المقر الرئيسي الجديد لداعش هو ليبيا


المقر الرئيسي الجديد لداعش هو ليبيا

INTERPRETED AND TRANSLATED BY ASHRAF ABDUL WAHAB
المؤلفو
  كريستوفر نيكسون كوكس هو حفيد الرئيس ال 37 للولايات المتحدة، ريتشارد نيكسون.
   فيليب إسكارافاج هو محلل ليبيا. وهو صهر كريستوفر كيب فوربس الذي هو نائب رئيس مجلس إدارة فوربس ميديا.

  الأحد أكتوبر 1، 2017

 

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

 

صورة حديثة لزعيم تنظيم داعش، أبو بكر البغدادي

 

ظهرت مقالة هامة وذات صلة في نيوزماكس أمس الجمعة 29 سبتمبر حول الرئيس السابق لجهاز المخابرات المركزية فيما يتعلق باستراتيجية داعش الجديدة في المنطقة و اهتم بنقطة محددة  في تلك المقالة و التي لاقت صدى عندنا حيث كنا نتوقع  نفس الاحتمال منذ عدة اشهر

في مقال مكتوب بشكل جيد عن دانيال هوفمان رئيس جهاز المخابرات  الأمريكية المركزية السابق الذي تحدث عن أهداف إعادة تنظيم داعش , حيث يسجلون تراجعا و يفقدون مواقعهم.

خدم هوفمان في العديد من المقاطعات وخاصة روسيا والعراق وباكستان، وذكر على وجه التحديد أن رئيس داعش، وأبو بكر البغدادي قرر أساسا أن مستقبل داعش الوحيد هو أن يكون مقرها في ليبيا، وأنه هو نفسه البغدادي يجب أن تكون المادية هناك إلى وتوفير الروح المعنوية والدعم النفسي لما يسمى حلم الخلافة. وهناك بلد سياسي جديد يهيمن عليه الدين ويطلق عليه اسم “الدولة الإسلامية” التي ستشكل من بين الدول التي ستحاول تدميرها في المستقبل

وقد تم طرح العديد من النقاط الأخرى الجيدة في تلك المقالة، لكن هذا هو السبب في أن داعش قررت نقل العمليات من العراق وسوريا إلى ليبيا مما يحدث تغيير في عملية الحرب على الإرهاب.

ومع استمرار خسائر داعش في سوريا والعراق، فإنهم يحتاجون إلى “منزل جديد”، وقد وجدوا منزلهم هذا في ليبيا و نحن نخشى ذهابهم بالآلاف الى هناك.

وهنا بعض الأدلة التي تدعم تأكيد دينيس هوفمان. ففي الأسابيع القليلة الماضية، ظهر القليل في وسائل الإعلام حول زيادة حدة القتال في صبراتة و تظهر التقارير التي تصف هذه المناوشات على انها لعناصر ميليشيات صبراتة المحلية و التي دفعت لها الحكومة الإيطالية سرا حتى تقاتل “المهربين” لوقف تدفق المهاجرين، ولا سيما من زوارة إلى إيطاليا.  هذه إستراتيجية تلتزم بها إيطاليا وحدها.

ومع ذلك ما هو الإتجاه  الرئيسي وسائل الإعلام تفشل في الكتابة عن ماهية الأسباب الحقيقية لشدة القتال في وحول صبراتة وسرت.

الآلاف من مقاتلي داعش وصلوا مؤخرا إلى ليبيا من العراق وسوريا، حيث اضطروا للفرار. ويرجع ذلك في الغالب إلى القصف الروسي على مواقع داعش في هذين البلدين، حيث من الواضح أن داعش قد خسر الآن – كما أن الدعم اللوجيستى و الطبي قدم سرا من تركيا. إن حركة مرورهم هي من تركيا و منها لمطار مدينة مصراتة، وهي نقطة وسط بين سرت وصبراتة. المناطق التي يتجه إليها معتدي داعش في داخل وحول موقعين استراتيجيين عسكريين حاسمين لتنظيم داعش وسرت وصبراتة.

فهي تمكنها من فتح جبهات جديدة وإعادة ترتيب أولويات استراتيجيتها.

و لماذا ذلك٫ لأنها تعطيهم مسافة قصيرة من سرت إلى حقول النفط في الهلال النفطي وفيما يتعلق بصبراتة، فإن داعش لديها خطط لبدء شن هجمات على تونس ثم الجزائر والمغرب. ويرجع ذلك جزئيا إلى أن العديد من مقاتلي داعش العائدين هم أصلا من تونس، ويبدو أن فكرتهم هي جلب الاضطرابات إلى بلدهم الأصلي وكذلك إلى ليبيا، ولذلك فهم بحاجة إلى قاعدة لتشغيل مثل هذه الأنشطة. ثم للتوسع في بلدان شمال أفريقيا الأخرى.

هذه هي استراتيجية داعش الجديدة، لا تخطئ.

أما فيما يتعلق بمدينة صبراتة، فقد تم الدفاع و بشدة عن هجمات داعش الجديدة من قبل غرفة العمليات الليبية المناهضة لتنظيم داعش.

وهناك قضية جانبية وقلق حول صبراتة، وخاصة بالنسبة لليونسكو و هو حدوث المزيد من الأضرار المحتملة للآثار الرومانية المحفوظة حتى الآن التي يرجع تاريخها إلى آلاف السنين في مدينة صبراتة الرومانية القديمة.

 

Sabratha

Sabratha

كان هناك للمرة الأولى قصف بالمدفعية في الأسبوع الماضي من قبل داعش، ودعت اليونسكو إلى وضع حد للهجمات على هذا الموقع الهام للتراث. و هذا بداية إعادة ما قام به داعش في تدمر في سوريا حيث دمروا آلاف السنين من التماثيل التاريخية التي لا يمكن تعويضها والمعالم الأثرية التي يعود تاريخها إلى العصر البرونزي

وقال ريتشارد غالوستيان، المحلل السياسي البريطاني لمنطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا وخبير في المنطقة، ، “مؤخرا يبدو أن التقارير من ليبيا عموما، وتحديدا من صبراتة، قد قللت من حقيقة التدفق الجديد لمقاتلي داعش الذين تراجعوا من سوريا والعراق “مضيفا” ان الصحافة لا تريد الا ان تكتب عن إلقاء  اللوم علي الحكومة الإيطالية كسبب في تزايد القتال في ليبيا و ذلك من اجل تغذية القتال  لتحقيق اهدافها “. كما ذكر غلوستيان “يجب تحديد أن  الإيطاليون، يدفعون ببعض الميليشيات لمحاربة مهربين، ولكن هذا هو الجزء الصغير من المشكلة أما المشكلة الحقيقة فهي في مقاتلي داعش الجدد الذين يأتون إلى ليبيا بالآلاف “.

وقد قامت الحكومة الإيطالية بطريقتها في شرح  الوضع إلى الجنرال حفتر الذي زار روما في وقت سابق من هذا الأسبوع لمناقشة هذه القضايا. وسألوه أيضا عما يقال من إنه سوف يتخلي عن منصبه العسكري لكي يقف كمدني في الإنتخابات الرئاسية الجديدة. سيكون هذا خطأ تكتيكي كبير ..

و قد غادر حفتر روما الى باريس يوم الخميس لشرح  كل المجريات لأصدقائه فى فرنسا نظرا للتوترات التى ظهرت علنا بين باريس و روما حول ليبيا.

وتشير تقارير غير مؤكدة أيضا إلى أن الإيطاليين ناشدوا حفتر علي ان يتم إرسال قوات من الزنتان الموالية له و مقرها قريب نسبيا من موانئ الزاوية للمساعدة في تدمير داعش في منطقة صبراتة وأيضا في الزاوية نفسها وأجزاء أخرى من طرابلس الغربية، للمساعدة في وقف المهاجرين وتأمين مرافق النفط الهامة في مليتا. هذه هي المخاوف الرئيسية لإيطاليا.

في الختام، ما هو أمر حاسم الآن بالنسبة لأميركا سياسيا وعسكريا على حد سواء هو أن تصبح أكثر انخراطا مع ليبيا، وأكثر من ذلك، أن تعلن للعالم سياسة واضحة وحاسمة في ليبيا خاصة وأن

المؤلفون

  كريستوفر نيكسون كوكس هو حفيد الرئيس ال 37 للولايات المتحدة، ريتشارد نيكسون.

  

   فيليب إسكارافاج هو محلل ليبيا. وهو صهر كريستوفر كيب فوربس الذي هو نائب رئيس مجلس إدارة فوربس ميديا.

ISIS’s NEW HOME IS LIBYA

Saturday, September 30 2017

An important and pertinent article appeared in NEWSMAX yesterday, Friday September 29th, about a former CIA Station Chief’s theories as regards ISIS’s new strategy in the region and one particular point he made of interest in that article resonated with us in particular, as we have been predicting the same eventuality for months.

In the well written article about, Daniel Hoffman a distinguished former CIA Station Chief who spoke of ISIS’s regrouping objectives now they are losing ground.

Hoffman served in various counties notably Russia, Iraq, and Pakistan, specifically stated that the Head of ISIS, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi has essentially decided that ISIS’s only future is to be based in Libya, and that he himself Baghdadi should physical be there to to provide the morale and psychological support to their so called dream of a Caliphate. A new political religious dominated country called The Islamic State to be made up from amongst the countries they have and will in future try to destroy.

Many other good points were made in that article but it is this face that ISIS have decided to move operations from Iraq and Syria to Libya that make a game changer for the War on Terror.

As ISIS continue to lose in Syria and Iraq, they need a ‘new home’ -and they found it and are going there we fear in their thousands. And It’s Libya.

Here is some evidence to back our theory that supports Dennis Hoffman’s assertion. In the past few weeks, little has appeared in the media of the increased intensity in the fighting in Sabratha. The reports that do appear attribute these skirmishes to elements paid secretly by Italian Government to local Sabratha militias fighting ‘people smugglers’ to stop the flow of migrants particularly from Zuwara to Italy. A strategy solely Italy is committed to.

However what the main stream
Media fail to write about are the true reasons for the intensity in fighting in and around Sabratha and Sirte.

Thousands is of ISIS fighters have recently arrived in Libya from Iraq and Syria, where they have had to flee. This is due mostly to Russian bombing of ISIS positions in those two countries, where ISIS are clearly now losing – and the logistical and medical provided covertly from Turkey. Their embarkation for Turkey’s two way traffic is the airport at the city of Misrata, a mid point between Sirte and Sabratha. The areas these ISIS retreaters are heading to are in and around two critical military strategic places for ISIS, Sirte and Sabratha.

It enables them to open new fronts and reprioritise their strategy.

Why is because it gives them striking distance from Sirte to the oil terminals of the crescent and as far as Sabratha is concerned, ISIS have plans to start launching attacks on Tunisia and later Algeria and Morocco . This is in part because many of the returning ISIS fighters are originally from Tunisia and it seems their idea is to bring turmoil to their country of origin as well as to Libya, so they need a base to operate such activities from. Then to expand into other North African countries.

This is the new ISIS strategy, make no mistake.

As far as the Sabratha region is concerned, new ISIS attacks have been fiercely defended by the Libyan Anti-ISIS Operations Room (AIOR).

A side issue and worry for Sabratha, especially for UNESCO, is further potential damage to the hitherto well preserved Roman ruins dating back thousands of years of the ancient Roman city of Sabratha.

There was for the first time shelling last week by ISIS of the famous Amphitheatre and UNESCO has called for an end to attacks on this major heritage site. The beginning of a replay of what ISIS did to Palmyra in Syria where they destroyed thousands of years of irreplaceable historic statues and monuments dating back to the Bronze Age.

A 65 year old British old hand, also an old family friend and reliable source, who was in Sabratha recently, a MENA political analyst, Richard Galustian, an expert on the region, said “Reporting from Libya generally and specifically from Sabratha seems to have understated the fact of a new influx of ISIS fighters who have retreated from Syria and Iraq” adding “the Press only seem to want to write about attributing the blame on increased fighting in Libya on the Italian Government for fueling the fighting for their own objectives” Galustian further states “to be specific its because they, the Italians, pay certain militias to fight people smugglers, but that is the lessor of the problem; its these new ISIS fighters coming into Libya in their thousands that is the real problem”.

The Italian Government has gone out of its way to explain the situation to Field Marshall Haftar, who visited Rome earlier this week to discuss these issues. They also asked him it is reported to stand down his military position in order to stand as a civilian in new Presendential elections. This would be a huge tactical error.

Haftar left Rome to Paris on Thirsday to explain all to his friends in France given the publicly displayed tensions between Paris and Rome over Libya.

Unconfirmed reports also have suggested that the Italians appealed to Haftar in the short term to send Zintani based troops loyal to him based relatively close to Zawia ports, to help destroy ISIS in the Sabratha region and also in Zawia itself and other other parts of Western Tripoli, to also help stop immigrants and secure it’s important oil facilities at Melitia. These being Italy’s prime two concerns.

In conclusion what now is critical is for America both militarily and politically to become more engaged with Libya, and more than that, to announce to the World a clear and decisive Libya policy particularly now ISIS have shifted their Interests to that country.

Authors:

Christopher Nixon Cox is a lawyer who is the grandson of the 37th President of the United States, Richard Nixon.
&
Phillip Escaravage is a Libya analyst and son-in-law of Christopher ‘Kip’ Forbes who is the Vice Chairman of Forbes Media.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hidden Camera in Saudi Arabia SHOCKING


Hidden Camera in Saudi Arabia SHOCKING

Here is a video showing the truth of Saudi Arabia and its Allies.

For all of those people who believe that Obama, Hillary, Cameron, Sarkozy, Merkel and Soros in other words the  CABAL are fighting terrorism will see in this video is exactly the opposite. They are assisting them training them and also helping them to sent all the refugees into Europe. Although the video do not mention the Germans and French they are also involved please watch it and spread the word.

Libya, David Cameron’s “Iraq”? Damning Report Shreds Another War Monger.


Libya, David Cameron’s “Iraq”? Damning Report Shreds Another War Monger.

By Felicity Arbuthnot

Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron is consistent in just one thing – jumping ship when the going gets tough. He announced his resignation in the immediate wake of the 23rd July referendum in which Britain marginally voted to leave the EU, a referendum which he had fecklessly called to appease right wing “little Englanders”, instead of facing them down.

He lost. The result is looming financial catastrophe and the prospect of unraveling forty three years of legislations (Britain joined the then European Economic Community on 1st January 1973.) No structure was put in place for a government Department to address the legal and bureaucratic enormities should the leave vote prevail. There is still none.

Cameron however committed to staying on as an MP until the 2020 general election, vowing grandiosely: “I will do everything I can in future to help this great country succeed”, he said of the small island off Europe which he had potentially sunk, now isolated from and derided by swathes of its continental neighbours – with the sound of trading doors metaphorically slamming shut reverberating across the English Channel.

David Cameron has now jumped again, resigning unexpectedly and immediately as an MP on Monday 12th September, giving the impression that he was not in agreement with certain policies of his (unelected) successor, Theresa May. He stated: “Obviously I have my own views about certain issues … As a former PM it’s very difficult to sit as a back-bencher and not be an enormous diversion and distraction from what the Government is doing. I don’t want to be that distraction.” What an ego.

Over the decades of course, the House of Parliament has been littered with former Prime Ministers and Deputy Prime Ministers who have remained constituency MPs without being a “distraction.”

DEVASTATING INDICTMENT

The following day the real reason for his decision seemed obvious. Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Select Committee released their devastating findings on Cameron’s hand in actions resulting in Libya’s near destruction, contributing to the unprecedented migration of those fleeing UK enjoined “liberations”, creating more subsequent attacks in the West – and swelling ISIS and other terrorist factions.

“Cameron blamed for rise of ISIS”, thundered The Times headline, adding: “Damning Inquiry into Libya points finger at former PM.” The Guardian opined: “MPs condemn Cameron over Libya debacle” and: “Errors resulted in country ‘becoming failed state and led to growth of ISIS.’ ”

The Independent owned “I”: “Cameron’s toxic Libya legacy”, with: “Former PM blamed for collapse in to civil war, rise of ISIS and mass migration to Europe in Inquiry’s scathing verdict” and “Cameron ignored lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan …”

The Independent chose: “Cameron’s bloody legacy: Damning Report blames ex-PM for ISIS in Libya.”

No wonder he plopped over the side.

The Report is decimating. The Foreign Affairs Select Committee concluding: “Through his decision-making in the National Security Council, former Prime Minister, David Cameron was ultimately responsible for the failure to develop a coherent Libya strategy.”

The disasters leading to that final verdict include the UK’s intervention being based on “erroneous assumption” an “incomplete understanding” of the situation on the ground, with Cameron leaping from limited intervention to an: “opportunist policy of (entirely illegal) regime change”, based on “inadequate intelligence.”

Once Gaddafi had been horrendously assassinated, resultant from the assault on his country: “ … failure to develop a coherent strategy … had led to political and economic collapse, internecine warfare, humanitarian crisis and the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) in North Africa.”

After his death, Gaddafi’s body, with that of his son, Mutassim, was laid out on the floor of a meat warehouse in Misrata. (“I”, 14th September 2016.)

“We came, we saw, he died”, then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton told the media, with a peal of laughter. (1) Just under a year later US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three US officials were murdered in Benghazi. Payback time for her words, taken out on the obvious target?

Muammar Gaddafi, his son Muatassim and his former Defence Minister were reportedly buried in unmarked graves in the desert, secretively, before dawn on 25th October 2011. The shocking series of events speaking volumes for the “New Libya” and the Cameron-led, British government’s blood dripping hands in the all.

The UK’s meddling hands were involved from the start. France, Lebanon and the UK, supported by the US, proposed UN Security Council Resolution 1973.

Britain was the second country, after France, to call for a “no fly zone” over Libya in order to: “to use all necessary measures” to prevent attacks on civilians. “It neither explicitly authorised the deployment of ground forces nor addressed the question of regime change or of post conflict reconstruction”, reminds the Committee.

Moreover: “France led the international community in advancing the case for military intervention in Libya … UK policy followed decisions taken in France.” Former Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder confirmed to the Committee: “Cameron and Sarkozy were the undisputed leaders in terms of doing something.” (Emphasis added.)

The US was then “instrumental in extending the terms of the Resolution” to even a “no drive zone” and “assumed authority to attack the entire Libyan government’s command and communications network.”

INSTITUTIONAL IGNORANCE

On the 19th March 2011, a nineteen nation “coalition” turned a “no fly zone” into a free fire zone and embarked on a blitzkrieg of a nation of just 6.103 million (2011 figure.)

All this in spite of the revelation to the Committee by former UK Ambassador to Libya Sir Dominic Asquith, that the intelligence base at to what was really happening in the country: “… might well have been less than ideal.”

Professor George Joffe, renowned expert on the Middle East and North Africa, noted: “the relatively limited understanding of events” and that: “people had not really bothered to monitor closely what was happening.”

Analyst Alison Pargeter: ‘expressed her shock at the lack of awareness in Whitehall of the “history and regional complexities” of Libya.’

Incredibly Whitehall appeared to have been near totally ignorant as to the extent to which the “rebellion” might have been a relatively small group of Islamic extremists.

Former Chief of the Defence Staff, Lord Richards was apparently unaware that Abdelhakim Belhadj and other Al Qaeda linked members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group were involved. “It was a grey area”, he said. However: “a quorum of respectable Libyans were assuring the Foreign Office” that militant Islam would not benefit from the rebellion. “With the benefit of hindsight, that was wishful thinking at best”, concluded his Lordship.

“The possibility that militant extremist groups would attempt to benefit from the rebellion should not have been the preserve of hindsight. Militant connections with transnational militant extremist groups were know before 2011, because many Libyans had participated in the Iraq insurgency and in Afghanistan with al-Qaeda”, commented the Committee. (Emphasis added)

Iraq revisited. Back then it was the “respectable” Ahmed Chalabi, Iyad Allawi and their ilk selling a pack of lies to the seemingly ever gullible, supremely unworldly Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Much was made by William Hague, Foreign Secretary at the time and by Liam Fox, then Defence Secretary, of Muammar’s Gaddafi’s threatening rhetoric. The Committee pointed out that: ”Despite his rhetoric, the proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence.”

Further, two days before the 19 nation onslaught: ‘On 17 March 2011, Muammar Gaddafi announced to the rebels in Benghazi, “Throw away your weapons, exactly like your brothers in Ajdabiya and other places did. They laid down their arms and they are safe. We never pursued them at all.”

Subsequent investigation revealed that when Gaddafi’s forces re-took Ajdabiya in February 2011, they did not attack civilians. “Muammar Gaddafi also attempted to appease protesters in Benghazi with an offer of development aid before finally deploying troops.”

Professor Joffe agreed that Gaddafi’s words were historically at odds with his deeds: “If you go back to the American bombings in the 1980s of Benghazi and Tripoli, rather than trying to remove threats to the regime in the east, in Cyrenaica, Gaddafi spent six months trying to pacify the tribes that were located there. The evidence is that he was well aware of the insecurity of parts of the country and of the unlikelihood (that military assault was the answer.) Therefore, he would have been very careful in the actual response…the fear of the massacre of civilians was vastly overstated.”

In June 2011 an Amnesty International investigation failed to find corroborative evidence of mass human rights violations by government troops but did find that: “the rebels in Benghazi made false claims and manufactured evidence” and that: “much Western media coverage has from the outset presented a very one-sided view of the logic of events …”

CONDEMNATION; AIDING ISIS

The Committee wrote damningly:

We have seen no evidence that the UK Government carried out a proper analysis of the nature of the rebellion in Libya. It may be that the UK Government was unable to analyse the nature of the rebellion in Libya due to incomplete intelligence and insufficient institutional insight and that it was caught up in events as they developed.

It could not verify the actual threat to civilians posed by the Gaddafi regime; it selectively took elements of Muammar Gaddafi’s rhetoric at face value; and it failed to identify the militant Islamist extremist element in the rebellion. UK strategy was founded on erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding of the evidence.

Moreover: “The deployment of coalition air assets shifted the military balance in the Libyan civil war in favour of the rebels”, with: “The combat performance of rebel ground forces enhanced by personnel and intelligence provided by States such as the UK, France, Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.” Lord Richards informed that the UK “had a few people embedded” with the rebel forces.

Arms and tanks were also provided to the rebels by members of the “coalition” in contravention of Resolution 1973.

Was the aim of the assault regime change or civilian protection? Lord Richard said: “one thing morphed almost ineluctably in to the other.”

The Committee summarized: “The UK’s intervention in Libya was reactive and did not comprise action in pursuit of a strategic objective. This meant that a limited intervention to protect civilians drifted into a policy of regime change by military means.” (Emphasis added.)

The Cameron-led UK government had “focused exclusively on military intervention”, under the National Security Council, a Cabinet Committee created by David Cameron.

The Committee’s final observation is:

We note former Prime Minister David Cameron’s decisive role when the National Security Council discussed intervention in Libya. We also note that Lord Richards implicitly dissociated himself from that decision in his oral evidence to this inquiry. The Government must commission an independent review of the operation of the NSC … It should be informed by the conclusions of the Iraq Inquiry and examine whether the weaknesses in governmental decision-making in relation to the Iraq intervention in 2003 have been addressed by the introduction of the NSC.

Cameron who said he wanted to be “heir to Blair” seems to have ended up as just that, pivotal cheerleader for the butchery of a sovereign leader, most of his family, government and the destruction of a nation.

Muammar Gaddafi inherited one of the poorest nations in Africa . However, by the time he was assassinated, Libya was unquestionably Africa ‘s most prosperous nation. Libya had the highest GDP per capita and life expectancy in Africa and less people lived below the poverty line than in the Netherlands. Libyans did not only enjoy free health care and free education, they also enjoyed free electricity and interest free loans. The price of petrol was around $0.14 per liter and 40 loaves of bread cost just $0.15. Consequently, the UN designated Libya the 53rd highest in the world in human development. (2)

End note: David Cameron jumped ship yet a third time – he refused to give evidence to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.

The full text of the Committee’s findings: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmfaff/119/11905.htm#_idTextAnchor023

Notes

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/clinton-on-qaddafi-we-came-we-saw-he-died/
http://www.countercurrents.org/chengu120113.htm

The original source of this article is Global Research

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.