Saturday, March 12, 2011

Libya's Pre-1996 History Revisited: Part 10

A Wall Street Journal editorial recently proposed that the Democratic Obama-Clinton Administration consider the option of some kind of “humanitarian military intervention” in Libya in 2011 in response to the recent deadly attacks on demonstrators inside Libya by the current Libyan regime’s security forces. Yet most people in the United States know very little about the hidden history of Libya. Guy Arnold’s 1996 book, The Maverick State: Gaddafi and the New World Order, for example, observed:

“The extent of enmity towards Gaddafi in the West was highlighted in 1989 when Gaddafi claimed that Western security agencies had tried to destroy him in 1980. An Italian inquiry revealed that the shooting down of an Italian domestic flight, IH870, from Bologna to Palermo on 27 June 1980, had been in mistake for the airplane carrying Gaddafi on the same flight path on his way to Warsaw. The Libyan jet turned sharply eastwards just north of Sicily; then the Italian jet was hit by a missile and all 81 passengers were killed. The evidence at this time came from the confession of an Italian military radar technician. The story resurfaced at the beginning of 1996 when documents seized from the retired head of the Italian counter-espionage service, Demetrio Cogliando, revealed that the Italian DC-9 was `caught in the wrong place during an attempt by NATO fighters to blast Colonel Muammar Gaddafi out of the skies with a missile’. According to the story French and US jets launched an operation to kill the Libyan leader but panicked when attacked by escorting MiGs; then, when the civilian airliner came in range, a French Mirage fighter fired without checking the plane’s identity. General Cogliandro’s papers describe how one MiG was shot down and how subsequently five US P-3 Orions searched the rugged Calabrian countryside, in vain, to find the fuselage. When the plane was eventually found pressure was applied to the doctors who examined the body not to reveal the cause of death. General Cogliandro also blames the then Italian Prime Minister, Francesco Cossiaga, for the cover-up that followed. Not many leaders of Third World countries have been targeted in such a fashion by the West…

“Tiny Rowland, the controversial British business entrepreneur, agreed in the Observer of June 1992 that the West (the United States and Britain) had acted in relation to Libya against the UN Charter and International Law…

“…As irritating as Gaddafi may seem to the West, in general its pressures upon him are out of proportion to his offenses and this is surely true if compared with Western reactions to other regimes that defy Western influence…”

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