CPDM Midlands: The Celebration of Failure & Mediocrity

The past week has been the most challenging week I have had in many years. I happened to be at two places that ultimately challenged my sanity. First, it was on Monday at the Cameroon High Commission in London and Second, it was at an event, which turned out to be meeting of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM – which happens to be the ‘ruling’ political party of Cameroon) in Birmingham.

Let me begin with the High Commission.

Deplorable Home Away from Home

I was unfortunate to have lost my Passport in Birmingham a week ago and so against my best wishes, had to make a trip to the Cameoroon High Commission to apply for a replacement.

First, I went to the website to get the information I needed. As expected, it was an eyesore and seemed to carry information mostly about President Paul Biya and his speeches, and very little about the Country and its people. I grabbed a phone number from there to make a call to confirm what documents I was to carry along since there was only a poor copy of a PDF on the Website which was dated February 2, 2010. The phone rang many times over a period of a few days that I tried but either no one took it, or I was passed through an extension, to which there was no one to respond. I therefore made the trip armed only with the information gotten from the website.

High Commission Front View

Upon arrival, my worse fears were confirmed. First, I was greeted in French (absurd because Cameroon is supposed to be a Bilingual Country and given that the UK is predominantly English Speaking, I assumed naturally English should be the first language).

Secondly, I noticed the place was as run down as most places in Cameroon. There was no order, and the person in charge of processing applications could barely manage English.

Thirdly, I discovered nothing about the information provided on the website were accurate. The amount of money I had to pay was higher and they did not take any other form of payment other than cash, so an ATM I noticed on the way there became handy; there was no photocopier there so I had to go on the High Street to make copies of documents; there was no photographer as indicated, so I had to go and get photos elsewhere.

Then the worst happened, while I had been sitting there for over an hour waiting for my turn, the daughter of one of the employees came for her own application and she was ushered in and served while those of us who were there before her, waited. Nepotism or Premium Service?

Finally the forms I was supposed to fill out were barely legible. They seemed to be copies of an original document made in the ’70s with a typewriter. I found myself thrown back to Cameroon where every form of development and innovation seems to have been halted in 1982 when the current administration took power. High Commission Sign

The notion of a place being ‘home away from home’ most often carried a positive connotation for me but for the first time, I thought of it in a negative light. It was there with a sigh of relief that I walked out of that High Commission after many hours. I felt like I had just left Cameroon to London.

I thought my week will end in a good note and I will have that nightmare behind me after a friend invited me to a Cameroonian event in Birmingham. I was in for another shocker!

CPDM West Midlands: Sycophancy at Its Best!

I have lived under the mistaken assumption that no right-thinking young Cameroonian will support Biya’s government or the CPDM, especially those in the diaspora. I have always made the argument that the only people who will actively support a regime that has nothing to offer the Cameroon Youth other than fake promises. I was utterly wrong on all counts!

CPDM Event Hall

When I arrived the event venue and realised it as a CPDM affair, my first impulse was to get into my car and leave. Curiosity however got the better part of me. I went in to listen to the speeches that were being made. Two things immediately stood out!

First, the speeches were made, not for the audience seated in the hall but for another audience which a keen mind will easily decipher!

It was not surprising therefore that after salutations where made in English, the main speeches were in French and consisted in a large part of praising Biya and his ‘wonderful achievements’.

Speech

Many questions however went through my mind when a reliable source told me that the venue cost a whooping £1000 meaning it was about £100 an hour. The event started two hours later than intended yet no one was bothered about the money being wasted. So who was paying for this lavish praise-singing event? There was enough food and very expensive drinks, but I heard no one talk about contributions. Your guess is as good as mine – the Cameroon tax-payers were paying for this event as is always the case the every CPDM event!

While the night was full of many obscenities, one particularly made me sad. At a point, one of the leaders, after praising Biya for many things including making Cameroon one of the most peaceful countries in Africa (which happens to be the most naive thing to say), called on all present to stand and sing Biya a song of praise. Almost 90% of the hall stayed in their seats – when he asked everyone to stand for the anthem, he got a whole house! Question then is: if they do not believe in what they say and represent; if they do not think Biya is worthy of a standing praise; why do they still wear the CPDM uniform which carries nothing but Biya’s image? 

This question was answered by another reliable source before I left the event: IN CAMEROON, THE ONLY ACHIEVEMENT THAT WILL BE MOST RESPECTED ON A CV, IS TO WEAR THE CPDM UNIFORM AND PROFESS TO BE A MEMBER! 

I guess people like us will never get jobs in that country – unless we decide to wait for that time, very soon when all with change!

 

Paul Biya: Opium of the Cameroon Youth

One of the most oft quoted phrases by Karl Marx comes from the passage in which he derides and praises religion at the same time. While the title of this post already indicates that I intend to equate Biya’s role in the life of the Cameroon youth to what Marx considers the effect of religion on people, I will want to make it clear ab initio that every negative thing that Marx said about religion’s effect on human consciousness can hold true for Biya’s effect on the life of the Cameroon youth. However, there is none of the positives that Marx attributes to religion that could be attributed to Biya.  Marx calls religion  the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation.  I will look at these different attributes one after the other.

Unification Monument

The Sigh of the oppressed creature

Marx is of the opinion that religion’s purpose is to create illusory fantasies for the poor, while socio-economic realities prevent them from finding true happiness in this life,  and so religion tells them that this is fine because they will find true happiness in the next life. For over 32 years, this is exactly what Biya has been doing to Cameroonians, especially the younger generation. Every year on the 10th of February, he makes a speech in which he exhorts the youths to hope and strive for better things to come. Names such ‘grandes ambitions’ [greater ambition], ‘grandes realisations’ [greater achievements], and ‘grande chantier’ [vast construction site], are all too popular with Biya’s never realisable visions for Cameroon. February 11 happens to be the day the Plebcite was held in 1961 to decide to fate of Southern Cameroons and today it is being celebrated as Youth Day but the best description would be Le jour de grands discours non réalisés – [The day of great unrealisable speeches]. 

The logic of the celebration is still hazy but nevertheless Biya has so succeeded in making it a tradition in Cameroon whereby every young person thinks the apogee of success is to get a meagre job in the civil service. The list is endless, of young people who waste their lives working towards one goal only – entering the Cameroonian Civil service. But unfortunately, since the service is so poor that it cannot employ every Cameroonian, the result is a comatose economy where youth unemployment is on a steady rise.

The Spirit of the Spiritless Condition

Marx is of the view that religion is irrational. His argument is that religion is a delusion and a worship of appearances that avoids recognizing underlying reality. In one of my posts on Biya, I already showed how delusional he is. This would not have been a problem in itself but just as Marx says that religion negates all that is dignified in a human being by rendering them servile and more amenable to accepting the status quo so does Biya strive to achieve the same of young Cameroonians.

For example, in the 32 years that Biya has been president of Cameroon, Cameroonians, especially the younger generation have grown accustomed to his rather atypical pattern of governance that defies every convention. Biya announced on December 31, 2011 that the 50th anniversary of Cameroon’s re-unification would be celebrated in October 2012 in Buea, the Southwest Regional capital. The significance of this could have been because Buea is the former capital of Cameroon or perhaps because he simply wanted to get a reason to visit this part of the country that is almost forgotten by his administration. This notwithstanding, it is clear that there is no rationale for such a celebration because British Southern Cameroon and French North Cameroun got their Cameroon is Unitedindependence (which is still debated in certain quarters with regards to the case of the Southern Cameroons)  on 1st October 1961 which is exactly 52+ years afterwards. That Biya finally made his appearance, after several adhoc cancellations, on February 20 of 2014, and yet no one questioned the illogicality of the celebration is reason enough to weep for the future of Cameroonians.

I have just watched how people came out like sheep to celebrate the reunification monument erected during this visit, even when the question of there been a united Cameroon still remains unanswered. It is sad to see that few dared question if it was still a 50 year celebration when it was actually taking place after over two years later for unexplained reasons.It is even sadder to have noticed from the pictures that the streets of Buea were given a facelift and whitewashed just to give Biya an impression that all was going on well whereas it is not the case.

In all this, the only winner is Biya, because when a people have been so oppressed and depersonalised that they live in awe and fear of a leader who adds nothing but misery to their lives, an opportunity to go out and see him becomes a cause for celebration.

 The heart of a heartless world?

Although Marx feels religion is the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through himself, or has already lost himself again, he credits religion with being the heart of a heartless world.

However, Marx feels that the abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness and this perhaps may have inspired Biya’s decision to order the closure of nearly 100 Christian churches in key cities of Cameroon sometime in August 2013, claiming that the activities of pentecostal pastors was a threat to National security. How this is the case beats any sound imagination.

While it may be true that there are many unscrupulous ‘men of God’ and Churches which pose a threat to any people’s conscious efforts to fight for their betterment, the real question should be what makes people vulnerable to religious scams. It is not a secret that the most poor people and the most religious, hence, the proliferation of palliative doctrines can only have an effect where there is much hopelessness. The heartlessness of the religious world could be very true in some countries but Cameroon is really not one where religion as yet poses a security problem. Biya, rather than blaming the Churches should ask the right question: Why are people going to these churches if they pose a security threat?

The Real Threat

The real threat to Cameroon’s security is no other than Biya and his system of governance. Every year, he makes speeches in which he promises jobs. What he does not say is that these will be only in the public sector, through the recruitment of soldiers, professional school leavers such as teachers, warders,
nurses and magistrates who for the most part had stayed at home for years after their training. The fact that little is done in the private sector can account for the stagnation of the Cameroon economy. That is a threat to security.

There is no gainsaying the fact that if nothing is done to curb the downward trend in Cameroon, the country stands the risk of loosing its best and brightest young men and women to either foreign citizenships (for those lucky enough to obtain this) or to despondency and lack of vision (for those who are unfortunate to be caught in the web of Biya’s dirty politics). This is the biggest threat to the future of Cameroon.

The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon: Symptom of a Country in Travail

Introduction

There may be a relationship between good governance of a country and the performance of the national football team. Of course this is arguably a logic that may not hold true in most cases, but I do not want to simply sweep the possibility under the carpet. The dismal performance in the past few years, of the Cameroonian National Football team, fondly called the ‘Indomitable Lions’, may seem to the casual observer as one of the manifestations of the cyclic nature of history where institutions rise and fall. But to a person who takes a closer look at the last 3 decades, it is no isolated incident in the history of a country that seems to be marked for extinction.

The humiliating defeat on October, 14th, 2012, of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, a country of over 20 million, by the tiny Island of Cape Verde, a country of about 500,000 people, was not the first, but one of a series of manifestations of the imminent collapse of not just the national team but the country itself. The size of a country may not really matter in a game of football but the history of any institution does matter.

The Rise and Stagger of the Indomitable Lions

1990 - Oman Biyik lifts the team up
1990 – Oman Biyik lifts the team up

The entry of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon into the hall of Fame was in 1982 when they first played at the FIFA World Cup Finals. The team has made more appearances than any other African team for the FIFA World Cup, 1982, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010, and are credited for being the first African team to reach the quarter-final of the World Cup, in 1990, losing to England in injury time. However, it would seem the team sustained an injury during that time that has become difficult to heal. This is because the injury was not sustained in the field but off-the field as the makers of the Cameroon Polity saw it as an opportunity to get the team entangled in its politics of corruption and underdevelopment.[1]

In 1994 Cameroonians united as never before and maybe, never again on a common goal – supporting the Indomitable Lions. The Opération coup de Coeur launched by the then Prime Minister Simon Achidi Achu and the then Minister of Communication Augustin Kontchou Kouomegni, as a National Fundraiser to support the Indomitable Lions’ USA Campaign, came against the backdrop of the country’s refusal to disburse funds for the team that had made the Nation proud four years previously. [2] The operation was a resounding success as Cameroonians from all walks of life donated their widow’s mites that made up the 4 million that paradoxically, never reached the Indomitable Lions.  When asked of the whereabouts of the money, Kouomegni simply said: “l’argent s’est perdue quelque part dans le ciel entre Paris et New York[3] (Pigeaud, 2011, p 195). Kontchou’s crass remarks went unquestioned, while a journalist earned a suspension for daring to mention J. A. Bell[4]’s criticism of the infamous comments.

With such a gross act of broad daylight robbery against the Cameroonian people, little wonder the Lions had a terrible campaign in the USA suffering the worst defeat of recent memory to Russia, albeit with Roger Miller, scoring the lone goal and making history as the oldest player to have played and scored at the world cup.[5] One would have thought that this would be the end of the Indomitable Lions, but as their name signifies, they were not daunted. In 1998, they made another attempt on the World stage, which again failed to replicate the results of 1990, but two years later in the year 2000, the squad won the Nation’s first-ever gold at the Olympics in Sydney and it seemed to have signalled a new dawn for the team.

Squad of World Cup 1990
Squad of World Cup 1990

Reinvigorated, the team won the African Cup of Nations and came top of their group in the 2002 world cup qualifies but again, 1990 seemed to be a long time gone in to history as they produced yet another heartbreaking result for Cameroonian. However, the win of the African cup of Nations meant that in 2003, they were to participate in the FIFA Confederations Cup. The Lions put up their best performance in a competition outside of Africa but unfortunately, by the 72nd minute of the semi-final between Cameroon and Colombia, Marc-Vivien Foé collapsed and was pronounced dead a few hours later. Cameroon lost to France in the finals. This loss seemed to close the curtains on the Indomitable

2003 - Foe left the pitch never to return
2003 – Foe left the pitch never to return

Lions, as a team.

They failed to qualify for the 2006 world cup, (the first time since 1990 and the second since 1982), had their worst ever World Cup campaign in 2010 and have failed to qualify two consecutive times for the African Cup of Nations.[6]

The indomitable Lions and Biya’s Regime: The parallel

1982 is definitely an important year for the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon and Cameroon’s 2nd President, Paul Biya. While the Lions made their debut in the World Cup, Biya made his debut as president of the country. Both events however, could only have been possible through skilful planning of previous years – the former, because the Ahmadou Ahidjo regime had the largesse to host the 1972 African Nations Cup (the only tournament the country has hosted in the last 40 years), which ostensibly meant the provision of infrastructure of better training and preparation, and the latter because Ahidjo ‘loved’ Cameroon so much that he decided to resign and hand over power on grounds of ill-health. [7]

6 Terms for Biya - 6 Lions appearances at the World Cup
6 Terms for Biya – 6 Lions appearances at the World Cup

Diminishing returns seemed to have set in rather too early for both the team and the regime. One failed to qualify for the 1986 World Cup, and the other drove the economy to a crisis. The “Cameroon economic crises” resulted in rising prices in Cameroon, trade deficits, and loss of government revenue. The crisis was officially acknowledged by the Cameroon government in 1987. While external observers and critics blamed poor government stewardship of the economy, the government instead placed the blame on the fall of the prices of exports, particularly a steep drop in the price of petroleum. Cameroon balked at the condition to follow strict cost-cutting suggestions laid out by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and took a seemingly wise decision to formulate her own plan, which turned out in principle, to be not much different from that proposed earlier.

As was to be expected these measures met with international approval, but violent crime rose as a result of the increase in unemployment. Cameroon’s plan failed to curb corruption. By October, 1988, the intended effect was less than had been hoped, and Cameroon was left with no other option than to agree to an IMF aid package worth $150 million and to accept a structural adjustment program (SAP) loan. The African Development Bank, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom loaned the government further funds (Delancey and Delancey, 2000). In the midst of this entire economic quagmire, the Lions bounced back and qualified for the 1990 World Cup finals.

The winds of change blowing across the world in 1990 did not leave out the Indomitable Lions and Biya’s government. On May, 26th 1990, the launching of the Social Democratic Front (SDF) meant the end of Biya’s one-party rule. The euphoria of the SDF launching was however, clouded by the success of the National team in the 1990 World Cup finals.

The 1992 presidential elections which the SDF allegedly won but was denied by the Biya government had been preceded in March of the same year with the appointment of Simon Achidi Achu[8], as the first Anglophone Prime Minister[9]. While the intention was to effectively orchestrate a dived-and-rule policy, Achu became the person to initiate and launch the 1994 Opération coup de Coeur. The outcome of the fundraiser clearly epitomises the level of Cameroonian politics and how festered it is by corruption. That both Achu and Kouomegni have never been called to answer for the disappearance of the said money, and given that upon leaving the Prime Ministry in 1996, the former has held many more positions of responsibility are only indications of how Biya’s government rewards corruption with better appointments. But corruption, like any dangerous virus, leaves a scar in its wake.

Thirty Years of ‘Undevelopment’

A trip I made across six of the ten regions of Cameroon, (Littoral, South West, Adamawa, North West, West and Centre) in September, 2011, revealed exactly what the country typifies. While it is fondly called ‘Africa in Miniature’ because of its diversity and richness, it also embodies the plight of the African continent. I was stunned to find this rich nation, an exporter of petroleum and many natural resources steeped in the morass of poverty and dilapidation. The effects of 30 years of rapacious political leadership, political patronage, large scale corruption, abject poverty, structural injustice, executive recklessness, total abuse of human rights and the widespread abuse of power were all too evident. [10]

Typical Cameroonian Road
Typical Cameroonian Road

 

The Cameroon polity and its National team both stand as the quintessence of the Marxian class society, the gargantuan disparity of privilege for a very tiny class, misery for the vast populace.[11] The sombre clouds of such a dismal reality, coupled with corruption across the government and governing body of FECAFOOT, to the failed promises made to Marc Vivien who died in the battlefield are reasons enough to destroy the fighting spirit of even the bravest lion.

When a child is born in a country, and grows up to realise that the only positive variable is their age, while everything else is held constant or diminishing; when a young person grows up to see roads and other transportation networks disappearing and becoming death-traps; when such a person, sees basic amenities like water and electricity supply drop in an age of increasing technological advancement in other parts of the world and all they hear from a stagnant political class are empty speeches about a ‘Cameroon of Great Ambitions’; when a young man grows in a country and believes that the only way to be successful is to travel to another; when the only thing that a country is known for is football and when this begins to dwindle into oblivion, then it is time to weep  for such a country.

Results of 30 Years of 'Great Ambitions'
Results of 30 Years of ‘Great Ambitions’

Conclusion

If anyone is wondering where I am going with this analysis, then, wonder no further than the Mo Ibrahim Foundation Index of African Governance which awards a $5 million Prize to a democratically elected former African head of state or government, who governed well, raised living standards, and then voluntarily left office.. This Index ranks African countries by progress across 88 indicators in four categories: safety and the rule of law, participation and human rights, sustainable economic opportunity and human development. While Cape Verde in 2012 came 2nd, Cameroon came 37th. [12]

Last year, in 2011, Cape Verde President Pedro Verona Pires won the prize while Paul Biya of Cameroon won another 7-year term in office, after 29 years. In 2012, it should not have been surprising then that Cape Verde beat the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon to qualify for the African Nations Cup. Hence, if one were attempting to look at the correlation between good governance and good performance in football, look no further than the case of Cameroon and Cape Verde.

Notes

[1][1] See Fanny Pigeaud, (2011) Au Cameroun de Paul Biya Paris: Editions Karthala, http://www.amazon.fr/cameroun-Paul-Biya-Fanny-Pigeaud/dp/2811105263#reader_2811105263

[2] Pambazuka News, “What makes Biya’s despotic regime tick” http://pambazuka.org/en/category/books/77469

[3] Translation: “The money got missing somewhere in the sky between Paris and New York”.

[4] One of the goalkeepers of the Indomitable Lions

[5] FIFA.COM Roger Milla, the pride of the Indomitable Lions http://www.fifa.com/classicfootball/players/player=79318/index.html

[6]APA News  Cameroon knocked out of CAN qualifiers http://www.apanews.net/photo/en/photo.php?id=185889

[7] Mark W. Delancey and Mark Dike Delancey, (2000) Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Cameroon, 3rd. ed., Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow Press

[8] from the same Bamenda where the SDF was launched

[10] See for example Banda, C. (2012) Much Needs To Be Done About Human Rights In Cameroon http://www.cameroonpostline.com/Content.aspx?ModuleID=1&ItemID=9326

[11] See allAfrica.com Cameroon: Fecafoot to Construct Ultra-modern Office http://allafrica.com/stories/201211141181.html

[12] Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance 2012 Summary http://www.moibrahimfoundation.org/downloads/2012-IIAG-summary-report.pdf

French – Africa Policy: Damages to African and European Economies

Cfa map

The first port-of-call towards getting real development in Africa, will be to dispel the myth that political independence was fully won by the Africans from their former colonial masters. This is simply because political independence could never have been achieved in a situation of gross economic dependence especially in the case of former French colonies. The granting of formal political independence by the colonial powers to their erstwhile colonies, was (with a few exceptions), never the achievements of popular based national liberation movements as is commonly understood but rather the result of a compromise reached between the former colonial powers and an almost negligible African bourgeoisie they created. A compromise aimed at continuing the dependent-satellite status on a new basis and in the face of growing challenges to the international capitalist system.

One of such is the French policy of Assimilation that claimed to have ended but in reality created monetary Unions that have continued to have their former colonies trapped in poverty. Amilcar Cabral in his work, The Struggle in Guinea, clearly states that decolonization gave western imperialism a new lease on life by permitting the continued economic exploitation of the African states through indirect means. In other words, decolonization has made it possible for an alliance between the local bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie of the capitalist metropoles to emerge-an alliance which, on the one hand permits the local bourgeoisie to share in the benefits derived from the continued exploitation of their countries by western capitalism and on the other hand, frees the capitalists from the onus of direct domination of these countries.

Cabral’s position is given greater credence by this compelling write-up by Dr. Christof Lehman, who uses historical and contemporary evidence to x-ray the plight of Francophone Africa and the far-reaching consequences on the whole European Economy.

French Africa Policy Damages African and European Economies.

 Since the independence of the former French colonies in western Africa they are in spite of the richness of their natural resources and the productivity of their populations still catastrophically under-developed. In 2007 the French and European economies began deteriorated into a devastating recession. France seems to be like a man who is standing at the edge of a cliff, transfixed by the thought of falling into the abyss. In fear of losing the lucrative racket of controlling the western African economies he forgets that there is Terra firma and a possibility for both French, European and African prosperity behind him. Africans and leading European politicians expected that the administration of President Hollande would bring much-needed change with respect to French control over the economies of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea Bisau, Mali, Niger, the Republic of Congo, Senegal and Togo. However, also Hollande´s administration seems to be so transfixed by the prospect of falling into the abyss that it does not fathom the possibility of taking one step back. Will France remain transfixed in fear and drag western Africa and Europe with it when it falls or does it dare to loosen up its grip on control over the good old CFA racket in its former colonies and discover the true potential and value of the African markets. As painful as it may be, the primary prerequisite for a progressive development and prosperity is the truth about the current state of affairs.

The root causes for the lacking development of the western African economies are closely related to the fact that France, contrary to other former colonial powers, managed to install its commissars at the heart of its former colonies economic and monetary system and that it still maintains almost unchallenged control over them. The system was created by German National Socialists during the 1930s and 40s. It was used to usurp France and other German occupied nations.

The Genesis of the CFA-System in Nazi Germany and the German Occupation of France.

On 9 May 1941 Hemmen, the German Ambassador to France declared that he had signed a treaty with the French Admiral Darlan. The treaty would place German commissars within the French National Bank´s departments for foreign currencies and international commerce.(1) The treaty was negotiated under the auspices of German Minister of Finance Herman Göring, whose father, Heinrich Ernst Göring has been the German Governor of German West Africa, today’s Namibia, from 1885 to 1890. Herman Göring was among other notorious for his plundering the occupied nations economies through operations accounts and for his special interest in treasures and art from the German occupied areas.

At the end of World War II and the occupation of France, the French President Charles de Gaulle created the CFA Franc as a currency for the western African colonies. De Gaulle created a monetary union whose functions of control were based on the model Germany had used to usurp German occupied France.

Even though the colonies have since gained independence the system of almost absolute control over their economies by installment of commissars in the Central Banks of the western African Monetary and Economic Unions, the B.E.A.C., the B.C.C., and the B.C.E.A.O. persists.

Modo-Colonialism, the Veto Right of French Commissars over African Economies

Together, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, the Republic of Congo, Senegal and Togo, establish the Monetary and Economic Union of West Africa (U.M.O.A.). Their currency, the CFA-Franc is printed under supervision of the French National Bank in Charmaliéres, France. The Council of Presidents of the fifteen U.M.O.A. member states constitutes the highest authority of the union and decisions of the Presidential Council are made unanimously. The Ministerial Council of the U.M.O.A. defines the monetary and credit policy of the union and it is responsible for the economic development of the region. According to the constitutions of all fifteen member states the creation of their currency, the regulation of its value as well as the regulation of parities and modalities is the exclusive privilege of the nation and its people and decisions about it are made by the parliament.

The placement of French commissars within the heart of the nations and the unions banking system however, creates an obvious dichotomy between the apparent sovereignty of the union, its constituents, and direct control from the previous colonial power.

Three of the thirteen of the Directors of the B.E.A.C. are French and four of the eight Directors of the B.C.C. are French. The Board of Directors of the B.C.E.A.O. is constituted by sixteen Directors; two from each country plus two additional Directors from France who take part in the management of the bank under the same conditions and with the same privileges as the other Directors. The number and placement of the commissars gives them a Veto right at the board of each of the Central Banks. No decision can be made without their approval and France can enforce its policy by threatening to deadlock the economies unless decisions are made in compliance with French suggestions.

The French Veto right also extends to the nomination of the Governor of the B.E.A.C.. The Governor is elected with the unanimous vote of the Board of Directors, on suggestion of the government of Gabon, and after the approval of the other member states as well as France.(2)

The Central Bank does not only have the privilege to create the currency. It also has the privilege to grant credits for the current accounts of the national treasuries at its discount rate. The Board of Directors is making the decisions about the temporalities and about the total amount that is granted for financing the economies of each of the member states.

 Feeding France, Bleeding Africa – Current Accounts and the System of Usurpation.

While the primary instrument of control is the installment of French commissars, the primary instrument for usurping the western African economies is their current accounts. The member states agree to deposit their foreign currency reserves in a shared reserve fund.

The foreign currency reserves are subject to deposition in an operations account at the French National Bank. Between 1945 and 1973 one hundred per cent of the foreign currency reserves had to be deposited in the operations account, in 1973 it was reduced to sixty-five, and on 27. September 2005 to fifty per cent. (3) Another fifteen per cent are kept in a guarantee fund.

In other words sixty-five per cent of all foreign currency reserves of the fifteen nations and all revenue generated outside of the union’s territory are kept at the French National Bank. On 3 May 2010 the website of Jeune Afrique quotes the former French Minister of Finance and Commerce, Christine Lagarde: “The Bank of the States of Central Africa, for instance, places almost 90 per cent of their reserves in the French National Bank”. (4)

In 1960 Jean Boissonat, a member of the currency committee of the French National Bank wrote: “Almost all decisions were made in France  … The Franc Zone allowed France to deliver certain natural resources to itself without having to spend any foreign reserves. It was estimated that this represented two hundred and fifty million US-Dollar savings in terms of foreign reserves per year …” Boissonat continues by stating that approximately half a million Frenchmen in Paris receive their means of survival from the Franc Zone.(5)

The French socialist Jean-Noël Jeanny wrote in 1963 that: “all that the African nations achieve by increasing their export is the generation of more foreign currency reserves for France”.(6) He could as well have added “and the creation of debt for themselves”. Beside profiting on African foreign currency reserves which are returned to the West African nations in the form of debt, France is also profiting from African gold.

The gold reserves of the fifteen nations are kept in France, supposedly to guaranty for the value of the CFA Franc. In 2001 the West-African gold reserves at the French National Bank had an estimated value of 206,528 billion CFA Franc. In an interview for Le Liberation in 1996 the late President of Gabon, Omar Bongo said: “We are in the Franc Zone. Our operations accounts are managed by the French National Bank in Paris. Who profits from the interests that our money generates? France.” (7)

France is indebting and enslaving Africans by means of Africa’s own wealth; for example:

12.0000 billion invested at three per cent creates 360 billion in interests which France grants as credits to Africa at an interest rate of five to six per cent or more. The allegory of “Bleeding Africa and Feeding France” is no exaggeration, not alarmist, and not revolutionary. It is a sobering fact of French modo-colonialism and the cost in terms of under-development and human suffering is staggering. The current accounts and the French usurpation are a humanitarian disaster that is induced by France and financed by those who are suffering from it.

 Coups, Crisis and French Finance-Nazism in Africa.

In 1996 France devalued the CFA Franc in spite of the protest of most western African nations. Former French Prime Minister Eduard Balladour justified the French dictated devaluation of the CFA Franc because “ it was considered to be the best possibility for aiding the development of the western African countries” (8), even though another statement by Balladoure indicates that he was aware of that the regulation of a currency is a matter of national sovereignty(9).

The late President of Togo, Etienne Gnassingbé said about the devaluation: “One used to say that violence overrules justice. I was not the only one who issued the warning….. but France has decided otherwise. The African voices don´t count for much in this affair”.(10)

The words of the late Etienne Gnassingbé indicate that the Bleeding of Africa can be taken literally. According to the statutes of the monetary and economic union every member state is free to leave it. So much to theory. In practice, France has left a trail of post-modern coup d’états, violence, and murder in those nations who tried to get out from under what many West-Africans perceive as French Finance-Nazism in Africa.

In January 1963 the President of Togo, the late Sylvanus Olympio was murdered three days before the issuing of a new currency.

On 19th November 1968 the late President of Mali Modibo Kéita was ousted in a coup and arrested. In 1977 Modibo Kéita died in prison. Kéita was poisoned.

On 27th January 1996 the President of Mali was ousted in a military coup d´etat.

On 15th March 2003 the late President of the Central African Republic Angè Félix Patassé was ousted by the “rebel leader” Francois Bozizé. In all cases the monetary union and France have played a role.

Ivory Coast´s President Laurent Gbagbo, France, the ICC and Modo-Colonialism.

When Laurent Gbagbo became the President of Ivory Coast one of his first official initiatives was the erection of a concrete wall in the tunnel that connects the French Embassy with the Presidential Residence. Gbagbo wanted Ivory Coast to abandon the CFA and institute a new regional and if possible a Pan-African, gold-backed currency. The initiative toward the establishment of a gold-backed Pan-African currency enjoyed the sympathy of many African nations and enjoyed unequivocal support from Libya, which until the so-called Arab Spring in 2011 was the richest and most developed of all African nations.

As if it was a conditioned reflex, France seemed transfixed by is fear of falling into the abyss, of losing the CFA racket that has kept the French economy afloat since it was conceived by de Gaulle in 1945. Rather than seeing a potential, France was biding its time until an opportunity for a post-modern coup d’état. The 2010 Presidential elections in Ivory Coast provided this opportunity. France sided with Alessanne Outtara. Libyan intelligence reports from 2009 and 2010 indicated that the French Intelligence Service D.G.S.E. had begun infiltrating, financing and arming a group of “rebels” in the northern region of Ivory Coast.

The outcome of the Presidential election was apparently very close. The electoral commission declared Alessanne Outtara the winner but the election result was disputed by Laurent Gbagbo.

There had been registered serious irregularities. In one particular village with a population of approximately ten thousand, Alessanne Outtara seemed to have received almost one hundred thousand votes.

Western mainstream media began building a narrative: The electoral commission had declared Outtara to be the winner. The despotic Laurent Gbagbo refused to hand over the reins of power to the winner of the elections. Gbagbo is cracking down on peaceful protesters. Gbagbo is cornered in his bunker…

What western media generally failed to report, underreported, or conveyed in a distorted and strongly biased fashion was that: Laurent Gabgbo and his party had brought the case to the Supreme Court; that the Supreme Court of Ivory Coast had recounted the votes; that the Supreme Court had taken notice of election fraud in favour of Outtara; and that the Supreme Court of Ivory Coast had declared Laurent Gbagbo to be the winner of the elections and the rightfully elected President of Ivory Coast. That French-backed guerrilla began attacking predominantly pro-Gbagbo villages, committing massacres, and that French backed “rebels” were attacking the Presidential Residence.

What was emphatically reported in French and western media like the BBC was that “security forces” clamped down on peaceful protesters, and that “Ouattara´s Army” is cornering “Gbagbo in his bunker”.(11)

Nobody seemed to ask the important question. Where in the world had Outtara, who just claimed to have won the elections, gotten an “army” from?

It is symptomatic for the high prevalence of racism and condescending modo-colonialist reasoning among European populations that only very few commentators and analysts said:

“But the electoral commission is not the one who has the competence to approve of election results, it is the Supreme Court”.

A comparison can illustrate the point: When George W. Bush and Al Gore had the closest of all elections that have been held in the United States of America; who certified the election? The Supreme Court, of course. (12)

Many Americans felt utterly disenfranchised but the population respected the Supreme Court. Could anyone have even thought about the remote possibility of “Al Gore´s Army cornering Bush in his Bunker” of “Gore neglecting the Supreme Court because the electoral commission had pronounced him to be the winner?” And where in the world would Al Gore have gotten his army from anyways? And where did Alessanne Outtara get his army from?

The capture of Laurent Gbagbo cost the lives of approximately 1.600 young Ivorian soldiers. Young patriots who were willing to defend the President of Ivory Coast from the onslaught of a French-backed post-modern coup d’état. The capture an arrest of President Laurent Gbagbo was possible only after French Special Forces violated international law by blasting a hole into the wall which Laurent Gbagbo had erected inside the tunnel that connects the French embassy with the Presidential residence.

The sealed boxes with the ballots from the 2010 elections are kept at the United Nations. So far U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has failed to order an independent re-count of the ballots. The fact that the United Nations has so far failed to re-count the ballots to determine the legitimacy of either Laurent Gbagbo´s or Alessanne Outtara´s claim for the Ivorian Presidency, combined with the selective and one-sided prosecution of Laurent Gbagbo at the ICC and of military officers who were loyal to him in 2010 is symptomatic for grave systemic and procedural problems at the United Nations and the International Criminal Court at The Hague. The case against Laurent Gbagbo ought to have been dismissed on the basis of selective prosecution from the very start. His prosecution at the ICC after French involvement in the aggravation of post-election violence in Ivory Coast and the arrest with the aid of French Special Forces is a blatant example for the abuse of the ICC as an instrument of modo-colonialist control. The most recent selectively prosecuted case is that against General Dogbo Ble in Ivory Coast. Also here western media are de-facto sentencing a political opponent of modo-colonialism before he is even heard in court.(13)

A recent analysis of the systemic and political problems with the ICC, the United Nations, the Rome Statute and the explosion of international law at its very root by Dr. Hans Köchler (14) reads as if it was written to elicit the injustice that is being perpetrated against Laurent Gbagbo and the people of Ivory Coast.

Missed Chances for African and European Economies and the Urgency of Change.

A growing number of African and European leaders are becoming impatient about the paralysis of France. African leaders are impatient because the obvious usurpation of their nations is unbearable for the African economies and their populations. European leaders are mostly impatient because France prevents a European adaptation to the last decades geo-political changes in Africa and because the crisis of the Euro requires initiative rather than stagnation. Failure to integrate the western African economies into the economic sphere of Europe is bound to have devastating long term consequences for both Africa and Europe.

China has recognized the colossal market potential of a developing African middle class. The French and Trans-Atlantic model of usurpation and subjugation is not only criminal and unethical, it is also uncompetitive.

Recent statements made by the French political heavyweight Jacques Chiraq, who said that France does not have to be a benefactor, it must merely stop usurping Africa, are indicating a potential for change. Chiraq stated that failure to change French-African relations can have catastrophic consequences. 2012 Presidential candidate Jean Luc Mélenon stated that the CFA represents the severe mistake not to tie the western African economies to the economies of the European Union. Mélenon demanded that France abandons its veto right at the Boards of the African Central Banks.

The European Council stated that France is blocking for any project of the European Central Bank that attempts to change the nature or the bearing of the French involvement in the western African Central Banks. The French approach to managing French-African relations is not only bleeding Africa. It is increasingly bleeding both the French and European economies that are missing out on the market potential of an emerging African middle class.

Some political analysts have suggested the establishment of an African-European Peace and Reconciliation Commission that is dealing with the crimes of the past, the building of trust, the review of highly politicized cases at the International Criminal Court, such as the prosecution of Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo to ease a transition toward new African-European relations.

The question for this and the coming year is whether France will continue standing at the edge of the cliff and fall while dragging both western Africa and Europe into the abyss together with it, or if it dares to listen to the voices of reason from Africa and its European partners, turn its gaze away from the abyss and see that there is fertile land, right behind it.

Dr. Christof Lehmann

 I want to express my recognition and gratitude to Prof. Nicolas Agbohou. The historical context of the article and references about it are inspired by his speech at the Conference on African-French Relations in Paris City Hall, on 09 October 2012. – Dr. Christof Lehmann.

Notes:

1)      Pierre Arnold (1951), Les finances de la France et l´occupation Allemande.

2)      Artikel 3 de la BEAC.

3)      Article 2 of the Agreement about Operations Accounts between France and the African Nations within the Franc Zone (PAZF).

4)      Website of Jeune Afrique, 03. Mai 2010.

5)      Jean Boissonat. La Zone Franc: Survivance du Passé Ou Promesse d´Avenir. La Croix, 17 févenier 1960.

6)      Jean-Noël Jeanny. Rapport Jeanny; La politique de coopération avec les pays en vaie de dévelopment. Paris, documentation francaise 1963.

7)      Omar Bongo. Interwiew for Le Liberation, 18. September 1996, p.6.

8)      Jeune Afrique. Economie no 178, April 1994.

9)      E. Balladour in Le Monde, 09. February 1990. Lire aussie Géopolitique de printemps No 53, 1996, p.81

10)   Jeune Afrique no 1841, 17 – 23 April 1996, p. 38.

11)   Cornered in Abidjan as fears grow. Andrew harding on Africa, BBC, 06. April 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/andrewharding/2011/04/cornered_in_abidjan_as_fears_g.html

12)   Supreme Court of the United States. George W. Bush et al., Petitioners v. Albert Gore Jr., el al., 12. December 2001. http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/00-949.ZPC.html

13)   Ivory Coast´s pro-Laurent Gbagbo general Dogbo Ble on Trial. BBC, 02. October 2012.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19797488

14)   Dr. Hans Köchler. World Court without a World State. Criminal Justice under the Dictates of Realpolitic. http://www.i-p-o.org/Koechler-ICC-Realpolitik-IPO-OP-1July2012.htm

15)   The US/UN/NATO Race for Global, Full Spectrum Dominance. Black, fetzer, Mezyaev and Lehmann, 15. August 2012. nsnbc. http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/the-usunnato-race-for-global-full-spectrum-dominance-14/

 

 

South East China Sea; A Perfect Crisis for the International Crisis Group.

 

Christof Lehmann and the contributors of NSNBC have been breaking the embargo on truth by providing great coverage of happenings around the world; giving well resouced, unbiased and referenced information which is by and large left out by mainstream media. Here is another great piece which he produced in colaboration with  Christopher Black., James Henry Fetzer, and Alex Mezyaev.

A geo-political analysis of the background for the developments in the South-China Sea, the region, and suggested developments towards regional security and stability.

Subsequent to the dissolution of the USSR, the peaceful transition of Hong Kong from British to Chinese sovereignty and the subsequent opening of the Chinese market for Western investors, a superficial analysis may lead to the conclusion that the international community has missed the chance to establish a geo-political climate that could have facilitated the peaceful coexistence of sovereign nations.

However, on closer inspection, it  is evident that it  is  a fallacy to speak in terms of a missed chance. The chance for peaceful coexistence between China, the USA, and to a lesser degree the E.U., has in fact never been given a real chance.

It is also a fallacy to conclude that this chance  depended on a left/right paradigm in US and Western politics.  From neo-conservative think tanks like the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) i , to left or liberal organizations like those funded by the multi-billionaire George Soros, which include Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group ii, to global strategists like Zbigniev Brzezinskiiii, national security adviser for multiple US-Administrations, whose declared goal is to engage both Russia and subsequently China in a military confrontation iv, the operand question is not whether a left/right paradigm determines the overall direction of US foreign policy but rather how the left/right paradigm manifests in strategic nuances in overall US foreign policy which has a clear propensity towards a Pax Americana and American, global, full spectrum dominance.

The term “Global”  is to be taken literally. This policy includes ambitions for a re-colonization of Africa and the Middle East,  the destabilization of Latin America, and countering recent developments such as ALBA, UNASUR and MERCOSUR, countering developments within BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization SCO, a presence in Afghanistan until 2025 and beyond, destabilization of Pakistan, the destabilization of Nepal and Burma and an increased military presence in Thailand, Vietnam and throughout the Asian and Pacific region. It includes the destabilization of Russia´s and China´s southern borders, and an increased military footprint, in those regions and support of destabilizing influences, such as militia and terrorist organizations.v It includes the provocation of conflicts in South East Asia and the South East China Sea, an aggressive policy towards Northern Korea and the derailing of attempts towards reunification on the Korean peninsula. It includes denying Russia and China access to resources necessary for the development of their economies and their partnership based trade models that are inherently opposed to Western, imperialist capitalism and denying resources and markets to a system that is far more successful, humane, just, fair and sustainable.

The failing of the  US/EU economies has required the western military doctrine to be adjusted to a return to nuclear confrontation for the containment of unmanageable military responses to NATO expansionism by Russia and China, combined with low cost mercenary warfare with the aid of Al Qaeda,  the Muslim Brotherhood, in fact any militant or terrorist organization that can be utilized in the creation of national and regional crisis which are created to destabilize nations and to justify aggression as “interventions” under pretexts like human rights, security or the the slogan “responsibility to protect”. These two doctrines, nuclear confrontation and use of mercenaries to attack from within are what one could call the post 25th NATO Summit military doctrine of Western powers and both are in violation of the UN Charter.vi

It is necessary to understand the US/NATO strategy of subversion in South East Asia and how a deterioration of national and regional security due to this subversion could be prevented, and in fact, how peaceful regional solutions to the challenge of US/NATO ambitions for global full spectrum dominance can be established. To understand this strategy it is necessary to undertake a brief review of the developments of recent years in global security. This analysis will provide a disturbingly clear outline of what is in store for South East Asia and greater Asia unless such a solution is achieved through negotiation and then crafted and implemented.

Odyssey 2001 – A Wake Up Call.

In 2001 the world was chocked by a globally televised terror attack of unprecedented proportions and audacity. World wide, a shocked people saw the  three towers of the World Trade Center only two of which were actually hit by a plane disintegrate, the Pentagon on fire. World-wide, captive TV audiences saw supposedly hijacked passenger planes crash into buildings, people in their hundreds plummeting to certain death.

Sympathy was outpouring from even the most unexpected of places like Palestine. A visibly shocked,  shaken, and appalled PLO Secretary General, Yassir Arafat expressed his deepest condolences, sympathy and even solidarity with the nation that had for decades financed the Zionist/Israeli genocide on the people of Palestine. It took only minutes after the second plane hit the WTC towers, however, before it transpired that something was not quite as advertized. Re-analyzing the TV-coverage archives vii of the day is in deed a revealing odyssey in mass manipulation.

Recycled TV images were aired and it was claimed that “Palestinians were celebrating the successful terror attack on the USA”. A “terrorism expert” declared only minutes after the initial attacks that the most likely suspect would be a “terrorist organization like the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine – DFLP”.viii

Soon the first planted evidence was “discovered”, like a terrorists passport that was found in almost pristine condition in the street after it supposedly had flown out of the hijackers pocket, survived the plane impact, the fireball, and landed in the streets below.ix The Al-Qaeda / Bin Laden narrative was born.

Those who were awake enough from day one, who realized that something was suspect, soon realized that the attacks were the new Peal Harbor, the catastrophic and catalyzing event which one year prior to the attacks had been described in a white paper of the neo-conservative think-tank PNAC, called  “Rebuilding Americas Defences”.x

Even though expert analysts differ with respect to whether rogue elements of the international Western deep state let it happen on purpose or if they made it happen on purpose, all serious analysts, including high level politicians, diplomats, members of the intelligence communities and scholars world wide agree that 9/11 was the initiation of the Project for Global, Full Spectrum US/NATO Dominance as described in PNAC´s white paper. (ibid.) xi

There were in deed signs enough from day one, and those who were trained enough in recognizing and analyzing social engineering and propaganda strategies would review the news images – without the sound of the talking heads who repeated the new mantra of global war.

Al Qaeda – Al Qaeda – Al Qaeda – Bin Laden Bin Laden Bin Laden”.

When the media images were analyzed without the constant stream of suggestions and when reasonable objectivity was applied one could think clearly,  use analytic skills, discernment, discrimination, and first of all, simple laws of Newtonian Physics rather than a hypnotic stream of words – Al Qaeda Bin Laden……. terrorist….. war on terror…..with us or with the terrorists …..

With a clear mind, and in many cases after getting over the initial shock, pertinent questions were raised:

• How could a passenger plane, even if it was fully fueled, even if it was flying at impossible air-speeds for an altitude near sea level, cause other than a hole in the building, a fire, and eventually a partial collapse ?

• How could two buildings literally be “pulverized” to hundred of thousands of cubic yards of fine dust particles, by a mechanically caused structural failure ? How could a gravity driven collapse ever produce the necessary kinetic energy ? How could a gravity driven collapse hurl steel girders vertically through the air at speeds exceeding 6o miles per second ?

• Studies of original “official” photo images or at high resolution video images clearly shows that the building neither collapsed nor pancaked. Both WTC towers literally disintegrated in front of our eyes into pyroclastic flows that otherwise only can be observed in eruptions of volcanoes and in the most powerful explosions.xii How could a gravity driven collapse produce dust clouds engulfing major parts of lower Manhattan Island ?

• The disintegration of the WTC Twin Towers were the equivalent to a tree that is being hit by a projectile. A brief fire emerges in the cavity that is caused by the projectile. For arguments sake let us say that there emerges a fire of intense heat in that cavity. Shortly afterward, however, the entire tree begins turning itself to the finest possible saw-dust, from the top and down to the roots. Gravity driven collapse ? How could even steel literally evaporate in front of our eyes ?

• How could a passport of one of the supposed hijackers survive the inferno of the plane impact, fly out of his pocket, through the fireball, through the building that turned itself to dust, and how could it land in almost pristine condition in the streets below, where it would be found -when not even a single telephone, not a single filing cabinet, not a single PC survived the disintegration.

• How could two planes cause the collapse of three WTC buildings ? What processes caused the disintegration and pulverization of concrete and steel while all the paper – which does not contain water – survived and littered the streets of New York ?

• How could the Pentagon be hit by a passenger plane ? Even if one is deeply asleep, the mere words “A HIJACKED PASSENGER PLANE HIT THE PENTAGON” should wake one up in “Chock and Awe!  A man in a cave in Afghanistan, so we are supposed to believe, had succeeded at defeating the worlds mightiest, most sophisticated defense systems. Three times within one day! A cumbersome, hijacked passenger plane entering the world´s most jealously guarded and protected air-space at the Pentagon and near the White House unimpeded ?

It would be possible to add a thousand more unanswered and pertinent questions to the ones above. Many of them have in fact been answered by responsible citizens and scholars who dared to risk their tenure in countries where free intellectual inquiry does no longer exist unless the inquirer remains within the guidelines of  politicized science. All, off course, in the name of  the “freedom and democracy” which is being exported on a global scale, so the citizens of Russia and China soon also can be liberated like those poor Afghans, Iraqis, Libyans.

Thousands of questions – but it is not the purpose of this article to answer them nor even to demand answers. The most important question has long been answered by the Bush and the Following Obama Administration. The question is “What Function did the mass murder on 9/11 have?”.

The answer was provided by some of the above mentioned policy groups, PNAC. And it was provided one full year before the events that shocked the world and initiated the the push for global US, full spectrum dominance. A catastrophic and catalyzing event, a new “Pear Harbour” that would facilitate a rapid change in US domestic and foreign policy towards a Pax Americana.(ibid.) xiii

Whether You are with US or not, You are with The Terrorists”.

On 20 September 2001, nine days after 9/11 US-President G.W. Bush addressed the joint session of the US Congress, outlining the new global front-lines, stating: “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists”.xiv Had the USA then intended to wage an honest war on terrorism, it would in fact have had the support of every nation on this world, with maybe one exception, Israel. The government of Afghanistan, in fact, stated that it would render Osama bin Laden to the USA if the USA provided evidence for his involvement in 9/11. xv The USA denied. The true meaning of the words of President G.W. Bush could be described as:

Whether you are with US or not, you are with the terrorists”.

The USA did not at any time suspend its long standing co-operation with terrorists organizations throughout the world for other than cosmetic or strategic purposes, and that included the main pretext for the “War on Terror”, Al Qaeda. As we speak, the USA is co-operating with Al-Qaeda brigades in the ongoing subversion attempt in Syria.xvi A whistle blower from within the US Special Forces at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina had already in September 2011 admitted that the USA had special forces on the ground in Syria and cooperated with Al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood brigades as part of a long-planned war on Libya, Syria, Lebanon and Iran.xvii

Meanwhile, organizations that are fighting a legitimate struggle for liberation, like the PFLP xviii, DFLP xix and to a degree Al-Fatah in Palestine are designated terrorist organizations. Syria, which is the sole Arab nation that consequently and consistently has supported Palestinians legitimate struggle against the Zionist/Israeli occupation of Palestine is according to the US State Department designated a state sponsor of terrorism.xx

During the height of the invasion of Libya, when the Libyan military forces caused heavy casualties among the hordes of Libyan, Egyptian, Qatari, Saudi and other nations Al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood associated mercenary brigades, the CIA imported 1.500 fighters from Mazare-e-Sharif, Afghanistan xxi , who belonged to the very Taliban which NATO is fighting there.

The US War on Terror has from the very onset been and still is a cynical part of the US low cost strategy towards global full spectrum dominance.

It is also a text book like example for why social constructionism within the language of  political discourse can be used to justify any crime as long as it serves ones own interests, how it can be used to scapegoat legitimate resistance as terrorist organizations, and why a teleological approach to the language of political discourse is the sole linguistic approach that can facilitate truth, reconciliation and conflict resolution.

The Dismantling of International Law and a Return to Global Barbarism.

In recent decades an unprecedented deterioration, one can say a “collapse” of international law has occurred. This deterioration is driven by the US and NATO, and its refusal to abide by long-established  legal principles of  international law in all its aspects; peaceful coexistence, human rights, military conduct and others, which have been established over hundreds of years.

Many of these principles and laws were implemented after unspeakable human suffering. Unless this regression into global barbarism is opposed by all necessary popular, political, diplomatic, economical, legal, and if necessary military means,  humanity will descend into a state of global barbarism and unspeakable outrages. The most serious deteriorations over the past two decades are:

The deterioration of the principles enshrined in the Treaty of Westphalia and National Sovereignty.

The treaty of Westphalia xxii was signed by European powers in the year 1648 a.v., after a religious and political power struggle between European empires had resulted in a war that lasted over thirty years. The treaty defines the sovereignty of national states and the principle of non-interference into the internal political affairs of sovereign nations by others. The treaty of Westphalia was one of the international legal principles that was used as a guideline for the drafting of the Charter of the United Nations and it is by many considered as thé most important principle of international law with respect to the regulation of bi-lateral and multilateral diplomacy and politics.

The principle of non-interference into domestic affairs and the principle of national sovereignty enshrined in the UN Charter is increasingly being challenged by those who argue, that is the Americans, that the “international community”, again that is the Americans, has a “responsibility to protect” civilians in cases where the government of a sovereign state is not able to protect its citizens, or when the government of a sovereign state is committing severe violations of other principles such as human rights. A resolution that implemented the responsibility to protect was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2009, in violation of the UN Charter.xxiii

This false responsibility was first termed humanitarian intervention, but it appears that that term could only be used in propaganda when a crisis was already in progress. The slogan responsibility to protect was coined in order to give this strategy more flexibility so that “intervention” could be used even before the US had succeeded in creating a crisis. The ”responsibility to protect” (R2P)  also had the advantage of claiming to make a moral argument, of course never addressing how the USA came to claim this “responsibility” or why it operates only against its enemies and never its vassals and allies.

Although the guiding arguments for the primacy of human rights and the responsibility to protect “R2P” may sound convincing at first inspection, a closer analysis reveals that the erosion of national sovereignty based on the R2P opens a Pandora´s Box of serious problems.

The first instance where the R2P, which was then still termed humanitarian intervention, was used to override national sovereignty was NATO´s intervention into the internal affairs of Yugoslavia during the Clinton Administration in which the Secretary of State was Madeleine Albright.

It is now a well established and documented fact that the internal conflict in Yugoslavia was initially manufactured by an alliance of Slovenian and Croatian separatists with ties to WWII German National Socialism, with the covert support of the German government and the German Intelligence Service BND xxiv, and the Vatican. The German intelligence service BND provided the first weapons, second-hand Bulgarian AK 47 assault rifles, to Slovenian and Croat separatists.

As the conflict escalated and the country was forced apart along ethnic, and religious lines, the USA and other Western powers became increasingly involved, resulting in NATO´s “intervention” in fact its outright aggression against the Federal Republic, without approval from the United Nations Security Council and in complete violation of the UN Charter and NATO’s own Charter. NATO member states cooperated with a wide variety of terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda and Bin Laden’s mujahedin.xxv The USA financed, trained, and was arming the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA/UCK) which was heavily supported by Al Qaeda brigades and which to a large extend was financed by Heroin trade and trafficking from Afghanistan to Europe and Northern America.xxvi xxvii

The war on and dismemberment of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has according to retired French Brigadier General Pierre Marie Gallois been planned and prepared by European powers in unofficial meetings on a farm in Germany since 1976; more than a decade ahead of the first public Slovenian and Croatian demands for secession from Yugoslavia. Brig. Gen. Pierre Marie Gallois was the French representative to these meetings and has disclosed many of the details in a stunning interview.xxviii xxix

According to Gallois, one of the principle motivating factors for the covert and subsequent overt war on Yugoslavia was that Yugoslavia was the sole Russian ally in the Balkan region and the last functioning socialist state in Europe. Other motivating factors were that Germany wanted to re-establish its geo-political influence in the region which it had lost subsequent to world wars one and two. Yet another factor was to define a post cold war role for NATO. In fact, so the former French Brigadier General, the war on Yugoslavia provided the model for the war on Iraq and subsequent wars.(ibid.)xxx

The sole correlation between the intervention in Yugoslavia and Serbia, and the still ongoing NATO occupation of Kosovo and human rights is, that a humanitarian crisis was cynically manufactured with the intention to create a pretext for a military “intervention” in fact a military attack,  based on the “R2P” the claimed responsibility to protect.

The usurpation by the United States of the role of the United Nations by arrogantly claiming to itself this invented responsibility  has resulted in the deterioration of the principles of the Treaty of Westphalia  and the UN Charter that both guarantee the sovereignty of nations and the concomitant right of the self determination of peoples.

It is is nothing less than western colonialism once again justified by the “white man’s burden”. In a recent article, Dr. Henry Kissinger discussed whether nations like Syria and other Arab nations would at all qualify for protection against interference into their internal affairs under the principles of the Treaty of Westphalia.xxxi

Kissinger argues, that almost all Arab nations, with the exclusion of eventually Iran, Turkey and Egypt, were nations whose borders had been more or less arbitrarily drawn by former colonial powers and that it was therefore questionable whether they could be defined as nation states that would be protected by the provisions in the Treaty of Westphalia. Iran, Turkey, and Egypt on the other hand, so Kissinger argues, had a long history as nations.

Lehmann has written an article in response to that of Dr. Kissinger. According to Lehmann, Kissinger´s interpretation is representative of the condescending, ethnocentric, colonialist attitude of Western nations towards countries world wide. It is also symptomatic for the social constructionism that guides Western foreign politics. While Kissinger questions the national sovereignty of almost all Arab nations on the basis that their borders were arbitrarily drawn by former colonial powers, he does not mention Israel, whose borders have been arbitrarily drawn by the same former colonial powers. xxxii

Neither does he mention the fact that the United States itself is also an artificial creation resulting from the extermination of the native peoples, the Louisiana Purchase of the south from France in 1803, and Florida from Spain, the War of 1812 against Canada,  the war of conquest against Mexico in 1846, the war between two nations the United States and the Confederates states, known as the Civil War in the 1860s and the artificial extensions into Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

The most recent example of a successful abuse of the erosion of national sovereignty under the pretense of a manufactured Responsibility to Protect is NATO´s abuse of UNSC Resolution 1973 (2011) on Libya.xxxiii

It can be argued that this Resolution never existed as the UN Charter requires that resolutions have the concurring votes of all permanent members of the Security Council. Russia and China abstained. An abstention is not a concurrent vote. It may be that Russia and China expected that the abstentions were enough to kill the resolution from being passed. Legally they were correct, but regardless whether Russia and China were taking a calculated Risk, or whether Russia, which was then under the presidency of Medvedyev was trying to appease the USA/NATO, which would have left China to deal with the impact of the US and NATO and GCC member states as well as Israel alone, will only be answered by future historical analysis.

What is certain, however, is that both the Russian and Chinese political leadership must have been aware that even though a UNSC resolution arguably is not legally valid unless all Security Council members vote in favor of it, it is a long established political practice that only a veto is sufficient for blocking an intervention. Since the first Russian, then USSR, abstention on UNSC Resolution 4 (1946) on Spain, an abstention has interpreted as not preventing the adoption of the resolution.

The claim that the USA, France and the UK abused the UN Charter was compounded when the US and its allies exceeded even the terms of their own resolution and conducted a war of aggression against Libya. A repetition of this abuse, directed against Syria, has so far been successfully stopped by Russia and China at the Security Council who since have consequently vetoed resolutions on Syria.

The deterioration of the Geneva Convention.

The Geneva Conventionxxxiv comprises four treaties and additional three protocols that establish standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of victims and participants of war. It was updated to it´s current version in 1949, following two wars of global reach and unspeakable violence and it is thus, like the Treaty of Westphalia, a reaction to unspeakable acts of violence and human suffering, that has affected large populations. The Geneva Convention defines the wartime rights of both civilian and military prisoners, affords protection of the wounded, and establishes protections for civilians in war zones. It also specifies the rights and protections that are afforded to non-combatants. Since the onset of the US-led “war on terror” in 2001 the Geneva convention has been systematically undermined by the USA as well as other NATO countries.

These systematic erosion of the Geneva convention includes:

• The illegitimate use  of the term “unlawful combatants”xxxv and the indefinite imprisonment of prisoners of war in places like Guantanamo and outside the required norms of the Geneva Conventions.

• The used of the term “enhanced interrogation techniques”xxxvi in an attempt to legitimize unspeakable acts of torture, including water-boarding, sensory deprivation, forced positions, religious chicane, hours of forced positions during sensory deprivation together with making the prisoners subject to white noise, blindfolding, extreme temperatures as well as sheer physical brutality and even death.

• The use of the term “Extraordinary Rendition”xxxvii that is the kidnapping and disappearance of both combatants and non-combatants. As in Operation Condor conducted by the USA and its vassals in South America against leftists and progressives in the 70s and 80s people simply disappear.  Extraordinary rendition is a term used to cover over the fact that people are delivered  to third countries who apply torture or “enhanced interrogation techniques” or to people who are simply murdered. Extraordinary Rendition is also covered by the provisions of the Nuremberg Principles.

• Summary executions of prisoners of war on the battlefield and the the delivery of combatants and non-combatants alike to allied but irregular forces, knowing that the prisoners of war will be massacred as it happened in several instances in Afghanistan.

• The delivery of prisoners of war to criminal courts, that is US military tribunals,  for prosecution for “terrorism”.

And it does not stop there. The list of outrages against the Geneva Conventions would fill volumes. The results of this systematic violation of international law are outrages like those at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.

The renown social psychologist Phillip G. Zimbardo Ph.D, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University,xxxviii who was working as expert for the defense of some of the soldiers who committed the outrages in Abu Ghraib.  Zimbardo stated that the appalling acts of torture at Abu Ghraib were not the result of “a few rotten apples among the troops”, as claimed by former US Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, but that they were the products of a carefully manufactured situation, where high level military and political cadre had to know that the outcome invariably would be torture and abuse.xxxix

The obvious danger of these systematic violations of international law is that it creates precedence and escalates the spiral of violence and abuse rather than defusing a conflict.

The irony is that this systematic violation of international law is being implemented by those nations who are claiming to wage wars as the vanguard of law, human rights, freedom, democracy and justice.

The Hague Conventions.

The Hague Conventionsxl consist of two treaties and regulate among other things, legality of war, declarations of war and surrender, use of legal and illegitimate weapons, military conduct, command structures and and command responsibility for prevention and punishment of crimes by subordinates..

Article one of the first chapter of the Hague Convention of 1909 states, that the laws, rights and duties of war not only apply to armies, but also to militia and volunteer corps and require those forces fulfill the following conditions:

To be commanded by a person who is responsible for his subordinates, to have a fixed distinctive emblem visible at a distance, to carry arms openly, and to conduct their operations in accordance to the customs of war. In countries where militia or volunteer corps constitute the army, or part of it, they are included under the denomination “army”. They also include inhabitants of a territory which has not been occupied, who spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading troops without having had time to organize themselves in accordance with article one if they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.

The coining of the term “unlawful-combatant” is designed to try to evade the provisions of the Hague Convention, which clearly specifies that a population has the right to armed resistance against an aggressor’s military forces.

The use of mercenary forces, like the use of 20,000 mercenaries of the Al-Qaeda associated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group in the attempted subversion of Syriaxli erodes the concept of  command responsibility. It provides the USA/NATO with a loophole that lets them commit the most serious acts of terrorism, massacres and military barbarism, while NATO´s military leadership as well as members of Ministries of Defense and NATO members governments enjoy “plausible deniability” for their command decisions. Or so they think, because it is clear in international law that the fact that US officers have real command responsibility, that is effective command and control,  over these mercenaries would mean their conviction for war crimes if they could ever be brought before an international tribunal.

Let alone the fact that the USA reserves for itself the right not to make it´s citizens, including military personnel subject to the International Criminal Court at The Hague, while demanding the prosecution of citizens of nations which are in opposition to US/NATO hegemony, this illegal use of mercenary forces is a systematic circumvention of the Hague Conventions as mercenaries are forbidden by the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries from 4 December 1989.xlii

The use of mercenaries has been widely implemented since the war on Yugoslavia and in both the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq and the trend is going towards an increase in their use under the euphemism “private contractors” as if they are construction workers,  to fulfill military tasks. These mercenaries do not obey the rules or customs of war.

On the other hand, members of the militia who legally resist US/NATO occupation are often being turned over to police authorities of a government that has been installed with the help of the US/NATO, and can be sentenced to long prison terms or execution because the affordance of the protection under the Hague Conventions is being circumvented.

The use of CIA personnel for military operations. The USA is increasingly making use of unmanned aerial vehicles for both observation as well as for kinetic military actions. None of the CIA´s Gameboy Killers in Langley, Virginia  is operating within a legal military command structure. Regardless if a drone attack is targeting resistance fighters, so-called terrorists, or if the Gameboy Killers at Langley blow the bride and groom of a wedding party in Pakistan or Somalia to kingdom come, any an all of these drone attacks are a circumvention of the Hague Conventions.

Chapter two of the Hague Conventions states that prisoners of war are in the power of the hostile government and not in the hands of the individuals or corps that capture them.

Both the use of private military contractors and the use of allied or state sponsored mercenary forces, including Al Qaeda brigades are a breach of  the Hague Conventions.

In Syria we are, as we are writing, witnessing the wide spread torture and summary executions of captured Syrian military personnel. Western intelligence personnel have been captured after firing into peaceful demonstrations with sniper rifles to enrage the demonstrators against the Syrian police and government. Non of them was operating under the Hague Conventions and violations against a cohort of international laws and conventions have been committed by the assassins of peaceful demonstrators.

Extrajudicial Executions and Assassinations. The corruption of the  US domestic and military legal systems and the violations of the US Constitution has resulted in the extraordinary situation that the American president not only has abolished the ancient right of habeas corpus but now claims the right of a tyrant, the claimed right to effect the extrajudicial assassination, that is the murder of both US citizens and citizens of any other nation, anywhere in the world who he claims to be a “threat”..

In fact, President Barak Obama takes pride in personally making life and death decisions by determining whether the one or the other individual shall be targeted for assassination.  Death has become his plaything, like an American Caligula.

Notwithstanding the audacity and arrogance of signing this practice into “law”, no executive order, and no approval by the corrupted congress of the USA can establish any basis in international law for this practice. Each and every assassination is in fact nothing but premeditated murder.

These extrajudicial executions and assassinations are a stark warning of what of” human rights”, “civil liberties” “freedom”, “democracy” and “justice” now mean in the United States of America and NATO in practice as opposed to what they preach.

Plausible deniability for acts of barbarism. It would be possible to write volumes about the problems that arise. The shortest way of describing what the US is practicing by systematically circumventing international law is to sum it up as follows:

• The systematic circumvention of international law.

• The systematic circumvention of legal responsibility for illegal acts of war.

• The systematic circumvention of human rights, civil liberties and the systematic implementation of torture, institutionalization of terrorism and massacres on civilian, military, combatants and non-combatants.

• A return to barbarism in war and to wars of aggression, that is crimes against peace,  unrestrained in their ferocity and cruelty.

All that, and more, under the pretext of freedom, democracy, the responsibility to protect, human rights or war on terrorism. No act of terrorism is in fact shied away from, such as the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists, the murder of Muammar Ghadafi  President Milosevic, President Saddam Hussein, President Habyrimana and countless others.

The Establishment of Illegal International Courts and Politicized Trials – A Pseudo-Legalistic Political Witch-hunt and Victors Justice.

Whereas the systematic erosion of international law is one alley that is leading towards a return to barbarism, the establishment of pseudo-legal international courts which are being used by NATO and allied nations for a pseudo-legalistic political witch-hunt and the implementation of victors justice against those who have fallen victims to NATO´s ”interventions” is an equally dangerous alley towards barbarism. In deed, it may be even be more dangerous than the outright violation of international laws and conventions because here the illegal aggression is disguised as legitimate justice.

The ICTY, ICTR, SCSL, SCL, and similar special courts and tribunals are such Quasi-Judicial Institutions. Modern international law does not provide any legal basis for the creation of any of the above mentioned institutions. Their utility is to provide ”legal” sanction to the already unlawfully achieved results of covert or overt illegal wars, aggressions, or interventions.

While these quasi-judicial tribunals are unlawful in the first place, their methodology of achieving ”desired results” is even more so, since new rules and regulations are written on an ad hoc basis to secure convictions, as was the case at the ICTY and ICTR and others.

The results of such ”International Criminal Justice” are

  • the conviction of mainly Serbs through rigged show trials and the demonstrative acquittal of real perpetrators who belonged to the NATO allied, Al Al Qaeda associated Kosovo Liberation Army, also known as KLA / UCK, at the ICTY;
  • the conviction of Hutus through the same rigged show trials at the ICTR which acts to protect the criminals of the RPF, and its western allies, the very ones who provoked and prosecuted the war in Rwanda,
  • the conviction of Khmer Rouge members while the leaders and military officers of the USA are granted complete impunity for the devastating carpet bombing of Cambodia which destroyed the irrigation systems and led to a collapse of the society,
  • so on at the other tribunals.

These tribunals all are part of a system of show trials designed to demonize the former regimes of the countries concerned, to justify the US et al aggression  both direct and indirect, against the countries concerned and to cover up the real role of the west in those wars.

The very creation of the International Criminal Court, ICC, is in fact another step towards the deterioration of international law due to the fact that the UN Security Council, notwithstanding the position of a given state to the ICC, which includes non-signatory states, can refer a case to the ICC Statute.

This creates the potential for situations where an non-signatory state to the treaty may force another non-signatory state to the same treaty to be bound by the treaty non of the two has signed. This state of affairs is an explosion of the very nature of international law at its very base.

Indeed, the USA refuses to be bound by the Rome Statute in any way and has stared that if any of its officers are ever charged and arrested by The ICC they will use force to obtain their release. This is nothing less than gangsterism.

The results of such justice will invariably be highly politicized show trials and victors justice, and it is in deed precisely what has occurred at the ICC since it was established.

Common Denominators in US/NATO Subversion Strategies and the Institutionalization of Irregular Warfare and Subversion.

There are certain common denominators that are part of every attempted subversion:

  • The establishment or presence of a foreign influence within the targeted nations.
  • The use of domestic elements, such as a minority political party, the use of dissenting political organizations, organizations that represent ethnic or cultural diversity, the use of militant opposition movements, ethnic and religious minorities, exile governments, terrorist organizations, and/or any other factors that can be used to either create or aggravate internal contests or struggles.

• The attempt to either overthrow a government or to destabilize the country sufficiently to justify an intervention under a pretext like countering terrorism or by use of perversions of international law like the responsibility to protect.

• The co-opting of geo-politically significant locations, access to resources and markets, and the denying of access to resources and markets for antagonistic nations or those who are siding with antagonistic nations.

Institutionalized Subversion.  As discussed above, NATO has since its 25th Summit in Chicago in 2012, made ”interventions”, which implies cooperation with illegitimate militant organizations, an integrated part of its official doctrine. xliii(ibid.)

The fact that NATO has made subversion the primary instrument for expansionism is further emphasized by the content of a Training Circular that is being used with the US Special Forces at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.

The Training Circular, TC 18-01, which is so sensitive that it is provided with a destruction notice that instructs owners of the document to destruct it by any possible means to prevent unauthorized dissemination, states among other:

  • Training Circular (TC) 18-01, Special Forces Unconventional Warfare, defines the current United States (U.S.) Army Special Forces (SF) concept of planning and conducting Unconventional Warfare (UW) operations. For the foreseeable future U.S. Forces will predominantly engage in irregular warfare (IW) operations.
  • The intent of U.S. UW efforts is to exploit a hostile power´s political, military, economic, and psychological vulnerabilities by developing and sustaining resistance forces to accomplish U.S. Strategic objectives.
  • Combat support includes all of the activities of indirect and direct support in addition to combat operations.

The TC 18-01 has been published on nsnbc in its entirety and downloadble PDF format. xliv

It is normal that a nation entertains special operations units for defense purposes. What makes the TC 18-01 and implicitly US/NATO military doctrine uniquely criminal, is that the TC 18-01 clearly states that the US will predominantly be fighting ”irregular wars” in the foreseeable future, and that it in the form of the TC 18-01 provides a step by step manual for manufacturing political opposition into dissent, dissent into resistance and terrorism, terrorism into insurgency, with the explicit goal to overthrow the legitimate government of a targeted, sovereign nation; with the explicitly expressed purpose to accomplish U.S. Strategic Objectives.

It can hardly be emphasized enough that the combination of the US/NATO´s illegal warfare, combined with interventions based a presumed responsibility to protect a targeted population from the crisis which it itself manufactures, combined with an absolute and overt disregard for international law and the institutionalization of quasi judicial instruments, constitutes a direct road towards global tyranny. Global Tyranny is merely a less euphemistic synonym for U.S. Global Full Spectrum Dominance.

This quest for global tyranny is inherently opposed to any peaceful co-existence between sovereign nations. It is, although it is making use of ethnic diversity, opposed to ethnic tolerance. It is, although it is making use of human rights and slogans about democracy, inherently opposed to human rights, justice, and self-determination.

It has, since 2010 begun to intensify the targeting of Nepal, Burma, Pakistan, Thailand, Lao, Vietnam, the DPRK, and even its presumed ally, the Philippines with the purpose to create a crisis about the South China Sea.

Intensified Implementation of US/NATO Global Full Spectrum Dominance in Asia.

Nepal – The Exemplary Destruction of a Nation State, Sponsored by Soros. Nepal´s geo-political position, its richness in ethnic, religious, cultural and political diversity, and the fact that the targeting of Nepal is about to mature, makes Nepal a perfect model on which US/NATO subversion strategies can be explained. A closer look at Nepal lets us understand the modus operandi for US/NATO subversion so we are able to better recognize the red flags in other Asian nations.

Until 2006 Nepal was governed more or less exclusively by the King and the Nepali royal family. It was until then one of the worlds oldest functioning monarchies. The royal family of Nepal had very good ties to both British and Danish royalty. In spite of its landlocked geo-political position in Asia, it was strongly oriented towards Europe. The position of Nepal as a European aligned Asian monarchy had its basis in post-colonial times. A subsequent cold war made Nepal a front-line state between the capitalist and the socialist blocks.

Subsequent to the end of the cold war, and in tact with the transition towards a more open, joint venture based Chinese economy, the position of the royal Family and Nepal as post-colonial, cold-war front-line state became rapidly obsolete. European support for the monarchy dwindled and a long suppressed, legitimate popular demand for political, legal and social change became ever more outspoken.

From 1996 to 2006 the then illegal Maoist Party of Nepal fought a bitter rebellion against the monarchy. The rebellion succeeded due to the overwhelming support from the population in rural districts. In 2006 the rebellion resulted in political and legal reforms. After the first post-rebellion elections the Maoists held almost 40 % of the Constituent Assembly.

While the UK, other Western powers and India had responded to the rebellion with gravest concerns and somewhat ambivalent support for the old regime, the prospect of a Nepalese National Assembly in which the Maoist Party held almost 40 % of the seats and where other Communist parties were represented too provoked a much less ambivalent response.

Ethnicity. The New Parliament embarked on the mission of re-organizing Nepal. The Maoist party envisioned a new model that was based on the distribution of power to local communities. A State Restructuring Commission was formed which should suggest how the old, centralized Nepal could delegate more political influence to the people, to regions and to communities.

Nepal is, although poor with respect to economy, extremely rich in culture and ethnicity, and until recently it also was rich in tolerance and respect for diversity. This ethnic diversity, however, was also a pure treasure trove for anyone, like the United Kingdom, the E.U., the USA, and Soros, who would not accept a Nepal that had become so self-confident that it began implementing a foreign policy that did no longer accept dictates from the traditional and modo-colonial powers.

The population of Nepal is composed of over 100 ethnic minorities and over 300 casts. It is a situation that is potentially catastrophic for a nation that is being targeted by foreign influences who have centuries of experience in colonizing the world with the aid of the ”divide and conquer” strategy. What complicated the matter for Nepal and what makes it so easy to be taken advantage of is, that it is impossible to create regions along ethnic lines without creating new minorities in each of the federations regions. It is a situation much like that in Serbia and Bosnia Herzegovina.

Federalism. The Maoist Party originally intended to create a secular state with regions along community lines, with regional popular committees and administrations. Without focus on ethnicity, religion or casts. The question why the restructuring of Nepal went awry can be answered with two words; ”Foreign Interests”. We will even see that some of the names that were instrumental in carving up Yugoslavia and in creating ethnic violence in Bosnia have reappeared in Nepal.

Foreign Interests, Soros and the United Nations Framework Team.

The Hungarian born multi-billionaire and self-proclaimed philanthropist George Soros is the main sponsor of the United Nations Interagency Framework Team for Preventive Action, short FT. The FT has since 2006 become very active in Nepal. We will hear more about Soros when discussing the South China Sea and the International Crisis Group which he also sponsors, but for now let us focus on Nepal.

In Nepal, the United Nations is active with twenty-eight UN agencies and departments who are working directly under the superintendence of the Soros sponsored Framework Team in Nepal.xlv Among other are represented the IMF, FAO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNDP, UNODPC, UN-WFP, WHO, and the World Bank.

The UN Interagency Framework Team for Preventive Action is led by the US-national Gay Rosenblum-Kumar. In Nepal it is represented by Ian Martin. Martin is known for having implemented ”Structural changes in other ”targeted nations”, including Bosnia Herzegovina and Cyrenaica, Libya. In both cases the helpful interventions of the FT and Ian Martin were correlated with considerable ethnic violence.

Besides its involvement in Bosnia and Nepal, the Framework team has over the last decade supported similar initiatives  toward ”structural reforms and change” in Ecuador, Fiji, Lesotho, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Kenya where the US is currently aggressively trying to establish a stronger military footprint, Mauritania, the Maldives, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, where President Laurent Gbagbo was ousted with the help of the UN and France in 2010, in preparation for the war on Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe implemented much needed post-colonial land reforms and who is one of the last remaining anti-imperialist African leaders. What each and every of these nations have in common is that they are being targeted for a move towards a foreign imposed federalism that throws the doors wide open for the UN/US/NATO alliances´ divide and conquer policy.

The Soros funded NGO NEFIN is advocating indigenous Nepali peoples rights, among other with respect to ”indigenous land ownership”. xlvi   NEFIN is naturally advocating that every and each of the ethnic minorities in Nepal ”must” be  granted equal access to the ownership of land.

As discussed above, Nepal is a nation with over 100 ethnic groups and over 300 casts. Implementing square inch justice in ethnically based land-ownership rights is utterly impossible, regardless whether Nepal implements a six or an eleven regions model. Even if it would subdivide each of eleven regions into numerous sub-regions there would still remain a basis for conflicts.

What Nepal experiences is a cynical attempt to divide the nation along ethnic lines and to create a deadlocked situation that will be exploded into an unstoppable cycle of violence whenever it is most opportune for those who have targeted the country. The victims are national unity, diversity, tolerance and respect, and the people of Nepal who are being railroaded into massacring one another.

Some ethnic based violence has already occurred in Nepal and it is systematically being aggravated under the pretense of humanitarian principles. Unless the Soros / UN Interagency Framework Team for Preventive Action under Gay Rosenblum-Kumanr and Ian Martin are opposed; unless the seeding of ethnic division by NEFIN, are opposed; it will merely be a question about what time would be the most convenient for the USA, UK, and NATO to aggravate a matured crisis to the extend that another ”humanitarian intervention” under the guise of an assumed ”responsibility to protect” will be ignited.

The following Asian countries are according to reliable sources also being targeted for ”balkanization” on the basis of ethnic and religious diversity by the Soros funded UN Interagency Framework Team for Preventive Action:Burma/Myanmar, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka.

Other Asian nations that are either being directly or indirectly targeted by Western power brokers, or which are being positioned into conflict with targeted nations include  among other, Afghanistan, Georgia, Ossetia, Chechnya, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kirghistan, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Vietnam, Lao, the Philippines.

The ongoing violent clashes between Buddhist and Muslim groups in Burma, the clashes between so called red shirts and yellow shirts in Thailand, the positioning of the Philippines for becoming a front line state in the containment of Chinese access to resources, transportation of resources and Chinese access to Asian markets. The list of subversive activities is virtually inexhaustible.

This development should raise warning flags about the volatility, vulnerability and potential dangers  the region will face, unless the US/NATO ambition for global, full spectrum dominance is challenged by the development of coherent and consistent national and regional strategies.

The South China Sea: How could Soros and the International Crisis Group let a perfectly good Crisis be wasted without making use of it?

String of Pearls. A 2006 study for the U.S. Army by Christopher J. Pehrson, called ”String of Pearls: Meeting the Challenge of China´s Rising Power Across the Asian Littoralxlvii demonstrates the US/NATO´s condescending, modo-colonialist and ethnocentric perception of Asia as ”their” backyard, ”their repository of resources” and ”their markets that are being threatened by China”. It analyzes Chinese markets in the region as ”China´s String of Pearls”, that threatens US/NATO modo-colonial hegemony and primacy.

The nature and content of this military commissioned study demonstrate explicitly that even nations who align themselves with US/NATO foreign policy are potential targets for aggression and subversion unless these nations actively participate in the strategic encirclement of China, in denying China access to resources and markets. So much to the situation in general terms.

Soros´ International Crisis Group, Stirring up the South China Sea. With respect to the  territorial dispute about areas in the South China Sea, between the Philippines and China, a recent report by the European, Soros Funded, International Crisis Group, ICG, is revealing US/NATO´s strategy.xlviii

While the ICG is overtly claiming to be working on crisis resolution, the report has in fact to be understood as an analysis of, how the crisis can be managed to secure the best possible outcome for the modo-colonial and globalist powers.

An analysis of the report reveals that the strategy that is being discussed, among other, contains the following elements:

  • Attempts to infiltrate or influence Chinese military structures to create inter-services competition.
  • Attempts to influence the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to create disputes between the Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Defense, and Military Services
  • Aggravating rivalry between the Chinese Maritime Forces and Law Enforcement agencies with maritime capabilities and duties, about the allocation of resources, competencies, roles, and responsibilities with respect to the South China Sea.
  • If possible, the creation of conflict between the Ministries of Defense, Foreign Affairs and the Interior.
  • Creation of regional rivalries by creating the above mentioned conflicts, facilitated by the fact that high level Chinese law enforcement officers, military officers, and their likes have ties to regional political structures and interests in China.
  • Systematic defamation of China´s claims to sovereignty over parts of the South China Sea. The defamation will be based on referring to ”China´s Nationalist Ambitions”, on fear-mongering due to the fact that the so-called nine-dashed line that appears on Chinese maps encompasses most of the South China Sea, the interpretation of the fact that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, UNCLOS, supports Chinese claims is denounced as Chinese nationalism.
  • Creating Mistrust to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, so that regional partners may perceive reassurances and negotiated settlements by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign affairs as not trustworthy. Undermining the credibility of Chinese Diplomacy by exaggerating inter ministerial conflicts or conflicts of interests between military and ministry.
  • Defamation of Chinese diplomacy at ASEAN and the seeding of doubt whether China is willing, or based on domestic politics able, to implement the Declaration of Conduct in the South China Sea.
  • The creation of mistrust within ASEAN, whether China is willing to, or if the Chinese government is able, to adhere to the ASEAN six-point-principles accord about the South China Sea, even though China assures that the principles are in accord with China´s policy on the South China Sea settlement.xlix
  • Using the creation of doubts, whether the Chinese government is capable of controlling eventual unauthorized, unilateral action by regional Chinese military or law-enforcement services as pretext to increase the US/NATO military footprint in the Philippines, India, Vietnam, Lao, and Thailand.
  • Using the same arguments to pressure the government of Australia to increase military spending on maritime “defense” forces.
  • The positioning of China as hegemonic nation with ambitions to dominate the region politically and militarily, to prevent China´s access to markets and resources, and to create an atmosphere of mistrust towards Chinese initiatives for joint ventures, political, economical cooperation.
  • The positioning of China as nationalist military power with regional ambitions for dominance to saw mistrust that subverts regional, bilateral and multilateral initiatives towards security.

Others could be added, and the International Crisis Group is far from the sole player involved in what could best be described as careful, preparatory initiatives that weaken China politically, economically and militarily in preparation of a long-planned confrontation of Russia and China.

Countering the US/NATO ambition for global full spectrum dominance and preserving peace.

Although some Asian nations alignment with Western powers is being criticized, it is important to remember, that their long standing alignment with the USA, UK, France, and other is rendering them extremely vulnerable in cases where a government attempt to implement a non-aligned policy or simply a more autonomous foreign policy that serves the nations interests.

Rather than criticizing governments who are in that quagmire, it would be more constructive to use diplomatic finesse, to make it not only attractive but feasible for countries like the Philippines to orient itself politically so it can serve it´s own and regional interests rather than those of modo-colonial powers who are seeking dominance rather than partnership.

Some initiatives could and should be taken by all Asian nations, regardless their affiliations. Mutual, bilateral and multi-lateral assurances could ease their implementation in Western aligned countries. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is one step in the right direction. Cooperation with BRICS, and Latin-American organizations like ALBA, UNASUR, MERCOSUR can  facilitate increased autonomy.

Some initiatives that could help creating an atmosphere that would facilitate a development towards regional stability, security and the peaceful coexistence would be:

  • Further resolutions at the UN Security Council and General Assembly that lend apparent legitimacy to utterly illegal ”interventions” and violations of national sovereignty must be consequently and consistently opposed. Any nation that experiences political, diplomatic, economical, or other pressure in an attempt to make it comply with requests from NATO member states should enjoy the full solidarity of any other peaceful nation.
  • Demands that the USA and NATO change their foreign policy and military doctrine, to comply with international law. Diplomatic, political, economic and other sanctions should be negotiated among Asian and other nations and bilateral as well as multilateral agreements about solidarity in the case of repression need to be discussed and implemented.
  • Withdrawal from the International Criminal Court and other quasi-judicial, illegitimate organizations and solidarity with non-compliant nations. The fact that the USA does not recognize the ICC while abusing it, and while threatening with military action against nations that refer US citizens to prosecution at the ICC can not be withheld from the public and provides more than ample diplomatic leverage.
  • The implementation of international jurisdiction for the most serious crimes recognized by mankind into national law. Bilateral and multilateral assurances of solidarity in cases where the arrest, trial, and or sentencing of a person for any of such crimes results in political, diplomatic, economic, or even military sanctions against the nation who is making use of international jurisdiction.
  • The establishment of an International Bureau for Peace and Justice as a permanent, supra-national body to remedy the lack of independent investigations into the most serious crimes, the preparation of prosecutable cases, and other activities that limit the ability of criminals to travel freely. The deterioration of international law, including the principles of the Treaty of Westphalia, the Geneva Convention, the Hague Convention, the Laws that prohibit the use of mercenaries, and other international bodies of law, many of which have been established after unspeakable suffering, must be opposed. Without the establishment of an international institution that is legal, as opposed to the ICC, and just, as opposed to the ICC, the world, including the Asian region will regress into barbarism.
  • Implementing legislation modeled over a recent Russian initiative, to protect the country from covert subversion attempts by foreign sponsored NGOs.l Monitoring of NGO´s who are inciting discord between ethnic or religious groups in an attempt to destabilize a sovereign state, such as it is the case with NEFIN in Nepal.li
  • Monitoring United Nations agencies more closely. Holding UN Agencies, and in particular the Soros funded UN Interagency Framework Team for Preventive Action accountable for any subversive activities. If necessary to arrest, deport, or prosecute UN members who engage in illicit, subversive activities. Bilateral and multilateral agreements and accords with respect to solidarity in the case of sanctions for holding the UN, its agencies or employees accountable for illegitimate activities. Diplomatic immunity is not a card blance  for espionage, subversion, drug trafficking, human trafficking or any of the other outrages the UN has been involved in in recent decades.
  • Monitoring closely, the activities of Western Embassy personnel and members of Western Intelligence communities. Countering their abuse of their host nations territory and good-will as well as diplomatic privileges to co-operate with terrorist organization or otherwise abuse their privileges to provide political or material support to terrorist organizations or their members. Bilateral and multilateral assurances and Concords of solidarity in case of repercussions due to countering Western diplomats and Intelligence personals illicit activities.

To use a reductionist approach at closing; there are two options.

National sovereignty, diversity and peaceful coexistence, the upholding of international law, combined with resistance against the US/NATO ambition for global full spectrum dominance, or a return to anarchy, barbarism, colonialism, and tyranny.

We are in deed in a period where courage and integrity among the political leadership in Asia is more urgently needed than ever before. The challenges can seem overwhelming. The alternatives to much needed change, however, are potentially catastrophic.

Source: Christopher Black., James Henry Fetzer, Alex Mezyaev, Christof Lehmann. on NSNBC

12-08.2012

NOTES:
i Project for a New American Century – PNAC.http://www.newamericancentury.org/
ii Open Society Foundations, Soros. http://www.soros.org/about
iii Zbigniev Brzezinski CSIS. http://csis.org/expert/zbigniew-brzezinski
iv The Grand Chessboard, Zbigniev Brzezinski (XXXXXXXXX XX
v Wahlberg Erik (2010) Globalresearch. http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18019
viLehmann Christof (2012), NATO’s 25th Summit in Chicago in Preparation of Global Full Spectrum Dominance, Interventionism, Possible Preparations for A Regional War Directed against Russia and China, and Developments in Global Security,  nsnbc. http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/natos-25th-summit-in-chicago-in-preparation-of-global-full-spectrum-dominance-interventionism-possible-preparations-for-a-regional-war-directed-against-russia-and-china-and-developments-in-global/
vii Television Archive. 9/11 News Coverage. http://archive.org/details/sept_11_tv_archive
viii NBC Sept. 11, 2001, 9:12 am – 9:54 am (September 11, 2001) Television Archive. http://archive.org/details/nbc200109110912-0954
ix Was America attacked by Muslims on 9/11 ? David Ray Griffin. http://911blogger.com/node/17631
x Rebuilding America´s Defenses. PNAC. http://www.newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf
xi Ibid. http://www.newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf
xii Twin Towers´Concrete turned into Dust in Midt-air. 9/11 Research. http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/analysis/collapses/concrete.html
xiii Ibid. http://www.newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf
xiv Transcript of G.W. Bush address to joint session of Congress and the nation on 20 September 2001. The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/specials/attacked/transcripts/bushaddress_092001.html/
xv Newly disclosed documents shed more light on Taliban offers. Information Clearinghouse. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26410.htm
xvi Obama authorizes secret US support of Syrian rebels. Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/01/us-usa-syria-obama-order-idUSBRE8701OK20120801
xvii Lehmann Christof (2011) NATO, and the modified Chechnyan Model. nsnbc. http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2011/09/25/syria-nato-and-the-modified-chechnyan-model/
xviii Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine PFLP. http://pflp.ps/english/
xix Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine DFLP. http://www.dflp-palestine.net/index.htm
xx US Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2011. http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2011/195553.htm#eta
xxi CIA recruits 1.500 from Mazar-e-Sharif to fight in Libya. The Nation. http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/31-Aug-2011/CIA-recruits-1500-from-MazareSharif-to-fight-in-Libya
xxii Treaty of Westphalia. Peace Treaty between the Holy Roman Emperor and the King of France and their respective Allies. The Avalon Project. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/17th_century/westphal.asp
xxiii UNGA Resolution 63/308 the responsibility to protect. http://responsibilitytoprotect.org/Resolution%20RtoP.pdf
xxiv Newhouse John (1992), The Diplomatic Round, The New Yorker, 24 August 1992, pp. 63 – 65.
xxv International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia , Thursday 3 May 2012, pp. 28424 – 28506. http://www.icty.org/x/cases/karadzic/trans/en/120503IT.htm
xxvi Chossudovsky Michel, German Intelligence and CIA supported Al Qaeda sponsored Terrorists in Yugoslavia. Globalreasearch. http://globalresearch.ca/articles/BEH502A.html
xxvii Chossudovsky Michel, Kosovo ”Freedom Fighters” financed by Organized Crime. Globalresearch. http://www.globalresearch.ca/PrintArticle.php?articleId=22619
xxviii Interview with French Brigadier General, ret. Pierre Marie Gallois. (I) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgUNO3SZBP4
xxix Interview with French Brigadier General, ret. Pierre Marie Gallois. (II) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfFrynxn7os&feature=relmfu
xxx Ibid. 1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgUNO3SZBP4 2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfFrynxn7os&feature=relmfu
xxxi Kissinger Henry (2012) Syrian Intervention risks upsetting the Global Order. The 4th Media. http://www.4thmedia.org/2012/06/06/henry-kissinger-syrian-intervention-risks-upsetting-global-order/
xxxii Lehmann Christof (2012),  A Response to Henry Kissinger on Syria and the Global Order. The 4th Media http://www.4thmedia.org/2012/06/10/a-response-to-henry-kissinger-on-syria-and-the-global-order/
xxxiii UNSC Resolution 1973 (2011) Libya. http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2011/sc10200.doc.htm#Resolution
xxxiv Geneva Conventions, ICRC. http://www.icrc.org/eng/war-and-law/treaties-customary-law/geneva-conventions/index.jsp
xxxv Värek René (2005) The Status and Protection of Unlawful Combatants, Juridica International,pp. 191-198. http://www.juridicainternational.eu/index.php?id=12632
xxxvi Ruth Blakeley (2011): Dirty Hands Clean Conscience ? The CIA Inspector General´s Investigation of ”Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” in the Wat on Terror and the Torture Debate, Journal of Human Rights, 10:4, 544-561 http://www.therenditionproject.org.uk/pdf/PDF%20175%20%5BRB%20Dirty%20Hands%5D.pdf
xxxvii Kweskin, Qureshi & Twu, The International Legal landscape Of Extraordinary Rendition, University of North Carolina School of Law.
xxxviii Philip G. Zimbardo Ph.D at Stanford University. http://www.zimbardo.com/
xxxix Mbugua Martin , Zimbardo blames Military Brass for Abu Ghraib Torture. University of Dalaware. http://www.udel.edu/PR/UDaily/2006/dec/zimbardo120705.html
xl The Laws of War, The Avalon Project. Yale University.  http://adoption.state.gov/hague_convention/overview.php
xli Lehmann Christof (2012) Attack on Syria likely before March ? nsnbc.
xlii The International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries, 4 December 1989. ICRC. http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/FULL/530
xliii Ibid. Lehmann Christof (2012), NATO`s 25th Summit in Chicago in Preparation of Global Full Spectrum Dominance, Interventionism, Possible Preparations for A Regional War Directed against Russia and China, and Developments in Global Security,  nsnbc. http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/natos-25th-summit-in-chicago-in-preparation-of-global-full-spectrum-dominance-interventionism-possible-preparations-for-a-regional-war-directed-against-russia-and-china-and-developments-in-global/
xliv TC 18-01 Special Forces Unconventional Warfare. http://nsnbc.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/special-forces-uw-tc-18-01.pdf
xlv The United Nations Interagency Framework Team for Preventive Action. http://www.unep.org/conflictsanddisasters/Portals/6/documents/FRAMEWORK_TEAM_FLYER-1Oct10.pdf
xlvi NEFIN . http://www.indigenousclimate.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=64&Itemid=81&lang=en
xlvii   Pehrson Ch. J. (2006) String of Pearls: Meeting the Challenge of China´s Rising Power Across the Asian Littoral, U.S. Army Institute for Strategic Studies. http://nsnbc.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/string-of-pearls.pdf
xlviii ICG, Stirring up the South China Sea, An Executive Summary. ICG.http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/asia/north-east-asia/china/223-stirring-up-the-south-china-sea-i.aspx
xlix ASEAN six-point principles in accord with China´s policy on South China Sea settlement. http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/asean-six-point-principles-in-accord-with-chinas-policy-on-south-china-sea-settlement/
lProtecting Russia from U.S. ”Covert” Subversions. http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/protecting-russia-from-u-s-covert-subversions-putin-signs-foreign-agents-bill-to-regulate-political-ngos-into-federal-law/

 

“RED GOLD” – ANOTHER RESOURCE CURSE?

In most African countries, the prices of basic commodies are greatly linked to the price of fuel. This could be attributed to the cost of transportation which increases with fuel price increases and the high elasticity of local demands which make it easier for the consumers to bear the biggest brunt of any increases. This no doubt makes one sees how the capitalist system is working harder than ever to increase the chasm between rich and poor. The removal of the fuel subsidy in Nigeria and the mayhem that followed seem to have been the test-drive by the IMF and World Bank. Since protests in Nigeria did not have much impact, there is now consideration of covering more grounds. Cameroon happens to be next in line – but unlike Nigeria that recieved so much attention, I will not be suprised if ‘France-dominated Cameroon’s removal goes unnoticed.

The thought of it has however made me go back to look at an article I wrote for FabAfrique Magazine  on the ‘Red Gold’. If the problem of black gold has been subsidies, what exactly is the problem of this resource?

Palm Fruits cut in half

Over the last few months I have not ceased to wonder if Africa would have been better-off without all the abundance of natural resources. What with all the appellations like Collier’s ‘Natural Resource Trap’, the ‘Natural Resource Curse’ or most strangely, the one that beats me most, the ‘Dutch Disease’[1]. The paradox of a blessing being a curse at the same time, is one too complex for my little head to fathom. But behold, the evidence is overwhelming and I cannot pretend not to see it – the conflict that seems to accompany natural resources and the widespread poverty in Africa – a land of affluence.

It is a fact that Africa is blessed with rich soil that permits it to grow almost everything needed for mankind’s existence. There’s cocoa for chocolate, and its related products, coffee for tea, timber for construction and the making of wooden instruments and paper, cotton for clothing, palm for palm oil, and many others.

Africa is also flooded with natural resources that the world largely depends on. Amongst these are gold, copper, bauxite, diamond, and the one that is usually called “black gold”, crude oil. Another form of “gold” has come up today, which I term “red gold”. This is crude palm oil that amounts for a greater part of income in countries like Nigeria, Ivory Coast, DR Congo and Cameroon. And it is these countries that stand tall in the hall of fame of crude palm oil production in Africa.

Unfortunately, it is also a fact that diamonds are responsible for Sierra Leone’s worst nightmare, that Nigeria’s fuel subsidy crisis is a manifestation of the case of a country ‘living at the banks of a river and washing its hands with spittle’, that the civil war in the Congo and the Libyan crisis are cases where resources have made people wolf unto their brothers – just to name a few.

Am I deliberately leaving out Cameroon here? This should not have been surprising since World Bank Director Paul Collier in his award winning book The Bottom Billion deliberately leaves out Cameroon in most serious discussions and only mentions it briefly when referring to the depletion of resources in the Country.

I am not going to delve into questioning why Cameroon seems so much under the radar or where the depleted resources have gone to, but I am bound by conscience to wonder if Cameroon is free from the resource curse. I am going to take a look at just one resource here – what I call The ‘Red Gold’. This is crude palm oil that accounts for a greater part of income in countries like Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Cameroon. These are the countries that stand tall in the hall of fame of crude palm production in Africa.

The Republic of Cameroon which ranks fourth in crude palm oil production in Africa according to the United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has crude palm oil as one of its main agricultural products. The country which is fondly called ‘Africa in miniature’ can boost of a yearly production of about 200,000 tons of palm oil. In 2011, production was 210,000 tons up from the previous 200,000 tons.

Crude palm oil which has always been a part of the

Local Palm Oil Processing

people of much of West Africa, and Cameroon in particular actually gained industrial prominence in 1910 when the Germans established industrial plantation units around Edea under the Société de Palmerais de la Ferme Suisse. Then, came the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC), in the 1940s. And later on the PAMOIL Cameroon Ltd.

Palm oil production in Cameroon is highly favored by the tropical climate that consist of 4 to 5 months of dry season, and about 7 to 8 months of rainy season, coupled with the South West Monsoon wind that blows across the coast of the country where large agro industrial corporations like the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) is situated, including the Palm Oil Corporation of Cameroon (PAMOIL), the Manyu Oil Palm Initiative. Independent farmers too, are involved in this highly lucrative business, and most of them have come under the Cameroon Association of Palm Oil Producers, headed by Claude Leonard Mpouma, and the Small Holders Scheme.

Large farms of palm nuts used in the production of palm oil which covers about 170,000 hectares can be seen mainly in the South West, South, Littoral, Centre and East.

This new form of “Red Gold” generates a yearly income of more 200 billion FCFA, about 400 million dollars, and provides about 65,000 indirect and direct jobs.

Because of the high quality of Cameroon’s crude red palm oil; which is cholesterol free and rich in vitamin E, there’s high demand for it at home and abroad. If it is not demanded for cooking, it is demanded for the making of soap and other cosmetic products found in the greatest shops around the world.

The exponential growth in demand has meant the supply is lagging as local production fails to grow simultaneously thanks to the poor state of farm-to-market roads, crude or rudimentary machines used by some small holders and the poor quality of some of the seedlings causing am almost 100% increase in the price of palm oil from the official 450frs CFA (almost a dollar) to about 750frs CFA in the black market. This poses a problem given that a majority of Cameroonians in the local areas live on less than a dollar a day. Much like Black Gold, this resource seems to be going down the road of becoming too expensive for the ordinary man.

The State of Most Cameroonian roads – Source: Cameroon Today Newspaper

While one could be optimistic enough to say that the future of palm oil in Cameroon is bright because of the ‘tarring’ of some farm-to-market roads, like the famous Kumba-Buea stretch of road, the widening of the Douala –Yaoundé road, and the provision of high yielding palm seedlings to farmers by structures like the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC), PAMOIL Cameroon Ltd, Programme de Developémment de Palmerais Villageois(PDPV), which also coordinates the activities of small holders farmers, the question that remains unanswered is whether these modest achievements are worth commending in a country so richly blessed

Maybe I am not being reasonable here, given that the government has signed many agreements in favor of the farmers and in 2010, it jointly launched a project with the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Africa’s biggest producer of palm oil) aimed at generating income in the palm oil sector in four years time, supported by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the Common Fund for Commodities.   Recently, Cameroon and UNIDO reached a deal in Vienna, Austria to promote the industrialization of palm oil production in Cameroon. Following this programme, four pilot centres were chosen; the Agro Industrial Unit in Bora in the East, Massoumbou Gardens in Littoral, the Agro Industrial Development Company in the South and the Manya Oil Palm Cooperative in the South West. This will certainly bridge the gap between demand and supply which requires the creation of about 20,000 hectares of palm tree farms yearly.

Modern Palm Oil Processing

These are wonderful efforts with great prospects but history and the reality of international trade dampen my hilarity. It is true that today, for the first time, most African countries have made the most impressive breakthrough into global markets for goods and services other than just primary products, it is also true that most of the firms established during the colonial era,[2] still continue to play a major role in the export-import trade of the now independent States which were their former colonial preserves. Most of these pay very low prices for the cash crops they export to Europe while they set very high prices for the finished products they import for sale in Africa. Also, the major share of their profits is sent back to their home countries rather than being invested in the African economies where the profits are made. This has the unfortunate effect that a structural imbalance is created in the African economies resulting from their over dependence on the export of one of few primary products and this makes their economies extremely vulnerable to external factors and seriously hinders their internal development.

This is my fear for the future of ‘Red Gold’.


[1] The Dutch disease is an economic concept that explains the apparent relationship between the increase in exploitation of natural resources and a decline in the manufacturing sector.

[2] e.g. UAC which is now Unilever

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?

As I watched it on the news, I could hear whistles and shouts of “shame on you” as tents were thrown in to rubbish trucks. This happened when Occupy London Stock Exchange activists were evicted from outside St Paul’s Church in London after many months of occupation by people protesting the excesses of capitalism. This was not the first eviction and obviously not the first time that a government had crushed the voice of the oppressed – of course we heard stories of the Occupy Wall Street, the Occupy Oakland and Occupy Nigeria at the beginning of the year and many more sweeping across the globe, which have mainly dwindled into oblivion. What made this stand out in my mind was a question one of the protesters held high at the beginning of the camping at St. Paul’s – “WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?”


In my view, which I am sure, may be nuanced or even crass, all these people had not simply been after the downfall of capitalism and neoliberalism, rather, I saw their actions as acts of prayer – calling on those whom God had put in authority to do some introspection and change their attitude towards the less privileged. I therefore did not see these protests as simply one against capitalism or neoliberalism, but one that was aimed at eliciting a response from all people of God worldwide.

At this stage, I am sure you will be wondering exactly what I mean by prayer. My view is not much different from yours.

PRAYER: MY UNDERSTANDING

I understand prayer to be the practice of invoking the presence of God.  It is that place where pride is abandoned, hope is lifted, and supplication is made.  Prayer is that place of admitting our need, of adopting humility, and claiming dependence upon God.  Prayer is that needful practice of the Christian or the Moslem.  Prayer is that exercise of faith and hope.  Specifically, in Christendom, prayer is that privilege bequeathed to man, of touching the heart of the Father through the Son, Jesus.

Prayer is therefore, not a one-way traffic. It is an action that should elicit a response. Prayer is an action that is expected to provoke a soothing reaction that should equal or overwhelm the expectations of the interlocutor.

Another question that just crossed my mind, and I guess yours, is, who should do the reacting?

WHO ANSWERS PRAYERS AND HOW?

The answer to the WHO is obvious but I think the HOW is one that calls for closer analysis. From Old Testament times, God has answered prayers but I rarely can recall any time he did so without making use of an intermediary. Joseph was used to save his family from famine. Moses was used to liberate the Israelites from bondage and all the miracles that occurred throughout the process came as a direct result of an action by Moses on God’s directives. Different prophets played similar roles, culminating in the coming of Jesus Christ who is the Messiah! He is the liberator! His manifesto can be summed up in the words – “’The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised”. How then did Jesus fulfil this mandate in his time? He did this by practically healing the sick and preaching to the people.

And oh! He did not only end there… he was always acting as an advocate for those who could not speak for themselves, the apogee and decisive moment being the driving from the Temple (which coincidentally happens to be the Gospel reading for this third Sunday of Lent). I will not want us to conclude that the people who did the different forms of businesses in the Temple were capitalists. What we can all agree on, however, is that they both represent a class or an ideology that is oppressive and exploitative. But has Christianity been living up to its expectation of being a voice for the oppressed? Can God still use us as instruments for answering prayers? Marx did not think so, and many secularists may agree… but I would not be too quick to concur because we can still use Jesus’ as the Way to direct our actions.

SO! WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?

It is my opinion that had Jesus simply preached and healed the sick, he would still have been a thorn in the flesh of the Pharisees and Sadducees but he may not have been killed. The cleansing of the Temple, an episode described in all four Gospels: St. Matthew (21:12-13), St. Mark (11:15-18), St. Luke (19:45-46), St. John (2:14-17) was the final straw that broke the camel’s back. The Chief Priest and his family were making a fortune from the sale of animals for sacrifices and for all the money-changing, which was the only means to obtain the currency to buy animals and birds for sacrifices. Outraged, Jesus made a whip of cords and drove them out of the Temple.”… and he went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold there. He upset the tables of the money-changers and the seats of the dealers in pigeons; and he would not allow anyone to carry goods through the temple court. Then he began to teach them, and said, ‘Does not scripture say, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations”? But you have made it a hideout for thieves.’ (Mark 11:15-17). This singular action was pivotal in Caiaphas’ doggedness that Christ should die, to save the source of the illegal wealth being amassed by his family.

I am sure at this stage it is already obvious what Christ would do in the wake of all the protests against oppression going on in the world. He will make a whip, go in and drive out the exploiters. That is to say, he will show solidarity towards those suffering, not just by speaking from a pulpit but actually confronting the suffering ad radice. This is the surest means of bringing liberation and prosperity to any people. Failure to be Christ-like in our attitude towards the poor and marginalised is to invite criticisms.

Little wonder Nkrumah accused Christianity of being an instrument of transferring the attention of the people from “inside” the universe to “outside” the universe. This is a contradiction to the liberating power of Christianity, which takes effects with the gaze of people fixed on things outside the world, and the things inside the world which conditions the existence of every human being suffering neglect. If Christianity is failing to have an impact in Africa, the problem rather than being too much religion, as secularists would want us to believe, lies with our failure to make credible use of its liberating power.

In conclusion, it is my belief that if our prayers are to be meaningful in bringing about solace in a scourged world, they should be matched by an equal measure of action. God will only answer prayers by relying on you and me to take the right action and condemn the wrong one without fear of retribution. To borrow from Wole Soyinka, “The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny” and so Christ dies in all who do not proactively show solidarity with the oppressed.

Attack on Syria likely before March?

After the Arab Leagues discontinuation of it´s mission in Syria, the closure of European and Arab Embassies in Damascus, and the non binding resolution of the United Nations General Assembly, all signals are set “Go” for the War on Syria and Iran. The remaining questions are, what will be the pretext to trigger the transition from the months long covert to an overt war, when will it be initiated, how is it likely to develop, and what will the outcome be.

Diplomacy: The discontinuation of the Arab leagues mission in Syria and the closure of European and Arab Embassies prompted the Russian UN Envoy Vitaly Churkin to interpret them as possible precursors of war. (1) The adoption of a non binding resolution by the United Nations General Assembly on Syria on Thursday came after intense US-American and Western European diplomatic pressure on politically and economically dependent nations, and following the Russian and Chinese rejection of a draft resolution at the UN Security Council on 4 February.

On Sunday Syria rejected the Arab League´s resolution that was calling for a UN-Arab Peacekeeping force in Syria, combined with the tightening of economic sanctions on Syria. The resolution was perceived as blatant interference into Syrian internal affairs. More over, the fact that several of the nations that sponsored the Arab Leagues resolution, and who would be the most likely candidates to volunteer “UN Peace Keepers”, are the very nations that are waging an illegal covert war against Syria; namely, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, with the aid of Turkey, USA, UK, and other NATO Member States. Both Syria, Russia, and China opposed the Arab League Resolution to prevent what they called a new Libya like scenario.

Vitaly Churkin stated, that the draft resolution was unbalanced and that it reflected the tendencies that cause Russia concerns. Namely, the attempt to isolate the Syrian political leadership, the rejection of any contacts with it, and the attempt to impose a political settlement formula from the outside. According to Churkin, Russia also rejected the draft resolution because non of the Russian amendments had been adopted. Churkin elicited, that Russia was especially critical of the failure to include a call on all armed groups to cease attacking residential neighborhoods and government institutions, as well as a call on government troops to leave cities and towns. Churkin also concluded that failure to adopt these points did not leave Russia with any other choice than to vote against the draft.(2)

On Thursday, the European Union adopted a resolution, urging the Russian Government to immediately halt the sales of arms to Syria. The E.U. resolution was widely perceived by analysts as meant for domestic consumption in the attempt to cognitively and emotionally prepare populations of E.U. Member States for a significant “freeze” in E.U.-Russian relations and a possible indirect or direct military conflict with Russia. Syria is the largest Arab importer of Russian arms. (3) However, seen from an objective perspective, the relatively modest Russian arms sales to Syria dwarf the heavy US and E.U. arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Israel and other regional countries.

On 2 January, nsnbc reported that the US will deliver 84 new F-15 Boeing Fighter Jets to Saudi Arabia and significantly upgrade it´s existing fleet. (4) It is an arms deal, supporting a regional US ally, that is waging a covert war on Syria and is arming what is euphemistically called the “Syrian Opposition” (5), a country that is cracking down on protesters in Bahrain, and a country that only recently has beheaded a woman for “sorcery” (6). The traditional European or Prussian warfare doctrine of Carl von Clausewitz (7), that warfare should be the continuation of diplomacy by other means seems to have developed into diplomacy being warfare by other means. The fact that Clausewitz was inspired by Hegel seemingly makes this permutation easy. Create a problem, foster a popular demand for a solution which suits your strategic interests, and deliver the solution. The fostering and abuse of what is euphemistically sold as “The Arab Spring” with capital letters, like “The Holocaust” and the offering of military intervention as solution is a perfect example of Hegelian Dialectics; An Arab Spring, that is cynically, manufactured along the guidelines of the US Special Forces Training Circular for Unconventional Warfare, TC 18-01, which has bee published on nsnbc this week. (8)

War. After failed initiatives to lend apparent legitimacy to the war on Syria and Iran, the questions that call for being answered are; what will be the “event” that is used as pretext for entering an overt military stage of the war, when is it most likely to occur, how will it most likely develop and what is a plausible outcome. All signals are on “go”, the fuse is lit.

The Russian Military is bracing itself for the outbreak of a regional, and potentially wider Middle Eastern or Global War and is on a high state of alert. According to “The Hindu” the Head of the Russian General Staff, General Mikael Markov, informed at a Moscow Press Conference, that Iran is a sore spot for Russia, and that it is likely that a decision to attack Iran will be made within months, a little closer to the summer. Markov added, that Iran was capable of giving a sharp repulse to the attack. Also Russian Admiral Vladimir Komovedov reportedly said, that given the current military build-up in the Persian Gulf, any spark could set off the fire of a regional conflict. Komovedov, who is heading the Russian State Duma´s Defense Committee told foreign military attaches in Moscow that the US could attack Iran any time now with a simultaneous launch of 450 Tomahawk cruise missiles from warships deployed in the region. The Russian general Staff has established a “situation center” and is monitoring the situation around the clock in real time. (9)

Over the recent months Russia has significantly reinforced it´s Southern regions and borders with air, ground and maritime forces. An attack on Iran would most likely incite Iran to attack US Oil Installations in the Caspian Sea, and a developing conflict would involve Georgia, Azerbaijan, Ossetia, Chechnya and destabilize the entire Caspian Region. With an attack on Syria being the most likely “initiator”, and Iran bound to respond, it is most likely only a question of time before the powder keg ignites.

It is unlikely that the USA and NATO will be able to take on Iran directly and with massive ground forces, before it has either significantly reduced the Syrian governments military capabilities, or succeeded in ousting the Syrian Government. It is also most likely, that the US, NATO, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will be counting on “plausible deniability” as long as possible while waging war on Syria, in an attempt to position Iran and Russia as villains who intervene militarily. The ongoing development on the ground is strongly indicating that this is the most probable strategy.

Jordan. According to a report from 13 December 2011, an unspecified number of US troops that were withdrawn from Iraq had been re-deployed to Jordanian Air Force Bases as well as in Jordanian villages near Al-Mafraq, along the Jordanian-Syrian border.(10)

Since then, the NATO Alliance has established a buffer zone along the Jordanian-Syrian border, which according to sources around former Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit is currently housing 43.000 “rebels” from Libya who are waiting for a signal to attack Syria. The so called buffer zone is established around the cities of Mafraq and Ramtha, and is approximately 30 km long and 10 km deep. The zone has reportedly been closed for civilian and non authorized persons. Three large camps, housing about 20.000 mercenaries of the “Tripoli Brigades” led by Abdelhakim Belhadj have reportedly been established. The sources around former Jordanian P.M. Marouf Bakhit, which have good ties to Jordanian Intelligence Services, state, that the total number of foreign fighters in Jordan, poised for an attack on Syria is 43.000. The transport of the NATO mercenaries has largely been conducted under the cover of medical evacuations from Libya, and that some of Jordan´s Royal Medical Services Hospitals as well as Hotels are filled beyond capacity with foreign fighters poised for war on Syria.

According to the same sources, a contingent of dozens of Turkish Intelligence Officers have been the Rabia district and established an operations room in Mecca Street. The Turkish operation also functions as recruitment office for Jihadi´s and mercenaries who wish to enlist in the planned attack on Syria.

Lebanon and Turkey. According to sources with ties to Jordanian Intelligence a shipment of over 50 T of Israeli Military Equipment, worth over USD 650 million has arrived at Erbil Airport in Kurdistan. The weapons have reportedly been paid by “Rafael Industries”.Lebanese M.P. and Chairman of the Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party, Walid Jumblatt´s recent shuttling to Qatar, Iraqi Kurdistan and Turkey have specifically been tied to the arms delivery.  The weapons are planned to go on route to Homs. Jumblatt is well known for his anti Syrian meddling. During the protracted Lebanese civil war Jumblatt was a significant agent for division within the progressive alliance and known to have repeatedly sabotaged Syrian attempts to unite progressive forces around a pan-arabic solution that also embraced the Palestinian problem.

Syria First. But When.

Libya was not the easy push-over as many may have expected. The profound and still ongoing resistance of the legitimate Libyan governments forces and the Libyan people has most likely contributed to a delay of the war plans against Syria and Iran. Syria will be even harder to destabilize. The Syrian people are standing in a surprisingly strong solidarity behind their government and against the foreign led insurgency. NATO´s lack of ability to push for another Libya Style UN Resolution has significantly delayed the window for overt military intervention by NATO and allied countries.NATO´s problem with respect to Iran is, that it can not afford to attack Iran directly as long as Syria is not significantly destabilized, and the window of opportunity for a war on Iran in 2012 is already closing and is to be expected by middle of April if it is to be realized this year.

The rapidly closing window for an attack on Iran is adding to NATO´s urgency to initiate a Syrian campaign. Other contributing factors to the urgency are the problems that are arising with maintaining a force of largely uncontrolled and undisciplined foreign fighters in Turkey and Jordan. Another factor which is adding urgency to initiating an assault on Syria is the political nightmare that would arise for NATO if millions of Syrians turned out voting for the new Syrian Constitution, and protesting for President Bashar Al-Assad and against foreign intervention and aggression. What is needed is a plausible excuse for an intervention, and before the results of the referendum for the new Syrian Constitution can be proclaimed.

On 26 February the people of Syria will hold a referendum about the new Syrian Constitution. A referendum that will most likely be the point where the masses of NATO mercenaries in Jordan and Turkey will be given the “go” for an assault on Syria. Massive unrests and violence on the 26th may be the excuse NATO is creating.

Neither Iran nor Russia are particularly interested in becoming engaged in a direct confrontation with the NATO led aggression. The responses to an assault on Syria via Jordan, Turkey and eventually Lebanon will largely depend on the Syrian military´s capability to cope with the situation, and if NATO dares to raise the stakes, risking a confrontation with Russia. Would Iran stay passive when NATO mercenaries launch an attack via Jordan? If so, a Russian response would be strongly depending on the Syrian military capability to handle an assault by 40.000 fighters from Jordan, and if the West insists on intervening with regular forces. If Iran is getting involved the situation may be better for Syria. Can Iran muster a limited response that could not serve as pretext for a war against it ? Will Russia assert it´s influence over Iran and keep it from attacking US Oil refineries in the Caspian ? I don´t know, and most probably nobody really does. What is certain however, is that the Russian, Iranian and Syrian military forces are on alert and in anticipation of developments that can turn the region a thunder within the hour. What ever the outcome, the victim is humanity.

Dr. Christof Lehmann on nsnbc

17.02.2012

1) Russian envoy: Embassies closure in Syria could mean preparations for military intervention; TREND.  http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1992801.html

2) Russian Envoy Slams UN General Assembly’s Syria Resolution http://en.rian.ru/russia/20120217/171356084.html

3) EU Urges Russia To Halt Syria Arms Sales.  http://en.rian.ru/world/20120216/171347105.html

4) US Delivers New F-15´s to Saudi Arabia.  http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/us-delivers-new-f-15%C2%B4s-to-saudi-arabia/

5) The Manufacturing of the War on Syria. Christof Lehmann (2011), nsnbc. http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2011/12/15/the-manufacturing-of-the-war-on-syria/

6) Saudi woman beheaded for “sorcery”. http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/saudi-woman-beheaded-for-sorcery/

7) Carl von Clausewitz. Wiki. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_von_Clausewitz

8) US-Military Logic behind Syrian Insurgency. The “Special Forces Unconventional Warfare” manual” TC 18-01. Christof Lehmann (2012) nsnbc.  http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/us-military-logic-behind-syrian-insurgency-the-special-forces-unconventional-warfare-manual-tc-18-01/

9)Attack on Iran not far off says Russian general. The Hindu.  http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2899679.ece

10) Foreign Troops Begin to Spread near Al-Mafraq. Boilingforgspost/nsnbc. http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/foreign-troops-begin-to-spread-in-syria/

The Truth About the Situation in Libya

By Brian Becker, National Coordinator, ANSWER Coalition 

Aug 13 - Stop Bombing LibyaLibya is a small country of just over 6 million people but it possesses the largest oil reserves in all of Africa. The oil produced there is especially coveted because of its particularly high quality.

The Air Force of the United States along with Britain and France has carried out 7,459 bombing attacks since March 19. Britain, France and the United States sent special operation ground forces and commando units to direct the military operations of the so-called rebel fighters – it is a NATO- led army in the field.

The troops may be disaffected Libyans but the operation is under the control and direction of NATO commanders and western commando units who serve as “advisors.” Their new weapons and billions in funds come from the U.S. and other NATO powers that froze and seized Libya’s assets in Western banks. Their only military successes outside of Benghazi, in the far east of the country, have been exclusively based on the coordinated air and ground operations of the imperialist NATO military forces.

In military terms, Libya’s resistance to NATO is of David and Goliath proportions. U.S. military spending alone is more than ten times greater than Libya’s entire annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which was $74.2 billion in 2010, according to the CIA’s World Fact Book.

In recent weeks, the NATO military operations used surveillance-collecting drones, satellites, mounting aerial attacks and covert commando units to decapitate Libya’s military and political leadership and its command and control capabilities. Global economic sanctions meant that the country was suddenly deprived of income and secure access to goods and services needed to sustain a civilian economy over a long period.

“The cumulative effect [of NATO’s coordinated air and ground operation] not only destroyed Libya’s military infrastructure but also greatly diminished Colonel Gaddafi’s commanders to control forces, leaving even committed fighting units unable to move, resupply or coordinate operations,“ reports the New York Times in a celebratory article on August 22.

A False Pretext

The United States, United Kingdom, France, and Italy targeted the Libyan government for overthrow or “regime change” not because these governments were worried about protecting civilians or to bring about a more democratic form of governance in Libya.

If that were the real motivation of the NATO powers, they could start the bombing of Saudi Arabia right away. There are no elections in Saudi Arabia. The monarchy does not even allow women to drive cars. By law, women must be fully covered in public or they will go to prison. Protests are rare in Saudi Arabia because any dissent is met with imprisonment, torture and execution.

The Saudi monarchy is protected by U.S. imperialism because it is part of an undeclared but real U.S. sphere of influence and it is the largest producer of oil in the world. The U.S. attitude toward the Saudi monarchy was put succinctly by Ronald Reagan in 1981, when he said that the U.S. government “will not permit” revolution in Saudi Arabia such as the 1979 Iranian revolution that removed the U.S. client regime of the Shah. Reagan’s message was clear: the Pentagon and CIA’s military forces would be used decisively to destroy any democratic movement against the rule of the Saudi royal family.

Reagan’s explicit statement in 1981 has in fact been the policy of every successive U.S. administration, including the current one.

Libya and Imperialism

Libya, unlike Saudi Arabia, did have a revolution against its monarchy. As a result of the 1969 revolution led by Muammar Gaddafi, Libya was no longer in the sphere of influence of any imperialist country.

Libya had once been an impoverished colony of Italy living under the boot heel of the fascist Mussolini. After the Allied victory in World War II, control of the country was formally transferred to the United Nations and Libya became independent in 1951 with authority vested in the monarch King Idris.

But in actuality, Libya was controlled by the United States and Britain until the 1969 revolution.

One of the first acts of the 1969 revolution was to eliminate the vestiges of colonialism and foreign control. Not only were oil fields nationalized but Gaddafi eliminated foreign military bases inside the country.

In March of 1970, the Gaddafi government shut down two important British military bases in Tobruk and El Adem. He then became the Pentagon’s enemy when he evicted the U.S. Wheelus Air Force Base near Tripoli that had been operated by the United States since 1945. Before the British military took control in 1943, the facility was a base operated by the Italians under Mussolini.

Wheelus had been an important Strategic Air Command (SAC) base during the Cold War, housing B-52 bombers and other front-line Pentagon aircrafts that targeted the Soviet Union.

Once under Libyan control, the Gaddafi government allowed Soviet military planes to access the airfield.

In 1986, the Pentagon heavily bombed the base at the same time it bombed downtown Tripoli in an effort to assassinate Gaddafi. That effort failed but his 2-year-old daughter died along with scores of other civilians.

The Character of the Gaddafi Regime

The political, social and class orientation of the Libyan regime has gone through several stages in the last four decades. The government and ruling establishment reflected contradictory class, social, religious and regional antagonisms. The fact that the leadership of the NATO-led National Transition Council is comprised of top officials of the Gaddafi government, who broke with the regime and allied themselves with NATO, is emblematic of the decades-long instability within the Libyan establishment.

These inherent contradictions were exacerbated by pressures applied to Libya from the outside. The U.S. imposed far-reaching economic sanctions on Libya in the 1980s. The largest western corporations were barred from doing business with Libya and the country was denied access to credit from western banks.

In its foreign policy, Libya gave significant financial and military support to national liberation struggles, including in Palestine, Southern Africa, Ireland and elsewhere.

Because of Libya’s economic policies, living standards for the population had jumped dramatically after 1969. Having a small population and substantial income from its oil production, augmented with the Gaddafi regime’s far-reaching policy of social benefits, created a huge advance in the social and economic status for the population. Libya was still a class society with rich and poor, and gaps between urban and rural living standards, but illiteracy was basically wiped out, while education and health care were free and extensively accessible. By 2010, the per capita income in Libya was near the highest in Africa at $14,000 and life expectancy rose to over 77 years, according to the CIA’s World Fact Book.

Gaddafi’s political orientation explicitly rejected communism and capitalism. He created an ideology called the “Third International Theory,” which was an eclectic mix of Islamic, Arab nationalist and socialist ideas and programs. In 1977, Libya was renamed the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. A great deal of industry, including oil, was nationalized and the government provided an expansive social insurance program or what is called a welfare state policy akin to some features prevalent in the Soviet Union and some West European capitalist countries.

But Libya was not a workers’ state or a “socialist government” to use the popular if not scientific use of the term “socialist.” The revolution was not a workers and peasant rebellion against the capitalist class per se. Libya remained a class society although class differentiation may have been somewhat obscured beneath the existence of revolutionary committees and the radical, populist rhetoric that emanated from the regime.

As in many developing, formerly colonized countries, state ownership of property was not “socialist” but rather a necessary fortification of an under-developed capitalist class. State property in Iraq, Libya and other such post-colonial regimes was designed to facilitate the social and economic growth of a new capitalist ruling class that was initially too weak, too deprived of capital and too cut off from international credit to compete on its own terms with the dominant sectors of world monopoly capitalism. The nascent capitalist classes in such developing economies promoted state-owned property, under their control, in order to intersect with Western banks and transnational corporations and create more favorable terms for global trade and investment.

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the “socialist bloc” governments of central and Eastern Europe in 1989-91 deprived Libya of an economic and military counter-weight to the United States, and the Libyan government’s domestic economic and foreign policy shifted towards accommodation with the West.

In the 1990s some sectors of the Libyan economic establishment and the Gaddafi-led government favored privatization, cutting back on social programs and subsidies and integration into western European markets.

The earlier populism of the regime incrementally gave way to the adoption of neo-liberal policies. This was, however, a long process.

In 2004, the George W. Bush administration ended sanctions on Libya. Western oil companies and banks and other corporations initiated huge direct investments in Libya and trade with Libyan enterprises.

There was also a growth of unemployment in Libya and in cutbacks in social spending, leading to further inequality between rich and poor and class polarization.

But Gaddafi himself was still considered a thorn in the side of the imperialist powers. They want absolute puppets, not simply partners, in their plans for exploitation. The Wikileaks release of State Department cables between 2007 and 2010 show that the United states and western oil companies were condemning Gaddafi for what they called “resource nationalism.” Gaddafi even threatened to re-nationalize western oil companies’ property unless Libya was granted a larger share of the revenue for their projects.

As an article in today’s New York Times Business section said honestly: “”Colonel Qaddafi proved to be a problematic partner for the international oil companies, frequently raising fees and taxes and making other demands. A new government with close ties to NATO may be an easier partner for Western nations to deal with.”

Even the most recent CIA Fact Book publication on Libya, written before the armed revolt championed by NATO, complained of the measured tempo of pro-market reforms in Libya: “Libya faces a long road ahead in liberalizing the socialist-oriented economy, but initial steps— including applying for WTO membership, reducing some subsidies, and announcing plans for privatization—are laying the groundwork for a transition to a more market-based economy.” (CIA World Fact Book)

The beginning of the armed revolt on February 23 by disaffected members of the Libyan military and political establishment provided the opportunity for the U.S. imperialists, in league with their French and British counterparts, to militarily overthrow the Libyan government and replace it with a client or stooge regime.

Of course, in the revolt were workers and young people who had many legitimate grievances against the Libyan government. But what is critical in an armed struggle for state power is not the composition of the rank-and-file soldiers, but the class character and political orientation of the leadership.

Character of the National Transition Council

The National Transitional Council (NTC) constituted itself as the leadership of the uprising in Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city. The central leader is Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, who was Libya’s Minister of Justice until his defection at the start of the uprising. He was one of a significant number of Western-oriented and neoliberal officials from Libya’s government, diplomatic corps and military ranks who joined the opposition in the days immediately after the start of the revolt.

As soon as it was established, the NTC began issuing calls for imperialist intervention. These appeals became increasing panicky as it became clear that, contrary to early predictions that the Gaddafi-led government would collapse in a matter of days, it was the “rebels” who faced imminent defeat in the civil war. In fact, it was only due to the U.S./NATO bombing campaign, initiated with great hurry on March 19 that the rebellion did not collapse.

The last five months of war have erased any doubt about the pro-imperialist character of the NTC. One striking episode took place on April 22, when Senator John McCain made a “surprise” trip to Benghazi. A huge banner was unveiled to greet him with an American flag printed on it and the words: “United States of America – You have a new ally in North Africa.”

Similar to the military relationship between the NATO and Libyan “rebel” armed forces, the NTC is entirely dependent on and subordinated to the U.S., French, British and Italian imperialist governments.

If the Pentagon, CIA, and Wall Street succeed in installing a client regime in Tripoli it will accelerate and embolden the imperialist threats and intervention against other independent governments such as Syria and Venezuela. In each case we will see a similar process unfold, including the demonization of the leadership of the targeted countries so as to silence or mute a militant anti-war response to the aggression of the war-makers.

We in the ANSWER Coalition invite all those who share this perspective to join with us, to mobilize, and to unmask the colonial agenda that hides under the slogan of “humanitarian intervention.”

DEMOCRATISATION AND THE STATE IN LATIN AMERICA.

If I had some serious difficulties before beginning this week’s session, the first part of the session did little to help my situation. If anything, it actually made it worse.  This is because I had expected the lecture… I really don’t know what I expected… but I know it was something really big. Afterall it was a huge topic DEMOCRATISATION AND THE STATE IN LATIN AMERICA. But here was Tom‘s brief outline:

  • Geography & history matter
  • The development of democracy
  • Does democracy matter?

It got me really thinking because the concept of “democracy” that is so popular today, with the general public, the elite and especially the international community, is political. But given that we had established the primacy of politics and the difficulty seperating politics from economics I naturally expected the talk on democratisation to have a lot of politics and economics running through it. This is because “…democracy assumes a high minimum level of affluence and well-being, successful democratisation must be predicated on continuing economic performance… continuing economic performance is the foundation for sustainable democracy and national stability.”

But then… Why history? Why Geography? I finally got the point half way through the lectures: THEY REALLY DID MATTER!!! The spatiotemporal aspects of any form of governance could be said to be the most important determinant of its success. This took my mind back to the fundamental questions of knowledge raised by Socrates.

According to this Great Grand Father of mine, definition of a moral quality is not a matter of what people think. His argument is that we cannot determine what goodness, or justice, or piety, is by conducting a poll. As a result, whether something or someone has a given moral quality is also not a matter of mere opinion. Whether an act or a person is good, or just, or pious,  is not something that can simply be settled through the ballot. In the dialogue Euthyphro we see a good example of Socrates’ belief that moral qualities are real, not conventional. According to Euthyphro piety can be defined as what the gods all love but Socrates contends that even if all the gods agree about which things are pious, that doesn’t tell us what piety is. If the gods love something because it is pious, then its being pious must be something independent of their loving it – something independent of opinion – something objective.

The etymology of the  word “democracy” is  from the words demos “people” and kratos “rule” conjoined together to mean, literally, “rule by the people”. This can be said to be the only objective truth about democracy. When we begin to spread it to different places and give it different interpretations, it takes the form of the social milieu in which it is interpreted. Rule by the people will therefore be a very age and location-specific thing. The concept of ‘democracy’ should not therefore be considered ‘good’ without contention simply because it has been tested and it did work in one part of the globe at a particular point in time.

The one major challenge that Plato’s critique of democracy still poses is the question of  whether the citizens of today’s democracies are interested and informed enough to take part meaningfully in the democratic process. Can today’s self-proclaimed democracies boast of being societies where people are “their own governors”– where they are well enough informed to be effectively in control of their commonwealth and their lives? Do the citizens of these societies really understand why wars are declared, resources committed, debts incurred, relations denied, and so forth? Could it be that a majority of citizens live in a cognitive haze that reduces them to voting on the basis of uninformed convictions, catchy slogans, and altogether vague hunches and feelings? These questions all raced through my mind as I listened to Tom deliver the “tale of woes” that was the political history of Latin America spanning about 200 years. What was churning was not just the

  • 450 political assassinations  •20 coups •140 guerrilla wars or revolutions •113 crises
  • Argentina in four years (’73-6):–45 assassinations–3 revolutions–15 riots…

I could not say what was authentically Latin American and what was American or US. When statements came up like…

  1. Munroe Doctrine, the US began a  long history of intervention and influence in its backyard establishing its own sphere of influence in the Western Hemisphere. More than 30 interventions in Central America and Caribeans in early 1900s to 1934.
  2. Central America: long US backed personal dictatorships: Samoza, Trujillo, Duvalier

… I could not help but arrive at a conclusion… To effectively understand the concept of democratisation in the world today, one must go beyond trite observations and homogenous definition like “a form of political regime in which citizens choose, in competitive elections, the occupants of the top political offices of the state” (Bratton and Van de Walle 1997) This definition did not mention the role of external actors… hence it is not a complete definition of democratisation.

Carothers, T. (2010) Takes a step in the right direction by saying that “… it is a mistake to assume that democratization—especially open national elections—is always a good idea. When tried in countries poorly prepared for it, democratization can and often does result in bad outcomes—illiberal leaders or extremists in power, virulent nationalism, ethnic and other types of civil conflict, and interstate wars.” The question is: if ‘they’ are poorly prepared for it, who then advocates for it in the first place? Carothers however plays an interesting tune and increases the rhythm when he goes on to add

“To prevent such results, certain preconditions, above all, the rule of law and a well-functioning state should be in place before a society democratises. United States, and the West generally, should rethink their approach and commitment to democracy promotion. In some countries, staying with an existing autocratic regime is a better alternative.”

May be… just may be, if many nations could be allowed a free hand at self-determination, we would have different stories to tell. Yes we may have had stories of another form of ‘democracy’ that has been forged out of the unique experience and geographical peculiarities of the Latin American region – but can this ever be possible when there is this “invisible hand” always coming from outside to determine when there should be peace and when there should be chaos? The preconditions of democratisation proposed by Carothers are themselves only possible within a democratic state. This is therefore an ideal too simple to conceive but unfortunately too difficult to achieve.

Sensing this of course, it would seem, Carothers proposes further that “…taking into account the many complications and risks of democratization and democracy promotion is gradualism, which aims at building democracy slowly in certain contexts, but not avoiding it or putting it off indefinitely.” This is the argument that makes me agree more with a Chinese who insisted the China was a democracy… yes! Who says it is not? Unless we want to openly acknowledge that their having elections every five years is not enough self-determination or that we have a problem with the fact that the government has recognised that it is in hostile international territory and does not give the “invisible hand” an opportunity to create disorder; or do we want to acknowledge that it is not only about the rule of law and a strong state (for China has these) which are prerequisites to democratisation; may be we should bring it down to the fact that there is no freedom of expression.

I hope the conclusion is not being drawn that I will prefer to be in an undemocratic state where there is no freedom of expression. That is far from being the case. What I am driving at is that no matter what the names we call them –  oligarchy to bureaucracy; Populism and corporatism; Bureaucratic-authoritarian state to democracy… anyone who knows the difference between theory and reality will prefer to be in a “communist China” than in “democratic Latin America.” It is better to know that you are not free and be alive than to live under the illusion that you are free and end up with a bullet. Many of those assassinated in Latin America where in the second category.

I find it difficult to stop but stop I must. Not however, without indicating that there is need to revisit the whole notion of democracy in this era of “globalisation” . This is because  we have two levels – the Macro and the Micro. By Macrodemocracy I mean when governments create international rules and institutions to deal with issues such as governance, trade, human rights, and the environment. Thus far, the international political arena has been governed by undemocratic rules – countries have little or no freedom of self-determination. This brings in the problem of Microdemocracy which we have been discussing. Its failure could be attributed to the failure of the macro to create the necessary conditions for it to thrive. Could this be the reason why states have been failing? Could it be because there is no macrodemocracy while there is a huge demand for microdemocracy? I am sure to find out next week