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.

Yemen’s Ansarullah: Pause In Saudi Raids on Al-Hudaydah to Buy Time

Yemen’s Ansarullah: Pause In Saudi Raids on Al-Hudaydah to Buy Time

 

صنعاء تتهم التحالف السعودي بالترويج للتهدئة لترتيب أوضاع قواته المنهارة

 

قوات التحالف تقصف بالمدفعية كلية الهندسة في جامعة الحديدة بعد ساعات من شن طائرات التحالف غارة جوية على مزرعة في التحيتا جنوب الحديدة.

استشهد ثلاثة مدنيين وأصيب اثنان بغارة لطائرات التحالف السعودي استهدفت سيارة مدنية على الطريق العام الرابط بين مديرية كتاف ومنطقة الفحلوين

استشهد ثلاثة مدنيين وأصيب اثنان بغارة لطائرات التحالف السعودي استهدفت سيارة مدنية على الطريق العام الرابط بين مديرية كتاف ومنطقة الفحلوين

استشهد اربعة مدنيين يمنيين وجرح اثنان بقصف جوي للتحالف السعودي استهدف حافلة ركاب في مديرية المراوعة شرقي الحديدة.

قوات التحالف قصفت بالمدفعية كلية الهندسة في جامعة الحديدة بعد ساعات من شن طائرات التحالف غارة جوية على مزرعة في التحيتا جنوب الحديدة.

 أما في صعدة فاستشهد ثلاثة مدنيين وأصيب اثنان بغارة لطائرات التحالف السعودي استهدفت سيارة مدنية على الطريق العام الرابط بين مديرية كتاف ومنطقة الفحلوين.

المتحدث باسم القوات المسلحة اليمنية العميد يحيى سريع أكد أن التحالف السعودي مستمر في ارتكاب المجازر بحق الشعب اليمني، مشيراً إلى أن التحالف يسعى من وراء الترويج لتهدئة إلى كسب الوقت وإعادة ترتيب أوضاع قواته المنهارة.

أما وزير الدولة لشؤون الحوار والمصالحة في حكومة صنعاء أحمد القنع أكّد للميادين أن المقاتلين التابعين للتحالف السعودي لن يستطيعوا دخول الحديدة ولو حاولوا ذلك لسنوات.

ولفت القنع إلى أن دول التحالف صرفت أموالاً على الجانب الإعلامي أكثر مما صرفت على الجانب العسكري، مؤكداً أن انتصارات التحالف السعودي في اليمن هي انتصاراتٌ إعلاميةٌ وهمية.


مجلس الأمن الدولي يعقد اليوم جلسة تناقش الأوضاع الإنسانية والسياسية في اليمن

وفي السياق، يعقد مجلس الأمن الدولي اليوم جلسة تناقش الأوضاع الإنسانية والسياسية في اليمن وسط منع التحالف السعودي أربع سفن من إفراغ حمولاتها من الوقود بالرغم من الحاجة الملحة اليها محلياً.
الأمم المتحدة أعلنت أن ميناءي الحديدة وصاليف يعملان لكن دون طاقتهما.
وأشار المتحدث باسم الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة ستيفان دوجاريك إلى أن حكومة الرئيس هادي فرضت قيوداً على السفن التي تنقل الوقود.

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US, Britain Push Yemen Ceasefire as Tactic to Defeat Houthis

US, Britain Push Yemen Ceasefire as Tactic to Defeat Houthis

FINIAN CUNNINGHAM | 16.11.2018 |

US, Britain Push Yemen Ceasefire as Tactic to Defeat Houthis

At first glance, it may seem like a positive move. The Trump administration and London are both putting pressure on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to implement a ceasefire in Yemen’s atrocious war. Washington and London are also calling for warring sides to enter into peace negotiations within a month.

What’s wrong with that, you may ask? Well, as Houthi rebels who took over Yemen at the end of 2014 are saying, the country has been under aggression for the past three years from a Saudi-led coalition supported militarily by the US, Britain and France. The unrelenting war on the poorest country in the Middle East has led to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in decades, with over half of the population – some 14 million people – at risk of starvation, according to the UN.

Therefore, the appropriate legal and moral course of action now is not merely a ceasefire or talks. It is for the Western-backed Saudi, Emirati coalition to immediately halt its criminal aggression against Yemen. In short, stop the foreign interference in Yemen’s sovereign affairs.

US Secretary of State James Mattis and Britain’s Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt appear to be impelled by humanitarian concern for the massive human suffering in Yemen with their recent calls for cessation of hostilities.

But a more nuanced reading of their exhortations suggest that the real concern is to burnish the blood-soaked image of the Saudi coalition that their governments support, and, secondly, to inveigle the Houthis into a negotiations framework that will result in undue foreign influence over Yemen’s politics.

Last week, Washington announced that it was suspending mid-air refueling flights for Saudi and Emirati warplanes that have been pounding Yemen since March 2015, which has resulted in a horrendous death toll among civilians. The indiscriminate killing of the Saudis and Emirati air strikes has been amply documented, albeit downplayed by Western media. The latter keep repeating a figure of 10,000 dead in Yemen – a figure which has bizarrely remained unchanged for at least the past two years. The real death toll from air strikes is unknown but likely to be near 50,000.

American, British and French military support for the murderous operations in Yemen should have stopped months, even years ago, if official humanitarian concerns were genuine.

The question is: why the sudden effort by Washington and London, as well as Paris, to call for a ceasefire and follow-on political talks?

One factor, no doubt, is the barbaric murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by assassins linked to the House of Saud. Turkish authorities believe that Khashoggi was brutally murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, his body hacked to pieces and dissolved in industrial-strength acid. Audiotapes obtained by the Turkish authorities have implicated the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the murder plot against the dissident journalist.

The gruesome details of Khashoggi’s killing and the blatant lies that the Saudi rulers have issued to cover up their barbarity have heaped immense pressure on Washington, London and Paris over their close ties with the House of Saud. Public outrage has demanded that sanctions be imposed on Riyadh, such as cancelling multi-billion-dollar arms deals.

It seems significant that the acute disgrace over the appalling Khashoggi affair and the association of the US, British and French governments with such a despotic Saudi regime has in turn prompted these Western powers to mount a damage-limitation exercise in public relations.

This is where the Yemen war provides an opportunity for the Western powers and their Saudi clients to salvage their tarnished public image.

By pushing for a ceasefire in Yemen, Washington, London and Paris can claim to be “getting tough” with the Saudis for the sake of alleviating “humanitarian suffering”. By appearing to respond to the Western calls for a ceasefire, the Saudis can then also claim they are relenting out of humane concern.

However, such pleas have not stopped Saudi and Emirati-backed militia on the ground besieging the Yemeni port city of Hodeida on the Red Sea, for which 80-90 per cent of the entire population in the country rely on for food and other vital supplies. In other words, the Western-backed Saudi coalition is using starvation tactics to bring the Houthi rebels and the wider Yemeni population to their knees. That is a monstrous war crime.

What Mattis is calling for in terms of ceasefire is for all heavy weapons in Yemen to be put under the control of United Nations peacekeepers. Washington is also demanding that the Houthis rebels withdraw from the country’s border with Saudi Arabia, from where the rebels have mounted missile attacks which have gravely harassed the Saudis, including in the capital Riyadh. The Houthis have struck Saudi territory in response to the air strikes.

So, what the Americans, British and French are striving for is, firstly, a respite from the sordid publicity over the Khashoggi killing. If the “humanitarian appeal” over Yemen succeeds to placate Western public outrage, then these governments will be able to continue business-as-usual selling the Saudi regime lucrative weapons contracts.

Secondly, by drawing the Houthi rebels into “peace negotiations” that will also burnish the Western and Saudi public image, as well as – equally importantly – forcing the rebels into accepting a compromise on their revolutionary government. By entering negotiations with the Saudi-backed remnants of the exiled Yemeni leader Mansour Hadi, the Houthis will inevitably have to accept making concessions and allowing an accommodation with the ousted, discredited regime.

Mansour Hadi, who has been living in exile in Saudi Arabia since the Houthis seized power, was reviled by most Yemenis for his corruption and being a puppet of the Saudis and Americans. His exiled clique is routinely and mendaciously referred to by Western media as the “internationally recognized government of Yemen”.

When he fled the country in ignominy in early 2015, the Houthi rebels had succeeded in spearheading a popular revolt. The rebels profess a branch of Shia Islam, but there was every indication that they had a relatively democratic program for pluralist governance.

The Saudi and American sponsors of the ousted Mansour Hadi reacted to the overthrow of their puppet by launching an air war on Yemen in late March 2015 – a war which has continued unremittingly ever since, with Britain and France also joining the profitable slaughter by suppling warplanes and missiles.

Another lie told by Western media is that the rebels are proxies of Iran, a lie which is used to “justify” the Western-backed criminal war against the country. Iran supports the Houthis diplomatically, but there is no evidence of arms supplies. Even if there was, so what? That wouldn’t justify aerial bombardment of the country and its people.

The devastation inflicted on Yemen and its people has largely been ignored by Western news media. Despite the lack of coverage, the Western public have nevertheless become aware of the horror and their governments’ complicity. Harrowing images of skeletal children dying from starvation and lack of basic medicines have shamed Washington, London and Paris into taking some action, however despicably inadequate and long overdue.

The recent impetus for a ceasefire and talks in Yemen coming from the US and its Western allies is not due to humanitarianism. It’s a cynical PR exercise to whitewash bloodied images – both theirs and that of their Saudi client regime. The Yemen war has been shown to be a sickening charnel house in a futile bid for Western regime change against the Houthi revolution. By forcing the Houthis into negotiations, the Western powers hope to achieve their regime change objective by another tactic – and gain PR capital at the same time.

If Washington, London and Paris were really serious about ending the suffering in Yemen, they would simply demand that the aggression stops immediately, so that the Yemenis are allowed to determine their own political future without foreign interference. But the Western powers will not do that because their interference in Yemen, along with the Saudis, is the very reason why this criminal war of aggression started and grinds on.

الحرب والتطبيع… أوهن من بيت العنكبوت

«إسرائيل» أوهن من بيت العنكبوت، قالها السيد نصرالله ولا زالت عالقة كشوكة في حلوقهم،

نوفمبر 15, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– منذ العام 2000 والمعادلة العبقرية لقائد المقاومة السيد حسن نصرالله تقضّ مضاجع قادة كيان الاحتلال، «إسرائيل» أوهن من بيت العنكبوت، قالها السيد نصرالله ولا زالت عالقة كشوكة في حلوقهم، خاضوا حرب تموز 2006 وحلمهم رفع علم الاحتلال في ساحة النصر في بنت جبيل، حيث قالها علهم يتحررون من وطأتها، فجعلتها حرب تموز معادلة استراتيجية راسخة، فخاضوا حرب غزة ودبّروا الحرب على سورية وحرب اليمن وفي عقولهم وخطط مفكريهم، التحرر من عقدة بيت العنكبوت، وها هم الآن يعودون بصفقة القرن وتسمية القدس عاصمة أبدية لكيان الاحتلال بكل الدعم الأميركي والتطبيع الخليجي، وبالإشهار عن أن دولتهم قومية يهودية، ويخوضون حربهم على غزة، فماذا يقول التاريخ وماذا تقول الوقائع؟

Image result for ‫الكورنيت في غزة‬‎

– حربهم الأخيرة على غزة التي توقفت في منتصف الطريق كانت تأكيد المؤكد بأن كيانهم وجيشهم أوهن من بيت العنكبوت، فالميدان اليوم له أسياده، ولم يعد جيش الاحتلال مَن يرسم المعادلات فيه، الكورنيت حسم السيطرة في البر، والقدرات الاستخبارية للمقاومة أعادت لهم جثث كبار ضباطهم بدلاً من الإنجازات، والصواريخ أسقطت قبتهم الحديدية وسقطت على رؤوسهم، والتهديد بالتصعيد جاءهم بالتهديد المقابل بالمزيد، الصواريخ الدقيقة والعالية القدرة والبعيدة المدى ستنزل إلى ساحات النزال، وترعد فوق تل أبيب.

– في السياسة تقول الحرب في سورية والحرب في اليمن، إن الأهداف الإسرائيلية سقطت، وإن الذراع الإسرائيلية مغلولة، وإن مشروع صفقة القرن يسقط بالضربة القاضية، غياب الشريك الفلسطيني، لأن الشعب الفلسطيني رسم خطوطه الحمراء، مَن يتنازل عن القدس مقتول مقتول، فماذا تقول لهم خطواتهم التي ترعاها واشنطن في الخليج وضم القدس وإعلان يهودية الدولة؟

– مرّ كيان الاحتلال بأربع مراحل من التعامل مع مرجعياته في مقاربة السعي المحموم نحو التطبيع، في المرحلة الأولى لم يكن يعرض سوى تطبيع تقيمه دباباته حيث يحتل الأرض ويضمّ الجغرافيا ويفرض على السكان الرضوخ لذل الاحتلال، وهي صيغة التطبيع التي تتناسب مع مشروع «إسرائيل» الكبرى القائمة على منهج الاحتلال ورسم حدود الكيان بالقوة، وقد سقطت في الجولان العربي السوري بانتفاضة أهله وتمسكهم بهويتهم العربية السورية، وتكرّس سقوطها منذ عام 2000 بسقوط مشروع التوسّع، وفشل الكيان بالاحتفاظ باحتلال جنوب لبنان وتالياً فشله بالاحتفاظ باحتلال غزة.

– في المرحلة الثانية كانت «إسرائيل» العظمى هي البديل الاستراتيجي، وعنوانها مقايضة الأمن بالهيمنة، ومحورها التطبيع الاقتصادي لحجز مقعد المدير الاقتصادي للمنطقة، مقابل القوة العسكرية القادرة على التدمير، لكن شرطها تظهير قدرة الردع، فجاءت حرب تموز 2006 وتكفلت بما بقي منها. وفي المرحلة الثالثة كانت «إسرائيل» الفضلى هي البديل الاستراتيجي الجديد وعنوانها إعادة صياغة المنطقة من خلف الستار وفقاً للمصالح الإسرائيلية، وأداتها التطبيع مع تنظيم القاعدة والفكر التكفيري بأدواته ومرجعياته الخليجية، وكانت الحرب على سورية أداة تطبيق المشروع، والإعلان عن أن جبهة النصرة كنموذج لهذا التطبيع شريك في الأمن الاستراتيجي لكيان الاحتلال، وقد سقط آخر ما تبقى من هذا التطبيع الذي شمل العلاقات التحالفية المعلنة مع حكام الخليج بالضربة القاضية في جنوب سورية.

– تطل المرحلة الرابعة، وعنوانها «إسرائيل» الصغرى، وشرطها الانكفاء خلف الجدار، والاكتفاء بالاعتراف الأميركي بالقدس عاصمة لكيان الاحتلال، وإشهار يهودية الدولة، وهي ثمرة التسليم بسقوط فرص التسوية مع محور المقاومة، وسقوط فرص ضربه وإضعافه، وسقوط فرص إيجاد شريك فلسطيني بقياس المصالح الإسرائيلية لمضمون التسوية، وشكل التطبيع الذي يتناسب مع بدء أفول الكيان وقوته وقدرته على رسم الخرائط، هو التطبيع الذي نشهده مع حكام الخليج، لتوظيفه في إزالة الذعر الذي يعيشه المستوطنون في الكيان القلقون من مستقبل كيانهم، غير الواثقين بغدهم، في ظل ذعر استراتيجي عنوانه أن وجود الكيان صار مطروحاً على بساط البحث، ومثل هذا التطبيع يسهم في نشر ثقافة الاطمئنان بأن «إسرائيل» كيان طبيعي معترف به في المنطقة، حتى لو كان من يعترفون ليسوا من تخشاهم «إسرائيل» وتعتبرهم التهديد الاستراتيجي لوجودها، وهم من يتسبب لها ولمستوطنيها بهذا الذعر الاستراتيجي، فهو تطبيع بيت العنكبوت، كما باتت الحروب حروب بيت العنكبوت.

– كان لي شرف المشاركة في مؤتمر علمي بدعوة مشتركة من جامعة حلب والمستشارية الثقافية الإيرانية في سورية، ومما قلته في مشاركتي،

إن تلاقي السنن التاريخية والسنن الإلهية جعل الرد على التطبيع الإسرائيلي مع تنظيم القاعدة كردّ على الفشل في حرب تموز ومحاولة استجلاب مَن يباهي حزب الله في بذل الدماء، قد جاء على يد حزب الله نفسه، الذي تكفل بقطع يد تنظيم القاعدة ومتفرعاته في سورية داعماً الدولة السورية وجيشها،

إن تلاقي السنن التاريخية والإلهية يقول اليوم

إن الرد على التطبيع الخليجي المبرمج لحساب «إسرائيل» الصغرى بعد الهزيمة التي تلقتها الحرب التي دبّرتها «إسرائيل» ضد سورية وكان سقوطها مدوياً في حلب، ها هو يبدأ من حلب، حيث المدينة العربية الجريحة، التي لا تزال تلملم بقايا أشلائها بعد دمار وخراب وموت، هي المدينة العربية الأولى التي تقود المواجهة على هذه الحلقة من التطبيع، لكنه تطبيع بيت العنكبوت، دون أن يغير ذلك من وصف الجرم بما يستحق، لكن دون وهم الظن بأن «إسرائيل» تتفوق وتتقدم، فهو حلف المتعوس الحاكم للخليج مع خائب الرجاء المنتقل من حرب فاشلةإلى تطبيع فاشل.

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