While reports state that the Gaddafi regime grows weaker each day, United States is seeking to place a no fly zone in Libya, meaning that the US is willing to put its forces on the ground and dictate the outcome of the uprising.
Press TV talks with David Lindorff, Philadelphia to find out his views of this imperialist tactic.
Press TV: Do you think that the US wants Muammar Gaddafi to stay in power? After all, they’ve come out and have been critical that all options are on the table. Talking about a no fly zone with NATO, Barack Obama has made his views very clear.
David Lindorff: I think you have to be careful to look at each of these cases in each of these countries. The US has absolutely no moral commitment to any of the democracy uprisings around the Middle East; it’s only interest is preserving its access to oil and its geo-strategic goals for instance of having the Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain.
And so what the US is doing, and it’s playing catch up, is trying to look at each situation and figure out how to come out on top. Obviously the situation in Libya is very much in flux right now so the US is kind of spinning and trying to figure out where to put its (casino) chips.
As for Bahrain, most Americans don’t even think of the implications – the idea that we can casually say ‘the Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain,’ I mean – What is the Fifth Fleet doing in Bahrain? – But that’s the reality. So the US is going to make sure, whatever it takes, that that country is going to stay in the US orbit.
So that’s what it’s all about. It is weighing how to control the situation in each of these different countries as the uprisings develop.
Press TV: Regarding Kerry, McCain and Clinton who all came out in essence in support of a no fly zone, which seems to be the key diplomatic and military question now. Robert Gates didn’t mince his words though when he was talking about the no fly zone, he said “Let’s call a spade a spade. A no fly zone begins with a military intervention, a military bombardment meaning the aerial bombardment of Libya.” So what does the no fly zone actually mean if we do get a UN Security Council resolution on this in the coming week?
David Lindorff: Well, whether it’s UN or not it would be US forces and so a no fly zone would mean as Gates correctly said, an act of war because in order to enforce a no fly zone you first have to take out any possible anti-aircraft operations and the chance of planes flying up to engage your planes. So it means bombing the airfields; bombing every site where there is anti-aircraft guns or anti-missile emplacements – so that’s a war.
And it involves shooting down any planes that do take off so it’s an act of war and it becomes a war.
The second point responds to your initial question a little while back [you asked] about whether the US is manipulating these uprisings or causing them and I would say flat out that it is an insult to the peoples of the Middle East to suggest that the uprisings themselves have been caused by the US through some conspiratorial scheme.
It’s clear that this is people rising up because of pent up frustrations from being under the thumbs of autocratic leaders who are propped up by the US. And what we see is the US trying to manipulate things as best it can.
Press TV: Off the back of what you’re saying, with America assessing what is happening on the ground – looking at Egypt and Tunisia being further into their revolution than anywhere else in the Arab world – they’ve continued pushing; when Hosni Mubarak went and Ben Ali went they continued to push for change and we’re starting to slowly see now the disintegration of the systems that were in power – we’ve just had the new prime minister naming some new cabinet ministers today for example in Egypt. Does America truly understand what the people in these different countries are saying or do you think they are misreading what is actually happening?
David Lindorff: I don’t think they’re misreading anything. The question is whether they can control the situation and prevent it from becoming a genuine revolution as opposed to what it is now, which is toppling a leader, but leaving the ruling elite still in charge.
If you look particularly at Egypt the military still is charge, the gang of wealthy people and generals who have profited from the Mubarak era of fascist rule are still there and still are controlling all the wealth. So to say that there’s been a revolution in Egypt is an overstatement.
But certainly the fact that people are staying in the streets and are still pushing means that there is the potential for a real change in economic relations that would constitute some kind of revolution in Egypt and that is what the US is opposed to and it’s why the US is still working hard to be on top of that movement and supporting the military in Egypt. Press Tv