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Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 06:26 by Richard Galustian

UKs economy with truth


There is an old saying that diplomats are paid to lie for their country. In a most revealing interview in The Sunday Times of
Malta, Britains Ambassador to Libya, Peter Millett, demonstrated his expertise, not in lying, but in massaging the truth of what
is about to explode in the North Africa desert.
Make no mistake, a major military operation by a collection of foreign powers is in the works to tackle Isis and instal a
UN-backed government but the shabby way it has been put together carries the risk it will blow back in everyones faces.
First, there is the strange situation that Millett takes his orders from Britains Libya envoy, Jonathan Powell, a contractor to the
FCO. Yes, the same Powell who, along with then prime minister Tony Blair, brokered the deal with Muammar Gaddafi to end
his dictatorships isolation a decade ago - and lead to fat Blair consultancies with that same tyrant after the prime minister left
oce.
Among other beneficiaries of this new opening up of Gaddafis dictatorship was a massive property development contract
handed out to a company chaired by none other than Powells brother, Lord Charles Powell, which also involved an array of
colourful London-based, well-known Arab millionaires. Which makes Powell more of a close relative of an interested party.
Then there are the weapons he referred to. Last weeks annual report by the UN Security Council panel of experts revealed
Libya is awash with them, imported from all corners of the earth by all sides, the UNs arms embargo notwithstanding. But
Millett revealed that he wants to sell Libya yet more - but only to the right militias, that is, those supporting the new
UN-backed government of national accord (GNA).
The GNA, designed to replace Libyas two warring governments, in Tripoli and Tobruk, is the cornerstone of Westernpolicy in
Libya, designed to unite thecountry to turn its united guns on Isis. Hence the weapons.
Millett insists the weapons will only go to the right militias, an echo of a Western statement about supporting the right kind
of terrorists in Syria in the war against Isis.
Looking at the militia mayhem in Libya, and the ability of weapons to leak not just into the country, but back out again in
routes across Africa, one wonders just who these right militias are.
And who will make sure militia chiefs are not tempted to sell them to the highest bidder, such as perhaps terrorist formations?
In relaxed mood, Millett then insisted that there would be no British combat troops sent to Libya.
The key word is combat.
Troops are already on the ground, in the shape of special forces rubbing
shoulders with American, French and Italian counterparts and who are ready to
guide jets to bomb Isis positions.
A thousand more troops are likely to be sent, not for combat but for training
Libyan forces, though quite why you need 1,000, a figure mentioned in past
statements, to do the job has not been explained. Just what will all those
troops do with their day?

Much of the fallout for this


clumsy step to create a third
government for Libya will be
felt in Malta

Then there is the rumpus over the US Presidents comments last week where he shifted blame for Libyas chaos onto Prime
Minister David Cameron as a free rider for the operations that ousted Gaddafi leading to todays power vacuum. No, Millet
insists, Cameron was not a free rider.
Last year, the UK had already spent 8 million on humanitarian assistance. It was assistance, which, President Barack Obama
might point out, was only necessary because Britain had neglected to keep a watchful eye on Libya as the situation
unravelled.
But Millett is not the villain of the peace. Just as diplomats are paid to be economical with the truth, so they are paid to serve
their government. He is a man to be respected for his past record and I genuinely feel sorry for him.
The real villains of the peace are Milletts bosses, for joining with the US to instal an unelected, unpopular new government still in exile by the way - opposed by both the existing governments.
Much of the fallout for this clumsy step to create a third government for Libya will be felt in Malta, where commercial battles
rage between the two existing Libyan governments over control of a host of enterprises headquartered here - and which are
soon to have unity government leaders also pushing for control.

1 of 2

19/03/2016, 17:24

UKs economy with truth - timesofmalta.com

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160316/opinion/UK...

The Valletta court battle for the public telecommunications company LPTIC highlighted the complicated split and a new tussle
Copyright
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- 19-03-2016
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is for
personal use only, and
should
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is underway
for Newspapers
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Tobruk-appointed
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of which
is situated in Malta.
For now, the LIA battle is in London but in a bizarre twist the case was last week controversially stopped in mid flow on
advice from Britains Foreign Oce.
The judge making the order, which keeps both existing governments from getting their hands on this $65 billion asset, is none
other than William Blair, brother of - you guessed it, Tony.
Never mind that Tony worked with the LIA in the latter Gaddafi years.
Conflict of interest?
A professional loyal British ambassador couldnt possibly comment. However, this scandal is both political and financial and
can only grow and grow with time.
All roads lead to the need for British parliamentary committees to quizTony Blair and his associates todiscover the full facts
surrounding this Libyan debacle.
Richard Galustian is a security analyst.

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Revel Barker

3 days ago

The West (and the East, come to that) has an impressive history of supporting the "right" militia or dissidents... and then finding itself
at war with that faction, once it has been established.
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Bill Khan > Revel Barker

3 days ago

West creates these outfits like Al Qaeda and now the ISIS. And these are sent into countries to play havoc with the population
and infrastructure. And who do the eeted population turn to ofr help the west. This gives the west the justification to land it's
troops into the area to fight the ISIS the very outfit they (west) put there. Meanwhile the ISIS outfit is moved to some other
country to create terror there. Just as the ISIS operatives were moved from Libya thrugh Turkey into Syria once Gada was
eliminated in the new operation to remove Assad.. What Dr. Webster Tarpley (an American Historian and Brodcaster) has to say
on ISIS being the operation of the west is interesting:
https://socioecohistory.wordpr...
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19/03/2016, 17:24