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Kerry and McCain Unite Behind the Mysteriously Urgent Libya Mission

What do Kerry and McCain know about Libya that we don’t?

At WhoWhatWhy.com, we’ve been saying for some time that things just don’t add up when it comes to Libya. (For some of our past reporting, see for example this and this and this.) First the White House claimed that NATO needed to engage in a few days of bombing in order to protect Libyan civilians from Muammar Qaddafi’s troops. Those few days have turned into three months, and protecting civilians has morphed into a massive and unrelenting bombing campaign.

Now, Democrat John Kerry and Republican John McCain are proposing a bill to authorize US troops’ involvement in Libya for an entire year. And for what reason?  “To advance national security interests in Libya.”

But what national security interests? Those have never been spelled out. Kerry and McCain, according to McClatchy Newspapers, aren’t saying.

Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, does, however, warn that the US needs to support the Libyan rebels because failing to do so would “be ignorant, irresponsible and shortsighted and dangerous for our country.”

Shortsighted and dangerous for our country? How so? Kerry says just enough that it’s clear he knows something we don’t. Whatever it is, it has nothing to do with the principally humanitarian objectives originally cited for the bombing campaign.

The Kerry-McCain resolution does provide the sponsors with some political cover, by stipulating limitations on how US troops can be involved in Libya:

Congress does not support deploying, establishing or maintaining the presence of units and members of the United States Armed Forces on the ground in Libya unless the purpose of the presence is limited to the immediate personal defense of United States Government officials…or to rescuing members of NATO forces from imminent danger.”

But that’s not what matters. What matters is that Kerry and McCain, 2004 and 2008 presidential nominees of opposing political parties, know something that makes them back Barack Obama in committing heavy resources to the job of removing Qaddafi. This is, among other things, ample grounds for concern about the range of permissible views within the elite policy circles of both parties.

Readers of this website and of my book, Family of Secrets, understand that the US government rarely levels with the American public on the real reasons for strategic policy decisions. In this case, the phrasing used by Kerry and McCain make clear that Libya has “national security” implications for the United States—implications that they so far will not lay out.

We’ve talked about what those implications are likely to be.

It is clear that, in light of the still-unfolding Arab Spring and the destabilization of cooperative regimes, strategically located and oil-rich Libya simply must be brought into the US camp. It is the ideal new anchor for long-term future US military operations in the region designed to secure continued access to oil supplies.

That sounds a lot like “national security.”

The administration cannot simply explain to Americans (and, hence, to the world) that it feels justified in military action to protect the vital flow of oil. So it has to be oblique.

Meanwhile, those apparently excluded from the inner sanctum take a position that, on the surface, seems more logical and responsible, given that the White House estimates the Libyan campaign will have cost a staggering $1.1 billion by Sept. 30.

Here’s Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va:

“Our members are frustrated over the president’s action, his lack of positing a clear vision and mission,” he said. Discussions were under way on possible House action, including denying funds for the operation as part of a defense-spending bill that’s expected to be considered beginning Thursday.

There’s plenty of evidence that a great deal is at stake. Besides blanketing Libya with bombs, the Administration is trying economic sanctions, and working to convince more of Qaddafi’s top brass to switch sides:

In another development Tuesday, the Treasury Department took new steps to isolate the Libyan regime and provide incentives for its members to pitch down.

… “Our sanctions are intended to prevent harm and change behavior,” Adam Szubin, the director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in a statement announcing the actions. “To the extent that sanctioned individuals distance themselves from the Gadhafi regime, these measures can be lifted.”

Meanwhile, the White House is claiming it doesn’t need Congressional approval under the War Powers act to continue the bombardment of Libya, as long as American lives are not at risk. That’s a sly one, and Kerry is going along with it:

“The fact is that just because hostilities are taking place and we are supporting people engaged in those hostilities does not mean that we are ourselves, in fact, introducing troops into hostilities.”

So Kerry and McCain understand what is at stake and what is expected of them. Meanwhile, we continue to be amazed by how the news media is missing the whole story.

 

GRAPHIC:  http://www.adweek.com/files/imagecache/node-inline-wide/news_article/mccain-kerry-thinking-2011.jpg



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  • Don Ray

    Hey Russ,
    As usual, I’m impressed with the great work that you do, and the way you’re being the watchdog that the media aren’t. Keep up the good work.
    This piece frustrated me a bit because I expected to find a clear-cut answer to your question somewhere near the top of the story. I’m afraid that a lot of people — especially in this time of “instant messages” — would not be willing to do the work, i.e. would not read the entire piece to see where it’s going.
    By paragraph four, my journalism professors and mentors taught me a long time ago, the reader wants a clear picture of what the story’s main message is. I hope you don’t mind the observations of one of those folks who has trouble reading things even half as long as this message is. :-)

    • Anonymous

      Don, valid point. We try to get the key info into the headline. But we dont want to keep repeating the same underlying facts in each article on a given subject, thats why we put links up high that restate the boilerplate material. The new info in this article–about  Kerry and McCain–is up top.

  • Kevin Zeese

    Good article, Russ.  You are right, they never level with us.  It is obvious that this is not a “humanitarian war” as advertised, but a regime change war.  Nor, is it a war that will last days or weeks, but one that will last months, perhaps years.

    I see three likely reasons for the Libyan war.  (1) The U.S. set-up Africa Command under President Bush.  He appointed a black general to head AfrCom but the general was unable to sell a U.S. military base on the continent.  The first African American Commander in Chief was also unable to make the sale. Libya will provide a military base or bases and a place of operations for the American Empire in Africa. (2) Libya was pushing African nations to form their own banking system that would have been separate from the established western-dominated banks.  The removal of Ghadafi will stop that movement. (3) Oil — as you note in your article.  Not only access to oil but the profits from Libyan oil for western oil companies.  If access were the only issue than we could buy the oil, but our oil companies want the profits, especially as oil becomes scarce and prices rise.

    You may also want to look at what investments GE has in Libya — they have a ton — and they are very influential with the administration especially in election years when NBC is needed to campaign for the president.

    KZ
    http://www.ComeHomeAmerica.US

  • Pingback: Kerry and McCain unite behind Obama’s “urgent” Libya mission (Why?) :: News From Underground

  • http://www.facebook.com/ThePreambleProject Bill Wilt

    Check out this earlier NYT article
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/24/business/energy-environment/24oil.html
     on the chemical COMPOSITION of crude oil–which obviously has to have an impact on the extent of refining required (and hence cost, and thence price–well, if price of manufacturing has anything to do with cost to the citizen of the US.

    Just two weeks ago, a gas station off the Saw Mill Parkway in Ossining, NY, was charging $4.559 per gallon, while two stations, 0.2 miles away, were charging $4.099 and $4.069 per gallon–and a couple hours later, in Columbia County, NYS, two stations in Chatham, NY were charging $3.799 and $3.819. A 76¢ difference within 100 highway miles or so just doesn’t make sense to me, other than price-gouging.
       So how does “sweet” Libyan crude, by its absence from the market, drive up gasoline prices? (Here’s the happy little beast by which  gasoline is measured–per cent of octane in the blend coming from the pump: C8H18–attempting subscript numbers for C8H18.)

    Of course, there is also the unregulated behavior of the topiary funds (these are hedges pruned into shapes such as:  $, ¥, € and £, and can be found encircling the eight to 10 estates of folks like Jamie Dimon, Lloyd Blankfein, et alii), doing “arbitrage” (= “big unregulated bets”) on the commodities markets, if I’ve got my Wall Street Casino (WSC or just “Casino”) concepts straight.

     I would be surprised if the WSC owners were NOT creating special side bets on petroleum futures–maybe “collateral short futures obligations” and “collateral long futures obligations,” and then making “short betting insurance bonds” etc., patterned after what they did and are still doing, I imagine, with college loans, mortgage loans, 2nd mortgage loans, credit card debt, maybe even loan-shark debt and drug-smuggler debt, sex-trade trafficking debt, maybe even national debt obligations. Or how about Greased Oil Tanker Mortgage-backed Bet Obligations?

    If 90% of our US energy comes from petroleum (and probably a greater per cent of our plastics industry, chemical industry, cosmetics and fertilizer and…etc., it shouldn’t take waterboarding to extract the confession from our executive, the financial, the military-intel-industrial-legislative branches of both our penumbral and umbral governments (that’s “shadowy” and “even shadowier” respectively) that Iraq is all about Iraqi oil reserves (and bases to defend it, and launch out to the Caspian basin to get even more oil)–remember it was called “Operation Iraqi Liberation” at the very earliest point–probably before Jan. 21, 2001–in invasion planning; and the Afghan adventure is, I’m sure, still about petroleum products pipeline rights-of-way–as well as other natural resources, including opium gum from which the umbral government gets much of its funding.

    (If you still have difficulty figuring out what Credit Default Swaps and Collateralized Debt Obligations Squared are, I urge you to read Michael Lewis’s “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine.”  I read it through, and then read it through again; it’s like a layperson’s reference guide to the Wall Street Casino, but engagingly told through the eye(s)–one of the protagonists has only one eye–of guys who bet AGAINST the WSC bubble activities; and made millions ($462M in one-eyed guy’s case, if I recall correctly).  And of course the supreme irony is that the losers in those very bets were made MORE than whole again–by Bush, Paulsen, Greenbridge (or Greenspan) and Congress–with our money.
    http://www.amazon.com/Big-Short-Inside-Doomsday-Machine/dp/0393072231
    (You can read a few pages at a time with the Amazon itty-bitty-sampler browserware.)

    As for the gummint never leveling with us, It’s now my old-man’s view that it would be prudent for all American citizens, Fourth Estate included, to adopt a new “governmental presumption” that whatsoever pronunciamentos, assertions, words coming from the offices and/or orifices of government officials, are lies, unless proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, to be otherwise. We should be hearing reporters, citizens, habitually asking questions in this manner, starting at the top:  Mr. President, you’ve announced that Osama bin Laden has been killed, correct?  Prove it. Show us the body, let us do an autopsy. 

    Or: Mr. President, you just said Osama bin Laden (to stick with the same subject) and his merry band of men were responsible for 9/11/2001.  Prove it. In a court of law, not with Luntz’ed language from a focus group. With physical evidence, not chin music, and definitely not with withheld evidence, destroyed evidence, PhotosHopped pix and videos. 

    Otherwise, the Citizens’ presumption is quite simple: You’re lying. Which seems also to be a reasonable basis for impeachment and removal from office. (Not in a bad way–just an eminently reasonable way.)

    bw

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lynette-Largent/100001413371174 Lynette Largent

    Google Gaddafi, gold, central banking.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZUAJFKM77MKU5CLVI3BRXIXXF4 Wolf Sharp

    Humanitarianism, the new Imperialism.

    If Kerry and McCain get that bill shoved thru, I promise there will be millions of US Citizens that will be protesting.  These globablist Bilderbergers need to be reminded that they aren’t so safe from revolution happening again in our country.

  • Robert Harneis

    As an admirer of your work Russ, I have to say that I slightly disagree. It is not about oil as such. After all they got to sell it to live so what’s the problem. Sure we prefer to short change them but what is really at stake is the money the oil generates as I think it was for Iraq. You can keep the oil and be a brute but you must play ball. So the gulf monarchs are acceptable despite all the carry on about human rights – for the moment anyway.

    There is of coure the (in my view unnecessary) rivalry with the Chinese and Russians.

    Here is my view from a European prospective. The point is what Gadaffi was doing with the money from the oil not the oil: –

    http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2011/1053/op173.htm

  • Anonymous

    Kerry is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. McCain belongs in jail. His crimes go way back.

  • alexis

    Susan Lindauer and Cynthia Mc kinney have been recieving video’s of war crimes commited by the libyan rebels. People have been submitting video’s to this website..

    WARNING DISTURBING GRAPIC VIDEOS!! DO NOT WATCH IF EASILY OFFENDED!!!!

    ObamasLibya.com

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/06/23/the-ugly-truth-video-of-libyan-rebel-beheading-gadhaffi-soldier-cannibalism-rape-and-other-nato-war-crimes/

  • Jim G

    We are in Libya for two reasons:  1) Europe is running out of cude oil as documented by the spread on Brent crude.  North Sea oil has been running out for years.  Libya wants to sell to china.  2)  US and European banks need the petro-dollars to pay of gambling / derivative bets.  Libya wants to accept payment in other currencies and silver.  “Rebels (paid mercinaries)” first set up to sell oil and start a new Europe backed bank.   Follow the $$$s.

  • Danaë

    I agree wholeheartedly with Robert Harneis, below, that this bald-faced, brutal attack of Libya is about much more than oil which, according to some, is being over-stressed, to deflect attention away from a broad range of sinister motivations for the attack. [Relink to Mr Harneis' excellent article: Sarkozy's War].

    As Harneis points out, most NATO countries are virtually insolvent, at this point, and may well be going into overdrive so as to secure “vital national interests” while financing of NATO can still be extracted from US/EU taxpayers.

    This certainly appears to be the case for France/Sarkozy, which stands to lose a great deal of leverage over its former African colonies in the event that Gaddafi’s anti-imperialist policies gained further traction in Africa.

    The same goes for the US, which is hell-bent on establishing and maintaining Western hegemony over the immensely resource-rich African continent.

    Much as Sarkozy’s pet project, the Union for the Mediterranean [UfM], is designed to establish US/European control over Mediterranean countries’ economies [note: Libya is the only North African country that is not a member of the UfM], the US has set about to dominate sub-Saharan Africa, to the exclusion of China and Russia …

    The signs point increasingly to an unfolding show-down over the control of African resources to which Gaddafi, the popularity of his ideas and his commitment to African independence, would/will be a significant impediment.

    The attack of Libya is but a stepping stone in a much larger strategy, which began with the arming and training of ‘jackals’ in Chad, DRC, Sudan, by various Western intelligence agencies, in the 1980s, followed by overt military operations in Rwanda, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and, now, highly strategic Yemen.

    The planned destruction of Libya is but a part of a much, much bigger geopolitical picture. Muammar Gaddafi ‘got it’, as early as the 1960s. If we don’t follow suit, and fast, we’ll be left as ever “to just study what [they] do.”

    It is the world’s work force that is being held hostage to the funding of the mathematically unsustainable, military-enforced, ailing corporate financial Ponzi scheme – and all in the name of ‘Democracy’, no less!  

  • Pingback: Russ Baker on The Boiling Frogs: Debunking a few lies | lys-dor.com

  • Anonymous

    Amazing body language in the above shot of Kerry and McCain.  I can imagine that Libya has strategic value.  I can also imagine the CIA inciting fringe groups against Ghaddafi, even though it is known that he’s a cruel and ruthless man.   We have the same kind here.

  • Louis Wolf

    Russ, once again you are telling it like it is. The shadow duplicitous world of the Obama presidency combined with allies like Senators Kerry and McCain grows darker by the day. Obama’s sadistic bombing adventure in Africa will lose him a lot of the support he once had in the African American community nationally. He is aggressing in seven wars now, and thirsty for more. He is doing things George W. Bush never even thought of doing.

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  • Al Smith

    All war is started with lies so the Khazarian Zionists (non-Jewish illuminati banksters) can fund and supply all sides and then prey on the victims:  all involved. They hijacked our currencies, governments, big business, education, religions, and of course finance.  They engineered fake national and personal debt.  And, now they are foreclosing on Humanity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Russell-Sauquillo/100001538861549 John Russell Sauquillo

    The answer is simple. George Bush and Tony Blair cut a “You scratch my back I’ll scratch your back’ deal. The Brits helps us get rid of Saddam and we then help the Brits get rid of Gaddafi. The only ‘fly in the ointment’ was Bush screwed up Iraq and it took many years longer than planned so the deal was handed off to Obama which is why the Republicans are up in arms because he’ll get the credit for toppling Gaddafi instead of Bush and the GOP.

    A staggering $1.1 billion? Compared to the $1000 billion we spent toppling Saddam this is a bargain basement Regime Change

    BTW if the Libyans don’t hang Gaddafi, the Brits will assassinate him … but not as long as he is a head of state

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