News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

UK report blames collapse of Libya and growth of Islamic State on 2011 Libya bombing campaign advocated by former PM David Cameron and others who ignored militant Islamist extemist element in the rebellion and that they'd benefit. No strategy to support and shape post-Gaddafi Libya. Supposed Gaddafi threat to Benghazi civilians grossly overstated-BBC

6/15/2011, "The total cost of US intervention in Libya as of June 3 has been $716 million and will reach $1.1 billion by the end of September." ABC News 

8/10/2016, "America created the Islamic State,” he told me." The New Yorker
9/13/16, "MPs attack Cameron over Libya 'collapse'," BBC 

"A UK parliamentary report has severely criticised the intervention by Britain and France that led to the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The foreign affairs committee accused the then PM David Cameron of lacking a coherent strategy for the air campaign.

It said the intervention had not been "informed by accurate intelligence", and that it led to the rise of so-called Islamic State in North Africa.

The UK government said it had been an international decision to intervene.

The action had been called for by the Arab League and authorised by the UN Security Council, the Foreign Office added.

An international coalition led by Britain and France launched a campaign of air and missile strikes against Muammar Gaddafi's forces in March 2011 after the regime threatened to attack the rebel-held city of Benghazi.

But after Gaddafi was toppled, Libya descended into violence, with rival governments and the formation of hundreds of militias, while so-called Islamic State, also known as Isil, has gained a foothold.

Mr Cameron has defended his handling of the situation, telling MPs in January action was needed because Gaddafi "was bearing down on people in Benghazi and threatening to shoot his own people like rats".

But the foreign affairs committee said the government "failed to identify that the threat to civilians was overstated", adding that it "selectively took elements of Gaddafi's rhetoric at face value".

The government also failed to identify the "militant Islamist extremist element in the rebellion", the MPs said.

"The possibility that militant extremist groups would attempt to benefit from the rebellion
should not have been the preserve of hindsight," the committee said, adding: "UK strategy was founded on erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding of the evidence."

Crispin Blunt, chairman of the committee, told the BBC: "We were dragged along by a French enthusiasm to intervene, and the mission then moved from protecting people in Benghazi, who arguably were not at the kind of threat that was then being presented...

"Indeed, on the basis of the evidence we took, the threat to the people of Benghazi was grossly overstated."

The committee said "political options" were available once Benghazi had been secured - including through ex-PM Tony Blair's contacts with Gaddafi - but the UK government "focused exclusively on military intervention".

By the summer of 2011, the limited intervention to protect civilians had drifted into an opportunist policy of regime change, the committee said.

"That policy was not underpinned by a strategy to support and shape post-Gaddafi Libya.

"The result was political and economic collapse, inter-militia and inter-tribal warfare, humanitarian and migrant crises, widespread human rights violations, the spread of Gaddafi regime weapons across the region and the growth of Isil (ISIS) in North Africa.

"Through his decision-making in the National Security Council, former prime minister David Cameron was ultimately responsible for the failure to develop a coherent Libya strategy."

The MPs said Libya had been the "first test " for the NSC, which was set up in 2010 to coordinate responses to security threats and integrate the work of various relevant government departments.

The committee said there should now be an independent review of the operation of the NSC, which is chaired by the prime minister, to see if it had succeeded in addressing the weaknesses in government decision-making identified in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The Foreign Office defended the intervention.

"Muammar Gaddafi was unpredictable and he had the means and motivation to carry out his threats," a spokesman said.

"His actions could not be ignored and required decisive and collective international action. Throughout the campaign we stayed within the United Nations mandate to protect civilians.

"After four decades of Gaddafi misrule, Libya undoubtedly faces huge challenges. The UK will continue to play a leading role within the international community to support the internationally recognised Libyan Government of National Accord.""


Added:  9/11/16, Libyan oil ports seized by opponents of US and UN backed government:

9/11/2016, "Eastern Libyan commander's forces seize key oil ports," Reuters, by Ayman al-Warfalli, Benghazi, Libya

"Forces loyal to east Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar on Sunday seized at least two key oil ports from a rival force loyal to the U.N.-backed government, risking a new conflict over the OPEC nation's resources.

Ahmed al-Mismari, a spokesman for Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), said its fighters seized control of Es Sider, Ras Lanuf and Brega, but still faced resistance at the port of Zueitina and around the nearby town of Ajdabiya.

The attacks on Libya's major oil ports by Haftar, who opposes the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), pushes the North African state towards a broader battle over its oil resources and disrupts attempts to restart production. Armed conflict, political disputes and militant attacks have reduced Libya's oil production to about 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) from 1.6 million bpd it was producing before an uprising toppled Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Haftar, a former army general who has been a divisive figure in Libya since Gaddafi was killed, has resisted attempts to integrate him into unified armed forces and overcome divisions between the east and west regions.

Many in western Libya and Tripoli criticize Haftar as a former Gaddafi ally bent on establishing a military dictatorship, but he has become a political figurehead for many in the east who feel abandoned by the capital."...

[Ed. note: Haftar, (or "Hifter" per Washington Post below) is described by Reuters as "a former Gaddafi ally." Washington Post describes him as a "former Gaddafi ally turned foe." Haftar was disowned by Gaddafi after which he lived in exile in the US state of Virginia for 20 years. He spent his time plotting to take down Gaddafi.]

(continuing): "The state-run National Oil Corporation (NOC) confirmed Ras Lanuf and Es Sider were under the full control of Haftar forces while Zueitina was still contested.


The attacks complicate Western attempts to bring together Libya's rival armed factions under the GNA and stabilize a country where chaos allowed Islamist militants and migrant smugglers to operate across swathes of territory.

The ports targeted by the LNA were previously under the control of the Petrol Facilities Guard (PFG), whose leader, Ibrahim Jathran, struck a deal with the GNA in July to end its blockade of Ras Lanuf, Es Sider and Zueitina.

But there had been little sign of any rapid resumption of exports in recent weeks, and control by Haftar's brigades could make the deal irrelevant.

A government and parliament based in the east still resist the GNA's authority in Tripoli and they have in the past threatened to try to sell crude themselves.

Mismari said the LNA had been able to seize Ras Lanuf and Es Sider quickly because it had won over local tribes before staging a rapid advance. "This force was being prepared for a long time, and it entered without any resistance from Jathran's forces," he told Reuters.

One eyewitness said there had been a heavy deployment of LNA armored vehicles around Ras Lanuf and Es Sider.

Akram Buhaliqa, a second LNA spokesman, said there had been no casualties among LNA forces in the early morning operation, though the NOC said a small fuel tank for power generation had been set ablaze in Es Sider.

On Sunday afternoon, residents said LNA forces had taken control of a large house belonging to Jathran's family in a residential district of Ajdabiya following clashes.

Jathran's exact whereabouts were not clear but in an appeal broadcast on a pro-Haftar TV station, the leader of the eastern Magharba tribe, Saleh al-Ateiwish, called on Jathran to return to the tribe and "to ask his people to surrender and let them go to their families without any losses".

Ras Lanuf and Es Sider were badly damaged earlier this year in attacks by Islamic State militants based in Sirte, where they are on the verge of defeat by forces aligned with the GNA backed by U.S. air strikes.

The forces fighting in Sirte, about 200 km (125 miles) east of Ras Lanuf and Es Sider, are mainly composed of armed brigades from Misrata. That western city's factions have provided crucial support to the GNA, and many remain fiercely opposed to Haftar."


9/11/16, "Powerful Libyan commander seizes vital oil ports," Washington Post,

"By Sunday evening, a spokesman for Gen. Khalifa Hifter said his forces had seized control of Ras Lanuf and Sidra, among Libya’s largest oil ports, and were fighting for control for Zuwaytinah.... 

Oil has been an attractive prize since Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi was deposed and killed in the Arab Spring uprisings five years ago. As Libya plunged into civil war, the fight over oil became a stark sign of the fragmentation of political, economic and military power in the country. Before Gaddafi fell, Libya was producing 1.6 million barrels of oil per day. Today, oil production stands at about 360,000 barrels per day; other estimates place it around 200,000 barrels a day.

Hifter, a former Gaddafi turned foe who lived in exile in Northern Virginia for nearly two decades, is opposed to the Western-backed unity government. He has rejected attempts to integrate his forces into a national army and is widely seen as one of the main obstacles to creating a unified Libya.

Sunday’s attacks will probably deepen divisions among Libya’s militias. The Petroleum Facilities Guard had struck an agreement with the unity government to end its blockade and resume exports of oil from Ras Lanuf, Sidra and Zuwaytinah. If the ports are under Hifter’s control, and remain so, it could affect the unity government’s survival, its ability to unify and rebuild Libya, and its fight against the Islamic State and its aspirations in North Africa."...


4/22/2016, "Profile: Libya's military strongman Khalifa Haftar," BBC

"Gaddafi put Gen Haftar in charge of the Libyan forces involved in the conflict in Chad in the 1980s. This proved to be his downfall, as Libya was defeated by the French-backed Chadian forces....Gaddafi disowned him. This led Gen Haftar to devote the next two decades towards toppling the Libyan leader.

He did this from exile in the US state of Virginia. His proximity to the CIA's headquarters in Langley hinted at a close relationship with US intelligence services, who gave their backing to several assassination attempts against Gaddafi."...


8/22/2016, "Libya’s parliament rejects U.N.-backed unity government," Washington Post, b

ISIS was able to tighten its grip because Libya is a shattered, hollowed-out country, lacking the basic sinews of governance that define a functioning state. There is no singular army or police unit. Instead, a dizzying array of militias holds sway, most of them loyal to towns, tribes, or power brokers. Much of this disorder stems from the legacy of Qaddafi’s forty-two-year rule, but a lack of international follow-up after the 2011 revolution is also to blame. Then, in 2014, the country descended into civil war between eastern and western factions, which each fielded its own parliament, Prime Minister, and coalition of militias. 

Each saw the other as a more pressing threat than the Islamic State, enabling the terrorist group to take hold and spread. Early this year, a United Nations-brokered unity government, meant to bridge the divisions, arrived in Tripoli. But that government is struggling to consolidate its authority and remains unrecognized by the eastern faction, which is allied with a powerful army officer and Qaddafi-era defector, [who lived in exile in the US state of Virginia for 20 years while plotting to oust Qaddafi] General Khalifa Haftar.

By late 2015, local militias across the country had started pushing back against the Islamic State in the pockets of territory it controlled: Derna and Benghazi in the east and the western coastal town of Sabratha. And, in May of this year, the unity government launched a campaign dubbed “al-Bunyan al-Marsus” to evict the Islamic State from Sirte, its strongest and most strategic base, sitting astride the petroleum-rich “oil crescent.” After some euphoric advances, the fighting has slowed to grinding, block-by-block combat against the several hundred Islamic State fighters ensconced in the city center. The Libyan casualties have been heavy: more than three hundred killed since the assault began. Faced with these losses, the unity government requested American air strikes against the Islamic State in Sirte, which came on August 1st.

But, while Western powers may be able to help the military advance, they face a tougher challenge in forging unity among Libya’s factions—even among the disparate militias assaulting Sirte. The Libyan fighters in Sirte number in the thousands and are drawn from hundreds of militias, most from the neighboring town of Misrata. The unity government exerts only nominal authority over them. Some militias in Sirte reject the unity government’s legitimacy altogether and fight for their own parochial reasons, forging alliances with local Sirte tribes to gain political and economic leverage. Still others are Islamists.
I visited one militia composed almost entirely of adherents of the austere, literalist current of Islamism known as Salafism. One of its leaders, a bespectacled man in a calf-length gown, sat cleaning his teeth with a miswak, a twig whose use for dental hygiene was advocated by the Prophet Muhammad. He seemed to hold the Islamic State, the rival Muslim Brotherhood sect, and America in equal contempt. America created the Islamic State,” he told me. Among his comrades are a few hundred fellow-Salafists from Sirte who fled last year after a failed uprising against the Islamic State and are now returning.

On the liberated outskirts of Sirte, I visited a family who had suffered the terrorist group’s rule for more than a year. We sat in the cool shade under an awning, overlooking a vineyard and an olive grove. A gangly dog had wandered into the parched field and was chasing a solitary chicken. My militia escort squeezed off a few rounds from his Kalashnikov to scare it away."...

US taxpayers were forced to pay $1.1 billion for Hillary's 2011 war in Libya which enabled ISIS "to tighten its grip because Libya is a shattered, hollowed-out country, lacking the basic sinews of governance.... A lack of international follow-up after the 2011 revolution is also to blame." By 2014, Libya had formed two separate governments, one in the east and one in the west, each of "which fielded its own parliament, Prime Minister, and coalition of militias."

6/15/2011, "Obama Administration: Libya Operation Has Cost More than $716 Million, Does Not Require Congressional Authorization," ABC News, Jake Tapper

"In a report revealing that the total cost of US intervention in Libya as of June 3 has been $716 million and will reach $1.1 billion by the end of September, the Obama administration today told congressional leaders in a report (click HERE for an unauthorized version)."...

"On Oct. 20, 2011...militants captured Gaddafi, sodomized him with a knife, and then murdered him. Appearing on a TV interview, (Hillary) Clinton celebrated Gaddafi’s demise with the quip,  

We came, we saw, he died,”"...


Comment: Depraved indifference to humanity--so far in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa--is rewarded with 16 years in the White House?



April 1, 2016, Cleaning Up Hillary’s Libya Mess,” Robert Parry, Consortium News

"U.S. officials are pushing a dubious new scheme to “unify” a shattered Libya, but the political risk at home is that voters will finally realize Hillary Clinton's responsibility for this mess."...

"Hillary Clinton's signature project as Secretary of State-the "regime change" in Libya– is now sliding from the tragic to the tragicomic as her successors in the Obama administration adopt increasingly desperate strategies for imposing some kind of order on the once-prosperous North African country torn by civil war since Clinton pushed for the overthrow and murder of longtime Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 (Oct. 20).

The problem that Clinton did much to create has grown more dangerous since Islamic State terrorists have gained a foothold in Sirte and begun their characteristic beheading of “infidels” as well as their plotting for terror attacks in nearby Europe.

There is also desperation among some Obama administration officials because the worsening Libyan fiasco threatens to undermine not only President Barack Obama’s legacy but Clinton’s drive for the Democratic presidential nomination and then the White House. So, the officials felt they had no choice but to throw caution to the wind or — to mix metaphors — some Hail Mary passes....

Though Clinton and other “liberal interventionists” around Obama insisted that the goal was simply to protect Libyans from a possible slaughter, the U.S.-backed airstrikes inside Libya quickly expanded into a “regime change” operation, slaughtering much of the Libyan army....

On Oct. 20, 2011...militants captured Gaddafi, sodomized him with a knife and then murdered him. Appearing on a TV interview, Clinton celebrated Gaddafi’s demise with the quip, “we came; we saw; he died.”

However, with Gaddafi and his largely secular regime out of the way, Islamic militants expanded their power over the country....

One Islamic terror group attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, killing U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other American personnel....

As the violence spread, the United States and other Western countries abandoned their embassies in Tripoli. Once prosperous with many social services, Libya descended into the category of failed state with the Islamic State taking advantage of the power vacuum to seize control of Sirte and other territory. In one grisly incident, Islamic State militants marched Coptic Christians onto a beach and beheaded them.

Yet, on the campaign trail, Clinton continues to defend her judgment in instigating the Libyan war. She claims that Gaddafi had “American blood on his hands,” although she doesn’t spell out exactly what she’s referring to. There remain serious questions about the two primary incidents blamed on Libya in which Americans died – the 1986 La Belle bombing in Berlin and the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988....

Clinton’s ultimate vulnerability on Libya is that she was a principal author of another disastrous “regime change” that has spread chaos not only across the Middle East and North Africa but into Europe, where the entire European Union project, a major post-World War II accomplishment, is now in danger.

Clinton may claim she has lots of foreign policy experience, but the hard truth is that much of her experience has involved making grievous mistakes and bloody miscalculations."


Sept. 2015 article

"Who would have thought that the neocons would have succeeded in destabilizing not only the Mideast but Europe as well."
9/7/2015, "How Neocons Destabilized Europe" by Robert Parry,
"The refugee chaos that is now pushing deep into Europe...started with the cavalier ambitions of American neocons and their liberal-interventionist sidekicks who planned to remake the Middle East and other parts of the world through “regime change.”

Instead of the promised wonders of “democracy promotion” and “human rights,” what these “anti-realists” have accomplished is to spread death, destruction and destabilization across the Middle East and parts of Africa and now into Ukraine and the heart of Europe. Yet, since these neocon forces still control the Official Narrative, their explanations get top billing – such as that there hasn’t been enough “regime change.”

For instance, The Washington Post’s neocon editorial page editor Fred Hiatt on Monday (2015) blamed “realists” for the cascading catastrophes. Hiatt castigated them and President Barack Obama for not intervening more aggressively in Syria to depose President Bashar al-Assad, a longtime neocon target for “regime change.”

But the truth is that this accelerating spread of human suffering can be traced back directly to the unchecked influence of the neocons and their liberal fellow-travelers who have resisted political compromise and, in the case of Syria, blocked any realistic efforts to work out a power-sharing agreement between Assad and his political opponents, those who are not terrorists....
A Dozen Years of Chaos

So, we can now look at the consequences and costs of the past dozen years under the spell of neocon/liberal-hawk “regime change” strategies. According to many estimates, the death toll in Iraq, Syria and Libya has exceeded one million with several million more refugees flooding into – and stretching the resources – of fragile Mideast countries.

Hundreds of thousands of other refugees and migrants have fled to Europe, putting major strains on the Continent’s social structures already stressed by the severe recession that followed the 2008 Wall Street crash. Even without the refugee crisis, Greece and other southern European countries would be struggling to meet their citizens’ needs.

Stepping back for a moment and assessing the full impact of neoconservative policies, you might be amazed at how widely they have spread chaos across a large swath of the globe. Who would have thought that the neocons would have succeeded in destabilizing not only the Mideast but Europe as well.

And, as Europe struggles, the export markets of China are squeezed, spreading economic instability to that crucial economy and, with its market shocks, the reverberations rumbling back to the United States, too.

We now see the human tragedies of neocon/liberal-hawk ideologies captured in the suffering of the Syrians and other refugees flooding Europe and the death of children drowning as their desperate families flee the chaos created by “regime change.” But will the neocon/liberal-hawk grip on Official Washington finally be broken? Will a debate even be allowed about the dangers of “regime change” prescriptions in the future?

Not if the likes of The Washington Post’s Fred Hiatt have anything to say about it. The truth is that Hiatt and other neocons retain their dominance of the mainstream U.S. news media, so all that one can expect from the various MSM outlets is more neocon propaganda, blaming the chaos not on their policy of “regime change” but on the failure to undertake even more “regime change.”

The one hope is that many Americans will not be fooled this time and that a belated “realism” will finally return to U.S. geopolitical strategies that will look for obtainable compromises to restore some political order to places such as Syria, Libya and Ukraine. Rather than more and more tough-guy/gal confrontations, maybe there will finally be some serious efforts at reconciliation.

But the other reality is that the interventionist forces have rooted themselves deeply in Official Washington, inside NATO, within the mainstream news media and even in European institutions. It will not be easy to rid the world of the grave dangers created by neocon policies."
"Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s."... via WBAI radio interview 


June 2014 article

6/20/2014, "Being a Neocon Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry," Foreign Policy, Stephen M. Walt 

"These guys were wrong about every aspect of Iraq. Why do we still have to listen to them?" 

"From 2001 until sometime around 2006, the United States followed the core neoconservative foreign policy program. The disastrous results of this vast social science experiment could not be clearer.

 The neoconservative program cost the United States several trillion dollars and thousands dead and wounded American soldiers, and it sowed carnage and chaos in Iraq and elsewhere. 

One would think that these devastating results would have discredited the neoconservatives forever....Even if the neoconservative architects of folly are undaunted by failure and continue to stick to their guns, one might expect a reasonably rational society would pay them scant attention."... 


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