Middle East: Who is Actually Fighting Terrorism? Not the USA That’s For Sure

.Middle East: Who is Actually Fighting Terrorism

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Terrorist organizations the Islamic State (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda suffered a catastrophic defeat in the Middle East, which was brought about with active support from Russia. However, evidence shows that not only has the terrorist threat not been completely eliminated but instead it has transformed into new, on their own unprecedented and dangerous forms. Alexander Bortnikov, Director of the FSB, addressed the issue by stating that the unification of ISIS and Al-Qaeda is viewed by Moscow as a fairly serious possibility, fraught with numerous negative consequences. According to Bortnikov, there are a number of indicators that point to their possible unification.

And this is a serious statement made, besides, by an experienced professional and expert on terrorism. In fact, until recently, the world media outlets, especially Western ones, have, for reasons unknown, been writing about disagreements and even conflicts between the two terrorist organizations. But then again, this behavior is understandable, as the West, specifically the United States, was at the foundation of these terrorist organizations by providing money and arms to them.

It is well known that Al-Qaeda was created to fight the Soviet troops that entered Afghanistan. Saudi Arabia’s Osama bin Laden was CIA’s appointee and mercenary. He headed this lawless organization, but later completely fell out with his American friends. But the Saudi Arabian proved his usefulness afterwards by becoming the scapegoat for the tragic event that took place in the US on September 11 in 2001. The American society is still unsure as to who was actually behind the attack. At any rate, in this particular case, a famous Latin phrase seems apt “Cui prodest? Cui bono? Who benefits?” These infamous attacks were, after all, followed by loud assertions by the US that they had the legitimate right to go to war anywhere and at any time. And then the flames of war engulfed the Middle East and North Africa; the US anti-ballistic missile defense systems, against enemies unknown, were stationed any and everywhere, and the United States installed military bases in 140 countries.

The creation of ISIS was also initiated by Americans, and only Americans, which occurred after its completely unprovoked invasion of Iraq. As a result Iraq’s state structures were dismantled, the manufacturing and agriculture sectors destroyed, and infrastructure demolished. The US military commanders had colluded with Iraqi officers to betray Saddam Hussein and capitulate without a fight. Naive Iraqis trusted their American allies, who had betrayed them on more than one occasion, at their word, and followed through with the plan expecting to receive thirty pieces of silver for betraying their country. But, as the Bible says, traitors are not paid, as a rule. Afterwards, these embittered Iraqi officers created the armed organization the Islamic State of Iraq, which later allied itself with like-minded Syrians to form ISIS.

However, Washington, Pentagon and the CIA quickly found common ground with this new terrorist organization and the Heads of the re-established Caliphate. They began to supply it with unlimited funds (undoubtedly with active participation by the Monarchies of the Persian Gulf) and the latest weapons, all the while putting their own plans in motion, which included unlawfully removing Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad from power. If not for the decisive and principled war waged against terrorism by Russia, Washington and its accomplices in the terrorist organizations would have succeeded in drowning the Middle East in blood.

The West accuses Russia and the rest of the world of all the deadly sins, but, as a rule, fails to present any proof to support their accusations, because conventional truth and real life do not fit into their framework of lies and deception. There is more than enough evidence pointing to an alliance between the United States and the terrorists, and to the US support for thugs and insurgents. Here is the most recent proof that came from Syria.   Syrian Armed Forces together with the National Peace Council are continuing to collect weapons, ammunition and medicine, left by insurgents in Jubata al-Khashab and Beit Jinn (near the Quneitra Governorate). The trophies do not only include American weapons and ammunition, such as machine guns, sniper rifles, TOW anti-tank missiles, but also medical equipment. For instance, an ambulance manufactured in the USA, oxygen tanks and ECG – EKG equipment were found. It is clear that the US cannot forgo even the slightest opportunity to earn money by selling modern weaponry, generously paid for by the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, to terrorists and thugs. And to rephrase the Russian saying “for some war is suffering, for the US, an opportunity to reap its benefits”.

At every nook and corner, Western media outlets praise the United States for their efforts, affectionately described as a tireless battle against the Hydra of terrorism. But we have already ascertained who raised this monster and supplied it with weapons. This begs the question “How is it that they are fighting so selflessly?”.   According to a study, published by the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs, nearly half a million people died in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan as a result of the so-called War on Terror declared by the US, that began after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The report states that approximately 7,000 US servicemen died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Incidentally, there is still no clear and definitive answer as to who had instigated these criminal acts.

In the study, the number of casualties listed is around half a million, but experts claim that the actual number is far higher. For example, over the last two years, which saw the previous report published, the number of casualties stood at no fewer than 110,000 people.  Although the US society, media and lawmakers often tend to overlook the War on Terror, the increasing death toll speaks to the fact that the war is not abating but instead continuing to intensify.

The author of this study, Neta Crawford, said that many of those, deemed by the US and local forces as militants, were most likely civilians.  We will probably never know the actual number of casualties. The estimate also does not include the people who died indirectly as a consequence of war, because of destroyed infrastructure, worsening economic conditions, and people abandoning their homes.

By analyzing the statement, made by Alexander Bortnikov, we can state, in full confidence, that recent events taking place in the Middle East may be rightfully interpreted as clear signs of closer relations between ISIS and Al-Qaeda. ISIS, which was considerably weakened in Syria and Iraq, and lost significant ground in North Africa, has recently tamed its aggressive rhetoric towards Al-Qaeda. And, seemingly, the leaders of the two terrorist organizations could, at some stage and under certain conditions, unify, at least in part, their forces or stage joint operations.

This forecast is also supported by the fact that Ayman Mohammed Rabie al-Zawahiri, the leader of the terrorist organization banned in Russia, expresses a somewhat moderate stance in comparison to that espoused by Osama bin Laden. Al-Zawahir’s statements encourage convergence of various jihadi movement from all over the world for the sake of the struggle to establish Sharia law. These words, for one, could be interpreted as an extension of a hand of friendship to ISIS and other terrorist groups. Despite armed conflicts between the Al-Qaeda and ISIS groups, many terrorists, guided by self-interest, changes on battle fields and many other reasons, switch from one terrorist organization to another.  Incidentally, terrorist organizations are merging in the infosphere, where these groups are actively seeking new recruits and spreading ideology of Islamic fundamentalism.

Hence, the appearance of a new terrorist monster, which will start operating in regions such as Afghanistan, Central Asia and Indonesia, is a distinct possibility in the near future. Indonesia’s Minister of Defense, Ryamizard Ryacudu, has emphasized that terrorists are enemies of Islam, and their actions do not reflect traditional teachings, Antaranews reports. “Terrorism is not Islam, Islam is different. Terrorists harm Islam,” the Minister of Defense stated.

Viktor Mikhin, corresponding member of RANS, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”
https://journal-neo.org/2018/11/17/middle-east-who-is-actually-fighting-terrorism/

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‘Entire Families Wiped Out’: U.S. Airstrikes Killed Many Civilians In Syria

`Entire Families Wiped Out`: U.S. Airstrikes Killed Many Civilians In Syria

Raqqa’s first responders use a digger to push through the rubble of a building likely destroyed in an airstrike carried out by the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.

On a busy street corner in Raqqa, Syria, a digger pushes through the rubble of a building hit by an airstrike. Onlookers shield their mouths and noses from the dust and stench of corpses of those who perished beneath.

Just streets away, three recovery workers pull out the delicate skeletons of two children from under the debris of a partially collapsed home. And across the city, in what was once Raqqa’s public park, men unearth more bodies from a mass grave.

“Raqqa did not deserve this destruction,” says Yasser al-Khamis, who leads the city’s emergency response team. “Of course, we understood its fate because it was the capital of ISIS, but we were hoping that the civilian death toll would be lower.”

One year after the U.S.-led military campaign against ISIS ended in Raqqa, Khamis’ team is still recovering the remains of the battle’s casualties. This grim, daily work is revealing a civilian death toll that is dramatically higher than the assessment offered by the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.

The rescue workers’ findings, which they document in meticulous notes shown to NPR, point to an offensive that killed many more civilians than it did ISIS members, and where the majority of those civilians likely died in American airstrikes.

The U.S.-led coalition against ISIS has so far verified 104 unintended civilian casualties caused by its attacks in Raqqa and is investigating more cases, coalition spokesman Army Col. Sean Ryan tells NPR.

“With new information being submitted to the CivCas [civilian casualties] team by a multitude of sources every month, the numbers will presumably go up,” Ryan adds.

The workers in Raqqa, however, estimate the real tally is much higher — likely in the “thousands.”

Since January, the rescue team has uncovered more than 2,600 bodies. Through their identification process, they say they have found that most of the bodies were civilians killed in coalition airstrikes during the battle for Raqqa between June and October 2017.

Formally called the First Responders Team, the group receives funding from the U.S. government, but the assistance is limited. Its approximately 37 members work long hours for little pay — some are volunteers — and say their efforts are slowed by a lack of heavy machinery needed to access the bodies.

With many more corpses still under rubble, the rescue workers estimate it will take another year to clean the city of the dead.

Faster strikes and artillery barrages

Raqqa served as the capital of ISIS’ self-proclaimed caliphate for almost four years after the militant group seized the city in 2014.

The U.S.-led coalition’s offensive on Raqqa came after several years of fighting the extremist group in Iraq and other parts of Syria.

While campaigning for president, Donald Trump vowed to “bomb the s*** out of” ISIS.

In the months following his January 2017 swearing-in, conflict analysts reported increases in both the numbers of U.S. airstrikes and of civilians reported killed in the attacks.

President Trump reportedly handed decision-making power for major bombardments to the military, enabling airstrikes to be more easily called in by commanders on the ground during a battle.

In May 2017, Defense Secretary James Mattis told CBS News the U.S. was accelerating and intensifying the campaign against ISIS, and added, “We have already shifted from attrition tactics … to annihilation tactics.”

In Raqqa, the consequences of the “annihilation tactics” are still keenly felt.

According to Airwars, an independent research group monitoring the anti-ISIS conflicts in Iraq and Syria, the U.S. was responsible for about 95 percent of the airstrikes and all of the artillery barrages in Raqqa. The U.K. and France also participated in the offensive.

A view of a destroyed Raqqa neighborhood.

Ruth Sherlock/NPR

Data given to Airwars by the U.S. military’s central command show the coalition launched at least 21,000 munitions — airstrikes and artillery — in the city in little over four months.

“Entire families have been wiped out”

By the end of the campaign, Raqqa was a wasteland of smashed concrete; its residential tower blocks were flattened and schools and hospitals toppled. A United Nations study found that over 80 percent of the city — originally home to some 220,000 people — is damaged or destroyed.

Many residents say they lost loved ones in the strikes.

Mohanned Tadfi, 41, recently buried his mother, his brother, his sister-in-law and seven nieces and nephews. “Ten people,” he says. “A plane came and hit the house and the building of five floors fell on their heads.”

Tadfi says his brother Latuf had found it too hard and dangerous for his family to leave. “ISIS was executing anyone from his neighborhood who tried to escape. And in any case, our mother is diabetic and can’t walk well, and it was too difficult [to] carry her because the bridges out of the city had been bombed.”

The family stayed in their basement apartment as the war intensified around them. The Syrian Democratic Forces, a U.S.-backed militia, was closing in on the neighborhood and the family thought the fighters would soon capture the area from ISIS.

On Sept. 5, 2017, just after a muezzin in a nearby mosque called the end of noon prayers, an airstrike hit the building where Tadfi’s family was. Another brother, Raed Tadfi, went to deliver insulin for their mother. He found Latuf dead on the steps and the building collapsed behind him.

Days later, SDF fighters seized control of the neighborhood. Tadfi says he and his brother asked the militia for access to the house. “Please, there are children under the rubble. My brother’s children, young kids. Maybe even just one of them is still alive!” he recalls asking them.

But they were told the area was too dangerous for civilians. It wasn’t until three months later that Tadfi was finally able to recover his loved ones. He hired a flatbed truck and took them away to graves he says he dug with his own hands.

The Tadfis’ story is one of the cases being looked at by Donatella Rovera, a senior crisis response adviser for Amnesty International who has spent much of the last year in Raqqa. She compiles witness testimonies and analyzes war damage to buildings as part of an ongoing investigation to determine how many civilians were really killed in the coalition attacks.

The building in Raqqa of the former home of Latuf Tadfi and his family, which relatives say was hit by a U.S.-led coalition airstrike.

Ruth Sherlock/NPR

“This is one case of many that I have been investigating where entire families have been wiped out in places where they thought they would be safe,” she says, standing beside the wreckage of the Tadfis home.

Determining casualties

In a statement responding to NPR, Col. Ryan, the spokesman of the Combined Joint Task Force, said the coalition conducted “thorough assessments” to ensure it didn’t accidentally kill civilians. “The majority of strikes were executed as planned, but to say this was perfect execution from all sides is meaningless and we understand mistakes were made.”

He said the coalition was “fighting a ruthless enemy that was systematically killing innocent civilians and unfortunately some were unintentionally killed trying to liberate them, something we tried to avoid.”

Rovera doesn’t dispute that ISIS tried to prevent civilians from leaving. But, she says, the military knew that before the battle and did not adjust their attack plan accordingly.

Her investigation so far suggests that “many hundreds” of civilians were killed in the Raqqa offensive, which she says prioritized speed, even in densely populated neighborhoods.

Testimony Rovera gathered from embedded journalists and SDF militia sources suggests that strikes sometimes came “within minutes” of a local commander choosing a target.

Bodies recovered at a mass grave site that rescuers discovered in Panorama park in Raqqa, Syria. Rescuers say the remains included militants and civilians. Ruth Sherlock/NPR hide caption

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Ruth Sherlock/NPR

Bodies recovered at a mass grave site that rescuers discovered in Panorama park in Raqqa, Syria. Rescuers say the remains included militants and civilians.

Ruth Sherlock/NPR

“If they had had observation for an adequate period of time, they would have realized that there were civilians in those buildings,” she says. “Yes, the war probably would have taken more time. But more lives would have been saved.”

The rescue unit says it determined most of the more than 2,600 recovered bodies were civilians in a few different ways. ISIS combatants often dressed a specific way and carried an ID card, the workers say. Other characteristics, such as victims’ age and gender and testimony from families, also help in the team’s documentation.

Rescuers say they recognize airstrike scenes from the scale of the destruction.

Airwars puts the civilian death toll in the Raqqa offensive at 1,400, but it believes the number could be higher. It gathers data largely remotely, through communication with sources and information from social media, and has not been able to verify every reported case.

“We expected a significantly higher portion of civilian harm reports to be determined as credible, since in Raqqa really the only player causing the destruction was the coalition,” says Chris Woods, the director of Airwars.

He explains that the coalition has assessed and accepted only a fraction of the casualty reports from Raqqa than it did from the major campaign to drive ISIS from Mosul, Iraq, from October 2016 to July 2017.

“That suggests a political dimension to the decision-making process,” he says. “We can’t think of another explanation for that discrepancy.”

Rovera, the Amnesty International adviser, says it is imperative that coalition forces send ground investigators into Raqqa. “Having dropped the bombs from the sky they should now be sending their investigators on the ground now to establish the facts of what was the impact of those strikes on the civilian population,” she says.

Col. Ryan from the coalition said the existing coalition forces in Syria are not a trained investigative force and taking them away “from their mission is not advisable as the fight against this ruthless enemy continues.”

For now, Raqqa’s people are left to count their dead largely alone, while the U.S. and other powers strike elsewhere in Syria.

The United States is responsible for the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Rukban refugee camp in Syria

Moscow Says Situation in Syrian Camp Reminds of WWII Death Camps

Rukban refugee camp

The United States is responsible for the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Rukban refugee camp in Syria, as it has illegally occupied this territory, Yury Tarasov, the representative of the Russian Defense Ministry in taskforces on ceasefire and humanitarian issues in Geneva, said on Friday.

“The whole responsibility for the outrageous situation in Rukban rests with the United States, as it occupies the territory illegally and it uses the humanitarian problems of the refugee camp to legitimize its military presence in the south of Syria. We believe that the elimination of a 55-kilometer [34 mile] zone around At-Tanf [where a US military base is located] will result in the closure of the Rukban camp,” Tarasov said at a conference of the Russian and Syrian centers for refugees return.

He specified that Russian representatives in the taskforces on ceasefire and humanitarian issues were ready to cooperate with international organizations on settling the Rukban camp humanitarian crisis and on evacuating all the refugees willing to leave it.

“As of today, one of the most urgent problems is the situation in the Rukban refugee camp, which is in an extremely difficult humanitarian situation. I want to note that the total number of temporarily displaced people in it is about 50,000 people, of which about 6,000 are militants of the Maghawir Al-Thawra group controlled by the United States,” Tarasov said.

A similar stance has been voiced by Mikhail Mizintsev, the head of the Russian National Defense Control Center, who stated that the situation in the Syrian refugee camp Rukban reminds of World War II concentration camps, but the global community keeps silent about the catastrophe.

“The situation in which the residents of the camp have found themselves in reminds me very much of World War II concentration camps that seemed to have long become history. How have this become possible in the modern world?… Why does the global community, so much concerned about human rights, stubbornly keep silent about the humanitarian catastrophe of the Rukban camp residents, while they are in fact hostages?” Mizintsev said at a meeting of Russian and Syrian joint coordination committees on repatriation of refugees.

He went on to say that UN official institutions, obliged to provide assistance to refugees, were not actively engaged in settling the humanitarian catastrophe of the Syrian refugees.

“Why are not media representatives allowed to communicate with refugees living in Rukban? There is an explanation to it. Someone has something to conceal there. Who is responsible for this barbarity? The answer is on the surface,” Mizintsev added.

At the same time, Russian Health Ministry spokesman Sergey Grabchak reported that diseases and absence of medical assistance in the camp led to the deaths of more than 100 people.

According to the Health Ministry, the disastrous sanitary and epidemiological situation in the camp, an outbreak of infectious diseases was likely, while refugees almost did not receive medical assistance.

“All these circumstances lead to a high mortality rate. Over the past month alone, more than 100 people died in Rukban. I confirm the difficult, disastrous situation in Rukban,” Grabchak said.

The Rukban refugee camp is located in Syria’s At Tanf district (Homs province) near the Jordanian border, next to a US military base where Syrian opposition forces are being trained.

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Libya, an entire Nation has been destabilized and destroyed by the USA and NATO

Destroying a Country’s Standard of Living: What Libya Had Achieved, What has been Destroyed

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

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The war on Libya started in March 2011.

This article was originally published by GR in September 2011,  following the devastation triggered by seven months of intensive NATO bombings.

Today, Libya as a country and a nation state has been destroyed. Under Nuremberg, the leaders of the NATO member states involved in the war on Libya are war criminals.

Michel Chossudovsky, November 14, 2018

***

“There is no tomorrow” under a NATO sponsored Al Qaeda rebellion. 

While a  “pro-democracy” rebel government has been instated, the country has been destroyed.

Against the backdrop of war propaganda, Libya’s economic and social achievements over the last thirty years, have been brutally reversed:

The [Libyan Arab Jamahiriya] has had a high standard of living and a robust per capita daily caloric intake of 3144. The country has made strides in public health and, since 1980, child mortality rates have dropped from 70 per thousand live births to 19 in 2009. Life expectancy has risen from 61 to 74 years of age during the same span of years. (FAO, Rome, Libya, Country Profile,)

According to sectors of the “Progressive Left” which endorsed NATO’s R2P mandate:

“The mood across Libya, particularly in Tripoli, is absolutely —like there’s just a feeling of euphoria everywhere. People are incredibly excited about starting afresh. There’s a real sense of rebirth, a feeling that their lives are starting anew. (DemocracyNow.org, September 14, 2011 emphasis added)

The rebels are casually presented as “liberators”. The central role of Al Qaeda affilated terrorists within rebel ranks is not mentioned.

“Starting afresh” in the wake of destruction? Fear and Social Despair, Countless Deaths and Atrocities, amply documented by the independent media.

No euphoria…. A historical reversal in the country’s economic and social development has occurred. The achievements have been erased.

The NATO invasion and occupation marks the ruinous “rebirth” of Libya’s standard of living  That is the forbidden and unspoken truth:  an entire Nation has been destabilized and destroyed, its people driven into abysmal poverty.

The objective of the NATO bombings from the outset was to destroy the country’s standard of living, its health infrastructure, its schools and hospitals, its water distribution system.

And then “rebuild” with the help of donors and creditors under the helm of the IMF and the World Bank.

The diktats of the “free market” are a precondition for the instatement of  a Western style “democratic dictatorship “.

About nine thousand strike sorties, tens of thousands of strikes on civilian targets including residential areas, government buildings, water supply and electricity generation facilities. (See NATO Communique, September 5, 2011. 8140 strike sorties from March 31 to September 5, 2011)

An entire nation has been bombed with the most advanced ordnance, including uranium coated ammunition.

Already in August, UNICEF warned that extensive NATO bombing of Libya’s water infrastructure “could turn into an unprecedented health epidemic “ (Christian Balslev-Olesen of UNICEF’s Libya Office, August 2011).

Meanwhile investors and donors have positioned themselves. “War is Good for Business’. NATO, the Pentagon and the Washington based international financial institutions (IFIs) operate in close coordination. What has been destroyed by NATO will be rebuilt, financed by Libya’s external creditors under the helm of the “Washington Consensus”:

“Specifically, the [World] Bank has been asked to examine the need for repair and restoration of services in the water, energy and transport sectors [bombed by NATO] and, in cooperation with the International Monetary Fund, to support budget preparation [austerity measures] and help the banking sector back on to its feet [The Libyan Central bank was one of the first government buildings to be bombed]. Employment generation for young Libyans has been added as an urgent need facing the country.” (World Bank to Help Libya Rebuild and Deliver Essential Services to Citizens emphasis added)

Libya’s Development Achievements

Whatever one’s views regarding Moamar Gadaffi, the post-colonial Libyan government played a key role in eliminating poverty and developing the country’s health and educational infrastructure. According to Italian Journalist Yvonne de Vito,

“Differently from other countries that went through a revolution – Libya is considered to be the Switzerland of the African continent and is very rich and schools are free for the people. Hospitals are free for the people. And the conditions for women are much better than in other Arab countries.” (Russia Today, August 25, 2011)

These developments are in sharp contrast to what most Third World countries were able to “achieve” under Western style “democracy” and “governance” in the context of a standard IMF-World Bank Structural Adjustment program (SAP).

Public Health Care

Public Health Care in Libya prior to NATO’s “Humanitarian Intervention” was the best in Africa.

“Health care is [was] available to all citizens free of charge by the public sector. The country boasts the highest literacy and educational enrolment rates in North Africa. The Government is [was] substantially increasing the development budget for health services…. (WHO Libya Country Brief )

Confirmed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), undernourishment was less than 5 %, with a daily per capita calorie intake of 3144 calories. (FAO caloric intake figures indicate availability rather than consumption).

The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya provided to its citizens what is denied to many Americans: Free public health care, free education, as confirmed by WHO and UNESCO data.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO): Life expectancy at birth was 72.3 years (2009), among the highest in the developing World.

Under 5 mortality rate per 1000 live births declined from 71 in 1991 to 14 in 2009
(http://www.who.int/countryfocus/cooperation_strategy/ccsbrief_lby_en.pdf)
 

Libyan Arab Jamahiriya General information

2009  Total population (000)  6 420

Annual population growth rate (%)  2.0

Population 0-14 years (%) 28

Rural population (%)  22

Total fertility rate (births per woman)  2.6

Infant mortality rate (0/00) 17

Life expectancy at birth (years)  75

GDP per capita (PPP) US$   16 502

GDP growth rate (%)  2.1

Children of primary school-age who are out of school  (%)  (1978) 2

Source: UNESCO. Libya Country Profile

Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (2009)

Total life expectancy at birth (years)   72.3
Male life expectancy at birth (years)   70.2
Female life expectancy at birth (years)  74.9
Newborns with low birth weight (%)  4.0
Children underweight (%)   4.8
Perinatal mortality rate per 1000 total births 19.0
Neonatal mortality rate  11.0
Infant mortality rate (per 1000 live births) 14.0
Under five mortality rate (per 1000 live births) 20.1
Maternal mortality ratio (per 10000 live births) 23.0

Source WHO http://www.emro.who.int/emrinfo/index.aspx?Ctry=liy  

Education

The adult literacy rate was of the order of 89%, (2009), (94% for males and 83% for females). 99.9% of youth are literate (UNESCO 2009 figures, See UNESCO, Libya Country Report)

Gross primary school enrolment ratio was 97% for boys and 97% for girls (2009) .
(see UNESCO tables at

http://stats.uis.unesco.org/unesco/TableViewer/document.aspx?ReportId=121&IF_Language=eng&BR_Country=4340&BR_Region=40525

The pupil teacher ratio in Libya’s primary schools was of the order of 17 (1983 UNESCO data), 74% of school children graduating from primary school were enrolled in secondary school (1983 UNESCO  data).

Based on more recent date, which confirms a marked increase in school enrolment, the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in secondary schools was of the order of 108% in 2002. The GER is the number of pupils enrolled in a given level of education regardless of age expressed as a percentage of the population in the theoretical age group for that level of education.

For tertiary enrolment (postsecondary, college and university), the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) was of the order of 54% in 2002 (52 for males, 57 for females).
(For further details see http://stats.uis.unesco.org/unesco/TableViewer/document.aspx?ReportId=121&IF_Language=eng&BR_Country=4340&BR_Region=40525

Women’s Rights

With regard to Women’s Rights, World Bank data point to significant achievements.

“In a relative short period of time, Libya achieved universal access for primary education, with 98% gross enrollment for secondary, and 46% for tertiary education. In the past decade, girls’ enrollment increased by 12% in all levels of education. In secondary and tertiary education, girls outnumbered boys by 10%.” (World Bank Libya Country Brief, emphasis added)

Price Controls over Essential Food Staples

In most developing countries, essential food prices have skyrocketed, as a result of market deregulation, the lifting of price controls and the eliminaiton of subsidies, under “free market” advice from the World Bank and the IMF.

In recent years, essential food and fuel prices have spiralled as a result of speculative trade on the major commodity exchanges.

Libya was one of the few countries in the developing World which maintained a system of price controls over essential food staples.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick acknowledged in an April 2011 statement that the price of essential food staples had increased by 36 percent in the course of the last year. (See Robert Zoellick, World Bank)

The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya had established a system of price controls over essential food staples, which was maintained until the onset of the NATO led war.

While rising food prices in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt spearheaded social unrest and political dissent, the system of food subsidies in Libya was maintained.

These are the facts confirmed by several UN specialised agencies.

“Missile Diplomacy” and “The Free Market”

War and Globalization are intiricately related.  The IMF and NATO work in tandem, in liason with the Washington think tanks.

The NATO operation purports to enforce the neoliberal economic agenda. Countries which are reluctant to accept the sugar coated bullets of IMF “economic medicine” will eventually be the object of a R2P NATO humanitarian operation.

Déjà Vu? Under the British Empire, “gun boat diplomacy” was a means to imposing “free trade”. On October 5, 1850, England’s Envoy to the Kingdom of Siam, Sir James Brooke recommended to Her Majesty’s government that:

“should these just demands [to impose free trade] be refused, a force should be present, immediately to enforce them by the rapid destruction of the defenses of the [Chaopaya] river… Siam may be taught the lesson which it has long been tempting– its Government may be remodelled, A better disposed king placed on the throne and an influence acquired in the country which will make it of immense commercial importance to England” (The Mission of Sir James Brooke, quoted in M.L. Manich Jumsai, King Mongkut and Sir John Bowring, Chalermit, Bangkok, 1970, p. 23)

Today we call it “Regime Change” and “Missile Diplomacy” which invariably takes the shape of a UN sponsored “No Fly Zone”. Its objective is to impose the IMF’s deadly “economic medicine” of austerity measures and privatization.

The World Bank financed “reconstruction” programs of war torn countries are coordinated with US-NATO military planning. They are invariably formulated prior to onslaught of the military campaign…

Confiscating Libyan Financial Assets

Libya`s frozen overseas financial assets are estimated to be of the order of $150 billion, with NATO countries holding more than $100 billion.

Prior to the war, Libya had no debts. In fact quite the opposite. It was a creditor nation investing in neighboring African countries.

The R2P military intervention is intended to spearhead the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya into the straightjacket of an indebted developing country, under the surveillance of the Washington based Bretton Woods institutions.

In a bitter irony, after having stolen Libya’s oil wealth and confiscated its overseas financial assets, the “donor community” has pledged to lend the (stolen) money back to finance Libya’s post-war “reconstruction”.   Libya is slated to join the ranks of indebted African countries which have driven into poverty by IMF and the World Bank since the onsalught of the debt crisis in the early 1980s:

The IMF promised a further $35-billion in funding [loans] to countries affected by Arab Spring uprisings and formally recognized Libya’s ruling interim council as a legitimate power, opening up access to a myriad of international lenders as the country [Libya] looks to rebuild after a six-month war.  …

Getting IMF recognition is significant for Libya’s interim leaders as it means international development banks and donors such as the World Bank can now offer financing.

The Marseille talks came a few days after world leaders agreed in Paris to free up billions of dollars in frozen assets [stolen money] to help [through loans] Libya’s interim rulers restore vital services and rebuild after a conflict that ended a 42-year dictatorship.

The financing deal by the Group of Seven major economies plus Russia is aimed at supporting reform efforts [IMF sponsored structural adjustment] in the wake of uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East.

The financing is mostly in the form of loans, rather than outright grants, and is provided half by G8 and Arab countries and half by various lenders and development banks. (Financial Post, September 10, 2011,

http://www.truthseeker444.blogspot.com/

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (Emeritus) at the University of Ottawa. He is the Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal and Editor of the globalresearch.ca website. He is the author of The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003) and America’s “War on Terrorism” (2005). He is also a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His writings have been published in more than twenty languages.

Iraq parliament calls for US forces to leave

Source

MEMO | November 10, 2018

Iraqi MP Ahmed Al Asadi, senior leader of the Iraqi Construction Alliance [File photo]

Iraqi MP Ahmad Al-Assadi, senior leader of the Iraqi Construction Alliance, revealed on Friday parliamentarian moves to pressure the Iraqi government to evict US forces from the country.

Al-Assadi said that the previous Iraqi parliament had started the calls, but now the new parliament was calling for a clear timetable for the US withdrawal from Iraq, Arabi21 reported. He added that US forces had entered the country at the request of the Iraqi government for training purposes and assistance in fighting Daesh.

Yet Al-Assadi stressed that: “After the big victory against these gangs [Daesh], the Iraqi government has the right to evaluate the need for American forces to remain on Iraqi soil”. He also said that the calls for US forces to leave would be doubled during the next parliamentary term, noting that the parliament was likely to accept the existence of advisors and trainers based only on the need specified by the authorities.

Regarding the position of the government, Al-Assadi said: “The government has the right to estimate its need for advisors and trainers. The parliamentary discussions, which called for revealing the number, places and need for the American forces were not closed”.

He stressed however that the parliament is entitled to make the final decision regarding whether US forces remain in Iraq or are asked to withdraw.

Time to Get US Forces Out of Europe Before They Can Start WW3.

Time to Get US Forces Out of Europe Before They Can Start WW3

https://www.veteranstoday.com/2018/11/10/time-to-get-us-forces-out-of-europe-before-they-can-start-ww3/

They’ve been over here for 70 years, but the ‘opaque’ presence of our US allies worries many critics.

[Editors note: I’ll let our US readers in on a little secret – over here in Britain, we really don’t like you and what’s more, we never really have. It’s a most understandable dislike because Yanks that come here have had a nasty habit of the sort of arrogance and disdain for the natives that does not sit well at all with the British. This is something that goes back to WW2, when we were invaded by hordes of Yanks who had too much money, too much arrogance and too few manners, your average Yank simply could not resist complaining about how everything was bigger and better back home and how dismal Britain was. Then there was the rampant racism, the US Army still being a segregated force at that time.

Black US servicemen found that they were far more welcome than their white counterparts as they behaved far better and didn’t emulate the over the top arrogance of their white colleagues. Infact, legion are the tales of groups of white US servicemen getting the holy living snot beaten out of them by British servicemen because the Brits took exception to their blatant racism. It usually went like this: a bunch of white GIs would find their way into a British pub and discover there were already several black GIs there, enjoying the local hospitality. All it then took was one white GI to mutter something about ‘shouldn’t have to drink with niggers’ and it was time for the violence to ensue.

By 1945, Britain had been playing host to these unwanted annoying Yanks for almost three years and we couldn’t wait for them to leave, sadly, they never did, or rather, large numbers remained, US bases were kept open and Britain became a key part of the new US military policy of placing substantial forces in Europe, especially aircraft, including nuclear bombers. Then the US went and stabbed Britain in the back by abruptly terminating the Lend-Lease Agreement and forcing us to sign up for crippling loans that took until 2006 to pay off.

With allies like the US, who needs enemies? The US knew Britain was bankrupt and utterly worn out after fighting so long and so hard, but they still stabbed us in the back, doing all they could to devalue the British currency and cripple Britain’s hopes of post-war rebuilding with the result that it took decades for Britain to recover from the post-war US treachery.

Although Britain has, in the wake of the Cold War, managed to get the US to remove it’s nukes from Britain, we are still host to many US bases and tens of thousands of personnel. The US early warning system is reliant on RAF Menwith Hill and the US needs British airbases for operations in Europe. All of which sits very uneasily with the British people – we want the yanks gone, and gone for good, the ‘special relationship’ never existed outside of the soundbites of politicos and we still don’t like Yanks much at all.

So how do you think Britons feel when we see on TV this bloated orange monstrosity of a man pretending to be US president and doing all he can to destabilise the world and push us ever closer to WW3? I can tell you how we feel – an intense loathing and extreme distaste, we see right through Trump and simply cannot fathom why so may in the US fail to do so too. I guess that stereotype of most Yanks being hopelessly dumb holds a fair bit of water.

Very few in Britain think that remaining in an alliance with the US Evil Empire is desirable, we still collectively remember what it is like to be bombed and to lose large numbers of our young men in futile wars, something the US has yet to experience in anything approaching the same magnitude – perhaps the US needs to see it’s cities burning and it’s young boys thrown into pits, too many to bury properly; to experience the same destruction and warfare that Europe has, then you might wake up and finally do something to get rid of Trump before he starts WW3.

We Europeans will not be holding our breath however….

 

Latest US-Led Air Strikes Kill At Least 80 Syrian Civilians

Latest US-Led Air Strikes Kill at Least 80 Syrian Civilians

 by Brett Wilkins

The US-led coalition against Islamic State has carried out more than 100 new air strikes targeting the militant group’s remaining strongholds in Syria’s Deir Ezzor province, killing at least 80 civilians – including dozens of women and children – in recent weeks.

US-led bombing resumed on October 24 following a particularly deadly period in which scores of Syrian men, women and children were killed in strikes on homes and mosques in and around the village of al-Sousa. On October 24, the UK-based monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported 16 civilians died in an air strike on the Al-Zawiya mosque in Hajin, the fourth coalition bombing of a mosque in less than a week. Local media and monitor groups said dozens more were wounded in the attack. Hajin magazine reported IS was using the mosque as a “headquarters.”

On October 27, SOHR and local media reported that a family of five civilians – a man, his wife and their three children – were killed when their home in Al Boubadran village was bombed. The following day, Baladi News reported 20 civilians, mostly women and children, died in a US-led strike on the town of Al Shaafa. As many as 24 others were wounded in the attack.

Several sources including Baladi News and Free Deir Ezzor Radio reported a total of 17 civilians, including four women and three children, died in an October 30 strike on al-Kushma. Step News Agency reported the victims were the families of IS members. That same day, local media and monitor groups said another four civilians, all from the same family, were killed by a US-led strike on Al Shafaa. A woman and a child were reportedly rescued from beneath the rubble.

On November 3, Smart News Agency and other media and monitors reported that between 14 and 21 civilians, mostly women and children, died when US-led warplanes bombed a house near Khalid bin Walid mosque in Hajin. That same day, Al Shaafa was bombed again, with Al Jazeera and other media and monitors reporting that three young children – identified as siblings Zaid, Ziyad and Aisha I’mad Mahmoud Al-Haj Al-Hussein – died when their home was hit. Another five to 10 civilians were reportedly wounded in the attack.

The US-led anti-IS coalition acknowledged carrying out over 100 air strikes in Syria between October 28 and November 3.

The UK-based journalistic monitor group Airwars estimates at least 6,716 and perhaps as many as more than 10,000 civilians have likely died in more than 30,000 air strikes in Syria and Iraq since former president Barack Obama launched the anti-IS campaign in 2014. Civilian casualties have soared during the administration of President Donald Trump, who promised to “bomb the shit out of” IS and kill their families. Trump loosened rules of engagement meant to protect civilians and in May 2017 Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis announced that the US was shifting from a war of attrition to one of “annihilation” in Syria and Iraq. Mattis raised eyebrows and ire by adding that “civilian casualties are a fact of life” that cannot be avoided in such a war.

In the wider US-led war against terrorism, at least hundreds of thousands and likely more than a million men, women and children have died in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Syria since October 2001. Since the nuclear war waged against Japan in August 1945, US forces have killed more foreign civilians than any other armed force in the world, by far.

Brett Wilkins is a San Francisco-based freelance writer and journalist, as well as editor-at-large for US news at Digital Journal. His work, which focuses on issues of war and peace and human rights, is archived at www.brettwilkins.com.

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