Archive for the Sudan Category

How Hollywood cloaked South Sudan in celebrity and fell for the ‘big lie’ [The Guardian]

Posted in Africa, Sudan on January 1, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

– Film stars have been speaking from a flawed script about the newest nation. Daniel Howden points a finger at those who have failed to grasp the awful reality –

by Daniel Howden / The Observer

28 December 2013

When violence erupted two weeks ago in the world’s youngest country, one of the first voices to speak out, before the US president or the head of the United Nations, was that of the Hollywood actor George Clooney…

Full article link: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/28/reality-of-south-sudan-and-hollywood-stars

(c) Guardian News & Media Ltd

Also see “Imperialism escalated intervention in Africa throughout 2013” [Workers World] — http://www.workers.org/articles/2013/12/18/imperialism-escalated-intervention-africa-throughout-2013/

US Economy Sustained by Export of Dollars and Wars [Strategic Culture Foundation]

Posted in Africa, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, China, Early 21st Century global capitalist financial crisis' US origins, Egypt, EU, Greece, India, Libya, Pakistan, Russia, State Department, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, US imperialism, USA on October 2, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Martin KUKSHA | 23.09.2012

For those who feel that 13 is an unlucky number, the belief was vindicated on September 13, considering that a new liquidity injection – a massive infusion of freshly printed and essentially worthless money into the global economy – was announced in the US on the day. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said that, as a third round of quantitative easing (QE3), the US would beef up its long-term securities holdings by open-ended purchases of $40b of mortgage debt. No information concerning the total to be thrown into QE3 was supplied. Instead, Bernanke made it clear that Operation Twist – a program to swap $667b of short-term debt for long-term securities – would continue. Earlier, the swap fund used to measure $400b, meaning that, in fact, Bernanke pledged to give it an appreciable boost. He also sent a portion of cheering news to the US financial sector by telling that the unprecedentedly low federal funds rate – 0 to 0.25% – will stay in effect at least through mid-2015 rather than till the end of 2014 as decided earlier. Knowing what exactly constitutes the main US export should give a reasonable idea of what the QE3 plan promises worldwide.

The past two rounds of quantitative easing led to the infusion of $1.2 trillion into the global economy and, by September 2012, drove the US debt to the $16 trillion mark. Facing the dollar tide, the European Central Bank had to similarly resort to massive emission. The results were the ability of Greece to steer clear of the anticipated default, and, from a wider perspective, the sustained PIIGS buoyancy, plus the growing volatility of the energy and commodity markets. Importantly, the price of gold climbed steadily against the background.

The launch of QE3 echoed with practically the same trends:

• The price of gold added 3.3% overnight on September 13-14, increasing from $1,718 to $1,772 per troy ounce;

• Crude prices started to rise, with Brent’s $2 per barrel jump being a minor sign of what the future holds and with the cost of natural gas trailing;

• The Euro to US dollar ratio went up, breaking the 1.3 ceiling and stabilizing at 1.303 early on September 14;

• Food and commodities began to post scary readings;

• Benchmark indexes rocketed, prompting speculation that a new bubble was being inflated.

The European Central Bank has no option but to pick up the challenge in the depreciation race, least the strengthening of Euro renders the EU exports uncompetitive and sends Europe into remission. Politically, the European Central Bank’s turn to money-printing will imminently tell on the living standards across the EU, meaning that the socialists and nationalists who already do exceptionally well in every European poll will draw even more favors from the constituencies. Finally, the gap between the EU donor-countries and their financially embarrassed peers will widen to the point where the collapse of the Eurozone becomes probable tomorrow.

In contrast, gains may await Russia and China. The Russian budget will swell on oil revenues, and the depreciation of the US dollar will help the Chinese exports remain competitive regardless of the rising cost of labor in China. Iran, a crucial fuel supplier to China and India, stands to benefit from the developments on the tactical level as both countries pay for oil imports from Iran in their national currencies and have stable energy appetites.

* * *

What the recurrent US liquidity dumps clearly provoke in the outside world are local armed conflicts. The Arab Spring was a completely predictable consequence of the first and second rounds of the US quantitative easing. The recent outbreaks of unrest – regime changes in Egypt and Tunisia, the civil war and intervention in Libya, the mounting pressure on Syria, the slide towards a war against Iran, the UN blessing to carve up Sudan, etc – are attributable not so much to the raging global crisis as to the attempts to overcome it by expropriating the countries which are not responsible for the downturn but own the resources on which the West’s liquidity can be spent. These are the countries dragged one after another into latent economic wars in which international sanctions serve as a weapon or into large-scale armed conflicts with extremist and terrorist groups.

The impression at the moment is that the Federal Reserve’s latest liquidity injection is supposed to be accompanied by a new Arab world destabilization which can, as necessary, be cited as a pretext for US military interventions. Bernanke’s statement coincided in time with the September 12-14 tide of anti-American protests in North Africa, the Middle East, India, Pakistan, and other parts of the world. Consider it random if you will – indeed, the US enters a new fiscal year in October and Bernanke could not delay going public with the plans – but the synchronism of the reaction across the Western media over the inflammatory movie posted on YouTube evokes serious suspicions. It seems improbable that journalists in every media outlet in the West constantly screen YouTube for anti-Islamic pieces and, discovering one, have all the reasons in the world to let it overshadow all other themes. In fact, the fairly miserable movie appeared on YouTube back in July, and was available for quite some time, prompting virtually no response. It grabbed the headlines and ignited mass protests only after being re-posted in Arabic, and after the author was identified as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, an Egyptian Christian resident in the US. It contributes to the escalation that YouTube staunchly refuses to delete the movie.

The US naval forces headed for the Mediterranean in the wake of the killing of the US ambassador by the mob in Libya. Earlier US ships were reported to be en route to the shores of Syria. In a move indicative of upcoming hostilities, the US Department of State closed the US embassies in a number of countries. Overall, too many elements fit neatly into the picture for it to be explained away as a random combination of circumstances.

* * *

The efforts to mitigate the corrosive impact of financial speculations on the world economy by launching new rounds of speculations make the world increasingly explosive, and injecting liquidity to beat the crisis look as if someone is trying to extinguish fire by pouring oil instead of water. The liquidity, once infused, has to be absorbed via some mechanism, since otherwise hyperinflation in the world where all national currencies are tied to the US dollar simply paralyzes the global economy. Austerity programs can serve the purpose, but the ride ends quickly as the total amount of money circulating globally exceeds the world GDP by a factor of tens. Notably, the proliferation of dubious derivatives makes things even worse. As of 2008, the bulk of financial instruments of all sorts compared to the world GDP was close to 20:1, and, no doubt, the 2012 situation is much severer.

The biggest problem is that, as history shows with utmost clarity, wars are the only type of outcome of global crises stemming from the very nature of capitalism. Therefore, if the policy of quantitative easing continues untamed, a new war is only a question of when and where…

Article link: http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2012/09/23/us-economy-sustained-by-export-of-dollars-and-wars.html

THE DEBATE CONTINUES OVER CHINA’S ROLE IN AFRICA – Leading African analyst say Beijing is doing good work on the continent [Libya 360°]

Posted in Africa, Assassination, China, Hillary Clinton, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Libya, Mao Zedong, Somalia, State Department, Sudan, USA, Zimbabwe on July 14, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Abayomi Azikiwe

July 2, 2012

A recent op-ed piece in the New York Times by Dambisa Moyo takes a firm position that the role of the People’s Republic of China in Africa is a positive one. This comes amid the growing U.S., U.K. and French military interventions on the continent which has resulted in the massive destruction of Libya, Somalia and Ivory Coast.

She notes in the Times that “Despite all the scaremongering, China’s motives for investing in Africa are actually quite pure. To satisfy China’s population and prevent a crisis of legitimacy for their rule, leaders in Beijing need to keep economic growth rates high and continue to bring hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.” (NYT, June 27)

This same writer goes on to point out that “China needs arable land, oil and minerals. Pursuing imperial or colonial ambitions with masses of impoverished people at home would be wholly irrational and out of sync with China’s current strategic thinking.” Yet even though the U.S. and other NATO countries are facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression with high unemployment and rising poverty, the imperialist aims of the West are clearly guiding its foreign policy toward Africa.

This statement by Moyo comes a year after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the Southern African nation of Zambia where she arrogantly told the government and people that “China’s foreign assistance and investment practices in Africa have not always been consistent with generally accepted international norms of transparency and good governance, and that it has not always utilized the talents of the African people in pursuing its business interests.” (Reuters, June 10, 2011)

This statement came at the same time that the U.S. along with its NATO allies were bombing Libya on a daily basis. Libya was prior to the overthrow of Gaddafi the prosperous and stable country on the continent.

Despite the objections by the African Union as spelled out in numerous resolutions and public statements calling for a negotiated settlement of the Libyan crisis, Washington and its NATO partners totally ignored the will of the governments and people of the continent and continued the war that resulted in regime-change and the assassination of Col. Muammar Gaddafi. These actions in Libya follow a historic pattern of slavery, colonialism, neo-colonialism as reflected in modern times through Washington’s opposition to all genuine national liberation movements and progressive governments in Africa.

Refuting Clinton’s assertion, Zambian President Rupiah Banda noted that “Our country has been in a close relationship with China since before independence (in 1964).” The president continued saying that China had assisted numerous African states in dealing with the global financial crisis which originated in the U.S.

Differences in Approach

China Daily took notice of one of Clinton’s statement that was made in neighboring Tanzania as well warning that a “new colonialism in Africa from foreign investors and governments interested only in extracting natural resources to enrich themselves” was underway. (China Daily, June 17, 2011) Although the top U.S. diplomat did not mention China by name, the implications were obvious.

According to China Daily, “The most ironic thing is that Hillary Clinton apparently does not know the significance of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania in the history of China-Africa relations. It is the site where China built its first railway for Tanzania and Zambia” during the early 1970s under the leadership of Chairman Mao.

The China Daily continues saying that its “government invested in the project that has benefited the local people tremendously, and Chinese workers endured the extreme weather conditions and made huge sacrifices in completing this railway project in the most difficult terrain. That railway project sets China apart from Western nations that were involved in Africa earlier than China.”

Other scientific transfers of technology have the potential to address the agricultural crisis in Africa. The Desert Control Research Institute of Gansu has dispatched 10 scientists to Niger and Nigeria to implement a water resource preservation program sponsored by both the Chinese government and the United Nations. (Xinhua, July 2)

The Chinese scientists are doing research and training local personnel in Niamey, Dosso, Tahousa, Maradi and Zinder in south Niger as well as in Kano state in Nigeria. The project is designed to address the problem of scare water resources which impacts agricultural development and animal husbandry that are caused by drought and the expansion of the deserts.

In contrast the U.S. under the Clinton administration established what is known as the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The U.S. Congress has been inconsistent in providing provisions for investments by corporations which have opened factories in several countries…

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Confronting some of the major criticisms of contemporary Sino-African ties [Xinhua]

Posted in Africa, Angola, Anti-China propaganda exposure, China, Egypt, Nigeria, Sudan on June 2, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, May 16 (Xinhuanet) — China has shuffled the relative importance of certain political and economic tools, and offered a different style of engagement with Africa. China’s bilateral engagements should be seen as a positive-sum catalyst for African governments to further their own economies and diversify their relations.

Despite widespread views to the contrary, China is not offering an entirely different ideology to the “Washington Consensus” for Africa. Marketisation has been a vital ingredient in China’s own development strides; no nation has improved its level of economic freedom as swiftly. China’s macroeconomic success indicates that more freedom leads to more growth, but stagnant freedom [sic] leads to stagnant growth.

The weight of commodities in Africa’s exports is high in China-Africa trade. However, it is equally high for each of Africa’s major export destinations . This questions Africa’s level o feconomic diversity and industrialisation. For now, natural resources remain Africa’s core competitive advantage in global trade . Africa must capture and allocate associated revenues in ways that enhance productivity, promote economic diversification and industrialisation, and improve living standards. In the meantime, China adds diversity and resilience to Africa’s economic thrust and global emergence.

Low-cost products are offering stiff competition to Africa’s juvenile manufacturing sector. The important challenge facing the continent is not unique to Africa. For instance, in intra-BRIC trade, the composition of Chinese trade is consistent with Africa’s experience. Individual African countries need to be smarter and strategic in building complementary competency with China’s that attaches to global supply chains.

The lop-sided distribution of economic power, of China over Africa, means that China does have an advantage in negotiating the rules of engagement. However, local considerations have gained traction through learning-by-doing. Meanwhile, China’s investment and trade encourage Africa’s economic growth, which has altered the way in which the rest of the world views prospects on the continent and Africa’s own expectations.

China’s engagements have provided rogue states [sic] in Africa with a possible trap-door from pressures to reform their political and economic institutions. However, since 2000, only Egypt and Guinea’s measured governance effectiveness has declined, while countries like Angola, Nigeria and Sudan have maintained their levels of political and economic freedom. In short,Chinese engagement hasn’t necessarily led to a reversion.

China is not squeezing traditional partners out. In terms of FDI stock and flows, China trails advanced economies and faces stiff competition from other emerging markets.

The charge is not only that Chinese support provides fertile soil for poor governance and corruption, but also that the country is free-riding on Africa’s past debt relief, adding new layers of additional debt. However, China is a small lender on the continent; Russia forgave USD 20 bn in cold war-related debt in 2008…

Edited / excerpted by Zuo Shou

Full article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2012-05/16/c_131591316.htm

How the “Kony 2012” video drafted a Facebook army to support the militarization of Africa [Globalresearch.ca]

Posted in Africa, Libya, NATO, Obama, Psychological warfare, Somalia, Sudan, U.K., US foreign occupation, US Government Cover-up, USA on March 13, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Dan Gordon

March 12, 2012

“Click this Button or African children will die”: How the “Kony 2012” video drafted a Facebook army to support the militarization of Africa”

In 1877 the British Empire was at the height of its glory, the Spanish Empire would soon collapse, and a young Oxford student named Cecil Rhodes was gripped by a sudden religious vision. Rhodes scrawled out a manifesto. In it, he called for an “Anglo-American Empire” that would begin in the heart of Africa and spread out to conquer the known world.

“Africa is still lying ready for us,” he wrote. “It is our duty to take it. It is our duty to seize every opportunity of acquiring more territory and we should keep this one idea steadily before our eyes-that more territory simply means more of the Anglo-Saxon race; more of the best, the most human, most honorable race the world possesses.”

Rhodes went on to found the DeBeers diamond cartel and devote his company’s vast wealth to the colonial project in Africa. He couldn’t have known that, just over a century later, a new invention called the Internet would be tweaking his message, smoothing out his more inflammatory language, and sending his ideas around the globe through YouTube and Facebook. Nor would he ever had imagined that the first black president of the United States would be the one to carry his vision to its ultimate conclusion, under the guise of “humanitarian intervention.”

Fast-forward to March of 2012, when the non-profit “TRI” launched an online video called “Kony 2012.” Filled with lightning cuts, footage of battle-scarred African children, and tearful appeals to emotion, the movie rallies its viewers around a single goal: stopping the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and its leader Joseph Kony. With the help of the U.S. military, of course. And Oprah Winfrey.

At first glance, that’s not such a bad idea. After all, the Lord’s Resistance Army has kidnapped perhaps thousands of Ugandan children and forced them into their militia in their bid to topple the Ugandan government. The fact that the movie ignores, however, is that Uganda’s government, and its U.S.-backed leader, Yoweri Museveni, doesn’t appear to have a much better record when it comes to human rights.

After all, Museveni was recruiting child soldiers to serve in the Ugandan military before the LRA unleashed its guerrilla war against the government. His success is probably what inspired Koney [sic] to take up the same tactics. So why does “Kony 2012” try to pin the blame squarely on the LRA for a war in neither side seems to be a friend of the Ugandan people?

It’s because Museveni is a willing tool of U.S. foreign policy. His troops are helping the Obama administration back up an impotent government in Somalia, a regime so mistrusted by its people that it has no power outside of Mogadishu. Because Museveni plays ball with the United States, he is given a free pass, just like Ethiopia’s Zenawi, to commit human rights abuses. Meanwhile, African leaders who try to pursue an independent economic policy like Sudan’s Al-Bashir and Libya’s now-dead Gadhafi are rewarded with NATO bombs and arrest warrants by the International Criminal Court.

“Kony 2012” is a crafty piece of propaganda. It happens to have been released at just the right moment in history. The movie’s narrator warns “this movie will expire at the end of 2012.” Of course, it’s just a coincidence that Obama is running for re-election this year. It’s also a coincidence that the “Kony 2012” signs the group has created to publicize their campaign are the same color as Shepard Fairey’s iconic “Hope” [propaganda] posters that swept Obama into office. The camera often makes shy glances towards shots of the “Kony” and “Obama” posters next to one another. The message is clear: elect one man and you will defeat the other.

Never before has subliminal programming been so blatant. If the makers of the film are truly concerned about stopping violence in Africa, they might want to question the film’s premise – that the 100 U.S. Special Forces Obama sent to Uganda in October of last year are actually there to fight the LRA. After all, according to the UN, the Ugandan military has whittled the LRA down to a mere 200 fighters. With only two guerrillas for every special ops soldier, you would think the war would have been over in a weekend.

Another fact the film neglects to mention is that Uganda’s government announced the discovery of large oil deposits in the northern part of the country last spring. Of course, this is probably a coincidence and has nothing to do with Obama’s decision to send special forces to Uganda several months later, despite the fact that the LRA has shifted their operations to the neighboring Congo.

According to the makers of the film, rather than questioning the true motive of sending troops to Africa, we should use whatever means necessary to pressure the U.S. to beef up its military presence in the region. To do this, the group has hijacked the language and imagery of the anti-globalization movement. Dropping banners, wheatpasting posters at night, holding rock concerts, and raising your fist in the air all become “subversive” ways to fight for escalating our military presence in Uganda.

Cecil Rhodes would be smiling in his grave.

Article link: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29705

NATO’s War on Libya is Directed against China: AFRICOM and the Threat to China’s National Energy Security [Globalresearch.ca]

Posted in Africa, Algeria, Anti-China propaganda exposure, Beijing, Brazil, China, China-bashing, China-US relations, CIA, Corporate Media Critique, Egypt, Energy, France, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Libya, MI6, NATO, Nigeria, Obama, Pentagon, Portugal, Russia, Sudan, Tunisia, U.K., US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War on September 27, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Sept. 25, 2011

(Maps, diagrams and footnotes can be viewed at original article’s webpage – Zuo Shou)

The Washington-led decision by NATO to bomb Gaddafi’s Libya into submission over recent months, at an estimated cost to US taxpayers of at least $1 billion, has little if anything to do with what the Obama Administration claims was a mission to “protect innocent civilians.” In reality it is part of a larger strategic assault by NATO and by the Pentagon in particular to entirely control China’s economic achilles heel, namely China’s strategic dependence on large volumes of imported crude oil and gas. Today China is the world’s second largest importer of oil after the United States and the gap is rapidly closing.

If we take a careful look at a map of Africa and also look at the African organization of the new Pentagon Africa Command — AFRICOM — the pattern that emerges is a careful strategy of controlling one of China’s most strategically important oil and raw materials sources.

NATO’s Libya campaign was and is all about oil [sic]. But not about simply controlling Libyan high-grade crude because the USA is nervous about reliable foreign supplies. It rather is about controlling China’s free access to long-term oil imports from Africa and from the Middle East. In other words, it is about controlling China itself.

Libya geographically is bounded to its north by the Mediterranean directly across from Italy, where Italian ENI oil company has been the largest foreign operator in Libya for years. To its west it is bounded by Tunisia and by Algeria. To its south it is bounded by Chad. To its east it is bounded by both Sudan (today Sudan and Southern Sudan) and by Egypt. That should tell something about the strategic importance of Libya from the standpoint of the Pentagon’s AFRICOM long-term strategy for controlling Africa and its resources and which country is able to get those resources.

Gaddafi’s Libya had maintained strict national state control over the rich reserves of high quality “light, sweet” Libyan crude oil . As of 2006 data Libya had the largest proven oil reserves in Africa, some 35%, larger even than Nigeria. Oil consessions had been extended to Chinese state oil companies as well as Russian and others in recent years. Not surprisingly a spokesman from the so-called opposition claiming victory over Gaddafi, Abdeljalil Mayouf, information manager at Libyan rebel oil firm AGOCO, told Reuters, “We don’t have a problem with Western countries like the Italians, French and UK companies. But we may have some political issues with Russia, China and Brazil.” [This statement must be pointed out as having questionable representation. Other Libyan counter-revolutionary leaders have pledged that business with China and the other noted countries will proceed normally – ZS] China and Russia and Brazil either opposed UN sanctions on Libya or pressed for a negotiated settlement of the internal conflict and an end to NATO bombing.

As I have detailed elsewhere,1 Gaddafi, an old adherent of Arab socialism on the line of Egypt’s Gamal Nasser, used the oil revenues to improve the lot of his people. Health care was free as was education. Each Libyan family was given a state grant of $50000 towards buying a new house and all bank loans were according to Islamic anti-usury laws, interest free. The state was also free of debt. Only by bribery and massive infiltration into the tribal opposition areas of the eastern part of the country could the CIA, MI6 and other NATO intelligence operatives, at an estimated cost of $1 billion, and massive NATO bombing of civilians, destabilize the strong ties between Gaddafi and his people.

Why then did NATO and the Pentagon lead such a mad and destructive assault on a peaceful sovereign country? Clear is that one of the prime reasons was to complete the encirclement of China’s oil and vital raw material sources across northern Africa.

* Pentagon alarm over China *

Step-by-step in the past several years Washington had begun to create the perception that China, which was the “dear friend and ally of America” less than a decade ago, was becoming the greatest threat to world peace because of China’s enormous economic expansion. The painting of China as a new “enemy” has been complex as Washington is dependent on China to buy the lion’s share of the US Government debt in the form of Treasury paper.

In August the Pentagon released its annual report to Congress on China’s military status. 2 This year the report sent alarm bells ringing across China for a strident new tone. The report stated among other things, “Over the past decade, China’s military has benefited from robust investment in modern hardware and technology. Many modern systems have reached maturity and others will become operational in the next few years,” the Pentagon said in the report. It added that “there remains uncertainty about how China will use its growing capabilities… China’s rise as a major international actor is likely to stand out as a defining feature of the strategic landscape of the early 21st century.”3

In a matter of perhaps two to five years, depending on how the rest of the world reacts or plays their cards, the Peoples’ Republic of China will emerge in the controlled Western media painted as the new “Hitler Germany.” If that seems hard to believe today, just reflect on how that was done with former Washington allies such as Egypt’s Mubarak or even Saddam Hussein. In June this year, former US Secretary of the Navy and now US Senator from Virginia, James Webb, startled many in Beijing when he told press that China was fast approaching what he called a “Munich moment,” when Washington must decide how to maintain a strategic balance, a reference to the 1938 crisis over Czechoslovakia when Chamberlain opted for appeasement with Hitler over Czechoslovakia. Webb added, “If you look at the last 10 years, the strategic winner has been China.” 4

The same massively effective propaganda machine of the Pentagon, led by CNN, BBC, the New York Times or London Guardian will get the subtle command from Washington to “paint China and its leaders black.” China is becoming far too strong and far too independent for many in Washington and in Wall Street. To control that, above all China’s oil import dependency has been identified as her Achilles Heel. Libya is a move to strike directly at that vulnerable Achilles heel.

* China moves into Africa *

The involvement of Chinese energy and raw materials companies across Africa had become a major cause of alarm in Washington where an attitude of malign neglect had dominated Washington Africa policy since the Cold War era. As its future energy needs became obvious several years ago China began a major African economic diplomacy which reached a crescendo in 2006 when Beijing literally rolled out the red carpet to heads of more than forty African states and discussed a broad range of economic issues. None were more important for Beijing than securing future African oil resources for China’s robust industrialization.

China moved into countries which had been virtually abandoned by former European colonial powers like France or Britain or Portugal.

Chad is a case in point. The poorest and most geographically isolated African countries, Chad was courted by Beijing which resumed diplomatic ties in 2006.

In October 2007 China’s state oil giant CNPC signed a contract to build a refinery jointly with Chad’s government. Two years later they began construction of an oil pipeline to carry oil from a new Chinese field in the south some 300 kilometers to the refinery. Western-supported NGO’s predictably began howling about environmental impacts of the Chinese oil pipeline. The same NGOs were curiously silent when Chevron struck oil in 2003 in Chad. In July 2011 the two countries, Chad and China celebrated opening of the joint venture oil refinery near Chad’s capital of Ndjamena. 5 Chad’s Chinese oil activities are strikingly close to another major Chinese oil project in what then was Sudan’s Darfur region bordering Chad.

Sudan had been a growing source of oil flows to China since cooperation began in the late 1990s after Chevron abandoned its stake there. By 1998 CNPC was building a 1500 km long oil pipeline from southern Sudan oilfields to Port Sudan on the Red Sea as well as building a major oil refinery near Khartoum. Sudan was the first large overseas oilfield project operated by China. By the beginning of 2011 Sudan oil, most all from the conflict-torn south, provided some 10% of China’s oil imports from taking more than 60% of Sudan’s daily oil production of 490,000 barrels. Sudan had become a point of vital Chinese national energy security.

According to geological estimates, the subsurface running from Darfur in what was southern Sudan through Chad into Cameroon is one giagantic oil field in extent perhaps equivalent to a new Saudi Arabia. Controlling southern Sudan as well as Chad and Cameroon is vital to the Pentagon strategy of “strategic denial” to China of their future oil flows. So long as a stable and robust Ghaddafi regime remained in power in Tripoli that control remained a major problem. The simultaneous splitting off of the Republic of South Sudan from Khartoum and the toppling of Ghaddafi in favor of weak rebel bands beholden to Pentagon support was for the Pentagon Full Spectrum Dominance of strategic priority.

* AFRICOM responds *

The key force behind the recent wave of Western military attacks against Libya or more covert regime changes such as those in Tunisia, Egypt and the fateful referendum in southern Sudan which has now made that oil-rich region “independent” has been AFRICOM, the special US military command established by the Bush Administration in 2008 explicitly to counter the growing Chinese influence over Africa’s vast oil and mineral wealth.

In late 2007, Dr. J. Peter Pham, a Washington insider who advises the US State and Defense Departments, stated openly that among the aims of the new AFRICOM, is the objective of “protecting access to hydrocarbons and other strategic resources which Africa has in abundance … a task which includes ensuring against the vulnerability of those natural riches and ensuring that no other interested third parties, such as China, India, Japan, or Russia, obtain monopolies or preferential treatment.” 6

In testimony before the US Congress supporting creation of AFRICOM in 2007, Pham, who is associated with the neo-conservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies, stated:

“This natural wealth makes Africa an inviting target for the attentions of the People’s Republic of China, whose dynamic economy…has an almost insatiable thirst for oil as well as a need for other natural resources to sustain it…China is currently importing approximately 2.6 million barrels of crude per day, about half of its consumption; more than 765,000 of those barrels—roughly a third of its imports—come from African sources, especially Sudan, Angola, and Congo (Brazzaville). Is it any wonder, then, that…perhaps no other foreign region rivals Africa as the object of Beijing’s sustained strategic interest in recent years…

Intentionally or not, many analysts expect that Africa—especially the states along its oil-rich western coastline—will increasingly becoming a theatre for strategic competition between the United States and its only real near-peer competitor on the global stage, China, as both countries seek to expand their influence and secure access to resources.”7

It is useful to briefly recall the sequence of Washington-sponsored “Twitter” revolutions in the ongoing so-called Arab Spring. The first was Tunisia, an apparently insignificant land on north Africa’s Mediterranean. However Tunisia is on the western border of Libya. The second domino to fall in the process was Mubarak’s Egypt. That created major instability across the Middle East into north Africa as Mubarak for all his flaws had fiercely resisted Washington Middle East pollicy [sic]. Israel also lost a secure ally when Mubarak fell.

Then in July 2011 Southern Sudan declared itself the independent Republic of South Sudan, breaking away from Sudan after years of US-backed insurgency against Khartoum rule. The new Republic takes with it the bulk of Sudan’s known oil riches, something clearly not causing joy in Beijing. US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, led the US delegation to the independence celebrations, calling it “a testament to the Southern Sudanese people.” She added, in terms of making the secssion happen, “the US has been as active as anyone.” US President Obama openly supported seccession of the south. The breakaway was a project guided and financed from Washington since the Bush Administration decided to make it a priority in 2004. 8

Now Sudan has suddenly lost its main source of hard currency oil revenue. The secession of the south, where three-quarters of Sudan’s 490 000 barrels a day of oil is produced, has aggravated economic difficulties in Khartoum cutting some 37% off its total revenues. Sudan’s only oil refineries and the only export route run north from oilfields to Port Sudan on the Red Sea in northern Sudan. South Sudan is now being encouraged by Washington to build a new export pipeline independent of Khartoum via Kenya. Kenya is one of the areas of strongest US military influence in Africa.9

The aim of the US-led regime change in Libya as well as the entire Greater Middle East Project which lies behind the Arab Spring is to secure absolute control over the world’s largest known oil fields to control future policies in especially countries like China. As then US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is reported to have said during the 1970’s when he was arguably more powerful than the President of the United States, “If you control the oil you control entire nations or groups of nations.”

For the future national energy security of China the ultimate answer lies in finding secure domestic energy reserves. Fortunately there are revolutionary new methods to detect and map presence of oil and gas where even the best current geology says oil is not to be found. Perhaps therein lies a way out of the oil trap that has been laid for China. In my newest book, The Energy Wars I detail such new methods for those interested.

F. William Engdahl is author of Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order

(Maps, diagrams and footnotes can be viewed at original article’s webpage)

Article link: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=26763

EDITORIAL: Revisiting the Berlin Wall – “Thank you GDR” [Workers World]

Posted in Afghanistan, Anti-communism, Engels, Fascism, GDR / East Germany, Germany, Marx, NATO, NATO invasion, Nazism, Sudan, USSR, Yugoslavia - former FRY on September 2, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Published Aug 19, 2011

On Aug. 13, the corporate media in imperialist Germany used the 50th anniversary of the Berlin Wall to propagandize against communism and the German Democratic Republic.

The GDR had built the wall at a time when Germany and Berlin were divided between a capitalist West and a socialist East. After Hitler’s defeat in World War II — largely at the hands of the Soviet Union, which also suffered the greatest casualties from Nazi aggression — the U.S. had poured billions of dollars into West Germany to rebuild capitalism there. West Berlin, where many of the capitalist elite were concentrated, was much richer than East Berlin. Nevertheless, the socialist East offered free education and health care to everyone. The wall was built largely to stem an exodus to the West, known as the “brain drain,” of skilled people educated at the expense of the workers’ state.

There are many in the united Germany of today who are not celebrating the fall of the wall and the GDR. Their voices were heard on Aug. 13 when the non-affiliated Marxist German daily newspaper, Junge Welt, ran a front-page article along with a historical photo of army troops of the GDR defending the Brandenburg Gate, one of the entry points between West and East. The headline read, “At this time, all we can say is: Thank you.”

The article went on to give examples of what the GDR had achieved during the 28 years of the wall — much of which was lost once the socialist state was overthrown and the GDR swallowed by West Germany.

The article thanked the GDR for “28 years of peace in Europe” and “28 years without any German soldiers participating in wars.” The united Germany, as a member of NATO, now has armed forces in Afghanistan, parts of the former Yugoslavia and Sudan, as well as off the coasts of the Horn of Africa and Lebanon.

It also thanked the GDR for 28 years without unemployment, homelessness and soup kitchens and for providing education, child care and health care for all “without a consultation fee or two-tier health care.”

Reflecting popular anger at German capital, it thanked the GDR for “28 years without hedge funds and private equity parasites.”

Germany today, like the rest of the capitalist world, is cutting social programs while unemployment grows, especially in the east where workers used to be guaranteed work under socialism. In the land of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, many now know from bitter experience that capitalism can never bring a better life to the majority of the people.

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