Thu Jan 24, 2019 | 08:23
'Gaddafi plays game with West'
Sun, 24 Apr 2011 16:35:40 GMT
Font size :
United States has launched its first drone attack on Libya as the stalemate continues between forces loyal to ruler Muammar Gaddafi and the Libyan revolutionaries.

In an interview with Press TV, Lebanese University professor Mohsen Saleh comments on the current developments in the African country. The following is a transcript of the interview:

Press TV: We are hearing US drones getting involved for the first time in the Libyan crisis. The United States says the first drone attack has destroyed a government's rocket launcher in Misratah. Why do you think the United States has initially retreated after the start of the airstrikes, and now has decided to get involved again?

Saleh: We hear contradictory statements from the United States and NATO. I guess they are playing a kind of conspiracy against the Libyan people, and of course against the regime; the dictator Gaddafi. Now the Libyans are put between the anvil and the hammer; between the United States and NATO and Gaddafi's atrocities.

We see a big dilemma in Misratah now. Once Gaddafi retreated from Misratah, then he came back and tried to threaten the people that tribal men would come and attack Misratah again. We have no final statements from the United States and from NATO about the destiny of Gaddafi. They are lenient toward Gaddafi. They are not hitting very firmly and strongly against Gaddafi. That is why he is trying to play a game with NATO and the United States; with this hesitation from these two powers to determine what they want from Libya -- whether they want to go for land military operations or they want to try to dictate a kind of political statements or treaties against the revolutionaries and the opposition. We still do not know what they want.

Press TV: NATO forces said their objective was to protect civilians, not to change the regime. That is why they have been saying they are not directly targeting Muammar Gaddafi, but trying to protect the civilians with the airstrikes. What has made this situation so confusing, and why do you think the West is confused about the objective that it is following in Libya?

Saleh: I guess the objective of the United States and NATO is to weaken the revolutionaries and Gaddafi in order to pave the way for intervention in Libya and go and try to put their hand on the oil reserves in Misratah, Ajdabiya, Tobruk etc. That is why they are doing such a conspiracy. They are trying to make a kind of status quo where the Libyans stay in the east and the Gaddafi forces and tribes stay in the west, and by that manner try to put an end to the revolutions in the Arab world and in the Muslim world, and try to put an end to promises and aspirations of these revolutions.

That is how the West is conspiring against people. I am really doubtful about their statements about these movements in Libya. They are not protecting the civilians. They are not protecting the interests of the Libyans. We have humanitarian crisis on the borders with Tunisia. We have many refugees. After the Western intervention, there has been massacre in Misratah and Ajdabiya and also on the roads between these two places. They are watching and observing this massacre. They are watching Gaddafi killing his people -- the Libyans of course, because they are not his people since he described them as “rats.” Nobody can describe his people as rats except that he is an enemy of them. The Libyans have another enemy: the United States and the West, whose intentions are totally different from what the Libyans want: independence, social justice, political participation in the government and new election to choose their representatives in the government. We see contradictory statements.

Press TV: Many say the airstrikes that have started by these foreign forces are not helping and not protecting the civilians. The Libyan revolutionaries say they are not getting the kind of help they expected from the airstrikes. What do you think the people in Libya need from the international forces? What kind of action do you think the international forces should be taking?

Saleh: There are intriguing statements from the West. Sometimes they want to arm the revolutionaries; sometimes they do not. They do not want to help the Libyans. I guess they want to help themselves.

I remember the mandate the Arab League gave to NATO. On what basis they gave this mandate if they are trying to help the Libyans from the massacre [executed by] Gaddafi -- this butcher. What kind of help are they giving to the Libyans? They are not arming them. They are not protecting them. They are not doing anything in order to bring any kind of promise.

The airstrikes are absolutely not enough. The United States and NATO want to step in Libya. That is why they want to weaken the opposition and the revolutionaries. They want them (the revolutionaries) to go to Paris, Washington and London in order to negotiate with them (the West) what kind of future they want to have in Libya. They have no place for humanity and for freedom of the Libyans. They are trying to manipulate this revolution in order to make it feasible for their greedy interests in Libya; especially oil. They are trying to put an end to the revolution. They are not really about the Libyans; they are not about helping the Libyans; they are about helping their interests.

The revolution in Egypt and Tunisia would help the Libyans to create a new political ambiance; to create a new situation in the Arab world and the Islamic world, and that is what the United States and NATO do not want at all.

Press TV: There is the option of NATO's training and arming the revolutionary forces. But this might result in a protracted war like the one in Afghanistan. Do you think the West is prepared to go into something like that? They say they would not when they speak, but do you think they would practically take that option if they face it?

Saleh: The United States and NATO might have trained some revolutionaries in Libya; something similar to helping the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) in training some Palestinians against their people without any aim of revolution to fight the real enemy. The real enemies of the Libyans are the colonizers and their puppets like Gaddafi, and of course Italy and NATO. They have a plan to weaken and bring these people under the order of NATO; under the plans of the West and the United States in the region.

They have no intention to reinforce and help and assist the revolution to get independence. They want this revolution to be manipulated by the Americans and the Westerners in order to put their hand on a strategic place like Libya that is rich in oil and has a huge area. If the revolution in Libya succeeds to topple Gaddafi, then the people and the revolution in Tunisia will be reinforced and become powerful in order to face all kinds of conspiracies from the West, and the Western part of the Islamic world will be alive in the face of NATO and other super powers.

Press TV: Is there any political solution to the situation in Libya?

Saleh: There is no political solution unless the Arab League and the Arab countries with the Arab people try to help their brothers in the Libyan revolution, and also the leaders of the revolution try to come to the Arab world and the Islamic world. I guess there will be a kind of besiege against Gaddafi. I guess Egypt may play a great role in this dilemma.

The problem is that NATO and the United States do not want any role for the Arabs and the Muslims; whether the Islamic Republic or Turkey or Egypt. They want to play alone in the Libyan area to keep that country under their maneuvers and their monopoly, because they want the oil for themselves, and they want to give a view of pessimism against these revolutions. I guess people in Libya will have to do something in order to come back to their Islamic and Arab community, and not go to Paris or Washington.

Your Name
Your Comment
Enter the code shown
terms of use

  • last 24 hours
  • last week
  • last month
© 2009 Press TV. All rights reserved.