Subject: The Limits of US Foreign Policy : arming war lords and mining for private profits; while the wallpaper/musak media conceal contradictions, and establishment propagandists put out the lights creating an atmosphere of artificial scarcity.
12 October 2015
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
I was recently re-reading Eric Hobsbawm’s 1994 book, The Age of Extremes, which is the sequel to his much read trilogy: “The Age of Revolution,” “The Age of Capital,” and “The Age of Empire.” The trilogy is a comprehensive history of the “long 19th Century” (from the time of the French Revolution up to World War I); the sequel is a history of the “short 20th Century” (from WW I to the debacle of the Soviet Union in 1991). Hobsbawm writes in a systemic Marxist tradition, but unlike his contemporary, the American historian Gabriel Kolko, he does not use the tools of dialectical materialism to enter into a deep analysis of social class struggles and contradictions that have existed within the ruling classes. Since the beginning of the ‘bourgeois revolution’, capitalists have increasingly taken control over access to valuable materials, and subsequently control over the production process. This revolutionary capitalist advance has led to a third important field of capitalist conquest, e.g. the engineered desires in society to consume manufactured products. Consumer society has depoliticized the public, which finds itself inexplicably powerless, dependent on the market mechanisms that produce and satisfy desires.
Sometimes confusing effect with cause, Hobsbawm entitles the last section of The Age of Extremes, “The Crisis Decades” in which he writes : “The history of the twenty years after 1973 is that of a world which lost its bearings and slid into instability and crisis. And yet, until the 1980s it was not clear how irretrievably the foundation of the ‘Golden Age’ had crumbled.” (p.404) What is missing in this analysis is the repressed class consciousness of most people, who have been reduced to a state of ontological insecurity and kept there by the experience of recurring crises. (Hobsbawm would have been well advised to heed his own warning (which he cites on page 372) against, “socialist strategies and perspectives … based upon political example instead of upon analyses of capitalism.”
Today, the owners of capital and their money managers are happily arming war lords around the world and mining for high profits opportunities, while the antiseptic wallpaper/musak media conceal contradictions and the establishment propagandists put out the lights. This has produced a mega crisis heading for catastrophe, somewhere over the cusp, beyond stability, into a free fall of chaos and aimlessness. Sociologists used to call this state anomie, which was a rare condition of nearly complete alienation suffered by individuals or societies which had experienced a great shock that produced extreme disorientation. Such a state of mind can be engineered today; and if it is profitable to a few possessing the power to do it, then there is no reason not to make it happen.
Below, please find 6 items which invite political/economic analyses to better understand where the capitalist drives for private profits have brought us. Collectively, we are experiencing a ‘landslide’ into an abyss, and it is imperative that we find the words, ideas and concepts which best describe our experiences. Only such efforts can reorient us, and it is essential for us to fight against the brainwash and to get back up on our feet. Speaking frankly to one another is the best method to find a path toward recovery, a path which can only be of own making and not yet another received idea, some prefabricated illusion that will hypnotize us and paralyze us with feelings of indebtedness, obedience and submission.
And finally, for our collective consternation in the dark days ahead, we invite readers a return to Robert Zemeckis’ postmodern gem, the 1994 movie “Forrest Gump,” which challenges us to delve into the surface phenomena of the life story of a severely retarded man –a prescient description of postmodern life under the control of today’s media?
Professor of American Studies
University of Grenoble-3
Director of Research
University of Paris-Nanterre
Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements
How Gaddafi’s Great Man-Made River Project became part of Water Wars
by Linda Housman
Libyans called it the eighth wonder of the world. Western media called it a pet project and the pipe dream of a mad dog. The "mad dog" himself in 1991 prophetically said about the largest civil engineering venture in the world: "After this achievement, American threats against Libya will double. The United States will make excuses, but the real reason is to stop this achievement, to keep the people of Libya oppressed."
It was Muammar Gaddafi's dream to provide fresh water for all Libyans and to make Libya self-sufficient in food production. In 1953, the search for new oilfields in the deserts of southern Libya led to the discovery not just of significant oil reserves, but also of vast quantities of fresh water trapped in the underlying strata. The four ancient water aquifers that were discovered, each had estimated capacities ranging between 4,800 and 20,000 cubic kilometers. Most of this water was collected between 38,000 and 14,000 years ago, though some pockets are believed to be only 7,000 years old.
After Gaddafi and the Free Unitary Officers seized power in a bloodless coup from the corrupt King Idris during the Al-Fateh Revolution in 1969, the Jamahiriya government nationalized the oil companies and spent much of the oil revenues to harness the supply of fresh water from the desert aquifers by putting in hundreds of bore wells. Large farms were established in southern Libya to encourage the people to move to the desert. It turned out that the majority of the people however preferred life in the northern coastal areas.
Therefore Gaddafi subsequently conceived a plan to bring the water to the people instead. The Libyan Jamahiriya government conducted the initial feasibility studies in 1974, and in 1983 the Great Man-Made River Authority was set up. This fully government funded project was designed in five phases, each of them largely separate in itself, but which eventually would combine to form an integrated system. As water in Gaddafi's Libya was regarded to be a human right, there has not been any charge on the people, nor were any international loans needed for the almost $30 billion cost of the project.
In 1996, during the opening of Phase II of the Great Man-Made River Project, Gaddafi said:
This is the biggest answer to America and all the evil forces who accuse us of being concerned with terrorism. We are only concerned with peace and progress. America is against life and progress; it pushes the world toward darkness.
Development and destruction.
At the time of the NATO-led war against Libya in 2011, three phases of the Great Man-Made River Project were completed. The first and largest phase, providing two million cubic metres of water a day along a 1,200 km pipeline to Benghazi and Sirte, was formally inaugurated in August 1991. Phase II includes the delivery of one million cubic metres of water a day to the western coastal belt and also supplies Tripoli. Phase III provides the planned expansion of the existing Phase I system, and supplies Tobruk and the coast from a new wellfield.
The 'rivers' are a 4000-kilometer network of 4 meters diameter lined concrete pipes, buried below the desert sands to prevent evaporation. There are 1300 wells, 500,000 sections of pipe, 3700 kilometers of haul roads, and 250 million cubic meters of excavation. All material for the project was locally manufactured. Large reservoirs provide storage, and pumping stations control the flow into the cities.
The last two phases of the project should involve extending the distribution network together. When completed, the irrigation water from the Great Man-Made River would enable about 155,000 hectares of land to be cultivated. Or, as Gaddafi defined, the project would make the desert as green as the flag of the Libyan Jamahiriya.
In 1999, UNESCO accepted Libya's offer to fund the Great Man-Made River International Water Prize, an award that rewards remarkable scientific research work on water usage in arid areas.
Many foreign nationals worked in Libya on the Great Man-Made River Project for decades. But after the start of NATO's so-called humanitarian bombing of the North-African country in March 2011, most foreign workers have returned home. In July 2011, NATO not only bombed the Great Man-Made River water supply pipeline near Brega, but also destroyed the factory that produces the pipes to repair it, claiming in justification that it was used as "a military storage facility" and that "rockets were launched from there". Six of the facility's security guards were killed in the NATO attack, and the water supply for the 70% of the population who depend on the piped supply for personal use and for irrigation has been compromised with this damage to Libya's vital infrastructure.
The construction on the last two phases of the Great Man-Made River Project were scheduled to continue over the next two decades, but NATO's war on Libya has thrown the project's future - and the wellbeing of the Libyan people - into great jeopardy.
A German language documentary shows the size and brilliance of the project:
Fresh clean water, as provided to the Libyans by the Great Man-Made River, is essential to all life forms. Without fresh water we simply cannot function. Right now, 40% of the global population has little to no access to clean water, and that figure is actually expected to jump to 50% by 2025. According to the United Nations Development Program 2007, global consumption of water is doubling every 20 years, more than twice the rate of human population growth. Simultaneously, every single year most of the major deserts around the world are becoming bigger and the amount of usable agricultural land in most areas is becoming smaller, while rivers, lakes and major underground aquifers around the globe are drying up - except in Gaddafi's Libya.
In the light of the current world developments, there is more to the NATO destruction of the Great Man-Made River Project than being an isolated war crime. The United Nations Environment Program 2007 describes a so-called "water for profit scheme", which actively promotes the privatization and monopolization for the world's water supplies by multinational corporations. Meanwhile the World Bank recently adopted a policy of water privatization and full-cost water pricing, with one of its former directors, Ismail Serageldin, stating: "The wars of the 21st century will be fought over water".
In practice this means that the United Nations in collaboration with the World Bank plans to secure water resources to use at their disposal, and that once they totally control these resources, the resources become assets to be reallocated back to the enslaved nations for a price. Those prices will rise while the quality of the water will decrease, and fresh water sources will become less accessible to those who desperately need it. Simply put, one of the most effective ways to enslave the people is to take control of their basic daily needs and to take away their self-sufficiency.
How this relates to the NATO destruction of Gaddafi's Great Man-Made River Project in July 2011 can be best illustrated by the Hegelian Dialectic, popularly known as the concept of Problem -> Reaction -> Solution. In this case, by bombing the water supply and the pipes factory, a Problem was created with an ulterior motive, namely to gain control over the most precious part of Libya's infrastructure. Subsequently a Reaction in the form of an immediate widespread need was provoked as a result of the Problem, since as much as 70% of the Libyans depend on the Great Man-Made River for personal use as well as for the watering of the land. A month after the destruction of the Great Man-Made River, more than half of Libya was without running water. Ultimately a predetermined Solution was implemented: in order to have access to fresh water, the inhabitants of the war-torn country had no choice but to fully depend on - and thus to be enslaved to - the NATO-installed government.
A 'democratic' and 'democracy-bringing' government that came to power through the wounding and killing of thousands of Libyans by 'humanitarian bombs', and that overthrow the 'dictator' whose dream it was to provide fresh water for all Libyans for free.
War is still peace, freedom is still slavery.
Questions You Aren’t Supposed To Ask About ISIS: #1 –
Those Toyota Trucks
Five Leaders Challenging
Western Imperialism :
Pope Francis, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Hassan Rouhani, and Jeremy Corbyn
by James Petras
Intifada: The Writing Was On The Wall
by Gideon Levy
Another crushing indictment of the NYT's coverage of Israel-Palestine by Barbara Erickson. Remarkable that this stream of crushers has no impact on the paper.
Sent: Monday, October 05, 2015 11:10 AM
To: Edward S, Herman
Subject: [New post] The Constant Cruelty of the Israeli Occupation: A No-go Zone in The NY Times
TimesWarp.org posted: "As Israelis and Palestinians die in an upsurge of violence, The New York Times fails once again to give readers an honest look at the causes of this agonizing conflict. Missing from its pages is any real exposure of the brutal and illegal occupation of Pa"
Top Ukraine official backs idea 'to help ISIS take revenge on Russian soldiers in Syria’
Published time: 7 Oct, 2015
Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to Ukraine's Interior Minister © Alexandr Maksimenko / RIA Novosti
Russian prosecutors have charged a prominent Ukrainian politician with inciting terrorism, after he called for Islamic State to attack Russian pilots involved in the campaign against ISIS in Syria.
Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, shared a message from a Facebook “friend”who wants to help ISIS militants take revenge against Russian forces in Syria "in accordance with Sharia law."
Gerashchenko said he received a message on Facebook which said that “Russian propaganda channels” and Russian army in almost every report “show off” their military personnel in Syria.
The post, as well as Gerashchenko’s Facebook page, were unavailable for several hours. But later the post, as well as Gerashchenko’s page, reappeared. An image of the post can be viewed, however, thanks to a screenshot.
© Anton Gerashchenko / Facebook
“I think that their faces [on TV] will be enough, so that Islamic State militants and their supporters in Russia, the majority of whom are in the Caucasus region, could then find them and take revenge [on them] under Sharia law,” the Facebook user wrote to Gerashchenko.
Gerashchenko, who also attached an RT video showing Russian military jets in Syria in his post, seemed to be inspired by the idea. He urged everyone who has any information about Russian servicemen fighting ISIS in Syria to report the data on the volunteer-made Mirotvorec (Peacekeeper) website. For such information, there would be a special section, entitled “Putin’s crimes in Syria and Middle East.”
The majority of Gerashchenko’s Facebook friends supported the idea, calling it “brilliant” and “effective.” However, not everyone got motivated by such a call.
“Anton [Gerashchenko] is already supporting Islamic State?” “Has Ukraine already solved its own problems” “Anton Gerashchenko, are you nuts?” asked users in the comments under the post.
The Mirotvorec (Peacekeeper) website, which is supported by Gerashchenko, posts very thorough data on anyone who oppose the current Kiev authorities – journalists, activists, MPs and, of course, self-defense forces fighting against the government in eastern Ukraine. They are all labeled “terrorists” or “supporters of federalization.”
The personal information include their addresses, social media account links, a substantial biography and any mentions in the Ukrainian press. It has its own social media account, which frequently tweets cryptic messages of “successful missions.”
Several of those mentioned on the website, with the most high-profile ones like opposition politician Oleg Kalashnikov and opposition journalist Oles Buzina, were killed shortly after their personal details turned up on the website.
For more News From Underground, visit http://markcrispinmiller.com