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Review: Slouching Towards Sirte | NATO’s War on Libya & Africa

sirte-after-nato-bombardments

ZCommunications

Feb 1, 2014

by Edward S. Herman

Review on “Slouching Towards Sirte, NATO’s War on Libya & Africa” authored by Maximilian Forte

Baraka Books: Montreal CA 2012, 352 pp.

Maximilian Forte’s book on the Libyan war, Slouching Towards Sirte, is another powerful (and hence marginalized) study of the imperial powers in violent action, and with painful results, but supported by the UN, media, NGOs and a significant body of liberals and leftists who had persuaded themselves that this was a humanitarian enterprise. Forte shows compellingly that it wasn’t the least little bit humanitarian, either in the intent of its principals (the United States, France, and Great Britain) or in its results. As in the earlier cases of “humanitarian intervention” the Libyan program rested intellectually and ideologically on a set of supposedly justifying events and threats that were fabricated, selective, and/or otherwise misleading, but which were quickly institutionalized within the Western propaganda system. (For the deceptive model applied in the war on Yugoslavia, see Herman and Peterson, “The Dismantling of Yugoslavia,” Monthly Review, October 2007; for the propaganda model applied to Rwanda, see Herman, “Rwanda and the New Scramble for Africa,” Z Magazine, January2014.)

Fording the River: Co-opting Indigenous Peoples

FordLogosheet_A_2009[FOR PRINT ONLY]

Intercontinental Cry

Sept 25, 2013

by Jay Taber

Ford Foundation is an ideological supporter of the World Bank (a mega co-developer of dams, mining and plantations in Indigenous territories), and a UN Millenium Development Goals supporter — along with Gates and Clinton — to do the same. Co-opting Indigenous peoples is a key objective of their neoliberal privatization project. Taking money from Ford Foundation is thus equivalent to taking money from Shell Oil, Rio Tinto or Monsanto.

AVAAZ, Libya & Syria: The Art of War

The Western Left had no such excuse in 2011, when Libya was being attacked. Here we had a small nation, of only six million people, under attack from the most devastating military power ever put together. 120 Cruise missiles fired in the first few days, and then over 26,000 sorties by NATO military aircraft, over an eight month period. To put that into perspective, its adds up to 150 bombing raids per day on a population the size of Ireland’s – every single day – for eight months. And all through, the Western Left cheered on the smashing of the Socialist state infrastructure and cheered on the racist lynch mobs…

…this same Left would have become the cheerleaders for a genocidal, racist, campaign against a Socialist state, with one of the highest standards of living in the Developing World, and with a human rights record that was gaining widespread praise in the UN? Not to mention an advanced system of Direct Democracy…

Without having any real idea of who or what these “rebels” were, the Western Left became complicit. They were sucked in. Joyfully sucked in. They filled out the missing spaces with their fantasies of democratic protestors, valiantly standing up to the Viagra drugged soldiers of a hated dictator. That a million Libyans came out and filled Green Square, under the threat of NATO bombing, to show their support for Muammar al-Gaddafi was easily overlooked. A seduced person, a person who is loving the thrill of being seduced, no longer has any use for truth or facts. And so, even after the brutal murder of Muammar al-Gaddafi, by drone and fighter jet attack, and then by a crazed mob, the madness of the Western Left continued… — Donnchadh Mac an Ghoill,The “Arab Spring” and the Seduction of the Western Left

President Obama Attends Rally For Rep. Tom Perriello

WKOG editor: As Avaaz continues to beat the drums of war, it is critical to reflect upon the vital role Avaaz served in framing the attack on Libya as not only palatable, but righteous and moral. The No Fly Zone placed upon Libya, which Avaaz relentlessly campaigned for, facilitated the complete annihilation of Libya and the slaughter of tens of thousands of her citizens.

Today, Libya is absolutely destroyed and in deep turmoil. Yet, two years later, Avaaz continues to push for the same in Syria: a no fly zone and the implementation of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine by the United Nations. Few would be surprised, if only they knew, that a key founder of Avaaz is none other than pro-war Tom Perriello, a former U.S. Representative (represented the 5th District of Virginia from 2008 to 2010) and a founding member of the House Majority Leader’s National Security Working Group. Perriello’s curriculum vitae, built upon privilege within elite circles, is extensive.

The following is an excerpt from Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section I, written by Cory Morningstar, published on Sept 24, 2012.

Did Libya’s Citizens Demand Foreign Intervention? 

A ridiculous question, yet according to Avaaz, the answer is yes.

“The call for a no-fly zone originated from Libyans – including the provisional opposition government, Libya’s (defected) ambassador to the UN, protesters, and youth organizations.”

Today Avaaz claims 13,649,421 members, 70,432,165 “actions” (taken since January 2007) and 194 countries with Avaaz members according to the information provided by Avaaz, retrieved on 2 March 2012. During the typing of this single paragraph, the Avaaz membership rose by 30 people to 13,649,451. [Avaaz Facts]

The members are primarily citizens residing within Imperialist or wealthy states. Consider the following three examples: (Stats retrieved from the Avaaz global “membership” virtual map.)

Avaaz members situated in United States: 923,968

Avaaz members situated in Canada: 667,592

Avaaz members situated in Libya: 3,167

Deja Vu | War Against Syria: Built on a Lie

Demonstrators-syria

Demonstrators take part in a  protest calling for no military attack on Syria. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

September 1, 2013

by Roxanne Amico

“Many voices saying the same things may not all speak at once, but they will reach a wider audience.”

Today, Sunday the 1st of September, as I write this, there was another rally against another attack by another US president (Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize Winner) on another land and peoples, this time Syria.  There have been, are, and will be 100’s more such rallies against US imperialism throughout the world, because people will never stop resisting…

I share the quote above (found at a comment section online somewhere in my research), because recently a friend who’s a filmmaker asked me if I think that filmmaking is enough to combat the war on the planet and our people by the profiteers of empire and colonialism.  His recently released film, “Who Are My People” explores the issues of “renewable energy”, and exposes the green-wash of imperialism’s impact on the Mojave, Chemehuevi, Yaqui, and Quechan/Kumeyaay people of the Southwest desert, whose lives & culture are threatened by industrial solar power. I believe that his filmmaking is a key component of what is a necessary weapon to dismantle the systemic forces at work in destroying the only planet we have to live on. We’re all colonized. We’re all captive to the empire. And yes, there is a history of the colonized turning colonizers. But there is also a history of resistance; of colonized awakening; of colonized uniting with the colonized, and turning their weapons on the real enemy. I see Lundahl’s important work on “Who Are My People” as a critical part of that. Because lots of people don’t see that they are colonized subjects of the empire; don’t see how they are doing the bidding of the masters. Stories like Robert Lundahl’s film tell that story, and are part of the resistance movements needed. So, we all have talents, skills, and gifts to bring to the forefront against criminalities we’re facing.  We do this in part by telling our story, in relationship to that place and the people, too. 

Subverting Solidarity

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Intercontinental Cry

Aug 15, 2013

By Jay Taber

Solidarity as a strategy — exemplified by the 1994 Zapatista/Civil Society alliance against NAFTA — made clear the power of unifying the indigenous peoples movement, the human rights movement, and the environmental movement. Taking a lesson from the iconic uprising in Mexico, the U.S. military reorganized its intelligence and public relations capacities to engender a more sophisticated form of psychological warfare and counterinsurgency that includes co-optation of reform-oriented, Civil Society NGOs.

Publication: Communications in Conflict

“As an introduction to the topic of netwar, Communications in Conflict is uniquely suited to serve as a touchstone for those who, like the Zapatista of Chiapas, Mexico, realize the connection between intelligent communications and networked power.”

 

A Project of Intercontinental Cry and Public Good Project under the Creative Direction of Wrong Kind of Green.

In Communications in Conflict, IC Editorial Advisor and Columnist Jay Taber describes the effective communications devices used in netwar, revealing a communications strategy that works. Through interviews, research and analysis over the course of two decades, he conveys lessons from which anyone committed to human rights and Indigenous rights struggles, can benefit.

Link for download: http://intercontinentalcry.org/publications/communications-in-conflict/

Communications-in-Conflict-

 

MUST WATCH: MP Laurent Louis Exposes International Neo-Colonialists Behind “War on Terror” & “Humanitarian Interventions” in Belgian Parliament

“Fuck you to the leaders, left and right”

“Fuck you! – all the so-called do gooders, both left and right wingers or from the center who are today licking the boots of our corrupted powers and who will be pleased to ridicule me.”

Axis of Logic, Finding Clarity in the 21st Century Mediaplex

Jan 27, 2013

Editor’s Note (Axis of Logic): Laurent Louis, Minister of the Belgian Parliament delivers the truth about the French “total re-conquest” of Mali and the reasons that underlie this latest neo-colonial war in Africa. The 32 year old MP is one of the most vilified political figures in Europe and after viewing his speech it’s easy to understand why he’s being targeted. If the English subtitles do no appear on the video, click on “CC” on the bar at the bottom. Axis of Logic has also transcribed and done some mild editing with subtitles and added emphases for easier reading of this translation into English by Feuillien Geraldine*. Our transcription of the speech appears below the video. Les Blough, Editor

TRANSCRIPT:

Thank you, Mr. President. Dear Ministers, dear colleagues.

Belgium is indeed the land of surrealism. This morning we learned in the media that the Belgian army is incapable of fighting some extremist soldiers having radical Islamist beliefs existing within its own ranks and who cannot be dismissed by legal of legal means. However, at the same time, we decide to help France in its war against “Terror” by providing logistical support for its operation in Mali.

What wouldn’t we do in order to fight against terrorism outside our borders? I just hope we took care not to send for this anti-terrorist operation in Mali, these much talked about Belgian Islamist soldiers! I seem to be joking, but what is going on in the world today does not make me laugh at all. It doesn’t make me laugh because without any doubt, the leaders of our Western countries are taking the people for imbeciles with the help and support of the Media which are nothing more today than an organ of propaganda of the ruling powers.

Fighting “terrorism” for destabilization

Around the world, military actions and regime’s destabilization are becoming more and more frequent. Preventive war has become the rule. And today, in the name of democracy and the fight against terrorism our states grant themselves the right to violate the sovereignty of independent countries and to overthrow legitimate leaders. There has been Iraq and Afghanistan, the wars of the American lie. Came later, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya where thanks to your decisions, our country has been “first in line” to participate in crimes against humanity, in each case to overthrow progressive and moderated regimes and to replace them by Islamist regimes, and – isn’t it weird? – their first will was to impose Sharia law. This is exactly what is currently happening in Syria where Belgium is shamefully funding the arming of the Islamist rebels who are trying to overthrow Bashar Al Assad.

Thus in the midst of economic crisis, as more and more Belgians can no longer house themselves, feed, heat and cure themselves – Yeah, I can hear what a filthy populist I am – Well, the Minister of Foreign Affairs decided to offer the Syrian rebels 9 million euros! Of course, they’ll try to make us believe that this money will be used for humanitarian purposes … one more lie! As you can see, for months, our country is only participating to put in place, Islamic regimes in North Africa and the Middle East. So, when they come and pretend to go to war in order to fight against terrorism in Mali, well … I feel like laughing. It’s false! Under the appearance of good actions, we only intervene to defend financial interests and to complete a neo-colonialist mindset.

It’s real nonsense to go to help France in Mali in the name of the fight against Islamic terrorism when at the same time, we support in Syria the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad by Islamist rebels who want to impose Sharia law, as was done in Tunisia and in Libya. It is about time to stop lying to us and treating people like imbeciles. The time has come to tell the truth. Arming the Islamist Rebels, as Westerners have in the past armed Bin Laden, that friend of the Americans before they turned against him, well, the western countries are taking the opportunity to place military bases in the newly conquered countries while favoring domestic companies.

Everything is therefore strategic. In Iraq, our American allies have put their hands on the country’s oil wealth. In Afghanistan, it was its opium and drugs – always useful when it comes to make lots of money pretty quickly. In Libya, in Tunisia, in Egypt or then again in Syria, the aim was and still is today to overthrow moderate powers, to replace them by Islamist powers who very quickly will become troublesome and that we will shamelessly attack, pretending once again to fight terrorism or protect Israel.

Thus the next targets are already known. Within a few months I bet that our eyes will turn to Algeria and eventually to Iran. To go to war, to free people from an outside aggressor is noble. But to go to war to defend the interests of the USA … To go to war to defend the interests of big corporations such as AREVA … To go to war to put our hands on gold mines, has nothing noble at all and it reveals our countries to be attackers and thugs!

“Fuck you” to the leaders, left and right

No one dares to speak, but I will not shut up! And if my battle makes me look like an enemy of this system who flaunts the Human Rights in the name of financial, geo-strategic and neo-colonialist interests, so be it! Flaunting and exposing this regime is a duty and makes me proud. And honestly, I apologize for my low class speech, but fuck you, all the so-called do-gooders, both left and right wingers or from the center who are today licking the boots of our corrupted powers and who will be pleased to ridicule me. Fuck you all, leaders who are playing with your bombs as kids do in a playground! Fuck you! – you who pretend to be democrats while you are nothing more than low class criminals. I don’t have much respect either for the journalists who have the audacity to label the opponents as mentally retarded while basically, they know very well that these opponents are right. Finally, I despise at the highest point those who believe they are the kings of the world and who are dictating their laws because I am on the side of the truth, the side of justice, the side of innocent victims of looting at all costs.

Opposing the pro-war resolution

And it is for this reason that I have decided to clearly oppose this resolution. Since the beginning of the French operation, the lie has been organized. We are told that France is only answering the call for help of a Malian president. We almost forget that this president has no legitimacy and that he was put in place to ensure the transition following the coup of March 2012.

Who supported this coup d’état? Who started it? For whom is this president of transition actually working? This is the first lie! The French president, François Hollande dares to pretend to wage this war to fight against jijadists who threaten (Ohhh do you realize!) who threaten the French and European territory! But what an ugly lie! By taking the official argument, while taking the opportunity to frighten the population, increasing the terror alert level, implementing the Vigipirate plan our leaders and media are demonstrating an un-imaginable outrage! How dare they use such a point while France and Belgium have not hesitated to arm and support Jihadists in Libya and that these same countries continue to support these Jihadists in Syria. The pretext hides strategic and economic purposes.

Our countries are no longer fearing inconsistency because everything is done to hide it. But the inconsistency is well present. It is not tomorrow that you’ll see a Malian citizen commit an act of terrorism in Europe. No, unless we’ll suddenly create one so we an justify this military operation. Haven’t we created September 11th, after all, to justify the invasions, arbitrary arrest, torture and massacre of innocent populations? Thus, to create a Malian terrorist is no big deal!

Protection of Human Rights as a pretext for war

Another pretext used these recent months to justify military operations is the protection of Human Rights AHHH! … This pretext is still used today to justify the war in Mali. But yes! We have to act, otherwise the evil Islamists will impose Sharia law in Mali, stoning women and cutting the thugs’ hands off. Oh! The intention is truly noble. Noble and salutary for sure. But then why is it, Good Lord, why is that our countries have contributed in Tunisia and Libya to the accession to power of Islamists who have decided to apply this Sharia Law in these countries which were still not so long ago, modern and progressive?

I invite you to ask the young Tunisians who have launched the revolution in Tunisia, if they are happy with their current situation? This is all hypocrisy. The purpose of this war in Mali is very clear. And since nobody will talk about it, I WILL. The purpose is to fight against China and allow our American ally to maintain its presence in Africa and the Middle East. This is what guides these new-colonialist operations. And you will see, when the military operation will be over, France will, of course, keep its military bases in Mali. These bases will be a benefit to the Americans as well. Western corporates will put their hands on juicy contracts that will once again deprive re-colonized countries of their wealth and raw materials.

Mali’s wealth and the beneficiaries of the war

So let’s be clear, the primary beneficiaries of this military operation will be the owners and shareholders of the French giant AREVA who has been trying for years to obtain a uranium mine in Falea, a town of 17,000 inhabitants located at 350 km from Bamako. And I don’t know why but my little finger is telling me that it won’t take long before AREVA will eventually exploit that mine. I don’t know, it’s an impression I have. It is therefore out of the question that I would take part in this colonialist mining – that modern times colonialism. And for those who have doubt about my arguments, I sincerely invite them to learn about the wealth of Mali. Mali is a major producer of gold, but recently it has been designated, recently, eh … – as being a country that offers a world class environment for the exploitation of uranium. How strange! One step closer to a war against Iran, it is obvious.

Time to get Belgium out of UN, NATO & EU

For all these reasons and in order to not fall into the traps of lies they are telling us, I’ve decided not to give my support to that intervention in Mali. Therefore, I will vote against it. And by doing so, I’m being consistent since I never supported in the past our criminal interventions in Libya or in Syria, and so being the only MP in this country to defend the non-interference and the fight against obscure interests. I really think it is about time to put an end to our participation in the UN or NATO and get out of the EU if Europe instead of providing peace becomes a weapon of attack and destabilization of sovereign countries, submissive to financial rather than human interests.

Opponents to Mali Regime are not “terrorists.”

Finally, I can only urge our government to remind President Hollande the obligations resulting from the Geneva Conventions regarding the respect of all prisoners of war. Indeed, I was shocked to hear on television from the mouth of the French President that his intention was to “destroy” – I say “destroy” – Islamist terrorists. So, I do not want the qualification to be used to name the opponents to the Malian regime – it is always convenient today to talk about Islamic terrorists – to be used to circumvent the obligations of any democratic state in terms of respecting the rights of prisoners of war. We expect such respect from the Fatherland of Human Rights.

In conclusion, let me emphasize how lightly we decide to go to war. First, the government acts without any consent from the Parliament. It appears as though it has the right to do so. It sends equipment, men to Mali. The Parliament subsequently reacts and when it responds, as today, well, this institution [today] happens to be composed of only 1/3 of its members. Much less if we speak of the French speaking MPs. It is therefore a guilty lightness which does not really surprise me, coming from a Parliament of Puppies, submitted to the dictates of political parties. Thank you.

*Translation: Geraldine Feuillien)

WATCH: Manufacturing Dissent: The Truth About Syria [Spanish Subtitles Available]

Published Aug 31, 2012

by

Manufacturing Dissent is a documentary posthumously dedicated to Syrian Palestinian actor Mohamad Rafea, who was kidnapped, tortured and finally brutally murdered on Sunday November 4th 2012 by terrorist groups that have been set loose on the country since the US, UK and their western and Gulf State allies launched a covert war in Syria in early 2011, dressed up by the media as a “revolution”. The words spoken in this video by Rafea, and the courage he shows here, is why he was murdered.

Manufacturing Dissent is a feature about the psychological-warfare by the media and political establishment of the west and their allies aimed at facilitating the US, European and Israeli agenda of getting rid of the current Syrian government. It demonstrates how the media has directly contributed to the bloodshed in Syria.

Manufacturing Dissent includes evidence of fake reports broadcasted/published by the likes of CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera and others and interviews with a cross section of the Syrian population including an actor, a craftsman, a journalist, a resident from Homs and an activist who have all been affected by the crisis.

Produced by journalists Lizzie Phelan and Mostafa Afzalzadeh.

Edited by Lizzie Phelan.

Website for the documentary here http://www.manufacturing-dissent.com/ designed by Shahinaz Alsibahie.

With thanks to the Syrian Social Club for part funding this documentary.

French version here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Goj6VXJzYXU

Official transcription for translation and subtitling available here: http://www.lizzie-phelan.blogspot.ca/2012/08/documentary-manufacturing-dissent.html

 

Foundations for Empire: Corporate Philanthropy and US Foreign Policy

Ceasefire Magazine

May 20, 2012

In his latest column, Michael Barker argues that, far from eradicating poverty and aiding economic development, major US philanthropic foundations have played a key role in undermining efforts to promote a meaningful democratic alternative to capitalism, both at home and abroad.

 

John F. Kennedy and McGeorge Bundy outside the White House, June 13, 1962 (Source: nybooks.com)

Professor Inderjeet Parmar, chairman of the prestigious British International Studies Association, has written an interesting book: Foundations of the American Century: The Ford, Carnegie, and Rockefeller Foundations in the Rise of American Power (Columbia University Press, 2012) in which he argues that philanthropic foundations have provided “a key means of building the ‘American century,’ or an American Imperium, a hegemony constructed in significant part via cultural and intellectual penetration.”

In making the case for this uncontroversial conclusion, he acknowledges that his work builds upon Edward Berman’s “excellent monograph” The Influence of the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller Foundations on American Foreign Policy: The Ideology of Philanthropy (State University of New York Press, 1983). Yet despite these kind words, rather than extending and deepening Berman’s seminal study, Parmar seems to have only revisited it to provide a less radical alternative (albeit Gramscian).

With his sights firmly set on documenting the role of foundations in constructing “global knowledge networks”, Parmar mistakenly concludes that the creation of such networks “appears to be their principal long-term achievement.” However, on a more accurate note, he subsequently adds that “despite their oft-stated aims of eradicating poverty, uplifting the poor, improving living standards, aiding economic development, and so on, even the U.S. foundations’ own assessments of their impact show that they largely have failed in these efforts.”

But while the Big Three foundations may well have created strong global knowledge networks, their principal long-term achievement has simply been to undermine efforts to promote a meaningful democratic alternative to capitalism, both at home and abroad. With foundation knowledge networks being just one instrument among many that have been used to consolidate capitalism.

Other significant tools to enforce American global hegemony include the military, and a commitment to shaping public opinion through propaganda (which is based on the foundations’ “belief in the pervasiveness of popular ignorance and the consequent need for elites to ‘educate’ the people in ‘right thinking’”).[1]

Providing evidence of the central role of foundations in manufacturing consent (both of the masses and of elites), Parmar investigates the work of Hadley Cantril’s Office of Public Opinion Research, a body formed at Princeton University in 1940, with a $90,000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.

Using archival records, Parmar illustrates that Cantril worked with military intelligence agencies during the war, and undertook studies of public attitudes towards Latin America; adding that by 1943 Cantril had received a further $50,000 from the government that did not include “unspecified amounts from the coordinator of inter-American affairs.”

Parmar also points out that the U.S. Army opened a Psychological Warfare Research Bureau within Cantril’s Princeton office. However, despite undertaking archival research into such matters Parmar apparently forgot to conduct a literature review on this subject,[2] only citing one other writer (Christopher Simpson, Science of Coercion), whose valid criticisms of foundations he then chose to ignore.

Editorial | Reforming an Abomination

Editorial

Intercontinental Cry

By

Jun 23, 2012

Wrong Kind of Green exposes the nexus of white supremacy propaganda and high-tech genocide. Examining demonization, psychological warfare, the behavioral economics of hatred, and the marketplace of perceptions, they reveal the consumer-oriented complexities of promoting capitalist activism as an antidote to the evils of capitalism. In critiquing the illusion of reforming an abomination, Wrong Kind of Green details the methodology of capital in subverting citizenship, substituting meaningless consumer activities led by capitalist-funded fronts like SumOfUs, 350 and MoveOn.

 

[Jay Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, an author, a correspondent to Fourth World Eye, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as the administrative director of Public Good Project.]

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