[VIDEO] As NATO Ends Libyan Bombing Campaign, Is the U.S. Seeking Greater Military Control of Africa?
November 2, 2011 · By Phyllis Bennis
The NATO operations turned into another Western assault on another North African, Middle Eastern, Arab country. Discussion on Democracy Now!
NATO ended its bombing campaign in Libya on Monday. Over the past seven months, NATO aircraft conducted more than 26,500 sorties, including 9,700 strike missions. NATO said it bombed 5,900 military targets inside the country. While NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen hailed the campaign as a success, many analysts say NATO’s intensive bombing campaign violated its U.N. mandate. "The role that NATO played in Libya has been a very, very problematic one, a very troubled one, and ultimately is going to have a very long-term, deleterious impact on Libya’s future," says Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies. "The notion that the NATO bombings somehow was to do nothing but protect civilians is simply not the case."
Bennis says the Libyan revolution began as part of the Arab Spring, but the NATO intervention turned it into a "Western assault on another North African, Middle Eastern, Arab country." She also expresses alarm over the rising U.S. military presence in Africa. "Despite efforts to claim that AFRICOM [U.S. Africa Command] is really about healthcare and AIDS education and women’s rights, to be carried out by the U.S. military, we have a very serious reality that Africa now provides more oil to the United States than the entire Middle East."