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'US, EU Profiting from Gaddafi Fall'

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TEHRAN, May 1 (ICANA) – NATO targets Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi's stronghold, killing his youngest son Saif al-Arab and three of his grandsons.
Sunday, May 01, 2011 11:49:32 AM
'US, EU Profiting from Gaddafi Fall'

In an interview with Press TV, former Pentagon official Michael Maloof tells us that NATO forces are specifically targeting Gaddafi and major infrastructures in Libya for a quick transition of power, with the US and EU countries setting up in position to profit from the rebuilding of the country.

Q: The most recent report about this NATO airstrike is it has killed Gaddafi's youngest son and reported to have hit the villa that Colonel Gaddafi himself is in. Why don't you tell us something about the NATO operation? It seems it has escalated 13 powerful explosions in Misratah. The sorties report has come out, we're looking at - I'm losing count - over 2,000 out of which 1,000 were strike missions. And we know NATO warplanes are targeting Tripoli quite a bit here.

Maloof: I think it's part and parcel of an intensification effort on the current resolution to put more pressure on Gaddafi. The fact that they hit in and near the compound reflects that. And now they've taken the lives of some of his family. That has got to have some kind of a demoralizing effect and impact on Gaddafi, personally.

The fact that he's wanting to sit down and talk with someone with the alliance is all the more reason why the alliance needs to intensify their efforts. I think his back is beginning to be put against the wall, notwithstanding the fact that troops are hitting Misratah and trying to regain Misratah -- have laid some mines and what have you.

I think this represents, mostly, the fact that this is an effort to put more intensity on him, to make him resign - or even to kill him - and see if he will put a halt to the fighting. He can certainly call his troops to stop fighting if he wants to talk.

Q: Isn't killing Gaddafi against the UN resolution?

Maloof: It can be interpreted as that; it's supposed to be, but I don't think it's in the resolution. I don't think it forbids it, specifically, but I may be wrong.

But when you're in a war, anything can happen. I think that's what they're going to play if it turns out that members of his family and Gaddafi himself is killed, is that this is just a result of warfare and these things happen.

Of course, they're targeting him. It's very clear that they're targeting him even though they're never going to admit it. You don't hit at a compound without a reason. They know where his compound is as opposed to other military targets. Frankly, in a war like this the leadership would be considered a military target.

Q: They have, actually, targeted quite a bit of infrastructure based on the report on the sorties that have been carried out. Of course, I'm sure you're well aware of it, but NATO doesn't disclose where they have hit.

When we look down the list of countries that have been contributing to this war, I think there's seven of them, France ranks second. They have 100 airplanes of different kinds that they've contributed.

And then when we look at the list of what the US has contributed, it's much more than any of the other countries, along with the heavy weaponry that they're carrying. What can help but define that? What are they targeting? I mean, we're just looking at a coastline, aren't we? 50 percent of it is desert, if not more. And how many major compounds and buildings are there? What are the major targets that are being targeted and the purpose behind it?

Maloof: It could be bunkers, it could be actual armament, armor on the ground, it could be communication buildings -- command and control. It looks like they're still able to communicate and coordinate so there's that kind of communication that is ongoing. And as they learn of new sourcing of that they're going to go after it.

Certainly, they're trying to keep down any counter offenses that Gaddafi forces are going to mount, with what seems to be going on in Misratah. The fact, too, that they could put ships out at sea and lay mines shows they have some kind of capability.

Q: The thing with the mines, actually, dates back a little bit. We are aware that they were sending some mines up in Misratah and now we are hearing that they're actually in the port.

When you look at what these airstrikes actually do, and I know we're not aware of what they're hitting, it's pretty alarming when we hear reports of the damage and infrastructure damage. So, along with this, what's going to happen? What's the mission at the end? Is it regime change, as stated, or is Muammar Gaddafi to step down?

Looking at the long-term, in terms of the rebuilding efforts that are going to take place, tell us what you think is going to happen after this scenario once it plays out.

Maloof: If Gaddafi is removed from the scene, and the rebels and the Transitional [National] Council are able to put in a viable government alternative, then you're going to see an import of new assistance and effort to rebuild the infrastructure. That goes almost without saying.

Of course, there is the effort to secure the oil refineries and I'm sure that those will be used to help pay for the rebuilding of the infrastructure. But it's going to take a long while. I think that Gaddafi has got to be removed from the scene, first, before any of that can be done and any effective remnants of his regime have got to be removed.

Q: And who's going to benefit from these reconstruction efforts - which companies, which countries?

Maloof: I think European countries, primarily. It depends on what kind of infrastructure they're going to need. Even before the hostilities began, Europeans were very much benefitting a great deal.

Of course, because Gaddafi is the leader of Libya, the Russians were benefitting a great deal. I know their military was being revamped and rebuilt using predominantly Russian equipment.

Q: We talked about the oil installation; it's interesting that the US Treasury has moved to permit oil deals with the Transitional National Council. Why is it that the US Treasury is involved in that? I mean, this was the order by the US Treasury Department's foreign assets control. To me, that was a little strange. Perhaps they were controlling the oil transactions as opposed to other countries? What makes the US be the forefront there?

Maloof: The sanctions were imposed against the Libyan regime and any country that would be trading with them, as long as it was under Gaddafi's control. But those refineries that were no longer under that control were allowed to continue.

The whole idea is to try to get revenue into the hands of the Transitional Council to begin to be able to afford what they need in order to survive and to, primarily, bring in humanitarian equipment and goods for the civilian population. That takes a lot of money. The fact that relief ships are still able to come in is a good thing.

It's just a thing that the US Treasury department does against the government as part of the sanctions that were imposed. I would imagine that the other European countries did something similar until the area was brought back under transitional control.

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