Filed under: Africa | Tags: Africa, Colonialism, Imperialism, NATO, United States, Violence
Training exercises coordinated by the Pentagon take place again on the continent
An escalation in violence in Libya has prompted the call from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for military intervention by the “international community.”
Such an appeal suggests that the Egyptian leader, who staged a military coup against the former President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, is requesting a renewed imperialist-led campaign in North Africa, utilizing the political crisis in Libya as a rationale. Cairo is subsidized by the United States Government with over $2billion in taxpayer funds which are largely channeled to the military for joint cooperation agreements with the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Egypt carried out airstrikes in Libya on Feb. 16 in response to the brutal execution of Coptic Christians by Islamic State (IS) operatives now escalating their destabilization efforts in Libya. The Egyptian airstrikes killed mainly civilians and no real assessment was made of the damage done to IS capabilities in the country.
IS was said to have claimed responsibility for the bombing of the Corinthia Hotel in the capital of Tripoli on January 27. The hotel provides accommodation for foreign guests to the North African state and initial reports said that nine people were killed including five foreign nationals, one being from the U.S. and another from France. (BBC, Jan. 28)
Since the 2011 U.S. and NATO-sponsored counter-revolution against the government of Col. Muammar Gaddafi, there has been an escalation of internecine violence including the targeting of Christians and their churches. Under the Jamahiriya, the system of government designed under Gaddafi, the country was guided by a secular ideology based on popular committees and mass organizations.
After the Pentagon-NATO bombings which lasted for over seven months, and the coordination of disparate rebel groups which followed the trail established through the aerial bombardments across strategic areas of the country, Libya has been destroyed as a nation-state. There are no viable political, social, military, cultural or legal institutions within the country which could serve to stabilize the situation.
Another aggressive Pentagon-NATO operation in Libya would be just as disastrous as the outcome of the war of regime-change in 2011. The situation in Libya has spread instability throughout other regions of North and West Africa, creating conditions for the escalation in foreign occupations from France as well as the U.S. in nearby Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad and other states.
Another series of bombing by IS in the east of Libya in the town of al-Qubbah caused the deaths of over 40 people on February 20.
In a report published by the BBC, the news agency said “Three bombs exploded, targeting a petrol station, a police station and the home of parliamentary speaker Agila Salah, a security source told the news group. According to an online statement, IS fighters said they struck in retaliation for Egyptian air strikes.” (Feb. 20)
What is often overlooked or distorted by the corporate media and U.S. government officials is the role of the CIA, the Pentagon and NATO in destabilizing Libya four years ago. This process of destabilization continues through the presence of intelligence and military assets inside the country.
On September 11, 2012, an attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound resulted in the killings of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other intelligence and military personnel. The nature and circumstances surrounding the attack has been a source of criticism by Republican members of Congress that are clearly directed towards the domestic weakening of the Obama administration and its then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Stevens had served as the U.S. liaison for the war against the Gaddafi government in 2011 which was initiated in the east of country in Benghazi, the second largest city. There are at present pronounced divisions between the political factions based in the east and west of Libya.
U.S. Carries Out Annual Maneuvers in West Africa
In addition, Washington has conducted military maneuvers in West Africa ostensibly as a show of support in the increasingly regional fight against Boko Haram. Nonetheless, elements in the Nigerian government have said that the role of Washington has been less than helpful in the conflict which has killed over 10,000 people and dislocated millions. (Allafrica.com, Feb. 11)
Since 2009, Boko Haram has carried out a military campaign against the central government through attacking and occupying large swaths of territory in the northeast of the country. The rebels have also carried out operations in neighboring Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
Nigerian governmental sources indicate that Washington has blocked arm sells from various suppliers throughout the world including the state of Israel. Although the administration of President Barack Obama has repeatedly pledged to assist the government of President Goodluck Jonathan in the battle against Boko Haram, Abuja has complained that this assistance has not been carried out effectively through arms transfers and intelligence sharing.
A report published by Reuters on February 16 says that “Chad launched a U.S.-backed counter-terrorism exercise on Monday with 1,300 soldiers from 28 African and Western countries, billing it as a warm-up for an offensive against Nigeria’s Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram.
The “Flintlock” maneuvers unfolded as Chad and four neighboring states prepare a task force to take on Boko Haram, the biggest security threat to Africa’s top oil producer Nigeria and an increasing concern to countries bordering it.”
This same article reports:
“The annual exercises, which began in 2005, aim to improve cross-border military cooperation in the Sahel, a region prey to al Qaeda-linked and home-grown Islamists, separatist insurgents and criminal gangs. ‘This exercise to a large extent can be considered a warm-up to enable our special forces to learn techniques in the fight against terrorism,’ Chadian Brigadier General Zakaria Ngobongue, director of the exercise, said in a speech at a ceremony launching it.”
The Christian Science Monitor noted the international character of the U.S.-led operations saying:
“It includes counter-terrorism forces not only from the U.S. but from other Western countries and a number of African militaries including several of the armies who have pledged to support Nigeria in its battle against the jihadists.”
Nigeria was scheduled to hold national elections on February 14 and 28 for the presidency, parliament and local government offices. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the recommendation of the armed forces postponed the polls until late March and early April saying that the lack of security in the war-impacted areas of the country precluded the holding of a free and fair vote.
The Nigerian military along with forces from the impacted regional states have reported counter-insurgency operations where hundreds of Boko Haram fighters were killed. Nonetheless, it is not clear whether these offensive operations are adequate to break the military capacity of Boko Haram.
Although the government in Nigeria is closely allied with the imperialist states including the U.S., there are tensions between Washington and Abuja. The U.S. is no longer the major importer of Nigerian crude oil and it is reported that trade between the two countries in the petroleum industry has been severely curtailed.
At present India is the largest purchaser of Nigerian oil. The drop in oil prices, which provides Nigeria with over 90 percent of its foreign exchange earnings, has prompted an economic crisis inside the country. This is a reflection of the dependence on this industry in maintaining the current status of the national economy.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Haiti, Mining, neo-colonialism, United States, World Bank
With Haiti’s Parliament having dissolved on Tuesday, civil society groups are worried that the Haitian president may move to unilaterally put in place a contentious revision to the country’s decades-old mining law.
Starting in 2013, that draft was written with technical assistance from the World Bank. Last week, a half-dozen Haitian groups filed a formal appeal with the bank’s complaints office, expressing concern that the legislation had been crafted without the public consultation often required under the Washington-based development funder’s own policies.
The aim of the new draft mining law appears to be a massive expansion of Haiti’s mining sector, paving the way for the entry of foreign companies already interested in the country’s significant gold and other deposits.
“Community leaders … are encouraging communities to think critically about ‘development’, and to not simply accept projects defined by outsiders,” Ellie Happel, an attorney in Port-au-Prince who has been involved in the complaint, told IPS.
“These projects often fail. And, in the case with gold mining, residents learn that these projects may threaten their very way of life.”
Haiti’s extractives permitting process is currently extensive and bureaucratic. Yet the new revisions would bypass parliamentary oversight altogether, halting even a requirement that agreement terms be made public, according to a draft leaked in July.
Critics worry that this streamlining, coupled with the Haitian government’s weakness in ensuring oversight, could result in social and environmental problems, particularly damaging to a largely agrarian economy. Further, there is question as to whether exploitation of this lucrative minerals wealth would benefit the country’s vast impoverished population.
“The World Bank’s involvement in developing the Draft Mining Law lends the law credibility, which is likely to encourage investment in the Haitian mining sector,” the complaint, filed with the bank’s Inspection Panel on Wednesday, states.
“[T]his increased investment in the mining sector will result in … contamination of vital waterways, impacts on the agriculture sector, and involuntary displacement of communities. Complainants are also concerned about the exclusion of Haitian people from the law reform process, particularly when contrasted with the reported regular participation of the private sector in drafting the new law.”
An opaque process
The complaint comes five years after a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, and as political instability is threatening reconstruction and development progress made in that catastrophe’s aftermath. Elections have been repeatedly put off for more than two years, and by Tuesday so many members of Parliament are slated to have finished their terms that the body would lack a quorum.
On Sunday Haitian President Michel Martelly indicated that a deal might be near. But the leftist opposition was reportedly not part of this agreement, and has repeatedly warned that the president is planning to rule by decree.
The Inspection Panel complaint, filed by six civil society groups operating under the umbrella Kolektif Jistis Min (the Justice in Mining Collective), contextualises its concerns against this backdrop of instability. “[T]he Haitian government may be poised to adopt the Draft Mining Law by decree, outside the democratic process,” it states.
Even if the political crisis is dealt with soon, concerns with the legislation’s drafting process will remain.
The Justice in Mining Collective, which represents around 50,000 Haitians, drew up the complaint after the draft mining law was leaked in July. No formal copy of the legislation has been made public, nor has the French-language draft law been translated into Haitian Creole, the most commonly spoken language.
“The process has been very opaque, with a small group of experts from the World Bank and Haitian government officials drafting this law,” Sarah Singh, the director of strategic support with Accountability Counsel, a legal advocacy group that consulted on the complaint and is representing some Haitian communities, told IPS.
“They’ve had two meetings that, to my knowledge, were invite-only and held in French, at which the majority of attendees were private investors and some big NGOs. Yet the bank’s response to complaints of this lack of consultation has been to say this is the government’s responsibility.”
The Justice in Mining Collective is suggesting that this lack of consultation runs counter to social and environmental guidelines that undergird all World Bank investments. These policies would also call for a broad environmental assessment across the sector, something local civil society is now demanding – to be followed by a major public debate around the assessment’s findings and the potential role large-scale mining could play in Haiti’s development.
Yet the World Bank is not actually investing in the Haitian mining sector, and it is not clear that the institution’s technical assistance is required to conform to the safeguards policies. In a November letter, the bank noted that its engagement on the Haitian mining law has been confined to sharing international best practices.
Yet Singh says she and others believe the safeguards do still apply, particularly given the scope of the new legislation’s impact.
“This will change the entire legal regime,” she says. “The idea that bank could do that and not have the safeguards apply seems hugely problematic.”
A World Bank spokesperson did confirm to IPS that the Inspection Panel has received the Haitian complaint. If the panel registers the request, she said, the bank’s management would have around a month to submit a response, following which the bank’s board would decide whether the complaint should be investigated.
Certainly sensitivities around the Haitian extractives sector have increased in recent years.
Minerals prospecting in Haiti has expanded significantly over the past half-decade, though no company has yet moved beyond exploration. In 2012, when the government approved its first full mining permit in years, the Parliament balked, issuing a non-binding moratorium on all extraction until a sector-wide assessment could take place.
Meanwhile, Haitians have been looking across the border at some of the mining-related problems experienced in the Dominican Republic, including water pollution. Civil society groups have also been reaching out to other countries in the Global South, trying to understand the experiences of other communities around large-scale extractives operations.
Current views are also being informed by decades of historical experience in Haiti, as well. Since the country’s independence in the early 19th century, several foreign companies have engaged many years of gold mining.
That was a “negative, even catastrophic, experience,” according to a statement from the Justice in Mining Collective released following the leak of the draft mining law in July.
“Mining exploitation has never contributed to the development of Haiti. To the contrary, the history of gold exploitation is one marked by blood and suffering since the beginning,” the statement warned.
“When we consider the importance of and the potential consequences of mineral exploitation, we note this change in the law as a sort of scandal that may facilitate further looting, without even the people aware of the consequences.”
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Afghanistan, Iraq, State Terror, United Kingdon
Massive terrorist attacks were hatched back soon after the pretext of cinematographic ‘terrorist’ attacks in New York,Washington and Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.
The state broadcaster in the UK pumped out the propaganda for these with all vigour and its usual guile. The people of Afghanistan were first in line, that winter bombing and invasion had been planned for some months before smoke billowed up from the Twin Towers.
Iraqi humans were to be next. Perle, Wolfowitz, Edelman, Bolton and other Zionists were sitting in our homes as bold as brass. People like Tom Mangold frightened the old ladies with stories about the nerve gas attacks on the Tokyo tube and how Sarin in a bursting light bulb could kill in seconds. ‘Free speech, fraternitė, and democracy’ were in the mix, but only a small part of broadcasting time was given over to speakers who were against terrorism by states. They naively thought the Nuremberg protocols and the Charter of the UN had meaning in international law.
The psychopathic cabal in No 10 got the cogs turning in the Ministry of Defence, the Foreign Office and MI6. A ‘dossier’ was produced in September 2002 but it turned out to be a ridiculous cut and paste job of a PhD ‘thesis’ from LA. To laugh in the faces of those with any power of analysis is usual. And there were the anthrax attacks in the ‘land of the free’. Those were surely false flags, and lo, Perle claimed that they originated from Iraq.
The war machinery was gathering pace in spite of a majority of British citizens which tried quite hard to throw a spanner in the works. The smiling, paramount psychopath and war criminal Blair, was undeterred. A second ‘dossier’ was washed many times through the MoD and No 10 computers. Another psychopath and ex-Mirror journalist Alistair Campbell was the editor it seems. Saddam, the terrorist, could hit UK forces in Cyprus after a 45 minute order to launch.
This planned holocaust – the mass killing of humans by humans, as usual, gained it own momentum. A Danish freighter, the MV Barbara, had cast off 1st February from Torquay, Devon, with four Britons aboard bound for Palestine. (1) A symbolic fifty tonnes of food, medical supplies etc were in the hold. The purpose was to share our common humanity with our sisters and brothers in Gaza and to shout against the looming war upon the people of Iraq. As we steamed eastwards in the Mediterranean, the war and supply ships overtook us on their course for Suez. On one day the officer of the watch on our ship was interrogated five times by ‘coalition’ terrorists.
On the 16th of March, brothers met to share blood. The trio who were flown to the Azores consisted of Bush, the capo di tutti capo, Blair and Aznar. (3) In fact, the attack had already started; Australian special force terrorists were already in theatre – as they say.
On the 22nd March, massed terrorists from 39 nations including Arab ones, streamed from Kuwait by land and by air, and with cruise missiles, into Iraq. They were not wielding AK47s but were tooled up with everything. They had come to liberate the nineteen million humans in Babylon. This would include liberation of their limbs from their bodies. The altruistic and ultimate aim was to usher in a golden democracy, as experienced in those 39 nations like Saudi Arabia, the UK and the US, and in the ‘only democracy’ in the Middle East, the Zionist entity. But the plan laid out by Oded Yinon was central.
A splinter of this terror came to Ali Abbas, then 12 years of age and formerly of the village of Zafaraniya, near Baghdad about 10 days after the shocking and ‘aweing’ started. (4) His arms were incinerated and the front of his trunk burned to a depth of an inch. His mother who was six months pregnant, his father, brother and at least 10 other relatives were incinerated by the coalition of willing terror. It had been reported that, just after midnight on 30 March 2003 and 10 days into “Operation Iraqi Freedom”, a weapon or two weapons exploded. The village lay directly alongside the Al Rasheed camp. This had been an RAF base after 1922 from where, ironically and probably, the British had terrorised the native people. It also lay about 15 km from Baghdad airport. (5)
There had been a big battle for the bridgehead of Baghdad airport, the Special Republican
Guard fighting the US 7th Infantry Division.
What was the agent of this terror? The energy was either thermal or nuclear. A neutron shell was the most likely source. This weapon, developed by Samuel T Cohen at Livermore (6 &7) has limited blast and destroys living tissue as opposed to material like concrete or steel. It does produce radioactive isotopes. This story, and others, which reports the removal of ‘topsoil’ (8) from Baghdad airport ( and also from Fallujah in other articles) lends support to the strong belief that ‘Enhanced Radiation’ was used on the inhabitants of Zafaraniya.
This act of terrorism on this family went unreported. Ali’s terrible injuries were presented as an accident of war. This was but a fragment of the conjoined terrorism of Himalayan magnitude. It has sat easily on the consciences of the Europeans and other nations from soon after Iraq was turned from blood and loss, into chaos, blood and loss.
It is noteworthy that although I have published these images several times, I have received only one comment – ‘napalm’!
Je suis Ali Abbas. We are humanity, trampled to death by the European, and soaked in his hypocrisy. I am a Palestinian
Filed under: Caribbean, Haiti | Tags: Haiti, Imperialism, MINUSTAH, United Nations, United States
Tear gas fired at protesters demanding Martelly and Lamothe resign, Dec 6, 2014 / Source:Aljazeera/Reuters
There’s is no acceptable and peaceful solution to the current Haiti constitutional crisis other than the immediate impeachment of Michel Martelly by the only active democratic entity left in Haiti: The Senate. The Deputies are out of session and when their vacation is over, so is their terms in office. The terms of 10 out of the 20 remaining Senators will also be over on January 12, 2015.
The people of Haiti have not remained silent as Martelly -Lamothe tried to sell-off – by decree – the country’s offshore islands, pristine areas, mineral wealth and to give away Haiti assets to the imperialists, amongst other things.
The issue raised is how to legally remove Martelly from office even though he was far from legitimately elected? This is an issue that Haitians participating in the rising protests throughout Haiti have put in the background. It urgently needs to be brought to the forefront. We do not want Haiti’s traditional enemies to capitalize off the current Haiti protests and chaos and launch their military to “bring order back” to Haiti. A Haiti solution must be administrated that is a ratification of the protestors’ very legitimate concerns for democratic governance and to free Haiti.
Martelly can legally be removed from office through impeachment. Haiti has always added an unofficial public referendum to that official procedure.
For whatever reason, perhaps the US mid-term election changes to a Republican majority in both the House and Senate in the United States or the world situation, but for the first time since the Martelly sham election in 2011, the Internationals have pulled back their UN-PMSC guns in Haiti and allowed more and more space for the people of Haiti to protest against the US puppet regime in Haiti.
Almost every day, there are anti-government demonstrations. Some call it Haiti’s “Operation Burkina Faso”. It’s meant as a peaceful, nationwide mobilization, like the one that occurred in Burkina Faso, to take down dictatorship and install a sovereign Haiti. On December 6, 2014, there were major anti-governmental protests in the three major cities of Port au Prince, Aux Cayes and Cap Haitian. For nearly the first time since the direct US occupation of Haiti began in 2004, the protestors in the capital where not blocked by US Marines, US-MINUSTAH, the Haiti police or their paramilitary wings. Although tear gas was fired, the protestors actually reached thefront of the National Palace. (See, Haitians Protest Current Government, Urge President Putin to Help and Violence erupts at Haiti protests.)
If the rising protests throughout Haiti are any indication of people power in a democracy, than the people have publicly impeached the Martelly-Lamothe regime many times over. This time, it’s not the fake US-George Soros, NGO-created “populous uprising” of Haiti 2004. This 2014 Haiti referendum – Pèp souvren pran lari, li ba Mateli Kanè – openly and dangerously confronts the military, economic, diplomatic and political commands of the all-powerful United States and their UN troops in Haiti.
The UN troops act as the old bloody Haiti army to keep the neoDuvalierist, Martelly-Lamothe regime, in power. We’ve seen this with the OAS sanctions of Martelly’s questionable election in 2011, as well as Bill and Hillary Clinton’s various take over initiatives after the catastrophic earthquake. Not to mention the Internationals’ over friendly relationship with the Martelly-Lamothe regime as represented by US Ambassador Pamela White’s relationship in Haiti and the International community’s complete lack of censure for their unpopular puppet government’s blatant corruptions and human rights violations these last three years. (See, Statement by Haiti Counselors, Andre Michel and Newton Juste, and Open Letter From Haiti Human Right Activists to US Congress: No to Sham Elections and US Occupation.)
Haiti is under occupation with nearly 10,000 foreign troops on its soil and the illegal and unpopular Martelly-Lamothe regime has been allowed to run amok with no Parliamentary oversight for three years. (See, Haiti Message to US Ambassador Pamela White ; Haiti Dreads Demand a Stop to their Profiling and Persecution;Haitians at Fort Liberte and Ouanaminthe Protest Caracol Monopolizing Electricityand Tens of Thousands of Haitians take to the streets demanding the Martelly/Lamothe regime stand down, leave office; US terrorism in Haiti, US Crowds Next; Basic Haiti rights repealed and US to Rewrite Constitution to Better Serve the One Percent.)
There’s a small window of opportunity open for the 20 Senators, who are the only active political authority left in Haiti with a semblance of legal power to impeach Martelly and move the country forward with fair and honest elections.
Every other idea out there to handle this sham democracy without taking down the UN presence; every notion to keep the facade going with an extension of the expiring Parliamentary terms of office, or an amendment to the Constitution or for Martelly to remain in office, et al, risks delaying Haiti’s brutal suffering and plunging Haiti into more crisis, more extra-constitutional institutions and more clashes with the US-trained, Ferguson-style, Haiti militarized police. Last week, police tear gas killed a 3-month old baby at home. Black lives matter. A bloodbath, the slaughtering of more innocent lives, more mass incarcerations, and imprisonments of protestors should be avoided by any peaceful means necessary.
Where are the UN troops in Haiti? Haitians in their right minds see that this is a tactical decision and not a desire, as the head of the UN Mission (MINUSTAH) in Haiti, Sandra Honoré, has put forward to suddenly respect the protestors’ rights to peacefully protest, exercise of free speech and assembly. That UN hypocrisy unfurls, whole clothe, in the red blood of the many protesting Haitians the UN occupational forces have shot dead since the US occupation, behind UN mercenary guns, began in 2004. The UN is a criminal organization carrying out the biddings of empire in Haiti.
Nothing it does is about Haiti human rights as the cholera victims will testify. Its pronouncements as “the world arbiter of human rights” increasingly has no footing anywhere on planet earth, least of all amongst besieged Haitians in UN-terrorized Haiti. A Haitian Senator put it correctly:
“Why would you expect certain people to care about fair policies in Haiti when in the US Black lives do not matter. Why would they care about Haitians when in the US Blacks are choked like animals and grand juries justify the slaughter.” (See also, Free Haiti Movement photo essays:The Global War Against Black Men and Global War Against Black Women.)
Time is of the essence to save Haitian lives and property before the ruling psychopaths complete their agenda to slaughter and silence the protesting Haitians as the January 12, 2014 fifth anniversary of the earthquake approaches and the repugnant international media, lands in Haiti, once again, to feed their ratings on the “failed Haiti” spiel, “the proud and suffering Haitians” spiel and the “failed-Haiti-reconstruction-after-the-quake” chorus line.
This would serve as a good time for the UN/PMSC, already in Haiti, to come out of their Haiti compounds to shoot innocent Haitians as back-up to the Haiti militarized police. Think of the footage!
The Euro media would get to film the natural Haiti push back and write tomes on “those uncivilized, violent, unable-to-rule-themselves Blacks!”
To reinforce democratic institutions, the 20 Senators should listen to the people of Haiti who they serve, stop allowing Martelly-Lamothe to make their parliamentary existence futile and in one legal motion: lower the majority to 11, indict and impeach Martelly BEFORE December 12, 2014, or as soon as possible.
The majority of Senators need only reinstate/reconfirm the 2013 resolution they already issued to impeach Martelly for high treason, remove Lamothe for corruption and the de facto Minister of Justice. The PRI Deputies and other deputies who are out of session may decide to send in a letter of support recognizing the Senate’s authority to indict, impeach and remove Martelly IMMEDIATELY to protect the population, avoid a bloodbath, reinforce democratic institutions, and have some institutional continuity. But the Senate does not need this input to do their job. As of January 12, 2014, 10 of the Senators’ terms will end and there will only be 10 left.
Martelly-Lamothe have ruled Haiti by decree and obstruction of Parliamentary duties for three years. They’ve blocked general elections, unilaterally appointed their cronies to mayoral, municipal and regional offices and blocked indictment for impeachment in the lower house for three years. They have no right to benefit from their ill gotten gains. Today, the Lower House gridlock can be resolved without their impediments by the only remaining active parliamentary authority with any semblance of legal authority in Haiti: The 20 Senators. And no one is qualified to call into question procedural deficiencies or the integrity of this process if carried out by the Senate to safeguard Haitian life and national security.
The Senate must not wait anymore but take responsibility to avoid a further bloodbath, property damage and chaos in the streets. The people have publicly impeached Martelly-Lamothe and do not want them in power. The Deputies are constructively gone because they’re out of session and their terms are effectively over when Congress comes back into session. What’s left is for the 20 Senators remaining to legalize the departure of Martelly-Lamothe; proceed as a unit towards setting the legal framework for fair and free elections as early in 2015 as possible.
The Senators are the obvious legal transitional body that must meet the people’s Constitutional demands towards sovereignty, release of the political prisoners, setting up commissions with the people’s participation to investigate corruptions and guard against further foreign interference in Haiti’s political, civil and economic life. This would be the beginning of a Haiti solution to the current crisis.
By: EZILI DANTÒ
Britain and the US used the so-called “rapprochement” with Gaddafi’s Libya to cultivate a fifth column and prepare the ground for war
Three years ago, in late October 2011, the world witnessed the final defeat of the Libyan Jamahiriya – the name by which the Libyan state was known until overthrown in 2011, meaning literally the “state of the masses” – in the face of a massive onslaught from NATO, its regional allies and local collaborators.
It took seven months for the world’s most powerful military alliance – with a combined military spending of just under $1 trillion per year – to fully destroy the Jamahiriya (a state with a population the size of Wales) and it took a joint British-French-Qatari special-forces operationto finally win control of the capital. In total, 10,000 strike sorties were rained down on Libya,tens of thousands killed and injured, and the country left a battleground for hundreds ofwarring factions, armed to the teeth with weapons, either looted from state armouries or provided directly by NATO and its allies. Britain, France and the US had led a war which had effectively transformed a peaceful, prosperous African country into a textbook example of a “failed state.”
Yet the common image of Libya in the months and years leading up to the invasion was that of a state that had “come in from the cold” and was now enjoying friendly relations with the West. Tony Blair’s famous embrace of Gaddafi in his tent in 2004 was said to have ushered in a new period of “rapprochement” with Western companies rushing to do business in the oil-rich African state, and Gaddafi’s abandonment of a nuclear deterrent apparently indicative of the new spirit of trust and co-operation.
Yet this image was largely a myth. Yes, sanctions were lifted and diplomatic relations restored; but this did not represent any newfound trust and friendship. Gaddafi himself never changed his opinion that the forces of old and new colonialism remained bitter enemies of African unity and independence, and for their part, the US, Britain and France continued to resent the assertiveness and independence of Libyan foreign policy under Gaddafi’s leadership. The African Oil Policy Initiative Group (AOPIG) – an elite US think tank comprising congressmen, military officers and energy industry lobbyists – warned in 2002 that the influence of “adversaries such as Libya” would only grow unless the US significantly increased its military presence on the continent. Yet, despite “rapprochement,” Gaddafi remained a staunch opponent of such a presence, as noted with anxiety in frequent diplomatic cables from the US Embassy. One, for example, from 2009, noted that “the presence of non-African military elements in Libya or elsewhere on the continent” was almost a “neuralgic issue” for Gaddafi. Another cable from 2008 quoted a pro-Western Libyan government official as saying that “there will be no real economic or political reform in Libya until al-Gaddafi passes from the political scene” which would “not happen while Gaddafi is alive,” hardly the image of a man bending to the will of the West. Gaddafi had clearly not been moved by the flattery towards Libya (or “appropriate deference” as another US Embassy cable put it) that was much in evidence during the period of “rapprochement.” Indeed, at the Arab League summit in March 2008, he warned the assembled heads of state that, following the execution of Saddam Hussein, a former “close friend” of the US, “in the future, it’s going to be your turn too…Even you, the friends of America – no, I will say we, we the friends of America – America may approve of our hanging one day.”
So much for a new period of trust and co-operation. Whilst business deals were being signed, Gaddafi remained implacably opposed to the US and European military presence on the continent (as well as leading the fight to reduce their economic presence) and understood well that this might cost him his life. The US too understood this, and despite their outward flattery, behind the scenes were worried and resentful.
Thus, the so-called rapprochement period was anything but. The US continued to remain hostile to the independent spirit of Libya – as evidenced most obviously by Gaddafi’s hostility to the presence of US and European military forces in Africa – and it now seems that they and the British used this period to prepare the ground for the war that eventually took place in 2011.
The US, for example, used their newfound access to Libyan officials to cultivate relations with those who would become their key local allies during the war. Leaked diplomatic cables show that pro-Western Libyan Justice Minister Mustafa Abdul-Jalil arranged covert meetings between US and Libyan government officials that bypassed the usual official channels and were therefore “under the radar” of the foreign ministry and central government. He was also able to speed up the prisoner release programme that led to the release of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group insurgents who ultimately acted as NATO’s shock troops during the 2011 war. The head of the LIFG – al-Qaeda’s franchise in Libya – eventually became head of Tripoli’s military council, whilst Abdul-Jalil himself became head of the “Transitional National Council,” that was installed by NATO following the fall of the Jamahiriya.
Another key figure groomed by the US in the years preceding the invasion, was Mahmoud Jibril, head of the National Economic Development Board from 2007, who arranged six US training programmes for Libyan diplomats, many of whom subsequently resigned and sided with the US and Britain once the rebellion and invasion got underway.
Finally, the security and intelligence co-operation that was an element of the “rapprochement” period was used to provide the CIA and MI6 with an unprecedented level of information about both Libyan security forces and opposition elements they could cultivate that would prove invaluable for the conduct of the war.
Thus rapprochement, whilst appearing to be an improvement in relations, may actually be a “long game” to lay the groundwork for naked aggression, by building up intelligence and sounding out possible collaborators, effectively building up a fifth column within the state itself. This is what the neo-conservatives in the US Congress opposing Obama’s “thaw” in Iranian relations apparently fail to understand. Thankfully, it is likely that the Iranians understand it perfectly well.
– Dan Glazebrook is a political writer specialising in Western foreign policy. He is author of Divide and Ruin: The West’s Imperial Strategy in an Age of Crisis.
Filed under: "canada" | Tags: "canada", Capitalism, Islam, Muslim, Racism, State Terror, Stephen Harper, Terror, Terrorism
Stephen Harper is the most deeply reviled Prime Minister in Canada’s history. On the world stage, he is the servant of Big Oil boiling oil out of tar-sands to destroy major river systems and pollute the planet with dirty oil, while his attack dog John Baird leads the warmongering and bullying of nations like Iran and Syria targeted by the US-Israeli axis.
He is the most despotic and toxic first minister in the life of our country. His administration defunds every social program and life protective system it can. It strips the country of its public information infrastructures at every level – including now the gagging of non-profit NGO’s by eliminating their charitable status if they question any policy of his regime.
Just as his friend George Bush Jr., Harper holds government by big-money backing, continual lies, attack ads, and life-blind policies to enrich the already rich. Canada’s neo-con political class may have its head on backwards, but Harper is very cunning in skirting, subverting and perverting the law to abuse power at every level. He is the poster boy of the global corporate agenda of wrecking society and its common life support systems.
Harper also owes his political life to the RCMP. After a after non-confidence vote triggered the 2006 election, RCMP commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli instructed his staff to include former Liberal finance minister Ralph Goodale’s name in a news release announcing a criminal investigation. This reversed the stench of the Harper regime’s continuous scandals and corruption onto the Liberals by a false RCMP smear. As a former top insider of the Tory party advised me, “the RCMP won the election for Harper”. The elected Harper regime then surrounded the RCMP with blocks to silence all facts – the signature operation – so the truly deepest scandal of the era proceeded with impunity to the present day. So it is not surprising that CSIS, the RCMP and Harper are collaborating to get more secret powers for the police and spooks in return for serving Harper’s underlying agenda.
How “Acts of Terrorism” Fit the Known M.O.
Harper certainly needs an accepted domestic enemy to save him from the rising revulsion of the thinking public against his rule. His regime’s record of destroying the life substance of Canada piece by piece cannot be denied. One already knew what was coming when Harper immediately called the crazed run-over of soldiers in Quebec on October 20 “a terrorist act” about which he was “deeply worried”. In fact, it was the act of a criminally insane loner run amok in a small Quebec town without any evident objective as required under the law’s definition of terrorism. But with the foreknowledge of his addled Islam by the RCMP and CSIS, he seems to have been an ideal patsy for Harper’s home “terrorism” claim. He had already been arrested and his passport cancelled in June. We can imagine how an effective undercover agent might have whipped him into a Jihad frenzy knowing he would soon be full of holes and unable to report what happened.
One can more clearly see such a scenario in the case of the clinically insane, drug-addicted petty criminal living in a homeless shelter in Ottawa who had warned a judge in front of the police back in 2011:”‘If you can’t keep me in, I’m going to do something”. Who could have been a better tool for the events to come? On October 22 after the first “As a “radicalized terrorist” attack, a long-gun impossible to hide that no-one saw before ended up in the hands of Micheal Zebaf-Bibeau. The rest is history. He went on a killing spree with no known blood testing afterwards for the drugs he was evidently driven by in the video record of his frenzied and super-charged behaviour, just as there was no known test of the body of crazed drive-over killer, Martin Couture-Rouleau. How extraordinary. How unspoken in the lavish profusion of other details and official false connection to ISIS.
“Terrorist” stops the mind, and “jihadist” locks it in. Harper’s first invocation of the mind-stopper was, as always, strategic. Although blood tests for a substance-abuse driving offense are automatic, none was reported although the videos show every sign of chemical possession. Bibeau too went crazy and was dead with countless bullets through him before any questions could be asked. All such strange coincidences are part of the now familiar covert-state MO.
Joining the Dots
Since Harper publicly claimed an “act of terrorism” two days before the sensational Ottawa murder and crashing of Parliament and as soon as the Quebec killing occurred, questions arise. The normally zipper-lip Harper did so long before any forensic facts were in, and before the idea even occurred to anyone else. Why? Revealingly the federal security state had been running war games exercises depicting just such attacks weeks before the crazed murders (Canadian Authorities Ran War Game Drills Depicting ISIS Attack Scenarios Brandon Martinez, Global Research, October 24, 2014). Lone-wolf nut cases, killings out of nowhere, unknown motivators and arming, and the state leader most profiting from mutation of the demented murders into “terrorist acts” before anyone else – – who joins the dots? It is taboo to think through such situations, and this too is known beforehand. Sure enough within the day, the RCMP and CSIS get the new extraordinary powers they sought, and for the first time in office the robotic Harper is behaving with a warmth not even extended to his young son with whom he shakes hands in farewell. He is hugging opposition leaders in Parliament to show a new human side to complete the image makeover in motion.
Harper is happy because he thinks his next election is saved. But the first forensic question in acts of murderous crimes is again never asked. The hypnotic trance of “terrorism” in sedate Ottawa holds the narrative unchallenged. Cui bono? Who benefits from these unbelievable closed-case murders in two days which have the media headlining “terrorism” and “anti-terrorist legislation” everywhere Canadians look, and Harper now as the strong hand in charge. The top banner headline of the weekend Globe screamed “How far should we go?”
Home-Grown Terror for Harper’s Re-Election
The first function of the terrorist claim is the standard one – diversion from the ailing economy and the majority’s growing revulsion of the leader and his party. Harper has made enemies of every thinking Canadian in the country by his stripping of the country’s public life and knowledge bases, and reversing the country’s global reputation as an agent of peace, social conscience and reverence for nature. Diversion to a constructed Enemy is the oldest strategy in the book of despised heads of state, and Harper is in unprecedented need for distraction to another target to uplift him at the same time. Bush Jr. ran on this formula for eight years.
If the stratagem is not seen through, the second big boost to Harper will be to justify the despotic rule and quasi-police state he has built with ever more prisons amidst declining crime, ever more ant-terrorist rhetoric and legislation, ever more cuts to life support systems and protections (the very ones which would have prevented these murderous rampages), and ever more war-mongering and war-criminal behaviours abroad. The evil regime of despotic control and life oppression he has instituted surpasses any ill rule in the nation’s history. As the US prototype of the life-blind right wing has taught him, the greatest justification of one’s rule is knee-jerk hatred of a safe Enemy. But in Canada, that does not work over time. So the domestic “acts of terrorism” in Quebec and Ottawa itself provide the needed Enemy within Canada to justify anything with ever new pomp, mandatory agreement of others, and ruling power at centre stage.
Diagnosing the Drive to Total Control
The rest follows. The “New Terrorist Laws” in execution were already the feature news headline on Oct 25, allowing for any new surveillance and control of citizens. Keep in mind our already-installed totalitarian airport regime that deprives people of water and hygiene products, dehumanizes all, and undresses millions with no questions allowed any step of the way. It is a synecdoche of the larger total rule advancing with the Harper gang in charge further than ever before. “Nothing can be the same again” cheer the corporate media in choral support.
More favours to the Harper regime from the RCMP and CSIS may be in store – for example, false allegations and naming of even the most honest opponents like Ralph Goodale who spent “the worst year of my life” recovering from the RCMP smear that kept Harper in power. It is a bit like the War Measures Act – new capacity to lock down any city at any time with armed-force control pervading the streets and police-army powers in the glory of mass-controlling armed command and kill license. It has already happened in Ottawa with a lone crazy, and the lock-down was infinitely more heavy-handed than in 1970 Montreal which I observed first hand. Keep in mind the trumped-up cause for it – one likely-drugged and managed murderous homeless mental case dead before any questions could be asked.
Observe too how the language changes to fit the agenda of total control. The keys are “terrorists” for lone individuals driven crazy with no more social supports for them, and “radicalization” with no modifier as the ultimate problem of thought behind the terror. What deprived group or oppositional rethinking cannot be so labelled? These psych-ops are already in full motion now. They have been minted into ruling group-mind by the mocked-up “terrorists attacks” at home, and Harper rule can only go further by such trances of normalized stupefaction now reinforced with Canadian blood.
Behind all the public psych-ops is the operation of reverse projection long perfected by the US war-machine. Blame the opposition for what you are doing as the reason for attacking them. At the Canada level, the reverse projections define the Harper regime. He is punitively and vindictively despotic, rigidly and vengefully doctrinaire, intolerant of deviation, shames and slanders at will, and overrides every democratic constraint to his insatiable drive to total control. Narrow and life-blind absolutism, indifference to others’ suffering, and certitude of virtue while destroying people and common life support systems complete the unseen rule of terror at work. A coterie of mediocre and corrupt subordinates surround and serve him to allow no shard of light in on the ruling mission of society destruction.
With most people not yet suspecting it, Harper rule is an Americanada mirror image of the jihad-fascism he uses to multiply his and his corporate allies’ rights and powers. Behind him lies the transnational money-sequence cancer he embodies in every policy line.
Prof. John McMurtry is the author of The Cancer Stage of Capitalism/ From Crisis to Cure
Filed under: "canada", Stephen Harper | Tags: "canada", parliament, Stephen Harper, Terror
I often find it hard to feel empathy for Prime Minister Stephen Harper. But when I saw the grim picture of him talking on the phone following the end of his confinement in the locked down House of Commons yesterday, I sensed in him a vulnerability he rarely exhibits. Harper, like his fellow MPs, Parliamentary staff, media, visitors and children in the downstairs daycare, had likely hunkered down behind locked doors, no doubt traumatized by uncertainty when an armed gunman entered the building. Because no one knew who the gunman was after, all were potential targets. For half a day, everyone on lockdown no doubt felt the fear, despair, sadness and fragile sense of mortality that people in Iraq and Syria have experienced daily for decades, an extra punch of which they will soon receive at the hands of Canadian CF-18 bombers.
It’s the kind of trauma not to be wished upon anyone, and I hope all affected will get the kind of counselling and therapeutic support necessary to deal with what may emerge as multiple cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), otherwise known as the condition that you get denied proper treatment for when you are a returning Canadian military veteran.
Like those in Afghanistan who suffered 13 years of Canadian bombardment (upwards of a billion Canadian bullets fired), night raids, transfers to torture, and the daily indignities of life under military occupation, those Parliamentarians with the power to declare war — and send somebody else overseas to fight it for them — felt, in a relatively limited fashion, what it’s like for millions of the world’s war-weary populations. The image of a cowering John Baird or Jason Kenney hiding in a barricaded office must have proven a stark contrast to the swaggering, macho manner in which these men urged Canada to declare war on ISIS, further fuelling the flames of fear and hatred against Muslims.
Thankfully, most of yesterday’s hostages to violence in Parliament went home last night to warm houses with showers, uninterrupted electricity supply, food in the fridge, and the knowledge that this horror is unlikely to happen tomorrow and four or five times for the remainder of the month or periodically for the rest of their lives. But had this happened in Iraq, such relative safety would not be guaranteed, in part due to Canada’s role in obliterating that nation’s economy, electricity and water supply, and health-care system, first though intensive bombing in 1991, military enforcement of a decade’s worth of brutal sanctions that killed a million Iraqis, and renewed support and participation in the 2003 invasion that was made possible by Canadian weapons, technical components, navy personnel and equipment, embedded troops, and high-ranking military officials. It was also out of Iraq’s torturing prisons during the occupation that numerous ISIS leaders emerged.
The tragic murder of a young Canadian reservist and the Parliamentary shootout was all the more shocking because of its sudden, seemingly out-of-the-blue fashion. In the same way, on a daily basis in tribal areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, in Yemen, in Somalia, children in schools, celebrants at weddings, and other individuals and families are suddenly, shockingly killed by a Hellfire missile fired from a remote control-operated drone, likely with the Canadian-built targeting camera courtesy of L-3 Wescam in Burlington, Ontario.
What is being treated as Canada’s 9/11 is a day that recalls the comments made half a century ago by the great Malcolm X, who commented that the assassination of President Kennedy was a case of “chickens coming home to roost,” a result of a “climate of hate” fostered by a U.S. political and corporate establishment regularly overthrowing governments and assassinating (or plotting against) a variety of leaders from Patrice Lumumba to Fidel Castro. At the time, Malcolm X was vilified for speaking the truth, one that America was not ready to accept, just as many Canadians may be unwilling to do now.
Indeed, how many Canadians reading that last paragraph would step back and say, “That’s them, not us”? The horrible sound of gunfire in Parliament must have sounded a small bit of like some opening moments during the Canadian-supported coup against the democratically elected Chilean government of Salvador Allende in 1973, one of many coups Canada has given support to (including more recently the coups in Honduras, Egypt, Haiti, etc.). One reporter gasped that it was simply incongruous to see SWAT teams escorting her through the Parliament in which she worked, and yet Canadian policy throughout much of the world forces her counterparts to walk that ring of heavily armed men on a daily basis.
Rather than viewing yesterday’s tragic events as a wake-up call to seriously examine Canada’s negative role on the world stage and the inevitable “climate of hate” to which we are contributing, we can expect nothing less than a ride on the Platitude Express, which embarked within minutes of the first bullets being fired.
The Platitude Express
From endless references to the “loss of innocence” to the pronouncements that “things will never be the same” (especially in the “hallowed halls” of Parliament), we are witnessing the cranking up of our self-loving myth machine into high gear.
In this climate, do not expect our finest hour. Yesterday’s events will be used as the springboard to call for greater militarization of the national culture and justification for unending war against ISIL/ISIS or any other convenient enemy-du-jour. This will lead to further increases in war spending, despite the fact that the War Dept. was supposed to come up with $2 billion in cuts. The wars in Ukraine and Iraq — costs for which are being kept secret, without much protest — will easily double that. These events will also be used to attack anyone who questions Canada’s role in wars past or present.
New repressive laws
The events of yesterday will likely also have a congealing impact on Parliamentarians who, understandably, shared a trauma together. Wednesday was supposed to be the Harper government’s opportunity to unleash a new round of legislative measures designed to give CSIS and the RCMP even more freedom to trade information with torturers, monitor people overseas, take part in extraordinary rendition programs, and be completely immune from prosecution and oversight by the creation of a special class privilege that would assert the right of CSIS agents and informers not to be questioned about their activities in any court of law, public or secret.
But after yesterday, what opposition leader who wants to appear prime ministerial will feel comfortable saying no to such an agenda? The Conservatives will no doubt frame the issue with the familiar refrain, “you’re either with the terrorists or against them.”
Perhaps the most immediate impact will be felt in certain communities targeted for racial and religious profiling. While Canadian soldiers have been told to stay indoors and not show themselves in public, individuals of South Asian or Middle Eastern heritage, and certainly anyone who may be a Muslim or perceived as one, may have second thoughts about being out in public. These communities will be the subject of demands from the media and some “community leaders” to “out” radicalized young people, to call in “suspicious” behavior (undefined), and to report their neighbours to CSIS or the Mounties. They will find greater difficulty travelling, and they will learn first-hand about something called the Passenger Protect Program (or no-fly list).
This is especially so since, while we do not know much about the shooter, media have been quick to point out that although he was a Canadian, he was of “Algerian” heritage, and a recent convert to Islam. Both are completely irrelevant factors, but so commonly part of the daily anti-terror discourse that no second thought is given to the consequences of bringing it up.
The game is no longer far away
Glenn Greenwald adequately summed things up by asking why Canada, a nation that has been at war for 13 years and counting, would be shocked that someone might actually (however unjustifiably), do what he felt was needed to fight back. But as a country that wages war but has never suffered from war the way Russia or France or Syria or Iraq have, we have always been insulated against the consequences of our actions, buoyed by a mythology that allows us to wear Canadian flags on backpacking trips through Europe.
By day’s end, Harper addressed the nation, his discourse unchanged from the bellicose rumblings of last week as he rammed through a Parliamentary vote to bomb Iraq and Syria: “Canada will never be intimidated…redouble our efforts…savagery…no safe haven…”
After a long day focused on these gripping events in the nation’s capital, I have to wonder if this direct experience of fear and trauma will force us to examine our own addiction to violence as the solution to conflict. Yesterday provides us with an opportunity to reflect on our insidious contribution to the climate of hate, and the chance to disengage from our increasingly militarized culture.
Matthew Behrens is a freelance writer and social justice advocate who co-ordinates the Homes not Bombs non-violent direct action network. He has worked closely with the targets of Canadian and U.S. ‘national security’ profiling for many years.
Of course you will be following events on the ground and you will know that the carnage in Libya is far from over despite the fact that the pro-imperialist corporate media is now silent and has moved on. All of a sudden, as we would expect, they are no longer interested in massacres in Libya. They have gone silent to allow the NATO backed forces to get on with their job of exterminating Qaddafi loyalists. Thousands of Qaddafi loyalists who have managed to leave Libya are now regrouping and organising the Libyan Liberation Front throughout the region known as the Sahel. Tuareg tribal leaders across the region have called for a unified front to avenge the murder of their brother and leader. As you know the Tuaregs do not recognise the colonial imposed borders and tribal leaders are calling for the liberation of the entire Sahel.
I am sending this message to alert you to the fact that many of our brothers and sisters inside Libya are in grave danger. Thousands have been rounded up, imprisoned, tortured and murdered. NATO has installed a death squad regime and many, including whole families – children and elderly, are in hiding, knowing that if they are only identified they will be murdered. Al Qaeda thugs are running amok and you will have seen the Al Qaeda flag flying on public buildings including the courthouse in Benghazi. You will recall that even the corporate media commented on the fact that the crowds that showed up in the streets to celebrate the so-called liberation of Libya were small. Of course they were – they represented a tiny minority of Libyans. Those who dared to show themselves in the streets at that time and wave the Green Flag were killed, in some instances beaten to death. The list of NATO crimes is inexhaustible. The frightening thing is that it does not seem to matter how much their heinous crimes are exposed – the North Atlantic Tribes have been able to continue their reign of terror and acts of genocide with impunity for centuries – they have been and remain without doubt the most brutal terrorists the world has ever known – that is why it was no surprise to us to find them fighting alongside the US created terrorist network Al Qaeda. I hope all those who doubted the Brother Leader’s warnings from the outset now see the Al Qaeda flags flying and the reports from civilians inside Libya that there are ‘armed gangs everywhere and that they appear to be on drugs as they rampage through the cities, towns and villages, murdering and looting.
Only last month Dr Abu Zeid Omar Dorda, the former Libyan Ambassador to the UN was actually thrown out of a second floor window during interrogations by NATO agents but he miraculously survived in front of witnesses and is now recovering in a prison medical ward. Accounts from those inside Libya are that these NATO backed rebel forces are animals and that what is now taking place on the ground inside Libya is pure terrorism. We are asking for pressure to be applied wherever you can to draw attention to this carnage. I want to highlight the case of Dr Ahmed Ibrahim, a former Secretary for Education, a brilliant scholar and well known exponent of the Third Universal Theory. Dr Ibrahim is an ideologue of the Al Fateh revolution and a staunch revolutionary Pan Africanist. He has been captured and we believe he is being held in Sirte. Dr Moussa
Ibrahim, the spokesperson for the Al Fateh Revolutionary Forces is his nephew.
Dr Ibrahim, like so many, was offered safe passage out of Libya but refused to leave. He is an intellectual warrior who stood his ground in Sirte and is now a prisoner of war and should be treated as a prisoner of war.
To those of you who attended the Green Book Supporters conference in Tripoli in 2009 Dr. Ibrahim was the person who introduced the Brother Leader Muammar Qaddafi.
If any of you are in a position to publicise his case and the plight of hundreds of thousands of Libyans who fear for their lives please do so.
The struggle continues.
Published Sep 23, 2011
On Thursday, September 22, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the U.N. General Assembly. Below is the complete text of his speech.
Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am grateful to the Almighty Allah who granted me, once more, the opportunity to appear before this world assembly. I have the pleasure to express my sincere thanks to H.E. Joseph Deiss, president of the sixty-fifth session for his tremendous efforts during his tenure. I also would like to congratulate H.E. Nassir Abdulaziz AI-Nasser on his election as the president of sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly and wish him all success.
Let me seize the moment to pay tribute to all those who lost their lives in the past year, particularly to the victims of the tragic famine in Somalia and the devastating flood in Pakistan and especially the earthquake and the ensuing explosions in the nuclear power plant in Japan. I urge everyone to intensify their assistance and aid to the affected populations in these countries.
Over the past years, I spoke about different global issues, and the need to introduce fundamental changes in the current international order.
Today, considering the international developments, I will try to analyze the present situation from a different angle. As you all know, the dominance and superiority of human beings over other creatures lie in the very nature and the truth of humankind, which is a divine gift and manifestation of the divine spirit, including: faith in God, who is the ever-lasting creator and planner of the entire universe.
Showing compassion to others, generosity, justice-seeking and having integrity both in words and in deeds.
The quest for dignity to reach the pinnacles of perfection, the aspiration to elevate one’s material and spiritual status, and the longing to realize liberty; defying oppression, corruption and discrimination in trying to support the oppressed; seeking happiness, and lasting prosperity and security for all.
These are some of the manifestations of common divine and human attributes, which can clearly be seen in the historical aspirations of human beings as reflected in the heritage of our search for art and literary works both in prose and poetry, and in the socio-cultural and political movements of human beings in the course of history.
All divine Continue reading
Source: MR Zine
11 September 2011
The Foreign Ministers of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, meeting in Caracas, Venezuela on 9 September 2011, recalling the Special Communiqué of the Political Council on 4 March 2011 and the Special Communiqué of the Ministerial Social Council on 19 March 2011, condemns the NATO intervention in Libya and its illegal military aggression, carried out under the cover of a UN Security Council resolution, opportunistically exploiting the situation of the internal political conflict in that country.
The ALBA foreign ministers denounce the NATO for carrying out a military operation for regime change in Libya under the doctrine of preventive war, manipulating the UN to suit its geopolitical and economic interests in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1973.
The ALBA foreign ministers demand the immediate and unconditional cessation of the NATO bombings and military intervention in the Libyan territory.
The ALBA foreign ministers deplore the fact that the NATO has disregarded the persistent efforts of the African Union in search of a solution to the internal conflict in Libya based on dialogue to achieve peace.
The ALBA foreign ministers also deplore the complicity of various major international media, which have colluded with those interested in aggression and lent themselves to the purpose of distorting information about the state of affairs in Libya.
The ALBA foreign ministers issue their most urgent warning on the danger that the Libyan precedent may be repeated against Syria, by means of exploiting the ongoing political troubles in that Arab nation.
The ALBA foreign ministers reiterate their firmest commitment to the right to self-determination of the peoples of Libya and Syria.
The ALBA foreign ministers most energetically reject any Continue reading
The latest effort in the process of regional integration of the Latin American and Caribbean countries took place on Feb. 22-23 in Cancún, Mexico, with the participation of 32 independent nations.
The new organization, called the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CLACS), is an attempt to create a body that would not include the United States or Canada, in order to establish an independent bloc that can respond to and pursue the interests of the region — not only among the member states at the hemisphere level, but in the international arena as well.
Of the 33 countries in the region, only Honduras was not invited. It was expelled from the Organization of American States last summer due to the criminal military coup of June 2009 that deposed the democratically elected president, José Manuel Zelaya.
CLACS is considered by many regional presidents as the alternative to the U.S.-dominated OAS. In fact, the failure of the OAS to respond in an effective manner, which could have reversed the Honduras coup, hastened the convening of the new Community. Most of the governments in CLACS have made it clear they consider the Honduran coup an Continue reading
Under the most incredibly difficult conditions – including NATO bombing, mercenary landings, Special Forces operations and the destruction of civilian infrastructure – the heroic resistance to imperialist conquest in Libya has continued.
All the corporate media lies claiming mass surrender, the fleeing of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, the arrest of his sons and more have turned out to be nothing but lies and psychological warfare. After 159 days of bombing, incredibly, the resistance continues.
The continued resistance also exposes the lie of the so-called democratic “rebel” forces – forces that have been set up by Britain, France and the U.S. to facilitate the imperialist invasion of the oil-rich country. Meanwhile, arms have been distributed by the Libyan government to the whole population – something a hated dictator would never do.
As in Iraq and Afghanistan, an arrogant declaration of U.S. victory and “mission accomplished” does not mean an end to local people’s resistance, which takes many forms. The Libyan people have heroically withstood not only half a year of Continue reading
Published Aug 27, 2011
The Obama administration has rejected a call for a posthumous presidential pardon for Marcus Garvey, calling it a waste of time and resources.
The denial of a pardon came only recently, in response to a campaign waged by attorney Donovan Parker, who had been writing Obama weekly since January 2011 calling for Garvey’s pardon.
The denial letter stated: “Many posthumous pardon requests would likely be based on a claim of manifest injustice, and given that decades have passed since the event and the historical record would have to be scoured to objectively and comprehensively investigate such applications, it is the Department’s position that the limited resources which are available to process requests for Presidential clemency — now being submitted in record numbers — are best dedicated to requests submitted by persons who can truly benefit from a grant of the request.”
So the Obama administration says pardoning Continue reading
Filed under: Global
“Nihilistic and feral teenagers” the Daily Mail called them: the crazy youths from all walks of life who raced around the streets mindlessly and desperately hurling bricks, stones and bottles at the cops while looting here and setting bonfires there, leading the authorities on a merry chase of catch-as-catch-can as they tweeted their way from one strategic target to another.
The word “feral” pulled me up short. It reminded me of how the communards in Paris in 1871 were depicted as wild animals, as hyenas, that deserved to be (and often were) summarily executed in the name of the sanctity of private property, morality, religion, and the family. But then the word conjured up another association: Tony Blair attacking the “feral media,” having for
so long been comfortably lodged in the left pocket of Rupert Murdoch only later to be substituted as Murdoch reached into his right pocket to pluck out David Cameron.
There will of course be the usual hysterical debate between those prone to view the riots as a matter of pure, unbridled and inexcusable criminality, and those anxious to contextualize events against a background of bad policing; continuing racism and unjustified persecution of youths and minorities; mass unemployment of the young; burgeoning social deprivation; and a mindless politics of austerity that has nothing to do with economics and everything to do with the perpetuation and consolidation of personal wealth and power. Some may even get around to condemning the meaningless and alienating qualities of so many jobs and so much of daily life in the midst of immense but unevenly distributed potentiality for human flourishing
By the Historical Research Group of the Nation of Islam (FinalCall.com) – The U.S.-led attack on Libya is an American operation of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), planned and initiated long before any “protests” started in Libya this February. Under the guise of “protecting innocent civilians,” the U.S. military, Africom, NATO, and the United Nations are now bombing Libya, raining destruction upon the Libyan economic and military infrastructure and killing untold numbers of innocent Africans. Here are just 10 of the many obvious reasons why this so-called “spontaneous” protest was from beginning to end another CIA operation.
1. The United States’ motives are suspect. The “humanitarian” concern expressed by the American government has not taken long to evaporate. The claim that Col. Muammar Gadhafi was “slaughtering his own people” cannot be substantiated by any independent evidence, and no “journalists” are even asking for evidence. The White House’s policy advisor and Israeli lobby official Dennis Ross claimed that “up to 100,000 people could be massacred, and everyone would blame us for it.” Ross has produced no proof of a massacre—and Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen both confirmed, “We’ve seen no confirmation whatsoever.” Russian military has been monitoring the unrest via satellite from the very beginning, and they say that the claimed “slaughter” is imaginary.
CIA √ 2. The world media have shown a shocking lack of curiosity. Just as with the U.S. debacle in Iraq and Afghanistan, the New York Times leads a coordinated campaign of propaganda, rumor-mongering, and the demonization of Muammar Gadhafi. Some articles appear to be written in advance and closely follow the prescription of the Washington consulting firm Wirthlin Group, which determined that “the message most likely to motivate public support for war on Iraq was Continue reading
JOINT STUDENT STATEMENT
There is no doubt, Israel is an Apartheid state; There is only one word, boycott!
We, students and youth of a post Apartheid South Africa, who bear the scars of a racist history and who continue to fight for complete liberation, have a duty and responsibility to stand in solidarity with those facing oppression worldwide. Israeli apartheid is one such form of oppression.
Israeli media boast that a mission of 150 Israeli propagandists will be sent to universities in 5 countries to fix Israel’s “serious image problems”. The Israeli mission will begin on South African campuses on the 11th of August, with a delegation that includes at least two aides from the Israeli parliament. A delegation member was clear about the intention of their trip: “We have to create some doubt in their [South African students’] minds.”
Don’t patronize us! We lived apartheid, we suffered apartheid, we know what apartheid is, we recognise apartheid when we see it. And when we see Israel, we see a regime that practices apartheid. Israel’s image needs no changing; its policies do! We urge Israeli students to instead join the growing and inspiring internal resistance to their regime, particularly the boycott from within movement, rather than waste time and money on these propaganda trips to deceive us Black students, South Africans have no need for these Muldergate-like trips.
A “major focus” of the Israeli trip will be the University of Johannesburg (UJ). On 1st April 2011 UJ’s Senate, with the full backing of UJ’s Student Representative Council, terminated its institutional relationship with Israel’s Ben-Gurion University. Indeed, UJ set an academic boycott of Israel precedent that all other South African and international universities can follow.
Following UJ’s decision, and in response to a letter sent to us by Palestinian students, we urge all SRCs, student groups and other youth structures to Continue reading
By Chris Hedges
May 09, 2011 “Truthdig” — News personalities, politicians, self-appointed experts on the Muslim world, and law enforcement and intelligence officials, as well as the Christian right, have successfully demonized Muslims in the United States since the attacks of 2001. It is acceptable to say things openly about Muslims that could never be said about any other ethnic group. And as the economy continues to unravel, as we face the possibility of revenge attacks by Islamic extremists, perhaps on American soil, the plight of Muslims is beginning to mirror that of targeted ethnic minority groups on the eve of the war in the former Yugoslavia, or Jews in the dying days of the Weimar Republic.
The major candidates for the Republican nomination for the presidency, including Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee, along with television personalities such as Bill Maher, routinely employ hate talk against Muslims as a way to attract votes or viewers. Right-wing radio and cable news, including Christian radio and television, along with websites such as Jihad Watch and FrontPage, spew toxic filth about Muslims over the airwaves and the Internet. But perhaps most ominously—as pointed out in “Manufacturing the Muslim Menace,” a report by Political Research Associates—a cadre of right-wing institutions that peddle themselves as counterterrorism specialists and experts on the Muslim world has been indoctrinating thousands of police, intelligence and military personnel in nationwide seminars. These seminars, run by organizations such as Security Solutions International, The Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies, and International Counter-Terrorism Officers Association, embrace gross and distorted stereotypes and propagate wild conspiracy theories. And much of this indoctrination within the Continue reading
Bomb Everything in Libya
Pirates of the Mediterranean
By William Bowles
“The media rush to glorify Obama the ‘warrior president’ is symptomatic of a Western society that has come to view war as entirely normal… It is by now almost impossible to imagine that the West would not always be attacking, or targeting for attack, some defenceless nation or other.” — ‘You Cannot Kill An Ideology With A Gun‘ By Media Lens
May 20, 2011 “Information Clearing House” – All things being equal, which undoubtedly they are not, and surely that’s point, the long overdue arrival of a truly socialized, globalized planet would have been able to tackle the mess capitalism has made of things. After all, our disasters are now planetary in scale and thus can now only be handled by the planet as a whole. That means all of us, not just a privileged few.
And, it is surely an irony that ‘globalization’ has been heralded, nay crowed over by the Pirates as the solution to all our problems, yet it’s the nature of capitalist ‘globalization’ that is the main source of not only our local but also now the global crises that multiply by the day as the Empire desperately seeks to hang on to its ill-gotten gains. Problems that now threaten our future as a species, never mind a better future for all.
No doubt when comrade Marx first branded our socialist vision with ‘Workers of the World, Unite’, he had no idea just how badly his world would screw up everything, for although he was the first true globalist and experienced first-hand the awesome power of industrial capitalism to ‘tame nature’, I am sure given the lack of knowledge about the real nature of the biosphere as well as capitalism’s astounding ability to consume everything in its path, nothing could have prepared him for Fukushima or Chernobyl.
Operation Odyssey Dawn however would have been ever such familiar territory to him. Such ‘escapades’ formerly known as Gunboat Diplomacy had helped build the world Marx inhabited. The only difference was that back then they didn’t need a pretext, might was right, end of story. Nowadays, with all the talk of ‘human rights’ and war crimes, gunboat diplomacy is a tad out of sync with all the horseshit being peddled by the Pirates.
Libya War Lies Worse Than Iraq
By Thomas C. Mountain
Source:Information Clearing House
July 23, 2011 “Information Clearing House” — Asmara, Eritrea: The lies used to justify the NATO war against Libya have surpassed those created to justify the invasion of Iraq. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch both had honest observers on the ground for months following the rebellion in eastern Libya and both have repudiated every major charge used to justify the NATO war on Libya.
According to the Amnesty observer, who is fluent in Arabic, there is not one confirmed instance of rape by the pro-Gadaffi fighters, not even a doctor who knew of one. All the Viagra mass rape stories were fabrications.
Amnesty could not verify a single “African mercenary” fighting for Gaddafi story, and the highly charged international satellite television accounts of African mercenaries raping women that were used to panic much of the eastern Libyan population into fleeing their homes were fabrications.
There were no confirmed accounts of helicopter gun ships attacking civilians and no jet fighters bombing people which completely invalidates any justification for the No-Fly Zone inSecurity Council resolution used as an excuse for NATO to launch its attacks on Libya.
After three months on the ground in rebel controlled territory, the Amnesty investigator could only confirm 110 deaths in Benghazi which included Gadaffi supporters.
Only 110 dead in Benghazi? Wait a minute, we were told thousands had Continue reading
Filed under: "canada", Conservative Government, Stephen Harper, Torture, USA | Tags: "canada", Barack Obama, CIA, Torture Practices, United Nations
Tuesday’s publication of the US Senate report into the CIA’s brutal interrogation techniques in the aftermath of 9/11 has shed new light on Ottawa’s complicity in acts of torture.
The response of the Conservative government was in keeping with its long-standing refusal to acknowledge any Canadian involvement in torture. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, answering a question in the House of Commons on Tuesday, declared, “This is a report of the United States Senate. It has nothing to do whatsoever with the government of Canada.”
Foreign minister John Baird reacted to a question from the press on the harm done to Canada’s reputation by its complicity with torture programs by arrogantly declaring, “Canada doesn’t torture. Period! Period!” He walked away without answering a follow-up query.
These are barefaced lies. Successive governments have been implicated in facilitating the brutal and inhumane techniques outlined in the Senate document. Canada acted as a major transit route for US rendition flights that sent captured suspects to third countries or CIA black sites to be tortured. According to the Globe and Mail, a total of 20 US aircraft made 74 stopovers at Canadian airports while on rendition flights. The number of flights was second only to the US itself.
Previously Canadian authorities have admitted that information CSIS used to argue for the indefinite detention of Adil Charkaoui and Mohamed Harkat came from Abu Zubaydah, an al-Qaeda terror suspect who figures prominently in the Senate report. The CIA used Zubaydah as something of a “guinea pig” in its torture campaign, including “waterboarding” him 83 times. For years, Canadian authorities insisted before the courts that there was no reason to think Abu Zubaydah had named Charkaoui and Harkat other than willingly.
The Conservative government’s assertions are also disproved by directives it has itself issued to the police and intelligence agencies that explicitly permit them to use information gained through torture and to supply information to foreign intelligence agencies even if it is likely to lead those named to be tortured. These directives apply to Canada’s Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the military, Canada’s signals intelligence agency (CSEC), and the border control agency.
According to the federal framework document on which the directives are based, in the event of a “substantial risk” that sharing information with a foreign agency will cause someone to be tortured, consultation with a deputy minister or minister is required to approve it. Guidelines state that the minister must take into account the immediacy of the threat and the danger to Canadian national security interests.
A statement released by the office of Public Safety Minister Stephen Blaney was no less disingenuous than Harper. “Our government does not condone the use of torture, and certainly does not engage in it.” But the statement then went on to make clear that information gained through the use of torture would be used by Canadian intelligence. “If we get a tip from any source that Canadian lives are in danger, we will act to save those lives.”
It is no secret that Canada, more than any other country, has integrated its intelligence and military services with those of its southern neighbour. Ottawa has been Washington’s unflinching ally for decades.
Canada’s intelligence services are a key component of the global five eyes alliance, which includes the American NSA, and the intelligence agencies of Britain, New Zealand and Australia. Speaking to CBC, a former CSIS agent explained that links were even more direct with the CIA, since CSIS liaison officers work in CIA headquarters, while CIA officials do likewise in Ottawa.
Criticizing Canada’s ties to the US intelligence apparatus, Ottawa-based human rights lawyer Paul Champ told the media, “I don’t think that anyone in the intelligence community in the world, at least in democratic countries, can wake up tomorrow and tell themselves that their relationship with the United States and the CIA can remain the same. Until and unless the United States shows that there’s going to be real accountability for these criminal acts, I think our relationship with the CIA has to be very closely monitored and reviewed at all times.”
In reality, a diametrically opposed approach is being taken by Canada’s ruling elite. Showing its contempt for democratic rights, Canada’s parliament is in the process of substantially expanding the powers of the spy agencies. Under an antiterrorism bill currently making its way through parliament, CSIS is explicitly authorized to share information with the members of the “Five Eyes” and to conduct investigations abroad.
This policy has the full backing of all of the parliamentary parties. The latest reforms to counterterrorist legislation have been backed at the committee stage by both the Liberals and Official Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP). In the wake of the torture report, the NDP merely called on the Harper government to revoke the directives issued in 2011 permitting the five government agencies to use information gained via torture. No call for a serious investigation, let alone the prosecution, of individuals implicated in torture was made.
A series of cases involving Canadian nationals demonstrate that Canada’s intelligence agencies not only assisted the US rendition program, but also developed its own version of the practice. This involved Canada’s national-security agencies encouraging the detention of Canadian terror suspects who were travelling abroad by third countries. These countries included authoritarian regimes where the prohibitions on detention without charge and the mistreatment of prisoners contained in Canadian law did not apply. The job of interrogating suspects, frequently with the use of torture techniques, was in this way subcontracted by Ottawa, which made intelligence gathered in Canada available to the country concerned.
Canadian intelligence passed information to the US on Maher Arar, A Syrian-born Canadian citizen who was arrested in New York in 2002. Arar was then flown to Syria, where he was imprisoned for a year and tortured. During this time, Canadian intelligence gave information to the Syrian regime to be used in his interrogation, including a list of questions he was to answer. False confessions were extracted from him that he had participated in an Al-Qaeda plot. Recognizing the injustice done to him, he was awarded over $10 million in a court appeal following his release.
Another infamous case is that of Omar Khadr, who was arrested in Afghanistan as a 15-year-old and transferred by the US to Guantanamo Bay where he was tortured. Canadian agents visited him at the prison camp to carry out their own interrogation, even though they were fully aware that he had been subject to sleep deprivation immediately prior to their visit. Despite strong government opposition, he has since been returned to Canada. The Harper government is currently engaged in an attempt to have the Supreme Court overturn a lower court decision to consider him as a young offender, because were it to stand, Khadr would likely be released.
Canada’s military is also complicit in torture. Canadian forces in Afghanistan passed detainees on to both the US and Afghan troops, although Ottawa and the military knew there was a strong likelihood they would be tortured. Approximately 400 detainees were handed over by Canadian troops to the Afghan army, while 40 were transferred to US custody, according to a report in the Toronto Star. This is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions, which make it illegal to transfer persons to authorities where there is a reasonable belief that they will be tortured.
The Harper government repeatedly blocked efforts to investigate the full extent of Canadian involvement in torture in Afghanistan. Citing national security considerations, it prevented a parliamentary committee from accessing documents from the Canadian Armed Forces authorizing the transfers. Officials who could have provided more information on what went on, such as one of Ottawa’s leading diplomats in Afghanistan, Richard Colvin, were threatened with prosecution if they spoke publicly.
A UN report in 2012 issued a further condemnation of this practice, accusing the Canadian government of “complicity in torture.” The UN committee also called on Ottawa to pay compensation to three torture victims, Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad Abu Almaati and Muayyed Nureddin, who had been the subject of a public inquiry over their arrests in Egypt and Syria. These cases provided yet more examples of how Canadian intelligence worked directly with authoritarian regimes, first to have their nationals detained, and then abused using torture methods to extract confessions.