Archive | August 27th, 2011

The soldier is a human being, isn’t he?

NOVANEWS

On Monday, August 1st, 2011, at dawn, the Occupation soldiers murdered Mu’tasem Udwan and Ali Khalifa and seriously wounded Ma’amun Awad.

It was the first morning of Ramadan.

Murder is always shocking. And because afterwards there is nothing. But what shocked me in particular was how Mu’tasem’s mother saw him very soon after he was murdered, lying on the ground by his house door, his brain splashed on the asphalt. This is how she saw him, her son, and somehow this is what shocks me most of all. Because as soon as he is dead, he is already gone and my thoughts go to the holes that he has left behind. But this particular hole, of Mu’tasem’s mother, is what turns off all the lights for me.

 

On the one hand, what happened that dawn in Qalandiya refugee camp is not extraordinary. Such things happen all the time. The Occupation soldiers invade one Palestinian locality or another, especially at night, under this or that pretext, and then they break doors, and after breaking in they smash things inside the house, closets and plate glass and television sets, and usually pick up one or another youth, about whom this or that has been said, some truth or some falsehood, usually taken as testimony from another boy under some pressure or other, whereby it is reasonable to assume that he would say anything he was told to say and confess anything he was ordered to confess, and usually there are also stones hurled at the Occupation soldiers and mostly the Occupation soldiers shoot at the stone throwers who are usually mere children, and they also fire rubber or teargas ammunition and even live bullets into homes and on the streets just like that, and here and there at the end of all of this people are wounded or killed, and all this is not that extraordinary. Not in the Qalandiya refugee camp, not throughout the Occupied West Bank.

Still, the murders of Ali Khalifa and Mu’tasem Udwan were cast in the camp as a unique event and different from all the other events that have become routine with the dripping of the years.

Again and again people have been saying, “how could they possibly do this”, and “why of all days on the first day of Ramadan”, the religious and the secular ask alike.

And not because the blood of a person murdered during Ramadan is more precious than that of a victim on any other day. But perhaps it is only that people cannot complain to the same extent at any given moment and shout ‘No!’ and that it is unbearable, unacceptable. For if they did that, no joy would be left, no endurance and the ability to exert oneself and bring up one’s children properly in spite of it all, and live in spite of everything, and also it is normally too dangerous to revolt, and involves tremendous effort.

But there are such moments when the truth, always present, emerges and is heard, and time stops.

Ramadan is such a symbolic moment. Perhaps because in Ramadan the shops remain open at night, too, and one has the duty of doing good deeds, and because people need such moments of shift away from the everyday, and this is provided by religion and tradition, and not only for Palestinians under Occupation.

“This is what happened that night”, says Haitham Hamed, our friend. A gentle, special man from Qalandiya refugee camp. “This is what I heard happened”.

“They came for Wajih. Wajih Haitham Khatib. He is a 15-year old boy. More than 200 soldiers came. 200 soldiers to catch a 15-year old boy.  200 soldiers came for one kid and killed two adults. That’s what happened.

They always come, all the Israeli soldiers, to the camp. They bring with them all those forces just to pick up a kid or two… And the Border Patrol and… They keep coming from a thousand ways. From down here, from outside, from the settlement above. They come down, or up, and around the camp where the airplanes were (what used to be the Atarot airfield) and from the main road, from lots of roads.

This time, too. They came from near the settlement.

And he’s accused – this I heard in the camp – do you know of what? Are you familiar with the settlement next to the camp? Not Psagot, what’s it called? Kochav Hashachar. He’s accused of having burnt the mountain.

Burnt the mountain?

With all those soldiers and Border Patrol and the guys with the guns and jeeps and fence and guards and cameras all around. He came to them and burnt a mountain there?

What a story. Just doesn’t enter one’s head. But that’s what his parents told me. That this is what he is accused of. That this 15-year old kid went near the settlement and burnt the mountain.

The soldiers didn’t know his real address. So they entered more than one house. And in every house they broke stuff. That’s what I heard. And it’s normal for them to break stuff. They don’t know any other way.

First they break the doors with their special machines that they bring. They don’t knock. Only this way, without saying a word, they place the device on the door and press a button and – pow – it opens the door. Always. Not once or twice. Like they did at our home, remember? People replace doors a lot in our camp (chuckling).

In short, they came to the camp, and didn’t find the boy. They didn’t find the boy.

So if you don’t find the boy, you raise such hell?  Right, Tammi? You don’t find the boy so you go ahead and kill two people?

And then what did they do? What they did was to pick up his cousin. 22-years old. They didn’t find Wajih so they took his cousin, and said that they were taking him until the kid’s father would turn him in.”

And Tamar said: “It’s shocking, Haitham. Shocking. Not only do they kill them, they take in his nephew… kidnap…”

“Yes,” said Haitham. “And his dad brought him to Ofer prison the next day, I think. So his nephew would be released… Under what kind of law do they do this? Taking his cousin, telling his dad if you bring your own son, you can take back your nephew… What law has such words… For the father to hand in his own child. In his own hands he takes his child to prison. And the child knows he’s going…

I can’t lie to you, stones have been thrown at them. They left Wajih’s house on the way to the another one, and stones were thrown at them. But often they entered the camp and picked the people up, and every time stones were thrown at them. But they didn’t always do this.

So why did you come this time, in Ramadan? For a boy no older than 15 or 16? And you knew there were people in the street because of Ramadan. And you knew stones would be thrown at you.

And I want to say something about the stone-throwing thing. Throwing stones, that’s the maximum. For who in the camp would have the heart to pick up a gun and shoot at soldiers? So maximum they throw stones. Say a Molotov cocktail, right, Tammi? At most, a Molotov cocktail or stones.

So a stone was thrown, so what. They don’t kill you with a stone, right? A stone doesn’t kill, only wounds you. So for this you came and killed two?”

“Mu’tasem, Mu’tasem Udwan, the first fellow they killed. He is my neighbor,” says Majdi from the camp, whom we have just recently met.  “He lives just 10 meters away. We were all woken up by the shooting… it was war… I went up to the roof. And there was this soldier down in the street. His rifle placed on a tripod… And Mu’tasem opened his door to take a look outside because of the shooting and the noise. Terrible noise…  and teargas and lots of shooting.

Mu’tasem who looked down didn’t notice the soldier. The soldier shot him in the head, and he fell to the floor.

He opened the door of his home and the soldier shot him with a live bullet to the head…  and his brain spilt on the ground.

And he didn’t have a head anymore. He didn’t have a head…

I saw all that from my roof. I’ll never forget this as long as I live. He had no more head… and his brain spilt on the floor.

Abu Ali, Ali Khalifa the second one, he lives down hill. But that night he was at the camp. With his friends. That’s how it is during Ramadan. A bit like your Thursday and Friday nights. People hanging out together. All night. And guys beating traditional drums to wake people up before dawn so they might still get bread or other things for the house before the fast.

And then it all began.

When the shooting got really heavy he wanted to go back home. To get away. His car was parked near my house.

He may have come there because he wasn’t as familiar with the camp as we are, so he came back for his car.

And he saw Mu’tasem lying on the ground. All alone. It was just 6 minutes after he was shot. And he went over, to Mu’tasem, he may have thought he was wounded, and wanted to help him. He didn’t notice the soldier…

And the soldier shot him too. Two bullets. One came out the other side. And a hole opened up in his abdomen. And then he fell, right by Mu’tasem.”

“That’s how he went… How Abu Ali went…”

“Haitham, did you call him Abu Ali?”

“His name was Ali Khalifa. But he was called this way. Abu Ali, because his name is Ali. So you add the Abu. Like that.”

“Everyone knows these guys”, says Haitham. “The camp is small, but everyone knows Abu Ali most.

I knew him well, the day before I saw him at the gas station, washing his car. But earlier too. He was with me in prison. As a boy. At the Russian Compound.

He was a good person… He used to help people, the elderly, all of us cannot believe he’s dead, I swear to you. That he’s gone. Unbelievable. And he is a Jerusalemite. A Jerusalemite. He lives down the hill. Not in the camp… His parents pay municipal taxes.

I knew Mu’tasem, too, but not well. He’s a nice guy. Really nice. Studied at the university. He was about to graduate in a year’s time. And he didn’t do anything. Doesn’t throw stones. He was at home. Looking out through his own door and was shot in the head.”

“And the one who was wounded, Ma’amun Awad, he was shot inside his car”, says Majdi. “He was trying to get away, and the soldiers wouldn’t let him pass, and he pleaded, and finally they threw a gas canister into his car, and smoke broke out, and he opened the car door to escape the smoke, and they shot him, they had an M-16, and he is wounded now. Badly wounded.”

“Maybe you know him”, says Haitham, “this is Ma’amun Awad, whose father owns a gas station at Semiramis, where the army camp used to be and the soldiers would throw stones at the taxis, remember? Poor guy. Got two bullet. Two bullets sitting in his backbone, and the doctors fear that if they’re removed, he will become paralyzed. They say if the bullets are taken out, he’ll end up paralyzed.”

And we fell silent again. Time passed. Then I asked: “Haitham, after that happened to Mu’tasem, did his family see?” Because I kept thinking of it the whole time.

“Sure they saw. He was shot at the entrance to his house.

In the beginning his mother was upstairs, watching everything. She saw someone on the ground, his brain spilt… she didn’t realize at first that it was her own son she was seeing. Poor guy, she said, poor wounded child, crying for him not knowing it was her son. But shortly afterwards she knew. And rushed out. She couldn’t recognize him. his head was blasted, the brain was spilt on the ground. That’s what they say. And from the eyes up there’s nothing… And his mother went mad, poor woman. We all cried for her. Pulling at her hair. She’s ill. She’s ill now…”

“The thing that hurts you about Mu’tasem is that the fellow was inside his own home. Standing inside his home. You know what that means, at home? Where the heart is. That’s the worst. The most painful. Right?”

“I couldn’t eat for 4, 5 days after all of this”, says Majdi, “nor sleep properly… not after seeing his brain splashed on the ground..  his flesh hot. His and Abu Ali’s, hot… Abu Ali’s abdomen on the floor… all the flesh, the meat… After the soldiers left I went down where they lay, Mu’tasem and Abu Ali. I thought I’d pick all that up from the ground and put it away, on the side. But I was told not to. That they will take it too, to later sew it back into their bodies… So we collected all of this and put it in plastic bags, and it was hot, hot, their flesh was hot.”

“I think they do it on purpose”, Haitham added. “It’s on purpose. Tammi…. People are sitting like this anyway, and have nothing, and their life is hard. Such a hard life… So why pack in Ramadan like this? Why do this and leave people with no illusions?

That’s the reason, I say. To take away their illusions. Their… How do you say this in Hebrew, I’ve forgotten.

To take away their hope, Aya. That’s the word. That’s the point.

And I’m not racist. I look at things from many angles. This will happen and that will happen and I’ll think again and again. And I don’t see everyone the same way. But they did this out of racism. That’s what I think. Not because of the stones, and not because of Wajih. Because of racism. Otherwise they wouldn’t kill two people.

It’s their racism that got Mu’tasem. And Abu Ali. Their racism…”

“The camp is very heavy now. Our heart is heavy” says Haitham, after we sat quietly for some more moments. “And fear. People are walking around afraid of soldiers, that if they go out at night, they’d be killed. From far away. And it’s quiet at night. People don’t open their windows out of fear.

This is the story of what happened that night of Ramadan in our camp… This is what happened.”

And this is what our friend A., another friend from Qalandiya, told us (A. is a very close friend of ours, and he is always asking us to keep him anonymous because he is afraid that if the soldiers find out that he is talking about what happens at the camp, they would hurt his family). He is the one who first told us about this all, right after it happened. He called us twenty minutes after the murder in the camp, to tell, while the calls for the first prayer of Ramadan were still heard  in the background, and Mu’tasem was already dead, and Ali not yet, and Ma’amun unconscious, and it all sounded unreal, like a film or a book or a nightmare:

Mu’tasem, you know, is such a cute guy. He heard a noise… We say “this guy’s clock is through”. Now he stepped out of the door, the soldiers standing outside, saw a guy look out, so they shot him.

I don’t know, I say this, you know, he’s dead, but someone shot him. The guy who shot, I mean what is he saying in his own home now?

He’s sitting alone, I think he has kids, he too has a family, or a mother, brothers, his father… And he’s sitting at home, and saying I killed a child today. Why? He can’t say why. Because, why? What did the kid do? What did he do to me? Was he armed? No, he carried no weapon. Was he, how do you say this, was he one of the Arab fighters? No, he was not one of those. And I know he had nothing on him. He didn’t throw stones. He just stepped out of his home, and suddenly I killed him – the soldier would say.

And I say, this soldier, what can he say?

If he has a heart, what does he end up saying?

He’d say, wow, why did I kill him? That’s what I think. Just like that. Because, why? What did he do?

And Tamar said, I think he’s sitting at home and making this… screen… making up some story for himself.

 

No, no, listen, A. interrupts her. He did this and he knows.

He could have aimed at the leg, no? He could shoot at the leg and wound him. If he’d want to. But he aimed at the head.

And Tammi, on their rifle they have this… he sees through his sights… he looks, he knows. You understand… So I don’t know, I don’t know what he… how he sits at home, knowing, knowing he killed.

 

Say, the soldier is a human being, right?

 

He has a heart, doesn’t he? So what does he tell himself. That I killed a boy today. What does he tell himself…

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Gaddafi Forces in Retreat: Mass Executions, Murdering Everything That Moves

NOVANEWS 

Libya: Doctor Sees ‘Mass Execution’ Victims

by Sky News UK

A doctor in Libya has told Sky News how he witnessed the bloody aftermath of an alleged mass execution by Colonel Gaddafi’s troops.

Dr Moez said he was working in a hospital on the Matiga airbase, in east Tripoli, when a truck full of bullet-riddled bodies turned up outside.

He said one of the survivors told them that they had been captured by Col Gaddafi’s troops, held in a school for several days and then executed.

If the allegations are true, evidence of the injuries collected by Dr Moez and his colleagues could be used in any war crimes trial, if Col Gaddafi is ever found and brought to court.

Dr Moez said: “Around dusk time a large truck with an open back turned up unexpectedly and I could hear people crying and wailing.

“THINGS WILL BE BETTER WHEN WE HAVE A PRESIDENT WHO DOESN’T KILL AND STEAL MONEY”

“I went out to have a look what was in the truck and even before I got to the truck the stench was quite overwhelming.

“As I looked inside there was possibly 16 or 17 bodies that were riddled with bullets from head to toe. A lot of them had been shot in the head but they had bullets all over.

“Later we found out what had happened: these were all people that had been held by Gaddafi loyalists over the past few days and they were possibly captured over the past week or two, kidnapped if you like, and they were held in a school quite close to the city centre.

“What had happened was as the Gaddafi loyalists retreated they went into this room and executed all these people.

“One… of the victims… was shot in the leg and they failed to execute him so he told us everything that happened.”

Dr Moez said he and other doctors spent about three hours photographing all the victims’ injuries in detail.

“These are the kind of things that are going to be required to prosecute Gaddafi in the international criminal courts.

“These are the war crimes we are talking about and I am sure this has been replicated in many parts of the city and even in the country as well,” he added.

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Operation Desert Shield

NOVANEWS 

by  Brian Washington,

 

U.S. Air Force security police pose for a photo behind a Mark 19 40mm grenade launcher during Operation Desert Shield. The men are armed with Colt Commando assault rifles.

One of the main concerns to the West was the significant threat Iraq posed to Saudi Arabia. Following the take-over of Kuwait, the Iraqi army was within easy striking distance of Saudi oil fields. Control of these fields, along with Kuwaiti and Iraqi reserves, would have given Saddam Hussein control over the majority of the world’s oil reserves. Iraq also had a number of reasons to not get along with Saudi Arabia. The Saudis had lent Iraq some 26 billion dollars during its war with Iran. The Saudis supported Iraq, as they feared the power of Shia, Iran’s Islamic revolution on its own Shia minority. After the war, Saddam felt he should not have to repay the loans due to the help he had given the Saudis by fighting Iran.

Acting on the policy of the Carter Doctrine, and out of fear the Iraqi army would launch an attack on Saudi Arabia; U.S. President George H. W. Bush quickly announced that the U.S. would launch a “wholly defensive” mission to prevent Iraq from invading Saudi Arabia under the nickname Operation Desert Shield. Operation Desert Shield began August 7, 1990 when U.S. troops were sent to Saudi Arabia.  Their deployment was also influenced by the request of Saudi ruler, King Fahd, who had earlier called for U.S. military assistance. On August 8th, the “wholly defensive” doctrine was quickly abandoned when Iraq declared Kuwait to be its 19th province and Saddam Hussein named his cousin, Ali Hassan Al-Majid, as its military-governor.

The United States Navy sent off two naval battle groups built around the aircraft carriers USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and USS Independence to the Gulf, where they were ready by August 8th. The U.S. also sent the battleships USS Missouri and USS Wisconsin to the region. A total of 48 U.S. Air Force F-15s from the 1st Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia landed in Saudi Arabia, and immediately, began round-the-clock air patrols of the Saudi–Kuwait–Iraq borders to hold off further Iraqi military advances.

Military buildup continued from there, eventually reaching 543,000 troops; twice the number used in the 2003 attack of Iraq. Much of the material was airlifted or carried to the staging areas by fast sealift ships, allowing a quick buildup.

On January 17, 1991, it became clear that Saddam would not withdraw, and Desert Shield became Desert Storm.

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Understanding the opposition to NATO’s intervention in Libya

NOVANEWS

Uri Avnery

Understanding the opposition to NATO’s intervention in Libya

By Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery argues that opponents of military intervention in Libya are motivated more by hatred of the USA and NATO than by any concern for the people of Libya.

Though the Bible tells us “Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth” (Proverbs 24:17), I could not help myself. I was happy.

Muammar Gaddafi was the enemy of every decent person in the world. He was one of the worst tyrants in recent memory.

This fact was hidden behind a façade of clownishness. He liked to present himself as a philosopher (the Green Book), a visionary statesman (Israelis and Palestinians must unite in the “State of Isratine”), even as an immature teenager (his innumerable uniforms and costumes). But basically he was a ruthless dictator, surrounded by corrupt relatives and cronies, squandering the great wealth of Libya.

Déjà vu

This was obvious to anyone who wanted to see. Unfortunately, there were quite a few who chose to close their eyes.

When I expressed my support for the international intervention, I was expecting to be attacked by some well-meaning people. I was not disappointed.

How could I? How could I support the American imperialists and the abominable NATO? Didn’t I realize that it was all about the oil?

I was not surprised. I have been through this before. When NATO started to bomb Serbian territory in order to put an end to Slobodan Milosevic’s crimes in Kosovo, many of my political friends turned against me.

Didn’t I realize that it was all an imperialist plot? That the devious Americans wanted to tear Yugoslavia (or Serbia) apart? That NATO was an evil organization? That Milosevic, though he may have some faults, was representing progressive humanity?

This was said when the evidence of the gruesome mass-murder in Bosnia was there for everyone to see, when Milosevic was already exposed as the cold-blooded monster he was. Ariel Sharon admired him.

My enemy’s enemy is my friend – even if he’s a psychopath

“I was bombarded with messages from well-meaning people who lauded Gaddafi for all his good deeds. One might get the impression that he was a second Nelson Mandela, if not a second Mahatma Gandhi.”

So how could decent, well-meaning leftists, people of an unblemished humanist record, embrace such a person? My only explanation was that their hatred of the USA and of NATO was so strong, so fervent, that anyone attacked by them must surely be a benefactor of humanity, and all accusations against them pure fabrications. The same happened with Pol Pot.

Now it has happened again. I was bombarded with messages from well-meaning people who lauded Gaddafi for all his good deeds. One might get the impression that he was a second Nelson Mandela, if not a second Mahatma Gandhi.

While the rebels were already fighting their way into his huge personal compound, the socialist leader of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, was praising him as a true model of upright humanity, a man who dared to stand up to the American aggressors.

Well, sorry, count me out. I have this irrational abhorrence of bloody dictators, of genocidal mass-murderers, of leaders who wage war on their own people. And at my advanced age, it is difficult for me to change.

I am ready to support even the devil, if that is necessary to put an end to this kind of atrocities. I won’t even ask about his precise motives. Whatever one may think about the USA and/or NATO – if they disarm a Milosevic or a Gaddafi, they have my blessing.

”A Libyan victory, not a British or a French one”

How large a role did NATO play in the defeat of the Libyan dictator?

The “Libyan rebels, disorganized and poorly armed as they were, have won a remarkable victory. This would not have happened without real revolutionary fervour, without bravery and determination. It is a Libyan victory, not a British or a French one.

The rebels would not have reached Tripoli, and certainly not by now, if they had not enjoyed NATO’s sustained air support. Libya is one big desert. The offensive had to rely on one long road. Without mastery of the skies, the rebels would have been massacred. Anyone who was alive during World War II and followed the campaigns of Rommel and Montgomery knows this.

I assume that the rebels also received arms and advice to facilitate their advance.

But I object to the patronizing assertion that it was all a NATO victory. It is the old colonialist attitude in a new guise. Of course, these poor, primitive Arabs could not do anything without the White Man shouldering his burden and rushing to the rescue.

But wars are not won by weapons, they are won by people. “Boots on the ground”, as the Americans call it. Even with all the help they got, the Libyan rebels, disorganized and poorly armed as they were, have won a remarkable victory. This would not have happened without real revolutionary fervor, without bravery and determination. It is a Libyan victory, not a British or a French one.

This has been underplayed by the international media. I have not seen any genuine combat coverage (and I know what that looks like). Journalists did not acquit themselves with glory. They displayed exemplary cowardice, staying at a safe distance from the front, even during the fall of Tripoli. On TV they looked ridiculous with their conspicuous helmets when they were surrounded by bareheaded fighters.

What came over was endless jubilations over victories that had seemingly fallen from heaven. But these were feats achieved by people – yes, by Arab people.

This is especially galling to our Israeli “military correspondents” and “Arab affairs experts”. Used to despising or hating “the Arabs”, they are ascribing the victory to NATO. It seems that the people of Libya played a minor role, if any.

Now they blabber endlessly about the “tribes”, which will make democracy and orderly governance in Libya impossible. Libya is not really a country, it was never a unified state before becoming an Italian colony, there is no such thing as a Libyan people. (Remember the French saying this about Algeria, and Golda Meir about Palestine?)

Well, for a people that does not exist, the Libyans fought very well. And as for the “tribes” – why do tribes exist only in Africa and Asia, never among Europeans? Why not a Welsh tribe or a Bavarian tribe?

(When I visited Jordan in 1986, well before the peace treaty, I was entertained by a very civilized, high-ranking Jordanian official. After an interesting conversation over dinner, he surprised me by mentioning that he belongs to a certain tribe. Next day, while I was riding on a horse to Petra, the rider next to me asked in a low voice whether I belonged “to the tribe”. It took me some time to understand that he was asking me if I was a Jew. It seems that American Jews refer to themselves in this way.)

The “tribes” of Libya would be called in Europe “ethnic groups” and in Israel “communities”. The term “tribe” has a patronizing connotation. Let’s drop it.

“All those who decry NATO’s intervention must answer a simple question: who else would have done the job? Humanity in the 21st century humanity cannot tolerate acts of genocide and mass-murder, wherever they occur.”

All those who decry NATO’s intervention must answer a simple question: who else would have done the job?

Humanity in the 21st century humanity cannot tolerate acts of genocide and mass-murder, wherever they occur. It cannot look on while dictators butcher their own peoples. The doctrine of “non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states” belongs to the past. We Jews, who have accused mankind of standing idly by while millions of Jews, including German citizens, were exterminated by the legitimate German government, certainly owe the world an answer.

I have mentioned in the past that I advocate some form of effective world governance and expect it to be in place by the end of this century. This would include a democratically elected world executive that would have military forces at its disposal and that could intervene, if a world parliament so decides.

For this to happen, the United Nations must be revamped entirely. The veto power must be abolished. It is intolerable that the US can veto the acceptance of Palestine as a member state, or that Russia and China can veto intervention in Syria.

Certainly, great powers like the US and China should have a louder voice than, say, Luxemburg and the Fiji Islands, but a two thirds majority in the General Assembly should have the power to override Washington, Moscow or Beijing.

That may be the music of the future, or, some may say, a pipe dream. As for now, we live in a very imperfect world and must make do with the instruments we have. NATO, alas, is one of them. The European Union is another, though in this case poor, eternally conscience-stricken Germany, has paralyzed it. If Russia or China were to join, that would be fine.

This is not some remote problem. Gaddafi is finished, but Bashar al-Assad is not. He is butchering his people even while you read this, and the world is looking on helplessly.

Any volunteers for intervention?

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History Repeats Itself, With Mistakes of Iraq Rehearsed Afresh

NOVANEWS 

With Gaddafi at large, a guerrilla war eroding the new powers is inevitable

by Robert Fisk

Doomed always to fight the last war, we are recommitting the same old sin in Libya.

Muammar Gaddafi vanishes after promising to fight to the death. Isn’t that just what Saddam Hussein did? And of course, when Saddam disappeared and US troops suffered the very first losses from the Iraqi insurgency in 2003, we were told – by the US proconsul Paul Bremer, the generals, diplomats and the decaying television “experts” – that the gunmen of the resistance were “die-hards”, “dead-enders” who didn’t realise that the war was over.

And if Gaddafi and his egg-headed son remain at large – and if the violence does not end – how soon will we be introduced once more to the “dead-enders” who simply will not understand that the lads from Benghazi are in charge and that the war is over? Indeed, within 15 minutes – literally – of my writing the above words (2pm yesterday), a Sky News reporter had re-invented “die-hards” as a definition for Gaddafi’s men. See what I mean?

Needless to say, all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds as far as the West is concerned. No one is disbanding the Libyan army and no one is officially debarring the Gaddafi-ites from a future role in their country. No one is going to make the same mistakes we made in Iraq. And no boots are on the ground. No walled-off, sealed-in Green Zone Western zombies are trying to run the future Libya. “It’s up to the Libyans,” has become the joyful refrain of every State Department/ Foreign Office/Quai d’Orsay factotum. Nothing to do with us!

Western diplomats flock to Libya

But, of course, the massive presence of Western diplomats, oil-mogul representatives, highly paid Western mercenaries and shady British and French servicemen – all pretending to be “advisers” rather than participants – is the Benghazi Green Zone. There may (yet) be no walls around them but they are, in effect, governing Libya through the various Libyan heroes and scallywags who have set themselves up as local political masters. We can overlook the latters’ murder of their own commanding officer – for some reason, no one mentions the name of Abdul Fatah Younes any more, though he was liquidated in Benghazi only a month ago – but they can only survive by clinging to our Western umbilicals.

Of course, this war is not the same as our perverted invasion of Iraq. Saddam’s capture only provoked the resistance to infinitely more attacks on Western troops – because those who had declined to take part in the insurgency for fear that the Americans would put Saddam back in charge of Iraq now had no such inhibitions. But Gaddafi’s arrest along with Saif’s would undoubtedly hasten the end of pro-Gaddafi resistance to the rebels. The West’s real fear – right now, and this could change overnight – should be the possibility that the author of the Green Book has made it safely through to his old stomping ground in Sirte, where tribal loyalty might prove stronger than fear of a Nato-backed Libyan force.

Sirte — Libya

Sirte, where Gaddafi, at the very start of his dictatorship, turned the region’s oil fields into the first big up-for-grabs international dividend for foreign investors after his 1969 revolution, is no Tikrit. It is the site of his first big African Union conference, scarcely 16 miles from the place of his own birth, a city and region that benefited hugely from his 41-year rule. Strabo, the Greek geographer, described how the dots of desert settlements due south of Sirte made Libya into a leopard skin. Gaddafi must have liked the metaphor. Almost 2,000 years later, Sirte was pretty much the hinge between the two Italian colonies of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica.

Gadaffi street fighters

And in Sirte the “rebels” were defeated by the “loyalists” in this year’s six-month war; we shall soon, no doubt, have to swap these preposterous labels – when those who support the pro-Western Transitional National Council will have to be called loyalists, and pro-Gaddafi rebels turn into the “terrorists” who may attack our new Western-friendly Libyan administration. Either way, Sirte, whose inhabitants are now supposedly negotiating with Gaddafi’s enemies, may soon be among the most interesting cities in Libya.

So what is Gaddafi thinking now? Desperate, we believe him to be. But really? We have chosen many adjectives for him in the past: irascible, demented, deranged, magnetic, tireless, obdurate, bizarre, statesmanlike (Jack Straw’s description), cryptic, exotic, bizarre, mad, idiosyncratic and – most recently – tyrannical, murderous and savage. But in his skewed, shrewd view of the Libyan world, Gaddafi would do better to survive and live – to continue a civil-tribal conflict and thus consume the West’s new Libyan friends in the swamp of guerrilla warfare – and slowly sap the credibility of the new “transitional” power.

But the unpredictable nature of the Libyan war means that words rarely outlive their writing. Maybe Gaddafi hides in a basement tunnel beneath the Rixos Hotel – or lounges in one of Robert Mugabe’s villas. I doubt it. Just so long as no one tries to fight the war before this one.

Source: ICH

Posted in IraqComments Off on History Repeats Itself, With Mistakes of Iraq Rehearsed Afresh

Amateur Hour: The Libyan Bloodbath

NOVANEWS

Time For Seasoned Professionals to Step Forward, If They Still Exist

By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor

Has Gaddafi Crashed and Burned – Or Will He Rise From the Ashes?

The alternative media is powerful, no question about it.  As with Wikileaks, Libya has also proven it is easier to influence than the MSM (mainstream media). 

Through a combination of greed, blind stupidity and a total lack of familiarity with the region, the story of Libya has been hijacked, at least partially, by conspiracy theories, some dreamed up by Gaddafi himself, some by American friends, all duped.

The real game is civil war, an endless “low intensity conflict” that will be driven by select car bombings and assassinations, tribes turned against tribes, that has nothing to do with Gaddafi or oil or banks.

How is it being staged?  Been reading the stories about “Al Qaeda?”  The funny part, those peddling this fiction may believe it, they may even believe it will somehow help “Gaddafi,” their “man of the people” retain power.

Gaddafi died the second the UN Security Council voted for use of force.  The abstentions of China and Russia were silent acceptance of “regime change.”  Gaddafi died that day, he just didn’t know it.  We all knew it, he was “dead meat.”

That same day, the vultures began circling his corpse, planning, not just how to spend Libya’s money but on how to keep spending it for the next 20 years.

There are two “realistic” takes on the options here.  Gaddafi, a man increasingly mad, unstable, ran a police state where people were either kings or slaves and the slaves outnumbered the “kings” 20 to 1.

NATO – Against Gaddafi? – For Libyans?

The other?  The CIA and NATO plotted against him and convinced an entire nation, with few exceptions, to turn on a benevolent dictator that had build a “workers’ paradise” for them.

This is the alternative media story, one that has become a joke to everyone but the dead piling up on the streets of Tripoli.

A good analogy, working for a company where you have a corrupt union that runs everything.  You speak up, union thugs slap you around.  You try to organize another union and you disappear.

Then we have history, real history, not the imaginary kind rewritten out of convenience.  Do you wonder why everyone wants Gaddafi dead?

Of course he bought governments, Britain, France, Italy and, especially, the United States.

Gaddafi, next to Israel, is the biggest gun in the “neocon” Washington arena.  He was the darling of Condi Rice, in fact he wanted her as a wife, he loved Bush, Tony Blair and had every right wing think tank on his payroll.

After Bush got into office in 2001, Gaddafi knew he would be around people of similar mind.

History.  Gaddafi came to power in 1969, a devout Marxist when oil was cheap as dirt and fewer than 2 million people lived in Libya.  He saw himself as a Cold War “centrist” like Tito or Nassar, even Nehru, able to court both sides, survive, prosper and stay independent when nation after nation fell to CIA plots.

Richard Helms – White House Cabinet Meeting

The last day or two, I have been communicating with Trowbridge Ford, one of the eras top intelligence analysts.  His piece this week on Richard Helms is quite amazing.  I was asking him today about Libya.

He says Reagan had been told Gaddafi had tried to kill him, 1981, just 69 days into his presidency.  Now the general belief is George H. W. Bush.

John Hinckley, a poster boy for “MK Ultra” was clearly a Bush family asset.

Between 1981 and 1986, Vice President George H.W. Bush made it his personal task to make Gaddafi the fall guy for cover operations tied to Iran/Contra and BCCI.

This, of course, puts into real question any possible role by Libya in the Lockerbie incident.  Some background on the BCCI, the CIA’s bank used for laundering drug money, financing Saddam’s WMDs, and enriching much of Washington’s elite:

Two decades ago, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) was a highly respected financial titan. In 1987, when its subsidiary helped finance a deal involving Texas oilman George W. Bush, the bank appeared to be a reputable institution, with attractive branch offices, a traveler’s check business, and a solid reputation for financing international trade. It had high-powered allies in Washington and boasted relationships with respected figures around the world.

All that changed in early 1988, when John Kerry, then a young senator from Massachusetts, decided to probe the finances of Latin American drug cartels. Over the next three years, Kerry fought against intense opposition from vested interests at home and abroad, from senior members of his own party; and from the Reagan and Bush administrations, none of whom were eager to see him succeed.

By the end, Kerry had helped dismantle a massive criminal enterprise and exposed the infrastructure of BCCI and its affiliated institutions, a web that law enforcement officials today acknowledge would become a model for international terrorist financing. As Kerry’s investigation revealed in the late 1980s and early 1990s, BCCI was interested in more than just enriching its clients–it had a fundamentally anti-Western mission. Among the stated goals of its Pakistani founder were to “fight the evil influence of the West,” and finance Muslim terrorist organizations. In retrospect, Kerry’s investigation had uncovered an institution at the fulcrum of America’s first great post-Cold War security challenge.

Ambassador Lee Wanta – On Ice

Talks with Reagan insider, Lee Wanta, tell of Reagan’s hatred for Bush, the feeling he had been saddled with someone he would never be able to trust.

Let’s head back into that past for a bit.  Its 1969 and Richard Helms sees a big opportunity in courting Gaddafi.  Gaddafi has ambition, Gaddafi is a “player.”  Gaddafi is charismatic.

His ambitions aren’t just in the Arab world but into Africa, a fertile playground for the CIA, where a dozen wars had been managed over the past decade.

We must also remember, Libya was a tiny country, very little oil revenue.  Oil was dirt cheap then, prior to OPEC and the Oil Embargo tied to the 1973 war.

The west dictated oil prices and, though Gaddafi made noises about control of oil, the prices were still dictated out of Houston and Zurich.

Gaddafi also sat on the Mediterranean, an American lake, our fleet the only fleet, our military the only military, Soviet ambitions in Syria flanked by Turkey (still).

This was a time of political upheaval, Italy and France threatened by communism, Britain “flat broke” and no European Union.  America was still bogged down in Vietnam and, as America withdrew, the capabilities built up in Vietnam had to be discarded or put to use elsewhere in new conflicts.

Suez Canal – Satellite Shot

Two choices came to mind:  Central America and Europe.  The general belief was that Israel had settled issues remaining from their combined attack on the Suez Canal, when France and Britain joined them in an attempt to kill Nassar and put a puppet government in Egypt as was done when Sadat was killed and replaced by Mubarak, the Netanyahu clone.

The 1967 War, called the “6 Day War,” an Israeli sneak attack authorized by Lyndon Johnson, meant to have full US support with another “Gulf of Tonkin” type false flag, in this case, the attack on the USS Liberty and the slaughter of its crew by Israel.

But the Liberty survived and the US stayed out.  Israel won anyway.

When 1973 came around and Sadat reopened “negotiations,” the US stepped in again, Nixon with the stooge Kissinger at his back, an act Nixon would regret to his dying day.

1973 was a watershed, oil would never be cheap again but a road map for debt was being put together also, one that would go into high gear under Reaganomics, a restructuring, not just of the United States, but the world.

There would be no room for a middle class, there would only be market manipulations, phony currencies, debt upon debt and very few would be free of this cycle.

Massive economic power flowed into the hands of nations unprepared for such a windfall.  Oil became a chess game with new areas of production representing political offsets, Alaska and the pipeline, the North Sea, Venezuela, Nigeria, Chad, Indonesia.

Thus we return to the subject at hand, Colonel Gaddafi, Libya and his new position, now awash with cash, ambitions no longer dependent on Cold War balancing acts or playing games with the CIA’s Richard Helms, his “protector.”

As few know, Gaddafi was a protege of Richard Helms.

Gaddafi needed Helms to survive and Helms needed a place to park CIA assets, as required by war plan contingencies as outlined in the documents we will never see, not unless Jonathan Pollard, Soviet/Israeli master spy had put you on his personal distribution list.

Iraq – Rumaila Oil Field Fire

Thus, as is so often used in drama today, we race forward, taking a lesson from recent times.  Let’s look at Iraq.  Studies that will never be published anywhere show that Iraqi oil shipped from both Basra and Ceyhan was handled in a cavalier and forgetful manner.

Every 4th ship was stolen, thus the healthy increase in oil profits by companies able to secure contracts with Iraq.

What isn’t seen as easily is that, for every dollar made in oil, the war in Iraq made 10 dollars for “security contracting” and “nation building.”

Thus, Haliburton, a company known for oil and gas, began selling food, running transportation services, building barracks (where shoody wiring electrocuted American soldiers), selling drinking water (scooped, untreated,  from rivers filled with sewage, infecting troops with a myriad of diseases).

When the British tried to oust Gaddafi in 1970, a misunderstanding over the IRA.  Helms stepped in.  Gaddafi was his “golden boy,” worth a dozen petty dictators.  Gaddafi had brains and star quality.

The CIA had owned dozens of dictators, the list itself is exhausting.  Gaddafi was smart and the partnership was very good for both.  Gaddafi had enemies, some around the world.  The CIA would handle them and did so readily.

CIA – Circles Within Circles

The CIA had a “double game” to play, IRA, Red Brigades, Baader-Meinhof, Black September, PLO, P2-Gladio, a demonstration of force for the KGB.

However, by 1986, the new CIA, the clone built by Bush with Oliver North and gang, had pushed Reagan to the point of bombing Tripoli, all in response to false flag attacks orchestrated by a new generation of CIA handlers with a new game, one most conspiracy theorists call the New World Order.

The theories had been there, Kissinger’s version, Brzezinski’s, perhaps the more resilient of the two.  Another factor, Zionism.

When did the US go from Nixon’s distrust of Israel to the virtual control of the latter Reagan years and every moment since?

Why did Carter have to be destroyed?  What has he been trying to tell us of that time?

Jump forward to 2011.  Gaddafi is dead or hiding or looking for asylum.  Is he a war criminal?  With 2000 confirmed dead in Syria, bombing in Gaza daily, tanks ruling the streets of Bahrain and the Egyptian Army locked in a struggle with a revolution that clearly controls the country, Gaddafi is a sideshow at best.

Was It Planned to Go On Forever ?

Back in 2002, when Gaddafi chose to join the “global war on terror,” pay the blackmail over Lockerbie and buy his way onto the world stage again, he thought himself a survivor.

After all, he was certainly smarter than Bush, less insane than Cheney and far more moral than Tony Blair, even on his worst days.  Everyone could see that, couldn’t they?

The mantra was simple.  All he had to do was say “Al Qaeda” every few days, take light jabs at Israel to keep his standing as an Arab leader, continue playing Palestinian factions against each other and he was home free.

Libya’s billions, some spent to modernize a country, but more were invested, personal wealth, intertwined into international banking, Rothschild partnerships, defense contracting with the US.

The big mistake was leaving too much in Switzerland, forgetting that they were the “home base” for the P2 “Freemason” terror groups and the real power capable of orchestrating his downfall.

Veterans Today reported this 6 months ago, never picked up by any of the news services, background ignored by the alternative media.

Libya isn’t the world’s first all corporate war.

Nobody expected a move against Libya, certainly not as a part of the drive for democracy that is sweeping the Islamic world. Moving against an oil giant with a military under tight controls based on tribal loyalties made Libya a poor target. For decades, Gaddafi has been playing every card with genius, savior of Africa, leader of the Arab world, closet friend of Israel, partner in the war on terror, Gaddafi had proven himself a master of “both sides against the middle” politics and quality theatrics. To the “Masters of the Universe,” however, it looked like time was creeping up on Gaddafi.

With his protectors, American and Britain, in economic ruins and and his nation seen as ripe for overthrow, wheels were set into motion.

Veterans Today continues, in this March 13 2011 article by Gordon Duff:

 PLOTS WITHIN PLOTS”

Again we ask the question, what if everything you were told was a lie?  Never has a conflict been more convoluted than the current civil war in Libya, a series of plots within plots.  Thus far, all reporting has been childish conjecture or, as is almost always the case, misdirection.

The “other” story is Libya is one of oil, as expected but more, frozen assets, allies at each other’s throats and the “usual suspects,” international bankers, intelligence agencies and arms peddlers.  There was, in fact, no popular uprising at all but rather a carefully staged and carefully orchestrated attack on Libya’s assets coordinated with another move by oil speculators to gut the American economy of that cash bubble generated by trillions in bailouts.

As with any unpleasant reality, the real direction to look is financial.

“Follow the money.”

THE SWISS PROJECT

The roots of the current “conflict” in Libya date back to 2008 in Switzerland.  The groundwork was laid by Tony Blair in 2004 but we will come back to that in a minute.  Truth is, as always, stranger than fiction and “fiction,” of course, is the basis of politics and foreign policy, Americans know that for sure.

Back in 2008, the Swiss arrested Colonel Gaddafi’s son, Hannibal along with his wife.  The SWAT teams sent to the presidential suite of the luxury hotel slapped Hannibal around a bit, putting him in a holding cell for two days.  The charge was beating servants.

The son, as a direct family member of a head of state, enjoyed full and very real diplomatic privilege in Switzerland.  Was this part of a plan to incite difficulties between Switzerland and certain friends and business partners of hers and Libya?

We believe this provocation was purposeful and carefully planned.  The Israeli intelligence service, the Mossad, from the outset, took part in the planning and helped bring the participants together, eventually involving France and Italy, nations they are able to influence almost as much as the United States.

Gaddafi had been “set up.”

GADDAFI STRIKES BACK

In answer to this action, taken as an insult to Libyan honor (bolstered by a very strong relationship with the United States and Great Britain), Colonel Gaddafi ordered Swiss businesses in Libya closed, flights to Switzerland cancelled and removed $5 The Swiss having a "Third Reich" moment..billion in cash from his personal accounts in Swiss banks.

Gaddafi also cut off oil exports to Switzerland.  Libya is a primary source of oil for Italy, France, Austria and Switzerland.  Two Swiss (Israeli) businessmen in Libya were detained.

Switzerland, with the very temporary support of Italy, created a “blacklist” in order to prevent Libyan’s from traveling, not only in Switzerland but throughout the 25 Schengen (EU) nations as well.

Gaddafi responded by calling for Jihad on Switzerland, asking all Muslims to boycott Swiss products, close ports to Swiss ships and withhold landing rights for all flights from Switzerland.

This was largely ignored.

Then, predictably, Italy’s controversial prime minister, Berlusconi, flew to meet Gaddafi and switched sides.  Italy (Berlusconi)has extensive business interests in Libya and much to lose.  Spain quickly followed suit.

If you wondered why the conservative Swiss, an open society that welcomes refugees from around the world would pass a bizarre and obnoxious act outlawing minarets, the reason is simple.  This was a planned provocation meant to push Libya to more extreme measures.

Switzerland was planning to organize their banks and those of the EU and seize Libya’s vast assets, tens of billions in cash, bonds, equities and land, inside the European Union.  Libya’s good friend, Berlusconi, playing both sides against the middle, as usual, was first on board, followed by Sarkozy.

2004 TONY BLAIR AND THE AMERICANS

Run the clock back to 2004.  Blair and Bush believed they had the two wars, Iraq and Afghanistan under their belts.  Plans were underway to invade Iran, special operations groups from the US were being deployed to stage false flag attacks on American forces in the Persian Gulf.  “Ground zero” would be Bahrain where Shiite groups were being lined up to appear allied to Iran.  Key players were put in place at the highest command levels in the region, commanders tied to Neocon/Dominionist groups in the US, violent extremists willing to plan and execute terror attacks against American troops.

Why is Iran still there?  Why didn’t the next “9/11″ come off as scheduled?  The White House plans were derailed by Marine commanders in the region aided by members of the intelligence community still loyal to the US.  This is not my story to tell but it is an important one.  Real American heroes prevented a very real war and some paid a very high price.  This isn’t “9/11″ with dissolving buildings and mystery missiles.  The evidence is all there with provable treason leading to the highest levels of the US and “others” already ‘in the can.’

In March 2004, when Tony Blair, showed up in Tripoli, it was like an astral convergence.

The deal was simple.  British Petroleum and a consortium of American oil exploration and supply companies would put Libya’s oil and gas industry on the map.  Left out in the cold?  France and Italy, the nations that had been with Gaddafi from ‘day one.’

What would Gaddafi get?

  • An invitation to join the Global War on Terror, the “two bit hustle” dreamedup by Netanyahu staffers now running Bush like a hand puppet.  Imaginary “binLaden” and “Al Qaeda” would allow the globalist Anglo-Israeli/American franchiseto sweep Central Asia like a plague.  Gaddafi bought a front row seat.

  • A “pass” on his WMD programs.  Sham inspections of Libya’s nuclear,biological and chemical warfare programs, long in partnership with South Africa and Israel, would be swept under a rug, as they had been earlier by the SouthAfrican Truth Commission.  Secret supplies of deadly VX gas produced at Roodenplatt Research Laboratories outside Pretoria by Dr. Wouter Basson were never destroyed as reported but transferred to Libya.  (ref:  Dr. David Kelly)

  • Africa:  Gaddafi was allowed a free hand to create the African Union, an organization he headed until a few weeks ago.  His goal of uniting Africa under a single currency and military force and Libyan leadership with corrupt leaders subject to Libyan petrodollars.

  • Tony Blair, in itself, a “mixed bag”

Libya and Africa’s New “Gold Backed” Currency

This is a story I picked up yesterday:

CAIRO: Fallen Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi may have emptied the country’s estimated gold reserves worth $ 10 billion and will use it to buy protection and wage a guerrilla war, the nation’s former chief banker has said.

“Libya had gold reserves worth $ 10 billion in Tripoli. Now that Gaddafi is on the run, he may have taken some of this gold”, Al Jazeera quoted former Libyan Central Bank chief Farhat Bengdara as having told an Italian daily.

Bengdara alleged that Gaddafi may use this bullion to corrupt tribes for his protection and saw chaos. The Libyan banker had deserted the Gaddafi regime few months ago.

The story is out of India, perhaps originating in Tel Aviv but more likely Zurich.  The story is false, insanely so.  Gaddafi’s gold reserves were his plan for creating a 100% gold backed currency for Africa.  However, with only 9 billion dollars in gold, this was all talk.  What was Gaddafi really up to?

What was this Africa bank about?

Gold Room – Piled Higher and Deeper

The story is interesting, both good and bad.  In order to collateralize a currency that he claimed to be based on gold, required him to include other banks at a 20 to 1 ratio to underwrite his “reba-free” or “no interest” currency.

The problem was that the banks he went to were part of the American Federal Reserve system and to service his debt, the same 3% discount rate that pushed the US into the financial toilet would apply.

Gaddafi had only 144 tons of gold.

In effect, Gaddafi was recreating the Federal Reserve System for Africa, every bit of it, except he would be appointing himself “Alan Greenspan” for life.

His hard currency, at the time worth less than $3 billion, would barely build an oil refinery much less fund currencies replacing the nearly 1 trillion US dollars floating around Africa at the time, not to speak of the Swiss Franc’s, Euros and Pounds.

In the end, Gaddafi would end up with near dictatorial power over smaller states and never address issues of existing debt.  Recent events in the EU demonstrate the clear failure of multinational currencies.

The goal was always a tool of control, pure colonialism, Arab dictatorship over the inferior “blacks” of Sub-Saharan Africa

In fact, Gaddafi, the banker’s enemy was simply an agent for the European banks, the same banks that turned on him in 2008.  Currency backed by debt, underwritten by interest, even with a pittance of gold, as with Britain and the US, is still fiat currency, no matter how many speeches you make.

The Long Game in Libya

Al Queda – How Hyped Are They

Civil War.  This is the goal, with more money to be made peddling, not just Libyan conflict but building a “legend,” inflating the phony ”Al Qaeda doll” and dragging the Bush era “war on terror” back to life.

Imaginary Al Qaeda cells are building across Africa today, CIA and Mossad signature false flag operations opening the door.

The move, what drives it?  With Karzai leaving office, with war with Iran on the eternal back burner, the new Cold War, the one that was meant to last for generations is running out of gas.

Even Afghanistan gets tired of fighting, if you can believe that.  They are only just so stupid.

Pakistan will only allow Zardari just so long, playing the puppet before he is brought down.

India will take only so much exploitation, so much financial ruin in the midst of economic boom.

Theatre will move to Africa and Libya has been pre-staged as “ground zero” for the destabilization of Nigeria, the real target, and the entire Sahel.

Central Asia is considered “in the bag,” a “done deal” as it were.  In the process, oil, and gas revenue has proven to be less dependable than the war economy and the debt it creates.

It is easier to start a war than to find oil.  And, on to Libya and on to Africa it goes.

————————————-

Addendum:  Perhaps appropriate for this more conteplative piece on Libya, is this offering from Israeli activist Uri Avnery.  I get odd enjoyment out of people who say exactly what I had wish I had said but do it better.  It is humbling.

Understanding the opposition to NATO’s intervention in Libya

By Uri Avnery

 Uri Avnery argues that opponents of military intervention in Libya are motivated more by hatred of the USA and NATO than by any concern for the people of Libya.

Though the Bible tells us “Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth” (Proverbs 24:17), I could not help myself. I was happy.

Muammar Gaddafi was the enemy of every decent person in the world. He was one of the worst tyrants in recent memory.

This fact was hidden behind a façade of clownishness. He liked to present himself as a philosopher (the Green Book), a visionary statesman (Israelis and Palestinians must unite in the “State of Isratine”), even as an immature teenager (his innumerable uniforms and costumes). But basically he was a ruthless dictator, surrounded by corrupt relatives and cronies, squandering the great wealth of Libya.

Déjà vu

This was obvious to anyone who wanted to see. Unfortunately, there were quite a few who chose to close their eyes.

When I expressed my support for the international intervention, I was expecting to be attacked by some well-meaning people. I was not disappointed.

How could I? How could I support the American imperialists and the abominable NATO? Didn’t I realize that it was all about the oil?

I was not surprised. I have been through this before. When NATO started to bomb Serbian territory in order to put an end to Slobodan Milosevic’s crimes in Kosovo, many of my political friends turned against me.

Didn’t I realize that it was all an imperialist plot? That the devious Americans wanted to tear Yugoslavia (or Serbia) apart? That NATO was an evil organization? That Milosevic, though he may have some faults, was representing progressive humanity?

This was said when the evidence of the gruesome mass-murder in Bosnia was there for everyone to see, when Milosevic was already exposed as the cold-blooded monster he was. Ariel Sharon admired him.

My enemy’s enemy is my friend – even if he’s a psychopath

“I was bombarded with messages from well-meaning people who lauded Gaddafi for all his good deeds. One might get the impression that he was a second Nelson Mandela, if not a second Mahatma Gandhi.”

So how could decent, well-meaning leftists, people of an unblemished humanist record, embrace such a person? My only explanation was that their hatred of the USA and of NATO was so strong, so fervent, that anyone attacked by them must surely be a benefactor of humanity, and all accusations against them pure fabrications. The same happened with Pol Pot.

Now it has happened again. I was bombarded with messages from well-meaning people who lauded Gaddafi for all his good deeds. One might get the impression that he was a second Nelson Mandela, if not a second Mahatma Gandhi.

While the rebels were already fighting their way into his huge personal compound, the socialist leader of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, was praising him as a true model of upright humanity, a man who dared to stand up to the American aggressors.

Well, sorry, count me out. I have this irrational abhorrence of bloody dictators, of genocidal mass-murderers, of leaders who wage war on their own people. And at my advanced age, it is difficult for me to change.

I am ready to support even the devil, if that is necessary to put an end to this kind of atrocities. I won’t even ask about his precise motives. Whatever one may think about the USA and/or NATO – if they disarm a Milosevic or a Gaddafi, they have my blessing.

”A Libyan victory, not a British or a French one”

How large a role did NATO play in the defeat of the Libyan dictator?

The “Libyan rebels, disorganized and poorly armed as they were, have won a remarkable victory. This would not have happened without real revolutionary fervour, without bravery and determination. It is a Libyan victory, not a British or a French one.

The rebels would not have reached Tripoli, and certainly not by now, if they had not enjoyed NATO’s sustained air support. Libya is one big desert. The offensive had to rely on one long road. Without mastery of the skies, the rebels would have been massacred. Anyone who was alive during World War II and followed the campaigns of Rommel and Montgomery knows this.

I assume that the rebels also received arms and advice to facilitate their advance.

But I object to the patronizing assertion that it was all a NATO victory. It is the old colonialist attitude in a new guise. Of course, these poor, primitive Arabs could not do anything without the White Man shouldering his burden and rushing to the rescue.

But wars are not won by weapons, they are won by people. “Boots on the ground”, as the Americans call it. Even with all the help they got, the Libyan rebels, disorganized and poorly armed as they were, have won a remarkable victory. This would not have happened without real revolutionary fervor, without bravery and determination. It is a Libyan victory, not a British or a French one.

This has been underplayed by the international media. I have not seen any genuine combat coverage (and I know what that looks like). Journalists did not acquit themselves with glory. They displayed exemplary cowardice, staying at a safe distance from the front, even during the fall of Tripoli. On TV they looked ridiculous with their conspicuous helmets when they were surrounded by bareheaded fighters.

What came over was endless jubilations over victories that had seemingly fallen from heaven. But these were feats achieved by people – yes, by Arab people.

This is especially galling to our Israeli “military correspondents” and “Arab affairs experts”. Used to despising or hating “the Arabs”, they are ascribing the victory to NATO. It seems that the people of Libya played a minor role, if any.

Now they blabber endlessly about the “tribes”, which will make democracy and orderly governance in Libya impossible. Libya is not really a country, it was never a unified state before becoming an Italian colony, there is no such thing as a Libyan people. (Remember the French saying this about Algeria, and Golda Meir about Palestine?)

Well, for a people that does not exist, the Libyans fought very well. And as for the “tribes” – why do tribes exist only in Africa and Asia, never among Europeans? Why not a Welsh tribe or a Bavarian tribe?

(When I visited Jordan in 1986, well before the peace treaty, I was entertained by a very civilized, high-ranking Jordanian official. After an interesting conversation over dinner, he surprised me by mentioning that he belongs to a certain tribe. Next day, while I was riding on a horse to Petra, the rider next to me asked in a low voice whether I belonged “to the tribe”. It took me some time to understand that he was asking me if I was a Jew. It seems that American Jews refer to themselves in this way.)

The “tribes” of Libya would be called in Europe “ethnic groups” and in Israel “communities”. The term “tribe” has a patronizing connotation. Let’s drop it.

“All those who decry NATO’s intervention must answer a simple question: who else would have done the job? Humanity in the 21st century humanity cannot tolerate acts of genocide and mass-murder, wherever they occur.”

All those who decry NATO’s intervention must answer a simple question: who else would have done the job?

Humanity in the 21st century humanity cannot tolerate acts of genocide and mass-murder, wherever they occur. It cannot look on while dictators butcher their own peoples. The doctrine of “non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states” belongs to the past. We Jews, who have accused mankind of standing idly by while millions of Jews, including German citizens, were exterminated by the legitimate German government, certainly owe the world an answer.

I have mentioned in the past that I advocate some form of effective world governance and expect it to be in place by the end of this century. This would include a democratically elected world executive that would have military forces at its disposal and that could intervene, if a world parliament so decides.

For this to happen, the United Nations must be revamped entirely. The veto power must be abolished. It is intolerable that the US can veto the acceptance of Palestine as a member state, or that Russia and China can veto intervention in Syria.

Certainly, great powers like the US and China should have a louder voice than, say, Luxemburg and the Fiji Islands, but a two thirds majority in the General Assembly should have the power to override Washington, Moscow or Beijing.

That may be the music of the future, or, some may say, a pipe dream. As for now, we live in a very imperfect world and must make do with the instruments we have. NATO, alas, is one of them. The European Union is another, though in this case poor, eternally conscience-stricken Germany, has paralyzed it. If Russia or China were to join, that would be fine.

This is not some remote problem. Gaddafi is finished, but Bashar al-Assad is not. He is butchering his people even while you read this, and the world is looking on helplessly.

Any volunteers for intervention?

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US priorities misplaced— manipulated by the IsraHell lobby

NOVANEWS

ISRAELI PROPAGANDA OUTFIT

Lobby uses our taxes

by Alison Weir

Now a new wrinkle has been added to the Lobby’s number one agenda item—funding the Israeli government. As you will read in the  article by CNI’s executive director Phil Giraldi (just published today) below, the US State Department has awarded a grant to a private interest group, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), to conduct research on anti-Semitism around the world. The amount of the grant is not significant when compared to the billions Washington sends to Tel Aviv, but it is worrisome as it sets a precedent of new ways to empower Israel’s supporters.

The premise of the grant, according to Phil’s insightful analysis, supports “… the never-ending search for anti-Semitism as confirmation of the perpetual victimhood of the state of Israel, justifying whatever action Tel Aviv chooses to take to ‘protect itself.’”

As Phil points out:

“Just like the untouchable Pentagon budget, it is more important to recognize the political context of the MEMRI contract, that the money is being provided at a time when every other program is being cut. It is a token of commitment on the part of Hillary Clinton and her cohorts, revealing a constituency that she and the White House consider to be so important that it must be appeased.”

One other thing you should be aware of. According to Phil’s research, MEMRI was founded by former Israeli intelligence officers.


Whose Congress and State Department?

by Philip Giraldi, Executive Director, Council for the National Interest

August is generally a quiet month for news, but riots in Britain, continuing conflict in Libya and Syria, and concerns that Israel and the United States might be preparing some military moves against Iran have generated a bit of unease. Israel has also decided to take advantage of the summer holidays to help along the peace process by building another 1,600 housing units in what used to be called Arab East Jerusalem.

Congress will buy anything — Haaretz

No surprise there, as the Israeli government announced its plans when peripatetic Vice President Joe Biden visited last year. You might recall that President Obama got tough with the Israelis at that time by refusing to have dinner with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who repaid the favor by dressing down the president and allowing Congress to grovel before him on a state visit in May.

But what happens in the Middle East will eventually have to be resolved in the Middle East, even if the incumbent in the White House sometimes thinks otherwise. After all, the Israel-Palestine conflict ultimately will have to be worked out by Arabs and Jews even if a collateral result is trashing America’s reputation and depleting its treasury along the way. Likewise, America will someday have to figure what its genuine interests might be and act accordingly after the soldiers and money run out. Then it will be lights out for international regime-change, democracy-promotion, nation-building, and peace-processing.

Two recent news stories relate to the United States government and how it has been corrupted by its deference to Israel and wasted tax dollars pandering to the Lobby, almost as if it cannot help itself.

Israel’s President Shimon Peres (R) meets with U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) in Jerusalem August 22, 2011. Cantor headed a delegation of 25 Republican members of the U.S. House

The first story, that 20 percent of the House of Representatives will be spending its recess holiday on American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) tours of Israel, does not seem to have made the mainstream news, though it has been reported extensively in the alternative media, including this site. The visits are on top of a previous tour by more than 20 congressmen in April, and yet another group will be going in December. The current tours, one consisting of 26 Democratic congressmen headed by House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, and two others of 55 Republicans, one led by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, are ostensibly intended to provide Congress with a “deeper understanding” of the situation in the Middle East. For “deeper understanding” one might easily substitute “Israeli viewpoint.”

Steny Hoyer leads delegation of freshmen to Israel

Less reported than the visit itself has been the comportment of the congressmen while in Israel, which has been something akin to unconditional surrender. Hoyer, a committed Christian Zionist who is on his 12th trip to Israel, reassured Israelis that Washington’s financial challenges “will not have any adverse effect on America’s determination to meet its promise to Israel.” Hoyer means that it will be okay to cut Medicare and adversely affect the commitment to America’s elderly, but Israel’s $3 billion plus per year, largely used to buy weapons that it does not need, will be untouched. He also gave the green light for Israel to build its new houses in East Jerusalem, a viewpoint that runs counter to what the White House is apparently saying but which might just as well be a signal to the Israeli government that Washington does not really care if the houses are built or not. Or that it certainly doesn’t care enough to do anything about it with an election coming up next year.

Both Hoyer and his Republican counterpart Eric Cantor took the opportunity to warn the Palestinian leadership that Congress will eliminate all aid if it goes ahead with plans to declare statehood at the U.N. in September. Some might recall that in November 2010, Cantor met privately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and pledged that the Republican Party would serve as a “check” against any unwelcome initiatives by President Obama. At the time Cantor was not yet majority leader of the House, but his offer to support a foreign leader against the president of his own country went unchallenged and did not impede his political ascent.

The second story comes from Hillary Clinton’s State Department, where the Office of International Religious Freedom in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor has awarded a $200,000 grant to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) “to conduct a project that documents anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial, and Holocaust glorification in the Middle East. This grant will enable MEMRI to expand its efforts to monitor the media, translate materials into ten languages, analyze trends in anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial and glorification, and increase distribution of materials through its website and other outlets. Through translations and research, MEMRI aims to inform and educate journalists, government leaders, academia, and the general public about trends in anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial in the Middle East and South Asia, thus generating awareness and response to these issues.”

Supporters of Israel would no doubt argue that congressional visits to Israel are not necessarily bad and that it is completely proper to look into anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. The problem is that it is difficult to discern a genuine United States interest in such goings-on, which are symptomatic of the special treatment of Israel and Israeli interests in general all across the government. Such treatment frequently comes with a price tag attached for the rest of us. What possible interest do the American people have in anti-Semitism in Asia? Why are congressmen drawn to Israel like moths to the flame, so much so that fully 10 percent of all international trips made by congressmen are to Israel?

Critiquing the two stories separately, the sponsored trip to Israel is not free in the sense that it is part and parcel of the dominance of Congress by Israeli interests. Congressmen are, in theory at least, elected by their constituents and handsomely compensated to do what is beneficial for the United States, not for a foreign country. But the Israel Lobby knows that it is a good investment to take a new congressman on an all-expenses-paid visit to Israel where he will be educated in Tel Aviv’s view of the Middle East and the Muslim world.

If the congressman is alert to the politics involved, he will understand that openly sympathizing with Israel’s “plight” will result in financial and media support back in the U.S. and he will welcome AIPAC’s position papers that tell him how to vote on key issues. If he balks, he will be made to understand that opposing measures favored by Israel could result in his being confronted by a well-funded challenger when he seeks reelection. That kind of stick-and-carrot persuasion makes it easy to produce a tame congressman who will give you his vote, because he knows that crossing the Lobby is asking for trouble.

The second story, about MEMRI, the recipient of the State Department grant, is also of interest. Why is it important? After all the money probably amounts to what most people on Capitol Hill regard as chump change, certainly not enough to buy a wheel off the F-35 air-superiority fighter, which comes in at a cool $133 million per unit. The Pentagon has ordered 2,443 of them, and they sure will come in handy if Canada tries to invade. But just like the untouchable Pentagon budget, it is more important to recognize the political context of the MEMRI contract, that the money is being provided at a time when every other program is being cut.

It is a token of commitment on the part of Hillary Clinton and her cohorts, revealing a constituency that she and the White House consider to be so important that it must be appeased. Among other things, the never-ending search for anti-Semitism serves as confirmation of the perpetual victimhood of the state of Israel, justifying whatever action Tel Aviv chooses to take to “protect itself.”

Clinton describes herself as a liberal Democrat, but MEMRI is a neocon stronghold, so what gives? What we are seeing is the neoconization of foreign policy across the board and in both political parties, much of it driven by Israeli citizens or dual nationals. MEMRI was founded by former Israeli intelligence officers and once included Meyrav Wurmser, an Israeli-born  Zionist who is now ensconced at the Hudson Institute, a leading neocon think tank. Her husband, David, who was born in Switzerland, was a foreign policy adviser to former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Many believe that MEMRI has been agenda-ridden from the start, occasionally mistranslating and cherry-picking the most extreme press reports to support an anti-Arab agenda. Thanks to Hillary Clinton, it is now being funded by the United States government to begin a hunt for anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers worldwide. It will certainly find them, even if it has to be inventive to do so. One might well ask why the State Department is wasting money tracking such people all over the globe and what benefit the American people will derive from the search, but don’t expect an answer any time soon.

Americans who like Israel and everything that pertains to it are certainly free to express their views, but there is something unseemly and even grotesque about the continuous promotion of foreign interests ahead of those of the United States. MEMRI produces material that supports the propaganda line of the Israeli government as well as domestic Islamophobes, while AIPAC is a lobby dedicated to maintaining uncritical U.S. government support for a foreign country.

It can be argued that Washington entered into at least one foreign war because of the many groups, including AIPAC and MEMRI, that are part of the Israel Lobby. Hillary Clinton just might consider a better use for the $200,000, and the congressmen who accept the junkets and who will vote at Israel’s beck and call should be asking themselves whose interests they are really serving. George Washington famously warned about entangling foreign alliances, but one suspects that Hillary Clinton and those who surround her are too busy looking forward to heed the past. And what would our first president think about the 81 congressmen  going off to obtain guidance from a foreign government? He would probably think it unimaginable, in the Republic that he helped establish, that the people would not rise up in anger and throw the bums out. Would that it were so.

U.S. Aid to Israel: Funding our Decline

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Zio-Nazi ambassador hosts Ramadan dinner

NOVANEWS

This is really hilarious.  Look at this news item in the Zio-Nazi propaganda newspaper.  Notice that they did not name one US Arab or Muslim who was in attendance, with the exception of a US official.  But I have it on good authority that Zio-Nazi favorite US Muslim did attend: indeed, Abraham Foxman made it to the Iftar.

Zio-Nazi Michael Oren holds ‘Iftar’ meal at DC residence to break traditional Muslim fast. Dining room temporarily converted into prayer room

Yitzhak Benhorin 

The residence’s dining room was temporarily converted into a prayer room – rugs were placed on the floor facing towards Mecca. 

Presiding over the kitchens was a chef from one of the many Arab embassies in Washington who made sure the celebratory meal was made in accordance with ‘Halal’ – Islamic laws.

Among the guests at the event was Farah Pandith, the first woman ever to be appointed to the role of US State Department Special Representative to the Muslim Communities. In contrast, the ambassador’s wife Sally Oren was conspicuous in her absence.

Multi cultural Iftar meal at Israeli Embassy

Multi cultural Iftar meal at Israeli Embassy

The ambassador explained that his wife had undergone minor surgery and that she was hospitalized at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem.

Oren welcomed his guests and said that he was proud to host the first Iftar meal in his home. He added that he hoped that the evening marked the beginnings of a shared tradition of building bridges to mutual understanding and esteem which would start in Washington but reach the Middle East.

In closing he wished the participants a “Ramadan Karim” (a generous Ramadan) on behalf of the Israeli government and the Israeli people.

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Report: $42 Million From Seven Foundations Helped Fuel The Rise Of Islamophobia In America

NOVANEWS
“Following a six-month long investigative research project, the Center for American Progress released a 130-page report today which reveals that more than $42 million from seven foundations over the past decade have helped fan the flames of anti-Muslim hate in America.
The authors — Wajahat Ali, Eli Clifton, Matt Duss, Lee Fang, Scott Keyes, and myself — worked to expose the Islamophobia network in depth, name the major players, connect the dots, and trace the genesis of anti-Muslim propaganda.” 

by Faiz Shakir

Following a six-month long investigative research project, the Center for American Progress released a 130-page report today which reveals that more than $42 million from seven foundations over the past decade have helped fan the flames of anti-Muslim hate in America. The authors — Wajahat Ali, Eli Clifton, Matt Duss, Lee Fang, Scott Keyes, and myself — worked to expose the Islamophobia network in depth, name the major players, connect the dots, and trace the genesis of anti-Muslim propaganda.

The report, titled “Fear Inc.: The Roots Of the Islamophobia Network In America,” lifts the veil behind the hate, follows the money, and identifies the names of foundations who have given money, how much they have given, and who they have given to:

 

THE FUNDERS THE AMOUNT THE RECIPIENTS
Donors Capital Fund $20,768,600 Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), Middle East Forum (MEF),Clarion Fund (Clarion),David Horowitz Freedom Center (Horowitz)
Richard Scaifefoundations $7,875,000 Counterterrorism & Security Education and Research Foundation (CTSERF), Center for Security Policy (CSP), Horowitz
Lynde and HarryBradley Foundation $5,370,000 MEF, CSP, Horowitz
Russell Berrie Foundation $3,109,016 IPT, CTSERF, MEF
Anchorage Charitable Fund and William Rosenwald Family Fund $2,818,229 IPT,CTSERF, MEF, CSP, Clarion, Horowitz
Fairbook Foundation $1,498,450 IPT, MEF, CSP, Jihad Watch, Horowitz,American Congress for Truth
Newton and Rochelle Becker foundations $1,136,000 IPT, CTSERF, MEF, CSP, Clarion, Horowitz, American Congress for Truth
Total $42,575,295

The money has flowed into the hands of five key “experts” and “scholars” who comprise the central nervous system of anti-Muslim propaganda:

FRANK GAFFNEY, Center for Security Policy – “A mosque that is used to promote a seditious program, which is what Sharia is…that is not a protected religious practice, that is in fact sedition.” [Source]

DAVID YERUSHALMI, Society of Americans for National Existence: “Muslim civilization is at war with Judeo-Christian civilization…the Muslim peoples,those committed to Islam as we know it today, are our enemies.” [Source]

DANIEL PIPES, Middle East Forum: “All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most.” [Source]

ROBERT SPENCER, Jihad Watch: “Of course, as I have pointed out many times, traditional Islam itself is not moderate or peaceful. It is the only major world religion with a developed doctrine and tradition of warfare against unbelievers.” [Source]

STEVEN EMERSON, Investigative Project on Terrorism: “One of the world’s great religions — which has more than 1.4 billion adherents — somehowsanctions genocide, planned genocide, as part of its religious doctrine.” [Source]

These five “scholars” are assisted in their outreach efforts by Brigitte Gabriel (founder, ACT! for America), Pamela Geller (co-founder, Stop Islamization of America), and David Horowitz (supporter of Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch). As the report details, information is then disseminated through conservative organizations like the Eagle Forum, the religious right, Fox News, and politicians such as Allen West and Newt Gingrich.

Over the past few years, the Islamophobia network (the funders, scholars, grassroots activists, media amplifiers, and political validators) have worked hard to push narratives that Obama might be a Muslim, that mosques are incubators of radicalization, and that “radical Islam” has infiltrated all aspects of American society — including the conservative movement.

To explain how the Islamophobia network operates, we’ve produced this video to show just one example of how they have mainstreamed the baseless and unfounded fear that Sharia may soon replace American laws:

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Italy denies battle with France over Libyan riches

NOVANEWS

““Italy is a country with a population which has a deep, reciprocated love for the Libyan people.””  In other news, French people expressed a deep, reciprocated love for the Algerian people.”

ROME – Italy and France are not engaged in a colonial-style battle to seize Libya’s riches, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said in an interview with Rai radio.

“There’s not a race to arrive first in Libya,” Frattini said, rejecting allegations in Italian newspapers of a competition between the two countries for the best contracts in a post-Kadhafi Libya.

“We are forgetting that the protagonists are the Libyan people,” he said, adding: “unlike many other European countries, Italy has asked pardon for the faults of the colonial past” and “does not want to fall back into temptation.”

Frattini said the North African country had “a ruling class, qualified young people, people who have travelled and know the world,” and would not allow itself to be imposed upon by a “colonial presence.”

Italy is different from all the other countries, he said: “Italy is a country with a population which has a deep, reciprocated love for the Libyan people.”

In an interview on the Internet site “IlSussidario.net”, the foreign minister added the “Italian military engagement in Libya will continue even after Kadhafi’s capture, as long as circumstances require it.”

Italy will continue to play a key role in post-Gaddafi Libya, in particular regarding infrastructure, energy and telecommunications sectors, as well as on immigration, he said.

“Italy did not become important in Libya just yesterday. There are several decades of history of political friendship, economic exchanges and international collaboration which will continue with the emerging government.”

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