Tag Archives: Libya

Obama’s Gun-Running Operation: Weapons and Support for “Islamic Terrorists” in Syria and Iraq. “Create Constructive Chaos” and “Redraw the Map of the Middle East”

By Julie Lévesque
May 29, 2015
Global Research

 

Obama-Eyes-SyriaNewly disclosed Pentagon documents prove what we’ve known for a while now: the Obama administration knew as early as 2012 that weapons were being sent from Benghazi, Libya, to rebels in Syria.

The U.S. government also knew at the time that:

“the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and [Al Qaeda in Iraq were] the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.”

But did they just “know” or was it part of the plan?

These official documents of the Obama administration add to the large  amount of evidence proving that the actual chaos and havoc wreaked by extremist groups in the Middle East was deliberately created by the U.S. and its allies and is not the result of a “failed foreign policy”.

Judicial Watch recently revealed:

The DoD documents also contain the first official documentation that the Obama administration knew that weapons were being shipped from the Port of Benghazi to rebel troops in Syria. An October 2012 report confirms:

Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The weapons shipped during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s, and 125 mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.

During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the ((Qaddafi)) regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The Syrian ports were chosen due to the small amount of cargo traffic transiting these two ports. The ships used to transport the weapons were medium-sized and able to hold 10 or less shipping containers of cargo.

The heavily redacted document does not disclose who was shipping the weapons. (Benghazi Scandal: Obama Administration Knew Weapons Were Being Sent to Al-Qaeda in Syria, New Documents Show, Judicial Watch 18 May 2015)

Although the documents do not reveal who was responsible for sending weapons to Syria, it is quite obvious from the language used in the documents that it was a US initiative and the CIA presence in Benghazi at the time suggests that US intelligence was behind this gun-running operation.

Libyan Terrorists in Syria

On September 11, 2012, the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was attacked. Four people were killed, including the U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and two CIA officers.

In August 2013, Business Insider reported :

The Agency, for its part, doesn’t want anyone knowing what it was doing in the Libyan port city.

On Thursday Drew Griffin and Kathleen Johnston of CNN reported that the CIA “is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secret.”

Sources told CNN that 35 Americans were in Benghazi that night — 21 of whom were working out of the annex — and that several were wounded, some seriously.

One source said: “You have no idea the amount of pressure being brought to bear on anyone with knowledge of this operation.”

Among the questions are whether CIA missteps contributed to the security failure in Benghazi and, more importantly, whether the Agency’s Benghazi operation had anything to do with reported heavy weapons shipments from the local port to Syrian rebels.

In short, the CIA operation is the most intriguing thing about Benghazi. (Michael B. Kelley and Geoffrey Ingersoll, Intrigue Surrounding The Secret CIA Operation In Benghazi Is Not Going Away, Business Insider, August 3, 2013)

Last January, the Citizens Commission on Benghazi concluded that the “Obama White House and the State Department under the management of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ‘changed sides in the war on terror’ in 2011 by implementing a policy of facilitating the delivery of weapons to the al-Qaida-dominated rebel militias in Libya attempting to oust Moammar Gadhafi from power”, WND reported.

WND added that

“several members of the commission have disclosed their finding that the mission of Christopher Stevens, prior to the fall of Gadhafi and during Stevens’ time as U.S. ambassador, was the management of a secret gun-running program operated out of the Benghazi compound.” (Jerome R. Corsi,Libya: U.S. Generals Conclude Obama Backed Al-Qaida and Operated a Secret Gun-Running Program in Benghazi, WND, January 20, 2015)

We’ve also known for several years that Western special operations forces were on the ground training rebels to fight against Assad.

In January 2012, Michel Chossudovsky reported:

Several articles in the British media confirm that British Special Forces are training Syrian rebels.

The underlying pattern is similar to that of Libya where British SAS were on the ground prior to the launching of NATO’s military intervention.

A Responsibility to Protect (R2P) NATO intervention modelled on Libya is contemplated… The reports confirm that British military and  intelligence operatives are already on the ground inside Syria. (Michel Chossudovsky, SYRIA: British Special Forces, CIA and MI6 Supporting Armed Insurgency. NATO Intervention Contemplated, Global Research, January 7, 2012)

Even CNN reported back in 2012 that rebels were being trained by defense contractors to handle chemical weapons:

The US and some of its European allies “are using defense contractors to train Syrian rebels on how to secure chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria,” according to “a senior US official and several senior diplomats,” CNN reports.

The US-funded training is going on inside Syria, as well as in neighboring Turkey and Jordan and “involves how to monitor and secure stockpiles and handle weapons sites and materials,” according to CNN. US Defense Contractors Training Syrian Rebels to Handle Chemical Weapons

Bashar Al-Assad Is The Target

The deadly chemical weapons were later used against Syrian soldiers and civilians. The U.S. government and the Western mainstream media tried to blame President Assad, but a UN investigation later concluded that it was  the rebels who had used the chemical weapons.

Another official document from 2012 revealed by Judicial Watch indicates that the “growing sectarian direction of the war was predicted to have dire consequences for Iraq, which included the “grave danger” of the rise of ISIS:

This creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI [al Qaeda Iraq] to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters. ISI could also declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory. (Judicial Watch, op., cit.)

The U.S. did exactly what was needed to create “the ideal atmosphere” for Mosul and Ramadi to fall and for ISIS to declare an “Islamic state”.

With the fall of Mosul last June, the recent fall of Ramadi in Iraq and numerous reports about the U.S. delivering weapons and ammunition to ISIS, the recently disclosed official documents show once more that the U.S. gun-running operation created “the ideal atmosphere” for Al Qaeda Iraq and “the rise of ISIS” in the region. The war against the so-called Islamic State can thus only be a flatout lie.

The following articles pertain to the U.S. delivery of weapons to ISIS while it was supposedly fighting it:

U.S. Airdrops Weapons to ISIS as Iraqi Army Makes Gains

Delivery of US Weapons and Ammunition to ISIS: Iraqi Commander Wiretaps ISIS Communications with US Military

Terrorists Supported by America: U.S. Helicopter Delivering Weapons to the Islamic State (ISIS), Shot Down by Iraqi “Popular Forces”

Iraqi Army Allegedly Downs A US Helicopter For Providing Weapons To ISIS: Report

As a solution to the problem they created, with full knowledge of the consequences, the U.S. and its allies offered a military intervention with the stated intent of fighting the enemy they had created while covertly supporting it in order to sustain the war, for the greatest benefit of defense contractors and Israel, which has the a lot to gain in the dismantlement of neighboring states.

The purpose of this “constructive chaos” is nothing less than to redraw the map of the region and create a “New Middle East.”

As Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya explained back in 2006:

The term “New Middle East” was introduced to the world in June 2006 in Tel Aviv by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (who was credited by the Western media for coining the term) in replacement of the older and more imposing term, the “Greater Middle East.”

This shift in foreign policy phraseology coincided with the inauguration of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Oil Terminal in the Eastern Mediterranean. The term and conceptualization of the “New Middle East,” was subsequently heralded by the U.S. Secretary of State and the Israeli Prime Minister at the height of  the Anglo-American sponsored Israeli siege of Lebanon. Prime Minister Olmert and Secretary Rice had informed the international media that a project for a “New Middle East” was being launched from Lebanon.

This announcement was a confirmation of an Anglo-American-Israeli “military roadmap” in the Middle East. This project, which has been in the planning stages for several years, consists in creating an arc of instability, chaos, and violence extending from Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria to Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Iran, and the borders of NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan.

The “New Middle East” project was introduced publicly by Washington and Tel Aviv with the expectation that Lebanon would be the pressure point for realigning the whole Middle East and thereby unleashing the forces of “constructive chaos.” This “constructive chaos” –which generates conditions of violence and warfare throughout the region– would in turn be used so that the United States, Britain, and Israel could redraw the map of the Middle East in accordance with their geo-strategic needs and objectives. (Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a “New Middle East”, Global Research, November 2006)

Note: The above map was prepared by Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters. It was published in the Armed Forces Journal in June 2006, Peters is a retired colonel of the U.S. National War Academy. (Map Copyright Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters 2006). Although the map does not officially reflect Pentagon doctrine, it has been used in a training program at NATO’s Defense College for senior military officers. This map, as well as other similar maps, has most probably been used at the National War Academy as well as in military planning circles (Mahdi D. Nazemroaya).

All the evidence is there to prove ISIS and their ilks are instruments of  U.S.-NATO-Israel foreign policy.

How long can the Western mainstream media ignore this overwhelming evidence that the U.S. and its allies are supporting the entities they claim to be be fighting in the Middle East without totally losing the very little credibility it has left?

Looking at the situation, Joachim Hagopian argues that the war on ISIS is just for show since its “enemy” is only gaining territory:

The US led coalition air strikes in Syria and Iraq have failed to stop the Islamic State’s expansion. Four months ago it was noted that since the US air campaign began last August, the Islamic State has doubled its space in Syria, controlling more than one third of the country’s territory. In the same way that the US predator drone warfare policy has only caused more hatred against America in the nations it’s been deployed against in Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, the same reverse effect is occurring in Syria where residents are increasingly sympathetic to Islamic State. Additionally, Syrian opposition groups bitterly complain that the US led coalition forces fail to coordinate dropping bombs with the rebels, thus not permitting them any tactical advantage in driving IS back. It’s as if the air strikes are more for show than to actually neutralize the enemy. (Joachim Hagopian,The US-Islamic State Dance: One Step Forward and Two Steps Back – By Design, Global Research, May 19, 2015)

This war on ISIS is just another disastrous endeavor for populations in the Middle East, another military intervention under a false pretext, another lie to divide and conquer. And once more, the Western mainstream media has failed to report the truth.

Below is a selection of articles on this topic.

SELECTED ARTICLES

U.S. General: “We Helped Build ISIS” – Islamic State Obtained Weapons from U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Paul Joseph Watson, September 03, 2014

U.S. Efforts to Arm Jihadis in Syria: The Scandal Behind the Benghazi Undercover CIA Facility, Washington’s Blog, April 15, 2014

CIA Gun-running, Qatar-Libya-Syria, Phil Greaves, August 09, 2013

Benghazi, US-NATO Sponsored Base of Operations for Al Qaeda, Tony Cartalucci, October 21, 2012

Resurgence of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Fuelled by Saudi Arabia, Zayd Alisa, 3 March 2014

More Evidence of Israel’s Dirty Role in the Syrian Proxy War, Steven MacMillan, May 18, 2015

EU migrant crisis: WikiLeaked docs outline naval op, reputation risk management

By RT
May 27, 2015
RT

 

5dbff8607cce8544a71882ff21758d75-051WikiLeaks has published two classified documents revealing details of a EU plan for military intervention to curb the influx of migrants from Libya, and an information strategy to “facilitate expectation management” and avert reputation risks.

The European Union foreign ministers agreed to form a naval mission in the Mediterranean Sea targeting gangs smuggling refugees from Libya to Europe on May 18.

One of the classified documents published by WikiLeaks on Monday reveals details of the planned year-long military operation against human traffickers. The 11-page document, drafted by the EU defense chiefs, outlines plans to destroy vessels along the Libyan coast as well as target transport networks and infrastructure within Libya’s borders.

The second, 6-page EU Politico-Military Group advice paper on the military intervention lists recommendations on tackling human trafficking networks in the Mediterranean and outlines propaganda initiatives to sell the military option to the public.

The EU military chiefs’ advice centers on the notion of drawing a “full range of surveillance” and other intelligence data from EU member states and making “systematic efforts to identify, capture and destroy vessels before they are used by traffickers.”

In this context, the European Union Military Committee (EUMC) highlights the need to create an information exchange and the “coordination of the use of military assets” between partners supported by Brussels (inter alia EEAS [European External Action Service] Single Intelligence Analysis Capacity – SIAC).

With regards to the use of force, the EUMC highlighted the need to layout Rules of Engagement, especially when it comes to the “seizure of vessels in a non-compliant situation, for the neutralization of smugglers’ vessels and assets, for specific situations such as hostage rescue and for the temporary detention of those posing a threat to the force or suspected of crimes.”

The plan also envisions possible engagement with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) fighters “within the Libyan sovereign area.”

“The threat to the force should be acknowledged, especially during activities such as boarding and when operating on land or in proximity to an unsecured coastline, or during interaction with non-seaworthy vessels. The potential presence of hostile forces, extremists or terrorists such as Da’esh [ISIS] should also be taken into consideration,” the document highlights.

The authors of the leaked document admit that the operation should be backed by a clear information strategy that would “avoid suggesting that the focus is to rescue migrants at sea but emphasize that the aim of the operation is to disrupt the migrants smuggling business model.”

While the plan lists Libya and North African regional neighbors among the areas to be targeted by the information campaign, it also acknowledges the risks of negative international publicity “should loss of life be attributed, correctly or incorrectly, to action or inaction by the EU force.”

Consequently, PMG stressed the need for a public messaging campaign to “avoid misperception on the operation’s mandate and to manage expectations.”

To protect individual operation commanders from being held “personally responsible for an action executed under their command” as well as to avoid damaging “EU reputation,” the document noted the need to have “clear legal frameworks and protocols in place prior to Operation launch, ideally with a UNSCR under Chapter VII and a complementary invitation by a legitimate LBY government.”

At the same time the authors acknowledge that “the political End State [of the military intervention] is not clearly defined” and recommend that the European Commission issue further guidance. The document emphasizes the need to avoid destabilizing the political process or causing “collateral damage” in Libya that might result in disrupting “legitimate economic activity.”

While the classified material acknowledges the main goal of the operation is fighting traffickers, and not preventing the loss of human life, the EU Politico-Military Group advice (PMG) paper recognized that search and rescue, “while not part of the core mandate of the operation”, should be administered according to international law.

At the same time, the 6-page document notes that a visible EU naval force along the coast of North Africa could have a “counterproductive effect” in preventing human smuggling, noting that the “smugglers’ business model will invariably adapt.”

European Union’s “migrant mission”: War plans in a humanitarian cloak

By Robert Stevens
May 23, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

June 7, 2014 - Mediterranean Sea / Italy: Italian navy rescues asylum seekers traveling by boat off the coast of Africa. Photographer: Massimo Sestini/Polaris

Image from: amesnews.com.au

The flood of desperate refugees seeking to escape carnage and war in North Africa and the Middle East continues to swell. On Wednesday alone, more than 900 migrants were rescued from three overcrowded boats en route from North Africa to Europe.

Nearly all survived, but just this year 2,000 refugees have died gruesome deaths trying to make the Mediterranean crossing and an estimated 5,000 have perished in the last 18 months. The highest death toll was the drowning of nearly 900 men, women and children off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa on April 19.

In response, the representatives of the imperialist powers shed crocodile tears. But this was only a cynical cover for the overarching militarist and colonialist strategy now being enacted.

The European Union (EU) is rapidly moving to further subordinate and plunder their former colonies, under the guise of “solving the refugee problem” and fighting human trafficking.

On May 18 the EU approved Operation EUNAVFOR Med. It will establish a naval force in the Mediterranean and in Libyan territorial waters backed up with fighter jet support, under the excuse of clamping down on people smugglers. The plan should properly be understood as a launching pad for a renewed military intervention in Libya and the rest of North Africa—and as an extension of ongoing operations in Iraq and Syria.

The mission statement allows for the destruction of boats operated by “smugglers.” Ships can be intercepted, seized or destroyed even when they are in Libyan coastal or international waters. Such military action would require the agreement of the United Nations Security Council.

The remit of EUNAVFOR goes far beyond its stated aim of finding and stopping boats used by people traffickers. A Guardian report of a 19-page strategy paper for the mission notes that ground operations may also be needed.

The document states, “A presence ashore might be envisaged if agreement was reached with relevant authorities.” It continues: “The operation would require a broad range of air, maritime and land capabilities. These could include: intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; boarding teams; patrol units (air and maritime); amphibious assets; destruction air, land and sea (sic), including special forces units.”

The paper refers to a possible “presence or tasks in the Libyan territory.” Land operations could include “action along the coast, in harbour or at anchor [against] smugglers’ assets and vessels before their use.”

This could result in significant casualties, with the planning document admitting: “Boarding operations against smugglers in the presence of migrants has a high risk of collateral damage including the loss of life.”

The Guardian leak gives the lie to Federica Mogherini, the EU’s chief foreign and security policy coordinator, who claimed, “We are not planning in any possible way a military intervention in Libya.”

Up to 10 EU countries have volunteered to take part in the campaign, including Italy, Britain, France and Spain. These countries are all opposed to taking in even a few thousand refugees. But they are united in staking out a place in what is in fact a war plan.

Any such operation would be sanctioned under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. In recent years Chapter VII has been used to sanction military interventions in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Somalia, Haiti, Iraq and Libya itself.

In addition the EU is also prepared to invoke Article Five of the NATO Charter, mandating action by the entire alliance when any individual member or its armed forces come under attack. Such an attack is highly likely and could provide the imperialist powers with a suitable casus belli .

The document even warns of “militia and terrorist’ threats to the EU forces. It states, “The existence of heavy military armaments (including coastal artillery batteries) and military-capable militias present a robust threat to EU ships and aircraft operating in the vicinity.”

Under conditions of raging civil war in Libya, the EU powers are preparing to use this tragedy, one entirely of their own making, to justify a military invasion.

According to reports, the operation will be launched from the June 25 EU summit in Rome. In preparation, Mogherini has lobbied the UN Security Council for support. NATO has also offered its help if requested.

The filthy imperialist operation being planned is as cynical as it criminal. The fact that millions of refugees in North Africa and the Middle East have been uprooted from their homes, and are desperately fleeing the carnage they face is due to decades of imperialist wars and intrigues in the region.

The imperialist powers have entirely absolved themselves of any responsibility. Indeed it was only due to massive public outrage against what is essentially a policy of mass murder of thousands of refugees that the EU countries even put into place the token rescue plan now in operation.

On Thursday Reuters reported on a proposed new European Commission draft plan to relocate across the continent just 40,000 asylum seekers who have arrived by boat in Italy and Greece. Reuters noted that the tiny figure had been likely “set to guarantee acceptance after some EU states, notably France, had initially baulked at the idea of opening their doors to migrants.”

This follows last week’s announcement by the EU that it would take in just 20,000 asylum-seekers currently living outside the bloc. In Libya alone nearly two million refugees—more than a quarter of the population—have been forced to flee to Tunisia.

The drive to war and attacks on democratic rights, including the freedom of immigration, is being driven by the global crisis of capitalism. The struggle against war and its attendant evils must be led by the working class, the only class that has no interest in the maintenance of militarized borders, prison camps for desperate refugees, and the entire apparatus of repression that constitutes the nation-state.

The only way to prevent this drive to war is through the overthrow of the capitalist system, based on the perspective of uniting the working class internationally in the struggle for socialism. Central to this is the struggle for the United Socialist States of Europe, as part of a world socialist federation. This is the perspective advanced by the International Committee of the Fourth International.

EU approves military operation against Mediterranean refugees

By Johannes Stern
May 21, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

The European Union is putting its plans for a military intervention in the Mediterranean and North Africa into action. The decision was made by EU foreign and defence ministers at a meeting in Brussels on Monday.

A press release states: “The Council has agreed today (18 May) to establish an EU military operation—EUNAVFOR Med—to break the business model of smugglers and traffickers of people in the Mediterranean. This decision, which is one element of the comprehensive EU response to the migration challenge, will enable the formal start of the operational planning for the naval operation.”

The first phase of the mission to uncover the smuggling networks and their routes will begin immediately, to be followed by a second and third phase “that would work to search, seize and disrupt the assets of smugglers.”

According to the press release, the Italian Rear Admiral Enrico Credendino will direct the intervention. Rome will be the headquarters of the operation, which will initially last 12 months. The costs of a two-month “preparatory phase” are estimated at €11.82 million.

The appointment of Credendino alone makes clear the nature of the mission. The Italian Admiral has been in command of Operation Atalanta, the EU’s military intervention off the coast of Somalia. Warships of EU member states hunt for suspected pirates, attacking not only ships, but also supposed pirate camps ashore.

Although initially only the first phase is to be implemented, it is clear that the EU is prepared for much more extensive action. According to the press release, the operation will “tackle the root causes of irregular migration as requested by the European Council on 23 April 2015.”

At that time, following a series of terrible disasters in the Mediterranean with more than 2,000 deaths, the EU leaders had adopted the infamous “Ten-Point Plan for Migration.” It includes stricter police and military operations against refugees and lays the foundation for a massive military intervention in Africa.

Since then, the plans have advanced further. Prior to the meeting on Monday, Spiegel Online reported a concept developed by the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini: “What Mogherini has prepared over six pages, is no less than the possible launch of a new EU military mission.” Its mandate relies on Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which authorizes the use of military force.

The text of Mogherini’s document suggests a far-reaching plan of attack. “The mandate should expressly allow operations in the waters of Libya and on Libyan territory to destroy the smugglers’ infrastructure there,” it states. Threats from the weapons in the possession of Libyan militias, including air defence systems and ground-to-air missiles should be countered with a martial “Force Protection” operation prepared for a “hostile environment.”

The EU’s plans are as revealing as they are criminal. Of course, the European elites and their henchmen in the mainstream media fail to make any mention of the fact that the chaos in Libya and the dramatic refugee disaster in the Middle East and North Africa are a direct result of Western policy. The wars conducted and supported by the US and the European states—including the NATO bombing of Libya in 2011 and the arming of Islamist militias to overthrow Gaddafi—have destroyed an entire region and turned millions into refugees.

Now, the imperialist powers are using the disaster to once again prepare military interventions behind the backs of the population.

Over the weekend, Bild am Sonntag published an “exclusive interview” with the German Commander Alexander Gottschalk, on board the frigate Hessen off the Libyan coast. While the paper tried to present the naval action as a “humanitarian” operation to rescue small refugee children, it is clear that military actions have already begun.

Asked what would happen to the boats after the refugees were rescued, the captain responded: “We must destroy the boats because they are a maritime hazard to other boats on the open sea. On the other hand, it could be that we erroneously regard an empty boat from the air as a boat in distress and go to save it. That can cost valuable time lost in saving occupied boats. Therefore we let the air out of inflatable dinghies and set them on fire. We also sink the less common wooden boats.”

Even Die Zeit, which publishes war propaganda in weekly instalments, noted under the headline “German frigate has license to sink” that using the military to destroy smugglers’ boats was “controversial.”

In addition to legal questions, it was “also unclear how the boats are to be detected. The military access powers were still open, with an eye on the position of the UN Security Council.”

To put it plainly: without a UN mandate, the military operation is in violation of international law and has even less legal cover than the criminal NATO attack on Libya four years ago!

Nevertheless, in contrast to its hesitation to intervene in Libya then, Germany stands at the head of the intervention today. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD, Social Democratic Party) declared in Brussels that the mission could begin quickly, adding that this was the consensus within the EU. At the same time, Steinmeier, who has repeatedly demanded a greater role for Germany in the world, warned that military action alone would not change the situation.

What is envisaged by Steinmeier and the German elite is a much broader EU engagement in Africa. Even before the recent EU foreign ministers’ meeting in April, he had declared to the press: “I think we need to see that we are faced with a daunting task … We know that the migration pressure will not relent as long as we have instability in North Africa and therefore what needs our attention, and it will be not be resolved in the short term, are the transit routes and countries of origin, and the most important transit country is at the moment Libya, a country that is falling apart if we do not interrupt and reverse the process.”

On Monday, at a joint press conference with Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU, Christian Democratic Union), he urged the “bringing to power of a government of national unity” in this resource-rich country.

A WSWS perspective, “The refugee catastrophe and the new ‘scramble for Africa,’” explained what the real objectives of Brussels and Berlin are.

To understand this, one needs only to look at the “Africa Policy Guidelines” adopted by the German government in the spring of 2014. The document speaks of the “growing relevance of Africa for Germany and Europe,” stemming, in part, from the growing economy and “rich natural resources” of the continent. The statement calls on the German government to act “early, quickly, decisively and substantially,” and to “use the full range of its available resources.”

Benghazi Scandal: Obama Administration Knew Weapons Were Being Sent to Al-Qaeda in Syria, New Documents Show

Administration knew three months before the November 2012 presidential election of ISIS plans to establish a caliphate in Iraq

By Judicial Watch
Global Research, May 19, 2015
Judicial Watch, May 18, 2015

 

benghazi-obama-clinton-funeralJudicial Watch announced on 18 May 2015 that it obtained more than 100 pages of previously classified “Secret” documents from the Department of Defense (DOD)and the Department of State revealing that DOD almost immediately reported that the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was committed by the al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood-linked “Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman” (BCOAR), and had been planned at least 10 days in advance. Rahman is known as the Blind Sheikh, and is serving life in prison for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and other terrorist acts.  The new documents also provide the first official confirmation that shows the U.S. government was aware of arms shipments from Benghazi to Syria.  The documents also include an August 2012 analysis warning of the rise of ISIS and the predicted failure of the Obama policy of regime change in Syria.

The documents were released in response to a court order in accordance with a May 15, 2014, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against both the DOD and State Department seeking communications between the two agencies and congressional leaders “on matters related to the activities of any agency or department of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex in Benghazi.”

Spelling and punctuation is duplicated in this release without corrections.

Defense Department document from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), dated September 12, 2012, the day after the Benghazi attack, details that the attack on the compound had been carefully planned by the BOCAR terrorist group “to kill as many Americans as possible.”  The document was sent to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Obama White House National Security Council.  The heavily redacted Defense Department “information report” says that the attack on the Benghazi facility “was planned and executed by The Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman (BCOAR).”  The group subscribes to “AQ ideologies:”

The attack was planned ten or more days prior on approximately 01 September 2012. The intention was to attack the consulate and to kill as many Americans as possible to seek revenge for U.S. killing of Aboyahiye ((ALALIBY)) in Pakistan and in memorial of the 11 September 2001 atacks on the World Trade Center buildings.

“A violent radical,” the DIA report says, is “the leader of BCOAR is Abdul Baset ((AZUZ)), AZUZ was sent by ((ZAWARI)) to set up Al Qaeda (AQ) bases in Libya.”  The group’s headquarters was set up with the approval of a “member of the Muslim brother hood movement…where they have large caches of weapons.  Some of these caches are disguised by feeding troughs for livestock.  They have SA-7 and SA-23/4 MANPADS…they train almost every day focusing on religious lessons and scriptures including three lessons a day of jihadist ideology.”

The Defense Department reported the group maintained written documents, in “a small rectangular room, approximately 12 meters by 6 meters…that contain information on all of the AQ activity in Libya.”

(Azuz is again blamed for the Benghazi attack in an October 2012 DIA document.)

The DOD documents also contain the first official documentation that the Obama administration knew that weapons were being shipped from the Port of Benghazi to rebel troops in Syria. An October 2012 report confirms:

Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The weapons shipped during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s, and 125 mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.

During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the ((Qaddafi)) regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The Syrian ports were chosen due to the small amount of cargo traffic transiting these two ports. The ships used to transport the weapons were medium-sized and able to hold 10 or less shipping containers of cargo.

The DIA document further details:

The weapons shipped from Syria during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s and 125mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.  The numbers for each weapon were estimated to be: 500 Sniper rifles, 100 RPG launchers with 300 total rounds, and approximately 400 howitzers missiles [200 ea – 125mm and 200ea – 155 mm.]

The heavily redacted document does not disclose who was shipping the weapons.

Another DIA report, written in August 2012 (the same time period the U.S. was monitoring weapons flows from Libya to Syria), said that the opposition in Syria was driven by al Qaeda and other extremist Muslim groups: “the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.” The growing sectarian direction of the war was predicted to have dire consequences for Iraq, which included the “grave danger” of the rise of ISIS:

The deterioration of the situation has dire consequences on the Iraqi situation and are as follows:

This creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI [al Qaeda Iraq] to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters. ISI could also declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory.

Some of the “dire consequences” are blacked out but the DIA presciently warned one such consequence would be the “renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena.”

From a separate lawsuit, the State Department produced a document created the morning after the Benghazi attack by Hillary Clinton’s offices, and the Operations Center in the Office of the Executive Secretariat that was sent widely through the agency, including to Joseph McManus (then-Hillary Clinton’s executive assistant).  At 6:00 am, a few hours after the attack, the top office of the State Department sent a “spot report” on the “Attack on U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi” that makes no mention of videos or demonstrations:

Four COM personnel were killed and three were wounded in an attack by dozens of fighters on the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi beginning approximately 1550 Eastern Time….

The State Department has yet to turn over any documents from the secret email accounts of Hillary Clinton and other top State Department officials.

“These documents are jaw-dropping. No wonder we had to file more FOIA lawsuits and wait over two years for them.  If the American people had known the truth – that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other top administration officials knew that the Benghazi attack was an al-Qaeda terrorist attack from the get-go – and yet lied and covered this fact up – Mitt Romney might very well be president. And why would the Obama administration continue to support the Muslim Brotherhood even after it knew it was tied to the Benghazi terrorist attack and to al Qaeda? These documents also point to connection between the collapse in Libya and the ISIS war – and confirm that the U.S. knew remarkable details about the transfer of arms from Benghazi to Syrian jihadists,” stated Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch president.  “These documents show that the Benghazi cover-up has continued for years and is only unraveling through our independent lawsuits. The Benghazi scandal just got a whole lot worse for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.”

The worldwide persecution of refugees

By Bill Van Auken
May 14, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

Boat filled with refugees from Libya. Image from: crossedcrocodiles.wordpress.com

From Europe, to Asia, to the Americas, the world is witnessing growing numbers of refugees and a corresponding wave of state repression and violence directed at denying them their fundamental democratic rights.

The European Union this week has moved on two tracks to confront the flow of refugees from northern Africa, which has led to the drowning deaths just this year of nearly 2,000 of those seeking to make the dangerous crossing of the Mediterranean.

The first is a scheme unveiled Wednesday to parcel out between the EU member states a combined quota of 20,000 refugees over the course of two years. The number is pathetic in relation to the estimated half a million refugees believed to be gathered in North Africa in their flight to Europe, not to mention the 170,000 refugees who made the crossing last year alone.

Nonetheless, the proposal has triggered a sharp crisis within the EU, with the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark opting out of the refugee quotas. The very proposal provoked denunciations from Britain’s Tory government. The quota system acts, in the words of Home Secretary Theresa May, as a “pull factor,” encouraging people to attempt the Mediterranean crossing. Instead, she indicated, the migrants must be forcibly pushed back to Africa.

The quota scheme notwithstanding, the EU as a whole is concentrating on strengthening Fortress Europe and even preparing to carry out military action to halt the flow of refugees.

As the British daily Guardian revealed Wednesday, the EU has drawn up a 19-page strategy paper that calls for the use of naval, air and even ground forces to stop refugees from leaving Libya. Envisioned are not only a naval blockade, but air strikes against boats and boatyards involved in smuggling migrants across the Mediterranean, along with the potential deployment of special operations troops on Libyan soil.

The document acknowledges that such operations pose “a high risk of collateral damage, including the loss of life.”

It should be lost on no one that the imperialist powers of Europe are threatening to use military force in response to a crisis that they and their American ally created, aided and abetted by the “left” champions of “human rights imperialism.”

The flow of refugees is driven by the decimation of entire societies at the hands of the US and its allies, first in Iraq and Afghanistan through direct invasion and occupation, then in Libya through the US-NATO bombing campaign and support for an Islamist-led proxy ground force in the war to overthrow and murder Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi. Simultaneously with the Libyan intervention, the US and its Western European allies backed a proxy Islamist-led war for regime change in Syria, seeking the overthrow of the Assad government, an ally of Russia and Iran. These wars have produced millions of refugees, including large numbers of African migrant workers trying to flee the bloody chaos created by imperialism in Libya.

Amnesty International issued a report this week documenting that refugees trapped in Libya are confronting “widespread abuses by armed groups, smugglers, traffickers and organized criminal groups in Libya as well as systematic exploitation, lawlessness and armed conflicts.” The country’s social infrastructure has collapsed and it is being fought over by rival militias and two competing governments. Migrants in detention centers face torture, sexual assault, beatings, slave labor and summary killings. These are the conditions to which the European powers want to drive the refugees back.

Unfolding simultaneously with the tragic fate of the refugees in the Mediterranean, is a similar crisis in Asia, with an estimated 8,000 refugees stranded aboard small boats in the Andaman Sea and Malacca Straits. Most of them are members of the Muslim Rohingya minority fleeing persecution in Burma (Myanmar) and Bangladeshis escaping the impoverished conditions in their country.

The governments of Malaysia and Indonesia have been forcing these boats back to sea—a policy pioneered in the region by Australia. Many of the refugees have been on the water since March and face the threat of death by hunger and disease.

Finally, in the United States, whose government routinely postures as the champion of “human rights” to justify its endless military interventions abroad, the Obama administration has put forward a new immigration policy that is worthy of a dictatorship.

Faced with a court order to shut down massive new detention camps that it created to imprison child and family refugees fleeing north from the rampant violence in Central America, the administration has declared that its response will be to separate the mothers from their children. The mothers would remain imprisoned under this policy, while their children would be handed over to foster homes.

As in the flow of refugees from North Africa, Central Americans have been forced to flee their home countries by the murderous conditions created by decades of US imperialist interventions, from the “dirty wars” of the 1970s and 1980s through to the “drug war” violence that followed. The end result is that these countries now have the highest homicide rates in the world, and those turning up on the US border are literally fleeing for their lives.

As elsewhere, the response of the US authorities to this crisis of their own making is one of inhuman and illegal repression. In setting up its massive new detention centers—run for profit by private prison corporations—the Obama administration violated a previous court settlement that mandated standards of care and treatment of child migrants, barring their confinement to such centers.

The issue has come to the courts once again because of the protests, including hunger strikes, by mothers imprisoned with their children in these illegal and abusive camps. Treating refugees seeking asylum like criminals and locking up traumatized children is Obama’s method for dissuading other Central Americans from attempting to reach the US. Also crafted as a deterrent is the militarization of much of the US border, forcing migrants into ever more hostile territory, where many die. These deaths, like those in the Mediterranean, are meant to “send a message.”

The roots of both the surge of refugees and the repressive policies being unleashed against them lies in the global crisis of capitalism and the increasing turn by the major imperialist powers to militarism. At the same time, the assault on refugees is inseparable from the attack that is unfolding in every country against the democratic rights and social conditions of the working class as a whole.

A fight against the ruling class and its policies of war and counterrevolution is not possible without a defense of immigrants and refugees. This entails a relentless fight against the attempts of the ruling establishment in every country to scapegoat these most oppressed layers of the working class for the destruction of jobs and wages, and to pursue a policy of divide and conquer by whipping up anti-immigrant chauvinism.

The Socialist Equality Party and the International Committee of the Fourth International unconditionally defend the right of workers from every part of the world to live and work in whatever country they choose, with full democratic rights and without fear of police repression and deportation.

The defense of the rights of refugees and of the working class as a whole means a struggle to unite workers of every country in a common struggle to overturn the capitalist system, abolish the nation-state system and establish the foundations of a socialist world economy, rationally organized on the basis of social need, not private profit.

 

 

European powers seek to bomb Libya to stop migrants

By Patrick Martin
May 11, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

The European Union is preparing to bomb targets in Libya to stop migrants from attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea in small boats. EU foreign policy coordinator Federica Mogherini is to brief the United Nations Security Council Monday on plans for a “Chapter VII” resolution that would give a UN green light for the use of force.

The plan is the outcome of several weeks of high-level consultations among the 28 EU members, including a foreign ministers’ meeting, held in response to a series of incidents of mass drowning of refugees. The worst such tragedy took place April 19, when some 900 drowned when their small boat capsized after colliding with a freighter.

The wreck of that boat, only 25 meters long, was found last Thursday by the Italian Navy at a depth of 375 meters, 190 kilometers northeast of the Libyan coast. Many bodies were seen in or near the wreckage, according to Giovanni Salvi, prosecutor in the Sicilian town of Catania, who is interviewing the relative handful of survivors.

The “bomb the boats” plan is driven, however, not by the number of deaths by drowning, but by the even larger number of refugees who have successfully reached the Italian island of Lampedusa, south of Sicily, or have been picked up by merchant ships or the Italian coast guard and navy.

In the most recent tragedy, 40 migrants drowned May 3 when their rubber boat deflated and sank before an oncoming merchant ship could reach them. But another 160 were rescued from the sea. Over that weekend, a total of 4,800 refugees were rescued or reached Lampedusa, while another 2,000 were detained by the Libyan coast guard before their boats left the shore.

EU military intervention would be aimed at stopping the vast majority of refugees now seeking transport across the Mediterranean from even setting foot on board a ship. As for preventing deaths by drowning, it would merely assure that future atrocities would take place along the Libyan shoreline or in the country’s coastal waters, rather than further out in the Mediterranean. “Precision” bombing would not be restricted to empty boats, but would strike Libyan fishermen or even boats fully loaded with refugees.

Italy is to have command of the operation, while at least 10 EU countries would contribute military assets, including Britain, France and Spain. NATO would be kept informed of the military actions but would not initially be directly involved.

EU ships would enter Libyan territorial waters, along with aircraft and helicopter gunships, to identify ships and help “neutralize” them, i.e., blow them to bits. These would reportedly include HMS Bulwark, a helicopter carrier that is the flagship of the British Royal Navy, now deployed at Malta.

In the event that any of the myriad warring factions in Libya fires on EU vessels or aircraft—the country has two governments and multiple militias, many heavily armed by the CIA, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar or other countries—NATO forces, including those of the United States, could then become involved.

This would be carried out under Article Five of the NATO Charter, the same provision invoked by President Obama during his visit to the Baltic States last year, mandating action by the entire alliance when any individual member or its armed forces come under attack.

Libyan ambassador to the UN Ibrahim Dabbashi told the Associated Press that the EU had not consulted his government, which has been driven from the capital Tripoli and reconvened in the eastern city of Tobruk. Neither the parliament in Tobruk nor its Islamist-dominated rival in Tripoli has agreed to the entry of EU forces into Libyan airspace, coastal waters or territory.

It is not clear whether the UN Security Council will endorse an EU military mission in Libya without some Libyan entity giving its approval. Russia and China, which have veto power, have publicly suggested that they regret their actions of March 2011, when they did not block a Security Council resolution that became the basis of the US-NATO bombing campaign against Libya.

On May 7, Lithuanian Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaite, the current Security Council president, said the Tobruk-based government would back the EU operation, and even request it, but Dabbashi poured cold water over that suggestion. “They never asked anything of us. Why should we send them this letter?” he asked, adding, “We will not accept any boots on the ground.”

The Libyan ambassador suggested that instead of EU military forces, the Security Council should lift its embargo on weapons shipments to Libya and let the Tobruk government build up sufficient military forces to retake Tripoli and the western half of Libya, where most of the refugee boats to Europe originate.

The Tobruk government has named General Khalifa Haftar as commander of the Libyan Army. A former Libyan chief of staff who broke with Gaddafi in the 1980s, Haftar spent a quarter-century on the CIA payroll, living near Langley, Virginia, before returning to Libya during the US-NATO bombing campaign.

EU officials have presented the plan to bomb small fishing boats as an effort to attack so-called people smugglers rather than the migrants themselves. The resolution drafted by Great Britain speaks of the “use of all means to destroy the business model of the traffickers.”

But the real attitude of the EU leaders towards the refugees is demonstrated by the conflicts that have broken out over what to do with the relative handful of refugees who have succeeded in reaching European soil—a few hundred thousand people on a continent of 740 million.

All 28 EU members support the military intervention. However, there are sharp disputes over rules being drafted by the European Commission to set quotas for each of the countries to share refugees who survive the perilous sea voyage. Germany is the main force behind the quotas, which have been rejected by Britain and many east European countries, where right-wing parties are whipping up anti-immigrant racism.

Germany and Sweden have taken nearly half of all the current wave of refugees, and want to offload many of them onto the other EU member states.

The author also recommends:

The refugee crisis and the new “scramble for Africa”
[23 April 2015]

Mass drownings in the Mediterranean: A crime of imperialism
[20 April 2015]