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By LEONARDO SACRAMENTO*

How Sarkozy, Obama and NATO Tried to Destroy the Organization of African Countries

Barack Obama was an extremely popular president. A media man and an excellent speaker, he eclipsed the ills of his foreign policy, left to Hillary Clinton and a robbery gang. The legacy of Obama's foreign policy was the deepening of the war on terror, the attempt to destroy the African Union with the bulk of 100 bombs – the record among US presidents –, the rise of jihadism and the fragmentation of some countries, notably Libya. He won a Nobel Peace Prize – the Swedish Academy's prize for European taste.

The e-mails exchanged between Hillary and Sidney Rosenthal, a ghost of the Clinton family, publicized by WikiLeaks, are astonishing – which explains the empire’s pitbull rage. To understand NATO and US policy in Libya, we will analyze the emails sent about the coup in the country, which serve as a light for their actions in Ukraine. We will deal with emails from the months of April and May 2011. All of them expose NATO's foreign policy, as they demonstrate military planning and geopolitical interests before the assassination of the US ambassador in Benghazi by the jihadist group Ansar al Shariah.

In an email dated April 19, Rosenthal communicated to the then Secretary of State, a position that gave her the role of being Obama's main adviser, that information taken from the "direct access" of the Libyan rebel command, submitted to the then National Council of Libya (CNL), expressed a major relationship problem with the British and the French, as CNL officials believed that the Europeans would not provide materials and training, as promised.

They harbored distrust of the French for having emboldened the rebels against Gaddafi; however, the French Intelligence Service, the famous Directorate-General for External Security (DGSE), continued to maintain a close relationship with General Abdul Fattah Younus, who participated in the deposition of King Idris alongside Gaddafi in 1969, and accused by the CNL to maintain proximity with the Libyan leader. Younus was killed by the Martyrs militia on 17 February, accused of visiting Tripoli to meet Gaddafi's ministers. At the same time, the DGSE maintained relations with Khalifa Haftar, opponent of Younus, whom the CNL believed to be close to the US having lived twenty years the american dream.

According to Rosenthal, prior to the creation of the NATO no-fly zone, Algeria had supplied Gaddafi with “T55, T56 and T64 tanks”. CNL officials were "frustrated by France's failure to attempt to block these supply efforts, as "Libyans believed that France" continued "to exert some degree of influence in Algeria". In other words, the French position was wavering in the eyes of CNL officials, whose dubiousness had been explained in previous emails sent by the selfless ghost to the careless Secretary of State.

According to a March 20 e-mail, Rosenthal reports that Nicolas Sarkozy planned for France to take the lead in the attacks against Gaddafi. He saw it as an opportunity to reassert France as a “military power”. According to the sources heard, the French military was disappointed with the French government for not having participated in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, due to differences between countries. Thus, “Sarkozy and his military advisers believe that operations in Libya” would “rebuild the reputation of the French military, which was also damaged by a troubled performance in the first Gulf War”. Logically, the French did not enter the war against Gaddafi out of pride in their military. Let us continue Rosenthal's exposition.

In early April, Jacob Zuma (at the time President of South Africa) visited Tripoli and Benghazi on behalf of the “Organization of African Unity (OAU)”.[I] According to Rosenthal, his sources told him that Zuma had come up with a ceasefire plan, as "NATO and the US could not be trusted to support an African nation for an extended period of time." The rebels rejected the proposal, in a "decision that was facilitated by increased NATO airstrikes against Libyan army forces in Ajdabya". This increase occurred precisely during Zuma's visit, indicating military support from NATO, which would be in a state of denial and dubiousness in the April 19 email. NATO (France) bombing emboldened the rebels to refuse the OAU proposal.

Let's go to an essential point of email. Western intelligence sources asserted that Zuma believed "firmly that it would be a mistake to set a precedent by permissively for protesters/rebels to replace a head of state". Although Zuma remained popular, "his rule has been plagued by allegations of corruption and other criminal activity". Still according to the sources, he feared that “these accusations could endanger his government, particularly if they could look to Libya and other North African countries as examples of success”. In 2021, Zuma was arrested by a decision of the South African Superior Court, on empty accusations and without a defined object, in mirror of Lava-Jato in Brazil. His arrest sparked a wave of protests and riots, especially in Johannesburg. His 15-month sentence was arbitrated for failing to appear in court.

In the face of air attacks, Gaddafi had hired Belarusian and Serb mercenaries, in addition to entrenching himself in the Sirtre region, where members of the tribe Qadhadhfa they formed a cordon against NATO troops and French-funded rebels.

This state of affairs, of absolute chaos, was the basis for the distrust of the National Council of Libya towards the French that the chaos was part of a calculation. In an email dated April 08, Rosenthal states that a source with access to the National Council of Libya had stated that the rebels saw a NATO double game, since, despite fighting Gaddafi, they found that Italy and France maintained contact with “members of the Gaddafi government" in order to "protect the British position in case the rebellion comes to a standstill". The Council's military "suspects that, despite early indications of providing clandestine military support to the rebels, neither the French nor British government provided the rebels with sufficient equipment and training to defeat Gaddafi's forces."

In other words, "they believed that the French, British and other European countries will be satisfied with a stalemate that leaves Libya divided into two rival entities". That is, the bet was chaos, as there was no effective investment to resolve the coup. The rebels were convinced and supported initially, but they were not effectively sustained to end the conflict. The most likely thing is that the French and British bet on a fragmented Libya from the beginning, so that they could divide it into zones of interests and activities, as happened with the African continent after the Berlin Conference, in 1885.

To counteract the European bet, the military of the National Council of Libya considered the possibility of hiring private security companies for training. They recognized that position as a better way out, because if they accepted “clandestine help from France and/or Great Britain, these two countries would be in a position to control the development of post-Gaddafi Libya”. Paradoxically, with Belarusians and Serbs in Libya, the Wagner group (Russia) may have seen a great business opportunity.

They entered, as is known, in 2016 to support General Khalifa Haftar, whom the French Secret Service considered dubious and traitorous for having negotiated with him and Abdul Fattah Younus, a general killed for alleged proximity to Gaddafi ministers. France, on the other hand, bet on interventions soft in the region of Sirte (land of Gaddafi), placing Ali Zidane, representative of Human Rights League (LRH), to persuade the tribes to join the rebels, "before the fighting really reached their regions".

The United States, for its part, pulled the strings. He delegated to Ali Tarhouni, a CNL specialist, the mission to recover “oil exports in eastern Libya”, with the support of “Qatar”, always the “chosen one” for the 2022 World Cup, even with 6.500 dead slave workers, and the big financier of Paris and European football and sport, from Paris Saint-Germain to Formula 1 racing. On April 08, 2011, 20 days after the NATO attacks began, the US was focused on “restart operations at the oil terminal in Tobruk”, in which an envoy would arrive in Benghazi to facilitate the process. On September 12, Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens would be burned to death by the same rebels, already under the rise of Islamic fundamentalists who Gaddafi controlled and who, according to Rosenthal, were “discreet” in April.

Qatar, always the same, had already made financial resources available to the CNL with the aim of “encouraging the shipment of oil from eastern Libya”. According to Rosenthal, “some traders of commodities recently entered (under contract from Qatar) to deliver refined petroleum products to the insurgents”. Switzerland's Vitol and Glencore stood out, as they were operating in a rebel zone, but who denied the US "any involvement in this shipment".

The territorial division was already something given weeks after the beginning of the attacks, or rather, it was a working premise. Rosenthal dwells at length on Egypt, which was experiencing the consequences of the so-called Arab Spring, trying to be as didactic as possible to Hillary Clinton. Despite the internal conflicts, the rise of the military allowed political stability for the construction of an Egyptian geopolitical platform over Libya. The civil war in Libya was seen as an "opportunity to fill the void in the east". To that end, “the Egyptian government has quietly supported the Libyan opposition forces through training, weaponry, food, medical care and supplies, while trying to organize a political structure”. Rosenthal also charged that Egyptian Special Operations troops were working with rebel forces.

Egypt also aimed to: (a) avoid a refugee crisis; (b) control the labor market, since Libya was a stronghold for 1,5 million Egyptians, who remitted “US$ 254 million to their families”, which had been harmed by Gaddafi, who imposed some bureaucracy on foreigners – he sought to - building a more favorable environment for unemployed Egyptians in the midst of the revolts that overthrew Mubarak –; (c) control and contain jihadist movements that linked Libyan organizations with Egyptian ones; (d) petroleum resources; (e) increase in regional power, reestablishing some of the country's protagonism among the Arabs, in which they would protect Libyans from Gaddafi while distancing themselves from “any military intervention led by the former colonial powers”.

Here are two observations to be made: (1) there was a rift between Egypt, which supported the no-fly zone, and Algeria, Yemen, and Syria, which voted against it. These governments feared “the precedent that would be set for their own governments in the event of Gaddafi's ousting”. The armed uprising in Syria would begin on March 15, 2011, burying the country in chaos. Yemen, in a different way, would feel the effects in 2014, opposing two regional forces, Saudi Arabia and Iran; (2) Egypt viewed Libya as an Arab country. If not Arab, from its zone of influence because it borders and has a historical connection. The African Union saw it as an African country, at least closer to the position of Gaddafi and the French, as we will see below.

It can be concluded that a substantial part of the region's destabilization is due to the deliberate and planned fragmentation of Libya. Thus, Gaddafi played a stabilizing role in the region. The British, North Americans and, above all, the French knew about this fact. It can therefore be deduced that the NATO invasion of Libya had a greater role than that attributed by the organization to the country. It had a regional and continental sense of destabilization, which included the entire Middle East and parts of Africa.

The elucidation comes in an e-mail from Rosenthal with an exquisite title: Client of France and Gold of Gaddafi. This email, dated April 02, reproduces the assessment of a senior CNL official on the deepening of disputes between the factions. That is, on April 02, there was already an assessment that the splitting was inevitable – all emails exposed after that date had this data as a premise. According to the senior official, this division reflected the role that France played among the rebels through General Abdel Fateh Younis. According to the French, “Gaddafi's government holds 143 tons of gold and a similar amount of silver”, and at the end of March 2011 “these stocks were transferred to Sabha (southwest towards Libya's border with Niger and Chad).

Until then held in the Central Bank, the “gold was accumulated before the current rebellion and is intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency”, based “on the dinar”. According to Rosenthal to Clinton, "This plan was designed to provide French-speaking African countries with an alternative to the French Franc (CFA)." This data was decisive for “President Nicolas Sarkozy's decision”. Gold was estimated at 7 billion dollars.

According to the US, Sarkozy's plans were oriented towards five objectives: (a) winning with Libyan oil; (b) increase French influence in North Africa; (c) improve the position of the president in France; (d) better position the French military; (e) abort Gaddafi's move to supplant France "as the dominant power in French-speaking Africa". In other words, France's central objective was to remove Gaddafi's political protagonism in Africa and preserve the French franc in the former colonies, established as an agreement for half-independence. In 2019, the CFA was replaced by the Euro through a currency called Eco.

In an e-mail dated May 05, the intentions are more explicit. The French Air Force and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs began to “bring in medical and humanitarian supplies”. The flights started on the 13th of April. However, the “sources add that these flights are bringing representatives of major French corporations, as well as officers from the Directorate General for External Security (DGSE), all of whom are looking to establish relationships with rebel leaders as they go.” This included the visit of “executives from the French oil company Total, the large construction company Vinci and European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company NV (EAD)”. The structure is guaranteed by private companies. For example, “Aircraft for the operation are provided by Airbus, which is a subsidiary of EAD”, and “Subsequent flights have carried representatives of the Thalys conglomerate and other major French companies, all with close ties to the government of President Nicolas Sarkozy”.

After the meetings, “these French businessmen discreetly leave by road, via Tobruk to Egypt”, in “convoys” organized “and protected by paramilitary officers from the Special Action Group/DGSE, who also use these visits to establish contacts in intelligence and into rebel army units under the command of General Abdul Fatah Younus”. According to these “sources, it has longstanding ties with the DGSE”.

According to Rosenthal, the entire conception of the operation belongs to Bernard Henri Levy, a private adviser to the president who acted as a journalist. He had contacts since February 2011, at the beginning of the protests. On April 22, he and the CNL signed an agreement giving French companies priority "in future business." According to the sources, Levy politely "made it clear" that they owed a "debt to France for its early support", and that "Sarkozy needed something tangible to show the leaders". Both agreed to "discreetly" establish an "agreement", avoiding "annoying other countries involved with the rebels".

At least six conclusions can be drawn: (I) France acted in a neocolonialist way to maintain the CFA over African countries; (II) France played a major role in the overthrow and death of Gaddafi, including the commitment to the territorial fragmentation of the Libyan State; (III) Sarkozi made efforts, along with the British, for Libya to cease to exist as a Nation; (IV) All French action was assisted, in every way, by the US through the NATO apparatus; (V) Since then, Qatar has deepened its business in France, diversifying not only in sports, the most visible part of Paris, but also in oil management. It is extremely likely that this deepening of business between the countries and their companies is a result of agreements on the division of booty in Libya. On June 13, 2022, Total won the bid and signed a US$30 billion contract for the supply of natural gas in fields in Qatar.[ii] The French construction company Vinci was one of the builders of football stadiums for the 2022 World Cup, and was recently accused of having enslaved workers.[iii] The Paris School of Business Studies opened a campus in Doha; (VI) The African Union has vigorously approached China through the increase of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in African countries. Part of the unwillingness of African countries and non-alignment with the NATO agenda on Ukraine, as in the vote on the suspension of Russia in the UN Human Rights Commission, in which there was a large reversal of votes compared to the approved recrimination resolution by the same General Assembly weeks before,[iv] is due to the political legacy of the entity in the African continent and, particularly, in Libya. The non-alignment is supported by the proximity to China and now to Russia, as seen in the expulsion of the French Army by Mali and the Central African Republic, which use the service of Russian military and paramilitary forces, such as the Wagner group, to fight jihadist forces.

*Leonardo Sacramento is a teacher of basic education and pedagogue at the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of São Paulo. Book author The mercantile university: a study on the public university and private capital (Appris).

 

Notes


[I] There is a mistake by Rosenthal. The African Union (AU) was founded in 2002, replacing the OAU. This, in turn, was founded in 1963.

[ii] Available in https://www.jornaldenegocios.pt/empresas/energia/detalhe/francesa-total-escolhida-para-explorar-no-qatar-maior-campo-de-gas-natural-do-mundo and https://valor.globo.com/empresas/noticia/2022/06/13/francesa-total-se-junta-ao-catar-como-1o-parceiro-estrangeiro-em-projeto-de-gnl-de-us-30-bilhoes.ghtml.

[iii] Available in https://gauchazh.clicrbs.com.br/esportes/noticia/2015/03/construtora-francesa-e-denunciada-por-trabalho-forcado-em-obras-no-catar-4725201.html.

[iv] On March 02, 2022, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution against Russia by 141 votes, 35 abstentions and 5 against. On April 07, the same General Assembly suspended the country from the Human Rights Council by 93 favorable votes, 58 abstentions and 24 against.

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