All posts tagged: Libya

US Has Panic Attack After Libyan Puppets Lose Control of Oil Ports

from Russia Insider Libya was the richest, most developed, most educated country in North Africa. It was a model of much-needed stability in the region, with a government that was considerably less terrible than NATO’s numerous medieval dictator-allies. Before the “revolution”, the Libyan government used oil revenues to subsidize a whole range of social benefits for its citizens. And now that Libya is a moon crater, the U.S. and its European poodles are whining about “returning oil ports to the Libyan people”. Is this a new standup routine that Washington has been practicing? EU states and the US have urged a Russia-backed Libyan warlord to hand back oil ports, amid warnings that Russia was trying to do in Libya what it did in Syria. The British, French, Italian, and US ambassadors to Libya said oil facilities “belong to the Libyan people and must remain under the exclusive control” of central authorities. This statement is of course referring to Khalifa Haftar and his successful attack against “Islamist militias” (fanatics affiliated with al-Qaeda) who seized Sidra and …

VIDEO: R2P or How the Left Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace Wars of Imperial Aggression

If the last three years have taught us anything, it is that the so-called anti-war liberal left can be made to become cheerleaders for the same war agenda that they pretended to deride during the Bush Administration. How was this accomplished? A developing doctrine of international law called “Responsibility to Protect.” Links to sources and show notes here.

The Great American Perpetual Motion War Machine

The so-called ‘military-industrial complex’ ushered in by the passing of the 1947 National Security Act is a luxury America and the world can no longer afford. The unprecedented threat posed by the over-privileged belligerents infecting U.S. military doctrine with their unbridled hegemonic ambition is redolent of that of the British Empire in the years leading up to the Great War in 1914. With Donald Trump advocating massive upgrades of the U.S. nuclear arsenal and full-spectrum dominance likely to remain integral to American foreign and national security policy making, along with musing on how we arrived at this point, we ponder the here and now, and an unthinkable, yet, still avoidable future

Libyan Labels: a journey through the Guardian’s coverage of the Libyan disaster

In this analysis we examine Libya’s recent history looking through the eyes of the Guardian, the flagship of liberal western outlets, and its reporting. As with most other western media, the Guardian was an enthusiastic supporter of the NATO intervention that overthrew Gaddafi and threw the country into the disaster that we are about to describe. Faithful to western interests then, the Guardian remains faithful afterwards as well. But imperial designs are laden with contradictions and sometimes drastically change course, but the Guardian dutifully follows.

I Have a Scream

by Brian Foley, via CounterPunch I get it. You don’t like Trump. I’ve wanted to say that to Facebook Friends who’ve spent the past several months hate-posting against Trump. Most posts aren’t funny, creative, or informative. When not merely petulant, they’re raw unfiltered anger. People might as well post videos of themselves screaming. Turns out someone sort of did. A viral video shows a woman at the Inauguration sitting cross-legged on the ground, with her hands in the air in front of her, emitting a loud, guttural, primal scream at the precise moment Trump was sworn in: NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOO!!!!!! At least it was honest, right? Well, actually, it looks staged. The camera was on her, waiting. Nine seconds in, she looks up briefly, as if to make sure the camera crew was ready for “the scream.” Afterward, the Screamer looked exhausted. The ITV news crew descended, and the Screamer was incoherent: ITV: Can you explain your emotions to me? Explain your emotions to me. SCREAMER: There’s just no way, there’s like just no — …

This week the issue is not Trump. It is ourselves.

by John Pilger On the day President Trump is inaugurated, thousands of writers in the United States will express their indignation. “In order for us to heal and move forward…”, say Writers Resist, “we wish to bypass direct political discourse, in favour of an inspired focus on the future, and how we, as writers, can be a unifying force for the protection of democracy.” And: “We urge local organizers and speakers to avoid using the names of politicians or adopting ‘anti’ language as the focus for their Writers Resist event. It’s important to ensure that nonprofit organizations, which are prohibited from political campaigning, will feel confident participating in and sponsoring these events.” Thus, real protest is to be avoided, for it is not tax exempt. Compare such drivel with the declarations of the Congress of American Writers, held at Carnegie Hall, New York, in 1935, and again two years later. They were electric events, with writers discussing how they could confront ominous events in Abyssinia, China and Spain. Telegrams from Thomas Mann, C Day Lewis, …

Obama’s Nonexistent Legacy

by Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org Trump did more than any democrat to deflate the neocon/neoliberal agenda that liberals themselves screamed was fascist when Bush was president.” That was a brilliant and profoundly true reader-comment posted November 14th about Hillary Clinton supporters who were demonstrating against Trump’s winning the Presidency. Hillary was even more of a war-hawk than Bush was, or than Obama was: she supported not just Bush’s invasion of Iraq, but Obama’s invasions of Libya and Syria, a coup in Honduras, and helped plan Obama’s coup in Ukraine, which led to Ukraine’s breaking apart into civil war. Plus she was even more of a champion of Wall Street than Obama was, and maybe even more so than Bush was. Yet many Democrats think that the anti-Establishment Donald Trump is, somehow, even worse. They claim that Trump is a “racist” — as though either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton hadn’t been leading a country where the top 0.1% got the vast majority of the economic benefits and the bottom 90% — including especially …

Open Letter to American Liberals

by Thomas S. Harrington, via Common Dreams I would love to share, my liberal friend, in your sense of incredulity about the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of United States. I would love to stand with you in the sense of woundedness that, while certainly painful up front, carries with it the secondary compensation of a warm and nurturing solidarity. I would love to sit with you and fulminate in righteous anger about the unparalleled vulgarity and cruelty of Trump and his followers. As much as I’d like to do these things, I won’t.  Why? Because I know you, perhaps better than you even dare to know yourself. I know you well because I have watched you with great and detailed care over the last three decades and have learned, sadly, that you are as much if not more about image and self-regard as any of the laudable values you claim to represent. I have watched as you accommodated yourself to most of the retrograde social forces you claim to abhor.  I have …

Western Hypocrisy, and Why It Makes the World a Dangerous Place

by Michael Jabara Carley, October 16, 2016, via Strategic Culture The West has always been a great trembling hive of hypocrisy, portraying itself as liberal, progressive, civilised and democratic. You know the descriptors; the list is very long. Take the United States, for example, it is the «shining house upon the hill»: just, altruistic, democratic, with a «mission to extend individual liberties throughout the world». “Our cause has been the cause of all mankind”, Lyndon Johnson declared during the 1964 presidential election campaign. To reinforce his argument Johnson cited President Woodrow Wilson, who had similar things to say about American virtue. Nothing has changed: listen to Barack Obama talk about the altruism of the United States. “We are the «exceptional nation»,” he often says. These western and especially US virtues are mobilised to justify policies, wars, covert activities which are not virtuous at all. Let’s start with Wilson. He is best known for the «Fourteen Points», national self-determination, “democracy”, open agreements, and so on. “Do as I say, not as I do,” Wilson might have …

Syria Propaganda – The Death Rattle of the Corporate Media

by Simon Wood, October 3, 2016 The role of the corporate media is to protect, promote and legitimize the destructive and amoral aims of profit-seeking private power. Any journalist or columnist working within that system is actively aiding the corporate media achieve this goal. These gatekeepers, especially those regarded as liberal, are therefore culpable in the illegal wars and rapacious, planet-destroying actions of the worst corporations.” ‘The Gatekeepers’, The 99.99998271%, April 7th 2015 [Source] I listened to my colleague from Russia — and I sort of felt [we’re] in a parallel universe here” US Secretary of State John Kerry on Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov [Source] As corporate media rhetoric against the current priority targets – Russia and Syria is ramped up to extreme levels, a battle is raging within the only remaining global space for freedom of thought and expression: the Internet social media. Two warring, diametrically opposed realities vie for supremacy over the perceptions of the world’s people. In one reality, the US and its NATO allies are benevolent forces fighting the good …

President Obama Threatens President Putin with Nuclear War

by Eric Zuesse. “It’ll be at a time of our choosing,” says U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, on NBC’’s “Meet the Press,” to be aired on Sunday, October 16th. Interviewer Chuck Todd had asked him, “Why would he [Obama] send a message out to Putin?” Biden pursed his lips, paused, and said, with a grim look on his face, “We sent him the message.” Of course that didn’t answer Todd’s question, which was “Why?” Biden and Todd both remained silent for another tense moment. Then, Biden picked up again: “We have the capacity to do it, and, uh,” and Todd interrupted him there with “He’ll know it?” Biden replied: “He’ll know it, and it’ll be at a time of our choosing, and under circumstances that have the greatest impact. Uh, the capacity to do, to fundamentally alter the election, is not what people think; and, uh, I tell you what: to the extent that they do [‘do’ presumably meaning: fundamentally alter the election], we will be proportionate in what we do. And, uh,” Todd again …

Stop the Avaaz petition for a “no fly zone” in Syria

We all know what Avaaz is and its obscene history of supporting armed invasions in the name of “humanitarianism” is well-documented. In 2011 it supported the no-fly zone in Libya that allowed the US to destroy the country and murder its president. In 2013 it supported a NATO invasion of Syria that would have ended the same way. Now its cynical warmongering has become tinged with genuine insanity as it demands a no-fly zone in Syria that would inevitably lead to direct conflict between US and Russian forces. Almost incredibly there are still well-meaning progressives, liberals and anti-war campaigners who don’t know what Avaaz is and who put their names to these petitions under the confused impression that a no-fly zone is some sort of easy method of ending conflict, and not a de facto declaration of war that will be enforced with shells and bomb and many more deaths. The FAQ page of their poll contains dangerously out-of-touch lies, reassuring people that: The no-fly zone could be the fastest route to de-escalation. …which is …

Losing to Russia in Syria, Washington Bombs Libya

by Finian Cunningham The US air strikes on Libya this week mark a major escalation of American overseas military operations. A Pentagon spokesman said,the air campaign would continue indefinitely in support of the UN-backed unity government in Tripoli against Islamic State (IS) jihadists. It was the first “sustained” aerial intervention in Libya since 2011 when US and other NATO warplanes conducted a seven-month bombing campaign in order to oust the government of Muammar Gaddafi. The timing of the latest US air strikes on the Libyan port city of Sirte seems significant. For nearly two months, the Tripoli-based government has been making inroads against the IS brigades in Sirte. So why should US air strikes be called in at this precise juncture? The deployment of US air power in Libya followed within days of the decisive offensive launched by the Syrian Arab Army and its Russian allies on the strategic city of Aleppo in northern Syria. As the Syrian and Russian allies move towards defeating anti-government militias holed up in Syria’s biggest city that victory portends …

America’s Recent Achievements in the Middle East

by Eric Zuesse Here are before-and-after pictures of what the U.S. government has achieved, in the Middle East: What’s especially interesting there, is that in all of these missions, except for Iraq, the U.S. was doing it with the key participation of the Saud family, the royals who own Saudi Arabia, and who are the world’s largest buyers of American weaponry. Since Barack Obama came into the White House, the operations — Libya, Yemen, and Syria — have been, to a large extent, joint operations with the Sauds. ‘We’ are now working more closely with ‘our’ ‘friends’, even than ‘we’ were under George W. Bush. As President Obama instructed his military, on 28 May 2014: When issues of global concern do not pose a direct threat to the United States, when such issues are at stake — when crises arise that stir our conscience or push the world in a more dangerous direction but do not directly threaten us — then the threshold for military action must be higher. In such circumstances, we should not go it alone. Instead, we must mobilize allies and partners to take collective action. …

NATO, Back in Business at the Old Stand

by Patrick Armstrong, via Sic Semper Tyrannis Spare a thought for the travails of NATO drones over the past couple of decades.  About 25 years ago I was in competition for a job on the International Staff at NATO.  I’ve forgotten most of the details but it would have paid about US$100,000.  Tax free.  Plus benefits.  What would have been the equivalent salary, in the real world, to that, do you suppose?  In return, NATO started work sometime Monday afternoon and knocked off early on Friday and essentially took meetings the rest of the time.  And Brussels is a convenient base for travelling around Europe.  But I didn’t get the job. The Warsaw Pact imploded, followed by the USSR and NATO’s raison d’être disappeared.  A colleague who finally got a position on the Canadian delegation (no big IS salaries for them!) seriously wondered whether NATO would last through his time there. Well, it did.  Expansion (soon officially changed to the more anodyne “enlargement”) gave employment.  NATO, it piously said, cannot stop people from freely applying …

“Our imperial adventurism”

by Charles W. (Chas) Freeman, Jr., via LobeLog I’m here to talk about the end of the American empire. But before I do I want to note that one of our most charming characteristics as Americans is our amnesia. I mean, we are so good at forgetting what we’ve done and where we did it that we can hide our own Easter eggs. [….] Americans like to forget we ever had an empire or to claim that, if we did, we never really wanted one. But the momentum of Manifest Destiny made us an imperial power. It carried us well beyond the shores of the continent we seized from its original aboriginal and Mexican owners. The Monroe Doctrine proclaimed an American sphere of influence in the Western Hemisphere. But the American empire was never limited to that sphere. In 1854, the United States deployed U.S. Marines to China and Japan, where they imposed our first treaty ports. Somewhat like Guantánamo, these were places in foreign countries where our law, not theirs, prevailed, whether they liked …

Chilcot: Internal memos show Syria may have been on the agenda since 2001

The Chilcot Report was released On Wednesday, and a hard copy can be yours for just £767 (though I would suggest reading it free online here), and while there will doubtless be many and varied autopsies of the evidence and documents, this early observation is an interesting one. An eagle-eyed reader brought the following documents to our attention, as they contain many sections that hint war with Syria may have been on the NATO/US agenda as far back as October 2001. First there is this, from a letter dated 11th of October 2001 (all emphasis ours): …The uncertainty caused by Phase 2 seeming to extend to Iraq, Syria etc because it seems to confirm the UBL [Osama Bin Laden] propaganda this is the West vs Arab[sic]. Tony Blair, letter to GW Bush, 11/10/01 This quote suggests that Syria and “etc.” (Lebanon or Iran, at a guess) were already in the crosshairs. Interestingly, it is followed by: Incidentally, the leaders all warned about treating Syria like Iraq. It’s safe to say the warnings of these “leaders” …

Why the British said no to Europe

by John Pilger The majority vote by Britons to leave the European Union was an act of raw democracy. Millions of ordinary people refused to be bullied, intimidated and dismissed with open contempt by their presumed betters in the major parties, the leaders of the business and banking oligarchy and the media. This was, in great part, a vote by those angered and demoralised by the sheer arrogance of the apologists for the “remain” campaign and the dismemberment of a socially just civil life in Britain. The last bastion of the historic reforms of 1945, the National Health Service, has been so subverted by Tory and Labour-supported privateers it is fighting for its life. A forewarning came when the Treasurer, George Osborne, the embodiment of both Britain’s ancient regime and the banking mafia in Europe, threatened to cut £30 billion from public services if people voted the wrong way; it was blackmail on a shocking scale. Immigration was exploited in the campaign with consummate cynicism, not only by populist politicians from the lunar right, but …

Syria: French Academic Exposes Left-Wing Charlatans as Harbingers of Terrorism

by Bruno Guigue,  21st Century Wire Following the death of a prominent leader of the Arab-Lebanese resistance, murdered by the Zionist forces while on Syrian soil, I address this open letter to all left-wing  intellectuals and activists who have aligned themselves with the Syrian “revolution” and believe that by dreaming of the fall of Damascus, they are defending the Palestinian cause. In the spring of 2011, you were telling us that the Arab revolutions represented an unprecedented hope for the peoples living under oppressive, bloodthirsty tyrants.  Our excessive optimism persuaded us to listen to your arguments for this miraculously flourishing democracy and your proclamations on the universal human rights. You almost persuaded us that these popular uprisings deposing the Tunisian and Egyptian dictators were going to universally sweep tyranny from the Arab world, in Libya as in Syria, in Yemen as in Bahrain and who knows where else. However the flaws in this evolving narrative began to reveal themselves. The first glaring flaw appeared in Libya. A UN resolution, adopted by the Security Council to …