Alain Badiou, Jean-​Luc Nancy, France, Libya and Me

In Alain Badiou’s open reply to Jean-​Luc Nancy, he chides Nancy for falling into the trap that the NATO at­tacks on Libya were in any way de­signed to rescue the in­sur­gents of Benghazi. Badiou is amazed that someone so in­formed about geo­pol­itics, and the covert agenda of the French gov­ern­ment along with the other NATO al­lies should ap­pear so naïve:

How can you of all people fall into this trap? How can you ac­cept any kind of ‘rescue’ mis­sion being en­trusted to those very people for whom the old situ­ation was the good one, and who ab­so­lutely want to get back into the game, by for­cible means, from mo­tiv­a­tions of oil and he­ge­mony? Can you simply ac­cept the ‘hu­man­it­arian’ um­brella, the ob­scene black­mailing in the name of vic­tims? But our armies kill more people in more coun­tries than the local boss Gaddafi is cap­able of doing in his.

And he also asks: “Didn’t you know that the French and British secret ser­vices have been or­gan­ising the fall of Gaddafi since last autumn?”

Perhaps Nancy doesn’t read Voltairenetwork​.org, or read the Italian news­paper Libero. However, without wishing to ap­pear as shocked as Badiou at this lack of un­der­standing of in­form­a­tion that has been hand­somely spread across the in­ternet I have to admit that I had no idea either. As I ima­gine I’m not the only one I think its worth providing some links and snippets.

First, for back­ground is this piece by Dr Richard Keeble on the secret war against Libya provides some de­tail about the covert war that was staged be­hind the scenes, op­er­ated by the CIA and French secret ser­vice. Here’s a Reuters re­port which says that Barack Obama gave the CIA the green light to un­der­take covert ac­tions in sup­port of Libyan rebels be­fore the vote on Resolution 1973.

The Guardian re­ports today that:

Italy is only the third country, after France and Qatar, to re­cog­nize the rebel-​led Libyan National Transitional Council as Libya’s only le­git­imate gov­erning body.

But ac­cording to a re­port in Voltairenet​.org, the at­tendees of the London Conference on Libya (29 March 2011) which was re­stricted to those States that up­held Resolution 1973, (plus Germany) “de­cided to give the Libyan Transitional National Council (LTNC) ac­cess to some of Libya’s frozen as­sets and to au­thorize it to sell Libyan oil. In ad­di­tion, they con­sidered the pos­sib­ility of arming the CNLT, without how­ever reaching a decision.”

The re­port continues:

These ar­range­ments run counter to Resolution 1973 and one can easily ima­gine the in­ter­na­tional outcry if Venezuela or Iran, for ex­ample, were to re­lease frozen as­sets and give them to the Nasserist or Khomeinist in­sur­gents or, worse, buy Libyan oil from them. Not to speak of a vi­ol­a­tion of the UN em­bargo on arms for the be­nefit of the “bad” insurgents.

If it were still ne­ces­sary, the au­thor­iz­a­tion to sell oil shows that the di­vi­sion of the country’s re­sources has begun. Thanks to NATO’s mil­itary sup­port, the LTNC has seized con­trol of vast swathes of the oil fields and two key re­fineries. The au­thor­iz­a­tion ex­tends to 400 000 bar­rils per day, which at cur­rent rates rep­res­ents 1,4 bil­lion dol­lars per month.

At the end of two side meet­ings that took place between State Secretary Hillary Clinton and LTNC envoy Mahmoud Jibril [see photo, re­posted on ILR above], the United States pondered to un­lock 3,3 bil­lion dol­lars be­longing to the State of Libya to be fun­nelled to the “good” insurgents.”

But Italy’s move to join the al­li­ance runs counter to re­cent policy, as this in­ter­esting piece il­lus­trates. In 2009 Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi signed a Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation Treaty, but the deal was res­ulting ‘from ne­go­ti­ations con­ducted by former gov­ern­ments, in­cluding leftist gov­ern­ments’. Because of geo­graphy and trade Italy is Tripoli’s largest trading partner:

Italy buys al­most 40% of Libya’s ex­ports (its second main buyer, Germany, gets only 10%) while selling to Libya 18,9% of its total im­ports (the second main seller, China, provides not much more than 10%). Libya’s trade de­pend­ence on Italy is strong, but this re­la­tion­ship rep­res­ents an even greater stra­tegic value for Rome than for Tripoli.

However, the treaty con­tained a number of ob­lig­a­tions, in­cluding, and I quote

the agree­ment «to not re­sort to threat or the use of strength against the ter­rit­orial in­teg­rity or the polit­ical in­de­pend­ence of the other Part» (art. 3);

the ab­sten­tion from «any form of in­tru­sion, direct or in­direct, in the na­tional or for­eign af­fairs that fall within the other Part’s jur­is­dic­tion» (art. 4.1);

the as­sur­ance that Italy «won’t use, nor au­thorize the use of its ter­ritory in any hos­tile ac­tion against Libya» and vice versa (art. 4.2);

Of course, Italy is a former colony, but the re­la­tion­ship has been bang up to date.

Other useful pieces from Voltairenet​.org, which Sarkozy’s se­curity ad­visor wants shut down, in­cludes the sug­ges­tion that Al Jazeera is per­haps not the most ob­jective when it comes to re­porting on Libya, as it op­er­ates out of Qatar (the London Conference on Libya de­cided that Qatar will be in charge of ad­min­is­tering Libya’s oil). In this re­port it points to Russian news sources, which cite the Russian military’s claim that they were mon­it­oring the un­rest in Benghazi via satel­lite from the very be­gin­ning, and air­strikes against the Libyan people were not going on on the ground, as re­ported by Al Jazeera and the BBC.

But the re­ports that Badiou is re­fer­ring to, I think, is the one that was re­ported in the right-​wing Libero news­paper, who re­ceived a French Secret Service doc­u­ment leaked to them with the blessing Italian secret ser­vice, about the use of in­form­a­tion from former Gaddafi co­hort, Nouri Massoud El-​Mesmari.

In the doc­u­ments, the French secret ser­vices refer to Mesmari as ‘The Libyan Wikileak’ be­cause he gave them all the in­side in­form­a­tion about the re­gime as well as an ac­count of who’s who in Libya and who they should or should not contact.

With all the in­side in­form­a­tion, the Italians claim that by mid-​January the French had paved the way for the be­gin­ning of the re­volu­tion against Gaddafi. Perhaps it is just me and Nancy who have not heard all this stuff be­fore. Now you know.

Irish Left Review

  1 comment for “Alain Badiou, Jean-​Luc Nancy, France, Libya and Me

  1. Magid Shihade
    1 June 2011 at 9:09 pm

    To sup­port the NATO in­ter­ven­tion in Libya as a mean to “help and rescue” is an old wet­sern lib­eral ra­cist and colon­liast ar­gu­ment. If NATO in­ter­venes on good faith now, they would have in­ter­vened to pre­vent Israel from at­tacking Lebanon, and or it would have in­ter­vened to stop con­tinued Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestine. The main states in ques­tion who lead the NATO in­ter­ven­tion, they would have with­rdwan from Iraq and Afghanistan, if it is about “caring” for the people on the ground.
    Havind said that, Ghaddafi and other leaders in the re­gion will face the same fate: either submit to the will of the people or face the fate of Mubarak and Bin-​Ali. For that, the Arab people do not need “help.” What they need is that the West leaves them alone, and if the West does not realize the change that is taking place in the re­gion, it will only dig a deeper hole for it­self. It is about time for all con­cerned to listen to the people there and let them be. Those who do not listen or will nto start to listen have no right to lec­ture and “ana­lyse” about “helping.” In plain words: HELP YOURSELF FIRST.

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