Investment bankers salivate over North Africa
Chaos and strife create the revolutionary atmosphere in which opportunity abounds
Investment banking is usually thought of as a field that values stability. Yet the greatest rewards are often attained through destabilization.
North African regimes and leaders have their obvious faults and flaws. Autocracies have an inherent weakness in their tendency to ossification. This basic reality is reflected not just in the obvious lack of democratic institutions, but also in the economic structures of the North African states. Regimes which have persisted for many decades tend to retain many of the economic characteristics of the era in which they were formed.
In the developing economies, during the decades prior to the neo-liberal reforms of the 1990’s, state owned industries were fostered in order to provide basic services such as telecommunications, transport and public utilities. Local manufacturing industries were protected from offshore competition as a means of furthering development goals and enhancing balance of trade accounts. These well established practices have come to be seen by today’s promoters of ‘free trade’ and privatization as an impediment to maximizing profits. Once established, these industries are in many cases difficult to dislodge.
Therefore, a clean break is required for restructuring primary domestic industries in order for international investors to reap a greater share of locally generated profits. This process is referred to as ‘creative destruction’. To facilitate the emplacement of the new order, the old order must first be swept aside. This requirement of upending the existing order explains why Western neoconservatives have been promoting the revolutionary uprisings in North Africa. Neoconservative think tanks and publications are closely associated with the banking interests. Evidence of their designs on North Africa is abundant.
A 2010 Bertelsmann evaluation titled Transformation Tunisia reported:
Tunisia’s decision makers have once again advanced transformation too sluggishly. Despite the formal abolition of trade barriers for industrial goods with the European Union as of 1 January 2008, in practice, Tunisia has seen too little progress in terms of trade liberalization [emphasis added].
[The] Tunisian banking sector and capital market are regularly cited as one major hindrance to the country’s economic modernization. Although they have been formally brought up to international standards, financial supervision and regulation remain subject to political influence. This is partly due to direct state control over financial flows and partly to the state’s direct involvement therein. Although it sold its stakes in two banks in 2002 and 2005, respectively, the state remains the controlling shareholder in at least four other banks because it controls 50% of their assets. Under these conditions, top-rank bank executives are de facto appointed by the president through a controlling body.
On January 7, 2011, Elliott Abrams wrote for the Council on Foreign Relations:
“Tunisia, whose literacy rate has long been the highest in Africa at nearly 80% and whose per capita GDP is about $8,000, should have the ability to sustain a democratic government—once the Ben Ali regime collapses [emphasis added].
“Tunisians are clearly sick of looking at all the giant photos and paintings of Ben Ali that appear on walls, posters, and billboards all over the country. […]
“If Tunisia can move toward democracy, Algerians and Egyptians and even Libyans will wonder why they cannot. This kind of thing may catch on [emphasis added]. In fact, in Algeria it may already be catching on.” (Elliott Abrams: Is Tunisia Next?)
On February 13, the New York Times described Robert Kagan as “a Brookings Institution scholar who long before the revolution helped assemble a nonpartisan group of policy experts to press for democratic change in Egypt.” [emphasis added]
Maidhc Ó Cathail has noted that:
Arianna Huffington … was prescient in a December 13, 2010 op-ed in Lebanon’s Daily Star titled “Social media will help fuel change in the Middle East.”
And also that:
Robert Kagan, who co-founded the Project for a New American Century with William Kristol in 1997, was joined on that “nonpartisan group” by PNAC founding member Elliott Abrams and PNAC deputy director Ellen Bork. Bork is currently “democracy and human rights” director at PNAC’s successor, Foreign Policy Initiative, where Kagan and Kristol are directors. Not surprisingly, Kristol wrote in the Weekly Standard on January 29 that he was “in complete agreement” with his fellow PNACers’ Working Group on Egypt in its demands that the U.S. suspend aid to Mubarak. […]
Appearing on ABC’s This Week, Kagan looked positively sanguine about the prospects for a post-Mubarak Egypt. Like George Soros, he seems confident that Israel has “much to gain from the spread of democracy in the Middle East.”
It should be recalled that many of these same individuals and institutions were principle actors in the promotion of the ‘color revolutions’ in many of the former Soviet Republics as well as in Iran’s failed ‘green revolution’ during the summer of 2010.
Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi points out that the direction that events take is not being left to local forces:
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was interviewed by Rachel Maddow several weeks ago and revealed that Washington has already begun meddling. Albright denounced Egyptian ex-president Mubarak … and then confirmed that the National Endowment for Democracy was already hard at work in Egypt, even though Mubarak had not yet stepped down, building up infrastructure and supporting party development. Recall for a moment that Albright believes that a heavy fist is an essential part of diplomacy and that US interests always trump whatever suffering local people have to endure. […]
Those who are aware of the insidious activities of the National Endowment for Democracy or NED, an ostensibly private foundation that spreads “democracy” and is largely funded by the government, will not be surprised to learn that it is already active in North Africa because it is almost everywhere. NED, which has a Democratic Party half in its National Democratic Institute, and a Republican Party half in its International Republican Institute, was the driving force behind the series of pastel revolutions that created turmoil in Eastern Europe after the fall of communism. Remember when the Russians and others complained about the activities of NGOs interfering in their politics? NED was what they were referring to.
Albright is in charge of the NED Dems while John McCain leads the NED GOP. […]
Neoconservative Ken Timmerman has identified the core NED activity overseas as “training political workers in modern communications and organizational techniques,” surely a polite way to describe interfering directly in other countries’ politics.
On February 27, John McCain and Joe Lieberman visited Cairo. As reported by Politico:
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who’s on a quick trip through the Middle East, said Sunday he found Cairo to be a “very exciting place.”
“We went to Tahrir Square today. Got a warm, enthusiastic welcome,” he said of his visit to Cairo with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
Of course, to suggest that the uprisings have been orchestrated solely by these interests would ignore genuine grassroots concerns. Nothing here is meant to suggest that conditions for unrest were not present or that sacrifices for social change have not been made by the peoples of North Africa. This article is only meant to inform as to the activities of the interventionists. The real accomplishments of the uprisings may yet predominate.
Within a month after demanding cessation of military aid to Mubarak, the very same neocon cabal was demanding military intervention in the less pliable Libya. Jim Lobe reports for IPS:
In a distinct echo of the tactics they pursued to encourage U.S. intervention in the Balkans and Iraq, a familiar clutch of neo-conservatives appealed Friday for the United States and NATO to “immediately” prepare military action to help bring down the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and end the violence that is believed to have killed well over a thousand people in the past week.
The appeal, which came in the form of a letter signed by 40 policy analysts, including more than a dozen former senior officials who served under President George W. Bush, was organised and released by the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), a two-year-old neo-conservative group that is widely seen as the successor to the more-famous – or infamous – Project for the New American Century (PNAC).
Warning that Libya stood “on the threshold of a moral and humanitarian catastrophe”, the letter, which was addressed to President Barack Obama, called for specific immediate steps involving military action, in addition to the imposition of a number of diplomatic and economic sanctions to bring “an end to the murderous Libyan regime”.
In particular, it called for Washington to press NATO to “develop operational plans to urgently deploy warplanes to prevent the regime from using fighter jets and helicopter gunships against civilians and carry out other missions as required; (and) move naval assets into Libyan waters” to “aid evacuation efforts and prepare for possible contingencies;” as well as “(e)stablish the capability to disable Libyan naval vessels used to attack civilians.”
Among the letter’s signers were former Bush deputy defence secretary Paul Wolfowitz; Bush’s top global democracy and Middle East adviser; Elliott Abrams; former Bush speechwriters Marc Thiessen and Peter Wehner; Vice President Dick Cheney’s former deputy national security adviser, John Hannah, as well as FPI’s four directors: Weekly Standard editor William Kristol; Brookings Institution fellow Robert Kagan; former Iraq Coalition Provisional Authority spokesman Dan Senor; and former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and Ambassador to Turkey, Eric Edelman.
It was Kagan and Kristol who co-founded and directed PNAC in its heyday from 1997 to the end of Bush’s term in 2005.
The letter comes amid growing pressure on Obama, including from liberal hawks, to take stronger action against Gaddafi.
Two prominent senators whose foreign policy views often reflect neo-conservative thinking, Republican John McCain and Independent Democrat Joseph Lieberman, called Friday in Tel Aviv for Washington to supply Libyan rebels with arms, among other steps, including establishing a no-fly zone over the country.
By March 6, Reuters was already reporting the hoped for results:
As entrenched monopolies and patronage give way in the Middle East and North Africa, governments in the region could open their markets further and divest some state assets.
Wealthy Gulf states such Kuwait and Qatar have little cause to sell, but post-revolutionary states such as Tunisia will likely lower protectionist barriers…
“… this crisis is going to reveal some opportunities as structures linked to old regimes will be unwound,” said Julian Mayo, investment director at Charlemagne Capital. […]
“When you have an economy moving from socialist dictatorship to full-fledged free market, the spider in the web of that transformation will be the banks,” [emphasis added] said Bjorn Englund, who runs an investment fund focused on Iraq.
Related video post:
Update March 13, 2011:
Update March 15, 2011:
Zalmay Khalilzad | Washngton Post | March 15, 2011
… The Middle East uprisings that hold the greatest promise are in anti-American dictatorships. The immediate challenge is to ensure the ouster of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi. […]
… Gaddafi’s overthrow and the consolidation of a liberal, pro-American regime would bolster prospects for reform in Iran and Syria by countering Iranian propaganda that the current revolts are Islamist in character and directed only at partners of the United States.
We can follow up with a variety of steps to foment democratic revolutions against Tehran and Damascus, beginning with clarion calls for change. These include: training and support for opposition forces in and outside the countries; pressure directed against regime officials who attack their own people, including targeted sanctions and referrals in international tribunals; surrogate broadcasting and other pro-democracy messaging; funds for striking workers; and covert efforts to induce defections by regime and security officials. …
Also by Atheo:
January 9, 2012
November 13, 2011
September 19, 2011
January 2, 2010
October 10, 2010
July 5, 2010
February 25, 2010
February 7, 2010
January 5, 2010
December 26, 2009
December 19, 2009
December 4, 2009
May 9, 2009
13 Comments »
or go to
From the Archives
Civilians captured during the fall of Lydda and Ramle around the time of July 12, 1948 and taken to labour camps. In the July heat they were thirsty and were given a drop of water carried by a child under soldiers’ guard. (Photo: Salman Abu Sitta, Palestine Land Society)
By Yazan al-Saadi | Al-Akhbar | September 29, 2014
Much of the grim and murky circumstances of the Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the late 1940s have gradually been exposed over time. One aspect – rarely researched or deeply discussed – is the internment of thousands of Palestinian civilians within at least 22 Zionist-run concentration and labor camps that existed from 1948 to 1955. Now more is known about the contours of this historical crime, due to the comprehensive research by renowned Palestinian historian Salman Abu Sitta and founding member of the Palestinian resource center BADIL Terry Rempel.
The facts are these.
The study – to be published in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Palestine Studies – relies on almost 500 pages of International Committee of the Red Cross’s (ICRC) reports written during the 1948 war, that were declassified and made available to the public in 1996, and accidentally discovered by one of the authors in 1999.
Furthermore, testimonies of 22 former Palestinian civilian detainees of these camps were collected by the authors, through interviews they conducted themselves in 2002, or documented by others during different moments of time.
With these sources of information, the authors, as they put it, pieced together a clearer story of how Israel captured and imprisoned “thousands of Palestinian civilians as forced laborers,” and exploited them “to support its war-time economy.” … continue
Aletho News Original Content
By Aletho News | January 9, 2012
This article will examine some of the connections between the US and UK National Security apparatus and the appearance of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory beginning after the accident at Three Mile Island. … continue
Also by Aletho News:
March 8, 2011
February 25, 2010
February 7, 2010
December 26, 2009
December 4, 2009
May 9, 2009
Visits Since December 2009
- 2,838,442 hits
Follow Aletho News on TwitterMy Tweets
traducteur on ‘Any Israeli Attempt to… Jerry Alatalo on Russian ambassador to UN Vital… Brian Harry, Austral… on Trump’s ISIS Plan: Another US… Brian Harry, Austral… on Saudi arms imports triple amid… Brian Harry, Austral… on Russian ambassador to UN Vital… Brian Harry, Austral… on ‘Western Media Exerting… churchillnazikilled2… on UK & Churchill Crimes Expo… rediscover911com on ‘Western Media Exerting… GUZE` SPITERI on War with Russia Ron on ‘Year of kicking Russia in the… Brian Harry, Austral… on ‘Any Israeli Attempt to… Brian Harry, Austral… on Israeli university to be estab… traducteur on Israeli university to be estab… roberthstiver on Trump and pal ‘Bibi’ funk out… roberthstiver on ‘Any Israeli Attempt to…
- Quebec elites out of touch with rest of province on Israel February 20, 2017
- No substantive change in US rhetoric on Iran: Shamkhani February 20, 2017
- Russian ambassador to UN Vitaly Churkin dies day before turning 65 February 20, 2017
- Challenging Klobuchar on Ukraine War February 20, 2017
- US Raises Issue of INF Violation: Anti-Russian Campaign in Full Swing February 20, 2017
- Saudi arms imports triple amid Yemen campaign, US & Europe top suppliers to Mid East – report February 20, 2017
- Trump’s ISIS Plan: Another US Invasion? February 20, 2017
- ‘Western Media Exerting Financial Pressure on RT’s Advertisers’ February 20, 2017
- Are NYT Climate Alarmists Glassy-Eyed Cultists? February 20, 2017
- ‘Year of kicking Russia in the ass’: US Senator Graham urges more Russia sanctions February 19, 2017
- Israeli university to be established on Palestinian land in Salfit February 19, 2017
- Foreign-Funded NGOs in Ecuador: Trojan Horse for Intervention? February 19, 2017
- Iran offers dialog with Arabs on ‘anxieties’, violence February 19, 2017
- US Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Unleash Nuclear Arms Race in Europe February 19, 2017
- Trump and pal ‘Bibi’ funk out on Iran deal February 19, 2017
- Ukraine, Crimea and the Push for War February 19, 2017
- The Did-You-Talk-to-Russians Witch Hunt February 19, 2017
- ‘Any Israeli Attempt to Undermine Lebanese Sovereignty will Meet an Appropriate Response’ February 19, 2017
- Political Pedophilia – An open source investigation February 20, 2017
- Saving Syria’s Children – The Worst Case Of Fake News? February 19, 2017
- How to institutionalise the world February 18, 2017
- The Empire Strikes Back February 17, 2017
- 2017 Open Shuhada Street Hebron Schedule February 20, 2017
- 12th anniversary of the popular resistance in Bil’in February 20, 2017
- Khalil children: a candlelit vigil for the 1994 massacre February 20, 2017
- President Trump: Diplomacy and Democracy in America February 16, 2017
Looking for something?
CategoriesAletho News Civil Liberties Corruption Deception Economics Environmentalism Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism Fake News False Flag Terrorism Full Spectrum Dominance Illegal Occupation Islamophobia Mainstream Media, Warmongering Militarism Nuclear Power Progressive Hypocrite Science and Pseudo-Science Solidarity and Activism Subjugation - Torture Supremacism, Social Darwinism Timeless or most popular Video War Crimes Wars for Israel
Tags9/11 Afghanistan Africa AIPAC al-Qaeda Argentina BBC Benjamin Netanyahu Brazil Canada Central Intelligence Agency China CIA Colombia Cuba Da’esh Donald Trump Egypt EU European Union FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation France Gaza Germany Hamas Hebron Hezbollah Hillary Clinton Honduras Human rights India International Atomic Energy Agency International Solidarity Movement Iran Iraq Iraq War ISIL ISIS Israel Israeli settlement Japan Jerusalem John Kerry Latin America Lebanon Libya Mexico Middle East Military National Security Agency NATO New York Times NSA Obama Pakistan Palestine Press TV Qatar Russia Sanctions against Iran Saudi Arabia Syria The Guardian Turkey UK Ukraine United Nations United States USA Venezuela Washington Post West Bank Yemen Zionism
Contact:atheonews (at) gmail.com
This site is provided as a research and reference tool. Although we make every reasonable effort to ensure that the information and data provided at this site are useful, accurate, and current, we cannot guarantee that the information and data provided here will be error-free. By using this site, you assume all responsibility for and risk arising from your use of and reliance upon the contents of this site.
This site and the information available through it do not, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Should you require legal advice, you should consult your own attorney.
Nothing within this site or linked to by this site constitutes investment advice or medical advice.
Materials accessible from or added to this site by third parties, such as comments posted, are strictly the responsibility of the third party who added such materials or made them accessible and we neither endorse nor undertake to control, monitor, edit or assume responsibility for any such third-party material.
The posting of stories, commentaries, reports, documents and links (embedded or otherwise) on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such posted material or parts therein.
The word "alleged" is deemed to occur before the word "fraud." Since the rule of law still applies. To peasants, at least.
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more info go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
This is information for anyone that wishes to challenge our “fair use” of copyrighted material.
If you are a legal copyright holder or a designated agent for such and you believe that content residing on or accessible through our website infringes a copyright and falls outside the boundaries of “Fair Use”, please send a notice of infringement by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will respond and take necessary action immediately.
If notice is given of an alleged copyright violation we will act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the material(s) in question.
All 3rd party material posted on this website is copyright the respective owners / authors. Aletho News makes no claim of copyright on such material.
Site infoAletho News
Blog at WordPress.com.