Who exactly are these rebels we’re supporting?
A short quote from a very exhaustive annotated article:
The so-called Libyan opposition itself is a hodge-podge mix of political opportunists, ex-CIA-trained Mujahideen guerillas such as Abdel Hakim al-Hasidi of the so-called Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, who openly admits to close ties to al-Qaeda going back to Afghanistan.12 That certainly raises the level of incredibility of Washington's most bizarre military crusade of recent times.
As well, the opposition includes former senior Gaddafi regime members who saw greener grass on the US, British and French-backed opposition side, and outright cutthroats who, encouraged by Washington, London or Paris smelled the chance to grab control of one of the richest lands on Earth.
Their "opposition," unlike in Tunisia or elsewhere, was never "non-violent." It was an armed revolt from the git-go, a war of tribe against tribe, not of surging aspirations for democracy. NATO member countries are being told by Washington to back one band of tyrants to oust another whose agenda does not comply with what the Pentagon calls Full Spectrum Dominance.
The Libyan "opposition" for most of the world is still a vague CNN or BBC image of stone-throwing youth crying out to the well-positioned cameras for "freedom, democracy." In reality it is far different. As George Friedman of Stratfor pointed out, the "Libyan uprising consisted of a cluster of tribes and personalities, some within the Libyan government, some within the army and many others longtime opponents of the regime." He adds, "it would be an enormous mistake to see what has happened in Libya as a mass, liberal democratic uprising. The narrative has to be strained to work in most countries, but in Libya, it breaks down completely."13
It emerges that the main opposition to Gaddafi comes from two very curious organizations—the National Front for the Salvation of Libya and a bizarre group calling itself the Islamic Emirate of Barqa, the former name of the North-Western part of Libya. Its leadership claims the group is made up of former al-Qaeda fighters previously released from jail. Their record of bloodshed is impressive to date.
The main opposition group in Libya now is the National Front for the Salvation of Libya which is reported to be funded by Saudi Arabia, the CIA and French Intelligence. They joined with other opposition groups to become the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition. It was that organization that called for the "Day of Rage" that plunged Libya into chaos on February 17. 14
The key figure in the National Front for the Salvation of Libya is one Ibrahim Sahad who conveniently enough lives in Washington. According to the Library of Congress archives, Sahad is the same man the CIA used in their failed attempt at a Libyan coup of 1984. The Library of Congress confirms that the CIA trained and supported the NFSL both before and after the failed coup.
On March 11 the French government became the first nation to recognize the National Front for the Salvation (sic) of Libya, which is now operating under the amorphous cover of an umbrella group calling itself the Libyan National Transitional Council, which is little more than the old NFSL, a group financed for years by the Saudis, the French and the CIA. 15
The new Transitional Council umbrella group is little more reportedly than the old NFSL -- an unelected group of aged monarchist business exiles and now defectors from Gaddafi who smell opportunity to grab a giant piece of the oil pie, and have Saudi, French and CIA backing to drive their dreams of glory. These are the ones on whose behalf now NATO is fighting.
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Creative Destruction: Libya in Washington's Greater Middle East Project
F. William Engdahl
March 26, 2011
F. William Engdahl is an economist and author of the best selling book "A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order", and of "Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order". Mr Engdhahl has written on issues of energy, politics and economics for more than 30 years, beginning with the first oil shock in the early 1970s. Mr. Engdahl contributes regularly to a number of publications including Asia Times Online, Asia, Inc, Japan's Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Foresight magazine; Freitag and ZeitFragen newspapers in Germany and Switzerland respectively. He is based in Germany.