Arab Spring

Libya and “The Arab Spring”: Neoliberalism, “Regime Change” and NATO’s “Humanitarian Wars”

by Michel Chossudovsky, Finian Cunningham and Mahdi Darius NazemroayaNovember 2011 – GlobalResearch

INTRODUCTION

First in Global Research’s Interactive Reader Series, we bring to the attention of our readers a collection of Global Research articles on the “Arab Spring”, covering recent developments in several countries across the Middle East and North Africa region. The Interactive Reader is a collection of previously published articles on Global Research. Its objective is to provide an overview as well as a comparative understanding of country-level experiences of the upheavals.

This selection of articles is intended to dispel the notion that the “Arab Spring” is just a pro-democracy movement spreading spontaneously from country to country, opening the way to a meaningful change in the political and economic landscape. The term “Arab Spring” is itself a Western-imposed term conjured up by people who appear to have little understanding of the complexities and realities of the region.

The double-standards of the U.S. and the European Union have become visible during the course of these tumultuous events. Both the US and the EU have kept silent about the brutal repression of unarmed civilian protesters in the Persian Gulf sheikhdoms, such as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, while, by contrast, the Western powers have vehemently pushed for conflict with Libya and Syria.

America is no “role model” of democratization for the Arab World, comprising some 22 countries with a combined population of 300 million. US military presence imposed on Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and other Arab countries over decades, coupled with Washington-inspired “free market” reforms, are the root cause of state violence.

Washington’s agenda for Egypt and Tunisia was to hijack the protest movement; what prevails in Egypt is the maintenance of a de facto military regime. In Tunisia, following the October 2011 parliamentary elections, the neoliberal policy framework remains unscathed.

From Washington’s standpoint, regime replacement no longer requires the installation of authoritarian military rulers, as in the heyday of US imperialism. Regime change can be implemented by co-opting political parties, financing civil society groups, infiltrating the protest movement, and by manipulating national elections.

The ultimate objective is to sustain the interests of foreign powers and to uphold the “Washington consensus” of the IMF/World Bank economic agenda that has served to impoverish millions throughout the Arab World and beyond.

Moreover, Western powers have used “Political Islam” –including the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda-affiliated groups– to pursue their hegemonic objectives. Covert operations are launched to weaken the secular state, foment sectarian violence and create social divisions throughout the Arab World.

In Libya, the “pro-democracy” rebels were led by Al Qaeda affiliated paramilitary brigades under the supervision of NATO Special Forces. The much-vaunted “Liberation” of Tripoli was carried out by former members of the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).

Destabilization of sovereign states through “regime change” is closely coordinated with military planning.

War preparations to attack Syria and Iran have been in an advanced state of readiness for several years. The road to Tehran goes through Damascus. A US/NATO-sponsored war on Iran would involve, as a first step, a destabilization campaign (“regime change”) including covert intelligence operations in support of rebel forces directed against the Syrian government.

A “humanitarian war” under the logo of “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P), as seen in Libya, is on the Western powers’ agenda for Syria. Such a venture would also contribute to the ongoing destabilization of Lebanon.

Were a military campaign to be waged against Syria, Israel would be directly or indirectly involved in military and intelligence operations. The hitherto covert role of Saudi Arabia and Turkey in destabilizing Syria would also emerge as open aggression towards long-time regional rival Iran.

A war on Syria could quite possibly ignite a conflagration across the entire Middle East and North Africa, with repercussions on a global scale: Iran’s historic allies, Russia and China, will be pitted against the US and NATO powers; and religious schisms across the region could vent into an explosion of internecine conflicts; also proxy wars currently being waged in East Africa by Western powers could escalate with untold human suffering in an already famine-hit region.

War plans directed against Syria are coordinated with those pertaining to Iran.

Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons programme is the pretext and the justification. Tehran is also identified as a “State sponsor of terrorism”, for allegedly supporting the Al Qaeda network.

In recent developments, what is unfolding is an integrated attack plan on Iran led by the US, with the participation of the United Kingdom and Israel.

The military deployment of US-NATO forces is occurring in several regions of the World simultaneously.

Militarization at the global level is instrumented through the US military’s Unified Command structure: the entire planet is divided up into geographic Combatant Commands under the control of the Pentagon.

The Pentagon’s global military design is one of world conquest. According to (former) NATO Commander General Wesley Clark, the Pentagon’s military road-map consists of a sequence of war theaters : “[The] five-year campaign plan [includes]… a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.”

What this collection of essays demonstrates is that Western intervention in this pivotal world region is far from the benign rhetoric frequently spouted in Washington, London, Paris and Berlin, espousing universal human rights and democratic freedoms. Rather, we are witnessing a neo-imperialist intervention that is self-serving, expedient and ultimately setting the world on a path of incalculable destruction.

PART I  TUNISIA: DICTATORSHIP AND NEOLIBERALISM

Dictatorship and Neo-Liberalism: The Tunisian People’s Uprising

- by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – 2011-01-19
Tunisia is not free yet. The structure that kept Bin Ali in place still exists. The U.S. and France have still not forfeited their economic interests in Tunisia either.

 

Tunisia and the IMF’s Diktats: How Macro-Economic Policy Triggers Worldwide Poverty and Unemployment

- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-01-20
Against a background of rising food prices, the IMF recommends the removal of subsidies…


PART II  THE POPULAR UPRISING IN EGYPT: “REVOLUTION” AND “COUNTER-REVOLUTION”

The Protest Movement in Egypt: “Dictators” do not Dictate, They Obey Orders

- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-01-29
“Dictators” do not dictate, they obey orders. President Hosni Mubarak was a faithful servant of Western economic interests.
The Popular Uprising in Egypt: The Military Machine Remains Intact, The Political Status Quo Prevails

- by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – 2011-02-21
The same group of Egyptian generals running Cairo presently also formed the backbone of the Mubarak regime. There has been no real change in government. The military junta represents a continuation of the Mubarak regime.
Dictators are “Disposable”: The Rise and Fall of America’s Military Henchmen

- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-02-18
When dictators are no longer needed, they are replaced. The military machine prevails, combined with a ruthless form of capitalist development…
 

 

PART III  BAHRAIN: THE FORGOTTEN “ARAB SPRING”

Bahrain: The Social Roots of Revolt Against Another US Ally

- by Finian Cunningham – 2011-02-18
The Bahraini authorities deployed helicopters and tanks, with army and police firing teargas and live rounds. Among the protesters were hundreds of women and children.
Slaughter in Bahrain

- by Finian Cunningham
There is little doubt that the regime received clearance from political allies in Washington, London and the other Gulf states to step up its four-week old repression against the civilian population.
Detained Bahraini Medics: Brutal Crackdown against Pro-Democracy Movement

- by Finian Cunningham – 2011-04-21
The families of medics unlawfully detained in Bahrain have accused the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI) of putting financial investment interests above human rights.
Bahraini Rulers Play Sectarian Card in Bid to Trump Pro-democracy Movement

- by Finian Cunningham
Increasing attacks on Shia mosques in the Bahraini state’s withering crackdown against the pro-democracy movement is a deliberate attempt to isolate the political opposition and amounts to a campaign of “sectarian cleansing”,

PART IV  LIBYA: NATO’S “HUMANITARIAN WAR”

Libya and the Big Lie: Using Human Rights Organizations to Launch Wars

- by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – 2011-09-29
The war against Libya is built on fraud. The UN Security Council passed two resolutions against Libya on the basis of unproven claims that Qaddafi was killing his own people in Benghazi…
When War Games Go Live: “Staging” a “Humanitarian War” against “SOUTHLAND”

- by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-04-16
We were led to believe that the protest movement in Egypt and Tunisia had spread to Libya, but the war on Libya was planned months prior to the Arab protest movement…
 
“Our Man in Tripoli”: US-NATO Sponsored Islamic Terrorists Integrate Libya’s Pro-Democracy Opposition

- by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-04-03
Concepts are turned upside down: The US-NATO military alliance is supporting a rebellion integrated by Islamic terrorists, in the name of the “War on Terrorism”…
“Operation Libya” and the Battle for Oil: Redrawing the Map of Africa

- by Prof Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-03-09
Libya is among the world’s largest oil economies with approximately 3.5% of global oil reserves, more than twice those of the US.
  The “Liberation” of Libya: NATO Special Forces and Al Qaeda Join Hands

- by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-08-28
The jihadists and NATO work hand in glove. These “former” Al Qaeda affiliated brigades constitute the backbone of the “pro-democracy” rebellion.
Destroying a Country’s Standard of Living: What Libya Had Achieved, What has been Destroyed

- by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-09-20
A historical reversal in Libya economic and social development has occurred. An entire country has been destroyed, its people driven into abysmal poverty.
 

PART V  YEMEN: REPUBLICAN DICTATORSHIP AT THE CROSSROADS

Yemen and The Militarization of Strategic Waterways

- by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2010-02-07
The militarization of the Indian Ocean is a process of securing US control over Socotra Island and the Gulf of Aden.

PART VI  SYRIA: NATO’S NEXT WAR

SYRIA: Who is Behind The Protest Movement? Fabricating a Pretext for a US-NATO “Humanitarian Intervention”

- by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-05-03
The ultimate purpose is to spark sectarian violence and political chaos within Syria by covertly supporting Islamic terrorist organizations.
 
The Pentagon’s “Salvador Option”: The Deployment of Death Squads in Iraq and Syria

- by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-08-16
Recent developments in Syria point to a full-fledged armed insurgency, integrated by Islamist “freedom fighters” covertly supported, trained and equipped by foreign powers.
The Al Qaeda Insurgency in Syria: Recruiting Jihadists to Wage NATO’s “Humanitarian Wars”

- by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-09-02
The objective of this armed insurrection is to trigger the response of the police and armed forces, with a view to justifying a “humanitarian” military intervention by NATO

PART VII  MILITARY ESCALATION AND THE BROADER WAR

A “Humanitarian War” on Syria? Military Escalation. Towards a Broader Middle East-Central Asian War?

- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-08-09
The road to Tehran goes through Damascus. A US-NATO war on Iran would involve, as a first step, a destabilization campaign (“regime change”) directed against Syria.
America’s Conquest of Africa: The Roles of France and Israel

- by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Julien Teil. Introduction by Cynthia McKinney – 2011-10-06
Terrorists not only fight for Washington on the ground, they also act as frontmen for regime change through so-called human rights organizations that promote democracy.
The Powers of Manipulation: Islam as a Geopolitical Tool to Control the Middle East

- by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – 2011-07-02
As Washington and its cohorts march towards the Eurasian Heartland, they have tried to manipulate Islam as a geo-political tool. They have created political and social chaos in the process.
America’s War in the Horn of Africa: “Drone Alley”, A Harbinger of Western Power across the African Continent

- by Finian Cunningham – 2011-10-29
The US Military confirms Washington’s secret new war in Somalia despite official denials.
Israel and Libya: Preparing Africa for the “Clash of Civilizations

- by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya. Introduction by Cynthia McKinney – 2011-10-11
An attempt to separate the merging point of an Arab and African identity is underway…
Global Warfare: Targeting Iran: Preparing for World War III

- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-11-03
The military deployment of US-NATO forces is occurring in several regions of the World simultaneously. What is unfolding is an integrated attack plan on Iran led by the US, with the participation of the UK and Israel

About the Authors

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (Emeritus) at the University of Ottawa. He is the Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal and Editor of the globalresearch.ca  website. He is the author of The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003) and America’s “War on Terrorism”(2005). His most recent book is entitled Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011). He has taught as Visiting Professor at universities in Western Europe, South East Asia and Latin America, acted as an adviser to governments of developing countries and as a consultant for the several international organizations. Prof. Chossudovsky is a signatory of the Kuala Lumpur declaration to criminalize war and recipient of the Human Rights Prize of the Society for the Protection of Civil Rights and Human Dignity (GBM), Berlin, Germany. He is also a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His writings have been published in more than twenty languages.

Finian Cunningham is currently Global Research’s Middle East and East Africa Correspondent. He has written extensively on international affairs. Previously, he was based in Bahrain and witnessed the upheavals in the Persian Gulf kingdom during 2011 as well as the subsequent Saudi-led brutal crackdown against pro-democracy protests. He is now based in East Africa.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a Sociologist and an award-winning author based in Ottawa. He is a Research Associate at the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal. He was a witness to the “Arab Spring” in action in North Africa. While on the ground in Libya during the NATO bombing campaign, he reported out of Tripoli for several Western media. He was Special Correspondent for Global Research and Pacifica’s investigative radio program Flashpoints, broadcast out of Berkeley, California. His writings have been published in more than ten languages.

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From: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=27884