US, NATO and Rebel war crimes in Libya

Here are few reports on War Crimes and Crimes against humanity. There will be more coming out in the near future and I am sure there will be many.

Rense & Susan Lindauer – NATOs Libyan War Crimes

Aug 1, 2011

NATO Committing War Crimes In Libya – Ex US Congresswoman Jun 15, 2011

GOING ROGUE: NATO’s War Crimes in Libya

By Susan Lindauer, former US Asset covering Libya at the United Nations

June 7th, 2011

It’s a story CNN won’t report. Late at night there’s a pounding on the door in Misurata. Armed soldiers force young Libyan women out of their beds at gun-point. Hustling the women and teenagers into trucks, the soldiers rush the women to gang bang parties for NATO rebels—or else rape them in front of their husbands or fathers. When NATO rebels finish their rape sport, the soldiers cut the women’s throats.

Rapes are now ongoing acts of war in rebel-held cities, like an organized military strategy, according to refugees. Joanna Moriarty, who’s part of a global fact-finding delegation visiting Tripoli this week, also reports that NATO rebels have gone house to house through Misurata, asking families if they support NATO. If the families say no, they are killed on the spot.  If families say they want to stay out of the fighting, NATO rebels take a different approach to scare other families. The doors of “neutral homes” are welded shut, Moriarty says, trapping families inside. In Libyan homes, windows are typically barred. So when the doors to a family compound get welded shut, Libyans are entombed in their own houses, where NATO forces can be sure large families will slowly starve to death.

These are daily occurrences, not isolated events. And Gadhaffi’s soldiers are not responsible. In fact, pro-Gadhaffi and “neutral” families are targeted as the victims of the attacks. Some of the NATO tactics may have occurred in hopes of laying blame on Gadhaffi’s door. However the attacks are back firing.

Flashback to Serbia

The events are eerily reminiscent of Serbia’s conflict in the Balkans with its notorious rape camps— Except today NATO itself is perpetrating these War Crimes—as if they have learned the worst terror tactics from their enemies.

Their actions would be categorized as War Crimes, just like Serb leader, Slobadon Milosevic—except that NATO won’t allow itself to face prosecution. According to NATO, International Law is for the other guy.

NATO is wrong. So long as NATO governments provide the funding, assault rifles, military training, ground advisers, support vehicles and air power, they are fully responsible for the actions of their soldiers in the war zone. Libya’s rebels are not a rag tag fighting force, either. Thanks to NATO’s largesse, financed by U.S. and British taxpayers, they’re fully decked out in military uniforms, parading through the streets with military vehicles for all the people to see.

And they do see. In Washington, Congress likes to pretend that America has not become involved in the day to day actualities of military planning. However refugees have observed U.S, British, French and Israeli soldiers standing by as rebel soldiers attack civilians.

“Rape parties” are the most graphic examples of NATO’s loss of moral control.  One weeping father told the fact-finding delegation how a couple of weeks ago NATO rebels targeted seven separate households, kidnapping a virgin daughter from each pro-Gadhaffi family. The rebels were paid for each kidnapped girl, just as they are paid for each Libyan soldier they kill— like mercenary soldiers. They hustled the girls into trucks, and took them to a building where the girls were locked in separate rooms.

NATO soldiers proceeded to drink alcohol, until they got very drunk. Then the leader told them to rape the virgin daughters in gang bang style. When they’d finished raping the girls, the NATO leader told them to cut the breasts off the living girls and bring the breasts to him.  They did this while the girls were alive and screaming. All the girls died hideous deaths. Then their severed breasts were taken to a local square and arranged to spell the word “whore.”

The grieving father spoke to a convention of workers, attended by the global fact-finding delegation.  He was openly weeping, as all of us should. NATO’s offenses in Libya are as terrible and unforgivable as Syria’s castration and mutilation of the 13 year old boy that shocked the world. Yet so long as NATO’s the guilty party, the western media has looked the other way in distaste.

Some of us are paying attention— We can see that NATO has gone rogue in Libya. And the Libyan people themselves consider it unforgivable. Last week, 2000 Tribal Leaders gathered in Tripoli to draft a Constitution for the country, as demanded by the British government. Notoriously, British warships and U.S. drones pounded the streets of Tripoli with bunker bombs and missiles for days and nights close to where the Tribal Leaders were meeting. From Tripoli, it felt awfully like the British were trying to stop the Libyan people from bringing this Constitution to life.

Tribal Leaders Condemn British Aggression

Here’s what those 2,000 Tribal Leaders had to say about British aggression, in a statement approved unanimously on June 3. Sheikh Ali, head of the Tribal Leaders, delivered it to Joanna Moriarty and other members of the global fact finding mission:

“The Libyan people have the right to govern themselves.  Constant attacks from the skies, at all hours of the day have completely disrupted the lives of the families of Libya. There has never been any fighting in Tripoli, yet we are bombed every day. We are civilians and we are being killed by the British and NATO. Civilians are people without guns, yet the British and NATO protect only the armed crusaders from the East by acting as their attack army. We have read the UN resolutions and there is no mention of bombing innocent civilians. There is no mention of assassinating the legitimate authorities in all of Libya.”

“The Libyan People have the right to select their own leaders. We have suffered occupation by foreign countries for thousands of years. Only in the last 41 years have we Libyans enjoyed property ownership. Only in the last 41 years have we seen our country develop. Only in the last 41 years have we seen all of the Libyans enjoy a better life, and know that our children will have a better life then we have had. But now with the British and NATO bombings of our country, we see the destruction of our new and developed infrastructure.”

“We leaders see the destruction of our culture. We leaders see tears in the eyes of our children because of the constant fear from the “rain of terror” in the skies of Libya from the British and NATO bombings. Our old people suffer from heart problems, increased diabetes and loss of vigor. Our young mothers are losing their babies every day because of the stress of the British and NATO bombings. These lost babies are the future of Libya. They can never be replaced. Our armies have been destroyed by the British and NATO bombings. We cannot defend ourselves from attacks from anyone.”

“As Tribal Leaders of Libya, we must ask why have the British and NATO decided to wage this war against the Libyan people? There are a small percentage of dissidents in the east of Libya that started an armed insurrection against our legitimate authority. Every country has the right to defend itself against armed insurrection. So why cannot Libya defend itself?”

“The Tribal Leaders of Libya demand that all acts of aggression, by the British and NATO, against the Libyan People stop immediately. June 3, 2011″

Does that sound like NATO’s got a winning strategy? If so, they should think again. Even if Gadhaffi falls, NATO has no hope of eliminating the entire tribal structure of the Libya, which embraces all families and clans. Instead NATO is losing the battle for the hearts and minds of the people with every missile that smashes into another building.

Tribal Backlash

The Libyan people are fighting back. This report arrived from Tripoli today. It is not edited, and describes a backlash in tribal warfare from the City of Darna in the East, where the rebellion is supposed to be strongest:

“People found the body of Martyr Hamdi Jumaa Al-Shalwi in Darna  city eastern Libya. His head was cut off and then placed in front of the headquarters of the Internal Security Dernah. That was after being kidnapped from a checkpoint complex Herich. In response to this Al-Shalwi family erected a funeral tent to receive condolences in which the green flag [of Libya] was raised. After the funeral the whole city of Darna rose up with all its tribes which include:- the Abu Jazia family, Al-Shalwi family, The Quba families, Ain Marra families. After that, Al-Shalwi family and Bojazia tribe attacked the headquarters of the Transitional Council and shot all the rats (rebels) and green flags were raised. Furthermore, the son of Sofian Qamom was killed, also two members of Al- Qaeda got killed by residents of the city of Darna. The flag of the Libyan Jamahiriya was raised above Darna after the clashes.”

CNN has reported none of this. The corporate media continues to lull Americans into false confidence in the progress of the Libyan War. Americans are way out of the loop as to the failures of the War effort. As a result, Libyans are losing trust in the potential for friendships with the West. An unlikely champion might restore that faith. Right now a team of international attorneys is preparing an emergency grievance on behalf of the Tribal Leaders and the Libyan people. The International Peace Community could contribute substantially to restoring Libya’s faith in the West by supporting this human rights action. Indeed, the Libyan people and Tribal Leaders deserve our support. Together we must demand that NATO face prosecution for War Crimes, citing these examples and others.

NATO governments must be required to pay financial damages to Libyan families, on par with what the U.S. and Britain would demand for their own citizens under identical circumstances. The world cannot tolerate double standards, whereby powerful nations abuse helpless citizens. The International Geneva Conventions of War must be enforced, and equal force of the law must be applied.

The Fight for Misurata

Though attacks are widespread, some of the worst abuses are occurring in Misurata. The City has the only mega port in Libya, and handles transportation for the country, including the largest oil and gas depots. NATO will stop at nothing to take the City.

Refugees report that the Israeli Star of David flag was draped over the largest Mosque in Misurata on the second day of fighting, actions guaranteed to humiliate and antagonize the local population.

NATO forces have cut off food and medical supplies throughout Libya. But the seas are plentiful with fish in Mediterranean waters. Brave fishermen have taken their boats out of port, trying to harvest fish for the hungry population. To break their perseverance, American drones and British war planes steadily fire missiles on the fishing boats, deliberately targeting non-military vessels to chase them out of the waters.

Yet for all of its superior fire power and tactical advantages, NATO still appears to be losing. According to the fact-finding delegation, reporting today, many rebels have left Misurata and have taken boats back to Benghazi.  The big central part of Misurata is now free and under central military control.  The Libyan people shot down two helicopter gunships near the town of Zlitan. And although Al Jazeera played a grand story about a major uprising against Ghadafi in Tripoli, one of the Tribal leaders’ wives lives on the street that claims to be the center of the demonstration, and declared that she saw no crowds out of her window. Buses pictured in Al Jazeera video do not run in Tripoli.

One has to ask: What kind of society does NATO think it’s creating, if in fact Gadhaffi can be deposed—which looks very unlikely? Have Washington and London learned nothing from their failure in Iraq? The cruelty and debasement of NATO’s forces is already fueling profound hatreds that will continue for the next generation.

Who could be proud of such “allies?” Not the Libyan people, surely.

NATO soldiers are no better than thugs. Anyone else would be labeled terrorists. Most worrisome, NATO’s actions are guaranteed to have serious consequences for long term political stability in Libya. Vendettas are forming between tribes and family clans that will carry over for decades. It is extremely short-sighted and self destructive.

NATO should take this warning to heart: Its soldiers are not legal-proof. The International Peace Community is already taking action to uphold Libya’s natural rights at the United Nations. Many of us in the International Peace Community shall defend Libya’s women. And we shall demand War Crimes prosecution and major financial damages against NATO governments, on behalf of the people.

Nobody’s fooled by NATO’s story that Gadhaffi’s the guilty party. We know that Washington, Britain, France, Italy— and Israel are the real culprits.

The murdered women of Misurata shall have justice. NATO can count on it.

Source

More Proof of rebel atrocities after Gaddafi troops found dead, mutilated in mass grave

Jul 23, 2011

A mass-grave of alleged pro-Gaddafi soldiers has been discovered in a rebel-controlled area in Libya, according to British newspaper The Telegraph. The location was swiftly bulldozed after the discovery, suggesting an attempt to cover-up the killings. The bodies were reportedly mutilated, adding to the recent concerns of human rights abuses by rebels. Such crimes are being swept under the carpet to support NATO’s cause in the region

NATO & Rebel War Crimes in Sirte, Libya (WARNING GRAPHIC FOOTAGE)

NATO Supports Black Genocide in Libya

Daily NATO War Crimes in Libya

July 29 2011
 By Stephen Lendman

Among them is waging war on truth, Western managed news calling lawless imperial wars liberating ones. No wonder John Pilger says journalism is the first casualty of war, adding:

“Not only that: it has become a weapon of war, a virulent censorship (and deception) that goes unrecognised in the United States, Britain and other democracies; censorship by omission, whose power is such that, in war, it can mean the difference between life and death for people in faraway countries….”

In their book, “Guardians of Power,” David Edwards and David Cromwell explained why today’s media are in crisis and a free and open society at risk. It’s because press prostitutes substitute fiction for fact. News is carefully filtered, dissent marginalized, and supporting wealth and power substitutes for full and accurate reporting.

It’s a cancer, corrupting everything from corporate-run print and broadcast sources, as well as operations like BBC and what passes for America’s hopelessly compromised public radio and TV. They put out daily managed and junk food news plus infotainment, treating consumers like mushrooms – well-watered and in the dark.

During wars, in fact, they cheerlead them, reporting agitprop and misinformation no respectable journalist would touch.

On the Progressive Radio News Hour, Middle East/Central Asia analyst Mahdi Nazemroaya, in Tripoli, said some journalists also perform fifth column duties, collecting intelligence and locating targets to supply NATO bombing coordinates, notably civilian targets called military ones.

In a July 28 email, he said tell listeners that “NATO is trying to negotiate with the government in Tripoli.” More on that below. He added that they’re also “planning a new stage of the war against the Libyan people through (predatory) NGOs and fake humanitarian missions.” A likely UN Blue Helmet occupying force also, paramilitaries masquerading as peacekeepers Gaddafi controlled areas won’t tolerate.

NATO, in fact, calls civilian targets legitimate ones, including one or more hospitals, a clinic, factories, warehouses, agricultural sites, schools, a university, one or more mosques, non-military related infrastructure, a food storage facility, and others.

Notably on July 23, a Brega water pipe factory was struck, killing six guards. It produces pipes for Libya’s Great Man-Made River system (GMMR), an ocean-sized aquifer beneath its sands, making the desert bloom for productive agriculture, and supplying water to Libya’s people.

The previous day, a water supply pipeline was destroyed. It will take months to restore. The factory produced vital pipes to do it, a clear war crime like daily others. Moreover, the entire GMMR is threatened by a shortage of spare parts and chemicals. As a result, it’s struggling to keep reservoirs at a level able to provide a sustainable supply. Without it, a humanitarian disaster looms, very likely what NATO plans as in past wars.

On July 27, AFP said that:

“NATO warned that its warplanes will bomb civilian facilities if (Gaddafi’s) forces use them to launch attacks.” At the same time, a spokesman said great care is taken to minimize civilian casualties.

NATO lied. Daily, it’s attacking non-military related sites to destroy Libya’s ability to function in areas loyal to Gaddafi. Earlier, in fact, a spokesman claimed there was “no evidence” civilian targets were hit or noncombatants killed, except one time a major incident was too obvious to hide. Reluctantly it admitted a “mistake,” covering up a willful planned attack, knowing civilians were affected.

Libya (satellite) TV calls itself “a voice for free Libya….struggling to liberate Libya from the grip of the Gaddafi regime….” In fact, it’s a pro-NATO propaganda service, reporting misinformation on air and online.

On July 25, it headlined, “No evidence to support Gaddafi’s allegations that civilian targets were hit,” when, it fact, they’re struck daily.

Nonetheless, it claimed only military sites are bombed, saying Tripoli-based journalists aren’t taken to affected areas, “suggesting NATO’s gunners are hitting military targets, at least in the capital.”

In fact, corporate and independent journalists are regularly taken to many sites struck. Independent accounts confirm civilian casualties and non-military facilities bombed. Pro-NATO scoundrels report managed news, complicit in daily war crimes.

On July 28, Libya TV claimed “captured Gaddafi soldiers say army morale is low,” when, in fact, most Libyans support Gaddafi. Millions are armed. Gaddafi gave them weapons. They could easily oust him if they wish. Instead, they rally supportively, what Western media and Libya TV won’t report.

Moreover, captured soldiers say what they’re told, likely threatened with death or torture if they refuse, especially in rebel paramilitary hands, under NATO orders to terrorize areas they control.

As a result, civilian casualties mount, up to 1,200 or more killed and thousands wounded in pro-Gaddafi areas, many seriously as war rages. In addition, unknown numbers of combatant casualties on both sides aren’t known, nor is the civilian toll in rebel held areas.

Nonetheless, daily sorties and strikes continue. Since mid-July alone through July 27, they include:

  • July 14: 132 sorties and 48 strikes
  • July 15: 115 sorties and 46 strikes
  • July 16: 110 sorties and 45 strikes
  • July 17: 122 sorties and 46 strikes
  • July 18: 129 sorties and 44 strikes
  • July 19: 113 sorties and 40 strikes
  • July 20: 122 sorties and 53 strikes
  • July 21: 124 sorties and 45 strikes
  • July 22: 128 sorties and 46 strikes
  • July 23: 125 sorties and 56 strikes
  • July 24: 163 sorties and 43 strikes
  • July 25: 111 sorties and 54 strikes
  • July 26: 134 sorties and 46 strikes
  • July 27: 133 sorties and 54 strikes

Daily patterns are consistent. However, information on numbers and types of bombs, as well as other munitions aren’t given. Instead, misinformation claims a humanitarian mission protects civilians – by terrorizing, killing, and injuring them, solely for imperial aims. It’s why all US-led wars are fought, never for liberating reasons.

The entire campaign is based on lies. It’s standard war time procedure, to enlist popular support for campaigns people otherwise would reject.

In fact, no humanitarian crisis existed until NATO arrived. Moreover, in paramilitary controlled areas, Amnesty International confirmed only 110 pro and anti-Gaddafi supporter deaths combined, most likely more of the former than latter as rebel cutthroats rampaged through areas they occupy. Currently, the numbers of dead and injured civilians are many times that amount, largely from NATO attacks.

NATO, in fact, is code language for the Pentagon, paying the largest share of its operating and military budgets. Except for Germany and Britain, other members pay small shares, most, in fact, miniscule amounts.

Since NATO began bombing on March 19, daily attacks inflicted lawless collective punishment against millions in Gaddafi supported areas. Affected is their ability to obtain food, medicines, fuel and other basic supplies, exposing another lie about humanitarian intervention.

On July 25, OCHA’s fact-finding team said Tripoli contained “pockets of vulnerability where people need urgent humanitarian assistance.” Medical supplies are running low. The last major delivery was in January, and concerns are increasing about the “unsustainable food supply chain for the public distribution systems, especially as Ramadan approaches (on or around August 1 to about August 29) and the conflict persists.”

Moreover, “Libyan oil experts warned that fuel stocks could run out in two weeks.” Public transportation costs have tripled. Food prices have also soared. Tripoli residents experience electricity cuts, and clean water supplies are endangered.

Before conflict erupted, Libyans had the region’s highest standard of living and highest life expectancy in Africa because Gaddafi’s oil wealth provided healthcare, education, housing assistance and other social benefits. Imperial war, of course, changed things. Libyans now hang on to survive.

Seeking an End Game

On July 26, UPI headlined, “NATO seeks urgent exit strategy in Libya,” knowing this phase of the war is lost. Nonetheless, future strategies and campaigns will follow.

For now, however, “NATO is seeking an urgent exit strategy (to end) fighting and decide the future of (Gaddifi), even if that means letting him stay in the country though out of power, it emerged Tuesday after British and French foreign ministers met in London.”

In tribal Libya, Gaddafi’s power, in fact, is far less than reported, social anthropologist Ranier Fsadni saying:

“Gaddafi’s feeling for tribal Libya is certainly one factor that explains how he has managed to rule the country for so many years. (However), (t)here is no tribal office giving a single man a monopoly of institutional power at the apex….Several factors account for his longevity in power,” including sharing Libya’s oil wealth.

UPI said diplomacy is driven by a failed military campaign. As a result, “(i)ntense mediation efforts are underway at different levels at the United Nations and Europe, in African, European and Middle Eastern capitals and Russia.”

Neither side is commenting, but some observers think operations may wind down in weeks, based on an unannounced face-saving solution, despite continued destabilization and future conflict planned. It’s similar to Balkan and Iraq war strategies, a combination of tactics until Washington prevailed.

Libya faces the same end game, though years could pass before it arrives. As a result, Libyans can expect continued hardships. When imperial America shows up, that strategy persists until it prevails, no matter the pain and suffering inflicted. Source

Human rights investigations

Evidence-based, independent and rigorous investigation of human rights abuses

Libyan rebel ethnic cleansing and lynching of black people

 July 7, 2011 by HRI Mar

Further specific evidence has emerged that there is a strong racist element within the rebel forces, including at command level, and it is the stated intention of these forces to ethnically cleanse areas they capture of their dark-skinned inhabitants.

Racism amongst the rebels including at command level

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, journalist Sam Dagher pointed out the obvious fact that the Libyan war is aggravating ethnic tensions in that country. The article talks about the fate of Tawergha, a small town 25 miles to the south of Misrata, inhabited mostly by black Libyans, a legacy of its 19th-century origins as a transit town in the slave trade:

Ibrahim al-Halbous, a rebel commander leading the fight near Tawergha, says all remaining residents should leave once if his fighters capture the town.  “They should pack up,” Mr. Halbous said. “Tawergha no longer exists, only Misrata.”

Other rebel leaders are reported as:

“calling for drastic measures like banning Tawergha natives from ever working, living or sending their children to schools in Misrata.”

In addition, according to the article, as a result of the battle for Misrata:

nearly four-fifths of residents of Misrata’s Ghoushi neighborhood were Tawergha natives. Now they are gone or in hiding, fearing revenge attacks by Misratans, amid reports of bounties for their capture.

Amid allegations of black mercenaries and stories of mass rape by the inhabitants of Tawergha, Sam Dagher reports on further evidence of the racism amongst the rebel forces:

Some of the hatred of Tawergha has racist overtones that were mostly latent before the current conflict. On the road between Misrata and Tawergha, rebel slogans like “the brigade for purging slaves, black skin” have supplanted pro-Gadhafi scrawl.

The racial tensions have been fueled by the regime’s alleged use of African mercenaries to violently suppress demonstrators at the start of the Libyan uprising in February, and the sense that the south of the country, which is predominantly black,  mainly backs Col. Gadhafi.

This information has already been publicised, in the WSJ and also in the Black Star News. Bryan Chan of the Los Angeles Times reports visiting a prison in Benghazi, where terrified black men were paraded for the cameras (with Human Rights Watch silently taking notes). One man bravely protested he was just a guest worker and the guards presented a Gambian passport as proof he was a Gaddafi operative. Chan’s Libyan interpreter asked:

“So what do you think? Should we just go ahead and kill them?”

There is a lot of horrific video footage clearly showing public lynchings in Benghazi (link to graphic description of some of the footage). including at the rebel HQ, beheadings of blindfolded prisoners and interrogation of prisoners, including in hospitals.

The myth of black mercenaries leads to lynchings

Other evidence of the massacres of black people, which include the lynchings and murder of black soldiers of the Libyan army, guest workers from other African countries and dark-skinned Libyan civilians include a report from the BBC on 25 February which cited a Turkish construction worker as saying:

“We had 70-80 people from Chad working for our company. They were cut dead with pruning shears and axes, attackers saying: ‘You are providing troops for Gaddafi.’ The Sudanese were also massacred. We saw it for ourselves.”

On 27th February Nick Meo of The Telegraph reported from Al-Bayda that he had been shown mobile phone footage of a ‘captured mercenary‘ (presumably he means black person with a uniform) lynched from a street lamp as well as a ‘black African hanging on a meat hook.’

Amnesty International crisis researcher, Donatella Rovera spent the period from 27 February to 29th May in Misrata, Benghasi, Ajabiya and Ras Lanouf. Yesterday she was interviewed by Austria’s ‘The Standard’ and had this to say on the subject:

“We examined this issue in depth and found no evidence. The rebels spread these rumours everywhere, which had terrible consequences for African guest workers: there was a systematic hunt for migrants, some were lynched and many arrested. Since then, even the rebels have admitted there were no mercenaries, almost all have been released and have returned to their countries of origin, as the investigations into them revealed nothing.”

Who spread the myth and why?

So what accounts for the widespread popularity of this myth? It is, to be frank, an example of highly successful propaganda, appealing to the basest of racial stereotypes. The myth was highly important in gaining consent for the operation in Libya, in order to cover up and justify the massacres  of black people taking place.

In account after account, the mercenary myth is used to justify the imprisoning and killing of black people and this process continues today.  Given the background of racial tension in Libya, including the October 2000 race riots which led to the killings of 200 people with 1000s forced to flee, the consequences of the spreading of this propaganda were entirely predictable and constitute incitement to commit atrocities.

The myth of black mercenaries was spread by certain political leaders including members of the National Transitional Council in Benghazi, British Defence Minister Liam Fox and NATO spokesperson Oana Longescu .

According to Amnesty, allegations of “African mercenaries” have led to the lynchings

The viagra myth

On the viagra myth beloved of the ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, Donatella Rovera had this to say:

“No one really took that seriously did they? On the 21 March, after the first air strikes on Gadaffi’s troops outside Benghazi, a young man who worked in the media centre presented us with many boxes of the potency drug. He claimed to have found them in the destroyed tanks. The vehicles had been completely burnt out, but the packaging looked brand new. I can not believe that anyone took him seriously.”

NATO enabling human rights abuses

So is NATO actually “protecting civilians” – or is it rather supporting rebels, some of whom who intend to harm dark-skinned Libyans and ethnically cleanse areas over which they take control?

The information contained in this post, is widely known and has been reported in the Independent and other newspapers, so NATO can not claim ignorance of the facts.

As this is being written, the”brigade for purging slaves and black skin,” is advancing on Tawurgha, supported by NATO strikes from the air and on the ground by Special Forces. A rebel commander has declared the intention is to wipe the town off the map and we have already seen the lynchings of black people and the driving out of black people from Ghoushi.

By continuing to escalate the conflict in Libya, allowing the arming and supporting the rebel side, providing bombing support to enable them to advance and refusing to implement a cease-fire as demanded by the United Nations and African Union, NATO is enabling serious abuses of human rights and NATO officials will certainly be held to account. Source

‘We Were Raped, Robbed By Libyan Rebels’

Michael Olugbode

28 October 2011

Maiduguri — Thirty days in the desert after fleeing the crisis-torn Libya, 450 Nigerians yesterday arrived Maiduguri, Borno State, with tales of rape, torture and loss of their personal effects to the fighters opposed to the regime of late Col. Muammar Gaddafi. Source

Mainstream Media’s Coverage Disturbing

By Arthur Chatora

13 October 2011


The mainstream media’s conspicuous silence about the racially motivated human rights abuses perpetrated against black Libyans and immigrants, by the NATO-backed Transitional National Council (TNC) forces in Libya, is disturbing.

Similarly, the high civilian casualties of the current intense fighting in the city of Sirte seems, to a large extent, to be underplayed. Yet organisations such as Human Rights Watch have acknowledged that civilian abuses have continued and called on forces on both sides that are fighting in Sirte to minimize harm to civilians and treat all prisoners humanely.

This biased media coverage raises questions about the credibility of media organisations and their agenda. Is it because the presence of widespread evidence of racially motivated human rights abuses committed by the TNC forces raises moral and ethical questions that challenge the validity of the notion of a “humanitarian war”? The responsibility assumed by NATO and the TNC forces to protect civilian lives from abuse by Gaddafi forces is also questionable, as it appears this mandate does not seem to extend to the protection of black Libyans and African immigrants.

It seems clear that although the United Nations (UN) has acknowledged that war crimes have been committed on both sides, the mainstream media has been preoccupied with covering human rights violations allegedly committed by Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s forces while ignoring those committed by the NATO-backed forces. This is a dissimulation strategy, which demonstrates that the Libyan conflict is being waged on different fronts. A snap content and discourse analysis shows that various media reveal an inherent ideological bias in coverage of the war.

From the inception of the Libyan conflict, a range of organisations within different segments of the media, have generally assumed a narrative that is pro-rebels and anti-Gaddafi in their coverage of the war. The media’s ideological position is the one informed by the dichotomy of “us” (NATO and TNC forces) and “them” (Gaddafi forces), emanating from the fundamental humanitarian reasons and justifications given by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to implement the UN Security Council Resolution 1973, adopted to protect civilians from violence and abuses by the Gaddafi regime.

From the outset of the armed conflict, rebel groups earned a reputation as “freedom fighters” or “liberators” working with NATO on a humanitarian mission to protect civilians from violence and abuses. Consequently, some media organisations assumed this ideological position in their coverage of the war, framing the rebels as “pro-democracy liberators” while constructing Gaddafi’s forces as ‘human rights violators’.

Leading media institutions have been producing and articulating these discourses that are in line with representing a binary narrative that supports the position that NATO and the Libyan TNC forces have a humanitarian responsibility to protect civilians’ lives while Gaddafi forces have been primarily constructed as human rights violators.

Sections of the media have continued to dissimulate narratives of racial human abuses committed by rebel forces because such representations are not congruent with or contradict a pre-defined ideological position that constructs rebel forces and their allies as human rights custodians. Thus, such human rights violations and civilian abuses are not afforded media prominence and attention. The dissimulation of unfavourable narratives relates to the concept of symbolic annihilation whereby the media denies a marginalised or minority social group(s) a voice through under-representation or non-coverage in the media.

There have been several cases and evidence of racial violence against black Libyans and African immigrants that have been reported by humanitarian organisations but these cases have rarely been covered by mainstream media organisations. For example, Amnesty International recently released a detailed 107-page report entitled The Battle for Libya: Killings, Disappearances and Torture whose contents show evidence of racial abuses. The report focuses on among other issues, the human rights abuses being committed against black Africans, by both the Gaddafi and the TNC forces.

Similarly, in August 2011 the UN High Commissioner for Refugees issued a strong call for sub-Saharan Africans to be protected in Libya after reports emerged from Tripoli of people being targeted because of their race. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, AntÃ’nio Guterres, urged restraint from rebel forces and Libyan civilians adding that, Africans especially, have been particularly vulnerable to hostility or acts of vengeance.

The UN has documented several cases of rebels torturing migrant workers in rebel-held areas but these cases have rarely found coverage in mainstream media. More evidence of human rights violations has continued to emerge following the recent publication of a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report on the arbitrary detention of black-skinned people in Tripoli. In a statement Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director of Human Rights Watch categorically and unequivocally stated that, “The NTC should stop arresting African migrants and black Libyans unless it has concrete evidence of criminal activity. It should also take immediate steps to protect them from violence and abuse.” Similarly, Fred Abrahams, the special advisor at Human Rights Watch recently called on military leaders in Sirte from both sides to make sure that their forces protect civilians or at least allow them to flee the combat zone.

It in interesting to note that despite widespread evidence of such racial abuses perpetrated by the NTC forces, it appears mainstream media organisations have not been willing to represent a narrative that does not conform to its set ideological position and agenda. What has become evident where the reports of racial abuses have reached mainstream media is the framing of a narrative that portrays the victims as “African mercenaries,” despite the availability of adequate evidence to prove that many of the victims were not mercenaries.

Amnesty International reports that, “the allegations about the use of mercenaries proved to be largely unfounded” but this has remained an unknown fact to the public. This revelation demonstrates the media’s complicity in the human rights violations. Therefore, mainstream media organisations have concealed gross abuses that could have been exposed and stopped by not representing and speaking against such human rights violations.

The lack of adequate exposure and coverage of the rebels’ racial violations by mainstream media corroborate the assertion that the media is not serving the public but it is serving power and in the process it has abandoned professional media ethics and standards. Source

Throughout most of Gaddafi’s rule, Libyan citizens enjoyed free health care, free education and free electricity and water. Car purchases for every citizen were 50% subsidized by the government. Gas in Gaddafi’s Libya was $0.14 per liter. Under this ‘brutal dictator’, the mother of every newborn child received $5,000. All these, and many other social benefits under Gaddafi, make the supposedly socialist systems of France and other European nations look like predatory capitalist regimes. Today, with Gaddafi gone, Libya’s generous social benefits and the formerly high standard of living of its citizens are under serious threat from the new pro-Western puppet regime.

Gaddafi was also instrumental in establishing the African Union. He invested heavily and generously, to the tune of $6 billion, in many other African nations. Throughout Africa, hospitals, schools, hotels and roads bear Gaddafi’s name as a sign of gratitude to the ‘brutal dictator’. Libyan investments have helped to connect most of Africa by telephone, television, radio broadcasting, etc. Many major African companies, in which Gaddafi had invested via the ‘Libya Arab Africa Investment Portfolio’, now face financial ruin as Libyan oil money is diverted to the West under Libya’s new rulers. Source

Africans nor Libyans will benefit from Libya’s oil. The poorest continent on the planet. Now it goes to the WEST, the EU and ISRAEL ???????????

So tell me who wants to keep Africa poor?

How many of those rebels were from NATO/US/ISRAEL. I bet they were death squads.

I bet the majority were not from Libya at all.

How sick is that. This was not just an attack on Libya this was an attack on all of Africa. This yet another murderous, bloody, slaughter so the  Rich can steal from the poor.

Bloody thieves should be all locked up in jail.

53 Bodies found in a Sirte hotel

Oct 25, 2011
“Some had their hands tied behind their backs when they were shot, said Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch said in a statement. This requires the immediate attention of the Libyan authorities to investigate what happened and prosecute those responsible.
Those preparing the bodies said they believed most of the victims were residents of Sirte, some of them Gaddafi supporters. “ Source

Libya, UN Security Council ends mandate for international military operations

If you have the urge to leave a message at youtube for the UN

This is the link

They may not post your comment but they will get the message. So lets see if they believe in free speech.

There will be an investigation into Gaddafi and his sons deaths. Done by the Libyans in power.  NTC well that should be fair and impartial I bet.

This is from the Daily Press Briefing 26 October 2011 and guests: Barbara Crossette and Richard Kollodge on “The State of the World Population 2011” (UNFPA)

Israel and Libya: Preparing Africa for the “Clash of Civilizations”
Introduction by Cynthia McKinney
By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Third of Four Installments on Libya: Israel and Libya

October 11, 2011

Once again, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya peels away the veneer of legitimacy and deception enveloping the U.S./NATO genocide currently taking place in Libya. In his first article, Nazemroaya exposed the mechanism by which the world came to “know” of the need for a humanitarian intervention in the Libyan Arab Jamahirya and U.S./NATO admissions of targeted assassination attempts against the Leader of the 1969 Libyan Revolution, Muammar Qaddafi. In his first of these four installments since his return from Libya, Nazemraoya makes it clear that there never was any evidence given to the United Nations or the International Criminal Court to warrant or justify United Nations Resolutions 1970 and 1973 or current U.S./NATO operations inside Libya.
In his second article detailing this very sad story, Nazemroaya exposes the relationships between the major Libyan protagonists/NATO collaborators and the U.S. Congress-funded National Endowment for Democracy. Incredibly, when leading Members of Congress publicly proclaimed repeatedly that they did not know who the Libyan “rebel” NATO collaborators were, select so-called rebel leaders were political intimates with stakeholders at the National Endowment for Democracy. The leaders of the National Transitional Council, contrived to appear highly influential to publics in former colonial capitals, have very little influence or support inside Libya, and can be likened to a Hamid Karzai type of morally bankrupt neo-colonial authority that presides over and gives a fig-leaf of “legitmacy” to those outsiders whose objective is the total destruction of recalcitrant citizens who demand self-determination over their own communities and country. Nazemroaya also exposes that, despite its Global War on Terror, the U.S. government actually financed Libyan terrorists and criminals wanted by INTERPOL.

In this, his third of four installments, Nazemroaya removes the U.S./NATO fig leaf and what he reveals are the abhorrent, obnoxious, inhumane, and cynical machinations of the pro-Israel Lobby that is the only political force that seems to be able to command the mightiest of militaries and the strongest of leaders to act in ways that threaten the peace and tranquility of their own political parties and national security of their own governments. Indeed, by its policy to support Israel, no matter how belligerent its policies, the United States has eroded its own national interest, as warnings from U.S. military leaders continue to point out.

In fact, my own personal experiences with the pro-Israel Lobby inside the United States demonstrate Israel’s intense interest in Africa. I have written about my experience with “the pledge” to support Israel that is forced on every candidate for the U.S. Congress; refusal to sign it, as I did, means not one dollar of the millions expended each election cycle in campaign contributions and can ensure the most vicious media demonization as the major descriptor of the un-cooperating candidate. The demonization of Alabama’s first Black Member of Congress since Reconstruction, Earl Hilliard, in his 2002 re-election campaign, with specific regard to his visits to Libya, immediately come to mind. Weeks later, many of the New York contributors against his re-election, reappeared in my own opponent’s campaign coffers. While I was portrayed in letters to supporters of the pro-Israel Lobby as anti-Israel, I will continue to believe that it was my very real activities in Africa that the pro-Israel Lobby found most threatening. From land reform to blood diamonds to various warnings I sent to certain African oil-producing countries to support for African self-determination and against artificial efforts to create divisions in Cote d’Ivoire, Zaire/Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Sudan, I found an incredible interest in all things African on the part of the pro-Israel Lobby.

In fact, I was invited to lease my “Black” face to these very interests and get arrested in front of the Sudan Embassy to sow the very “Black versus Arab” narrative being tragically created in Libya which Nazemroaya describes so thoroughly in this current text. I note here that some Blacks inside and outside of the U.S. Congress did choose to accept this particular invitation and get arrested. My representative was present at the meeting where these activities were planned, finance was arranged, and actions put in motion. This was a purposeful manipulation of U.S. policy and more importantly, of the despicable behaviors in Sudan that led to human rights abuses and crimes against humanity. My own legislation to de-list corporations from the U.S. stock exchange that aided or abetted or engaged in any way in human rights abuses in Sudan was deemed by guardians of the pro-Israel agenda inside the Congress to be an unacceptable answer to the very real abuses taking place in that country.

Additionally, while I was in prison in Israel, the point of the mostly African female prisoners on my Ramle Prison cell block was that they were adherents of “the wrong religion.” The purging of Christians inside Israel is a fact. The scribblings on the wall of my Israeli holding room in another prison complex before my release made it clear that those Christians being deported were not wanted in Israel and they felt that it was because of their religion. Israel’s recent push, despite its non-Jewish residents, to identify itself as a “Jewish state” is telling.

While in Libya, I met many Africans who said that they chose to live there because of the pan-Africanism of the policies of the Libyan Jamahirya. In fact, while at an “Africans in the Diaspora Conference” there in January/February of 2011, I personally witnessed, along with a delegation of others from the United States, Muammar Qaddafi pledge $90 billion to a “United States of Africa” that would work together to build the Continent and counter the efforts to penetrate and recolonize it. Blacks in the United States who struggled for dignity, self-determination, and against U.S. oppression and imperialism during the 1960s and 1970s have a relationship with Muammar Qaddafi and the Jamahirya government that goes back decades. At the 29-stops of my Libya Truth Tour, I met many U.S. citizens who reminded the audiences of the contributions of Muammar Qaddafi and the Jamahirya government against British imperialism in Northern Ireland. Continental Africans attending these Tour-stops reminded audiences of Muammar Qaddafi’s support for Nelson Mandela and Africans struggling to rid the Continent of Apartheid at a time when Israel shared an alliance with that government. They also noted the Jamahirya government’s current support for many development projects throughout the Continent and for the budget of the African Union, itself. Therefore, many alarmed observers have pointed out that the U.S./NATO attack on Libya is actually an attack on all of Africa. Nazemroaya eloquently makes this point while revealing the underlying motives for the “uber-violence” that we see in Libya and that is opposed by large majorities of voters in NATO member states, if reported polling results can be trusted.  What comes to my mind is how anyone who identifies with the peace community could support such an attack on Libya, especially while the people of Libya valiantly resist NATO domination.

Nazemroaya makes the essential point: “An attempt to separate the merging point of an Arab and African identity is underway.” The Voice of America has exposed the psychological aspects of its brutal intervention and hints at the mindset of the U.S./NATO Libyan pawns; several stories suggest that the “new” Libya will turn more toward its Arab identity than its African identity. And U.S./NATO successful imposition of the psychological chains of identity denial are the most longlasting of chains. While in Tunisia, I actually came face to face with the fruits of this project when a taxi driver born in Tunisia told me that he was not African! Muammar Qaddafi drove home to all Libyans that Libya, as its geography dictates, is an African country. It seems ludicrous on its face to have to reiterate such a fact except for the racism, brainwashing, and psychological underpinnings of current U.S./NATO policy and its colonial antecedents that Nazemroaya exposes.

Finally, Walter H. Kansteiner has moved in and out of various positions within the foreign policy apparatus of the United States government and has been the voice for exactly the policies described by Nazemroaya. Among Kansteiner’s positions are stints as Africa Director at the State Department and National Security Council Director for African Affairs during the Presidency of George Herbert Walker Bush and Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs during the Presidency of George W. Bush. During these stints, Mr. Kansteiner was in a position to initiate the balkanization of Africa that we now see reaching fruition on the Continent. I was forced to write a

Cynthia McKinney, 10 October 2011.

Cynthia McKinney is a former U.S. Congresswoman who served in two different Georgia federal districts in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2003 and from 2005 to 2007 as a member of the U.S. Democratic Party. She was also the U.S. Green Party presidential candidate in 2008. While in the U.S. Congress she served on the U.S. Banking and Finance Committee, the U.S. National Security Committee (later renamed the U.S. Armed Services Committee), and the U.S. Foreign Affairs Committee (later renamed the U.S. International Relations Committee). She also served on the U.S. International Relations subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights. McKinney has conducted two fact-finding missions to Libya and also recently finished a nationwide speaking tour in the United States sponsored by the ANSWER Coalition regarding the NATO bombing campaign on Libya. Source

Israeli Death Squads to Infiltrate Egyptian Protests

February 2 2011

The office of israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered their counterpart in the Egyptian government, Omar Suleiman, also head of Egyptian intelligence, to send death squad units, the groups of militant zionist murderers who wear Arab civilian clothes also known as “mistaaravim”, to infiltrate the protesters in Egypt in order to assassinate the leaders of the opposition and the revolutionary movement who take part in the protests against the dictatorial regime of Hosni Mubarak and his thugs. Source

Would Netanyahu hesitate to send Death Squads into Libya, a country Israel so desires to be in. I think not. For all we know they were with the Anti- Gaddafi protesters.

NATO’s War on Libya is Directed against China: AFRICOM and the Threat to China’s National Energy Security

by F. William Engdahl

September 25 2011


MAP above. Africom’s regional interests. Copyright Stratcom 2011


The Washington-led decision by NATO to bomb Gaddafi’s Libya into submission over recent months, at an estimated cost to US taxpayers of at least $1 billion, has little if anything to do with what the Obama Administration claims was a mission to “protect innocent civilians.” In reality it is part of a larger strategic assault by NATO and by the Pentagon in particular to entirely control China’s economic achilles heel, namely China’s strategic dependence on large volumes of imported crude oil and gas. Today China is the world’s second largest importer of oil after the United States and the gap is rapidly closing.

If we take a careful look at a map of Africa and also look at the African organization of the new Pentagon Africa Command—AFRICOM—the pattern that emerges is a careful strategy of controlling one of China’s most strategically important oil and raw materials sources.

NATO’s Libya campaign was and is all about oil. But not about simply controlling Libyan high-grade crude because the USA is nervous about reliable foreign supplies. It rather is about controlling China’s free access to long-term oil imports from Africa and from the Middle East. In other words, it is about controlling China itself.

Libya geographically is bounded to its north by the Mediterranean directly across from Italy, where Italian ENI oil company has been the largest foreign operator in Libya for years. To its west it is bounded by Tunisia and by Algeria. To its south it is bounded by Chad. To its east it is bounded by both Sudan (today Sudan and Southern Sudan) and by Egypt. That should tell something about the strategic importance of Libya from the standpoint of the Pentagon’s AFRICOM long-term strategy for controlling Africa and its resources and which country is able to get those resources. 

Gaddafi’s Libya had maintained strict national state control over the rich reserves of high quality “light, sweet” Libyan crude oil. As of 2006 data Libya had the largest proven oil reserves in Africa, some 35%, larger even than Nigeria. Oil consessions had been extended to Chinese state oil companies as well as Russian and others in recent years. Not surprisingly a spokesman from the so-called opposition claiming victory over Gaddafi, Abdeljalil Mayouf, information manager at Libyan rebel oil firm AGOCO, told Reuters, “We don’t have a problem with Western countries like the Italians, French and UK companies. But we may have some political issues with Russia, China and Brazil.” China and Russia and Brazil either opposed UN sanctions on Libya or pressed for a negotiated settlement of the internal conflict and an end to NATO bombing.

As I have detailed elsewhere,1  Gaddafi, an old adherent of Arab socialism on the line of Egypt’s Gamal Nasser, used the oil revenues to improve the lot of his people. Health care was free as was education. Each Libyan family was given a state grant of $50000 towards buying a new house and all bank loans were according to Islamic anti-usury laws, interest free. The state was also free of debt. Only by bribery and massive infiltration into the tribal opposition areas of the eastern part of the country could the CIA, MI6 and other NATO intelligence operatives, at an estimated cost of $1 billion, and massive NATO bombing of civilians, destabilize the strong ties between Gaddafi and his people.

 Why then did NATO and the Pentagon lead such a mad and destructive assault on a peaceful sovereign country? Clear is that one of the prime reasons was to complete the encirclement of China’s oil and vital raw material sources across northern Africa.

Pentagon alarm over China

Step-by-step in the past several years Washington had begun to create the perception that China, which was the “dear friend and ally of America” less than a decade ago, was becoming the greatest threat to world peace because of China’s enormous economic expansion. The painting of China as a new “enemy” has been complex as Washington is dependent on China to buy the lion’s share of the US Government debt in the form of Treasury paper.

 In August the Pentagon released its annual report to Congress on China’s military status. 2 This year the report sent alarm bells ringing across China for a strident new tone. The report stated among other things, “Over the past decade, China’s military has benefited from robust investment in modern hardware and technology. Many modern systems have reached maturity and others will become operational in the next few years,” the Pentagon said in the report. It added that “there remains uncertainty about how China will use its growing capabilities… China’s rise as a major international actor is likely to stand out as a defining feature of the strategic landscape of the early 21st century.”3

In a matter of perhaps two to five years, depending on how the rest of the world reacts or plays their cards, the Peoples’ Republic of China will emerge in the controlled Western media painted as the new “Hitler Germany.” If that seems hard to believe today, just reflect on how that was done with former Washington allies such as Egypt’s Mubarak or even Saddam Hussein. In June this year, former US Secretary of the Navy and now US Senator from Virginia, James Webb, startled many in Beijing when he told press that China was fast approaching what he called a “Munich moment,” when Washington must decide how to maintain a strategic balance, a reference to the 1938 crisis over Czechoslovakia when Chamberlain opted for appeasement with Hitler over Czechoslovakia. Webb added, “If you look at the last 10 years, the strategic winner has been China.” 4

 The same massively effective propaganda machine of the Pentagon, led by CNN, BBC, the New York Times or London Guardian will get the subtle command from Washington to “paint China and its leaders black.” China is becoming far too strong and far too independent for many in Washington and in Wall Street. To control that, above all China’s oil import dependency has been identified as her Achilles Heel. Libya is a move to strike directly at that vulnerable Achilles heel.

China moves into Africa

The involvement of Chinese energy and raw materials companies across Africa had become a major cause of alarm in Washington where an attitude of malign neglect had dominated Washington Africa policy since the Cold War era. As its future energy needs became obvious several years ago China began a major African economic diplomacy which reached a crescendo in 2006 when Beijing literally rolled out the red carpet to heads of more than forty African states and discussed a broad range of economic issues. None were more important for Beijing than securing future African oil resources for China’s robust industrialization.

 China moved into countries which had been virtually abandoned by former European colonial powers like France or Britain or Portugal

Chad is a case in point. The poorest and most geographically isolated African countries, Chad was courted by Beijing which resumed diplomatic ties in 2006.    

In October 2007 China’s state oil giant CNPC signed a contract to build a refinery jointly with Chad’s government. Two years later they began construction of an oil pipeline to carry oil from a new Chinese field in the south some 300 kilometers to the refinery. Western-supported NGO’s predictably began howling about environmental impacts of the Chinese oil pipeline. The same NGOs were curiously silent when Chevron struck oil in 2003 in Chad. In July 2011 the two countries, Chad and China celebrated opening of the joint venture oil refinery near Chad’s capital of Ndjamena. 5 Chad’s Chinese oil activities are strikingly close to another major Chinese oil project in what then was Sudan’s Darfur region bordering Chad.

Sudan had been a growing source of oil flows to China since cooperation began in the late 1990s after Chevron abandoned its stake there. By 1998 CNPC was building a 1500 km long oil pipeline from southern Sudan oilfields to Port Sudan on the Red Sea as well as building a major oil refinery near Khartoum. Sudan was the first large overseas oilfield project operated by China. By the beginning of 2011 Sudan oil, most all from the conflict-torn south, provided some 10% of China’s oil imports from taking more than 60% of Sudan’s daily oil production of 490,000 barrels. Sudan had become a point of vital Chinese national energy security.

According to geological estimates, the subsurface running from Darfur in what was southern Sudan through Chad into Cameroon is one giagantic oil field in extent perhaps equivalent to a new Saudi Arabia. Controlling southern Sudan as well as Chad and Cameroon is vital to the Pentagon strategy of “strategic denial” to China of their future oil flows. So long as a stable and robust Ghaddafi regime remained in power in Tripoli that control remained a major problem. The simultaneous splitting off of the Republic of South Sudan from Khartoum and the toppling of Ghaddafi in favor of weak rebel bands beholden to Pentagon support was for the Pentagon Full Spectrum Dominance of strategic priority. 

AFRICOM responds

 The key force behind the recent wave of Western military attacks against Libya or more covert regime changes such as those in Tunisia, Egypt and the fateful referendum in southern Sudan which has now made that oil-rich region “independent” has been AFRICOM, the special US military command established by the Bush Administration in 2008 explicitly to counter the growing Chinese influence over Africa’s vast oil and mineral wealth.

In late 2007, Dr. J. Peter Pham, a Washington insider who advises the US State and Defense Departments, stated openly that among the aims of the new AFRICOM, is the objective of protecting access to hydrocarbons and other strategic resources which Africa has in abundance … a task which includes ensuring against the vulnerability of those natural riches and ensuring that no other interested third parties, such as China, India, Japan, or Russia, obtain monopolies or preferential treatment.” 6

In testimony before the US Congress supporting creation of AFRICOM in 2007, Pham, who is associated with the neo-conservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies, stated:

 “This natural wealth makes Africa an inviting target for the attentions of the People’s Republic of China, whose dynamic economy…has an almost insatiable thirst for oil as well as a need for other natural resources to sustain it…China is currently importing approximately 2.6 million barrels of crude per day, about half of its consumption; more than 765,000 of those barrels—roughly a third of its imports—come from African sources, especially Sudan, Angola, and Congo (Brazzaville). Is it any wonder, then, that…perhaps no other foreign region rivals Africa as the object of Beijing’s sustained strategic interest in recent years…

Intentionally or not, many analysts expect that Africa—especially the states along its oil-rich western coastline—will increasingly becoming a theatre for strategic competition between the United States and its only real near-peer competitor on the global stage, China, as both countries seek to expand their influence and secure access to resources.”7

 It is useful to briefly recall the sequence of Washington-sponsored “Twitter” revolutions in the ongoing so-called Arab Spring. The first was Tunisia, an apparently insignificant land on north Africa’s Mediterranean. However Tunisia is on the western border of Libya. The second domino to fall in the process was Mubarak’s Egypt. That created major instability across the Middle East into north Africa as Mubarak for all his flaws had fiercely resisted Washington Middle East pollicy. Israel also lost a secure ally when Mubarak fell.  

 Then in  July 2011 Southern Sudan declared itself the independent Republic of South Sudan, breaking away from Sudan after years of US-backed insurgency against Khartoum rule. The new Republic takes with it the bulk of Sudan’s known oil riches, something clearly not causing joy in Beijing. US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, led the US delegation to the independence celebrations, calling it “a testament to the Southern Sudanese people.” She added, in terms of making the secssion happen, “the US has been as active as anyone.” US President Obama openly supported seccession of the south. The breakaway was a project guided and financed from Washington since the Bush Administration decided to make it a priority in 2004. 8          

Now Sudan has suddenly lost its main source of hard currency oil revenue. The secession of the south, where three-quarters of Sudan’s 490 000 barrels a day of oil is produced, has aggravated economic difficulties in Khartoum cutting some 37% off its total revenues. Sudan’s only oil refineries and the only export route run north from oilfields to Port Sudan on the Red Sea in northern Sudan. South Sudan is now being encouraged by Washington to build a new export pipeline independent of Khartoum via Kenya. Kenya is one of the areas of strongest US military influence in Africa.9

The aim of the US-led regime change in Libya as well as the entire Greater Middle East Project which lies behind the Arab Spring is to secure absolute control over the world’s largest known oil fields to control future policies in especially countries like China. As then US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is reported to have said during the 1970’s when he was arguably more powerful than the President of the United States, “If you control the oil you control entire nations or groups of nations.” Source

 Yes people it is definitely about oil. Absolutely not about Human Rights.

In the link below there is also a lot of information you may not know about.

Now ask yourself are the US lead NATO forces making the world a safer place, or are they just killing in their path, for control of the oil?

If any of the NATO countries think they will come out well at the end of all this they too are dead wrong the US will take them out last after they have worn out their usefulness just like all the other Allies the US has done away with.

How stupid they all are, the US and their best friends,  always eliminates it’s allies one way or the other.

Seems the EU is going bankrupt.

Well who is behind all the Banking problems children?

Your being eliminated as I write this you just fail to see it.

Borrow from the IMF or World Bank children and you will enslaved like other countries.

They want you to borrow, they want you to go bankrupt, they want cheap slaves to work for ever, to serve them.

Being a member of NATO will not protect you, any more then being a member of the EU or UN for that matter.

Those who are blindest, are those who refuse to see the truth.

The Libya American’s never saw on Television

The Darfur Deception

America’s War in the Horn of Africa: “Drone Alley” – a Harbinger of Western Power across the African Continent

US Military Confirms Washington’s Secret New War in Somalia Despite Official Denials

by Finian Cunningham
October 29, 2011

US military sources have confirmed that the Obama administration is engaged in a new war in the famine-hit Horn of Africa region.

The disclosure in the Washington Post [1] comes only days after other prominent Western media outlets, including the New York Times and the Financial Times, carried denials from the US government that it was involved in directly supporting Kenyan forces that invaded Somalia on 16 October.

Global Research first reported on 19 October [2] the lethal use of US drones in attacks on various locations across southern Somalia in a coordinated air campaign to assist the advance of Kenyan ground troops deep into Somali territory held by Islamic insurgents. We reported that US drones began attacking Somali targets days before the Kenyan army began its incursion, and have continued in a pattern that indicates American air power is being used to pave the way for ground forces as they advance towards the southern port city of Kismayu – the main stronghold of the Al Shabab insurgents, which the US government accuses of having links with Al Qaeda.

It is believed that scores of Somali fighters and civilians have been killed over the past two weeks by US unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that have attacked several cities and towns, including Qoqani, Afmadow and Kismayu. Global Research also reported on 26 October [3] that French naval forces had joined the bombing campaign – again despite official French denials carried in Western media – and that the conclusion from these military developments was clear: Washington and Paris are now engaging in a secret new war in East Africa ¬– a region where up to 12 million people are at risk of starvation from years of drought and Western-induced conflict.

On 27 October, the Washington Post cited US military officials confirming the deployment of attack and surveillance drones in “a rapidly expanding US-led proxy war against an al Qaeda affiliate in East Africa”. The UAVs – also known as Reapers or Hunter Killers – are believed to be operated from a site in southern Ethiopia, Arba Minch, as well as from US bases in Djibouti and the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean.

The WP report states: “The [US] Air Force has invested millions of dollars to upgrade an airfield in Arba Minch, Ethiopia, where it has built a small annex to house a fleet of drones that can be equipped with Hellfire missiles and satellite-guided bombs. The Reapers began flying missions earlier this year over neighboring Somalia… The location of the Ethiopian base and the fact that it became operational this year, however, have not been previously disclosed.”

This disclosure of US military operations in Somalia amounts to an admission that Washington is at war.  However, the Washington Post, while stating “rapidly expanding US-led proxy war”, does not highlight the legal implications of that startling admission, concentrating its reportage on technical and logistical issues that are providing “support for [US] security assistance programs”.

Iranian news channel Press TV – citing civilian eyewitnesses and Kenyan and Somali military officials – has been one of the few media outlets that has consistently reported the almost daily lethal US drone attacks in southern Somalia since the Kenyan invasion. However, even Press TV has not drawn the explicit conclusion that this amounts to war.

While the other Western news media, including the BBC, Reuters and the New York Times, had earlier reported increased US drone activity in Somalia between June and September, these outlets appeared to have dropped coverage of the deadly attacks being reported since and just before 16 October.

Following the disclosure in the Washington Post, the BBC on 28 October seemed to resume its coverage, with the headline: “US flies drones from Ethiopia to fight Somali militants”.  The BBC, as with the WP, does not view this as an act of war, and stressed that the “remotely-piloted drones were being used only for surveillance” – contrary to evidence on the ground.

As well as playing down the fact of US-led war in Somalia, the mainstream media now seem to be crafting a new narrative for the military offensive. The initial pretext for the Kenyan ground invasion faithfully repeated in the Western media was the “hot pursuit” of kidnap gangs allegedly belonging to Al Shabab. It is true that there has been a spate of kidnappings of Western holidaymakers and aid workers from Kenyan territory by gangs suspected to originate inside Somalia. However, there is no proof that Al Shabab has been involved and indeed the militant group has denied any involvement.

Now it seems that the rationale being given for the Kenyan invasion and Western “technical support” has subtly morphed into an extension of the “war on terror”.  Al Shabab has been waging an insurgency against the Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu, which was installed in 2009 with the support of US and other Western governments as a bulwark against the Islamists. The TFG has only managed to maintain a tenuous grip on power thanks in part to Washington’s military and economic support and to the presence of thousands of African Union troops from Uganda and Burundi.

Al Shabab is on Washington’s terror list and is accused of having links to Al Qaeda. However, many Western analysts do not consider Al Shabab to be a regional threat. The Council on Foreign Relations, the Washington-aligned think-tank, estimates that the group has only a few hundred hardcore combatants and that its alleged links to Al Qaeda may be no more than rhetorical. Nevertheless, the militants have prevented the pro-Western TFG from gaining control of the country. In that way, the group has thwarted Washington and Western geopolitical dominance of the strategically important East African maritime territory.

This would seem to be a more plausible explanation for the US/French/Kenyan war in Somalia. Namely, the assertion of Western geopolitical control, rather than “war on terror” and certainly not the hot pursuit of kidnap gangs. That gives the real meaning behind the “constellation of US drone bases” being operated in the region – to strike any African country when and where required. Currently, Somalia (and Yemen) is in the firing line. But the entire region appears being turned into a “drone alley”. It is perhaps only a matter of time before reports emerge of drone activity in Sudan, Eritrea, Uganda and elsewhere. The recent deployment of US Special Forces in Uganda and other Central African countries is also a harbinger of this strategic force projection.

The bigger picture to this is, as John Pilger noted previously in Global Research, a “modern scramble for African resources” by Western powers, which have in recent years watched enviously the growing influence of China in the region. This neo-imperialist scramble for Africa is consistent with NATO’s conquest of Libya. The close collaboration between the US and France in the bombing of North Africa is now being rolled out in East Africa.

It also marks a new era of lawlessness by Western powers. Not only can President Barack Obama personally order the assassination of individuals with his penchant for “hunter killer” drones. Evidently from developments in Somalia, Commander-in-Chief Obama is no longer obliged to notify the US Congress or the American people of their country’s engagement in new wars. Nor is he obliged to even seek a phony UN mandate. Not so long ago such abuse of power would be sure grounds for impeachment. Source

Racist murders in Libya at the hands of rebel forces

Libya: Rebels Create Humanitarian Disaster, Then Blame it on Qaddafi

Why NATO Murdered Gaddafi

The ‘rebel’ assassination of Muammar Gaddafi: a NATO operation from A to Z

Photo of the day: Killings of blacks in Libya

NATO Rebels democracy and justice 02.11 Benghazi, NATO Crimes In Libya

It’s time for the true war criminals to be prosecuted.

Posted by PC War Crimes

October 21st, 2011

The Nuremberg Tribunal condemned a war of aggression in the strongest terms: “To initiate a war of aggression . . . is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” It held individuals accountable for “crimes against peace”, defined as the “planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing….” When the United Nations General Assembly unanimously affirmed the Nuremberg principles in 1946, it affirmed the principle of individual accountability for such crimes.

Barack Hussein Obama, David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy and Stephen Harper have breached the Geneva Convention with the willful planning, preparing and initiating of a war of aggression against Libya.  Libya did not attack the United States, France, the UK, Canada or any other foreign state.  Libyan leaders have only killed foreign paid mercenaries.  Mercenaries are not protected by the Geneva Convention.  Any leader of any country can kill any and all mercenaries who are actively  participating in acts of rebellion, revolt, sabotage, or any other act that seeks to overthrown the government.

If foreign mercenaries were to enter Canada and try to overthrow the government of Canada by acts of violence including rebellion, revolt, sabotage or armed attacks then the Canadian government would be legally permitted to use lethal force to either capture or eliminate the threat.  That is exactly what has happened in Libya.  Foreign mercenaries were paid by the United States government (through the CIA) and the Israeli government (through the Mossad) to infiltrate Libya to overthrow Muammar Gaddaffi.  Foreign paid and controlled mercenaries were ordered to use violence to overthrow the Libyan government.  For the sake of national security Gaddaffi ordered a crackdown against the violence initiated by the CIA / Mossad mercenaries who entered his country illegally to overthrown his government.  Gaddaffi forces have killed only foreign mercenaries (people not protected by the Geneva Convention).  It is French, United States, British and Canadian forces who are killing Libyan civilians in their illegal war of aggression against Libya.

Barack Hussein Obama, David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy and Stephen Harper have willfully participated in a common plan to launch an unprovoked armed attack against the territorial integrity and political independence of Libya.  News media reports from Canada, the U.S. and Europe unequivocally demonstrates that all the elements of a war crime are present.

Harper claims the UN has authorized the use of force against Libya.  The UN Security Council can never authorize the use of force by any UN member state against any other nation state.  UN Charter Article 2 Section 4

All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

The UN Charter Article 2 Section 7 specifically forbids its members from participating in the kind of aggression that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has willfully planned for, prepared for and initiated against Libya.

Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter Vll.

In 1974, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a definition of aggression. It defined aggression as necessarily being the act of a State, and described the specific actions of one State against another which constitute aggression. In its work on the draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind, the United Nations International Law Commission, echoing the Nuremberg Tribunal, also concluded that individuals could be held accountable for acts of aggression. The Commission indicated the specific conduct for which individuals could be held accountable — initiating, planning, preparing or waging aggression — and that only those individuals in positions of leadership who order or actively participate in the acts could incur responsibility.   Barack Hussein Obama, David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy and Stephen Harper can be held accountable for “initiating, planning, preparing or waging aggression” against the sovereign state of Libya and its people.  UN Resolution 1973 does not authorized the use of force against Libyan civilian infrastructure nor its elected leaders.  Use of force was unlawfully authorized (resolution is a violation of the UN Charter Article 2 Section 4 and 7) for the purpose of protecting civilians and civilian populated areas and no ‘foreign occupation force of any form is permitted.’

Barack Hussein Obama, David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy and Stephen Harper have not only prepared for and planned for a war of aggression against Libya and its civilian population it has and continues to launch air strikes that has destroyed civilian infrastructure and killed unknown numbers of civilians who were residing or working in those targeted and destroyed civilian buildings.

The United States, France, the UK nor Canada are not and can not become a safe haven for persons who willfully commit war crimes, crimes against humanity or other reprehensible acts regardless of who they might be, and when or where they commit their heinous and cowardly acts of aggression and assault against any civilian and any civilian population.

Under Canada’s War Crimes Program, war criminals and those responsible for crimes against humanity are not welcomed in Canada, whether the crimes were committed during World War II or more recently.

Having ratified the Geneva Convention, Canada incorporated its principles into domestic law through the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act. Under this domestic law, the RCMP can investigate government officials.  Stephen Harper and Peter MacKay can be put on trial in Canada for war crimes, crimes against humanity and murder.

It’s time to insist that the true war criminals be prosecuted, regardless of who they are.  It’s time for the heads of states of the United States, France, the UK and Canada to be formally charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity.  To try them and hold them accountable for the crimes they have feloniously, willingly, and willfully committed against the Libyan people. They have unlawful killed thousands of Libyan civilians with malice aforethought.  They are criminals.  Criminals must be held accountable for their crimes and they must be punished for their crimes.  Barack Hussein Obama, David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy and Stephen Harper are not above the law.  They are all accountable to the law.

Poll Results as of September 17, 2011

Should US, French, UK and Canadian heads of state be indicted for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Libya?

  • Yes (57%, 4,067 Votes)
  • No (29%, 2,087 Votes)
  • Only Obama and Sarkozy (14%, 960 Votes)

Total Voters: 7,114

The majority (57%) agree that Barack Hussein Obama, David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy and Stephen Harper should be indicted for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Libya?

Source

This has nothing to do with Libya but it still is a good thing.

Will these two ever be sent to prison, probably not. They should however if found guilty, be in prison for the rest of their lives.

We really do have to start locking these people up or wars will never end.

Bush and Blair to be Tried for War Crimes in Kuala Lumpur

2011 October 24

By David Swanson

KUALA LUMPUR, 20 October 2011 – On November 19-22, 2011, the trial of George W Bush (former U.S. President) and Anthony L Blair (former British Prime Minister) will be held in Kuala Lumpur. This is the first time that war crimes charges will be heard against the two former heads of state in compliance with proper legal process.

Charges are being brought against the accused by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (KLWCC) following the due process of the law. The Commission, having received complaints from war victims in Iraq in 2009, proceeded to conduct a painstaking and an in-depth investigation for close to two years and in 2011, constituted formal charges on war crimes against Bush, Blair and their associates.

The Iraq invasion in 2003 and its occupation had resulted in the death of 1.4 million Iraqis. Countless others had endured torture and untold hardship. The cries of these victims have thus far gone unheeded by the international community. The fundamental human right to be heard has been denied to them.

As a result, the KLWCC had been established in 2008 to fill this void and act as a peoples’ initiative to provide an avenue for such victims to file their complaints and let them have their day in a court of law.

The first charge against George W Bush and Anthony L Blair is for Crimes Against Peace wherein:

The Accused persons had committed Crimes against Peace, in that the Accused persons planned, prepared and invaded the sovereign state of Iraq on 19 March 2003 in violation of the United Nations Charter and international law.

The second charge is for Crime of Torture and War Crimes against eight citizens of the United States and they are namely George W Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo. wherein:

The Accused persons had committed the Crime of Torture and War Crimes, in that: The Accused persons had wilfully participated in the formulation of executive orders and directives to exclude the applicability of all international conventions and laws, namely the Convention against Torture 1984, Geneva Convention III 1949, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Charter in relation to the war launched by the U.S. and others in Afghanistan (in 2001) and in Iraq (in March 2003); Additionally, and/or on the basis and in furtherance thereof, the Accused persons authorised, or connived in, the commission of acts of torture and cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment against victims in violation of international law, treaties and conventions including the Convention against Torture 1984 and the Geneva Conventions, including Geneva Convention III 1949.

The trial will be held before the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, which is constituted of imminent persons with legal qualifications.

The judges of the Tribunal, which is headed by retired Malaysian Federal Court judge Dato’ Abdul Kadir Sulaiman, also include other notable names such as Mr Alfred Lambremont Webre, a Yale graduate, who authored several books on politics, Dato’ Zakaria Yatim, retired Malaysian Federal Court judge, Tunku Sofiah Jewa, practising lawyer and author of numerous publications on International Law, Prof Salleh Buang, former Federal Counsel in the Attorney-General Chambers and prominent author, Prof Niloufer Bhagwat, an expert in Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and International Law, and Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi, prominent academic and professor of law.

The Tribunal will adjudicate and evaluate the evidence presented as in any court of law. The judges of the Tribunal must be satisfied that the charges are proven beyond reasonable doubt and deliver a reasoned judgement.

In the event the tribunal convicts any of the accused, the only sanction is that the name of the guilty person will be entered in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals and publicised worldwide. The tribunal is a tribunal of conscience and a peoples’ initiative.

The prosecution for the trial will be lead by Prof Gurdial S Nijar, prominent law professor and author of several law publications and Prof Francis Boyle, leading American professor, practitioner and advocate of international law, and assisted by a team of lawyers.

The trial will be held in an open court on November 19-22, 2011 at the headquarters of the Al- Bukhary Foundation at Jalan Perdana, Kuala Lumpur.
 Source

Hillary Clinton knew of Qaddafi ‘White Flag’ truce:
US drone fired at Qaddafi convoy after negotiated truce
Washington, DC

October 27 2011

Libyan Leader Muammar Qaddafi was traveling under a negotiated “White Flag” truce last Thursday in an agreement to leave Libya. More claims from sources inside Misrata, Libya that the Libyan National Transitional Council did in fact agree to allow Qaddafi and his convoy safe passage out of Libya. Source

NATO’s 26,000 sorties, including 9,600 strike missions, destroyed, water, schools, hospitals, food, and many other necessities needed by civilians.  They also killed many civilians. These are War Crimes.

November 5 Update

War Crimes – Rape and Murder of Gaddafi’s Female Bodyguards

NATO: Indictment for breach of international law in the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. The military and political leaders of NATO are hereby accused of the following crimes committed in the Libyan campaign of 2011, in which the systematic breaches of international law are underlined. Go to site below for the rest.

The law case of the century: Indictment against NATO military and political leaders

As I find new crimes they will be posted here.

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The making of Israel’s Apartheid in Palestine

The making of Israel’s apartheid

Phil Gasper recounts the history of how Israel was founded on the basis of the expulsion of the Arab population of Palestine.

An Israeli soldier stands guard over Palestinians waiting to cross at a checkpoint (Rami Swidan | Maan Images)

ZIONISM IS a political movement that originally emerged in the late 19th century as a response to anti-Semitism, particularly in Eastern Europe.

Capitalist development had undermined the traditional commercial roles that many Jews had played in the old feudal economy. As the economy moved into periodic crises, ruling groups in many countries deflected mass anger by scapegoating Jews.

Zionists drew the pessimistic conclusion that anti-Semitism couldn’t be eliminated–and that to escape persecution, Jews had to emigrate to a region where they could set up an exclusively Jewish state.

Theodore Herzl, known as the father of Zionism, wrote of “the emptiness and futility of trying to ‘combat’ anti-Semitism,” and called for a Jewish state to be set up in an undeveloped country outside Europe.

Herzl was explicit that the program could be carried out only with the backing of one of the major imperialist powers. Once such support had been won, the Zionist movement would conduct itself like other colonizing ventures.

Herzl wrote that, if a Jewish state were created in Palestine, it would form “a portion of the rampart of Europe against Asia, an outpost of civilization as opposed to barbarism.” In other words, the new state would be part of the system of colonial domination of the rest of the world.

The founders of Zionism were prepared to ally themselves with the most vicious anti-Semites. Herzl approached Count Von Plehve, the sponsor of the worst anti-Jewish pogroms in Russia, with the message: “Help me to reach the land sooner, and the revolt [against Tsarist rule] will end.”

What else to read

The International Socialist Review has extensive coverage of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, with numerous articles covering the background.

Annie Zirin’s “The hidden history of Zionism” recounts the history of the Zionist movement and its alliances with right-wing and anti-Semitic forces. “Israel and the Nakba” by Paul D’Amato describes the violence at the founding of the state of Israel. Hadas Thier gives the background to the current conflict in Gaza in “The siege of Gaza.”

For books about the formation of the state of Israel, look for The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine and A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples, both by Ilan Pappe, a radical Israeli historian. Pappe delivered a March 2007 speech titled “The History of Israel Reconsidered” that is worth the read.

Norman Finkelstein’s Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict is essential reading for picking apart the myths used to justify Israel’s apartheid. For an introductory take on the subject, see Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer, by Phyllis Bennis.

Between the Lines: Readings on Israel, the Palestinians and the U.S. “War on Terror,” by Tikva Honig-Parnass and Toufic Haddad, documents the apartheid-like conditions that Palestinians live under today.

For background on Israel’s war and the Palestinian struggle for freedom, read The Struggle for Palestine, a collection of essays edited by Lance Selfa on the history of the occupation and Palestinian resistance.

Zionist leaders offered to help guarantee Tsarist interests in Palestine, and rid Eastern Europe and Russia of those “noxious and subversive Anarcho-Bolshevik Jews”–in other words, the people who wanted to fight anti-Semitism, rather than capitulate to it. Von Plehve agreed to finance the Zionist movement as a way of countering socialist opposition to the Tsar.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

WHEN BRITAIN took control of Palestine at the end of the First World War, Zionists turned their attention to lobbying the British government. The Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann argued, “A Jewish Palestine would be a safeguard to England, in particular with respect to the Suez Canal.”

This argument began to seem increasingly attractive to the British ruling class. The war had underlined the importance of the Middle East, which guarded the sea routes to the Far East and contained the immensely profitable and strategically vital Persian oilfields. In November 1917, the British foreign minister Lord Balfour (a notorious anti-Semite) issued a declaration pledging his government’s support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

The Balfour declaration did not create a Jewish state, but it did encourage mass emigration to Palestine and the construction of an extensive settler community that was to become the basis of the state of Israel.

But there was one problem. Contrary to Zionist propaganda that Palestine was “a land without people for a people without a land,” the area was, in fact, the most densely populated region of the Eastern Mediterranean, with an Arab population that had lived there for about 1,000 years and which had developed an extensive economy.

Small Jewish settlements had existed in Palestine from the late 19th century, but after 1917, the colonization process accelerated considerably. Jewish organizations bought up large areas of land from absentee landlords, displacing large numbers of Palestinian peasants.

The Zionists also began building an exclusively Jewish “enclave” economy, organized around the Histadrut–the general confederation of Hebrew workers in Palestine. The settlers refused to employ Arab labor and boycotted Arab goods.

In the 1930s, the rise of fascism in Europe gave a further boost to Jewish immigration, even though most Jews had no interest in moving to Palestine. Zionism was still a fringe movement among Jews, and only 8.5 percent of Jewish migrants went to Palestine during this period.

The number would have been even smaller if countries like the U.S. and Britain had not had racist immigration policies that excluded most Jews. But the refugees who did arrive in Palestine strengthened the settler community.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

THE FOUNDING of a Zionist state is often justified as a response to the rise of fascism and the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust, which exterminated 6 million Jews.(that number has been changed numerous times since and is now apparently about 740,000. It must also be noted that many who died at the hands of Hitler were non-Jews and many died from Typhus)) But far from being fighters against fascism, Zionists frequently collaborated with the Nazis.

In 1933, the Zionist Federation of Germany sent a memorandum of support to the Nazis: “On the foundation of the new [Nazi] state, which has established the principle of race, we wish to fit our community into the total structure, so that for us, too, in the sphere assigned to us, fruitful activity for the Fatherland is possible.”

The Zionist movement went so far as to oppose changes in the immigration laws of the U.S. and Western Europe, which would have permitted more Jews to find refuge in these countries. In 1938, David Ben-Gurion, who was to become the first prime minister of Israel, wrote: “If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England, and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Yisrael, then I would opt for the second alternative.”

Jews in Palestine were given privileged status by the British colonial regime. The British helped establish and train a Zionist militia, granted Jewish capital 90 percent of economic concessions, and paid Jews higher wages than Arabs.

From the 1920s onwards, the British government used the Jewish settlers to help suppress mass Arab demonstrations against landlessness and unemployment, and for independence.

The most sustained uprising by the Palestinians took place from 1936 to 1939, and included a general strike of several months, withholding taxes, civil disobedience and armed insurrection. The British responded by declaring martial law and instituting mass repression, relying heavily on Zionist forces. Hundreds of Palestinians were executed or assassinated, thousands were imprisoned, and thousands of homes were demolished.

But Britain was greatly weakened by the Second World War and was forced to withdraw from Palestine. In 1947, the leading imperialist powers, including the U.S. and the USSR, decided to partition the country into separate Jewish and Palestinian states. Although Jews comprised only 31 percent of the population, the Zionists were given 54 percent of the fertile land.

Even this was not satisfactory for the Zionists, however. In 1938, Ben-Gurion had declared:

The boundaries of Zionist aspiration include southern Lebanon, southern Syria, today’s Jordan, all of Cis-Jordan [the West Bank] and the Sinai…After we become a strong force as the result of the creation of the state, we shall abolish partition and expand to the whole of Palestine. The state will only be a stage in the realization of Zionism, and its task is to prepare the ground for our expansion. The state will have to preserve order–not by preaching, but with machine guns.

The Zionist project could only be completed if the local Arab population was expelled. As Joseph Weitz, head of the Jewish Agency’s Colonization Department, had put it in 1940, “there is no room for both peoples together in this country…And there is no other way than to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighboring countries. To transfer all of them; not one village, not one tribe should be left.”

In 1948, this policy was put into effect. Zionist forces seized three-quarters of the land and expelled some 750,000 Palestinians.

Military groups whose leaders included the future Israeli Prime Ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, carried out massacres at villages like Deir Yasin–where over 100 men, women and children were murdered–designed to terrorize the rest of the Palestinian population to flee for their lives.

The official Israel Defense Forces carried out other massacres. One soldier gave the following eyewitness account of what happened at the village of Dueima:

They killed between 80 to 100 Arab men, women and children. To kill the children they fractured their heads with sticks. There was not one home without corpses…Educated and well-mannered commanders who were considered “good guys”…became base murderers, and this not in the storm of battle, but as a method of expulsion and extermination.

There were nearly 500 Palestinian villages in the territory that came under Israeli occupation after partition. During 1948 and 1949, nearly 400 of these were razed to the ground. More were destroyed in the 1950s.

In 1969, Moshe Dayan, former chief of staff and minister of defense, admitted: “We came here to a country that was populated by Arabs, and we are building here a Hebrew, Jewish state. Instead of Arab villages, Jewish villages were established…There is not a single [Jewish] settlement that was not established in the place of a former Arab village.”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

ISRAEL ALSO learned the lesson of portraying its own aggression as self-defense against hostile neighbors. But in 1948, it was only after Israel had launched its attack on Palestinians that other Arab countries mobilized a token force, largely in an effort to mollify their own populations, rather than as a serious military effort. The Arab states did nothing to reverse the expulsion of Palestinians, and by the time the 1948 war ended, the Zionists were in control of 78 percent of historic Palestine.

Moshe Sharett, an Israeli prime minister in the 1950s, admitted that the Israeli political and military leadership never believed the Arab governments represented any serious danger to Israel. Rather, Israel has sought to maneuver Arab states into military confrontations it was certain of winning, with the aim of destabilizing the regimes and occupying more territory.

Israel’s goal, according to Sharett, has been to “dismember the Arab world, defeat the Arab national movement and create puppet regimes under regional Israeli power” and “to modify the balance of power in the region radically, transforming Israel into the major power in the Middle East.”

Before 1947, Jews owned about 6 percent of the land in Palestine. In the process of establishing the state of Israel, the Zionists expropriated 90 percent of the land, the vast majority of which had formerly belonged to Arabs.

Entire cities were emptied of Palestinians, and Palestinian orchards, industry, rolling stock, factories, houses and possessions were seized. The majority of Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from their homeland. Arabs who remained in Israel became second-class citizens, while Palestinians who were driven out of the country mostly lived in poverty in refugee camps throughout the Middle East.

Israel passed the “Law of Return,” which allows every person of Jewish descent to emigrate to Israel. But Palestinians weren’t allowed to return to their homes.

Following the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel occupied further territory, including the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In the West Bank, 55 percent of the land and 70 percent of the water were seized for the benefit of illegal Jewish settlers.

In Gaza, 2,200 Jewish settlers were given over 40 percent of the land, while 500,000 Palestinians were confined in crowded camps and slums. Israel finally withdrew from Gaza in 2005, but it has maintained a blockade that reinforced conditions akin to a giant prison camp.

Israel’s actions have been repeatedly condemned by the United Nations, but the U.S. government ensured that nothing was done to enforce a series of resolutions.

Since its creation, Israel has been a defender of Washington’s interests in the oil-rich Middle East. As the influential Jewish paper Ha’aretz put it in 1951:

Israel is to become the watchdog. There is no fear that Israel will undertake any aggressive policy towards the Arab states when this would explicitly contradict the wishes of the U.S. and Britain. But, if for any reasons the Western powers should sometimes prefer to close their eyes, Israel could be relied upon to punish one or several neighboring states whose discourtesy to the west went beyond the bounds of the permissible.

As a consequence, Israel has received billions of dollars of U.S. aid every year, which have made it one of the most heavily armed states in the world–one easily capable of undertaking the slaughter in Gaza we see today.

Source

This came out May  2007

Secret memo proves Israel knew occupation was illegal

LONDON
A secret memo proves that the Israeli government knew that its occupation of Palestinian land was illegal after it won the Six Day War in 1967, a British newspaper reported Saturday.

Theodor Meron, who wrote the memo as the Israeli foreign ministry’s legal advisor at the time, said “I believe I would have given the same opinion today,” according to The Independent newspaper.

With Israel now celebrating the 40th anniversary of the war, the 76-year-old Meron, who went on to become a leading international jurist, challenges Israel’s long-held argument that settlements do not violate international law.

The Independent said it obtained a copy of his legal opinion, which was marked “Top Secret” and “Extremely Urgent.”

Quoting its author, the newspaper said the memo concluded “that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

Meron also told the newspaper that then foreign minister Abba Eban was “sympathetic” to his view that civilian settlement would go against the Hague and Geneva conventions governing the conduct of occupying powers.

But the Labour government at the time progressively approved the settlements in the captured West Bank despite the secret legal opinion which had been passed on to then prime minister Levi Eshkol.

Such actions paved the way for at least 240,000 Israelis to settle in the the West Bank.

Meron, who served as president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia until 2005, was also quoted as telling the Independent that the settlements have proven to be a real stumbling block.

“It’s obvious to me that the fact that settlements were established and the pace of the establishment of the settlements made peacemaking much more difficult,” he was quoted as saying.

In the Six Day War in June 1967, Israel captured the Sinai peninsula from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria and the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan.

Agence France-Presse

Source

Israel has been warmongering and committing crimes for years and are still committing crimes and self defense is what they use continually. It doesn’t hold much water anymore. If anyone believes their propaganda well that is a shame.

They are still doing Washington’s dirty work as well.  Washington is doing Israel’s Dirty work also. Collaborators in crimes against Humanity.

Britain still is one of their buddies as well.

Why would any of it change?

If anyone thinks they actually care how many Palestinians die think again.  They are exterminating them. Just like they have been for years all in the name of self defense. Seems the use the same play book as the Bush administration. It is lies of course. They are the ones breaking the Law. They are the criminals.

To believe other wise is just ignorance and lack of education.

What they do today is what they have always done.

Gaza (3): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Gaza (2): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Gaza (1): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

US Veto Blocks UN Anti-Israel Resolution again that’s 40 since 1972

Israel’s ‘Crimes Against Humanity’

Israel And Apartheid: By People Who Knew Apartheid

Gaza War Why?: Natural Gas valued at over $4 billion MAYBE?

‘Peace won’t cost the earth’ but it might save the environment

November 24 2008

By John Tomlinson

Essentially human beings cannot afford war. Nor can we continue to breed like rabbits. The imprint of humans on this planet is getting close to a tipping point which, once reached, will result in massive disruption, destruction, significant loss of life and, inevitably, in vast civil unrest.

Currently, environmental jargon wavers between “climate change” and “global warming”: neither expression is inherently frightening. It is possible to imagine a George W. Bush, Mark Latham, Pauline Hansen or Sarah Palin saying something like “Well, in principle, I think global warming in winter would be a good idea but I don’t think we could afford to do it for everybody in the world”.

Whether people choose to speak about global warming or climate change they are using a metaphor to highlight or deny the impending environmental catastrophe that awaits us if we continue to mine, pollute, pillage and exploit the natural environment.

I don’t pretend to know what the tipping point of the coming environmental crisis is. It may happen when there are ten billion people struggling to survive on this planet. It could be when we have released so much carbon dioxide into the oceans that plant and animal plankton, which ultimately sustain all forms of life in the sea, can no longer survive because of increased acidity. It could be in five years, 25 years, 100 years or more: or when we’ve heated the earth by another degree, two degrees or five degrees. It could be from something else that we are doing which scientists have yet to identify as the cause of major environmental damage. What I do know is that most of us won’t know we’ve reached it until well after we’ve passed the point of no return.

Human beings may, however, be able to change their patterns of behaviour enough to avert this impending disaster. Some of the things which need to change are, in the first instance to:

eliminate hunger and malnutrition from all parts of the world;

share income more equitably between countries and between people;

condemn racism in all its forms;

stop population growth and then work to decrease the world’s population;

attempt to resolve disputes between countries and promote peace;

aim for a fair settlement of intra-country disputations;

promote antiviolence strategies in cities, towns and villages everywhere;

work to enhance just solutions between groups and individuals;

actively pursue sustainable environmental practices; and

place justice and honour at the centre of all our dealings.

By eliminating hunger and malnutrition and promoting greater income equality we make it easier to curb population expansion, civil disputation and war.

Racism festers where there is great inequality particularly between indigenous people and colonisers. Both economic and social justice, are more easily obtained in more egalitarian societies. When sections of a society have to be aggressive merely to survive, violence between minority and dominant populations is likely to develop.

Egalitarian and sharing societies extinguish such potential flare-ups. If all are obtaining some benefit from the sharing of resources it is easier to implement sustainable environmental practices because the benefits of over-exploitation are no longer going to a handful of greedy people. The majority know that, in the long term, they are protecting the interests of all by ensuring sustainable use of natural resources.

Each of us has the capacity to start working towards building a more equal, inclusive and sharing society. We can start today, by word and deed, to help build a more egalitarian society. We can work with our friends, our work mates, our unions, sporting clubs, professional associations, social agencies, church groups and our neighbours to build a better world. As we engage in this civic project we benefit personally from being surrounded by a safer and stronger community which acts justly and promotes individual autonomy.

But in the short term military forces will be seen by many of our friends and neighbours as necessary for their protection. So we will need to explain why we can no longer afford to maintain military forces at anything beyond a sufficient force to repel an aggressor from our shores.

During the Cold War, Russia and the US amassed sufficient nuclear weapons to eliminate life as we know it many times over. The Americans used Agent Orange to defoliate large environmentally important parts of Indo China. Considerable numbers of Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian children continue to be born with extreme deformities, as a legacy of these chemical weapons. Similar herbicides are being supplied by the US to defoliate poppy crops in Afghanistan and coca crops in Columbia. Land mines and cluster bombs are blowing up poor people in many parts of the world for decades after conflicts have finished. Depleted uranium is causing the deaths of babies and children in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It is not only the combatants and civilians of invaded countries who become the casualties of war. Many members of the invading forces return home disfigured, drug addicted, poisoned by chemicals, mentally scarred and physically disabled. In some ways the soldiers who get killed are the lucky ones in the inglorious situation where countries send their troops off around the world to wage war.

The homes, hospitals, sewerage treatment works, schools, factories and commercial buildings that get destroyed during wars all have to be replaced after the strife subsides, requiring further impositions on the environment. The families whose child, mother, father, or other relative is killed are not as easily rebuilt. As Warner (1996) says (in T H White’s The Once and Future King in an “Afterword”):

War was a ruinous dementia. It silenced law, it killed poets, it exalted the proud, filled the greedy with good things, and oppressed the humble and meek; no good could come of it, it was hopelessly out of date. Nobody wanted it. (Unfortunately, no one had passionately wanted the League of Nations either.)

While countries are spending vast sums on defence equipment there are more socially or environmentally useful expenditures which are foregone. This money could have been used to improve civic amenities in the home country or provided as foreign aid to help build a more peaceful world. The time wasted training troops to maim and kill could be better spent by employing them engage in some socially or environmentally useful tasks at home or abroad.

Apart from the overt environmental destructive nature of war, there is the environmental cost of just keeping the defence forces mobile. In 2007 Sohbet Karbuz noted in the Energy Bulletin that:

As of September 30, 2005 the US Air Force had 5,986 aircraft in service. At the beginning of 2006 the US Navy had 285 combat and support ships, and around 4,000 operational aircraft (planes and helicopters). At the end of 2005, the US Army had a combat vehicle fleet of approximately 28,000 armored vehicles (tracked vehicles such as Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles). Besides those the Army and the Marine corps have tactical wheeled vehicles such as 140,000 High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles. The US Army has also over 4,000 combat helicopters and several hundred fixed wing aircraft. Add all those also 187,493 fleet vehicles (passenger cars, busses, light trucks etc) the US Department of Defense (DOD) uses. The issue is that except for 80 nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers, almost all military fleet (including the ones that will be joining in the next decade) run on oil.

He went on to point out that (excluding fuel obtained overseas at no cost, used by contractors, or used in rented or leased vehicles) the Pentagon still managed to use 320,000 barrels of oil per day in 2006.

If we want to keep the world environmentally healthy then we certainly can no longer afford such profligate military consumption of carbon products. We just need to convince our fellow citizens that it is better to have a world at peace rather than one in pieces, because as Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote “the real and lasting victories are those of peace, and not of war.”

Source

War is killing the Planet

It pollutes everything.

Air, Water, Earth and leaves a trail of Death for future generations.

You cannot save the world using war.

War is the worst form of pollution on Earth.

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

Landmine Treaty Ignored, 5,400 killed or injured in 2007

EU member states urged to sign, ratify, implement cluster bomb ban treaty

The domino effect: Road to recession

It began with the banks. Then house prices began to tumble. In the months that followed, the shock waves spread, engulfing first high streets, then factories – and thousands of jobs. In this gripping account, Paul Vallely travels across Britain to meet the people whose lives – and livelihoods – have fallen victim to the domino effect that left a nation broken

November 12 2008

We could begin with Peter Sastawnyuk. The 53-year-old businessman filled his £370,000 detached home with petrol canisters, sealed the locks, set tripwires and threatened to set the place alight. More than 40 of his neighbours were evacuated from the posh cul-de-sac on the edge of the Pennines from which Sastawnyuk sent his children to be educated at private school. But the cradle of his dreams imploded, in the end, as the scene of a five-hour police siege. The trigger for it all, a court in Rochdale was told last month, was that he had lost his job, got into debt and had had his home repossessed.

Or we could start with Karl Harrison. The father-of-two was found hanging in his garden shed in Anglesey. The 40-year-old surveyor had lost his job when the housing market began to turn down. He fell behind with his payments on his home loan and was being harassed by a firm called Oakwood Homeloans to pay the arrears, the recent inquest was told. Harrison’s widow has now put the house on the market.

But we do not need melodrama or tragedy to tell this story. So, instead, let us begin with what is becoming a more everyday misfortune.

It was an ordinary Thursday morning in early October when Jackie Horn, a 43-year-old IT worker, left her neat little Edwardian town house behind Stockport Grammar School to make the short journey to work. Her destination was the Vauxhall Industrial Estate in which the largest site was occupied by the company for which she had worked for the past 16 years – Chemix, which manufactured the compounds from which uPVC window frames and cladding are made.

She looked back casually at the house, with its handsome stained-glass windows, and got in her car, a small silver Peugeot. She had bought the house 12 years ago and, though she lived alone, her mortgage was nicely manageable. She had had the car for two years and it was all paid for. At Chemix, she had risen from being a receptionist to being a computer programmer. She was better paid now. Hers was a settled life.

She had had an inkling that things were not quite right at work. She noticed from her IT processing that orders for resin, Chemix’s incoming raw material, had been down for a while. So were orders for the compounds the firm produced as the nation’s door-to-door salesmen found ever-larger numbers of people saying no to the idea of having their windows replaced.

Then, about four weeks earlier, the management had told the workforce that it might have to move to only three or four days’ working each week. The workers had rejected the idea in a ballot and a couple of weeks later were told there might have to be selective redundancies. But letters had gone out a few days before saying that jobs in sales and IT were safe.

When she arrived at the little factory, “a lot of blokes in suits” had appeared. A meeting of the whole workforce was called. The firm was in administration, the bankruptcy accountants told them. They had all lost their jobs. They should leave immediately.

“It was a real shock,” she says. “One day I was receiving a letter telling me my job was safe; the next it had gone. The mood was bad. Everyone was saying goodbye. They were hugging and shaking hands.” She was told she would be kept on for an extra two weeks to help with the shutdown. “I couldn’t look the men in the eye.” Now she, too, sits idle at home.

The Domino Effect

The chain of events – which began with salesmen on commission wildly dishing out sub-prime mortgages (to poor people the United States who did not even have to prove they had the earnings to repay them) and ended with Jackie Horn losing her job – is a long one.

I have spent the past few weeks tracing each link in that chain through the stories of a series of people:

The fall-off in demand for Chemix’s products was the result of decisions such as the one made by a Birmingham newsagent, whose domestic economies included not having his windows removed and replaced with uPVC frames because his cigarette sales were down.

Cigarette sales at the newsagent’s had fallen because staff at the nearby Range Rover production plant had had their hours cut.

Range Rover sales are down because a wide variety of businesses are now tightening their belts; not replacing company cars is an obvious money saver.

Among the businesses not replacing company cars as part of general cost cutting are the shop-fitting, sign-writing and advertising firms employed by retail giant Marks & Spencer, which has had two-thirds wiped from the value of its shares this year.

Trade in shops is down because consumer confidence has fallen in line with catastrophic drops in the prices of shares.

Share market volatility was provoked by the sudden refusal of the banks to lend money to anyone, including each other.

The crisis of confidence within the banks was fed by the dramatic multi-billion dollar collapse of the investment bank Lehman Brothers, which was the biggest bankruptcy the world has ever seen.

To make sense of this complex saga, I set out to travel around the United Kingdom to speak to individuals who had played a key part in each stage of the tumbling of the economic dominoes. There were repeated surprises along the way. Encounters with the real world are like that. Not everything turns out as you might expect.

Northern Rock – Panic Begins

The giant tower of the new Northern Rock building stands empty, like a monument to the folly of the years of reckless capitalism. It has never been occupied. Out at Gosforth, on the northern edge of Newcastle, it is the place where the first rumblings of the seismic shakeout that is now gripping the globe were first detected in the UK.

Today, the yellow-brick buildings that surround it are still staffed, but by managers and employees humbled by the events of the past 12 months which have turned them from freebooting buccaneers of a banking world – in which the possibilities of growth seemed unlimited – to servants of a nationalised service industry. Even the bricks seem symbolic, for the yellow brick road in The Wizard of Oz led to a gleaming city with a giant fraud at its heart.

The man who is driving me round the once-mighty complex is Dennis Grainger. He was once a senior employee of the firm and is now the leading light in the Northern Rock Shareholders Action Group. The combination makes him uniquely placed to tell the story of the building society that turned bank after Margaret Thatcher’s deregulation of the financial sector and which last year provoked the first run on a British bank since the Victorian era.

“Northern Rock was not involved in dodgy sub-prime lending,” says Grainger, 61, of Cramlington, Northumberland. “Our loans were good, safe lending to people who could afford to repay. The Rock was very strict in asking whether people could afford to borrow that amount.” He knows this because one of his jobs was to manage the people checking the paperwork.

“After the crisis broke, the media said the problem was that Northern Rock lent people more than they needed to buy their homes. And it is true that we did offer 125 per cent loans, to cover the house purchase and additional expenses. But the rates of default on those were just half the national average.”

What did for Northern Rock was that so much of the money it lent did not come from depositors but was borrowed by the bank on the international money markets. That is what had turned a provincial building society into the UK’s fifth largest mortgage lender – and a FTSE 100 company. “Some 80 per cent of the mortgages we gave out had been borrowed in this way,” Grainger says. ” I know I used to sign the documents for millions of transfers each month.”

The problem came when, on 9 August 2007, one of France’s three biggest banks, BNP Paribas, told investors that they could not take money out of two of its funds because it was unable to value the assets in them. This was because the financial world had created complex financial packages out of the sub-prime debt and sold them on to other investors. It was like pass the parcel; investors had, in effect, bought blind because the deals had so many layers that no one knew what lay at their heart.

The crunch came when some investors wanted their money back and Paribas realised it did not know whether it had the money to pay out. It was, in the words of Northern Rock’s former chief executive Adam Applegarth, “the day the world changed”. Money markets across the globe shut down because they did not know which banks would remove the final wrapper from the “credit default swaps” – and find they were holding a booby prize.

When the money stopped flowing, banks like Northern Rock – which had, in the jargon, “borrowed short-term to lend long-term” – could not get hold of the cash to finance their next day’s business. On 13 September 2007 the BBC’s business editor, Robert Peston, revealed that Northern Rock had asked for emergency support from the Bank of England. But there was no danger of the bank going bust, he added, so customers need not panic.

“It had the same effect that Corporal Jones does in Dad’s Army,” observes Grainger wryly. “When you shout, ‘Don’t panic! Don’t panic!!” people do exactly the opposite. Peston should have known that.” Outside Northern Rock’s branches, massive queues formed of savers demanding to withdraw their money.

But, if there was compassion for savers, there was scant sympathy for those running Northern Rock, whose chairman was a non-banker – the local oddball free-market environmentalist aristocrat Matt Ridley – and whose risk committee was chaired by Sir Derek Wanless, who had previously been ousted from NatWest with a reported £3m payoff. It was they who had endorsed the aggressive growth strategy of bullish chief executive Applegarth and, in the words of the financial journalist Alex Brummer, author of The Crunch: the scandal of Northern Rock and the Escalating Credit Crisis, “allowed him to run riot, without checks and balances”.

The people most often forgotten in all this are the shareholders. “People assume all the shares were held by big institutions and greedy hedge funds,” says Grainger, “but a quarter of the shares are held by little folk.” Again, he knows because he has met 2,000 of them in the streets where he sets up his Shareholders Action Group stall. Another 4,000 have emailed him.

“These people are not speculators or gamblers. They are people in their seventies, eighties and nineties living on very small incomes who received a few hundred shares in the original demutualisation. Many are old ladies keeping their shares to pay for their funeral arrangements and who I’ve seen crying in the streets, saying they will now be a burden to their family. They are Mr and Mrs Shipyardworker who put their savings, with pride, into the local bank.”

Again, this is not academic to Dennis Grainger. Every month for 10 years he put £250 of his salary into the Northern Rock employees’ Share and Save scheme. It was to be his retirement pot. At one point it was worth £114,000. Today it is utterly worthless. “The real losers in all this are the small investors who worked for Northern Rock or savers who bought shares and remained loyal to the bank,” he concludes. “The treatment they have suffered is very unfair.”

It is not the only consequence. To accelerate the payback to the taxpayer, the new management at the now-nationalised company is pursuing an aggressive policy of repossessing the homes of borrowers who get into arrears. Northern Rock’s rate of repossessions is currently running at around double the industry average. And leaked documents from inside the bank reveal that it is set to double numbers in its debt collection arm.

There is a quiet indignation in Grainger’s conclusion. “We have been treated very badly by the Government,” he says. “Northern Rock was illiquid, not insolvent. When there was a run on the bank they wouldn’t lend us £2.7bn, but they’ve had to stump up £400bn to prop up other banks since. We should have been given the same terms as other banks were subsequently given.”

But there was one other bank not included in the rescue deal. When Lehman Brothers investment bank folded it provoked the biggest corporate bankruptcy ever seen.

Lehman – The Untouchables?

Until recently, Andrew Gowers had an office on the 30th floor of a tower in Canary Wharf which offered a stunning panorama of the City of London. It seemed an appropriate location for the UK arm of an investment bank that was one of the big five beasts of Wall Street. If there was any institution whose members might fall prey to the hubris of believing that they truly were Masters of the Universe – as top City traders described themselves with an irony which depreciated with the passing years – then the men at the top of Lehman Brothers might be among their number. The air indeed seemed rarefied at that height. The shame was that nobody bothered to pack the oxygen.

For the past month, Gowers, a former editor of the Financial Times – and now a former director of communications at the 150-year-old US investment bank which had begun life in the 1850s as a cotton-trading partnership – has sequestered himself away in a far less public place, having quit the bank just before it collapsed. He has had a month “watching the autumn go by” in the south of France.

Northern Rock was the prequel to the concatenation of events which has seen £3,000bn wiped off the value of the world’s shares. It has also seen taxpayers across the globe spend double that amount to prop up the world’s banks. But it was the collapse of Lehman Brothers – and the sight of well-paid bankers carrying their belongings from their Canary Wharf offices in black sacks and cardboard boxes – which first suggested that something was going on that might have ripples that moved beyond the United States, or indeed, the Northumbrian fastness of Northern Rock.

But for Andrew Gowers, the writing had been on the Wharf for a good deal longer.

“There was a general awareness of difficulties,” he says, “from August 2007 onwards.” Lehman was a very large borrower, with, according to some estimates, around $130bn in debt, much of it in sub-prime. “But the feeling was that we weren’t as badly exposed as some and there appeared to be some good and clever hedging strategies in place, Gowers says. So 2007 ended as a record year with bumper revenues and the balance sheet grew in the first quarter of 2008 – “which a lot of people, after the fact, found pretty incomprehensible.”

There was no excuse for this complacency. In March, a smaller investment bank, Bear Stearns, had collapsed. In response, Lehman’s share price fell 48 per cent in less than a morning. “But the Lehman management told itself that we were different from Bear Stearns,” Gowers recalls, “because we weren’t so reliant on short-term borrowing and we had large amounts of liquidity.” Anyway, the US Federal Reserve – America’s equivalent of the Bank of England – had stepped in to save Bear Stearns. Perhaps the top people at Lehman – a far bigger bank – believed they would have a state safety net, too.

Even so, says Andrew Gowers, “it all scared the living daylights out of the top management and some major effort was made to shrink the balance sheet, to cut the borrowing and get rid of some of the problem assets.”

The trouble was that other banks were doing the same thing at exactly the same time. As a result, the prices of the assets they wanted to sell fell at a shockingly fast pace. Lehman began to run out of time. It could not offload enough of the dodgy sub-prime debts. To make matters worse, the “good and clever hedging strategies” began to come unstuck. Indeed, instead of offsetting losses, some of the hedges magnified them.

“From April, I became aware of quite a sizeable loss accumulating. Nobody was quite sure how big it was going to be.” In June, executives at Lehman’s money management subsidiary, Neuberger Berman, sent emails to the top managers at Lehman Brothers suggesting that they forgo bonuses – to “send a strong message to both employees and investors that management is not shirking accountability for recent performance.” Lehman’s executive committee dismissed the idea out of hand.

When the news of the first loss ever in Lehman’s independent history came out the market was shocked. Senior managers, including the chief executive, Dick Fuld, didn’t seem to get the measure of the problem. Gowers recalls: “They just thought: we’re not in a catastrophic place, we’ve suffered some buffeting from abnormal developments in the market, but we have a plan to get out of it.”

The market did not agree and the Lehman share price continued to plummet. “That caused jaws to drop, says Gowers and the bank’s chief financial officer Erin Callan and its president Joe Gregory, who had been Dick Fuld’s right-hand man for 34 years, resigned.

But it was not enough. “Eventually, at one minute before midnight, they came out with an explanation of what had gone wrong and what they planned to do,” Gowers recalls. “But it was too late.”

In the end, what did for Lehman was that its executives failed to understand that the politics had changed. On 7 September, America’s biggest mortgage providers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, had to be rescued by the US government. It was one of the largest bailouts in US history. “A feeling grew in Congress that there had to be a limit,” Gowers says.

Lehman Brothers became that limit. “At quite a few points in the downward spiral Lehman’s could have been bought, but Dick Fuld was too proud to accept that,” Gowers adjudges. The result was the largest corporate bankruptcy in history.

Andrew Gowers got out just before the collapse, having concluded that his job had become untenable. The evening that I interviewed him, he had just returned from a relaxed day at the market in Cahors. There would be sea bream for dinner that night. But things looked a little more bleak for some of his former colleagues.

Investment bankers rank fairly low on the public sympathy index. Gowers acknowledges that, yet warns against broadbrush judgements. “There were a lot of people in Lehman’s who took 80 per cent of their pay in shares which were deferred for five years and a relatively low salary,” he says. Many borrowed against those shares and are now hiding away and licking their wounds.

“It had been rolling along in a fantastic way for so long that everybody really did began to think there was no way it was going to end. They applied that to their own personal finances, as well as the way they ran the firms, borrowing against tomorrow.”

But now, grimly, tomorrow has become today.

Blame it on the young guns

The seats are of the kind of red plush velvet that speaks not of your local Indian restaurant but of discreet wealth. The menu offers seared Isle of Skye scallops with pork belly squares and cauliflower purée. With the chateaubriand of Aberdeen Angus, served with a béarnaise sauce, I suspect that Duncan Glassey’s eye might alight at a £58 bottle of 1975 Château Cantenac Brown. But I am wrong. He is happy, he says, with an Australian shiraz, the cheapest on the list of bin ends in the smart Circus Wine Bar & Grill in the austere Georgian elegance of Edinburgh’s New Town.

“How did the world’s cleverest financiers get into this almighty mess?,” I ask him.

There is a lot about Duncan Glassey which is not what you might expect. The child chess prodigy who turned professional runs a wealth planning consultancy for the mediumly-rich. It grew out of his experience of working with lottery winners at the accountant Ernst & Young in the mid-Nineties. His firm Wealthflow LLP now specialises in clients with between £1m and £5m to invest.

For all that, he is modest in his own lifestyle. So much so that in the past he has been told that he lost business from new clients after turning up for the initial interview in a car which they decided was insufficiently grand. There is something about him of the solidity of old money. His client list includes aristocrats as well as advocates. Like those whose money he manages, his bias is towards the conservative and away from the febrile psychology of “active management” where, he insists, over-activity can sometimes substitute for solid long-term investment.

Glassey has some interesting thoughts on the generational conflicts that have tipped the world into financial crisis and to the brink of recession: “The people who made the strategy in the banks are of the baby-boomer generation born from 1945 onwards. They are a generation of grand visions, optimism and high ideals about combining individual empowerment with social values. They are the big talkers and the people with the vision and mission statements.”

By contrast, the generation who have managed us into the present situation have a very different set of attitudes and values. Generation X are the children of the Thatcher era. “They are at home with globalisation and the information revolution,” he says. “Change is normal, as is the idea of lifelong learning. They are not scared of failure.

“What’s important to them is individualism, choice, self-reliance and immediate gratification. They are thrill seekers.” They can be pessimists, cynics and selfish.

But the younger generation who created sophisticated financial products which have so dramatically imploded – the “masters of the universe” – are different again, Glassey says. “They are Generation Y, born from 1985 onwards. They are the generation who have not known a world without the internet. They are highly techno-savvy and street smart but information overload has made them hugely naive in many other ways. They are the Facebook and Bebo generation – networkers who live in a world where divorce and geographical dispersion has broken down the family. They are self-obsessed and close-focused.

“The belief systems of the three groups – the strategists, the managers and the traders – are entirely different,” concludes Glassey. “They don’t really understand one another at all. And they didn’t know what each other really wanted or expected out of the complex financial architecture they created.

“Everybody was locked into the Nick Leeson scenario; no one asked questions so long as everyone was making money.”

The shaven-headed Glassey, aged 39, characterises himself as on the cusp between generations X and Y but his values hark back to what he calls “the old days when banks were trustworthy and on your side, before they became out-and-out sales organisations”. His approach is to keep his clients away from financial fads and fashions and “commission-based products which are deliberately made so complex that clients can’t understand them”. Glassey was always suspicious of the world of credit-swap derivates which he saw as a parade of emperor’s new clothes. “I view all that as speculation. I’m not paid to make huge money for my clients; I’m paid to diversify risk.”

But his clients, Glassey acknowledges, will not be the ones to suffer. “Their portfolios may be down 15 per cent where others are down 35 per cent or more. But their homes and jobs are not as risk.” So whose jobs and homes are in peril? And why? The trail pointed away from the world of pure finance and into that of the stock market.

The trillion-dollar wipeout

They are still selling oysters and champagne in the great courtyard of the Royal Exchange which was founded in 1565 as the centre of commerce for the City of London. In the 17th century, stockbrokers were not allowed within its elegant portals because of their rude manners, but today it is no longer a stock market. Instead, it is a luxury shopping centre whose pillared and marbled atrium is lined with discreet boutiques bearing names like De Beers, Hermès, Tiffany, Bulgari and Cartier. A couple of lattes in its magnificent courtyard will set you back the price on an entire lunch for two in Bury market, of which more later.

I was there to meet Richard Hunter, head of British equities at the fund manager Hargreaves Lansdown – which manages £11bn in shares for its small investor clients. I wanted to find out why the alarm over bank shares that gripped the stock market then infected other areas. After the collapse of Lehman Brothers, it was not just banking shares that fell; equities plummeted in a wide range of companies that had no connections with the financial services industry.

“Credit is the oil in the machinery of the business world,” he says. Every business needs to borrow to finance the gap between buying its raw materials and the income arriving for what it sells. “The money that used to be available to do that just isn’t there any more because the banks have stopped lending to one another. All that has been impacted by the credit squeeze. That’s why share prices fell first in certain sectors – the banks and financial services companies – but soon spread to other areas.”

But there were a collection of other forces in the real economy that accelerated the speed with which prices fell.

“It was a cocktail of factors,” he says. “After the sub-prime crisis broke in the US and after the collapse of Northern Rock here, some people became more cautious and started to spend less.” Then came the global rise in food prices which raised the cost of bread, rice and other staples in the supermarkets; in April, rice prices were double what they had been seven months earlier. Next followed the international hike in the price of oil – it rose as high as $147 a barrel in July, almost treble what it had been a couple of years earlier. And that massively increased both domestic fuel bills and petrol prices.

“If it costs you an extra £10 a week to fill your car and you’re on a budget,” he says, “you have to find that £10 by cutting back somewhere. If you’re paying more for your gas and electricity you have to cut back on something else.”

Then, on top of all that, house prices had started to fall. The fall-off began slowly, last November. By April this year, house prices were lower than they had been a year before. It was the first time an annual drop had been recorded for 12 years. The number of new houses being built fell to the lowest level for 60 years. The building industry, after 13 years of unprecedented growth, faced a major slump; in July the housebuilder Taylor Wimpey asked shareholders for an extra £500m and failed to raise it. Mortgage lending crawled to a near standstill in August as approvals for new homes hit a record low. By September, house prices across the country had fallen by about 10 per cent. Repossessions rose to triple their previous level. In the worst hit areas, such as the centre of Manchester where thousands of buy-to-let apartments had been made in converted inner city warehouses, prices fell by more than 20 per cent.

Half the flats in one prestigious block, Albion Mill – a converted Victorian biscuit factory with double-height living rooms and stunning views across to the Pennines – were repossessed. One woman, Jeanette Leach, 31, got off the plane at Manchester Airport after a holiday in Tenerife and received a text message saying her home had been repossessed; she went straight into the toilets at Terminal Two and hanged herself with the cord from her tracksuit bottoms.

The majority of those falling into difficulties as result of the credit crunch were not driven to such extremes. But, says Richard Hunter, “the stock market tries to discount the falls in value that will come over the next nine to 12 months.” As soon as the banking system was pulled back from what the head of the International Monetary Fund called “brink of systemic meltdown”, investors began to consider what might be the short-to-medium term implications for the real economy. House prices were a key indicator.

And further contraction was obviously on the cards. Some 1.2 million homeowners in the UK are now faced with the prospect of negative equity because the prices of their properties have fallen below what they paid for them. Another 1.4 million households are due to come off short-term fixed-rate mortgage deals by the end of 2008. The credit crunch on the wholesale markets was making mortgages harder to come by. It contributed to a growing “feel-bad” factor on the markets. “With shares and house prices you don’t crystallise your loss till you sell, but you feel poorer because of all the bad news,” says Hunter, “and so your behaviour begins to change. Everyone cuts back.”

Some people do more than that. They panic.

“People who have been in the city 40 years are telling me that they’ve never seen this degree of volatility before,” Hunter says. “Panic overtakes logic. Just a few people running round like headless chickens can infect others because people look at the headless chickens and say: What do they know that I don’t? In the past they used to say that the market was driven by one prevailing emotion – greed or fear; this time it’s a cocktail of both.”

The result was an orgy of frenzied selling in which £2.7 trillion was wiped off the value of shares globally in a single week of extraordinary financial mayhem in October. This was when a crisis that had for months seemed confined to the world of banking began to ripple out into the real world.

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