By Mike Whitney
The Obama administration never would have launched a war on Libya if they didn’t have a puppet-in-waiting ready to take power as soon as the fighting ended. That puppet appears to be Mustafa Abdul Jalil, Gaddafi’s former justice minister. Jalil is presently the opposition leader of the Libyan National Transitional Council which oversees the insurgents from Al Bayda. This is not a grassroots movement that embraces the fundamental precepts of democratic government. It’s a clatter of rebels armed by the Egyptian military (with US approval) to topple the Gaddafi regime. Jalil has garnered the military support of the so-called “international community” despite the fact that peaceful protesters in Bahrain, Yemen and Saudi Arabia have been kicked to the curb. It’s just another example of the UN’s selective support for pro-democracy movements.
Here’s a clip from an interview with Mr. Jalil that appeared in The Daily Beast:
Question–Should you prevail, what’s your vision of the new Libya?
Mustafa Abdul Jalil—“We are striving for a new democratic, civil Libya, led by democratic and civil government that focuses on economic development, building civil society and civil institutions and a multi-party system. A Libya that respects all international agreements, is good to its neighbors, stands against terrorism, with respect for all religions and ethnicities….We will be seeking a smooth peaceful transition, with a drafting of a new constitution that will lead the country to a free and fair legislative and parliamentarian elections as well as presidential election…..There will be peaceful conference of governance according to elections, under the observation of the international organizations.” (The Daily Beast)
There you have it, another committed “democrat” like Karzai, Abbas, Calderon, Uribe, Siniora etc. Jalil predictably parrots all the familiar public relations buzzwords: Civil society, constitution, peaceful transition, parliamentarian elections, democracy, democracy, democracy and, oh, did I mention democracy. The idea that this US-sponsored farce is some type of spontaneous eruption of the freedom-seeking masses is laughable. Here’s an excerpt from an article in Reuters that reveals the truth behind the propaganda:
“Egypt’s military has begun shipping arms over the border to Libyan rebels with Washington’s knowledge, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. Quoting U.S. and Libyan rebel officials, the newspaper said the shipments were mostly of small arms such as assault rifles and ammunition. It appeared to be the first case of an outside government arming the rebel fighters, the newspaper said….
The United States is a major ally and supplier of military aid to Egypt….
“Americans have given the green light to the Egyptians to help. The Americans don’t want to be involved in a direct level, but the Egyptians wouldn’t do it if they didn’t get the green light.” (“Egypt arming Libya rebels, Wall Street Journal reports”, Reuters)
This may explain why Hillary chose to meet with Egypt’s new junta leaders just last week. She probably wanted to make sure that US operations were running smoothly next door in Libya. In any event, it’s clear that the Obama administration is using its influence in Cairo to smuggle weapons to rebels in Benghazi.
So, what’s the endgame here? Does Obama really think he can depose Gaddafi with this armed rabble of malcontents or does he have something else up his sleeve?
The answer to these questions can be found in an article in Businessweek titled “Libya’s Eastern Rebels, Long-Time Qaddafi Foes, Driving Revolt.” Here’s an excerpt:
“Decades of poor treatment and economic discrimination against Libyans in the country’s eastern province of Cyrenaica provided the kindling for the revolt against leader Muammar Qaddafi…. The rebellion began in Cyrenaica, a region endowed with oil….
With hundreds of miles of desert separating the main towns of Libya’s three regions, Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and Fezzan, in the Sahara at the southwest of the country, the regions had little binding them together…
“Libya as a country is a relatively new concept,” said Elliott Abrams, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington and a former deputy national security adviser to President George W. Bush. “The period of Libya as a modern nation really starts after World War II.”
Most of Libya’s proven oil and gas reserves lie in Cyrenaica, one of three provinces that the 20th century colonial power, Italy, melded into the precursor of modern Libya. Oil and gas account for 97 percent of Libya’s export earnings, one-fourth of the country’s economic output, and 90 percent of government revenue, according to the International Monetary Fund.
“Substantial revenues from the energy sector coupled with a small population give Libya one of the highest per capita GDPs in Africa, but little of this income flows down to the lower orders of society,” the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency wrote in a public document analyzing Libya’s economy.
With $105 billion of reserves in the national treasury and a population of about 6.5 million, Libya has ample funds to support a transition from Qaddafi’s regime and ease any regional tensions that may come from four decades of investment favoring the Tripoli region, Abrams said in an interview.
“If you had a new government, it could actually adopt a development plan that could buy years of stability,” Abrams said. (“Libya’s Eastern Rebels, Long-Time Qaddafi Foes, Driving Revolt,” Bloomberg Businessweek)
Repeat: “Oil and gas account for 97 percent of Libya’s export earnings, one-fourth of the country’s economic output, and 90 percent of government revenue.”
So, what does it mean?
It means that all of Libya’s resources lie in the eastern province which can be easily split-off Serbia-style with the support of foreign imperialists using their proxy armies and their “democracy promoting” puppets. This is what’s really at the heart of Obama’s “humanitarian intervention”, further Balkenization of the Middle East. It’s just more plunder disguised as magnanimity.