War drums are beating again in Washington. This time Syria is in the crosshairs after a massacre there last week left more than 100 dead. As might be expected from an administration with an announced policy of “regime change” in Syria, the reaction was to blame only the Syrian government for the tragedy, expel Syrian diplomats from Washington, and announce that the US may attack Syria even without UN approval. Of course, the idea that the administration should follow the Constitution and seek a Declaration of War from Congress is considered even more anachronistic now than under the previous administration.
It may be the case that the Syrian military was responsible for the events last week, but recent bombings and attacks have been carried out by armed rebels with reported al-Qaeda ties. With the stakes so high, it would make sense to wait for a full investigation — unless the truth is less important than stirring up emotions in favor of a US attack.
There is ample reason to be skeptical about US government claims amplified in mainstream media reports. How many times recently have lies and exaggerations been used to push for the use of force overseas? It was not long ago that we were told Gaddafi was planning genocide for the people of Libya, and the only way to stop it was a US attack. Those claims turned out to be false, but by then the US and NATO had already bombed Libya, destroying its infrastructure, killing untold numbers of civilians, and leaving a gang of violent thugs in charge.
Likewise, we were told numerous falsehoods to increase popular support for the 2003 war on Iraq, including salacious stories of trans-Atlantic drones and WMDs. Advocates of war did not understand the complexities of Iraqi society, including its tribal and religious differences. As a result, Iraq today is a chaotic mess, with its ancient Christian population eliminated and the economy set back decades. An unnecessary war brought about by lies and manipulation never ends well.
Earlier still, we were told lies about genocide and massacres in Kosovo to pave the way for President Clinton’s bombing campaign against Yugoslavia. More than 12 years later, that region is every bit as unstable and dangerous as before the US intervention – and American troops are still there.
The story about the Syrian massacre keeps changing, which should raise suspicions. First, we were told that the killings were caused by government shelling, but then it was discovered that most were killed at close range with handgun fire and knives. No one has explained why government forces would take the time to go house to house binding the hands of the victims before shooting them, and then retreat to allow the rebels in to record the gruesome details. No one wants to ask or answer the disturbing questions, but it would be wise to ask ourselves who benefits from these stories.
We have seen media reports over the past several weeks that the Obama administration is providing direct “non-lethal” assistance to the rebels in Syria while facilitating the transfer of weapons from other Gulf States. This semi-covert assistance to rebels we don’t know much about threatens to become overt intervention. Last week Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said about Syria, “I think the military option should be considered.” And here all along I thought it was up to Congress to decide when we go to war, not the generals.
We are on a fast track to war against Syria. It is time to put on the brakes.
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, though it then accused rebels of violating the ceasefire when they continued to fight as well. 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, 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.
- Libya, Africa and Africom (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Gaddafi Libya and the NWO – darkgrape. (libyaagainstsuperpowermedia.com)
- They found no fault in Qaddafi so the media invented some for us (libyaagainstsuperpowermedia.com)
- Google’s Love Affair with Wikipedia Far More Serious Than Bing’s [Study] (conductor.com)
- Wikipedia down? Try these alternatives (ghacks.net)
An Ongoing Disaster
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 email@example.com
- NATO blamed for Mali unrest (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- If the Libyan war was about saving lives, it was a catastrophic failure | Seumas Milne (libyaagainstsuperpowermedia.com)
- Libya a Year Later: poverty, division, death (libyaagainstsuperpowermedia.com)
- Europe, NATO and the Dilemma of Security Deployment in Libya .. (libyaagainstsuperpowermedia.com)
A Global Crime Spree
Wondering why anyone would confront NATO’s summit in Chicago this month? A look at some of its more well-known crimes might spark some indignation.
Desecration of corpses, indiscriminate attacks, bombing of allied troops, torture of prisoners and unaccountable drone war are a few of NATO’s outrages in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen and elsewhere. On March 20, 2012 Pakistani lawmakers demanded an end to all NATO/CIA drone strikes against their territory. As reported in The New York Times, Pakistan’s foreign secretary Jalil Jilani said April 26, 2012, “We consider drones illegal, counter-productive and accordingly, unacceptable.” On May 31 last year, Afghan President Hamid Karzai gave what he called his “last” warning against NATO’s bombing of Afghani homes, saying “If they continue their attacks on our houses … history shows what Afghans do with trespassers and with occupiers.”
While bombing Libya last March, NATO refused to aid a group of 72 migrants adrift in the Mediterranean. Only nine people on board survived. The refusal was condemned as criminal by the Council of Europe, a human rights watchdog.
NATO jets bombed and rocketed a Pakistani military base for two hours Nov. 26, 2011—the Salala Incident— killing 26 Pakistani soldiers and wounding dozens more. NATO refuses to apologize, so the Pakistani regime has kept military supply routes into Afghanistan closed since November.
The British medical journal Lancet reported that the US-led unprovoked 2003 bombing, invasion and military take-over of Iraq—which NATO officially joined in 2004 in a ‘training’ capacity—had resulted in over 665,000 civilian deaths by 2006, and 200,000 in the UN-authorized, 1991 Desert Storm massacre led primarily by the US with several NATO allies.
On April 12, 1999, NATO attacked the railway bridge over the Grdelica Gorge and Juzna Morava River with two laser-guided bombs. At the time, a five-car civilian passenger train was crossing the bridge and was hit by both bombs. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch accused NATO of violating binding laws that require distinction, discrimination and proportionality.
NATO rocketed the central studio of Radio Televisija Srbije (TRS) in Belgrade, the state-owned broadcasting corporation, on April 23, 1999 during the Kosovo war. Sixteen civilian employees of RTS were killed and 16 wounded when NATO destroyed the building. Amnesty Int’l reported that the building could not be considered military, that NATO had violated the prohibition on attacking civilian objects and had therefore committed a war crime.
Headlines chronicle NATO’s crime spree
“U.S. troops posed with body parts of Afghan bombers.” Los Angeles Times, April 18, 2012
“Drones At Issue…: Raids Disrupt Militants, but Civilian Deaths Stir Outrage.” New York Times, March 18, 2012
“G.I. Kills 16 Afghans, Including 9 Children In Attacks on Homes.” New York Times, March 12, 2012
“NATO Admits Airstrike Killed 8 Young Afghans, but Contends They Were Armed.” New York Times, Feb. 16, 2012
“Informer Misled NATO in Airstrike That Killed 8 Civilians, Afghans Say.” (Seven shepherd boys under 14.) New York Times, Feb. 10, 2012
“Video [of U.S. Marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters] Inflames a Delicate Moment for U.S. in Afghanistan.” New York Times, Jan. 12, 2012
“Commission alleges U.S. detainee abuse.” Minneapolis StarTribune, Jan. 8, 2012
“Six Children Are Killed by NATO Airstrike in Afghanistan.” New York Times, Nov. 25, 2011
“American Soldier Is Convicted of Killing Afghan Civilians for Sport.” New York Times, Nov. 11, 2011
“Pakistan: U.S. Drone Strike Kills Brother of a Taliban Commander.” New York Times, Oct. 28, 2011
“Afghanistan officials ‘systematically tortured’ detainees, UN report says.” Guardian, & BBC Oct. 10; Washington Post, Oct. 11, 2011
“G.I. Killed Afghan Journalist, NATO Says.” New York Times, Sept. 9, 2011
“Cable Implicates Americans in Deaths of Iraqi Civilians.” New York Times, Sept. 2, 2011
“Civilians Die in a Raid by Americans and Iraqis.” New York Times, Aug. 7, 2011
“NATO Strikes Libyan State TV Transmitters.” New York Times, July 31, 2011
“NATO admits raid probably killed nine in Tripoli.” St. Paul Pioneer Press, June 20, 2011
“U.S. Expands Its Drone War to Take On Somali Militants.” New York Times, July 2, 2011
“NATO airstrike blamed in 14 civilian deaths.” St. Paul Pioneer Press, May 30, 2011
“Libya Effort Is Called Violation of War Act.” New York Times, May 26, 2011
“Raid on Wrong House Kills Afghan Girl, 12.” New York Times, May 12, 2011
“Yemen: 2 Killed in Missile Strike.” Associated Press, May 5, 2011
“NATO Accused of Going Too Far With Libya Strikes.” New York Times, May 2, 2011
“Disposal of Bin Laden’s remains violated Islamic principles, clerics say.” Associated Press, May 2, 2011
“Photos of atrocities seen as threat to Afghan relations.” St. Paul Pioneer Press, March 22, 2011
“Missiles Kill 26 in Pakistan” (“most of them civilians”) New York Times, March 18, 2011
“Afgans Say NATO Troops Killed 8 Civilians in Raid.” New York Times, Aug. 24, 2010
“A dozen or more” Afghan civilians were killed during a nighttime raid August 5, 2010 in eastern Afghanistan, NATO’s officers said. Chicago Tribune, Aug. 6, 2010
“Afghans Say Attack Killed 52 Civilians; NATO Differs.” New York Times, July 27, 2010
In June 2008, NATO bombers attacked a Pakistani paramilitary force called the Frontier Corps killing 11 of its soldiers. New York Times, Nov. 27, 2011
“Afghans Die in Bombing, As Toll Rises for Civilians.” New York Times, May 3, 2010
John LaForge works for Nukewatch, a nuclear watchdog and anti-war group in Wisconsin and edits its Quarterly.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a cold war relic with no positive use in the 21st century. Its original intent, or so it was claimed, was to protect western nations from a supposedly threatening Soviet block. The Soviet Union collapsed, and now some of the old Soviet bloc states are NATO members themselves. Why does this organization still exist?
The explanation is simple, but not very pretty. NATO is the armed wing for European and American elites who control the destiny not only of the capitalist nations they represent but of people around the world. It is NATO which continues to occupy Afghanistan, and send drones which kill civilians. It is NATO which over threw the Muammar Gaddafi government in Libya and killed an unknown number of civilians in the name of protecting them.
When the United Nations sought to investigate whether NATO committed any crimes against the Libyan civilian population, NATO said quite simply that it hadn’t, and that no one should even suggest otherwise. “We would accordingly request that, in the event the commission elects to include a discussion of NATO actions in Libya, its report clearly states that NATO did not deliberately target civilians and did not commit war crimes in Libya.”
This same NATO, which despite its claims to the contrary, did target civilians in Libya, will soon celebrate its violent triumphs in the city of Chicago. It was meant to be a celebration with its economic and political arm, the G-8, but the possibility of mass protests against the G-8 caused Barack Obama to move the festivities to secluded Camp David, where the pesky masses won’t be allowed to disrupt the party.
Fortunately, activists are not fooled by the sleight of hand of a smaller celebration and are organizing mass protests. NATO’s presence in Chicago must not be seen as acceptance of its activities by the American people. It is vital that peaceful protests be successfully carried out against NATO and against its activities around the world.
NATO’s criminality did not begin with Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Its hands have been very dirty in recent history in many different places. In 1999 NATO used the ruse of humanitarianism to kill human beings and destroy the infrastructure of Yugoslavia. Yugoslavs victimized by these acts weren’t silent about them, and in the absence of action anywhere else in the world, convened their own war crimes tribunal against NATO heads of state and military personnel.
Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schroeder and others were sentenced in absentia to twenty years imprisonment. They were convicted of violating the Geneva Conventions, and the U.N. Charter. In the words of the Yugoslav court, NATO leaders were guilty of the following, “…inciting an aggressive war, war crimes against the civilian population, use of banned combat means, attempted murder of the Yugoslav president, as well as with the violation of the country’s territorial integrity”.
NATO’s trail is a long and bloody one, and the phony festivities are creating risks to the people of Chicago too. They will not only face disruptions and inconvenience as they attempt to go about their daily lives, but their city will also be the place where new Obama administration restrictions on civil liberties will be put into full effect.
The Nobel Peace Prize winning constitutional law professor has decreed, with bipartisan support, that American citizens can be seized and held without charge if they are even suspected of anything the government labels as terrorist activity. Constitutional protections of due process are now a thing of the past.
In addition, the mere proximity of secret service personnel at even peaceful protests can result in arrests and federal felony charges carrying a sentence of up to ten years in prison. This Trespass Bill, as it is called, can be used to charge protestors who are in proximity of the Secret Service – whether knowingly, or unknowingly. Of course, there will be plenty of Secret Service staff on hand in Chicago, and anyone who takes the righteous action of protesting may put themselves in great legal jeopardy.
The NATO meeting is obviously seen as a political plus for the president in his home town in an election year. It should be seen as nothing of the sort, and the activists who attempt to tell the world about NATO’s crimes are doing their country and the world a great service.
Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com.Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.
- Hundreds arrested for swarming NATO HQ in Belgium (alethonews.wordpress.com)
As his official biographer Niall Ferguson writes in Newsweek of the infamous diplomat’s recent triumphant return to his alma mater:
Then something remarkable happened. Spontaneously, the audience gave Kissinger an ovation—a standing ovation in many cases. The remarkable thing is that most of those clapping were undergraduates.
Welcome to the new generation gap. In the question-and-answer session, the handful of nasty questions came from aging baby boomers. The attitude of the students was diametrically opposite. Many had stood in line for an hour to get in. At the end, they thronged the stage to take photographs with Kissinger and ask for his autograph.
A cynic might put this down to youthful innocence. “To them, Vietnam is just history,” I heard a faculty member mutter, “like the Civil War.” Yes and no. The 1970s are indeed history if you were born in 1992. But the generation that came of age after 9/11 has a fundamentally different attitude to war than the ponytailed protester.
The Obama presidency has shown that liberals, too, must sometimes use force to uphold the nation’s security: surging in Afghanistan, helping overthrow a bad regime in Libya, killing foes (among them a U.S. citizen) with drones and hit squads.
Who knows? Maybe one day a successor to Hitchens will denounce the “war crimes” of Obama. But if so, his readers will be in their 60s or older. A younger and wiser generation has welcomed Kissinger back to Harvard.
Lebanese army intelligence seized a large quantity of weapons hidden inside cars aboard an Italian ship on Monday night at the port of Tripoli, in the north of Lebanon, Lebanese security sources told Al-Manar TV.
The security sources revealed the involvement of Lebanese parties in the smuggling of weapons seized in the port of Tripoli.
As Safir daily said the ship docked in the port of Tripoli coming from the Egyptian port of Alexandria en route from Germany, adding that the army moved the car to al-Qubbeh base and launched a probe. “The two Rapid cars were imported by the agent A. M,” it said.
The daily reported that one of the cars contained 15 boxes of ammunition each containing 1,000 bullets used for different kinds of machineguns. It added that the ammunition was for 9 mm and 12.7 mm machine guns and Kalashnikovs bullets.
This comes just days after Lebanese Army Marines confiscated the Lutfallah II arms shipment off the Lebanese port of Batoun while it was carrying 300,000 pounds of weapons within three containers. Reports said the cargo ship, which was flying the flag of Sierra-Leone, had left Libya and was bound for Syria.
Lebanese judicial authorities were continuing their investigations with the detainees to uncover the direction of the ship, and the party behind the load of weapons that were on board. An official arrest warrant was issued against one of the suspects.
- The Lutfallah II Arms-Smuggling Scandal (alethonews.wordpress.com)
It would be an incautious stretch to suggest any sort of parity between Watergate and the unfolding Lutfallah II arms shipment-to-Syria drama, that each day brings more revelations. But some of what we are daily learning about the who, what and why of Lutfallah II reminds some of us of a Watergate, type atmosphere including “bit by bit, drip by drip” revelations, denials, setting up fall guys and remarkable examples of incompetence.
The still unfolding Lutfallah II weapons running misadventure, in which a claimed Syrian-owned vessel registered in Sierra Leone but apparently flying the Egyptian flag, was detained off the Lebanese port of Batoun, by the Lebanese Army Marines because it was sailing too high in the water, and appeared “suspicious,” and was then found to contain 300,000 pounds of weapons may erupt unpredictably with serious political consequences for the region.
“Deepthroat”, the FBI mole who met secretly with Woodward & Bernstein and leaked confidential US government information to the duo, as revenge against President Nixon for rejecting him as successor to the deceased FBI Director, J.Edgar Hoover, outed himself in 2005. “Deepthroat”, after a quarter century of hundreds of sleuths trying to divine, if he/she even existed, turned out to be none other than Deputy Director of the FBI, William Mark Felt, Sr. “Deepthroat” repeated advice to the Washington Post reporters was to “Follow the Money!”
They did. The rest is history.
If a ‘deep throat’ appears in Libya, Qatar of elsewhere, and offering advice to reporters who appear in Benghazi and Misrata in order to dig into what really happened, it might be that he will counsel: “Follow the weapons”.
Eyewitness Hassan Diab is a Libyan researcher who has been working with a group of American and International lawyers preparing a case against NATO to be filed with the International Criminal Court. Hassan and three of his friends actually saw the ship Lutfallah II being loaded in Benghazi, Libya. Hassan claims that it is well known at the docks that Qatar and Saudi Arabia control a total of five warehouses in the area of Benghazi & Misrata and supplied the weapons and money to hire the Lutfallah II container vessel.
Libyans in the area are reporting that the intercepted arms are from both Gadaffi stockpiles left over from NATO’s Libya campaign and some from the Qatar-Saudi six month weapons pipelines into Libya. When NATO declared a cessation of its bombing on Halloween night, October 31, 2011 the scramble for weapons began and Qatar stored and purchased whatever weapons came to its notice and from various militias who were willing to do business.
Libyans and foreign dock workers at Benghazi Port, who observed the Lutfallah II being loaded, saw three containers filled with 150 tons of weapons put on board, although the initial plan, according to the owner of the boat was to ship as many as 15 containers. It is estimated that they would have carried more than 2000 tons of weapons.
A Lebanese judicial source, who is a sitting judge based at Beirut’s La Maison des Avocates and advises the Lebanese government on procedural rules that ought to be followed in this case, confirmed to me and also to the Beirut Daily, As-Safir, that the Lutfallah II shipment was funded by two Syrian businessmen living in Saudi Arabia. In addition, the ship’s captain in Syria is the gentleman who claimed ownership of the shipment. All are affiliated with the Syrian opposition and all are seeking regime change in Syria.
According to a late breaking report, all have been arrested and remain in custody despite claims that they thought the cargo was general merchandise. Libya does not export anything much but its light crude oil and the Lutfallah II is clearly no oil tanker. Crew members of the container ship are facing trial on charges of illegal gun-running.
The owner reportedly told his interrogators, including Military Prosecutor Judge Saqr, that “It would be against Lebanese law and international maritime law for me to demand to examine the content of the containers.” Some international lawyers would argue that the law is exactly the opposite in both, and that international law establishes not just the owner’s right to inspect cargo being carried on his ships–for hazardous or contraband cargo etc– but that maritime law clearly mandates his responsibility to do so. Likewise, his insurance company.
The US-Saudi backed Future Movement was not involved in the arms shipment according to party official Mustafa Allouch. However, he later told Lebanon’s OTV that “The Syrian people have the right to find the appropriate means to defend themselves.” The Free Syrian Army has denied any links to the weapons-carrying vessel.
Hezbollah official Ammar Musawi praised the Lebanese army for its seizure of a Syria-bound illegal arms shipment and urged the authorities “to prevent Lebanon from turning into a conduit of destruction toward its neighbor”. “For the sake of Lebanon’s stability, I urge our authorities to exert greater effort to prevent Lebanon from turning into an arena through which the tools of crime cross into Syria, as the involvement of some Lebanese in fueling the situation in Syrian will have negative repercussions on Lebanon,” Hezbollah International Relations Director said.
On 5/2/12, Syria’s ambassador to Lebanon, Ali Abdel-Karim, following a meeting with Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour, accused Gulf countries, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia, of being behind the Syria-bound arms shipments.
“The ship was bound for the Syrian opposition; this is sure given that the political and security leaderships in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other countries are behind these acts, which undermine the security of Syria, Lebanon and the region.”
Many questions remain in need of answers. Any serious first year law student would ask the questions that presumably Lebanese investigating judges and the media will ask. A few of the more obvious ones would include:
Who funded the shipment discovered in the cargo bay of the Lutfallah II? Who had custody over the original 12 containers of what was planned, according to the jailed owner, as a shipment of over two million tons of “general merchandise”?
Who supplied the weapons and from which warehouse locations in Libya were they taken? Who controls the warehouses? Who made the decision to hold back 12 of the original contract and why? Where are the 12 containers? Who prepared the ships manifest? What was the involvement, if any, of the Syrian owner of the Lutfallah II? Why was the Lutfallah II not searched at the port of Alexandria as well as Turkey? It docked at both. Why was it given ‘green light passage’ by Israel and UNIFIL?
Eyewitnesses claim some activity on the Lutfallah II was evident while it was docked in Turkey? What was the activity? Which, if any, Lebanese politicians and political parties were involved. Who was to meet and take custody of the shipment once it arrived at the Tripoli, Lebanon dock?Which land routes into Syria were to be used following the offloading of the cargo at Tripoli Port?
It is not for this observer to offer advice to investigative journalists, whether free-lance or corporate, but as a fairly long-term US Congressional aid in the post-Watergate era who actually read the transcripts of US Senator Howard Baker’s Watergate Hearings, I would have thought that one or more might want to book a flight to Benghazi, Libya, toute de suite, with an inclination to: Follow the Money and follow the Weapons!
Franklin Lamb is doing research in Lebanon and is reachable c/o firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Police in Belgium have arrested some 483 peace activists from hundreds of protesters, who tried to break into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters in Brussels.
The Sunday demonstration organized by the Belgian Association Action for Peace was called to protest NATO intervention in Afghanistan and Libya, and nuclear arming.
The activists crossed fields and sought to climb over fences leading to the NATO compound but were stopped by the five to six hundred police officers who were deployed to counter the protesters.
“We neither want the anti-missile shield, nor intervention by NATO in Libya or Afghanistan, nor nuclear bombs that are illegal in our country,” a spokesman for Action for Peace, Benoit Calvi said.
Demonstrators most of them in their twenties, came from 10 European countries including Britain, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, and Sweden.
“A military alliance that intervenes all over the world and has nuclear weapons is a threat to world peace,” Action for Peace said.
The protest came ahead of next month’s NATO summit in Chicago.
Harare – Could Australia be planning some sort of military action in Africa, specifically Zimbabwe, Kenya and Nigeria?
Absurd as such a question would have sounded just a fortnight ago, the possibility now seems real.
Australian media this past week claimed Canberra had deployed special forces to the three African countries on “intelligence-gathering missions”.
The New Age newspaper said the soldiers were, among other things, assessing border controls, exploring landing sites for possible military interventions and possible escape routes for the evacuation of Australian nationals and military assessments of local politics and security.
Soldiers are not normally deployed as spies.
Further fueling speculation that Australia did indeed deploy– despite the official denials – are indications that a“Western” or “Arab” spy, believed to belong to elite-trained special forces, was arrested in Harare in the past month.
Intelligence gathered by the Australians is believed to flow into databases used by the US and its allies in Africa.
Officials from both Zimbabwe and Australia have not been keen to comment on this.
A few weeks ago, police arrested an Australian couple purporting to be tourists on charges of spying.
The duo was deported.
However, Australia’s Ambassador in Harare, Matthew Neuhaus, told The Southern Times, “I can confirm that there is no Australian SAS or defence operation in Africa.
“I can categorically say there (are) none in Zimbabwe.”
He said issues like evacuation of Australian citizens were dealt with on a “case-by-case” basis.
Neuhaus added that Australia operated within the confines of international law, and its naval assets were part of an operation to hunt down pirates along Africa’s East Coast.
SAS 4 Squadron
According to the New Age newspaper, Australia’s covert unit,the SAS 4 Squadron, which was established by the John Howard government in 2005, has been in Africa since at least last year. However, its existence has never been acknowledged.
The squadron has been operating in three African countries with which Australia is not officially at war.
Authorisation for deployment came from Defence Minister Stephen Smith in late 2010. Smith is believed to have also permitted the transformation of the military unit into one that also dabbles in intelligence gathering.
They are not uniformed and are not accompanied by personnel from the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, with whom undercover SAS forces are conventionally deployed. In essence, they have no legal right to be in Africa and if captured can be treated as spies.
Australian National University’s Professor Hugh White, a former Deputy Secretary of Defence, has been quoted saying, “Such an operation deprives the soldier of a whole lot of protections, including their legal status and, in a sense, their identity as a soldier.”
The New Age said Australia’s close links with the US might have influenced its decision to create the SAS 4 Squadron and dispatch troops to Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Kenya.
It is believed Australia is following the US model of training and deploying “soldier-spies”. These have both a military and intelligence-gathering background.
Acting like terrorists
Defence and security expert, Retired Colonel Panganai Kahuni, told this paper that if Australia had deployed in Zimbabwe that would be a violation of international law.
“In the first place, Zimbabwe is a peaceful country with no terrorism activities at all.
“Zimbabwe has no defence and security pact with Australia; hence if such operations are happening they are violating international law and immigration law.
“Those involved could easily be regarded as terrorists since they are operating covertly without the consent of Zimbabwe’s authorities.
“If arrested they could easily be charged under treason laws of Zimbabwe.
“They also can be charged for violating our immigration laws.
“However, these terroristic activities demand that our security institutions become more vigilant and alert.”
The chair of the Institute of Peace and Conflict Management (IPCM), Chakanyuka Karase, said such activities should be looked at within the wider and deeper context of increased Western military involvement in Africa’s affairs.
“The IPCM implores African governments and populations to be vigilant against these foreign machinations.
“The IPCM also implores the international community to discard interventionist doctrines camouflaged under the cloak of ‘protecting civilians’ to promote the interests of certain states by effecting regime change.
“The role of the special forces of Western countries in the destruction of Libya is gradually being exposed and revealed to the world.
“The international community in the interests of peace and security has a duty to guard against a repeat of what transpired in Libya,” he told The Southern Times.
Professor Ben Saul of the University of Sydney was quoted in the media adding, “If Australian forces are present in other countries, in circumstances where Australia is not fighting lawfully in an armed conflict, but they are just picked up as spies on the ground, that then exposes them to the full force and penalty of the local domestic law.
“In many countries espionage is an incredibly serious political offence, which can carry the death penalty.”
In recent years, several Western powers have not hidden their desire to intervene militarily in Africa to further their own ends.
The US is keen to establish a military base, the Africa Command (AFRICOM).
In 2011, the US sent special forces to “assist” Uganda rebel Lord’s Resistance Army rebels in Uganda and used AFRICOM to launch the war on Libya.
The Israelis have agreements with Kenya, the Western-backed Somali government and Tanzania on various “military co-operation” deals to curb Islamic militants in the Horn of Africa.
France has deployed militarily in Libya and Cote d’Ivoire in the past year alone, and is understood to be meddling in Madagascar’s political crisis.
An alliance between Australia’s SAS and the US would be natural in the geo-political order of things.
A British paper recently stated that Australia’s SAS played a key role in the potentially illegal detention of prisoners of war at a secret Iraqi prison.
The Guardian said documents showed an SAS squadron of 150 men was integral to the operation of a secret detention facility, known as H1.
A blog called American Interests expounds on the US-Australia military relationship.
It says, “For nearly 100 years, Australia has committed its armed services in every major conflict fought by the United States.
“Its foreign policymakers and its people have mostly accepted that the US is a force for good; a force that historically we have wanted to be associated with.
“Beginning in 1908 when Australian Prime Minister Alfred Deakin successfully invited Teddy Roosevelt to send his fleet to visit our shores through to the fighting in WWI.
“From when John Curtin turned our military operations over to US General Douglas MacArthur during WWII, through to Vietnam and presently, Afghanistan and Iraq – some 50,000 Australians, including ground troops and air force and navy personnel, served in Vietnam.”
The SAS, according to the blog, is the “cream” of Australia’s military and is moulded along the same lines of the British special forces of the same name. Canberra has always been secretive about its existence and activities.
On the 8th of August as plans for the siege of Sirte in Libya were underway, American senator John McCain was already signaling that Belarus would be America’s next target for regime change. McCain referred to the imprisonment of Ales Bialiatski, the so-called “human rights” activist arrested by the Belarusian authorities for fiscal fraud in 2011.
Bialiatski is the vice-president of the International Federation of Human Rights, (Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l’Homme) a sub-organisation of which provided the United Nation’s Human Rights Council with false information in February 2011 accusing the Libyan government of “massacres” in Benghazi.
This false information served as a pretext for a war of aggression that led to the killing of tens of thousands of people, reducing a prosperous socially-oriented economy to rubble and imposing a corrupt foreign-selected dictatorship against the wishes of the Libyan people.
The barbaric destruction of the Libyan Jamahirya should serve as a sufficient lesson to any intelligent person of what NATO countries mean by “human rights,” “democracy,” and the “rule of law.”
Amnesty International’s condemnation of Bialiatski’s prosecution, without showing any proof of a miscarriage of justice on the part of the Belarusian courts, shows that the so-called “human rights” organization is more concerned with providing moral legitimacy for the foreign policy objectives of Western governments than protecting human rights.
Bialiatski was arrested by the Polish and Lithuanian police for fiscal fraud on intelligence supplied to them by Interpol. He was not arrested for his political opposition to the Belarusian government. This is not the first time Amnesty International has falsely accused Belarus of human rights violations and it is unlikely to be the last.
Since Bialiatski’s imprisonment, the Polish government has moved to prevent further Interpol arrest warrants issued from “undemocratic” countries. This is rather farcical coming from a state where wearing a Che Guevara T-Shirt could land you in jail!
The human rights charade is now becoming so ridiculous it is likely to backfire in the long term. Regime change specialists such as Canvas, a US funded colour revolution training centre based in Belgrade, are now orchestrating stunts involving the use of naked women protesting outside the KGB headquarters in Minsk. Behaviour of this kind would get one arrested in any country.
However, the point of the exercise is, in fact, to get arrested, film it and thereby embarrass the KGB. But the KGB, being an intelligence agency, have pre-empted their plans and the silly nudists have only succeeded in catching a cold and providing light entertainment for pedestrians, all in the cause of the “revolution.”
That Amnesty International should hold openly take sides in favour of US-funded pseudo-dissidents should not surprise us. After all, the head of Amnesty International USA Suzanne Nossel is a former assistant to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the man they call Dr. Stranglove, former National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski is also a former board member of the same human rights organisation.
- “Human Rights” Warriors for Empire (alethonews.wordpress.com)