Soros on Responsibility to Protect. Chomsky agrees in principle, rejecting National Sovereignty, but objects to selective use of the principle for imperial goals

Peter Myers, April 3, 2011; update April 11, 2011

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(1) Petras vs Chomsky on "Oil" motive in the Libya war; neither notices Soros' role
(2) Libya: Soros behind "Responsibility to Protect" (R2P) as a form of Global Governance
(3) Obama says R2P (Responsibility to Protect) is basis of Libya intervention
(4) Hillary says she'll institutionalize R2P (Responsibility to Protect) in the State Dep't
(5) Soros: Sovereignty is an anachronistic concept. It stands in the way of outside intervention
(6) The Responsibility to Protect, by Gareth Evans and Mohamed Sahnoun - Foreign Affairs
(7) Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty - Evans & Sahnoun
(8) CIGI (Centre for International Governance Innovation) welcomes Ramesh Thakur
(9) Ramesh Thakur: UN was urged to allow "R2P war" on Burma to force the delivery of aid
(10) CIGI and Soros' Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) form a Partnership
(11) Soros' Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) "to Remake Entire Global Economy"
(12) Chomsky: Libya is about Oil. True, Western companies already had the Oil, but Gaddafi was unreliable
(13) Petras: Intervention not about Oil; multinationals already had Libyan oil. Goal is military, not economic
(14) Juan Cole defends bombing
(15) German Greens agitate for war
(16) Spain's "reformed Leninist" Government joins war on Rebel side
(17) Saudi King detests Gaddafi; Gaddafi tried to assassinate him
(18) Arab leaders long hated Gaddafi. Bernard-Henri Lévy met rebels & persuaded Sarkozy
(19) Western intervention into Libya not sanctioned by UN: Russian Foreign Minister
(20) Nobel Committee asked to Strip Obama of Peace Prize
(21) Libya rebels make oil deal with Qatar (home of Al Jazeera)
(22) Gaddafi says Ben-Gurion ordered the killing of Kennedy, because he insisted on monitoring Dimona
(23) Vanunu: Peres ordered my kidnapping; AND was the father of the Israeli nuke
(24) Divided Libya (oil-rich East / poor West) as the new Vietnam - Pepe Escobar

(1) Petras vs Chomsky on "Oil" motive in the Libya war; neither notices Soros' role - Peter Myers, April 3, 2011

Whereas the Iraq and Afghan wars were brought about through agitation by Israel and the Zionist lobby in the US, this is not the case with the Libya war. It's more similar to the dismemberment of Yugoslavia, with the US siding with Islamists (Kosovo, the Saudi monarchy, and a would-be Emirate in Benghazi) against Socialists of the neo-Stalinist camp (ie critics of Stalin who nevertheless somewhat followed his path).

Chomsky, in his analysis of world events, emphasises the role of Empire but ridicules claims of a significant role for the Zionist lobby. Petras depicts the Empire often tweaked by the Zionist lobby, like a henpecked spouse. But on occasions like this, the spouse is quiet and the Emperor acts of his own accord. Whereas in his writings over the last decade, Petras portrayed a major role played by the Zionist lobby, this is not so in his analysis of the Libya war.

During the Iraq and Afghan wars, Chomsky's reputation declined. The ongoing agitation of the Zionist lobby, culminating in intervention, was plain for all to see, yet Chomsky "wrote it out" of his account.

The Left's leading expert on the US media had not noticed its Jewish ownership and management. Nor commented on Mordecai Vanunu's capture by Mossad (with the complicity of Western agencies) and incarceration for revealing Israel's nuclear program, despite its relevance for the Iran nuclear debate. Nor made any mention of Norman Finkelstein's book The Holocaust Industry, despite praising Finkelstein's earlier anti-Imperial writings.

But now that we see the Empire acting without Zionist prompting, Chomsky's writings have regained some of their cogency (item 12 below).

But lest a Jewish role be written out prematurely, it shoud be noted that George Soros is a major backer of "Democracy" movements, and he does this in the name of "the Open Society", recalling H. G. Wells' book The Open Conspiracy (for World Government). Karl Popper was Soros' mentor, and the Russian Jewish refusniks were aligned with Sakharov, who espoused Convergence to World Government: convergence.html.

This was also Gorbachev's policy; it was who who let the refusniks leave Russia. He pardoned Sakharov, yet he never pardoned Solzhenitsyn. David ben-Gurion also advocated Convergence to World Government: bengur62.jpg

At Gorbachev's 80th birthday party in London, he was shown posing with Simon Peres and Sharon Stone. Peres' face was beaming; he certainly was not thinking of Mordecai Vanunu. Yet Vanunu accused him or ordering his capture:

The Soviet Union was created by communist Jews, but Stalin overthrew them. In response most moved, over time, to the Trotskyist camp and, via the Frankfurt School, anti-Authoritarian forms of Marxism bordering on Anarchism. Despite Trotsky's book justifying the Red Terror (when he was in power), the Trotskyist movement today has ties with the Anarchists who organize Black Blocs. Both groups oppose Stalin, but the Anarchists also blame the earlier (Jewish) phase of Communism for paving the way to his regime.

Soros represents not Zionism but Libertarian Socialism - the same cause as Chomsky. But Soros backs intervention in Libya, whereas Chomsky opposes it. On closer inspection, however, Chomsky endorses R2P (Responsibility to Protect) IN PRINCIPLE. His objection is that it being used for ulterior motives.

In item 12 (below), he says, "There are two cases to consider: (1) UN intervention and (2) intervention without UN authorization. Unless we believe that states are sacrosanct in the form that has been established in the modern world (typically by extreme violence), with rights that override all other imaginable considerations, then the answer is the same in both cases: Yes, in principle at least."

As for Soros' proclaimed loyalty to the Empire, he has in the past called for Regime Change in the United States <>, and item 11 (below) is about INET, his initiative for a new world economic system, forcing rich countries (and classes) to consume less so that poor ones can consume more (and to save the planet).

Not so different from Chomsky, after all. Almost the same, in fact.

Even where there are differences between them, both Soros and Chomsky can be seen as part of a single (but fractured) movement.

The anti-Stalinist Left falls onto both sides of the Intervention debate.

AGAINST Intervention are the WSWS Trots as well as the "Trotskyoid" Green Left Weekly; but FOR intervention are their Green comrades, Juan Cole, and the PSOE (Socialist Workers Party) Government of Spain.

Petras says "the Libyan conflict began as an armed insurrection" (item 13).

Chomsky, on the other hand, writes, "When a non-violent uprising began, Qaddafi crushed it violently, and a rebellion broke out that liberated Benghazi" (item 12).

(2) Libya: Soros behind "Responsibility to Protect" (R2P) as a form of Global Governance

Soros fingerprints on Libya bombing

Leftist mastermind puts up big bucks to erase borders

Posted: March 23, 2011

By Aaron Klein © 2011 WorldNetDaily

Philanthropist billionaire George Soros is a primary funder and key proponent of the global organization that promotes the military doctrine used by the Obama administration to justify the recent airstrikes targeting the regime of Moammar Gadhafi in Libya.

The activist who founded and coined the name of the doctrine, "Responsibility to Protect," sits on several key organizations alongside Soros.

Also, the Soros-funded global group that promotes Responsibility to Protect is closely tied to Samantha Power, the National Security Council special adviser to Obama on human rights.

Power has been a champion of the doctrine and is, herself, deeply tied to the doctrine's founder.

According to reports, Power, who is married to Obama regulatory czar Cass Sunstein, was instrumental in convincing Obama to act against Libya.

{Cass R. Sunstein recommended "Cognitive infiltration" of Dissident groups by Government agents:

David Ray Griffin wrote this book, in reply:

Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee's Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory:}

The Responsibility to Protect doctrine has been described by its founders and proponents, including Soros, as promoting global governance while allowing the international community to penetrate a nation state's borders under certain conditions.

Libya regarded as test of global doctrine

The joint U.S. and international air strikes targeting Libya are widely regarded as a test of Responsibility to Protect ­ which is a set of principles, now backed by the United Nations, based on the idea that sovereignty is not a privilege, but a responsibility.

According to the principle, any state's sovereignty can be overrun, including with the use of military force, if the international community decides it must act to halt what it determines to be genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity or ethnic cleansing.

The term "war crimes" has at times been indiscriminately used by various U.N.-backed international bodies, including the International Criminal Court, or ICC, which applied it to Israeli anti-terror operations in the Gaza Strip. There has been fear the ICC could be used to prosecute U.S. troops.

An organization calling itself the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect is the world's leading champion of the doctrine.

Activist Gareth Evans, who sits on the global group's advisory board, is widely regarded as the founder of the Responsibility to Protect principle.

Soros' Open Society Institute is one of only three nongovernmental funders of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. Government sponsors include Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Rwanda and the U.K.

Board members of the group include former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former Ireland President Mary Robinson and South African activist Desmond Tutu. Robinson and Tutu have recently made solidarity visits to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip as members of a group called The Elders, which includes former President Jimmy Carter.

Annan once famously stated, "State sovereignty, in its most basic sense, is being redefined ­ not least by the forces of globalization and international co-operation. States are ... instruments at the service of their peoples and not vice versa."

During his tenure as Australia's foreign minister, Evans served as co-chair of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, which invented the term "responsibility to protect."

In his capacity as co-chair, Evans also played a pivotal role in initiating the fundamental shift from sovereignty as a right to "sovereignty as responsibility."

Evans presented Responsibility to Protect at the July 23, 2009, United Nations General Assembly, which was convened to consider the principle. {; also see UN webcast at}

Soros: Right to 'penetrate nation-states' borders'

Soros himself outlined the fundamentals of Responsibility to Protect in a 2004 Foreign Policy magazine article entitled "The People's Sovereignty: How a New Twist on an Old Idea Can Protect the World's Most Vulnerable Populations."

In the article, Soros said "true sovereignty belongs to the people, who in turn delegate it to their governments."

"If governments abuse the authority entrusted to them and citizens have no opportunity to correct such abuses, outside interference is justified," Soros wrote. "By specifying that sovereignty is based on the people, the international community can penetrate nation-states' borders to protect the rights of citizens.

"In particular, the principle of the people's sovereignty can help solve two modern challenges: the obstacles to delivering aid effectively to sovereign states, and the obstacles to global collective action dealing with states experiencing internal conflict."

Evans sits on multiple boards with Soros, including the Clinton Global Initiative.

Soros is on the executive board of the International Crisis Group, a "crisis management organization" for which Evans serves as president-emeritus.

WND previously reported how the group has been petitioning for the U.S. to normalize ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, the main opposition in Egypt, where longtime U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak was recently toppled.

Aside from Evans and Soros, the group includes on its board Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, as well as other personalities who champion dialogue with Hamas, a violent offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.

WND also reported the crisis group has also petitioned for the Algerian government to cease "excessive" military activities against al-Qaida-linked groups and to allow organizations seeking to create an Islamic state to participate in the Algerian government.

Soros' own Open Society Institute has funded opposition groups across the Middle East and North Africa, including organizations involved in the current chaos.

Power pushes doctrine

Doctrine founder Evans, meanwhile, is closely tied to Obama aide Samantha Power, who reportedly heavily influenced Obama in consultations leading to the U.S. president's decision to bomb Libya.

Evans and Power have been joint keynote speakers at events in which they have championed the Responsibility to Protect principle together, such as the 2008 Global Philanthropy Forum, also attended by Tutu.

In November, at the International Symposium on Preventing Genocide and Mass Atrocities, Power, attending as a representative of the White House, argued for the use of Responsibility to Protect alongside Evans.

With research by Brenda J. Elliott

(3) Obama says R2P (Responsibility to Protect) is basis of Libya intervention

White House fellow founded Soros-funded military scheme

Doctrine cited by Obama as justification for bombing Libya

Posted: March 31, 2011

By Aaron Klein © 2011 WorldNetDaily

TEL AVIV ­ A White House fellow served on the advisory board to the commission that founded the military doctrine "Responsibility to Protect," used by President Obama as the main justification for U.S. and international airstrikes against Libya.

As WND was first to report, billionaire philanthropist George Soros is a primary funder and key proponent of the Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect, the world's leading organization pushing the military doctrine.

Also, several of the doctrine's main founders sit on boards with Soros. ...

Annan once famously stated, "State sovereignty, in its most basic sense, is being redefined ­ not least by the forces of globalization and international co-operation. States are ... instruments at the service of their peoples and not vice versa."

Obama cited doctrine multiple times

In his speech Monday, aside from his direct citation of the "responsibility" doctrine, Obama alluded to the doctrine four more times.

The following are relevant excerpts from his address:

¥ In this effort, the United States has not acted alone. Instead, we have been joined by a strong and growing coalition. This includes our closest allies ­ nations like the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Turkey ­ all of whom have fought by our side for decades. And it includes Arab partners like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, who have chosen to meet their responsibility to defend the Libyan people.

¥ Last night, NATO decided to take on the additional responsibility of protecting Libyan civilians.

¥ To brush aside America's responsibility as a leader and ­ more profoundly ­ our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are.

¥ The task that I assigned our forces ­ to protect the Libyan people from immediate danger, and to establish a No Fly Zone ­ carries with it a UN mandate and international support. So would the costs, and our share of the responsibility for what comes next. ...

(4) Hillary says she'll institutionalize R2P (Responsibility to Protect) in the State Dep't

2008 Presidential Candidate Questionnaire


Our 2008 Presidential Candidate Questionnaire, or PCQ as we call it in-house, is part education material and part questionnaire for the candidates. ...

16. Will you work to operationalize the "Responsibility to Protect," an emerging international norm, in response to humanitarian crises around the world? How?:


Yes. In adopting the principle of the responsibility to protect, the United Nations accepted the principle that mass atrocities that take place in one state are the concern of all states. It is essential that the new Secretary General of the United Nations begin to bridge the gap between these words and the institution's deeds through a series of reforms intended to operationalize this concept. I am also committed to seeing that the United States and other economic and militarily capable states and organization take steps to bolster UN action.

As President I will adopt a policy that recognizes the prevention of mass atrocities as an important national security interest of the United States, not just a humanitarian goal. I will develop a government-wide strategy to support this policy, including a strategy for working with other leading democracies, the United Nations, and regional organizations. I will authorize my Secretary of State to institutionalize atrocity prevention into the work of the State Department, and I will direct my Secretary of State to strongly support the mission and activities of the office of reconstruction and stabilization, which plays an increasingly critical role.

(5) Soros: Sovereignty is an anachronistic concept. It stands in the way of outside intervention

The people's sovereignty: how a new twist on an old idea can protect the world's most vulnerable populations.

George Soros

Foreign Policy magazine

January 1, 2004

Sovereignty is an anachronistic concept originating in bygone times when society consisted of rulers and subjects, not citizens. It became the cornerstone of international relations with the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. During the French Revolution, the king was overthrown and the people assumed sovereignty. But a nationalist concept of sovereignty soon superseded the dynastic version. Today, though not all nation-states are democratically accountable to their citizens, the principle of sovereignty stands in the way of outside intervention in the internal affairs of nation-states.

But true sovereignty belongs to the people, who in turn delegate it to their governments. If governments abuse the authority entrusted to them and citizens have no opportunity to correct such abuses, outside interference is justified. By specifying that sovereignty is based on the people, the international community can penetrate nation-states' borders to protect the rights of citizens. In particular, the principle of the people's sovereignty can help solve two modern É

(6) The Responsibility to Protect, by Gareth Evans and Mohamed Sahnoun - Foreign Affairs

The Responsibility to Protect

By Gareth Evans and Mohamed Sahnoun

November/December 2002

Summary: Throughout the humanitarian crises of the 1990s, the international community failed to come up with rules on how and when to intervene, and under whose authority. Despite the new focus on terrorism, these debates will not go away. The issue must be reframed as an argument not about the "right to intervene" but about the "reponsibility to protect" that all sovereign states owe to their citizens.

Gareth Evans is President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Crisis Group and former Foreign Minister of Australia. Mohamed Sahnoun is Special Adviser on Africa to the UN Secretary-General and a former senior Algerian diplomat. They co-chaired the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS), whose report, The Responsibility to Protect, was published in December 2001 and is now available on


The international community in the last decade repeatedly made a mess of handling the many demands that were made for "humanitarian intervention": coercive action against a state to protect people within its borders from suffering grave harm. There were no agreed rules for handling cases such as Somalia, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Kosovo at the start of the 1990s, and there remain none today. Disagreement continues about whether there is a right of intervention, how and when it should be exercised, and under whose authority.

Since September 11, 2001, policy attention has been captured by a different set of problems: the response to global terrorism and the case for "hot preemption" against countries believed to be irresponsibly acquiring weapons of mass destruction. These issues, however, are conceptually and practically distinct. There are indeed common questions, especially concerning the precautionary principles that should apply to any military action anywhere. But what is involved in the debates about intervention in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere is the scope and limits of countries' rights to act in self-defense -- not their right, or obligation, to intervene elsewhere to protect peoples other than their own.

Meanwhile, the debate about intervention for human protection purposes has not gone away. And it will not go away so long as human nature remains as fallible as it is and internal conflict and state failures stay as prevalent as they are. The debate was certainly a lively one throughout the 1990s. Controversy may have been muted in the case of the interventions, by varying casts of actors, in Liberia in 1990, northern Iraq in 1991, Haiti in 1994, Sierra Leone in 1997, and (not strictly coercively) East Timor in 1999. But in Somalia in 1993, Rwanda in 1994, and Bosnia in 1995, the UN action taken (if taken at all) was widely perceived as too little too late, misconceived, poorly resourced, poorly executed, or all of the above. During NATO's 1999 intervention in Kosovo, Security Council members were sharply divided; the legal justification for action without UN authority was asserted but largely unargued; and great misgivings surrounded the means by which the allies waged the war. ...

(7) Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty - Evans & Sahnoun

{p. i} ICISS

The Responsibility To Protect

Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty


Gareth Evans Co-Chair
Mohamed Sahnoun Co-Chair
Gisèle Côté-Harper
Lee Hamilton
Michael Ignatieff
Vladimir Lukin
Klaus Naumann
Cyril Ramaphosa
Fidel Ramos
Cornelio Sommaruga
Eduardo Stein
Ramesh Thakur

{p. vii} This report is about the so-called "right of humanitarian intervention": the question of when, if ever, it is appropriate for states to take coercive ­ and in particular military ­ action, against another state for the purpose of protecting people at risk in that other state. At least until the horrifying events of 11 September 2001 brought to center stage the international response to terrorism, the issue of intervention for human protection purposes has been seen as one of the most controversial and difficult of all international relations questions. With the end of the Cold War, it became a live issue as never before. Many calls for intervention have been made over the last decade ­ some of them answered and some of them ignored. But there continues to be disagreement as to whether, if there is a right of intervention, how and when it should be exercised, and under whose authority. ...

{p. viii} The CommissionÕs Report

The report which we now present has been unanimously agreed by the twelve Commissioners. Its central theme, reflected in the title, is "The Responsibility to Protect", the idea that sovereign states have a responsibility to protect their own citizens from avoidable catastrophe ­ from mass murder and rape, from starvation ­ but that when they are unwilling or unable to do so, that responsibility must be borne by the broader community of states. ...

The Report and the Events of 11 September 2001

The CommissionÕs report was largely completed before the appalling attacks of 11 September 2001 on New York and Washington DC, and was not conceived as addressing the kind of challenge posed by such attacks. Our report has aimed at providing precise guidance for states faced with human protection claims in other states; it has not been framed to guide the policy of states when faced with attack on their own nationals, or the nationals of other states residing within their borders. ...


Co-Chairs 30 September 2001

(8) Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) welcomes Ramesh Thakur

International Relations Expert Ramesh Thakur Joins CIGI

Thakur former senior vice-rector at the UNU in Tokyo and former UN assistant secretary-general

MONDAY, APRIL 16, 2007

Waterloo, Canada - John English, Executive Director of CIGI (Centre for International Governance Innovation), a leading Canadian international relations and policy research centre, is pleased to announce the appointment of international relations expert, Dr. Ramesh Thakur, as a CIGI Distinguished Fellow. Dr. Thakur will also take up a cross appointment as professor of political science at the University of Waterloo, Canada.

Dr. Thakur's areas of expertise include the United Nations, peace operations, arms control and disarmament, Indian politics, and international relations of Asia and the Pacific.

Dr. Thakur will be involved with the CIGI-supported new joint University of Waterloo/Wilfrid Laurier University Ph.D. programme in Global Governance. ...Ramesh Thakur ends his term as the senior vice-rector (Peace and Governance) of the United Nations University (UNU) in Tokyo on April 30. Previous posts include former R2P Commissioner; professor and head of the Peace Research Centre at the Australian University in Canberra (1995 - 1998); and professor of International Relations and Director of Asian Studies at the University of Otago in New Zealand (1980 - 1995). He was a member of the National Consultative Committee on Peace and Disarmament in Australia, and previously a member of the Public Advisory Committee on Arms Control and Disarmament in New Zealand. Dr. Thakur has joined the International Advisory Board of the Crisis Management Initiative. ...

(9) Ramesh Thakur: UN was urged to allow "R2P war" on Burma to force the delivery of aid

Should the UN revoke the Responsibility to Protect?

Ramesh Thakur

International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect

{first published in} The Globe and Mail 8 May 2008

The United Nations warns that Myanmar's death toll from this week's deadly cyclone could reach 60,000. CNN quotes Shari Villarosa, the top U.S. diplomat there, as saying over 100,000 may have died in the country's delta region alone. Aid is desperately needed on a war footing. But humanitarian aid does not justify going to war as called for by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in urging the UN Security Council to pass a resolution under the "responsibility to protect" norm to force the delivery of aid over any objections from the country's ruling military.

Mr. Kouchner is one of the unrepentant "humanitarian warriors" who gave "humanitarian intervention" such a bad name that we had to rescue the deeply divisive idea and repackage it into the more unifying and politically marketable "responsibility to protect" (R2P) which was endorsed by world leaders at the UN in 2005. There would be no better way to damage R2P beyond repair in Asia and the developing world than to have humanitarian assistance delivered into Myanmar backed by Western soldiers fighting in the jungles of Southeast Asia again. If France has soldiers to spare for serious combat, they could relieve embattled Canadians in southern Afghanistan. ...

(10) CIGI and Soros' Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) form a Partnership



CIGI and the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) have formed a partnership aimed at furthering their complementary missions. Both organizations are committed to broadening and accelerating the development of innovative thinking that will lead to insights and solutions for the great economic and governance challenges of the 21st century.


Announced in January 2011, the partnership between the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) and CIGI is committed to broadening and accelerating the development of innovative thinking that will lead to insights and solutions for the great economic and governance challenges of the 21st century.

Initiated by CIGI Founder and Chair Jim Balsillie and INET Founding Sponsor George Soros, the agreement provides $25 million (CAD) over five years to support joint CIGI-INET activities.

Founded in 2009 in response to the global financial crisis, INET is a non-profit organization providing fresh insight and thinking to promote changes in economic theory and practice through conferences, grants and education initiatives. ...

(11) Soros' Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) "to Remake Entire Global Economy"

MARCH 29, 2011

Unreported Soros Event Aims to Remake Entire Global Economy


From the Media Research Center

Two years ago, George Soros said he wanted to reorganize the entire global economic system. In two short weeks, he is going to start - and no one seems to have noticed.

On April 8, a group he's funded with $50 million is holding a major economic conference and Soros's goal for such an event is to "establish new international rules" and "reform the currency system." It's all according to a plan laid out in a Nov. 4, 2009, Soros op-ed calling for "a grand bargain that rearranges the entire financial order."

The event is bringing together "more than 200 academic, business and government policy thought leaders' to repeat the famed 1944 Bretton Woods gathering that helped create the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Soros wants a new 'multilateral system," or an economic system where America isn't so dominant.

More than two-thirds of the slated speakers have direct ties to Soros. The billionaire who thinks "the main enemy of the open society, I believe, is no longer the communist but the capitalist threat" is taking no chances.

Thus far, this global gathering has generated less publicity than a spelling bee. And that's with at least four journalists on the speakers list, including a managing editor for the Financial Times and editors for both Reuters and The Times. Given Soros's warnings of what might happen without an agreement, this should be a big deal. But it's not.

What is a big deal is that Soros is doing exactly what he wanted to do. His 2009 commentary pushed for "a new Bretton Woods conference, like the one that established the post-WWII international financial architecture." And he had already set the wheels in motion.

Just a week before that op-ed was published, Soros had founded the New York City-based Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), the group hosting the conference set at the Mount Washington Resort, the very same hotel that hosted the first gathering. The most recent INET conference was held at Central European University, in Budapest. CEU received $206 million from Soros in 2005 and has $880 million in its endowment now, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

This, too, is a gathering of Soros supporters. INET is bringing together prominent people like former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker and Soros, to produce "a lot of high-quality, breakthrough thinking."

While INET claims more than 200 will attend, only 79 speakers are listed on its site - and it already looks like a Soros convention. Twenty-two are on Soros-funded INET's board and three more are INET grantees. Nineteen are listed as contributors for another Soros operation - Project Syndicate, which calls itself "the world's pre-eminent source of original op-ed commentaries" reaching "456 leading newspapers in 150 countries." It's financed by Soros's Open Society Institute. That's just the beginning.

The speakers include:

¥Volcker is chairman of President Obama's Economic Advisory Board. He wrote the forward for Soros's best-known book, 'The Alchemy of Finance' and praised Soros as "an enormously successful speculator" who wrote "with insight and passion" about the problems of globalization.

¥Economist Jeffrey Sachs, director of The Earth Institute and longtime recipient of Soros charity cash. Sachs received $50 million from Soros for the U.N. Millennium Project, which he also directs. Sachs is world-renown for his liberal economics. In 2009, for example, he complained about low U.S. taxes, saying the "U.S. will have to raise taxes in order to pay for new spending initiatives, especially in the areas of sustainable energy, climate change, education, and relief for the poor."

¥Soros friend Joseph E. Stiglitz, a former senior vice president and chief economist for the World Bank and Nobel Prize winner in Economics. Stiglitz shares similar views to Soros and has criticized free-market economists whom he calls "free market fundamentalists." Naturally, he's on the INET board and is a contributor to Project Syndicate.

¥INET Executive Director Rob Johnson, a former managing director at Soros Fund Management, who is on the Board of Directors for the Soros-funded Economic Policy Institute. Johnson has complained that government intervention in the fiscal crisis hasn't been enough and wanted "restructuring," including asking "for letters of resignation from the top executives of all the major banks."

Have no doubt about it: This is a Soros event from top to bottom. Even Soros admits his ties to INET are a problem, saying, "there is a conflict there which I fully recognize." He claims he stays out of operations. That's impossible. The whole event is his operation.

INET isn't subtle about its aims for the conference. Johnson interviewed fellow INET board member Robert Skidelsky about "The Need for a New Bretton Woods" in a recent video. The introductory slide to the video is subtitled: "How currency issues and tension between the US and China are renewing calls for a global financial overhaul." Skidelsky called for a new agreement and said in the video that the conflict between the United States and China was "at the center of any monetary deal that may be struck, that needs to be struck."

Soros described in the 2009 op-ed that U.S.-China conflict as "another stark choice between two fundamentally different forms of organization: international capitalism and state capitalism." He concluded that "a new multilateral system based on sounder principles must be invented." As he explained it in 2010, "we need a global sheriff."

In the 2000 version of his book "Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism," Soros wrote how the Bretton Woods institutions "failed spectacularly" during the economic crisis of the late 1990s. When he called for a new Bretton Woods in 2009, he wanted it to "reconstitute the International Monetary Fund," and while he's at it, restructure the United Nations, too, boosting China and other countries at our expense.

"Reorganizing the world order will need to extend beyond the financial system and involve the United Nations, especially membership of the Security Council,' he wrote. 'That process needs to be initiated by the US, but China and other developing countries ought to participate as equals."

Soros emphasized that point, that this needs to be a global solution, making America one among many. "The rising powers must be present at the creation of this new system in order to ensure that they will be active supporters."

And that's exactly the kind of event INET is delivering, with the event website emphasizing "today's reconstruction must engage the larger European Union, as well as the emerging economies of Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia." China figures prominently, including a senior economist for the World Bank in Beijing, the director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the chief adviser for the China Banking Regulatory Commission and the Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations.

This is all easy to do when you have the reach of George Soros who funds more than 1,200 organizations. Except, any one of those 1,200 would shout such an event from the highest mountain. Groups like or the Center for American Progress didn't make their names being quiet. The same holds true globally, where Soros has given more than $7 billion to Open Society Foundations - including many media-savvy organizations just a phone call away. Why hasn't the Soros network spread the word?

Especially since Soros warns, all this needs to happen because "the alternative is frightening." The Bush-hating billionaire says America is scary "because a declining superpower losing both political and economic dominance but still preserving military supremacy is a dangerous mix."

The Soros empire is silent about this new Bretton Woods conference because it isn't just designed to change global economic rules. It also is designed to put America in its place - part of a multilateral world the way Soros wants it. He wrote that the U.S. "could lead a cooperative effort to involve both the developed and the developing world, thereby reestablishing American leadership in an acceptable form."

That's what this conference is all about - changing the global economy and the United States to make them "acceptable" to George Soros.

- Iris Somberg contributed to this commentary

Mr. Gainor is the Boone Pickens Fellow and the Media Research Center's Vice President for Business and Culture.

(12) Chomsky: Libya is about Oil. True, Western companies already had the Oil, but Gaddafi was unreliable

On Libya and the Unfolding Crises

Noam Chomsky interviewed by Stephen Shalom and Michael Albert

ZNet, March 30, 2011

1. What are US motives in international relations most broadly? ...

With regard to the Middle East -- the "most strategically important region of the world," in Eisenhower's phrase -- the primary concern has been, and remains, its incomparable energy reserves. Control of these would yield "substantial control of the world," as observed early on by the influential liberal adviser A. A. Berle. These concerns are rarely far in the background in affairs concerning this region. ...

While control over oil is not the sole factor in Middle East policy, it provides fairly good guidelines, right now as well. In an oil-rich country, a reliable dictator is granted virtual free rein. In recent weeks, for example, there was no reaction when the Saudi dictatorship used massive force to prevent any sign of protest. Same in Kuwait, when small demonstrations were instantly crushed. And in Bahrain, when Saudi-led forces intervened to protect the minority Sunni monarch from calls for reform on the part of the repressed Shiite population. Government forces not only smashed the tent city in Pearl Square -- Bahrain's Tahrir Square -- but even demolished the Pearl statue that was Bahrain's symbol, and had been appropriated by the protestors. Bahrain is a particularly sensitive case because it hosts the US Fifth fleet, by far the most powerful military force in the region, and because eastern Saudi Arabia, right across the causeway, is also largely Shiite, and has most of the Kingdom's oil reserves. By a curious accident of geography and history, the world's largest hydrocarbon concentrations surround the northern Gulf, in mostly Shiite regions. The possibility of a tacit Shiite alliance has been a nightmare for planners for a long time.

In states lacking major hydrocarbon reserves, tactics vary, typically keeping to a standard game plan when a favored dictator is in trouble: support him as long as possible, and when that cannot be done, issue ringing declarations of love of democracy and human rights -- and then try to salvage as much of the regime as possible.

The scenario is boringly familiar: Marcos, Duvalier, Chun, Ceau?escu, Mobutu, Suharto, and many others. And today, Tunisia and Egypt. Syria is a tough nut to crack and there is no clear alternative to the dictatorship that would support US goals. Yemen is a morass where direct intervention would probably create even greater problems for Washington. So there state violence elicits only pious declarations.

Libya is a different case. Libya is rich in oil, and though the US and UK have often given quite remarkable support to its cruel dictator, right to the present, he is not reliable. They would much prefer a more obedient client. Furthermore, the vast territory of Libya is mostly unexplored, and oil specialists believe it may have rich untapped resources, which a more dependable government might open to Western exploitation.

When a non-violent uprising began, Qaddafi crushed it violently, and a rebellion broke out that liberated Benghazi, Libya's second largest city, and seemed about to move on to Qaddafi's stronghold in the West. His forces, however, reversed the course of the conflict and were at the gates of Benghazi. A slaughter in Benghazi was likely, and as Obama's Middle East adviser Dennis Ross pointed out, "everyone would blame us for it." That would be unacceptable, as would a Qaddafi military victory enhancing his power and independence. The US then joined in UN Security Council resolution 1973 calling for a no-fly zone, to be implemented by France, the UK, and the US, with the US supposed to move to a supporting role.

There was no effort to institute a no-fly zone. The triumvirate at once interpreted the resolution as authorizing direct participation on the side of the rebels. A ceasefire was imposed by force on Qaddafi's forces, but not on the rebels. On the contrary, they were given military support as they advanced to the West, soon securing the major sources of Libya's oil production, and poised to move on.

The blatant disregard of UN 1973, from the start began to cause some difficulties for the press as it became too glaring to ignore. In the New York Times, for example, Karim Fahim and David Kirkpatrick (March 29) wondered "how the allies could justify airstrikes on Colonel Qaddafi's forces around [his tribal center] Surt if, as seems to be the case, they enjoy widespread support in the city and pose no threat to civilians." Another technical difficulty is that UNSC 1973 "called for an arms embargo that applies to the entire territory of Libya, which means that any outside supply of arms to the opposition would have to be covert" (but otherwise unproblematic).

Some argue that oil cannot be a motive because Western companies were granted access to the prize under Qaddafi. That misconstrues US concerns. The same could have been said about Iraq under Saddam, or Iran and Cuba for many years, still today. What Washington seeks is what Bush announced: control, or at least dependable clients. US and British internal documents stress that "the virus of nationalism" is their greatest fear, not just in the Middle East but everywhere. Nationalist regimes might conduct illegitimate exercises of sovereignty, violating Grand Area principles. And they might seek to direct resources to popular needs, as Nasser sometimes threatened.

It is worth noting that the three traditional imperial powers -- France, UK, US -- are almost isolated in carrying out these operations. The two major states in the region, Turkey and Egypt, could probably have imposed a no-fly zone but are at most offering tepid support to the triumvirate military campaign. The Gulf dictatorships would be happy to see the erratic Libyan dictator disappear, but although loaded with advanced military hardware (poured in by the US and UK to recycle petrodollars and ensure obedience), they are willing to offer no more than token participation (by Qatar).

While supporting UNSC 1973, Africa -- apart from US ally Rwanda -- is generally opposed to the way it was instantly interpreted by the triumvirate, in some cases strongly so. For review of policies of individual states, see Charles Onyango-Obbo in the Kenyan journal East African (

Beyond the region there is little support. Like Russia and China, Brazil abstained from UNSC 1973, calling instead for a full cease-fire and dialogue. India too abstained from the UN resolution on grounds that the proposed measures were likely to "exacerbate an already difficult situation for the people of Libya," and also called for political measures rather than use of force. Even Germany abstained from the resolution.

Italy too was reluctant, in part presumably because it is highly dependent on its oil contracts with Qaddafi -- and we may recall that the first post-World War I genocide was conducted by Italy, in Eastern Libya, now liberated, and perhaps retaining some memories. ...

2. Can an anti-interventionist who believes in self determination of nations and people ever legitimately support an intervention, either by the UN or particular countries?

There are two cases to consider: (1) UN intervention and (2) intervention without UN authorization. Unless we believe that states are sacrosanct in the form that has been established in the modern world (typically by extreme violence), with rights that override all other imaginable considerations, then the answer is the same in both cases: Yes, in principle at least. I see no point in discussing that belief, so will dismiss it. ...

4. Many people see an analogy between the Kosovo intervention of 1999 and the current intervention in Libya. Can you explain both the significant similarities, first, and then the major differences, second?

Many people do indeed see such an analogy ... {Chomsky proceeds to show that Serbian atrocities were the RESULT, not the CAUSE, of American bombing. But note that he says nothing about Oil; it was not a motive}

5. Similarly, many people see an analogy between the ongoing Iraq intervention and the current intervention in Libya. In this case too, can you explain both the similarities, and differences?

I don't see meaningful analogies here either, except that two of the same states are involved. In the case of Iraq, the goals were those that were finally conceded. In the case of Libya, it is likely that the goal is similar in at least one respect: the hope that a reliable client regime will reliably supported Western goals and provide Western investors with privileged access to Libya's rich oil wealth -- which, as noted, may go well beyond what is currently known.

6. What do you expect, in coming weeks, to see happening in Libya and, in that context, what do you think ought to be the aims of an anti-interventionist and antiwar movement in the US regarding US policies?

It is of course uncertain, but the likely prospects now (March 29) are either a break-up of Libya into an oil-rich Eastern region heavily dependent on the Western imperial powers and an impoverished West under the control of a brutal tyrant with fading capacity, or a victory by the Western-backed forces. In either case, so the triumvirate presumably hopes, a less troublesome and more dependent regime will be in place. The likely outcome is described fairly accurately, I think by the London-based Arab journal al-Quds al-Arabi (March 28). While recognizing the uncertainty of prediction, it anticipates that the intervention may leave Libya with "two states, a rebel-held oil-rich East and a poverty-stricken, Qadhafi-led West ... Given that the oil wells have been secured, we may find ourselves facing a new Libyan oil emirate, sparsely inhabited, protected by the West and very similar to the Gulf's emirate states." Or the Western-backed rebellion might proceed all the way to eliminate the irritating dictator.

Those concerned for peace, justice, freedom and democracy should try to find ways to lend support and assistance to Libyans who seek to shape their own future, free from constraints imposed by external powers. We can have hopes about the directions they should pursue, but their future should be in their hands.

(13) Petras: Intervention not about Oil; multinationals already had Libyan oil. Goal is military, not economic

From: James Petras <> Date: 30.03.2011 07:50 PM

The Euro-US War on Libya: Official Lies and Misconceptions of Critics

James Petras and Robin E. Abaya

March 2011


Many critics of the ongoing Euro-US wars in the Middle East and, now, North Africa, have based their arguments on clichés and generalizations devoid of fact. The most common line heard in regard to the current US-Euro war on Libya is that it's "all about oil" ­ the goal is the seizure of Libya's oil wells.

On the other hand Euro ­U.S, government spokespeople defend the war by claiming it's "all about saving civilian lives in the face of genocide", calling it "humanitarian intervention".

Following the lead of their imperial powers, most of what passes for the Left in the US and Europe, ranging from Social Democrats, Marxists, Trotskyists, Greens and other assorted progressives claim they see and support a revolutionary mass uprising of the Libyan people, and not a few have called for military intervention by the imperial powers, or the same thing, the UN, to help the "Libyan revolutionaries" defeat the Gaddafi dictatorship.

These arguments are without foundation and belie the true nature of US-UK-French imperial power, expansionist militarism, as evidenced in all the ongoing wars over the past decade (Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, etc.). What is much more revealing about the militarist intervention in Libya is that the major countries, which refused to engage in the War, operate via a very different form of global expansion based on economic and market forces. China, India, Brazil, Russia, Turkey and Germany, the most dynamic capitalist countries in Asia, Europe and the Middle East are fundamentally opposed to the self-styled "allied" military response against the Libyan government - because Gaddafi represents no threat to their security and they already have full access to the oil and a favorable investment climate. Besides, these economically dynamic countries see no prospect for a stable, progressive or democratic Libyan government emerging from the so-called 'rebel' leaders, who are disparate elites competing for power and Western favor.

(1) The Six Myths about Libya: Right and Left

The principle imperial powers and their mass media mouthpieces claim they are bombing Libya for "humanitarian reasons". Their recent past and current military interventions present a different picture: The intervention in Iraq resulted in well over a million civilian deaths, four million refugees and the systematic destruction of a complex society and its infrastructure, including its water supplies and sewage treatment, irrigation, electricity grid, factories, not to mention research centers, schools, historical archives, museums and Iraq's extensive social welfare system.

A worse disaster followed the invasion of Afghanistan. What was trumpeted as a 'humanitarian intervention' to liberate Afghan women and drive out the Taliban resulted in a human catastrophe for the Afghan people.

The road to imperial barbarism in Iraq began with 'sanctions', progressed to 'no fly zones', then de facto partition of the north, invasion and foreign occupation and the unleashing of sectarian warfare among the 'liberated' Iraqi death squads.

Equally telling, the imperial assault against Yugoslavia in the 1990's, trotted out as the great "humanitarian war" to stop genocide, led to a 40-day aerial bombardment and destruction of Belgrade and other major cities, the imposition of a gangster terrorist regime (KLA) in Kosovo, the near-total ethnic cleansing of all non-Albanian residents from Kosovo and the construction of the largest US military base on the continent (Camp Bondsteel).

The bombing of Libya has already destroyed major civilian infrastructure, airports, roads, seaports and communication centers, as well as 'military' targets. The blockade of Libya and military attacks have driven out scores of multi-national corporations and led to the mass exodus of hundreds of thousands of Asian, Eastern European, Sub-Saharan African, Middle Eastern and North African skilled and unskilled immigrant workers and specialists of all types, devastating the economy and creating, virtually overnight, massive unemployment, bread-lines and critical gasoline shortages. Moreover, following the logic of previous imperial military interventions, the seemingly 'restrained' call to patrol the skies via "no fly zone", has led directly to bombing civilian as well as military targets on the ground, and is pushing to overthrow the legitimate government. The current imperial warmongers leading the attack on Libya, just like their predecessors, are not engaged in anything remotely resembling a humanitarian mission: they are destroying the fundamental basis of the civilian lives they claim to be saving ­ or as an earlier generation of American generals would claim in Vietnam, they are 'destroying the villages in order to save them'.

(2) War for Oil or Oil for Sale?

The 'critical' Left's favorite cliché is that the imperial invasion is all about "seizing control of Libya's oil and turning it over to their multi-nationals". This is despite the fact that US, French and British multinationals (as well as their Asian competitors) had already "taken over" millions of acres of Libyan oil fields without dropping a single bomb. For the past decade, "Big Oil" had been pumping and exporting Libyan oil and gas and reaping huge profits. Gaddafi welcomed the biggest MNC's to exploit the oil wealth of Libya from the early 1990's to the present day. There are more major oil companies doing business in Libya than in most oil producing regions in the world. These include: British Petroleum, with a seven-year contract on two concessions and over $1 billion dollars in planned investments. Each BP concession exploits huge geographic areas of Libya, one the size of Kuwait and the other the size of Belgium ( In addition, five Japanese major corporations, including Mitsubishi and Nippon Petroleum, Italy's Eni Gas, British Gas and the US giant Exxon Mobil signed new exploration and exploitation contracts in October 2010. The most recent oil concession signed in January 2010 mainly benefited US oil companies, especially Occidental Petroleum. Other multi-nationals operating in Libya include Royal Dutch Shell, Total (France), Oil India, CNBC (China), Indonesia's Pertamina and Norway's Norsk Hydro (BBC News, 10/03/2005).

Despite the economic sanctions against Libya, imposed by US President Reagan in 1986, US multinational giant, Halliburton, had secured multi-billion dollar gas and oil projects since the 1980's. During his tenure as CEO of Halliburton, former Defense Secretary Cheney led the fight against these sanctions stating, "as a nation (there is) enormous value having American businesses engaged around the world" ( Officially, sanctions against Libya were only lifted under Bush in 2004. Clearly, with all the European and US imperial countries already exploiting Libya oil on a massive scale, the mantra that the "war is about oil" doesn't hold water or oil!

(3) Gaddafi is a Terrorist

In the run-up to the current military assault on Tripoli, the US Treasury Department's (and Israel's special agent) Stuart Levey, authored a sanctions policy freezing $30 billion dollars in Libyan assets on the pretext that Gaddafi was a murderous tyrant (Washington Post, 3/24/11). However, seven years earlier, Cheney, Bush and Condoleezza Rice had taken Libya off the list of terrorist regimes and ordered Levey and his minions to lift the Reagan-era sanctions. Every major European power quickly followed suite: Gaddafi was welcomed in European capitals, prime ministers visited Tripoli and Gaddafi reciprocated by unilaterally dismantling his nuclear and chemical weapons programs (BBC, 9/5/2008). Gaddafi became Washington's partner in its campaign against a broad array of groups, political movements and individuals arbitrarily placed on the US' "terror list", arresting, torturing and killing Al Qaeda suspects, expelling Palestinian militants and openly criticizing Hezbollah, Hamas and other opponents of Israel. The United Nations Human Rights Commission gave the Gaddafi regime a clean bill of health in 2010. In the end Gaddafi's political 'turnabout', however much celebrated by the Western elite, did not save him from this massive military assault. The imposition of neo-liberal 'reforms', his political 'apostasy' and cooperation in the 'War on Terror' and the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, only weakened the regime. Libya became vulnerable to attack and isolated from any consequential anti-imperialist allies. Gaddafi's much ballyhooed concessions to the West set his regime up as an easy target for the militarists of Washington, London and Paris, eager for a quick 'victory'.

(4) The Myth of the Revolutionary Masses

The Left, including the mainly electoral social democrat, green and even left-socialist parties of Europe and the US swallowed the entire mass media propaganda package demonizing the Gaddafi regime while lauding the 'rebels'. Parroting their imperial mentors, the 'Left' justified their support for imperial military intervention in the name of the "revolutionary Libyan people", the "peace-loving" masses "fighting tyranny" and organizing peoples' militias to "liberate their country". Nothing could be further from the truth.

The center of the armed uprising is Benghazi, longtime monarchist hotbed of tribal supporters and clients of the deposed King Idris and his family. Idris, until he was overthrown by the young firebrand Col. Gaddafi, had ruled Libya with an iron fist over a semi-feudal backwater and was popular with Washington, having given the US its largest air base (Wheeler) in the Mediterranean. Among the feuding leaders of the "transitional council" in Benghazi (who purport to lead but have few organized followers) one finds neo-liberal expats, who first promoted the Euro-US military invasion envisioning their ride to power on the back of Western missiles .They openly favor dismantling the Libyan state oil companies currently engaged in joint ventures with foreign MNCs. Independent observers have commented on the lack of any clear reformist tendencies, let alone revolutionary organizations or democratic popular movements among the 'rebels'.

While the US, British and French are firing missiles, loaded with depleted uranium, at the Libyan military and key civilian installations, their 'allies' the armed militias in Benghazi, rather than go to battle against the regime's armed forces, are busy rounding up, arresting and often executing any suspected members of Gaddafi's "revolutionary committees", arbitrarily labeling these civilians as "fifth columnists". The top leaders of these "revolutionary" masses in Benghazi include two recent defectors from what the 'Left' dubs Gaddafi's "murderous regime": Mustafa Abdul Jalil, a former Justice minister, who prosecuted dissenters up to the day before the armed uprising, Mahmoud Jebri, who was prominent in inviting multi-nationals to take over the oil fields (FT, March 23, 2011, p. 7), and Gaddafi's former ambassador to India, Ali Aziz al-Eisawa, who jumped ship as soon as it looked like the uprising appeared to be succeeding. These self-appointed 'leaders' of the rebels who now staunchly support the Euro-US military intervention, were long-time supporters of the Gaddafi's dictatorship and promoters of MNC takeovers of oil and gas fields. The heads of the "rebels" military council is Omar Hariri and General Abdul Fattah Younis, former head of the Ministry of Interior. Both men have long histories (since 1969) of repressing democratic movements within Libya. Given their unsavory background, it is not surprising that these top level military defectors to the 'rebel' cause have been unable to arouse their troops, mostly conscripts, to engage the loyalist forces backing Gaddafi. They too will have to take ride into Tripoli on the coattails of the Anglo-US-French armed forces.

The anti-Gaddafi force's lack of any democratic credentials and mass support is evident in their reliance on foreign imperial armed forces to bring them to power and their subservience to imperial demands. Their abuse and persecution of immigrant workers from Asia, Turkey and especially sub-Sahara Africa, as well as black Libyan citizens, is well documented in the international press. Their brutal treatment of black Libyans, falsely accused of being Gaddafi's "mercenaries" , includes torture, mutilation and horrific executions, does not auger well for the advent of a new democratic order, or even the revival of an economy, which has been dependent on immigrant labor, let alone a unified country with national institutions and a national economy.

The self-declared leadership of the "National Transitional Council" is not democratic, nationalist or even capable of uniting the country. These are not credible leaders capable of restoring the economy and creating jobs lost as a result of their armed power grab. No one seriously envisions these 'exiles', tribalists, monarchists and Islamists maintaining the paternalistic social welfare and employment programs created by the Gaddafi government and which gave Libyans the highest per-capita income in Africa.

(5) Al Qaeda

The greatest geographical concentration of suspected terrorists with links to Al Qaeda just happens to be in the areas dominated by the "rebels" (see Alexander Cockburn: Counterpunch, March 24, 2011). For over a decade Gaddafi has been in the forefront of the fight against Al Qaeda, following his embrace of the Bush-Obama 'War on Terror' doctrine. These jihadist Libyans, having honed their skills in US-occupied Iraq and Afghanistan, are now among the ranks of the "rebels" fighting the much more secular Libyan government. Likewise, the tribal chiefs, fundamentalist clerics and monarchists in the East have been active in a "holy war" against Gaddafi welcoming arms and air support from the Anglo-French-US "crusaders" - just like the mullahs and tribal chiefs welcomed the arms and training from the Carter-Reagan White House to overthrow a secular regime in Afghanistan. Once again, imperial intervention is based on 'alliances' with the most retrograde forces. The composition of the future regime (or regimes, if Libya is divided) is a big question and the prospects of a return to political stability for Big Oil to profitably exploit Libya's resources are dubious.

(6) "Genocide" or Armed Civil War

Unlike all ongoing mass popular Arab uprisings, the Libyan conflict began as an armed insurrection, directed at seizing power by force. Unlike the autocratic rulers of Egypt and Tunisia, Gaddafi has secured a mass regional base among a substantial sector of the Libyan population. This support is based on the fact that almost two generations of Libyans have benefited from Gaddafi's petroleum-financed welfare, educational, employment and housing programs, none of which existed under America's favorite, King Idris. Since violence is inherent in any armed uprising, once one picks up the gun to seize power, they lose their claim on 'civil rights'. In armed civil conflicts, civil rights are violated on all sides. Regardless of the Western media's lurid portrayal of Gaddafi's "African mercenary forces" and its more muted approval of 'revolutionary justice' against Gaddafi supporters and government soldiers captured in the rebel strongholds, the rules of warfare should have come into play, including the protection of non-combatants-civilians (including government supporters and officials), as well as protection of Libyan prisoners of war in the areas under NATO-rebel control.

The unsubstantiated Euro-US claim of "genocide" amplified by the mass media and parroted by "left" spokespersons is contradicted by the daily reports of single and double digit deaths and injuries, resulting from urban violence on both sides, as control of cities and towns shifts between the two sides.

Truth is the first casualty of war, and especially of civil war. Both sides have resorted to monstrous fabrications of victories, casualties, monsters and victims.

Demons and angels aside, this conflict began as a civil war between two sets of Libyan elites: An established paternalistic, now burgeoning neo-liberal, autocracy with substantial popular backing versus a western imperialist financed and trained elite, backed by an amorphous group of regional, tribal and clerical chiefs, monarchists and neo-liberal professionals devoid of democratic and nationalist credentials ­ and lacking broad-based mass support.


If not to prevent genocide, grab the oil or promote democracy (via Patriot missiles), what then is the driving force behind the Euro-US imperial intervention?

A clue is in the selectivity of Western military intervention: In Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, Qatar and Oman ruling autocrats, allied with and backed by Euro-US imperial states go about arresting, torturing and murdering unarmed urban protestors with total impunity. In Egypt and Tunisia, the US is backing a conservative junta of self-appointed civil-military elites in order to block the profound democratic and nationalist transformation of society demanded by the protesters. The 'junta' aims to push through neo-liberal economic "reforms" through carefully-vetted pro-Western 'elected' officials. While liberal critics may accuse the West of "hypocrisy" and "double standards" in bombing Gaddafi but not the Gulf butchers, in reality the imperial rulers consistently apply the same standards in each region: They defend strategic autocratic client regimes, which have allowed imperial states to build strategic air force and naval bases, run regional intelligence operations and set up logistical platforms for their ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as their future planned conflict with Iran. They attack Gaddafi's Libya precisely because Gaddafi had refused to actively contribute to Western military operations in Africa and the Middle East.

The key point is that while Libya allows the biggest US-European multi-nationals to plunder its oil wealth, it did not become a strategic geo-political-military asset of the empire. As we have written in many previous essays the driving force of US empire-building is military - and not economic. This is why billions of dollars of Western economic interests and contracts had been sacrificed in the setting up of sanctions against Iraq and Iran ­ with the costly result that the invasion and occupation of Iraq shut down most oil exploitation for over a decade.

The Washington-led assault on Libya, with the majority of air sorties and missiles strikes being carried out by the Obama regime, is part of a more general counter-attack in response to the most recent Arab popular pro-democracy movements. The West is backing the suppression of these pro-democracy movements throughout the Gulf; it finances the pro-imperial, pro-Israel junta in Egypt and it is intervening in Tunisia to ensure that any new regime is "correctly aligned". It supports a despotic regime in Algeria as well as Israel's daily assaults on Gaza. In line with this policy, the West backs the uprising of ex-Gaddafites and right-wing monarchists, confident that the 'liberated' Libya will once again provide military bases for the US-European military empire-builders.

In contrast, the emerging market-driven global and regional powers have refused to support this conflict, which jeopardizes their access to oil and threatens the current large-scale oil exploration contracts signed with Gaddafi. The growing economies of Germany, China, Russia, Turkey, India and Brazil rely on exploiting new markets and natural resources all over Africa and the Middle East, while the US, Britain and France spend billions pursuing wars that de-stabilize these markets, destroy infrastructure and foment long-term wars of resistance. The growing market powers recognize that the Libyan "rebels" cannot secure a quick victory or ensure a stable environment for long-term trade and investments. The "rebels", once in power, will be political clients of their militarist imperial mentors. Clearly, imperial military intervention on behalf of regional separatists seriously threatens these emerging market economies: The US supports ethno-religious rebels in China's Tibetan province and as well as the Uyghur separatists; Washington and London have long backed the Chechen separatists in the Russian Caucuses. India is wary of the US military support for Pakistan, which claims Kashmir. Turkey is facing Kurdish separatists who receive arms and safe haven from their US-supplied Iraqi Kurdish counterparts.

The North African precedent of an imperial invasion of Libya on behalf of its separatist clients worries the emerging market-powers. It is also an ongoing threat to the mass-based popular Arab freedom movements. And the invasion sounds the death knell for the US economy and its fragile 'recovery': three ongoing, endless wars will break the budget much sooner than later. Most tragic of all, the West's 'humanitarian' invasion has fatally undermined genuine efforts by Libya's civilian democrats, socialists and nationalists to free their country from both a dictatorship and from imperial-backed reactionaries.

(14) Juan Cole defends bombing

From: Sadanand, Nanjundiah (Physics Earth Sciences) <> Date: 29.03.2011 11:36 PM

An Open Letter to the Left on Libya, 03/27/2011 by Juan Cole

Some have charged that the Libya action has a Neoconservative political odor. But the Neoconservatives hate the United Nations and wanted to destroy it. They went to war on Iraq despite the lack of UNSC authorization, in a way that clearly contravened the UN Charter. The Libya action, in contrast, observes all the norms of international law and multilateral consultation that the Neoconservatives despise. There is no pettiness. Germany is not 'punished' for not going along. ...

The intervention in Libya was done in a legal way. It was provoked by a vote of the Arab League, including the newly liberated Egyptian and Tunisian governments [There is hardly any significant change yet in the governments ruling Tunisia and Egypt].

It was urged by a United Nations Security Council resolution, the gold standard for military intervention. Contrary to what some alleged, the abstentions of Russia and China do not deprive the resolution of legitimacy or the force of law; only a veto could have done that. You can be arrested today on a law passed in the US Congress on which some members abstained from voting. ...

That is, in Libya intervention was demanded by the people being massacred as well as by the regional powers, was authorized by the UNSC, and could practically attain its humanitarian aim of forestalling a massacre through aerial bombardment of murderous armored brigades. And, the intervention could be a limited one and still accomplish its goal.

I also don't understand the worry about the setting of precedents. The UN Security Council is not a court, and does not function by precedent. ...

(15) German Greens agitate for war

By Peter Schwarz 23 March 2011

Three days after French, British and American bombs and missiles began raining down on Libyan cities and villages, Green politician Joschka Fischer published a virulent call for war. In an article in the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Tuesday he directed his reproaches at his successor, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, and Chancellor Angela Merkel. ...

Fischer accused the government in Berlin of damaging the credibility of German foreign policy by abstaining in the Security Council, weakening Germany's position in Europe and kissing goodbye to "a permanent seat on the Security Council."

(16) Spain's "reformed Leninist" Government joins war on Rebel side

Spain takes its place in the imperialist war against Libya

By Alejandro López 30 March 2011

The Spanish parliament voted last week in favour of Spanish military intervention in Libya with 336 in favour, just 3 against and 1 abstention.

The parties voting in favour were the ruling Partido Socialista Obrero Español (Socialist Workers Party of SpainÑPSOE), the main opposition Partido Popular (Popular PartyÑPP), Convergència I Unió (CiU), Partido Nacionalista Vasco (Basque Nationalist PartyÑPNV), Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (Catalan Republican LeftÑERC) and Unión Progreso y Democracia (Unity Progress and DemocracyÑUPyD).

Those voting against were Izquierda Unida (IUÑUnited Left) and the Bloque Nacionalista Gallego (BNGÑGalician Nationalists).

Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero repeated the barrage of lies accompanying the military assault on Libya. ÒWe are in Libya to defend the citizens from the attacks from their own Libyan forcesÓ, he claimed, adding this is a Òhumanitarian principleÓ whose Òobjective is to warn him [Gaddafi] that he must stop using arms against his people and that the international community is willing to use force.Ó ... ==

PSOE leader of the 1930s, Francisco Largo Caballero, Prime Prime Minister during the Civil War, declared that he "shall be the second Lenin", whose aim is the union of Iberian Soviet republics:

After 1979, the PSOE renounced Marxism and adopted free-market policies:

PSOE supports Gay Marriage:

(17) Saudi King detests Gaddafi; Gaddafi tried to assassinate him

From: Sadanand, Nanjundiah (Physics Earth Sciences) <> Date: 29.03.2011 11:36 PM

China and the Libyan Muddle

Asia Times, March 28, 2011

Peter Lee writes on East and South Asian affairs and their intersection with US foreign policy.

... Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah detests Muammar Gaddafi and expects all of the kingdom's solicitous oil allies - of which China is now the foremost - to lend a hand in compassing his overthrow. The most recent iteration of bad blood between Gaddafi and Abdullah goes back to 2003.

Gaddafi confronted then Prince Abdullah over Saudi Arabia's cooperation with the West in the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Gaddafi said that Abdullah had made "a deal with the devil".

Abdullah riposted that Gaddafi's "lies were behind him and his grave was before him".

Although the Western press apparently regarded Abdullah's remarks as little more than a pithy Arabic aphorism, Gaddafi not unreasonably interpreted them as a death threat.

Gaddafi apparently decided to strike first.

Libyan security services allegedly staged an inept but extremely well-financed assassination attempt. The intent was to barrage Abdullah's Mecca apartment with RPG fire and blame his murder on al-Qaeda.

The plot suffered from a dearth of dedicated and capable Saudi co-conspirators. One courier, confronted with the enormous stash of cash earmarked for the attempt - over $1 million - simply abandoned the money and fled in panic.

Saudi Arabia withdrew its ambassador to Libya for nine months. The Libyan press launched strong criticism against Saudi Arabia because of its decision to summon its ambassador in Tripoli and to expel the Libyan ambassador in Riyadh, describing Saudi Arabia as "the kingdom of darkness" ruled by Abu Jahel.

The Libyan state run al-Jamahereyah said in its editorial under the title "the Kingdom of black comedy" that Saudi Arabia might be the "best ambassador for the pre-Middle Ages era". The paper added that "Abu Jahel" (the Saudi royal family) is still giving his rules in the life affairs of the society and bans the woman from driving the car."

For students of Islamic invective, "Abu Jahel" was the mocking title - "Father of Ignorance" - given to a boss of Mecca who refused to submit to Islam. He was slain in the Battle of Badr in 624 AD that marked the triumph of Mohammed and secured Islam's ascendancy in Mecca.

Prior to the Arab League meeting in Cairo, the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), a congerie of authoritarian sheiks led by Saudi Arabia, delivered a ferocious condemnation of Gaddafi's behavior.

The GCC's language went far beyond the genteel wrist-slapping usually meted out to misbehaving Arab potentates.

In a statement issued after their meeting in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh on Thursday, foreign ministers from the Gulf Cooperation Council called on the Arab League to take measures to stop the bloodshed in Libya and to initiate contacts with the National Council formed by the opposition.

"When it comes to Libya I think the regime has lost its legitimacy," Hamad bin Jasem bin Jaber Al Thani, the Qatari prime minister and foreign minister, said.

Saudi Arabia put its money where its mouth is, offering to provide substitutes for Libyan petroleum products to Gaddafi's customers in Europe. The Arab League's position on Libya has not been a model of consistency. ...

(18) Arab leaders long hated Gaddafi. Bernard-Henri Lévy met rebels & persuaded Sarkozy

From: Kristoffer Larsson <> Date: 30.03.2011 05:29 AM

March 24, 2011

Reasons and False Pretexts

Why are They Making War on Libya?


... On March 12, the Arab League meeting in Cairo announced that it backed a no-fly zone in Libya. This provided cover for the French-led semi-NATO operation. "We are responding to the demands of the Arab world", they could claim. But which Arab world? On the one hand, Sarkozy brazenly presented his crusade against Qaddafi as a continuation of the democratic uprisings in the Arab world against their autocratic leaders, while at the same time pretending to respond to the demand ofÉ the most autocratic of those leaders, namely the Gulf State princes, themselves busily suppressing their own democratic uprisings. (It is not known exactly how the Arab League reached that decision, but Syria and Algeria voiced strong objections.)

The Western public was expected not to realize that those Arab leaders have their own reasons for hating Qaddafi, which have nothing to do with the reasons for hating him voiced in the West. Qaddafi has openly told them off to their faces, pointing to their betrayal of Palestine, their treachery, their hypocrisy. Last year, incidentally, former British MP George Galloway recounted how, in contrast to the Egyptian governmentÕs obstruction of aid to Gaza, his aid caravan had had its humanitarian cargo doubled during a stopover in Libya. Qaddafi long ago turned his back on the Arab world, considering its leaders hopeless, and turned to Africa. ...

On March 4, the French literary dandy Bernard-Henri Lévy held a private meeting in Benghazi with Moustapha Abdeljalil, a former justice minister who has turned coats to become leader of the rebel "National Transition Council". That very evening, BHL called Sarkozy on his cellphone and got his agreement to receive the NTC leaders. The meeting took place on March 10 in the Elysée palace in Paris. As reported in Le Figaro by veteran international reporter Renaud Girard, Sarkozy thereupon announced to the delighted Libyans the plan that he had concocted with BHL: recognition of the NTC as sole legitimate representative of Libya, the naming of a French ambassador to Benghazi, precision strikes on Libyan military airports, with the blessings of the Arab League (which he had already obtained). The French foreign minister, Alain Juppé, was startled to learn of this dramatic turn in French diplomacy after the media.

Qaddafi explained at length after the uprising began that he could not be called upon to resign, because he held no official office. He was, he insisted, only a "guide", to whom the Libyan people could turn for advice on controversial questions.

It turns out the French also have an unofficial spiritual guide: Bernard-Henri Lévy. While Qaddafi wears colorful costumes and dwells in a tent, BHL wears impeccable white shirts open down his manly chest and hangs out in the Saint Germain des Près section of Paris. Neither was elected. Both exercise their power in mysterious ways.

In the Anglo-American world, Bernard-Henri Lévy is regarded as a comic figure, much like Qaddafi. His "philosophy" has about as many followers as the Little Green Book of the Libyan guide. But BHL also has money, lots of it, and is the friend of lots more. He exercises enormous influence in the world of French media, inviting journalists, writers, show business figures to his vacation paradise in Marrakech, serving on the board of directors of the two major "center-left" daily newspaper, Libération and Le Monde. He writes regularly in whatever mainstream publication he wants, appears on whatever television channel he chooses. By ordinary people in France, he is widely detested. But they cannot hope for a UN Security Council resolution to get rid of him.

Diana Johnstone is the author of Fools Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions.She can be reached at

(19) Western intervention into Libya not sanctioned by UN: Russian Foreign Minister 2011-03-29 02:41:24

MOSCOW, March 28 (Xinhua) -- The Western coalition interference in Libya is not sanctioned by the UN Security Council resolution, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.

"We believe that coalition's interference into the internal, civil war has not been sanctioned by the UN resolution. Protection of the civilian population remains our priority," the Russian chief diplomat was quoted by the state-run Itar-Tass news agency as saying. ... ==

US/NATO have broken international law - Russian Foreign Minister

West attack on Libya could fuel terrorism: Russia

Mar 22, 2011 6:14 PM | By Sapa-AFP

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned Tuesday that the Western-led military campaign in Libya could fuel international terrorism and called for respect of international law.

"If the situation worsens, then we will face new cases of international terrorism and other events which we would like to avoid," he told a press conference in Algiers after talks with his Algerian counterpart Mourad Medelci.

Medelci meanwhile said that the Western air strikes on Moamer Kadhafi's forces in neighbouring Libya were disproportionate and called for an "immediate cessation of hostilities".

Medelci also accused countries taking part in the UN-mandated military campaign in Libya of having "worsened the crisis".

The Algerian minister said the air strikes went beyond the objective of UN Security Council Resolution 1973 which mandated the operation to protect Libyan civilians.

Lavrov raised the spectre of terrorism "if we lose control of the situation" in Libya.

The Russian minister warned that going beyond the objectives set in UN Resolution 1973, essentially protecting Libyan civilians through the imposition of a no-fly zone, "can create conditions for these new threats".

"Respect of international law must be the main criterion," Lavrov said. "We must avoid a situation where, through a double standard policy, we fuel new passions and new outbreaks of violence," Lavrov said. ...

(20) Nobel Committee asked to Strip Obama of Peace Prize

Bolivian, Russian Politicians Call for Nobel Committee to Revoke Obama Peace Prize

Published March 22, 2011


Bolivia's president, along with a controversial Russian political leader, are calling on the Nobel Committee to take back President Obama's Peace Prize in light of the missile strikes on Libya.

Bolivia's Evo Morales made the request to the Norwegian committee Monday, accusing Obama of leading a gang to "attack and invade" another country, according to El Universal newspaper in Venezuela.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the head of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, also issued a statement accusing Obama of intervening in the internal affairs of a sovereign country.

He called the attacks an "outrageous act of aggression."

Zhirinovsky accused the United States and other allied countries of pursuing a "colonial" policy -- though Zhirinovsky has in the past called for Russia to exert control over former outposts of the Soviet empire.

The Obama administration maintains that the mission in Libya is strictly humanitarian. Though U.S. policy states that Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi should go, Obama said the purpose of the missile strikes and no-fly zone is to prevent civilian deaths in Libya.

Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. Though he accepted the award, the president said at the time he was "surprised" to receive it.

(21) Libya rebels make oil deal with Qatar (home of Al Jazeera)

Libya Rebels Say Qatar Oil Deal Excludes Brega, Ras Lanuf

By Caroline Alexander and Ann Koh - Fri Apr 01 15:29:59 GMT 2011

Libyan rebels reached a deal to sell oil via Qatar to help meet basic needs, including food, fuel, medicines and other supplies, a senior rebel official said.

ÒThe Qatari government has agreed to market Libyan oil for us and there will be an account into which the revenues are deposited,Ó Ali Tarhuni, who is in charge of oil, finance and economics for the interim national council, said in a televised news conference from Benghazi today.

The agreement for Qatar to market oil from territory held by the rebels covers crude from LibyaÕs southeast, and excludes the areas of Brega and Ras Lanuf, Tarhuni said. He didnÕt say when the oil sales would begin or provide logistical details. ...

(22) Gaddafi says Ben-Gurion ordered the killing of Kennedy, because he insisted on monitoring Dimona

{Mordecai Vanunu was jailed for 18 years (11 solitary) for revealing Dimona's secrets, something the media rarely mentions - Peter M.}

From: jane butler <> Date: 22.03.2011 01:13 AM

On the basis of watching this video Ñ and decades of watching Gaddafi's behavior Ñ I have to dump Veterans Today and Gordon Duff from my links list for supporting the Jewish invasion of Libya. ...

In these Gaddafi videos you find a truth that is mostly absent from all the spun debate taking place today. Gaddafi says JFK was assassinated by Israel

This was last year and thus...


Following are excerpts from a public address by Libyan Leader Mu'ammar Al-Qaddafi marking the anniversary of the U.S. air raid on Libya. The address aired on Al-Jazeera TV on June 11, 2008:

" All The People In The Arab And Islamic World And In Africa Applauded This Man [Obama]... [And] May Have Even Been Involved In Legitimate Contribution Campaigns".

Mu'ammar Al-Qaddafi: "It has been proven that there is no democracy in [the U.S.]. Rather, it is a dictatorship no different than the dictatorships of Hitler, Napoleon, Mussolini, Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, and the rest of the tyrants.

"In the days of crazy Reagan, the American president issued a presidential order to launch a war against Libya, for example, a presidential order to besiege Libya, a presidential order to boycott Libya, and so on. Is this a democracy or a dictatorship?

[...] "There are elections in America now. Along came a black citizen of Kenyan African origins, a Muslim, who had studied in an Islamic school in Indonesia. His name is Obama.

"All the people in the Arab and Islamic world and in Africa applauded this man. They welcomed him and prayed for him and for his success, and they may have even been involved in legitimate contribution campaigns to enable him to win the American presidency."

"Our African Kenyan Brother [Obama]... Made Statements [About Jerusalem] That Shocked All His Supporters In The Arab World, In Africa, And In The Islamic World"

"But we were taken by surprise when our African Kenyan brother [Obama], who is an American national, made statements that shocked all his supporters in the Arab world, in Africa, and in the Islamic world.

"We hope that this is merely an elections 'clearance sale,' as they say in Egypt - in other words, merely an elections lie. As you know, this is the farce of elections - a person lies and lies to people, just so that they will vote for him, and afterwards, when they say to him, 'You promised this and that,' he says: 'No, this was just elections propaganda.' This is the farce of democracy for you. He says: 'This was propaganda, and you thought I was being serious. I was fooling you to get your votes.'

"Allah willing, it will turn out that this was merely elections propaganda. Obama said he would turn Jerusalem into the eternal capital of the Israelis. This indicates that our brother Obama is ignorant of international politics, and is not familiar with the Middle East conflict." [...]

"We Thought He Would Say: 'If I Win, I Will Monitor The Dimona Nuclear Plant" Like Kennedy, For Whose Assassination Ben Gurion Gave Green Light"

"We thought he would say: 'I have decided that if I win, I will monitor the Dimona nuclear plant, and the other WMDs in Israeli's possession.' We expected him to make such a decision. He undoubtedly had this in mind. When he talked about Iran and its nuclear program, he undoubtedly had Dimona in mind.

"But when he was thinking about Dimona, he undoubtedly had the fate of former president Kennedy on his mind as well. Kennedy decided to monitor the Dimona nuclear plant. He insisted on doing so, in order to determine whether or not it produces nuclear weapons. The Israelis refused, but he insisted.

"This crisis was resolved with the resignation of Ben-Gurion. He resigned so he would not have to agree to the monitoring of the Dimona plant, and he gave the green light for the killing of Kennedy.

"Kennedy was killed because he insisted on the monitoring of the Dimona plant. This image was undoubtedly on Obama's mind. He undoubtedly wanted to talk about this, but decided not to." [...]

"We Expected Him To Say: 'I Will Implement The One-State Solution'... This Is The 'Change' That The Peoples Applaud... "

(23) Vanunu: Peres ordered my kidnapping; AND was the father of the Israeli nuke

February 25, 2010

Vanunu: If Peres got a Nobel, I don't want one


Nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu has again asked to be removed from a list of Nobel Peace Prize nominees, the Norwegian Nobel Institute said yesterday. Vanunu, a former nuclear technician jailed for leaking details of Israel's nuclear program to a British newspaper in 1986, said he did not want to be "associated" with President Shimon Peres, a former Nobel Peace Prize laureate who he called "the father of the Israeli atomic bomb." Vanunu was released in 2004, after serving an 18-year sentence for treason. In a letter published last year he claimed Peres "was the man who ordered my kidnapping" in 1986.

(24) Divided Libya (oil-rich East / poor West) as the new Vietnam - Pepe Escobar

Mar 31, 2011 Queen Hillary of Libya

By Pepe Escobar

The current stalemate in Libya could last weeks, if not months. In that case, balkanization looms. Think of eastern Libya with Benghazi as capital, oil-rich and with a United States-installed puppet regime (a Libyan Hamid Karzai, like the Afghan president). It would be like a kind of northern Africa Saudi Arabia (the House of Saud would love it).

And think of a western Libya with Tripoli as capital, impoverished, angry and ruled by Muammar Gaddafi and sons. If that applies, we're back to the 1950s; Libya as the new Korea. Or, more ominously, back to the 1960s; Libya as the new Vietnam.

Vietnam? No wonder a paranoid Anglo-American-French consortium will pull all stops to take out Gaddafi. They don't want half a spring roll; they want the whole kebab.

The queen's speech

The new Libyan government kingmaker is actually a queen: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Any doubts that the US State Department is now frantically setting up a new government peppered with English-speaking collaborators have been dismissed after the London conference on Libya.

The "official" Libyan opposition used to tautologically call itself "Interim Transitional National Council". Now it's Interim National Council (INC). Anyone running for cover to the sound of the acronym INC is excused; it does bring appalling memories of the Washington-propped Iraqi National Congress and its fabled "weapons of mass destruction" in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

And what about the INC's new military commander, Khalifa Hifter - a former Libyan army colonel who spent nearly 20 years in Vienna, Virginia, not far from the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley? Progressives will love to learn that the romantic "rebels" are now led by a CIA asset. ...

The INC now is being paraded for the whole world to see as a Western puppet - totally dependent on political and military support. Welcome to Libya as a Pentagon-style forward operating base (FOB) - to the benefit of the Pentagon itself (via Africom), Western oil majors, and all manner of shady Anglo-French-American business interests (see There's no business as war business Asia Times Online March 30 ). Welcome to a new Libya hosting a US military base and NATO exercises, and not spending oil money in sub-Saharan African development projects.

As major players - the BRIC countries and Germany ­ had already warned, United Nations Security Council resolution 1973 is being twisted like a pretzel. Queen Hillary now openly says that arming the "rebels" is legal. Another one of the queen's women combat squad, US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, said the US had "not ruled out" arming the rebels - mimicking the exact wording of President Barack Obama. Impressed, British Foreign Secretary William Hague agreed. So did Qatar.

Meanwhile, NATO is taking over. Literally. Starting this Thursday, NATO's air strikes will be conducted out of the Combined Air Operations Center at Poggio Renatico base in Italy, 40 kilometers north of Bologna. But that's just the start.

Admiral James Stavridis, NATO's supreme allied commander for Europe, told a US senate hearing in Washington NATO was not considering ground forces in post-Gaddafi Libya - at least not yet. But as NATO had installed peacekeepers in the Balkans, added Stavridis, "the possibility of a stabilization regime exists".

There you have it - the whole package; a Western puppet regime, Western boots on the ground, a squalid Western protectorate. Goodbye to Libya's sovereignty. And this only a few hours after Obama passionately told the world this was just a humanitarian mission.

It requires major suspension of disbelief that an Obama administration that keeps unleashing drones and air strikes over civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and - now and then - Somalia is now deeply concerned with protecting Libyan civilians. "Democratic" Israel may bomb 1,500 Lebanese civilians in 2006 or kill nearly 1,500 civilians in the winter of 2008/2009 in Gaza - and no way there will be a UN resolution, or Tomahawks flying, or righteous humanitarian imperialists invoking R2P ("responsibility to protect") en masse. ...

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is correct when he says this "humanitarian" war is fast becoming a "second Iraq" or "another Afghanistan". He also said Turkey is talking to both Gaddafi and the INC. Sensibly - and as part of NATO - Turkey is about to take over the harbor and the airport in Benghazi to speed up humanitarian aid. If there is a ceasefire the credit must go to Turkey - which is working hard to establish a humanitarian corridor, with support from Italy. Neo-Napoleonic Arab liberator French President Nicolas Sarkozy won't be amused.

Turkey is also linking up with the African Union (AU) - which has been totally marginalized by the Anglo-French-American consortium. France and Britain may be paranoid about the upcoming immigration waves from Africa, now that Libya - which was the cop on the beat for the Europeans - is not playing that role anymore. ...


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