The Libya Secret: How West Cooked Up “People’s Uprising”

Reading Time: 18 minutes

Qaddafi has long been a thorn in the side of the West’s oil industry and their national security apparatus. In the early 1970s he worked closely with Occidental Petroleum chairman Armand Hammer in thwarting the ambitions of the oil majors. He was a leader in the boycott of Israel and often cozied up to the Soviet Union.

Back in the 1980s, the Reagan Administration plotted for five years to get rid of Qaddafi and sent 18 U.S. warplanes in April 1986 to eliminate the “Mad Dog of the Middle East.” Reporter Seymour Hersh actually did investigate the whys and wherefores of the ensuing bombings over Tripoli. (The bombings killed the Libyan dictator’s daughter but obviously failed to achieve their primary objective). Hersh’s piece in the February 22nd, 1987  New York Times Magazine, “Target Qaddafi,” has striking echoes in the NATO attacks of 2011. It revealed:

–  “internal manipulation and deceit” on the part of the White House to disguise its real intentions, namely, to assassinate Qaddafi;

–  Denials after the raid on Qaddafi’s compound that he had been a target, insisting that the compound hit was “a command-and-control” building;

–  The training of Libyan exiles, armed by Israel, to infiltrate Libya through Tunisia.

–  The creation of a pretext for the attacks. In this case, it was the April 5, 1986 bombing of the La Belle discotheque in West Berlin,a hangout of American servicemen. This bombing was blamed on Libya “based on intercepted communications,” despite the explicit rejection of this claim by Berlin’s then-chief of anti-terrorist police.

–  The revelation, according to one intelligence official, that “We came out with this big terrorist threat to the U.S. government. The whole thing was a complete fabrication.”

–  As for real motives, Hersh discerned from a three-month investigation that the Reagan Administration saw Qaddafi as being pro-Soviet, “relentlessly anti-Israel,” and a supporter of extreme elements in Syria as opposed to “the more moderate regimes in Jordan and Egypt.”

–  Qaddafi’s “often-stated ambition to set up a new federation of Arab and Moslem states in North Africa” frightened policy makers about their access to minerals.

It’s this that has to be considered as background for the true story of Libya—the one the Western media cannot, or will not now, report.


What the media has so relentlessly characterized as the “spontaneous uprising” of February 2011 was hardly spontaneous. It began even before the Arab Spring itself commenced in Tunisia during December of last year—and it was orchestrated by the West.

In October 2010, Qaddafi’s protocol chief, Nouri Al-Mesmari, arrived in France, purportedly for medical treatment. But he had his family with him, and the declared reason for his trip was a cover story. He almost immediately plunged into talks with the French and their intelligence service. He argued that Qaddafi was weak. He pointed out breaches in Qaddafi’s national security shield that made it possible to take him down. (More on this can be found on the subscription-newsletter site “Africa Intelligence.”)

In December, Mesmari was joined by three Western-educated Libyan businessmen who had years earlier staged an unsuccessful revolt against Qaddafi. It didn’t take long for the French government of Nicolas Sarkozy to sign on to a covert effort to topple Qaddafi. There are multiple possible reasons for this, including intra-European competition, notably with the Italians, who enjoyed a particularly close relationship with Qaddafi and an inside track on Libya’s oil. In addition, the French were deeply concerned about illegal immigration from Arab and African countries,via Libya, that they felt was tolerated or even encouraged by Qaddafi. The French began talking with the British, who shared many of their concerns and a history of cooperation on covert projects.

Qaddafi and Sarkozy (France)

In November, a French trade delegation, including representatives of multinational corporations, traveled to Benghazi in Eastern Libya. That delegation has been characterized by Africa Intelligence’s Maghreb Confidential as having included French military officials under commercial cover, assessing the possibilities on the ground.

The New Year’s uprising in Tunisia, followed in rapid succession by those in other Arab states, created a kind of perfect storm, arguably even a smoke screen for the “popular revolt.” (It is interesting to note the above newsletter’s assertion that Mesmari paid a brief visit to Tunisia in October on his way to France.)

“Muammer Kadhafi’s [i.e., Muammar Qaddafi’s] chief of protocol, Nouri Mesmari, is currently in Paris after stopping off in Tunisia. Normally, Mesmari sticks closely to his boss’s side, so there’s some talk that he may have broken his long-standing tie with the Libyan leader.”


Egypt followed quickly on Tunisia’s heels, and on February 16, just days after the dictator Hosni Mubarak was toppled in neighboring Egypt, peaceful demonstrations began in Benghazi—after calls went out on Facebook for people to take to the streets in protest over the arrest of a human rights lawyer. (The lawyer, Fethi Tarbel, was quickly released—news organizations do not appear to have scrutinized who ordered Tarbel arrested, or exactly why—though this was the seminal event that would ultimately lead to the end of Qaddafi’s regime.)

On February 27, a National Transitional Council, made up of politicians, ex-military officers, tribal leaders, businessmen and academics, announced its launching in Benghazi as the rebel leadership. Not surprisingly, no mention was made of the French back story.

The Italian intelligence services, intent on preserving that country’s advantageously close relationship with Qaddafi, began trying to leak what was going on. (More on the extent of the coziness between Libya and Italian oil companies, and between Qaddafi and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi here.) When it proved unable to stop the operation, the Italian government seemingly decided to switch and try to head this particular parade, lest the spoils go to the others.

Qaddafi and Berlusconi (Italy)

The United States was late to this affair, but determined to get its share of the picnic. The US has been as nervous about Qaddafi’s relationship with Russia’s Putin as France was about his ties to Italy.

CIA was ready with its own man and plan. As we previously noted, Khalifa Hifter, a former Libyan army officer, had spent the past two decades living just down the road from CIA headquarters, with no apparent source of income.  In 1996, while a resident of Vienna, Virginia, he organized a Benghazi-based revolt that failed. When the current uprising was sputtering in March, CIA sent Hifter in to take command.

Qaddafi and Blair (UK)

When the rebels were being routed, the United Nations Security Council approved a no-fly order for Qaddafi. The NATO bombing began almost immediately, under the “humanitarian” label.

Before long, other European countries had covert elements in Libya. The British paper, The Guardian, has just reported the role of British special forces in coordinating the rebels on the ground. This was denied by the UK government . But then another British paper, The Telegraph, cited UK defense sources saying special forces had been in Libya already for weeks, i.e., since early August.)

For the first time, defence sources have confirmed that the SAS has been in Libya for several weeks, and played a key role in co-ordinating the fall of Tripoli.

Now that it is all over, expect details to emerge daily. For example, see this from the Daily Beast on the extent of US involvement behind the scenes, including:

[A]t NATO headquarters outside Brussels, the U.S.was intimately involved in all decisions about how the Libyan rebels should be supported as they rolled up control of cities and oil refineries and marched toward the capital, Tripoli.


Ok, so certain Western powers wanted, really, really badly, to oust Qaddafi. But why exactly? France’s intra-European competitive motive was certainly one factor. But there was more.

Back in 2007, European Union leaders were seriously toying with the idea of NATO-izing the entire Mediterranean, turning it into the new mare-nostrum originally contemplated in Roman days. In 2007, France’s President Nicholas Sarkozy invited 27 European Union heads of state to launch a “Mediterranean union.” He also invited 17 non-EU Mediterranean countries to use, as Britain’s Daily Telegraph put it, “imperial Rome’s centre of the world as a unifying factor linking 44 countries that are home to 800 million people.”

One leader did not buy in, however: Muammar Qaddafi. He claimed the scheme would divide Africa and the Arab World. “We shall have another Roman empire and imperialist design,” he was quoted as saying in July, 2008. “There are Imperialist maps and designs that we have already rolled up. We should not have them again.”

Qaddafi was particularly angered that an earlier plan, which contemplated building closer co-operation among a few southern European and North African states bordering the Mediterranean, had been replaced with one which included the whole EU, the Middle East—and Israel—in the new “Union.”

“It is unbelievable that I would come to my own country and people and say that I have a union with Israel. It is very dangerous,” he said, referring to the possibility of the plan fomenting jihadism throughout Europe, not just the Middle East.

Despite this “insult,” however, Qaddafi had been attempting for some time to get his country out of the near-global embargo imposed after blame for the Lockerbie bombing was laid at Libya’s feet. And the West, for its part, had been largely in a great hurry to “forgive”—and to get access to Libya’s riches.

Qaddafi and Condoleezza (US)

While Qaddafi was discussing with the Russians in 2007, for instance, the prospect of building a Russian military base in Libya, he’d also been busy rapidly repairing relations with other potential allies. French President Sarkozy visited that year, and signed a number of agreements, including a deal for France to build a nuclear-powered facility to desalinate ocean water for drinking. The next year, Qaddafi signed a cooperation treaty with Italy’s Berlusconi. And American secretary of state Condi Rice came calling in 2008, accelerating the thaw George W. Bush had avidly begun early in his administration.

McCain and Qaddafi

In recent years, Qaddafi was on such good behavior that U.S. officials showered him with the sort of praise usually reserved for those officially deemed to be close allies. If that sounds unlikely, all you need to do is watch this video of Republican Sen. John McCain on an August 2009 visit to Tripoli—with his buddy Joe Lieberman, known to most as a pro-Israel, pro-Iraq-war hawk—gushing about Qaddafi and his regime. Emerging from meetings, they evoked a spirit of friendship and mutual respect, and endorsed the US providing defense equipment to that regime. (Ever the political animal, in recent weeks, the very same McCain who led that delegation has turned to criticizing Obama for not being willing to bomb Libya heavily enough.)

A cable from the US embassy in Tripoli, released by WikiLeaks, confirms that on the 2009 visit,

“Lieberman called Libya an important ally in the war on terrorism, noting that common enemies sometimes make better friends,” the cable continues. “The Senators recognized Libya’s cooperation on counterterrorism and conveyed that it was in the interest of both countries to make the relationship stronger.”

Goldman Sachs

This rapprochement was characterized by a land rush of Western corporations that had long coveted their share of Libya’s oil revenues. Leading the way was the investment bank Goldman Sachs. Qaddafi and his advisers trusted Goldman’s claims that it would turn handsome profits with any funds entrusted to it. Yet Goldman managed to lose an astonishing 98 percent of the funds, which were the Libyan people’s sovereign wealth. No matter. Goldman was soon back with more brilliant ideas—including suggesting, at the height of the Wall Street crisis, that Qaddafi buy a substantial stake in the Goldman firm itself.

Qaddafi was faced with these huge losses at the very time Libya was carrying a crushing obligation of reparations for the Lockerbie bombing that had been pressed on Libya as a condition of its re-emergence from years of isolation, and he began to worry about how he would pay for it all. Keeping the Libyan population at a relatively high standard of living (compared certainly to neighboring Egypt) was essential to his maintaining power. It was at this point that  Qaddafi began pressing foreign oil companies to increase the royalties they pay, and the companies began grousing about it.

Could this hardening of postures have contributed to the sudden decision to oust a man who had worked hard to ingratiate himself with the West?


At least two factors appear to have come together to create an impossible situation for Qaddafi:  (1) The French, perhaps impatient with Qaddafi’s independence, and frustrated with his Italian alliance, began considering whether they might effect a change of government in Libya. And (2) the Arab Spring. Suddenly, a startling number of the thuggish Middle Eastern allies of the NATO countries began to come under threat. For a number of U.S. Eastern Establishment types, at least, these regional spasms of disaffection and bravery seemed to come as a genuine surprise. The Council on Foreign Affairs produced articles titled  “What Just Happened?” and “Why No One Saw it Coming,” in the May/June issue of its Foreign Affairs magazine, dedicated to “the New Arab Revolt.”

View Page 3 of 3


Where else do you see journalism of this quality and value?

Please help us do more. Make a tax-deductible contribution now.

Our Comment Policy

Keep it civilized, keep it relevant, keep it clear, keep it short. Please do not post links or promotional material. We reserve the right to edit and to delete comments where necessary.


0 responses to “The Libya Secret: How West Cooked Up “People’s Uprising””

  1. RM says:

    Great article. Informative and insightful. Too bad you can’t choose your audience, and commentary. Keep it going! Your journalism is profound.

  2. Ricarrdo estavans says:

    Your all being conned and bamboozeled. Its all about the western central banks trying to control the tribes of the middle east. I once thought like all of you now I know that these middle eastern muslims do not want to be subjugated and enslaved by these central bankers.All they have to use to fight with is terror. We try to subjugate them they will try to subjugate us.

  3. Ricarrdo estavans says:

    Obammy and Bush in Africa at the same time. What a coincidence. The next take over by the one world globalists is Africa. Lot of wealth and resources. The western central banks needed an African to crack the african nut. This is why Obammy was selected to be president. An African muslim. It doesn’t get better than that. Now Obammy is a multimillionaire for his cooperation. Notice how Obammy does not govern he cant all he can do is vacation, play golf order kobe beef and live like royalty. The central banks call the shots.

  4. Ricarrdo estavans says:

    The western central banks want to subjugate the middle east and enslave them like they have enslaved the west. I am not a fan of islam nut cases but they are doing everything they can prevent their enslavement by the west including terror.

  5. SRV says:

    What happened to all the gold?

  6. Man on the street says:

    The big elephant in the room is fanatic jihadi Islam, and their support from Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. The Saudi money even bribes Americans to push for this absurd policy of deposing semi-secular regimes in favor of hate infested crazy Muslims.
    When we invaded Iraq, lots of media commentaries talked about the Iraqi oil? Now, ten years, and several trillion dollars later, Iraq’s biggest oil winner is China. That disprove America’s war for oil BS, it is rather American’s politician war for Saudi Islam.

    • Ricarrdo estavans says:

      The muslims do not want to be slaves of the western banks.All they can use is terror to keep them out of the middle east. The central banks of Europe and America have been trying to crush the middle east for about 70 years.

    • Man on the street says:

      I understand the concept of central banks? The ME however is heavily invested in the West, and central issue of my point was crazy fanatic Islam, and the barbarians who are shoving it down everybody’s throat.

  7. realtalk says:

    Oh brother. This again?

    “In the US left, petty-bourgeois democratism sometimes results in opposition to some of the popular uprisings. The people and trends involved may take part in a number of struggles against racism, war, and poverty, yet they sneer at the struggle against dictatorship in such places as Syria and Libya. They regard themselves as the truest and most staunch anti-imperialists, but they are championing non-class anti-imperialism, a stand which is anti-imperialist only in pretense, because it is detached from the mass struggle in the countries of dictatorship. Non-class anti-imperialism is more concerned with how a democratic struggle might affect the momentary power balance between the big powers, or even the sales of some oil company, than whether the masses of a country are free or how to encourage the class struggle. The non-class anti-imperialists have more faith in benevolent despots (at least many of them seem to persuade themselves that these despots are benevolent, although the legions of victims of these regimes might dispute that) than in the people these despots rule over.

    In a way, the non-class anti-imperialists are still fighting the Cold War. They didn’t understand in the past that both US capitalism and Soviet state-capitalism were both enemies of the working class. And today, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the East European bloc, they don’t recognize that not just the big powers of the West, but Russia, India, and China are imperialist countries, and that siding with one imperialism against another is a betrayal of the struggle against world imperialist system. So they side with any regime which is, or was historically, a bit closer to Eastern imperialism than Western imperialism.(3)”

  8. Dorothy Reik says:

    I have always thought that we saw the Arab spring and figured it was good cover to get rid of Quadaffi. I still think that.

  9. brux says:

    I have to admit the sentence structure:

        has always been a murderous, bastard, horrible person … but the United States …

    Come on … this bull-cycle has been going on forever.  Drop it.  What is the real issue here?  The reality of how the world runs is what is being hidden from everyone – just so they concentrate on talking and arguing over stuff they have no idea about.

    We need names, connections, money trails …. the people either need to know and will do what is needed to find out, or they give their tacit agreement to this system.  After all it is not that bad, the western world doe s not work so bad, except for some people, and those people are marginalized and do not stand up for themselves, or even try.

    Let’s say we just equate all leaders, Obama = Bush = Reagan = Saddam = Khadaffi … etc.  Even if that was true, so what.  It’s not, but there is something to be said for our side winning.  After all the US has not managed the world as badly as Russia, China or the Middle Eastern or African counties.

    It is important to look clearly at the world to put our own country in perspective – the bad and the good, and what works and what doesn’t.

    If we want to solve problems, then we have to define, focus, collect data, discuss and plan a solution.  I don’t see much of that going on in the left.  The leaders of the left just may have been co-opted, because that is the only way to neutralized a movement like the left without murdering people.

    So, any leftist political celebrity is a fake, a phony, a plant, an informer, a spy, most likely.

  10. Ohhnonotagain says:

    lest we forget, all the news is controlled by 6 corporations in the US…….why they all repeat the same propaganda………

  11. KD says:

    Exxon Mobil reported second quarter profits of $10.7 billion, up 41 percent from the previous year.

  12. Davidinnewmexico says:

    Thanks E. Bernays

  13. JRArnold says:

    If it’s so easy to manufacture an insurrection, as you claim happened in Libya and now Syria, why hasn’t it been done in Cuba? The answer, of course, is because there is no genuine popular opposition there to infiltrate and attempt to co-opt.

    The French monarchy intervened in the American Revolution. So what.

    Your opposition to U.S. policies leads you to dismiss revolutionary movements against dictators the U.S./NATO don’t like, and thereby objectively defend the dictators against their people, simply because the U.S./NATO intervene to try to co-opt the movements for their own ends.

    Any popular movement will be glad to get outside support of weapons, supplies, and even air support — from anyone — and worry about the consequences later. So whose side are you on?

    • brux says:

      Good points, but the nature of the covert operation is to make all operations suspect.  Most of the world is festering under all kinds of corruption so I tend to think that what the US does in at least some cases is an improvement.  I don’t know this and cannot prove it, and I do not deny the bad cases, usually around oil.

      The thing is the biggest game in this world is the military competition between big empires.  If the US were to unilaterally become a pacifist nation it does not mean this largest, oldest, game in history would end, just that we would lose out, in fact there is not even any we, now the participants in this game are global entities, and I imagine even as far back as WWI and WWII it was the same thing, though fewer less informed players.

      How can the average people play or participate in this process, or would they want to?  I don’t know, but I do know that for people to be informed citizens they need to be prosperous citizens with enough leisure to follow what is going on in the world in an informed way, not just pawns playing whatever game is put out here on the Internet, You-Tube, etc.

    • brux says:

      > Let’s look at the history of corruption attended by US ‘intervention.’

      It’s amazing that you can do that so much better than I, in just a paragraph, proven with just a example too!

    • Man on the street says:

      The Cuban tradition of guarding their borders, as well as their great oppressive secret police prevent infiltrators. That is how Castro managed to survive all these years.

  14. Johmiller says:

    Russ, isn’t this the ideal model for the conversion of the rest of the Arab dictatorates? One at the time rebel groups overthrowing with our humanitarian support. Then its, “Everybody out of here, except the friendly Oil Minster”.

    My first day at WHOWHATWHY and I am grateful that it is here. This story on Libya looks just like Russ Baker at work asking all the right questions! Everything makes perfect sense given the oil industry ownership of US Foreign policy in the greater region. Perhaps Netenyaho can sleep like a baby tonight. Sweet dreams all of you Neo-Cons. And oh I forgot, thank you so much for helping the automakers build stupid, gasoline driven cars for the next twenty years.

  15. Sfu1m3r says:

    Russ – the multiple comments you made exposing a lack of media interest in this story are disturbing because they are true, and, I’m afraid, only the tip of the doldrums iceberg of the mind-numbed, disinterested-media-conditioned public.  It was bad enough that Iraq was painted over Vietnam, but at least there was some outrage.  Now Libya is being painted over Iraq, and even the most obvious questions aren’t being asked.  Given the cynicism raging throughout the US, is there a measure for the pathetic acceptance of humanitarian militarism?  

  16. Tocasaid says:

    Interesting stuff. Sadly, not surprising.

  17. dan more says:

    Yeah yeah, Gaddafi has gone is now time for Libyans to pay for the bombs
    that kill their brothers and sisters. The bombs that destroy all the
    infrastructure in their country which Gaddafi has put in place for years. Is time to sign a contact with the so called sympathy’s of  Lybian. 

     He Gaddafi may has made some mistake as a human being but one thing is for sure, non of this  countries France, UK,  USA  loves you like Gaddafi. They only have one interest in your country and African countries at large but not you Libyans. You will know the truth one day why the killed the great leader of Africa.

  18. Duane says:

    This article provides the many realities behind the
    Libyan leaders fall.

  19. SqueakyRat says:

    I don’t seem much in this to justify depicting the revolt as “cooked up” by Western powers. I have no doubt that Lybian dissidents have been approaching Western governments for many years. But I do not see how the West could have had any sort of trigger to pull to set off the rebellion.

    • HerrinSchadenfreude says:

      We’ve all heard the chatter, so to speak. But to actually see resolute denial and complete failure of connect the dots type logic in action like you’ve shown here is breathtaking. Such complete swings and misses can’t be happenstance. This is deliberate ignorance.

  20. Joe Otf Roberts says:

    the true story
    and as a leader he let his people rule themselves and their standard of living before NATO was higher then most western societies

  21. doug vaughan says:

    The Dark Side of “Humanitarian” Intervention: the Imperial gambit to turn Arab Spring into Our Thing: Russ and I have had our differences over the years, including some stories on which we collaborated. But this time he’s absolutely nailed it — and shame on Juan Cole, Richard Falk and others for rallying to NATO. The only nits to pick: US, Brits, Isrealis have been maneuvering against Qaddafi ever since he expelled Wheelus AFB; Saudi, UAE, Egyptian military role in recruiting, coordinating,$$- laundering and sheep-dipping merc jihadis — is that what Prince’s Blackwater/Xe has been up to? He was the quirkiest of bogeymen, but one of Qaddafi’s sons was named Hannibal for good reason.

  22. billgoodacre says:

    thank you Russ for the insights in this piece. However is it necessary to add all the gratuitous remarks about Qaddafi being such a nasty character? The fact that under his watch Libya did move from one of the poorest to the wealthiest economies where wealth was shared far more equitably than in your own country.  A comparison with Saudi Arabia in terms of horrid leadership skills might shed light on why NATO is bombing Libya; always nice to have compliant tyrants.

    • Russ says:

      Lots of dissenters were jailed, tortured, killed. Lets not minimize that–anywhere.

    • MuslimLeedsUK says:

      You appear to write well and I’m glad that you go beyond the mainstream media to dig deeper. For this I’d say, humanity should be grateful. However,  I agree with billgoodacre. You continue painting the otherside whether it be Qaddafi or Iran Mullahs (in another report) in a very negative light; almost by nature. Firstly, it’s untrue that they are all bad. If nothing, I’d ask for the evidence. It would be ironic if you point towards a media report. Secondly, if they are indeed as you claim, then wouldn’t your own reports contradict that in the sense that their crimes would appear pale in comparison to the crimes comitted by Westerners/NATO, and as such why the derrogatory remarks and looking down on them while NATO is simply discussed in a journalistic fashion; not ridiculed. Thirdly, those reports on people like Qaddafi or Saddam for that matter that does state for instance the torturing and killing of people. If you actually do some digging, this is done after due legal process and a conviction in a court of law for crimes that are not tolerated even in the West i.e. defecting, spying, attempting to assasinate the president etc. We have much worse cases of killings and torture in the West. Only thing is, it is either not reported, conducted in another country beyond the standard jurisdiction, is carried out by first demonising the individual or group (and therefore, no one batters an eyelid) or if reported is considered an isolated incient -which it hardly is. I believe in innocent until proven guilty in a fair court, not a kangaroo court set up by the West.

  23. Davidbrown says:

    best living standard in africa, free health, education, housing, water and electricity for homes. equal rights for women, virtually no crime and religious tolerance. seems to me the libyans have got nothing to complain about. what is to follow if gaddafi loses is an islamic state, where nothing is free and there is certainly no democracy and freedom. oh and to top it off western parasites will be straling your resources. bring back gaddafi now

  24. Rocky Racoon says:

    aThe reason is that Ghadaffi was supporting other African countries develop in a manner that wouldn’t leave them paying impossible interest to the IMF and other Western Instittutions.  To many in Africa including Nelson Mandela he was a Saint who would not participate in the economic boycott.  He paid for the satelite that gave all of Africa radio so they wouldn’t have to pay a 500 million a year fee to the west.  He was goong to start a central bank with the gold standard and Africa would have it’s own currency backed by gold.  This would have gotten rid of the Franc in many countries which is why France was so hot to get rid of him.  It was mainly France who initiated this situation.  Ghadaffi di dmor efor his people than the Western governments do for their;s.  The bombs by Reagan and more pressure forced him to allow foreign corporations in and to marketize the economy.  Libyan’s got free medical education and health care.  He was the humanist.  The only time he strayed was when there were cruise missles being lobed into his living room and killing his family.  The attack on Libya is based on nothing more than old fashioned imperialism hands down.

  25. Edantes195 says:

    Piracy and looting have been the backbone of British and then American foreign policy for more than 400 years. 

  26. Morley Evans says:

    When one discovers that Gaddafi tortured victims who were “rendered” for torture by the CIA (just like Assad in Syria and Mubarak in Egypt) and that the CIA helped Gaddafi come to power in 1961, we see that Gaddafi was exactly the same as Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Gaddafi was a satrap whose usefulness to Washington’s global Empire had come to an end. Libyans can expect the same fate as Iraqis. Americans, Canadians and Washington’s other subjects, can expect no better.  Wake up, people! Your “duhmockricy” is a sham.

    • Ivan_K says:

      “When one discovers that Gaddafi tortured victims who were “rendered” for torture by the CIA”

      Yes, but when does one discover that?

      It’s not been discovered yet.

      If you mean the Belhaj case. Belhaj is an al-Qaeda asset and he was tortured in Abu Salem by Brits. Check: More about the context: Westerners aren’t just prime looters. You/your media are prime liars.

    • Boris says:

      good point Ivan K. Many of observers who comment on Nato atrocities in Libia, think that they must make a reference to how bad Qaddafi was, what a tyrant he was. Only after that they allow themselves to criticise Nato and the west. They do not have to make these comments to try to be objective. In fact in order to be objective, they should do their own recearch and see that the main fault of Qaddafi was his eccentricity. He was not tyrant, but one of the very few rulers who actualy cared about his people and about people in general.

    • jazz says:

      “the main fault of Qaddafi was his eccentricity”… MAAANNNN…. that’s all I’m finding too!  It’s outrageous that we allowed rumors from the whitehouse (AKA “The Lie-house”) to wreck the lives of these people and this man.  And according to Qaddafi himself, he’s absolutely not their leader but they look to him.  He has this (Jamahiriya) set up where the different tribes basically govern themselves, which is totally foreign to us Westerners.  Georgea is right when she lists our “Commanders in Thuggery”.  The last one that tried to save this country was JFK (though not a saint) he did try to reverse the damage that was done.  Honestly, I’d rather deal with the Mafia than our government anymore.  

      To all:  PLEASE check out; “Kick Them All Out”… is empowering and a real solution to this nightmare called “The American Dream”!!!

      Here’s the latest update on Libya that mainstream media is not reporting:

      A note for Colonel Qaddafi– please accept my humble apologies for not researching on my own to discover the man of honor that you are.  You and the people of Libya will prevail!!

      Love, peace and happiness to all!  It’s time to “heal our land”, folks.

    • Sam says:

      American corporate imperialism has been on a relentless march, armed with their IMF and the World Food Bank and the full support of the US military and now their corporate owned militias.  Corporate national and international news monopolies have been feeding the American news consumer  a steady diet of histrionics, pulp fiction and outright propaganda.  Today investigative Journalism is in it’s death throes 
      because anything from outside the corporate mainstream generated fluff causes every substantive investigative report to be perceived asa likely  conspiracy tale:  too shocking to be true!  Control the information access and it’s dissemination and you control the outcome.

    • Rocky Racoon says:

      And war propaganda is also against the Geneva convention.   In any case this is not the worst thing we in the West have ever done and actually is probably on the Barbarism scale probably down around about a 1 with a high of 10 being worse. 

  27. Georgea says:

    Please explain instead of poisoning the well-“Qaddafi should never be seen as a victim—indeed, he has always been sleazy and monstrous in various ways” Would you like to compare Blair, Cameron, , Obama, Bush 1 & 2, Clinton, LBJ. Nixon, Truman, Roosevelt, Reagan Wilson, to Qaddafi.I’d say Qaddafi is a saint compared to the other beasts of prey

  28. Claude says:

    Hi Russ,

    I referenced your excellent article on my blog at I loved it. You have made an excellent work. I also added a Mail Online article about a threat that Qaddafi made to swarm Europe with Black immigrants if the EU didn’t give him 5 bn euros a year…I think that also explains why NATO took him down. They had no choice.

    Continue your great work.

  29. Lodewijk Langeweg says:

    About the gold:
    “The Real Reason for NATO Attacking Libya EXPOSED”:

    A young Libian women about life under Gaddafi:

    “Shocking Truth About Gaddafi — what you don’t know.”

  30. Lodewijk Langeweg says:

    The experts and authorities who investigated the Lockerbie bombing have come to the conclusion that Ghaddafi most probably had nothing to do with it. So Ghaddafi planned to demand financial compensation for all the years Libia was boycotted based on allegtions only, and also wanted to be paid in gold. Tis was too much for the Western ‘elite.’

    “Lockerbie bombing probe”:

  31. Tim Oliver says:

    I wonder how many of these new oil contracts will in fact end up in Chinese hands – just as has happened in Iraq. Of course energy is a concern here for governments – but so was the humanitarian situation. But the idea that Western political leaders aren’t merely creatures possessed by the spirits of large corporations and forced to do their bidding at every turn, but may have a humanitarian instinct driven by a deeper liberal interventionist philosophy that can trace its roots back to Gladstone and beyond which has informed and shaped these debates doesn’t make a sensational enough story.

    No country goes to war for just one reason – there are always a multitude of factors that propel states to go to war in any instance. This is understandable, as war costs a lot in terms of blood and treasure, and diminishes your capacity to respond elsewhere. The NATO post-conflict plan doesn’t sound anything like an invasion to me. Go and read up on the reconstruction of post-war Germany, Japan and South Korea to understand why you’d want to keep police on the streets, civil service institutions staffed and utilities refurbished. I know it’s not a great intrigue, but sadly most of international politics isn’t. 

    Poor article.

    • antiwar_soldier says:

      What is so Humanitarian about this statement by NTC official and subsequent NATO bombings of Sirte?

      “In the end, we will get Sirte, even if we have to cut water and
      electricity” and let NATO pound it with airstrikes, Benghazi spokesman


    • antiwar_soldier says:

      Or why was not this attack on Abu Salim stopped?

      France 24 TV correspondent Matthieu Mabin, reporting from Tripoli, provides a particularly chilling account:

      “What happened had less to do with fighting than with stamping out the last pockets of Gaddafi faithfuls, or rather the artisans, technicians and low ranking officials employed by the state, most of whom were housed in blocks of flats concentrated in the Abu Slim neighborhood and who lacked the means to get away in order to evade the lethal sanctions of the rebels. What we are seeing today is certainly the saddest phase of the Libyan war, with columns of rebels who are
      assailing this area, these people, the families who are esconced in these tenement buildings.

      Our colleagues have just returned after an all-night coverage at the main Tripoli hospital, reporting the arrival of a large number of gunshot victims, including elderly people, women and even children. The CNT has remained completely silent about this. No call to surrender has been issued. We are undoubtedly entering the saddest phase of the conflict and it is likely that the CNT and the rebels will have to account for their abuses […].

      We have reached a degree of cleansing that appears to be totally out of control, mostly at the hands of the gangs from Misrata, the martyr city of Libya, which have come all the way to Tripoli to carry out their revenge. ”

    • Rocky Racoon says:

      So much for protecting civillians.

    • Rocky Racoon says:

      I do know that contracts with the French went from 10% to 35% share of available oil.  Tripoli had not even fallen and the deal was already inked.

  32. writerman says:

    Good, rational, detailed, calmm, fact-based, sceptical, ariticle; everything journalism should, but seldom is, in wartime.

    If something sounds like propaganda, or a script from a cheap B-movie, for example thousands opon thousands of prsioners held in secret underground prisons, then the chances are it is propaganda.

    One continually hears people comment that the attack can’t be all about oil because we could just buy it on the open  market, why go to the expense of war to get it?

    Because it isn’t just about the price of oil, but is primarily about unfettered access to, and more importantly, control on the oil, who decides where it goes and how much. Oil isn’t only a economic asset, it is a strategic asset, which wars have been fought over before. Armies cannot fight without plentiful supplies of oil. Libya with lots of it, high quality oil, was too valuable a prize not to take control of.

    If one wants to examine a detailed and well-argued examination of the dire situation we face regarding our oil supplies, and their economic and strategic importance, which cannot be over-estimated, check out the report published by the German Army’s, the Bundeswehr,  Future Analysis Department. It’s an extraordinary document, explosive, and challenging. It should be read by everyone and be on all the front pages of the world’s press. One can find it, in english on the Web, or link from Der Spiegel.

    It puts the attack on Libya in its proper context.

    • antiwar_soldier says:

      Look at Oil Product Share agreements and you will understand what “war for oil” really means.

      In short when oil is pumped there is a part for a country and part for company. Kaddafi has decreased companies parts progressively to as low as 20 percent from 50 and more. New friends of Libya will be literally payed by oil. 

  33. James Walls says:

    Too much of what has been written about here has more than a ring of truth about it to be dismissed.  Insightful

  34. Jazz says:

    Hi all!  New here and first time commenter…

    Nothing is ever as it seems.  Be sure to read the PDF that’s linked… I think people are going to be speechless.


    • Aquaman says:

      Sadly, this is no news outside the actual media that controls what they want you to believe. I was living in France when Reagan tried to kill Qaddafi, Mitterrand was president at that time and he denied the air space to the bombers, and we had the chance to really learn what was going on. Fortunately, now we have forums like this and the social networks, let’s hope from now on that we can spread what’s true and what is not.

  35. blog dog says:

    It was decided: Gadaffi had to go, because  

    1) he worked out a way to get Libya compensation from the oil companies for damages from the decades of sanctions over the Pan Am 103 frame up (a rogue CIA op involving a CIA drug ring scandal) –

    2) his very plausible plan to launch an African Gold Dinar –

    too much –  NATO’s hit team took him out on contract from the global financiers

    as for the so-called ‘rebels’, Al Qaeda Commander of NATO’s Bloody Reign of Terror in Tripoli is the Monster Abdel Hakim Belhadj, aka Abdel Hakim al-Hasadi, Friend of Osama Bin Laden, former US POW, and Infamous Killer of US Soldiers in Afghanistan –

    but it ain’t over yet…

    Saif Al Islam Speech (Translated) – 08.31.2011

    I’m speaking to you from area around Tripoli , I just like to assure all Libyan brothers today i went to Azizia we met people there and we met with Warshfana Tribe , and from Aldawahi alarbaa , and some areas around Tripoli , i meet lots people , we are fine , and we still fighting.

    Also we heard that Warfalla Tribe had a meeting because insurgents threaten this tribe they had decided and declared that they will fight insurgents. 

    NATO has killed many innocent people, and Fezzan still resists. They also had a meeting and decided that we will never give up

    As for the insurgents who threaten people in Sirte City, ok welcome to Sirte.  There are 20-thousand volunteers ready to fight you. 

    Also the leader is fine and we are all fine don’t worry about us. Also I have a message to the people in Albeida and Toubrok and Zliten and Tripoli. I  tell you to move now, don’t miss this chance, attack insurgents now, you have to fight them day and night, everyone is Gaddafi , Everyone is Saif Islam , Everyone is Khamis. 

    Also about Bab Azizia. It’s a lie because Bab Azizia was destroyed completely because they attacked it 64 times –  to enter or exist from it means nothing, but this only to make people confused.

    I tell you that your army is fine and the tribes still fine. I called all tribes and from all the answer to NATO is,  “go to hell we will never give up”. 

    NATO will leave soon, and the insurgents we killed. On Alshat road are mercenaries from France , Italy , UK , Qatar and we will kill them. 

    All people who give up to insurgents did so to protect their family. NATO are the most stupid people. Even people who said that they are the leaders in Tripoli are from Al Qaeda and NATO supports them. 

    Today I went to Tribes of Warshfana and all along the way I found no insurgents.  They are afraid. Even in some areas in Tripoli I didn’t find any insurgents. I tell Bosliem And Alhadba prepare yourself for Victory or Martyrdom.

  36. Howard Beale says:

    Too bad Syria doesn’t have anything we want!

  37. Sgk02 says:

    Though Libya for the past decades tenants were given property rights to their dwellings and individual ownership of dwellings was limited to just one property what will happen now?

  38. toddboyle says:

    Nice graph and statistics. As usual, the word “Dollar” does not appear. Russ I’m afraid you have a simplistic understanding of the oil wars. It’s not about grabbing the oil.  The oil always goes “to the marketplace” and whoever has dollars get it.  And any country that doesn’t sell the oil for dollars, gets bombed into submission.  respectfully. todd.

    • antiwar_soldier says:

      You have even more simplistic understanding.

      Again, Look at Oil Product Share agreements and you will understand what “war for oil” really means.

      short when oil is pumped there is a part for a country and part for
      company. Kaddafi has decreased companies parts progressively to as low
      as 20 percent from 50 and more. New friends of Libya will be literally
      payed by oil.

  39. Bill N. says:

    We’re just going after the “usual suspects,” while the underlying truth about what is going on in Libya is not touched upon by the Fawning Corporate Media (credit to Ray McGovern).  

  40. PB says:

    Funny. That was the bill of goods Reed et al sold to  Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal at Citicorp back in 1990 something. They aren’t biting anymore…love the part about Goldman…