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Libyan War And Control Of The Mediterranean

irish 2011/03/28 10:19:18


Libyan War And Control Of The Mediterranean









libyan war mediterranean


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French President Nicolas Sarkozy and fallen Egyptian President Hosni
Mubarack are the merry co-chairs of the EU-Mediterranean summit held in
Paris on July 13, 2008Add caption
Rick Rozoff at voltairenet.org



Had Muammar Gaddafi become too pesky for the likes of Nicolas Sarkozy
and his Atlanticist partners, by standing in the way of their agenda for
the domination of the Mediterranean sea region? France’s direct role in
nurturing the rebellion against the Libyan leader is no longer a
secret. In this article, Rick Rozoff offers some additional pointers,
and analyzes the Libyan war in the context of the advancing
transformation of the Mediterranean into NATO’s mare nostrum.

.

A year after assuming the post of president of the French Republic in
2007, and while his nation held the rotating European Union presidency,
Nicolas Sarkozy invited the heads of state of the EU’s 27 members and
those of 17 non-EU Mediterranean countries to attend a conference in
Paris to launch a Mediterranean Union.



In the words of Britain’s Daily Telegraph regarding the subsequent
summit held for the purpose on July 13, 2008, “Sarkozy’s big idea is to
use imperial Rome’s centre of the world as a unifying factor linking 44
countries that are home to 800 million people.”



Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, however, announced that his nation would
boycott the gathering, denouncing the initiative as one aimed at
dividing both Africa and the Arab world, and stating:



“We shall have another Roman empire and imperialist design. There are
imperialist maps and designs that we have already rolled up. We should
not have them again.” [1]



The unprecedented summit was held with the intention of “shift[ing]
Europe’s strategic focus towards the Middle East, North Africa and the
Balkans.” [2]



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Blue: Members of the European Union Union for the Mediterranean / Green:
Other members (primarily from the African Union & Arab League) /
Striped green: Libya is currently only an observer member in the Union
for the Mediterranean



The Mediterranean Union was renamed the less controversial Union for the
Mediterranean and its members include all 44 nations originally invited
to join except for Libya.



Less than three years later Sarkozy’s Mirage and Rafale warplanes were
bombing Libyan government targets, initiating an ongoing war being waged
by France, the United States, Britain and what the world news media
refer to as an international coalition – 12 members of the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization and the emirate of Qatar – to overthrow the
Gaddafi government and implant a more pliant replacement.



The Mediterranean Sea is the main battle front in the world currently,
superseding the Afghanistan-Pakistan war theater, and the empire of the
new third millennium – that of the U.S., the world’s sole military
superpower in the words of President Barack Obama in his Nobel Peace
Prize acceptance speech, and its NATO partners – is completing the
transformation of the Mediterranean into its mare nostrum.



The attack on Libya followed by slightly more than three weeks a move in
the parliament of the Eastern Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus to
drag that state into NATO’s Partnership for Peace program [3], which if
ultimately successful would leave only three of twenty nations
(excluding microstate Monaco) on or in the Mediterranean Sea not full
members of NATO or beholden to it through partnership entanglements,
including those of the Mediterranean Dialogue (Algeria, Egypt, Israel,
Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia): Libya, Lebanon and Syria.



NATO membership and partnerships obligate the affected governments to
open their countries to the U.S. military. For example, less than a year
after becoming independent Montenegro had already joined the
Partnership for Peace and was visited by then-commander of U.S. Naval
Forces Europe Admiral Harry Ulrich and the submarine tender Emory S.
Land in an effort “to provide training and assistance for the
Montenegrin Navy and to strengthen the relationship between the two
navies.” [4] The next month four NATO warships, including the USS
Roosevelt guided missile destroyer, docked in Montenegro’s Tivat harbor.



If the current Libyan model is duplicated in Syria as increasingly seems
to be the case, and with Lebanon already blockaded by warships from
NATO nations since 2006 in what is the prototype for what NATO will soon
replicate off the coast of Libya, the Mediterranean Sea will be
entirely under the control of NATO and its leading member, the U.S.



Cyprus in the only European Union member and indeed the only European
nation (except for microstates) that is – for the time being – not a
NATO member or partner, and Libya is the only African nation bordering
the Mediterranean not a member of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue
partnership program.



Libya is also one of only five of Africa’s 54 countries that have not
been integrated into, which is to say subordinated to, the new U.S.
Africa Command (AFRICOM).



The others are:



Sudan, which is being balkanized as Libya may also soon be.



Ivory Coast, now embroiled in what is for all intents a civil war with
the West backing the armed groups of Alassane Ouattara against standing
president Laurent Gbagbo and under the threat of foreign military
intervention, likely by the AFRICOM- and NATO-supported West African
Standby Force and possibly with direct Western involvement. [5]



Eritrea, which borders Djibouti where some 5,000 U.S. and French troops
are based and which was involved in an armed border conflict with its
neighbor three years ago in which French military forces intervened on
behalf of Djibouti.



Zimbabwe, which is among likely candidates for the next U.S.-NATO Operation Odyssey Dawn-type military intervention.



The Mediterranean has been history’s most strategically important sea
and is the only one whose waves lap the shores of three continents.



Control of the sea has been fought over by the Persian, Alexandrian,
Carthaginian, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, Spanish, British and Napoleonic
empires, in part or in whole, and by Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s
Germany.



Since the end of World War Two the major military power in the sea has
been the U.S. In 1946 Washington established Naval Forces Mediterranean,
which in 1950 became the U.S. Sixth Fleet and has its headquarters in
the Mediterranean port city of Naples.

forces mediterranean 1950 sixth fleet headquarters mediterranean port city naplesJPEG - 18.2 kb

The burning frigate USS Philadelphia in the harbor of Tripoli, February
16, 1804. The Tripolitan War was the first of two wars fought between
the United States and the North African Muslim states known collectively
as the Barbary States.

Painted by Edward Moran in 1897.



In fact the genesis of the U.S. Navy was the Naval Act of 1794, passed
in response to the capture of American merchant vessels off the coast of
North Africa. The Mediterranean Squadron (also Station) was created in
reaction to the first Barbary War of 1801-1805, also known as the
Tripolitan War after what is now northwestern Libya. The U.S. fought its
first naval battle outside the Western Hemisphere against Tripolitania
in 1801.



U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, also based in Naples, is assigned to
the Sixth Fleet and provides forces for both U.S. European Command and
U.S. Africa Command. Its commander is Admiral Samuel Locklear III, who
is also commander of NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command Naples.



He has been coordinating U.S. and NATO air and missile strikes against
Libya from USS Mount Whitney, the flagship of the Sixth Fleet, as
commander of Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn, the U.S. Africa Command
operation in charge of U.S. guided missile destroyers, submarines and
stealth bombers conducting attacks inside Libya.



Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations (the highest-ranking
officer in the U.S. Navy), recently stated that the permanent U.S.
military presence in the Mediterranean allowed the Pentagon, which
“already was positioned for operations over Libya,” to launch Odyssey
Dawn on March 19. “The need, for example in the opening rounds, for the
Tomahawk strikes, the shooters were already in place. They were already
loaded, and that went off as we expected it would.”



“That’s what you get when you have a global Navy that’s forward all the
time….We’re there, and when the guns go off, we’re ready to conduct
combat operations….” [6]



On March 22 General Carter Ham, the new chief of U.S. Africa Command,
visited the U.S. air base in Ramstein, Germany and met with British,
French and Italian air force leaders to evaluate the bombing campaign in
Libya. He praised cooperation with NATO partners before the war began,
stating, “You can’t bring 14 different nations together without ever
having prepared for this before.” [7]



praised cooperation nato partners war stating 14 nations prepared 7
As
the AFRICOM commander was in Germany, Defense Secretary Robert Gates
was in Egypt to meet with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi,
commander in chief of the Egyptian armed forces and chairman of the
Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, to coordinate the campaign against
Libya.



The Pentagon’s website reported on March 23 that forces attached to
AFRICOM’s Task Force Odyssey Dawn had flown 336 air sorties, 108 of them
launching strikes and 212 conducted by the U.S. The operations included
162 Tomahawk cruise missile attacks.



Admiral Roughead stated that he envisioned “no problem in keeping
operations going,” as the Tomahawks will be replaced from the existing
inventory of 3,200. Enough to level Libya and still have plenty left
over for the next war. [8]



The defeat and conquest, directly or by proxy, of Libya would secure a
key outpost for the Pentagon and NATO on the Mediterranean Sea.



The consolidation of U.S. control over North Africa would have more than just regional repercussions, important as they are.



Shortly after the inauguration of U.S. Africa Command, Lin Zhiyuan,
deputy director of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Academy of
Military Sciences, wrote the following:



“By building a dozen forward bases or establishments in Tunisia,
Morocco, Algeria and other African nations, the U.S. will gradually
establish a network of military bases to cover the entire continent and
make essential preparations for docking an aircraft carrier fleet in the
region.”



“The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) with the U.S. at the head
had [in 2006] carried out a large-scale military exercise in Cape
Verde, a western African island nation, with the sole purpose of
controlling the sea and air corridors of crude oil extracting zones and
monitoring how the situation is with oil pipelines operating there.”



“[A]frica Command represents a vital, crucial link for the US adjustment
of its global military deployment. At present, it is moving the gravity
of its forces in Europe eastward and opening new bases in Eastern
Europe.”



“The present US global military redeployment centers mainly on an ‘arc
of instability’ from the Caucasus, Central and Southern Asia down to the
Korean Peninsula, and so the African continent is taken as a strong
point to prop up the US global strategy.



“Therefore, AFRICOM facilitates the United States advancing on the
African continent, taking control of the Eurasian continent and
proceeding to take the helm of the entire globe.” [9]



Far more is at stake in the war with Libya than control of Africa’s
largest proven oil reserves and subjugating the last North African
nation not yet under the thumb of the U.S. and NATO. Even more than
domination of the Mediterranean Sea region.



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