Many people have wondered why many international bodies reporting on human rights abuses, have been conspicuously silent on the case of Cameroon, especially the abuses committed by the Biya Regime.
The UN Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa has clarified the situation. Some of them are receiving donations from the same corrupt institutions they are meant to be watchdogs over. Proudly announcing a donation of $18K from Cameroon on their Twitter Account, the UN Human Rights was probably unprepared for the reaction they received from some Cameroonian Activists.
Many Twitter users stormed the tweet, posting images and videos of the different abuses the Cameroon government has been meting out on its population over the last few months. Some questioned why the Centre for Human Rights will accept donations from a
country that has refused to grant access to most Rights bodies to examine its detention centres and prisons. Such questions are not surprising, given that videos have been leaked from the Kondengui maximum security prison, indicating horrible living conditions. There is also currently a campaign on social media asking for the release of one Thomas Awah Junior, publisher of the Aghem News Magazine who is critically ill at the Kondengui Maximum Prison in Yaounde.
Judith Nwana, a Cameroonian activist, accused the UN Human Rights Centre for its hypocrisy. She further challenged the regime to use the money in helping refugees and internally displaced persons caused by its highhandedness in dealing with the ongoing crisis in the English-Speaking Regions of the country.
Over the last couple of years, Cameroon has been gradually descending into a state of anarchy. The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, has visited Cameroon at the heart of the conflict, during which, Cameroonians worldwide held their breath as they hoped and prayed that something positive would happen following the visit. The SG rather left with a gift from the Cameroon Dictator Paul Biya, and never made an official statement about the crisis. The hopes of Cameroonians were again crushed, as it was the case when Biya visited the vatican and met with the Pope.
It would, therefore, appear that while Cameroonians are desperately hoping that the UN might intervene in some way to help them out of the precarious situation they find themselves, the different organs of the UN and its leaders are rather making feather beds with the Cameroon dictator and his regime.
This should not in the least be surprising, given that the UN has been known to be silent over the worst conflicts or genocides that have occurred over the last few decades. The Rwanda Genocide is a case in point, where the UN’s inaction has been largely blamed for the high number of deaths that were recorded.
Unless other bodies such as Amnesty Internation and Centre for Human Rights & Democracy in Africa continue to put out reports of the atrocities being committed by the Biya Regime, it is certain that no one will. Most certainly not the UN Centre for Human Rights.
Even if one were tempted to discard everything Plato wrote, his argument that in the Ideal State, Reason should rule over Courage and Appetite, cannot be overlooked. This has been proven beyond measure over the past few days as the clouds of foreign invasion hangs over Syria, drowning the throes of the inglorious civil war that has engulfed the nation for over 2 years. Beating the drums and sounding the gongs of this war have been Western leaders, notably those of the United States, the United Kingdom and France. The high level of irrationality exhibited by some of the statements of these leaders, challenges the folly of the dark ages.
For example, how could David Cameron so boldly tell the world that there is evidence that the Syrian government has used Chemical weapons against its own people over 10 times already, presents a motion to be debated in parliament with the support of his Deputy, which claims of ‘at least 14 times’, yet fails to back this with any evidence other than what they call ‘highly sensitive intelligence’? How could Francoise Hollande make the rather strong and obviously naïve statement that France will ‘punish’ all those responsible for the attack, when he was in no way capable of telling who did it and the work of the UN Inspectors was yet to determine what substances were used and by whom and clearly oblivious of the fact that punitive action has no place in international law?
If anyone was to wonder who was playing the music to which these two stooges were dancing, then look no further than the United States of America. But the question that should be asked ab initio is: why all the flurry all of a sudden? Who is playing the music to which the USA itself is dancing?
At other times, it would be easy to point to Israel. This time, paradoxically, it is no other than what Paul Flynn says is a ‘foolishly drawn red line’ by
President Obama that needed to be crossed in Syria to become a catalyst for action. Paul Flynn, Labour MP for Newport West goes on to argue that the real reason “…is not because of the horror of these weapons and the horror exists – but because the American president foolishly drew a red line and because of his position now, he’s going to attack or face humiliation. That’s why we’re being drawn into war”. Why then is this ‘Red Line’ statement a catalyst for invasion?
The Obama ‘RED LINE’
At the beginning of the Syrian conflict, there was only one message from the West which they claimed was the panacea to the crises… Assad had to leave power. In fact, during the last US presidential debate, President Obama firmly asserted that “Syrians are going to have to determine their own future” and Mitt Romney twice made the point that he did not ” want to have our military involved in Syria.” Both Candidates however agreed that the US needed to “make sure they [the Syrian opposition] have the arms necessary to defend themselves [though] We do need to make sure that they don’t have arms that get into the wrong hands” said Mr. Romney and President Obama concurred “For us to get more entangled militarily in Syria is a serious step, and we have to do so making absolutely certain that we know who we are helping; that we’re not putting arms in the hands of folks who eventually could turn them against us or allies in the region.”
So arming the rebels was not debatable hence it will be anyone’s guess how the rebels have been able to sustain their offensive till date.
The point of the Obama ‘red line’ became an area of agreement between the Vice Presidential Candidates. When Raddatz asked Paul Ryan “What happens if Assad does not fall, Congressman Ryan? What happens to the region? What happens if he hangs on? What happens if he does?”
The response was ” Then Iran keeps their greatest ally in the region. He’s a sponsor of terrorism. He’ll probably continue slaughtering his people. We and the world community will lose our credibility on this.” And then again Raddatz quizzed “So what would Romney-Ryan do about that credibility?” And came the obvious answer “Well, we agree with the same RED LINE, actually, they do on chemical weapons, but not putting American troops in, other than to secure those chemical weapons. They’re right about that.”
From the onset therefore, it has never been about the Syrian people who would die because of a chemical weapons attack, but because it will be a blow to the image of the United States and a plus for Iran if Assad did not go in the end.
President Obama in his characteristic cautious nature when it comes to interventions, had therefore laid the precedence by making the infamous statement that the only time an intervention in Syria will be indubitable would be if ‘a red line was crossed’. While many at the time questioned what the red line could signify in real terms or how it could be measured, very few, if any, questioned the possibility that the line could be crossed by the rebels.
Out of the blue that ‘red line’ has now been crossed because a few hundred people had joined the hundreds of thousand others who had met unprecedented death because of the civil war. Before UN inspectors had even begun their investigations, a conclusion had been drawn in Washington that it MUST have been the Syrian Regime.
While this may have come as a surprise to many, it would have been expected by those who have been following the Syrian conflict closely.
The Syrian Conflict – How Far, So far?
One major outcome of the so-called Arab Spring, was the testing of the concept of humanitarian wars, enshrined in the notion of ‘responsibility to Protect’. Libya was the first laboratory, the rhetoric of ‘Gaddafi killing his own people’ was amplified and sold to the world. Everyone was tricked, including the United Nations which sat by and watched NATO use ‘all necessary means’ to ‘protect’ Libyans from Gaddafi. ‘All necessary means’ as ambiguous as it sounded, proved just that – equivocal at best, obscenely abstruse at worse. Libyans and their country was bombed indiscriminately, killed and maimed to ‘protect’ them from being killed by Gaddafi. After the murder of Gaddafi, Libyans were left at the mercy of armed rebels. America failed to protect her own diplomats in a Libya which had returned to the ‘state of nature’. There is no question then that they could not protect a singly Libyan. As irresponsible as the neglect of Libya was, it was not questioned by many. Emboldened by the Libyan experiment, Syria became the next in line.
The euphoria of erecting western-style democracies albeit through the use of mass revolution caught a few Syrians who were naïve enough to believe that democracy, rather than being a process, was something that could simply be uprooted and replanted. The seeds of a civil war had been planted. While Western countries quickly took to providing logistic support to rebel factions and arming them, Russia was busy fortifying the Syrian Regime. As the proxy wars were being fought, Syrians were dying in thousands and many more were becoming refugees.
As disunited as the rebels were, they soon made quick advance, capturing many cities including key ones like, Homs, Aleppo and Qusayr. As the rebels made rapid progress, all talk of using diplomatic means to end the conflict were quickly squashed. Many UN missions to Syria to negotiate peace ended in fiascos. As each successful mission was botched, the Syrian regime was blamed for refusing to negotiate.
By the second quarter of 2013 however, the tides began to change. The Syrian government began to gain an upper hand in the conflict, presumably with the help of Hezbollah. In the first week of June, the Syrian government gained control of Qusayr and July, government forces had regained control of Aleppo and only the old City of Homs and a few other districts were held by the opposition.
It was becoming obvious that the government had greater chances of winning. As already discussed, An Assad victory would have serious implications:
First, it would be a slap to the face of the USA and a huge setback to its hegemony.
Secondly, It would mean another lost investment by Western powers and there will be no returns from all the arms and logistic support given to the rebels.
Thirdly, it would mean a major victory for Russia and China, and especially the former who would have made huge financial gains from supplying arms to the Syrian goverment
Fourthly, it would mean the emboldenment of Iran and the consolidation of their power in the region.
This therefore meant, Assad had to be stopped from winning at all costs. Helping the rebels had proven abortive, and another direct intervention would certainly be frowned at not only in the Middle East but also within Western countries where citizens have become war-weary.
The only remaining option was therefore for the Syrian regime to do that which they had been warned not to do – cross the red line. It therefore seemed only too convenient that Syrian forces, which were already having an upper hand in the civil war, should carry out an act which they knew would inevitably bring the biggest military in the world against them.
Simple logic would tell that the Syrian regime had no reason whatsoever to use chemical weapons, whereas, the rebels, desperate for Western intervention and banking on the Obama threat, had every motivation to use it.
Obama therefore, like Herod who made a promise to Herodias’ daughter and realized too late he could not back out, had to do something. Since he cannot act on his own, he needed to recruit heralds. Remembering the gullibility of Tony Blair during the Iraqi invasion of 2003 and the role David Cameron and Nicholas Sarkozy played in Libya, Obama knew exactly who to recruit.
The British Connection and the Triumph of Reason
A 40-minute call to David Cameron did the trick. Mr. Cameron abandoned his holiday, rushed back and convened parliament, also cutting short their holidays. A motion was hurriedly put together, but like sweet palm wine, it was sweet to the mouth but void of substance. The British House of Commons came out on the 29th of August 2013 and showed the world that they were not only going to avoid being sucked into the folly of 2003, but that they had enough information to ask the questions that needed asking.
With a complete deconstruction of the government’s motion for a military intervention into Syria, Reason triumphed over Courage and Appetite. The historic defeat of the British government in parliament on an issue of foreign policy certainly marks a new dawn for imperialistic wars.
Whether the US will decide to go into Syria without the UK or not is left to be seen within the next few days. What this is going to mean for UK-US relations is still a matter of conjecture. These notwithstanding, it will go down in history that the world stood by and watched innocent children, women and men, being murdered in Syria while power-politics and proxy wars took centre stage. The UN Security Council will certainly not provide a solution as the divide that has existed over Syria will not dissolve into thin air. Of the 165 nations that signed the convention on Chemical weapons, Syria is not among (contrary to David Cameron’s postulations) meaning that the signatories of the convention do not even have the legitimacy to call Syria to order for the alleged use of chemical weapons.
While Libya has been the white elephant in the room throughout this debate, as clearly evidenced in the British Parliament where it was completely ignored and Iraq became the reference point, the failure of the Libyan intervention certainly writes a memorandum for us all.
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.
The systematic Manufacturing of War, challenging Russia and China in Race for either Global Full Spectrum Dominance or Global Full Spectrum Devastation. A Comprehensive Analysis.
One cannot emphasize it often enough. Both the crisis in Syria, the crisis between West and East over Syria, and the explosive Iran nuclear debates are symptoms of a long-planned, cynically and systematically implemented US/NATO war plan against Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Russia, and ultimately China. In the light of the tense and confrontational atmosphere between NATO/GCC, Syria, Iran, Russia and China, and before analyzing the latest evolutions of the crisis over Syria, it is incumbent to take a few steps step back. Without an understanding of the genesis of what is rapidly developing towards a serious threat of a global war it is unlikely that the warranted diplomatic as well as popular actions are taken.
Genesis – Pax Americana – The Race for Global Full Spectrum Dominance.
When Russia´s Chief of Staff states that Russia will reserve itself the right to a first strike against the recently activated NATO missile defense shield it is not a prop from the requisites of the Russian diplomatic box of tricks, used with the purpose to achieve the one or the other trade benefit, the relief of sanctions against an allied Iran or any other demand. It is a clear and unequivocal demand for guaranties for the safety of Russia and it´s allies. (1) It is a demand from a Russia that has been under threat ever since the discontinuation of the USSR, and the subsequent US and NATO demand for a Pax Americana and Global Full Spectrum Dominance. The reason why many Westerners have not perceived the fact that Russia has been threatened is, because the transgressions against Russian security have largely been marketed as initiatives for peace and cooperation, or defense against terrorism and rogue states, and who could be against terrorism and rogue states. One can not emphasize the importance of Vladimir Putin´s speech at the International Security Conference in Munich in 2007 enough, as a basis for understanding that NATO systematically, cynically and willfully has committed the one foreign affairs, domestic affairs, economic, as well as geo-political, security and military transgression against Russia after the other. Often under the guise of free trade, of a supposed “Partnership for Peace”, war on terrorism, human rights, and democracy.(2)
That the expansionism and threatening posture was not only designed to impress Russia, but that it would be scrupulously used by both the US and NATO, including Germany, that the alliance would not be shying away from manufacturing covert, and initiating over military aggressions in nations that are allied to Russia or that provide geo-political advantages for Russia or China has become evident since the war on Yugoslavia. A war that has been sold to the Western Public as a war for human rights, freedom and democracy.
Yugoslavia: A Missile for China and a Finger for Russia – China, one may recall, has gotten a warning shot straight into it´s Belgrade Embassy. The signal was clear. “Do not harbor the President of a Sovereign Nation who is on our death list and do not dare to interfere when we wage war“. The Chinese Embassy in Belgrade was hit by a cruise missile in an attempt to “decapitate” the Yugoslavian “regime“. (3)
The fact that NATO warfare doctrine for establishing the Pax Americana would be based on using the guise of human rights, of constructing false reports of massacres, or even committing massacres that are blamed on the targeted nations government and of political show trials at the ICC became obvious with the charade of a trial against former Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic. Since his trial threatened to turn into a public relations disaster for NATO, of course, President Milosevic conveniently died while in captivity in The Hague, and after vain Russian protests against his treatment and trial.
Subsequently to the successful “Balkanization” of Yugoslavia, NATO is now occupying Kosovo, where it facilitated the establishment of a de-facto, according to international law highly questionable new state. Regular Russian protests but even more regular human rights abuses and violence against the civilian Serb population in Kosovo, like the issuing of shoot-to-kill orders against civilian protesters, (4 ) or the harassment of humanitarian aid convoys (5 ) are falling on deaf ears in NATO member states. Complicit or should we say co-opted Western Main Stream Media cover it up. After all, when the Pentagon invests millions in the BBC and other strategic media, one must expect results for the money. All is neatly following the D.o.D´s Information Operations Road-map from 2003. (6). The fact that absolute image and media control is part of NATO doctrine will be clarified more detailed below.
A War of Terror – Afghanistan, US/NATO Presence at all Russian and Chinese Borders in the Greater Middle East.
A classical NATO strategy is to use mercenary armies ad hoc as respectively allied, as enemy or both. The then Bin Laden led Al-Qaeda was the ally in the war on the USSR in Afghanistan, in fact, so he claims, it was a creation of Zbigniev Brzezinski. The same Al-Qaeda was a useful ally in the war on Yugoslavia, later on Serbia and Serbians in Bosnia as well as Kosovo. 2001 and post the attacks on US targets on 11 September 2001, Al Qaeda became the enemy. The enemy that facilitated a US/NATO invasion of Afghanistan. While the US and NATO already were present in most of the former Soviet Republics along the Chinese and Russian borders in the Wider Middle East, it´s presence in Afghanistan and de facto in Pakistan literally encircled one of Russia´s and China´s most important regional allies, Iran. The encirclement became almost complete after the war on Iraq.
A decade-long diplomatic war of attrition against Iran, accompanied by sanctions and Israeli threats of Mad Max Military Intervention has culminated in what can only be described as diplomatic stalemate. After the recent nuclear talks, the next round is due to be held in Moscow soon. The talks will be held within a climate where all present will know that all that so far has prevented a NATO attack on Iran is that the NATO equation about the prior destabilization of Syria and Lebanon has become one year delayed. A decision to wage the war on Syria, Lebanon and Iran has long been made, and is being systematically implemented. (7 )
Why the War on Iraq matters today.
Rather than analyzing the situation pertaining Syria isolated, it should by now have become evident that it is necessary to analyze the post-soviet geo-political developments as one constantly evolving crisis with its current epicenter being Syria. The relevance of Iraq today is not so much the fact that NATO and allies are capable of committing war-crimes with impunity, murdering millions of Iraqi citizens. Creating a radiation public health disaster of unprecedented scale that can be described as genocidal. The most important factors to be taken into account with the current or acute status of the developing crisis are:
US perception of Arab States as not being covered by the provisions of the Treaty of Westphalia. Arab states, argues Henry Kissinger in an article (8) that was deconstructed by an article of this author (9 ), that Muslim Middle Eastern nations do not enjoy the protection under the principles of the Treaty of Westphalia which prohibits the interference into other nations internal affairs. This, Kissinger argues, is valid because only three of the Middle Eastern Muslim nations, Iran, Egypt and Turkey, have a historical existence. The others, so Kissinger argues, are more or less arbitrary creations of colonial powers. Kissinger´s argument is historically invalid, it also contradicts his stance with respect to Israel, but more importantly, it is symptomatic for and illustrates the arrogance, disrespect and masters modo-colonialist attitude and outlook of the United States and NATO on foreign affairs. ( Modo-Colonialism, Contemporary Colonialism. Edt.)
US Negotiation Strategy and Sanctions, A Precursor for Disaster.
Prior to the onset of the “kinetic” war on Iraq it has been made subject to devastating and murderous sanctions based on purported “Weapons of Mass Destruction” which of course were never found. Standard US-negotiation strategy is that purported negotiations are consequently accompanied by UN-fulfillable demands such as the demand to provide evidence that one does not have these or those weapons or other demands to provide “negative evidence” without clearly stating under what precise conditions sanctions will be lifted. These negotiations are usually a precursor for military action being taken. The fact that the USA and NATO today are making use of precisely the same strategy on Iran is most likely a precursor of military action against Iran. The details are described in the article “Iran Nuclear talks: Explosive Issues Amidst Burning Middle East”. ( 10)
Overt Murder of Heads of State. Iraq also matters today because even though it was not the first incident, it was this centuries and the post-cold-war era´s first overt murder of a sovereign nations head of state, and as we will see, it has created precedence for further murders of heads of state. A show trial and an execution by hanging that was made into a public execution because of a video that “accidentally was taken and released”, was televised world wide. The message was “ either you are with us, or we become the terrorists that kill you“. A head of state is murdered with utter and absolute impunity. This practice would later, in 2011, be used against Muammar Ghadafi, although in a slightly different variant. Today Pentagon and NATO war planners speak of the possible decapitation of the Syrian government. The difference today is that Syria has the support of Russia, so a decapitation or military action would have potentially catastrophic consequences, which will be looked at below.
Weapons of Mass Destruction. Iraq also matters today because it provides precedence for a war that is based on lies pertaining weapons of mass destruction. The same strategy has been attempted with respect to Syria. So far it has not been successful but the attempt was made. The campaign about purported human rights violations, war crimes, and other purported outrages by the Syrian government however, has been extremely successful. The success of this strategy, which is designed for creating a pretext for invasion on the grounds of “the responsibility to protect” is mainly based on the complicity of mass media as well as systematic war crimes and massacres committed by NATO/GCC and allied forces, being blamed on the Syrian Government.
Libya and The 25th NATO Summit in Chicago – The New NATO Doctrine and the Threat to Global Security. During Putin´s visit to Copenhagen, the outrage of the then Russian P.M. Putin over the NATO/GCC alliance´s criminal abuse of UNSC Resolution 1973-2011 on Libya (11) was palpable, when Putin met former Danish P.M. Lars Løkke Rasmussen in Copenhagen.
The fact that Putin has a KGB background and that he must have been aware of the fact that Lars Løkke Rasmussen during the 80s strongly supported the Taliban and most likely Al Qaeda in Afghanistan has probably contributed to that outrage. (12 ) As detailed in an article by the author about the 25Th NATO Summit in Chicago ( 13 ) , however, NATO did not only declare that it´s missile shield was brought on-line. What NATO declared during the Chicago Summit, and which was further manifested in an article by Daalder and Stavridis, (14 ) was that Libya-Style interventions now had officially become part of NATO´s new doctrine.
In their article Foreign Affairs, Daalder and Stavridis are calling the intervention in Libya a model intervention for future interventions.(ibid.) In other words, the use of terrorists and mercenary forces, the murder of a head of state are a teachable moment. They are calling the bombing of civilian infrastructure, the destruction of the man made river project, the use of cluster bombs in densely populated areas in Brega (15 ) and the use of fuel air bombs against civilians in Bani Walid, the bombing of civilians in Sirte including the bombing of the hospital, which according to an eyewitness known to the author caused over one thousand casualties in two days for “ a successful air-campaign of unprecedented precision“.
NATO, including Daalder and Stavridis have the audacity of calling the massacres on tens of thousands of Black African Migrant Workers, and tens of thousands of Black Libyans, (16) the slaughter of over 10.000 Tawergha, the utter wiping out of the city from existence and the internal displacement of the survivors,(17) as “teachable moment and model for future interventions”.
What NATO´s “Teachable Moment” teaches the World. The “teachable” part of NATO´s audacity is that Russia, China, Syria, Iran, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the DPR Korea, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and every other nation worldwide who oppose NATO´s ambition for Global Full Spectrum Dominance is, that NATO´s Operation Unified Protector in Libya has taught the world that NATO stops at nothing. NATO revealed that it creates the humanitarian crisis it needs to plead at the UNSC for intervention under the pretext of the “responsibility to protect“. It abuses the UNSC when it can get away with it. It cooperates with mercenaries including Al Qaeda, Muslim Brothers, CIA Imported Taliban Fighters, like the 1.500 fighters from Mazar e-Sharif which the CIA flow in to Libya after the Libyan military had inflicted heavy losses on NATO´s rak tag rebels. (18).
NATO shies no massacres, no genocide, respects no law, provides itself and its political and military leadership impunity while conducting fraudulent show trials at the ICC, like the trial against the purported murderers of Rafiq Hariri, and that even though a secretly recorded audiotape, published on nsnbc clearly proves that Saad Hariri is buying witnesses. But then, Saad Hariri also sponsors the “Free Syrian Army, so such slight mistakes are covered up at the ICC. (19) That´s what friends are for.
NATO does not shy from provoking a thermo-nuclear war on Iran and Russia. A thermo-nuclear war in which NATO assumes, that its missile defense against Iran, which is directed against Russia, provides them a first strike capability. A capability that they assume, will prevent an organized, full scale retaliation from Russia. In other words, NATO also does not shy from making the sacrifice of millions of NATO member states citizens whom they are claiming to protect. (20) The fact that the USA is fully capable at murdering millions of innocent civilians in unprotected cities in a nuclear holocaust has been demonstrated sufficiently in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Finally, when analyzing Libya, it is necessary to understand that the war on Libya was ultimately directed against Russia and China (21), that Russia and China already on 24 October 2011 saw it incumbent to put their armed forces on highest alert, (22 ) and that Russia has clearly drawn a line in the Syrian Sand already in September 2011, when it became evident that the Syrian unrests were products of a blatant and relentless NATO Unconventional War. An attempted subversion whose managers would not want to achieve less than the absolute destabilization of Syria for decades and regime change in a country that is one of the most long standing Russian allies and the sole Russian ally that provides Russia a base in the Mediterranean.(23 )
It became evident that Russia neither would allow, nor could afford another Yugoslavia-Style loss of a long standing and close ally and strategic partner. Considerations about Russia´s security forced Russia to draw a sharp line. Clearly, Russia can not rely on further promises and assurances by NATO. NATO has been trying to make the best possible use of this Russian position. It is a position where Russia is is under extreme political and strategic pressure and cornered. The question is, when will the peaceful bear have to lash out, not to be munched up by the terriers. After the disaster of the Jeltsin and the ambivalence and placidity of the Medvedjev Presidency, it has only just begun being able to reassert it´s geo-political position. (24)
Down to the Dirty Details before Analyzing the Latest Evolution of the Crisis and Proposing Realistic and Peaceful Solutions.
In fact, the world has not been as close to the onset of a high intensity stage of the ongoing World War III, including the risk of the use of thermo-nuclear weapons since the Cuban Missile Crisis. It is therefore, that it is absolutely necessary to have a critical look at the details. It is the “Dirty Details” that facilitate a comprehensive understanding of scope of the audacity and severity of the situation. It is also by acquiring a detailed and comprehensive understanding of the “Dirty Details” that it is possible to develop realistic proposals of solutions that could defuse the situation and hopefully create the basis for realistic, peaceful solutions.
UN – Co-Opted by NATO. UN-FAIR-UN-JUST-UN-SPEAKABLE-UN-DENIABLE-UN-FORGIVABLE-UN-DONE.
With the ratification of the UN/NATO Joint Declaration from 2008 (25), which was kept secret and from public scrutiny as long as possible, the United Nations became a de facto instrument of US-Foreign Policy. Simultaneously NATO became the de facto leading military force of the United Nations. Based on the argument that NATO is uniquely able to rapidly deploy forces, globally, within a joint command structure and joint weapons systems down to the caliber and so forth, NATO has been declared as the World Police Force. No other major power of global reach, like China or Russia, so NATO states, have the same unique capabilities to rapidly establish international forces at “trouble spots“. The reality behind this euphemistic sales pitch is, that NATO creates a humanitarian crisis in Syria, pushes for intervention on the grounds of the United Nations responsibility to protect, and naturally NATO is the sole power that has the unique capability to conquer the world in precisely that manner. NATO´s problem today is, that Russia and China are not buying the sales pitch any more. Latest since Libya that Little Dirty Trick has become too obvious.The result is that the UN-Security Council has utterly lost it´s functionality.Moreover, the United Nations has utterly lost it´s credibility as honest broker and international guardian of peace.
NATO Special Forces / Al Qaeda / Muslim Brotherhood – Joint Command Structure and Logistics.
Late August 2011 a high-ranking officer with the U.S. Special Forces at Ft.Bragg, North Carolina turned whistle-blower. The officer reported to the author, that US Special forces have been actively preparing for and actively begun implementing a war on Syria, Lebanon, Iran, and ultimately Russia.(26) The officer also reported and provided indisputable evidence for the author that US Special Forces were training mercenaries that belong to Al Qaeda associated forces, Muslim Brotherhood, and others. Special Forces took active part in combat in Syria, had a joint command and logistics structure with the terrorists, and were based in NATO bases in Turkey. Furthermore the officer provided a copy of a Special Forces Training Circular, TC 18-01, which is being used to train foreign fighters in systematically bringing about the subversion of Syria (or any other targeted nation) in a structured and coordinated manner, together with, supported and supervised by, and with the active participation of US Special Forces, agents of the D.I.A., NATO Intelligence, as well as non-military organizations such as the National Council of Syria, Human Rights Organizations and so forth.
The Training Circular TC 18-01 is published in its entirety on nsnbc. Reading it reveals the military logic behind what, which otherwise may seem like a chaotic situation in Syria. (27) Only months after the author published the statement of the S.F. whistle-blower, a senior Whitehall official made it public, that British, Turkish, and as he said “probably also US” special forces were operating in Syria. (28) At that time however, the “revelation” was already part of a careful preparation of Western populations to accept that the illegal deployment of Special Forces, a war crime, had to be committed in the name of human rights and democracy.
Al Qaeda – State Sponsored Terrorism NATO´s and the GCC´s Weapon of Choice.The Director of the Canadian Center for Research on Globalization (29), professor Michel Chossudovsky, compares the NATO/GCC-Strategy that is being used against Iraq, and which is now used against Syria with the Reagan Administrations El-Salvador Death Squads strategy. (30) In an earlier article the author of this article compared the strategy used against Syria with a “Modified Chechnyan Model“. (31)As it transpired, both comparisons are quite correct and should once and for all have discredited the narrative about a genuine political opposition that took up arms in Syria, had it not be for a criminally complicit and co-opted Western Media. Media complicity will be looked upon below.
Saudi Arabia´s Omar Brigade. In September 2011 Russian and Syrian Intelligence Services reported that they had analyzed what they called “Internet Chatter” that strongly indicated that the Saudi Arabia based Al Qaeda unit Omar Brigade (32) which is under the command of the Saudi Arabian Minister of the Interior and widely recognized as Al Qaeda´s assassination and bomb expert brigade, had been deployed from Saudi Arabia to Syria. (ibid.) Saudi Arabia is, together with Qatar, consequently channeling vast amounts of money as well a weapons to it´s Al Qaeda brigades in Syria. (33) Al Qaeda brigades which of course are fighting under the euphemistic name “Free Syrian Army” . At other times, when opportune with respect to the Media and Diplomatic War they are off course called Al Qaeda. More precisely that is, when it is opportune to argue that the security of the population of Syria is so endangered by “terrorism” that a “UN/NATO” intervention is warranted for.
The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, (LIFG). The Al Qaeda brigade “The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, LIFG” under the command of Abdelhakim Belhadj is fighting with at least 18.000 fighters in Syria under the name of “Free Syrian Army“. The 18.000 Al Qaeda fighters under the command of Belhadj are mainly deployed in the Jordanian – Syrian border region. (34)
The LIFG has been a major asset in the war on Libya and has since changed its name to “Tripoli Military Council“. Its commander, Abdelhakim Belhadj is a veteran NATO and MI6 double agent. His register of crimes published in an article by the author from 2011 (35) could today be vastly extended. The former Spanish P.M. Aznar and Spanish intelligence services accuse him of having masterminded the Madrid Train Bombings that killed numerous commuters, and which resulted in Spain´s military contribution to NATO´s “war on terror” in Afghanistan. The homicidal variant of the Hegelian Dialectics of Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis. Create a Problem, that elicits a predictable Reaction, and offer a predesignated Solution.
Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood – The Turkey/NATO/Al-Qaeda/Hamas/Mossad Joint Venture.
Already August 2011 it was evident that Turkey was harboring, training, arming and financing armed brigades of the Muslim Brotherhood. Special Facilities were established at Turkish NATO bases. US Special Forces participated, supervised, took part in armed transgressions against Syria. (36) According to the US Special Forces Officer referred to earlier in this article, the kidnapping of the Attorney General of Hama, Adnan Bakkur, where helicopter gunships were used by the kidnappers, was supported by US Special Forces. (37) A complicit or co-opted Al Jazeera propagandized Arab and Western populations with a false defection story and a video of Adnan Bakkur that visibly was recorded under duress. (ibid.)
According to a well placed Palestinian Intelligence Source in Turkey, the war on Syria and the co-operation between NATO, Turkey in particular, Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and the Israeli Intelligence Service Mossad have been operational as far back as 2010. According to the intelligence source, the killing of nine Turkish citizens on board the Turkish registered Gaza Freedom Flotilla vessel Mavi Marmara was such a joint operation.The information was published in an article written by Martin Iqbal. (38) Both the Commander of the LIFG, a.k.a. Tripoli Military Council, a.k.a. Free Syrian Army, Abdelhakim Belhadj and his second in command Harati were on board the Mavi Marmara to point out the targeted Turkish Muslim Brothers to the Israeli Forces assassins.
The operation had several utilities. To assassinate influential members of the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood who were opposed to a war on Syria. To boost the waining public support for Turkish P.M. R. Tayyip Erdogan due to the fact that he could publicly blast Israel. The increased public support enabled him to fire some of the most secular Generals of the Turkish High Command.(ibid.)
Hamas, which has it´s historical roots in prominent Muslim Brotherhood families has secretly re-aligned itself with the International, Qatari led, MI6 and BND infiltrated Muslim Brotherhood and away from it´s alliance with Iran, Syria, Hezbollah. The price for Hamas U-Turn and betrayal ? The promise of a “leading role in a Palestinian Springafter the expected fall of the Syrian Government.” One day after the author of this article published this information, Hamas urgently, and opposite to previous promises of solidarity with the Syrian Government, vacated it´s Damascus office.(39)
The Planned War on Lebanon. The Lebanese Jamaa Al Islamiya has made a U-Turn comparable to that of Hamas too. Their U-Turn is one of the reasons for, why the Syrian Conflict could so easily spill over into Lebanon as planned by NATO. Jamaa Al Islamiya realigned itself with the International, Qatar based, NATO allied wing of the Muslim Brotherhood and away from it´s alliance with Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah.(40) The Qatari, Saudi and NATO plan is most likely to isolate Hezbollah politically and militarily and prepare a new 70th-80th style Lebanese Civil War that is meant to last decades. Other main Lebanese facilitators of the war on Syria and the planned Lebanese civil war are the Saudi – Lebanese Saad Hariri and his Future Movement, as well as the Leader of the Lebanese Druze community and Chairman of the Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party Walid Jumblatt. Their involvement in financing and arming the Syrian Insurgency has been documented in a previous article. That includes Jumblatt´s delivery of Israeli weapons via Raphael Industries to the “Free Syrian Army“.(41)
Functions of a Long Planned Regional War and War on Russia and China. It would be possible to continue for hours, listing various different factors that document, that the “Arab Spring” is a long planned, meticulously and relentlessly executed war plan with the following objectives:
To destabilize Syria and Lebanon and to bring about long lasting civil wars that significantly weaken Iran in preparation of an attack on Iran.
To engage Russia in a Middle Eastern Conflict, counting on one of three possibly attainable objectives. These objectives are strategically interchangeable and may be achieved simultaneously. All of them however, aim at engaging Russia directly or indirectly in a regional conflict with global geo-political consequences.
To contain Russian involvement in the Middle Eastern theater due to the threat of NATO´s plausible first strike capability against Russia, thus forcing Russia to surrender it´s strategic allies to NATO and the GCC. Preventing Russia from direct engagement while the NATO,GCC, Israel Coalition destabilizes and brings about regime change in Syria, Lebanon and Iran.
Weakening Russia, and preparing a long, protracted, Chechnya style war of attrition against Russia via a destabilized Iran and Syria. A continued and intensified attempt to destabilize Russia by proxy in Georgia and other former Soviet Republics like Moldavia. Color revolutions in Belarus and other allied nations with the aim to bring about “regime change” in Russia. Denying Russia access to the Mediterranean by destabilizing Syria.
Alternatively to draw Russia into a long, protracted proxy war in Syria, Iran and Lebanon with an Afghanistan like defeat of Russian forces, in preparation of a direct engagement of Russia via Georgia, Azerbaijan, and the region in general.
All of the objectives are pursued with the possibility of initiating what NATO perceives as a plausible nuclear first strike capability against Russia to contain Russian interference into NATO´s Middle Eastern Conquest. The risk of a thermo-nuclear war on Russia is perceived as a calculable risk and plausible, viable possibility, if not as a goal in an on itself.
Considering the recent decades geo-political developments, the coagulation of loose alliances like the BRICS, SCC and ALBA into more solid blocks that counter Western Ambitions of Global Full Spectrum Dominance, a final war against China becomes plausible only, after a military and political defeat of Russia.
Back to the Present. The Importance of Proper Parliamentary Briefings. Based on this background information it becomes possible to begin to comprehend the scope of what otherwise could be perceived as isolated and easily manageable incidents, namely a plausible civil war in Syria and Lebanon, and a plausible protracted war of sanctions and attrition against Iran on nuclear issues, with the perspective of a plausible, limited military strike against Iran by either Israel and/or the NATO/GCC alliance.
Having spoken to numerous European members of parliaments in different European Countries over the course of the last week, it is generally this perception of the situation, as isolated, manageable affairs that is most prevalent.
This mis-perception and mis-evaluation of the crisis is mainly based on the fact that most members of parliaments, in many cases even those who are members of foreign policy committees, either receive their information via co-opted and complicit Main Stream Media, or that they are receiving their information and briefings from national Intelligence Agencies who often use and analyze the same media as source of information. Another aspect is, that many Western Intelligence Services are deeply involved in the ongoing war, and that the information that is passed on to members of parliament is highly filtered.
Turning-Point Al-Houla. Since the appalling massacre in Al-Houla that would have created nation-wide cries of outrage in most Western countries had the truth been truthfully reported in Western Media, the situation in Syria and the evolution of the crisis overall has changed significantly. Sadly the BBC, to mention just one example, refused to take the results of the preliminary investigation into the massacre into account, blamed the Syrian Military, and to add outrage to audacity, published old images from Iraq, claiming the bodies in the images were victims of the Syrian Army. (42)
The Al-Houla Massacre prompted the author to write the article From Sabra and Shatila to Homs and Damascus (43) which is recommended for understanding the scope of the inhumane audacity and appalling nature of the humanitarian situation in Syria.
After having failed to pressure Russia and China into accepting a Libya-Style NATO led military intervention in Syria, it is transpiring clearly, that NATO will no longer hesitate to intervene militarily in Syria and Iran, regardless of a Russian or Chinese veto at the UNSC. A recent article by the author explains the situation. (44)
As previously detailed, however, Russia can not allow itself another Yugoslavia, Serbia Style defeat in Syria or Iran, without seriously and in fact terminally endangering its own security. Emphasis should be put on understanding the fact that a defeat in Syria and Iran “terminally” endangers Russian security. That said and understood, it must transpire with all clarity and in its fullest consequence that Russia has no other option than applying the least possible necessary “forward defense“, preemptive military strikes included if necessary or perceived necessary.
The signals from Russia are not ambivalent and it can not be taken lightly when Vladimir Putin states that a continued violation of international law by NATO and the GCC threatens to unleash a global conflict. The situation has changed too much since his speech at the International Security Conference in Munich 2007 (ibid.) to expect that Russia will continue behave like a hedgehog, tugging in and making itself as small as possible to protect itself for another five or ten years.
Russian Demands for Peace and Stability backed by Military Preparedness. While Russia is forced into a position where it has to assert that it can and will defend itself and its allies when it has to, its demands are as a matter of fact that of moderation and peace, as well as human rights and a continuation of reforms. Before analyzing the Russian proposals however, it is absolutely necessary to understand that a NATO/GCC led war with catastrophic consequences is in the final stages of preparation, and that Russia is preparing to counter such moves. In fact, it is not alarmist to state that the evolving dynamics of the crisis do not render much time before the dynamics in and on themselves make a peaceful resolution impossible. This must be understood with all possible clarity.
Recent Evolution of the Crisis Towards NATO/GCC Intervention in Spite of VETO at UNSC. The aggravation of the crisis is recognizable on the fact that the massacre in Al Houla has been followed by new massacres that the massacres and violence is predominantly initiated and conducted by the “Free Syrian Army” with the intention to create a civil war based on ethnic, religious, and political grounds. The tactic of scourged earth and massacres is used where ever the “Free Syrian Army” has to retreat.
A massive media war has been carefully planned. It´s final stages are expected to be implemented any time of NATO´s convenience. The objective is to bring about a civil war based on political, ethnic and religious grounds, to create confusion, convince the people of Syria that the Government has fled, that massive massacres are being committed by the Syrian Military. NATO pland a massive disinformation campaign to aggravate the crisis in order to chieve the objective to justify NATO military intervention among NATO and GCC member states populations. (45) The genesis of the campaign was the Arab League´s initiative to make Nilesat and Arabsat cease to carry Syrian TV and Radio signals. (46)
For the first time since the onset of the post-cold war era, Russia has demanded that the Collective Security Treaty Organization, CSTO, (47) is preparing it´s forces for a deployment of Blue Barret Troops. It is a sign that Russia is ready and capable of taking on international responsibilities. The posture is also a sign of Russian opposition to NATO´s self-proclaimed special status at the UN, and it is a sign that Russia is ready to oppose a Western military intervention. Russia´s readiness to protect the line it has drawn, and the fact that Russia meant it seriously when it stated that NATO is driving the world towards a nuclear war was underlined by the recent firing of a Bulava missile from a submarine in the Mediterranean. (ibid.)
A 24 hours manned operations room of the Russian Military forces at the Caspian Sea is established to closely monitor the military situation at the Caspian Sea and the Gulf. Navy, Air Force, Infantry and Armored Forces are battle ready. The Russian Mediterranean Navy base in Tartus, Syria is is on heightened alert. Three Russian brigades, including Speznaz, Special Forces and Airborne Divisions are on alert and ready for rapid deployment. The Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lavrov stated that an unauthorized military intervention against Syria will warrant a Russian response. Iran made it clear that a military intervention in Syria will warrant an Iranian response. Hezbollah is somewhat and surprisingly silent but will have to respond too.
Syrian Reforms and Russian Initiatives towards Peace. First of al it is necessary to emphasize that the Syrian Government has, in spite of the relentless war that is waged against Syria, managed to implement reforms that by far exceed any of the reforms it´s Arab neighbors would badly need.It is by far the most democratic Arab nation.
In spite of the crisis, the emergency laws were lifted. The emergency laws were implemented subsequent to the 1973 war with Israel, and which among other had been maintained because Syria de facto is still in a state of war with Israel, because Israel still occupies the Golan Highs, illegally, and because Syria has been under a constant threat of Israeli insurgencies for decades.
Syria has held a referendum about a new constitution. In spite of the ongoing violence, over 54 % of took part in a referendum, and 89% voted in favor of the new constitution. (48) The constitution is by far the most democratic among all Middle Eastern nations.(49)
Four new political parties have been registered. Parliamentary elections have been held. The message of the people of Syria and the message of the true Syrian opposition parties is clear. Foreign terrorists, foreign Special Forces, foreign mercenaries, get out of Syria and let us continue our reforms. Syria is by far the most democratic, the most liberal of all Arab nations, the one that gives the greatest protection to minorities, secures gender equality, and participatory democracy – much in contrast to the GCC states who are preaching democracy and human rights while beheading their women for sorcery.(and this is not a joke)
Russian Suggestions are Suggestions Towards a Peaceful Settlement of the Dispute. Russian suggestions include that NATO and GCC member states immediately halt their illegal deployment of Special Forces, and an immediate cessation of the arming, financing and other support of foreign and domestic terrorist organizations in Syria. In other words, that NATO and the GCC adheres to international law.As clearly demonstrated above, the violence in Syria will cease when the ongoing and illegal foreign intervention is discontinued. A peaceful solution is not possible while waging war.
Russia suggests that the fraudulent “Friends of Syria” group is discontinued. The group is demonstratively a creation designed with the intent to support the illegal insurgency with political, military and other material support. A peaceful solution is not possible while waging war. Russia suggests that all parties adhere to the Six Point Plan negotiated by Kofi Annan, and that the foreign insurgency ceases to systematically disrupt any attempts of the Syrian Government and Military to adhere to the plan.Russia suggests that the “Friends of Syria” group is substituted by an international ad hoc Contact Group.
In so many words – It Is Either Peace or War. In so many words, what both President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Lavrov, as well as the Syrian Government and all genuine Syrian Political Parties suggest is, that NATO/GCC Coalition withdraws its bloodhounds and weasels, its Belhadj and any other of their professional terrorists and mercenaries. Based on a de-escalation of the conflict it would become evident that the “crisis” is not endemic to Syria but that it has been created by foreign elements and influence. A de-escalation could be monitored by an international Contact Group. Syria could in fact legitimately appeal to Russia for the deployment of Blue Helmets deployed by Russia and/or the CSTO.
A de-escalation, requires nothing but a NATO and a GCC that adheres to international law. The alternative is an escalation of the conflict, which is all to obviously planned, but which consequences should make any Western member of Parliament, every citizen, every military officer stand up and say “enough already“.
The World does not need a World war Three, and it is time to stop it´s evolution.
Briefings. The article is written within the context of parliamentary briefings. Parliamentary Groups, Members of Parliament, Peace Movements, Initiatives world wide are welcome to contact the authos for individual or group briefings on the situation in the Middle East by writing to: firstname.lastname@example.org
After the Arab Leagues discontinuation of it´s mission in Syria, the closure of European and Arab Embassies in Damascus, and the non binding resolution of the United Nations General Assembly, all signals are set “Go” for the War on Syria and Iran. The remaining questions are, what will be the pretext to trigger the transition from the months long covert to an overt war, when will it be initiated, how is it likely to develop, and what will the outcome be.
Diplomacy: The discontinuation of the Arab leagues mission in Syria and the closure of European and Arab Embassies prompted the Russian UN Envoy Vitaly Churkin to interpret them as possible precursors of war. (1) The adoption of a non binding resolution by the United Nations General Assembly on Syria on Thursday came after intense US-American and Western European diplomatic pressure on politically and economically dependent nations, and following the Russian and Chinese rejection of a draft resolution at the UN Security Council on 4 February.
On Sunday Syria rejected the Arab League´s resolution that was calling for a UN-Arab Peacekeeping force in Syria, combined with the tightening of economic sanctions on Syria. The resolution was perceived as blatant interference into Syrian internal affairs. More over, the fact that several of the nations that sponsored the Arab Leagues resolution, and who would be the most likely candidates to volunteer “UN Peace Keepers”, are the very nations that are waging an illegal covert war against Syria; namely, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, with the aid of Turkey, USA, UK, and other NATO Member States. Both Syria, Russia, and China opposed the Arab League Resolution to prevent what they called a new Libya like scenario.
Vitaly Churkin stated, that the draft resolution was unbalanced and that it reflected the tendencies that cause Russia concerns. Namely, the attempt to isolate the Syrian political leadership, the rejection of any contacts with it, and the attempt to impose a political settlement formula from the outside. According to Churkin, Russia also rejected the draft resolution because non of the Russian amendments had been adopted. Churkin elicited, that Russia was especially critical of the failure to include a call on all armed groups to cease attacking residential neighborhoods and government institutions, as well as a call on government troops to leave cities and towns. Churkin also concluded that failure to adopt these points did not leave Russia with any other choice than to vote against the draft.(2)
On Thursday, the European Union adopted a resolution, urging the Russian Government to immediately halt the sales of arms to Syria. The E.U. resolution was widely perceived by analysts as meant for domestic consumption in the attempt to cognitively and emotionally prepare populations of E.U. Member States for a significant “freeze” in E.U.-Russian relations and a possible indirect or direct military conflict with Russia. Syria is the largest Arab importer of Russian arms. (3) However, seen from an objective perspective, the relatively modest Russian arms sales to Syria dwarf the heavy US and E.U. arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Israel and other regional countries.
On 2 January, nsnbc reported that the US will deliver 84 new F-15 Boeing Fighter Jets to Saudi Arabia and significantly upgrade it´s existing fleet. (4) It is an arms deal, supporting a regional US ally, that is waging a covert war on Syria and is arming what is euphemistically called the “Syrian Opposition” (5), a country that is cracking down on protesters in Bahrain, and a country that only recently has beheaded a woman for “sorcery” (6). The traditional European or Prussian warfare doctrine of Carl von Clausewitz (7), that warfare should be the continuation of diplomacy by other means seems to have developed into diplomacy being warfare by other means. The fact that Clausewitz was inspired by Hegel seemingly makes this permutation easy. Create a problem, foster a popular demand for a solution which suits your strategic interests, and deliver the solution. The fostering and abuse of what is euphemistically sold as “The Arab Spring” with capital letters, like “The Holocaust” and the offering of military intervention as solution is a perfect example of Hegelian Dialectics; An Arab Spring, that is cynically, manufactured along the guidelines of the US Special Forces Training Circular for Unconventional Warfare, TC 18-01, which has bee published on nsnbc this week. (8)
War. After failed initiatives to lend apparent legitimacy to the war on Syria and Iran, the questions that call for being answered are; what will be the “event” that is used as pretext for entering an overt military stage of the war, when is it most likely to occur, how will it most likely develop and what is a plausible outcome. All signals are on “go”, the fuse is lit.
The Russian Military is bracing itself for the outbreak of a regional, and potentially wider Middle Eastern or Global War and is on a high state of alert. According to “The Hindu” the Head of the Russian General Staff, General Mikael Markov, informed at a Moscow Press Conference, that Iran is a sore spot for Russia, and that it is likely that a decision to attack Iran will be made within months, a little closer to the summer. Markov added, that Iran was capable of giving a sharp repulse to the attack. Also Russian Admiral Vladimir Komovedov reportedly said, that given the current military build-up in the Persian Gulf, any spark could set off the fire of a regional conflict. Komovedov, who is heading the Russian State Duma´s Defense Committee told foreign military attaches in Moscow that the US could attack Iran any time now with a simultaneous launch of 450 Tomahawk cruise missiles from warships deployed in the region. The Russian general Staff has established a “situation center” and is monitoring the situation around the clock in real time. (9)
Over the recent months Russia has significantly reinforced it´s Southern regions and borders with air, ground and maritime forces. An attack on Iran would most likely incite Iran to attack US Oil Installations in the Caspian Sea, and a developing conflict would involve Georgia, Azerbaijan, Ossetia, Chechnya and destabilize the entire Caspian Region. With an attack on Syria being the most likely “initiator”, and Iran bound to respond, it is most likely only a question of time before the powder keg ignites.
It is unlikely that the USA and NATO will be able to take on Iran directly and with massive ground forces, before it has either significantly reduced the Syrian governments military capabilities, or succeeded in ousting the Syrian Government. It is also most likely, that the US, NATO, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will be counting on “plausible deniability” as long as possible while waging war on Syria, in an attempt to position Iran and Russia as villains who intervene militarily. The ongoing development on the ground is strongly indicating that this is the most probable strategy.
Jordan. According to a report from 13 December 2011, an unspecified number of US troops that were withdrawn from Iraq had been re-deployed to Jordanian Air Force Bases as well as in Jordanian villages near Al-Mafraq, along the Jordanian-Syrian border.(10)
Since then, the NATO Alliance has established a buffer zone along the Jordanian-Syrian border, which according to sources around former Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit is currently housing 43.000 “rebels” from Libya who are waiting for a signal to attack Syria. The so called buffer zone is established around the cities of Mafraq and Ramtha, and is approximately 30 km long and 10 km deep. The zone has reportedly been closed for civilian and non authorized persons. Three large camps, housing about 20.000 mercenaries of the “Tripoli Brigades” led by Abdelhakim Belhadj have reportedly been established. The sources around former Jordanian P.M. Marouf Bakhit, which have good ties to Jordanian Intelligence Services, state, that the total number of foreign fighters in Jordan, poised for an attack on Syria is 43.000. The transport of the NATO mercenaries has largely been conducted under the cover of medical evacuations from Libya, and that some of Jordan´s Royal Medical Services Hospitals as well as Hotels are filled beyond capacity with foreign fighters poised for war on Syria.
According to the same sources, a contingent of dozens of Turkish Intelligence Officers have been the Rabia district and established an operations room in Mecca Street. The Turkish operation also functions as recruitment office for Jihadi´s and mercenaries who wish to enlist in the planned attack on Syria.
Lebanon and Turkey. According to sources with ties to Jordanian Intelligence a shipment of over 50 T of Israeli Military Equipment, worth over USD 650 million has arrived at Erbil Airport in Kurdistan. The weapons have reportedly been paid by “Rafael Industries”.Lebanese M.P. and Chairman of the Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party, Walid Jumblatt´s recent shuttling to Qatar, Iraqi Kurdistan and Turkey have specifically been tied to the arms delivery. The weapons are planned to go on route to Homs. Jumblatt is well known for his anti Syrian meddling. During the protracted Lebanese civil war Jumblatt was a significant agent for division within the progressive alliance and known to have repeatedly sabotaged Syrian attempts to unite progressive forces around a pan-arabic solution that also embraced the Palestinian problem.
Syria First. But When.
Libya was not the easy push-over as many may have expected. The profound and still ongoing resistance of the legitimate Libyan governments forces and the Libyan people has most likely contributed to a delay of the war plans against Syria and Iran. Syria will be even harder to destabilize. The Syrian people are standing in a surprisingly strong solidarity behind their government and against the foreign led insurgency. NATO´s lack of ability to push for another Libya Style UN Resolution has significantly delayed the window for overt military intervention by NATO and allied countries.NATO´s problem with respect to Iran is, that it can not afford to attack Iran directly as long as Syria is not significantly destabilized, and the window of opportunity for a war on Iran in 2012 is already closing and is to be expected by middle of April if it is to be realized this year.
The rapidly closing window for an attack on Iran is adding to NATO´s urgency to initiate a Syrian campaign. Other contributing factors to the urgency are the problems that are arising with maintaining a force of largely uncontrolled and undisciplined foreign fighters in Turkey and Jordan. Another factor which is adding urgency to initiating an assault on Syria is the political nightmare that would arise for NATO if millions of Syrians turned out voting for the new Syrian Constitution, and protesting for President Bashar Al-Assad and against foreign intervention and aggression. What is needed is a plausible excuse for an intervention, and before the results of the referendum for the new Syrian Constitution can be proclaimed.
On 26 February the people of Syria will hold a referendum about the new Syrian Constitution. A referendum that will most likely be the point where the masses of NATO mercenaries in Jordan and Turkey will be given the “go” for an assault on Syria. Massive unrests and violence on the 26th may be the excuse NATO is creating.
Neither Iran nor Russia are particularly interested in becoming engaged in a direct confrontation with the NATO led aggression. The responses to an assault on Syria via Jordan, Turkey and eventually Lebanon will largely depend on the Syrian military´s capability to cope with the situation, and if NATO dares to raise the stakes, risking a confrontation with Russia. Would Iran stay passive when NATO mercenaries launch an attack via Jordan? If so, a Russian response would be strongly depending on the Syrian military capability to handle an assault by 40.000 fighters from Jordan, and if the West insists on intervening with regular forces. If Iran is getting involved the situation may be better for Syria. Can Iran muster a limited response that could not serve as pretext for a war against it ? Will Russia assert it´s influence over Iran and keep it from attacking US Oil refineries in the Caspian ? I don´t know, and most probably nobody really does. What is certain however, is that the Russian, Iranian and Syrian military forces are on alert and in anticipation of developments that can turn the region a thunder within the hour. What ever the outcome, the victim is humanity.
2011 has been a year with so far unprecedented aggression against sovereign nations, in which the United Nations Security Counsel has been utilized to instigate aggressions that are the antithesis of the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.
The appalling abuse of UNSC-Resolution 1973-2011 to conquer the sovereign nation of Libya is another.
If you ask me for advise pertaining 2012, that is, if you wish to make a new years “resolution” my advise is this:
” It´s time to move from resolutions and intentions to action”
” It´s time to not only to criminalize war by “resolutions” but to establish a permanent office where war crimes can be reported, and that assists independent and sovereign nations world wide to prosecute war crimes”.
“It´s time to make war unprofitable by consequently boycotting any corporation that is delivering arms to a waring party that is the aggressor in a given conflict, any corporation who has stocks in such companies, and any corporation whose major share holders have invested in such companies. Let´s establish a Blacklist of Companies, their merchandise, their services, and let´s begin to make war the least profitable business possible. As long as our corporate leaders are educated according to the principles of the Chicago School and similar, this is the one and only language that is understood by them ”
“It´s time to act upon the “resolution” that such boycott is a good idea. I suggest editors of independent media contact one another and discuss how we best could facilitate such a Blacklist and the Boycott by means of our media. . This is a standing invitation to get in touch. ”
I wish you a hopefully more peaceful 2012, so let´s DO IT!
Libya elicits the current state of affairs in global geopolitical trends. It can´t be described as anarchy because it is too well organized. The NGO that should safeguard humanity against the purges of wars of aggression and conquest is instrumentalized by warmongers and aggressors. The ICC serves as show trial court for imperial ambitions while neither the less powerful states and their governments, nor the individual citizens who are at the receiving end of the plain good old murder and ma ham in the new disguise of humanitarian initiative, freedom and democracy are without legal remedy of any kind. That is, unless they have another big brother to sponsor them. Anarchy would be far more civilized.
Saif Islam al-Ghadafi.
While it is reported that Saif Islam al-Ghadafi was released from court in Zintan, cleared for all charges, the fact remains that the world has very little confirmation. As long as he is not able to speak for himself his life must be considered in danger. Whom would one want to trust ? The International Red Cross whom nsnbc busted by providing video evidence for the fact that Red Cross trucks were used to transport RPG´s and ammunitions to the front line in Sirte ? A video that showed one of the white, wooden Red Cross crates fall and break open, displaying the instruments of murder ? Or should one trust the Zintan brigades who not so long ago would rather have seen Saif dead than alive, and who now are claiming to “protect” him from Belhadj ? Or should one trust the corporate media who sold the worlds dazed public a dream of freedom while covering for the greatest war crime of the 21st century ? As long as we can not see Saif Islam al-Ghadafi speak on his own behalf while free and at a location of his choice, or as long we can not see a freely chosen legal counsel representing him and speaking on his behalf, he should be considered a prisoner of war, a hostage that has been paraded around as a trophy, and the worlds legal systems are utterly inept to deal with his case.
The ICC very much would like to get a hold on Saif Islam al-Ghadafi, while the case for an investigation into the purported murder of Muammar Ghadafi is stalled. One should make one simple comparison, ask one simple question, to understand the problems with the ICC.
Is the ICC an institution of the United Nations ? Was the United Nations by virtue of UNSC Resolution 1973 instrumental in facilitating NATO´s aggression against Libya ? Then ask yourself the following question.
If you were to go to family court because you had been charged for paying alimony for a child whose DNA does not match yours, and the judge and prosecutor both repeatedly had raped the mother of the child in question, would you ask for having the judge and prosecutor impeached ? Or would you submit to the court and pay alimony for the child of rapists ?
The establishment of the Rome Treaty, granting nation states international jurisdiction in cases of the most serious crimes known to mankind must be considered as progress. Insufficient progress. One should argue for many more nations to implement international jurisdiction, but. If there are no safeguards that guaranty that the state, the prosecutor and judge are impartial and have no involvement in the case what so ever, the Rome Treaty is prone to the same abuse as that of the ICC and the family court mentioned above.
Further more, as long as there are no binding bilateral and multilateral security assurances that safeguard small nations from political, economical as well as covert and overt military aggression, should a purported war criminal from a powerful nation like the USA be charged, arrested or tried and imprisoned, what small nation would dare to make use of the Rome Treaty and international jurisdiction. What is needed is a dramatic increase in the number of nations who implement international jurisdiction, and bilateral as well as multilateral solidarity assurances in case of repercussions that are to be expected from a nation that is used to be the undisputed bully on the block.
The people in the streets.
The most tragic factor of it all is that the ordinary citizen, the politically innocent who makes up over 90 % of the victims of modern warfare have no legal remedy, not any, unless a government of a member state of the United Nations will sponsor them.
The world needs legal remedy for the family that lost their home and income, the children who lost their mother and father, the newly wed man or woman who had a life full of hopes and dreams, together, and whose future was blown to atoms by one of those precision guided smart bombs, by fuel air explosions and cluster bombs in Bani Walid and where ever the Empire strikes out. The survivors of countless ethnic cleansings and genocides throughout the world, as that in Tawergha. They have no legal remedy unless some nation finds it opportune to abuse their suffering for their own political agenda by sponsoring a war crimes tribunal. Or until they find a small nation that dares to be next on the political, economic, and military hit list of the powerful. This must not stand.
Justice for all, independent on state sponsorship.
We are no longer hurling stones and sticks at one another, and neither are we bound by mechanized mass murder. Humanity has reached a point where a few madmen are able to incinerate humanity and all habitats of other creatures, the flora and the fauna in them. It can not stand and we can not let it stand, that our international legal systems do not follow suit in this awesome development so that we once and for all criminalize the state sanctioned, premeditated mass murder that we call war. It has become too dangerous to be continued. Many social scientists argue that aggression and warfare is part of human etiology, that we inherited it from the chimps. This may be so, but chimps don´t have access to the red button that triggers a nuclear war, all though, but let that be a explained by the cartoonists. Most importantly, chimps still live in the bush, we don´t. Chimps don´t develop medicines like antibiotics. Evolution is not determinism but change. We can either change our aggressive behavior because it has become to dangerous, or perish.
The world needs a legal system with as many nations as possible implementing international jurisdiction for the most serious crimes known to mankind. Trials can no longer take place in nations, with prosecutors and judges who are a party to the conflict. Most prominently and urgently, the demand that a state sponsors a trial for war crimes must be abandoned. If your loved one was murdered by the powerful, if your children were atomized by the powerful, if your existence, your hopes and dreams and your future were destroyed by the powerful, you must be able to demand justice, to attain justice, without begging another bully that he please may help you because it may be of political advantage to himself. This is pornography and not justice, and we can not let it stand.
Unfortunately, my confusion grows… so there is actually such a thing as pro-poor politics! The fact that I am confused should not in the least be surprising when one considers that I derive my foundation from the Athenian intellectual tradition where the primary focus of thought was the State, rather than the individual, and the all thinking on politics or economics stressed the political solidarity of society. In the Republic for example Plato writes that “A State, . . . arises… out of the needs of mankind; no one is self-sufficing, but all of us have many wants. . . . Then, as we have many wants, and many persons are needed to supply them, one takes a helper for one purpose and another for another; and when these partners and helpers are gathered together in one habitation the body of inhabitants is termed a State. . . . And they exchange with one another, and one gives, and another receives, under the idea that the exchange will be for their good.” The origin of the state therefore, is as a result of the absence of individual self-sufficiency in the satisfaction of wants.
Coming after Plato, Aristotle took another perspective to make the same point, indicating the importance of interdependence of everyone in the city state. Aristotle in PoliticsBook 1 pt. 2 points out that “… the state is by nature clearly prior to the family and to the individual, since the whole is of necessity prior to the part; for example, if the whole body be destroyed, there will be no foot or hand, except in an equivocal sense, as we might speak of a stone hand. . . . The proof that the state is a creation of nature and prior to the individual is that the individual, when isolated, is not self-sufficing; and therefore he is like a part in relation to the whole.”
If one were to go by these arguments, it becomes difficult not to conclude that society should be structured in such a way that every action benefits everyone. This could be done by applying laws that are progressive and that once implemented at the State level inevitably trickles down to every person. Unfortunately, the reality is not the case today in most developing countries where the elites consider themselves to be ‘above’ the State and actions that should have been carried out for the benefit of the state as a whole and where not carried out ( or carried out in such a way that leads to the fulfillment of the selfish interests of the Elites, at the detriment of the poor) are today being carried out with the tag – Pro-Poor. Is it actually for the poor or is it done to prevent the poor being a problem to the welfare of the elites?
Before the lectures and discussions this week, I had this question going through my mind. Is pro-poor politics an end itself – the welfare of the poor – or is it a means to an end – getting the poor in a better situation that will reduce the possibility of them being a problem to the rich? I was more convinced there was need to look beyond the idea to the reality because Locke’s words kept re-echoing in my mind
“The gap between our ideas and words about the world, and the world itself, is large and difficult, but still, if one man calls something good, while another man calls it evil, the deed or man referred to still has real qualities of good or evil, the categories exist in the world regardless of our names for them, and if one man’s word does not correspond to another mans word, this a problem of communication, not fundamental arbitrariness in reality.”
Hence the bottom-line should be “good politics” – to call it ‘pro-poor’ or any other name does not change the effects of the action carried out. There is no gainsaying the fact that a hospital or good sanitation facilities provided in a poor neighbourhood benefits the poor but what is not noticed or spoken is that it also frees the rich from drudgery of having to think of a cholera outbreak that will not discriminate between poor and rich.
When I was reading through Moore and Putzel’s (2001) paper, I was fascinated by the ease with which they presented the arguments relating to pro-poor policy making. I could not help questioning some of their conclusions/assumptions:
First they feel that democracy has differential outcomes for the poor. The first problem I found with this assumption was the lack of delineation of what they meant by ‘poverty’. Are they discussing absolute poverty or relative poverty? These distinctions will go a long way to change some of the broad conclusions they arrived at. Secondly, the term democracy is used there loosely to simply mean ‘providing people with a framework to vote for their leaders’ – but is that really what democracy is all about? While I will like to agree with them (especially going by the illustration given of Kamataka and Andhra Pradesh) that the nature of politics has different effects on the poor, I however could not fail to notice that they only succeeded in pointing to what was obvious and illustrating these with examples. The question should not be what name a particular system of politics or governance is called but how much it impacts on the life of the people as a whole. Hence I totally agree with them that making accomplishments in poverty reduction a criterion for legitimacy of governments will be a wonderful idea. Unfortunately the problem arises about how to measure these accomplishments. Who will be the arbiter and who are those involved in the presentation of evidence? Will it be the poor themselves?
According to Chipi (2010)
“…the adoption of democratic institutions does not alone suggest a change in elite behaviour or in the actions they take. The persistence of poverty reflects its institutionalization within social and political norms as well as institutions and its acceptance within political discourse. Hence, noble agendas – such as empowerment of the poor, or increased political space for the poor to participate in – offer very little promise if the elites who are required to adopt and implement these institutions are anyhow ignored.”
While I agree entirely with the first part of her argument, I question very much the logic of the concluding part because experience has shown that there may well be some situations where the elites are not required to ‘adopt’ and ‘implement’ institutions. In most cases, they tend to be inimical to the whole process of empowerment of the poor. The reason I think is that, having being established as a ruling class, most of the elites in poor countries generally enrich themselves at the public’s expense through public graft and corruption as well as deals with foreign capitalists. For example Fanon presents this situation prosaically that;
“By dint of yearly loans, concessions are snatched up by foreigners: scandals are numerous, ministers grow rich, their wives doll themselves up, the members of parliament feather their nest and there is not a soul down to the simple policeman or the custom officer who does not join in the great procession of corruption.”(1963:165-66)
In Nigeria, for example, Njoko points out that “The present political economy has largely succeeded in erecting greedy an affluent politicians and a listless, scarred public. In fact, the myth that is a way of African life has to be abandoned. Our experience so far is that the government, the politician, is the greatest armed robber, victimiser or oppressor in Nigeria.” (2004:91) The issue remains unclear whether there is such a thing as pro-poor or whether policies aimed at the poor are simply part of a political agenda.
Later following Chipi’s presentation, the picture became a bit clear. When she narrated the story of a ‘poor’ woman who called a parliamentarian and asked her to pay her child’s school fees, I said to myself that this should be a really good situation where the poor can talk directly to the Elites and ask them for favours. One thing however that I am yet to clearly understand is if whether everyone has access to the private numbers of parliamentarians in Malawi. Since this will obviously not be the case, I will certainly not be wrong to conclude that one has to belong to a certain class to have access to such privy information. Another thing that I succeeded in getting both from her (2010) paper and her presentation is that the general consensus seems that pro-poor policies are for the poor a privilege, rather a right to mutually beneficial governance.
I don’t know if you notice what I have just noticed myself… my confusion seems to be waning a bit! What I cannot fail to realise also however, is the fact that I keep having this agitation in my heart as I discuss this issue of poverty. The reason is simple… it’s a road I have walked and I am not discussing it as a merely academic exercise but it is almost like an evaluation of the paths I have trod. No wonder I look forward so much to the discussion next week of Elites, Politics and Development…
Chipiliro K.N 2010. Mutual Interdependence between Elites and the Poor Working Paper No. 2010/117 World Institute for Development Economic Research
Fanon, F. 1963. The wretched of the Earth, New York: Grove Press,
Njoku, O.C 2004. Development and African Philosophy: A Theoretical Reconstruction of African Socio-Political Economy, New York: iUniverse, Inc.