How Libyan ‘Regime Change’ Lies Echo in Syria

Exclusive: The mainstream U.S. media has largely ignored a U.K. report on the West’s lies used to justify the Libyan “regime change,” all the better to protect the ongoing falsehoods used in Syria, as James W Carden explains.

By James W Carden

Earlier this month, a select committee of British parliamentarians released a report which condemned the U.K. government under David Cameron for its role in the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya. The report makes plain that the principal basis on which the intervention was predicated – that then-Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was on the verge of committing a wholesale slaughter of the rebel stronghold Benghazi – was a lie propagated by Western and Gulf State media outlets.

It also shows the extent to which the crisis was driven by Libyan exiles who – perhaps quite understandably – had an axe to grind with the Gaddafi regime. In this – and in other ways, as we shall see – the Libyan crisis shares a number of similarities with the Syrian crisis. Indeed, it would be fair to view the debacle in Libya as a dress rehearsal for the war outside powers have been waging against the sovereign government of Syria for the past five years.

Ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi shortly before he was murdered on Oct. 20, 2011.

Ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi shortly before he was murdered on Oct. 20, 2011.

The U.K. report documents the extent to which the narrative of impending genocide was driven by the delusions of Libyan exiles: “Libyan exiles based in France were influential in raising fears about a possible massacre in Benghazi. Visiting Professor at King’s College London, Professor George Joffé, told us that ‘the decisions of President Sarkozy and his Administration were driven by Libyan exiles getting allies within the French intellectual establishment who were anxious to push for a real change in Libya.’”

Indeed, the U.K. Select Committee was told that “émigrés opposed to Muammar Gaddafi exploited unrest in Libya by overstating the threat to civilians and encouraging Western powers to intervene.”

The narrative crafted by Libyan exiles was swallowed hook, line and sinker by a willingly credulous Western press. Similarly dynamics were at play during the initial phase of the crisis in Syria.

Professor Tim Anderson of the University of Sydney notes that Syrian clerics in exile in Saudi Arabia, like Sheikh Adnan Arour “called for a holy war against the liberal Allawi muslims” who dominated the Assad government.

The journalist Eva Bartlett, who has been on the ground in Syria, has written that the problem with many of the Western media accounts of the Syrian crisis is that “Many talking heads draw from one sole source, UK-based Syrian Rami Abdulrahman of the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).”

Abdulrahman, who runs the oft-quoted SOHR out of his home in Coventry, England, “hasn’t,” according to Bartlett, “been to Syria for 15 years.” What is more, Abdulrahman’s operation is reliant on the reports of opposition figures. This, as Bartlett notes, is no impartial source.

Other exile groups, like the Syrian National Council, has received millions of dollars in funding from the declared enemies of the Assad regime like Qatar and UAE. Meanwhile, regime change groups like the Aleppo Media Centre (AMC), the Washington-based Syrian Expatriates Organization (SEO) have, according to Anderson, received “hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from un-named sources.”

Professor Anderson tells us that “Like many other U.S.-created front groups (The Syrian Campaign, the White Helmets) the SEO is committed to the overthrow of the Syrian Government. That also happens to be the aim of the U.S. Government.”

Machiavelli was perhaps righter than he knew when he wrote: “how dangerous a thing it is to believe those who have been driven out of their country … such is the extreme desire in them to return home, that they naturally believe many things that are false and add many others by art.”

No Angels

And then there is the role Western media has played in ginning up the twin crises. The U.K. report on Libya – citing Amnesty International – notes that, “Western media coverage has from the outset presented a very one-sided view of the logic of events, portraying the protest movement as entirely peaceful and repeatedly suggesting that the regime’s security forces were unaccountably massacring unarmed demonstrators who presented no security challenge.”

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In fact, the opposite was the case: security forces in both Libya and Syria came under attack by Islamist radicals from the very start: these were hardly the “peaceful” protests as portrayed by the Western media. As the U.K. report points out, “It is now clear that militant Islamist militias played a critical role in the rebellion from February 2011 onwards.”

What is more: “The possibility that militant extremist groups would attempt to benefit from the rebellion should not have been the preserve of hindsight. Libyan connections with transnational militant extremist groups were known before 2011, because many Libyans had participated in the Iraq insurgency and in Afghanistan with al-Qaeda.”

Likewise, the dominant myth surrounding the Syrian crisis is that “millions” of peaceful Syrians took to the streets as part of the liberalizing wave which roiled the Arab world in the spring of 2011. Human Rights Watch declared that the Syrian protesters “only used violence against the security forces” as a “last resort.”

Indeed, all of the violence which soon unfolded was said to be the fault of Assad’s police state and Assad’s subsequent refusal to step down –  so the story goes – is one of the main causes of the growth in strength and numbers of radical Islamists terrorists.

As recently as last summer, none other than former Prime Minister David Cameron called Assad a “recruiting sergeant for ISIS.” And while this claim is as nonsensical as it is disingenuous, it is a line which has been dutifully echoed by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who in April told CNN that “ISIS was primarily the result of the vacuum in Syria caused by Assad first and foremost.”

From the very start, the opposition to Assad included sectarian extremists who chanted: “Christians to Beirut, Alawis to the grave.” And the first documented incidents of violence in Daraa were against, not by, the Syrian security forces.

Professor Anderson cites an Israel National News report from March 21, 2011, which told of “Seven police officers and at least four demonstrators in Syria have been killed.” Anderson notes, “The armed forces came to Daraa precisely because police had been killed by snipers.” [emphasis mine]

The journalist and analyst John Rosenthal translated a Jan. 12, 2012 report from Homs by a Dutch Jesuit, Father Frans van der Lugt, who was later murdered, likely by al-Nusra militants, in April 2014.

The Jesuit missionary observed that: “Most of the citizens of Syria do not support the opposition. … you also cannot say that this is a popular uprising. The majority of people are not part of the rebellion and certainly not part of the armed rebellion. What is occurring is, above all, a struggle between the army and armed Sunni groups that aim to overturn the Alawite regime and take power.

“From the start the protest movements were not purely peaceful. From the start I saw armed demonstrators marching along in the protests, who began to shoot at the police first. Very often the violence of the security forces has been a reaction to the brutal violence of the armed rebels.”

Also inconvenient to the dominant narrative is the fact that even after the large scale anti-government protests and escalation in violence, 55 percent of Syrians polled in 2012 wanted Assad to remain in power.

With all of this in mind we would do well to treat reports from the likes of CNN’s Clarissa Ward with a healthy amount of skepticism, not least because the fact that Islamists were involved from the very start of both the Libyan and Syrian uprisings have been relentlessly excised out of the dominant, acceptable mainstream narratives like hers.

Lost Alternatives

When one considers the policy alternatives which were rudely shunted aside in favor of violence, the twin catastrophes in Libya and Syria appear all the worse in retrospect. Instead of strictly adhering to the UN-mandated arms embargo in Libya, the U.K. Select Committee reports that:

U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron trade bottles of beer to settle a bet they made on the U.S. vs. England World Cup Soccer game (which ended in a tie), during a bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit in Toronto, Canada, June 26, 2010. (White House photo by Pete Souza)

U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron trade bottles of beer to settle a bet they made on the U.S. vs. England World Cup Soccer game (which ended in a tie), during a bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit in Toronto, Canada, June 26, 2010. (White House photo by Pete Souza)

“we were told that the international community turned a blind eye to the supply of weapons to the rebels. Lord Richards [UK Defence Chief of Staff] highlighted “the degree to which the Emiratis and the Qataris … played a major role in the success of the ground operation.”

Likewise, the Syrian arms embargo was only selectively and fitfully enforced. From May 2011 to June 2013, the E.U. imposed an arms embargo on Syria but, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, by April 2013 “the EU decided to allow the supply of certain equipment to Syrian opposition forces.”

In the ensuing years the U.S. aided and abetted the supply of weapons (laundered through Jordan) to radical opposition groups while Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia were the principal suppliers of weapons to ISIS.

As Meredith Tax of the think tank, Centre for Secular Space, recently pointed out in The Nation, the U.S. continues to turn a blind eye toward the actions of NATO-member Turkey which is supporting jihadi gains by attacking Kurdish forces in northern Syria. The media, as Tax correctly observes, has “failed to look hard at the Erdogan government’s support of jihadis, or to ask what they have in common.”

Meanwhile, diplomatic alternatives were never seriously pursued in Libya or in Syria – though it is true that the peaceful Russian alternative to Obama’s “red line” policy was pursued with regard to dismantling Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons.

But a peaceful path in Libya was, it seems, never taken seriously. Saif Gaddafi’s attempts to broker a settlement with the Clinton State Department and with the U.K. through his intermediary, former Prime Minister Tony Blair, were never taken seriously by NATO principals.

As the U.K. report tartly notes: “Political options were available if the UK Government had adhered to the spirit of Resolution 1973, implemented its original campaign plan and influenced its coalition allies to pause military action when Benghazi was secured in March 2011. Political engagement might have delivered civilian protection, regime change and reform at lesser cost to the UK and to Libya.”

And given the behavior of both Gaddafi and Assad in the years following 9/11 the sovereignty of both countries should have – at a minimum – been respected; after all, Gaddafi had only just begun to accede to Western prerogatives, as when he abandoned his WMD program in 2003, while Assad had cooperated with the Bush administration in its so-called Global War on Terror. It is worth noting that in doing so, he earned the enmity of the religious fanatics who run Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

As thanks for his cooperation, the U.S., ever at the beck and call of the Gulf State autocracies who are our actual enemies, Assad has became the target of regime change enthusiasts in the U.S. and Europe. Their designs have wrecked large swathes of Syria, resulted in an unprecedented migrant crisis, destroyed the lives of many millions, gave rise to ISIS and strengthened the very same Islamist radicals who attacked us on 9/11 and who remain the sworn enemies of the West.

James W Carden is a contributing writer for The Nation and editor of The American Committee for East-West Accord’s He previously served as an advisor on Russia to the Special Representative for Global Inter-governmental Affairs at the US State Department.


26 comments for “How Libyan ‘Regime Change’ Lies Echo in Syria

  1. Tom Welsh
    September 25, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    There may have been many politicians, civil servants, journalists and other commentators who were deceived – or deceived themselves – about Libya and Syria. However, the sheer volume and consistency of the violence sponsored and actually carried out by Western governments clearly points to deliberate policy. For whatever reasons, critical decision-makers in Washington, London, Paris and other capitals actually wanted to destroy the political institutions and infrastructure of Libya and Syria – as well as Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen and other nations – and to create a condition of near-Hobbesian chaos and anarchy.

    One likely explanation is that, in such a condition of anarchy, powerful Western governments and corporations can take advantage of the utter lack of government and national defence to move into the destroyed countries and help themselves to whatever valuable resources they please. There is also the probability that the national leaders who were overthrown and killed had incurred the vicious enmity and spite of Western ruling cliques – for example, by announcing a move away from the “almighty dollar”.

    • Skip Edwards
      September 26, 2016 at 12:58 am

      You left out how Israel plays in all of this. Intentional?

      • Brad Owen
        September 26, 2016 at 7:07 am

        Israel is the “Normandy Beach” insertion of an endangered Tribe, by the ruling cliques of former Western Empires (children of the Roman Empires, West & East), into the territory of former vast Muslim Empires (Empires which preyed upon those former Roman Empires, West & East). Look to the Cecil Rhodes Group (with their Wall Street allies as Carroll Quigley described), and the Synarchist Movement for Empire (SME), for the initial instigators of these events. Israel’s just a chess piece on the board of the Geopolitical Great Game. Yes, Israel has its’ violin playing too, in this Symphony Orchestra of the Great Game that is going on. Don’t over-focus on just one of the violins in the Orchestra. That allows the REAL culprits to get away.
        However, there’s a new Game in town: Silk Road/World LandBridge win-win. The Game of Geopolitical Struggle & War, is just about over (thank God).

      • Bill Rood
        September 27, 2016 at 10:46 pm

        You both left out the most important factor, the institutional imperatives of the Military Industrial Complex::

        1) profits for arms manufacturers and other military contractors, 2) career enhancement for military brass, civilian employees of the CIA, Pentagon, State Department, and militarist thinktanks, 3) attendant high paying jobs guaranteed by ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) for “US persons” that keep those employees loyal to the system, 4) pork for politicians and 5) blockbuster movies and sensational headlines to sell media (and also to contribute to the necessary fear and jingoism).

        No other alleged goals of US interventions are achieved as consistently as these, certainly not democracy, stability or human rights. Even less noble but sometimes espoused goals like oil and hegemony are not achieved, as oil production usually drops when a country is at war, and a country in chaos is controlled by nobody.

        The MIC’s institutional imperatives are always achieved. Measured against them, our policies are a blockbuster success (many puns intended).

    • erichwwk
      September 26, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      “For whatever reasons, critical decision-makers in Washington, London, Paris and other capitals actually wanted to destroy the political institutions and infrastructure of Libya and Syria – as well as Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen and other nations – and to create a condition of near-Hobbesian chaos and anarchy.”

      Yup. Joshua Micah Marshall April 2003

      “Practice to Deceive-Chaos in the Middle East is not the Bush hawks’ nightmare scenario–it’s their plan.”

    • b.grand
      September 26, 2016 at 6:56 pm


      In 2011, protesters at Libya’s Mission in DC were arrested (that was Tighe and Medea) for unlawful entry and tearing down Qaddafi pictures.

  2. bill
    September 25, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    This is outstanding analysis and dead on as far as it goes…… neither the Libyan rebels nor ISIS nor indeed any other of the constantly rebranded terrorist groups( rebranded so as to appear to be moderates so as to seek exemption from Russian bombing) suddenly emerged from the desert sands of course. Many foreign terrorists were recruited from scores of mainly Muslim countries around the world,paid $s as mercenaries,trained and transported to where the action was happening( organised through US Benghazi Embassy in Libya) to form additional battalions of fighters to supplement local al Qaida and to replace dead and injured fighters on an ongoing basis,part of a much wider operation of sponsoring terrorism to bring about regime change. Nor did Western media outlets simply buy the many desperate and absurd myths like Viagra-induced rape merely from rebel lips but were enabled to do so by assets within the media as part of this wider operation. To establish a no-fly zone is of course an essential to destroy state troops seeking to defend their homeland against murderous terrorists working for money,but in the USA there was much military opposition over doing so in Syria( Dempsey) and a greater excuse was still seen as necessary- ergo the claimed use of chemical weapons/ false flag and Obamas red lines. Putins olive branch was of course accepted but not one supposes for reasons offered so far by Consortium News. Russia probably always has known however that Kerry speaks with a forked tongue and cant be trusted near your wife and may have certain stalling reasons for enduring Kerrys diplomatic nonsense and the inevitable broken promises- these may involve China and certain domestic military matters just as for example Chamberlains reasons at Munich have long been misunderstood and misrepresented by historians and politicians to justify military action and were chiefly concerned with delay to allow rearmament programmes into fruition in 39 and to gain the support of the then reluctant Dominions( Canada,Australia etc) To account for the rise of IS a good cover story was of course essential to disguise its real provenance,that of policing failures and huge resentments building up across N Iraq giving rise to armed groups merging into a new force whereas recruitment for money has been worldwide as well as local,some from Iraq, and the religious angle hugely exaggerated,so as to add to the mystique of the horror agenda,like the beheadings videos and cruelty…..its an excellent article but the terror isnt incidental nor is it blow-back but is the result of longterm planning involving massive recruitment, training and supply through cooperating neighbour states such as Turkey and Qatar which of course NATO has long known about and had deliberately failed to address, being proxy forces some of which are supported by several different,sometimes competing, always incoherent US foreign policies,some of which sometimes are out of favour or being rebranded , until that is the Russian airforce destroyed many of their assets within weeks. In the UK only 13 MPs didnt vote for the no-fly zone which speaks volumes for the judgment and the lack of research of the vast majority.When the Syria vote came last year most had learnt nothing either from Iraq or from Libya,despite publicly castigating Britains role in Iraq.Interestingly the then leader of the Greens and now the newish leader of the Labour Party made the right call in both situations as well as one outstanding Tory, John Baron

    • Joe Tedesky
      September 25, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      Bill great posting. You wrapped it up pretty well with a rather brief essay, good job.

      I have to hand it to the British for pursuing all these terrible events that lead up to the various wars we and the Brits have been fighting, but then what? I mean what ever comes of these British investigations? I’m thankful for the truth that becomes known, but no one, at least to the best of my knowledge ever suffers any consequence for their actions.

      It would appear that one of the methods that the NATO/Pentagon uses to move us to wage war, is to have a Ahmad Chalabi waiting in the wings, so as to give a local ethnic face to the rally cry for war. A more honest approach would be to replace the Chalabi’s with the true instigator, and that would be at this particular time in history Bibi Netanyahu. We in America have gone broke fighting the Yinon Plan.

  3. Guybaker
    September 25, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    Clinton,with prodding from Sarkozi, is responsible for the destruction of Libya, and the MSN gives her a pass.

    Now Europe pays for her sin.

  4. September 25, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    “for those who have ears to hear…let them hear”
    Schillary will most likely be the next US president….in proving to the world what a tough scheming b***h she is, she will push the Russians much too far…and it will get very hot, very fast…

  5. evelync
    September 25, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Our political leaders are not challenged by the MSM to account to us for the foreign policies they espouse – to explain honestly what those policies are and why they think they are justified. Secrecy is the norm in the name of “national security”. The latest messed up thinking to pick on Libya and Syria created more horrific failures with millions of victims.
    “We came, we saw, he died” said Hillary Clinton about the U.S. Libyan disaster. Those words revealed an emotional immaturity and a moral vacuum. Are these characteristics required for persons pursuing the Oval Office?

    It was an awakening for me years ago when Joe Biden said he thought Iraq should be divided into 3 parts according to divisions implied by Sunni-Shia-Kurd “differences”. General Wesley Clark pointed out at the time the absurdity of an outside power orchestrating a geographical division in somebody else’s country. He asked which streets would be used to determine the demarkation line to divide people.
    Biden never addressed how he would break up a household with a Sunni wife and her Shia husband.
    These “deciders” are clueless and irresponsible.

    Britain made the same terrible mistake thinking they could solve strife in South Asia by “dividing” Hindus and Muslims using geography to divide the region into separate countries, India and Pakistan. More horror created. Millions displaced. Ethnic cleansing ran wild.

    These politicians delude themselves that they “know” how to run things. But they don’t.

    And they are trained in this triumphalism at our most “prestigious” universities. And that’s what I think Noam Chomsky was referring to when he commented this year at the University of Arizona toward the end of the discussion on privacy with Glenn Greenwald and Eric Snowden (via video) – that some of our “best” universities graduate this misguided triumphalism. And Andy Bacevich at Boston University warns us of this as well.

    Our universities are used as training grounds for these people. I think some of our most creative thinkers are at universities that are outside the limelight of the Ivy Leagues like the University of Illinois, Chicago, where Cedric Johnson writes very interesting analyses of our political life:
    His focus is African American studies but he succeeds in shedding light on the reality of our political economy.
    I suspect that many of our elected officials would be in denial of Professor Johnson’s observations.

    The young people who voted for Bernie Sanders do see, I think, behind the facade that covers up our endless warmaking, the theft perpetrated by our too big to fail banks, the lack of civic minded politicians via our corrupt election process, and the threat from climate change. They understand that power is much too concentrated and in the hands of people who seem incapable of making good decisions for the rest of us and who use the national security apparatus to hide their blunders. This top down secretive approach has failed to secure peace and prosperity.

    Instead, the MSM demands that we “lead” in the world, They don’t consider that the first sign of leadership is by example here at home.

    I had a bit of hope when Bernie was providing an opportunity to millions of young people to engage vocally in a discussion on policies. Those at the top did their best to ignore their input and instead dissed their “interference”. The powers that be obstruct our chances to achieve a sustainable world.

    Thanks for this informative article!

  6. September 25, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    An oasis of sanity amid chaos.

  7. Rex Williams
    September 25, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Perhaps one should look at the ownership of the US media.

    Now I know who owns the media in the USA, but there are probably 300 million who don’t and aren’t the slightest bit interested, either. They have their newspaper of Israeli Record, the New York Times and the Foxtel pap, every day of every week. What more do you want?

    It’s called apathy, alive and well. How else do you see a Trump and a Clinton following on after an Obama and the clown prince of murder and mayhem, George Wanker Bush, still walking free and as yet not indicted, which means the people think what he did is OK.

    All this in the “land of the brave” (naive more accurately)

    • Torquemada666
      September 25, 2016 at 9:20 pm

      I agree! We are living the Orwellian nightmare world described in book ‘1984’- military-industrial complexes and their Klepto-Oligarch puppet masters control the (In)Security Council Permanent Member and other aspiring killing ‘states’- ‘victory’ of WW II is a sham- Talon of God will strike those who murder or enable the murderers whether genocidal, weapons merchants/lobbyists,sectarian, or environmental. We must take back our world even if we have to use our canine teeth against the haters, connivers, and jingoists. There are more of us than all the armed forces put together so, let us begin by cleaning out the vermin at home!

    • Sam F
      September 26, 2016 at 11:50 am

      You are quite right about the MSM being controlled by zionists, both Jews and those tied to them economically. I researched this in the 1980s and found that 40-60% of major newspapers were directly controlled by Jews, and the others almost never disagreed with their bias. The only ones that had no apparent Jewish control were in New Jersey (all controlled by Italians) and Texas-Louisiana (where they were said to be controlled by oil companies). The situation was steadily getting worse then, and is certainly worse now. This is not a conspiracy theory, it is the sad truth, readily verified by those who care for the truth. It is not a diatribe against Jews, most of whom are not involved, but a record of the tragedy of the response to fascism, which brings to power the fascist element among the victims, in this case the zionists.

      Control of the mass media of a large democracy does not happen by accident, nor for benevolent causes. It is an effort to control a population for personal gain, by working for unfair advantages for one’s ethnic or economic group. It is subversion of democracy by propaganda warfare. That is the business of the US mass media, including the NYT and the many papers it now owns, and most other papers, TV stations and “news services.” Truth is the only thing they are not paid to print.

      But the root cause is unregulated economic power. The selfish bully-boys who rise to control business and finance readily agree to carve up the spoils, as they have no religion, principles, or ideology in fact. What they share is the worship of fraud, and money equated with human worth. They are the eternal enemies of the people.

  8. MrK
    September 25, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    The email Wikileaks calls Hillary’s brag sheet, Hillary’s staff lists how she led on the destruction of Libya:

    Secretary Clinton’s leadership on Libya

    HRC has been a critical voice on Libya in administration deliberations, at NATO, and in contact group meetings — as well as the public face of the U.S. effort in Libya. She was instrumental in securing theauthorization, building the coalition, and tightening the noose around Qadhafi and his regime.

    February 25 — HRC announces the suspension of operations of the Libyan embassy in Washington.

    February 26 — HRC directs efforts to evacuate all U.S. embassy personnel from Tripoli and orders the closing of the embassy.

    February 26 — HRC made a series of calls to her counterparts to help secure passage of UNSC 1970, which imposes sanctions on Gaddafi and his family and refers Qadhafi and his cronies to the ICC

    February 28 — HRC travels to Geneva, Switzerland for consultations with European partners on Libya. She gives a major address in which she says: “Colonel Qadhafi and those around him must be held accountable for these acts, which violate international legal obligations and common decency. Through their actions, they have lost the legitimacy to govern. And the people of Libya have made themselves clear: It is time for Qadhafi to go — now, without further violence or delay.” She also works to secure the suspension of Libya from membership in the Human Rights Council.

    Early March — HRC appoints Special Envoy Chris Stevens to be the U.S. representative to Benghazi

    UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05788648 Date: 10/30/2015

    March 14 — HRC travels to Paris for the G8 foreign minister’s meeting. She meets with TNC representative
    Jibril and consults with her colleagues on further UN Security Council action. She notes that a no-fly zone will
    not be adequate.

    March 14-16 — HRC participates in a series of high-level video- and teleconferences with
    She is a leading voice for strong UNSC action and a NATO civilian protection mission.

    March 17 — HRC secures Russian abstention and Portuguese and African support for UNSC 1973, ensuring that it passes. 1973 authorizes a no-fly zone over Libya and “all necessary measures” – code for military action – to protect civilians against Gaddafi’s army.

    March 24 — HRC engages with allies and secures the transition of command and control of the civilian protection mission to NATO. She announces the transition in a statement.

    March 18-30— HRC engages with UAE, Qatar, and Jordan to seek their participation in coalition operations. Over the course of several days, all three devote aircraft to the mission.

    March 19 — HRC travels to Paris to meet with European and Arab leaders to prepare for military action to protect civilians. That night, the first U.S. air strikes halt the advance of Gaddafi’s forces on Benghazi and target Libya’s air defenses:

    March 29 — HRC travels to London for a conference on Libya, where she is a driving force behind the creation of a Contact Group comprising 20-plus countries to coordinate efforts to protect civilians and plan for a post-Qadhafi Libya. She is instrumental in setting up a rotating chair system to ensure regional buy-in.

    April 14 — HRC travels to Berlin for NATO meetings. She is the driving force behind NATO adopting a communiqué that calls for Qadhafi’s departure as a political objective, and lays out three clear military objectives: end of attacks and threat of attacks on civilians; the removal of Qadhafi forces from cities they forcibly entered; and the unfettered provision of humanitarian access.

    May 5 — HRC travels to Rome for a Contact Group meeting. The Contact Group establishes a coordination system and a temporary financial mechanism to funnel money to the TNC.

    June 8 — HRC travels to Abu Dhabi for another Contact Group meeting and holds a series of intense discussions with rebel leaders.

    June 12 — HRC travels to Addis for consultations and a speech before the African Union, pressing the case for a democratic transition in Libya.

    July 15 — HRC travels to Istanbul and announces that the U.S. recognizes the TNC as the legitimate government of Libya. She also secures recognition from the other members of the Contact Group.

    Late June — HRC meets with House Democrats and Senate Republicans to persuade them not to de-fund the Libya operation.

    July 16 — HRC sends Feltman, Cretz, and Chollet to Tunis to meet with Qadhafi envoys “to deliver a clear and firm message that the only way to move forward, is for Qadhafi to step down”.

    Early August — HRC works to construct a $1.5 billion assets package to be approved by the Security Council and sent to the TNC. That package is working through its last hurdles.

    UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05788648 Date: 10/30/2015

    Early August — After military chief Abdel Fattah Younes is killed, S sends a personal message to TNC head Jalil to press for a responsible investigation and a careful and inclusive approach to creating a new executive council.

    Early August — HRC secures written pledges from the TNC to an inclusive, pluralistic democratic transition. She continues to consult with European and Arab colleagues on the evolving situation.

  9. September 25, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    It’s frustrating to learn the truth, more so when you realize that you are in the minority by virtue of public apathy. What to do? These elites have shown themselves time and again unqualified to rule, yet they control the media that controls the gullible mob. We don’t have the bullets or the money to defeat them militarily or politically. Yet they must be defeated. As individuals all we can do is to stand our ground, speak the truth and send articles such as these to our family and friends. We can also make the individual decision to work against the global, corporate thugs who our political leaders front for by limiting as much as possible the goods these corporations produce. It wasn’t that long ago that individual artisans and craftsmen made all the goods that people required to live. Ultimately we are going to have to rebuild our country and the world again from cookies to jet engines. It’s not an impossible task. All wars are begun and ended economically. We as individuals can begin tomorrow.

  10. Dennis Merwood
    September 26, 2016 at 5:06 am

    @Archer……….”and send articles such as these to our family and friends”.

    Archer, I have been told in no uncertain terms by my kids, relatives, and friends to… “Cease and desist e-mailing us all this political rubbish! We are busy with our lives. We don’t have time to read these diatribes, and even if we did, what could we do about it?”

    My wife forbids me to bring up these geo-political issues at social gatherings. She says I am becoming a pariah in our group.

    So this old 69-year old baby boomer sits at his computer at home, and types comments on websites like Consortium News. com. Preaching to a very small choir I guess. And getting pretty despondent.

    • Joe B
      September 26, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      Good point that education does not work against oligarchy control of elections and mass media. If it did, empires would not last long. The historic mechanisms of reform are destruction by competing empires, usually no better at resisting oligarchy control, and subversion by domestic victims, usually too few and too easily controlled or mollified.

      There are no new worlds in which might be built a better democracy as our government once was. The path forward is probably China, with its history of successful popular revolution, perhaps including Russia. Certainly the US is at a dead end of progress and will ultimately be recycled, when its majority sees that the others have surpassed its standard of living and (hopefully) enjoy more democratic governments.

  11. Dunlin
    September 26, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Okay, what’s up with the picture of Obama and Cameroon having a beer? Juxtaposing an unrelated picture that gives the idea that Western leaders are sharing a drink over the take over of Libya/Syria is no better than mainstream media’s juxtaposition of the picture of Putin holding a gun in articles about Russian “aggression”. I thought this site was above those childish tactics.

    • Gregory Herr
      September 26, 2016 at 6:41 pm

      The photograph in question is clearly described for context. Hardly seems like a tactic to me. But it’s not a stretch to honestly come to the conclusion that the likes of Cameron & Obama are too cavalier for their destructive britches. Comes with their territory. Don’t need any pictures to tell that story.
      The MSM is lying about Syria, just as they lied about Iraq and Libya. They lie about Putin and Russian aggression, and they lie just to stay in practice, so they don’t forget how. This article by Mr. Carden isn’t lying. So much for comparisons.

  12. Joe B
    September 26, 2016 at 11:58 am

    This is an excellent article, establishing well that “diplomatic alternatives were never seriously pursued in Libya or in Syria” except in dismantling of Syria’s chemical weapons, but never in disarming its opponents. The “relentlessly excised” fact that “militant Islamist militias played a critical role in the rebellion” shows that the US mass media are propaganda tools used exclusively to subvert democracy for the benefit of oligarchy.

  13. george Archers
    September 27, 2016 at 6:55 am

    Pure gibberish: “same Islamist radicals who attacked us on 9/11 and who remain the sworn enemies of the West.”
    After 16 years this author knows nothing about that orchestrated event.
    1996 Bill Clinton received a letter–7 middle East countries need to be destroyed for security of Israel. Then in 1999, again a demand, We need another Pearl Harbor event to get the plan accepted by the general public.
    3000 dead Americans on Sept 11 2001 and millions dead in middle east and the author writes nonsense..

    • Erik
      September 27, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      Well, if you have evidence of US complicity in the 9/11 attacks you will have quite a story. But allusions to letters, or even the actual letters, won’t establish that. No one here would discourage you in providing evidence.

  14. Lawrence Fitton
    September 27, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    when truth is a matter of opinion, lies are a matter of course.

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