FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Obama Readies to Fight in Libya, Again

by

shutterstock_182561723

Nearly five years after the U.S., Britain and France launched a bombing campaign against the Libyan government to bring about regime change, these same countries are contemplating a resumption of the war they thought was won when rebel forces they supported grotesquely tortured to death the country’s leader, Col. Muammar Gaddafi.

The result today in Libya is utter disarray. But at the time, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — a leading advocate of the bombing who justifies the deed to this day — was ecstatic when told the news of Qaddafi’s death while she was appearing on a TV talk show. Laughingly she shouted to the cameras, “We came, we saw, he died!”

No one is laughing in Washington now. President Obama came, saw and created the very opposite of what he sought, a hardly unusual outcome for the Obama and Bush Administrations.in the Middle East. Instead of a pliable dependent government willing to do the bidding of Washington and its NATO foreign legion, there has been an explosion of civil war and Sunni jihadism.

The U.S. and UN have been striving for months to unite the two factions in Libya that claim to be the country’s government. On Feb. 1 the faction that that has been recognized by the U.S. and many nations rejected unity with its opposite number. The bedlam in Libya caused by the 2011 overthrow has allowed the Islamic State (IS) to grow strong and occupy several territories.

Agence France-Presse reported Jan. 29: “Barack Obama has asked key advisors to draw up options for ratcheting up the fight against the Islamic State group, including opening a new front in Libya…. Potential options are said to range from intensified air strikes to participation in a UN-backed ground force that would help take on Libya’s estimated 3,000 Islamic State fighters…. The Defense Department announced it stands ready to perform the full spectrum of military operations a required.”

The U.S. and France are preparing for “decisive military action” in Libya against the IS, according, to a statement Jan. 22 by Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He said a final decision would be made in a matter or weeks, and that President Obama “has made clear that we have the authority to use military force.”

The New York Times reported Jan. 23: “United States and British Special Operations teams have for months been conducting clandestine reconnaissance missions in Libya to identify militant leaders and map out their networks. Separate teams of American Special Operations forces have over the past year been trying to court allies from among a patchwork of Libyan militias that remain unreliable, unaccountable, poorly organized and divided by region and tribe.

“In recent weeks, military commanders have intensified their warnings about the threat from the Islamic State in Libya, where Western officials believe the group now has about 3,000 fighters. Recruits are pouring into Libya weekly, as the journey to Iraq and Syria has become more difficult with Turkey tightening its border with Syria, intelligence officials said.”

On Jan. 27, the Times declared in an editorial: “This significant escalation is being planned without a meaningful debate in Congress about the merits and risks of a military campaign that is expected to include airstrikes and raids by elite American troops. That is deeply troubling. A new military intervention in Libya would represent a significant progression of a war that could easily spread to other countries on the continent.”

Stratfor analyst Scott Steward predicted a month before the first U.S./NATO attack in March 2011 that pandemonium would ensue. Now, on Jan. 27, he wrote:

“As the United States and its European and regional allies prepare to intervene in Libya, they should be able to reduce the jihadist’s ability to openly control territory. However, they will face the same challenge they did in 2011 — building a stable political system from the shattered remains of what was once a country. Now, Libya is a patchwork of territories controlled by a variety of ethnic, tribal and regional warlords. The last five years of fighting has led to significant hatred and blood feuds between these competing factions, which will only compound the challenges ahead.”

On Jan. 28, Al Jazeera reported: “Taking advantage of the chaos and large swaths of ungoverned territory caused by Libya’s civil war, Islamic State has established three separate wilayat (provinces) there since late 2014 — Tarablus along the west coast, Fezzan in the southwest, and Barqah in the east, with the key coastal city of Sirte serving as its Libyan capital. Like its parent group in Syria and Iraq, IS in Libya has uploaded video proof of its atrocities to the Internet, including mass decapitations of Egyptian, Ethiopian and Eritrean Christians.”

Why should we not be surprised about additional U.S. military escalations in the Middle East and the probability of many more to come? The Bush Administration’s 2001 war in Afghanistan is still going on and will not end with a U.S. military victory. Washington’s 2003 illegal invasion of Iraq is still going on in its second excruciating incarnation. President Obama’s call for regime change in Syria and support for the rebels has transformed this country into a slaughterhouse, resulting in up to 250,000 deaths and millions of refugees. Last year’s U.S. backed and equipped Saudi Arabian invasion of Yemen is still going on with no end approaching. And President Obama still approves a weekly kill list of human targets for his drone wars.

Washington has been politically and militarily involved with the Middle East for over 70 years. It has overthrown governments and invaded countries to bolster its regional authority. During that time it has supported a plethora of dictators, working with them over the years to virtually destroy the entire political left and liberalism throughout the region.

In the absence of a strong rational internal political opposition to bring about progressive political change and to protect their countries from the influence and depredations of Western imperialism, the religio-fascist IS and other Sunni fundamentalist fanatics represent the only — but warped and backward — opposition to U.S. dominion. It is certainly not the answer to the grave problems afflicting the people and countries throughout the region.

The U.S. political system, like the Bourbon dynasty in France, has learned nothing and forgotten nothing after all these decades of deep penetration in the Middle East, supporting reactionary regimes, causing the deaths of well over a million people and the destruction of entire societies.

Judging by the present political situation in the U.S., Washington in the foreseeable future will continue supporting the dictatorships and fighting endless wars to secure its regional “leadership,” Obama’s code word for American domination. Now it looks like U.S. “leadership” is being disrespected in Libya — so off we go, again. Only a massive, politically enlightened peace movement in the U.S. can stop this continual cycle of aggression and mayhem.

More articles by:

Jack A. Smith edits the Activist Newsletter.

November 20, 2017
T.J. Coles
Doomsday Scenarios: the UK’s Hair-Raising Admissions About the Prospect of Nuclear War and Accident
Peter Linebaugh
On the 800th Anniversary of the Charter of the Forest
Sheldon Richman
Assertions, Facts and CNN
Ben Debney
Plebiscites: Why Stop at One?
LV Filson
Yemen’s Collective Starvation: Where Money Can’t Buy Food, Water or Medicine
Thomas Knapp
Impeachment Theater, 2017 Edition
Binoy Kampmark
Trump in Asia
Curtis FJ Doebbler
COP23: Truth Without Consequences?
Louisa Willcox
Obesity in Bears: Vital and Beautiful
Deborah James
E-Commerce and the WTO
Ann Garrison
Burundi Defies the Imperial Criminal Court: an Interview with John Philpot
Robert Koehler
Trapped in ‘a Man’s World’
Stephen Cooper
Wiping the Stain of Capital Punishment Clean
Weekend Edition
November 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Thank an Anti-War Veteran
Andrew Levine
What’s Wrong With Bible Thumpers Nowadays?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The CIA’s House of Horrors: the Abominable Dr. Gottlieb
Wendy Wolfson – Ken Levy
Why We Need to Take Animal Cruelty Much More Seriously
Mike Whitney
Brennan and Clapper: Elder Statesmen or Serial Fabricators?
David Rosen
Of Sex Abusers and Sex Offenders
Ryan LaMothe
A Christian Nation?
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Finger on the Button: Why No President Should Have the Authority to Launch Nuclear Weapons
W. T. Whitney
A Bizarre US Pretext for Military Intrusion in South America
Deepak Tripathi
Sex, Lies and Incompetence: Britain’s Ruling Establishment in Crisis 
Howard Lisnoff
Who You’re Likely to Meet (and Not Meet) on a College Campus Today
Roy Morrison
Trump’s Excellent Asian Adventure
John W. Whitehead
Financial Tyranny
Ted Rall
How Society Makes Victimhood a No-Win Proposition
Jim Goodman
Stop Pretending the Estate Tax has Anything to do With Family Farmers
Thomas Klikauer
The Populism of Germany’s New Nazis
Murray Dobbin
Is Trudeau Ready for a Middle East war?
Jeiddy Martínez Armas
Firearm Democracy
Jill Richardson
Washington’s War on Poor Grad Students
Ralph Nader
The Rule of Power Over the Rule of Law
Justin O'Hagan
Capitalism Equals Peace?
Matthew Stevenson
Into Africa: From the Red Sea to Nairobi
Geoff Dutton
The Company We Sadly Keep
Evan Jones
The Censorship of Jacques Sapir, French Dissident
Linn Washington Jr.
Meek Moment Triggers Demands for Justice Reform
Gerry Brown
TPP, Indo Pacific, QUAD: What’s Next to Contain China’s Rise?
Robert Fisk
The Exile of Saad Hariri
Romana Rubeo - Ramzy Baroud
Anti-BDS Laws and Pro-Israeli Parliament: Zionist Hasbara is Winning in Italy
Robert J. Burrowes
Why are Police in the USA so Terrified?
Chuck Collins
Stop Talking About ‘Winners and Losers’ From Corporate Tax Cuts
Ron Jacobs
Private Property Does Not Equal Freedom
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Mass Shootings, Male Toxicity and their Roots in Agriculture
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail