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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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Haitians Worry World Bank-Assisted Mining Law Could Result in “Looting”
January 25, 2015, 7:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

haiti-panners_depp

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.

Parliamentary moratorium

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.”

By Carey L. Biron

Source: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/28696-haitians-worry-world-bank-assisted-mining-law-could-result-in-looting

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

Dec6Protestors-447x300

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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US-NATO “Humanitarian Wars”: The Lessons of Libya
November 13, 2014, 10:15 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

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.

Source: http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/libya-s-lesson-iran-beware-rapprochement-870650788

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Afghanistan cultivates drugs on record vast area under US invasion – Dilshad Azeem

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28 January 2009

Source: RAWA

Illicit drugs production, an issue of global concern in Afghanistan, has set a new record of peak escalation in the war on terror period as compared to previous Taliban-led rule over the land-locked country.

“Almost a twenty times additional land has been Continue reading

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“Exterminate all the Brutes”: Gaza 2009 – Noam Chomsky

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20 January 2009

Source: ZNet

On Saturday December 27, the latest U.S.-Israeli attack on helpless Palestinians was launched. The attack had been meticulously planned, for over 6 months according to the Israeli press. The planning had two components: military and propaganda. It was based on the lessons of Israel’s 2006 invasion of Lebanon, which was considered to be poorly planned and badly advertised. We may, therefore, be fairly confident that most of what has been done and said was pre-planned and intended.

That surely includes the timing of the assault: shortly before noon, when children were Continue reading

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Imperialists look to dominate Somalia – Eugene Puryear

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( Dated Piece – 26 December 2008 )

Source: Party For Socialism and Liberation

Piracy smokescreen used to step up military action

At the behest of the United States, the U.N. Security Council unanimously voted Dec. 16 to authorize nations to pursue Somali pirates onto land, an action which had previously been prohibited. The resolution comes at a critical juncture for Somalia, and in the shadow of Washington’s politico-military strategy in the African continent.

The pirates were originally groups of fisherman who, due to the stateless nature of Somalia, turned to piracy to combat illegal fishing vessels from around the world. They soon found their new trade much more lucrative.

The resolution also called for a regional office to coordinate the actions of a number of nations that currently have naval forces deployed in Continue reading

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