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United States Imperialism and Militarism Breeds Instability in Africa
February 24, 2015, 1:21 pm
Filed under: Africa | Tags: , , , , ,

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.

Source: http://www.globalresearch.ca/united-states-imperialism-and-militarism-breeds-instability-in-africa/5433076

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Impeach Martelly: A Solution For Civil Society In Haiti
January 7, 2015, 12:17 am
Filed under: Caribbean, Haiti | Tags: , , , ,

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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.

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Iraqi government approves BP oil field offer | The Independent

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1 July 2009

Source: Global Research

Iraq’s government today approved a BP-led consortium’s offer to develop a giant oil field in the south, moving forward with the only deal struck during a much-hyped but ultimately disappointing international oil auction.

Iraq, which is desperate for cash to fund its reconstruction efforts, had put six oil and two gas fields on offer to foreign firms yesterday in the country’s first international oil licensing round in over three decades. But the auction — opposed from the start by many of the country’s lawmakers — failed to elicit the kind of excitement or commitments Iraqi oil officials had anticipated.

BP and its Chinese consortium partner CNPC walked away from the auction with development rights for the 17.8 billion barrel Rumaila field. But their win came only after they agreed to take less money for the oil they produced.

Under the service contracts, the companies are paid a per barrel price for production over a minimum target level. BP and CNPC had bid $3.99 per barrel, but slashed their price to the $2 per barrel payment sought by the oil ministry. Their only rivals for the fields, a consortium led by US giant Exxon Mobil, refused to amend its offer of $4.80 per barrel on target production of 3.1 million barrels per day.

The Cabinet of ministers signed off on the Continue reading

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Oil and the Iraq “withdrawal” | James Cogan
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30 June 2009

Source: World Socialist Website

It is fitting that today’s deadline for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq’s cities coincides with a meeting in Baghdad to auction off some of the country’s largest oil fields to companies such as ExxonMobil, Chevron and British Petroleum. It is a reminder of the real motives for the 2003 invasion and in whose interests over one million Iraqis and 4,634 American and other Western troops have been killed. The Iraq war was, and continues to be, an imperialist war waged by the American ruling elite for control of oil and geo-strategic advantage.

The contracts will facilitate the first large-scale exploitation of Iraq’s energy resources by US and other transnationals since the country’s oil industry was nationalised in 1972. On offer are 20-year rights over Continue reading

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Report finds Israel still torturing Palestinians | Mel Frykberg

26 June 2009

Source: Electronic Intifada

RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) – The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel has accused the Israeli security forces of deliberately shackling Palestinian prisoners in a painful and dangerous manner, amounting to a form of torture.

The report, “Shackling as a Form of Torture and Abuse,” based on the evidence of over 500 prisoners, was released in advance of the UN International Day in Support of Torture Victims Friday, 26 June.

It follows a report published in May by the UN Committee Against Torture that had criticized the continued mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners by Israel.

The UN report also condemned Israel’s refusal to allow access to a secret detention centre known only as Facility 1391.

The report by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) states that Israel’s various security agencies, chiefly the Continue reading

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Hamas’ political immaturity | Haidar Eid

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25 June 2009

Soruce: Electronic Intifada

When Hamas, unexpectedly, won the 2006 parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the message from the one-third of the Palestinian people living in those territories was clear: no more of the “peace process” facade — with its untiring “two-state solution” slogan that never materialized, and no more of the bread crumbs offered to the new inauthentic NGOized, Osloized leadership classes. (In the years since the 1993 Oslo accords, funding NGOs — nongovernmental organizations — has been a major means for foreign governments to influence, co-opt and neutralize Palestinian politics. This process of “Osloization” made some Palestinian organizations more loyal to their funders than to their principles.)

Many of those who voted Hamas into power were not, in fact, supporters of the organization, but rather disgruntled Palestinians looking for change and reform after 13 years of futile, meaningless negotiations that did huge damage to the Palestinian cause and transformed it from a liberation struggle supported by millions all over the world into a Continue reading

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Iran: fear of foreign plotters may be justified | Simon Tisdall

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18 June 2009

Source: The Hindu

The paranoia about interference from the West is worrying — but it may also be justified.

Long-term instability in Iran is an alarming prospect for western countries keen to resolve disputes over the country’s nuclear programme and other contentious issues. But continuing political weakness in Tehran is also likely to produce the opposite effect — increased regime concern about external attempts to interfere, destabilise, and exploit its vulnerabilities. This paranoid trend threatens unpredictable, even dangerous consequences – but may be justified.

Pinning blame for Iran’s post-election turmoil on Continue reading

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