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The LOCKERBIE Bombing: Who Really Did Carry Out the Worst Terrorist Attack in British History…?

The Burning Blogger of Bedlam | July 27, 2017

The Lockerbie bombing in 1988 was perhaps the 9/11 of its time. While it didn’t result in the kind of phony Global ‘War on Terror’ that was conducted after 9/11, it did give the US and Britain the platform for beginning a targeted downfall of a particular nation and society, this being Libya.

This was accomplished the same way in Libya as it was accomplished in Iraq: first by years and years of crippling sanctions and forced hardship (via the UN),then by all-out destruction against a nation that is no longer able to defend itself (Iraq in 2003, Libya in 2011).

There are essentially two ways to look at Lockerbie.

One, the most important, is as a criminal investigation of an act of mass murder. The other is as a prolonged political or geo-political tool serving multiple purposes. Both are worth revisiting; particularly as the ghost of Lockerbie (and all of its victims) has reappeared in news media in the last few weeks.

Revisiting the subject of Lockerbie is important both as a study of geo-politics and the place of political terrorism within that arena and as a study in history and how it relates to contemporary events.

I want to take a broad overview of the Lockerbie subject here, touching on all of those areas: this article will cover (1) the reasons why the ‘official’ story of Lockerbie is so problematic and disputed, (2) the release of the ‘Lockerbie Bomber’ from prison in Scotland and why it happened, (3) the political and geopolitical motives and consequences of the Lockerbie trial and verdict, and finally (4) the many different theories as to who really did carry out the Lockerbie bombing and why.

The official story remains that the Lockerbie bombing was the doing of the Libyan, Abdelbasset al-Megrahi, who – at the time – had been in charge of security for Libyan airlines.

Abdelbasset al-Megrahi was jailed for 27 years, but died of prostate cancer, aged 60, in 2012. On his deathbed, he continued to claim he was innocent of the bomb that ripped apart Pan-Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988, killing 270 civilians.

It remains the worst act of terrorism in British history.

As was being reported in media outlets a fortnight or so ago, the family of the convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi is involved in a new bid to appeal against his conviction.

They are not alone in this move, but also have the support of Dr Jim Swire, who lost his daughter Flora in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, and Rev John Mosey, who lost his daughter Helga.

Like 9/11, the Lockerbie bombing of Pan-Am Flight 103 invited numerous conspiracy theories and claims of a cover up. And with good reason.

There were Scottish investigators questioning the official verdict all along, with claims that the key piece of evidence – the bomb timer – had been planted on the scene by a CIA operative, while the expert who examined the timer admitted to having manufactured it himself and the crucial witness who connected the bomb to the suitcase later admitted to having been paid $2 Million to lie in the trial.

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi sat in a prison cell in Scotland for years for a crime he hadn’t convincingly been proven guilty of; even when the Scottish government decided to send him back to Libya on compassionate grounds (because of his prostate-cancer), Washington and Westminster still both objected and numerous commentators accused Scotland of being ‘soft’.

And when Megrahi was filmed receiving a hero’s welcome by Saif Gaddafi and a large crowd upon returning home, much of Western media was full of condemnation that these people were ‘celebrating a terrorist’.

Many condemned this as a gross insult to the victims of Lockerbie. If Megrahi’s guilt could be proven beyond reasonable doubt, this attitude would be valid: but if it can’t, then the bigger insult to those victims is the cover-up and the obfuscation of evidence that has continued to this day.

Jim Swire, the spokesman of UK Families Flight 103, and whose daughter was killed in the Lockerbie bombing, has repeatedly expressed grave doubts about the official version of events.

Hans Köchler, the Austrian jurist appointed by the UN to be an independent observer at the Lockerbie trial, expressed concern about the way it was conducted (particularly the suspicious role played by two US Justice Department officials who, according to him, sat next to the Scottish prosecuting counsel throughout the process and appeared to be giving them instructions).

Köchler would later describe al-Megrahi’s conviction as “a spectacular miscarriage of justice”. Jim Swire, who also was present through the trial, then launched the ‘Justice for Megrahi’ campaign, being utterly unconvinced by the official verdict.

Professor Robert Black QC, among others, also maintains that Abdelbasset al-Megrahi was innocent of the Lockerbie bombing, the entire case hinging on the shaky testimony of a single, highly dubious, witness in Malta (a shopkeeper named Tony Gauci, who, years after the trial, was described by Lord Advocate, Lord Fraser of Carmyllie, as being “an apple short of a picnic”).

This same man, it later emerged, had been paid $2 million by the CIA for his testimony against Megrahi, while his brother – a man entirely unrelated to the case – was also paid $1 million.

Professor Black, upon visiting al-Megrahi in prison in 2007, referred to the “wrongful conviction” of an “innocent man”.

Key evidence presented at the trial (e.g. timer fragment, parts from a specific radio cassette model, clothing bought in Malta, bomb suitcase originating at Luqa Airport) had likely been fabricated for the political purpose of incriminating and then punishing Libya. It was openly known that vital evidence had been tampered with (see here, for example).

A lot of these key problems were covered in the very good Al-Jazeera investigation/documentary ‘Lockerbie: Case Closed’ (see here). American Radio Works also examined the Lockerbie case in 2000, seemingly coming to the conclusion that the case against Libya and al-Megrahi wasn’t convincing.

In a report on the Lockerbie trial, Köchler, a university professor, said “It was a consistent pattern during the whole trial that – as an apparent result of political interests and considerations – efforts were undertaken to withhold substantial information from the Court.”

Hans Köchler was the only international observer to submit comprehensive reports on the Lockerbie trial and appeal proceedings to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. In the June 2008 edition of the Scottish lawyers’ magazine The Firm, Dr Köchler referred to the ‘totalitarian’ nature of the Lockerbie appeal process. Particularly interesting was his statement that it “bears the hallmarks of an intelligence operation”.

Certainly, the dubious elements in the investigation process and the illegitimacy of the trial are more than enough to suggest that US agencies were trying very hard to cover something up.

 


 

Calls in Scotland for al-Megrahi’s release began with the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 2003, particularly after Nelson Mandela had called on Western Churches to intervene in what he called a major “miscarriage of justice”.

Within a few years, even Arab League representatives were referring to al-Megrahi not as a terrorist but as a ‘political hostage’ being held in Scotland. It was calling for al-Megrahi’s release and was even endorsing Gaddafi’s claims for compensation from Britain due to the damage done to Libya’s economy from 1991 to 1999.

Appeals for al-Megrahi’s release or a re-opening of the case were resisted and rejected, however, for several years, leading to al-Megrahi withdrawing his own appeal in August 2009.

At this time, Scottish Minister Christine Grahame (of the SNP) wrote “There are a number of vested interests who have been deeply opposed to this appeal continuing as they know it would go a considerable way towards exposing the truth behind Lockerbie… In the next days, weeks and months new information will be placed in the public domain that will make it clear that Mr Megrahi had nothing to do with the bombing of Pan Am 103.”

When al-Megrahi was eventually released, it was on compassionate grounds and was framed simply as an act that would allow him do die in Libya.

Washington and Westminster – along with much of the media – were furious with the Scottish courts, insisting that al-Megrahi should remain in prison in Scotland.

But the crucial thing about al-Megrahi’s release to Libya was the way it was framed as an act of compassion that had no bearing on the previous trial or on the official verdict concerning his guilt.

Megrahi’s withdrawing of his own appeal just shortly before he was released on compassionate grounds presumably means a deal was made to allow him to go home and die in Tripoli, so long as he remained officially ‘The Lockerbie Bomber’ and the case was not to be re-opened.

The scenes of al-Megrahi landing at Tripoli Airport, being met personally by Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, and being greeted by hundreds of young Libyans waving Libyan and Scottish flags were played across Western media and presented as ‘proof’ that Scotland had made the wrong choice – and that the Libyans were celebrating the ‘Lockerbie Bomber’. However, al-Megrahi’s return home had also happened to coincide with celebrations of forty years of the Libyan Arab Republic.

At any rate, within two years of this, that same Libyan Arab Republic was in ruins, NATO warplanes were bombing the entire country back into the stone age, and al-Megrahi would die shortly after this, still being regarded by most of the world as ‘The Lockerbie Bomber’.

In late 2011, after she had finished celebrating Gaddafi’s brutal murder in Sirte, Washington psychopath Hillary Clinton was calling for Abdelbaset al-Megrahi to be forced to go back to jail in Scotland – a request that was ultimately rejected.

 


 

If we consider – as we’re doing here – that the Lockerbie bombing wasn’t carried out by Al-Megrahi or Libya (and evidence suggests it wasn’t), then we have to wonder who did carry out Lockerbie. And whether the intention of that false-flag operation (with 207 civilian deaths) was to create a *reason* to impose the sanctions, a reason to cripple Libya’s growth and economy and to be able to firmly declare Gaddafi’s Libya a ‘terrorist state’: all designed to cripple Gaddafi’s position and to, in international terms, back him and his state into a corner, while also serving to rubber-stamp the perception of Gaddafi as the Great Villain.

Anyone who grew up in the 80s will remember this portrayal of Gaddafi as the Big Bad Villain (or ‘Mad Dog of the Middle East’, as Ronald Reagan called him) in the same way that Saddam Hussein would later be portrayed or as Osama bin Laden would later be presented as the emblematic evil mastermind of anti-Western schemes.

In fact, in many ways, Lockerbie and Gaddafi were the dry run for what would later be 9/11 and Bin Laden – a major, terrible terrorist act of mass murder and an iconic caricature of a Big Bad Monster/Villain from the East. By the late 90s, the idea of Gaddafi as the great villainous threat to the West had run out of steam and the focus was shifted instead onto Saddam Hussein and then Osama bin Laden.

Ironically, as I’ve pointed out before, it remains a fact that Gaddafi had actually been the first world leader to issue an arrest warrant for Bin Laden, long before the US or its allies did.

Lockerbie, the Berlin disco bombing and the shooting of Yvonne Fletcher in London (all three of which had serious doubts around them from the beginning – I covered the Yvonne Fletcher shooting somewhat in this post on the 7/7 London Bombings and the Berlin Disco bombing somewhat in the ‘Libya Conspiracy‘ book) can all be argued to have been programs conducted by UK/US intelligence (possibly in concert with agencies from other governments) to permanently vilify Gaddafi’s Libya and thus justify ongoing sanctions and the likelihood of the country’s decline.

This is an extremely important point: the sanctions imposed on Libya (after Lockerbie) were designed to reverse the country’s success and its attainment of self-sufficiency, to cripple the nation with deprivation and incite ill-feeling.

The only way offered to end the sanctions program was for Libya to pay what was reckoned to be the biggest compensation package ever imposed onto any country – Libya would have to pay a total of $10 Billion to the Lockerbie victims’ families.

The other condition was that Gaddafi also had to formally acknowledge responsibility in the UN for his officials’ orchestrating of the Lockerbie bombing. Gaddafi eventually went along with these demands, but to his domestic audience he permanently denied any responsibility or involvement in Lockerbie and told his people that the extortionate reparations Libya was having to pay wasn’t an admission of guilt, but merely the price having to be paid in order for Libya to re-enter the international community.

In other words, he took the official blame for Lockerbie in order to try to end the sanctions, but all the while he insisted it was a lie.

In 2011, he probably found himself wishing he hadn’t bothered; because it was all for nothing.

US whistleblower Susan Lindauer told RT in 2011 that, the summer before the ‘Arab Spring’ uprising, Gadaffi had in fact been pressuring US, British, French and Italian oil companies to reimburse Libya for the cost of those payments to the families of the Lockerbie bombing.

In that context, it’s also hardly surprising that come 2011 and as Western governments were bombing Libya and targeting Gaddafi for assassination, the Lockerbie business got dragged out repeatedly in the media to act as a timely reminder of why Gaddafi was so terrible and needed to be killed.

By this point, the suggestion was now even being made that Gaddafi had ordered the Lockerbie bombing personally (which had never been suggested before).

 


 

Arguably, however, the destruction of Libya in 2011 was the desired end-point of a geo-political timeline that Lockerbie had been a crucial part of.

That being so, and with Gaddafi dead and Libya in ongoing chaos, it is arguably no longer as important whether the truth about Lockerbie comes out or not. Most of the key figures in the Gaddafi era regime are either dead or in jail.

Abdelbasset al-Megrahi himself died just months after Gaddafi was killed and the old Libyan state was overthrown.

All of that long-term geo-political scheming to overthrow Gaddafi is over – so it is possible that new investigations might be ‘allowed’ to uncover more of the true story behind the bombing of Pan-Am Flight 103.

Aside from all of the dubious elements in the Lockerbie trial and the questionable processes, what also strikes me as telling is the commitment of al-Megrahi’s family to clearing his name: especially given that Al-Megrahi is dead and the state accused of planning Lockerbie has long since been overthrown.

Al-Megrahi himself (pictured here in his final days of life, in Tripoli) was continuing to insist on his innocence right up to his dying days and, in fact, had asked Jim Swire to continue to fight to clear his name after he died.

Why would a guilty man bother to do that? Terrorists generally claim their acts of terrorism. Moreover, Megrahi was already free by that point and was in no danger of going back to jail.

 


If al-Megrahi didn’t carry out Lockerbie, who did?

There have long been plenty of theories.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine: General Command (PFLP-GC) was the first suspect, based on a threat it had issued against US and Israeli interests before Lockerbie occurred. Iran was also in the frame very early – and remains a key suspect for some people – with its motive thought to be revenge for the July 1988 shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655 by the USS Vincennes. Former British diplomat Patrick Haseldine suggested that the bombing of Pan-Am Flight 103 had in fact been an assassination operation by South Africa’s apartheid government, targeting UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson.

Another widely held theory implicates CIA agents involved in drug-running operations. This was in fact the basis for Allan Francovich’s 1994 movie The Maltese Double Cross

Here’s a very interesting piece of film on the drug connection to Pan-Am Flight 180.

A renowned terrorist from that time, Abu Nidal, allegedly later confessed to the Lockerbie bombing (unlike al-Megrahi, who, even on his deathbed, insisted he was innocent), while the controversial blogger Joe Vialls later put forward another theory that the bomb was detonated remotely and also attributed the crime to a CIA/Mossad operation. Vialls did a lot of work on tracking the Lockerbie trial, which is worth consulting – whether you agree with his take or not.

On the subject of Abu Nidal, it is worth making note of the claims that the ‘notorious Palestinian mercenary’ was in fact a US spy and a Mossad operative.

Patrick Seale’s book Abu Nidal: A Gun For Hire makes a very convincing case that the notorious ‘Black September’ terrorist was a full Mossad agent, servicing an Israeli agenda. Nidal was involved in a long line of terrorist atrocities.

The fact that Nidal was reported – even by mainstream newspapers – as having allegedly confessed to Lockerbie is therefore very interesting.

If he was a Mossad agent and US spy, then many of those terrorist acts (including ‘Black September’ and other acts of alleged Palestinian terrorism) would’ve presumably been false-flag ops – and that would seem to make him a very solid candidate for Lockerbie.

I am not endorsing any specific theory or conclusion here: merely arguing that it is probably time for Abdelbasset al-Megrahi to be exonerated and for the Lockerbie investigation to be re-opened in a big way.

In 2008, journalist Hugh Miles published a piece in The Independent, in which he further explored the question of who was behind the Lockerbie bombing; ‘all I know,’ he wrote, ‘is that it wasn’t the man in prison’.

In the article, he draws attention to a convicted Palestinian terrorist named Abu Talb and a Jordanian triple-agent named Marwan Abdel Razzaq Khreesat. ‘Both were Iranian agents; Khreesat was also on the CIA payroll,‘ he explained. ‘Abu Talb was given lifelong immunity from prosecution in exchange for his evidence at the Lockerbie trial; Marwan Khreesat was released for lack of evidence by German police even though a barometric timer of the type used to detonate the bomb on Pan Am Flight 103 was found in his car when he was arrested…‘

There is clearly no shortage of theories and avenues for investigation concerning the Lockerbie bombing.

There is also – and has been for decades – a concerted agenda at the governmental level to prevent any further investigation and to, instead, maintain the official story.

 


Read more:The Libya Conspiracy: A Definitive Guide to the Libya Intervention‘, ‘The Life & Death of Gaddafi’s Libya: A Study of the Libya That No Longer Exists‘, ‘Muammar Gaddafi: A Psychological Profile of Man, Myth & Reality‘…

August 15, 2017 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Libya, ISIS and the Unaffordable Luxury of Hindsight

By AHMAD BARQAWI | CounterPunch | March 9, 2015

Who are you?” the late Muammar Gaddafi once rhetorically asked in a famous speech of his towards the end of his reign; (rightly) questioning the legitimacy of those seeking to over-throw his government at the time, calling them extremists, foreign agents, rats and drug-addicts. He was laughed at, unfairly caricatured, ridiculed and incessantly demonized; a distasteful parody video poking fun at the late Libyan leader even went viral on social media; evidently the maker of the video, an Israeli, thought the Libyan colloquial Arabic word “Zenga” (which means an Alleyway) sounded funny enough that he extracted it from one of Gaddafi’s speeches, looped it on top of a hip-hop backing track and voila… he got himself a hit video which was widely (and shamefully) circulated with a “revolutionary” zeal in the Arab world. We shared, we laughed, he died.

But the bloody joke is on all of us; Gaddafi knew what he was talking about; right from the get-go, he accused the so-called Libyan rebels of being influenced by Al-Qaeda ideology and Ben Laden’s school of thought; no one had taken his word for it of course, not even a little bit. I mean why should we have? After all, wasn’t he a vile, sex-centric dictator hell-bent on massacring half of the Libyan population while subjecting the other half to manic raping sprees with the aid of his trusted army of Viagra-gobbling, sub-Saharan mercenaries? At least that’s what we got from the visual cancer that is Al Jazeera channel and its even more acrid Saudi counterpart Al-Arabiya in their heavily skewed coverage of NATO’s vicious conquest of Libya. Plus Gaddafi did dress funny; why would anyone trust a haggard, weird-looking despot dressed in colorful rags when you have well-groomed Zionists like Bernard Henry Levy, John McCain and Hillary Clinton at your side, smiling and flashing the victory sign in group photo-ops, right?

Gaddafi called them drug-addicted, Islamic fundamentalists; we know them as ISIS… it doesn’t seem much of a joke now, does it? And ISIS is what had been in store for us all along; the “revolutionary” lynching and sodomization of Muammar Gaddafi amid manic chants of “Allahu Akbar”, lauded by many at the time as some sort of a warped triumph of the good of popular will (read: NATO-sponsored mob rule) over the evil of dictatorship (sovereign state), was nothing but a gory precursor for the future of the country and the region; mass lynching of entire populations in Libya, Syria and Iraq and the breakup of key Arab states into feuding mini-statelets. The gruesome video of Colonel Gaddafi’s murder, which puts to shame the majority of ISIS videos in terms of unhinged brutality and gore, did not invoke the merest of condemnations back then, on the contrary; everyone seemed perfectly fine with the grotesque end of the Libyan “tyrant”… except that it was only the beginning of a new and unprecedented reign of terror courtesy of NATO’s foot-soldiers and GCC-backed Islamic insurgents.

The rapid proliferation of trigger-happy terrorist groups and Jihadi factions drenched in petrodollars in Libya was not some sort of an intelligence failure on the part of western governments or a mere by-product of the power vacuum left by a slain Gaddafi; it was a deliberate, calculated policy sought after and implemented by NATO and its allies in the Gulf under the cringe-inducing moniker “Friends of Libya” (currently known as the International Coalition against ISIS) to turn the north-African country into the world’s largest ungovernable dumpster of weapons, al-Qaida militants and illegal oil trading.

So it is safe to say that UNSC resolution 1973, which practically gave free rein for NATO to bomb Libya into smithereens, has finally borne fruit… and it’s rotten to its nucleus, you can call the latest gruesome murder of 21 Egyptian fishermen and workers by the Libyan branch of the Islamic State exhibit “A”, not to mention of course the myriad of daily killings, bombings and mini-civil wars that are now dotting the entire country which, ever since the West engineered its coup-d’etat against the Gaddafi government, have become synonymous with the bleak landscape of lawlessness and death that is “Libya” today. And the gift of NATO liberation is sure to keep on giving for years of instability and chaos to come.

In an interview with the western media misinformation collective that is the BBC, ABC and the Sunday Times in February 2011; the late Muammar Gaddafi told his condescending interviewers; “have you seen the Al Qaeda operatives? Have you heard all these Jihadi broadcasts? It is Al Qaeda that is controlling the cities of Al Baida and Darnah, former Guantanamo inmates and extremists unleashed by America to terrorize the Libyan people…”. Darnah is now the main stronghold for ISIS in Libya.

In a bizarre coincidence (or some sort of cosmic irony); the date on which ISIS chose to release its video of the beheading of Egyptian captives, thereby officially declaring its presence in the war-torn country with three oil fields under its control, (appropriately) marked the 4th anniversary of the start of the so-called Libyan revolution on February 15th, 2011; a more apt “tribute” to commemorate the Western instigated regime-change debacle in Libya could not have been made.

But even long before ISIS became the buzzword, the acrid nature of a “revolutionary” Libya showed in full, sickening splendor almost instantly right after the old regime fell, everything the late Gaddafi was falsely accused of doing was literally perfected to a chilling degree by the so-called rebels; massacres, indiscriminate shelling of residential areas, car-bombings, mass arrests, torture, theft of oil and national resources… the whole lot. In 2013; two British pro-Palestine activists, on their way to Gaza with an aid convoy, got to experience first-hand the rotten fruits of the Libyan chapter of the so-called Arab Spring when they were abducted by a motely crew of Libyan revolutionaries-turned-warlords in the city of Benghazi and gang raped in front of their father.

Proponents of Humanitarian Interventions must be patting themselves on the back these days; now that Libya has completed its democratic makeover from a country with the highest standard of living in Africa under Gaddafi’s rule into a textbook definition of a failed state; a godless wasteland of religious fanaticism, internal bloodletting and wholesale head-chopping, in fact Libya became so “democratic” that there are now two parliaments and two (warring) governments; each with its own (criminal) army and supported with money and caches of weapons from competing foreign powers, not to mention the myriad of secessionist movements and militias which the illegal coup against Gaddafi has spawned all over the country while free health care, education and electricity, which the Libyans took for granted under Gaddafi’s regime, are all now but relics of the past; that’s the “Odyssey Dawn” the Libyans were promised; a sanitized version of Iraq sans the public outrage, neatly re-packaged in a “responsibility to protect” caveat and delivered via aerial bombing campaigns where even the West’s overzealous Gulf Co-conspirators Club (GCC), driven by nothing beyond petty personal vendettas against Gaddafi, got to test the lethality of its rusted, American-made military aircrafts alongside NATO on the people of Tripoli and Sirte.

This is what Gaddafi had predicted right from the get-go and then some; the ephemeral euphoria of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions was just too potent and too exhilarating for us to read the fine print; was it a conspiracy or a true revolutionary spirit gone awry? It doesn’t really matter now that ISIS has become the true legacy of Tahrir Square; “they will turn Libya into another Afghanistan, another Somalia, another Iraq… your women won’t be allowed out, they will transform Libya into an Islamic Emirate and America will bomb the country under the pretext of fighting terrorism”, the late Libyan leader had said in a televised speech on February 22nd, 2011, and more prophetic words were never spoken.

America’s “clean war” Libyan prototype proved to be such a success that it was replicated with a wanton abandon in Syria; Paul Bremer’s “Blackwater” death squads of old, which reigned terror all over Iraq, are back… with an Islamic twist; bearded, clad in black and explosives from head to toe and mounting convoys of Toyota Land Cruiser trucks with an ever-expanding, seemingly borderless Islamic Caliphate (that somehow leaves the Zionist regime unencumbered in its occupation of Palestine) set in their sights.

Everyday the Arab World is awakened to a new-videotaped atrocity; steeped in gore and maniacal terror courtesy of ISIS (or IS or ISIL), and countless of other “youtubeless”, albeit more heinous crimes courtesy of America’s very own ever-grinding, one-sided drone warfare; the entire region seesaws between machete beheadings and hellfire missile incinerations. Death from above… as well as below; the War on Terror rears its ugly head once again; to bring in line those nasty terrorists that the West itself funded and sponsored in the name of democracy to destabilize “unsavory” regimes; an unrelenting Groundhog Day that starts with the Responsibility to Protect and ends with the War on Terror, with thousands of innocent lives, typically chalked up to collateral damage, crushed in the process.

This is exactly what Gaddafi foresaw; a Libya mired in utter chaos, civil conflict and western diktats; a breeding ground for Jihadi fundamentalism and extremists… too bad we just laughed his warnings off to an Israeli-made parody tune.

Ahmad Barqawi, freelance columnist and writer.

March 9, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Saudi journalist sentenced to 12 years in jail for ‘disobeying the ruler’

RT | February 5, 2014

A journalist was sentenced Tuesday to 12 years in prison by a Saudi criminal court for “disobeying the ruler” and claiming in televised remarks that the Saudi kingdom incites terrorism, state media reported.

Local media identified the convicted as Wajdi Al-Ghazzawi, who was also accused of contacting an unnamed “enemy of Saudi Arabia at the time (2009) and receiving a suspicious sum of money from it,” according to SPA news agency.

Reports suggested that Ghazzawi was accused of taking money from former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2009, a time of tension between Tripoli and Riyadh.

Ghazzawi, the court in Riyadh said, was guilty of “disobeying the ruler on a television programme, inciting sedition… discrediting the kingdom and claiming that terrorism and Al-Qaeda were created by Saudi Arabia.”

He was also charged with spreading excerpts of the televised remarks on the internet and of accusing the Saudis “of insulting residents and denying them their rights,” SPA reported.

The court also instituted a 20-year travel ban on Ghazzawi, in addition to barring him from appearing in any media.

Gaddafi, a long-time foe of Saudi Arabia during his four-decade rule in Libya, was killed by rebels in 2011 following the NATO-led ouster of his regime. In 2004, US and Saudi news outlets accused Gaddafi of allegedly plotting to assassinate Saudi King Abdullah, who was crown prince at the time, AFP pointed out.

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia passed a broad law that deems those that “disturb the public order” as terrorists.

It defines terrorism as “any act carried out by an offender… intended to disturb the public order… to shake the security of society…stability of the state… expose its national unity to danger… suspend the basic law of governance or some of its articles,” according to its text, as cited by Human Rights Watch.

Terrorists can also be considered those individuals who “insult the reputation of the state or its position… inflict damage upon one of its public utilities or its natural resources,” or those who attempt to force “governmental authority to carry out or prevent it from carrying out an action, or to threaten to carry out acts that lead to the named purposes or incite [these acts].”

The legislation, made up of 40 clauses, allows security forces to arrest and detain suspects for up to six months with the possibility to extend the confinement for another six months. Suspects are allowed to be held incommunicado for 90 days without the presence of their lawyer during the initial questioning.

February 5, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 1 Comment

US-NATO War Crimes against Libya

By Ludwig Watzal | Dissident Voice | January 25, 2014 

All the wars and attacks, which were started by the U. S. and its so-called allies in the wake of 9/11, have wreaked havoc. You name it, you got it: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and perhaps even Iran. The Islamic Republic is not yet off the hook. There are strong forces in the U. S. and in the Middle East that prefer war to peace at the expense of the U. S. Right now, there is a war going on in Libya against the Western installed puppet government, without notice of the corporate media.

Cynthia McKinney, a former African-American Congresswoman has edited a book, The Illegal War on Libya (Clarity Press, Atlanta 2012), on the illegal war on Libya fought by NATO members with the support of the Arab League and some despotic Arab regimes. As a member of the Democratic Party, she served six terms in the House of Representatives before she was defeated by Denise Majette in the 2002 Democratic primary. McKinney’s loss was attributed to her support of Arab causes and to her suggestion that George W. Bush had advance knowledge of the 9/11 attacks.

Those whom the Western powers and their fawning media wish to destroy must first be demonised. This was exactly what happened to Libya’s leader Muammar al Gaddafi. Just before France, Great Britain and the U.S. started the war against Libya, Nikolas Sarkozy, Silvio Berlusconi and other Western politicians courted Gaddafi. When the Libyan leader visited Paris in 2007, he struck his tent in front of the guest house of the French government. His bizarre conduct and much more were accepted by Sarkozy in order to promote lucrative business with Libya. A few years later, he rewarded him with and his country with a bombing spree.

As a candidate for the U.S. Presidency, Barack Hussein Obama had nice things to say in December 2007: “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” After he became U.S. President, he expanded drone attacks to an unprecedented scale. “As the U.S. fires its drones killing innocent Somalis, Pakistanis, Yemenis, Afghanis, and others around the world, it is my hope that this book will provide a rare prism of truth through which to view NATO’s illegal war in Libya, current and future events, and US foreign relations as a whole,” so McKinney in her introductory remarks.

In her book, Cynthia McKinney has gathered a large number of renowned authors who offer an alternative perspective of the events in Libya. Some authors even risked their life by reporting live during the war. Among them are Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Julien Teil, Stephen Lendman, Christof Lehman, Sara Flounders, Wayne Madsen, Bob Fitrakis, and many others. All of them illuminate the dark machinations of the U.S. in Libya and elsewhere. Their narrative reminds the readers of the overthrow of the Iranian, Guatemalan or Chilean democracy by the U.S. for corporate benefit. The same apparently held true for Libya.

The essays in McKinney’s anthology describe the horrors caused by the Western bombing campaign and the distorted picture of the events painted by mainstream media. Lizzie Phelan refers to a “full blown media war” and to the silence of Western journalists while Libya was “being bombed into extermination.” Although they witnessed these horrors, they found “all manner of justifications for their self and collective delusion.” Their behavior reminded the author of the riddle: “If a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?” The Western media pundits played down the horrendous crimes against the Libyan people by cartooning Gaddafi as a “mad dog.”

Stephen Lendman designated the crimes committed by NATO against Libya as amounting to “a Nuremberg Level.” He added: “The US-led NATO war on Libya will be remembered as one of history’s greatest crimes, violating the letter and spirit of international law and America’s Constitution.” Whereas the “Third Reich criminals were hanged for their crimes. America’s are still free to commit greater ones.” Lendman invokes General Wesley Clark who was told at the Pentagon a few days after 9/11, that the Bush administration had already decided to attack seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq and finishing off with Iran. According to Lendman, the U.S. won’t tolerate democratic rule in Libya, for it needs a puppet regime that would follow the dictates of Washington. Beyond that, the U.S. generously used terror weapons in all its wars. Weapons of mass destruction, including depleted and enriched uranium munitions were widely used in the different Iraq wars, leading to miscarriages and severe deformities by newborn babies.

The anthology also reveals that Gaddafi bore no responsibility for the Lockerbie incident. Although he took the blame and had Libya pay millions of U.S. Dollars to the families of the victims in order to have sanctions lifted against his country, the west thanked him by overthrowing his regime. Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya suggests that Libya’s main “crimes” – as seen by the West – were “how (Libya L.W.) distributed and used its wealth, its lack of external debts, and the key role it was attempting to play in continental development and curtailing of external influence in Africa. Tripoli was a spoiler that ef­fectively undermined the interests of the former colonial powers.”

Already at the International Security Conference in Munich, 2007, then President of The Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, used the strongest possible language to warn the U.S., saying that “its aggressive expansionism has brought the world closer to a third world war than it has ever been before.” So far, Putin’s diplomacy prevented U.S. aggression against Syria and Iran.
The book contains, inter alia, a scathing speech by Gaddafi, delivered at the United Nations General Assembly on September 23, 2009. A chronology of the NATO-led assault on Libya completes the book.

This book is a must-read. It gives its readers a premonition of things that are yet to come.

Dr. Ludwig Watzal works as a journalist and editor in Bonn, Germany. He runs the bilingual blog “Between the lines.” He can be reached at: www.watzal.com.

January 25, 2014 Posted by | Book Review, Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Bernard Henri-Levy and the Destruction of Libya

By Ramzy Baroud | Palestine Chronicle | November 20, 2013

While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “the world’s most influential Jew”, Bernard Henri Levy is number 45, according to an article published in the Israeli rightwing newspaper the Jerusalem Post, on May 21, 2010.

Levy, per the Post’s standards, came only two spots behind Irving Moskowitz, a “Florida-based tycoon (who) is considered the leading supporter of Jewish construction in east Jerusalem and hands out a prize for Zionism to settler leaders.”

To claim that at best Levy is an intellectual fraud is to miss a clear logic that seems to unite much of the man’s activities, work and writings. He seems to be obsessed with ‘liberating’ Muslims from Bosnia to Pakistan, to Libya and elsewhere. However, it is not the kind that one could qualify as a healthy obsession, stemming from for instance, overt love and fascination of their religion, culture and myriad ways of life. It is unhealthy obsession. Throughout his oddly defined career, he has done so much harm, as he at times served the role of lackey for those in power, and at others, seemed to lead his own crusades. He is a big fan of military intervention, and his profile is dotted with references to Muslim countries and military intervention from Afghanistan to Sudan … and finally to Libya.

Writing in the New York Magazine on Dec 26, 2011, Benjamin Wallace-Wells spoke of the French ‘philosopher’ as if he were referencing a messiah that was not afraid to promote violence for the greater good of mankind. In “European Superhero Quashes Libyan Dictator,” Wallace-Wells wrote of the “philosopher (who) managed to goad the world into vanquishing an evil villain.” The ‘evil villain’ in question is, of course, Muammar Qaddafi, the Libyan leader who was ousted and brutally murdered after reportedly being sodomized by rebels following his capture in October 2011. The detailed analysis by Global Post of the sexual assault of the leader of one of Africa’s most prominent countries was published in CBS news and other media. Cases of rape have sharply increased in Libya as 1,700 militia (per BBC estimation) groups now operate in that shattered Arab country.

Levy, who at times appeared to be the West’s most visible war-on-Libya advocate, has largely disappeared from view within the Libyan context. He is perhaps off stirring trouble in some other place in the name of his dubious philosophy. His mission in Libya, which is now in a much worse state than it has ever reached during the reign of Qaddafi, has been accomplished. ‘The evil dictator’ has been defeated, and that’s that. Never mind that the country is now divided between tribes and militias, and that the ‘post-democracy’ Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was recently kidnapped by one unruly militia to be freed by another.

In March 2011, Levy took it upon himself to fly to Benghazi to ‘engage’ Libya’s insurgents. It was a defining moment, for it was that type of mediation that empowered armed groups to transform a regional uprising into an all-out war involving NATO. Armed with what was a willful misinterpretation of UN resolution 1973, of March 17, 2011, NATO led a major military offensive on a country armed with primitive air-defensives and a poorly equipped army. Western countries channeled massive shipments of weapons to Libyan groups in the name of preventing massacres allegedly about to be carried out by Qaddafi’s loyalists. Massacres were indeed carried out but not in the way western ‘humanitarian interventionists’ suggested. The last of which was merely days ago (Nov 15) when 31 people were reportedly killed and 235 were wounded as trigger happy militiamen opened fire on peaceful protesters in Tripoli that were simply demanding Misrata militants leave their city.

These are the very people that Levy and his ilk spent numerous hours lobbying in support of. One of Levy’s greatest achievements in Libya was to muster international recognition of the National Transitional Council (NTC). France and other countries lead a campaign to promote the NTC as an alternative to Qaddafi’s state institution, which NATO had systematically destroyed.

In his New York Magazine interview, Levy was quoted as saying “sometimes you are inhabited by intuitions that are not clear to you.” The statement was sourced in reference to the supposed epiphany the ‘philosopher’ had on Feb 23, 2011, watching TV images of Qaddafi’s forces threatening to drown Benghazi with ‘rivers of blood.’

Far from unclear intuitions, Levy’s agenda is that of the calculated politician-ideologue, more like a French version of the US’s neoconservatives who packaged their country’s devastating war on Iraq with all sorts of moral, philosophical and other fraudulent reasoning. For them, it was first and foremost a war for Israel’s ‘security’, with supposed other practical perks, little of which has actualized. Levy’s legacy is indeed loaded with unmistakable references to that same agenda.

Israel’s right-wingers are fascinated with Levy. The Post’s celebration of his global influence was summed up in this quote: “A French philosopher and one of the leaders of the Nouvelle Philosophie movement who said that Jews ought to provide a unique moral voice in the world.” But morality has nothing to do with it. The man’s philosophical exploits seem to exclusively target Muslims and their cultures. “The veil is an invitation to rape”, he told the Jewish Chronicle in 2006.

Philosophy for Levy seems to be perfectly tailored to fit a political agenda promoting military interventions. His advocacy helped destroy Libya, but still didn’t stop him from writing a book on Libya’s ‘spring.’ He spoke of the veil as an invitation for rape, while saying nothing of the numerous cases of rape reported in Libya after the NATO war. In May 2011, he was one of few people who defended IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, when the latter was accused of raping a chambermaid in New York City. It was a ‘conspiracy’ he said, in which the maid was taking part.

One could perhaps understand Levy’s hate for dictators and war criminals; after all, Qaddafi was no human rights champion. But Levy is no philosopher. A fundamental element of any genuine philosophy is moral consistency. Levy has none. A week after the Jerusalem Post celebrated Levy’s world influence, the Israeli daily Haaretz wrote of his support of the Israeli army.

“Bernard Henri Levy: I have never seen an army as democratic as the IDF” was the title of an article on May 30, 2010, reporting on the “Democracy and Its Challenges” Conference in Tel Aviv. “I have never seen such a democratic army, which asks itself so many moral questions. There is something unusually vital about Israeli democracy.” Considering the wars and massacres conducted by the Israeli army against Gaza in 2008-9 and 2012, one cannot find appropriate phrases to describe Levy’s moral blindness and misguided philosophy. In fact, it is safe to argue that neither morality nor philosophy has much to do with Levy and his unending quest for war.

November 20, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Sniped Tykes of Misrata?

Crimes Against Reality in Libya, part 3 | April 17, 2011

Misrata: An Illusion Under Siege

Misrata (alt: Misurata, Arabic: مصراتة) is Libya’s third largest city (after Tripoli and Benghazi), boasting in peacetime about 550,000 people. [1] Considered Libya’s commercial capital, it lies in the west of the country about 130 miles east of the capitol Tripoli. It was among the amazing number of Libyan cities, east and west, that fell to rebel control within just a few days of the revolt’s start on February 17. This flash of activity was much more violent and pre-planned than the world public realizes, but that was needed to seed the impression that the whole country had “voted” by popular action to secede from the capitol.

After the initial shock of this unprecedented mutiny, the loyalists in the army and within the “liberated” cities re-grouped with an early-March roll-back. In general, rebel support was too weak to last in the west, and caved easily, and by the 19th rebel control was limited to their de facto capitol Benghazi and points eastward. The only exception to this rule was vital and sizeable Misrata, then and for the last month the only western city even partially held by rebels.

As the last bastion of illusion against this being an East-West civil war as opposed to a nationwide popular revolt, Misrata’s fate is second only to Benghazi’s. One holds the key to the east, the other maybe half a key to the whole nation. Just as a threat of losing Benghazi spurred the first western airstrikes on March 19, the continued siege of Misrata is apparently ushering in another phase entirely. With its neighborhood-scale fighting, snipers, and mortars and rockets from afar, the city has been much changed. It’s been described as a living hell, with “unimaginable carnage,” hospitals overflowing, bodies piling up uncounted in the streets, as many as 2,000 killed. It’s been said Gaddafi is flattening the city, strangling it, and intends to slaughter every person in it.

However, on April 14, Professor Alan J. Kuperman wrote an excellent analysis citing Human Rights Watch information on Misrata “revealing that Moammar Khadafy is not deliberately massacring civilians but rather narrowly targeting the armed rebels who fight against his government.” It does seem a bit more sloppy than he makes it sound, but Kuperman is probably closer to the truth of the matter than most. Since the fighting there started nearly two months earlier, he finds from HRW’s numbers:

[O]nly 257 people — including combatants — have died there. Of the 949 wounded, only 22 — less than 3 percent — are women. If Khadafy were indiscriminately targeting civilians, women would comprise about half the casualties. [2]

In the roughly 45 days since the siege began, 257 is only about six deaths per day, on average. That isn’t likely a complete number, but no more likely to be very far off. In reality it looks less like a genocidal massacre than the six weeks of low-level but NATO-prolonged urban warfare it is. Even presuming a gross margin of unreported deaths, 400 or even 500 dead is really not that high – at most about 0.1% of the population. If the government were trying to kill “as many people as possible,” with this much time to have done it, they are failing badly.

The last few days, April 14-16, have however seen a brutal new offensive by the government’s forces, by rebel reports, with a few dozen more killed in rocket attacks on Misrata, indiscriminately including women, children, and elderly. [3] Cluster bombs have reportedly been found. [4] The harbor was attacked again. The rebels predict a total slaughter will finally befall them without more NATO involvement soon. What they really mean is Misrata will no longer be a rebel town.

All these concerns, taken in context, helped the leaders of the US, UK, and France, who happened to be meeting in these bloody days, to jointly denounce, among other things, the “medieval siege” of Misrata. And it finally allowed them to make some new decisions (which we’ll be seeing shortly) on a core realization that all three nations have agreed on for four decades now. Essentially, Gaddafi must go. “It is impossible to imagine a future for Libya with Gaddafi in power,” they lied jointly on the 15th. [5]

Mystery Snipers Killing Kids?

Worse than the fairly indiscriminate death of distance shelling, the most incendiary new allegation is the mad tyrant Gaddafi sending snipers to Misrata to sit on rooftops, picking out children to shoot dead. Or so we hear. On April 8, a statement was issued in Switzerland:

“What we have are reliable and consistent reports of children being among the people targeted by snipers in Misrata,” UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado told reporters in Geneva.  The information was based on local sources, Mercado said. She was unable to say how many children have been wounded or killed in this way. [6]

UNICEF, the United Nations wing for caring about children’s health and well-being, was naturally alarmed enough by these reports to announce they existed but weren’t verified – they’d go and have a look and then, perhaps, we’d hear about corroboration.

A cynic might see in this echoes of the incubator-baby stories of 1991 Gulf War fame. The tale of an Iraqi atrocity in Kuwait, killing dozens of premature babies for no clear reason, gave massive and emotional public support to the war effort. Later, the story was proven to be a complete lie, concocted by the Kuwaiti royal family and public relations firm Hill and Knowlton, Inc. [7] Again, the first part of that is happening with this news spreading like wildfire. And we shall see, and in short order, that the second half is already coming into focus along similar lines.

There’s no great reason to doubt the presence of snipers in the city, given the situation. Rebels allege African mercenaries as usual, military snipers from elite battalions, and most recently special female sharpshooters from Colombia’s FARC army. [8] One Libyan exile with contact in Misrata said the snipers were “Libyan mercenaries,” as well as some “from Mauritania, 2 from Colombia, 2 women, some from Chad, and others from origins of which we are not sure.” (more from this expert below). [9]

As far as people capable of making bullets fly in a war-torn city, we also cannot rule out armed loyalist citizens, possibly gone loco and trying to demoralize the traitors by killing their young. That wouldn’t exactly be a government strategy requiring regime change, but close enough for most. Or it could be a black-hearted rebel supporter trying to create another humanitarian disaster to be blamed on the regime. And it would be, of course, with no questions asked. The government itself claims snipers exist in Misrata – brought in by the rebels and affiliated with Hezbollah, says spokesman Khaled Kaim. Hezbollah denies this, and the evidence has yet to be shown [10]

Yousef bin Youssef on Snipers, Kids, and/or Targeting

A video from the Al Aan channel of the United Arab Emirates was posted April 9, with English subtitles, on rebel site LibyaFeb17.info. Entitled “Batallion snipers targeting children in Misurata,” the content is an interview with Yousef bin Youssef, onetime Misrata resident, in touch with others still there and amazingly informed (he’s the one with the sniper nationalities list). [9]

Asked if “children were actually being targeted by snipers there,” Youssef makes a long presentation with heavy use of the word for “targeted,” but only gives one bit of an answer to that question at the end. He starts with the government shelling of the city:

“[T]here are very serious risks when these populated zones are targeted – many injuries could occur … Families are being targeted daily … the targeting of children and civilians in large numbers … the targeting of Misrata is happening in every residential area … Gaddafi’s forces are systematically killing the entire population of the city of Misrata.”

He does get to children, noting that “a car with four children in it was targeted,” in fact a disputable incident at a check-point, killing one child an wounding another. [11] This is quite common in places like Iraq where a government is up against an insurgency. “In another neighborhood near Tripoli street,” Youssef added, “a child of two years was also targeted” in some unspecified way. He also lists several names with ages of “just a few” of the youngest “martyrs” killed by anything at all so far in this conflict.

He also brought cell-phone video footage of three injured children evacuated, from Misrata and Benghazi, to Turkey. One is a boy with his right arm amputated and the left one locked in a full cast, and one eye swollen shut. Another older boy is shown with both hands in casts. Both look more like mishaps in handling explosives than any sniper’s work. Their injuries are not explained. [9]

The Girl in Turkey: Right for the Heart

The only time in all Youssef’s interview where any sign of a sniper appears is with the third child, which he describes as:

“a small girl, no older than 4 years, who was targeted by a sniper’s bullet near the heart. But thank God, they removed the bullet, as you can see.” [9]

The hefty bullet is shown in a vial, and a precious little girl is shown curled up asleep in the hospital bed, barely saved from the government’s mad designs. And as proof the two were once together, her x-ray is also shown to the camera. A rib cage is visible, with a bullet appearing in the upper center (top image). That looks like medical proof she was shot by someone or other. And certainly the whole medical clinic setting lends credence to it.

Luckily I happen to have a clearer blow-up of this same image (see below, explained further below) to get some better detail. It looks like possibly a sniper bullet, but with an odd orientation. Unless the kid was doing cartwheels at the moment of impact, it was apparently fired up from a low angle, an inherently illogical scenario.

Further, the bullet is perfectly shaped, with no apparent deformation from entry and plowing through tissues firm enough to stop it entirely only halfway through.

This in turn might have something to with absolutely no sign of entry revealed by the x-rays. Following back the apparent bullet track suggests it must have entered her body on the left side (lower right in the image). Any possible “hole” in her side would be invisible from a frontal view. We should, however, see any broken chunks or deformation to the curve of her ribs where at least one should have been shattered. But not a single arc of this delicate 4-year-old rib-cage is disturbed that we can see.

While I don’t have the expertise to credibly rule out a real gunshot here, It seems to me that this image shows two things:
1) The girl was never shot.
2) A bullet was made to appear in her chest.
The fakery could be done in any photo-editing program, then sent to a device for developing the image on transluscent film to look real. Or it could be a simple x-ray image of the child with a bullet laid on her chest. But that’s sure as hell not how it was preseted to the world at almost exactly the same time as that April 8 UNICEF report.

The Boy in Misrata with the Same X-Ray Proof

Furthermore, at the same time, there was another child with a family claiming proof of a very similar sniper shot. The April 10 Human Rights Watch dispatch related the story of a five-year-old boy. He’s not in the main article for some reason, but is shown in the bottom picture with his mother and an x-ray image, with this extended caption:

Five-and-a-half year old Rakan Ahmed was playing in the street opposite the Italian Consulate on March 19 when a bullet entered his shoulder and passed by his heart, according to his parents, Hanan Faraj and Ahmed Muftah Burjid. There was fighting at the time about 500 meters away, they said, but no sound of gunfire close by. “Rakan’s uncle carried him inside,” Ahmed Muftah Burjid said. “We thought he fainted. There was no sound of a gunshot, no blood.” When the family arrived at the hospital, they saw the bullet from the x-rays, which the family shared with Human Rights Watch. “We were shocked,” Ahmed recalled. “We just thought he was tired.” [11]

This might sound strange, but is remarkably akin to what happened to WPC Yvonne Fletcher in London, 1984. Standing across from the Libyan embassy, she was shot by a high-powered bullet that entered the right shoulder at a steep angle, hit the heart, lung, and other vital organs, and passed out her lower left rib cage. [12] She died from all this within short order, but from the outside, she just collapsed, with no visible blood and officers at first acting as if she’d just fainted. [13] Gaddafi thug snipers pulled the trigger, it was decided, in both of these cases. Women and children were slaughtered, publics enraged. We have a precedent.

By the photo HRW ran (right), little Rakan does seem to be injured. He  has bandages on his left side over the owie (the exit wound after the entry on his right shoulder?). His mom helps show us by pulling up his arm and his shirt. He looks unhappy, but quite healthy and limber for only three weeks healing time after such a massive injury to the upper body.

The x-ray image shown to the right, shared by the family, reveals a bullet is or was once in there, stopped just where it was in the girl’s x-ray. It did not exit through his side or at all. Hmmm…

The bullet shown here has the same pristine profile, same orientation and implied, illogical, low-level entry. It clearly did not enter via his shoulder, as reported, in fact just stopping in the middle of him, halfway to his right shoulder. Beside the bullet match, this x-ray shows the same strange line running across, same light and dark patches, same … undisturbed rib cage.

It’s the same image, I can safely say, (aside from the circled left shoulder in Rakan’s print). See the comparison at left, complicated by low-resolution video, the different angles of view, and different backgrounds behind the translucent images (these are all corrected somewhat for the left image). Clearly they are too consistent to be anything other than the same, so this is of course my source for the above blow-up of the little girl’s chest shot.

The image could still be of a genuine child shooting, as my pathologist friend Rolfe at the JREF forum points out, but as she also notes with basic logic, it can’t be evidence for both of those kids being shot. [14] Nonetheless, it was presented within the same few-days span as just that. It should of course be noted that this doubling up is enough to change “child” to “children,” and leave the public imagining just how many. Imaginations over here tend to ignore the “reported” part and presume hundreds of things like this. But we have this kind of evidence for only two, one recovering in Turkey, the other all healed up in Misrata, neither with a single broken rib, judging by the single x-ray image between them.

All I can say is I’m glad the rebels are still able to fake these things in Photoshop and have it believed. If the international agencies like UNICEF and HRW were more exacting, we might see rebels actually shooting each others’ children to leverage stronger support for regime change efforts. At the moment, I wish Gaddafi would just step down and hand his country over to Wall Street and these manipulative little domestic proxies so this absurdity can finally stop.

Sources:

[1] Wikipedia. Misrata. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misrata
[2] Kuperman, Alan J. “False pretense for war in Libya?” Boston Globe. April 14 2011. http://articles.boston.com/2011-04-14/bostonglobe/29418371_1_rebel-stronghold-civilians-rebel-positions
[3] “Rocket barrage hits Misrata, NATO says Gaddafi must go” Times of India, April 15. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Obama-Sarko-Cameron-seal-deal-Oust-Gaddafi/articleshow/7996431.cms
[4] Murray, Craig. “Clusters of Hypocrisy.” April 16 2011. http://craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2011/04/clusters-of-hypocrisy/
[5] http://www.libyafeb17.com/2011/04/letter-on-libya-by-obama-cameron-and-sarkozy/
[6] Washington Post. UNICEF: Snipers targeting children in besieged Libyan city of Misrata. April 8. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/unicef-snipers-targeting-children-in-besieged-libyan-city-of-misrata/2011/04/08/AF5jO4zC_story.html
[7] http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0906/p25s02-cogn.html
[8] Daily Mail. April 15. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1377349/Libya-16-women-children-rocket-blitz-Gaddafis-troops.html
[9] “Batallion snipers targeting children in Misurata.” April 9 posting of video interview with Yousef bin Youssef, on al Aan news. (Undated). http://feb17.info/media/video-interview-battalion-snipers-targeting-children-in-misurata-translated/
[10] Hezbollah denies any role in Libya’s uprising. Ya Libnan. April 14 2011. http://www.yalibnan.com/2011/04/14/hezbollah-denies-any-role-in-libyas-uprising/
[11] Human Rights Watch. “Libya: Government Attacks in Misrata Kill Civilians.” April 10 2011. http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2011/04/10/libya-government-attacks-misrata-kill-civilians
[12]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Yvonne_Fletcher
[13] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdg0BGzKCmc
[14] “Baby Snipers…Propaganda? Or are they just that evil?” JREF discussion forum. Thread started April 8. http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=205780

Source link : http://12-7-9-11.blogspot.com/2011/04/sniped-tykes-of-misrata.html

September 20, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , , | Comments Off on The Sniped Tykes of Misrata?

Lies, Damned Lies, and Wikipedia

By Martin Iqbal | Empire Strikes Black | May 30, 2012

How many times have you used Wikipedia when trying to find out the basic facts surrounding an unfamiliar event or topic? How many times has Wikipedia been your first port of call? When one seeks information online relating to a divisive, confusing, or hotly debated topic, nine times out of ten the first port of call will be a search engine, most likely Google. As a result (as we will see), the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, now a household name, has become the chief first source of information for a huge majority of people.

Though Google and other search engines are very useful and powerful tools for finding information, one must employ extreme care. Due to the nature of search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, Internet users must be very wary of censorship by way of result ordering and filtering. Furthermore, the popularity of a website can result in it being listed higher than other sources even when they are more relevant and reliable.

The search engine specialist comScore’s January 2012 report spells out the search engine ‘market’ in the United States. In terms of the US online search market, the leaders are Google (with 66.2% share of search queries performed), Bing (with 15.2%), and Yahoo (with 14.1%). Ask and AOL are in distant fourth and fifth places with 3% and 1.6% respectively.

To illustrate a problem inherent with the way these search engines serve us information, let’s consider the example of the 2011 war on Libya, using the top three search engines – which cumulatively monopolise 95.5% of all search queries performed in the United States.

Visit Google, Bing, and Yahoo, and search for the term “2011 Libya war”, or “Libyan civil war.” Go on – try it now. What do you notice? At the time of writing, in all cases the first result is the Wikipedia article for the ‘Libyan civil war’ (read: the decimation of Libya by belligerent foreign powers). All of these search engines serve Wikipedia to us as the first source of information – thrust in our faces at the top of the results page.

Since Wikipedia can be edited by anybody (and anonymously at that), it is fundamentally flawed as a source of reliable information. Making matters worse, organised groups have mobilised in order to systematically manipulate the information published on Wikipedia. […]

The deception begins with the article’s title, which characterises the war as the ‘Libyan civil war (also referred to as the Libyan revolution.’ Readers are immediately misled as the war on Libya is framed as an indigenous ‘civil war’ between Libyan groups. In the opening paragraph, NATO powers are deceptively referred to as “those seeking to oust [Muammar Gaddafi’s] government.” This is pure fantasy meant to uphold the mythical ‘humanitarian intervention’ narrative. The supposedly indigenous ‘uprising’ was a foreign import in every respect. Libyan opposition groups wholly controlled by and headquartered in London and Washington, planned the February 17 ‘Day of Rage’ from their comfortable positions in exile long before the war on Libya. Though it can be argued that Muammar Gaddafi was somewhat unpopular in parts of the east of Libya, there was no broad popular movement to overthrow the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya – instead only small armed groups with arms coming from the Gulf dictatorships, with the support of NATO powers.

An armed insurrection began as these armed groups attacked policemen and soldiers, stormed arms caches, and sowed terror across Libya. This operation was mounted by NATO-aligned al-Qaeda mercenaries and NATO special forces contingents. The entire global mainstream media circulated unfounded atrocity propaganda and stories about the Feb17 ‘protests’ being attacked by the Libyan army, and global public indignation was channeled into justifying the war. In reality what was referred to as ‘protests‘ was actually this armed insurrection carried out by ‘rebel forces.’ And ‘Rebel forces’ here is Orwellian code language which euphemistically refers to a number of parties: al Qaeda affiliated elements, extremist terrorists, mercenaries bankrolled by NATO and using NATO weaponry, as well as NATO special forces themselves. Wikipedia puts forth a romantic narrative of the ‘rebels’ being the driving force behind the war:

The Gaddafi government then announced a ceasefire, but failed to uphold it,[47] though it then accused rebels of violating the ceasefire when they continued to fight as well.[48] Throughout the conflict, rebels rejected government offers of a ceasefire.

In August, rebel forces began a coastal offensive, taking back territory lost weeks before and ultimately capturing the capital city of Tripoli,[50] while Gaddafi evaded capture and loyalists engaged in a rearguard campaign.

Though popular wisdom indeed says that the ‘rebels’ were the chief actor in the so-called ‘revolution’, and that they single-handedly achieved all of their strategic and military objectives, truth holds that the ‘revolution’, the war, was a NATO operation at its very core. Months of relentless and deadly bombing (with over 26,500 air sorties flown) by NATO warplanes and gunships eliminated any ground opposition to the ‘rebels’, while special forces from the British SAS, the CIA, and even Qatari regulars fought the ground war, coordinating airstrikes from the ground. Even the taking of Tripoli in August – which Wikipedia touts as a ‘rebel’ gain – was a NATO operation at its very genesis – largely carried out by Qatari troops supported by NATO aircraft.

The ground aspect of the war was led by foreign troops present on the ground in Libya from the war’s very advent. SAS forces, CIA spies, and thousands of Qatari troops led the charge and coordinated the so-called rebels’ every move. The ‘rebels’ were nothing more than a media show, and the Wikipedia article seeks to paint a romantic picture:

The rebels are composed primarily of civilians, such as teachers, students, lawyers, and oil workers, and a contingent of professional soldiers that defected from the Libyan Army and joined the rebels.

This emotive hogwash constitutes one of the many myths of the Libya War. It will come as no surprise then, to learn that Wikipedia’s sole source for this information is an Israel-based journalist who started her career with the BBC World Service and Voice of America – the official propaganda arm of the U.S. Government. Her article referenced by Wikipedia constitutes an emotive plea for war, and was published mere days before NATO bombs began to fall. These are the types of pro-empire, pro-war, pro-Zionist sources that uphold the narrative published on Wikipedia, and it is surely no surprise whatsoever.

Interestingly, the Wikipedia article for the Libya War admits that the Libyan government was facing an armed insurrection:

Protests took place in Benghazi, Ajdabiya, Derna, Zintan, and Bayda. Libyan security forces fired live ammunition into the armed protests

The article uses deception and Orwellian language to refer to the insurrection, however, using the term, ‘armed protests.’ Identical language has characterised mainstream reporting on the Syria War – which operationally is a carbon copy of the Libya War: an example of fourth generation warfare carried out by belligerent foreign interests, coupled with a deceptive media war intended to paint the events as an indigenous, popular revolution.

Fantastical casualty figures were invented by the likes of the BBC who provided zero evidence, and only nameless ‘eyewitness accounts’ in sensational and dramatic language. Reminiscent of the utterly invented ‘incubator babies’ propaganda from the Iraq war, the Wikipedia article claims that Gaddafi’s troops ‘stormed hospitals,’ executed patients, and removed other patients from their drips and monitoring equipment. The sources for these grand claims? One is the BBC article which offers no evidence whatsoever, other than an account from an anonymous hospital worker, and the other is a News 24 article which cites Sliman Bouchuiguir, head of the Libyan branch of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) – based in Switzerland. Staying true to Wikipedia’s aversion to the facts, these sources are of the most spurious nature possible.

Sliman Bouchuiguir was exposed as a habitual liar by Julien Teil’s stellar documentary Humanitarian War. The must-see video reveals how NATO-appointed NTC officials and the FIDH invented dramatic stories of atrocities being committed by Gaddafi, and concocted casualty figures from thin air. When challenged to provide verification of the claims of massacres by Gaddafi’s forces, Bouchuiguir could not provide any proof. Another crucial point that is revealed in the documentary is the baseless nature of the ICC case against Gaddafi; the vast majority of the alleged evidence was redacted from the public report, and mainstream media reports constituted a great deal of the sources for the alleged atrocities.

Even more significantly, the FIDH is known to be tied to the Israel lobby in France, and is closely linked to the Zionist ‘democracy promotion’ group the National Endowment for Democracy. Furthermore, the FIDH is closely linked to UN Watch – the Zionist lobby group that played a central role in pushing for the war on Libya – whereby they wrote letters to the US, EU, and UN, repeating the massacre fantasies that they themselves had concocted. Needless to say, Sliman Bouchuiguir was the second signatory to these letters, amongst 90 other NGO/individual co-signers.

Wikipedia’s chronicle of events in Libya repeats these verified lies as fact, and unashamedly references the aforementioned liars as its sources.

Once the fraudulent humanitarian narrative had been established, the ensuing war and genocidal decimation of Libya began. It was carried out entirely by foreign powers who fought a deadly ground and air war using, as I have discussed, foreign special forces and soldiers, jet fighters, helicopter gunships, and naval craft. Tomahawk missiles, cluster bombs, and Brimstone missiles rained down on Libyan targets as depleted uranium was scattered all over the country, contaminating the environment and water supply. British SAS forces coordinated ‘rebel’ movements and called in airstrikes from the ground as the whole world bought the idea that the rag-tag ‘rebels’ were calling the shots, and the ‘revolution’ was a popular movement spearheaded by Libyans. The notoriously incompetent ‘rebels,’ being nothing more than a media spectacle for Western eyes and ears, were also commanded and supported on the ground by the CIA, as well as thousands of Qatari troops. On the 26th October 2011, Qatari chief of staff Major General Hamad bin Ali Al-Atiya arrogantly admitted the presence of his troops in Libya: “We were among them and the numbers of Qataris on the ground were hundreds in every region.”

The ‘Mercenaries’ Myth: a Catalyst for the Division of Arabs and Africans

Revolutionary Leader of the Great Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Muammar Gaddafi, was a champion of pan-African unity. Merely two months before his people were brutally attacked by international criminals masquerading as the “international community”, he had pledged $90 billion to the unification of Africa and its resistance to colonial infiltration and aggression (note: this information will not be found on Wikipedia).

The cruel, criminal, and genocidal attack on Libya is a not only an attempt to abort Arab-African unity (a central tenet of Israel’s ‘Yinon plan’), but it is a microcosm of what is designed for Africa and the Middle East as a whole. We are seeing this wider strategy play out all over Africa, from Libya to Sudan, and from Nigeria to Egypt. This strategy aims to force Christians and Muslims, black Africans and Arabs, to live in their own sectarian enclaves out of fear for their own lives. This strategy has cleansed Christians from Iraq – achieved by a sustained and devilish campaign of Mossad black ops and false flag bombings.

During the war on Libya, a seed was planted with the intention of furthering this nefarious agenda in Libya. As a result, innocent blacks were lynched, beaten, imprisoned, murdered and decapitated in hate-fuelled attacks all over the country. A principle cause of this venomous hatred towards Libya’s black African population (who before the war constituted a third of Libya’s total population) was the myth that Gaddafi had hired African mercenaries to put down ‘protests.’

The Wikipedia article devotes eight paragraphs to these spurious allegations, supported by reports from pro-war, pro-Zionist, state-organ media outlets such as CNN, Al Jazeera, ABC, Time magazine, and the Washington Post. The sources used here, which form the backbone of Wikipedia’s ‘mercenaries’ claim, are of such laughably spurious nature that they deserve closer inspection.

One of these sources is a series of anonymous text messages purportedly sent by an unnamed ‘Libyan economist’! Another of Wikipedia’s sources herein is a report from ‘Save the Children,’ based on nothing but pure hearsay, claiming that Gaddafi’s forces had raped children as young as eight. Another source mentions admittedly “not yet confirmed” reports, and claims that mercenaries were offered $12,000 to $30,000 each. Amongst the sources used for this article are tweets from a US NGO named Democratic Underground. This source touts information from a spokesman of the Libyan League for Human Rights (LLHR) – a propaganda mill established and run by the aforementioned compulsive liar Sliman Bouchuiguir. The LLHR is affiliated to the FIDH, which is intimately linked to the Zionist National Endowment for Democracy.

Upon the most cursory inspection Wikipedia’s sources, and therefore its narrative, disintegrates like a house of cards in a hurricane.

At this stage it is important to note that even Amnesty International – responsible for spreading much of the atrocity propaganda in the first place – has gone on record to say that there is no evidence for these allegations, nor is there any evidence for the claims that Gaddafi’s forces were using rape as a weapon of war. The Wikipedia article fleetingly acknowledges the fact that there is no evidence for the mercenaries claim, albeit after its eight-paragraph sales pitch:

In June 2011, Amnesty International said it found no evidence of foreign mercenaries being used, saying the black Africans claimed to be “mercenaries” were in fact “sub-Saharan migrants working in Libya,” and described the use of mercenaries as a “myth” that “inflamed public opinion” and led to lynchings and executions of black Africans by rebel forces.

Needless to say, the damage has already been done as Libyans of black African descent are fleeing their homeland in droves. This strategy of division is termed by Mahdi Nazemroaya as “an attempt to separate the merging point of an Arab and African identity“, and it is a strategy which is planned for the entire Arab and Muslim world. It is a strategy which Nicolas Sarkozy – key mover behind the Libya war – even offered his support to; it was reported in October 2011 that Patriarch Mar Beshara Boutros Al-Rahi – head of the Maronite Catholic Syriac Church of Antioch (the largest of the autonomous Eastern Catholic Churches) – met with Sarkozy in Paris. During this meeting Sarkozy told Sheikh Al-Rahi that the Syrian regime will collapse, and that the Christian communities of the Levant and Middle East can resettle in the European Union.

As imperialist powers supported by a network of so-called human rights groups deliberately create the conditions of danger, instability and fear for specific ethnic, religious, and racial groups in the Middle East and North Africa, they also are providing the means to move them out of their native homelands, effecting the segregation and division of such groups permanently. The vicious attack on Libya is merely a beginning to this renewed strategy to divide, pulverise and weaken Africa. The Israeli-prescribed division of Sudan is a case in point.

Instead of shedding light on this destructive and deadly strategy, Wikipedia, marching in lockstep with the controlled media, merely perpetuates the myths that enable it. More than ever, this underscores the desperate need for us to seek out information from other, more independent sources.

Conclusion: Wikipedia is Written by the Victor

Not only is Wikipedia merely a representation of the ‘official’ narrative for important events such as the War on Libya, but it is served to us as the first result by all major search engines (cumulatively having a 95.5% market share of search queries in the United States).

Even more worryingly, you will see the exact same behaviour if you enter other search terms such as “the Holocaust,” “9/11,” or “Syrian uprising.” Give it a try right now.

Being presented as the first search result for these important topics (and a myriad more – simply visit these search engines and try as many different topics as you like), Wikipedia demonstrably has a monopoly on information exposure, and has the chance to set its narrative in information-hungry minds. Millions of Internet users are literally being fed a pack of lies as soon as they initiate their search for information.

Deaths and casualties constitute without a doubt, the most important human aspect of any and all wars. With this in mind, let us type “libya war deaths,” or “estimates of libya war casualties” into any of the aforementioned search engines. Go ahead – do it now. Surprise, surprise, we are presented – in all cases – with the Wikipedia article for ‘Casualties of the Libyan civil war.’ What we see are gross underestimations of the deaths caused by a protracted, deadly, and sustained bombing campaign carried out by the world’s most powerful militaries. In addition to this, every single source used here – without exception – is globalist and pro-war in nature:

  • The NED-linked International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and Libyan League for Human Rights (LLHR);
  • The World Health Organisation;
  • The UN Human Rights Council;
  • Al Jazeera English (Qatari-owned and run cheerleader of the Libya war, co-created by Libyan NTC Quisling Mahmoud Jibril);
  • The National Transitional Council (NATO’s council of stooges);

How can we expect the masses to gain even a basic geopolitical understanding of anything when Wikipedia is thrust in our faces during practically every Internet search we do? Wikipedia verily is nothing more than a black and white representation of the ‘official narrative’ of the war on Libya, and the same can be said for other highly-propagandised events such as the so-called Syrian uprising, the false flag terror attacks of 9/11, and the ‘Holocaust.’

Wikipedia is the very manifestation of the old African adage ‘until the lion can write his own story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.’ The disinformation presented on Wikipedia is nothing short of criminal. We must always check the sources for the information we consume, and for all matters political, we must look upon Wikipedia with the same utter contempt that we do with all controlled media.

May 31, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Comments Off on Lies, Damned Lies, and Wikipedia

Libya, Africa and Africom

An Ongoing Disaster

By DAN GLAZEBROOK | CounterPunch | May 25, 2012

The scale of the ongoing tragedy visited on Libya by NATO and its allies is becoming horribly clearer with each passing day. Estimates of those killed so far vary, but 50,000 seems like a low estimate; indeed the British Ministry of Defence was boasting that the onslaught had killed 35,000 as early as last May. But this number is constantly growing. The destruction of the state’s forces by British, French and American blitzkrieg has left the country in a state of total anarchy – in the worst possible sense of the word. Having had nothing to unite them other than a temporary willingness to act as NATO’s foot soldiers, the former ‘rebels’ are now turning on each other. 147 were killed in in-fighting in Southern Libya in a single week earlier this year, and in recent weeks government buildings – including the Prime Ministerial compound – have come under fire by ‘rebels’ demanding cash payment for their services. $1.4billion has been paid out already – demonstrating once again that it was the forces of NATO colonialism, not Gaddafi, who were reliant on ‘mercenaries’- but payments were suspended last month due to widespread nepotism. Corruption is becoming endemic – a further $2.5billion in oil revenues that was supposed to have been transferred to the national treasury remains unaccounted for. Libyan resources are now being jointly plundered by the oil multinationals and a handful of chosen families from amongst the country’s new elites; a classic neo-colonial stitch-up. The use of these resources for giant infrastructure projects such as the Great Manmade River, and the massive raising of living standards over the past four decades (Libyan life expectancy rose from 51 to 77 since Gaddafi came to power in 1969) sadly looks to have already become a thing of the past.

But woe betide anyone who mentions that now. It was decided long ago that no supporters of Gaddafi would be allowed to stand in the upcoming elections, but recent changes have gone even further. Law 37, passed by the new NATO-imposed government last month, has created a new crime of ‘glorifying’ the former government or its leader – subject to a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Would this include a passing comment that things were better under Gaddafi? The law is cleverly vague enough to be open to interpretation. It is a recipe for institutionalised political persecution.

Even more indicative of the contempt for the rule of law amongst the new government – a government, remember, which has yet to receive any semblance of popular mandate, and whose only power base remains the colonial armed forces – is Law 38. This law has now guaranteed immunity from prosecution for anyone who committed crimes aimed at “promoting or protecting the revolution”. Those responsible for the ethnic cleansing of Tawergha – such as Misrata’s self-proclaimed “brigade for the purging of black skins” – can continue their hunting down of that cities’ refugees in the full knowledge that they have the new ‘law’ on their side. Those responsible for the massacres in Sirte and elsewhere have nothing to fear. Those involved in the widespread torture of detainees can continue without repercussions – so long as it is aimed at “protecting the revolution” – i.e. maintaining NATO-TNC dictatorship.

This is the reality of the new Libya: civil war, squandered resources, and societal collapse, where voicing preference for the days when Libya was prosperous and at peace is a crime, but lynching and torture is not only permitted but encouraged.

Nor has the disaster remained a national one. Libya’s destabilisation has already spread to Mali, prompting a coup, and huge numbers of refugees – especially amongst Libya’s large black migrant population – have fled to neighbouring countries in a desperate attempt to escape both aerial destruction and lynch mob rampage, putting further pressure on resources elsewhere. Many Libyan fighters, their work done in Libya, have now been shipped by their imperial masters to Syria to spread their sectarian violence there too.

Most worrying for the African continent, however, is the forward march of AFRICOM – the US military’s African command – in the wake of the aggression against Libya. It is no coincidence that barely a month after the fall of Tripoli – and in the same month Gaddafi was murdered (October 2011) – the US announced it was sending troops to no less than four more African countries – the Central African Republic, Uganda, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. AFRICOM have now announced an unprecedented fourteen major joint military exercises in African countries for 2012. The military re-conquest of Africa is rolling steadily on.

None of this would have been possible whilst Gaddafi was still in power. As founder of the African Union, its biggest donor, and its one-time elected Chairman, he wielded serious influence on the continent. It was partly thanks to him that the US was forced to establish AFRICOM’s HQ in Stuttgart in Germany when it was established in February 2008, rather than in Africa itself; he offered cash and investments to African governments who rejected US requests for bases. Libya under his leadership had an estimated $150 billion of investments in Africa, and the Libyan proposal, backed with £30billion cash, for an African Union Development Bank would have seriously reduced African financial dependence on the West. In short, Gaddafi’s Libya was the single biggest obstacle to AFRICOM penetration of the continent.

Now he has gone, AFRICOM is stepping up its work. The invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan showed the West that wars in which their own citizens get killed are not popular; AFRICOM is designed to ensure that in the coming colonial wars against Africa, it will be Africans who do the fighting and dying, not Westerners. The forces of the African Union are to become integrated into AFRICOM under a US-led chain of command. Gaddafi would never have stood for it; that is why he had to go.

And if you want a vision of Africa under AFRICOM tutelage, look no further than Libya, NATO’s model of an African state: condemned to decades of violence and trauma, and utterly incapable of either providing for its people, or contributing to regional or continental independence. The new military colonialism in Africa must not be allowed to advance another inch.

DAN GLAZEBROOK writes for the Morning Star newspaper and is one of the co-ordinators for the British branch of the International Union of Parliamentarians for Palestine. He can be contacted at danglazebrook2000@yahoo.co.uk

May 25, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

NATO blamed for Mali unrest

By Toivo Ndjebela | New Era | April 13, 2012

WINDHOEK – Namibia has blamed the architects of last year’s overthrow of the Libyan government for the civil strife and the recent coup against a democratically elected government in Mali.

Tuareg rebels in Mali have proclaimed independence for the country’s northern part after capturing key towns this week.

Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi administration fell last year after local rebels, with the help of NATO forces – and initially France, Britain and the USA – drove the long-serving leader out of the capital Tripoli and ultimately killed him after months in hiding.

The Namibian government believes the events in Libya are now bearing sour fruit within the western and northern parts of Africa, in what is known as the Sahel region.

“The profoundly retrogressive developments in Mali are a direct consequence of the unstable security and political situation in Libya, created by the precipitous military overthrow of the government of Libya in 2011,” a government statement, released Tuesday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, states.

The statement continued: “Accordingly, those countries that rushed to use military force in Libya, had underestimated the severe repercussions of their actions in the Sahel region.”

“They should thus bear some responsibility for the instability in Mali and the general insecurity in the region.”

Nomadic Tuaregs have harboured ambitions to secede Mali’s northern part since the country’s independence from France in 1960, but lack of foreign support for this idea meant the dream would only be realized 52 years later.

Namibia herself survived a secession attempt in 1999 when a self-styled rebel group, led by former Swapo and DTA politician Mishake Muyongo, now exiled in Denmark, attempted to separate the Caprivi Region from the rest of Namibia.

The Mali situation already cost Amadou Toumani Toure his job last month, when junior army officers overthrew him for what they say was his reluctance to avail resources needed to fight the advancing Tuareg rebels.

Speaker of Mali’s parliament, Doincounda Traore, was expected to be sworn in as president yesterday morning, a development that would restore civilian rule in the humanitarian crisis-hit West African country.

Traore is inheriting control of only half of the country, with northern Mali now falling under control of Tuareg rebels and Islamists.

Namibia said those tearing Mali into administrative pieces should have observed the African Union’s principle of inviolability of borders of the African countries.

“This principle of indivisibility of borders has served Africa well since its adoption by the OAU (Organisation of African Unity) Summit in Cairo in 1964,” the statement further reads.

It further stated: “The Government of Namibia reiterates its unequivocal rejection of any attempt to dismember any African country and unreservedly condemns all manner of secessionist aspirations.”

Namibia is yet to officially recognize the new Libyan government, whose local embassy held a ‘revolution anniversary’ in February without attendance of any notable officials of the Namibian government.

April 14, 2012 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Euro-US War on Libya: Official Lies and Misconceptions of Critics

By James Petras | 03.25.2011

One of the basic flaws of the arguments of critics of Euro-US wars is their resort to clichés, generalizations and arguments without any factual bases.

Introduction

The most common line on the US-Euro war on Libya is that it’s “all about oil” – the seizure of oil wells.

On the other hand Euro –US, government spokespeople have defended the war by claiming it is about “saving civilian lives facing genocide”, an act of “humanitarian intervention”.

Following the lead of their imperial powers, most of what passes for the Left in the US and Europe, ranging from social democrats, Marxists, Trotskyists and other assorted progressives claim to see and support a revolutionary mass uprising and not a few call for active intervention by the imperial powers, or the same thing, the UN, to presumably help the “social revolution” defeat the Gaddafi dictatorship.

These claims and variations of these arguments are totally without substance and belie the true nature of US-UK-French imperial power, based on rising militarism as evidenced in all the ongoing wars over the past decade (Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, etc.). What is revealing in the context of militarist intervention in Libya is that all the major countries which refused to engage in the war are motivated by a different type of global expansion: economic and market forces. China, India, Brazil, Russia, Turkey, Germany, the most dynamic capitalist countries in Asia, Europe and the Middle East are, in part, all opposed to the self-styled “allied” military response because they see (with solid reasons) no threat to their security, an open door for access to oil, a favorable investment climate and no signs of any progressive democratic outcome among the disparate elites competing for power and Western favor among the media labeled “rebels”.

(1) The Six Myths about Libya: Right and Left

The principle imperial powers and their mass media mouthpieces claim they are militarily assaulting Libya for “humanitarian reasons”. Their recent past and present history argues the contrary. Interventions in Iraq resulted in over a million killings, four million displaced civilians and the mass destruction of an entire civilization including water, electricity, research centers, museums…

Similar outcomes resulted from the invasion of Afghanistan. What was dubbed a humanitarian intervention resulted in a human catastrophe. In the case of Iraq the road to imperial barbarism began with ‘sanctions’, progressed to ‘no fly zones’, then to partition, then to invasion and occupation and the unleashing of sectarian tribal warfare among the ‘liberated’ rebel para-military death squads. Equally telling, the imperial assault against Yugoslavia, also justified as a “humanitarian war” against a “genocidal regime”, led to the 40 day massive bombing and destruction of Belgrade and other major cities, the imposition of a gangster terrorist regime (KLA) in the separatist province of Kosova and a huge US military base in the latter.

The bombing of Libya has destroyed major civilian infrastructure, airports, roads, seaports, communication centers as well as military targets. The sanctions and military attacks have driven out scores of multi-national corporations and exodus of hundreds of thousands of African, Middle Eastern and North African immigrant workers and technicians, devastating the economy and creating mass long-term unemployment. Moreover, following the logic of previous imperial military interventions, the seemingly ‘moderate’ call to patrol the skies via “no fly zone”, leads directly to bombing terrestrial civilian as well as military targets, onward to overthrowing the government. The imperial warmongers attacking Libya, like their predecessors, are not engaged in anything remotely resembling a humanitarian gesture: they are destroying the civilian lives they purport to be saving – as was the case in Vietnam earlier.

(2) War for Oil or Oil for Sale?

One of the most often repeated clichés by leftists is that the imperial invasion is about “seizing control of Libya’s oil and turning it over to their multi-nationals”.

The facts on the ground tell us a different story: the multi-national oil companies of Europe, Asia, the US and elsewhere have already “taken over” millions of acres of Libyan oil fields, some are already pumping and exporting oil and gas and are reaping hefty profits for almost the better part of a decade. Multi-national corporate (MNC) “exploitation by invitation” – from Gaddafi to the biggest oil companies- is an ongoing process from the early 1990’s to the present day. The list of foreign oil majors engaged in Libya exceeds that of most oil producing countries in the entire world. They include; British Petroleum with a seven year license on two concessions with one billion dollars in planned investments. Each concession involves BP exploiting enormous areas of Libya, one the size of Kuwait, the other the size of Belgium (Libyonline.com). Five Japanese firms, including Mitsubishi and Nippon Petroleum, Italy’s Eni Gas, British Gas and Exxon Mobil secured exploration and exploitation contracts in October 2010. In January 2010, Libya’s oil concessions mainly benefited US oil companies, especially Occidental Petroleum. Foreign multi-nationals gaining contracts also include Royal Dutch Shell, Total (France), Oil India, CNBC (China), Indonesia’s Pertamina and Norway’s Norsk Hydro (BBC News, 10/03/2005).

Despite sanctions imposed by Reagan in 1986, Halliburton has worked on billion dollar gas and oil projects since the 1980’s. During former Defense Secretary Cheney’s tenure as CEO of Halliburton, he led the fight against sanctions, arguing that “as a nation (there is) enormous value having American businesses engaged around the world” (Halliburtonwatch.com). Sanctions against Libya were lifted under Bush in 2004. During the current decade Gaddafi invited more foreign companies to invest in Libya than any other regime in the world. Clearly, with all the European and US imperial countries already exploiting Libya’s oil on a massive scale the argument that the “war is about oil” doesn’t hold water or oil!

(3) Gaddafi is a Terrorist

In the run-up to the US military assault, Treasury led by Israeli super-agent Stuart Levey, authored a sanctions policy freezing $30 billion dollars in Libyan assets claiming Gaddafi was a murderous tyrant (Washington Post, 3/24/11). Yet precisely seven years earlier, Cheney, Bush and Condoleezza Rice took Libya off the list of terrorist regimes and told Levey and his minions to lift sanctions. Every major European power followed suite: Gaddafi was welcomed in European capitals, prime ministers visited Tripoli and Gaddafi reciprocated by unilaterally dismantling his nuclear and chemical weapons programs (BBC, 9/5/2008). Gaddafi bent over backwards in co-operating with Washington’s campaign against groups, movements and individuals on Washington’s arbitrary “terror list” – arresting, torturing and killing Al Qaeda suspects; expelling Palestinian militants and criticizing Hezbollah, Hamas and other Israeli adversaries. The United Nations Human Rights Committee gave Gadaffi a clean bill of health. Western elites welcomed Gaddafi’s political turnabout but it did not save him from a massive military assault. Neo-liberal reforms, political apostasy, anti-terrorism, eliminating weapons of massive destruction, all weakened the regime, increased its vulnerability and isolated it from any consequential anti-imperialist allies. Gaddafi’s concessions made his regime an easy target for militarists in Washington, London and Paris.

(4) The Myth of the revolutionary Masses

The Left, including the principle social democratic, green and even left socialist parties of Europe and the US, tail-ending their imperial mentors, and susceptible to the massive media propaganda campaign demonizing Gaddafi, justified their support for military intervention, in the name of the “revolutionary people”, the peace-loving masses “fighting tyranny” and organizing popular militias to “liberate the country”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The root base of the armed uprising is Benghazi, a hotbed of tribal backers and clients of the deposed King Idris who ruled with an iron fist over a semi-feudal backward state, who gave the US one of its biggest air bases (Wheeler) in the Mediterranean basin. Among the feuding leaders of the “transitional council” (who purport to lead but have few organized followers) are neo-liberal expats who promoted the Euro-US military invasion and can only envision coming to power on the bases of Western missiles .They look forward to dismantling the public oil companies engaged in joint ventures with foreign MNC. All independent observers report the lack of any clear reformist set along revolutionary organization or social-political democratic movement.

The armed militias in Benghazi are reportedly more active in rounding up, arresting and executing any members of Gaddafi’s national network of civilians active in his “revolutionary committees”, arbitrarily labeling them “fifth columnists” than in engaging the regimes armed forces. The top leaders of the “revolutionary” masses in Benghazi are two recent defectors of what the Left dubs Gaddafi’s “murderous regime”, Mustafa Abdul Jalil a former Justice minister (who prosecuted dissenters up to the day before the armed uprising), Mahmoud Jebril a top Gaddafite neo-liberal prominent in inviting multi-nationals to take over the oil fields (FT, March 23, 2011, p. 7) and Ali Aziz al-Eisawa, Gaddafi’s former ambassador to India who jumped ship when it looked like the uprising would succeed. These self-appointed leaders of the “rebels” are staunch backers of Euro-US military intervention just as they previously were long-term backers of Gaddafi’s dictatorship and promoters of MNC takeovers of oil and gas fields. The heads of the “rebels” military council is Omar Hariri and General Abdul Fattah Younis former head of the Ministry of Interior, both with long histories (since 1969) of repressing any democratic movements. It is not surprising that these top level military defectors have been totally incapable of arousing their troops, conscripts, to engage the loyalist forces backing Gaddafi and all look forward to riding the coattails of the Anglo-US-French armed forces.

The absence of the minimum of democratic credentials among the leaders of the anti-Gaddafi rag tag forces is matched by their abject dependence and subservience to the imperial armed forces to bring them to power. Their abuse and persecution of immigrant workers from Asia, Turkey and especially sub-Sahara Africans, their false accusations that they are suspected “mercenaries”, augurs ill for any possible new democratic order, or the revival of an economy dependent on immigrant labor, any vestige of a unified country and anything resembling a national economy.

The composition of the self-appointed leadership of the “National Transitional Council” is neither democratic, nationalist nor capable of uniting the country. Least of all are they capable of creating jobs lost by their armed power grab and sustaining the paternalistic welfare program and the highest per-capita income in Africa.

(5) Al Qaeda

The greatest geographical concentration of Al Qaeda terrorists is precisely in the areas dominated by the “rebels” (Cockburn: Counterpunch, March 24, 2011). For over a decade Gaddafi, in line with his embrace of the Bush-Obama “anti-terrorist” agenda, has been in the forefront of the fight against Al Qaeda. They have now enlisted in the ranks of the “rebels” fighting the Gaddafi regime. Likewise, the tribal chiefs, fundamentalist clerics and monarchists in the East have been active in fighting a “holy war” against Gaddafi and welcome arms and air cover from the Anglo-French-US “crusaders”, just as the Taliban and the Islamic fundamentalists welcomed military support from the Carter-Reagan White House to overthrow a secular regime in Afghanistan. The imperial intervention is based on ‘alliances’ with the most retrograde forces in Libya, with uncertain outcomes as to the future composition of the regime, and the prospects for political stability allowing Big Oil to return and exploit energy resources.

(6) “Genocide” or Armed Civil War

Unlike all ongoing mass popular Arab uprisings, the Libyan conflict began as an armed insurrection, directed at the violent seizure of power. Unlike other autocratic rulers, Gaddafi had secured a mass regional base among a substantial sector of the population on the bases of a well-financed welfare and housing program. Violence is inherent in any armed uprising and once one picks up the gun and tries to seize power, there is no basis for claiming one’s “civil rights” are being violated. The rules of warfare come into play, including the protection of non-combatants-civilians-as well as respect for the rights and protection of prisoners of war.

The unsubstantiated Euro-US claims of “genocide” amplified by the Western mass media and parroted by “left” spokespersons are contradicted by the daily reports of single and double digit deaths and injuries, resulting from urban violence on both sides, as control of cities and towns shifts between one side and the other.

Truth is the first casualty of civil war and both sides have resorted to monstrous fabrications of victories, casualties, demons and angels.

The fact of the matter is that this conflict began as a civil war between two sets of elites: an established paternalistic burgeoning neo-liberal autocracy with substantial popular backing and the other, a western imperialist financed and trained elite backed by an amorphous group of regional tribal, clerical and neo-liberal professionals lacking democratic and nationalist credentials

Conclusion

If not humanitarianism, oil or democratic values, what is the driving force of Euro-US imperial intervention?

A clue is in the selective bases of armed intervention. In Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, Qatar, Oman, ruling autocrats allied with and backed by Euro-US imperial rulers’ arrest and murder peaceful protestors, with impunity. In Egypt and Tunisia, the US financially backs a conservative self-appointed civil-military junta, to block a profound democratic, nationalist, social transformation in order to facilitate neo-liberal economic “reforms” run by pro-imperial electoral officials. While liberal critics accuse the West of “hypocrisy” and “double standards” in bombing Libya but not the Gulf butchers, in reality the imperial rulers are using the same imperial standards in each region. They defend autocratic strategic client regimes where they possess air force and naval bases, run intelligence operations and logistic platforms to pursue ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and to threaten Iran. They attack Libya because it still refuses to collaborate with Western military operations in Africa and the Middle East.

The key point is that while Libya allows most of the big US-European oil multi-nationals to plunder its oil wealth, it is not yet, a strategic geo-political imperial asset. As we have written in many previous essays the driving force of US empire building is military not economic. In fact billion dollar economic interests were sacrificed in setting up sanctions against Iraq and Iran; the Iraq war shut down most oil exploitation for over a decade.

The Washington led assault on Libya – the majority of air sorties and missiles are carried out by US warplanes and submarines – is part of a general counter-attack against the most recent Arab popular pro-democracy movements. The West is backing the repression of pro-democracy movements throughout the Gulf; it is financing the pro-imperial, pro-Israel Egyptian junta; it is intervening in Tunisia to ensure that any new regime is “correctly aligned”. It backs Algerian despotism and Israel’s daily assaults on Gaza. And now, in Libya, it backs an uprising of ex-Gaddafites and right-wing monarchists who promise to militarily align with the US-European empire builders.

Dynamic market driven global and regional powers refuse to join in this conflict which jeopardizes their access to oil, including current large scale exploitation of energy sources under Gaddafi. Germany, China, Russia, Turkey, India and Brazil are growing at fast rates by exploiting new markets and natural resources, while the US, English and French spend billions in wars that de-stabilize markets and foment long-term wars of resistance. They recognize that the “rebels” are not capable of a quick victory, or of creating a stable environment for long-term investments. The “rebels” in power would become political clients of their militarist imperial mentors. Moreover, the military thrust of the imperial invaders has serious consequences for the emerging market economies. The US supports holy-roller rebels in China’s Tibetan province and Uyghur separatist “rebels” elsewhere. Washington and London back separatists in the Russian Caucasus. India is wary of US military support for Pakistan and its claims on Kashmir. Turkey opposes Kurdish separatists backed by US supplied arms to their Iraqi counterparts.

The Libyan precedent of imperial armed invasion on behalf of separatist clients bodes trouble for the market driven emerging powers. It is an ongoing threat to the burgeoning Arab freedom movement. And the death knell to the US economy; three wars can break the budget sooner rather than later. Most of all, the invasion undermines efforts by Libya’s democrats, socialists and nationalists to free the country from dictatorship and imperial backed reactionaries.

March 28, 2011 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment