Petroleum and Empire in North Africa. NATO Invasion of Libya Underway

Are events unfolding in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt more about petro-terrorism or about freedom and democracy? How much oil is there in North Africa? Who is in control of that oil? What is the relationship between the West and Muamar Gaddafi? Is he really the terrorist we’ve all been led to believe he is? Who is the Libyan “opposition” and who are the “rebels” we read about?

Presented with this story are petroleum industry concessions maps ** for North Africa that people might want to ponder in between the Western propaganda on Libya. Amidst the full-court press of propaganda presented by the western media and State Department disinformation apparatus we find that Muamar Gaddafi is even accused of committing genocide against his own people. Are there double standards at work?

An original photograph; backside text reads: Al Haji Amin (centre) is introducing military senior officers to his brother Col. Gaddafi, Chairman of the Revolutionary Command of Arab republic of Libya, shortly on arrival at Gulu Airfield [norther Uganda] to perform the official handing over of aircrafts to Uganda Airforce, March 3, 1974.

From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli

On September 1, 1969 the pro-western regime that had ruled in Libya was overthrown by Colonel Muamar Gaddafi and his officers. At the time, Libya was home to the largest US Air Base (Wheelus Air Base) in North Africa. Agreements between the USA and Libya signed in 1951 and 1954 granted the USAF the use of Wheelus Air Base and its El Watia gunnery range for gunnery and bombing training and for transport and bombing stopovers until 1971. During the Cold War the base was pivotal to expanding US military power under the Strategic Air Command, and an essential base for fighter and reconnaissance missions.

The Pentagon also used the base — and the remote Libyan desert — for missile launch testing: the launch area was located 15 miles east of Tripoli. Considered a ‘little America on the shores of the Mediteranean’, the base housed some 4600 US military personnel until its evacuation in 1970.

With the discovery of oil in Libya in 1959, a very poor desert country became a very rich little western protectorate. US and European companies had huge stakes in the extremely lucrative petroleum and banking sectors, but these were soon nationalized by Gaddafi.

Thus Libya overnight joined the list of US ‘enemy’ or ‘rogue’ states that sought autonomy and self-determination outside the expanding sphere of western Empire. Further cementing western hatred of the new regime, Libya played a leading role of the 1973 oil embargo against the US and maintained cooperative relations with the Soviet Union. Gaddafi also reportedly channeled early oil wealth into national free health care and education.

Many of the concessions in Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt involve state-owned oil companies. The US/European/Israeli nexus seeks to dislodge state-ownership — to whatever extent it actually exists — and dislodge any Chinese workers or companies involved in the oil exploitation, and replace these with western companies and western agents.

At one time Gaddafi played around with Idi Amin, but his ties to other despots — such as Tony Blair and George H. W. Bush — are far more notable, though far less advertised. Remember that Gaddafi has served the prerogatives of imperialism for years, even while being presented as the world’s premier terrorist.

Note the double standard in how the western press presents the accusations of Gaddafi using mercenaries, as if it is something unique to Gaddafi and Libya, and not something we ever do.

National front for the Salvation of Libya

In almost all western media accounts, the so-called “opposition” in Libya includes the unspecified, unnamed, unidentified “rebels” of the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL). These are not innocent ‘pro-democracy’ protestors who began with a ‘peaceful sit-in’ as reported by the New York Times and uncritically repeated everywhere else.

Reportage of atrocities in Darfur, Sudan (2003-2011) and Rwanda (1990-1994) was always blamed on the governments (Omar Bashir in Khartoum and Juvenal Habyarimana in Kigali) with no context to the foreign backed insurgency and intervention occurring, which in both cases involved the US, UK and Israel. Similarly, in Libya today, there is no context or history to the FNSL ‘rebels’: they are categorically presented as the good guys, no matter that they seem to have appeared out of thin air. No one explains who these people are who are cited by the New York Times or CNN or Democracy Now as sources.

The FNSL was part of the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition held in London in 2005, and British resources are being used to support the FNSL and other ‘opposition’ in Libya. The FNSL was actually formed in October 1981 in Sudan under Colonel Jaafar Nimieri– the US puppet dictator who was openly known to be a Central Intelligence Agency operative, and who ruled Sudan ruthlessly from 1977 to 1985. The FNSL held its national congress in the USA in July 2007. Reports of ‘atrocities’ and civilian deaths are being channeled into the western press from operations in Washington DC, and the opposition FNSL is reportedly organizing resistance and military attacks from both inside and outside Libya.

Italy and France are also said to be backing these opposition groups, as the Italian and French oil companies AGIP and ELF and others seek to chop off and eat their pieces of the predatory pie. The US, Britain and Israel seek to insure control of the petroleum sector in advance of competitor corporations from other European countries.

National Endowment for (non) Democracy

In 1983, the Pentagon, USAID, US State Department, and the CIA were all involved in the creation and implementation of ‘Project Democracy’ — National Security Decision Directive 77

(NSDD 77) — and this led to the creation of the National Endowment for Democracy. After that, many of the tactics used in covert interventions were shifted away from the CIA and onto the NED, whose involvement with covert operations and foreign interventions are nonetheless well-established.

A ‘soft’ intervention CIA front, the National Endowment for Democracy has been deeply involved in Libya along with the CIA fronted Freedom House (under their Blue Umbrella program and others). These entities have backed ‘opposition’, supported propaganda campaigns and so-called ‘pro-democracy’ movements, and are known to be involved with backing armed insurgents and interventions.

NED works its overt intelligence sector magic through four organizations under its (own) umbrella: National democratic Institute; International republican Institute, Center for Private Enterprise, and the AFL-CIO’s American Center for International Labor Solidarity. NED is closely aligned with US foreign policy interests and achieves its mission through the revolving doors between US Government and the NED Board of Directors.

Some of these NED directors include: former US Secretaries of State, Henry Kissinger (Nixon) and Madeleine Albright (Clinton), former US Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci (Reagan), former National Security Council ChairZbigniew Brzezinski (Carter), former NATO Supreme Allied Command in Europe, General Wesley K. Clark (Clinton), and the current head of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz (George W. Bush).

Freedom House is supportive of NED programs but has been around since its creation by Elanor Roosevelt and they have been very active against Libya

Freedom House is funded by, amongst others, UNILEVER Corporation, USAID, and the US Information Agency (USIA). Freedom House, in alliance with USIA, has provided covert and overt “Radio Free’ disinformation programs all over the world since at least 1952: e.g. Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia.

Past and present Freedom House trustees include: former CIA director R. James Woosley; former national security adviser (at the time of the US invasion of Congo-Zaire) Anthony Lake; Harvard professor Samuel Huntington; UNILEVER executive Ned Bandler; CIA insider Andrew Young; former Joseph Mobutu confidant and national security insider Jeanne J. Kirkpatrick; former NED director and International Crisis Group trustee Zbigniew Brzezinski; USAID intelligence operative J. Brian Atwood (USAID administrator who oversaw the US-backed genocide against millions of Hutu refugees in Zaire, 1996-1998) and many more.

Freedom House is also very likely affiliated with the phantom US Office of Strategic Information (OSI), formed after September 11, 2001. OSI is said to have been reorganized, with all its original functions reassigned to the Office of Global Communications, Information Awareness Office (IAO), and the newly reactivated Counter-Disinformation/Misinformation Team (Counter-Information Team). However, then Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld issued statements affirming that the OSI’s operations would continue.

Rogue State Painted with Blatant Propaganda

In the ABC LITELINE report FNSL Leader Speaks from Washington we find the Washington monument in the background for an interview with an Arab agent being used by the western propaganda system as a credible source — but with zero explanations of who he is or why his claims might be false.

FNSL operative Irahim Sahad speaks freely, making any claim he likes, and nothing he says is challenged or counter-balanced. Sahad suggests that the UN Security Council MUST be convened to stop the genocide being committed by Gaddafi against his own people. Ibrahim Sahad’s bias is unveiled by such statements as “The UN Security Council was convened when just one man was killed in Lebabon — so it should be convened to address the most brutal use of live ammunition, heavy arms and mercenaries.” The claim employs a double-standard, saying in short that Lebanese lives are worth more than Libyan, which is not at all the case, and that the United Nations takes serious one man’s life in Lebanon, so they should take far more serious the monumental loss of life [claimed] in Libya.

Here are some of the media’s rallying cries making headlines everywhere the English language is used:

* Gaddafi killing his own people!

* West worried that Gaddafi may use Nerve Gas!

* Heavy Weaponry Used Against Civilians!

* Heavy Arms Used in Libyan Crackdown!

* Gaddafi Committing Crimes Against Humanity!

The death tolls in Iraq, Afghanistan and Congo — by US/NATO/ISRAELI forces — far surpass anything that might have occurred in Libya. Meanwhile, most ‘news’ on Libya is based on false accusations and false assertions — such as the THREAT of nerve gas being used.

The ‘international community’ repeatedly enforced or renewed sanctions against Libya in the 1980s and 1990s. In 2004, it was established that Washington and London were grossly exaggerating claims of Gaddafi’s development of nuclear and chemical weapons. In Afghanistan the US is using weapons of mass destruction and has been since the invasion of 2001: these include phosgene and uranium weapons. A deeper issue might be the loss of certain nuclear weapons, as claimed by sources in London, which reportedly went missing from US/NATO stocks. Claims are that these weapons made their way into teh hands of British arms dealer John Bredenkamp, a long time crony of the Robert Mugabe gang in Zimbabwe, and that they may have been sold to Libya, Yemen or North Korea.

The CIA has long wanted to eliminate and replace Muamar Gaddafi. President Reagan bombed Tripoli, killing Gaddafi’s infant daughter: the United States bombing of Libya (code-named Operation El Dorado Canyon) comprised the joint USAF, Navy, and Marines air-strikes against Libya on April 15, 1986. The US CIA brought down the Lockerbie Pan Am 103 flight over Scotland in 1988 and blamed this on Gaddafi.

In recent years Gaddafi has played along with the western fiction of Al-Queda, though it seems likely that some of the true mercenaries in Libya today are ‘Al-Queda’ terrorists trained by the United States to serve US interests in places like Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and now Libya. However, the CIA has always had their sites on Gaddafi.

Muamar Gaddafi Sides with Empire

“[T]he fundamental problem and issue before the people in the region is that the US rulers seek imperial control and imposition of semi-colonial country-selling regimes; the more autocratic and brutal, the better from the point of the US imperialism that is unrelenting history,” reports Ralph Schoenman, in ‘US Imperialism Against Democratic ME’. “Every time the population is given the opportunity to shape its own destiny, to seek its national independence, to seek its own control over its own resources, to seeks its own sovereignty and determination of its own future, that is incompatible with the US imperialism.

Pentagon Invasion Already Underway

The US will use any propaganda necessary to whip up American fervor over Gaddafi and justify Pentagon or MI6 or NATO operations. US and British warships sit off the coast of Libya — and they don’t sit there idly. The imposition of a ‘no-fly’ zone means that US/NATO planes can do as they like, with the understanding that what we are really talking about are possible bombing and fighter sorties against Libya.US covert operatives have been on the ground for weeks, in not much longer, whether they have entered by sea (SEALS) or by way of Niger, where the US has openly published information about its covert operations. (See, for example, the travelology reports by former U.S. Special Forces now ‘journalist’ Robert Kaplan in America’s African Rifles

a Pentagon massaged and approved propaganda feature in the pro-war Atlantic Monthly). Any opportunity to attack, destabilize, invade will be exploited by the Pentagon.

Of course, as this is written the US media is preparing the ground for the English news consuming masses to see the Pentagon invasion as a “humanitarian” mission in Libya. There is nothing humanitarian about the Pentagon, and there has never been.

The Desert Mystic

Libya is a country of approximately 6 million people, having a huge geographical area but low population density. Claims that Gaddafi has uplifted his people over the course of his 40 year dictatorship are false. Poverty is high throughout the country, and in Tripoli there are the obvious signs of capitalism: overcrowding, traffic, environmental pollution and destruction of nature. However, Gaddafi’s “Green Book” — if in fact it was written by him — is worth reading. Had it been written by most anyone else who is opposed to the expansion of western empire with all its horrors, it would be more widely appreciated.

Human Rights Watch has reported that international arms dealer Victor Bout illegally shipped weapons into Congo-Zaire, picking them up in Libya and delivering them to Rwandan Hutu forces. However, Human Rights Watch is deeply compromised when it comes to reporting and not reporting the facts — or selectively reporting them — on Central Africa. If Gaddafi did supply or facilitate the provision of arms to Hutu insurgents in Congo, it may be one of the more reasonable actions he took: e.g. the Forces for the Democratic Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) are forever misaligned by the Pentagon and its propaganda minions precisely because they fought against the illegal invasion of Rwanda by Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni. Meanwhile, it is Rwanda, Uganda and their foreign multinational corporate allies that are responsible for the preponderance of killing in Central Africa (not the FDLR).

Former AU chairman have included some of Africa’s most criminal dictators, such as Dennis Sassou Nguesso, who has reigned with absolute military brutality in the Republic of Congo for some 20 years (with a gap from 1992-1997). Gabon’s present ruler Albert-Bernard Bongo is the son-in-law of Dennis Sassou-Nguesso, and both have been sustained with millions of Elf petrol dollars (see, e.g., keith harmon snow: The Crimes of Bongo). Sassou-Nguesso’s elite Cobra militia were also trained by French advisers and, like Colonel Joseph Mobutu, Sassou-Nguesso relied on Israeli security and intelligence for protection.

The AU’s alliance with NATO began long ago, and it saw expanded joint military operations in Sudan, where the AU served as NATO’s “African face” for US/UK and Israeli military interventions in the war for Darfur. For example, forces fighting for the NATO interests, commanded and commandeered under an AU banner, came from Paul Kagame’s Rwanda Defense Forces (formerly called Rwandan Patriotic Front/Army) responsible for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Uganda, Rwanda, DR Congo and, then, Darfur. Rather than condemning western military expansion and different forms of AFRICOM or CIA-backed terrorism, for example, the AU backs the western war of annihilation in Somalia, involving Ugandan troops trained by US Special forces, and the Pentagon’s expansion in Ethiopia, and support for dictator Meles Zenawi there. Ethiopia is the site of an ongoing genocide against the Annuak, Omo and Orono people — and no one has reported the atrocities in the blood drenched oil-rich Ogaden basin there. What say the AU?

In AFRICA: Global NATO Seeks to Recruit 50 New Military Partners, journalist Rick Rozoff reports: “A recent article in Kenya’s Africa Review cited sources in the African Union (AU) disclosing that the 28-member North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO] is preparing to sign a military partnership treaty with the 53-nation AU.” Rozoff explains that this is a likely maneuver against the spread of Chinese interests in the continent.

According to Black Commentator editor Glen Ford, who traveled to Tripoli in 2008, Gaddafi on the Outs, the man who ruled this not-so-little North African dictatorship is about finished.

And Now, The Gaddafi Genocide

Claims made by Libyan ‘opposition’ and reported in the western press that Gaddafi is committing genocide against his own people represent the height of western arrogance and hypocrisy. At this very moment the wars being prosecuted by the USA and its allies, including Japan, Europe, Israel, South Africa, Canada and Australia, far dwarf the ‘atrocities’ committed in Libya. While we have no credible reporting about who is killing, who is opposition, how many dead, etc., out of Libya, we have credible report after credible report establishing that the US and its allies have perpetrated massacres, tortures, and other atrocities, in the millions of people, in Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan – for a short list.

So there are several torsos. That is not quite genocide. Where are the images? If such images of death and destruction do appear it will be in sharp contrast to the complete whiteout on dead bodies in the Pentagon’s other theaters of war, in the eastern Congo or Somalia, or in Afghanistan.

Images of dead bodies can be produced and published but these are easily stripped of context. How do western audiences and propaganda consumers know that these are authentic and not recycled images of protests from Yemen or Bahrain dumped into the western press (with their willing acknowledgment) by Britain’s MI-6, as has been alleged? Al-Jezeera shows its true western colors by not reporting much of anything, and that certainly not critical of western manipulation or involvement.

We saw the tactic of collecting dead bodies and skeletons used in Rwanda by the Pentagon-s agents of teh Rwandan Patriotic Front, and in Darfur and South Sudan, where journalist Nicholas Kristof produced some dead shriveled bodies from some desert somewhere and claimed these were from the New York Times’ Secret Genocide Archives. The atrocities were committed, we are told, by President Omar al-Bashir and the government of Sudan.

However, there is never any mention of US military involvement, mercenaries (Pacific Architects and Engineers, Dyncorp, others) on the ground in Sudan. Dead men tell no tales, or dead women: these dead bodies are as likely dead from US or Israeli backed ‘rebels’ — the Justice and Equality Movement or Sudan Liberation Army backed by the US, NATO, Israel and our puppet dictator in Uganda.

Ugandan dictator Yoweri Museveni greets the entourage of foreign mercenaries Tony Buckingham and others as part of the Heritage Oil & Gas / Sandline International meetings to secure oil concessions in the bloody Semliki basin bordering eastern Congo and northern Uganda: both sites of legitimate genocides.

The double-standards and outright lies can be seen quickly, if one knows there are deeper truths, by examining propaganda produced by the International Crisis Group, or such propaganda tracts as Smith College English teacher Eric Reeves’ A Long Day’s Dying: Critical Moments in the Darfur Genocide — where there is not one reference to Ugandan dictator Yoweri Museveni and his Pentagon assisted backing of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), in South Sudan, and Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), in Darfur, in all of the 386 pages.

Heritage Oil & Gas map of operations in Iraq.


In short, almost everything in the western press on the crises in Libya is slanted by some faction, or interest, or it is tainted by western arrogance, or by anti-imperialist ideology (of ‘solidarity’), even in the case of the alternative media. There is very little accurate reporting of any kind (but some good work linked or cited herein).

This report is just another incomplete picture of an incomplete puzzle — but it seeks to penetrate through and expose the ongoing western media campaign for what it is: a psychological operation against the masses of earth’s people who have not and do not benefit from the nasty policies and actions implemented to serve a very small and elite group of people.

People wishing to support the legitimate grievances and actions for freedom and truth in Libya should challenge the western terrorist apparatus out of Washington, DC, Tel Aviv, Brussels, London and Ottawa.

Prayers for the true innocent civilians in Libya, and across the region

Keith Harmon Snow traveled to Tripoli, Libya in 2009 and stayed about 3 days while attending the

“2009 International Conference of the Green Book supporters” as a member of the US Delegation invited by former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia Mckinney (D-GA).

** Maps are from a petroleum industry map of all Africa produced in 1996: much has changed since then, only for the worse, in terms of oil and gas expansions.

Western mercenaries that have been deeply involved, and remain so, in some of the world’s bloodiest conflicts, in coup d’etats, in massacres and other atrocities, include British mercenary Tony Buckingham — whose mercenary past is legendary — founder of Heritage Oil & Gas, a petroleum company linked by Buckingham to mercenary firms Branch Energy and Sandline International. Buckingham was also a partner in the infamous Executive Outcomes, with former British SAS soldier-of-misfortune Tim Spicer — the recipient of massive Pentagon contracts in Iraq. Heritage director General Sir Michael Wilkes retired from the British Army in 1995 and is a former Middle East adviser to the British government and a member of the Army Board. Wilkes commanded Britain’s Special Air Services (SAS) regiment and was director of Special Forces. Heritage Oil has exploited opportunities in Mali, Uganda, Republic of Congo, Oman and Iraq.

The claim of genocide here, akin to the one-sided charges against former Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana, or against Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir, are one more clear example of the Politics of Genocide delineated in great detail by this writer and others. Reports in western media — provided, again, by the FNSL and other western intelligence, covert operations or psychological operations flak organizations — are filled with harsh language and characterizations not seen in reporting on or by western military campaigns. For example, in many western reports we can find, such as Gruesome Footage Proves Libya Using Heavy Arms makes claims that “newspapers obtained shocking footage of corpses with bodies blasted off and several torsos in Libyan hospitals.”

According to Amnesty International, another selective human rights organ serving western interests, Gaddafi also reportedly armed Sudanese in Darfur — long before the current conflict began in 2003 — to fight against western backed interventions in Chad and Sudan.

Gaddafi reportedly owns land in Zimbabwe and may flee there or to other countries where repressive control is maintained in service to western interests.

Muamar Gaddafi is/was the most recent chairman of the African Union, another elite organization designed to serve western exploitation — or run by a cabal of thieves, at the very least, who all have the goods on each other, and so none will ever challenge the way things are — while the people, the masses of Africa, everywhere suffer.

The African Union (AU) signed on with Washington for the devastating neo-liberal trade and tarifs agreement known euphemistically as the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The AU special report on genocide in Rwanda was a complete whitewash serving US/UK interests and protecting dictators Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni. The AU has also been slammed by African leaders for inaction and silence in various developments on the continent.

Gaddafi has funded Pan-African organizations and individuals, some of whom have very noble missions and serve to challenge the downtrodden, while he has also funded some armed factions involved in unjust wars or destabilizations. Gaddafi has funded Louis Farrakan and the Nation of Islam. He has funded Jean Pierre Bemba and the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), the rebellion also backed by Yoweri Museveni, responsible for a very definitive genocide in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

US troops have already moved ashore in Libya, joining the ‘opposition ‘ and ‘rebel’ forces in ‘rebel’ controlled territories. The US, France and Britain have already set up Bases in Libya. The recent report noted that British and US special forces entered Libyan port cities of Benghazi and Toburk on February 23 and 24.

When Barack Obama was accepted by the US people as the new president, Gaddafi praised Obama and described Obama’s White House housesit as “a victory against racism” and he urged the first Black U.S. president “to lead his country boldly and with integrity.”

“The Black people’s struggle has made tremendous advances against racism in America,” Gaddafi said. “It was God who created color. Today President Obama, son of a Kenyan father, a true son of Africa, has made it in the United States of America.”

At a speech he gave in his private tent in Tripoli in September 2008, Gaddafi rambled and muddled and zipped his all-over-the-place speech up as quick as he began. Is he a desert mystic? Did he write the infamous “Green Book” or was it ghost-written? Is his rambling speech emblematic of his propensity to try to please, to do what he likes, to be careful not to say the wrong thing, while being unable to remain silent when the hypocrisies of the west are (or were) thrown up in his face?

Keith Harmon Snow is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Keith Harmon Snow

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