- Joseph Fitznakis / IntelNews.org – Western spies, security contractors, won Libyan war for rebels: As I write these lines, celebratory gunfire is being heard all across Tripoli and the rebel National Transitional Council is appointing civilians to replace the crumbling administration of longtime Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi. But a handful of news outlets discreetly remind us that the rebels’ claim to victory rests on vital covert assistance provided by several Western intelligence services…
- An Phoblacht – Libya: Britain breaking international law on regime change?: IS THE British Government guilty of breaking international law by using the UN-authorised humanitarian intervention resolution to protect civilians in Libya’s civil war as a very thin smokescreen to use violence and military might to bring about regime change in another state – an oil-rich state?
- Independent, UK – Rebels claim the victory – but did the Brits win it?: The Berber rebels in the Nafusa Mountains to the west of Tripoli have played a key role in the endgame of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. What has received less publicity is the small but vital part played in that offensive by British intelligence officials, who from their seat in the Libyan highlands have been advising the rebel leadership on the strategy behind their final assault… the prize of being seen as a ‘friend’ in a stable, oil-rich Libya is considerable
- IntelNews.org (March 7) – Arrest of British spy team in Libya reveals covert involvement;
- Washington Post – US and NATO were crucial, covert partners in spurring Libyan rebels out of military stalemate;
- Spiegel Online – The Fall of Gadhafi; Dictator without a Future: SPIEGEL has provided an overview of the most important questions and answers.
- Niall O’Dowd / IrishCentral.com – Samantha Power proven right on Libya intervention – Irish-born Obama advisor now a likely Sec. of State;
- EUobserver.com – EU oil companies get set to return to Libya;
- Spiegel Online – The World From Berlin; Gadhafi’s Fall ‘Would Give Fresh Impetus’ to Arab Uprisings: Libyan rebels seem close to toppling Moammar Gadhafi after a six-month struggle that has vindicated the use of NATO bombs to help them, argue German media commentators. The next and perhaps greatest challenge, however, will be establishing democracy in the country.
- RT – Libya’s Egyptian déjà vu: The Egyptians now are not governed by their chosen leaders. Instead, it is their army that is in control – the army that has strong ties with the US and is sponsored by Washington.
- Wired: Danger Room – How Did Gadhafi Keep His Scud Missiles for So Long?:I am always struck at how much value certain Middle Eastern potentates place in conventionally-armed ballistic missiles. I have never really understood the Saudi decision to purchase medium-range ballistic missiles from China because such missiles are simply too inaccurate for a conventional warhead to offer much military utility. Perhaps, however, I might feel differently about the political value of such weapons if I had, as the Saudis did, a front row seat for the War of the Cities. Saddam certainly decided that 190 kg of explosive was enough as long as it got there.This is, in a way, the question that Brian Palmer at Slate attempted to answer in his essay “Why Do So Many Dictators Use Scud Missiles?“ Palmer’s conclusion is that a Scud is “the easiest way to terrorize nearby enemies.” It is easy to forget that the first use of ballistic and cruise missiles — the V weapons — were Nazi efforts to terrorize the British during World War II. It seems Middle Eastern leaders value being able to shoot back, if only for the sake of reprisal. Libya’s interest in SCALP — a very expensive air launched cruise missile — as a replacement for the relatively low-tech Scud-B casts recent cruise missile purchases by the UAE and Saudi Arabia in this somewhat different light.
Perhaps there is a missile race underway in the Middle East, but we just haven’t noticed it.
- Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist – Notes on Libya: One hopes that the anti-anti-Qaddafi left might ruminate on this collapse. With all their constant reminders of how beloved Qaddafi was for creating such a wealthy country based on oil profits, there might be an imperative to think about the importance of freedom over and above material well-being. This is especially true since each and every one of these anti-imperialists are so protective of their own free speech rights when it comes to the FBI and other American repressive forces. Could you imagine what Alexander Cockburn would do if he was arrested for writing an “anti-American” blog and sent to prison for a year? What difference would it make if someone reminded him that America made it possible for him to afford a fleet of classic cars?
- Wired: Danger Room – So Much For ‘Stalemate’: Libyan Rebels Enter Tripoli, Backed By U.S. Firepower: “It’s absolutely wrong to think that an air campaign can win this,” Andrew McGregor of the Jamestown Foundation told CNN on June 30th. “This revolt never really had the strength to succeed.”19,751 NATO sorties later [RA.O emphasis], that seems like a flawed assumption.
The operation was massive, at one point involving 13,000 troops from 18 countries. Italian Reaper drones and other intelligence aircraft told the rebels where pro-government forces were, and what the Gadhafi-ites were saying. Plus, the drones did some damage of their own; U.S. Predators struck 92 times since late April. Apache gunships, launched from the carrier HMS Ocean, took out Gadhafi checkpoints, to “encourage rebel fighters in the east to move forward,” according to the Independent. Qatari Mirage jets helped enforce the no-fly zone, while a half-dozen Norwegian F-16s dropped 542 bombs in 2,000 hours of flight time. The frigate HMS Sutherland was one of several ships blocking suspicious vessels from possibly resupplying the regime. B-1 bombers flew all the way from South Dakota to get in on the action, destroying 100 targets in one 24 hour stretch. Then there were the more than 220 Tomahawks.
- Mike Ely / Kasama – Regime change by bomber; NATO’s victory in Libya: It has to be said that everyone should take a moment to revisit the U.S.’s constant moral outrage over suicide bombers and IED’s — and then look at the ground-pounding destruction and death that the U.S. has brought to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and now Libya. It is hard to fully grasp the degree of hypocrisy that considers a hand-made roadside bomb within a warzone a “terrorist act,” yet glorifies the mass bombings of whole countries and capitals by global pirate fleets.What now confronts the people of Libya is the stark fact that such military support comes with “strings attached” — strings the size of steel cables. European states were not willing to see regime change in a strategic oil state like Libya without having their hands (and jets and advisers) firmly in the mix — “vetting” the emerging political forces, anointing those most pliant and pro-western, culling hostile political elements from the emerging political mix.
The goal (obviously) is to continue the flow of oil from Libya and to convert this part of the Arab Spring into a new structure maintaining and refining a profitable pro-western stability.
The goal has not been (as some claim) to “get” Libyan oil, since they always had it. It is not (as some claim) to establish a more friendly regime (since Gaddafi’s closeness to the major powers is a matter of record — exemplified by his ugly support for their “war on terror,” and his utterly capitalist rush to prop up Italian banking.) His was (what communist call) a bureaucrat capitalist regime — a form of capitalist social formation common in resource rich third world countries — where a combination of state power, nepotism, tight control over export and the local military, all combine to create an extremely wealthy localized capitalist state, often concentrating both power and wealth in one individual or family (Marcos in the Philippines, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the Saudi family in Arabia, Assad in Syria and so on.)
- RT – NATO’s covert hand crucial in rebel advance on Tripoli;
- McClatchy – Jubilation sweeps Tripoli as rebels hunt desperate Gadhafi: With NATO bombings paving the way, rebel forces entered Tripoli with surprising ease and by early Monday controlled large swaths of the city. Gadhafi’s personal guard surrendered to rebel forces, and live television footage showed crowds of opposition supporters in Tripoli’s Green Square — the regime’s symbolic heart — unfurling the tricolor flag of pre-Gadhafi Libya and smashing the ruler’s portraits in scenes that were unthinkable just days ago.
- Phillip Weiss / Modoweiss – Libyan triumph exposes the west’s double standard for Palestine: This is a joyful night. The liberation of Tripoli and Libya is one of those events we never could have predicted at the beginning of the year, I’ve been glued to the screen, sharing the triumph of the hopeful people in the streets in north Africa.And all through the Libyan events, there are parallels to the situation in Palestine. How long can Palestine be the west’s exception when it comes to a people’s right to self-determination?
- ZeroHedge – Gadaffi’s Supposedly Arrested Son, Very Much Free, Hobnobbing With Reporters At Tripoli’s Rixos Hotel;