March 19, 2011 (Rev March 25)
The Wisdom Fund

Revealed: America's Hidden Hand Behind The UN Resolution For A No-fly Zone Over Libya

The real target is Libya's oil reserve -- the largest in Africa

by Enver Masud

Yesterday, the UN Security Council, spurred on by the United States, passed Resolution 1973 (2011) authorizing a no-fly zone (a euphemism for war) over Libya.

According to Associated Press:

The resolution establishes "a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians." It also authorizes UN member states to take "all necessary measures ... to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory."

The vote was 10-0 with five countries abstaining including Russia and China, which have veto power in the council, along with India, Germany and Brazil. The United States, France and Britain pushed for speedy approval.

Ostensibly, the resolution for a no-fly zone was requested by the Libyan rebel's Transitional National Council and the Arab League (AL).

Veteran Indian diplomat M K Bhadrakumar writes:

The plain truth is that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU) commanded AL to speak since they need a fig leaf to approach the United Nations Security Council. . . .

The Western powers had earlier mentioned the AL and African Union (AU) in the same breath as representing "regional opinion". Now it seems the AU isn't so important -- it has become an embarrassment. African leaders are proving to be tough nuts to crack compared to Arab playboy-rulers.

The Arab League resolution was rammed through by Amr Moussa, Secretary-General of the Arab League, who hopes to succeed Hosni Mubarak as Egypt's next president. Arab leaders, who depend upon the U.S. for their continued existence, were not hard to persuade.

Syria and Algeria (Algeria shares a longer border with Libya than does Tunisia), having opposed the imposition of a no-fly zone, apparently consented.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey, Nato's only Muslim member, said he opposed foreign intervention and called for an immediate ceasefire.

The Arab League vote gave the U.S. the cover it wanted. Bloomberg reported:

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that since the Arab League backed a no-fly zone over Libya there has been a "sea change" in international opinion toward favoring the action. . . .

Russia and China, who have questioned a no-fly zone at the UN, are reconsidering after the Arab League statement on Saturday, Clinton said.

The United Kingdom and France, eager to get in on the plunder of yet another mainly Muslim state have been eager participants.

Award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist Eric Margolis had "reported for weeks that Britain's elite Special Air Service (SAS) has been rallying anti-Gadaffi forces in and around Benghazi, seizing desert oil installations, and helping attack pro-Gadaffi forces."

In a March 25 email to this author, Margolis wrote, "it's clear to me that anti-Gadaffi civilians broke into military stores and began fighting. Britain's MI6 has been active for decades in stirring up Benghazi against Gadaffi and may have played a role in current events."

Libya has the largest proven oil reserves in Africa according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, facing a tough election, and accused by Muammar Gaddafi's son that Libya helped to finance his election campaign in 2007, took advantage of the opportunity created by the Libyan rebellion to divert attention from his own problems.

The behind-the-scene American role has been kept largely hidden from the public.

On March 16, 2011, I received an email from Radwan A. Masmoudi, President, Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy (CSID), asking me to sign a letter urging President Obama:

. . . that with the recent unanimous vote of the League of Arab States, numerous calls for such action from states within the region, as well as wider calls from traditional American allies such as France and Britain for such action, legitimate sanction for the speedy imposition of a no-fly zone now exists and we call upon you now to assume a leading role in halting the horrific violence being perpetrated by Colonel Gaddafi's forces

. . . to create a coalition that will impose as quickly as possible a no-fly zone for all Libyan military aircraft over the full extent of northern Libyan airspace.

The CSID letter was signed by hundreds of "scholars" first among whom were Larry Diamond, Director, Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, Stanford University; John L. Esposito, Director, Al-Waleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University; Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University; Francis Fukuyama, Institute for International Studies, Stanford University; Michele Dunne, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

I did not sign the letter, and informed Masmoudi that I oppose the no-fly zone.

For Christians, specially Catholics, who signed the CSID letter, I have a question: Is the war on Libya a Just War? I don't believe it meets the Catholic church's criteria for a Just War.

For Muslims who signed the CSID letter I have the same question. According to University of California professor Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions: "The Koran's definition of a Holy War is virtually identical with that of a Just War in the Canon Law of Catholicism."

Furthermore, it is my understanding that according to the Charter of the United Nations:

No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. Consequently, armed intervention and all other forms of interference or attempted threats against the personality of the State or against its political, economic and cultural elements, are in violation of international law.
In violation of international law, U.S. Special Operations forces are now deployed in 75 countries, compared with about 60 at the beginning of President Obama's term.

With hundreds of signatures on the letter, why I was asked to sign is a mystery to me. The activities of CSID and its sponsors are less mysterious, but less well known to the public.

CSID, established in 1999, has as its mission to "educate the public concerning benefits of democracy in Islamic regions through conferences, publications and internet."

In its tax returns, CSID lists as its principle program accomplishments: democracy training workshops in Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan; establishing the Network of Democrats, publishing a newsletter on the status of democracy in the Arab world; organizing conferences, etc.

CSID appears to be funded entirely by the U.S. government -- when asked, Masmoudi did not deny it. One of its officers or employees, Radwan Ziadeh, lists his address at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Washington, DC.

Zalmay Khalilzad, US Ambassador to Iraq, Afghanistan, and the United Nations -- who bears major responsibility for the disaster in Afghanistan and Iraq, is on NED's Board of Directors.

NED has spent millions of dollars promoting 'color' revolutions. "NED was established by the Reagan Administration in 1983, to do overtly, what the CIA had done covertly, in the words of one its legislative drafters, Allen Weinstein", according to Jonathan Mowat at the Centre for Research on Globalisation.

So when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that since the Arab League backed a no-fly zone over Libya there has been a "sea change" in international opinion, she was basking in the result of NED's efforts to promote "democracy" in states that have resisted U.S. efforts to plunder them.

The creation of a new state encompassing the oil producing parts of Libya is a distinct possibility.

Libya, which has the highest standard of living in Africa, is about to encounter democracy American style -- corporations vote with their checkbooks, the rich get richer, the poor get poorer.

Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi has been the de facto leader of Libya since a 1969 coup.

Henry H. Shelton, Head US Special Forces: [The special forces are used] to put down rebellions or to start one.--"60 Minutes," April 30, 1995 -- On October 1, 1997, Gen. Shelton became Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

[Today, the Washington Post reported unrest in Libya which the Libyans believe is led by a Col. Khalifa Haftar based in the U.S. On May 17, 1991 the Washington Times reported that three hundred and fifty Libyans would arrive soon in the United States. . . . the Libyans who arrived in the U.S. in 1991 . . . were trained by our CIA to topple President Ghaddafi. --Enver Masud, "Libya: Who's Terrorizing Whom," The Wisdom Fund, March 26, 1996]

Amy Chua, "Free-Market Democracy: Our Most Dangerous Export," Guardian, February 28, 2004

Gen. Wesley Clark, Democracy Now, March 2, 2007

DOCUMENTARY: John Pilger, "The War On Democracy,", 2007 -- The National Endowment for Democracy funded the 2002 coupe against the Hugo Chavez government in Venezuela - the same guys, working through organizations such as the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID), are involved in Libya.

[While the activists attending the summit adhere to the philosophies of "left-leaning" liberalism, the very men behind the summit, funding it, and prodding the agenda of these activists are America's mega-corporate combine.

. . . truly is a new tentacle for manipulating and undermining the sovereignty of foreign nations.--Tony Cartalucci, "Google 's Revolution Factory - Alliance of Youth Movements: Color Revolution 2.0," Global Research, February 19, 2011]

Shlomo Shamir, "Elie Wiesel: 'World Must Intervene to Stop Gadhafi',", February 24, 2011

"Libyan Opposition Spurns Calls for Foreign 'Help': US, Europe Salivate Over Libyan Oil," The Wisdom Fund, February 26, 2011

[Their unexpected arrival prompted panic among the local militia, only exacerbated by the discovery of weapons, explosives and ammunition accompanying the soldiers.--James Kirkup, Nick Meo in Benghazi and Caroline Gammell, "Libya: SAS mission that began and ended in error," Telegraph, March 6, 2011]

Enver Masud, "Libya Oil Grab Disguised As Humanitarian Assistance," The Wisdom Fund, March 8, 2011

Why not a no-fly zone over India where the government has been killing Kashmiris for decades, and Naxalites in recent years? Or Israel when it was destroying Lebanon and Gaza?

[What this means for Western intervention is that we won't be liberating a country from a universally despised dictator, we will be taking sides in a civil war. Indeed, a civil war in which Gaddafi is not only the strongest force but quite possibly the most popular one. Nobody wants to believe that, but Gaddafi has not held onto power and so easily rolled up his opposition simply because he has shipped in sub-Saharan mercenaries.--Daniel McCarthy, "The Raj Strikes Back,", March 17, 2011]

[Obama lost longtime supporter Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) who said in Thursday morning's hearing with Burns that any military intervention in Libya should require a formal declaration of war by the U.S. Congress.--Josh Rogin, "Inside classified Hill briefing, administration spells out war plan for Libya,", March 17, 2011]

[If all goes well for the globalists, this servile proxy Arab conglomerate, after being marshaled to raid Libya on behalf of the West, will then be organized and ready to turn its attention east toward Iran at the behest of their globalist masters.

. . . America's leading "Neo-Cons" . . . latest "letter" is addressed to President Obama under the title, "Foreign Policy Experts Urge President to Take Action to Halt Violence in Libya."--Tony Cartalucci, "Egypt Arming Libyan Rebels," landdestroyer, March 18, 2011]

Liz Sly, Joby Warrick and Greg Jaffe, "International coalition launches strikes on Gaddafi's forces in Libya from sea and air,", March 19, 2011

[Of course, if this revolution was being violently suppressed in, say, Mauritania, I don't think we would be demanding no-fly zones. Nor in Ivory Coast, come to think of it. Nor anywhere else in Africa that didn't have oil, gas or mineral deposits or wasn't of importance in our protection of Israel, the latter being the real reason we care so much about Egypt. . . .

We don't have many options, do we, unless we want to see another Srebrenica? But hold on. Didn't that happen long after we had imposed our "no-fly" zone over Bosnia?--Robert Fisk, "First it was Saddam. Then Gaddafi. Now there's a vacancy for the West's favourite crackpot tyrant," Independent, March 19, 2011]

[ . . . forces quickly materialized that were ready to do the dirty work of the great powers. They were to be found in the figures making up the so-called National Transitional Council, who not only guaranteed international oil companies unhindered exploitation of the country's mineral wealth, but also called for the bombing of their own country. The Transitional Council is composed of senior officials of the old regime who turned their backs on Gaddafi in response to the shift by the imperialist powers.

Military intervention in Libya, whose energy resources have made it the object of imperialist intrigues for decades, is being used both to secure access to oil and to contain the revolutionary movements in the region . . . A military presence in Libya . . . would help the major powers to intimidate revolutionary movements throughout the Arab world.--"No to imperialist intervention in Libya!,", March 19, 2011]

"Liberal Democrats in uproar over Libya action,", March 19, 2011

Michael Georgy, "Libyans form human shield at Gaddafi's compound,", March 19, 2011

"48 killed by allied warplanes, missiles: Libyan state TV,", March 19, 2011

David Dayen, "Interventionists Struggle to Reconcile Libyan Action with Repression Across Arab World,", March 20, 2011

"Libya rebel spokesman: More than 8,000 Libyans killed in revolt,", March 20, 2011 -- TV broadcasts cite much lower numbers

"Libya's Opposition Leadership Comes into Focus,", March 20, 2011

[The Arab League on Sunday criticized Western military strikes on Libya, a week after urging the United Nations to slap a no-fly zone on the oil-rich North African state.--"Arab League criticizes Western strikes on Libya," AFP, March 20, 2011]

Didn't Amr Moussa know what happened in Iraq when he requested the no-fly zone over Libya? The U.S. military had been saying openly how the no-fly zone would be implemented. Apparently, Amr Moussa's statement is intended to improve his chances for being elected president of Egypt.

Missiles launched by U.S. 122, U.K. 2--ABC World News With David Muir, March 20, 2011

George Galloway: "France killed a million and a half Algerians, next door. Italy committed war crimes . . . killed hundreds of thousands in Libya."

[The question is how much weaponry and training America and its allies can get them in a short period of time. Luckily for the U.S., Egypt appears to be facilitating the transfer. If Western governments don't already have military trainers on the ground in Libya, I'd be amazed.--"Behind the Libya War,", March 21, 2011]

[In the vote to authorize war against Libya, the U.S., Britain and France were joined by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Gabon, Lebanon, Nigeria, Portugal and South Africa. Abstaining from the vote were five countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China and Germany.

What do the five countries that registered their opposition to the Libyan war have in common? They make up most of the great powers of the early twenty-first century.--Michael Lind, "The Libyan War: Unconstitutional and illegitimate,", March 21, 2011]

VIDEO (3:40): Rep. Ed Markey: "'We're in Libya because of oil'," MSNBC, March 21, 2011

[Africom is about the Pentagon's militarization of Africa - suavely sold as "bringing peace and security". It's all part of the time-tested Pentagon's full spectrum dominance doctrine.--"The Odyssey Dawn top 10,", March 22, 2011]

[The GCC/Arab League astonishing dithering and hypocrisy is compounded by the outright hostility of the African Union (AU) to the "coalition", expressed by a communique from Nouakchott, Mauritania, calling for "an immediate end to all attacks". The AU only demands that Gaddafi makes sure "humanitarian aid" arrives for those who need it.

This explodes the myth that the "international community" is behind Odyssey Dawn. The Arab dictatorships - which once again have sanctioned an attack on a Muslim country - are scared to death of the backlash from their populations if "collateral damage" balloons.

The Arab blogosphere is saturated with accusations that the UN and the Arab League have sanctioned a shameless Western plot to get Libya's oil. The African countries are mostly against it. The key emerging powers - Brazil, India, Indonesia, Turkey - are not part of it. The four top BRIC members (Brazil, Russia, India, China) all abstained from the UN vote.

China has been very much aware that in both Africa and South America - where its business interests are now rivaling America's - support for the "coalition" is minimal. And Russia has gone one step beyond; according to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, "The resolution is defective and flawed ... It allows everything. It resembles medieval calls for crusades."--Pepe Escobar, "The West bombs, the Arab League ducks,", March 23, 2011]

Patrick J. Buchanan, "A Foolish and Unconstitutional War,", March 23, 2011 -- Joe Biden, what do you say now?]

Dennis J. Kucinich, "Reply to President Obama's letter regarding the commitment of U.S. Armed Forces to Libya," Congress of the United States, March 24, 2011

[The resolution . . . was promoted by the French and United Kingdom governments, but with a strong presence of the United States in the background pulling the strings.--Curtis Doebbler, "Why the Attack on Libya is Illegal,", March 28, 2011]

[And what about the INC's new military commander, Khalifa Hifter - a former Libyan army colonel who spent nearly 20 years in Vienna, Virginia, not far from the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley? Progressives will love to learn that the romantic "rebels" are now led by a CIA asset.--Pepe Escobar, "Queen Hillary of Libya,", March 31, 2011]

[Only Nicolas Sarkozy saw the popular revolt that began in Libya on February 15 as an opportunity for political and diplomatic redemption.

. . . Yet the international air campaign against Gaddafi's forces might never have happened without the self-appointed activism of French public intellectual Bernard-Henri Levy, a left-leaning philosopher and talk-show groupie, who lobbied Sarkozy to take up the cause of Libya's pro-democracy rebels.--Paul Taylor, "Special report: The West's unwanted war in Libya," Reuters, April 1, 2011]

Enver Masud, "LIBYA TALKING POINTS," The Wisdom Fund, April 1, 2011

[You invade Bahrain. We take out Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. This, in short, is the essence of a deal struck between the Barack Obama administration and the House of Saud.

. . . only nine out of 22 members of the Arab League voted for the no-fly zone. The vote was essentially a House of Saud-led operation, with Arab League secretary general Amr Moussa keen to polish his CV with Washington with an eye to become the next Egyptian President.--Pepe Escobar, "Exposed: The US-Saudi Libya deal,", April 2, 2011]

Enver Masud, "LIBYA TALKING POINTS," The Wisdom Fund, April 1, 2011

[They include men such as Colonel Khalifa Haftar, former commander of the Libyan army in Chad who was captured and changed sides in 1988, setting up the anti-Gaddafi Libyan National Army reportedly with CIA and Saudi backing. For the last 20 years, he has been living quietly in Virginia before returning to Benghazi to lead the fight against Gaddafi.

Even shadier is the background of Abdul Hakeen al-Hassadi, a Libyan who fought against the US in Afghanistan, was arrested in Pakistan, imprisoned probably at Bagram, Afghanistan, and then mysteriously released. The US Deputy Secretary of State, James Steinberg, told Congressmen he would speak of Mr Hassadi's career only in a closed session.--Patrick Cockburn, "The shady men backed by the West to displace Gaddafi," Guardian, April 3, 2011]

The Real News, April 14, 2011

[A blockbuster Politico story on Al-Jazeera claims that the Republican-oriented lobbying firm, Barbour, Griffith & Rogers (BGR), worked on behalf of Qatar, as well as Al-Jazeera. But Loren Monroe, the spokesman for the firm, is denying it, telling AIM, "We did not represent Al-Jazeera."

The charge that a prominent lobbying firm represented Al-Jazeera is politically explosive not only because of the high-level Republican connections, but because the "Barbour" in BGR is Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, a possible 2012 Republican presidential candidate.

Qatar sponsors and funds Al-Jazeera . . .

This "long-standing relationship" between BGR and Al-Jazeera (and Qatar) became more direct and substantial when Ben Smith's Politico blog said that the representation of Al-Jazeera was "part of their contract with Qatar in a mid-2000s PR push to rehabilitate the controversial Arab network."--Cliff Kincaid, "Republican ties to Al-Jazeera ignite firestorm,", April 21, 2011]

[Welcome to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), formed in 1981 by top dog Saudi Arabia plus the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman. A more appropriate denomination would be Gulf Counter-Revolutionary Council--Pepe Escobar, "The counter-revolution club",, May 28, 2011]

[The big prize is energy. Libya produced 1.6 million barrels of oil per day before the war, or almost 2 percent of world output, and has enough reserves to sustain that level of production for 77 years, according to BP. Qatar would like to control a chunk of that oil supply as well as potentially large Libyan gas exports to Europe which otherwise would effectively rival Qatar's own deliveries. . . .

"To some extent they may be acting as a U.S. proxy. Washington wants to achieve things but doesn't want to do it with its own hands," said a London-based risk consultant who has European firms as clients.--Dmitry Zhdannikov, Regan E. Doherty and Mohammed Abbas, "Special Report - Qatar's big Libya adventure", Reuters, June 9, 2011]

Rachel Leven, "Libyan rebels hire Washington's No. 1 lobby firm for 'advice and assistance'",, July 2, 2011

[One of the main sources for the claim that Qaddafi was killing his own people is the Libyan League for Human Rights (LLHR). The LLHR was actually pivotal to getting the U.N. involved through its specific claims in Geneva. On February 21, 2011 the LLHR got the 70 other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to send letters to President Obama, E.U. High Representative Catherine Ashton, and the U.N. Secretary-General Ban-ki Moon demanding international action against Libya invoking the "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine. . . .

LLHR is tied to the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), which is based in France and has ties to the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). FIDH is active in many places in Africa and in activities involving the National Endowment for Democracy in the African continent. Both the FIDH and LLHR also released a joint communique on February 21, 2011. In the communique both organizations asked for the international community to "mobilize" and mention the International Criminal Court while also making a contradictory claiming that over 400 to 600 people had died since February 15, 2011. This of course was about 5,500 short of the claim that 6,000 people were massacred in Benghazi. The joint letter also promoted the false view that 80% of Qaddafi's support came from foreign mercenaries, which is something that over half a year of fighting proves as untrue.

According to the General-Secretary of the LLHR, Dr. Sliman Bouchuiguir, the claims about the massacres in Benghazi could not be validated by the LLHR when he was challenged for proof.--Rachel Leven, "Human rights imposters used to spawn Nato's fraudulent war",, October 17, 2011]

[The National Transitional Council puts the losses at 30,000 dead and 50,000 wounded.--Seumas Milne, "If the Libyan war was about saving lives, it was a catastrophic failure," Guardian, October 26, 2011]

[A young French film-maker, Julien Teil, has filmed a remarkable interview in which the secretary general of the Libyan League for Human Rights, Slimane Bouchuiguir, candidly admits that he had "no proof" of the allegations he made before the U.N. Human Rights Commission which led to immediate expulsion of the official Libyan representative and from there to U.N. Resolutions authorizing what turned into the NATO war of regime change. Indeed, no proof has ever been produced of the "bombing of Libyan civilians" denounced by Al Jazeera, the television channel financed by the Emir of Qatar, who has emerged with a large share of Libyan oil business from the "liberation war" in which Qatar participated.--Diana Johnstone, "As the 'Humanitarian Warriors' Gloat... Here's the Key Question in the Libyan War," Guardian, October 26, 2011]

[To sum it all up; think of all this as the GCC as a de facto annex to NATO.--Pepe Escobar, "The Pentagon-Arab Spring love story,", November 2, 2011]

[Bernard-Henri Levy details how a self-promoting leftist intellectual persuaded a conservative French president to back the Libyan revolt.--Leela Jacinto, "The Libyan War, brought to you by Bernard-Henri Levy,", July 6, 2012

Hassan Morajea and Abigail Hauslohner, "Libyan militias led by former general [Haftar]attack parliament and declare it dissolved,", May 18, 2014

John Taylor, "Elie Wiesel: Conscience of Mankind and Saintly Humanitarian or Liar, Hypocrite, and Terrorist?,", December 18, 2014

[NED and Freedom House often work as a kind of tag-team with NED financing "non-governmental organizations" inside targeted countries and Freedom House berating those governments if they crack down on U.S.-funded NGOs.--Robert Parry, "CIA's Hidden Hand in 'Democracy' Groups,", January 8, 2015]


Rachel Leven, "10 years on, Tunisians curse man who sparked Arab spring",, December 16, 2021

What do these faith leaders and HR folks who pushed for war have to say now?--Enver Masud

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