Tuesday, 20 September 2011

STATEMENT FROM GADAFFI (see youtube description for translation)


Libya intensifies resistance to NATO occupation

By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire


Resistance by the loyalist forces in Libya has escalated with major clashes between supporters of the Gadhafi government and the U.S.-NATO financed rebel National Transitional Council. For over two weeks the Western-backed leadership along with the imperialists have been pressuring the people of Bani Walid to surrender and allow the seizure of their city of 100,000 people in the western region of this oil-producing North African state.

After failing to convince the city’s leadership to give in to the neocolonial aims of the NTC and their backers, several attempts by the rebels and NATO to attack Bani Walid and its environs have been repelled by the armed organization of the people. In these recent skirmishes, it was revealed that the Libyan military still maintains the capability to engage in both offensive and defensive operations.

Prior to the attempt to enter Bani Walid, the armed forces of Libya shelled with grad rockets the positions of the NTC rebels outside the city. When rebel units approached the northern entrance of the town, they were hit by additional mortar rounds and sniper fire.

After the withdrawal from the areas approaching Bani Walid, the NTC rebels set out to reinforce their units in the approach to Sirte, the western coastal city that is a strong area of support to President Gadhafi. The effort to approach Sirte was also met with stiff resistance by the loyalist forces, prompting the rebels to retreat 125 kilometers from the city.

The prevention of the rebels from entering these areas exposes the falsehood that the Libyan government does not have continuing support inside the country. Prior to the invasion of Tripoli, demonstrations of millions of people came out in support of the government and in opposition to the U.S.-NATO war.

NATO escalated its bombing operations over both Bani Walid and Sirte in the days leading up to the expiration of the deadline given to the people to surrender. There were reports that NATO advised the rebels to withdraw pending additional air strikes against the loyalists in these cities still under government control.

Additional offensive operations by the loyalists against the U.S.-NATO war in the country included the Sept. 12 bold attack on the oil port at Ras Lanuf, a major focal point of the war over the last seven months. It was reported that 17 NTC rebels were killed in the attack that came after the workers set fire to sections of the refinery as an act of sabotage against the imperialist plan to steal vast amounts of oil from the state that prior to the war produced 1.5 million barrels per day of high grade crude.

On the same day, there were attacks against rebel NTC forces at the airport outside Tripoli where explosions were heard in the distance. During this same time period there was an escalation in sniper fire against NTC elements throughout Tripoli.

Even the New York Times admitted that “Abdulrahman Busin, a spokesman for the council’s military operations, said the attack on Ras Lanuf was apparently a response to news that the council had taken steps to restart oil production, which had been one of the country’s major contributors of income before the conflict. He said that forces allied with the council were still fighting loyalists to bring an industrial area in Ras Lanuf back under control.” (Sept. 12)

U.S. admits greater role amid NATO continuation of war

As the war in Libya escalated following the beginning of the rebel attacks on Feb. 17 in Benghazi and other areas in the east of the country, it has been revealed that the U.S. and the NATO countries have organized, financed and coordinated the actions and movements of the rebel NTC. The White House dispatched Central Intelligence Agency operatives to Libya to provide assistance to the counterrevolution.

It was reported during this same period earlier on in the war that British MI-6 agents and Special Forces were involved in the fighting as well as Special Forces units from the U.S.-backed military in neighboring Egypt as well as Qatar in the Gulf. This direct ground intervention by the imperialist states and their allies illustrated the degree of importance that the ruling classes in these various Western countries placed on the efforts to seize control of Libya, its waterways, national treasury and natural resources.

Moreover, further claims gave additional proof of the deployment on the ground of U.S. military units. Despite consistent reports that U.S. forces had been spotted in the theater of war, the Pentagon has repeatedly denied these allegations.

However: “The Defense Department says it has four troops in Libya — only the second time since the U.S. became involved there that it has acknowledged having any military personnel on the ground. The first time was in March when Marines rescued an Air Force pilot who had ejected over eastern Libya.” (Associated Press, Sept. 12)

Although Navy Capt. John Kirby, a spokesperson for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, indicated that the military personnel were only in Libya to investigate the possibility of the reopening of the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, in all likelihood this is part of a much broader strategy for greater Pentagon deployment inside the country. Why should the Libyan people or the international community accept these denials by Washington when the Business Insider noted, “[This] admission contradicts the Obama administration’s repeated assertions at the outset of the Libyan military intervention that no U.S. forces would be deployed to the North African nation”? (Sept. 12)

This same publication later commented, “American officials have previously acknowledged the presence of some CIA agents on the ground in Libya who were reportedly helping coordinate NATO air strikes.” The Pentagon and the CIA also supplied the predator drones which were utilized to identify targets and to hit Libyan positions on the ground.

At the same time, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has stressed that the military alliance will continue its operations in Libya for the foreseeable future. During the course of the war against Libya, there have been over 20,000 sorties and approximately 8,000 bombings.

In response to the increased resistance against the U.S.-NATO war policy in Libya, Rasmussen said: “We have seen also during this weekend that remnants of Gadhafi’s regime still constitute a threat to the civilian population. We stand ready to continue our operations as long as necessary.” (Xinhua, Sept. 12) The NATO countries and their allies have hosted several conferences aimed at expropriating the wealth of Libya, with over $120 billion in foreign assets having been frozen over the last several months.

Divisions among rebels and further revelations of atrocities

Already among the rebel forces there are deep divisions that may very well provide a false rationale for a large-scale military intervention by the imperialist states. There were reports that 12 rebels were killed by infighting among disparate units in two towns on the eastern edge of the Nafusa Mountains. (Tripoli Post, Sept. 9)

Other reports indicate fissures between the NTC rebel fighting units and the politicians that are invited to the conferences in Western capitals, where they are hailed as the new leadership of the country. Even among the NTC spokespersons, there are deep differences based on political outlook and distrust between the Islamists, monarchists, government defectors and the longtime CIA-trained groups that have opposed the Gadhafi government since the 1980s.

In addition, there are daily reports of atrocities being committed by the rebels against Black Libyans and Africans from other countries on the continent. Hundreds of Nigerians and Ghanaians are locked up in prisons inside Libya along with dark-skinned nationals who are perceived by the reactionaries and their NATO supporters as loyalists.

Some 20 Nigerian nationals were alleged to have been found executed outside the Gadhafi compound in Tripoli that was overrun by the NTC forces during the first week of the invasion of the capital. These acts of racism and genocide have played a significant part in preventing the African Union from recognizing the NTC as the legitimate government of Libya despite tremendous economic and political pressure from the imperialist states.

Perhaps one of the most shocking stories to come out of Libya was revealed by former U.S. Rep. Walter Fauntroy, a former civil rights activist and aide to the martyred Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Fauntroy, who travelled to Libya during earlier days of the war seeking to mediate a peace agreement between the U.S.-NATO forces and the Gadhafi government, said that he witnessed the beheading of people by Special Forces units from the NATO countries. (mathaba.net, Sept. 9)

Even moderate states in Africa such as Kenya are demanding the withholding of recognition of the NTC by the international community. Kenya’s Embassy was specifically targeted during the invasion of Tripoli and the foreign ministry has stressed that until there is a clear-cut plan for a transition to a representative government in Libya, the NTC should not be given diplomatic standing.

Meanwhile on Sept. 12, amid the escalation of resistance against the U.S.-NATO war against his country, leader Moammar Gadhafi issued a statement over Arrai TV based in Syria. Gadhafi called upon the Libyan people to resist the imposition of NTC rule over Libya and reiterated that the rebels were agents of imperialism.

Oppose war against Libya

It is essential that the anti-war and peace movements inside the U.S. and the other NATO countries openly oppose the imperialist plot to destroy and seize Libya. There is no such thing as a good war of neocolonization and occupation.

The lessons of Afghanistan and Iraq prove clearly that the conditions for the majority of people living under a U.S. occupation will inevitably worsen. The deterioration of the social conditions of people living under imperialist rule, either direct or indirect, will lead to greater military intervention and consequent mass deaths and destruction.

Anti-war forces must demand imperialist hands off the national wealth of the Libyan people. The war against Libya is the first full operational mission of the U.S. Africa Command (Africom), which was established by the Pentagon in 2008 to increase military intervention on the continent. With the reliance of the U.S. ruling class on the oil exports and mineral resources of the African continent, there will be greater calls from the bourgeoisie to engage in efforts aimed at further regime change following the same pattern set in Ivory Coast by France and in Libya by a collective of imperialist states led by the U.S.

Activists concerned with global peace and development should demand the dismantling of Africom and the withdrawal of all U.S. military involvement on the African continent. Africa’s affairs must be the exclusive purview of the African people, bear the brunt of imperialist intervention and occupation.

Saturday, 17 September 2011




14 September 2011

The African National Congress Youth League has noted the judgment delivered by Judge Collins Lamont on Monday, the 11th of September 2011. There are so many glaring flaws and misrepresentation of reality in the judgment delivered. Part of these flaws include, but not limited to the following:

The Judge has granted the complainant what they never asked the Court to grant. In the presentation of their case, both Afri-Forum and TAU-SA recurrently said that they are not calling for the songs to be banned, but asking for a possible dialogue. The Judge chose to give them what they did not ask for and ban many liberation songs of the ANC led Liberation Movement.

The Judge made remarks to the effect that the Equality Act is enacted to protect minorities only, which is not true because all laws in South Africa are designed to protect all citizens equally. The Judge is concerned with protection of minorities’ interests at the expense of black majority’s aspirations.

The Judge’s conception of Ubuntu is totally flawed and opportunistically used to reach horrible conclusions.

The Judge’s only pre-occupation was with protection of what Afri-Forum and TAU-SA said to the extent of relying on inflammatory evidence and false alarms of insecure groupings on possible genocide, which will never happen in South Africa. The judgment reflects hatred of individuals, not protection of South African laws and Constitution.

The judgment also echoes a trend in Court judgments that seek to criminalise the struggle against apartheid, to the extent that Freedom Fighters are referred to as Murderers by South African Courts.

What the judgment has revealed is that despite political democracy and majority rule, the minorities continue to control South Africa through Courts and control of the South African economy. This judgment is a revelation that minorities continue to control our lives in every aspect, including on aspects of which songs we should sing. We should ask a question of whether the struggle is over when white supremacy continues to dominate all aspects of South African life. This is despite the fact that the democratic government has not demolished apartheid symbols such as Statues, street names and monuments.

The ANC Youth League has met and will continue to meet with fraternal organisations to formulate an appeal to both the Supreme Court of Appeals and Constitutional Court. The ANC Youth League and its leadership will never apologise for singing struggle songs, because that is what inspires our courage and determination to fight for total liberation of the people of South Africa. Songs of the ANC led liberation movement will never be banned and the ANC Youth League will work with all fraternal organisations to unban our songs. When apartheid banned political formations and activities of black people and Africans in particular, they masses of our people unbanned them and we will also unban our liberation songs.

The judgment serves as a clarion call that we should fight tirelessly for the total liberation of the people of South Africa. We cannot forever live in a society where an absolute component of land, minerals wealth, culture, heritage, Courts and everything is owned and controlled by Settlers.

No Settler brought land to Africa, and no Coloniser will impose on us how our lives are lived.





Is Julius Malema South Africa's president in waiting?

Three years ago the final school results of the leader of the African National Congress's Youth League, Julius Malema, were leaked on the internet and subsequently published by the press. They showed that the firebrand had achieved a G in woodwork, and had performed even more dismally in other subjects.

South Africa was united in its laughter. Cartoons and email jokes hopped between offices. Malema, whose English was not what one could call polished, did not help matters by launching a personal attack on the accent of the education minister – and then being forced into a grovelling apology.

In 2009, he launched a campaign to nationalise mines and expropriate white land without compensation, which was consistently contradicted by leaders of his own party and ridiculed in the press.

Malema was not a force to be reckoned with, the consensus was.

That was then. Yesterday, the "buffoon" of South African politics was named as one of Africa's 10 most powerful young men by international business magazine Forbes.

"The ANCYL wields enormous power in South African politics, and played a pivotal role in the election of incumbent president, Jacob Zuma, during the 2009 presidential elections," Forbes said.

It is not far off the mark. Malema has come from nowhere and, in just three years since his controversial election in 2008 as ANC Youth League president, has inserted himself at the very centre of debate about South Africa's future political direction. On the two touchiest issues in South Africa – macro-economic policy and race relations – Malema is the central player .

This week, after a high court judge ruled that Malema's favourite struggle song, "Dubhula iBhunu" ("Shoot the Boer") constituted hate speech and was therefore banned, Malema slammed the judiciary, saying it was being used as a "back door" to usher apartheid back in.

"We're being subjected again to white minority approval of what we must do and we cannot allow that," he said. "The oppressor has gained too much confidence and we allowed that space. We have reached a time [when] we must place the oppressor where he belongs."

Malema does not make just white people – and many middle-class black people – jittery. His call for the nationalisation of mines, expropriation of white land without compensation and an overhaul of the economy to benefit the poor have already noticeably chilled investor sentiment towards South Africa. According to a UN report in 2011, South Africa's share of foreign direct investment fell 70% last year from 2009.

Malema has become what his growing number of supporters call an "unstoppable tsunami", a phrase once used to describe Zuma as he made his bid to unseat Thabo Mbeki from office. Many say he has become too popular and too powerful to rein in.

Malema is in a titanic struggle with Zuma, who once declared him a future president, and has been brought before the ANC's disciplinary committee on charges of bringing the party into disrepute. This is after he said the league would send a team to neighbouring Botswana to consolidate opposition parties and to help bring about regime change, as the government there was "in full co-operation with imperialists".

These are not Malema's only troubles. He has faced intense media scrutiny and exposure of his lavish lifestyle. He has more than eight known properties, recently demolished a 3.6m rand (£308,000) house and is building a new one valued at 16m rand with a bunker, and is mocked for his flashy cars and collection of watches. The "economic freedom fighter", as he calls himself, is being investigated by the revenue services, the office of the public protector and the elite crime-fighting unit, the Hawks.

Yet Malema's influence continues to grow and his travails are watched with interest. It is an extraordinary journey for a young man (he is only 30), who was born and raised in poverty in one of South Africa's poorest provinces, Limpopo. In the foreword to a new book (An Inconvenient Youth: Julius Malema and the "new" ANC) by Irish journalist Fiona Forde, philosopher and political scientist Achille Mbembe writes that one of the main tensions in South African politics today is the realisation that there is something unresolved in the constitutional democratic settlement that suspended the "revolution" in 1994 but did not erase apartheid from the social, economic and mental landscape.

"It is the stalemate Malema would like to puncture," Mbembe writes. "It is in the failure of the South African government and society to build creatively on the extraordinary rupture, or promise, of 1994 and radically confront black poverty that Malema sees his political opportunity.

"His ascendancy highlights the current dangers South Africa faces: a gradual closing of life chances for many; an increasing polarisation of the racial structure; a structure of indecision at the heart of politics itself; and a re-balkanisation of culture and society."

Mbembe's assessment comes within the backdrop of an increasingly unequal South Africa. University of Cape Town economics professor Haroon Bhorat said in 2009 that South Africa overtook Brazil as the country with the widest gap between rich and poor.

This explains Malema's massive popularity in shack settlements, where he is feted as a saviour of the poor. Last weekend, he drove from his home in the plush Johannesburg suburb of Sandton, known as the shopping mecca of the continent, to Alexandra township, one of the poorest places in South Africa. He was his usual radical self. "Anybody who says we have contravened an ANC policy by saying they [whites] have stolen the land, they must tell us which policy we contravened," he told the crowd.

Malema has crafted his campaign for "economic freedom in our lifetime" as a struggle similar to that waged by Nelson Mandela and his comrades to radicalise an ANC that would not take up the armed struggle in the 1950s even as apartheid became increasingly entrenched and bitter. In the squatter camp on Saturday, he cast himself as a martyr: "If we have come to the end, let it be so. If you are angry with Julius, don't destroy the ANC Youth League. It doesn't belong to Julius … but because you do not come from the youth league, because you know nothing about the politics of the ANC, you want to destroy the work of Nelson Mandela."

He then cut a cake delivered in a Porsche by a celebrity known for eating sushi off naked women. The crowd loved it.

This is part of the contradiction of Malema. Even as he is vilified by the press for his association with crass celebrities and the flaunting of his incredible wealth with inexplicable origins, ordinary people say "what's wrong with Juju making money". In him, many see themselves. In him, many see a man who takes on an untransformed South Africa and champions their cause.

"His popularity is not unlike that of Robert Mugabe," says Forde, who had unfettered access to him until she started asking difficult questions. "Democrat or demagogue? I think he is a demagogue."

For the next few days, though, all eyes will be on whether Malema is suspended or expelled from the ANC. Whatever decision is made about him, it will determine whether he participates in the ANC's Mangaung conference in December 2012. The ANC Youth League has already made it clear that it demands "generational change", meaning that the older generation of ANC leaders must make way for a younger breed.

Zuma is one of those the league wants to see replaced. If he loses this week's battle to Malema, then he has no chance of a second term and the ANC faces a radically changed future, largely scripted by a young man who came from nowhere to refashion the ANC of Mandela.

Malema's chances cannot be under-estimated. Zuma has already failed to rein him in once, when Malema shrugged off charges in 2010. Like Zuma when he was facing corruption charges, many are now saying Malema is the ANC's new "man with nine lives".

His fate is not his alone. It is South Africa's too.


Erdogan’s brand benefits Arabs and the west

As Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, continues his triumphal tour of Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, the countries that have successfully overthrown tyrannies in the unfolding Arab awakening, he can justly lay claim to be the most popular politician in the Arab world.

There are those who argue he is the non-Arab leader Arabs have most admired since Saladin – a Kurd from Mesopotamia – recaptured Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187.

In western capitals, Mr Erdogan is decried for his strident Israel-bashing, which is seen as cynical populism, a naked play for the Arab gallery. Yet the Turkish leader’s popularity is an invaluable asset – to the Arabs and to the west.

What the Turkish leader is selling is the successful political brand of his neo-Islamist Justice and Development party (AKP).

So far, he is wiping the floor with a noxious competitor, the aggressive and sectarian Islamism of the mullahs in Iran. The outcome of this regional contest between Turkey and Iran will help determine the future of the Middle East, as the Arabs fight free of the stifling cocoon of often western-backed despotism and strive to create a new democratic order.

Can anyone doubt for one instant that the Turkish prospectus – a vibrant democracy and a dynamic economy led by Islam’s equivalent to Christian Democrats – is a better bet than the breast-beating bigotry of the theocrats in Tehran? Few Arabs do.

According to this year’s Arab Attitudes, the authoritative annual survey carried out by Zogby International for the Arab American Institute Foundation, Mr Erdogan’s ratings are so high he could be forgiven for believing (as his enemies whisper) he could recreate a neo-Ottoman sultanate. Turkey’s policies are a hit from Morocco (80 per cent approval) to Saudi Arabia (98 per cent); Iran’s are not, with 14 and 6 per cent respectively.

Even in Lebanon, stronghold of Hizbollah, Tehran’s Shia Islamist proxy, 93 per cent have a favourable view of Turkey and 87 per cent like Mr Erdogan.

But part of this picture is that President Barack Obama and the US score well below Iran everywhere except Saudi Arabia.

Egypt is the most populous and strategically critical Arab country, the cockpit of the new revolutions where the US still bankrolls the army to the tune of $1.3bn a year. It was in Cairo in 2009 that Mr Obama set out a bold new vision of America’s relations with the Middle East and the Muslim world.

Two years on, and after what looks like US capitulation to Israel on Palestine, 62 per cent of Egyptians agree with the policies of Mr Erdogan, 31 per cent with Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, Iran’s president, but only 3 per cent with Mr Obama. The survey reveals that US prestige in the Arab world has fallen below the nadir plumbed by George W. Bush.

In these circumstances, Turkey, a Nato member and candidate for membership of the European Union, is the best bet for the west too.

Mr Erdogan and his AKP have won three successive elections with a rising share of the vote. During that time Turkey’s economy has tripled in size and per capita income has doubled.

He has brought Turkey’s army, until now the final arbiter of power, to heel. This success looks attractive to many Arab Islamists, and to many liberals too.

Islamism is bound to be a factor in the new Arab dispensation. The previous regimes’ suppression of all dissidence left their opponents nowhere to rally but the mosque. But the Turkish model suggests Islamism can be synthesised into a pluralist order. The Iranian model creates immovable vested interests, violently defended, behind a facade of divine order.

The mullahs initially hailed this year’s wave of upheaval as an Islamic Awakening inspired by Iran’s revolution of 1979. They wish. More recently, as the contest with Turkey sharpens, Iran has even called for reform in Syria, where its ally Bashar al-Assad is trying to crush a menacing civic uprising – and Turkey is becoming the organising hub for the opposition.

Iran’s Shia theocrats used to feel complacent when all they had to compete with was the quasi-theocracy of Sunni Saudi Arabia, built on the twin pillars of Wahhabi sectarianism and absolute monarchy. But the pluralist and modernising Sunni brand of Turkey’s AKP is a threat of a different order – literally – and it is devouring Iran’s market share.

Thursday, 15 September 2011



Kelis was left disgusted after allegedly being a victim of racial abuse in a London Airport, whilst carrying her baby son in her arms.

The singer took to her Twitter to report the attack, saying, “We get in the passport control line and apparently p*ssed this one man off cause he thought I cut the line. Which wouldn't be far fetched of me but this time I actually didn't (not entirely anyway).

“Well the point is from 0 to 60 this fat red faced sweaty 'man' (I use the word man loosely here) started calling me a slave and told me to call him sir and how I was probably a disgusting Nigerian. He called me Kunta Kinte and ranted and raved some more. The man behind the passport desk laughed, shook his head in agreement I guess, and said 'Kunta Kinte'.

“All the while the entire line full of people I just sat on a plane with for almost 3 hours over 50 people said nothing. I mean literally nothing. Didn't flinch. We all no I'm no saint, so I retaliated. Not the way I wanted to or how that pig deserved. But #1 my gorgeous baby boy was literally sitting on my hip and #2 I'm a believer. And we are better. Sposed to be.

“Anyway, it made me think. This person was aprox a 50 year old English man. I didn't say anything at the time of the riots in London for a lot of reasons. But I am in London all the time and today I'm gonna say that the racial issues in the UK are disgusting. It's racially decades behind progression because everything is swept under the rug. People don't talk about it. People don't fight about it."

She continued, “Not mentioning a problem doesn't make it go away. I bring it up now because as an American it is abundantly clear that my country has a Smorgas board (spelling?) Of disgusting racial problems. We are the poster child for racial inequality even still with a black president, but its NO SECRET! And that I can fight against. I can try to prepare and teach my son. Because its out there. But you can't fight for or against something no one is willing to talk about or even admit exist.

“Everyone wants to be politically correct. But who really cares? And what does that help. I could go on and on. I won't. But maybe someone will start to talk about it from here.”


Malema guilty of using hate speech

Julius Malema, the embattled leader of the ruling African National Congress’s Youth League, suffered another blow on Monday when he was found guilty of using hate speech.

Mr Malema, one of South Africa’s highest profile and most controversial politicians, is also the subject of a separate ANC disciplinary hearing which could see him expelled or suspended from the party.

The hate speech case began after AfriForum, a lobby group, filed a civil suit against him for singing “Kill the Boer,” an apartheid-era song that referred to white farmers. The judge, Collin Lamont, ordered Mr Malema, who did not appear in court, to pay costs.

“The singing of the song by Malema constituted hate speech,” Mr Lamont said. “No justification exists allowing the words to be sung . . . the words were in any event not sung on a justifiable occasion.”

The ruling is unlikely to impact on Mr Malema’s political struggles within the ANC, and the party said it was “appalled” by the court’s decision to outlaw the song.

“We view this judgement as an attempt to rewrite the South African history which is not desirable and unsustainable,” Jackson Mthembu, ANC spokesman, said in a statement. “This ruling flies against the need to accept our past and to preserve our heritage as an organisation and as a people.”

Mr Malema has courted increasing controversy since becoming president of the traditionally militant youth league in 2008 and has previously been accused of making racial remarks, including calling white people thieves during campaigning for local elections this year.

He has repeatedly called for the expropriation of white-owned land and for the nationalisation of mines and banks, triggering a debate that has exacerbated policy uncertainty in Africa’s largest economy and been blamed for stymieing investment in the country.

The 30-year-old, who has championed himself as the voice of South Africa’s poor blacks, has also been described as a kingmaker ahead of crucial ANC conferences next year amid speculation that Jacob Zuma, the president, could face a leadership challenge.

But in recent weeks, he has come under increasing pressure, with the ANC launching the disciplinary hearing against him and five youth league colleagues on charges of sowing division within the party and bringing it into disrepute.

The move followed calls by the youth league for regime change in neighbouring Botswana, an outburst that apparently crossed a line.

However, analysts say the disciplinary hearing – which is due to resume on Tuesday – is also part of a broader battle within the fractious ANC in the lead up to an elective conference in December 2012.

When the hearing opened two weeks ago, youth league supporters clashed with police and burnt images of Mr Zuma outside the ANC’s headquarters with the violence bringing downtown Johannesburg to a standstill. The hearing has since been moved to a new location in a bid to avoid a repeat of the unrest.

On Sunday, a local newspaper quoted Mr Malema as laying down the gauntlet to Mr Zuma during a rally in a Johannesburg township, saying the youth league would “never kneel and ask for forgiveness”.

“There is no crime we have committed . . . They should know that we will never ask for forgiveness,” the Sunday Times quoted him as saying. “This is a war. In a war, never expect red roses, and in a war there are casualties. But we can guarantee that we will win.”

Mr Malema has also faced mounting scrutiny over how he funds his lavish lifestyle and is the subject of separate investigation into allegations of fraud and corruption.

Yet when the hate speech trial began earlier this year, his influence in South African politics appeared to be on the rise and a number of ANC officials spoke in his favour as he argued that the song was a metaphor for apartheid, while denying that it incited violence or that he incited racial tensions.

Mr Malema’s populist views have struck a chord with many poor, young black South Africans who are increasingly frustrated by the poverty, unemployment and gaping inequalities that continue to plague the country 17 years after the end of apartheid.

In spite of significant gains since the first democratic elections in 1994 there are complaints that many areas of the economy, from land to big business, remain in the hands of the white minority and race continues to be a highly sensitive issue.

Sandiso Magaqa, the youth league’s general secretary, said the league would study the court’s judgment before responding.



Israel Responsible For Africa’s Wars and Woes- African Union Chairman, Gaddafi

The president of the African Union (AU), Muammar Gaddafi in a summit meeting Monday, declared Israel responsible for all the woes facing Africa, and called on member-states to cut diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv.

Israel is “behind all of Africa’s conflicts,”

Muammar Gaddafi said on Monday and demanded the closure of all Israeli embassies across Africa.

The Libyan leader, who holds the rotating AU presidency described Israel as a “gang” which uses the “protection of minorities as an excuse to launch conflicts.”

Gaddafi made the remarks at a meeting of 30 African leaders, who had convened in Tripoli for a one-day summit on the continent’s trouble spots, including Sudan’s Darfur and Somalia.

Israel has acknowledged operating what it called a forward policy in Africa between the 1960s and 1980s, intervening in wars from Ethiopia to Uganda and Sudan, he stressed.

The one-day meeting ended without any agreement on concrete steps. The leaders merely adopted a ‘Tripoli Declaration’ and a plan of action ‘to find urgent solutions to crises and conflicts’ in Africa.

That plan urges member-states who have pledged to contribute troops to reinforce the AU peacekeeping force in Somalia (AMISOM) to honor their promises “rapidly”.

Israeili ‘forward policy’ and the bloody Biafra- Nigeria war

During the Nigerian civil war, 6 July 1967 – 15 January 1970, it was believed that in keeping with this policy, Israel supplied weapons to the secessionist Biafra region. The then foreign minister of Biafra, Late Francis Nwokedi was known to have traveled to Israel to seek support from the sympathetic Nation, and it is believed that he was given Soviet weapons captured by the Israelis in the 1967 war, to aid the Ojukwu war against Nigeria. South Africa is also reported to have played a major similar role supporting the secessionist Biafra. [Residual Uncertainity]

Not exclusive to Africa

The Israeli controversial role in supporting minorities and arming such territory’s and their efforts at secession is not unique to Africa. Indeed their role leading up to the Georgia - Russia bloody war in 2008, was well recognized.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011


SACP's attempt to hijack provincial govt disgusting - ANCWL Limpopo


League says yellow opportunists masquerading as communists want to
capture the ANC

The ANCWL in Limpopo notes with disgust the opportunistic statement
by the dubiously appointed Interim Leadership of the South African
Communist Party (SACP) calling for the resignation of our ANC
provincial government leadership. As the ANCWL, we are not surprised
at the unelected Limpopo SACP's leadership recent opportunistic
stunts and attempts to cast aspersion on the ability of the African
National Congress'continued successful leadership of our provincial

The ANC Limpopo government is one of the best performing provincial
governments in the country, to mention just a few achievements.
Limpopo is the best in housing service delivery, and Lebowakgomo
hospital is still the best public health-care facility in the
country. Many of our rural communities have tarred roads and
electricity. Moreover, numerous provincial government departments
have attained clean audits.

These opportunists ignore these facts because they have a dubious
political agenda informed by their own business interests. Many of
them are businessmen and women by-night, and communists by day. They
count profits and dividends at night, and fool the poor during the
day in the name of communism and fighting corruption.

Their dissatisfaction does not lie in the fact that they are fighting
corruption; some of them own expensive private schools, yet they
claim to be against privatisation. These schools are not only
inaccessible, but they also reproduce class inequalities, yet these
opportunists called themselves champions of the poor. Some of them
are not happy because our government has terminated and blacklisted
their companies for poor performance. They are not happy because our
provincial government has reduced subsidies for their private

These renewed attacks on the ANC leadership in government are
informed by the fact there is an ANC provincial congress in December
2011. They know very well that they do not enjoy popular support
amongst the ranks and file of the poor in society and within the ANC,
they are now embarking on desperate attempts to divert the ANC from
focusing on building strong branches and politically conscious
members who can see through their opportunism.

These yellow opportunists masquerading as communists just want to
capture the ANC in order to get access to the state for their own
narrow economic interests.

They shall NOT succeed. The ANC is not up for hi-jack by
opportunists. Instead of calling for the ANC provincial government
leadership to step-down, they must first resign their positions as
company directors and owners of private schools milking the poor in
the countryside. As the ANCWL we will defend the ANC against all
forms of opportunism. Chris Hani and many other real communists must
be turning in their graves given the level of hypocrisy and
opportunism displayed by the unelected Interim Provincial SACP
leadership in Limpopo. Shame on you!

Statement issued by ANC Women's League (ANCWL) Limpopo, September 13 2011


Monday, 12 September 2011


8th of September aired, as per usual, on Syrian Arrai (Opinion) TV.

To our brave Libyan people that are resisting; the land of Libya is your property and your right from the days of your grandfathers and great grandfathers.

Those that attempt to revoke it from you; are the insiders , foreign backed mercenaries and stray dogs, those foreigners that have resided in Libya for a long time that attempt to take the land of your grandfathers away from you.

This is impossible we will never leaver the land of our grandfathers, their families back then where spies for Italy, and nowadays are spies for France and Britain the same sons are following in the footsteps of their fathers and grandfathers; the steps of dishonor.

These rats and armed scum; are examples of their grandfathers. Each one of them is a clone and a mock-up of traitor-ship, they aren’t Libyan, ask about any of those that are backed by NATO; that destroys Libyan infrastructure and kills Libyan children; you’ll find that his grandfather and his dad where traitors. They carry the genes of traitors.

Do you think those who carry the genes of traitors from their grandparents and great grandparents are going to decide the fate of the Libyan people? These people when they realize that the Libyan people have turned up the ratchet and have refused to accept them they revert to the dirty tricks of the villainous Arab TV channels and the gulf donkeys.

They ask them to come up with any lie to save them, they tell them we feel the earth tremble under our feet; and we feel the masses advances towards us, and that we will lose the ground that we have gained, please save us with a lie or a rumor that will destroy the morale of the resistive Libyan people. That will destroy the morale of the sons of the Al-Fatah revolution.

They ask the villainous horns of lies to save them with a lie or two, a rumor or two here and there. At the beginning they said he’s gone to Venezuela; it turned out to be a lie now they’re fed up and they’ve said he’s gone to Niger. To destroy your morale and make your surrender; this is an indication that they know that your morale and spirits are high.

The people in Tripoli are getting ready to destroy the rats and capture the mercenaries which are like a pack of weasels with no agreeance amongst themselves. Their masters will abandon them soon, even their bomb supplies have been depleted nor do they have aircraft to fight with.

They think that NATO will stay forever in the skies; NATO will return defeated, weather it likes it or not, because it’s financial position doesn’t allow it to continue with its air bombardments. They feel that they are on the battlefield alone.

They bring the horns of lies to rescue them; by spreading rumors and lies such as Qaddafi has been injured, Qaddafi has fled, such and such has happened to Qaddafi. This means that they are facing a bottleneck and that their masters are going to desert them. That they will flip on one another.

The Libyan people in its “Million Man Marches” indicated its position to the world, these people are still alive; they have nothing to resort to now but psychological warfare to influence you, do not be influenced by these psychological advertisements or lies. This should make you be able to mock the weak enemy that’s in front of you, a bunch of traitors and drunkards and a bunch of Islamists that have strayed from law and order; that have no objective but to destroy the country.

They don’t even have a diplomatic or economic plan. They want to destroy the country; you saw what that the armed rebels did when they entered Tripoli, they looted it. They looted homes and stole the gold that belonged to the women.

Each individual ran back to his tribe with the stolen booty (loot) , laid down his weapons and claimed that he is victorious. The Libyan people shouldn’t be silenced by such individuals and his great past. We shouldn’t leave our land to such menial cowards to steal the land of our grandfathers that are backed by the crusaders; that are now looking back at their failed colonialist plot and are repeating their calculations. They will be left on the battlefield alone, to resort to things that affect your morale the most.

The last thing from them was that we saw Qaddafi’s convey enter Niger; what nonsense this isn’t the first time conveys have been seen in the area, from Mali, Chad & Algeria entering and exiting the Sahara desert. It’s as if it’s the first convoy ever to enter Niger, be careful and look here and stay determined against these lies and false propaganda. They should be rubbed to dust.

Allahu Akbar (God Is Great) – To the front !

English translation from Arabic by Mathaba



Libya NTC fighters ambushed in Bani Walid

Near Bani Walid - Fighters backing the new regime in Libya met strong resistance Sunday in the Libyan oasis town of Bani Walid, where they came under sniper fire from forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi.

But while some fighters put some of the blame on a poorly organised advance by the advancing fighters, others suspected betrayal from some inside their own ranks.

"I did not fire one shot today because there was nothing clear to shoot at... They are shooting at us from above and we can't see anyone," said commander Abdel Monem, 28, from Zawiyah.

Fighters backing the National Transitional Council (NTC) had made a disorganised advance into uncharted territory, he added.

Novices had been mixed in with the veterans and there had been almost no co-ordination between them.

"In one word: it was chaos," he said.

The oasis town, a stronghold of the powerful Warfalla tribe, is one of the last places still loyal to Gaddafi. Efforts by the NTC in recent days to negotiate a peaceful occupation foundered.

Taking Bani Walid will be no easy task, as pro-Gaddafi fighters within the town have the higher ground. Attacking fighters have to stream in through the valley, making them an easy target for an ambush.

The main challenge, said Monem, was snipers perched on the hills and residents armed by Gaddafi.

They have been led to expect the worst from the NTC force after an intense propaganda campaign that has depicted them as killers and rapists.

Holy warfare

"Civilians are afraid of us because Libya TV said we are rats that will rape their daughters," he said. The lack of electricity in the Bani Walid area had prevented the NTC from countering that message, he added.

All afternoon, a local pro-Gaddafi radio station broadcast an appeal to residents to rally against the invaders.

"They want to spread corruption and destruction everywhere. Go today, today, today - now you are armed there is no excuse. This is the time for jihad [holy warfare]," it said.

NTC fighters backed by armoured vehicles mounted with anti-aircraft guns arrived early on Sunday on the edge of Bani Walid, 180km from Tripoli, an AFP correspondent said.

The fighters said they had routed Gaddafi loyalists and snipers from Wadi Dinar, a valley in the shadow of Bani Walid, during their Saturday advance towards the town.

By Sunday, they were sending in scouting missions to probe the defences.

Clashes erupted in the afternoon in the neighbourhoods of Al-Mansila and Al-Hawasim, according to one fighter, Ahmed al-Warfalli, and two shells crashed into a hill 6km north of the town.

Nato warplanes and explosions could be heard throughout the day.

There were contradictory accounts however as to how far rebels had advanced into the city and the strength of the resistance they had encountered.

Military commanders insisted that the main assault had yet to begin.

Thirsty revenge

"Today we are still on standby and waiting for orders," said one commander, General Atiya Ali Tarhuni, earlier in the day.

But by evening ambulances were rushing to and from the front line. An AFP reporter counted three fighters killed and 15 wounded. Rebel fighters said they had lost as many as 10 men.

An emergency services doctor operating a field clinic in the hamlet of Wishtata, 40km rom Bani Walid, said most of the wounded had been treated for sniper shots and explosions.

"There are Gaddafi military people in the heights of Bani Walid shooting down at rebels," said Dr Mehdi Barut.

At dusk, a pick-up truck arrived with four men the fighters said were pro-Gaddafi prisoners. They were locked in a side building in the same compound of the clinic and drew crowds thirsty for revenge.

Sami Saadi Abu Rweis, a fighter returning from Bani Walid with a wounded friend in tow, reported snipers everywhere.

"They are shooting at us from two kilometres away. Bani Walid is full of arms - every household has them.

Grilled comrades

"There is some type of treason going on. People pretended to be with the rebels but are really with Gaddafi."

Fighters released their frustration by firing their weapons into the air as rumours of betrayal spread like wildfire, raising tensions in the ranks.

Many grilled comrades who had pulled out early, while others became agitated when they discovered that one of the casualties had a bullet to his neck apparently caused by a shot that had come from behind.

"One hundred percent there was treason," said Hamza Bashir, age 22, a fighter from Tripoli close to tears.

"We need better organisation and co-operation from Bani Walid's residents," concluded Monem. He was hesitant to bring one hundred of his men based in the capital to a battle seemingly doomed to be a suicide mission, he added.

"You can bring 1 000 men but without organisation nothing will go right."


nato's most important propagada arm in the Libya conflict - Al-Jazeera - have been crucial in justifying the mass lynching of black people by the pro-nato rebels in Libya for 6 months, but now they have this grossly hypocritical report on how African migrants are being targeted by the rebels - Sukant

JANZOUR, Libya — When the sun sets on the refugee camp for black
Africans that has sprung up at the marina in this town six miles west
of Tripoli, the women here brace for the worst.

The rebels who ring the camp suddenly open fire. Then they race into
the camp, shouting "gabbour, gabbour" — Arabic for whore — and haul
away young women, residents say.

"You should be here in the evening, when they come in firing their
guns and taking people," one woman from Nigeria said Wednesday as she
recounted the nightly raids on the camp. "They don't use condoms,
they use whatever they can find," she said, pointing to a discarded
plastic bag in a pile of trash.

As she spoke, other women standing nearby nodded in agreement.

There is no way to know how many women have been raped here, where
hundreds of Africans have settled in and around the boats of a
marina. No one keeps statistics in the camp, and foreign aid workers
say they are prohibited from discussing the allegations on the
record. International Red Cross representatives say only that they
have spoken to rebel leaders about "security concerns."

But the story that women tell is part of a larger picture of abuse of
black Africans in Libya that is emerging in the wake of the rebel
victory, born of allegations that Gadhafi often hired sub-Saharan
Africans to fight for him.

Hundreds of black Africans have been swept up and are being held in
makeshift prisons awaiting some sort of judicial finding of whether
they were mercenaries or not. Thousands more are trapped in refugee
camps. They can't leave the camps, they say, for fear they'll be
targeted on the streets. They do not feel safe inside the camps,

Human rights advocates have decried what appears to be mistreatment
of black African workers, and U.S. Ambassador Gene Cretz, speaking in
Washington on Wednesday, admitted it's a growing problem.

"We've seen fairly credible reports that there has been some
mistreatment of African migrants," Cretz told McClatchy. He said the
U.S. was trying to work with rebel leaders to prevent abuse, which he
blamed on young rebels who are confusing Africans who might have
fought as mercenaries for Gadhafi with the hundreds of thousands of
sub-Saharan Africans who were working in Libya when the rebels took

"We don't think it's a systematic or intentional problem on the part
of the Libyan authorities," Cretz said. "It's something that's
happening at levels below that, which is of considerable concern to

Cretz said the rebels' National Transitional Council is working with
the United Nations and other international relief organizations to
ease the situation.

There was little evidence of such efforts at the marina here,
however. At the nearby headquarters of the revolutionary forces in
the area, Mohammed Abdullah Fatouri, the head of the military
council, said that he was unaware of any problems in the camp.

"Have them bring a letter," he said. "If they tell us this is
happening, we will protect them."

At the camp itself, fear is pervasive. When a car bearing two armed
rebels drove into the camp, both men and women scattered.

It was not clear what the rebels wanted. Someone said they were
looking for laborers. Perhaps emboldened by a pair of European TV
camera crews, however, some of the camp's residents confronted the
rebels. An older man, apparently the translator for one of the
European TV crews, intervened, and after a few minutes, the
militiamen got back in the car and drove off.

Tensions here have been made even worse, the camp's residents said,
because Libyan fisherman whose boats have been turned into dwellings
want them back.

Life in the camp has been difficult. Only on Monday did the Red Cross
deliver aid packages.

"They brought us shampoo and some medical supplies, but not enough,"
the woman from Nigeria said. "We can't eat shampoo. There's no water
for showers."

"Until two days ago we had no water," one man said. "People were
drinking the seawater."

Relations between Libyans and black African workers have long been
troubled. Many Africans came here without official documentation from
the Libyan government and grew accustomed to abuse as a part of life,
something they accepted in trade for employment in oil-rich Libya.

"Sometimes your boss beats you or doesn't pay you," said Stacey
Alexandra, 26, who said she had spent the last three years in Libya
cleaning private homes and hotels and sending money back to family in
Cameroon. "Now everyone here wants to leave. This country is too

Alexandra showed a scar on her arm that she said had come from an
assault on the street as she was leaving her home last month as the
fighting intensified.

"It was a group of young men," she said, adding that they did not
appear to be a faction fighting for either side.

"The (revolutionaries) forced us to work for 10 days, cleaning up one
of their barracks," said a man named Eddy. "Yesterday, two people
went out to get bread. They have not come back."

"I fled with nothing," said a man named Nelly, pointing to the
mismatched flip-flops on his feet. "When (the revolutionaries) took
over Tripoli, they drove us out of our homes. I lived with my uncle
in Souk al Jumaa. My uncle was not home. As I ran away, I saw many
blacks. They said this was a safe place, so I followed them. I can't
find my uncle. The war has taken my uncle."

For Nelly to look for his uncle in Tripoli on Wednesday would have
been unthinkable. At a revolutionary base in Souk al Jumaa, one of
the first neighborhoods in Tripoli freed from Gadhafi's control,
revolutionary commander Jamal Ibrahim Safar offered advice, in
English, to a Ghanaian citizen who had been detained by his men at a

"Stay off the street," he said to Essau Abdou Mohamed, who identified
himself as a barber who lost his passport three months ago. Mohamed
said that in the last three weeks, he hadn't left his house after

"This is the third time I've been detained," said Abdou Mohamed. His
saving grace had been a letter, now well-worn, from the revolutionary
military council in Misrata, 160 miles east of Tripoli, explaining
that he had lost his passport but that he was not suspected of being
a pro-Gadhafi fighter.


Suspicion greets China's Europe expansion

For cash-strapped Europe, China is an appealing source of financing.
But the response to an attempt by a Chinese businessman to open a
leisure resort in Iceland suggests growing suspicion and a potential
backlash that could stifle the relationship.

Just as China's first forays into investment in small African
countries went largely unremarked on, so has its recent European
expansion with infrastructure projects, company takeovers and
sovereign debt purchases.

Poetry-writing former government official turned millionaire
businessman Huang Nobu is the latest to follow, agreeing a
$85.8-million deal to buy a 300-sq-km remote Icelandic farm.

Whilst he maintains it is a purely commercial venture for a hotel,
golf course and other leisure services, others suspect part of a
broader Chinese strategy to build influence in the resource-rich

Whatever the truth, experts say it fits with a larger pattern as
China's growing wealth and desire for diversification pulls it deeper
into Europe.

"It has almost been a case of sleepwalking into it," says Alice
Richard, China programme coordinator at the European Council on
Foreign Relations (ECFR), which this year published a report on China
in Europe that explicitly compares its approach there to that in

"By and large, Europe has been looking at China almost exclusively
from an economic standpoint, although that might be changing."

Estimating the true scale of Chinese investment in Europe is
difficult, the ECFR says. Many firms operate through financial
centres lacking in transparency, such as Hong Kong and Grand Cayman,
making tracking them all but impossible. But there seems little doubt
that the numbers are rising fast.

The ECFR says Chinese firms and banks committed some $64 billion to
European contracts in the six months to March. Much recent Chinese
finance went to the troubled euro zone periphery -- 30 percent to
Portugal, Greece, Italy and Spain -- and another 10 percent to
central and eastern Europe.

Europe's major powers too have largely followed suit.

Last week, Britain and China voiced support for plans for London to
become a major offshore trading center for the yuan currency, a move
that would further cement the city's position as a global financial
center. Despite occasional rows over human rights and other issues,
Berlin and Paris have also been keen to court Beijing.


But several of China's projects, some strategists say, may in the
long run prove to be more than just business. Vast port projects in
Piraeus, Greece and Naples, Italy -- the latter also the site of a
major NATO base -- worry some in European defense and foreign

Occasional deals -- purchases of sensitive technology firms, for
example -- have been turned down on national security grounds. But in
general, Chinese investors have found Europe much easier territory
than the United States, where rejection and suspicion have been
somewhat more common -- although not enough to stop mutual dependence
rising swiftly.

"The problem is that Western nations have taken a very short-term
view when it comes to China. They view it as a good source of
investment and ignore any longer term issues," said Alan Mendoza,
executive director of the Henry Jackson Society, a London think-tank
looking at national security issues.

"It's going to be very difficult to stop this, but it is worrying.
We've already effectively ceded large chunks of Africa to the
Chinese. There needs to be much more focus on what this means."

China has also emerged as a major buyer of European sovereign debt,
crucial to keeping euro zone borrowers afloat. Whilst precise numbers
are hard to come by, the ECFR says it estimates up to 25 percent of
China's reserves may now be euro denominated.

In non-EU member Iceland, entrepreneur Huang may be feeling the
effect of the heightened concern.

Iceland's interior minister said the leisure resort deal would be
looked at closely because of strategic concerns.

Huang says he may yet pull out altogether.

"It is part of the West's misinterpretation of China," Huang told
Reuters in an interview last week. "Everything China does, no matter
whether it's done by the country or any individual, they would think
of it as part of a 'China threat'."


But with Western powers apparently increasingly nervous of Beijing's
rise -- and with disputes over alleged intellectual property theft,
computer hacking, currency strength and other issues simmering -- it
could become a growing issue.

Chinese firms faced something of a popular and political backlash in
Africa, and some warn a similar dynamic may be rising in Europe.

Earlier this year, Britain turned down an offer from a Chinese
businessman to buy aging aircraft carrier HMS Invincible for scrap or
leisure use and is seen likely to reject a similar bid to purchase
her sister ship Ark Royal.

A Ukrainian carrier purchased ostensibly as a casino ended up in the
service of China's navy, and there have long been suspicions that any
military kit bought by its firms is stripped for intelligence.

"This is an area in which the Chinese are particularly vulnerable and
also frustrated," says Nigel Inkster, a former deputy chief of
Britain's Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and now head of
transnational threats and political risk at London's International
Institute for Strategic Studies.

"There are often reasonable grounds for suspecting that what appears
to be an ordinary commercial venture may be something altogether
different, and it is very difficult for a Chinese corporate to prove
that negative."

Some worry an element of paranoia is entering the debate.

"The value of this deal is actually very modest," said Steve Tsang,
professor of contemporary Chinese studies at Nottingham University,
referring to the proposed Icelandic deal.

"It is easy to read too much into the capacity of the Chinese to plan
strategically over the very long term and see Chinese businessmen as
all agents of the Communist Party. I think it is proper for the
Icelandic authorities to check carefully and do their due diligence
but not for the rest of the world to get worried for a real
estate/tourism deal."



The end of US hegemony: Legacy of 9/11

On the morning of September 11, 2001, America's prospects appeared as
bright as the clear blue sky over Lower Manhattan. The price of Brent
crude oil was $28 a barrel, the Federal government was running a
budget surplus, the US economy was turning (albeit imperceptibly)
after the dotcom crash. The most powerful nation on earth was at

Ten years on, the oil price hovers around $115 a barrel, the US is
projected to run a budget deficit for 2011 of $1,580bn, the largest
in its history; the economy remains deeply troubled after the
financial crash of 2008; and America's military and intelligence
services remain at war, battling insurgency and radical Islamic
terrorism, from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Niger and Yemen.

Admiral Mike Mullen, outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
has described the national debt as the greatest threat to US national
security. Standard & Poor's recent downgrade of America's credit
rating appears to confirm the superpower's steady slippage. And while
there is no linear narrative from the September 2001 attacks to
America's present economic plight, the inflation-adjusted cost of the
ensuing "global war on terror" at more than $2,000bn amounts to twice
the cost of the Vietnam war.

President George W. Bush's response to the assault on the Twin Towers
and the Pentagon was to launch two wars of choice against Afghanistan
and Iraq, a pugnacious unilateralism at the expense of alliances and
international law, and a near evangelical promotion of liberal
democracy in the Middle East. His administration's hard-edged
policies fractured alliances in Europe and triggered a sharp fall in
America's standing abroad.

On the positive side of the ledger, America has so far escaped
another terrorist attack on its own soil. Others have not been so
fortunate. The bombings in Bali (2002), Madrid (2004), and London
(2005) did not match the scale of September 11, but they claimed
several hundred victims. Al-Qaeda is down but not entirely out.
Dozens of computer disks recovered from Osama bin Laden's hideout in
Abbottabad, Pakistan, suggest the al-Qaeda leader, killed last May
during a daring raid by US Navy Seals, was planning another
spectacular outrage, perhaps to coincide with the September 11
anniversary this weekend.

Moreover, this year's Arab awakening has dispelled the notion that
the Middle East - with the exception of Israel - is congenitally
incapable of embracing democracy, One by one, the region's autocrats,
from Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia to Hosni Mubarak in Egypt,
have been toppled by protesters demanding dignity, freedom and jobs.
True, the fall of Muammer Gaddafi in Libya was precipitated by armed
rebellions assisted by Nato warplanes; but President Bashar al-Assad
of Syria may be the next leader to feel the hot breath of the Arab

. . In the aftermath of the attack on the Twin Towers, a geopolitical
re-alignment comparable to those of 1815, 1945 or 1989 appeared to
take shape. The US mustered a coalition against terrorism that
included rivals such as Russia and China, as well as one-time pariahs
such as Cuba, Iran and Sudan.

The military response was equally effective. Having identified the
perpetrators, the US staged a brilliant improvised campaign to topple
the Taliban in Afghanistan. US special forces combined with warlords
and overwhelming air-power to break the Kabul regime within weeks.
Although the leaders, notably Mullah Omar and his proxy Bin-Laden,
slipped away, the al-Qaeda network was relentlessly targeted and

Within a year, the US had lost the moral high ground. Mr Bush's error
was to make clear that regime change in Iraq was only one step for
dealing with what he described as an "axis of evil" including Iran,
North Korea and potentially other adversaries suspected of harbouring
or sponsoring terrorists. Overnight, the US was cast as a rogue

Concerns rose with the publication of a revised national security
doctrine in 2002, which ditched cold war concepts of containment and
deterrence. In their place came a "forward-leaning" strategy of
pre-emptive military action, regime change, and a new kind of warfare
that justified torture and denied the rights of the Geneva Convention
to suspected terrorists.

Thus the Iraq war was fought without the support of traditional
allies such as Canada, France and Germany; without the backing of the
UN Security Council; and without conclusive evidence that Saddam
Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction posing an immediate
threat to the US. As for allies, Britain's prime minister Tony Blair
provided loyal political cover, though Donald Rumsfeld, US defence
secretary, declared witheringly that UK forces were redundant in
military terms.

Nato, having for the first time invoked article five to commit all
members to collective defence, was similarly sidelined. Washington's
motto was "the mission determines the coalition". But selective
alliances work both ways. By the end of the decade, European allies
were using caveats to opt out of military operations in Afghanistan,
Iraq and Libya. Hence outgoing US defence secretary Robert Gates'
warning this year that Nato was fast becoming irrelevant.

Europe, too, emerged much diminished - and not just during the Libyan
conflict where Germany opted out and Britain and France ran short of
munitions within weeks. At the beginning of the new century, flush
with the success of launching a new monetary union, Europe's leaders
agreed plans to make the European Union the most competitive economic
zone in the world. In retrospect, the much-vaunted Lisbon agenda
marked the summit of ambitions coinciding with the bursting of the
dotcom bubble.

Ten years on, the original design of European monetary union has
shown itself to be fundamentally flawed. The enforcement mechanisms
for budgetary discipline were ignored by big and smaller members
alike, including Germany; peripheral economies in Greece, Ireland,
Portugal and Spain, which soared on the back of low interest rates,
have been exposed as uncompetitive. Contagion in the bond markets now
threatens to spread to Italy, a "core" eurozone member.

By Mr Bush's second term, abrasive rhetoric gave way to a more
tempered approach. As an occupation force in Afghanistan and Iraq,
the US became sucked into the nation-building that Mr Rumsfeld had
long derided. In a similar confusion, President Barack Obama and
David Cameron, UK prime minister, declared either one or both of
these missions to be militarily vital and then acted as if they were
discretionary by setting a (political) timetable for withdrawal.

The accountants will tot up the collective bill for the Afghan and
Iraq ventures at close to $2,000bn in inflation-adjusted terms; but
Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank and a former deputy US
secretary of state, argues that a country as rich as the US can well
afford the cost. In 1948, says Mr Zoellick, the average gross
national product per head in the US was one quarter of where it
stands today. Yet Americans readily supported President Truman's
doctrine to prop up democracies in Europe and counter communism
around the world to the tune of billions of dollars.

Whether the seeds of democratic transformation will take root in Iraq
is more debatable. The much-vaunted US military "surge" rescued the
country from chaos and possible break-up, but relations between
Iraq's ethnic groups - Kurds, Sunnis and the majority Shia - remain
precarious. Arguably, the toppling of Saddam Hussein has allowed Iran
to become the dominant regional power, exerting influence through the
Shia government in Baghdad. Meanwhile, Tehran's nuclear ambitions
remain unchecked.

Nor did 9/11 boost efforts to tackle the other serious and unresolved
threat to regional stability: the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Both
Mr Bush and Mr Obama have failed to break the deadlock over the
occupied territories of Gaza and the West Bank, and the status of
Jerusalem. Successive Israeli prime ministers from Ariel Sharon to
Benjamin Netanyahu have turned the war on terror to their own
advantage, arguing that concessions jeopardise Israel's security and
entities such as Hamas - which easily won elections in Gaza in 2005 -
are terrorists masquerading as legitimate representatives of the

Despite the focus on fighting terrorism, the US was still alert to
broader geopolitical trends. The most important breakthrough took
place between the US and India with the signing in 2008 of the"123"
deal on civil nuclear co-operation. The new strategic partnership
between Washington and New Delhi not only offers a counterweight to
the rise of China, but also to nuclear-armed Pakistan, America's
long-time but increasingly unmanageable ally in South Asia.

By contrast, Sino-US relations amount to not much more than an uneasy
accommodation. Beijing sees Washington (at best) as "neither friend
nor enemy", while the US has belatedly woken up to China's challenge
to its dominance in the Pacific. Beijing has grudgingly applied
pressure to its brooding nuclear neighbour in North Korea, but
nationalist fervour means the leadership remains neuralgic over
Taiwan and acutely sensitive to territorial disputes with Japan,
South Korea and Vietnam. . . . In the final resort, the most
significant geopolitical development of the past 10 years took place
not on the battlefield but in the financial system. The global
banking crisis stemmed from flawed regulation and perverse incentives
for banks to sell mortgages to poor Americans with no ability to
repay, as well as gigantic leverage in the financial system. These
distortions were created, in part, by global imbalances driven by
Americans living on cheap credit and Chinese exporters and savers
contributing to a vast current account surplus.

Until the Great Crash of 2008, this financial merry-go-round spun
regardless. Thanks to cheap labour costs, China exported deflation to
the rest of the world. China financed the US current account deficit
by recycling its own surplus into US Treasury bonds. Now, three years
into the financial crisis, the world economy has been turned upside
down. The US is diminished, Europe sidelined, and Asia, for now, in
the ascendant.

Consider the broader historical trend. Developing Asia's share of the
global economy in purchasing power parity terms has risen steadily
from 8 per cent in 1980 to 24 per cent last year. Taken as a whole,
Asian stock markets now account for 31 per cent of global market
capitalisation, ahead of Europe at 25 per cent and within a whisker
of the US at 32 per cent. Last year, China overtook Germany to become
the world's largest exporter. Chinese banks now rank among the
biggest in the world by market capitalisation.

Import numbers are equally revealing: the developing world is
becoming a driver of the global economy. From the consumption of
cement to eggs, China leads the world; it has also just overtaken US
to become the world's largest market for cars.

China's voracious appetite for commodities is creating new trade
routes, especially with emerging powerhouses such as Brazil. Last
year, China surpassed the US as Brazil's biggest trading partner.
Latin America, a region once best known for instability, has emerged
through the crisis virtually unscathed. Poverty is falling, the
middle classes are expanding and asset markets are bubbling.

Condoleezza Rice, Mr Bush's national security adviser and secretary
of state, once described multi-polarity as a theory of rivalry, a
necessary evil. In economic terms, multi-polarity spells a new order
in which interdependence is the norm and the US, while still
overwhelmingly powerful, no longer occupies the role of hegemon.

As for the legacy of 9/11, Gerard Lyons, chief economist of Standard
Chartered Bank, says the three most important words in the past
decade were not "war on terror" but "made in China". On present
trends, he adds, the three most important words of this decade will
be "owned by China".



Guns and Butter - August 31, 2011 at 1:00pm

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Rioting link to deprivation revealed

More than a third of suspects charged with offences related to the
riots in London last month live in the poorest fifth of the city’s
areas, research by the Financial Times has found. The analysis, based
on unpublished court papers detailing the addresses and charges
against more than 300 suspects, appears to confirm a strong link
between rioting and deprivation.

Overall, two-thirds of all suspects live in neighbourhoods with
below-average income, and only 3 per cent hail from the wealthiest 20
per cent of areas. In total, 1,354 suspects have now been charged in
the capital. The FT’s research shows that when London’s
neighbourhoods are clustered into 10 groups on the basis of their
average income, there are 11 additional riot suspects for every step
down in the deprivation ranking. Typical of the deprived
neighbourhood in which many of the suspects live is the Friary estate
in Peckham, south-east London, only 300 meters from the Old Kent
Road, where large stores including Carphone Warehouse and Tesco were
looted on the night of August 8-9.

At least three suspect live on the estate, which falls into the
poorest 20 per cent of London neighbourhoods. A further eight
suspects live nearby. Like the rest of the accused rioters in the
FT’s sample, the average age of suspects from in and around the
estate is 20, and the vast majority are male. Michael Orey,
vice-chairman of the estate’s Tenants’ and Residents’ Association,
blamed deprivation and the impact of societal “neglect” on young
people in the area – a phenomenon which, he said, started with
exclusion from school and finished with persistent worklessness. He
also blamed cuts to local authority-run services – arguing that these
were already making themselves apparent. Parents had received a
letter, he said, casting doubt on the future of the estate’s One
O’Clock Club, part of the Sure Start children’s daycare programme.
Other rumours have circulated of cuts – denied by Southwark borough
council – to local youth facilities. “The panic is here now,” said Mr
Orey. “People are wondering what they’re going to do.” His remarks
were echoed by young men from the area. Asked what drove some locals
to rioting and looting, one said: “It’s happening in areas where
people aren’t getting dealt with. . . There are no jobs, so people
took the opportunity.”

Another said: “People just got involved for free stuff. They took
what they could. “Someone else started it so they just jumped in,
because this is a poor area. Someone basically opened the door and
people just walked in.”

Across the road from the Friary estate, Mohammed, the keeper of the
Pay Less general store and off-licence, said that the looting during
the riots was just an extreme example of the shoplifting local youths
carried out on his premises “every day”.

“The police have no control here,” he said. “The police . . . must do
something. We need a CCTV camera here.”

He added: “There shouldn’t be youths [hanging outside] here. They
should have a youth club – then we’d have control.”

However, young men from the area told the FT that if any single
motivation to riot could be isolated, it was existing methods of
police control – particularly the practice of stop-and-search, in
which officers search people regardless of whether or not they have
grounds for suspicion.

Black people in the borough of Southwark experience one of the
highest rates of stop-and-search in inner London, according to the
Equality and Human Rights Commission.

One black 16-year-old, eating pizza with his friends on a bench on
the corner of the Old Kent Road, said the looting “was a nice chance
to get back at the police because they abuse their power”.

He added: “I’ve been stopped since I was 10 years old. I got stopped
and searched when I got milk for my mum”.

An 18-year-old, with an older group of young black men, agreed,
saying: “It’s [been] a long time coming: payback for . . . getting
stopped and searched. I get stopped and searched every day.”

While most riot suspects in Peckham – like those in Camden and
Brixton – live within one or two kilometres of the scene of the
crimes they are accused of, the FT’s analysis of some targeted areas
shows that the alleged perpetrators live relatively far away.

While, on average, the median distance between a London suspect’s
home and the location of their alleged crime was 2.9km, Ealing
suspects lived a median of 6.9km from the scene of rioting. In
Woolwich, the median distance was 5.6km and in Croydon it was 3.9km.