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Libya: Largest Military Undertaking since the Invasion of Iraq. Towards a Protracted Military Operation

 by Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, March 20, 2011

Outright lies by the international media: Bombs and missiles are presented as an instrument  of peace and democratization…
This is not a humanitarian operation. The war on Libya opens up a new regional war theater.
There are three distinct war theaters in the Middle East Central Asian region. Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq.
What is unfolding is a fourth US-NATO War Theater in North Africa, with the risk of escalation.
These four war theaters are functionally related, they are part of an integrated US-NATO military agenda.

The bombing of Libya has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for several years as confirmed by former NATO commander General Wesley Clark.
Operation Odyssey Dawn is acknowledged as the “biggest Western military intervention in the Arab world since the invasion of Iraq began exactly eight years ago.” (Russia: Stop ‘indiscriminate’ bombing of Libya – Taiwan News Online, March 19, 2011).
This war is part of the battle for oil. Libya is among the World’s largest oil economies with approximately 3.5% of global oil reserves, more than twice those of the US.
The underlying objective is to gain control over Libya’s oil and gas reserves under the disguise of a humanitarian intervention.
The geopolitical and economic implications of a US-NATO led military intervention directed against Libya are far-reaching.
“Operation Odyssey Dawn ” is part of  a broader military agenda in the Middle East and Central Asia which consists in gaining control and corporate ownership over more than sixty percent of the world’s reserves of oil and natural gas, including oil and gas pipeline routes.
With 46.5 billion barrels of proven reserves, (10 times those of Egypt), Libya is the largest oil economy in the African continent followed by Nigeria and Algeria (Oil and Gas Journal). In contrast, US proven oil reserves are of the order of 20.6 billion barrels (December 2008) according to the Energy Information Administration.  U.S. Crude Oil, Natural Gas, and Natural Gas Liquids Reserves).
Largest Military Undertaking since the Invasion of Iraq
A military operation of this size and magnitude, involving the active participation of several NATO member and partner countries is never improvised. Operation Odyssey Dawn was in the advanced stages of military planning prior to the protest movement in Egypt and Tunisia. 
Public opinion was led to believe that the protest movement had spread spontaneously from Tunisia and Egypt to Libya.   
The armed insurgency in Eastern Libya is directly supported by foreign powers. Rebel forces in Benghazi immediately hoisted the red, black and green banner with the crescent and star: the flag of the monarchy of King Idris, which symbolized the rule of the former colonial powers. (See  Manlio Dinucci, Libya-When historical memory is erased, Global Research, February 28, 2011)
The insurrection was also planned and coordinated with the timing of the military operation. It had been carefully planned months ahead of the protest movement, as part of a covert operation.
US, British special forces were reported to be on the ground “helping the opposition” right from the outset.
What we are dealing with is a military roadmap, a timeline of carefully planned military and intelligence events.

Read more @ GlobalResearch.ca

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Turkish TV: NATO To Assume Command Libya Operation

HuffPost

Posted: 03/24/11 04:03 PM

ANKARA, Turkey — NATO appeared on Thursday to move closer to assuming command of the military operation in Libya when Turkey’s foreign minister was quoted as saying an agreement has been reached.

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The alliance needs the approval of all 28 of its members in order to coordinate the operation, and Turkey had set conditions on that role for NATO.

“The coalition that was formed following the Paris meeting will abandon the mission and hand it over entirely to a single command system under NATO,” Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was quoted as saying by Turkey’s state-run Anatolia news agency.

“All of Turkey’s concerns, demands on the issue have been met,” he said, and NATO has promised to complete the work needed to take over the Libya mission “within one or two days.”

Earlier in the day, Turkey’s parliament authorized the government to participate in military operations in Libya, including the no-fly zone. Turkey is NATO’s only Muslim member.

Turkey’s government had insisted that any NATO mission, including the no-fly zone, must be restricted to protecting civilians, enforcing the arms embargo and providing humanitarian aid.

Davutoglu had said Wednesday that his country would not agree to a “framework that goes beyond this.” But Turkey also said it would contribute four frigates and one submarine to the NATO naval force that patrolling off Libya’s coast to enforce a U.N. arms embargo. Two frigates had reached the Libyan coast while two others were on their way.

In Brussels, NATO officials said the Military Committee – the alliance’s highest military body – met Thursday morning in Brussels to review plans to enforce the no-fly zone in Libya. The decision-making North Atlantic Council, consisting of envoys from all 28 member nations, was meeting later Thursday to review them.

It has been meeting for six straight days, but a series of disagreements, including whether NATO should have overall political control over the operation and how aggressive rules of engagement should be, have so far blocked an agreement.

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Muammar Gaddafi tells a Turkish television reporter a no-fly zone would show that the west wants to take control of Libya. Photograph: Str/Reuters

Gaddafi threatens armed resistance against no-fly zone

Imposition of no-fly zone zone in Libyan airspace ‘would prove west was trying to steal its oil’

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has warned that the imposition of a no-fly zone in Libyan airspace will be met with armed resistance and taken as proof that western powers are trying to steal his country’s oil.

His defiant remarks came as pro-Gaddafi forces continued their assault on the city of Zawiyah and the country’s rebel leadership pleaded for the international community to close down Libyan airspace.

Britain and the US have discussed the creation of an internationally backed no-fly zone as a contingency plan in case Gaddafi refuses to step down in response to the popular uprising that erupted last month.

In an interview broadcast on Wednesday by Turkey’s state-run TRT news channel, Gaddafi said: “If they take such a decision it will be useful for Libya, because the Libyan people will see the truth, that what they want is to take control of Libya and to steal their oil.

“They want to take your petrol,” he said. “This is what America, this is what the French, those colonialists, want.” But he warned: “The Libyan people will take up arms against them.”

Barack Obama and David Cameron have agreed “to press forward with planning, including at Nato, on the full spectrum of possible responses, including surveillance, humanitarian assistance, enforcement of the arms embargo, and a no-fly zone”.

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George Soros: Middle East turmoil caused by 'revulsion against the corruption'

Oil wealth ‘must be shared’ with citizens says Soros

BBC News

3 March 2011 Last updated at 19:02 ET

Citizens of oil producing nations must see more benefit from their country’s national resources, billionaire investor George Soros has told the BBC.

Revolts in Libya were partly the result of “revulsion against a corruption” fed by the misuse of oil money, he added.

More “transparency and accountability” was needed from other producers such as Russia and Saudi Arabia he said.

Mr Soros also predicted the Iranian regime would be overthrown in the “bloodiest of the revolutions”.

‘Rebelled’

Libya produces 1.6 million barrels of oil per day and is the 17th largest producer in the world.

And Colonel Gaddafi’s hold on power has been dependent on the billions of dollars in oil revenue that pour into the country.

Talking of the wave of governments being challenged in North Africa and the Middle East, Mr Soros said: “What has caused the revolutions is a revulsion against a corruption that is fed by the misuse of natural resources like for instance in Libya.

“Transparency and even more importantly accountability in the use of natural resources is what you need for people living in those countries to get the benefit of those national resources.

“Libya produced enormous wealth which Gaddafi took as his own and now the people rebelled against it.”

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Morocco Joins Middle East Protests: Protesters Demand New Constitution, Economic Reforms

The Huffington Post/AP First Posted: 02/20/11 02:17 PM Updated: 02/20/11 02:17 PM

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RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Thousands of people marched in cities across Morocco on Sunday, demanding a new constitution to bring more democracy in the North African kingdom amid the wave of Arab world upheaval.

Demonstrators shouted slogans calling for economic opportunity, educational reform, better health services and help in coping with rising living costs during a march on central Hassan II Avenue in the capital, Rabat.

The day of demonstration was Morocco’s entree into the series of protests that have swept up North Africa and the wider Arab world after popular uprisings brought down longtime autocrats in Tunisia and Egypt.

The main target of Sunday’s rallies was parliament, where many Moroccans fear their voices are not heard. Still, the protests are likely to pressure King Mohammed VI, who has been seen as a reformer compared to his iron-fisted father, Hassan II, and who still holds absolute authority.

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Iran Opposition Leaders Should Be Tried And Executed, Hardline Lawmakers Say

AP/The Huffington Post NASSER KARIMI  First Posted: 02/15/11 08:29 AM Updated: 02/15/11 12:40 PM

TEHRAN, Iran — Hardline Iranian lawmakers called on Tuesday for the country’s opposition leaders to face trial and be put to death, a day after clashes between opposition protesters and security forces left one person dead and dozens injured.

Hundreds of thousands of people turned out for the opposition rally Monday in solidarity with Egypt’s popular revolt that toppled President Hosni Mubarak after nearly 30 years in power. The demonstration was the first major show of strength from Iran’s beleaguered opposition in more than a year.

1,500 people have reportedly been arrested.

At an open session of parliament Tuesday, pro-government legislators demanded opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mahdi Karroubi and former reformist President Mohammad Khatami face be held responsible for the protests.

Pumping their fists in the air, the lawmakers chanted “death to Mousavi, Karroubi and Khatami.”

“We believe the people have lost their patience and demand capital punishment” for the opposition leaders, 221 lawmakers said in a statement.

Hardliners have long sought to put senior opposition figures on trial, but the calls for the death penalty signaled an escalation in their demands.

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Obama says Iran should allow peaceful protests

AP- Feb 15, 11:29 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says peaceful protests similar to those that brought down the government in Egypt should be allowed to take place on the streets of Iran.

Instead, Obama says the Iranian regime has celebrated the undoing of Hosni Mubarak’s (HOHS’-nee moo-BAH’-rahks) government in Egypt but at the same time has gunned down and beat Iranians who similarly were trying to express themselves peacefully.

Obama says what has been true in Egypt should also be true in Iran.

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President Prays for Peace in the Mideast

The Caucus – The Politics and Government blog of The New York Times
By- HELENE C. COOPER
February 3, 2011, 12:06 pm

WASHINGTON — President Obama, in wide-ranging remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast, said Thursday that he was praying for the violence in the Middle East to end, and separately called on the country to move beyond polarizing debate to remember that few people are right all of the time.

Mr. Obama told an audience of lawmakers, religious leaders and heads of state (from Equatorial Guinea and Macedonia) that in the middle of strife, it is important to “go back to the Scriptures to remind ourselves that none of us have the answer.”

Mr. Obama spoke for around 15 minutes about his upbringing, which he said was not religious. His father, he recounted, was a “nonbeliever,” and he said his mom, “whose parents were Baptists and Methodists, grew up with a certain skepticism.”

“She only took me to church at Easter and Christmas … sometimes,” Mr. Obama said.

Still, Mr. Obama said his mother “nagged me consistently about the homespun values of her Kansas upbringing,” and credited her with helping him to “understand the equal worth of all men and all women.”

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