Archive | January 14th, 2014

Zio-Nazi Livni: We’re living in bubble, disconnected from world

NOVANEWS

IsraelBrickWall

Justice minister says policy on Palestinians trumps all internal  issues, international boycott on West Bank is  to be felt in rest of  country: ‘Palestinian conflict is glass ceiling of Israel’s economy’

Ynet

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said Israel was burying its head in the sand in regards to the consequences of the dispute with the Palestinians.

“I want to talk about ‘the bubble,’” she said. “Not the financial bubble and not the real estate bubble, but the bubble that we’re living in. An entire country that is disconnected from the international reality.”

In an address to Calcalist’s 2014 Forecasts conference, Livni said that a country usually only finds out the cost of living in a bubble after it bursts, such as in the case of South Africa.

The minister said that despite being in financial conferences and poverty committees, those issues “have no significance if they ignore the conflict. The Palestinian conflict is the glass ceiling of Israel’s economy.”

She warned that the international financial and economic boycott started with the West Bank, but over time it will flow in to the rest of the country.

“It won’t end there. The boycott is moving and advancing uniformly and exponentially,” Livni said. “Those who don’t want to see it, will end up feeling it.”

The justice minister said the world doesn’t understand Israel’s policy of seemingly supporting a two-state solution while continuing to build in the West Bank.

“If there’s no Palestinian partner, then we need to make an agreement with the world. The negotiations are not only with the Palestinians,” Livni said.

“Or we could try ignoring the world, wrap ourselves in the justice of our cause, and support ridiculous and radical laws that damage the peace process and democracy.”

Livni called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu policies the “dark side of democracy.”

“There is someone who is holding up construction bids in the country’s periphery because he is not ready to differentiate between building in the settlements and building in Lod and Ashkelon,” Livni said.

Livni concluded by saying that those declaring Israel needs to annex the West Bank are turning Israel into a lone settlement in the world.

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Zio-Nazi Livni to Bennett: Don’t Preach to Me About Rights to the Land

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MIDEAST ISRAEL POLITICS LIVNI

Justice Minister accuses Bennett and other “radicals” of  sabotaging the peace process, after Bennett rejects the pre-1967 lines.

ed note–please pay close attention to what Livni is saying here–

‘I believe that the people of Israel have a right to the entire land of Israel’

In other words, Livni is as much a landgrabber and a radical as her ‘opponents’. Where the difference lie is whether it is ‘in your face’ racism and theft as we see see in the Israeli right, vs a ‘kinder, gentler’ Judaism of Livni & co where they give you Hydrocodone after beating you nearly to death.

Israel National News

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni had harsh words for Economy Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday evening, after Bennett gave a speech in which he rejected a peace agreement based on the pre-1967 lines.

Speaking to law students at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Livni accused “radicals” of sabotaging the peace process. She also called on Bennett not to preach to her about Jewish right to the land of Israel.

“On my way here I heard the speech of another minister in the government, which sounded patriotic – a strong army, a people holding on to their land,” she said, mocking Bennett.

“The argument is not an argument about a right,” declared Livni. “No one will preach to me about who believes more about the right of the people of Israel to the land of Israel. I believe that the people of Israel have a right to the entire land of Israel, but the argument is not about this issue. The question is whether the Zionist vision comes at the price of a Jewish democratic state.”

She continued, “Part of the problem is that the average politician is split between those who elected him – members of a party’s central committee and ideological organizations which take control of the parties to promote a specific agenda which is usually more radical than that of voters – and the general public. That’s how we find ourselves waking up once a week to read headlines about annexing the Jordan Valley.”

“The ministers are not stupid – they understand that this harms the State of Israel, its security, that we are currently in the midst of a process that deals with maintaining our security. But they play the game, because they owe the radical groups within their party. So why not also propose a bill that would forbid us from negotiating, just because Miri Regev wants to gain a few more votes from her own party?” charged Livni.

“Those who do not make the distinction between isolated settlements and settlement blocs are those who will ultimately send us back to the ‘1967 borders,’” she claimed. “This makes me angry because it’s deceit – they are trying to claim that there are those who are concerned over security and who are speaking in the name of Zionism and the land of Israel, and the rest do not.”

“I’m angry because this is not just about political differences – this is a case where a minority imposes its opinion on the majority for decades,” said Livni.

In his speech earlier Tuesday, Bennett said that the words “1967 borders” have been used to conceal the true weight of the concessions being demanded by the Palestinian Authority (PA).

“Friends, the games are over. We won’t play with words anymore: the ’67 lines’ means splitting Jerusalem, and giving up the Mount of Olives – where Menachem Begin, Rabbi Kook, and Eliezer Ben-Yehuda are buried – and giving up the Kotel, the Temple Mount and the Old City,” he declared.

“How will history remember a leader who agrees to give up Jerusalem? How will it remember the first leader in Jewish history who dares to do that? And what’s more, to do it voluntarily?” Bennett asked.

A concession like that may win Israel temporary goodwill from the international community, Bennett said, but it would come at a high price: “another round of attacks and terrorism, which we would come into weaker than before, and with no moral right to defend ourselves after having declared that what is ours – is not ours,” he warned.

Livni, who has been relentless in her insistence on pursuing a peace agreement with the PA, has locked horns with Bennett on more than one occasion over this issue.

Last month, she attacked the Jewish Home party, accusing it of deliberately seeking to sabotage talks by advocating construction projects for Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria

Livni has called for talks to continue at any price, even as the PA continues its daily incitement against Israelis. She also recently said that Israel should ignore terrorism and continue with the peace process.

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‘Arab Spring’ , thanks to Saudis, turned into ‘Salafi Spring’

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Saudi jihadis in Lebanon have been accused of involvement in many incidents, from the assassination of Rafik Hariri to fighting in the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp.
Saudi jihadis in Lebanon have been accused of involvement in many incidents, from the assassination of Rafik Hariri to fighting in the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp.
Dozens of Saudi members of al-Qaeda are incarcerated in Lebanon, while dozens of others who came to Lebanon to “liberate it from its infidel regime” and establish an Islamic state, have been killed in the country. Saudi jihadis in Lebanon have been accused of involvement in many incidents, from the assassination of Rafik Hariri to fighting in the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp.

Jihadis (extremists) do not recognize political borders between countries because they believe all the world is “God’s land,” and the land of Islam and Muslims is one. For this reason, one may encounter jihadis of all nationalities, brought together by a fundamentalist brand of Islam, crossing borders to fight until victory, or more often, death.

Nevertheless, not all jihadis are created equal. Indeed, Saudis are seen to enjoy a position of seniority among jihadi groups due to two factors: their wealth and the status of Saudi Arabia as a bastion of Salafi-jihadism – the ideological wellspring of Al-Qaeda and its ilk.

Below are snippets from the history of Saudi jihadis in Lebanon, where Saudis have been sentenced to prison for forming extremist cells, carrying out terrorist acts, and involvement in criminal activities related to car theft, drug dealing, and fraud.

Faisal Akbar, 35, is considered the longest-serving Saudi prisoner in Lebanon. Akbar was arrested more than seven years ago and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was released months ago after the prison year in Lebanon was reduced to nine months. Akbar was one of the most prominent detainees in the “Group of 13,” which confessed to assassinating former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri before retracting its statements.

Fahd al-Moghames, born 1979, is another prominent Saudi jihadi caught in Lebanon. He was arrested in June 2007 and was also sentenced to 10 years in prison. A Lebanese military tribunal recommended the death sentence for Moghames, who led an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group of Lebanese, Syrian, and Palestinian nationals in the Bekaa Valley.

According to the text of the indictment issued by Judge Rashid Mezher, Moghames left Saudi Arabia in late 2003 to fight US troops in Iraq. Moghames carried a false passport bearing the name of Ahmad Tuwaijri. Mezher noted Moghames’s movements between the Ain al-Helweh refugee camp and the Bekaa, and his efforts to create armed terror cells to instigate Sunni-Shia strife in Lebanon.

Next is Abdullah al-Bishi, born 1976, who is known by other names, including Abu Abdul-Malek. He was arrested in February 2007. So far, he has served five years and five months in prison, but he remains on trial in terrorism-related cases.

Bishi was one of the individuals arrested for their activities in the terrorist group known as Fatah al-Islam during the incidents of Nahr al-Bared. It was soon revealed that Bishi had been dispatched by Al-Qaeda to offer guidance to the jihadis during their battles against the Lebanese army at the Palestinian refugee camp.

According to the text of the indictment issued by Judge Ghassan Owaidat, Bishi acted as “a religious guide for Fatah al-Islam and Al-Qaeda.” Interestingly, however, Bishi said during his detention that most Saudis who joined Fatah al-Islam (62 people) had fallen prey to Shaker al-Absi, leader of Fatah al-Islam, who Bishi said had taken advantage of the Saudis to seize money from them.

The fourth most prominent Saudi prisoner in Lebanon is Mohammed Saleh al-Souweyed, who is believed to be one of the most important “men of Al-Qaeda” to ever enter to Lebanon. All four Saudis were arrested on terrorism charges and for involvement in terrorist operations, according to investigations carried out by the Information Branch of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces.

In addition to those, there are eight Saudi prisoners in Lebanon, including some detained in terror cases and others in criminal cases. In the former category, the cases include the assassination of Hariri, Fatah al-Islam’s activities, and a series of bombings targeting the Lebanese army and UNIFIL.

One of the Saudi prisoners held for his alleged role in these cases is Talal al-Saeiri, born 1984, who was arrested in September 2007 and has yet to be sentenced by the military tribunal. Other Saudi prisoners include the following individuals, all of whom remain on trial: Mohammed al-Mutairi, born 1982, arrested in September 2007; Ayed al-Qahtani, born 1958, arrested in June 2007; and Mubarak al-Karbi, born 1978, arrested in September 2007.

While these individuals were arrested after the defeat inflicted on Fatah al-Islam, dozens were killed in action and buried in Tripoli’s Ghurabaa cemetery.

Fatah al-Islam’s project for an Islamic emirate in Lebanon was not the first one to involve Saudis, nor was it the last. To be sure, after a lull that lasted a few years, the Arab Spring has now turned, thanks to Salafi-jihadis, into a “Salafi Spring” across the whole Arab world.

Source: Al-Akhbar

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Global Terrorism and Saudi Arabia: Bandar’s Terror Network

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Global Research

Saudi Arabia has all the vices and none of the virtues of an oil rich state like Venezuela. The country is governed by a family dictatorship which tolerates no opposition and severely punishes human rights advocates and political dissidents. Hundreds of billions in oil revenues are controlled by the royal despotism and fuel speculative investments the world over. The ruling elite relies on the purchase of Western arms and US military bases for protection. The wealth of productive nations is syphoned to enrich the conspicuous consumption of the Saudi ruling family. The ruling elite finances the most fanatical, retrograde, misogynist version of Islam, “Wahhabi” a sect of Sunni Islam.

Faced with internal dissent from repressed subjects and religious minorities, the Saudi dictatorship perceives threats and dangers from all sides: overseas, secular, nationalists and Shia ruling governments; internally, moderate Sunni nationalists, democrats and feminists; within the royalist cliques, traditionalists and modernizers. In response it has turned toward financing, training and arming an international network of Islamic terrorists who are directed toward attacking, invading and destroying regimes opposed to the Saudi clerical-dictatorial regime.

The mastermind of the Saudi terror network is Bandar bin Sultan, who has longstanding and deep ties to high level US political, military and intelligence officials. Bandar was trained and indoctrinated at Maxwell Air Force Base and Johns Hopkins University and served as Saudi Ambassador to the US for over two decades (1983 – 2005). Between 2005 – 2011 he was Secretary of the National Security Council and in 2012 he was appointed as Director General of the Saudi Intelligence Agency. Early on Bandar became deeply immersed in clandestine terror operations working

in liaison with the CIA. Among his numerous “dirty operations” with the CIA during the 1980s, Bandar channeled $32 million dollars to the Nicaragua Contra’s engaged in a terror campaign to overthrow the revolutionary Sandinista government in Nicaragua. During his tenure as ambassador he was actively engaged in protecting Saudi royalty with ties to the 9/11/01 bombing of the Triple Towers and the Pentagon. Suspicion that Bandar and his allies in the Royal family had prior knowledge of the bombings by Saudi terrorists (11 of the 19), is suggested by the sudden flight of Saudi Royalty following the terrorist act. US intelligence documents regarding the Saudi-Bandar connection are under Congressional review.

With a wealth of experience and training in running clandestine terrorist operations, derived from his two decades of collaboration with the US intelligence agencies, Bandar was in a position to organize his own global terror network in defense of the isolated retrograde and vulnerable Saudi despotic monarchy.

Bandar’s Terror Network

Bandar bin Sultan has transformed Saudi Arabia from an inward-looking, tribal based regime totally dependent on US military power for its survival, to a major regional center of a vast terror network, an active financial backer of rightwing military dictatorships (Egypt) and client regimes (Yemen) and military interventor in the Gulf region (Bahrain). Bandar has financed and armed a vast array of clandestine terror operations, utilizing Islamic affiliates of Al Qaeda, the Saudi controlled Wahhabi sect as well as numerous other Sunni armed groups. Bandar is a “pragmatic” terrorist operator: repressing Al Qaeda adversaries in Saudi Arabia and financing Al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere., While Bandar was a long-term asset of the US intelligence services, he has, more recently, taken an ‘independent course’ where the regional interests of the despotic state diverge from those of the US. In the same vein, while Saudi Arabia has a longstanding enmity toward Israel, Bandar has developed a “covert understanding” and working relation with the Netanyahu regime, around their common enmity toward Iran and more specifically in opposition to the interim agreement between the Obama-Rohani regime.

Bandar has intervened directly or via proxies in reshaping political alignments, destabilizing adversaries and bolstering and expanding the political reach of the Saudi dictatorship from North Africa to South Asia, from the Russian Caucuses to the Horn of Africa, sometimes in concert with Western imperialism, other times projecting Saudi hegemonic aspirations.

North Africa: Tunisia, Morocco, Libya and Egypt

Bandar has poured billions of dollars to bolster the rightwing pro-Islamic regimes in Tunisia and Morocco, ensuring that the mass pro-democracy movements would be repressed, marginalized and demobilized.. Islamic extremists receiving Saudi financial support are encouraged to back the “moderate” Islamists in government by assassinating secular democratic leaders and socialist trade union leaders in opposition. Bandar’s policies largely coincide with those of the US and France in Tunisia and Morocco; but not in Libya and Egypt.

Saudi financial backing for Islamist terrorists and Al Qaeda affiliates against Libyan President Gadhafi were in-line with the NATO air war. However divergences emerged in the aftermath: the NATO backed client regime made up of neo-liberal ex-pat’s faced off against Saudi backed Al Qaeda and Islamist terror gangs and assorted tribal gunmen and marauders. Bandar funded Islamic extremists in Libya were bankrolled to extend their military operations to Syria, where the Saudi regime was organizing a vast military operation to overthrow the Assad regime. The internecine conflict between NATO and Saudi armed groups in Libya, spilled over and led to the Islamist murder of the US Ambassador and CIA operatives in Benghazi. Having overthrown Gadhafi, Bandar virtually abandoned interest in the ensuing blood bath and chaos provoked by his armed assets. They in turn, became self-financing – robbing banks, pilfering oil and emptying local treasuries – relatively “independent” of Bandar’s control.

In Egypt, Bandar developed, in coordination with Israel (but for different reasons), a strategy of undermining the relatively independent, democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood regime of Mohammed Morsi. Bandar and the Saudi dictatorship financially backed the military coup and dictatorship of General Sisi. The US strategy of a power-sharing agreement between the Moslem Brotherhood and the military regime, combining popular electoral legitimacy and the pro-Israel-pro NATO military was sabotaged. With a $15 billion aid package and promises of more to come, Bandar provided the Egyptian military a financial lifeline and economic immunity from any international financial reprisals. None were taken of any consequences. The military crushed the Brotherhood, jailed and threatened to execute its elected leaders. It outlawed sectors of the liberal-left opposition which it had used as cannon fodder to justify its seizure of power. In backing the military coup, Bandar eliminated a rival, democratically elected Islamic regime which stood in contrast to the Saudi despotism. He secured a like-minded dictatorial regime in a key Arab country, even though the military rulers are more secular, pro-Western, pro-Israel and less anti-Assad than the Brotherhood regime. Bandar’s success in greasing the wheels for the Egyptian coup secured a political ally but faces an uncertain future.

The revival of a new anti-dictatorial mass movement would also target the Saudi connection. Moreover Bandar undercut and weakened Gulf State unity: Qatar had financed the Morsi regime and was out $5 billion dollars it had extended to the previous regime.

Bandar’s terror network is most evident in his long-term large scale financing, arming, training and transport of tens of thousands of Islamic terrorist “volunteers” from the US, Europe, the Middle East, the Caucuses, North Africa and elsewhere.. Al Qaeda terrorists in Saudi Arabia became “martyrs of Islam” in Syria. Dozens of Islamic armed gangs in Syria competed for Saudi arms and funds. Training bases with US and European instructors and Saudi financing were established in Jordan, Pakistan and Turkey. Bandar financed the major ‘rebel’ Islamic terrorist armed group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, for cross border operations.

With Hezbollah supporting Assad, Bandar directed money and arms to the Abdullah Azzam Brigades in Lebanon to bomb South Beirut, the Iranian embassy and Tripoli. Bandar directed $3 billion to the Lebanese military with the idea of fomenting a new civil war between it and Hezbollah. In co-ordination with France and the US, but with far greater funding and greater latitude to recruit Islamic terrorist, Bandar assumed the leading role and became the principle director of a three front military and diplomatic offensive against Syria, Hezbollah and Iran. For Bandar, an Islamic takeover in Syria would lead to an Islamic Syrian invasion in support of Al Qaeda in Lebanon to defeat Hezbollah in hopes of isolating Iran. Teheran would then become the target of a Saudi-Israeli-US offensive. Bandar’s strategy is more fantasy then reality.

Bandar Diverges from Washington: the Offensive in Iraq and Iran

Saudi Arabia has been an extremely useful but sometimes out of control client of Washington. This is especially the case since Bandar has taken over as Intelligence chief: a long-time asset of the CIA he has also, at times, taken the liberty to extract “favors” for his services, especially when those “favors” enhance his upward advance within the Saudi power structure. Hence, for example, his ability to secure AWACs despite AIPAC opposition earned him merit points. As did Bandar’s ability to secure the departure of several hundred Saudi ‘royalty’ with ties to the 9/11 bombers, despite a high level national security lockdown in the aftermath of the bombing.

While there were episodic transgressions in the past, Bandar moved on to more serious divergences from US policy. He went ahead, building his own terror network, directed toward maximizing Saudi hegemony – even where it conflicted with US proxies, clients and clandestine operatives.

While the US is committed to backing the rightwing Malicki regime in Iraq, Bandar is providing political, military and financial backing to the Sunni terrorist “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria”. When the US negotiated the “interim agreement” with Iran Bandar voiced his opposition and “bought” support. Saudi signed off on a billion dollar arms agreement during French President Hollande’s visit, in exchange for greater sanctions on Iran. Bandar also expressed support for Israel’s use of the Zionist power configuration to influence the Congress, to sabotage US negotiations with Iran.

Bandar has moved beyond his original submission to US intelligence handlers. His close ties with past and present US and EU presidents and political influentials have encouraged him to engage in “Big Power adventures”. He met with Russian President Putin to convince him to drop his support for Syria, offering a carrot or a stick: a multi-billion dollar arms sale for compliance and a threat to unleash Chechnyian terrorists to undermine the Sochi Olympics. He has turned Erdogan from a NATO ally supporting ‘moderate’ armed opponents to Bashar Assad, into embracing the Saudi backed ‘Islamic State of Iraq and Syria”, a terrorist Al Qaeda affiliate. Bandar has “overlooked” Erdogan’s “opportunist” efforts to sign off oil deals with Iran and Iraq, his continuing military arrangements with NATO and his past backing of the defunct Morsi regime in Egypt, in order to secure Erdogan’s support for the easy transit of large numbers of Saudi trained terrorists to Syria and probably Lebanon.

Bandar has strengthened ties with the armed Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, arming and financing their armed resistance against the US, as well as offering the US a site for a ‘negotiated departure’.

Bandar is probably supporting and arming Uighur Muslim terrorists in western China, and Chechens and Caucasian Islamic terrorists in Russia, even as the Saudi’s expand their oil agreements with China and cooperate with Russia’s Gazprom.

The only region where the Saudi’s have exercised direct military intervention is in the Gulf min-state of Bahrain, where Saudi troops crushed the pro-democracy movement challenging the local despot.

Bandar: Global Terror on Dubious Domestic Foundations

Bandar has embarked on an extraordinary transformation of Saudi foreign policy and enhanced its global influence. All to the worst. Like Israel, when a reactionary ruler comes to power and overturns the democratic order, Saudi arrives on the scene with bags of dollars to buttress the regime. Whenever an Islamic terror network emerges to subvert a nationalist, secular or Shia regime, it can count on Saudi funds and arms. What some Western scribes euphemistically describe as “tenuous effort to liberalize and modernize” the retrograde Saudi regime, is really a military upgrade of its overseas terrorist activity. Bandar uses modern techniques of terror to impose the Saudi model of reactionary rule on neighboring and distant regimes with Muslim populations.

The problem is that Bandar’s “adventurous” large scale overseas operations conflict with some of the ruling Royal family’s “introspective” style of rulership. They want to be left alone to accrue hundreds of billions collecting petrol rents, to invest in high-end properties around the world, and to quietly patronize high end call girls in Washington, London and Beirut –while posing as pious guardians of Medina, Mecca and the Holy sites. So far Bandar has not been challenged, because he has been careful to pay his respects to the ruling monarch and his inner circle. He has bought and brought Western and Eastern prime ministers, presidents and other respectable notable to Riyadh to sign deals and pay compliments to the delight of the reigning despot. Yet his solicitous behavior to overseas Al Qaeda operations, his encouraging Saudi extremists to go overseas and engage in terrorist wars, disturbs monarchical circles. They worry that Saudis trained, armed and knowledgeable terrorists – dubbed as “holy warriors” – may return from Syria, Russia and Iraq and bomb the Kings palaces. Moreover, oversea regimes targeted by Bandar’s terror network may retaliate: Russia or Iran, Syrians, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Iraqis may just sponsor their own instruments of retaliation. Despite the hundreds of billions spent on arms purchases, the Saudi regime is very vulnerable on all levels. Apart from tribal legions, the billionaire elite have little popular support and even less legitimacy. It depends on overseas migrant labor, foreign “experts” and US military forces. The Saudi elite is also despised by the most religious of the Wahhabi clergy for allowing “infidels” on sacred terrain. While Bandar extends Saudi power abroad, the domestic foundations of rule are narrowing. While he defies US policymakers in Syria, Iran and Afghanistan, the regime depends on the US Air Force and Seventh Fleet to protect it from a growing array of adversarial regimes.

Bandar, with his inflated ego, may believe that he is a “Saladin” building a new Islamic empire, but in reality, by waving one finger his patron monarch can lead to his rapid dismissal. One too many provocative civilian bombings by his Islamic terrorist beneficiaries can lead to an international crises leading to Saudi Arabia becoming the target of world opprobrium.

In reality, Bandar bin Sultan is the protégé and successor of Bin Laden; he has deepened and systematized global terrorism. Bandar’s terror network has murdered far more innocent victims than Bin Laden. That, of course, is to be expected; after all he has billions of dollars from the Saudi treasury, training from the CIA and the handshake of Netanyahu!

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Pakistan, a Victim of Ideological Colonization

NOVANEWS
Global Research

The distressing story of a Pakistani teenager who lost his life while he was making efforts to prevent a suicide bomber from detonating his school and unleashing a maniac massacre of innocent children in the country’s troubled north-west has gained colossal attention in the world.

Aitizaz Hasan, almost 15 years old, was standing outside as a punishment for being late to school in Hangu, a town in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, on Monday when the suicide bomber tried to gain access to the building.

Basically a Shia-populated town in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, Hangu has become a scene of unrest and Takfiri-begotten hatred like many parts of the country.

What Aitizaz did has reportedly saved the lives of more than 2000 students who were at school at the time of the catastrophe.

”My son made his mother cry, but saved hundreds of mothers from crying for their children,” his father, Mujahid Ali, told the Express Tribune newspaper.

Schools, mosques, and temples are the routine targets of the Takfiri groups in Pakistan and elsewhere in the world. According to their definition, anyone but the Takfiris is an infidel and should be eradicated from the face of the earth. Women and children are no exceptions to them. Muslims and non-Muslims are no exceptions to them. What is acceptable to them is complete belief in their twisted perception and interpretation of Islam.

In September 2013, a twin suicide attack on a historic church known as All Saint’s Church in Peshawar in northwestern Pakistan killed over 80 people including women and children and injuring over a hundred people.

“Suicide bombers entered the church compound from the main gate and blew themselves up in the midst of the people,” a statement posted on the diocese website read.

In another incident, a suicide bomber struck a crowded Pakistan mosque in August 2013, killing 43 people and wounding more than 100 during Ramadan prayers. The bomber was wearing about 8-10 kg of explosives and was on foot. He had detonated in the main prayer hall.

In 2012, gunmen dragged 20 Shia Muslim travelers off a bus and killed them at point blank range in northern Pakistan. The bus was travelling between Rawalpindi and the mainly Shia northern city of Gilgit.

“Ten to 12 people wearing army uniform stopped the bus and forced some people off the bus,” said Khalid Omarzai, a Pakistani official.

“After checking their papers, they opened fire and at least 20 people are reported to have been killed. This is initial information and the final toll may go up. They are all Shias,” he said.

On January I, 2014, a suicide car bombing in Pakistan killed two Shia Muslims who were returning from a pilgrimage to Iran.

The attack took place on Wednesday in Akhtaraba, on the outskirts of Quetta in Balochistan and targeted a passenger bus carrying Shia Muslims.

“An explosive-laden car which was parked along the roadside blew up as the bus passed by it, killing two people and wounding 17,” Abdul Razzaq Cheema, Quetta police chief, told AFP news agency.

Takfiri hatred is vented in different ways. A common way is, however, suicide bombing. Other forms include beheading, spilling acid over the victims’ faces and mutilating their bodies.

Takfirism, which is an umbrella name for Wahhabism, is lavishly funded by Saudi Arabia. For over three decades, Saudi Arabia has been spent over USD 100 billion on promoting Wahhabism worldwide with Pakistan being one of the early instances of such ideological colonization in Asia. In other words, big chunks of petrodollar earned by the House of Saud go to the dissemination of Wahhabism and the subsequent promotion of terrorism.

So, suicide bombing is nothing new in Pakistan and some of the countries infested by the influence of the Takfiri groups who are hell-bent on annihilating the rest of the world which they view as ideologically inferior.

By way of diverting attention from what is really happening, the West seeks to prescribe its own version of the realities and practically dictates how the media should report on any violence produced by this crooked ideology. In fact, the West substantially capitalizes on the discord sweeping across the Middle East on account of the efforts of the Takfiri groups such as Taliban, al-Qaeda, and al-Nusra and so on and so forth.

The western media unanimously attribute attacks of this nature to sectarian violence and the “rift deepening wider between the Shia and the Sunni Muslims” every day. The fact of the matter is that these incidents happening in Pakistan and similar incidents taking place elsewhere have nothing to do with sectarianism and should not be treated thus.

Anyway, what is happening in Pakistan is an ideological product of the House of Saud and their ignoramus adherents.

Sadly, Pakistani politicians frequently turn a blind eye to the myriad crimes committed by the Takfiri groups whom they use as political leverage to achieve their own malicious goals such as winning the elections in the country. So, instead of curbing the cruel current of extremism, they sit back and watch silently.

Aitizaz Hasan is the personification of innocence and the crystallization of a far-fetched hope on the dark horizons of the Pakistani community.

In a country corroded by blind ignorance, rampant political corruption and cancerous extremism, only people like Aitizaz Hasan can emerge as beacons of light to usher in the right path towards salvation.

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North Korea, “Genocide by Sanctions”: UN Double Standards Pertaining to Sanctions and their Devastating Social Impacts

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The UN Sanctions Committee Must Make its Records Public

Global Research
un2

The terms “transparency” and “accountability” are used with greater frequency at United Nations briefings than in practically any other venue. Yet, information on the impact of sanctions on the people of the DPRK and third states affected by the sanction is confidential to the Sanctions Committee. Only the Sanctions Committee secretariat in the Department of Political Affairs is permitted access to this information. Whose political agenda is served by this secrecy, this total failure of transparency and accountability?

The United Nations Security Council has imposed multiple sets of sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, including Resolution 1718 (October 14, 2006), Resolution 1874 (June 12, 2009), Resolution 2087 (January 22, 2013, and Resolution 2094 (March 7, 2013). It is striking that in all four resolutions imposed on the DPRK, the sanction language used to prohibit items from entering or leaving the DPRK is sufficiently broad and vague that practically any item essential for the normal, healthy functioning of society is vulnerable to proscription and exclusion of use by the DPRK: the use of the word “could” so excessively prevails throughout (as indicating possibility) as does the use of the vague phrase “reasonable grounds to believe,” which does not require a high standard of proof, or any actual demonstrable evidence, whatsoever, but relies on subjective “belief” which may be based upon or distorted by political bias.

According to Susan Hannah Allen and David J Lektzian in the Journal of Peace Research, (2013)

“The increased use of sanctions and the resultant humanitarian crisis with which they became associated led policy makers and academics to re-evaluate their potential negative externalities. Unlike military conflict, sanctions are not intended to kill citizens of the target country (Drezner, 1998) so they are considered to be a more humane coercive policy. However, following the experience with sanctions in the 1990’s critics began to challenge this logic, arguing that sanctions are a potentially immoral foreign policy tool that indiscriminately and unjustly targets poor and innocent elements of society. Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan referred to sanctions as a “blunt instrument which hurts large numbers of people who are not their primary target.”

“One explanation for the coercive mechanism at work when economic sanctions are employed is that they will hurt (or at least inconvenience) the general public sufficiently that the leaders are compelled to alter their behavior and policies as a result of pressure from the population. This traditional thinking suggests that sanctions are imposed to reduce the available resources in the targeted state, which reduces national wealth and creates a sense of deprivation in the targeted population. If the people suffer enough, they will pressure their government to alter its behavior in order to have the sanctions lifted. Other coercive mechanisms for sanctions besides civilian punishment have been explored, but given the fact that modern sanctions have their root in the deprivation-based concept of the medieval siege, their impact on the health of the targeted population should be considered. Because the civilian population is expected to be affected
when economic sanctions are implemented, sanctions have come under fire with many suggesting that they violate Just War Principles.

The Just War Doctrine requires aggressors to clearly differentiate between combatants and non-combatants. Critics of sanctions suggest that sanctions directly target civilians, often inflicting the greatest harm against the weakest elements of society, thus blatantly violating these principles. Garfield and Mueller & Mueller (1999) go so far as to suggest that populations at war may be better off than those under sanctions because the Geneva Conventions govern behavior in war but do not deal with sanctions. Because sanctions do not clearly discriminate between civilians and those that perpetrated the acts that led to international censure, sanctions are seen as unfairly punishing targeted publics….Even when provisions for humanitarian exemptions are included in sanctions policies, the general public may still suffer – especially the urban poor. Food aid programs are likely to be politically manipulated. Rationing programs increase dependence on the state. Without unfettered access to nutritious food and clean water, the average level of health of the civilian population will decrease. These shortages result from the broader economic impact that sanctions can have on a sanctioned society.”

Among the strangling sanctions inflicted on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, S/RES/1718 (2006),

8. “Decides that:

(a) All member states shall prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to the DPRK, through their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, and whether or not originating in their territories of:

(ii) All items, materials, equipment, goods and technology as set out in the list of documents S/2006?814 and S/2006/815, unless within 14 days of adoption of this resolution this Committee has amended or completed their provisions also taking into account the list in document S/2006/816, as well as other items, materials, equipment, goods and technology, determined by the Security Council or the Committee, which COULD contribute to DPRK’s nuclear-related, ballistic missile-related or other weapons of mass destruction – related programmes.”

(iii) Luxury goods”

Many of the basic chemical, biological, electrical, medical etc. substances which are essential for normal daily living “could” also be included in the category defined as potentially “contributing” to the DPRK’s nuclear –related activities, etc., but denying these crucial substances to the civilian population of the DPRK because they “could” have other uses is an act of violent aggression, which leads to drastic deterioration in their health and general standard of living. Under the description of possible “dual use,” anything and everything necessary for life can be denied to the civilian population of that country.

Resolution S/RES/2094 (2013) contains this extremely dangerous passage:

23. Reaffirms the measures imposed in paragraph 8 (a)(iii) of resolution 1718 (2006) regarding luxury goods and clarifies that the term ‘luxury goods’ includes, but is not limited to the items specified in annex IV of this resolution’”

This last (23) intentionally vague and non-descript passage is surreptitiously making possible the designation of any item necessary for the normal, healthy, effective living and functioning of society to be labeled “luxury goods,” and thereby proscribed, since to a starving person food is a luxury, and to a freezing person, the fuel necessary to heat his home or school is also a luxury. To many, clean water is a luxury, and is sold in bottles in stores all over the world to those who can afford to pay for it. To the destitute, necessities for living are luxuries.

The hyperbaric chamber, which provides a cure for a gangrenous arm or leg, preventing the necessity for amputation, is complex equipment, involving chemical, biological, and electrical components, all of which are prohibited and denied to the DPRK by these sanctions, because the components necessary for the construction and maintenance of a hyperbaric chamber “could” be used for other purposes. (Dual use, again). And further, the hyperbaric chamber could also be designated a “luxury good,” different in kind and substance from jewelry or a yacht, but a luxury, nevertheless.

In a superb essay by Joy Gordon, entitled “Cool War: Economic Sanctions as a Weapon of Mass Destruction” (published in Harper’s, 2002) Ms. Gordon states:

“News of Iraqi fatalities has been well documented (by the United Nations, among others), though underreported by the media. What has remained invisible, however, is any documentation of how and by whom such a death toll has been justified for so long. How was the danger of goods entering Iraq assessed, and how was it weighed, if at all, against the mounting collateral damage? …It was easy to discover that for the last ten years a vast number of lengthy holds had been placed on billions of dollars worth of what seemed unobjectionable – and very much needed – imports to Iraq. But I soon learned that all U.N. records that could answer my questions were kept from public scrutiny. This is not to say that the UN is lacking in public documents related to the Iraq program. What is unavailable are the documents that show how the U.S. policy agenda has determined the outcome of humanitarian and security judgments….The operation of Iraq sanctions involves numerous agencies within the United Nations…These agencies have been careful not to publicly discuss their ongoing frustration with the manner in which the program is operated….Over the last three years, through research and interviews with diplomats I have acquired many of the key confidential UN documents concerning the administration of Iraq sanctions. I obtained these documents on the condition that my sources remain anonymous. What they show is that the United States has fought aggressively throughout the last decade to purposefully minimize the humanitarian goods that enter the country. And it has done so in the face of enormous human suffering, including massive increases in child mortality and widespread epidemics…What is less well known is that the government of
Saddam Hussein had invested heavily in health, education, and social programs for two decades prior to the Persian Gulf War of 1991. Before the Persian Gulf war Iraq was a rapidly developing country with free education, ample electricity, modernized agriculture and a robust middle class. According to the World Health Organization 93 percent of the population had access to health care. The devastation of the Gulf War destroyed all that.”

On October 21, 2011 Valerie Amos, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs addressed the press in Beijing, China, on conditions in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and she gave a similar press briefing at the United Nations headquarters, which I attended. Ms. Amos stated:

“The background for my visit was the increasingly worrying information coming from the DPRK Government and in-country aid agencies, indicating that over 6 million people are in need of food assistance this year…The average annual food gap is around 1 million tonnes per year, out of a total food requirement of 5.3 million tonnes…Recent figures for children under five years of age show chronic malnutrition levels (i.e. stunting) at 33 percent nationwide and 45 percent in the north of the country. One nurse that I met at the pediatric hospital in HamHung told me the number of malnourished children coming to her hospital had increased 1.5 times (i.e. 50%) only since last year.”

Ms. Amos then stated: “People in the DPRK suffer from a complex set of challenges including chronic poverty and under-development – structural causes with humanitarian implications.”

One must question whether Ms. Amos, in mentioning “structural causes” for this tragic, situation is attempting to blame the Socialist government of North Korea, because at no point in her presentation does Ms. Amos mention the devastating impact of the UN Security Council sanctions inflicted upon the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea since 2005, five year prior to the dramatic deterioration in living conditions for “ordinary people” in the DPRK. I asked Ms. Amos about the destructive impact of sanctions upon the lives of citizens of the DPRK, and she did not deny this factor, but she did not discuss this, stating that it is not “within her mandate.”.

On June 12, 2009 at the 6141 meeting, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1874 which contains a particularly ironic passage, and potentially opens an incriminating Pandora’s Box implicating the West in war crimes against North Korea.

“Point 14. Decides to authorize all Member States to, and that all Member States shall, seize and dispose of items the supply, sale, transfer or export of which is prohibited by paragraph 8(a), 8(b) or 8(c) or resolution 1718 or by paragraph 9 or 10 of the resolution that are identified in inspections pursuant to paragraph 11, 12 or 13 in a manner that is not inconsistent with their obligations under applicable Security Council resolutions, including resolution 1540 (2004) as well as any obligations of parties to the NPT, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction of 29 April 1997, and the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction of 10 April 1972, and decides further that all States shall cooperate in such efforts.

Therein, to quote Shakespeare, “lies the rub,” or in modern terms, the scandal, the crime. The use of biological weapons was prohibited by the Geneva protocol of 1925.

In the UK Telegraph, 10 June, 2010 was reported the following:

“Did the U.S. Wage Germ Warfare in Korea?” According to Julian Ryall, “In the winter of 1952 Yun Chang Bin recalls, the American bombers flying overhead had become a fact of life…But then, one afternoon in early March, Yun was walking home from school when he saw Chinese troops on their hands and knees in the fields…There were about 30 or 40 of the Chinese volunteer troops spread out across the field…’ Yun, now 72 says. ‘They were wearing masks and gloves and some of them had brooms. They were sweeping up something from the ground and others were picking it up and putting it on a fire. Yun was told: ‘They are catching flies. They came out of the bombs dropped by the American bastards.’ The bombs had opened after hitting the ground and released thousands of insects.

The insects had been spread over a large area of farmland and many escaped the mopping up operation. Disease broke out in the village. ‘I remember the adults calling it enbyo, or heat disease. It was terrible. People developed very high fevers, became delirious….they groaned with the pain and drifted in and out of consciousness. They couldn’t eat anything and just kept asking for cold water…there was little anyone could do for those who had been infected, particularly as no one knew what the illness was. Yun says he was later told it was typhoid. ‘It killed my father. He lost his appetite, then lost all movement in the lower half of his body, so he was not able to move. He died 5 days after first complaining of feeling unwell, aged 52. In his neighborhood more than 30 people from 50 families died.’”

During the Korean War, North Korea and China lost almost a million troops. General MacArthur and the US Joint Chiefs of Staff authorized the use of atomic bomb against the People’s Republic of China. President Truman denied permission. “Historians argue that a nuclear detonation, impossible to conceal from the eyes of the world, would have further inflamed tensions between east and west, but a more insidious form of warfare would have been relatively easy to carry out, and much simpler to dismiss as enemy disinformation.” There are plenty of men and women who support Yun’s claim that North Korean civilians were attacked with American biological weapons that contained flies, beetles, spiders, crickets and other insects carrying various life-threatening pathogens, from plague bacillus to cholera, anthrax, encephalitis and yellow fever.”

“Masataka Mori, Professor of History at Shizuoka University in Japan, who has studied Japan’s World War II biological warfare program, called Unit 731 for many years, “believed that Japan’s biological warfare program was not investigated because ‘Unit 731’s scientists were granted immunity in return for sharing the fruits of their research with the Americans.”

“In Pyongyang “The Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum contains exhibitions of civilian victims of the Korean war, children hideously scarred by chemical weapons – in 1951 the US military was using 70,000 gallons of napalm every day. The exhibition also contains an original of the report issued in Peking in 1952 by the International Scientific Commission for the Investigation of the Facts Concerning Bacterial Warfare in Korea and China, set up by the Helsinki-based World Peace Council. Begun after Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai sent a telegram on March 8, 1952 to the Secretariat of the United Nations detailing claims of 448 germ warfare sorties over China by the US Air Force, the Commission’s report was compiled by experts from Sweden, France, Italy, Brazil and Russia, as well as Dr. Joseph Needham, a distinguished British authority on Chinese science.”

Among the report’s specific case studies, one describes more than 700 voles infected with plague found in the Kan-Nan district of China in April 1952, including on rooftops and haystacks, soon after a US aircraft had been seen passing overhead. In another, the following month a young woman is said to have found a straw package containing clams on a hillside close to Dai-Dong, North Korea. She took the shells home and cooked them; by the end of the following day, both the woman and her husband were dead from cholera. A search of the hillside, close to a reservoir turned up several more packages of the infected clams. The Commission stated its belief that the aircraft that had been heard circling before the packages were found had been attempting to drop the clams into the reservoir to infect it. Some of the species of insects found during the conflict had never been seen in this part of Asia before – the illnesses they brought with them were equally unheard of.

‘In light of these and similar facts, the report concluded, the Commission has no option but to conclude that the American Air Force was employing in Korea methods very similar to, if not identical with, those employed to spread plague by the Japanese during the Second World War.”

The use of germ warfare is a violation of the Geneva conventions. Just as The People’s Republic of China, in 1950, desperately needed peace to rebuild the country after the ravages of the Japanese invasion and the decades-long savage crimes committed by the fascist regime of the US supported Chiang Kai-chek, the Korean War began. In the United States, the psychotically anti-communist tyranny of Senator Joseph McCarthy was destroying freedom of thought in America, and destroying millions of lives of U.S. citizens during the Anti-Communist scourge that shamed and devastated America’s so-called democracy. It was obvious and inevitable that the Chinese thought the Americans were using Korea as a base to invade the People’s Republic of China, and return America’s murderous anti-communist puppet, Chiang Kai-chek, to power in China.

The noble widow of China’s first President, Sun Yat-sen, the gifted and idealistic Soong Ching-ling, denounced US intervention in Korea, and exposed America’s use of germ warfare in Korea and North-East China. As a delegate to the Congress of Peoples for Peace in Vienna, alongside Berthold Brecht, Jean Paul Sartre, Ilya Ehrenburg and other illustrious delegates convened from throughout the world, Madame Sun Yat-sen accused the United States of using Korea as a springboard in America’s attempt to destroy the communist government of the People’s Republic of China, in order to restore the hated Chiang Kai-chek to power.

Madame Sun Yat-sen was a paragon of moral and intellectual integrity, and her denunciation of the US use of germ warfare against Korea and China is the most courageous, damning and incriminating testimony exposing the genocidal intent toward North Korea, and toward the People’s Republic of China. Had the US been able to “roll back” communism in China, it would have required a genocide of the largest population in Asia. As they say, it is not over until it is over, and the UN sanctions against tiny North Korea are perpetrating the genocide of the Korean people, one of the few remaining socialist countries in the world. What will be next?

Where is United Nations transparency and accountability? The impact of UN sanctions on the people of the DPRK, currently marked “confidential” and only available to the sanctions committee secretariat in the Department of Political Affairs, should be immediately made public. Failing that, the possibility cannot be excluded that the UN is complicit in genocide.

Valerie Amos’ presentation showed photos of what appeared to be North Korean infants. She informed us that these were not newly born infants, but in fact were at least two years old each, and as a result of malnutrition were unable to develop beyond the stage of infancy. UN sanctions against North Korea are abetting the extermination of the North Korean people. That country has chosen a different way of life, and a different economic system. The west is determined to engineer the failure of their economic system. Where is the famous democracy – freedom of thought, freedom of choice in all of this? In view of its tragic history, as the victimized springboard for the US attempt to attack and destroy the communist government in China, North Korea’s desperate determination to defend itself with nuclear weapons is understandable. After all, in the 1950’s the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and General MacArthur took a remarkably promiscuous, and,
indeed, psychopathic attitude toward the use of atomic bombs as aggressive weapons against Korea and the People’s Republic of China, countries which had never attacked the United States, and clearly had no intention to do so..

It is deplorable that the “international community” refuses to acknowledge all this. It is likely that if the UN made public those “confidential” files, which may conceal multiple scandals and possibly crimes, the “international community” and their collaborative media would be forced to confront the truth about deceptive talk of “democracy” and “human rights.”

The attempt to identify and equate democracy with capitalism and predatory neo-liberalism is an Orwellian prevarication that has been used to manipulate too many people to their own detriment, and for too long..

Posted in North KoreaComments Off on North Korea, “Genocide by Sanctions”: UN Double Standards Pertaining to Sanctions and their Devastating Social Impacts

Humanitarian Warfare: “Stabilizing” Central Africa for the Multinationals

NOVANEWS
Global Research
On December 5th, yet another war led by foreign powers broke out in Africa, and like the one in Mali, it was led at the helm by the French. The UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution which authorized the deployment of French and African troops in the Central African Republic. At the same time, Chad, Cameroon, South Africa, Angola, Morocco, Burundi, Rwanda, the Republic of Congo, and other African countries, sent troops. Other countries like the UK, Germany, Spain, Denmark and Poland provided logistical support, while Belgium and the US provided air support by transporting the peacekeeping troops.

To pay for this war, which is a huge expense, France paid a good portion, along with the US pitching in $60 million, and Canada even pitching in a little. On January 20th, the full financing of international donors will come into view as EU and UN donors will meet and decide how much money they are giving to support the intervention. All the while, high-level UN officials have said that “strong peacekeeping force” is needed in the Central African Republic and that 6,000 to 9,000 UN Peacekeepers would be needed to “stabilize the country.” This brings one to the question of who or what is being stabilized by the military intervention in the Central African Republic and what the real goals are, other than professed humanitarian reasons.

There is already some signs that the stabilization is not going very well for the population of the Central African Republic. 935,000 have been displaced by the conflict in the country, with more than 74% being internally displaced and more than 26% leaving to neighboring countries according to the UN High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR). As a recent Reuters article noted, “the deployment of 1,600 French and nearly 4,000 African Union peacekeepers has done little to contain the tit-for-tat violence between religious communities.” Already, numerous French troops and AU peacekeepers have died in action while many residents of the country continue to be killed, wounded, mutilated, and beheaded, numbers which grow day by day. The humanitarian crisis continues to get worse with over 600,000 internally displaced by December 30th of 2013. This is compounded by the fact that the President and his family, who came to power in a coup last year, have fled the country for Benin.

France: the gendarme of Africa?

What Roosevelt says connects to the fact that the French multinational nuclear energy company, Areva “mines the Bakouma uranium deposit in the CAR’s south” which Reuters describes as “France’s biggest commercial interest in its former colony.” [6] This reality runs deep into the reasons for intervention. As Francois Hollande, the fake socialist and really neoliberal, president of France, declared to the government-owned Radio France Internationale (RFI), that while the “intervention will cost about 400-500 million euros…[which] may seem like a lot, especially at a time when we have budget constraints and we demand sacrifices of French people” it is based in the “role of France” he believes to be true: “the responsibility of France…is to be a world power.”

That same day, Hollande told the Telegraph that “we think that it should not cost France anything as I have spoken to you of European financing…I would hope that they [European Union] can contribute more, be in the forces that we could mutualise.” Only the day before, he had said at end of a summit between France and African leaders that 1,600 troops in the Central African Republic will be “a number that will remain as long as necessary for this mission.” In that same article, an anonymous source from the French defense ministry source claimed that “there were patrols all night, including some on foot. We are going everywhere.”

This is partially confirmed by the fact that “French jets and surveillance aircraft” flew over parts of the country, while in the neighboring country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, five drones were deployed in the first use of “unmanned surveillance aircraft” by the UN for “peacekeeping efforts.” As for Hollande, drones were not his major aim, but rather it was mounting a rhetorical defense of the intervention by telling a group of French troops that it was “necessary if one wants to avoid carnage here” and that “it was time to act. It was soon going to be too late.” He added that fighting in the country was “taking on a religious dimension with the risk of leading to a civil war” and that “France is not here in the CAR out of any self-interest. France has come to defend human dignity.” These words seemed to echo what he said back in October, at a meeting with South African President Jacob Zuma: “there is a political emergency because there is no state. There is also an emergency at a regional level because there is a risk of spillover. We might witness religious conflict.”

What Hollande is saying is only the beginning of French officials covering and defending the intervention. In a purportedly non-interventionist manner, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius declared that since “the democratic situation has been re-established,” France doesn’t need to provide assistance or “get involved” in the troubles in Mali, but that: “France intervened and we can say it saved Mali. But it’s not up to us to be the gendarme of Africa.” A gendarme is “a police officer in any of several European countries, esp. in France,” [6] which in this context would be the policeman of Africa, since neo-colonial domination is deeply patriarchal. The idea that France is not ‘policing’ is frankly absurd. As a Reuters article reminds us, the Central African Republic “has seen little stability in five decades, and France has intervened more times since independence in 1960 than in any of its former colonies” which is partially evidenced by the fact that “under a 1960 defence accord, France is obligated to intervene in the event of foreign aggression.”

This is why some say that France has conduced a forty-year secret war in Central Africa. In the last sentence of an article in The Telegraph, which almost seems to be an afterthought, it importantly points out that “since 2011, France has intervened in four African states: in Ivory Coast…in Libya, in Mali and now in the Central African Republic.” Only a few days before the intervention in Central Africa officially began, France quietly sent more troops to complement the 2,600 African Union troops then in the country and in later November, as the Christian Science Monitor noted, France planned “to boost its force there to around 1,000 troops to restore law and order until a much bigger African Union force fully deploys.” In all of Africa, France has 6,275 troops as of December 2013, the most recent information,which is between 74-75% of its overseas deployments. If this isn’t enough, at the end of the summit between Africa leaders and French officials on December 8th, Hollande pledged to “help the African Union turn its plans for a rapid reaction force into a functioning unit by 2015” by offering “to provide equipment, logistical support and training for 20,000 troops from the continent every year for five years” while trying to persuade “Britain, Germany and other EU partners to help finance the equipment and arms the new force will require.” This huge commitment is a sign of France’s lasting presence in Africa, especially over in its former colonies.

There is something that proves Hollande was wrong: a war for securing resources, blatant imperialism. Unlike Obama’s speech at the UN, French politicians haven’t in recent years blatantly declared their imperialist motives. With the war in Libya, many nations rushed in to support the rebel forces officially for humanitarian reasons, but really about acquiring or protecting the oil supply. Like in Mali, France also led the charge, with the objectives being about making sure that uranium reserves in Niger were untouched by violence, and possibly also helping international mining companies as well. These events must be seen in context of the overall French foreign policy in regards to Africa. A document written by Paul Melly and Vincent Darracq for the London think thank, Chatham House, in May 2013, describes this policy well, noting that: “France wields a level of influence in sub-Saharan Africa that it cannot command anywhere else in the world…Africa accounts for 3 per cent of France’s exports and remains an important supplier of oil and metals…[such as] uranium…sub-Saharan Africa is an important market for French logistics, service, telecoms and infrastructure companies.”

The policy that Chatham House describes is definitely active in the Central African Republic. In 2008, the majority French state-owned multinational corporation, Areva, [7] signed a “uranium mining deal with Central African Republic” but only a year earlier, Francois Bozize, the President of the Central African Republic who was ousted, said that the acquisition of UraMin by Areva “without our consent” and said that he wouldn’t let the country’s economy “be bandied about in a game between capitalists on the London Stock Exchange.” Over two years later, Areva “suspended its uranium mining project in the Central African Republic for two years” due to a fall in prices in uranium after the Fukashima disaster, which means it was scheduled to reopen operations in November 2012 and “ramp[ing] up to full production in 2014-15” as noted by the World Nuclear Association. It is important to remember, that as the World Bank noted, Areva also “controls most of Niger’s uranium industry.” With the tensions between numerous groups, Areva, as noted by Bloomberg News,began removing employees from their Bakouma uranium mine after an attack the previous year. There were been numerous attacks on Areva properties including one in January in which hundreds attacked a uranium exploration site, taking “computers and looted houses” and another, well-known one, in June, with gunmen attacking a uranium plant and doing some material damage to a site “considered important by Areva.” Still, France did not intervene.

The importance of the uranium mine and exploration in the country likely got the attention of the French government. As an article in The Guardian in January 2013 noted, France has 250 troops in the country at the time, with the government saying that it would “only deploy them to protect its embassy and other interests” and the article then noted that “there are around 1,200 French citizens in the country, many working for mining firms, such as French nuclear giant Areva, which has a significant uranium mine in south-east CAR.” If this couldn’t be made any clearer, a BBC article around the same time pointed out that “France… dispatched additional troops to the country to protect its nationals, many of whom work in Areva’s large uranium mine at Bakouma in the south-east of the country.” The underlying truth should be clear: France deployed the troops to protect the uranium operations conducted by Areva. Since the France’s “main source of electricity generation is nuclear power” as noted by the Energy Information Agency (EIA) of the US Department of Energy, uranium deposits would be important for their national security. In May 2012, Juliette Poirson wrote on the site of the World Information Service on Energy, a review of a book by Raphael Granvaud titled Areva en Afrique (Areva in Africa), that “the great development of French civilian and military nuclear power have been possible thanks to the exploitation of the soil of French African colonies….and then of African independent countries” making “French energy independence” a myth which is further proven by the continuing “collusion between politics and interests of the French nuclear industry.”This conclusion, that the war is related to France’s security connected to a mineral, uranium is held by others across the board and is the main reason for intervening in the country.

French-backed currency, the EU and African elite

The French-led imperialist war, as it should be called, is not only in their hands, but also that of the African-led force called MISCA. The Lieutenant General Babacar Gaye, who leads the mission, graduated from École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr (ESM), the premier military academy in France, seemingly their version of West Point. This force includes soldiers who have been transferred from the Multinational Force of Central Africa, an AU military mission, which was comprised of soldiers from Gabon, Chad, Republic of Congo, and Cameroon along with those serving as part of MICROPAX, a peacekeeping mission led by the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), which is part of the AU.

This is important to point out, because it directly connects to France’s economic policy in regards to Central Africa. As the founder Christof Lehmann writes on the online newspaper, NSNBC International, and political consultant, the Central African CFA Franc, the currency of the all of the states of ECCAS, “is printed under supervision of the French National Bank,” but is issued by the region’s central bank the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) which France has veto power over. All the while, “foreign currency reserves…[are] subject to deposition” in the central bank of France, Banque de France, including those which are gold. He says all of these things are, in his view, “indebting and enslaving Africans by means of Africa’s own wealth” and are “not only bleeding Africa…[but] increasingly bleeding both the French and European economies.” This is only the tip of the iceburg.

The West African CFA franc, is printed in a similar manner, and is also “guaranteed by the French treasury” and France also has a veto over the region’s central bank, called the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO). This means that fourteen countries in total have their currencies, which are pegged to the Euro, guaranteed by Banque de France, which is linked to the European Central Bank, a total of over 123 million people, a massive exploitation by the French government of poor Africans. This is important to note, because it could be a reason for intervention by European states, along with the EU’s involvement in Central Africa’s Rainforests and the recent declaration that the EU is considering deploying an additional 1,000 troops to the country.

The deep connection between the French state and the fourteen African governments, is likely a motivator for some members to send troops to the Central African Republic, not the bribes and support that the government gave African dictators in the past.[8] This shows that Cornel West was right: “African and Latin American regimes [are] still grappling with postcolonial European and U.S. economic domination.” [9] Interestingly, Dembassa Worogagoi, the ambassador of said country appointed by Bozize, asked from help from the French at the UN on November 25th: “it is during difficult times that we recognize our friends” andalso said that day that the country would like to see the “the African-led MISCA…supported and equipped by the United Nations, with the logistical support of France.”

While some say that France wants to overthrow the current government, one can’t be so sure. After all, the current prime minister of the Central African Republic, Nicolas Tiangaye, a choice of the rebels, went to the summit of African leaders. According to the International Business Times, he “welcomed the French intervention and called for international support,” saying that the country needed “massive humanitarian aid…[because] there is a risk of famine.” It is important to remember that the rebel government, led by Djotodiahas promised “to review all mining deals, but those awarded to richer states are likely to be secure [including] the French billion dollar uranium project in Bakouma…and…[the] Canadian gold mining company Axmin Inc” which was recently approved by an interim council. WSWS added to this, noting that the “Djotodia…already announced that he will review the CAR’s mining and oil contracts with China, signed by the Bozizé government.” Despite this, on December 8th, Hollande said “I don’t want to point fingers but we cannot keep in place a president who was not able to do anything, or even worse, who let things happen,” and that he wants Djotodia to go and have elections to replace him as “fast as possible.”

Sources tell Reuters that Michel Djotodia “is due to step down at a summit of regional leaders” partly because other African leaders had run out of patience with him. Part of the reason Canada is involved in the country is that Axamin, a Canadian international mining company, has a gold mine, called the Passendro Gold Project, to which the company claimed had a total reserve of 1.4 million ounces of gold which is equivalent of approximately 3,348 gold bars. At the same time, South Africa, Angola, Burundi, Rwanda and the Republic of Congo, have their own reasons, to enrich their elite or to maintain regional stability to join in the fight. In the end, French credit insurer COFACE writes on their profile of the Central African Republic, thatinsecurity in the country “is curbing investment development” while “growth, which leads into the reasons the US joined in the scramble.

The business of America in Africa is business

When the war began, the United States government didn’t hold back at endorsing the intervention. Current National Security Adviser Susan Rice, who holds assets in Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Honda, AOL, Monsanto, Shell, TransCanada, McDonalds, and other corporations, according to her most recent financial disclosure report, remarked at the Human Rights First Annual Summit, a day before the intervention, that the US is taking “on the deteriorating situation and increasing violence in the Central African Republic” by “working this week at the UN to support African Union forces protecting civilians, to provide humanitarian assistance, and to investigate human rights abuses so the perpetrators can be held accountable.” The next day, Press Secretary Jay Carney wrote that the UN resolution was “an important step in preventing further atrocities or an escalation of the violence,” and that African and French forces will “protect civilians, restore security, and ensure humanitarian access” while the US government evaluates what it will do next. Only a few days later, Obama made a plea for the warring factions in the country to “reject violence” and he said that the US government will support the intervention in Central African Republic, which he said will “protect civilians.”

As the next month rolled by, the US first said that it was providing $40 million in aid, then by December 19th, it was “$101 million in support for restoring security” in the country which was mostly of a military nature. Aid wasn’t all: the US began ferrying African troops to the Central African Republic on December 9th, an action which was requested by the French.

At the same time, the US has special forces in the country, which are not counted as boots on the ground, as noted by a Washington Post article in April 2012 and President Obama’s message to Congress in December. In this message, Obama wrote that there were a number of officially deemed ‘counterterrorism’ operations in Africa: “the capturing longtime al-Qa’ida member Abu Anas al Libi” in Libya, a military raid in Somalia, the stationing of 200 military personnel in Niger to provide intelligence for French troops who are still in Mali, the continued deployment of 120 military personnel in Central Africa officially to go after Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), 715 military personnel staying in Egypt as part of the “Multinational Force and Observers” and others staying in Libya. On top of this, as noted by a map of US and French military operations in Africa, made by Philippe Rekacewicz, the US gives military aid in the form of training special forces to Mali, Niger, Chad, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Kenya, Mauritania, and Senegal, along with a US naval presence off the coast of Gabon, a US base in Djibouti.

That’s not all. In almost a band across the middle of the continent, the United States has deployed special forces and other military personnel, as a map complementing an article in Foreign Policy magazine points out. Near the Central African Republic, the US even has numerous flight bases, specifically in South Sudan, Niger, Burkina Faso and Uganda as noted by Public Intelligence.

While increased US presence in Africa could lay the groundwork for intervention, this is not really what is at stake. The answer lies in the official documents that set the foundation for US national security policy. The first of these is the current National Security Strategy, which is due to be replaced this year with a new one that last the rest of his years. There is a major focus on the Middle East and North Africa, just like the speech Obama made to the UN, but the document still says “…as long as we are dependent on fossil fuels, we need to ensure the security and free flow of global energy resources…We will stimulate our energy economy at home, reinvigorate the U.S. domestic nuclear industry.” One could make a logical connection to the uranium deposits, saying that the US government wants to secure those in central Africa to help the domestic nuclear industry, but no government policy or action shows this to be true. Involvement in the intervention of central Africa doesn’t even seem to be connected to US’s non-tolerant attitude toward an energy supply cut off in North Africa and the Mideast. The US, through covert methods which are “out of the public eye” have expanded in Africa, along with so-called access agreements that allows deep cooperation between the US military and African forces. In fact, the US has engaged in a war for oil in Africa already: Libya in 2011, which was to protect the volatile oil markets and secure better contracts for international petroleum corporations, the first major war the US has had in Africa since the Barbary Wars of the early 1800s which one of the first public displays through military might of the dirty energy doctrine. Additionally, the positioning of US special forces in Uganda officially to go after Joseph Kony was “likely because of huge oil deposits” in the country, the U.S. government is also concerned about oil in the Sudans, assistance in Mali was seemingly connected to oil deposits, and there is a growing importance of African oil to the United States, since 25% of US oil consumption is estimated to come from West Africa by 2015 as noted by Chatham House. AFRICOM or Africa Command, which was created in 2008, is related to this phenomenon and is connected to the growing empire of bases across the continent while engaging in war where terror is invoked but resources are the real underlying reason. Let us not forget that the Obama Administration has used the US armed forces more times in Africa than any other President in US history.[10]

As for the Central African Republic, the reason for US assistance mainly seems to lie in something different than just a hunt for resources. Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s senior advisor, said ominously that “we all know that Africa is the new center of global growth.” I’m not sure who ‘we’ is referring to but I can infer that ‘global growth’ means the expansion of the wealth of the rich through corporate investments, individual finances and so on. The quote by Jarrett was tied into the hoopla over Obama’s trip to Africa, in June 2013, described in Jarrett’s same blogpost which outlined the trip’s three main goals: increasing US trade and investment, creating “strong democratic institutions,” and training the “next generation of African leaders.” The last one is possibly more important than the others because if these new leaders, if they get into office, will have a positive impression of the United States, likely influencing them to make sure that American multinationals are favored while cooperating with and assisting continued US military domination over Africa. There is one document written in June 2012 titled US Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa that seems to be part of the puzzle of why the U.S. is involved in Central Africa. Like the goals of the Africa tour, it has a focus on creating powerful democratic institutions which could be part of hidden goal to great ‘big government’ that would help the rich and powerful. There is more: the strategy says the U.S. government should “promote opportunity and development” through supposedly encouraging measures to address social inequality, “spur economic growth, trade [and] investment” by creating a friendly business climate, promoting “regional integration,” improving “economic governance,” helping Africans effectively “access and benefit from global markets,” and finally encouraging “U.S. companies to trade with and invest in Africa.” This is all capped by efforts to “advance peace and security” or stabilize Sub-Saharan Africa which would create a better business climate to bring U.S. businesses in, which is exactly what the U.S. government is supporting by backing the military intervention in the Central African Republic.

The low trade between the US and the Central African Republic, and paltry amounts of seemingly humanitarian aid by USAID, doesn’t invalidate the push for investment in Central Africa, but rather strengthens it. After all, the current economic circumstances for business are rocky: Global Edge gives the country a D rating for the business climate. They write that while “agricultural potential, forest and mining wealth” along with IMF support is a plus, there are numerous weaknesses of the country’s investment climate such as an “economy vulnerable to internal and external shocks…geographic isolation…unstable political and security situation” and poor infrastructure. This brings one to the point that the country is underdeveloped and needs to be developed.

The U.S. is already committed to supporting “private sector engagement and investment in Africa through three Africa regional trade hubs,” which is part of the U.S. government initiative that claims to tackle food insecurity in Africa: Feed the Future, along with a number of other programs to move forward with “economic growth” in Africa while the US pushes for increased trade with selected countries in East Africa. For the US, no such investment like that of numerous country-specific and continent-specific investment banks, which have offices in the country, exists, but it could. There is one likely contender that could swoop in: not the big banks or oil companies, but the technology giants. The reason for this is partly because the technology giants have deep support from the Obama administration, like the mainstay of the Democratic Party. The strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa, which I mentioned earlier, calls for “technology [that] will further support the region’s economic expansion.” More importantly, every country in Africa has internet cable running through a majority of its territory except Gabon, Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Eritrea, Somalia, and the Central African Republic.

These tech companies have already been pushing to close this gap, using their best efforts and all the resources at their disposal to expand into a new market. In an article in the Seattle Times, the power of Microsoft and other companies in Africa is fully explained. This article noted that in recent years, Microsoft, “IBM, Google, Intel, Hewlett Packard and other tech companies…have expanded their presence in Africa” because many countries have “become more stable” and able to work with multinational corporations like themselves. In order to accommodate these projects and future “business potential” in the billions of dollars, these technology companies are building “tech infrastructure…bringing faster broadband connections to Africa’s coasts and terrestrial cables to extend these networks inland” while also investing in increased internet access and other infrastructure. Other articles noted the same boom in investment, with The Economist boasting in February 2013 that the information technology coming to the continent was “the next frontier” since “mobile-phone and internet penetration in Africa is sharply on the rise.”

Another article in The Economist also notes how Google is a ‘hit’ in Africa, possibly becoming the “single biggest private-sector influence in Africa” which is operating in a realm where there is little regulation and they have much power. All of these developments come together with technology companies wanting a new market, which consists of the 30% food insecure Central African Republic. This is proven by the fact that UPS is the only big American multinational that has an office in the country. All of this ties into the National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security which says that the US government will “promote the efficient and secure movement of goods,” make sure the global supply chain is not disrupted and while working to “promote America’s future economic growth and international competitiveness by remaining open for businesses to the world.”

Still, resource interests still play some part in the US reasons for assisting in the intervention of Central Africa, which in this case is oil, rather than mineral interests. As a June 2013 fact sheet for the seemingly pro-dirty energy project launched during Obama’s trip to Africa, Power Africa, notes, “the recent discoveries of oil and gas in Sub-Saharan Africa will play a critical role in defining the region’s prospects for economic growth and stability, as well as contributing to broader near-term global energy security.” At the same time, theEngineering and Technology Magazine points out, five countries dominate the upstream oil production of Africa: Nigeria, Libya, Algeria, Egypt, and Angola. Refugees from Central Africa, that aren’t in the majority who have been internally displaced, are fleeing to oil-rich South Sudan, resource-rich Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo, Cameron, and Chad, all which could be destabilized.

The last two of these countries is the most important to the US reasons for assisting in the intervention in Central Africa and is connected to the expanding amount of roads and pipelines being “built or envisioned into the interior of Central Africa from multiple directions,” none which penetrate the resource-rich Congo. This is refined on page five of TransNet’s Pipeline Development Plan, which notes that none of the proposed gas, crude of liquid fuel pipelines in Africa will be anywhere near the Central African Republic, but only one existing pipeline is nearby: the Chad-Cameroon pipeline. This pipeline runs through the middle of Cameroon by beginning at a marine terminal outside the city of Krel, continuing along and near the border of the Central African Republic and ending outside the Chadian city of Kome.

This pipeline, as dutifully noted on website of the pipeline project, has four main partners: the governments of Chad and Cameroon, the World Bank, and a “consortium of three energy companies” that built the pipeline: ExxonMobil (40%) which was the pipeline’s operator, Malaysian multinational Petronas (35%), and Chevron (25%). The latter corporation is directly connected to the Obama administration because Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel used to be on the board of directors of Chevron, and pro-fracking Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz who was part of the corporate funded MIT Energy Initiative, with companies like Chevron, BP and Shell giving money while many other people in Obama’s corporatist administration have ties to Big Business. Still, while there are other pipelines being developed in Africa like the proposed Trans-Saharan pipelinethe East African pipeline, the Kenya-Uganda pipeline, only the pipelines coming out of South Sudan and Nigeria seem close enough to be affected. Protecting dirty energy in the Republic of Congo as a reason for assisting in the intervention, is affirmed through the fact that while French multinational Total S.A. And Italian Eni dominate the oil and gas sector, Chevron has its place, and “Congo holds the fifth-largest proven natural gas reserves in Sub-Saharan Africa” according to the EIA.

In closing, for the US, the reasons for helping out the French-led effort seem to be clear and revolve around stabilizing the country from violence committed by rebels who are coming from South Sudan and Chad, or other countries: create a friendly business climate likely for American tech giants, and protect the Chad-Cameroon pipeline along with oil in the Republic of Congo from strife or disturbance.

Left in the dust: China, India, and Russia

The competition in Africa has gone to new heights: not only is the US competing with China, but also with the European countries, India, and Russia in a “scramble for Africa’s many resources including oil…diamonds and gold to land for agricultural investment” along with a push to create a friendly climate for their country’s investors. Of these competitors, China is the most potent as it has major investments “across the continent and has surpassed the U.S. as Africa’s largest trading partner.” Even so, its military presence doesn’t even meet that of the US, but uses of the Chinese military in Africa are slowly growing. As John Reed noted in Foreign Policy magazine on July 2013, “for the second time in little over a year, China has infantry on the ground in Africa, reflecting the Chinese military’s increasing global presence.” In another article about China’s involvement in Africa, American University professor Debroah Brautigam dispels some myths about China, describing the smaller-than-expected amount of aid the country gives to Africa which is not really given because of a want for natural resources, China working with all sorts of regimes across the continent, not just Sudan and Zimbabwe, but ones like South Africa, whose president, Jacob Zuma, visited China in 2010, and much more. Most importantly, in the closing part of her article, Brautigam writes that “China is now a powerful force in Africa, and the Chinese are not going away. Their embrace of the continent is strategic, planned, long-term and still unfolding.” The investment power of the Chinese in the continent is what one could call Renminbi Diplomacy, named after the official currency of China, is almost a 21st century version of William Howard Taft’s ‘dollar diplomacy’ except the aims of China in Africa are furthered through the economic power of guaranteeing investments, rather than loans. Additionally, the mutualistic approach and persistence keeps Chinese companies in place, not brute force like military interventions or covert actions that topple or destabilize governments.

In the Central African Republic, Renminbi Diplomacy has been developing since 2009.[11] That year, the country called on China for investment. Bozize told Hu Jintao, then the President of China (the current president is Xi Jinping), that their country welcomed “Chinese enterprises to come and invest” and Jintao responded, stating that both countries should “strengthen and push forward our economic and trade competition.” Later that year, Jintao made four proposals to strengthen ties with the Central African Republic while Bozize was on a state visit: have better communication on “major issues and important affairs,” making sure that both countries have mutually beneficial “economic and trade cooperation,” having “personnel and cultural exchanges” between the two countries; and having better coordination in multilateral affairs.” Even by this time, BBC was declaring that China was an “increasingly important commercial partner” for the Central African Republic, adding that “China appears to be undeterred by an unpromising business climate [across Africa] and looks to be safely established there.”

In March 2010, this dialogue between the two countries continued, as the Ambassador of the Central African Republic to China, spoke highly of the Chinese president, while also saying that “China’s aid to Africa is trustworthy, practical [and] efficient” and lauded the “brilliant achievements” of the ruling Chinese ‘Communist’ Party, at the time. In May 2011, Bozize visited China again, saying that he was greatful for the “sincere and friendly assistance to the construction of the Central African Republic” from China, and hoped for future cooperation. After this meeting, Bozize and other high ranking officials from both countries at the meeting, signed an “economic and technological cooperation agreement.” By September 2012, the Chinese premier was calling for closer relations with Central Africa. An article on Global Voices, published in December 2012, brings the subject a bit closer to the present: “in recent months the licensing of oil exploration has been underway” with two contracts going to a South African company and one to a Chinese company while on December 27th, 2012, Bozize would suggest that “he was being attacked because he decided to grant oil exploration contracts to a Chinese company.”

Despite military support from fellow African countries, rebels occupied the capital city of the Central African Republic in March 2013, and Bozize fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo and later to France, resulting in the ascension of Michel Djotodia as the president of the country in a three-year transitional government which has promised to review the resource contracts. This, on top of the increased instability in East Africa which could be harming Chinese investments, was not good news for the Chinese, even though they remain the biggest export partner of the Central African Republic. In addition, South Sudan or even north Sudan could become less stable due to refugees fleeing, which is important because China is the top export partner of Sudanese oil, according to the EIA. At the same time, China still has a chance to expand in the country, since 2012 data shows that it does not have a “documented presence” in the country and Chinese companies are ok with operating in bad conditions.

This is precisely why China would support an intervention: to create a better business climate to increase investments of Chinese companies.

This brings one to the next player and member of the UN Security Council, like China, the UK, US, and France. The Russian Federation has an embassy and consulate in the Central African Republic, while the same country has an embassy in Russia. On November 1st, 2013, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairssaid that it was “seriously concerned about the activities of the anti-government coalition of Seleka rebels which resulted in the deterioration of [the] situation in the Central African Republic” and called for peaceful negotiations between the warring groups, and the government. On All Africa, an article noted something important in Russian relations toward the African continent, that while the country’s current “presence now pales when compared to its competitors,” in recent years, “increasing bilateral exchanges…suggest…that Russia-Africa relations are on the brink of revival.” South Africa, like China, and the US, is one of Russia’s major trading partners in the region, with enough connections that both countries want to supposedly create an OPEC-style “platinum cartel” to monopolize the sales of platinum worldwide.

Also, like China, Russia has brought troops to Africa: 200 peacekeepers specifically to Chad and the Central African Republic “in support of a UN mission in the region” in 2008. This isn’t all. Russia has a growing amount of arms sales to Africa, along with increased military and technical cooperation in Africa including training officers, giving military equipment, and much more, since since it is one of the biggest arms exporters in the world. Arms and weaponry aren’t all, but there is an element of economic involvement as well. The most recent data I could find was a report describing trade between Africa and Russia “at a glance” with data from late 2011. While the exact data is probably outdated as of now, the report makes a point that “renewed interest” by the Russians has not only included “recent visits by several African leaders to Russia and by Russian leaders to the continent,” but it includes investments in dirty energy such as natural gas and oil, mineral mining, nuclear power, hydropower, and more across the continent [12]

The last country that should be discussed is the up-and-rising country of India. While this country is not a member of the UN Security Council, but may become a member in the future, it has an embassy in the Central African Republic as well. The Prime Minister of the country, like the Russian government, wasdistressed with disturbances in the country, specifically the killings. Additionally, it is the third biggest export partner of Sudanese oil, with Japan being the second biggest, which is important because the Sudans could be negatively affected by events in the Central African Republic, especially South Sudan. In some respects, even India and France had a relationship, as The Hindu reported that there is a commitment from India to France, promising to shortlist “its companies…for lucrative defence and civil nuclear energy contracts.” The country is seeming to expand into Africa more and more, than it had in the past. Other than the $29.5 million line of credit the public Export-Import Bank of India, India’s government enjoys “friendly relations” with the Central African Republic, along with a number of agreements between the two countries, “foreign office consultation” on issues such as expanding “trade, investment, and technical cooperation between the countries,” and a total $89.9 million in projects and investments in the mining of limestone, construction of a cement factory, hydroelectric projects, and sending 100 buses, along with the materials for repair and to build new buses. This is all despite the fact that there is a small community of Indian workers in the country and a small amount of trade between the two countries.

In conclusion, the involvement of China, Russia and India in the African continent and the Central African Republic is important despite the fact that they didn’t send military forces to assist the African or French forces.

What can you do about all of this?

Unlike Mali, there have already been protests against the war, from the beginning. Already, there have been protests in the Central African Republic, with those in a crowd who were calling out Chad’s presence in the country since it has backed the rebel groups in the past, being fired on by Chadian peacekeepers on December 24th. Pictures of protests that same day against the clearly French imperialist intervention near where the soldiers were stationed were posted by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African News Wire. [13] A number of other news outlets reported this as well, but characterized the protesters in a negative light as supporters of the largely Muslim Seleka rebels,” by the governent-owned France 24 or as “Muslims” by the Associated Press, neither of which actually interviewed any of the protesters. The first article, which seemed very pro-intervention, described people chanting “No to colonisation! No to the Sangaris operation!” or “We don’t want religious conflict in our country” said by another protester.

The Associated Press did a better job of describing the protest, while including pictures, saying that most of the marchers were young and male “demand[ed] the departure of French troops” from the country, with some signs saying “We say No to France!” and others “Hollande = Liar” with some even having a “hand drawn map of this nation…split into two, with a Muslim homeland penciled in in the country’s north,” all the while the French are trying to put out propaganda to justify the war. The previous day, an article actually quoted some of those who were angry and protesting, who were attacked by French forces with tear gas, and protesters blocked roads with “rocks, metal barrels and pieces of wood” while chanting “’Not to France’ and ‘Hollande is a criminal’” and raiging signs that read “French crimes against the Central African Republic” among other messages, with one yelling that the french war in the country “is a murderous operation [since] they [the French] want to divide us Central Africans…to impose their will and make us kill each other. These protesters are not alone. An article in the Epoch Times profiled the views of some Africans on the war, with some knowing it wouldn’t bring peace, others opposing the intervention as not enough, which some had either “great doubt” in the intervention or weren’t reassured by it.

There are others who have already showed their resistance in numerous different countries. The French public has already gone weary to the intervention. A poll on December 15th showed that a majority of French citizens were “growingly opposed…to…[the] military intervention in the Central African Republic” which is very different than what happened with Mali. A poll almost a month later on January 5th showed even lower public support for the military intervention. There may be protests in the country, but I couldn’t find evidence of any. Few French have spoken out, with those opposing it including a small French group of radicals that believes in anti-capitalism, democratic socialism, eco-socialism and alter-globalization, called Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste or New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA), stating their case against the intervention: “François Hollande is therefore to engage the French army in its second operation in Africa in a year…clinging to his policing role, French imperialism, far from helping to solve problems, only exacerbates poverty and underdevelopment…Large companies [have]…plunder[ed] the wealth of the former colonies for decades…French imperialism is the problem, not the solution!” They even have a whole page on their website in which they have fliers opposing the war, and other critiques as the war goes along. They have also, along with another radical group, Worker’s Struggle, called for the French withdrawal of troops from Mali. Also in France, writer and freelance journalist Michel Collon, wrote that the intervention is not about humanitarianism but rather about resources and protecting the interests of multinational French corporations operating in the country, which is a deeply stinging critique.

In the US, a group that is made up of true communists, called Workers Power, and they oppose the intervention as well. In a statement titledWhy communists oppose French military intervention in Central African Republic they write that politicians are being deceptive when they say there is a coming genocide, continuing and writing that “France has been directly or indirectly involved in the assassination or overthrow of every single leader of the CAR since it first gained autonomy…There has never been a constitutional transfer of power,” and says that France wants “to install a government dependent on French military protection in return for the right to develop and monopolize the extraction of CAR’s reserves of diamonds, uranium, and other raw materials.” Then, on what Allison Kilenny, a co-host of Citizen Radio, jokingly calls the ‘People’s Republic of the Internet,’ there was a video

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Learning without Questioning in America: The Sunday School Syndrome.

NOVANEWS
Global Research

 

“Clinging to one’s opinion is the best proof of stupidity.”—Michel de Montaigne

Readin’, writin’, and ‘rithmatic don’t occasion much questioning. But subjects like history are another matter! Learning history, or anything else for that matter, can be likened to learning Bible verses if questioning is excluded from the process. This kind of learning without questioning is carried over to our colleges and universities where the problem becomes really severe.

Subjects are taught as if they were comprised of revealed truths. Hardly anyone ever questions them because questioning them is discouraged. So we end up with people who graduate with degrees under their arms who are no wiser than they were on the days they matriculated as freshmen. No new idea ever enters their heads. In this society, people who are learned are not educated. They are little different from hurdy gurdy monkeys, but we elect them to office. Such is the legacy of the Sunday School Syndrome. It yields the stubbornness of what are essentially stillborn minds. No amount of information conveyed can ever make a stupid person smart! So nothing fundamental will ever change until intellectual development rather than the conveyance of information becomes the principal goal of learning.

Every teacher who has tired to teach students an unconventional truth has met an obstinate student, the student to whom the conventional truth he matriculated with is the conventional truth he graduates with. Everyone who has tried to teach Ted Cruz knows what I’m talking about. Some claim that the hardest minds to change are religious. I don’t know how to amass any evidence for that but I suspect that there’s a kernel of truth in the claim. Such minds are hard to change because of the way they develop.

In many homes in America’s Bible Belt, children are nurtured in constrained intellectual environments. The only recognized book is the Bible, and children are told from early ages on that it contains the revealed word of God himself which not only is never questioned but is never even questionable. These children go or are taken to church three or more times a week where they are enrolled in Bible school and hear stories, often as outrageous as the parting of the Red Sea, that are never questionable. No one ever asks, or is even ever allowed to ask, How can that be true?

Much of early childhood education lends itself to this type of learning. Readin’, writin’, and ‘rithmatic don’t occasion much questioning. But history, for instance, is another matter! Mostly it is learned by rote. No one questions whether anyone was massacred in the Boston Massacre. The Sons of Liberty are never considered to have been a terrorist organization. Lincoln’s sincerity in the Gettysburg Address is rarely questioned. Knowing that Lincoln delivered the address on Thursday, November 19, 1863 and being able to recite it mean nothing. Knowing if Lincoln was sincere when he included the phrase “government of the people, by the people, for the people” or if that phrase was a mere rhetorical flourish makes a world of difference. Learning history can be likened to learning Bible verses if questioning is excluded from the process.

Why have there been several wars after the War to End all Wars was won? No one ever asks. When books that raise questions are found in school libraries, they re often unceremoniously removed. Nothing even remotely like “a search for truth” ever takes place. School is Bible school all over again only without the Bible (whose absence is often lamented).

This kind of learning without questioning is carried over to our colleges and universities where the problem becomes really severe. Questionable courses like economics, for instance, are taught like Bible verses except the verses are now referred to as models. Subjects are taught as if they were comprised of revealed truths. Hardly anyone ever questions them because questioning them is discouraged. So we end up with people who graduate with degrees under their arms who are no wiser than they were on the days they matriculated as freshmen. They can be likened to cans being filled with trash. No new idea ever enters their heads. In this society, people who are learned are not educated. They are little different from hurdy gurdy monkeys, but we elect them to office. No new idea has entered the halls of Congress in more than a hundred years; yet we wonder why nothing essential has changed. What fools we be!

Conventional wisdom is not wise. If it were, human beings would be solving problems rather than perpetuating them. People used to say the proof is in the pudding; if the pudding tastes three hundred years old, it is!

No subject is itself unworthy of study, but how it’s taught matters. Different subjects need to be taught differently. Learning is more than the conveyance of information. Penmanship cannot be taught like reading. Reading cannot be taught like multiplication. Multiplication cannot be taught like literature. Literature cannot be taught like chemistry. Some subjects are taught to provide students with techniques; students learn how to do things; other subjects are taught to develop minds. Americans, perhaps people elsewhere too, have never understood this and don’t understand it today. Some people in Ancient Athens developed excellent minds; few today have minds that match them. These Athenians did not study a core curriculum or take standardized tests. Neither did Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Wagner, Madam Curie, Newton, Harvey, Einstein, and numerous others. Some “reformers” ought to have learned something from that! The “reformers” themselves did not study a core curriculum or take standardized tests. Why don’t they ask themselves, How did we possibly learn anything without having done so? But no, questioning is not an American intellectual trait.

Even subjects like geometry can be questioned. If no mathematician had ever questioned Euclid’s geometry, non-Euclidean geometry would never have been discovered.

The Europeans who settled America were not interested in developing anyone’s mind. They had the good fortune of having come to America knowing everything. They wanted their children to learn what and only what they, themselves, already knew. Many still hold that view today. For instance, the Republican Party of Texas in 2012 included in its Platform the following paragraph:

Knowledge-Based Education

We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

So the colonists established school systems overseen by local people, that is, themselves. They did not then, and many do not now, want anyone telling them what their children need to know. Teach about man-made global warming? Not in our schools. Teach about evolution? Not in our schools. Teach about racial equality? Not in our schools. Teach the Decalogue? Yeah! You bet! So we’re back to Bible school! When the Puritans established Harvard College, they did so not to develop minds but only to create a place where preachers could be theologically trained. No search for scientific truth there! What about now?

Politicians are often criticized for being “out of touch with reality.” How “out of touch” they are is easily shown.

“Calling education a pillar of restoring the new economy, President Obama called for a recommitment to educating scientists and engineers, people ‘who are building and making things we can export to other countries.’”

America never had such a commitment.

Oh, yes! When the Russians put Sputnik into orbit, Americans “reformed” the educational system and science became all the rage. Like the rest of America’s frequent rages, it didn’t last. When Americans tried to tell students that science was fun, telling them that scientific work was often boring and monotonous was omitted, but students learned that for themselves in short order. Science was never as chic as being a rock star or star athlete. Hopefuls have never been attracted to science in numbers like those attracted to American Idol. In America, science is a flop. Five minutes of fame isn’t.

So how “out of touch” are America’s politicians? Look at the President’s recommendation carefully. He has forgotten that Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg are not scientists, engineers, of even college graduates. Had Steve Jobs been minimally scientific, he would likely be alive today. Has the President forgotten that the products these entrepreneurs helped bring to the market are mostly made in Asia and imported to America? Doesn’t the President know that scientists don’t build products; factory workers do? Doesn’t the President know that his view of the economy is 19th Century Sophomoric rather that 21st Century Undergraduate? How far “out of touch” can one be? Well, pretty far if you are an American. Reality can’t be encapsulated in pithy bible-like verses.

Perhaps the President really believes that the scientists working at CERN are building stuff to sell to the Prince of Denmark to be used to kill the Emir of Kuwait. I don’t know! The foreign-trained scientists who discovered how to build an atomic bomb for America did not then become manufacturers who built and exported bombs to the rest of the world. American politicians did that! Meteorologists don’t design, build, and manufacture weathervanes to sell to the rest of the world. What about archaeologists astronomers, paleontologists, and volcanologists? Ah, yes, volcanologists! What products do they build and make to export to the rest of the world, Mr. President? What products, indeed? If this were not so stupid, it would be laughable! Indeed, America will not need more scientists and engineers until it begins to listen to those it already has like, for instance, its climatologists.

Most Americans, including Congressmen, the scions of business, and university professors do not understand science. Science, indeed all genuine knowledge, is characterized by the existence of irrefutable evidence; its claims can be shown to be true. If, in the search for evidence, proof is found that the claims are false, they are abandoned. People with unscientific minds fail to do one or the other of these two things. In fact, false claims that are not abandoned are associated with some jargon. Zombie claims are never abandoned by their stubborn adherents regardless of the strength of the evidence that refutes them. Cockroach claims are abandoned and then retrieved, often in an altered form. The result is the same—ignorance never dies. As Adlai Stevenson said, “Ignorance is stubborn!”

Take, for example, the claim of economists that supply and demand is a law. As evidence for it, they cite merchants and companies that raise prices when the supply is diminished or the demand is increased, as for instance, oil companies. The evidence they cite is true, but countervailing evidence can easily be found. Exxon-Mobil does often raise its prices when supply falls, but when the line of cars at gas pumps gets long, filling station operators do not usually run outside and raise the prices set in the pumps. So although supply and demand may be an often used business practice, it is not a scientific law. Many economic models are subject to the same criticism. Economics is not science; it is full of cockroach claims.

But this characteristic of science is not restricted to factual claims. It applies to policies too. When a policy that has a specific outcome as its goal can be shown not to work or even to be unworkable, scientific minds abandon it. Not political ones. In fact, political ideologies are founded on zombie ideas. A list of such policies is easily constructed: The war on drugs, the legal system, and American foreign policy top the list. They should have been abandoned decades ago if not sooner. But they have not!

You see, America is a creedal nation as are most others. People are not merely irrational, they are anti-rational and anti-scientific. So what irony lurks in the minds of the President and those like him whey they believe that this anti-scientific nation, without changing its ways, will be saved from its follies by scientists whom no one pays any attention to? What could be more absurd?

Such is the legacy of the Sunday School Syndrome. It yields the stubbornness of what are essentially stillborn minds. No amount of information conveyed can ever make a stupid person smart! So nothing fundamental will ever change until intellectual development rather than the conveyance of information becomes the principal goal of learning.

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Truth, War Propaganda, CIA and Media Manipulation

NOVANEWS
Global Research

Never before has it been so important to have independent, honest voices and sources of information. We are – as a society – inundated and overwhelmed with a flood of information from a wide array of sources, but these sources of information, by and large, serve the powerful interests and individuals that own them. The main sources of information, for both public and official consumption, include the mainstream media, alternative media, academia and think tanks.

The mainstream media is the most obvious in its inherent bias and manipulation. The mainstream media is owned directly by large multinational corporations, and through their boards of directors are connected with a plethora of other major global corporations and elite interests. An example of these connections can be seen through the board of Time Warner.

Time Warner owns Time Magazine, HBO, Warner Bros., and CNN, among many others. The board of directors includes individuals past or presently affiliated with: the Council on Foreign Relations, the IMF, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Warburg Pincus, Phillip Morris, and AMR Corporation, among many others.

Two of the most “esteemed” sources of news in the U.S. are the New York Times (referred to as “the paper of record”) and the Washington Post. The New York Times has on its board people who are past or presently affiliated with: Schering-Plough International (pharmaceuticals), the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chevron Corporation, Wesco Financial Corporation, Kohlberg & Company, The Charles Schwab Corporation, eBay Inc., Xerox, IBM, Ford Motor Company, Eli Lilly & Company, among others. Hardly a bastion of impartiality.

And the same could be said for the Washington Post, which has on its board: Lee Bollinger, the President of Columbia University and Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Warren Buffett, billionaire financial investor, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway; and individuals associated with (past or presently): the Coca-Cola Company, New York University, Conservation International, the Council on Foreign Relations, Xerox, Catalyst, Johnson & Johnson, Target Corporation, RAND Corporation, General Motors, and the Business Council, among others.

It is also important to address how the mainstream media is intertwined, often covertly and secretly, with the government. Carl Bernstein, one of the two Washington Post reporters who covered the Watergate scandal, revealed that there were over 400 American journalists who had “secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency.” Interestingly, “the use of journalists has been among the most productive means of intelligence-gathering employed by the CIA.” Among organizations which cooperated with the CIA were the “American Broadcasting Company, the National Broadcasting Company, the Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, the Miami Herald and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald-Tribune.”

By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA officials, have been with the New York Times, CBS and Time Inc. The CIA even ran a training program “to teach its agents to be journalists,” who were “then placed in major news organizations with help from management.”

These types of relationships have continued in the decades since, although perhaps more covertly and quietly than before. For example, it was revealed in 2000 that during the NATO bombing of Kosovo, several officers from the US Army’s 4th Psychological Operations (PSYOPS) Group at Ft. Bragg worked in the news division at CNN’s Atlanta headquarters.” This same Army Psyop outfit had “planted stories in the U.S. media supporting the Reagan Administration’s Central America policies,” which was described by the Miami Herald as a “vast psychological warfare operation of the kind the military conducts to influence a population in enemy territory.” These Army PSYOP officers also worked at National Public Radio (NPR) at the same time. The US military has, in fact, had a strong relationship with CNN.

In 2008, it was reported that the Pentagon ran a major propaganda campaign by using retired Generals and former Pentagon officials to present a good picture of the administration’s war-time policies. The program started in the lead-up to the Iraq War in 2003 and continued into 2009. These officials, presented as “military analysts”, regurgitate government talking points and often sit on the boards of military contractors, thus having a vested interest in the subjects they are brought on to “analyze.”

In 2013, Public Accountability reported:

During the public debate around the question of whether to attack Syria, Stephen Hadley, former national security adviser to George W. Bush, made a series of high-profile media appearances. Hadley argued strenuously for military intervention in appearances on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and Bloomberg TV, and authored a Washington Post op-ed headlined “To stop Iran, Obama must enforce red lines with Assad.”

In each case, Hadley’s audience was not informed that he serves as a director of Raytheon, the weapons manufacturer that makes the Tomahawk cruise missiles that were widely cited as a weapon of choice in a potential strike against Syria. Hadley earns $128,500 in annual cash compensation from the company and chairs its public affairs committee. He also owns 11,477 shares of Raytheon stock, which traded at all-time highs during the Syria debate ($77.65 on August 23, making Hadley’s share’s worth $891,189). Despite this financial stake, Hadley was presented to his audience as an experienced, independent national security expert.

The major philanthropic foundations in the United States have often used their enormous wealth to co-opt voices of dissent and movements of resistance into channels that are safe for the powers that be. As McGeorge Bundy, former President of the Ford Foundation once said, “Everything the Foundation does is to make the world safe for Capitalism.”

Examples of this include philanthropies like the Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation providing immense financial and organizational support to Non-Governmental Organizations. Furthermore, the alternative media are often funded by these same foundations, which has the effect of influencing the direction of coverage as well as the stifling of critical analysis.

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Basra: Profiting from their Destruction, the British are Back

NOVANEWS
Global Research

When will there be justice in Athens? There will be justice in Athens when those who are not injured are as outraged as those who are.” Thucydides (460 BC – 395 BC.)

In December 2007, Major General Graham Binns, Commander of British Forces in Basra, handed illegally occupied Basra Province back to the Iraqis, with Basra city centre “festooned with flags, lights and banners to mark the occasion.”

In fact, the whole nonsense was window dressing. British soldiers had been under siege in their bases between February and September that year and had withdrawn to Basra Airport, on the city’s outskirts, leaving just seven hundred soldiers in Basra, squatting in one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces. They too slunk out to the airport, under cover of darkness on 3rd September.

At the hand over, Major General Binns said that Basra had been successfully wrested from its enemies and was now being handed back to its friends. However, at the time, a poll of 1,000 Basra residents for BBC’s Newsnight programme showed 85% saying British troops had been a negative effect on the Province for their five year occupation.

Given the litany of claims of murder, torture, abuse, theft, against the British army being handled by lawyers in the UK, for Basra region residents, ”negative” seems a bit of an understatement.

However, Major General Binns, who commanded the 7th Armoured Brigade when it led the siege of Basra in 2003, is back in Basra with a new hat on. In the revolving door between the US and UK armies and mercenary companies, Binns, who left the army in 2010, joined one such, Aegis Defence Services, who have been employed by the New Governor of Basra, Majid al-Nasrawi.

Amongst other things, states the Major General: “Aegis will be asked to provide help with setting up specialised CCTV detection and checkpoint systems across the city, establishing a “ring of steel” security system to thwart suicide bombers.” Sounds just like old times, more work for more lawyers surely inevitable.

Aegis is to also: “set up an academy to help security forces improve coordination and intelligence-gathering techniques.” Exactly what British forces said they were also doing during their uninvited stay. Indeed a contingency remained, even after the 2007 flight, to “train” Iraqis, leaving finally, in April 2009. Further, the locals who forced the majority British troops’ “hurried departure” are still a considerable force to be reckoned with. More trouble ahead, and what a great excuse to call back the UK’s “boys” if it all goes pear shaped for Aegis, in the vital oil port hub, the engine of the entire country, which is Basra port and the region’s oil.

“The contract is politically sensitive as it will put British military experts in an influential position in Basra, advising the Governor’s … security committee.” Britain has again it’s feet firmly under Iraq’s table.

“We have signed a contract with the Basra Governor”, states Binns: “and will initially be supporting them in procuring specialised equipment for search and detection purposes and CCTV, but that may expand.” You bet. (1)

For a man who commanded UK forces in Basra, Binns seems woefully ignorant of the infrastructure. Last summer, for the third year in a row, the people of Basra demonstrated in the sweltering heat because the electricity supply operated just two hours a day. In 1991, the subsequent ten-plus years of bombing and in 2003, Iraq’s electricity system was systematically destroyed.

In context, in the first major assault: “On January 17, 1991 … the U.S. dropped metallic filaments onto the power network that short circuited the system, and caused blackouts. The Coalition then targeted twenty eight power plants, flying 215 sorties against them, along with nine transformers and switching yards. Within a few days, the entire power grid was knocked out of action.” (2) The attacks went on year after year. Each time one ruined facility had been cannibalized for equipment to revive another one to staggering along status, the repaired one would be re-bombed. The 2003 targeting was the final death knell to Iraq’s electricity infrastructure.

Through it all, until the invasion, the extraordinary ingenuity of Iraq’s engineers and other experts somehow kept the electricity imperfectly on, in spite of the siege conditions of the embargo, for far longer, daily, than those with the $billions in the budget of the “New Iraq.”

Perhaps The Major General and his burly elves will pitch up with pockets full of batteries for his CCTV, “specialised equipment” and “ring of steel.” Alice Binns in Wonderland.

As the BBC explained: Aegis is one one of the UK’s biggest mercenary companies, having: “made millions from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan since it was founded just eight years ago.

“It is even fair to say that Aegis, like much of the private security industry, owes its very existence to the last Iraq war.

“’In Iraq in 2003 and 2004 money was basically free’, explained Andy Bearpark, Director-General of the British Association of Private Security Companies”(3) unless you were an Iraqi.

Aegis was founded by former British Army officer Tim Spicer, in 2002. He was replaced as Chief Executive in 2010 by Major General Binns. To describe Spicer’s career as “colorful” would not do him justice. Controversy has followed him from his army posting in Northern Ireland, when two of his soldiers were convicted of murder, then to Papua and New Guinea and on to Sierra Leone with his previously founded mercenary company, Sandline.

In August 2004 the just two year old Aegis, under Spicer, reportedly won a $293 million, three year contract in Iraq, outsourcing, including intelligence, for the US Army. In May 2006, writing in the Guardian, Stephen Armstrong commented: “Colonel Tim Spicer is effectively in charge of the second largest military force in Iraq – some 20,000 private soldiers. Just don’t call him a mercenary.”

At the time: “Aegis had a contract with the Pentagon … to oversee the sixteen private security companies providing personnel, security, military training and reconstruction.” Training again, eh? And now they are back.

Following the awarding of the Pentagon contract: “… five US Senators, Charles Schumer, Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Chris Dodd and John Kerry, wrote a joint letter” to then Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld, calling on him to investigate the granting of the Aegis contract, describing Spicer as “an individual with a history of supporting excessive use of force against a civilian population” and stating that he “vigorously defends (human rights abuses.)”

Moreover: “In a December 2005 letter to his constituents, then U.S. Senator Barack Obama called on the Department of Defense to withdraw its contract with Aegis. Obama wrote that: “The CEO of Aegis Defense Services Tim Spicer has been implicated in a variety of human rights abuses around the globe … given his history, I agree that the United States should consider rescinding its contract with his company.”(4) Quite. Never-the-less, pots, kettles and black come to mind. Aegis was, after all, in competition with the US’s also seemingly human-rights-free marauders, Blackwater.

However, Tim Collins was awarded a Knighthood and Aegis ploughs up the $millions. It is Chaired, by Sir Winston Churchill’s grandson The Honourable Nicholas Soames, former UK Minister of State for the Armed Services, former Shadow Secretary of State for Defence and mega enthusiast for the Iraq invasion. The Board includes Colonel Giles Harrison, the highlights of whose: “ …military career included managing a multi-stakeholder, multi-billion pound programme at the UK Ministry of Defence”, Brigadier James Ellery, and of course, Major General Binns (and his batteries) amongst others.(5)

For anyone who thought the British finally gave up Iraq in 1932, 2007, 2009, they are back with a vengeance. Same car, new paint.

Of course, if the appalling US appointed “Viceroy” Paul Bremer had not created his De-Ba’athification policy (enforced on 16th May 2003) which effectively sacked and denied employment to almost anyone who had been employed in the public sector during Saddam Hussein’s rule, all from electricity to security could have been fixed at a fraction of the price.

But perhaps that was the plan, to tear the financial heart out of Iraq to the mega gain of the UK and US whose companies are rolling in the mega dollars. The countries who destroyed Iraq are reaping untold riches from their destruction.

Ironically, it is the De-Ba’athification policy itself which has been blamed as a major factor in the collapse of economy, society and security throughout Iraq. The concept came from Iraqi exile and convicted embezzler, Ahmed Chalabi, whose Iraqi National Congress was nurtured by the CIA’s $millions.(6)

As Hussein al-Alak, founder of the Iraq Solidarity Campaign puts succinctly: “It is a bitter irony, that those who introduced the policy of De-Ba’athification, thus creating an unimaginable level of paranoia and discrimination, were those who also brought to the British and American Governments, the now infamous claims of Saddam’s 45 minute WMDs.” (7)

Notes

1. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/10550202/Basra-invites-British-back-for-security-role.html

2. http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/basra-protest-over-lack-of-electricity.html

3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11521579

4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Spicer

5. http://www.aegisworld.com/who-we-are/key-personalities/

6. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/apr/14/iraq.davidleigh

7. http://totallyhussein.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/a-chance-for-iraqi- political-growth.html

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