Is NATO Getting Wiser?


By Levon Urumyan

Today there is hardly any media outlet that does not highlight news on the events in Libya. Indeed, given the scale of the Libyan revolt, accompanied by the astonishing number of deaths on both sides of the barricade, as well as similar bloodshed in neighboring Arab states, and the span of the international involvement, the temptation to follow and examine the developments in the region is quite high. Moreover, the issue gained such a high degree of attention worldwide that it merely overshadowed the Fukushima nuclear reactor tragedy in Japan. The story became even more interesting when the UN Security Council (UNSC) came up with its Resolutions 1970 and 1973, which almost immediately were succeeded by NATO involvement. Regarding the latter development, the attitude around the world is quite mixed: from a) highly cheerful and optimistic about Libyan dictator Qaddafi’s ruthless reign coming to the long-awaited end to b) highly skeptical and/or hostile, given the disastrous results of the recent US/NATO led interventions such as the ones in Yugoslavia (1999), Afghanistan (2002), and Iraq (2003).

Now, both narratives seem quite logical and, thus, have the absolute right to exist. The first narrative is not new: not only Qaddafi’s Libya but many states of the North African and Middle Eastern region constitute regimes ruled by autocrats at least and tyrants at most. There is nothing new about it, and for the region it is a mere regularity. Not surprisingly, many say that tyranny and oppression will finally be brought to an end.

However, in contrast, there are many who oppose the above mentioned point of view. The logic of the opposing viewpoint is based on the fact that when the US-led coalition invaded Iraq – a sovereign nation then – allegedly, for humanitarian reasons, i.e. for the sake of freeing the Iraqi people from the regime of murderous dictator Saddam Hussein and seizing Iraqi mysterious weapons of mass destruction, it made things only worse: terrorism, tribal and sectarian/religious violence, chaos, and so forth, are factors that did not exist during Saddam. Not to mention that the so-called weapons of mass destruction later appeared to be a thoroughly orchestrated farce. In Afghanistan, despite the initial success of the coalition forces and their overwhelming technical superiority, nowadays the standing of Taliban and Al-Qaeda is still very high. As a result, both Iraq and Afghanistan turned to be “swamps” for US/NATO forces that got stuck there for good. As for Kosovo, as a result of NATO intervention, at best, if the atrocities of the Serb forces against the Albanians came to an end, the atrocities of Albanians against the Serb minority did not. As for Libya, it “promises” to become the third “swamp,” at least after Iraq and Afghanistan. For this very reason it is important to deeply examine the nature of this intervention into Libya.

In order to present the picture in its “true colors” it is essential to carry out a short review of US/NATO-led policies of the last 20 years of the post-bi-polar era, and to present the objectives and accomplishments they had throughout the period. The reason for this is quite simple: the “vicious” adversary – the Soviet Union – does not exist, and the confrontation of the two blocs that divided the world into two hostile camps for merely half a century is a history for already two decades. What were the policies of US/NATO aimed at, given that the alliance was left alone without an equal competitor, and, as a result, with an overwhelming and unchallenged superiority?

Whether fortunately or not, states are not ruled by angels or robots that strictly act within the bounds of programs they have but by humans. It is absolutely in accordance with the human nature to have interests, ambitions and appetite, which may grow dramatically over time, and the end to this may not be seen if there is no one to impose a price. To put it differently, the sense of superiority breeds the sense of invincibility, which, over time unavoidably breeds impunity. In addition, often the weaker states, willingly or unwillingly, carry out the policy of appeasement (say, for the sake of solving the issues peacefully) that in turn, emboldens the unrestrained hegemon to carry out an even more aggressive “winner-takes-it-all” like behavior.

As a result of this, as the post-bi-polar world history clearly reveled, despite the collapse of the Soviet Union and the withdrawal of the former Red army from the former Warsaw Pact and some former Soviet countries, the decorative declarations about friendship and partnership, there has been a continuous implementation of the policy of strategic encirclement of the Russian Federation by the US/NATO. This policy was carried out in the form of NATO expansion towards Russia’s borders, “colored revolutions” – essentially regime changes backed (at least) or orchestrated (at most) by the U.S. – that constituted attempts to further expand US/NATO supremacy even closer to Russia, and a strive to deploy missile/radar systems in Eastern Europe that (according to many independent American scientists, especially the ones from the internationally recognized Massachusetts Institute of Technologies) potentially diminish Russian nuclear deterrent that will give the US/NATO an overwhelming advantage over Russia in the form of first strike and guaranteed diminution of retaliation capability (Lewis and Postal, 2007).

This was accompanied by the 2008 Caucasian war, essentially a proxy war between Washington and Moscow, where the former attempted to further expand its influence to the latter’s borders, and the latter attempted to prevent this from happening. In this clash the U.S. launched entire information warfare against Russia in accordance with the best traditions of Cold War, where the real picture was perverted for the sake of presenting the adversary in “black colors.”

As a matter of fact, in the post-Communist era information warfare was constantly launched by West against Russia: when the suicide Al-Qaeda-led bombers kill innocent civilians in London, Yew York, or other parts of the Western world, they are always defined as terrorists; but when similar Al-Qaeda-backed terrorists from North Caucasus do exactly the same in the cities of Russia, the U.S. and the West defines them as “freedom fighters driven to the point of desperation” or “rebels” (at worst), regardless how many civilians they kill. Moreover, a policy of similar double standards does not stop there: when the U.S. expands NATO to Russia’s borders and plans to erect missile/radar systems in Eastern Europe with all the consequences, it is defined as merely the greatest manifestation of democracy and security promotion, but when Russia protests and maintains countermeasures against such policy, it is being accused in “imperialism,” and “Cold War thinking.”

Furthermore, there has been a steady denial of any Russian interests beyond Russian territorial integrity (be that Ukraine, Caucasus, or Eastern Europe). However, the U.S. continues to assert that it has privileged interests alongside Russia’s periphery, especially in Ukraine, Central Asia and Caucasus (Cohen, 2009). For the U.S. to deny Russia – the second mightiest power in the world – any spheres of influence and declare that the U.S. should have privileged national interests right by Russia’s side is an openly provocative and antagonizing anti-Russian policy. Despite the shortcomings of its economy, Russia managed to find leverages in its arsenal: gas and oil became effective tools of foreign policy. The Western condemnation of Russia, using its vast natural resources is no more than self-serving demagogy, in essence a “piece” ripped off from a much larger picture that is deliberately ignored. It is worth to recall that Russia’s exploitation of gas and oil as leverages in foreign politics is barely ten to twelve years old.

Consequently, a legitimate and logical question arises: why did not Russia use gas and oil as leverages before? Or, maybe it was somewhere in very late 1990s that the Russians one day woke up in the morning and saw gas and oil falling down on their heads from heaven? Obviously, Russia’s energy policy came as an asymmetrical response to the “original sin” (Shevtsova, 2008) of the US/NATO-Russia relations – the NATO expansion – that began as early as in 1993. Russia began to use its energy resources after the first waves of NATO expansion, either against the newly accepted members of the alliance, or those craving for membership.

Policies and tactics applied in Libya are considerably similar to the ones used against post-Communist Russia. Libya has undoubtedly always occupied a noteworthy place in the world of politics, especially in the Middle Eastern and North African regions. Being a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), it possesses the largest proven oil reserves in Africa. Moreover, according to the 2008 BP Statistical Energy Survey, by the end of the year 2007 Libya possessed 3.34% of the world oil reserves (http://www.mbendi.com). What is more, Libya is among the few biggest Europe’s oil supplying countries in North Africa: Italy is the biggest Libyan oil importer in Europe, getting 35% of Libyan total oil exports, and is succeeded by Germany and France with their 14% and 9% of the share correspondingly (Estandards Forum).

Since Colonel Muammar Al-Qaddafi rose to power as a result of a military coup in 1969, Libya became a full-fledged autocracy with all the following consequences. Naturally, such phenomena as freedom of speech, democratic elections, independent judicial system, existence of political parties, and any dissent from the official line of development could not exist as such. Not surprisingly, the number of people unhappy about such state of the affairs grew over time. Apparently, on February 15th, 2011 the patience of people reached its limits after decades of tolerance, and spilled into a large scale protest and demonstrations across the country after in the city of Benghazi the police brutally crushed a peaceful demonstration where tens of people reportedly protested against the arrest of a known Libyan human rights activist Fathi Terbil. As a result, demonstrations and acts of disobedience took a massive scale across the country.

Naturally, Qaddafi, being the tyrant he has always been, attempted to suppress the demonstrators in a violent form, apparently, being confident all the problems could as always be solved through brutal force.

However, astonishingly, Qaddafi’s actions appeared to have a rather opposite effect: the number of protestors increased dramatically, and they became more and more united and confident in their actions. Consequently, the uprising got spread from Benghazi to other cities, such as Darnah, Mistrah, Bani Walid and the others. When the violence against the civilians in Libya began to take a massive scale and the confrontation between the pro-Qaddafi and anti-Qaddafi forces reached the degree of a civil war, the UN Security Council on February 11th came up with its Resolution 1970, which, to sum up, in essence heavily condemned the use of violence by the Libyan authorities against civilians, condemned enormously high degree of systematic violation of human rights by the Libyan authorities, and decided to refer the case to the International Criminal Court. Also, the Resolution imposed an arms embargo on the country, a travel ban, freeze of assets of the Qaddafi clan, and certain Libyan government officials. Moreover, brutal actions against civilians and severe violations of basic human rights by the Qaddafi regime were condemned by the Arab League, the African Union, and the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (http://www.un.org).

Nevertheless, this had little effect on the situation, if any, and the situation worsened over time. As a result, it did not take very long until on March 17, 2011 the UNSC came up with its new Resolution 1973 that in addition to the sanctions provided by Resolution 1970 imposed new harsher ones. The new Resolution essentially authorizes Member States to carry out all necessary measures to protect the Libyan civilian population, even under threat of attack against the Libyan state, including the city of Benghazi, with certainly one important reservation: the actions carried out by the Member States must exclude “a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory.” Resolution 1973 also establishes a no-fly zone over the entire airspace of the Libyan state, i.e. all Libyan aircraft, especially the military ones, are banned from even taking off. The only exception might constitute those “flights whose sole purpose is humanitarian, such as delivering or facilitating the delivery of assistance, including medical supplies, food…” etc. In addition, the above mentioned Resolution authorizes the Member States, after notifying the UN Secretary General and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, if necessary, to enforce the compliance with the ban on flights over the Libyan airspace (http://www.un.org).

Following Resolution 1973, on March 19, a coalition comprising five Western states of the U.S.A., France, U.K., Canada and Italy began to carry out bombardments of Qaddafi’s forces, including air defense systems and other military installations (Chuiko, Arpil 29, 2011). Subsequent to this development, on March 28, NATO announced that it takes the control over the military operation in Libya into its hands. To support this development, the US President Obama announced that "because of this transition to a broader, NATO-based coalition, the risk and cost of this operation - to our military and to American taxpayers - will be reduced significantly" (Burns, April 14, 2011). However, it is worth reminding that in either case NATO has always been a US dominated alliance, and historically in all military operations it was the US that one way or another bared the main bulk of the fight. Hence, the declarations about NATO taking full responsibility of the operation from the US and a group of states have a rather cosmetic if not a fictitious essence.

As the time passed, it became evident that the actions of this Western coalition overstepped way beyond the bounds of UNSC Resolutions. In essence, the world has been witnessing an American-led “crusade” the actions of which have nothing to do with, say, protecting civilians or maintaining a no-fly zone, established by the Resolutions, but, actually an open military support to one of conflicting sides – the rebels – and establishing a “no-drive zone” instead of no-fly zone, since the American-led coalition forces began to bomb just about any vehicle in sight (Falk, April 7, 2011). But the severe violation of the Resolutions did not stop there. The US, for the sake of “justification” of its actions in Libya, went further by perverting the meaning of the arms embargo established by the Resolution 1970: on March 10, 2011, when asked whether or not the Resolution restricts the US to supply arms to the Libyan rebels, Jay Carney – the White House Press Secretary – very directly said that the Resolution assumes certain “flexibility” regarding the arms embargo, and presupposes the possibility of arms supplies to the Libyan rebels (www.rosbalt.ru).

Worse, as the onslaught evolved, it became obvious that the intervention turned into a hunt for Qaddafi’s “head” (or his family members’, relatives’, or close associates’): on April 30th, NATO carried out an air strike on Colonel Qaddafi’s residential villa in Tripoli, as a result of which Colonel’s youngest son - Sayf al-Arab Qaddafi – and three grandchildren were killed, while the Colonel remained unharmed. As Libyan Government Spokesman Moussa Ibrahim defined during the press conference held the same day, such a brutal act can neither have neither legal, nor moral justification whatsoever (BBC Mobile, April 30, 2011).

Moreover, the information warfare has been always one of the main tools in the US/NATO foreign policy arsenal: be that Vietnam, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Russia, Caucasus, Middle East, etc. It was widely propagated by many Western media that the Qaddafi regime is severely hated by the entire population of Libya that is merely dying to overthrow the Qaddafi’s autocratic leadership. Not to mention that the conflict often is being presented as genocide of the Libyan people by the Qaddafi regime, and that the only possible alternative to that is the Western intervention (Falk, April 7, 2011). In this respect, it is worthwhile to recall that, as it appears, Qaddafi supporters among the Libyan people are at least just as many as those who oppose him. Otherwise, the regime would have collapsed from within a long time ago with the first waves of demonstrations and uprising. All this badly reminds the 2003 Iraq war when it was assumed that the Iraqi people tired of Saddam’s tyranny would greet the Western occupation forces as long awaited liberators. The belief that this “greeting” would have a long lasting effect was based on false assumptions and a merely complete lack of understanding of the internal culture, mentality, as well as the religious/sectarian, political and many other peculiarities. As a result of such a blunder of vision, Iraq became the disaster it is now. Although, so far no one officially talks about sending troops to Libya, this perspective, if materialized, promises to be even more disastrous than the Iraqi and Afghan “quagmires.”

There are very few “successful” interventions in the post-World War Two history: in Grenada and Panama. However, at the same time, it is worth to recall that in both of these countries there was a lack of organized resistance, while in Libya, the pro-Qaddafi forces apart from resisting the intervention forces and the rebels, still constitute a formidable force (Falk, April 7, 2011).

As for US/NATO-led “crusade” against human rights violations, tyranny, authoritarianism, it deserves an even closer look and a thorough historical review. Throughout the entire post-bi-polar era, despite so passionately “promoting democracy” in Iraq, Afghanistan, Eastern Europe, Caucasus, etc. the US has a long-standing record of actively installing and/or supporting a vast array of authoritarian and murderous regimes, and dictatorships stretching from Latin America and Middle East (including the absolute monarchies of Arab world in the Middle East and North Africa) to South-East Asia (Chaulia, 2006).

Indeed, the brightest examples of such “selective democracy” were Latin American dictators like Anastasio Samoza (Nicaragua), Fulgencio Batista (Cuba) and Augusto Pinochet (Chile). To that effect, a question arises: how could the U.S. – the beacon of democracy and freedom – carry out “democracy promotion” so “far away,” say, in Eastern Europe or Iraq but ignore vicious despots by its own side? The answer is quite simple: these despots were tolerated and even actively supported because their regimes were the agents of American influence in Latin America, so much so that, they could ensure American interests – mainly that Communism does not spread into the continent – no mater what the costs were (having Communist Cuba nearby was already considered enough). Among these “gentlemen” Augusto Pinochet, essentially, a bloody butcher and a mass murderer of his own people, occupies a special place: he headed a military coup backed by the US CIA (The Hutchinson Paperback Encyclopedia) that toppled President Salvador Allende – popular and the first democratically elected Marxist President in Latin America – who, despite being friendly to Moscow, was not its puppet. Of course, then, it was portrayed as a glorious victory over “vicious” Communism, despite the bloodbath organized by Pinochet. As a result, such American-made geo-political “arrangements” became to be known as a hypocritical “game” called “good dictator vs. bad dictator.”

Moreover, this double standard stance is clearly among the latest developments of the North African and Middle Eastern regions: in Egypt and Yemen the autocratic, or, even, repressive rules of Presidents Mubarak and Ali Abdallah Salekh respectively were quite supported by Washington, and only when those leaders outlived their “usefulness,” and, hence, lost their support from Washington, they were left with no choice but to leave; in Bahrain the US-backed Al Khalifa royal family used brutal force against unarmed demonstrators, as well as initiated an “invitation” of military forces from another absolute monarchy – Saudi Arabia – to “help restore order” against increasing number of demonstrating citizens rightly demanding democracy and their human rights (Falk, April 7, 2011).

In this regard, it is worth to mention that during the above mentioned events in Middle East and North Africa, some began to express concerns about a possibility of the occurrence of such scenarios in the region of South Caucasus. As it was clearly revealed above, Libyan style scenarios are possible only in countries ruled by “bad dictators,” which has not been “determined” in the South Caucasian region. As for the Egyptian and/or Yemeni scenario, it is also highly unlikely because the internal political situation is far more stable both in Armenia and Azerbaijan. In the former, despite the largely unpopular leadership, the opposition also lacks the necessary level popularity. The first president of the republic – Levon Ter-Petrosyan – despite portraying himself as the unified opposition leader and merely the only “hope of people” for the “decent future,” definitely lacks the necessary degree of credibility and public support: most people recall well that the large scale corruption and impoverishment were “bred” by his presidency, and that his successors have just evolved the same trend. As for the neighboring Azerbaijan, its sultanate style ruling regime, where the son inherited the rule from his own father, still has not been “defined” as a “bad” one. Apparently, Azerbaijan, by carrying out a foreign policy of mostly pro-Western orientation is still considered to be useful for the Western interests, especially when the Nabucco, aimed at decreasing Western dependence from Russian gas, is considered. Not to mention, that as the August 2008 events in South Ossetia determined, Russia remains the ultimate arbiter in the region with all the following consequences.

As for the conflict in Libya, apparently it is not evolving in accordance with the scenario the West had anticipated: a quick victory and a Western “victory march” throughout Libya appeared to be a delusion. American President Obama’s initial stance towards Libya, according to which the latter represented “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security of the U.S.” appeared to be a blunder of vision, and thus later on Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had to admit that Libya did not constitute any vital interest (Bandow, April 5, 2011). Not surprisingly, that soon after the involvement of the US into the conflict, it became clear that the number of the supporters of this policy among the American public began to wane dramatically. As anticipated, President Obama’s national security poll ratings began to fall: apparently the understanding that Libya can “turn into” the second Iraq sobered up a lot of people (Bandow, April 5, 2011), not to mention that after the corresponding calculations it became known that the war had cost the American taxpayers $550 million (Chuiko, April 29, 2011). Moreover, as a result of that, shortly after President Obama declared that the command of the operation is being passed to NATO, the US began a systematic and gradual reduction of the scale of its involvement in the conflict: the main bulk of the operations began to lay on the European “shoulders.” Such an arrangement immediately began to reveal the shortcomings of the NATO alliance: be that Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan or something else, the main force used by the alliance has been mainly comprised of the American superpower might, and it appears that the rest of the alliance members got used to that arrangement. Although major European countries, such as UK and France, constitute nuclear powers, their real might, as it became evident, is quite limited, even compared to such a presumably weak state as Libya.

Consequently, this situation produced several considerable setbacks, such as a lack of accurate intelligence information about the identity and location of the conflicting forces on the ground. As a result, there were a number of cases when the NATO aircraft destroyed rebel tanks. As appeared later, the NATO command was unaware that there were tanks in the rebels’ disposition (The Independent, April 9, 2011). Furthermore, as it appeared that Qaddafi skillfully managed to exploit all these drawbacks in his own favor: his forces managed to adapt to the new realities of the battlefield by discarding the Libyan traditional military uniforms, by increasingly using pick-up style trucks that bare striking resemblance with those of the rebels, which makes the ground target identification process for the NATO pilots even more difficult. As the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Admiral Mike Mullen described, Qaddafi’s forces obtained combat experience and, as a result, mobility, command and control, communications, i.e., qualities that are largely absent within the rebel forces (Bandow, April 5, 2011). Thus, it is becoming increasingly evident that the conflict has reached its stagnation point, where it cannot be solved by solely military means but unavoidably should involve the political ones.

Nevertheless, although it is known that the conflict in Libya began when the police forces brutally crushed the peaceful demonstrations, which in turn turned into a wide scale violence and civil war, there are still some factors here that leave food for thought. For instance, as mentioned above, Qaddafi’s tyranny was not new, nor was the hypocritical game “good dictator vs. bad dictator” with all the consequences. What astonishes is that how could the crush of demonstrators turn into such a wide scale bloodbath? For instance, in Egypt and Yemen, countries ruled by “good dictators,” the level of impoverishment was horrible. This, coupled with the dictatorship of the ruling elites, could have logically spilled into a revolt of national scale: the people had more than enough reasons to rebel. Rather conversely, in Libya the population was socially and economically a lot better off than in many countries of Middle Eastern and North African region. For instance, in Libya the Purchasing Power Parity GDP per capita in 2010 was $14 878 (while, in Yemen - $2600, Tunisia - $9500, Algeria - $7400, Egypt - $6200, and Turkey – $13 392), Human Development Index – 0.755 (while, in Yemen – 0.439, Tunisia – 0.683, Algeria – 0.677, Egypt – 0.620, and Turkey – 0.679), Literacy Rate in 2009 – 86.8 (while, in Yemen – 59, Tunisia – 77.7, Algeria – 75.4, Egypt – 66.4, and Turkey – 88.7), Population below natural poverty line, % – 7.4 (while, in Yemen – 45, Tunisia – 3.8, Algeria – 23, Egypt – 20, and Turkey – 17) (Maleki, February 9, 2011). In addition, according to the UN Human Development Report, Libya is the African country with the highest level of welfare (Hasan, February 22, 2011).

Thus, the factors mentioned above, accompanied by mass demonstrations spilling into a civil war with the addition of the Western “crusade” clearly demonstrating an open intervention into Libyan internal affairs with patterns of regime change attempts and hunt for Qaddafi’s “head” raise a lot of suspicion, all of which unwillingly “breeds” several possible narratives of the story “behind the curtain” that may be even labeled as conspiracy theories. Regardless of how we treat the latter, it is still important to pay attention to some, at least to those, listed below, that seem to be most reasonable and realistic.

The French Trace

Throughout its entire post-Second World War history France always occupied a special and privileged place in Europe and the world of politics. This has been the case not only because, apart from the UK, it has been the only nuclear power in the EC/EU, but because its foreign policy mainly was quite balanced and distinctive. So much so that, unlike some other European nations, say, the UK, France was never particularly eager to participate in any invasion, occupation or annexation initiated by the US. Moreover, France for instance heavily criticized the American-led invasion into and occupation of Iraq. However, Libya is apparently a very different story. Surprisingly, France rushed into the fight merely from the very early stages of the revolt. When the revolt began, France was arguably among the very first nations to recognize the rebels as the only legitimate authority in Libya. Now, what could be the reasons behind such French “enthusiasm?”

Well, it appears that France had petty serious reasons to be mad at Qaddafi. To begin with, France had truly napoleonic plans about Libya: Libyan oil and profitable weapons contracts seemed to be within the “reach of a hand” and looked like a long awaited “golden mine.” These ambitious plans however were not destined to materialize, as Qaddafi not only fined the French Total oil company (apparently very closely related to French President Sarkozy) a half billion US dollars (Wiki Cable), as a result of which the oil company lost an entire array of hydrocarbon production Libyan tenders (Bilan, April 2, 2011). Moreover, it appeared that Qaddafi also annulled a 4.5 billion euro weapons deal, including the delivery of French Rafale fighters, when he chose to deal with the Russian weapon companies. In addition, Qaddafi created obstacles for the shipment of uranium for French nuclear power plants, and dissented regarding the opinion on the Mediterranean Union. (Bilan, April 2, 2011).

What is worse, apart from fining the oil company, Qaddafi had forced Total to take a smaller share of the proceeds from their Libyan oil leases. In this regard, the Libyan National Oil Company (NOC) declared that “the renegotiation of Total´s contract is of a piece with the NOC´s effort to renegotiate existing contracts to increase the Libya´s share of crude oil production.”(Wiki Cable). Apparently, this came as a shock and “filled the bowl of patience,” and Sarkozy decided not to tolerate such “boldness.” As a result, France became one of the main initiators of military intervention against Qaddafi’s Libya.

All this remarkably reminds the tragic story of Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, – the first Iranian democratically elected President – who attempted to nationalize the Iranian oil reserves, owned by overwhelmingly British-dominated Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) that allowed the Brits to effectively drain off all oil profits out of Iran. As a result of his “unseen boldness,” Mossadegh was toppled through a violent coup orchestrated by the CIA, which installed the Iranian Shah – a person that played by the “script” that Washington gave him – that satisfied both the Americans and Brits (Kinzer, 2003).

The American-led Trace

This narrative is not as “stylish” as the previous one. Rather the opposite, this picture largely resembles that of Iraq, where, apart from illegal aggression and occupation, there was robbing and looting of the country’s natural resources. However, with the largest oil reserves in Africa, Libya looks a lot more appetizing. Of course, it still remains to be seen whether the West will succeed in toppling or killing Qaddafi and his clan or he will remain in power. It is nonetheless more than clear that if the West succeeds in replacing Qaddafi with someone willing to play by Western “script,” Libya promises to be an entire “oil Klondike,” and this time exclusively for “chosen ones.” However, there are considerable differences as well: China in the form of China's National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) has been expanding its influence in Africa. CNPC owns 11% of Libyan oil exports, hence constitutes a formidable competitor to the Western ambitions. Apart from gaining control over the entire Libyan oil, apparently the long term goal here is to kick the Chinese not only out of Libya but out of entire Africa (Chossudovsky, March 9, 2011). After all, maybe it is just the beginning, and far from being the end goal. What if China, kicked out of Africa will have no other choice but to turn towards or even against Russia for oil. The possibility of such a development has been voiced and cautioned by many political scientists. After all, that would be the greatest geo-political victory, and hence a dream in modern history: to play China and Russia against one another, so they destroy each other, and thus get rid of both, i.e. kill two rabbits with one bullet.

Nevertheless, it is worth to stress that even if the West eliminates the Qaddafi clan (physically and/or politically), it may not automatically turn into victory. As pointed out earlier, Libya has sufficient chances of tuning into the disaster that Iraq is, if not more disastrous. The reason behind this is that no one can guarantee that not unlike Iraq, the real power will not be taken by a radical Al-Qaeda led group(s), tearing the country apart, while the Western-installed puppet will continue to play the fictitious role of a national leader, instantly hiding behind his/her master’s back in a case of the slightest trouble.


In conclusion, it must be noticed that after all these developments in Middle East and North Africa, the motivations and ambitions of Iran and North Korea to obtain weapons of mass destructions by all costs will only increase: the Western coalition is bombing a country that once gave away its own nuclear program. After all, who knows what unpredictable side effects the intervention into Libya may produce? Maybe it will serve as a good lesson for all tyrants and autocrats worldwide: to become “good dictators” as soon as possible and to wipe out any opposition or protest completely before it is exploited by external forces, especially when intervening, occupying, colonizing, robbing, looting and raping is exclusively “legitimized” as a “moral duty,” carried out in the name of “democracy,” “freedom,” or “human rights,” because the “good guys” are always right.



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Call for Expert on Policy Communication and Instruments

This announcement is available only in Armenian. 


“Green light” for environmentally neutral business development from Lisbon to Vladivostok

On March 3, 2021, the first meeting of the GreenDeal Task Force created under the Initiative Lisbon-Vladivostok was held. In the videoconference format, more than twenty authoritative experts in the field of ecology and business from Austria, Armenia, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Russia, France, as well as the representatives of the largest business industry associations supporting the Initiative Lisbon-Vladivostok, discussed common approaches to harmonizing the activities implemented by the EU and the EAEU on the path to sustainable development, including a radical reduction in greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere by 2050.

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