Archive for the Tunisia Category

“Self-immolation Guide”: desperate insanity of the Dalai clique: bylined article [Xinhua]

Posted in Anti-China propaganda exposure, China, CIA, Dalai Lama, Tibet, Tunisia on March 8, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, March 6 (Xinhua) — The China Tibet Online, a multi-language media website dedicated to providing news stories on Tibetans living in China, has recently published a bylined opinion article on the “Self-immolation Guide,” produced by the Dalai Lama clique.

Following is the full text of the article in English:

“Self-immolation Guide”: desperate insanity of the Dalai clique

By Yi Duo

Recently, the Dalai clique published a “Self-immolation Guide” on the Internet, openly inciting Tibetans within the Chinese border to “carry out self-immolations according to the plan and procedures.”

The “Self-immolation Guide” demonstrates a sober attitude in scheming and arranging the cruel actions of self-immolations, which makes it stand out among the…propaganda of the Dalai clique…

The book is published in the name of one person only for the “Tibetan government-in-exile” to avoid public condemnation toward its overt manipulation of self-immolations. The alleged author of the “Instructions” is Lhamo Je, who had been a “member of parliament” for two terms in the “parliament” of the Dalai clique and now still has an important position in its “educational system.”

The “guide” consists of four parts. The first part is an ideological mobilization which advocates the idea that self-immolators are “great and honorable fearless heroes” and that “both male and female heroes” should be ready at all times to sacrifice for the “just cause.”

The second part gives detailed instruction on the “self-immolation preparation,” including “picking important days and places,” “leaving written or recorded last words,” and “asking a couple of trustworthy people to help record videos and take photos.”

The third part introduces “self-immolation slogans” and instructs the self-immolators to shout “Free Tibet, let the Dalai Lama return to Tibet, and release political prisoners” and so forth, and asks them to print out the slogans into leaflets to scatter them on the spot so as to increase the impact.

The fourth part illustrates “other non-violent activities” such as “shouting loudly the campaign slogans at schools and other populated places,” “making public speeches,” and “filing petitions to the central government,” and points out that “it is very important to launch various activities in political, economic, religious and cultural fields.”

No matter from which perspective, this “Self-immolation Guide” can…be regarded as “a remarkable piece of writing,” for it is tantamount to a “confession” of the Dalai clique which has committed the crime of manipulating self-immolations.

[While] the head of the “Tibetan government-in-exile” Lobsang Sangay has asked the Chinese government to show evidence of the Dalai clique’s manipulation of the self-immolations, and “welcome” the Chinese government to send groups to Dharamsala to search for evidence, they have now made public the evidence by themselves.

The reliability of the evidence lies not only in the source of the writer, a senior official of the Dalai clique, but also in the confirmation of every item of the contents listed by previous self-immolations.

In fact, almost every self-burning happened just like what the “guide” had planned — some people videotaping the scene, some people shouting separatist slogans, inciting and gathering others to stop the government from taking rescue actions.

Sometimes the Dalai clique was able to hype the burning cases with photos and personal data of the self-immolators obtained [within] minutes after the incidents.

The contents of the “last words” shouted by some self-immolators are exactly the same as in the “guide.”

According to Lorang Konchok, who has pleaded guilty of intentional homicide, he acted on the instructions of the Dalai clique to make use of his status and influence in the temple, and incited, instigated and coerced others to burn themselves with the help of his nephew.

Before the self-burning happened, Lorang Konchok recorded the individual and family information of the self-immolators and took photos [of] them. Once the self-immolation was committed, he sent the information immediately to the Dalai clique via a cell phone.

The “guide” aims to “standardize and systematize the self-immolation behavior so as to manipulate it like an assembly line in the future,” and reach the goal to be “more efficient” as set down by the Dalai Lama.

The “guide” also gives a slap in the face to some Western forces. In order to contain and split China, for many years these forces have set [up] the Dalai Lama as a “non-violent” model that represents struggle [sic].

After the self-immolation incidents, they completely disregarded the facts, denied the crimes committed by the Dalai clique, and accused the policy made by the Chinese government of causing the self-immolations. Furthermore, they even showed sympathy for and “concern” to those criminals who have been sentenced to jail in line with Chinese law to encourage the self-immolation manipulators.

The publication of the “guide,” which openly admitted the crime of the Dalai clique’s inciting and scheming self-immolations, its political motivations as well as its future plans for continued manipulations, has not saved the [face] of [the] Western masters.

Why did the Dalai clique publish the “Self-immolation Guide” at this moment? The reason is that the extremists among them feel desperate.

According to the Canadian Sing Tao Daily, the Dalai clique once instructed [their] followers earnestly and tirelessly, “Suppose we resort to arms to achieve our objective, we need guns and ammunition in the first place, but who will sell them to us? If we find the seller, where can we get the money ? Even if we have money and get guns, how can these guns be transported to China and through which country’s border? The CIA once air-lifted guns for us, which happened in the past and will never happen again.”

The Dalai clique drew a lesson from its own failures: That seeking “Tibet independence” through violent activities publicly did not work, and it is better to adopt the “Middle-way Approach,” which can deceive the world [by seeking] “Tibet independence” indirectly. However, this political plot has not made any progress since its [emergence], and even the channel of contact and talk with the central government was blocked by themselves.

Up to now, the scheme of manipulating self-immolations has been worked out by racking their brains as “the highest form of non-violent struggle,” which will be doomed. All of these make some extremists more and more impatient, so they had to publish the “guide,” hoping this wicked fire can [bring about] some “achievements” before it [is] extinguishe[d].

Another reason for the publication of the “guide” is that self-immolations have not achieved the effect in the international community as the Dalai clique had expected. Even if some Western powers always support the Dalai clique, they dare not take such a huge risk of losing political reputation or moral legality to openly support manipulating self-immolations, which is a disguised form of violence and terrorism.

The head of the “government-in-exile” lamented, “There was a self-immolation in Tunisia which was labeled the catalyst for the Arab Spring. How come we have been given less support than what we witnessed in the Arab world?” reported the New York Times on Feb. 3.

A comment from the Chinese News Net revealed the truth, “In fact, the self-immolations of Tibetans have rarely received support from the international community.”

It is hard to imagine that how the international community can support such brutal and inhumane acts. The Chinese government does not create conditions to encourage Tibetans to self-immolate. Hence it cannot be condemned.

Western countries all understand the background of self-immolations, so they are already doing the “Tibetan government-in-exile” a big favor by not condemning them.

The Dalai clique attempted to prompt more self-immolations through publishing the “guide” in order to beg for more international compassion. This act has actually made the international community recognize the ferocity and insanity of the Dalai clique clearly, and urged some Western powers to hold back when supporting the Dalai clique.

The “guide” published by the Dalai clique was an attempt in political blackmail, against the Chinese government, but it turned out to be in vain.

If plotting “Tibet independence” failed in 1959 through the military confrontation and armed rebellion, how will it be possible by inciting several poor people to burn themselves?

As a matter of fact, through the joint efforts of all levels of local governments at the [spot] of the incidents, the frequency of self-immolations has been curbed and the evidence of the Dalai clique’s role in manipulating such acts has been made clear. Many criminals, whose acts are detested by the local people, have been brought to justice.

All of these fully show the unpopularity of the Dalai clique in China and the popularity of the Chinese government The government will win the battle of anti-self-immolation as long as it does not hold unrealistic hopes from the Dalai clique, nor expects some Western forces to be kind, but keep the situation under control on the basis of its own work.

The Dalai clique’s fantasy that every self-immolation will exert some pressure on the Chinese government will be highly counter-productive. On the contrary, every self-immolation case that occurred was an additional bloody crime the Dalai clique committed on its own ethnic Tibetans.

Some people from the clique including the plotters of the “Self-immolation Guide” told the public repeatedly that self-immolation is a kind of “peaceful protest” and expected to get the same attention as the vendors in Tunisia. [These people should] teach [them]selves by following the guide [and self-immolating, as] netizens have called for. If [they] dare not burn [them]selves, please stop the folly as early as possible.

Just as Lu Xun, a famous Chinese writer, said…– people who are alive…have no right to persuade others to die. So [the instigators of self-immolation ought to “practice what they preach” if they] believe it is a good idea to die.

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2013-03/06/c_132213731.htm

Edited by Zuo Shou

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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

Obama at the UN: The arrogant voice of imperialism [World Socialist Web Site]

Posted in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bill Clinton, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, CIA, DPR Korea, Early 21st Century global capitalist financial crisis' US origins, Economic crisis & decline, Egypt, Genocide, George W. Bush, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lenin, Libya, NATO, Obama, Palestine, Pentagon, Syria, Torture, Tunisia, UNSC, US foreign occupation, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, West Bank, Western nations' human rights distortions, Yemen on October 4, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Bill Van Auken
22 September 2011

* Excerpted *

President Obama delivered an empty and arrogant sermon to the United Nations Wednesday, laced with platitudes about “peace” that were designed to mask Washington’s predatory policies.

The American president received a tepid response from the assembled heads of state, foreign ministers and UN delegates. Not a single line in his speech evoked applause. The novelty of two years ago, when Obama made his first appearance before the body posing as the champion of multilateralism in contrast to Bush, has long since worn off. As the world quickly learned, changing the occupant of the White House did little to shift the direction of American foreign policy or curb the spread of American militarism.

The immediate purpose of Obama’s 47-minute address was to supplement a behind-the-scenes campaign of bullying and intimidation aimed at forcing the Palestinian Authority to drop its plan to seek a UN Security Council vote on recognition of Palestine as a sovereign member state…

…In his speech to the UN, Obama mentioned neither the 1967 borders nor any proposal to halt the expansion of settlements on the West Bank. Instead, he presented the basis for proposed negotiations as: “Israelis must know that any agreement provides assurances for their security. Palestinians deserve to know the territorial basis of their state.” As the rest of the US president’s remarks made clear, both those conditions are to be dictated by Israel.

While behind the scenes US officials are reportedly threatening the Palestinian Authority with cutting off all US aid if it goes ahead with the request for recognition, in his speech Obama described a turn to the UN as a “short cut” that would accomplish nothing.

Dismissing the role of the institution that he had rhetorically praised at the outset of his remarks, Obama said, “Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the UN — if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now.” Indeed, scores of UN resolutions on the plight of the Palestinians have been repudiated and ignored by both Israel and Washington. The US has used its veto in the Security Council to kill scores more.

Evidently responding to the right-wing criticism of Republican presidential hopefuls, who have denounced him for “throwing Israel under the bus” with his 1967 borders remark last May, Obama went out of his way to dismiss the historical grievances of the Palestinian people, while identifying unconditionally with Israel.

Of the Palestinians, he said only that they deserved a “sovereign state of their own” and they “have seen that vision delayed for too long.”

This was followed by a declaration that “America’s commitment to Israel’s security is unshakable, and our friendship with Israel is deep and enduring.” He continued by describing Israel as a country “surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it,” whose “citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses.” He referred to Israel as a “small country” in a world “where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map.” And he wound up by invoking the Holocaust.

“These facts cannot be denied,” he said. One would never guess from this selection of “facts” that some 4 million Palestinians live under the oppression and constant violence of Israeli occupation, and that another 5 million are refugees, driven from their homeland.

Nor for that matter, would one have any inkling of the constant wars that “little Israel,” with its elastic borders, has waged against its neighbors. Among the more recent are the 2006 war against Lebanon, which left 1,200 civilians dead and much of the country’s infrastructure in ruins, and the 2008 “Operation Cast Lead,” against Gaza, which claimed the lives of nearly 1,500 Palestinians, compared to 13 Israelis.

With a tone of exasperation, Obama acknowledged that “for many in this hall” the Palestinian question was the issue that “stands as a test” for Washington’s claims to champion human rights and democracy.

In reality, however, the rest of the speech proved just as revealing in terms of the hypocrisy and imperialist interests that pervade Washington’s policies all over the world.

The pretense laid out at the beginning of Obama’s speech was that the US government is engaged in “the pursuit of peace in an imperfect world.” The address included a trite refrain, repeated three times: “peace is hard.”

Fleshing out this theme, Obama pointed to the partial troop withdrawals from the eight-and-a-half-year-old war and occupation in Iraq and the decade-old war in Afghanistan. He bragged that by the end of the year, only 90,000 US troops will be deployed in these wars.

Washington’s aim, he said, was to forge an “equal partnership” with Iraq “strengthened by our support for Iraq — for its government and its security forces,” and an “enduring partnership” with “the people of Afghanistan.” He claimed that these changes proved that “the tide of war is receding.”

The rhetoric about “partnership”, however, refers to the plans being pursued by the White House and the Pentagon to keep US troops, CIA operatives and American bases in both countries, long past the dates set for US withdrawal. US imperialism is determined to continue pursuing the goal that underlay the wars from the outset: hegemonic control over the strategic energy reserves of the Caspian Basin and the Persian Gulf.

Obama then proceeded to extol the “Arab Spring,” declaring: “One year ago, the hopes of the people of Tunisia were suppressed…One year ago, Egypt had known one president for nearly thirty years.”

Needless to say, the American president made no reference as to whose support had kept the dictators Ben Ali and Mubarak in power for so long, nor to the current attempts by Washington to salvage the regimes they headed and suppress the mass popular movements that forced their ouster.

From there, he proceeded to praise the NATO war in Libya, declaring that by authorizing this imperialist intervention, “the United Nations lived up to its charter.”

In reality, the war represented a fundamental violation of the tenets of this charter, which proclaims the “sovereign equality” of all member states, demanded that all disputes be settled peacefully and insisted that member states “refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.”

In the case of Libya, the US and its NATO allies, citing the threat of an imminent massacre in Benghazi, procured a resolution authorizing “all necessary measures” to protect civilians. It utilized this resolution as a cover for a war for regime-change. The NATO powers carried out thousands of air strikes and sent in special forces troops to organize, train and arm a “rebel” force for a war that has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Libyans. The aim of this war, like those in Afghanistan and Iraq before it, is domination of strategic energy reserves, as well as inserting Western military power in the midst of a region facing revolutionary turmoil.

“This is how the international community is supposed to work,” Obama declared in relation to the Libyan operation, calling to mind Lenin’s description of the League of Nations, the UN’s predecessor, as a “thieves’ kitchen.”

Turning to uncompleted business and potential imperialist interventions yet to come, Obama condemned Iran for failing “to recognize the rights of its own people” and called for the UN impose new sanctions against Syria. “Will we stand with the Syrian people, or with their oppressors?” he demanded.

Given the bloody events in Yemen, where over 100 civilians have been massacred over the past three days, Obama could not completely ignore the upheavals against US-backed regimes in the region. In Yemen, however, there was no invocation to stand against oppressors, merely a call to “seek a path that allows for a peaceful transition.”

Even more tepid was his reference to Bahrain, the headquarters of the US 5th Fleet. “America is a close friend of Bahrain,” he declared. Here, where thousands have been killed, tortured, imprisoned, beaten and fired from their jobs for demanding democratic rights, he proposed merely a “meaningful dialogue,” while justifying the repression by suggesting that Bahrainis were confronting “sectarian forces that would tear them apart.”

The rest of the speech consisted of a hollow and unconvincing recitation of the usual platitudes. These included the elimination of nuclear weapons — with Washington, sitting on the greatest nuclear arsenal in the world and the only state ever to use such weapons, lecturing North Korea and Iran. He inveighed against poverty and disease and insisted on the need “not to put off action that “a changing climate demands.” Thrown in were calls for the rights of women as well as gays and lesbians.

On the decisive issue facing millions of working people in the US and across the globe, Obama acknowledged that economic “recovery is fragile,” that “too many people are out of work” and that “too many are struggling to get by.” Referring to the multi-trillion-dollar bailout of the banks, he boasted, “We acted together to avert a depression in 2009” and insisted that “We must take urgent and coordinated action once more.”

But as with all the other issues raised in the speech, the American president had no “coordinated action,” no program and no policy to propose. In the final analysis, Obama’s empty rhetoric is an expression of the profound crisis gripping American capitalism and its ruling financial elite as it confronts economic collapse and the threat of revolutionary upheaval.

Edited by Zuo Shou

Article link: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2011-09/28/content_13805860.htm#

“Libya and the world we live in” by William Blum [www.killinghope.org]

Posted in Afghanistan, Africa, Bahrain, Cameron, China, CIA, Corporate Media Critique, Egypt, EU, European Union, France, Germany, India, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Libya, Media smear campaign, NATO, Obama, Pentagon, Qatar, Russia, Sarkozy, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, U.K., US imperialism, USA, War crimes, Wikileaks, Yemen on September 30, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Sept. 1, 2011

“Why are you attacking us? Why are you killing our children? Why are you destroying our infrastructure?”
– Television address by Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi, April 30, 2011

A few hours later NATO hit a target in Tripoli, killing Gaddafi’s 29-year-old son Saif al-Arab, three of Gaddafi’s grandchildren, all under twelve years of age, and several friends and neighbors.

In his TV address, Gaddafi had appealed to the NATO nations for a cease-fire and negotiations after six weeks of bombings and cruise missile attacks against his country.

Well, let’s see if we can derive some understanding of the complex Libyan turmoil.

The Holy Triumvirate — The United States, NATO and the European Union — recognizes no higher power and believes, literally, that it can do whatever it wants in the world, to whomever it wants, for as long as it wants, and call it whatever it wants, like “humanitarian”.

If The Holy Triumvirate decides that it doesn’t want to overthrow the government in Syria or in Egypt or Tunisia or Bahrain or Saudi Arabia or Yemen or Jordan, no matter how cruel, oppressive, or religiously intolerant those governments are with their people, no matter how much they impoverish and torture their people, no matter how many protesters they shoot dead in their Freedom Square, the Triumvirate will simply not overthrow them.

If the Triumvirate decides that it wants to overthrow the government of Libya, though that government is secular and has used its oil wealth for the benefit of the people of Libya and Africa perhaps more than any government in all of Africa and the Middle East, but keeps insisting over the years on challenging the Triumvirate’s imperial ambitions in Africa and raising its demands on the Triumvirate’s oil companies, then the Triumvirate will simply overthrow the government of Libya.

If the Triumvirate wants to punish Gaddafi and his sons it will arrange with the Triumvirate’s friends at the International Criminal Court to issue arrest warrants for them.

If the Triumvirate doesn’t want to punish the leaders of Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Jordan it will simply not ask the ICC to issue arrest warrants for them. Ever since the Court first formed in 1998, the United States has refused to ratify it and has done its best to denigrate it and throw barriers in its way because Washington is concerned that American officials might one day be indicted for their many war crimes and crimes against humanity. Bill Richardson, as US ambassador to the UN, said to the world in 1998 that the United States should be exempt from the court’s prosecution because it has “special global responsibilities”. But this doesn’t stop the United States from using the Court when it suits the purposes of American foreign policy.

If the Triumvirate wants to support a rebel military force to overthrow the government of Libya then it does not matter how fanatically religious, al-Qaeda-related,1 executing-beheading-torturing, monarchist, or factionally split various groups of that rebel force are at times, the Triumvirate will support it, as it did certain forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and hope that after victory the Libyan force will not turn out as jihadist as it did in Afghanistan, or as fratricidal as in Iraq. One potential source of conflict within the rebels, and within the country if ruled by them, is that a constitutional declaration made by the rebel council states that, while guaranteeing democracy and the rights of non-Muslims, “Islam is the religion of the state and the principle source of legislation in Islamic Jurisprudence.”2

Adding to the list of the rebels’ charming qualities we have the Amnesty International report that the rebels have been conducting mass arrests of black people across the nation, terming all of them “foreign mercenaries” but with growing evidence that a large number were simply migrant workers. Reported Reuters (August 29): “On Saturday, reporters saw the putrefying bodies of 22 men of African origin on a Tripoli beach. Volunteers who had come to bury them said they were mercenaries whom rebels had shot dead.” To complete this portrait of the West’s newest darlings we have this report from The Independent of London (August 27): “The killings were pitiless. They had taken place at a makeshift hospital, in a tent marked clearly with the symbols of the Islamic crescent. Some of the dead were on stretchers, attached to intravenous drips. Some were on the back of an ambulance that had been shot at. A few were on the ground, seemingly attempting to crawl to safety when the bullets came.”

If the Triumvirate’s propaganda is clever enough and deceptive enough and paints a graphic picture of Gaddafi-initiated high tragedy in Libya, many American and European progressives will insist that though they never, ever support imperialism they’re making an exception this time because …

The Libyan people are being saved from a “massacre”, both actual and potential. This massacre, however, seems to have been grossly exaggerated by the Triumvirate, al Jazeera TV, and that station’s owner, the government of Qatar; and nothing approaching reputable evidence of a massacre has been offered, neither a mass grave or anything else; the massacre stories appear to be on a par with the Viagra-rape stories spread by al Jazeera (the Fox News of the Libyan uprising). Qatar, it should be noted, has played an active military role in the civil war on the side of NATO. It should be further noted that the main massacre in Libya has been six months of daily Triumvirate bombing, killing an unknown number of people and ruining much of the infrastructure. Michigan U. Prof. Juan Cole, the quintessential true-believer in the good intentions of American foreign policy who nevertheless manages to have a regular voice in progressive media, recently wrote that “Qaddafi was not a man to compromise … his military machine would mow down the revolutionaries if it were allowed to.” Is that clear, class? We all know of course that Sarkozy, Obama, and Cameron made compromises without end in their devastation of Libya; they didn’t, for example, use any nuclear weapons.
The United Nations gave its approval for military intervention; i.e., the leading members of the Triumvirate gave their approval, after Russia and China cowardly abstained instead of exercising their veto power; (perhaps hoping to receive the same courtesy from the US, UK and France when Russia or China is the aggressor nation).
The people of Libya are being “liberated”, whatever in the world that means, now or in the future. Gaddafi is a “dictator” they insist. That may indeed be the proper term to use for the man, but it must still be asked: Is he a relatively benevolent dictator or is he the other kind so favored by Washington? It must also be asked: Since the United States has habitually supported dictators for the entire past century, why not this one?

The Triumvirate, and its fawning media, would have the world believe that what’s happened in Libya is just another example of the Arab Spring, a popular uprising by non-violent protestors against a dictator for the proverbial freedom and democracy, spreading spontaneously from Tunisia and Egypt, which sandwich Libya. But there are several reasons to question this analysis in favor of seeing the Libyan rebels’ uprising as a planned and violent attempt to take power in behalf of their own political movement, however heterogeneous that movement might appear to be in its early stage. For example:

* They soon began flying the flag of the monarchy that Gaddafi had overthrown

* They were an armed and violent rebellion almost from the beginning; within a few days, we could read of “citizens armed with weapons seized from army bases”3 and of “the policemen who had participated in the clash were caught and hanged by protesters”4

* Their revolt took place not in the capital but in the heart of the country’s oil region; they then began oil production and declared that foreign countries would be rewarded oil-wise in relation to how much each country aided their cause
* They soon set up a Central Bank, a rather bizarre thing for a protest movement

* International support came quickly, even beforehand, from Qatar and al Jazeera to the CIA and French intelligence

The notion that a leader does not have the right to put down an armed rebellion against the state is too absurd to discuss.

Not very long ago, Iraq and Libya were the two most modern and secular states in the Mideast/North Africa world with perhaps the highest standards of living in the region. Then the United States of America came along and saw fit to make a basket case of each one. The desire to get rid of Gaddafi had been building for years; the Libyan leader had never been a reliable pawn; then the Arab Spring provided the excellent opportunity and cover. As to Why? Take your pick of the following:

* Gaddafi’s plans to conduct Libya’s trading in Africa in raw materials and oil in a new currency — the gold African dinar, a change that could have delivered a serious blow to the US’s dominant position in the world economy. (In 2000, Saddam Hussein announced Iraqi oil would be traded in euros, not dollars; sanctions and an invasion followed.) For further discussion see here.

* A host-country site for Africom, the US Africa Command, one of six regional commands the Pentagon has divided the world into. Many African countries approached to be the host have declined, at times in relatively strong terms. Africom at present is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. According to a State Department official: “We’ve got a big image problem down there. … Public opinion is really against getting into bed with the US. They just don’t trust the US.”5

* An American military base to replace the one closed down by Gaddafi after he took power in 1969. There’s only one such base in Africa, in Djibouti. Watch for one in Libya sometime after the dust has settled. It’ll perhaps be situated close to the American oil wells. Or perhaps the people of Libya will be given a choice — an American base or a NATO base.

* Another example of NATO desperate to find a raison d’être for its existence since the end of the Cold War and the Warsaw Pact.

* Gaddafi’s role in creating the African Union. The corporate bosses never like it when their wage slaves set up a union. The Libyan leader has also supported a United States of Africa for he knows that an Africa of 54 independent states will continue to be picked off one by one and abused and exploited by the members of the Triumvirate. Gaddafi has moreover demanded greater power for smaller countries in the United Nations.

* The claim by Gaddafi’s son, Saif el Islam, that Libya had helped to fund Nicolas Sarkozy’s election campaign6 could have humiliated the French president and explain his obsessiveness and haste in wanting to be seen as playing the major role in implementing the “no fly zone” and other measures against Gaddafi. A contributing factor may have been the fact that France has been weakened in its former colonies and neo-colonies in Africa and the Middle East, due in part to Gaddafi’s influence.

* Gaddafi has been an outstanding supporter of the Palestinian cause and critic of Israeli policies; and on occasion has taken other African and Arab countries, as well as the West, to task for their not matching his policies or rhetoric; one more reason for his lack of popularity amongst world leaders of all stripes.

* In January, 2009, Gaddafi made known that he was considering nationalizing the foreign oil companies in Libya.7 He also has another bargaining chip: the prospect of utilizing Russian, Chinese and Indian oil companies. During the current period of hostilities, he invited these countries to make up for lost production. But such scenarios will now not take place. The Triumvirate will instead seek to privatize the National Oil Corporation, transferring Libya’s oil wealth into foreign hands.

* The American Empire is troubled by any threat to its hegemony. In the present historical period the empire is concerned mainly with Russia and China. China has extensive energy investments and construction investments in Libya and elsewhere in Africa. The average American neither knows nor cares about this. The average American imperialist cares greatly, if for no other reason than in this time of rising demands for cuts to the military budget it’s vital that powerful “enemies” be named and maintained.

For yet more reasons, see the article “Why Regime Change in Libya?” by Ismael Hossein-zadeh, and the US diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks — Wikileaks reference 07TRIPOLI967 11-15-07 (includes a complaint about Libyan “resource nationalism”)

Article link, has footnote references: http://killinghope.org/bblum6/aer97.html

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

“Why Regime Change in Libya?” by Ismael Hossein-zadeh [Globalresearch.ca]

Posted in Africa, Algeria, Bahrain, Bolivia, Brazil, BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Cameron, Chile, China, Cuba, DPR Korea, Ecuador, Egypt, Evo Morales, Fidel Castro, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hugo Chavez, IMF - International Monetary Fund, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kim Jong Il, Libya, Morocco, NATO, Nicaragua, Nigeria, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Russia, Sarkozy, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Syria, Tunisia, U.K., US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, Venezuela, WTO, Zionism on September 19, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

June 20, 2011

In light of the brutal death and destruction wrought on Libya by the relentless US/NATO bombardment, the professed claims of “humanitarian concerns” as grounds for intervention can readily be dismissed as a blatantly specious imperialist ploy in pursuit of “regime change” in that country.

There is undeniable evidence that contrary to the spontaneous, unarmed and peaceful protest demonstrations in Egypt, Tunisia and Bahrain, the rebellion in Libya has been nurtured, armed and orchestrated largely from abroad, in collaboration with expat opposition groups and their local allies at home. Indeed, evidence shows that plans of “regime change” in Libya were drawn long before the insurgency actually started in Benghazi; it has all the hallmarks of a well-orchestrated civil war [1].

It is very tempting to seek the answer to the question “why regime change in Libya?” in oil/energy. While oil is undoubtedly a concern, it falls short of a satisfactory explanation because major Western oil companies were already extensively involved in the Libyan oil industry. Indeed, since Gaddafi relented to the US-UK pressure in 1993 and established “normal” economic and diplomatic relations with these and other Western countries, major US and European oil companies struck quite lucrative deals with the National Oil Corporation of Libya.

So, the answer to the question “why the imperialist powers want to do away with Gaddafi” has to go beyond oil, or the laughable “humanitarian concerns.” Perhaps the question can be answered best in the light of the following questions: why do these imperialist powers also want to overthrow Hugo Cavez of Venezuela, Fidel Castro (and/or his successors) of Cuba, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, Rafael Correa Delgado of Ecuador,Kim Jong-il of North Korea, Bashar Al-assad of Syria and Evo Morales of Bolivia? Or, why did they overthrow Mohammad Mossadeq of Iran, Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala, Kusno Sukarno of Indonesia, Salvador Allende of Chile, Sandinistas in Nicaragua, Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti and Manuel Zelaya in Honduras?

What does Gaddafi have in common with these nationalist/populist leaders? The question is of course rhetorical and the answer is obvious: like them Gaddafi is guilty of insubordination to the proverbial godfather of the world: US imperialism, and its allies. Like them, he has committed the cardinal sin of challenging the unbridled reign of global capital, of not following the economic “guidelines” of the captains of global finance, that is, of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and World Trade Organization; as well as of refusing to join US military alliances in the region. Also like other nationalist/populist leaders, he advocates social safety net (or welfare state) programs—not for giant corporations, as is the case in imperialist countries, but for the people in need.

This means that the criminal agenda of Messrs Obama, Cameron, Sarkozy, and their complicit allies to overthrow or kill Mr. Gaddafi and other “insubordinate” proponents of welfare state programs abroad is essentially part of the same evil agenda of dismantling such programs at home. While the form, the context and the means of destruction maybe different, the thrust of the relentless attacks on the living standards of the Libyan, Iranian, Venezuelan or Cuban peoples are essentially the same as the equally brutal attacks on the living conditions of the poor and working people in the US, UK, France and other degenerate capitalist countries. In a subtle (but unmistakable) way they are all part of an ongoing unilateral class warfare on a global scale — whether they are carried out by military means and bombardments, or through the apparently “non-violent” processes of judicial or legislative means does not make a substantial difference as far as the nature or the thrust of the attack on people’s lives orlivelihoods are concerned.

In their efforts to consolidate the reign of big capital worldwide, captains of global finance use a variety of methods. The preferred method is usually non-military, that is, the neoliberal strategies of Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs), carried out by representatives of big business disguised as elected officials, or by the multilateral institutions such as the IMF and the WTO. This is what is currently happening in the debt- and deficit-ridden economies of the United States and Europe. But if a country like Libya (or Venezuela or Iran or Cuba) does not go along with the neoliberal agenda of “structural adjustments,” of outsourcing and privatization,and of allowing their financial system to be tied to the network of global banking cartel, then the military option is embarked upon to carry out the neoliberal agenda.

The powerful interests of global capitalism do not seem to feel comfortable to dismantle New Deal economics, Social Democratic reforms and welfare state programs in the core capitalist countries while people in smaller, less-developed countries such as Libya, Venezuela or Cuba enjoy strong, state-sponsored social safety net programs such as free or heavily-subsidized education and health care benefits. Indeed, guardians ofthe worldwide market mechanism have always been intolerant of any “undue” government intervention in the economic affairs of any country in the world. “Regimented economies,” declared President Harry Truman in a speech at Baylor University (1947), were the enemy of free enterprise, and “unless we act, and act decisively,” he claimed, those regimented economies would become “the pattern of the next century.” To fend off that danger, Truman urged that “the whole world should adopt the American system.” The system of free enterprise, he went on, “can survive in America only if it becomes a world system” [2].

Before it was devastated by the imperialist-orchestrated civil war and destruction, Libya had the highest living standard in Africa. Using the United Nations statistics, Jean-Paul Pougala of Dissident Voice reports,

“The country now ranks 53rd on the HDI [Human Development Index] index, better than all other African countries and also better than the richer and Western-backed Saudi Arabia. . . . Although the media often refers to youth unemployment of 15 to 30 percent, it does not mention that in Libya, in contrast to other countries, all have their subsistence guaranteed. . . . The government provides all citizens with free health care and [has] achieved high coverage in the most basic health areas. . . . The life expectancy rose to 74.5 years and is now the highest in Africa. . . . The infant mortality rate declined to 17 deaths per 1,000 births and is not nearly as high as in Algeria (41) and also lower than in Saudi Arabia (21).

“The UNDP [United Nations Development Program] certified that Libya has also made ‘a significant progress in gender equality,’ particularly in the fields of education and health, while there is still much to do regarding representation in politics and the economy. With a relative low ‘index of gender inequality’ the UNDP places the country in the Human Development Report 2010 concerning gender equality at rank 52 and thus also well ahead of Egypt (ranked 108), Algeria (70), Tunisia (56), Saudi Arabia (ranked 128) and Qatar (94)” [3].

It is true that after resisting the self-centered demands and onerous pressures from Western powers for more than thirty years, Gaddafi relented in 1993 and opened the Libyan economy to Western capital, carried out a number of neoliberal economic reforms, and granted lucrative business/investment deals to major oil companies of the West.

But, again, like the proverbial godfather, US/European imperialism requires total, unconditional subordination; half-hearted, grudging compliance with the global agenda of imperialism is not enough. To be considered a real “ally,” or a true “client state,” a country has to grant the US the right to “guide” its economic, geopolitical and foreign policies, that is, to essentiallyforgo its national sovereignty. Despite some economic concessions since the early 1990s, Gaddafi failed this critical test of “full compliance” with the imperialist designs in the region.

For example, he resisted joining a US/NATO-sponsored military alliance in the region. Libya (along with Syria) are the only two Mediterranean nations and the sole remaining Arab states that are not subordinated to U.S. and NATO designs for control of the Mediterranean Sea Basin and the Middle East. Nor has Libya (or Syria) participated in NATO’s almost ten-year-old Operation Active Endeavor naval patrols and exercises in the Mediterranean Sea and neither is a member of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue military partnership which includes most regional countries: Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania [4].

To the chagrin of US imperialism, Libya’s Gaddafi also refused to join the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), designed to control valuable resources in Africa, safeguard trade and investment markets in the region, and contain or evict China from North Africa. “When the US formed AFRICOM in 2007, some 49 countries signed on to the US military charter for Africa but one country refused: Libya. Such a treacherous act by Libya’s leader Moummar Qaddafi would only sow the seeds for a future conflict down the road in 2011” [5].

Furthermore, by promoting trade, development and industrialization projects on a local, national, regional or African level, Gaddafi was viewed as an obstacle to the Western powers’ strategies of unhinderedtrade and development projects on a global level. For example, Gaddafi’s Libya played a leading role in “connecting the entire [African] continent by telephone, television, radio broadcasting and several other technological applications such as telemedicine and distance teaching. And thanks to the WMAX radio bridge, a low cost connection was made available across the continent, including in rural areas” [3].

The idea of launching a pan-African system of technologically advanced network of telecommunication began in the early 1990s, “when 45 African nations established RASCOM (Regional African Satellite Communication Organization) so that Africa would have its own satellite and slash communication costs in the continent. This was a time when phone calls to and from Africa were the most expensive in the world because of the annual$500 million fee pocketed by Europe for the use of its satellites like Intelsat for phone conversations, including those within the same country. . . . An African satellite only cost a onetime payment of $400 million and the continent no longer had to pay a $500 million annual lease” [3].

In pursuit of financing this project, the African nations frequently pleaded with the IMF and the World Bank for assistance. As the empty promises of these financial giants dragged on for 14 years,

“Gaddafi put an end to [the] futile pleas to the western ‘benefactors’ with their exorbitant interest rates. The Libyan guide put $300 million on the table; the African Development Bank added$50 million more and the West African Development Bank a further $27 million – and that’s how Africa got its first communications satellite on 26 December 2007.

“China and Russia followed suit and shared their technology and helped launch satellites for South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Algeria and a second African satellite was launched in July 2010. The first totally indigenously built satellite and manufactured on African soil, in Algeria, is set for 2020. This satellite is aimed at competing with the best in the world, but at ten times less the cost, a real challenge.

“This is how a symbolic gesture of a mere $300 million changed the life of an entire continent. Gaddafi’s Libya cost the West, not just depriving it of $500 million per year but the billions of dollars in debt and interest that the initial loan would generate for years to come and in an exponential manner, thereby helping maintain an occult system in order to plunder the continent”[3].

Architects of global finance, represented by the imperialist governments of the West, also viewed Gaddafi as a spoiler in the area of international or global money and banking. The forces of global capital tend to prefer a uniform, contiguous, or borderless global market to multiple sovereign markets at the local, national, regional or continental levels.Not only Gaddafi’s Libya maintained public ownership of its own central bank, and the authority to create its own national money, but it also worked assiduously to establish an African Monetary Fund, an African Central Bank, and an African Investment Bank.

The $30 billion of the Libyan money frozen by the Obama administration belong to the Central Bank of Libya, which

“had been earmarked as the Libyan contribution to three key projects which would add the finishing touches to the African Federation – the African Investment Bank in Syrte(Libya), the establishment in 2011 of the African Monetary Fund to be based in Yaoundé (Cameroon) . . ., and the Abuja-based African Central Bank in Nigeria, which when it starts printing African money will ring the death knell for the CFA franc [the French currency] through which Paris has been able to maintain its hold on some African countries for the last fifty years. It is easy to understand the French wrath against Gaddafi.

“The African Monetary Fund is expected to totally supplant the African activities of the International Monetary Fund which, with only $25 billion, was able to bring an entire continent to its knees and make it swallow questionable privatization like forcing African countries to move from public to private monopolies. No surprise then that on 16-17 December 2010, the Africans unanimously rejected attempts by Western countries to join the African Monetary Fund, saying it was open only to African nations” [3].

Western powers also viewed Gaddafi as an obstacle to their imperial strategies for yet another reason: standing in the way of their age-old policies of “divide and rule.” To counter Gaddafi’s relentless efforts to establish a United States of Africa, the European Union tried to create the Union for the Mediterranean (UPM) region. “North Africa somehow had to be cut off from the rest of Africa, using the old tired racist clichés of the 18th and 19th centuries, which claimed that Africans of Arab origin were more evolved and civilized than the rest of the continent. This failed because Gaddafi refused to buy into it. He soon understood what game was being played when only a handful of African countries were invited to join the Mediterranean grouping without informing the African Union but inviting all 27 members of the European Union.” Gaddafi also refused to buy into other imperialist-inspired/driven groupings in Africa such as ECOWAS, COMESA, UDEAC, SADC and the Great Maghreb, “which never saw the light of day thanks to Gaddafi who understood what was happening” [3].

Gaddafi further earned the wrath of Western powers for striking extensive trade and investment deals with BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), especially with China. According to Beijing’s Ministry of Commerce, China’s contracts in Libya (prior to imperialism’s controlled demolition of that country) numbered no less than 50 large projects, involving contracts in excess of $18 billion. Even a cursory reading of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) strategic briefings shows that a major thrust of its mission is containment of China. “In effect, what we are witnessing here,” points out Patrick Henningsten, “is the dawn of a New Cold War between the US-EURO powers and China. This new cold war will feature many of the same elements of the long and protracted US-USSR face-off we saw in the second half of the 20th century. It will take place off shore, in places like Africa, South America, Central Asia and through old flashpoints like Korea and the Middle East” [5].

It is obvious (from this brief discussion) that Gaddafi’s sin for being placed on imperialism’s death row consists largely of the challenges he posed to the free reign of Western capital in the region, of his refusal to relinquish Libya’s national sovereignty to become another unconditional “client state” of Western powers. His removal from power is therefore designed to eliminate all “barriers” to the unhindered mobility of the US/European capital in the region by installing a more pliant regime in Libya.

Gaddafi’s removal from power would serve yet another objective of US/European powers: to shorten or spoil the Arab Spring by derailing their peaceful protests, containing their non-violent revolutions and sabotaging their aspirations for self-determination.Soon after being caught by surprise by the glorious uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, the imperialist powers (including the mini Zionist imperialism in Palestine) embarked on “damage control.” In pursuit of this objective, they adopted three simultaneous strategies. The first strategy was to half-heartedly “support” theuprisings in Egypt and Tunisia (of course, once they became unstoppable) in order to control them — hence, the military rule in those countries following the departure of Mubarak from Cairo and Ben Ali from Tunis. The second strategy of containment has been support and encouragement for the brutal crackdown of other spontaneous and peaceful uprisings in countries ruled by “client regimes,” for example, in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. And the third policy of sabotaging the Arab Spring has been to promote civil war and orchestrate chaos in countries such as Libya, Syria and Iran.

In its early stages of development, capitalism promoted nation-state and/or national sovereignty in order to free itself from the constraints of the church and feudalism. Now that the imperatives of the highly advanced but degenerate global finance capital require unhindered mobility in a uniform or borderless world, national sovereignty is considered problematic — especially in places like Libya, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Bolivia and other countries that are not ruled by imperialism’s “client states.” Why? Because unhindered global mobility of capital requiresdoing away with social safety net or welfare state programs; it means doing away with public domain properties or public sector enterprises and bringing them under the private ownership of the footloose-and-fancy-free global capital.

This explains why the corporate media, political pundits and other mouthpieces of imperialism are increasing talking about Western powers’ “responsibility to protect,” by which they mean that these powers have a responsibility to protect the Libyan (or Iranian or Venezuelan or Syrian or Cuban or …) citizens from their “dictatorial” rulers by instigating regime change and promoting “democracy” there. It further means that, in pursuit of this objective,the imperialist powers should not be bound by “constraints” of national sovereignty because, they argue, “universal democratic rights take primacy over national sovereignty considerations.” In a notoriously selective fashion, this utilitarian use of the “responsibility to protect” does not apply to nations or peoples ruled by imperialism’s client states such as Saudi Arabia or Bahrain. [6].

This also means that the imperialist war against peoples and states such as Libya and Venezuela is essentially part of the same class war against peoples and states in the belly of the beast, that is, in the United States and Europe. In every instance or place, whether at home or abroad, whether in Libya or California or Wisconsin or Greece, the thrust of the relentless global class war is the same: to do away with subsistence-level guarantees, or social safety net programs, and redistribute the national or global resources in favor of the rich and powerful, especially the powerful interests vested in the finance capital and the military capital.

There is no question that global capitalism has thus woven together the fates and fortunes of the overwhelming majority of the world population in an increasingly intensifying struggle for subsistence and survival. No one can tell when this majority of world population (the middle, lower-middle, poor and working classes) would come to the realization that their seemingly separate struggles for economic survival are essentially part and parcel of the same struggle against the same class enemies, the guardians of world capitalism. One thing is clear, however: only when they come to such a liberating realization, join forces together in a cross-border, global uprising against the forces of world capitalism, and seek to manage their economies independent of profitability imperatives of capitalist production — only then can they break free from the shackles of capitalism and control their future in a coordinated, people-centered mode of production, distribution and consumption.

Ismael Hossein-zadeh, author of The Political Economy of U.S. Militarism (Palgrave-Macmillan 2007), teaches economics at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa.

[Footnotes can be accessed at article’s webpage]

Article link: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25317

“Not a real victory for NATO” – Former PR China ambassador to Middle East on Libya [China Daily]

Posted in Algeria, Egypt, France, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, NATO, Somalia, Syria, Tunisia, U.K. on September 15, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

September 1, 2011

On July 31, British Secretary of State for Defence Liam Fox said Libyan rebel forces “have very limited ground potential”, while French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet told reporters that they were prepared for a “protracted conflict”. But only three weeks later, the rebel forces entered Tripoli. There is little doubt they did so with immense support from Western powers.

According to The New York Times, European countries such as the United Kingdom and France sent their special forces to train the rebels in Libya. It was a move which, CNN quoting a NATO official said, helped the rebels gain massive strength in such a short time. In fact, on Aug 23, Longuet admitted to having sent weapons and “technical staff” to Libya.

Apart from helping the Libyan rebels in every way possible, Western countries also bribed some of Muammar Gadhafi’s officials, which is exactly what the United States had done with Iraqi officials before invading that country in 2003.

The People’s Daily has reported that most of Gadhafi’s senior military officers, including a brigadier in charge of Gadhafi’s personal security, had been bribed. No wonder, the brigadier ordered surrender of his troops at a critical time to allow the rebel forces to enter Tripoli without much resistance.

It is clear, too, that NATO helped the rebels throughout their push toward Tripoli. But that does not necessarily mean NATO has been successful in the civil war.

NATO may have helped the rebels seize power but it is a loser in terms of morality and justice. The United Nations Security Council authorized NATO to impose a no-fly zone in Libya to prevent loss of civilian lives. But NATO has defeated this purpose by prolonging and expanding the civil conflict that has cost thousands of civilians their lives and rendered tens of thousands homeless. The US-based National Catholic Register’s comment on the Libyan civil war, made earlier, seems apt: “Broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake.” But that is exactly what has happened.

Instead of demonstrating NATO’s strength, the capture of Tripoli has exposed its deficiencies and weaknesses. Under the heavy fire of NATO jets, Gadhafi’s troops armed with not-so-modern weapons stood their ground for five months, forcing Western powers to intervene directly. As some Western newspapers said earlier, whether or not Gadhafi loses power, the Western alliance is already a loser for wasting huge amounts of taxpayers’ money.

The situation in Libya can be described, to quote a phrase generally used inside NATO, as a “catastrophic success”. The mess in Libya has all the symptoms of becoming a lasting headache for leaders in Brussels and Washington.

The rebel forces comprise several people with different, even contradicting, interests including tribes from Libya’s eastern region, former officials who betrayed Gadhafi, pro-Western democrats, Islamic extremists and Al-Qaida terrorists. It is hard to imagine that they will remain united in post-Gadhafi Libya.

Besides, the civil war has intensified tribal rivalry, for long a feature of Libyan body politic. The tribes that supported Gadhafi are not likely to take things lying down as the new game for power is played out. Many observers fear that Libya could go the way of Somalia or Iraq. That definitely cannot be good news for the Western powers. Experience tells us how easy it is for a country with Muslim majority population to fall prey to Islamic extremists, and there is every possibility of post-Gadhafi Libya becoming one.

So does Libya teach us something?

Western observers love to say that NATO’s “success” in Libya will encourage protesters in other Middle East and North African countries such as Syria. But they refuse to see or hear what Syrian protesters want. It is true that Syrian protesters shouted “Bye Gaddafi, Bashar next” after Libyan rebels captured Tripoli, but it is also true that they don’t want foreign forces to intervene in their country. They realize that political problems should be solved through political means rather than violence or foreign intervention. After all, they know that all foreign intervening forces serve their own purpose not the victims’. This is as true today as it was in the past.

The first decade of the 21st century has seen the US led Western forces into two wars to topple regimes, Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. Western forces, no doubt, have overthrown regimes. But are they true victors? The war in Iraq was the turning point for US hegemony, and the decade-long war in Afghanistan has put the US and its allies in a dilemma. Libya, too, is a bad example of Western intervention in developing countries.

Political problems can no longer be solved with force. The US should learn from its past experiences and stop regaling in its mythical glory, for it will benefit none and harm all.

China has long been advocating the use of negotiations to solve political problems, and has always opposed foreign intervention in any country. China respects the choice of the Libyan people and is willing to play a role in the reconstruction of their country, for irrespective of what happens in Libya, China will always remain a friend of the Libyan people.

The author is a researcher with Beijing-based China Foundation for International Studies, and China’s former ambassador to Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon and Egypt.

Article link: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2011-09/01/content_13569515.htm