Allies: US, NATO, and the Butcher of Dafur 166

It’s getting ever worse, the mess that Obama and some European leaders have made with their interference in Libya “to protect civilians”.

The “civilians” include al-Qaeda operatives and murderous mobs which use the upheaval of war to hunt down and kill “aliens” in their country whose ethnicity they don’t like.

And now Omar al-Bashir, the mass-murderer tyrant of Sudan, has been let in to help the most powerful military alliance in the world with their failing campaign against the tin-pot dictator of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi.

Stephen Brown writes at Front Page:

While the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) says it is protecting civilians in Libya from Muammar Gaddafi, an International Criminal Court (ICC)-indicted fugitive, it has allowed another ICC-wanted criminal to send his army into the country.

In an under-reported event, Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir, currently under indictment by the ICC for genocide in Darfur, recently sent troops across the Libyan-Sudanese border into southern Libya to occupy Kufra, a town located in an important oil-producing area. Only last May in his own country, Bashir, who could teach Gaddafi lessons on killing civilians, had used the same army to ethnically cleanse 60,000 Dinka tribesmen with tanks from Abyei, while his air force is currently bombing Nuba civilians indiscriminately in their mountain villages in possible preparation for a new genocide. Indicating that a deal with the devil may have been made prior to the Sudanese army’s cross-border move, NATO, which controls Libyan airspace, did not oppose the occupation.

“Our surveillance shows that they are not moving the oil, so it is not about money in the short term,” one Western official was quoted as saying.

What the Sudanese intervention most likely is about, however, is oil. More specifically, it is about getting it flowing again, a NATO priority. British officials are reported to “have worked closely” with the rebels in Benghazi to this end.

The role of the Sudanese troops in achieving this goal, it seems, is to provide the oil-producing area around Kufra with protection from Gaddafi’s forces. The Libyan leader’s fighters have been attacking oil facilities around Kufra and elsewhere to prevent the rebels from selling the oil and using the proceeds to prosecute the war against him. Without money, the rebels say they are “incapable of battling Gaddafi.” …

The Sudanese army moved into Kufra only days after the last attack by Gaddafi forces on the area’s oil fields on June 12. Prior to the Sudanese arrival, there had been a lot fighting around the town. What Sudan’s government expects to receive for its help in Kufra is unclear. But one can rest assured that Bashir is not helping out for nothing.

If NATO acquiesced or assisted in hiring the army of a war criminal and mass murderer like Bashir for use against a similarly indicted criminal, as appears likely, it throws a hypocritical shadow over the military alliance’s oft stated mission statement of protecting Libyan civilians. Enlisting Bashir proves protecting civilians from a brutal dictator was never NATO’s priority; rather it proves, as has long been suspected, the war is primarily about oil.

In our opinion, oil is a very good reason for going to war. Oil is the lifeblood of our commerce, essential to our civilization. We regret that the US did not take possession of the major Middle East oil-fields long ago – in 1973 at the latest.

It’s a much more respectable reason than “protecting civilians”, even if that were a genuine reason, and not the hypocritical pretext that it is.

What does it say about our culture that a sentimental lie is thought necessary to justify a war that is actually being fought for the vital interest of at least some of the NATO powers (chiefly France)?

One African columnist, Obi Nwakanma, has most likely discerned the true reason for NATO’s involvement in the Libyan civil war. Britain and France, Nwakanma maintains, feared being shut out of the Libyan oil fields in favour of China and India. Libya contains the largest oil reserves in Africa.

“It is no longer a secret that behind this NATO alliance war on Libya, and far beyond the ‘do-good’ face it …wears…as its reason for bombing Libya to smithereens is the quest to control the oil fields of Libya, guarantee Western access to energy sources in the face of growing concern over the rise of China and India and their…emerging gluttony for oil…,” Nwakanma writes.

It would be just like the sadistic Gaddafi to turn around and make oil exploration deals with China and India after Britain and France had suffered humiliation at his hands in expectation of getting such agreements. But NATO is running out of options in bringing a quick end to the bloody mess the Libyan war has become. The rebels are no closer to deposing Gaddafi than they were last February when the rebellion began. Facing a stalemate in eastern Libya, they have also not advanced from Misrata in western Libya despite having the advantage of NATO air support. As an indication of their weakness, and perhaps of their desperation, the rebels’ ruling council in Benghazi has now offered to allow Gaddafi to stay in Libya, if he would only step down. This offer was promptly rejected.

A possible sign of NATO’s desperation occurred when it was revealed last week France had air-dropped arms to anti-Gaddafi Berber rebels in Libya’s western mountains, defying the UN resolution banning the supplying of weapons to either side. The French defended their actions, saying the weapons, “rocket-propelled grenades, assault rifles, machine guns and, above all, anti-tank missiles,” were to protect the rebels against Gaddafi’s troops. Frustratingly for NATO, the French weapons have not helped so far. The French-armed Berber rebel force, now positioned 50 miles south of Tripoli, first offensive failed. Fighting on flat plains is not the same as mountain warfare.

Failing is bad enough, but making common cause with a blood-soaked savage like al-Bashir is worse. If they weren’t pretending not to be fighting for oil, the Western powers could send an army in and take it. It’s the sentimental pretense that has landed them in a disgusting alliance with al-Bashir.

And to what further depravities and slaughter is it all leading?

Even if NATO does prevail, one must question what kind of democracy does it expect to appear in Libya after Gaddafi’s downfall? The rebel forces are not very united, except in their desire to get rid of Gaddafi, and some have even been accused of war crimes, especially against black Africans. Made up largely of tribes, the opposition forces may eventually start to fight each other over power and control of oil revenues after Gaddafi’s demise, setting the stage for a never-ending, multi-phase civil war like happened in Afghanistan after the 1989 Soviet withdrawal. If this is the case, NATO may inadvertently have created more candidates for the ICC, against which it will again eventually have to act “to protect Libyan civilians.”