Sunday, March 20, 2011

Who ARE those guys who asked us to bomb Libya?

With ten out of fifteen votes, the UN Security Council voted to lend air support to the "Libyan rebellion." Russia, China, India, Brazil, and Germany opted to abstain, which seems to be their way of saying "You assholes in France, the UK, and the US can do as you please, but we'll just sit back and deal with whichever side wins. Frankly, my dears, we don't give a damn."

Now that warplanes are on the way, it seems a bit overdue to answer the question I asked two posts ago — just who the hell is leading the "Libyan uprising?" Since the major media aren't bothering to tell us, I've done a little research, and come up with some names.

Former Libyan Justice Minister Mustafa Abdel Jalil, who defected from the government Feb. 21, appears to be one of those at the top of the pyramid — which means he's been an opponent of Gadaffi for about a month now. Omar El-Hariri, now in charge of military affairs for the rebels, was a participant in both Gadaffi's 1969 coup against the Libyan monarchy and a 1975 coup attempt against Gadaffi. It seems likely that Gadaffi now regrets commuting El-Hariri's death sentence.

Mohammed Younis, who was sent by Gadaffi to quell the protests in Bengazi and decided to switch sides instead, does not seem to have a formal position in the rebel government, but still exercises a lot of influence. Then there is Ali al-Essawiis, Gadaffi's former economic and trade minister, who now represents the rebels as Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Except for El-Hariri, all were close allies of Gadaffi very recently; and all of them, including El-Hariri, had ties to the Libyan army. None ever seemed in any way "pro-democracy" in the past, and none seem especially outspoken now. To me, at least, it looks like just another military coup — just not executed as well as the one in Egypt.

So why support the rebels, even after Defense Secretary Robert Gates told us doing so would in no way enhance our national interest? Did the Libyan intelligence service stop cooperating with the CIA? Did we have anything to do with fomenting the rebellion in the first place? Have the rebels agreed to privatize the currently state-owned oil fields? And why in hell are the regional monarchies suddenly so upset with Gadaffi, more than forty years after he "set a bad example" for prospective anti-monarchists in their own countries?

Whatever the truth of the situation in Libya may be, it's pretty clear it's not being shared with anybody outside the governing elites. Where is Private Bradley Manning when we really need him? (Oh, right, he's in solitary confinement undergoing psychological torture.)

Democracy my ass!

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