Libya: The Western-Linked and Backed National Council, and the Hallmarks of War Propaganda
The Libyan National Council is the ‘opposition’ inasmuch as the US State Department is the ‘opposition’.
Leading Libyan opposition figure and executive of Libya’s National Transitional Council (aka ‘Interim Governing Council’, ‘National Transitional Council’, and ‘Libyan National Council’) Mr Mahmoud Jibril, is not only a leading proponent of neoliberal ‘trade reform’ in Libya, but he has close links with the US and UK. This ex-Gaddafi insider studied and taught in the US for several years, and he is head of Libya’s biggest think tank, the National Economic Development Board (NEDB), which was created by US and UK consulting firms in order to further US/UK investment and trade interests in Libya.
The grinding poverty and inequality borne out of neoliberalism is a significant driving force behind the revolutions in the Middle East/North Africa region. Al Jazeera carried an important analysis of this concept.
Returning to the NEDB – it was created by “a group of international consulting firms, mainly from the USA and the UK”. See this pdf from the United Nations Public Administration Network.
Jibril is responsible for foreign affairs and international liaison at the National Transitional Council. He holds a masters’ degree in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA in 1980. He subsequently taught the same subject there for several years.
On January 21 he met with the US Ambassador who was requesting support for a US trade mission in Libya. During the meeting Jibril argued that “now is the time for U.S. business to capitalize on opportunities for trade and investment in Libya.”
“Jibril pledged to support the Trade Mission in any way he could, offering to reach out to the Minister of Economy, Industry and Trade, and to the Minister of Facilities and Infrastructure to facilitate the program. He expressed interest in meeting with companies specializing in the sale of technology, particularly those which could meet the needs of the NEDB in the areas of distance learning — linking universities in the U.S. and Libya — and increasing the capacity of the NEDB-run business incubators in the information technology field. Jibril believes the United States enjoys “a competitive edge” in the field of technology and that “now is the time” for U.S. business to capitalize on opportunities for trade and investment in Libya.”
The London School of Regime Change
The Anglo-American power elite has been trying to topple Gaddafi for over a decade. We’ve all been quick to dismiss Gaddafi’s crazed claims that ‘al-Qaeda is behind the unrest’ in Libya. The following Guardian news report is worth considering.
In 1996 MI6 paid an al-Qaeda cell in Libya large sums of money in a failed attempt to assassinate Gaddafi. They also thwarted early attempts to bring bin Laden to justice.
These attempts to enact regime change in Libya are not limited to covert militarism:
“U.S. diplomats were told by Libya’s “National Economic Development Board” (headed by Jibril), that it was cooperating with “the UK government and the London School of Economics, among other UK institutions, on an exchange program to send 400 ‘future leaders’ of Libya for leadership and management training.””
Further, US democracy-subversion groups such as The National Endowment for Democracy, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, USAID (all funded by the US State Department) have been active in Libya since 2005, funding and directing groups that are in line with US policy.
See this and this.
If the Libyan National Council genuinely represented the sovereign will of the Libyan people, its legitimacy wouldn’t be immediately accepted by one of North Africa’s foremost imperial powers – France. France’s oil giant Total can’t have been too happy about accepting lowered oil output in Libya in 2009.
The Anglo-American powers will not let this revolution play out without doing their damnedest to co-opt it, that’s if they didn’t largely foment it in the first place. Besides, it looks like they’ve got their man at the helm already.
The Fourth Estate Helps to Justify Invasion
Along with showing solidarity with the Libyans, we have to reason using our previous experience of the lies that have justified US wars and covered up its imperial meddling throughout history. To believe that Western military interventions are borne out of humanitarian concern is to be as delusional as Gaddafi himself.
There are signs that the Western media (as they did with the Iraq war) is at best circulating unverified information, and at worst, lying on behalf of the US/UK, helping to make the case for Western military intervention using humanitarian catastrophe as a pretext.
For example: the BBC and Al Jazeera reported that Gaddafi carried out airstrikes on Benghazi and Tripoli on February 22nd. According to the Russian military, which was monitoring the country via satellite, these airstrikes did not take place.
Also see this transcript from the US Department of Defense – from a press briefing with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen:
Q: Do you see any evidence that he actually has fired on his own people from the air? There were reports of it, but do you have independent confirmation? If so, to what extent?
SEC. GATES: We’ve seen the press reports, but we have no confirmation of that.
ADM. MULLEN: That’s correct. We’ve seen no confirmation whatsoever.
The foremost global intelligence and military superpower (with satellites covering the planet to boot), has no confirmation. Right.
All US wars are built on media lies, misdirection and propaganda. If we forget this, we can kiss this revolution goodbye. I’ll leave you with Michel Collon’s 5 Principles of War Propaganda:
1. Obscure one’s economic interests
2. Appear humanitarian in work and motivations
3. Obscure history
4. Demonise the enemy
5. Monopolise the flow of information