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Posts Tagged ‘NATO’

US military deaths in Afghanistan hit 2,000

Posted by Admin on October 1, 2012

http://news.yahoo.com/us-military-deaths-afghanistan-hit-2-000-063934010.html

By PATRICK QUINN | Associated Press – 3 hrs ago

FILE– In this file photograph made on July 29, 2010, upon landing after a helicopter rescue mission, Tech. Sgt. Jeff Hedglin, right, an Air Force Pararescueman, or PJ, drapes an American flag over the remains of the first of two U.S. soldiers killed minutes earlier in an IED attack, assisted by fellow PJs, Senior Airman Robert Dieguez, center, and 1st Lt. Matthew Carlisle, in Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan. U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan have surpassed 2,000, a grim reminder that a war which began nearly 11 years ago shows no signs of slowing down despite an American decision to begin the withdrawal of most of its combat forces. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The killing of an American serviceman in an exchange of fire with allied Afghan soldiers pushed U.S. military deaths in the war to 2,000, a cold reminder of the perils that remain after an 11-year conflict that now garners little public interest at home.

The toll has climbed steadily in recent months with a spate of attacks by Afghan army and police — supposed allies — against American and NATO troops. That has raised troubling questions about whether countries in the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan will achieve their aim of helping the government in Kabul and its forces stand on their own after most foreign troops depart in little more than two years.

“The tally is modest by the standards of war historically, but every fatality is a tragedy and 11 years is too long,” said Michael O’Hanlon, a fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “All that is internalized, however, in an American public that has been watching this campaign for a long time. More newsworthy right now are the insider attacks and the sense of hopelessness they convey to many. “

Attacks by Afghan soldiers or police — or insurgents disguised in their uniforms — have killed 52 American and other NATO troops so far this year.

“We have to get on top of this. It is a very serious threat to the campaign,” the U.S. military’s top officer, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, said about the insider threat.

The top commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, was blunter.

“I’m mad as hell about them, to be honest with you,” Allen told CBS’ “60 Minutes” in an interview to be broadcast on Sunday. “It reverberates everywhere across the United States. You know, we’re willing to sacrifice a lot for this campaign, but we’re not willing to be murdered for it.”

The insider attacks are considered one of the most serious threats to the U.S. exit strategy from the country. In its latest incarnation, that strategy has focused on training Afghan forces to take over security nationwide — allowing most foreign troops to go home by the end of 2014.

As part of that drawdown, the first 33,000 U.S. troops withdrew by the end of September, leaving 68,000 still in Afghanistan. A decision on how many U.S. troops will remain next year will be taken after the American presidential elections. NATO currently has 108,000 troops in Afghanistan — including U.S. forces — down from nearly 150,000 at its peak last year.

The program to train and equip 350,000 Afghan policemen and soldiers has cost the American taxpayer more than $22 billion in the past three years.

The most recent attack came just days after Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said most U.S. and coalition combat units in Afghanistan returned to their practice of partnering with Afghan forces, nearly two weeks after the top U.S. commander put restrictions on such cooperation.

Like so many other deaths in Afghanistan, the latest were shrouded in confusion and conflicting accounts.

On Sunday, U.S. officials confirmed the deaths of two Americans, a service member and a civilian contractor killed late Saturday.

The fighting started when insurgents attacked a checkpoint set up by U.S. forces in eastern Wardak province, said Shahidullah Shahid, a provincial government spokesman. He said the insurgents apparently used mortars in the attack. The Americans thought they were under attack from their allies at a nearby Afghan army checkpoint and fired on it. The Afghan soldiers returned fire, Shahid said.

The Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman said the shooting broke out as a result of a “misunderstanding” while ISAF forces were on patrol near an Afghan army checkpoint.

NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, commonly referred to as ISAF, gave a different account of the fighting in Sayd Abad district.

“After a short conversation took place between (Afghan army) and ISAF personnel, firing occurred which resulted in the fatal wounding of an ISAF soldier and the death of his civilian colleague,” the coalition said in a statement. It said the three Afghan soldiers died “in an ensuing exchange of fire.”

NATO did not say whether it considered this an “insider” attack on foreign forces by Afghan allies.

In Washington, Pentagon press secretary George Little said 2,000 deaths is one of the “arbitrary milestones defined by others ” that the U.S. administration does not mark.

“We honor all courageous Americans who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan to make the American people more secure,” he said. “The fact of the matter is that America is safer because of all of those who have served in this war, including our fallen heroes.”

In addition to the 2,000 Americans killed since the Afghan war began on Oct. 7, 2001, at least 1,190 more coalition troops from other countries have also died, according to iCasualties.org, an independent organization that tracks the deaths.

According to the Afghanistan index kept by Brookings, about 40 percent of the American deaths were caused by improvised explosive devices. The majority of those were after 2009, when President Barack Obama ordered a surge that sent in 33,000 additional troops to combat heightened Taliban activity. The surge brought the total number of American troops to 101,000, the peak for the entire war.

According to Brookings, hostile fire was the second most common cause of death, accounting for nearly 31 percent of Americans killed.

Tracking deaths of Afghan civilians is much more difficult. According to the U.N., 13,431 civilians were killed in the Afghan conflict between 2007, when the U.N. began keeping statistics, and the end of August. Going back to the U.S.-led invasion in 2001, most estimates put the number of Afghan civilian deaths in the war at more than 20,000.

In recent years, some of those casualties have generated a great deal of criticism from President Hamid Karzai and changed the way NATO forces carry out airstrikes. The overwhelming majority of civilian casualties are caused by insurgents — with the United Nations blaming them for more than 80 percent of the deaths and NATO putting that figure at more than 90 percent.

The number of American dead reflects an Associated Press count of those members of the armed services killed inside Afghanistan since the U.S.-led invasion began. Some other news organizations use a count that also includes those killed outside Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, the global anti-terror campaign led by then-President George W. Bush.

The 2001 invasion targeted al-Qaida and its Taliban allies shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, which claimed nearly 3,000 lives.

Victory in Afghanistan seemed to come quickly. Kabul fell within weeks, and the hardline Taliban regime was toppled with few U.S. casualties.

But the Bush administration’s shift toward war with Iraq left the Western powers without enough resources on the ground, so by 2006 the Taliban had regrouped into a serious military threat.

Obama deployed more troops to Afghanistan, and casualties increased sharply in the last several years. But the American public grew weary of having its military in a perpetual state of conflict, especially after the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq at the end of last year. That war, which began with a U.S.-led invasion in 2003 to oust Saddam Hussein, cost the lives of nearly 4,500 U.S. troops, more than twice as many as have died in Afghanistan so far.

Although Obama has pledged that most U.S. combat troops will leave by the end of 2014, American, NATO and allied troops are still dying in Afghanistan at a rate of one a day.

Even with 33,000 American troops back home, the U.S.-led coalition will still have 108,000 troops — including 68,000 from the U.S. — fighting in Afghanistan at the end of this year. Many of those will be training the Afghan National Security Forces that are to replace them.

“There is a challenge for the administration,” O’Hanlon said, “to remind people in the face of such bad news why this campaign requires more perseverance.”

___

Associated Press writers Heidi Vogt and Rahim Faiez in Kabul and researcher Monika Mathour in Washington contributed to this report.

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The Justification to Wage War: Libya and UN Security Resolution 1973 Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is a “dangerous concept”

Posted by Admin on December 20, 2011

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28230

by Ronda Hauben

Global Research, December 15, 2011

I –Introduction

As  is customary, a press conference was held by Ambassador Vitaly Churkin to mark the beginning of the Russian Federation’s Presidency of the Security Council for the month of December 2011. Ambassador Churkin’s comments in this press conference provide insight into an important problem in the structure of the Security Council that became evident in the course of the implementation of the Security Council resolutions against Libya.

The press conference was held on December 2.  There is video of the press conference for those who are interested in viewing the conference itself. (1)

Though other issues were brought up, many of the questions asked by journalists related to the Russian Federation’s views concerning Security Council action on Libya and Syria.

II– Critique of Implementation of SCR 1973 on Libya

During the press conference Ambassador Churkin revealed that NATO had been asked for a “final report…summing up their view of their complying or not complying, of performing or not performing under the resolutions of the Security Council.” But no summary had been received from NATO. Ambassador Churkin said it was his understanding that NATO was not planning to send the Security Council any summary.

The importance of this revelation is that during its military action against Libya, NATO claimed it was acting under the authorization of UNSC Resolution 1973 (SCR 1973). Yet when asked to provide the Security Council with an evaluation of how its Libyan campaign complied with the actual resolution, apparently NATO did not see itself as being held accountable to the Security Council.

This situation reinforces the observation made by some inside and others outside the Council.(2) The Council passed SCR 1973, but it had no means of monitoring or controlling how this resolution was implemented. Thus the implementation of this Security Council resolution on Libya reveals a serious flaw in the structure of the Council itself.

Some members maintained that the resolution called for a cease fire and political settlement of the conflict in Libya.

Other Security Council members began bombing Libyan targets, and brought NATO in to carry out a bombing campaign against military, civilian and infrastructure targets in Libya. Ironically, NATO claimed such bombing was about the protection of civilians.(3) Similarly a self appointed “Contact Group” on Libya set as its goal, regime change in Libya. Members of the Security Council who expressed opposition to these activities, arguing they were contrary to SCR 1973, had no means to stop such usurpation of Security Council control over the implementation of the resolution.

The December 2 press conference with Ambassador Churkin helped to illustrate and examine this problem.

In an earlier Security Council meeting, Brazil had indicated it was planning to do a concept paper on the “responsibility while protecting” under the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) concept. (4) Brazil’s two year term on the Security Council will be over at the end of December, but no such concept paper has yet been presented. When Churkin was asked what he could tell journalists about the progress on this paper, he said, “My understanding is that it is going to be a serious process, a fundamental process of revisiting those things.”

On the issue of the Security Council’s summary of what had happened in the course of implementing Resolution 1973 against Libya, Ambassador Churkin explained the dilemma this posed for the Council.“As to lessons learned, this is a much broader issue which unfortunately I think we cannot put together as council members. It is something for round tables, academics, politicians to discuss in various flora. We discussed that. We have had a number of discussions of the various lessons we have learned, and the things we need to do or not to do.”

He recommended looking back at the Security Council meetings held in open chambers, particularly at the statements he had made in his capacity as the Russian Federation Permanent Representative. “I minced no words about some of the conclusions that need to be drawn from our Libyan experience,” he said, “But I am sure the Libyan experience is something that will have an impact of such importance that this will be a subject of attention for years to come.”

Asked whether the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) concept had been misused by the Security Council, Ambassador Churkin responded, “This is a very dangerous thing.”  This was not only the view of his delegation, but also of others both on the council and outside of the council, he explained.

“That is something that makes the life and work on the Security Council very difficult because words are no longer what they used to be. They have different meanings,” he said, offering as an example the implementation of the No Fly Zone on Libya contained in SCR 1973.

He described how, “No Fly Zone in the good old world, used to mean that nobody’s flying. That you prevent aircraft from being used against civilians.”

“In the brave new world,” though, said Churkin, “No Fly Zone means freewheeling bombing of the targets you choose to bomb in whatever modality and mode you want to bomb. Close air support ok. Bombing a television station, ok. And that is a matter of grave concern.”

The significance of there being such a big difference in how words are being used, Churkin explained, was that, “Now we have to think not only about the words and concepts, but about the enormous ability of some of our colleagues to interpret the world out of them. And this is a very serious issue.”

“We need to return to the Council, to our interaction and cooperation with our colleagues, a clear understanding of what we mean,” maintained Churkin.

Demonstrating the significance of this discrepancy between how different members of the Council interpreted the words of resolutions, Churkin pointed out that in the case of Libya, there had been reports that the Gaddafi regime was using airplanes to bomb civilians. (But no evidence was ever presented to support these claims, at the time, or since.-ed) (5)

There were, however, no such reports about Syria. How then could there be “such uncritical enthusiasm” for setting up a No Fly Zone for Syria, Churkin wondered. Where was this enthusiasm coming from?

“Is it,” he asked, “an indication that in fact when they are saying that they don’t plan any military action (against Syria-ed), they don’t really mean it? When they talk about a No Fly Zone, they are already planning targets to bomb in Syria?”

Referring to the implication of this problem, Churkin noted, “On various issues which can have dramatic repercussions for regions and countries, and unfortunately this is clearly the case about Syria and about Iran and about some other issues, so it is not a perfect day for diplomacy, a perfect day to work in the Security Council.”

III- Security Council Action Against Syria

In response to several questions from journalists asking about the Russian Federation’s view of what action was appropriate with respect to Syria, Churkin explained the principles that should guide such action.

“We think it’s the role of the international community to try to help resolve internal crises by promoting dialogue,” Churkin told journalists, “This is what we have been doing with our contacts with the Syrian authorities, opposition, and the Arab League.”

Referring to the proposal of the Arab League to conduct a monitoring mission in Syria, he explained, “We think that the Arab League has a unique opportunity to play a constructive role in Syria.”

This required, however, that the Arab League be willing to consider Syria’s proposed amendments to the Arab League proposal, rather than just offering Syria an ultimatum that it had to accept the Arab League proposal with no negotiations over it, said Churkin.

“We think the Syrian government’s proposed amendments to that plan could have been considered,” he explained. “Personally I looked at the two texts. I haven’t seen in the texts anything which couldn’t have been bridged there with some negotiations on the modalities of the deployment of that mission.”

Concerned that, “this opportunity to really mediate between the government and the opposition is not lost,” Churkin proposed that the Arab League economic sanctions imposed on Syria were “counterproductive.”

Comparing Security Council action on Syria with its action on Yemen, Churkin said that Russia was able to “exercise our position of principle” in Security Council Resolution 2014 (2011) about Yemen, “by encouraging dialogue and political accommodation on the basis of the Gulf States initiative.”(6) In the case of Yemen, Churkin noted, the Security Council and the international community had rallied in support of the action that Russia proposed.

But when it came to Syria, he described how Russia and China had proposed a resolution that “had many of the same elements which were contained in the resolution which was adopted on…Yemen.” In the case of Syria, however, the Russian-Chinese sponsored Resolution, was not supported by several other members of the Council.(7)

“So I think in Yemen the international community can be proud that even in a situation with bloodshed and very serious conflict in a country we were giving a strong signal in favor of dialogue and of political accommodation and this is what we achieved,” said Churkin.

“What we don’t understand,” he noted, “is why if that can be done in Yemen, why that can’t apply to Syria.”

Furthermore, in the case of Syria, he said, the Security Council met with opposition from some of the capitals, to any form of dialogue to resolve the Syrian conflict. The governments opposed to dialogue, he reported, took the position that there was, “no way dialogue can help. That those who go into dialogue they should stop it immediately,” and that “there is no future in the Arab League initiative.”

Such action is, he proposed “something very counterproductive. And this is something that has acerbated the situation in Syria.”

While maintaining that there is “no prescription for different countries” since they are all structured differently with regard to their traditions and political set up, Churkin proposed that there is a general attitude and principles that can be applied in a general way. This is that “the international community is not there to smell blood and to fan confrontation. But the international community is there to prevent further bloodshed and to encourage dialogue.”

Reflecting on the importance of such an international effort in favor of domestic dialogue, Churkin said, “This is what the United Nations is all about. This is what the Security Council is about.”

IV-Concerns about Libya
With respect to Gaddafi, Churkin said members of the council, including Russia, thought that what happened to Gaddafi is something that shouldn’t have happened.”

Ambassador Churkin was asked whether the Security Council was concerned about the conditions in Libya for those who had supported the Gaddafi government and particularly, about the situation of Saif al Islam Gaddafi and whether it was conceivable he could get a fair trial in Libya when there was no functioning legal system in the country.

Churkin responded that these concerns about the situation in Libya had been discussed very often and the delegation of the Russian Federation and of a number of other countries had raised these concerns. Also he spoke to concern over the plight of migrant workers in Libya. “We directed the UN mission in Libya to pay proper attention to these issues,” he said.

He indicated that they would continue to follow these issues closely.

V-Conclusion

Ambassador Churkin’s press conference was an important and all too rare example of a press conference held by a member of the Security Council which helps to shed light on the workings of the Council. All too often the problems that develop in the course of Security Council activity are shrouded in shadows and kept from public view. This is contrary to the obligations of the Council, which is obliged to report on its actions to the General Assembly in annual and special reports under the UN Charter, Article 15(1). Members of the General Assembly responding to the annual report from the Security Council ask for more analytical reports, rather than just summaries of the activities that have gone on over the year.

In his December 2 press conference, Ambassador Churkin shared some of the problems that developed in the Security Council over the course of the implementation of the resolutions on Libya. In the process he has helped clarify what future difficulties in the Security Council will be given a failure to understand and resolve the problems he has outlined. By helping to reveal the difficulties in the functioning of the Security Council, Ambassador Churkin has provided important details that need further attention and consideration.

Notes

1) Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation and President of the Security Council for the month of December 2011 on the Programme of Work of the Security Council for the month.

http://www.unmultimedia.org/tv/webcast/2011/12/press-conference-ambassador-vitaly-churkin-president-of-the-security-council.html

2) See for example the critique of Resolution 1973 by the Concerned Africans, “An Open Letter to the Peoples of Africa and the World from Concerned Africans,” July 2011.

http://www.concernedafricans.co.za/

See also Mahmood Mamdani, “A Ugandan’s Perspective: What Does Gaddafi’s Fall Mean for Africa.”

http:// www.unaatimes.com/2011/10/

3) For some of the examples of NATO’s bombing of civilians that went on during its military campaign against Libya see:
Global Civilians for Peace in Libya

http://globalciviliansforpeace.com/tag/bombing/

“Libya: War Without End” by Stephen Lendmain, ThePeoplesVoice.org, October 30, 2011.

http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2011/10/30/libya-war-without-end

4) See Nov. 9, 2011 meeting of the Security Council on Protecting Civilians in the Situation of Armed Struggle, S/PV.6650, pg. 16

Ambassador Viotti said:
“The Brazilian delegation will shortly circulate a concept paper. It elaborates on the idea that the international community, as it exercises its responsibility to protect, must demonstrate a high level of responsibility while protecting.”

http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/PRO/N11/585/43/PDF/N1158543.pdf?OpenElement

5)Actually no evidence was ever presented that airplanes were ever used to bomb civilians under the Gaddafi government. It was only under NATO that there is evidence that airplanes were used resulting in the bombing of civilians. See for example:

http://globalciviliansforpeace.com/reports

“Despite detailed investigation we could not find any evidence that the three regions of Tripoli cited in UN resolution 1973  had been subjected to government forces bombardment nor that  their had  been fighting between government troops and the people, we received many testimonies to the contrary.”

6) See Security Council Resolution 2014 (passed October 21, 2011)

7) See for example Ronda Hauben, “UN Security Council Challenges Hidden Agenda on Syria,” taz.de/netizenblog

http://blogs.taz.de/netizenblog/2011/10/27/security_council_veto_on_syria/

Ronda Hauben has been a resident correspondent at the UN for the past 5 years covering the UN first for the English edition of OhmyNews International, and more recently as a blog columnist at taz.de .  She is co-author of the book “Netizens: On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet.”
This article appears on my blog.
http://blogs.taz.de/netizenblog/2011/12/14/lessons-from-unscr-1973-on-libya

Global Research Articles by Ronda Hauben

Posted in Global Research, War Quotient | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Justification to Wage War: Libya and UN Security Resolution 1973 Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is a “dangerous concept”

The Globalization of War: The “Military Roadmap” to World War III ONLINE INTERACTIVE E-READER

Posted by Admin on December 20, 2011

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28254

by Michel Chossudovsky and Finian Cunningham

Global Research, December 18, 2011

Note to Readers: Remember to bookmark this page for future reference.
Please Forward the E-Reader far and wide. Post it on Facebook.

[scroll down for E-Reader’s Table of Contents]

GLOBAL RESEARCH ONLINE INTERACTIVE E-READER No.  2


The Globalization of War

The “Military Roadmap” to World War III 

Michel Chossudovsky and Finian Cunningham (Editors)

December 2011

INTRODUCTION

[scroll down for Reader’s Table of Contents]

The Pentagon’s global military design is one of world conquest.

The military deployment of US-NATO forces is occurring in several regions of the world simultaneously.

The concept of the “Long War” has characterized US military doctrine since the end of World War II. The broader objective of global military dominance in support of an imperial project was first formulated under the Truman administration in the late 1940s at the outset of the Cold War.

In September 1990, some five weeks after Saddam Hussein’s Iraq invaded Kuwait, US President and Commander in Chief George Herbert Walker Bush delivered a historical address to a joint session of the US Congress and the Senate in which he proclaimed a New World Order emerging from the rubble of the Berlin Wall and the demise of the Soviet Union.

Bush Senior had envisaged a world of “peaceful international co-operation”, one which was no longer locked into the confrontation between competing super powers, under the shadow of the doctrine of  “Mutually Assured Destruction” (MAD) which had characterized the Cold War era.

George H Walker Bush addressed a Joint Session
of the US Congress and the Senate, September 1990

Bush declared emphatically at the outset of what became known as “the post-Cold War era” that:

“a new partnership of nations has begun, and we stand today at a unique and extraordinary moment. The crisis in the Persian Gulf, as grave as it is, also offers a rare opportunity to move toward an historic period of cooperation. Out of these troubled times… a new world order can emerge: A new era freer from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice and more secure in the quest for peace. An era in which the nations of the world, east and west, north and south, can prosper and live in harmony.”

Of course, speeches by American presidents are often occasions for cynical platitudes and contradictions that should not be taken at face value. After all, President Bush was holding forth on international law and justice only months after his country had invaded Panama in December 1989 causing the deaths of several thousand citizens – committing crimes comparable to what Saddam Hussein would be accused of and supposedly held to account for. Also in 1991, the US and its NATO allies went on to unleash, under a “humanitarian” mantle, a protracted war against Yugoslavia, leading to the destruction, fragmentation and impoverishment of an entire country.

Nevertheless, it is instructive to use Bush Senior’s slanted vision of a “New World Order” as a reference point for how dramatically the world has changed in the intervening 20 years of the so-called post-Cold War era, and in particular how unilaterally degenerate the contemporary international conduct of the US has become under the Clinton, G. W. Bush Junior and Obama administrations.

Bush Senior’s “promise” of world peace has opened up, in the wake of the Cold War, an age of continuous warfare accompanied by a process of economic dislocation, social devastation and environmental degradation.

In a bitter irony, this concept of peaceful international co-operation and partnership was used as a pretext to unleash The Gulf War, which consisted in  “defending the sovereignty” of Kuwait and “upholding international law” following the Iraqi 1990 invasion.

Global Warfare

We are dealing with a global military agenda, namely “Global Warfare”. Far from a world of peaceful cooperation, we are living in a dystopian world of permanent wars – wars that are being waged in flagrant contravention of international law and against public opinion and interest.

Far from a “new era more secure in the quest for peace” we may see a world more akin to George Orwell’s 1984, dominated by perpetual conflict, insecurity, authoritarian surveillance, doublethink and public mind control.

A problem for many citizens is that “doublethink and mind control” have become so deeply embedded and disseminated by the mass media, including the so-called quality free press, such as The New York Times and The Guardian.

The Post 9/11 Era: America’s Doctrine of Pre-emptive Warfare

Allegedly sponsored by Al Qaeda, the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon played a central role in molding public opinion.  One of the main objectives of war propaganda is to “fabricate an enemy”. The “outside enemy” personified by Osama bin Laden is “threatening America”.

Pre-emptive war directed against “Islamic terrorists” is required to defend the Homeland. Realities are turned upside down: America is under attack.

In the wake of 9/11, the creation of this “outside enemy” served to obfuscate the real economic and strategic objectives behind the American-led wars in the Middle East and Central Asia. Waged on the grounds of self-defense, the pre-emptive war is upheld as a “just war” with a humanitarian mandate.

“The Outside Enemy” Osama bin Laden, portrayed by the mainstream
media

From the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war in the early 1980s, the US intelligence apparatus has supported the formation of the “Islamic brigades”. Propaganda purports to erase the history of Al Qaeda, drown the truth and “kill the evidence” on how this “outside enemy” was fabricated and transformed into “Enemy Number One”.

The US intelligence apparatus has created it own terrorist organizations. And at the same time, it creates its own terrorist warnings concerning the terrorist organizations which it has itself created. Meanwhile, a cohesive multibillion dollar counterterrorism program “to go after” these terrorist organizations has been put in place.

Instead of “war” or “state terrorism”, we are told of “humanitarian intervention” directed against “terrorists”.

Instead of “offence”, we are told of “defense” or “protection”.

Instead of “mass murder” we are told of “collateral damage”.

A good versus evil dichotomy prevails. The perpetrators of war are presented as the victims. Public opinion is misled: “We must fight against evil in all its forms as a means to preserving the Western way of life.”

Breaking the “Big Lie” which presents war as a humanitarian undertaking, means breaking a criminal project of global destruction, in which the quest for profit is the overriding force. This profit-driven military agenda destroys human values and transforms people into unconscious zombies.

Spawning Militarism: “War is Normal”

In truth, as this new Interactive Reader from Global Research will demonstrate, we are living in an era hallmarked by “The Globalization of War” conducted by the very states that proclaim to be defenders of democratic rights and international law.

The chief protagonist of this globalized war is the United States of America. The US, along with its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Britain, France, Canada and Germany among others, as well as an array of proxies – such as the Persian Gulf Arab states – is now emboldened to strike militarily in any region of the world.

It should be noted that on a tour of the Asia-Pacific region in November 2011, US President Barack Obama’s rhetoric was laden with bellicose statements towards China, citing the latter as a military threat to the hemisphere that the United States was ready to confront. Obama’s aggressive rhetoric towards Beijing should have been widely seen as unprecedented and unacceptable. But from a reading of the Western mainstream media, the warmongering by the US president was somehow made into normal, reasonable discourse.

This spawning militarism is rationalized with a variety of seemingly palatable pretexts: securing the world against “Islamic terrorism”, as in Afghanistan; securing the world against “weapons of mass destruction”, as in Saddam’s Iraq and currently Iran; defending human rights, as in Libya; humanitarian intervention, as in Somalia; and protecting small nations, as in confronting China on behalf of Southeast Asian states, or constructing a Ballistic Missile Defense system along the Eastern European borders of Russia. And again, the Western mainstream media plays a huge role in rationalizing the irrational, normalizing the abnormal, justifying the unjustifiable – akin to the Ministry of Truth in Orwell’s 1984.

We may accept these pretexts at face value and attempt to “normalize” a world of seemingly chaotic conflicts, as the Western mainstream media would have us. Or we can choose to see the world as it really is, that is, one where such wars and war-making are correctly understood as abominations of international law and human relations.

It is our objective in this Interactive Reader to help citizens free themselves from the indoctrinated doublethink of “wars as normal”. In a global survey, we will show that the US and its allies are fulfilling an agenda of “full spectrum dominance” in which no nation deemed to be obstructing that agenda for domination by the US and its allies is tolerated, and is in fact made a target for war.

The dynamic for globalized war has deep historical roots in the imperialism of capitalist governments. Rivalry for the raw materials of capitalist economies and geopolitical control were at the root of World Wars I and II – See the essays by Jacques Pauwels on the role of corporate America in supporting both Britain  and Nazi Germany. The same impetus lay behind countless invasions and proxy wars in Latin America, Asia and Africa by the US since World War II under the guise of “defending the free world from the Evil Soviet empire”.

But with the collapse of the Soviet Union as a countervailing power, the US and its allies have become uninhibited over the past two decades to “go it alone” to assert imperial dominance. This dynamic has only been reinforced by the economic exhaustion of the capitalist powers since the onset of the financial crisis of 2008. Indeed, the rise of militarism can be seen as a compensatory corollary of their economic demise – a demise that is structural and deeply protracted beyond anything that may be deemed as the usual “end of business cycle”. We are perhaps witnessing an historic collapse in the capitalist system far greater in scope than the Great Depression. And with that, disturbingly, the rise of militarism takes on a much greater significance.

Crucial to the global control of resources are the raw materials of energy: oil and gas. Whether it is wars in Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya, or confrontation with Iran, China, Russia and Venezuela, the fundamental point of contention is control over this lifeblood of the capitalist economy. All other espoused pretexts are mere window dressing, regardless of what the mainstream media would have us believe.

World War III Scenario

The launching of an outright war using nuclear warheads against Iran – which has the world’s third largest known reserves of oil behind Saudi Arabia and Iraq – has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon since 2005.

If such a war were to be launched, the entire Middle East/Central Asia region would be drawn into a conflagration. Humanity would be precipitated into a World War III scenario.

Incredibly, the very real danger of World War III is not front-page news. The mainstream media has excluded in-depth analysis and debate on the implications of these war plans. The onslaught of World War III, were it to be carried out, would be casually described as a “no-fly zone”, an operation under NATO’s “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) with minimal “collateral damage” or as “surgical” punitive bombings against specific military targets, all of which purport to support “global security” as well as “democracy” and human rights in the targeted country.

NATO’s “Humanitarian Intervention”
Mandate defined in an ICISS report on R2P

Public opinion is largely unaware of the grave implications of these war plans, which contemplate the use of nuclear weapons, ironically in retaliation to Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons program. Moreover, 21st Century military technology combines an array of sophisticated weapons systems whose destructive power would overshadow the nuclear holocausts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Lest we forget, the United States is the only country to have used nuclear weapons against civilians.

Militarization at the global level is instrumented through the US military’s Unified Command structure: the entire planet is divided up into geographic Combatant Commands under the control of the Pentagon. According to former NATO Commander General Wesley Clark, the Pentagon’s military road-map consists of a sequence of war theaters: “[The] five-year campaign plan [includes]… a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.” Like a cancer, the US war unleashed in 2003 on Iraq is mutating into a global disease.

While  The New York Times and other mainstream media outlets hailed 15 December 2011 as marking the “official” end of the nearly nine-year US war in Iraq, in reality that devastated country will remain an American war theater for the foreseeable future. Pentagon military advisers and contractors will continue to reside there and the people of Iraq will for generations be left with a legacy of US-imposed conflict and barbarity. The Pentagon’s “shock and awe” campaign in Iraq may have subsided, but its repercussions and criminal precedents are still very much extant, not only in Iraq but in the wider region and, increasingly, globally.

The 2000 Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which was the backbone of the NeoCon’s agenda, was predicated on “waging a war without borders”. The PNAC’s declared objectives were to “fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars” in different regions of the world as well as perform the so-called military “constabulary” duties “associated with shaping the security environment in critical regions”. Global constabulary implies a worldwide process of military policing and interventionism, including covert operations and “regime change”.

This diabolical military project formulated by the NeoCons was adopted and implemented from the very outset of the Obama administration. With a new team of military and foreign policy advisers, Obama has been far more effective in fostering military escalation than his White House predecessor, George Bush Junior, who has recently been condemned by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal for “Crimes against the Peace”.

This continuum of military agenda testifies to the fact that the two governing parties in the US, Democrat and Republican, are but two sides of a centrally planned military-industrial complex that is impregnable to the opinions, desires and interests of the American electorate.

Military Escalation and Preview of this Book

Contrary to the myth of “the good war”, we show in this Interactive Reader that the US entry into World War II was a deliberate strategy for self-serving imperialist gains. While the men and women who fought that war may have had moral convictions, the planners in Washington were operating on calculations of geopolitical control that had little to do with morals or legal principles – see the essays by Jacques Pauwels. The dropping of atomic bombs on Japan by the US in August 1945, obliterating hundreds of thousands of civilians, was an act of heinous barbarity that reflected the callousness of America’s imperial design. The nuclear holocaust also set the nefarious parameters of the subsequent Cold War that gripped the world for nearly five decades following World War II. Essays by Brian Willson, Alfred McCoy and Michel Chossudovsky illustrate how the Pentagon’s genocidal wars in Asia were a continuation of America’s imperialist design – albeit under the cover of the Cold War against the Soviet Union.

Hiroshima mushroom cloud. By executive order of President
Harry S. Truman, the U.S. dropped the nuclear bomb “Little Boy”
on Hiroshima, Monday, August 6, 1945

Nagasaki, August 9, 1945

Survivors: August 1945. In the wake of Hiroshima

The fall of the Soviet Union may have brought an end to the Cold War, but soon the US would find new pretexts for waging war on the world and asserting hegemony on behalf of its capitalist allies. These new pretexts included “upholding international law” as in the First Gulf War against Iraq that Bush Senior embarked on in 1990, presaging the Second Gulf War that Bush Junior would reprise in 2003. And the US planners innovated the “humanitarian” pretext for the invasion of Somalia in 1991 and NATO’s war on Yugoslavia – see the essay by Sean Gervasi among others. In many ways, the “humanitarian war” in Yugoslavia served as the prototype for NATO’s 2011 military attack on Libya and what appears to be an imminent onslaught against Syria – see essays by Rick Rozoff and Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya.

To the Pentagon’s silo of propaganda justifying “wars without borders” we have the additional pretexts of  the “global war on terrorism”  and “pre-emptive strikes against weapons of mass destruction”. Fittingly, as Washington’s wars multiply, so too it seems have the phony pretexts for these wars, as the essays on Iraq and Afghanistan by Felicity Arbuthnot and Jack Smith reveal.

Permanent Belligerence: The Globalization of War

In Part VII, which also serves as the title of this Online Interactive E-Reader, The Globalization of War, we show how American-led imperialism has evolved from bloody bouts of episodic militarism over several decades to the present day state of permanent belligerence, with wars or war-making stretching from North and East Africa into the Middle East and Central Asia and beyond to Eurasia (Russia), the Far East (China) and Arctic (Russia again) – See the essays by James Petras, Rick Rozoff,  Peter Dale Scott, F. William Engdahl, Finian Cunningham, the interview with Fidel Castro, Michel Chossudovsky and Jules Dufour.

Of most immediate concern are the ongoing American-led war plans within the broader Middle East/Central Asian region involving coordinated actions against Iran, Syria and Pakistan – see essays by Michel Chossudovsky, Tom Burghardt, Rick Rozoff and Mahdi Nazemroaya.

Were these war plans to be carried out, this would lead to an extended regional war theater. The three existing and distinct war theaters (Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine) would merge into a broad regional war extending from the Lebanese-Syrian East Mediterranean coastline to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border with Western China. Israel, Lebanon and Turkey would be engulfed in a conflict that would herald World War III.   

Building an Effective Antiwar Movement

Meanwhile, the antiwar movement is in crisis: civil society organizations are misinformed, manipulated or co-opted. A large segment of “progressive” opinion is supportive of NATO’s R2P “humanitarian” mandate to the extent that these war plans are being carried out with the “rubber stamp” of civil society.

There is an urgent need to rebuild the antiwar movement on entirely new premises.

The holding of mass demonstrations and antiwar protests is not enough. What is required is the development of a broad and well-organized grassroots antiwar network, across the land, nationally and internationally, which challenges the structures of power and authority. People must mobilize not only against the military agenda – the authority of the state and its officials must also be challenged.

Challenging and defeating the US/NATO global war agenda is profoundly predicated on the mass of people in Western countries asserting democratic governance and the genuine “rule of the people”. It will involve the mass of people breaking out of the two-party charade that hitherto passes for “democracy” – not only in the US but also in other Western states ­– to form new political organizations that truly represent the needs and interests of the majority of people. War-making, as with servile abeyance to corporate and financial elites, is endemic to the dominant political parties. It must be realized that voting for these same parties has become futile as a means to effect democratic change.

One practical way forward is for citizens to empower themselves legally. It should be understood that whatever its justification, war is a “Crime against the Peace” under Nuremberg. George Walker Bush and former British Prime Minister Anthony L. Blair have been condemned by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal for waging a criminal war of aggression against Iraq. They are war criminals and citizens’ initiatives that are growing across the world for the arraignment of Bush and Blair are one practical step towards mobilizing a popular challenge to the war system.

War crimes, however, are not limited to the former US president and British prime minister. There are “New War Criminals on the Block“. They include the current president of the United States, Barack Obama, among others. The acting heads of state and heads of government who support US-NATO-Israel wars of aggression are also war criminals under international law. This proposition, which consists in unseating the war criminals in high office, is central to the waging of an effective antiwar movement.

It is also our intention to show citizens that the root cause of war lies in the prevailing, but failing, global capitalist economic system – the very system that is not only destroying lives in foreign countries but which is destroying the material and moral foundations of Western society.

We hope that this Interactive Reader, The Globalisation of War, will empower citizens to mount an all-encompassing social movement against this diabolical military agenda and for the establishment of real democracy.

Michel Chossudovsky and Finian Cunningham, December 2011

In the face of blatant media disinformation, a “Re-Learning Process” must be launched.

It is our hope that the Interactive Reader Series will become a useful tool for high school, college and university students.

=====================================================================================================================================================

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PART I.  THE HISTORY OF WAR: FROM WORLD WAR II TO THE COLD WAR ERA

– by Jacques R. Pauwels – 2011-12-11
65 years ago, August 6 and 9, 1945: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
– by Jacques R. Pauwels – 2010-08-06

The unspoken objective of the atomic bomb was US Hegemony in Asia and the Pacific

 

– by Brian S. Willson – 2006-10-12
“Over a period of three years or so we killed off – what – twenty percent of the population [of North Korea]” (General Curtis Lemay)

– by Prof. Alfred W. McCoy – 2010-04-18
– by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2005-04-26

Vietnam never received war reparations payments from the U.S. for the massive loss of life and destruction, yet an agreement reached in Paris in 1993 required Hanoi to recognize the debts of the defunct Saigon regime. This agreement is in many regards tantamount to obliging Vietnam to compensate Washington for the costs of war.

 

PART II. NATO’S WAR IN THE BALKANS

– by Sean Gervasi – 2010-09-12
The late Sean Gervasi had tremendous foresight. He understood NATO enlargement several years before it actually unfolded into a formidable military force.
NATO’s Reign of Terror in Kosovo

– by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2008-02-25
State Terrorism in Kosovo is an integral part of NATO’s design
NATO’s Kosovo War, 11 Years Later

– by James Bissett – 2010-03-24

PART III.  THE POST 9/11 ERA: AMERICA’S “WAR ON TERRORISM”

Al Qaeda and the “War on Terrorism”

– by Michel Chossudovsky – 2008-01-20
Ironically, Al Qaeda –the “outside enemy of America”– is a creation of the CIA.
The Central Role of Al Qaeda in Bush’s National Security Doctrine

“Revealing the Lies” on 9/11 Perpetuates the “Big Lie”
– by Michel Chossudovsky – 2007-07-12
9/11 Paved the Way for America’s Permanent Wars of Aggression

– by Finian Cunningham – 2011-09-11

PART IV. IRAQ AND THE AF-PAK WARS

America’s Endless Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq

– by Jack A. Smith – 2011-10-25
The illusion of military success…
US Afghan Strategy: Senseless and Merciless

– by Rick Rozoff – 2011-07-22
U.S. And NATO Escalate World’s Deadliest War On Both Sides Of Afghan-Pakistani Border

– by Rick Rozoff – 2011-03-01
Drone missile attacks conducted by the CIA killed in the neighborhood of 1,000 people in Pakistan last year
The War on Iraq : Five US Presidents, Five British Prime Ministers, Thirty Years of Duplicity, and Counting….

– by Felicity Arbuthnot – 2010-08-06
Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. He had walked into possibly the biggest trap in modern history
US-NATO Military Agenda: The Destabilization of Pakistan

– by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2009-04-17

PART V. THE CONQUEST OF AFRICA

America’s War in the Horn of Africa: “Drone Alley” – a Harbinger of Western Power across the African Continent

US Military Confirms Washington’s Secret New War in Somalia Despite Official Denials
– by Finian Cunningham – 2011-10-29
US Military Confirms Washington’s Secret New War in Somalia Despite Official Denials
Israel and Libya: Preparing Africa for the “Clash of Civilizations”

Introduction by Cynthia McKinney
– by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – 2011-10-11
“An attempt to separate the merging point of an Arab and African identity is underway.”

PART VI. US NATO-ISRAELI THREATS: PRE-EMPTIVE WAR AGAINST IRAN AND SYRIA 

World War III: The Launching of a Preemptive Nuclear War against Iran

– by Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-12-04
World War III is not front-page news. The mainstream media has excluded in-depth analysis and debate on the implications of these war plans.
U.S. Arms Persian Gulf Allies For Conflict With Iran

– by Rick Rozoff – 2011-11-18
THE CLOCK IS TICKING: “Shadow War” Heating Up. War With Iran: A Provocation Away?

– by Tom Burghardt – 2011-12-05
Amid conflicting reports that a huge explosion at Iran’s uranium conversion facility in Isfahan occurred last week, speculation was rife that Israel and the US were stepping-up covert attacks against defense and nuclear installations
Using Fake Intelligence to Justify War on Iran

– by Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-11-09
Iran: “Regime Change” or All Out War?

– by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – 2011-06-
America’s Next War Theater: Syria and Lebanon?

– by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – 2011-06-10

PART VII. THE GLOBALIZATION OF WAR

Obama Raises the Military Stakes: Confrontation on the Borders with China and Russia

– by Prof. James Petras – 2011-12-10
Obama has embraced a policy of encirclement and provocations against China, the world’s second largest economy and the US’s most important creditor, and Russia, the European Union’s principle oil and gas provider and the world’s second most powerful nuclear weapons power.
Conversations with Fidel Castro: The Dangers of a Nuclear War

– by Fidel Castro Ruz, Michel Chossudovsky – 2010-11-13
If a war breaks out in Iran, it will inevitably become a nuclear war and a global war.
The Real Grand Chessboard and the Profiteers of War

– by Prof. Peter Dale Scott – 2009-08-11
The provision of private entrepreneurial violence and intelligence
Why Moscow does not Trust Washington on Missile Defense. Towards a Pre-emptive Nuclear War?

– by F. William Engdahl – 2011-12-02
Most in the civilized world are blissfully unaware that we are marching ineluctably towards an increasingly likely pre-emptive nuclear war…
“War Without Borders”: Washington Intensifies Push Into Central Asia

– by Rick Rozoff – 2011-01-30
The U.S. and NATO have over 150,000 troops planted directly south of three Central Asian nations.
Asia-Pacific: US Ramps Up Global War Agenda

– by Finian Cunningham – 2011-11-17
China’s “military advances” are prompting US concerns…Washington is the one beating the war drums.
North American Integration and the Militarization of the Arctic

– by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2007-08-20
The Battle for the Arctic is part of a global military agenda of conquest and territorial control, a New Cold War between Russia and America.
Review Article: The Worldwide Network of US Military Bases

The Global Deployment of US Military Personnel
– by Prof. Jules Dufour – 2007-07-01
The Global Deployment of US Military Personnel

About the Editors

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (Emeritus) at the University of Ottawa. He is the Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal and Editor of the globalresearch.ca  website. He is the author of The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003) and America’s “War on Terrorism”(2005). His most recent book is entitled Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011). He has taught as Visiting Professor at universities in Western Europe, South East Asia and Latin America, acted as an adviser to governments of developing countries and as a consultant for the several international organizations. Prof. Chossudovsky is a signatory of the Kuala Lumpur declaration to criminalize war and recipient of the Human Rights Prize of the Society for the Protection of Civil Rights and Human Dignity (GBM), Berlin, Germany. He is also a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His writings have been published in more than twenty languages.

Finian Cunningham is currently Global Research’s Middle East and East Africa Correspondent. He has written extensively on international affairs. Previously, he was based in Bahrain and witnessed the upheavals in the Persian Gulf kingdom during 2011 as well as the subsequent Saudi-led brutal crackdown against pro-democracy protests. He is now based in East Africa.


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America’s Endless Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq

Posted by Admin on October 28, 2011

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=27291

by Jack A. Smith

Global Research, October 25, 2011

The 10th anniversary of Washington’s invasion, occupation and seemingly endless war in Afghanistan was observed Oct. 7, but despite President Barack Obama’s pledge to terminate the U.S. “combat mission” by the end of 2014, American military involvement will continue many years longer.

The Afghan war is expanding even further, not only with increasing drone attacks in neighboring Pakistani territory but because of U.S. threats to take far greater unilateral military action within Pakistan unless the Islamabad government roots out “extremists” and cracks down harder on cross-border fighters.

Washington’s tone was so threatening that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had to assure the Pakistani press Oct. 21 that the U.S. did not plan a ground offensive against Pakistan. The next day, Afghan President Hamid Karzai shocked Washington by declaring “God forbid, If ever there is a war between Pakistan and America, Afghanistan will side with Pakistan…. If Pakistan is attacked and if the people of Pakistan needs Afghanistan’s help, Afghanistan will be there with you.”

At the same time, Washington has just suffered a spectacular setback in Iraq, where the Obama Administration has been applying extraordinary pressure on the Baghdad government for over a year to permit many thousands of U.S. troops to remain indefinitely after all American forces are supposed to withdraw at the end of this year.

President Obama received the Iraqi government’s rejection from Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki Oct. 21, and promptly issued a public statement intended to completely conceal the fact that a long-sought U.S. goal has just been obliterated, causing considerable disruption to U.S. plans. Obama made a virtue of necessity by stressing that “Today, I can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year.”

This article will first discuss the situation in Afghanistan after 10 years, then take up the Iraq question and what the U.S. may do to compensate for a humiliating and disruptive rebuff.

The United States is well aware it will never win a decisive victory in Afghanistan. At this point, the Obama Administration is anxious to convert the military stalemate into a form of permanent truce, if only the Taliban were willing to accept what amounts to a power sharing deal that would allow Washington to claim the semblance of success after a decade of war.

In addition President Obama seeks to retain a large post-“withdrawal” military presence throughout the country mainly for these reasons:

• To protect its client regime in Kabul led by Karzai, as well as Washington’s other political an commercial interests in the country, and to maintain a menacing military presence on Iran’s eastern border, especially if U.S. troops cannot now remain in Iraq.

• To retain territory in Central Asia for U.S. and NATO military forces positioned close to what Washington perceives to be its two main (though never publicly identified) enemies — China and Russia — at a time when the American government is increasing its political pressure on both countries. Obama is intent upon transforming NATO from a regional into a global adjunct to Washington’s quest for retaining and extending world hegemony. NATO’s recent victory in Libya is a big advance for U.S. ambitions in Africa, even if the bulk of commercial spoils go to France and England. A permanent NATO presence in Central Asia is a logical next step. In essence, Washington’s geopolitical focus is expanding from the Middle East to Central Asia and Africa in the quest for resources, military expansion and unassailable hegemony, especially from the political and economic challenge of rising nations of the global south, led China.

There has been an element of public deception about withdrawing U.S. “combat troops” from Iraq and Afghanistan dating from the first Obama election campaign in 2007-8. Combat troops belong to combat brigades. In a variant of bait-and-switch trickery, the White House reported that all combat brigades departed Iraq in August 2010. Technically this is true, because those that did not depart were simply renamed “advise and assist brigades.” According to a 2009 Army field manual such brigades are entirely capable, “if necessary,” of shifting from “security force assistance” back to combat duties.

In Afghanistan, after the theoretical pullout date, it is probable that many “advise and assist brigades” will remain along with a large complement of elite Joint Special Operations Forces strike teams (SEALs, Green Berets, etc.) and other officially “non-combat” units — from the CIA, drone operators, fighter pilots, government security employees plus “contractor security” personnel, including mercenaries. Thousands of other “non-combat” American soldiers will remain to train the Afghan army.

According to an Oct. 8 Associated Press dispatch, “Senior U.S. officials have spoken of keeping a mix of 10,000 such [special operations-type] forces in Afghanistan, and drawing down to between 20,000 and 30,000 conventional forces to provide logistics and support. But at this point, the figures are as fuzzy as the future strategy.” Estimates of how long the Pentagon will remain in Afghanistan range from 2017 to 2024 to “indefinitely.”

Obama marked the 10th anniversary with a public statement alleging that “Thanks to the extraordinary service of these [military] Americans, our citizens are safer and our nation is more secure”— the most recent of the continuous praise of war-fighters and the conduct of these wars of choice from the White House since the 2001 bombing, invasion and occupation.

Just two days earlier a surprising Pew Social Trend poll of post-9/11 veterans was made public casting doubt about such a characterization. Half the vets said the Afghanistan war wasn’t worth fighting in terms of benefits and costs to the U.S. Only 44% thought the Iraq war was worth fighting. One-third opined that both wars were not worth waging. Opposition to the wars has been higher among the U.S. civilian population. But it’s unusual in a non-conscript army for its veterans to emerge with such views about the wars they volunteered to fight.

The U.S. and its NATO allies issued an unusually optimistic assessment of the Afghan war on Oct. 15, but it immediately drew widespread skepticism. According to the New York Times the next day, “Despite a sharp increase in assassinations and a continuing flood of civilian casualties, NATO officials said that they had reversed the momentum of the Taliban insurgency as enemy attacks were falling for the first time in years…. [This verdict] runs counter to dimmer appraisals from some Afghan officials and other international agencies, including the United Nations. With the United States preparing to withdraw 10,000 troops by the end of this year and 23,000 more by next October, it raises questions about whether NATO’s claims of success can be sustained.”

Less than two weeks earlier German Gen. Harald Kujat, who planned his country’s military support mission in Afghanistan, declared that “the mission fulfilled the political aim of showing solidarity with the United States. But if you measure progress against the goal of stabilizing a country and a region, then the mission has failed.”

According to Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, the U.S. presence in Afghanistan is a critically important “long term commitment” and “we’re going to be there longer than 2014.” He made the disclosure to the Senate Armed Services Committee Sept. 22, a week before he retired. In a statement Oct. 3, the Pentagon’s new NATO commander in Afghanistan, Marine Gen. John Allen, declared: “The plan is to win. The plan is to be successful. And so, while some folks might hear that we’re departing in 2014… we’re actually going to be here for a long time.”

Lt. Gen. John Mulholland, departing head of U.S. Army Special Operations Command, told the AP Oct. 8: “We’re moving toward an increased special operations role…,whether it’s counterterrorism-centric, or counterterrorism blended with counterinsurgency.” White House National Security Advisor Tom Donilon said in mid-September that by 2014 “the U.S. remaining force will be basically an enduring presence force focused on counterterrorism.” Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta strongly supports President Obama’s call for an “enduring presence” in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

Former U.S. Afghan commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was fired last year for his unflattering remarks about Obama Administration officials, said in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations Oct. 6 that after a decade of fighting in Afghanistan the U.S. was only “50% of the way” toward attaining its goals. “We didn’t know enough and we still don’t know enough,” he said. “Most of us — me included — had a very superficial understanding of the situation and history, and we had a frighteningly simplistic view of recent history, the last 50 years.”

Washington evidently had no idea that one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world — a society of 30 million people where the literacy rate is 28% and life expectancy is just 44 years — would fiercely fight to retain national sovereignty. The Bush Administration, which launched the Afghan war a few weeks after 9/11, evidently ignored the fact that the people of Afghanistan ousted every occupying army from that of Alexander the Great and Genghis Kahn to the British Empire and the USSR.

The U.S. spends on average in excess of $2 billion a week in Afghanistan, not to mention the combined spending of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, but the critical needs of the Afghan people in terms of health, education, welfare and social services after a full decade of military involvement by the world’s richest countries remain essentially untended.

For example, 220,000 Afghan children under five — one in five — die every year due to pneumonia, poor nutrition, diarrhea and other preventable diseases, according to the State of the World’s Children report released by the UN Children’s Fund. UNICEF also reports the maternal mortality rate with about 1,600 deaths per every 100,000 live births. Save the Children says this amounts to over 18,000 women a year. It is also reported by the UN that 70% of school-age girls do not attend school for various reasons — conservative parents, lack of security, or fear for their lives. All told, about 92% of the Afghan population does not have access to proper sanitation.

Even after a decade of U.S. combat, the overwhelming majority of the Afghan people still have no clear idea why Washington launched the war. According to the UK’s Daily Mail Sept. 9, a new survey by the International Council on Security and Development showed that 92% of 1,000 Afghan men polled had never even heard of the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon — the U.S. pretext for the invasion — and did not know why foreign troops were in the country. (Only men were queried in the poll because many more of them are literate, 43.1% compared to 12.6% of women.)

In another survey, conducted by Germany’s Konrad Adenauer Foundation and released Oct. 18, 56% of Afghans view U.S./NATO troops as an occupying force, not allies as Washington prefers. The survey results show that “there appears to be an increasing amount of anxiety and fear rather than hope.”

Perhaps the most positive news about Afghanistan — and it is a thunderously mixed “blessing” — is that the agricultural economy boomed last year. But, reports the Oct. 11 Business Insider, it’s because “rising opium prices have upped the ante in Afghanistan, and farmers have responded by posting a 61% increase in opium production.” Afghani farmers produce 90% of the world’s opium, the main ingredient in heroin. Half-hearted U.S.-NATO eradication efforts failed because insufficient attention was devoted to providing economic and agricultural substitutes for the cultivation of opium.

Another outcome of foreign intervention and U.S. training is the boundless brutality and corruption of the Afghan police toward civilians and especially Taliban “suspects.” Writing in Antiwar.com John Glaser reported:

“Detainees in Afghan prisons are hung from the ceilings by their wrists, severely beaten with cables and wooden sticks, have their toenails torn off, are treated with electric shock, and even have their genitals twisted until they lose consciousness, according to a study released Oct. 10 by the United Nations. The study, which covered 47 facilities sites in 22 provinces, found ‘a compelling pattern and practice of systematic torture and ill-treatment’ during interrogation by U.S.-supported Afghan authorities. Both U.S. and NATO military trainers and counterparts have been working closely with these authorities, consistently supervising the detention facilities and funding their operations.”

In mid-September Human Rights Watch documented that U.S.-supported anti-Taliban militias are responsible for many human rights abuses that are overlooked by their American overseers. At around the same time the American Open Society Foundations revealed that the Obama Administration has tripled the number of nighttime military raids on civilian homes, which terrorize many families. The report noted that “An estimated 12 to 20 raids now occur per night, resulting in thousands of detentions per year, many of whom are non-combatants.” The U.S. military admits that half the arrests are “mistakes.”

Meanwhile, it was reported in October that in the first nine months this year U.S.-NATO drones conducted nearly 23,000 surveillance missions in the Afghanistan sky. With nearly 85 flights a day, the Obama Administration has almost doubled the daily amount in the last two years. Hundreds of civilians, including nearly 170 children, have been killed in the Afghan-Pakistan border areas from drone attacks. Miniature killer/surveillance drones — small enough to be carried in backpacks— are soon expected to be distributed to U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

So far the Afghanistan war has taken the lives of some 1,730 American troops and about a thousand from NATO. There are no reliable figures on the number Afghan civilians killed since the beginning of the war. The UN’s Assistance Mission to Afghanistan did not start to count such casualties until 2007. According to the Voice of America Oct. 7, “Each year, the civilian death toll has risen, from more than 1,500 dead in 2007 to more than 2,700 in 2010. And in the first half of this year, the UN office reported there were 2,400 civilians killed in war-related incidents.”

At minimum the war has cost American taxpayers about a half-trillion dollars since 2001. The U.S. will continue to spend billions in the country for many years to come and the final cost — including interest on war debts that will be carried for scores more years — will mount to multi-trillions that future generations will have to pay. At present there are 94,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan plus about 37,000 NATO troops. Another 45,000 well paid “contractors” perform military duties, and many are outright mercenaries.

Washington is presently organizing, arming, training and financing hundreds of thousands of Afghan troops and police forces, and is expected to continue paying some $5 billion a year for this purpose at least until 2025.

The U.S. government has articulated various different objectives for its engagement in Afghanistan over the years. Crushing al-Qaeda and defeating the Taliban have been most often mentioned, but as an Oct. 7 article from the Council on Foreign Relations points out: “The main U.S. goals in Afghanistan remain uncertain. They have meandered from marginalizing the Taliban to state-building, to counterinsurgency, to counterterrorism, to — most recently — reconciliation and negotiation with the Taliban. But the peace talks remain nascent and riddled with setbacks. Karzai suspended the talks after the assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani, the government’s chief negotiator, which the Afghan officials blamed on the Pakistan-based Haqqani network. The group denies it.”

There is another incentive for the U.S. to continue fighting in Afghanistan — to eventually convey the impression of victory, an absolute domestic political necessity.

The most compelling reason for the Afghan war is geopolitical, as noted above — finally obtaining a secure military foothold for the U.S. and its NATO accessory in the Central Asian backyards of China and Russia . In addition, a presence in Afghanistan places the U.S. in close military proximity to two volatile nuclear powers backed by the U.S. but not completely under its control by any means (Pakistan, India). Also, this fortuitous geography is flanking the extraordinary oil and natural gas wealth of the Caspian Basin and energy-endowed former Soviet Muslim republics such as Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

In Iraq, the Obama Administration’s justification for retaining troops after the end of this year was ostensibly to train the Iraqi military and police forces, but there were other reasons:

• Washington seeks to remain in Iraq to keep an eye on Baghdad because it fears a mutually beneficial alliance may develop between Iraq and neighboring Iran, two Shi’ite societies in an occasionally hostile Sunni Muslim world, weakening American hegemony in the strategically important oil-rich Persian Gulf region and ultimately throughout the Middle East/North Africa.

• The U.S. also seeks to safeguard lucrative economic investments in Iraq, and the huge future profits expected by American corporations, especially in the denationalized petroleum sector. Further, Pentagon and CIA forces were stationed — until now, it seems — in close proximity to Iran’s western border, a strategic position to invade or bring about regime change.

Under other conditions, the U.S. may simply have insisted on retaining its troops regardless of Iraqi misgivings, but the Status of Forces compact governing this matter can only be changed legally by mutual agreement between Washington and Baghdad. The concord was arranged in December 2008 between Prime Minister Maliki and President George W. Bush — not Obama, who now takes credit for ending the Iraq war despite attempting to extend the mission of a large number of U.S. troops.

At first Washington wanted to retain more than 30,000 troops plus a huge diplomatic and contractor presence in Iraq after “complete” withdrawal. Maliki — pushed by many of the country’s political factions, including some influenced by Iran’s opposition to long-term U.S. occupation — held out for a much smaller number.

Early in October Baghdad decided that 3,000 to 5,000 U.S. troops in a training-only capacity was the most that could be accommodated. In addition, the Iraqis in effect declared a degree of independence from Washington by insisting that remaining American soldiers must be kept on military bases and not be granted legal immunity when in the larger society. Washington, which has troops stationed in countries throughout the world, routinely insists upon legal exemption for its foreign legions as a matter of imperial hubris, and would not compromise.

The White House has indicated that an arrangement may yet be worked out to permit some American trainers and experts to remain, perhaps as civilians or contractors. Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, a staunch opponent of the U.S. occupation, has suggested Iraq should employ trainers for its armed forces from other countries, but this is impractical for a country using American arms and planes.

Regardless, the White House is increasing the number of State Department employees in Iraq from 8,000 to an almost unbelievable 16,000, mostly stationed at the elephantine new embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone quasi-military enclave, in new American consulates in other cities, and in top “advisory” positions in many of the of the regime’s ministries, particularly the oil ministry. Half the State Department personnel, 8,000 people, will handle “security” duties, joined by some 5,000 new private “security contractors.”

Thus, at minimum the U.S. will possess 13,000 of its own armed “security” forces, and there’s still a possibility Baghdad and Washington will work out an arrangement for adding a limited number of “non-combat” military trainers, openly or by other means.

In his Oct. 21 remarks, Obama sought to transform the total withdrawal he sought to avoid into a simulacrum of triumph for the troops and himself: “The last American soldier will cross the border out of Iraq with their heads held high, proud of their success, and knowing that the American people stand united in our support for our troops…. That is how America’s military efforts in Iraq will end.”

Heads held high, proud of success — for an unjust, illegal war based on lies that is said to have cost over a million Iraqi lives and created four million refugees! It has been estimated that the final U.S.. costs of the Iraq war will be over $5 trillion when the debt and interest are finally paid off decades from now.

If President Obama is reelected— even should the Iraq war actually end — he will be coordinating U.S. involvement in wars and occupations in Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and now Uganda (where American 100 combat troops have just been inserted). Add to this various expanding drone campaigns, and such adventures as Washington’s support for Israel against the Palestinians and for the Egyptian military regime against popular aspirations for full democracy, followed by the backing of dictatorial regimes in a half-dozen countries, and continual threats against Iran.

Washington’s $1.4 trillion annual military and national security expenditures are a major factor behind America’s monumental national debt and the cutbacks in social services for the people, but aside from White House rhetoric about reducing redundant Pentagon expenditures, overall war/security budgets are expected to increase over the next several years.

The Bush and Obama Administrations have manipulated realty to convince American public opinion that the Iraq and Afghan wars are ending in U.S. successes. Washington fears the resurrection of the “Vietnam Syndrome” that resulted after the April 1975 U.S. defeat in Indochina. The “syndrome” led to a 15-year disinclination by the American people to support aggressive, large-scale U.S. wars against small, poor countries in the developing third world until the January 1991 Gulf War, part one of the two-part Iraq war that continued in March 2003.

According to an article in the Oct. 9 New York Times titled “The Other War Haunting Obama,” author, journalist and Harvard emeritus professor Marvin Kalb wrote: ” Ten years after the start of the war in Afghanistan, an odd specter haunts the Obama White House — the specter of Vietnam, a war lost decades before. Like Banquo’s ghost, it hovers over the White House still, an unwelcome memory of where America went wrong, a warning of what may yet go wrong.”

This fear of losing another war to a much smaller adversary — and perhaps suffering the one-term fate of President Lyndon Johnson who presided over the Vietnam debacle — evidently was a factor behind President Obama’s decision to vastly expand the size of the U.S. military commitment to Afghanistan and why the White House is now planning a long-term troop presence beyond the original pullout date.

Today’s combat directly touches the lives of only a small minority Americans — militarily members and families — and much of the majority remains uninformed or misinformed about many of the causes and effects of the Iraq/Afghan adventures. Obama may thus eventually be able to convey the illusion of military success, which will help pave the way for future imperial violence unless the people of the United States wise up and act en masse to prevent future aggressive wars.

Jack A. Smith is the Editor of the Activist Newsletter

Jack A. Smith is a frequent contributor to Global Research.  Global Research Articles by Jack A. Smith

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Who Was Muammar Qaddafi? Libya’s Wealth Redistribution Project With an Introduction by Cynthia McKinney

Posted by Admin on October 28, 2011

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=27327

by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Global Research, October 27, 2011

Fourth of Four Installments on Libya: Who is Stealing the Wealth?

Once again, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya peels away the veneer of legitimacy and deception enveloping the U.S./NATO genocide currently taking place in Libya. In his first article, Nazemroaya makes it clear that there never was any evidence given to the United Nations or the International Criminal Court to warrant or justify United Nations Resolutions 1970 and 1973 or current U.S./NATO operations inside Libya.

In his second article detailing this very sad story, Nazemroaya exposes the relationships between the major Libyan protagonists/NATO collaborators and the U.S. Congress-funded National Endowment for Democracy. Incredibly, when leading Members of Congress publicly proclaimed repeatedly that they did not know who the Libyan “rebel” NATO collaborators were, select so-called rebel leaders were political intimates with stakeholders at the National Endowment for Democracy.  Nazemroaya also exposes that, despite its Global War on Terror, the U.S. government actually financed Libyan terrorists and criminals wanted by INTERPOL.

In his third installment, Nazemroaya removes the U.S./NATO fig leaf that attempts to cover the cynical machinations of the pro-Israel Lobby and its objective of balkanizing African and Asian states, especially those whose populations are largely Muslim.  Nazemroaya makes the essential point: “An attempt to separate the merging point of an Arab and African identity is underway.” The Voice of America has exposed the psychological aspects of its brutal intervention and hints at the mindset of the U.S./NATO Libyan pawns; several stories suggest that the “new” Libya will turn more toward its Arab identity than its African identity. While Muammar Qaddafi drove home to all Libyans that Libya, as its geography dictates, is an African country, Nazemroaya shows how this fact is not a policy objective shared by the U.S., NATO, Israel, or their Libyan allies. 

Finally, in this last of the four-part series, Nazemroaya shows the ultimate perfidy of the U.S./NATO Libyan allies, especially Mahmoud Jibril, in the pre-emptive strike against the Jamahirya Wealth Redistribution Project.  

The Libyan people are now fighting the world’s most powerful militaries to save their Jamahirya.  

No matter how many times NATO-inspired media lie to their publics, the lies will never become the truth.  

Hauntingly, Nazemroaya ends by telling us that the Libyan National Transitional Council has already recognized the Syrian National Council (SNC) as the legitimate government of Syria.  

Meanwhile, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, now reputed to be the leader of Al Qaeda and reportedly rewarded with U.S. citizenship after fighting for the C.I.A. in Bosnia, just called for the people of Algeria to oust their President.  

President Obama’s policy of flying drones and dropping bombs over Africa, and invading the Continent with U.S. troops, means that any country that resists an AFRICOM base, as Colonel Qaddafi’s wife tells us he did, or expects to exercise its right of self-determination, can expect the kind of treatment we are witnessing now in Libya. We, in the U.S., must resist these policies for ourselves and and on behalf of  the Africans who deserve better than this from the United States of America.

Cynthia McKinney, 25 October 2011.

Cynthia McKinney is a former U.S. Congresswoman who served in two different Georgia federal dictricts in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2003 and from 2005 to 2007 as a member of the U.S. Democratic Party. She was also the U.S. Green Party presidential candidate in 2008. While in the U.S. Congress she served in the U.S. Banking and Finance Committee, the U.S. National Security Committee (later renamed the U.S. Armed Services Committee), and the U.S. Foreign Affairs Committee (later renamed the U.S. International Relations Committee). She also served in the U.S. International Relations subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights. McKinney has conducted two fact-finding missions in Libya and also recently finished a nationwide speaking tour in the United States sponsored by the ANSWER Coalition about the NATO bombing campaign in Libya.


INSTALLMENTS I-III
 

Libya and the Big Lie: Using Human Rights Organizations to Launch Wars

– by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – 2011-09-29
The war against Libya is built on fraud. The UN Security Council passed two resolutions against Libya on the basis of unproven claims that Qaddafi was killing his own people in Benghazi…

America’s Conquest of Africa: The Roles of France and Israel

– by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Julien Teil – 2011-10-06
Terrorists not only fight for Washington on the ground, they also act as frontmen for regime change through so-called human rights organizations that promote democracy.

Israel and Libya: Preparing Africa for the “Clash of Civilizations”

Introduction by Cynthia McKinney
– by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – 2011-10-11
“An attempt to separate the merging point of an Arab and African identity is underway.”



WHO WAS MUAMMAR QADDAFI? LIBYA’S WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION PROJECT

by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Colonel Muammar Qaddafi symbolizes many things to many different people around the world. Love or hate the Libyan leader, under his rule Libya transformed from one of the poorest countries on the face of the planet into the country with the highest standard of living in Africa. In the words of Professor Henri Habibi:

When Libya was granted its independence by the United Nations on December 24, 1951, it was described as one of the poorest and most backward nations of the world. The population at the time was not more than 1.5 million, was over 90% illiterate, and had no political experience or knowhow. There were no universities, and only a limited number of high schools which had been established seven years before independence. [1]

Qaddafi had many grand plans. He wanted to create a South Atlantic Treaty Organization to protect Africa and Latin America. He advocated for a gold dinar standard as the currency of Muslim countries. Many of his plans were also of a pan-African nature. This included the formation of a United States of Africa.

Qaddafi’s Pan-African Projects

Colonel Qaddafi started the Great Man-Made River, which consisted in a massive project to transform the Sahara Desert and reverse the desertification of Africa. The Great Man-Made River with its irrigation plans was also intended to support the agricultural sector in other parts of Africa. This project was a military target of NATO bombings. Without just cause, NATO’s bombing campaign was intent upon destroying the Great Man-Made River.

Qaddafi also envisioned independent pan-African financial institutions. The Libyan Investment Authority and the Libyan Foreign Bank were important players in setting up these institutions. Qaddafi, through the Libyan Foreign Bank and the Libyan Investment Authority, was instrumental in setting up Africa’s first satellite network, the Regional African Satellite Communication Organization (RASCOM), to reduce African dependence on external powers. [2]

His crowning achievement would have been the creation of the United States of Africa. The supranational entity would have been created through the African Investment Bank, the African Monetary Fund, and finally the African Central Bank. These institutions were all viewed with animosity by the European Union, United States, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and World Bank.

Qaddafi’s Wealth Redistribution Project

Qaddafi had a wealth redistribution project inside Libya. U.S. Congressional sources in a report to the U.S. Congress even acknowledge this. On February 18, 2011 one report states:

In March 2008, [Colonel Qaddafi] announced his intention to dissolve most government administrative bodies and institute a Wealth Distribution Program whereby state oil revenues would be distributed to citizens on a monthly basis for them to administer personally, in cooperation, and via local committees. Citing popular criticism of government performance in a long, wide ranging speech, [he] repeatedly stated that the traditional state would soon be “dead” in Libya and that direct rule by citizens would be accomplished through the distribution of oil revenues. [The military], foreign affairs, security, and oil production arrangements reportedly would remain national government responsibilities, while other bodies would be phased out. In early 2009, Libya’s Basic People’s Congresses considered variations of the proposals, and the General People’s Congress voted to delay implementation. [3]

Qaddafi wanted all the people of Libya to have direct access to the nation’s wealth. He was also aware of the deep rooted corruption that plagued the ranks of the Libyan government. This was one of the reasons why he wanted to apply a model of political anarchy in Libya through progressive steps. He was talking about both these project for a few years.

On the other hand, the Wealth Redistribution Project, along with the establishment of an anarchist political system, was viewed as a very serious threat by the U.S., the E.U., and a group of corrupt Libyan officials. If successful, the reforms could have created political unrest amongst many domestic populations around the world. Internally, many Libyan officials were working to delay the project. This included reaching out to external powers to intervene in Libya to stop Qaddafi and his projects.

Why Mahmoud Jibril Joined the Transitional Council

Amongst the Libyan officials that were heavily opposed to this project and viewed it with horror was Mahmoud Jibril. Jibril was put into place by Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi. Because of strong influence and advice from the U.S. and the E.U., Saif Al-Islam selected Jibril to transform the Libyan economy and impose a wave of neo-liberal economic reforms that would open the Libyan market.

Jibril became the head of two bodies in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, the National Planning Council of Libya and National Economic Development Board of Libya. While the National Economic Development Board was a regular ministry, the National Planning Council would actually put Jibril in a government position above that of the Office of the General-Secretary of the People’s Committee of Libya (which is the equivalent of the post of a prime minister). Jibril actually became one of the forces that opened the doors of privatization and poverty in Libya.

About six months before the conflict erupted in Libya, Mahmoud Jibiril actually met with Bernard-Henri Lévy in Australia to discuss forming the Transitional Council and deposing Colonel Qaddafi. [4] He described Qaddafi’s Wealth Redistribution Project as “crazy” in minutes and documents from the National Economic Development Board of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. [5] Jibril strongly believed that the Libyan masses were not fit to govern themselves and that an elite should always control the fate and wealth of any nation. What Jibril wanted to do is downsize the Libyan government and layoff a large segment of the public sector, but in exchange increase government regulations in Libya. He would also always cite Singapore as the perfect example of a neo-liberal state. While in Singapore, which he regularly visited, it is likely that he also meet with Bernard-Henri Lévy.

When the problems erupted in Benghazi, Mahmoud Jibril immediately went to Cairo, Egypt. He told his colleagues that he would be back in Tripoli soon, but he had no intention of returning. In reality, he went to Cairo to meet the leaders of the Syrian National Council and Lévy. They were all waiting for him inside Cairo to coordinate the events in Libya and Syria. This is one of the reasons that the Transitional Council has recognized the Syrian National Council as the legitimate government of Syria.

Do Not Pity the Dead, Pity the Living!

Muammar Qaddafi is now dead. 

He was murdered in his hometown of Sirte. 

He stood his ground until the end like he said he would. 

The Transitional Council, which vowed to take him to court had him murdered. 

He even reminded the men who beat him, anally raped him, mocked him, and finally murdered him that they were not following the laws of Islam about respectful treatment of prisoners. NATO played a central role and oversaw the whole event. 

The murder was systematic, because after Qaddafi was murdered his son and several other Libyan leaders were killed too.

Colonel Qaddafi’s death marks a historic milestone for Libya. An old era has ended in Libya and a new chapter begins. 

Libya will not become a new paradise like the Transitional Council says. In many cases the living will envy the dead, because of men like Mahmoud Jibril, Ali Tarhouni, and Sliman Bouchuiguir.

Mahmoud Jibril is a mere opportunist. The man had no problems being a government official under the late Qaddafi. He never complained about human rights or a lack of democracy. He was the prime minister of the Transitional Council of Libya until a few days after the savage murder of Colonel Qaddafi. The opposition of Jibril to the late Qaddafi’s Wealth Redistribution Project and his elitist attitude are amongst the reasons he conspired against Qaddafi and helped form the Transitional Council.

Is this ex-regime official, who has always been an open supporter of the Arab dictators in the Persian Gulf, really a representative and champion of the people? How about his colleagues in the Transitional Council who negotiated oil contracts with NATO member states, even before they held any so-called government positions in the Transitional Council?

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a Sociologist and Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montréal. He specializes on the Middle East and Central Asia. He was on the ground in Libya for over two months and was also a Special Correspondent for Flashpoints, which is an investigative news program carried on numerous stations in the United States and based in Berkeley, California. Nazemroaya has been releasing these articles about Libya in conjunction with aired discussions (now archived) with Cynthia McKinney on Freedom Now, a show aired on Saturdays on KPFK, Los Angeles, California.

Notes

[1] Henri Pierre Habib, Politics and Government of Revolutionary Libya (Montmagny, Québec: Le Cercle de Livre de France Ltée, 1975), p.1.

[2] Regional African Satellite Communication Organization, “Launch of the Pan African Satellite,” July 26, 2010:
<http://www.rascom.org/info_detail2.php?langue_id=2&info_id=120&id_sr=0&id_r=32&id_gr=3>

[3] Christopher M. Blanchard and James Zanotti, “Libya Christopher M. Blanchard and James Zanotti, “Libya: Background and U.S. Relations,” Congressional Research Service, February 18, 2011, p.22.

[4] Private discussions with Mahmoud Jiribil’s co-workers inside and outside of Libya.

[5] Internal private documents from the National Economic Development Board of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

Global Research Articles by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

 

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Gaddafi’s family to sue NATO

Posted by Admin on October 28, 2011

http://in.news.yahoo.com/gaddafis-family-sue-nato-111803151.html

By Ria Novosti | IANS – Wed, Oct 26, 2011

Paris, Oct 26 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Relatives of slain Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi will sue NATO in the International Military Court in The Hague for war crime charges, Gaddafi’s family lawyer said.

‘NATO helicopters opened fire on (Gaddafi’s) convoy. This convoy did not pose any threat to civilians. It was an operation to eliminate the Libyan leader, planned by the North Atlantic alliance,’ Marcel Ceccaldi was quoted as saying by France-based Europe1 radio station.

The lawyer also criticized the decision to display Gaddafi’s corpse at a shopping centre in Misrata for four days.

Gaddafi, who ruled Libya for 42 years, died shortly after being captured alive by National Transitional Council fighters near his hometown Sirte Oct 20.

The UN human rights office as well as Russia and the US have called for a probe into the leader’s killing.

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Gaddafi forces fire Scud missile: U.S. official

Posted by Admin on August 16, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/rebels-tripoli-encircled-u-says-scud-fired-014925794.html

By Robert Birsel | Reuters – 46 mins ago

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) – Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi fired a Scud missile for the first time in the country’s civil war, a U.S. defense official said, after rebel advances left the Libyan leader isolated in his capital.

Rebels fighting to end Gaddafi’s 41-year rule seized two strategic towns near Tripoli over the past 24 hours, cutting the city off from its supply lines and leaving the Libyan leader with a dwindling set of options if he is to stay in power.

The Scud missile was fired on Sunday morning from a location about 50 miles east of Sirte, Gaddafi’s home town, and landed east of the coastal oil town of Brega where rebels are fighting for control, the official said.

The missile came down in the desert, injuring no one, said the official, who was speaking on condition of anonymity. There was no immediate comment from the government in Tripoli.

In the six months of fighting up to now, Gaddafi’s forces have been using short-range Grad rockets but have not before deployed Scud missiles, which have an estimated range of about 185 miles.

The government in Tripoli has stocks of Scud missiles which were acquired from the Soviet Union in the 1970s, and some bought from North Korea, according to online defense forum globalsecurity.org.

It said many of Libya’s missile systems “are old and likely are suffering from maintenance problems.”

Analysts say the rebels’ strategy now is to isolate the capital and hope the government will collapse, but they say it is possible too that Gaddafi will opt to stage a last-ditch fight for the capital.

In a barely audible telephone call to state television in the early hours of Monday morning, Gaddafi called on his followers to liberate Libya from rebels and their NATO supporters.

“Get ready for the fight … The blood of martyrs is fuel for the battlefield,” he said.

REBEL PUSH

He was speaking as rebels made their most dramatic advances in months of fighting, shifting the momentum in a conflict that had been largely static for months and was testing the patience of NATO powers anxious for a swift outcome.

Rebel forces in the Western Mountains south of Tripoli surged forward at the weekend to enter Zawiyah. The town is about 50 km (30 miles) west of Tripoli and, crucially, straddles the main highway linking the capital to Tunisia.

A day later, rebels said they had captured the town of Garyan, which controls the highway leading south from Tripoli and linking it to Sabha, a Gaddafi stronghold deep in the desert.

“Gaddafi has been isolated. He has been cut off from the outside world,” a rebel spokesman from the Western Mountains, called Abdulrahman, told Reuters by telephone.

Early on Tuesday, rebels on the outskirts of Zawiyah said forces loyal to Gaddafi were still on the eastern edge of the town, from where they have been attacking with mortars, Grad rockets and sniper fire.

Medical workers at one of the town’s hospitals told a Reuters reporter that 20 people — a mixture of rebel fighters and civilians — were killed on Monday, and the death toll for Tuesday had already reached one.

PEACE TALKS

Officials in Tripoli deny Zawiyah is under rebel control, but government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim acknowledged on state television that rebel fighters were in Garyan.

“There are still armed gangs inside the city. We are able to drive them out,” he said.

A U.N. envoy arrived in neighboring Tunisia, where sources say rebels and representatives of the government have been holed up on the island resort of Djerba for negotiations.

The envoy, Abdel Elah al-Khatib, told Reuters he would meet “Libyan personalities residing in Tunisia” to discuss the conflict.

Gaddafi’s spokesman denied the Tripoli government was in talks about the leader’s departure, saying reports of such negotiations were the product of a “media war” being waged against Libya.

Talks could signal the endgame of a civil war that has drawn in the NATO alliance and emerged as one of the bloodiest confrontations in the wave of unrest sweeping the Arab world.

Rebels may still lack the manpower for an all-out assault on Tripoli, but are hoping their encirclement of the capital will bring down Gaddafi’s government or inspire an uprising. In the past, however, they have frequently failed to hold gains, and a fightback by Gaddafi troops could yet force them back.

Pro-Gaddafi residents of the capital remain defiant.

Makhjoub Muftah, a school teacher who has signed up as a gun-toting pro-Gaddafi volunteer, like many others seemed to think a rebel advance into Tripoli was a remote possibility.

“I wish they would march into Tripoli. I wish,” he said, daring the rebels. “They will all die.”

(Additional reporting by Phil Stewart in Washington, Missy Ryan in Tripoli, Robert Birsel in Brega, Libya, Ulf Laessing in Ras Jdir, Tunisia, Hamid Ould Ahmed in Algiers; Writing by Peter Graff and Christian Lowe; Editing by Jon Hemming)

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Blasts rock Tripoli as NATO targets Gaddafi compound

Posted by Admin on July 25, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/blasts-rock-tripoli-libya-state-tv-says-nato-001357961.html

By Missy Ryan | Reuters – 2 hrs 31 mins ago

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Explosions rocked central Tripoli for the second night in a row and Britain said weeks of NATO bombardment had inflicted extensive damage on Muammar Gaddafis heavily-fortified compound.

Libya‘s leader is clinging to power despite a four-month-old NATO air campaign and a lengthening conflict with rebels seeking an end to his 41-year rule and who have seized large swathes of the North African country.

The explosions hit Tripoli at about 1 a.m. on Sunday, a day after NATO launched strikes on what it said was a military command site in Tripoli.

Major General Nick Pope, the Chief of the Defense Staff’s communications officer, said Royal Air Force aircraft struck the high perimeter walls of Gaddafi’s Bab al-Aziziyah complex.

“Gaddafi has for decades hidden from the Libyan people behind these walls. The vast Bab al-Aziziyah compound is not just his personal residence, but more importantly is also the main headquarters for his regime, with command and control facilities and an army barracks,” Pope said on Sunday.

“Successive NATO strikes in past weeks have inflicted extensive damage on the military facilities within.”

As the war drags on longer than many had initially envisaged, the West is increasingly hoping for a negotiated end.

Libya’s government also appears willing to talk. Government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said on Friday that Libyan representatives were ready to hold more talks with the United States and the rebels, but that Gaddafi would not quit.

Ibrahim said senior Libyan officials had a “productive dialogue” with U.S. counterparts last week in a rare meeting that followed the Obama administration’s recognition of the rebel government.

“We believe other meetings in the future … will help solve Libyan problems,” Ibrahim told reporters in Tripoli. “We are willing to talk to the Americans more.”

TOUGH FIGHT

On the cusp of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, poorly armed rebels seem unlikely to quickly unseat Gaddafi.

The rebels declared advances this week but they also suffered losses near Misrata and in fighting for Brega.

On Thursday rebels said minefields slowed their advance on Brega — which they had earlier claimed to have all but captured — but that they had pushed closer to Zlitan, on the Mediterranean coast 160 km (100 miles) east of Tripoli.

It was relatively quiet on the western front near Zlitan on Sunday, with some sporadic fire from Gaddafi’s forces. Most rebels were taking shelter from the hot sun. The forward field hospital had one wounded man on Sunday and 22 on Saturday.

“We are holding this position and waiting to move forward. God willing, it will be soon,” said Salim, a 21-year-old student and rebel volunteer.

Britain’s Pope said RAF jets on patrol near Zlitan successfully struck four buildings on Saturday, which NATO surveillance had identified as command and control centres and staging posts, as well as hitting an ammunition stockpile.

Apache helicopters also struck a number of military positions between Zlitan and Khums, he said.

Zlitan is the largest city between rebel-held Misrata and the capital Tripoli and remains in Gaddafi’s control. Were the rebels to take Zlitan, attention would turn to Khums, the next large town on the coastal road to the capital.

As Western nations intensify diplomatic efforts to foster an exit from the conflict, a European diplomat said that a U.N. envoy would seek to persuade warring parties in Libya to accept a plan that envisages a ceasefire and a power-sharing government, but with no role for Gaddafi.

The diplomat said the informal proposals would be canvassed by the special U.N. envoy to Libya, Abdul Elah al-Khatib, who has met both government and rebels several times.

Khatib, a Jordanian senator, told Reuters in Amman he hoped both sides would accept his ideas.

“The U.N. is exerting very serious efforts to create a political process that has two pillars; one is an agreement on a ceasefire and simultaneously an agreement on setting up a mechanism to manage the transitional period,” he said. He did not go into the details of that mechanism.

Hopes for a negotiated settlement are growing as Europe and the United States grapple with fiscal crises at home. This week, France said for the first time that Gaddafi could stay in Libya as long as he gives up power.

Complicating Gaddafi’s situation is the fact that the world court in The Hague seeks his arrest over crimes against humanity allegedly committed by his forces. This makes it difficult for him to find refuge outside the country.

(Additional reporting by Tim Castle in London, Nick Carey in Misrata, Jospeh Nasr in Berlin, Souhail Karam in Rabat and Lutfi Abu Aun in Tripoli; Writing by Lin Noeuihed; Editing by David Cowell)

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Libya in Pictures: What the Mainstream Media Does Not Tell You

Posted by Admin on July 25, 2011

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25630

by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Global Research, July 16, 2011

Global Research reports from Tripoli

Mirage fighters, F16 fighters, B-2 Stealth bombers, 15,000 NATO air sorties. the bombing of thousands of civilian targets…

NATO is said to be coming to the rescue of the Libyan people. That is what we are being told.

Western journalists have quite deliberately distorted what is happening inside Libya. They have upheld NATO as an instrument of peace and democratization.

They have endorsed an illegal and criminal war.

They are instruments of US-NATO propaganda.

Global Research’s Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya reporting from Tripoli refutes the media consensus which uphold’s NATO’s humanitarian mandate. He provides us with a review of the mass rallies directed against NATO including extensive photographic evidence.

Forward this article. Post it on Facebook. Spread the word.  

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, July 15, 2011

PHOTOMONTAGE

For complete report on GRTV with extensive photographic evidence

 

VIDEO: This is Libya: On the Ground Scenes

GRTV Report from Tripoli
– by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – 2011-07-16


TRIPOLI. July 15, 2011. 

 



Friday of July 1, 2011 like many other Fridays has seen huge rallies in Tripoli’s Green Square.

It’s very hard to get an accurate number of the mass of people that have attended these rallies. Estimates have placed the size of the July 1st rally in Green Square at one million people. 

(See the GRTV Video report by ANSWER with Cynthia McKinney and Ramsey Clark)

The rallies have been taking place almost weekly in Tripoli and other Libyan cities, including Sabha on July 8, 2011.

Western public opinion has been misinformed. People in Europe and North America are not even aware that these mass rallies have taken place. 

The rallies express the Libyan people’s firm opposition to NATO’s “humanitarian” intervention (“on behalf of the Libyan people”). 

The large majority of the population are opposed to the Benghazi-based Transitional Council. 

The rallies also indicate significant popular support for Colonel Qaddafi in contrast to the usual stereotype descriptions of the Western media.

The mainstream media has either casually dismissed the significance of these public gatherings directed against NATO intervention or has failed to even report them.

These rallies continue late into the night. 

The following are pictures of Libyans converging on Green Square on July 1, 2011.

These pictures also show that the mainstream media was present and aware of these rallies. 

So what is preventing them from reporting the truth?

Why are some of these journalists claiming that only a few thousand people attended?

It is important to note that the pictures were taken at the outset of the event.

Libyans headed throughout the day into the night towards Green Square. Highways and roads leading towards Green Square were packed.  At the height of the rally, the number of people was signifcantly larger than what is conveyed in the pictures.

 


PHOTOMONTAGE 

For complete report on GRTV with extensive photographic evidence

 

VIDEO: This is Libya: On the Ground Scenes

GRTV Report from Tripoli
– by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – 2011-07-16




1. Western journalists position themselves on rooftops

 

People move towards Green Square

 

Libya’s Children: The Victims of NATO bombings

Photographs: Copyright. Mahdi Darius Nazemoroaya, Global Research 2011

 

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya reporting from Tripoli is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).

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Risk-Free And Above The Law: U.S. Globalizes Drone Warfare

Posted by Admin on July 10, 2011

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25536

Global Research, July 7, 2011

Last week the Washington Post, the New York Times and other major American newspapers reported that the U.S. launched its first unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) missile attack inside Somalia.

The strike was the first acknowledged Pentagon military attack inside the Horn of Africa nation since a helicopter raid staged by commandos in 2009 and the first use of an American drone to conduct a missile strike there. Drones had earlier been used in the country in their original capacity, for surveillance, including identifying targets for bomb and missile attacks, one being shot down in October of 2009. But as Britain’s The Guardian reported on July 30, the strike in Somalia marked “the expansion of the pilotless war campaign to a sixth country,” as the remote-controlled aircraft have already been employed to deadly effect in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and most recently Libya.

The lethal Somali mission was reportedly carried out by the U.S. Special Operations Command, in charge of executing special forces operations of the respective units of the four main branches of the American military: The Army, Marines, Air Force and Navy. On July 4 the U.S. armed forces publication Stars and Stripes reported that there are currently 7,000 American special forces in Afghanistan and another 3,000 in Iraq, with the bulk of the latter to be transferred to the first country in what was described as a “mini-surge” of special operations troops to compensate for the withdrawal of 10,000 other troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year.

Last week BBC News reported on the proposed transfer of drone aircraft by the U.S. to its military client states Uganda and Burundi for the war in Somalia. Citing American defense officials, BBC disclosed that four drones will be supplied to the two nations who have 9,000 troops engaged in combat operations against anti-government insurgents in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.

According to a New York Times feature of July 1: “[T]he United States has largely been relying on proxy forces in Somalia, including African Union peacekeepers from Uganda and Burundi, to support Somalia’s fragile government. The Pentagon is sending nearly $45 million in military supplies, including night-vision equipment and four small unarmed drones, to Uganda and Burundi to help combat the rising terror threat in Somalia. During the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia in 2007, clandestine operatives from the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command initiated missions into Somalia from an airstrip in Ethiopia.”

On June 15 a major newspaper in the United Arab Emirates, The National, reported on the escalation of deadly U.S. drone attacks in Yemen, across the Gulf of Aden from Somalia. It cited an official with the Yemeni Ministry of Defense claiming that the U.S. had launched over 15 drone strikes in the country in the first two weeks of June. The newspaper also quoted the deputy governor of Abyan province, Abdullah Luqman, decrying the attacks and stating: “These are the lives of innocent people being killed. At least 130 people have been killed in the last two weeks by US drones.”

The leader of an observation committee created to evacuate local residents added that “more than 40,000 people have left Abyan province because they feared drone strikes.”

The same defense official mentioned above warned that the “United States is turning Yemen into another Pakistan.” [1]

Recent reports in the American press reveal that the Pentagon will establish a new air base in the Persian Gulf from which to intensify drone strikes in Yemen. According to a Russian source, “The location is kept secret but some say this might be Bahrain as it already has a US base [the headquarters of the U.S. Fifth Fleet] and provides the safest route to Yemen for US drones through American ally Saudi Arabia.” [2]

The drone missile assaults in Pakistan, which caused a record number of deaths – over 1,000 – last year, are carried out by the Special Activities Division of the Central Intelligence Agency, whose last director is the new secretary of defense, Leon Panetta, a transfer that presages a yet greater intensification of the deadly attacks inside the South Asian nation.

On June 5 the 40th drone strike of the year killed at least six people in South Waziristan in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, bringing the death toll this year to at least 350.

Late last month the Pakistani government ordered the U.S. to vacate the Shamsi Air Base in the province of Balochistan which had been used for drone strikes inside the nation. Washington has in the interim shifted those operations to upgraded air bases in Afghanistan near the Pakistani border. A recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that only 3 percent of Pakistanis support the drone attacks in the country’s tribal belt.

At the end of June, 28 people were reported killed by drone strikes in the South Waziristan Agency, with a local resident quoted by Pajhwok Afghan News as stating “that 20 civilians were killed and several others injured in the second attack.” [3]

Some 2,100 of the 2,500 people killed in the strikes since they began in 2004 have lost their lives since 2009, when Barack Obama became the president of the U.S. and Leon Panetta director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

On July 5 a British Reaper drone killed at least four Afghan civilians and wounded two more in a missile attack in Helmand province. The use of the Reaper, rightly referred to as the world’s deadliest drone, marks the crossing of an ominous threshold. It is the first of what is described as a hunter-killer – long-endurance, high-altitude – remote-piloted aircraft that can be equipped with fifteen times the amount of weaponry and fly at three times the speed of the Predator used in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya. (The U.S. has used Reapers in Iraq since 2008 and in Afghanistan starting the following year. Toward the end of 2009 the Pentagon deployed Reapers to the East African island nation of Seychelles along with over 100 military personnel.)

On June 28 the U.S. lost the third of three drones in Afghanistan in as many days.

A recent Refugees International report stated that over 250,000 Afghans have been forced to flee their towns and villages during the last two years, over 91,000 so far this year: “Not only have NATO-led troops and Afghan forces failed to protect Afghans, but international airstrikes and night raids by U.S. Special Forces were destroying homes, crops and infrastructure, traumatising civilians and displacing tens of thousands of people.” [4]

Last month an RT feature suitably titled “US expands drone war, extremists expect new recruits” stated:

“The US has stepped up its drone attacks against militants in the Middle East, but the growing number of civilian deaths in the strikes has sparked public anger, with concern the action is driving up the number of extremist recruits.

“In Pakistan, CIA drone strikes aim at terrorists but end up killing mostly civilians. Public outrage is growing. Hatred and anger foster more terror.

“Washington now sees Yemen as the most dangerous Al-Qaeda outpost, and is planning to step up drone attacks on the country, establishing a base in the Persian Gulf specifically for that purpose.”

The source added:

“Americans are likely to have a freer hand going it alone, with the CIA to take a central role.

“As the agency is not subject to the accountability the US military is legally under, one can expect more bombs to fall on Yemen.

“There is fury in Yemen over the killing of scores of civilians by the drone strikes. In one attack there, the American military presumably aiming at an Al-Qaeda training camp ended up killing dozens of women and children. In another strike a year ago, a drone mistakenly killed a deputy governor in Yemen, his family and aides.

“With the expansion of the drone war it seems the US is seeking only a missile solution to fighting Al-Qaeda. Analysts say that some of the main features of this global chase are not having to take into account the voice of the nation that they are bombing and the lack of accountability when it comes to civilian deaths. These features add more paradox to the US strategy, with many asking whether America is fighting and fostering terror at the same time.” [5]

Analyst Denis Fedutinov told Voice of Russia last month:

“The US used drones already in the Balkans campaign, then in Iraq and Afghanistan and now in Libya. The US and Israel are the world drone leaders. Now America has several thousand drones of different classes.” [6]

In fact, last year U.S. Marine Corps Brigadier General Glenn Walters told an Institute for Defense and Government Advancement conference that ten years ago America had 200 drones in its arsenal, but by 2010 that number had risen to 6,000 and that by next year it would be 8,000. A fortyfold increase.

And in May of 2010 “NATO representatives from around the world” visited the Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center in the state of Indiana to observe drone flight tests.

By transferring control of the 110-day war against Libya from U.S. Africa Command to NATO on March 31 the Obama administration intended to, among other purposes, evade accountability to Congress (and federal law) under provisions of the War Powers Resolution of 1973.

The resolution mandates that Congress must authorize military actions initiated by the president within 60 days of their commencement or grant him a 30-day extension. The 60-day limit was reached on May 20.

The White House responded to Congressional opposition to prolonging military action in Libya by releasing a 38-page report that claimed “US military operations are distinct from the kind of ‘hostilities’ contemplated by the resolution’s 60-day termination provision.”

It also maintained that “U.S. operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve U.S. ground troops.”

Which is to say, as long as American military personnel are not in harm’s way it is not a war. Legal Adviser of the State Department Harold Koh stated: “We are acting lawfully…We are not saying the War Powers Resolution is unconstitutional or should be scrapped or that we can refuse to consult Congress. We are saying the limited nature of this particular mission is not the kind of ‘hostilities’ envisioned by the War Powers Resolution.”

General Carter Ham, the head of U.S. Africa Command, last month “said a Republican-sponsored bill that would block American Predator drone strikes in Libya would hurt the North Atlantic Treaty Organization alliance,” and “predicted that NATO would be unable to replace certain key U.S. missions, including the drone strikes and attacks to neutralize Libyan air defenses that threaten allied planes, if proposed funding cuts are made.” [7]

The launching of over 200 cruise missiles into Libya in the opening days of the war and the fact that, as the New York Times reported on June 21, “American warplanes have struck at Libyan air defenses about 60 times, and remotely operated drones have fired missiles at Libyan forces about 30 times” since command of the war was transferred from U.S. Africa Command to NATO – after which NATO has conducted over 14,000 air missions, more than 5,000 termed strike sorties – do not constitute armed hostilities in the mind of Mr. Koh, who stated last year that “U.S. targeting practices, including lethal operations conducted with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), comply with all applicable law, including the laws of war.” According to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s top legal adviser, deadly drone attacks are “consistent with its [the U.S.’s] inherent right to self-defense.” [8] Koh cagily refers to murdering people on a grand scale by remote activation as targeted killing rather than targeted assassination, as the second is expressly prohibited under international law.

In a rare instance of dissenting from White House war policy, last month the New York Times published the following:

“Jack L. Goldsmith, who led the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel during the Bush administration, said the Obama theory would set a precedent expanding future presidents’ unauthorized war-making powers, especially given the rise of remote-controlled combat technology.”

It further quoted Goldsmith directly:

“The administration’s theory implies that the president can wage war with drones and all manner of offshore missiles without having to bother with the War Powers Resolution’s time limits.”

Neither cruise missiles nor Hellfire missile-equipped unmanned aerial vehicles have pilots on board, so the lives of U.S. service members are safe as Pakistanis, Afghans, Libyans, Iraqis, Yemenis and Somalis are torn to shreds by U.S. strikes.

Wars of aggression are now both safe and “legal.”

Notes
 

1) The National, June 15, 2011

http://www.thenational.ae/news/worldwide/middle-east/us-makes-a-drone-attack-a-day-in-yemen

2) Voice of Russia, June 16, 2011
3) Pajhwok Afghan News, June 28, 2011
4) NATO airstrikes, night raids blamed for Afghan IDP crisis – report
AlertNet, June 29, 2011
5) RT, June 22, 2011 http://rt.com/news/us-drone-war-al-qaeda

6) Voice of Russia, June 16, 2011
7) Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2011
8) Inside Justice, March 26, 2011 
http://insidejustice.com/law/index.php/intl/2010/03/26/asil_koh_drone_war_law

Rick Rozoff is a frequent contributor to Global Research.  Global Research Articles by Rick Rozoff

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Western, Arab talks to focus on Libya “end-game”

Posted by Admin on June 9, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110608/wl_nm/us_libya

By Khaled al-Ramahi Wed Jun 8, 6:20 pm ET

MISRATA (Reuters) – Western and Arab nations meet in Abu Dhabi on Thursday to focus on what one U.S. official called the “end-game” for Libya‘s Muammar Gaddafi as NATO once again stepped up the intensity of its air raids on Tripoli.

NATO air strikes resumed in Tripoli on Wednesday night after a lull that followed the heaviest day of bombings since March. Thousands of Gaddafi troops advanced on Misrata on Wednesday, shelling it from three sides and killing at least 12 rebels.

Ministers from the so-called Libya contact group, including the United States, France and Britain, as well as Arab allies Qatar, Kuwait and Jordan, agreed in May to set up a fund to help the rebels in the civil war.

They are expected to firm up this commitment in the United Arab Emirates capital and press the rebels to give a detailed plan on how they would run the country if Gaddafi stood down as leader of the oil producing North African desert state.

“The international community is beginning to talk about what could constitute end-game to this,” one senior U.S. official told reporters aboard U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s plane which landed in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday night.

“That would obviously include some kind of ceasefire arrangement and some kind of political process … and of course the question of Gaddafi and perhaps his family is also a key part of that,” the U.S. official said.

Both Libya’s rebel Transitional National Council (TNC) and its Western allies have rejected Libyan government ceasefire offers that do not include Gaddafi’s departure, saying he and his family must relinquish power before any talks can begin.

The U.S. official said there have been general discussions about what might happen to Gaddafi but nothing specific on “where he should go, or whether he should remain in Libya for that matter.”

U.S. officials on Wednesday announced delivery of the TNC’s first U.S. oil sale, part of a broader strategy they hope will get money flowing to the cash starved group.

U.S. oil refiner Tesoro announced in May it had purchased the 1.2 million barrel cargo, which U.S. officials said was due to arrive in Hawaii on Wednesday aboard a tanker chartered by Swiss oil trader Vitol.

“PRESSURE WILL INCREASE”

British Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt, who will be at the Abu Dhabi talks, said the group would be briefed by the International Stabilisation Response Team which is helping the rebel council plan for post-conflict rebuilding.

“The contact group will also reiterate the unequivocal message … that Gaddafi, his family and his regime have lost all legitimacy and must go so that the Libyan people can determine their own future,” Burt said.

“Until Gaddafi does so, the pressure will increase across the board: economically, politically and militarily.”

NATO defense ministers met in Brussels on Wednesday, but there were few signs of willingness to intensify their Libya mission, which after four months has failed to oust Gaddafi.

The alliance says the bombing aims to protect civilians from the Libyan leader’s military, which crushed popular protests against his rule in February, leaving many dead. The conflict has now become a civil war.

Gaddafi says the rebels are a minority of Islamist militants and the NATO campaign is an attempt to grab Libya’s oil.

On the battlefront, forces loyal to Gaddafi were staging a big push on Misrata. “He has sent thousands of troops from all sides and they are trying to enter the city. They are still outside, though, ” rebel spokesman Hassan al-Misrati told Reuters from inside the besieged town.

Another rebel spokesman in Misrata, called Mohammed, told Reuters late on Wednesday they were still in control of the city despite the assault.

Spain joined other Western and Arab governments in recognizing the Benghazi-based council as the sole representative of the Libyan people.

Gaddafi troops and the rebels have been deadlocked for weeks, with neither side able to hold territory on a road between Ajdabiyah in the east, which Gaddafi forces shelled on Monday, and the Gaddafi-held oil town of Brega further west.

Rebels control the east of Libya, the western city of Misrata and the range of western mountains near the border with Tunisia. They have been unable to advance on the capital against Gaddafi’s better-equipped forces.

(Additional reporting by Peter Graff in Tripoli, Adrian Croft in London and Andrew Quinn in Abu Dhabi; writing by John Irish, editing by Peter Millership)

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