Posted by: CS | July 3, 2011

Canada Strengthens Ties With Al Qaeda in Beghazi

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird met this week with the leadership of Libya’s National Transitional Council, the rebel organization based in Benghazi that is claiming to be the “sole representative of all Libya.”

Despite media-friendly rhetoric about bringing “unity” and “democracy” to the country, the Council represents less than half of Libya’s 141 tribes and conducts all of its meetings in secret without keeping minutes of the proceedings. Critics note that the group’s leadership consists almost entirely of elitist, Arab, pro-Western businessmen with American Ph.D.s. Some of the NTC’s first official actions were to form a central bank to act as monetary authority over a country they do not control and to establish a corporation to make contracts with foreign governments for oil in rebel-held territories.

In an apparent attempt to give the insurgency more “legitimacy,” Baird declared the council Libya’s “best hope” for a democratic government, positing that “no government can be worse than the Gaddafi regime” before hastening to add that there will be challenges in the transition and that Libya is “not going to move from Gaddafi to Thomas Jefferson overnight.”

The visit comes after Canada’s precedent-setting move last week to officially recognize the NTC as the representative of the Libyan people, effectively affording it an equivalent diplomatic standing to the actual government of Libya. As former Middle East diplomat Louis Delvoie told the Toronto Star: “We’ve been sympathetic to revolutionary movements [before], but didn’t recognize them. Even though we had a well-established policy of opposing apartheid, we never recognized the African National Congress.” …

Full text here.

London Telegraph: In Libya, the West and al-Qaeda on the same side

Asian Tribune: Benghazi, Prime Al Qaeda recruiting ground

Pravda: Proven Benghazi rebel links to Al Qaeda

Mathaba: Libyan rebels reported defecting to Gaddafi

… Many former rebels, including one I spoke to said, “‘Look, we weren’t happy with Gaddafi. But when we saw NATO, including Italy, our former colonial occupier, join this thing…[we thought], OK, he’s a dictator, [and] we’ve had him around for over 40 years, but darn it, he’s a Libyan nationalist, and he has given us the highest standard of living in Africa.”

The second Roman occupation of Libya

Webster Tarpley reporting from Tripoli, Libya:

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