Attempts to solve the financial problems of the Benghazi-based National Transitional Council (NTC) are beginning to confirm the insidiousness of the political forces behind NATO’s military campaign in Libya. This insidiousness is not only intriguing at several levels, but it is also not unexpected because it is characteristic of the West’s double-standards, which any serious observer of international politics knows.
The rebel NTC is in dire financial straits and has called for support from the forces behind NATO’s devastation of their country—a campaign disguised as efforts to solve humanitarian problems, which has eventually turned into a regime change in favour of the rebels.
The NTC says it needs $3bn urgently to pay for salaries and food supplies over the next four months. And how does the West respond to this problem? Through attempts that show clearly their wily nature.
The Contact Group on Libya, made up of Western and Arab countries behind NATO’s military campaign in Libya, met in Abu Dhabi yesterday and pledged money to a new funding mechanism for the rebels as part of the steps toward stepping up international pressure on the Gaddafi regime, according to a BBC news report.
To the uninformed Gaddafi opponent, this announcement is heart-warming; but to the careful observer, it is nothing but a cunning way to throw dust into people’s eyes. It is an albatross that will strangle Libya. Those Libyans supporting NATO’s military campaign had better think twice within this context before accepting the West as a “friend indeed.”
In pledging this financial support, the Contact Group’s action indicated that it was “genuinely” helping tackle the Libyan crisis from another angle. The temporary mechanism to transfer funds to the Libyan rebels is now operational, the BBC quoted officials at the meeting as saying.
But this pledge of financial support is the height of the secret harm that the West is doing to Libya. Here is why.
Italy said it would give the rebels up to $586m (400m euros; £360m) in cash and fuel aid backed by frozen Libyan assets;
France said it would release $420m (290m euros; £257m) of frozen Libyan funds; and Kuwait pledged to make $180m available. It is not yet known whether this money will also come from any Libyan frozen assets that might be in the custody of Kuwait.
The picture must be clear to all. The evidence of the West’s insidiousness lies in the deception that it has sprung on us. As we can tell from the intricacies of the funding mechanism, the money pledged by these countries will not come from their own coffers but is part of Libya’s own funds in their custody.
Obviously, by this intricate mechanism of deception, the West has torn Libya into two—a Peter and a Paul—robbing one side to pay the other. The scheme works this way: the funds needed for prosecuting the military campaign are to be taken from Libya’s frozen funds in the custody of these countries. That is the Peter aspect.
Then, the money needed for rebuilding the country will also come from Libya’s own coffers in addition to the loans that the West will make available at ridiculously high rates. That is the Paul part. Either way, Libya’s resources will serve the dual purposes of destruction and rebuilding of the country.
This is the double-edged sword that NATO has thrust into the hands of the Benghazi-based rebels with which to cut their country and themselves into pieces. Numbed by their hatred for Gaddafi, the rebels have unwittingly bought into this deadly deception to cut their noses to spite their faces and force their country down on its knees. Unfortunately, though, they will not realize the danger now because they have allowed their morbid zeal to shed Gaddafi’s blood to cloud common sense and a conscientious approach to solving their national crisis through better means than this military campaign.
In effect, then, we repeat that it is Libya’s own money (which had been invested in those countries to serve purposes other than this counter-productive military campaign of destruction) that will be used to finance the destruction of the country’s infrastructure, citizens, and the destabilization of the political system. So, how is the West helping Libya to finance the war and the rebuilding efforts yet unthought-of?
By this arrangement, the West has revealed its slippery and slimy nature. Conveniently financing the military campaign and its aftermath will cost those war-mongers and the West nothing, after all. The resources of Libya will be used for both the country’s destruction and anticipated rebuilding. Thus, the West has succeeded in luring Libya into a war game from which it will not emerge unscathed.
In either way, Libya is being forced to spend its money on its own destruction and subsequent rebuilding without any input from the West except the use of its military expertise and political rhetoric for the destruction. These are the real issues that portray the West’s insidiousness. How can any sane person not know this TRUTH to avoid being drawn into that dirty game?
Let’s take note of how the United States is responding to this issue. As the BBC correspondents said, “there is no sign of any progress in the rebel requests to unfreeze Libyan assets in the US.” We don’t need any extra-terrestrial powers to tell us how to consider the US’ attitude. The fate of the 30 billion Dollars that Gaddafi’s government invested in the US will be in the balance, as the US indulges in this hanky-panky game. The US is weighing many options before taking a definitive action, which will definitely suit its own interests.
The strain of this military campaign on NATO itself is heavy, as we can tell from the desperate appeals for support that have come from major figures orchestrating its devastation sorties in Libya. The US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has called for more countries to contribute to NATO operations over Libya, saying those “bearing the brunt of the strike burden are increasingly pressed.”
That is why NATO is cunning enough to force its mechanism for financing the military campaign on the rebel leadership; and that is why NATO will go the full hog to eliminate Gaddafi so that the rebel leadership will be well positioned to make good the arrangements on the table concerning the financial commitments for the campaign and its aftermath.
As reported by the BBC, the US military operations in Libya are on course to cost hundreds of millions of dollars more than the Pentagon estimated, according to figures obtained by The Financial Times. This heavy financial burden will soon stoke agitations in the West, where the economic situation isn’t improving to allay the fears of citizens.
In the US, particularly, where the unemployment rate is rising and Obama can’t anymore rely on empty rhetoric to massage the citizens’ sentiments, we should not be surprised if public opinion turns against the military campaign, especially if after the 90-day extended period, Gaddafi is still in Libya and the rebels haven’t advanced in any way to replace him.
NATO may be fighting this war on behalf of the Benghazi-based rebels but the going isn’t smooth for it. The fact that Germany and Spain have turned down requests to join NATO in attacking Libya is an indication that all is not well with the military campaign as far as exceeding the mandate of the UN Security Council’s Resolution 1973 is concerned.
The destruction of infrastructure and targeting of Gaddafi to kill is not part of that mandate. But those politically immature leaders in the US, Britain, and France think otherwise and thump their chests to celebrate the excesses, which they call “progress in Libya.” How pathetic!
Continued in the next installment…