Webster G. Tarpley, Ph.D.
March 19, 2011
rally in front of the White House, Washington DC, March 19, 2011
Washington DC, March 19 – Late today US and British cruise missiles joined with French and other NATO combat aircraft in Operation Odyssey Dawn/Operation Ellamy, a neo-imperialist bombing attack under fake humanitarian cover against the sovereign state of Libya. Acting under UN Security Council resolution 1973, US naval forces in the Mediterranean on Saturday night local time fired 112 cruise missiles at targets which the Pentagon claimed were related to Libya’s air defense system. But Mohammed al-Zawi, the Secretary General of the Libyan Parliament, told a Tripoli press conference that the “barbaric armed attack” and “savage aggression” had hit residential areas and office buildings as well as military targets, filling the hospitals of Tripoli and Misurata with civilian victims. Zawi accused the foreign powers of acting to protect a rebel leadership which contains notorious terrorist elements. The Libyan government repeated its request for the UN to send international observers to report objectively on events in Libya.
The attacking forces are expected to deploy more cruise missiles, Predator drones, and bombers, seeking to destroy the Libyan air defense system as a prelude to the systematic decimation of Libyan ground units. International observers have noted that US intelligence about Libya may be substandard, and that many cruise missiles may indeed have struck non-military targets.
Libya had responded to the UN vote by declaring a cease-fire, but Obama and Cameron brushed that aside. On Saturday, France 24 and al-Jazeera of Qatar, international propaganda networks hyping the attacks, broadcast hysterical reports of Qaddafi’s forces allegedly attacking the rebel stronghold of Bengazi. They showed a picture of a jet fighter being shot down and claimed this proved Qaddafi was defying the UN by keeping up his air strikes. It later turned out that the destroyed plane had belonged to the rebel air force. Such coverage provided justification for the bombing attacks starting a few hours later. The parallels to the Kuwait incubator babies hoax of 1990 were evident. Qaddafi loyalists said Saturday’s fighting was caused by rebel assaults on government lines in the hopes of provoking an air attack, plus local residents defending themselves against the rebels.
At the UN vote, the Indian delegate correctly pointed out that the decision to start the war had been made on the basis of no reliable information whatsoever, since UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon’s envoy to Libya had never reported to the Security Council. The bombing started shortly after a glittering Paris summit “in support of the Libyan people,” where Sarkozy, Cameron, Hillary Clinton, Stephen Harper of Canada and other imperialist politicians had strutted and postured.
Token contingents from Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia were supposed to take part in the attack, but were nowhere to be seen, while some Arab states were expected to provide financial support. The minimum estimated cost of maintaining a no-fly zone over Libya for one year is estimated in the neighborhood of $15 billion – enough to fund WIC high-protein meals for impoverished US mothers and infants for two years.
From no-fly zone to regime change
The alleged purpose of the bombing was to establish a no-fly zone and to protect a force of CIA-sponsored Libyan rebels composed of the Moslem Brotherhood, elements of the Libyan government and army subverted by the CIA (including such sinister figures as former Justice Minister Mustafa Abdel-Jalil and former Interior Minister Fattah Younis), and monarchist Senussi tribesmen holding the cities of Benghazi and Tobruk. But twin Friday ultimatums by President Obama and British premier Cameron, plus a speech by Harper, made clear that the goal was the ouster of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi and regime change in the North African oil-producing nation, whose proven reserves of crude are the largest on that continent.
Prospects for military success are uncertain, despite the apparent NATO preponderance. No clear military objective has been articulated, and disagreements about the scope of the war are likely. If Qaddafi’s tanks and infantry are engaged in house to house battles with the rebels in cities like Bengazi and Tobruk, it will be hard for NATO to bring its air superiority to bear without massacring large numbers of civilians.
Read the rest of Dr. Tarpley's article here at Tarpley.net.