Ahmed Gaddaf al-Dam, cousin of the late Libyan revolutionary leader Muammar Gaddafi, has given an exclusive interview to RT where he clearly explains just how much of a failed state Libya has become since Britain and France led a war on the country, a war whose political mastermind and strongest agitator was Hillary Clinton, then Barack Obama’s Secretary of State.
Five years after the war, Libya is not only a failed state but a state that could be accurately described as one where various clans of pirates are fighting various bands of terrorists, including ISIS and Al-Qaeda, for control of Libya’s territory and resources.
Libya under Gaddafi was a wealthy country with high living standards, near 100% literacy (whereas most Libyans prior to the 1st September Revolution of 1969 were illiterate), and safety from terrorism was the rule of the day. Even George W. Bush saw fit to mend bridges with Gaddafi and cooperate with him in his ‘war on terror’. But this spirit of cooperation did last not, especially not after Gaddafi proposed putting Libya and eventually most of Africa on a gold backed dinar, thus ending dollar dependency.
The war has devastated a wealthy, peaceful and prosperous country.
Ahmed Gaddaf al-Dam described the situation in the following way,
“The war, the destruction of Libya, all that, in their own words, was a mistake. (The West) recognized that they caused the overthrow of a revolutionary regime in Libya. All of them, first of all, should apologize and correct all that they’d done. But the suffering Libyan people, living in basements, forced to flee their homes, see nothing of the sort six years on. No one even talks about it today. What is happening in Libya is a crime from all points of view”.
He is right in saying that all ordinary Libyans have been devastated by the war. Even in Iraq, a country far more politically divided than Libya ever was, many former Saddam sceptics or outright opponents admit freely that Iraq was better for all Iraqis prior to 2003.
In Libya the situation is even worse. Where Iraq is slowly trying to re-build itself into a country again, all the while contending with the presences of ISIS in their Mosul stronghold, Libya looks increasingly hopeless.
Ahmed Gaddaf is right in saying,
“On this anniversary of the Arab Spring, we must demand an apology to all Libyans – those whose homes were destroyed, those who were humiliated. On their behalf, I demand that the UN Security Council and the leading world powers apologize for what happened in 2011”.
An apology is necessary but what is even more necessary is a concerted international effort to re-build the failed state which currently cannot even agree if its fledgling, failed government is in Tripoli or Benghazi.
It is difficult to even suggest a solution. As a neighbour and the most populace state in the Arab world, Egypt would be the most appropriate foreign power to help rebuild Libya and make it a state again, but this would take a great deal of political will and exertion of power from Cairo, there may not be the will among President Sisi’s top brass to do so.
Continued NATO involvement would almost certainly make a bad thing worse. Russia is remote from the situation and without the clear legal political mandate Russia has in Syria, it is unlikely Russia would get involved.
Problems in Libya are countless. Solutions are few.
Reports that ISIS have been defeated in al-Bab may superficially being joy to many readers. But the reality is far from good.
In scoring a strategically important victory against ISIS, Turkey and its band of jihadists called the Free Syrian Army have replaced a barbaric terrorist group who seeks the death of the Syrian Arab Republic with the second largest army in NATO, complete with a modern air force. Turkey like ISIS, seek the destruction of the Syrian Arab Republic, one way or another. They are illegally occupying the territory of Syria. One illegal occupier has been replaced by another, vastly more powerful occupier.Crucially, the Turks didn’t even kill most of the ISIS fighters, instead allowing them to peacefully leave al-Bab.
Added to this is the presence of the Free Syrian Army who implement ISIS style techniques to terrorise local populations, especially Shia’s Muslims, Christians and those leading a secular lifestyle.
To put it another way, would a country, part of whose territory was under occupation, rather have it occupied by a gang of savages with some tanks, armoured vehicles and crude missiles, or by a NATO army that is only second in size to that of the United States?
Thus far, Russian diplomacy has avoided the very real possibility of the Turkish armed forces and the Syrian Arab Army engaging in a direct clash, but now that Turkey occupies al-Bab, there is once again a renewed chance that such a clash could take place.
Russia’s diplomatic hands are fuller than ever in this respect.
I have no doubt that eventually ISIS will be defeated and disappear. But Turkey is a large state and is not going anywhere. The question is, where are they going in Syria? If they do not leave Syria, it means that things have got a lot worse for Syrians, not better.
The netflix movie “The White Helmets” may win an Oscar in the “short documentary” category at the Academy Awards on Sunday February 26. It will not be a surprise, despite the fact that the group is a fraud and the movie is an contrived infomercial.
The White Helmets are a “feel good” story like a Disney hero movie: 90% myth and fabrication. Most of what is claimed about the Syrian rescue group is untrue. They are not primarily Syrian; the group was initiated by British military contractor James LeMesurier and has been heavily funded (about $100 million) by the USA, UK and other governments. They are not volunteers; they are paid.
James Le Mesurier, creator of the White Helmets
This is confirmed in the Al Jazeera video which shows some White Helmet “volunteers’ talking about going on strike if they don’t get paid soon. Most of the heavy funding goes to the marketing which is run by “The Syria Campaign” based in New York. The manager is an Irish America woman Anna Nolan who has never been to Syria. As an example of its deception, “The Syria Campaign” website features video showing children dancing and playing soccer implying they are part of the opposition demand for a “free and peaceful” Syria . But the video images are taken from a 2010 BBC documentary about education in Syria under the Baath government.
When eastern Aleppo was finally freed from the armed militants, it was discovered that the White Helmets headquarters were alongside the headquarters of the Al Qaeda Syrian militant group. Civilians from east Aleppo reported that the White Helmets primarily responded when the militants were attacked. Soon after departing Aleppo in government supplied buses (!) the White Helmets showed up in the mountains above Damascus where they allied with terrorist groups in poisoning then shutting off the water source for five million people in Damascus.
The White Helmets’ claim to be neutral and independent is another lie. They only work in areas controlled by the rebel groups, primarily Nusra/ Al Qaeda. Their leaders actively call for US and NATO intervention in Syria. Video shows White Helmet workers picking up the corpse of a civilian after execution and celebrating Nusra / Al Qaeda terrorist battle wins.
The movie is as fraudulent as the group it tries to heroize. The film-makers never set foot in Syria. Their video footage takes place in southern Turkey where they show White Helmet trainees in a hotel and talking on cell phones. Thrilling. There is some footage from inside Syria but it looks contrived. The opening scene depicts a White Helmet “volunteer” going to work and beseeching his son not to give mommy a hard time. Real or scripted?
The message is simple: here are people we can support; they are under attack by the brutal “regime”…shouldn’t we “do something” to stop it??!
Khaled Khatib is said to be the person who filmed the footage from inside Syria. He has reportedly received a US visa and will attend the Oscars.
This will likely garner special media attention. Ironically, some of those who have exploited the refugee issue for their own fund-raising campaigns, like Human Rights Watch, are groups which promote the war which created the refugee crisis.
Khatib has tweeted the first video he took showing the White Helmets. It looks remarkably unrealistic, with a girl who was totally buried being removed without injuries or wounds or even much dirt. Is it really possible to rescue people that quickly? In the real world, rescue workers are told to work slowly so as to not damage or exacerbate body injuries. The original video has the logo of Aleppo Media Center (AMC) which was created by the Syrian Expatriates Organization. Their address on K Street in Washington DC suggests this is yet another Western funded media campaign driven by political objectives.
In the past few days, with perfect timing for the upcoming Oscars, there is yet another “miracle” rescue …. another girl totally buried but then removed and whisked away in record breaking time – perfect for social media. Is it real or is it contrived?
This raises a question regarding the integrity of the Oscar Academy Awards. Are awards given for actual quality, authenticity, skill and passion? Or are Oscar awards sometimes given under political and financial influence? There is political motivation to promote the White Helmets as part of the effort to prevent the collapse of the Western/Israeli/Gulf campaign to overthrow the Syrian government. These same governments have given boatloads of money to fuel the propaganda campaign. Last week Syria Solidarity Movement reached out to three marketing firms in the LA area to request help challenging the White Helmets nomination. Two of the firms declined and the third said they were already being paid to promote the nomination!
The true source and purpose of the White Helmets was exposed almost two years ago. More recently Vanessa Beeley has documented the fact there is a REAL Syrian Civil Defence which was begun in the 1950’s and is a member of the International Civil Defense Organizations. This organization is opposite to the group created in Turkey in 2013. According to on-the-ground interviews in Aleppo, terrorists began by killing real Syrian rescue workers and stealing their equipment. Since then the White Helmets have been supplied, by the West through Turkey, with brand new ambulances and related rescue equipment.
Max Blumenthal has written a two part detailed examination of the “shadowy PR firm” behind the “White Helmets”. And Jan Oberg has written an overview survey of the “pro” and “con” examinations in his work “Just How Gray are the White Helmets”.
Yet mainstream media, and some ‘alternative’ media, continue to uncritically promote the myth of the “White Helmets”. The promoters of the group absolutely deserve an award for marketing and advertising. This is a field where truth and reality is irrelevant; it’s all about sales and manipulation. On that basis, the “White Helmets” has been an incredible success. The group was started as “Syria Civil Defense” in Turkey in 2013. It was re-branded as the “White Helmets” in 2014. It was heavily used in 2014 and 2015 by Nicholas Krisof, Avaaz and others to campaign for all out aggression against Syria. In 2016 the group received the Rights Livelihood Award and was seriously considered for a Nobel Peace Prize. These facts show how corrupt and politically and financially influenced the Rights Livelihood Award and Nobel Peace Prize can be.
The White Helmets movie is a tactic in the ongoing campaign of distortion and deception around Syria. It’s a fraud, just like the fake kidnapping of NBC reporter Richard Engel. The Oscars will be a demonstration of the integrity of the Academy Awards. The reporting on the story will be a test of the integrity and accuracy of media outlets. Ironically, the Israeli mainstream TV program I24 presented both sides and titled the segment “White Helmets: Heroes or Hoax?”. In contrast, the highly popular and widely respected DemocracyNow has only broadcast a puff piece promoting the “White Helmet” disinformation. The coming days will reveal more about the ongoing information war against Syria. Meanwhile an online petition continues to gather signatures to NOT give the Oscar to the White Helmets deception.
Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org