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Stop! Thief! Stop! — The Looting of Ukraine
Kiev’s hastily assembled, post-coup coalitions couldn’t hold, and Ukrainian PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk threw in the towel last Thursday. On his way out, news stories said, the PM expressed his “disappointment with Ukrainian parliament’s decision to reject a bill that allows the government to hand over up to 49 percent of the country’s gas transport system to investors from the European Union and the United States.”

30 July 2014read on...

On Dominoes, WMDs And Putin’s 'Aggression': Imperial Washington Is Intoxicated By Another Big Lie
Imperial Washington is truly running amuck in its insensible confrontation with Vladimir Putin. The round of new sanctions is a counter-productive joke. Apparently, more of Vlad’s posse will be put on double probation, thereby reducing demand for Harry Macklowe’s swell new $60 million apartment units on Park Avenue. Likewise, American exporters of high tech oilfield equipment will be shot in the foot with an embargo; and debt-saturated Russian state companies will be denied the opportunity to bury themselves even deeper in dollar debt by borrowing on the New York bond market. Some real wet noodles, these!

29 July 2014read on...

In Foreign Affairs, Not Doing Anything Is The Thing To Do
The heartbreaking violence in the Middle East, Ukraine, and elsewhere carries many messages, but here’s one Americans shouldn’t miss: The United States — no matter who the president is — cannot manage world conflict. The corollary is that when a president tries to manage it, things will usually get worse. Foresight is always defective, and tragic unintended consequences will prevail.

29 July 2014read on...

The Absurd, Bureaucratic Hell That Is the American Police State
Whether it’s the working mother arrested for letting her 9-year-old play unsupervised at a playground, the teenager forced to have his genitals photographed by police, the underage burglar sentenced to 23 years for shooting a retired police dog, or the 43-year-old man who died of a heart attack after being put in a chokehold by NYPD officers allegedly over the sale of untaxed cigarettes, the theater of the absurd that passes for life in the American police state grows more tragic and incomprehensible by the day.

28 July 2014read on...

End Torture, Shut Down the CIA!
Remember back in April, 2007, when then-CIA director George Tenet appeared on 60 Minutes, angrily telling the program host, “we don’t torture people”? Remember a few months later, in October, President George W. Bush saying, “this government does not torture people”? We knew then it was not true because we had already seen the photos of Iraqis tortured at Abu Ghraib prison four years earlier.

27 July 2014read on...

Israel's 155mm Cure For ‘Terrorism’ In 1956, Britain and France were convinced that Egypt’s charismatic nationalist leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser, was threatening what was left of their Mideast and African colonial empires. London branded Nasser, “Hitler on the Nile.”

27 July 2014read on...

Another 'Saigon': US Evacuates From Libya
One month ago today, President Obama was congratulating Libya on a "milestone" election -- even though the disintegration of the country after the 2011 US invasion was ongoing.

26 July 2014read on...

What Does the U.S. Support When It Supports Israel?
According to the Congressional Budget Office, “Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. To date, the United States has provided Israel $121 billion (current, or non-inflation-adjusted, dollars) in bilateral assistance. Almost all U.S. bilateral aid to Israel is in the form of military assistance, although in the past Israel also received significant economic assistance.”

26 July 2014read on...

‘Hard-Core Libertarian’ Austin Petersen's Advice for 'Soviet' Ron Paul
Austin Petersen, who describes himself in the introduction to his Freedom Report Podcast as a “hard-core libertarian” who cares about “pure freedom,” is upset that Ron Paul wrote an editorial expressing skepticism regarding the US government’s and media’s line on the downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight in Ukraine.

25 July 2014read on...

Ron Paul: 'I Don't Blame America, I Blame Neocons'
Facing a tough but respectful grilling on Fox Business's The Independents over his recent comments on Ukraine and the apparent downing of a Malaysia Air plane, Ron Paul argues that the US government wants to blame Russia for the shoot-down while providing no evidence for its conclusion.

25 July 2014read on...

Featured Articles

Libya in Chaos Two Years After NATO's 'Humanitarian Liberation'


Libya Militia

In 2011 when Muhammar Qaddafi refused to leave quietly as ruler of Libya, the Obama Administration, hiding behind the skirts of the French, launched a ferocious bombing campaign and a “No Fly” zone over the country to aid the so-called fighters for democracy. The US lied to Russia and China with help of the (US-friendly) Gulf Cooperation Council about the Security Council Resolution on Libya and used it to illegally justify the war. The doctrine, “responsibility to protect” was used instead, the same doctrine Obama has cited for use in Syria. It’s useful to look at Libya two years after the NATO humanitarian intervention.

Chaos in oil industry

Libya’s economy is dependent on oil. Just after the war, Western media hailed the fact the oil installations were not damaged by the population bombing and oil production was near normal at 1.4 million barrels/day (bpd). Then in July the armed guards hired by the government in Tripoli suddenly revolted and seized control of the eastern oil field terminals they were supposed to protect. There is where the vast bulk of Libya’s oil is produced, near Benghazi. It goes by pipeline to tankers on the Mediterranean for export.

When the government lost control of the terminals production and export fell sharply. Then another armed tribal group seized control of two oilfields in the south blocking oil flow to terminals on the northwest coast. The tribal occupiers demanded more pay and went on strike to demand pay and an end to corruption. The end result is today, early September Libya pumped a mere 150,000 barrels of its capacity of 1.6 million bpd. Exports have fallen to 80,000 barrels per day. [1]

Armed Militias vs Muslim Brotherhood

Libya is an artificial state like much of the Middle East and Africa, carved out in the colonial era of World War I by Italy. It is ruled by tribal consensus among numerous tribes. Qaddafi was chosen in a long process of voting by tribal elders that can take up to 15 years I was told by one expert. When he was murdered and his family hunted, NATO forced rule by a Muslim Brotherhood-dominated National Transitional Council (NTC).

Now in August a new Assembly was elected dominated again by the Brotherhood as in Morsi Egypt or Tunisia. Sounds nice on paper. The reality is that, by all accounts lawless bands, armed for the first time during the war with modern weapons, including foreign Al Qaeda and other jihadists are carrying out daily bombings across the country for local control. Tripoli itself has numerous armed gangs controlling sections of the capitol. It is turning into an armed battle between local tribal millitias that are forming and the Brotherthood that controls the central government. Leaders in the provinces of Cyrenaica and Fezzan are considering breaking away from Tripoli and rebel militias mobilizing across the country. [2]

Bombings in Tripoli are daily as lawlessness spreads

Nuri Abu Sahmain, Muslim Brotherhood President of the newly elected Congress has summoned militias allied to the Brotherhood to the capital to try to prevent a coup, in a move the opposition sees very much like a coup by the Brotherhood. The main opposition party, a center-right National Forces Alliance, as a result just deserted Congress together with several smaller ethnic parties, leaving the Brotherhood’s Justice and Construction party heading a government with crumbling authority. "Congress has basically collapsed," said one diplomat in Tripoli. [3] The Obama Administration has promoted a takeover across the Muslim world from Egypt to Tunisia to Syria by the secretive Muslim Brotherhood as part of its long-term strategy of controlling the Muslim Arc of Crisis from Afghanistan to Libya. As the Saudi-backed military coup against Brotherhood president Muhammed Morsi in Egypt in July showed, the Obama strategy has some problems.

Riots and lawlessness

With rising violence the Interior Minister Mohamed Khalifa al Sheikh resigned in August. Some 500 prisoners in Tripoli jail did a hunger strike to protest being held two years without charges. When the government ordered the Supreme Security Committee to restore order, they began shooting prisoners through the bars. In July 1200 prisoners escaped a jail after a riot in Benghazi. In short lawlessness and chaos is spreading. [4]

Ethnic Berbers, whose militia led the assault on Tripoli in 2011, temporarily took over the parliament building in Tripoli. Because the US and NATO was adamant it wanted no “boots on the ground,” instead they freely gave arms to any and all rebels who would shoot at the Qaddafi government troops. Now they still have the guns and Libya was described to me by one French journalist who had recently been there as “the world’s largest open air arms bazaar,” where for cash anyone can buy any modern NATO weapon.

Foreigners have mostly fled Benghazi since the American ambassador was murdered in the US consulate by jihadi militiamen last September. And Libya’s military prosecutor Colonel Yussef Ali al-Asseifar, in charge of investigating assassinations of politicians, soldiers and journalists, was himself assassinated by a bomb in his car on 29 August. [5]

Prospects are grim as the lawlessness spreads. Sliman Qajam, a member of the parliamentary energy committee, told Bloomberg that “the government is running on its reserves. If the situation doesn’t improve, it won’t be able to pay salaries by the end of the year.”

The Obama Administration has argued that the not-yet-proven use by the Assad government of chemical weapons in Syria justifies a bombing war by NATO and allies such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Jordan, based on the “humanitarian” doctrine deceptively known as “responsibility to protect,” which argues that certain violations of human rights or safety are so serious as to transcend international law, UN Charters or US constitutional requirements and allow on moral grounds any US President to bomb any country he or she chooses. Something is not quite right here. ..

[1] Krishnadev Calamur, “Libya Faces Looming Crisis As Oil Output Slows To Trickle”, NPR, September 12, 2013

[2] Patrick Cockburn, “We all thought Libya had moved on it has but into lawlessness and ruin”, 3 September 2013,

[3] Chris Stephen, “Libyans fear standoff between Muslim Brotherhood and opposition forces”, The Guardian, 20 August, 2013.

[4] “Simultaneous jail-break of jihadists in 9 countries”, Translation Alizée Ville, Voltaire Network, 7 August 2013.

[5] Patrick Cockburn, op. cit.

Published with permission.

Flickr/شبكة برق | B.R.Q


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