It is now eight years since we reported the assault of the FUKUS Axis (France, UK and USA,) on Libya. The regime change action, led from behind by Barack Obama, to overthow the regime of the tyrant Muammar Gaddafi was the first in a spate of such engagements, and its failure to brink western style, LGBT rights obsessed neo – liberal democracy to the country, instead transforming it from Africa’s most prosperous and socially advanced nation ino a failed state in which three rival factions have ever since the death of Gaddafi, claimed to be the legitimate government, has taught the United Nations, NATO, the three main participants in the attack on Libya and the Military – Industrial complex nothing at all (viz the failed egime change war in Syria.)

The Libyan civil war that borke out after the murder of Gadaffi by western backed rebels is now well into its eighth year. The current state of play is that warlord Khalifa Haftar lays siege to Tripoli, the nation’s capital and seat of the United Nations-backed government (which has no influence outside the government compunt in the capital city.

Haftar’s attack has escalated the violence that has plagued the country since the downfall of longtime dictator Gaddafi in the 2011 Arab Spring  which was of course kicked off by the idiotic blethering of Barack Obama who, in an ill advised speech in Cairo, pledged that the USA would support any bunch of savaged who tried to overthrow a tyrant who was not in Washington’s pocket. Haftar’s Libyan National Army, which claims to control over two-thirds of the nation’s territory, most of which is unpopulated destrert in the south, stands accused of dozens of war crimes, including a deadly airstrike on a Tripoli migrant detention center, as many nations around the world allegedly shift allegiances toward the warlord and away from the U.N.-backed government.

Almost 5,000 miles away in Washington, both the Libyan government and the rebels have inked multi-million dollar deals with prominent D.C. lobbyists as they aim to win the backing of American policymakers.

Rebel leader Khalifa Haftar attending the Conference for Libya in Palermo, Italy. Image source: Tullio Puglia/Getty Images

Caught with their pants down by the success of Haftar’s attack the UN recognised government’s PR team, Mercury Public Affairs and Prime Policy Group have added only 17 foreign agents to foreign influence operations for the Libyan government since early May. These include former Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.), a longtime stalwart on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and vice chairman of Prime Policy Group, and Edward Cox, former policy advisor to retired Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

The government agreed to pay Mercury $2 million annually in retaining their services. Prime Policy Group, on the other hand, says it made a verbal agreement to work on a pro-bono basis.

“A unified, democratic Libya is in the best interest of Libyans and furthers the security goals of the United States,” the organization said in a press release.

Haftar’s Lbyan National Army has contracted five foreign agents and operatives at Linden Government Solutions, a Texas firm headed by former Bush administration official Stephen Payne. The arrangement, first reported by the AP, will officially include meetings with U.S. officials, “international coalition building and general public relations.”

Payne has an extensive history with the troubled North African nation. He visited in 2011 with former Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Penn.) before the fall of Gaddafi, helping to negotiate the release of three imprisoned journalists. At the same time, he was bankrolling Weldon’s visit in hopes the former congressman could convince Gaddafi to step down. Payne has close ties to three of Gaddafi’s sons.

The deal with Linden is worth about $2 million. Both parties are believed to have interests in Libyan’s oil business, as Payne and legal counsel Brian Ettinger have deep ties in international energy markets and Haftar recently gained control of El Sharara, Libya’s largest oil field.

The Obama administration fervently backed the Government of National Accord, saying America’s partnership with the government “is in America’s national security interest in our fight against ISIL.” While the U.S. and other major powers have nominally pledged support for Tripoli’s Government of National Accord for years, Haftar’s military success has made many reconsider where their allegiances lie.

The Trump administration appears to be divided on which side to support, with the president reportedly praising the warlord for his victories against Islamist groups and encouraging the Libyan National Army’s march on Tripoli in an April phone call. National Security Advisor John Bolton also encouraged Haftar’s attack, according to diplomatic sources.

RELATED:
Lawless Libya
The Daily Stirrer July 2019

 

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