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'US faked Libyan casualties to strike'
Sat, 30 Apr 2011 09:53:28 GMT
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Libyan casualty numbers have been greatly exaggerated in order to bring about a wider intervention by American, British, and French forces, an analyst says.

In an interview with Press TV, former US Senate candidate Mark Dankof tells us that the NATO no-fly zone is to protect civilians and is not meant to topple Muammar Gaddafi's regime. However, plans for deploying more ground troops can only mean they are after regime change.

Press TV: There's a troubling piece of news that I ran across, I'd like to get your idea on. It was the fact that there are some false numbers that have been reported on an article that came out, that Gaddafi's violence on Libyan civilians is exaggerated. And this is based on a group of British doctors and lawyers who actually visited Libya and found that the casualties are really exaggerated. First, what do you think about that?

Dankof: I'm prepared to believe it because these figures tend to be exaggerated or minimized depending on what it is the British MI6 or the CIA want to achieve in any given situation.

If you go back to Bill Clinton's intervention in the Balkans war in 1999, there was a gross overstatement of casualties in that war that was designed to produce and to facilitate a NATO intervention and the beginning of American airstrikes.

It seems to me -- in fact, it is factual -- that these casualty figures are being exaggerated in Libya.

It will achieve what the British, Americans -- and, presumably, what the Israelis -- want. That is a justification -- not only for a wider intervention in Libya, but now we are hearing, of course, the Senate hawks, like Lesley Graham, John McCain, and Rick Santorum, are going for an American military intervention in Syria, which, in turn, my radio partner Mark Glenn and I argue, is the next stepping stone towards the ultimate prize for these neo-Conservatives in the American government and in Tel Aviv and that is to attack your country, Iran.

Press TV: The United States has not come out and formally accepted this Transitional National Council (TNC), even though they said they are going to support them financially. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mentioned that in the London conference. I think they extended it upwards of 25-30 million dollars cash. I'm not sure what the stated purpose was for that, but how do you see that when you have France and other countries recognizing the TNC, but not the United States? Ultimately, it doesn't seem like the TNC is aligned with whatever interests the US has on Libya.

Dankof: Well, I think whether you're looking at the Republican side of the aisle, or Barack Obama on the other, it seems to me that American signals, right now, are extremely mixed.

We're hearing in one minute that it's not our intention to displace Gaddafi and achieve regime change, and the next minute it seems like some of our leading foreign policy spokesmen are hinting that recognition of this transitional government is just around the bend.

At one point, we're hearing that these airstrikes are certainly designed to level the playing field in terms of the combat that's taking place on the ground. There are others, who indicate that airstrikes ought to be stepped up in order to get rid of Gaddafi.

And of course, we're now hearing mixed signals as to whether or not there ought to be American and British boots on the ground in that country.

So, it's an extremely cloudy picture, but I think, again, when you look at this whole issue of Libya and ask who is benefitting by all of this madness, clearly arms merchants are benefitting by all of this; transnational oil companies clearly have a stake in this; Israel has a stake in it for a variety of reasons, including the diversion it creates from what they're doing in Palestine and Gaza.

And finally, there is one other element that is missed by many in regards to this whole situation and that is central banking. These wars cost a lot of money and there's a lot of money being borrowed to finance what the United States, Britain and NATO are doing throughout that region of the world. And of course, that is borrowed money that is coming at an extremely high price tag which makes a lot of central international bankers very rich over a very long period of time. So this is the way I interpret this.

Press TV: I'm trying to understand these heavy weapons that thousands of pounds can actually achieve the results where Libya has the infrastructure. And along the same lines, if they are not working now the predator drones have come because, I think, it was Mike Mullen and a host of US officials that came out and said we have a stalemate so let's bring the predator drones and perhaps, they are going to help us. And of course, we know the efficiency of the drones in terms of the results that were achieved in Pakistan.

Dankof: Well, that's exactly right. There's the issue of whether or not Western boots on the ground are going to be committed.

Keep in mind that with the no-fly zones both in Kosovo and in Iraq, those were followed by massive commitments of Western troops. This may well happen here.

And when you look at the predator drone strikes in Pakistan, clearly a lot of innocent people are being killed. Those predator drone strikes in conjunction with the type of weaponry that you sited already, it seems to be able to produce the exact opposite result from our stated intention.

Our 'stated intention' for going into Libya is to save innocent civilian lives when, in fact, this whole strategy, in my judgment, is designed to produce a protracted world war and the deaths of many, many innocent men, women, and children. This is reprehensible and I think it gets back to the fundamental question.

Let's compare the stated intent with this decision to commit NATO and let's get into the actual reasons behind it which, I think, are very disturbing as they are elsewhere in the region.

And of course, if you bring in a place like Yemen or Bahrain, and talk about why the United States, Britain, and NATO have not intervened there, that opens a whole other can of worms.

Press TV: I'd like to talk about these boots on the ground. We have these advisors; some call them officials, that were sent from France, Italy, and the UK at this point. Even though the Obama administration has come out and said we have not committed US troops, there are operatives on the ground in Libya. Does that contribute to there being boots on the ground? And what is your opinion about these boots on the ground? If they're there right now, what are these operatives doing?

Dankof: What you have, it seems to me and a few people in the UK who have made this connection too from what I'm reading in their press, it's the same sort of thing that the United States had gotten involved with in Vietnam.

You have the Central Intelligence Agency involving itself along with the American military's Black Operational Wings in providing 'advisors' in Vietnam well before Lyndon Johnson actually committed massive amounts of ground troops.

You have a clear American involvement in the assassination of the (Ngo Dinh) Diem in 1963 and a series of other nefarious things that transpired and led to the final tragedy in that situation as it ultimately culminated in what happened in Saigon in April of 1975.

This same pattern seems to be emerging again here where they hinted at the fact that there may be some economic sanctions taken against country A or country B, and then the next thing you hear about is advisors who increasingly start turning into paramilitary forces connected with both the CIA and the British MI6 and with a couple of the American military's Black Operational capabilities.

Then they start talking about a no-fly zone, which we have now, followed by conventional airstrikes where a lot of innocent people get killed and where there's a protracted conflict.

And the final stage, after the mess that has been created by all these other methodologies, is to say that we can only resolve this through the employment of ground troops.

This is exactly the thing that Douglas MacArthur warned Lyndon Johnson about when Johnson, disregarding General MacArthur's advice, committed the United States once again to a massive ground involvement in a war of counter insurgency in Southeast Asia.

And the type of ground situation you have emerging in Libya is a great potential danger of this again, as Paul Craig Roberts has pointed out. Only this time, it seems that the United States would prefer, if possible, to drag the British and the French in and utilize their forces on a surrogate basis because of the political implications for Barack Obama if ground troops are actually committed to this catastrophe in Libya.

Although there are people, like Santorum, McCain, Lindsey Graham, and the Republican party, that would be enthralled, apparently, if we did put these American boots on the ground there.

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