From Ivory Coast To Libya And Beyond: Africa Threatened With Western Military Subjugation
On April 5 the chairman of the African Union, Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, condemned French military operations in fellow West African nation Ivory Coast and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s war against Libya, stating: “Africa does not need any external influence. Africa must manage its own affairs.”
Though hardly a model of a democratic ruler, having come to power in a coup d’etat in 1979 and governed his nation uninterruptedly since, Obiang Nguema is the current head of the 53-nation African Union and his comments stand on their own regardless of their source.
In reference to the mounting violence between the Western-backed Alassane Ouattara’s self-styled Republican Forces army and “Invisible Commandos” on one side and incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo’s military and security forces on the other in Ivory Coast, the AU chairman said that it should not “imply a war, an intervention of a foreign army.”
He spoke after French attack helicopters struck Ivorian military bases in the commercial capital of Abidjan and destroyed over ten armored vehicles, four anti-aircraft weapons and the broadcasting station of the state-run Radiodiffusion-Télévision ivoirienne as well as firing on the presidential building and residence. French troops took over the nation’s main airport earlier in the week. (In 2004 French warplanes destroyed the Gbagbo government’s modest air force on the ground, an action heartily endorsed by the U.S.)
President Obiang Nguema also spoke about what is now the almost three-week-long war waged by the U.S. and its NATO allies against Libya: “I believe that the problems in Libya should be resolved in an internal fashion and not through an intervention that could appear to resemble a humanitarian intervention. We have already seen this in Iraq.”
He added: “Each foreigner is susceptible to proposing erroneous solutions. African problems cannot be resolved with a European, American or Asian view.”
On the same day Russia called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Ivory Coast and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that recently reinforced French troops and cohorts from the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (ONUCI) operate under a mandate that demands strict neutrality and impartiality.
The following day Lavrov expressed concerns about the U.S. and other NATO members arming anti-government insurgents in Libya, stating that such a measure “would constitute interference in the civil war.”
Comparable statements have been voiced around the world, from the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) in Latin America and the Caribbean denouncing the Libyan war to the leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics, Pope Benedict XVI, referring to the violence in Ivory Coast and Libya as a defeat for humanity and issuing “a renewed and heartfelt appeal to all parties to the [conflict] to initiate a process of peacemaking and dialogue, and to avoid further bloodshed.”
American and other Western leaders, however, only desire an end to the violence in both African countries after the belligerents they support, with arms and air and missile attacks, have scored a decisive victory over their opponents.
On the same day that the chairman of the African Union and the Russian foreign minister articulated the concerns cited above, President Barack Obama demanded that “former President Gbagbo must stand down immediately, and direct those who are fighting on his behalf to lay down their arms,” while applauding the actions of French troops and military helicopters in the capital.
Obama and his secretary of state Hillary Clinton have repeatedly delivered ultimatums to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to abdicate – backed up by bombs and cruise missiles – with Clinton responding to the latter’s recent letter to Obama calling for an end to NATO attacks on his country by stating: “Mr Gaddafi knows what he must do….There needs to be a decision made about his departure from power [and] his departure from Libya.”
The recently appointed commander of U.S. Africa Command, General Carter Ham, told the House Armed Services Committee on April 5: “This is a historic time for us in Africa Command. We completed a complex, short-notice, operational mission in Libya and have now transferred that mission to NATO.”
Since AFRICOM handed over command of the war against Libya to NATO on March 31 over 1,200 air missions have been flown over the country, including several hundred bombings and missile strikes.
Two of only five African nations that have not entered into individual and regional partnerships with the Pentagon through AFRICOM are the targets of violent uprisings aimed at toppling their governments and installing client regimes subservient to the U.S. and its NATO allies. Only Eritrea, Zimbabwe and a truncated Sudan will be left. And will be next.
As Alassane Ouattara, former unelected prime minister under the late president for life Félix Houphouët-Boigny and Washington, D.C.-based Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, is poised to take control of Ivory Coast with the assistance of the French military, his country is being prepared to join its Gulf of Guinea neighbors in the U.S.- and NATO-supported West African Standby Force and be incorporated into AFRICOM operations in one of the world’s most oil-rich and thus strategic regions.
The USS Robert G. Bradley guided missile frigate began a nine-nation Africa Partnership Station West mission on February 1 with a port visit to the capital of Togo, two countries removed from Ivory Coast’s eastern border on the Gulf of Guinea. The Africa Partnership Station is an initiative of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and works in conjunction with AFRICOM.
After Togo, the U.S. warship’s itinerary has included and will include visits to Cape Verde, Senegal, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Angola and Nigeria. Angola and Nigeria are Africa’s largest oil exporters. Gabon’s sizeable oil exports are divided between Russia, the U.S., China and former colonial master France. In 2005 American oil giants ChevronTexaco and ExxonMobil entered into an exploration and production agreement with Sao Tome and Principe.
The U.S. frigate is part of Africa Partnership Station 2011, operating off the coasts of West, Southern and East Africa with five U.S. ships and three from European NATO nations.
While visiting Cameroon late last month, USS Robert G. Bradley led the Obangame Express exercise with vessels from France, Spain, Belgium, Cameroon, Gabon and Nigeria.
From March 3-19 the U.S. Marine Corps conducted a joint Africa Partnership Station exercise with the Ghana Armed Forces at the Jungle Warfare School in the Gulf of Guinea nation.
In February USS Stephen W. Groves, an Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile warship like USS Robert G. Bradley, participated in a joint exercise off South Africa with that country’s submarine SAS Charlotte Maxeke in training that U.S. Africa Command described as “part of the U.S. Navy’s initiative to strengthen military partnership nations throughout the continent of Africa.”
The ship next visited Tanzania, where it trained military personnel from Djibouti, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique and the host country in the first of several phases of the Africa Partnership Station East mission that has now taken it to Mauritius and will later bring it to Kenya and Seychelles and after that to Cape Verde and Senegal in West Africa.
Since the Africa Partnership Station initiative was launched in 2007, U.S. warships assigned to it have visited almost every African coastal and island nation except for those bordering the Mediterranean Sea. The exceptions have been Ivory Coast, Sudan and Eritrea as well as Libya in the north.
In February AFRICOM conducted the 19-day Operation Flintlock 2011 special forces exercise in Senegal with the participation of NATO allies France, Germany, Spain, Canada and the Netherlands and Sahel nations Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria and Senegal. (Last year’s Flintlock included the above African states and Algeria and Tunisia.) Burkina Faso borders northeastern Ivory Coast.
The AFRICOM website wrote this of the exercise:
“Conducted by Special Operations Command Africa, Flintlock is a joint multinational exercise to improve information sharing at the operational and tactical levels across the Saharan region while fostering increased collaboration and coordination. It’s focused on military interoperability and capacity-building for U.S., North American and European Partner Nations, and select units in Northern and Western Africa.”
Note how African participants are listed after those of the U.S. and its European and Canadian NATO allies.
Late this January the main planning conference for Africa Endeavor 2011 was held in Mali. Modeled after U.S. European Command’s Combined Endeavor, the largest military communications and information systems exercise in the world, this year’s annual Africa Endeavor multinational exercise will be held in June in the same country.
According to AFRICOM, January’s planning conference “brought together more than 180 participants from 41 African, European and North American nations and observers from [the] Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Eastern African Standby Force and NATO to plan interoperability testing of communications and information systems of participating nations,” with the “largest number of participating countries to date in the Africa Endeavor series” in the words of Brigadier General Roberts Ferrell, head of AFRICOM’s Command, Control, Communications and Computers Systems Directorate.
Last year’s Africa Endeavor included, in addition to U.S. and other NATO nations’ military personnel, participants from Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Gambia, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Seychelles, Southern Sudan (a year before its independence referendum), Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zambia.
Note the absence of Ivory Coast, Libya, Sudan, Eritrea and Zimbabwe.
Only 30 months after becoming an independent command, AFRICOM has consolidated military-to-military relations with 50 African nations, including non-African Union member Morocco and the world’s newest state, South Sudan. Changes in government in Ivory Coast and Libya would add two more countries to that column.
And as AFRICOM handed command of the current war against Libya to NATO on March 31, so, if recent comments by African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security Ramtane Lamamra are to be given credence, AFRICOM is preparing to share its 50 new African assets with NATO. 
Just as the 1884-1885 Berlin Conference divided the African continent into spheres of influence between the major European powers and the U.S., with Ivory Coast belonging to France and Libya later taken by Italy, so now the U.S. and all the major former European colonial masters, who are now fellow NATO member states – France, Britain, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Turkey – are again planning to establish dominance over what has become the world’s second most populous continent.
1. Africa: Global NATO Seeks To Recruit 50 New Military Partners
Stop NATO, February 20, 2011
The West calls on the Syrian Armed Forces to stop killing terrorists, while it continues to arm them as it did in Libya, the United Nations Organization calls on the world to act with one voice on Syria. Has anyone investigated who the Syrian terrorists are and what they are doing? Has anyone heard of Suriye Ulusal Geçis Konseyi? Sounds Turkish...
The Syrian Opposition is not the people of Syria. Despite what the Opposition is saying, the Syrian Government is largely popular and despite what the Opposition is saying, this so-called Syrian National Council is a mirror of the Transitional National Council in Libya - rapists, racists, torturers, arsonists, thieves and murderers. And what is the Syrian National Council? A large part of it is a Turkish-based group called Suriye Ulusal Geçis Konseyi.
For a start how can the world act with one single voice after what the FUKUS Axis (France, UK US and Israel) did in Libya and after the mission creep their no-fly zone warped into? Does anyone remember the promise of no boots on the ground? Right, and what about the special forces involved in a full-scale invasion? And has anyone had a look at Libya recently and seen the utter chaos NATO's terrorists have visited upon this once-peaceful country? The only zones worth living in are those controlled by Libyan patriots, meaning Green forces loyal to the Jamahiriya Government.
So let nobody give the FUKUS Axis and their NATO friends any moral right to opine over Syria, simply because, who is arming the Syrian terrorists anyway? And secondly let us not use bullshit in our news pieces speaking about the Government fighting "unarmed civilians". Does an "unarmed civilian" destroy a military jet in full view of SKY News, which claimed it was a "victory"? So if I were to destroy a British military aircraft, would that be a "victory"?
Do unarmed civilians use RPGs, do unarmed civilians use machine guns, do unarmed civilians attack and murder 3,000 Government Security Personnel?
No, these are not unarmed civilians - they are terrorists and they have been armed and financed by the west, yet again. One faction is the al-Nusra Front to Protect the Levant, a group which has links to Al-Qaeda and this is the group which claimed responsibility, gloating in a 45-minute video, for the terrorist attacks in Aleppo and Damascus, using car bombs. The terrorists gloated about raping a woman and murdering her son. It also claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Damascus in January. The General Secretary of this terrorist group is called Al-Faith Abu Mohammed al-Golani. Al-Qaeda flags were visible in the background during this sickening act. What is the FUKUS Axis saying about that?
On Sunday a terrorist group murdered 13 civilians including women and children in Hasiba, near Qusayar, Homs. What is the FUKUS Axis saying about that?
Human Rights Watch has connected the Syrian "Opposition" terrorists with "kidnapping, detention, and torture of security force members, government supporters, and people identified as members of pro-government militias, called shabeeha. Human Rights Watch has also received reports of executions by armed opposition groups of security force members and civilians". This is exactly what NATO's terrorists did in Libya. What is the FUKUS Axis saying about that?
I thought so... Suppose the west stopped arming the Syrian traitors who are murdering Syrian civilians? Maybe we should investigate further who is sending these weapons and which countries are allowing them to come in.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says that his country is preparing its armed forces to counter any threats posed by NATO’s missile system.
Medvedev made the statement during a meeting with Russia's top military brass, adding that this did not mean Moscow would halt dialogue with Washington.
"By 2017-2018 we must be fully prepared, fully armed," the Russian president said on Tuesday.
He added that Russia's defense spending is expected to rise to 2.8 percent of its gross domestic product by 2018.
Moscow has called for sharing control of any missile system, saying the aim of the so-called shield is to encircle Russia. Washington, however, refuses to share the shield control with any third party.
In return, Russia has threatened to aim a new generation of missiles at European military targets and deploy its own missile interceptors.
US-led NATO has claimed that the missile system is planned to thwart possible attacks from 'rogue' states, and it will go ahead with the plan despite Russian concerns.
However, Moscow says it wants legal guarantees that the system will not be aimed at Russia.
Infamous Abu Ghraib guard has no regrets
The latest interview by the infamous prison guard comes in the shadow of a chain of ill-fated actions by the American military. After a Koran-burning incident at a US base in Afghanistan sparked violent protests, a US soldier went on a bloody rampage in Kandahar Province, killing 16 Afghan civilians, among them children and women.
Russia finally has Bulava ICBM, after 14 years of tribulations
It seems that the longest spic story in the history of Russian missile technologies is drawing to an end. Defense Ministry officials stated that the Bulava ballistic missile would be passed into service for the Russian Navy in October 2012. Nuclear submarines of Project 955 Borei - Yury Dolgoruky and Alexander Nevsky - will be passed simultaneously with the missile.
If all goes well, the intercontinental ballistic missile Bulava will become the basis for the naval component of Russia's nuclear triad. The state flight tests of the new missile system have ended successfully, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov stated.
The most recent test launch of the missile was conducted on December 23, 2011 from the Yury Dolgoruky submarine. A series of Bulava launches is expected to take place in the summer of the current year. The launches will be conducted within the scheduled procedure to pass the new system into service.
Why did it take so long, though? The development of the new missile started in 1998. Viktor Romadin, a Candidate of Technical Sciences, shared his thoughts about it with Pravda.Ru.
On March 6, 2012, the US Congressional Research Service released a report to the US Congress concerning Restrictions on the use of American weapons by recipient countries. For those who have followed the subject there was not a whole lot new in the CRS study, yet it is instructive in identifying Israel once again as far and away the most egregious violator of virtually every provision of every US law which purports to regulate how American weapons are used.
According to one CRS researcher, requesting anonymity during a Skype conversation and subsequent memo:
“An intern and I decided, almost for amusement, to count violations of US Arms Export Control laws by Israel between the date of ACEA enactment, 1976, through last month and we estimated more than 2.5 million violations if we applied the law given the legislative history and intent of Congress at the time of its passage. We based that figure on our estimation of each individual violation of the act as well as of the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act. It could be firing a US 155 mm artillery shell, various missiles, bombs, rockets and of course cluster munitions. For example, were Israel brought before a Court, the prosecutors would surely argue that each cluster booklet dropped on Lebanon in 2006 was a separate violation plus the two million estimated dropped during the 1982 invasion of Lebanon and during the 1978, 1993 and 1996 invasions. Add to this figure Israel’s records of violating US Arms export laws in Gaza, the West Bank and Syria and the true number is surely several million violations. Essentially all committed with impunity.”
In accordance with U.S. law, the U.S. Government is mandated to enforce strict conditions on the use against civilians, of weapons it transfers to foreign recipients. Violations of these conditions can lead to the suspension of deliveries or termination of contracts for such defense items, and even the cutting off of all aid to the violating country.
Section 3(a) of the 1976 US Arms Export Control Act (AECA) sets the standards for countries to be eligible to receive American arms and it also sets express conditions on the uses to which these arms may be put. Section 4 of the AECA states that U.S. weapons shall be sold to friendly countries “solely” for use in “legitimate self-defense, for use in “internal security,” and to enable the recipient country to participate in “collective measures requested by the United Nations for the purpose of maintaining or restoring international peace and security.”
Should the President or Congress determine pursuant to section 3(c)(3)(A) of the Arms Export Control Act that a “substantial violation” by a foreign country of an applicable agreement governing an arms sale or grant has occurred, then that country is automatically ineligible for further U.S. military hardware. This action would also terminate provision of credits, loan guarantees, cash sales, and deliveries pursuant to previous sales or grants. Other options include suspension of deliveries of defense items already ordered and refusal to allow new arms orders.
The United States has only once used such an option against Israel.
Questions raised by researchers in Beirut during the summer of 1982 and by Washington Post journalist Jonathan Randal regarding the use of U.S.-supplied military equipment by Israel in Lebanon in June and July 1982, led the Reagan Administration to determine on July 15, 1982, that Israel “may” have violated its July 23, 1952, Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement with the United States (TIAS 2675) and the AECA.
The pertinent language of the 1952 agreement between Israel and the United States states: “The Government of Israel assures the United States Government that such equipment, materials, or services as may be acquired from the United States … are required for and will be used solely to maintain its internal security, its legitimate self-defense, or to permit it to participate in the defense of the area of which it is a part, or in United Nations collective security arrangements and measures, and that it will not undertake any act of aggression against any other state.”
Alarm centered on whether or not Israel had used U.S.-supplied antipersonnel cluster bombs against civilian targets during its carpet bombing West Beirut during the nearly three month siege.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee held hearings on this issue in July and August 1982. On July 19, 1982, the Reagan Administration announced that it would prohibit new exports of cluster bombs to Israel. This prohibition was lifted by the Reagan Administration in November 1988 under US Israel lobby pressure on the White House designed to assist the Presidential campaign of George H. W. Bush against Senator Walter Mondale.
The facts of this case which mainly centered on events in Lebanon are instructive. During the 1973 Ramadan war, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, watching Arab forces advance on Israel troops following the October 6 Egyptian and Syrian offensive, and being advised by the Israeli Defense Ministry of a pending disaster, threatened President Nixon with Israel using nuclear weapons unless the US rescued Israel. Nixon’s immediate response was to order a massive air lift to Israel of US arms stockpiled for use in Vietnam at Clark air force base near Subic Bay, Philippines. The base commander at Clark immediately resigned because being on the defensive in Vietnam, he advised Washington US troops needed those weapons. Included were eight types of US cluster bombs including the M-42, M-46,CBU-58 A/B, APAM (BLU) 77/B, MK 20 “Rockeye”, MK 118 and he M-43 “Birdie” as the U.S. Marines in Beirut referred to the M-43 it in late 1982 and 1983.
During a late June 1982 meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Begin, Reagan was handed a note from George Shultz. Based on the information he had in hand, Reagan directly told Begin that the US had reliable information than Israel was using American weapons against civilians in Lebanon. At this point according to Reagan, Begin became very agitated. He lowered his glasses and while glaring at Reagan and shaking his index finger said, “Mr. President, Israel has never and would never use American weapons against civilians and to claim otherwise is a blood libel against every Jew, everywhere.” Following their meeting Reagan told Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger, as reported by Weinberger and by various biographers of Reagan that “I did not know what the term “blood libel” meant, but I know that the man looked me straight in the eyes and lied to me.”
The original Secretary of State George Schultz suggestion to Reagan of Israel using two types (the M-42 and the CBU-58) of American cluster bombs was soon changed to the charge that Israel in fact used all eight types of American cluster bombs Nixon had sent to Meir during October 1973.
Proof of the use of the eight types of US cluster bombs was delivered to an assembly of US Pentagon and other officials in late July 1982 at the Indian Head Ordnance facility on the Potomac River in Southern Maryland on instructions from the late American Journalist Janet Lee Stevens to this observer. Substantive and still preserved demonstrative and physical evidence, including photographs and US cluster bombs, some of which still were filled with the high explosive minol, that were carried in my suitcase, that had been gathered from around West Beirut by Janet and her research team that included Palestinian fighters delegated by Yassir Arafat and Khalil al Wazir (Abu Jihad) some Marabatoun fighters, as well several Amal milita as well as this observer to aid with the task.
The US / Israel lobby accurately considers American arms control laws as meaningless. The prohibitions against Israel’s use of American weapons against civilians have not, are not and in all likelihood will never be enforced against Israel given the regime’s continuing occupation of much of the US government.
The once cherished American value of building a nation based on humane laws and the American national security interest of achieving a foreign policy that deals on the basis of equality with other nations have been sacrificed so as to delay the inevitable collapse of the apartheid colonial enterprise implanted on Palestine.
The Obama “we’ve got your back regardless” genuflection endangers America as surely as it threatens with US weapons, every country in the Middle East and beyond that may even contemplate challenging Zionism’s regional hegemony.
It’s high time for true American patriots to take back their country and rejoin the community of nations on the basis of equality and mutual respect for all, entangling and corrupting alliances with none.
About the Author
Franklin Lamb, a former Assistant Counsel of the US House Judiciary Committee at the US Congress and Professor of International Law at Northwestern College of Law in Oregon, earned his Law Degree at Boston University and his LLM, M.Phil, and PhD degrees at the London School of Economics. Following three summers at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Lamb was a visiting fellow at the Harvard Law School’s East Asian Legal Studies Center where he specialized in Chinese Law. He was the first westerner allowed by the government of China to visit the notorious “Ward Street” Prison in Shanghai. Lamb is doing research in Lebanon and works with the Palestine Civil Rights Campaign-Lebanon and the Sabra-Shatila Foundation. His new book, The Case for Palestinian Civil Rights in Lebanon, is due out shortly.