Connect with us


Libya Dam Disaster Shows Horrific Consequences Of US-NATO Imperialism

Libya Dam Disaster Shows Horrific Consequences Of US-NATO Imperialism

Authored by Chris Hedges via Common Dreams,

“We came, we saw, he…



Libya Dam Disaster Shows Horrific Consequences Of US-NATO Imperialism

Authored by Chris Hedges via Common Dreams,

“We came, we saw, he died,” Hillary Clinton famously quipped when Muammar Gaddafi, after seven months of U.S. and NATO bombing, was overthrown in 2011 and killed by a mob who sodomized him with a bayonet. But Gaddafi would not be the only one to die. Libya, once the most prosperous and one of the most stable countries in Africa, a country with free healthcare and education, the right for all citizens to a home, subsidized electricity, water and gasoline, along with the lowest infant mortality rate and highest life expectancy on the continent, along with one of the highest literacy rates, swiftly fragmented into warring factions. There are currently two rival regimes battling for control in Libya, along with an array of rogue militias.

The chaos that followed Western intervention saw weapons from the country’s arsenals flood the black market, with many snatched up by groups such as the Islamic State. Civil society ceased to function. Journalists captured images of migrants from NigeriaSenegal and Eritrea being beaten and sold as slaves to work in fields or on construction sites. Libya’s infrastructure, including its electrical grids, aquifers, oil fields and dams, fell into disrepair.

A general view of the flooded city of Derna, Libya. via AP

And when the torrential rains from Storm Daniel — the climate crisis being another gift to Africa from the industrialized world — overwhelmed two decrepit dams, walls of water 20 feet high raced down to flood the port of Derna and Benghazi, leaving up to 20,000 dead according to Abdulmenam Al-Gaiti, Mayor of Derna, and some 10,000 missing.

“The fragmentation of the country’s disaster management and disaster response mechanisms, as well as deteriorating infrastructure, exacerbated the enormity of the challenges. The political situation is a driver of risk,” said Professor Petteri Taalas, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization.

Taalas told reporters last Thursday that “most of the human casualties” would have been avoided if there had been a “normally operating meteorological service” which “would have issued the [necessary] warnings and also the emergency management of this would have been able to carry out evacuations of the people.”

Western regime-change, carried out in the name of human rights under the doctrine of R2P (Responsibility to Protect), destroyed Libya – as it did Iraq – as a unified and stable nation. The flood victims are part of the tens of thousands of Libyan dead resulting from our “humanitarian intervention,” which rendered disaster relief non-existent. We bear responsibility for Libya’s prolonged suffering. But once we wreak havoc on a country in the name of saving its persecuted — regardless of whether they are being persecuted or not — we forget they exist.

Karl Popper in “The Open Society and Its Enemies” warned against utopian engineering, massive social transformations, almost always implanted by force, and led by those who believe they are endowed with a revealed truth. These utopian engineers carry out the wholesale destruction of systems, institutions and social and cultural structures in a vain effort to achieve their vision. In the process, they dismantle the self-correcting mechanisms of incremental and piecemeal reform that are impediments to that grand vision. History is replete with murderous utopian social engineering — the Jacobins, the communists, the fascists and now, in our own age, the globalists, or neoliberal imperialists.

Libya, like Iraq and Afghanistan, fell victim to the self-delusions peddled by humanitarian interventionists — Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Ben Rhodes, Samantha Power, and Susan Rice. The Obama administration armed and backed an insurgent force that they believed would do the bidding of the U.S. Obama in a recent post urged people to support aid agencies to alleviate the suffering of the people of Libya, a plea that ignited an understandable backlash on social media.

There is no official tally of the casualties in Libya that have resulted directly and indirectly from the violence in Libya over the last 12 years. This is exacerbated by the fact that NATO failed to investigate casualties resulting from its seven month bombardment of the country in 2011. But the total figure of those killed and injured is likely in the tens of thousands. Action on Armed Violence recorded “8,518 deaths and injuries from explosive violence in Libya” from 2011 to 2020, 6,027 of which were civilian casualties.

In 2020, a statement published by seven U.N. agencies reported that “Close to 400,000 Libyans have been displaced since the start of the conflict nine years ago — around half of them within the past year, since the attack on the capital, Tripoli, [by Field Marshal Khalifa Belqasim Haftar’s forces] started.”

“The Libyan economy has been battered by the [civil war], the COVID-19 pandemic, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” the World Bank reported in April of this year. “The country’s fragility is having far-reaching economic and social impact. GDP per capita declined by 50 percent between 2011 and 2020 while it could have increased by 68 percent if the economy had followed its pre-conflict trend,” the report says. “This suggests that Libya’s income per capita could have been 118 percent higher without the conflict. Economic growth in 2022 remained low and volatile due to conflict-related disruptions in oil production.”

Amnesty International’s 2022 Libya report also makes for grim reading. “Militias, armed groups and security forces continued to arbitrarily detain thousands of people,” it says. “Scores of protesters, lawyers, journalists, critics and activists were rounded up and subjected to torture and other ill-treatment, enforced disappearances and forced ‘confessions’ on camera.” Amnesty describes a country where militias operate with impunity, human rights abuses, including kidnappings and sexual violence, are widespread. It adds that “EU-backed Libyan coastguards and the Stability Support Authority militia intercepted thousands of refugees and migrants at sea and forcibly returned them to detention in Libya. Detained migrants and refugees were subjected to torture, unlawful killings, sexual violence and forced labour.”

Reports by the U.N. Support Mission to Libya (UNSMIL) are no less dire.

Stockpiles of weapons and ammunition — estimated to be between 150,000 and 200,000 tons — were looted from Libya with many being trafficked to neighboring states. In Mali, weapons from Libya fuelled a dormant insurgency by the Tuareg, destabilizing the country. It ultimately led to a military coup and a jihadist insurgency which supplanted the Tuareg, as well as a protracted war between the Malian government and jihadists. This triggered another French military intervention and led to 400,000 people being displaced. Weapons and ammunition from Libya also made their way into other parts of the Sahel including Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Burkina Faso.

The misery and carnage, which rippled out from a dismembered Libya, was unleashed in the name of democratization, nation-building, promoting the rule of law and human rights.

The pretext for the assault was that Gaddafi was about to launch a military operation to massacre civilians in Benghazi where rebellious forces had seized power. It had as much substance as the charge that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, another example of utopian social engineering that left over a million Iraqi dead and millions more driven from their homes.

Gaddafi — who I interviewed for two hours in April 1995 near the gutted remains of his home that was bombed by U.S. warplanes in 1986 — and Hussein were targeted not because of what they did to their own people, although both could be brutal. They were targeted because their nations had large oil reserves and were independent of Western control. They renegotiated more favorable contracts for their nations with Western oil producers and awarded oil contracts to China and Russia. Gaddafi also gave the Russian fleet access to the port of Benghazi.

Hillary Clinton’s emails, obtained via a freedom of information request and published by WikiLeaks, also expose France’s concerns about Gaddafi’s efforts to “provide Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French Fran (CFA).” Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime adviser to Clinton, reported on his conversations with French intelligence officers about the motivations of French President Nicholas Sarkozy, the chief architect of the attack on Libya. Blumenthal writes that the French president seeks “a greater share of Libyan oil”, increased French influence in the region, an improvement in his domestic political standing, a reassertion of French military power and an end to Gaddafi’s attempts to supplant French influence in “Francophone Africa.”

Sarkozy, who has been convicted on two separate cases of corruption and breach of campaign finance laws, faces a historic trial in 2025 for allegedly receiving millions of euros in secret illegal campaign contributions from Gadaffi, to assist with his successful 2007 presidential bid.

These were the real “crimes” in Libya. But the real crimes always remain hidden, papered over by florid rhetoric about democracy and human rights.

The American experiment, built on slavery, began with a genocidal campaign against Native Americans that was exported to the Philippines and, later, nations such as Vietnam. The narratives we tell ourselves about World War II, largely to justify our right to intervene around the globe, are a lie. It was the Soviet Union that destroyed the German army long before we landed at Normandy. We firebombed cities in Germany and Japan killing hundreds of thousands of civilians. The war in the South Pacific, where one of my uncles fought, was bestial, characterized by rabid racism, mutilation, torture and the routine execution of prisoners. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were egregious war crimes. The U.S. routinely destroys democracies that nationalize U.S. and European corporations as in Chile, Iran and Guatemala, replacing them with repressive military regimes. Washington supported the genocides in Guatemala and East Timor. It embraces the crime of preemptive war. There is little in our history to justify the claim of unique American virtues.

The nightmares we orchestrated in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya are minimized or ignored by the press while the benefits are exaggerated or fabricated. And since the U.S. does not recognize the International Criminal Court, there is no chance of any American leader being held accountable for their crimes.

Human rights advocates have become a vital cog in the imperial project. The extension of U.S. power, they argue, is a force for good. This is the thesis of Samantha Power’s book “A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide.” They champion the R2P doctrine, unanimously adopted in 2005 at the U.N. World Summit. Under this doctrine, states are required to respect the human rights of their citizens. When these rights are violated, then sovereignty is nullified. Outside forces are permitted to intervene. Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, the former president of the U.N. General Assembly, warned in 2009 that R2P could be misused “to justify arbitrary and selective interventions against the weakest states.”

“Since the end of the Cold War, the idea of human rights has been made into a justification for intervention by the world’s leading economic and military powers, above all, the United States, in countries that are vulnerable to their attacks,” writes Jean Bricmont in “Humanitarian Imperialism: Using Human Rights to Sell War.” “Until the U.S. invasion of Iraq, [a] large part of the left was often complicit in this ideology of intervention, discovering new ‘Hitlers’ as the need arose, and denouncing antiwar arguments as appeasement on the model of Munich in 1938.”

The creed of humanitarian intervention is selective. Compassion is extended to “worthy” victims while “unworthy” victims are ignored. Military intervention is good for Iraqis, Afghans or Libyans, but not for Palestinians or Yeminis. Human rights are supposedly sacrosanct when discussing Cuba, Venezuela and Iran, but irrelevant in our offshore penal colonies, the world’s largest open air prison in Gaza or our drone-infested war zones. The persecution of dissidents and journalists is a crime in China or Russia, but not when the targets are Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.

Utopian social engineering is always catastrophic. It creates power vacuums that augment the suffering of those the utopianists claim to protect. The moral bankruptcy of the liberal class, which I chronicle in “Death of the Liberal Class,” is complete. Liberals have prostituted their supposed values to the Empire. Incapable of taking responsibility for the carnage they inflict, they clamor for more destruction and death to save the world.

Tyler Durden Tue, 09/19/2023 - 02:00

Read More

Continue Reading


Von Der Leyen Speech Suggests Russia Dropped Nuke On Hiroshima 

Von Der Leyen Speech Suggests Russia Dropped Nuke On Hiroshima 

Von der Leyen just said what?…

This past Wednesday, President of the European…



Von Der Leyen Speech Suggests Russia Dropped Nuke On Hiroshima 

Von der Leyen just said what?...

This past Wednesday, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen delivered a speech before the 2023 Atlantic Council Awards in New York, where she sounded the alarm over the specter of nuclear war centered on the Russia-Ukraine conflict. But while invoking remembrance of the some 78,000 civilians killed instantly by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima at the end of WWII, she said her warning comes "especially at a time when Russia threatens to use nuclear weapons once again". She  actually framed the atomic atrocity in a way that made it sound like the Russians did it. Watch:

There was not one single acknowledgement in Von der Leyen's speech that it was in fact the United States which incinerated and maimed hundreds of thousands when it dropped no less that two atomic bombs on Japanese cities.

Here were her precise words, according to an Atlantic Council transcript...

You, dear Prime Minister, showed me the meaning of this proverb during the G7 summit in Japan last year. You brought us to your hometown of Hiroshima, the place where you have your roots and which has deeply shaped your life and leadership. Many of your relatives lost their life when the atomic bomb razed Hiroshima to the ground. You have grown up with the stories of the survivors. And you wanted us to listen to the same stories, to face the past, and learn something about the future.

It was a sobering start to the G7, and one that I will not forget, especially at a time when Russia threatens to use nuclear weapons once again. It is heinous. It is dangerous. And in the shadow of Hiroshima, it is unforgivable

The above video of that segment of the speech gives a better idea of the subtle way she closely associated in her rhetoric the words "once again" with the phrase "shadow of Hiroshima" while focusing on what Russia is doing, to make it sound like it was Moscow behind the past atrocities.

Via dpa

Russian media not only picked up on the woefully misleading comments, but the Kremlin issued a formal rebuke of Von der Leyen's speech as well:

In response to von der Leynen's remarks, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused the European Commission president of making "no mention whatsoever of the US and its executioners who dropped the bombs on populated Japanese cities."

Zakharova responded on social media, arguing that von der Leyen's assertions on Moscow's supposed intentions to employ nuclear weapons "is despicable and dangerous" and "lies."

Some Russian embassies in various parts of the globe also highlighted the speech on social media, denouncing the "empire of lies" and those Western leaders issuing 'shameful' propaganda and historical revisionism.

Tyler Durden Sun, 09/24/2023 - 13:15

Read More

Continue Reading


Saudi Arabia Sentences Schoolgirl To 18 Years In Prison Over Tweets

Saudi Arabia Sentences Schoolgirl To 18 Years In Prison Over Tweets

Via Middle East Eye,

Saudi Arabia has sentenced a secondary schoolgirl…



Saudi Arabia Sentences Schoolgirl To 18 Years In Prison Over Tweets

Via Middle East Eye,

Saudi Arabia has sentenced a secondary schoolgirl to 18 years in jail and a travel ban for posting tweets in support of political prisoners, according to a rights group.

On Friday, ALQST rights group, which documents human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, revealed that the Saudi Specialised Criminal Court handed out the sentence in August to 18-year-old Manal al-Gafiri, who was only 17 at the time of her arrest.

Via Reuters

The Saudi judiciary, under the de facto rule of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has issued several extreme prison sentences over cyber activism and the use of social media for criticising the government.

They include the recent death penalty against Mohammed al-Ghamdi, a retired teacher, for comments made on Twitter and YouTube, and the 34-year sentence of Leeds University doctoral candidate Salma al-Shehab over tweets last year.

The crown prince confirmed Ghamdi's sentence during a wide-ranging interview with Fox News on Wednesday. He blamed it on "bad laws" that he cannot change

"We are not happy with that. We are ashamed of that. But [under] the jury system, you have to follow the laws, and I cannot tell a judge [to] do that and ignore the law, because... that's against the rule of law," he said.

Saudi human rights defenders and lawyers, however, disputed Mohammed bin Salman's allegations and said the crackdown on social media users is correlated with his ascent to power and the introduction of new judicial bodies that have since overseen a crackdown on his critics. 

"He is able, with one word or the stroke of a pen, in seconds, to change the laws if he wants," Taha al-Hajji, a Saudi lawyer and legal consultant with the European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights, told Middle East Eye this week.

According to Joey Shea, Saudi Arabia researcher at Human Rights Watch, Ghamdi was sentenced under a counterterrorism law passed in 2017, shortly after Mohammed bin Salman became crown prince. The law has been criticised for its broad definition of terrorism.

Similarly, two new bodies - the Presidency of State Security and the Public Prosecution Office - were established by royal decrees in the same year.

Rights groups have said that the 2017 overhaul of the kingdom's security apparatus has significantly enabled the repression of Saudi opposition voices, including those of women rights defenders and opposition activists. 

"These violations are new under MBS, and it's ridiculous that he is blaming this on the prosecution when he and senior Saudi authorities wield so much power over the prosecution services and the political apparatus more broadly," Shea said, using a common term for the prince.

Tyler Durden Sun, 09/24/2023 - 11:30

Read More

Continue Reading


Biden To Join UAW Picket Line As Strike Expands, Good Luck Getting Repairs

Biden To Join UAW Picket Line As Strike Expands, Good Luck Getting Repairs

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

In a symbolic, photo-op…



Biden To Join UAW Picket Line As Strike Expands, Good Luck Getting Repairs

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

In a symbolic, photo-op gesture to win union votes, Biden will head to Michigan for a token visit.

Biden to Walk the Picket Line

Taking Sides

CNN had some Interesting comments on Biden Talking Sides.

Jeremi Suri, a presidential historian and professor at University of Texas at Austin, said he doesn’t believe any president has ever visited a picket line during a strike.

Presidents, including Biden, have previously declined to wade into union disputes to avoid the perception of taking sides on issues where the negotiating parties are often engaged in litigation.

On September 15, the day the strike started, Biden said that the automakers “should go further to ensure record corporate profits mean record contracts for the UAW.”

Some Democratic politicians have been urging Biden to do more. California Rep. Ro Khanna on Monday told CNN’s Vanessa Yurkevich that Biden and other Democrats should join him on the picket line.

“I’d love to see the president out here,” he said, arguing the Democratic Party needs to demonstrate it’s “the party of the working class.”

UAW Announces New Strike Locations

As the strike enters a second week, UAW Announces New Strike Locations

UAW President Shawn Fain called for union members to strike at noon ET Friday at 38 General Motors and Stellantis facilities across 20 states. He said the strike call covers all of GM and Stellantis’ parts distribution facilities.

The strike call notably excludes Ford, the third member of Detroit’s Big Three, suggesting the UAW is more satisfied with the progress it has made on a new contract with that company.

General Motors plants being told to strike are in Pontiac, Belleville, Ypsilanti, Burton, Swartz Creek and Lansing, Michigan; West Chester, Ohio; Aurora, Colorado; Hudson, Wisconsin; Bolingbrook, Illinois; Reno, Nevada; Rancho Cucamonga, California; Roanoke, Texas; Martinsburg, West Virginia; Brandon, Mississippi; Charlotte, North Carolina; Memphis, Tennessee; and Lang Horne, Pennsylvania.

The Stellantis facilities going on strike are in Marysville, Center Line, Warren, Auburn Hills, Romulus and Streetsboro, Michigan; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Plymouth, Minnesota; Commerce City, Colorado; Naperville, Illinois; Ontario, California; Beaverton, Oregon; Morrow, Georgia; Winchester, Virginia; Carrollton, Texas; Tappan, New York; and Mansfield, Massachusetts.

Contract Negotiations Are Not Close

Good Luck Getting Repairs

Party of the Working Cass, Really?

Let’s discuss the nonsensical notion that Democrats are the party of the “working class”.

Unnecessary stimulus, reckless expansion of social services, student debt cancellation, eviction moratoriums, earned income credits, immigration policy, and forcing higher prices for all, to benefit the few, are geared towards the “unworking class”.

On top of it, Biden wants to take away your gas stove, end charter schools to protect incompetent union teachers, and force you into an EV that you do not want and for which infrastructure is not in place.

All of this increases inflation across the board as do sanctions and clean energy madness.

Exploring the Working Class Idea

If you don’t work and have no income, Biden may make your healthcare cheaper. If you do work, he seeks to take your healthcare options away.

If you want to pay higher prices for cars, give up your gas stove, be forced into an EV, subsidize wind energy then pay more for electricity on top of it, you have a clear choice. If you support those efforts, by all means, please join him on the picket line for a token photo-op (not that you will be able to get within miles for the staged charade).

But if you can think at all, you understand Biden does not support the working class, he supports the unworking class.

Tyler Durden Sun, 09/24/2023 - 10:30

Read More

Continue Reading