07.06.2016 Author: Maxim Egorov

The Libyan Entanglement

1014746701Speaking on June 1 in Elkhart, Indiana, US President Barack Obama repeated his earlier admission that he still considered the military intervention in Libya to be one of his greatest errors in foreign affairs. This time however, he cited lack of information whereas previously he saw his mistake not in his part in the overthrow of Gaddafi, but in his failure to reinstate a stable government thereafter.  Sometimes even the president has to make decisions “based solely on assumptions” rather than on accurate information, the US president said.

The American president is very often lost in his evidence. In fact, it was obvious that the reason that Gaddafi was overthrown was not his penchant for dictatorial government methods, as it was stated, neither was it for his suppression of the rebels in Tripolitania (the US has enough allies that do not meet the most basic democratic standards), rather it was the independent course of his foreign policy and his attempts to release the entire African continent from under Washington’s heel, which was most clearly demonstrated in his plan to create the African gold dinar. At the same time, western banks drained their deposits in Libya that they had in their accounts.

It was the sovereignty and independence of decisions of Saddam Hussein’s regime that led the USA to lead a direct attack on it, and now Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is the target of the USA and its allies, in particular Turkey and Qatar as they try to overthrow him in any way they can.

The current administration’s policy regarding Libya serves as proof of Obama’s deceit. Of course, the USA are not directly bombing Libya. Using proxies, they are trying to complete the task that Washington failed to finish in 2011. Namely, to install a pro-Western government in Libya that would provide US corporations access to the oil resources and innumerable riches in Gaddafi’s treasury (about 2 trillion USD ) that are in deposits in different states whose governments are only willing to transfer to a legitimate government.

Now, the intention is not to achieve this goal with the use of weapons, but by skilfully using their system of allied relations with both Western European countries and those surrounding Libya: in particular, Morocco and Saudi Arabia, under the guise of a UN mandate.

This mission has been entrusted to America by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and German diplomat, M.Kobler.

With the help of Morocco, he actually managed to reach the so-called Skhirat agreement on December 17. The document sees the approval of the head of government of national consent by the Western puppet F.Sarraj, and the Cabinet included citizens of Morocco, Turkey, the UK, France and Italy, or Western agents of influence, especially among the Muslim brothers.

Complications arose later. The legitimate Libyan parliament under the leadership of Aguila Saleh presiding in Tobruk, refused to approve the composition of the Libyan government that was agreed in Skhirat. One of the reasons being the fact that this government did not include General Khalifa Haftar, who is one of the main fighters against Islamic extremism and controls the entirety of Tripolitania, including its major oil fields.

This is where the greatest pressure on the parliamentarians began. Without receiving a mandate from then, F. Sarraj and his government moved to Tripoli on 30 March with the help of the West and set up a military base. From then onwards, the process of buying deputies’ support began. What’s more, Sarraj rushed to announce the government composition without the input from Haftar’s supporters.

As of today, 98 parliamentary deputies support Sarraj, and 67 support Haftar. In order to break the resistance of Haftar’s supporters, Sarraj needs to win 134 parliamentary votes, but thus far he hasn’t managed to do so. Therefore, he took desperate measures: outright deception, publicly assuring everyone and everything (with some success) that he has the necessary support and as a result has secured (with the support of Saudi Arabia) the approval of the League of Arab States of his cabinet in late May. Even Egypt, that regards the General as a strong figure and the future leader of Libya and thus lends him its active support, had to yield to the pressure.

In fact, for the government to gain legitimate authority, the parliament should adopt the decision on the transfer of power to it, and then confirm it as a legal executive authority. Thus far, however, Sarraj has not secured enough votes.

Yet, behind the scenes there are continued attempts by the West and its regional allies to force the General over to their side, by (formally) agreeing to his requirement to appoint him chief of the armed forces of Libya. Other options are under consideration, which include transferring of the post of head of state to Aguila Saleh (but without the necessary authority). It is curious that until recently the Western media made his life a misery, presenting him as a “spoiler” of the peace process in Libya and trying to isolate him from the other deputies in the House of Representatives (Parliament) in Tobruk. However, these manoeuvres were clearly aimed at subordinating the General and his supporters who outwardly support a pro-secular and sovereign Libya to the will of the Western powers.

Understanding the powerful military position Haftar holds, they (especially the USA) have been pushing their allies in Riyadh in recent weeks to take up an intermediary position and ensure a compromise between F.Sarraj and A. Saleh, a major ally of the General. On 25-27 May, the Head of Government and the Head of Parliament were in Jeddah where they took part in talks with the Saudi Arabian leadership.

Now, even the French, who had previously been among those who declared Haftar had been spoiling the political regulation process, are making advances to him.

In these circumstances, what should Russia do as an official supporter of the Skhirat agreements? – Apparently, help Haftar join the government on favourable terms seeing as his military successes allow it. Sarraj’s supporters have nowhere particular to go. Only Haftar can really compete with the IS epidemic that is spreading like cancer from Sirte, where it was gained a foothold thanks to the support of Erdogan and Qatar. On May 5, jihadis took Abu Grein, 130 km to the West of Sirte.

It is important to understand that General Haftar and his supporters’ victory in the great political game will be a victory for Russia because it is this secular patriotic figure that can be the main obstacle in the way of not only the IS obscurants, but also the White House plans to use Libya’s resources to the benefit of Washington, thus using Libyan oil to help release Russia from the grips of the European hydrocarbon market.

Maxim Egorov, a political commentator on the Middle East and contributes regularly for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.


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