Libyan Dreams and NATO’s New Model ‘Revolution’

posted 24 Aug 2011, 13:28 by heiko khoo

The Libyan ‘revolution’ will forever be remembered by the image of an anti-imperialist statue -of a fist crushing a US fighter jet -being smashed by ‘rebels’. These images of victory were no doubt pre-planned by NATO’s Information Warfare experts. A few hundred rebels dancing with machine guns in Tripoli’s Green Square, were presented in the Western media as if the ‘masses’ of the capital city had come out onto the streets crying, ‘free at last…free at last!’     


The same scene was manufactured on the day that US forces took Baghdad in 2003. It later transpired that the ‘rebels’, who tore down Saddam Hussein’s statue with the help of a US tank, were specially shipped in for the media occasion. Excited Western journalists declared the moment to be ‘historic’; they probably felt a sense of collective pride in the US mission to remake the world in its image.


The Tunisian and Egyptian mass movements this spring were revolutions, in the sense that the urban masses, took destiny into their own hands. They toppled the long standing Western backed dictators, Ben Ali in Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, through mass street demonstrations.


During the Egyptian revolution, even when hundreds of protestors were killed and thousands injured, Barack Obama and other Western leaders refused to call for Mubarak to stand-down, until the last minute; and instead they called for ‘restraint on all sides’. The same diplomatic call for ‘restraint’ was made when the Saudi military invaded Bahrain to crush the Arab Spring there.


When an uprising in Libya’s Eastern city of Benghazi swept away Gaddafi’s local apparatus of power, the gleeful cheers in Western capitals indicated that something is rotten in the state of this particular ‘revolution’. The fact that the rebel flag was that of the old monarchy was indicative of the reactionary nature of this ‘rebellion’. Western secret services and military forces immediately opened lines of communication with the ‘rebel base’. Western arms and money flowed to the Libyan rebels despite austerity at home. The rebels were declared to be the legitimate government and provided with all their needs.


Although Gaddafi had made some deals with the West e.g. providing oil and gas contracts, the Libyan economy remained overwhelmingly in public ownership and private capitalism played an insignificant role in economic life. The administrative and power structure was not that of a capitalist state, even though Gaddafi and his entourage engaged in kleptocratic activities. 


No regime in history has survived for long periods simply on the basis of tyranny. Although Gaddafi maintained his rule by brutal repression he also used the nation’s vast oil and gas revenue to secure the acquiescence of the majority, and the support of a significant minority by offering social, health and welfare rights, funded by the state. This material base also helps to explain why Gaddafi’s regime was able to hold out during NATO’s five-month bombing campaign.


At the start of the war we were told to expect a rapid victory for Western backed forces. We were informed that Gaddafi has no supporters and only maintained power by terror and fear. He was said to rely on mercenaries from Mali or Chad, and later it was falsely claimed that he ordered large quantities of Viagra to encourage his military forces to rape, truly a classical war fable!


Some analysts are raising the call for Western troops to ‘keep the peace’ in the era of transition to a parliamentary democracy. It is certain that an army of Western NGOs who specialize in creating the political machinery to manipulate and control ‘democratic’ organisations, will soon open shop in Tripoli, as they already have in Tunis and Cairo. 


With proven reserves of 42 billion barrels of oil and 1.3 trillion cubic meters of gas, a cynic might see the ‘democratic transition’ as a process that will be specially designed to facilitate Western access to these resources. French, Italian and British firms have already covertly made deals with the ‘rebels’ and they now expect the real contracts to be signed. In their rush to grab whatever they can from the smashed up ruins of a burning country, Western rulers bear an uncanny resemblance to hooded looters of London.  


Indeed the reason for the success of the ‘rebel’ advance on Tripoli was NATO bombing from the air, and British mercenaries commanding on the ground. Of course France, Italy, the US and Qatar, will all claim they played a key role and deserve appropriate rewards.


The curse of oil rich states has so often been the temptation of the rulers to enrich themselves and their foreign partners, and to foster a parasitic elite. As their wealth springs forth from the earth, there is little incentive to promote development aimed at genuine progress for the masses. However with such an abundance of natural resources, Western rulers hope they can create a relatively stable regime, whose resources can subsidize Western capitalism. 


Venezuela under President Hugo Chavez is one of the few cases of an oil rich state using its natural wealth to serve the people. Chavez correctly points to the reactionary hand of NATO in the so-called ‘Libyan Revolution’ but the internal corruption and dictatorial methods of Gaddafi’s state, provided moral ammunition to the NATO backed rebellion.


Western Imperialism has once again found its feet after being disoriented by the street revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. Based on the lessons of Libya, NATO and US military analysts will now be playing simulated war games modelled on ‘revolutions’ in Syria, Cuba, North Korea and Venezuela. Even though Europe and the USA are experiencing severe economic and social crisis, no-one should underestimate their determination to maintain their position and to exploit each and every opportunity to extend their global reach.


The Western frenzy to grab a piece of Libya’s natural wealth, recalls the phrase ‘buy when there is blood on the streets’ attributed to the first Baron Rothschild. Libyan dreams of democracy, and the rule of law, sovereignty and freedom, are mere tools in NATO’s new model revolution.