My Opposition To The Foley Hoag Law Firm Retainer By Innocent Chia

 

I have come across several questions regarding the lawsuit being brought by SCACUF against the Cameroon government. I sincerely pray and hope it is a success. However, several questions have been raised about its feasibility and the manner in which the firm was recruited, and the seemingly large fee that has to be paid.

While I have refrained from raising my personal concerns in public, coming across this piece from Innocent Chia has given me reason to think it is good if SCACUF can present a clarification or a rebuttal to this. It does not inspire confidence and the sooner open clarifications are made, the better for this struggle.

Please read with an open mind and make your own conclusions and if you have any rebuttals, feel free to present them.

When the dust settles on the retainer agreement that was signed yesterday – 5/7/14 between the Foley Hoag LLP Law Firm and SCACUF (Southern Cameroons Ambazonia Consortium United Front), represented at the signing in Boston, MA by the Southern Cameroons Public Affairs Committee (SCAPAC), I hope to my God that there is nothing to write home about regarding my misgivings vis-à-vis the agreement and the manner in which it went down. It is important, nonetheless, that I speak my mind as a matter of public record because there is a cautionary tale to what many perceive as a giant landmark in our collective march towards the Restoration of the Independence of Southern Cameroons.

Lawyers For Eritrean Liberation Give Counsel

Sometime between November and December 2016, I started hearing rumors of a Law Firm that was interested in representing Southern Cameroons amidst the heightened, rampant and systematic torture, rape, killings, abductions, disappearances and other dehumanizing acts against our brothers, sisters, children and parents by the paramilitary forces of La Republique du Cameroun. It was not long thereafter that I was fortunate enough to talk with a concerned group that had been researching the option and stumbled upon a couple of the lawyers who represented Eritrea in its protracted fight against annexation by Ethiopia. What these lawyers for Eritrea shared is not only instructive for decisions and choices that have since been made, culminating in the retainer that was signed yesterday but also very instructive of the challenges that we face if we do not detach and rid ourselves of some emotionally charged decision-making processes and those who not only embody but promote the processes and decisions.When asked to take the case for Restoration of the Independence of Southern Cameroons Versus La Republique du Cameroun, the guys who litigated and won a similar case of Eritrea Versus Ethiopia, had responded that although a clearly WINNABLE case, they would not take it because they did not have the political connections in the current white house to go the distance.

Meaning: if you have to sign up with a law firm that will represent you in this matter, make sure they have the goodwill of this Whitehouse to show.
Translation: if Trump and his surrogates don’t have an African policy that favors intervention on the continent, it is a waste of time and your hard earned dollars because you need their backing in whatever court you drag La Republique to. You need their backing to make sure La Republique implement the verdict of whatever court, otherwise it will be another decision, just like that of the AU, that La Republique kicks like a can down the highway.

These same lawyers who won the case for Eritrea against Ethiopia further cautioned that whatever firm eventually offers to take up our case should not do so for the money. We need to be sure that they are doing it because they love the journey, they love and believe in the cause as much as we do and are passionate about the cause. A measure of that love, passion and believe means being willing to do it for free, they said.They then narrated how they had taken the case of Eritrea and worked on it pro bono (without pay) for a very long time. They had been burning with and fueled by the desire to right the injustice that had been perpetrated by Ethiopia on Eritrea. It is after they had done this free work for quite a while that the Eritrean community came together and insisted on compensating them in acknowledgment of all the hard work that the Firm had been doing on behalf of the people of Eritrea.

Meaning: Whoever is taking our WINNABLE case has to do it because of the love of justice, because they share in our affliction, and want to bring an end to our predicament.

As stated at the top, I can reliably state that when the idea of this lawsuit was but a rumor, many people who were in the know expressed varying concerns about it. There was consensus, even in the opposing voices, for those involved to continue looking for other firms or clinics that would provide competing quotes and then a decision be made. We cannot deny that it is in our blood as Ambazonians to look around for or “beat prices” for the best bargain. Is it not? We de beat even price for okrika shoes for market. We de beat price for store even when the price be marked on the item.

Manipulation, lack of Transparency or Due Diligence

So, why did we not talk with other law firms or put out a proposal for bids from other firms? We know that some small law firms, even some big ones, make their names by taking and championing causes like these. In fact, this is exactly what Ben Muna is doing in Cameroon with Agbor Balla, Neba Fontem, Mancho Bibixi and the other Southern Cameroonians who have been abducted, imprisoned and are getting judged in a foreign land by the colonial La Republique du Cameroun. His services, and those of the hundreds of lawyers that are working with him are free of charge. Was there no such firm, clinic, or school in the diaspora that could be interested in taking up what the lawyers that defended Eritrea against Ethiopia have called a “clear case”? I will tell you that those who have been pushing the idea of Foley Hoag as “the” only firm to represent us left no stone unturned in making sure that we had the outcome that materialized yesterday. Under the aegis of a certain Dr. Tata and Barrister George Awazi (one-time campaign manager for Muna to the Presidency of the Bar Association of Cameroon), each time the idea was rejected by one group, they took it with the next group and sold Foley Hoag LLP. Indeed, reliable sources allege that at one point they put in $5,000 of their own money into the SCAPAC account to sustain the effort. An investment?

Lurking around from one group to another, and with intensity in the struggle growing, the retainer fee grew from $20,000.00 to $25,000.00. By the time SCACUF and Wilfred Tassang came on board and endorsed it, the price tag had skyrocketed to a down payment of $35,000.00 and a minimum of $70,000 to be held in the account at any given time. You may recall that even when MoRISC endorsed SCACUF, it expressed reservations on two matters: The first was that it was not consenting in any way, shape or form, to any lawsuit representation by Foley Hoag, until it had been appropriately reviewed and approved by the MoRISC legal team. (The second reservation was that it would not endorse any group that preached or embraced violence as part of the struggle).
Be that as it may, the retainer terms of reference are open ended as to how much time or how many hours Foley Hoag LLP are projecting to bill for and what it will show as achievements along the way.

Retainer Fee or Vulture Fund

Remember, there’s no way of ever verifying how many hours a lawyer has actually spent “working” on your case. It is a very subjective process where they absolutely control every facet of the billing. They only tell you that they are billing for X number of hours. And that is where the rubber really hits the road in this matter as I see it. This is where I consider the 56th African nation-to-be as having been dealt the the short end of the stick in a 419 scam where we are already mortgaging the future of our unborn kids with an unnecessary and avoidable debt. Let us use numbers to examine how much of a raw deal we are into, and then we can determine whether we are into another “Hewitt is too late” situation or whether we can and should sever this umbilical cord before it chokes and kills the child. Here are the hourly rates for the average and above law firms:

Senior Partner – $1,000.00 per hour
Junior Partner – $750.00 per hour
Senior Associate – $500.00 per hour
Midlevel Associate – $400.00 per hour
Junior Associate – $250.00 per hour
Paralegal – $100.00 per hour

Each one of these legal professionals have very distinct roles to play in this process and journey – from research to secretariat functions, to cross checking of facts, to submitting the file where necessary, to making the case against La République du Cameroun. So what would happen if each one of them worked on this case only one (1) hour a week? Here is the math:

$1000 + $750 + $500 + $400 + $250 + $100 × 1hr = $3,000.00

What if they had to each work 3 hrs on the case? Well, we would simply multiply $3,000.00 × 3 hrs = $9,000.00 for each one of these professionals to work on our case for three hours on any given day. So, how long would it take for $35,000.00 to be depleted? Well, based on all six professionals working/billing for three 3 hours of work every day, here is the breakdown:

$1000 + $750 + $500 + $400 + $250 + $100 × 3 hrs × 4 days = $36,000.00

Yes, people, for 18 hours of work, less than half of a US working week, SCACUF / SCAPAC are committing Southern Cameroons to $36,000,000 (18,000,000.00 AMB money?) even before blinking their eyes. And there is no telling that even after a week of work this firm would have anything or be anywhere close to taking the case to any court of law. Yet, someone is on the hook to be replenishing that account so that there is a minimum of $70,000 in it at every given moment!

For the record, can we tell how much time it has taken SCACUF / SCAPAC to raise the $35,000.00 that it signed away yesterday to Foley Hoag? It wasn’t a week. It has taken more than two months to raise the said sum of money. Which begs the next set of questions.

If Southern Cameroonians are able to cough up this money day in and day out, is this the most judicious, the most efficient use of their hard earned money with a certain outcome of victory? Were there less expensive options with the same guaranteed outcome? If so, did we check them out and why did we not go with them? Finally, why are we stuck, or are we indeed stuck, with this particular law firm? It is an open secret that MoRISC opposed this deal all the way. Still, it reached out to SCACUF when it was confirmed that SCACUF was intractable in embracing the Law firm to represent the people’s case against La Republique du Cameroun. Among other things, MoRISC, even as recently as at the second conclave in Nigeria, proposed to have its US based legal team, go and review the retainer agreement before any decision was finally made. This was only after SCAPAC walked back on earlier statements that the agreement had already been signed and all that was left was the disbursement of the money for Foley Hoag to commence the process. When they walked back on that lie, SCAPAC loosely committed to the idea of having a team comprising of Professor Carlson Anyangwe and the renown Barrister Charles Taku review the documents. Almost two weeks after the second conclave, Wilfred Tassang revealed on air in an interview with SCTV that SCACUF was expediting Professor Carlson Anyangwe from South Africa to the United States to review and sign the retainer agreement. The suggestions of the MoRISC legal team, which had been considered only after serious stonewalling, to review the retainer draft agreement were tossed aside.

The team had complained, among other things, about the deliverables and the bottomless pit nature of an account. They had also pointed out the lack of SCACUF oversight of the SCAPAC account, absence of a clear distinction as to which of the two entities was in control. Who would manage the account, issue checks, countersign checks? Were checks to be t jointly signed by SCACUF and SCAPAC? How about the money that Southern Cameroonians were donating for other causes besides the lawsuit? How would they ascertain that the money was indeed being disbursed per the provisions of the retainer agreement? Equally of great interest, are the questions spiraling around Dr. Tata and Barrister George Awazi? Are they getting any kickbacks for pushing this law firm arrangement through as much as they have done? If they are getting kickbacks, how much are they making? Is there anything wrong with them making a quick buck at the expense of the martyrs and people of Southern Cameroons? Remember the $5000 that they allegedly put into the SCAPAC account? Was it to be repaid? How much interest are they making on it? Is it tax deductible?

We may not have time here to delve into matters regarding the jurisdiction where the human rights violations case might be brought against La Republique du Cameroun. But if it is filed in Cameroun, it most certainly will mean that Foley Hoag will be entering into a partnership agreement with a local firm. Given the ties between Barrister George Awazi and the Muna family, there is every indication that the Muna Law Secretariat will be tapped to handle “secretarial duties” given that Barrister Muna is already volunteering his pro bono services to the political prisoners of Southern Cameroons in La Republique du Cameroun. How much will that bill be? I can project that the light bill will be CFA 500,000; the water bill will be CFA 250,000; the salary for the secretary will be CFA 750,000…then miscellaneous will be a whopping CFA 2,000,000M frs. In the meantime, Wilfred Tassang, now enjoying an undisclosed salary in Nigeria as SCACUF Secretary General, is challenging the diaspora to pour money into a bottomless pit, allegedly controlled by his confidante, while his colleagues wallow in misery in Cameroon. The diaspora has to be steadfast and remain very vigilant or the worst of con men, some dressed in cloaks and getting called Prophets, others with PhDs, Professors, Lawyers…all wearing beautiful suits, dresses and handbags dash away into the night with our fight for the Restoration of the Independence of Southern Cameroons.

In Conclusion…

We have come too far to be conned by anyone that is not ready to answer serious questions and be held accountable. At the signing of the retainer yesterday in Boston, oddly on a Sabbath day, one could not escape the rookie mistake of the lady who issued the check – while the numerical value said $35,000.00, she wrote it out for “thirty-five 00/100” dollars. It certainly can be corrected, but it does not bode well for the quality of people that are representing us at SCACUF / SCAPAC. We have been blaming Foncha and Muna for dragging us into the doodoo, but it seems as if we could be regrettably poised for a repeat of the mistakes of the past by investing our emotions and not our brains into this fight.

It is one more reason why we need to fight against any forces that are stonewalling the logical step of an Interim Government in Exile that the roadmap, birthed by MoRISC and adopted by SCACUF, calls for. It is strange that SCACUF has recently pulled down the roadmap page from the website. It may be reasonable to wonder whether it is a clear indication of an intention to derail the restoration agenda. The reasons keep on piling why we need a qualified, visionary leader. We must continue to source for our Moses, possibly one who is voted into office by universal suffrage and with a clear mandate and resources to carry out the task at hand. This fight needs a leader, not charlatans or position fillers with some scars to show, that will understand the fierce urgency not now towards the countdown to the restoration of our independence

US-Africa Summit: The Apogee of African Distress

To say that Africa is a continent in distress will be an understatement.

Ebola is threatening the very fabric of life within the West African region; there are endless wars in the DRC, South Sudan, CAR amongst others; Boko Haram has made Africa’s biggest economy a security nightmare. In the midst of all these travails, African demagogues, strongmen and clueless leaders have been flocking to Washington to hold a summit? What do they really think can come from the USA that will solve any one of Africa’s woes?

Obama in 2009 in Ghana was bold enough to say “we don’t need strong men, we need strong institutions”. His Secretary of State John Kerry followed up with that line of argument with he met with Joseph Kabila few months ago and spoke on the importance of not changing the constitution.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet His Excellency Paul Biya, President of the Republic of Cameroon, and Mrs. Chantal Biya, in the Blue Room during a U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit dinner at the White House, Aug. 5, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)
Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet Paul Biya, Strongman of Cameroon, and Mrs. Chantal Biya, in the Blue Room during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit dinner at the White House, Aug. 5, 2014. (Photo Credit: State Department Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

During this summit, Obama has met with almost all the strongmen of Africa and there has been little talk of strengthening institutions. One would have thought that with some like Paul Biya of Cameroon (who changed the constitution in 2008 amidst violent crackdown of protesters) being booed, some sense of decency will make Obama think about his words in Ghana a few years ago. Unfortunately, this was not the case as John Kerry went as far as praising Kabila during a press conference.

Far from being surprising, this should have been expected. No country in the world today can compare with the US when it comes to double standards and hypocrisy.

My heart bleeds rather for the blindness of those who call themselves African leaders. It is evident to any discerning person  that the US called this summit not because it is intrinsically interested in African development but because it serves her purpose perfectly. The main focus is clearly to curb China’s influence and gain access to Africa’s resources. With 6 out of the 10 fastest growing economies in Africa, a new scramble for the continent is underway.

The US started its anti-China campaign since the early 2000 when The Heritage Foundation hatched a plan to militarise the continent, a plan which Obama has been executing… Having drones hovering over African countries and ensuring the rapid spread of AFRICOM despite an initial rejection by 14 African countries is just another phase of this wider plan. The US is therefore doing the one thing it knows best, create disorder and wars!

If one were stupid enough to think for a moment that the US was seriously considering a viable strategic trade alliance with African countries, let that person ask the one question, WHY WAS AFRICA SO CONSPICUOUSLY ABSENT FROM ANY DISCUSSIONS DURING THE LAST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES ON FOREIGN POLICY?

The answer is simple – Africa is not considered important in its own right, but is only useful as part of a wider strategy to ‘go after China’. So at the end of the day, Africa will be the battleground for the imperialist power play.

 

Paul Biya: Opium of the Cameroon Youth

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

Unification Monument

The Sigh of the oppressed creature

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

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

The Spirit of the Spiritless Condition

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

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

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

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

 The heart of a heartless world?

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

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

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

The Real Threat

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

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

Examining the Logic of the Obama ‘RED LINE’ and the Case for Military Intervention in Syria

Even if one were tempted to discard everything Plato wrote, his argument that in Hypocrisy or Diplomacy?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?

Syrian women

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.

While Carla del Ponte, a member of the U.N. Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria had already told Swiss TV that there was strong, though inconclusive evidence that the rebels rather than the Syrian government were using Sarin nerve gas, it was not surprising that no one felt a ‘red line’ had been crossed

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.Syrian Children

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.

English: US President Barack Obama and British...
US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron trade bottles of beer to settle a bet during a bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit in Toronto, Canada, Saturday, June 26, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

Obama... You deceived me!
Obama… You deceived me!

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.

Conclusion

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.

US Foreign Policy: Isolationism or Strategy Change?

Introduction

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.

French – Africa Policy: Damages to African and European Economies

Cfa map

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

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

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

French Africa Policy Damages African and European Economies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Coups, Crisis and French Finance-Nazism in Africa.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Christof Lehmann

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

Notes:

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

2)      Artikel 3 de la BEAC.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

War Against Women Rages on as Kenyan women forcibly sterilised for having HIV

 

A few weeks ago, I published here a debate on weather contraceptives for Africa was a misplaced priority. While some sceptical persons like myself were of the opinion that Africa needed more education rather than pills, there were some who thought we were denying women their rights. Looking at this disturbing story by Maeve McClenaghan, I could not help but wonder.

Women deserve the right to Choose

Is there really a war against Africa’s future going on under the guise of protecting women?

If women can be sterilised without their knowledge, even when they are not at risk of having many kids, does that not account to the worst violations of their rights?

With NGOs like the US-based  Project Prevention  paying women living with HIV to have intrauterine birth control devices implanted, who is to say that the whole rhetoric about birth control in Africa is not clearly another silent war against the continent?

I am sure by the time you finish reading this story, you will ask many more questions – so happy reading!!!

They say “NO TO FORCED STERILISATION”

When she went to hospital to give birth Amani had a lot on her mind. Not only are maternal mortality rates in Kenya worryingly high but during an ante-natal check-up Amani had been told that she was HIV positive. The expectant mother was reassured that delivering the baby by caesarean section was the safest way to avoid transmission of the virus to her child. So as she was wheeled in to the operating theatre she could be forgiven for thinking she was in safe hands. But her trust was misplaced. During the procedure, and without her knowledge or authorisation, Amani was sterilised.

She only ever found out what had happened by chance. ‘I discovered that tubal ligation had been done when I took my baby to the clinic after delivery,’ Amani said. ‘The nurse requested me to allow her to examine my wound, and in the process a colleague passed by and asked how the tubal ligation scar was healing. I did not know about it and only thought they had cut me because I was having a baby.’

Amani’s is not an isolated case. A new report by NGO African Gender and Media Initiative details 40 case studies of Kenyan women who have undergone forced or coerced sterilisation because they were HIV positive.

‘I thought they had cut me because I was having a baby’
Amani

The report makes shocking reading, some women find their husbands signing the medical papers, allowing doctors to perform the irreversible procedure to tie their fallopian tubes. Others unwittingly sign documents thrust in front of them during the chaos of labour, only to later discover what they had signed up to.

Several of the women interviewed reported being mistreated by the health care workers trained to support them. Nekeska gave birth in 2008 at Kakamega General Hospital. There she faced a barrage of abuse. According to Nekeska the doctor told her ‘It is an offence for women who are HIV positive to have children’ and said she was told she could only have the baby she was due to deliver if she agreed to be sterilized. Nekeska put up a fight and refused to sign the consent papers, but was sterilised anyway.

Many of the women coerced or forced into sterilisation report finding themselves ostracized, cast out from their martial homes with the double burden of infertility and their HIV status. Amani’s husband died of Aids in 2004 leaving her and her daughter. ‘In the last few years I have had three suitors but I had to stop the relationships because if I get married to them, then I will be abandoned when they discover I cannot have children’, she said.

According to the 2007 Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey nearly one out of every ten pregnant women in Kenya is infected with HIV. Children less than 15 years of age account for 16 percent of all HIV infections; most of these infections were acquired through mother-to-child transmission. However, the chances of HIV transmission from mother to baby can be virtually eliminated through use of anti-retroviral drugs during pregnancy and labour, and by delivering the baby via Caesarian section.

NGO involvement
The report follows a Kenyan television news report in January which claimed that a US-based organisation Project Prevention was paying women living with HIV to have intrauterine birth control devices implanted. The Kenyan government reacted angrily to the news with the minister for medical services, Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, announcing ‘It is important to stress that even HIV-positive women have the right to have children if and when they desire. HIV doesn’t take that right away, not at all.’

However it is both local health care workers and international NGOs that are implicated in this new report. Provision from Medicin Sans Frontier and Marie Stopes is mentioned in some of the women’s testimony.

Betty discovered she was HIV positive in 1993. She had just given birth to her fourth baby when community health workers visited her home and she claims she was then asked to accompany them to meet Marie Stopes doctors. Hoping she might receive financial assistance from the NGO she went along to the mobile clinic. Betty reports that there she was given forms to sign but she says ‘No one told me what I was signing for. I thought it was part of the registration.’ She was then operated on. After the procedure she was told community health workers had earmarked her as someone who should be sterilised because she was HIV positive and had no husband or income.

Marie Stopes responded to the report stating that ‘The process described by Betty is absolutely contrary to Marie Stopes International’s values, policy and practice on informed consent. We take any non-compliance on this issue extremely seriously.’ The NGO goes on to state that some of the case studies highlight that the sexual health body can ‘work with organisations who refer clients to Marie Stopes Kenya to strengthen their policies and practices around informed consent, and this is something we will seek to do immediately.’

A growing trend?
This is not the first time the issue of forced sterilisation has made the news. In June The Lancet reported on a government led sterilisation drive is Uzbekistan designed to control population growth. According to the report doctors received monthly sterilisation quotas and admited to tricking or pressuring women into the decision, or performing the operation without their consent, during caesarian sections.

The Uzbeki government firmly denied the reports.

 

Teachable Moments Loom in Syrian Conflict

 

Christof Lehmann

After more than 18 months of belligerent action against the government de jure of the Syrian Arab Republic it is still maintaining relative stability and security. A peaceful resolution however, becomes increasingly illusive while the potentially catastrophic regional and global consequences of the failure to broker a peaceful resolution seem to be a harbinger of a return to global barbarism, anarchy and unspeakable human suffering.

NATOS´s Victory and Teachable Moments i Libya.

In an article, published in Foreign Affairs March/April 2012 edition which was published prior to NATO´s 25th Summit in Chicago, Ivo H. Daalder, the U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO, and James G. Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander and Commander of the U.S. European Command, gave a a clear indication of what NATO has in mind for Syria.

Daalder and Stavridis described NATO´s Operation Unified Protector in Libya as  ” NATO´s Victory in Libya. The Right Way to Run and Intervention” and as “A Teachable Moment“. (1) What was so “teachable” about Libya, and what is “The Right Way to Run an Intervention” ? An analysis of NATO´s post 25th Summit doctrine and the consequences for security and stability in the Middle East points to a two tiered NATO strategy which combines low cost, low intensity, illegitimate warfare with an aggressive nuclear posture. (2)

There are in fact numerous teachable moments in the phenomena that is euphemized under the name “The Arab Spring”: The successful political manipulation of Turkey; The successful implementation of plans developed by the RAND Corporation which already in 1996 advised that Turkey should be governed by Gül in the office of President and R. Tayyip Erdogan in the office of Prime Minister, as a precondition for a successful implementation of a comprehensive solution for the Middle East; The successful transformation of the Turkish High Command from a bastion of secularism into a High Command that would cooperate with Muslim Brothers and Al-Qaeda mercenaries in preparation of the division of both Syria and Turkey along ethnic lines; The successful manufacturing of a crisis as precondition for the successful abuse of a UN Security Council resolution, as a precondition for the successful implementation of regime change.

A UN Security Council resolution is adopted when it has the concurrent vote of all permanent members. However, since resolution #4 (1948) on Spain it has become practice that abstentions are interpreted as a passive or quasi-concurrent vote. This practice implied that the members who propose the resolution are not overstepping the resolutions authorizations to a significant degree.

When Russia and China abstained on UNSC resolution # 1973 (2011) on Libya it was implicitly understood that Russia and China expected that NATO would adhere to the letter of the resolution and not overstep it in any significant degree. It should be added here, that the fact that the UNSC has adopted a resolution does not necessarily make it legitimate.

What Daalder and Stavridis also found “teachable” was that NATO or its allies could disregard the Convention against the Use of Mercenaries and use the Al Qaeda associated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group as infantry, while abusing resolution 1973 to wage an aerial war against the Libyan military.

Special Forces on the ground would function as liaison within a joint command while NATO could enjoy “plausible deniability”. The Libyan government de jure was ousted, the head of state murdered in cold blood, an independent investigation into his death could be prevented, a proxy government could be installed.

It is not surprising that Daalder and Stavridis proclaim a NATO Victory in Libya. From a NATO perspective it was in deed a victory and a teachable moment. It was also a moment that has taught both Russia and China that NATO will abuse an abstention at the Security Council to implement wars of aggression.

The UN Security Council has since been frozen in a deadlock between NATO members on one hand and China and Russia on the other. The deadlock has brought the necessity of structural changes within the United Nations into focus. The United Nations is rapidly loosing its residual credibility and functionality as an instrument for conflict resolution while security and stability in the Middle East are deteriorating. Negotiating a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Syria, for the brewing conflict between NATO, Israel, the GCC member states on one hand, and Iran, Russia, China on the other at the UN seems increasingly implausible, if not impossible.

NATO´s victory in Libya has not only brought about regime change, it has also devastated the countries infrastructure, divided the country along tribal and ethnic lines, resulted in a weak and split national government that is unable to maintain internal as well as external stability and security. What is most worrying about Daalder´s and Stavridis interpretations of Libya as victory and teachable moment is, that it implies that the achievement of the destabilization of Syria, Lebanon, Iran, and subsequently Turkey are likely to be perceived as victories and teachable moments too.

The cost of further NATO victories in terms of regional and global stability and security, in terms of the economies of Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Turkey and the global economy, the cost in terms of a deterioration of international law and a return to barbarism and anarchy in conflict and conflict resolution, and the cost in terms of human suffering are staggering.

Peaceful Resolution of Syria Crisis only Possible with Good Faith.

The primary precondition for a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Syria is that all parties are negotiating and acting in good faith.

An immediate withdrawal of all NATO and GCC member states special forces and other military personnel from Syria is a minimum precondition for showing good faith.

An immediate adherence to the Convention against the Use of Mercenary Forces and other international bodies of law by NATO and GCC member states, Jordan, Lebanon or major political players in Lebanon such as Saad Hariri and Walid Jumblatt, Israel, Libya and any other nation that is currently involved in financing, training, arming or other support of insurgents and the armed opposition.

An immediate establishment of strict controls of refugee camps in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. Particularly the refugee camps in Turkey are being systematically abused to recruit, train, arm and deploy insurgents into Syria. Strict controls would include that entrance into and exit from the camps is strictly monitored by Turkish police or military personnel, eventually with the participation of military observers from one or several non NATO or GCC member states.

The close monitoring of all Syrian borders by neighboring countries military forces to stop the illegal flow of weapons, troops and the deployment of military observers from non NATO, GCC member states.

The blatant violations of international law in particular by Turkey and Jordan, who not only offer their territory for infiltration by foreign fighters, but who actively take part in organizing the subversion, and all logistical and other support of insurgents must halt immediately.

The new joint UN – Arab League envoy Ladhkah Brahmini should be given the full support of all UN member states. His role is, however not likely to be perceived as that of a neutral or fair broker, as long as the Arab League upholds the dispensation of Syria´s membership. Ladhkah Brahmini will be facing an insurmountable challenge as long as Saudi Arabia and Turkey, who together with Iran and Egypt form the Contact Group, are violating international law and sponsoring the insurgency and subversion.

Initiatives by the Arab League to politically, diplomatically, economically and otherwise isolate Syria which are inherently opposed to the Charter of the Arab League and its purported function do not create preconditions for negotiations in good faith. Illegitimate initiatives, such as the one to pressure Arabsat and Nilesat to stop broadcasting Syrian Radio and TV satellite signals in order to facilitate absolute image and media control by nations who are taking part in the attempted subversion must cease. A dialog in good faith is not facilitated by one-sided, strongly biased propaganda. The Organization of the Islamic Conference must recall the dispensation of Syria. The abuse of this organization is dangerous and risks to aggravate a religious dimension of the conflict and to further aggravate the abuse of Sunni – Shia conflicts world wide.

Organizations such as the “Friends of Syria” group, which is a de facto subversive alliance must be abandoned as instruments for finding a resolution to the conflict. The Friends of Syria group is a de-facto cartel of nations who meet to organize systematic violations of international law in an attempt to bring about regime change in Syria.

Iran is to host a conference of 120 nations to work towards a peaceful resolution of the crisis. It is a positive initiative that should be supported, but it is not likely to bring about a peaceful resolution unless Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the U.A.E. will take part in good faith.It is a positive initiative that should be supported, but it risks to further aggravate the conflict unless Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are taking part and are willing to play a constructive role, which is unlikely.

In the absence of NATO and GCC member states, Jordan´s, Israel´s, Libya´s and others good faith in negotiating a peaceful resolution, the Iranian initiative may in fact be part of the only viable alternative. If it is supported by Russia and China it may have a chance to succeed.

The second best solution to an all inclusive solution that embraces the armed political opposition and the nations who are supporting it would be the establishment of a multilateral group that protects Syria from the consequences of a continued aggression.

Such an alternative solution could include the following initiatives:

Countering the consequences of attempts to diplomatically, politically, economically and otherwise isolate the government de jure of Syria by reinforcing diplomatic and political relations, by trade agreements that help alleviate the devastating consequences of sanctions, and to diversify the one sided international discourse about Syria.

Even though political parties in Syria are legitimate, and even though one opposition party is holding a ministerial post in the unity government, there is a lack of party infrastructure that makes opposition parties equal competitors to the Arab Socialist Baath Party. Selective support of the one or the other political party at building a party infrastructure can be problematic and invites unwarranted foreign interference.

A model for developing a democratic culture and multi-party infrastructure projects could facilitate a pluralistic political process which could to remedy the consequences of decades of government under emergency laws.

When organizing those projects, it must be taken into consideration that Syria, because of its de-facto state of war with Israel has had heightened security needs which have not decreased since the onset of the attempted subversion. As a long term strategy of delegating political influence and responsibilities to multiple political parties is the best strategy to discourage from attempts to use violence and for strengthening national coherence.

In the case that the UN fails as an instrument to safeguard the national sovereignty and security of Syria while the subversive alliance continues the illegitimate support of armed insurgents, it must be considered to add a military dimension to finding a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

The government de jure of the Syrian Arab Republic has the right to sign treaties with friendly, non hostile nations and deploy foreign military troops on Syrian territory. Failure by Turkey and Jordan to secure that insurgents are not using their territories as bases of operations for transgressions in Syria could be countered by the deployment of international troops along the borders to help repel insurgents. Further failure of Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, as well as NATO member states to halt the illegitimate support could warrant diplomatic and other sanctions.

Sadly, in the light of sustained aggression, the most viable way to secure peace and stability is to aid Syria by establishing diplomatic, political, economical and military credibility against a foreign aggression.

At closing this article, I would like to reiterate that war crimes will be committed as long as they can be committed with utter impunity. The current state of affairs, where NATO and allied nations instrumentalize the ICC and special tribunals for political show trials and victors justice, with an ICC that in and on itself has no legitimacy in international law on one hand, and a Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal that has no other than moral authority, it is unlikely that the international regression into barbarism can be halted.

Those nations who wish to facilitate a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Syria and who want to prevent future aggressions, would be well advised to establish international jurisdiction for the most serious crimes to limit war criminals ability to act with impunity.

Source: Christof Lehmann, Editor: NSNBC

27.08.2012

Notes:
1) Daalder Ivo H, Stavridis James G. (2012) ”NATO´s Victory in Libya. The Right Way to Run an Intervention“. Foreign Affairs March/April 2012 pp 2-7
2) Lehmann Christof (2012) “NATO`s 25th Summit in Chicago in Preparation of Global Full Spectrum Dominance, Interventionism, Possible Preparations for A Regional War Directed against Russia and China, and Developments in Global Security.” nsnbc, May 20 2012. http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/natos-25th-summit-in-chicago-in-preparation-of-global-full-spectrum-dominance-interventionism-possible-preparations-for-a-regional-war-directed-against-russia-and-china-and-developments-in-global/


 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Odyssey 2001 – A Wake Up Call.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The deterioration of the Geneva Convention.

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

These systematic erosion of the Geneva convention includes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Hague Conventions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• The systematic circumvention of international law.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The results of such ”International Criminal Justice” are

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Foreign Interests, Soros and the United Nations Framework Team.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12-08.2012

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

 

“RED GOLD” – ANOTHER RESOURCE CURSE?

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

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

Palm Fruits cut in half

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crude palm oil which has always been a part of the

Local Palm Oil Processing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Modern Palm Oil Processing

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

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


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

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