A failure to imagine the consequences of the last major U.S. intervention in Libya has, perhaps irreparably, fractured the country and sent it into a spiral of violence leading to the deaths of Americans, among others, while helping to destabilize neighboring nations, enhance the reach of local terror groups, and aid in the proliferation of weapons that have fueled existing regional conflicts. - Nick Turse
Since World War II, Americans have overthrown governments in Italy (1947), Costa Rica (1948), Syria (1949), Lebanon (1952), Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954, and 1982), Laos (nonstop coups 1957-1975), El Salvador (1960 and 1984), Congo (1960), Dominican Republic (1961, 1965), Ecuador (1961, and 1981), South Korea (1961), South Vietnam (1963), Iraq (1963 and 2003), Brazil (1964), Indonesia (1965), Greece (1967), Cambodia (1970), Egypt (1970), Chile (1973), Uruguay (1973), Australia (1975), Saudi Arabia (1975), Portugal (1975), Thailand (1976), Argentina (1976), Turkey (1980), Panama (1981 and 1989), Chad (1982), Grenada (1983), Sweden (1986), Pakistan (1988), Afghanistan (1980s and 2001), Rwanda and Burundi (1994), Yugoslavia (2000), Somalia (2006), Sudan (2011), Libya (2011) and Ukraine (2014). And these are only some of the better-known cases where the US successfully used force or fraud to put its puppets in power or remove leaders it didn’t like. … The USA should stop sponsoring phony “democracy revolutions” around the world. The world – and the American people – should sponsor a “democracy revolution” in the USA. - Kevin Barrett
NATO considers Libyan training mission
Adam Entous Wall Street Journal USA June 3, 2013
BRUSSELS—The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is considering a mission to train Libyan security forces, amid concerns that Islamist militants are expanding their foothold two years after the alliance helped topple Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi, U.S. officials said.
The government of Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan recently approached the U.S. and other countries to ask about assistance, a senior U.S. defense official said. The prime minister visited NATO headquarters in Brussels last week and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen discussed the issue with President Barack Obama during a recent trip to Washington, the official said.
The proposed training mission is expected to be discussed further Tuesday and Wednesday, on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels, including in a meeting between U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his French, British and Canadian counterparts, U.S. defense officials said. …
U.S. military working on plan to train thousands of Libyans
Phil Stewart Thomson Reuters Canada/UK November 17, 2013
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military is working on plans to train 5,000 to 7,000 members of the Libyan security forces and also special operations forces who can carry out counter-terrorism missions, a senior U.S. military official said.
Libya’s government is struggling to keep order as rival militias and hardline Islamists refuse to disarm two years after Muammar Gaddafi was ousted in a NATO-backed uprising. Tripoli has seen deadly clashes over the past several days.
Admiral William McRaven, who heads the U.S. military’s Special Operations Command, declined to go into details about the training plan, saying these were still being negotiated.
McRaven said there would be extensive vetting of Libyan personnel trained by the United States.
However, he acknowledged vetting could only do so much in Libya, where militiamen and former fighters are often employed by the government to protect ministries and government offices. Those gunmen remain loyal to their commanders or tribes and often clash in rivalries over control of territory.
“Right now as we go forward to try and find a good way to build up the Libyan security forces so they are not run by militias, we are going to have to assume some risks,” McRaven told the forum late on Saturday.
“There is probably some risk that some of the people we will be training with do not have the most clean records. But at the end of the day it is the best solution we can find to train them to deal with their own problems.”
Here’s a National Post report, dated January 6, 2014, that is germane to these plans. Notorious Canadian lobbyist signs $2M contract to promote Libya militants aiming to divide country.
The Pentagon, Libya, and tomorrow’s blowback today
Tom Englehardt and Nick Turse TomDispatch USA April 15, 2014
Visit this page for its embedded links and reproductions of briefing slides.
Be careful what you wish for. In 2011, a Libyan rebellion began against autocrat Muammar Gaddafi. It undoubtedly reflected the wish of many Libyans for a new world of their own without his heavy hand or that of his secret police and secret prisons. Wishing to be rid of a ruler long seen as a nemesis, Washington, in tandem with its NATO allies, joined the fray at a moment when it looked like the rebels might otherwise be going down. Without consulting Congress, and so of course without a declaration of war, President Obama brought in the planes, drones, and Tomahawk missiles. Air power certainly helped turned the tide and then hasten the fall of the autocrat. Only one problem: what came next.
The aftermath proved to be a slowly devolving Libyan nightmare filled with militias of every sort, including jihadist ones. The results have been grim, including of course the death of a U.S. ambassador. In the meantime, weaponry from Gaddafi’s looted arsenals, ranging from modern assault rifles to antitank weapons and even shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, soon began spreading to Mali, elsewhere in North Africa, and later as far as Egypt and Syria, as well as into the hands of “extremists and criminals.” The result has been a regional boost for exactly the jihadist forces the U.S. opposes most fervently, while for Libyans, it was the saddest story of all. A recent poll indicates that, with a desperately weak central government and marauding militias, “more than one-third of Libyans report feeling unsafe going to the market, school, or work,” while 40% of women feel that way simply leaving their houses heading anywhere. In response, Libya has been transformed into a gun-toting society, with firearms in nearly 30% of Libyan homes (though, according to that same poll, most Libyans “would happily give up their arms in an environment of a well functioning military and police and with an improvement in general security”).
Given the unsettling results of the 2011 intervention thus far, you might imagine that Washington and the Pentagon would think twice about what in the world to do next and perhaps adjust their approach. As events of the twenty-first century have made all too clear, however, there is no genuine learning curve in Washington when it comes to such things. The only response is always, in some fashion, more of the similar, if not the same. Today, Nick Turse explores a new Pentagon scheme to train up a force whose Libyan recruits will be drawn from already existing and often notorious militias as a supposed future bulwark for the weak central government. It’s one of those plans that may sound sensible in Pentagon briefings but has “cockamamie” written all over it. It practically comes with a bound-to-fail guarantee stamped on it and an assurance that it will increase the misery of Libyans. Writ small, it seems to go to the heart of the distinctly underreported U.S. pivot to Africa which, as Turse has so vividly and repeatedly shown, is proving to be largely a machine for destabilizing the continent, stoking extremism, and creating the conditions for blowback. Of course, given the way Washington thinks, those results offer a guarantee of their own: a self-perpetuating employment program for the U.S. military into the distant future. Tom
Washington Fights Fire With Fire in Libya
How Not to End Violence in a War-Torn Land
By Nick Turse
Ever since the U.S. helped oust dictator Muammar Gaddafi, with air and missile strikes against regime targets and major logistical and surveillance support to coalition partners, Libya has been sliding into increasing chaos. Militias, some of them jihadist, have sprung up across the country, carving out fiefdoms while carrying out increasing numbers of assassinations and other types of attacks. The solution seized upon by the U.S. and its allies in response to the devolving situation there: introduce yet another armed group into a country already rife with them.
After Gaddafi’s fall in 2011, a wide range of militias came to dominate Libya’s largest cities, filling a security vacuum left by the collapse of the old regime and providing a challenge to the new central government. In Benghazi alone, an array of these armed groups arose. And on September 11, 2012, that city, considered the cradle of the Libyan revolution, experienced attacks by members of the anti-Western Ansar al-Sharia, as well as other militias on the American mission and a nearby CIA facility. During those assaults, which killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, local armed groups called on for help or which might have intervened to save lives reportedly stood aside.
Over the year that followed, the influence of the militias only continued to grow nationwide, as did the chaos that accompanied them. In late 2013, following deadly attacks on civilians, some of these forces were chased from Libyan cities by protesters and armed bands, ceding power to what the New York Times called “an even more fractious collection of armed groups, including militias representing tribal and clan allegiances that tear at the tenuous [Libyan] sense of common citizenship.” With the situation deteriorating, the humanitarian group Human Rights Watch documented dozens of assassinations of judges, prosecutors, and members of the state’s already weakened security forces by unidentified assailants.
The American solution to all of this violence: more armed men.
In November 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command chief Admiral William McRaven told an audience at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library that the United States would aid Libya by training 5,000 to 7,000 conventional troops as well as counterterrorism forces there. “As we go forward to try and find a good way to build up the Libyan security forces so they are not run by militias, we are going to have to assume some risks,” he said.
Not long after, the Washington Post reported a request by recently ousted Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan that the U.S. train his country’s security forces. In January, the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which coordinates sales and transfers of military equipment abroad, formally notified Congress of a Libyan request for a $600 million training package. Its goal: to create a 6,000 to 8,000-man “general purpose force,” or GPF.
The deal would, according to an official statement, involve “services for up to 8 years for training, facilities sustainment and improvements, personnel training and training equipment, 637 M4A4 carbines and small arms ammunition, U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics support services, Organizational Clothing and Individual Equipment (OCIE), and other related elements of logistical and program support.”
In addition to the GPF effort, thousands of Libya troops are to be trained by the militaries of Morocco, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Italy. The Libyan Army also hopes to graduate 10,000 new troops at home annually.
While Admiral McRaven has emphasized the importance of building up “the Libyan security forces so they are not run by militias,” many recruits for the GPF will, in fact, be drawn from these very groups. It has also been widely reported that the new force will be trained at Novo Selo, a recently refurbished facility in Bulgaria.
The U.S. has said little else of substance on the future force. “We are coordinating this training mission closely with our European partners and the U.N. Support Mission in Libya, who have also offered substantial security sector assistance to the Government of Libya,” a State Department official told TomDispatch by email. “We expect this training will begin in 2014 in Bulgaria and continue over a number of years.”
There have been no reports or confirmation of the plan to also train Libyan militiamen at a facility in Spain’s Canary Islands mentioned along with Novo Selo in that Fall 2013 briefing document prepared for AFRICOM chief Rodriguez, which was obtained by TomDispatch.
Related commentary: The following first appeared on Iran’s Press TV website, April 18, 2014.
US needs ‘pro-democracy revolution’
Kevin Barrett Veterans Today USA April 20, 2014
Visit this page for its embedded links.
What does “democracy” mean?
To US leaders, it means overthrowing other people’s governments.
Since World War II, Americans have overthrown governments in Italy (1947), Costa Rica (1948), Syria (1949), Lebanon (1952), Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954, and 1982), Laos (nonstop coups 1957-1975), El Salvador (1960 and 1984), Congo (1960), Dominican Republic (1961, 1965), Ecuador (1961, and 1981), South Korea (1961), South Vietnam (1963), Iraq (1963 and 2003), Brazil (1964), Indonesia (1965), Greece (1967), Cambodia (1970), Egypt (1970), Chile (1973), Uruguay (1973), Australia (1975), Saudi Arabia (1975), Portugal (1975), Thailand (1976), Argentina (1976), Turkey (1980), Panama (1981 and 1989), Chad (1982), Grenada (1983), Sweden (1986), Pakistan (1988), Afghanistan (1980s and 2001), Rwanda and Burundi (1994), Yugoslavia (2000), Somalia (2006), Sudan (2011), Libya (2011) and Ukraine (2014).
And these are only some of the better-known cases where the US successfully used force or fraud to put its puppets in power or remove leaders it didn’t like. There have also been dozens if not hundreds of unsuccessful attempts (such as the current war on Syria). And there have undoubtedly been many successful US-supported regime changes we don’t know about. After all, such operations are called “covert” for a reason: They are designed to remain secret forever.
And then, there are the so-called color revolutions: Ukraine (Orange), Lebanon (Cedar), Georgia (Rose), Kyrgyzstan (Tulip), Myanmar (Saffron), Thailand (Red), and Malaysia (Yellow). The US State Department, USAID, and George Soros apparently like their coups d’état in a pleasing array of hues.
All this in the name of democracy.
Overthrowing democratically-elected leaders such as Ukraine’s Yanukovych – and Chile’s Allende, Iran’s Mosaddeq, and so many more – is a very strange way of spreading democracy.
But there is one country that really does need a pro-democracy coup d’état: the United States of America.
Today, America’s phony democracy is rotten to the core. The US has had stolen presidential elections in 1980, 2000, and 2004. It has had nothing but CIA presidencies since 1988. And now the Supreme Court has ruled that elective offices are for sale to the highest bidder. From now on, the Court says, the public cannot put any limits whatsoever on political bribery.
And don’t get me started about assassinations. In 1963, when Americans allowed CIA operators (including Cord Meyer, Allen Dulles, James Angleton, E. Howard Hunt, David Atlee Phillips, Richard Helms, David Morales, Frank Sturgis, George H.W. Bush and others) to assassinate President John F. Kennedy in broad daylight with complete impunity, they for all intents and purposes gave up even the pretense of living in a democracy. Less than five years later, the same criminals killed JFK’s brother Robert – and added an exclamation point. The American people, drugged by television, emitted a collective yawn.
Today, when a courageous, intelligent, idealistic American like the late Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone is elected to federal office, his life expectancy (and later his plane) takes a nose-dive.
The situation is unacceptable. …