Bombing Libya: The Origins of Europe’s Immigration Crisis

By William Blum,

The world will long remember the present immigrant crisis in Europe, which has negatively affected countless people there, and almost all countries. History will certainly record it as a major tragedy. Could it have been averted? Or kept within much more reasonable humane bounds?

After the United States and NATO began to bomb Libya in March 2011 – almost daily for more than six months! – to overthrow the government of Muammar Gaddafi (with the completely phoney excuse that Gaddafi was about to invade Benghazi, the Libyan center of his opponents, and so the United States and NATO were thus saving the people of that city from a massacre), the Libyan leader declared:

“Now listen you people of Nato. You’re bombing a wall, which stood in the way of African migration to Europe and in the way of al Qaeda terrorists. This wall was Libya. You’re breaking it. You’re idiots, and you will burn in Hell for thousands of migrants from Africa.”

Remember also that Libya was a secular society, like Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, all destroyed by America while supporting Saudi Arabia and various factions of al Qaeda. It’s these countries that have principally overrun Europe with refugees.

Gaddafi, like Saddam Hussein, had a tyrant side to him but could in important ways be benevolent and do very valuable things. He, for example, founded the African Union and gave the Libyan people the highest standard of living in all of Africa; they had not only free education and health care but all kinds of other benefits that other Africans could only dream about. But Moammar Gaddafi was never a properly obedient client of Washington. Amongst other shortcomings, the man threatened to replace the US dollar with gold for payment of oil transactions and create a common African currency. He was, moreover, a strong supporter of the Palestinians and foe of Israel.

In 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the prime moving force behind the United States and NATO turning Libya into a failed state, where it remains today. The attack against Libya was one that the New York Times said Clinton had “championed”, convincing President Obama in “what was arguably her moment of greatest influence as Secretary of State.”

The American people and the American media of course swallowed the phoney story fed to them, though no evidence of the alleged impending massacre has ever been presented. The nearest thing to an official US government account of the matter – a Congressional Research Service report on events in Libya for the period – makes no mention at all of the threatened massacre.   Keep this in mind when reading the latest accusations against Russia.

The US/NATO heavy bombing of Libya led also to the widespread dispersal throughout North African and Middle East hotspots of the gigantic arsenal of weaponry that Gaddafi had accumulated. Libya is now a haven for terrorists, from al Qaeda to ISIS, whereas Gaddafi had been a leading foe of terrorists.

William Blum is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War IIRogue State: a guide to the World’s Only Super Power . His latest book is: America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy. He can be reached at: BBlum6@aol.com

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Thanks to the U.S. & Nato Half a million children face `immediate danger` in Libyan capital: UNICEF

Half a million children face `immediate danger` in Libyan capital: UNICEF

A fighter loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) fires during renewed clashes in the south of the Libyan capital Tripoli on September 22, 2018. (Photo by AFP)A fighter loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) fires during renewed clashes in the south of the Libyan capital Tripoli on September 22, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

The UN children’s agency (UNICEF) says intensified fighting in the Libyan capital Tripoli has put the lives of half a million children in “immediate danger,” warning that more than 2.6 million children are living in dire conditions across the conflict-ridden North African country.

Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, made the remarks in a statement published on Monday.

Citing Libya’s Health Ministry, local media said clashes that broke out last month between armed groups in Tripoli and those from another city over control of the capital had killed at least 115 people and wounded nearly 400 by Saturday night.

Clashes between the Seventh Brigade from Tarhouna, a town southeast of Tripoli where the Government of National Accord (GNA) is based, and the Tripoli Revolutionaries’ Brigades (TRB) have escalated since late August and the two rival groups have been vying to take control of the Libyan capital despite a truce declared earlier this month.

“Over 1,200 families have been displaced in the past 48 hours alone as clashes intensified in southern Tripoli, bringing the total number of displaced to over 25,000. UNICEF estimates half are children. Half a million children in immediate danger in Tripoli. More than 2.6 million children in need across the country,” Cappelaere said.

The shortage of food, water and electricity is among the daily challenges that children and families in Libya face, according to the UNICEF official.

“The country is facing an outbreak of measles, with over 500 cases reported – most of which are among children. A growing lack of fully functioning health services will only result in more cases of measles,” Cappelaere said.

The regional director also noted that schools are increasingly being used to shelter displaced families, which is likely to delay the start of the academic year planned for October 3.

“Hundreds of detained refugees and migrants, including children, were forced to move because of violence. Others are stranded in centers in dire conditions,” Cappelaere said.

“UNICEF calls on all parties to the conflict in Libya to protect children at all times,” the official added. “The way out of the recent fighting and the crisis in Libya is not through violence but through diplomacy and a political agreement, with the interest of children at the very center.”

Armed forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) patrol a street during renewed clashes in the south of the Libyan capital Tripoli on September 22, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Libya plunged into chaos in 2011, when the country’s long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi was ousted in a NATO-backed uprising.

The North African country is currently split between two rival governments in the east and west, each backed by an array of rival militias.

The Tripoli-based GNA is recognized by the UN as the official government. The other government, known as the House of Representatives, is based in the eastern city of Tobruk and has the support of forces loyal to military strongman General Khalifa Haftar

Norway didn’t know much about Libya yet helped bomb it into chaos, state report finds

Norway pleads ignorance: ‘didn’t know much about Libya’ yet helped bomb it into chaos

Norway didn’t know much about Libya yet helped bomb it into chaos, state report finds

The U.S: The Century of Lost Wars

Introduction

Despite having the biggest military budget in the world, five times larger than the next six countries, the largest number of military bases – over 180 – in the world and the most expensive military industrial complex, the US has failed to win a single war in the 21st century. In this paper we will enumerate the wars and proceed to analyze why, despite the powerful material basis for wars, it has led to failures.

The Lost Wars

The US has been engaged in multiple wars and coups since the beginning of the 21st century.  These include Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Palestine, Venezuela and the Ukraine. Besides Washington’s secret intelligence agencies have financed five surrogate terrorist groups in Pakistan, China, Russia, Serbia and Nicaragua.  The US has invaded countries, declared victories and subsequently faced resistance and prolonged warfare which required a large US military presence to merely protect garrison outposts. The US has suffered hundreds of thousands of casualties – dead, maimed and deranged soldiers. The more the Pentagon spends, the greater the losses and subsequent retreats. The more numerous the vassal regimes, the greater the corruption and incompetence flourishes. Every regime subject to US tutelage has failed to accomplish the objectives designed by its US military advisers. The more spent on recruiting mercenary armies the greater the rate of defection and the transfer of arms to US adversaries.

Success in Starting Wars and Failures in Finishing Them

The US invaded Afghanistan, captured the capital (Kabul) defeated the standing army …and then spent the next two decades engaged in losing  irregular warfare.

The initial victories laid the groundwork for future defeats. Bombings drove millions of peasants and farmers, shopkeepers and artisans into the local militia. The invaders were defeated by the forces of nationalism and religion linked to families and communities.  The indigenous insurgents overcame arms and dollars in many of the villages, towns and provinces.

Similar outcomes were repeated in Iraq and Libya. The US invaded, defeated the standing armies, occupied the capital and imposed its clients—- which set the terrain for long-term, large-scale warfare by local insurgent armies. The more frequent the western bombings, the greater the opposition forcing the retreat of the proxy army.

Somalia has been bombed frequently. Special Forces have recruited, trained, and armed the  local puppet soldiers, sustained by mercenary African armies but they have remained holed up in the capital city, Mogadishu, surrounded and attacked by poorly armed but highly motivated and disciplined Islamic insurgents.

Syria is targeted by a US financed and armed mercenary army.  In the beginning they advanced, uprooted millions, destroyed cities and homes and seized territory.  All of which impressed their US – EU warlords.  Once the Syrian army united the populace, with their Russian, Lebanese (Hezbollah) and Iranian allies, Damascus routed the mercenaries. After the better part of a decade the separatist Kurds, alongside the Islamic terrorists and other western surrogates retreated, and made a last stand along the northern borders–the remaining bastions of  Western surrogates.

The Ukraine coup of 2014 was financed and directed by the US and EU. They seized the capital (Kiev) but failed to conquer the Eastern Ukraine and Crimea.  Corruption among the US ruling kleptocrats devastated the country – over three million fled abroad to Poland, Russia and elsewhere in search of a livelihood.  The war continues, the corrupt US clients are discredited and will suffer electoral defeat unless they rig the vote.

Surrogate uprisings in Venezuela and Nicaragua were bankrolled by the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED). They ruined economies but lost the street wars.

Conclusion

Wars are not won by arms alone.  In fact, heavy bombing and extended military occupations ensure prolonged popular resistance, ultimate retreats and defeats.  The US major and minor wars of the 21st century have failed to incorporate targeted countries into the empire.

Imperial occupations are not military victories.  They merely change the nature of the war, the protagonists of resistance, the scope and depth of the national struggle.

The US has been successful in defeating standing armies as was the case in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and the Ukraine.  However, the conquest was limited in time and space.  New armed resistance movements led by former officers, religious activists and grass roots activists took charge…

The imperial wars slaughtered millions, savaged traditional family, workplace and neighborhood relations and set in motion a new constellation of anti-imperialist leaders and militia fighters. The imperial forces beheaded established leaders and decimated their followers.  They raided and pillaged ancient treasures.  The resistance followed by recruiting thousands of uprooted volunteers who served as human bombs, challenging missiles and drones. The US imperial forces lack the ties to the occupied land and people. They are ‘aliens’ serving time; they seek to survive, secure promotions and exit with a bonus and an honorable discharge.  In contrast, the resistance fighters are there for the duration.  As they advance, they target and demolish the imperial surrogates and mercenaries.  They expose the corrupt client rulers who deny the subject people the elementary conditions of existence – employment, potable water, electricity etc.

The imperial vassals are not present at weddings, sacred holidays or funerals, unlike the resistance fighters.  The presence of the latter signals a pledge of loyalty unto death.  The resistance circulates freely in cities, towns and villages with the protection of the local people; and by night they rule   enemy terrain, under cover of their own people, who share intelligence and logistics. Inspiration, solidarity and light arms are more than a match for the drones, missiles and helicopter gunships.

Even the mercenary soldiers, trained by the Special Forces, defect from and betray their imperial masters.  Temporary imperial advances serve only to allow the resistance forces to regroup and counter-attack.  They view surrender as a betrayal of their traditional way of life, submission to the boot of western occupation forces and their corrupt officials.

Afghanistan is a prime example of an imperial ‘lost war’.  After two decades of warfare and one trillion dollars in military spending, tens of thousands of casualties, the Taliban controls most of the countryside and towns; enters and takes over provincial capitals and bombs Kabul.  They will take full control the day after the US departs.

The US military defeats are products of a fatal flaw:  imperial planners cannot successfully replace indigenous people with colonial rulers and their local look-alikes. Wars are not won by high tech weapons directed by absentee officials divorced from the people: they do not share their sense of peace and justice.

Exploited people informed by a spirit of communal resistance and self-sacrifice have demonstrated greater cohesion then rotating soldiers eager to return home and  mercenary soldiers with dollar signs in their eyes.

The lessons of lost wars have not been learned by those who preach the power of the military–industrial complex, which makes, sells and profits from weapons but lack the mass of humanity with lesser arms but with great conviction who have demonstrated their capacity to defeat imperial armies.

The Stars and Stripes fly in Washington but remain folded in Embassy offices in Kabul, Tripoli, Damascus and in other lost battlegrounds.

Prof. James Petras
Source

Libya goes from the most prosperous country in Africa to a haven for terrorists in just 7 years, thanks to the USA’s NATO

RT

Libya in chaos seven years after NATO’s ‘liberation’, but who cares?

Libya in chaos seven years after NATO's 'liberation', but who cares?

Are the US and israel (apartheid state) Behind the Fresh Chaos in Libya’s Capital?

Source

Trump claimed last year that he would seek to establish a permanent military presence in Libya aimed at “uniting” the country under a single government, a government that would most likely have rival leader Khalifa Haftar at the helm, given his control over most of Libya’s oil fields.

TRIPOLI, LIBYA – As the week began, Tripoli reverted to a state of chaos as armed cadres representing rival factions vie for control of the Libyan capital. Since Monday, local media has reported that five have been killed and 27 wounded in the city, prompting the country’s health ministry to declare a state of emergency.While in-fighting between rival militias has been common outside of the capital since the 2011 NATO intervention deposed the country’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi, these recent clashes are notable as the warring sides both technically operate under Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA). Local reports have stated that in-fighting GNA groups have used heavy weapons, including artillery, and that residential areas have been targeted.

The fighting has been condemned by the GNA’s Presidential Council (PC), which issued a statement on Monday warning “these gangs and outlawed groups that have terrorized civilians and residents; there is no space for such lawlessness and chaos.”

Despite the PC’s statement, chaos and lawlessness have been the daily reality in Libya since Gaddafi’s 2011 overthrow. This, in part, is due to the fact that the GNA has long struggled to consolidate control over the country, largely due in turn to its inability to dislodge the rival government in Eastern Libya led by Khalifa Haftar. Haftar is a Libyan military defector with deep ties to the U.S. CIA and currently backed by the UAE and Egypt. Armed groups, including Daesh (ISIS), also control portions of Libyan territory not claimed by the GNA or Haftar governments.

 

A power vacuum inviting outside exploitation

As a result, Libya continues to lack a strong central government over seven years after Gaddafi was removed from power and brutally murdered by NATO-funded “rebels.” This vacuum has allowed for the proliferation, not only of terrorist groups throughout the country, but also an illegal arms and slave trade in what was once Africa’s wealthiest nation with the continent’s highest standard of living.

While the reason for GNA in-fighting is unknown, such chaos is likely to greatly benefit the Haftar-led government, which has long called for the GNA’s overthrow and has recently received help from some unlikely allies. Since last year, Haftar’s administration has been receiving considerable military aid from Israel and meeting with Israeli intelligence, along with continued backing from the UAE and Egypt, all of which are influential U.S. allies in the region.

The Trump administration also claimed last year that it would seek to establish a permanent military presence in Libya aimed at “uniting” the country under a single government, a government that would most likely have Haftar at the helm, given the GNA’s loss of control and Haftar’s control over most of Libya’s oil fields. It remains to be determined whether “foreign meddling” from any of these countries bears any responsibility for the recent chaos on the streets of Tripoli.

Top Photo | The aftermath of recent clashes which took place in Tripoli, Libya. Twitter | Nadia Ramadan

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

A Decalogue: The Ten Theses of American Empire-Building: A Dialogue

By Prof. James Petras

Global Research, August 11, 2018

 

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above  

Introduction

Few, if any, believe what they hear and read from leaders and media publicists. Most people choose to ignore the cacophony of voices, vices and virtues.

This paper provides a set of theses which purports to lay-out the basis for a dialogue between and among those who choose to abstain from elections with the intent to engage them in political struggle.

Thesis 1

US empire builders of all colors and persuasion practice donkey tactics; waving the carrot and wielding the whip to move the target government on the chosen path.

In the same way, Washington offers dubious concessions and threatens reprisals, in order to move them into the imperial orbit.

Washington applied the tactic successfully in several recent encounters. In 2003 the US offered Libyan government of Muammar Gaddafi a peaceful accommodation in exchange for disarmament, abandonment of nationalist allies in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In 2011, the US with its European allies applied the whip – bombed Libya, financed and armed retrograde tribal and terrorist forces, destroyed the infrastructure, murdered Gaddafi and uprooted millions of Africans and Libyans. . . who fled to Europe. Washington recruited mercenaries for their subsequent war against Syria in order to destroy the nationalist Bashar Assad regime.

Washington succeeded in destroying an adversary but did not establish a puppet regime in the midst of perpetual conflict.

The empire’s carrot weakened its adversary, but the stick failed to recolonize Libya ..Moreover its European allies are obligated to pay the multi-billion Euro cost of absorbing millions of uprooteded immigrants and the ensuing domestic political turmoil.

Thesis 2

Empire builders’ proposal to reconfigure the economy in order to regain imperial supremacy provokes domestic and overseas enemies. President Trump launched a global trade war, replaced political accommodation with economic sanctions against Russia and a domestic protectionist agenda and sharply reduced corporate taxes. He provoked a two-front conflict. Overseas, he provoked opposition from European allies and China, while facing perpetual harassment from domestic free market globalists and Russo-phobic political elites and ideologues.

Two front conflicts are rarely successful. Most successful imperialist conquer adversaries in turn – first one and then the other.

Thesis 3

Leftists frequently reverse course: they are radicals out of office and reactionaries in government, eventually falling between both chairs. We witness the phenomenal collapse of the German Social Democratic Party, the Greek Socialist Party (PASOK), (and its new version Syriza) and the Workers Party in Brazil. Each attracted mass support, won elections, formed alliances with bankers and the business elite – and in the face of their first crises, are abandoned by the populace and the elite.

Shrewd but discredited elites frequently recognize the opportunism of the Left, and in time of distress, have no problem in temporarily putting up with Left rhetoric and reforms as long as their economic interests are not jeopardized. The elite know that the Left signal left and turn right.

Thesis 4

Elections, even ones won by progressives or leftists, frequently become springboards for imperial backed coups. Over the past decade newly elected presidents, who are not aligned with Washington, face congressional and/or judicial impeachment on spurious charges. The elections provide a veneer of legitimacy which a straight-out military-coup lacks.

In Brazil, Paraguay and Venezuela, ‘legislatures’ under US tutelage attempted to ouster popular President. They succeeded in the former and failed in the latter.

When electoral machinery fails, the judicial system intervenes to impose restraints on progressives, based on tortuous and convoluted interpretation of the law. Opposition leftists in Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador have been hounded by ruling party elites.

Thesis 5

Even crazy leaders speak truth to power. There is no question that President Trump suffers a serious mental disorder, with midnight outbursts and nuclear threats against, any and all, ranging from philanthropic world class sports figures (LeBron James) to NATO respecting EU allies.

Yet in his lunacy, President Trump has denounced and exposed the repeated deceits and ongoing fabrications of the mass media. Never before has a President so forcefully identified the lies of the leading print and TV outlets. The NY Times, Washington Post, the Financial Times, NBC, CNN, ABC and CBS have been thoroughly discredited in the eyes of the larger public. They have lost legitimacy and trust. Where progressives have failed, a war monger, billionaire has accomplished, speaking a truth to serve many injustices.

Thesis 6

When a bark turns into a bite, Trump proves the homely truth that fear invites aggression. Trump has implemented or threatened severe sanctions against the EU, China, Iran, Russia, Venezuela, North Korea and any country that fails to submit to his dictates. At first, it was bombast and bluster which secured concessions.

Concessions were interpreted as weakness and invited greater threats. Disunity of opponents encouraged imperial tacticians to divide and conquer. But by attacking all adversaries simultaneously he undermines that tactic. Threats everywhere limits choices to dangerous options at home and abroad.

Thesis 7

The master meddlers, of all times, into the politics of sovereign states are the Anglo-American empire builders. But what is most revealing is the current ploy of accusing the victims of the crimes that are committed against them.

After the overthrow of the Soviet regime, the US and its European acolytes ‘meddled’ on a world-historic scale, pillaging over two trillion dollars of Soviet wealth and reducing Russian living standards by two thirds and life expectancy to under sixty years – below the level of Bangladesh.

With Russia’s revival under President Putin, Washington financed a large army of self-styled ‘non-governmental organizations’ (NGO) to organize electoral campaigns, recruited moguls in the mass media and directed ethnic uprisings. The Russians are retail meddlers compared to the wholesale multi-billion-dollar US operators.

Moreover, the Israeli’s have perfected meddling on a grand scale – they intervene successfully in Congress, the White House and the Pentagon. They set the Middle East agenda, budget and priorities, and secure the biggest military handouts on a per-capita basis in US history!

Apparently, some meddlers meddle by invitation and are paid to do it.

Thesis 8

Corruption is endemic in the US where it has legal status and where tens of millions of dollars change hands and buy Congress people, Presidents and judges.

In the US the buyers and brokers are called ‘lobbyists’ – everywhere else they are called fraudsters. Corruption (lobbying) grease the wheels of billion dollars military spending, technological subsidies, tax evading corporations and every facet of government – out in the open, all the time and place of the US regime.

Corruption as lobbying never evokes the least criticism from the mass media.

On the other hand, where corruption takes place under the table in Iran, China and Russia, the media denounce the political elite – even where in China over 2 million officials, high and the low are arrested and jailed.

When corruption is punished in China, the US media claim it is merely a ‘political purge’ even if it directly reduces elite conspicuous consumption.

In other words, imperial corruption defends democratic value; anti-corruption is a hallmark of authoritarian dictatorships.

Thesis 9

Bread and circuses are integral parts of empire building – especially in promoting urban street mobs to overthrow independent and elected governments.

Imperial financed mobs – provided the cover for CIA backed coups in Iran (1954), Ukraine (2014), Brazil (1964), Venezuela (2003, 2014 and 2017), Argentina (1956), Nicaragua (2018), Syria (2011) and Libya (2011) among other places and other times.

Masses for empire draw paid and voluntary street fighters who speak for democracy and serve the elite. The “mass cover” is especially effective in recruiting leftists who look to the street for opinion and ignore the suites which call the shots.

Thesis 10

The empire is like a three-legged stool it promotes genocide, to secure magnicide and to rule by homicide. Invasions kills millions, capture and kill rulers and then rule by homicide – police assassinating dissenting citizens.

The cases are readily available: Iraq and Libya come to mind. The US and its allies invaded, bombed and killed over a million Iraqis, captured and assassinated its leaders and installed a police state.

A similar pattern occurred in Libya: the US and EU bombed, killed and uprooted several million people, assassinated Ghadaffy and fomented a lawless terrorist war of clans, tribes and western puppets.

“Western values” reveal the inhumanity of empires built to murder “a la carte” – stripping the victim nations of their defenders, leaders and citizens.

Conclusion

The ten theses define the nature of 21st century imperialism – its continuities and novelties.

The mass media systematically write and speak lies to power: their message is to disarm their adversaries and to arouse their patrons to continue to plunder the world.

*

Prof. James Petras is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

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