Israel Loses Secretive Oil Pipeline Case To Iran, Ordered To Pay $1.1 Billion Plus Interest


Israel Loses Secretive Oil Pipeline Case To Iran, Ordered To Pay $1.1 Billion Plus Interest

By: Tim Daiss , CONTRIBUTOR

The Swiss Federal Tribunal, Switzerland’s highest court, ordered Israel to pay $1.1 billion plus interest to Iran in a decades old dispute over a secretive oil pipeline predating Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution. The verdict was dated June 27, while media broke the story late last week.

Until the Islamic revolution and the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty in 1979, Israel and Iran maintained close ties. In fact, after the Six-Day War (1967 Arab-Israeli War), Iran supplied a large part of Israel’s oil demand while Israel returned the favor.

When Egypt blocked the Suez Canal, making Iranian oil transport impossible to Europe by tanker, Israel allowed Iranian oil to be shipped 158 miles (254 km) to the Mediterranean Sea via the Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline where it could unload at Eilat, a Red Sea port, then delivered to European markets.

The pipeline was a project of the Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Company (EAPC), an Israeli-Iranian joint venture set up in 1968. The joint venture pipeline was operational for a decade though it never reached maximum capacity of handling 60 million tons of crude per year.

According to the EAPC corporate website, the pipeline system serves as a land bridge for transporting crude oil from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean and vice versa. The crude oil pipeline system consists of three separate pipelines.

After the fall of the Shah of Iran, however, Israel and Iran became the region’s most stringent antagonists and bitter enemies. In the ensuing years, EAPC grew into a large energy company with considerable assets, now mostly handling oil from former Soviet states. EAPC is the largest oil distributor in Israel and is closely controlled by the Israeli government.

Iran first pursued the arbitration case in 1994 in France, then in Switzerland, demanding its share of the company’s revenues and assets that remained in Israel.

Israeli media said that Iran had tried for years to recoup its disputed assets from EAPC, despite decades of refusing to recognize Israel.

Israel Haymon News said that it remains unclear whether Israel will pay up, given its laws restricting “trading with the enemy.” Lawyers from both countries have failed to comment on the verdict.

Digging deeper

“We should not forget that Nasser [Egypt’s president at the time] was totally aware of the impact of his action on the economy of Iran,” Reza Yeganehshakib, a professor of Middle Eastern studies at Fullerton College and a geopolitical and energy analyst told me on Monday.

“He never had amicable feelings towards Persians. Perhaps if not the very first person, he was the first Arab leader that opposed the term Persian Gulf and attributed it to the Arabs,” Yeganehshakib said.

“Even after the six-day war, Iran continued using the Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline because Nasser could not be trusted, while it was also a cooperation ground for Shah with Israel. While publicly opposing Israel’s boycott, the Shah was always in favor of peace between Egypt and Israel.”

Yeganehshakib cited a February 19, 1975 report where the Shah assured Israel that if they gave the Sinai back to Egypt, Iran would supply Israel with the oil they would lose from the Abu Rudeis oil fields in the Sinai.

Since last year, Iran has emerged from Western sanctions placed on its energy sector due to Tehran’s nuclear ambitions and is currently battling Saudi Arabia for oil market share both in Europe and Asia.

Origins of Arab-Israeli conflict


Origins of Arab-Israeli conflict

By Asif Baron Raja

To cast Muslims as the ‘enemy’ of Jews is distortion of history. Judaism resembles Islam in theology, structure and rituals far more than with Christianity. Historically, the Muslims treated the Jews fairly and humanely. Unlike in Europe where the Jews were hounded and ruthlessly persecuted, the Muslim rulers didn’t consider the Jews as infidels and were not proselytized. The Jews lived manifestly better in Muslim societies when compared with their stay within the Christian world. This is evident from the munificence and humility shown by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) towards the Jews. They were treated justly and kindheartedly by Muslim rulers during their golden rule in Spain and during the rule of the mighty Ottomans. Anti-Semitics was practiced by the Christians only. Accusing them of crucifying the Christ, the Jews were not only made to live in ghettoes in Europe but they also had to endure periodic massacres by Europeans.

It must also not be forgotten that Pope Urban II instigated the Christians in the name of religion and launched a crusade in 1095 to reclaim Jerusalem. The crusaders captured Jerusalem mainly because of disunity among the Muslims. The Old City was soaked in ankle deep human blood of Muslims and Jews. The crusaders were roundly defeated by Salahuddin Ayubi in the third crusade (1187-92) in the epic battle of Hattin mainly because he succeeded in achieving unity among the Arabs. Out of five crusades spread over two centuries, four were lost to the Muslims and the Jews played no role in defending Jerusalem. Logically, the Jews should have sought Muslims help to fight against the Christians to seek revenge, but ironically the two erstwhile antagonists joined hands to repress the Muslims.

None can deny that for over 1400 years, Muslim Arabs have been predominant in Palestine and in Jerusalem. In the 19th century, Palestine was inhabited by multi-cultural population with 86% Muslims, 10% Christians and 4% Jews living in peace. Extremist Jews called Zionists decided to create a separate homeland for the Jews. Accordingly, from late 19th century, the Jews spread all over the world were motivated by the Zionists to relocate to Palestine under a calculated plan. Great Britain which was in control of Palestine granted them permission to emigrate. Their influx disturbed the local inhabitants and heightened tensions.

During the First World War, the British Empire convinced the Arab leaders in 1916 to revolt against the Ottoman Empire promising them an independent Arab State including Palestine. However, contrary to the given commitment, Balfour Declaration in 1917 envisaged establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine since the Europeans desperately wanted to get rid of troublesome Jews. In 1920, European colonial powers divided Ottoman Empire into series of separate States and shared the spoils of war in the Middle East. Once Hitler gained power in Germany, the Jews eating into the vitals of German economy came under the axe of Nazis. When they refused to depart despite repeated threats, about 6 million Jews were killed, although some doubt the Holocaust.

On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly under Zionist pressure recommended partition of Palestine into two States and internationalization of Jerusalem under UN administration. Minority Jews were to receive 57% and the majority Arabs 43% of land. After the plan was approved by the US, the State of Israel was proclaimed on May 14, 1948. Rejection of the partition plan and creation of Israel by the Arab States led to 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Greatly helped by over 4000 war veterans of 2nd World War residing in US, Canada and Europe, the augmented Israeli Army defeated the poorly trained armies of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Trans-Jordon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Egypt and captured 78% of Palestine. 750,000 Palestinians were driven out into refugee camps. Their breakdown was 2 million in Jordon, 427057 in Lebanon, 47770 in Syria, 788108 in West Bank, 1.1 million in Gaza and a quarter million internally displaced within new Jewish State of Israel, living under squalid and humiliating conditions as second rated citizens. Systematic ethnic cleansing of Palestinians was undertaken by Zionists and over 500 villages/towns were depopulated and destroyed.

After the end of war in 1949, Jordan occupied East Jerusalem and West Bank while Egypt took control of Gaza Strip in Sinai. In 1956, armies of Britain, France and Israel invaded Sinai after Egypt under Jamal Nasser nationalized Suez Canal. After the ceasefire enforced by the UN and withdrawal of invaders under international pressure, Israeli forces moved into Palestinian garrison based in Khan Younis which had refused to surrender and carried out gruesome massacre of 124 Palestinians in Rafah refugee camp. In the six-day war in 1967, Israel annexed Golan Heights in Syria, Jordon’s West Bank and Gaza Strip from Egypt. Since then, Israel is in military occupation of these lands. In the 1973 war, few Pakistani pilots took part in the Syrian air battles and downed several Israeli jets and checkmated Israeli aerial onslaught. Israeli ground forces captured Sinai Peninsula but returned it to Egypt after signing Camp David Accord in 1978.

After the debacle in 1967 war, Al-Fatah founded in 1959 joined PLO and Yasser Arafat became its chairman in 1969. That year, PLO carried out 2432 guerrilla attacks on Israel and became a force to reckon with. Arafat led the resistance movement against Israeli aggressive and expansionist policies resolutely and in short time internationalized the PLO movement. After battling with Israeli forces in Karameh in Jordon, PLO began to assert its authority and tended to mount a coup in Jordon. It impelled King Hussein to launch an all out offensive in September 1970. In this, Pakistani military advisor Brig Ziaul Haq guided Jordanian Army and helped it in expelling Fatah fighters.

They had to shift to Lebanon where they recouped and militarized 400,000 Palestinian refugees living in camps. PLO created a state-within-state in West Beirut and Southern Lebanon and then clashed with Maronite Christian Phalangists in 1975 which triggered civil war. The infighting propelled Syria to intervene in Lebanon in June 1976 with 30,000 troops. PLO fighters kept targeting Israeli targets as well, prompting Israel to invade Lebanon in March 1978 but it failed to dismantle PLO HQ. Another force which posed a challenge to Israel was Iran backed Hezbollah in Beirut in late 1970s. In the same timeframe intifada sparked in occupied Palestinian territories. Israeli troops killed thousands of teenagers armed with sling shots and stones. Israeli invasion of Lebanon in June 1982 which went up to Beirut was led by Gen Aerial Sharon. 2-3000 Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila camps were massacred by Phalangists under direct supervision of Sharon in September 1982. PLO had to pullout and shift to Tunisia and later to West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Suicide attack on US Embassy in Beirut on April 18, 1982 followed by another attack on October 23, 1983 on Marine HQ killing 241 Marines and attack on French paratroopers’ barracks killing 58 French soldiers forced the foreign forces to quit Lebanon. Civil war in Lebanon raged till 1990 claiming 120,000 fatalities.

Under intense pressure of the US and continued Israeli obduracy, Arafat made a huge compromise by foregoing PLO’s stance of not recognizing existence of Israel and agreeing to sign US brokered Oslo Peace Accords in 1993 whereby Israel recognized Palestinian Authority (PA) and gave it limited autonomy over West Bank and Gaza Strip in return for peace. The PA had however no control over borders, water and airspace. The Accord was in actuality a ruse to end Intifada which had brought a bad name to Israel. Instead of honoring the commitment and letting the PA to run an independent Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital, Israel continued with its forward settlement policy into West Bank at neck break speed to change the demographic structure. This illegal settlement is going on unabated to this day. It wanted the Palestinians to give right of existence to Israel but denied this right to the Palestinian State. Oslo Accords gave birth to Hamas, an offshoot of Ikhwanul Muslimeen/Muslim Brotherhood, which believed in continuation of resistance movement till the accomplishment of goals.

In 1994 Israel carried out partial withdrawal from Gaza Strip and later withdrew from Lebanon in 2000. However, it continued to persecute the Palestinians which triggered 2nd Intifada. Besides constructing a security fence in West Bank in 2002/03, Israel stepped up its campaign against Hamas as well as targeted assassination of prominent Palestinians. Multiple pressures affected the health of Arafat and after prolonged illness he died in November 2004 in Paris hospital under mysterious circumstances. It was widely speculated that he was slow-poisoned by Mossad. In 2012, the French authorities exhumed his body to investigate the allegations and it was confirmed that he was poisoned with polonium-210.

After his death, Mahmood Abbas became PLO’s Chairman and later President of PA but he couldn’t fit into the shoes of Arafat and soon the Fatah Party gave in to corruption and comforts of life and got factionalized and in turn strengthened Hamas. Izz al Din Qassam Brigade was formed by a small group of school kids in Central Gaza to confront Israeli aggression. By September 2005, Israeli troops completely withdrew from Gaza. In January 2006, Hamas won the elections and ousted Fatah government, which by then had become unpopular. It triggered infighting but in June 2007, much to the chagrin of Israel, Hamas fighters seized control over Gaza Strip and formed a government, restricting Abbas led Fatah government to Israeli controlled West Bank only. Tel Aviv refused to recognize democratically elected Hamas government and clamped down stringent controls over movement and flow of daily commodities into/out of Gaza enclave. The US and the West backed Israeli stance and jointly declared Hamas a terrorist outfit. Israel then widened rift between Fatah and Hamas to keep them on warpath.

Since then, Gaza Strip which is only 41 km long and crammed with 1.7 million Palestinians have remained under Israeli military control and economic siege and even Egypt under pro-US/Israeli Hosni Mubarak became part of the siege. Tel Aviv refuses to honor the Oslo Accords it had signed in 1993, giving Palestinians the right to establish an independent State in Gaza Strip and West Bank with Jerusalem as its capital or Jerusalem becoming a common capital for both. Israel has refused to lift siege of Gaza as promised in 2012 agreement and continued the land and sea blockade. Two-State solution duly endorsed by the UN goes against the master plan of establishing ‘Greater Israel’. Over 10,000 Palestinian men, women and children are held in Israeli prisons. Physical abuse and torture are a routine. Refugees are prohibited to return to their homeland. The lands on which Israelis are being settled are prime lands. Water sources are under the control of Israel. Not a bird can fly into Gaza Strip without the permission of Israel. Any ship attempting to send relief goods is seized and cargo confiscated. According to Robert Fisk, ‘Future Palestinian State will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel’.

Besides the economic blockade, Gaza was subjected to frequent aerial and artillery assaults as well as ground offensives by Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) in order to fail the Hamas regime. Israeli forces launched brutal offensives in 2007, Operation Cast Lead in December 2008/January 2009, and Operation Pillar of Defence in November 2012 (8-day war). In each offensive, hundreds of Gazans including children died. Egypt added to the miseries of people of Gaza by blocking Rafah crossing and destroying secret tunnels opening into Sinai. Only time the two were on friendly terms was during the one year rule of Morsi from June 2012 to July 2, 2013, who helped in arranging truce in November 2012, but ouster of Morsi regime and replacement by pro-Israel military regime has once again put Hamas under huge disadvantage.

Alignment of Hezbollah and Hamas during Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006 put Israel on the back foot for the first time. IDF suffered maximum fatalities in this war and the myth of invincibility of IDF was broken for the first time by Hezbollah. Iran helped Hamas in improving its defensive capability by providing rockets. It must not be forgotten that Hamas is devoid of army, air force, air defence, navy and intelligence and pitched against US-West backed IDF which is laced with most advanced weapon systems. Owing to fearless resistance offered by al-Qassam fighters against all odds, all Israeli offensives proved inconclusive and Hamas earned moral victory.

In 2012, the UN General Assembly upgraded the Palestinian status at the UN from ‘observer entity’ to ‘Non-member State’, which by implication was a de facto recognition of an independent Palestinian State. Reconciliation pact was signed between Fatah Party and Islamist Hamas on April 23, 2014 which called for uniting the two feuding factions and forming a unity government. The two sides agreed to establish an interim government of independents that would organize elections, thus ending seven years old rivalry which suited Israel. On May 29, 2014, President Mahmoud Abbas ignoring threat of sanctions by Israel asked PM Rami Hamdullah to head a new national unity government and the long awaited unity government took oath on June 2, 2014 at Ramallah. Gaza’s Prime Minister Ismail Haniyah and his cabinet resigned and 17-member cabinet, all politically independent, was selected after mutual consultations of Fatah and Hamas. Although the reconciliation agreement has held, a lot of bad blood still remains between Hamas and West Bank leadership.

Israel, which is an artificial implant in the Muslim heartland, got highly perturbed over the unification of Fatah and Hamas and in reaction established 1500 new settlements in New Jerusalem and West Bank. Israel tried hard to break the unity and reactivate their enmity. In revenge of the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli youths on June 12, 2014, alleged to be the handiwork of Hamas activists, a 15-year old Palestinian Tariq Abu Khudair was arrested by Israeli Police in East Jerusalem on July 3, 2014 and beaten to pulp. His 16-year old cousin M. Abu Khudair was kidnapped, beaten to near-death and then burnt to death by the three Israeli teens in Jerusalem on July 4. Over 460 Palestinians in West Bank and East Jerusalem were arrested and jailed on suspicion and their homes demolished. Social media sprang into action and young Jewish boys and girls started posting flurry of messages seeking death to Palestinians. An individual act subjected 1.7 million Gazans to collective punishment.

These vicious acts prompted the armed wing of Hamas Izzel-Deen al-Qassam to fire rockets over Israeli southern towns including city of Ashdod in protest. Hamas fired 800 rockets during the conflict most of which were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system. In reaction, IDF launched an airstrike on July 1, 2014 striking 15 Hamas sites in Gaza Strip. From July 8 onwards, Israel broke the 2012 truce and unleashed Operation Protective Edge. Thousands of young volunteers from the western world streamed in to Israel to take part in the massacre of Gazans. This inflow caused no anxiety to the western world as in the case of western Jihadists taking part in Syrian and Iraqi conflicts. Hamas fighters killed 50 Israeli soldiers.

3250 aerial strikes and gunfire by Israel killed over 1050 Palestinians, mostly women and children including handicapped, injured 5500 including 950 children and 90 women and destroyed over 500 homes. Hamas homes were the preferential targets. Over 77% fatalities were of innocent civilians. On an average, seven children were killed daily. It was soul searing to watch the pictures of mutilated bodies of children. One such picture was that of four-year old lovely Sahar Salman Abu Namous before and after his decapitation by an Israeli shell.

It was the worst flare-up and was for sure in reaction to reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. Israeli leadership particularly defence minister Moshe Ya’alon wished to completely obliterate Hamas infrastructure once and for all to prevent future rocket attacks. Dani Dayon urged the government to cut off fuel and electricity to Gaza. Netanyahu asked 100,000 Gazans to vacate northern Gaza. Fearing ground assault, over 10,000 Gazans took shelter in installations of UN agency, but even the UN run school was not spared. Hospitals remained short of medicines and equipment. Repeated bombardments destroyed the vulnerable water system rendering hundreds of thousands without water. Israeli forces besides using chemicals also using flechette shells which sprayed thousands of tiny and lethal metal darts. Israel had turned Gaza Strip into an experimental laboratory for its high-tech weapons industry and chemicals. Israelis behaved worse than Nazis and were criminals in every law of the civilized world.

Amid worldwide protests condemning genocide of people of Gaza by IDFs, Egypt proposed a ceasefire on July 15 without consulting Hamas. It was silent on sea blockade and compensation for human/material losses incurred by Gazans. Those shortfalls shortened the life of ceasefire to six hours only. Continuation of rocket attacks by Hamas and other militant groups like Islamic Jihad, Popular Front/Democratic Front for Liberation of Palestine impelled Israel to resume aerial offensive followed by ground offensive on July 19 which took the lives of 42 Israeli soldiers and three civilians. One Israeli soldier was captured alive. Israel disregarded UN proposed humanitarian ceasefire on July 26 for 24 hours.

The Israeli forces laced with latest state-of-art weaponry ruthlessly bombed densely crowded refugee camps, schools, apartments, mosques and hospitals. They rained bombs unchecked since they knew the other side was devoid of an adequate response action. They were also confident that their excesses will not be questioned. Operation Protective Edge was aimed at punishing Gazans for bestowing confidence in the leadership of Hamas, forcibly obliterating Hamas network or bringing it to its knees.

Champions of democracy and human rights mired in hypocrisy, double-standards and Orwellian lies instead of bridling the monster projected Israel as the victim of aggression and patted it on the back that it has the right to defend itself and to go any length to safeguard its people. The US led west shed copious tears over the so-called piteous plight of the Israelis. The Israelis mourned that they had to run for cover each time a rocket was fired and that they couldn’t sleep peacefully because of the noise of rockets.

In the calculation of Israel and biased west, Palestinians are an expendable commodity while Israeli Jews are holy cows and have license to kill. For the US, security of Israel is top most priority. The western world remained silent over vicious bombing of IDFs massacring so many in open prison of Gaza and was not moved over the heart-wrenching sights of cruelly killed infants and wailing mothers. World powers including the biased UN insisted upon Hamas to stop rocket attacks that had caused death to one Israeli soldier and injury to two and politely requested Israel to show ‘maximum restraint’. For a single death of Israeli, hundreds of Palestinians were killed and their properties destroyed. Jewish controlled CNN, Fox News, CNBC, BBC uttered sheer lies to project racist Israel as victim of aggression and Palestinians as terrorists.

The American leadership bears the taunts and barbs of Israeli leaders smilingly and not only accept their blackmailing tactics submissively but also defends Israel’s black deeds resolutely and bend over backwards to keep it in good humor. Obama has doled out more aid to Israel than any president ever. This policy of appeasing Israel has been going on for decades and there are no signs of any change in this policy despite the fact that over a period of time the American public has got weary of Israel. While the Americans detest the repulsive arrogance and high-handedness of Israeli leaders and feel pity for the victims of Israeli unabated savagery, they abhor their leadership getting dictated by Israel and that too at the cost of American interests. They have seen the ugly face of Israel which is in illegal occupation of Palestinian lands since 1967 and is consistently gobbling up additional territory under the scheme of forward settlement of Jews and persecuting the subjugated Palestinians.

They are now questioning as to why their government remains subservient to the commands of Tel Aviv when it doles out largest share of aid ($3 billion) to it each year. They ask as to why Israel’s wanton crimes and injustices against Palestinians are being willfully ignored and its criminal acts backed. Such resentful sentiments are heard all over the world and voices of concern against Israeli Apartheid can be heard from all quarters. Support to Israel is diminishing in Europe as well and calls are being made to try Israeli leaders for war crimes in international court of justice. Even Jews in Israel are turning away from vindictive and violent policies pursued by their Zionist leaders.

Notwithstanding the barbarity of Israel and connivance of the US-western leadership, what is more painful is the abysmal role of the OIC and the Arab League in particular and the Muslim world in general. Their shameful silence and dreary approach is appalling. One is equally nonplussed over the indifference of dozens of Jihadi groups in Middle East towards the dilemma of marooned Gazans being mercilessly slaughtered by bestial Israelis. There is no Salahuddin Ayubi in the entire span of Muslim world to face up to the Israeli challenge. None has the ability to unite the Arab world since they direly lack Salahuddin’s piety, his mysticism, and his human and fighting abilities. The people of Gaza who in the past used to look towards Egypt are today cursing the ruling regime. Within the Muslim world only Pakistani, Turkish and Iranian armies backed by Pak air force are capable of roundly defeating US-NATO supported IDF in the battlefield.

The Muslim leaders must rise from their slumber and pick up courage to remind Israel that Muslims have historically greater claim over the holy city of Jerusalem and Israel is an illegitimate child of the west illegally occupying Palestinian land. As a minimum, they should take advantage of the change in the thinking of American and European public and collectively exert pressure on Israel to immediately stop the genocide of people of Gaza, end the inhuman blockade of Gaza, vacate the Palestinian lands under its illegal occupation and grant Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homeland. West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem are under illegal military occupation of Israel for the last 48 years. The UN and UNSC permanent members must play their role and let Palestinians establish their state as agreed to in Oslo Accord in 1993.

Ripped From Hillary’s Emails: French Plot to Overthrow Gaddafi and Help Itself to Libya’s Oil


Ripped From Hillary’s Emails: French Plot to Overthrow Gaddafi and Help Itself to Libya’s Oil

By Conn Hallinan,

“Philosopher“ Bernard Henri-Levy (aka, BHL) worked undercover as a journalist to engineer the deal with Libya, thus paving the way for yet more journalists to be accused of being spies. (Photo: Itzik Edri / Wikimedia Commons)

“Philosopher“ Bernard Henri-Levy (aka, BHL) worked undercover as a journalist to engineer the deal with Libya, thus paving the way for yet more journalists to be accused of being spies. (Photo: Itzik Edri / Wikimedia Commons)

French intelligence plotted to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi to horn in on Libya’s oil and to provide access for French businesses.

For more of Conn Hallinan’s essays visit Dispatches From the Edge. Meanwhile, his novels about the ancient Romans can be found at The Middle Empire Series.

The Congressional harrying of former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over emails concerning the 2012 death of an American Ambassador and three staff members in Benghazi, Libya, has become a sort of running joke, with Republicans claiming “cover-up” and Democrats dismissing the whole matter as nothing more than election year politics. But there is indeed a story embedded in the emails, one that is deeply damning of American and French actions in the Libyan civil war, from secretly funding the revolt against Muammar Gaddafi, to the willingness to use journalism as a cover for covert action.

The latest round of emails came to light June 22 in a fit of Republican pique over Clinton’s prevarications concerning whether she solicited intelligence from her advisor, journalist and former aide to President Bill Clinton, Sidney Blumenthal. If most newspaper readers rolled their eyes at this point and decided to check out the ball scores, one can hardly blame them.

But that would be a big mistake.

While the emails do raise questions about Hillary Clinton’s veracity, the real story is how French intelligence plotted to overthrow the Libyan leader in order to claim a hefty slice of Libya’s oil production and “favorable consideration” for French businesses.

The courier in this cynical undertaking was journalist and right-wing philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy, a man who has yet to see a civil war that he doesn’t advocate intervening in, from Yugoslavia to Syria. According to Julian Pecquet, the U.S. congressional correspondent for the Turkish publication Al-Monitor, Henri-Levy claims he got French President Nicolas Sarkozy to back the Benghazi-based Libyan Transitional National Council that was quietly being funded by the General Directorate for External Security (DGSE), the French CIA.

According to the memos, in return for money and support, “the DGSE officers indicated that they expected the new government of Libya to favor French firms and national interests, particularly regarding the oil industry in Libya.” The memo says that the two leaders of the Council, Mustafa Abdul Jalil and General Abdul Fatah Younis, “accepted this offer.”

Another May 5 email indicates that French humanitarian flights to Benghazi included officials of the French oil company TOTAL, and representatives of construction firms and defense contractors, who secretly met with Council members and then “discreetly” traveled by road to Egypt, protected by DGSE agents.

Henri-Levy, an inveterate publicity hound, claims to have come up with this quid pro quo, business/regime change scheme, using “his status as a journalist to provide cover for his activities.” Given that journalists are routinely accused of being “foreign agents” in places like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria and Afghanistan, Henri-Levy’s subterfuge endangers other members of the media trying to do their jobs.

All this clandestine maneuvering paid off.

On Feb. 26, 2011, the UN Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1970 aimed at establishing “peace and security” and protecting the civilian population in the Libyan civil war. Or at least that was how UNR 1970 was sold to countries on the Security Council, like South Africa, Brazil, India, China and Russia, that had initial doubts. However, the French, Americans and British—along with several NATO allies—saw the resolution as an opportunity to overthrow Qaddafi and in France’s case, to get back in the game as a force in the region.

Almost before the ink was dry on the resolution, France, Britain and the U.S. began systematically bombing Qaddafi’s armed forces, ignoring pleas by the African Union to look for a peaceful way to resolve the civil war. According to one memo, President Sarkozy “plans to have France lead the attacks on [Qaddafi] over an extended period of time” and “sees this situation as an opportunity for France to reassert itself as a military power.”

While for France flexing its muscles was an important goal, Al- Monitor says that a September memo also shows that “Sarkozy urged the Libyans to reserve 35 percent of their oil industry for French firms—TOTAL in particular—when he traveled to Tripoli that month.”

In the end, Libya imploded and Paris has actually realized little in the way of oil, but France’s military industrial complex has done extraordinarily well in the aftermath of Qaddafi’s fall.

According to Defense Minister Jean-Yves Lodrian, French arms sales increased 42 percent from 2012, bringing in $7 billion, and are expected to top almost $8 billion in 2014.

Over the past decade, France, the former colonial masters of Lebanon, Syria, and Algeria, has been sidelined by U.S. and British arms sales to the Middle East. But the Libya war has turned that around. Since then, Paris has carefully courted Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates by taking a hard line on the Iran nuclear talks.

The global security analyst group Stratfor noted in 2013, “France could gain financially from the GCC’s [Gulf Cooperation Council, the organization representing the oil monarchies of the Persian Gulf] frustrations over recent U.S. policy in the Middle East. Significant defense contracts worth tens of billions of dollars are up for grabs in the Gulf region, ranging from aircraft to warships to missile systems. France is predominantly competing with Britain and the United States for the contracts and is seeking to position itself as a key ally of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as it looks to strengthen its defense and industrial ties in the region.”

Sure enough, the French company Thales landed a $3.34 billion Saudi contract to upgrade the kingdom’s missile system and France just sold 24 Rafale fighters to Qatar for $7 billion. Discussions are underway with the UAE concerning the Rafale, and France sold 24 of the fighters to Egypt for $5.8 billion. France has also built a military base in the UAE.

French President Francois Hollande, along with his Foreign and Defense ministers, attended the recent GCC meeting, and, according to Hollande, there are 20 projects worth billions of dollars being discussed with Saudi Arabia. While he was in Qatar, Hollande gave a hard-line talk on Iran and guaranteed “that France is there for its allies when it is called upon.”

True to his word, France has thrown up one obstacle after another during the talks between Iran and the P5 + 1—the permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany.

Paris also supports Saudi Arabia and it allies in their bombing war on Yemen, and strongly backs the Saudi-Turkish led overthrow of the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, even though it means that the French are aligning themselves with al-Qaeda linked extremist groups.

France seems to have its finger in every Middle East disaster, although, to be fair, it is hardly alone. Britain and the U.S. also played major roles in the Libya war, and the Obama administration is deep into the ongoing wars in Syria and Yemen. In the latter case, Washington supplies the Saudis with weapons, targeting intelligence, and in-air refueling of its fighter-bombers.

But the collapse of Libya was a particularly catastrophic event, which—as the African Union accurately predicted—sent a flood of arms and unrest into two continents.

The wars in Mali and Niger are a direct repercussion of Qaddafi’s fall, and the extremist Boko Haram in Nigeria appears to have benefited from the plundering of Libyan arms depots. Fighters and weapons from Libya have turned up in the ranks of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. And the gunmen who killed 22 museum visitors in Tunisia last March, and 38 tourists on a beach July 3, trained with extremists in Libya before carrying out their deadly attacks.

Clinton was aware of everything the French were up to and apparently had little objection to the cold-blooded cynicism behind Paris’s policies in the region.

The “news” in the Benghazi emails, according to the New York Times, is that, after denying it, Clinton may indeed have solicited advice from Blumenthal. The story ends with a piece of petty gossip: Clinton wanted to take credit for Qaddafi’s fall, but the White House stole the limelight by announcing the Libyan leader’s death first.

 

West interested in pure crooks, psychopaths and puppets to lead Libya


West interested in pure crooks, psychopaths and puppets to lead Libya

Reuters / Esam Omran Al-Fetori

Reuters / EsamOmranAl-Fetori

 

Libya is now a basket case of problems after suffering interference by western powers that are not interested in promoting peace, but rather managing the chaos, Gearoid O Colmain, an independent political analyst, told RT.

The EU has planned a naval operation in the Mediterranean to target those smuggling refugees from Libya to the EU. Such an operation would include reconnaissance runs and the destruction of human trafficking bases in Libya itself. It could even mean putting European boots on the ground.

RT: The EU wants to capture smugglers and destroy their boats off the Libyan coast. Is Europe trying to bring peace and stability to Libya? Or simply stop an inflow of illegal migrants?

Gearoid O Colmain: If you go to the streets of Paris, you can see a picture of one of the leaders of the so-called Libyan revolution in 2011. He has been portrayed and displaced on kiosks all over Paris. His name is Abdelhakim Belhadj and he is an al-Qaeda operative, he is known from official sources to be an al-Qaeda operative. In fact, he was accused by a former PM of Spain, José María Aznar, of being behind the bombing of Madrid in 2004. Abdelhakim Belhadj is now being presented as a possible future leader of Libya and being promoted all over Paris. These are the kind of people Western governments are interested in – pure crooks, psychopaths and puppets.

Here is a link just to show how MI6 asset is a victim: MI6 and multiple NGOs are working at positioning Belhadj as victim. Among them ” Reprieve ” http://www.reprieve.org.uk/case-study/abdul-hakim-belhaj/
Funded (not cited on their website but) as far as I know, Open Society Foundations, Ford foundation, and others
. In the article it says that he was tortured in Libya which is not true a known fact he betrayed all his comrades which were apprehended in the process he was put on house arrest together with his pregnant wife and wearing a bracelet anklet on both for a year, after that both of them were free all charges dropped… once he swore allegiance to the Jamahirya government… What the article fails to mention that he is an MI6 asset. I will also put you the link of the French interview of Belhaj who is pretending to be a politician while all Libyans suffer under his rule with executions, rapes, kidnapping, torture. Lets not forget that Abdulhakim Belhaj has sworn allegiance to ISIS/Daesh which is even worse than Al Qaeda..

BELHAJ COVER

BELHAJ COVER

MAP OF LIBYA

MAP OF LIBYA

INTERVIEW WITH THE NICE MAN BELHAJ WANTED BY INTERPOL WANTED IN SPAIN FOR TERRORIST ACTS WANTED BY THE LIBYAN PEOPLE FOR ATROCITIES DONE TO LIBYAN CITIZENS. MOST HATED MAN IN LIBYA AND MI6 ASSET IN BED WITH QATAR AND SAUDI ARABIA SECOND IN COMMAND IN THE AL QAEDA HIERARCHY

INTERVIEW WITH THE NICE MAN BELHAJ WANTED BY INTERPOL WANTED IN SPAIN FOR TERRORIST ACTS WANTED BY THE LIBYAN PEOPLE FOR ATROCITIES DONE TO LIBYAN CITIZENS. MOST HATED MAN IN LIBYA AND MI6 ASSET IN BED WITH QATAR AND SAUDI ARABIA SECOND IN COMMAND IN THE AL QAEDA HIERARCHY

UN LEON GROOMING BELHAJ TO BECOME A POLITICIAN THE UN IS PAYING PR CO. TO ACHIEVE THIS.... UN LEON IS A PRO MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD.

UN LEON GROOMING BELHAJ TO BECOME A POLITICIAN THE UN IS PAYING PR CO. TO ACHIEVE THIS.… UN LEON IS A PRO MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD.

201505-04 Interview Belhadj 2201505-04 Interview Belhadj 3

They are not interested in leaders and they are not certainly interested in having a responsible government in Libya. Libya had a responsible government, a civil society. Libya was one of the most progressive countries in Africa. In fact, it was the richest country in Africa and it was making great progress in unifying the continent. And it was attacked in 2011 by a coalition of Islamist groups backed by NATO. They bombed the entire infrastructure, they bombed schools, hospitals and they murdered up to 100,000 people. Europe is not interested in peace in Libya. They are interested in military occupation. They are interested in preventing the development of the entire global south and that what the bombing of Libya was about. I don’t think this soi-disant government in Tripoli has any clue how to resolve this problem.

These are people who probably believe in everything they were told by their masters in Brussels, Paris, London and Washington and they are now realizing that Libya has been completely destroyed. It is no longer a nation state. It’s no longer a country that has any kind of a future. This problem will grow, you will see mass influx of immigrants and of course there will be more terrorist attacks. But this war on terror is a fraud, a fake and people need to realize that. They are really mocking the intelligence people by their actions. So I don’t think that Europe will be interested in anything stable in Libya. What they want is to simply manage the chaos.

I should also point out that an influx of desperate immigrants into Europe in a time of austerity is actually an advantage to Western corporations because these people will work for nothing. They are very desperate and they will drive down wages and wages are already coming down. So they will put pressure on the work force in Europe. And in that sense they are not too bothered by it. But what it will do of course it will lead to more repression because once we see more terrorist attacks like the one we saw in Paris in January that will lead then to more police repression, more militarization of European societies. But the big problem here is that the governments of the EU and the US are clinically insane, their actions are absolutely the contrary of reason. And that is the big problem. We do not have responsible government in Europe. We in Europe and in the US live under a dictatorship and that is the deep cause of the crisis we are seeing now in Libya.

Illegal migrants who attempted to sail to Europe, sit in a boat carrying them back to Libya, after their boat was intercepted at sea by the Libyan coast guard, at Khoms, Libya May 6, 2015. (Reuters/Aymen Elsahli)

Illegal migrants who attempted to sail to Europe, sit in a boat carrying them back to Libya, after their boat was intercepted at sea by the Libyan coast guard, at Khoms, Libya May 6, 2015. (Reuters/Aymen Elsahli)

RT: How is this mission different from previous naval operations there? Is Europe trying to control and militarize the Mediterranean?

GC: The term ‘Mare nostrum’ which was the term used by fascist Italy during the 1930s when they conquered Libya – that was the first aerial bombardment in history. The term ‘Mare nostrum’ is being used again, now by the EU. In other words, “the Mediterranean belongs to us.” The big problem with Gaddafi of course is that he didn’t agree with that. Libya was also a country that had its own interests; Africa is other side of the Mediterranean after all. Europe does want to militarize the Mediterranean; it does want to control all the coast of the Mediterranean. There will be a militarization of the other side of “Mare nostrum,” which is the Italian fascist term for the Mediterranean which was used officially. So I think there will be a militarization of the North African coast, particularly Libya. Algeria has not been conquered or attacked, but Algeria is on the list. That will come. The destabilization of Algeria has already begun and that will continue. It all depends on whether or not other countries will survive. If Syria falls you will have an absolute chaos in the Eastern Mediterranean, which will spread right up into Europe. We know Islamic State – an emanation [from] US imperialism – has now made significant conquests in Syria and they have also been training in Libya.

I don’t see any way out for the Libyan government unless it realizes that if they don’t seek other forces, other global powers and perhaps make contacts with them, there is no way they are ever going to get out of this chaos. In other words, they will be well-advised perhaps to go to Beijing and Moscow and discuss possibilities of stabilization with countries that are actually fighting a war on terrorism. Let’s not forget there the world is now split up between two forces: the countries who are sponsoring, financing and promoting terrorism, the US and the EU, and the countries who are fighting terrorism – Russia, China and Iran. The Libyan government will have to make this decision if they want actually to have peace and some kind of viable economy in the future. They are going to have to make a decision about who their patrons are going to be because if they continue to take orders from the EU and the US they are going to have military occupation and chaos for very long time indeed.

EU naval mission against African migrants combines ‘deep inhumanity & stupidity’

EU foreign ministers have agreed to a naval operation in the Mediterranean Sea to contain an influx of immigrants from Africa, a move Chris Nineham, vice-chair of the Stop the War Coalition, said will only increase bitterness against the West.

RT: Do you think targeting smugglers will be effective in stemming the flow of immigrants?

Chris Nineham: I don’t think it will be effective. I think it’s a policy that combines deep inhumanity with real stupidity. One reason – probably the main reason – that has created this migrant crisis in the first place is the catastrophe that was unleashed on Libya particularly back in 2011 by the bombing campaign by the West, which devastated the country socially and physically, as well as killing tens of thousands of people. The idea that what is needed in these circumstances, faced with this appalling humanitarian crisis, is more bombs and more military intervention leaves me virtually speechless, frankly. It’s the last thing that we need.

RT: How would you gather intelligence? Isn’t there a chance the EU’s forces could destroy vessels with innocent people onboard?

CN: Absolutely. Any so-called war on the traffickers will in practice end up being a war on the migrants themselves because presumably they are going to be attacking the boats and there are going to be migrants on them. That’s the main and most obvious reason why this is a catastrophic decision and a very wrong-headed policy. Any further Western military intervention in Libya itself, which is apparently – unbelievably – now being considered will only increase the level of anger and bitterness against the West but it will also lead to more destruction and devastation. That’s the driver of the migrant crisis in the first place. I think this is just a phenomenally inhumane policy and a very misguided one. And it will make the situation it claims to be addressing much worse, apart from creating huge amounts of tension in the region. It really needs to be rejected and they need to think again.

RT: This EU naval mission could also need to put boots on the ground in places like Libya. How likely is that?

CN: I don’t know, I’m not part of the decision-making process. It seems almost unthinkable that the people who orchestrated the disastrous military intervention in 2011 could be considering further military action. It’s almost as if the EU and the Western powers can only think, when they think of foreign policy, when they think of problems solving, they think of killing, of military solutions.

This is clearly a situation where the military dimension doesn’t even need to be raised. What is needed is first of all an acceptance of as many as possible of the suffering migrants into European countries so that they can live some sort of a life. And secondly, there needs to be a reconstruction effort, a serious aid operation to begin to undo the massive damage the West has done in Libya.

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Jihadists in the Service of Imperialism


Jihadists in the Service of Imperialism

By Thierry Meyssan

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Cheikh Youssouf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s star preacher and tele-Coranist on al-Jazeera. He blesses the jihadists in Syria and Iraq, and affirms, deadpan, that if Mohammed was alive today, he would be a NATO ally.

Western governments no longer hide the fact that they’re using jihadists – NATO overthrew Mouamar el-Kadhafi by using al-Qaïda as its only ground forces; Israël displaced the UN Forces to Golan, and replaced them with al-Nosra; the international anti-Daesh Coalition allowed Palmyra to fall in order to cause more problems for Syria. But while we can understand Western interests, we fail to grasp why and how the jihadists can serve Uncle Sam in the name of the Quran.

We often ask ourselves how the Pentagon and the CIA manage to manipulate millions of Muslims and send them off to fight for Uncle Sam’s interests. Of course, it’s true that certain leaders are paid agents, but all jihadists believe that they’re fighting and dying in order to gain access to Paradise. The answer is childishly simple – using the rhetoric of the Muslim Brotherhood as a start, it’s possible to evade human reality and send them to kill anyone you like as long as you wave a red flag at them.

Officially, the Islamic Emirate no longer recognises the authority of Ayman al-Zawahiri, and has therefore left al-Qaïda. Nonetheless, in many places, like the Qalamun mountains, it is still impossible to distinguish between them, since the same jihadists claim allegiance to both flags at once.

Of course, one could argue that this is only a personal quarrel – Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi simply wants to replace the current leader. But while the two organisations have exactly the same practices, they develop very different dialogues.

They share the slogans of the Muslim Brotherhood – « The Quran is our Constitution », « Islam is the solution ». A life of holiness is therefore very simple. It doesn’t really matter if the Creator has made us all intelligent, we must, in all cases, apply the Word of God like a machine. And when the situation is not dealt with in the Book, we should just smash it to pieces. The result is obviously catastrophic, and nowhere have these organisations been able to set up even the beginnings of the perfect society that they hope for.

History demonstrates their differences. From 1979 to 1995, in other words, from the CIA operation in Afghanistan to the Popular Arab and Islamic Congress in Khartoum, Oussama Ben Laden’s mercenaries fought the Soviet Union with public aid from the United States. From 1995 to 2011, in other words, from the Congress in Khartoum to operation « Neptune’s Spear », al-Qaïda took position against « Jews and Crusaders » while continuing its struggle against Russia in Yugoslavia and Chechnya. And since 2011, in other words, since the « Arab Spring », it has supported NATO in Libya and Israël at the Golan frontier. Generally speaking, Western public opinion has not kept up with this evolution. It remains convinced of the danger of a mythical Russian expansionism, persists in blaming the jihadists for the attacks of September 11th, has not realised what happened in Libya and at the Israeli frontier, and maintains the false idea that al-Qaïda is an anti-imperialist terrorist organisation. As for the Arabs, they do not base themselves on facts, but choose, according to the situation, between reality and Western propaganda so as to invent a romantic narrative for themselves.

From its side, the Islamic Emirate is moving away from the Quran and closer to the neo-conservatives. It claims that the main enemies are other Muslims – the Chiites and their allies. It has clearly forgotten the Bosnian episode during which Ben Laden’s Arab Legion were supported both by the United States, Saudi Arabia and Iran. But who are the allies of the Chiites? The Syrian Arab Republic (secular) and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (Sunnite). In other words, the Islamic Emirate is fighting in priority against the Axis of Resistance to imperialism. De facto, it confirms that it is an objective ally of the United States and Israël in the « Greater Middle East », even though, theoretically, they are the enemy.

The malleability of these two organisations resides in their basic ideology, that of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is therefore logical that almost all of the jihadist leaders, at one time or another, have been members of one branch or another of the Brotherhood. By the same token, it is logical that the CIA has not only supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, since their reception at the White House by President Eisenhower in 1955, but also all its foreign branches and all the dissident groups. Finally, the califat that Hassan el-Bana dreamed about and that Ayman al-Zawahiri and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi pretended to want, is not the reproduction of the Golden Age of Islam, but the reign of obscurantism.

This was confirmed by Laurent Fabius in 2012, in other words, before the split between al-Qaïda and Daesh, when he declared: « On the ground, they’re doing a good job! »