Nato's real plan for Libya. Nato is no longer protecting either Libya's rebels or Gaddafi's inner circle … Gaddafi has been shelling the town of Nalut for weeks, and rebels on the mountain tops can see the launchers in plain view. They say they pass the co-ordinates to Nato, but these are rarely used. According to them, on one occasion a Nato jet was actually overhead while a launcher fired, but did nothing … As the Economist puts it, the Nato powers hope that "the rebels will not capture Tripoli after a headlong advance from the east". Instead, they want to see the regime implode: and that hope corresponds to a strategy of pressure on Gaddafi's command apparatus, rather than the tanks that are preventing the rebel Nato's real plan for Libya. That is the reason for the present deadlock. – UK Guardian
Dominant Social Theme: Heroic rebels, backed by Western support, are going to overthrow the Libyan madman and create democracy.
Free-Market Analysis: The rebel forces sprang out of nowhere as part of the "Arab Spring" and apparently had the support of the West. But the past months have shown that the situation "on the ground" is more complicated than Anglo-American elites likely ever imagined. (See article excerpt above.)
What has emerged from the fighting is that Muammar Gaddafi is not merely a tyrant that can be easily overthrown and that the "rebels" are activated by a kind of fundamentalist Islamic hatred of Gaddafi's rule. This has had apparently a significant impact on NATO and US strategy, which has begun to detach itself from the rebels.
The rebels themselves, with their brutality and insistence that they will not need NATO and the US help post-war, have probably added to the reluctance of the West to provide them continued support. What is increasingly clear is that they are losing their value as trusted proxies.
In fact, it turns out, according to the Guardian (which cites The Economist), that the rebels are not going to be supported by NATO and the US. The strategy, instead, is to withdraw support from NATO while continuing to bomb regions and troops that support Gaddafi. This is why NATO continues airstrikes regularly over Tripoli. The idea is to pressure Gaddafi into quitting using airpower. Airpower alone rarely achieves military objectives.
The ludicrousness of what is going on has not fully been reported in the West. It has, however, taken its toll on the US Congress, which has begun to try to defend this latest war effort. And with good reason. The Pentagon is now engaged in a war effort that has no "boots on the ground" and air power is never a substitute for a fighting force.
Of late, reports that the US is going to invade Libya directly have grown louder. The idea that the Obama Administration would get involved in yet another full-scale military operation even as it tries to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan seems fairly nonsensical. But stranger things have happened. If the administration does such a thing, expect an impeachment movement.
These wars of the Arab Spring are evidently and obviously part of a larger Western consolidation of power aimed at Middle Eastern and African regimes that are not sufficiently pliable, or which in some sense stand in the way of increased Western global governance. The wars have an added advantage of distracting Western citizens from the intractable economic problems. Western elites are achieving two objectives with these military actions.
But these wars also show us that in the 21st century, as before, military power is not always effective. As it stands now, it's hard to see how enough pressure can be brought to bear on Gaddafi to remove him. (NATO and the US may run out bombs before that happens.) The rebels don't have the military power to force the issue.
The New York Times yesterday posted an article that sums up the difficulties, while (predictably) avoiding the larger issue of NATO's change in strategy:
Senior Rebel Is Doubtful Qaddafi Can Be Routed … Colonels and commanders who defected from Libya's military attended a ceremony in June to proclaim support for the revolution … For months now, military leaders in the rebel capital, Benghazi, have boldly predicted lightning advances by their fighters and an imminent rout of the forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in Tripoli that would finally snuff out his brutal four-decade rule.
The rebels have made some advances in the west in recent days, taking a small village in the Nafusah Mountains and pushing westward some distance from Misurata toward Tripoli. But a senior rebel military officer here in the mountains who said he defected last month from the Libyan Army called the prospects of a collapse by Colonel Qaddafi's forces highly unlikely.
The officer, Col. Mohammed Ali Ethish, who now commands opposition fighters here, said that even if the rebels were able to reach Tripoli, shortages of fuel, personnel and weapons made it unlikely that they would try to invade or march on the heavily fortified city.
This is a mess. Apparently NATO now hopes that the rebels do NOT capture Tripoli. Instead, according to the Guardian, they hope for a regime implosion and a new set of faces with whom they can negotiate. It must be obvious to even a casual observer at this point that the war is not about saving civilian lives. That was just a justification, an entry point. The UN's R2P, which has overthrown the concept of sanctity of nation-states, is merely a ruse that allows the West to attack as it wishes.
Yet attacking regimes through proxy or via air power is not a reliable way of generating regime change. Western powers are apparently reduced to hoping for a coup. The logical is circular. Those who depose Gaddafi will be supported by the same military and tribal power structure that supported him. The faces may change but the fundamental regime shall not.
Additionally, the West, as in Afghanistan, has set up elements of an ongoing civil war. If the West does recognize a post-Gaddafi government made up of previous supporters, then how will the rebels react? Likely, they will continue fighting.
So what was the real reason for picking a fight with Gaddafi? It obviously wasn't to protect civilians as the NATO bombing raids on Tripoli are killing those same citizens. Was it to get rid of Gaddafi because he is not a reliable ally? That's doubtful as well. The West tolerated Gaddafi for decades.
The rebels, in fact, don't speak much of civil government and that may be because they worry they would lose in free and open elections. Gaddafi is something of a loose cannon and a thug, but his government provided free food and public transportation. It even reportedly provides a free $50,000 loan to newlyweds. Gaddafi continues to command the loyalty of various tribes and factions.
There is a supposition, as we have reported in the past, that Gaddafi, like Saddam Hussein before him, planned to refuse dollars-for-oil, intending instead to use a Libyan Dinar tied to a new 'African Gold Standard.' The standard would have been backed by 150 tons of Libyan gold and used in African and Arab countries to cut out Western interests. Libya also controls its own money via the national state banking system and thus removes both BIS and IMF influence. Here is a video by Russia Today on this: Real Cause for Gaddafi's Expulsion: Wanted Gold Currency?
Nonetheless, our fundamental analysis remains the same. The West attacked Libya as part of a larger strategy of attacks using the cover of a so-called "Arab Spring." The idea is to intimidate the Arab and African world into more fully accepting the dominance of Anglo-American elites. It is apparently part of an advancement of a new world order.
There are many within the alternative news media who believe global governance is a kind of preordained inevitability. The trouble that the Western elites are having in figuring out a strategy to subdue Gaddafi should remind us that world government is not inevitable and that people are capable of resisting when military force is used to crush their aspirations and culture. We have seen evidence of this in Afghanistan as well.