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

GLOBAL RESEARCH ONLINE INTERACTIVE READER No. 1

by Michel Chossudovsky and Finian Cunningham and Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

GLOBAL RESEARCH ONLINE INTERACTIVE READER No. 1

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

by Michel Chossudovsky, Finian Cunningham and Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Forward

First in Global Research’s Interactive Reader Series, we bring to the attention of our readers a collection of Global Research articles on the “Arab Spring”, covering recent developments in several countries across the Middle East and North Africa region.

The Interactive Reader is a collection of previously published articles on Global Research. Its objective is to provide an overview as well as a comparative understanding of country-level experiences of the upheavals.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


PART I  TUNISIA: DICTATORSHIP AND NEOLIBERALISM

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

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

 

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

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


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

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