collusion with Washington.
(4) Libya’s Great Man-Made River (GMMR) is developing an ocean-sized aquifer beneath the desert for irrigation, human consumption, and other uses. At 2007 consumption rates, it could last 1,000 years. No wonder Gaddafi calls his Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System (NSAS) the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”
At issue, of course, is privatizing it, making water unaffordable for many, perhaps most Libyans. In other words, neoliberal control will exploit it for maximum profits, not equitable use as a public resource.
(5) Ellen Brown’s April 13 article titled, “Libya: All About Oil, or All About Banking?” raised another, easily overlooked, issue. Who controls Libya’s money, the lifeblood of every economy? In 1970, Henry Kissinger said, “Control oil and you control nations. Control food and you control people.” He neglected to add, control money and you control everything because without it economies collapse.
At issue is whether it’s public or private like most nations, including America under the Federal Reserve that isn’t federal and has no reserves as Ron Paul explains.
Under Gaddafi, “the Central Bank of Libya is 100% State owned.” In other words, it creates its own money, the Libyan Dinar, interest free to be used productively for economic growth, not profits and bonuses for predatory bankers.
However, after Washington’s led NATO intervention, the privately controlled Central Bank of Benghazi was established to let Western bankers, not Libyans, run things. Money control indeed appears an important reason for intervening, perhaps most important of all.
(6) On April 24, Manlio Dinucci’s Global Research article headlined, “Financial Heist of the Century: Confiscating Libya’s Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF),” saying:
Besides money, oil, gas, water, and other reasons, the “Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) manages” an estimated $70 billion, “rising to more than $150 billion (including) foreign investments of the Central Bank and other bodies. But it might be more.”
Confiscation gives US/NATO interests easy money to use for their own purposes, no matter that doing so amounts to grand theft, an American/Western specialty in league with Wall Street and its European counterparts.
(7) Gaddafi promoted pan-African unity, a united states of Africa he hoped to lead in opposition to Western powers wanting balkanized easily-controlled states. According to Morehouse College Professor Laura Seay:
“Without Gaddafi, the pan-African movement is dead. He was the only prominent voice driving the movement. He was keeping those ideas alive. There’s nobody else with the financial resources available” to achieve it.
Without him Seay added:
“It would change the African Union’s dynamics completely. The AU would become less effective. He was such a key player….”
(8) Gaddafi advocated a new “Gold Standard,” replacing dollars with gold dinars, a plan Washington had to prevent to maintain petrodollar recycling and dollar hegemony as the world’s reserve currency.
A Final Comment
“Constructive chaos” takes many forms, including conquering and colonizing nations, then carving up the corpse for profit to the detriment of its people. That’s always imperial Washington’s grand plan, playing out disruptively throughout the region and violently in Libya.
A previous article discussed US intervention in Syria. On April 28, Washington Post writers Joby Warrick and Liz Sly headlined, “Senators press Obama to take strong action against Syria,” saying:
Besides ongoin wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Libya, “Sens. John McCain (R.-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R.-SC), and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) demanded tangible steps to pressure Assad,” issuing a joint letter stating:
“The escalating crackdown by Bashar al-Assad’s regime against the Syrian people has reached a decisive point. By following the path of Muammar Gaddafi and deploying military forces to crush peaceful demonstrations, Assad and those loyal to him have lost the legitimacy to remain in power in Syria.”
In fact, as the earlier article explained, “peaceful demonstrations” include provocateurs inciting violence that, in turn, trigger a robust government response, resulting in security force deaths as well as civilians expressing legitimate demands for reform.
According to reports, only sanctions so far are being considered. In fact, they made be step one ahead of already being discussed harsher measures. It takes little insight to imagine what kinds.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com. 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.