Thursday, October 20, 2011

Khaddaffi Dead : The Fall Of The Brother Leader

Libyan leader Moamad Khaddaffi was killed this morning, fighting to the last as his final stronghold in Sirte was taken by the rebels.He'd been in power for 44 years.

National Transitional Council (NTC) Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril announced the death at a news conference this morning in Tripoli.

Jibril said NTC forces were now pursuing Saif al-Islam, Col Khaddaffi's most prominent son, who fled Sirte in a convoy before Sirte fell. He's probably the last major Khaddaffi loyalist still at large.

Jibril also called for neighboring Algeria to turn over the members of KHaddaffi's family who fled there in August to revolutionary justice. Two of KHaddaffi's younger sons, his daughter and his wife are in the country.

"A new Libya is born today," Mahmoud Shammam, the chief spokesman of the Transitional National Council, said today in a statement. "This is the day of real liberation. We were serious about giving him a fair trial. It seems Allah has some other wish."

Apparently so.

British and French leaders hailed the of Khaddaffi's death and the preservation of those lucrative oil contracts they signed with the rebel forces.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy called the death a major step forward for the people of Libya and urged the pursuit of democratic reforms.

"The disappearance of Moamer Kadhaffi is a major step forward in the battle fought for more than eight months by the Libyan people to liberate themselves from the dictatorial and violent regime imposed on them for more than 40 years."

William Hague, Britain's Foreign Secretary said: "When the uprising began, we didn't know how long this would take. I think we feel vindicated all along as the country is now free to become a free and fair democracy. We are very pleased that with Khaddaffi has been removed. There is work to be now to stabilise Libya and bring together separate militias under the control of one governemnt. Once the liberation is declared then there's 30 days to form a transitional government. We should be on the optimistic side, but should not rule out further problems.

It could be a long job for the UK and our allies, but not so much a military job now. Tripoli is not Baghdad."

In other words, count on a lot more of your tax dollars going for nation building before the nature of Libya's new government is actually known.Actually, the odds on an Arab state being established in Libya that's actually free and democratic are incredibly long ones, but the oil will start flowing,which is all the British and French ever were concerned about in the first place.

After all, they didn't care a fig about 'democracy' when they were actively dealing with the Khaddaffi for the oil during his reign, and they were even able to happily ignore the Brother Leader's involvement in the Lockerbie Bombing. What they cared about was that black gold underneath Libya's sands.

The British and French only dumped Khaddaffi during the initial surge of the rebellion, when it looked like he was finished, and their response was to abandon Khaddaffi and rush to sign new oil deals with the rebels. When Khaddaffi rallied and pushed the rebels back to their final stronghold in Benghazi, the Brits and the French realized that they were going to be left out in the cold. And that's when NATO suddenly became involved and western military action against Khaddaffi's forces was launched to turn the tide.

I remind you of this not to defend Khaddaffi, but to give you a little realistic perspective on the matter, so no one's disappointed when the West pours billions into a Libyan rathole only to have it turn out as something different than 'free and democratic'. If the West's leaders were really all that fired up about freedom of democracy, they would have put Khaddaffi in the jar a long time ago.

All the pious nonsense about 'establishing freedom and democracy' or 'protecting the rights of the Libyan people' needs to be seen as exactly that. This was nineteenth century imperialism writ large, and it was always about the oil.

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louielouie said...

as i see it, now that the french/italians have their oil contracts, does this mean they will be directly funding state sponsored terrorism.
i don't hear blood for oil mantra coming from any corner.
was he a bad guy. sure.
did he deserve what he got. no worse.
but this was not done by the libyans. this was done by europe. and imo sets the stage for another round of hide and seek about twenty years hence. maybe even five or ten.
although, the way europe is heading, the hide and seek may be on the northern side of the mediterranean.
there is a cynical side of me that hopes the islamists don't deal in good faith with their european sponsors. but that's another post.

Rob said...

The Brits too,Louie. They and the French were the main players.

Another thing I could have mentioned ( and actually,Ihave before) is that if you remember,Khaddaffi voluntarily gave up his nukes program after Saddam Hussein got dragged away from his spider hole by our troops.

As much of an animal as he was,he became quiescent as far as being a threat from then on, and his reward for acting like yer typical Arab Despot when his power was threatened by rebellion was to get targeted for removal by the West, just because they erred in changing horses too soon.

Think any other Arab dictator who's noticed this is going to make the same mistake Khaddaffi did? Think Basher Assad or whomever takes over in Egypt will?


Anonymous said...

Where are all the 'no blood for oil' people now?

B.Poster said...

I havve to say I never thought the "rebles" could pul lthis one off without SIGNIFICANT ground forces contributed by the EU, US, or both. Since such ground forces are unavailbable nor would the citizens of those countries tolerate the deployment of the foces even if they were avaiable, I thought the entire mission was doomed to failure and Khaddafi would eithr remain in power or some type of face saving withdrawl would be negotiated that would save face for the NATO countries but everyone would know Khaddaffi was the real winner. I was wrong.

I would nto necessarily be so cynical about all of this. If this were solely about oil for European countries, then it would have been far easier and less costly for NATO countries simply to stand aside and let Khaddaffi and his forces doe what they do. Then the valuable oil contracts would have been safe. I figured out from the start that Khaddaffi's forces would have prevailed without NATO assistnace. I don't have access to the wealth of real time information that European and American decision makers have. As such, if I figured this out practically when the whole thing started, they knew it to. As such, the primary motivation was likely not oil but humanitarian grounds as they claim.

Another possible motive might have been Khaddaffi's coming betrayal of the Europeans. Several weeks before NATO became invovled published an aritcle in which Mr. Khaddaffi said his nation's oil contracts would be going to China, Russia, and India and not to European countires. This was before the "revolution" and before NATO became involved. Counterpunch being a leftist publication actually praised the former Libyan leader's decision. If the Euopeans were betryaed in this manner, this would mean there were no valuable oil contracts to preserve if the Khaddaffi stayed in power. With that said, this was likely a Khaddaffi bluff. In other words, it was the opening move in attemtp to get an even better deal with the Europeans than he already had. If the primary motive is oil, then the Europeans are very likley going to negotiate rather than to quickly jump to the side of the reolutionaries.

Additionally the Russians have become increasingly beligerent. Much of Western Europe depends on Russia for their oil supplies. As such, a Libya free of Russia's orbit that could supply oil to Western Europe would give the Europeans some leverage in dealings with Russia. Dangerous game to play, there's probably ways to secure delivery of the neede oil without the over throw of the government. As such, we're left with the stated humanitarian goals being the primary reaosn for the mission.

As for Khaddaffi's agreement on nuclear weapons, this was only a tactical mive for as long as it suited his interests. He would ahve eventually betrayed us. If handled properly, this has the potential to help us within the Arab world, as the revolution is more compatiable with the "Arab Spring" than the old government was. I think the next step will be providing security and getting the oil production going to full capacity. Then Libgyans can see a real difference and we might get a net gain from this.

Far from being "done by Europe" this was a joint Libyan/NATO operation. Without the ground forces contributed by the Libyans NATO could not have succeeded. Without NATO air support the rebels would have failed. Its probabaly about 50% NATO and 50% Libyam forces.

Perhaps this is something we can build upon in our relations with the Arab world. Unfortunately its hard to be optimisti While the motives are noble, I don't think this operation made much strategic sense for Aemrica.

UCSPanther said...

A rather interesting take. They jumped ship early on in the rebellion when it looked like the rebels were going to win, but when Gaddafi started to regain the upper hand through his usual diabolical/ruthless cunning, they probably panicked because they knew Gaddafi, if he had won, would have paid them back for their treachery by cutting off the oil supply, which would have had some very deleterious effects on the EU's already fragile economy.

Hence, they sent the air support in again and gave the rebels the help they needed, but the question remains: What price will the rebels demand for the oil and the support, and will it turn out to be a case of condemning Libya to the worse fate of being ruled by an Iranian style theocracy.?

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right about this being a 19th Century imperialist act on the part of the US dominated NATO. It's a shame you want Israel to slip in securely as perhaps the last vestige of forced Western imperialism

Rob said...

* Chuckle* I would have bet money someone would toss that in.

If you really see no difference between the situation in Israel and what happened in Libya, I'm afraid you're beyond any help I could give you.