Huge Marine Drill Confirms Ground Invasion of Libya, from Kurt Nimmo at InfoWars. Exercise Mailed Fist, covering much of theeast coast of the United States, has been underway this week to test equipment and readiness for a ground invasion planned for some time in October.
MAGTF artists rendition
“On Sunday, CNN reported on a huge Marine war exercise dubbed Exercise Mailed Fist.
“The exercise is designed to test the capability of every type of Marine Corps aircraft, including MV-22 Ospreys and F/A 18 Hornets, as well as some Navy ships and Air Force planes,” CNN reported.
The exercise will encompass a large area on the U.S. East Coast – from Quantico Marine Base in northern Virginia to the Navy’s Pinecastle Bombing Range in Florida. Most of the exercise activity will occur above North and South Carolina.
The drill begins today and ends on Friday.
Thousands of Marines will take part. According to CNN, it will be biggest drill of its kind ever held on the East Coast.
“Exercise Mailed Fist is the first exercise of its specific kind and the largest 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing exercise conducted in recent history,” Staff Sgt. Roman J. Yurek, Marine Corps spokesman, told CNN. “In the past, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing units had to deploy to the West Coast to conduct this type of training.”’
Marines with Battery K fire 120mm mortars here June 21. The battery provides artillery and indirect fire for Battalion Landing Team 3/1, the ground-combat element of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The unit is training with the Expeditionary Fire Support System for an upcoming deployment later this year. 6/21/2011 9:19:00 PM Photo: Cpl. Gene Allen Ainsworth III 110621-M-CR943-093.JPG
“It appears the Pentagon has released information about the exercise exclusively to CNN. A Google News Search produces scant results on Exercise Mailed Fist.
CNN is a notorious focal point for Pentagon psyops. In 2000, the Pentagon confirmed that psyops personnel, soldiers and officers, have worked in the CNN headquarters in Atlanta. In February of that year, Dutch journalist, Abe de Vries, reported on the presence of U.S. Army personnel at CNN for the Dutch daily newspaper Trouw.
Obama will visit Fort Drum in New York on Thursday. It is speculated he will announce a decision on drawing down U.S. forces in Afghanistan, but the visit may also be related to a plan to send ground troops into Libya.
The huge military exercise comes at a critical time. As we reported last week, the United States is in the preparatory stages of a ground invasion of Libya and a campaign against Syria.
…Other calls to the Alex Jones Show from military personnel confirmed the reports.”
Syria and Iran are also subject to speculation as possible targets. The Marines run exercises all the time, but this is a particularly large scale exercise.
The earlier report by Aaron Dykes at InfoWars on June 15:
“Infowars.com has received alarming reports from within the ranks of military stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas confirming plans to initiate a full-scale U.S.-led ground invasion in Libya and deploy troops by October.
The source stated that additional Special Forces are headed to Libya in July, with the 1st Calvary Division (heavy armor) and III Corps deploying in late October and early November. Initial numbers are estimated at 12,000 active forces and another 15,000 in support, totaling nearly 30,000 troops.
This information was confirmed by numerous calls and e-mails from other military personnel, some indicating large troop deployment as early as September. Among these supporting sources is a British S.A.S. officer confirming that U.S. Army Rangers are already in Libya. The chatter differs in the details, but the overall convergence is clear– that a full-on war is emerging this fall as Gaddafi continues to evade attempts to remove him from power
A caller identified as “Specialist H” working for mortuary affairs under USCENTCOM revealed that there have already been American casualties inside Libya. He confirmed that at least 2 soldiers and 3 civilians have died from combat bullet wounds, something the media has yet to report, and needs to investigate and address.
Geo-political expert Dr. Webster Tarpley also told the Alex Jones Show today that wider war is being planned for Libya, while the count of simultaneous U.S. wars has reached five conflicts– including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya and Yemen. The potential for an even greater spread of regional conflict could well provoke a World War III scenario, drawing in tenuous nations like Syria, Lebanon, Iran or even Saudi Arabia, according to Tarpley.
For his part, President Obama has brushed off demands to answer to Congress for continuing military action beyond the 60 day limit set under the war powers act. The engagement he first claimed would be over in mere days, Obama then dubbed a “kinetic action” rather than a war. Further, Obama has justified his commitment of American forces under a United Nations mandate, unconcerned by his own admission with the will of Congress. Now, with significant overlap in reports, we can confirm an apparent decision by Obama to support wider war and a longer-term involvement in Libya.”
If this information is correct, I guess we can hang up any hopes that United States policy will make sense or present a positive face to Africa or anywhere else in the world.
Marine air ground task force, MAGTF (click to enlarge enough to read text)
President Obama Ignored Advice of Top Legal Advisors, OLC in Waging War in Libya. From the New York Times:
“President Obama rejected the views of top lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department when he decided that he had the legal authority to continue American military participation in the air war in Libya without Congressional authorization, according to officials familiar with internal administration deliberations.
Jeh C. Johnson, the Pentagon general counsel, and Caroline D. Krass, the acting head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, had told the White House that they believed that the United States military’s activities in the NATO-led air war amounted to “hostilities.” Under the War Powers Resolution, that would have required Mr. Obama to terminate or scale back the mission after May 20.
But Mr. Obama decided instead to adopt the legal analysis of several other senior members of his legal team — including the White House counsel, Robert Bauer, and the State Department legal adviser, Harold H. Koh — who argued that the United States military’s activities fell short of “hostilities.” Under that view, Mr. Obama needed no permission from Congress to continue the mission unchanged.”
If US personel are already dying from gunfire in Libya, there are hostilities. In addition to the President seizing “blatently unconstitutional powers” I also understand the military personel in Libya are receiving combat pay, another indicator of genuine hostilities.
Here are some descriptions of Exercise Mailed Fist from Havelock News in North Carolina:
June 22, 2011
Elements from the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing at Cherry Point are being joined in the 11-day exercise by Marines from New River, Beaufort, S.C. and other Marine, Navy and Air Force units from Florida to Virginia. The exercise, the largest for area Marines in a decade, ends Friday.
Essentially, MWSS-274 mobilized as though it was deploying to a faraway place to create an operational air base capable of supporting up to 600 personnel. Marine Attack Squadron 542 brought a fleet of AV-8B Harriers and associated support personnel to Bogue Field.
The first thing the Marines got operating on the first day was their water purification system, which puts out 21,000 gallons a day drawn right from Bogue Sound.
“The water is actually eight times more pure than the water that comes out of your tap at your house,” said Cpl. Matthew L. Cheney, a water purification support technician.
He said each purifier uses micro-filtration and reverse osmosis to remove impurities, including nuclear or biological warfare agents that might be in the water during a battlefield situation.
“We draw water directly out of Bogue Sound and in 10 minutes we’ve got completely purified water that’s ready to go,” Conway said. “You can drink it right out of the machine.”
Over the weekend, Marine families were invited to the camp, and all were able to get a taste.
“Everybody was able to come by and drink it, and 10 minutes before it had been home to a fish,” Conway said.
Clean water is the foundation of the operation, Conway said.
“If you lose that capability, you’ve basically shut everything down,” he said.
Next in line would be nourishment, and the field mess is able to prepare three hot meals a day.
Heavy equipment was brought in to build temporary runways and helicopter landing pads.
“It allows us to break the equipment out, and instead of inspecting it every day and just maintaining it, they actually get to use it, and it increases both our proficiency with the equipment and their proficiency of actually operating the equipment,” Conway said. “That’s the greatest way to keep it operating is to actually use it.”
MWSS-274 firefighters and their trucks and equipment came along too, and crews are always ready with reflective gear capable of pulling a pilot from a downed plane burning at 1,200 degrees.
“Our job is not to put out the fire but to make rescues,” said Gunnery Sgt. Raymond Secoy, leader of the aircraft firefighting crew.
All 2nd MAW aircraft, from jets to KC-130J refuelers to helicopters, are involved in the exercise.
VMA-542 pilot Capt. B.R. Stevens said Harriers are outfitted with small practice bombs and practice missiles that converse electronically with the pilot as though they were the real thing.
“It allows the pilot the same flight characteristics as a 500-pound bomb,” he said. “You are able to get the same training as regular ordnance, except you are not carrying the weight or drag of 1,500 pounds of dumb bombs,” Stevens said.
Sgt. Wesley Peck, an avionics technician with VMA-542, keeps the Harriers flying “so they can drop bombs on the bad guys.”
He said Mailed Fist was good for his 50-man support crew.
“This exercise gets us in the mindset,” Peck said.
Lance Cpl. Steve Squires is a powerline mechanic.
“We get into the right mentality and get to see how everything is going to get set off and how everything is going to go down,” he said.
Conway said the training less than 40 miles from Cherry Point offers the same benefits as training at more remote locations.
“It allows us to have the flexibility to make some honest mistakes and to learn the lessons on the cheap and you apply them so you don’t keep making those mistakes again and then you can apply those lessons learned when you are going a little further away when you don’t have those instant reach-back capabilities to Cherry Point,” he said.
“You set it up, you take it down, you learn the lessons and you apply them. You just get that much more efficient at your job. So that when we get the notice — whether it’s a notified deployment where we have several months to work up to it or it’s a limited-to-know deployment where it’s pack your stuff, get out, get over there — we can be operational.”
And saving money while training is a key part, he said.
“When we just went through the budgetary continuing resolutions, we weren’t sure where the funding was coming from,” Conway said. “At one point in time I was down to less than $100 in my operating budget while we were waiting for the next round of money to hit.”
June 17, 2011
Air and ground assets from Virginia to Florida are part of a massive readiness exercise led by the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing at Cherry Point.
Exercise Mailed Fist 1-11 is continuing through June 24, and residents in the area should expect an increase in military aircraft and ground activity in the region, according to a release from Cherry Point.
The exercise is one of the largest for the 2nd MAW in recent history. It is designed to ensure that personnel remain prepared to serve as part of a rapid-deployment aviation force in readiness, according to the release.
The exercise involves Marine units from Cherry Point, New River and Beaufort, S.C., along with other Marine, Navy and Air Force units from the East Coast, according to the release. Bases involved include Cherry Point, New River, Bogue Field, Atlantic Field and Camp Davis, as well as others in the region such as Beaufort, S.C., Vadalia Regional Airport in Georgia, Fort A.P. Hill, Va., Fort Pickett, Va., MCAS Quantico, Va., and the Navy Pinecastle Bombing Range in Florida.
The training involves, for the first time in more than 10 years, the deployment of a Cherry Point Harrier squadron to Bogue Field in Carteret County, from where it will operate as part of the exercise, according to the release. The training also involves all other type of aircraft operated by the 2nd MAW.
The training also involves a newly built Wing Operations Center at Cherry Point that uses a variety of communications technologies, according to the release.
Previous such exercises have involved deployment to the West Coast, and by combining previous separate training events, the cost of the training is less expensive, according to the release. A specific figure was not provided.
Is NATO bombing two thirds of the population of Libya in order to protect the other one third from the (alleged) danger of being slaughtered?
According to a rebel spokesman quoted the Washington Post on June 14:
If the rebels take Zlitan, they would be within 85 miles (135 kilometers) of the eastern outskirts of Tripoli. … they face challenges in advancing on the city.
“We need the people of Zlitan to push more courageously forward. They are dependent on our movements, but the problem is only a third of that city is with the rebels,” said Ibrahim Beatelmal, a rebel military spokesman in Misrata
R2P, responsibility to protect? (read: rush to plunder) is certainly selective. NATO’s chosen third derive their tenuous legitimacy solely from NATO’s choice to back them. Meanwhile, the R2P is continuing bombing every half hour round the clock, 50 or 60 times a day.
In Zlitan, where the rebel leader said 2/3 of the population, the majority, do not support the rebels, only a minority does support them, the rebels are calling for NATO bombs so they can seize the town.
“As you know our forces could not get into Zlitan,” said Zuwawi. “We need Nato help. We are very surprised because Nato has delayed to bomb the grad [rocket artillery] forces.”
Nato insists it is taking an active role, but Misrata’s rebels say the alliance’s current level of engagement will not be enough to save Zlitan’s population.
This is to save the 1/3 of the population the rebels claim supports them. The rebels are fine with bombing the other 2/3 of the population. No one could describe that as democratic in spirit or in action.
The rebel stronghold city, may not be entirely enthusiastic about the rebels. I found this account from the end of April about a:
… “second front” in Benghazi. This front consists of the armed groups of civil militia, ordinary citizens who are seeking restoration of the rule of law in Benghazi. They declared that they wouldn’t stand so-called “rebels” any more in their city, who are fighting each other and expose violence on city’s population.
It is difficult to confirm, especially relying on western media. But it appears credible based on what we hear about the rebels.
Claiming that NATO is only bombing military targets is disingenuous. Believing the bombs only strike or aim at military targets is naive. Here are a few pictures of the bombing in Tripoli.
NATO bombs strike neighborhoods in Tripoli
NATO bombs strike Kadhafi's neighborhood
NATO bombs neighborhoods in Tripoli
NATO bombs hit neighborhoods in Tripoli
NATO bombs light the night sky over homes in Tripoli
Visiting Zambia, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton -
… said Saturday that “we don’t want to see a new colonialism in Africa,” when asked about China’s growing influence in the continent during a television interview in Lusaka, Zambia.
She might as well have said: “we don’t want to see a new [read Chinese] colonialism in Africa,” so we are bringing back the old colonialism. In fact the old colonial masters are back as well, joined together in NATO.
Another laugh provoker among Clinton’s remarks:
Clinton also said on Friday that Washington was concerned that China’s foreign assistance and investment practices in Africa have not always been consistent with generally accepted international norms of transparency and good governance
Her words have truth, but the problem is hardly limited to China. Clinton’s words should cause people to fall about laughing except for the fact that people are dying in Libya, in Somalia, in Ivory Coast, in the DRC, and in many more places. On the plus side for US corporations, the dying and destruction provide product demonstrations, testing and merchandising for US weapons manufacturers. It is all good for business.
If the US was providing ANYTHING other than military assistance in Africa it might not be so bad. It is so distorted that a lot of people in the US think that the military assistance IS foreign aid rather than the coercion and dominance it is in fact.
There is something about Clinton’s words reminiscent of the way Ben Ali and Mubarak eloquently demonstrated how far removed they were from the realities in their streets, worse than the fuddling effects of alcohol.
Hilary Clinton’s warning to African nations against “the creeping new colonialism” of foreign investors and governments interested in extracting natural resources to enrich themselves would have been meaningful, if the US had not already gone kinetic in Libya and the Ivory Coast for the same reasons.
It is no longer enough to simply qualify their acts as double-standards, when they involve acts of aggression, impunity, crimes against humanity, chicanery, and plain banditry. Whilst condeming Gaddafi and calling on Africans not to have any dealing with a “regime that is killing its own people”, Obama meets, wines and dines with the Crown Prince of Bahrain. As Juan Gonzalez reads in Democracy Now! Headlines news of June 09, 2011, Obama Hides Meeting with Top Bahraini Leader—And Mutes Criticism of Ongoing Crackdown
I have no great love for the Chinese presence in Africa. They are as ruthless and exploitive as anyone, including of their own people. And I really don’t appreciate them bringing Chinese labor to Africa to do the work. But at least African countries have some chance to maximize their own development with Chinese money if they are willing to take the opportunity and be tough and forward thinking. Unfortunately we have a lot of bad leadership around the continent (and around the world, including in the US) who think the purpose of government is to enrich the governing class.
And the US is offering Africa nothing but military government, which is the main source of terrorism in Africa, and something most people in Africa want to leave behind.
h/t The Odikro
Harvard and other major American universities are working through British hedge funds and European financial speculators to buy or lease vast areas of African farmland in deals, some of which may force many thousands of people off their land …
… No one should believe that these investors are there to feed starving Africans, create jobs or improve food security …
Much of the money is said to be channelled through London-based Emergent asset management, which runs one of Africa’s largest land acquisition funds, run by former JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs currency dealers.
… Emergent’s clients in the US may have invested up to $500m in some of the most fertile land in the expectation of making 25% returns.
Africa land grab and hunger map (click to enlarge enough to read)
“These agreements – many of which could be in place for 99 years – do not mean progress for local people and will not lead to food in their stomachs. These deals lead only to dollars in the pockets of corrupt leaders and foreign investors.”
“The scale of the land deals being struck is shocking”, said Mittal. “The conversion of African small farms and forests into a natural-asset-based, high-return investment strategy can drive up food prices and increase the risks of climate change.
Research by the World Bank and others suggests that nearly 60m hectares – an area the size of France – has been bought or leased by foreign companies in Africa in the past three years.
“Most of these deals are characterised by a lack of transparency, despite the profound implications posed by the consolidation of control over global food markets and agricultural resources by financial firms,” says the report.
“We have seen cases of speculators taking over agricultural land while small farmers, viewed as squatters, are forcibly removed with no compensation,” said Frederic Mousseau, policy director at Oakland, said: “This is creating insecurity in the global food system that could be a much bigger threat to global security than terrorism. More than one billion people around the world are living with hunger. The majority of the world’s poor still depend on small farms for their livelihoods, and speculators are taking these away while promising progress that never happens.” (The Guardian)
Africa biofuels land grab map (click to enlarge enough to read)
THIS NEW scramble for African land has visited a multitude of problems on ordinary Africans and set the stage for ecological crisis and widespread hunger.
As many critics have pointed out, African governments have falsely claimed that land available for sale is unused. As journalist Joan Baxter writes:
Some defend the investors’ acquisition of land in their countries, saying it is “virgin” or “under-utilized” or “uncultivated” or “degraded” land…This suggests they know precious little about the importance of fallows and the resilience and diversity of agroforestry systems, or about sustainable agriculture and the knowledge base of their own farmers.
Communal land, small farmers and even entire villages are often displaced in the drive for land purchases. The Oakland Institute think-tank released a report on the African land grab, which points out:
Experts in the field, however, affirm that there is no such thing as idle land in…Africa…Countless studies have shown that competition for grazing land and access to water bodies are the two most important sources of inter-communal conflict in [areas] populated by pastoralists.
According to Michael Taylor, a policy specialist at the International Land Coalition, “If land in Africa hasn’t been planted, it’s probably for a reason. Maybe it’s used to graze livestock or deliberately left fallow to prevent nutrient depletion and erosion. Anybody who has seen these areas identified as unused understands that there is no land…that has no owners and users.”
In other words, as activist Vandana Shiva puts it, “We are seeing dispossession on a massive scale. It means less food is available and local people will have less. There will be more conflict and political instability and cultures will be uprooted. The small farmers of Africa are the basis of food security. The food availability of the planet will decline.”
In fact, because much of its food is produced for export, sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in the world where per capita food production has been declining, with the number of people that are chronically hungry and undernourished currently estimated at more than 265 million.
Nations with large amounts of land sold or leased to foreign owners are often food importers, and their inability to feed their own populations is exacerbated by the displacement of food producers who grow for local use. The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) reports that Africa has lost 20 percent of its capacity to feed itself over the past four decades. Ethiopia alone has 13 million people in immediate need of food assistance, yet its government has put over 7 million acres of land up for sale.
And worsening hunger is still to come. …
Large-scale land acquisition poses massive ecological threats to the African environment. The dangers are numerous: hazardous pesticides and fertilizers cause water contamination from their runoff, the introduction of genetically modified seeds and other problems. Land previously left to lie fallow is now threatened with overuse from intensified agricultural development, a trend further exacerbated by speculative investment and the drive for short-term profits.
Yet deals transferring vast tracts of land are typically taking place far removed from local farmers and villagers with virtually no accountability. As Khadija Sharife writes on the Pambazuka Web site:
The deals involving these concessions are often cloaked in secrecy, but African business has learned that they are usually characterized by allowing free access to water, repatriation of profits, tax exemptions and the ability for investors to acquire land at no cost whatsoever, with little or no restriction on the volume of food exported or its intended use, in return for a loose promise to develop infrastructure and markets
In many cases, farmers and pastoralists have worked this land for centuries. However, governments are claiming this land is idle in order to more easily sell or lease it to private investors. (New African Land Grab)
I found this a particularly telling passage from (Mis)investment in Agriculture: The Role of the International Finance Corporation In Global Land Grabs (PDF) a publication of the Oakland Institute.
Proponents of the land deals will dismiss my concerns and claim that this type of foreign investment will benefit the local people by providing jobs and creating infrastructure. They will also say that the land being offered is “unused.” These are hollow arguments. Investors have been quoted as saying they will employ 10,000 people and use high-tech, high-production farming techniques. The two promises are completely incongruous. As a farmer, I can tell you that high-tech, high production devices are appealing precisely because they reduce labor. Investors will not hire significant numbers of people and simultaneously scale-up their production techniques. And if they choose the former, they are likely to create low-paying jobs and poor working conditions. I may be making assumptions, but they are based on history—a history dating back to colonialism and one that has exploited both natural resources and people.
Particularly disconcerting is the notion that the “available” land is “unused.” This land is in countries with the highest rates of malnutrition on the only continent that produces less food per capita than it did a decade ago. In most cases, this land has a real purpose: it may support corridors for pastoralists; provide fallow space for soil regeneration; provide access to limited water sources; be reserved for future generations; or enable local farmers to increase production. The fact that rich and emerging economies do not have or do not respect pastoralists or use land for age-old customs does not mean we have a right to label this land unused.
R2P is the Rush To Plunder Africa. R2P protects Africans by killing them and stealing their resources. We have already lived through an earlier version of R2P known as the three Cs, Christianity, Commerce, and Civilization, now recognized as imperialism, racism, and economic self interest. R2P is the latest code name for the same imperialism, racism, and economic self interest. President Obama has joined with the President of France and the Prime Minister of Great Britain to once again take up the White Man’s Burden, another name for R2P, following the call of that original hymn to US imperialism:
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride.
US/NATO veil the threat of terror by supporting terror, supporting al Qaeda sympathisers in Benghazi and calling them fighters for democracy. US/NATO will check the show of pride by destroying the infrastructure and economic success, the pride of the Libyan people, who are not beholden to the US or NATO for their success. The US and NATO seek to end Libyan independence and with it to undermine the African Union and African independence at the same time.
This building was destroyed by the NATO bombing of the North African state of Libya. It housed a civil society council with a school for special needs children next door.
If R2P had anything to do with protecting civilians, some of that protection would be given to the black Libyans and immigrants who are being massacred by the rebels. Ethnic cleansing committed by the rebel groups is a big risk for black Libyans and African migrants. Hundreds have already been murdered.
Boats adrift and filled with African families, men, women, and children, refugees fleeing from the violence, have been ignored and abandoned by NATO participants, left to drift until hundreds of passengers died of thirst and starvation. European participants in the assault ignored pleas for help, and the French Navy ship Charles de Gaulle sailed right by the sick and dying, ignoring even the babies held up in supplication as people begged for help. Many boats of refugees have been lost, including the one described below:
NATO ships, planes left African refugees stranded in Mediterranean to die
The wave of migrants fleeing Libya has intensified since the US, France, Britain and NATO launched their war against Libya on March 19.
The response of NATO and the European powers to the influx of African asylum seekers has been one of unadulterated hostility and racism.
On March 29 or 30, the boat drifted near an aircraft carrier—“so close that it would have been impossible to be missed,” writes the Guardian. The newspaper continues: “According to survivors, two jets took off from the ship and flew low over the boat while the migrants stood on deck holding the two starving babies aloft. But from that point on, no help was forthcoming. Unable to manoeuvre any closer to the aircraft carrier, the migrants’ boat drifted away. Shorn of supplies, fuel or means of contacting the outside world, they began succumbing one by one to thirst and starvation.”
The newspaper concludes from its investigation that the carrier was the French ship Charles de Gaulle
The US and NATO don’t even pretend to exert their responsibility to protect those civilians. Protection of civilians has nothing to do with the assault on Libya. Does anyone think the massive numbers of bombs dropped on the Tripoli area have left civilians magically untouched? There have been 9,183 sorties flown so far. Those bombs are not protecting civilians.
… targets are being bombed, and then hit again if BDA (Bomb Damage Assessment) reveals that total destruction was not achieved.
NATO bomb exploding
… the Pentagon is the true epicenter of American policy toward the Arab Reawakening. Briefly paralyzed early in the year by the specter of resurgent Arab nationalism in the planet’s most vital energy reservoirs, Washington quickly launched a massive military assault on Libya in collaboration with European mini-imperialists to show the Arab world who’s really the boss. In the Persian Gulf region, the Saudi Arabian monarchy gathered up their fellow emirs, sultans and sheiks to safeguard the common patrimony of royal families against democratic or nationalist subversion.
Moammar Gaddafi was drafted as imperialism’s designated demon in North Africa
… the shock of seeing the empire’s death pass in front of its eyes in the form of a democratic – and, by definition, anti-U.S. imperialism – Arab nationalist oil dominion caused the Obama administration to kick the U.S. military’s Full Spectrum Dominance machinery into high gear. The world needed to know that this president will not allow American spheres of hegemony to shrink on his watch, and that he has the means and the inclination to kill at will (Black Agenda Report)
Oil and Arms, Libya and Europe (click to enlarge enough to read) A range of Libyan business and investment is deeply intertwined with both Europe and the US, including arms.
From the end of April:
The Murder of Muammar Qaddafi Is Planned For May 2, 2011. The linked article informs us that the Italian coalition government was about to fall apart over the bombing of Libya. It also informs us that the people of Benghazi are sick of the lawlessness of the rebels and are organizing against them. Keep in mind that the people in Libya have the right to own guns and carry arms. Failing support from Italy, and dissension in Benghazi put the heat on the coalition of the recolonizers. They need decisive action before the Italian government changes, and before it becomes clear that the residents of Benghazi are not united behind the “rebels”. Huge bombing raids targeted Gadaffi’s compound at the very beginning of May and killed his grandbabies. As Glen Ford points out:
The grandkids, ages 6 months to two years, were, of course, totally apolitical and, presumably, quite cute. But vaunted American “compassion” does not extend to the grandbabies of evil Arab cartoon-men. … Killing Gaddafi’s son and three grandchildren was no crime, since in American eyes they are no more than satanic versions of Daffy Duck’s cartoon nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie.
Hillary Clinton went to Italy during the first week of May and was able to persuade the Italians to continue Italian support for the bombing.
Libya was a success story before the bombing:
How was Libya doing under the rule of Gadaffi? How bad did the people have it? Were they oppressed as we now commonly accept as fact? Let us look at the facts for a moment.
Before the chaos erupted, Libya had a lower incarceration rate than the Czech republic. It ranked 61st. Libya had the lowest infant mortality rate of all of Africa. Libya had the highest life expectancy of all of Africa. Less than 5% of the population was undernourished. In response to the rising food prices around the world, the government of Libya abolished ALL taxes on food.
People in Libya were rich. Libya had the highest gross domestic product (GDP) at purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita of all of Africa. The government took care to ensure that everyone in the country shared in the wealth. Libya had the highest Human Development Index of any country on the continent. The wealth was distributed equally. In Libya, a lower percentage of people lived below the poverty line than in the Netherlands.
So where does this sudden uprising come from? The answer is that the same groups the US has been funding for decades are now taking their chance to gain control over the nation. A group recently arrested in Libya consisted of dozens of foreign nationals that were involved in numerous acts of looting and sabotage. …
Great Britain funded an Al Qaeda cell in Libya, in an attempt to assassinate Gadaffi. The main opposition group in Libya now is the National Front for the Salvation of Libya. This opposition group is being funded by Saudi Arabia, the CIA, and French Intelligence. This group unified itself with other opposition groups, to become the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition. It was this organization that called for the “Day of Rage” that plunged Libya into chaos on February 17 of this year.
Why is the United States so opposed to Gadaffi? He is the main threat to US hegemony in Africa, because he attempts to unite the continent against the United States. This concept is called the United States of Africa.
Please remember at all times that the violent Libyan civil war unfolding now is not comparable to the revolutions seen in Tunisia and Egypt. Both of these revolutions involved peaceful protesters suffering from poverty, in opposition to their corrupt governments. The chaos in Libyan consists of a mixture of tribal conflicts, conflict over oil revenue (since most oil is in the east of the country), radical islamists opposed to Gadaffi’s system of government, and outside destabilization by Western funded exile groups. (David Rothscam Reports)
Susan Lindauer writes:
Don’t kid yourself. Nobody gives a damn about suffering in Libya or Iraq. You don’t bomb a village to save it. The U.S., Britain and NATO are the bullies of the neighborhood. The enforcers for Big Oil.
At Black Agenda Report Glen Ford writes:
[The] Pentagon is the true epicenter of American policy toward the Arab Reawakening. Briefly paralyzed early in the year by the specter of resurgent Arab nationalism in the planet’s most vital energy reservoirs, Washington quickly launched a massive military assault on Libya in collaboration with European mini-imperialists to show the Arab world who’s really the boss. …
Moammar Gaddafi was drafted as imperialism’s designated demon in North Africa, while Shi’ite Iran served as the scapegoat for royal reaction in the Gulf. The monarch-dominated Gulf Cooperation Council, acting through a confused Arab League, gave moral cover to the Euro-American bum-rush of an equally confused United Nations Security Council. “No-fly” Resolution 1973 landed on the heads of Libyan soldiers amidst the methodical destruction of the country’s infrastructure. Thousands of miles to the east, the Saudis and lesser royals brutally smashed the democratic aspirations of Bahrain’s Shia majority, and schemed to save Yemen from a peaceful people’s uprising.
No sooner was the UN Security Council resolution to “protect” Libyan civilians issued, than it was mangled into a mandate for regime change and political assassination at NATO’s discretion. International law became its opposite. R2P is now wholly discredited in the eyes of the conscious world –which, unfortunately, excludes most Americans.
The International Criminal Court, to which the United States is not a signatory, but which it deploys to indict selected Africans – and only Africans – for human rights offenses, has been eclipsed by Obama’s imperial offensive. Why go through the motions of indicting designated enemies, when Full Spectrum Dominance enables the U.S. to execute them at leisure.
Pepe Escobar writes:
In resource-rich Africa, a complex subplot of the New Great Game in Eurasia is already in effect. It’s all about three major intertwined developments:
1) The coming of age of the African Union (AU) in the early 2000s.
2) China’s investment offencive in Africa throughout the 2000s.
3) The onset of the Pentagon’s African Command (Africom) in 2007.
The Pentagon has in fact been meddling in Africa’s affairs for more than half a century. According to a 2010 US Congressional Research Service study, this happened no less than 46 times before the current Libya civil war.
Among other exploits, the Pentagon invested in a botched large-scale invasion of Somalia and backed the infamous, genocide-related Rwanda regime.
The Bill Clinton administration raised hell in Liberia, Gabon, Congo and Sierra Leone, bombed Sudan, and sent “advisers” to Ethiopia to back dodgy clients grabbing a piece of Somalia (by the way, Somalia has been at war for 20 years).
The September 2002 National Security Strategy (NSS), conceived by the Bush administration, is explicit; Africa is a “strategic priority in fighting terrorism”.
Yet, the never-say-die “war on terror” is a sideshow in the Pentagon’s vast militarisation agenda, which favours client regimes, setting up military bases, and training of mercenaries – “cooperative partnerships” in Pentagon newspeak.
Africom has some sort of military “partnership” – bilateral agreements – with most of Africa’s 53 countries, not to mention fuzzy multilateral schemes such as West African Standby Force and Africa Partnership Station.
American warships have dropped by virtually every African nation except for those bordering the Mediterranean.
Jonathan Stevenson writes in Foreign Affairs:
AFRICOM will have a hard time reestablishing its bona fides with African governments, which were fairly tenuous even before the Libyan intervention.
and concludes, inaccurately I believe:
Although regaining African countries’ trust will be difficult, it is not impossible.
In word as well as in deed, the idea should be to cast the Libyan operation not as a mistake but as an exception.
Unfortunately Libya is not an exception, as Pepe Escobar points out, it is just the latest of close to 50 US military interventions in Africa going back approximately 50 years. Libya is just the latest military intervention in a long line of military interventions. Like Groucho Marx, Mr. Stevenson is asking Africans not to believe their own lying eyes.
Pepe Escobar writes in Asia Times:
This “kinetic activity” took place after former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger had been hammering his endgame for Libya on at least three different occasions; at George Washington University’s Elliot School of International Affairs; at an Aspen Institute session on “Values and Diplomacy”, also in Washington; and at the Bretton Woods II conference in New Hampshire.
Kissinger’s plan: invade Libya and keep this thing going until at least the spring of 2012. The (wacky) agenda; keep MENA (Middle East/Northern Africa) in total disarray as a diversionist tactic/pretext for Washington to attack Iran on behalf of Israel – to the benefit of the military-industrial complex. …
Gaddafi is the perfect villain for this Anglo-French-American farce unworthy of French playwright Georges Feydeau. For all his dictatorial megalomania, Gaddafi is a committed pan-African – a fierce defender of African unity. Libya was not in debt to international bankers. It did not borrow cash from the International Monetary Fund for any “structural adjustment”. It used oil money for social services – including the Great Man Made River project, and investment/aid to sub-Saharan countries. Its independent central bank was not manipulated by the Western financial system. All in all a very bad example for the developing world.
Breaking up Libya would be just the hors d’oeuvres for breaking up other parts of Africa where China has sizable investments. Yes, because if Western boots hit the ground in northern Africa, the “footprint” will reach the Sahel – which is already in turbulence; Mali and Niger are receiving weapons from the “rebels” in Libya that are ending up in the hands of al-Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM). The powers that be in Algeria and Morocco – where pro-democracy protests continue non-stop – are already freaking out.
… Gates had already misled the US Congress a few weeks ago, saying that the US role in Libya would end once NATO was in command.
Here are some things the Hellfire missiles will be up against in Libya. A gross domestic product per capita of US$14,192; unemployment benefits of around $730 a month; nurses being paid $1,000 a month; no major taxes; free education and medicine; interest-free loans for buying a car and an apartment. Quite a few unemployed Americans wouldn’t mind a one-way ticket to Tripoli.
The attack of the drones is on so Washington may pretend it’s not by any means expanding its “kinetic military action” – which is not a war.
And we are seeing a lot of AFRICOM military activity in North Africa, particularly directed at Algeria and Morocco. The US/NATO Libyan intervention is more the rule than the exception, a clear precedent for future “kinetic actions”.
Stability operations means protecting US/NATO client regimes, or installing new and more compliant client regimes:
The predatory and criminal character of the US-NATO operation becomes ever more apparent the longer it drags on. Washington, London and Paris hope to not only seize control of Libya, but also increase their influence in neighbouring states that have been convulsed by revolutionary uprisings. The NATO powers aim to use Tripoli as a centre of operations throughout North Africa, preventing any further erosion of their strategic and economic interests in the region.
Hague pointed to these calculations when he referred to the “stabilisation” of Tunisia and Egypt as an aim of the war against Libya (wsws)
Jean-Paul Pougala writes in Pambazuka:
It was Gaddafi’s Libya that offered all of Africa its first revolution in modern times – connecting the entire continent by telephone, television, radio broadcasting and several other technological applications such as telemedicine and distance teaching. And thanks to the WMAX radio bridge, a low cost connection was made available across the continent, including in rural areas.
It began in 1992, when 45 African nations established RASCOM (Regional African Satellite Communication Organization) so that Africa would have its own satellite and slash communication costs in the continent. This was a time when phone calls to and from Africa were the most expensive in the world because of the annual US$500 million fee pocketed by Europe for the use of its satellites like Intelsat for phone conversations, including those within the same country.
An African satellite only cost a onetime payment of US$400 million and the continent no longer had to pay a US$500 million annual lease.
This is how a symbolic gesture of a mere US$300 million changed the life of an entire continent. Gaddafi’s Libya cost the West, not just depriving it of US$500 million per year but the billions of dollars in debt and interest that the initial loan would generate for years to come and in an exponential manner, thereby helping maintain an occult system in order to plunder the continent.
The US$30 billion frozen by Mr Obama belong to the Libyan Central Bank and had been earmarked as the Libyan contribution to three key projects which would add the finishing touches to the African federation – the African Investment Bank in Syrte, Libya, the establishment in 2011 of the African Monetary Fund to be based in Yaounde with a US$42 billion capital fund and the Abuja-based African Central Bank in Nigeria which when it starts printing African money will ring the death knell for the CFA franc through which Paris has been able to maintain its hold on some African countries for the last fifty years. It is easy to understand the French wrath against Gaddafi.
The African Monetary Fund is expected to totally supplant the African activities of the International Monetary Fund which, with only US$25 billion, was able to bring an entire continent to its knees and make it swallow questionable privatisation like forcing African countries to move from public to private monopolies. No surprise then that on 16-17December 2010, the Africans unanimously rejected attempts by Western countries to join the African Monetary Fund, saying it was open only to African nations.
It is increasingly obvious that after Libya, the western coalition will go after Algeria, because apart from its huge energy resources, the country has cash reserves of around €150 billion. This is what lures the countries that are bombing Libya and they all have one thing in common – they are practically bankrupt.
It is disconcerting to say the least that for the first time in the history of the United Nations, war has been declared against a people without having explored the slightest possibility of a peaceful solution to the crisis.
In Asia Times Ellen Brown asks Libya all about oil, or central banking?
Several writers have noted the odd fact that the Libyan rebels took time out from their rebellion in March to create their own central bank – this before they even had a government.
In it [a 2007 "Democracy Now" interview of US General Wesley Clark] he says that about 10 days after September 11, 2001, he was told by a general that the decision had been made to go to war with Iraq. … they planned to take out seven countries in five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.
What do these seven countries have in common? In the context of banking, one that sticks out is that none of them is listed among the 56 member banks of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). That evidently puts them outside the long regulatory arm of the central bankers’ central bank in Switzerland.
The most renegade of the lot could be Libya and Iraq, the two that have actually been attacked.
According to a Russian article titled “Bombing of Libya – Punishment for Ghaddafi for His Attempt to Refuse US Dollar”, Gaddafi made a similarly bold move: he initiated a movement to refuse the dollar and the euro, and called on Arab and African nations to use a new currency instead, the gold dinar. Gaddafi suggested establishing a united African continent, with its 200 million people using this single currency.
During the past year, the idea was approved by many Arab countries and most African countries. The only opponents were the Republic of South Africa and the head of the League of Arab States.
Libya not only has oil. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), its central bank has nearly 144 tonnes of gold in its vaults. With that sort of asset base, who needs the BIS, the IMF and their rules?
All of which prompts a closer look at the BIS rules and their effect on local economies.
In a 2002 article in Asia Times Online titled “The BIS vs national banks” Henry Liu maintained:
BIS regulations serve only the single purpose of strengthening the international private banking system, even at the peril of national economies. The BIS does to national banking systems what the IMF has done to national monetary regimes. National economies under financial globalization no longer serve national interests.
… FDI [foreign direct investment] denominated in foreign currencies, mostly dollars, has condemned many national economies into unbalanced development toward export, merely to make dollar-denominated interest payments to FDI, with little net benefit to the domestic economies.
That would explain where Libya gets the money to provide free education and medical care, and to issue each young couple $50,000 in interest-free state loans. It would also explain where the country found the $33 billion to build the Great Man-Made River project. [… the largest and most expensive irrigation project in history, the US$33 billion GMMR (Great Man-Made River) project. Even more than oil, water is crucial to life in Libya. The GMMR provides 70% of the population with water for drinking and irrigation, pumping it from Libya's vast underground Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System in the south to populated coastal areas 4,000 kilometers to the north.] Libyans are worried that North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led air strikes are coming perilously close to this pipeline, threatening another humanitarian disaster.
So is this new war all about oil or all about banking? Maybe both – and water as well. With energy, water, and ample credit to develop the infrastructure to access them, a nation can be free of the grip of foreign creditors. And that may be the real threat of Libya: it could show the world what is possible.
The murderous bombing continues:
NATO extends authorisation for Libya bombardment to September
Washington and its European allies are clearly readying an intensified campaign aimed at ousting the government led by Muammar Gaddafi and installing a client administration in Tripoli.
NATO leaders now make little effort to conceal the reality that military operations are centrally aimed at removing Gaddafi from power—a goal that is not authorised under the “mandate” supposedly provided by UN.
American, British, and French leaders have deliberately sabotaged any possibility of a negotiated end to the civil war in Libya between the Gaddafi regime and the opposition forces based in the eastern city of Benghazi. Italian government efforts to resolve the situation by allowing Gaddafi to make a “political exit” were derailed by the demand for war crimes charges against the Libyan leader issued last month by the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor.
It now appears likely that the timing of NATO’s 90-day bombing authorisation is at least partly aimed at scuttling the African Union’s demands for a “roadmap” that involves an immediate ceasefire, including an end to NATO bombing. South African President Jacob Zuma visited Tripoli on Monday to meet with Gaddafi; afterwards he said that the Libyan leader was ready to implement the African Union’s roadmap. NATO responded by unleashing fresh airstrikes immediately after Zuma flew out of the Libyan capital.
According to NATO figures, American and European air forces have conducted 9,183 sorties since March 31.
The mounting death toll exposes NATO claims about “protecting the people of Libya.” A further escalation is being prepared
James Petras, in Washington’s long war against Africa reminds us:
The Obama regime’s invasion and bombing of Libya is a continuation of a longstanding imperial practice designed to enhance U.S. power via the installation of client regimes, the establishment of military bases and the training and indoctrination of African mercenary forces dubbed “collaborative partners.” There is no question that there is a rising tide of imperial militarism in the U.S. over the past several decades.
Most of the U.S.’ African empire is disproportionally built on military links to client military chiefs. The Pentagon has military ties with 53 African countries – including Libya prior to the current attack.
AFRICOM, despite its assigned role as a vehicle for spreading imperial influence, has been more successful in destroying countries than in gaining resources and power bases. The war against Somalia, displacing and killing millions and costing hundreds of millions of dollars, enters its 20th year, with no victory in sight.
Apart from the longest standing U.S. neo-colony, Liberia, there is no country willing to allow AFRICOM to set up headquarters. Most significantly, AFRICOM was unprepared for the overthrow of key client regimes in Tunisia and Egypt – important “partners” in patrolling the North African Mediterranean, the Arabian coast and the Red Sea.
The continent-wide presence of AFRICOM has been matched by its incapacity to convert “partnerships” into effective proxy conquerors. The attempt to foster “civil-military” programs has failed to secure any popular base for corrupt collaborator regimes, valued for their willingness to provide imperial cannon fodder.
The continuing North African uprising overthrew the public face of the imperial backed dictatorships. As the popular Arab revolt spreads to the Gulf and deepens its demands to include socio-economic as well as political demands, the Empire struck back. AFRICOM backed the assault on Libya, the crackdown on the prodemocracy movement by the ruling military junta in Egypt and looks to its autocratic “partners” in the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula to drown the civil society movements in a blood bath.
The growing militarization of U.S. imperial policy in North Africa and the Gulf is leading to a historic confrontation between the Arab democratic revolution and the imperial backed satraps; between Libyans fighting for their independence and the Euro-American naval and air forces ravaging the country on behalf of their inept local clients.
Twice the African Union has tried to resolve the Libyan conflict peacefully, and both times it has been resoundingly ignored and rebuffed. Whether the subject is banking or oil or water or China, it is quite clear that US/NATO sees Libya’s successs and independence as bad example for the rest of Africa and a threat to US hegemony. Ordinary citizens and leaders in Africa should view the Libyan intervention as a serious threat to their independence and success, now and in the future, a threat to the well-being of the entire continent. R2P, the Rush To Plunder is on, for banking, for oil, for minerals, for water and for land.