This is the face of state terror against civilians in the US and British-backed Gulf oil kingdom of Bahrain – the latest victim a boy shot dead by police. But there will be no call by Washington or London for a Libya-style NATO intervention to protect human rights here. No call for regime change. No call for an international crimes tribunal.

Fourteen-year-old Ali Jawad Ahmad was killed on 30 August when Saudi-backed Bahraini riot police fired a tear gas canister at the youth from close range. On the day that was supposed to be a celebratory end to Ramadan – Eid al Fitr – people across Bahrain were shocked by yet another “brutal slaughter of innocents” by the regime and the stoic silence of its Western backers.

The teenager was among a crowd of youths who had gathered in a peaceful protest following morning prayers in the mainly Shia village of Sitra, calling for the overthrow of the unelected Sunni monarchy.

The Bahraini protests against the US and British-backed autocratic rulers have been continuing for nearly seven months despite the military intervention of Saudi Arabia in the Gulf island to crush the pro-democracy movement. Nearly 40 civilians have been killed by state forces since the uprising began in mid-February; thousands more have been injured, imprisoned, tortured or sacked from jobs.

But the relentless repression – condemned by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and several other rights groups – has failed to halt the pro-democracy campaign. The resilience of the protesters is all the more remarkable given that their cause has been met with cold indifference from Washington and London, and from much of the mainstream media.

While Western governments have been quick to condemn the rulers of Libya and Syria for alleged human rights violations – launching a full-scale military onslaught on the former and mounting diplomatic sanctions against the latter – these same governments have continued to give full backing to the Al Khalifa dictatorship in Bahrain.

The mainstream media agenda has dutifully followed suit. While the BBC, CNN etc have descended on Libya and Syria to champion the cause of armed rebels with dubious credentials, these same media outlets have virtually ignored Bahrain where the pro-democracy movement is supported by a majority of the population and which has so far remained peaceful in the face of gratuitous state violence.

The latest victim of state terror in Bahrain is at least the sixth person to die from the indiscriminate lethal use of tear gas by Saudi-backed pro-state forces. Ironically, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, as well as other Gulf sheikhdoms such as Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, have lent diplomatic and military support to NATO’s interventions in Libya and Syria to allegedly defend human rights. Yet these autocrats have been murdering unarmed civilians in Bahrain with impunity and Western imprimatur.

For several weeks since the Bahraini regime’s initiative of so-called “national dialogue” failed to engage opposition groups, there has been a massive stepping up of indiscriminate use of tear gas in villages deemed to be supportive of the mainly Shia-led pro-democracy movement.

Riot police have attacked villages on a daily and nightly basis, firing tear gas into homes. Families have had to flee their dwellings in the middle of the night, sometimes by carrying children out of bedroom windows using ladders. Those unable to move – disabled, sick and elderly – have been trapped indoors during these attacks and some have died from acute exposure to the tear gas. The youngest victim was five-year-old Mohammed Farhan [1].

Pro-democracy sources have labelled the deployment of tear gas as a deliberate tactic of “toxic terrorism”. It is the regime’s way of coercing the opposition groups to enter the dialogue process – which the opposition has dismissed as an empty public relations exercise designed to shore up the status quo of the Al Khalifa dynasty.

It is scarcely believable that Washington or London is unaware of the Bahraini state terror over recent months and in particular the massive, indiscriminate use of tear gas on civilian homes. Bahrain – a former “protectorate” of Britain – has close links between its ministry of interior and British security personnel. The Gulf island is home to the US Navy Fifth Fleet, from where the entire Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea down as far as the coast of Somalia are surveyed. The territory of Bahrain is less than 60 kilometres long and only 17 kilometres wide.

Two of the Bahraini villages that have been subjected to heavy tear gas attack are Ras Rumman and Bilad Al Qadeem where the British and US embassies are located. As one pro-democracy activist commented on being asked about official British and American knowledge of improper tear gas use: “They must smell it everyday coming under their doors.”

But the issue for many Bahrainis is not just mere knowledge, but rather direct approval by Washington and London of what is a state terror tactic against civilians.

They point out that the upsurge in tear gas deployment followed the visit to Bahrain in the beginning of July by Jeffrey Feltman, the US roving ambassador for the Middle East. Feltman, who was previously ambassador to Israel and Lebanon during the Israeli invasion in 2006, was a strong advocate of the Bahraini regime’s national dialogue, urging “all moderates” to participate.

It seems more than conceivable that someone with Feltman’s hawkish credentials would have advised the US Bahraini clients to resort to a more coercive policy if the opposition shunned the talks process.

Feltman has visited Bahrain on at least eight occasions. One of those visits was just before the Saudi-led invasion of Bahrain. “Every time this guy Feltman comes to Bahrain, we see a drastic increase in repression and deterioration in human rights,” said one pro-democracy activist.

At least three US companies have been identified as suppliers of tear gas to Bahrain, including NonLethal Technologies, Combined Systems and Penn Arms, all based in Pennsylvania [2].

More recently, Bahraini sources have noted that newer types of tear gas canisters do not bear the usual manufacturer markings [3]; that the canisters are larger therefore dispensing much more smoke [4]; and that the toxicology is much more potent, causing victims to go into convulsions similar to the symptoms of nerve agents [5].

So, given that the Bahraini regime can kill civilians and children without a murmur from Washington or London, then it is reasonable to conclude that their avowed noble interventions in Libya and Syria are as pungent and as thick as the smokescreens hanging over Bahraini villages.

  

 

Finian Cunningham is a Global Research Correspondent based in Belfast, Ireland. He was expelled from Bahrain for his critical journalism on 18 June 2011.

[email protected]

NOTES

[1] Victims of Bahraini state terror, including Mohammed Farhan (5) and other victims of tear gas intoxication:

http://bahrainrights.hopto.org/en/node/3864

[2] Video detailing US suppliers of tear gas to Bahrain:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0iOYpiR46M&feature=share

[3] Pictures showing newer tear gas canisters with no markings:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.241386425896045.64440.194515507249804&type=1

[3] Video of new, larger tear gas canisters that engulf homes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJj6dRPMup4

[5] The more lethal effects of new tear gas causing convulsions in victims:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EypDipIHL7U&feature=share

Media Smear directed against Global Research

August 31st, 2011 by Global Research

In the August 23, 2011 edition of the National Post, Terry Glavin published an article which on all counts serves as a smear campaign against Global Research. Amongst other defamatory statements, he describes the Centre as a “Canadian Club of crackpots”.

We bring to the attention of our readers excerpts of this National Post article (below) and invite you to read through the complete article, available by clicking here.

It is important to consider both the content and motivation behind this aggressive piece, which contains a lengthy “critique” of  Global Research. Although Mr. Glavin states outright that “the Centre would not normally be worth noticing except for a laugh,” he nonetheless goes to considerable effort to spell out a string of rhetoric about why, in his opinion, the Centre and its projects, research and analysis (contributed by hundreds of diverse journalists, reporters and academics wordwide) should be categorically dismissed by readers.

We encourage Global Research readers to review this piece, to think about the articles, videos and continuous stream of information the Centre provides free of charge thanks to the work of dedicated staff, volunteers and contributors, and decide for yourselves whether, in fact, the Centre’s “anti-war, 911-truth, anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist” articles (as Glavin questionably accuses) are worth more than a “laugh”. You can then choose whether you would like to comment on this article, alongside many others who have already indicated that they do not share Mr. Glavin’s “critique”: 

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/08/23/terry-glavin-ottawas-gaddafi-fans-find-their-world-crumbling/

As always, we thank our readers for their continued support in helping us fight the tide of disinformation coming from mainstream and corporate-controlled media, the likes of which is clearly becoming nervous that their bottom line is being threatened by the Truth, and who are fighting for profits instead of fighting the injustice, wars and crimes against humanity increasingly plaguing our world.

Global Research, August 31, 2011 

Terry Glavin: “Ottawa’s Gaddafi fans find their world crumbling”

“The Centre for Research on Globalization is – how to put it delicately- a Canadian clubhouse for crackpots of the anti-war, 911-truth, anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist variety. The Centre would not normally be worth noticing except for a laugh. But, today is not a normal day…”

“Run by Michel Chossudovsky, economics professor emeritus at the University of Ottawa, the Centre has for some long while adopted what could be called a friendly demeanour towards the Libyan regime of Moammar Gaddafi. The Centre also enjoys an intimate and wildly successful relationship with one of the world’s pre-eminent cable “news” networks [RT], and it has put that relationship to the purpose of disseminating undiluted Gaddafist propaganda. As I write this, it’s all crashing down around their heads.…”

“By whatever means Centre boss Chossudovsky provides his outrageous services to police states…”

“How does one deal with “experts” and “journalists” like this?…”

Copyright National Post, 2011

Complete Article, click below:
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/08/23/terry-glavin-ottawas-gaddafi-fans-find-their-world-crumbling/

President Basescu on the United States of Europe: Crises call for bold measures

-’I am not sure that today’s politicians have the power to convince the people that setting up the United States of Europe will not affect their culture, traditions or the personality of each nation. I do not believe that the current generation of politicians could convince people. It sounds awful to say that the Value Added Tax will no longer be established by the national governments, but by some people in Brussels. It sounds extremely awful to any Romanian, and yet we will have to take this pill if we want Europe to be a viable construction against the globalisation process.’ -’Over the past ten years, the EU has been constantly losing competitiveness to China, the US and other big economic powers. When you have no economic power you cannot be a military power either. It would be useless to attack Libya because you will lose the war. Security is a fundamental thing but there is no providing security without money, which can only be generated by a highly performing economy.’

President Traian Basescu said on Monday evening that the idea of establishing the United States of Europe (USE) has already been discussed, pointing out that crises call for bold measures, and adding that he is not sure that today’s politicians can convince the people that a USE will not affect their culture or traditions.

‘The idea of the United States of Europe is no new solution. It has already been raised and discussed. Churchill is one of the last prominent politicians to suggest it, but even before him there were others. This is nothing original, nothing new under the sun. Yet, this is a time of economic crisis where there are risks of recession returning. I say risks because we have not reached that stage, but there are risks nonetheless, and I mean crises call for bold measures,’ Basescu told the TVR public television channel in an interview.

He added that a politician would be hard pressed saying how quick the United States of Europe could be established, but national governments have proved they can be ‘vanquished’ by markets, by the will of investors.

‘The global system will sweep away all that is lacking strength. The states now have to see how to put up with the negative effects of globalisation,’ Basescu added.

He pointed out in the same context that Romania does not give up on its objective to accede to the Eurozone in 2015.

‘We want to become a part of this European family, and the creation of a government of the Eurozone is something said differently than I said. It is clear that a government of the Eurozone will first of all take care of monetary policies, which will still be managed by the European Central Bank, and of the tax policies of each member state,’ Basescu explained.

‘I am not sure that today’s politicians have the power to convince the people that setting up the United States of Europe will not affect their culture, traditions or the personality of each nation. I do not believe that the current generation of politicians could convince people. It sounds awful to say that the Value Added Tax will no longer be established by the national governments, but by some people in Brussels. It sounds extremely awful to any Romanian, and yet we will have to take this pill if we want Europe to be a viable construction against the globalisation process,’ Basescu added.

Last week at Sulina, Basescu said that the European Union has been constantly losing competitiveness to China and the US and that a decision should be taken in the next two-three years whether or not the United States of Europe will be created.

‘Over the past ten years, the EU has been constantly losing competitiveness to China, the US and other big economic powers. When you have no economic power you cannot be a military power either. It would be useless to attack Libya because you will lose the war. Security is a fundamental thing but there is no providing security without money, which can only be generated by a highly performing economy. A fragmented economy with differing policies in 27 states does not make us economically competitive. As Europeans, we need economic performance and security, and these two fundamental things cannot be achieved otherwise than by fundamental political decisions. And I repeat the idea that we have to decide quickly, in the next two-three years, whether or not to create the United States of Europe,’ Basescu told a summer school camp of overseas Romanian students at the Danube Delta resort of Sulina. 

Stop NATO e-mail list home page with archives and search engine: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato/messages  

Stop NATO website and articles: http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com

Two new studies by the U.S. Geological Survey reveal the pervasive spread of the biocide, glyphosate, mostly used as a weedkiller for crops genetically engineered to resist it.

Used in formulations by Monsanto, Bayer, Dow and others, glyphosate has, according to several reports, been linked to spontaneous abortions in livestock, birth defects in humans, insect resistance, and weed resistance.

Worse, regulators have known for years of these links, Earth Open Source reported.

In early August, Dr. Mercola reported: 

“The first report was recently issued on ambient levels of glyphosate and its major degradation product, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), in air and rain. Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the U.S. 

“Weekly air particle and rain samples were collected during two growing seasons in agricultural areas in Mississippi and Iowa. Rain was also collected in Indiana. The frequency of glyphosate detection ranged from 60 to 100 percent in both air and rain.”

Weeks after Mercola’s report, the USGS just issued a press release

“Glyphosate is used in almost all agricultural and urban areas of the United States. The greatest glyphosate use is in the Mississippi River basin, where most applications are for weed control on genetically-modified corn, soybeans and cotton. Overall, agricultural use of glyphosate has increased from less than 11,000 tons in 1992 to more than 88,000 tons in 2007. 

“Though glyphosate is the mostly widely used herbicide in the world, we know very little about its long term effects to the environment,” says Paul Capel, USGS chemist and an author on this study. “This study is one of the first to document the consistent occurrence of this chemical in streams, rain and air throughout the growing season. This is crucial information for understanding where management efforts for this chemical would best be focused.” 

The Environmental Protection Agency, the USDA and FDA continue to permit our land, air and waters to be polluted by this highly toxic agrochemical, despite a growing body of scientific evidence of its lethality to the biosphere. 

Mercola explains: 

“A couple of years ago, a French court found Monsanto guilty of falsely advertising its herbicide as “biodegradable,” “environmentally friendly” and claiming it “left the soil clean.” The truth is that Roundup is anything BUT environmentally friendly. Monsanto’s own tests showed that only two percent of the herbicide broke down after 28 days, which means it readily persists in the environment! 

“Glyphosate is the most commonly reported cause of pesticide illness among landscape maintenance workers in California, and researchers have now linked it to Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS), a serious plant disease, in many fields around the world. Numerous studies have also shown that glyphosate is contributing not only to the huge increase in SDS, but also to the outbreak of some 40 different plant and crop diseases! It weakens plants and promotes disease in a number of ways, including:

·        Acting as a chelator of vital nutrients, depriving plants of the nutrients necessary for healthy plant function

·        Destroying beneficial soil organisms that suppress disease-causing organisms and help plants absorb nutrients

·        Interfering with photosynthesis, reducing water use efficiency, shortening root systems and causing plants to release sugars, which changes soil pH

·        Stunting and weakening plant growth 

“The herbicide doesn’t destroy plants directly; instead, it creates a unique “perfect storm” of conditions that activates disease-causing organisms in the soil, while at the same time wiping out plant defenses against those diseases. So the glyphosate not only weakens plants, it actually changes the makeup of the soil and boosts the number of disease-causing organisms, which is becoming a deadly recipe for crops around the globe.” 

Another problem with aerial application of herbicides is aerial drift. Citing a Canadian report from 1998 on the environmental fate of glyphosate, Mercola quotes: 

“Aerial drift of the herbicide will cause injury to nontarget plants… Minute quantities of mist, drip, drift or splash of glyphosate onto nontarget vegetation can cause severe damage or destruction to the plants or other areas on which treatment was not intended.” 

Indeed, earlier this year, Food Freedom reported that the Mississippi Rice Council (MRC) sounded a national alarm over damage caused by aerial drift of glyphosate, calling for severely restricted aerial application: 

MRC president Mike Wagner recently told crop dusters at this year’s Mississippi Agricultural Aviation Association annual meeting that glyphosate is wreaking havoc on the natural rice industry…. 

Wagner reported that, “Rice specialists noticed that rice that had no obvious damage through the growing season would yield and mill poorly and would exhibit the classic trait associated with late glyphosate drift — the kernel would be shaped like a parrot beak instead of its normally elongated, symmetrical shape.” 

Field studies run in 2007 and 2008 by the University of Arkansas showed reduced rice yield by up to 80% from glyphosate, as well as glufosinate, an herbicide produced by Bayer. On top of reduced yield, both herbicides burned the leaves and stunted the growth of rice plants.

Glyphosate needs to be banned outright and the industrial monoculture system needs to be converted to mixed farms that work with nature instead of against it.

Studies:

Feng-Chih Chang, Matt F. Simcik, and Paul D. Capel, “Occurrence and Fate of the Herbicide Glyphosate and Its Degradate Aminomethylphosphonic Acid in the Atmosphere,” Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Vol. 30, No. 3, pp. 548–555, 2011 (Reproduced here.)

Richard H Coupe, Stephen J Kalkhoff, Paul D Capel, and Caroline Gregoire, “Fate and transport of glyphosate and aminomethylphosphonic acid in surface waters of agricultural basins,” Pest Manag Sci (2011). (Reproduced here.)

Rady Ananda specializes in Natural Resources and runs the sites, Food Freedom and COTO Report.

 

Namibia: A Security threat called AFRICOM

August 31st, 2011 by Kamati ka Tate

You might not know or heard about AFRICOM. If you saw the name once, you might have dismissed it thinking AFRICOM is a new company to sell cement like Afrisam. Some might conclude that since it has a ‘com’ at the end, maybe it is something online.

These are wrong conclusions. At the end of this column, you will know what AFRICOM is, its activities and why it is a security threat.

AFRICOM, standing for Africa Command, was established by blood-covered former US President George W. Bush and his Secretary of Defence Robert Gates. You will notice that Robert Gates has continued with his duties under Obama who misled many of you except me. The idiots believed AFRICOM’s raison d’être is terrorism in Africa. I would not expect you to know AFRICOM’s mission statement since many of you don’t read.

Allow yourself an education as I make it known that the AFRICOM mission statement is “United States Africa Command, in concert with other U.S. government agencies and international partners, conducts sustained security engagements through military-to-military programs, military-sponsored activities, and other military operations as directed to promote a stable and secure African environment in support of U.S. foreign policy.” Meaning AFRICOM is a fundamental tool of US foreign policy.

We will return to it later. It’s ok that you didn’t know, even your leaders, many without education, didn’t know. AFRICOM is headquartered at Kelley Barracks, Stuttgart in Germany and is led by General Carter Ham.

Why and how is AFRICOM a security threat to Africa? Firstly, its mission suggests so. In a 2009 journal article on Contemporary Security Policy, Laurie Nathan exposes four key fundamental principles as regards to AFRICOM. The author correctly argues that AFRICOM, in undermining state sovereignty, will “alter the regional balance of power, and be divisive and destabilizing…It would undermine the unity and collective decision-making.” AFRICOM was to be located in Africa, General Ham probably plans to locate it in countries such as Botswana and Namibia with pro-western leadership.

Locating AFRICOM in Africa is a military opportunity for America to overthrow African governments and to attack countries seen as anti-American. Since African and American interests never gel, it would mean that AFRICOM would pursue American interesta, on African soil, at the expense of African interests. Those with a sharp medulla oblongata know that AFRICOM is undermining the African Union (AU) and its Peace and Security Council which deals with peace and security on the continent. We might as well sell the AU to Americans.

I had mentioned American foreign policy. In this domain, Nathan (2009) sees American foreign policy in light of its “unsympathetic attitude to the liberation movements, its unwavering support for Israel despite the illegal occupation of Palestine, its exceptionalism in relation to the International Criminal Court, and its long history of unilateralism, aggression, and disdain for international law…pursues its own interests at the expense of others, and is willing to deploy force offensively to advance those interests.” So if AFRICOM is to achieve its mission statement we discussed earlier, Africa must support and embrace the above as discussed by Nathan.

As your teacher, I need to share recent information made available to us by Wikileaks.

A communication cable dated on Monday, 11 January 2010, at 17h30 UTC, indicates a meeting of AFRICOM Commander’s with French officials on Aqim and other African Security Threats. The meeting, held in Paris, was attended by President Sarkozy’s Diplomatic Advisor Jean-David Levitte, Sarkozy’s Military Advisor, Admiral Edouard Guillaud; they and others briefed then-U.S. AFRICOM Commander General William E. Ward. Wikileaks has also revealed to us how AFRICOM planned the assassination of legendary Robert Mugabe and the fall of his government through the so-called Operation Shumba. (Damn bastards, may God bless Zimbabwe.)

AFRICOM Commander General Ward visited Namibia in early 2010.

Reading his report was so disgusting in many ways. He referred to my country as “Southwest Africa.” Clearly Americans still use lenses of Cold War geopolitics.

General Ward met with Health Minister Dr. Kamwi, and they apparently discussed how AFRICOM “could help the Namibian military and U.S. country team efforts to assist in health related issues.” At a meeting with the Ministry of Safety and Security, they discussed supporting the then “upcoming Namibian police visit to Ramstein Air Base in Southwestern Germany.”

The American was dignified with a fifteen minute appearance on Good Morning Namibia, with Kazembire Zemburuka, in order to brainwash, hypnotize and shower us with American propaganda. General Ward met Education Minister Abraham Iyambo to discuss the school AFRICOM will build in northern Namibia. Lastly and shockingly, he met with the then-Defence Deputy Minister Lempy Lucas. He said “it was very gratifying to hear Ms. Lucas praise our bilateral relationship and her wish to see Africa Command play a greater role in military-to-military relations in the future.”(what?). A close friend said General Ward met significant others not mentioned.

These cosmetic initiatives are not genuine, the devil’s initiatives are never genuine. These are attempts to win the hearts and the minds of the Namibian people.

What is in it for them anyway? Also monitor and analyze the work of MCA very closely.

There is no good devil, the good devil is the dead one.

This is enough for today, add me on Facebook for a more robust engagement of these issues.

‘Shaamonathana omuti nomuti’ – We shall meet again

• Kamati kaTate is a Community Mobilizer whose area of interest is observing Politics as both an art of the possible and as a medium of distribution of resources as to who gets what, when, where and how. [email protected]

Stop NATO e-mail list home page with archives and search engine:
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Elements of al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremist groups were known to be key players in the NATO-backed uprising in Libya from the beginning, but now it appears that prominent Jihadists and terrorists are practically leading the revolution with Western support.

One terror leader in particular, Abdelhakim Belhaj, made headlines around the world over the weekend after it emerged that he was appointed the chief of Tripoli’s rebel Military Council. Prior to leading rebel forces against Gaddafi’s regime, Belhaj was the founder and leader of the notorious Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).

Eventually the terror “Emir,” as he has been called, was arrested and tortured as an American prisoner in the terror war. In 2004, according to reports, he was transferred to the Gaddafi regime — then a U.S. terror-war ally.

By 2010, Belhaj was freed by Gaddafi under an amnesty agreement for “former” terrorists. And more recently, the terror leader and his men were trained by U.S. special forces to take on Gaddafi.

“We proudly announce the liberation of Libya and that Libya has become free and that the rule of the tyrant and the era of oppression is behind us,” Belhaj was quoted as saying by ABC after his forces sacked one of Gaddafi’s compounds. His leadership is now well established.

While most news reports about Belhaj acknowledged that the LIFG has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department, many accounts inaccurately downplayed the group’s links to terror and al-Qaeda. But evidence suggests the two terrorist organizations actually merged several years ago.

According to a study by the U.S. military, the organization had an “increasingly cooperative relationship with al-Qa’ida, which culminated in the LIFG officially joining al-Qa’ida on November 3, 2007.” And even before that, former CIA boss George Tenet warned the U.S. Senate in 2004 that al-Qaeda-linked groups like the LIFG represented “one of the most immediate threats” to American security.

A few reporters, however, have highlighted the seriousness of the problem. “The new military dictator of Tripoli is none other than the infamous Abdul Hakim Belhadj, an international terrorist, a famous, notorious ‘genocidal’ of al-Qaeda who has carried out international terrorism all across the globe,” noted investigative reporter Webster Tarpley, adding that the terrorist has boasted of killing American soldiers.

Journalist Pepe Escobar, one of the first to report the news of Belhadj‘s rise to power, explained in the Asia Times that the repercussions would be widespread. “The story of how an al-Qaeda asset turned out to be the top Libyan military commander in still war-torn Tripoli is bound to shatter — once again — that wilderness of mirrors that is the ‘war on terror,’” he noted. It will also compromise “the carefully constructed propaganda of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO’s) ‘humanitarian’ intervention in Libya.”

Israeli intelligence group Debka also drew attention to the situation in a recent analysis. “Belhadj is on record as rejecting any political form of coexistence with the Crusaders excepting jihad,” the organization noted in a piece entitled “Pro-Al Qaeda brigades control Qaddafi Tripoli strongholds seized by rebels.”

Belhadj, of course, is hardly the only al-Qaeda terrorist leading rebel forces in the NATO-backed takeover of Libya. Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, another key insurgent military commander, has also boasted of his links to terror groups and his battles against U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Countless other “former” terrorists, many of whom are well-known to American officials, are also deeply embedded in the new rebel regime. And according to CNN, hundreds of al-Qaeda-linked Islamic extremists have been set free from Libyan prisons in recent days and weeks by rebel forces.

“Nobody knows what these released prisoners are going to do next,” explained Noman Benotman, identified as a “former Libyan Jihadist” and senior LIFG leader. “Will they take part in the fighting and if they do will they join pre-existing rebel brigades or form a separate fighting force?”

On top of that, because the rebel government has already been recognized by Western governments, it will soon be receiving billions of dollars that were seized from the Gaddafi regime. Massive aid packages and overwhelming military support have been flowing to the rebels for months.

Al-Qaeda fighters and other Islamic extremists are also now in possession of huge stockpiles of advanced military weaponry including missiles and possibly even weapons of mass destruction. Concern about chemical agents falling into their hands is growing quickly.

NATO powers, which secretly armed the rebels before Western intervention became official, also flooded the nation with arms. And Gaddafi’s stockpiles have been thoroughly raided, adding even more fuel to the fire as the weapons begin to flow toward Jihadists around the world.

And the battle is indeed expanding. Al-Qaeda is now targeting regimes that did not back the Libyan rebellion. After an attack on an important Algerian military academy that left 18 dead, for example, a statement released by al-Qaeda said the strike was due to Algeria “continuing to support the Libyan dictator Gadaffi to fight against our brothers.”

As The New American reported in March, top al-Qaeda figures actually backed and praised the rebellion in Libya from the very beginning. Many key terrorist leaders were known to be intimately involved with the NATO-backed uprising.

Ironically perhaps, Gaddafi claimed from the start that the rebels were Western agents and al-Qaeda leaders. But despite U.S. Senators McCain and Lieberman having praised the regime several years earlier as an “ally” in the terror war deserving of American weapons, Gaddafi’s statements were dismissed by most analysts.

Eventually, however, even top U.S. officials confirmed that there were at least “flickers” of al-Qaeda among the rebel leadership. Now it is becoming increasingly apparent that they are firmly in control. And evidence of widespread war crimes by NATO and its extremist proxies on the ground is mounting by the day.

Congressman and GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul warned that the worst for Libyans may be yet to come. “We face a situation where a rebel element we have been assisting may very well be radical jihadists, bent on our destruction, and placed in positions of power in a new government,” he said in a statement released last week. “Worse still, Gadhafi’s successor is likely to be just as bad, or worse, than Gadhafi himself.”  

The aftermath of NATO’s Libya war will almost certainly be bloody and fraught with problems. And even though the truth is difficult to discern amid a web of lies emanating from both sides, what has been learned doesn’t paint a bright picture for the future.

Sharia law is enshrined in the draft Constitution, and the violence shows no signs of easing thus far. The rebel “Transitional Council” also announced early on that it had created a Western-style central bank to take over from Gaddafi’s state-owned monetary authority.

Even as Libya spirals deeper into chaos and Gaddafi vows to fight on for years, NATO may well be planning further “regime change” missions for other Middle Eastern nations. Islamic extremists, meanwhile, are arming and preparing themselves for more violence as they exploit the situation to gain more power. Analysts say the nightmare is only beginning. 

Demoliciones y restauraciones Corp.

August 31st, 2011 by Manlio Dinucci

Existe una sociedad multinacional que, a pesar de la crisis, trabaja a más no poder. Se ocupa de demoliciones y de restauraciones, no de edificios sino de Estados por completo. La casa madre se sitúa en Washingtón, donde reside el Chief executive officer (Ceo), administrador delegado, en la White House. Los principales departamentos generales regionales están en París y en Londres, a manos de jefes rastreros y de codiciosos comités de asuntos, pero la multinacional tiene filiales por todos los continentes. Los Estados que echan a bajo son los que se sitúan en áreas ricas en petróleo o en una posición geoestratégica importante, pero siendo totalmente o en parte fuera de control para la multinacional. Se privilegia, en la lista de las demoliciones, a los Estados que, aunque ejercieran represalias, no tienen una fuerza militar capaz de poner en peligro la de los demoledores. La operación se inicia entorno a las grietas internas, presentes en cualquier Estado. En la Federación Yugoslava, en los años 90, se fomentó las tendencias a seccionar, apoyando y armando a los sectores étnicos y políticos que se oponían al gobierno de Belgrado. Hoy en Libia, se apoya y se arma a los sectores tribales hostiles al gobierno de Trípoli. Se realiza esta operación apoyándose en nuevos grupos dirigentes, por lo común son políticos que cambian a la oposición para acaparar puestos de poder y dólares. Luego, se pide la autorización a la oficina competente, el Consejo de seguridad de la ONU, motivando la intervención por la necesidad de echar al dictador que ocupa los estratos superiores (ayer fue Milosevic, hoy es Gadafi). Basta con un sello que dice “autorizamos todas las medidas necesarias”, pero, si no se obtiene el sello (como ocurrió en el caso de Yugoslavia), se sigue a pesar de todo. El equipo ya preparado de los demoledores entra en acción con un ataque aeronaval masivo y operaciones terrestres en el interior del país, alrededor del cual se hizo un vacío con un embargo drástico. Mientras tanto, el sector publicitario de la multinacional recalca una campaña mediática que presenta la guerra como necesaria para defender a los civiles amenazados por el dictador feroz. Una vez acabada la demolición, se empieza la construcción de un Estado nuevo (como en Iraq y en Afganistán) o de un conjunto de Estados rabadillas (como en ex Yugoslavia) a manos de administradores afiliados. El otro sector importante de la multinacional es el de la restauración de Estados oscilantes, como Egipto, Túnez, Yemen y Bahrein, cuyos fundamentos fueron trastornados por el movimiento popular que defenestró o puso en dificultad a los regímenes garantes de los intereses de las potencias occidentales. Siguiendo la directiva del Ceo que asegura una transición ordenada y pacífica, la restauración se organiza consolidando antes de todo el pilar sobre el cual ya se apoyaba el poder -la estructura sustentadora de las fuerzas armadas- pintándolo con los colores arco iris de la democracia. Así se restauran los Estados afectados por el terremoto social, y teniendo un pie en ellos la multinacional funda su influencia en África del Norte y en Medio Oriente, y provoca en mismo tiempo temblores artificiales para que se pueda demoler otro Estado relativamente independiente.

En la casa madre se brinda ya por el peligro apartado de la revolución árabe. Sin embargo, en la profundidad de las sociedades árabes, crecen las tensiones que preparan un nuevo terremoto bajo los cimientos del palacio imperial.

Edición del martes 30 de septiembre de 2011 de il manifesto

Traducido del francés  para Mondialisation.ca por Stéphanie Dehorter

  

Susan Lindauer’s piece of the 9/11 puzzle adds more evidence to support the charge of criminal negligence at the command level and exposes the utter depravity of the Patriot Act.  Even more, as the primary Intelligence Asset for Iraq, she proves that top officials of the Bush regime were fully aware that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction prior to the invasion, and had, in fact, negotiated a peace treaty in order to end UN sanctions.

To tell this truth cost her her job, her freedom and almost her sanity.

In “Extreme Prejudice: The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover ups of 9/11 and Iraq,” we learn that not only was the US government (USG) willing to kill (or allow to be killed) thousands of its own citizens on that indelible day, it has gone to extreme lengths to silence whistleblowers.

Lindauer, a U.S. Intelligence Asset from 1993-2002, escaped a “chemical lobotomy” at the hands of government conspirators – including her own cousin, Andy Card, Chief of Staff for George W. Bush – only because the alternative media stepped in at the eleventh hour and exposed her false arrest and imprisonment. Michael Collins’ breakthrough article, American Cassandra, was reposted across the world in 2007. 

Extreme Prejudice reads like a spy novel; it’s exciting, horrifying and compelling.  It offers an informed view of the geopolitical scene in the years just before and after the 9/11 attack, and the extraordinary lengths the USG went to in trying to hide or justify the illegal invasions that followed.  It’s a slice of American History that patriots, as well as actors on the global stage, need to know.

As an Intelligence Asset, Lindauer worked on anti-terrorism for the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) on Libya and Iraq.  An “Asset,” she explains, is a private citizen with expertise or interests that grant them access to the group targeted by U.S. intelligence.  They are paid from the Black Ops budget.

That’s mostly true, anyway. Lindauer reports that her CIA handler, Dr. Richard Fuisz, stiffed her on the last Iraq project – the one that negotiated a peace deal prior to the US invasion.  For her two years of work, she was paid $2,500.  Fuisz personally kept the $13 million awarded by Congress.  He now has an $8 million mansion, courtesy of US taxpayers.

As a graduate of one of the elite Seven Sisters Colleges (Smith), with a graduate degree from the London School of Economics, Lindauer gained “close, personal exposure” to the sons and daughters of high ranking government ministers and diplomats from around the world.

She describes herself as a life long peace activist who came to oppose sanctions and promote diplomacy in resolving international conflicts.  Though she staunchly opposed the United Nations sanctions against Iraq, she maintains that the UN should take a stronger role in conflict resolution. Dialogue, she insists, is key.

Through her contacts, at the age of 29, she learned that Islamic fundamentalists from southern Egypt planned to bomb the World Trade Center in 1993.  She warned a diplomat at a National Press Club lunch in late 1992, and met with his Embassy official in D.C. two days before the WTC attack on February 26, 1993.

That she had such knowledge caught the attention of U.S. Intelligence, who recruited her later that year.  All went well until 2001.

Lindauer is one of many who provided pre-911 intelligence to Bush officials of an impending attack involving airplanes and the World Trade Center.  At the very least, she suggests, anti-aircraft missiles could have been mounted on the top of the WTC Towers to protect against such an aerial attack.  But no defensive measures were taken.

And, as we all saw on 9/11, the best-funded and most technically advanced military in the history of the world did absolutely nothing to stop the attacks.  From 8:15 AM,officials knew a plane had been hijacked.  From 8:45 AM, after the first strike on the WTC, officials knew that hijacked planes were being used as weapons, just as Lindauer had warned Attorney General John Ashcroft and the Justice Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism in August.

A full hour later, the Pentagon was attacked. Not a single defensive shot was fired. Many believe only a Stand Down order can explain this.

Criminal negligence at best.

Pre-War Intelligence

By 2001, global pressure to end the decade-long trade embargo on Iraq mounted as it became clear that sanctions were killing 11,000 innocent people a month, and yet no WMDs had been found in all the inspections.  Worse, jihadis were drawn to Iraq because of the destabilization wrought by the UN trade embargo.  These fundamentalists threatened Saddam Hussein’s secular authority and he wanted them out.

As the primary Asset for intelligence on Iraq who worked for two years on a comprehensive peace initiative with the Iraqi government, she knew the nation did not have weapons of mass destruction and she knew the US knew.  Iraq wanted an end to UN sanctions and it was willing to open itself to US contracts in every sector it demanded.  Iraq was also willing to hold elections and allow international monitors, as part of the peace deal.

“Peace was breaking out,” she explains. “Saddam’s government urgently desired to reconcile with the United States,” hoping that Bush would lift the sanctions.

All of this was conveyed to her Case Officers, who were responsible for passing it on to policy makers.

But under a criminal regime, facts and peace treaties can’t get in the way of war plans.  Total control of Iraq was the goal, and a negotiated peace accord didn’t meet that objective.  On March 19, 2003, the USG declared war on Iraq, insisting it had WMDs – a bald faced lie.

The Patriot Act

When the lie didn’t meet the facts on the ground after the invasion, a Congressional investigation of prewar intelligence ensued.

Lindauer notified every Member of Congress of the nature of her information and its potential to divert war.  A month prior to her arrest on March 11, 2004, she contacted Senators John McCain and Trent Lott, “practically demanding” to testify at those hearings.

For that, Lindauer was arrested under the Patriot Act, becoming one of the first non-Arab U.S. citizens to feel the unconstitutional weight of this tyrannical piece of legislation.

Jose Padilla was the first.  Held without charge for four years, he was tortured into catatonia, brutally brain damaged by authorities at a South Carolina military brig.  A federal district court recently granted immunity to former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (and others) for these crimes.

Lindauer was charged with “acting as an Unregistered Iraqi Agent” in “conspiracy with the Iraqi Intelligence Service.”  The charges were fraudulent, and US authorities knew they were bogus.  She had met with Iraqi diplomats at least 150 times over a period of several years and immediately reported those meetings to the CIA and DIA.

In addition to several other charges including “Organizing Resistance to U.S. Occupation,” the indictment included two “secret charges” for which the prosecution, under the Patriot Act, does not have to produce evidence and for which she would be imprisoned for five years.  She was charged with undisclosed crimes supported by undisclosed evidence which the jury would simply have to take on faith.

How’s that for turning the Bill of Rights on its head?

She suspects that one of the secret charges related to her attempt to collect Iraqi health records, after the use of depleted uranium by US forces caused cancer rates and birth deformities to soar.  Not only would genocide be proved, but healthcare for US veterans and their offspring would be required.

The Bush-Cheney cabal wanted to bury the Iraq peace deal, and was willing to chemically lobotomize its primary Iraq Asset to keep that information secret.  So, they accused her of being mentally incompetent.

Much of the book addresses how this played out, including her incarceration at Carswell, a federal prison located on a military base in Texas, known for its medical abuse of prisoners.

Lindauer was lucky to escape their clutches, winning her full and final release in 2009, five days before Obama’s inauguration.  Having never signed a Non Disclosure Agreement, she began writing her book and published it last October.

Whatever we may think about spies and their role in expanding the corporate empire, as John Perkins explained so well in Confessions of an Economic Hitman, Susan Lindauer showed true grit on behalf of peace, in the face of powerful domestic enemies: Dick Cheney, John McCain, Andy Card, John Ashcroft, Colin Powell and torture architect Alberto Gonzales.

As we approach the tenth anniversary of that horrific day, as we contemplate the millions of lives destroyed by illegal wars in the Middle East and, now, North Africa, and as international hearings are being held next month, the 911 Truth movement has another strong voice providing serious evidence to justify bringing Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and all the others to justice.

Despite everything that happened to her, Lindauer writes, “Allowing thousands of your own citizens to suffer horrible deaths in order to rationalize an unnecessary War should be judged the most terrible crime of all.”

The 42-year rule of Muammar Qaddafi over the north African country of Libya appears to have come to an end. Anti-Qaddafi fighters poured into the capitol city of Tripoli—Qaddafi’s main stronghold, over the weekend of August 20-21 and by Monday, August 22, had taken over most of the city. (At this writing, the whereabouts of Qaddafi and his sons apparently remain unknown.)

Qaddafi’s overthrow and the victory of the “rebel” forces is being presented by the U.S. rulers, their European imperialist allies—including Britain, France, and Italy—and their media mouthpieces as a big victory for the people, a triumph of “democracy” over tyranny, and a vindication of their “humanitarian” military intervention in Libya.  

As the anti-Qaddafi forces took over Tripoli, President Barack Obama stated, “The people of Libya are showing that the universal pursuit of dignity and freedom is far stronger than the iron fist of a dictator… The future of Libya is now in the hands of the Libyan people.”

It is nothing of the sort. The unfolding events in Libya are primarily the result of a U.S.-NATO military, political, and economic assault on Qaddafi’s forces, stretching over months.  

The day the Tripoli fell to the anti-Qaddafi forces, the New York Times reported:

“Through Saturday, NATO and its allies had flown 7,459 strike missions, or sorties, attacking thousands of targets, from individual rocket launchers to major military headquarters. The cumulative effect not only destroyed Libya’s military infrastructure but also greatly diminished the ability of Colonel Qaddafi’s commanders to control forces, leaving even committed fighting units unable to move, resupply or coordinate operations.” (“Sharper Surveillance and NATO Coordination Helped Rebels Race to Capital,” August 22)

This assault has had not been about liberating Libya or ensuring self-determination for the nation of Libya. Instead, it has been aimed at strengthening imperialism’s grip on Libya.

Background: The Qaddafi Regime, the Libyan Uprising, and the Role of Imperialism

Libya is a north African country of 6 million people. It is strategically located on the Mediterranean Sea, and it has large reserves of light, high-sought crude oil. It was first colonized by Italy in 1910. After World War 2, the U.S. became the main power dominating Libya, including its oil sector. The U.S. built one of its largest overseas military facilities in the world—Wheelus Air Base—in Libya. In 1969, Col. Muammar Qaddafi and a group of young military officers, organized a coup and seized power from the pro-U.S. monarch then ruling Libya. Qaddafi’s forces were inspired by Arab nationalism and sought to loosen the direct stranglehold imperialism had on Libya, including more control and a larger share of its oil wealth. But as Raymond Lotta put it in an interview with Revolution, “Qaddafi was for many years a real thorn in the side of imperialism, especially the U.S…. even though the Qaddafi regime never fundamentally broke with or fundamentally challenged imperialism.” By the late 1990s, the Qaddafi regime was seeking closer ties with Western imperialism including the U.S., and in 2004 formally forged an alliance with the U.S., including aiding it in the so-called “war on terror.”

Over these decades, the situation of the people of Libya grew worse, both economically and politically. The regime brutally suppressed its opponents, and peoples’ hopes and aspirations were suffocated if not outright crushed.

An Uprising Quickly Taken Over By the West

When the dictatorship in Tunisia was overthrown by the masses in January, and then the Mubarak regime in Egypt was brought down in February, people across the Arab world—including in Libya—were inspired and emboldened. On February 15, an uprising broke out in Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city (triggered by the arrest of a human rights activist). The Qaddafi regime attempted to violently suppress this revolt.  

From the very beginning, this uprising included a variety of political forces—including former Qaddafi officials and other reactionaries tied to various imperialist powers. (The National Transitional Council, anointed the leadership of the anti-Qaddafi forces by most of the world’s big powers, is dominated by pro-imperialist forces who called for U.S.-NATO intervention in Libya as soon as it was formed.)

(For an in-depth analysis, see: “Revolution Interviews Raymond Lotta: The Events in Libya in Historical Perspective… Muammar Qaddafi in Class Perspective… The Question of Leadership in Communist Perspective,” Revolution #226, March 8, 2011)

Whatever role the imperialist powers did or didn’t have in initiating this uprising, they very quickly intervened to shape and control it for their own interests. On February 26, the UN Security Council—a body controlled by the U.S. and other big powers—imposed sanctions on the Qaddafi family. On March 17, it voted to authorize a “no-fly” zone over Libya in order to defeat Qaddafi and support pro-imperialist forces. And on March 19, the first U.S.-NATO air assaults began.

Since then, U.S.-NATO military, economic, and political intervention has grown steadily. And increasingly “rebel” forces have been organized and directed by the U.S., France, and Britain (Britain, France and other U.S. allies deployed covert military forces inside Libya “to help train and arm the rebels…”). International sanctions were squeezing and weakening the Qaddafi Regime. And the anti-Qaddafi forces’ final push to Tripoli was made possible by the cumulative impact of U.S. and NATO bombing, intelligence, and military coordination.

The August 22 New York Times report paints a picture of the extent of U.S.-NATO military intervention:

“As rebel forces in Libya converged on Tripoli on Sunday, American and NATO officials cited an intensification of American aerial surveillance in and around the capital city as a major factor in helping to tilt the balance after months of steady erosion of Col. Muammar el‑Qaddafi’s military.

“The officials also said that coordination between NATO and the rebels, and among the loosely organized rebel groups themselves, had become more sophisticated and lethal in recent weeks, even though NATO’s mandate has been merely to protect civilians, not to take sides in the conflict.”

So now, it is clear that the U.S., Britain and France are mainly shaping events in Libya, and whatever the initial intent and aspirations of some of the Libyans who began the uprising may have been, at this point they’ve now been reduced to being objectively extensions and pawns of the U.S.-NATO imperialists.

“Humanitarian” Hypocrisy….and Murder

The U.S. and NATO claimed their intervention in Libya was for humanitarian reasons—simply to protect civilians, and not to determine the outcome of the conflict in Libya. Both claims have been shown before the world to be bald-faced lies.

Hundreds and hundreds of Libyan people have been killed by NATO bombs and missiles. One attack on August 9 killed, according to a Libyan government spokesperson, 33 children, 32 women and 20 men. (Reuters, 8/9/11) Tripoli, Libya’s capital, where nearly one-third of its population is concentrated, was not spared as bombs rained down. In contravention of international law, the U.S. and NATO openly tried to assassinate Qaddafi, bombing his compound numerous times.  

And as events have made crystal clear—and the imperialists have done little to try and even conceal—their intervention has from the start been aimed at shaping events, not protecting lives. In fact, the day after Tripoli fell, the New York Times carried an article headlined, “Scramble Begins for Access to Libya’s Oil.” (August 23, 2011)

None of this means that even if the imperialists have succeeded in overthrowing Qaddafi, they have everything all sewn up and that everything will go smoothly according their plans and designs (including because there are contradictions among these imperialists themselves). Time and events will tell how all this will play out, and Revolution will be covering these developments.

Archeological Looting in Libya

August 31st, 2011 by Vladimir Radyuhin

Libya’s priceless historical heritage is in danger of being destroyed in the same way Iraq’s cultural riches perished during the United States invasion, warned a Russian expert on West Asia.

Nikolai Sologubovsky, orientalist, writer and film maker, said massive looting and destruction of ancient artefacts was underway in Libya.

“The al-Jamahiriya National Museum in Tripoli has been looted and antiquities are being shipped out by sea to Europe,” the scholar told Russian television.

The National Museum houses some of Libya’s most treasured archaeological and historical heritage. The collection includes invaluable samples of Neolithic, pre-historic, Berber, Garamantian, Phoenician, Punic, Greek, Roman and Byzantine culture.

Mr. Sologubovsky, who spent several months in Libya this year as a correspondent for a Moscow tabloid, said cave paintings in Acacus Mountains that go back 14,000 years were being destroyed by looters.

“They press silk cloth soaked in special chemical solution against rock frescoes and the paint sticks to the cloth and comes off the cave wall,” he said.

The scholar accused NATO forces of destroying some of the most spectacular architectural sites included in UNESCO’s World Historical List.

“NATO aircraft have bombed Leptis Magna and Sabratha,” said Mr. Sologobovsky, who is deputy head of a Russian committee of solidarity with the people of Libya and Syria set up earlier this year.

Leptis Magna was one of the most beautiful cities of the Roman Empire and Sabratha was a Phoenician trading post. Both are more than 2,500 years old.

Earlier this summer, the government in Tripoli asked Egypt and other neighbouring countries to block the smuggling of artifacts from Libya, but the looting continued unabated. Egypt’s own cultural treasures were plundered when looters ransacked archeological sites and stole a statue of King Tutankhamun and dozens of other precious objects from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo during the “Arab Spring” revolution.

The United Nation’s cultural body last week warned international art dealers and museums to look out for artifacts that may have been looted from Libya.

UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova said in a statement that dealers should be “particularly wary of objects from Libya in the present circumstances”. She called on Libyans, their neighbours and art dealers to protect the “invaluable cultural heritage”.

Mr. Sologubovsky said the UNESCO appeal came too late, too little.

“Plunder of Libya’s cultural heritage has been going on since February. I’m afraid it faces the same tragic fate as Iraq’s antiquities, which were plundered by the victorious U.S. military,” said the Russian scholar.

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Arab Spring: Revolutions, Lies, and Intervention

August 31st, 2011 by Devon DB

In 2011, the United States had its dominance of the Middle East seriously threatened due to massive peaceful protests that were sweeping the Arab world. No longer were people going to put up with corrupt and oppressive regimes that were backed by Washington. No longer would they put up with horrid dictatorships in which the only freedom they had was to obey. In 2011 began what would be known as the Arab Spring.

Tunisia

On December 17th, 2010, Mohammed Bouazizi was selling fruit without a license and when the authorities confiscated his scale, he became enraged. When Bouazizi confronted the police, he was slapped in the face. This led him to plead his case in the town’s government office, but when it was rebuffed, he went and lit himself aflame. This small act became noticed by the populace at large and the anger “spread to other towns in the interior of the country, where unemployment among university graduates was approaching 50 percent.” [1] Mass protests soon began with calls to end dictator Ben Ali’s rule and democratic elections, however, Ali turned to the police and the slaughtering of protesters began in earnest. 

The organization Wikileaks also played a role in starting up the protests, as files were released just days before Bouazizi lit himself aflame, which confirmed suspicions that many Tunisians already had: that Ben Ali was a corrupt dictator, that his family was extremely corrupt, and that life was incredibly difficult for the Tunisian poor and unemployed.

When this occurred, the US was deeply worried as Tunisia had significant military ties to the US. Tunisia cooperated “in NATO’s Operation Active Endeavor, which provides counter-terrorism surveillance in the Mediterranean,” participated in NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue, “and allow[ed] NATO ships to make port calls at Tunis.” [2] Every now and then the US would criticize Tunisia for its record on political rights and freedom of expression, yet “In parallel with these expressions of concern, the United States continued to provide military and economic assistance to the Tunisian government.” [3] Thus, the US began to play both sides. About two weeks after Ben Ali had fled the nation, America sent their top Middle East envoy to Tunisia and tried “to press its advantage to push for democratic reforms in the country and further afield.” [4] While it may have appeared that the US was quickly trying to position itself on Tunisia’s good side, they may have had a hand in Ali’s ousting as “According to some rumors in Tunis, the country’s army chief consulted with Washington before withdrawing his support from Ben Ali — a move which sealed the ousted president’s fate.” [5]

Almost as soon as the US was finished in Tunisia, they had even bigger problems on their hands with the protests in Egypt.

Egypt

Due to being inspired by the success of the Tunisian protests, the Egyptian people launched their own protest movement, calling for the overthrow of US puppet Hosni Mubarak. However, the US was busy co-opting the protest movement.

The US used the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) as a cover to help co-opt the protest movement. Ironically, the NED is not used for the spreading of democracy, rather it was established by the Reagan administration to aid in the overthrow of foreign governments, after the CIA’s covert operations were revealed. The NED was supported “As a bipartisan endowment, with participation from the two major parties, as well as the AFL-CIO and US Chamber of Commerce, the NED took over the financing of foreign overthrow movements, but overtly and under the rubric of ‘democracy promotion.’” [6] Thus, the US supported both Mubarak and the protesters, in a bid to make sure that no matter what occurred, America would still get its way.

The civil society groups had a major influence on Egyptian activists as in May 2009 the activists

“spent a week in Washington receiving training in advocacy and getting an inside look at the way U.S. democracy works. After their training, the fellows were matched with civil society organizations throughout the country where they shared experiences with U.S. counterparts. The activists [wrapped]  up their program this week by visiting U.S. government officials, members of Congress, media outlets and think tanks.” [7] (emphasis added)

Thus, due to the US aiding the activists, the Americans ensured that the protesters owed them a debt and that US interests would be secure even if Mubarak was ousted. 

The US also had deep military ties to Egypt, seeing as how they were the largest recipient of US foreign aid next to Israel. Also, the US wanted to make sure that Israel wasn’t threatened, as both nations were worried that a new government in Egypt might cancel the 1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty.

While the Egyptian military is currently in control until elections, no matter what occurs, America will still have its way.

Bahrain

Protests also began taking place in Bahrain. The people were tired of a government which “ failed to abide by their own constitution, refused to investigate the crimes of torture and continued to expropriate more than half of the land of the country.” [8] The Bahrani government was controlled by the Al Khalifa family, which has ruled Bahrain for over 300 years and has created an economy where there is a powerful and wealthy Sunni minority while the Shiite majority constantly faces discrimination in jobs and education, has little political representation, and are barred from many government and military positions.

The US was deeply troubled because of the protests as the Al Khalifa regime allowed for the Americans to station their Fifth Fleet in the country, which allows the US to patrol “the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the east coast of Africa,” “keep an eye on – and, if necessary, rattle sabers – close to oil shipping lanes, Iran, and the increasing activity of pirates,” and “ [provide] basing and overflight clearances for US aircraft engaged in Afghanistan and [help] cut off money supplies to suspected Islamic terrorists.” [9] Thus, the Bahraini regime was of major importance to US regional interests.

The US showed that it would do anything to make sure that its puppet stayed in power when they backed the Saudi military intervention in Bahrain. The Saudis intervened on the behalf of the Bahraini government and began shooting into crowds of Bahraini protesters. [10] However, even though the protesters were being gunned down, they still were determined to fight for their rights against America’s puppets.

Libya

The Arab Spring movement also reached all the way to Libya, however, things were quite different as instead of having peaceful protests, opposition forces were picking up arms and fighting the Libyan military. Due to the then-leader of Libya, Col. Mummar Gaddafi, having never truly been a Western puppet, America launched a propaganda war to allow the US-NATO war machine to intervene in Libya on the grounds of “humanitarian intervention.”

The question that must first be asked is why the West even wanted to intervene in Libya. The answer is because Libya has Africa’s largest oil reserves and Western oil companies wanted access to them. However, there are also larger economic reasons. Months prior to the intervention, Gaddafi had called upon African and Muslims nations to adopt a single currency: the gold dinar. This would have excluded the dollar as the gold dinar would have been used to purchase goods, thus threatening the economies of Western nations. However, the creation of a gold dinar may have also empowered the people of Africa, something black activists say the US wants to avoid at all costs.

“The US have denied self-determination to Africans inside the US, so we are not surprised by anything the US would do to hinder the self-determination of Africans on the continent,” says Cynthia Ann McKinney, a former US Congresswoman. [11]

There was also geopolitics at work as during the war, Gaddafi “vowed to expel Western energy companies from the country and replace them with oil firms from China, India, and Russia.” [12] This would have effectively excluded the West from ever getting at Libya’s oil. By ousting Gaddafi, the West would be able to have a puppet regime to counter Chinese and Russian moves in North Africa as well as access to Libyan oil.

What many of the media never asked until the conflict was nearing its end was who exactly were the rebels. In the Iraq war, most of the foreign fighters came from Libya and in that,“almost all of them came from eastern Libya, the center of the anti-Gaddafi rebellion.” [13] (emphasis added) A Libyan rebel commander even admitted that some of his soldiers had links to Al Qaeda:

In an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Mr al-Hasidi admitted that he had recruited “around 25″ men from the Derna area in eastern Libya to fight against coalition troops in Iraq. Some of them, he said, are “today are on the front lines in Adjabiya”.

Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,“but added that the “members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader”. [14] (emphasis added)

Thus, the US and NATO were backing terrorists, yet they may have known seeing as how a 2007 West Point Study revealed that the Benghazi-Darnah-Tobruk area was a world leader in Al Qaeda suicide bomber recruitment. [15]

Due to the US and its NATO allies not wanting to look like the imperialists they truly were, Obama pressured the UN to pass a resolution allowing for the establishment of a no fly zone over Libya and an arms embargo on the nation. However, both were broken quite soon. The UN resolution clearly allowed all member states “acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, to take all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack in the country, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory.” [16] However, the imperialists admitted that they wanted to overthrow Gaddafi in an op-ed piece, when Cameron, Sarkozy, and Obama stated: “Our duty and our mandate under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 is to protect civilians, and we are doing that. It is not to remove [G]addafi by force. But it is impossible to imagine a future for Libya with [G]addafi in power.” [17] (emphasis added)The US and NATO clearly stated that their main goal was to overthrow Gaddafi.

The hypocrisy of the West ran deep as they found an excuse to intervene in Libya, but not in Egypt, Bahrain, Palestine, or any other location where people were being oppressed by local regimes. However, Western hypocrisy was shown near the outset of the conflict when it was reported that Egypt’s military had begun to ship arms to the rebels with Washington’s knowledge. [18] This clearly shows that supposed arms embargo on Libya was in reality, an embargo on Gaddafi’s forces.

To whip up support for their “intervention,” a massive media propaganda campaign was conducted against Gaddafi. The mainstream media were reporting things such as Gaddafi gave his troops Viagra to rape women, bombed civilians, and that Libyan troops gunned down civilians. Despite these claims being false, the mainstream media still reported it. However, what many people ignored was the fact that the rebel and NATO war crimes. In mid-August, “a NATO bombing campaign near the Libyan city of Zlitan earlier this month reportedly killed almost 100 civilians — more than half of them women and children.” [19] However, NATO denied all claims arguing that they had struck legitimate targets. This is just one example of many NATO war crimes in Libya, ranging from killing civilians to bombing the rebels themselves. There were also reports that Libyan rebels were targeting and killing black Africans. All across eastern Libya the rebels “and their supporters [were] detaining, intimidating and frequently beating African immigrants and black Libyans, accusing them of fighting as mercenaries on behalf of [Gaddafi],” in some cases “executed suspected mercenaries captured in battle, according to Human Rights Watch and local Libyans,” and “arbitrarily killed some mercenaries and in others cases failed to distinguish between them and non-combatants.” [20] Yet, despite these and other numerous reports, the Libyan rebels excused their war crimes, saying that they didn’t have the structures in place to deal with matters such as these.

What was also somewhat ignored was the fact that the rebels were extremely fractured, only united in their goal to overthrow Gaddafi. This was clearly seen after the assassination ofGeneral Al-Younes and two top military commanders aides. Their deaths “resulted in internal fighting within the Transitional Council” with “Factional divisions [developing] within rebel forces.” [21] This factional divide may soon play itself out in the creation of a new Libyan government.

Finally, there was the fact that Western special forces were on the ground. The initial appearance of Western special forces was when British SAS troops were captured near Benghazi in March. However, US CIA agents were in Libya [22] and there may have been French and US special forces in Libya aiding the rebels. In a March interview on the O’Reilly Show, retired Colonel David Hunt of the US Army and Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, a former Army intelligence officer were interviewed about the situation in Libya. Hunt stated the following when asked about special forces being in Libya:

Yes, absolutely. You’ve got British service been in there about three weeks ago and actually got captured and released. The French GIGN have been in there and our special forces and our U.S. intelligence operatives and their assets. We do not conduct operations like this, large scale air operations, without people on the ground. They have been very successful, very good, not a lot of contact with the rebels because you don’t know who to talk to. But, yes, we have got intel gathering and rescue guys and special operations guys on the ground, have had them for about 12 days. [23] (emphasis added)

Shaffer agreed, saying:

Yes, I have heard from my sources — I got a call from one of my key sources on Monday and that’s exactly what’s going on. Let’s be really clear here. You have got to have these individuals doing what Dave just said, especially when you are talking about trying to protect, and the stated goal here, Bill, is humanitarian support. So you don’t want to have weapons hitting the wrong targets. So, Dave is very good on the fact that we have special operations guys sitting there with laser designators. Bill, you saw… [24] (emphasis added)

The Americans constantly denied that they had boots on the ground, yet, as usual, they were lying.

The imperialists already had plans for a post-Gaddafi Libya, which consisted of ”proposals for a 10,000-15,000 strong ‘Tripoli task force’, resourced and supported by the United Arab Emirates, to take over the Libyan capital, secure key sites and arrest high-level Gaddafi supporters.” [62] However, the plan may be problematic as it is “highly reliant on the defection of parts of the Gaddafi security apparatus to the rebels after his overthrow.” [25] There were far reaching economic consequences as it was reported that the new government would favor Western oil companies at the expense of Russian, Chinese, and Brazilian firms. [26]

Due to the imperialists succeeding in Libya, many are worried that the US-NATO war machine may set its sights on a new target: Syria.

Syria

Protests in Syria began in earnest in May and have not let up since then. While there are calls for intervention into Syria, there is much at stake for America in terms of Syria’s relationship with Iran.

The Americans are quite interested in the link between Iran and Syria, noting that there have been several joint ventures between the two nations in the financial and manufacturing sectors, as it was noted that “there have been several reports of increased Iranian investment and trade with Syria,” “Iran has stated its intention to establish a joint Iranian-Syrian bank,  possibly involving Bank Saderat and the Commercial Bank of Syria,” and “the Iran Khodro Industrial Group has established a car assembly plant in Syria through a joint venture known as the Syrian-Iranian Motor Company.” [27] There are also military links as Iran supplies weapons to Syria which, from the US perspective, pose a threat to its ally Israel. “In June 2010, Iran reportedly sent Syria an air defense radar system designed to detect Israeli aircraft or possibly increase the accuracy of Syrian and Hezbollah missile strikes against Israel in the event of a regional war.” [28] Thus, the US was deeply worried about the link between two anti-American nations and the growing friendship between them.

Due to these worries, the US became involved in Syria’s protest movement, using methods that are similar to the ones the Americans used in the Egyptian revolution and in the Libya conflict.. 

For the past five to six years, the US policy toward Syria has used what could be called a two-pronged strategy to push for regime change. The US has supported “civil society” activists or external opposition organizations. It has also worked to delegitimize, destabilize and isolate the country through the application of sanctions and various other measures, which could be applied to exploit vulnerabilities. [29] (emphasis added)

One “civil society” organization that is being used by the US is the Movement for Justice and Development (MJD), which is “closely affiliated with the London-based satellite channel Barada TV, which started broadcasting in April 2009 but ‘ramped up operations to cover the mass protests in Syria.’” [30] The Americans may have wanted to work with MJD due to the fact that they are a moderate Islamic group which wants to end the Assad regime via democratic reform. This democratic reform may very well play right into America’s hands if the US does intervene in Syria, they can back the MJD and argue that they are the same as Libya’s rebels: people who want to end their oppressive regime and replace it with a democracy.

The US is using US organizations such as “Freedom House, American Bar Association, American University, Internews and work done by MEPI with the Aspen Strategic Initiative Institute, Democracy Council of California, Regents of the University of New Mexico and the International Republican Institute” [31] to aid in fomenting regime change in Syria by working with and funding Syrian “civil society” groups.

There have been many reports of the Syrian regime attacking unarmed protesters, however, one should be quite skeptical of these reports. The US media has reported that there are violent Syrian protesters [32], which should make one question the official narrative that the protesters are peaceful. One must also include the fact that there are absolutely no outside media sources in Syria whatsoever. Journalists have contacts whom they can get information from, but who says that these sources are being objective, much less telling the truth? All the reports that are being shown in the mainstream media may very well be half-truths, if not outright fabrications.

The US may very well plan to attack Syria if manipulating civil societies does not work.

The Arab Spring, while an overall movement to overthrow oppressive regimes, has too many times been co-opted by foreign powers who seek only their personal gain. Due to this, the Arab people may never experience true freedom. 

Devon DB is 19 years old and studies political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University. In addition to contributing to Global Research, he has recently become a staff member at The Progresssive Playbook

Notes

1: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/02/20/60minutes/main20033404.shtml?tag=contentMain;contentBody
2: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RS21666.pdf
3: Ibid
4:http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hDbfg1WFaPPd7sbU5Ghogi4YHQ2w?docId=CNG.148a6c382024ebbebe64021de441dac9.b91
5: Ibid
6: http://gowans.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/the-ned-tibet-north-korea-and-zimbabwe/
7: http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=70&release=989
8: http://www.ihrc.org.uk/activities/press-releases/9568-bahrains-revolution-underway-as-the-day-of-rage-announced
9: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Foreign-Policy/2011/0219/US-faces-difficult-situation-in-Bahrain-home-to-US-Fifth-Fleet
10: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnwCHs_a9cs&feature=player_embedded&skipcontrinter=1
11: http://rt.com/news/economy-oil-gold-libya/
12: http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/gadhafi-west-oilcompanies-conflict/2011/03/17/id/389809
13: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/19/extremists-among-libya-rebels_n_837894.html
14:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8407047/Libyan-rebel-commander-admits-his-fighters-have-al-Qaeda-links.html
15: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23949
16: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2011/sc10200.doc.htm#Resolution
17: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/15/opinion/15iht-edlibya15.html
18: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704360404576206992835270906.html
19: http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-mainmenu-26/africa-mainmenu-27/8651-nato-rebels-accused-of-war-crimes-in-libya
20: http://articles.latimes.com/2011/mar/04/world/la-fg-libya-mercenaries-20110305
21: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25827
22: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/31/world/africa/31intel.html?_r=1
23: http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/oreilly/transcript/are-us-troops-already-ground-libya
24: Ibid
25: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/iraq-haunts-plans-for-post-gaddafi-libya/story-e6frg6so-1226111211251
26: Ibid
27: http://www.euronews.net/2011/08/22/libya-end-game-pulls-down-oil-prices/
28: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33487.pdf
29: Ibid
30: http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2011/08/05/wikileaks-cables-the-us-strategy-to-push-for-regime-change-in-syria/
31: Ibid
32: Ibid 
33: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/05/30/501364/main20067379.shtml

CIA recruits 1,500 Jihadists from Mazar-e-Sharif to fight in Libya

ISLAMABAD: The Central Intelligence Agency of the United States recruited over 1,500 men from Mazar-e-Sharif for fighting against the Qaddafi forces in Libya.

Sources told The Nation: “Most of the men have been recruited from Afghanistan. They are Uzbeks, Persians and Hazaras. According to the footage, these men attired in the Uzbek-style of shalwar and Hazara-Uzbek Kurta were found fighting in Libyan cities.”

When an Al-Jazeera reporter pointed it out he was disallowed by the ‘rebels’ to capture images.

Sources in Quetta said: “Some Uzbeks and Hazaras from Afghanistan were arrested in Balochistan for illegally traveling into Pakistan en route to Libya through Iran. Aljazeera’s report gave credence to this story. More than 60 Afghans, mainly children and teenagers, have been found dead after suffocating inside a shipping container in southwestern Pakistan in an apparent human smuggling attempt.

More than 100 illegal immigrants were discovered 20km from the border town of Quetta last week inside the container, which had been locked from the outside.

Aljazeera having a dubious record, gave a human touch to this story as most of the men who intruded inside Pakistan from Afghanistan were recruits for the Libyan rebels’ force.

The sources said: “The CIA funded Libyan rebels with cash and weapons.” In a report the New York Mayor’s TV Channel Bloomberg said, “Leaders of the Libyan rebels’ Transitional National Council flew to Istanbul seeking legitimacy and money. They will leave with the official recognition of the US and 31 other nations. As for the cash, they will have to wait.”

The decision to treat the council as the “legitimate governing authority” in Libya is a key step to freeing up some of the government’s frozen assets for rebels seeking the ouster of Muammar Qaddafi. Still, obstacles such as existing United Nations sanctions won’t disappear overnight.

“We still have to work through various legal issues, but we expect this recognition will allow the TNC to access various forms of funding,” said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

At stake are about $34 billion in frozen Libyan government assets that are held by the US institutions and as much as $130 billion more held around the world. Speaking via phone from Istanbul, Transitional National Council spokesman Mahmoud Shammam put the total in excess of $100 billion globally.

Qaddafi, in an audio message broadcast to supporters in the town of Zlitan, said the Libyan people “will never give up” in the fight to prevent him being ousted, the Associated Press reported. “The Libyan people will persevere,” he said.

In the coming weeks, US officials will consult with the TNC and international partners on the most effective and appropriate method of making additional significant financial assistance available, according to a Treasury official who was not authorised to discuss the matter publicly.

Shammam said the TNC needs $3 billion to cover the budget for six months. The council is seeking loans secured by the Qaddafi regime’s assets abroad as a means of funding, he said.

Recognition may lawfully allow nations to buy state-owned oil from the TNC, which controls the oil-rich eastern part of the country. Italy’s Eni SpA and France’s Total SA are the top oil companies operating in Libya, a former Italian colony.

How much money the Benghazi-based government can get, and when, may be more tied to politics than the law.

“The legal issues are in the eye of the beholder,” said Gary Clyde Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. “If Obama and Clinton want to go slow in paying out the money, their lawyers can invent plenty of legal issues to justify the chosen pace.”

The US envisions a “short timeframe” for releasing some of the Libyan government assets frozen by the US, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

President Barack Obama signed an order on February 25 freezing any US assets of Muammar Qaddafi, his family and members of his regime in Libya. As a practical matter, most of the frozen $34 billion is tied up in complicated property interests, including ownership interests in non-publicly traded companies or real estate, according to the Treasury official.

The mechanics of how the US will unfreeze assets still has to be worked out. The United Nations sanctions against Libya remain in place, a hindrance to efforts to get money to the rebels.

The UK and France, which led the campaign to unseat Qaddafi, yesterday didn’t commit any financial contributions.

Recognition of the council “will allow some countries to unfreeze some money,” French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said. Libyan frozen assets in France total $250 million, he said.

Other nations have already found the means to act.

Italy will open a credit line to rebels using frozen assets as collateral, and will provide them with 100 million euros ($141 million), Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said yesterday. Another 300 million euros will be released in two weeks and in total, Italy will release 400 million euros, he said, describing the money as loans.

The council is expecting $100 million from Turkey within three days, Shammam said.

The main criterion for international law for the recognition of a rebel group as the government of a state is its effective control over the territory.

The military campaign against Qaddafi will continue “indefinitely” until he steps down, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague told reporters yesterday in Istanbul.

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VIDEO: Identity Problem in Libya?

August 30th, 2011 by Global Research

LAWYERS AGAINST THE WAR

Canada            1-604-738-0338

[email protected]             www.lawyersagainstthewar.org

                                                                 Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper Office of the Prime Minister

80 Wellington Street

Ottawa ON K1A 0A2

Fax: 1-613-941-6900 Email: [email protected]

The Honourable Robert Douglas Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada 284 Wellington Street

Ottawa, Ontario Canada K1A 0H8 Fax: 1 613 954 0811

Email: [email protected]

The Honourable Jason Kenney,

Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism

325 East Block, House of Commons

Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

P. 613-992-2235

F. 613-992-1920

Email: [email protected]

The Honourable Vic Toews,

Minister of Public Safety, House of Commons

Ottawa, ON, K1A 0A6

Telephone: 613-992-3128

Fax: 613-995-1049

Email: [email protected]

The Honourable John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lester B.Pearson Building, Tower A

125 Sussex Drive. Ottawa, ON, K1A 0G2

Telephone: 613-995-1851:

Fax: 613-996-3443; 1 613 996 0984

Email: [email protected]

Mr. Prime Minister and Ministers Nicholson, Kenney, Toews and Baird:

Re: Visit of George W. Bush on October 20, 2011: Canada must prevent entry or arrest and ensure prosecution for torture.

George W. Bush is reported to be coming to Surrey British Columbia on October 20, 2011 at the invitation of Surrey Mayor Diane Watts. There is overwhelming evidence that George W. Bush as President of the United States of America (US) and Commander in Chief of the US Armed Forces aided, abetted and counseled the torture of non-Americans at US controlled prisons outside the US including but not limited to Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba, Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, Bagram prison in Afghanistan and other places. This letter of complaint focuses on torture allegations while acknowledging evidence of other war crimes and crimes against humanity carried out by the Bush administration.

We are writing to report that:

George W. Bush, former President of the United States and Commander is Chief of the Armed Forces, is inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), section 35(1)(a) because of overwhelming evidence that he has ‘committed, outside Canada, torture and other offences referred to in sections 4 to 7 of the Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act (CAHWC)[1]; and,

the George W. Bush Administration is known to have engaged in “systematic or gross human rights violations, or a war crime or a crime against humanity within the meaning of subsections 6(3) to (5) of the CAHWC.

We are writing to request that you act immediately to ensure that:

George W. Bush is barred entry from Canada under the IRPA; or,

On entering Canada, George W. Bush is arrested to ensure that he will not receive safe haven from prosecution for torture either in Canada or by returning the United States; and,

Canada initiates a prosecution for torture of George W. Bush or extradites him to be prosecuted in a jurisdiction willing and able to prosecute him for torture.

We request that you also ensure that the RCMP War Crimes Section immediately takes the following steps:

begin an investigation of George W. Bush for aiding, abetting and counseling torture between

November 13, 2001 and November 2008 at Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba, Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, Bagram prison in Afghanistan and other places; and,

acknowledge that the George W. Bush administration is a “ government that has engaged in torture and other war crimes and crimes against humanity and therefore G.W. Bush, as former President, is also inadmissible under section 35(1)(b) of the IRPA.

Canada has a legal duty to deny safe haven from prosecution to anyone suspected of torture, committed anywhere against any persons. Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (s. 35) anyone suspected of involvement in torture must be denied entry to Canada. Once a suspect enters the country, Canada then has a legal obligation to ensure that suspect is prosecuted, if not in Canada, in a jurisdiction willing and able to do so. Discharge of this duty usually would require the arrest and detention of the suspect to prevent the suspect from escaping to a jurisdiction willing to provide safe haven from prosecution. Given that US Attorney General has declared and demonstrated a refusal to prosecute Bush for torture, if Bush is allowed entry, Canada’s initial duty would be first to prevent him returning to safe haven in the U.S.[2] and then to ensure his prosecution either here or elsewhere.

Canadian courts have recognized that the duty to deny safe haven from prosecution cannot be mitigated in the case of grave and heinous crimes such as torture. Inadmissibility under the IRPA is established when there are “reasonable grounds to believe” the foreign national—in this case George W. Bush–has engaged in torture or other international crimes. The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that reasonable grounds are, “something more than suspicion but less than…proof on the balance of probabilities.”[3] As torture is considered a grave and heinous crime, “the full application of s. 35 of the IRPA cannot be mitigated.”[4] There is therefore no discretion to provide Bush safe haven from prosecution during a stay, however brief, in Canada.

The law prohibits treating torture as legal—which Canadian authorities would have to do to either allow Bush entry or on entry, to forbear from arresting and ensuring prosecution here or in another jurisdiction.

Canada’s legal duties to prevent and punish torture wherever, by whoever and against whomever committed and to deny suspects safe haven from prosecution arise under a variety of binding instruments including the: Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute), Convention against torture and other Cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (CAT), Geneva Conventions (GCs), Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act (CAHWCA) and the Criminal Code of Canada

(Criminal Code). Canada’s jurisdiction to prosecute George W. Bush for torture is triggered if: George W. Bush enters Canada; and/or, a victim of the alleged torture (Omar Khadr) is a Canadian citizen.

Evidence of Torture

Evidence of G.W. Bush’s complicity in torture is overwhelming. As stated by Maj. General Antonio M. Taguba, author of the U.S. Army’s 2004 internal report on Abu Ghraib,

“… the Commander-in-Chief [Bush] and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture…. After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts, and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current [Bush] administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.”[5]

Many people aware of the evidence and the law have concluded that the available evidence establishes conclusively that George W. Bush and other members of the Bush Administration committed torture (and other war crimes and crimes against humanity) and therefore states now have a duty to condemn, investigate, prosecute and punish those crimes. Following are a sample of conclusions and remarks by a variety of such people. Comprehensive lists of evidence are readily available from a variety of sources and will be provided on request.

In July 2004 the International Committee of the Red Cross concluded that the American military had used interrogation techniques tantamount to torture on prisoners in Guantánamo Bay.[6]

In a February 2006 report, a group of UN experts concluded that sleep deprivation for several consecutive days, enforced isolation, the use of dogs, and exposure to extreme temperatures were all being used at Guantánamo Bay prison by US officials and that these interrogation methods met all five elements of torture (perpetrated by government official, had a clear purpose, committed intentionally, victims in a position of powerlessness and caused severe physical or mental pain or suffering.)[7]

In May 2006, the UN Committee on Torture called on the US to close Guantánamo Bay prison, to eradicate the use of torture by military and civilian personnel and to rescind authority to use any interrogation method that constitutes torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.[8]

In June 2007 the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly report by Senator Dick Marty concluded that

“the CIA [the US Central Intelligence Agency] committed a whole series of illegal acts in Europe by abducting individuals, detaining them in secret locations and subjecting them to interrogation techniques tantamount to torture.[9]

In December 2008 the US Senate Armed Services Committee concluded,

“senior officials [Bush and others] in the United States government solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorized their use against detainees.”[10]

In January 2009 Manfred Nowak, then the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture said,

“The evidence is sitting on the table…There is no avoiding the fact that this was torture… The government of the United States is required to take all necessary steps to bring George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld before a court.”[11]

In February 2009, UN Special Rapporteur Martin Scheinin reached the same conclusion,

“…the United States has created a comprehensive system of extraordinary renditions, prolonged and secret detention, and practices that violate the prohibition against torture and other forms of ill-treatment….States must not aid or assist in the commission of acts of torture, or recognize such practices as lawful, …Under international human rights law, States are under a positive obligation to conduct independent investigations into alleged violations of the right to life, freedom from torture or other inhuman treatment, enforced disappearances or arbitrary detention, to bring to justice those responsible for such acts, and to provide reparations where they have participated in such violations.”[12] (underlining added)

On March 4 2009, then UN General Assembly President Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, on March 4, 2009 concluded,

“The [Bush Administration] aggressions against Iraq and Afghanistan and their occupations constitute atrocities that must be condemned and repudiated by all who believe in the rule of law in international relations,”

In May 2009 former Vice President Dick Cheney publicly stated that George W. Bush authorized the use of torture,

“ I mean it was a presidential-level decision. And the decision went to the president. He signed off on it.”[13]

In his 2010 memoirs, George W. Bush admitted to authorizing the use of interrogation techniques that constitute torture such as water boarding. [14]

In February 2011 Bush cancelled a trip [15] to Switzerland because he faced the risk of prosecution for torture. Human Rights groups had called on the Swiss government to arrest him and open a criminal investigation if he entered the country citing Switzerland’s legal obligations under CAT. The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights and the Berlin-based European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, backed by many others—released and threatened to file a 45-page indictment backed up by a 2,500 page summary of evidence of Bush’s role in authorizing, directing and supervising torture used at U.S. controlled prison including Bagram Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay Cuba. [16]

Reed Brody of Human Rights Watch commented, “I’m surprised he (Bush) would even consider visiting a country that has ratified the torture convention and which takes its responsibilities seriously.”[17]

In June 2011 Human Rights Watch published an extensive report concluding that members of the Bush administration had used torture and should be prosecuted. [18]

Duty to prosecute

The duty to prosecute George W. Bush for torture (and other war crimes and crimes against humanity) once he is in Canada, arises from many sources including: Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act

(CAHWCA), Criminal Code of Canada, Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute) and Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). The Rome Statute, obliges Canada generally to, “…exercise its criminal jurisdiction over those responsible for international crimes.” CAT, specifically requires Canada to either prosecute or extradite for prosecution any person within Canadian territory, alleged to have committed torture. (Art. 7)

Under CAT, Art. 12, Canada has an urgent duty to investigate allegations of torture and of other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment as part of its duty to prevent such crimes. The CAT Committee has ruled that delay by a state to investigate allegations of torture or inhumane or degrading treatment is itself a violation of CAT. [19] Canada’s duty to investigate torture by George W. Bush and other officials of the Bush administration is imperative. It became so in March 2004 when Canada received notice that the US had subjected Omar Khadr to prolonged sleep deprivation and isolation to prepare him for questioning by Canadian officials. The Federal Court confirmed earlier findings of UN experts that this practice was, “…a breach of international human rights law respecting the treatment of detainees under UNCAT and the 1949 Geneva Conventions.” [20] The duty to prosecute becomes imperative when George W. Bush enters Canada.

Under Article 1 of all Geneva Conventions (GCs), Canada has an obligation to respect and to ensure respect for the Conventions “in all circumstances.” Torture and inhuman treatment are grave breaches of the GCs. Having knowledge of grave breaches, Canada is legally required to,

“…search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts. It may also, if it prefers, and in accordance with the provisions of its own legislation, hand such persons over for trial to another High Contracting Party concerned, provided such High Contracting Party has made out a prima facie case.” (GC III Art. 130; GC IV Art. 146 ;.)

Canada has enacted the jurisdiction to prosecute torture and other grave breaches of the GCs as defined by the Rome Statute, wherever those crimes occur when the victim is a Canadian citizen (Omar Khadr) and/or the suspect (George W. Bush) is in Canada. The Criminal Code of Canada (CC) s. 269.1 & 7(3.7) establishes jurisdiction to prosecute torture committed outside Canada in these circumstances. [21] The

Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act (CAHWCA) and the Geneva Conventions Act also make torture a crime and establish Canada’s jurisdiction to prosecute foreign nationals when the victim is a Canadian citizen and/or when the suspect enters Canada.

The evidence of torture by the Bush administration and the evidence of Bush’s involvement in aiding abetting and counseling torture while President of the United States and the Commander in Chief of the US Armed Forces coupled with the law imposes a mandatory duty on Canada to:

1. Prevent George W. Bush from entering Canada; or,

2. If George W. Bush enters Canada, to prevent him receiving safe haven from torture in Canada or by returning to the US; and,

3. Ensure that George W. Bush is prosecuted for torture in accordance with law in Canada or extradited to a jurisdiction willing and able to prosecute him for torture.

Respectfully submitted,

Gail Davidson, Lawyers against the War

Professor Francis A. Boyle

University of Illinois College of Law USA

Board of Directors, Amnesty International USA

(1988-92)

Law Building, 504 E. Pennsylvania Ave.

Champaign, IL 61820 USA

Tel: 217-333-7954 ; Fax: 217-244-1478 (fax)

Copies to:

Nycole Turmel, interim Leader of the New Democratic Party, [email protected] Joe Comartin MP, NDP Justice Critic, [email protected]

Don Davies MP, NDP Citizenship, Immigration critic, dondavies.ndp.ca Paul Dewar MP, NDP Foreign Affairs Critic, [email protected] Jasbir Sandhu MP, NDP Public Safety Critic, [email protected]

Mr. Rob Rae, MP, Interim Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, [email protected] Mr. Irwin Cotler MP, Liberal Justice Critic, [email protected]

Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia MP, Liberal Public Safety Critic, [email protected] <Mr. Kevin Lamoureux MP, Liberal Immigration Critic, [email protected]

Mr. Dominic LeBlanc MP, Liberal Foreign Affairs Critic, [email protected]

Ms. Elizabeth May MP, Leader of the Green Party of Canada, [email protected]

Jean Francois Fortin MP, Bloq Quebecois Foreign Affairs Critic, [email protected]

André Bellavance MP, Bloq Quebecois Citizenship and Immigration Critic, [email protected] Maria Mourani MP, Bloq Quebecois Justice and Public Safety Critic, [email protected]

Mr. Juan Méndez, UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, [email protected]

Mr. Alex Neve, Amnesty International Canada, [email protected] Mayor Diane Watts of Surrey BC Fax: 604-591-5175 [email protected]

RCMP Commissioner William J.S. Elliott, [email protected]

RCMP Superintendent Lloyd Plante, [email protected]

Notes 

1. Under sections 4 to 7 of the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act (S.C. 2000, chap. 24) crimes against humanity include murder, enforced disappearance, deportation, imprisonment, torture and imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law, committed against any civilian population or any identifiable group. War crimes include willful killing, torture and inhuman treatment, unlawful confinement and willfully depriving a prisoner of war or other protected person of fair trial rights.

2. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has refused to consider torture investigations or prosecution of Bush administration officials.

3. Mugesera v Canada, [2005] 2 S.C. R. 100, para. 114

4. Varela v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [2009] 1 FCR 605 at para. 44.

5. Maj. General Antonio M. Taguba (USA-Ret.), Preface to Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by U.S. Personnel and its Impacts, A Report by Physicians for Human Rights, June 2008. http://brokenlives.info/?page_id=69

6. Neil A. Lewis, Red Cross Finds Detainee Abuse in Guantánamo, New York Times, 30 Nov. 2004.

7. Situation of detainees at Guantánamo Bay Report of the Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Leila Zerrougui; the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Leandro Despouy; the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak; the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Asma Jahangir; and the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Paul Hunt, E/CN.4/2006/120, 27 February 2006, at paras. 51 and 52.

8. Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Doc. CAT/C/USA/CO/2 25 July 2006, paras 22, 24 and 26.

9. Dick Marty, Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, Secret detentions and illegal transfers of detainees involving council of Europe member states: second report, CoE Doc. 11302 rev, 11 June 2007 at pp. 7 para. 9

10. Senate Armed Services Committee Inquiry Into The Treatment Of Detainees In U.S. Custody, Dec. 11, 2008., Executive Summary, p. xii.

http://armed-services.senate.gov/Publications/Detainee%20Report%20Final_April%2022%202009.pdf  

11. Scott Horton, UN Rapporteur: Initiate criminal proceedings against Bush and Rumsfeld now, Harpers Magazine, 21 Jan. 2009.

12. Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Martin Scheinin, A/HRC/10/3,4 February 2009.

13. 10 May 2009 CBS, Face the Nation. http://www.enduringamerica.com/may-2009/2009/5/9/video-and-transcript-dick-cheney-on-face-the-nation-10-may.html

14. Decision Points, Crown Publishing Group 2010, p. 169-71.

15. Bush was reported to be coming to Geneva to speak at the Keren Hayesod’s annual dinner on Feb. 12, 2011.

16. Preliminary Indictment for Torture: George W. Bush Brought Pursuant to the Convention Against Torture;

http://ccrjustice.org/files/FINAL%207%20Feb%20BUSH%20INDICTMENT.pdf

17. Stephanie Nebehay, Bush’s Swiss visit off after complaints on torture, Reuters, 5 February 2011.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/05/us-bush-torture-idUSTRE7141CU20110205

18. Getting Away with Torture: The Bush Administration and Mistreatment of Detainees, Human Rights Watch, June 2011

19. See Halimi-Nedzibi v. Australia in which a 15-month delay was adjudged a breach of Article 12 and Blanco Abad v. Spain where a delay of 32 days was held by the CAT Committee to be a breach of CAT Article 12.

20. Khadr v. Canada (Attorney General), 2008 FC 807 (CanLII), June 25, 2008, at para. 88.  59 C.R. (6th) 284 175 C.R.R. (2d) 345.

21. Criminal Code of Canada, ss. 269, 7(3.7); Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act, (2000, c.24) ss. 6(1) (3) & 8(a) (iii), Geneva Conventions Act, R.S. 1985 c. G-3.

In handing Libya to Al Qaeda, the line has been forever crossed.

First – let’s not labor under any delusions. Obama, Cameron, and Sarkozy are heads of state in name only. It is the depravity and megalomania amongst the banks, corporations, and the institutions they have contrived, that are responsible for the most egregious betrayal in Western history. For 10 years the West’s leadership have stirred up hatred and fear amongst their populations to justify a lengthy and very costly global war that has sent US, British, Canadian, German, French, and many other troops, around the world, into dangerous adversity, and ultimately to their graves to fight “the forces of terror.”

Now, almost as if savoring the irony, the New York Times, on behalf of the corporate-financier oligarchs that presume dominion over the Western world, fully admit that Al Qaeda terrorists, men who literally killed US troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan are now in Libya and are the benefactors of billions of dollars in Western aid, diplomatic recognition, training, weapons, the lending of intelligence assets, the full unwavering support of the West’s “media,” NATO-member air support, and even graced with Western special forces fighting side-by-side with them on the ground. This timely confession is also in response in part to revelations that the Libyan rebel commander now filling the streets of Tripoli with indescribable horror is a hardcore Al Qaeda leader, reported first in the Telegraph months ago, and again this week on RT and covered in depth by respected geopolitical analyst Dr. Webster Tarpley.

While naive Americans are brimming with pride as the military machine bankrupting them into destitution rolls over another minute nation an ocean away, they seem ignorant or unable to wrap their minds around how egregiously they’ve been betrayed. After 10 years, thousands of dead troops, tens of thousands broken mentally or physically, an economy diverted to war, occupation, and “nation building” overseas while America’s infrastructure rots beneath her, the corporate-financier oligarchs have decided to betray and infinitely humiliate America’s armed forces in the worst manner imaginable – have them provide air cover, intel, and special operational support for blood-thirsty mercenaries that hunted and killed their brothers in arms for the past decade.

Entire families have been destroyed, communities devastated by the loss of their brothers and sisters, friends, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, fighting what they thought was a war for the very survival of their way of life. Today, in Libya, with Al Qaeda literally being handed a nation-state by these corporate-financiers through their political and military proxies, the leaders we have elected and the corporations we have helped grow to monstrous proportions now squat upon the graves our nation’s fallen and defile their memories and the ideals they believed they were giving their lives for in an unforgivable way.
 
And while it will be claimed by many that this is “Obama’s War,” it most certainly is not. The very cadre of Neo-Conservatives that engineered the last decade of debilitating global war at the expense of American blood and treasure have been quietly cheerleading the expansion of NATO’s intervention in Libya. This can be seen in unequivocal terms in a letter written to US House Republicans imploring them to end their resistance to the current, unconstitutional war, and instead discard the UNSC resolution and give even more support for the terrorists seizing Libya on their behalf. Paul Wolfowitz, Elliott Abrams, Max Boot, Frederick Kagan, Karl Rove, Ellen Bork, Robert Kagan, Liz Cheney, William Kristol, Dan Senor, and James Woolsey are just some of the names of individuals that affixed their signatures at the bottom of this letter. Quite clearly, this is not exclusively “Obama’s War,” rather one engineered and promoted by the Fortune 500 banks and corporations that include both Obama and America’s most notorious Neo-Conservatives as loyal servants.

If ever there was a time for our military, not just the rank and file, but the officers that lead them and whose hands young fighting men put their lives into, to recall their oath given to the US Constitution and their duty to protect and defend their nation and their people, it would be now. If ever there was a time to recognize our self-proclaimed leadership, crutching their legitimacy along with the facade of “democracy” as the self-serving egregious traitors they are – the time is now. And when the people’s faith in their government falters, let us be vigilant against pretend reformers. Let us make sure military men stepping forward to rectify our nation’s slide into the surreal aren’t corporate-fascist serving Council on Foreign Relations members like General Stanley McChrystal or General David Petraeus, both of whom are guilty of helping to foist this facade upon the American people at tragic costs to us all.

For the average man or woman in America, now would be a good time to start putting these corporations and banks out of business. Boycott and replace them systematically, day to day, little by little. America has misplaced their faith in these world-spanning corporations and have traded their independence and self-reliance in for the illusion of convenience. It is time to take that independence back. It is also time to vote each and every incumbent out of office that has served these agendas and promoted this war, now exposed as an absolute hoax. Those like John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Joe Lieberman come particularly to mind. Finally, it is time to start getting organized as a community. Reach out to your neighbors, start a marksmanship club, help each other with starting a garden, and start standing up for one another when this corrupt, parasitic system comes searching for sustenance to continue fueling its dark deeds. By exercising each and every one of your Constitutional rights, collectively as a community and on a daily basis, you ensure their vigor in standing up against tyranny of all kinds.

Now is the time, this far and no further – if not for ourselves, for the thousands of Americans that shed their lives in the belief they did so for a higher cause and whose memories are now being defiled by the despicable actions of Wall Street and London, and the degenerate army of sycophants that serve them, from Europe to North America, from Israel’s leadership, to the corporate oligarchs that manipulate the people of Australia. This evil empire has reached an intolerable height.

For a list of the corporate-financier interests that truly run Western society please see, “Naming Names.” For more information on self-sufficiency please see, “The Globalsits’ Worst Nightmare.” To learn more about why and how to boycott the corporate-financiers that dominate our lives, please see, “Destroy the Globalists.”  

Tony Cartalucci’s articles have appeared on many alternative media websites, including his own at 
Land Destroyer Report.

VIDEO: 9/11: The Myth and The Reality

August 30th, 2011 by David Ray Griffin

Syrians Fear NATO To Attack Their Country After Libya

August 30th, 2011 by Oleg Gribkov

Damascus fears that NATO may redeploy its forces to Syria after the termination of its military campaign in Libya. If this happens, Syria’s prospects for democratic development will be killed stone dead, according to both left-wing and liberal groups of that country’s moderate opposition.

Member of the Syrian Communist Party’s political bureau Najmeddin Khreit is sure the time is ripe for reforms in his country. Even though its economic situation is better than in other riot-stricken Arab countries, the life of ordinary people is becoming increasingly difficult. Yes, unemployment rates are not as high as in Egypt or Tunisia but they keep growing, especially among the youth, and have eroded the society alongside a simultaneous increase in corruption. Our frozen political system, Najmeddin Khreit says, prevented us from having a free discussion of all the problems and ways to solve them.

The last few months witnessed a launch of democratic changes but even leaders of the ruling Baath Party recognize that it was already late for reforms. The situation only escalated when the regime’s radical opponents appealed to arms, Najmeddin Khreit explains.

“For the sake of our homeland and its interests, all Syrians have to join efforts and help the country out of the crisis. The most urgent objective is to stop violence on both sides because it can only generate more violence in response. Of course, armed anti-government groups should cease their raids. The authorities need to promptly start a broad dialogue with the opposition and also cope with the issue of partially released political prisoners. These measures will create conditions for doing away with the crisis if taken without delay, in view of the world’s alarming situation,” Najmeddin Khreit said.

Nearly the same ideas were outlined by authoritative Syrian human rights activist Salim Kheirbek in his recent letter to President Bashar al-Assad. Kheirbek, who spent 13 years in prison for his beliefs, possesses quite a variety of awards for his activity. He said presidential administration officials were favorably disposed when receiving his letter and even met with him several times. Salim Kheirbek is sure reforms should not be delayed and shared his view with our correspondent. Being a graduate of the Moscow-based Peoples’ Friendship University, he has a good command of Russian.

“With Gaddafi’s rule about to end, NATO will most likely send its forces to Syria. Our president believes they are preparing for an attack against us, which will hardly facilitate democratic changes. I have no idea of what will happen to Syria in such a case,” Salim Kheirbek says.

Damascus is anxiously following the developments in Libya. Neither Syrian leaders nor constructive opposition want a repetition of the Libyan scenario which will cost a lot to ordinary citizens, like any of the NATO-masterminded campaigns.

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-From the very start, coalition countries made it no secret that they were aiming at Libyan oil reserves and at establishing spheres of influence in the region, bypassing the UN. Libya is seen as a valuable trophy, and it’s up to those who dropped bombs on it to distribute the trophies. For this reason, the UN is not something to reckon with…

-”NATO’s statements of the past two years suggest an attempt to replace the UN. By crushing Gaddafi, even though a complete victory is nowhere in sight, NATO is trying to reap the fruits of victory bypassing other countries and the UN Security Council…”

Russia concerned over Libya

The recent developments in Libya have triggered a lot of speculation across the political spectrum in Russia with political and media circles alike offering wide-ranging opinions on Libya in recent weeks.

NATO air strikes, the civil war in Libya and the collapse of the country’s state system are seen as the demise of Libya as a state. According to recent surveys, up to 80 percent of Russians condemn air strikes against Libya. Sociologist Boris Kagarlitsky comments:

“Russian attitudes towards NATO are mostly negative,” the expert says, “which is fully in line with the global trend. While revolution and mass protests received widespread support in Arab countries, NATO’s intervention caused an outcry from the public.”

In Russia, NATO’s campaign against Libya was immediately compared to the bombardments of Yugoslavia and Iraq and the developments in Afghanistan. Russian bloggers described the Libyan campaign as barbaric and “a gang shootout in the style of Wild West. Russians oppose the use of force and consider the West’s intervention an overt aggression, particularly since UN Security Council Resolution 1973 did not authorize coalition forces to bomb cities or take part in ground operations.

The Transitional National Council, which sees itself as the only legitimate body in Libya, is split and is highly unlikely to normalize the situation. Political analysts in Russia say that the civil war in Libya will go on and years will pass before the country sees peace, stability or effective leaders. While it tacitly watches coalition forces distribute Libyan oil and establish control over oil wells and export terminals, the Transitional Council says that Russia, along with China and Brazil, might face problems with energy contracts for “political reasons.

From the very start, coalition countries made it no secret that they were aiming at Libyan oil reserves and at establishing spheres of influence in the region, bypassing the UN. Libya is seen as a valuable trophy, and it’s up to those who dropped bombs on it to distribute the trophies. For this reason, the UN is not something to reckon with. A statement to this effect came a few days ago in the run-up to an international conference on Libya in Paris. Russia was not invited. The Russian Foreign Ministry made it clear that the key role belongs to the UN and the UN Security Council. 

Russia didn’t take part in the military campaign against Libya. Neither did China, Germany, South Africa or Brazil. Moscow didn’t stay indifferent either: it didn’t veto Resolution 1973 and it joined sanctions against Libya. In this respect, any attempts from NATO to exclude Russia and the above countries from discussions on Libya are shortsighted, Azhdar Kurtov of the Russian Strategic Research Institute says:

“NATO’s statements of the past two years suggest an attempt to replace the UN. By crushing Gaddafi, even though a complete victory is nowhere in sight, NATO is trying to reap the fruits of victory bypassing other countries and the UN Security Council, whose permanent members include Russia and China. This is why Russia was not invited to join the conference of so-called ‘friends of Libya’ in Paris.”

Russia warns all parties involved that post-war restoration of Libya should proceed under the aegis of the UN Security Council. Oriental expert Stanislav Tarasov is sure that the West will have to honor Russia’s  position eventually:

“Russia maintains the status of a powerful regional power with its own interests in the region. Its position and tactics are explicit enough. Russia is among the leading global powers and the world’s top players will achieve nothing without Russia. Contact groups, or “Libya friendsâ€� groups will be useless without Russia.”

While keen on making the UN a key figure in a Libyan settlement, Moscow is helping NATO to see the deadlock it has driven itself into and to find a way out of it.

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Libyan membership in the Arab League

August 30th, 2011 by Global Research

CAIRO, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) — Libyan rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) will legally represent Libya at the Arab League (AL) meeting of foreign ministers to be held on Saturday, said AL’s Secretary General Nabil el-Arabi on Thursday.

An AL official denied the pan-Arab body had recognized the NTC, saying a decision was taken to re-activate Libya’s frozen membership, Egypt’s official MENA news agency said.

The source added the AL is a regional organization and not a state to recognize another.

Earlier on Thursday, Egypt’s state TV channel reported that the AL recognized the NTC as the representative of the Libyan people.

On Feb. 22, the AL decided to freeze Libyan membership in the AL because of the violence in the country. In March, the organization decided to support a non-fly zone in Libya, which was regarded as a key step for the foreign intervention.

After six months of confrontation, Libyan rebels have controlled most parts of the country and claimed Muammar Gaddafi’s era is over. But the whereabouts of the Libyan leader remain unknown

Libya victory summit, warns Syria

August 30th, 2011 by Global Research

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has called a high-level meeting on Libya’s post-Gaddafi future and promised support – but no military action – for opposition forces in Syria.

The event is to take place in Paris on 1 September – the 42nd anniversary of the coup which brought Colonel Gaddafi to power.

It is to be co-hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron and to include rebel leaders Mahmoud Jibril and Abdel Jalil, delegates from the 28-country-strong anti-Gaddafi coalition, the Libya Contact Group, as well as states hostile to Western intervention in Libya – China, India, Russia and South Africa.

Speaking with Jibril in the French capital on Wednesday (24 August), Sarkozy said Gaddafi’s defeat has brought the Western and Arab worlds closer and that he was right to put France fully back into Nato in 2009.

“The reintegration of France into the principle organs of Nato did nothing to weaken French independnce – on the contrary, since France was, naturally, in the front lines during the military operations [in Libya].”

Sarkozy ruled out military intervention in Syria due to the lack of a UN mandate. But he warned President Bashar Assad to draw lessons from Libya and the Ivory Coast, where France also used force this year.

…”We now have precedents – the Ivory Coast and Libya. This is not to say we will get involved in more conflicts. But we will not give up on our principles. Syrian people have the right to freedom.”

The TNC has asked the UN to unfreeze $5 billion out of the $110 billion of Gaddafi assets reportedly held in banks round the world. The US has so far drafted a UN text allowing for the unfreezing of $1.5 billion, with a vote at the UN Security Council expected by the weekend.

With Gaddafi still at large, Sarkozy pledged to keep up military support for the TNC…

Nato spokeswoman Oana Lugnescu told the AP news agency on Wednesday that an options paper for a potential joint UN-Nato mission will come up for discussion next week.

“The council provided Nato military authorities with a set of political guidelines for a possible future Nato supporting role in Libya … in support of wider international efforts,” she said, referring to the North Atlantic Council, the alliance’s political governing body.

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Irene’s devastation, and NATO’s bombs

August 30th, 2011 by Global Research

After watching Mother Nature’s wrath, in the form of hurricane Irene, wreak havoc on U.S. cities, I switched news channels to watch how NATO’s wrath, in the form of fighter jets, had wreaked havoc on ancient cites like Tripoli and Sirte in Libya.

Despite so many NATO member countries being in a steep economic decline, they are always financially willing and able to wage war and cause destruction in foreign lands – even while their own infrastructures crumble into neglectful disrepair due to lack of funds.

Parts of Tripoli, founded by Phoenicians in the seventh century BC, lie in ruins as the world’s press cameramen lead us through the rubble, with little said about NATO’s changing role. It had quietly and quickly morphed from implementing a United Nations and Arab League-sanctioned no-fly zone to protect anti-government rebels into a bombing onslaught to decimate all sites Moammar Gadhafi controlled. Tripoli and other cities weren’t devastated by the small machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenades launched from the rebels’ pickup trucks; the depredation came from the military might of NATO.

Have things really changed that much since Phoenician times?

NATO faces ‘catastrophic success’ in Libya

August 30th, 2011 by An Huihou

Translated by People’s Daily Online

-Going against the trend of the times, maintaining blind faith in the use of force, imposing the threat of force and even interfering militarily have not only become increasingly difficult but also do harm to others and themselves. As Western countries have repeatedly failed to take lessons from their blind moves, it is no wonder they has embarked on the path of decline.

The Libya war situation recently underwent dramatic changes. The French and British defense ministers stressed at the end of July that the Libyan opposition could not defeat the government forces or capture Tripoli, the capital of Libya, on its own. However, certain media outlets revealed in mid-August that the Libyan opposition was expected to capture the capital before the end of August, according to a NATO schedule.

As it turned out, the opposition forces entered Tripoli on Aug. 21. There are two main reasons for the sudden victory of the opposition forces. First, Western countries not only launched air strikes and provided a large amount of weapons to the opposition forces but also sent ground troops to Libya. According to recent media reports, France, the United Kingdom and Italy had dispatched special forces to Libya to help the opposition troops finally win the ground war. Second, Western countries reportedly bought out almost all senior officials of the Qaddafi regime. In brief, Western countries planned and directed the opposition forces’ capture of Tripoli.

However, the NATO’s victory in Libya is just a miserable victory. First, in order to reduce civilian casualties, the United Nations Security Council authorized NATO to establish a no-fly zone in Libya. However, the military operations of NATO have enlarged the civil war, led to tens of thousands of casualties of innocent civilians, made countless people homeless, and caused severe property damage and a huge humanitarian disaster.

NATO’s arming of the Libyan rebels and use of land forces in Libya both violated the Security Council’s resolution, which prohibited both actions. In order to overthrow the Qadafi administration, foster a pro-West government and further control Libya, western countries will use any methods. Fair or foul, they do not care. Therefore, they have already failed in morality and justice.

Second, several of the strongest Western countries joined forces, spent a lot of money and manpower, and bombed Libya for five months, but they ultimately still had to adopt illegal actions and command the Libyan rebels to take the capital. It could fully reflect the rudeness, brutality and selfishness of the Western countries. In addition, their actions not only failed to demonstrate their powerful strengths but also revealed their weakness, fragility and incapacity.

U.K.-based The Times reported that NATO is generally using the term “catastrophic success” to describe the opposition’s victory. The relationship among various factions of Libya’s opposition is indeed complicated. Although they have made collective actions to achieve the goal of overthrowing Qaddafi’s regime, it is very difficult for them to remain united in the post-Qaddafi era. Instead, they are very likely to divide and even cause new conflicts to arise. Furthermore, it is very difficult for Qaddafi’s tribes to accept the cruel facts, including the loss of their dominant position, authority and interests.

The international community is universally worried that Libya will likely become a second Iraq or Somalia, and some even forecasted that Libya would likely be divided into three parts. The war and the inevitable future chaos caused by war will make the Libyan people the biggest victim and affect regional and global peace and stability. The Western countries will unlikely obtain the rewards that they are coveting.

Western countries have launched the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past decade and have participated in the Libyan war in 2011. Although they have all met the goals of regime change, have they really achieved victories? The Iraq war waged by the United States is not worth the costs and has become one of the major reasons behind the fall of the United States from its hegemonic position, which is already a consensus in the international community.

The Afghan war has lasted as long as 10 years, putting those who launched the war into a dilemma. The Libyan war is no exception and can never become a model for Western powers’ successful interference in the internal affairs of other countries. The “gunboat diplomacy” era has long passed, and resolving political differences through negotiations has become the trend of the times.

Going against the trend of the times, maintaining blind faith in the use of force, imposing the threat of force and even interfering militarily have not only become increasingly difficult but also do harm to others and themselves.

As Western countries have repeatedly failed to take lessons from their blind moves, it is no wonder they has embarked on the path of decline.

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Deadliest month yet for U.S. in Afghanistan

August 30th, 2011 by Global Research

KABUL, Afghanistan: Sixty-six U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan so far this month, making August the deadliest month for American forces in the nearly decade-long war.

Nearly half of the troops killed died on Aug. 6 when the Taliban shot down a Chinook helicopter in eastern Afghanistan. That was the single deadliest event of the war and sent the monthly total soaring, according to a tally by The Associated Press.

The 30 American service members — most of them elite Navy SEALs — were aboard the helicopter as it flew in to help Army Rangers who had come under fire. Most of the SEALs who died were from the same unit that killed bin Laden, although none of the men took part in that mission.

Aside from the 30 killed in the crash in Wardak province, southwest of Kabul, 23 died this month in Kandahar and Helmand provinces in southern Afghanistan, the main focus of Afghan and U.S.-led coalition forces. The remaining 13 were killed in eastern Afghanistan.

The deadliest month for American forces until now was July 2010 when 65 were killed.

In addition to the 66 Americans killed so far this month, the NATO coalition suffered the loss of two British, four French, one New Zealander, one Australian, one Polish and four other troops whose nationalities have not yet been disclosed.

So far this year, 402 international service members, including 299 Americans, have been killed in Afghanistan.

María de los Ángeles vive en un barrio del Condado de Fresno (California), uno de los lugares  del país donde  habitan más niños latinos pobres. Tiene 8 años y está muy orgullosa porque ha comenzado su año escolar. Sus padres son de Guatemala y emigraron a los Estados Unidos hace más de 15 años. Su papá, de origen maya, Mario, nació en un pueblo de Quetzaltenango, una zona particularmente azotada por la violencia y el terrorismo de Estado. Él se dedica al arreglo de techos y su mamá, al servicio doméstico por hora. María de los Ángeles tiene un hermanito pequeño, Joaquín, de menos de un año a quien le toca cuidar algunas veces. Cuando le preguntan si quiere a su hermanito, ella responde con claridad: “A veces, lo quiero. Otras, no”.
 
Estos niños guatemalteco-americanos ya son parte de las cifras demográficas más impactantes de la última década en Estados Unidos: como niños latinos son la población que más aumenta en este país y, al mismo tiempo, engrosan su porción más pobre. Según el último Censo del 2010, los latinos son 50 millones y medio de personas,  constituyendo hoy la minoría más importante de EEUU. Mexicanos, puertorriqueños, cubanos, salvadoreños, guatemaltecos, dominicanos y más componen uno de los  “países latinos” de mayor población en el mundo.  Su población infantil (menores de 17 años) es la que más crece en comparación a otros grupos de edad y pertenencia étnica: hoy son 17 millones y han aumentado  un 39% en sólo la última década, según el Pew Hispanic Center (www.pewhispanic.org).
 
¿Cómo trata este país a sus niños? ¿Cómo trata a los niños de la “minoría-mayoría” más importante de este país?
 
El Fondo para la Defensa de la Infancia (Children´s Defense Fund, CDF, www.childrensdefense.org) en su último informe “El estado de los niños de América: 2011” examina la situación del sector más vulnerable de la sociedad  estadounidense y alerta que los niños son el grupo poblacional más pobre del país. Alrededor de 17 millones de niños están lidiando con “inseguridad alimentaria”, según el último reporte de “Feeding America” (una organización en red que reúne 200 Bancos Alimentarios y la organización caritativa de distribución de alimentos más importante del país; www.feedingamerica.org).
 
Uno de cada 4 niños en el país viven sin acceso seguro a suficiente comida nutritiva: “Los niños afroamericanos están enfrentando la peor crisis desde los tiempos de esclavitud y, en diversas áreas, los niños hispanos y de aborígenes nativoamericanos se encuentran en situación similar”, se sostiene en el mencionado reporte. Los niños latinos no saben si comen hoy ni si comerán mañana: más de un tercio  vive en condiciones de pobreza y de inseguridad alimentaria (“The State of America´s Children, 2011”). Debido a las condiciones de malnutrición, la infancia latina está expuesta a mayores riesgos de salud; una de sus epidemias es el sobrepeso y la obesidad debido al consumo de barata no nutritiva comida-chatarra (32% de  los niños hispanos están más obesos que los niños blancos ).
 
A su vez, la sobrevivencia de los programas de ayuda alimentaria, es amenazada por los cortes de presupuesto o por cambios de programas que enmarañan el funcionamiento de la red de seguridad social para la infancia pobre. Como ilustración de la situación, desde que comenzó esta recesión económica, a partir del 2007, se han incorporado  más de 800.000 personas al programa de ayuda WIC (Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children). El 76% de los destinatarios de este programa son niños y adolescentes.
 
Es sabido que la pobreza y la malnutrición impactan profundamente en la educación. Los niños malnutridos tienen dificultad para aprender. La mayoría de los niños afroamericanos o latinos (79%) que concurren a escuelas públicas no están en condiciones de leer o rendir en matemáticas al nivel del grado que están concurriendo.
 
Estados Unidos (junto a  Somalía) son los únicos dos miembros de las Naciones Unidas que no han ratificado la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño. Los derechos básicos de niños como María de los Ángeles y Joaquín no son respetados. Se encuentran entre los grupos de mayor riesgo y vulnerabilidad, comenzando por el riesgo nutricional. Cuando estén en edad de comenzar su educación universitaria o de incorporarse a la fuerza laboral, tienen pocas chances de estar en condiciones físicas y educativas para ello. Cuando su papá emigró de Guatemala con la esperanza de un futuro mejor, sin violencia para sus hijos, no se imaginó que la violencia es como una espiral de múltiples formas: en este caso, la violencia de un Estado y una sociedad que maltratan a su propia prole no garantizándole la satisfacción de sus necesidades básicas.
 
Esta generación de latinos no sólo tiene cercenado el derecho a una vida saludable y digna, sino que tampoco podrá asegurar el bienestar de los ancianos a través de su incorporación productiva al ciclo de la seguridad social. Como cuando el perro muerde su propia cola, Estados Unidos muerde el bienestar de sus propios niños. En unos pocos diez años más, las consecuencias de este sistema que persiste en aumentar el ingreso del 10% más rico, disminuir el ingreso del 90% restante de la población y no respetar derechos básicos de la niñez, se encontrará con un círculo que se cierra:  cuando la actual población blanca esté en edad de jubilarse, la población mayoritaria para ese entonces, más joven y “de color”, no estará en condiciones de seguir haciendo girar la rueda del sistema social porque fueron los niños que otrora no fueron respetados, nutridos ni educados. 
 
Cristina BACCIN : Escribe desde ESTADOS UNIDOS – Periodista – Fue Decana de la Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, UNICEN (Prov. Buenos Aires, Argentina), Profesora e Investigadora en Comunicación Social en Argentina (Univ. Nac.  de La Plata, Universidad Nacional del Centro de Bs. As., entre otras) y España (Univ. Pont. de Salamanca).

 

Conference: After 9/11 — Ten Years of War

August 29th, 2011 by Global Research

MONTREAL, Aug. 29, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ – The Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) cordially invites the media to a commemorative 9/11 Conference. 

The Post 9/11 Era: How did 9/11 Change the World?

What are the broad implications of the tragic events of 9/11? 

The “Global War on Terrorism”, the Middle East, National Security, the Economic Crisis.

SPEAKERS:

Cynthia McKinney, former Member of the US Congress and US Green Party Presidential Candidate.

Wayne Madsen, bestselling author on issues of national security and syndicated columnist.

Michel Chossudovsky, Professor of Economics, Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Author and independent journalist who has spent the last two months in Libya. 

DATE: Thursday, September 8, 2011

TIME: 6.00 pm 

LOCATION: Cinema du Parc, 3575 av. du Parc, Montreal, QC H2X 3P9 

Conference organized by
THE CENTRE FOR RESEARCH GLOBALIZATION (CRG) http://globalresearch.ca/  

Image with caption: “Cynthia McKinney, former Member of the US Congress and US Green Party Presidential Candidate (CNW Group/CENTRE FOR RESEARCH ON GLOBALIZATION (CRG))”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20110829_C7036_PHOTO_EN_2617.jpg

For further information:

Information: Julie Lévesque, 514-656-5293; [email protected]

Cynthia McKinney, former Member of the US Congress and US Green Party Presidential Candidate (CNW Group/CENTRE FOR RESEARCH ON GLOBALIZATION (CRG))

Conquests to date:

Bosnia 1995
Kosovo (Serbia) 1999
Macedonia 2001
Afghanistan 2001
Iraq 2003
Ivory Coast 2011
Libya 2011

The conditions currently obtaining in the above states are an indication of what faces the next targets of NATO intervention.

To come, either as attacks against “hostile regimes” or as counterinsurgency and pacification – “stabilization” and “peacekeeping” – operations (a by no means exhaustive list):

Algeria
Belarus
Bolivia
Central African Republic
Chad
Cuba
Congo (Kinshasa)
Cyprus
Ecuador
Eritrea
Iran
Lebanon
Madagascar
Mali
Moldova-Transdniester
Myanmar
Nicaragua
Niger
Nigeria
North Korea
Pakistan
Palestine
Somalia
South Caucasus (Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia)
Suriname
Sudan
Syria
Uganda
Venezuela
Western Sahara
Yemen

Pictured below are the new millennium’s preeminent representatives of the West’s commitment to democracy, freedom, human rights, transparency and Euro-Atlantic values, brought to power by cluster, thermobaric, bunker buster, “daisy cutter” and graphite bombs and Tomahawk and other cruise, Hellfire and Brimstone missiles.

Marie-Jeanne Roland (1754-1793): O Liberté, que de crimes on commet en ton nom!
Freedom, what crimes are committed in your name!

Kosovo

“Prime Minister” Hashim Thaci and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen


Chinese embassy in Belgrade, 1999

Afghanistan


Hamid Karzai and Rasmussen

Libya


Mahmoud Jibril with Rasmussen

Stop NATO e-mail list home page with archives and search engine:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato/messages

Stop NATO website and articles:
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com

En el año 2011 pudimos observar un cambio notario en la táctica de las grandes potencias occidentales en el despliegue de sus operaciones de conquista, de ocupación, de control de los territorios y de los recursos estratégicos. En primer lugar, estuvimos capaces de darnos cuenta de que las dos principales tácticas en la política extranjera de Estados Unidos (la de la potencia inteligente y la de la mano tendida) fueron aplicadas en el proceso de emancipe de los pueblos árabes de África del Norte y de Medio Oriente, primero en Egipto y en Túnez y luego en Libia, Bahrein, Yemen y Siria. Repetidas veces, la Administración Obama y los países miembros de la UE indicaron la vía que seguir a los diversos protagonistas ofreciendo por la misma su colaboración.

En efecto, los Estados Unidos y la Unión europea introdujeron una nueva parte en su discurso y sus intervenciones, que es la del pueblo oprimido de estos países. Esta nueva variante en la vía del imperialismo enseguida nos pareció engañosa ya que sabemos muy bien que la naturaleza del imperialismo nunca fue combinada con sentimientos y tratamientos humanitarios por la mayoría. Muy al contrario, el apoderamiento de los recursos siempre pasó por el control y la esclavitud de los pueblos. Premian la colaboración para el desarrollo de la potencia de los imperios, mientras que castigan la resistencia severamente o la erradican por completo.

La guerra contra Libia. ¿Un modelo eficaz para controlar la gobernación mundial?

La guerra entablada contra Libia, al apoyarse en una resolución del Consejo de seguridad de la ONU, fue esencialmente definida en un contexto en en cual los miembros de las potencias de la OTAN fueron autorizados a volar encima de Libia bombardeando a voluntad y asegurando la protección de la población civil. Es así que las bombas largadas por esta organización que no da cuentas a nadie, fueron calificadas con burla como “bombas humanitarias”. En los hechos, estas bombas permitieron sostener el avance de las fuerzas rebeldes con dirección Trípoli y así apoyar los crueles combates que en el terreno causaron un número alto de víctimas. Es lógico preguntarnos cómo ese rasgo calificado de humanitario haya podido traducirse en la realidad. En la práctica, la guerra de los todo poderosos sacrifica la vida y el porvenir de la población de un país entero.

Esta táctica o este modelo operacional seguido en adelante para eliminar del poder a cualquier líder infiel parece definirse así:

-Infiltración de mensajes en las redes sociales para llamar al derrocamiento del poder establecido y a la desestabilización de las instituciones nacionales;

-Acusaciones por crímenes de guerra o por crímenes contra la humanidad hechas en contra del Presidente y su régimen que tienen que ser eliminados del poder;

-Constitución de un gobierno provisorio al que se hace legitimo por reconocimiento formal por parte de los gobiernos occidentales;

-Resolución del Consejo de seguridad que autoriza la utilización de las fuerzas armadas contra el régimen establecido con el fin de “salvar” vidas humanas;

-Creación de una zona de exclusión aérea.

-Petición repetida al Presidente o al Primer ministro para que deje enseguida el poder. Estas peticiones van acompañadas de amenazas de sanciones.

-Adopción de sanciones económicas y políticas;

-Reconocimiento de victoria obtenida por combatientes considerados desde ahora por Washingtón como revolucionarios.

Según los analistas advertidos, la razón de ser de esta guerra reside en la necesidad por parte de las fuerzas imperialistas de sofocar la influencia que tiene el líder libio en el conjunto del continente africano a la manera de la que ejerce Hugo Chávez en América Latina. La neutralización de las intervenciones de Sr Gadafi se había vuelto necesaria e incluso imperativa para Italia, Francia, Reino Unido que aun forman parte de las principales potencias que despojan y se comparten las riquezas del continente africano. Según el presidente de Estados Unidos, Sr Barack Obama, “esta operación militar habían permitido frenar el avance del coronel Gadafi y prevenir un masacre que hubiera podido quebrantar la estabilidad de una región entera” (AP, AFP y La Prensa Canadiense, 2011).

En este conflicto, la potencia inteligente de Estados Unidos se afirmó sin duda en su retracto del mando directo de esta operación de guerra que desde ahora está dirigida por otros belicosos, miembros de la OTAN, sobre los cuales Estados Unidos ya ejerce un perfecto control y sobre los cuales podrán contar cuando se tratará de compartirse los recursos del territorio conquistado.

La guerra contra Libia se hizo también en los medias. Los occidentales fueron inundados por dos noticias: por una parte, la diabolización de Muamar Gadafi, y por otra parte, la determinación y el valor de los miembros del Consejo nacional de transición libio (CNT) y de sus combatientes en el terreno. Desde el principio de los bombardeos quisieron glorificar a estos insurrectos que tenían como objetivo derrocar en un tiempo muy breve al régimen establecido y echar al coronel Gadafi del poder e incluso del país. Además, la OTAN y los insurrectos actuaban avalados por la ONU. En un principio, estos elementos fueron suficientes para convencer a una parte importante de la opinión publica de lo bien fundado de esta agresión armada. El reconocimiento formal del Consejo nacional de transición (CNT) libio como nuevo gobierno legítimo que se hizo fuera de la ONU fue otro elemento determinante dentro de este proceso. La declaración del presidente Barack Obama diciendo que “Gadafi tiene que renunciar ‘inmediatamente’” al poder vino a consagrar el final de esta guerra. El gran jefe acababa de hablar…

Conclusión

El orden mundial que dictaron y mantuvieron las fuerzas imperialistas ya no es sencillamente tolerable. Por todos lados, en el mundo, voces salen para gritar: ¡Basta, ya basta! Este orden, se instala sin parar con una táctica que hace poco caso de los derechos humanos y de las libertades fundamentales. Su edificación sigue un proceso de conquista, de dominación y de ocupación sistemática de los continentes, de los océanos y del espacio. Todo se tiene que sacrificar para que se expanda el imperio. La menor resistencia al desarrollo de este proceso es el objeto de intervenciones que se puede traducir bajo diferentes formas: asesinatos de líderes políticos, derrocamientos de regímenes políticos, sanciones económicas, instauración de planes de austeridad, ayuda militar, agresiones armadas, etc.

Las rebeliones a las cuales asistimos en Túnez y en Egipto siguieron el plan de intervención de las grandes potencias. La secretaria de Estados Unidos, Sra Hillary Clinton, pasando como un relámpago por estos dos países, apareció satisfecha del proceso de transición en curso. ¿Podríamos, entonces, hablar de revoluciones abortadas o inacabadas? Nada cambió realmente en estos países. En Egipto, la armada nacional preparada y equipada por Estados Unidos detiene el poder y procura que la “democracia” se instale en las bases del antiguo régimen y según los términos de la diplomacia estadounidense , o sea los de la “potencia inteligente” y de la “mano tendida”. ¿Cómo hubiéramos podido asistir a otro escenario conociendo el grado de avallasamiento de este país frente a las fuerzas imperialistas? Las cosas no podían cambiar en un día. ¿Todavía se puede tener la esperanza de que algún día los tunecinos y los egipcios se libren de las cadenas que siguen atándoles? Haría falta más que un cambio de guardia.

Uno de los capítulos pendientes fue marcado por la impostura más grande que podamos imaginar. El capítulo se teje con mentiras descaradas: Una intervención militar por las fuerzas de varios países occidentales contra Libia. Es una operación avalada por el Consejo de seguridad de la ONU que pretende proteger a la población libia pero que en los hechos provocó con los bombardeos (más de 1200 misiones de ataques aéreos) (V. Mazataud, 2011) la muerte de más de un millar de civiles y la destrucción de las infraestructuras del país que por otro lado nunca pidió la intervención de la OTAN. Uno no se puede imaginar un acto igual de cruel y bárbaro ni tampoco una acción igual de ilegal e injustificada.

Los medias occidentales nos hicieron rabiar más de una vez, pero aquí, en el proceso de preparación de esta intervención armada, su servilismo a las potencias fue ejemplar. Pusieron en epígrafe de manera sistemática, en primera página y en primicias, las mentiras vinculadas a escala mundial y supieron, al igual que lo hicieron con Sadam Hussein, diabolizar en grado máximo al coronel Gadafi y a sus partidarios, glorificando a los “insurrectos” cuyos motivos y origen fueron secretos hasta ahora.

Por suerte, en este contexto horripilante, algunas voces se alzaron para pedir alto el fuego y recurrir a la diplomacia en la resolución de este conflicto armado. ¿Cómo podemos aceptar que un país soberano sea el objeto de un ataque militar cuando nunca agredió a otro país? El derecho internacional fue una vez más pisoteado y el sistema de la ONU se mostró sometido a las ordenes de las grandes potencias, como en Costa de Marfil.¡Vaya tristeza y vaya porvenir común nos reservan!

Los llamamientos repetidos por la instauración de reformas sociales y políticas por las fuerzas imperialistas, en Túnez, en Egipto, en Yemen, y en Siria esconden verdaderas intenciones por parte del Imperio: las de asegurar el control para el acceso fácil y, entre comillas, legal a los recursos estratégicos de estos espacios. El imperialismo impone sus leyes implacables a través de la violencia armada según la doctrina de “guerra permanente” y la de la “intervención militar preventiva”. Creemos que sólo la unión de los pueblos, en un ambiente revolucionario mundial, podrá poner un fin a las matanzas bárbaras de Occidente.

Por fin, el discurso de Sra Hilary Clinton repetido sin parar a propósito de la necesidad por los jefes de estados árabes de proceder a una transición marcada por reformas en la gobernación y en la dispensación de los servicios públicos, claro es que no está inspirado por un sentimiento de compasión y de solidaridad por los pueblos referidos Los Estados Unidos y los miembros de la UE entretienen relaciones de asuntos con todos los países del planeta; rara vez experimentaron simpatía por los o las que no obedecen a las doctrinas de la ‘democracia’ a la manera occidental.
 

Texto original en francés : http://www.mondialisation.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=26163

Traducido del francés  para Mondialisation.ca por Stéphanie Dehorter

Referencias

AFP. 2011. Des disparus par centaines en Égypte. Le Soleil, le 16 février 2011, p. 22.

AFP. 2011. Vote sur la Libye à l’ONU. Le Soleil, le 17 mars 2011, p. 23.

AFP. 2011. Bavure de l’OTAN à Brega. Le conflit en Libye risque de s’enliser. Le Devoir, le 8 avril 2011, p. B9.

Associated Press. 2011. Les alliés de Kadhafi condamnent les frappes. Le Soleil, le 17 mars 2011, p. 3.

Associated Press et AFP. 2011. La Libye attaquée par air et par mer. Le Soleil, le 20 mars 2011, pp. 2-3.  

Associated Press et AFP. 2011. L’OTAN prendra les commandes. La coalition accentue la pression sur Kadhafi. Le Devoir, le 25 mars 2011, p. 1 et 10.

Associated Press, AFP et La Presse Canadienne. 2011. Intervention militaire en Libye. Obama défend l’opération. Le Soleil, 29 mars 2011, p. 20.

DINUCCI, Manlio. 2011. La doctrine d’Obama de la guerre. Montréal, Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation (CRM), le 30 mars 2011. En ligne: 

http://www.mondialisation.ca/index.php?context=vaHYPERLINK “http://www.mondialisation.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24054″&HYPERLINK “http://www.mondialisation.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24054″aid=24054  

DINUCCI, Manlio. 2011. La nouvelle conquête coloniale de la Libye. Montréal, Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation (CRM), le 10 juin 2011. En ligne:
http://www.mondialisation.ca/index.php?context=vaHYPERLINK
http://www.mondialisation.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25209″&HYPERLINK
http://www.mondialisation.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25209″aid=25209 

GUILLEMETTE, M. 2011. Kadhafi viole le cessez-le-feu. La résolution de l’ONU n’est pas négociable, dit Barack Obama. Le Devoir, les 19 et 20 mars 2011, p. 1.

LEMONDE.FR. 2011. La guerre en Libye: chronologie des événements. Lemonde.fr. Le 19 août 2011. En ligne: http://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2011/08/17/la-guerre-en-libye-chronologie-des-evenements_1559992_3212.html  

LE PARISIEN.FR. 2011. EN DIRECT: Obama: Kadhafi doit renoncer ‘expressément’ au pouvoir. le Parisien.fr. Le 22 août 2011. En ligne: http://www.leparisien.fr/intervention-libye/en-direct-obama-kadhafi-doit-renoncer-expressement-au-pouvoir-22-08-2011-1574490.php   

Libye: “un millier de civils tués par l’Otan”. Le Figaro.fr, le 13 juillet 2011.
En ligne: http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2011/07/13/97001-20110713FILWWW00577-libye-un-millier-de-civils-tues-par-l-otan.php  

MAZATAUD, Valérian. 2011. Libye. La bataille de Tripoli fait toujours rage. Le Devoir, le 23 août 2011, p. A1.

REUTERS. 2011. Remous dans les rues du Yémen. L’opposition a accepté d’entamer des pourparlers avec le président Saleh. Le Devoir, le 14 février 2011, p. B1.

RIOUX, C., 2011. Kadhafi prévoit une guerre longue, tandis que des divergences commencent à poindre chez les alliés. Le Devoir, le 21 mars 2011, p. 1.

TALBI, K. 2011. Kadhafi plie, l’ONU doute. Le Soleil, le 19 mars 2011, p. 41.

Jules Dufour, Ph.D., es presidente de la Asociación canadiense por las Naciones Unidas (ACNU)/Sección Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, profesor emérito de la Universidad de Quebec en Chicoutimi, miembro del círculo universal de los Embajadores de la Paz, miembro caballero de la Orden nacional de Quebec. Es asociado de investigación en el CRM (Centro de investigación sobre Mundialización).

LIBYA: R2P has now become “Right 2 Plunder”

August 29th, 2011 by Pepe Escobar

The white man’s burden doesn’t allow asking Africans what they think about the current Western/monarchical Arab onslaught on the northern shores of their continent. At least some are not beating around the bush.

Over 200 African leaders and intellectuals released a letter in Johannesburg, South Africa, stressing the “misuse of the United Nations Security Council to engage in militarized diplomacy to effect regime change in Libya”, as well as the “marginalization of the African Union”.
As for the Western “winners” in Libya, they are not even playing smoke and mirrors anymore. Richard Haass, president of that Gotha of the US establishment that is the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote a Financial Times op-ed blatantly stating, “The ‘humanitarian’ intervention introduced to save lives believed to be threatened was in fact a political intervention introduced to bring about regime change.”
As for those lowly bit part local actors – Libyans from Cyrenaica – Haass already dispatched them to the dustbin of history: “Libyans will not be able to manage the situation about to emerge on their own”, and with “two million barrels of oil a day” at stake, the only solution is an “international force”. Translation: occupation army – as in Afghanistan and Iraq. Welcome to neo-colonialism 2.0.
 
Payback time
So the US establishment is now as brazen as the wealthy right-wing nut jobs of the Donald “that thing on his head” Trump variety. Trump told Fox News, “We are NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization]. We back NATO in terms of money and weapons. What do we get out of it? Why won’t we take the oil?”
In geopolitical Groundhog Day mode, it’s indeed Afghanistan and Iraq all over again – an orgy of looting, statue-smashing, eye-catching TV reality show segments, even street banners cheerleading NATO (imagine Americans thanking the Chinese for “liberating” New York by bombing).
Not to mention prime corporate media idiocy. CNN has moved Tripoli east – to the eastern Mediterranean, somewhere near Lebanon. The BBC showed a Tripoli Green Square “rebel” celebration set in … India, with Indian flags. Hail the total integration of NATO and Western/GCC media; GCC is the Gulf Cooperation Council, the six wealthy fundamentalist satrapies also known as the Gulf Counter-revolution Club.
Considering that the GCC virtually orders the Arab League what to do, no wonder the league has recognized the dodgy, “rebel” Transitional National Council (TNC) as the country’s legitimate government, even though it only represents Cyrenaica and even though The Big G Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is already at large, with a bounty of US$1.6 million on his head. Let’s assume this is payback for Gaddafi calling Saudi King Abdullah “stupid” in the run-up towards the war on Iraq.
It’s also as if Libya now is only an Arab emirate-to-be, and has nothing to do with Africa anymore. The GCC financed and armed the “rebels”. The African Union was almost universally against the NATO/GCC war. Ergo, as far as NATO/GCC are concerned, screw Africa; the only thing that will really matter – strategically – is an Africom/NATO military/naval base in Libya.
 
Now for another Green Zone
It’s now common knowledge that British SAS, French intelligence, US Central Intelligence Agency assets, Qatar special forces and mercenaries of all stripes were parachuted as boots on the ground for months, planning and training the “rebels” and in close coordination with that philanthropic prodigy, NATO.
That was never the UN mandate – but who cares? NATO/GCC paid the bills, NATO conducted the bombing and NATO/GCC will “stabilize” the mess, according to a 70-page plan leaked by the British to Rupert Murdoch’s Times of London.
Only fools would believe the predictable spin that the plan was drawn by the Transitional National Council (TNC) with “Western help”. NATO wouldn’t be so brazen – at least initially – to go for Caucasians on the ground, so the proposal of a 10,000-15,000 strong “Tripoli task force”, resourced by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to take over, may be implemented sooner rather than later. The juicy question is – will they be Blackwater-trained foreign mercenaries (Jordanians, South Africans, Colombians) or Libyan tribals on a UAE payroll?
And what next: a Green Zone remix near Green Square?
This is almost as delicious as the TNC’s ambassador to the UAE, Aref Ali Nayed, painfully regretting the plan’s leak while Benghazi confirmed this is the real thing.
It’s now also common knowledge that the juicy reconstruction of everything NATO bombed will profit – who else – the “winners”; NATO/GCC nations (see Disaster Capitalism swoops over Libya Asia Times Online, August 25). TNC leader Mustafa Abdel Jail has confirmed it once again in Benghazi.
Expect local – and global – fireworks as far as grabbing the loot is concerned. Without even considering the (still unexplored) oil and gas wealth, Libya’s foreign assets are worth at least $150 billion. Libya’s central bank, now about to be privatized, has no less than 143.8 tons of gold. Then there’s at least a millennium supply of fresh water, which had started to be harnessed by Gaddafi via the spectacular, multibillion dollar Great Man-Made River (GMR) project.
This is yet another solid answer to the question of why France has been so frantic to topple Gaddafi; French water companies are the world’s largest, and the lure of privatizing a 1,000-year supply of fresh water is turning their executives, well, bubbly.
So as a vast, potentially very profitable new market for European companies, right at the other side of the Mediterranean, Libya is the genuine article, adding a whole new meaning to the humanitarian imperialist doctrine of R2P (“responsibility to protect”); an Asia Times Online reader has christened it “Right 2 Plunder”.
Italian Premier Silvio “bunga bunga” Berlusconi has been swift, meeting in Milan with TNC’s Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, right in front of the new Libyan flag (which is in fact the old monarchical flag) alongside the Italian and European Union flags.
And to think that only a year ago the dashing Silvio was throwing a lavish party for his buddy – whose hand he was fond of kissing – Big G, complete with 30 Bedouin riders from the storm parading imported Libyan thoroughbreds.
In 2008, Silvio and Big G signed a treaty to bury the bitter 1911-1942 colonial era, according to which Italy would spend $5 billion over 25 years investing in infrastructure such as highways and railways; thanks to the treaty at least 180 Italian companies subsequently got fabulous Libyan contracts and Italy became Libya’s top trading partner.
So inevitably, TNC’s leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil had to assure Silvio that new Libya will have “special relationships” with all NATO/GCC war “winners”; and he did single out Italy.
Next week will be the turn of Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the UAE’s foreign minister, to visit Benghazi to gobble up a piece of the juicy reconstruction cake; the UAE is crammed with starving developers ready to roll after real estate prices went on free fall in the Emirates.
 
And now for the road map
Meanwhile, what if the Big G has got the gold? The former governor of Libya’s central bank maintains that in Tripoli there is, physically, no less than $10 billion worth in gold reserves.
So while British SAS soldiers in Arab civilian garb and brandishing the same Kalashnikovs as the “rebels” are scrambling for Gaddafi “dead or alive”, Texas George W Bush-style, The Big G may be literally buying his tribal allegiance in gold. Not to mention that he does count on support from the Qaddafi tribe (cunning night hunters), the al-Magarha tribe (first-class snipers) and most of all Gaddafi’s wife’s tribe, the Warfallah (the largest in the country, with up to 2 million people).
As much as the TNC has been relentlessly spinning that post-Gaddafi Libya will be pluralist and multicultural, signs point to Quagmire City.
Arabs in the north absolutely despise Berbers in the south – and vice-versa. The people in Tripolitania absolutely despise Salafis in Cyrenaica – and vice-versa.
With so much loot at stake, it’s easy to visualize a road map going something like this.

A weak TNC puppet government; shock doctrine neo-liberal troops alienating many who were used to free education, free health services and free housing; a guerrilla force against foreign occupation; Salafi-jihadis from other Arab latitudes joining the fray; desert towns developing as guerrilla bases; pipelines from the southeastern desert being bombed; a replica of Baghdad from 2004 to 2007; a surge; a non-stop civil/tribal war scenario; and Afghanistan 2.0 with a twin guerrilla front – the Gaddafi group against the rebels/NATO, and the Salafis against NATO, because the West will never allow Libya to become an Islamic state.
Gaddafi is actually gambling that the joint NATO/GCC ops will turn Libya into the new Iraq/Afghanistan. Arguably NATO itself may love the idea. It will force it to be even more entrenched in northern Africa. It will allow the use of the same old imperial divide-and-rule tactics while Western companies exercise their Right 2 Plunder options.
It will keep Americans and Europeans worried with yet another subplot of the “war on terror” even as recession eats away what’s left of their savings. And it will keep the industrial-military complex and assorted weapons/security contractors with smiles on their faces. Iraq/Afghanistan all over again? Bring it on.
 
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). He may be reached at [email protected].  

African Union Refuses to Recognize Libya’s Rebels

August 29th, 2011 by Peter Heinlein

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma (L) talks with Ramtane Lamamra, the African Union (AU) Commissioner for Peace and Security, during an emergency summit of the AU Peace and Security Council in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, August 26, 2011
Photo: Reuters
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma (L) talks with Ramtane Lamamra, the African Union (AU)
Commissioner for Peace and Security, during an emergency summit of the AU Peace and Security Council in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, August 26, 2011

The African Union [AU] has rejected calls for recognition of Libya’s rebel Transitional National Council. The decision highlights Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s lingering influence at the continental organization he headed as recently as two years ago.

United Nations Deputy Secretary General Asha Rose Migiro opened an African Union Peace and Security summit Friday by urging the continental body to recognize Libya’s new political reality.

“We must help the country’s new leaders to establish an effective, legitimate government – a government that represents and speaks for all the country’s diverse people; a government that can deliver on its people’s hopes,” said Migiro.

Rebel leaders face pushback

But in a setback for Libya’s rebel leaders, the 15-member Peace and Security Council rejected Migiro’s plea. A communiqué read by AU Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra called instead for a transitional government that would include Gadhafi loyalists.

“[It] encourages the Libyan stakeholders to accelerate the process leading to formation of an all-inclusive transitional government,” said Lamamra.

The continental body’s refusal to accept what many consider the reality in Libya was met with consternation in many western capitals. The U.S. ambassador to the African Union, Michael Battle, noted that 20 of the 54 AU member states have joined the broader international community in recognizing the rebel TNC.

“They’re at the very brink of sealing the deal in terms of a complete military victory, and with that comes the ushering in of a new government, a new day and a new order,” said Battle. “And that’s what the international community was expecting to see, as the Arab league and so many international bodies have already recognized the reality of the TNC.”

Zuma asserts alternate scenario

South African President Jacob Zuma, who presided over the security summit, rejected suggestions that TNC victory is certain. He told reporters many African leaders see another reality.

“The reality on the ground is that there is fighting going on in Tripoli. Is that not a reality? People are still dying [in] very heavy fighting. That is the situation as we understand it, which is a reality in Libya,” said Zuma. “And we are taking our position informed by that reality. We are looking at the reality from our point of view.”

Libya’s AU ambassador, Ali Abdallah Awidan, downplayed the significance of the Peace and Security Council’s inaction. Awidan, who this week switched his allegiance to the TNC, called the decision a temporary setback.

“Very soon all Libya will be under control of the TNC, and TNC will be representing the whole Libya, and this is not a problem. It’s only for the time being,” said Awidan.

Gadhafi’s continuing clout

AU diplomats say the refusal to recognize Libya’s rebels reflects the respect and influence Gadhafi still commands within the continental organization. For years he used his vast oil wealth to support many African causes and liberation movements, including the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa.

He also has been a driving force within the organization during his 42-year rule, and held the AU chairmanship in 2009.

Until this year, Libya has been one of the AU’s chief financial backers, paying dues that amounted to nearly 15 percent of all member state contributions. In addition, Gadhafi paid the dues of several poorer countries, estimated by observers to total $40 million a year in all.

 

 

Find this article at:
http://www.voanews.com/english/news/AU-Officials-Consider-Role-of-Libyas-Opposition-TNC-128462983.html

NATO Commanders Prepared Capture Of Tripoli: British Daily

August 29th, 2011 by Global Research

Capture of Tripoli prepared by NATO – Daily Telegraph

NATO commanders prepared the capture of Tripoli code-named Operation Mermaid Dawn for three months, the Daily Telegraph reports.

According to the newspaper, the personnel of the British MI6 service and special operations troops, and also officers from France, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates trained the Libyan opposition troops in Benghazi. Hundreds of guns and pieces of ammunition were smuggled into Tripoli and hidden.

Apart from that, the commander of the troops defending the city turned to the opposition’s side. He is said to have harboured resentment towards Gaddafi for 20 years, so he came to an agreement with the rebels and surrendered the city to them at the right moment, the newspaper points out.

ATLANTA, Aug 28, 2011 (IPS) – The first-ever audit of the U.S. Federal Reserve has revealed 16 trillion dollars in secret bank bailouts and has raised more questions about the quasi-private agency’s opaque operations.

“This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else,” U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont, said in a statement.

The majority of loans were issues by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY).

“From late 2007 through mid-2010, Reserve Banks provided more than a trillion dollars… in emergency loans to the financial sector to address strains in credit markets and to avert failures of individual institutions believed to be a threat to the stability of the financial system,” the audit report states.

“The scale and nature of this assistance amounted to an unprecedented expansion of the Federal Reserve System’s traditional role as lender-of-last-resort to depository institutions,” according to the report.

The report notes that all the short-term, emergency loans were repaid, or are expected to be repaid.

The emergency loans included eight broad-based programmes, and also provided assistance for certain individual financial institutions. The Fed provided loans to JP Morgan Chase bank to acquire Bear Stears, a failed investment firm; provided loans to keep American International Group (AIG), a multinational insurance corporation, afloat; extended lending commitments to Bank of America and Citigroup; and purchased risky mortgage-backed securities to get them off private banks’ books.

Overall, the greatest borrowing was done by a small number of institutions. Over the three years, Citigroup borrowed a total of 2.5 trillion dollars, Morgan Stanley borrowed two trillion; Merryll Lynch, which was acquired by Bank of America, borrowed 1.9 trillion; and Bank of America borrowed 1.3 trillion.

Banks based in counties other than the U.S. also received money from the Fed, including Barclays of the United Kingdom, the Royal Bank of Scotland Group (UK), Deutsche Bank (Germany), UBS (Switzerland), Credit Suisse Group (Switzerland), Bank of Scotland (UK), BNP Paribas (France), Dexia (Belgium), Dresdner Bank (Germany), and Societe General (France).

“No agency of the United States government should be allowed to bailout a foreign bank or corporation without the direct approval of Congress and the President,” Sanders wrote.

In recent days, ‘Bloomberg News’ obtained 29,346 pages of documentation from the Federal Reserve about some of these secret loans, after months of fighting in court for access to the records under the Freedom of Information Act.

Some of the financial institutions secretly receiving loans were meanwhile claiming in their public reports to have ample cash reserves, Bloomberg noted.

The Federal Reserve has neither explained how they legally justified several of the emergency loans, nor how they decided to provide assistance to certain firms but not others.

“The main problem is the lack of Congressional oversight, and the way the Fed seemed to pick winners who would be protected at any cost,” Randall Wray, professor of economics at University of Missouri-Kansas City, told IPS.

“If such lending is not illegal, it should be. Our nation really did go through a liquidity crisis – a run on the short-term liabilities of financial institutions. There is only one way to stop a run: lend reserves without limit to all qualifying institutions. The Fed bumbled around before it finally sort of did that,” Wray said.

“But then it turned to phase two, which was to try to resolve problems of insolvency by increasing Uncle Sam’s stake in the banksters’ fiasco. That never should have been done. You close down fraudsters, period. The Fed and FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Commission) should have gone into the biggest banks immediately, replaced all top management, and should have started to resolve them,” Wray said.

Renewed questions about the Federal Reserve have inspired some young activists to organise grassroots protests across the U.S.

“Since its creation by the U.S. Government in 1913, the Federal Reserve has created so much new money out of thin air that it has destroyed 95 percent of the dollar’s value,” Joseph Brown, a college student and one of the organisers of a recent protest of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, said.

“This hidden inflation tax benefits Wall Street and the government, but hurts the poor and those living on fixed incomes, such as senior citizens, the most,” Brown said.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit itself was the result of at least two years of grassroots lobbying. IPS reported in June 2009 a wide bi-partisan coalition of Members of Congress had co-sponsored legislation to audit the Federal Reserve.

The audit was ordered as an amendment by Sanders as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act – a major banking overhaul passed by President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress in 2010.

“I think this (the first ever GAO audit) was a good start to uncovering what the Fed did so that we can begin to determine whether similar actions should ever be permitted again,” Wray wrote, adding, “my preliminary answer is a resounding no.”

The GAO also found existing Federal Reserve policies do not prevent significant conflicts of interest. For example, “the FRBNY’s existing restrictions on its employees’ financial interests did not specifically prohibit investments in certain non-bank institutions that received emergency assistance,” the report stated.

The GAO report noted on Sep. 19, 2008, William Dudley, who is now the President of the FRBNY, was granted a waiver to let him keep investments in AIG and General Electric, while at the same time the Federal Reserve granted bailout funds to the same two companies.

“No one who works for a firm receiving direct financial assistance from the Fed should be allowed to sit on the Fed’s board of directors or be employed by the Fed,” Sanders said.

The GAO is currently working on a more detailed report regarding Federal Reserve conflicts of interest, which is due on Oct. 18, 2011. 

Journalists are not supposed to have political opinions, and yet we all do. Our “biases” are usually disguised, not blatant or overtly partisan, and can be divined in what stories we cover and how we cover them,

Even ‘just the fact’s maam,’ journos for big Media have to decide which facts to include and which to ignore.

Our outlooks are always shaped by our worldviews, values and experience, not too mention the outlets we work for.

Which brings me to the challenge of seeking truth and recognizing it when you see it.

I have to admit that I was seduced by the idea of Barack Obama.

The idea of a black President, the idea of a young President, the idea of an articulate President, and the idea of a man married to such a stand up women from a working class family was hard to resist.

Here’s a guy who seemed really smart, not just because he went to Harvard but because professors there I liked were impressed with him. (I taught at Harvard, and know very well how not so smart many students there can be!)

In the end, it doesn’t mean much, but in that period he lived about a block away from the House I once shared on Dartmouth Street in Somerville.

Was that a degree of separation?

He had also been a community organizer, starting in politics at the grass roots in Chicago. I also worked at Saul Alinsky-style organizing and even knew the iconic organizer personally.

Was that another degree?

He’s invoked the spirit of the civil rights movement but was not part of it. He treated Dr. King as a monument before the new memorial was conceived, embracing him as a symbol of the past, not a guide to the future.

He took an anti-war stance on pragmatic grounds only, preferring Afghanistan to Iraq. He hasn’t extricated us from either battlefield.

His strategy borrowed heavily from the Bush Doctrine. What’s the difference, really, as US troops now intervene worldwide and Guantanamo remains open for business?

There was a lot I didn’t know. I didn’t know the backgrounds of those that groomed him and funded him. His relationship with the centrist DLC was murky as were the details on the services he performed for a shadowy firm, Business International, said to have CIA links.

There were those who warned, but I guess, I didn’t want to listen.

Why? I didn’t want to reinforce my own skepticism and sense of despair. I feigned at being hopeful even as I took quite a few critical whacks at his positions in my blog. His deviations from a liberal agenda and his paens to the “free market” were conmsidered necessary for his “electability.”

I was also influenced by the euphoria for him overseas that had become infectious but has since soured.

To be honest, I was so disgusted with eight years of George Bush for all the right reasons that I wanted him gone full stop, as did millions of Americans.

Hillary didn’t appeal to me, not because she’s a woman but because of her slavish affinity for the Israel lobby and middle of the road Democrats. (Yes, Obama, did his mea-culpa to AIPAC too!)

I was denounced as a super sexist by a few for not buying into her centrist Clintonista crusade.

She had gone from a student advocate to part of a ruling family; he went from bottom-up activism to top-down elitism.

When she joined his “team,” you knew they were always in the same league.

When the right bashed him for associating with radical Bill Ayers, who I knew, it made me suspect he might even be cooler than I thought, even as he raced to distance himself. His membership in Reverend Wright’s church hinted at a deeper consciousness until he buckled in the media heat and threw the man that married him under the bus.

And yet, I wanted to believe because I needed to believe, needed to believe it was possible to change the American behemoth, to believe that, as he kept saying, “it could be different this time.”

As the late writer David Foster Wallace put it, “In the day-to-day trenches of adult life…there is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship… else (what) you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things – if they are where you tap real meaning in life – then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough.”

So, in a sense, I became a worshipper like so many, not of the man or the dance he was doing in an infected political environment, but because I convinced myself that I worshipped possibility, that there are times when the unexpected, even the unbelievable occurs. I had seen Mandela go from prison to the presidency of South Africa.

After all, how does a progressive blast a candidate who has Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger singing the uncensored version of “This Land Is Your Land” at his inaugural?”

Yet, there was always a nagging question: was he with us or just co-opting us?

Yes We Can?

Slowly, despite the glow and the aura, deeper truths surfaced, realities I had winked away. Its not surprising that his mantra has gone, as the Washington Post reports, from the “fierce urgency of now,” to “ Be patient, democracy is big and tough and messy.”

Yes, I knew, I may have been rationalizing a false god, who was only another, if more attractive, politician who says one thing and does another in a political system where power, not personalities prevail.

Like many of his predecessors he would be “captured” by the power structures, by the military men and contractors at the Pentagon and the money men on Wall Street.

He was in office but never really in charge. Clearly, he didn’t have the votes to enact a real change agenda. But that was because his own party was long ago bought and paid for.

He never had a chance, even if as I wanted to believe, he wanted one. He said he wanted to be transformational figure but the system transformed him—and quickly.

Everyone runs “against Washington,” even a Senator, who was part of it.

And so I held my nose and voted, hoping against my wiser instincts. I even made a positive film about the campaign that showed how he used social media and texting to mobilize new voters. When I tried to get a copy to the White House, through an insider there, I found they couldn’t be less interested.

By then, he had gone from playing the “outside game” to opting into the “inside game” built around compromise in the name of “pragmatism, or ‘getting it done,” in his words. In the end he was a rookie who may have outsmarted himself or just served the interests who put him there.

He couldn’t dump his most passionate and issue-oriented followers fast enough.

While his backers were still hot to trot, he became cooler toward them, and, in effect, repudiated them with few progressive appointments. He put on his flag pin and relished the symbolism of the “office.” He became the master of the uplifting speech disguising a quite different policy agenda.

He spoke for the people but served the power. His wanted the other side to love him too, even as his stabs at “bi-partisanship” proved non-starters.

When you lie down with those “lambs,” (or is it snakes?) you betray not only supporters, but their hopes. FDR was soon spinning in his grave.

I am not surprised that knowledgeable critics of his economic policies not only consider him bull-headed and wrong, but, actually corrupt, aligned and complicit, with the banksters who are still ripping us off. No wonder he’s ”bundled” more donations from the greedsters and financiers this year than in 2008! No wonder, he turned his back on consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren and is trying to kill prosecutions of bank fraud in high places.

Christopher Whalen who writes for Reuters say there will be a cost for his doing nothing, “The path of least resistance politically has been to temporize and talk. But by following the advice of Rubin and Summers, and avoiding tough decisions about banks and solvency, President Obama has only made the crisis more serious and steadily eroded public confidence. In political terms, Obama is morphing into Herbert Hoover.”

Yet, at the same time, many of us who now know how we have been used, will vote for him again, because, as he rightly calculates, there is no one else, and the alternative is even worse. Watch and weep as today’s rebels become next year’s rationalizers.

It reminds me of when activists were asked to vote for Lyndon Johnson in 1964 with the slogan “Part of the Way with LBJ.” That way ended with an endless escalation of war in Vietnam, and guns trumping butter. Sound familiar?

The search for truth and reality has hit a wall but has to continue. The lessons need to be learned. We have to say we were wrong, when we were, not in our beliefs, but in pinning our hopes on a shrewd, ambitious, and double-faced political performance artist.

While people who still back him dismiss the accusation that’s he’s a hidden socialist, Kenyan, or space alien, all too many suspect he may be a secret Republican. He is who he is, aloof, cautious, and a man in the middle. He’s staying there.

Let’s give David Foster the last word.

“The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom. The alternative is unconscioussness,…

… It is about simple awareness – awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, that we have to keep reminding ourselves, over and over…”

Filmmaker and News Dissector Danny Schechter edits the Newsdissector.com blog. He directed “Barack Obama: People’s President”(2009) for a South African media company.

US funds groups to peddle Islamophobia

August 29th, 2011 by Global Research


The Islamic Center of America, Michigan, US

Shocking new report reveals that seven foundations and wealthy donors have been behind the 10-year campaign to spread Islamophobia in the US.

The 130 page report by the Center for American Progress (CAP) released on Friday, identified foundations that have provided more than USD 42 million to key individuals and organizations that have spearheaded the nationwide effort between 2001 and 2009.

“Sometimes the money flowing from these foundations and their donors is clearly designed to promote Islamophobia, but more often the support provided is for general purpose use, which is the think tanks and grassroots organizations then put to use on their primary purpose — spreading their messages of hate and fear as far and wide as they can,” the report says.

Among the funders are organizations that have long been associated with the extreme right in the US, as well as several Jewish family foundations that have supported settler groups in Israel.

Donors Capital Fund, Richard Melton Scaife foundations, Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Newton D. & Rochelle F. Becker foundations and charitable trust, Russell Berrie Foundation, Anchorage Charitable Fund and William Rosenwald Family Fund, Fairbrook Foundation, are among the organizations funding anti Islam experts who promote Islamophobia.

These experts are – among others – Frank Gaffney at the Center for Security Policy, David Yerushalmi at the Society of Americans for National Existence, Daniel Pipes at Middle East Forum, Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch and Stop Islamization of America, Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, These people spread the information through conservative organizations, politicians and news channels like Fox, the report says.

The Donor Capital Fund was the single biggest contributor paying USD 18 million, to the Clarion Fund during the 2008 election which distributed 30 million anti-Muslim DVDs through local newspapers.

America’s Great Health Care Takeaway

August 29th, 2011 by Shamus Cooke

The health care crisis in the United States is getting worse with no visible end. The popular anger over unattainable or unaffordable health care has been diverted away from corporations by crafty politicians, always seeking to exploit a social disaster for their benefactors. Instead of making health care more affordable for the average person, politicians have successfully switched the messaging. Now, the purpose behind “reform” is to make health care less costly for governments and employers, at the expense of patients and workers.   

This was the essence behind Obama’s health care reform. And although Republicans exploited the “individual mandate” in Obamacare to gain populist credentials, they wholeheartedly agree with the deeper philosophy of the plan, which aspires to control health care costs — for corporations and governments — by providing less health care services to those who need it.   This agreement to “ration” health care aligns the two parties over the coming cuts to Medicare in Obama’s bi-partisan “Super Congress,” while also binding the two parties’ approach to health care on a state and business level.  

Most workers now understand that there is a difference between apparently having health care and actually having health care: if you are technically “insured” but cannot afford doctor visits due to high deductibles and co-pays, you really aren’t insured. 

This fact, applied to Medicare, has startling consequences. The New England Journal of Medicine found that, “For every 100 people enrolled in plans that raised co-pays, there were 20 fewer doctor visits, 2 additional hospital admissions and 13 more days spent in the hospital…”  

When co-pays and deductibles are raised, people simply stop going to the doctor and use the emergency room as needed.  

This dynamic pleased politicians because less Medicare money was being spent on doctors’ visits, but they were upset that hospital stays were more frequent. The answer? Stop paying Medicare payments to hospitals if they re-admit a patient after 30 days, a policy sure to “reduce costs.” And it worked! This aspect of Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act gives hospitals financial incentives not to admit patients and, according to Bloomberg, is a major reason that Medicare costs have dropped significantly in the past year:

“Historically, nearly 20 percent of Medicare patients have been readmitted to a hospital within 30 days of being discharged… The Affordable Care Act included, among other remedies, a modest penalty for hospitals with high readmission rates.” (August 24th, 2011).  

The problem here is that re-admissions are usually medically necessary. According to a study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, only one out of ten hospital re-admissions were preventable. Hospitals are thus encouraged to deny hospital stays to those who need it, something they’ve already started. According to Case Management Monthly, hospital social workers have noticed this disturbing trend accelerate: ”Several case managers have recently received readmission denial letters…they are surprised because the readmissions in question were actually appropriate and medically necessary.” (October 1st, 2010).   

Cost saving ideas like these are at the heart of Obama’s health care plan — which included massive cuts to Medicare — and further cuts to Medicare can be expected in his Super Congress. Even if the bi-partisan Super Congress is unable to agree to make massive cuts to social programs, cuts to Medicare will be automatically “triggered.” Obama tells us not to worry because the triggered Medicare cuts will affect only providers — hospitals and doctors — not patients, as if the two could be so easily separated. The above example of denied hospital re-admissions is also a case where providers were targeted for cuts but patients were the most affected.  

Another way that politicians are saving health care money is by slashing Medicaid, the shared federal-state health care program that serves low-income populations. The states’ budget crises are quickly debilitating this already under-funded program, reducing availability and quality of health care for those low income people who qualify for the program. USA Today reports:  

“With a shortage of doctors…[ Medicaid] patients have little choice but to use hospital emergency rooms for more routine care.” (July 5th, 2011). 

Higher income workers across the country are also seeing their health care rapidly deteriorate. The shoddy health insurance that includes high deductibles and co-pays are standard to most non-union workers who’ve suffered under this pseudo insurance for years. But even these plans are being shelved.  Two studies recently show that employers plan to quit offering health care plans altogether: a survey by Towers Watson showed that one out of ten companies plan to eliminate health care coverage by 2014; while a different study by the McKinsey Company showed that, by 2014, 30 percent of companies will drop their health coverage for workers.  

Much of this is due again to, Obama’s Affordable Health Care act: companies were encouraged and given an excuse to drop their health care coverage because everyone would be mandated to buy their own shoddy coverage. Politicians recognized that high health care costs were hurting corporate profits, and they were determined to do something about it.  

For those companies with a unionized workforce, Obama’s health care plan took special aim, taxing companies extra that offered so-called Cadillac insurance — coverage that was actually quality health insurance. But no more. This Cadillac tax doesn’t kick in till 2018, but employers are working now to make their health care plans skinny enough to avoid the tax; unions everywhere are being forced to make major concessions in the realm of health care, paying higher monthly premiums, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket costs.  

Another trend in the attack on health care for employees involves the implementation of Health Engagement Models (sometimes called Health Promotion Model). This super-invasive insurance plan forces all workers to undergo a health “assessment,” and based on the results (weight, blood pressure, etc.) and health habits, workers will be forced to follow recommendations of a health “coach.” Not following the coach’s orders will result in monthly fines, as will refusing assessments or continuing to smoke or other bad habits. Plans like this are becoming popular among corporate leaders since they openly discriminate against workers who are overweight, or are older, or who smoke, and thus drive down the cost of health care of the employer. This form of plan combined with the above higher costs are quickly turning the once-quality health insurance of union workers into its opposite.  

The above trends in health care are not likely to be reversed anytime soon. Some union leaders are arguing for these concessions using outworn logic, assuming that the economic crisis will soon be over, enabling unions to again demand better wages and benefits. No respected mainstream economist believes this. The current recession is expected to be longer and deeper than any since the Great Depression. Labor unions need to adjust their expectations to the facts and revise their tactics based on the changing economic landscape.  

This also applies to working people in general, who cannot simply wait for jobs to be created or wages and benefits to regain their past value. Health care is a key component to a worker’s standard of living, and it is now unreasonable to expect any progressive health care reform from the Democrats or Republicans. The above policies have not improved health care, though they have decreased the cost of health care for corporations and governments, since patients are paying more for fewer services. The above policies have also not increased the number of workers with health insurance. In fact, the number of people without health care continues to grow every year, the most recent figure stands at over 52 million!  Obama’s plan to force people to buy crappy insurance they couldn’t afford to actually use — if the law survives the Supreme Court — will do nothing of substance to help. 

The above health care policies are the natural result of a health care system based on the principles of private profit.  Corporate profits demand that companies provide the least amount of health care services at a minimal cost. From this vantage point, health care is a commodity that is bought by those who can afford it, instead of it being the human right of every person, as the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights asserts. Europe has already proved that a nationwide, single payer system is vastly superior when it comes to quality, cost, availability, and results.  

The single payer system did not come into existence from the benevolence of kind governments, but from the demands of people in the street. Organized workers must fight to maintain their benefits; unorganized workers must organize to fight for better insurance; and older workers/retirees must fight to maintain and expand Medicare. The logical end to such struggles would be to demand a Medicare For All system, financed by taxing the wealthy and corporations.   

Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist and writer for Workers Action (www.workerscompass.org

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2010-01-29-medicare-copays_N.htm

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-24/medicare-spending-slows-as-hospitals-improve-care-peter-orszag.html

http://www.hcpro.com/CAS-258829-2278/News-One-in-ten-hospital-admissions-is-preventable.html

http://www.hcpro.com/CAS-255722-2311/Dispute-inappropriately-denied-readmissions.html

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2011-07-05-SC-cuts-medicaid_n.htm

http://www.towerswatson.com/research/1935

http://www.mckinsey.com/us_employer_healthcare_survey.aspx

WASHINGTON, Aug 26, 2011 (IPS) – A small group of inter-connected foundations, think tanks, pundits, and bloggers is behind the 10-year-old campaign to promote fear of Islam and Muslims in the U.S., according to a major investigative report released here Friday by the Center for American Progress (CAP).

The 130-page report, ‘Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America’, identifies seven foundations that have quietly provided a total of more than 42 million dollars to key individuals and organisations that have spearheaded the nation-wide effort between 2001 and 2009. 

They include funders that have long been associated with the extreme right in the U.S., as well as several Jewish family foundations that have supported right-wing and settler groups in Israel.

The network also includes what the report calls “misinformation experts” – including Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy (CSP), Daniel Pipes of the Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum (MEF), Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, David Yerushalmi of the Society of Americans for National Existence, and Robert Spencer of Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) – who are often tapped by television news networks and right-wing radio talk shows to comment on Islam and the threat it allegedly poses to U.S. national security. 

“Together, this core group of deeply intertwined individuals and organisations manufacture and exaggerate threats of ‘creeping Sharia’, Islamic domination of the West, and purported obligatory calls to violence against all non-Muslims by the Quran,” according to the report whose main author, Wajahat Ali, described the group as “the central nervous system of the Islamophobia network.” 

“This small band of radical ideologues has fought to define Sharia as a ‘totalitarian ideology’ and legal- political-military doctrine committed to destroying Western civilization,” the report said. “But a scholar of Islam and Muslim tradition would not recognise their definition of Sharia, let alone a lay practicing Muslim.” 

Nonetheless, the group’s messages receive wide dissemination by what the report calls an “Islamophobia echo chamber” consisting of leaders of the Christian Right, such as Franklin Graham and Pat Robertson, and some Republican politicians, such as presidential candidates Representative Michele Bachmann and former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich. 

Other key disseminators include media figures, especially prominent hosts on the Fox News Channel and columnists in the ‘Washington Times’ the ‘National Review’; as well as grassroots groups, such as ACT! For America, local “Tea Party” movements, and the American Family Association, which are behind current efforts by Republican-dominated state legislatures to ban Sharia in their jurisdictions. 

The report also cited the Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI), a press-monitoring agency created here in 1998 by former officers in the Israel Defence Force that translates selected items from Middle Eastern print and broadcast media, as a key part of the broader network, providing it with material to bolster its claims regarding the threat posed by Islam. MEMRI, which has just been awarded a State Department contract to monitor anti-Semitism in the Arab media, has often been accused of selectively spotlighting media voices that show anti-western bias and promote extremism. 

Judging by recent polls, the network has proved remarkably successful, according to the report which cited a 2010 ‘Washington Post’ poll that showed that 49 percent of U.S. citizens held an unfavourable view of Islam, an increase of ten percent from 2002. 

The same network also succeeded in inciting a national controversy around the proposed construction of an Islamic community centre in Lower Manhattan – the so-called ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ – which, according to Gaffney and others, was intended celebrate the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and “to be a permanent, in-our-face beachhead for Sharia, a platform for inspiring the triumphalist ambitions of the faithful.” 

“It’s remarkable what a small number of people have achieved with a small group of committed and generous donors,” said Eli Clifton, a co-author of the report and a national-security reporter at CAP, a think tank which is close to the administration of President Barack Obama, who has himself been a prime target of the Islamophobic network. 

The report, which was funded by the financier George Soros’ Open Society Institute (OSI), comes at a particularly sensitive moment – just two weeks before the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and less than a month after the murders of 76 people in Norway by Anders Breivik whose Internet manifesto not only echoed themes propagated by the key U.S. Islamophobic ideologues, but also quoted directly from their writings in dozens of passages. 

Indeed, Spencer’s blog, ‘Jihad Watch’, a programme of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, another group identified by the report as part of the Islamophobic network, was cited 162 times, while Pipes and the MEF receive 16 mentions, and Gaffney’s CSP another eight. 

According to the report, ‘Jihad Watch’ has been supported via the Horowitz Center primarily by the Fairbrook Foundation, which is run by Aubry and Joyce Chernik. Between 2004 and 2009, Fairbrook provided nearly 1.5 million dollars to Islamophobic groups, including Act! For America, CSP, the Investigative Project, and MEF. 

The Cherniks also supported the far-right Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and Aish Hatorah, a far-right Israeli group behind the U.S.-based Clarion Fund, which produced the video, ‘Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West’ that was, in turn, heavily promoted by the Islamophobic groups featured in the report. Breivik praised it in his manifesto. 

Some 28 million DVD copies of the ‘Obsession’ film were distributed to households in key swing states on the eve of the 2008 presidential elections in an apparent effort to sway voters against Obama. Some 17 million dollars in funding for their distribution was provided by a Chicago industrialist, Barry Seid, according to a ‘Salon.com’ report published last year, and was channelled through Virginia-based Donors Capital Fund, which includes several prominent right-wing and neo-conservative figures on its board. 

Donors to the Fund have also contributed 400,000 dollars to the Investigative Project and 2.3 million dollars to the MEF between 2001 and 2009, according to the report. 

Other major donors to Islamophobic groups include several foundations controlled by Richard Mellon Scaife; including 2.9 million dollars to CSP and 3.4 million dollars to Horowitz’ Freedom Center. The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, which has often coordinated its political philanthropy with Scaife’s foundations, provided some 300,000 dollars to MEF, 815,000 dollars to CSP and 3.4 million dollars to the Freedom Center. In addition to more traditional charitable activities, both Scaife and Bradley have long been major supporters of far-right and neo-conservative causes. 

Other major donors included the Newton D. and Rochelle F. Becker foundations, the Russell Berrie Foundation, and the Anchorage Charitable Foundation and William Rosenwald Family Fund, according to the report. 

In its mission statement, the Russell Berrie Foundation cited as one of its principal goals “fostering the spirit of religious understanding and pluralism”. 

“The intellectual nexus of the network is well understood,” said Faiz Shakir, CAP’s vice president. “We know it’s driven primarily by hatred against Muslims; what we don’t know is what are the motivations of the funders. We don’t know to what extent they are aware of what is being funded,” he said. 

Horowitz denounced the report in a statement issued on its website, calling it a “typical fascistic attempt to silence critics and scare donors from supporting their efforts to inform the American public about the threats we face from the Islamic jihad.” 

Efforts to obtain comments from MEF and CSP were not successful. 

Cuba y la reforma del modelo económico 2/3

August 29th, 2011 by Salim Lamrani

Los factores internos

Desde un punto de vista nacional varios factores –de los cuales una parte sustancial está en relación directa con el estado de sitio que impone Estados Unidos– han de ponerse de relieve tales como la burocracia, la corrupción a nivel intermediario –y a veces al más alto nivel– de la estructura estatal que engendra un reforzamiento del mercado paralelo, la falta de debate crítico, la débil productividad, la hipertrofia del sector público, la producción insuficiente de materias primas alimenticias, la descapitalización de la industria y de la infraestructura productiva, así como el envejecimiento de la población.

La burocracia

La burocracia es un problema serio en Cuba y afecta sectores enteros de la sociedad. La prensa cubana, que durante mucho tiempo eludió el tema, ya no vacila en denunciar su indolencia, su ineficacia y sus desmanes. El principal diario del país, Granma, portavoz del Partido Comunista, ha estigmatizado con virulencia el peso de la burocracia y ha exhortado a un “cambio de mentalidad” en una crónica titulada “Burocratismo, de regla a excepción”. Según el artículo, “todavía hay quienes se hacen de la vista gorda ante el nuevo escenario que se construye para la economía y la sociedad cubanas”. Algunos tienen “la burocracia puesta en vena, inoculada como un virus mortal”, mientras que otros no desean que cambie “el sistema de enredo, dilación, impunidad y la ‘multa’ o ‘mordida’ para que un trámite cualquiera llegue a feliz término”. Muchos funcionarios “disfrutan sus ocho horas diarias de verdugos, haciéndole la vida infeliz” a los ciudadanos. Granma lanza un llamado al gobierno para que ponga término a esta “plaga parasitaria en el seno de la administración pública”, particularmente para la aplicación de las nuevas medidas de ampliación del sector privado.[1]

El diario Juventud Rebelde también ha denunciado una burocracia “con métodos autocráticos y verticalistas”, insensible a los problemas de la población. El periódico fustiga su comportamiento “imperdonable y paradójico”, particularmente en este periodo de grandes cambios en Cuba. La burocracia ni siquiera se digna a responder a los correos de la población en más del 30% de los casos y se niega a “evaluar los problemas de raíz”. “Otro elemento preocupante es la impunidad con la que se transgreden leyes, normativas y hasta derechos de los ciudadanos, ante los ojos de superiores”.[2]

Alfredo Guevara, padre del cine cubano y amigo personal de Fidel Castro, ha apoyado la voluntad de reforma del gobierno y ha llamada a poner fin a la estatización a ultranza de la sociedad cubana. “Comenzamos a vivir el proceso de destrucción de la estatización de la sociedad cubana y espero que logremos un Estado que se autolimite a sus funciones y permita que la sociedad se desarrolle”.[3] Ello permitirá alcanzar “un nivel de independencia y madurez que será un gran aporte” para el país. Guevara ha denunciado a menudo la burocracia cubana “disparatada e ineficiente”[4] así como el paternalismo contraproducente del Estado. Según él, “la burocracia […] son los dirigentes vacíos que creen que su tarea nada más es dirigir. El Estado no es burocracia, pero desde luego un Estado desproporcionado crea un fenómeno ideológico-burocrático”.[5]

El presidente de la República, Raúl Castro, ha advertido a los partidarios del statu quo que se niegan al cambio: “Seremos pacientes y a la vez perseverantes ante las resistencias al cambio, sean estas conscientes o inconscientes. Advierto que toda resistencia burocrática al estricto cumplimiento de los acuerdos del Congreso, respaldados masivamente por el pueblo, será inútil”.[6]

La corrupción

La corrupción también es un fenómeno endémico en Cuba y gangrena los niveles intermedios de la estructura del Estado, incluso a los inspectores fiscales, y a veces a la más alta jerarquía.[7] El mercado negro se ha desarrollado sustancialmente desde la caída de la Unión Soviética. Se debe principalmente a la insuficiencia del ingreso mensual. Raúl Castro lo ha reconocido sin ambages: “El salario aún es claramente insuficiente para satisfacer todas las necesidades, por lo que prácticamente dejó de cumplir su papel de asegurar el principio socialista de que cada cual aporte según su capacidad y reciba según su trabajo. Ello favoreció manifestaciones de indisciplina social”.[8] Ahora bien, todo aumento del salario mensual sólo puede ocurrir en paralelo con un aumento de la producción, la cual generará más ingresos.

Un estudio realizado en 2005, tras una solicitud expresa de Fidel Castro, reveló la amplitud del robo de combustible en las 2.000 gasolineras del país. Durante cuarenta y cinco días, trabajadores sociales sustituyeron a los empleados de estos puntos de venta, a los que se envió a su casa conservando su salario íntegro. El primer informe publicado mostró que se robaba más del 50% de la gasolina. En efecto, los ingresos diarios generados por los 2.000 puntos de venta habían aumentado 100.000 dólares, o sea un crecimiento del 115% con respecto a la situación anterior. En la provincia de Santiago de Cuba, los ingresos se dispararon en un 553%, ilustrando así el hecho de que se robaba al Estado más del 80% del combustible, el cual se vendía en la economía paralela.[9] Una desviación de semejante amplitud no puede realizarse sin la complicidad activa de altos funcionarios que ocupan puestos de responsabilidad. En el pasado, varios ministros fueron destituidos, enjuiciados y condenados a severas penas de prisión por corrupción y desviación de fondos.[10] Recientemente tres ministros fueron destituidos por varias razones.[11] Ante esta alarmante constatación, Fidel Castro había advertido de un desmoronamiento total del sistema: “Este país puede autodestruirse por sí mismo; esta Revolución puede destruirse, […] nosotros podemos destruirla, y sería culpa nuestra”.[12]

Raúl Castro, consciente de que la corrupción también afecta a los altos funcionarios, ha mandado un mensaje claro a los responsables de todos los sectores: “Hay que luchar para desterrar definitivamente la mentira y el engaño de la conducta de los cuadros, de cualquier nivel”. De modo más insólito se ha apoyado en dos de los diez mandamientos bíblicos para ilustrar sus puntos: “No robarás” y “no mentirás”. Del mismo modo, ha evocado los tres principios éticos y morales de la civilización inca: “no mentir, no robar, no ser holgazán”, los cuales deben guiar la conducta de todos los responsables de la nación.[13] En efecto, el mercado negro se alimenta de una desviación masiva de mercancías que importa el Estado e implica forzosamente a altos dirigentes. Raúl Castro ha sido explícito al respecto: “Ante las violaciones de la Constitución y de la legalidad establecida no queda otra alternativa que recurrir a la Fiscalía y los Tribunales, como ya empezamos a hacer, para exigir responsabilidad a los infractores, sean quienes sean, porque todos los cubanos, sin excepción, somos iguales ante la ley”.[14]

Gladys Berejano, vicepresidenta del Consejo de Estado y responsable de la lucha anticorrupción del gobierno cubano, reconoció que el combate contra las malversaciones era un desafío mayor y una de las grandes prioridades nacionales. Según una reciente auditoría realizada en 2011, apenas el 46% de las entidades públicas evaluadas en Cuba presentaban un balance aceptable. En el resto de las agencias y empresas estatales, los administradores falsificaron los libros de cuentas con el fin de desviar artículos hacia el mercado negro, con la complicidad de los contadores encargados de evaluar la salud financiera de la estructura.[15]

El caso Esteban Morales es edificante en la medida en que permite arrojar luz sobre la lucha entre las fuerzas oscuras y conservadoras aún presentes en el Partido Comunista Cubano y sus sectores más críticos y progresistas. En un artículo publicado en el sitio Internet de la Unión Nacional de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba (UNEAC), Esteban Morales, economista y miembro del Partido Comunista Cubano con fama de honorable, estudioso de la cuestión del racismo y de las relaciones con Estados Unidos, había advertido en abril de 2011 del principal peligro que amenazaba el proceso revolucionario cubano: la corrupción. Denunció el enriquecimiento ilícito de algunos altos funcionarios y miembros del gobierno sin citar nombres, acusándolos de preparar la transferencia de bienes públicos a manos privadas, en caso de caída del régimen, en un proceso similar a lo que ocurrió en la ex Unión Soviética: “No podemos tener duda de que la contrarrevolución, poco a poco, va tomando posiciones en ciertos niveles del Estado y del Gobierno”. Citó como ejemplo la distribución reciente de tierras en usufructo y los numerosos casos de “fraudes, ilegalidades, favoritismos, lentitud burocrática” que ocurrieron, así como otros casos de altos funcionarios culpables de desviaciones de fondos y que han abierto cuentas bancarias en el extranjero.[16]

Tras la publicación de esta reflexión severa e implacable en la forma pero fundamentalmente veraz, Morales fue excluido del Partido Comunista Cubano y su artículo retirado del sitio de la UNEAC. No obstante, ante al amplio apoyo que obtuvo entre los miembros del Partido –incluso el de Raúl Castro–, la Comisión de Apelación del Comité Central desestimó la decisión tomada en primera instancia y reintegró a Morales a sus cargos.[17]

La cultura del debate

La ausencia de una verdadera cultura del debate crítico en Cuba constituye un freno para el desarrollo de la nación. Los más altos dirigentes son conscientes de esta realidad. Así, Fidel Castro lamenta la unanimidad de fachada que se presenta muy a menudo, particularmente en la prensa cubana:

Aquí ha habido durante bastante tiempo la tendencia a suponer que los señalamientos críticos, la denuncia de las cosas mal hechas, hacían el juego del enemigo, ayudaban al enemigo y a la contrarrevolución. A veces hay el temor de informar sobre algo, porque se piensa que puede ser útil al enemigo. Y nosotros hemos descubierto que en la lucha contra los hechos negativos es muy importante el trabajo de los órganos de prensa. Y hemos estimulado el espíritu crítico. Llegamos a la convicción de que es necesario desarrollar mucho más el espíritu crítico.[18]

Raúl Castro también fustigó los silencios, la complacencia y la mediocridad. Lanzó un llamado a más franqueza. “No hay que temerle a las discrepancias de criterios […], las diferencias de opiniones, que […] siempre serán más deseables a la falsa unanimidad basada en la simulación y el oportunismo. Es por demás un derecho del que no se debe privar a nadie”. Castro denunció “el exceso de secretismo a que nos habituamos durante más de 50 años” para ocultar errores, fallos y yerros. “Es necesario cambiar la mentalidad de los cuadros y de todos los compatriotas” [19], agregó, proponiendo limitar a 10 años los mandatos políticos “con el fin de asegurar un rejuvenecimiento sistemático de toda la cadena de responsabilidad”.[20] Sobre los medios, dijo lo siguiente:

Nuestra prensa habla bastante de eso, de los logros de la Revolución, en los discursos también abundamos; pero hay que ir a la médula de los problemas […]. Soy un defensor de la lucha contra el secretismo, porque detrás de esa adornada alfombra es donde se ocultan las fallas que tenemos, y los interesados en que sea así y siga así. Y yo recuerdo algunas críticas; “sí, saquen en el periódico tal crítica”, le orienté yo mismo […]. Inmediatamente la gran burocracia empezó a moverse: “Esas cosas no ayudan, desmoralizan a los trabajadores”. ¿A qué trabajadores van a desmoralizar? Como en una ocasión, en la gran empresa estatal lechera, El Triángulo. Se llevaba semanas, porque uno de los camiones de esa vaquería que estaba ahí en Camagüey estaba roto, y entonces toda la leche que se producía en las vaquerías de esa zona, de ese lugar se la echaban a unos cerdos que estaban criando. Fue entonces que le digo a un secretario del Comité Central para atender la agricultura en esa etapa, mete en Granma, cuenta todo esto que está pasando, haz una crítica. Algunos vinieron y hasta me comentaron que: “Esas cosas no ayudan, porque desmoralizan a los trabajadores”. Lo que no sabían que era yo el que lo había orientado.[21]

El 1 de agosto de 2011, durante su discurso de clausura de la VII Legislatura del Parlamento Cubano, Raúl Castro reiteró la necesidad del debate crítico y la controversia en la sociedad: “Todas las opiniones deben ser analizadas, y cuando no se alcance el consenso, las discrepancias se elevarán a las instancias superiores facultadas para decidir y además nadie está mandatado para impedirlo” [22] Llamó a acabar con “el hábito del triunfalismo, la estridencia y el formalismo al abordar la actualidad nacional y generar materiales escritos y programas de televisión y radio, que por su contenido y estilo capturen la atención y estimulen el debate en la opinión pública” para evitar “materiales aburridos, improvisados y superficiales” en los medios de comunicación.[23]

Granma también fustigó la cultura del secreto por parte de los funcionarios que impiden que la prensa cubana informe correctamente a la población. Así, la recolección de información es una verdadera prueba en el laberinto burocrático donde se necesitan autorizaciones para cualquier reportaje. El diario denuncia “la incomprensión de muchos funcionarios administrativos, quienes parecen vivir ajenos al derecho de los ciudadanos y a la irritación que en la población causa el no explicar a tiempo los porqués de un fenómeno o medida”. Los obstáculos voluntariamente erigidos en el acceso a la información violan “los principios democráticos” establecidos por la Constitución de la República. “Brindar información sistemática, veraz, diversa, que permita abordar la realidad desde todas las complejas aristas que pueda ofrecer, no constituye un favor, sino un derecho del pueblo”, concluyó el diario.[24]

El sectarismo

En Cuba persisten algunas prácticas discriminatorias al más alto nivel del aparato estatal, a pesar de los esfuerzos que ha desplegado el presidente de la República para acabar con ellas. Así, Raúl Castro denunció públicamente por televisión algunos atentados a la libertad religiosa debidos a la intolerancia “enraizad[a] en la mentalidad de no pocos dirigentes en todos los niveles”. Evocó el caso de una mujer, cuadro del Partido Comunista, con trayectoria ejemplar, quien fue apartada de sus funciones, en febrero de 2011, por su fe cristiana y cuyo salario fue reducido en un 40%, en violación del artículo 43 de la Constitución de 1976 que prohíbe todo tipo de discriminación. El presidente de la República denunció así “el daño ocasionado a una familia cubana por actitudes basadas en una mentalidad arcaica, alimentada por la simulación y el oportunismo”. Recordó que la persona víctima de esta discriminación había nacido en 1953, fecha del ataque al cuartel Moncada por los partidarios de Fidel Castro contra la dictadura de Fulgencio Batista, Raúl Castro expresó lo siguiente:

Yo no fui al Moncada para eso […]. De la misma forma, recordábamos que el 30 de julio, día de la reunión mencionada, se cumplían 54 años del asesinato de Frank País y de su fiel acompañante Raúl Pujol.  Yo conocí a Frank en México, lo volví a ver en la Sierra, no recuerdo haber conocido un alma tan pura como esa, tan valiente, tan revolucionaria, tan noble y modesta, y dirigiéndome a uno de los responsables de esa injusticia que cometieron, le dije: Frank creía en Dios y practicaba su religión, que yo sepa nunca dejó de hacerlo ¿Qué hubieran hecho ustedes con Frank País? [25]

No obstante, las relaciones con la Iglesia Católica de Roma jamás han sido mejores desde el triunfo de la Revolución en 1959. El escenario de confrontación con las instituciones religiosas poco a poco ha dejado espacio al diálogo, limando así las asperezas del pasado cuando “por ambas partes se cometieron excesos”. Raúl Castro también condenó con virulencia estas prácticas que “atentan contra nuestra principal arma para afianzar la independencia y la soberanía nacional, o sea, la Unidad de la Nación” Según él, resulta urgente romper “la barrera psicológica formada por la inercia, el inmovilismo, la simulación o doble moral, la indiferencia e insensibilidad” que lleva a todo tipo de abusos. “Nuestro peor enemigo no es el imperialismo ni mucho menos sus asalariados en suelo patrio, sino nuestros propios errores y que éstos, si son analizados con profundidad y honestidad, se transformarán en lecciones”.[26]

Una productividad baja

La productividad es también un problema endémico en una sociedad acostumbrada a recibir la misma remuneración sean cuales sean la calidad y cantidad del trabajo realizado. A los empleados del sector público les interesan poco las problemáticas de productividad y eficiencia. En efecto hay  “una ausencia de cultura económica en la población”. Por otra parte, la sovietización de la economía cubana a partir de 1968, con la nacionalización de todos los pequeños negocios, tuvo consecuencias desastrosas para el país en términos de rendimiento. En vez de adaptar la política económica a las peculiaridades nacionales, Cuba había seguido por mimetismo el modelo ruso. Raúl Castro admite ahora el error, dictado a la vez por la inexperiencia de la dirección de la nación y por el contexto geopolítico de la época: “No pensamos volver a copiar de nadie, bastantes problemas nos trajo hacerlo y porque además mucha veces copiamos mal”.[27] El gobierno cubano da prueba de lucidez en cuanto a las carencias en materia económica. Reconoce que “la espontaneidad, la improvisación, la superficialidad, el incumplimiento de los alcances, la falta de profundidad en los estudios de factibilidad y la carencia de integralidad al emprender una inversión” atentan gravemente contra la nación.[28]

Cuba dispone de tierras extraordinariamente fértiles y podría ser un exportador de materias primas alimenticias. En vez de ello, Cuba importa el 83% de los productos alimentarios que consume. Por ejemplo todos los años importa café por 47 millones de dólares mientras que sería perfectamente posible producirlo en Cuba de excelente calidad. En 1975, Vietnam, tras la guerra, había solicitado la ayuda cubana para producir café. Vietnam es actualmente el segundo exportador de café del mundo…  gracias a la experiencia y el conocimiento cubanos. Un diplomático vietnamita hizo partícipe de su sorpresa a su homólogo cubano ante esta contradicción: “¿Cómo es posible que ustedes que nos enseñaron a sembrar el café, ahora nos lo estén comprando?”.[29] Hay una razón para ello: de los 6,6 millones de hectáreas de superficie agrícola, 3,6 millones permanecían abandonados o sub-explotados en 2008.[30]

La política agrícola del gobierno revolucionario ha sido uno de sus más graves fracasos. Varios factores permiten explicar esta dependencia estratégicamente peligrosa. Primero, la labor de la tierra es por definición un trabajo difícil e ingrato, sobre todo en una sociedad que ha alcanzado un nivel de desarrollo humano sin precedente en la historia de América Latina y del Tercer Mundo. En efecto es difícil convencer a ciudadanos que han conseguido diplomas universitarios de que vayan a producir café o trigo para obtener, de todas formas, el mismo salario que un empleado de oficina. Para ello, resulta indispensable que “los agricultores obtengan ingresos justos y razonables por su sacrificada labor”[31], como recordó el presidente cubano. Así, desde 2008, de un fondo disponible de 1,8 millones de hectáreas de tierras no cultivadas, más de un millón se concedió –en lotes de 13 a 40 hectáreas– en usufructo gratuito por un periodo de 10 años para los particulares y de 25 años para las cooperativas. Del mismo modo, el gobierno decidió bajar en un 60% el precio de los insumos y productos agrícolas con el fin de incitar a la población a invertir este campo.[32]

La hipertrofia del sector y la debilidad de la infraestructura productiva

La hipertrofia del sector público es una realidad innegable. En efecto, el Estado emplea a cerca del 84% de la población activa, que se eleva a 5,2 millones de personas. La función pública se encarga de proporcionar un empleo a los cubanos, aunque algunos sectores estén saturados. El sobre empleo permite conseguir cierta estabilidad social pero cerca de un millón de empleos se consideran poco o nada productivos. [33]

La descapitalización de la industria y de la infraestructura productiva constituye un serio obstáculo económico. Cuba necesita urgentemente nuevas inversiones, particularmente en capitales extranjeros. No obstante, las amenazas de sanciones procedentes de Estados Unidos frenan a los potenciales inversionistas.[34]

Una transición demográfica avanzada

Por fin, Cuba se encuentra a un nivel de transición demográfica avanzada, igual que países como Argentina, Uruguay o Chile, por su índice de desarrollo humano elevado. El país entonces se enfrenta al envejecimiento de su población, cuya esperanza de vida alcanza casi los 80 años. Según la Oficina Nacional de Estadísticas (ONE), cerca de dos millones de personas tienen más de 60 años, o sea el 17,8% de la población del país. En veinte años, la cifra alcanzará el 30%.[35] Cuba cuenta actualmente con 1.551 centenarios y debe hacer frente no sólo al problema del financiamiento del retiro –la edad de la jubilación pasó de 55 años a 60 años para las mujeres y de 60 años a 65 años para los hombres en 2009–, sino también al peligro de la falta de renovación generacional que afecta la economía y la sociedad. En efecto, el número de habitantes disminuyó en 2010 por la baja tasa de natalidad.[36]

 

Revisado por Caty R.

Salim Lamrani : Doctor en Estudios Ibéricos y Latinoamericanos de la Universidad Paris Sorbonne-Paris IV, Salim Lamrani es profesor encargado de cursos en la Universidad Paris-Sorbonne-Paris IV y en la Universidad Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée y periodista, especialista de las relaciones entre Cuba y Estados Unidos. Su último libro se titula Etat de siège. Les sanctions économiques des Etats-Unis contre Cuba, París, Ediciones Estrella, 2011, con un prólogo de Wayne S. Smith y un prefacio de Paul Estrade. Contacto : [email protected]   

  

Notes 

[1] Félix López, «Burocratismo, de regla a excepción», Granma, 29 de enero de 2011; EFE, «Diario oficial arremete contra burócratas», 29 de enero de 2011 

[2] José Alejandro Rodríguez, «Menos respuestas cuando más se necesitan», Juventud Rebelde, 6 de julio de 2011. 

[3] Agence France Presse, «Figura histórica del castrismo aplaude la ‘desestatización», 23 de noviembre de 2010. 

[4] Agence France Presse, «Transición del ‘disparate’ al socialismo, dice Guevara», 24 de junio de 2011 

[5] Agence France Presse, «Figura histórica del castrismo aplaude la ‘desestatización », op. cit. 

[6] Raúl Castro, «Toda resistencia burocrática al estricto cumplimiento de los acuerdos del Congreso, respaldados masivamente por el pueblo, será inútil», Cubadebate, 1 de agosto de 2011. 

[7] Agence France Presse, «Fisco cubano combatirá corrupción de inspectores», 26 de julio de 2011. 

[8] Raúl Castro Ruz, «Discurso pronunciado por el General de Ejército Raúl Castro Ruz, Presidente de los Consejos de Estado y de Ministros, en la clausura del Sexto Período Ordinario de Sesiones de la Séptima Legislatura de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular, en el Palacio de Convenciones, el 18 de diciembre de 2010, “Año 52 de la Revolución”», op. cit. 

[9] Andrea Rodríguez, «Castro revela cifras de robo de combustible en Cuba», Associated Press, 7 de diciembre de 2005. 

[10] Esteban Morales, «Corrupción: ¿La verdadera contrarrevolución?», Progreso Semanal, 20 de abril de 2010; Mauricio Vicent, «Corrupción al modo cubano», El País, 16 de mayo de 2010; Agence France Presse, «Cuba condena a veinte años de cárcel a empresario chileno Max Marambio», 5 de mayo de 2011. 

[11] Raúl Castro, «Discurso pronunciado por el General de Ejército Raúl Castro Ruz, Presidente de los Consejos de Estado y de Ministros, en la clausura del Sexto Período Ordinario de Sesiones de la Séptima Legislatura de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular, en el Palacio de Convenciones, el 18 de diciembre de 2010, “Año 52 de la Revolución”», op.cit., Granma, «Electa Teresita Romero vicepresidenta de la Asamblea Provincial del Poder Popular en Sancti Spíritu», 2 de abril de 2011; EFE, «Destituciones por corrupción en gobierno de Sancti Spíritu», 2 de abril de 2011. 

[12] Fidel Castro Ruz, «Discurso pronunciado por Fidel Castro Ruz, Presidente de la República de Cuba, en el acto por el aniversario 60 de su ingreso a la universidad, efectuado en el Aula Magna de la Universidad de La Habana», 17 de noviembre de 2005. http://www.cuba.cu/gobierno/discursos/2005/esp/f171105e.html  (sitio consultado el 2 de abril de 2011). 

[13] Raúl Castro, «Discurso pronunciado por el General de Ejército Raúl Castro Ruz, Presidente de los Consejos de Estado y de Ministros, en la clausura del Sexto Período Ordinario de Sesiones de la Séptima Legislatura de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular, en el Palacio de Convenciones, el 18 de diciembre de 2010, “Año 52 de la Revolución”», op.cit. 

[14] Raúl Castro, «Toda resistencia burocrática al estricto cumplimiento de los acuerdos del Congreso, respaldados masivamente por el pueblo, será inútil», Cubadebate, 1 de agosto de 2011. 

[15] Juan O. Tamayo, «Régimen cubano reconoce aumento de corrupción», 22 de junio de 2011. 

[16]Esteban Morales, «Corrupción: ¿la verdadera contrarrevolución?», Unión Nacional de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba, 8 de abril de 2011. http://www.uneac.org.cu/index.php?module=noticias&act=detalle&tipo=noticia&id=3123  (sitio consultado el 11 de agosto de 2011). 

[17] Andrea Rodriguez, «Cuba: comunistas reincorporan a académico expulsado por críticas», The Associated Press, 8 de julio de 2011.

[18] Ignacio Ramonet, Cien horas con Fidel, La Habana, Oficina de Publicaciones del Consejo de Estado, 2006, tercera edición, p. 604. 

[19] Raúl Castro, «Discurso pronunciado por el General de Ejército Raúl Castro Ruz, Presidente de los Consejos de Estado y de Ministros, en la clausura del Sexto Período Ordinario de Sesiones de la Séptima Legislatura de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular, en el Palacio de Convenciones, el 18 de diciembre de 2010, “Año 52 de la Revolución”», op.cit. 

[20] Raúl Castro, «Texto íntegro del Informe Central al VI Congreso del PCC», 16 de abril de 2011. http://www.cuba.cu/gobierno/rauldiscursos/2011/esp/r160411e.html  (sitio consultado el 3 de junio de 2011). 

[21] Raúl Castro, «Discurso pronunciado por el General de Ejército Raúl Castro Ruz, Presidente de los Consejos de Estado y de Ministros, en la clausura del Sexto Período Ordinario de Sesiones de la Séptima Legislatura de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular, en el Palacio de Convenciones, el 18 de diciembre de 2010, “Año 52 de la Revolución”», op.cit. 

[22] Raúl Castro, «Toda resistencia burocrática al estricto cumplimiento de los acuerdos del Congreso, respaldados masivamente por el pueblo, será inútil», Cubadebate, 1 de agosto de 2011. 

[23] Raúl Castro, «Texto íntegro del Informe Central al VI Congreso del PCC», 16 de abril de 2011. http://www.cubadebate.cu/opinion/2011/04/16/texto-integro-del-informe-central-al-vi-congreso-del-pcc/  (sitio consultado el 20 de abril de 2011). 

[24] Anneris Ivette Leyva, «El derecho a la información», Granma, 8 de julio de 2011. 

[25] Raúl Castro, «Toda resistencia burocrática al estricto cumplimiento de los acuerdos del Congreso, respaldados masivamente por el pueblo, será inútil», Cubadebate, 1 de agosto de 2011. 

[26] Ibid. 

[27] Raúl Castro, «Discurso pronunciado por el General de Ejército Raúl Castro Ruz, Presidente de los Consejos de Estado y de Ministros, en la clausura del Sexto Período Ordinario de Sesiones de la Séptima Legislatura de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular, en el Palacio de Convenciones, el 18 de diciembre de 2010, “Año 52 de la Revolución”», op.cit. 

[28] Partido Comunista de Cuba, «Resolución sobre los lineamientos de la política económica y social del partido y la Revolución», op. cit. 

[29] Raúl Castro, «Discurso pronunciado por el General de Ejército Raúl Castro Ruz, Presidente de los Consejos de Estado y de Ministros, en la clausura del Sexto Período Ordinario de Sesiones de la Séptima Legislatura de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular, en el Palacio de Convenciones, el 18 de diciembre de 2010, “Año 52 de la Revolución”», op.cit. 

[30] Andrea Rodríguez, «Rebajan precios de insumos agrícolas en Cuba», The Associated Press, 5 de agosto de 2011. Ver también el testimonio de un agricultor, Ventura de Jesús, «Un buen agricultor suburbano», Granma, 21 de mayo de 2011. 

[31] Raúl Castro, «Discurso pronunciado por el General de Ejército Raúl Castro Ruz, Presidente de los Consejos de Estado y de Ministros, en la clausura del Sexto Período Ordinario de Sesiones de la Séptima Legislatura de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular, en el Palacio de Convenciones, el 18 de diciembre de 2010, “Año 52 de la Revolución”», op.cit. 

[32] Andrea Rodríguez, «Rebajan precios de insumos agrícolas en Cuba», op. cit. 

[33] Paul Haven, «Cuba: Pequeños empresarios, factor clave de reformas económicas», The Associated Press, 31 de enero de 2011. 

[34] Partido Comunista de Cuba, «Resolución sobre los lineamientos de la política económica y social del partido y la Revolución», op. cit. 

[35] EFE, «El envejecimiento poblacional en Cuba continuó en aumento en 2010», 7 de julio de 2011.  

[36] Agence France Presse, «Aumenta cantidad de centenarios y disminuyen nacimientos en Cuba», 20 de mayo de 2011. Ver también EFE, «Centenarios cubanos develan secreto de la longevidad», 27 de mayo de 2011.

In June 2010, leaders of the G20 countries gathering in Toronto were met with a large protest march organized by union officials as well as by a series of actions organized by community-based activists. Police arrests of activists began before the march. Many hundreds of arrests followed, in the wake of attacks on property in downtown Toronto by some protestors.

In this article, Clarice Kuhling looks at why some people who want radical change embrace attacks on property as a tactic and what this means for those who recognize that “smashing shit up” doesn’t help build the kind of power needed to resist the state’s austerity agenda and change society for the better. The article is adapted from a longer chapter in a book due out from Between the Lines in November 2011 entitled Whose Streets? The Toronto G20 and the Challenges of Summit Protest, edited by David Wachsmuth and Tom Malleson.

— Editors of New Socialist Webzine.

On the one year anniversary of the anti-G20 protests, where the largest mass arrests in Canadian history were carried out, civil society groups held a press conference challenging the lack of a full public inquiry into police abuses and breaches of civil and political rights – the details of which are still unfolding. And more than one year later, the crucial question as to why property damage repeatedly re-emerges as a protest tactic remains under-analyzed.

Factors in adequately understanding the context in which breaking windows has emerged as a seductive form of protest tactic include the absence of mass social protest, the weakening of left politics oriented in some way to mass action and mass struggle, the decline of working-class organizing both inside workplaces and in the community at large, the growth of an increasingly passive, unaccountable, and bureaucratic labour leadership and union structures which reinforce this passivity, and the decline of spaces and places to connect with working-class activism.

“Smashing shit up,” then, is both an expression of this context and a direct reflection of the low level of struggle and resistance in labour unions and on the left. Ultimately, selecting out particular protest tactics for criticism without a larger critique of strategies of left resistance inhibits our ability to learn the lessons that this round of protests and movement building could teach us about building for the next.

These tactics keep reappearing precisely because they represent a wholesale departure from the forms of passive politics and bureaucratically controlled resistance that have increasingly monopolized the political terrain of working-class struggle in the last half-century in both Canada and the USA.

Labour Retreat

As a crucial mechanism and expression of working-class power, labour unions would be one of the most obvious institutions from which a challenge could be mounted. However, the Cold War greatly weakened radicalism within working-class movements: many leftist radicals were purged from unions, and some unions, like the Canadian Seamen’s Union, were destroyed outright through these purges.

And while the legal protection won in the 1940s did grant workers the freedom to organize and bargain, with these new rights came restrictions. Workers could no longer legally engage in sympathy strikes, strike during the life of a collective agreement, or strike in support of political demands. Union officials were now obliged to police their own members by discouraging them from undertaking illegal strike action.

The new collective bargaining process thus imposed a host of regulations and requirements on workers which dramatically circumscribed their activities. The site of struggle shifted increasingly away from the streets and workplaces and over to the sterile boardrooms of bargaining tables – and into the hands of the union officials, bureaucrats, and professionals who increasingly dominated these spaces.

As David Camfield notes, the union officialdom which emerged as a distinct social layer became increasingly preoccupied with “preserving stable union institutions and bargaining relationships with employers.” Labour militancy was sacrificed in exchange for labour peace, and gradual incremental gains in the welfare state were won (for a time) at the expense of further struggle for more profound social transformation. And while radical movements did emerge in the 1960s and 1970s, they failed to build a new radical left inside the working-class movement of any significance, except in Quebec.

Previous historical periods also had more openings for people to connect with working-class politics and activism. These openings were crucial, and provided the organizational forms and the physical and intellectual spaces where people could plug into militant working-class struggles. These “infrastructures of dissent,” as Alan Sears calls them, are “the means of analysis, communication, organization and sustenance that nurture the capacity for collective action” and for challenging the system.

Such infrastructures of dissent included various Marxist and anarchist political formations, left-wing ethnic organizations, community and civil rights organizations, radical publications, and left oppositional currents within unions. But these also included actual physical spaces (the community halls, bars, sports clubs, and coffee houses) and the cultural and leisure activities that people shared (the choirs, plays, parades, picnics and dance groups) as well as the informal networks that existed in people’s neighbourhoods, communities, and workplaces. All of these provided the spaces and forms of organization necessary to debate and analyze, learn how to organize and fight, to dream and hope and offer visions of what kind of workplace or society should emerge.

The decline, co-optation or destruction of such vehicles for working-class resistance, occurring alongside the declawing of unions, has dramatically altered social life. Forms of collective action that were previously part of working-class experience both in workplaces and in communities have been replaced by individual coping strategies, and the openings once available to plug into militant working-class struggles have dramatically narrowed for young activists, not to mention for anyone who is disaffected, disenfranchised, and disillusioned.

Thus younger activists have very little connection to and identification with unions in particular and radical working-class politics in general. Instead we have a widening cleavage – first apparent during the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) protests in Quebec City in 2001 – between newly radicalizing younger activists with little exposure to radical working-class politics and labour activists who, as David McNally put it, “are not connecting with the energizing experiences of more militant forms of direct action and who have yet to make a connection with anti-capitalist ideas.”

The decline and retreat of working-class activism (which includes the structural separation of workers arising from the reorganization of work and individual coping strategies which have gradually replaced more collective forms of action) is an objective problem, a real historical development emerging from a historically specific social context. And the present day separation between labour movement activists and radicalizing youth – between workplace struggles and street protests – is a direct expression of this historical development and context.

However, bureaucratic labour leaderships, rather than serving as a force for social change, have increasingly acted to inhibit more militant formations within the unions, to stymie working-class resistance, or even to block union action of any kind. Sometimes union leadership control goes beyond simple orchestration of contained mobilizing efforts and, sadly, extends toward inhibiting the formation of more militant fight-back strategies which might provide alternative spaces for collective action. Then, as now, the top leadership of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) was centrally involved in orchestrating (and policing) from above the form that labour protests were to take. Compare CLC President Ken Georgetti’s statement in April 2001 (“It’s a good symbolic act to walk away”), with a press release by him on the Saturday of the anti-G20 labour march: “We cooperated with police in choosing the route and had hundreds of parade marshals to maintain order.”

Rupturing Boundaries

The commonly heard chant “Whose streets? Our streets!” aptly captures the feeling of exhilaration at registering our dissent by taking over the streets in a demonstration – especially when done in ways that rupture the tightly choreographed boundaries of typical protests. The experience of being part of a mass crowd in opposition can be inspiring and can challenge previous assumptions about the world.

Protesters marching up Yonge Street

Protesters marching up Yonge Street in Toronto during the G20 meetings, 26 July 2010.

But this heady feeling doesn’t last long if opposition is not translated at some point into something more, some tangible result. The awe and inspiration we experience from being part of such events is quickly dulled when marching in circles or to empty parking lots is all we ever do, and when any attempts at more oppositional forms of protest and more militant actions are immediately shut down or managed from above, like a faucet turned on and off (mainly off!).

Dismissively tossing accusations of ‘adventurist’ at the tactics employed by some protesters in response to such manoeuvrings from above tends to obscure the ongoing reality of labour leadership’s simultaneous passivity and collusion in repeatedly shutting down militant struggle. It also fails to acknowledge the sheer anger that many feel at the failure of various community and labour organizations to adequately mount an effective fight-back strategy in the face of an ongoing onslaught by capital against the working-class.

This onslaught is not felt equally across generations or across the whole working-class, and it reflects the emergence of new and complex forms of working-class differentiation. It also presents new obstacles and challenges to building solidarity. The role of capital and the state in reorganizing the labour force and redistributing wealth to favour capital (controlled by some segments of older adults) at the expense of youth wage-labour can clearly be seen in the explosive growth of subordinate service occupations and temporary, part-time, contract work held by younger non-unionized workers (as well as workers of colour, and particularly women of colour) and in the setting of minimum wage standards (not to mention ‘flexible’ labour markets).

According to one report, two-thirds of minimum wage earners are under twenty-four years of age, and while minimum wage would have placed one approximately 40 per cent above the official poverty line in the mid-1970s, it now positions one 30 per cent below that line. Similarly, the unfortunate tendency of some unions to protect their own members at the expense of the larger working-class, or even to bargain differential protections for workers within the same collective agreement (seen in the increased incidence of two-tier contracts which guarantee benefits to older generations of workers but diminish or outright eliminate these provisions for newer, younger workers) has further complicated efforts at bridging the yawning gap between radicalizing youth and labour movement activists.

From Anger to Action

We need to have honest, open, respectful discussions that begin to grapple with the level of anger that the intensification of neoliberal capitalism has generated, and that begin to strategize about how we can begin to translate anger into a resistance movement actually capable of turning the tide – without self-righteous name calling or accusations. Unless we contend with the reality that some young activists will turn to particular forms of direct action as a substitute for any other kind of power, then we will continue to have militant breakaway marches and smashed windows. As long as a servile, passive politics takes the place of (indeed ‘substitutes’ for) active militant resistance, then we will continue to see part of the public expressing their frustration in ways that are not easily contained.

As long as a servile, passive politics takes the place of (indeed ‘substitutes’ for) active militant resistance, then we will continue to see part of the public expressing their frustration in ways that are not easily contained. And yet, an analysis of strategies and tactics is desperately needed.

And yet, an analysis of strategies and tactics is desperately needed. The unfortunate reality is that smashing a window, even many windows, does not challenge the power of capital in any fundamental way, let alone overthrow the power of capital. Profits are not impeded when insurance can cover the cost of replacing windows, and capitalism does not grind to a halt – or even turn tail and run – when specific meetings are shut down or interrupted or when the ‘symbols of capitalism’ (the windows of Starbucks and Adidas, for example) are smashed. Changing the world would be so much easier if this were the case!

Rather, the inequality inherent in capitalist production derives from the fact that the value of the work we perform is more than what we are paid in wages, and that difference (the profit) goes to the employer, not us. Disrupting this social relation means getting at the core of what makes capitalism function as an economic system. Because the profit taken from us relies on our continuing to work, effectively challenging capital would require disrupting this chain of profit acquisition through stopping work. And going from challenging capital to ultimately overthrowing capital would involve seizing control of, and paralyzing the production of profits in, these very workplaces.

This dauntingly far-reaching task of seizing control – collectively and democratically – of our workplaces and other institutions will thus obviously require large mobilizations. But it will also require large numbers of us actively working together, self-organizing – in stark contrast to more passive forms of political engagement (such as electoral politics) undertaken by isolated individuals. And this mass self-activity must be capable of disrupting the immobilization, powerlessness and cynicism that we often feel, so that we begin to experience our world in new ways – as makers of history capable of changing our world rather than bystanders watching our world make or break us. Tactics like an occupation, blockade, militant strike, or sit-in, for example, are some of the methods that better enable us to begin to take power with our own hands. These three elements – mobilizing a lot of people, in ways where we ourselves are active and not passive, and in ways that enable us to experience and wield our power collectively – are key ingredients in building our counter-power. •

Clarice Kuhling is a member of Toronto New Socialists. This article first appeared on the New Socialist Webzine.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya left Tripoli on Sunday at 1.00pm EDT together with the group of independent journalists of France’s Reseau Voltaire.

He has arrived safely in Malta and will be returning to Canada shortly.

We wish to thank the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Hungarian Embassy in Tripoli, which currently represents Canada in Libya and which, under difficult circumstances, ensured his safe passage to the boat.

We are much indebted to the office of the Hon. Peter Julian, MP (Burnaby- New Westminster) for their tireless efforts in support of Mahdi’s safe return to Canada.

Our thanks and appreciation to The Russian Embassy in Libya, which also assisted Mahdi Nazemroaya in Tripoli.  

Our thanks to the Student Appeals Centre at the University of Ottawa as well as the staff of student newspapers La Rotonde and Fulcrum, which played a major role in sensitizing the university community and the broader public as well as contacting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Briton Amos of Humanitarian Mobility International (HMI) played a key role in the solidarity campaign, by getting the word out to the Canadian media and communicating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.   

Our thanks and appreciation to the government of Malta which arranged for his safe passage to Malta, en route to Canada. The evacuation boat out of Tripoli was a courtesy of the government of Malta.

Mahdi Nazemroaya was part of a mission to Libya under the auspices of the Reseau Voltaire.

We are indebted to the Reseau Voltaire and in particular to Reseau Voltaire’s President Thierry Meyssan for having supported his endeavors throughout his stay in Libya.  

Mahdi Nazemroaya personifies Truth in Media. He is a man of courage and determination. He risked his life to convey the truth on what is happening in Libya.  

The independent foreign journalists who were covering events in Libya are now safe, they have prevailed.

We will provide updates in the course of the next few hours.

Michel Chossudovsky. Global Research, Montreal. August 29, 2011 7.26am EDT (updated 11.30am)

Libia y nuestra propaganda de guerra

August 29th, 2011 by Anne Morelli

Los ciudadanos de nuestros países democráticos deben alzarse y hacer oír sus voces para tratar de evitar a Siria la pesadilla de la intervención militar de las fuerzas de la OTAN bajo mandato de la ONU o de las “coaliciones de voluntarios” que han padecido y que continúan padeciendo los pueblos de Afganistán, de Iraq, de Somalia y de Libia. Indignada por la visión unilateral generalizada por los periodistas sobre las guerras cada vez más destructivas y sanguinarias que se desarrollan ante nuestros ojos, Anne Morelli, profesora de la Universidad Libre de Bruselas y Presidenta de “Mujeres por la Paz”, reacciona por medio de este hermoso y generoso texto (Silvia Cattori).

Los principios generales de la propaganda de guerra siempre son similares. Tratan de hacer que nos unamos a una causa belicista por medio de declaraciones primero pacifistas y después resignadas: nos vemos “obligados” por el Otro a hacer la guerra. Él la ha provocado y nosotros vamos a comprometernos en ella por unas causas nobles: la protección humanitaria de los civiles, la democracia, la lucha contra el militarismo desenfrenado de nuestro enemigo …

Por supuesto, nuestro enemigo comete sistemáticamente atrocidades, mientras que nuestro ejército está compuesto de gentilhombres, todo lo más susceptibles de un “abuso” involuntario. Además, nosotros no arriesgamos nada con esta guerra: la aplastante superioridad de nuestros ejércitos nos garantiza unas “pérdidas cero”, mientras que nuestros enemigos están condenados desde un principio a la derrota. Finalmente, quien se oponga a esta guerra corta, moral y ferozmente victoriosa solo puede ser un agente del enemigo.

Reuní estos principios que rigen la propaganda, previa y contemporánea a todas las guerras desde el inicio del siglo XX, en un pequeño volumen [1]. Con cada nueva edición tengo que añadir a este mismo esquema ejemplos de patrañas que se han utilizado para movilizar a la opinión pública en los conflictos más recientes: Afganistán, Iraq… Y cada vez formulo en vano un deseo siempre desmentido: espero que los lectores, entendidos, dejen de caer, no caigan en las burdas trampas de la propaganda…

Pero, por desgracia, la reciente guerra de la OTAN contra Libia nos obliga a constatar que estos principios están activos… ¡y funcionan muy bien!

Nosotros somos pacifistas y “reaccionamos” ante los actos violentos libios

Según la tesis oficial de la OTAN, nuestros bombardeos vía la operación “Protector unificado”(sic) tienen por objetivo impedir que el régimen libio (las palabras tienen toda su importancia) prosiga con sus bárbaros ataques contra el pueblo libio [2]. Por consiguiente, “él” es quien comenzó y nosotros lo único que hacemos es reaccionar ante los actos violentos enemigos que, además, son difíciles de cuantificar y juzgar. Así, ¿son verdaderamente civiles inocentes los “rebeldes” de Bengasi contra los que actúa Tripoli, aunque hasta en las muy primeras fotos nos los mostraban armados hasta los dientes (¿por quién?) y aunque su Consejo Nacional de Transición se queje cuando se dirige a la OTAN en Bruselas de no recibir suficiente dinero para profesionalizar a su ejército? [3].

Los bombardeos, rebautizados, “campañas de ataques aéreos” fueron autorizados por el Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU el 18 de marzo de 2011 como “reacción” a estas supuestas masacres de civiles y para “proteger a los civiles libios”. Puede parece que bombardear civiles para “protegerlos” es contradictorio, pero la misión se lanzó verdaderamente en estos términos [4]. Por lo tanto, la guerra sería una “réplica” a lo que la OTAN llama “los bárbaros ataques de régimen de Gadafi contra el pueblo libio”.

Gadafi, monstruo en funciones

La propaganda canaliza clásicamente el odio y los resentimientos de la opinión pública hacia un dirigente enemigo, que se supone es la causa de todos los males. Este será al mismo tiempo un loco, un demagogo, un cínico, un militarista… Así, durante la Primera Guerra Mundial, Guillermo II – antes de Ben Laden, Milosevic o Saddam Hussein – personificó al enemigo que había que abatir. Evidentemente, la guerra tiene como objetivo su captura, después de lo cual la humanidad recuperará la felicidad.

El conflicto con Libia no es una excepción a esta regla, pero la construcción mediática del personaje de Gadafi es particularmente interesanre. En efecto, tras haber sido la personificación del mal, del “terrorismo internacional” y el enemigo público n°1 al que se hizo responsable de todo tipo de atentados, el coronel (que también había nacionalizado las compañías petroleras de su país) volvió a ser recomendable. Cuando en junio de 2011 el ministro belga de Defensa, De Crem, asegura querer bombardear Libia mientras no se libre de Gadafi, parece haber olvidado que el jefe del anterior gobierno belga, Guy Verhoofstadt, recibió a Gadafi en Bruselas unos pocos años antes con toda la consideración posible. Entonces Gadafi volvía a ser un interlocutor válido tanto para Berlusconi como para Sarkozy, quienes le autorizaron a instalar su campamento en sus jardines, lo trataron con familiaridad y le hicieron firmar sobre todo el compromiso de detener en su país los flujos migratorios del sur deseosos de ir a Europa [5].

Unos bombardeos nobles

Uno de los principios de la propaganda de guerra quiere que se haga creer a la opinión pública que nuestro compromiso belicoso tiene unos nobles fines. Nunca debe tener que ver ni con recursos económicos que hay que controlar ni con objetivos geoestratégicos, sino verdaderamente con una democracia que hay que imponer, con un militarismo que hay que sofocar y con pobres personas en cuya ayuda acudimos. Así, en el caso libio no tendrá que ver con el control de los recursos petroleros de excelente calidad de este país ni con la situación estratégica entre dos países con un destino político desestabilizado por la “primavera árabe”. En cambio, toda la propaganda se estructurará en torno a la falta de democracia del país (lo que no es falso, pero no provoca sistemáticamente intervenciones armadas de la OTAN como en Arabia Saudí y en los Emiratos…) y a los libios que esperan nuestra “ayuda”.

Esta vez no se trata de socorrer a los kosovares ni a las mujeres afganas ávidas de emancipación ni a los kurdos iraquíes ni a los chiíes oprimidos, sino más bien de salvar a unos civiles a los que debemos proteger de la brutalidad de las fuerzas de Gadafi. Por lo tanto, nuestros bombardeos sobre Libia tendrían un fin noble y altamente “humanitario”.

Las“atrocidades” libias y los “abusos” de la OTAN

Las guerras arrastran inexorablemente tras de sí su cortejo de actos violentos, de iniquidades y de víctimas inocentes. Aunque en grados diversos, en cada campo se asesina a niños y ancianos, se viola y se tortura.

El genio de la propaganda de guerra es hacer creer al público que “nosotros” llevamos a cabo una guerra “limpia”, contrariamente a nuestros enemigos. Así, en la guerra de la OTAN contra Libia los medios de comunicación describen en el menú las atrocidades enemigas, pero tratan de silenciar las de la OTAN y sus aliados. A pesar de ello, la tortura se “legalizó” verdaderamente en el campo occidental con ocasión de la guerra contra Iraq [6], pero no se hace la menor alusión a ello.

En cambio, cuando se haga imposible negar el carácter mortífero de los bombardeos de la OTAN, habrá que minimizar su carácter atroz. Rebautizados “ataques”, se supone que son “incursiones de precisión” que tienen por objetivo únicamente blancos militares. Y cuando se deduzca que las víctimas son civiles e incluso niños, habrá que negarlo primero, utilizar el condicional, hablar de las “alegaciones” del “régimen” de Gadafi que no se pueden verificar y después reconocer finalmente un “abuso”, haber matado “accidentalmente” o “por error” a civiles. Así, una incursión de la OTAN en 20 de junio en Sorman, a 65 km al oeste de Tripoli, causó quince muertos civiles, tres de los cuales eran niños. Después de que un periodista de la Agencia France Presse constatara que verdaderamente eran las víctimas, la OTAN ya no puede negar que esta “incursión de precisión” solo haya atacado objetivos militares. También tendrá que reconocer haber matado el 19 junio a civiles “por error” durante un bombardeo nocturno de Tripoli, en el barrio de Souk-al-Yuma (que, sin embargo, ¡se suele señalar como hostil a Gadafi!) y haber atacado accidentalmente a una columna de vehículos “rebeldes” en la región de Brega el 16 de junio de 2011 [7]. Para minimizar los daños ocasionados por el bombardeo de una vivienda particular [el periódico belga] Le Soir [8] pone hábilmente en duda el testimonio de la víctima escribiendo que Khalid El-Hamidia afirma haber perdido a su mujer, a sus tres hijos pequeños y su casa durante un ataque de la OTAN y más adelante que según él su casa había sido atacada por un bombardeo de la OTAN. Como el titular habla de un “blanco legítimo” (sin signo de interrogación), muy evidentemente retoma el punto de vista de la OTAN y desacredita el de la víctima.

Por supuesto, estos “errores trágicos” y “daños colaterales” son inexorables, pero solo se observan entre los enemigos. Cuando quienes son culpables de ellos son nuestros ejércitos o nuestros buenos aliados de la “rebelión” libia, la discreción es de rigor. Desde las primeras semanas de la “rebelión” y al menos hasta julio de 2011 la ONG Human Right Watch (HRW) de origen estadounidense y poco susceptible de simpatía por Gadafi, señala que la “rebelión” libia se entrega a graves excesos contra los civiles de las regiones que controla: palizas, saqueos de bienes, incendios de casas, saqueos de hospitales, domicilios y comercios… Pero cuando se trata de nuestros buenos aliados, la información de HRW se publicará en condicional (“habría tenido lugar unos incidentes”) [9] contrariamente a lo que concierne a las “atrocidades” de nuestros enemigos que siempre se consideran confirmadas a priori. Por lo que se refiere a quienes huyen de Libia, no olvidemos que la causa principal de su exilio reside en nuestros bombardeos.

Pérdidas cero

Para tranquilizar a la opinión pública, la propaganda repite machaconamente que nuestros ejércitos son tan eficientes que no hay ningún riesgo en que nuestro ejército participe en esta nueva “operación”.

Es cierto que unos bombardeos son, evidentemente, menos arriesgados para quien bombardea que para aquel que es bombardeado (sobre todo si no tienen una defensa antiaérea eficaz). Sin embargo, este desequilibrio flagrante de los riesgos empieza a difuminarse cuando la “operación” se prolonga por tierra. Las guerras en Afganistán e Iraq también se debían haber saldado teóricamente en “cero muertos” pero, naturalmente, la realidad desmintió esta previsión.

El balance de muertos se calcula muy a la baja ya que generalmente solo tiene en cuenta las muertes producidas entre los soldados “oficiales”. Ahora bien, cada vez más la ocupación se confía a mercenarios privados, llamados “contratistas”. En Afganistán, por ejemplo, estos subcontratados son tan numerosos como los “verdaderos” militares estadounidenses, pero sus contratos escapan al control parlamentario y mediático. Solo la sociedad L3-Com cuenta a día de hoy con 350 muertes de soldados privados [10]. Así pues, en caso de que la operación libia se prolongue por tierra, hemos de estar atentos cuando se nos presenten balances tranquilizadores de “nuestras” tropas en caso de que estas incluyan también a mercenarios que, además, son difíciles de controlar en su manera de actuar y a veces son reclutados sobre el terreno sin discernimiento.

¿Cómo seguir siendo crítico?

La crítica histórica nos enseña que discernir los hechos exactos exige contrastar las informaciones que provienen de fuentes diversas. En el caso que nos ocupa, este ejercicio es muy complicado si no imposible: se filtran pocas informaciones independientes de Libia, la radiotelevisión libia es absolutamente inaccesible en el extranjero porque los emisores satélite están bloqueados y porque nuestros medios de comunicación acompañan inmediatamente cualquier información molesta de un comentario de los “rebeldes” a los que apoyamos o de la OTAN. Así, el contribuyente que se pregunta por qué una parte de sus impuestos se destina a pagar las salidas excepcionales de los F-16 belgas y sus bombas solo puede contar consigo mismo ante la propaganda que domina en nuestros medios de comunicación, ejercer su sentido común y dudar.

Texto en francés: http://www.mondialisation.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=26188

Traducido del francés para Rebelión por Beatriz Morales Bastos

Notas

[1]Anne Morelli, Principes élémentaires de propagande de guerre applicables en cas de guerre chaude, froide ou tiède, 1ª edición 2001, última edición Aden 2010. La obra se ha traducido a siete idiomas, entre ellas el japonés. [Hay traducción en castellano: Principios elementales de la propaganda de guerra: (utilizables en caso de guerra fría, caliente o tibia…), Hondarribia, Hiru, 2001].
[2]Declaración del comandante de la operación “Protector unificado”, general Charles Bouchard (La Libre Belgique, 21 de junio de 2011).
[3] Mahmoud Jibril en la sede de la OTAN en Bruselas, 13 de julio de 2011 (La Libre Belgique, 14 julio de 2011).
[4] El Congreso estadounidense puso en duda la legitimidad de estas operaciones militares contra Libia, que no fueron objeto de su autorización y, por consiguiente, según la legislación estadounidense hubieran debido terminar 90 días después de su inicio (La Libre Belgique, 16 de junio de 2011).
[5] El acuerdo “contra los refugiados” firmado con Italia data de 2008.
[6]Véase el testimonio del general Riccardo Sanchez que dirigió las fuerzas internacionales en Iraq de 2003 a 2004 y que reconoció que estas utilizaban sistemáticamente el maltrato y la tortura ignorando las Convenciones de Ginebra (cf. el documental de Marie-Monique Robin, «Torture made in USA», La Une, 15 de junio de 2011.
[7]Despacho de AFP (La Libre Belgique, 21 de junio de 2011)
[8] 29 de julio de 2011
[9] Despacho de AFP (La Libre Belgique, 14 de julio de 2011). Aunque HRW denunciaba que en junio y julio habían tenido lugar excesos, el periódico titulaba “La rebelión niega los excesos” y ponía un pie de foto: “Al principio de la revolución habrían tenido lugar incidentes (sic)”, es decir, ¡a mediados de febrero! Por consiguiente, “incidentes” viejos.
[10]Véase al respecto el artículo de P. Descu, «Externalisation et privatisation de la guerre: un pari risqué», en Tribune-CGSP, julio-agosto de 2011.

Anne Morelli es profesora de “Crítica histórica” en la Universidad Libre de Bruselas y Presidenta de “Mujeres por la Paz”.

Bank funding costs are rising, liquidity is being choked off, and interbank lending has started to stall. A full-blown crisis can still be averted, but leaders will have to knuckle down and resolve the political issues fast. Otherwise the 17-member monetary union will fracture and the euro will be kaput. Here’s a clip from the Wall Street Journal:

“Commercial banks boosted their reliance on the European Central Bank, borrowing €2.82 billion ($4.07 billion) from an emergency lending facility on Tuesday … While the amount of borrowing is tiny … the increase from €555 million a day earlier, nonetheless suggest that some lenders are struggling to borrow from traditional funding sources.”(“Europe Banks Lean More on Emergency Funding”, Wall Street Journal)

Sure, it’s a pittance compared to the trillions floating around in the EU banking system, but the pattern is the same as it was in 2007 when the troubles began at French bank PNB Paribas. Back then, the problems seemed small, too, but things got out of hand quick. Over the following year, trillions in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) were downgraded forcing bigger and bigger losses on the bondholders, many of which were the nation’s largest banks. The bloodletting dragged on until September 2008, when Lehman blew up and the whole financial system went into cardiac arrest. The Fed had to rush to Wall Street’s rescue with $12 trillion in loans and other guarantees in hand just to keep the patient from croaking on the Emergency Room floor. Now it looks like history is repeating itself.

As the collateral the banks hold (mainly foreign sovereign bonds) continues to lose value, the banks will come under greater pressure making funding more costly and harder to get. In fact, the mad-scramble for short-term funding has already begun. Banks are hoarding capital just as they did after the Crash of ’08, depositing larger and larger amounts in overnight accounts with the ECB in order to avoid lending to the other banks. All of this is taking a toll on consumer and household lending which will inevitably push eurozone GDP further into the red. The negative feedback loop into the real economy will send unemployment higher while further crimping business investment. This is from Businessweek:

“Despite the ECB’s best efforts, some of Europe’s banks may be inching toward insolvency. The cost of insuring the bonds of 25 European banks and insurers set a record high on Aug. 24 of 257 basis points, higher than the 149 basis-point spike when Lehman Brothers collapsed in the fall of 2008, according to the Markit iTraxx Financial Index of credit default swaps.

The banks aren’t required to mark down most of their holdings of government debt to market prices. If they did, some would be forced to default or seek a bailout.” (“How Long Can the ECB Prop Up Europe’s Sick Banks?”, Businessweek)

Are you kidding me? The banks are sitting on a mountain of garbage paper and EU regulators haven’t even forced them to write down the losses. Is it any wonder why public confidence is at all-time lows?

U.S. money funds have been gradually reducing their exposure to EU banks due to worries about their collateral, much of which is bonds from Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and Greece (PIIGS). Eventually, these bonds will be pounded by downgrades and the banks will have to pony-up for the losses. That’ll be the swan song for some of Europe’s big name banks that are gravely undercapitalized. Of course, there could be a multi-trillion dollar bailout like in the US, but it’s hard to imagine how that would work. After all, Germany has already rejected eurobonds; so why would they support the more offensive idea of bank bailouts? It just doesn’t add up.

And, in case there’s any doubt about German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s contempt for eurobonds; here’s what she said on Tuesday: “At this time — we’re in a dramatic crisis — euro bonds are precisely the wrong answer…They lead us into a debt union, not a stability union. Each country has to take its own steps to reduce its debt.”

Then she added this corker: “We are in no rush whatsoever to solve the crisis in Europe. We will not be swayed by market crashes or panics.”

Hmmm. That doesn’t sound like someone who appreciates the urgency of the moment. It sounds like someone who wants to teach the market “who’s boss”.

But Merkel’s bravado doesn’t change the fact that the EU bank funding system is on the fritz; liquidity is drying up, stress gauges are blinking red, and the banks are too scared to lend to each other. It just demonstrates the obtuseness of grandstanding politicians.

And, keep in mind that–while QE2 helped many of the European banks stockpile “rainy day” reserves in the US–those piles are beginning to dwindle as investors wise-up and head for the exits. They’ve seen this movie before, and it doesn’t end well. Better to be safe than sorry.

Here’s an excerpt from a report by Nomura that shows how liquidity is gradually being drained from the system:

“The USD cash buffer has been falling according to FED data from 889 billions USD on July 20 to 758 billions USD on August 3….In fact, according to the same report, there was a notable decline of 131 billions USD in two weeks, clearly a trend to watch…. (“Credit Terminal Velocity”, Macronomics, Pragmatic Capitalism)

So, no, we’re not at the panic-phase yet, but the situation is steadily deteriorating. As the run on the money markets continues, more banks have to go “cup in hand” to the ECB seeking loans to stay afloat. At the same time, ECB chief Jean-Claude Trichet will have to step up his sovereign debt purchasing program to prop up plunging bond prices to help tottering Greece and Co. stay upright. Otherwise, someone’s going to go belly-up and take down a good portion of the EU financial system along with them.

So, it’s a mess, and it’s going to get a whole lot messier because eurozone banks need to roll over more than $4.5 trillion in the next two years and the funding flywheel is already gummed up. If there’s not a political solution to the trans-EU fiscal issues in the next few months, there’s going to be Hell-to-pay. When the credit markets start to freeze, bad things can happen fast.

This isn’t the time for pompous pronouncements or footdragging. Policymakers need to make a choice and stick by it. Is there a future for the eurozone or not? It’s that simple. Either implement the policies that will make the monetary union work or forget about it. But, for God sakes, don’t just stand there while the markets rip the economy to shreds.

Do something!

Welcome to Colonialism 2.0

August 28th, 2011 by Rakesh Krishnan Simha

The assault on Libya by a coalition of mostly Western nations begs the question: Is colonialism making some sort of a comeback? While their economies are collapsing in slow motion, it is hard to picture Western countries prospecting for real estate across the globe, as they did 300 years ago. But as unreal as it seems, it is happening.

Few will shed tears for Gaddafi because it was his impetuosity that cost Libya its freedom; of more concern is the fact that after 40 years the country’s considerable oil wealth has reverted to Western control. Iraqi oil too is flowing west. Iran could very well be the next target of American and British warplanes.

Ironically, it is when the West is weak that the emergent nations of Asia and Africa have reason to worry. Colonialism 2.0 isn’t just a catchphrase; it is simple economics: the wealthy will always need to be vigilant against the desperate.

In the 18th and 19th centuries when the world was being colonized by the likes of Spain, Britain, France, Belgium, Portugal and the Dutch, India and China were the two richest countries in the world, together accounting for over 50 per cent of world GDP. And yet the two giant Asian nations ended up under colonial jackboots.

If you think colonization happened when the East was decadent and the West was rising or that India and China neglected their militaries and ignored the foreign threats lurking at their shores, you couldn’t be more wrong. Both countries had very powerful armies and naval flotillas led by able commanders.

Military edge

In the early 1700′s, India’s legendary Admiral of the Fleet, Kanhoji Angre, routed the British, Dutch and Portuguese navies on the high seas. For 33 years until his death in 1729, the Indian remained undefeated. The British were so pissed they called him a pirate.

Indian ships of that time were so advanced in design and durability that the British inducted them into their fleet. In the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, Horatio Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory was an Indian built vessel.

According to the Indian Navy’s website, “This so agitated British shipbuilders on the River Thames that they protested against the use of Indian built ships to carry trade from England. Consequently, active measures were adopted to cripple the Indian shipbuilding industries.”

The southern Indian kingdom of Mysore was the first in modern history to use rockets in war, and they used it with deadly effect against the British in the Battle of Guntur in 1780. The literally shell-shocked British army fled from the battlefield. A few unexploded rockets were later shipped to the Royal Arsenal in London, where William Congreve, the British weapons expert, reverse engineered them to launch modern rocketry in Europe.

Most Indian rulers also possessed keen geopolitical awareness. For instance, they did not allow European merchants to keep garrisons or conduct inland trade. When Thomas Roe, the British monarch’s emissary, landed in western India in 1616, he was made to wait a year before the Indian emperor granted him an audience. Three years later, Roe despite many entreaties and considerable bowing before the grandees at Delhi, returned without a trade treaty because the emperor saw no point in trading with a country that had not one product or commodity to offer India.

Thin end of the wedge

However, one slip-up by a weak emperor let in the hordes. A hundred years after Roe’s exit, an English embassy had a stroke of luck when one of its members, William Hamilton, a physician of questionable medical skills, managed to relieve the figurehead emperor of severe pain in his groin. The emperor gratefully signed a decree giving the British inland trading rights, customs duty exemptions, and the right to keep a garrison. The rest as they say is history.

According to professor Rajesh Kochhar, emeritus scientist at the Indian Institute of Science Education & Research, Chandigarh, “These exemptions gave the English traders commercial advantages not only over other European companies but also over Indian traders. More importantly, the various official orders granting trade concessions gave the British a cause to defend, with military strength if needed.” Does that sound familiar?

Return of the East

Today, the east is rising once again. Economists are stunned by the unprecedented flow of manufacturing, finance and wealth to the east. Magid Igbaria, former professor of management information systems at Tel Aviv University, wrote in The Virtual Workplace: “For all but the last 500 years of human history, the world’s wealth measured in human capital and in goods was concentrated in Asia. During the past five centuries, the world’s wealth has been concentrated in the West. This era is coming to an end. Today, the great concentrations of human capital, financial power, manufacturing power, and informated power are once again accumulating in the East.”

Indeed, in 30 years India is predicted to overtake the US, even though it is only one-fourteenth the size of the US economy now. That is an incredible rate of wealth accretion.

The question is will the US and Europe simply watch the world go past? On the contrary, there is a concerted effort by a US-led coalition to stop this trend. Here are a few ways the West is trying to stay on top:

Base instincts: Today the US-led coalition has over 750 military bases across the globe. Despite the huge costs, this extension of military power is essential to their hegemony. A slew of European nationalities has followed the American military in its misadventures around the world. No empire in history has attempted such sweeping control. In Pliny’s days the Roman, Indian and Chinese empires co-existed in their spheres of influence and never attempted to destabilise each other. The good old days.

Divide and rule: The Americans are playing up India as a major “regional” power allied with the West. This is not only insulting to the Indians (why should India only be a regional power?), it also scares the hell out of the Chinese. The communists in Beijing, therefore, come out with kneejerk statements calling for India’s breakup, which in turn makes the Indians consider China a natural enemy. Amazingly, in the past 2500 years, China and India never had even a skirmish, until the British arrived on the scene and planted the seeds of border problems.

Climate bogey: After polluting the environment for more than a century, the West now wants India and China to reduce emissions. It’s a thinly disguised attempt to slow these rapidly growing economies. India’s Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has done an about turn and now his views seem to align with Western interests, which led to key Indian negotiators quitting in disgust. Newsweek, the Pentagon mouthpiece masquerading as journalism, was sufficiently pleased with Ramesh to label him the “global rock star of climate change”.

Dollar gambit: Wouldn’t you feel almighty if you obtained a license to print US dollars off your home printer? While the rest of the world has to earn a living the hard way, the Americans just print dollars to pay their bills. Need a few hundred billion dollars to pay for the war in Iraq? Want to buy Venezuelan oil? Russian titanium? No problem. The US mint cranks the lever and billions of dollars start rolling off the presses. In fact, in recent years even that pretense has been given the heave-ho – now trillions of dollars are generated electronically in the accounts of the US  Federal Reserves. It’s as simple as that.

There is another way the dollar trade works against the interests of non-Western countries. Countries like China and Russia invest their earnings in US treasury bonds; these dollars are used by the Americans to maintain their global military supremacy, build increasingly modern weapons, and reward their allies with cash, weapons, and security umbrellas.

WTO: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has called it “archaic, undemocratic and inflexible” and dominated by a small group of developed countries which indulge in protectionism. One of its aims is to pry open the agricultural markets of Asia, including India. Incidentally, India has the highest number of farmer suicides in the world.

Nixing nuclear tech: The 11th commandment: Thou shall not acquire nuclear technology. Indian and Japanese nuclear scientists perfected the fast breeder reactor (which generates more nuclear fuel than it uses) so they never have to look outside for hard-to-get uranium). However, most likely under US pressure, both nations have quietly shelved their technologies.

Space crunch: America’s space ambitions are currently grounded because of deep cuts. India has the world’s largest number (177) of satellites in space. NASA is aware of it; it is looking at joint ventures with the Indian Space Research Organisation which has reliable rockets and something like 20,000 engineers and scientists. Few are aware that during the 1990s, India requested the Russians for a role in the International Space Station, but the Americans said no. Now NASA wants a free ride on Indian rockets, and India’s feckless politicians are happy to oblige.

According to former Panama ruler General Manuel Noriega, who now languishes in an American prison despite doing decades of dirty work for the CIA, “if there is someone willing to buy a country, there is someone willing to sell it.” Worryingly for emerging nations, there are plenty of collaborators like Noriega in their amidst willing to sacrifice national interests for a few million dollars in a Swiss bank account and green cards for their families.

In the first era of colonialism, the then dominant Eastern nations opened up their economies and territories to comparatively backward Western nations over a span of several decades, finally ending up as their colonies. Under the guise of globalization and ‘free’ trade, Colonialism 2.0 could happen in much the same way.

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Extensive war crimes have been committed. NATO has blood on its hands. The heads of government and heads of state of NATO member countries are responsible for extensive war crimes

The “pro-democracy” rebels are led by Al Qaeda paramilitary brigades under the supervision of NATO Special Forces. The “Liberation” of  Tripoli was carried out by “former” members of the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).

The jihadists and NATO work hand in glove. These “former” Al Qaeda affiliated brigades constitute the backbone of the “pro-democracy” rebellion.

NATO special forces with “boots and the ground” pass unnoticed. Their identity is not known or revealed. They blend into the Libyan rebellion landscape of machine guns and pickup trucks. They are not highlighted in the photo ops.

Special forces composed of  US Navy SEALS, British Special SAS Forces and French legionnaires, disguised in civilian rebel garb, are reported to be behind major operations directed against key government buildings including Gadhafi’s Bab al-Aziziya compound in central Tripoli.

Reports confirm that British SAS were on the ground in Eastern Libya prior to the onset of the air campaign. Special Forces are in close coordination with NATO air operations. “Highly-trained units, known as ‘Smash’ teams for their prowess and destructive ability, have carried out secret reconnaissance missions to provide up-to-date information on the Libyan armed forces.” (SAS ‘Smash’ squads on the ground in Libya to mark targets for coalition jets, Daily Mirror, March 21, 2011)  

NATO special forces and the CIA sponsored Islamic brigades under the command of “former” jihadists constitute the backbone of combat capabilities on the ground, supported by the air campaign, which now includes Apache helicopter raids.

The remainder of the rebel forces include untrained trigger happy gunmen (including teenagers) (see photo below), which serve the function of creating an atmosphere of panic and intimidation.

What we are dealing with is a carefully planned military intelligence operation to invade and occupy a sovereign country.

Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS

Killing the Truth. The Role of the Western Media

The Western media constitutes a major instrument of war. NATO war crimes are obfuscated. Popular resistance to the NATO led invasion is not mentioned.

A narrative of  “liberation” and  “opposition pro-democracy rebel forces” is instilled in the inner consciousness of millions of people. Its called the “NATO Consensus”. 

“The NATO Consensus” which upholds the “humanitarian mandate” of the Atlantic alliance cannot be challenged. The bombings of civilian areas as well as the role of a terrorist militia are either trivialised or not mentioned.

Killing the truth is an integral part of the military agenda.

Realities are turned upside down.

The lie becomes the truth.

Its an inquisitorial doctrine. The NATO consensus dwarfs the Spanish Inquisition by a long shot.

The criminal invasion and occupation of Libya is not mentioned. The lives of independent journalists in Tripoli who report on what is actually happening are threatened. The catch words are “Liberation” and “Revolution” with NATO’s mandate limited to R2P (“Responsibility to Protect”).

Liberation or Invasion? By camouflaging the nature of the military operation, not to mention NATO atrocities, the Western media has contributed to providing the Transitional Council with a semblance of legitimacy and international recognition. The latter would not have been forthcoming without the support of the Western media.

NATO special forces and intelligence operatives on the ground are in permanent liaison with military planners involved in coordinating NATO strike sorties and bombing raids on the Libyan capital.

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Intensive Bombing Raids over Tripoli

On August 27, NATO acknowledged the conduct of 20,633 sorties since March 31st, and 7,768 strike sorties. (These figures do not include the intensive bombing raids conducted in the two weeks prior to March 31st). Each fighter jet or bomber carries numerous missiles, rockets, etc. depending on the ordnance specification of the aircraft.

Multiply the number of strike sorties (7768 since March 31) by the average number of missiles or bombs launched by each of the planes and you get a rough idea of the size and magnitude of this military operation. A French Dassault Mirage 2000, for instance, can transport 18 missiles under its wings. America’s B-2 Stealth bombers are equipped with bunker buster bombs


France’s Mirage 2000 used in Operation Odyssey Dawn against Libya,

USAF Stealth B-2 Bomber used in Operation Odyssey Dawn

Pursuant to NATO’s humanitarian mandate, we are informed by the media that these tens of thousands of strikes have not resulted in civilian casualties (with the exception of occasional “collateral damage”).

Not surprisingly, already in mid April, three weeks into the bombing campaign, the Atlantic Alliance announced that “NATO planes flying combat missions over Libya are starting to run out of bombs” (UPI, April 16, 2011, emphasis added);

“The reason we need more capability isn’t because we aren’t hitting what we see — it’s so that we can sustain the ability to do so,” one NATO official told the Post. “One problem is flight time, the other is munitions.” (Ibid)

The bombing raids over Tripoli were intensified in the course of the last two weeks. They were intended to support ground operations led by NATO special forces and the Islamic paramilitary brigades. With limited NATO ground force capabilities, NATO strategists decided to intensify the bombing raids.

Global Research’s Correspondent in Tripoli, whose life was threatened for revealing NATO war crimes described a shift in the pattern of bombing, starting in mid-July, with increasingly intensive air raids leading up to the ground invasion on August: 20th: 

“Until approximately 2:35 a.m EET [July 17], the strident noises of fighter jets over Tripoli could be heard. The bomb blasts triggered an atmosphere of fear and panic over the entire city, a poignant psychological and emotional impact on tens of thousands of people, from the young to the elderly. It also alerted people and brought them out onto their balconies while they witnessed the bombing of their country.

One of the explosions resulted in a huge mushroom cloud, pointing to the possible use of bunker buster bombs. … There was something unusual in the pattern of this NATO bombing operation.

The bombings tonight were not like other nights. The sounds were different. The smoke plumes were different. In previous bombings the smoke would usually go up vertically like a fire, but tonight the smoke plumes were horizontal and hovering above Tripoli with a white cloud in the horizon. 

People who were not directly affected by the bombs, within a radius of 15 kilometres experienced burning eyes, lower back pain, headaches.” (Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, NATO Launches Bombing Blitzkrieg over Tripoli hitting Residential Areas , Global Research, July 17, 2011)

The mass killing of civilians in a Blitzkrieg environment as well as the creation of a generalized atmosphere of panic is intended to curtail the population’s resistance to the NATO-led invasion.

The Death Toll

According to sources from our correspondent in Tripoli, the death toll in the course of the last week (20-26 August) is of the order of 3000. The hospitals are in a state of turmoil, unable to come to the rescue of the wounded. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) confirms that medical supplies are in short supply throughout the country.

In recent developments UNICEF has warned of shortages of water due to the NATO bombing of  water infrastructure throughout the country. “This could turn into an unprecedented health epidemic “ said Christian Balslev-Olesen of UNICEF’s Libya Office.

NATO warplanes deliberately targeted the peaceful vigil of tents in front of the Gadhafi compound in a gruesome massacre. The mainstream media acknowledges the massacre, while stating that gun wounds are the cause of death in crossfire between loyalist and rebel forces. The victims are :

“The identities of the dead were unclear, but they were in all likelihood activists who had set up an impromptu tent city in solidarity with Gadhafi in defiance of the NATO bombing campaign. (Forbes.com, August 25, 2011) 

We are not dealing with collateral damage. Extensive war crimes have been committed. NATO has blood on its hands. The heads of government and heads of state of NATO member countries are war criminals.

The Central Role of Al Qaeda Operatives in the “Liberation of Tripoli”

According to CNN, in a twisted logic, the terrorists have repented:  “former terrorists” are no longer “terrorists”. 

The LIFG is said to have been disbanded.

Following their disavowal of violence, these former LIFG leaders created a new political organization called the Islamic Movement for Change, which according to CNN “is committed to working within a future democratic process”.  “The Libyan Islamic Movement for Change (Al-Haraka Al-Islamiya Al Libiya Lit-Tahghir), is made up of former members of the now defunct [CIA supported] Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG)” (Reuters, August 26, 2011)

In a contradictory about turn, former “bad guys” (terrorists) are heralded as “good guys” committed to “combating terrorism”. 

The  “former” members of the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) are now portrayed as “pro-democracy activists” who “have assumed leadership positions in several rebel brigades”.

Labels have been switched: the CIA supported Al Qaeda affiliated LIFG has been transformed into the CIA sponsored Islamic Movement for Change (IMC), which supports the pro-democracy rebellion.

When was the LIFG disbanded?

In a bitter irony, the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) was listed until June 2011 by the United Nations Security Council as a bona fide terrorist organization. On June 21 2011, The Listing of Terrorist Organizations, conveniently vanished from the UN Security Council website pending the revamping of the website. (See annex below)

The LIFG entry was included in the (updated March 24, 2011, accessed April 3, 2011) United Nations Security Council “terror list” as follows 

QE.L.11.01. Name: LIBYAN ISLAMIC FIGHTING GROUP

Name (original script):

A.k.a.: LIFG F.k.a.: na Address: na Listed on: 6 Oct. 2001 (amended on 5 Mar. 2009)

(The LIFG Listing is on p. 70, http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/pdf/consolidatedlist.pdf, (accessed April 3, 2011, no longer accessible)

Other information: Review pursuant to Security Council resolution 1822 (2008) was concluded on 21 Jun. 2010. The website is down and is currently being revamped

Who Leads Libya’s Islamic Brigades?

Recent reports confirm what was known and documented from the outset of the “rebellion” in mid-March:  The key military command positions of the rebellion are held by the “former” commanders of the Libya Islamic fighting Group (LIFG)”. 

The commander of the assault on Tripoli is Abdel Hakim Belhadj, (also known as Abu Abdullah al-Sadeq, Hakim al-Hasidi). He has been entrusted, with NATO’s approval,  of “one of the most powerful rebel brigades in Tripoli [which] took charge of successful rebel efforts earlier this week to storm Gadhafi’s Bab al-Azziziyah compound, further bolstering his prominent position in rebel ranks.” (CNN, op cit)

“Sadeeq was a well-known figure in the jihadist movement. He fought the Soviet-backed government in Afghanistan and helped found [with the support of the CIA] the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group there.” (Ibidt)

But Saddeeq, according to CNN has repented. He is no longer a terrorist (i.e. a “bad guy”) “but a powerful voice against Al Qaeda’s terrorism”. (Ibid, emphasis added). Former Al Qaeda commander committed to fighting Al Qaada? 

“In 2009, Sadeeq and other senior LIFG leaders formally repudiated al Qaeda style terrorism and disbanded their campaign to overthrow the Libyan regime.

The breakthrough was the result of a two-year dialogue with the regime brokered by Benotman [a former LIFG commander now in the employ of  the London based Quilliam Foundation with a mandate in conflict resolution. CNN interviewed leading figures of the LIFG in Abu Salim prison in Tripoli in September 2009, shortly before the group's leaders were released. Although they were then behind prison bars, the leaders' disavowal of violence appeared genuine. (Ibid)

According to DebkaFile (Israeli intelligence online report), the "pro-Al Qaeda brigades" led by LIFG Commander Abdel Hakim Belhadj constitute the dominant force of the rebellion, overriding the authority of the Transitional Council. They are in control of strategic buildings including Gadhafi's compound. 

"The LIFG chief [Abdel Hakim Belhadj] now styles himself “Commander of the Tripoli Military Council.” Asked by our sources whether they plan to hand control of the Libyan capital to the National Transitional Council, which has been recognized in the West, the jihadi fighters made a gesture of dismissal without answering. (Debka, Pro-Al Qaeda brigades control Qaddafi Tripoli strongholds seized by rebels, August 28, 2011 )

Abdul Hakim Belhhadj  received his military training in a CIA sponsored guerrilla camp in Afghanistan. He constitutes a CIA “intelligence asset” operating in the Lybian war theater. An earlier report suggests that he  has some 1,000 men under his command. (Libyan rebels at pains to distance themselves from extremists – The Globe and Mail, March 12, 2011)

The US-NATO coaltion is arming the Jihadists. Weapons are being channelled to the LIFG from Saudi Arabia, which historically, since the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war, has covertly supported Al Qaeda. The Saudis are now providing the rebels, in liaison with Washington and Brussels, with anti-tank rockets and ground-to-air missiles. (See Michel Chossudovsky  “Our Man in Tripoli”: US-NATO Sponsored Islamic Terrorists Integrate Libya’s Pro-Democracy Opposition, Global Research, 3 April 2011)

A “Democracy” run by Terrorists

Reports also confirm that large numbers of  terrorists imprisoned in Abu Salim jail were released by rebel forces. They are now being recruited by the former LIFG Islamic brigades, led by “former” jihadists pro-democracy commanders. 

So all ends well in the smooth transition towards a democracy run by terrorists.

NATO’s Islamic Jihad

There are indications that NATO, in coordination with Western intelligence agencies (including Israel’s Mossad), is involved in recruiting Islamist fighters. Israeli intelligence sources confirm that NATO in cooperation with Turkey, is now directly training and recruiting in several Muslim countries a new jihadist generation of  “Freedom Fighters”. The Mujahideen after undergoing training are slated to participate in NATO’s “pro-democracy” “humanitarian” military campaigns. The Israeli report by Debka pertains to Syria, which is next  in line on the NATO military roadmap:

“Our sources report, is a [NATO] campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels… ” (Debka File August 15, 2011  http://www.debka.com/article/21207/ )

The NATO led invasion and occupation of Libya is using Islamic fighters as the backbone of an alleged transition to democracy.

Concluding Remarks

The tragic events of  9/11 have played a key role in developing a massive propaganda campaign geared towards justifying a “war on terrorism” directed against Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda.

In a bitter twist, throughout the Middle East and Central Asia, the Western military alliance is using Islamic brigades, trained and groomed by the CIA, MI6 and Mossad, to wage its “Global War on Terrorism”.

The war on terrorism constitutes a broad consensus instilled in the minds of millions of people, What is not known to Western public opinion is that the West’s holy crusade against Islamic terrorism rather than targeting terrorists actually includes terrorists in his ranks, i.e  Al Qaeda “freedom fighters” have been integrated into the ranks of US-NATO led military operations.

Rest assured, in the case of Libya, the rebels are “the good guys”: they are “former” rather than “active” members of Al Qaeda.

The Western media has not reported on NATO war crimes. It has casually dismissed NATO atrocities: 8000 strike sorties represents more than 50,000  missiles and bombs dropped on the Libyan people.

There are various ways of concealing the truth. From the outset of the air campaign, the media has denied the existence of a war. Its causes and consequences are distorted. In turn, an effective propaganda campaign requires targeting people’s mindset in newspapers, network TV and online.

People must be distracted from an understanding of the war on Libya. Atrocities committed by NATO with the support of the United Nations is rarely frontpage news. How best to camouflage the truth? By redirecting news coverage on Libya towards a number of trivial “talking points”, including the size of Gadhafi’s swimming pool, his female bodyguards, his cosmetic plastic surgery, etc. The Guardian, August 23, 2011) 

Not included in the journalist’s “to do list” is the coverage of the three thousand  men, women and children who lost their lives in the course of a weeklong Blitzkrieg bombing of Tripoli using the most advanced weapons systems in human history. 

Against this background of lies and fabrications, the lives of several independent journalists including Global Research’s Correspondent Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya trapped in Tripoli were threatened, for saying the truth. 

Related Article


“Our Man in Tripoli”: US-NATO Sponsored Islamic Terrorists Integrate Libya’s Pro-Democracy Opposition
- by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-04-03

Concepts are Turned Upside Down: The US-NATO military alliance is supporting a rebellion integrated by Islamic terrorists, in the name of the “War on Terrorism”…

NEW BOOK BY MICHEL CHOSSUDOVSKY
Order directly from Global Research
 


Towards a World War III Scenario.
New E-Book from Global Research Publishers
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-06

 

Note

The Libya Islamic Fighting Group was listed until June 10th as a terrorist organization.

The United Nations Security Council, confirmed that the LIFG is bona fide terrorist: organization.

The LIFG entry was included in the (updated March 24, 2011, accessed April 3, 2011) United Nations Security Council “terror list” as follows 

QE.L.11.01. Name: LIBYAN ISLAMIC FIGHTING GROUP

Name (original script):

A.k.a.: LIFG F.k.a.: na Address: na Listed on: 6 Oct. 2001 (amended on 5 Mar. 2009)

Other information: Review pursuant to Security Council resolution 1822 (2008) was concluded on 21 Jun. 2010  

(The LIFG Listing is on p. 70, http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/pdf/consolidatedlist.pdf, (accessed April 3, 2011) Under the UNSC rules disbanded terrorist organizations are removed from the list in conformity with a delisting procedure. The LIFG has not been removed from the list). United Nations Security Council: Consolidated List established and maintained by the 1267 Committee with respect to Al-Qaida, Usama bin Laden, and the Taliban and other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with them (updated March 24, 2011).

The above entry was on the UN Security Council’s list of terrorist organizations until June 10th. A new UNSC resolution was passed on June 10 and The Listing of Terrorist Organizations updated on March 24, 2011, conveniently vanished from the UN Security Council website pending the revamping of the website:

IMPORTANT CHANGES TO THE COMMITTEE WEBSITE PURSUANT TO SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 1989 (2011)

On 17 June 2011, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolutions 1988 (2011) and 1989 (2011) as successor resolutions to resolution 1904 (2009). By adopting these resolutions, the Security Council decided to split the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions regime. Resolution 1989 (2011) stipulates that the sanctions list maintained by the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) will henceforth be known as the “Al-Qaida Sanctions List” and include only names of those individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida.

Pursuant to these decisions by the Security Council, this website is in the process of being updated. In this interim period, any remaining references to the Consolidated List on this website should be considered as references to the Al-Qaida Sanctions List.

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (Emeritus) at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG). He is the author of The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003) and America’s “War on Terrorism” (2005). His latest book is entitled Towards a World War Three Scenario, The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011). Michel Chossudovsky spent over a month in Syria in January-February 2011.  

Michel Chossudovsky’s most recent book (2011)

Towards a World War Three Scenario, The Dangers of Nuclear War
Michel Chossudovsky 

E-Book Series No. 1.0
Global Research Publishers
Montreal, 2011,
ISBN 978-0-9737147-3-9

76 pages (8.5×11)
Tables, color photographs, maps, text boxes. 
Active hyperlinks to major references in the text, hyperlinked footnotes.  

For further details click here

Order your pdf of this important new book from Global Research here 

Introductory offer: $5.00 (plus $1.50 processing fee. Sent directly to your email!)
OR receive this book FREE with your Global Research Annual Membership! Click to learn more.

DETAILED TABLE OF CONTENTS

PREFACE 

A New War Theater in North Africa                               
Operation Odyssey Dawn  
Nuclear Weapons against Libya? How Real is the Threat?       
America’s Long War: The Global Military Agenda                         
How to Reverse the Tide of War                                   
World War III Scenario 
Acknowledgments     

CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION    
                             
The Cult of Killing and Destruction                                 
America’s Mini-nukes 
War and the Economic Crisis                                     
Real versus Fake Crises                             

CHAPTER II: THE DANGERS OF NUCLEAR WAR 
                     
Hiroshima Day 2003: Secret Meeting at Strategic Command Headquarters           
The Privatization of Nuclear War: US Military Contractors Set the Stage             
9/11 Military Doctrine: Nuclear Weapons and the “Global War on Terrorism”         
Al Qaeda: “Upcoming Nuclear Power”                               
Obama’s Nuclear Doctrine: The 2010 Nuclear Posture Review                 
Post 9/11 Nuclear Doctrine                                       
“Defensive” and “Offensive” Actions                                 
“Integration” of Nuclear and Conventional Weapons Plans                     
Theater Nuclear Operations (TNO)                                   
Planned Aerial Attacks on Iran                                     
Global Warfare: The Role of US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM)             
Nuclear Weapons Deployment Authorization                             
Israel’s Stockpiling of Conventional and Nuclear Weapons                     
The Role of Western Europe                                   
Germany: De Facto Nuclear Power                                 
Pre-emptive Nuclear War: NATO’s 2010 Strategic Concept                   
The World is at a Critical Crossroads                                 

CHAPTER III: AMERICA’S HOLY CRUSADE AND THE BATTLE FOR OIL           

America’s Crusade in Central Asia and the Middle East                       
“Homegrown Terrorists”                                       
The American Inquisition                                     
Washington’s Extrajudicial Assassination Program                         
The Battle for Oil       
The Oil Lies in Muslim Lands                                     
Globalization and the Conquest of the World’s Energy Resources               

CHAPTER IV: PREPARING FOR WORLD WAR THREE                   

Media Disinformation   
A “Pre-emptive” Aerial Attack Directed Against Iran would Lead to Escalation         
Global Warfare     
US “Military Aid”     
The Timetable of Military Stockpiling and Deployment                       
World War III Scenario                                       
The United Nations Security Council                                 
The American Inquisition: Building a Political Consensus for War               

CHAPTER V: TARGETING IRAN WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS                 

Building a Pretext for a Pre-emptive Nuclear Attack                         
“Theater Iran Near Term”                                       
The Military Road Map: “First Iraq, then Iran”                           
Simulated Scenarios of a Global War: The Vigilant Shield 07 War Games             
The Role of Israel       
Cheney: “Israel Might Do it Without Being Asked”                       
US Israel Military Coordination                                     
Tactical Nuclear Weapons directed against Iran                           
Radioactive Fallout   
“The Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB) Slated to be Used Against Iran               
Extensive Destruction of Iran’s Infrastructure                             
State of the Art Weaponry: “War Made Possible Through New Technologies”         
Electromagnetic Weapons                                       
Iran’s Military Capabilities: Medium and Long Range Missiles                 
Iran’s Ground Forces   
US Military and Allied Facilities Surrounding Iran                         

CHAPTER VI: REVERSING THE TIDE OF WAR                         

Revealing the Lie     
The Existing Anti-War Movement                                   
Manufacturing Dissent 
Jus ad Bellum: 9/11 and the Invasions of Yugoslavia and Afghanistan             
Fake Antiwar Activism: Heralding Iran as a Nuclear Threat                     
The Road Ahead       
The Antiwar Movement within the State Structure and the Military               
Abandon the Battlefield: Refuse to Fight                               
The Broader Peace Process                                     
What has to be Achieved    

Order your pdf of this important new book from Global Research here 

Introductory offer: $5.00 (plus $1.50 processing fee. Sent directly to your email!)
OR receive this book FREE with your Global Research Annual Membership! Click to learn more.

Global Research Editor’s Note

This Global Research video was produced and directed in Tripoli by a team of committed journalists and camermen, who decided to defy the consensus of the Western media which consists in spreading lies and misleading public opinion.

This video reveals the crimes committed by NATO, as well as those committed by the Western media, which has decided to obfuscate the casualties and human suffering of the Libyan people and uphold the humanitarian fiction of NATO’s R2P mandate.  

War propaganda is defined under international law as a war crime. 

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, August 12, 2011

 

Cynthia McKinney: WAR KILLS

August 28th, 2011 by Ron Ridenour

Cynthia McKinney will be in Montreal on September 8, together with Michel Chossudovsky, Wayne Madsen and Mahdi Darius Nazemroayya. for details click here


AFTER 9/11: TEN YEARS OF WAR
Special Commemorative Conference, Montreal, September 8
- by Cynthia McKinney, Wayne Madsen, Mahdi Nazemroaya, Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-09-09

Leading black-skinned representatives of the “hegemon”, as Cynthia McKinney calls President Barak Obama and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, could hardly expect to win any votes from the standing-room-only crowd at her anti-war tour last night at Calvary Church in Philadelphia.

Speaking before nearly 300 people–two-thirds of them black, the remainder white and hispanic–in her T-shirt proclaiming that “war kills”, the former U.S. congresswoman said:

“We need someone in the White House who thinks like us and not just one who looks like us. We have to act like we’re free if we want to be free. We have to liberate ourselves from war-mongering political parties.”

Philadelphia was one of the last cities on McKinney’s International Action Center-sponsored “Report from Libya: Impact of U.S. war in Africa” tour, which hit 21-plus cities. The Philadelphia meeting was co-sponsored by several community groups and left-wing political parties, including the Green Par,ty which ran Mckinney as its candidate during the last presidential campaign.

In addition to McKinney, representatives of the community and Sara Flounders, co-director of the IAC, spoke. Pam Africa of the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal said, “This meeting is about action to stop the wars over there and here at home. And Amy Goodman [Democracy Now anchor] needs to stop ignoring the word brought to us by Cynthia McKinney.” A brust of applause reenforced this viewpoint.

A representative of an anti-police brutality group encouraged people to vote for Diop Olugbala for mayor as the only anti-imperialist running against the pro-corporate Mayor Michael Nutter.

McKinney led a delegation to Libya last May-June in opposition to the US-NATO assault on that country, which began in March and destroyed much of Tripoli and other cities that were controlled by the government of Muamar Gadsafy. She witnessed some of the bombing and its destruction of life and of the country’s infrastructure.

“I speak with a heavy heart, knowing that places I visited no longer exist. Migrant workers camped out in tents close to ‘The Door to Africa’ as Gaddafi’s residence, Bab al-Azizia, is known. They are gone now, many split into pieces; only rubble remains,” said McKinney.

“They have pitted African against African, Libyan against Libyan. Between 50 and 58% of Libyans are dark to black-skinned. We heard of black-skinned Libyans being killed by white-skinned Libyan allies of NATO, and several blacks we met in our study expressed fear that this would happend to them.”


McKinney’s face tightened as she recalled how the bombing was so intense that dust, grit and ashes saturated the skies, causing darkness during the day.

IAC leader Flounders asserted that this blanket bombing of the country’s infrastructure is a “war crime according to several UN conventions.” She said, “In any war, it is illegal to drop bombs that cause civilians to die and the blackout of electricity, the destruction of water and communications, the bombing of civilians in homes and schools.”

People are going hungry because the economy is being destroyed, Flounders added. “Just like in Somalia where the US is sending ‘aid’ to the starving people in the shape of murderous drones. In Libya the big lie is that it is all over, just like when President Bush declared ‘mission acomplished‘ on May Day 2003.”

More than eight years later, 50,000 troops are in Iraq and over 100,000 US are still in Afghanistan.

Bush had his hands full in Afghanistan and Iraq but his successor, a self-professed sort-of presidential peace candidate in 2008, has expanded Bush’s “war on terrorism” into six wars, with pseudonyms like: “missions”, “humanitarian missions”, or “counterinsurgency campaigns”. Besides Bush’s wars, there are bombings and drones, “special forces”, Navy Seals, CIA operators and highly paid private mercenaries killing people in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya.

The two speakers outlined the reasons behind the US-NATO war “mission” in Libya not just as a bid for more oil, but for other economic and political reasons as well.

“I didn’t have a ‘position’ on Libya or Gaddafi until 2009,” McKinney responded to a question concerning human rights abuse by Gaddafi.

“In 2008, organizers of Gaza solidarity efforts asked me to join them on a ship that would bring greatly needed supplies to the entrapped people. Our boat was rammed by Israeli boats, and some people aboard told us to prepare to die. We didn’t die but we were prevented from accomplishing our humanitarian mission.

“In a second attempt Israel stopped our vessel and kidnapped us. I was held in prison for seven days. Nobody in the US congress or White House offered any aid, not even a peep of support or protest against Israel. But people from Libya did. They asked me to come there and learn about the ‘Green Book’–the underlying philosophy behind their peaceful green revolution.”

McKinney said she learned how after Gaddafi had led a movement to overthrow the repressive monarchy, he started to spread the wealth derived from oil income. Private banks were closed and a central bank created by the state so that it could finance useful projects without interest charges. One of those projects was the financing of Africa’s first communication satellite. Since its inauguration, in late 2007, the 45 African nations have saved an annual total of $500 million in interest which was previously pocketed by European communication companies. Telephones and other communications are much cheaper now across Africa.

Another useful project funded by the Libyan central bank, mentioned by McKinney, was the $33 billion Great Man-Made River of 4,000 kilometers which consists of three parallel pipelines supplying 70% of Libya’s six million people with clean water and irrigation water, gas and oil. But now that river is polluted with depleted uranium, courtesy of US arms.

The river had enabled the production of sufficient vegetables, fruits and grains for the entire population, and domestic farmers were further encouraged to produce by not having to pay taxes.

“Moreover, everyone has free access to education and health care. Students studying abroad have their expenses paid by the state, something the new regime–if successful–will certainly stop. That will affect Libyans studying in the United States,” McKinney said.

“There are no morgages, no landlords, no threat of eviction like here,” she added.

Gaddafi did make compromises with the West, allowing Western oil companies in, and selling 70% of its exported oil to Europe and 5% to the US. China has been buying 10%. But that 70% wasn’t enough to please the US and NATO countries, McKinney and Flounders maintained. China recently invested $18 billion in 50 important development projects and had 35,000 technicians starting working on them when the US and NATO decided to get rid of Gaddafi, who had further irritated these invadaing states because he did not sign on to their “war on terrorism”.

Perhaps Gaddafi’s greatest sin was that he endeavored to unite African countries to trade using a proposed gold and dinar-based currency. That proposal was seen as “a threat for the financial security of mankind,” claimed France’s President Nickolas Sarkozy. Much of France’s wealth–more than any other colonial-imperialist power–comes from Africa.

Having established that the Green Revolution was a progressive operation led by Gaddafi, McKinney added:

“I’m aware of these 43 years [of Gaddafi rule]…and I’m not in favor of any human rights abuse or denial of self-determination for any people. But when a country is invaded I back the invaded. In this country, there is a lot of demonization of Gaddafi and other leaders that the US corporations [and of course the U.S. government] do not like.”

Flounders added that she realized that Gaddafi has made “mistakes”, and that “he also didn’t show respect to the Pentagon lynch mob.”

“I’ll never be on the same side with the enemy of the peoples of the world. When the US drops bombs on people you have to stand up and say something, do something,” she said.

A burst of loud applause indicated public approval, as happened when Flounders asked for donations to pay off the travel bills incurred during McKinney’s trip to Tripoli and during this national educational-action tour.

Most people had already paid a requested but voluntary $10 entrance fee and now hands were raised to donate more. One couple came up with $250, several political and grass roots groups donated $100, $50 and $20. One individual had the courage to make a donation in the name of Amy Goodman, whom, she said, “has done many great programs and will hopefully come around on this one”.

There must have been at least $3000 raised to support the anti-war tour at this event.

Cynthia said farewell saying, “This tour is astounding. There has been standing room only in all the cities. I feel something in the air. We are many who are sick and tired of the lies of the government and the media; thirsty for real change.”

It was an unusually good experience for this rather pesstimistic activist-reporter. Soon I will return to where I currently reside, Denmark, one of the six nations that has been relentlessly bombing Libyans. Denmark, once a peaceful and tolerant country, is now a major ally of the Yankees. It hopes to become the 51st state, I believe, given that is works hand-in-hand with the US corporate government, killing people in four countries.

 
RON RIDENOUR, who was a co-founder and editor with Dave Lindorff in 1976 of the Los Angeles Vanguard, lives in Denmark. A veteran journalist who has reported in the US and from Venezuela, Cuba and Central America, he has written Cuba at the Crossroads, Backfire: The CIA’s Biggest Burn, and Yankee Sandinistas. For more information about Ron and his writing, go to:RonRidenour.com

The US military is making Iraqi children sick

We have a catastrophic situation in Haweeja, near Kirkuk. There is an American munitions training centre in the province and the local people are suffering from living near the weapons testing. 412 children are suffering from radiation sickness. The FWCUI recently participated in a delegation organised by the Organisation for Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) to meet local residents and discuss the issues. There are hundreds of people with illnesses, including cancer. People cannot afford proper medical treatment; FWCUI and OWFI are demanding that the weapons testing stops, that the site is cleaned up and that people are given access to the medical treatment they need.

Another important issue at the moment is the new harbour Kuwait is building near Iraq shores, Mubarak Port, which is named for the Kuwaiti ruling family. Iraq currently has very limited access to the sea through ports such as Umm Qasr and al-Faw. The new harbour will prevent Iraqi ports from functioning properly and will make sea trade difficult. There have been many demonstrations and protests against the building of the Kuwaiti harbour; workers and other activists have been holding demonstrations to demand construction ceases.

The Kuwaiti government is the main force behind the project but it may be working with others. It will reshape transport and trade in the Gulf and prevent Iraqi from exporting gas. Many countries have interests in controlling sea trade in this area including Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Iran. These countries may not be directly involved but they could benefit from the weakening of Iraq’s sea-trading potential.

According to a member of the workers’ committee in al-Faw, 100,000 jobs in Iraq will be under threat if this harbour goes ahead. Our federation has issued a statement to urge all workers to continue demonstrations and to make this issue central to the mass protest on 9 September.

The government’s privatisation project is also continuing. The government wants to privatise sections of the economy currently organised under the Ministry of Industry, starting with the big companies including textiles. In total there are 69 “companies” threatened with privatisation, which employ around 250,000 workers. The privateers include both foreign and domestic “investors”. The government has consistently used “investment” as a euphemism for privatisation and have attempted to privatise gradually in order to avoid big confrontations with workers. There is already significant foreign “investment” in many Iraqi industries, such as the French company Lafarge which operates cement factories.

The Federation of Workers’ Councils and Unions in Iraq (FWCUI) was looking into holding national conference for workers’ representatives from companies threatened with privatisation and we contacted the AFL-CIO Solidarity Centre to discuss financial support. We’ve since concluded it will be more practical to hold a series of regional conferences, which we plan to do in October 2011.

The Shiwashok oil refinery workers in Erbil ended their strike [which began on 2 August] after promises from management to improve safety, pay remunerations and increase salary. But they were only promises, not concrete agreements. 332 workers were involved in the strike. Workers are worried about losing their jobs if they continue strikes; their contracts are very insecure and the company sees workers as easily replaceable. There are huge numbers of unemployed people ready to take their jobs. There was a similar issue in a strike near Nasiriyah; 40 workers struck to win back pay but the bosses just sacked them. There is no job protection in workers’ contracts.

On the question of the Arab uprisings, FWCUI was absolutely clear from the very start that we supported uprisings and revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Libya. We called for workers to play a central and defining role in each uprising. We have contacts in Egypt and Tunisia, but it’s harder to make contacts in Syria and Libya. Our attitude is very clear.

The Maliki government is supporting Assad in his repression of the Syrian uprising, but that’s unsurprising. Iran supports Assad, so Maliki supports Assad. He doesn’t want to stray too far from Iran’s line. There are rumours of his government giving money to Syria to help Assad put down the uprising.

Falah Alwan is president of the FWCUI

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The Libyan armed forces maintained their unit integrity and personal honor, with a heroism reminiscent of the loyalist soldiers of the Spanish Republic, in the late 1930s.”

The story is not over – not by a long shot – but the saga of the Libyan resistance to the superpower might of the United States and its degenerate European neocolonial allies will surely occupy a very special place in history. For five months, beginning March 19, the armed forces of a small country of six million people dared to defy the most advanced weapons systems on the planet, on terrain with virtually no cover, against an enemy capable of killing whatever could be seen from the sky or electronically sensed. Night and day, the eyes of the Euro-American war machine looked down from space on the Libyan soldiers’ positions, with the aim of incinerating them. And yet, the Libyan armed forces maintained their unit integrity and personal honor, with a heroism reminiscent of the loyalist soldiers of the Spanish Republic under siege by German, Italian and homegrown fascists, in the late 1930s.

The Germans and Italians and Generalissimo Franco won that war, just as the Americans, British, French and Italians may ultimately overcome the Libyan army. But they cannot convey honor or national legitimacy to their flunkies from Benghazi, who have won nothing but a badge of servitude to foreign overseers. The so-called rebels won not a single battle, except as walk-ons to a Euro-American military production. They are little more than extras for imperial theater, a mob that traveled to battle under the protective umbrella of American full spectrum dominance of the air. They advanced along roads already littered with the charcoal-blackened bodies of far better men, who died challenging Empire.

The so-called rebels won not a single battle, except as walk-ons to a Euro-American military production.”

One thing is sure: the Americans and Europeans have never respected their servants. The so-called rebels of Libya will be no different. Washington, Paris and London know perfectly well that is was their 18,000 aircraft sorties, their cruise missiles, their attack helicopters, their surveillance satellites and drones, their command and control systems, their weapons, and their money, that managed to kill or wound possibly half the Libyan army. Not the rabble from Benghazi.

The rebels should not take too seriously being fawned over by the ridiculous hordes of corporate media tourists that have come to Tripoli to record the five-month war’s finale. They are highly paid cheerleaders. And, although it may appear that they are cheering for the rebels, don’t be fooled – at the end of the day, the western corporate media only cheer for their own kind. They are celebrating what they believe is a victory over the Libyan demon they have helped to construct in their countrymen’s minds. Next year, rebel, that demon might be you.

Or next year, it might be many Libyans, including those who were no friends of Col. Moammar Gaddafi. The Americans treat their native minions like children in need of supervision – and there is a certain logic to this, since whoever would entrust his nation’s sovereignty and resources to the Americans is, surely, either exceedingly stupid, or hopelessly corrupt. But Libya’s honor and her place in history has already been secured by a small African army that held out nearly half a year against the NATO barbarians.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].

 

Exiled Libyan monarchy’s Role in Fomenting Libyan War

August 28th, 2011 by Global Research

27 08 2011

Background

‘The Libyan monarchy of King Idris, which was based in Benghazi, was installed by the United States and Britain in the 1950’s to oversee their economic and military interests in North Africa. Libya in 1952, under the leadership of King Idris, had among the lowest standard of living in the world. The Idris monarchy was overthrown in a bloodless revolution led by Muammar al-Gaddafi in 1969. This led to the American Wheelus Air Base (The largest American base outside of  the US at that time) being dismantled and the American and British armed forces stationed in Libya evacuating. The western oil companies were then nationalised.’

The 1969 al-Fateh Revolution

‘The uprising in Libya, which has been portrayed by many in the west as a democratic movement, has been symbolised by the tri-coloured rebel flag. The flag is in fact the flag of the oppressive, undemocratic, monarchy of Idris. At the start of the conflict elements of the rebels in Benghazi held aloft pictures of King Idris. Whilst by no means are all the rebels monarchists, it is however important to highlight the overthrown Libyan monarchy’s history,  influence in Benghazi and relationship with the West. It is of no surprise then that the exiled monarchy of Idris has played a hidden hand in this conflict. Closely working with their old allies in NATO in an attempt to regain their lost status in Libya and ‘return to democracy’ as his Royal Highness Prince Idris bizarrely and unashamedly declares in his CNN interview.’

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The West Wants to take Control of Libya’s Oil Wealth

August 27th, 2011 by Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Interview with Michel Chossudovsky, Director of Centre for Research on Globalization.

click here for Video version

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/195674.html

While Libyan revolutionaries have not yet won the war in the oil-rich country, Western powers are already discussing the post-Gaddafi period on such issues as how the interim government there needs to honor its oil contracts.

In case of internal fighting in Libyan crisis, will the US and its coalition NATO allies deploy boots on the ground to protect their oil interests?

In a Press TV interview, Michel Chossudovsky, Director of Center for Research on Globalization, shed more light into the development. The following is a rush transcription of the interview:

Press TV: Western powers have said that the international  community will support the political transition to a free and democratic Libya: In what form will this “support” come? A “Western” democracy imposed on Libyans? What is that going to mean for the Libyans? They used the same language when they attacked Afghanistan 10 years ago and Iraq 8 years ago. The US still insists that its soldiers should have immunity in these countries. How will it be in Libya?

Chossudovsky: Well I think we have to understand both the nature of this military operation, the covert intelligence behind the rebels, as well as the extensive bombings of civilians infrastructure, residential areas, as well as schools, universities, hospitals which has taken place in the course of the last few months.

And particularly virtually continuous bombings, at night in Tripoli in the course of last few days. We are talking about 20,000 sorties, 8,000 strike sorties, In another words what has happened in the course of these last months, particularly in a last few weeks, is the destruction of an entire country, its infrastructure, institutions, very targeted, involving a lot of civilian casualties.

In other words, the Western “pro democracy” NATO supported rebels, as well as the NATO supported heads of states and heads of governments, they have blood on their hands, they have a lot  of blood on their hands, because they have killed a lot of women and children.

Our correspondent has been reporting form the Rixos Hotel, just a few hours ago, he and several other journalists, were extracted from the hotel; they were liberated from the Hotel, where they were held for several days, and they are safe now.

Chossudovsky. But I can tell you, my understanding is, first of all this is not a revolution. These are NATO trained gunman, and they are Al Qaeda related paramilitaries, mercenaries.

They have very little support within civil society in Libya. Whether we like the Gaddafi regime or not, I do not think that this is the issue. The large majority of the population are against the rebellion, and the only thing that sustains the rebellion, are the NATO bombings. And these are criminal bombings; let’s say what they are. They are in derogation of international law, actions that are criminal in terms of their consequences: the killings of children, the killing of people in their own homes, and this has been well documented.

And what is criminal in this process, is the fact that this war is presented to the media as a humanitarian operation,

Realities are turned upside down.  We are told, that war is peace, The lie becomes the truth, essentially that is what has happened.

Press TV: But the way this operation is going on Professor, many Western countries including France, they talked about the success of this operation and its knock off effect in the region. Doesn’t that pose the threat of abuse of what is called RTP, the Right to Protect under humanitarian motives for their own gains, and in terms of RTP of other countries, such as Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia? If that is the way to go about it why don’t they mention those countries? Why mentions only Syria, as French President Sarkozy said in his meeting with NTC?

Chossudovsky: Well you know, I have been studying dictatorship for more than 30 years, I’ve lived in Latin America.

The US has never been concerned with the actions of dictators. In fact it was the US which installed the dictators. As long as the dictators follow their orders, and establish a proxy state and serve US interests, they will continue their support..

That was the situation with the Pinochet regime in Chile, and that was the case in Argentina and Brazil, and in Central America.

Now we must understand the nature of this military operation in Libya.

The rebellion does not exist without NATO. Militarily and politically, it does not exist without NATO.

We must understand that NATO Special Forces are already operating within the rebellion, off course covertly, on the ground. They are experienced armed forces. There are also mercenaries and paramilitaries and gunman.

Were NATO to withdraw, the rebellion would not last very long. I think any military analyst would confirm that.

But now the more fundamental question which is being raised, and it has been raised in the US, and it is already on the drawing board of Pentagon and NATO is… are they going to have boots on the ground?

The boots on the ground are already there, the question is whether it is going to be official? The Apache helicopters are there, The Special Forces are there.

We have massive deployment of Naval Marines in the Mediterranean, particularly the USS George Bush Sr. aircraft carrier, which is sort of high tech, and it just been released, it has positioned itself in the Mediterranean.

And in case of ground war, then we would see allied forces landing on the beaches in Libya.

If you look at the scenarios, I don’t think that the rebellions would last very long on its own.

It does not have military capabilities; it does not even have the institutional capabilities to create a real government.

So what is going to happen is… NATO Special Forces are going to remain, others are going to come in, perhaps not officially, boots on the ground, and eventually they are going to establish, as they did in Iraq in 2003, some kind of proxy Libyan government, with people whom they can trust, they might contemplate, modeling Libya, on the sheikhdoms, as in Saudi Arabia, or in the Persian Gulf states.

In any even, neo-colonial, re-conquest of not only Libya, but the whole continent of Africa is contemplated. This implies the militarization of the African Continent with AFRICOM [United States Africa Command]. This is an integral part of the agenda.

Press TV: Go ahead Professor.

Chossudovsky: Several years ago, I was asked in regards to Iraq… I was giving a public lecture, a question was directed at me: ”Professor we need that oil”. Okay that is the Western position, “We need that oil.” 

My answer was: ”trade, don’t steal it”.

That is what the Western oil companies are there for, they have already positioned themselves.

The Libyan Oil Company was a very important state entity, which was there to serve the Libyan people. It was used to finance economic development. It is slated to be taken over and privatised, handed it over to Total, which is the French Oil company and other Western oil companies.

What I said, when I was asked that question: “if you need oil, well, you should buy it on the market. And accept the fact that the large share of oil resources [reserves] are in Muslim countries, it is more that 60 percent, and it belong the people of those countries.

They can buy it from them; they do not need to invade countries and then steal the oil from them. And that is what is happening, it happened in Iraq, and now it is happening in Libya.

[Minor editing by Global Research]

click here for Video version

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/195674.html

El Mundo en la orilla del caos

August 27th, 2011 by Miguel Urbano Rodrigues

La crisis del capitalismo es tan profunda que hasta los líderes de los EEUU y de la Unión Europea y los ideólogos del neoliberalismo asumen esa realidad. Están alarmados por no divisar una solución que pueda detener la caída al abismo: Se esfuerzan sin éxito para que aparezca la luz al final del túnel.

A pesar de las contradicciones existentes, los EEUU y las grandes potencias de la Unión Europea pusieron fin a las guerras interimperialistas –como la de 1914-1918 y la de 1939-45- substituyéndolas por un imperialismo colectivo, bajo la hegemonía norteamericana, que las disloca para países del llamado Tercer Mundo sometido al saqueo de sus recursos naturales.

Pero la evolución de la coyuntura mundial demuestra también con claridad que la crisis del capital no puede ser resuelta en el cuadro de una “transnacionalización global”, tesis defendida por Toni Negri y Hardt en su polémico libro en que niegan el papel del imperialismo tal y como lo definió Lenin. Entre los EEUU y la Unión Europea ( y los países emergentes de Asía y de América Latina) existe un abismo histórico que no fue ni puede ser eliminado en tiempo previsible.

La creciente internacionalización de la gestión no desemboca automáticamente en la globalización de la propiedad. El Estado trasnacional, al que aspiran una ONU instrumentalizada, el FMI, el Banco Mundial y la OMC es aún una aspiración distante del sistema de poder.*

El caos en que el mundo está por caer ilumina la desesperación del capital frente a la crisis de la cual es responsable.

La ascensión galopante de la derecha neoliberal al gobierno en países de la Unión Europea resucita el fantasma de la ascensión del fascismo en la República del Weimar. La Historia no se repite además de la misma manera y es improbable que la extrema derecha se instale en el Poder en el Viejo Mundo. Más la irracionalidad del asalto a la razón es una realidad.

El juego del dinero en las bolsas es hoy mucho más importante en la acumulación de gigantescas fortunas que la producción. El papel de los “mercados” –eufemismo que designa el funcionamiento del engranaje de la especulación en las maniobras del capital –se volvió decisivo en el desencadenamiento de crisis que llevan a la quiebra a países de la Unión Europea. Una simple decisión del gestor de “una agencia de notación” puede desencadenar el pánico en vastas áreas del mundo.

La irrupción de violencia en barrios degradados de Londres, Birmingham, Manchester y Liverpool alarma a la Inglaterra de Cameron y motiva en las televisoras y periódicos de referencia torrentes de interpretaciones disparatadas de sociólogos y psicoanalistas que hablan como portavoces de la clase dominante.

En Washington, congresistas influyentes manifiestan el temor de que el “fenómeno británico” alcance a los EEUU y, en los guetos de sus grandes ciudades, jóvenes latinos y negros imiten a los de las minorías de la Gran Bretaña, estimulados por mensajes y llamados en Twitter y en el Facebook.

Pero en tanto la pobreza y la miseria aumentan, incluyendo en los países más ricos, la crisis no afecta a los banqueros y a los gestores de las grandes empresas. Según la revista “Fortune”, las fortunas de 357 multimillonarios rebasan el PIB de varios países europeos desarrollados.

En los EEUU, en Alemania, en Francia, en Italia, quienes detentan el poder proclaman que la democracia política alcanzó una altura superior en las sociedades desarrolladas del Occidente. Mienten. La censura al modo antiguo no existe. Más fue substituida por un tipo de manipulación de las conciencias, eficaz y perverso. Los hechos y las noticias son seleccionados, presentados, valorizados o desvalorizados, mutilados y deformados, de acuerdo con las conveniencias del gran capital. El objetivo es impedir a los ciudadanos comprender los acontecimientos de que son testigos y su significado.

Los periódicos y las cadenas de televisión en los EEUU, en Europa, en Japón, y en América Latina dedican cada vez más espacio al “entretenimiento” y menos a grandes problemas y luchas sociales y al entendimiento del movimiento de la Historia profunda.

Los temas impuestos por los editores y programadores –agentes más o menos conscientes del capital –son concursos alienantes, la violencia en múltiples frentes, la droga, el crimen, el sexo, la subliteratura, lo cotidiano del jet set, la vida amorosa de príncipes y estrellas, la apología del suceso material, las vacaciones en lugares paradisiacos, etc.

Evitar que los ciudadanos, formateados por el engranaje del poder, piensen, es una tarea permanente de los media.

Las crónicas de cine, de televisión, la música, la crítica literaria reflejan bien la atmosfera putrefacta del tipo de sociedad definida como civilizada y democrática por aquellos que, instalados en la cúpula del sistema de poder, se proponen como aspiración suprema la multiplicación del capital.

En Portugal surgió como innovación grotesca un club de pensadores; los debates, mesas redondas y entrevistas con dóciles comentaristas, disfrazados de “analistas”, son insoportables por la ignorancia, hipocresía y mediocridad de la casi totalidad de esos empleados del capital. Contrarrevolucionarios como Mario Soares, Antonio Barreto, Medina Carreira, Júdice; formadores de opinión como Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, un intoxicador de mentes influenciables que explica el presente y prevé el futuro como si fuera el oráculo de Delfos; jornalistas his master voice, como Nuno Rogeiro y Teresa de Sousa; columnistas arrogantes que odian al pueblo portugués y a la humanidad, como Vasco Pulido Valente, pontifican en los media imitando brujos medievales, sirviendo al sistema con ejercicios de verborrea que ofenden a la inteligencia.

El Primer Ministro y su lugarteniente Portas, exhibiendo posturas napoleónicas, piden “sacrificios” y comprensión a los trabajadores en tanto, sumisos, aplican el proyecto del gran capital y cumplen las exigencias del imperialismo.

Desde el inicio del primer gobierno Sócrates, lo que restaba de la herencia revolucionaria de Abril fue más golpeado y destruido que en todo el cuarto de siglo anterior.

Al Portugal en crisis se le exige el pago de una factura enorme de la crisis mayor a la que hunde al capitalismo.

En los EEUU, polo hegemónico del sistema, el discurso del Presidente Obama, despojado de las lentejuelas de los primeros meses de gobierno, aparece ahora como el de un político dispuesto a todas las concesiones para permanecer en la Casa Blanca. Su última capitulación frente al Congreso astilló lo que le sobraba a su máscara de humanista y reformador. Para que el Partido Republicano permitiese aumentar de dos billones de dólares el techo de la deuda pública –ya superior al Producto Interno Bruto del país- acepto mantener intocables los privilegios indecorosos disfrutados por una clase dominante que paga impuestos ridículos y golpear duramente un servicio de salud que ya era uno de los peores del mundo capitalista. La contrapartida de la debilidad interior es una agresividad creciente en el exterior.

Cientos de instalaciones militares estadounidenses fueron sembradas por Asía, Europa, América Latina y África.

Pero “la cruzada contra el terrorismo” no produce los resultados esperados. Las agresiones norteamericanas a los pueblos de Iraq y de Afganistán promovieron el terrorismo a escala mundial en vez de erradicarlo. Crímenes monstruosos fueron cometidos por la soldadesca norteamericana en Iraq y Afganistán. El Congreso legalizó la tortura de prisioneros. La “pacificación de Iraq”, donde la resistencia del pueblo a la ocupación es una realidad , no pasa de un slogan de propaganda. En Afganistán, a pesar de la presencia de 140 000 soldados de los EEUU y de la OTAN, la guerra está perdida.

Los bombardeos de las aldeas del noroeste de Paquistán por aviones sin piloto, comandados de los EEUU por computadores, siembran la muerte y la destrucción, provocando la indignación del pueblo de aquel país.

El bombardeo sobre Somalia (donde el hambre mata diariamente millares de personas) por aviones de la USAF, y de tribus de Yemen que luchan contra el despotismo medieval del presidente Saleh se volvió rutinario. Como siempre, Washington acusa a las víctimas de tener ligas con Al Qaeda.

En África, la instalación del AFRICOM, un ejército norteamericano permanente, y la agresión de la OTAN al pueblo de Libia confirman la mundialización de una estrategia imperial.

El terrorismo de Estado emerge como componente fundamental de estrategia del poder de los EEUU.

Obviamente, Washington y sus aliados de la Unión Europea, intentan transformar el crimen en virtud. Los patriotas que en Iraq, en Afganistán, en Libia resisten a las agresiones imperiales son calificados de terroristas; los gobiernos fantoches de Bagdad y Kabul estarían encaminando a los pueblos iraquí y afgano para la democracia y el progreso; Irán, víctima de sanciones, es amenazado de destrucción; mientras el aliado neofascista israelita es presentado como una democracia moderna.

La perversa falsificación de la Historia es  hoy es un instrumento imprescindible al funcionamiento de una estrategia de poder monstruosa que, esa si, amenaza a la Humanidad , y   continuidad de la vida en la Tierra.

El imperialismo acumula sin embargo  derrotas y los síntomas del agravamiento de la crisis estructural del capitalismo son inocultables.

El capitalismo, por su propia esencia, no es humanizable. Habrá de ser destruido. La única alternativa que despunta en el horizonte es el socialismo. El desenlace puede tardar. Más aumenta  las resistencia de los pueblos al engranaje del capital que los oprime en Asía, en Europa, en América Latina, en África. Ellos son el sujeto de la Historia y la victoria final será suya.

Vila Nova de Gaia, 15 de Agosto de 2011

* Estos temas son tratados a profundidad por el economista argentino Claudio Katz en un libro que será editado en breve.

Traducción Jazmín Padilla

East Africa Now Facing Drought Induced Famine

August 27th, 2011 by Brian McAfee

Expected rains have failed to arrive for successive seasons in and around Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. The absence has in turn caused severe shortages of food and water for millions of people. OXFAM’s Humanitarian Director Jane Cocking said, “This is the worst food crisis of the 21st Century and we are seriously concerned that large numbers of lives could soon be lost.” She added, “Two successive poor rains, entrenched poverty and lack of investment in affected areas have pushed 12 million people into a fight for survival. People have already lost virtually everything and the crisis is only going to get worse over the coming months – we need funds to help us reach people with life-saving food and water.” [1]

The hardest hit is Somalia with internal violence from armed groups, famine, an insufficient supply of drinking water, unbearable heat in some locations and long-term drought simultaneously impacting the population. With thousands walking sometimes weeks on end to try to find relief, some of them are being robbed of all possessions by bandits while en route to Ethiopia or Kenya.

This and related problems should be more concretely addressed in a global-scale war on poverty. If the issues of poverty were more seriously and adequately addressed, the 925 million people who presently live in hunger and the many million of children who have already died every year before reaching their fifth birthday could have found relief.

In Asian, African and Latin American countries, well over 500 million people are living in what the World Bank calls “absolute poverty”. Every year 15 million children die of hunger. I know there will be one or two who will say “why should I care?” It would seem that the onus is on them to answer the question: “Why don’t you care?”

All told, twelve million of the refugees are in danger of starvation and, according to UNICEF, one million children are at risk to die. Moreover, the continued lack of rainfall this year and the drastic rise in the price of corn, the food staple for East Africa, mean this humanitarian crisis will continue for some time to come. Meanwhile, drought conditions are expected to continue for the next three months exacerbating an already drastic and nearly hopeless situation.

Organizations helping drought victims in Africa:

Note
:
[1] Oxfam launches largest ever emergency appeal for Africa | Oxfam …, http://oxf.am/4GE.

The Fruits of Elite Immunity

August 27th, 2011 by Glenn Greenwald

Less than three years ago, Dick Cheney was presiding over policies that left hundreds of thousands of innocent people dead from a war of aggression, constructed a worldwide torture regime, and spied on thousands of Americans without the warrants required by law, all of which resulted in his leaving office as one of the most reviled political figures in decades. But thanks to the decision to block all legal investigations into his chronic criminality, those matters have been relegated to mere pedestrian partisan disputes, and Cheney is thus now preparing to be feted — and further enriched — as a Wise and Serious Statesman with the release of his memoirs this week: one in which he proudly boasts (yet again) of the very crimes for which he was immunized.  As he embarks on his massive publicity-generating media tour of interviews, Cheney faces no indictments or criminal juries, but rather reverent, rehabilitative tributes, illustrated by this, from Politico today:

That’s what happens when the Government — marching under the deceitful Orwellian banner of Look Forward, Not Backward — demands that its citizens avert their eyes from the crimes of their leaders so that all can be forgotten: the crimes become non-crimes, legitimate acts of political choice, and the criminals become instantly rehabilitated by the message that nothing they did warrants punishment.  That’s the same reason people like John Yoo and Alberto Gonzales are defending their torture and illegal spying actions not in a courtroom but in a lush conference of elites in Aspen.

The U.S. Government loves to demand that other countries hold their political leaders accountable for serious crimes, dispensing lectures on the imperatives of the rule of law.  Numerous states bar ordinary convicts from profiting from their crimes with books.  David Hicks, an Australian citizen imprisoned without charges for six years at Cheney’s Guantanamo, just had $10,000 seized by the Australian government in revenue from his book about his time in that prison camp on the ground that he is barred from profiting from his uncharged, unproven crimes.  

By rather stark contrast, Dick Cheney will prance around the next several weeks in the nation’s largest media venues, engaging in civil, Serious debates about whether he was right to invade other countries, torture, and illegally spy on Americans, and will profit greatly by doing so.  There are many factors accounting for his good fortune, the most important of which are the protective shield of immunity bestowed upon him by the current administration and the more generalized American principle that criminal accountability is only for ordinary citizens and other nations’ (unfriendly) rulers.

Libia. Entrevista a Aïcha Gadafi (vídeo)

August 27th, 2011 by Global Research

La cita esperada desde hace varios días se fijo al último momento. Aïcha Gadafi, la hija única de 35 años del guiá libio nos concede una inacostumbrada entrevista, de día, en la habitación de un hotel del centro de Trípoli. Su mensaje es: “Los Gadafis no se esconden en bunkers”.

“No, no me escondo, estoy en mi casa. Vivo normalmente. Podéis imaginar, ya perdí a uno de mis hijos y a mi hermano en los bombardeos. Cada día, hay gente de mi pueblo que muere, son civiles. Cualquier persona que tiene corazón puede imaginar lo que siento.”

Aïcha Gadafi que es abogada, defendió a Sadam Hussein pero hoy es a su padre y al clan Gadafi al que defiende. Dice que su padre ni está debilitado ni tampoco está al final de su reinado.

“A mi padre, sí, lo veo de vez en cuando. Es igual de fuerte como siempre lo habéis conocido. Es él quién nos levanta el ánimo. Y al contrario de lo que se dice, nuestra familia siempre ha sido unida. Estos acontecimientos nos han juntado más que nunca. No hay divisiones ni desacuerdos entre nosotros. Lo que se dice acerca de eso, es pura invención.”

(Periodista, NdT) “¿No es tiempo ya para que su padre ceda la plaza y que se vaya? 42 años, ¿no es bastante?”

“Eso de que se vaya, de que se vaya… Lo que encuentro extraño, es que ¿dónde queréis que se vaya? Aquí, es su país, su pueblo. ¿Dónde se va a ir? Hay una cosa que no entendéis y que no llegaréis a entender nunca: mi padre es un símbolo, un guía.”

Abiertamente antiamericana, Aïcha Gadafi quiere decir sin embargo que no es antifrancesa. Y es con lágrimas en los ojos que ella evoca los bombardeos franceses en Libia:

“En Francia estudié y me gustó Francia más que cualquier otro país. Me gustó su luz, su olor, sus avenidas. Me gustó todo lo que forma Francia, su pueblo bondadoso, pero nunca me hubiera imaginado que algún día este país iba a matar a mi hermano y a mi familia. Y es a través de vosotros que quiero transmitir un mensaje a las madres y a las mujeres de los pilotos que nos bombardean: “Vuestros maridos no obran para proteger a los civiles en Libia. Matan a mi pueblo y a nuestros hijos. Y eso, ¿para qué? Para satisfacer a Sarkozy quién cree que cuantos más libios matará más votos ganará en las elecciones.”

La rebelión la cualifica ella como una minoría cercana a Al Qaeda, pero afirma que su padre quiere negociar con los rebeldes tendiéndoles la mano.

“En la actualidad, hay negociaciones directas e indirectas. Obramos para que deje de correr la sangre de los libios y para ello estamos dispuestos a aliarnos con el diablo, con los rebeldes armados.”

(Comentario, NdT) “Aquí, está su hermano…”

Antes de irse, la hija del líder contestado nos enseña fotos de víctimas de los bombardeos de la OTAN. Ha decidido dar mandato a abogados franceses para atacar a la OTAN por sus crímenes de guerra (guerra a causa de la cual ella perdió a un hijo de cinco meses). Sin embargo, la abogada asegura no haber acordado ningún crédito a la orden de detención internacional que fue lanzada en contra de su padre y de su hermano.

 

 
Foto : Examiner

http://www.internationalnews.fr/article-libye-interview-d-aicha-kadhafi-video–82426928.html

Traducido del francés  para Mondialisation.ca por Stéphanie Dehorter

US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks on Wednesday and Thursday expose the close collaboration between the US government, top American politicians and Muammar Gaddafi, who Washington now insists must be hunted down and murdered.

Washington and its NATO allies are now determined to smash the Libyan regime, supposedly in the interests of “liberating” the Libyan people. That Gaddafi was until the beginning of this year viewed as a strategic, if somewhat unreliable, ally is clearly seen as an inconvenient truth.

The cables have been virtually blacked out by the corporate media, which has functioned as an embedded asset of NATO and the so-called rebel forces that it directs. It is hardly coincidental that the WikiLeaks posting of the cables was followed the next day by a combination of a massive denial of service attack and a US judge’s use of the Patriot Act to issue a sweeping “production order” or subpoena against the anti-secrecy organization’s California-based Domain Name Server, Dynadot.

The most damning of these cables memorializes an August 2009 meeting between Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his son and national security adviser, Muatassim, with US Republican Senators John McCain (Arizona), Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), Susan Collins (Maine) and Connecticut “independent” Joe Lieberman.

McCain, the Republican presidential candidate in 2008, has in recent speeches denounced Gaddafi as “one of the most bloodthirsty dictators on Earth” and criticized the Obama administration for failing “to employ the full weight of our airpower” in effecting regime change in Libya.

In the meeting held just two years ago, however, McCain took the lead in currying favor with the Gaddafis. According to the embassy cable, he “assured” them that “the United States wanted to provide Libya with the equipment it needs for its security” and “pledged to see what he could do to move things forward in Congress.”

The cable continues to relate McCain’s remarks: “He encouraged Muatassim to keep in mind the long-term perspective of bilateral security engagement and to remember that small obstacles will emerge from time to time that can be overcome. He described the bilateral military relationship as strong and pointed to Libyan officer training at U.S. Command, Staff, and War colleges as some of the best programs for Libyan military participation.”

The cable quote Lieberman as saying, “We never would have guessed ten years ago that we would be sitting in Tripoli, being welcomed by a son of Muammar al-Qadhafi.” It states that the Connecticut senator went on to describe Libya as “an important ally in the war on terrorism, noting that common enemies sometimes make better friends.”

The “common enemies” referred to by Lieberman were precisely the Islamist forces concentrated in eastern Libya that the US then backed Gaddafi in repressing, but has now organized, armed and led in the operation to overthrow him.

The US embassy summarized: “McCain’s meetings with Muammar and Muatassim al-Qadhafi were positive, highlighting the progress that has been made in the bilateral relationship. The meetings also reiterated Libya’s desire for enhanced security cooperation, increased assistance in the procurement of defense equipment, and resolution to the C130s issue” (a contract that went unfulfilled because of previous sanctions).

Another cable issued on the same meeting deals with McCain’s advice to the Gaddafis about the upcoming release from a Scottish prison of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who had been convicted for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. McCain, who now fulminates about Gaddafi having “American blood on his hands,” counseled the Libyan leader that the release was a “very sensitive issue” in the US and that he should handle it discreetly, “in a way that would strengthen the growing relationship between our two countries, rather than hinder its progress.” Ultimately Gaddafi and other leading Libyan officials gave a hero’s welcome to Megrahi, who has proclaimed his innocence and had been set to have his appeal heard when the Scottish government released him.

Other cables highlight the increasingly close US-Libyan military and security cooperation. One, sent in February 2009, provides a “security environment profile” for Libya. It notes that US personnel were “scheduled to provide 5 training courses to host government law enforcement and security” the next month. In answer to whether the Libyan government had been able to “score any major anti-terrorism successes,” the embassy praised the Gaddafi regime for having “dismantled a network in eastern Libya that was sending volunteer fighters to Algeria and Iraq and was plotting attacks against Libyan security targets using stockpiled explosives. The operation resulted in the arrest of over 100 individuals.” Elements of this same “network” make up an important component of the “rebels” now armed and led by NATO.

Asked by the State Department if there existed any “indigenous anti-American terrorist groups” in the country, the embassy replied “yes”, pointing to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which it noted had recently announced its merger with Al Qaeda in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Again, elements of the LIFG are active in the leadership of the so-called rebels.

An April 2009 cable preparing Muatassim Gaddafi’s trip to Washington that month stresses plans for anti-terrorist training for Libyan military officers and potential arms deals. In its conclusion the embassy states: “The visit offers an opportunity to meet a power player and potential future leader of Libya. We should also view the visit as an opportunity to draw out Muatassim on how the Libyans view ‘normalized relations’ with the U.S. and, in turn, to convey how we view the future of the relationship as well. Given his role overseeing Libya’s national security apparatus, we also want his support on key security and military engagement that serves our interests.”

A May 2009 cable details a cordial hour-long meeting between Gaddafi and the then-head of the US Africa Command, General William Ward.

An August 2008 cable, a “scene setter” for the “historic visit” of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Tripoli, declares that “Libya has been a strong partner in the war against terrorism and cooperation in liaison channels is excellent … Counter-terrorism cooperation is a key pillar of the U.S.-Libya bilateral relationship and a shared strategic interest.”

Many of the cables deal with opportunities for US energy and construction firms to reap “bonanzas” in the North African country and note with approval privatization efforts and the setting up of a Tripoli stock exchange.

Others, however, express concern, not about the Gaddafi regime’s repressive measures, but rather foreign policy and oil policy moves that could prejudice US interests. Thus, an October 2008 cable, cynically headlined “AL-QADHAFI: TO RUSSIA, WITH LOVE?” expresses US concern about the Gaddafi regime’s approach to Russia for lucrative arms purchases and a visit to Tripoli harbor by a flotilla of Russian warships. One month later, during a visit to Moscow, Gaddafi discussed with the Putin regime the prospect of the Russian navy establishing a Mediterranean port in the city of Benghazi, setting off alarm bells at the Pentagon.

Cables from 2008 and 2009 raise concerns about US corporations not getting in on “billions of dollars in opportunities” for infrastructure contracts and fears that the Gaddafi regime could make good on the Libyan leader’s threat to nationalize the oil sector or utilize the threat to extract more favorable contracts from the foreign energy corporations.

The cables underscore the hypocrisy of the US and its allies in Britain, France and Italy, who have championed “regime change” in the name of protecting Libyan civilians and promoting “democracy.”

Those like Obama, Sarkozy, Cameron and Berlusconi who have branded Gaddafi a criminal to be hunted down and murdered were all his accomplices. All of them collaborated with, armed and supported the Gaddafi regime, as US and European corporations reaped vast profits from Libya’s oil wealth.

In the end, they seized upon the upheavals in the region and the anti-Gaddafi protests in Libya as the opportunity to launch a war to establish outright semi-colonial control over the energy-rich country and rid themselves of an ally who was never seen as fully reliable or predictable and upset his patrons with demands for better deals with big oil, closer ties with Russia and China and the threat of replacing the euro and dollar with a “gold dinar.”

Syria fears Libya’s fate

August 27th, 2011 by Oleg Gribkov

Damascus fears that NATO may redeploy its forces to Syria after the termination of its military campaign in Libya. If this happens, Syria’s prospects for democratic development will be killed stone dead, according to both left-wing and liberal groups of that country’s moderate opposition.

Member of the Syrian Communist Party’s political bureau Najmeddin Khreit is sure the time is ripe for reforms in his country. Even though its economic situation is better than in other riot-stricken Arab countries, the life of ordinary people is becoming increasingly difficult. Yes, unemployment rates are not as high as in Egypt or Tunisia but they keep growing, especially among the youth, and have eroded the society alongside a simultaneous increase in corruption. Our frozen political system, Najmeddin Khreit says, prevented us from having a free discussion of all the problems and ways to solve them.

The last few months witnessed a launch of democratic changes but even leaders of the ruling Baath Party recognize that it was already late for reforms. The situation only escalated when the regime’s radical opponents appealed to arms, Najmeddin Khreit explains.

“For the sake of our homeland and its interests, all Syrians have to join efforts and help the country out of the crisis. The most urgent objective is to stop violence on both sides because it can only generate more violence in response. Of course, armed anti-government groups should cease their raids. The authorities need to promptly start a broad dialogue with the opposition and also cope with the issue of partially released political prisoners. These measures will create conditions for doing away with the crisis if taken without delay, in view of the world’s alarming situation,” Najmeddin Khreit said.

Nearly the same ideas were outlined by authoritative Syrian human rights activist Salim Kheirbek in his recent letter to President Bashar al-Assad. Kheirbek, who spent 13 years in prison for his beliefs, possesses quite a variety of awards for his activity. He said presidential administration officials were favorably disposed when receiving his letter and even met with him several times. Salim Kheirbek is sure reforms should not be delayed and shared his view with our correspondent. Being a graduate of the Moscow-based Peoples’ Friendship University, he has a good command of Russian.

“With Gaddafi’s rule about to end, NATO will most likely send its forces to Syria. Our president believes they are preparing for an attack against us, which will hardly facilitate democratic changes. I have no idea of what will happen to Syria in such a case,” Salim Kheirbek says.

Damascus is anxiously following the developments in Libya. Neither Syrian leaders nor constructive opposition want a repetition of the Libyan scenario which will cost a lot to ordinary citizens, like any of the NATO-masterminded campaigns.

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German General: NATO “Played Decisive Role” In Libyan War

August 27th, 2011 by General Egon Ramms

NATO has ‘played a decisive role’ in Libya

NATO has played and continues to play a decisive role in the Libyan rebels’ campaign to topple Moammar Gadhafi and his regime, says retired German General Egon Ramms.

NATO is continuing its air campaign in Libya and turning its attention to Moammar Gadhafi’s hometown of Sirte. The alliance is also providing Libyan rebels intelligence so they can get a clearer picture about what is happening around the capital Tripoli, according to retired German General Egon Ramms.

Bettina Klein of Deutschlandfunk radio spoke to Ramms about NATO’s role in Libya and if it has stayed within the bounds of its UN-approved mandate.

Bettina Klein: In your estimation, what role have NATO countries played in the recent developments in Libya?

Egon Ramms: In considering NATO’s mission that began in March, I think the alliance has played a decisive role in helping the rebels push forward. If you remember, Gadhafi almost succeeded in pushing the rebels back to Benghazi at one point. I think that without NATO support, the rebels would not have been able to make it to Tripoli. NATO is still engaged in giving the rebels intelligence and, I’d say, clarifying the situation on the ground in Tripoli. You see now in the reporting on Gadhafi, his sons and the events in Tripoli that we are still faced with a very fluid situation.

British Defense Minister Liam Fox made statements, perhaps inadvertently, about the participation of NATO troops or troops from NATO member states in the hunt for Gadhafi. Would that be covered by NATO’s mandate?

No! That would clearly not be covered by the NATO mandate. Mandate 1973 from March talks about air support and the protection of the civil population – it does not allow for anything else. That means any additional actions or participation would have to be approved in a new mandate in the UN Security Council. I don’t see that happening right now. And the question of armed forces in Libya when Gadhafi is captured and the fighting is over is a difficult one, because you have a lot of different interest groups involved in the equation.

That means it look like troops there are acting without a mandate?

What do you make of the German government’s position? It’s trying to draw attention to its own contribution by saying that its abstention on the Libya vote in the UN Security Council was right.

I don’t see it that way. The abstention in the Security Council was not right because it simply sent out the wrong message to NATO’s underlying principle of solidarity. The decision made at the time – where Germany sided with Russia, China, Brazil and India – sent the wrong message to the other NATO members in the Security Council as well as NATO member states in general. In retrospect, it has to be said that when you consider the critical situation in Benghazi in the latter half of March, the rebels’ progress was actually made possible by the British and the French who intervened very quickly.

The NATO mission is basically meant to protect the civilian population. Earlier this year, we had a debate about what protecting the civil population actually means – possibly that it means providing the rebels with weapons and intelligence to support them in their fight against Gadhafi. So we’re in a legal grey zone. Is it just a kind of interpretation that hasn’t been thought through or discussed to the end?

It’s certainly true that it hasn’t been discussed to the end. And I’d like to point out that due to different national laws in the individual NATO member states, different interpretations of the mandate are possible. Some countries such as France and Britain interpret it more offensively and some like the United States a bit more reservedly. And then there are states, for example like Poland and Germany, who interpret the mandate from a much more defense-oriented standpoint.

Interviewer: Bettina Klein Editor: Rob Mudge

Libya: NATO’s Long-Drawn-Out Bay Of Pigs

August 27th, 2011 by Konstantin Bogdanov

NATO troops in Libya: No entry, no exit

Libya, of course, is not the “Bay of Pigs” where in April 1961 CIA-trained Cuban exiles, backed by the U.S. Air Force, landed on the island in the hope that they would overthrow the Castro government.  The European allies are getting bogged down in Libya much more slowly and therefore more deeply. All they can do is clench their teeth and try to push on through until victory can be proclaimed, if not actually achieved.

The Libyan rebels’ somewhat dubious success in Tripoli threatens to draw NATO into a ground operation while Washington is wondering whether the European coalition was right to rush into battle.

Who is fighting on the side of the rebels in Libya?

The saga of Tripoli’s fall and the toppling of the Gaddafi regime in Libya continues. The European allies seem to be launching a new phase of their Libyan operation, one that is marked by even greater military involvement. So far, only one thing is certain: increased activity in terms of technical intelligence gathering and on the part of the Special Forces.

“I can confirm that NATO is providing intelligence and reconnaissance assets to the NTC (National Transitional Council) to help them track down Colonel Gaddafi and other remnants of the regime,” Britain’s Defense Minister Liam Fox said Thursday in an interview with Sky News.

But all the signs are that this involvement is not limited to sharing intelligence with the rebels. Citing UK defense sources, The Daily Telegraph reported “the SAS has been in Libya for several weeks.” If the newspaper’s sources are to be believed, British Special Forces “played a key role in coordinating the fall of Tripoli” and that they were even to be found mingling in rebel ranks “dressed in Arab civilian clothing and carrying the same weapons as the rebels.”

The Special Forces being referred to are the elite 22 SAS Regiment comprising experts in air assault and counter-terrorist operations. The newspaper’s sources add that SAS men will now be re-oriented to hunting down Gaddafi. Reporting Liam Fox’s interview with Sky News, Reuters noted that he declined to comment on this Daily Telegraph story.

The French President Nicolas Sarkozy was less ambivalent than Fox, and on Wednesday he denied reports that French Special Forces were involved in the ground operation in Libya. This denial proved timely, considering the proliferation of unconfirmed reports online about French Foreign Legion fighters taking part in the operation around Tripoli. There are also reports of Arab mercenaries from the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and members of private security firms being engaged in combat operations in Libya.

Earlier Gaddafi announced that his forces had captured Iraqi and Egyptian mercenaries who were fighting with the rebels. True, these individuals were never paraded before the journalists, and the fact that the alleged incident was not exploited to the max places a question mark over the initial claims.

NATO boots on the ground?

Despite the heavy media and blogger presence around Tripoli nobody has yet provided convincing evidence of direct European military participation in the ground operation, although it is probable.

First, the initial phase of the storm of Tripoli went so smoothly that raises the suspicion that it was carried out by well-trained units with a much broader tactical prowess than the ragtag rebel army can surely muster.

Second, the direct participation of NATO personnel on the ground is inevitable: coordinating air strikes within city limits required qualified people who were both familiar with modern battlefield reconnaissance systems and up to date on NATO target identification procedure.

The theory that these professionals could be trained up by NATO instructors locally within two to three months should be dismissed as totally unrealistic. That is barely enough time to prepare passable cannon fodder, i.e. to train people not so much to use modern military hardware and weaponry as to obey discipline and form combat units.

That is the most that can be achieved within such a short time. Such doubts seem to be reinforced by The Daily Telegraph reports that the British SAS embedded in the rebel ranks had effectively organized and conducted the storm of Tripoli and are now hunting Gaddafi.

One can issue any number of denials of the European commandos’ presence on the ground in Libya, but world practice of covert support for similar operations suggests that if the Special Forces are not present, it indeed would be such an extraordinary approach, so very much out-of-the-box, that it would require an explanation.

So, NATO is most probably involved in the ground operation. The strength and scale of this operation remain to be seen, and the exact functions it is performing (apart from the air support and intelligence transfers admitted officially) also require some clarification.

A short victorious war for the new Entente

The slow pace of the Libyan campaign may be in some way related to the thinking of those running the operation: just one little push and everything will come tumbling down all by itself. Perhaps “the Arab spring”, which swept away several regimes across North Africa and the Middle East, gave Paris and London a false sense that the Gaddafi regime was on its last legs.

But the Gaddafi regime is not crumbling yet. Force and perhaps even a full-scale invasion will be needed to finish it off. Everyone, except perhaps the euphoric rebels, oppose that scenario. However, NATO finds it hard to backtrack and will find it harder with every day the Libyan campaign lasts.

But is this talk of NATO correct? Looking at what led up to this Libyan adventure and considering how events unfolded, it should be called a Franco-British operation – of course with a sprinkling of other Europeans, Americans and Arabs from the Gulf States. Moreover, the secondary coalition members, who can hardly be described as having been enthusiastic from the start (not counting the Arabs), have been gradually scaling down their participation in the operation. This is especially true of the United States.

On Tuesday former U.S. NATO envoy Kurt Volker published a long, bitter and acerbic article in the journal Foreign Policy about the woeful lack of coordination between European countries and the U.S. in this joint NATO-led operation.

France and Britain have not been very successful in pursuing this complex campaign independently. Not that the European powers are lacking in ambition: last autumn Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron essentially committed themselves to forming a close bilateral military-political alliance. That included joint military deployment where it is in the two countries’ common interests as well as joint control and improvement of their nuclear forces.

The Libyan operation has become the first test of this “new Entente.” It seems to be punching above its weight.

Libya, of course, is not the “Bay of Pigs” where in April 1961 CIA-trained Cuban exiles, backed by the U.S. Air Force, landed on the island in the hope that they would overthrow the Castro regime. The European allies are getting bogged down in Libya much more slowly and therefore more deeply. All they can do is clench their teeth and try to push on through until victory can be proclaimed, if not actually achieved.

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Los periodistas independientes cogidos en trampa en el hotel Rixos fueron evacuados por la Cruz Roja el miércoles 24 de agosto.

Luego, les condujeron al hotel Corinthia, situado en territorio rebelde.

Desde que llegaron, entraron rebeldes en los locales del hotel bajo diferentes pretextos.

El barco del 25 de agosto previsto su llegada a las 6 horas EDT para Malta, con la colaboración de la Cruz Roja, fue atrasado. Los motivos del atraso no son logísticos.

El caos sigue prevaleciendo. Hay combates intensos entre “los rebeldes” y las “fuerzas leales”. Recibimos un informe que asienta que terroristas armados destrozaron la embajada venezolana.

Las amenazas de muerte hechas al periodista independiente del Centro de Investigación sobre Mundialización Mahdi Darius Nazemboaya, prevalecen.

Es una batalla mediática. Es una confrontación entre los medias dominantes portavoces de la OTAN, y los periodistas que dicen la verdad.

Los periodistas independientes están apuntados por decir la verdad. La cobertura mediática en Libia se enfoca sobre Gadafi. No se dijo nada en lo que concierne a la devastación y a las muertes de civiles causadas por la OTAN, y tampoco se dijo nada a propósito de los bombardeos intensivos en Trípoli.

Pedimos a nuestros lectores que difunden el mensaje a viva voz. La vida de los que dicen la verdad está amenazada.

Article original en anglais : http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=26205

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7qiwRShkR8

http://horsdutemps.info/Mahdi/index.htm pour infos détaillés

Traducido del francés  para Mondialisation.ca por Stéphanie Dehorter 

LIBYA – Resistance to US/NATO Conquest Continues

August 27th, 2011 by Global Research

Under the most incredibly difficult conditions – including NATO bombing, mercenary landings, Special Forces operations and the destruction of civilian infrastructure – the heroic resistance to imperialist conquest in Libya has continued. 

All the corporate media lies claiming mass surrender, the fleeing of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, the arrest of his sons and more have turned out to be nothing but lies and psychological warfare. After 159 days of bombing, incredibly, the resistance continues. 

The continued resistance also exposes the lie of the so-called democratic “rebel” forces – forces that have been set up by Britain, France and the U.S. to facilitate the imperialist invasion of the oil-rich country. Meanwhile, arms have been distributed by the Libyan government to the whole population – something a hated dictator would never do. 

As in Iraq and Afghanistan, an arrogant declaration of U.S. victory and “mission accomplished” does not mean an end to local people’s resistance, which takes many forms. The Libyan people have heroically withstood not only half a year of bombing, but also a hail of racist corporate media propaganda seeking to portray the U.S.-NATO military machine, both preposterously and once again, as great white liberators. 

While resistance continues in Libya, we in the center of U.S. imperialism must continue our resistance to the criminal war there – even as the prolonged economic war against poor and oppressed people continues within the U.S. 

An IAC-organized truth tour featuring former Congressperson Cynthia McKinney – who traveled to Libya to be an eyewitness to the U.S.-NATO attack – has built major opposition meetings in 21 cities across the country. At each meeting, which was undertaken by a local coalition of forces, hundreds of anti-war and anti-imperialist and community activists attended. 

These meetings against U.S. war in Libya have been the largest series of anti-war meetings held in years. At the same time, the IAC has been in the streets, organizing protests across the country. 

The U.S. war in Libya is a first aggressive step in the expansion of wars of colonial conquest in Africa. It means new U.S. threats against Sudan and Somalia. It means more belligerent targeting of other countries in Middle East, especially Syria and Iran. 

Help us continue resistance to U.S./NATO war on Libya.

Contact us at www.iacenter.org/comments 212-633-6646 www.iacenter.org

Donate to help us continue resistance to U.S./NATO War on Libya and support the expenses of the Cynthia McKinney Truth Tour at www.iacenter.org/africa/donatemckinneylibyatour/

See full LIBYA TRUTH TOUR with Cynthia McKinney schedule at www.iacenter.org/africa/mckinneylibya080511/ 

Cynthia McKinney will be in Montreal on September 8, 2011.


AFTER 9/11: TEN YEARS OF WAR
Special Commemorative Conference, Montreal, September 8
- by Cynthia McKinney, Wayne Madsen, Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-09-09

The coup was underway. The “rebels,” a motley band of weekend thugs were no match for the Libyan army which legally was bound to defend itself against armed insurrection, so Nato [the new mailed fist of 21st century neo-imperialism] unleashed its aerial might, special forces [French Foreign Legion commandos, SAS and US SEALS] against the legitimate government of Libya. It was inevitable that sooner or later this lopsided military power would take its toll as Nato bombed Tripoli and other parts of Libya on a daily basis.

What happens in Libya is a harbinger of what the West has in store for Africa. True independence and African unity will not be tolerated. Africa is too rich in resources that the world needs to be allowed to control its own destiny. This war is not just about Gaddafi. It is an opening salvo in a war to reclaim the continent for foreign interests, just as it was in 1896 in the Scramble for Africa…[T]he West will set up permanent military bases to control the Mediterranean Sea and a bridgehead for the re-conquest of Africa will have been established.

By the time this article is published, the sovereign government of Libya would have been overthrown in a blatant Western armed, sponsored and supported coup by the striking arm of the new imperialism – Nato [North Atlantic Treaty Organization.]

Some six months ago, the French and British governments frantically sponsored a United Nations resolution to “protect the civilians of Libya from their own government.”

Never mind that this sovereign government was facing an armed revolt by a dissident region of the country; never mind that these “rebels” had no legitimacy whatsoever; never mind that the so-called “democratic protesters” were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of black Africans in xenophobic racist pogroms in the year 2000.

None of this mattered. What mattered was that in the turmoil of the so-called “Arab Spring” a heaven-sent opportunity presented itself to the West to get rid of a political thorn in its side, one that was leading the African Continent dangerously close to realizing a greater deal of autonomy than had been afforded under the pretence of Western “aid,” economic advice and structural development.

Gaddafi, his personal flamboyance notwithstanding, has consistently sought to involve his country in unity with first the Arabs and then the Africans. When Gaddafi proposed pan-Arab unity, he was scoffed at, ridiculed as an ambitious madman and insulted and ignored by the Arabs. He finally and sensibly gave up and turned his eyes to Africa, believing that Africa held out more hope for unity.

While under sanctions by the West, the Africans unswervingly supported Gaddafi. Neslon Mandela upon his release from apartheid’s prisons defied Western sanctions and went overland to visit and thank Colonel Gaddafi for his moral and financial support during the long struggle against apartheid. Other African leaders followed and regular visits with Gaddafi made the sanctions totally irrelevant.

After the Iraqi war of aggression by the Bush administration broke out, Gaddafi cut a deal with the West, relinquishing his weapons programs, which included nuclear weapons, for re-inclusion in the global economic system. Still Gaddafi sought to develop African unity and to this end relieved Africa of the burden of paying for satellite usage $500 million annually to Europe.

At his encouragement Africa bought its own satellites and now the continent communicates without relying on Europe. Gaddafi also proposed a single African currency backed by gold which would have sounded the death-knell for the CFA and removed much of France’s influence and power in Africa.

An African Monetary Fund was also in the works, which would have further set Africa on the road to true economic and political independence. Then there was the Libyan leader’s mooting of a million-man African army. This was the red line where the West decided to checkmate Libya.

Events surrounding the so-called “Arab Spring” seemed tailor-made for Western plans. Overnight, armed groups showed up in Benghazi and an organized pattern emerged for the overthrow of Gaddafi. First there was the “concern” for civilian life, always a good tear-jerker.., then the French and British stepped in, forcing a UN Security Council vote.

Despite senior officials in the US administration dismissing Libya’s strategic importance to US interests, the Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, pushed her hawkish agenda and dragged the US president on board for this war of blatant aggression.

The coup was underway. The “rebels,” a motley band of weekend thugs were no match for the Libyan army which legally was bound to defend itself against armed insurrection, so Nato [the new mailed fist of 21st century neo-imperialism] unleashed its aerial might, special forces [French Foreign legion commandos, SAS and US Seals] against the legitimate government of Libya. It was inevitable that sooner or later this lopsided military power would take its toll as Nato bombed Tripoli and other parts of Libya on a daily basis.

When this conflict was forced on the Libyan people, the African Union insisted that there must not be any military intervention, but was soon sidelined and completely ignored by the coup-makers and a compliant Western press. While a sovereign nation, a member of the AU was being attacked, African efforts to find a mediated solution were completely ignored and ridiculed.

The leaders of Africa who should have denounced with one voice the aggression against an African country cravenly acquiesced with the Nato war, making lame token protests.

What happens in Libya is a harbinger of what the West has in store for Africa. True independence and African unity will not be tolerated. Africa is too rich in resources that the world needs to be allowed to control its own destiny. This war is not just about Gaddafi. It is an opening salvo in a war to reclaim the continent for foreign interests, just as it was in 1896 in the Scramble for Africa.

African leaders lack faith in their own abilities and in the power of their people. Libya could have been saved, had Africans united and spoken resoundingly to the world, voicing their opposition to this war of aggression. The AU could have called for the expulsion of diplomats from the Nato countries taking part in the war, they could have urged their citizens into the streets to demonstrate for “hands off Libya.” The oil-producing countries could have slowed down their oil taps, driving up the price of gasoline, they could have protested more loudly.

The same forces which broke Sudan in half are continuing the process of fragmenting Africa into even more manageable, weaker pieces. What will happen after Gaddafi is overthrown? All progressive programmes that he had initiated will be dismantled and the idea of Africa unity repudiated as the dreams of madman.

Foreign economic interests will come in to carve up the pie, instability will take root as in Iraq under the guise of multi-party democracy [which should be anathema to Africans since it has brought more chaos than comfort in its wake] the West will set up permanent military bases to control the Mediterranean Sea and a bridgehead for the re-conquest of Africa will have been established.

This is no fantasy. The West is not prepared to relinquish its hegemony and go quietly into the night. The neo-colonializing of Africa had begun immediately after ‘independence’ with aid programs that created dependencies, French military bases that never closed, structural adjustments, missionaries dividing and spiritually confusing the people, dumping of toxic waste and the signing and enforcement of economic agreements that were never in the interests of the African peoples.

Many African leaders for selfish, mostly pecuniary, reasons collaborated with this plunder of Africa, ignoring the will of its peoples. Gaddafi’s removal from power should not be anything to celebrate for Africans, but to mourn, for we are being thrown back into eras when we were truly without freedom. As this neo-imperialism and neo-colonialism intensifies, it would be ironic if twenty years from now Africans would have to fight all over again the bitter revolutionary wars that ostensibly brought them freedom.

The author is a specialist in Spanish, Latin American, Caribbean as well as African history.

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