Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Libya Update: Western Governments Still Eyeing Libyan 'Prize'

By Richard Galustian - August 08, 2017 at 07:41AM


More than six years after the US-led "liberation" of Libya, that North African country remains an open wound symbolizing the abject failure of US and European interventionist foreign policy.

The obsession of the US neocons, whether Democrat or Republican, for "regime change" and other frivolous foreign military interventions has been consistently and eloquently criticized by the likes of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and not least by former Congressman Ron Paul, to name but a handful.

Since our last Libya report of 27th July over a week ago, the ceasefire "brokered" by French President Macron at his Paris Summit with Libyan National Army head Khalifa Belqasim Haftar and UN-backed prime minister, Fayez al-Sarraj is in reality nowhere to be found.

In fact on July 30th in the eastern Libyan city of al-Bayda, armed protesters forced their way into the Constitutional Drafting Assembly (CDA) headquarters to challenge the draft constitution they feared would both unfairly favor the government in Tripoli and also disqualify Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar from participation in the 2018 general and presidential elections – even though Haftar has not confirmed his intention to enter the political arena.

By the evening of July 31st, multiple local Libyan news sources confirmed revisions to the draft constitution would now not prevent Haftar from seeking Libya’s highest office. However, that draft constitution must first successfully pass through the Libyan House of Representatives (HoR) which is scheduled to vote later this month.

With Macron acting as master of ceremonies at the spectacle in Paris, there was much fanfare and very little result. The UN-selected Prime Minister Serraj and Field Marshall Haftar’s joint-declaration via a press conference called for two main things: One, a "conditional" nationwide cease-fire, with the exception of "counter-terrorism" operations; and, two, early general and presidential elections in 2018.

But the much-vaunted ceasefire never occurred, and neither has there been any ceasefire reports in any newspapers since. Quite the contrary.

There is still lingering one very controversial issue: the release of Gaddafi's son from imprisonment amid calls for his attendance at the ICC in The Hague. On that front, the Alwasat Arabic Newspaper last week reconfirmed that Haftar had stated: "We welcome Saif Gaddafi’s participation in a political process. He is free and in a safe location."

The Paris Summit was a continuation of the past four years of failed UN "talks" and from a Libyan's perspective is described as a Western conspiracy against the people and country of Libya.

Before the talks even began, more and embarrassing evidence of this conspiracy came to light: A joint declaration, a ten point document of what Hafter and Serraj agreed to in Paris, was emailed to French media by mistake the morning before talks even started!

The French Government office that mistakenly leaked it to the media in advance then advised all media that this was only a working document and the agreement would be different. But the final agreement was no different than the leaked draft. So the conclusion of the "negotiation" was written before either Serraj or Haftar set foot in Paris.

It's hard not to conclude that the Paris Summit was a farce, a charade, a lie.

The "agreement" unravelled quickly thereafter. Just days later, the UN-backed Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj was in Italy for an announcement that Italian naval vessels would operate in Libyan waters. Serraj denied that he agreed to such a move, but his denial rang hollow.

Haftar's camp reacted quickly to the news. The Libyan National Army spokesperson on the morning of 2nd August announced that "Serraj's invitation to Italy's Navy into Libya's territorial waters is reckless and endangers Libya's national security."

On that same afternoon Haftar's order to the LNA Navy to destroy Italian warships if they sailed into Libyan waters announced by the Media Office of LNA written on their official Facebook page.

The call of Haftar came after the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) announced in its statement their rejection of the UN appointed PM Fayez Serraj invitation to Italy.

"We reject Serraj's request to Italy which can violate the sovereignty of Libya under the pretext of fighting illegal immigration." The spokesman of the HoR Abdullah Belheeq said.

Despite all of this, on August 2nd the Italian parliament voted to send a naval mission to Libya's waters.

This inspired the first public response from Saif Gaddafi, still in hiding in Libya since his prison release, who told an Italian newspaper that unrealistically Italy "yearned for its fascist past."

So when will countries, specifically including members of the EU, with varying vested interests, stop interfering in the affairs of Libya? And why do the mainstream media and Western governments, including the US Administration, continue to report that the Paris Summit was a successful demonstration that the Libyans are united? Are they trying to fool us...or themselves?

from Ron Paul Institute Peace and Prosperity Articles


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