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Libya: 7 Years since February 17

By Yuriy Zinin – New Eastern Outlook – 17.02.2018

On February 17 it will be 7 years since the start of the events in Libya which led to the overthrow of its leader – Muammar Gaddafi. These years have been full of dramatic and often bloody events, which, according to a number of different indices (effective sovereignty, stability, commercial activity etc.), have left the country much worse off.

Since 2014 the country has been in chaotic situation- divided into two sectors, with opposing capitals in Tripoli and Tobruk, each of which have their own government, parliament, and security services. The balance of power between them is changing.

In the last year the area controlled by the National Army, led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar (i.e. the eastern, or Tobruk, sector) has expanded. That sector includes the ‘oil crescent’ (the oil wells and the main ports for oil exports). The Government of National Accord, headed by Fayez al-Sarraj, has an unsteady hold over the country.

For three years the United Nations and a number of neighboring Arab countries have tried, without success, to persuade the two opposing parties to comply with the peace agreement that they signed in Morocco (which called for the creation of unified national transitional state structures, elections to the new parliament etc.) The Shkirat Agreement expired at the end of 2017.

Many experts consider that the negotiators meeting to discuss issues arising from the treaty lack the authority to make any decisions, and the military groups who they represent are heterogenous, each split into a number of camps, divided along regional and tribal lines.

To save the negotiating process, the UN special representative for Libya, Hasan Salam has presented a three-stage plan for the next year. He proposed that the Shkirat Agreement be amended, the Tripoli-based government be restructured, a constitution be drawn up and elections be held in the new parliament.

The question is, how can fair, impartial and democratic elections be held, when there are two governments? And how important are elections to the average Libyan, living in a delicate security situation and suffering from disorder and social and economic problems?

The falling value of the Libyan dinar and annual inflation of 30% are causing a fall in his standard of living. Before the revolution a dinar could be exchanged for three dollars and at its highest level Libyans looked down on the ‘green dollar’ with contempt. Now one dollar can be exchanged in the market for 9 Libyan dinars.

This is genuinely resulting in an increase in prices, as the majority of goods, especially food, are imported. Libyans are faced with the curse of cash shortages, queues in banks, power cuts, deteriorating services etc.

All these problems are the result of the collapse of Libya’s economy and manufacturing sector. According to Mustafa Sanalla, the president of the National Oil Corporation, Libya has lost $180 billion since 2011 because of the actions of various militias in the regions where oil is extracted, refined and transported.

In 2017 Libya received $14 billion from oil sales, three times more than in the previous year. But in 2010, the year before the revolution, oil exports brought approximately $47 billion into the national budget. It is true that recently the amount of ‘black gold’ extracted has increased to 1 million barrels a day, but this is still below the pre-revolution level of 1.6 million barrels a day.

Out of the 150 countries listed in Forbes Magazine’s rating of the ‘Best Countries for Foreign Business’, Libya occupies the last but one position.

As a result of the above situation, people’s attitudes towards the ideals of the February revolution are changing. Today, in Libya’s political and media circles, a clear divide is being observed between so-called ‘Februarists’ and ‘Septemberists’.

The ‘Februarists’ are those who fully support the February 17 revolution, and are convinced that the ‘rebels against a despotic regime’ won a just victory.

Those who support the former Gaddafi regime are known as ‘Septemberists’, as it was the September Revolution that brought Gaddafi to power. The latter camp, shaking their heads in wonder, ask themselves whether it was worth shedding so much blood, losing lives and suffering a huge material loss, merely to end up in Libya’s current fragmented state.

Both of these schools of thought have their own liberal, Islamist, and secular factions. That is why many local political analysts are urging them to find common points of agreement, steer clear of extreme positions, and put the interests of their country above their own selfish political calculations and concerns.

For example, Fatima Hamroush a former minister in Libya’s first post-revolution government, called for the creation of an emergency cabinet made up of politicians with a wide range of affiliations, including former associates of Gaddafi (). That is despite the fact that Dr. Hamroush was at one time a fierce critic of the previous regime.

It appears possible that a political consensus, arrived at in accordance with the law, might be able to fill the current institutional vacuum. But Libyan society is still divided by the powerful shocks it suffered in a war involving NATO and other foreign powers, and during the period of sectarian conflict which followed.

Political circles are pulled apart by disagreement, and are kept hostage by mutual resentments, suspicions and hostilities that have built up over a number of years.

Yury Zinin, Leading Research Fellow at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).

February 17, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , | 1 Comment

The Battle of Khaled Al Hamedi, a Libyan Citizen, Against the Impunity of NATO

Internationalist 360° | January 27, 2108

In 2011, an Alliance bomber exterminated his family in Sorman, Libya.

Speaking at the Rimini meeting in the summer of 2017, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg repeated several times that NATO works for peace and stability, with a shamelessness equal to the impunity enjoyed by the organization and its members.

To which NATO country did the bomber that exterminated the family of Khaled Al Hamedi on June 20, 2011 in Sorman, Libya belong?

“Only the NATO Alliance knows the country in question, and will not reveal it,” replies the Belgian lawyer Jan Fermon who represents Al Hamedi. The lifeless bodies of Khaled Al Hamedi’s pregnant wife, his children and other relatives and friends were removed from the rubble. Seven months – from March to September 2011 – the operation called “Unified Protector,” lasted in Libya, initiated thanks to the strategic use of false news and in the name of a new and instrumental international theory, the “responsibility to protect.”

The joint actions of NATO from the sky and the “rebels”, its allies on the ground, certainly resulted in thousands of dead and wounded among civilians. Think of the siege against Sirte and Bani Walid, the destruction of Tawergha (a city of Libyans of African origin, killed or deported by the armies of Misrata), the sub-Saharan workers who vanished while others were found among the bodies of the dead caught in the vortex of racist violence.

In July 2011, Tripoli presented a list with over a thousand names of victims. The process of assessment and verification of civilian casualties was interrupted by the “rebels” taking power, who then sabotaged all body count efforts.

Material and moral damages suffered by almost all victims would not have recognition or compensation even if international justice actually worked, rather than exempt the powerful as it does. But at least for certain events, legal avenues can be utilized and Khaled Al Hamedi embarked on this path of legal struggle in 2012 – so far without success.

He also created the NATO Victims Association ( The latest development was on November 23, 2017 when the Court of Appeal of Brussels (NATO is based in Belgium) responded negatively to the appeal of lawyer Jan Fermon: “The immunity of NATO has been confirmed.

A lost opportunity for a great step forward in the application of international law on human rights and international humanitarian law. But we will go on.” To a Martian, the immunity of an organization that bombards and therefore has the power of life and death throughout the world might seem strange. But so its founders decided with the Ottawa Treaty of 1951.

Immunity is combined with silence, and Fermon can not therefore act against the unknown country responsible for the bombing operation on Sorman. Khaled Al Hamedi called for Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which provides for every citizen the right to access a court. A right, however, that may be subject to limitations, and the Court of Appeal reiterated it.

But would it not be able to raise the illegality of the NATO intervention in Libya, which went far beyond the dubious 1973 resolution of the Security Council that restricted the mandate to protect civilians?

“Yes,” the lawyer answers. “Launching such lawsuit on the political side makes things more difficult than if you stay on the ground of individual right. And then, even if the war were legal, the deliberate bombing of Sorman is still a war crime.”

So why not appeal to the International Criminal Court (ICC-CPI), however notoriously partial?

“The Security Council Resolution 1970, in effect, formally entrusted the ICC with all crimes committed in Libya; but it is very clear that it was aimed only at Gaddafi. And then, the prosecutor often does not even initiate the investigation. There are very strong pressures.”

Therefore Khaled will perhaps adhere to the European Court of Human Rights, or try again with Belgian justice. So far, all attempts made to try the winners of the wars of aggression (the “supreme international crime” according to the definition given at Nuremberg) when they are conducted by the NATO-Gulf Axis, have been useless.

At most, and not in many cases, there have been provisions for small compensation for the suffering of the “collateral damage” of war, the surviving victims – in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan.

This is why, according to Jan Fermon, “the fight against impunity is above all a struggle by the peoples. It is political, even if it has to be translated into juridical principles.”

Note: This article first appeared in Italian in Il Manifesto

Read the Complete Interview: The Association of Victims of NATO in Libya Fights Against Impunity of the Powerful

January 30, 2018 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

NATO’s Fraudulent War on Behalf of Women

By George Szamuely | CounterPunch | January 9, 2018

In a recent Guardian article titled “Why NATO Must Defend Women’s Rights,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Soltenberg and Hollywood movie star Angelina Jolie assert that “NATO has the responsibility and opportunity to be a leading protector of women’s rights.” NATO, moreover, “can become the global military leader in how to prevent and respond to sexual violence in conflict.” The two vowed to identify “ways in which NATO can strengthen its contribution to women’s protection and participation in all aspects of conflict-prevention and resolution.”

The pairing of a NATO bureaucrat and a famous movie actress may at first glance appear odd. However, this partnership has been long in the making. Some years ago, NATO, always on the lookout for a reason to justify its continued existence, not to mention its perpetual expansion, came up with a new raison d’être: It would be the global champion of women. “Achieving gender equality is our collective task. And NATO is doing its part,” said Mari Skåre, the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security, in 2013. In March 2016, on International Women’s Day, NATO held a so-called “Barbershop Conference” on gender equality. Stoltenberg took the opportunity to declare that gender equality was a frightfully important issue for NATO because “NATO is a values-based organization and none of the Alliance’s fundamental values—individual liberties, democracy, human rights and the rule of law—work without equality.” Diversity was a source of strength. “We learned in Afghanistan and in the Balkans that by integrating gender within our operations, we make a tangible difference to the lives of women and children,” Stoltenberg explained. He stressed that NATO is proud of its record in embedding gender perspectives within its work. Last November, Stoltenberg was at it again: “Empowering women is not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do: it makes countries safer and more stable. NATO is determined to make a difference.”

NATO has indeed made a difference but not through empowering women. When it isn’t bombing, killing, blowing up bridges and buildings, destroying wedding receptions, empowering jihadis, triggering refugee flows and ruining the lives of countless women, NATO holds unctuous press briefings, organizes self-congratulatory conferences and publishes articles such as the one by Stoltenberg/Jolie seeking to present a gargantuan 29-state military coalition as a do-gooder charity helping out the needy.

This is where Angelina Jolie comes in. Jolie is a goodwill ambassador of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and, in that capacity, wanders around the world berating the “international community” for not doing enough to address humanitarian crises. Her take on these crises is invariably the same as that of NATO. “It is important that we intervene in a timely fashion,” she once explained, “diplomatically if we can, with force if we must.” In October 2011, following seven months of relentless NATO bombing, Jolie rushed to Libya and excitedly hailed the Libyan “revolution”:

I’m… here on behalf of the Libyan people to show them solidarity. I think this revolution on behalf of human rights, which is what I feel these people really have been doing and what they have pushed for, and to help them to implement these new laws and help them with the future of their country.

Sometimes it’s breathless enthusiasm for “revolution,” sometimes it’s tearful pleading for plain, old-fashioned “humanitarian intervention”—Angelina Jolie is nothing if not consistent in her advocacy for Western use of force. When it comes to Syria, Jolie has declared that “some form of intervention is absolutely necessary.” She sneered at the U.N. Security Council permanent members that stood in the way of intervention. “I feel very strongly that the use of a veto when you have financial interests in the country should be questioned and the use of a veto against humanitarian intervention should be questioned,” she said in an interview. Jolie was of course simply echoing the blustery words of the Obama administration. Recall Susan Rice’s tirade following Russia’s and China’s veto of a February 2012 Security Council resolution calling for Bashar al Assad to step aside and for the Syrian army to return to its barracks. Rice, then U.S. permanent representative at the U.N., called the vetoes “disgusting and shameful.” The countries “that have blocked potentially the last effort to resolve this peacefully…will have any future blood spill on their hands.”

This kind of attack on the veto-wielding Security Council members has become a staple of the humanitarian intervention crowd. For example, former French President François Hollande told the U.N. General Assembly in September 2013 that when mass atrocities were taking place, U.N. Security Council permanent members must give up their veto powers:

The U.N. has a responsibility to take action. And whenever our organization proves to be powerless, it’s peace that pays the price. That’s why I am proposing that a code of good conduct be defined by the permanent members of the Security Council, and that in the event of a mass crime they can decide to collectively renounce their veto powers.

Taking action, of course, means taking military action. It never means, say, the lifting of sanctions so that food, oil, medical supplies could get through. To the contrary, if military action is ruled out, the humanitarians immediately resort to demanding the tightening of sanctions. Interventionists such as Hollande, Rice, et al., never explain why it is necessary for U.N. permanent members to give up their veto if the right course of action is so self-evident. The unstated assumption obviously is that any reluctance to sanction the use of force must be motivated by moral failings such as greed, selfishness, political ambition or lack of compassion.

The heartlessness of the so-called international community was the message of the 2011 film she wrote and directed about the 1992-95 war in Bosnia, In the Land of Blood and Honey. The film, she said, points a “finger at the international community, which should have intervened in the Bosnian war was much sooner.” She proudly boasted that among the experts she consulted in making the film were Richard Holbrooke and Wesley Clark, two figures who played prominent roles in the devastation of Bosnia and Kosovo. The film, predictably, features villainous Serbs persecuting innocent Muslims. Asked whether her film should have been a little more balanced, Jolie replied “The fact is that the war was not balanced. I could not make a film where it’s 50-50. It’s inaccurate to what happened.” This is standard NATO stuff, particularly the part about NATO’s military intervention as having finally brought peace to Bosnia.

Jolie is useful to NATO not only because she can be relied on to echo the military alliance’s self-justifying rationales for its favored solution to any problem, namely, the threat to use force. Jolie’s is the glamorous face of NATO’s revamped PR campaign. NATO would have us believe that it’s not only bringing enlightenment to backward societies but also to us, NATO member-state citizens, by informing us about something of which we had hitherto been apparently unaware: sexual violence occurs during wartime. The obvious remedy—doing everything possible to avoid war—is not one that either NATO or Jolie favors. NATO can’t very well be expected to advocate itself out of existence. In NATOspeak you threaten and defend military action even as you bemoan in lachrymose terms its predictable consequences, namely, war crimes, including sexual crimes.

In April 2014, Jolie traipsed around the Balkans with British Foreign Secretary William Hague, visiting the Srebrenica memorial center in Potocari, Bosnia. During the visit, Jolie stated, “The use of rape as a weapon of war is one of the most harrowing and savage of these crimes against civilians. This is rape so brutal, with such extreme violence, that it is even hard to talk about it.” Hague and Jolie jointly launched a campaign called Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative, the goal of which was “to address the culture of impunity, ensure more perpetrators are brought to justice and ensure better support for survivors. We’re campaigning to raise awareness, rally global action, promote international coherence and increase the political will and capacity of states to do more.”

Hague earnestly explained, “I started this campaign with Angelina Jolie because foreign policy has got to be about more than just dealing with urgent crises—it has to be about improving the condition of humanity.” Then Hague warmed to his theme: “Tens of thousands of women, girls and men were raped during the war in Bosnia. We are visiting to draw the world’s attention to their search for justice, and to call for global action to end the use of rape as a weapon of war once and for all.” In a BBC interview Hague claimed that sexual violence in conflict was “one of the great mass crimes of the 20th century and the 21st century…. If anything, this is getting worse—war zone rape as a weapon of war, used systematically and deliberately against civilian populations.”

Hague was of course British foreign secretary during NATO’s 2011 Libyan bombing campaign. It hardly needs to be said that NATO did nothing to help Libya’s women. To the contrary: Thousands of women lost their lives as a direct result of NATO and Hague’s humanitarian bombs. NATO destroyed government, law and public order, institutions that before its intervention had protected the women of Libya from sexual crimes. Most striking of all, NATO helped deliver perhaps millions of women into the hands of ISIS. Here is an account of the record of ISIS rule in Libya from Human Rights Watch (a reliably pro-interventionist outfit) in its 2017 country report on Libya: “In the first half of 2016, fighters loyal to ISIS controlled the central coastal town of Sirte and subjected residents to a rigid interpretation of Sharia law that included public floggings, amputation of limbs, and public lynchings, often leaving the victims’ corpses on display.”

Not to worry: In June 2014, Hague and Jolie co-hosted in London a grand three-day Global Summit to End Sexual Violence. Participants included Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. According to one report, the summit cost £5.2 million to host. The food bill alone was more than £299,000, while total expenditure on taxis, hotels and transport reached £576,000. Jolie declared:

We need to shatter that culture of impunity and make justice the norm, not the exception, for these crimes. We need political will, replicated across the world, and we need to treat this subject as a priority. We need to see real commitment and go after the worst perpetrators, to fund proper protection for vulnerable people, and to step in to help the worst-affected countries. We need all armies, peacekeeping troops and police forces to have prevention of sexual violence in conflict as part of their training.

Punishing the perpetrators of sexual violence sounds laudable enough. The trouble is that NATO’s record of making incendiary charges and then failing to back them up with serious evidence is not one that inspires confidence. During the Bosnian war, for example, the media reported obsessively on the use of rape as an instrument of war. In 1992, Dame Ann Warburton’s European parliamentary delegation estimated that 20,000 rapes had already taken place in Bosnia. In January 1993, Newsweek carried a lengthy cover-story charging Serbs with the rape of as many as 50,000 women, mostly Muslim, as part of “deliberate programs to impregnate Muslim women with unwanted Serb babies.”

Systematic research on the subject however resulted in findings that were insufficiently dramatic to make it into the papers. On Jan. 29, 1994, the U.N. secretary-general issued a report on rapes in the former Yugoslavia, including Bosnia and Croatia, based on a study by the U.N. Commission of Experts. The report found “126 victims, 113 incidents, 252 alleged perpetrators, 73 witnesses.” The report also stated “some of the rape cases” were “clearly the result of individual or small-group conduct without evidence of command responsibility. Others may be part of an overall pattern. Because of a variety of factors, such a pattern may lead to a conclusion that a systematic rape policy existed, but this remains to be proved.”

Allegations of mass rape were a key component of NATO’s propaganda campaign during the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia. British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook regaled the public with lurid tales of Serbs forcing women “to endure ‘systematic rape’ at an army camp at Djakovica.” Clare Short, Britain’s international development secretary, added that the rapes were “deliberately performed in front of children, fathers and brothers.” The British Foreign Office followed up with claims of having discovered three more rape camps: “Refugees reported orchestrated rapes at Globocica, Urosevac and an unidentified point on the Kosovo-Albania border.” Subsequently, when it was too late to matter, the media sheepishly admitted that the rape-camp stories, like most of NATO’s allegations, were a fabrication. The Washington Post reported that “Western accusations that there were Serb-run rape camps in the cities of Djakovica and Pec, and poorly sourced allegations in some publications that the Serbs were engaging in the mutilation of the living and the dead—including castration and decapitation—all proved to be false.” Even Human Rights Watch’s Fred Abrahams, who had worked as an investigator for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, admitted in testimony that he had found no evidence to support the incendiary rape-camp allegations.

Still, NATO remained undeterred. During NATO’s next campaign, the one directed against Libya, rape stories made their appearance within days of the launch of the first bombs. Susan Rice, the U.S. Permanent Representative at the U.N., informed the Security Council that Libya’s leader, Muammar Qaddafi, was supplying his troops with Viagra in order to help them commit mass rape. Though Rice offered no evidence to support her claims, her charge was sufficient for the International Criminal Court prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, to announce that he had “information to confirm that it was a policy in Libya to rape those who were against the Government. Rape is a new aspect of the repression.” Moreno-Ocampo even accepted as confirmed Rice’s Viagra story: “We are finding some elements confirming this issue of acquisition of Viagra-type of medicaments to show a policy. They were buying containers with products to enhance the possibility to rape, and we are getting the information in detail confirming the policy.”

In the end, predictably enough, NATO’s rape allegations turned out to have been made up out of whole cloth. Donatella Rovera, a senior crisis response adviser for Amnesty International, reported that the organization had “not found any evidence or a single victim of rape or a doctor who knew about somebody being raped.” Rovera also dismissed the Viagra story. She said that “rebels dealing with the foreign media in Benghazi started showing journalists packets of Viagra, claiming they came from burned-out tanks, though it is unclear why the packets were not charred.”

Though one allegation after another has proved to be false, NATO will continue to make them, seizing on whatever is the hot-button issue of the moment. NATO does nothing for women and does nothing to stop sexual crimes, whether in NATO member-states or anywhere else in the world. What NATO does do well, thanks to its multimillion dollar sophisticated PR machinery, is seizing on highly emotional issues such as rape and turning them into justifications for bigger budgets, more weaponry, more expansion, more deployments in more countries and, in the end, military action.

George Szamuely, PhD, author of Bombs for Peace: NATO’s Humanitarian War on Yugoslavia, is Senior Research Fellow at the Global Policy Institute of London Metropolitan University.

January 10, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

Yemen, Afghanistan in focus as landmine casualties spike

Press TV – December 14, 2017

Landmines killed 8,605 people in several countries in 2016, despite an international ban on the deadly device, a monitoring group says.

According to the annual report released Thursday by Landmine Monitor, about three-quarters of the known casualties were civilians, including more than 1,000 children who were injured and nearly 500 who were killed.

The number of the casualties — which were mostly recorded in Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine and Yemen — showed a 30% surge compared to 2015.

“A few intense conflicts, where utter disregard for civilian safety persists, have resulted in very high numbers of mine casualties for the second year in a row,” Loren Persi, an editor of the Landmine Monitor said.

Persi described the spike as “alarming”, adding that the true number of the victims would be significantly higher if the data gathering were complete.

The surge comes after a 18-year decline in landmine casualties since the Mine Ban Treaty first came into force in 1999.

The treaty bans the use of landmines and other explosive devices placed on or under the ground, designed to blow up when somebody unintentionally steps on them.

These weapons can be continuously deadly weapons for many years, long after the war has ended. About 80% of landmine victims are civilians.

The Mine Ban Treaty, which has been signed by 163 countries, also bans production, stockpiling and transfer of the deadly landmines.

December 14, 2017 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment

Putin goes to Cairo as Trump ties himself in knots

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | December 9, 2017

The United States’ self-goal on Jerusalem opens for Russia a window of opportunity to strengthen its standing as the most creative and positive player in the Middle East politics. Within four days of President Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem, President Vladimir Putin is undertaking unscheduled ‘working visits’ to Egypt and Turkey.

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry issued a lengthy statement criticizing the US decision on Jerusalem and affirming that

  • We believe a fair and lasting solution to the protracted Palestinian-Israeli conflict should be based on international law, including UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions that provide for settling all aspects of the final status of the Palestinian territories, including the highly delicate issue of Jerusalem, through direct Palestinian-Israeli talks. The United States’ new position on Jerusalem can further complicate Palestinian-Israeli relations and the situation in the region… Russia sees East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state and West Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.

Russia has positioned itself appropriately on the Arab Street. But the Jerusalem issue is not what is taking Putin to Cairo. The Kremlin readout flagged the need of “providing stability and security in the Middle East and North Africa.” Which means Libya, Sinai and Syria and to an extent Yemen – in that order, perhaps.

The point is, the ‘Libyan file’ has re-opened. The Islamic State is relocating in Libya after its crushing defeat in Iraq and Syria. Russia and Egypt sense the imperative need to mobilize quickly and confront the extremist groups in Libya. Both are supportive of the Libyan National Army commander Khalifa Haftar who’s ensconced in Benghazi, whom they (rightly) see as a bulwark against violent extremism in Libya. The power vacuum in Libya and the growing insecurity in western Egypt threaten the stability of Egypt and President Sisi’s prestige is at stake. On the other hand, Egyptian involvement in Libya affects the balance of power in the Middle East. Interestingly, the Gulf monarchies are also involved in the Libyan crisis.

Enter Trump. The Libyan PM Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj visited the White House on December 1 and Trump discussed with him “opportunities for future partnerships” while emphasizing “America’s continued commitment to defeating ISIS and other jihadist terrorists in Libya” and “to work together to advance Libyan stability and unity.” On a parallel track, French President Emmanuel Macron had also hosted Sarraj in Paris. (Sarraj has an established reputation as the ‘Ashraf Ghani’ of the Maghreb – a politician imposed by western powers. Keeping Russia out of Libya is a key template of the western strategy (as is the case in Afghanistan.)

But Russia and Egypt have specific interests, too. Libya used to be a Soviet ally and it has a strategic Mediterranean location facing the NATO’s southern tier. As for Egypt, the instability in Libya spills over to Sinai Peninsula, which is already happening. Sisi’s ambition could be to create a sort of Egyptian protectorate in Cyrenaica against extremist groups. No doubt, with 1,200 kilometers of shared border with Libya, Egypt’s security concerns are legitimate.

Egypt is also a net importer of energy. Haftar controls the so-called oil crescent in Libya and the Russian oil giant Rosneft is back in Libya. Clearly, the energy platform provides a potentially lucrative 3-way cooperation between Russia, Haftar and Egypt – although secondary to the military and security dimension.

Prima facie, Moscow is deferring to the UN in key matters and is also engaging Sarraj’s government in Tripoli. Which suggests that Moscow may be positioning itself as a broker between Libya’s rival partners – Sarraj and Haftar, principally – and eventually to manoeuver itself to make up for the financial losses it suffered in 2011 following the regime change which is estimated to be in excess of $10 billion in railway contracts, construction projects, energy deals and arms sales.

But the West will be wary that Putin doesn’t do a Syria on them and checkmate them in Libya too. The Libyan situation has its specific features but big-power rivalry is accelerating. Washington may appear to be better placed in Libya, since the US’ NATO allies are stakeholders. But all bets are off when Putin enters the centre stage. For an effective Russian role in the military and security sphere to stabilize Libya, Moscow needs a regional partner. Putin enjoys excellent rapport with Sisi. Washington will be closely monitoring their talks in Cairo on Monday.

December 9, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Slave markets in ‘liberated’ Libya and the silence of the humanitarian hawks

By Neil Clark  | RT | December 1, 2017

The reports that black Africans are being sold at slave markets in ‘liberated’ Libya for as little as $400 is a terrible indictment of the so-called ‘humanitarian intervention’ carried out by NATO to topple the government of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

In March 2011 virtue-signaling Western ‘liberal’ hipsters teamed up with hardcore neocon warmongers to demand action to ‘save’ the Libyan people from the ‘despotic’ leader who had ruled the country since the late 1960s. “Something has to be done!” they cried in unison.

Something was done. Libya was transformed by NATO from the country with the highest Human Development Index in the whole of Africa in 2009 into a lawless hell-hole, with rival governments, warlords and terror groups fighting for control of the country.

Under Gaddafi, Libyans enjoyed free health care and education. Literacy rates went up from around 25 percent to almost 90 percent. A UN Human Rights Council report on Libya from January 2011, in which member states praised welfare provision, can be read here.

It was clear that while there were still areas of concern the country was continuing to make progress on a number of fronts.

In the Daily Telegraph – hardly a paper which could be accused of being an ideological supporter of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya – Libya was hailed as one of the top six exotic cruise ship destinations in June 2010.

Cruise ships don’t have Libya on their itineraries today. It’s far too dangerous.

The only surprising thing about the return of slave markets (and it’s worth pointing out that before the CNN report, the UN agency, IOM also reported on their existence in Libya earlier this year) is that anyone should be surprised by it. Human rights and social progress usually go back hundreds of years whenever a NATO ‘humanitarian’ intervention takes place. And that’s not accidental. The ‘interventions,’ which purposely involve heavy bombing of the country’s infrastructure and the subsequent dismantling of the state apparatus are designed to reverse decades of social progress. The ‘failure to plan’ is actually the most important part of the plan, as my fellow OpEdger Dan Glazebrook details in his book Divide and Destroy – The West’s Imperial Strategy in an Age of Crisis.

Libya was targeted, like Yugoslavia and Iraq before it, not because of genuine concerns that ‘another Srebrenica’ was about to take place, (note the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee report of September 2016 held that ‘the proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence’) but because it was a resource-rich country with an independently-minded government which operated a predominantly state-owned socialistic economy in a strategically important part of the world.

Neither Libya, Iraq or Yugoslavia did the bidding of the West’s endless war lobby, which is why they were earmarked for destruction. The chaos which routinely follows a NATO regime change op is a ghastly experience for the locals, who see their living standards plummet and their risk of violent death in a terrorist attack greatly increase, but great for rapacious Western corporations who then move in to the ‘liberated’ country en masse, taking advantage of the lack of a strong central authority.

Of course, this is never mentioned in NATO-friendly media. The role of the Western elites in turning previously functioning welfare states into failed states is missing from most mainstream reports on the countries post ‘liberation.’

In his recent piece for FAIR, journalist Ben Norton noted how reports “overwhelmingly spoke of slavery in Libya as an apolitical and timeless human rights issue, not as a political problem rooted in very recent history.”

The dominant narrative is that slave markets have re-emerged in Libya ‘as if by magic,’just like Mr. Benn’s shopkeeper. The country’s ’instability’ is mentioned, but not the cause of that instability, namely the violent overthrow of the country’s government in 2011 and the Western backing of extremist, and in some cases blatantly racist, death squads. Everyone is blamed for the mess except the powerful, protected people and lobbyists who are ultimately responsible.

The French government played a leading role in the destruction of Libya in 2011, yet today the French president, the ‘progressive’ Emmanuel Macron blames ‘Africans’ for the country’s slavery problem. “Who are the traffickers? Ask yourselves – being the African youth – that question. You are unbelievable. Who are the traffickers? They are Africans, my friends. They are Africans.”

Macron, like other Western leaders, wants us to see the slavery issue in close-up, and not in long-shot. Because if we do, NATO comes into the picture.

There is similar whitewashing over Iraq and the rise of ISIS. Again, we are supposed to regard the group’s emergence as “just one of those things.” But ISIS was not a force when the secular Baathist Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq; it only grew following his ousting and the chaos which followed the occupiers’ dismantling of the entire state apparatus.

Six-and-a-half years on, it’s revealing to look back at the things the cheerleaders for the ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Libya were saying in early 2011 and what actually happened as a result of NATO’s 26,500 sorties.

“The price of inaction is too high” was the title of one piece by David Aaronovitch in The Times, dated March 18, 2011. “If we don’t bomb Gadaffi’s tanks, Europe is likely to face a wave of refugees and a new generation of jihadis,” was the synopsis.

Guess what? The West’s military alliance did bomb Gaddafi’s tanks (and a lot more besides) and we got “a wave of refugees” of Biblical proportions and “a new generation of jihadis,” including the Manchester Arena bomber, Salman Abedi.

But there’s been no mea culpa from Aaronovitch, nor from his Times colleague Oliver Kamm – who attacked me after I had penned an article in the Daily Express calling for NATO to halt its action.

In the Telegraph, Matthew d’Ancona wrote a piece entitled ‘Libya is Cameron’s chance to exorcise the ghost of Iraq.’

In fact, the experience of Iraq should have led all genuine humanitarians to oppose the NATO assault. In many ways, as John Wight argues here,

Libya was an even worse crime than the invasion of Iraq because it came afterward. There was really no excuse for anyone seeing how the ‘regime change’ operation of 2003 had turned out, supporting a similar venture in North Africa.

Unsurprisingly the politicians and pundits who couldn’t stop talking about Libya in 2011 and the West’s ‘responsibility to protect’ civilians seem less keen to talk about the country today.

Libya and its problems have vanished from the comment pages. It’s the same after every Western ‘intervention’: saturation coverage before and during the ‘liberation,’ bellicose calls from the totally unaccountable neocon/liberal punditocracy for military action to ‘save the people’ from the latest ‘New Hitler,’ and then silence afterwards as the country hurtles back in time to the Dark Ages.

The ‘liberators’ of Libya have moved on to other more important things in 2017, with Russophobia the current obsession. Anything, in fact, to distract us from the disastrous consequences of their actions.

Follow Neil Clark on Twitter @NeilClark66

Read more:

Macron urges military action in Libya to fight human trafficking

December 1, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 2 Comments

Mainstream Media’s double-betrayal of Libya

By Adam Garrie Adam Garrie | The Duran | November 26, 2017

The Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya whose most prominent leader was Muammar Gaddafi, even after he relinquished titular status, was a country that moulded itself on the unique Third International Theory. This new ideology combined elements of traditional Arab Nationalism, the socialist model of Yugoslavia, direct democracy and pan-Africanism.

As detailed on his Green Books, Gaddafi’s official ideas helped develop Libya from a state which in its pre-revolutionary days had virtually no modern infrastructure, little modern housing, no real modern irrigation or sewage systems, low levels of literacy and a very low life expectancy, to one which attained the highest living standards in Africa history, where housing was either cheap or free, education and healthcare were free, petrol and car ownership was subsidised by the state, food was cheap and plentiful and where a highly elaborate man made river made the desert bloom.

But above all of these achievements, Gaddafi’s revolutionary leadership helped close the gap between Arabism and the pan-African liberation movement.

Gaddafi’s foreign policy could not be easily pinned-down into any specific geo-political bloc. He was his own man and the foreign policy of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya reflected this.

Libya was the only Arab state to support Iran during the Iran-Iraq war, apart from Syria and likewise, one of the few states in the wider Muslim world to support the socialist Yugoslav government in its war against terrorism and fascism during the 1990s.

As Gadafi became increasingly ostracised by Arab League governments who loathed his independent streak in foreign policy and moreover, resented Libya’s general independence from the western financial system, Gaddafi turned increasingly little to the prodigal Arab world and more towards Africa.

Gaddafi supported every major African liberation movement on the continent, even those who were rejected by both China and the Soviet Union. South Africa’s Nelson Mandela maintained a lifelong friendship with Gaddafi whom he called ‘Brother Gaddafi’, as did many Africans.

But Gaddafi did more than support liberation movements in Africa. Because the economic boom Gaddafi created required a larger labour force than Libyans could provide, Gaddafi invited many black Africans to work in the Arab state. They were paid incredibly well, not just by African but international standards and they became integrated into Libyan society in spite of their racial backgrounds. While most of the black Africans who came to Libya were Muslims, some Christians also come and they were treated with the same courtesy as Muslims.

This was Libya then. Today, Libya is a failed state with several governments and many terrorist groups and piratical gangs competing for land, resources and influence. Among the first casualties of Libyan society when NATO invaded, was the safety of the black population. From the beginning of the NATO led war, black men and women in Libya were beaten, tortured, physically molested in other unspeakable ways and of course many more were killed. Those who could escape, did so, with many dying of dehydration in the desert, during the process.

Shortly after 2011, captured blacks became literally enslaved by various Takfiri gangs ruling Libya. This trend is nothing new, all that has changed is that the price of a black slave has recently gone up from the low hundreds or a few barrels of oil, to at most, the mid hundreds.

It has only been since the defeat of ISIS in Syria and Iraq that the western mainstream media has paid any attention to the tragic condition of black men and women in Libya. From 2011 until very recently, very little was ever said about this tragic development.

While some welcome this apparent about face from the mainstream media, I would urge caution. It was the mainstream media that lied constantly about Libya in the prelude to NATO’s deadly invasion in 2011.

It was the mainstream media that failed to state that those in 2011 causing agitations in Benghazi were al-Qaeda terrorists, many of whom were trained and transported to Libya by western governments. It was the mainstream media that made up a total lie about Libya, saying that the armed forces gave the drug Viagra to soldiers and told them to go on a raping spree. This outlandish allegation had zero basis in fact.

It was the mainstream media that failed to tell its gullible viewers that Libya was transformed by Gaddafi from a wasteland into a sophisticated society with high living standards and a population with extremely long life expediencies. More to the point, it was the mainstream media which dismissed early reports that black people in Libya, would be among the first victims of the war.

With the western powers on the losing side of the wars in Syria and to a degree, in Iraq also, many of the terrorists who have not been killed will flee to Libya. Many already have reached Libya which is effectively the next stop on the ‘jihad express’.

Because of this, western media outlets are looking for an angle to justify further military intervention in Libya. Moreover, with the secular Libyan House of Representatives making gains against terrorists thanks to the leadership of Khalifa Haftar and the Libyan National Army, many are worried that the western backed puppet government in Tripoli called the Government of National Accord, may lose what very little power it has. Haftar by contrast is openly supported by Egypt and has had many high-level meetings with Russian officials, including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

If Haftar is able to gain further success in his war against terrorism, it would be another sign that the west has lost control of a country they once successfully destroyed.

If the western mainstream media did not care about the black population of Libya when they cheered on the terrorists who killed and enslaved them, why should they care now? The logical answer is that they do not care any more now than they did when they had a chance to explain why a war on Libya would unleash a plague of racist violence on a stable country. The mainstream media are now, simply looking for a new narrative to justify further war on a country whose only stable, secular factions are those operating independently of the west.

November 27, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

The Rule of Power Over the Rule of Law

By Ralph Nader | November 15, 2017

Me Too is producing some results. At long last. Victims of sexual assault by men in superior positions of power are speaking out. Big time figures in the entertainment, media, sports and political realms are losing their positions – resigning or being told to leave. A producer at 60 Minutes thinks Wall Street may be next.

Sexual assaults need stronger sanctions. Only a few of the reported assaulters are being civilly sued under the law of torts. Even fewer are subjects of criminal investigation so far.

Perhaps the daily overdue accounting, regarding past and present reports of sexual assaults will encourage those abused in other contexts to also blow the whistle on other abuses. Too often, there are not penalties, but instead rewards, for high government and corporate officials whose derelict and often illegal decisions directly produce millions of deaths and injuries.

A few weeks ago, former secretaries of state Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice shared a stage at the George W. Bush Institute, reflecting on their careers to widespread admiration. What they neglected to mention were the devastated families, villages, cities and communities and nations plunged into violent chaos from the decisions they deliberately made in their careers.

In a 1996 interview, Madeleine Albright, then secretary of state under Bill Clinton, was asked by Lesley Stahl of CBS 60 Minutes about the tens of thousands of children in Iraq whose deaths were a direct result of Clinton-era sanctions designed to punish Baghdad and whether it was worth it (At that time, Ms. Stahl had just visited these wasting children and infants in a Baghdad hospital). Secretary Albright replied in the affirmative.

Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state under George W. Bush, pushed for the criminal and unconstitutional invasion of Iraq, which resulted in over one million Iraqi deaths, millions of refugees, a broken country and sectarian violence that continues to this day. She has said she often thinks about this mayhem and feels some responsibility. Yet one wonders, as she collects huge speech fees and book advances from her position at Stanford University, whether she might consider donating some of her considerable resources to charities that support those Iraqis whose lives were destroyed by the illegal interventions she advocated.

Then there is lawless Hillary Clinton, who, against the strong advice of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and without any Congressional authorization, persuaded Barack Obama to support a destabilizing regime overthrow in Libya– which has since devolved into a failed state spreading death, destruction and terror in Libya to its neighboring countries. Clinton, who is at large touting her new book and making millions of dollars in book royalties and speech fees to applauding partisan audiences, should also consider making donations to those who have been harmed by her actions.

Relaxing in affluent retirement are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, the butchers of millions of innocent Iraqis and Afghans. They too are raking it in and receiving ovations from their partisans. No prosecutors are going after them for illegal wars of aggression that were never constitutionally declared and violated our federal laws, international treaties and the Geneva Conventions.

As these ex-officials bask in adulation, the American people are not being shown the burned corpses, charred villages, and poisoned water and soil created by their “public service.” Nor are they exposed to the immense suffering and broken hearts of survivors mourning their deceased family members. Americans never hear the dreaded 24/7 whine of the omnipresent drones flying over their homes, ready to strike at the push of a button by remote operators in Virginia or Nevada. Nor do they hear the screams and sobbing of the victims of unbridled military action, fueling ever-greater hatred against the US.

Corporate executives also get rewarded for the mayhem they unleash by selling dangerously defective cars (e.g. GM, Toyota and VW recently) or releasing deadly toxins into the air and water or presiding over preventable problems in hospitals that a Johns Hopkins School of Medicine study reported is talking 5000 lives a week in this country.

What’s the difference? Because the cause and effect by officials pushing lethal politics, openly carried out with massive armed forces, do so at a distance in time and space (the Nuremberg principles after World War II, which included adherence by the US, addressed this problem). They lather their massive violent, unlawful actions with lies, cover-ups and deceptions, as was the case in 2002-2003 in Iraq. They wrap the flag around their dishonorable desecrations of what that flag stands for and the lives of US soldiers whom they sent there to kill or die.

These officials overpower the rule of law with the rule of raw power – political, economic and military.

For centuries patriarchal mayhem has exploited women in the workplace or the home. Raw power – physical, economic and cultural, regularly, overpower the legal safeguards against wrongful injury, rape and torture, both in the household and at work.

Sporadic assertions of a punishing public opinion will not be enough in either sphere of humans abusing humans. That is why the rule of law must be enforced by the state, and through private civil actions.

November 17, 2017 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

UAE buys new weapons worth $684 million from US firm

Press TV – November 14, 2017

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has signed a new deal with an American arms manufacturer under which the firm would supply the small Persian Gulf country with laser-guided bombs, authorities say.

The deal, announced Tuesday at the Dubai Airshow and worth 2.5 billion dirhams ($684.4 million), would see the American missile maker Raytheon Co. sell GBU-10 and GBU-12 Paveway laser-guided bomb kits to Abu Dhabi, among other weapons.

UAE authorities also signed arms deals with Germany’s Rheinmetall to buy artillery from the company. The contract will also enable Rheinmetall to support Etihad Airways with transportation equipment.

The purchase of weapons comes amid the UAE’s involvement in a deadly campaign, led by Saudi Arabia, against Yemen. More than 10,000 people have been killed and over two million have been displaced since March 2015, when the regime in Riyadh began the campaign.

Abu Dhabi has also announced plans for buying 75 Mirage 2000-9 aircraft from the French multinational company Dassault and Thales to upgrade its air force fleet. That comes despite increasing calls for a halt to the UAE’s contribution to the devastating Saudi-led airstrikes on civilian areas in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are two major recipients in the Persian Gulf of weapons from the United States and other Western countries. Other countries in the region have accused the two of sparking an arms race by their excessive purchase of modern weaponry from the West.

Reports over the past few years have indicated that much of the UAE’s modern weaponry have found their way into the hands of militants in Libya, where Abu Dhabi supports an administration opposed to Tripoli’s internationally-recognized government.

November 14, 2017 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Arab states spent $130bn to destroy Syria, Libya, Yemen: Algerian PM

Press TV – November 12, 2017

Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia says some regional Arab states have spent $130 billion to obliterate Syria, Libya and Yemen.

Ouyahia made the remarks on Saturday at a time when much of the Middle East and North Africa is in turmoil, grappling with different crises, ranging from terrorism and insecurity to political uncertainty and foreign interference.

Algeria maintains that regional states should settle their differences through dialog and that foreign meddling is to their detriment.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-sponsored militancy since 2011. Takfirism, which is a trademark of many terrorist groups operating in Syria, is largely influenced by Wahhabism, the radical ideology dominating Saudi Arabia.

Libya has further been struggling with violence and political uncertainty since the country’s former ruler Muammar Gaddafi was deposed in 2011 and later killed in the wake of a US-led NATO military intervention. Daesh has been taking advantage of the chaos in Libya to increase its presence there.

Yemen has also witnessed a deadly Saudi war since March 2015 which has led to a humanitarian crisis.

Last Month, Qatar’s former deputy prime minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah said the United Arab Emirates had planned a military invasion of Qatar with thousands of US-trained mercenaries.

The UAE plan for the military action was prepared before the ongoing Qatar rift, but it was never carried out as Washington did not give the green light to it, he noted.

In late April, reports said the UAE was quietly expanding its military presence into Africa and the Middle East, namely in Eritrea and Yemen.

November 12, 2017 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

In Shocking, Viral Interview, Qatar Confesses Secrets Behind Syrian War

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge | October 28, 2017

A television interview of a top Qatari official confessing the truth behind the origins of the war in Syria is going viral across Arabic social media during the same week a leaked top secret NSA document was published which confirms that the armed opposition in Syria was under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the conflict.

And according to a well-known Syria analyst and economic adviser with close contacts in the Syrian government, the explosive interview constitutes a high level “public admission to collusion and coordination between four countries to destabilize an independent state, [including] possible support for Nusra/al-Qaeda.” Importantly, “this admission will help build case for what Damascus sees as an attack on its security & sovereignty. It will form basis for compensation claims.”

A 2013 London press conference: Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. A 2014 Hillary Clinton email confirmed Qatar as a state-sponsor of ISIS during that same time period.

As the war in Syria continues slowly winding down, it seems new source material comes out on an almost a weekly basis in the form of testimonials of top officials involved in destabilizing Syria, and even occasional leaked emails and documents which further detail covert regime change operations against the Assad government. Though much of this content serves to confirm what has already long been known by those who have never accepted the simplistic propaganda which has dominated mainstream media, details continue to fall in place, providing future historians with a clearer picture of the true nature of the war.

This process of clarity has been aided – as predicted – by the continued infighting among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) former allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with each side accusing the other of funding Islamic State and al-Qaeda terrorists (ironically, both true). Increasingly, the world watches as more dirty laundry is aired and the GCC implodes after years of nearly all the gulf monarchies funding jihadist movements in places like Syria, Iraq, and Libya.

The top Qatari official is no less than former Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, who oversaw Syria operations on behalf of Qatar until 2013 (also as foreign minister), and is seen below with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in this Jan. 2010 photo (as a reminder, Qatar’s 2022 World Cup Committee donated $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation in 2014).

In an interview with Qatari TV Wednesday, bin Jaber al-Thani revealed that his country, alongside Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United States, began shipping weapons to jihadists from the very moment events “first started” (in 2011).

Al-Thani even likened the covert operation to “hunting prey” – the prey being President Assad and his supporters – “prey” which he admits got away (as Assad is still in power; he used a Gulf Arabic dialect word, “al-sayda”, which implies hunting animals or prey for sport). Though Thani denied credible allegations of support for ISIS, the former prime minister’s words implied direct Gulf and US support for al-Qaeda in Syria (al-Nusra Front) from the earliest years of the war, and even said Qatar has “full documents” and records proving that the war was planned to effect regime change.

According to Zero Hedge’s translation, al-Thani said while acknowledging Gulf nations were arming jihadists in Syria with the approval and support of US and Turkey: “I don’t want to go into details but we have full documents about us taking charge [in Syria].” He claimed that both Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah (who reigned until his death in 2015) and the United States placed Qatar in a lead role concerning covert operations to execute the proxy war.

The former prime minister’s comments, while very revealing, were intended as a defense and excuse of Qatar’s support for terrorism, and as a critique of the US and Saudi Arabia for essentially leaving Qatar “holding the bag” in terms of the war against Assad. Al-Thani explained that Qatar continued its financing of armed insurgents in Syria while other countries eventually wound down large-scale support, which is why he lashed out at the US and the Saudis, who initially “were with us in the same trench.”

In a previous US television interview which was vastly underreported, al-Thani told Charlie Rose when asked about allegations of Qatar’s support for terrorism that, “in Syria, everybody did mistakes, including your country.” And said that when the war began in Syria, “all of us worked through two operation rooms: one in Jordan and one in Turkey.”

Below is the key section of Wednesday’s interview, translated and subtitled by @Walid970721. Zero Hedge has reviewed and confirmed the translation, however, as the original rush translator has acknowledged, al-Thani doesn’t say “lady” but “prey” [“al-sayda”]- as in both Assad and Syrians were being hunted by the outside countries.

The partial English transcript is as follows:

“When the events first started in Syria I went to Saudi Arabia and met with King Abdullah. I did that on the instructions of his highness the prince, my father. He [Abdullah] said we are behind you. You go ahead with this plan and we will coordinate but you should be in charge. I won’t get into details but we have full documents and anything that was sent [to Syria] would go to Turkey and was in coordination with the US forces and everything was distributed via the Turks and the US forces. And us and everyone else was involved, the military people. There may have been mistakes and support was given to the wrong faction… Maybe there was a relationship with Nusra, its possible but I myself don’t know about this… we were fighting over the prey [“al-sayda”] and now the prey is gone and we are still fighting… and now Bashar is still there. You [US and Saudi Arabia] were with us in the same trench… I have no objection to one changing if he finds that he was wrong, but at least inform your partner… for example leave Bashar [al-Assad] or do this or that, but the situation that has been created now will never allow any progress in the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council], or any progress on anything if we continue to openly fight.”

As is now well-known, the CIA was directly involved in leading regime change efforts in Syria with allied gulf partners, as leaked and declassified US intelligence memos confirm. The US government understood in real time that Gulf and West-supplied advanced weaponry was going to al-Qaeda and ISIS, despite official claims of arming so-called “moderate” rebels. For example, a leaked 2014 intelligence memo sent to Hillary Clinton acknowledged Qatari and Saudi support for ISIS.

The email stated in direct and unambiguous language that:

the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”

Furthermore, one day before Prime Minister Thani’s interview, The Intercept released a new top-secret NSA document unearthed from leaked intelligence files provided by Edward Snowden which show in stunning clarity that the armed opposition in Syria was under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the war which has now claimed half a million lives.

The newly released NSA document confirms that a 2013 insurgent attack with advanced surface-to-surface rockets upon civilian areas of Damascus, including Damascus International Airport, was directly supplied and commanded by Saudi Arabia with full prior awareness of US intelligence. As the former Qatari prime minister now also confirms, both the Saudis and US government staffed “operations rooms” overseeing such heinous attacks during the time period of the 2013 Damascus airport attack.

No doubt there remains a massive trove of damning documentary evidence which will continue to trickle out in the coming months and years. At the very least, the continuing Qatari-Saudi diplomatic war will bear more fruit as each side builds a case against the other with charges of supporting terrorism. And as we can see from this latest Qatari TV interview, the United States itself will not be spared in this new open season of airing dirty laundry as old allies turn on each other.

October 29, 2017 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

UK Condemns Boris Johnson’s Joke But Refuses to Admit It Helped Destroy Libya

Sputnik – 06.10.2017

Alexander Mercouris, editor-in-chief of The Duran, told Radio Sputnik that he found UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s joke about “clearing away dead bodies” in Libya “outrageous,” given that the UK played a large role in destroying the North African state.

Speaking about Libya’s tourism potential at a Conservative Party conference fringe meeting, the UK’s chief diplomat said that the war-torn city of Sirte could become the new Dubai, adding that “the only thing they have to do is clear the dead bodies away.”

The members of Libya’s House of Representatives based in Tobruk on Thursday demanded Johnson’s apology for the remark.

Mercouris told Sputnik in an interview that he expected the people of Libya to be shocked and infuriated by Johnson’s “extremely crude” comments, given that he made a joke about a city that the British destroyed in a country the British played a large role in smashing.

​”If we take Sirte, the city which he was referring to, it was incredibly heavily bombed by the [Royal] Air Force amongst others during the Libyan intervention that took place in 2011, which Britain played a very large role in instigating,” he said. “It was Muammar Qaddafi’s hometown, and he was murdered in the most appalling fashion not far from there.”

Mercouris added that although Johnson is under fire for his remarks in his home country as well — with some British politicians calling for him to be sacked — most critics fail to note the UK’s role in destroying Libya in the first place.

In a similar fashion, he noted, members of Johnson’s party always talk about the threat of terrorism in Europe without ever bringing up the foreign policy choices that the UK government has made, which created the conditions for terrorist groups to thrive in North Africa and for Libya becoming a major recruiting ground for militant fighters.

“This comes back to Boris Johnson’s comments,” Mercouris said. “He has been strongly criticized within Britain for making them, but always that criticism stops at the point of admitting any British responsibility for the disaster that is Libya today. And of course that responsibility is enormous.”

Libya has been in a state of turmoil since 2011 when a civil war began in the country and its longtime leader Gaddafi was overthrown. In December 2015, Libya’s rival governments — the Council of Deputies based in Tobruk and the Tripoli-based General National Congress — agreed to create the Government of National Accord, to form the Presidency Council and to end the political impasse.

October 6, 2017 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes | , | 2 Comments