Interview with Michel Chossudovsky, Director of Centre for Research on Globalization.
While Libyan revolutionaries have not yet won the war in the oil-rich country, Western powers are already discussing the post-Gaddafi period on such issues as how the interim government there needs to honor its oil contracts.
In case of internal fighting in Libyan crisis, will the US and its coalition NATO allies deploy boots on the ground to protect their oil interests?
In a Press TV interview, Michel Chossudovsky, Director of Center for Research on Globalization, shed more light into the development. The following is a rush transcription of the interview:
Press TV: Western powers have said the international community will support the political transition to a free and democratic Libya: In what form will this ‘support’ come? A ‘Western’ democracy imposed on Libyans? What is that going to means for the Libyans? They used the same language when they attacked Afghanistan 10 years ago and Iraq 8 years ago. The US still insists it soldiers should have immunity in these countries. How will it be in Libya?
Chossudovsky: Well I think we have to understand both the nature of this military operation, the covert intelligence behind the rebels, as well as the extensive bombings of civilians infrastructure, residential areas, as well as schools, universities, hospitals which has taken place in the course of the last few months.
And particularly virtually continuous bombings, at night in Tripoli in the course of last few days. We are talking about 20,000 sorties, 8,000 strike sorties, In another words what has happened in the course of these last months, particularly in a last few weeks, is the destruction of an entire country, its infrastructure, institutions, very targeted, involving a lot of civilian casualties.
In other words, the Western ‘pro democracy’ NATO supported rebels, as well as the NATO supported heads of states and heads of governments, they have blood on their hands, they have a lot of blood on their hands, because they have killed a lot of women and children.
Our correspondent has been reporting form the Rixos Hotel, just a few hours ago, he and several other Journalists, were extracted from the hotel, they were liberated from the Hotel, which they were held for several days, and they are safe now.
Chossudovsky. But I can tell you, my understanding is, first of all this is not a revolution. These are NATO trained gunman, and they are Al Qaeda related paramilitaries, mercenaries.
They have very little support within civil society in Libya. Whether we like the Gaddafi regime or not, I do not think that this is the issue. The large majority of the population are against the rebellion, and the only thing that sustains the rebellion, are the NATO bombings. And these are criminal bombings; let’s say what they are. They are in derogation of international law, actions that are criminal in terms of their consequences: the killings of children, the killing of people in their own homes, and this has been well documented.
And what is criminal in this process, is the fact that this war is presented to the media as a humanitarian operation,
Realities are turned upside down. We are told, that war is peace, The lie becomes the truth, essentially that is what has happened.
Press TV: But the way this operation is going on Professor, many Western countries including France, they talked about the success of this operation and its knock off effect in the region. Doesn’t that pose the threat of abuse of what is called RTP, the Right to Protect under humanitarian motives for their own gains, and in terms of RTP of other countries, such as Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia? If that is the way to go about it why don’t they mention those countries? Why mentions only Syria, as French President Sarkozy said in his meeting with NTC?
Chossudovsky: Well you know, I have been studying dictatorship for more than 30 years, I’ve lived in Latin America.
The US has never been concerned with the actions of dictators. In fact it was the US which installed the dictators. As long as the dictators follow their orders, and establish a proxy state and serve US interests, they will continue their support..
That was the situation with the Pinochet regime in Chile, and that was the case in Argentina and Brazil, and in Central America.
Now we must understand the nature of this military operation in Libya.
The rebellion does not exist without NATO. Militarily and politically, it does not exist without NATO.
We must understand that NATO Special Forces are already operating within the rebellion, off course covertly, on the ground. They are experienced armed forces. There are also mercenaries and paramilitaries and gunman.
Were NATO to withdraw, the rebellion would not last very long. I think any military analyst would confirm that.
But now the more fundamental question which is being raised, and it has been raised in the US, and it is already on the drawing board of Pentagon and NATO is… are they going to have boots on the ground?
The boots on the ground are already there, the question is whether it is going to be official? The Apache helicopters are there, The Special Forces are there.
We have massive deployment of Naval Marines in the Mediterranean, particularly the USS George Bush Sr. aircraft carrier, which is sort of high tech, and it just been released, it has positioned itself in the Mediterranean.
And in case of ground war, then we would see allied forces landing on the beaches in Libya.
If you look at the scenarios, I don’t think that the rebellions would last very long on its own.
It does not have military capabilities; it does not even have the institutional capabilities to create a real government.
So what is going to happen is… NATO Special Forces are going to remain, others are going to come in, perhaps not officially, boots on the ground, and eventually they are going to establish, as they did in Iraq in 2003, some kind of proxy Libyan government, with people whom they can trust, they might contemplate, modeling Libya, on the sheikhdoms, as in Saudi Arabia, or in the Persian Gulf states.
In any even, neo-colonial, re-conquest of not only Libya, but the whole continent of Africa is contemplated. This implies the militarization of the African Continent with AFRICOM [United States Africa Command]. This is an integral part of the agenda.
Press TV: Go ahead Professor.
Chossudovsky: Several years ago, I was asked the said… this was in regards to Iraq… they said Professor I was in public lecture, they said Professor we need that oil. Okay that is the Western positions, ‘We need that oil.’
My answer to them is trade, don’t steal it. That is what the Western oil companies are there for, they have already position themselves.
The Libyan Oil Company was a very important state entity, which was there to serve the Libyan people. It was used to finance economic development. It is slated to be taken over and privatised, handed it over to Total, which is the French Oil company and other Western oil companies.
What I said, when I was asked that question: ‘if you need oil, well, you should buy it on the market. And accept the fact that the large share of oil resources [reserves] are in Muslim countries, it is more that 60 percent, and it belong the people of those countries.
They can buy it from them; they do not need to invade countries and then steal the oil from them. And that is what is happening, it happened in Iraq, and now it is happening in Libya.
[Minor editing by Global Research]