Sunday, July 28, 2013

A look at Libya ‘liberated’ by Western war mongers

A look at Libya 'liberated' by Western war mongers; under the pretext of so called humanitarian 'Right To Protect '
Ever since West invented more and more lethal war machines , bombs and missiles to use Chinese invented gunpowder ,they were on warpath first among themselves in Europe .Then ,after the defeat of the Ottoman arms at the Gates of Vienna in 16th century ,they began colonization  of north Africa , then Africa and most of Asia under so called  mission of civilizing the natives , who were much more civilised then them in most places .
There was some respite under the Mutual Assured Destruction strategic balance after WWII but following the Collapse of USSR in 1990, US led West has been on rampage .We will not detail them all but here look at what they have achieved under the policy of Right to Protect in Libya, a very rich and welfare flourishing state under Qaddafi with many more rights and freedoms then citizens of Western friends in Gulf led by Saudi Arabia.
While no exact figures are available, it was reported that before US led NATO and Gulf states began their bombing missions and testing missiles and other latest killing machines on Libyans, during the rebellion around 5 to 10 thousand Libyans had lost lives .Since then some reports suggest up to one hundred thousand fatalities including the US Ambassador Stevens have been estimated.
I had done a few pieces during the Libyan rebellion and the massive bombings and missiles attack by NATO forces, one article given at the end .But below is a recent piece by Vijay Pershad, an analyst, teacher and journalist of repute.
K.Gajendra Singh 28 July, 2013
JULY 23, 2013
Report Card from Libya
Blood and Oil
On September 16, 2013, the Libyan National Oil Corporation is going to hold a three-day fest called the Libya Forum for Oil, Gas and Sustainable Growth. The speakers include a mix of Libyan government officials and energy bureaucrats as well as suits from the major oil and gas corporations. The opening session, for instance, will be anchored by a keynote address from the Libyan Minister of Oil and Gas, Dr. Abdelbari al-Arusi ("Building Libya's Future from Resource Wealth"). Dr Nurri Berruein, chairman of the National Oil Corporation and Ferdinando Rigardo, regional head of Repsol, the Spanish petrochemical multinational, will join him on the panel. Rigardo is no stranger to North Africa's oil. In 2011, during the Arab Spring, he was at another such summit in Madrid where he noted in typical corporate jargon, "The bottom-line is European countries may need to increase their involvement within the internal sustainable development of these countries as to maintain and improve relations, which are crucial in the European energy panorama." In other words, European petrochemical firms will need to bet on the winners and help them secure their dominion so as to ensure the smooth flow of oil and gas across the Mediterranean. Repsol will be standing shoulder to shoulder with political and technical advisors (such as Petroleum Regimes Advisory) and with petrochemical multinationals (such as Eni, Schlumberger, Zakhem).
For a week now, the oil workers at the Zueitina oil port near the city of Ajdabiya in eastern Libya have blockaded the port. Last Tuesday, in the evening, just as the oil workers suspended a strike at oil-fields 103A and 103D in honour of Ramadan about a dozen men entered the port and took possession of the facility. One of the engineers at the port reported, "The group arrived and asked that operations be shut down. A ship bound for Italy was being loaded with crude and I had to negotiate with them to allow the loading to continue. It was difficult to convince them but the ship is being loaded. Everything else is shut down." A week on, a Libyan oil official notes, "The situation is still the same. Exports are down." Indeed, exports dropped from 1.6 million barrels a day to 1.36 million barrels, and electric supply also collapsed. Twenty per cent of Libya's oil leaves from this port.
Local residents in the area of Zueitina have been unrelenting in their demand for jobs in the lucrative oil sector. Last December, about one hundred and twenty people broke into the oil terminal and stopped work there for almost a week. They demanded jobs and health benefits. Deputy Oil Minister Omar Shakmak said at that time that the management closed down operations to "avoid any risk" as he deplored the capture of oil facilities as protest. But this is indeed what continued to occur – in February of this year, in May (when protestors shut down a value that sends oil into the terminal), and again in July. The protests simmer down after deals are made, and then when nothing comes of it, the residents are once more inflamed. What worries the Libyan authorities is the close nexus between oil workers' struggles and the aggravations of the local residents. That is why Oil Minister al-Arusi hastily met with a delegation of oil workers in Tripoli and told them that some of their demands would be implemented after Ramadan. It would be far too dangerous to allow the oil workers' grievances to be bundled politically with those of the citizenry who cavil that their sacrifices in the battles of 2011 have come to naught. The oil bureaucrats and their petrochemical friends seem to have made out well. Not so the rag-tag "tribesmen" of eastern Libya.
Suicidal Scenes
At the annual Aspen meeting on July 20, US African Command head Carter Ham said that the five men suspected of killing US Ambassador Christopher Stevens cannot be arrested because of "the fragility of the Libyan government." "Progress was made initially," he said, "but then the government changes, key leaders change." Stevens was killed in September, when the Prime Minister was Abdulrahim el-Keib, a US citizen with close ties to Washington. By November the government changed, with the new Prime Minister Ali Zeidan far closer to the Europeans (he was the rebel's envoy to Europe during 2011). Zeidan's cabinet was also less pro-American, with many of them had been accused of having close ties to the Qaddafi regime – subsequently cleared by the National Integrity Commission.
Zeidan's patience with the current dispensation seems to have altered. Last month, when insurgents seized hold of several government offices in Tripoli, Zeidan's Defense Minister Mohammed Al-Barghathi offered his resignation. It was refused. Last week, Zeidan sacked al-Barghathi after major clashes paralyzed the streets of Tripoli. Such "suicidal scenes," Zeidan said, should not be part of the landscape of a modern city. Militias from the different cities of Libya have remained encamped in the capital, demanding a greater share of the spoils. One of the groups had seized the Interior Ministry, which was held for about a week. Their demand was that the government disband the Supreme Security Committee, the agency responsible for law and order in the capital but made up of militiamen whose discipline is questionable.
Walking the streets of Tripoli can be fraught, but so can trying to use the airport. Clashes in the Hay Al-Zohour district, near the airport, have become commonplace. It is mainly between militias from Misrata and Zintan who have been at it for over a year. It is one thing for officials to say that these are less city-based militia and more just young people looking for trouble, and it is another for them to admit that these city-based militias who have not been integrated into the armed forces or have found jobs have now morphed into criminal gangs. Oily claims about "bringing them to justice" slide off the backs of the RPGs routinely seen on the shoulders of the young men.
Assassinations in the East
Tripoli, being the centre of power, has fallen deep into the pit of instability. In the eastern part of the country, the dangers are not less but different. There are the strikes and the attacks on the oil facilities, but these are less violent to the lives of ordinary people. They are reported with drama in the business press because they are violent toward the bottom line. Last month, the army chief Yussef al-Mangoush resigned because of clashes in Benghazi between the Libyan Shield Brigade, the government-sponsored militia and those militias outside government control. Thirty people died. A local activist, Ahmed Belashahr told al-Jazeera, "People protested because they believe militias go against Libya's stability, which can only be achieved through a proper army and police." This struggle mirrors what happened in Tripoli this month.
But most of the violence in the east has not been as anarchic as the violence in Tripoli. Assassinations rule the day. Three in particular bear mention, all from last week:
(1) Col. Fathi el-Emami, head of the Derna Air Force Search and Rescue head, was shot dead;
(2) Col. Aqila al-Dukali Ubaidi, Commander of the Search and Rescue division of Benghazi's Air Force, was abducted when he left el-Emami's house where he went to offer his sorrow to the family. His body was found the next day;
(3) Col. Abdel Latif Amdawi el-Mazeeni was shot dead in Derna.
What unites these three killings is that all the victims were in the armed forces. Otherwise, el-Mazeeni (age 70) was the only one who spent his entire career under Qaddafi's command although he did not have a political reputation. Ubaidi was in the staff of the assassinated head of the rebellion Major General Abdel-Fattah Younis, and el-Emami was his friend. Little links these attacks on army men with the attacks on the French, first the car bomb outside their Tripoli embassy in April and in early July a storm of gunfire at the convoy of France's consul Jean Dufriche in Benghazi. The only bind is that these are targeted attacks that seem geared toward creating an atmosphere of instability in the country.
When the Libyan elect gather at the Corinthia Hotel in the well-appointed al Gadim area of Tripoli to talk about oil and gas in September, this gunfire will be on their minds. Oil deals have been swift, and revenues have begun to flow in. What spurred on the rebellion in 2011 was not Qaddafi's prisons alone, although that is what motivated the political Islamists who knew its walls well. The bulk of the people who supported Qaddafi's overthrow had begun to experience the down-side of neo-liberal policy – oil revenues had ceased to be transferred for their well-being and new opportunities for the next generations did not seem on the horizon (all this I detail in Arab Spring, Libyan Winter). This lesson is not clear to the new elect in Tripoli, who seem to believe that as long as they appear responsible to their Western backers and as long as they get the oil out and the revenue in all will be well. Rumbles from the ground show that the demands are greater than that, and that the demands cannot be met by the current dispensation.
In Egypt, it was mass demonstrations in concert with the army that led to Mubarak's ouster in January 2011. Much the same sort of grammar led to the removal of Morsi last month. It was an armed uprising against Qaddafi, not mass demonstrations that threatened the Libyan regime. That NATO entered the fray simply hastened the end of the regime and handed over its keys to the neo-liberal technocrats (such as Mahmud Jibril and Shukri Ghanem). The new violence in Libya runs parallel to the new crowds in Tahrir Square. They are not happy with the first flush of what their rebellion produced. They are at it again. Not in five-star hotels but in their hovels.
Vijay Prashad will be in conversation with his editor Andy Hsiao (Verso Books) at the Brecht Forum on July 24 in New York City on his new book, The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South.
Humanitarian Imperialism in Libya Could End the Whiteman's Burden!
by K. Gajendra Singh 10 March,2011

"Using force to stop slaughter is lawful. The duty to stop the mass murder of innocents, as best we can, has crystallized to make the use of force by NATO not merely 'legitimate' but lawful." Geoffrey Robertson QC, a member of the UN's justice council 
David Cameron, now heading a coalition government of a bankrupt United Kingdom, along with some elements in France and elsewhere in Europe is raring to go to war on Libya in the 21century version of Whiteman's burden. Still drunk with the colonial power hangover, Cameron is an apt successor of Tony Blair, who told lies before the2003 invasion of Iraq and joined George Bush in spite of the original legal advice that it was illegal. Though accused of various crimes he is still roaming around relatively free.
Day of Reckoning 
Josh Gerstein wrote in 'Politico' on 22 February, 2011 that the US Justice Department has quietly dropped its legal representation of more than a dozen Bush-era Pentagon and administration officials - including former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and aide Paul Wolfowitz - in a lawsuit by José Padilla, who spent years behind bars without charges in conditions his lawyers compare to torture.
Ray McGovern, former CIA officer and now a member of the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) wrote in Information Clearing House on 19 February 2011 that former president George Bush abruptly canceled his scheduled appearance that week in Geneva to avoid the risk of arrest on a torture charge. 
Libya and the Return of Humanitarian Imperialism
Writing in, Jean Brichmont says that "The whole gang is back' which includes the parties of the European Left and other assorted groups, Bernard-Henry Lévy and Bernard Kouchner, calling for some sort of "humanitarian intervention against the Libyan tyrant."
It reminds me of the breakup of Yugoslavia and the Kosovo war to stop a nonexistent genocide. Since then US led West after the illegal invasion and brutal occupation of Iraq, has resulted in over 1.4 million Iraqis deaths and the destruction of the country. These European leaders of humanitarian intervention in Libya do not talk of genocide in Iraq. Was not the Afghan war to protect women (go and check their situation now), and the Iraq war to protect the Kurds and find weapons of mass destruction (none were found).  Was not even Hitler "protecting minorities" in Czechoslovakia and Poland? scoffs Brichmont. 
(At New Delhi's National Defense College Seminar last year on the - 'Role of Force in Strategic Affairs',  Lawrence Freedman, a member of the Chilcot Enquiry, while presiding at a session claimed that the Iraq invasion was to quickly make a regime change and come out. He even contested my claim, based on my over 50 articles (2002 to 2010) on the Iraq war that both former US deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz and former Fed reserve chief Alan Greenspan had proclaimed that the invasion was for Iraq's oil. Wikileaks has confirmed that the Chiclot Enquiry is but a whitewash to help save Tony Blair's skin!)
Likely Ramifications of Imposing a No-fly Zone over Libya 
Mike Lind writes in Salon, "The implication [of McCain, Lieberman, Kerry et al.] is that the enforcement of "no-fly zones," by the U.S. alone or with NATO allies, would be a moderate, reasonable measure short of war, like a trade embargo. In reality, declaring and enforcing a no-fly zone in Libya would be a radical act of war. It would require the U.S. not only to shoot down Libyan military aircraft but also to bomb Libya in order to destroy anti-aircraft defenses. Under any legal theory, bombing a foreign government's territory and blasting its air force out of the sky is war.
"Could America's war in Libya remain limited? The hawks glibly promise that the U.S. could limit its participation in the Libyan civil war to airstrikes, leaving the fighting to Libyan rebels.
"These assurances by the hawks are ominously familiar."
Lind then traces us back through the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq, arguing that each of these turned into wars of larger scale than intended (Afghanistan and Iraq were supposed to be quick and easy, remember?).   
"Stay the Course", he concludes; "The lesson of these three wars is that the rhetoric of lift-and-strike is a gateway drug that leads to all-out American military invasion and occupation. Once the U.S. has committed itself to using limited military force to depose a foreign regime, the pressure to "stay the course" becomes irresistible. If lift-and-strike were to fail in Libya, the same neo-con hawks who promised that it would succeed would not apologize for their mistake. Instead, they would up the ante. They would call for escalating American involvement further, because America's prestige would now be on the line. They would denounce any alternative as a cowardly policy of "cut and run." And as soon as any American soldiers died in Libya, the hawks would claim that we would be betraying their memory, unless we conquered Libya and occupied it for years or decades until it became a functioning, pro-American democracy.
"Those who are promoting an American war against Gaddafi must answer the question: "You and whose army?" The term "jingoism" comes from a Victorian British music-hall ditty: "We don't want to fight but by Jingo if we do, We've got the ships, we've got theme, we've got the money too." Unfortunately for 21st-century America's jingoes, we haven't got the ships, the men or the money."(As for the men, late decorated US Marine Col Murtha had said in 2006 that the US army was broken in Iraq.)
'No-fly zone' is a Euphemism for War 
Similar views are expressed by Simon Jenkins in the Guardian of 9 March; "We'd be mad to try it."
"Cameron's urge to dust himself in military glory may be strong, but he should not interfere in the Libyan rebels' cause. The craving of politicians to dust themselves in military glory is as old as the hills, embedded in leadership psychosis. However daft a war may be, however illegal, however unwinnable, politicians seem helpless before the sound of trumpets and drums. Considerations of prudence, economy or overstretch are nothing. That Britain has been fighting and not winning two wars already in Muslim countries seems to teach nothing in Libya. Jingoism never dies.
"There is no point is repeating that Libya is not our country or our business. It was always going to be bloody one day. I find it incredible that Labour ministers, as they simpered in Gaddafi's presence, could have thought he would lie down like a lamb should his people rise against him. But unless we redefine words, he is not committing genocide and his brutality is hardly exceptional. If the rebels win it should be their victory, emerging from a new balance of power inside Libya. If they fail, they must fight another day. There is no good reason for us to intervene. However embattled they feel, Obama and Cameron should find other paths to glory." 
Cameron outlined his conversation with Obama on BBC1, "We have got to prepare for what we might have to do if he [Gaddafi] goes on brutalizing his own people," he said. "I had a phone call with President Obama this afternoon to talk about the planning we have to do in case this continues and in case he does terrible things to his own people. I don't think we can stand aside and let that happen." 
A Downing Street spokesman said: "The prime minister and the president agreed to press forward with planning, including at NATO on the full spectrum of possible responses, including surveillance, humanitarian assistance, enforcement of the arms embargo , and a no-fly zone. They committed to close co-ordination on next steps."
US Secretaries of Defense and State oppose 'No Fly Zone'
But only last week Robert Gates, the US defense secretary, criticized "loose talk" over a no-fly zone and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cautioned that a no-fly zone would need clear approval by the UN security council and warned of the dangers if the West took charge of any military operation Clinton told Sky News: 
"We think it's important that the United Nations make this decision, not the United States, and so far the United Nations has not done that.
"I think it's very important that this not be a US-led effort, because this comes from the people of Libya themselves, this doesn't come from the outside, this doesn't come from, you know, some western power, or some Gulf country saying, 'this is what you should do, thesis how you should live'."
But British and French diplomats at the UN headquarters in New York have completed a draft resolution authorizing the creation of a no-fly zone which could be put before the security council within hours if aerial bombing by pro-Gaddafi forces causes mass civilian casualties.
GCC and OIC Oppose Intervention
The Gulf Co-operation Council, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and the secretary general of the Arab League have called for the protection of Libyan civilians while rejecting the intervention of western ground troops. Turkey, the most reluctant NATO member state, has relaxed its opposition and allowed contingency planning to go ahead. Last week Turkish PM Recep Erdogan had opposed any intervention and described it unacceptable. Both Moscow and China are opposed to Western proposal for a 'No-Fly Zone.' 
Even India, now member of UNSC for two years opposes it. "As of now we are not in favor of a no-fly zone. We are opposed to use of force," Indian foreign secretary Nirupama Rao told The Hindu newspaper." Among BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) countries, questions have been raised and reservations expressed," she said. 
The decision to step up air and sea monitoring was taken on Monday by NATO Council at a meeting of ambassadors from NATO's 28 member states. Guardian reported that the West was preparing to act to protect Libyan citizens from Gaddafi forces. 
Western Intervention for Libya and its Oil is On
Prof Michel Chossudovsky wrote in 'Global Research' that "Operation Libya" and "the Battle for Oil" is already on. The US and NATO are supporting an armed insurrection in Eastern Libya, with a view to justifying a "humanitarian intervention". 
"This is not a non-violent protest movement as in Egypt and Tunisia. Conditions in Libya are fundamentally different. The armed insurgency in Eastern Libya is directly supported by foreign powers. The insurrection in Benghazi immediately hoisted the red, black and green banner with the crescent and star: the flag of the monarchy of King Idris, which symbolized the rule of the former colonial powers. 
(King Idris was overthrown by Col Gaddafi in 1969 .He was then a Captain but like his idol Col Abdul Gamal Nasser he did not promote himself beyond the rank of a Colonel ) 
"US and NATO military advisers and special forces are already on the ground. The operation was planned to coincide with the protest movement in neighboring Arab countries. Public opinion was led to believe that the protest movement had spread spontaneously from Tunisia and Egypt to Libya.  
"The real objective of "Operation Libya" is not to establish democracy but to take possession of Libya's oil reserves, destabilize the National Oil Corporation(NOC) and eventually privatize the country's oil industry, namely transfer the control and ownership of Libya's oil wealth into foreign hands. The National Oil Corporation (NOC) is ranked 25 among the world's Top 100 Oil Companies. Libya is among the World's largest oil economies with approximately 3.5% of global oil reserves, more than twice those of the US. 
"The planned invasion of Libya, which is already underway is part of the broader "Battle for Oil".  Close to 80 percent of Libya's oil reserves are located in the Sirte Gulf basin of Eastern Libya. The strategic assumptions behind "Operation Libya" are reminiscent of previous US-NATO military undertakings in Yugoslavia and Iraq. 
"In Yugoslavia, US-NATO forces triggered a civil war. The objective was to create political and ethnic divisions, which eventually led to the breakup of an entire country. This objective was achieved through the covert funding and training of armed paramilitary armies, first in Bosnia (Bosnian Muslim Army, 1991-95) and subsequently in Kosovo (Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), 1998-1999). In both Kosovo and Bosnia, media disinformation (including outright lies and fabrications) were used to support US-EU claims that the Belgrade government had committed atrocities, thereby justifying a military intervention on humanitarian grounds. (Kosovo now has a US military base called Bond steel of nearly one thousand acres, also used by NATO).
Ironically, "Operation Yugoslavia" is now on the lips of US foreign policymakers:=. Senator Lieberman has likened the situation in Libya to the events in the Balkans in the 1990s when he said the U.S. "intervened to stop a genocide against Bosnians. And the first we did was to provide them the arms to defend themselves. That's what I think we ought to do in Libya"
"The strategic scenario would be to push towards the formation and recognition of an interim government of the secessionist province, with a view to eventually breaking up the country.
"This option is already underway. The invasion of Libya has already commenced. Hundreds of US, British and French military advisers have arrived in Cyrenaica, Libya's eastern breakaway province,... The advisers, including intelligence officers, were dropped from warships and missile boats at the coastal towns of Benghazi and Tobruk" (DEBKA file, US military advisers in Cyrenaica, February 25, 2011)
"US and allied special forces are on the ground in Eastern Libya, providing covert support to the rebels  This was recognized when British SAS Special Forces commandos were arrested in the Benghazi region. They were acting as military advisers to opposition forces.
British Agents Caught in Eastern Libya with their Pants Down
"Eight British special forces commandos, on a secret mission to put British diplomats in touch with leading opponents of Col Muammar Gadaffi in Libya, ended in humiliation after they were held by rebel forces in eastern Libya (The Sunday Times report). The men, armed but in plain clothes, claimed they were there to check the opposition's needs and offer help." (Indian Express, March 6, 2011,)
The SAS forces were arrested while escorting a British "diplomatic mission" who entered the country illegally (no doubt from a British warship) for discussions with leaders of the rebellion. The British foreign office has acknowledged that "a small British diplomatic team [had been] sent to eastern Libya to initiate contacts with the rebel-backed opposition.
Ironically, the reports not only confirm Western military intervention (including several hundred special forces), they also acknowledge that the rebellion was firmly opposed tithe illegal presence of foreign troops on Libyan soil:
"The SAS's intervention angered Libyan opposition figures who ordered the soldiers to be locked up on a military base. Gadaffi's opponents fear he could use any evidence of western military interference to rally patriotic support for his regime." The captured British "diplomat" with seven special forces soldiers was a member of British Intelligence, an MI6 agent on a "secret mission". 
"Confirmed by US NATO statements, weapons are being supplied to opposition forces. There are indications, although no clear evidence so far, that weapons were delivered to the insurgents prior to the onslaught of the rebellion. In all likelihood, USNATO military and intelligence advisers were also on the ground prior to the insurgency. This was the pattern applied in Kosovo: special forces supporting and training the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in the months prior to the 1999 bombing campaign and invasion of Yugoslavia." 
"In Washington and London, talk of military intervention on the side of the Libyan opposition was muted by the realization that field intelligence on both sides of the Libyan conflict was too sketchy to serve as a basis for decision-making. But The opposition movement is firmly divided regarding the issue of foreign intervention. The division is between the grassroots movement on the one hand and the US supported "leaders" of the armed insurrection who favor foreign military intervention on "humanitarian grounds".
The majority of the Libyan population, both the supporters and opponents of the regime, are firmly opposed to any form of outside intervention.
Extremist Elements in Eastern Libya 
When Col Gaddafi said that the opposition to him also consists of Al Qaeda and other fundamentalists , he was laughed off by western leaders and its subservient media. But leaked diplomatic cables obtained by the Wikileaks website and passed to The Daily Telegraph disclose that eastern Libya could be under extremists' intent on overthrowing Colonel Gaddafi's regime. The Daily Telegraph of 7 March reported that former jihadi fighters who underwent "religious and ideological training" in Afghanistan, Lebanon and the West Bank in the 1980s have returned to eastern towns in Libya such as Benghazi and Derna to propagate their Islamist beliefs.
One February 2008 US embassy cable to Washington reported a conversation with a local businessman who described the increasingly incendiary rhetoric at backstreet mosques in Derna, where coded talk of "martyrdom operations" had become commonplace. "By contrast with mosques in Tripoli and elsewhere in the country, where references to jihad are extremely rare, in Benghazi and Derna they are fairly frequent subjects, "it added.  
The unemployed, disfranchised young men of eastern Libya 'have nothing to lose' and were  'willing to sacrifice themselves' for something greater than themselves by engaging in extremism in the name of religion. Their lives mean nothing and they know it, so they seek to give meaning to their existence through their deaths'." "not everyone likes the bearded ones" (a reference to conservative imams), "it's jihad – it's our duty, and you're talking about people who don't have much else to be proud of", said a resident.
Another confidential cable to Washington from the US embassy in Tripoli in June 2008 described Derna as a "wellspring" of insurgent fighters and suicide bombers in Iraq.
Further Confusion 
Writing on Race and Arab Nationalism, BAR executive editor Glen Ford says that US corporate media apart from spinning facts and telling lies understand little of the confused situation in Libya. The rebels claim that black  mercenaries from Sahara below are fighting for Gaddafi. It may be partly true but more than a million blacks from Libya's adjacent states , who are working in Libya , many for foreign firms are being treated and hounded like Blacks were in USA. 
"The testimony of black African victims is most disturbing. "We were being attacked by local people who said that we were mercenaries killing people. Let me say that they did not want to see black people," 60-year-old Julius Kiluu, an African building supervisor, told Reuters. Even in Tripoli, where the regime is not in full control of neighborhoods, Somalis told they were "being hunted on suspicion of being mercenaries" and "feel trapped and frightened to go out." Ethiopians told of being "dragged from their apartments, beaten up and showed to the world as mercenaries. "Ethiopian News and Opinions reported that "Muammar Gaddafi haters are taking revenge on black Africans for money Gaddafi threw for many African dictators. The mob attacked and killed many Africans including Ethiopians for being only black." 
America's Secret Plan to Arm Libya's Rebels
UK's Independent's well respected Middle East Correspondent Robert Fisk wrote on 7 March that Obama has  requested Saudi Arabia to airlift weapons into Benghazi. Riyadh has so far not responded to Washington's highly classified request. But this is in line with Washington-Riyadh military co-operation in the past. The Saudis were deeply involved in the Contra scandal during the Reagan administration. It was this cooperation in 1980s along with many other western nations and Muslim countries against USSR that permanent nurseries were created in Pak-Af for training of terrorist cadres Their daily terrorist acts hang over the region, including India and are now chewing up the entrails of the Pakistan state itself. 
But the Saudi Kingdom itself had to face up to demonstrations in oil rich north east, where its Shia population is concentrated. It adjoins Shia south Iraq and Shia majority Bahrain, the latter under daily sit ins and demonstrations with many deaths. On Friday, 11 February, Riyadh was to face , a "day of rage" from its 10 per cent Shia Muslim community. Of course Riyadh has banned all demonstrations and fatwas were issued by Sunni Clerics.
The continued agitation for majority rule in Bahrain and strikes in Saudi Arabia could be the thin edge of the wedge which could spark turmoil in the Kingdom, even beginning its unraveling, which would be a fatal blow to US dollar and US economic hegemony based on it. 
Interesting times (as the Chinese would say) are ahead for the region and the world. 
Libyan State-a Brief History 
The current official title of the state is the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. 
Rock paintings and carvings at Wadi Mathendoud and the mountainous region of Jebel are the best sources of information about prehistoric Libya, and the pastoralist culture there. The paintings reveal that the Libyan Sahara contained rivers, grassy plateaus and an abundance of wildlife such as giraffes, elephants and crocodiles. There are underground lakes of water, now being exploited.  (The lions in Greek and Romans stories like Androcles and the Lion and during gladiators contests were probably brought over from the forests of Libya). 
Libya was part of, Carthagian, Persian, Roman (with magnificent Roman ruins like those of Leptis Magna) and Byzantine empires. In 7 century, the Arabs from the deserts of Arabia under the banner of new faith Islam, conquered Libya and it remained apart of Umayyad and Abbassid empires. Later the Fatimids brought about the migration of as many as 200,000 families from two Bedouin tribes, the Banu Sulaym and Banu Hilal to north Africa—this act completely altered the fabric of Libya and cemented the cultural and linguistic Arabisation of the region. Ibn Khaldun noted that the lands ravaged by Banu Hilal invaders had become completely arid desert. Barring intermittent intervention by the Christians, Libya remained under the Arab rule and was taken over by the Ottomans in mid-16th century. 
Libya became an Independent Kingdom in 1952. 
Libya extends over 1,759,540 square kilometres (679,362 sq. miles), making it the 17th largest nation by size in the world. The main language spoken in Libya is Arabic (Libyan dialect ) by 80% of the Libyans, and Modern Standard Arabic is also the official language; the Tamazight spoken by 20% (i.e. Berber and Tuareg languages), which do not have official status, are spoken by Libyan Berbers and Tuaregs in the south beside Arabic language. 
Native Libyans are primarily Berbers; Arabized Berbers and Turks; ethnic "pure" Arabs, mainly tribal desert "Bedouins "; and Tuaregs. Small Hausa, and Tebu tribal groups in southern Libya are nomadic or semi-nomadic. Among foreign residents, the largest groups are citizens of other African nations, including North Africans (primarily Egyptians), and Sub-Saharan Africans. In 2011, there were also an estimated 60,000 Bangladeshis, 30,000 Chinese , 30,000 Filipinos ,18000 Indians (12,000 have been evacuated so far) among others in Libya. 
Libya is home to a large illegal population which numbers more than one million, mostly Egyptians and Sub-Saharan Africans. Libya has a small Italian minority. Previously, there was a visible presence of Italian settlers, but many left after independence in 1947 and many more left in 1970. 
Libya is a tribal society.  There are about 140tribes and clans in Libya. Thirty of them are the key, one of them - Warfalla –boasts of 1 million people (out of a population of 6.2 million). Often, they bear the names of the cities they come from. Family life is important for Libyan families.
Some Observations
While neighbor Egypt has a big population of over 80 million, it is mostly concentrated in the valley of river Nile with an area of around 3% only of the country. Based on agriculture it has been a regulated and well organized polity almost since Pharaohnic times. Libya is a nomadic and tribal jungle and it would not be easy to control it. Even in Iraq, inspite of best US efforts the local population has not allowed oil production to even come up to Saddam Hussein era level. Any Western intervention in Libya would be like entering a wasp's nest. Another quagmire like in Iraq and Afghanistan!
Western intervention will give freer hand to Tehran to fulfill its regional ambitions, which had gained by US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. The historic blunder of 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' has brought Shias to power in Baghdad in place of Sunnis for the first time since Ottoman days and with the ending of the Saddam Hussein regime. 
US led West has its hands full with unmanageable problems around Afghanistan (and Iraq ) which in the words of Prof Paul Kennedy is a Gordian Knot so vexed and complicated that it would have tested the wisdom of the greatest leaders and strategists of the past. Imagine "Augustus, William Pitt the Elder, Bismarck or George Marshall pondering over a map which detailed the lands that stretch from the Bekaa Valley to the Khyber Pass. None of them would have liked what they saw." Now add Arabs in revolt from Morocco to Saudi Arabia. What if Palestinians also revolt in Occupied Territories, for example!  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

US-Saudi Nexus behind most Terrorism and Destruction Now Engulfs Syria in Sunni-Shia Conflict

US-Saudi Nexus behind most Terrorism and Destruction Now Engulfs Syria in Sunni-Shia Conflict
In Syria it is basically a West-versus-Russia strategic struggle converted into a  Sunni-Shia war, in which the Sunnis i.e. Gulf monarchies, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt (up to a point) and much of north Africa – have aligned themselves against the Shias – the Iranians, the Alawites, Hezbollah, and a minority Shia population in Saudi Arabia. No one talks of the oppressed Shia majority in Bahrain under a Sunni ruler. Sunni Uighurs and Sunni Chechens are now getting on the job training and experience in terrorism in Syria. So are many European Muslims.
Use of terror and terrorists  was all planned and executed seriously from 1979.Let us roll back our memories .
When questioned if he had any regrets in supporting Islamic fundamentalism in Afghanistan during 1980s , Zbigniew Brzezinski in a January 1998 interview with Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, replied, "What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?"." Nonsense--" responded Brzezinski when asked "If Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today." Brzezinski was President Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser.

To Le Nouvel Observateur 's query , "When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn't believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don't regret anything today?" Brzezinski replied," Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it?

"The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire."

Brzezinski admitted that on July 3, 1979, unknown to the public and the Congress President Carter secretly authorized $500 million to create an international terrorist movement that would spread Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia to destabilize the Soviet Union. This was called 'Operation Cyclone'

"Terrorism is a tactic, a technique, a weapon that fanatics, dictators and warriors have resorted to through history. If, as Clausewitz wrote, war is the continuation of politics by other means, terrorism is the continuation of war by other means."
Patrick J. Buchanan

"The United States has supported radical Islamic activism over the past six decades, sometimes overtly, sometimes covertly," and is thus "partly to blame for the emergence of Islamic terrorism as a world-wide phenomenon." Robert Drefuss.
Hugely wealthy and petrodollar rich Saudi Arabia's clout under an upstart and medieval Saud dynasty aligned with most obscure and backward Wahabism can be felt everywhere. Its wealth and religious support owing to its being the Guardians of holy cities of Mecca and Medina to US led West in Afghanistan helped unravel the Soviet Union .Pakistan and most Sunni Muslim states depend on its largesse and suffer from collateral damage from its evil designs. Pakistan is now a failed state under the guns of terrorists and opium addiction (which has penetrated India's Punjab too)
Over more than two decades, Saudi Arabia has lavished around $100 billion or even more on the worldwide promotion of the violent, intolerant and crudely puritanical Wahhabist sect of Islam that the ruling royal family promotes abroad.
No one dare criticize it.
Vancouver Sun recently reported
"The Saudis began exporting Wahhabism in the early 1970s when the country's oil wealth began growing at an ever-increasing rate.
The amount the Saudi royal family, both by government donations and the generosity of individual princes, now lavishes on Wahhabist schools, colleges, mosques, Islamic centres and the missionary work of fundamentalist imams around the world is extraordinary.
In 2003, a United States Senate committee on terrorism heard testimony that in the previous 20 years Saudi Arabia had spent $87 billion on promoting Wahhabism worldwide.
This included financing 210 Islamic centres, 1,500 mosques, 202 colleges and 2,000 madrassas (religious schools).
Various estimates put the amount the Saudi government spends on these missionary institutions as up to $3 billion a year.
This money smothers the voices of moderate Muslims and the poison flows into every Muslim community worldwide.
Key figures in the September 2001 attacks on the United States were radicalized at mosques in Germany.
Britain is now reckoned by some to be the worst breeding ground anywhere for violent Muslim fundamentalists
Indian newspapers recently reported Saudi Arabia has a massive $35-billion program to build mosques and religious schools across South Asia, where there are major Muslim communities in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the divided territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Indian police and Central Intelligence officers were quoted as saying their information came from American intelligence agencies
There are unconfirmed reports that Saudi Arabia and members of the royal family have donated millions of dollars to fund mosques and Islamic centres in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary and Quebec.
The money, and the emphasis on Wahhabist teaching that comes with it, has caused sharp divisions among Canadian Muslims."
Saudis and other Gulf states , protected by USA , Saudis since Roosevelt's commitment  in 1930s waste money on  arms ( in 1990 when Saddam invaded Kuwait, no defence was put up ; the Kuwaiti ruling elite got into their automobiles and crossed over into Saudi Arabia )
Samir Amin talked to Ahram Online (April 2013) on future of Egypt's revolution. ( Samir . now 80 ,is a leftist intellectual , who lives in Dakar ( Senegal ) whom the author met a few times during his assignment there ,1978-81)
 On real income growth in the Arab region, Samir  said ;

"At the start, it is important to realise that per capita real income growth in the Arab region in the 70s and 80s was zero, according to statistics published by the World Bank, while in comparison it was seven percent in East Asia, five percent in Southern Asia, and 3.5 percent in South America," states Amin, contextualizing Egypt's revolution two years on. Only Sub-Saharan Africa had similar zero growth in this period.
"Real per capita growth in the Arab region remained by far the lowest in the world in the 90s and during the past 10 years, and this includes economic performance in oil rich countries like Iraq, Algeria, Libya and even Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia and the Emirates." Indeed, during this period the region ranked below Sub-Saharan Africa.
The "social disaster" that resulted from this situation, according to Amin, was primarily the result of Arab adoption of neoliberal economic policies (privatisation, reduction of state subsidies, trade liberalisation, monopoly of multinationals, deregulation of the financial market, etc). "The uprising in the region was no coincidence, then," Amin asserts.
"These developments were not due to dictatorship but [were primarily a reaction] to the neoliberal logic implemented over the years," Amin says. The uprisings, however, both in Egypt and Tunisia, did not manage to change these policies, and thus did not bring about an actual change in the regime, at least yet. 
 (My Note ;How Allah bestowed oil wealth has been criminally wasted and has only benefitted the Western nations and miniscule local ruling Arab dynasties and elites )
US Led Wars on Afghanistan and Iraq
After the collapse of the Berlin War  and the dismantling of USSR and the Soviet empire in East Europe and influence elsewhere , puffed up by military hardware testosterone and hubris  Washington first bombed and invaded Afghanistan without UN sanction and then invaded Iraq in 2003 inspite of UN opposition .The result in cold figures is below;
Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered In US War And Occupation Of Iraq "1,455,590"
Number of U.S. Military Personnel  
Occupation Of Iraq 4,801
(It is estimated that up to 80,000 US troops suffer from the ill effects of the war stress and need treatment .Suicide deaths among former GIs is now larger than on the battlefield)
Number Of International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered In Afghanistan : 3,348
Cost of War in Iraq & Afghanistan $1,455,259,200,645
However after the disaster in Iraq war at SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITEE TESTIMONY -- ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI said on February 1, 2007
"It is time for the White House to come to terms with two central realities:
1. The war in Iraq is a historic, strategic, and moral calamity. Undertaken under false assumptions, it is undermining America's global legitimacy. Its collateral civilian casualties as well as some abuses are tarnishing America's moral credentials. Driven by Manichean impulses and imperial hubris, it is intensifying regional instability.
2. Only a political strategy that is historically relevant rather than reminiscent of colonial tutelage can provide the needed framework for a tolerable resolution of both the war in Iraq and the intensifying regional tensions.
See how the military power mad Brzezinski has changed his tune after US and allied forces have been forced to scurry for cover and exit from Afghanistan, the grave yard of another imperial power and the quagmire in Iraq.
The author has written profusely, predicting accurately the outcome of the US led illegal war and brutal occupation since August 2002 .Below is a URL for selected 50 articles.
The author feels that in the inability of US ground forces to defeat the resistance in Iraq and the fatalities and treasure wasted its killing field can be compared to sacrifices of the Soviet Union which destroyed 80% of Nazi war machine in WWII .US now did not dare put its boots in Libya earlier and Syria now .Like cowards it can only bomb from the safety of the missiles, jets , helicopters and drones .Who and how will US hold the ground .It may be noted that it were the troops of the northern Alliance which entered Kabul in end 2001 . Most Taleban had crossed into the safety of Pakistan , where its leadership resides in Quetta.
Before NATO led aerial destruction began over Libya , reportedly 10000 people had been killed in the rebellion against Qaddafi , but after the misinterpretation and abuse of the UNSC resolution 1973 , the number of Libyans killed has reached 100000 not including  US Amb Stevens and other US operatives .The country has been destroyed , divided and chaos reigns..
Before the crude bully USA (never mind the colour of the nominal US ruler controlled by military-Industry Complex, Banksters and other corporate interests) took over from the British following WWII, London created Muslim League in India and Muslim brotherhood in Egypt, later Hamas was created by Israel in Occupied Palestine, to counter nationalist and socialist movements and parties which had struggled to eliminate colonialism and exploitation.
For details on US-Saudi Axis please read
The US-Saudi-Wahabi Nexus ! 30 December, 2006.

Some extracts ;
When the powerful US Vice-President Dick Cheney made a rare long haul to Riyadh in November , reportedly it was to create against Iran , Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon , a new US led Sunni alliance in the region, composed of   the six Gulf Co-operation Council states, pro-US Arab governments in Cairo and Amman and willing NATO allies with covert support from Israel.
On 12 December the New York Times claimed that according to US and Arab diplomats, Cheney was told that Riyadh might provide financial backing to Iraqi Sunnis in any war against Iraq's Shias if the United States pulled out its troops. The Saudi King Abdullah also expressed strong opposition to any diplomatic talks between the United States and Iran and demanded that Washington encourage the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Saudi position reflected fears among USA's Sunni Arab allies at Tehran's increasing influence in Iraq with its ally the Lebanese Hezbollah getting the better of Israeli ground forces coupled with Tehran's nuclear ambitions. King Abdullah II of Jordan had earlier expressed concern about the rising Shia influence and warned of the emergence of a Shia crescent from Iran via Syria to Lebanon .Riyadh also warned of the prospect of a Shia dominated Iraq government using its troops against the Sunni population. Saudi Arabia supports a Government of unity in Baghdad. The New York Times added that the Saudi King told Cheney: "if you retreat and it comes to an ethnic cleaning against the Sunnis, we will feel like we are being dragged into the war".---
The long and bloody 1980-88 Iraq- Iran war was basically a Sunni Shia conflict , in which Saddam Hussein was encouraged , supported , financed by all Sunni Arab governments( except Syria ), specially Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Emirates and Western powers to neutralise the awesome rising Shia power and its aspirations to transform the Islamic world in the wake of the 1979 Ayatollah Khomeini led revolution in Iran. Millions of Iraqi and Iranian Muslims were killed in that war. Compared to that war , the coming Shia-Sunni conflagration , which could be encouraged by a desperate US led West would be a veritable holocaust for the region and Muslims. And Washington could even succeed but it would be a catastrophe for the world including the energy dependent West---

US-Ibn Saud family–Wahabi nexus;
The Saudi state, proclaimed by Abdulaziz in 1932 was in fact the third al-Saud Kingdom. The first Saudi "state" was founded in 1744 by the first great al-Saud leader Muhammad ibn Saud who made the historic alliance with the religious reformer Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab, the founder of "Wahabism"). After its defeat by Egyptian forces in 1818, it rose anew in 1822 and survived as the dominant power in central Arabia. Of 14 successions within the al-Saud dynasty between 1744 and 1891, only three were peaceful. The transfer of power now a days is more peaceful.

Abdul Aziz was encouraged by the British to take over Mecca and Medina as Sharif  Hussain the ruler of Mecca , great grandfather of King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan ,was not so pliable to the British demands and interests. Remember the Arab revolt led by Sharif Hussein and his sons , Emirs Faisal and Abdullah , as depicted in film 'Lawrence of Arabia', which helped the British forces under Gen Allenby to defeat the Ottoman forces in the region ,So much for the British gratitude , Of course when Kemal Ataturk abolished the Caliphate , Sharif  Hussain offered to take over the mantle.--
Massive Saudi Arms Purchases;
Between 1990 to 2004, Saudi Arabia spent a whopping $ 268.6 billion dollars on Arms (United Arab Emirates; $38.6 billion with population of 2.6 million.)The Saudi arsenal has more than 1015 Tanks including 315 high quality M1A2s, over 5000+ APCs/ AFVs, 780 artillery pieces, over 2000 anti-tank missile launchers, over 340 high quality combat aircrafts including F15S/C/Ds and Tornados, with 48 Typhoons (Euro -fighter) to be delivered in 2008. On top of this they own over 228 helicopters, 160 training and liaison aircrafts and 51 transport aircrafts. Saudi navy operates over 27 major combat vessels including missile frigates and missile corvette.--
Threats from Within;
Actually the threat to Saudi Arabia emanates from within with many attacks by Al Qaeda with large segments of a conservative population sympathetic to its cause.  And the threat does not come only from the Jihadists. There are other sources of threat from within the general population. There were rebellions against the House of Saud by various Saudi groups in 1969, 1972, and 1979. Only approved loyal tribes can enter the military.  Until late 1980s Pakistan provided a protection force of 11000 to 15000 troops to the Saudi government. After the relocation of US troops from Saudi Arabia to Qatar and elsewhere, the Saudis are again looking to Pakistan for troops as reported in the Financial Times. The military cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan is old and broad based.

Majority of planes and other equipment is kept in order by Pakistani personnel with whom the Kingdom has very close defense relations. There have been many reports of Pak Saudi cooperation in the nuclear bomb technology .If Sunni Pakistani metallurgist Dr AQ Khan could peddle nuclear bombs know how to Libya and Shia Iran among others then why not to Saudi Arabia . There have been many such reports in the German media.
It was expected and logical for an imperial power to create divisions , which US has done successfully .
Civil war in Syria

In Syria it is basically a West-versus-Russia conflict converted into a  Sunni-Shia struggle, in which the Sunni – the Gulf monarchies, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt (up to a point) and much of north Africa – have aligned themselves against the Shia – the Iranians, the Alawites, Hezbollah, and a minority Shia population in Saudi Arabia. No one talks of the oppressed Shia majority in Bahrain under a Sunni ruler. Sunni Uighurs and Sunni Chechens are getting on the job training in terrorism in Syria.
Of course the schism in Islam is as almost old as itself when Prophet Mohammad lay dead and squabbling began to succeed him as Caliph.
We will come to the west ignited and supported Shia –Sunni civil war in Syria, which has divided the Ummah in two groups.
But just to give you an example .When the "brave and courageous US armed forces" ( US defense annual expenditure was US$ 600 billion while Iraq could spare only a few billions and its defenses had been weakened if not destroyed by so called operation Provide Comfort with Turkish acquisition .Some brave awe and shock victory ?  US intelligence had collected addresses of all prominent Iraqi Baath leaders mostly Sunni and handed them over to Iraq's Shia groups to take revenge ( The Hindu Muslim conflict was also ignited and supported by the departing British colonial power and creating a division of Hindustan in 1947.The enmity created still persists )
What Russian President Vladimir Putin told Obama, Britain's David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande face-to-face at the recent Group of Eight summit in Northern Ireland is nothing less than gripping. Examples: 

 Putin addressing the table: "You want President Bashar al-Assad to step down? Look at the leaders you've made in the Middle East in the course of what you have dubbed the 'Arab Spring'." 

 Putin addressing Obama, Cameron and Hollande: "You want Russia to abandon Assad and his regime and go along with an opposition whose leaders don't know anything except issuing fatwas declaring people heretics, and whose members - who come from a bunch of different countries and have multiple orientations - don't know anything except how to slaughter people and eat human flesh." 

 Putin addressing Obama directly: "Your country sent its army to Afghanistan in the year 2001 on the excuse that you are fighting the Taliban and the al-Qaeda organization and other fundamentalist terrorists whom your government accused of carrying out the
 11 September attacks on New York and Washington. And here you are today making an alliance with them in Syria. And you and your allies are declaring your desire to send them weapons. And here you have Qatar in which you [the US] have your biggest base in the region and in the territory of that country the Taliban are opening a representative office." 

 The best part is that German Chancellor Angela Merkel then corroborated Putin's every word. And Chinese President Xi Jinping certainly would have done the same. 


President George Bush in his State of Union address.
"We could expect an epic battle between Shi'ite extremists backed by Iran, and Sunni extremists aided by al-Qaeda and supporters of the old regime. A contagion of violence could spill out across the country [Iraq] - and in time the entire region could be drawn into the conflict."
"From inside Pakistan's border to the Mediterranean, almost every land (Muslim) is in crisis. Suddenly, all the Western talk of a Sunni-Shia war looks troublingly real". (one of the many options now on the table.)

US led western talk of a Shia-Sunni war looks troublingly real, although the option is now on slow backburner. The policy of divide and rule is as old as the Roman empire – a constant guide to the Christian West and implemented ruthlessly during its colonial onslaught on the rest of the world. Evolution of Western nationalism based on a narrow definition of shared religion, ethnicity, language, culture or history after centuries of religious and ethnic wars was then employed to divide multi religious and pluralistic empires and kingdoms in the East and South during its crusade of colonial wars and expansion, masked as 'civilizing mission ' or 'white man's burden' 'or 'saving the soul' by converting natives to Christianity. Europe and Orthodox Russia became self proclaimed 'Guardians of Christians' or nationalities like Serbs, Bulgarians, Greeks, Armenians and others to divide and break up the far flung Ottoman empire which had reached right up to the gates of Vienna. Religious 'millets' had full freedom of faith and Christians and Jews dominated trade and industry in the Ottoman empire.---
So from the very beginning as Scott Ritter, a former UN Chief Weapons Inspector for Iraq, revealed after occupying Baghdad and N.Iraq (Kurdistan in any case has been a US protectorate since the end of 1991 Gulf War), US and allied special forces provided information on dethroned ruling Sunni elite for taking revenge, to the Iraqi exiles like Ahmet Chelabi, a convicted embezzler, Iyad Allawi, both intelligence assets of CIA , MIV and others, Shia outfits like SCIRI and Badr corps nurtured, nursed and financed by Iran, opportunists, carpetbaggers and others who rode into Baghdad on US tanks, helicopters and F-16s. Scott Ritter also revealed that the Baathist regime under President Saddam Hussein was quite realistic about West's objectives and had planned Iraqi resistance much before the invasion.

Later, Washington, London and Tel Aviv also looked at the option of dividing Iraq into Iraqi Kurdistan, with almost half of Iraqi oil wealth, which being weak would remain subservient to the West. Its oil can be easily sent to the Mediterranean via the Kirkuk Ceyhan pipe line. Perhaps even a defence alliance could be signed with the Kurds. Washington had in fact planned to have an air base in north Iraq on the pretext of saving Kurds from Saddam's forces in 1991, so an anxious Ankara offered its Incirlik airbase for US-UK jets to patrol over Iraq and bomb it at will.

Of course the grateful Shias of South Iraq, masters of the remaining oil wealth would fall in line. The disenfranchised Sunni rump without any oil as yet, could stew in its own anger. It was most surprising that, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and others were surprised by the Iraqi resistance, which they first tried to wish away as composed of dead Enders, disgruntled remnants of the old regime and in its last throes in Dick Cheney's famous words. Only if they had read long Iraqi resistance to the British colonial rule in 1920s and 30s who finally got rid of the British and killed the Hashemite ruler foisted on Iraq. ---

The continued divisions in and exploitation of the Arabs and Kurdish problems in the region are the consequences of British policy of divide and rule after the First world war, now being pursued by USA. Like the British then, now George Bush never tires of bringing liberty and democracy to the Arabs. Pentagon even called US led illegal naked 'shock and awe' invasion of Iraq as 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' - some cheek. Whose intelligence are they insulting? Their own as no one believed them except the info-challenged Americans. And even they have wised up.

Established to cut into the profitable East Indies trade on silk rotes controlled by Arabs and Turks, the British East India company (and others in Europe), having explored new sea routes, first nibbled at the decrepit Moghul empire piece meal and after the Indian war of independence against the English company forces in 1957, most of the Moghul empire passed on to the British crown. In the wake of the rebellion and resistance the citizens of Delhi, specially Muslims, were treated like those of Fallujah, Tel Afar and Haditha, as in Iraq now. It must be remembered that Marathas, Rajputs, Jats and other Hindu kings, who ruled almost independent fiefs accepted the Moghul emperor in Delhi as their sovereign, before he was exiled by the British.

British historians and colonial rulers then successfully sold the theory to Brahmin and other upper castes Hindus that all their problems could be traced to the rule of Muslims. At least like Hindu Aryans and others from central Asia earlier, Muslims from Turkestan and elsewhere made Hindustan their home. When the European traders arrived in the subcontinent, Hindustan's share in world manufacturing was 24.5 percent (in 1750) and after the British had done with India, the sub-continent's share had fallen to 1.7 percent (in 1900) and that of Britain had increased from 1.9 percent (in 1750) to 22.9 percent (in 1880) - [Rise and fall of Big Powers by Professor Paul Kennedy] In these bald figures lie buried multiple famines and deaths of tens of millions of impoverished Indians, when the British exported food even in times of scarcity. It left the people of Hindustan degraded with deficit not only in calories but proteins and physically dwarfed. After 60 years of freedom and no famines Indians have partially recovered their physical well being and are surging ahead economically and intellectually. (How they dominate the Silicon valley in USA)

After the second world war, the British realized that there was no option but to quit the subcontinent. But India being a vital strategic asset, "a base for Britain to continue their domination of the Indian Ocean and the oil-rich Persian Gulf with its wells of power," it was partitioned, as Mahatma Gandhi opposed to violence and war in principle and Jawaharlal Nehru with his idealism and vision of spreading friendship and understanding among colonized and exploited people of Asia, Africa, Middle east and elsewhere, would not join Western military pacts. The aim was to retain parts in the North and West of India, "for defensive and offensive action against the USSR in any future dispensation in the sub-continent".

Britain achieved its objective by using Mohammed Ali Jinnah as a tool to create a weak and hence a willing and subservient allied Pakistan bordering Iran, Afghanistan and Sinkiang, just below the Soviet underbelly (The Americans would love to do something similar in north Iraq). A retired Indian diplomat has brought to light these British machinations, based on records in London in his book, 'The Shadow of the Great Game: the Untold Story of India's Partition.' The author also traces the roots of the present Kashmir imbroglio and how the matter was distorted in the UN to help Western ally Pakistan. (Like UN resolutions now against Iran for its enrichment of nuclear power fuel) But Pakistan President Gen Pervez Musharraf and Islamabad now hover between the deep sea and the devil i.e. threat to be bombed back to stone age or a civil war between its troops and Pushtoons and other fierce tribes in its north west region and Afghanistan, if they do not obey US dictates.

Following the second world war President Marshal Joseph Tito created a composite secular and socialist state of southern Slavs and others in Yugoslavia, with natural affinity to Orthodox Russian Slavs, but after his death and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multilingual state was broken apart by West Europe and USA, by sheer aggression. The last word in this bloody dissolution is yet to be written, now centered in Kosovo, where north European diplomats have ruled as in old colonial era.

When the fulcrum of imperialism shifted from London to Washington and New York after the second world war, exploitation of the East and South was continued through IMF , IBRD and now after the fall of the Berlin Wall by Globalization and WTO, with struggle over control over energy pipelines instead of over sea trade routes earlier. Western troops would now guard the energy pipelines, like the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan one. --

Middle East Quagmire!

No wonder Patrick Cockburn said in Counterpunch last month, "The U.S. has a very weird policy--the Shia and Iran are the enemy, suddenly. But the government of Iraq is Shia--it's led by the Shia and the Kurds. Bush seems to be trying to create a common front of Sunni states--Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan--against the Shia and Iran."
A fascinating revelation concerns the 'disappearance' of billions of US dollars in Iraq to create "pots of black money" for covert purposes - with echoes of the Iran-Contra scandal of the Reagan presidency in the 1980s. And even help Fuad Siniora's beleaguered pro-western government in Beirut "to enhance the Sunni capability to resist Shia (Hezbollah and Amal) influence" by funding Sunni radical groups with ideological ties to al-Qaeda. Walid Jumblatt, the anti-Hezbollah Lebanese Druze leader, was quoted telling Cheney to support the banned Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and undermine the Bashar Assad regime in Damascus.

Seymour Hersh revealed last month that US military and special operations teams have escalated activities in Iran, entering from Iraq to gather intelligence etc, confirming allegations made by Tehran. Iran has accused the US, Britain and Israel of fomenting separatist attacks in Arab-majority Khuzestan in the south-west of Iran, in Baluchi province bordering Pakistan and in Azeri and Kurdish border regions.

In Riyadh, the emergence of a "Shia crescent" from Tehran to Damascus and Hezbollah in Lebanon (and Hamas in Palestine) raises the nightmare of a shift in the balance of power not only in the Arab world but also in the Middle East and beyond "That Iran should control Lebanon through Hezbollah is a red line that Arabia cannot accept," say Saudi officials .This was also echoed by Hashemite King Abdullah II of Jordan and President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt at the time of the Israeli/Hezbollah war last year. Hezbollah's victory and crescendo of popularity for Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah and Mahmud Ahmedineijad caused fears of Arab street turning against the conservative and unpopular Sunni rulers in the region . --

The Sunni-Shia Divide

It is necessary to look at the historic Shia-Sunni divide in depth to comprehend the problem and the inherent dangers. Not only Christians, even many Sunnis know little about Shias and their history.

The fissures in Islam are almost as old as the faith itself. In the Muslim community (Ummah) of over a billion faithfuls spread almost all around the world nearly 12 % are Shias. Majority of Shias are Twelvers – believers in 12 Imams (as in Iran, in a majority), but there are others too, like the Ismailis (of Agha Khans, Mohammed Ali Jinnah), from whom emerged the "Assassins" in early 2nd millennium, Alevis in Turkey (around 15%), ruling Alawite elite (12%) in Syria, Hezbollah and Amal in Lebanon (over 40%), and Bahrain (a majority), Kuwait, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan. In Iraq nearly 60% of its population are Shias, the rest are mostly Sunnis. There are some very extremist groups too, spread all over the Islamic world.

India has a large Shia population of about 25 million in a total Muslim population of 130 million, making it perhaps the 2nd largest Shia community in the world after Iran. After the US attacks in Najaf in 2004, Muslims of Lucknow (India), a big Shia centre, had declared that Americans were not welcome there.

Tangled Sunni-Shia history

The Shias emerged out of seeds of disunity in the embryonic Muslim Ummah , sown as soon as Prophet Mohammed lay dead in Medina. While his cousin and son in law Ali and the family were preparing the body for the burial, another clan of the Quraysh tribe elected Abu Bakr as the first Caliph i.e. Prophet's deputy, countering also the claims of Ansars of Medina, who had welcomed the Prophet (in Hijra) ..Abu Bakr's supporters claimed that he was closer to Mohammed, one of the very first converts to Islam and was from Mecca's Quraysh tribe. His daughter A'isha was wedded to the Prophet.

According to Shias, Prophet Mohammed had given enough indications for Ali to be his successor and cite many hadiths in support of this claim. The Prophet had lived with his uncle Abu Talib, Ali's father and Mohammed's only child Fatimah was married to Ali. Ali also became Muslim before Abu Bakr and had decoyed for the Prophet when he escaped from Mecca. Ali was perhaps his most trusted and the closest companion, even though he was much younger than the Prophet.

Ali's election as the Caliph would have denied a chance to the older generation of power brokers, so they played politics and got their way. Ali was overlooked twice with Omar and Uthman succeeding Abu Bakr in cleverly manipulated successions to keep Ali out.  As a result Ali mostly kept to himself and stayed aloof.

Following the murder of Uthman, Ali was invited by the Muslims of Medina to accept the Caliphate; reluctantly, he agreed but only after long hesitation. His brief reign was marked by problems of inheriting a corrupt state, as the Quran and the traditions of Mohammed had been neglected. Ali based his rule on the Islamic ideals of social justice and equality which clashed with the interests of the Quraysh aristocracy of Mecca grown rich through the Muslim conquests. A rebellion was instigated against him. Ali was victorious in many wars, but was trapped into an arbitration. He was assassinated by a Kharijite and Mu'awiya of the Umayyads established the dynasty at Damascus.

Ali was a devout Muslim with an outstanding reputation for justice, unlike Uthman or the Umayyad dynasty that followed him, mired in nepotism with worldly and autocratic ways. Many Muslims feel this way about the Umayyad Caliphs except for Omar II. To many it was a betrayal of the Quran, which enjoins creation of a just and equal society as the first duty of Muslims.

Those opposed to Umayyads called themselves the Shia't-Ali (partisans of Ali) and developed a doctrine of piety and protest, refusing to accept the Umayyad Caliphs, and regarded Ali's descendants as the true leaders of the Muslim community. This schism became an unbridgeable chasm and remains so, when in 680, Shias of Kufa called for the rule by Ali's second son Hussein and invited him. Hussein set out for Iraq with a small band of relatives and followers (72 armed men and women and children) in the belief that the spectacle of the Prophet's family, marching to confront the Caliph, would remind the regime of its social responsibility.

But Umayyad Caliph Yazid dispatched his army, which slaughtered Hussein and most of his followers on the plain of Karbala with Imam Hussein being the last to die, holding his infant son in his arms. This event is now commemorated as Muharram. Both Karbala and Najaf, where Imam Ali is buried are very holy places specially for Shias.

For Shias, the Karbala tragedy symbolizes the chronic injustice that pervades human life. Shia Islam provides spiritual solace and shelter for the poorest and the deprived among the Muslims, as in as- Sadr city in Baghdad and elsewhere in the Muslim world. In almost all Sunni majority countries Shias are ill treated and persecuted.

Imagery and this Shia passion informed Khomeini's Iranian revolution, which many experienced as a re-enactment of Karbala - with the Shah Reza Pehlavi cast as a latter day Yazid.

There is no agreement among Muslims on the Caliphs. Shias do not recognize the first three and in many places curse them. For them Ali is the first rightful Caliph and the Imam. For Sunnis, Imam is only a prayer leader and could be any one. But for Shias, he is a spiritual leader with the divine spark and juris-consult (Vilayet-el-Faqih). The sacred Islamic law Sharia enacted under different situations and times has many schools among Sunnis, who unlike the Shias have closed ijtihad, independent reasoning in Islamic Law to meet new situations .The Shia Iranians (Aryans) perhaps created the office of Imam (like Shankaracharya among Indo–Aryan Brahmins) as only an Arab from the Quraysh tribe could become a Caliph. Later the Turks, who came as slaves or warriors to the Arab lands, captured power by the sword and raised the minor office of the Sultan to a powerful one, by now protector of a hapless Caliph. Then Turkish Ottoman Sultans in Istanbul appropriated the title of Caliph for themselves.

After the first dynastic Umayyad Caliphate based in Damascus ended, another branch of Quraysh tribe, Abbasids took over and shifted to Iraq in 750, but after having made false promises of installing the Prophet's family as the Caliph. Muslim Ummah's unity under the Sunni Caliph was finally broken when Fatimids anointed their own Caliph first in Tunisia, then in Egypt in 10th century. So an Umayyad prince in Cordoba too declared himself the third Caliph.

Evolution of Shiism

There are two things to note. First, political Shi'ism indicates a belief that members of the Hashim clan in the Quraysh tribe are the people most worthy of holding political authority in the Islamic community, but has no belief in any particular religious position for the family. As for religious Shi'ism, it is about the belief that some particular members of the house of Hashim were in receipt of divine inspiration and are thus the channel of God's guidance to men whether or not they hold any defacto political authority. This view was augmented by the Iranians who believe in the tradition that the mother of fourth Imam Zaynul-Abdin was Shahrbanu, the daughter of Yazdigird, the last Sasanian King of Iran.

From the very beginning all the Shia Imams, descendants of Ali, every single one was imprisoned, exiled or executed or poisoned by the Caliphs, who could not tolerate an alternative centre to their rule. So by 8th century, most Shias held aloof from politics and concentrated on the mystical interpretation of the scriptures. Says scholar Karen Armstrong "Long before western philosophers called for the separation of church and state, Shias had privatized faith, convinced that it was impossible to integrate the religious imperative with the grim world of politics that seemed murderously antagonistic to it. --

"The separation of religion and politics remains deeply embedded in the Shia psyche. It springs not simply from malaise, but from a divine discontent with the state of the Muslim community. Even in Iran, which became a Shia country in the early 16th century, the ulema (the religious scholars) refused public office, adopted an oppositional stance to the state, and formed an alternative establishment that - implicitly or explicitly - challenged the Shahs on behalf of the people."

The picture of early Shi'ism was created (as not much is available from records) from the point of view of Twelver Shias, ignoring the Ismailis, Mutazilites or orthodox Sunnis. Modern scholars believe that this picture was retrospectively imposed over the facts by historians of 3rd and 4th Islamic century for doctrinal reasons.

It is only after 6th Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (died 765) that there is any firm evidence that any kind of religious leadership was being claimed for Twelver Imams. He was a well-known and influential figure in the Islamic world. Several of his students later became prominent jurists and traditionalists even among non-Shia Muslims. Jafar as-Sadiq did not make an open claim to religious leadership, but his circle of students evidently looked to him as Imam, including some leading figures such as Abu'l-Khattab, who held beliefs of a ghuluww (extremist) nature regarding him, indicating that as-Sadiq was a focus of religious speculation and leadership in his own time.

Evolution of Islam into Shia and other forms

The number of ghulat groups, increased dramatically especially in Kufa during as-Sadiq's lifetime. It is therefore useful to consider the origin of the ghulat. When the Arabs arrived in the Fertile Crescent, they encountered ancient civilizations with sophisticated religious systems. Iraq was already the centre of intense religious ferment with the ancient Babylonian religious systems, Zoroastrianism, Mazdaism, Manichaeism, Judaism and various forms of Christianity contributing to a kaleidoscope of religious view points, debates and speculation. Islam by comparison was as yet simple and undeveloped. And with the Prophet already dead, there was no one to whom the Muslims could turn for an authoritative ruling on sophisticated religious speculations being posed by the ancient civilizations. There arose a ferment of discussion around some of the concepts introduced by these older religions and philosophical systems.

In the initial years the Arabs lived in their military camp cities and avoided intermingling with the native populations and their disturbing religious speculations but as more of the native populations embraced Islam, such discussions increased. In this spiritual and religious ferment ideas were injected into the Muslim community and intensively discussed by people interested in such matters which could be considered by the majority of Muslims heterodox concepts and called ghulat or extremists.

Among the ideas injected were such concepts as tanasukh (transmigration of souls), ghayba (occultation), raj'a (return), hulul (descent of the Spirit of God into man), imama (Imamate, divinely-inspired leadership and guidance), tashbih (anthropomorphism with respect to God), tafwid (delegation of God's powers to other than God), and bada (alteration in God's will). But the ghulat needed a priest- god figure onto which to project their ideas of hulul, ghayba , etc., a role admirably suited to the persona of' Ali.

While the ghulat adopted Ali and his family as the embodiment of their religious speculation the Shias of' Ali always looked on the ghulat with a certain amount of suspicion. However, the martyrdom of Hussein and the pathos of this event gave the family of Ali a cultic significance. It bestowed on Shias, earlier primarily a political party, a thrust into a religious orientation directing it firmly towards the ghulat, and giving the ghulat milieu a hero-martyr and a priestly family with which they could associate much of their speculations.--

Only the hubris laden arrogance of military power US which spends as much as the rest of the world put together on defence, now mostly financed by trade deficit, made the crazy Neo-cons and former scheming and manipulative CEOs like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld believe in their being received with flowers in Baghdad. What does Washington mean when it demands that Tehran and Damascus must help stabilize Iraq i.e. get US out of Iraqi quagmire, so that US can then bring about regime changes there!
I wrote in my article 'Occupation case studies: Algeria and Turkey' of 7 January , 2004, that "while formulating foreign policy options, political leaders also look to history for guidance. Unfortunately, the United State's history is only two centuries old, and to meet the challenge of terrorism, Frankenstein monsters partly of its own creation, the mujahideen, jihadis, the Taliban and al-Qaeda, the US can only recall a long genocidal war against its Native Americans.
"Those who resisted were called "terrorists" for defending their native land and way of life against foreign invaders. There are Hollywood films galore that depict the "American Indians" as savages to be hunted down by the US cavalry. The same cavalry units now force Iraqis daily to lie face down in the land of their ancestors and describe those fighting to free their country from the occupying forces as "terrorists". The Iraqis, other Arabs and Iranians are the new "American Indians", and those who collaborate with the Bush administration are like the good Indians who helped the Americans fight and defeat bad Indians."

In my article of 15 July, 2003 "Iraq's history already written" I said "US chief administrator L Paul Bremer unveiled Iraq's 25-member governing council in Baghdad on Sunday. It now looks like the beginnings of the rule by the British Governor Sir Percy Cox in the 1920s, after the British had carved out three provinces of the Ottoman Empire after its collapse in World War I. After a long national resistance, King Feisel II - of a British-appointed dynasty - and his prime minister, Nuri-as Said, were overthrown and killed in a 1958 military takeover ".--
Ambassador Peter Galbraith revealed that in January 2003, two months before the invasion of Iraq, Bush had not yet heard of the Sunni-Shia divide within Islam.
"Today the world faces a single man armed with weapons of mass destruction, manifesting an aggressive, bullying attitude, who may well plunge the world into chaos and bloodshed if he miscalculates. This person, belligerent, arrogant, and sure of himself, truly is the most dangerous person on Earth. The problem is that his name is George W. Bush, and he is our president: " said Yale Law Prof Jack M. Balkin, on September 22, 2002. "

The new first time Black president in US history is a product of Chicago Jewish political machine and is no different than others ..
Only the hubris of wars has brought US to its decline and Fall .
K Gajendra Singh 16 July , 2013 ,Mayur Vihar , Delhi
The author served as ambassador of India to Turkey and Azerbaijan from August 1992 to April 1996. Prior to that, he was ambassador to Jordan, Romania and Senegal. Apart from postings in Dakar, Paris, Bucharest , the author spent his diplomatic career in North Africa , Middle east and Turkic countries ( ten years in Turkey in two tenures ).He spent 1976 with National Defence College , New Delhi , established the Foreign Service Institute for training of diplomats ( 1987-89), was chairman / managing director of IDPL , India's largest Drugs and Pharmaceuticals company ( 1985  and 1986 ) and while posted at Amman( 1989-92) evacuated nearly 140,000 Indian  nationals who had come from Kuwait. He is currently chairman of the Foundation for Indo-Turkic Studies