December 21, 2011

By Hama Tuma

“They made us many promises, more than I can remember. They only kept but one. They promised they would take our land, and they took it.” —-Red Cloud

Who was it who wailed “If only I had the luxury of lying?” I do understand the burden of French president Sarkozy who had to complain in private to Obama about Netanyahu “the liar”. Here is how the press report put it:

“French President Nicolas Sarkozy branded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “a liar” in a private conversation with US President Barack Obama that was accidentally broadcast to journalists during last week’s G20 summit in Cannes.
“I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar,” Sarkozy told Obama, unaware that the microphones in their meeting room had been switched on, enabling reporters in a separate location to listen in to a simultaneous translation.

“You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you,” Obama replied, according to the French interpreter. Obama is lying too as he has cuddled up to and tolerated many shamelessly lying despots. They are “his” liars. As we Ethiopians say, you love your baby snot and all. Politics and lies seem to cohabit comfortably, alas. Impostors who can delude the crowds make effective despots. They fear not the lie in other words. Every year at the general meeting of the African Union or the UN a carnival of liars is held. Coup makers and murderers pay lip service to democracy and the will of the people. Those who easily and readily promise the sky to gullible millions will steal the land from all of them. Easy, invade Bahrain and then weep for the people of Syria. Invade for your own limited political objectives and then swear concern for the welfare of the people (France in Ivory Coast and Libya, America in many other places). The lie is important. If Netanyahu lies as Sarkozy alleges then most French people know that Sarkozy himself plays loose with facts actual or historical.

The existence of the WMD was one of the worst lies America and Britain played on the world with Colin Powell in the role of the pathetic messenger. We all saw the carnage that was justified by that huge lie. Africans were promised paradise and deprived of their land and freedom. Ethiopians have been promised three meals per day and millions are still starving and eating once a day has become a luxury. The lies are so effective that there are still many naïve souls who believe that Western troops are in Iraq and Afghanistan to bring democracy to the peoples there. Lying has become the pillar of the State in many countries and most despots rely on lies as much as arms to perpetuate their rule. A link has conveniently been made between Al Qaida in the Horn, in North Africa and the Boko Harem in Nigeria. The Africom operations are destined to carve out a New Africa, dominated by the West and serving the interests of the West. More drone bases would appear on African soil (the latest one is in Arba Minch/Gamo Gofa/, Ethiopia) and American troops would fight along African ones (Ethiopia, Uganda, etc) to crush any resistance to western domination. A good example of the big lie is the fraud that the war against Libya exposed. Kaddafi was said to have thousands of African mercenaries (many black refugees and workers were killed as a result by the so called rebels), that he was going to bomb Benghazi and killed some six thousand Libyans (the NATO war killed many more actually) and that jets bombed civilians. The whole accusation was presented by the Libyan For Human Rights many of whose members were to become members of the Transitional Council to win power.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, a Sociologist and Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) has put it as follows:

“The claims of the Libyan League for Human Rights (LLHR) were coordinated with the formation of the Transitional Council. This becomes clear when the close and cagey relationship of the LLHR and the Transitional Council becomes apparent. Logically, the Obama Administration and NATO had to also be a part of this.

Whatever the Transitional Council is and whatever the intent of some of its supporters, it is clear that it is being used as a tool by the U.S. and others. Moreover, five members of the LLHR were or would become members of the Transitional Council almost immediately after the claims against the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya were disseminated. According to Bouchuguir individuals with ties to the LLHR or who hold membership include Mahmoud Jibril and Ali Tarhouni.

Dr. Mahmoud Jibril is a Libyan regime figure brought into Libyan government circles by Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi. He would undemocratically be given the position of Transitional Council prime minister. His involvement with the LLHR raises some real questions about the organization.

The economist Ali Tarhouni on the other hand would become the minister for oil and finance for the Transitional Council. Tarhouni is Washington’s man in Libya. He was groomed in the United States and was present at all the major meetings about plans for regime change in Libya. As Minister of Oil and Finance the first acts he did were privatize and virtually handover Libya’s energy resources and economy to the foreign corporations and governments of the NATO-led coalition against Libya.

The General-Secretary of the LLHR, Sliman Bouchuiguir, has even privately admitted that many influential members of the Transitional Council are his friends. A real question of interests arises. Yet, the secret relationship between the LLHR and the Transitional Council is far more than a question of conflict of interest. It is a question of justice and manipulation.

Sliman Bouchuguir is an unheard of figure for most, but he has authored a doctoral thesis that has been widely quoted and used in strategic circles in the United States. This thesis was published in 1979 as a book, The Use of Oil as a Political Weapon: A Case Study of the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo. The thesis is about the use of oil as an economic weapon by Arabs, but can easily be applied to the Russians, the Iranians, the Venezuelans, and others. It examines economic development and economic warfare and can also be applied to vast regions, including all of Africa.

Bouchuguir’s analytical thesis reflects an important line of thinking in Washington as well as London and Tel Aviv. It is both the embodiment of a pre-existing mentality, which includes U.S. National Security Advisor George F. Kennan’s arguments for maintaining a position of disparity through a constant multi-faced war between the U.S. and its allies on one hand and the rest of the world on the other hand. The thesis can be drawn on for preventing the Arabs, or others, from becoming economic powers or threats. In strategic terms, rival economies are pinned as threats and as “weapons.” This has serious connotations.

Moreover, Bouchuiguir did his thesis at George Washington University under Bernard Reich. Reich is a political scientist and professor of international relations. He has worked and held positions at places like the U.S. Defense Intelligence College, the United States Air Force Special Operations School, the Marine Corps War College, and the Shiloah Center at Tel Aviv University. He has consulted on the Middle East for the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. State Department and received grants such as the Defense Academic Research Support Program Research Grant and the German Marshal Fund Grant. Reich also was or is presently on the editorial boards of journals such as Israel Affairs (1994-present), Terrorism: An International Journal (1987-1994), and The New Middle East (1971-1973).

It is also clear that Reich is tied to Israeli interests. He has even written a book about the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel. He has also been an advocate for a “New Middle East” which would be favorable to Israel. This includes careful consideration over North Africa. His work has also focused on the important strategic interface between the Soviet Union and the Middle East and also on Israeli policy in the continent of Africa.

It is clear why Bouchuiguir had his thesis supervised under Reich. On October 23, 1973, Reich gave a testimony at the U.S. Congress. The testimony has been named “The Impact of the October Middle East War” and is clearly tied to the 1973 oil embargo and Washington’s aim of pre-empting or managing any similar events in the future. It has to be asked, how much did Reich influence Bouchuiguir and if Bouchuiguir espouses the same strategic views as Reich?”

The reality is complicated and like the proverbial Truth needs a contingent of lies to protect it. The West lies to pursue its objectives which are anathema to the interest of Africans primarily. AFRICOM is the new instrument of neo colonial domination and plunder and war against terror is the new name for the scramble of the new Century. The lying despots are the cogs for the wheel of the West and its predatory campaign against Africa. Human rights organizations are being used as a cover for the wars the West is waging against African and other continents. At the end of the day, it is war for valuable resources. The US imports more oil from Africa than from Saudi Arabia. The resistance to the plunder of Africa’s oil and resources comes from the people of Africa and it is this resistance that is conveniently being presented as “terrorism”. The African despots are thus part of the big lie and working against the continent and its peoples. The lie is huge. The stakes are high as Africa’s future is on balance. Meles Zenawi sells bonds to gullible people promising that they will get their money back once the huge dam get finished on the Nile. Ivory Coast is said to be fine with Ouattara and Kabila is said to be a panacea for the Congo while Tsvangirai is expected to be an improvement on Mugabe, and so on and on. All lies. In politics “relative improvement” often hides a lie, the continuation of the same under a new name, a new despot. Lies are the weapons of despots. Gullible citizens trust the lies and become victims of tyrants. The wake up call is still unheard. Many Africans still imagine their salvation will come from the West. Waiting for Godot is the reality we observe with sadness.

How long are we to be fooled?