"It will be over in 48 hours"
Just how many times did we hear that? Some people like to look into the name of the mission, Operation Odyssey Dawn, though those in charge of naming it say it was totally random. “There’s a group of planning officers led by a Lieutenant Colonel that in the early days of planning and looked at a list and decided to call it Odyssey basically because they liked the word odyssey,” said Eric Elliot, with US Africa Command. Still, some continue to find the title concerning. “It’s sort of an odd combination,” said Hayes Roth, Chief Marketing Officer for Landor Worldwide. “Odyssey implies that we’re on a long journey and dawn means we’re at the beginning of that long journey so in English, that’s a little worrisome.” And it’s not just the dictionary definition to be concerned about. Think about Homer’s epic, poem The Odyssey. In some ways, it’s a story about people wandering around the Mediterranean for ten years unable to find their way. The reports of Libya mobilizing its air force against its own people spread quickly around the world. However, Russia's military chiefs say they have been monitoring from space and the pictures tell a different story. According to Al Jazeera and BBC, on February 22 Libyan government inflicted airstrikes on Benghazi, the country's largest city and on the capital Tripoli. However, the Russian military, monitoring the unrest via satellite from the very beginning, says nothing of the sort was going on on the ground. At this point, the Russian military is saying that, as far as they are concerned, the attacks some media were reporting have never occurred. American officials said the military intervention has cost the Pentagon an extra $550 million so far, with bombs and missiles accounting for most. There are no official figures for the UK share of the cost, but at least £25 million will have been spent by British forces, most accounted for by weapons. The rebel forces trying to topple Gaddafi admittedly include more than 1,000 Al-Qaeda soldiers while enjoying total backing– weapons, planes, funding and forces– from the U.S., Britain, NATO and other allies. The CIA and British SAS forces that are now "officially" entering Libya as ground support were covertly operating at least a month ago. There are absolutely no "pro-democracy" fighters in Libya, especially in the East. Majority of the rebel forces are hard core Al-Qaeda, Darna is like world capital of terrorism, others are monarchists and islamic fundamentalists. If there was any doubt in the past that Al-Qaeda is CIA's secret army, today there is none. That's a fact. People trying to lead these unleashed gangs of mujahedeens are in fact former US POWs straight from Guantanamo. One key Libyan rebel leader (Khalifa Hifter) spent the last 20 years: inside the U.S., living just minutes away from Langley, Virginia, also known as home base to the CIA. It is insane. Do people in U.S. know this? No, they are brainwashed zombies. Mainstream propaganda does its job well. Another "bombs for peace" campaign, rrright..."Bombs for peace", that's like fucking for virginity. Just how legal is this war? Lord Ashdown, the former high representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, said the coalition forces led by Britain, France and the US were facing "a moment of danger" over the legality of their actions. He said "continued support for this looks as though it is leading to support for regime change, which legally is beyond the [United Nations] security council resolution". Legal experts said the international coalition may have overstepped what was agreed by the UN resolution sanctioning military action to "take all necessary measures ... to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack". Concern grew as Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, said he believed the military action was now in breach of international law. "We consider that intervention by the coalition in what is essentially an internal civil war is not sanctioned by the UN security council resolution," he said. Russia abstained from the vote which resulted in resolution 1973. President Obama has told Congress, "U.S. military forces commenced operations" in Libya. Article I, section 8 of the United States Constitution states that "Congress shall have the power ... to declare war..." Since Congress has not declared war on Libya, is American involvement in the Libyan war unconstitutional? Some members of Congress think so. Presidential candidate Barack Obama agreed in 2007: "the President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation." Whatever else may be true about them, the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 were authorized by Congress. In the case of the Iraq war, there was a vigorous Congressional and public debate before the war took place. In this particular case, the decision of the Obama Administration to engage the country in a new Middle East war without Congressional authorization represents a long-term threat to the U.S. peace movement, because the U.S. peace movement is engaged in a long struggle to try to influence U.S. policy in the direction of less war, and Congress is a key arena in which the peace movement tries to assert influence over U.S. policy. And the precedent that has been set here, especially if Congress does not take affirmative action to reassert its war powers, is extremely dangerous. If President Obama can engage the country in a war in Libya with a "recess bombing" which has not been authorized by Congress, what's to stop a future President from doing the same thing in, let's say Iran?
The Libyan no-fly zone was established long ago; the focus is now on attacking Gaddafi's ground forces, enabling rebel advancements, and regime change. Libyan tanks, artillery and armoured vehicles do not fly. A mission that initially seemed to revolve around establishing a no-fly zone has become focused on halting advances by government ground forces in and around key coastal cities. Then there's the question of the legality of arming rebel troops. That would be a violation of the U.N. Resolution 1970 ("imposing an arms embargo on the country") and a breach of international law. More to the point, can it really be said that arming Libyan rebels is necessary for the protection of civilians? That sounds much more like what one does to help one side win a civil war. Arming the Libyan rebels will lay the foundation for new war 10 years from now. Maybe US are counting on that? The Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accused France of seeing Libya as a source of 'oil, gold mines and underground treasures'. Using incendiary language directed at France in a speech in Istanbul, Erdogan said: "I wish that those who only see oil, gold mines and underground treasures when they look in Libya's direction, would see the region through glasses of conscience from now on." President Gül reinforced the Turkish view that France and others were being driven primarily by economic interests. "The aim [of the air campaign] is not the liberation of the Libyan people," he said. "There are hidden agendas and different interests." Earlier this week, Claude Guéant, the French interior minister who was previously Sarkozy's chief adviser, outraged the Muslim world by stating that the French president was "leading a crusade" to stop Gaddafi massacring Libyans. Gaddafi's son has claimed that Libya helped finance Nicolas Sarkozy's successful election campaign in 2007. Asked what he felt about the French president's so far unsuccessful efforts to muster support for military intervention, Saif said: "Sarkozy must first give back the money he took from Libya to finance his electoral campaign. We funded it. We have all the details and are ready to reveal everything. The first thing we want this clown to do is to give the money back to the Libyan people. He was given the assistance so he could help them, but he has disappointed us. Give us back our money." On August 30, 2008, Gaddafi and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi signed a historic cooperation treaty in Benghazi. Under its terms, Italy would pay $5 billion to Libya as compensation for its former military occupation. Never happened. In exchange, Libya would take measures to combat illegal imigration coming from its shores and boost investments in Italian companies. Libya supplies almost a quarter of Italy’s oil, and Italy is the world’s largest importer of Libyan crude. Libya also owns 7.5 per cent of the Italian bank UniCredit and has investments in Fiat, the defense conglomerate Finmeccanica, the energy company ENI, the soccer team Juventus and a variety of other Italian businesses. Who is bombing Libya? Gaddafi's debtors united in a "coallition of the willing". This financial backing helped Italy stave off the most damaging effects of the global recession that started in 2008. It is interesting to note that in response to international pressure, Italy has only frozen some Libyan assets, but none belonging to the country’s central bank or the Libyan Investment Authority. However, Italy’s hardly the only cash-strapped European nation to forge significant economic ties with the Gaddafi regime. In 2009, the European Union’s two-way trading with Libya amounted to more than $37 billion, with Germany, France and Spain among its leading partners. Naturally, the bulk of this was petroleum because Libya supplies more than 10 per cent of Europe’s oil. For a sense of just how much that is, consider that the United States of America, which had just $2.6 billion in two-way trade with Libya in 2009 and imports virtually no petroleum from the country, gets roughly 10 per cent of its oil from Saudi Arabia. That’s what Europe is losing as Libya burns. Donald Trump, whose flirtations with a presidential bid continue, says he has special experience dealing with Libyan leader Moammer Gaddafi. Trump, who has said he will decide on a presidential bid by June this year, said he is particularly happy with the fact he "screwed" Gaddafi on a past real estate deal. "I rented him a piece of land. He paid me more for one night than the land was worth for two years, and then I didn't let him use the land," Trump boasted. "That's what we should be doing. I don't want to use the word 'screwed', but I screwed him." Good job, Mr Trump, put it in your CV. No Gaddafi, no debt... and maybe oil for free. The Gaddafi's family has a reputation for lavish parties attended by stars. Beyonce and Mariah Carey have performed in elaborate New Year’s Eve parties in the Carribean thrown by Gaddafi’s son, Mutassim, while 50 Cent performed in a private concert during the 2005 Venice Film festival. For each performance, the alleged fee is $2 million per-performer. Stars also get paid to simply attend parties. Following the brutal domestic conflict in Libya, stars who have performed for the Gaddafi family, have been expressing their "regret" by donating the money they gained from Gadaffi’s family to charity. Among the stars who have donated their money are Nelly Furtado, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Usher. The latest star who followed their lead is rapper 50 Cent, who announced that he will donate to Unicef. The London School of Economics (LSE) says it will set up fund to support North African students with money donated by son of Libyan leader. In 2009, the university accepted £1.5 million from the International Charity and Development Foundation, which is chaired by the younger Gaddafi, who owns a $16 million mansion in London’s fashionable Hampstead Garden neighbourhood. The London School of Economics, which has come under heavy criticism for accepting a donation from a Gadaffi charity, is looking into accusations that Moammar Gaddafi’s second-oldest son and presumed political heir, 38-year-old Saif Islam, plagiarised parts of his doctoral thesis at LSE. His abandoned London home has been occupied by anti-Gaddafi protesters from throughout Britain. The cold reality is that with Libya descending into chaos, Europe is losing a major partner just when its key economies are struggling to regain their footing. Britain has recently emerged as a major target for Libyan investments. Libya has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on prime London commercial real estate and last year, a senior executive with the Libyan Investment Authority announced that the fund had earmarked $8 billion exclusively for Britain. So what were they thinking?
Life under "Gaddafi's dictatorship"
Just how bad was it? In the early 1980s, Libya was one of the wealthiest countries in the world; its GDP per capita was higher than that of developed countries such as Italy, Singapore, South Korea, Spain and New Zealand. The Libyan economy depends primarily upon revenues from the oil sector. Compared to its neighbors, Libya enjoys a low level of both absolute and relative poerty. Libyan officials in the past six years have carried out economic reforms as part of a broader campaign to reintegrate the country into the global capitalist economy. This effort picked up steam after UN sanctions were lifted in September 2003, and as Libya announced in December 2003 that it would abandon programmes to build weapons of mass destruction. Authorities have privatised more than 100 government owned companies since 2003 in industries including oil refining, tourism and real estate, of which 29 are 100% foreign owned. High oil revenues and a small population have allowed the Libyan state to provide an extensive level of social security, particularly in the fields of housing and education. Libyan social security legislation of 1973 ranked among the most comprehensive in the world and it protected all citizens from many hazards associated with employment. Workers employed by foreign firms were entitled to the same social security benefits as workers employed by Libyan citizens. Subsidized food, inexpensive housing, free medical care and education, and profit-sharing were among the benefits that eased the lives of all citizens. The government protected the employed in their jobs and subsidized the underemployed and unemployed. In addition, there were nurseries to care for the children of working mothers, orphanages for homeless children, and homes for the aged. I could live under such dictator. Before Odyssey Dawn, Libya was undergoing a business boom. Many government-run industries were being privatised. Many international oil companies have returned to the country, including oil giants Shell and Exxon Mobil. Tourism was on the rise. The United States removed Gaddafi's regime, after 27 years, from its list of states sponsoring terrorism. (Gaddafi decided to pay almost $3 billion in compensation to the families of Pan Am Flight 103 and UTA Flight 772.).