Lesson to the world: American politicians are not to be trusted.
Lesson to the world: American politicians are not to be trusted.
On Monday, a Belgian TV channel unveiled the investigations conducted by the Belgian Attorney-General, Georges Gilkinet, over the disappearance of billions of Euros from the accounts of Libyan Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Belgian banks.
According to RTBF, Gilkinet stated that “There has been an extensive investigation into the disappearance of billions of Euros from accounts belonging to Gaddafi in Belgium, in addition to the UN inquiry regarding the case.” Thus, the Attorney-General added that “about five billion Euros, the equivalent of $5.6 billion, have vanished from Belgian banks.”
Georges Gilkinet asserted that “the investigation shall be continued and the Belgian government will be required to provide solid clarifications regarding the matter,” noting that “the Belgian government has not complied with the UN resolution to freeze Libyan assets, especially those belonging to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi”, according to Sputnik News.
Similarly, Gilkinet confirmed that “The information we have about what happened is not complete. However, we demand the government to explain the situation to avoid a massive scandal.” He continued: “All we know that hundreds of millions of Euros were transferred from Gaddafi’s bank accounts to unidentified individuals and destinations inside Libya.”
The Belgian TV station quoted a source, who refused to be identified, saying that the vast amounts of cash had been used to fuel Libya’s civil war for the past seven years. The source highlighted that “The UN report also illustrated the possibility that Gaddafi’s money was sent to armed groups in Libya, which could have led to destabilising the region even further.”
July 13, 2018
The summit meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the military alliance that is expanding its deployments of troops, combat and surveillance aircraft and missile ships around Russia’s borders, took place on July 11-12 and was a farce, with Trump behaving in his usual way, insulting individuals and nations with characteristic vulgarity.
Before the jamboree, NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg (one of those selected for a Trumpian harangue), recounted in a speech on 21 June that “NATO has totally transformed our presence in Afghanistan from a big combat operation with more than 100,000 to now 16,000 troops conducting training, assisting and advising.” But then he had a bit of a rethink when he was asked a question about whether NATO had learnt any lessons that might make it think about “intervening in the future.” To give him his due, Stoltenberg replied that he thought “one of the lessons we have learned from Iraq, from Afghanistan, from Libya, is that military intervention is not always solving all problems.”
He is absolutely right about that, because the US-NATO military interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya have been catastrophic.
It is intriguing that NATO’s secretary general can at last admit that military muscle doesn’t solve every problem, but he did not expand on the subject of Libya, which unhappy country was destroyed by US-NATO military intervention in 2011, and it is interesting to reflect on that particular NATO debacle, because it led directly to expansion of the Islamic State terrorist group, a prolonged civil war, a vast number of deaths, and hideous suffering by desperate refugees trying to flee from Libya across the Mediterranean.
Towards the end of the West’s seven-month blitz on Libya its leader, Muammar Gaddafi, was murdered by gangs supported by US-NATO, which caused the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to giggle “We came; we saw; he died” in an interview on CBS, which was a good indicator of how the peace-loving West approached its devastation of a country whose president had plenty of flaws but whose main mistake was to threaten to nationalize his country’s oil resources, which were in the hands of US and European oligarchs.
Gaddafi was a despot who persecuted his enemies quite as savagely as the Western-supported dictator Hosni Mubarak in neighboring Egypt, but life for most Libyans was comfortable, and the BBC had to admit that Gaddafi’s “particular form of socialism does provide free education, healthcare and subsidized housing and transport,” although “wages are extremely low and the wealth of the state and profits from foreign investments have only benefited a narrow elite” (which doesn’t happen anywhere else, of course). The CIA World Factbook noted that in 2010 Gaddafi’s Libya had a literacy rate of 82.6% (far better than Egypt, India and Saudi Arabia), and a life expectancy of 77.47 years, higher than 160 of the 215 countries assessed. But the West was intent on getting rid of Gaddafi, and managed to fudge a UN Resolution to begin the war. (Germany, under the wise leadership of Angela Merkel, refused to have anything to do with the long-planned carnival of rocketing and bombing.)
Gaddafi was murdered on October 20, 2011, in particularly disgusting circumstances, and ten days later the US-NATO alliance ended its blitzkrieg. The normally sane Guardian newspaper of the UK reported that the operation had demonstrated “a unique combination of military power that could set a model for future warfare” while the secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, proclaimed the end of “a successful chapter in Nato’s history.”
The “successful chapter” involved 9,600 airstrikes that amongst other destruction “debilitated Libya’s water supply by targeting critical state-owned water installations, including a water-pipe factory . . that manufactured pre-stressed concrete cylinder pipes for the Great Manmade River project, an ingenious irrigation system transporting water from aquifers beneath Libya’s southern desert to about 70% of the population.” As the Christian Science Monitor reported in 2010, “the Great Man-Made River, which is leader Muammar Qaddafi’s ambitious answer to the country’s water problems, irrigates Libya’s large desert farms. The 2,333-mile network of pipes ferry water from four major underground aquifers in southern Libya to the northern population centers. Wells punctuate the water’s path, allowing farmers to utilize the water network in their fields.” Not any more, they don’t, and there is now a critical water shortage
One recent observation was that “The water crisis is a powerful symbol of state failure in a country that was once one of the wealthiest in the Middle East but has been gripped by turmoil since a 2011 uprising unseated [sic] Muammar Gaddafi. For Libyans the chaos has meant power cuts and crippling cash shortages. These are often made worse by battles between armed groups vying for control of the fractured oil-rich state and its poorly-maintained infrastructure.” Thank you, US-NATO, for liberating Libya.
Two prominent figures involved in the US-NATO war on Libya were Ivo Daalder, the US Representative on the NATO Council from 2009 to 2013, and Admiral James G (‘Zorba’) Stavridis, the US Supreme Allied Commander Europe (the military commander of NATO) in the same period. As they ended their war, on October 31, 2011, these two ninnies had a piece published in the New York Times in which they made the absurd claim that “As Operation Unified Protector comes to a close, the alliance and its partners can look back at an extraordinary job, well done. Most of all, they can see in the gratitude of the Libyan people that the use of limited force — precisely applied — can affect real, positive political change.”
Well, there’s no doubt that “limited force” — if you call 9,600 airstrikes “limited” — can produce political change, but it is difficult to see how even these two twits could think for an instant that it would be “positive.” Then Rasmussen lobbed in to Tripoli on 31 October and announced that “It’s great to be in Libya, free Libya. We acted to protect you. Together we succeeded. Libya is finally free.”
The Western mainstream media, which was so supportive of the war, has not asked the team of Rasmussen, Stavridis and Daalder how they feel about the current catastrophe in Libya that they did so much to accomplish. There are few reports in western newspapers or TV outlets about the gravity of the shambles (search, for example, the New York Times and the Washington Post), but such organizations as Human Rights Watch keep the world informed about what is going on. Its 2018 World Report records that “Political divisions and armed strife continued to plague Libya as two governments vied for legitimacy and control of the country, and United Nations’ efforts to unify the feuding parties flagged . . . Armed groups throughout the country, some of them affiliated with one or the other of the competing governments, executed persons extra-judicially, attacked civilians and civilian properties, abducted and disappeared people, and imposed sieges on civilians in the eastern cities of Derna and Benghazi.”
Thank you US-NATO, and especially thank you, President Obama and Messrs. Rasmussen, Stavridis and Daalder, and all the brave pilots who had a wonderful blitzing shindig, and all the brave button-pressers on US and UK Navy ships whose Tomahawk missiles blasted the cities. The country you wrecked will take decades to recover from your use of what you called “limited force,” and the amount of human suffering you caused is incalculable.
NATO’S Jens Stoltenberg seems to have learned the lesson, albeit belatedly, that military force does not solve what NATO regards as problems. That’s to be welcomed, and what would be even more welcome would be realization that provocation and the threat of force don’t work, either, and therefore that it would be wise to stay out of wars and to draw-down the confrontational US-NATO deployments along Russia’s borders.
With permission from
April 4, 2018
In Libya, NATO bombed a path to Tripoli to help its proxy forces on the ground oust Gaddafi. Tens of thousands lost their lives and that country’s social fabric and infrastructure now lies in ruins. Gaddafi was murdered and his plans to assert African independence and undermine Western (not least French) hegemony on that continent have been rendered obsolete.
In Syria, the US, Turkey, France, Britain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been helping to arm militants. The Daily Telegraph’s March 2013 article “US and Europe in ‘major airlift of arms to Syrian rebels through Zagreb’” reported that 3,000 tons of weapons dating back to the former Yugoslavia had been sent in 75 planeloads from Zagreb airport to the rebels. The New York Times March 2013 article “Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With CIA Aid” stated that Arab governments and Turkey had sharply increased their military aid to Syria’s opposition fighters. This aid included more than 160 military cargo flights.
Sold under the notion of a spontaneous democratic uprising against a tyrannical political leader, Syria is little more than an illegal war for capital, empire and energy. The West and its allies have been instrumental in organising the war as elaborated by Tim Anderson in his book ‘The Dirty War on Syria’.
Over the last 15 years or so, politicians and the media have been manipulating popular sentiment to get an increasingly war-fatigued Western public to support ongoing wars under the notion of protecting civilians or a bogus ‘war on terror’. They spin a yarn about securing women’s rights or a war on terror in Afghanistan, removing despots from power in Iraq, Libya or Syria or protecting human life, while then going on to attack or help destabilise countries, resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands of civilian lives.
Emotive language designed to instil fear about potential terror attacks in Europe or myths about humanitarianism intervention are used as a pretext to wage imperialist wars in mineral-rich countries and geostrategically important regions.
Part of the battle for the public’s hearts and minds is to keep people confused. They must be convinced to regard these wars and conflicts as a disconnected array of events and not as the planned machinations of empire. The ongoing disinformation narrative about Russian aggression is part of the strategy. Ultimately, Russia (and China) is the real and increasingly imminent target: Moscow has stood in the way of the West’s plans in Syria and both Russia and China are undermining the role of the dollar in international trade, a lynchpin of US power.
The countries of the West are effectively heading for war with Russia but relatively few among the public seem to know or even care. Many are oblivious to the slaughter that has already been inflicted on populations with the help of their taxes and governments in far-away lands. With the reckless neoconservative warmonger John Bolton now part of the Trump administration, it seems we could be hurtling towards major war much faster than previously thought.
Most of the public remains blissfully ignorant of the psy-ops being directed at them through the corporate media. Given recent events in the UK and the ramping up of anti-Russia rhetoric, if ordinary members of the public think that Theresa May or Boris Johnson ultimately have their best interests at heart, they should think again. The major transnational corporations based on Wall Street and in the City of London are the ones setting Anglo-US policy agendas often via the Brookings Institute, Council on Foreign Relations, International Crisis Group, Chatham House, etc.
The owners of these companies, the capitalist class, have off-shored millions of jobs as well as their personal and company tax liabilities to boost their profits and have bankrupted economies. We see the results in terms of austerity, unemployment, powerlessness, privatization, deregulation, banker control of economies, corporate control of food and seeds, the stripping away of civil liberties, increased mass surveillance and wars to grab mineral resources and ensure US dollar hegemony. These are the interests the politicians serve.
It’s the ability to maximise profit by shifting capital around the world that matters to this class, whether on the back of distorted free trade agreements, which open the gates for plunder, or through coercion and militarism, which merely tear them down.
Whether it is the structural violence of neoliberal economic policies or actual military violence, the welfare of ordinary folk around the world does not enter the equation. In an imposed oil-thirsty, war-driven system of globalised capitalism and over-consumption that is wholly unnecessary and is stripping the planet bare, the bottom line is that ordinary folk – whether workers in the West, farmers in India or civilians displaced en masse in war zones like Syria – must be bent according to the will of Western capital.
We should not be fooled by made-for-media outpourings of morality about good and evil that are designed to create fear, outrage and support for more militarism and resource-grab wars. The shaping of public opinion is a multi-million-dollar industry.
Take for instance the mass harvesting of Facebook data by Cambridge Analytica to shape the outcomes of the US election and the Brexit campaign. According to journalist Liam O’Hare, its parent company Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL) has conducted ‘behavioural change’ programmes in over 60 countries and its clients have included the British Military of Defence, the US State Department and NATO. According to O’Hare, the use of the media to fool the public is one of SCL’s key selling points.
Among its activities in Europe have been campaigns targeting Russia. The company has “sweeping links” with Anglo-American political and military interests. In the UK, the interests of the governing Conservative Party and military-intelligence players are brought together via SCL: board members include “an array of Lords, Tory donors, ex-British army officers and defense contractors.”
O’Hare says it is clear is that all SCL’s activities have been inextricably linked to its Cambridge Analytica arm. He states: “International deception and meddling is the name of the game for SCL. We finally have the most concrete evidence yet of shadowy actors using dirty tricks in order to rig elections. But these operators aren’t operating from Moscow… they are British, Eton educated, headquartered in the City of London and have close ties to Her Majesty’s government”
So, what are we to make of the current anti-Russia propaganda we witness regarding the nerve agent incident in Salisbury and the failure of the British government to provide evidence to demonstrate Russian culpability? The relentless accusations by Theresa May and Boris Johnson that have been parroted across the corporate media in the West indicate that the manipulation of public perception is everything and facts count for little. It is alarming given what is at stake – the escalation of conflict between the West and a major nuclear power.
Welcome to the world of mass deception à la Edward Bernays and Josef Goebbels.
US social commentator Walter Lippmann once said that ‘responsible men’ make decisions and have to be protected from the ‘bewildered herd’ – the public. He added that the public should be subdued, obedient and distracted from what is really happening. Screaming patriotic slogans and fearing for their lives, they should be admiring with awe leaders who save them from destruction.
Although the West’s political leaders are manipulating, subduing and distracting the public in true Lippmannesque style, they aren’t ‘saving’ anyone from anything: their reckless actions towards Russia could lead towards a war that could wipe out all life on the planet.
The Messiah of the pro-war left, Barack Obama, recently took to Twitter after the race riots in Virginia to quote Nelson Mandela in a condemnation of racism. The tweet, however, was much more likely a clever act of opportunism to galvanize the fascist left in their own perceived racial struggles against Donald Trump. It worked and, subsequently, Obama’s tweet became the most-liked tweet in Twitter’s short history.
One could go on and on about Obama’s history with race and racism. His entire adolescence, college and political career was utterly obsessed with it, as his book Dreams From My Father alludes to. But the irony of Obama’s tweets have nothing to do with Obama’s own sordid history with race and racism throughout his life and tenure as President but in the fact that he chose to quote Nelson Mandela in his opportunistic comment about the tragic Charlottesville clown show.
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion . . .” Obama tweeted. Fair enough. But they don’t grow up killing innocent people in foreign countries either.
According to TASS online, the irony of Obama’s tweet was not lost on Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zhakarova, who wrote that the tweet had “an excellent beginning, though a bit belated.” She noted that there is another quote by Nelson Mandela that Obama should tweet, “better late than never.”
“No country can claim to be the policeman of the world and no state can dictate to another what it should do,” she quoted.
“Those that yesterday were friends of our enemies have the gall today to tell me not to visit my brother Gaddafi. They are advising us to be ungrateful and forget our friends of the past,” she added, the statement having been another quote from Mandela.
In her own words, Zhakarova stated, “Mister Obama, a person was killed with your direct involvement whom Nelson Mandela called his brother and thanked for help in gaining democracy. True democracy and not the one invented in the Oval Office.”
We don’t expect any tweet of the full Mandela quote to ever appear on Obama’s feed nor do we expect anything other than grandstanding and instigation to come from the disgraced former President’s account. But while those liking Obama’s tweet are most likely busy attacking Trump for not pretending violence was committed by only one side and only condemning Nazis and White Nationalists three times over, it would be nice if they could at least bring themselves to acknowledge the hundreds of thousands of deaths that have taken place as a direct result of their fearless leader, a large portion of them being people of color. But we won’t be holding our breath for that either . . .
Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President, and Resisting The Empire: The Plan To Destroy Syria And How The Future Of The World Depends On The Outcome. Turbeville has published over 1000 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.
When the definitive history of the conflict in Syria is written, the role of the United States in funding, training, and arming rebel groups in clear violation of international law will by necessity comprise a major chapter.
Washington’s announcement that the CIA has canceled its program to support “moderate rebels” in Syria — estimated to have cost the US taxpayer US$1billion and which has helped perpetuate a conflict in which up to 400,000 people have died, many in the most heinous way — was made recently in the manner of a multinational corporation wrapping up a failed business venture overseas.
There was no mention made, of course, that the program had been undertaken in violation of international law. No mention either of the fact it was in support of an insurgency largely been made up of non-Syrians, who over the past six years have descended on the country driven not by the desire to establish a democracy in the country, but rather to impose religious and cultural tyranny.
Imagine, just for a moment, if the shoe was on the other foot. Imagine if Russia had announced that the FSB was ending a US$1billion program in support of an armed insurgency dominated by religious extremists with a penchant for torture, enslaving women, chopping off people’s heads — whose objective was the destruction of the secular government of a multi-religious and multi-ethnic state — imagine what the reaction would be in Western capitals. The outrage would be stratospheric — and justifiably so.
As for those who argue that the West has only ever supported moderate head-chopping fanatics in Syria, never the extreme kind, this is a preposterous distinction that the Syrian people have never had the luxury of embracing.
In a New York Times article on this story we are informed how “once CIA-trained fighters crossed into Syria, CIA officers had difficulty controlling them. The fact that some of their CIA weapons ended up with Nusra Front fighters — and that some of the rebels joined the group — confirmed the fears of many in the Obama administration when the program began. Although the Nusra Front was widely seen as an effective fighting force against Mr. Assad’s troops, its Qaeda affiliation made it impossible for the Obama administration to provide direct support for the group.”
The sheer unadulterated stupidity of US policy in Syria over the past few years is enshrined in this passage. What did they think was going to happen? Did the CIA really believe their nice moderate rebels with their shiny new US-supplied weapons and equipment would slot into the conflict and remain inoculated from the attentions of the bad extremist rebels? Are they really so incredibly inept and disastrously ill-informed about a region they have expended so much effort in trying to dominate over the past 70 years?
From the very beginning, Washington and its allies have completely and woefully misread events not only in Syria, but also throughout the region. The so-called Arab Spring caught the US by surprise both in terms of its size and the speed with which it spread in 2011. The result was panic in Washington over what it portended for US influence in this strategically crucial part of the world, producing a monumental collapse in analysis responsible for the catastrophic military intervention in Libya under the rubric of NATO.
Driving the Libyan misadventure was not pure ideals of helping to overthrow a cruel dictator and establish a Jeffersonian democracy in his place, as claimed. How could it be considering that while Gaddafi was in power the US, UK, and France — the main participants in the NATO intervention — enjoyed significant economic relations with Libya, along with normal diplomatic relations? No, NATO’s intervention in Libya was fueled by the desire of the US and its European allies to place themselves at the head of an Arab Spring that by then had run out of steam.
Yet, regardless, the West staged a crude and wrongheaded intervention, one that only helped to fan the flames of a counterrevolutionary wave that saw not democracy but Salafi-jihadism prosper. Informing this strategy was an orientalist and reductive treatment of the region as an undifferentiated collection of Arab and Muslim states which are near identical in their complexion, social breakdown and dynamic, not to mention national character. Thus Tunisia is the same as Egypt is the same as Libya is the same as Syria, and so on.
There was no popular revolution in Libya, which is borne out by the fact that even though Gaddafi had no air force to speak of, and despite his air defense capability being weak and neutralized by NATO early on in the conflict, it still took eight months for the Libyan leader to be overthrown and butchered from the day NATO aircraft began flying sorties in the country in March of that year.
Similarly, in Syria, by the time the CIA program began in 2013, the country was being ravaged by an Islamic Khmer Rouge intent on implementing its very own Year Zero, involving the wholesale massacre and extirpation of minority communities that can trace their presence in the Levant back a millennia and more.
This is not to say that every militant fighting the government in Syria was and is both non-Syrian and an Islamist extremist. It is to say, though, that non-Syrians and Islamist extremists were and remain in the driving seat when it came to forging the sectarian character of the opposition, confirmed by none other than the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in a declassified intelligence report back in 2012.
Yet, regardless, the CIA still embarked on its failed program to try and locate and cultivate a third force in a country it never had any legal or moral right to operate in. Not that legality and morality have ever been constraints on an organization whose deeds throughout its history have regularly conformed to those you would associate with a terrorist organization.
Fortunately, on this occasion in Syria, those deeds have failed to produce the desired result.
Check out John’s Sputnik radio show, Hard Facts.
Let’s not forget to thank the USA for “liberating” Libya, this could not happen without it.
With permission from
April 20, 2017
Migrants from West Africa are being bought and sold in a modern-day version of a slave market in Libya.
Survivors of the trade have recently come forwards and told their story to a UN agency who is helping them to return home.
Although trafficked people that were passing through Libya have reported occurrences of violence, extortion and slave labour in the past, the newfound information from the International Organization for Migration suggests that slavery has become a standard occurrence that is therefore not being concealed.
Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s head of operation and emergencies said:
“The latest reports of ‘slave markets’ for migrants can be added to a long list of outrages [in Libya]. The situation is dire. The more IOM engages inside Libya, the more we learn that it is a vale of tears for all too many migrants.”
The African nation of Libya is a major gateway for refugees that are trying to make their way to boats that will get them to Europe.
However, reports claim that the increase in violent chaos in the country is due to the overthrow of autocratic leader Muammar Gaddafi. The migrants with very little cash and no papers are therefore extremely vulnerable as they make their journey.
One 34 year old survivor from Senegal told his story of getting a bus across the desert that was organised by people smugglers, before the driver suddenly claimed that the middlemen had not paid their fees, which meant that the passengers were then put up for sale, despite the migrants having paid to be taken to the coasts to get on a boat.
Livia Manante, an IOM officer based in Niger who helps people wanting to return home, said:
“The men on the pick-up were brought to a square, or parking lot, where a kind of slave trade was happening. There were locals – he described them as Arabs – buying sub-Saharan migrants.”
Accounts of slave markets have been confirmed by migrants that have managed to escape from Libya.
“Several other migrants confirmed his story, independently describing kinds of slave markets as well as kinds of private prisons all over in Libya.
“IOM Italy has confirmed that this story is similar to many stories reported by migrants and collected at landing points in southern Italy, including the slave market reports.
“This gives more evidence that the stories reported are true, as the stories of those who managed to cross-match those who are returning back to their countries.”
The Senegalese migrant explained that he was taken to a makeshift prison where those held inside are forced to work without pay, whilst the captors regularly call their families to demand a ransom.
The captors of the migrant asked for 300,000 west African francs (about £380) before they sold him to a larger jail where the demand doubled. Anyone who stayed too long without a ransom being paid would be killed, whilst others died of hunger and disease from the unsanitary conditions.
“If the number of migrants goes down, because of death or someone is ransomed, the kidnappers just go to the market and buy one.”
The office of Giuseppe Loprete, the chief of mission at IOM Niger, has arranged for the repatriation of 1,500 people in the first three months of this year. This figure is already almost the same number as the whole of 2015.
“There are now more migrants coming back from Libya, so that’s also why all these stories are coming to the surface. And conditions are worsening in Libya so I think we can also expect more in the coming months.”
In the past, IOM has even discovered credible reports of criminals posing as aid groups that help migrants in order to gain vulnerable people that want to return home.
The organisation is currently working to spread awareness across west Africa to explain the horrors of the journey to freedom that these migrants face.
Spokesman Leonard Doyle said:
“Tragically, the most credible messengers are migrants returning home with IOM help. Too often they are broken, brutalised and have been abused. Their voices carry more weight than anyone else’s.”