Two of the sharpest knives in the pack dissect the ongoing counter-revolution in the Arab world:
"If not to prevent genocide, grab the oil or promote democracy (via Patriot missiles), what then is the driving force behind the Euro-US imperial intervention [in Libya]? A clue lies in the selectivity of Western military intervention: in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, Qatar and Oman ruling autocrats, allied with and backed by Euro-US imperial states go about arresting, torturing and murdering unarmed urban protesters with total impunity. In Egypt and Tunisia, the US is backing a conservative junta of self-appointed civil-military elites in order to block the profound democratic and nationalist transformation of society demanded by the protesters. The 'junta' aims to push through neo-liberal economic 'reforms' through carefully vetted pro-Western 'elected' officials. While liberal critics may accuse the West of 'hypocrisy' and 'double standards' in bombing Gaddafi but not the Gulf butchers, in reality the imperial rulers consistently apply the same standards in each region: they defend strategic autocratic client regimes, which have allowed imperial states to build strategic air force and naval bases, run regional intelligence operations and set up logistical platforms for their ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as their future planned conflict with Iran. They attack Gaddafi's Libya precisely because Gaddafi had refused to actively contribute to Western military operations in Africa and the Middle East. The key point is that while Libya allows the biggest US-European multinationals to plunder its oil wealth, it did not become a strategic geopolitical-military asset of the empire. As we have written in many previous essays the driving force of US empire-building is military - and not economic. This is why billions of dollars of Western economic interests and contracts have been sacrificed in the setting up of sanctions against Iraq and Iran - with the costly result that the invasion and occupation of Iraq shut down most oil exploitation for over a decade. The Washington-led assault on Libya... is part of a more general counter-attack in response to the most recent Arab popular pro-democracy movements. The West is backing the suppression of these pro-democracy movements throughout the Gulf; it finances the pro-imperial, pro-Israel junta in Egypt and it is intervening in Tunisia to ensure that any new regime is 'correctly aligned'. It supports a despotic regime in Algeria as well as Israel's daily assaults on Gaza. In line with this policy, the West backs the uprising of ex-Gaddafites and right-wing monarchists, confident that the 'liberated' Libya will once again provide military bases for the US-European military empire-builders." (The Euro-US war on Libya: official lies & misconceptions of critics, James Petras & Robin E, Abaya, petras.lehaine.org, 25/3/11)
"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. Two diplomatic sources at the United Nations independently confirmed that Washington, via Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, gave the go-ahead for Saudi Arabia to invade Bahrain and crush the pro-democracy movement in their neighbor in exchange for a 'yes' vote by the Arab League for a no-fly zone over Libya - the main rationale that led to United Nations Security Council resolution 1973. The revelation came from two different diplomats, a European and a member of the BRIC group, and was made separately to a US scholar and Asia Times Online. According to diplomatic protocol, their names cannot be disclosed. One of the diplomats said, 'This is the reason why we could not support resolution 1973. We were arguing that Libya, Bahrain and Yemen were similar cases, and calling for a fact-finding mission. We maintain our official position that the resolution is not clear, and may be interpreted in a belligerent manner'. As Asia Times Online has reported, a full Arab League endorsement of a no-fly zone is a myth. Of the 22 full members, only 11 were present at the voting. Six of them were Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, the US-supported club of Gulf kingdoms/sheikhdoms, of which Saudi Arabia is the top dog. Syria and Algeria were against it. Saudi Arabia only had to 'seduce' 3 other members to get the vote. Translation: only 9 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. Thus, in the beginning, there was the great 2011 Arab revolt. Then, inexorably, came the US-Saudi counter-revolution.
"Humanitarian imperialists will spin en masse this is a 'conspiracy', as they have been spinning the bombing of Libya prevented a hypothetical massacre in Benghazi. They will be defending the House of Saud - saying it acted to squash Iranian subversion in the Gulf; obviously R2P - 'responsibility to protect' does not apply to people in Bahrain. They will be heavily promoting post-Gaddafi Libya as a new - oily - human rights Mecca, complete with US intelligence assets, black-ops, special forces and dodgy contractors. Whatever they say won't alter the facts on the ground - the graphic results of the US-Saudi dirty dancing. Asia Times Online has already reported on who profits from the foreign intervention in Libya (see There's no business like war busines, March 30). Players include the Pentagon (via Africom), NATO, Saudi Arabia, the Arab League's Amr Moussa, and Qatar. Add to the list the al-Khalifa dynasty in Bahrain, assorted weapons contractors, and the usual neo-liberal suspects eager to privatize everything in sight in the new Libya - even the water. And we're not even talking about the Western vultures hovering over the Libyan oil and gas industry. Exposed, above all, is the astonishing hypocrisy of the Obama administration, selling a crass geopolitical coup involving northern Africa and the Persian Gulf as a humanitarian operation. As for the fact of another US war on a Muslim nation, that's just a 'kinetic military action'. There's been widespread speculation in both the US and across the Middle East that considering the military stalemate - and short of the 'coalition of the willing' bombing the Gaddafi family to oblivion - Washington, London and Paris might settle for the control of eastern Libya; a northern African version of an oil-rich Gulf Emirate. Gaddafi would be left with a starving North Korea-style Tripolitania. But considering the latest high-value defections from the regime, plus the desired endgame ('Gaddafi must go', in President Obama's own words), Washington, London, Paris and Riyadh won't settle for nothing but the whole kebab. Including a strategic base for both Africom and NATO." (Exposed: The US-Saudi Libya deal, Pepe Escobar, atimes.com,)