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US Too Broke for Real War on Libya: Author

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TEHRAN, May 7 (ICANA) – The US has resorted to stirring conflict between the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, al-Qaeda, and anti-Gaddafi tribes because it is simply “too broke and isolated to mount any serious form of land effort in Libya,” a historian says.
Saturday, May 07, 2011 9:27:02 PM
US Too Broke for Real War on Libya: Author

Press TV has conducted an interview with American Author and Historian, Webster Tarpley to further discuss the matter.

Q: The Libyan Transitional Council has recently shown its road map towards democracy as far as Libya goes at this meeting of the contact group in Libya. What they outlined was, elections to be held despite Gaddafi staying in power. What do you make of that?

Webster Tarpley: We have to remember that this Benghazi-rebel council, I would simply call them the 'NATO puppets' are not revolutionaries in any sense. This group around [President of the rebel council, Mustafa Abdul] Jalil, [the rebel's military Chief of Staff Abd Al Fattah] Yunis, and Hester, now they are people who are co-sponsored by MI6, by the CIA, by the French DGSE, and with the input from the National Endowment for Democracy, as was quite correctly mentioned. But the embarrassment for the Western government is that this group is chuck full of al-Qaeda operatives and former veterans of the Libyan-Islamic fighting group, people who have been prisoners of war of the US and Pakistan and or have been held in Guantanamo Bay are now in command of cities like Benghazi.

I think it's going to be very hard to transfer money to such a group of dubious characters. Hilary Clinton obviously wants to give these people at least a good chunk of the USD 33 billion that the US has seized. There is evidence that they have already been stealing oil and selling it with the help of Qatar out there in the [Persian] Gulf, but the word I had was that the rebels were about three to four weeks away from going bankrupt, so they need a cash infusion, and I'm not sure that they have it, because what they have seems to be humanitarian aid.

I think the other side, the military side, from NATO circles we now hear that the bombing has reached an impact that these NATO circles speaking through various academics and so forth, want a new United Nations resolution that would allow them to the ground invasion that we just heard of Obama promising that he would never go with.

So, certainly the danger therefore of the ground war, and just let me add that here in Washington, we have a mood of what I call hysteria, psychosis and euphoria all mixed. Having mainly to do with this bin Laden story, being too complex to go into. I think now it will be fairly easy for his handlers to get Obama to sign paperwork for some kind of invasion of Libya, but I would also warn that would be yet another disaster for the US, given the obvious strategic problems of Libya.

Q: Well, then all this brings us back to the fact that the UN mandate does not require a regime change, however, any success that can be measured on the ground will only come through a viable regime change.

Webster Tarpley: Well, the regime change is illegal and at a certain point the five permanent members can pass whatever they want, but the UN charter it seems to me ought to trump their short-term machinations, and it's very clear that the entire system aims at keeping people out of the internal affairs of sovereign states.

It talks about international security, which was never threatened by anything coming out of Libya, and therefore the sovereignty of Libya ought to be reasserted. You cannot be an aggressor on your own territory, and that is what these humanitarian international lawyers are trying to argue. That of course is a recipe for world chaos, trying to abolish the world system that we've had since 1648. We have sovereign states; I think we better keep them, because any attempt to supplant those with an empire will be catastrophic.

Q: This also brings up the question, about the fact that a lot of analysts say that the US cannot afford to bring boots on the ground simply because it is stretched too thin with its wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and etc. What do you say to this?

Webster Tarpley: The original idea is that of course the US is too broke, too isolated, too hated and so forth to mount any serious land effort in Libya. So therefore the idea was to get the Libya-Islamic fighting group (LIFG), get al-Qaeda and a bunch of people from this Benghazi-Derna area who already has mounted a rebellion against Gaddafi in 1995-1996, going again.

These are tribes like the Harabi tribe who were nostalgic for King Idris, when they were pretty much the ruling class. They don't like the fact that the power has shifted to the western tribes which are more favorable to Gaddafi. So they were supposed to be the NATO infantry in a regular gaggle of guerrilla fighters practically in their pickup trucks out on the road, except that that doesn't work.

We had that 50 years ago. Kennedy was convinced to send in an irregular force to overthrow Castro, because there'd been an uprising but it didn't work. When it didn't work Allan Dulles went back to Kennedy and said that I want the airstrikes and I want the marines, Kennedy then said no to both and by the way you're going to be fired soon.

Unfortunately with Obama, we have someone who is such a puppet, such a weakling that he literally takes orders from these people even when he would politically be much smarter in the electoral sense not to do this. So, I think it's all drifting towards some tragic escalation.

Q: But Dr. Tarpley, this sounds a lot like what the US did in Afghanistan, while fighting the Soviets. You'd think that the top military intelligence in the US would have learned by now.

Webster Tarpley: Yes you would. And I'm afraid they haven't. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini just promised his own domestic opposition that Italy would be out of the [Libyan] fighting within three to four weeks, and I think that's completely unrealistic. It's going to go on for quite a while, much longer than anyone thinks, and I would support an immediate cessation of this. But then we have these NATO 'out of area deployments,' which have turned NATO into this colonial imperialist police force. It's just tragic.

Q: Well, then also we have allies playing crucial roles. Specifically in Europe we have Italy, Britain, and France being extremely proactive, who started supplying the revolutionaries with what it calls protective weapons. What do they have to gain from all this?

Webster Tarpley: Well, the obvious is that it's the old Suez coalition from 1956. It's the British and the French, the unreconstructed imperialists. One of the things they have to do is to expand themselves at the expense of the Italians. The poor Italians are the former colonial power. The majority of the oil interests were with them and especially the oil production was giving Italy about one quarter of all the oil it needed. So there was an urge to throw them out. There also was a growing Chinese presence in Africa of about 40,000 workers who have been driven out of the country now. So the Chinese were getting a large piece of it, and of course the US policy in general is to try to kick the Chinese out of Africa, to cut off their sources of oil and strategic raw materials.

If you send peacekeepers into a country where they're not welcome, they will be resisted, and I'm sure the Libyans will.

Q: How do you respond to those who say that when these uprisings started in Libya and Gaddafi's regime forces brutally cracked down upon protesters, world leaders began taking actions against the Gaddafi regime. Now that they are taking actions, we're all saying it's for global domination, how do you respond to that?

Webster Tarpley: Well, this entire thing is part of the wave of color revolutions, palace coups that the CIA and the British have arranged all across the Arab world, reaching into countries in Central Asia, Kazakhstan, out to Indonesia and far beyond.

It's essentially the leading edge of a war by the British and the US, against the existence of the nation's state itself. The empire no longer tolerates the existence of semi-independent states. We have the Libyan government in exile that was here in northern Virginia and was contributed by the CIA; we have the DGSE contributing the subversion of a group of officers in the area Benghazi.

The British of course contributed the tribal connections to King Idris who was a creature of Britain, and then of course the al-Qaeda, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group has been encouraged by the CIA; nothing spontaneous about this. The goal was civil war. Who fired the first shot? I think these people had done the rebellion in 1995-1996. They knew what they were doing. Civil war is the essence of anarchy and once you start it, the consequences will be terrible.

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