Sunday, March 06, 2011

Inept Brit Spooks Nabbed, Booted Out Of Libya

Is there anything anymore that doesn't involve black ops?

SAS-backed Libyan diplomatic mission ends in humiliation

"A British diplomatic effort to reach out to Libyan rebels has ended in humiliation as a team of British special forces and intelligence agents left Benghazi after being briefly detained.

The six SAS troops and two MI6 officers were seized by Libyan rebels in the eastern part of the country after arriving by helicopter four days ago. They left on HMS Cumberland, the frigate that had docked in Benghazi to evacuate British and other EU nationals as Libya lurched deeper into conflict. The diplomatic team's departure marked a perfunctory end to a bizarre and botched venture.

"I can confirm that a small British diplomatic team has been in Benghazi," said William Hague, the foreign secretary. "The team went to Libya to initiate contacts with the opposition. They experienced difficulties, which have now been satisfactorily resolved. They have now left Libya."

Audio of a telephone conversation between the UK's ambassador to Libya, Richard Northern, and a senior rebel leader was later leaked.

Northern suggested in the call that the SAS team had been detained due to a misunderstanding.

The rebel leader responded: "They made a big mistake, coming with a helicopter in an open area."

Northern said: "I didn't know how they were coming."

Despite the failure of the mission, Hague indicated that Britain would continue to try to make contact with the opposition.

"We intend, in consultation with the opposition, to send a further team to strengthen our dialogue in due course," he said. "This diplomatic effort is part of the UK's wider work on Libya, including our ongoing humanitarian support. We continue to press for Gaddafi to step down and we will work with the international community to support the legitimate ambitions of the Libyan people."

According to Guardian sources, the British intelligence and special forces unit were caught near the al-Khadra Farm Company, 18 miles (30km) south-west of Benghazi. A senior member of Benghazi's revolutionary council said: "They were carrying espionage equipment, reconnaissance equipment, multiple passports and weapons. This is no way to conduct yourself during an uprising."

Just who the hell are the "rebel forces" anyway?

Civil war in Libya, intervention by the West already a reality By William Bowles

"According to the Wikipedia site ‘a civil war is a war between organized groups within the same nation state’ which seems to be a pretty accurate description of events in Libya as they unfold. The problem is identifying who is contesting for state power as there seems to be no single group in charge of the opposition.

One group wants no outside interference whatsoever (the opposition National Libyan Council?), another (the Libyan Revolutionary Council?), led apparently by the former justice minister (according to an interview on Channel 4 News 04/3/11), wants air strikes and a no-fly zone, in other words invasion.

And this goes to the very heart of events as it’s impossible to know who the opposition is or what it is that they want aside from Ghadafi’s removal. Reports carried in the MSM reveal what looks like rag-tag groups of quite heavily armed men, a far cry from the unarmed masses that rose up in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere.

Thus at this critical point in time, we have to firstly wait and see if Ghadafi prevails (not an impossibility if the opposition can’t get its act together without outside assistance). If he does, it opens up an entirely new can of worms. Having compared Ghadafi to Hitler with the West demanding he be investigated for alleged war crimes, the Empire has backed itself into a corner. Under these circumstances, a ‘no-fly zone’ would be a distinct possibility, disastrous though it would be.

It’s a tricky situation for the Empire’s strategists. What to do? The best approach would be covert assistance, arms, logistics and intel along with sanctions and international isolation (already in place), thus echoing Hillary Clinton’s words about not ‘being seen as interfering’.

Coup or insurrection?
The more we learn about how the ‘insurrection’ in Libya unfolded the more it appears that behind the demonstrations a coup was being launched. Nothing else explains the overnight appearance of weapons including attacks on arms depots and military installations accompanied by well-timed rumours of atrocities being committed by Ghadafi’s air force and ‘African mercenaries’.[1]

As has been pointed out elsewhere, Libya is not a poverty-stricken country, there is no mass unemployment, it has a decent health and education infrastructure so economics doesn’t seem to be the major source of discontent.

“It was also under Gaddafi, and with oil money, that Libya attained the highest per capita income among African states. However, there is now a campaign in the western press to belie this, and to paint a picture of widespread unemployment, gaping social inequality and poverty among the Libyan people. Indeed, neo-liberal reforms ushered in recent years have resulted in inequality, with social programs and subsidies for the poor being cut, and the country’s oil wealth increasingly being given to foreign corporations. The CIA is now even trying to pass off alleged “studies” showing that most Libyans are surviving on less than USD$2.00 per day. However, such “studies” have no credibility, considering that Libya remains a favorite among expatriate workers in the Middle East, given the relatively higher pay and better working terms in Libyan work sites.” — ‘US – NATO Threats to Libyan Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity‘, by Antonio E. Paris, Global Research 4 March, 2011

As to Ghadafi’s autocratic rule, does this justify yet another invasion? Surely this is something the Libyans have to sort out for themselves, it doesn’t need the West interfering under the pretext of humanitarian this or that, not after it’s backed the regime since Ghadafi switched sides. So what prompted such an apparently instantaneous revolt? This is where it gets murky."


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