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Remembering Muammar Qaddafi and the great Libyan Jamahiriya

Source: sfBayView
October 20 2017

by Gerald A. Perreira

The execution of Muammar Qaddafi and those who fought alongside him and the destruction of the Libyan Jamahiriya is one of the greatest crimes of this century.

remembering Qaddafi 1Circa 1970: Muammar Qaddafi with members of the Free Unionist Officers who l
ater formed the Revolutionary Command Council. Far right is Abu-Bakr Yunis Jabr
who, at 71 years of age, was captured alongside Qaddafi at the Battle of Sirte.

Oct. 20, 2017, marks the sixth anniversary of the martyrdom of Muammar Qaddafi, revolutionary Pan-Africanist and champion of the Global South. This day also marks the sixth anniversary of the historic battle of Sirte, where Qaddafi, along with a heroic army, including his son, Mutassim Billal Qaddafi, and veteran freedom fighter Abu-Bakr Yunis Jabr, fought until their convoy was bombed by French fighter planes. Wounded and demobilized, they were captured by Qatari scavengers and executed by Al-Qaeda operatives.

The courageous men of the original Free Officers’ Union, who were guides and leaders of the then 42-year-old Al-Fatah Revolution, demonstrated extraordinary revolutionary fortitude, heroism and audacity in the face of their enemies. As young men in their 20s, they overthrew the Western-installed Libyan monarchy and ushered in the Jamahiriya and, as elders in their 70s, they refused to leave Libya and instead fought to the bitter end, on the frontlines, alongside their people.

Their example will forever shine as an eternal light in the hearts of all those who struggled alongside them to build the closest thing to a real democracy and a United States of Africa that modern history has ever seen. The execution of Muammar Qaddafi and those who fought alongside him and the destruction of the Libyan Jamahiriya is one of the greatest crimes of this century.

Those responsible, including Nicolas Sarkozy, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, David Cameron, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Emir Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani should be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

A coalition of the wicked, comprising U.S./NATO forces, the semi-feudal Arab regimes of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Sudan, and a rag-tag bunch of monarchists and al-Qaeda-linked terrorists inside Libya, who had been working with the CIA and M15 for decades, was assembled and united in their goal. For them, total destruction was the only solution.

remembering Qaddafi 2.jpgOctober 2011: A ravaged Sirte is evidence of the ferocity of the heroic battle staged by loyalist forces against the invaders. – Photo: AP

Refusing Qaddafi’s attempt to negotiate a peaceful solution

Every attempt was made by Qaddafi and his supporters to negotiate a peaceful solution, including inviting international observers into the country to see for themselves what was really taking place, something the imperialists could not allow to happen. This was their golden opportunity to destroy Qaddafi and the Jamahiriya, a plan they had been waiting to execute for years.

There were mass uprisings on either side of Libya, in Tunisia and Egypt. The West had already coined the term “Arab Spring” and was busy hijacking revolts elsewhere. Time was of the essence. In fact, in what can only be described as a frenzy, they may have set a world record for the speed with which they managed to push through the illegal resolution at the U.N., their cover for the invasion.

The fake news and false narrative machine was in full swing. Within 24 hours, U.N. bodies had transformed Qaddafi from a person about to receive the U.N. Human Rights Award into a man killing his own people. The Jamahiriya was targeted for destruction and nothing was going to stop them.

Foreign forces, including the CIA, Dutch Marines, French and Sudanese military personnel, Qatari Special Forces, Al Qaeda fighters – facilitated by the Saudis, as they are facilitating Al Qaeda in Yemen today – were all in place weeks before the staged protests began in Benghazi in February 2011. This was a well-planned and coordinated operation.

‘Sometimes the enemy is the best teacher’

Kwame Ture, revolutionary Pan-Africanist and former executive member of the World Mathaba, opined that sometimes the enemy is the best teacher. He instructed us to study the enemy’s strategy and tactics and to remember that the enemy only goes after those whom they deem to be a real threat to their imperial interests. Pan-Africanist and former president of Guinea Ahmed Sekou Toure said, “If the enemy is not bothering with you, then know that you are doing nothing.”

remembering Qaddafi 3.jpgHeroes: the millions of armed Libyan men and women who stepped up to defend their Revolution

The forces of U.S.-E.U. imperialism were always bothering Muammar Qaddafi. They were bent on discrediting, demonizing and finding a way to obliterate him and the Libyan Jamahiriya from its inception in 1969 until they finally achieved their nefarious objective in 2011.

Results of a sinister imperialist game plan

Referring to Qaddafi as “the mad dog of the Middle-East,” Ronald Reagan, in a nationwide broadcast, said that Qaddafi’s goal was “world revolution,” claiming that he (Qaddafi) was promoting “a Muslim fundamentalist revolution, which targeted many of his own Arab compatriots.”

There is an African saying: “Mouth open, story jump out.” What Ronald Reagan was describing sounds like the imperialist plan. It was Ronald Reagan who welcomed leaders of the Afghan Mujahadeen, who were fighting the Soviets at the time, to the Oval Office and referred to them as Jihadi freedom fighters.

Today as we face Al Qaeda and their various offshoots, including the infamous ISIL, we are witnessing the devastating results of this sinister imperialist game plan. Ever since the days when the British colonial forces facilitated the creation of the Wahhabi kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the imperialists have encouraged, supported and funded the growth of Islamic fundamentalist groups.

remembering Qaddafi 4.jpg

Libyans prepare to retake Ajdabiya on March 16, 2011.

They understood that this was imperative if they were to counter the resurgence of an Islamic theology of liberation, in the revolutionary tradition of Abu Dharr al Ghifari, and as propounded in contemporary times by outstanding Islamic thinkers, such as Muammar Qaddafi, Ali Shariati, Kaukab Siddique, Ayatollah Mahmoud Taleghani, Muhammad Iqbal and Mahmoud Ayoub.

 

Islamic liberation theology

Again, we can learn from the enemy. Just as the imperialists and right-wing Christian fundamentalists waged an unrelenting war against the Social Gospel Movement and Christian liberation theology, as articulated by revolutionary theologians such as Gustavo Gutierrez, Miguel Bonino, James Cone and Enrique Dussel, they knew very well that Islamic liberation theology must be countered.

The enemy understood the power of this theology in terms of its ability to act as a bulwark against the imperial hegemon. They knew that this authentic and revolutionary Islam would prevent them from exercising control over an awakened Muslim world.

The enemy understood the power of this Islamic theology of liberation in terms of its ability to act as a bulwark against the imperial hegemon. They knew that this authentic and revolutionary Islam would prevent them from exercising control over an awakened Muslim world.

Reagan was right about one thing: Muammar Qaddafi indeed had a goal of world revolution – it was a revolution that would put the tenets of Islamic liberation theology into practice. Qaddafi’s conception of this revolution was holistic. His revolution would challenge every aspect of Eurocentric epistemology and its inherent racism.

The Libyan revolution was more than a social, political and economic revolution; it was nothing short of a spiritual and cultural revolution. This confounded not only the imperialist powers but also their reactionary Arab satraps.

The World Mathaba

The World Mathaba, established by Muammar Qaddafi in 1982, had as its stated mission, “to resist imperialism, racism, fascism, zionism, colonialism and neo-colonialism.” The Mathaba denotes a place where people gather for a noble purpose.

remembering Qaddafi 5.jpgThe Libyan people were an armed people and Qaddafi often moved among them with minimal security only present to control the crowds that wanted to greet him and shake his hand. Repressive dictators do not arm their people.

Based in Libya, it became a meeting place for revolutionary and progressive forces from all over the world. Similar to the House of Wisdom in Baghdad, which became a major intellectual center during the Islamic Golden Age, and the University of Sankore in Timbuktu, where scholars of the day converged to discuss and debate ideas and formulate new ideas, the Mathaba became a forum for the advancement of a Third Universal Theory beyond Capitalism and Communism.

Prior to the Mathaba, the only international formations for progressive and revolutionary organizations had been the Soviet dominated Comintern, which demanded an ideological allegiance to Marxism-Leninism and the Socialist International that brought together social-democratic parties. The ideological rigidity of these two international formations excluded organizations and movements that rejected Eurocentric ideologies, including many Indigenous and Pan-African organizations who found a home in the World Mathaba.

Through the Mathaba, Qaddafi assisted all those who were fighting for liberation and self-determination, regardless of whether or not it was in Libya’s geo-political interests to do so. Under Qaddafi’s visionary leadership, material assistance and moral support was provided to the oppressed from every corner of the earth, regardless of religion or ideology.

All were helped – from the Roma people of Eastern Europe to the Kanak people of New Caledonia in the Southwest Pacific to the Rohingya people, who are presently being ethnically cleansed by the Buddhist chauvinists of Myanmar, and who the U.N. recently referred to as “the most friendless people.” What the hypocritical U.N. body failed to mention was that they once had a friend in Muammar Qaddafi.

A sacred duty

remembering Qaddafi 6.jpg

What we knew all along is now a substantiated and indisputable fact: There was never a mass uprising in Benghazi or anywhere in Libya. The Libyan people in their millions made it clear that they supported the Al-Fatah Revolution.

Qaddafi noted on many occasions that the Libyan Revolution had a sacred duty to help all those who were in legitimate need and suffering persecution, since this was in accordance with the teachings of the Quran, which was Libya’s Constitution. The bedrock of Islam is to enjoin that which is good and condemn that which is wrong and unjust. Any Muslim, regardless of their interpretation of Quranic teachings, will admit that the Quran clearly states that the weakest response to injustice is to hate it in your heart, the second weakest response is to speak against it and the strongest response is to oppose it in every way possible.

A spiritual revolution

Leader of the Philippine based Moro National Liberation Front, Nur Misuari, in a lecture he delivered in 1990 at the Green World Institute in Tripoli, explained that inserting the word “Islamic” into the name of a country or organization, like the “Islamic Republic of Pakistan” or “Moro Islamic Liberation Front” did not make the country or organization Islamic.

Declaring yourself an “Islamic” country like Saudi Arabia and Qatar does not make you Islamic. To be a truly Islamic society and nation, there has to be a spiritual revolution – a revolution that raises the spiritual consciousness of the people; a revolution that counters the false Islam that the oppressors promote, that abolishes capitalism and the semi-feudal social relations sustained by the ruling elites in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Sudan.

To be a truly Islamic society and nation, there has to be a spiritual revolution – a revolution that raises the spiritual consciousness of the people; a revolution that counters the false Islam that the oppressors promote, that abolishes capitalism and the semi-feudal social relations sustained by the ruling elites in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Sudan.

This is why Qaddafi was such a threat to the imperialists and their Muslim surrogates. He was not only propounding dangerous ideas, he was building a new society – a Jamahiriya – a state of the masses, a real democracy based on the revolutionary teachings of the Quran, which, according to South African political scientist Themba Sono, “created conditions for the many to rule themselves.”

Sono goes on to explain: “For Qaddafi, this is part of the natural order in which the majority rules themselves rather than for a minority to exercise power over a majority … Qaddafi denies that the emanations from the activity of electoral participants can never be called rule, not only because such rule would be unethical and thereby unstable, but also because it would contradict the very essence and fundamental tenet of democracy, which is, to be tautological, that, naturally, free people must and can rule themselves.”

It was a dangerous precedent that the imperialists could not allow to continue.

As Sono notes in his book, “The Qaddafi Green Syndrome: Shaking the Foundations”: “Qaddafi does not care to investigate whether or not the people are capable of ruling themselves, for he asks the question, how do we do that without giving the people not only the right but the opportunity to do so? Who is to know beforehand and therefore to decide a priori that the people are not qualified to rule themselves?”

Dangerous ideas indeed

Applying the principles of Qaddafi’s Third Universal Theory transformed Libya from one of the poorest countries in the world to not only one of the most prosperous countries in Africa but, in many respects, one of the most prosperous countries worldwide. Facts and figures substantiate this claim.

remembering Qaddafi 7.jpgDuring the invasion of Libya, 1.7 million people – 95 percent of the population of Tripoli and one third of the entire population of Libya – gathered in downtown Tripoli in what has been called the largest demonstration in world history to support Qaddafi and the revolution. Syrians living in Libya can be seen in the center of the photo waving the Syrian flag. – Photo: Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Libya had no foreign debt and actually deposited payments from oil revenue into the bank accounts of its citizens. As is by now well documented, Libyans had access to free quality healthcare, free education from nursery through university level, rent free housing, free electricity, subsidized food – a very high standard of living.

Imperialists hate these types of precedents. What if, upon seeing these achievements, other nations decided to disregard the Western-style systems of governance and the neo-liberal capitalist model that simply widens the gap between the haves and have-nots?

What if countries in Africa, seeing Libya’s advancement and prosperity, decided to rid themselves of the bogus liberal democratic tradition that empowers 1 percent of humanity to rule over 99 percent? What if others decided to reject the multi-party electoral circus, designed to divide and fragment our countries along ethnic and tribal lines and, instead, opted for a Jamahiriya or State of the Masses?

Once asked by a journalist, what was the one thing he wanted to achieve most in his lifetime, Qaddafi replied, “to change the world.” And he was coming close.

Muammar Qaddafi and the empowered Libyan Jamahiriya were leading the movement to establish a United States of Africa, with a united military and a single currency, a dinar backed by Africa’s gold reserves. This would have actually dethroned the U.S. dollar and shifted the global economic imbalance. This would have indeed changed the world.

Muammar Qaddafi and the empowered Libyan Jamahiriya were leading the movement to establish a United States of Africa, with a united military and a single currency, a dinar backed by Africa’s gold reserves. This would have actually dethroned the U.S. dollar and shifted the global economic imbalance.

So, on Oct. 20, 2011, the Satanic forces that had been at war with Qaddafi and the Libyan Jamahiriya from its inception in 1969, dealt their final blow to the man known to revolutionaries throughout the world as the Brother-Leader and to revolutionary Muslims throughout Africa and the world as the “Commander of the Faithful.”

‘If they get past Libya, they are coming for you …’

Six years later and the fallout from this criminal act is still being felt everywhere. Key development projects throughout Africa, financed by Libya, have all grounded to a halt. Saudi Arabia and Qatar, key players in Libya’s demise, are now busy grabbing large tracts of land in Africa. This would not have been possible if Qaddafi was alive.

remembering Qaddafi 8.jpgThousands of Libyan loyalists and migrants from other African countries languish in prisons.

The expansion of AFRICOM, the expansion of U.S. military bases, and the building of new military bases by the Chinese and the Turks in Africa would also not have been possible if Qaddafi were alive. Indeed, there would have been a fierce resistance to the current recolonization and re-carving of Africa if Muammar Qaddafi were alive and the Libyan Jamahiriya were flourishing as before.

Of course, the urgent need to recolonize an Africa that was awakening to its own power and ability to unite and self-determine was the very reason for the overthrow of Qaddafi and the Libyan revolution. It is not surprising that the French led the charge. In March 2008, former French president, Jacques Chirac said, “Without Africa, France would slide down into the rank of a Third World power.” As early as 1957, long before he became president, Francois Mitterrand said, “Without Africa, France will have no history in the 21st century.”

Libya has been transformed into a dysfunctional neo-colonial entity, where an array of militias squabble over territory and spoils. Its vast landmass has become a safe haven and training ground for ISIL and other Al-Qaeda offshoots.

Thousands of Libyans and other African nationals are still detained without trial in what can only be described as concentration camps. Many have been tortured and executed in these same camps, their only crime: being Qaddafi loyalists. Those now in control of Libya hated Qaddafi’s Pan-African objectives. They are Arab supremacists and are persecuting Black Libyans and other African nationals.

Africans who once travelled to Libya to work and send back much needed funds to their families are now crossing the Mediterranean. Entire boatloads of people, including women and children, are drowning as they make the perilous journey.

Africans who once travelled to Libya to work and send back much needed funds to their families are now crossing the Mediterranean. Entire boatloads of people, including women and children, are drowning as they make the perilous journey.

Our ancestors were once captured and forced on to boats against their will. Many perished during that crossing. Today, we are clamoring to secure a place on boats that are not even seaworthy to escape the conditions created by our former enslavers. Many are still perishing.

Qaddafi would often lament, “The world shakes, but it doesn’t change.”

Workers from as far afield as the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Turkey, Germany, England, Italy, Malaysia and Korea lost their jobs.

The entire refugee crisis across Europe is a result of the destruction of the Jamahiriya.

remembering Qaddafi 9.jpgMuammar Qaddafi is remembered with love and held in high esteem by Black
people in Africa and throughout the Diaspora, including in the U.S.

The push to establish a United States of Africa, which prior to Libya’s demise was a dynamic and energized initiative, is presently a dream deferred. Revolutionary Pan-Africanism has suffered a huge setback.

Today’s African leaders, with the exception of a few, are only good for talking Pan-Africanism in the halls of the African Union headquarters. Outside of these confines, they are committed to maintaining the old neo-colonial relationships that keep Africa in bondage.

We salute you

On this day, all those who resist oppression and tyranny worldwide, salute the great freedom fighter and our Brother-Leader, Muammar Qaddafi, and the other revolutionary leaders of Al Fatah. We pay homage to their dedicated and life-long struggle for human emancipation and dignity. We are forever inspired by their steadfast and courageous fight to the end, and by their unwavering faith in, and service to God.

We are grateful for their undying love for the African continent and all of humanity. We salute the millions of Libyan men and women who heroically resisted the invasion of their country and who continue to suffer to this day.

We stand in solidarity with the family of Muammar Qaddafi and the families of all the martyrs. We stand in solidarity with the thousands of political prisoners inside Libya and the more than 1.5 million Qaddafi loyalists exiled from their country.

We commit our full support to the struggle being waged by the patriotic and nationalist forces to liberate and unify Libya once again. For the Green revolutionary, death is not the end but the doorway to a new beginning. Martyrs never die.

Gerald A. Perreira is chairperson of the Guyanese organizations Black Consciousness Movement Guyana (BCMG) and Organization for the Victory of the People (OVP). He is an executive member of the Caribbean Chapter of the Network for Defense of Humanity. He lived in Libya for many years, served in the Green March, an international battalion for the defense of the Al Fatah revolution, and was a founding member of the World Mathaba, based in Tripoli, Libya. He can be reached at mojadi94@gmail.com.

Somalia’s deadliest bomb attack: More than 300 killed

Source:  Independent and  Quartz Media
October 19 2017

somalia 2.jpg

The death toll from the most powerful bomb blast witnessed in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu has risen to more than 300 people with hundreds of others  injured and many more people still missing

Police said a truck bomb exploded outside the Safari Hotel at the K5 intersection, which is lined with government offices, restaurants and kiosks, flattening buildings and setting vehicles on fire. A separate blast struck the Medina district two hours later.

Abshir Abdi Ahmed said the toll comes from doctors at hospitals he has visited in Mogadishu. Many of the bodies in hospital mortuaries have not yet been identified, he said.

It is the single deadliest attack ever in the Horn of Africa nation.

somalia 1.jpgSomali Armed Forces evacuate their injured colleague, from the scene
of an explosion in KM4 street in the Hodan district of
Mogadishu, Somalia (Reuters)

Dr Afzal Ashraf, assistant professor of international relations at the University of Nottingham, told The Independent the attack was likely a response to recent losses suffered by Islamist groups.

He said groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and Isis were “increasingly on the back foot, particularly in Iraq and Syria, and feel they need to lash out.”

More than 200 were injured in the explosion outside the hotel and hospitals are struggling to cope with the high number of casualties.

Officials feared the death toll would continue to climb. Many died at hospitals from their wounds, Police Captain Mohamed Hussein said.

Vehicles burn at the scene of a massive explosion in front of Safari Hotel in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia (EPA)

The Red Cross said four volunteers with the Somali Red Crescent Society are among the dead and warned “this figure may rise as there are a number of volunteers still missing.”

Overnight, rescue workers with torch lights searched for survivors trapped under the rubble of the largely destroyed Safari Hotel, which is close to Somalia’s foreign ministry. The explosion blew off metal gates and blast walls erected outside the hotel.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed declared three days of mourning and joined thousands of people who responded to a desperate plea by hospitals to donate blood for the wounded victims. “I am appealing all Somali people to come forward and donate,” he said.

somalia 3.jpgAngry protesters took to the streets in Mogadishu a day after the massive truck bomb attack.

Somalia’s government blamed the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabaabextremist group for the attack it called a “national disaster.” However, al-Shabaab, which often targets high-profile areas of the capital with bombings, had yet to claim the attack.

“They don’t care about the lives of Somali people, mothers, fathers and children,” Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire said. “They have targeted the most populated area in Mogadishu, killing only civilians.”

Somalia’s information minister, Abdirahman Omar, said the blast was the largest the city had ever seen. “It’s a sad day. This is how merciless and brutal they are, and we have to unite against them,” he said, speaking to the state-run radio station.

The US joined the condemnation, saying “such cowardly attacks reinvigorate the commitment of the United States to assist our Somali and African Union partners to combat the scourge of terrorism.”

America has stepped up drone strikes and other efforts this year against al-Shabaab, which is also fighting the Somali military and the more than 20,000-strong African Union forces in the country.

Why is the US at War in West Africa?

Source:  “Information Clearing House“/ wsws.org
October 15 2017

By Eddie Haywood

American military operations throughout the African continent have been conducted almost entirely in secret

us military in africa 3.jpg

The October 4 killings of four US Green Berets in Niger has provided a rare glimpse into the far-reaching American military operations throughout the African continent which have been conducted almost entirely in secret.

Pentagon officials on Friday told reporters that the ambush was carried out by a self-radicalized group supposedly affiliated with ISIS. The Pentagon additionally admitted that at least 29 patrols similar to the one that was fatally ambushed have been carried out by American soldiers in Niger.

According to AFRICOM, the US military command based in Stuttgart, Germany, the US special forces deployed to Niger are tasked with providing training, logistics, and intelligence to assist the Nigerien military in fighting militants affiliated with Al-Qaeda in Mali and Boko Haram in neighboring Nigeria. AFRICOM has officially stated that its forces interact with the Nigerien army in a “non-combat advisory” capacity.

US military forces arrayed across the continent taking on the character of an occupying army

The circumstances surrounding the ambush which resulted in the deaths of the four Green Berets expose AFRICOM’s claim of non-engagement as a lie. The killings occurred during a joint patrol of elite American soldiers and Nigerien forces in a remote hostile region on the border with Mali known for frequent raids conducted by Islamist militants. Some 800 US commandos are deployed to bases in Niamey and Agadez making quite clear the offensive role that the American military is playing in Niger.

Underlining the incident is Niger’s configuration in Washington’s imperialist offensive across Africa. The expanding levels of US military forces arrayed across the continent have increasingly taken on the character of an occupying army. According to the Pentagon, there are a total of 1,000 American troops in the vicinity of the Chad River Basin which includes northern Niger, Chad, and the Central African Republic. An additional 300 troops are stationed to the south in Cameroon.

Related:  AFRICOM’s Secret Empire: US Military Turns Africa Into ‘Laboratory’ Of Modern Warfare

After its establishment in 2008 as an independent command, AFRICOM has significantly expanded American military influence and troop deployments on the African continent. Measuring the breadth of US military expansion is the construction of a $100 million base in Agadez in central Niger, from which the US Air Force conducts regular surveillance drone flights across the Sahel region.

Augmenting the special forces contingent in the region are military personnel stationed at several dozen bases and outposts including a US base in Garoua, Cameroon.

The genesis in 1980

The special operations units in Africa have their genesis in 1980, after the Pentagon created Special Operations Command (SOCOM) to conduct a raid on the US embassy in Tehran, Iran to rescue American hostages. Over the years, SOCOM has vastly broadened its scope, and currently has forces stationed on every continent around the globe.

Made up of various units of the US military, including Green Berets, Delta Force, and Navy Seals, SOCOM carry out a broad spectrum of offensive operations including assassinations, counter-terrorism, reconnaissance, psychological operations, and foreign troop training. Under AFRICOM, these forces form a subgroup of SOCOM designated as Special Operations Command in Africa (SOCAFRICA).

A 2000 per cent increase and the renewed scramble for Africa under Obama

Between 2006 and 2010 the deployment of US special forces troops in Africa increased 300 per cent. However, from 2010 to 2017 the numbers of deployed troops exploded by nearly 2000 per cent, occupying more than 60 outposts tasked with carrying out over 100 missions at any given moment across the continent.

The scale of the military expansion which began in earnest under the Obama administration is part of a renewed “scramble for Africa”, comprised of a reckless drive for economic dominance over Africa’s vast economic resources which threatens to transform the entire continent into a battlefield.

The immediate roots of the Niger ambush

The immediate roots of the Niger ambush can be traced to the 2011 US/NATO war in Libya which resulted in the removal and assassination of Libya’s leader Muammar Gaddafi. Under the Obama administration, Washington cultivated and armed various Islamist militant groups with ties to Al-Qaeda as a proxy force to carry out its aim of regime change. The resulting US/NATO bombardment left Libyan society in shambles, and the Islamist fighters spilled forth and out across North Africa and south to the Sahel.

In 2012, as a consequence of a US and French backed coup against the government in Bamako, Tuareg rebels in Northern Mali took advantage of the chaos resulting from the coup to stage a rebellion. After the Tuareg militants began taking control over cities and territory as it cut deeper into southern Mali, France with the Obama administrations backing deployed 4,000 troops to the country to neutralize the Tuareg rebels, eventually stabilizing the government it placed in Bamako.

While the Tuareg rebellion may have been halted by the US-backed French offensive, Islamist fighters from Libya were pouring into Mali, with many taking up arms against the Western backed puppet government. The Islamist fighters largely united into one large group, declaring allegiance to Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM). The military forces of Niger and Chad which participated in the US/French intervention in Mali have become frequent targets by the Islamist militants who began conducting cross-border raids and launched attacks on patrols and garrisons.

Transforming West Africa into a battlefield is the end result of Washington’s works

The rise of these warring Islamist militias which have transformed West Africa into a battlefield is the end result of Washington’s decades-long strategy in cultivating these forces as a proxy army in its wars for regime change, at first, in the Middle East and Afghanistan, and subsequently in Africa.

Underscoring France’s military deployment are the French economic interests it seeks to protect not only Mali, but throughout West Africa, the region which was once part of its colonial empire. In Niger, the French energy giant Arven has established mining operations extracting the country’s rich uranium resources.

For its part, Washington has enlisted the participation of the military forces of Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, and Mali in its drive for dominance of the Sahel and West Africa, with all of these countries featuring US outposts or bases.

Washington’s military expansion in response to China’s economic influence

A key element of Washington’s military expansion in the region are the significant economic resources that it aims to secure for American corporate interests. On behalf of these interests, and complimentary to its military operation, Washington has constructed a $300 million embassy in Niamey.

Washington’s military interventions in Africa must also be seen as an effort to offset China’s growing economic influence on the continent. Beijing in recent years has secured investment deals with African governments in nearly every sector of Africa’s economy.

China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) purchased the permit for oil drilling in Niger’s Agadem Basin, and CNPC also constructed and operates the Soraz refinery near Zinder, Niger’s second largest city. Deals by Beijing for the construction of pipelines traversing through Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Cameroon are currently in the development stage, causing no small amount of consternation in Washington.

This article was originally published by WSWS 

Copyright © 1998-2017 World Socialist Web Site

The new Bolivia continues to advance with Evo Morales

Source:  Granma
October 18, 2017

by: Joaquín Rivery Tur | rivery@granma.cu

Over a decade ago, when the government of Evo Morales took office in Bolivia, only 40,000 Bolivians received gas at home. Today, 3.5 million have access to the service where they  live.

evo morales oct 2017.jpgPresident Evo Morales has served the country for 11 years, despite fierce
opposition from the local oligarchy and the U.S. 

Over a decade ago, when the government of Evo Morales took office in Bolivia, only 40,000 Bolivians received gas at home. Today, 3.5 million have access to the service where they live.

The nationalization of the hydrocarbon industry in 2006 resulted in economic progress for Bolivia. It allowed the country to multiply national gas export revenues from two billion dollars in 2005, to 31.5 billion dollars in 2016.

The local oligarchy conspired with the U.S. embassy in the Andean nation to overthrow the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) led government, but failed.

The Bolivian government was forced to expel the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the U.S. ambassador, for their interference in the country’s internal affairs.

According to studies, especially those carried out by Canadian firm GLJ Consultants, its is estimated that in the next five years Bolivia’s proven natural gas reserves will increase to 17.45 trillion cubic feet, and production levels will be at a minimum of 73 million cubic meters per day.

Bolivia at the forefront of regional economic growth

The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) places Bolivia at the forefront of regional economic growth in its latest report. In 2016, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth was 4.3%, while the Ministry of Economy has forecast 4.7% growth for this year.

One of the most important projects underway in the country is the construction of the first polypropylene and propylene plant, to be established in the province of Gran Chaco, located in southern Bolivia, indicative of the industrialization and diversification of the national economy, alongside lithium industry projects.

The President of the state-owned oil company Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB), Guillermo Achá, explained that the polypropylene plant will create at least 1,000 direct jobs, and some 10,000 further positions related to the petrochemical complex – thus alleviating one of the country’s endemic problems: unemployment. The mega project has seen investment of over 500 million dollars.

The Plurinational State is also developing significant new energy generation projects, including the building of hydroelectric power plants in Carrizal, Cambarí, and Huacata; expansion of the Termoeléctrica del Sur power station; wind power generation in La Ventolera; solar power in the highlands; and projects for internal industrial development, and even for energy exports.

Nationalization vastly more beneficial than privatization

Meanwhile, YPFB statistics show that the nationalization of natural resources has generated $31.5 billion dollars over the past 10 years, far more than the $2.5 billion that was collected in the same period under privatization.

Undeniably, the population of this new Bolivia has seen their living standards greatly improved, with the construction of roads, schools, hospitals, and sports centers. Hundreds of thousands of Bolivians have recovered their sight thanks to Operation Miracle, the ophthalmologic rehabilitation program promoted by the governments of Cuba and Venezuela.

The local pro-U.S. oligarchy continues its plans to regain power, especially those in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the capital of the country’s largest constituent department, where plots to overthrow the government have been prepared with the participation of foreign mercenaries.

Separatist opposition movements have also tried unsuccessfully to separate the departments of Pando, Beni, Santa Cruz, and Tarija (known as the “half moon” due to their overall shape) from Bolivia.

It’s no secret that when Evo Morales assumed office on January 22, 2006, many did not believe he would be able to complete his presidential term, let alone do so as successfully. However, the first indigenous President of Bolivia is now the longest serving head of state of the country.

None of his predecessors in the position were able to secure an electoral victory for three consecutive terms, or maintain such high approval ratings among the Bolivian people. (With information from teleSUR)

Youth from across the world condemn U.S. imperialism

Source:  Granma
October 19 2017

By Lissy Rodríguez, Special correspondent | internet@granma.cu

October 18 saw the International Anti-imperialist Tribunal, a space created to denounce imperialist crimes, as part of the 19th World Festival of Youth and  Students

cuba at 19th world festival 2.jpgPhoto: Prensa Latina

SOCHI, Russia.– October 18 saw the International Anti-imperialist Tribunal, a space created to denounce imperialist crimes, as part of the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students.

Terrorist acts that the United States has perpetrated against Cuba

The Cuban case was presented by Elián González, who referred to the more than 700 terrorist acts that the United States has perpetrated against Cuba resulting in thousands of dead and injured.

He stressed that subversion on the island involves non-governmental organizations, universities, USAID, counterrevolutionary representatives and Freedom House, considered a vehicle for the work of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. From 1996 through 2015, Elián noted, USAID allocated 284 million dollars to its Cuba program.

The Sahrawi people

Omar Hanesa, representing the Sahrawi people, denounced the illegal Moroccan occupation of their land and demanded justice for the crimes committed against them over decades. He also called for the release of political prisoners sentenced to more than 20 years for defending their people’s cause.

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More than 150 unpunished murders

Similarly, Angela Correa from Colombia denounced the more than 150 unpunished murders of young communists at the hands of government agents in her country, and demanded an observation mission in the face of the avalanche of violence. In addition, she condemned the attacks on Venezuela and the increased military presence in the nine U.S. bases on Colombian soil.

During the day, witnesses from countries such as Brazil and North Korea also lodged their complaints before the Anti-imperialist Tribunal.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega at 80% Approval Rating: Poll

Source:  TeleSUR
October 19 2017

daniel ortega approval rating oct 2017Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. | Photo: EFE

 The ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front is ahead in polls for the upcoming municipal elections.

President Daniel Ortega has an almost 80 percent approval rating among Nicaraguans and his party is ahead in polls for the Nov. 5 elections that will elect mayors across the country, according to a recent survey.

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Some 77.5 percent say that President Ortega has led Nicaragua correctly, while 77.8 percent said the Sandinista National Liberation Front government gives them hope, according to a recent poll by Consultora M&R published Wednesday.

The poll also showed that 78.6 percent of the people believe the current government works for the benefit of the population.

The report added that 71.5 percent consider the government “democratic” and “that it complies with the laws” and 79.1 percent said that it brings “unity and reconciliation” to the Central American nation.

According to the poll, the ruling Sandinistas have a 57.5 percent approval, while the opposition parties received 6.3 percent. Another 36.2 percent declared themselves independent.

The poll also asked citizens to outline life priorities. Health received the number one spot, with 91 percent, followed by work with 76.8 percent, housing at 70.1 percent, and economic welfare with 60 percent.

The poll was conducted from Sept. 28 through Oct. 11 in 15 departments and two autonomous regions of Nicaragua, with a margin of error of 2.5 percent and 95 percent reliability.

Antigua and Barbuda: Terms and conditions of World Bank Reconstruction Loan not in the island’s best interest

Source:  TeleSUR
October 18 2017

antigua says world bank loan too strenuousAccording to Browne, at least US$100 million would be needed to rebuild
Barbuda after Hurricane slammed into the island last month. | Photo: Reuters

  • The loan approved by the World Bank is less than half of the amount petitioned by Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

Antigua and Barbuda is considering a request to renegotiate a US$40 million loan from the World Bank for reconstruction of hurricane-torn Barbuda.

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The loan approved by the international body with a term stretching 10 years and an interest rate of 3.5 to 4 percent is less than half of the amount petitioned by Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

According to Browne, at least US$100 million would be needed to rebuild Barbuda after Hurricane Irma devastated the island last month.

“We have asked them to reconsider the terms and they said they will put it to the board and will get back to us,” Browne said during an interview with a local radio station, adding that he didn’t feel the loan’s terms and conditions were in the best interest of the island and is requesting that the interest rate be lowered to one percent.

“As far as we are concerned, the term is too short and we have asked them to reconsider and perhaps consider up to 20 years with a five-year moratorium,” Browne said

“If it were grants, we would push for some more, but we have to be careful in terms of how much we borrow, because … you have to have the capacity to repay,” he said.

Funds are being poured into a non-revenue-earning project

The prime minister said these alterations would be necessary as the funds are being poured into a non-revenue-earning project.

RELATED:  Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Says Barbuda Suffered ‘Heart Wrenching’ Devastation

“For example, in Barbuda, we will be putting the lines underground, we will be replacing all of the wooden posts with concrete posts and, technically speaking, they will not be creating any funds, any revenue, so again we have to make sure we do not overburden the Treasury, because at the end of the day we have to pay it back,” Browne said.

Following September’s natural disaster, Browne personally donated US$37,000 toward the Barbuda hurricane recovery effort, while Tourism and Energy Minister Asot Michael made a donation in the amount of US$200,000.

The prime minister also encouraged business owners and the international community to contribute to the rebuilding of Barbuda.

Registered as a Category 5 hurricane with winds up to 185 mph and heavy rain, Irma destroyed over 90 percent of the island, according to Browne.

Around 1,800 Barbudans were evacuated from Barbuda after Hurricane Irma devastated the island.