The West has never had much use for stability in Africa and the Middle East, and having rogue states run by fundamentalists has always been a better deal than meaningful, long-lasting peace, says Lawrence Freeman of Executive Intelligence Review.
Libya is in turmoil, as was evident in the latest deadly blast in the city of Benghazi on May 13. As all hell breaks loose and armed militias run amok, Western diplomats are pulling out of a chaos they had helped create. Freeman discusses their pullout and further Mid-East strategy with RT.
RT: British and American embassies are withdrawing some of their staff from Libya right now, so why the powers who actually helped to topple Colonel Gaddafi are feeling vulnerable in Tripoli?
Lawrence Freeman: They created a monster that they can no longer control, and it’s turning against them in a way that was absolutely foreseeable. The fact hath the Tony Blair policy which Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy followed implementing – the overthrow of Gaddafi in August 2011 – created this condition which was understandable, anyone could’ve known what was going to happen. We worked directly with Al Qaeda militias all throughout Benghazi and other parts of Libya, so now it’s become ungovernable. So even the people who initiated the mess have to leave to protect themselves because nobody will protect them and the situation is completely out of control.
RT: And who is behind the violence – one particular group, or are there various elements?
LF: Well, there are various militias. The largest umbrella group is the Islamic Fighting Group, which – if not a part of – is completely one with Al Qaeda. This grouping was at war with Gaddafi and he was trying to defeat them. And we carried out the most idiotic policy, which was to work with these groups to overthrow Colonel Muammar Gadaffi. And this goes all the way back to the policy that Tony Blair had in 1999 for the Iraq war: “if we want to get rid of leaders, we’re going to have a regime change”. And this fellow, Blair, is probably the biggest criminal on the planet right now. And Obama – because he’s carried out these policies – is in deep, deep trouble in his own second term in the US.
RT: What about the political situation in Libya? Is the current government incompetent or just simply unable to control the violence, and why isn’t it getting help from Western powers?
LF: The government, really, has been removed. They passed this law that said that anybody in the last 30-40 years that had any role in the former Libyan government had to be removed. So, basically, we’ve created the closest thing yet to an Al Qaeda controlled state. And these fools in the West are now planning and thinking of doing the same thing in Syria. Except for military-political leadership from the United States, from people like former Defense Secretary Gates, current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, we would be in war already in Syria, and it would look like Libya, except several orders of magnitude worse.
RT: Of course some would say that those who kicked off the situation in Libya should go back and sort it out and get the country back on track. After all they were responsible. So is another intervention simply not realistic?
LF: No. I don’t think there’s going to be another intervention. I think there are some people in the British circles who want to see uncontrollable states, who want to see people die, who want to see genocide. And this thing has already spread: the fall of Gaddafi was directly related to the toppling of northern Mali and the coup in Bamako. And there are articles and reports which I’ve known for months, that the Boko Haram have received weapons via Mali and others, from Gaddafi’s weapon caches. So we’re seeing the destabilization of the whole Sahel and North and West Africa, as well as Gaddafi. Whether you say it was done by ignorance or by intention. I say – both.
RT: But why is it that you’re creating rogue states run by Islamic fundamentalists who are anti-Western, creating a hotbed of militia threatening the region and the rest of the world? Why the intention to create such chaos?
LF: You have an alliance of British royal family, the Saudi royal family…and they would rather see chaos and destabilization as a way to maintain control than allow sovereign nation states to exercise their rights. They’ll have more power if there’s un-governability than if there are actually stable nations. And this is increasingly the sign of the times as this financial crisis is careening out of control, especially throughout the European sector. The transatlantic regions are in a state of such dire collapse that war and chaos are looking more and more like their alternative survival.
RT: The oil company BP has decided to pull some of its staff out. Does this mean that international ambitions to exploit resources there are failing? Because, after all, many are claiming that oil was the reason for the Western intervention.
LF: I never thought it was oil. I think oil plays a role, I think resources play a role. But from my standpoint, my own historical view of things, it’s much more the age-old imperialist, colonialist policy of having weak nation-states that are easy to manipulate and govern.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.