Thursday, April 28, 2011


THE TEN PRINCIPLES OF BANDUNG

by George Burchett (son of Wilfred)

In May 2009 I visited the Museum Of The Asian-African Conference in Bandung, Indonesia.

In April 1955, the heads of state of 29 Asian and African countries 1, many of them newly independent, gathered in Bandung to chart a course for peaceful co-existence and mutual respect between all nations. The conference was hosted by Indonesia’s President Soekarno. The museum commemorates this important and mostly forgotten event.

At the end of the Conference, the delegates issued a ten-point declaration known as The Ten Principles of Bandung. They are:

1. Respect for fundamental human rights and for the purpose and principles of the Charter of the United Nations;
2. Respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries,
3. Recognise the equality of all races and the equality of all nations,
4. Non-intervention in the internal affairs of other countries,
5. Respect for the right of each nation to defend itself singly or collectively, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations.
6. (a) Abstention from the use of arrangements of collective defence to serve any particular interests of the big powers.
(b) Abstention by any countries from exerting, pressures on other countries.
7. Refraining from acts or threats of aggression or the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any countries.
8. Settlement of all international disputes by peaceful means, such as negotiation, conciliation, arbitration or judicial settlement as well as other peaceful means of the parties' own choice, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations.
9. Promotion for mutual interest and cooperation.
10. Respect for justice and international obligations.

All ten points sound eminently sensible to me.

I was born one month after the Bandung Conference, in Hanoi, Vietnam, one of the participating countries. 1955 was a good year, filled with optimism and promises. The day I was born, the last French colonial troops left Hanoi. Vietnam was finally free and independent, although temporarily divided. In accordance with the Geneva Agreements of 1954, elections were to be held in both North and South, and the country was to be united again. Everyone expected Ho Chi Minh to win the elections in a landslide. One imperial power and its allies wanted to prevent this at all costs.

Vietnam was eventually re-united in 1975, not through the ballot box but through armed struggle. We all know at what cost. Millions of people died, millions of bombs were dropped, millions of tonnes of toxic chemicals released and countless atrocities committed because neither the 1954 Geneva accords nor the 1955 Ten Principles of Bandung were respected by the world champions of “freedom and democracy”.

My father, Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett – an incurable optimist despite witnessing the horrors of the Great Depression, Nazi Germany, World War II, Hiroshima and Korea – was in Bandung in April 1955.

There is a very nice photo of him in the Museum. There is also a photo of the Kashmir Princess, an airplane chartered by the Chinese government to fly China’s Premier Zhou Enlai to the conference. It was blown up in mid air by an American-made bomb planted by a Taiwanese agent in Hong Kong. 2 Luckily, Zhou Enlai had a last minute change of plan and flew on a different plane. My dad was also supposed to be on the Kashmir Princess, but eventually flew direct from Hanoi with the Vietnamese delegation led by Premier Pham Van Dong.

Wilfred Burchett (right) in Bandung, 1955

On his way back from Bandung, as he was crossing from China into Vietnam, his passport mysteriously disappeared. 3 When he applied for a replacement passport, the Australian government refused to issue him with one. That refusal lasted 17 years. For good measure, Australia’s then Prime Minister Robert Menzies personally decided that I was not to be registered as an Australian citizen, overruling advice that this was illegal. 4

The wreckage of the Kashmir Princess, Bandung Museum Of The Asian-African Conference

From 1957 to 1965, we lived in Moscow. These were good years for the Soviet Union. In 1956 Khrushchev had denounced Stalin’s crimes at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the USSR, released political prisoners and ushered in an era of openness and peaceful cohabitation. Asia, Africa and Latin America were shaking off their colonial shackles and getting rid of fascist dictatorships. I was on the Red Square in 1961 to greet Fidel Castro. The Soviets were conquering space and humanity was marching towards progress and a world free of oppression, poverty, disease, racism and all the other ills that have plagued the world since the dark ages.

Vietnam was resisting American imperialism and my dad was reporting the heroic struggle of the Vietnamese people from the jungles of South Vietnam. There was no doubt in my young mind that with the support of the Soviet Union and all of progressive humanity, Vietnam and all of Asia, Africa and Latin America would be liberated from oppression and poverty. That’s how the world looked to me back then: bright and beautiful.

My grandfather, George Burchett, presents Yuri Gagarin with a boomerang, Moscow 1961 ( The Australian Government refused to allow my father to visit his dying father and then refused to allow him to attend his funeral)

In 1965, we moved to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, so that my dad could be close to Vietnam and as far away from Moscow winters as possible. As I later learned, he was getting extremely disillusioned with the USSR and its lukewarm support for the resistance in South Vietnam. He also sided with China when the Sino-Soviet split occurred.

Cambodia in 1965 was pure heaven, despite the escalating war in neighbouring Vietnam. 1965 marked the beginning of what Tariq Ali called “the glorious decade”. 5 Yes, there was war, misery and oppression, but there was also tremendous international solidarity, an explosion of hope, optimism, and creativity. The Civil Rights movement in the US and the growing anti-war movement worldwide were energising people across the planet. Revolution was in the air and it had the faces of Ho Chi Minh, Che Guevera, Fidel Castro, Patrice Lumumba, Mao Tse Tung, Martin Luther King and other legendary revolutionaries and freedom-fighters.

My dad was at the centre of the anti-war movement. His books and dispatches from Indochina, published weekly in the New York National Guardian and reprinted around the world, were informing the world about the struggle of the people of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. The world was still full of optimism, hope and passion. It also looked incredibly sexy, what with rock & roll, flower power and all. It was a great time to be a kid!

My mum and me in the woods around Moscow, September 1961.

In 1969, we moved to Paris where negotiations to end the war in Vietnam had started. Post May 68 Paris was the coolest place on earth. The anti-war movement was at its strongest. Everything seemed possible: Vietnam was winning the war. The USA was talking peace (while still bombing Hanoi).

On 18 March 1970, my dad’s old friend Prince Sihanouk of Cambodia (also present at Bandung) was overthrown in a CIA-backed coup. He declared from Moscow that he was going to fight back and set up his resistance headquarters in Beijing. 6 Sihanouk is now again king of Cambodia. But at what price? Millions died in the US-imposed war, in US carpet bombings and the ensuing Khmer Rouge genocide.

In 1975, North Vietnam and the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam won the war against the USA. The country was finally reunited. And it was swiftly declared an enemy of humanity, ostracized by the international community and denounced as a Stalinist state by sections of the Left. When Vietnam liberated Cambodia from the genocidal Khmer Rouge, there was an international uproar. Joan Baez marched to the Thai-Khmer border to demand the withdrawal of Vietnamese troops from Cambodia and the return of the legitimate government of Democratic Kampuchea – meaning the Khmer Rouge. The US, UK, Australia, China, Thailand and others backed and armed Pol Pot.

I don’t know what evil pact Henry Kissinger made with the Chinese leadership in the 70s. But it worked. Not only did Vietnam become an international pariah, but the western Left split, disintegrated and made itself irrelevant.

Communists and independent voices, like my dad’s, who supported Vietnam, were labelled “Stalinists” and stooges of Moscow. Maoists, Trotskyists and assorted leftists were denouncing Vietnamese imperialism. Quite a few were later reborn as neo-cons, clamouring for Iraqi blood.

In France, former Maoists, re-branded themselves as “nouveaux philosophes” and became the new darlings of the French media and Paris salons.

The spoiled heirs of rich families, like the ineffable Bernard Henry-Lévy, got bored or disillusioned with their former “revolutionary” activities and were pontificating about human rights – including Pol Pot’s democratic right to return to his killing fields.

The bourgeoisie was reassured. Their sons and daughters had finally grown out of the “revolution” and were denouncing its evils.

So that was the end of the “glorious decade”. My dad went on reporting the horrors of the Khmer Rouge and the wars in Angola and Mozambique, but by that time he was labelled a Stalinist, a stooge of Moscow, a KGB agent etc. by both Right and Left.

He resigned from the New York Guardian, for which he’d been writing weekly for 25 years, because the editors either refused to publish or censored his reports from Vietnam and Cambodia, in which he denounced Chinese aggression against Vietnam and her support for the murderous Khmer Rouge. The Guardian, like much of the Left, was toeing the pro-China, anti-Soviet and anti-Vietnam line.

In 1983 my dad finished typing the footnotes for his last book, Shadows Of Hiroshima, collapsed and died shortly after. Shadows Of Hiroshima was his final contribution to the anti-nuclear and peace movements, based on his experience as the first Western correspondent to report from Hiroshima after the atomic bomb was dropped. His famous I Write This As A Warning To The World from atom-bombed Hiroshima still resonates today.8

In 1985 I moved to Australia with my wife Ilza and our son Graham to reclaim my birthrights and give our son a warm place under the sun to grow up in. We spent our first six months in the Aboriginal Community of Maningrida, in Arhnem Land, in the Australian Northern Territory. It was there that I learned from Rupert Murdoch’s The Australian what an evil and despicable man my father was in a series of long articles written by a former Australian “friend” of his.

According to these stories, my father was a KGB agent, an agent of Hanoi, Beijing and Pyongyang, an alcoholic and fornicator, a lover of dog meat and other such nonsense. Simultaneously, Australia’s “leading public intellectual” published a long pompous piece in the right wing (and CIA-funded) magazine Quadrant denouncing him as a KGB agent and traitor to his country.7 Suddenly the world I knew and loved became evil, communism and socialism became dirty words, the USSR was evil, Vietnam was evil, Wilfred Burchett was evil, the Khmer Rouge were evil, but deserved support because they were less evil than the Vietnamese, who had freed the Cambodian people from its killers and enslavers.

For the sake of sanity, I simply switched off. “Let historians sort it out”, I thought. And they did, brilliantly. 9 But the media doesn’t like history, it likes catchy headlines like “Comrade Burchett Was A Party Hack” or “Burchett: Moral Traitor To Western Civilisation” and other such rubbish.

In 2006 I returned to Hanoi after an almost five decade absence. And it instantly felt like home. Suddenly I was surrounded by friendliness and love. I was again part of the winning team, the team that kicked French colonialists and American imperialists out of their country. Friends took me to see our old home. I wanted to stay!

Then I visited Uncle Ho’s house in Hanoi. And it hit me. I thought this is the most beautiful house in the world. It is a modest wooden house on stilts, modelled on the traditional montagnard hut in which Ho Chi Minh stayed during the years of anti-French resistance (1946-1954). It is very simple, elegant, functional and energy efficient – the only “luxury” item was a small electric heater for Hanoi’s winter chills. The house took less than a month to build. Uncle Ho specifically instructed that no precious timber should be used. It faces a large pond in which several varieties of fish breed, and were occasionally cooked for Uncle Ho and his guests. It is surrounded by beautiful gardens, with palm trees, fruit trees, flowers, a great variety of native and imported plants. From here, dressed in simple peasant garb, Uncle Ho directed the resistance against the USA and its allies.

So if you want a model of sustainability, elegance, simplicity, resilience, harmony, goodness, economy, energy efficiency, greenness and beauty, you have it in Uncle Ho’s house.

Our world will be fine if we apply the Ten Principles of Bandung and heed the lessons from Uncle Ho’s modest house-on-stilts.

Ho Chi Minh’s house-on-stilts


NOTES

1 The countries represented at Bandung in 1955 were:

Afghanistan; Bhutan; Burma; Cambodia; Ceylon; People's Republic of China; Egypt; Ethiopia; India; Indonesia; Iran; Iraq; Japan; Jordan; Laos; Lebanon; Liberia; Libya; Mongolia; Nepal; Pakistan; Philippines; Saudi Arabia; Syria; Thailand; Turkey; Vietnam North; Vietnam South; Yemen.

The Ten Principle of Bandung are quoted from the Bandung Museum brochure.

2Target: Zhou Enlai: Was America's CIA working with Taiwan agents to kill Chinese premier? by Wendell L. Minnick, Far Eastern Economic Review, 13 July 1995

3Memoirs of a Rebel Journalist: The Autobiography of Wilfred Burchett, edited by George Burchett and Nick Shimmin, University of NSW Press, 2005

4From Traveller To Traitor – The Life of Wilfred Burchett, Tom Heenan, Melbourne University Press, 2006

5Where has all the rage gone? by Tariq Ali, The Guardian (UK), 22 March 2008

6My War With the CIA: The Memoirs of Prince Sihanouk as related to Wilfred Burchett, Pantheon Books, 1972

7The Fortunes of Wilfred Burchett: A New Assessment by Robert Manne, Quadrant, August 1985

See also Once Were Warriors: Wilfred Burchett, Robert Manne and the Forgotten History War by Jamie Miller, Institute of Advanced Studies, September 2008

8 Rebel Journalism: The Writings of Wilfred Burchett, edited by George Burchett and Nick Shimmin, Cambridge University Press, 2007

9 Burchett: Reporting the Other Side of the World 1939-1983 , edited by Ben Kiernan, Quartet Books, 1986


This article by George Burchett published in People's Republic:

http://www.peoplesrepublic.net.au/pib.htm



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Imperialist War Against Libya:

. . . It’s About Currency and Loans

By John Perkins

...The US, the other G-8 countries, the World Bank, IMF, BIS, and multinational corporations do not look kindly on leaders who threaten their dominance over world currency markets or who appear to be moving away from the international banking system that favors the corporatocracy...


April 26, 2011 "Information Clearing House" --

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- World Bank President Robert Zoellick Thursday said he hopes the institution will have a role rebuilding Libya as it emerges from current unrest...

We listen to U.S. spokespeople try to explain why we’re suddenly now entangled in another Middle East war. Many of us find ourselves questioning the official justifications. We are aware that the true causes of our engagement are rarely discussed in the media or by our government...

According to the IMF, Libya’s Central Bank is 100% state owned. The IMF estimates that the bank has nearly 144 tons of gold in its vaults. It is significant that in the months running up to the UN resolution that allowed the US and its allies to send troops into Libya, Muammar al-Qaddafi was openly advocating the creation of a new currency that would rival the dollar and the euro. In fact, he called upon African and Muslim nations to join an alliance that would make this new currency, the gold dinar, their primary form of money and foreign exchange. They would sell oil and other resources to the US and the rest of the world only for gold dinars.

The US, the other G-8 countries, the World Bank, IMF, BIS, and multinational corporations do not look kindly on leaders who threaten their dominance over world currency markets or who appear to be moving away from the international banking system that favors the corporatocracy. Saddam Hussein had advocated policies similar to those expressed by Qaddafi shortly before the US sent troops into Iraq.

In my talks, I often find it necessary to remind audiences of a point that seems obvious to me but is misunderstood by so many: that the World Bank is not really a world bank at all; it is, rather a U.S. bank. Ditto, its closest sibling, the IMF.

In fact, if one looks at the World Bank and IMF executive boards and the votes each member of the board has, one sees that the United States controls about 16 percent of the votes in the World Bank - (Compared with Japan at about 7%, the second largest member, China at 4.5%, Germany with 4.00%, and the United Kingdom and France with about 3.8% each), nearly 17% of the IMF votes (Compared with Japan and Germany at about 6% and UK and France at nearly 5%), and the US holds veto power over all major decisions. Furthermore, the United States President appoints the World Bank President.

So, we might ask ourselves: What happens when a “rogue” country threatens to bring the banking system that benefits the corporatocracy to its knees?...


One definition of “Empire” (per my book The Secret History of the American Empire) states that an empire is a nation that dominates other nations by imposing its own currency on the lands under its control.

The empire maintains a large standing military that is ready to protect the currency and the entire economic system that depends on it through extreme violence, if necessary.

The ancient Romans did this. So did the Spanish and the British during their days of empire-building. Now, the US or, more to the point, the corporatocracy, is doing it and is determined to punish any individual who tries to stop them. Qaddafi is but the latest example.

Understanding the war against Quaddafi as a war in defense of empire is another step in the direction of helping us ask ourselves whether we want to continue along this path of empire-building...



John Perkins, from 1971 to 1981 he worked for the international consulting firm of Chas T. Main where he was a self-described "economic hit man."
He is the author of the new book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article8171.htm
www.johnperkins.org

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Libya Burns As The World Cheers

By David Rothscum

April 24, 2011 "Information Clearing House"

How was Libya doing under the rule of Gadaffi? How bad did the people have it? Were they oppressed as we now commonly accept as fact? Let us look at the facts for a moment.

Before the chaos erupted, Libya had a lower incarceration rate than the Czech republic. It ranked 61st. Libya had the lowest infant mortality rate of all of Africa. Libya had the highest life expectancy of all of Africa. Less than 5% of the population was undernourished. In response to the rising food prices around the world, the government of Libya abolished ALL taxes on food.

People in Libya were rich. Libya had the highest gross domestic product (GDP) at purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita of all of Africa. The government took care to ensure that everyone in the country shared in the wealth. Libya had the highest Human Development Index of any country on the continent. The wealth was distributed equally. In Libya, a lower percentage of people lived below the poverty line than in the Netherlands.

How does Libya get so rich? The answer is oil. The country has a lot of oil, and does not allow foreign corporations to steal the resources while the population starves, unlike countries like Nigeria, a country that is basically run by Shell.

Like any country, Libya suffers from a government with corrupt bureaucrats that try to gain a bigger portion of the pie at the cost of everyone else. In response to this, Kadaffi called for the oil revenue to be distributed directly to the people, because in his opinion, the government was failing the people.

However... Kadaffi is not the president of Libya. In fact he holds no official position in the government. This is the big mistake that people make. They claim that Kadaffi rules over Libya when in fact he doesn't, his position is more or less ceremonial. He should be compared to a founding father.

The true leader of Libya is an indirectly elected prime-minister. The current prime-minister is Baghdadi Mahmudi. Calling Khadaffi the leader of Libya is comparable to calling Akihito the leader of Japan. Contrary to what your media is sketching, opinions in Libya vary. Some people support Gadaffi but want Mahmudi out. Others want both out. Many just want to live their life in peace. However, effort is taken to sketch the appearance of a popular revolt against the supposed leader of Libya, Gadaffi, when in fact he is just the architect of Libya's current political system, a mixture of pan-Arabism, socialism, and Islamic government.

Videos of Pro-Gaddafi protests are disappearing from Youtube as we speak. "Pro Gaddafi Anti Baghdadi Mahmudi demonstrations in" youtube.com/watch?v=Ce5fLGNg0sk is gone. "Pro Gaddafi protests in front of Libyan embassy London" youtube.com/watch?v=pRwv0Ac8qbc Is gone. Youtube deletes any video containing gore normally, except when it's from Libya. Apparently more traumatizing to it's viewers than chopped up bodies are Libyans who do not jump on the bandwagon and enter the streets to force Gadaffi out.

Are the protesters in Libya comparable to the protesters in Egypt and Tunisia? Not at all. The governments reaction is more violent, and obviously excessive violence is being used. However let us look for a moment at the actions of the protesters. The building of the the general people's congress, the parliament of Libya, was put on fire by angry protestors. This is comparable to protesters putting the United States Capitol on fire. Do you think that for even a moment the US government would sit idly by as protesters put the US capitol on fire?

The riots erupting now are not secular youth desiring change, or anything like we saw in Egypt and Tunisia. A group calling itself "Islamic Emirate of Barka", the former name of the North-Western part of Libya, has taken numerous hostages, and killed two policemen. This is not a recent development. On Friday, the 18th of February, the group stole 70 military vehicles after attacking a port and killing four soldiers. Unfortunately, a military colonel has joined the group and provided them with further weapons. The uprising started in the eastern city of Benghazi. The Italian foreign minister has raised his fears of an Islamic Emirate of Benghazi declaring itself independent.

So where does this sudden uprising come from? The answer is that the same groups the US has been funding for decades are now taking their chance to gain control over the nation.

A group recently arrested in Libya consisted of dozens of foreign nationals that were involved in numerous acts of looting and sabotage. The Libyan government could not rule out links to Israel.

Great Britain funded an Al Qaeda cell in Libya, in an attempt to assassinate Gadaffi. The main opposition group in Libya now is the National Front for the Salvation of Libya. This opposition group is being funded by Saudi Arabia, the CIA, and French Intelligence. This group unified itself with other opposition groups, to become the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition. It was this organization that called for the "Day of Rage" that plunged Libya into chaos on February 17 of this year.

It did this in Benghazi, a conservative city that has always been opposed to Gadaffi's rule. It should be noted that the National Front for the Salvation of Libya is well armed. In 1996 the group tried to unleash a revolution in the eastern part of Libya before. It used the Libyan National Army, the armed division of the NFSL to begin this failed uprising.

Why is the United States so opposed to Gadaffi? He is the main threat to US hegemony in Africa, because he attempts to unite the continent against the United States.

This concept is called the United States of Africa. In fact, Gadaffi holds all sorts of ideas that are contrary to US interests. The man blames the United States government for the creation of HIV. He claims that Israel is behind the assasination of Martin Luther King and president John. F. Kennedy. He says that the 9/11 hijackers were trained in the US. He also urged Libyans to donate blood to Americans after 9/11. Khadaffi is also the last of a generation of moderate socialist pan-Arab revolutionaries that is still in power, after Nasser and Hussein have been eliminated, and Syria has aligned itself with Iran.

The United States and Israel however have no interest in a strong Arab world. In fact it seems that elementary to the plan is bringing Libya to its knees through chaos and anarchy.

In late 2010, the United Kingdom was still propping up the Libyan government through lucrative arms sales. Nothing is a better guarantee to destroy Libya than a bloody civil war. The tribal system that is still strong in Libya is useful to exploit to generate such a war since Libya has historically been divided into various tribal groups.

This is also why the Libyan government responds by importing mercenaries. Tribal allegiances go before allegiance to the government, especially in Benghazi, and thus the central government has no control over the eastern part of the country anymore. The alternative to mercenaries is a conflict between the various ethnic groups.

Gadaffi has tried for 41 years to make the country more homogeneous, but opposition groups funded by outside forced will take little more than a few days to put the country back into the 19th century, before the region was conquered and unified by Europeans.

The violence is indeed excessive, but everyone seems to forget that the situation is not the same as in Tunis and Egypt. Tribal ties play a far greater role, and thus the conflict will unfortunately be bloodier.

Please remember at all times that the violent Libyan civil war unfolding now is not comparable to the revolutions seen in Tunisia and Egypt.

Both of these revolutions involved peaceful protesters suffering from poverty, in opposition to their corrupt governments. The chaos in Libyan consists of a mixture of tribal conflicts, conflict over oil revenue (since most oil is in the east of the country), radical islamists opposed to Gadaffi's system of government, and outside destabilization by Western funded exile groups.

Gadaffi took control in a bloodless coup from a sick monarch away for medical treatment 41 years ago. His ideology is based on unification and he attempted to peacefully merge his country with Egypt and Syria. It would take a miracle for the violence unfolding now to lead to a single stable democratic government in Libya, with full control over the entire country. The country is more than twice the size of Pakistan, but with 6 million inhabitants. Endless deserts divide many of the cities in the nation.

If anything we should ask ourselves how many more nations will be shattered into pieces in the coming months, as the world cheers.

David Rothscum Reports Blog


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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Western powers are lying about the real reasons for their war against Libya. Gaddafi uses Libya's oil money for social development in Libya and Africa, independently of the exorbitant interest rates of the Big Bankers. This is one major reason why the imperialist Western bullies are "demonizing" Gaddafi and seeking "regime change". The war and carnage in Libya is all about Western imperialism; nothing to do with "humanitarianism"! The great tragedy is that if the counter-revolutionary 'rebels' and their Western backers succeed, the Libyan & African people will be much poorer, and the wealth of Libya will be privatized to enrich the imperialist invaders.

Read more here:


The Lies Behind the West's War on Libya

By Jean-Paul Pougala

It was Gaddafi’s Libya that offered all of Africa its first revolution in modern times – connecting the entire continent by telephone, television, radio broadcasting and several other technological applications such as telemedicine and distance teaching. And thanks to the WMAX radio bridge, a low cost connection was made available across the continent, including in rural areas.

It began in 1992, when 45 African nations established RASCOM (Regional African Satellite Communication Organization) so that Africa would have its own satellite, and slash communication costs in the continent. This was a time when phone calls to and from Africa were the most expensive in the world because of the annual US$500 million fee pocketed by Europe for the use of its satellites like Intelsat for phone conversations, including those within the same country.

An African satellite only cost a onetime payment of US$400 million and the continent no longer had to pay a US$500 million annual lease. Which banker wouldn’t finance such a project? But the problem remained – how can slaves, seeking to free themselves from their master’s exploitation ask the master’s help to achieve that freedom? Not surprisingly, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the USA, Europe only made vague promises for 14 years. Gaddafi put an end to these futile pleas to the western ‘benefactors’ with their exorbitant interest rates. The Libyan guide put US$300 million on the table; the African Development Bank added US$50 million more and the West African Development Bank a further US$27 million – and that’s how Africa got its first communications satellite on 26 December 2007.

China and Russia followed suit and shared their technology and helped launch satellites for South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Algeria and a second African satellite was launched in July 2010. The first totally indigenously built satellite and manufactured on African soil, in Algeria, is set for 2020. This satellite is aimed at competing with the best in the world, but at ten times less the cost, a real challenge.

This is how a symbolic gesture of a mere US$300 million changed the life of an entire continent. Gaddafi’s Libya cost the West, not just depriving it of US$500 million per year but the billions of dollars in debt and interest that the initial loan would generate for years to come and in an exponential manner, thereby helping maintain an occult system in order to plunder the continent.

African Monetary Fund, African Central Bank, African Investment Bank

The US$30 billion frozen by Mr Obama belong to the Libyan Central Bank and had been earmarked as the Libyan contribution to three key projects which would add the finishing touches to the African federation – the African Investment Bank in Syrte, Libya, the establishment in 2011 of the African Monetary Fund to be based in Yaounde with a US$42 billion capital fund and the Abuja-based African Central Bank in Nigeria which when it starts printing African money will ring the death knell for the CFA franc through which Paris has been able to maintain its hold on some African countries for the last fifty years. It is easy to understand the French wrath against Gaddafi.

The African Monetary Fund is expected to totally supplant the African activities of the International Monetary Fund which, with only US$25 billion, was able to bring an entire continent to its knees and make it swallow questionable privatisation like forcing African countries to move from public to private monopolies. No surprise then that on 16-17 December 2010, the Africans unanimously rejected attempts by Western countries to join the African Monetary Fund, saying it was open only to African nations.

It is increasingly obvious that after Libya, the western coalition will go after Algeria, because apart from its huge energy resources, the country has cash reserves of around €150 billion. This is what lures the countries that are bombing Libya and they all have one thing in common – they are practically bankrupt. The USA alone, has a staggering debt of $US14,000 billion, France, Great Britain and Italy each have a US$2,000 billion public deficit compared to less than US$400 billion in public debt for 46 African countries combined.

Inciting spurious wars in Africa in the hope that this will revitalise their economies which are sinking ever more into the doldrums will ultimately hasten the western decline which actually began in 1884 during the notorious Berlin Conference. As the American economist Adam Smith predicted in 1865 when he publicly backed Abraham Lincoln for the abolition of slavery, ‘the economy of any country which relies on the slavery of blacks is destined to descend into hell the day those countries awaken’.

Regional Unity as an Obstacle to the Creation of a United States of Africa

To destabilise and destroy the African union which was veering dangerously (for the West) towards a United States of Africa under the guiding hand of Gaddafi, the European Union first tried, unsuccessfully, to create the Union for the Mediterranean (UPM). North Africa somehow had to be cut off from the rest of Africa, using the old tired racist clichés of the 18th and 19th centuries ,which claimed that Africans of Arab origin were more evolved and civilised than the rest of the continent. This failed because Gaddafi refused to buy into it. He soon understood what game was being played when only a handful of African countries were invited to join the Mediterranean grouping without informing the African Union but inviting all 27 members of the European Union.

Without the driving force behind the African Federation, the UPM failed even before it began, still-born with Sarkozy as president and Mubarak as vice president. The French foreign minister, Alain Juppe is now attempting to re-launch the idea, banking no doubt on the fall of Gaddafi. What African leaders fail to understand is that as long as the European Union continues to finance the African Union, the status quo will remain, because no real independence. This is why the European Union has encouraged and financed regional groupings in Africa.

It is obvious that the West African Economic Community (ECOWAS), which has an embassy in Brussels and depends for the bulk of its funding on the European Union, is a vociferous opponent to the African federation. That’s why Lincoln fought in the US war of secession because the moment a group of countries come together in a regional political organisation, it weakens the main group. That is what Europe wanted and the Africans have never understood the game plan, creating a plethora of regional groupings, COMESA, UDEAC, SADC, and the Great Maghreb which never saw the light of day thanks to Gaddafi who understood what was happening.

Gaddafi, the African Who Cleansed the Continent from the Humiliation of Apartheid

For most Africans, Gaddafi is a generous man, a humanist, known for his unselfish support for the struggle against the racist regime in South Africa. If he had been an egotist, he wouldn’t have risked the wrath of the West to help the ANC both militarily and financially in the fight against apartheid. This was why Mandela, soon after his release from 27 years in jail, decided to break the UN embargo and travel to Libya on 23 October 1997. For five long years, no plane could touch down in Libya because of the embargo. One needed to take a plane to the Tunisian city of Jerba and continue by road for five hours to reach Ben Gardane, cross the border and continue on a desert road for three hours before reaching Tripoli. The other solution was to go through Malta, and take a night ferry on ill-maintained boats to the Libyan coast. A hellish journey for a whole people, simply to punish one man.

Mandela didn’t mince his words when the former US president Bill Clinton said the visit was an ‘unwelcome’ one – ‘No country can claim to be the policeman of the world and no state can dictate to another what it should do’. He added – ‘Those that yesterday were friends of our enemies have the gall today to tell me not to visit my brother Gaddafi, they are advising us to be ungrateful and forget our friends of the past.’

Indeed, the West still considered the South African racists to be their brothers who needed to be protected. That’s why the members of the ANC, including Nelson Mandela, were considered to be dangerous terrorists. It was only on 2 July 2008, that the US Congress finally voted a law to remove the name of Nelson Mandela and his ANC comrades from their black list, not because they realised how stupid that list was but because they wanted to mark Mandela’s 90th birthday. If the West was truly sorry for its past support for Mandela’s enemies and really sincere when they name streets and places after him, how can they continue to wage war against someone who helped Mandela and his people to be victorious, Gaddafi?

Are Those Who Want to Export Democracy Themselves Democrats?

And what if Gaddafi’s Libya were more democratic than the USA, France, Britain and other countries waging war to export democracy to Libya? On 19 March 2003, President George Bush began bombing Iraq under the pretext of bringing democracy. On 19 March 2011, exactly eight years later to the day, it was the French president’s turn to rain down bombs over Libya, once again claiming it was to bring democracy. Nobel peace prize-winner and US President Obama says unleashing cruise missiles from submarines is to oust the dictator and introduce democracy.

The question that anyone with even minimum intelligence cannot help asking is the following: Are countries like France, England, the USA, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Poland who defend their right to bomb Libya on the strength of their self proclaimed democratic status really democratic? If yes, are they more democratic than Gaddafi’s Libya? The answer in fact is a resounding NO, for the plain and simple reason that democracy doesn’t exist. This isn’t a personal opinion, but a quote from someone whose native town Geneva, hosts the bulk of UN institutions. The quote is from Jean Jacques Rousseau, born in Geneva in 1712 and who writes in chapter four of the third book of the famous Social Contract that ‘there never was a true democracy and there never will be.’

Rousseau sets out the following four conditions for a country to be labelled a democracy and according to these Gaddafi’s Libya is far more democratic than the USA, France and the others claiming to export democracy:

1. The State: The bigger a country, the less democratic it can be. According to Rousseau, the state has to be extremely small so that people can come together and know each other. Before asking people to vote, one must ensure that everybody knows everyone else, otherwise voting will be an act without any democratic basis, a simulacrum of democracy to elect a dictator.

The Libyan state is based on a system of tribal allegiances, which by definition group people together in small entities. The democratic spirit is much more present in a tribe, a village than in a big country, simply because people know each other, share a common life rhythm which involves a kind of self-regulation or even self-censorship in that the reactions and
counter reactions of other members impacts on the group.

From this perspective, it would appear that Libya fits Rousseau’s conditions better than the USA, France and Great Britain, all highly urbanised societies where most neighbours don’t even say hello to each other and therefore don’t know each other even if they have lived side by side for twenty years. These countries leapfrogged leaped into the next stage – ‘the vote’ – which has been cleverly sanctified to obfuscate the fact that voting on the future of the country is useless if the voter doesn’t know the other citizens. This has been pushed to ridiculous limits with voting rights being given to people living abroad. Communicating with and amongst each other is a precondition for any democratic debate before an election.

2. Simplicity in customs and behavioural patterns are also essential if one is to avoid spending the bulk of the time debating legal and judicial procedures in order to deal with the multitude of conflicts of interest inevitable in a large and complex society. Western countries define themselves as civilised nations with a more complex social structure whereas Libya is described as a primitive country with a simple set of customs. This aspect too indicates that Libya responds better to Rousseau’s democratic criteria than all those trying to give lessons in democracy. Conflicts in complex societies are most often won by those with more power, which is why the rich manage to avoid prison because they can afford to hire top lawyers and instead arrange for state repression to be directed against someone one who stole a banana in a supermarket rather than a financial criminal who ruined a bank. In the city of New York for example where 75 per cent of the population is white, 80 per cent of management posts are occupied by whites who make up only 20 per cent of incarcerated people.

3. Equality in status and wealth: A look at the Forbes 2010 list shows who the richest people in each of the countries currently bombing Libya are and the difference between them and those who earn the lowest salaries in those nations; a similar exercise on Libya will reveal that in terms of wealth distribution, Libya has much more to teach than those fighting it now, and not the contrary. So here too, using Rousseau’s criteria, Libya is more democratic than the nations pompously pretending to bring democracy. In the USA, 5 per cent of the population owns 60 per cent of the national wealth, making it the most unequal and unbalanced society in the world.

4. No luxuries: according to Rousseau there can’t be any luxury if there is to be democracy. Luxury, he says, makes wealth a necessity which then becomes a virtue in itself, it, and not the welfare of the people becomes the goal to be reached at all cost, ‘Luxury corrupts both the rich and the poor, the one through possession and the other through envy; it makes the nation soft and prey to vanity; it distances people from the State and enslaves them, making them a slave to opinion.’

Is there more luxury in France than in Libya? The reports on employees committing suicide because of stressful working conditions even in public or semi-public companies, all in the name of maximising profit for a minority and keeping them in luxury, happen in the West, not in Libya.

The American sociologist C. Wright Mills wrote in 1956 that American democracy was a ‘dictatorship of the elite’. According to Mills, the USA is not a democracy because it is money that talks during elections and not the people. The results of each election are the expression of the voice of money and not the voice of the people.

After Bush senior and Bush junior, they are already talking about a younger Bush for the 2012 Republican primaries. Moreover, as Max Weber pointed out, since political power is dependent on the bureaucracy, the US has 43 million bureaucrats and military personnel who effectively rule the country but without being elected and are not accountable to the people for their actions. One person (a rich one) is elected, but the real power lies with the caste of the wealthy who then get nominated to be ambassadors, generals, etc.

How many people in these self-proclaimed democracies know that Peru’s constitution prohibits an outgoing president from seeking a second consecutive mandate? How many know that in Guatemala, not only can an outgoing president not seek re-election to the same post, no one from that person’s family can aspire to the top job either? Or that Rwanda is the only country in the world that has 56 per cent female parliamentarians? How many people know that in the 2007 CIA index, four of the world’s best-governed countries are African? That the top prize goes to Equatorial Guinea whose public debt represents only 1.14 per cent of GDP?

Rousseau maintains that civil wars, revolts and rebellions are the ingredients of the beginning of democracy. Because democracy is not an end, but a permanent process of the reaffirmation of the natural rights of human beings which in countries all over the world (without exception) are trampled upon by a handful of men and women who have hijacked the power of the people to perpetuate their supremacy. There are here and there groups of people who have usurped the term ‘democracy’ – instead of it being an ideal towards which one strives it has become a label to be appropriated or a slogan which is used by people who can shout louder than others. If a country is calm, like France or the USA, that is to say without any rebellions, it only means, from Rousseau’s perspective, that the dictatorial system is sufficiently repressive to pre-empt any revolt.

It wouldn’t be a bad thing if the Libyans revolted. What is bad is to affirm that people stoically accept a system that represses them all over the world without reacting. And Rousseau concludes: ‘Malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium – translation – If gods were people, they would govern themselves democratically. Such a perfect government is not applicable to human beings.’ To claim that one is killing Libyans for their own good is a hoax.

What Lessons for Africa?

After 500 years of a profoundly unequal relationship with the West, it is clear that we don’t have the same criteria of what is good and bad. We have deeply divergent interests. How can one not deplore the ‘yes’ votes from three sub-Saharan countries (Nigeria, South Africa and Gabon) for resolution 1973 that inaugurated the latest form of colonisation baptised ‘the protection of peoples’, which legitimises the racist theories that have informed Europeans since the 18th century and according to which North Africa has nothing to do with sub-Saharan Africa, that North Africa is more evolved, cultivated and civilised than the rest of Africa?

It is as if Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Algeria were not part of Africa, Even the United Nations seems to ignore the role of the African Union in the affairs of member states. The aim is to isolate sub Saharan African countries to better isolate and control them. Indeed, Algeria (US$16 billion) and Libya (US$10 billion ) together contribute 62 per cent of the US$42 billion which constitute the capital of the African Monetary Fund (AMF). The biggest and most populous country in sub Saharan Africa, Nigeria, followed by South Africa are far behind with only 3 billion dollars each.

It is disconcerting to say the least that for the first time in the history of the United Nations, war has been declared against a people without having explored the slightest possibility of a peaceful solution to the crisis. Does Africa really belong anymore to this organisation? Nigeria and South Africa are prepared to vote ‘Yes’ to everything the West asks because they naively believe the vague promises of a permanent seat at the Security Council with similar veto rights. They both forget that France has no power to offer anything. If it did, Mitterand would have long done the needful for Helmut Kohl’s Germany.

A reform of the United Nations is not on the agenda. The only way to make a point is to use the Chinese method – all 50 African nations should quit the United Nations and only return if their longstanding demand is finally met, a seat for the entire African federation or nothing. This non-violent method is the only weapon of justice available to the poor and weak that we are. We should simply quit the United Nations because this organisation, by its very structure and hierarchy, is at the service of the most powerful.

We should leave the United Nations to register our rejection of a worldview based on the annihilation of those who are weaker. They are free to continue as before but at least we will not be party to it and say we agree when we were never asked for our opinion. And even when we expressed our point of view, like we did on Saturday 19 March in Nouakchott, when we opposed the military action, our opinion was simply ignored and the bombs started falling on the African people.

Today’s events are reminiscent of what happened with China in the past. Today, one recognises the Ouattara government, the rebel government in Libya, like one did at the end of the Second World War with China. The so-called international community chose Taiwan to be the sole representative of the Chinese people instead of Mao’s China. It took 26 years when on 25 October 1971, for the UN to pass resolution 2758 which all Africans should read to put an end to human folly. China was admitted and on its terms – it refused to be a member if it didn’t have a veto right. When the demand was met and the resolution tabled, it still took a year for the Chinese foreign minister to respond in writing to the UN Secretary General on 29 September 1972, a letter which didn’t say yes or thank you but spelt out guarantees required for China’s dignity to be respected.

What does Africa hope to achieve from the United Nations without playing hard ball? We saw how in Cote d’Ivoire a UN bureaucrat considers himself to be above the constitution of the country. We entered this organisation by agreeing to be slaves and to believe that we will be invited to dine at the same table and eat from plates we ourselves washed is not just credulous, it is stupid.

When the African Union endorsed Ouattara’s victory and glossed over contrary reports from its own electoral observers simply to please our former masters, how can we expect to be respected? When South African president Zuma declares that Ouattara hasn’t won the elections and then says the exact opposite during a trip to Paris, one is entitled to question the credibility of these leaders who claim to represent and speak on behalf of a billion Africans.

Africa’s strength and real freedom will only come if it can take properly thought out actions and assume the consequences. Dignity and respect come with a price tag. Are we prepared to pay it? Otherwise, our place is in the kitchen and in the toilets in order to make others comfortable.


Click here to read all this excellent article, and comments


*

Libya in Face of Humanitarian Imperialism.

By Gregoire Lalieu

Humanitarian imperialism, why the right to interfere is incompatible with world peace, and why it goes against humanitarian principles. Unless, of course, those principles are just an excuse. Continue

*

Libya: Another Neocon War

By DavidSwanson

The US department of justice (DOJ) has submitted a written defence of the US role in this new war in Libya to the US Congress. The DOJ claims the war serves the US national interest in regional stability and in maintaining the credibility of the United Nations. Who knew? Continue

*

Former IAEA Head Suggests Iraq War Crime Probe of Bush Administration

By The Associated Press

Nobel-winning Egyptian Mohamed ElBaradei accuses U.S. leaders of grotesque distortion in the run-up to the 2003 Iraq invasion and chides Washington for reluctant approach to talks with Iran.
Continue


Nobel Peace Drones
US Kills 23 People In Pakistan

By Glenn Greenwald


How many family members, friends, neighbors and villagers of the "five children and four women" we just killed are now consumed with new levels of anti-American hatred? Continue

*

US drones: lessons for Libya from Pakistan: The number of people killed in 2010 by American drones is thought to be between 607 and 993, yet of those the New America Foundation has estimated that just two per cent of the deaths were senior Taliban or al-Qaeda figures.

*

In The Push For Regime Change No One Listens As
Libya Offers “Verifiable” Ceasefire, Elections

By Hasan Suroor

Libya's Foreign Minister offered a “properly verifiable” ceasefire supervised by foreign observers to pave the way for talks which could cover “any issue” including, he implied, the future of Colonel Muammar Qadhafi. He proposed a six-month transition period to be followed by elections under U.N. supervision as proposed by the African Union. Continue

*

Who The Hell Do You Think You Are?
Minister Farrakhan Warns Obama About The CIA In Libya


Video

Click to view


Friday, April 15, 2011

And now, here's some REAL news!

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27 Arrested at DC Protest Against US Militarization in Latin America
Actions held calling for the closure of "The School of the Americas"
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Kucinich: Obama Libya War Violates Constitution and UN Resolution
Dennis Kucinich: US/NATO intervention politics of hegemony
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'BRICS' Nations Condemn the use of Force in Libya
EuroNews: Leaders of five of the world's big emerging powers have urged an end to the fighting in Libya and a peaceful resolution to the conflict
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Make www.therealnews.com your homepage and see the latest stories as soon as they're posted.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"In times of war, the first casualty is truth."

Tragically, the war against Libya is the latest in a long line of imperial aggressions, sold to a misinformed public by monstrous lies. Anyone who believes this is a "humanitarian intervention" to "save civilian lives" has learned nothing from history, and knows nothing about Libya. War is a racket to enrich the rich.


False Pretense For War In Libya?

By Alan J. Kuperman

EVIDENCE IS now in that President Barack Obama grossly exaggerated the humanitarian threat to justify military action in Libya.
Continue


"Five Objectives of the United States In Africa"

By Guns and Butter

An interview with Michel Collon. Topics include: The African strategy; Goals of the US war against Libya; The five principles of war propaganda; Israel; Yemen and Bahrain; Eritrea. Continue


Endless War and Empire: Your Tax Dollars at Work

By Medea Benjamin and Charles Davis

While our fiscal woes have led Congress to slash food aid this year to the world’s poor -- rest assured, fellow Americans -- the U.S. government will keep using your tax dollars to kill them. Continue


US killed 957 Pakistani civilians in 2010: A total of 957 Pakistani civilians were killed in American drone attacks in the country 2010, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said in its annual report Thursday.

World leaders slam West war in Libya: In their summit meeting in southern China, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa unanimously condemned the Libya bombings, AFP reported Thursday.

Muammar al-Gaddafi "Green Book" Online: In Qaddafi’s words, “THE GREEN BOOK presents the ultimate solution to the problem of the instrument of government, and indicates for the masses the path upon which they can advance from the age of dictatorship to that of genuine democracy.

Gaza war report co-authors reject Goldstone's retraction: The three co-authors rejected on Thursday an op-ed by the fourth member and chairman Richard Goldstone in which he retracted key conclusions of the report – in particular saying that Israel had not intentionally targeted civilians during the war.

Goldstone report: Statement issued by members of UN mission on Gaza war: In recent days some articles and comments appearing in the press with respect to the report of the United Nations (UN) fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict of 2008-2009 have misrepresented facts in an attempt to delegitimise the findings of this report and to cast doubts on its credibility.





This brilliant article explains why Western nations are waging war against Libya. . . and, of course, it has nothing to do with "protecting civilians"!

Don't expect to get this truth from the mainstream media - because they are part of the problem. Read it here, and you will understand exactly what is really going on in the world!:


Libya All About Oil, Or Central Banking?

April 13, 2011 "Asia Times" - -

Several writers have noted the odd fact that the Libyan rebels took time out from their rebellion in March to create their own central bank - this before they even had a government.


Robert Wenzel wrote in the Economic Policy Journal:
I have never before heard of a central bank being created in just a matter of weeks out of a popular uprising. This suggests we have a bit more than a rag tag bunch of rebels running around and that there are some pretty sophisticated influences.
Alex Newman wrote in the New American:
In a statement released last week, the rebels reported on the results of a meeting held on March 19. Among other things, the supposed rag-tag revolutionaries announced the "[d]esignation of the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and appointment of a Governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi."
Newman quoted CNBC senior editor John Carney, who asked, "Is this the first time a revolutionary group has created a central bank while it is still in the midst of fighting the entrenched political power? It certainly seems to indicate how extraordinarily powerful central bankers have become in our era."

Another anomaly involves the official justification for taking up arms against Libya. Supposedly it's about human rights violations, but the evidence is contradictory. According to an article on the Fox News website on February 28:
As the United Nations works feverishly to condemn Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi for cracking down on protesters, the body's Human Rights Council is poised to adopt a report chock-full of praise for Libya's human rights record.

The review commends Libya for improving educational opportunities, for making human rights a "priority" and for bettering its "constitutional" framework. Several countries, including Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia but also Canada, give Libya positive marks for the legal protections afforded to its citizens - who are now [allegedly] revolting against the regime and facing bloody reprisal.
Whatever might be said of Gaddafi's personal crimes, the Libyan people seem to be thriving. A delegation of medical professionals from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus wrote in an appeal to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that after becoming acquainted with Libyan life, it was their view that in few nations did people live in such comfort:
[Libyans] are entitled to free treatment, and their hospitals provide the best in the world of medical equipment. Education in Libya is free, capable young people have the opportunity to study abroad at government expense. When marrying, young couples receive 60,000 Libyan dinars (about 50,000 US dollars) of financial assistance. Non-interest state loans, and as practice shows, undated. Due to government subsidies the price of cars is much lower than in Europe, and they are affordable for every family. Gasoline and bread cost a penny, no taxes for those who are engaged in agriculture. The Libyan people are quiet and peaceful, are not inclined to drink, and are very religious.
They maintained that the international community had been misinformed about the struggle against the regime. "Tell us," they said, "who would not like such a regime?"

Even if that is just propaganda, there is no denying at least one very popular achievement of the Libyan government: it brought water to the desert by building the largest and most expensive irrigation project in history, the US$33 billion GMMR (Great Man-Made River) project. Even more than oil, water is crucial to life in Libya.

The GMMR provides 70% of the population with water for drinking and irrigation, pumping it from Libya's vast underground Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System in the south to populated coastal areas 4,000 kilometers to the north. The Libyan government has done at least some things right.

Another explanation for the assault on Libya is that it is "all about oil", but that theory too is problematic. As noted in the National Journal, the country produces only about 2% of the world's oil. Saudi Arabia alone has enough spare capacity to make up for any lost production if Libyan oil were to disappear from the market. And if it's all about oil, why the rush to set up a new central bank?

Another provocative bit of data circulating on the Net is a 2007 "Democracy Now" interview of US General Wesley Clark (Ret). In it he says that about 10 days after September 11, 2001, he was told by a general that the decision had been made to go to war with Iraq. Clark was surprised and asked why. "I don't know!" was the response. "I guess they don't know what else to do!" Later, the same general said they planned to take out seven countries in five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.

What do these seven countries have in common?
In the context of banking, one that sticks out is that none of them is listed among the 56 member banks of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). That evidently puts them outside the long regulatory arm of the central bankers' central bank in Switzerland.

The most renegade of the lot could be Libya and Iraq, the two that have actually been attacked. Kenneth Schortgen Jr, writing on Examiner.com, noted that "[s]ix months before the US moved into Iraq to take down Saddam Hussein, the oil nation had made the move to accept euros instead of dollars for oil, and this became a threat to the global dominance of the dollar as the reserve currency, and its dominion as the petrodollar."

According to a Russian article titled "Bombing of Libya - Punishment for Ghaddafi for His Attempt to Refuse US Dollar", Gaddafi made a similarly bold move: he initiated a movement to refuse the dollar and the euro, and called on Arab and African nations to use a new currency instead, the gold dinar. Gaddafi suggested establishing a united African continent, with its 200 million people using this single currency.

During the past year, the idea was approved by many Arab countries and most African countries. The only opponents were the Republic of South Africa and the head of the League of Arab States. The initiative was viewed negatively by the USA and the European Union, with French President Nicolas Sarkozy calling Libya a threat to the financial security of mankind; but Gaddafi was not swayed and continued his push for the creation of a united Africa.

And that brings us back to the puzzle of the Libyan central bank.

In an article posted on the Market Oracle, Eric Encina observed:
One seldom mentioned fact by western politicians and media pundits: the Central Bank of Libya is 100% State Owned ... Currently, the Libyan government creates its own money, the Libyan Dinar, through the facilities of its own central bank. Few can argue that Libya is a sovereign nation with its own great resources, able to sustain its own economic destiny.

One major problem for globalist banking cartels is that in order to do business with Libya, they must go through the Libyan Central Bank and its national currency, a place where they have absolutely zero dominion or power-broking ability.

Hence, taking down the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) may not appear in the speeches of Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy but this is certainly at the top of the globalist agenda for absorbing Libya into its hive of compliant nations.
Libya not only has oil. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), its central bank has nearly 144 tonnes of gold in its vaults.

With that sort of asset base, who needs the BIS, the IMF and their rules?

All of which prompts a closer look at the BIS rules and their effect on local economies. An article on the BIS website states that central banks in the Central Bank Governance Network are supposed to have as their single or primary objective "to preserve price stability".

They are to be kept independent from government to make sure that political considerations don't interfere with this mandate. "Price stability" means maintaining a stable money supply, even if that means burdening the people with heavy foreign debts. Central banks are discouraged from increasing the money supply by printing money and using it for the benefit of the state, either directly or as loans.

In a 2002 article in Asia Times Online titled "The BIS vs national banks" Henry Liu maintained:
BIS regulations serve only the single purpose of strengthening the international private banking system, even at the peril of national economies. The BIS does to national banking systems what the IMF has done to national monetary regimes. National economies under financial globalization no longer serve national interests.

... FDI [foreign direct investment] denominated in foreign currencies, mostly dollars, has condemned many national economies into unbalanced development toward export, merely to make dollar-denominated interest payments to FDI, with little net benefit to the domestic economies.
He added, "Applying the State Theory of Money, any government can fund with its own currency all its domestic developmental needs to maintain full employment without inflation." The "state theory of money" refers to money created by governments rather than private banks.

The presumption of the rule against borrowing from the government's own central bank is that this will be inflationary, while borrowing existing money from foreign banks or the IMF will not. But all banks actually create the money they lend on their books, whether publicly owned or privately owned. Most new money today comes from bank loans. Borrowing it from the government's own central bank has the advantage that the loan is effectively interest-free. Eliminating interest has been shown to reduce the cost of public projects by an average of 50%.

And that appears to be how the Libyan system works. According to Wikipedia, the functions of the Central Bank of Libya include "issuing and regulating banknotes and coins in Libya" and "managing and issuing all state loans". Libya's wholly state-owned bank can and does issue the national currency and lend it for state purposes.

That would explain where Libya gets the money to provide free education and medical care, and to issue each young couple $50,000 in interest-free state loans. It would also explain where the country found the $33 billion to build the Great Man-Made River project.

Libyans are worried that North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led air strikes are coming perilously close to this pipeline, threatening another humanitarian disaster.


So is this new war all about oil or all about banking? Maybe both - and water as well.

With energy, water, and ample credit to develop the infrastructure to access them, a nation can be free of the grip of foreign creditors. And that may be the real threat of Libya: it could show the world what is possible.

Most countries don't have oil, but new technologies are being developed that could make non-oil-producing nations energy-independent, particularly if infrastructure costs are halved by borrowing from the nation's own publicly owned bank. Energy independence would free governments from the web of the international bankers, and of the need to shift production from domestic to foreign markets to service the loans.

If the Gaddafi government goes down, it will be interesting to watch whether the new central bank joins the BIS, whether the nationalized oil industry gets sold off to investors, and whether education and healthcare continue to be free.



Ellen Brown is an attorney and president of the Public Banking Institute, http://PublicBankingInstitute.org. In "Web of Debt", her latest of eleven books, she shows how a private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back. Her websites are http://webofdebt.com and http://ellenbrown.com.

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