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The “Liberation” of Libya: NATO Special Forces and Al Qaeda Join Hands

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Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research
Monday, August 29, 2011

Extensive war crimes have been committed. NATO has blood on its hands. The heads of government and heads of state of NATO member countries are responsible for extensive war crimes

The “pro-democracy” rebels are led by Al Qaeda paramilitary brigades under the supervision of NATO Special Forces. The “Liberation” of  Tripoli was carried out by “former” members of the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).

The jihadists and NATO work hand in glove. These “former” Al Qaeda affiliated brigades constitute the backbone of the “pro-democracy” rebellion.

NATO special forces with “boots and the ground” pass unnoticed. Their identity is not known or revealed. They blend into the Libyan rebellion landscape of machine guns and pickup trucks. They are not highlighted in the photo ops.

Special forces composed of  US Navy SEALS, British Special SAS Forces and French legionnaires, disguised in civilian rebel garb, are reported to be behind major operations directed against key government buildings including Gadhafi’s Bab al-Aziziya compound in central Tripoli.

Reports confirm that British SAS were on the ground in Eastern Libya prior to the onset of the air campaign. Special Forces are in close coordination with NATO air operations. “Highly-trained units, known as ‘Smash’ teams for their prowess and destructive ability, have carried out secret reconnaissance missions to provide up-to-date information on the Libyan armed forces.” (SAS ‘Smash’ squads on the ground in Libya to mark targets for coalition jets, Daily Mirror, March 21, 2011)

NATO special forces and the CIA sponsored Islamic brigades under the command of “former” jihadists constitute the backbone of combat capabilities on the ground, supported by the air campaign, which now includes Apache helicopter raids.

The remainder of the rebel forces include untrained trigger happy gunmen (including teenagers) (see photo below), which serve the function of creating an atmosphere of panic and intimidation.

What we are dealing with is a carefully planned military intelligence operation to invade and occupy a sovereign country.

Killing the Truth. The Role of the Western Media

The Western media constitutes a major instrument of war. NATO war crimes are obfuscated. Popular resistance to the NATO led invasion is not mentioned.

A narrative of  “liberation” and  “opposition pro-democracy rebel forces” is instilled in the inner consciousness of millions of people. Its called the “NATO Consensus”.

“The NATO Consensus” which upholds the “humanitarian mandate” of the Atlantic alliance cannot be challenged. The bombings of civilian areas as well as the role of a terrorist militia are either trivialised or not mentioned.

Killing the truth is an integral part of the military agenda.

Realities are turned upside down.

The lie becomes the truth.

Its an inquisitorial doctrine. The NATO consensus dwarfs the Spanish Inquisition by a long shot.

The criminal invasion and occupation of Libya is not mentioned. The lives of independent journalists in Tripoli who report on what is actually happening are threatened. The catch words are “Liberation” and “Revolution” with NATO’s mandate limited to R2P (“Responsibility to Protect”).

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Liberation or Invasion? By camouflaging the nature of the military operation, not to mention NATO atrocities, the Western media has contributed to providing the Transitional Council with a semblance of legitimacy and international recognition. The latter would not have been forthcoming without the support of the Western media.

NATO special forces and intelligence operatives on the ground are in permanent liaison with military planners involved in coordinating NATO strike sorties and bombing raids on the Libyan capital.

Intensive Bombing Raids over Tripoli

On August 27, NATO acknowledged the conduct of 20,633 sorties since March 31st, and 7,768 strike sorties. (These figures do not include the intensive bombing raids conducted in the two weeks prior to March 31st). Each fighter jet or bomber carries numerous missiles, rockets, etc. depending on the ordnance specification of the aircraft.

Multiply the number of strike sorties (7768 since March 31) by the average number of missiles or bombs launched by each of the planes and you get a rough idea of the size and magnitude of this military operation. A French Dassault Mirage 2000, for instance, can transport 18 missiles under its wings. America’s B-2 Stealth bombers are equipped with bunker buster bombs.

Pursuant to NATO’s humanitarian mandate, we are informed by the media that these tens of thousands of strikes have not resulted in civilian casualties (with the exception of occasional “collateral damage”).

Not surprisingly, already in mid April, three weeks into bombing campaign, the Atlantic Alliance announced that “NATO planes flying combat missions over Libya are starting to run out of bombs” (UPI, April 16, 2011);

“The reason we need more capability isn’t because we aren’t hitting what we see — it’s so that we can sustain the ability to do so,” one NATO official told the Post. “One problem is flight time, the other is munitions.” (Ibid)

The bombing raids over Tripoli were intensified in the course of the last two weeks. They were intended to support ground operations led by NATO special forces and the Islamic paramilitary brigades. With limited NATO ground force capabilities, NATO strategists decided to intensify the bombing raids.

Global Research’s Correspondent in Tripoli, whose life is threatened for revealing NATO war crimes described a shift in the pattern of bombing, starting in mid-July, with increasingly intensive air raids leading up to the ground invasion on August: 20th:

“Until approximately 2:35 a.m EET [July 17], the strident noises of fighter jets over Tripoli could be heard. The bomb blasts triggered an atmosphere of fear and panic over the entire city, a poignant psychological and emotional impact on tens of thousands of people, from the young to the elderly. It also alerted people and brought them out onto their balconies while they witnessed the bombing of their country.

One of the explosions resulted in a huge mushroom cloud, pointing to the possible use of bunker buster bombs. … There was something unusual in the pattern of this NATO bombing operation.

The bombings tonight were not like other nights. The sounds were different. The smoke plumes were different. In previous bombings the smoke would usually go up vertically like a fire, but tonight the smoke plumes were horizontal and hovering above Tripoli with a white cloud in the horizon.

People who were not directly affected by the bombs, within a radius of 15 kilometres experienced burning eyes, lower back pain, headaches.” (Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, NATO Launches Bombing Blitzkrieg over Tripoli hitting Residential Areas , Global Research, July 17, 2011)

The mass killing of civilians in a Blitzkrieg environment as well as the creation of a generalized atmosphere of panic is intended to curtail the population’s resistance to the NATO-led invasion.

The Death Toll

According to sources from our correspondent in Tripoli, the death toll in the course of the last week (20-26 August) is of the order of 3000. The hospitals are in a state of turmoil, unable to come to the rescue of the wounded. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) confirms that medical supplies are in short supply throughout the country.

In recent developments UNICEF has warned of shortages of water due to the NATO bombing of  water infrastructure throughout the country. “This could turn into an unprecedented health epidemic “ said Christian Balslev-Olesen of UNICEF’s Libya Office.

NATO warplanes deliberately targeted the peaceful vigil of tents in front of the Gadhafi compound in a gruesome massacre. The mainstream media acknowledges the massacre, while stating that gun wounds are the cause of death in crossfire between loyalist and rebel forces. The victims are :

“The identities of the dead were unclear, but they were in all likelihood activists who had set up an impromptu tent city in solidarity with Gadhafi in defiance of the NATO bombing campaign. (Forbes.com, August 25, 2011)

We are not dealing with collateral damage. Extensive war crimes have been committed. NATO has blood on its hands. The heads of government and heads of state of NATO member countries are war criminals.

The Central Role of Al Qaeda Operatives in the “Liberation of Tripoli”

According to CNN, in a twisted logic, the terrorists have repented:  “former terrorists” are no longer “terrorists”.

The LIFG is said to have been disbanded.

Following their disavowal of violence, these former LIFG leaders created a new political organization called the Islamic Movement for Change, which according to CNN “is committed to working within a future democratic process”.  “The Libyan Islamic Movement for Change (Al-Haraka Al-Islamiya Al Libiya Lit-Tahghir), is made up of former members of the now defunct [CIA supported] Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG)” (Reuters, August 26, 2011)

In a contradictory about turn, former “bad guys” (terrorists) are heralded as “good guys” committed to “combating terrorism”.  The  “former” members of the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) are now portrayed as “pro-democracy activists” who “have assumed leadership positions in several rebel brigades”.

Labels have been switched: the CIA supported Al Qaeda affiliated LIFG has been transformed into the CIA sponsored Islamic Movement for Change (IMC), which supports the pro-democracy rebellion.

When was the LIFG disbanded?

In a bitter irony, the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) was listed until June 2011 by the United Nations Security Council as a bona fide terrorist organization. On June 21 2011, The Listing of Terrorist Organizations, conveniently vanished from the UN Security Council website pending the revamping of the website. (See annex below)

The LIFG entry was included in the (updated March 24, 2011, accessed April 3, 2011) United Nations Security Council “terror list” as follows

QE.L.11.01. Name: LIBYAN ISLAMIC FIGHTING GROUP

Name (original script):

A.k.a.: LIFG F.k.a.: na Address: na Listed on: 6 Oct. 2001 (amended on 5 Mar. 2009)

(The LIFG Listing is on p. 70,http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/pdf/consolidatedlist.pdf, (accessed April 3, 2011, no longer accessible)

Other information: Review pursuant to Security Council resolution 1822 (2008) was concluded on 21 Jun. 2010. The website is down and is currently being revamped

Who Leads Libya’s Islamic Brigades?

Recent reports confirm what was known and documented from the outset of the “rebellion” in mid-March:  The key military command positions of the rebellion are held by the “former” commanders of the Libya Islamic fighting Group (LIFG)”.

The commander of the assault on Tripoli is Abdel Hakim Belhadj, (also known as Abu Abdullah al-Sadeq, Hakim al-Hasidi). He has been entrusted, with NATO’s approval,  of “one of the most powerful rebel brigades in Tripoli [which] took charge of successful rebel efforts earlier this week to storm Gadhafi’s Bab al-Azziziyah compound, further bolstering his prominent position in rebel ranks.” (CNN, op cit)

“Sadeeq was a well-known figure in the jihadist movement. He fought the Soviet-backed government in Afghanistan and helped found [with the support of the CIA] the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group there.” (Ibidt)

But Saddeeq, according to CNN has repented. He is no longer a terrorist (i.e. a bad guy) “but a powerful voice against Al Qaeda’s terrorism”. (Ibid, emphasis added)

“In 2009, Sadeeq and other senior LIFG leaders formally repudiated al Qaeda style terrorism and disbanded their campaign to overthrow the Libyan regime.

The breakthrough was the result of a two-year dialogue with the regime brokered by Benotman [a former LIFG commander now in the employ of  the London based Quilliam Foundation with a mandate in conflict resolution. CNNinterviewed leading figures of the LIFG in Abu Salim prison in Tripoli in September 2009, shortly before the group's leaders were released. Although they were then behind prison bars, the leaders' disavowal of violence appeared genuine. (Ibid)

According to DebkaFile (Israeli intelligence online report), the "pro-Al Qaeda brigades "led by LIFG Commander Abdel Hakim Belhadj constitute the dominant force of the rebellion, overriding the authority of the Transitional Council. They are in control of strategic buildings including Gadhafi's compound.

"The LIFG chief [Abdel Hakim Belhadj] now styles himself “Commander of the Tripoli Military Council.” Asked by our sources whether they plan to hand control of the Libyan capital to the National Transitional Council, which has been recognized in the West, the jihadi fighters made a gesture of dismissal without answering. (Debka, Pro-Al Qaeda brigades control Qaddafi Tripoli strongholds seized by rebels, August 28, 2011 )

Abdul Hakim Belhhadj  received military training in CIA sponsored guerrilla camp in Afghanistan. An earlier report suggests that he  has some 1,000 men under his command. (Libyan rebels at pains to distance themselves from extremists – The Globe and Mail, March 12, 2011)

The US-NATO coaltion is arming the Jihadists. Weapons are being channelled to the LIFG from Saudi Arabia, which historically, since the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war, has covertly supported Al Qaeda. The Saudis are now providing the rebels, in liaison with Washington and Brussels, with anti-tank rockets and ground-to-air missiles. (See Michel Chossudovsky  “Our Man in Tripoli”: US-NATO Sponsored Islamic Terrorists Integrate Libya’s Pro-Democracy Opposition, Global Research, 3 April 2011)

A “Democracy” run by Terrorists

Reports also confirm that large numbers of  terrorists imprisoned in Abu Salim jail were released by rebel forces. They are now being recruited by the former LIFG Islamic brigades, led by “former” jihadists pro-democracy commanders.

So all ends well in the smooth transition towards a democracy run by terrorists.

NATO’s Islamic Jihad

There is indications that NATO, in coordination with Western intelligence agencies (including Israel’s Mossad), is involved in recruiting Islamist fighters. Israeli intelligence sources confirm that NATO in cooperation with Turkey, is now directly training and recruiting in several Muslim countries a new jihadist generation of  “Freedom Fighters”. The Mujahideen after undergoing training are slated to participate in NATO’s “pro-democracy” “humanitarian” military campaigns. The Israeli report by Debka pertains to Syria, which is next  in line on the NATO military roadmap:

“Our sources report, is a [NATO] campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels… ” (Debka File August 15, 2011 http://www.debka.com/article/21207/ )

The NATO led invasion and occupation of Libya is using Islamic fighters as the backbone of an alleged transition to democracy.

Concluding Remarks

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

The tragic events of  9/11 have played a key role in developing a massive propaganda campaign geared towards justifying a “war on terrorism” directed against Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda.

In a bitter twist, throughout the Middle East and Central Asia, the Western military alliance is using Islamic brigades, trained and groomed by the CIA, MI6 and Mossad, to wage its “Global War on Terrorism”.

The war on terrorism constitutes a broad consensus instilled in the minds of millions of people, What is not known to Western public opinion is that the West’s holy crusade against Islamic terrorism rather than targeting terrorists actually includes terrorists in his ranks, i.e  Al Qaeda “freedom fighters” have been integrated into the ranks of US-NATO led military operations.

Rest assured, in the case of Libya, the rebels are “the good guys”: they are “former” rather than “active” members of Al Qaeda.

The Western media has not reported on NATO war crimes. It has casually dismissed NATO atrocities: 8000 strike sorties represents more than 50,000  missiles and bombs dropped on the Libyan people.

There are various ways of concealing the truth. From the outset of the air campaign, the media has denied the existence of a war. Its causes and consequences are distorted. In turn, an effective propaganda campaign requires targeting people’s mindset in newspapers, network TV and online.

People must be distracted from an understanding of the war on Libya. Atrocities committed by NATO with the support of the United Nations is rarely frontpage news. How best to camouflage the truth? By redirecting news coverage on Libya towards a number of trivial “talking points”, including the size of Gadhafi’s swimming pool, his female bodyguards, his cosmetic plastic surgery, etc. The Guardian, August 23, 2011)

Not included in the journalist’s “to do list” is the coverage of the three thousand  men, women and children who lost their lives in the course of a weeklong Blitzkrieg bombing of Tripoli using the most advanced weapons systems in human history.

Against this background of lies and fabrications, the lives of several independent journalists including Global Research’s Correspondent Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya trapped in Tripoli were threatened, for saying the truth.

This article was posted: Monday, August 29, 2011 at 2:43 am





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