Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: September 11, 2011

11 September 2011 — Stop NATO

  • ALBA Foreign Ministers Condemn NATO’s Aggression Against Libya
  • Libya: NATO’s War On Africa
  • Over 100 German Troops Participated In NATO’s War Against Libya
  • U.S. Says Azerbaijan Loyal NATO Cohort For Past Decade
  • Push For NATO-Compatible European Union Military Headquarters
  • Australian Defense Minister: NATO Troops In Afghanistan Past 2014
  • 9/11 And Perpetual War
  • Japan Decries ‘Provocative’ Russian Military Actions

ALBA Foreign Ministers Condemn NATO’s Aggression Against Libya

http://www.cadenagramonte.cu/english/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7015:the-alba-foreign-ministers-condemn-natos-aggression-on-libya&catid=3:world&Itemid=14

Radio Cadena Agramonet
September 10, 2011

The ALBA Foreign Ministers Condemn NATO’s Aggression on Libya

Havana, Cuba: The foreign ministers of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA) condemned on Friday in Caracas the military aggression of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on Libya.

Convened by that organization for regional integration, the FMs of Venezuela, the host country, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador and the Grenadine Islands declared themselves to be against what they defined as a US and European attempt to take possession of the natural resources of that north-African nation.

While inaugurating the meeting, broadcast by Venezolana de Television, FM Nicolas Maduro considered the aggression against Tripoli as a format that once again resorts to lie (…) and manipulation (…) to justify invasion.

The agenda of the FMs’ meeting in Caracas includes the study of the stance that the ALBA will adopt in the upcoming period of sessions of the United Nations, on topics like the ‘real democratization’ of that organization, the cause of the Palestinian people, and the case of Syria.

Other points on the meeting’s agenda will be the Summit of Latin America and the Caribbean on development and integration (CALC) of the new Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), to be held in December 2nd and 3rd in Caracas; and climate change. (ACN).

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Libya: NATO’s War On Africa

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2011/1063/re162.htm

Al-Ahram
September 8-14, 2011

A war on Africa
Touted as part of a war of liberation, NATOs intervention in Libya aims to stymie moves to strengthen African unity and independence, writes Dan Glazebrook from London

Africa the key to global economic growth: this was a refreshingly honest recent headline from the Washington Post, but hardly one that qualifies as news. African labour and resources, as any decent economic historian will tell you, have been the key to global economic growth for centuries.

When the Europeans discovered America 500 years ago, their economic system went viral. Increasingly, European powers realised that the balance of power at home would be dictated by the strength they were able to draw from their colonies abroad. Imperialism (aka capitalism) has been the fundamental hallmark of the world’s economic structure ever since.

For Africa, this has meant non-stop subjection to an increasingly systematic plunder of people and resources that has been unrelenting to this day. First was the brutal kidnapping of tens of millions of Africans to replace the indigenous American workforce that had been wiped out by the Europeans. The slave trade was devastating for African economies, which were rarely able to withstand the population collapse; but the capital it created for plantation owners in the Caribbean laid the foundations for Europe’s industrial revolution.

Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, as more and more precious raw materials were found in Africa (especially tin, rubber, gold and silver), the theft of land and resources ultimately resulted in the so-called Scramble for Africa of the 1870s, when, over the course of a few years, Europeans divided up the entire continent (with the exception of Ethiopia) amongst themselves. By this point, the world’s economy was increasingly becoming an integrated whole, with Africa continuing to provide the basis for European industrial development as Africans were stripped of their land and forced down gold mines and onto rubber plantations.

After World War II, the European powers, weakened by years of unremitting industrial slaughter of each other, contrived to adapt colonialism to the new conditions in which they found themselves. As national liberation movements grew in strength, the European powers confronted a new economic reality: the cost of subduing the restless natives was starting to near the level of wealth they were able to extract from them.

Their favoured solution was what former Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah termed neo-colonialism, handing over the formal attributes of political sovereignty to a trusted bunch of hand-picked cronies who would allow the economic exploitation of their countries to continue unabated. In other words, the idea was to adapt colonialism so that Africans themselves would be forced to shoulder the burden and cost of policing their own populations.

In practice, it wasn’t that simple. All across Asia, Africa and Latin America mass movements began to demand control of their own resources, and in many places these movements managed to gain power, sometimes through guerrilla struggle, sometimes through the ballot box. This led to vicious wars by the European powers now under the leadership of their upstart protégé, the USA, to destroy such movements. This struggle, not the so- called Cold War, is what defined the history of post-war international relations.

So far, neo-colonialism has largely been a successful project for the Europeans and the US. Africa’s role as a provider of cheap, often slave, labour and minerals has largely continued unabated. Poverty and disunity have been the essential ingredients that have allowed this exploitation to continue. However, both are now under serious threat.

Chinese investment in Africa over the past ten years has been building up African industry and infrastructure in a way that may begin to tackle the continent’s poverty. In China, these policies have brought about unprecedented reductions in poverty and have helped to lift the country into the position it will shortly hold as the world’s leading economic power. If Africa follows this model, or anything like it, the West’s 500-year plunder of Africa’s wealth may be nearing a close.

To prevent this threat of African development, the Europeans and the USA have responded in the only way they know how – militarily. Four years ago, the US set up a new command and control centre for the military subjugation of Africa, called AFRICOM. The problem for the US was that no African country wanted to host them; indeed, until very recently, Africa was unique in being the only continent in the world without a US military base. And this fact is in no small part thanks to the efforts of the Libyan government.

Before Gaddafi’s revolution deposed the British-backed King Idris in 1969, Libya had hosted one of the world’s biggest US airbases, the Wheelus Air Base; but within a year of the revolution, it had been closed down and all foreign military personnel expelled.

More recently, Gaddafi had been actively working to scupper AFRICOM. African governments that were offered money by the US to host a base were typically offered double by Gaddafi to refuse it, and in 2008 this ad hoc opposition crystallised in a formal rejection of AFRICOM by the African Union (AU).

Perhaps even more worrying for US and European domination of the continent were the huge resources that Gaddafi was channelling into African development. The Libyan government was by far the largest investor in Africas first-ever satellite, launched in 2007, which freed Africa from $500 million per year in payments to European satellite companies.

Even worse for the colonial powers, Libya had allocated $30 billion for the African Union’s three big financial projects, aimed at ending African dependence on western finance. The African Investment Bank, with its headquarters in Libya, was to invest in African development without charging interest, which would have seriously threatened the International Monetary Fund’s domination of Africa, a crucial pillar for keeping Africa in its impoverished position.

Gaddafi was also leading the AU’s development of a new gold-backed African currency, which would have cut yet another of the strings that keep Africa at the mercy of the West, with $42 billion already allocated to this project again, much of it by Libya.

NATO’s war is aimed at ending Libya’s trajectory as a socialist, anti- imperialist, pan-Africanist nation in the forefront of moves to strengthen African unity and independence. The rebels have made clear their virulent racism from the very start of their insurrection, rounding up or executing thousands of black African workers and students. All the African development funds for the projects described above have been frozen by the NATO countries and are to be handed over to their hand-picked buddies in the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) to spend instead on weapons to facilitate their war.

For Africa, the war is far from over. The African continent must recognise that NATO’s lashing out is a sign of desperation, of impotence, of its inability to stop the inevitable rise of Africa onto the world stage. Africa must learn lessons from Libya, continue the drive towards pan-African unity, and continue to resist AFRICOM. Plenty of Libyans will still be with them when they do so.

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Over 100 German Troops Participated In NATO’s War Against Libya

http://www.thelocal.de/national/20110910-37499.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur/The Local
September 10, 2011

100 Germans involved in NATO Libya mission

– Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere said…that the use of German soldiers in NATO operations is standard practice and does not require parliamentary approval.

More than 100 German soldiers have taken part in NATO’s Libya operation, 10 times more than previously thought, the government has admitted.

The German Defence Ministry made the admission on Friday in its reply to a request for information from Green parliamentarian Hans-Christian Ströbele. Up to now it had been assumed that only 11 German soldiers were involved in the NATO operation.

The ministry said that 103 German soldiers had taken part in the selection of bombing targets against the army of Libya…as well as issuing orders to AWACS, NATO’s airborne warning and control system aircraft.

Ströbele has argued that the German parliament should have been asked for permission to allow the soldiers to participate. The Green Party is now considering filing a constitutional complaint against the government.

The previous admission that 11 German soldiers were involved in the mission came in August in response to a request from Ströbele. Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere said at the time that the use of German soldiers in NATO operations is standard practice and does not require parliamentary approval.

Ströbele accused the Berlin government of inconsistency.

‘This practice contradicts every public declaration by the government of not wanting to be involved militarily in NATO’s Libya mission,’ he said.

[A] representative for US President Barack Obama said earlier this month that the US was pleased with Germany’s current attitude toward helping Libya’s reconstruction.

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U.S. Says Azerbaijan Loyal NATO Cohort For Past Decade

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1929794.html

Trend News Agency
September 11, 2011

Embassy: U.S. deeply appreciates Azerbaijan’s support to international security
V. Zhavronkova

Baku: The United States deeply appreciates the support that Azerbaijan has provided to international security, Information Officer of the U.S. Embassy in Baku Keith Bean told Trend.

‘Beginning on September 12, 2001, when then-President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev offered unrestricted over flight rights for U.S. aircraft to support operations in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan has made significant contributions to international security,’ said Bean.

According to Bean, Azerbaijani soldiers have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with U.S. and international troops in Kosovo, Iraq and, today, in Afghanistan.

He said Azerbaijan plays a key role in the Northern Distribution Network that delivers non-lethal supplies to the international security force in Afghanistan and cooperates in other spheres to increase international security.

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Push For NATO-Compatible European Union Military Headquarters

http://euobserver.com/13/113569

EUobserver
September 9, 2011

Group of five calls for EU military headquarters
By Andrew Rettman

-The initiative is a long-cherished one by Poland and France, which wants to go beyond EU battlegroups – temporary teams of troops from two or three EU countries ready to be sent to hot-spots at short notice – toward an EU army…The US has in the past said it wants the EU to do more in managing world crises.

Five of the biggest EU countries have tasked foreign relations chief Catherine Ashton with making plans for an EU military command centre despite British objections.

Foreign ministers from the group – France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain – in a letter dated 2 September and seen by EUobserver urged Ashton to: ‘Examine all institutional and legal options available to member states, inlcuding permanent structred co-operation, to develop critical CSDP [Common Security and Defence Policy] capabilities, notably a permanent planning and conduct capability.’

They added: ‘We would appreciate if you present conclusions of the work … in early autumn with a view to achieving tangible results by the end of the year.’

Permanent structred co-operation is an EU treaty option that allows nine or more member states to press ahead on an EU project without the others.

Setting up a non-EU-27 command hub for EU military missions would be a major step toward what EU jargon calls a ‘multi-speed Europe’…

The letter justified the plan by reference to the Arab Spring and the economic crisis.

‘Instability and the proliferation of crises on the one side, and scarcity of resources on the other side, have significantly raised expectations as to the effectiveness and credibility of EU actions,’ it said. The ministers added that EU talks in July ‘proved there is a strong political will’ to go ahead.

The initiative is a long-cherished one by Poland and France, which wants to go beyond EU battlegroups – temporary teams of troops from two or three EU countries ready to be sent to hot-spots at short notice – toward an EU army.

It comes after the conflict in Libya showed that the US, individual EU countries such as France and the UK, as well as Nato, pitch the EU into the background in the case of war.

Ashton drew up a hybrid EU military-humanitarian mission – Eufor Libya – but the project never got off the ground.

The US has in the past said it wants the EU to do more in managing world crises…

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Australian Defense Minister: NATO Troops In Afghanistan Past 2014

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/premature-to-leave-afghanistan-smith-20110911-1k3rx.html

Associated Press of Australia
September 11, 2011

Premature to leave Afghanistan: Smith

Defence Minister Stephen Smith says a premature withdrawal from Afghanistan could allow terrorists to strengthen their forces and destabilise the nation.

He did not expect current international forces, including Australia, to withdraw immediately from Afghanistan in three years.

‘I have made it clear that I expect that Australia may well continue in Afghanistan after transition,’ he said.

‘Whether that is special forces for counter terrorism purposes, whether it is training, whether it is capacity building and development assistance.

‘At the end of 2014 when the transition occurs, I am not expecting that the international community will withdraw immediately.’

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9/11 And Perpetual War

http://opinion.inquirer.net/11673/911-and-perpetual-war

Philippine Daily Inquirer
September 10, 2011

9/11 and perpetual war
By Randy David

Before Sept. 11, 2001, the United States mainland had never been attacked by any foreign power. The closest to this was the bombing of the US naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941 by fighter planes of the Japanese imperial navy. The attack led the United States directly into the Pacific and European theaters of World War II. America declared war on Japan the following day, putting to a close the domestic debate on the wisdom of openly opposing Japanese and German aggression. Three days later, for its support of Britain, Germany and Italy declared war against the United States.

For all the terror and the mayhem inflicted by the 9/11 attacks, no one seriously thought that the United States was in any real danger of being destroyed or subjugated in this manner…

Those weeks after 9/11, when people of all creeds and convictions came together in solemn prayer to grieve for those who died needlessly, and saluted the firefighters who selflessly entered the burning buildings to rescue those who were trapped inside – those were America’s shining moments. They showed a people who, drawing deeply from inner strength, could bear tragedy gracefully.

All this began to dim however when America’s leaders decided to go to war, first in Afghanistan, then in Iraq. The action in Afghanistan, justified as a manhunt for Bin Laden and the al-Qaeda chieftains who were suspected to be hiding in that country, got the blessing of the United Nations Security Council. Many countries joined in this effort even after the manhunt for Bin Laden turned into a full-scale war against Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers. But, long after a new government favored by the United States had been installed, the whereabouts of Bin Laden and his gang remained unknown.

Soon, America opened another front in its ‘war against global terrorism.’ Although it could not prove any link between al-Qaida and Iraq’s dictator Saddam Hussein, the United States invaded this oil-rich country on the pretext that it posed a danger to the world by keeping weapons of mass destruction. Unable to convince the UN Security Council, America turned to its allies to assemble a ‘Coalition of the Willing.’ The Iraq invasion sparked a prolonged war that subdued Saddam’s army and drove him into hiding. He was later captured, tried and hanged. But no weapons of mass destruction were found because Iraq never had any. The collapse of Saddam’s regime activated all the fault lines that crosscut Iraqi society. Today, a new US-sponsored government is in place, but there is no peace in Iraq. American troops are still there, as they are in Afghanistan.

Some websites keep track of the casualties (www.icasualties.org/oif) and the costs (www. costofwar.com) of these wars. To date, these two wars, launched in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, have cost the American people more than $1 trillion –roughly the equivalent of what America owes China today. American soldiers killed in Iraq number 4,792. International occupation forces killed in Afghanistan are placed at 2,706. Shocking as they are to American families who lost loved ones in these wars, these numbers pale in comparison to the 1.5 million Iraqis who have perished in a still unfinished war.

Financially drained and exhausted by military expeditions abroad and the economic crisis at home, the United States under President Obama deftly avoided funding another war in Libya this year. But its Nato allies have followed the American example of waging unprovoked wars against sovereign nations, on the pretext of protecting civilians and aiding democracy.

More than 200 years ago, the philosopher Immanuel Kant laid down six conditions for what he called ‘perpetual peace’ among nations. Two of these could have been meant for America. One says: ‘No national debt shall be contracted in connection with the foreign affairs of the nation.’ The other states: ‘No nation shall forcibly interfere with the constitution and government of another.’

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Japan Decries ‘Provocative’ Russian Military Actions

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20110910p2g00m0dm004000c.html

Kyodo News
September 11, 2011

Japan asks Russia not to take ‘provocative’ military action

TOKYO: Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba asked Russia on Friday not to take ‘provocative’ military action, a day after its bombers flew around Japan.

Gemba said he expressed Japan’s concern regarding the flight of two Tupolev Tu-95MS bombers on Thursday, when he spoke by phone with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

‘I requested that (Russia) refrain from taking provocative action,’ Gemba said at a news conference.

While noting that the flight did not breach international law, Lavrov said Russia is ready to provide information to Japan as necessary, according to Gemba.

Earlier in the day, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said it is not the first time Russian aircraft have flown around Japan, but noted that Thursday’s incident was unusual because the bombers flew over a long distance and were refueled in mid-air.

The Russian Defense Ministry acknowledged that the bombers flew over the Pacific Ocean and other areas for about 19 hours, but said they did not violate foreign airspace, according to an Interfax news agency report.

During the 30-minute phone conversation, Gemba, who became Japan’s new foreign minister one week ago, also said it is ‘essential to settle territorial issues and sign a postwar peace treaty’ for the further development of ties between the two countries.

Lavrov responded that Russia will ‘continue dialogue’ with Japan regarding the treaty.

The territorial dispute over the islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri and Shikotan as well as the Habomai islet group, which were seized by the Soviet Union following Japan’s surrender in World War II on Aug. 15, 1945, has prevented the two countries from signing a postwar peace treaty.

The islands are known in Japan as the Northern Territories and in Russia as the Southern Kurils.

Later in the day, the Defense Ministry said four Russian military vessels passed through international waters in the Soya Strait off Hokkaido from the Sea of Japan to the Sea of Okhotsk.

It is rare for such vessels to head together through the strait.

Around 20 other vessels were also headed to the strait from the Sea of Japan, the ministry said.

The vessels are expected to conduct exercises in the Sea of Okhotsk.

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