'UN greenlights NATO for Libya killings'
بسم الله الر حمن الر حيم
بسم الله الر حمن الر حيم
Saeb Shaath, author and Middle East affairs expert, from Belfast.
Transcript of the interview.
Press TV: Mr. Shaath, about the protection needed for civilians, the arguments some are putting is that NATO or other nations are violating international law by getting involved in the civil war in Libya, and they are asking, is “Responsibility to Protect” justification for a war of aggression in Libya?
Shaatth: NATO turned out to be a hired assassin with a questionable license issued to them from the United Nations in general terms. And I myself consider every country in the Security Council and the United Nation body is partly to that, because they give the green light for another operation like the one that happened in Iraq, destroying the country in the name of saving the civilians. I didn't see any civilian being saved, except assassinating the civilians, even Gaddafi's own grandchildren and his son, and considering him as a target, assassination as I said by a UN license.
This is a huge catastrophe happening here, and the international community watching the decimation of Libya. And we don't see what is behind this. I myself supported the revolution in Libya, fully at the start, but since I have seen the development and the hijacking of the revolution by the Western alliance, I cannot call these guys, who have received arms from NATO and received visits from the British and the French, revolutionaries.
Since when are the revolutionaries supported by neoliberal capitalist thugs like the Americans, and the British, and the French? So I cannot call them revolutionaries, I can call them people who came on the back of tanks like ... in Iraq, I said that before and say it again, to destroy their country.
Why Libya? If we can look at the Libyan bank itself, it is the number one bank in the world. They have a huge amount of gold. Secondly, Libya is out of the capitalistic system, the new liberal system.
Now, they are occupying Libya, dividing it, and destroying it. They will take Libya and will give it to a corrupt and bankrupt, as well, capitalist multi-nationals, and monopolies to take control of Libya and save their skins and make money out of the blood of the Arabs in Libya.
Press TV: I would like to have your view on the possibility of a ground invasion on Libya?
Shaatth: When the helicopters went to have operation in Libya right now, the second phase of that will be a ground operation. But they want to make sure they can handle the stalemate which exists at the moment. So imposing the de facto partition of Libya, that's their next move, because they got 80 percent of the wealth of the Libyans under their control, from Ajdabiya to Ra's Lanuf, that sort of area.
I just want to say one thing in here, if we look at what they call the Revolutionary Council in Libya which all of these personalities are Gaddafi's assistants who have broken away from Gaddafi and straight away jump on their champion and leader the Zionist [French President Nicolas] Sarkozy, and we know exactly what their mission is, and what they are intending. Riding the Arab revolution in that way who the people wanted to go for a peaceful revolution, and suddenly it was armed and suddenly it turned to be a lot of... we don't know where these groups were coming form.
I want to say very clearly that we understand what is going on in there; we understand the Turkish, as well, are playing a game in the Middle East with NATO. I want to say to Turkey, as the Arabs say, the ones who have a glass house, don't throw stones at their neighbors. They have to be careful, since they played the game in Libya, and now they are trying to play it in Syria, as well. Turkish fabric and society have the same ethnic diversity and religious diversity like Syria.
So if anything happens in Syria, the next stage is going to be happening in Turkey. And we see the smuggling of weapons and encouraging to do things in Syria happening and trying to destroy Syria.
The Turkish politicians think that they have an opportunity here; I don't know what opportunity they are talking about. The same thing they have done in Libya, they are just ignoring the whole Arabic area to control, and take a stronger position for Turkey in the future. They are playing with the Islamic agenda, supported by Obama himself and the Western alliance. That is what's happening in Libya, they want to loot Libya, and they want to control Libya.
Libya is the only country that said no to join the American forces in Africa. Libya is the only one that controlled its financial market away from the Western control. So they want to have it all and Turkey is playing at their hand. I just want to tell my brothers in Turkey; try to be truthful to your area, you live in that area.
Press TV: There are questions first of all about who is leading the war in Libya, because we are seeing reservations from certain NATO members including Norway, if I am not mistaken.
Is it a US-led operation as some have been suggesting, the US behind the cover of NATO? If that so do you think that the US is interested in making this war a prolonged one?
Shaatth: There is a dispute in the Unites States of America between the Congress and the White House over that. But the fact of the leadership of this war is French, and the biggest indication to that was last week's declaration of the French which said they were going to deploy the helicopters, and the British helicopters will be there. While the British Defense Minister couldn't answer the House of Parliament, verifying that is he going to deploy or not. We discovered that the French have taken the decision here, and the British deployed even without the full knowledge of their Ministry.
But the Americans have total control, they give the ground command to the French, since the interest of the French, and the hatred Sarkozy has for Gaddafi, after Gaddafi exposed him during the first weeks of the Libyan revolt.
But I want to say that there is a stalemate here on the ground, you cannot win a battle like that on the ground, unless, you want to create a de facto partition, and that's what they said they are after, as I said before.
So if we have to look at the picture closely, who is behind all of this? Have we ever seen Saudi Arabia and Qatar and Kuwait and United Arab Emirates, and the West, and the United States of America ever supporting any oppressed people, any revolutionary movement, any progressive movement? They always stand with tyrants, they stand to satisfy the Zionists and imperialist agenda, and that is what's happening in Libya.
They are trying to take the biggest chunk of Libya for themselves and leave Gaddafi in a part of the country. I warned about that from the beginning, it's about the partitioning of Libya; it is about leaving Gaddafi to some part of Libya, because Gaddafi is well armed and well financed. Gaddafi has 14 tons of gold which is there. Gaddafi is even calling to change the currency of trading with NATO and all of that. He was a present eminent danger to the West and the United States of America's economy.
'West violates UN resolution on Libya'
Press TV talks with Dmitry Babich, chief editor of Russia Profile magazine from Moscow who expresses Russia's concerns that it is not happy with the US and NATO putting imperialist aims ahead of protecting civilians, which is what the UN mandate is all about. Following is a transcript of that interview of Press TVs news analysis.
Press TV: One NATO official recently said that Gaddafi is a legitimate target and that's contrary to what we've been hearing before. Is there some kind of ambiguity about the objective of the war or rather is NATO exceeding the UN mandate when it says now, according to that official, that Gaddafi is now a legitimate target?
Dmitry Babich: Definitely NATO went beyond the legitimate UN mandate and the Russian government said very clearly that this was the case and that it was not particularly happy about it.
Right now Russia is in a difficult situation because on the one hand everyone understands that Gaddafi had to be stopped and civilians had to be protected. On the other hand, it's clear that NATO exceeds to the powers that were given to it by the UN resolution, which by the way did not mention NATO.
Russia is trying to be a negotiator and intermediary between the opposition and Gaddafi forces. But it is quite clear that it is going to be a very difficult job and I'm not sure if our special envoy in Libya Mr. Margelov will be able to do it. I will draw your attention to the fact that he went to Benghazi, but did not go to Tripoli.
Press TV: There is concern and there is opposition to any ground invasion, which so far has not practically happened, but we have been getting reports that the arrival of apache and attack helicopters and the arrival of a naval strike ship in the Mediterranean are preparations for a ground movement - Do you think there is going to be a ground war or that it is being prepared for Libya?
Dmitry Babich: It's quite clear that NATO and the West in general do want that position. And if they don't see their position winning in the next few months we do not know what they will do - we can't read their minds. What I do know is that Russia would be definitely opposed to this and I would say that the Russian position is the following: Any civil war should end with negotiation.
If there is no negotiation there is no real end to civil war. So Russia will support negations between pro-Gaddafi forces and the revolutionary council and that's what Russia has been pushing for. We are not for the victory of any one side; we are for a tie; for an agreement between them. That would be the ideal solution.
Press TV: You were raising Russia's suggestion that a ceasefire should be followed in the conflict, the civil war in Libya, but speaking of a ceasefire, this is something the African Union has also been following - Is that an option that's feasible right now - something that can be achieved?
Dmitry Babich: We know the history of civil wars. If a civil war ends with a total victory over one side that means that this civil war will continue covertly. That's not a very good ending of a civil war in fact it's no ending at all.
Any stable end of a civil war is negotiation - when parties guarantee security to each other and when they share power one way or another. That's what Russia would like to see in Libya and that's what the African Union is pushing for in Libya.
And I think that this is the real fulfillment of the UN resolution of 1973. That resolution says that civilians should be protected and peace should be established. The best way to protect civilians is to end fighting. This is the aim we are striving for; it is what everyone is striving for except for some Western countries and the Libyan opposition who just want to win.