Behind the war in Libya

Khalifa Hifter, the commander of the Libyan rebel forces, spent the last 20 years in Vienna, Va.  His friends didn’t know what he did for a living, but he was within commuting distance of Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Va.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Democrat from Ohio, connected the dots.

Pepe Escobar in the Asia Times of Hong Kong had more information on the background of the Libyan rebels.

All the worthy democratic aspirations of the Libyan youth movement notwithstanding, the most organized opposition group happens to be the National Front for the Salvation of Libya – financed for years by the House of Saud, the CIA and French intelligence. The rebel “Interim Transitional National Council” is little else than the good ol’ National Front, plus a few military defectors. This is the elite of the “innocent civilians” the “coalition” is “protecting”.

Right on cue, the “Interim Transitional National Council” has got a new finance minister, US-educated economist Ali Tarhouni.  He disclosed that a bunch of Western countries gave them credit backed by Libya’s sovereign fund, and the British allowed them to access $1.1 billion of Gaddafi’s funds. This means the Anglo-French-American consortium – and now NATO – will only pay for the bombs. As war scams go this one is priceless; the West uses Libya’s own cash to finance a bunch of opportunist Libyan rebels to fight the Libyan government.

He went on to report on an aspect of the situation that was entirely new to me – that Libya’s water resources may be more valuable than its oil.

Few in the West may know that Libya – along with Egypt – sits over the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer; that is, an ocean of extremely valuable fresh water. So yes, this “now you see it, now you don’t” war is a crucial water war. Control of the aquifer is priceless – as in “rescuing” valuable natural resources from the “savages”.

This Water Pipelineistan – buried underground deep in the desert along 4,000 km – is the Great Man-Made River Project (GMMRP), which Gaddafi built for $25 billion without borrowing a single cent from the IMF or the World Bank (what a bad example for the developing world). The GMMRP supplies Tripoli, Benghazi and the whole Libyan coastline. The amount of water is estimated by scientists to be the equivalent to 200 years of water flowing down the Nile.

Compare this to the so-called three sisters – Veolia (formerly Vivendi), Suez Ondeo (formerly Generale des Eaux) and Saur – the French companies that control over 40% of the global water market.  All eyes must imperatively focus on whether these pipelines are bombed.  An extremely possible scenario is that if they are, juicy “reconstruction” contracts will benefit France.  That will be the final step to privatize all this – for the moment free – water.  From shock doctrine to water doctrine.

via Asia Times Online.

Click on There’s no business like war business for the full article.  It touches on many important points besides those I’ve quoted here.

Click on The Great Arab Revolt for links to all the articles Pepe Escobar has written about unrest in the Arab world since January.

Click on New Libyan rebel leader spend much of past 20 years in suburban Virginia for a profile of Khalif Hifter in McClatchy Newspapers.  This is the source for my statement that his friends didn’t know what he did for a living.

A couple of days ago, I put up a post quoting Juan Cole and Aaron Bady on the possibility that intervention in Libya may be a lesser evil that allowing Colonel Quaddafi to stay in power.  The more I learn about the background of the intervention, the less likely that possibility seems.

Bertrand Russell wrote something in 1956 that applies to the present situation.

The fundamental fallacy which is committed by almost everyone is this: “A and B hate each other, therefore one is good and the other is bad.”

[Added 4/12/11]

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