Connect with us

Latest

Analysis

News

The 5th anniversary (11 September) of ‘Benghazi’ and over 7 years of Libyan turmoil

For America, Libya is a live issue mostly for the enduring controversy of Benghazi. Five years after the fact, key questions remain unanswered.

Richard Galustian

Published

on

1,139 Views

The fifth anniversary of the killing of America’s Libya ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi on 11th September shows his murder and the chaos around it was a portent of things to come. Five years on, some of the same forces that stormed the US consulate in Benghazi killing him and three staffers have brought mayhem to the capital.

His killers came from the same militias the international community supported in the revolution in the year before his death that overthrew dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Many of those militias were what they said they were: regular citizens who grabbed weapons and took to the streets to battle the regime. But others, including Ansar al Sharia, his murders, were bent on replacing one dictatorship with another – this time with their own leaders at the helm.

Ansar al Sharia and fellow Islamist militias went from strength to strength in Benghazi following Steven’s murder, ousting regular security forces in Benghazi and indulging in a wave of killings of civil activists, politicians and security personnel – an attempt to ‘gut’ Libya’s second city of leaders of all kinds.

That attempt failed bloodily when then Gen. Khalifa Haftar formed the Libya National Army and took the battle to the militias, pounding them out of Benghazi in a four-year battle that ended last year with thousands dead and the city centre in ruins.

But cadres from those same militias live on in Tripoli. Overtly Islamist agendas have often been subsumed into simple gangsterism, with four key militia groups dividing the city between them and forcing the weak United Nations created and supported Government of National Accord (GNA) to pay them lavish state funds.

The recent nine days of fighting in the capital, with the death of at least 65 people, many innocent civilians, came after a militia in the southern town of Tarhuna attacked the city: The militia, naming itself Seventh Brigade, wants a share of the payola lavished on the Big Four militias. The UN scrambled together a truce last week, but only at the expense of allowing ‘7 brigade’ to keep its gains in the southern suburbs, and with it a slice of the city’s population, its businesses and wealth.

Ordinary Libyans recoiled in horror from the Tripoli blood letting: Social media is alive with Libyans declaring they wish the old Gaddafi regime was back – not out of any love for him, but because today’s chaos is far worse than life under the dictator.

But chaos is what they have: The GNA has almost no support in the populace, kept alive only by support from the UN and ‘International Community’. Even militia chiefs have only partial control of their fighters, many of who are young men who were boys in 2011; they make up the bulk of the militias and many are hooked on a cocktail of opiates, use of which is exploding in the Libyan capital.

The GNA has wilted under pressure, basic services are breaking down: The militia truce has been followed by power cuts and water cuts, bread lines and currency shortages, with ordinary citizens reduced to taking water from wells and street drains. Independent media based inside Libya scarcely exists as journalists often face threats from armed groups or officials who do not tolerate critical coverage.

Worse, the so called ‘international community’ is split. Donald Trump has, wisely, announced that Libya has no strategic interest for the United States and America is adopting a low profile and his preference to support Italy’s strategy.

For America, Libya is a live issue mostly for the enduring controversy of Benghazi. Five years after the fact, and despite the trials of two Libyans accused of involvement in the killings, key questions remain unanswered.

Many doubt claims by former CIA chief John Brennan that his contractors were not forbidden from speaking about what happened to investigators.

Half a dozen congressional inquiries, and the two trials, have failed to explain just why the attackers overran the consulate that fateful night, or whether the US could have acted on warnings to move staff to safety prior to the attack.

On a point of detail, Kris “Tanto” Paronto, a former Army Ranger and private security contractor who was part of the CIA team that fought back during the September 2012 Benghazi terror attack, chose last month to remind us of the role of the former CIA Director, John Brennan accusing him of putting his “politics” before those in the field.

“He is lucky the security clearance is all he is getting away with,” Paronto told Fox News in an interview in August.

Paronto blasted Brennan after Brennan tweeted his disturbance at having his clearance pulled by President Donald Trump sighting his “principles” had been offended.

Paronto and his colleagues were even given by Brennan, non-disclosure agreements to sign during the memorial to their dead comrades, Ty Woods and Glenn Doherty, an unseemly incredibly offensive act on its own.

This, of course, was to try not to have the men speak out and rebut the story being pushed by the Obama administration, to shut them up. In fact John Brennan categorically denied that the CIA had discouraged the contractors from speaking out. A lie.

When the Benghazi survivors couldn’t take anymore mendacity they spoke out, resulting in their security clearances being pulled. What irony!

So with America out of the game and Britain consumed with Brexit, the two leading foreign powers are France and Italy, and they are split. Both are at daggers drawn: France backs Haftar, seeing him as the only force capable of defeating the militias, and wants elections for December to end Libya’s chaos. Italy counters that Libya’s chaos is too chaotic for elections, urging a postponement, and accusing France of being part responsible for the mess.

Italy’s defence and interior ministers blame the chaos partly on the 2011 NATO intervention, in which France led the field, while the prestigious Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera writes:

“Without the slightest hint of chauvinism one can say that by supporting General Haftar’s ambitions for power, Emmanuel Macron has resolved to bring to completion the operation begun with Nicolas Sarkozy’s initial intervention seven years ago. At our expense. And at the expense of the formal legality of the GNA government of Prime Minister Al Serraj, who, with our support and that of the international community, remains our only diplomatic success in the region to date.”

Rome supports Haftar’s rival, the GNA, which is cooperating in stopping migrant smuggling across the Mediterranean, but this comes with its own problems: “Any false step by Rome, dictated by the imprudence of the moment, would immediately be exploited by the French president,” says Italian newspaper Corriere del Ticino. “If Rome doesn’t want to further weaken its position on the Libyan chessboard (on the pretext of doing something about the insecurity of the refugee routes) the only path is rationality and diplomacy.”

What neither Rome nor Paris can come up with is a strategy to combat the all powerful Tripoli militias who are bleeding the country of its lifeblood: Italy evacuated non-essential staff from its embassy during the recent militia battles and the anarchy was underlined on Monday (Sept 10) when a yet to be named militia stormed Tripoli’s National Oil Corporation. While militias rule the capital, the chaos and suffering will go on.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Advertisement
3 Comments

3
Leave a Reply

avatar
3 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
3 Comment authors
Vera GottliebwigginsGiorgos Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Giorgos
Guest
Giorgos

The DEVIL that opened the Floodgates of Mass illegal migration to Europe causing pain & suffering for millions & immeasurable wealth & joy for her cabal.

wiggins
Guest
wiggins

“The Honorable”…………LMAO.

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

There is another Sept. 11 anniversary: 1973…when the Allende government in Chile was toppled by the US/Pinochet.

Latest

Why did Trump recognize the Golan Heights as Israeli territory?

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 116.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine the reasons behind US President Trump’s sudden recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

Following Trump’s statements as US President, acting Israeli Foreign Minister is saying that Trump will make it official and sign an executive order to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Syrian border territory on Monday.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Follow The Duran Audio Podcast on Soundcloud.

Via DW

Israel says White House officials are preparing an official document to codify support for Israel’s sovereignty of the Golan Heights, which will be signed by US President Donald Trump on Monday.

The signing of the decree will be witnessed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during talks with Trump at the White House, Israel’s acting foreign minister, Israel Katz (pictured), said in a Tweet.

“Tomorrow, President Trump, in the presence of PM Netanyahu, will sign a decree recognizing Israel’s sovereignty on the Golan. Israel-US ties are closer than ever,” Katz said.

Israel seized the strategic plateau from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war, subsequently annexing it in 1981 in a move never recognized by the international community.

Trump’s tweet annoys allies

Trump broke with decades of US Middle East policy when he posted a Tweet on Thursday that said it was time to accept Israel’s widely-contested claim to the border territory.

The decision has been criticized by many US allies — Germany, Britain, France and the EU have all said they still consider the Golan Heights to be “occupied” by Israel.

Syria and other states in the region said the recognition, if confirmed, would violate international law.

Netanyahu has long pushed for Washington’s endorsement, and many analysts see Trump’s comments as a campaign gift ahead of Israel’s April 9 election.

In 2017, Trump drew condemnation throughout the Middle East when he recognized the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Russia Gives US Red Line On Venezuela

Political force is out. Military force is out. Respect international law and Venezuela’s sovereignty. That’s Russia’s eminently reasonable ultimatum to Washington.

Published

on

Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


At a high-level meeting in Rome this week, it seems that Russia reiterated a grave warning to the US – Moscow will not tolerate American military intervention to topple the Venezuelan government with whom it is allied.

Meanwhile, back in Washington DC, President Donald Trump was again bragging that the military option was still on the table, in his press conference with Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro. Trump is bluffing or not yet up to speed with being apprised of Russia’s red line.

The meeting in the Italian capital between US “special envoy” on Venezuelan affairs Elliot Abrams and Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov had an air of urgency in its arrangement. The US State Department announced the tête-à-tête only three days beforehand. The two officials also reportedly held their two-hour discussions in a Rome hotel, a venue indicating ad hoc arrangement.

Abrams is no ordinary diplomat. He is a regime-change specialist with a criminal record for sponsoring terrorist operations, specifically the infamous Iran-Contra affair to destabilize Nicaragua during the 1980s. His appointment by President Trump to the “Venezuela file” only underscores the serious intent in Washington for regime change in Caracas. Whether it gets away with that intent is another matter.

Moscow’s interlocutor, Sergei Ryabkov, is known to not mince his words, having earlier castigated Washington for seeking global military domination. He calls a spade a spade, and presumably a criminal a criminal.

The encounter in Rome this week was described as “frank” and “serious” – which is diplomatic code for a blazing exchange. The timing comes at a high-stakes moment, after Venezuela having been thrown into chaos last week from civilian power blackouts that many observers, including the Kremlin, blame on American cyber sabotage. The power grid outage followed a failed attempt by Washington to stage a provocation with the Venezuelan military over humanitarian aid deliveries last month from neighboring Colombia.

The fact that Washington’s efforts to overthrow the elected President Nicolas Maduro have so far floundered, might suggest that the Americans are intensifying their campaign to destabilize the country, with the objective of installing US-backed opposition figure Juan Guaido. He declared himself “acting president” in January with Washington’s imprimatur.

Given that the nationwide power blackouts seem to have failed in fomenting a revolt by the civilian population or the military against Maduro, the next option tempting Washington could be the military one.

It seems significant that Washington has recently evacuated its last remaining diplomats from the South American country. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commented on the evacuation by saying that having US personnel on the ground “was limiting” Washington’s scope for action. Also, American Airlines reportedly cancelled all its services to Venezuela in the past week. Again, suggesting that the US was considering a military intervention, either directly with its troops or covertly by weaponizing local proxies. The latter certainly falls under Abrams’ purview.

After the Rome meeting, Ryabkov said bluntly: “We assume that Washington treats our priorities seriously, our approach and warnings.”

One of those warnings delivered by Ryabkov is understood to have been that no American military intervention in Venezuela will be tolerated by Moscow.

For his part, Abrams sounded as if he had emerged from the meeting after having been given a severe reprimand. “No, we did not come to a meeting of minds, but I think the talks were positive in the sense that both sides emerged with a better understanding of the other’s views,” he told reporters.

“A better understanding of the other’s views,” means that the American side was given a red line to back off.

The arrogance of the Americans is staggering. Abrams seems, according to US reporting, to have flown to Rome with the expectation of working out with Ryabkov a “transition” or “compromise” on who gets the “title of president” of Venezuela.

That’s what he no doubt meant when he said after the meeting “there was not a meeting of minds”, but rather he got “a better understanding” of Russia’s position.

Washington’s gambit is a replay of Syria. During the eight-year war in that country, the US continually proffered the demand of a “political transition” which at the end would see President Bashar al Assad standing down. By contrast, Russia’s unflinching position on Syria has always been that it’s not up to any external power to decide Syria’s politics. It is a sovereign matter for the Syrian people to determine independently.

Nearly three years after Russia intervened militarily in Syria to salvage the Arab country from a US-backed covert war for regime change, the American side has manifestly given up on its erstwhile imperious demands for “political transition”. The principle of Syrian sovereignty has prevailed, in large part because of Russia’s trenchant defense of its Arab ally.

Likewise, Washington, in its incorrigible arrogance, is getting another lesson from Russia – this time in its own presumed “back yard” of Latin America.

It’s not a question of Russia being inveigled by Washington’s regime-change schemers about who should be president of Venezuela and “how we can manage a transition”. Moscow has reiterated countless times that the legitimate president of Venezuela is Nicolas Maduro whom the people voted for last year by an overwhelming majority in a free and fair election – albeit boycotted by the US-orchestrated opposition.

The framework Washington is attempting to set up of choosing between their desired “interim president” and incumbent Maduro is an entirely spurious one. It is not even worthy to be discussed because it is a gross violation of Venezuela’s sovereignty. Who is Washington to even dare try to impose its false choice?

On Venezuela, Russia is having to remind the criminal American rulers – again – about international law and respect for national sovereignty, as Moscow earlier did with regard to Syria.

And in case Washington gets into a huff and tries the military option, Moscow this week told regime-change henchman Abrams that that’s a red line. If Washington has any sense of rationale left, it will know from its Syria fiasco that Russia has Venezuela’s back covered.

Political force is out. Military force is out. Respect international law and Venezuela’s sovereignty. That’s Russia’s eminently reasonable ultimatum to Washington.

Now, the desperate Americans could still try more sabotage, cyber or financial. But their options are limited, contrary to what Trump thinks.

How the days of American imperialist swagger are numbered. There was a time when it could rampage all over Latin America. Not any more, evidently. Thanks in part to Russia’s global standing and military power.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

With RussiaGate Over Where’s Hillary?

Hillary is the epitome of envy. Envy is the destructive sin of coveting someone else’s life so much they are obsessed with destroying it. It’s the sin of Cain. She envies what Trump has, the Presidency.

Published

on

Authored by Tom Luongo:


During most of the RussiaGate investigation against Donald Trump I kept saying that all roads lead to Hillary Clinton.

Anyone with three working brain cells knew this, including ‘Miss’ Maddow, whose tears of disappointment are particularly delicious.

Robert Mueller’s investigation was designed from the beginning to create something out of nothing. It did this admirably.

It was so effective it paralyzed the country for more than two years, just like Europe has been held hostage by Brexit. And all of this because, in the end, the elites I call The Davos Crowd refused to accept that the people no longer believed their lies about the benefits of their neoliberal, globalist agenda.

Hillary Clinton’s ascension to the Presidency was to be their apotheosis along with the Brexit vote. These were meant to lay to rest, once and for all time, the vaguely libertarian notion that people should rule themselves and not be ruled by philosopher kings in some distant land.

Hillary’s failure was enormous. And the RussiaGate gambit to destroy Trump served a laundry list of purposes to cover it:

  1. Undermine his legitimacy before he even takes office.
  2. Accuse him of what Hillary actually did: collude with Russians and Ukrainians to effect the outcome of the election
  3. Paralyze Trump on his foreign policy desires to scale back the Empire
  4. Give aid and comfort to hurting progressives and radicalize them further undermining our political system
  5. Polarize the electorate over the false choice of Trump’s guilt.
  6. Paralyze the Dept. of Justice and Congress so that they would not uncover the massive corruption in the intelligence agencies in the U.S. and the U.K.
  7. Isolate Trump and take away every ally or potential ally he could have by turning them against him through prosecutor overreach.

Hillary should have been thrown to the wolves after she failed. When you fail the people she failed and cost them the money she cost them, you lose more than just your funding. What this tells you is that she has so much dirt on everyone involved, once this thing started everyone went along with it lest she burn them down as well.

Burnin’ Down da House

Hillary is the epitome of envy. Envy is the destructive sin of coveting someone else’s life so much they are obsessed with destroying it. It’s the sin of Cain

She envies what Trump has, the Presidency.

And she was willing to tear it down to keep him from having it no matter how much damage it would do. She’s worse than the Joker from The Dark Knight.

Because while the Joker is unfathomable to someone with a conscience there’s little stopping us from excising him from the community completely., even though Batman refuses.

Hillary hates us for who we are and what we won’t give her. And that animus drove her to blackmail the world while putting on the face of its savior.

And that’s what makes what comes next so obvious to me. RussiaGate was never a sustainable narrative. It was ludicrous from the beginning. And now that it has ended with a whimper there are a lot of angry, confused and scared people out there.

Mueller thought all he had to do was lean on corrupt people and threaten them with everything. They would turn on Trump. He would resign in disgrace from the public outcry.

It didn’t work. In the end Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen and Roger Stone all held their ground or perjured themselves into the whole thing falling apart.

Andrew Weissman’s resignation last month was your tell there was nothing. Mueller would pursue this to the limit of his personal reputation and no further.

Just like so many other politicians.

Vote Your Pocketbook

With respect to Brexit I’ve been convinced that it would come down to reputations.

Would the British MP’s vote against their own personal best interests to do the bidding of the EU?

Would Theresa May eventually realize her historical reputation would be destroyed if she caves to Brussels and betrays Brexit in the end?

Always bet on the fecklessness of politicians. They will always act selfishly when put to the test. While leading RussiaGate, Mueller was always headed here if he couldn’t get someone to betray Trump.

And now his report is in. There are no new indictments. And by doing so he is saving his reputation for the future. And that is your biggest tell that HIllary’s blackmail is now worthless.

They don’t fear her anymore because RussiaGate outed her as the architect. Anything else she has is irrelevant in the face of trying to oust a sitting president from power.

The progressives that were convinced of Trump’s treason are bereft; their false hope stripped away like standing in front of a sandblaster. They will be raw, angry and looking for blood after they get over their denial.

Everyone else who was blackmailed into going along with this lunacy will begin cutting deals to save their skins. The outrage over this will not end. Trump will be President when he stands for re-election.

The Wolves Beckon

The Democrats do not have a chance against him as of right now. When he was caving on everything back in December it looked like he was done. That there was enough meat on the RussiaGate bones to make Nancy Pelosi brave.

Then she backed off on impeachment talk. Oops.

But the Democrats have a sincere problem. Their candidates have no solutions other than to embrace the crazy and go full Bolshevik. That is not a winning position.

Trump will kill them on ‘socialism.’

The Deep State and The Davos Crowd stand revealed and reviled.

If they don’t do something dramatic then the anger from the rest of the country will also be palpable come election time. Justice is not done simply by saying, “No evidence of collusion.”

It’s clear that RussiaGate is a failure of monumental proportions. Heads will have to roll. But who will be willing to fall on their sword at this point?

Comey? No. McCabe? No.

There is only one answer. And Obama’s people are still in place to protect him. I said last fall that “Hillary would indict herself.” And I meant it. Eventually her blackmail and drive to burn it all down led to this moment.

The circumstances are different than I expected back then, Trump didn’t win the mid-terms. But the end result was always the same. If there is no collusion, if RussiaGate is a scam, then all roads lead back to Hillary as the sacrificial lamb.

Because the bigger project, the erection of a transnational superstate, is bigger than any one person. Hillary is expendable.

Lies are expensive to maintain. The truth is cheap to defend. Think of the billions in opportunity costs associated with this. Once the costs rise above the benefits, change happens fast.

If there is any hope of salvaging the center of this country for the Democrats, the ones that voted against Hillary in 2016, then there is no reason anymore not to indict Hillary as the architect of RussiaGate.

We all know it’s the truth. So, the cheapest way out of this mess for them is to give the MAGApedes what they want, Hillary.

And hope that is enough bread and circuses to distract from the real storm ahead of us.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement

Advertisement

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

The Duran Newsletter

Trending