Even if one were tempted to discard everything Plato wrote, his argument that in the Ideal State, Reason should rule over Courage and Appetite, cannot be overlooked. This has been proven beyond measure over the past few days as the clouds of foreign invasion hangs over Syria, drowning the throes of the inglorious civil war that has engulfed the nation for over 2 years. Beating the drums and sounding the gongs of this war have been Western leaders, notably those of the United States, the United Kingdom and France. The high level of irrationality exhibited by some of the statements of these leaders, challenges the folly of the dark ages.
For example, how could David Cameron so boldly tell the world that there is evidence that the Syrian government has used Chemical weapons against its own people over 10 times already, presents a motion to be debated in parliament with the support of his Deputy, which claims of ‘at least 14 times’, yet fails to back this with any evidence other than what they call ‘highly sensitive intelligence’? How could Francoise Hollande make the rather strong and obviously naïve statement that France will ‘punish’ all those responsible for the attack, when he was in no way capable of telling who did it and the work of the UN Inspectors was yet to determine what substances were used and by whom and clearly oblivious of the fact that punitive action has no place in international law?
If anyone was to wonder who was playing the music to which these two stooges were dancing, then look no further than the United States of America. But the question that should be asked ab initio is: why all the flurry all of a sudden? Who is playing the music to which the USA itself is dancing?
At other times, it would be easy to point to Israel. This time, paradoxically, it is no other than what Paul Flynn says is a ‘foolishly drawn red line’ by
President Obama that needed to be crossed in Syria to become a catalyst for action. Paul Flynn, Labour MP for Newport West goes on to argue that the real reason “…is not because of the horror of these weapons and the horror exists – but because the American president foolishly drew a red line and because of his position now, he’s going to attack or face humiliation. That’s why we’re being drawn into war”. Why then is this ‘Red Line’ statement a catalyst for invasion?
The Obama ‘RED LINE’
At the beginning of the Syrian conflict, there was only one message from the West which they claimed was the panacea to the crises… Assad had to leave power. In fact, during the last US presidential debate, President Obama firmly asserted that “Syrians are going to have to determine their own future” and Mitt Romney twice made the point that he did not ” want to have our military involved in Syria.” Both Candidates however agreed that the US needed to “make sure they [the Syrian opposition] have the arms necessary to defend themselves [though] We do need to make sure that they don’t have arms that get into the wrong hands” said Mr. Romney and President Obama concurred “For us to get more entangled militarily in Syria is a serious step, and we have to do so making absolutely certain that we know who we are helping; that we’re not putting arms in the hands of folks who eventually could turn them against us or allies in the region.”
So arming the rebels was not debatable hence it will be anyone’s guess how the rebels have been able to sustain their offensive till date.
The point of the Obama ‘red line’ became an area of agreement between the Vice Presidential Candidates. When Raddatz asked Paul Ryan “What happens if Assad does not fall, Congressman Ryan? What happens to the region? What happens if he hangs on? What happens if he does?”
The response was ” Then Iran keeps their greatest ally in the region. He’s a sponsor of terrorism. He’ll probably continue slaughtering his people. We and the world community will lose our credibility on this.” And then again Raddatz quizzed “So what would Romney-Ryan do about that credibility?” And came the obvious answer “Well, we agree with the same RED LINE, actually, they do on chemical weapons, but not putting American troops in, other than to secure those chemical weapons. They’re right about that.”
From the onset therefore, it has never been about the Syrian people who would die because of a chemical weapons attack, but because it will be a blow to the image of the United States and a plus for Iran if Assad did not go in the end.
President Obama in his characteristic cautious nature when it comes to interventions, had therefore laid the precedence by making the infamous statement that the only time an intervention in Syria will be indubitable would be if ‘a red line was crossed’. While many at the time questioned what the red line could signify in real terms or how it could be measured, very few, if any, questioned the possibility that the line could be crossed by the rebels.
Out of the blue that ‘red line’ has now been crossed because a few hundred people had joined the hundreds of thousand others who had met unprecedented death because of the civil war. Before UN inspectors had even begun their investigations, a conclusion had been drawn in Washington that it MUST have been the Syrian Regime.
While this may have come as a surprise to many, it would have been expected by those who have been following the Syrian conflict closely.
The Syrian Conflict – How Far, So far?
One major outcome of the so-called Arab Spring, was the testing of the concept of humanitarian wars, enshrined in the notion of ‘responsibility to Protect’. Libya was the first laboratory, the rhetoric of ‘Gaddafi killing his own people’ was amplified and sold to the world. Everyone was tricked, including the United Nations which sat by and watched NATO use ‘all necessary means’ to ‘protect’ Libyans from Gaddafi. ‘All necessary means’ as ambiguous as it sounded, proved just that – equivocal at best, obscenely abstruse at worse. Libyans and their country was bombed indiscriminately, killed and maimed to ‘protect’ them from being killed by Gaddafi. After the murder of Gaddafi, Libyans were left at the mercy of armed rebels. America failed to protect her own diplomats in a Libya which had returned to the ‘state of nature’. There is no question then that they could not protect a singly Libyan. As irresponsible as the neglect of Libya was, it was not questioned by many. Emboldened by the Libyan experiment, Syria became the next in line.
The euphoria of erecting western-style democracies albeit through the use of mass revolution caught a few Syrians who were naïve enough to believe that democracy, rather than being a process, was something that could simply be uprooted and replanted. The seeds of a civil war had been planted. While Western countries quickly took to providing logistic support to rebel factions and arming them, Russia was busy fortifying the Syrian Regime. As the proxy wars were being fought, Syrians were dying in thousands and many more were becoming refugees.
As disunited as the rebels were, they soon made quick advance, capturing many cities including key ones like, Homs, Aleppo and Qusayr. As the rebels made rapid progress, all talk of using diplomatic means to end the conflict were quickly squashed. Many UN missions to Syria to negotiate peace ended in fiascos. As each successful mission was botched, the Syrian regime was blamed for refusing to negotiate.
By the second quarter of 2013 however, the tides began to change. The Syrian government began to gain an upper hand in the conflict, presumably with the help of Hezbollah. In the first week of June, the Syrian government gained control of Qusayr and July, government forces had regained control of Aleppo and only the old City of Homs and a few other districts were held by the opposition.
It was becoming obvious that the government had greater chances of winning. As already discussed, An Assad victory would have serious implications:
First, it would be a slap to the face of the USA and a huge setback to its hegemony.
Secondly, It would mean another lost investment by Western powers and there will be no returns from all the arms and logistic support given to the rebels.
Thirdly, it would mean a major victory for Russia and China, and especially the former who would have made huge financial gains from supplying arms to the Syrian goverment
Fourthly, it would mean the emboldenment of Iran and the consolidation of their power in the region.
This therefore meant, Assad had to be stopped from winning at all costs. Helping the rebels had proven abortive, and another direct intervention would certainly be frowned at not only in the Middle East but also within Western countries where citizens have become war-weary.
The only remaining option was therefore for the Syrian regime to do that which they had been warned not to do – cross the red line. It therefore seemed only too convenient that Syrian forces, which were already having an upper hand in the civil war, should carry out an act which they knew would inevitably bring the biggest military in the world against them.
Simple logic would tell that the Syrian regime had no reason whatsoever to use chemical weapons, whereas, the rebels, desperate for Western intervention and banking on the Obama threat, had every motivation to use it.
Obama therefore, like Herod who made a promise to Herodias’ daughter and realized too late he could not back out, had to do something. Since he cannot act on his own, he needed to recruit heralds. Remembering the gullibility of Tony Blair during the Iraqi invasion of 2003 and the role David Cameron and Nicholas Sarkozy played in Libya, Obama knew exactly who to recruit.
The British Connection and the Triumph of Reason
A 40-minute call to David Cameron did the trick. Mr. Cameron abandoned his holiday, rushed back and convened parliament, also cutting short their holidays. A motion was hurriedly put together, but like sweet palm wine, it was sweet to the mouth but void of substance. The British House of Commons came out on the 29th of August 2013 and showed the world that they were not only going to avoid being sucked into the folly of 2003, but that they had enough information to ask the questions that needed asking.
With a complete deconstruction of the government’s motion for a military intervention into Syria, Reason triumphed over Courage and Appetite. The historic defeat of the British government in parliament on an issue of foreign policy certainly marks a new dawn for imperialistic wars.
Whether the US will decide to go into Syria without the UK or not is left to be seen within the next few days. What this is going to mean for UK-US relations is still a matter of conjecture. These notwithstanding, it will go down in history that the world stood by and watched innocent children, women and men, being murdered in Syria while power-politics and proxy wars took centre stage. The UN Security Council will certainly not provide a solution as the divide that has existed over Syria will not dissolve into thin air. Of the 165 nations that signed the convention on Chemical weapons, Syria is not among (contrary to David Cameron’s postulations) meaning that the signatories of the convention do not even have the legitimacy to call Syria to order for the alleged use of chemical weapons.
While Libya has been the white elephant in the room throughout this debate, as clearly evidenced in the British Parliament where it was completely ignored and Iraq became the reference point, the failure of the Libyan intervention certainly writes a memorandum for us all.
Anyone who followed the three US Presidential debates (Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney) and the VP Debate (Ryan Paul Vs Joe Biden) may have noticed something I noticed in the last Presidential debate. While it was meant to be a debate on Foreign Policy, both Presidential Candidates seemed more comfortable with ‘taking’ the debate back home to domestic discussions. This may seem unusual to those who expected to hear the candidates thrill viewers and the electorate with their policies for the next four years, but the reality is that it is far from being unusual given the recent state of US foreign policy. Two things could be deduced from the debate
First, some of the US electorate are not interested in what the foreign policy of their presidents are, hence to convince the undecided voters, attention had to be drawn constantly to domestic policy.
Secondly, the candidates really had nothing to sell in terms of foreign policy.
In fact for the most part, both Obama and Romney were in agreement on almost every aspect of US Foreign policy – from Iraq, to Libya, to Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and Iran. The only notable difference was that while Obama thought he was doing enough and needed to sustain that (something which Republican Former Secretary of State Colin Powell agrees with), Romney thought there was need to go much further. They differed therefore only on the intensity of sanctions, the time frame for troop-withdrawals and the manner of interventions. However, whether Romney is a ‘whopper’ or not, is really of no consequence but I daresay that for him to have tagged Obama’s Middle East visit an ‘Apology tour’ means he may not be realising the changing tide of US Foreign Policy. This should not be surprising since the current policy is largely due to lessons learned from the mistakes created by people who thought like Romney.
The lessons from Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and even Syria are enough to make any US president think twice before talking as if declaring war on the first provocation, or carrying out an outright intervention, or even challenging China is fashionable. The laid-back attitude of the USA is one that therefore makes one wonder if they will soon be reconsidering isolationism or if they are simply adopting a new strategy.
Lessons From Afghanistan…
Upon the ousting of the USSR from Afghanistan in 1979, the USA thought they had scored a major victory and surely there would have been pats on backs when the USSR finally collapsed 10 years later. But just about 11 years after the collapse of the USSR, the biggest attack on American soil in recent memory took place and is largely acclaimed to have been hatched in Afghanistan. Some may therefore wonder if it would have been better if the USSR had stayed on in Afghanistan. Without thinking, Bush went on to declare war against the Taliban – a war that has not only consumed great numbers of US and NATO troops but one that has decimated large civilian populations in both Afghanistan and Pakistan and keeps terrorising people through incessant drone attacks. Most significant to this is the fact that the 2014 deadline for withdrawal does not signal victory for the USA and her allies. A lesson must surely have been learned.
Iraq: Anything to Learn?
Iran is considered today to be a serious threat to the USA and Israel especially if they succeed in getting a nuclear weapon. In the 1980’s this same Iran was caught in a long-drawn war with Iraq, a war that ended in what can be termed an ‘uneasy understanding’ between the two countries. In 1990/91, Operation Desert Storm against Iraq weakened the country considerably, and in 2003, the invasion by George W. Bush, which led to the killing of Saddam Hussein threw the country in to complete chaos and created a power vacuum, one that is quickly being filled by Iran, especially given the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. The US withdrew without achieving anything positive both for them and the Iraqis by the intervention. A lesson was surely learned.
Paying a New Price in Libya – Lesson for Syria?
The above two cases may have sent a warning note to the US about interfering too much, hence, when it got to Libya, they took a passive position initially and left France and the UK to take the lead. When it became very tough for NATO and the war was dragging on more than anticipated, the US had to come in, or fallout with her European allies. They did and killed Gaddafi and a puppet regime was installed. Less than a year later, on the anniversary of 9/11, the US again paid a big price. While the UK ambassador was earlier targeted, he was luckier than his US counterpart. Unfortunately, there is no one in Libya for the USA to go after directly, so the withdrawal attitude this time was to divert the cause of the attack to religious fundamentalism.
In the light of this, it is not surprising therefore that the USA has been taking a different attitude towards Syria. Though out-rightly seeking the overthrow of Al Assad, supporting rebel factions and admitting it will be a blow if Al Assad does not fall eventually, they have been reluctant to push enough to get full scale Libya-style ‘humanitarian’ intervention. No matter how Syria plays out in the end therefore, the US will not be able to claim any direct role in its outcome. Hence, if it turns out sour, they will not be responsible, though that will mean Iran’s influence will extend to the Mediterranean. But if it turns out the way the US wants, their objective of isolating Iran will have been realised. The long and short of all this is that the USA is gradually slowing down on its role as the self-acclaimed policeman of the world.
Isolationism – Maybe Not
From George Washington’s farewell speech, to the First World War, the USA showed great reluctance to becoming involved in European alliances and wars. Their policy of Isolationism is based on the view that America’s perspective on the world was different from that of European societies and that America could advance the cause of freedom and democracy by means other than war. This worked well until their brief involvement in WW I against the Central Powers. Their later rejection of the Treaty of Versailles and consequently never becoming a member of the League of Nations, meant that the interwar years was a quick return to isolationism. However, it is worthy of mention that US isolationism did not mean complete disengagement from the world stage. The United States continued to be a world player and to further its territorial, ideological and economic interests, particularly in the Western Hemisphere.
Coming into WW II in 1940 against Germany and Japan in 1941, seemed to have been the final blow to Isolationism, especially with the USA actively participating in the formation of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The post war Marshal Plan and the onslaught of the Cold War meant the USA had reached the point of no return – at least until events of the last decade and most importantly, the last few years.
But is the USA again going to isolationism? I really think not. The reason is simple – while the US Presidential candidates discussed different aspects of Foreign Policy, there was no direct mention of their active role in Africa, (except the moments when Romney mentioned Mali and Libya as parts of happenings in the Middle East).
Africa – Integral Part of a New Strategy?
The non-mention of Africa is no ordinary omission given that just last year President Obama deployed 100 U.S. troops to Uganda to conduct a search for Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army in what I questioned whether it was a mission of Liberation or Reconolisation. If that question seemed out of place then, it may not anymore given that the Army Times news service recently stated that the U.S. plans to deploy more than 3,000 soldiers to Africa in 2013.
It is therefore obvious that the US is not really thinking of Isolationism in the pre-1940 style, because, while they may have been taking a back seat attitude following recent losses and setbacks especially in the Middle East, their attitude in Africa has been one of active colonisation. This is especially when one thinks of operations such as “Cutlass Express”, the naval exercise that focused on fighting piracy in the Somali Basin region; “Africa Endeavor 2012” in Cameroon aimed at coordinating and training military communications and the Battalion Intervention Rapide in the same Cameroon (initially said to be aimed at fighting armed terrorism along the northern borders, but which has effectively become a force stationed in the Naval base of Limbe and was used to help Biya crackdown on protests in 2008 and change the constitution that helped him hold on to power)
Others such as the “Southern Accord 12” in Botswana aimed at establishing a military working relationship between southern African military forces and the U.S, and the “Western Accord 2012” in Senegal that involved every type of military operation from fire exercises, intelligence gathering to combat marksmanship inter alia, really puts to rest any speculations that the USA is adopting any form of isolationism soon.
Since Africa was obviously the ‘elephant in the room’ during the debate, it therefore, makes one wonder what the new strategy is. Whatever it is, it is one that has this attitude of staying in the shadows and masquerading under the pretext of alliances. But if they are real strategic alliances that stand to benefit both the US and Africa, then would it have been so conspicuously absent from a debate on Foreign Policy? Or was it – maybe not really, especially when one considers that statements like ‘I will go after China’ could only mean making Africa the battleground.
As the saying goes – ‘When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers’ hence AFRICOM if anything, signals danger for Africa because one cannot help but beg the question as to whose interest such a force stands to serve.
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.
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.”
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.
The systematic Manufacturing of War, challenging Russia and China in Race for either Global Full Spectrum Dominance or Global Full Spectrum Devastation. A Comprehensive Analysis.
One cannot emphasize it often enough. Both the crisis in Syria, the crisis between West and East over Syria, and the explosive Iran nuclear debates are symptoms of a long-planned, cynically and systematically implemented US/NATO war plan against Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Russia, and ultimately China. In the light of the tense and confrontational atmosphere between NATO/GCC, Syria, Iran, Russia and China, and before analyzing the latest evolutions of the crisis over Syria, it is incumbent to take a few steps step back. Without an understanding of the genesis of what is rapidly developing towards a serious threat of a global war it is unlikely that the warranted diplomatic as well as popular actions are taken.
Genesis – Pax Americana – The Race for Global Full Spectrum Dominance.
When Russia´s Chief of Staff states that Russia will reserve itself the right to a first strike against the recently activated NATO missile defense shield it is not a prop from the requisites of the Russian diplomatic box of tricks, used with the purpose to achieve the one or the other trade benefit, the relief of sanctions against an allied Iran or any other demand. It is a clear and unequivocal demand for guaranties for the safety of Russia and it´s allies. (1) It is a demand from a Russia that has been under threat ever since the discontinuation of the USSR, and the subsequent US and NATO demand for a Pax Americana and Global Full Spectrum Dominance. The reason why many Westerners have not perceived the fact that Russia has been threatened is, because the transgressions against Russian security have largely been marketed as initiatives for peace and cooperation, or defense against terrorism and rogue states, and who could be against terrorism and rogue states. One can not emphasize the importance of Vladimir Putin´s speech at the International Security Conference in Munich in 2007 enough, as a basis for understanding that NATO systematically, cynically and willfully has committed the one foreign affairs, domestic affairs, economic, as well as geo-political, security and military transgression against Russia after the other. Often under the guise of free trade, of a supposed “Partnership for Peace”, war on terrorism, human rights, and democracy.(2)
That the expansionism and threatening posture was not only designed to impress Russia, but that it would be scrupulously used by both the US and NATO, including Germany, that the alliance would not be shying away from manufacturing covert, and initiating over military aggressions in nations that are allied to Russia or that provide geo-political advantages for Russia or China has become evident since the war on Yugoslavia. A war that has been sold to the Western Public as a war for human rights, freedom and democracy.
Yugoslavia: A Missile for China and a Finger for Russia – China, one may recall, has gotten a warning shot straight into it´s Belgrade Embassy. The signal was clear. “Do not harbor the President of a Sovereign Nation who is on our death list and do not dare to interfere when we wage war“. The Chinese Embassy in Belgrade was hit by a cruise missile in an attempt to “decapitate” the Yugoslavian “regime“. (3)
The fact that NATO warfare doctrine for establishing the Pax Americana would be based on using the guise of human rights, of constructing false reports of massacres, or even committing massacres that are blamed on the targeted nations government and of political show trials at the ICC became obvious with the charade of a trial against former Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic. Since his trial threatened to turn into a public relations disaster for NATO, of course, President Milosevic conveniently died while in captivity in The Hague, and after vain Russian protests against his treatment and trial.
Subsequently to the successful “Balkanization” of Yugoslavia, NATO is now occupying Kosovo, where it facilitated the establishment of a de-facto, according to international law highly questionable new state. Regular Russian protests but even more regular human rights abuses and violence against the civilian Serb population in Kosovo, like the issuing of shoot-to-kill orders against civilian protesters, (4 ) or the harassment of humanitarian aid convoys (5 ) are falling on deaf ears in NATO member states. Complicit or should we say co-opted Western Main Stream Media cover it up. After all, when the Pentagon invests millions in the BBC and other strategic media, one must expect results for the money. All is neatly following the D.o.D´s Information Operations Road-map from 2003. (6). The fact that absolute image and media control is part of NATO doctrine will be clarified more detailed below.
A War of Terror – Afghanistan, US/NATO Presence at all Russian and Chinese Borders in the Greater Middle East.
A classical NATO strategy is to use mercenary armies ad hoc as respectively allied, as enemy or both. The then Bin Laden led Al-Qaeda was the ally in the war on the USSR in Afghanistan, in fact, so he claims, it was a creation of Zbigniev Brzezinski. The same Al-Qaeda was a useful ally in the war on Yugoslavia, later on Serbia and Serbians in Bosnia as well as Kosovo. 2001 and post the attacks on US targets on 11 September 2001, Al Qaeda became the enemy. The enemy that facilitated a US/NATO invasion of Afghanistan. While the US and NATO already were present in most of the former Soviet Republics along the Chinese and Russian borders in the Wider Middle East, it´s presence in Afghanistan and de facto in Pakistan literally encircled one of Russia´s and China´s most important regional allies, Iran. The encirclement became almost complete after the war on Iraq.
A decade-long diplomatic war of attrition against Iran, accompanied by sanctions and Israeli threats of Mad Max Military Intervention has culminated in what can only be described as diplomatic stalemate. After the recent nuclear talks, the next round is due to be held in Moscow soon. The talks will be held within a climate where all present will know that all that so far has prevented a NATO attack on Iran is that the NATO equation about the prior destabilization of Syria and Lebanon has become one year delayed. A decision to wage the war on Syria, Lebanon and Iran has long been made, and is being systematically implemented. (7 )
Why the War on Iraq matters today.
Rather than analyzing the situation pertaining Syria isolated, it should by now have become evident that it is necessary to analyze the post-soviet geo-political developments as one constantly evolving crisis with its current epicenter being Syria. The relevance of Iraq today is not so much the fact that NATO and allies are capable of committing war-crimes with impunity, murdering millions of Iraqi citizens. Creating a radiation public health disaster of unprecedented scale that can be described as genocidal. The most important factors to be taken into account with the current or acute status of the developing crisis are:
US perception of Arab States as not being covered by the provisions of the Treaty of Westphalia. Arab states, argues Henry Kissinger in an article (8) that was deconstructed by an article of this author (9 ), that Muslim Middle Eastern nations do not enjoy the protection under the principles of the Treaty of Westphalia which prohibits the interference into other nations internal affairs. This, Kissinger argues, is valid because only three of the Middle Eastern Muslim nations, Iran, Egypt and Turkey, have a historical existence. The others, so Kissinger argues, are more or less arbitrary creations of colonial powers. Kissinger´s argument is historically invalid, it also contradicts his stance with respect to Israel, but more importantly, it is symptomatic for and illustrates the arrogance, disrespect and masters modo-colonialist attitude and outlook of the United States and NATO on foreign affairs. ( Modo-Colonialism, Contemporary Colonialism. Edt.)
US Negotiation Strategy and Sanctions, A Precursor for Disaster.
Prior to the onset of the “kinetic” war on Iraq it has been made subject to devastating and murderous sanctions based on purported “Weapons of Mass Destruction” which of course were never found. Standard US-negotiation strategy is that purported negotiations are consequently accompanied by UN-fulfillable demands such as the demand to provide evidence that one does not have these or those weapons or other demands to provide “negative evidence” without clearly stating under what precise conditions sanctions will be lifted. These negotiations are usually a precursor for military action being taken. The fact that the USA and NATO today are making use of precisely the same strategy on Iran is most likely a precursor of military action against Iran. The details are described in the article “Iran Nuclear talks: Explosive Issues Amidst Burning Middle East”. ( 10)
Overt Murder of Heads of State. Iraq also matters today because even though it was not the first incident, it was this centuries and the post-cold-war era´s first overt murder of a sovereign nations head of state, and as we will see, it has created precedence for further murders of heads of state. A show trial and an execution by hanging that was made into a public execution because of a video that “accidentally was taken and released”, was televised world wide. The message was “ either you are with us, or we become the terrorists that kill you“. A head of state is murdered with utter and absolute impunity. This practice would later, in 2011, be used against Muammar Ghadafi, although in a slightly different variant. Today Pentagon and NATO war planners speak of the possible decapitation of the Syrian government. The difference today is that Syria has the support of Russia, so a decapitation or military action would have potentially catastrophic consequences, which will be looked at below.
Weapons of Mass Destruction. Iraq also matters today because it provides precedence for a war that is based on lies pertaining weapons of mass destruction. The same strategy has been attempted with respect to Syria. So far it has not been successful but the attempt was made. The campaign about purported human rights violations, war crimes, and other purported outrages by the Syrian government however, has been extremely successful. The success of this strategy, which is designed for creating a pretext for invasion on the grounds of “the responsibility to protect” is mainly based on the complicity of mass media as well as systematic war crimes and massacres committed by NATO/GCC and allied forces, being blamed on the Syrian Government.
Libya and The 25th NATO Summit in Chicago – The New NATO Doctrine and the Threat to Global Security. During Putin´s visit to Copenhagen, the outrage of the then Russian P.M. Putin over the NATO/GCC alliance´s criminal abuse of UNSC Resolution 1973-2011 on Libya (11) was palpable, when Putin met former Danish P.M. Lars Løkke Rasmussen in Copenhagen.
The fact that Putin has a KGB background and that he must have been aware of the fact that Lars Løkke Rasmussen during the 80s strongly supported the Taliban and most likely Al Qaeda in Afghanistan has probably contributed to that outrage. (12 ) As detailed in an article by the author about the 25Th NATO Summit in Chicago ( 13 ) , however, NATO did not only declare that it´s missile shield was brought on-line. What NATO declared during the Chicago Summit, and which was further manifested in an article by Daalder and Stavridis, (14 ) was that Libya-Style interventions now had officially become part of NATO´s new doctrine.
In their article Foreign Affairs, Daalder and Stavridis are calling the intervention in Libya a model intervention for future interventions.(ibid.) In other words, the use of terrorists and mercenary forces, the murder of a head of state are a teachable moment. They are calling the bombing of civilian infrastructure, the destruction of the man made river project, the use of cluster bombs in densely populated areas in Brega (15 ) and the use of fuel air bombs against civilians in Bani Walid, the bombing of civilians in Sirte including the bombing of the hospital, which according to an eyewitness known to the author caused over one thousand casualties in two days for “ a successful air-campaign of unprecedented precision“.
NATO, including Daalder and Stavridis have the audacity of calling the massacres on tens of thousands of Black African Migrant Workers, and tens of thousands of Black Libyans, (16) the slaughter of over 10.000 Tawergha, the utter wiping out of the city from existence and the internal displacement of the survivors,(17) as “teachable moment and model for future interventions”.
What NATO´s “Teachable Moment” teaches the World. The “teachable” part of NATO´s audacity is that Russia, China, Syria, Iran, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the DPR Korea, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and every other nation worldwide who oppose NATO´s ambition for Global Full Spectrum Dominance is, that NATO´s Operation Unified Protector in Libya has taught the world that NATO stops at nothing. NATO revealed that it creates the humanitarian crisis it needs to plead at the UNSC for intervention under the pretext of the “responsibility to protect“. It abuses the UNSC when it can get away with it. It cooperates with mercenaries including Al Qaeda, Muslim Brothers, CIA Imported Taliban Fighters, like the 1.500 fighters from Mazar e-Sharif which the CIA flow in to Libya after the Libyan military had inflicted heavy losses on NATO´s rak tag rebels. (18).
NATO shies no massacres, no genocide, respects no law, provides itself and its political and military leadership impunity while conducting fraudulent show trials at the ICC, like the trial against the purported murderers of Rafiq Hariri, and that even though a secretly recorded audiotape, published on nsnbc clearly proves that Saad Hariri is buying witnesses. But then, Saad Hariri also sponsors the “Free Syrian Army, so such slight mistakes are covered up at the ICC. (19) That´s what friends are for.
NATO does not shy from provoking a thermo-nuclear war on Iran and Russia. A thermo-nuclear war in which NATO assumes, that its missile defense against Iran, which is directed against Russia, provides them a first strike capability. A capability that they assume, will prevent an organized, full scale retaliation from Russia. In other words, NATO also does not shy from making the sacrifice of millions of NATO member states citizens whom they are claiming to protect. (20) The fact that the USA is fully capable at murdering millions of innocent civilians in unprotected cities in a nuclear holocaust has been demonstrated sufficiently in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Finally, when analyzing Libya, it is necessary to understand that the war on Libya was ultimately directed against Russia and China (21), that Russia and China already on 24 October 2011 saw it incumbent to put their armed forces on highest alert, (22 ) and that Russia has clearly drawn a line in the Syrian Sand already in September 2011, when it became evident that the Syrian unrests were products of a blatant and relentless NATO Unconventional War. An attempted subversion whose managers would not want to achieve less than the absolute destabilization of Syria for decades and regime change in a country that is one of the most long standing Russian allies and the sole Russian ally that provides Russia a base in the Mediterranean.(23 )
It became evident that Russia neither would allow, nor could afford another Yugoslavia-Style loss of a long standing and close ally and strategic partner. Considerations about Russia´s security forced Russia to draw a sharp line. Clearly, Russia can not rely on further promises and assurances by NATO. NATO has been trying to make the best possible use of this Russian position. It is a position where Russia is is under extreme political and strategic pressure and cornered. The question is, when will the peaceful bear have to lash out, not to be munched up by the terriers. After the disaster of the Jeltsin and the ambivalence and placidity of the Medvedjev Presidency, it has only just begun being able to reassert it´s geo-political position. (24)
Down to the Dirty Details before Analyzing the Latest Evolution of the Crisis and Proposing Realistic and Peaceful Solutions.
In fact, the world has not been as close to the onset of a high intensity stage of the ongoing World War III, including the risk of the use of thermo-nuclear weapons since the Cuban Missile Crisis. It is therefore, that it is absolutely necessary to have a critical look at the details. It is the “Dirty Details” that facilitate a comprehensive understanding of scope of the audacity and severity of the situation. It is also by acquiring a detailed and comprehensive understanding of the “Dirty Details” that it is possible to develop realistic proposals of solutions that could defuse the situation and hopefully create the basis for realistic, peaceful solutions.
UN – Co-Opted by NATO. UN-FAIR-UN-JUST-UN-SPEAKABLE-UN-DENIABLE-UN-FORGIVABLE-UN-DONE.
With the ratification of the UN/NATO Joint Declaration from 2008 (25), which was kept secret and from public scrutiny as long as possible, the United Nations became a de facto instrument of US-Foreign Policy. Simultaneously NATO became the de facto leading military force of the United Nations. Based on the argument that NATO is uniquely able to rapidly deploy forces, globally, within a joint command structure and joint weapons systems down to the caliber and so forth, NATO has been declared as the World Police Force. No other major power of global reach, like China or Russia, so NATO states, have the same unique capabilities to rapidly establish international forces at “trouble spots“. The reality behind this euphemistic sales pitch is, that NATO creates a humanitarian crisis in Syria, pushes for intervention on the grounds of the United Nations responsibility to protect, and naturally NATO is the sole power that has the unique capability to conquer the world in precisely that manner. NATO´s problem today is, that Russia and China are not buying the sales pitch any more. Latest since Libya that Little Dirty Trick has become too obvious.The result is that the UN-Security Council has utterly lost it´s functionality.Moreover, the United Nations has utterly lost it´s credibility as honest broker and international guardian of peace.
NATO Special Forces / Al Qaeda / Muslim Brotherhood – Joint Command Structure and Logistics.
Late August 2011 a high-ranking officer with the U.S. Special Forces at Ft.Bragg, North Carolina turned whistle-blower. The officer reported to the author, that US Special forces have been actively preparing for and actively begun implementing a war on Syria, Lebanon, Iran, and ultimately Russia.(26) The officer also reported and provided indisputable evidence for the author that US Special Forces were training mercenaries that belong to Al Qaeda associated forces, Muslim Brotherhood, and others. Special Forces took active part in combat in Syria, had a joint command and logistics structure with the terrorists, and were based in NATO bases in Turkey. Furthermore the officer provided a copy of a Special Forces Training Circular, TC 18-01, which is being used to train foreign fighters in systematically bringing about the subversion of Syria (or any other targeted nation) in a structured and coordinated manner, together with, supported and supervised by, and with the active participation of US Special Forces, agents of the D.I.A., NATO Intelligence, as well as non-military organizations such as the National Council of Syria, Human Rights Organizations and so forth.
The Training Circular TC 18-01 is published in its entirety on nsnbc. Reading it reveals the military logic behind what, which otherwise may seem like a chaotic situation in Syria. (27) Only months after the author published the statement of the S.F. whistle-blower, a senior Whitehall official made it public, that British, Turkish, and as he said “probably also US” special forces were operating in Syria. (28) At that time however, the “revelation” was already part of a careful preparation of Western populations to accept that the illegal deployment of Special Forces, a war crime, had to be committed in the name of human rights and democracy.
Al Qaeda – State Sponsored Terrorism NATO´s and the GCC´s Weapon of Choice.The Director of the Canadian Center for Research on Globalization (29), professor Michel Chossudovsky, compares the NATO/GCC-Strategy that is being used against Iraq, and which is now used against Syria with the Reagan Administrations El-Salvador Death Squads strategy. (30) In an earlier article the author of this article compared the strategy used against Syria with a “Modified Chechnyan Model“. (31)As it transpired, both comparisons are quite correct and should once and for all have discredited the narrative about a genuine political opposition that took up arms in Syria, had it not be for a criminally complicit and co-opted Western Media. Media complicity will be looked upon below.
Saudi Arabia´s Omar Brigade. In September 2011 Russian and Syrian Intelligence Services reported that they had analyzed what they called “Internet Chatter” that strongly indicated that the Saudi Arabia based Al Qaeda unit Omar Brigade (32) which is under the command of the Saudi Arabian Minister of the Interior and widely recognized as Al Qaeda´s assassination and bomb expert brigade, had been deployed from Saudi Arabia to Syria. (ibid.) Saudi Arabia is, together with Qatar, consequently channeling vast amounts of money as well a weapons to it´s Al Qaeda brigades in Syria. (33) Al Qaeda brigades which of course are fighting under the euphemistic name “Free Syrian Army” . At other times, when opportune with respect to the Media and Diplomatic War they are off course called Al Qaeda. More precisely that is, when it is opportune to argue that the security of the population of Syria is so endangered by “terrorism” that a “UN/NATO” intervention is warranted for.
The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, (LIFG). The Al Qaeda brigade “The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, LIFG” under the command of Abdelhakim Belhadj is fighting with at least 18.000 fighters in Syria under the name of “Free Syrian Army“. The 18.000 Al Qaeda fighters under the command of Belhadj are mainly deployed in the Jordanian – Syrian border region. (34)
The LIFG has been a major asset in the war on Libya and has since changed its name to “Tripoli Military Council“. Its commander, Abdelhakim Belhadj is a veteran NATO and MI6 double agent. His register of crimes published in an article by the author from 2011 (35) could today be vastly extended. The former Spanish P.M. Aznar and Spanish intelligence services accuse him of having masterminded the Madrid Train Bombings that killed numerous commuters, and which resulted in Spain´s military contribution to NATO´s “war on terror” in Afghanistan. The homicidal variant of the Hegelian Dialectics of Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis. Create a Problem, that elicits a predictable Reaction, and offer a predesignated Solution.
Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood – The Turkey/NATO/Al-Qaeda/Hamas/Mossad Joint Venture.
Already August 2011 it was evident that Turkey was harboring, training, arming and financing armed brigades of the Muslim Brotherhood. Special Facilities were established at Turkish NATO bases. US Special Forces participated, supervised, took part in armed transgressions against Syria. (36) According to the US Special Forces Officer referred to earlier in this article, the kidnapping of the Attorney General of Hama, Adnan Bakkur, where helicopter gunships were used by the kidnappers, was supported by US Special Forces. (37) A complicit or co-opted Al Jazeera propagandized Arab and Western populations with a false defection story and a video of Adnan Bakkur that visibly was recorded under duress. (ibid.)
According to a well placed Palestinian Intelligence Source in Turkey, the war on Syria and the co-operation between NATO, Turkey in particular, Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and the Israeli Intelligence Service Mossad have been operational as far back as 2010. According to the intelligence source, the killing of nine Turkish citizens on board the Turkish registered Gaza Freedom Flotilla vessel Mavi Marmara was such a joint operation.The information was published in an article written by Martin Iqbal. (38) Both the Commander of the LIFG, a.k.a. Tripoli Military Council, a.k.a. Free Syrian Army, Abdelhakim Belhadj and his second in command Harati were on board the Mavi Marmara to point out the targeted Turkish Muslim Brothers to the Israeli Forces assassins.
The operation had several utilities. To assassinate influential members of the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood who were opposed to a war on Syria. To boost the waining public support for Turkish P.M. R. Tayyip Erdogan due to the fact that he could publicly blast Israel. The increased public support enabled him to fire some of the most secular Generals of the Turkish High Command.(ibid.)
Hamas, which has it´s historical roots in prominent Muslim Brotherhood families has secretly re-aligned itself with the International, Qatari led, MI6 and BND infiltrated Muslim Brotherhood and away from it´s alliance with Iran, Syria, Hezbollah. The price for Hamas U-Turn and betrayal ? The promise of a “leading role in a Palestinian Springafter the expected fall of the Syrian Government.” One day after the author of this article published this information, Hamas urgently, and opposite to previous promises of solidarity with the Syrian Government, vacated it´s Damascus office.(39)
The Planned War on Lebanon. The Lebanese Jamaa Al Islamiya has made a U-Turn comparable to that of Hamas too. Their U-Turn is one of the reasons for, why the Syrian Conflict could so easily spill over into Lebanon as planned by NATO. Jamaa Al Islamiya realigned itself with the International, Qatar based, NATO allied wing of the Muslim Brotherhood and away from it´s alliance with Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah.(40) The Qatari, Saudi and NATO plan is most likely to isolate Hezbollah politically and militarily and prepare a new 70th-80th style Lebanese Civil War that is meant to last decades. Other main Lebanese facilitators of the war on Syria and the planned Lebanese civil war are the Saudi – Lebanese Saad Hariri and his Future Movement, as well as the Leader of the Lebanese Druze community and Chairman of the Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party Walid Jumblatt. Their involvement in financing and arming the Syrian Insurgency has been documented in a previous article. That includes Jumblatt´s delivery of Israeli weapons via Raphael Industries to the “Free Syrian Army“.(41)
Functions of a Long Planned Regional War and War on Russia and China. It would be possible to continue for hours, listing various different factors that document, that the “Arab Spring” is a long planned, meticulously and relentlessly executed war plan with the following objectives:
To destabilize Syria and Lebanon and to bring about long lasting civil wars that significantly weaken Iran in preparation of an attack on Iran.
To engage Russia in a Middle Eastern Conflict, counting on one of three possibly attainable objectives. These objectives are strategically interchangeable and may be achieved simultaneously. All of them however, aim at engaging Russia directly or indirectly in a regional conflict with global geo-political consequences.
To contain Russian involvement in the Middle Eastern theater due to the threat of NATO´s plausible first strike capability against Russia, thus forcing Russia to surrender it´s strategic allies to NATO and the GCC. Preventing Russia from direct engagement while the NATO,GCC, Israel Coalition destabilizes and brings about regime change in Syria, Lebanon and Iran.
Weakening Russia, and preparing a long, protracted, Chechnya style war of attrition against Russia via a destabilized Iran and Syria. A continued and intensified attempt to destabilize Russia by proxy in Georgia and other former Soviet Republics like Moldavia. Color revolutions in Belarus and other allied nations with the aim to bring about “regime change” in Russia. Denying Russia access to the Mediterranean by destabilizing Syria.
Alternatively to draw Russia into a long, protracted proxy war in Syria, Iran and Lebanon with an Afghanistan like defeat of Russian forces, in preparation of a direct engagement of Russia via Georgia, Azerbaijan, and the region in general.
All of the objectives are pursued with the possibility of initiating what NATO perceives as a plausible nuclear first strike capability against Russia to contain Russian interference into NATO´s Middle Eastern Conquest. The risk of a thermo-nuclear war on Russia is perceived as a calculable risk and plausible, viable possibility, if not as a goal in an on itself.
Considering the recent decades geo-political developments, the coagulation of loose alliances like the BRICS, SCC and ALBA into more solid blocks that counter Western Ambitions of Global Full Spectrum Dominance, a final war against China becomes plausible only, after a military and political defeat of Russia.
Back to the Present. The Importance of Proper Parliamentary Briefings. Based on this background information it becomes possible to begin to comprehend the scope of what otherwise could be perceived as isolated and easily manageable incidents, namely a plausible civil war in Syria and Lebanon, and a plausible protracted war of sanctions and attrition against Iran on nuclear issues, with the perspective of a plausible, limited military strike against Iran by either Israel and/or the NATO/GCC alliance.
Having spoken to numerous European members of parliaments in different European Countries over the course of the last week, it is generally this perception of the situation, as isolated, manageable affairs that is most prevalent.
This mis-perception and mis-evaluation of the crisis is mainly based on the fact that most members of parliaments, in many cases even those who are members of foreign policy committees, either receive their information via co-opted and complicit Main Stream Media, or that they are receiving their information and briefings from national Intelligence Agencies who often use and analyze the same media as source of information. Another aspect is, that many Western Intelligence Services are deeply involved in the ongoing war, and that the information that is passed on to members of parliament is highly filtered.
Turning-Point Al-Houla. Since the appalling massacre in Al-Houla that would have created nation-wide cries of outrage in most Western countries had the truth been truthfully reported in Western Media, the situation in Syria and the evolution of the crisis overall has changed significantly. Sadly the BBC, to mention just one example, refused to take the results of the preliminary investigation into the massacre into account, blamed the Syrian Military, and to add outrage to audacity, published old images from Iraq, claiming the bodies in the images were victims of the Syrian Army. (42)
The Al-Houla Massacre prompted the author to write the article From Sabra and Shatila to Homs and Damascus (43) which is recommended for understanding the scope of the inhumane audacity and appalling nature of the humanitarian situation in Syria.
After having failed to pressure Russia and China into accepting a Libya-Style NATO led military intervention in Syria, it is transpiring clearly, that NATO will no longer hesitate to intervene militarily in Syria and Iran, regardless of a Russian or Chinese veto at the UNSC. A recent article by the author explains the situation. (44)
As previously detailed, however, Russia can not allow itself another Yugoslavia, Serbia Style defeat in Syria or Iran, without seriously and in fact terminally endangering its own security. Emphasis should be put on understanding the fact that a defeat in Syria and Iran “terminally” endangers Russian security. That said and understood, it must transpire with all clarity and in its fullest consequence that Russia has no other option than applying the least possible necessary “forward defense“, preemptive military strikes included if necessary or perceived necessary.
The signals from Russia are not ambivalent and it can not be taken lightly when Vladimir Putin states that a continued violation of international law by NATO and the GCC threatens to unleash a global conflict. The situation has changed too much since his speech at the International Security Conference in Munich 2007 (ibid.) to expect that Russia will continue behave like a hedgehog, tugging in and making itself as small as possible to protect itself for another five or ten years.
Russian Demands for Peace and Stability backed by Military Preparedness. While Russia is forced into a position where it has to assert that it can and will defend itself and its allies when it has to, its demands are as a matter of fact that of moderation and peace, as well as human rights and a continuation of reforms. Before analyzing the Russian proposals however, it is absolutely necessary to understand that a NATO/GCC led war with catastrophic consequences is in the final stages of preparation, and that Russia is preparing to counter such moves. In fact, it is not alarmist to state that the evolving dynamics of the crisis do not render much time before the dynamics in and on themselves make a peaceful resolution impossible. This must be understood with all possible clarity.
Recent Evolution of the Crisis Towards NATO/GCC Intervention in Spite of VETO at UNSC. The aggravation of the crisis is recognizable on the fact that the massacre in Al Houla has been followed by new massacres that the massacres and violence is predominantly initiated and conducted by the “Free Syrian Army” with the intention to create a civil war based on ethnic, religious, and political grounds. The tactic of scourged earth and massacres is used where ever the “Free Syrian Army” has to retreat.
A massive media war has been carefully planned. It´s final stages are expected to be implemented any time of NATO´s convenience. The objective is to bring about a civil war based on political, ethnic and religious grounds, to create confusion, convince the people of Syria that the Government has fled, that massive massacres are being committed by the Syrian Military. NATO pland a massive disinformation campaign to aggravate the crisis in order to chieve the objective to justify NATO military intervention among NATO and GCC member states populations. (45) The genesis of the campaign was the Arab League´s initiative to make Nilesat and Arabsat cease to carry Syrian TV and Radio signals. (46)
For the first time since the onset of the post-cold war era, Russia has demanded that the Collective Security Treaty Organization, CSTO, (47) is preparing it´s forces for a deployment of Blue Barret Troops. It is a sign that Russia is ready and capable of taking on international responsibilities. The posture is also a sign of Russian opposition to NATO´s self-proclaimed special status at the UN, and it is a sign that Russia is ready to oppose a Western military intervention. Russia´s readiness to protect the line it has drawn, and the fact that Russia meant it seriously when it stated that NATO is driving the world towards a nuclear war was underlined by the recent firing of a Bulava missile from a submarine in the Mediterranean. (ibid.)
A 24 hours manned operations room of the Russian Military forces at the Caspian Sea is established to closely monitor the military situation at the Caspian Sea and the Gulf. Navy, Air Force, Infantry and Armored Forces are battle ready. The Russian Mediterranean Navy base in Tartus, Syria is is on heightened alert. Three Russian brigades, including Speznaz, Special Forces and Airborne Divisions are on alert and ready for rapid deployment. The Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lavrov stated that an unauthorized military intervention against Syria will warrant a Russian response. Iran made it clear that a military intervention in Syria will warrant an Iranian response. Hezbollah is somewhat and surprisingly silent but will have to respond too.
Syrian Reforms and Russian Initiatives towards Peace. First of al it is necessary to emphasize that the Syrian Government has, in spite of the relentless war that is waged against Syria, managed to implement reforms that by far exceed any of the reforms it´s Arab neighbors would badly need.It is by far the most democratic Arab nation.
In spite of the crisis, the emergency laws were lifted. The emergency laws were implemented subsequent to the 1973 war with Israel, and which among other had been maintained because Syria de facto is still in a state of war with Israel, because Israel still occupies the Golan Highs, illegally, and because Syria has been under a constant threat of Israeli insurgencies for decades.
Syria has held a referendum about a new constitution. In spite of the ongoing violence, over 54 % of took part in a referendum, and 89% voted in favor of the new constitution. (48) The constitution is by far the most democratic among all Middle Eastern nations.(49)
Four new political parties have been registered. Parliamentary elections have been held. The message of the people of Syria and the message of the true Syrian opposition parties is clear. Foreign terrorists, foreign Special Forces, foreign mercenaries, get out of Syria and let us continue our reforms. Syria is by far the most democratic, the most liberal of all Arab nations, the one that gives the greatest protection to minorities, secures gender equality, and participatory democracy – much in contrast to the GCC states who are preaching democracy and human rights while beheading their women for sorcery.(and this is not a joke)
Russian Suggestions are Suggestions Towards a Peaceful Settlement of the Dispute. Russian suggestions include that NATO and GCC member states immediately halt their illegal deployment of Special Forces, and an immediate cessation of the arming, financing and other support of foreign and domestic terrorist organizations in Syria. In other words, that NATO and the GCC adheres to international law.As clearly demonstrated above, the violence in Syria will cease when the ongoing and illegal foreign intervention is discontinued. A peaceful solution is not possible while waging war.
Russia suggests that the fraudulent “Friends of Syria” group is discontinued. The group is demonstratively a creation designed with the intent to support the illegal insurgency with political, military and other material support. A peaceful solution is not possible while waging war. Russia suggests that all parties adhere to the Six Point Plan negotiated by Kofi Annan, and that the foreign insurgency ceases to systematically disrupt any attempts of the Syrian Government and Military to adhere to the plan.Russia suggests that the “Friends of Syria” group is substituted by an international ad hoc Contact Group.
In so many words – It Is Either Peace or War. In so many words, what both President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Lavrov, as well as the Syrian Government and all genuine Syrian Political Parties suggest is, that NATO/GCC Coalition withdraws its bloodhounds and weasels, its Belhadj and any other of their professional terrorists and mercenaries. Based on a de-escalation of the conflict it would become evident that the “crisis” is not endemic to Syria but that it has been created by foreign elements and influence. A de-escalation could be monitored by an international Contact Group. Syria could in fact legitimately appeal to Russia for the deployment of Blue Helmets deployed by Russia and/or the CSTO.
A de-escalation, requires nothing but a NATO and a GCC that adheres to international law. The alternative is an escalation of the conflict, which is all to obviously planned, but which consequences should make any Western member of Parliament, every citizen, every military officer stand up and say “enough already“.
The World does not need a World war Three, and it is time to stop it´s evolution.
Briefings. The article is written within the context of parliamentary briefings. Parliamentary Groups, Members of Parliament, Peace Movements, Initiatives world wide are welcome to contact the authos for individual or group briefings on the situation in the Middle East by writing to: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the early hours of the 2nd May 2011, US President Obama greeted the world with the news of the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the world’s most notorious terrorist leader. One thing that was not lost in the drama that ensued through and after the announcement, ranging from the widespread jubilation; assurance that the war on terrorism was not a war on Islam to the hasty burial that was attributed to be in ‘line with the dictates of Islam’, (Whitaker, 2011) was the undertone that the international political scene in the last ten years has had this shadow of a war cast on it. This is a war that from all intents and purposes began as a form of religious extremism and will not simply go away with the killing of Bin Laden. This therefore is not simply about one man but about religion – either interpreted wrongly or misunderstood. Whatever the reasons, religion is making headlines so much in recent years to go unnoticed. For on New Year’s Day of 2011 there was the case of Egypt where a suicide bombing at a church killed 21 people and wounded 79. The Daily Times quotes Time magazine as having written that “for months, al Qaeda militants in Iraq have called repeatedly for attacks on Christians — in retaliation, they say, for the alleged kidnapping and detention by Egypt’s Coptic church of two Christian women who are believed to have converted to Islam” (Daily Times Editorial, 03/01/2011). Meanwhile, in April, the declaration of Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the South of Nigeria as winner of the 16 April presidential elections, against his main opponent Mohammadu Buhari from the Muslim-dominated North, was the only signal that the Northerners needed to go out on the rampage and cause the death of over 500 people (The Guardian, 2011).
But the questions that need answering ab initio is whether when a thing looses its essence it can still be rightly called the same thing. If we are in agreement that it is the essence of a thing that gives it being, we are apt to agree that when that essence is lost, that thing should cease to exist. Hence this question could be extrapolated to ask whether when a group becomes extreme and commits heinous crimes and terrorist activities like the recent bombings on Christmas Day in Nigeria, it is logical to keep labeling them ‘Islamist’? How logical is it to label Boko Haram as bad because they are asking for an ‘Islāmic’ State according to Sharia Laws when NATO powers effectively installed a government in Libya that declared it was going to be governed according to strict Sharia Laws? If Boko Haram which claims to be adherents of Sharia are extremist, does it follow that the new government of Libya is extremist? Does this have any bearing on the facts being peddled that arms are leaving Libya to Nigeria? Is the problem really a religious one or religion is simply being used as a pawn in a broader political game to create chaos and division, which could be the prelude to another imperialist intervention in Africa?
Before answering these question, I will like to take a look at how religion has been playing out with politics and development, especially in Africa.
Religion, Politics and Development:
Marx, in the Communist Manifesto, suggests that religion, like morality, should be eliminated if the world were to achieve a new political and economic existence. According to him, “Communism abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on new basis” (1968:52) hence, it would seem therefore that Marx did not simply seek to criticise the logic of religion as a set of beliefs but rather, his criticism sprang from the fact that he saw religion as a hindrance to the realisation of an egalitarian society. His argument was therefore that religion reflects society hence any criticism of religion must of necessity be a criticism of society itself.
These sentiments of Marx were also expressed by different writers in different forms but who all arrived at the conclusion that religion was going to wither away (Bruce, (Ed.) 1992; Aldridge, 2000). The prevailing rationale of such discourse has been underpinned by the four major assumptions of the Westphalian synthesis (Philpott, 2002) that: Political sovereignty lay with the state and the states were the key actors in the International Relations system; states would not interfere in the religious affairs of other states; states increasingly refrained from promoting the welfare of the church; as the functions of the modern state increased, the temporal functions of religious bodies also declined.
It is therefore not surprising that one of the foundations of modern sociological theory is the assumption that the modern world is becoming ever more secular and that religion is dying out or becoming irrelevant to modern life. (Berger, 1969) But it is now apparent that the facts do not bear this out. Even in China, as in the rest of the world, especially in the developing world, religion is evolving dynamically and having a great influence on public life and “…refusing to be condemned to the realm of privatize belief, …is once again reappearing in the public sphere, thrusting itself into issues of moral and political contestation” (Haynes, 1998).
Conventionally, development studies and international political economy focused on the causes of poverty, income distribution, disparity in wealth, and some baseless dichotomies between politics and economics while, religion was viewed as detrimental to progress. More recently, however, far from fading from political relevance, religion has assumed a new and more important, mobilising role in many cultures, including those considered fully ‘modernised'(Haynes, 1998). This has led to a breakdown of the negative view about religion, partly due to the widespread failure of secular development programmes to achieve poverty reduction and end inequality and injustice. Religion is now seen as a potentially crucial to the achievement of developmental aims (Haynes, 1998; 2007).
Setting the Records Straight…
While it may not be difficult to see that religion became divided from politics in the Western world with the increasing rise of secularism, this has not been the case with most third world countries (Haynes, 1998). A case in point is that of Nkrumah who, despite his adoption of Marxist materialism, makes it clear that “strictly speaking …Philosophical Consciencism even though deeply rooted in materialism, is not necessarily atheistic.”(1964, p.84) Nkrumah’s intention was to make his ideology an option for the African to rise up from their slumber and assert the dignity of the African personality. It was his conviction that the African personality is not an exclusive personality but must take cognisance of its historical experiences. This is because;
…with true independence gained… A new harmony needs to be forged, a harmony that will allow the combined presence of traditional Africa, Islamic Africa and Euro-Christian African, so that this presence is in tune with the original humanist principle underlying African society. …A new emergent ideology is therefore required, an ideology which can solidify in a philosophical statement, but at the same time and ideology which will not abandon the original humanist principles in Africa. (Nkrumah, 1964, p.70)
Unfortunately, the level of progress anticipated by Nkrumah did not materialise and this can be said to be partly due to the great divide between theories of development and the practical realities in Africa. It is in the light of this that Haynes (1998) analyses the effects associated with modernisation – socio-economic and political change, involving urbanisation, industrialisation, centralisation of government, and the insertion of national economies of Third World countries into a world political economic system, and comes to the conclusion that the nature of religion is accountable to structural and systematic traits and developments.
It is therefore obvious that the failure of most African nations to be able to forge that harmony that Nkrumah advocated, could be at the base of what is today termed Religious extremism or inter-religious conflict. Let us get back to the case of Nigeria then.
First: Is the Boko Haram a religious group and if so are they Islamic?
The name Boko Haram in Hausa translates to ‘Western education is sacrilege’ while the Arabic interpretation of the Sects’ name is ‘People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad’. There is therefore no denying that Boko Haram is a religious group. What however is debatable is whether they are Islamic. The natural tendency for most mainstream media has been to take the easy way out – create news that will be popular no matter how cheap. Yes! Cheap because I have rarely seen a media house questioning how a group can be called ‘Islamic’ simply because they claim they are. At the beginning of this discourse, I made the point that if a thing looses its essence, it ceases to be that thing. If a group comes up claiming to be Muslim or Christian but has a unique interpretation of these religions, all what one has to do is go to the foundations of these religions and verify if their claims tie with the essential creeds of the religion – if they do not, the it is logical to look for another name for them rather than simply qualifying them as ‘extremist’ or ‘fundamentalist’. The fact that a person or group of persons claim to be Muslim or Christian does not make them that. A Muslim is one who lives according to the dictates of the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet (and not their personal interpretation of it) while a Christian will be a person who lives according to Biblical principles and inline with the teachings of Christ Jesus. Anything outside of these as St. Paul rightly captures “Comes from the evil one”.
Does Boko Haram bear any similarities with the New Government of Libya?
The answer is yes. First they both claim they want the institution of Sharia. Secondly, they are all rebel movements. The new government of Libya was a rebel movement that was given legitimacy by NATO and her allies. It therefore means that if Boko Haram is only illegal and bad today because it has not received the blessings of a UN Security Council Resolution and the backing of NATO forces – or have they not, perhaps not yet!
Which brings me to the issue of the recent unprecedented sophistication of Boko Haram, a group which can effectively be traced back only to 2002. Where were they all the years following Nigeria’s independence? Why did they not surface during the periods Nigeria was going through one military regime to the other? How did they come to realise they had an ideology to propagate only during the so-called period of Nigerian ‘democracy’? How come Obasanjo, a ‘christian’ president could not stop them but Yar ‘Adua a Muslim was able to get them and get their leader killed only for them to wax stronger during Jonathan another ‘Christian’s’ regime? The answer to these are obvious. During military regimes, it was difficult to simply play a political game hiding under the cloak of religion because religious leaders such as the Emirs somehow had a voice then, and could easily rally the people to denounce such aberrations to their religion. Meanwhile, while Yar ‘Adua as a Muslim was able to forge the harmony needed for Nigeria to move forward, most of the so-called ‘christian’ leaders are not able to do so.
Malam Garba Sani, a senior official at the Nigerian Muslim Forum on Al Jazeera’s Inside Story points out that “Boko Haram is not only expanding in terms of its area of operation, but also in terms of targets, in terms of strength, in terms of overall ability to strike. However it is only indicative of the level of strength and ability that Boko Haram has. It hasn’t yet elaborated or disclosed the strength of this organisation yet.” Has anyone paused to question why Goodluck Jonathan was quick to support a no-fly-zone against Libya and one of the first to recognise the National Transition Council? Has anyone questioned why it is that shortly after this recognition, there was a bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Abuja? Has anyone questioned why it is only after the Libyan conflict that Boko Haram has become this sophisticated only in 2011, effectively extending to the capital only in August? Has anyone questioned why it is that Boko Haram until the July 10, 2011, bombing of the All Christian Fellowship Church in Suleja, Niger State and the recent December, 25th bombings been attacking mainly Muslims and government Institutions?
Patrick Wilmot, a Nigerian writer also on Al Jazeera’s Inside Story provides an insight but when he states that “Boko Haram is trying to create the maximum effect in terms of killing large numbers of people. The political effect is to create tensions within the ruling party itself, the PDP, which is a coalition of people from the north, the south, the east and the west and also Christians and Muslims. In the larger society itself, it aims to create more tension between Muslims and Christians, leading to a greater degree of segregation between the populations“.
This viewpoint shows that the original intention was to create antagonism within the political sphere, effectively destabilising the ability of the ruling party to take effective action as Yar ‘Adua did and crushed the group. When this has been somehow achieved given the willingness of the government to play ball in the Libyan case, with President Jonathan consciously or unconsciously providing the backing by supporting the no-fly-zone and recognising the NTC, the next phase is now in operation. Religious antagonism is therefore the trump card.
Gaddafi in one of the messages accredited to him, while denouncing all forms of religious extremism hiding under the cloak of Islam, issued a warning “Do not let them use you. Be united. Build your defences for they are coming if they manage to pass Libya.” This warning was not hearkened to and the result is what we witness in Nigeria today – a very sophisticated Boko Haram which is now capable of creating a religious war in Nigeria. Does that ring a bell? Yes it should. Libya was just the first phase of a bigger game and having passed the litmus test, it seems it is time for Africa to await its recolonization – this time it will be under the guise of humanitarian interventions. The arms crossing from Libya into Nigeria is therefore not a coincidence. It is also not coincidental that arms that leave Libya should be able to find Boko Haram when the group has been and still is seemingly faceless with no known central leadership.
This write-up does not claim absolute knowledge of Boko Haram and neither are the assumptions made here considered dogma. What however I can say with certainty is that whatever the political game being played using Boko Haram, it is yielding dividends. The Nigerian government is gradually loosing the monopoly of violence over its territory and Nigerians are gradually getting to the stage where any tiny spark will ignite a horrible clash between Muslims and Christians. Unfortunately, neither the Muslims nor the Christians will be able to find the source of the problem because the ideology called Boko Haram will become faceless as the country disintegrates into a failed state.
THERE IS CLEARLY A MOVEMENT FROM LIBYA TO NIGERIA – A SHARIA STATE OF REBELS NOW RULE LIBYA AND A GROUP OF REBELS HAVE GAINED PROMINENCE IN NIGERIA WITH THE SAME INTENTION OF INSTITUTING SHARIA. THE ARMS THAT CREATED THE LIBYAN ‘STATE’ IS NOW IN NIGERIA WITH THE OBJECTIVE OF CREATING A BOKO HARAM STATE.
The difference however is that while Libya was small and her case could easily be manipulated using the so-called Arab Spring, Nigeria is so large that unless there is sufficient internal chaos it will be difficult for any external intervention to make headway. Note should be taken then that Boko Haram far from being anything Muslim or Christian is simply a political cancerworm that is being used under the guise of religion.
NIGERIANS BE WISE!
Berger, P.L. (1969). The social reality of religion; London: Faber
Bruce, S. (Ed.) 1992. Religion and Modernisation; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 170-94;
Aldridge, A. (2000). Religion in the Contemporary World. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Haynes, J. (1998). “Religion in Global Politics: Explaining Deprivatization”; A paper For the ‘Religion and Politics’ panel, PSA Conference, Keele University, (April)
Haynes, J. (2007) Religion and Development Conflict or Cooperation? Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Marx, K. and Engels, F. 1975. On Religion Moscow: Progress Publishers, Marx, K. and Engels, F. 1968  , “Manifesto of the Communist Party” in Selected Works Moscow: Progress Publishers, 35-71
Nkrumah, K. (1964) Consciencism, Philosophy and Ideology for Decolonisation with Particular Reference to the African Revolution. London: Heinemann Educational Books Ltd
Petito F. & Hatzopoulos, P. (eds.) (2003) Religion in International Relations: The Return from Exile, New York: Palgrave,
Philpott, D. (2002) The Challenge Of September 11 To Secularism In International Relations World Politics, Volume 55, (1), (October) pp. 66-95
When Socrates made the statement that ‘it is better to be unborn than to be untaught for ignorance is the root of all misfortune’, little did he realise how true this will apply in the 21st century. By many shades it has applied to the African and most third world countries where it is arguably a fact that the high levels of illiteracy could account for the backwardness and lack of development of the regions – resulting in the misfortunes of high infant mortalities, prevalence of diseases and famine etc. But is there is direct relationship between education and development? Are the most educated people the most developed?
Most people will consider this a naive question – and indeed I deed think so myself. For example, Pope Paul VI in On The Development Of Peoples of 1967 held the view that “…economic growth depends in the very first place upon social progress: thus basic education is the primary object of any plan of development. Indeed hunger for education is no less debasing than hunger for food: an illiterate is a person with an undernourished mind.” This view may seem a truism until one decides to question what we mean by education.
If I had been asked this question a few years before I started studying western philosophy, I would have thought the most educated persons were those who had reached the apogee of formal education – that is those with Doctors of Philosophy (PhD). However, after four years of rigorous studies, I came to the realisation that most of the theorists of antiquity were mere monuments of intellection – monuments because they were relevant to their particular periods but offered nothing of practical importance to our generation. Some like the most celebrated Hegel to me may not even pass as a monument given that his greatest writings had the assumption that the African had not reached the level of self-consciousness. As theories used to justify slavery, these views were classics at the time but when subjected to critical inquiry in this age, it becomes apparent how, for a great part, Hegel and many western thinkers were simply rhetoricians who triumphed in arm-chair philosophising.
Their ignorance did not constitute a problem as it did not affect them directly and in fact served a purpose at the time (justified slavery and the colonisation of Africa). The ignorance that calls for serious concern is that which exists in this century where there is so much talk about globalisation and technological evolutions. I know it is stale news that a great part of the world still thinks Africa is a single country. I was shocked to discover, I was not surprised, when, many times in India, intellectuals alluded to Africa as a single country and some asked me if Cameroon is in the West Indies. It is therefore not just a Sarah-Palin-problem. But is this really an issue? I guess not.
The real issue is the ignorance that I have observed being manifested during the last few months. I did not realise how severe it is till I got to Cameroon and was confronted with the fact that people were more informed, objective and critical about issues than I was. I thought I was more educated but to my chagrin I realised I was not as informed as my African counterparts who had lesser formal education.
Thomas Jefferson had made the point that “ the man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers”, which I have extrapolated to include Robert Brault’s statement that “You don’t realize how little accuracy there is in network TV reporting until they cover a story in your hometown.” Hence while we were being deceived by the mainstream media and kept away from the truth about Libya for example, African media houses were feeding the people with the truth. Little wonder the African Union for the first time unanimously challenged a decision by western powers – they knew the truth which we in the west did not know. I have had time to reflect a little on the whole notion of what I know and what I do not know and hence I now can boast of the superiority of the African education.
In High School, I studied American History, British History, European History etc. alongside African and Cameroon History; I studied Agriculture in France, Fishing in Norway and Agriculture in Nigeria among others; I studied British economics; I studied western philosophy and an apologia of African philosophy though I have been having encounters with the rich flavour of African philosophy in folklores and rich African proverbs all through my life. I studied in Cameroon, (Africa in Miniature) and Nigeria (the giant of Africa) and then studied in a renowned western university. The point here is that I, like all African students studied all what western Education offers but western students do not study anything that African education offers. An African who has not travelled out of Africa therefore, ends up knowing more about the world after high school, than a PhD holder who studied all through, in western institutions.
Do you have any doubts, then tell me – who can better understand the problem of hunger – the African who has experience of it or the foreigner who read about it? I recall with a fit of mild irritation how a mate from South Africa got a fail in an exam that he wrote about the apartheid only got an ‘A’ after he openly challenged the lecturer with facts. He lived the experience and the lecturer had only read about apartheid from books. He had firsthand knowledge and what the lecturer knew was at least three times removed from reality. He had knowledge of apartheid but the lecturer had an opinion about apartheid.
It is in the light of this that I cannot understand how it is that many institutions in the West have departments dealing with African studies where Africans go to learn about Africa. What illogicality! The truth is that Africans go for the certificates and not the knowledge. Hence, all what these renowned centres of African studies do is merely celebrate retardation in intellectualism. It is high time we stop deceiving ourselves. No one can teach Africans about Africa.
Isn’t it all so glaring with the stories emanating from the recent invasion of Libya? Of course it is logical that a good reason has to be given to taxpayers for every invasion. Unfortunately these reasons blur the truth and hence knowledge. Ask many in the West today what Libya was in 2010 and all they know is that Gaddafi had stayed in power for 42 years and that Libyans wanted democracy. Ask an African and he will tell you that Libya was a poor Kingdom under King Idris when Gaddafi seized power in 1969, expelled the British and US military bases that ensured Idris’ stay in power, and that Libya according to the UNDP Human Development Index of 2010 had a life expectancy of 74 and that it had free education, and enviable healthcare system and that it was a welfare system with unemployment benefits. How many people in the West today know the real reasons why there have been tensions between Gaddafi and the West?
That Gaddafi resisted joining a US/NATO-sponsored military alliance in the region.
That Gaddafi also refused to join the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM)
That Gaddafi put $300 million of the $400 million to fund Africa’s first communications satellite in 2007. (A project that made western countries to loose a net income from Africa of over $500 million a year)
That Gaddafi maintained public ownership of Libya’s own central bank, and the authority to create its own national money
That Gaddafi worked assiduously to establish an African Monetary Fund, an African Central Bank, and an African Investment Bank, which will curb the high levels of capital flight from Africa, make African governments more responsible and unfortunately render the IMF and the World Bank visibly useless.
That Gaddafi refused the request of Western powers to be part of these projects, especially France and the UK.
Of course many will not know all these. I have read many articles discussion the Post-Gaddafi era. Unfortunately, they are so filled with misinformation that I pity the western generation that will know nothing but what these tell them. I am in no way down-playing the high standards of western education in western institutions. When it comes to the empirical sciences and technological sciences, there is no doubt that these institutions are of the most premium quality. But talk about the social sciences, the bottom line then is that if anyone wants to be educated in the world today, let them do their primary to high school education in Africa and then go to the Western institutions for University education. That way they will be able to discern fact from fiction and will not end up living a life of deceit.
In the final analysis, it is clear that the era is long gone when a few individuals or countries will continue to present their ideologies and selfish interests as international creed, thereby eroding the powers of the African people. This is clearly a period for a philosophical re-articulation of the African reality; a re-articulation because of the history of bastardisation of the intrinsic realities of African continent. It should be a philosophy of “existential hermeneutics” of self-rediscovery of the past, for an adequate re-integration and possible synthesis for a new way of being, doing and saying. In this sense, it should not be a mere mental or metaphysical outlook on life: not a mere ideological, and not even only an existential construct; but something that involves all of the above – a holistic vision and attitude to life. But most important one that can only be done by those most informed to do it – AFRICANS.
Libya 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 tojoin with us, to mobilize, and to unmask the colonial agenda that hides under the slogan of “humanitarian intervention.”