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Italy Quits NATO War, Blocks Use of Air Bases Used by 90% of Raids
Mathaba's Louis Adam King reports on NATO's failed aggression on Africa
Report by Adam King
Three months after NATO first bombed government targets in Libya on March 21, one of the top three powers driving the coalition’s anti-Qaddafi campaign, has had enough. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini called for an immediate halt in hostilities in Libya “to allow humanitarian aid to reach civilians in the country.”
Appearing before Italy's lower house of parliament in Rome, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini called for an immediate halt to activities in Libya. Following his presentation, the government won a confidence vote over a package of tax cuts and an end to Italy’s involvement in the NATO-led military campaign in Libya.
Military sources report that since 90 per cent of NATO’s air strikes and operations for enforcing a no-fly zone come from bases and command centers in Italy, Rome’s pull-out badly jolts the entire war effort against Libya and its popular historic figure, Muammar Qaddafi.
The call from Frattini did not result from compassion or a sense of moral right, analysts point out, as the Italian Foreign Minister had lied about the attacks on Libya as evidence by the Italian Catholic Priest of Tripoli, who was his friend, and was deliberately misquoted by Frattini, leading the priest to out him as a "liar".
Further Frattini had attended NATO meetings during the past 3 months of the illegal war against Libya, where he had called for the attacks on Libya.
His about turn comes in the face of growing opposition within Europe, but in particular the strong African position which has along with much of the world, vociferously opposed colonial intervention.
Africa's strongest, previously most stable and peaceful, and wealthiest component, with the largest shore-line to the north is Libya, and analysts point out that it is the only country bordering Europe that NATO has no cooperation and joint exercises or agreements with. Libya was one of a very few who refused any cooperation with the US Africa Command AFRICOM.
Libya is known as the "crown of Africa" due to its geographical position as the gate-way from Africa to Europe and also from Europe to Africa, and as a result of the war, millions of Africans are expected to become refugees in Europe.
A planning conference of the EU had taken place in Malta in which plans were discussed to accept "up to five million refugees" from Libya, yet the entire population of Libya, including foreigners, is an estimated seven million, leading observers to conclude the NATO plan was a total removal of all support for Qaddafi.
Qaddafi has long been the most popular figure in Africa, known throughout the continent, for his opposition to dictatorship and example wherein he seized power9 in 196 as a young military officer from a corrupt king and handed it to the people just eight years later, with a pure form of direct participatory democracy.
Since then Qaddafi ceased to be head of state and instead devoted his life in the 1970's and 1980's to assisting African revolutionary and popular movements to oppose dictatorships, often supported by the west, the most famous of which being the support to Nelson Mandela and the South African liberation struggle.
In the 1990's he turned his attention to human rights, and in recent decades his calls on Libyans to finance massive developmental projects throughout Africa, resulted in Africa having its first communications satellite which opened up low-cost communications to the continent, saving a half billion dollars annually.
In 1999, at an extra-ordinary summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) where all heads of state of the around 53 African countries were present, he put forward an extensive proposal for a "United States of Africa" which was accepted in more pragmatic form on 9.9.99 and ratified in South Africa in 2002.
This gave birth to the African Union, which has made major advances in bringing about peace and security on the continent. In September 2011, a major economic initiative to lift the continent out of poverty was to be announced with the formation of a $42 billion fund to create an African monetary system.
The system would have three components, an African Investment Bank with Headquarters in Libya (Africa's wealthiest nation), an African Central Bank owned by all African governments, with HQ in Nigeria, and an African Monetary Fund with an all-African-only board of directors, with HQ in Cameroon.
The capital for this gigantic economic project to solve Africa's financial woes, included $32 billion contribution from Libya, as Africa's wealthiest of the 53 States of the African Union, and $10 billion from the other 52 States combined. The $32 billion was stolen by the United States government after launching war on Libya in March.
In March, Qaddafi had been slated for receipt of a United Nations award for his work in human rights, which had been sponsored in the General Assembly and endorsed by Australia, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Holland, Sweden, and a host of other nations, which then fell into line in the US-led attack on Libya, cancelling the event.
France may decide to carry on its air strikes from the French aircraft carrier the Charles de Gaulle and Britain from its air bases in Cyprus. The Charles de Gaulle reached notoriety for allowing 70 African refugees including babies fleeing the bombings on a small boat, which was alongside seeking help, to die of thirst at sea.
The NATO war on Libya has been seriously hampered by the large civilian toll including many babies and children, and its 100 day bombing campaign under the guise of "protecting civilians from Qaddafi", which has long been exposed as a ruse, with constant African Union efforts and calls being ignored by the UN and NATO.
The prospects of an American-European victory against the Libyan democratic Jamahiriya "state of the masses" government and attempts to assassinate Qaddafi have been undermined by growing failures and mounting opposition, as well as an exponential rise in worldwide support for Qaddafi's ideas in The Green Book.
The only chance of success would depend on US President Barack Obama overruling the Italian decision and restoring the United States to full participation in the coalition’s military assault by operations similar to its Tomahawk missile and air bombardment in the first two weeks of the campaign.
However, the problem with that, is not only is the US bankrupt and dependent upon Europeans to finance the purchase of its missiles and equipment, but also the President would legally already be liable for prison, if a constitutional court would enforce American laws: as he has been waging an illegal war without Congress.
The White House, already facing overwhelming congressional opposition to any US military involvement in the Libya, would therefore be unable to get its expansion past this wall of resistance, or otherwise face a massive backlash and accelerated internal breakdown of the US.
Italy chose June 22 as the date to drop its bombshell on withdrawal of support for the war, beating by only a few hours President Obama’s forthcoming announcement of the first drawdown of US troops from the NATO-led war in Afghanistan, in calculation that the start of America’s withdrawal from one NATO-led war would work just as well for Italy to end its military involvement in another.
According to DEBKA news, the Italian prime minister picked up the candid assessments of British and French commanders who warned their government heads that the campaign against Qaddafi could not be sustained past the end of summer. He decided to jump the gun on the two allies.
DEBKA was, along with MATHABA, one of only a very few news and intelligence sources warning that the NATO war against Libya was not winnable, and that NATO had set a trap for itself by having unobtainable real objectives (killing Qaddafi, occupying Libya, installing a puppet regime, setting up bases) without any exit.
As a result, NATOs defeat will result in a clear loss of face for the organization which was expected to be disbanded after the Soviet Union ceased to be a threat, and was promised for follow the disbanding of the Warsaw Pact. Instead, NATO grew into a world wide military force for the banker elite, waging numerous wars.
Our sources offered unvarnished facts to counter the string of improbable claims by NATO leaders that Col. Qaddafi’s days were numbered, his army degraded and the rebels strongly pushing for Tripoli.
The Italian prime minister also took advantage of NATO’s bad press after the coalition acknowledging the accidental killing of 9 civilians in a Tripoli bombing Sunday and a second misfiring Monday which killed 15 people including three more children to the dozens already killed, and three baby grandchildren of Qaddafi.
The Italian PM, Berlusconi, had betrayed a close friendship with Muammar Qaddafi, and allowed Italy to be used as the military HQ for the war on Libya, in which over 12,000 sorties have been flown, including over 5,000 bombing raids, including dozens upon the house of Qaddafi, repeatedly bombing it while he refused to move.
Berlusconi viewed as unhealthy the combination of the Euro zone’s decline and the receding prospects of a coalition victory in Libya. The only way to save Italy from being sucked into deep economic distress, he calculated, was to pull out of the war on Libya and restore Rome’s pre-war economic ties with the Libyan government.