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View Diary: Who really beat Qaddafi? (28 comments)

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  •  Welcome to Libya's 'democracy' (0+ / 0-)
    http://www.atimes.com/...
    By Pepe Escobar

    The Big Gaddafi has barely left the building - the Bab-al-Aziziyah compound - and the Western vultures are already circling overhead; the scramble is on to seize the "big prize" - Libya's oil and gas wealth.
    ...
    NATO started winning the war by launching Operation Siren at Iftar - the break of the Ramadan fast - last Saturday evening, Libya time. "Siren" was the codename for an invasion of Tripoli. That was NATO's final - and desperate - power play, after the chaotic "rebels" had gone nowhere after five months of fighting Gaddafi's forces.

    Until then, NATO's plan A was to try to kill Gaddafi. What R2P cheerleaders - left and right - had dubbed "steady NATO attrition" boiled down to praying for three outcomes; Gaddafi killed, Gaddafi surrenders, Gaddafi flees.

    Not that any of this prevented NATO bombs from falling in private homes, universities, hospitals or even close to the Foreign Ministry. Everything - and everyone - was a target.

    "Siren" featured a colorful casting of "NATO rebels", Islamist fanatics, gullible embedded journalists, TV-friendly mobs, and Cyrenaica youth manipulated by opportunist Gaddafi regime defectors eyeing fat checks by oil giants Total and BP.

    With "Siren", NATO came out all guns (literally) blazing; Apache gunships firing nonstop and jets bombing everything in sight. NATO supervised the landing of hundreds of troops from Misrata on the coast east of Tripoli while a NATO warship distributed heavy weapons.

    On Sunday alone there may have been 1,300 civilian deaths in Tripoli, and at least 5,000 wounded. The Ministry of Health announced that hospitals were overflowing. Anyone who by that time believed relentless NATO bombing had anything to do with R2P and United Nations Resolution 1973 was living in an intensive care unit.

    NATO preceded "Siren" with massive bombing of Zawiya - the key oil-refining city 50 kilometers west of Tripoli. That cut off Tripoli's fuel supply lines. According to NATO itself, at least half of Libya's armed forces were "degraded" - Pentagon/NATO speak for killed or seriously wounded. That means tens of thousands of dead people. That also explains the mysterious disappearance of the 65,000 soldiers in charge of defending Tripoli. And it largely explains why the Gaddafi regime, in power for 42 years, then crumbled in roughly 24 hours.


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