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FACTDROP: Libya: Despite denial, Al Quds dedicates editorial to ‘US forces in Malta’
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1/19/2012

Libya: Despite denial, Al Quds dedicates editorial to ‘US forces in Malta’

The Maltese government has categorically denied the presence of 12,000 US troops on its soil in preparation for deployment to Libya

Πηγή: Maltatoday
By Karl Stagno-Navarra
Jan 18 2012

Despite an official denial by Malta, influential UK based Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper insists with Washington to ‘come clean’ on its military intentions with Libya.

In an editorial entitled "US Forces Heading to Libya?" published yesterday by Al-Quds al-Arabi, the influential Arab newspaper relayed the question raised by former US Congresswoman Cinthia McKinney who alleged the 'stationing' of 12,000 US troops in Malta in preparation for deployment to Libya.

McKinney's remarks however were categorically denied by the Maltese government.

But Al-Quds al-Arabi stressed that the "US administration did not deny reports that it dispatched 12,000 soldiers to Malta as a prelude to moving them to Libya in an attempt to put the deteriorating situation there under control."

In its editorial, Al-Quds al-Arabi laments how Arab satellite channels have decreased their interest in Libya and, consequently, coverage of the situation in Libya after NATO's mission succeeded in toppling the former regime.

"Information from Libya, according to numerous reports published in Western newspapers, say that resistance to the National Transitional Council [NTC] is receiving growing support among a segment of the Libyan people, and the powers of the NTC chairman, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, are quickly eroding against increasing influence of armed militias and their field commanders," it said.

The armed militias are the main source of apprehension for the people of the capital Tripoli in particular, and all Libyan territories in general.

"People now fear for their lives and the lives of their sons because of this phenomenon. Most Libyan cities have turned into a jungle of guns, while rival armed militias share the neighbourhoods of cities. There are four main militias, notably Al-Zintan regiments, the regiments of the Tripoli military council, led by Abd al-Hakim Bilhaj, the Misrurata regiments, and the Libyan national army, led by Chief of Staff Khalifah Haftar."

The editorial said that Usamah al-Juwayni, the defence minister in Prime Minister Abdul Rahim el-Keib, promised and set more than once dates for withdrawing and dissolving the militias and assimilating them in the army. "However, these promises have not been followed through, and none of these dates have been complied with, while chaos continues to reign supreme."

It added: "Western nations are not worried, as required, about this situation, for as long as Libyan oil continues to flow to their ports, they are happy with their achievement of toppling the regime. The chaos in Libya does not concern them unless an armed resistance emerges and threatens the Libyan oil industry and strikes at the pipes leading to the ports of export."

According to Western statistics, Libya's oil output is approaching the rates that Libya had produced before NATO's military intervention, namely 1.5 million barrels per day.

"This is a good development for consumer nations like France, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, and others, because Libyan oil is sweet and light [last three words in English] and fits the European refineries, which were designed to refine Libyan crude oil that contains light gas fit as fuel for aircraft.

"The Libyan people rose up against the former regime, and the majority of Libyans supported NATO's intervention to topple it in the hope that they will enjoy security and stability and their estimated US$60 billion annually in revenue. However, declining security and aggravating conflict among militias may drive them to despair and frustration," the editorial said.

Al-Quds al-Arabi said that according to "certain Western reports, Libya is currently subject to another kind of colonialism, for NATO forces are still indirectly deployed on the ground, and some reports say that most Libyan oil wells and ports of export are under the protection and control of these forces."

The paper expressed its hope for the arrival of Arab and foreign monitors in Libya "to present a real picture of what is happening on the ground amid current media blackout, and to answer numerous questions about such things as the reasons for the clashes in Ghiryan in the past week and earlier in Tripoli. And what of the cities in the eastern part of Libya and Al- Jabal Al-Akhdar, and what of Misurata. Above all, what is the fate of the thousands of Libyans, particularly black nationals, in militia jails, who are charged with supporting the former regime and fighting under its green flag?"

The editorial concluded: "the overthrow of the dictatorial regime is a good step, but it may turn into a disaster if the alternative is chaos, lack of security, fighting among militias, and masked or unmasked Western occupation."


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