Libyan rebels are “democratic’ - Barack Obama

On Tuesday Barack Obama’s administration decided to allocate $25 million for the rebels fighting against Muammar Gaddafi regime in Libya. It was specifically noted that the aid is not meant for military purposes and primarily presupposes supplying the rebels with all kinds of civilian vehicles, including passenger cars, petrol tankers, ambulance cars, etc.

Also, the allocated sum includes expenditures on binoculars, medical equipment, camouflage and food for the rebels.

Even putting aside the question why things like camouflage, binoculars and petrol tankers are NOT regarded as serving military purposes, the very fact of supplying military aid to the rebels seems to speak for itself. After several European countries recognized the Transitional Council as the only legitimate authority in Libya, the US look like it is following suit.

More so, recently it became known that the US administration actually gave its nod to American businesses to do business with the rebels rather than the Gaddafi regime. This includes, among other things, buying crude oil from the rebels-controlled ports.

Actually, economically speaking, both facts are of minor importance. 25 million dollars is just a drop in the bucket of overall US expenditures on “imposing democracy” wherever possible – be it by military means or subversive activity. Libyan oil is important for Southern Europe (countries like France and Italy, which quite naturally stepped in the vanguard of the whole operation). But for the US, it is of much lesser importance compared with oil from the Persian Gulf or from Venezuela.

But both decisions made by the administration bear rather symbolic significance. And the events show that the West (now including the US) is more and more determined to go till the final goal. And the goal has been outlined clearly – that is, the elimination of the Gaddafi regime.

Some media have even reported that the West is revealing forward its aims even more clearly – that is, eliminating Gaddafi himself. As the British Secretary for the Defence has pointed out, Gaddafi is the main obstacle on the way to settling the Libyan problems, and therefore he becomes a legitimate target for NATO airstrikes.

This forced Russian Premier Vladimir Putin who was on a visit in Copenhagen to use rather a harsh tone in answering such claims. Mr. Putin pointed out that eliminating anyone without a proper trial is contrary to basic principles of today’s civilized world. “Who gave them the right to execute a person whoever he may be?” asked the Russian Premier. Of course, the question remained unanswered.

But what seems to be even more striking in the whole story, is the way how easily the West has recognized the rebels as belonging to their (that is, democratic) camp. In fact, the rebels have not yet come out with any positive program apart from toppling Gaddafi. Who, what political forces and groups will prevail after the primary aim is achieved, today there is no answer.

It should be remembered that back in the 1980s when the Afghan mujahedeen were fighting against the Soviets, it was the West, and most of all CIA with the assistance of Pakistani intelligence, who actually created Al Qaeda as one of the forces fighting the Soviet troops. What it led to is too well known.

It remains a big question whether Barack Obama’s administration understands the fact that assisting the rebels on a single proposition that they are fighting against your obvious enemy is not enough. Who and what will become their new target after they attain power using this aid, no one can say. And won’t it be the forces that now have made their point to eliminate Gaddafi and his regime with the help of people whose real intentions remain unclear?

[Source: The Voice of Russia, Moscow, 27Apr11]

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Libya War
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