Libya: Deep Structure and the Surface
EDITORIAL, 20 June 2011
#169 | Johan Galtung, 20 Jun 2011 - TRANSCEND Media Service
The 3-month old French-English-Italian led bombing of Gaddafi in a civil (actually inter-clan) war in Libya, legitimized by 10 of 15 UN Security Council members in Resolution 1973, enacted by 8 of 28 NATO members, cowardly bombing Libya from high up–is not working according to plan. Moreover, killing civilians to save civilian lives, and demolishing the parliament building to promote democracy, do not communicate well the pretended purpose. And yet it is difficult to believe that the military resistance by the Gaddafi forces will not come to an end before the new September deadline expires, given the standard US clause “with all necessary means”–the first articles of 1973, about ceasefire and negotiations with Libya’s government, notwithstanding.
And Gaddafi himself? NATO is killing off the family one by one and may get him in the end, for “regime change”. But, like bin Laden, they may prefer liquidation to adjudication in The Hague, and Gaddafi may also prefer a hero’s death, and martyrdom.
And then, what happens? If past experience is our guide, then the real war starts, and may last a long, long time. Like after the victory in Afghanistan October 2001, enshrined in the Petersburg agreement, offering no space whatsoever for the Taliban who were considered routed. Like after the Bush “Mission Accomplished” May 2003, announcing exactly that. They will peel off their uniforms, burn them, dress up like civilians. And NATO will see ground troops as the logical next step; with all kinds of bombs (not only IEDs for the road ditches, but the real thing, anti-tank bombs–like now in Afghanistan–and suicide commandos, waiting for them. NATO will install some regime, organize Afghanistan-type elections. When giving up after a decade on African soil, the real, real war starts, against those cooperating with the “colonialist crusaders”.
Stupid of NATO? An insider boys’ club, victims of their own propaganda, including their fascination with evil leaders like Hussein, bin Laden, Gaddafi? Partly, yes. But mainly the outcome of a cost-benefit analysis willing to run the risks just mentioned because there is so much more at stake, of both costs and benefits.
Halvor Ebbing (Klassekampen 14 May 2011, a daily so good on foreign affairs that it justifies learning Norwegian), focused the attention on a factor located in the deep global structure, not on the surface feed for politicians and journalists: state-owned vs. private central banks (like the US Federal Reserve). Ebbing reports that Wesley Clark, the head of the anti-Serbian 78-day bombing in 1999 that lead to Milosevic’s capitulation, ultimate trial in The Hague, and decease, told the US non-mainstream TV news program Democracy Now in 2007 that ten days after 9/11 he had been informed by another US general that the USA planned “to take out” seven states “the coming five years”: Iraq and Iran, Lebanon and Libya, Syria, Sudan and Somalia. They have certainly been “working” on those seven, but the question is what they have in common. Ellen Brown answers in Asian Times Online for 14 April: They do not have central banks that can be regulated by the central bank of the central banks, the Bank for International Settlements. BIS, in Basel, Switzerland. BIS promotes the private global bank system through its settlements in favor of free movement of capital, unimpeded by state-political steering by state-owned central banks–like those in the seven countries.
Ebbing compares Saddam Hussein introducing the euro for (parts of) the oil trade–a factor behind the US-led invasion March 2003–to Gaddafi proposing a gold dinar, supported by almost all Arab and African countries. Sarkozy branded Libya a “threat to humanity’s financial security”, and prepared the Benghazi revolt in November 2010 (http://www.voltairenet.org/) and the French-English intervention.
A structure not visible to the naked eye even if private vs. state central banks is a centuries old factor in capital politics. But how many are willing to give their lives for private central banks? Against Gaddafi atrocities, yes; but that will all peter out with Gaddafi’s possible fall. Probably a lost cause.
So NATO will not emerge unscathed. In African-Arab countries NATO will lose, not gain. Gaddafi’s “colonialist crusaders” (IHT, 16-06-11) narrative is so much stronger than NATO’s, even to the point that Libya, not Afghanistan, may become NATO’s tomb. In spite of ISAF, the war in Afghanistan is seen as so US-led that the tomb is already reserved as one of the many for the sprawling US Empire; next to the English and Soviet empires.
The Libya war making Africa the third “out of area” continent has been so flawed that outgoing US defense secretary Robert Gates branded NATO as heading for “the very real possibility of collective military irrelevance”. USA covers 75% of the expenditure, up from 50% during the Gold War when NATO was limited to “theater” (meaning Europe) operations. However, the cause for the failure may be philosophical more than financial.
The USA can badly afford the Libya war (Ron Paul), but that also applies to England. More philosophical: the USA does not want to be seen as the leader of one more military disaster, after Afghanistan and Iraq, and sense better than the Europeans the early warnings.
However, they may also try an Egypt-October-1956, depending on a private Suez Canal like today on private central banks, yet disavowing Franc-England; to impose themselves better afterwards.
When only monarchs, emirs, and other dictators favor US-Israel policy, and even Morocco moves to constitutional monarchy? When Tunisia-Egypt-Yemen-Bahrain-Saudi-Syria-Iraq defy the USA? Option: extrajudicial execution of demonized leaders – a sure vote-getter.
Exit: US Empire. Entry: the empire of pure global Capital.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 20 June 2011.
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