The neo-colonial mirage. Does Libya own its oil – now or then, too! | Graphic source and courtesy – http://thesantosrepublic.com | Click for larger source image.
A large Benghazi-based “revolution” sold to the West as a popular movement was always a myth. Only two months ago the armed “revolutionaries” barely numbered 1,000. NATO’s solution was to build a mercenary army – including all sorts of unsavory types, from former Colombian death squad members to recruiters from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), who pinched scores of unemployed Tunisians and tribals disgruntled with Tripoli. All these on top of the CIA mercenary squad – Salafis in Benghazi and Derna – and the House of Saud squad – the Muslim Brotherhood gang.
It’s hard not to be reminded of the UCK drug gang in Kosovo – the war NATO “won” in the Balkans. Or of the Pakistanis and Saudis, with US backing, arming the “freedom fighters” of Afghanistan in the 1980s.
Then there’s the dodgy, Benghazi-based, Transitional National Council (TNC)’s cast of characters.
The leader, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, Gaddafi’s justice minister from 2007 until his resignation on February 26, studied sharia and civil law at the University of Libya. That might entitle him to cross rhetorical swords with the Islamic fundamentalists in Benghazi, al-Baida and Delna – but he could use his knowledge to press their interests in a new power-sharing arrangement.
As for Mahmoud Jibril, the chairman of the council’s executive board, he studied at Cairo University and then the University of Pittsburgh. He’s the key Qatari connection – having been involved in asset management for Sheikha Mozah, the ultra high-profile wife of the emir of Qatar.
There’s also the son of the last monarch of Libya, King Idris, deposed by Gaddafi 42 years ago (with no bloodshed); the House of Saud would love a new monarchy in northern Africa. And the son of Omar Mukhtar, the hero of the resistance against Italian colonialism – a more secular figure.
The new Iraq?
Yet to believe that NATO would win the war and let the “rebels” control power is a joke. Reuters has already reported that a “bridging force” of around 1,000 soldiers from Qatar, the Emirates and Jordan will arrive in Tripoli to act as police. And the Pentagon is already spinning that the US military will be on the ground to “help to secure the weapons”. A nice touch that already implies who’s going to be really in charge; the “humanitarian” neo-colonialists plus their Arab minions.
Abdel Fatah Younis, the “rebel” commander killed by the rebels themselves, was a French intelligence asset. He was killed by the Muslim Brotherhood faction – just when the Great Arab Liberator Sarkozy was trying to negotiate an endgame with Saif al-Islam, Gaddafi’s London School of Economics son now back from the dead.
So the big winners in the end are London, Washington, the House of Saud and the Qataris (they sent jets and “advisers”, they are already handling the oil sales). With a special mention for the compound Pentagon/NATO – considering that Africom will finally set up its first African base in the Mediterranean, and NATO is one step closer to declaring the Mediterranean “a NATO lake”.
Islamism? Tribalism? These may be Libya’s lesser ills compared to a new fantasyland open to neo-liberalism. There are few doubts the new Western masters won’t try to revive a friendlier version of Iraq’s nefarious, rapacious Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), turning Libya into a hardcore neo-liberal dream of 100% ownership of Libyan assets, total repatriation of profits, Western corporations with the same legal standing of local firms, foreign banks buying local banks and very low income and corporate taxes.
Meanwhile, the deep fracture between the center (Tripoli) and the periphery for the control of energy resources will fester. BP, Total, Exxon, all Western oil giants will be gratefully rewarded by the transitional council – to the detriment of Chinese, Russian and Indian companies. NATO troops on the ground will certainly help to keep the council on message. (via Asia Times Online :: THE ROVING EYE: Welcome to Libya’s ‘democracy’).
After American military interventions, many economies were subverted by drugs – and politics by terrorism. Why? | Cartoon by Charlie Daniels; source and courtesy – http://editorialexplanations.blogspot.com | Click for source image.
Oil … The Big Story
Pepe Escobar, specializes in seeing how oil influences the West – and dictates policy all over the world – from Uzbekistan to Uganda. He has also traced (in other posts) how China has moved across various geographies, to secure its oil interests.
The other element that Pepe Escobar touches on is the role of KLA-UCK, a significant part of the Serbo-Croat problem in Bosnia-Kosovo.
KLA being the English abbreviation of the Albanian name UCK (Ushtria Clirimtare E Kosoves) – a known entity dealing in drugs, well-funded and sufficiently armed.
War, Drugs .Terror
Widely supported, trained and equipped by US and West European governments, the KLA-UCK targeted the Serbs and Roma Gypsies. Yugoslavia (now Crotia, Bosnia-Herzegovinia, Serbia, Montenegro), for long a legal drug-supplier to Europe, apparently continued this trade even after WWII, when it declared illegal.
After WWII, traditional opium supplies from (Greater) China, by Government granted opium monopolies of Yugoslavia and Italy, were replaced by Iran, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Mexico. It was the Golden Triangle and the Golden Crescent which dominated opium supplies from 1960s, after the start of Vietnam War.
Even though most drugs in the world originated in India; India remains a producer of these drugs – Indians are not major users. | Cartoon by Mike Keefe; on 25 March, 2009; source and courtesy – theipinionsjournal.com | Click for larger source image.
The Pattern Behind Drugs
There is a pattern in Central Europe and Afghanistan-Pakistan, South East Asia. All these regions became major centres of drug trade. In an earlier post, we had seen how close US allies became terror hot-spots.
Golden Triangle in SE Asia; Golden Crescent in Af-Pak region; and the Russian-Eastern/Central European mafias. Drug flows from these new supply sources coincided with America’s Asian Wars in Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Korea, etc. These wars were justified under Eisenhower’s Domino Theory – which made Communism an enemy ‘under-your-bed’.
The subject of much research, many Hollywood films and significant evidence confirm that American armed forces and the CIA were behind drugs import into USA. The so-called Phoenix operation was run by CIA with some 200 Green Berets – whose major activity, apart from killings, assassinations and torture, was narcotics. For some time during the Vietnam War, the French intelligence also used drug money to funds its own operation. Like its British and American counterparts, French Government identified its intelligence agencies to manage drug trade.
In former Yugoslavia, the Albanian mafia made $45 million annually in 1990s by controlling the Turkish drug chain from Istanbul through Zurich to New York. A large chunk of this money returned to Kosovo to finance separatist activities inside the province as well as use the money to buy sympathies from the international NGOs that will implicitly advocate Kosovo Albanian separatist agenda.
Ethnic Albanians were initiated as the couriers for the Turkish and Bulgarian state mafia thirty years ago. These used smuggling of narcotics as the source of financing secret political, military and intelligence service operations. The majority of them were recruited in the “Kosovo triangle” Veliki Trnovac-Preševo-Gnjilane, marked on Interpol map as a black point on world drug routes.
French expert on narcotics, Alen Labrus described Kosovo Albanian drug smuggling operations to the Washington Post as being managed by tough, merciless bands that have displaced Turks as the leading smuggling clan:
“Powerful Turkish clans controlling Europe heroin market, realized that Russian, Caucasian and Albanian narco-mafia have invaded their territory in the last ten years, looking for their part of the market and profit. Kosovo ethnic Albanians have become so strong that they keep under their control 70% of drug market just in Switzerland. The war in the Balkans interrupted previous Yugoslav channels of drug smuggling. (via Balkan Death: The Albanian Narco-Mafia | Serbianna Analysis).
While the Oil and Terror linkage is much talked about, the role of Saudi Arabian funding much discussed, the global footprint of the drug trade is overlooked. As controls on gold sparked a global crime wave, the war on drugs is sparking another crime wave – a wave of terror. When the West wanted they imposed Opium Trade in the name of open markets. When the West wanted they declared a war on drugs.
Either way, someone else is paying.