Monthly Archives: July 2011

Uphold the Constitution of Pakistan

Pakpotpourri Exclusive

By:Gen Mirza Aslam Beg

Former Chief of Army Staff

 It is the responsibility of the Parliament, the Supreme Court, the Civil Society and the Armed Forces of Pakistan to correct the course, remaining within the limits of the Constitution and norms of democracy. There are two such examples of the recent past, where these institutions, respecting the popular will, served the cause of democracy.

      One: The General elections of 18th February 2008 were planned by General Musharraf to achieve results similar to the elections of 2002. The popular will was against it and wanted to get rid of the military regime. Respecting the ‘will of the people’, the military high command refused to be a party to Musharraf’s Plan. Thus, the people were free to vote and democracy ushered in Pakistan.

      Two: On the night of 15/16 March 2009 – the day of the Long March for the restoration of the judiciary, the COAS and the Prime Minister, sat together, and responded to the popular will and accepted their demand. The Chief Justice and the judges were restored to their positions and peace returned. This was a victory for democracy.

      In both the cases, the COAS acted under Oath to “Uphold the Constitution of Pakistan, which embodies the Will of the People.” And yet, there are men who stand tall amongst the civil officials, like, Sohail Ahmad, Zafar Qureshi, Hussain Asghar and others, who have taken no such oath, but upheld the Constitution of Pakistan, on call of duty. A situation now exists, where the armed forces and the judiciary once again are on call, “to respond to the will of the people”, but the other institutions, such as, the Parliament, the political parties, the civil society and the media, though making lot of noises, haven’t yet come out in the open, as they did on 15th March 2009. When they do, the Prime Minister and the Armed Forces would stand with them. But calling upon the armed forces, to intervene now, means calling for military take-over. This was the danger I had warned in my article, titled “Our Wuthering Sovereignty”, published in national dailies on 15 May 2011:

      “The Pakistani nation has had such high expectations from the democratic government to deliver a sovereign parliament, an independent judiciary and an above board accountability, which are the pillars of national sovereignty, but unfortunately these very institutions have been so methodically suppressed to render them ineffective. In fact, our national sovereignty has been debased and humiliated.”

      Subsequently, I wrote, in ‘Waiting for the Command Decision’ published in national dailies on 19th June 2011: 

      “GHQ Declaration of 10th June, 2011, has passed-on the responsibility of ‘correcting the course’, to the government, which itself is responsible for creating this calamity. This declaration won’t help establish the civilian supremacy over the military. Rather it shirks responsibility and is a repeat of General Jehangir Karamat’s action of 1997, who failed to respond to the call of the Supreme Court that led to the assault on the Supreme Court and the political turmoil, that ended-up with Musharraf’s take over. This declaration, therefore falls short of achieving the main objective that is, establishing the supremacy of the civil authority over the military.” 

      Civilian supremacy over the military can be established only by a sovereign parliament and an independent judiciary. The armed forces, therefore must support the Parliament’s resolution, demanding cessation of drone attacks, which the Americans flouted and the parliament was helpless. The political parties also have the shared responsibility to help the military, establish the supremacy of the civilian rule and support the government, to build a sovereign parliament, an independent judiciary and the institutions to deliver above board accountability. 

      The most disturbing aspect of the present regime is the appalling state of affairs. No body knows, who is responsible for what. No foreign policy, to determine our relations with USA, India and Afghanistan. The fiscal policy is so wayward, as to precipitate resignation of the Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan. The state organs, such as the railways, the national airlines and the steel mills are bankrupt and on the verge of collapse. There are no clear-cut policies or plans to arrest this dangerous drift. The Parliament and the Politicians also show no urgency to arrest this drift, while the courts of justice are blatantly defied and humiliated; the process of accountability remains suspended and the Armed Forces are watching this dangerous drift, waiting for the worst to happen, similar to the Egyptian turmoil, which ultimately resulted into military take-over and a bigger chaos, so aptly described by an observer: “It is a revolution without cadres, with no party, no leaders, no precise ideology. The army has gone from ‘hero to hate’ mode. We are in a terrible mess now.”

      Our present drift may also lead us into a “terrible mess”, if the parliament, the politicians and the civil society continue to watch the drift. It was in this scenario that I urged the Armed Forces to intervene, in support of the Supreme Court, to establish the rule of law. As a result, some heads in the top leadership may roll, but the parliament will continue to function, sanity will prevail and the government will complete its tenure. This is the way forward. The next elections therefore, would be crucial and must be fair and free. Should these elections be held under this very government, or under a care-taker government, is the moot point, to be discussed and decided. Fair and free elections would arrest this dangerous drift and usher the country into a new era of parliamentary democracy

      After a long time we have a democratic order in Pakistan, which is no more threatened by the nexus – America, Army and Adaalat. It is a comforting sign of birth of a new order, as ordained by Allah: “The Good and the Evil cannot be equated, although, at times, the Evil may prevail, but ultimately Good will surmount.” (Al-Quran)

The War on Libya : An Imperialist Project to Create Three Libyas

By:  Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

(This is a cross post from Global Research)

The division of Libya into three separate countries is part of the US-NATO imperial design. It is part of a project shared by the U.S., Britain, Italy, and France.

The NATO war launched against Libya in March 2011 was geared towards the breakup of the country into three separate entities.

The NATO led war, however, is back firing. The Libyan people have united to save their country and Tripoli is exploring its strategic options.

Preface: Reality versus Fiction

Almost all of the text herein was written a few months prior to my trip to Tripoli. It is part of a series of articles on Libya which I have been updating. It is fitting to conclude it in Tripoli, Libya. To be here on the ground in Libya is to be witness to the lies and warped narratives of the mainstream media and the governments. These lies have been used to justify this criminal military endeavor.

The mainstream media has been a major force in this war. They have endorsed and fabricated the news, they have justified an illegal and criminal war against an entire population.

Passing through the neighbourhood of Fashloom in Tripoli it is apparent that no jets attacked it as Al Jazeera and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) falsely claimed. Now the same media networks, newspapers, and wires claim on a daily basis that Tripoli is about to fall and that the Transitional Council is making new advances to various cities. Tripoli is nowhere near falling and is relatively peaceful. Foreign journalists have also all been taken to the areas that are being reported to have fallen to the Transitional Council, such as Sabha and its environs.

The mainstream media reporting out of Tripoli have consistently produced false reports. They report about information from “secure internet services” which essentially describes embassy and intelligence communication media. This is also tied to the “shadow internet” networks that the Obama Administration is promoting as part of a fake prtoest movement directed against governments around the world, including Latin America, Africa and Eurasia.

The foreign press operating out of Libya have deliberately worked to paint a false picture of Libya as a country on the brink of collapse and Colonel Qaddafi as a despot with little support.

A journalist was filmed wearing a bulletproof vest for his report in a peaceful area where there was no need for a bulletproof vest. These journalists broadly transmit the same type of news as the journalists embedded with the armed forces, the so-called embedded journalists. Most of the foreign press has betrayed the sacred trust of the public to report accurately and fairly.

Not only are they actively misreporting, but are serving the interests of the military coalition. They are actively working “against Libya”. They and their editors have deliberately fashioned reports and taken pictures and footage which have been used to portray Tripoli as an empty ghost town.

Le Monde for example published an article on July 7, 2011 by Jean-Philippe Rémy, which included misleading photographs that presented Tripoli as a ghost city. The photographs were taken by Laurent Van der Stickt, but it was the editors in Paris who selected the pictures to be used for publication. Le Monde is an instrument of war propaganda. It is publishing material which serves to mislead French public opinion.

Sky News is no better. Lisa Holland of Sky News has always used the words “claimed,” “claim,” and “unverified” for anything that Libyan officials say, but presents everything that NATO says without the same doubt-casting language as if it is an unquestionable truth. She has used every chance she has had to degrade the Libyans. When she visited the bombed home of the daughter of Mohammed Ali Gurari, where the entire family was killed by NATO, she repeatedly asked if Qaddafi was responsible for the bombing to the dismany of those present, with the exception of the reporters who helped paint distorted pictures in the mind of their audiences and readers. She has deliberately distorted the underlying the reality of the situation, blaming Qaddafi, while knowing full well who had killed the Gurari family.

Other reports include those of Liseron Boudoul., Boudoul is a reporter for Télévision française 1 (TF1), who has been in Tripoli for months. She reported on March 22, 2011 that all the reports coming out of Tripoli are reviewed and censored by Tripoli. This statement was fabricated. If the Libyans had been censoring the news, they would not have allowed her to make that statement or for her and her colleagues to continue their disinformation campaign. Like all the other foreign journalists in Libya, she has witnessed the popular support for Colonel Qaddafi, but this important information has been deliberately withheld from her reports.

Much of what is being passed on as news by foreign reporters on the ground is a mirror of the US-NATO’s fake humanitarian mandate.

There is a real military-industrial-media complex at work in North America and Western Europe. Most of the media claims are nonsensical and contrary to the facts on the ground. They ignore the realities and hard facts. Were these to have been revealed, people in NATO countries would be mobilizing against their governments and against the NATO led war on Libya.

They have helped portray the victim as the aggressor. They use every chance they have to demonize the Libyan government, while upholding the legitimacy of NATO. Essentially many of these so-called journalists are professional propagandists.

The mainstream media has also basically worked as an intelligence branch of the Pentagon and NATO in multiple ways. The mainstream media has been party to atrocities and crimes and that point should not be lost when analyzing the war in Libya. British journalists have even been said to have given coordinates for bombings to NATO.

Libya: A Nation and its Society

Because of its geographic location, Libya has been at the crossroads, a meeting point of various ethnic groups and nationalities, The inhabitants of Libya are a mixed people of various stocks from Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, Europe, and Southwest Asia. Berbers, Egyptians, Greeks, people of Italian descent, people from the Levant, Iranians, Arabs, Turks, Vandals, Hadjanrais, Tuaregs (the Kel Tamajaq or Kel Tamashq), and several other groups have all contributed to the mosaic that constitutes the present population and society of Libya.

The genesis of the concept of a Libyan nation as a loosely-knit entity started with the imperial rule of the Ottoman Empire in North Africa. For the inhabitants of Libya it resulted in a shared feeling of similarity that intensified after the Italo-Ottoman War. After this war between the Ottoman Empire and Italy, the three Ottoman provinces in Libya fell under Italian colonial control.

From the Ottoman and Italian periods onwards up until the years after the Italian defeat the Eastern Libyans had much in common with their kindred in Egypt, while Western Libyans had much in common with their kindred in Tunisia and Algeria, and while Southern Libyans had much in common with their kindred in Niger, Chad, and Sudan. The inhabitants of Libya, however, also had much in common with each other. This included a shared history, a shared language with similar dialects of Arabic, a shared faith, and shared political goals.

Geographic proximity and a united feeling of animosity towards the Italians were also important ingredients in establishing a sense of nationhood. Under Italian rule of Libya this feeling of similarity amongst the local inhabitants eventually developed into a national identity as well as a resistance movement to Italian colonial rule. The aspirations of this indigenous resistance were local sovereignty and unity without any foreign yoke.

The Devil’s Game: Divide and Conquer

Libya has fallen deeper and deeper into a trap. The flames of internal fighting have been fuelled in Libya with the aim of replicating the same divisive scenarios that occurred in the former Yugoslavia and in Iraq. These plans are also aimed at igniting chaos in North Africa and West Africa in an effort to re-colonize Africa in its entirety.

The objective of Washington and its allies consists in confiscating and managing Libya’s vast wealth and controlling its resources. The have initated a foreign-propelled civil war in Libya. Meanwhile the forces of Colonel Qaddafi have regained control of most of Libyan territory.

The coaltion then decided to intervene when the Benghazi-based Transitional Council was lying in its deathbed and was in very desperate shape. If it had to, the Transitional Council was willing to make a deal with the “Devil” for its survival. Thus, the Transitional Council embraced its NATO enablers even closer.

It must also be asked, which Libyan tribes have publicly sided with the Transitional Council? This is a very important question that allows one to establish the extent of public support for the rebellion. Anyone who understands Libyan society also understands the heavy political weight and representation the tribes have.

Also, how many people remain in Benghazi? The demographics of that city have changed since the start of the conflict. Many people have fled to Egypt and abroad from Benghazi. This is not due to the fighting alone, but is tied to a lack of support for the Transitional Council, not to mention the foreign fighters that the TNC has brought, and the lawlessness prevailing in Benghazi.

Dividing Libya into Three Trusteeships

There have been longstanding designs for dividing Libya that go back to 1943 and 1951. This started with failed attempts to establish a trusteeship over Libya after the defeat of Italy and Germany in North Africa during the Second World War. The attempts to divide Libya then eventually resulted in a strategy that forced a monarchical federal system onto the Libyans similar to the “federal system” imposed on Iraq following the illegal 2003 Anglo-American invasion. If the Libyans had accepted federalism in their relatively homogenous society they could have forfeited their independence in 1951. [1]

Great sacrifices were made by the Libyans who fought to liberate their nation. During the Second World War the Libyans allowed Britain to enter their country to fight the Italians and the Germans. Benghazi fell to British military control on November 20, 1942, and Tripoli on January 23, 1943.[2] Despite its promises to allow Libya to become an independent country, London intended to administer the two Libyan provinces of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica separately as colonies, while Paris was given control over the region of Fezzan (Fazzan), which is roughly one-third of Libya and the area to the southwest of the country bordering Algeria, Niger, and Chad. [3]

Following the end of the Second World War the victors and Italy attempted to partition Libya into territories that they would govern over as trust territories. It is because of the failure of this project that the Libyans gained independence as a united nation. The political scientist Henri Habib describes this best:

The Allies, hav[ing] introduced a division in [Libya], hoped to have enough time to achieve their own ambitions. In the meantime, the Four Big Powers – the U.S.A., the U.S.S.R., the U.K., and France – met on two occasions at Potsdam and at San Francisco to discuss among other things the future of the former Italian colonies in Africa, including Libya. They referred the matter to the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Big Four. The latter met in London in September, 1945, and later in April, 1946, but were unable to agree. The U.S. proposed a collective United Nations Trusteeship over Libya; the U.S.S.R. proposed a Soviet Trusteeship over Tripolitania; while France wanted it returned to Italy. Eventually, the Soviets adopted the French view, but insisted on a Soviet-Italian Trusteeship. The British were ambiguous on the future; Britain and the U.S. later accepted an Italian Trusteeship on the condition, Britain insisted, that Cyrenaica be excluded. On February 10, 1947, a peace treaty with Italy was signed in Paris without settling the question of the Italian colonies. The Italians renounced all rights to their former colonies. They were secretly encouraged to make this renunciation in exchange for a vague promise of a U.N. Trusteeship over some of their former colonies. The Paris Conference had established as a corollary to the 1947 Peace Treaty with Italy a special Four Power Commission of Investigation to study the conditions in the former Italian colonies. They visited Libya from March 6, to May 20, 1948. They also consulted with the Italian government. The Commission was unable to arrive at a common decision, and conflicting recommendations were made, despite a strong desire made by the Libyan people for their independence. [...] When the foreign ministers of the Big Four met on September 13, 1948, to receive the recommendations, they had little choice but to refer the whole matter to the General Assembly of the U.N. scheduled to meet on September 15, 1948. Thus the question of the Libyan and other Italian colonies was placed on the U.N. General Assembly agenda. [4]

Once the matter was handed to the U.N. General Assembly, the British and the Italians made a last-ditch proposal on May 10, 1949, called the Bevin-Sfora Plan for Libya that consisted in dividing Libyan territory into an Italian-controlled Tripolitania, a British-controlled Cyrenaica, and a French-ruled Fezzan. [5] The motion failed by a vote of one and if it were not for the crucial vote of Haiti the U.N. would have portioned Libya into three separate countries. [6]

The defeat of the plans to divide Libya at the U.N. would not be the end of the project to divide the North African country. There was still the internal card, division from within. This is where King Idris came into the picture.

Soft Balkanization through a Federal Emirate

Libya could have ended up like Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the Trucial Sheikhdoms which subsequently formed the United Arab Emirates. The British, the French, and the Italians did not give up their design for Libya, even when the U.N. General Assembly voted in favour of a united and independent Libya. They continued to try to divide Libya and even establish spheres of influence in consultaiton with the U.S. The focus was on Libyan federalism through an unelected National Assembly controlled by King Idris and a small circle of Libyan chieftains. [7]

The federalist system was unacceptable to many Libyans, which saw the new undemocratic National Assembly as a means of sidestepping the Libyan people. Moreover, the elected representatives from the heavily populated region of Tripolitania would be outweighed by the unelected chieftains from Cyrenaica and Fezzan. The official U.S. position was that the so-called “indigenous political leadership” of Cyrenaica and Fezzan enter the National Assembly with the elected representatives from Tripolitania on the “basis of equal representation for all parts of Libya.” [8] This was Orwellian double-speak that was meant to sidestep the will of the Libyan people. What was being pushed for by the U.S., Britain, France, and Italy was a country similar to the Arab sheikhdoms of the Persian Gulf.

In 1951, the U.S. State Department had this to say about the unelected National Assembly and King Idris:

The Department hopes and expects that all powers previously exercised by the Administering Authorities [meaning France and Britain] will, by the date fixed by the [U.N. General Assembly] (i.e., January 1, 1952) “have been transferred to the duly constituted Libyan Government”. Proclamation of independence is expected to follow thereafter, together with the assumption by [the] Emir (Idris Al Senusi) of his position as constitutional monarch of United Libya. [9]

This did not sit well with many Arabs. Egypt was highly critical and saw through the diplomatic deceit. The Egyptian and wider Arab opposition were based on the following rationale:

(a) the National Assembly (which prepared the [Libyan] constitution) should have been an elected rather than an appointed body (Egypt has contended previously that only an elected [or democratic] National Assembly in which the three parts of Libya [...] were represented in proportion to their population could properly represent the people of Libya in the constitution-making process [...]) ; (b) the form of government should be unitary rather than federal ; and (c) the present federation plan is merely a disguised method of maintaining old imperialist control over Libya by the interested great powers. [10]

In this regard, Henri Habib states: “When Libya obtained its independence in December 1951, federalism was imposed upon the country by King Idris and the foreign powers [specifically Britain, France, the U.S., and Italy] despite opposition from the majority of Libyans.” [11] He adds further: “Libyans saw their country deliberately divided by Britain and France, and [the] seeds of division planted among them.” [12]

Federalism, however, would be defeated by the steadfast pan-Arab demands for unity by the Libyan people:

Despite the initially strong opposition of King Idris and his British mentors, the country was forced by the nature of things to adopt the unitary system in April 1963. The federal experiment was a failure and even the king had to acknowledge it. A special royal decree was issued on April 27, 1963, abolishing federalism and establishing the unitary system. [13]

If Washington, London, Paris, and Rome had succeeded in their design, modern-day Libya would in all likelihood not have become a republic. Instead Libya would most probably have mirrored the model of the United Arab Emirates, as an Arab petro-sheikhdom in the Mediterranean and the only Arab sheikhdom outside of the Persian Gulf littoral.

Calculated Balkanization via Civil War: Dividing Libya into Trusteeships

There was more than just fate on the side of the Libyan people who had fought for their independence. The imperialist attempt to divide Libya into three territories was defeated by the Libyan people. In the words of Henri Habib:

Despite the attempts made by a number of powers to keep Libya divided and weak after 1951 by establishing a federal system in a homogenous state, the Libyans amended their own constitution in 1963, established a unitary state and removed a major obstacle to the unity of [Libya]. This obstacle was an administrative or structural impediment to the fuller evolution of independence which the Libyans sacrificed so much to achieve. [14]

During the previous scheme to divide their country many Libyans realized that objective of the former colonial powers was to enhance the strength of King Idris. Idris was to serve as a foreign vassal and the “local manager” of foreign interests. His role would have been similar to the Arab monarchs in Jordan and Morocco. The purpose was to install a neocolonial regime while weakening Libya as a nation-State. [15]

Today, in the context of the US-NATO led war, the objectives to divide Libya into the three territories of Tripolitania, Cyrenaica, and Fezzan are very much alive. James Clapper Jr., the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, had testified to the U.S. Senate in March 2011 that at the end of the conflict Libya would revert to its previous federalist divisions which existed under the monarchy and that the country would have two or three different administrations. [16]

Thus, effectively Britain, France and Italy have resumed their neocolonial projectto balkanize Libya into three separate states. All three countries have acknowledged sending military advisors to the Transitional Council: “Italian Defen[c]e Minister Ignazio La Russa said 10 military instructors would be sent and details were being worked out. He spoke Wednesday [April 20, 2011] after meeting with his British counterpart, Liam Fox.” [17] It is most likely that hundreds of NATO and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) military advisors and special troops are operating on the ground in Libya.

France has openly admitted funnelling weapons into the Western Mountains to forces hostile to the Tripoli government. [18] This constitutes a breach of U.N. security council resolution 1973. It constitutes a blatant violaiton of international law. The French government claims that they are sending weapons to civilians to protect themselves. This is a non-sequitur argument. It has no legal standing whatsoever and is an utter lie.

Weapons’ shipments have also been flown into Benghazi by these Western European powers and the U.S. under the disguise of humanitarian aid. Moreover there are signs that the small insurgency in the Western Mountains was coordinated by U.S. diplomats in November 2010. [19] One U.S. diplomat was asked to leave Libya in November 2010 for making unauthorized secret trips to the area, just as U.S. and French diplomats have done in Hama to stroke tensions in Syria. [20]

This war seeks to create divisions within Libyan society. Admiral Stravridis, the U.S. commander in charge of NATO, has told the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee in March 2011 that he believed that Qaddafi’s support base would shrink as the tribal cleavages in Libya came “into play” as the war proceeded. [21] What Stravridis indirectly spelled out is that the NATO operations in Libya will cause further internal divisions through igniting tribal tensions that will cement regional differences. This is one of the real aims of the bombing campaign. [22] The U.S. and NATO also know full well that if Colonel Qaddafi is gone that the Libyan tribes would bicker amongst themselves for power and be politically divided. This is why they have been very adamant about removing Qaddafi.

The U.S., Britain, France, Italy, and NATO have all banked on a power vacuum that would be left by Qaddafi if he leaves power or dies. This is why they want to kill him. They have calculated that there will be a mad dash to fill the power vacuum that will help divide Libya further and promote violence. They are also very well aware that any tribal conflicts in Libya will spread from North Africa into West Africa and Central Africa.

The NATO-led coalition against Libya is supported by covert intelligence operaitons on the ground as psychological operations (PSYOPS) to create internal divisions within the Tripoli government. This is intended to not only weaken the regime and to make it act more desperately, but it is also intended to compound the internal divisions within Libya. Britain’s William Hague has offered sanctuary to any Libyan officials, such as Musa Al-Kusa, that wish to defect from Tripoli and has said that London will exempt them from international sanctions. [23] This British offer of “exemption” also illustrates that the international sanctions against Libya are a political weapon with very little moral or ethical meaning or drive.

Even within the Benghazi-based Transitional Council there are divisions that the Pentagon and NATO have been exploiting. The Wall Street Journal had this to report about the animosity between the so-called jihadist elements and the rest of the Transitional Council: “Some rebel leaders are wary of their [meaning the jihadists] roles. ‘Many of us were concerned about these people’s backgrounds,’ said Ashour Abu Rashed, one of Darna’s representatives on the rebel’s provisional government body, the Transitional National Council.” [24] It has also been disclosed that the Transitional Council forces are also fighting each other and using NATO against each other. [25]

Sowing the Seeds of Chaos: Al-Qaeda and Libya

U.S. officials have increasingly been talking about the expansion of Al-Qaeda in Africa and how the “Global War on Terrorism” must be extended into the African continent. This talking point severes the following objectives.

1.To bolster U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and a NATO-like alliance in Africa.

2. To control the Transitional Council, which is integrated by an Islamic militia as well prevent the development of an authentic and progressive opposition within Libya.

The U.S. and the E.U. would not not accept a truly independent Libyan government. In this regard, there are contingency plans which would allow the US and the E.U., if they so choose, to betray the Transitional Council or dispose of it like an outdated utensil. This is why the Pentagon and the mainstream media have started to speak about an Al-Qaeda presence in Libya.

Such scenario of betrayal should come as no surprise. The U.S. and its allies have consistently betrayed former allies. Saddam Hussein is one example and another is the Taliban government in Kabul, which was directly supported by the US.

Washington and its cohorts are deliberately keeping the Al-Qaeda card in reserve to use against the Transitional Council in case it refuses to cooperate with Washington and NATO. Regardless of a Transitional Council victory, they also want to use the Al-Qaeda card as a a justificaiton for future military interventions in Libya under the banner of the “war on terrorism”.

It is very likely that terrorist attacks will occur in Libya in some form like they did in Iraq following its 2003 invasion and occupation. These acts of terrorism will be covertly coordinated by Washington and its NATO allies.

In the words of Robin Cook the former foreign minister of Britain, Al-Qaeda is “originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians [sic.; Soviets].” [26] Washington and NATO are now planning to use Al-Qaeda and the militant Islamists that they themselves created to fight countries opposed to their agenda, such as Syria and Libya, and to implant a new generation of subservient Islamist politicians into Arab countries, such as Egypt.

Dividing Libya: Destroying the Nation State 

This war in Libya has nothing to do with saving lives. Truth is turned upside down: Killing is saving lives, being dead is being alive, war is peace, destruction is preservation, and open lies are presented as the truth. People have been blinded by a slew of lies and utter deception.

In this conflict most of the propaganda, most of the lies, and most of the hatred have invariably come from people who are not actually involved in the fighting. Others have been used as their pawns and Libya as their battlefield. All the known advocates of Pentagon militarism and global empire demanded for this war to take place, including Paul Wolfowitz, John McCain, Joseph Lieberman, Eliott Abrahams, Leon Wieseltier, John Hannah, Robert Kagan, and William Kristol.

There has been a blatant infringement of international law. War crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed by NATO in Libya. These crimes will never be investigated by the International Criminal Court (I.C.C.) or the U.N. Quite the opposite: the U.N. Security Council and the I.C.C. are political weapons, which are being used against Libya. The UN is silent on the use of depleted uranium (D.U.) ammunition or the bombing of civilian targets

This is not a a humanitarian war: the first target of the war was the Mint which prints and issues Libyan dinars and the country’s food storage facilities. Several humanitarian organizations were targetted including schools, a children center, hospitals, the offices of the Down’s Syndrome Society, the Handicapped Women’s Foundation, the National Diabetic Research Centre, the Crippled Children’s Foundation. Among the hospitals and medical facilities which have been bombed is a complex used for medical oxygen production.

The bombings have also targetted residential areas, a hotel, restaurants, a bus filled with civilians, Nasser University (a campus of Al-Fatah University), and a conference hall with participants involved in anti-war activism. Meanwhile NATO was supplying the rebels with offensive weapons [27]

What is happening in Libya is an insidious process. The underlying objective is create divisions within Libyan society.

The war is dragging out, which in turn creates a situation in which the Transitional Council becomes increasingly dependent on the US-NATO military alliance. This is why NATO has deliberately prolonged the war and reduced its support to the Transitional Council’s forces on the battlefield. This is one of the reasons why rebel forces have been pushed back. Even the so-called “friendly fire” incidents whereby NATO bombed the Transitional Council’s tank column heading towards Tripoli are suspect. Was this a deliberate attack with a view to prolonging the fighting. [28]

NATO has now bombed advancing Transitional Council forces several times. The Transitional Council has found it hard to explain why NATO has been bombing its forces and has even been placed in a position where it had to apologize on April 2, 2011 to NATO when its frontline volunteers were killed by NATO war planes. [29] Internal political fighting within the Transitional Council may also be a factor behind these “friendly fire” NATO bombings.

Many reports have described the conflict as intensifying:

The pro-Qadhafi forces mounted a fierce assault on Ajdabiyah since Saturday morning [April 9, 2011]. Following classic military tactics, regime forces first resorted to the heavy artillery firing, which was followed by incursions by infantry troops inside the town. By afternoon, shells were landing at Istanbul street in the city centre, causing panic among several opposition fighters, who chose to hastily flee in their vehicles towards Benghazi. However, some among the opposition ranks stood their ground, and managed to control the north-eastern access to the town. But another artillery barrage appeared to have dislodged them from their fragile moorings. As the battle raged, NATO forces were pitching in with air strikes, which seemed unable to silence the regime’s heavy guns. On Sunday [April 10, 2011], NATO claimed that air strikes had destroyed 11 regime tanks ahead of Ajdabiyah. The government said it had shot down two opposition helicopters, signalling the high intensity of the fighting on the ground as well as in the air. [30]

In reality there is a virtual stalemate. The Transitional Council is not moving westward, but has also been entrenched in its eastward positions due to NATO support.

One objective of NATO is to control both sides. The idea is that as both sides become more desperate they will also increasingly turn to Washington and Brussels for a way out of the war and make more concessions to U.S. and E.U. demands. The Israelis are also another player that can be turned to by both sides in Libya.

Both Tripoli and Benghazi have talked with the U.S. and the E.U. through different channels, which include using individuals in unofficial positions. Kurt Weldon, a former member of the U.S. Congress for Pennsylvania, went to meet with Libyan officials at the start of April 2011. Weldon made the trip to Tripoli in coordination with the White House. The U.S. media tried to casually gloss over Weldon’s visit running articles about how he did not meet Qaddafi.

At the onset of the fighting Tripoli accepted Venezuelan offers for mediation, which the U.S. and the E.U. undermined and the Transitional Council rejected. Tripoli even said that it accepted an initial March 2011 African Union ceasefire and reform plan, which were ignored by Washington and its allies. Tripoli even requested that the African Union, the U.N., and the E.U. investigate for themselves the claims against the Libyan government. Worldwide, most governments, from Brazil and Nigeria to Malaysia and China, voiced support for a negotiated settlement in Libya, but this has been ignored by the U.S., NATO, and the unrepresentative group of Arab dictators they call their allies.

The Qaddafi family’s subsequent requests for diplomatic negotiations were also turned down by the U.S. and the main E.U. powers. [31] Afterwards, Tripoli again accepted African Union offers for mediation spearheaded by the Republic of South Africa and a repeated African Union proposal for a ceasefire, which the U.S. and the E.U. undermined again and the Transitional Council rejected. [32] The repeated African Union proposal called for a ceasefire, the creation of humanitarian corridors, protection of foreigners, and finally dialogue between both sides in bringing democratic reform. [33] A massive people’s initiative for a reconciliation march across the war zone in Libya was even started, which received little press coverage outside of Africa and a few countries. [34]

The government in Tripoli has even put together a new constitution. [35] Tripoli even gave orders for the military to leave Misurata (Misrata/Misratah) and allow the local tribes to establish political order and security in the city and its surrounding district. [36] During talks with Greece officials from Libya even tried to use billions of frozen dollars to provide humanitarian aid to the Libyan people on both sides of the conflict, but had their plan obstructed and blocked by France. [37]

As they did during the invasion of Iraq, the political ranks have started to show breaks in London. Conservative parliamentarians in the British Parliament, such as John Baron, David Davis, and Peter Bone, are starting to criticize their leader, Prime Minister Cameron. [38] Baron told the British press that the war on Libya has changed significantly: “When it was put before the House, the emphasis was very much on humanitarian assistance. This has changed into a mission of regime change [in Libya].” [39]

The Geo-Politics of Dividing Libya

Of significance, Washington does not want to have a visible presence in the war in North Africa. It has deliberately let its allies take the lead in the operation and painstakingly tried to distance itself from the war. It has presented itself as cautious and reluctant to go to war. [40] Washington’s allies are in reality acting on behalf of the Empire. NATO is also in the process of performing the role of global military force acting indirectly on behalf of the United States.

This war is not exclusively about controlling energy reserves and the Libyan economy. The war also encompasses a strategy to entrench U.S. and E.U. control over Africa as well balkanize the entire African region. The U.S. and the E.U. were adamant regarding Tripoli’s project to develop and unify Africa, as opposed to the neocolonial strategy of maintaining Africa as a provider of raw materials and (unmanufactured) natural resources. [41]

It is worth noting, in this regard, that the Director of National Intelligence in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee during a session focussing on Libya that Russia and China consititute “mortal threats” to the United States. [42] The war in Libya is also meant to shore up the drive into Eurasia, which targets Russia, China, Iran, and Central Asia.

The Arab sister-republics of Lebanon and Syria are targets too. Syria has been destabilized and the groundwork is underway in Lebanon with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL). Control over Libya, Syria, and Lebanon would also complete the Mediterranean Union, which is a geo-political project of the E.U. and Washington to control the entire Mediterranean. [43]

Towards An African NATO

The war against Libya will also be used to create a NATO-like military structure in Africa that will be tied to AFRICOM. While speaking to the U.S. Senate Arms Services Committee, General Ham of AFRICOM pointed out that a military partnership with African states and support for regional military cooperation in Africa were strategic for Washington. General Ham was pointing to the fact that U.S. was planting the seeds of a NATO-like military structure in Africa that would be subordinate to Washington. In General Ham’s own words:

Secondly, building the Coalition to address the situation in Libya was greatly facilitated through the benefits of longstanding relationships and inter-operability, in this case through NATO. This is the kind of regional approach to security that U.S. Africa Command seeks to foster on the continent [of Africa]. U.S. Africa Command’s priority efforts remain building the security capacity of our African partners. We incorporate regional cooperation and pursuit of inter-operability, in all of our programs, activities, and exercises so our African partners are postured to readily form coalitions to address African security challenges as they arise. [44]

Libya is the crown of Africa and from Libya there is a perfect opening for the U.S., NATO, and the E.U. into the African continent. U.S. and NATO bases may also be established in the eastern portion of Libya and used as a staging ground for a possible war against Sudan. These bases could be established at the request of the Transitional Council and justified as a means of providing stability to North Africa and as a means of protecting the Libyan people in Benghazi.

The Destruction of the Libyan State

Washington and the E.U. want to privatize the Libyan public sector under the control of their corporations, take over Libyan industries, and control every aspect of the Libyan economy. On March 19, 2011 the Transitional Council declared that it had established a new Benghazi-based Libyan oil corporation and a new national bank under the auspicious of the Central Bank of Benghazi, which would be responsible for all of Libya’s monetary policies. [45] The new Benghazi-based institutions are an opening for an economic invasion and the colonization of Libya. The Central Bank of Benghazi, which is controlled by Britain’s Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), could also be given control of the Arab Banking Corporation, which could be used as an umbilical cord by Wall Street and Canary Wharf for infiltrating Libya.

The Benghazi-based Transitional Council is already starting the process of exporting oil with the aid of Qatar from the Libyan seaport of Tobruk (Tobruq) near the Egyptian border. [46] The countries and corporations trading with the Transitional Council are all breaching international law. This act is not only intended to weaken Libya, but it also criminal and a form of economic exploitation.

Moreover, Libyan oil will be used to finance weapons sales. The Transitional Council will use the funds from oil sales that it receives to purchase weapons to fight the Libyan military. This will also violate the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The Associated Press reported about this on April 1, 2011 saying:

A plan to sell rebel-held oil to buy weapons and other supplies has been reached with Qatar, a rebel official said Friday, in another sign of deepening aid for Libya’s opposition by the wealthy Gulf state after sending warplanes to help confront Moammar Gadhafi’s forces.

It was not immediately clear when the possible oil sales could begin or how the arms would reach the rebel factions, but any potential revenue stream would be a significant lifeline for the militias and military defectors battling Gadhafi’s superior forces. [47]

France, Italy, and Qatar have all recognized the Transitional Council as the government of Libya. [48] The U.S., Britain, Germany, Turkey, and their allies have also all given various forms of recognition to the Transitional Council. They are all working now to control the new institutions of the Benghazi administered areas of Libya. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is also hovering over Libya under the pretext of furthering democracy amongst the Arabs. [49] They all plan on profiting off the interests from the loans that they are now giving to the Transitional Council.

Two Parallel Administrations in Libya

The U.S. and the E.U. are trying to manipulate the Libyan people to their advantage; they are using the Libyan people as cannon fodder. The objective is to create a deadlock and foment chaos across North Africa. Even the sniper attacks on both Libyan sides could be the work of U.S., British, French, NATO, Egyptian, and Khaliji (Gulf) Arab agent provocateurs. The objective is to manipulate the Libyans into destroying their country from the within. The destruction of Yugoslavia, namly the blacanization of the Balkans is the model which is being applied to Libya, leading to its division and political subordination to Washington and Brussels.

There have been discussions about spliting the country up, between the regimes in Tripoli and Benghazi. The government in Tripoli would keep everything from Tripoli to somewhere near Misurata, while the Transitional Council would get to administer all the territory in the east running to the Egyptian border. [50] Two parallel Libyan governments are at present a reality. Benghazi already has U.N., U.S., E.U., Qatari, British, French, German, Turkish, and Italian diplomatic missions.

As mentioned earlier, the U.S. and the E.U. waited until the Libyan military had reached the doors of Benghazi and the Transitional Council was nearly on its deathbed to take action. This was no mere coincidence. David Owen, a member of the British House of Lords is worth quoting about the timing of the military intervention: “Without it, within hours, Benghazi would have fallen, and [Colonel Qaddafi] would have won.” [51] This was made to insure the indispensability of NATO to an acquiescent Transitional Council.

Israel and Libya

The supporters of the Transitional Council accuse the Qaddafi regime of being supported by Israel, while they themselves are openly supported by NATO and the Arab petro-sheikhdoms, which oppose democracy and freedom in their own countries. Both sides in Libya have to realize that NATO and Israel, as well as Saudi Arabia and the Arab petro-sheikhdoms, are allies and work closely together against the legitimate aspirations of the Arab peoples. They are merely being played one against the other.

Israel is also involved in this equation. The visit of Bernard-Henri Lévy to Benghazi serves Israeli interests. [52] Tel Aviv has sought to play both sides. Rumours about an Israeli plan to establish a military base on the Libyan eastern border with Egypt have also been circulating for months. What should also be considered is that just like the natural gas deal between Israel and Egypt, where Egyptian natural gas was sold to Israel below market prices, Libyan water from the Great Man-Made River could be diverted to Israel from a pipeline running through Egypt. Like South Sudan, it is being said that the Transitional Council will recognize Israel. Lévy has also said that the Transitional Council has told him that they intend to recognize Israel. [53]

The Role of Banks and Currency in the War on Libya

Banks have a role to play in this war. U.S. and European financial institutions are major players. The vast overseas financial holdings and sovereign funds owned by Libya are the “spoils of war” accruing to major Western banks and financial institutions.

In 2008, Goldman Sachs was given 1.3 billion dollars (U.S.) by the Libyan Investment Authority. [54] In unfathomable terms, Goldman Sachs told the Libyans that 98% of the investment value was lost, which means that the Libyans lost almost all their investment. [55] Goldman Sachs had merely appropriated Libya’s money wealth. The Libyan government and Goldman Sachs would then try to work something out by giving Libya huge shares in Goldman Sachs, but the negotiations failed in 2009. Nor was Goldman Sachs alone in taking Libyan money; the Société Générale SA, the Carlyle Group, J.P. Morgan Chase, Och-Ziff Capital Management Group and Lehman Brothers Holdings were all also holding vast amounts of Libyan funds. [56]

Signs of Hope: Libya’s Promise of Tomorrow. A New Strategic Axis?

The Libyans have realized that they need to continue on a pan-African path and to follow a model of self-sufficiency. Many in Tripoli have also started thinking about the future. Old disputes and animosities may also be put aside with other global players that are opposed to U.S. hegemony and opposed to NATO.

A strategic axis between Libya, Algeria, Syria, and Iran that will later include Lebanon may blossom as the Libyans begin to explore their strategic options on the political and security levels. Libya has realized that it has made mistakes and now knows that it must find a place in some sort of a global counter-alliance against the U.S. and its allies. Tripoli will eventually try to find a strategic equilibrium for itself in a geo-strategic concept that will balance Russia, China, and Iran.

A new strategic concept for the Libyans would also include Venezuela and the Bolivarian Bloc in Latin America. Venezuela along with Syria, has been Libya’s staunchest supporter during the NATO war.

Eventually, Lebanon and Libya will also mend fences. The dossier of Musa Al-Sadr only remains between Lebanon and Libya on the insistence of Nabih Berri. The upper echelons within Hezbollah, including Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, have tried not to antagonize Berri and the leadership of the Amal Movement on the issue of Musa Al-Sadr as part of an effort to prevent divisions in the Shiite Muslim community of Lebanon, but if a strategic axis begins to form between Algeria, Libya, Syria, and Iran the issue of Al-Sadr will have to be resolved in Lebanon.

In France and Western Europe tensions are also rising internally and against Washington. Gaullism may become reinvigorated in a declining France. The people of Africa have also become even more aware of the exploitation of their continent and the importance of Libya to the rest of Africa.

Most importantly, the NATO bombings have helped bring much of Libya together too and have given the nation a new sense of mission.

The Libyan people have been reinvigorated with this sense of mission. They have been energized and a revolutionary spirit has been stirred and awakened in the youth.

When the dust settles, the people of Libya will begin to weed out political corruption. The worst enemy of all for the Libyans has been the enemy from within.

This war has chiefly been against the Libyan people. It has not been the Libyan military that has kept the country standing, but the Libyan people themselves and their resistance.

NATO has become tired and faces many internal and external pressures. Italy has now been forced to withdraw from the war. [58] Norway will also withdraw in August 2011. [59] France has even accepted what Paris and NATO refused to accept from the start of the conflict, namely to end the war and to stop bombing Libya if both sides in Tripoli and Benghazi start political talks. [60] In reality, Tripoli has been calling for political dialogue with an entire international chorus for months, but it has been the U.S. and the E.U. that have refused to listen. This also exposes the guilt of the U.S. and the E.U. in waging a war of aggression against Libya.

It should also be noted that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has also said that he was told that the war would end when the population of Tripoli revolted against Colonel Qaddafi. [61] This is a significant statement by the Italian Prime Minister. An analysis of cause and effect is very important here. It means that the war did not start as a result of any revolts, but was intended to instigate revolts against the Libyan government. This would explain why NATO has deliberately been targeting and punishing the civilian population. The aim has been to instigate them against Colonel Qaddafi.

The security of the familiar is gone. The issue of succession to Colonel Qaddafi was something that the Libyans thought little about or largely ignored prior to the conflict in Libya, but it is now something that has been addressed. If the war never happened, it is likely that there would have been a civil war in Libya once Qaddafi left. Now this is something that has been prepared for. Many of the corrupt people in Libya have also been exposed and have shown their true colours too. Libyans are no longer ignoring these problems as they did before.

Libya is not perfect and many of the Libyan people will be amongst the first to admit it. Now many of them are prepared to fix their problems at home for the sake of saving their country, their society, and their families. They face an uphill battle, but they are willing to fight and to make all the sacrifices needed for a better tomorrow. This inner recognition and will to change is the start of authentic change. These people will not give up even if NATO were to launch an invasion or increasing its bombings to devastating levels. Although the conflict is far from over, in the end history will judge the NATO war against Libya as a huge mistake and as the beginning of the end for NATO.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

NOTES

[1] Henri Pierre Habib, Politics and Government of Revolutionary Libya (Montmagny, Québec: Le Cercle de Livre de France Ltée, 1975), pp.19-20.

[2] Ibid., p.68.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid., pp.70-71.

[5] Ibid., p.72.

[6] Ibid., p.73.

[7] Eds. Fredrick Aandahl et al., The United Nation; The Western Hemisphere, vol. 2 of Foreign Relations of the United States 1951 (Washington, D.C.: United States Government, 1979), p.25.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Habib, Revolutionary Libya, Op. cit., p.19.

[12] Ibid., p.68

[13] Ibid., p.20.

[14] Ibid., p.2.

[15] Ibid., p.68.

[16] U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Testimony on the current and future worldwide threats to the national security of the United States, 112th Congress, 2011, 1st Session, 10 March 2011.

[17] Los Angeles Times, “3 Western powers sending military advisors to Libya,” April 20, 2011.

[18] Louis Charbonneau and Hamuda Hassan, “France defends arms airlift to Libyan rebels,” Reuters, June 30, 2011.

[19] Reuters, “Libya orders US diplomat to leave: report,” November 8, 2010.

[20] Ibid.; Voice of America (VOA), “US, Syria Clash Over Ambassador’s Hama Visit,” July 8, 2011; Bassem Mroué, “Syrian protesters attack US embassy,” Associated Press (AP), July 11, 2011.

[21] United States Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. European Command and U.S. Strategic Command in review of the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2012 and the Future Years Defense Program,112th Congress, 2011, 1st Session, 29 March 2011; Infra. n.22 and n.61 (the bombings are meant to cause regime change).

[22] Infra. n.61; see the omission of the Italian Prime Minister that the NATO bombings are not a result of any revolt, but are intended to cause a revolt in Tripoli against Colonel Qaddafi.

[23] Harriet Sherwood, “UK paves way for flight of Libyan defectors,” The Guardian (U.K.), April 5, 2011; the important details on Hague’s announcement and London’s position are as follows: “Libyan ministers and officials who were prepared to abandon the regime would be ‘treated with respect and in accordance with our laws’, he added. ‘In the case of anyone currently sanctioned by the EU and UN who breaks definitively with the regime, we will discuss with our partners the merits of removing the restrictions that currently apply to them, while being clear that this does not constitute any form of immunity whatsoever.’”

[24] Charles Levinson, Ex-Mujahedeen Help Lead Libyan Rebels, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), April 2, 2011.

[25] This information has been passed on through numerous sources on the ground in Libya including members of the Non-Governmental Fact Finding Commission on the Current Events in Libya.

[26] Robin Cook, “The struggle against terrorism cannot be won by military means,” The Guardian (U.K.), July 8, 2005.

[27] “Arms Embargo – NATO Boarding,” The NATO Channel (May 24, 2011); Mike Mühlberger was the videos producer and reporter. Because of the legal ramifications this video would have NATO removed this video.

[28] Stephen Fidler, Charles Levinson, and Alistair Mcdonald, “Friendly Fire Raises Tensions in Libya,” The Wall Street Journal, April 8, 2011.

[29] Tara Bahrampour, “Libyan rebels struggle to explain rift,” The Washington Post, April 2, 2011; Transitional Council leadership statements to the international press about the death of its volunteers are as follows: “‘It was a terrible mistake, and we apologize, and we will not let it happen again,’ said Abdul Hafidh Ghoga, vice president and spokesman of the opposition’s Transitional National Council.”

[30] Atul Aneja, “AU begins mediation as Qadhafi forces advance,” The Hindu, April 11, 2011.

[31] Elle Ide, “Italy recognizes Libyan opposition council,” Associated Press (AP), April 4, 2011.

[32] Chris McGreal and Harriet Sherwood, “Libya: Gaddafi has accepted roadmap to peace, says Zuma,” The Guardian (U.K.), April 11, 2011; Quoting from the article: “The [African Union] delegation, consisting of the presidents of South Africa, Congo-Brazzaville, Mali and Mauritania, plus Uganda’s foreign minister, landed at Tripoli’s Mitiga airport after Nato gave permission for their aircraft to enter Libyan airspace. The planes were the first to land in Tripoli since the international coalition imposed a no-fly zone over the country more than two weeks ago.”

[33] Simon Denyer and Leila Fadel, “Gaddafi accepts African Union’s road map for peace,” The Washington Post, April 10, 2011.

[34] Ian Black, “Libya’s biggest tribe joins march of reconciliation to Benghazi,” The Guardian (U.K.), March 23, 2011; On a personal note, I also was told by sources inside Tunisia and Libya that any people attempting reconciliation marches were attacked.

[35] Maria Golovnina, “Libya pledges constitution but Gaddafi role unclear,” Reuters, April 10, 2011.

[36] Michael Georgy, “McCain visits rebels, Libya adjusts Misrata tactics,” Reuters, August 22, 2011.

[37] Solomon Hughes and Kim Sengupta, “Gaddafi regime staked £12bn on secret deal in bid to open peace talks,” The Independent (U.K.), June 10, 2011.

[38] The Daily Mail (U.K.), “MPs rebel over Libya mission creep as Cameron, Obama and Sarkozy promise to keep bombing until Gaddafi regime is gone,” April 15, 2011.

[39] Ibid.

[40] Julian Borger and Ewen MacAskill, “No-fly zone plan goes nowhere as US, Russia and Nato urge caution,” The Guardian (U.K.), March 1, 2011.

[41] Discussion with Mohammed Siala (Libyan Minister of International Cooperation), July 4, 2011.

[42] U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Testimony on the current, Op. cit.

[43] Lebanon and Syria are already members and Libya is an observer member. Libya was scheduled to become a full member, but Colonel Qaddafi changed his mind, which upset France and the European Union.

[44] U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. Transportation Command, Op. cit.

[45] William Varner, “Libyan Rebel Council Forms Oil Company to Replace Qaddafi’s,” Bloomberg, March 22, 2011.

[46] Al Jazeera, “Libyan rebels ‘disappointed’ by NATO, April 5, 2011; Atul Aneja, “Opposition allies mull ‘political solution’ in Libya,” The Hindu, April 8, 2011.

[47] Brian Murphy and Adam Schreck, “Libyan opposition says it has oil deal with Qatar,” Associated Press (AP), April 1, 2011.

[48] Scott Peterson, “Italy rejects Qaddafi, recognizes Libyan rebel government,” Christian Science Monitor, April 4, 2011.

[49] Daryna Krasnolutska and Agnes Lovasz, “North African and Mideast Democracy a Condition for EBRD Loans, Mirow Says,” Bollomberg, April 21, 2011.

[50] Alan Fisher, “Libya leaders talk exit strategy,” Al Jazeera, March 4, 2011.

[51] Ibid.

[52] Kim Willsher, “Libya: Bernard-Henri Lévy dismisses criticism for leading France to conflict,” The Observer, March 27, 2011.

[53] Radio France Internationale, “Libyan rebels will recognise Israel, Bernard-Henri Lévy tells Netanyahu,” June 2, 2011.

[54] Margaret Coker and Liz Rappaport, “Libya’s Goldman Dalliance Ends in Losses, Acrimony,” The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), May 31, 2011.

[55] Ibid.

[56] Ibid.

[57] The Daily Mail (U.K.), “U.S. rescue chopper shoots six Libyan villagers as they welcome pilots of downed Air Force jet,” March 22, 2011.

[58] Voice of America (VOA), “Berlusconi Opposes Libya Mission; Rome Cuts Involvement,” July 7, 2011.

[59] Agence-France Presse (AFP), “Nato capabilities will be exhausted within 90 days in Libya,” July 11, 2011.

[60] Agence-France Presse (AFP), “France backs ‘political solutions’ in Libya crisis,” July 11, 2011.

[61] Lamine Chikhi et al., “Italy’s Berlusconi exposes NATO rifts over Libya,” ed. Elizabeth Fullerton, Reuters, July 7, 2011; Nicolas Carey (who was expelled from Tripoli and managed to immediately reappear in Misurata) also contributed to this report. As a note the reporting of Carey has to be carefully scrutinized.

Post 9/11 Macavity

This is a Pakpotpourri Exclusive

By:Waheed Hamid

As the ancient poem of a mystery cat macavity, goes even when the Secret Service decides that Macavity was behind a loss, they can’t get him there as “he’s a mile away.” The international  relationship  has become a mystery with significant shift towards  intelligence and covert relations. The reality considered an absolute value had becomes dynamic with the uni-polar world moving towards information warfare. The psychological operations as part of information operations  launched now focus on creating confusion and demoralization amongst target nation and increase the wedge between the leadership, security apparatus and general population. However, the environment of false flag started in last decade are now fast moving towards exposure to reality paving way for a better understanding amongst the target Nations. The perception of linking Taliban , Muslim and extremism seem to be withering away as the world encounters reality. The blast in Oslo  had all the finger pointing  towards Pakistan till Norway police declared that the Christian Extremists were involvement in the  blast.   The eyewitnesses say that a second shooter was active in the massacre at the Utøya summer youth camp outside of Oslo. It has also come to light that a special police unit had been conducting a drill or exercise in downtown Oslo which involved the detonation of bombs – exactly what caused the bloodshed a few hundred meters away little more than 48 hours later.  According to a report foreign intelligence agencies had been conducting a large-scale program of recruiting retired Norwegian police officers with the alleged purpose of conducting surveillance inside the country. This program is known as SIMAS Surveillance Detection Units, Daily Telegraph reported that Christian fundamentalist attacker held meeting in London, in April 2002, to reconstitute the “Knights Templar”, a Crusader military order. Police searching breivik’s farm found three tons of artificial fertilizer, suggesting as much as three tons went into making the bomb.

In India Former Maharashtra Inspector General of Police S M Mushrif wrote in “Who Killed Karkare-The Real Face of Terrorism in India”  that  all the reports that were available to him suggest that the Indian Intelligence Bureau (IB) was aware of the attack at least five days in advance. They knew the entire operation; the route these terrorists were taking. However, it is strange that they did not pass on this information to the Mumbai police. This lack of intelligence led to the Mumbai attacks and some right-wing groups upset with the investigation into the Malegaon incident taking advantage of the situation killed Karkare. S M Mushrif also reveals that the cases against the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) were faked. All the boys who were arrested were found to be innocent during the course of the investigation and later court dismissed the cases against the boys. Gujrat riots still remain in memories of Indian Muslims. Famous writer Smita  Narula describes Gujrat riots as Genocide of Muslims and states. According to her What happened in Gujrat was not a spontaneous uprising, it was a carefully orchestrated attack against Muslims”.  Today Sikhs, Christian, Muslims and Dalits (the untouchable humans) are victim of state policies and inequality in India. Human rights organizations are registering number of abuse cases against minorities. Although the Indian State and its proponents seek to blame past governments for human rights abuses and assert that India is no longer violating human rights but independent research by numerous organizations, indicates otherwise. International human rights organizations, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, continue to condemn India for its failure in preventing and in many cases advocating, the violation of human rights against its minority and underprivileged communities, including women. Surprisingly it is seldom that such activities get focus in Indian media. The Indian media usually remains Pakistan centric as a proactive approach to hide their own short falls. However, for the first time the intelligensia has raised questions on the role of CIA agents like  David Headley Coleman & the fact that India  has more than 3500 Americans unaccounted for in their country as per the records of the Home Ministry . After July 2011 attack in Mumbai,  an understanding is developing where other elements are seen taking advantage of the old  Indo – Pak perceptions .

The  recent terrorist attack in China, Killing of Iranian Nuclear scientist and series of cross border attacks in Pakistani  areas bordering Afghanistan  in recent days seem to have some links with the handlers in Afghanistan. A report on training of Afghan  National Army exposed  that  more than 75% afghan selected  for Army are drug edicts. This breed of soldiers can be easily used by any agency having money to fulfill their drug requirements. The US exit strategy leaving behind  such a ground force having air support at mercy of American basis leave lots of questions  for the future role of Afghanistan as part of South Asia. The story published in Telegraph on  how US commanders fight the Taliban during the day and dine with them at night tells that  Lieutenant Colonel Tom Savage waits for his opposite number in the Taliban to turn up for tea,  a man whose day job is killing fellow US Marines. Lt Col Savage, says they may well have killed his own men, and almost certainly some of the British whom the Marines inherited part of southern Afghanistan from last year. But he says they are tired of fighting, and if he lays down his weapons he could have a significant effect around here. I have to put aside what he may have done in the past, and think about what he can do in the future.

According to a military-led investigation U.S. trucking funds reach Taliban. The report compiled in May and reviewed by an international news paper, say the military found “documented, credible evidence  of involvement in a criminal enterprise or support for the enemy” by four of the eight prime contractors.  Tierney, now the top minority member of the national security subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said “I would hate like hell to think my kid was over there” and the Taliban was “coming after them with something bought with our taxpayers’ money,” When asked by a Pakistani journalist about U.S. military relations with Pakistan, the chairman Mullen said there is a “recalibrating” of relations. Pakistan military Chief Gen Kiyani’s statements after Osama incident also speak of increasing mistrust.

In such intense gray environment of perceptions use of locals by exploiting their weaknesses is a common lead behind most of the terror incidents in the world  where  chances of common handler and a mind set can not be ruled out.  The Challenges for the world in general and South Asian region in particular are real with all the potentials to escalate after 2014. The thinking process has to change if  Nations are serious in defeating not only the terrorists but also the mind set behind them. SAARC countries need to increase confidence amongst each other and find common enemy. The opening of dialogues between Pakistan and India is a great opportunity. Endeavors to get China, Saudi Arabia and Iran to realize the oncoming challenge is a step in right direction. Role of a pragmatic, selfless and a true democratic  leadership having firm belief in prosperity of the people can make a difference for coming generations of this region . Defeat of Macavity may be difficult but collective and regional approach can certainly blunt the intensions of converting our part of the world into dystopia. Unfolding of events provide an opportunity for the leaders and the Nations to act in  collective interest and stop implosions. Dystopia. Unfolding of events provide an opportunity for the leaders and the Nations to act in collective interest and stop implosions.  .

*The writer is a political analyst based in Islamabad.

Norway’s monster and THE question

By:Alan Hart

How much was the mind of Anders Behring Breivik conditioned and warped by Zionist propaganda as peddled with the assistance of Christian fundamentalism by much of the Western mainstream media and many web sites?

 

In his summary of what the monster had stated behind closed doors in court, Judge Heger said he had argued that he wanted to create “the greatest loss possible to Norway’s governing Labour Party”, which he accused of failing the country on immigration and opening the door to the “Muslim colonization” of Norway and all of Europe.

There could not have been a more effective way of inflicting at a single stroke a great loss than gunning down many members of the Norwegian Labour Party’s youth wing, the Workers Youth League (AUF), which was assembled on Utoya Island.

Two days before the massacre there, and as Gilad Atzmon has researched and noted, the AUF’s leader, Eskil Pedersen, gave an interview to Dagbladet, Norway’s second largest tabloid newspaper. In it he said: “The AUF has long been a supporter of an international boycott of Israel but the decision of the last Congress demands that Norway impose a unilateral economic embargo on the country… I acknowledge this is a drastic measure but I think it gives a clear indication that, quite simply, we are tired of Israel’s behaviour.” (My own view is that behind closed doors all Western governments, including the one in Washington D.C. in the person of President Obama, are tired of Israel’s behaviour).

There are two things we know for sure.

One is that Breivik is fanatically anti Islam and pro Zionism.

The other is that Zionism’s propaganda machine has been set to work at full speed, day and night, eight days and nights a week, to demonize, discredit and destroy all who are calling and campaigning for Israel to be boycotted.

From the obscenity of the Nazi holocaust to the present, Zionism’s success in selling its propaganda lies as truth is the reason why the search for peace based on an acceptable amount of justice for the Palestinians has been, and remains, a mission impossible.

I describe the Israel-Palestine conflict as the cancer at the heart of international affairs which threatens to consume us all. It’s bad enough that Zionist propaganda has prevented a cure for it, but if now that same propaganda is inspiring Europeans in Europe to slaughter their own, the future is very, very frightening.

I don’t know the answer to my headline question but I think investigators in Norway, prosecutors and psychiatrists, must dig deep enough to find it.

ORIGINAL POSTING LINK: http://www.alanhart.net/norway%E2%80%99s-monster-and-the-question/#more-1563

Alan Hart is an author, former Middle East Chief Correspondent for Independent Television News, and former BBC Panorama presenter specialising in the Middle East.

 

 

Pakistan: Should there be another ‘Good Friday Agreement’?

A Pakpotpourri Exclusive

Food for thought for nonaligned media!

Jawad Raza Khan

The antiquity of 20th century has blatantly developed a logical relationship between conflict and mass media. One of the most obvious outputs of this relationship is propaganda, viciously used for injecting a conflict and then turning into fateful wars. It will not at all be astonishing, if we state that “media has been one of the most effective instigators in human history for events leading to catastrophes and loss of precious human lives”, US propaganda through powerful media campaigns in world wars, Cold War era, European radio in Romania, US media after 9/11, media campaign against Iraq WMDs, can be the best quoted examples.

It will not be astounding even, to understand the ability of media in the opposite direction for peace and tranquility especially after seeing its record for the Antonym. Certainly, West has used media for war mongering for its vested interests during most part of its history but its track record for handling media in case of its own in grown insurgency is indeed laudable.

As per Lippmann (1922) “Through the power of Government controlled broadcasting, mass media can be envisioned as a mean to influence societies in the best of national interests”

Here I will talk about something known as Good Friday Agreement also known by other names such as the Belfast Agreement and sometimes as the Stormont Agreement. The name came from the fact that the Agreement was reached and signed on Good Friday in 1998. It was a signifying milestone to end to the war in Ireland against British Rule and British presence in the country. The agreement was between the British, the Loyalists and the Republicans. After the agreement was reached, the British were to remove occupying troops from Ireland. It also began an era of North Ireland and South Ireland working together to unite their country.

Just to recapitulate the situation before the Good Friday Agreement, primarily, the struggle was between the Catholics and Protestants. The Protestants held most of the lands and most of the resources and their actions resulted in a low standard of living among the Catholics, the factions of Protestants and Catholics split on the issue of home rule. Fighting erupted based on the fact that the Catholics favored separation from the United Kingdom and the Protestants feared rule by a Catholic majority. Armed Hostilities began again in the 1960s and erupted into an insurgency. Bloody riots were commonplace and acts of terrorism such as bombings were frequent. The British were once again sent in to control the violence, but only succeeded in inflaming the situation more because of their presence. The violence and fighting continued unabated into the 1990s. The main issues of the conflict arose out of the treatment of the Catholics by the Protestants. The long standing poor treatment embedded a resentment and bitterness in the hearts of those involved. The two parties were not willing to give an inch because they felt they had been giving for over a hundred years. The attitudes continued to create an atmosphere of animosity, which was passed on into the next generation. Peace talks began in the early 90s and resulted in a cease fire and further talks. The Anglo-Irish Peace Proposal resulted but the cease fire broke down as tempers flared again. The US became involved in the peace process, succeeding in negotiating the gradual disarmament of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) during the course of the peace talks. In 1998, an accord was reached to resolve the differences, known now as the Good Friday Agreement.

The final step for the enforcement of Good Friday Agreement was a referendum, observing difficulty in obtaining concentrated “yes” for the said agreement forced the British Government to go unorthodox.

A massive media campaign was launched by the British machinery for “yes” vote in both south and north Ireland also contemplating with regards to the importance of the referendum along with the implication of its popular vote for peace and stability in Ireland. The results are worth mentioning 98% Irish casted vote in referendum with results giving a clear go ahead for Unity Good Friday Agreement.

This landslide victory could only be achieved through effective but checked perception management through operational media tools. Irish insurgency had taken its roots from the religion as the warring factions were Protestants and Catholics. Although the root cause in Pakistan’s case is not sectarian violence in first place but mishandling of the situationcoupled with involvement of other non-state actors and foreign powers has dynamited the insurgency into shade of sectarian violence as well.

It was just out of place when Pakistan saw and heard, Ms. Hillary Clinton’s speech to congress in which she admitted about exporting Saudi brand of Islam (Wahhabis) to Pakistan for their interests in the region. The latent perspective of the said speech was not friendly at all, as it looks apparently.

Why US Secretary of State admitted something so openly, which will perforce trigger an anxiety in the masses of Pakistani society especially the religious cadre?

Why that admittance came after so many unfortunate incidents in mosque and durbars of Pakistan and the iron was hot to hit?

Who was the real audience of the speech?

What can be the real motive of this speech to the congress?

The said question are thought provoking especially after US attitude towards Pakistan after OBL fiasco.

This reminded me a joke, which very intelligently covers the term of interests…..

Last month, a world survey was conducted by the UN. The only question asked was: “Would you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world.” The survey was a huge failure…

  • In Africa they didn’t know what “food” meant.
  • In Sub continent they didn’t know what “honest” meant.
  • In Western Europe they didn’t know what “shortage” meant.
  • In China they didn’t know what “opinion” meant.
  • In the Middle East they didn’t know what “solution” meant.
  • In South America they didn’t know what “please” meant, and
  • In US they didn’t know what “the rest of the world” meant.

Coming back to the preposition, this export has indeed touched the fabric of Pakistani society which is more inclined towards Sufism. Point to ponder here is not to advocate one or other form of Islam rather; it’s an endaveour to put across the role of controlled media by west, in an old enmity between Protestants and Catholics resulting into Good Friday Agreement.

  • Can our uncontrolled media take a lead from “Good Friday Agreement” as holy month of Ramadan is also fast approaching and Pakistan need these types of initiatives?
  • Do we as a nation should come out from the quagmire of unfortunates with Islam as a binding force?
  • Should media curtail its commercial needs and prioritize its broader aims for nationalist agenda?

If answers to above questions are in affirmation, then, the in question organ of the State needs to strategize the media campaign, most importantly to disown sectarianism in the coherent values of Islam, otherwise, anarchy will prevail and will lead to more disasters. This has to be done by our own people through our own media because westerners have us on their last priority and why should they give us precedence if we ourselves are not ready to do it for our own selves……………                           THE WRITER IS BASED IN PINDI & IS A POLITICAL ANALYST.

The myth of US aid to Pakistan

A Pakpotpourri Exclusive

By: Humayun Gauhar

Get it straight. Since 9/11, Pakistan has received only about $448 million net in economic assistance. The Economic Survey of Pakistan says that the costs Pakistan has incurred on America’s lost ‘War on Terror’ are $68 billion. Deduct our external debt from $68 billion and we would have a billion of two left over, which the US should pay. Sad was the day we decided to help this multi-bankrupt country.

 

Yet propagandists and conspiracy theorists in the US corporate media (with their Pakistani poodles yapping in tandem) keep peddling the myth of the “enormous” American aid to Pakistan since 9/11. Figures vary wildly from $10 to 20 billion. This is perception management at its best.

 

After a study he conducted for the Woodrow Wilson Centre, Shahid Javed Burki said: “If US civilian assistance is completely withdrawn, it will only have an impact of 0.14 percent on Pakistan’s GDP growth.” Calculations were based on gross aid, 40 percent of which goes to American ‘consultants’. These are conservative estimates compared with how US aid is being spent in Iraq and Afghanistan, where more than 60 percent of the money remains with American ‘contractors’ and ‘consultants’.

 

Mr. Anjum Rizvi of Vibe TV helped me to put these facts and figures together to expose the myth of US ‘aid’ to Pakistan.

 

Former State Bank Governor Ishrat Husain says that American aid does not help the government’s precarious fiscal situation in any meaningful way. Only “12-15 percent of the total amount is channeled for budgetary support… Assuming that the whole $3 billion [per annum] in economic and military aid is disbursed fully, this accounts for less than seven percent of the total foreign exchange earnings of the country… The increase in export revenues and remittances in the current year was almost twice that amount.”

 

What price then Hillary Clinton’s boast in Islamabad on May 27 that, “We provide more support than Saudi Arabia, China, and everybody else combined…but I will stand here and admit that I’m not sure many Pakistanis know that.” Of course they don’t, Madam Secretary, because its all bull and you know it and we know it.

 

  • Since 2006 militancy has spread like a contagion throughout Pakistan. So far, it has cost the country more than 35,000 citizens, 3,500 security personnel, destruction of infrastructure, internal migration, nose-diving production and growing unemployment.
  • The US has so far provided $13 billion in aid to Pakistan, of which almost $9 billion were military disbursements. The government expects to receive $1.45 billion this year from CSF as reimbursements for money Pakistan has already spent on US behalf.
  • America has made the process of auditing Pakistan’s invoices for reimbursement more stringent and rejected several claims in recent years.
  • 50 percent of the aid has to be spent on US ‘contractors’ under US law, so this goes back to America.
  • 25 percent is wasted on administrative expenses.
  • The rest is given to the US Ambassador’s favorite NGO to be deposited in US accounts.
  • Almost none makes it to Pakistanis.

 

Compare this to China’s spending of $30 billion in infrastructure projects in Pakistan.

 

If American military ‘aid’ looks big to you, please pause. Much of it is our money – reimbursements for money we have spent on America’s behalf. It comes under ‘Coalition Support Funds’ for reimbursement to allied militaries for operations beneficial to the United States.

  • The Pakistanis submit their costs; the US decides whether to pay or not.
  • More than 40 percent of Pakistan’s requests have been rejected.
  • If any of our requests are “bogus” as the US informally claims, prove it. Or shut up.
  • The problem is more likely with American bureaucracy, not Pakistani “mistakes”. America is now even declining to pay for death benefits that it used to.
  • Compare this to Afghanistan’s $100 billion and Iraq’s $600 billion aid, countries that are eight times smaller than Pakistan. Because America hasn’t formally occupied Pakistan yet?
  • Efforts to increase civilian assistance to $1.5 billion annually have failed.

 

Mrs. Clinton also said: “America cannot and should not solve Pakistan’s problems. That’s up to Pakistan. But in solving its problems, Pakistan should understand that anti-Americanism and conspiracy theories will not make problems disappear. It is up to the Pakistani people to choose what kind of country they wish to live in and it is up to the leaders of Pakistan to deliver results for the people.” Quite. But most Pakistanis think that it is the US that spawns conspiracies that spawn “conspiracy theories” and it is the US that continues to cause problems for Pakistan.

 

Security-related funding, including CSF (2002-2010), amounted to about $14.14 billion.

  • This includes the operational cost of the 140,000 Pakistani troops deployed along the 2,560-kilometer border with Afghanistan and training programmes for the paramilitary Frontier Corps.
  • Almost two-thirds of the amount goes into security-related heads, while the social sector and economic infrastructure receive the remaining one-third.
  • US AID and ‘private contractors’ spent more than 70 percent of the funds allocated for socio-economic development on their own support infrastructure.
  • Half of the money never leaves US accounts. It’s the same for Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

Pakistan’s ministry of finance was prompted to seek US clarifications on how $488.537 million being provided under the Kerry-Lugar-Burmen Law (KLL) were being spent.

  • KLL provided for two modes of assistance: one, budget money worth $1,025.335 million for the year 2010-11 and, two, “off the budget” $488.537 million.
  • Of “off the budget” assistance of $488 million, America plans to spend $170 million for International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement, $106.387 million for Office of Transition and $60 million for humanitarian assistance.
  • The remaining over $240 million will be spent through international and local NGOs. Pakistani authorities do not know details of this spending.
  • The American “Spent Plan” shows that Washington has so far obligated $1.025 billion for Pakistan after completing Congressional procedural requirements.

 

US media might scream about the “billions of dollars” of aid to Pakistan, but the fact remains that its impact on Pakistan is insignificant. US aid doesn’t come close to funding the difference with Pakistan’s losses. The war’s cumulative impact on Pakistan is worse: loss of investment, decline in industry and capital flight. US and NATO forces abuse Pakistan’s roads and bridges but don’t pay for their maintenance. Add infrastructure loss due to militant activity and it gets worse. The truth is that aid from this bankrupt country creates more problems than it is worth.

NOTE Gauhar is a political analyst & a columnist.

 

 

South China Sea Diplomacy: More Needs to be Done

By Zha Daojiong

Synopsis
Ongoing high-level diplomacy between China and the Philippines as well as Vietnam points to de-escalating
tension over the South China Sea. A change of assessment in Beijing and Washington of each other in the 
region is a contributing factor. More diplomatic engagements between China and other claimant states are 
desirable. 
Commentary
DIPLOMATIC TENSIONS among China, the Philippines and Vietnam over the South China Sea are showing 
signs of abating, however short-lived they may turn out to be. From 7 to 9 July 2001, Foreign Secretary of the 
Philippines Albert del Rosario visited Beijing reportedly to pave the way for President Benigno Aquino III’s 
China visit that may take place within weeks. 
In late June, in the wake of diplomatic talks between Hanoi and Beijing and pledges of peaceful resolution of 
disputes, the two countries held two days of joint patrols in the Gulf of Tonkin. This exercise is a clear signal of 
mutual goodwill, even though the gulf area lies beyond the disputed waters. Such developments, in light of the 
renewed tensions over the South China Sea, are significant: they point to a desire in the respective Asian 
political capitals for an amicable resolution. A key issue is what to make of the geostrategic competition 
between China and the United Sates that looms in the background.
The Beijing-Washington Nexus
Among the many possible events that bring the South China Sea back to regional and international media 
headlines is how China has been reacting to United States military access to South China Sea waters and 
airspace. In Chinese discussions on this aspect, two issues tend to surface: firstly, the uninvited presence in 
waters close to Hainan Island of a US Navy EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft on 1 April, 2001; and secondly, the 
US Navy’s surveillance ship Impeccable 8 March 2009. Both serve as powerful reminders of China’s anxiety. 
The prevailing common-sense reasoning among Chinese circles goes like this: It is US military vehicles that 
came to waters close to the mainland of China. Would Americans be unconcerned in the event of unannounced 
Chinese naval appearances close to the west coast  of the US, or even Hawaii? Do they not reinforce the view 
of sceptics that the US tends to disregard Chinese sensitivities?
Against this backdrop, when US Secretary of State Clinton, at the July 2010 ASEAN Regional Forum meeting in 
Hanoi, publicly took issue with China over the latter’s handling of the territorial disputes with other claimants,
analysts in China saw a return of  “divide and conquer” tactics. Indeed, for much of the past year, Chinese 
diplomacy towards the entire Southeast Asian region  demonstrated a tendency to prevent states from siding 
more firmly with the US camp.
Heart of the Issue
At the heart of the South China Sea issue that stands between Washington and Beijing is what the US insists is 
freedom of navigation. There are two sides to this coin. For commercial and other non-military use of the South 
China Sea waters and airspace, there exists little room for contention. Indeed, China’s economic wellbeing 
cannot be separated from maintenance of that freedom -- now and into the indefinite future. The bone of
contention between Beijing and Washington is squarely  rooted in competing definitions and interpretations of 
military use of Exclusive Economic Zones. The conceptual and legal gaps between them are wide and the 
possibility for their narrowing low.
What should be emphasised, meanwhile, is that the recent gestures of diplomacy between Beijing and 
Washington over Southeast Asia in general and the South China Sea in particular may well have resulted from 
mutual perceptions of each other’s standing in the region. There is much talk in China about the financial crisis 
signaling a decline of American power and the weakening of US will and capacity to act in defence of its 
interests and influence in the western Pacific region. Such perceptions, however, cannot stand up to rigorous 
analysis. Unfortunately, such headline-grabbing rhetoric has created undue alarm in Washington. By the same
token, talk by American diplomats about the US “returning to Asia” has been wrongly interpreted in China as 
designed to weaken Beijing’s cultivation of harmonious ties with its Asian neighbours.   
In actuality, the US has never left Asia. Its forward projection capabilities continue to be unrivaled and several 
decades ahead  of China. Just witness the speed of the US Navy’s delivery of emergency aid in the wake of the 
Aceh earthquake and tsunami in 2004 and again after the powerful earthquake in northeastern Japan in 2011.
China not only lacks the material capacity to match the US on this front; it also has a long way to go in winning 
goodwill from its Asian neighbours to allow for even  non-combat use of its naval capacity. Southeast Asian 
states provide little room for a rise in Chinese influence at the expense of the Americans’. 
The short conclusion is that the dynamics in geo-strategic relations between Beijing and Washington need to be 
better understood as a continuous search for levels of comfort in co-existence in the western Pacific. The South 
China Sea then, features as an occasional component of a larger set of uncertainties between the two capitals.
Not Sustainable
A fairly firm recognition between Beijing and Washington has emerged that the past year’s state of affairs over 
the South China Sea issue is not sustainable. The holding of the first official US-China dialogue on the Asia 
Pacific in late June served as a visible testimony of that changing calculation. Barring unforeseen 
developments, the coming ASEAN Regional Forum of 2011 is not likely to see the same showdown between 
Chinese and American diplomats over the SCS issue. 
The route of China’s diplomacy to the Southeast Asian capitals does not have go through Washington. An ideal 
development to follow is for high-ranking officials and even the head of state of China to pay reciprocal visits to 
capital cities of the other claimant states, beginning with Manila and Hanoi. Such exchange of visits may not 
produce immediate results on dispute resolution over the South China Sea. But public shows of both sides 
reaching out to each other are necessary for cooling down temperatures.

(Zha Daojiong is Professor of International Political Economy at the School of International Studies, Peking 
University, China and a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies 
(RSIS), Nanyang Technological University).
NOTE: THIS IS A CROSS POST FROM RSIS COMMENTARIES
Reference:
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, NTU, South Spine, Block S4, Level B4, Nanyang Avenue, 
Singapore 639798.  Tel. No. 67906982, Email: wwwrsis@ntu.edu.sg, Website: www.rsis.edu.sg.

What would happen if Pakistan and US divorce?

By Michael Kugelman

Raymond Davis jailed in Lahore. Osama bin Laden discovered in the Pakistani Army’s front yard. US forces expelledStrategic dialogue suspended. $800 million dollars in US military assistance withheld. And now a Washington-based Kashmir activist arrested for being an ISI operative.

Though US-Pakistan ties remain intact, hostility and mistrust are rapidly gnawing away at them. The troubled partnership hangs by thin threads, and one devastating blow could sever it completely. Most Pakistani and American officials cannot bear the thought of a shattered relationship. The fact is that neither nation’s interests would suffer if ties were severed; in fact, they may well be better served.

The paramount expectation of both governments is that the relationship helps attain their objectives in Afghanistan. For Washington, this entails using Pakistani roads to transport Nato supplies. However, if ties were ruptured, Washington would simply turn to Central Asian routes. Bilateral tensions have periodically prompted Islamabad to shut down Pakistani routes and vehicles are repeatedly attacked. Last weekend alone, one fuel tanker was bombedand another fired upon near Peshawar.

Washington also clings to the hope of a Pakistani Army assault on North Waziristan-based militants, who target US forces in Afghanistan. So long as the US-Pakistan relationship remains in effect, this represents an unlikely prospect, albeit one that cannot be ruled out. A collapse in ties would eliminate the possibility altogether — and this would be a good thing for both countries, given the unrest such an assault would unleash. A North Waziristan invasion would unite militant groups against Islamabad, intensifying violence that has already claimed 35,000 Pakistani lives. Additionally, an offensive would trigger a fresh exodus of militants into other tribal areas and across the Durand Line, where they would target international forces in Afghanistan, or add to the growing number of cross-border attacks.

Islamabad, meanwhile, expects the relationship to accord it a prime role in Afghan reconciliation. Yet there is little indication this will happen, given its disagreements with Washington over the role of the Haqqani network in future negotiations. Furthermore, America’s appetite for talks with the Taliban has dissipated after the group’srecent assassination campaign.

Another abiding wish of both capitals is to stabilise Pakistan — hence the infusions of aid into the country. Unfortunately, the current US economic assistance programme is limited and ineffective. If a rupture in ties ended such largesse, Islamabad would find replacement donors among the Chinese, Saudis, Britain’s Department for International Development, the IMF and the Asian Development Bank. Beijing, meanwhile, would fill the vacuum left by military aid cuts.

In short, Pakistan would be able to weather a US aid cut-off. Washington could use these monies to help staunch its spiralling debt and fund counterterrorism efforts in Yemen, which, according to the new US defence secretary, now poses more of a threat than Pakistan.

Given its radioactive reputation in Pakistan, Washington’s stabilisation-through-engagement efforts are bound to fail. The longer US-Pakistan ties persevere, the more anti-Americanism rises and militancy is fuelled. To be sure, America’s relations with Pakistan do not drive ethnic strife in Karachi or insurgency in Balochistan — yet they do stoke anti-state violence in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Fata and southern Punjab. They also deepen fears that Washington seeks to seize Pakistan’s nuclear assets — a perception that reinforces widespread hostility towards America and strengthens militant narratives.

Cutting government links would cool such sentiments, and deprive extremists of a chief rallying cry. In this calmer environment, Pakistan and the US could take stock of what went wrong and recognise that neither side enjoys the leverage it believes it wields over the other. Perhaps a cooling-off period, with time, could even lead to renewed ties — albeit ties infused with more realistic expectations of what the bilateral relationship can deliver.

(The writer is the programme associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC).

NOTE:This article is a cross post from Express Tribune published 22nd July 2011 under a different title.

 

Why Pakistan Isn’t the Slightest Bit Scared by Washington’s Threat to Cut off the Aid Supply

Pakistan is strategically at the center of too many plans for it to rely on the US — with pipeline plans, Iran and China as neighbors and a planet hungry for natural gas.

By:Pepe Escobar

Before the end of 2011, Pakistan will start working on its stretch of the IP (Iran-Pakistan) gas pipeline – according to Asim Hussain, Pakistan’s federal minister for petroleum and natural resources. The 1,092 kilometers of pipeline on the Iranian side are already in place.

IP, also known as “the peace pipeline”, was originally IPI (Iran-Pakistan-India). Although it badly needs gas for its economic expansion, faced with immense pressure by the George W Bush – and then Barack Obama – administrations, India still has not committed to the project, even after a nearly miraculous agreement for its construction was initialed in 2008.

More than 740 million cubic feet of gas per year will start flowing to Pakistan from Iran’s giant South Pars field in the Persian Gulf by 2014. This is an immense development in the Pipelineistan “wars” in Eurasia. IP is a major node in the much-vaunted Asian Energy Security Grid – the progressive energy integration of Southwest, South, Central and East Asia that is the ultimate mantra for Eurasian players as diverse as Iran, China, India and the Central Asian “stans”.

Pakistan is an energy-poor, desperate customer of the grid. Becoming an energy transit country is Pakistan’s once-in-a-lifetime chance to transition from a near-failed state into an “energy corridor” to Asia and, why not, global markets.

And as pipelines function as an umbilical cord, the heart of the matter is that IP, and maybe IPI in the future, will do more than any form of US “aid” (or outright interference) to stabilize the Pakistan half of Obama’s AfPak theater of operations, and even possibly relieve it of its India obsession.

Another ‘axis of evil’? 
This Pipelineistan development may go a long way to explain why the White House announced this past Sunday it was postponing US$800 million in military aid to Islamabad – more than a third of the annual such largess Pakistan receives from the US.

The burgeoning Pakistan-bashing industry in Washington may spin this as punishment related to the never-ending saga of Osama bin Laden being sheltered so close to Rawalpindi/Islamabad. But the measure may smack of desperation – and on top it do absolutely nothing to convince the Pakistani army to follow Washington’s agenda uncritically.

On Monday, the US State Department stressed once again that Washington expected Islamabad to do more in counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency – otherwise it would not get its “aid” back. The usual diplomatic doublespeak of “constructive, collaborative, mutually beneficial relationship” remains on show – but that cannot mask the growing mistrust on both sides. The Pakistani military confirmed on the record it had not been warned of the “suspension”.

No less than $300 million of this blocked $800 million is for “American trainers” – that is, the Pentagon’s counter-insurgency brigade. Moreover, Islamabad had already asked Washington not to send these people anymore; the fact is their methods are useless to fight the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked jihadis based in the tribal areas. Not to mention the preferred US method is the killer drone anyway.

The wall of mistrust is bound to reach Himalaya/Karakoram/Pamir proportions. Washington only sees Pakistan in “war on terror”, counter-terrorism terms. Since the coupling of the AfPak combo by the Obama administration, clearly Washington’s top war is in Pakistan – not in Afghanistan, which harbors just a handful of al-Qaeda jihadis.

Most “high-value al-Qaeda targets” are in the tribal areas in Pakistan – and they are, in a curious parallel to the Americans, essentially trainers. As for Afghanistan, it is most of all a neo-colonial North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) war against a Pashtun-majority “national liberation” movement – as Taliban leader Mullah Omar himself defined it.

Asia Times Online’s Saleem Shahzad – murdered in May – argued in his book Inside al-Qaeda and the Taliban  that al-Qaeda’s master coup over the past few years was to fully relocate to the tribal areas, strengthen the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (Pakistani Taliban), and in a nutshell coordinate a massive Pashtun guerrilla war against the Pakistani army and the Americans – as a diversionist tactic. Al-Qaeda’s agenda – to export its caliphate-bound ideology to other parts of South and Central Asia – has nothing to do with the Mullah Omar-led Afghan Taliban, who fight to go back to power in Afghanistan.

Washington for its part wants a “stable” Afghanistan led by a convenient puppet, Hamid Karzai-style – so the holy grail (since the mid-1990s) can be achieved; the construction of IP’s rival, the TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) gas pipeline, bypassing “evil” Iran.

And as far as Pakistan is concerned, Washington wants it to smash the Pashtun guerrillas inside their territory; otherwise the tribal areas will keep being droned to death – literally, with no regard whatsoever to territorial integrity.

No wonder the wall of mistrust will keep rising, because Islamabad’s agenda is not bound to change anytime soon. Pakistan’s Afghan policy implies Afghanistan as a vassal state – with a very weak military (what the US calls the Afghan National Force) and especially always unstable, and thus incapable of attacking the real heart of the matter: the Pashtunistan issue.

For Islamabad, Pashtun nationalism is an existential threat. So the Pakistani army may fight the Tehrik-e-Taliban-style Pashtun guerrillas, but with extreme care; otherwise Pashtuns on both side of the border may unite en masse and make a push to destabilize Islamabad for good.

On the other had, what Islamabad wants for Afghanistan is the Taliban back in power – just like the good old days of 1996-2001. That’s the opposite of what Washington wants; a long-range occupation, preferably via NATO, so the alliance may protect the TAPI pipeline, if it ever gets built. Moreover, for Washington “losing” Afghanistan and its key network of military bases so close to both China and Russia is simply unthinkable – according to the Pentagon’s full-spectrum dominance doctrine.

What’s going on at the moment is a complex war of positioning. Pakistan’s Afghan policy – which also implies containing Indian influence in Afghanistan – won’t change. The Afghan Taliban will keep being encouraged as potential long-term allies – in the name of the unalterable “strategic depth” doctrine – and India will keep being regarded as the top strategic priority.

What IP will do is to embolden Islamabad even more – with Pakistan finally becoming a key transit corridor for Iranian gas, apart from using gas for its own needs. If India finally decides against IPI, China is ready to step on board – and build an extension from IP, parallel to the Karakoram highway, towards Xinjiang.

Either way, Pakistan wins – especially with increasing Chinese investment. Or with further Chinese military “aid”. That’s why the Pakistani army’s “suspension” by Washington is not bound to rattle too many nerves in Islamabad.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

NOTE:This is a cross post from Alternet.

Conscientious Indians take on human rights issues

This is a Pakopotpourri Exclusive

By: Hamid Waheed

The state atrocities against poor, lower class and non Hindu Indians continue under silent Indian media but conscience Indian writers, former officials along with human rights organizations keep raising their voices whenever they can.  In an  article by Arundhati Roy titled “Walking with the Comrades”, published in month of March, she exposes the real face of world‘s largest democracy. How thousands of innocent citizens are being ruthlessly killed in the name of so called development.

Maoist, the forgotten people of India are killed and humiliated under ‘Operation Green Hunt’, using sophisticated weapons and equipment (i.e laser range finder, thermal imaging equipment and unmanned drones) bought from Israel to kill its own poor Gondis (tribesmen). Arundhati explained during her journey to the land of Gondis, how government owned training camps are established to turn street dogs into monster to hunt poor Gondis. India-Israel nexus and Israel’s rogue role in world politics is no more a hidden factor, expulsion of her diplomat by UK on involvement in Hamas leaders murder is a recent example.

Around 60,000 peoples are forced to leave their homes and live in Xray camps. Girls and children living in hostels are not allowed to leave because state uses them as human shields. Many industrial tycoons like Tata and Essar are financing the government operation in order to attain mining contracts. Arundhati questions “When a country that calls itself a democracy openly declares war within its borders, what does that war look like? More so when they are not terrorists”. Under article 2 of resolution 260 (III) ‘A’ the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Indian state actions fulfill all qualifications to be termed as state sponsored genocide.

The political mindset can be judged from a recent statement of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he declared its own citizens as a threat to national security when he was talking about Maoist movement.

Another mind provoking book is “Who Killed Karkare-The Real Face of Terrorism in India”, written by Former Maharashtra Inspector General of Police S M MushrifAccording to S M Mushrif he analysed the Mumbai attacks thoroughly. All the reports that were available to him suggest that the Indian Intelligence Bureau (IB) was aware of the attack at least five days in advance. They knew the entire operation; the route these terrorists were taking. However, it is strange that they did not pass on this information to the Mumbai police. This lack of intelligence led to the Mumbai attacks and some right-wing groups upset with the investigation into the Malegaon incident taking advantage of the situation killed Karkare.

S M Mushrif also reveals that the cases against the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) were faked. All the boys who were arrested were found to be innocent during the course of the investigation and later court dismissed the cases against the boys. Gujrat riots still remain in memories of Indian Muslims. Famous writer Smita  Narula describes Gujrat riots as Genocide of Muslims and states. According to her What happened in Gujrat was not a spontaneous uprising, it was a carefully orchestrated attack against Muslims”. Caste system and inequality is root cause of injustice in Indian society. Prominent Indian Hindu writer Ambedkar said that Inequality is the soul of Hinduism. He characterized the oppressive caste system as the tyranny of Hinduism. After spending a lifetime in a crusade against the oppressive Hinduism, Ambedkar finally renounced Hinduism and converted to Buddism and exhorted his followers to do the same. Not to forget Kashmir, where security forces abuses are so common and every day we observer protest over such cases. Meenakshi Ganguly, senior South Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch said that “It is extremely rare for the security forces in Kashmir to turn over one of their own to the civilian justice system,”.

Today Sikhs, Christian, Muslims and Dalits (the untouchable humans) are victim of state policies and inequality in India. Human rights organizations are registering number of abuse cases against minorities. Although the Indian State and its proponents seek to blame past governments for human rights abuses and assert that India is no longer violating human rights but independent research by numerous organizations, indicates otherwise. International human rights organizations, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, continue to condemn India for its failure in preventing and in many cases advocating, the violation of human rights against its minority and underprivileged communities, including women. Surprisingly it is seldom that such activities get focus in Indian media. The Indian media usually remains Pakistan centric as a proactive approach to hide their own short falls. However, for the first time the intelligencia has raised questions on the role of CIA agents like  David Headley Coleman & the fact that India  has more than 3500 Americans unaccounted for in their country as per the records of the Home Ministry . After july 2011 attack in Mumbai,  an understanding is developing where other elements are seen taking advantage of the old  Indo – Pak perceptions . Use of locals by exploiting their weaknesses is a common lead behind most of the terror incidents in both countries and chances of common handler cannot be ruled out.

(Hamid Waheed is a political writer based in Islamabad).

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