Saturday, April 30, 2011

The West's Silence Over Bahrain Smacks of Double-Standards

Does the West support regime change in Bahrain?  It would appear not.  Whatever the case, these journalists draw our attention to one factual absurdity: there is no such thing as a "humanitarian war" -ed.

The absence of pressure on Saudi Arabia and Bahrain will only deepen the gulf of distrust between Iran and the west

The European Union and the Obama administration have made a splendid art of double standards by imposing sanctions on Tehran's rulers for their human rights violations and taking military action against the Libyan dictator while failing to address the appalling repression of the pro-democracy movement in Bahrain.

For the US and the EU, which claim to uphold principles over interests, this contradictory policy and their silence over the Saudi intervention in Bahrain is particularly harmful.

Indeed, it is hypocrisy for the history books – to be interpreted by future historians as a reflection of the dominance of western realpolitik over values. How else can one interpret the fact that so far EU-US officials have paid minimal attention to the brutal crackdown in Bahrain, which according to various human rights organisations has resulted in dozens of deaths and incarceration of several hundred protesters?

Instead of condemning the Bahraini government's oppression of its citizens and backing the protesters' legitimate demand for a constitutional monarchy, the EU and the US have confined themselves to vacuous statements without taking any action proportionate to the gravity of the political crisis in Bahrain. The only exception is the rare show of bravado by Zsolt Nemeth, the Hungarian deputy foreign minister (also an EU official) who has advocated a Libya-style Nato intervention in Bahrain.

No other EU official has seconded Nemeth, who came under attack for making "empty threats" in light of the fact that Bahrain is home to the American Fifth Fleet and therefore a crucial piece of "American turf". Nemeth's heroic statement coincided with the EU's latest move to freeze the assets and place travel bans on 32 Iranian officials for human rights violations. Earlier, the US and Sweden had jointly sponsored a UN resolution appointing a human rights observer for Iran.

To their credit, the EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, and her foreign policy team have wisely insulated themselves from the Saudi-Bahraini PR campaign to rationalise Bahrain's repressive behaviour by scapegoating Iran. In comparison, the Obama administration has flip-flopped as reflected in the changing position of defence secretary Robert Gates who, in his latest trip to the region, reversed himself on his admission in March that there was no evidence of Iranian meddling in Bahrain.

Aside from principles, the EU and the US have geostrategic interests that demand a more prudent and long-term policy toward the Bahraini crisis, one diametrically different from the current short-sighted approach. The EU and the US must understand that their obliviousness to the pile-up of popular resentment in Bahrain and elsewhere in the changing Middle East is bound to backfire against their long-term and strategic interests in the region.

A more politically and strategically correct approach counsels a course of action along the following lines: strong and sustained condemnation of the Bahraini government for its human rights abuses; threat of diplomatic reprisals; warning to freeze Bahraini assets and impose travel bans on various Bahraini officials implicated in rights violations; calling on Saudi Arabia to respect the democratic aspirations of Bahraini people and to withdraw its military forces from Bahrain; offering to mediate in the Bahrain political crisis; and to facilitate the process toward free elections.

Only through concrete and proactive measures such as these can the EU and the US recuperate from their damaged standing in the Middle East due to the double standards infecting their policies. Given that the Shia leaders in Iran care so much about their disfranchised Shia brethren in Bahrain, a more principled EU-US approach is bound to improve the rocky Iran-EU relations and mitigate tension with the US, positively impacting the deadlocked negotiations on their nuclear standoff.

On the other hand, the absence of real pressure applied on Saudi Arabia and Bahrain by the EU and the US, compared with their heroics on Iran, will only deepen the present gulf of distrust between Iran and the west, thus making it less likely that Tehran will take EU's recent offer of improving relations seriously.

Under a EU-US double-standards scenario, Tehran will also remain intransigent regarding its tension with the US, nuclear programmes and human rights violations. © Guardian News and Media Limited 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Creative Destruction Part II: Libya in Washington's Greater Middle East Project

Modern Libya: a post-colonial nation-state that was built upon (and still maintains) a strong tribal identity.  For Washington strategists, the key to conquering Libya has for years been to weaken national unity by strengthening rival tribal factions, usually those centered on the northeast coastline.  The following article brings into focus the latest attempt to destabilize the Gaddafi government, that which has led to military intervention; an aggressive campaign claiming to support "democracy" and "human rights" but delivering neither.

Creative Destruction Part II: Libya in Washington's Greater Middle East Project
By F. William Engdahl
Originally published on F. William Engdahl's site
March 26, 2011
Images and captions added by Color Revolutions and Geopolitics

For those who do not believe in coincidence, it's notable that on March 19, 2011 the Obama Administration ordered the military bombing attack on Libya, ostensibly to create a 'no fly zone' to protect innocent civilians and on March 19, 2003, the Bush administration ordered the bombing of Iraq.

The No Fly strikes were begun under US command with suspicious haste following the UN Resolution. To date the attacks have been led by US, British and French air forces and warships. A storm of Tomahawk cruise missiles and GPS-guided bombs has rained down on undisclosed Libyan targets with reports of many civilian deaths. No end is in sight at present.

Eight years earlier to the day, the Bush Administration began its Operation Shock and Awe, the military destruction and occupation of Iraq, allegedly to prevent a threat of weapons of mass destruction which never existed as was later confirmed. The Iraqi invasion followed more than a decade of illegal No Fly Zone operations over Iraqi airspace by the same trio—USA, Britain and France.

Far more important than any possible numerology games a superstitious Pentagon might or might not be playing is the ultimate agenda behind the domino series of regime destabilizations that Washington has ignited under the banner of democracy and human rights across the Islamic world since December 2010.

With Washington's exerting of enormous pressure on other NATO member states to take formal command of the US-led bombing of Libya, no matter under what name, in order to give Washington a fig leaf that would shift attention away from the Pentagon's central role via AFRICOM in coordinating the military operation, the entire upheaval sweeping across North African and Middle East Islamic countries is looking at this writing more like the early onset of a World War III, one that some NATO members hint is expected to last decades.

As with World War II and World War I, this one as well would be launched to expand what David Rockefeller and George H.W. Bush in the past have called a "new world order."

Gaddafi's real 'crime'

Unlike Tunisia or Egypt where a halfway credible argument could be made that the population was suffering from exploding food prices and a vast wealth gap, Gaddafi's Libya, officially called Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, is very different.

The Great Man-Made River Project, financed by Libyan oil revenues--not by IMF-World Bank loans--is a symbol of Gaddafi's sovereign independence.
There, according to Africans I have spoken to with direct knowledge, Libyans enjoyed the highest living standard on the Continent. Gaddafi did not stay on top for 42 years without ensuring that his population had little room to complain. Most health services, education and fuel was state-subsidized. Gaddafi's Libya had the lowest infant mortality rate and highest life expectancy of all Africa. When he seized power from ailing King Idriss four decades ago literacy was below 10% of the population. Today it is above 90%, hardly the footprint of your typical tyrant. Less than 5% of the population is undernourished, a figure lower than in the United States. In response to the rising food prices of recent months, Gaddafi took care to abolish all taxes on food. And a lower percentage of people lived below the poverty line than in the Netherlands. Gaddafi calls his model a form of Islamic socialism. It is secular and not theocratic, despite its overwhelmingly Sunni base in the population. 1

Gaddafi and the African Union
Why is the United States so opposed to Gadaffi? Clearly because he is simply "not with the program." Gaddafi has shown repeatedly and not without grounds that he deeply distrusts Washington. He has constantly tried to forge an independent voice for an Africa that is increasingly being usurped by the Pentagon's AFRICOM. In 1999 he initiated creation of the African Union, based in Addis Abbaba, to strengthen the international voice of Africa's former colonial states. At a pan-African summit in 2009 he appealed for creation of a United States of Africa to combine the economic strengths of what is perhaps the world's richest continent in terms of unexploited mineral and agricultural potentials.

Granted Gaddafi doesn't have the best Western PR agencies like Saatchi of Hill & Knowlton to give his message the pretty touches that politicians like Barack Obama or David Cameron or Nikolas Sarkozy have. Nor is he photogenic like his Washington counterpart, making his grisly face easy to demonize in the media as a kind of new Hitler.

Is Gaddafi the "new Hitler"...
Gaddafi is a thorn in Washington's side for other reasons though. He says that the 9/11 hijackers were trained in the US, yet he also urged Libyans to donate blood to Americans after 9/11. Gaddafi has been working for decades to build an independent voice for African states not controlled by either the US or former European colonial powers, his United States of Africa.

...or the "old Hitler"?
When all the Western media demonizing is stripped away, Gaddafi is the last of a generation of moderate socialist pan-Arabists still in power, after Egypt's Nasser and Iraq's Saddam Hussein have been eliminated, and Syria has aligned with Iran.2

So long as he remains, Libya poses an embarrassing economic alternative to Washington's 'free market' globalization template which it is now desperate to impose on the one billion peoples of the Islamic world from Morocco across Africa and the Middle East to Afghanistan. For the powers driving this spreading war, it is a question of survival of the American Century, or what the quaint neo-conservatives called the New American Century, of the future survival of a sole American Superpower through spreading war and chaos as its own economy disintegrates more by the day.

Amr Mousa and dubious political games

Amr Mousa: this Egyptian Presidential Candidate delivered the Arab League to Washington in the latter's attempt to destabilize Libya.
The launch of Operation Odyssey Dawn, the coordinated US-British-French military attack on Libya following the UN Security Council resolution, was begun with shocking speed once Egyptian diplomat Amr Mousa, spokesman for the Arab League, conveniently arm-twisted his nervous brothers in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Arab states, clearly convincing them that by voting for the no-fly they might remain in the good graces of Washington and thereby avoid the fate of Egypt's Hosni Mubarak or Tunisia's Ben Ali. Washington had clearly planned its military actions long before March 19.

Following weeks of diplomatic deception and what were clearly deliberately misleading signals from US Defense Secretary Robert Gates claiming to oppose a no-fly zone for Libya, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claiming to support one, and a US President appearing to be weak and vacillating, the Nobel Peace President Obama, the President who ordered escalation of the war in Afghanistan and defended the CIA torture prison at Guantanamo, ordered a de facto declaration of war against a sovereign nation, Libya, despite the fact that no US lives were endangered nor US territory threatened by what was essentially an internal Libyan armed tribal uprising against an established head of state and government. Moreover, Gaddafi's Libya has never threatened an invasion of a neighboring state, an essential if forgotten precondition for any UN intervention.

As experience in Bosnia and in Iraq in the 1990s clearly showed, a No Fly Zone is not a neutral minor event but a full scale act of war, a violent taking control of the airspace of a sovereign territory, including destroying the anti-aircraft and air strike capacity of the target country.

Richard Falk, a distinguished professor of international law and UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian Human Rights, noted the utter lack of any basic criteria for a UN intervention in Libya:
What is immediately striking about the bipartisan call in Washington for a no-fly zone and air strikes designed to help rebel forces in Libya is the absence of any concern with the relevance of international law or the authority of the United Nations. None in authority take the trouble to construct some kind of legal rationalization. The 'realists' in command, and echoed by the mainstream media, do not feel any need to provide even a legal fig leaf before embarking on aggressive warfare.
It should be obvious that a no-fly zone in Libyan airspace is an act of war, as would be, of course, contemplated air strikes on fortifications of the Gaddafi forces. The core legal obligation of the UN Charter requires member states to refrain from any use of force unless it can be justified as self-defense after a cross-border armed attack or mandated by a decision of the UN Security Council.
Neither of these conditions authorizing a legal use of force is remotely present, and yet the discussion proceeds in the media and Washington circles as if the only questions worth discussing pertain to feasibility, costs, risks, and a possible backlash in the Arab world.3
Falk, who has spent most of the past five decades defending the now-forgotten notion that a rule of law is preferable to a rule of barbarian 'might makes right,' adds, "Cannot it not be argued that in situations of humanitarian emergency 'a state of exception' exists allowing an intervention to be carried out by a coalition of the willing provided it doesn't make the situation worse?" He answers his rhetorical question:
Richard Falk
With respect to Libya, we need to take account of the fact that the Gaddafi government, however distasteful on humanitarian grounds, remains the lawful diplomatic representative of a sovereign state, and any international use of force even by the UN, much less a state or group of states, would constitute an unlawful intervention in the internal affairs of a sovereign state, prohibited by Article 2(7) of the UN Charter unless expressly authorized by the Security Council as essential for the sake of international peace and security.
Beyond this, there is no assurance that an intervention, if undertaken, would lessen the suffering of the Libyan people or bring to power a regime more respectful of human rights and dedicated to democratic participation.
What I am mainly decrying here in the Libyan debate are three kinds of policy failure: The exclusion of international law and the United Nations from relevance to national debates about international uses of force; The absence of respect for the dynamics of self-determination in societies of the South; The refusal to heed the ethics and politics appropriate for a post-colonial world order that is being de-Westernised and is becoming increasingly multi-polar. 4
Notable in the latest Washington rush to war was the lack of any independent verification of what had become the universal image of a Gaddafi ordering his air force to shoot on what western media claimed were innocent unarmed civilians. CNN staged camera shots don't qualify as neutral in this instance, nor BBC. Ibrahim Sahad, Libyan opposition figure and National Front for the Salvation of Libya spokesman, made the charge against Gaddafi literally while standing in front of the US White House. No one bothered to independently confirm if it was accurate.

More notable, once the Arab League agreed to back a Libyan No Fly option, opposition within the UN Security Council collapsed, giving Washington its desired cover of plausible international support for its desired military action.

The Security Council vote was 10-0 with five major countries abstaining including Russia and China, which have veto power, along with India, Germany and Brazil. The United States, France and Britain pushed for speedy approval. Conveniently ignored in the ever so select mainstream western media was the relevant fact that the direct neighbors of Libya, Algeria and Tunisia and the entire African Union voted against the No Fly Zone:

"If you ain't singing from our sheet of music, you don't exist, Bubba..."

Nominally, the resolution for a no-fly zone was requested by the Libyan rebels' Transitional National Council and the Arab League. In reality, as former Indian diplomat M. K. Bhadrakumar noted, "The plain truth is that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union commanded Arab League to speak since they need a fig leaf to approach the United Nations Security Council. . .The Western powers had earlier mentioned the Arab League and African Union in the same breath as representing 'regional opinion.' Now it seems the African Union isn't so important—it has become an embarrassment. African leaders are proving to be tough nuts to crack compared to Arab playboy-rulers." 5

Bhadrakumar, a former ambassador to Kuwait and Turkey, added, "The Arab League resolution was rammed through by Amr Mousa, Secretary-General of the Arab League, who hopes to succeed Hosni Mubarak as Egypt's next president. Arab leaders, who depend upon the US for their continued existence, were not hard to persuade." 6 Mousa, a savvy survivor, knows he stands no chance to be President if he doesn't have Washington's backing, covert or overt.

'Coalition of the unwilling'

The entire Washington manipulation left its backers, a de facto 'coalition of the unwilling,' realizing they had been double-crossed by Washington. As soon as the relentless bombing of civilian as well as military targets in Tripoli and across Libya became clear, Amr Mousa conveniently claimed that killing civilians had not been part of the UN deal, as if he hadn't thought of that possibility before.

Russia's Putin called the US action a new "crusade" against Libya and the Islamic world, not without reason. China denounced the US intervention. Unfortunately, both countries had been silent when it could have counted during the UN Security Council voting when they abstained, perhaps out of fear of alienating the powerful oil producer countries of the Arab League.

Realizing that they had been tricked big-time by Washington, London and Paris, all of whom had apparently planned the military action against Libya long-before any UN or Arab League vote, European NATO members and others including NATO-member Turkey immediately began vehement protest.

Germany withdrew its military support equipment from the region over disagreement over the campaign's lack of goals or direction as unity within NATO crumbled. Italy accused France of backing the No Fly in order to grab Libya's oil riches out from under Italy's state-controlled ENI/AGIP. Italy also threatened to revoke US, UK, and French rights to use its bases unless NATO were formally put in charge. As of this writing Washington had even less true international backing for its military adventure than even in the 2003 Iraq invasion.

For its part British government ministers were calling for assassination of Gaddafi, stating that the Middle East and North African war could go on some "30 years." 7

Others made the comparison to the Twentieth Century upheavals and dismantling of European empires that made way ultimately for an American Century. Those upheavals, which lasted from 1914 through 1945 were remembered in history books as World War I and World War III—in reality one long thirty years' war for global hegemony.

Fiat world economy since 1971
As the eventual "winner" of that mammoth contest, United States elites grouped then around the immensely powerful Rockefeller family and proclaimed what Time-Life publisher Henry Luce in a 1941 editorial named an "American Century." That American Century is now in dangerous decline, a protracted death agony of decay and self-destruction that began manifestly in 1971, symbolized by President Richard Nixon's unilateral decision to tear up the Bretton Woods monetary treaty and break the tie between the US dollar and gold, a fateful turn.

Another war for oil?

Yes, Libya's oil is indeed a factor behind the British, French and US war fervor. According to what one highly-informed Middle East oil services expert familiar with the oil resources of the entire region told me privately in a recent discussion, Libya has vast untapped oil wealth, by far Africa's largest, and "it is almost sulfur-free, the highest quality crude you find anywhere." Until now, despite repeated CIA coup and assassination attempts to topple Gaddafi in the past, the Libyan leader was careful to not surrender total control over his oil resources to the Anglo-American oil cartel interests but to retain control to build the country, something definitely not to Washington's liking.

Notably, the center of Libyan oil infrastructure is in the Benghazi region in the east where the Western-backed rebellion started. Benghazi is north of Libya’s richest oil fields, close to most of its oil and gas pipelines, refineries and Libya's LNG port. The National Transitional Council of the Libyan Republic led by Mustafa Abdul Jalil is based there.

But it would be a mistake to reduce what is in fact Washington's Greater Middle East Project, as George W. Bush called it at the time of the 2003 Iraq invasion, to merely a grab for the oil.

Rather, regime change from Gaddafi to a US-dependent puppet regime amounts to a critical piece in a well-planned long-term US strategy to dismantle national institutions and a culture going back well over one thousand years, in an attempt to force the entire Islamic world into what George H.W. Bush in 1991 and David Rockefeller in his autobiography more recently triumphantly called a "New World Order." 8 Others call it an American-centered global imperium: "Big Mac's, KFC chicken wings and Coke Zero for everyone! Poverty, chaos, killings and Orwelian uniformity—Welcome to our new world where We give the orders and you snap your heels..."

'Responsibility to protect...'

R2P: the use of "humanitarian" pretexts to challenge or undermine national sovereignty has finally been cemented into international legal norms under the Orwellian name of "Responsibility to Protect."  Don't be fooled.  Underneath the philanthropic mask is a power-play, whereby powerful states, using their media leverage and global political machinery, find ways to tug on the emotional heart-strings to justify and legitimize otherwise unpopular acts of aggression.  
As in the cases of the US-instigated "spontaneous" and "democratic" revolts in Egypt and in Tunisia earlier,9 Washington is carefully orchestrating the Gaddafi succession from behind the scenes. As numerous critics of the Washington policy pointed out, the US intervention in Libya is not a neutral act to protect innocent civilians but rather a calculated attempt to force regime change by militarily shifting the balance to the well-armed opposition forces in Benghazi in the east of Libya.

By stopping Gaddafi government forces from restoring control over their territory from an armed uprising that has fostered a civil war, principles of international sovereignty have gingerly been thrown out the window and replaced by a vague and unsubstantiated notion of "responsibility to protect," a precedent for use of force that many governments from Berlin to Rome to Beijing and Moscow now realize could have horrendous future consequences for them as well.

Once world opinion accepts the fuzzy notion that something being called "responsibility to protect," however vaguely defined, trumps national sovereignty, what is to stop Washington from imposing a No Fly zone over China or Russia or anywhere for that matter, to prevent "human rights abuses"?

Who defines that nebulous "responsibility to protect"? Washington, of course. Were there truth in labeling in international politics today, it would be named "responsibility to protect Washington's self-defined interests."

Samantha Power: Obama's "genocide chick"
Barack Obama openly declared Washington backing for the Libyan opposition within hours of the UN Resolution, leaving no doubt that the US role was never intended to be one of a neutral peace mediator. In a CNN Spanish language interview in San Salvador on March 23, Obama declared his "hope" that Libya's opposition movement, given new protection by the US-led military assaults, can organize itself to oust Gaddafi from power. 10 Regime change is the name of Washington's game.

Not surprisingly, it's also the name of France's game. On March 25 French President Sarkozy urged Qaddafi’s followers to abandon his “murderous ways” and join the opposition. “We must hasten the decomposition of the system and the entourage of Qaddafi by telling them there’s a way to get out,” Sarkozy said. “Those who abandon Qaddafi in his crazy and murderous ways can join in the reconstruction of a new, democratic Libya.”

The UN No Fly Resolution is far more sweeping than most media report. It is a de facto declaration of military, economic and financial warfare against a sovereign state and an established, functioning government. In addition to authorizing the No Fly Zone, the UN Resolution establishes a "ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians," other than "humanitarian" flights and flights sanctioned by the UN and the Arab League.

It orders member states of the UN to stop any Libyan owned, operated or registered aircraft from taking off, landing or overflying their territory without prior approval from a UN committee monitoring sanctions. It allows member states "to inspect in their territory, including airports and seaports, and on the high seas, vessels and aircraft bound to or from Libya," if a country has "reasonable grounds" to believe they contain military items or armed mercenaries.

To put the nail in the Libyan coffin, it freezes assets of five financial institutions: Libya's central bank, the Libyan Investment Authority, the Libyan Foreign Bank, Libyan Africa Investment Portfolio, and the Libyan National Oil Corporation.11

The curious Libya 'opposition'

Abdel Hakim al-Hasidi
The so-called Libyan opposition itself is a hodge-podge mix of political opportunists, ex-CIA-trained Mujahideen guerillas such as Abdel Hakim al-Hasidi of the so-called Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, who openly admits to close ties to al-Qaeda going back to Afghanistan.12 That certainly raises the level of incredibility of Washington's most bizarre military crusade of recent times.

As well, the opposition includes former senior Gaddafi regime members who saw greener grass on the US, British and French-backed opposition side, and outright cutthroats who, encouraged by Washington, London or Paris smelled the chance to grab control of one of the richest lands on Earth.

Their "opposition," unlike in Tunisia or elsewhere, was never "non-violent." It was an armed revolt from the git-go, a war of tribe against tribe, not of surging aspirations for democracy. NATO member countries are being told by Washington to back one band of tyrants to oust another whose agenda does not comply with what the Pentagon calls Full Spectrum Dominance.

The Libyan "opposition" for most of the world is still a vague CNN or BBC image of stone-throwing youth crying out to the well-positioned cameras for "freedom, democracy." In reality it is far different. As George Friedman of Stratfor pointed out, the "Libyan uprising consisted of a cluster of tribes and personalities, some within the Libyan government, some within the army and many others longtime opponents of the regime." He adds, "it would be an enormous mistake to see what has happened in Libya as a mass, liberal democratic uprising. The narrative has to be strained to work in most countries, but in Libya, it breaks down completely."13

It emerges that the main opposition to Gaddafi comes from two very curious organizations—the National Front for the Salvation of Libya and a bizarre group calling itself the Islamic Emirate of Barqa, the former name of the North-Western part of Libya. Its leadership claims the group is made up of former al-Qaeda fighters previously released from jail. Their record of bloodshed is impressive to date.

The main opposition group in Libya now is the National Front for the Salvation of Libya which is reported to be funded by Saudi Arabia, the CIA and French Intelligence. They joined with other opposition groups to become the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition. It was that organization that called for the "Day of Rage" that plunged Libya into chaos on February 17.14

The key figure in the National Front for the Salvation of Libya is one Ibrahim Sahad who conveniently enough lives in Washington. According to the Library of Congress archives, Sahad is the same man the CIA used in their failed attempt at a Libyan coup of 1984. The Library of Congress confirms that the CIA trained and supported the NFSL both before and after the failed coup.

Ibrahim Sahad: Part of Washington's years-long strategy to oust Gaddafi
On March 11 the French government became the first nation to recognize the National Front for the Salvation (sic) of Libya, which is now operating under the amorphous cover of an umbrella group calling itself the Libyan National Transitional Council, which is little more than the old NFSL, a group financed for years by the Saudis, the French and the CIA. 15

The new Transitional Council umbrella group is little more reportedly than the old NFSL -- an unelected group of aged monarchist business exiles and now defectors from Gaddafi who smell opportunity to grab a giant piece of the oil pie, and have Saudi, French and CIA backing to drive their dreams of glory. These are the ones on whose behalf now NATO is fighting.

The National Transitional Council of the Libyan Republic, led by Mustafa Abdul Jalil, is based in Benghazi and controls most of the eastern half of the country. France and Portugal have so far officially recognized the Council as the sole "legitimate representative" of Libya.

The National Transitional Council also includes such former Gaddafi regime insiders as ex-Libyan Justice Minister Mustafa Abdel-Jalil and former Interior Minister General Abdel Fattah Younis, who defected earlier from the Gaddafi regime. They lobbied Washington and other Western governments for support soon after their formation. They want to mount an armed offensive against the government-controlled areas in the west to overthrow Gaddafi. That is hardly an innocent spontaneous Twitter democracy revolt, though the revolts in Tunisia and Egypt and elsewhere have been far from spontaneous either.16

In early March the Transitional Council sent their de facto foreign minister Ali al-Essawi and Abdel-Jalil crony Mahmoud Jebril to Paris where the French government, clearly smelling an opportunity to take the inside track of a future regime in Tripoli, gave the first recognition of the transitional council as the "legitimate representative" of the Libyan people.17 Immediately after, France became the leading advocate for a French-led (of course) military intervention on behalf of their new-found rebel friends in Benghazi.
While the French seem to have an inside track with the diplomatic wing of the rag-tag Benghazi rebels, the British seem to have focused their attention on the military wing, where former Gaddafi Interior Minister General Abdel Fattah Younis seems to be their man. Younis is now in command of a National Transitional Council “army.” 18

Hillary Clinton also moved to firm US ties to the insurgents. On March 13 she reportedly met in Cairo—now a place firmly in command of a Pentagon-dependent Egyptian military council after the Twitter youth had served their purpose of deposing Mubarak—with leaders of the opposition rebels. Announcing her meeting, she stated, “We are reaching out to the opposition inside and outside of Libya. I will be meeting with some of those figures both here in the United States and when I travel next week to discuss what more the United States and others can do,” she said. 19

In the western part of Libya, the contending opposition is led by the second group France has recognized, something calling itself ambitiously, the Islamic Emirate of Barqa, a former name for the northwestern part of the country. That group has been described as a group of "aged exiles and defectors from the former Gaddafi regime...waving the old King Idriss monarchist flag." 20 Not exactly a revolutionary youth Twitter movement of surging, demographically-driven aspirations.


As of this writing, what is clear is that far more is at stake for Washington and its "coalition of the unwilling" in the launching of a new war over Libya than anyone is admitting. If this marks the first shots in a new world war, or if various governments within and outside NATO have the strength to resist the persuasive power of the Pentagon war apparatus is unclear. What is clear is that the recent events that started in Tunisia at the end of 2010 are but part of a colossally large and increasingly desperate strategy of US-orchestrated "creative destruction." To date it has been anything but creative for those living in the affected region.

1 David Rothscum, The World Cheers as the CIA Plunges Libya Into Chaos, Global Research, March 2, 2011, accessed in
2 Ibid.
3 Richard Falk, Kicking the intervention habit: Should talks of intervention in Libya turn into action, it would be illegal, immoral and hypocritical, 10 March, 2011, accessed in
4 Ibid.
5 M K Bhadrakumar, America's man in Egypt Amr Moussa pushes No Fly Zone call through Arab League with Saudi help but African Union rejects it, Asia Times, March 15, 2011, accessed in
6 Ibid.
7 Daily Mail Reporter, Germans pull forces out of NATO as Libyan coalition falls apart, London Daily Mail, 23 March, 2011.
8 David Rockefeller, Memoirs, New York, Random House, 2002, p. 405.
9 F. William Engdahl, Egypt's Revolution: Creative Destruction for a 'Greater Middle East'?, February 5, 2011, accessed in
10 CNN Wire Staff, Obama hopes resurgent Libyan opposition can topple Gadhafi, CNN, March 23, 2011, accessed in
11 UN security council resolution 1973 (2011) on Libya, reprinted in The Guardian, March 17, 2011, accessed in
12 Praveen Swami, et al, Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qaeda links, The Telegraph, London, March 26, 2011.
13 George Friedman, Libya, the West and the Narrative of Democracy, Stratfor, March 21, 2011, accessed in
14 David Rothscum, op cit.
15 Ibid.
16 Anthony Shadid and Kareem Fahim, Opposition in Libya Struggles to Form a United Front, The New York Times, March 8, 2011.
17 Stratfor, Libya's Opposition Leadership Comes into Focus, March 20, 2011, accessed in
18 Ibid.
19 Robert Dreyfus, Will the World Recognize the Libyan Opposition?, The Nation, March 10, 2011, accessed in
20 Matt Checker, Reasons against "intervention" in Libya, accessed in
© Copyright F. William Engdahl,, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Egypt's Revolution: Creative Destruction for a 'Greater Middle East'?

Egypt's Revolution: Creative Destruction for a 'Greater Middle East'?
By F. William Engdahl
February, 5, 2011 
Images and captions added by Color Revolutions and Geopolitics

Fast on the heels of the regime change in Tunisia came a popular-based protest movement launched on January 25 against the entrenched order of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak.

Contrary to the carefully-cultivated impression that the Obama Administration is trying to retain the present regime of Mubarak, Washington in fact is orchestrating the Egyptian as well as other regional regime changes from Syria to Yemen to Jordan and well beyond in a process some refer to as “creative destruction.”

The template for such covert regime change has been developed by the Pentagon, US intelligence agencies and various think-tanks such as RAND Corporation over decades, beginning with the May 1968 destabilization of the de Gaulle presidency in France. This is the first time since the US-backed regime changes in Eastern Europe some two decades back that Washington has initiated simultaneous operations in many countries in a region. It is a strategy born of a certain desperation and one not without significant risk for the Pentagon and for the long-term Wall Street agenda. What the outcome will be for the peoples of the region and for the world is as yet unclear.

Yet while the ultimate outcome of defiant street protests in Cairo and across Egypt and the Islamic world remains unclear, the broad outlines of a US covert strategy are already clear.

"The Food Bubble" Click here
No one can dispute the genuine grievances motivating millions to take to the streets at risk of life. No one can defend atrocities of the Mubarak regime and its torture and repression of dissent. No one can dispute the explosive rise in food prices as Chicago and Wall Street commodity speculators, and the conversion of American farmland to the insane cultivation of corn for ethanol fuel drive grain prices through the roof. Egypt is the world’s largest wheat importer, much of it from the USA. Chicago wheat futures rose by a staggering 74% between June and November 2010 leading to an Egyptian food price inflation of some 30% despite government subsidies.

What is widely ignored in the CNN and BBC and other Western media coverage of the Egypt events is the fact that whatever his excesses at home, Egypt’s Mubarak represented a major obstacle within the region to the larger US agenda.

To say relations between Obama and Mubarak were ice cold from the outset would be no exaggeration. Mubarak was staunchly opposed to Obama policies on Iran and how to deal with its nuclear program, on Obama policies towards the Persian Gulf states, to Syria and to Lebanon as well as to the Palestinians. He was a formidable thorn in the larger Washington agenda for the entire region, Washington’s Greater Middle East Project, more recently redubbed the milder-sounding “New Middle East.”

Military stand-down key to events: key members of the Egyptian military command including Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Sami Hafez Enan were all in Washington, guests of the Pentagon, while anti-Mubarak protesters first hit the streets. 
As real as the factors are that are driving millions into the streets across North Africa and the Middle East, what cannot be ignored is the fact that Washington is deciding the timing and as they see it, trying to shape the ultimate outcome of comprehensive regime change destabilizations across the Islamic world. The day of the remarkably well-coordinated popular demonstrations demanding Mubarak step down, key members of the Egyptian military command including Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Sami Hafez Enan were all in Washington as guests of the Pentagon. That conveniently neutralized the decisive force of the Army to stop the anti-Mubarak protests from growing in the critical early days.

The strategy had been in various State Department and Pentagon files since at least a decade or longer. After George W. Bush declared a War on Terror in 2001 it was called the Greater Middle East Project. Today it is known as the less threatening-sounding “New Middle East” project. It is a strategy to break open the states of the region from Morocco to Afghanistan, the region defined by David Rockefeller’s friend Samuel Huntington in his infamous Clash of Civilizations essay in Foreign Affairs.


Egypt rising?

The current Pentagon scenario for Egypt reads like a Cecil B. DeMille Hollywood spectacular, only this one with a cast of millions of Twitter-savvy well-trained youth, networks of Muslim Brotherhood operatives, working with a US-trained military. In the starring role of the new production at the moment is none other than a Nobel Peace Prize winner who conveniently appears to pull all the threads of opposition to the ancien regime into what appears as a seamless transition into a New Egypt under a self-proclaimed liberal democratic revolution.

Some background on the actors on the ground is useful before looking at what Washington’s long-term strategic plan might be for the Islamic world from North Africa to the Persian Gulf and ultimately into the Islamic populations of Central Asia, to the borders of China and Russia.


Washington ‘soft’ revolutions

The protests that led to the abrupt firing of the entire Egyptian government by President Mubarak on the heels of the panicked flight of Tunisia’s Ben Ali into a Saudi exile are not at all as “spontaneous” as the Obama White House, Clinton State Department or CNN, BBC and other major media in the West make them to be.

They are being organized in a Ukrainian-style high-tech electronic fashion with large internet-linked networks of youth tied to Mohammed ElBaradei and the banned and murky secret Muslim Brotherhood, whose links to British and American intelligence and freemasonry are widely reported.

At this point the anti-Mubarak movement looks like anything but a threat to US influence in the region, quite the opposite. It has all the footprints of another US-backed regime change along the model of the 2003-2004 Color Revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine and the failed Green Revolution against Iran’s Ahmedinejad in 2009.

The call for an Egyptian general strike and a January 25 Day of Anger that sparked the mass protests demanding Mubarak resign was issued by a Facebook-based organization calling itself the April 6 Movement. The protests were so substantial and well-organized that it forced Mubarak to ask his cabinet to resign and appoint a new vice president, Gen. Omar Suleiman, former Minister of Intelligence.

April 6 is headed by one Ahmed Maher Ibrahim, a 29-year-old civil engineer, who set up the Facebook site to support a workers’ call for a strike on April 6, 2008.

April 6th Movement co-founder Ahmed Maher
According to a New York Times account from 2009, some 800,000 Egyptians, most youth, were already then Facebook or Twitter members. In an interview with the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment, April 6 Movement head Maher stated, “Being the first youth movement in Egypt to use internet-based modes of communication like Facebook and Twitter, we aim to promote democracy by encouraging public involvement in the political process.”

Maher also announced that his April 6 Movement backs former UN International Atomic Energy Aagency (IAEA) head and declared Egyptian Presidential candidate, ElBaradei along with ElBaradei’s National Association for Change (NAC) coalition. The NAC includes among others George Ishak, a leader in Kefaya Movement, and Mohamed Saad El-Katatni, president of the parliamentary bloc of the controversial Ikhwan or Muslim Brotherhood.

Today Kefaya is at the center of the unfolding Egyptian events. Not far in the background is the more discreet Muslim Brotherhood.

ElBaradei: political face of Egypt "revolution"
ElBaradei at this point is being projected as the central figure in a future Egyptian parliamentary democratic change. Curiously, though he has not lived in Egypt for the past thirty years, he has won the backing of every imaginable part of the Egyptian political spectrum from communists to Muslim Brotherhood to Kefaya and April 6 young activists. Judging from the calm demeanour ElBaradei presents these days to CNN interviewers, he also likely has the backing of leading Egyptian generals opposed to the Mubarak rule for whatever reasons as well as some very influential persons in Washington.



Kefaya-Pentagon ‘non-violent warfare’

Kefaya is at the heart of mobilizing the Egyptian protest demonstrations that back ElBaradei’s candidacy. The word Kefaya translates to “enough!”

Curiously, the planners at the Washington National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and related color revolution NGOs apparently were bereft of creative new catchy names for their Egyptian Color Revolution. In their November 2003 Rose Revolution in Georgia, the US-financed NGOs chose the catch word, Kmara! In order to identify the youth-based regime change movement. Kmara in Georgian also means “enough!”

Like Kefaya, Kmara in Georgia was also built by the Washington-financed trainers from the NED and other groups such as Gene Sharp’s misleadingly-named Albert Einstein Institution which uses what Sharp once identified as “non-violence as a method of warfare.”

Gene Sharp: destabilization theorist
The various youth networks in Georgia as in Kefaya were carefully trained as a loose, decentralized network of cells, deliberately avoiding a central organization that could be broken and could have brought the movement to a halt. Training of activists in techniques of non-violent resistance was done at sports facilities, making it appear innocuous. Activists were also given training in political marketing, media relations, mobilization and recruiting skills.

The formal name of Kefaya is Egyptian Movement for Change. It was founded in 2004 by select Egyptian intellectuals at the home of Abu ‘l-Ala Madi, leader of the al-Wasat party, a party reportedly created by the Muslim Brotherhood. Kefaya was created as a coalition movement united only by the call for an end Mubarak’s rule.

Stephen Zunes: operative of "people power" destabilization
Kefaya as part of the amorphous April 6 Movement capitalized early on new social media and digital technology as its main means of mobilization. In particular, political blogging, posting uncensored youtube shorts and photographic images were skillfully and extremely professionally used. At a rally already back in December 2009 Kefaya had announced support for the candidacy of Mohammed ElBaradei for the 2011 Egyptian elections.


RAND and Kefaya

No less a US defense establishment think-tank than the RAND Corporation has conducted a detailed study of Kefaya. The Kefaya study as RAND themselves note, was “sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.”

A nicer bunch of democratically-oriented gentlemen and women could hardly be found.

In their 2008 report to the Pentagon, the RAND researchers noted the following in relation to Egypt’s Kefaya:

“The United States has professed an interest in greater democratization in the Arab world, particularly since the September 2001 attacks by terrorists from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Lebanon. This interest has been part of an effort to reduce destabilizing political violence and terrorism. As President George W. Bush noted in a 2003 address to the National Endowment for Democracy, “As long as the Middle East remains a place where freedom does not flourish, it will remain a place of stagnation, resentment, and violence ready for export” (The White House, 2003). The United States has used varying means to pursue democratization, including a military intervention that, though launched for other reasons, had the installation of a democratic government as one of its end goals.

However, indigenous reform movements are best positioned to advance democratization in their own country.”

RAND researchers have spent years perfecting techniques of unconventional regime change under the name “swarming,” the method of deploying mass mobs of digitally-linked youth in hit-and-run protest formations moving like swarms of bees.

Washington and the stable of “human rights” and “democracy” and “non-violence” NGOs it oversees, over the past decade or more has increasingly relied on sophisticated “spontaneous” nurturing of local indigenous protest movements to create pro-Washington regime change and to advance the Pentagon agenda of global Full Spectrum Dominance. As the RAND study of Kefaya states in its concluding recommendations to the Pentagon:

This face launched a thousand NGOs
“The US government already supports reform efforts through organizations such as the US Agency for International Development and the United Nations Development Programme. Given the current negative popular standing of the United States in the region, US support for reform initiatives is best carried out through nongovernmental and nonprofit institutions.”

The RAND 2008 study was even more concrete about future US Government support for Egyptian and other “reform” movements:

“The US government should encourage nongovernmental organizations to offer training to reformers, including guidance on coalition building and how to deal with internal differences in pursuit of democratic reform. Academic institutions (or even nongovernmental organizations associated with US political parties, such as the International Republican Institute or the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs) could carry out such training, which would equip reform leaders to reconcile their differences peacefully and democratically.

“Fourth, the United States should help reformers obtain and use information technology, perhaps by offering incentives for US companies to invest in the region’s communications infrastructure and information technology. US information technology companies could also help ensure that the Web sites of reformers can remain in operation and could invest in technologies such as anonymizers that could offer some shelter from government scrutiny. This could also be accomplished by employing technological safegaurds to prevent regimes from sabotaging the Web sites of reformers. ”

As their Kefaya monograph states, it was prepared in 2008 by the “RAND National Security Research Division’s Alternative Strategy Initiative, sponsored by the Rapid Reaction Technology Office in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics.

The Alternative Strategy Initiative, just to underscore the point, includes “research on creative use of the media, radicalization of youth, civic involvement to stem sectarian violence, the provision of social services to mobilize aggrieved sectors of indigenous populations, and the topic of this volume, alternative movements.”

2008 RAND report
In May 2009 just before Obama’s Cairo trip to meet Mubarak, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hosted a number of the young Egyptian activists in Washington under the auspices of Freedom House, another “human rights” Washington-based NGO with a long history of involvement in US-sponsored regime change from Serbia to Georgia to Ukraine and other Color Revolutions. Clinton and Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman met the sixteen activists at the end of a two-month “fellowship” organized by Freedom House’s New Generation program.

Freedom House and Washington’s government-funded regime change NGO, National Endowment for Democracy (NED) are at the heart of the uprisings now sweeping across the Islamic world. They fit the geographic context of what George W. Bush proclaimed after 2001 as his Greater Middle East Project to bring “democracy” and “liberal free market” economic reform to the Islamic countries from Afghanistan to Morocco. When Washington talks about introducing “liberal free market reform” people should watch out. It is little more than code for bringing those economies under the yoke of the dollar system and all that implies.


Washington’s NED in a larger agenda

If we make a list of the countries in the region which are undergoing mass-based protest movements since the Tunisian and Egyptian events and overlay them onto a map, we find an almost perfect convergence between the protest countries today and the original map of the Washington Greater Middle East Project that was first unveiled during the George W. Bush Presidency after 2001.

Washington’s NED has been quietly engaged in preparing a wave of regime destabilizations across North Africa and the Middle East since the 2001-2003 US military invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. The list of where the NED is active is revealing. Its website lists Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Sudan as well, interestingly, as Israel. Coincidentally these countries are almost all today subject to “spontaneous” popular regime-change uprisings.

The International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs mentioned by the RAND document study of Kefaya are subsidiary organizations of the Washington-based and US Congress-financed National Endowment for Democracy.

The NED is the coordinating Washington agency for regime destabilization and change. It is active from Tibet to Ukraine, from Venezuela to Tunisia, from Kuwait to Morocco in reshaping the world after the collapse of the Soviet Union into what George H.W. Bush in a 1991 speech to Congress proclaimed triumphantly as the dawn of a New World Order.

As the architect and first head of the NED, Allen Weinstein told the Washington Post in 1991 that, “a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA”

The NED Board of Directors includes or has included former Defense Secretary and CIA Deputy head, Frank Carlucci of the Carlyle Group; retired General Wesley Clark of NATO; neo-conservative warhawk Zalmay Khalilzad who was architect of George W. Bush’s Afghan invasion and later ambassador to Afghanistan as well as to occupied Iraq. Another NED board member, Vin Weber, co-chaired a major independent task force on US Policy toward Reform in the Arab World with former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and was a founding member of the ultra-hawkish Project for a New American Century think-tank with Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld, which advocated forced regime change in Iraq as early as 1998.

The NED is supposedly a private, non-government, non-profit foundation, but it receives a yearly appropriation for its international work from the US Congress. The National Endowment for Democracy is dependent on the US taxpayer for funding, but because NED is not a government agency, it is not subject to normal Congressional oversight.

NED money is channelled into target countries through four “core foundations”-the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, linked to the Democratic Party; the International Republican Institute tied to the Republican Party; the American Center for International Labor Solidarity linked to the AFL-CIO US labor federation as well as the US State Department; and the Center for International Private Enterprise linked to the free-market US Chamber of Commerce.

The late political analyst Barbara Conry noted that, “NED has taken advantage of its alleged private status to influence foreign elections, an activity that is beyond the scope of AID or USIA and would otherwise be possible only through a CIA covert operation. Such activities, it may also be worth noting, would be illegal for foreign groups operating in the United States.”

Significantly the NED details its various projects today in Islamic countries, including in addition to Egypt, in Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan, Algeria, Morocco, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Iran and Afghanistan. In short, most every country which is presently feeling the earthquake effects of the reform protests sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa is a target of NED.

In 2005 US President George W. Bush made a speech to the NED. In a long, rambling discourse which equated “Islamic radicalism” with the evils of communism as the new enemy, and using a deliberately softer term “broader Middle East” for the term Greater Middle East that had aroused much distrust in the Islamic world, Bush stated,

“The fifth element of our strategy in the war on terror is to deny the militants future recruits by replacing hatred and resentment with democracy and hope across the broader Middle East. This is a difficult and long-term project, yet there’s no alternative to it. Our future and the future of that region are linked. If the broader Middle East is left to grow in bitterness, if countries remain in misery, while radicals stir the resentments of millions, then that part of the world will be a source of endless conflict and mounting danger, and for our generation and the next. If the peoples of that region are permitted to choose their own destiny, and advance by their own energy and by their participation as free men and women, then the extremists will be marginalized, and the flow of violent radicalism to the rest of the world will slow, and eventually end…We’re encouraging our friends in the Middle East, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, to take the path of reform, to strengthen their own societies in the fight against terror by respecting the rights and choices of their own people. We’re standing with dissidents and exiles against oppressive regimes, because we know that the dissidents of today will be the democratic leaders of tomorrow…”


The US Project for a ‘Greater Middle East’

The spreading regime change operations Washington from Tunisia to Sudan, from Yemen to Egypt to Syria are best viewed in the context of a long-standing Pentagon and State Department strategy for the entire Islamic world from Kabul in Afghanistan to Rabat in Morocco.

The rough outlines of the Washington strategy, based in part on their successful regime change operations in the former Warsaw Pact communist bloc of Eastern Europe, were drawn up by former Pentagon consultant and neo-conservative, Richard Perle and later Bush official Douglas Feith in a white paper they drew up for the then-new Israeli Likud regime of Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996.

That policy recommendation was titled A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm. It was the first Washington think-tank paper to openly call for removing Saddam Hussein in Iraq, for an aggressive military stance toward the Palestinians, striking Syria and Syrian targets in Lebanon. Reportedly, the Netanyahu government at that time buried the Perle-Feith report, as being far too risky.

By the time of the events of September 11, 2001 and the return to Washington of the arch-warhawk neoconservatives around Perle and others, the Bush Administration put highest priority on an expanded version of the Perle-Feith paper, calling it their Greater Middle East Project. Feith was named Bush’s Under Secretary of Defense.

Behind the facade of proclaiming democratic reforms of autocratic regimes in the entire region, the Greater Middle East was and is a blueprint to extend US military control and to break open the statist economies in the entire span of states from Morocco to the borders of China and Russia.

In May 2009, before the rubble from the US bombing of Baghdad had cleared, George W. Bush, a President not remembered as a great friend of democracy, proclaimed a policy of “spreading democracy” to the entire region and explicitly noted that that meant “the establishment of a US-Middle East free trade area within a decade.”

Prior to the June 2004 G8 Summit on Sea Island, Georgia, Washington issued a working paper, “G8-Greater Middle East Partnership.” Under the section titled Economic Opportunities was Washington’s dramatic call for “an economic transformation similar in magnitude to that undertaken by the formerly communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe.”

The US paper said that the key to this would be the strengthening of the private sector as the way to prosperity and democracy. It misleadingly claimed it would be done via the miracle of microfinance where as the paper put it, “a mere $100 million a year for five years will lift 1.2 million entrepreneurs (750,000 of them women) out of poverty, through $400 loans to each.”

The US plan envisioned takeover of regional banking and financial afairs by new institutions ostensibly international but, like World Bank and IMF, de facto controlled by Washington, including WTO. The goal of Washington’s long-term project is to completely control the oil, to completely control the oil revenue flows, to completely control the entire economies of the region, from Morocco to the borders of China and all in between. It is a project as bold as it is desperate.

Once the G8 US paper was leaked in 2004 in the Arabic Al-Hayat, opposition to it spread widely across the region, with a major protest to the US definition of the Greater Middle East. As an article in the French Le Monde Diplomatique in April 2004 noted, “besides the Arab countries, it covers Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey and Israel, whose only common denominator is that they lie in the zone where hostility to the US is strongest, in which Islamic fundamentalism in its anti-Western form is most rife.” It should be noted that the NED is also active inside Israel with a number of programs.

Notably, in 2004 it was vehement opposition from two Middle East leaders-Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and the King of Saudi Arabia-that forced the ideological zealots of the Bush Administration to temporarily put the Project for the Greater Middle East on a back burner.


Will it work?

At this writing it is unclear what the ultimate upshot of the latest US-led destabilizations across the Islamic world will bring. It is not clear what will result for Washington and the advocates of a US-dominated New World Order. Their agenda is clearly one of creating a Greater Middle East under firm US grip as a major control of the capital flows and energy flows of a future China, Russia and a European Union that might one day entertain thoughts of drifting away from that American order.

It has huge potential implications for the future of Israel as well. As one US commentator put it, “The Israeli calculation today is that if ‘Mubarak goes’ (which is usually stated as ‘If America lets Mubarak go’), Egypt goes. If Tunisia goes (same elaboration), Morocco and Algeria go. Turkey has already gone (for which the Israelis have only themselves to blame). Syria is gone (in part because Israel wanted to cut it off from Sea of Galilee water access). Gaza has gone to Hamas, and the Palestine Authority might soon be gone too (to Hamas?). That leaves Israel amid the ruins of a policy of military domination of the region.”

The Washington strategy of “creative destruction” is clearly causing sleepless nights not only in the Islamic world but also reportedly in Tel Aviv, and ultimately by now also in Beijing and Moscow and across Central Asia.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  F. William Engdahl is author of Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order.  His book, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order has just been reissued in a new edition. He may be contacted via his website,
  • DEBKA, Mubarak believes a US-backed Egyptian military faction plotted his ouster, February 4, 2011, accessed in HYPERLINK “” DEBKA is open about its good ties to Israeli intelligence and security agencies. While its writings must be read with that in mind, certain reports they publish often contain interesting leads for further investigation.
  • Ibid.
  • The Center for Grassroots Oversight, 1954-1970: CIA and the Muslim Brotherhood ally to oppose Egyptian President Nasser, HYPERLINK “
    western_support_for_islamic_militancy_202700&scale=0″ According to the late Miles Copeland, a CIA official stationed in Egypt during the Nasser era, the CIA allied with the Muslim Brotherhood which was opposed to Nasser’s secular regime as well as his nationalist opposition to brotherhood pan-Islamic ideology.
  • Jijo Jacob, What is Egypt’s April 6 Movement?, February 1, 2011, accessed in HYPERLINK “”
  • Ibid.
  • Janine Zacharia, Opposition groups rally around Mohamed ElBaradei, Washington Post, January 31, 2011, accessed in HYPERLINK “
  • National Endowment for Democracy, Middle East and North Africa Program Highlights 2009, accessed in HYPERLINK “”
  • Amitabh Pal, Gene Sharp: The Progressive Interview, The Progressive, March 1, 2007.
  • Emmanuel Sivan, Why Radical Muslims Aren’t Taking over Governments, Middle East Quarterly, December 1997, pp. 3-9
  • Carnegie Endowment, The Egyptian Movement for Change (Kifaya), accessed in HYPERLINK “”
  • Nadia Oweidat, et al, The Kefaya Movement: A Case Study of a Grassroots Reform Initiative, Prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Santa Monica, Ca., RAND_778.pdf, 2008, p. iv.
  • Ibid.
  • For a more detailed discussion of the RAND “swarming” techniques see F. William Engdahl, Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order, edition.engdahl, 2009, pp. 34-41.
  • Nadia Oweidat et al, op. cit., p. 48.
  • Ibid., p. 50.
  • Ibid., p. iii.
  • Michel Chossudovsky, The Protest Movement in Egypt: “Dictators” do not Dictate, They Obey Orders, January 29, 2011, accessed in HYPERLINK “″
  • George Herbert Walker Bush, State of the Union Address to Congress, 29 January 1991. In the speech Bush at one point declared in a triumphant air of celebration of the collapse of the Sovoiet Union, “What is at stake is more than one small country, it is a big idea-a new world order…”
  • Allen Weinstein, quoted in David Ignatius, Openness is the Secret to Democracy, Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 30 September 1991, pp. 24-25.
  • National Endowment for Democracy, Board of Directors, accessed in HYPERLINK “”
  • Barbara Conry, Loose Cannon: The National Endowment for Democracy, Cato Foreign Policy Briefing No. 27, November 8, 1993, accessed in HYPERLINK “”
  • National Endowment for Democracy, 2009 Annual Report, Middle East and North Africa, accessed in HYPERLINK “”
  • George W. Bush, Speech at the National Endowment for Democracy, Washington, DC, October 6, 2005, accessed in HYPERLINK “”
  • Richard Perle, Douglas Feith et al, A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm, 1996, Washington and Tel Aviv, The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, accessed in HYPERLINK “”
  • George W. Bush, Remarks by the President in Commencement Address at the University of South Carolina, White House, 9 May 2003.
  • Gilbert Achcar, Fantasy of a Region that Doesn’t Exist: Greater Middle East, the US plan, Le Monde Diplomatique, April 4, 2004, accessed in HYPERLINK “”
  • Ibid.
  • William Pfaff, American-Israel Policy Tested by Arab Uprisings, accessed in HYPERLINK “”