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By Patrick Cockburn
Source: The Independent
May 23, 2016
The issue of visa-free entry of Turks to the EU should raise a number of important questions. It pushes the outer barrier to the entry of migrants, as well as Isis and al-Qaeda terrorists, further south and east to Turkey’s 717-mile long border with Iraq and Syria. More than twice the length of the French-German border, this is highly porous and abuts on the world’s biggest war zone.
This war is no longer confined to Syria and Iraq, but has spread since last summer into south east Turkey where the Turkish army and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) are locked in a savage guerrilla war. Large parts of Kurdish cities in Turkey like Cizre and Diyarbakir are in ruins and at least 200,000 Turkish Kurds have fled, some of whom have been found in the boats trying to reach Greek islands in the Aegean.
There is something bizarre about EU policy when it comes to migration from this part of the world. It seems to be based on the supposition that refugees are in flight from the war in Syria, but in practice the battle zone is today far larger. The conflict is at its most intense in Syria, Iraq and south east Turkey, but there are at least seven wars and three serious insurgencies being fought out in the swathe of land between Pakistan and Nigeria. In Syria, Iraq and SE Turkey, with a total population of around 60 million, people fear that the only prospect is war and economic breakdown and want to get out.
I was talking earlier this year to a group of women the town of Halabja in Iraqi Kurdistan who were Arab and Kurdish refugees from Syria and Iraq. All were living in houses not camps and had some form of employment, but – with the exception of one woman from Fallujah whom the other refugees gently mocked for not being frank about her travel plans – all of them wanted to make their way to Europe.
Officials in Brussels and Berlin may imagine that lines on the map in the Middle East denote real barriers to movement. But the smuggling of people and goods is one of the main businesses in the Turkish-Syrian-Iraqi-Iranian border area, fuelled for decades by the profits to be made by evading sanctions imposed on Iran and Iraq. Note also that central government authority in this area is limited because the dominant ethnic group are Kurds at odds with Ankara, Baghdad and Damascus.
Full article: https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/sir-richard-dearlove-is-right-visa-waivers-for-turks-are-dangerous/
Posted by polly7 | Mon May 23, 2016, 02:25 PM (0 replies)
by E.R. Bills / May 20th, 2016
On May 15, I attended the Jesse Washington Memorial in Waco, Texas.
On the hundredth anniversary of the Waco Horror, the mayor of Waco, Malcolm Duncan, Jr., formally apologized for the incident—the burning at the stake of Jesse—who was mentally handicapped and just seventeen years old. Jesse had been accused of killing a 53-year-old white woman named Lucy Fryar, and 10,000-15,000 white folks cheered as his flesh was publicly broiled and his body was reduced to cinder. Onlookers snatched up charred mementoes and the scenes of the atrocity became popular lynching postcards.
It’s too late for the city of Tyler to acknowledge and/or apologize for the burnings at the stake of African Americans Henry Hillard or Dan Davis in the courthouse square on the 100th anniversaries of these acts of terror. Hillard was put to the torch in 1895 and Davis, 1912. But this coming May 25 will mark the 104th year to the day that Davis met his cruel, unfair and hellish fate. And Tyler should look to Waco’s example.
Davis’ guilt was never confirmed by Carrie Johnson or substantiated in general—he was likely like most other black men in the South: easily accused, virtually defenseless and perpetually conveniently scapegoated.
It’s time for Tyler—like Waco—to acknowledge its Horror(s). It’s time for Tyler to get on the right side of history and represent the right side of Texas.
Tyler owes its black community acknowledgement of this vile and monstrous deed. And it should be followed by formal apology and official commemoration.
Terrible events like these are why I do think reparations should be given ... as well as to native Americans and First Nation people up here. You can't begin to 'fix' racism and the horrors it caused and is still causing until you publicly and honestly address the damages it did/does. How much are ruined lives worth? This should be a first step, imo.
Posted by polly7 | Mon May 23, 2016, 02:10 PM (0 replies)
by John R. Hall / May 20th, 2016
In mid-August of 1948, sweltering summer heat was largely negated by high pressure and the frigid winds of Cold War. The Second War to End All Wars still smoldered in the recent past, while the witch hunt of McCarthyism loomed on the near horizon. Of course, I knew nothing of this, having only recently earned a birth certificate and U.S. Citizenship as a reward for successfully negotiating Mom’s birth canal, and taking my first breath in America’s Heartland.
As though the sixty million casualties of World War II weren’t enough, by the time I turned five, the Korean War had begun and ended, leaving yet another trail of blood and dead bodies in its wake. By then, I’d already heard America’s favorite expression of the day; “Better dead than Red” enough times to understand that there were rival lands full of evil Reds, otherwise known as Communists, somewhere across the sea, which sought the demise of my town, my country, and all those dear to me. A frightening prospect for a still innocent Nebraska rug rat. Lucky for me, Superman could be counted upon to keep an x-ray eye on things.
In the mid-60s in mainstream U.S.A. “Better dead than Red” was still the favorite expression, and President Ike’s Domino Theory was being used with ever-increasing enthusiasm. From the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba, to the Vietnam War fiasco, to countless incursions, assassinations, high-level bribes, coup d’etats, and bombings across a wide swath of the globe, U.S. Intelligence and military operatives were up to their elbows in blood 24/7. But I never found out about the dirtiest aspects of U.S. history until much later in life. Unfortunately, new information still rears its ugly head with disturbing regularity.
Back when I was fresh out of high school, I still thought that the folks Tom Brokaw would call “America’s Greatest Generation” had been the force of truth and justice that kicked Hitler’s ass, liberated the concentration camps, soundly thrashed Japan, and won World War II. This was surely the one bright time in America’s history of which we could all be proud. Now it appears that an American intelligence operative named Ernst Hanfstaengl befriended, financed, groomed, and was largely responsible for Hitler’s rise to power. Later Wall Street would make massive investments in Hitler’s Germany to the tune of nearly half a billion dollars by 1941. The list was long, and included Standard Oil, Ford, General Motors, and numerous American banks. Adolph had I.B.M. to thank for organizing his death camps.
Like all Americans, I’ve been lied to all my life. By the time I was out of high school, I’d probably said the Pledge of Allegiance to Old Glory at least two thousand times and stood at attention for the rocket and bomb-glorifying Star-Spangled Banner almost that often. In history classes I learned little or nothing about the Great American Holocaust, in which perhaps two hundred million Native Americans were slaughtered. Teachers barely paid lip service to the abominations of African slavery, upon which the nation’s vile version of Capitalism was built. I was taught that my nation was the greatest democracy in the history of earth, and that the U.S.A. was a land of freedom and justice for all. If only Hunter S. Thompson had shared his 180 Degree Philosophy with me early on. You know, the one which declares that whenever a U.S. politician or media figure opens his mouth and regurgitates words, the truth is exactly 180 degrees from what we hear.
Full article: http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/05/a-red-menace-in-the-mirror/
Is this part true? (plus more in the article): "Now it appears that an American intelligence operative named Ernst Hanfstaengl befriended, financed, groomed, and was largely responsible for Hitler’s rise to power. Later Wall Street would make massive investments in Hitler’s Germany to the tune of nearly half a billion dollars by 1941. The list was long, and included Standard Oil, Ford, General Motors, and numerous American banks."
And when so many million Soviets had been killed fighting Hitler, why were they so despised? Or were they, really?
Seeing Red: Nixon and the 1970 Presidential Election in Chile
by Mateo Pimentel / May 20th, 2016
Given the political atmosphere that surrounded the 1970 Chilean presidential election, and even the global tensions of the Cold War at the time, the initial outrage that United States President Richard M. Nixon expressed at the nomination of Chile’s leftist candidate, Salvador Allende, is easy to grasp. After all, Nixon had been elected to the US Senate 20 some years prior to Allende’s victory, and a much younger Nixon had established himself as a prominent anti-communist, garnering national attention. Then, there was Allende: 1970 Chile’s newly, democratically-elected Marxist president, a man who had campaigned under the auspices of a left-leaning party called Unidad Popular (UP). Allende’s party was comprised of a largely diverse electoral bloc of leftist factions, including Chile’s Socialists and Communists. From the outset, the significance of the Allende victory seemed to portend for Chile, at least, a democratic realization of the revolution that many had hoped would midwife a future of democracy, pluralism, and liberty.
Despite the fact that a leftist cohort of fractious political groups was able to achieve this, Nixon’s rage about the 1970 Allende presidential victory in Chile hardly comes into focus if one assumes that the election alone was enough to make Nixon holler “that sonofabitch … that bastard Allende” deep inside of White House walls. No. In fact, unless the Allende election gets ramified further, much of the significance of this critical point in Latin American history risks obscurity. Parsed a bit more, what likely incensed Nixon most about the Allende victory was that the historic event marked the crossing of a critical political meridian for the Chilean Communist Party, and, very plausibly, Communism in general. Ultimately, however, Nixon’s decision to intervene and force the toppling of Chile’s democratically-elected Allende government was incredibly megalomaniacal and imperialistic.
Allende shared much in common with the Cuban and Guatemalan revolutionaries that had come to power before him; this gave Nixon great pause. Like the Central American and Caribbean revolutionaries, Allende had himself attributed the underdevelopment and poverty of his nation to a predatorily exploitative “symbiotic alliance” between the Chilean ruling class, the bourgeois oligarchs, and American private interest. So, when Allende and the UP stood together and denounced Chile’s imperialists, ruling class, national and foreign reactionary interests, and the national and foreign major capitalists (who conspired to puppeteer the country like economic marionettists), they effectively denounced the privileged 10 percent of the country that had a monopoly on half the nation’s income.
Frankly, the success of the UP was a denunciation of an entire system that had relegated most Chileans to privation, scarcity, or utter indigence. It was a system that deliberately marginalized its people. The remedy, as Allende and others had promulgated, was to reject Chile’s position as a capitalist country whose social sectors, industries, and markets were all dominated by, and subservient to, foreign capital. Pedro Vuskovic, Allende’s first minister of economy, described the state’s mandate plainly: “…to destroy the economic bases of imperialism and the ruling class by putting an end to the private ownership of the means of production.”
Full article: http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/05/seeing-red-nixon-and-the-1970-presidential-election-in-chile/
Posted by polly7 | Mon May 23, 2016, 02:00 PM (1 replies)
By Richard Falk
May 22, 2016
There is an irony that would be amusing if it was not depressing about news that Donald Trump has been courting the 92-year old foreign policy sorcerer Henry Kissinger. Of course, the irony is that earlier in the presidential campaign Hilary Clinton proudly claimed Kissinger as ‘a friend,’ and acknowledged that he “relied on his counsel” while she served as Obama’s Secretary of State between 2009-2013. It is indeed strange that the only point of public convergence between free-swinging Trump and war-mongering Clinton should be these ritual shows of deference to the most scandalous foreign policy figure of the past century.
Kissinger should not be underestimated as an international personality with a sorcerer’s dark gifts. After all, he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 for his perverse role in Vietnam diplomacy. Kissinger had supported the war from its inception and was known as a strong proponent of the despicable ‘Christmas bombing’ of North Vietnam. He had earlier joined with Nixon in secretly extending the Vietnam War to Cambodia, incidentally without Congressional knowledge, much less authorization. This led to the total destabilization and devastation of a country that had successfully maintained its neutrality for the prior decade. It also generated the genocidal takeover by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s resulting in the death of a third of the Cambodian population. It was notable that the Nobel had been jointly awarded to Luc Duc Tho, Kissinger’s counterpart in the negotiations, who exhibited his dignity by declining the prize, while Kissinger as shameless as ever, accepted and had an assistant deliver his acceptance speech because he was too busy to attend. Significantly, for the first time, two members of the Nobel Selection Committee resigned their position in disgust.
The more familiar, and more damning allegation against Kissinger, is his association with criminal violations of international law. These are convincingly set forth in Christopher Hitchens The Trial of Henry Kissinger (2001). Hitchens informed readers that he “confined himself to the identifiable crimes that can and should be placed on a proper bill of indictment.” He omitted others. Hitchens lists six major crimes of Kissinger:
“1. The deliberate mass killing of civilian population in Indochina.
Whether the evidence available would support a conviction in an international tribunal is far from certain, but Kissinger’s association and approval of these unlawful and inhumane policies, and many others, is clear beyond reasonable doubt.
Let me offer a final comment on this shared adulation of Kissinger as the éminence grise of American foreign policy by the two likely candidates for the presidency. It epitomizes and helps explain the banality of the political discourse that has dominated the primary phases of the presidential campaign. It is hardly surprising that during this time dark clouds of despair hang heavy in the skies above the American body politic. Before either presidential hopeful even walks into the Oval Office both Trump and Clinton are viewed unfavorably by over half of all Americans, and regarded with a mixture of dismay, fear, and shock by political leaders and their publics around the world. To show obeisance to Kissinger’s wisdom and wizardry is thus emblematic of the paucity of mainstream American political imagination, and should worry all who care about the future of the country and the world.
Full article: https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/on-not-loving-henry-kissinger/
Posted by polly7 | Sun May 22, 2016, 12:14 PM (13 replies)
by James McEnteer / May 18th, 2016
The corrupt, interminable 2016 presidential primary process has revealed terrible flaws in United States democracy. The biggest takeaway is that our two-party monopoly system is outmoded and inadequate to represent our diverse U.S. population. We need a fresh start, with more — and more open — parties, more closely resembling other western democracies. Too many Americans are now excluded for various reasons, with no say in their own governance.
It is clear that our two major parties are actually four. The Trump faction of Republicans, the latest incarnation of the Know Nothings, is the feral flowering of inchoate frustration. In Paddy Chayefsky’s prophetic 1976 movie, Network, newscaster Howard Beale voiced Trump’s sentiments: “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”
That’s how Trump’s followers feel. They favor anger and emotion over any actual policies. That anger is all Trump has. It doesn’t matter that he waffles or fails to address most major issues facing the nation and the world. He’s pissed off and dares anyone to fuck with him. That’s his entire campaign and it suffices for those – mainly bitter, lower-income white males – who feel as he does.
Establishment Republicans, dumped in the dust by Trump’s angry followers, have nothing to offer but their time-worn obstruction of whatever might disturb their corporate patrons. These Radical Reactionaries oppose most social or political changes, especially those proposed by the Black President. What the Reactionaries have in common with the Trump Know Nothings is a rabid racism and blind distrust of all ethnic and religious Others.
The Democrats are also divided. Party Regulars have rigged the outcome for their long-time stalwart, Hillary Clinton. The voice of the people matters less than the confidence of Goldman Sachs and Citibank. Clinton has networked, paid off and otherwise made enough people beholden to her to ensure her ascendance. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Clinton’s 2008 campaign head, now runs the Democratic nominating show. No one really trusts Hillary Clinton, but that does not matter. Only the presidency does.
Bernie Sanders entered the Democratic race because he knew with the current two-party monopoly of the primary process he had no chance as an independent outsider. The enthusiastic response to his Progressive ideas has surprised the Democrats and perhaps even Sanders himself. People still want hope and change, now more than ever.
Despite the opposition of the mainstream press – with especially shameful treatment by The Washington Post and The New York Times – Sanders has drawn the hopes of young people with his promises to address income inequality, abolish student debt, tackle climate change, etc. He’s the only candidate running a campaign based on actual issues. But that will not be enough to win him the nomination or perhaps even a voice in the party platform, despite his demonstrably large constituency. “Socialist” is a dirty work for many people, who cannot look beyond it to hear anything Sanders says.
Full article: http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/05/slouching-toward-washington/
Posted by polly7 | Sun May 22, 2016, 12:09 PM (1 replies)
Posted by polly7 | Sat May 21, 2016, 06:12 PM (1 replies)
Reverse Robin Hood: Six Billion Dollar Businesses Preying on Poor People
by Bill Quigley / March 7th, 2016
Many see families in poverty and seek to help. Others see families in poverty and see opportunities for profit.
Here are six examples of billion dollar industries which are built on separating poor people, especially people of color, from their money, the reverse Robin Hood.
Check Cashing Businesses
Check cashing businesses. Cash a $100 check? At Walmart that will be $3. At TD bank non-customers pay $5 to cash a check from their bank.
Nearly 10 million households containing 25 million people do not have any bank account according to the FDIC. Most because they did not have enough money to keep a minimum balance in their account.
Check cashing businesses are part of a $100 billion industry of more than 6,500 check cashing businesses in the US, many which also provide money orders, utility bill payments and the like, according to testimony provided to Congress by the industry.
Payday loans are used by people over 15 million times a year and can lead to deep debt problems and usually involve incredible percentages of up to 391 percent according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Pew Charitable Trusts reported payday loans are a $7 billion dollar a year industry. The Federal Trade Commission won a $300 million case against two payday lenders who were deceiving borrowers, who, for example, took out a $300 loan thinking it could be repaid for $390 when, in fact, the lender was charging $975 to pay off the $300 loan. The US Department of Justice indicted former race car driver Scott Tucker on criminal charges for operating a $2 billion nationwide payday loan operation which routinely charged interest on loans for over 4.5 million people of 400 to 700% per year. The nation’s largest pay day loan company, Advance America, charged nearly 140,000 people in North Carolina annual percentage rates exceeding 450 percent until it was stopped by the state.
...... These are not just small companies but big names like Citigroup, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo; in fact, the Alliance for Just Society reported the big companies in debt collections have made nearly $100 million in contributions to federal candidates and parties since 2001 and another $280 million on federal lobbyists.
Citibank was sued twice by the federal CFPB over falsified documents and providing inaccurate information in debt collections and agreed to settle the case.
These businesses target families with incomes below $35,000 and people of color are three times more likely to receive abusive loans than whites. People with blemished credit are often passed over when seeking jobs.
There is some good news. Democrats created and passed into law the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which is now beginning to gain some traction in monitoring and regulating these predatory practices. Bad news is that Republicans like Ted Cruz are trying to kill it and some Democrats are trying to hobble it. There are also good groups like the Center for Responsible Lending which provide excellent information on the abuses. But in the meantime making money off poor people remains a booming business.
Full article: http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/03/reverse-robin-hood-six-billion-dollar-businesses-preying-on-poor-people/
Posted by polly7 | Sat May 21, 2016, 10:24 AM (1 replies)
We had way too much fun with this song last night, it's stuck in my head.
Posted by polly7 | Sat May 21, 2016, 08:18 AM (0 replies)
In light of how much suffering she's willingly caused around the world with her love-for-war decisions - her claim that 'only America can provide' leadership against terror!!!! is laughable. Maybe she should make that claim to the millions who are terrorized daily since it all.
Posted by polly7 | Fri May 20, 2016, 09:08 PM (0 replies)
And people are still dying daily because of them.
Probably Americans soon as well now serving on the ground d/t her Libya atrocity.
UglyGreed (7,654 posts)
Now after the death of Gaddafi there maybe 6000 ISIS fighters in Libya
is this the foreign policy expertise we really need in the White House?
Size of ISIS force declining in Iraq and Syria, according to new intel
Meanwhile, U.S. intelligence officials believe there are 5,000 to 6,000 ISIS fighters in Libya, up from previous estimates of 2,000 to 3,000.
Maedhros (9,732 posts)
16. The destruction of Libya led to instability in Mali, which led to a coup in Birkina Faso.
Convenient, because it justified the massive increase in U.S. military presence in Africa:
In recent years, the United States has been involved in a variety of multinational interventions in Africa, including one in Libya that involved both a secret war and a conventional campaign of missiles and air strikes, assistance to French forces in the Central African Republic and Mali, and the training and funding of African proxies to do battle against militant groups like Boko Haram as well as Somalia’s al-Shabab and Mali’s Ansar al-Dine. In 2014, the United States carried out 674 military activities across Africa, nearly two missions per day, an almost 300% jump in the number of annual operations, exercises, and military-to-military training activities since US Africa Command (AFRICOM) was established in 2008.
Despite this massive increase in missions and a similar swelling of bases, personnel, and funding, the picture painted last month before the Senate Armed Services Committee by AFRICOM chief General David Rodriguez was startlingly bleak. For all the American efforts across Africa, Rodriguez offered a vision of a continent in crisis, imperiled from East to West by militant groups that have developed, grown in strength, or increased their deadly reach in the face of US counterterrorism efforts.
“Transregional terrorists and criminal networks continue to adapt and expand aggressively,” Rodriguez told committee members. “Al-Shabab has broadened its operations to conduct, or attempt to conduct, asymmetric attacks against Uganda, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and especially Kenya. Libya-based threats are growing rapidly, including an expanding ISIL presence… Boko Haram threatens the ability of the Nigerian government to provide security and basic services in large portions of the northeast.” Despite the grim outcomes since the American military began “pivoting” to Africa after 9/11, the United States recently signed an agreement designed to keep its troops based on the continent until almost midcentury.
. . .
All this, mind you, is AFRICOM’s own assessment of the situation on the continent on which it has focused its efforts for the better part of a decade as United States missions there soared. In this context, it’s worth reemphasizing that, before the United States ramped up those efforts, Africa was—by Washington’s own estimation—relatively free of transnational Islamic terror groups.
From Africa’s Wealthiest Democracy Under Gaddafi to Terrorist Haven After US Intervention
Saturday, Oct 24, 2015
Tuesday marks the four-year anniversary of the US-backed assassination of Libya’s former leader, Muammar Gaddafi, and the decline into chaos of one of Africa’s greatest nations.
In 1967 Colonel Gaddafi inherited one of the poorest nations in Africa; by the time he was assassinated, he had transformed Libya into Africa’s richest nation. Prior to the US-led bombing campaign in 2011, Libya had the highest Human Development Index, the lowest infant mortality and the highest life expectancy in all of Africa.
Today, Libya is a failed state. Western military intervention has caused all of the worst-scenarios: Western embassies have all left, the South of the country has become a haven for ISIS terrorists, and the Northern coast a center of migrant trafficking. Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia have all closed their borders with Libya. This all occurs amidst a backdrop of widespread rape, assassinations and torture that complete the picture of a state that is failed to the bone.
Far from control being in the hands of one man, Libya was highly decentralized and divided into several small communities that were essentially “mini-autonomous States” within a State. These autonomous States had control over their districts and could make a range of decisions including how to allocate oil revenue and budgetary funds. Within these mini autonomous States, the three main bodies of Libya’s democracy were Local Committees, Basic People’s Congresses and Executive Revolutionary Councils.
The Basic People’s Congress (BPC), or Mu’tamar shaʿbi asāsi was essentially Libya’s functional equivalent of the House of Commons in the United Kingdom or the House of Representatives in the United States. However, Libya’s People’s Congress was not comprised merely of elected representatives who discussed and proposed legislation on behalf of the people; rather, the Congress allowed all Libyans to directly participate in this process. Eight hundred People’s Congresses were set up across the country and all Libyans were free to attend and shape national policy and make decisions over all major issues including budgets, education, industry, and the economy.
In 2009, Mr. Gaddafi invited the New York Times to Libya to spend two weeks observing the nation’s direct democracy. The New York Times, that has traditionally been highly critical of Colonel Gaddafi’s democratic experiment, conceded that in Libya, the intention was that “everyone is involved in every decision…Tens of thousands of people take part in local committee meetings to discuss issues and vote on everything from foreign treaties to building schools.”
The fundamental difference between western democratic systems and the Libyan Jamahiriya’s direct democracy is that in Libya all citizens were allowed to voice their views directly – not in one parliament of only a few hundred wealthy politicians – but in hundreds of committees attended by tens of thousands of ordinary citizens. Far from being a military dictatorship, Libya under Mr. Gaddafi was Africa’s most prosperous democracy.
Under Gaddafi, Islamic terrorism was virtually non existent and in 2009 the US State Department called Libya “an important ally in the war on terrorism”.
Today, after US intervention, Libya is home to the world’s largest loose arms cache, and its porous borders are routinely transited by a host of heavily armed non-state actors including Tuareg separatists, jihadists who forced Mali’s national military from Timbuktu and increasingly ISIS militiamen led by former US ally Abdelhakim Belhadj.
Deadliest Terror in the World: The West’s Latest Gift to Africa
by Dan Glazebrook / November 30th, 2015
Nigeria’s Boko Haram are now officially the deadliest terror group in the world. That they have reached this position is a direct consequence of Cameron and Co’s war on Libya – and one that was perhaps not entirely unintended.
In 2009, the year they took up arms, Boko Haram had nothing like the capacity to mount such operations, and their equipment remained primitive; but by 2011, that had begun to change. As Peter Weber noted in The Week, their weapons “shifted from relatively cheap AK-47s in the early days of its post-2009 embrace of violence to desert-ready combat vehicles and anti-aircraft/ anti-tank guns”. This dramatic turnaround in the group’s access to materiel was the direct result of NATO’s war on Libya. A UN report published in early 2012 warned that “large quantities of weapons and ammunition from Libyan stockpiles were smuggled into the Sahel region”, including “rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns with anti-aircraft visors, automatic rifles, ammunition, grenades, explosives (Semtex), and light anti-aircraft artillery (light caliber bi-tubes) mounted on vehicles”, and probably also more advanced weapons such as surface-to-air missiles and MANPADS (man-portable air-defence systems). NATO had effectively turned over the entire armoury of an advanced industrial state to the region’s most sectarian militias: groups such as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Boko Haram.
The earliest casualty of NATO’s war outside Libya was Mali. Taureg fighters who had worked in Gaddafi’s security forces fled Libya soon after Gaddafi’s government was overthrown, and mounted an insurgency in Northern Mali. They, in turn, were overthrown, however, by Al Qaeda’s regional affiliates – flush with Libyan weaponry – who then turned Northern Mali into another base from which to train and launch attacks. Boko Haram was a key beneficiary. As Brendan O’ Neill wrote in an excellent 2014 article worth quoting at length:
Boko Haram benefited enormously from the vacuum created in once-peaceful northern Mali following the West’s ousting of Gaddafi. In two ways: first, it honed its guerrilla skills by fighting alongside more practised Islamists in Mali, such as AQIM; and second, it accumulated some of the estimated 15,000 pieces of Libyan military hardware and weaponry that leaked across the country’s borders following the sweeping aside of Gaddafi. In April 2012, Agence France France Presse reported that ‘dozens of Boko Haram fighters’ were assisting AQIM and others in northern Mali. This had a devastating knock-on effect in Nigeria. As the Washington Post reported in early 2013, ‘The Islamist insurgency in northern Nigeria has entered a more violent phase as militants return to the fight with sophisticated weaponry and tactics learned on the battlefields of nearby Mali’. A Nigerian analyst said ‘Boko Haram’s level of audacity was high ’, immediately following the movement of some of its militants to the Mali region.
That NATO’s Libya war would have such consequences was both thoroughly predictable, and widely predicted. As early as June 2011, African Union Chairman Jean Ping warned NATO that “Africa’s concern is that weapons that are delivered to one side or another…are already in the desert and will arm terrorists and fuel trafficking”. And both Mali and Algeria strongly opposed NATO’s destruction of Libya precisely because of the massive destabilisation it would bring to the region. They argued, wrote O’Neill, “that such a violent upheaval in a region like north Africa could have potentially catastrophic consequences. The fallout from the bombing is ‘a real source of concern’, said the rulers of Mali in October 2011. In fact, as the BBC reported, they had been arguing since ‘the start of the conflict in Libya’ – that is, since the civil conflict between Benghazi-based militants and Gaddafi began – that ‘the fall of Gaddafi would have a destabilising effect in the region’.” In an op-ed following the collapse of Northern Mali, a former Chief of Staff of UK land forces, Major-General Jonathan Shaw, wrote that Colonel Gaddafi was a “lynchpin” of the “informal Sahel security plan”, whose removal therefore led to a foreseeable collapse of security across the entire region. The rise of Boko Haram has been but one result – and not without strategic benefits for the West.
Full article: http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/11/deadliest-terror-in-the-world-the-wests-latest-gift-to-africa/
“Much of the Libya intelligence that Mr. Blumenthal passed on to Mrs. Clinton appears to have come from a group of business associates he was advising as they sought to win contracts from the Libyan transitional government,” a later Times report noted. “The venture, which was ultimately unsuccessful, involved other Clinton friends, a private military contractor and one former C.I.A. spy seeking to get in on the ground floor of the new Libyan economy.”
The memos covered everything from warnings about possible terrorist attacks and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood within Libya to the potential training of Libyan rebels and the hiring of new economic advisers by the Libyan premier. As the National Journal reports, the House Benghazi Committee is already seeking Blumenthal’s testimony.
UglyGreed (7,654 posts)
18. New Hillary Clinton Emails Show She Wanted Credit for Libya Intervention in 2011. Now She Doesn’t.
Now that Libya has descended into chaos, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton is at pains to dispel the notion that, as secretary of state, she led the U.S. intervention that toppled dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Yet the latest tranche of emails from Clinton’s private server, released by the State Department on October 30, shows there’s one individual who would strongly object to those efforts: the Hillary Clinton of 2011 and 2012.
A report in June by the New York Times revealed that in August 2011, Clinton’s advisors had urged her to take credit for what was then seen as a military success in Libya. Now, the newly released emails show that the former secretary of state was herself intent on emphasizing her key role in the affair—and that her team used cozy relationships with the media to help her do so.
In one exchange, on April 4, 2012, a frustrated Clinton complains to her staffers that they’d omitted a number of key details in a timeline titled “Secretary Clinton’s leadership on Libya.” The timeline, which aims to show that Clinton “was instrumental in securing the authorization, building the coalition and tightening the noose around Qadhafi and his regime,” would later be provided to media.
“Did I meet in Paris w Jabril (brought to hotel by BHL) on 3/14? It's not on timeline,” she writes in the April 4 email, referring to Mahmoud Jibril, the prime minister for Libya’s National Transitional Council during the country’s civil war, and Bernard-Henri Lévy (BHL), the French philosopher who helped drive France’s own involvement in the conflict. In fact, Clinton’s meeting with Jibril was listed on the original timeline produced by advisor Jacob Sullivan, suggesting Clinton was either referring to a different version of the timeline or, more likely, failed to see it on the document.
“This timeline is totally inadequate (which bothers me about our recordkeeping),” Clinton writes three minutes later. “For example, I was in Paris on 3/19 when attack started. That's not on timeline. What else is missing? Pls go over it asap.” Twenty-three minutes later, Sullivan sent Clinton an updated version of the timeline with the March 19 incident added in.
Clinton emailed her advisors twice more within six minutes, saying, “What bothers me is that S/P prepared the timeline but it doesn't include much of what I did.” Among the items that were left out, she notes phone calls and meetings with Arab officials, as well as her role in securing a March 12 Arab League resolution, which called for a U.N.-imposed no-fly zone over Libya.
And this is just Libya ..............
Posted by polly7 | Wed May 18, 2016, 10:41 PM (2 replies)