"The Jewish people as a whole will be its own Messiah. It will attain world domination by the dissolution of other races...and by the establishment of a world republic in which everywhere the Jews will exercise the privilege of citizenship. In this New World Order the Children of Israel...will furnish all the leaders without encountering opposition..." (Karl Marx in a letter to Baruch Levy, quoted in Review de Paris, June 1, 1928, p. 574)

Monday, 13 August 2012

US planned maritime ‘Maginot Line’: From Indian Ocean to Pacific


by Wayne Madsen

The United States, wracked by a sputtering economy, has decided to construct a modern-age “Maginot Line” from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific.

Unlike the Maginot Line, which was a series of underground fortresses and tunnels, built by the French along their border with Germany to be an “impregnable” barrier to prevent an invasion by Adolf Hitler’s Army, America’s “Maginot Line” is composed of a chain of naval and air bases, intelligence-gathering sites, and pre-positioned military supplies.

In 1940, the German Army struck at France by going around the Maginot Line and crossing the French frontier after invading neutral Belgium. Unlike France, which faced a clear threat from a rearming Germany, the chain of bases being established by the United States from the east coast of Africa and the Red Sea through the Indian Ocean and into Southeast Asia and the Pacific is not in answer to any specific threat to the security of the United States, but to provide a bulwark against an amorphous collection of “threats” to America and/or its allies. The threats, cited by neo-conservative and neo-liberal policymakers alike, include “China, Iran, al-Qaeda, and other ‘global Jihadists,’” and alleged various minor asymmetric warfare players.

In fact, there is no real threat to the United States or its allies from any of the oft-referenced “threats.” America’s buildup in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific is to ensure the continued dominance of the budget-consuming military-industrial complex, protect the financial interests of companies that owe little or no allegiance to the United States, and to project the American military power around the globe.

In east Africa, an American military and intelligence base has, for some time, existed at Camp Lemonier in Djibouti. The Obama administration is beefing up the American military and intelligence presence in the region, including the Horn of Africa, by establishing a naval base in Manda Bay, Kenya, a drone base in Arba Minch, Ethiopia, a drone base in Victoria on the island of Mahé in the Seychelles, an air facility and drone “training” in Entebbe, Uganda, a drone “training” base in Burundi, a maritime tracking station at the Pemba naval base in northern Mozambique, a surveillance and naval base on the Kenyan island of Lamu near the Somali coast, and an air facility at Juba Airport in South Sudan. There are also reports that the United States has considered building a naval base on the large Maldives atoll of Marao.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on a trip to Africa, tipped her hand on the future American intentions in the region. While watching a US drone, provided to the Ugandan military, Clinton said the United States wants to deploy “improved” drones, which can see through the jungle canopy.

Many Ugandans agree that the drones’ alleged target represent a spent force and the only reason, the United States has for deploying drones with infrared capabilities to peer through heavy jungle growth is to provide support for the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) to wipe out any opposition forces in the bush, who pose threats to the US client dictators in the region. The dictators, supported by the United States, include Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Paul Kagame of Uganda, and Meles Zenawai of Ethiopia. America’s only interest in the region is to ensure the continued flow of diamonds, gold, oil, natural gas, columbite-tantalite, platinum, and uranium from the resource-rich Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic.

The United States has never made it a secret that it wants to establish a base on the Yemeni island of Socotra in the Indian Ocean. With Yemen in political transition, the US sees a real opportunity to grab Socotra. The United States and Britain have also reportedly dusted off an old secret plan by the Royal Air Force to establish an airbase on Aldabra in the Seychelles. With conservationists sure to object to any such move, the island of Assumption, with its all-weather airstrip, may serve as an alternative.

The US continues to expand its large air and naval ship and submarine base on Diego Garcia in the British Indian Ocean Territory. Diego Garcia is an important base for the US military and naval units stationed in Oman where an intelligence base exists on the island of Masirah, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. The US presence in the Persian Gulf and Diego Garcia is justified by citing the “threat from Iran.”

To the east, the United States is seeking to establish a military aircraft and drone base on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean. The base would supplement a proposed US naval base as HMAS Stirling in Perth, which would provide support for an entire US aircraft carrier battle group and a US Marine and air base in Darwin in the Northern Territory that would initially host 2500 US personnel. The 600 Cocos Islanders fear they will suffer the same fate as the 2000 Chagossian inhabitants of Diego Garcia and the Outer Chagos islands of Peros Banhos and the Salomon Islands -- 200 miles away from Diego Garcia -- who were forcibly removed from the island between 1967 and 1973 to make way for the American base. The Chagossians now live in squalid conditions in Mauritius. The Cocos Islanders justifiably fear they will meet a similar fate and be ordered off their islands to be consigned to the same sort of poverty, which has befallen many of Australia’s Aborigines.

And, after a costly war in terms of blood and treasure in Southeast Asia, the United States is making plans to reestablish naval, air, and intelligence bases in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand, to supplement its naval anchorage in Singapore and military base use rights in the Philippines, Palau, and Brunei. The target for the US buildup is China and ultimate control over the oil and natural gas resources of the South China Sea.

America’s security interests from east Africa through the Indian Ocean and into the South China Sea are not based on any security threats, but to preserve America’s leading modern characteristic: Financial greed. And America has, since the end of World War II, used its military to sustain its greed.

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, D.C.-based investigative journalist, author and columnist specializing in intelligence and international affairs. He is the author of the blog Wayne Madsen Report. In 2002 he suggested to the Guardian newspaper that the United States Navy had aided in an attempted overthrow of Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez. In 2003 he said that he had uncovered information linking the September 11 attacks to the government of Saudi Arabia as well as to Bush administration. In 2005, he wrote than an unidentified former CIA agent claimed that the USS Cole was actually hit by a Popeye cruise missile launched from an Israeli Dolphin-class submarine.


U.S. and NATO ensure a pro-West UN General Assembly

by Wayne Madsen

The permanent members of the UN Security Council have, through the organization’s history, used the virtually powerless General Assembly to push through resolutions when one or more of the veto-wielding member states have blocked them in the Security Council.

In 1950, the United States and its Cold War allies used the passage of the Uniting for Peace resolution in the General Assembly to circumvent a Soviet veto in the Security Council that prevented UN action in Korea to repel the North Korean invasion of South Korea. The General Assembly, by a two-thirds majority, voted in November 1950 to authorize UN action in Korea and, thus supported, two previous UN Security Council resolutions adopted in June and July 1950, that mandated a UN force for Korea to repel the North’s invasion force. The Security Council was able to adopt the two resolutions because the USSR was boycotting the Council over its refusal to seat the People’s Republic of China as a member. In order to put an official UN imprimatur on the allied forces fighting in South Korea, the U.S. pushed through the General Assembly the Uniting for Peace resolution, which authorized military action under the earlier Security Council resolutions, even after the USSR had resumed its seat in the Security Council.

When the General Assembly took up the Korea military authorization, it was too late for the Soviets. The USSR, along with the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic and Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic – two Soviet republics that had their own UN membership -- as well as Czechoslovakia and Poland, voted against the Uniting for Peace resolution in the Assembly. India and Argentina abstained in the lopsided 52-5-2 vote.

The Soviet Union and its Third World allies learned a valuable lesson from the Uniting for Peace tactic by the West. On several occasions, mostly on issues dealing with the Middle East, the Soviet/Third World bloc was able to pass General Assembly resolutions when faced with certain vetoes in the Security Council by the United States and the United Kingdom. These resolutions included the November 10, 1975 resolution that equated Zionism with racism (originally sponsored by the Soviet Union but revoked in 1991) and resolutions affirming the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, opposition to South African apartheid, and condemning continued Western colonialism.

The USSR and the communist countries could count on a solid bloc of Third World nations to support such resolutions to the chagrin of the United States, Britain, and other NATO nations. For example, on the resolution equating Zionism with racism, which pointed out the “unholy alliance between South African racism and Zionism,” the nations voting for the resolution included Afghanistan, Brazil, Cyprus, Dahomey, Gambia, Grenada, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Portugal, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Turkey, and Yugoslavia. Two NATO members, Portugal and Turkey, voted for the Soviet-sponsored resolution. The United States, Britain, and Israel could only marshal 35 “no” votes. Such U.S. allies as Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Greece, Guatemala, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Venezuela, and Zaire abstained. The resolution was carried with an overwhelming 72 vote majority.

It was the anti-Zionism resolution that galvanized anti-UN fervor in the heavily-Israeli influenced U.S. Congress and media. However, with the end of the Cold War and the USSR/Warsaw Pact bloc, the UN General Assembly was eclipsed by a Security Council that found it easier to pass veto-free resolutions on such matters as peacekeeping and nation building.

However, when Palestine began to argue for full UN membership and UN-recognized statehood, assured U.S., British, and French vetoes in the Security Council saw Palestine’s supporters looking once again at the Uniting for Peace concept. With Palestine’s application for membership blocked by Washington in the Security Council, there were initiatives by the Arab League to have the General Assembly adopt a resolution recommending Palestine for UN membership to the Security Council. Although the recommendation would be blocked by the United States and Britain, a vote for Palestine in the General Assembly would be seen as a symbolic victory and an opening for the General Assembly to grant Palestine non-member observer status as a recognized independent state.

Israeli and American diplomats began fanning out across the globe, from the smallest member states in the South Pacific, Caribbean, Africa, and Western Europe to major nations in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, urging General Assembly members to not only vote against Palestine in the UN but refrain from unilaterally recognizing its independence. Poor developing nations were threatened by the Israel-friendly World Bank and International Monetary Fund with denial of assistance loans and grants. The message was clear: support for Palestine by any nation dependent on Western aid would come at a great cost. Many nations decided not to risk their own assistance money for the sake of the beleaguered Palestinians.

The result of the U.S. and Israeli action was the creation of the same sort of lopsided voting bloc in the General Assembly that the Soviet bloc/Third World enjoyed when the body voted to condemn Zionism as a form of racism in the 1970s.

Almost as if to send a message to Palestine, earlier this August the General Assembly not only voted to support the Syrian rebels against the government of President Bashar al-Assad – the rebels included veterans of Al Qaeda terror campaigns in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia -- but also criticized Russia and China for blocking pro-Syrian rebel resolutions in the Security Council. The anti-NATO bloc in the General Assembly consisted of nations that would be referred to as international “rogues” by the Western corporate media: Belarus, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, Syria, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.

Fear of Western pressure saw abstentions from Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Burundi, Ecuador, Eritrea, Fiji, Ghana, Guyana, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Namibia, Nepal, Pakistan, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Viet Nam. Another group of countries, also fearful of Western power recriminations, simply absented themselves from the General Assembly vote: Cambodia, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Kiribati, Malawi, Philippines, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, and Yemen.

The U.S. and NATO, with Israel working in the background, were able to ensure a vote of 133 for the anti-Damascus Security Council resolution. If these nations could be corralled into voting against Syria, Russia, and China, surely they could be vulnerable enough to cast a similar vote against Palestine. Washington, London, and Tel Aviv now had a new and overwhelming super-majority in the General Assembly, one that could conceivably bypass Russian and Chinese vetoes in the Security Council, just as the West was able to bypass the Soviet veto during the Korean War.

In the recent past, on resolutions opposed by the United States and Israel, such as those dealing with Palestine, Washington and Tel Aviv could only count on three pocket “no” votes in the General Assembly: the Pacific U.S. “free association” states of Palau, Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands, three American versions of the USSR’s Ukrainian and Byelorussian SSR pocket votes. However, the Syria vote is evidence that the miniscule five-nation voting alliance of the U.S., Israel, and the three Pacific mini-states has now been supplemented by all the members of NATO and the European Union, NATO candidate members Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Macedonia, four European mini-states, Iceland and Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand, nations dependent on American military assistance – Iraq, Afghanistan, Kenya, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and South Korea, the Arab monarchies of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, United Arab Emirates, and Jordan - poor African states, and small Caribbean, Indian Ocean, and South Pacific island nations.

The new General Assembly voting mathematics means that for Palestine; Western Sahara; aspirant nations Somaliland, Azawad in northern Mali and South Yemen; and resistance against UN authorization for future NATO aggression around the world, the prospects look extremely dim.



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