THE LETHAL ADDICTION OF THE MONOPOLAR WORLD

The world I grew up in, the world of the Cold War, was a ‘Multipolar’ world. A number of major powers, notably the USA, Russia and China, and to some extent Britain and France, jostled with each other on the world stage. Briefly following the end of the Cold War the West, really the USA, found itself in what appeared to be a ‘Monopolar’ world where it was the only global power. Russia was in a state of economic and political collapse and was largely inward looking, China was absorbed in growing its economy through constructive trading relationships with the outside world, so the west led by America, had a free hand to shape the world.

Politicians, the western mass media, and western so-called ‘thinkers’ told us this was the ‘end of history’, the beginning of an era of the ‘Pax Americana’ where the west’s enlightened governance would rule over a peaceful world of thriving capitalist business bringing benefits to all. I was never taken in by this ridiculous line of ‘reasoning’ because it was based on an entirely subjective and self-serving view of the world. It did not represent the reality of western behaviour or intentions. Instead I dubbed it the ‘Beginning of History’ expecting the west to go on a military rampage around the world and for the tensions and dangers of inter-state conflicts to grow rapidly. I was proved correct.

For the world quickly saw this was not to be an era of ‘enlightened governance’ but one of rapacious predatory militarism. The power imbalances in the world went straight to the heads of western leaders who steadily embarked on a programme of eliminating their enemies and leaving a trail of destruction and chaos everywhere. The legacy of these years will take many generations to repair.

Worse the power imbalances led to a process of deskilling and ‘unlearning’ by western leaders. Confronted always by foes in vulnerable developing societies where the power imbalance guaranteed an easy victory, our leaders lost all capability for objective thought and genuine strategic thinking. By 2014 strategy had degenerated to merely threatening military force, or using military force against your opponents, they could hardly fight back beyond some so-called ‘asymmetric warfare’. Most couldn’t or wouldn’t even do that.

Finally after nearly a quarter of a century of western power having a free hand to do as it willed in the world, other major nations began reacting accordingly. Countries like Russia which had had a rude awakening and China which was never taken in, began to strengthen themselves militarily and to stand up against the irresponsible, reckless and destructive policies of the west through potential UN Security Council vetoes.

Now the leading ‘thinkers’ of western power are screaming blue murder, we are headed towards a ‘Multipolar’ world, it’s the end of civilisation. In fact we are only returning to the normal condition throughout world history. A ‘Multipolar’ world is a good, healthy, normal thing. It is a world where nations are growing and developing economically. It is the type of world where for generations, politicians, diplomats and generals had to actually earn their money by thinking strategically and analysing situations objectively.

The ‘Multipolar’ world is a world where one power will actually have to consider the interests of another power and compromise, cut deals. It is no longer a world where the west can simply claim to be morally superior and therefore have the right to kill and destroy other nations. It is no longer a world where winning is more important than maintaining the peace. Military postures and foreign policies will have to continuously shift and adjust. Politicians, diplomats and generals will have to earn their money. It is a world where war is an occasional unintended failure, not a continuous normal way of life.

However leaders in the west having been so deskilled are hardly receptive to the idea of adjusting. There is an alternative view of the future built on the hypocritical, self-righteous and totally disingenuous bluster of western ideologues who label themselves the ‘Goodies’ in every drama. They never admit to being motivated by any self-interest, they always want to help other people, usually by destroying their countries.

The Neocons embody the extreme of this view, sometimes called by its critics the ‘Wolfowitz Doctrine’. This is the idea that the USA must maintain its global military supremacy by dominating the world by force. If rival powers are arising they must be strangled in their cradle. It is a fascist like view of a world of eternal war. It founded upon the principle that winning is more important than peace. It is the road to nuclear disaster.

People should recognise that the aim of dominating the world is not an entirely sane one. What such American ideologues are trying to do is to stop the course of history to the detriment of most who live in the world. The biggest danger in the future is not the changes in the world, but the way the west might abuse its power to react to these changes.

 

 

THE BIGGEST INTERNATIONAL NEWS STORY OF THE DECADE – and they’re not telling you!

Since before 2005 I have been accusing the Qatari Royal family of having been behind the 9/11 attacks based on circumstantial evidence which indicates that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the organiser of the attacks, was a Qatari agent who infiltrated Al-Qaeda.

See my earlier post: “KSM on Trial? Are you Kidding!”

Since then I have traced a consistent foreign policy by Qatar to engineer a region-wide sectarian war aimed at isolating Shia Arabs and Iran, with the aim of dragging the west into a war with Iran, their apparent ultimate goal.

One link between Qatar and Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi and Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), has been found, whose policies were clearly focused against the so-called ‘near enemy’, meaning the Shia Arabs and Iran.

Qatar took a leading role both in the overthrow of Iran’s regional ally Qaddafi in Libya, and against Iran’s only other regional ally Assad in Syria.

I have also been collecting what fragments of evidence I can to link Qatar to the rise of ISIL, the child of AQI.

I have been working on articles to present some of this material but it has proved difficult to find any concrete proof in the public domain. That was until this October when the wall of denials and of playing dumb by western governments was broken by the leaking of an email from Hillary Clinton to political adviser John Podesta.

https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/3774

This email confirms two important facts:

Firstly – Qatar and Saudi Arabia provided clandestine financial and logistical support to ISIL. Much as I had always suspected.

Secondly – that the US government knew of this, as I had always suspected.

See my article: “The Shadowboxing Hypothesis”

This information should be politically explosive and is of the highest imaginable public interest. Yet it has been completely ignored by the British mass media, the only place where it could have any political impact.

Thus the revelation remains unknown to the vast majority of the British public and it has had zero political impact.

I have only been able to find one report in the mainstream British press, not counting ‘Russian-owned’ The Independent. This is from the “Daily Mail” which has repeatedly reported accusations that Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been financing terrorist groups.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3832867/Clinton-secretly-accused-Saudi-Arabia-Qatar-funding-ISIS-said-Western-intelligence-sources-email-leveling-charge.html

Julian Assange is sticking by the veracity of this leaked email despite innuendo that the messages ‘may’ have been tampered with from John Podesta.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/julian-assange-clinton-foundation-isis-same-money-saudi-arabia-qatar-funding-a7397211.html

 

HOW THE NEOCONS HOPED TO TAKE DOWN RUSSIA ONE DAY

One of the biggest advantages western leaders have politically is that most of the public have no idea whatsoever of the basics of military strategy and operations. For this reason they will not see or understand the deep significance in the military preparations made by their leaders.

Here I want to explain the significance of the preparations the USA/NATO have been making since the end of the cold war. For there has been a systematic programme to put in place over many years everything needed to launch and win a war against Russia.

 

PUBLIC DELUSIONS ABOUT RUSSIAN POWER

Modern Russia is not the USSR. The USSR was composed of fifteen states with a combined population of around 300 million. The armed forces of the USSR were three million strong. In addition the USSR had control of the Warsaw Pact military alliance, which included some six other relatively well developed middle income East European countries.

 

Modern Russia stands alone with mostly hostile neighbours, many being members of NATO. The equivalent of the Warsaw Pact belongs to NATO now and is backed up by the industrial might and wealth of the west. The Russian population is about 150 million, and its armed forces were recently rationalised down to about one million. To compare the conventional military threat from modern Russia to the USSR is plainly ridiculous, but that is what many western leaders are slyly doing.

 

NATO military spending is around ten times larger than Russia’s. US military spending alone is about six times larger than Russia’s. The Russian economy is smaller than the UK economy. Russian government spending on everything is only a third of UK government spending. The Russian economy is not well balanced and is overly dependent on exports of fossil fuels and minerals, which are highly vulnerable to external conditions.

 

EXPANDING NATO

Why did NATO need to expand? The Cold War was over, relations between Russia and the west were supposedly good, Russia was in a weakened, inward looking condition, so why?

There were those such as the Neocons who thought that one day Russia might recover and rebuild itself. They had become used to the idea of a world where the US could do whatever it liked internationally without meeting any significant opposition. They were determined that this ‘desirable’ set of circumstances must be maintained by any means necessary.

Thus while Russia was gradually recovering they would put in place all the capabilities and alliances needed to strangle a resurgent Russia in its cradle. Much of this was demonstrated in the US “National Security Revitalisation Act” (1995). Preparations of one form or another, such as the ‘Partnership for Peace’, had been going on practically since the fall of the USSR in 1991.

To go to war with Russia, or even just to threaten Russia with a credible conventional attack, NATO must have a border with Russia. Thus expanding NATO as fast as reasonably possible was pursued:

MAP 1 NATO 1999

nato-1999

MAP 2 NATO 2009

nato-2009

THE STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE OF UKRAINE

The expansion of NATO to a Baltic border with Russia gave only a limited, narrow front over which a NATO ground attack could be launched, with limited space for surprise. Russia could have some confidence about being able to contain such an attack. Thus the remaining buffer states between Russia and NATO consisting of Belarus and Ukraine became all important. Till recently Russia maintained good relations with both governments. These relationships are of crucial importance to Russian national security.

The strategic importance of Ukraine to Russia’s ability to defend itself is two-fold. Firstly there is a 600 to 700 mile long border between Ukraine and Russia composed of ideal terrain for offensive military operations against Russia. At the shortest distance it would take a NATO armoured division scarcely a week to march, if unopposed, to Moscow. If NATO forces were ever deployed in Ukraine it would deprive Russia of the great depth of defence it has enjoyed for many centuries, and put it in the most precarious peacetime strategic position it has experienced for many centuries. NATO would simultaneously be able to launch an attack from Estonia or Latvia which, if unopposed, could reach St. Petersburg in maybe as little as two days.

There have been those in the USA who have been keen since the end of the Cold War for NATO to expand into Georgia and Ukraine despite the extreme strategic sensitivity to Russian national security, and the damage to international relations this would inevitably cause. The issue of Ukraine’s potential EU membership seems to have precipitated a crisis. Why I asked myself did Russia seem so alarmed by Ukraine wanting to join the EU? I soon found out the answer. EU membership would be a quick way for Ukraine to effectively join NATO by the back door.

The reason lies with the Lisbon Treaty of the EU which includes provisions on collective security and defence. Article V is modelled on Article V of the NATO treaty and is almost as good. It legally commits all EU members to the ‘defence’ of any other member who is the ‘victim of aggression’ by an outside power. Of course each member government can decide for itself who they think the aggressor is in any situation, so can choose whether they want to intervene or not. As the overlap between the EU and NATO is so great there is a mechanism to easily slide from an EU affair to a NATO one.

The second crucial strategic sensitivity of Ukraine is the Crimean bases of the Black Sea Fleet. The Black Sea is surrounded by NATO members, Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria. Russian ships have to pass through Turkish controlled waters to enter and leave the Black Sea. Without the Black Sea Fleet NATO could easily close the Black Sea to Russian shipping.

What everyone, except NATO military planners, does not realise is the key strategic significance of this. Russia is really, simplifying somewhat, two countries: European Russia west of the Urals and Pacific Russia. The main flow of goods between the two is by sea. The land lines of communication, via the Trans-Siberian railway are weak in peacetime and highly vulnerable to air or missile attack in wartime. If the sea lines of communication between European Russia and Pacific Russia can be severed, then Russia is cut into two weaker, easier to defeat pieces, unable to support each other.

Needless to point out that the Baltic and access to the Atlantic are both dominated by NATO states and navies. NATO has great scope to bottle up Russian shipping. The loss of the Black Sea Fleet would represent a major deterioration in the ability of Russia to defend itself in wartime.

In recent times Russia has been trying to make arrangements for the transfer of the Black Sea Fleet to an alternative Black Sea base or bases. Smaller, easier to house units have already been transferred, and over many years billions have been spent trying to remould Novorossiysk into a form which could harbour the larger units of the Black Sea Fleet. These preparations are far from complete and Novorossiysk is considered far from ideal, even if it is the only practical alternative to the Crimea.

The Black Sea Fleet operated out of the Crimea on the basis of a 25 year extension of its lease from Ukraine. This lease was up for renewal in 2017. As long as a friendly pro-Russian government was in Kiev, as was under Yanukovych, the lease was certain of renewal. The support of the west for the overthrow of Yanukovych, and the installation of a hostile anti-Russian government in Kiev represented an opportunity for the Russian fleet to be kicked out of the Black Sea and for it to become a NATO naval monopoly. This was highly threatening to Russia’s national security so direct action was clearly taken to eliminate this threat.

MAP 3 UKRAINE’S STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE

ukraine-strategic-importance

NEUTRALISING RUSSIA’S NUCLEAR DETERENT

It would be unthinkable to launch a full-scale conventional war against Russia if it were able to destroy America with its nuclear weapons, so new technologies and strategies had to be developed which would one day enable the US to strip Russia of its nuclear deterrent and effectively give the US a nuclear monopoly. In the early days no expense was spared.

The key realisation was that in the age of high precision weapons it would become possible to destroy an opponent’s nuclear weapons on the ground using conventional weapons. In the past it was thought nuclear weapons would be needed for a strategic first strike. This was not practically credible. A conventional first strike was though. Hence PGS, “Precision Global Strike”, or “Prompt Global Strike” was born.

PGS is not a technology or a weapons system, it is a strategic concept, to employ a range of systems to destroy within one hour an opponent’s nuclear forces on the ground. The PGS concept has not yet reached maturity. It is still in the stage of research and development. It could be many years before a fully-fledged PGS capability is available to the Pentagon. Under Obama the approach has not been pursued vigorously, however once Obama goes there seems a high likelihood it will become a major goal of military R&D again.

DIAGRAM PGS

pgs

Even the best system for a first strike is unlikely to destroy one hundred per cent of the enemy’s nuclear missiles. Many could be missed, hidden, or held in reserve etc. Even a small percentage of such weapons surviving could inflict unacceptable damage on the US homeland. This is where the missile defence shield becomes so important.

Whenever such weapons are launched they immediately give away their presence and become vulnerable to being shot down. The missile defence shield could mop up the few remaining weapons the enemy might try to retaliate with. The overall strategic effect is to give the USA a global nuclear weapons monopoly.

nmd

The missile defence shield has been developed further than PGS. However, again under Obama, these systems have not been developed or deployed to the extent that a more aggressive president might have done. Once Obama is gone it seems likely this programme will be advanced and expanded radically.

 

WHY THIS HAS PROVED SO DANGEROUS

The fact is that both Russia and China might have taken these preparations and military technology developments in their stride if not for one major factor which has destabilised the world and created a dangerous climate of tension and mistrust. This is the west’s rehabilitation of the use of war as a routine tool of foreign policy. Our leaders seem to think we are living in the nineteenth century, when nuclear weapons did not exist, and that it is alright now to attack any country whose government they dislike.

Governments in Moscow and Beijing just see themselves as potential targets for a similar treatment and are acting accordingly. The one event which seems to have been a turning point in how the Russian political and military establishment saw the west was the bombing of Belgrade by NATO. This action was technically illegal because it had not been authorised by the UN Security Council.

It is clear that Yeltsin changed his view of the west when this happened on the back of the west’s refusal to listen to his objections about NATO expansion. It is clear that both Gorbachev and Yeltsin believe they were hoodwinked by the west at the end of the Cold War. The reaction of western politicians to this has not been the alarm it should be, but rather a supercilious dismissal.

 

CARTHAGO DELENDA EST (Oh, google it!)

Preventative War in Neocon Ideology

 

In January a new President will be sworn in and there is every likelihood it will be Hillary Rodham Clinton. It has been put about that she is most likely to appoint Victoria Nuland as her Secretary of State, or as a national security adviser. If this happens then we can expect the Clinton administration’s foreign policy to be based on the same Neocon principles as the Cheney-Rumsfeld administration (I meant of course the Bush Jr. administration).

Victoria Nuland is worth a series of articles in her own right, but I want to focus here on her husband Robert Kagan. Kagan, an academic, is a leading, founding Neocon ‘ideas man’, a believer in a strong military stance and in active military intervention. He was a strong supporter of the US invasion of Iraq. Some have called him Neocon ‘royalty’.

In 2000 Kagan was a major contributor to the publication titled “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” a product of the key Neocon think tank, The Project for the New American Century. The document was also signed by Paul Wolfowitz as a participant.

In the introduction of the document, p. ii, it says:

In broad terms, we saw the project as building upon the defense strategy outlined by the Cheney Defense Department in the waning days of the Bush Administration. The Defense Policy Guidance (DPG) drafted in the early months of 1992 provided a blueprint for maintaining U.S. preeminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests. Leaked before it had been formally approved, the document was criticized as an effort by “cold warriors” to keep defense spending high and cuts in forces small despite the collapse of the Soviet Union; not surprisingly, it was subsequently buried by the new administration.”

 

The document continues:

Although the experience of the past eight years has modified our understanding of particular military requirements for carrying out such a strategy, the basic tenets of the DPG, in our judgment, remain sound.”

 

The Defence Policy Guidance (DPG) referred to, was a most controversial document which, never intended for public consumption, or to be seen by Congress, was leaked by an unidentified official, presumably in the US Department of Defence. On 8 March 1992 the “New York Times” published the article, “U.S. Strategy Plan Calls for Insuring No Rivals Develop: A One Superpower World.”, by Patrick E. Tyler.

 

 

 

Tyler writes:

 

“In a broad new policy statement that is in its final drafting phase, the Defense Department asserts that America’s political and military mission in the post-cold-war era will be to ensure that no rival superpower is allowed to emerge in Western Europe, Asia or the territories of the former Soviet Union.”

 

Some extracts from the document are illuminating:

“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”

“The U.S. must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests. In non-defense areas, we must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. We must maintain the mechanism for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.”

 

The document also explicitly addressed the use of military force to prevent nuclear proliferation:

“The continuation of this strategic goal explains the strong emphasis elsewhere in the document and in other Pentagon planning on using military force, if necessary, to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in such countries as North Korea, Iraq, some of the successor republics to the Soviet Union and in Europe.

Nuclear proliferation, if unchecked by superpower action, could tempt Germany, Japan and other industrial powers to acquire nuclear weapons to deter attack from regional foes. This could start them down the road to global competition with the United States and, in a crisis over national interests, military rivalry.”

Following the leak the document caused such embarrassment that it had to be rewritten in more tactful, diplomatic language before being finally approved.

Kagan generally writes in terms of using military strength to maintain the “Pax Americana” by deterring military action by rival powers, however we have seen the Neocon policies in action over twenty years since the end of the Cold War and they are less about peace, and more about using destabilisation and military force to eliminate opponents. Such policies have dangerously mutated from an “American Peace” to a world of continuous “American War” which is spreading chaos across the world.

Inherent in the practice of this Neocon ideology are two pernicious concepts:

Firstly “Preventative War”. A preventative war is one carried out against a power which is not yet strong enough to threaten, but which is perceived as developing in a threatening direction. The strategy aims to ‘strangle emerging powers in their cradles’ before they become too strong to confront. Such conflicts do not meet the legal definition of self-defence, which requires the security threat be imminent to justify a pre-emptive attack. In fact the idea of imminence seems included to expressly rule out preventative wars. After all once the justification of preventative war is accepted it opens the door to justifying practically any war anywhere.

Second is the inevitable creation of a world of continuous military conflict without end. This contains echoes of fascism. The fascists believed in a Darwinist view of international relations that superior nations had to continually fight against their rivals to maintain their dominance. War was almost a normal condition of existence in their world view. The Neocons seem to have a similarly Darwinian view of the world. The never ending “War on Terror” has now established this world where war is the ‘normal’ condition.

We have reached a crisis in history, where the world’s dominant power wants to ‘stop history’. The very idea of peaceful co-existence becomes impossible when the advance and development of other nations is automatically interpreted as a threat to the existing order. In the age of nuclear weapons it is a near suicidal policy.

What am I expecting from a Clinton administration should Neocon influence prevail?

The war in Syria will be escalated till the overthrow of Assad has been achieved, and Russia will be faced down over it.

The US will drag NATO into a preventative war against Iran on the excuse that it must be prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons.

The conflict in Ukraine will be escalated till either it becomes a NATO base from which the US can threaten Russia, or war erupts with Russia.

Expect a great escalation in world conflict with disastrous results for the Middle East and possibly a full scale European war.

History will not stop unless the human species destroys itself with nuclear weapons. However this seems the most likely outcome of the current alignment of powers in the world.

 

ONE QUESTION YOU SHOULD ASK

Theme: Shadowboxing

The question everyone should ask about Qatar’s involvement in the overthrow of the Qaddafi regime in Libya is: “Why did the Qatari government decided to take such a leading role in the overthrow of Qaddafi? What was in it for them?” It is a question which western political leaders, diplomats and journalists did not seem interested in asking or answering, but a state does not involve itself so deeply in the overthrow of another state unless it is seeking some gain. I will give my own answer at the end of this entry.

Firstly I will highlight the very leading role which the emirate took in this supposed ‘revolution’. In March 2011 Qatar became the first Arab country to fly combat missions over Libya. Qatar was to send six Mirage 2000 jets and two C-17 military transport aircraft in support of the coalition air operations over Libya. This was the bulk of combat power of the country’s small Air Force. The same month Qatar also became the first Arab nation, and the second only country in the world, to recognize the Benghazi-based rebel council as the only ‘legitimate’ representatives of the Libyan people. The day before they had announced a programme to market oil on behalf of the rebels from oil facilities they had captured.

In April 2011 it was reported that Qatar had supplied French made, Milan anti-tank missiles to Libyan rebels in Benghazi. These would have been tactically very important as the rebels had few defences against the regime’s heavy armour.

A good concise summary of Qatar’s role in the overthrow of Qaddafi is given in the book “Qatar & the Arab Spring” (2014) by K. C. Ulrichsen, published by Hurst & Co. London (pp. 122- 131). Ulrichsen writes that the chairman of the National Transitional Council (NTC), the body recognized by the western powers as representing Libya, Mahmoud Jabril, was largely based in Doha throughout the civil war, finding it easier to operate from there, than from Benghazi.

He continues to explain that during the conflict non-military aid from Qatar to the rebels included US$ 400 million in finance, water, heating gas, and other essential goods. Qatar set up a TV station in Doha, ‘Libya TV’, to broadcast anti-Qaddafi propaganda in competition with Libyan state TV. Qatar’s own state television ‘Al-Jazeera’ broadcast coverage from a pro-rebel stance. In some cases it seems that false atrocity stories may have been broadcast. An Al-Jazeera story in February 2011 that the Qaddafi regime had used the air force to strafe peaceful civilian protests in Tripoli and other cities could not be substantiated by Hugh Roberts, director of the ‘International Crisis Group’s north Africa project’. This story had been rebroadcast all over the world.

Ulrichsen writes that at the end of the conflict Libyan officials estimated that Qatar had sent some 20,000 tonnes of weapons in some eighteen shipments. Interestingly, of these only five went through the official NTC channels, the rest went via Islamist networks run by Ismael al-Salabi. Al-Salabi and his brother Ali, had been living in exile in Doha before the civil war started in 2011. Ali was to become a very influential cleric in Libya. Ismael was the leader of one of the best equipped and supplied rebel militias, the ‘Rafallah al-Sahati Companies’, apparently nicknamed the ‘Ferrari 17 Brigade’ because they were so flush with supplies. Qatar apparently had links too with Abdelhakim Belhadj a former leader of the ‘Libyan Islamic Fighters Group’, who had been rendered by the CIA back to Libya in 2004.

After the conflict had ended in October 2011 Qatari chief-of-staff, Major-General Hamad bin Ali al-Attiya, told western reporters that hundreds of Qatari troops had fought in Libya, supervising the rebels’ plans and liaising with Nato. British trained Qatari special forces are reported to have provided infantry training to Libyan fighters in the western Nafusa mountains and in eastern Libya. Qatar’s military even brought Libyan rebels back to Doha for exercises. In the final assault on Qaddafi’s Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli in late August 2011, Qatari special forces were seen on the frontline.

A 25 August 2011 report in wired.com wrote:

“The principle source of support for the rebels came from Q-SOC, the Qatari special forces, says this source, who would only be identified as a former U.S. intelligence contractor with direct knowledge of operations in Libya. With the advance on Tripoli impending, the Q-SOC teams went to work getting rebels ready to finish the war, teaching them how to use the shoulder-fired missiles they looted from Gadhafi’s weapons stocks and even the basics of shooting straight.”

“They went west into the Nafusa mountains and provided minimal basic shooting and tactics training to individual rebel brigades. That’s why those rebels are generally in three-color desert uniforms, the source tells Danger Room. The Los Angeles Times described those Nafusa-based rebels as gritty, and gave them a large share of credit for turning the tide of the war. They also selected 100-plus western-region Libyans for small-unit leadership training, and flew them to Qatar and then back to Nafusa for the big push.”

“That was just one aspect of the Qatari aid to the rebels. The Qataris, however improbably, were the first foreign military on the ground providing military training. “They have been more effective than any other nation,” a rebel military representative told the Washington Post in May. “They just haven’t boasted about it.”

But the rosy picture of western and Gulf nations working together to ‘protect civilians’ and ‘bring democracy’ to Libya as universally presented by governments and the mass media was not the whole picture. On 5 December 2012 a New York Times report by James Risen, Mark Mazzetti and Michael S. Schmidt reported:

“The Obama administration secretly gave its blessing to arms shipments to Libyan rebels from Qatar, but American officials later grew alarmed as evidence grew that Qatar was turning some of the weapons over to Islamic militants, according to United States officials and foreign diplomats.

… the Obama administration clearly was worried about the consequences of its hidden hand in helping arm Libyan militants, concerns that have not previously been reported. The weapons and money from Qatar strengthened militant groups in Libya, allowing them to become a destabilizing force since the fall of the Qaddafi government.

Within weeks of endorsing Qatar’s plan to send weapons there in spring 2011, the White House began receiving reports that they were going to Islamic militant groups. They were “more antidemocratic, more hard-line, closer to an extreme version of Islam” than the main rebel alliance in Libya, said a former Defense Department official.

Mahmoud Jibril, then the prime minister of the Libyan transitional government, expressed frustration to administration officials that the United States was allowing Qatar to arm extremist groups opposed to the new leadership, according to several American officials.

The administration has never determined where all of the weapons, paid for by Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, went inside Libya, officials said. Qatar is believed to have shipped by air and sea small arms, including machine guns, automatic rifles, and ammunition, for which it has demanded reimbursement from Libya’s new government. Some of the arms since have been moved from Libya to militants with ties to Al Qaeda in Mali, where radical jihadi factions have imposed Shariah law in the northern part of the country, the former Defense Department official said. Others have gone to Syria, according to several American and foreign officials and arms traders. ”

So where are we now? After years of chaos and ups and downs, the streets are still under the control of any number of regional and tribal militias. However two competing power centres have emerged vying to become the sole ‘legitimate’ government of Libya. The elected “House of Representatives” (HOR), husbanded by the western powers was kicked out of Tripoli by militias aligned with the (many say) more Islamist GNC, a predecessor of the HOR resurrected by certain factions who did not wish to relinquish power.

The HOR, recognised by the UN and by the US government, relocated to Tobruq, and have been engaged in a war against the GNC, led by General Khalifa Hiftar, a man known to have been a CIA ‘asset’ in the past. Egypt and the UAE have intervened militarily on the side of the HOR.

The GNC for their part, sitting in the national capital Tripoli, are backed by Qatar, Turkey and, ‘enemy of the west’, Sudan. In September 2014 the Libyan PM Abdullah al-Thinni accused Qatar of sending three plane loads of arms in military aircraft to Tripoli in support of the militias which seized Tripoli. The GNC have been accused of aligning themselves with extremist Islamist factions based in the east of the country who are fighting against the HOR.

So we find the west and Qatar backing opposite sides, we see the Qatari backed factions linked to Islamist extremists. The apparent support of Qatar for an Islamist rival government which undermines the UN recognised government of Libya, as ever, has had no obviously detrimental effects on Qatar’s relations with the west. It seems there is nothing that Qatar can possibly do which will wipe the friendly smile off the faces of the west’s leaders when dealing with the Qatari Royal Family.

So why do I think Qatar so deeply involved itself in the overthrow of Qaddafi? My answer, Libya is a long way from Qatar, but Iran is not. Qaddafi’s Libya was one of only two regional powers that supported Iran. In the event of war against Iran Qaddafi could have helped Iran considerably with financial help and other forms of assistance. Taking down Qaddafi reduces Iran to just one regional ally, Syria, and we know what is happening there. Thus it is a step towards isolating Iran. The current Qatari involvement in attempting to overthrow the government of Syria is a matter for some future posts.

For detailed, objective analysis of the recent developments in Libya, I highly recommend Frederic Wehrey of the Carnegie Endowment.

http://carnegieendowment.org/experts/?fa=709

DEATH LIST 2002

While researching the development of the United States’ nuclear strategy, I came across an article which listed the states targeted by US weapons in the 2002 ‘Nuclear Posture Review’:

Russia

China

Iraq

Iran

Syria

Libya

North Korea

Let’s just consider how these nations have fared in the thirteen years succeeding the review:

Russia X (being isolated and attacked by economic warfare)

China 

Iraq X (Neutralised: no longer really exists, broken up and parts occupied by ISIL)

Iran (subject to economic warfare and military threats over its alleged nuclear ambitions)

Syria X  (in the process of being destroyed by an externally supported civil war)

Libya X (already destroyed by an externally supported civil war)

North Korea

Is it any wonder that I expect Iran to get the same treatment as Iraq, once Obama has gone?

In Defence of Russell Brand

Theme: Shadowboxing

Comedian, actor and political activists Russell Brand has come in for a lot of flak because of his criticism of the British prime minister’s decision to call for ‘one minute of silence’ to commemorate the victims of the Tunisian gun rampage at the beach resort of Port El-Kantaoui on 26 June. Of the 38 victims killed, 30 were British. The incident has had a great impact on the nation’s consciousness. His position may seem tactless and insensitive, and is bound to be misunderstood, but I understand his anger with David Cameron. For the PM to call for this commemoration is for the government to position itself with the victims when the UK government itself was largely to blame for what happened in more than one way.

Firstly I was horrified to hear the UK tourists were still travelling to Tunisia on holiday given the growing level of terror threats in the area. It transpires that there was a previous suicide bomb attack at the same beach in October 2013. Only in March this year some 21 people, mostly European tourists were murdered at the Bardo National Museum by terrorists belonging to a group identified by Tunisian authorities as a splinter group of ‘Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’. The failure of the UK government to warn its citizens against travel to Tunisia shows that relations with Tunisia were considered more important than the lives of UK citizens. Needless to say a belated travel warning has now been issued. This is rather a case of ‘shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted!’

The attackers at the Bardo National Museum are known to have trained with Islamist groups in Libya. While it was reported that a senior Tunisian Interior Ministry official stated that the main attacker at the beach at Port El-Kantaoui had also been to Libya. It is increasingly clear that Tunisia is becoming the target of Islamist groups based in lawless Libya who are seeking to export their Islamic revolution in the ‘IS domino effect’. I can’t help feeling that the refusal of the British government to face up to the dangers to tourists in Tunisia was partly motivated by embarrassment over the role the UK government played in creating this danger in the first place.

For it was David Cameron himself, together with his cabinet who decided that the British Royal Air Force should act as the air force of Islamic extremists and help to bomb them into to power on the streets of Libya. Of course they will posture that they were trying to help other so-called ‘moderate’ factions, or protect civilians, blah, blah, blah. This is disingenuous because what they were doing was transparent to me at the time, and the outcome exactly as could be expected. Whatever words they use, actions speak louder, and the RAF acted as Al-Qaeda’s air force, eagerly assisted by practically the entire Qatari air force.

The result of Britain’s destabilisation and destruction of the Libyan state, is that is has now become the base for a domino effect of Islamist terrorism across North Africa. Can anyone really believe that everyone in the Cabinet, the MoD and the Foreign Office are so stupid they did not realise what the results of their actions would be, when it was transparently obvious to thousands of people in the region, and at home, like me.

The very active involvement of Qatar in the overthrow of the Qaddafi regime and the establishment of an Islamist base in the chaos of what is left of Libya is a topic I will return to in depth in some later post. Interestingly the Qataris were able to summon much less enthusiasm for the bombing of IS in Syria and Iraq, they only sent a couple of aircraft. I also heard an unconfirmed report that the Qatari government was not allowing their own pilots to fly these missions.

The War on Terror – a Progress Report

             War-Against-IS-CIA-Report

Theme: Shadowboxing

We are now in the fourteenth year of the ‘War on Terror’ in which the world’s only superpower, supported by the majority of governments in the world has set about hunting to the ends of the Earth the Islamist terrorists and eliminating them. Drones hover in the sky bringing instant death. The most massive electronic surveillance effort tracks and intercepts the communications of the enemy. So how well has it gone?

Well, back in 2001 Al-Qaeda largely consisted of a few thousand hard core jihadists training in bases in the remote valleys of Afghanistan. Now these same political forces hold large swaths of territory across the heart of the Middle East and North Africa.

The enemy has succeeded in igniting a region wide sectarian war stretching from Lebanon in the Mediterranean across Syria and deep into the centre of Iraq. Young radicalised Muslims imbued with zeal for the big idea that IS offers of a Muslim Califate as a new global power defy parents and authorities to flock to the aid of the Sunni revolution from all over the world.

Perhaps they have already succeeded in creating self-sustaining states in the Middle East and North Africa. Arms, money and men pour across borders and across the Mediterranean spreading the revolution in a modern ‘Domino Effect’.

So the result could be that these Islamist terror groups are a thousand times bigger, a thousand times stronger and a thousand times richer. It would seem the war has backfired.

But wait! What other fall out has there been from the war on terror?

Progressive Regimes that opposed Western policies and influence, and which were once much stronger than the small conservative Gulf monarchies have been eliminated, neutralised, or isolated.

  • Saddam Hussein – GONE
  • Muammar Qaddafi – GONE
  • Bashar Al-Assad – NEUTRALISED, struggling to hold on
  • Iran – Increasingly ISOLATED as its allies are picked off and Shia are coming under region wide attack.

The strong stable regimes which opposed western influence and policies in the region have been greatly weakened or eliminated. While the balance of power in the region between the large militarised states and the small oil rich Sunni conservative monarchies has decisively shifted in favour of the monarchs. So it seems “it’s an ill wind which blows no-body any good”.

My (SPOOF!) Manifesto for the May 2015 UK General Election

I wrote this manifesto as a joke, but ironically it was exactly what the public voted for in the end.

Manifesto Cover JPG Bitmap

Education

We will starve Local Education Authority Schools of cash, as only scum go to them, and use the money to build huge brand new ‘Academies’. This will create lots of opportunities for our friends who own construction firms to get lucrative contracts.

Academies will be managed by a private company that runs sausage factories to achieve economies of scale reducing costs. Hundreds of students will stream anonymously through newly carpeted glass-walled atria with tubular chrome steel furniture and banks of computers to arrive at high technology classrooms where a series of unrecognisable supply teachers hired by the day will facilitate the learning experience.

We will supply millions of pounds in tax payers money to any chancer who wants to set up a ‘free school’ so that their children no longer have to mix with the riff raff, or have their minds poisoned by the left-wing ideology of the LEAs with notions such as equality, fairness and sharing. If they stick their hands in the till and use the money to build a conservatory or go on a cruise we’ll look the other way.

Housing

We will restrict the building of new homes while offering generous grants to thousands of first time buyers. This will massively boost the value of all the properties we own, creating an asset price bubble and let us borrow even more massive amounts of cash against them. We’ll be spectacularly rich!

Transport

We aim to invest enough money to put a man on Mars in a single high tech, high speed railway from London to Edinburgh, while starving of all investment the deteriorating commuter services which are failing to get millions of people into the nation’s cities to work on time every morning. This will enable our friend who goes around the world bribing corrupt governments to let him build high speed railways to get very rich! Upper Volta’s already getting a high speed railway, so why should Britain be left behind?

Labour

We will continue to promote the further tertiarization of the economy, as we transform from a ‘productive’, inflexible, high cost structure economy, to a leaner, flexible, service economy based on ‘knowledge’ and ‘creativity’. We will create thousands of ‘creative’, ‘knowledge-based’ jobs for warehouse workers, fast food makers, men with one day hire vans delivering internet shopping, pole dancers, and escort services. Britain will be a truly dynamic nation, the envy of the world.

Taxation

We will continue to wag our finger disapprovingly at giant corporations that pay practically no tax, whilst studiously avoiding reforming the tax regulations to close the massive loopholes that were deliberately put there in the first place. In this way we will get political credit from the public whilst protecting the interests of the big businesses that will reward us with massively overpaid and ridiculously under-worked directorships when we are no longer in office.

The Economy

We will continue to get the Bank of England to print huge amounts of money so we can keep claiming the deficit is improving whilst also cutting taxes and boosting spending when an election is near.

Britain has to learn to compete with China and India. So we calculate we will have to cut average wages to about £7000 per year.

Small Business

We really, really care about small business, but they don’t offer us any massively overpaid and under-worked directorships when we leave politics so what incentive do we have to help them? Really, some people have no idea. They just want something for nothing!

Immigration

We will boost labour market flexibility by flooding the country with unrestricted numbers of impoverished, desperate workers from former communist countries where the economy is dead. This will drive down the pay and conditions of British workers, with lots of zero hours contracts, unpaid training places, and other innovations, so business owners can cut themselves an even bigger slice of the profits cake than ever before.

At the same time we will respond to public concerns by denying these immigrants access to all welfare benefits so they immediately become a massive social problem of rough sleeping, begging and crime.

 

 Entertainment

We will use massive saturation advertising to force online gambling down the throats of some of the nation’s poorest people to get as many of them addicted as possible. This will make all our friends who own these companies very rich! Those facing difficulties paying their debts will be able to get help from our friends’ online pay day loan companies at interest rates of 1200% APR Just think at two o’clock on a Monday morning before you go to work, you can gamble away hundreds of pounds and then borrow it all back in the comfort of your own bedroom, still wearing your pyjamas! Isn’t technology wonderful!

We will get rid of the BBC licence fee so that no one notices what crap, cheap and nasty formats all the programmes on commercial television channels are. We will add five hundred more television channels so that advertising revenues are spread so thinly none of them can afford to make any programmes or hire many staff. Then all you will see are imports from US networks, and box sets of programmes the BBC made twenty years ago, endlessly repeated.

National Security

We will continue to develop the capability to monitor and record for posterity every single electronic communication by every single citizen in the country at all times. We will try to force everyone to connect to the internet and encourage them to use social media to plaster it with all their most sensitive private information, all of which we can see if we want to. Who’s having an affair? Who’s using illegal drugs? Who’s a sex pest? We will see all, collect all and keep all forever just in case we ever need to know about you. Even better we might make loads of money selling the information under the counter. You can sleep safely with us.

International Security

We will continue to work with our Nato partners to start wars, destabilise and overthrow any jumped up little pricks who don’t do what they’re told. We will work towards starting wars with Russia and China to cut these bastards down to size and get them out of our faces.

On the issue of terrorism we will continue to work closely with conservative Sunni Gulf autocracies to boost the region wide blossoming of islamist extremism and the overthrow of progressive nationalist regimes that oppose our foreign policy interests. Our success in destroying a large chunk of North Africa and the Middle East is an encouraging sign, we might be able to invade Iran soon and do the same to it, if you vote for us.