Posts Tagged ‘gaddafi’
by stuartbramhall in China Watch, The Global Economic Crisis
The following video by Storm Clouds Gathering provides an excellent summary of continuing Chinese efforts to chip away at the US dollar. These include a recent trade agreement between China and Australia to use the yuan and Australian dollar – rather than the US dollar – in bilateral trade. China entered into a similar trade agreement with Russia in 2010 and with Japan in 2011. Another major concern for the Obama administration is recent massive Chinese gold purchases, which suggest they may intend to create a gold-backed currency to rival the US dollar.
The film underlines the obvious build-up for war couched in US government’s increasing belligerence towards China, Syria, Iran and North Korea. The main intended target of this saber rattling is China, America’s main economic rival. However, for the most part, Obama’s true military intentions remain hidden from public view owing to proxy wars with China’s allies (Syria, Iran and North Korea). Historically the main purpose of such proxy wars has always been psychological – to overcome civilian resistance to military aggression.
The video also reminds us that the so-called war on terror is really a war about control of the international financial system. Up until the recent defection of China and its allies and now Russian, Japan and Australia, it was only possible to purchase oil in US dollars – which came to be known as petrodollars. For many years, all countries relying on imported oil were forced to keep reserves of US dollars. After the US abandoned first the gold and then the silver standard, the US dollar maintained its value by virtue of its relative monopoly on the buying and selling of oil. If the petrodollar dies, so does the US dollar does and with it the US economy.
Two of the most significant US military invasions of the last decade relate to threats against the petrodollar. The first occurred in 2003, after Saddam Hussein tried to set up an oil bourse that would trade oil in euros rather than dollars. The second occurred in 2010 when Gaddafi tried to introduce a new currency called the “gold dinar” to be used for Libyan oil purchases.
Crossposted at Daily Censored
by stuartbramhall in The Wars in the Middle East
Anyone who has followed the war in Iraq is aware of the bitter religious and political rivalry between Sunni and Shia Muslims. Thus it’s pity that the mainstream corporate media fails to enlighten us about the major sectarian conflict underlying the civil war in Syria. Yes, civil war. For thirteen months, the Muslim Brotherhood, which claims to represent the majority Sunni population, has been fighting to overthrow the predominantly Shiite government of Bashar al-Assad. The US media, which continues to perpetuate the myth that Syria’s only problem is a ruthless dictator who likes shooting unarmed civilians, omits important historical facts essential to understanding the current military conflict:
- This is the second attempt by Syrian Sunnis, led by the Muslim Brotherhood, to overthrow the Shiite government. The first uprising of Sunni Islamists occurred in 1976 -1982, against the regime of Hafez al-Assad (father of the current dictator Bashar al-Assad).
- The civil war in Libya was also Sunni-led, which is the main reason the Muslim Brotherhood, which runs post-Gaddafi Libya, has instituted strict sharia law. The latter is notorious for extremely harsh penalties (including death) for blasphemy, homosexuality, theft, adultery and use of intoxicants.
- Both the Libyan and Syrian rebels have received major financial support from Sunni Gulf States in the Arab League, most notably Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Qatar also provided the bulk of military aid to the Libyan rebels. Both countries have approved weapons shipments to the Free Syrian Army. However at the request of Secretary of State Clinton, they have postponed delivery to avoid undermining the Annan peace process. At the same time, it’s a matter of public record that Sunni Gulf states are supplying the funds for Free Syrian Army salaries See Gulf States Warned Against Arming Syria. In addition, many former Libyan rebels have relocated to Syria with their weapons.
Most of this background, about Syria’s sectarian divisions and the major support Syrian rebels receive from Sunni Gulf states (as well as CIA trainers and US special operations forces – see Why the US Wants Regime Change in Syria), receives fairly good coverage in the British and international press. In contrast, the US media merely functions as the propaganda arm of the Obama administration.
The Political Agenda of Wahhabi Sunnis
As Tariq Ali outlines in his book the Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity, the Sunni Wahhabism practiced in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait, is a conservative and austere form of Islam that insists on a literal interpretation of the Koran. Strict Wahhabis believe that Muslims who don’t practice their form of Islam are heathens and enemies. Part and parcel of Wahhabism is the belief that their religious doctrine must also have political expression. This translates into the view of many Sunnis that the only form of government acceptable to Allah is an Islamic state operating according to strict Sharia law.
Wahhabism’s explosive growth began in the 1970s when Saudi and United Arab Emirate (UAE) charities (and US intelligence) began funding Wahhabi schools (Madrassas) throughout the Islamic world. The US government strategically supported the rise of Wahhabism and the Muslim Brotherhood to counter the secular Arab leftists and nationalists who controlled most of the Middle East prior to 1967 (see Israel’s Role in Creating Hamas). The latter were understandably unsympathetic to the corporate interests of US oil companies who were heavily invested in the region.
The spread of Madrassas in Pakistan led to the gradual islamization of a state that was largely secular at the time of its separation from India (see Wikileaks: Saudi Arabia, UAE funded jihadi networks). This was accompanied by increasing religious intolerance and the creation of a jihadist mujaheddin army (funded and trained by the CIA) to repel the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. These CIA freedom fighters would later become the Taliban, who would come to occupy all of Afghanistan and enact an extremely oppressive version of Sharia law.
The US Role in Bringing Sharia Law to Libya
The US and NATO have recently been complicit in bringing a similar Wahhabi government to Libya. Owing to Syria’s close relationship with Iran’s Shia-led government, Obama is extremely gung-ho about pursuing a similar agenda in Syria. Fortunately, thanks to the refusal of China and Russia to go along with UN-sanctioned regime change, the truth about Syria’s civil war is gradually coming out (at least in the international media). Many Syrian civilians, especially Shias, Christians, Sufis and other minorities, are terrified of the Muslim Brotherhood coming to power and subjecting them to the same intense persecution these minorities experience in Saudi Arabia, Libya and other states governed by Whahhabi Sunnis.
Disunity in the Syrian Opposition
It has also come out that there are deep divisions in both the Syrian National Council (SNC) and the Free Syrian Army. Both veteran opposition leaders and a new generation of young activists are deeply critical of the lack of support they receive from the Muslim Brotherhood leaders and Syrian exiles who run the SNC. Many of the SNC’s critics are Sunni Muslims who see strong advantages to continuing secular rule in Syria. They just want to end the hereditary dictatorship of the Assad family.
Likewise, members of the Free Syrian Army who have defected from Assad’s forces feel that their military experience makes them the natural leaders of the rebel forces. Yet they are continually overruled by religious zealots who control the purse strings, thanks to their links to Sunni governments in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
A few analysts have speculated that this disunity was the main rationale for the SNC’s urgent request for NATO support. Their leadership believes an international bombing campaign would serve to unify a hopelessly fragmented opposition, as it did in Libya.
by stuartbramhall in The Wars in the Middle East
(This is the first of two blogs about the covert US war against Syria. The case Obama is making for sanctions and “humanitarian” intervention in Syria is a total fabrication. The US goal in Syria is regime change. The people Assad is attacking aren’t unarmed protestors. They are Islamic militants that the US and NATO have been funding and training for at least ten months.)
People may have noticed that the official narrative concerning Syria changes on a daily basis – except for continuing to heap contempt and scorn on the Russians and Chinese for their Security Council veto. To be frank, this veto makes more and more sense as events on the ground unmask US culpability in the civil war in Syria. Yes, civil war. That’s what you call it when an armed resistance takes up arms against a sovereign government. The interim report by the Arab League Observer Mission (although the Arab League declined to “approve” the report, it was leaked) clearly confirms the presence of an “armed entity” in Syria. Detailed descriptions of militants firing on government forces, as well as planting bombs and blowing up government and civilian infrastructure tend to support Assad’s claims that militant Islamists are attempting to overthrow his government. You can read the Report of Arab League Observer Mission for yourself on the Columbia University website
At first the Obama administration explained all this away by asserting that Syrian’s nonviolent protestors had become some frustrated with Assad’s intransigence that they joined forces with defectors from the Syrian Army. A day and a half ago, when two bomb blasts in Alepo killed twenty-five people, we were told the Syrian government had done this in a devious ploy to discredit the Free Syrian Army. This story wouldn’t wash after militants assassinated a Syrian general, a doctor responsible for running a military hospital in Damascus. Now the current line is that Iraqi members of Al Qaeda are taking advantage of Syrian civil unrest to cross the border and become Syrian Al Qaeda
NATO Support for Syria’s Armed Militants
The problem with this new version of events is that a number of credible Middle East analysts, including former FBI interpreter and whistle blower Sibel Edmunds, former CIA officer Philip Giraldi, British author and foreign correspondent John R Bradley, and Canadian economist and globalization analyst Michel Chossudovsky have been reporting on Syrian’s armed resistance for many months. Moreover all four also cite a growing body of credible evidence that the US, Turkey and other NATO forces, along with Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are supplying these armed militants with funding, arms and training.
Edmonds first broke the story last November that the US and NATO were involved in arming and training Syrian militants. On November 21, 2011 sources in Turkey informed her of the presence of secret training camps at the US air force base in Incirlik. They were reportedly established in April-May 2011 to organize and expand the dissident base in Syria. According to her sources, these support activities included smuggling US weapons into Syria, participating in US psychological warfare inside Syria and opening a humanitarian/medical corridor between Syria and Turkey to assist opposition groups.
On December 11 she reported, based on Jordanian sources that included a Jordanian military officer, that hundreds of foreign speaking troops had been observed near the Jordan-Syria border. Her informants also revealed that NATO had established a second secret training camp near Mafraq Jordan to train the armed wing of Syria’s Islamic brotherhood. She was also informed, by a London-based Iraqi reporter, that an unknown number of US troops had been deployed from Iraq to Mafraq Jordan.
Eight days later former CIA officer Philip Geraldi essentially confirmed Edmonds’ assertions in NATO vs Syria. This was an article he wrote for the American Conservative, based on information leaked by CIA analysts concerned by the Obama administration’s apparent “march to war” in Syria. According to Geraldi, the CIA was refusing to sign off on the frequently cited UN report that more than 3,500 civilians had been killed by Assad’s soldiers. In their view, this information was based on rebel sources and uncorroborated. They also asserted that the Syrian government’s claims of being assaulted by rebels armed, trained, and financed by foreign governments were more true than false.
Unnamed CIA sources also informed him that NATO warplanes were arriving at Turkish military bases near Iskenderum on the Syrian border, with weapons from the late Muammar Gaddafi’s arsenals, as well as volunteers from the Libyan Transitional National Council. There, the latter, along with French and British special forces, engaged in training members of the Free Syrian Army. Reportedly the CIA and US Special Ops role in all this was to provide communications assistance and intelligence.
To be continued.