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Libya War: The Unknown Costs And The Indemnified Interventionists

By Farooque Chowdhury

30 June, 2015

A land devastated: Part I

Today's Libya is a collapsed country, an epitome of failure in “humanitarian” interventionists' “intelligence” driven by business interests. Still the interventionists are not brought to book.

The people there in the devastated society know the “gift” the “humanitarian” interventionists have already awarded: chaos, conflict, bloodshed, death, legal-loot – loot under the guise of law, and no normal life for ordinary citizens. None knows: who rules the country, virtually a collection of fiefdoms. Or, it's known to all: interventionists ultimately rule the situation in the failed state. The short-sighted interventionists' cost is known: billions of dollars, which are ultimately paid by millions of tax payers in interventionists' countries. The real cost is never ciphered as that will enrage people.    

Libya is on the verge of economic and financial collapse.” It's the observation of Bernardino Leon Gross, the UN special envoy on Libya. “Libya's economic collapse is a real possibility….The situation is very difficult in terms of Libyan finances”, said Leon. He warned: Libya is running out of time. (Reuters, May 28, 2015) Civil servants, the biggest workforce in Libya, say “they have not been paid for at least two months and accuse the central bank of not providing local lenders with liquidity to issue paychecks.” (Reuters, June 1, 2015)

Libya's descent into chaos finds no sovereign power, no central government, and no legislative assembly acceptable to all factions of dominating interests there. There's no national army, the last resort of dominating interests, now. There is no arrangement or organization with the capacity and authority to protect the country's most valuable asset – hydrocarbon. “Libya”, reports CNN, “is suffering a complete breakdown of political authority”. (“Hillary Clinton's real Libya Problem”, June 9, 2015, updated: June 15, 2015)

The government that fled capital Tripoli and based in the eastern city of Tobruk has sought external help to combat its old friends and adversaries of the moment – jihadists. Its warning said: oil terminals are endangered. The government now seeks arms from “international community” to fight the Islamic State (IS). NATO bombs, now they find, are not powerful enough to impose “democracy”; rather those are powerful enough to create conflicts.

News reports said: As most western embassies are shuttered in Tripoli most diplomats operate neither from Tripoli nor from Tobruk, but from Malta and other nearby stations. Tripoli's international airport lies in ruins. The IS controls the airport in Sirte, a region with oilfields. So, the eastern government yearns for friendship with arms.

Abdullah al-Thinni, the eastern government's prime minister, had survived an assassination attempt in the late-May, 2015. He was “surprised by a lot of bullets”. He thanked God as he “managed to escape” the bullets shot by “paid criminals”. The gunmen once tried to storm parliament. Earlier, the parliament speaker Aqila Saleh had asked Thinni to leave the assembly for his safety after protesters opposed to his government gathered outside the naval base where the parliament was meeting. The session resumed after Thinni's departure. (Reuters, May 26, 2015) A parliament fails to ensure safety of its prime minister! Isn't it a “humanitarian-democracy” paved by NATO and disturbed by paid criminals? A deadly game for “good” governance without an “autocracy”!

The government's original plan was to set up parliament in Benghazi. But the holy house was shifted to Tobruk as Benghazi turned into a battleground between the eastern government and Islamist militants. The parliament began its session in a Tobruk hotel. But it was moved to a naval base after a suicide car bomb attack near the hotel in December. A sovereign organ of a state machine is being chased by a band of bombers with suicidal motive!

Political alliances appear strange now in the entire region, from Iran to Tunisia, from Sudan to Turkey. Libya, in the zone of heightened competition, houses many for alliances: Ansar al-Sharia, Islamic State allied groups, the eastern government, Toubou militia, Libya Dawn militia alliance, Tuareg militia, Battalion 166. Other jihadist militant groups are there also. There is a united council of Libyan tribal chiefs formed in Cairo. All are struggling in respective way to get out of the maze constructed with cruise missiles from NATO. 

One alliance of militants runs the capital, Tripoli, in the west. The eastern government claimed: the IS had allied with supporters of the ousted Gaddafi government. Two governments with two parliaments – the Tobruk-based House of Representatives and the Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC) – now rule the oil-rich desert land. They are skinning for control of the country plagued by violence. The GNC is an assembly with a dead mandate. It's a freewheeling “democracy” of divided interests being guided by the “democracy”-bosses!

News reports said: freedoms of conscience, thought, speech and religious practice, gender equality, tolerance to people from other land and of other color, and peaceful civil life are totally absent in today's Libya. Factional fight is the major force that is now defining civil and military life there. The armed fights obviously have political masterminds. Human rights, the premise for the so-called responsibility to protect (R2P) intervention, are totally absent there as the country is now a total disaster.

The migration episode – hundreds and hundreds of people fleeing imperialism's proxy war/imperialism orchestrated armed civil strife, devastation, poverty and persecution – has broadened the interventionists' stake in Libya, the main migration route to Europe. Wise interventionists failed to perceive the risk now being faced by them. The issue – migration – is impacting politics, society and economy in European countries. Interventionists don't like the people, who have been made cannon fodder in countries considered essential for imperialist expansion. Gang of persons still befriends imperialists.

The migration-pain puts Libya high on the EU's agenda. A few European countries, as news reports said, were working on a proposed UN Security Council resolution authorizing EU to destroy migrant traffickers' boats. (Reuters, May 6, 2015) No doubt, it's a “civilized” plan after a bloody “humanitarian”-intervention!

“Fortunate” with resources: Part II

But why the havoc has been gifted to Libya? One of the reasons is the country's resources. Its geopolitical position in the region is another reason.

With an approximately 5 percent average real GDP growth during 2004–10, Libya's official foreign assets increased from $20 billion at end-2003 to $170 billion at end-2010. (IMF, Libya beyond the Revolution: Challenges and Opportunities, prepared by a staff team led by Ralph Chami, and comprising Ahmed Al-Darwish, Serhan Cevik, Joshua Charap, Susan George, Borja Gracia, Simon Gray, and Sailendra Pattanayak, 2012) There are parties and ways to grab the resources that generate billions of dollars – the land and the labor.

The land was fortunate with Africa's biggest proven oil reserves, and fifth-largest proven gas reserves. The country, Oil & Gas Journal reports, holds the ninth largest proven oil reserves in the world. (“Worldwide Look at Reserves and Production”, as of January 1, 2014, 01/06/2014) It's approximately 38% of Africa's total proven crude reserves, and, Europe is thirsty for fuel. But, alas! The country is now a hellhole. The “fortunate” land's oil production got the “blessing” of intervention, a curse.

The hydrocarbon-dependent economy's oil production collapsed since the “humanitarian” intervention. From a pre-intervention day output of 1.77 million barrels per day of crude oil, equivalent to 2 percent of global output, the production fell to 22,000 bpd in July 2011. Exports declined from $48.9 billion in 2010 to $19.2 billion in 2011. Non-hydrocarbon economic activity was affected by the destruction of infrastructure and production facilities, disruptions to banking activity, limited access to foreign exchange, and the departure of expatriate workers. Consequently, with an estimated 50 percent contraction in non-hydrocarbon output, total real GDP in 2011 was 60 percent lower than in 2010. Part of the banking system in Libya has already been sold out. (IMF, op. cit.)

The following graph shows disrupted oil production: A deep dip.

2013.09.18 - Libyan Crude Oil Production

Source: Ingrid Pan, “Why unrest in Libya has persistently disrupted oil production”, Market Realist, September 19, 2013

The production is being pulled up. In mid-May, 2015, informed Mustafa Sanallah, the chairman of the National Oil Corporation of Libya (NOC), Libya was producing around 436,000 barrels per day. During March, it was around 490,000 bpd. It was around 750,000 bpd last November. In January, it went down to 325,000 bpd. At times since the intervention, output decreased to 200,000 bpd.

However, the oil giants are to trudge a long path to reach the pre-2011 intervention level.

Companies affected most by Libyan crude oil disruption include ENI, an Italian energy company, Repsol, a Spanish energy company, OMV, an Austrian oil company, Marathon Oil, ConocoPhillips, and Hess Corp. (Ingrid Pan, “Which companies are affected most by Libyan crude disruption?”, Market Realist, September 19, 2013) 

Bloody conflicts have consistently shut down oil facilities and ports in the country since 2011. In March 2015, news reports said, the NOC declared force majeure on 11 oilfields after a series of attacks by the IS. The company claimed its failure to ensure production due to the deteriorating security condition. Armed gangs are using oil facilities as a tool to control the county as oil is largely the country's sole source of revenue.

Protests and labor actions with logical demands are impacting oil business also.

Protests in recent weeks, according to news reports, halted oil flows to a key export terminal. In early May, Zueitina port found its oil cut off as protestors demanding employment forced the closure of a pipeline. The protests resulted in shuttering down of a number of oil fields. An Arabian Gulf Oil Company (AGOCO) spokesperson told production was down by about 35,000 bpd due to the closure of the Nafoura oilfield, which was caused by a protest in May. In late-April, the NOC and ENI's El Feel oil field was closed due to a strike by security guards over salary payments.

Thinni's government wants oil buyers to pay through a Benghazi-based state-run oil company. It's also named NOC. Thinni told contracting or sale outside the “legal framework represented by National Oil Corp … based in Benghazi” is considered a “violation”. His rival prime minister Omar al-Hassi said the dispute could break Libya into two. The Tripoli-based NOC is under the control of forces loyal to the rival government.

The eastern government, writes Charles Kennedy, is facing trouble in finding out buyers for its oil. Despite deep discount tankers are wary of purchasing Libyan crude from a supplier that is unreliable and has an unclear political hold over the country. (OILPRICE.com, “Some Good News From This War-Torn Nation's Oil Industry”, May 14, 2015)

Geoff Porter, CEO of New York-based North African Risk Consulting (NARCO) told Fortune: “Companies contracting with the government, but never sure which part of the government is correct, and they never get paid.” (Vivienne Walt, “Big oil companies in the cross fire as Libyan violence erupts”, Fortune, March 5, 2015)

A risk analysis of Libya's oil and gas market mentions a number of legal risks currently facing companies operating in the territory. (“Risk Analysis: Libya's Oil and Gas Market”, The National Law Review, May 12, 2015)

There, according to the analysis, is the question of sovereignty, a disputed area:  who actually owns the country's hydrocarbons and who can legally contract for their processing and export? The current strife has raised the question of sovereignty over Libyan territory and resources. “The lack of a clear and unified government (and particularly the schism between internationally recognized government and control of the established NOC) means that parties contracting with either party currently run the risk of title disputes and potential nullification of associated contracts.” (ibid.)

Issues related to the (1) UN Security Council resolution 2146 (2014) that enables the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee to designate vessels attempting to illicitly export crude oil from Libya, upon request by the government of Libya, (2) legal dispute resolution mechanisms, and (3) bilateral investment treaties are there also. Libya has neither ratified the New York Convention nor signed the Washington Convention and foreign and domestic arbitral awards. (ibid.)

Non-oil investments, banks, and insurance and re-insurance industries form a major question related to capital in Libya. Suppliers, builders, traders, and other jobs are related to capital and profit in Libya also. Exploiters of labor are there among all of them.

They all revolve around and bank their profit-dream on hydrocarbon from Libya. Geoff Porter said in a note to clients in late-February: “Without oil there are no jobs. Without oil there is no food. Without oil there is potentially no Libya.”

The African country immersed in insecurity and violence is a lucrative source and a promising market. But capital needs types of guarantee, protection, safety and security for its existence, for free flow of commodities, capital and profit, which can be provided by a functioning state. “[W]ith no functioning national government,” writes Vivienne Walt, “there was little legal protection for their investments.” (op. cit.)

Vivienne Walt has the following narration on the problem-scene:

“Attacks on Libyan oil fields likely have Western companies with big investments in the country worried about a longer war.… [A few weeks ago], attacks on its oil fields have … left Western oil companies with big investments in the country wondering whether one of their more promising prospects in Africa is destined for a long and bitter war.”

Storming of/gun battle around three oil fields/facilities were cited as example by Vivienne Walt. These facilities/fields are jointly operated by Libyan and Western oil companies, which are also joint venture and consortium of Total, Marathon Oil, Hess, ConocoPhilips and others. “The country”, adds Vivienne Walt's narration, “is a tantalizing target, not only for business, but also for armed militants of all stripes.” It tells further: “But it is not only the oil industry at risk …”

Oil and reconstruction job has many major stakeholders – Washington, London, Paris, Rome, Oslo, Brussels, Madrid – in Libya, a major player in the world energy market. A few other minors including Cairo and Amman also have stakes there. The minors are not easily visible. The strongest chain fastening all and crossing frontiers is the oil interest.

There's the New Libya Oil & Gas Forum in London. For years it's discussing and planning Libyan oil. There are Shell International Upstream, Occidental Libya Oil and Gas, ExxonMobil, Total, AGOCO, British Arab Commercial Bank, Yokogawa Middle East & Africa, Mellitah Oil & Gas, a joint venture between ENI and the NOC, Statoil, Hess Corporation Libya, Downstream Development, OMV, Sonatrach Libya, BB Energy Group, Petrofac International Limited, GE Oil & Gas, and many others. These stakeholders require stability.

Moreover, there is commitment to the masters. At least Hillary Clinton's aide/friend Sidney Blumenthal's mails, now exposed, tell the story. A March 22, 2011 mail tells: In return of masters' assistance, Jalil and Younus, two leading proxy fighters, agreed to favor firms and interests of a country, particularly in oil industry of Libya. 

Probably other commitments and deals with other masters are waiting to be exposed. Oil production has to be ensured for implementing the commitment. Oil interest's highest priority is production output. Production requires physical security and risk management in Libya. 

Oil flowing out of Libya is still not “unhindered”, “secure”, “ensured”. But, investment needs security; it requires ensured unhindered flow of raw material, finished product, capital, profit. There are issues of honoring contracts, ensuring payments, getting money out of the country. For days, banks remain closed, fuel is unavailable, no supply of electricity, and stores are without food.  Interventionists are now fighting with the reality of insecurity they have constructed to secure their interests. 

So, in early-May, a joint statement by the governments of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US warned that Libyan state institutions controlling billions of euros of national assets risked being exploited by rival forces wrestling for control of the country.

The statement expressed “expectation that those on all sides representing Libya's independent institutions, namely the Central Bank of Libya (CBL), the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), the National Oil Corporation (NOC) and the Libyan Post Telecommunications and Information technology company (LPTIC) will continue to act in the long term interests…pending clarification of unified governance structures”.

It should be mentioned that the CBL, LIA, NOC and LPTIC control a huge portfolio of assets including stakes in a number of Europe's biggest companies and oil revenues.

The self-righteous expectation was expressed after the country has been bombed into pieces and its “unified governance structures” have been overthrown by NATO. Fabricated excuse of humanitarian cause was cited to justify the intervention-trade.

The statement reiterated: “Libya's challenges can only be addressed by a government that can effectively oversee and protect Libya's independent institutions, whose role is to safeguard Libya's resources for the benefit of all Libyans.”

But the interventionists preferred to ignore the fact: Libya's government and institutions for protecting the country's resources have already been overthrown by the interventionists for their own benefit.

The governments' statement said: “We express our concern at attempts to divert Libyan resources to the narrow benefit of any side in the conflict and to disrupt financial and economic institutions that belong to all Libyans.”

The countries said in the statement: “Libya is fortunate to have the resources to enable it to become a peaceful and prosperous nation …”

The statement said: “We urge all Libyans to support the continued independence of its financial and economic institutions.”

Destroyers are now making the “solemn” appeal after destroying the institutions. A Libyan politician's statement reveals a bit of the destruction plan. A Daily Mail report by Nabila Ramdani said:

Britain is helping turn Libya into a ‘cradle of terrorism' exporting killers to Europe along with thousands of illegal migrants, one of the country's senior politicians has warned.” (“Claims muddled policies have allowed ISIS to reduce the nation to anarchy”, May 24, 2015 & updated on May 26, 2015)

The Sweimeh, Dead Sea, Jordan, datelined report cited Mahmoud Jibril, a former interim prime minister during the period Gaddafi was killed in 2011. Jibril now heads the National Forces Alliance party in Libya. His utterances on the intervention and its aftermath can't be brushed out as he was one the interventionists' close collaborators. 

Jibril said, according to the report, muddled policies had allowed groups like the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) to reduce Libya to anarchy. He was speaking at the World Economic Forum on North Africa and the Middle East. Jibril said: The intervention turned out that its main purpose was to get rid of Gaddafi. “What civilians are exposed to right now is much more horrible, and much more dangerous than what took place in 2011, and the world community doesn't raise a figure about that. I remember October 2011, by the end of the NATO bombing campaign I was in Brussels. I was pleading to the European Union, saying the mission was just about to start now, saying don't leave us before we rebuild our institutions.…It's easy to destroy a home, but the hardest part is to rebuild that home, unfortunately nobody listened.”

According to the report, Jibril said: “I think the Europeans will pay a heavy price now, for not listening to that call for help. We even sent a letter asking them to extend the mission for a few months, but they refused.”

Jibril warned: Libya would continue to be migrants' main “funnel” into Europe. Libya will become a black hole that will engulf all its neighbors in North Africa, the sub-Saharan Sahel and Europe. There are currently more than 27 million weapons in Libya. These could arm more than seven African countries.

Shouldn't the interventionists defend their position after the exposure by Jibril and Sidney-mails? Now the interventionists are crying with the situation precarious to some of them, but it had dreamers and planners.

The dreamers: Part III

Micah Zenko, Douglas Dillon Fellow, finds the Libya venture, “legally dubious, and … have failed to achieve the ultimate objective, which US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta declared was ‘to do what we can to bring down the regime of Qaddafi.'” (“What Does Libya Cost the United States?”, Politics, Power, and Preventive blog of the Council on Foreign Relations, August 11, 2011)

In Hard Choices, Hillary Clinton narrates her dream on Libya: consolidate government authority, disarm the militias, provide security, build up a stable democracy, and use oil revenues to rebuild the country.

But she preferred to deny the fact: Intervention for loot tears down the public face of dream and the real ugly face of the dream is displayed. And, it turned out as vox et praeterea nihil, a voice and nothing more nightingale.

Another fact is also being exhibited: Immediate interests overwhelm intelligence. Business interests made the interventionists desperate. It's the axiom told long ago by Marx: prospect of higher profit prompts capital to act suicidal. The interventionists defied their own intelligence. Scholarship of a number of individuals overwhelmed scholarship of academic and state related institutions, which have accumulated over a long period of time. Bourgeois scholarship over centuries is not that duffer that fails to take into account pre-intervention Libya reality, and fails to assume post-intervention scene. But, here, in the case of Libya intervention, immediate profit-sense of interventionists suspended its scholarship. As a consequence, contradictions in the society, Libya, were ignored while blue print for intervention was drawn on the basis of imagination. Sarkozy was one step advanced and Berlusconi was over-enthusiast. The history of geopolitics found two noteworthy characters – Sarkozy and Berlusconi – and a “brilliant” trans-Atlantic-Gulf unity of action with a “visionary” leader. But, socio-economic contradictions determine political path, and political developments don't depend on dreams devoid of reality.

So, “Libya was the biggest American foreign policy failure since Iraq.” (Matt Purple, “Sidney Blumenthal email shows just how wrong Hillary Clinton was about Libya”, Rare Politics)

Hillary prefers not to admit the fact: NATO's “humanitarian” bombings produced a failed state: Libya. Paying salary to civil servants or soldiers is now uncertain in the country. The reality that the intervention has created is also not congenial to the capital that dreamed to make its footprint on the desert.  

“By any measure,” writes Scott Greer, “Libya has gotten demonstrably worse since Gaddafi was murdered on-camera in 2011.” (“Remembering Libya: Hillary's Iraq”, The Daily Caller, May 28, 2015) Scott Greer refers to The Washington Institute's policy analysis “Libya as a Failed State: Causes, Consequences, Options” (Research note 24, November 2014) by Andrew Engel: “Libya has become a failed state in what could be a prolonged period of civil war.”

Referring to the present condition in Libya Scott writes: “[T]his was a problem Muammar Gaddafi warned Western powers would happen if his government was taken down. It turned out to be true, and, like most of Libya's problems, it looks to be a problem directly caused by the fall of Gaddafi.”

Scott refers to The Washington Post that dubbed Libya-intervention as “Hillary's war”, and adds: “She was the one who pushed President Obama to agree to enforcing a no-fly-zone that allowed Gaddafi's opposition to regroup and win the bloody 2011 civil war. She advocated for supplying weapons and military training to rebel forces, some of whom were affiliated with the Islamic militants who later assaulted the US compound in Benghazi.”

Scott informs: “Hillary was evidently proud of her work. On the day of the Benghazi attack, she emailed a staffer a note indicating she wanted…a documentary on Libya that celebrated her as a hero.”

The long news report by The Washington Post that Scott referred detailed Hillary Clinton's “pivotal role — both within a divided Cabinet and a fragile, assembled-on-the-fly international alliance” in the Libya War. The report quoted Hillary: “[W]e set into motion a policy that was on the right side of history, on the right side of our values, on the right side of our strategic interests in the region.” Citing an administration official it said “she had become a ‘strong advocate' for US intervention.” The report by Joby Warrick cited one US State Department official: “‘This is important to the United States, it's important to the president, and it's important to me personally,' Clinton told Arab leaders”. Describing the condition of the proxy fighters in Libya the report said: “[A] cash crunch also loomed for the rebels, who were unable to sell oil and were legally blocked from tapping into Gaddafi's overseas bank accounts. By early July, they had run out of money for weapons, food and other critical supplies.” Narrating the next development The Washington Post report said: “Clinton, ignoring the advice of the State Department's lawyers, convinced Obama to grant full diplomatic recognition to the rebels, a move that allowed the Libyans access to billions of dollars from Gaddafi's frozen accounts. At a meeting in Istanbul on July 15, she pressed 30 other Western and Arab governments to make the same declaration.” (“Hillary's war: How conviction replaced skepticism in Libya intervention”, October 30, 2011)

On arming the proxy fighters in Libya, The Washington Times ran a detailed three-part news report, a part of which said: “Secret Benghazi report reveals Hillary's Libya war push armed al Qaeda-tied terrorists”. (Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, February 1, 2015) It said: “Libyan officials were deeply concerned in 2011, as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was trying to remove Moammar Gadhafi from power, that weapons were being funneled to NATO-backed rebels with ties to al Qaeda, fearing that well-armed insurgents could create a safe haven for terrorists, according to secret intelligence reports obtained by The Washington Times.” Citing the intelligence report it said: “NATO has given permission to a number of weapons-loaded aircraft to land at Benghazi airport and some Tunisian airports”. It said: “Mrs. Clinton…was the moving force inside the Obama administration to encourage US military intervention to unseat Gadhafi in Libya. The latest documents and audio recordings are likely to give her Republican critics on Capitol Hill fresh ammunition to question whether she had an adequate plan and whether her efforts led to the tragedy in Benghazi a year later and the general lawlessness and chaos that have gripped Libya since….US intelligence did not support the story that Mrs. Clinton used to sell the war in Libya, mainly that there was an imminent danger of a genocide to be carried out by the Gadhafi regime. The intelligence community, in fact, had come to the opposite conclusion: that Gadhafi would not risk world outrage by killing civilians en masse even as he tried to crush the rebellion in his country.” It added: “On March 27, 2011, days after the intervention began, Mrs. Clinton argued that the arms embargo could be disregarded…”

There were, according to the news report, masses of weapons including tanks and surface-to-air missiles, ship loaded with arms reaching the seaport of Tobruk, two aircraft laden with tanks, ground-attack missiles, heavy trucks, boats loaded with SAM-7 anti-aircraft missiles and rifles for Misrata.

So, there were dreamers and arms to organize and bolster proxy fighters.

Paul Mirengoff makes the same observation on the issue, which Paul terms as “the Clinton inspired intervention”:

“More than anyone else, Hillary Clinton pushed for, and helped effectuate, the overthrow of Moammar Qaddafi. As a result of his overthrow, Libya became a playground for terrorists, a haven for ISIS, and a failed state.

Clinton's recently released Benghazi emails confirm her leading role in creating the Libya fiasco. They confirm that, in the words of her deputy chief of staff, Hillary was ‘instrumental in securing the authorization [to intervene in Libya], building the coalition [that intervened], and tightening the noose around Qadhafi and his regime.'” (“Clinton's Benghazi emails confirm her lack of post-intervention plan for Libya”, Powerline, May 29, 2015)

On Hillary Clinton's leadership on Libya intervention, John Hinderaker cites Hillary's emails released by the US State Department and writes:

“It was Hillary who, more than anyone else, pushed to overthrow Moammar Qaddafi.

“Clinton and her cohorts in NATO overthrew Qaddafi ….

“Who says Hillary Clinton is responsible for the Libya fiasco? She does. In fact, at one point she was poised to claim Libya as the notable accomplishment of her term as Secretary of State. In August 2011, Jake Sullivan, Hillary's deputy chief of staff, wrote an email in which he summarized ‘Secretary Clinton's leadership on Libya.' He sent [it to] henchwoman Cheryl Mills and State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, who passed it on to Hillary. Sullivan's email begins:

this is basically off the top of my head, with a few consultations of my notes. but it shows S' [Secretary Clinton's] leadership/ownership/stewardship of this country's Libya policy from start to finish.

“The email continues, with bold print in the original:

HRC has been a critical voice on Libya in administration deliberations, at NATO, and in contact group meetings – as well as the public face of the US effort in Libya. She was instrumental in securing the authorization, building the coalition, and tightening the noose around Qadhafi and his regime.

“Sullivan goes on to itemize, day by day, how Clinton drove the Libya policy not just in the US, but in NATO as well. The e-mail shows how Hillary ‘owned' and was ‘the public face of,' our Libya policy, ‘from start to finish.'

“Her [Hillary's] real problem is that she bears primary responsibility for a policy that was not just a failure, but a disaster. (“Hillary's Real Benghazi Problem”, Powerline, May 23, 2015)

Stephen Collinson's report adds a few more facts:

“Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates also describes her [Hillary Clinton] pivotal role in the decision making in his memoir.

“Gates said the intervention, which he initially opposed, split the administration down the middle, with heavy hitters such as Vice President Joe Biden and national security adviser Tom Donilon also against.

“On the other side were UN Ambassador Susan Rice and National Security Council staffers including Ben Rhodes and Samantha Power.

“‘In the final phase of the internal debate, Hillary threw her considerable clout behind Rice, Rhodes and Power,' Gates wrote.” (CNN, “Hillary Clinton's real Libya Problem”, June 9, 2015)

Many parts of the interventionists' story are unexposed.

“‘We haven't gotten the full story yet, but from everything we do know, it appears that without her advocacy for this intervention, it wouldn't have happened,' said Alan Kuperman of the Lyndon B. Johnson school of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, who has studied the causes and outcome of the Libya operation.

“Some critics now question whether the administration, presumably working from intelligence provided by rebels, miscalculated on Gadhafi's intentions. And they say that the administration did not do enough to consider the consequences of an operation that ended up toppling Gadhafi.

“‘If you were going to break this place, it was going to require enormous resources to keep it together,' Kuperman said. ‘It would have required an occupation force, and it was clear that the US did not have the stomach for that.'

“He concluded: ‘Did she screw up? Yes, she screwed up.'” (ibid.)

And, “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared a laugh with a television news reporter moments after hearing deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi had been killed. ‘We came, we saw, he died,' she joked when told of news reports of Qaddafi's death by an aide in between formal interviews.” (Corbett Daly, “Clinton on Qaddafi: ‘We came, we saw, he died'”, CBS News, October 20, 2011, also CNN, “Hillary Clinton's real Libya Problem”, June 9, 2015)

The much discussed Hillary mails expose business-intervention nexus in a straight-forward way.

Other dreamers also played respective roles. David Cameron, UK's prime minister, expressed the hope that the intervention heralded a new dawn of democracy and stability in Libya. The British statesman insisted that the attacks on Libya were justified.

One of the “democratic” Libya-dreamers was Nicolas Sarkozy – the French president at the time of intervention, and the first French leader in the history of the Fifth Republic of France to be held in police custody on charges of active corruption, and tempering of criminal investigation – for wanting Gaddafi dead. It's alleged Gaddafi paid him money, £42 million, and Sarkozy's fear was exposure of the money-deal. (The Sunday Mail, “The fall of ‘President Bling-Blang' Nicolas Sarkozy”, July 6, 2014; also, The Guardian, March 7, 2014 & July 2, 2014)  

Some others were also happy and confident. US defense secretary Leon Panetta said “Gadhafi's death is proof of the success of the NATO alliance and the mission in Libya.” (CNN, “NATO names October 31 as early end date for Libyan mission”, October 22, 2011)

Economy drives politicians. So, leaders in the area of economy are to be consulted to grasp the Libya-democracy-dream. An IMF publication outlines the dream as it begins in the following way:

Libya's popular revolution of 2011 has unleashed the potential for more diverse and inclusive growth.” (op. cit.)

Most probably, the authors of the statement of pseudo hope – “unleashed…potential for more diverse and inclusive growth” in Libya – are now blissfully busy with their models and regressions as they prefer to forget their donnish three-year-old analysis and forecast, and as they don't feel the burden of shame.

After NATO, the war alliance, imposed its design on Libya, more developments followed. The UN Security Council has recently asked the International Criminal Court to investigate crimes committed since initiation of the intervention.

Whose crime shall be investigated: the dreamers', the interventionists', those who led/owned/stewarded, laughed with a cowardly murder or those following the leaders/owners/stewards? Which crime is to be investigated: leading and stewarding the intervention or intervention-provoked anarchy? Who shall be the investigator and the judge: interventionists and their retainers? Has not the interventionists virtually been indemnified? What does history tell? Have the fabricated Bosnia and Kosovo stories of “massacre and rape” and clandestine arms supply been exposed? Has the plan to dismantle Yugoslavia been exposed? Has anyone involved with those “sanctimonious” acts been asked to stand on dock? Interventionists still dominate. They define the black truth and yellow lie.  

Cost of the dream: Part IV  

“NATO took control of all military operations for Libya under United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970 & 1973 on 31 March 2011. The aim of Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR [was] to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas under attack or threat of attack.” (NATO, “Operational Media Update, NATO and Libya”, October 25, 2011)

Air offensive was launched from 29 airbases in six European countries during the Libya campaign, in which 15 European and three Arab states joined the US and Canada.

According to The Guardian, the UK flew around 1,300 sorties, some 25% of the total, followed by the French with 1,200 and the Italians with 600. The Canadians took part in over 350 sorties up to May 5, [2011]. More than 3,000 targets were hit in 14,202 strike sorties. Denmark and Norway dropped nearly 700 bombs. All the cruise missiles were fired by the UK and US, 18 and 228 respectively. The highest number of personnel engaged was by the US, 8507; followed by the UK, 1300, France 800, Canada 560, Spain 500. Of the total 309 aircraft deployed, the highest number was by the US, 153. It was followed by France, 29, and the UK, 28.   (Simon Rogers, “Nato operations in Libya: data journalism breaks down which country does what”, October 31, 2011)

The US role is discussion-worthy. “President Obama may have taken the US out of the direct combat role, but he certainly did not take American forces out of the front line,” wrote Professor Michael Clarke, director general of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a think tank on defense and security, in an analysis. (“Curious victory for NATO in Libya”, RUSI analysis, August 23, 2011)

Interventionists claim the cost of their Libya War – Operation Odyssey Dawn/Operation Harmattan/Operation Ellamy/Operation Unified Protector – was much less than their Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. And, there was joy. And, The Atlantic said: “The behind-the-scenes role was something President Obama celebrated in remarks in the Rose Garden…‘Without putting a single US service member on the ground, we achieved our objectives and our NATO mission will soon come to an end,' Obama said.” (“For the US, War Against Qaddafi Cost Relatively Little: $1.1 Billion”, Oct 21, 2011)

It was, to the interventionists, a cost-profit question. Most of the academic discussions and media reports on the issue stay within the cost defined officially although there are ambiguities, grey areas of accounting, and although the claim – no boot on the ground – is not factual. Confusion centered the cost-question of the imperialists' Libya War, which was waged with “NATO aircraft, including those supplied by the US, totaled 26,089 sorties …” (ibid.)

“According to Pentagon, the estimated cost of [US] Defense Department operations through September 30, 2011, was $1.1 billion.…The British government said the war cost it 212 million pounds ($337 million), although some estimates ran higher. France spent approximately 350 million euros ($502 million). (Christopher S. Chivvis, Toppling Qaddafi: Libya and the limits of liberal intervention, 2014, Cambridge University Press, New York) Chivvis cites Kevin Baron's “For $1 Billion, One Dictator” in National Journal, October 21, 2011, Nick Hopkins' “Libya Conflict May Cost UK£1.75 bn” in Guardian, September 25, 2011 and French Senate's “Rapport generale no 107 (2011-2012)”, November 17, 2011, section 2. 

“According to Italy's Interior Ministry, the operation has already cost 1 billion Euros (US$ 1.3 billion)” (Asia News.it,
Italy leading more than 30 per cent of military operations in Libya”, 06/13/2011)

On Canada's Libya War cost, Lee Berthiaume reported:

“[N]ewly released National Defence documents indicate the full cost of last year's Libya mission was nearly $350-million — seven times what Defence Minister Peter MacKay told Canadians it cost.

“The revelation is likely to raise further accusations of a systemic effort to hide the true cost of Canadian military operations and equipment purchases, and lead to fresh demands for accountability.

 “‘As of Oct. 13, the figures that I've received have us well below [$60-million], somewhere under $50-million,' MacKay told the CBC on Oct. 28, three days before the mission officially ended. ‘And that's the all-up costs of the equipment that we have in the theatre, the transportation to get there, those that have been carrying out this critical mission.'

“But buried in a report tabled in the House of Commons this week are Defence Department figures pegging the full cost of the mission at more than $347.5-million.” (National Post, “Canada's Libya mission cost seven times what Peter MacKay said it did: documents”, May 11, 2012)

As a debate on the issue emerged CBC News said: Canada's “Defence Minister Peter MacKay is defending the government's accounting of the costs of Canada's military mission in Libya, following the release of new figures by the Department of National Defence that lay out the final cost of the deployment.

“The department puts the incremental costs of the mission — costs the military says would not have been incurred if Canadian Forces had not been deployed — at just under $100 million.

“And the total cost of the operation — a figure that includes everything from jet fuel to pilot salaries, including the salaries of military personnel — comes in at $347 million.” (“Libya mission's final costs reach $347M Mission's incremental cost nearly $100M, double MacKay's update in October”, May 11, 2012)

Citing Belgium TV the Global Campaign on Military Spending said: Costs for the Belgian air force's participation in the Libya intervention will rise from 20 to 43 million euros over the course of a year. (“Belgium TV: Cost of Libya War Climbs”, April 4, 2011)

CNN found the US' Libya War cost: $1.65 billion. This included daily military operations, munitions, the drawdown of supplies and humanitarian assistance. (“CNN Fact Check: Comparing costs of Iraq, Libya missions”, October 23, 2012)

But on October 22, 2011, CNN referred to the US vice-president Joe Biden about the cost: $2 billion. (“NATO names October 31 as early end date for Libyan mission”)

Citing Center for American Progress (“Update: The Iraq War Ledger”, December 2011) and The Atlantic (“For the US, War Against Qaddafi Cost Relatively Little: $1.1 Billion”) Think Progress said the US cost of Libya war: “[J]ust over $1 billion”. (“CHART – The Cost Of War: Iraq Versus Libya”, January 24, 2012)

Citing the Pentagon The Atlantic said: “[T]he cost to US taxpayers for Muammar el-Qaddafi's head: $1.1 billion through September … [2011]”. (op. cit.) It said: “One billion for one dictator.” (ibid) However, it added: “The final totals will take some time to add up, and still do not include the State Department, CIA, and other agencies involved or other NATO and participating countries.” (ibid.)

The UK story is more or less the same: “‘Officially', as of late August, the UK's operation has cost some £230-260-million for the 25 weeks since March 19. The new calculations put the cost of UK operations at well over £600-million, and arguably into the £1.25-billion-plus range. This has to come out of existing MoD reserves”. (Nick Hopkins, “UK operations in Libya: the full costs broken down”, The Guardian, September 26, 2011)

New UK figures were there also. “The true cost of the UK's involvement in the Libya conflict could be as high as £1.75bn – almost seven times more than government estimates, according to a new study”. (Nick Hopkins, “Libya conflict may cost UK £1.75bn”, The Guardian, September 25, 2011, last modified on May 20, 2014)

Nick Hopkins' report cited defense expert Francis Tusa, editor of Defence Analysis. Francis Tusa used data provided in answers to parliamentary questions, and figures provided by the RAF since the Libya campaign started. Francis Tusa made two sets of calculations about the costs of the Libya operation in the first six months. “Using one method, [Francis Tusa] estimated the cumulative cost of the operation to the end of August at between £1.38bn and £1.58bn. Using a second method, the costs were potentially even higher – between £850m and £1.75bn.” (ibid.)

However, the UK Ministry of Defense said on September 29th, 2011:

“Several news articles claim that the cost of the UK's military mission in Libya could end up being £1.75bn, seven times what the Government predicted.

“Our current estimate remains that the net additional cost of Operation ELLAMY is in the region of £110m from the start of the operations in mid-March to mid-September, with replenishing munitions expended over this period costing up to £130m.” (“Cost of UK Operations in Libya War”)

A chart by BBC on October 4, 2011 showed the cost of UK operations in Libya from March to September 2011: UK£ 240,000,000. This included operational costs of UK£110,000,000 and costs to replace munitions UK£130,000,000.

A news report by The Telegraph (UK) said:

“Pressure on the Government to reveal the cost mounted at the weekend when Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander said it would be ‘hundreds of millions'.

“But Mr Hague insisted the cost of military involvement in the North African county less than the cost of dealing with a humanitarian crisis there.

“‘I have never said what the total would be. What I have said is that whatever we are spending on the operations in Libya, it is nothing like the cost of a humanitarian catastrophe,' he said. (“William Hague: ‘Libya war cheaper than aid effort'”, June 23, 2011)

Jessica Rettig reported in U.S. News & World Report: “According to the Pentagon, from March…through September, the US Defense Department spent roughly $1.1 billion in Libya. And…that estimate doesn't account for money spent by the State Department or intelligence agencies ….According to a NATO official,…the total cost of the ‘deployment, employment and maintenance' of [the] jointly-funded capabilities in Libya is estimated at 5.4 million euros/month ($7.4 million/month), which totals more than 37.8 [million] euros ($52.3 million) for seven months. NATO also spent roughly 5.6 million euros ($7.8 million) for structural and personnel costs related to the operation, the official says. (“End of NATO's Libya Intervention Means Financial Relief for Allies” Oct. 31, 2011)

The figures related to Libya War costs cited above are enough to confuse an ordinary tax payer. However, one aspect of the issue – cost – is stark: It's difficult to perceive the cited costs as complete and transparent.

“The cost of military operations”, writes Micah Zenko, “is difficult to determine, since the Pentagon has not been forthcoming regarding Libya.” (op. cit.)

However, according to Micah Zenko, “[t]he cost of humanitarian aid is easier to determine thanks to the weekly ‘Libya: Disaster Response Updates,' which the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has published since late February. The latest update lists the total USAID and State Department humanitarian funding at $84 million.” (ibid.)

Micah Zenko mentions: “the amount of (overt) non-lethal assistance has remained $25 million since the April 26 presidential memorandum, which authorized the ‘drawdown of nonlethal commodities and services from the inventory and resources of any agency of the United States Government…to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in Libya.' It is unclear if all of this non-lethal assistance has been dispersed. On May 10, the State Department announced that one shipment of halal meals, medical supplies, uniforms, boots, and tents had been made, with a second shipment arriving in Benghazi on June 17.” (ibid.)

The issue of covert funding is raised by Micah Zenko: “Assuredly, there are also covert funds being dispersed (hopefully, with close congressional oversight), and there will be equipment and munitions replacement costs that require additional future funds. In addition, it is impossible to calculate what US personnel and resources will be needed to help stabilize and rebuild Libya after the civil war ends. (ibid.)

However, Micah Zenko opines: “That the American role in the intervention in Libya has been relatively inexpensive does not mean it was strategically wise.” (ibid.)

A position distant from others is found as Loren Thompson analyzed the cost with a broader perspective (Forbes, “The Real Cost Of US In Libya? Two Billion Dollars Per Day”, 3/28/2011) Loren's argument was the following:

“So what looks like an inexpensive military operation in Libya is actually costing taxpayers about $2 billion per day, because that's what the Pentagon and other security agencies of the federal government spend to maintain a posture that allows the military to go anywhere and do anything on short notice.”

Loren Thompson raises a basic question:

“And then there is the broader question of why US forces need to go to places like Kosovo and Somalia and Libya at all — a perennial debate in American politics that is more likely to be won by those who oppose intervention when the tradeoff is fewer resources available for domestic programs.”

The question raised by Loren Thompson is related to political economy of the US, a broader issue than the Libya War. The US citizens are confronted with the question. The confrontation will continue.

Libya War costs of a number of NATO allies from the Gulf region is difficult to know. That's their type of democracy, etc., which is loved by NATO. Shall people ever have opportunity to know the total costs of the intervention? It's a non-transparent area in “transparent” bourgeois politics and state.      

The cost is errant: Part V

The intervention cost goes errant as the dreamers of the intervention preferred to ignore essential facts of socio-political reality. Their preference is immediate business, not taking into account complex socio-economic contradictions. That's the seed of failure. Matured bourgeoisie make blunders!

Alan J Kuperman, former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2000–2001, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, writes:

The intervention in Libya has been hailed as a model for implementing the emerging norm of the…R2P. But a more rigorous assessment of the net humanitarian impact of the intervention is warranted before such a conclusion is drawn. An assessment of the course of violence in Libya before and after NATO's intervention shows the intervention backfired. The intervention extended the war's duration about six fold; increased its death toll approximately seven to ten times; and exacerbated human rights abuses, humanitarian suffering, Islamic radicalism, and weapons proliferation in Libya and its neighbors. If it is a “model intervention,” as senior NATO officials claim, it is a model of failure. (“A Model Humanitarian Intervention? Reassessing NATO's Libya Campaign”, International Security, vol. 38, issue 1, summer 2013, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School)

“The last pretense of humanitarianism disappeared”, writes Doug Bandow, “when the alliance continued bombing the remnants of Qaddafi's forces after his regime collapsed.” (“Libya: Costs Outweigh Benefits”, The National Interest, October 21, 2011, Center for the National Interest)

Doug Bandow adds:  

Libya exemplifies an aimless foreign policy supported by a purposeless alliance …

“Even if the Libyan war counts as an American victory, the benefits pale compared to the costs. Libya gave the lie to the dubious doctrine of Responsibility to Protect. This was no humanitarian operation. Yes, the Qaddafi regime was brutal, but its forces had massacred no civilians before the campaign to ‘save' the Libyan people.” (ibid.)

Doug Bandow's assessment: “Americans paid too high a price for Qaddafi's death.”Top of Form

To Gene Healy, vice president at the Cato Institute and the author of The Cult of the Presidency, the Libya intervention was “Tomahawk humanitarianism”. (“Counting the High Cost of Obama's Libya, Syria Debacles”, DC Examiner, September 17, 2013)

According to Gene Healy's assessment, the “allegedly limited ‘kinetic military action' in Libya…was also a disaster in humanitarian terms.” (ibid.)

Costs of an intervention go errant, when the intervention stands as “a model of failure”, when pretense of humanitarianism disappears, and when “the dubious doctrine of Responsibility to Protect” stands as a lie.

A well-exposed “secret” war was conducted in Libya. Efforts were made to keep it out of public view as the war was not cheap. John Barry provides a short narrative of the “covert intervention”:

“The US military has…played a far larger role in Libya than it has acknowledged, quietly implementing an emerging ‘covert intervention' strategy that the Obama administration hopes will let America fight small wars with a barely detectable footprint. 

“Officially, President Obama handed the lead role of ousting Muammar Gaddafi to the European members of NATO. For this he was criticized by Washington war hawks who suggested that Europeans working with a ragtag team of Libyan rebels was a recipe for stalemate, not victory. 

“But behind the scenes, the US military played an indispensable role in the Libya campaign, deploying far more forces than the administration chose to advertise. And at NATO headquarters outside Brussels, the US was intimately involved in all decisions about how the Libyan rebels should be supported…” (The Daily Beast, “America's Secret Libya War”, 08.30.11)

John Barry adds:

“The scale of the unpublicized US role affirms hawks' arguments: a divided NATO simply couldn't have waged the war it did without extensive American help. What the hawks underestimated was the US ability to operate without publicity — in military lingo, beneath the radar.

“According to two senior NATO officials, one American and the other European, these were the critical US contributions during the six-month military campaign:

“An international naval force gathered off Libya. To lower the US profile, the administration elected not to send a supercarrier. Even so, the dozen US warships on station were the biggest contingent in this armada. In the opening hours of the campaign, an American submarine, the USS Florida, launched 100 cruise missiles against Libyan air defenses, crucially opening an entry corridor for the airstrikes that followed.

US tanker aircraft refueled European aircraft on the great majority of missions against Gaddafi's forces. The Europeans have tanker aircraft, but not enough to support a 24/7 air offensive averaging, by NATO count, around 100 missions a day, some 50 of them strike sorties. The US flew 30 of the 40 tankers.

“When the Europeans ran low on precision-attack munitions, the US quietly resupplied them. (That explains why European air forces flying F-16s — those of Norway, Denmark, Belgium — carried out a disproportionate share of the strikes in the early phase of the campaign. The US had stocks of the munitions to resupply them. When Britain and France, which fly European-built strike aircraft, also ran short, they couldn't use US-made bombs until they had made hurried modifications to their aircraft.)

“To target Gaddafi's military, NATO largely relied on US JSTARS surveillance aircraft, which, flying offshore, could track the movements of rival forces. When more detailed targeting information was needed — as in the battles for Misrata and other towns defended by Gaddafi's troops — the US flew Predator drones to relay a block-by-block picture.

“US Air Force targeting specialists were in NATO's Naples operational headquarters throughout the campaign. They oversaw the preparing of “target folders” for the strikes in Tripoli against Gaddafi's compound and the headquarters of his military and intelligence services. (Organizing precision strikes by high-speed jets is not a task for novices. The attack routes over Tripoli and the release times of bombs had to be precisely calibrated so munitions released even a second late by a strike aircraft would have the best chance of avoiding civilian homes.) 

“What seems to be evolving is a new American way of war.

US AWACS aircraft, high over the Mediterranean, handled much of the battle-management task, acting as air-traffic controllers on most of the strike missions. Again, the Europeans have AWACS, but not enough crews to handle an all-hours campaign lasting months.

“Eavesdropping by US intelligence — some by aircraft, some by a listening post quietly established just outside Libya — gave NATO unparalleled knowledge of what Gaddafi's military planned.” (ibid.)

In Libya, the US provided 75 percent of the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance data, and of the refueling planes. “And US commanders in Europe had to quickly dispatch over 100 military personnel to the NATO targeting center at the outset of the intervention when it became clear that other member states lacked the knowledge and expertise to provide their aircraft with the correct targeting information.” (Ivo H. Daalder and James G. Stavridis, “NATO's victory in Libya”, Foreign Affairs, March/April, 2012)

There were, as John Barry writes, CIA agents inside Tripoli, British and French special forces training and organizing the insurgents as were units from Qatar and Jordan, and their communications relied on a US-run satellite channel. The US supplied other high-tech gear that NATO sources declined to describe. The high-tech gear had never been given before, even to allied special forces. A US guided-missile destroyer offshore negated Gaddafi's offensive by shooting down the Scuds.

“The Libya campaign appears to offer an alternative. It hasn't been cheap.…The good news is that the US will be repaid for its assistance to the Europeans — everything from fuel for the aircraft to munitions and spare parts…And compared with Afghanistan…Gaddafi's overthrow has been a bargain. (John Barry, op. cit.)

Reports emerged in media: US special forces were sent into Libya in the later part of February, 2011, almost a month before the dropping of NATO bombs. “The United States, Britain and France have sent several hundred ‘defence advisors' to train and support the anti-Gadhafi forces in oil-rich Eastern Libya where ‘rebels armed groups' have apparently taken over….[T]he three Western states have landed their ‘special forces troops in Cyrinacia and are now setting up their bases and training centres' to reinforce the rebel forces”. (Akhtar Jamal, “US UK, French forces land in Libya,” Pakistan Observer, February 2011)

British special forces were deployed in Libya targeting Gaddafi's forces. A Daily Mail March 25, 2011 report said: About 250 UK special forces soldiers and their support have been in Libya since before the launch of [NATO] air strikes. (cited in Stephen Lendman, “Planned Regime Change in Libya”, SteveLendmanBlog, March 28, 2011)

The French role in organizing the proxy fighters is now well-exposed through confidential mails/memos from Sidney Blumenthal to Hillary Clinton, which have been made public days ago: French spies organized and funded the proxy fighters in Libya. The March 22, 2011 mail – “How the French created the National Libyan Council” – says:

“[I]n late February 2011 officers of the French General Directorate for External Security (DGSE) began a series of secret meetings with the current leader of the National Libyan Council (NLC), Mustafa Jalil, and General Abdelfateh Younus, the soon to be commander of the rebel troops around Benghazi. At that time, the two had just left the government of Muammar Qaddafi…[T]he DGSE officers provided money and guidance to assist in the formation of the NLC. These officers explained to Jalil and Younus that they were speaking under orders from French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and they promised that as soon as the NLC was organized France would recognize the council as the new government of Libya. The DGSE officers added that Sarkozy felt that he would have the support of British Prime Minister David Cameron in this matter. Jalil and Younus accepted this offer and have maintained contact with the DGSE officers in Cairo.

“In return for this assistance, the DGSE officers indicated that they expected the new government of Libya to favor French firms and national interests, particularly regarding the oil industry in Libya. Jalil and Younus agreed.

“Para-military forces from the Special Section of the DGSE are present in the rebel held territory, but have not begun providing direct aid to the rebels….Egyptian Special Forces officers continue to serve with the rebels …

“Younus' forces have used some of the DGSE funds to bring in basic supplies from Egypt, including uniforms and vehicles. Younus…intends to move against areas held by the Libyan Government under cover of allied patrols.”

The money handed over to the proxy fighters is part of Libya War costs. In most of the cases, expenses on account of bombs, missiles, flying of war planes, etc. have been considered while dealing with the issue of cost of the Libya intervention. Have the costs for espionage, secret deployment of special forces/trainers with the proxy fighters, and related costs been told? These – espionage, deployment of special forces, etc. – are important parts of a proxy war. Even, incidents of squandering and pilferage of funds earmarked for these purposes are not absent. Ultimately, it's tax payers' money, which is spent for the purposes mentioned above.   

Abayomi Azikiwe, editor, Pan-African News Wire wrote:

“The regime that NATO and the Pentagon brought to Libya denies human rights, breeds corruption and is leading the country toward increasing chaos day by day. (“Result of US-NATO war on Libya: Corruption, torture, chaos”, Workers World, May 21, 2012)

Abayomi Azikiwe added: “The compensation program for the rebels, which distributed $1.4 billion, has been riddled with fraud. Payments were suspended in April. There were reports that people already dead were on lists of militia members and that some who never joined the anti-Gadhafi efforts also received funds. Others who had never been injured were nevertheless sent abroad ‘for medical treatment'.…Corruption has been endemic to the so-called National Transitional Council since the inception of last year's war and after being placed in power in Tripoli in late August. Since the brutal murder of Gadhafi on Oct. 20, billions of dollars have gone missing from the national treasury.…Other allegations of corruption over the last several months have included irregularities with the Libyan Investment Authority and an unaccounted-for $2.5 billion in oil revenues. The foreign assets the imperialist states froze early in the war on Libya remain a source of dispute.” (ibid.)

Costs for training of and arms, etc. for the proxy fighters are not cited. Reports have surfaced that third countries, instead of the US or UK, supplied arms and ammunitions to the Libyan proxy fighters. State A, as for example, supplied arms and ammunitions to state B, and then, state B sent those arms, etc. to the proxy fighters in Libya. Catches of a few of those arms, etc. were photographed by a world body panel. State B made no response when the panel officially approached B seeking response to the issue as that act of supplying the arms, etc. violated sanctions imposed by the UN. This has been documented in the official document of the world body panel. Has the cost of these arms and ammunitions been told? No. These are undisclosed costs for “democracy” patronized by states, a group of which are virtually familydoms having no scope for participation of citizens in any sort of social-economic-political decision making in those despotdoms, where a few parasitical creatures spend money like senseless thieves.

This lack of transparency is an indicator of the state of democracy in the states involved.   

The costs ignored: Part VI

A few hard facts related to intervention are ignored all the time as interventionists calculate only expenditures incurred on account of their armed forces, arms, munitions, transport, etc. mobilized/utilized/spent/deployed. Wear-and-tear, replenishment, corrosion, etc. are also calculated. There are methodologies for computing these expenses including marginal-cost accounting, which doesn't provide full picture.

But the costs, damages, wastages, losses incurred/faced/bore by the people in intervened country/society, and in related countries/societies are not reckoned. These are not even discussed and debated although these costs, etc. are there during and after intervention. The costs are not only immediate. Long-term costs are there also. Libya-intervention is a case to be considered to assume the costs a country, a people, and other peoples of other countries are compelled to incur due to intervention.   

One of these is loss a country, a people face in all aspects of economic-social-political-environmental life. Billions of person-hour or millions of person-days are required to build up the life. A few environmental losses are irreplaceable. A people in a society build up these through generations. The total labor social classes in the society put to build up these over ages are comprehensible. But the social, economic, environmental costs born by intervened country/society are not considered as cost of the intervention. Libya is facing the loss that goes unaccounted. [The same is with Syria and other intervened countries.] Simply this fact makes imperialism an adversary to humanity.

“According to ‘rebel' mercenary technocrats, NATO's policy of systematic destruction will cost Libya at least a ‘lost decade'.” (James Petras, “NATO's war crimes in Libya: Who grieves for the fallen heroes?”, 09. 10. 2011) Shall not the lost decade (or decades) be computed, and paid? Who shall pay it? Even, shall the war costing method be modified so that these costs are taken into account?

A number of academic/activist/theoretical discussions cite the human cost. But most of these only cite the number of death and wounded as human cost, a narrow approach in case of a country devastated by intervention. Should not the education-years lost, the opportunities for intellectual pursuits lost be considered? Should not the cultural price a society gives in the face of intervention be considered while accounting war costs? Taking these aspects into account will show intervention's devastating power. The costs increase as duration of intervention lengthens, as its impact deepens.

Even the number of deaths in Libya is a widely confused issue. A BBC report by Jonathan Beale appropriately discusses the confusion as it says: “As NATO ends its mission in Libya, just how many civilians lost their lives in the air strikes? … [W]e may never know.”

Jonathan Beale says:

“As the dust settles on Nato's seven-month mission over Libya, there are few reliable statistics.

“No-one is really sure, at least for now, how much this war has cost in human lives.

“Estimates of those killed – including pro-Gaddafi forces, ‘rebel' forces and civilians – currently vary between 2,000 and 30,000.” (“Counting the cost of Nato's mission in Libya”, October 31, 2011)

“In July [2011], the country's Prosecutor General [of Gaddafi government] stated that NATO bombing had killed over 1,000 and wounded up to 4,000.” (Edward Kannyo, “Nato intervention in Libya: costs and prospects for the future”, African Arguments, Royal African Society, August 22, 2011)

“One of the ugliest aspects of the NATO intervention has been the flagrant violation of the rules of war, particularly attacks on civilians and civilian installations. Homes of Gaddafi relatives and senior officials have been bombed.” (ibid.) Isn't it a “humanitarian” act, for which there's no need to make anyone accountable? Isn't it a imperialist-civilized world?  

Experience of a field hospital helps assume a part of the human cost of the intervention. Adam C. Levine and Pranav Shetty narrate experience of a field hospital deployed by the International Medical Corps during the period of June-August 2011. The field hospital in western Libya cared for over 1,300 combatants and non-combatants from both sides of the conflict, the vast majority of them were with war-related injuries. Over 60% of battle-related injuries were due to shrapnel wounds and blast injuries from exploding small mortars …” (“Managing a front-line field hospital in Libya: Description of case mix and lessons learned for future humanitarian emergencies”, African Journal for Emergency Medicine, vol. 2, issue 2, June 2012)

Is it possible to extrapolate or assume number of wounded in all fronts of clashes and NATO bombings/missile bombardment throughout the entire period of open military phase of the intervention, which went for months? Shall ever be known the total number of wounded in all fronts of clashes, in all the buildings bombed and bombarded in Libyan cities and towns? Shall it ever be possible to calculate economic loss due to all the injuries, due to persons disabled for life? Are not there economic and social burdens of these? With the burdens, shouldn't it be calculated?  

The number of dead and wounded increases as intervention-induced strife persists, as parties involved in the clashes are fed with arms and munitions. Who shall keep on the calculation?

According to the UNHCR, the number of internally displaced persons, as of December 17, 2014, in Libya was 394,274. (Libya, Fact sheet, February 2015) Is not there any cost for persons internally displaced?

In the case of the Libya intervention, the costs are not limited within the Libya.

The economy hosted approximately 1.5 million migrant workers. An abrupt exodus of expatriate workers reduced remittances and added to the already large pool of unemployed in Libya's neighboring countries. (IMF, op. cit.) Because of migrant workers in Libya, and of proliferation of arms from Libya the intervention impacted a wide area, from the east in the Asia continent (Bangladesh, the Philippines, and other countries) to the west in Tunisia. These parts of impact of the intervention are, no doubt, known to the interventionists; but these are not publicly considered as costs of the intervention.

Reports/updates by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (“Humanitarian Situation in Libya and the Neighbouring Countries”, Update No. 29, June 15, 2011), the International Organization for Migration, and Doctors Without Borders (MSF), and press reports tell the humanitarian disaster in Libya, in which millions of people suffered. There were Libyans as well as migrant workers from other countries including Bangladesh, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Niger, Somalia, Sudan. Most of them were workers, and capital doesn't care about cheap labor.  

It has been estimated that 1.2 million people fled Libya since the strife began. Of this 1.2 million, more than 600,000 were resident migrant workers. (Edward Kannyo, op. cit.) In late-February, “the Tunisian government said 40,000 people had crossed its borders since February 20. Of this number, approximately 18,000 are Tunisian, 15,000 Egyptian, 2,500 Libyan and 2,000 Chinese. A further 10,000 are believed to have crossed in the past two days. …In Egypt, the authorities told UNHCR that 55,000 people had crossed the border since February 19. This includes 46,000 Egyptians, 2,100 Libyans and 6,900 third country nationals, mainly from Asian countries. (UNHCR, UNHCR urges evacuation of people trying to leave Libya, February 28, 2011)

It was not only in Tunisia and Egypt. Thousands of migrant workers had to leave Libya. Moreover, “with the eruption of fighting between rival militia [in Libya], large numbers of refugees and asylum-seekers are taking the risk of crossing the Mediterranean…” (UNHCR, “2015 UNHCR subregional operations profile - North Africa”) Its economic cost is there. There are immediate and long-term costs of the migrant workers' homebound movement: lost housing, furniture, domestic appliances, income, etc., and use of remittance in home-country. Even home-countries of migrant workers face economic loss as the workers return home.

Before leaving Libya, the migrant workers' days were filled with fear. “They hide in the shadows, so afraid that they don't even want to answer the door. These Africans from sub-Saharan countries fear for their lives in Libya.” (UNHCR, Libya: Scared and in Hiding)  Their suffering bears some, even if it's very “little”, cost.

Targets of NATO bombings included installations such as the television centre and the airport in Tripoli. The grim irony is that these atrocities are justified in the name of “defending civilians against attacks by Gaddafi forces”. (Edward Kannyo, op. cit.) Don't destructed infrastructures bear any cost? Shouldn't that be included in the war cost calculation?

Ignored is the cost of the Lynched: Part VII

The most silenced part of the “victorious” intervention, the part that constitutes the most important element of crime against humanity in any future possible trial, also bears a “tiny” cost. The name of that barbarous part is: The murder and killing of black migrant workers at mass level during and immediately-after the “kinetic military action” in Libya.

“Since the uprising in Benghazi,” writes Edward Kannyo, “there have been widespread reports of rebel lynchings, including beheadings of African immigrant workers accused of being mercenaries, the ethnic cleansing of Black Libyans in Misrata and attacks on people and property belong to people believed to be Gaddafi loyalists in the Western Nafusa Mountains.” (op. cit.)

“Since the rebellion in Benghazi broke out several hundred Sudanese, Somali, Ethiopian and Eritrean guest workers have been robbed and murdered by racist rebel militias, a fact well hidden by the international media.” (Morris Herman, “Rebel Militias Include the Human Traffickers of Benghazi,” Foreign Policy Journal, July 28, 2011, Morris Herman quoted Thomas C. Mountain)

“[A]bout 1.5 million black African migrant workers feel trapped under suspicion of supporting the wrong side. Numbers of them have been attacked, some hunted down, dragged from apartments, beaten and killed. So-called ‘revolutionaries' and ‘freedom fighters' are, in fact, rampaging gunmen committing atrocities airbrushed from mainstream reports, unwilling to reveal the new Libya if Gaddafi is deposed.” (Stephen Lendman, op. cit.)

A show of racist “humanism” determined to get off Gaddafi's regime that kept a strong hold on this sort of racism! Don't interventionists like it? They're the sole owners of a strong sense of “humanity”.

It's not the reactionary, narrow question of “black life” only. It's the broader question of all life. Life is life, whatever its color is. Life is above all color, race and nationality.

Who shall reckon these incidents of lynching, and bear its “cost”? Is it only the foot soldiers in the proxy war, or also the designers and operators of the foot soldiers?

Every life of the murdered workers had a “price”, how “little that might be”, and life is never little, life is inviolable, life is incalculable, life is priceless. Shall ever the true number of the murdered migrant workers be exposed? And, who shall pay the price? A calculation would have helped asses the true cost of the intervention.

The proxy war organizers were not devoid of “humanism”. Sidney Blumenthal's May 5, 2011 confidential mail, now made public, to Hillary Clinton said:

“In mid-April, 2011 the French Air Force, in an operation organized in cooperation of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, began bringing medical and other humanitarian supplies to the TNC [Transitional National Council] led rebels in Benghazi, using civilian aircraft. The flights began on Aril 13 with a cargo including 9 tons of medical supplies….[T]hese flights are bringing in representatives of major French corporations, as well as officers of the French General Directorate for External Security (DGSE), all of whom are looking to establish working relationships with the rebel leaders as they move toward becoming the government of Libya.”

The initial flights, according to the mail, carried “executives of TOTAL, large construction firm VINCI and the European Aeronautics Defence and Space Company N.V. (EADS). Subsequent flights carried representatives from the conglomerate THALYS and other large French firms, all with close ties to the government of President Nicolas Sarkozy….This operation [the company executives' visit, arrangement of their discreet exit with the help of Special Operation Group/DGSE, and establishing contacts in the intelligence units of the armed units under command of Younus, who had longstanding ties to the DGSE] is the idea of Bernard Henry Levy, a private advisor to Sarkozy, who has been involved with the Libyan rebels since the beginning of unrest in February 2011.”

The mail said: Levy “obtained the signature of the appropriate TNC leaders on a Memorandum of Agreement, establishing the fact that French firms will receive favorable consideration in all business matters….Levy… made it clear to the TNC officials that they owed a debt to France for their early support…Both sides agreed to handle the agreement discreetly for the time being, not wanting to anger other countries involved with the rebels.”

The “humanitarian” intervention with major corporations is concerned with their investment, return, competition, costs of arms and munitions. It doesn't take into consideration lives of workers while calculating cost of a war. [Most probably, the enlightened scholars, who turned over-enthusiastic with “Arab Spring in Libya”, will be happy with the mail exposure. They'll not curse Sydney for the exposure. Rather, they will thank him as Sydney-mails helped them enlighten further.]     

Libya-arms proliferation – arms looted from Gaddafi's arsenal to other countries – impacts broader societies in countries near and afar, and the countries are not only African. Asian countries are also affected.

The Final Report of the Panel of Experts established pursuant to resolution 1973 (2011) concerning Libya said:

“The post-conflict Libyan context poses a challenge in clearly designating responsibility for arms proliferation.…The increased availability of weapons has empowered a variety of non-State actors in conflict with national authorities. A particular concern is that extremist armed groups, being the best financed among the non-State actors, are well placed to purchase weapons, thereby strengthening their positions. Increased cooperation between these groups is another phenomenon….Transfers from Libya of more regular and significant quantities of arms and, at times, fighters have developed towards two geographic areas: Egypt and the Sahel. Beyond those two areas, notable but less regular transfers have occurred to, among others, the Syrian Arab Republic (fighters and arms) and across the southern border of Libya into Chad.…Multiple sources indicate that the end destination for the majority of arms is the Gaza Strip, but this is difficult to verify. It is also likely that a smaller proportion of arms remain in the Sinai for use against the Government of Egypt by the low-level insurgency in that region. The Egyptian authorities informed the Panel that arms also dispersed throughout other parts of Egypt.…The exacerbating impact of the post-Qadhafi outpouring of arms and returning fighters on the situation in Mali….[P]roliferation of weapons from Libya has continued at a worrying rate and has spread into new territory: West Africa, the Levant and, potentially, even the Horn of Africa.…The western borders of Libya, from Tunisia in the north to the Niger in the south, were the focus points for illicit trafficking…. Some materiel may also have been transported from Libya through the Niger on to Nigeria….The Panel received evidence relating to the presence in Somalia of various types of ammunition that originated from Libya.…[T]he Lebanese authorities seized a shipment of arms and ammunition…[T]he materiel originated from Libya…” (February 15, 2013)

Citing Christopher S. Chivvis and Andrew Liepman's North Africa's Menace, a RAND report (2013), Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and an adjunct assistant professor in Georgetown University's security studies program, also mentions the flow of arms into neighboring countries. These included sophisticated weaponry, such as surface-to-air missiles. (“The Consequences of NATO's Good War in Libya”, War on the Rocks, May 8, 2014; the article was adapted from testimony he delivered before the US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on May 1, 2014)

Doesn't the proliferation of arms claim any cost?

Economic, human, social and political costs of the proliferation business are known to all concerned. The interventionists can claim: Costs of intervention in other countries have been reduced as a few arms are free of cost, from the arsenal of a foe (!).

The intervention impacted economies of other countries. “The economic upheaval in Libya has also had significant spillovers globally and regionally.” (IMF, op. cit.) Tunisia may be cited as an example.

“Impact of Libya's Conflict on the Tunisian Economy: A Preliminary Assessment” said: “Libya's turmoil is likely to have a significant impact on Tunisia's economy.” (Emanuele Santi, Saoussen Ben Romdhane and Mohamed Safouane Ben Aïssa, North Africa Quarterly Analytical, second annual quarter, July 2011, African Development Bank (AfDB))

The paper assessed likely short-term impact and risks for the Tunisian economy stemming from the Libyan unrest. It focused on four transmission channels: (i) the changing nature of the bilateral trade relationship; (ii) the fall in Libyan tourists and consumption of other services; (iii) the return of Tunisian migrants from Libya and the subsequent fall in remittances; and (iv) the fall in foreign investments. It calculated the aggregate impact of the conflict on Tunisia's GDP growth. It looked into areas of trade, tourism and services, remittances and FDI.

“[T]he trade balance”, the paper found, “will be affected by the fall of exports to Libya (in particular building materials, iron and steels) at least in the short term.”

The economic outlook model used in the paper does not include the direct impact of tourism and remittances on real GDP growth. However, indirect impacts were captured by the model.

It found: “Results show that the Libyan crisis is expected to have a relatively significant impact on the Tunisian economy in 2011, perhaps reducing GDP growth by 0.4 percentage points, to 0.7 percent. The crisis could reduce Tunisia's private investment by 0.2 percentage points of GDP and exports by 0.3 percentage points of GDP.”

The study's conclusion said:

“Given the persistent uncertainty of the Libyan conflict and the shortage of comprehensive data, the impact of the Libyan conflict on Tunisia has yet to be fully understood. Preliminary indications point to a number of adverse implications for the Tunisian economy….The…analysis highlights the significant impact of the Libyan crisis in some sectors, particularly tourism; on financial flows, remittances; and trade.”

It's not only Tunisia; other countries having closer economic relations with Libya also have negative impact of the Libya intervention. These are not without any cost. And, ultimately, it's people that suffer due to negative impact, and bear the costs.

People(s) in intervening country(ies) pay for a foreign policy designed to serve certain business interests. [A careful study of the recently revealed e-mails is enough to show the connection between intervention and business, and their modus operandi.] This payment by people of intervening countries should be considered while calculating costs of intervention.

The question related to the payment by people in intervening country is connected to another question: From where the money, the expenditures for intervention, comes? It's the surplus value created by labor and appropriated by capital. The same stands in the case of intervened country. So, the cost of intervention stands in the following way: A few benefits from intervention at the cost of labor.

Not considering the aspects mentioned above while calculating the Libya War-costs supports the following claim: The total cost of the interventionists' Libya War is still unknown. A very logical question rises: Shall the cost ever be known? With the present level of transparency and accountability in the political system, participation of people in political process, capital-owned-media's dominance, the total cost will never be known.   

Interventionists don't calculate the costs in intervened countries. Interventionists' concern is narrow: Only imperialist interests, only the cost of the war they impose, and that's not also done in a transparent way. This is another proof: Imperialists don't bother about suffering and loss of other countries and people.

But considering the costs in its entirety helps understand the intervention question: Should anyone not tied to imperialists stand for intervention? Should anyone get confused with “humanitarianism” and “democracy” propagated by interventionists? The answers are: No.  

It's not the conclusion: Last Part

According to WikiLeaks, an August 10, 2009 cable from the US embassy in Tripoli said: “Libya has acted as a critical ally in US counter-terrorism efforts, and Libya is considered one of our primary partners in combating the flow of foreign fighters. Our strategic partnership in this field has been highly productive and beneficial to both nations.” [It's not strange that published official reports today make almost the same observation in case of some other country.] Another cable from the embassy on August 19, 2009 described a meeting between Gaddafi, his son Muatassim and a US congressional delegation led by senator John McCain: “Muatassim stressed that Libya wanted security assurances from the United States as a sign that the United States was still committed to Libya.…Senator McCain assured Muatassim that the United States wanted to provide Libya with the equipment it needs for its security….He encouraged Muatassim to keep in mind the long-term perspective of bilateral security engagement and to remember that small obstacles will emerge from time to time that can be overcome.” The senators praised Libya's role as an ally in the US' “war on terror”. A December 18, 2007 cable from the embassy said: “US companies AECOM and the Tennessee Overseas Construction Company (TOCC) inked separate deals worth a total of $2.0 to $3.0 billion with Libya's Housing and Infrastructure Board….The GOL [government of Libya] apparently awarded the contracts to US firms for at least partly political purposes, telling company representatives that the deals symbolize the fact that US-Libyan ties have moved beyond strictly security (i.e., WMD and counter-terrorism) concerns. The agreements underscore that the GOL continues to directly link commercial contracts to political relationships.” A March 23, 2008, cable said: The US was deeply interested in the restructuring of the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) as Libya moved to open more of its banking sector to foreign ownership, and several US firms were key advisers on CBL's restructure.

That's – praise and assurance – a chapter. How to title the chapter?  It depends on the angle through which one sees it: friendship or treachery or friendship-treachery or stupidity or class characteristics? Or, there was failure at some point of the growing understanding. The failure, might be, the result of failure in balancing pulls/pushes between related factions within the parties trying to reach an understanding. Probably, one faction with short-sight got whip-hand. However, the chapter concluded.

A new chapter – intervention – followed. Old and new friends accompanied. Tripoli fell.  

To desperate capital, Libya is worth the risks, just not right now. It's trying to ensure minimum requirements for making profit.

Investors will be tempted again if the rival governments could end their bitter fighting, and impose peace. (Fortune, op. cit.)

So, there is room for competition and conspiracy as capital resorts to conspiracy to have an edge in competition. The environment of competition will turn fierce, and may be, bloody, and new scenes and acts will be found on Libya “stage”.

None expects the Libya-intervention is the last act of imperialism. So, the immediate task is to review the “game”. A few pertinent and burning questions should be considered although the time for making concluding observations or final comments on the Libya intervention has not arrived.

The queries include two questions James Petras raises: “Is it too much to hope that a War Crimes Tribunal could be organized to prosecute NATO leaders for crimes against humanity, for genocide against the people of Libya? Can the brutal link between costly imperial wars abroad and increasing austerity and domestic decay lead to the revival of an anti-imperialist peace movement based on withdrawal of imperial troops abroad and public domestic investments for jobs, health and education for the working and middle class?” (op. cit.)

Answers to the questions raised by James Petras are required immediately and urgently as intervention designs for a few more countries are there, as interventions are an unabated course of actions by imperialism. It goes through different stages of development: cold and hot; preparing an appropriate stage, organizing proxy fighters, molding world opinion, identifying a staging area, spearheading, etc. Targeted countries, and millions of people in those countries have to face the same disruption, destruction and deaths as Libya, Syria, etc. countries are facing if the interventionists succeed in materializing their designs.

Next interventions will not copy Libya plan. However, basic elements required for intervention will be there: mercenaries/proxy fighters, unsolved issues related to democracy, corruption and cronyism, scope for exploiting discontent, bribing parts of and break down in chain of command, disarray within political leadership, confusing people and anti-intervention political forces, and keeping them static. These will be assisted by PR firms like Harbour Group and Ruder Finn, intellectuals like the French intellectual Bernard-Henri Levy, and a loyal media. The recent Libya related disclosures in the US presidential election process show the way a few business interests push for intervention, and manipulate related policy. Propaganda carried at global level show interventionists' massive power to create confusion.   

Whatever happens in Libya, a few questions shall haunt people of the countries, states of which engage in intervention:

(1) Shall the people bear moral and ethical responsibilities of the interventions that add nothing but black chapters in the book of human history?

(2) Shall the people pay for interventions designed only to increase profit of a few? It's a game where a few gain at the cost of many. For a pillage of resources by enslaving people, for gaining strategic foothold, intervention plans are designed, and proxy fighters are kept in the wings.

(3) Shall the interventionists be indemnified?

Intervention – imperialist war – is a life and death issue for the peoples of countries targeted for intervention. Destruction of Libya, and payment the Libyan people are making – death, disruption of daily life – stand as lessons to be learnt. A look at Libya helps decide political move facilitating intervention and find out friends and foes. [Syria is another example, where it began with a peaceful, localized, small protest. Suffering of the Syrian people is a stark evidence of the destructive power of proxy war organized by interventionists.] A short-sighted political move without any sense of imperialist design will be fatal for people of countries targeted for intervention. In that case, political forces colluding with imperialism can't be ally of people.

Should any political force with an aim of serving people be a band of proxy fighters, after the experiences of Libya and Syria, of interventionists? Awareness about imperialism doesn't allow one to be henchman, essentially mercenary, of interventionists as imperialism stands against people.  











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