The Horrors of Wall Street’s ‘New Libya’
The world, including the US press, is looking on in horror at recent events in Libya. Libya is now a center of human trafficking, with human beings packed into ships bound for Europe. Libyans are so desperate to escape their country, now wrecked with civil war and astounding levels of poverty, they are risking their lives. Ships filled with desperate human beings have crashed, and a number of corpses have washed up on Libya’s beaches.
Furthermore, the Islamic State organization, which has been terrorizing and murdering people in Iraq and Syria, is moving into action on the African continent. Libyan Christians are being executed by ISIS fighters. *****(As far as I know there are no Libyan Christians in Libya what we do have are Libyan Jews but not Christians. I believe the journalist means the Christian Copts and the Ethiopian Christians)
400,000 people in Libya are declared by Human Rights Watch to be “internally displaced.” In 2014 alone, over 250 journalists, religious and political leaders, and judges have been assassinated. ****We have to thank NATO AND F.U.K.U.S. for all what is happening in Libya and they refuse to take responsibility for their stupidity to topple the previous government and the Leader who was in cold blood murdered but put the blame to Libya.
Is there any rational human being, who can argue that the Libya of today is better off than the Libya that existed prior to 2011? Can any rational, logical case be made that funding the anti-government insurgents, and the eventual US NATO bombing campaign, improved the conditions of the Libyan people?
While the US media has often played up false or exaggerated stories of Cubans fleeing to Miami on rafts, the whole world is seeing how thousands of Libyans are piling into boats, desperately trying to cross the Mediterranean. Just like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, Libya has been destroyed by a campaign of western intervention.
Before the US/NATO Attack
Prior to the foreign backed war and bombing of 2011, Libya had the highest life expectancy on the African continent. The government that emerged from the 1969 revolution, led by Colonel Moammar Gaddafi had resulted in the development of nationalized oil resources.
Every Libyan was guaranteed an income, based on a personal share of the country’s oil profits. Food and housing were heavily subsidized. Libyans received free education and free medical care. The Libyan government constructed the worlds most efficient irrigation system, bringing water to an extremely dry country.
The huge economic achievements of Libya’s independent economic development were marveled at by people around the world. The “Green Book” that explained Gaddafi’s “Third Universal Theory” was studied around the world by people who were inspired by Libya’s achievements.
Libya funded other peoples who fought for their national liberation. Libyan money went to the Black Panther Party and the Nation of Islam. Libyan weapons and support went to the African National Congress, the Provisional Irish Republican Army, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and many other anti-imperialist armed groups.
What has happened to Libya since 2011 is yet another illustration of the sinister intentions behind US foreign policy. The unfolding chaos in Iraq, the instability in Afghanistan, the continuing campaign of violence and terrorism in Syria, and the horrendous state of Libya are not the result of miscalculations or blunders by western governments.
An Intentional Policy of Destruction
Samantha Power, declared to be the architect of the Libyan intervention has been promoted to the rank of US ambassador to the United Nations. Many of the armed terrorists who fought to destroy Libya have been transported to Syria, and told to continue their efforts.
Libya’s oil exports are a mere 11% of what they were prior to 2011.
The state owned Libyan oil company has been removed from the world market, and what little remains of Libya’s oil infrastructure, is now controlled by western capitalists. Wall Street has retaken Libya for itself, overturning the 1969 revolution. Stability, development, and arguably the most prosperous society on the African continent, has been destroyed.
The results of US intervention are on display in Libya for the whole world to see. Whenever the US media whips itself into a frenzy, talking about “humanitarianism” and the need to “rescue innocent people”, the intervention that results always makes the situation worse. The people the US and its allies intend to rescue, end up far worse off than before.
We should all look at the horror of Libya, and realize that we can never trust US officials, and that all calls for foreign intervention by the United States and the European Union must be loudly opposed by progressive forces.
The Myth of ‘Moderate Rebels’
US ally Abdelhakim Belhadj is now leading ISIS in Libya should come as no surprise to those who have followed US policy in that country, and throughout the region. It illustrates for the umpteenth time that Washington has provided aid and comfort to precisely those forces it claims to be fighting around the world.
According to recent reports, Abdelhakim Belhadj has now firmly ensconced himself as the organizational commander of the ISIS presence inside Libya. The information comes from an unnamed US intelligence official who has confirmed that Belhadj is supporting and coordinating the efforts of the ISIS training centers in eastern Libya around the city of Derna, an area long known as a hotbed of jihadi militancy.
While it may not seem to be a major story – Al Qaeda terrorist turns ISIS commander – the reality is that since 2011 the US and its NATO allies have held up Belhadj as a “freedom fighter.” They portrayed him as a man who courageously led his fellow freedom-lovers against the “tyrannical despot” Gaddafi whose security forces at one time captured and imprisoned many members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), including Belhadj. Belhadj betrayed all his comrades to the Libyan authorities after he was turned over by the USA as present and good will towards the Jamahirya, that is how the Jamahirya government could catch most of the members of LIFG in exchange that he would be released a few months later. Belhadj stayed in prison 6 months and another 6 months in house arrest he was never tortured by the Libyan government but was interrogated by the CIA/MI5 agents. Once he signed the papers of allegiance to the Jamahirya he was the free citizen to go as he pleases. He was captured in 2004 and released in 2005 and not in 2010 as all the western media reports.
Belhadj served the US cause in Libya so well that he can be seen receiving accolades from Sen. John McCain who referred to Belhadj and his followers as heroes. He was initially rewarded after the fall of Gaddafi with the post of military commander of Tripoli, though he was forced to give way to a more politically palatable “transitional government” which has since evaporated in that chaotic, war-ravaged country.
Belhadj’s history of terrorist activity includes such “achievements” as collaboration with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Iraq, and of course his convenient servitude to the US-NATO sponsored rampage across Libya that, among other things, caused mass killings of black Libyans and anyone suspected of being part of the Green Resistance (those loyal to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya led by Gaddafi). Although the corporate media tried to make a martyr of Belhadj for his alleged torture via the CIA rendition program, the inescapable fact is that wherever he goes he leaves a violent and bloody wake.
While much of this information is known, what is of paramount importance is placing this news in a proper political context, one that illustrates clearly the fact that the US has been, and continues to be, the major patron of extremist militants from Libya to Syria and beyond, and that all talk of “moderate rebels” is merely rhetoric designed to fool an unthinking public.
There is ample documented evidence of Belhadj’s association with Al Qaeda and his terrorist exploits the world over. Various reports have highlighted his experiences fighting in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and he himself has boasted of killing US troops in Iraq. However, it was in Libya in 2011 where Belhadj became the face of the “rebels” seeking to topple Gaddafi and the legal government of Libya.
The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group was formed in 1995 with the goal of ousting Colonel Qaddafi. Driven into the mountains or exile by Libyan security forces, the group’s members were among the first to join the fight against Qaddafi security forces… Officially the fighting group does not exist any longer, but the former members are fighting largely under the leadership of Abu Abdullah Sadik [aka Abdelhakim Belhadj].
So, not only was Belhadj a participant in the US-NATO war on Libya, he was one of its most powerful leaders, heading a battle-hardened jihadist faction that constituted the leading edge of the war against Gaddafi. Nowhere was this more clearly demonstrated than when the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) took the lead in the attack on Gaddafi’s compound at Bab al-Aziziya. In this regard, LIFG was provided intelligence, and likely also tactical support, from US intelligence and the US military.
The US-NATO war on Libya was waged by terrorist groups overtly and tacitly supported by US intelligence and the US military. Moreover, it dovetails with other information that has surfaced in recent years, information that shines a light on how the US exploited for its own geopolitical purposes one of the most active terrorist hotbeds anywhere in the world.
According to the recent reports, Belhadj is directly involved with supporting the ISIS training centers in Derna. Of course Derna should be well-known to anyone who has followed Libya since 2011, because that city, along with Tobruk and Benghazi, were the centers of anti-Gaddafi terrorist recruitment in the early days of the “uprising” all through the fateful year of 2011. But Derna was known long before that as a locus of militant extremism.
Almost 19% of the fighters in the Sinjar Records came from Libya alone. Furthermore, Libya contributed far more fighters per capita than any other nationality in the Sinjar Records, including Saudi Arabia… The apparent surge in Libyan recruits traveling to Iraq may be linked the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group’s (LIFG) increasingly cooperative relationship with al-Qa’ida which culminated in the LIFG officially joining al-Qa’ida on November 3, 2007…The most common cities that the fighters called home were Darnah [Derna], Libya and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with 52 and 51 fighters respectively. Darnah [Derna] with a population just over 80,000 compared to Riyadh’s 4.3 million, has far and away the largest per capita number of fighters in the Sinjar records.
And so, the US military and intelligence community has known for nearly a decade (perhaps longer) that Derna has long been directly or indirectly controlled by jihadis of the LIFG variety, and that city had acted as a primary recruiting ground for terrorism throughout the region. Naturally, such information is vital if we are to understand the geopolitical and strategic significance of the notion of ISIS training camps associated with the infamous Belhadj on the ground in Derna.
This leads us to three interrelated, and equally important, conclusions. First, Derna is once again going to provide foot soldiers for a terror war to be waged both in Libya, and in the region more broadly, with the obvious target being Syria. Second is the fact that the training sites at Derna will be supported and coordinated by a known US asset. And third, that the US policy of supporting “moderate rebels” is merely a public relations campaign designed to convince average Americans (and those in the West generally) that it is not supporting terrorism, despite all the evidence to the contrary.
The news about Belhadj and ISIS must not be seen in a vacuum. Rather, it should be still further proof that the notion of “moderates” being supported by the US is an insult to the intelligence of political observers and the public at large.
For more than three years now, Washington has trumpeted its stated policy of support to so-called moderate rebels in Syria – a policy which has at various times folded such diverse terror groups as the Al Farooq Brigades (of cannibalism fame) and Hazm (“Determination”) into one large “moderate” tent. Unfortunately for US propagandists and assorted warmongers however, these groups along with many others have since voluntarily or forcibly been incorporated into Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS/ISIL/DAESH.
Recently, there have been many reports of mass defections of formerly Free Syrian Army factions to ISIS, bringing along with them their advanced US-supplied weaponry. Couple that with the “poster boys” for Washington policy, the aforementioned Hazm group, now having become part of Jabhat al Nusra, the Al Qaeda linked group in Syria. Of course these are only a few of the many examples of groups that have become affiliated with either the ISIS or Al Qaeda brand in Syria, including Liwaa Al-Farouq, Liwaa Al-Qusayr, and Liwaa Al-Turkomen to name just a few.
What has become clear is that the US and its allies, in their unending quest for regime change in Syria, have been overtly supporting extremist elements that have now coalesced to form a global terror threat in ISIS, Nusra, and Al Qaeda.
But of course, this is nothing new, as the Belhadj episode in Libya demonstrates unequivocally. The man who was once Al Qaeda, then became a “moderate” and “our man in Tripoli,” has now become the leader of the ISIS threat in Libya. So too have “our friends” become our enemies in Syria. None of this should surprise anyone.
But perhaps John McCain would like to answer some questions about his long-standing connections with Belhadj and the “moderates” in Syria. Would Obama like to explain why his “humanitarian intervention” in Libya has become a humanitarian nightmare for that country, and indeed the whole region? Would the CIA, which has been extensively involved in all of these operations, like to come clean about just who they’ve been supporting and what role they’ve played in fomenting this chaos?
I doubt any such questions will ever be asked by anyone in the corporate media. Just as I doubt any answers will ever be furnished by those in Washington whose decisions have created this catastrophe. So, it is for us outside the corporate propaganda matrix to demand answers, and to never let the establishment suppress our voices…or the truth.
NATO/UN Desperately Seek Ceasefire To Save ISIS After Syrian Army Encircles Aleppo
by Brandon Turbeville
In a military victory that may very well rival the liberation of Qusayr in terms of significance, on February 17, the SAA officially encircled the entirety of Syria’s largest city Aleppo. In so doing, the SAA was also able to seal off the road leading into the city from the North which has been used as a supply route for the terrorist death squads receiving reinforcements and supplies from Turkey since the beginning of the crisis.
While not controlled by the Western-backed terrorist forces entirely, large portions of Aleppo have fallen under death squad control since NATO began backing jihadists forces in earnest in 2010. The Syrian military has long sought to establish control over the entirety of the city and, over the last several months, the SAA has been fighting to do just that. Over the last few weeks, however, the SAA was able to win a number of key battles and take control over a several key villages that enabled it to position itself all the way around Aleppo.
The encirclement of Aleppo comes as the SAA has launched a new offensive against death squad forces in the south, near the occupied Golan Heights and the Syrian/Israeli border.
Even the Huffington Post has been forced to admit that “If government forces succeed in fully besieging opposition-held areas, the move will pose the greatest threat to the rebels’ position in the area since anti-Assad fighters stormed parts of the city in 2012.”
Conveniently, however, as the Syrian military is poised to make such a monumental victory over the Western-backed jihadists, the United Nations has announced its plans for a ceasefire in and around Aleppo.
The plan, spearheaded by UN envoy Steffan de Mistura has apparently been in the works for months – since about the time that the Syrian military began its encirclement operation around Aleppo.
De Mistura’s plan would involve a six-week truce and the halting of aerial bombardment and artillery shelling of Aleppo in all quarters of the city. De Mistura claims that he received assurances from Syrian President Assad that the Syrian government is willing to participate in the truce.
However, it is worth noting that the peace deal benefits only the death squad fighters funded by the West and operating on the ground inside the country, particularly those fighting inside Aleppo. For instance, the proposal seeks to end all aerial bombardment and artillery shelling of all quarters of the city – handcuffs that affect the Syrian military much more so than the death squads since the jihadists have no air force with which to bombard the city.
Also, while it is true that Western-backed insurgents often fire indiscriminately into civilian areas or target the Syrian military in government-held territory using artillery, the Syrian government is not bombarding the portion of the city that it holds itself – thus making the death squad held areas of Aleppo the main target for a ceasefire. After all, with the encirclement of the city, the terrorist-held areas of the city are now in a decidedly defensive position.
Few can deny that the proposed “truce” is very “convenient” in its timing from the point of view of NATO strategists. As Tony Cartalucci of Land Destroyer writes,
It is curious because talks of “truces” were completely absent just as recently as 2011, when both organizations, the UN and NATO, backed hordes of terrorists sweeping across Libya, committing abhorrent atrocities including the systematic, genocidal extermination of Libya’s black communities.
Indeed, NATO and UN peace treaties only seem to appear when the NATO terrorist proxies encounter serious trouble on the battlefield.
The United Nations peace plan is thus nothing more than an attempt to buy time for Western-backed jihadists to regroup, resupply, and re-strategize in hopes that some other “convenient” event take place in Syria that will break the encirclement in the meantime.
While peace is no doubt to be desired in Syria, Western powers should not be allowed to use the concept as a weapon against the Syrian government or the Syrian people.
The United States, UK, France, NATO, and the UN do not want peace. They want a reprieve for their proxy forces.
If the ISIS fighters encircled in Aleppo want peace, they should have the option of unconditional surrender. Amnesty, upon surrender, could also be discussed at the pleasure of the Syrian government.
Otherwise, the encirclement should continue and the liberation of Aleppo must necessarily follow.
Fake peace agreements and politically based “truces” are no longer acceptable and they are no longer credible in the eyes of any informed observer.
Only true and total peace, stability, and reconstruction are acceptable options for Syria.
Recently by Brandon Turbeville:
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24 reasons ISIS are wrong: Muslim scholars blast Islamic State
A large group of Islamic theologians addressed the head of the Islamic State in an open letter, articulately accusing the movement of practices that have nothing to do with Islam, even rejecting the extremists’ right to call themselves jihadists.
Over a hundred Muslim scholars and clergymen from all over the world have released on Wednesday an address to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, accusing the self-proclaimed caliph and his army of heinous war crimes and violation of fundamental principles of Islam, illiterate use of Islamic scripture torn from the context and perversion of the rules of morality and Sharia law.
“Who gave you authority over the ummah [Muslim people]?” the letter questions. “Was it your group? If this is the case, then a group of no more than several thousand has appointed itself the ruler of over a billion-and-a-half Muslims. This attitude is based upon a corrupt circular logic that says: ‘Only we are Muslims, and we decide who the caliph is, we have chosen one and so whoever does not accept our caliph is not a Muslim,’” the document said.
The letter has been published in two languages, Arabic and English, on a specially-created website. Though the document goes into in-depth analyses of the nuances and exegesis of Islamic texts, the general message is combined on the very first page of the address, outlined in 24 essentials downtrodden by the militants of the Islamic State – according to the authors of the letter.
The absolute majority of the essentials detailed in the letter – 20 out of 24 – have to do with acts forbidden in modern Islam. They deal with many aspects of noble human life: prohibiting such acts as killing of the innocent, prisoners and emissaries (journalists included), denying women and children their rights, the re-introduction of slavery, torture, disfiguring the dead and destroying graves, harming or mistreating believers of other religions of the Scripture, starting armed insurrection, declaring caliphate “without consensus from all Muslims,” as well as issuing fatwas (legal rulings, interpretations of the Islamic law) without proper religious education, mastery of the Arabic language,“oversimplify[ing] Sharia matters” and even “ignoring the reality of contemporary times.”
As the authors of the letter observe, all of those interdictions have been ruthlessly violated by the leadership and members of the Islamic State.
In particular, the document stresses the unprecedented number of people executed by the Islamic State militants for their beliefs.
“You have killed many innocents who were neither combatants nor armed, just because they disagree with your opinion,” the letter said, denying the Islamic State the right to call the faithful to jihad. “There is no such thing as offensive, aggressive jihad just because people have different religions or opinions.”
“Jihad is a noble concept in Islam,” told VICE News the national director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Nihad Awad. “It is the right to defend oneself and one’s country. But people cannot take it into their own hands. As an act of aggression, it is a violation,” he said.
“They claim to be jihadists, but they are not. I urge everyone not to refer to them as jihadists,” Awad added.
The letter specifically focused attention on POWs being executed by the Islamic State in their thousands in Iraq and Syria.
“You have killed many prisoners,” the document states, addressing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his men, “including the 1,700 captives at Camp Speicher in Tikrit in June, 2014; the 200 captives at the Sha’er gas field in July, 2014; the 700 captives of the Sha’etat tribe in Deir el-Zor (600 of whom were unarmed civilians); the 250 captives at the Tabqah air base in Al-Raqqah in August, 2014; Kurdish and Lebanese soldiers, and many untold others whom God knows. These are heinous war crimes,” the address states.
The children who died in IS attacks or were used in combat were added to the list of shameful IS deeds.
“In your schools some children are tortured and coerced into doing your bidding and others are being executed,” the letter says. “These are crimes against innocents who are so young they are not even morally ACCOUNTABLE.”
The letter also calls attention to frivolous handling of the holy texts and intentionally-selective citation of certain passages in order to legitimize atrocities perpetrated by the IS.
“It is not permissible to quote a verse, or part of a verse, without thoroughly considering and comprehending everything that the [Koran] and Hadith relate about that point,” the letter notes.
The beheaded American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and then British aid worker David Haines, were also remembered.
“It is known that all religions forbid the killing of emissaries,” the letter said. “Journalists — if they are honest and of course not spies — are emissaries of truth, because their job is to expose the truth to people in general.”
The slavery that returned to the Middle East with the rise of the Islamic State was not ignored in the document either.
Despite Islam’s consensus taking decision to abolish slavery over a century ago, “Islamic State militants have captured women from minority communities and forced them to marry fighters or sold them into slavery.”
The most effective ideological critics of the IS should come from within the Muslim community, shared Nihad Awad, who believes that the open letter is “intended for a conservative audience” and is “very convincing.”
“People should know that what ISIS is doing is not Islam,” Muzammil Siddiqi, the chairman of the Fiqh Council of North America, which facilitated publication of the letter, told VICE News. “It’s important that a large number of scholars are speaking up and saying this is wrong.”