by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya and Julien Teil
Introduction: ‘Operation Gladio’ then and now …
by Cynthia McKinney
I will begin with the scandal of Operation Gladio that climaxed in the murder of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro, who, on the day of his kidnapping, was to announce an Italian coalition government that would include the Italian Communist Party.
Leader of the Christian Democratic Party at that time, Francesco Cossiga, admits in the 1992 BBC Timewatch documentary about Operation Gladio that he chose to “sacrifice” Moro “for the good of the republic.” Not unlike the targeted assassinations that the U.S. government engages in around the world, where someone extrajudicially makes decisions on who lives and who dies. In the three-part documentary, Cossiga states that the decision caused his hair to turn white.
Operation Gladio is the ugly real-life tale of the U.S. government’s decision to hire members of the state security apparatus of various European countries and, in collaboration with recruited community allies, wreak terror on innocent citizens by blowing up train stations, shooting customers in grocery stores, and even killing police officers in order to convince populations in Europe to give up their rights in exchange for certain security measures and enhanced state power.
Yes, Operation Gladio, along with Operation Northwoods and U.S. policy toward Libya, shows us that the United States is willing to create terror groups in order to justify a fight against terrorists! Sadly, this has become the modus operandi of our government in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Europe and Africa. And the U.S. government after 9/11/01 has become like a “Gladio laboratory” of state policies that rip the U.S. Bill of Rights to shreds and lie to the public.
Operation Gladio, along with Operation Northwoods and U.S. policy toward Libya, shows us that the United States is willing to create terror groups in order to justify a fight against terrorists!
The beginning of the end of Operation Gladio occurred when the existence of the U.S. program was revealed. Characteristically, instead of stopping such insanity, the Europeans joined in creating multiple other “Operation Gladios.” Placed in this context, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya’s second installment in a four-part series reveals how U.S. policy in Libya falls right in line with U.S. actions in the past. In my opinion, Libya will not be the last location for such illegal activities unless we stop our government.
Along with French videographer Julien Teil, Nazemroaya weaves the incredible-but-true scenario of U.S. finance of alleged terrorists, wanted by Interpol, who became the chief protagonists in the NATO genocide currently unfolding in Libya.
Cynthia McKinney is a former U.S. Congresswoman who represented two different Georgia districts in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2003 and from 2005 to 2007 as a member of the Democratic Party. She was also the U.S. Green Party presidential candidate in 2008. While in Congress, she served on the Banking and Finance Committee, the National Security Committee, later renamed the Armed Services Committee, and the Foreign Affairs Committee, later renamed the International Relations Committee. She also served on the International Relations Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights. McKinney has conducted two fact-finding missions in Libya and also recently finished a nationwide speaking tour in the United States sponsored by the ANSWER Coalition about the NATO bombing campaign in Libya.
Libya and the Big Lie: Using human rights organizations to launch wars
The war against Libya is built on fraud. The U.N. Security Council passed two resolutions against Libya on the basis of unproven claims that Qaddafi was killing his own people in Benghazi.
Order from chaos?
A repeat of the disorder and pandemonium generated inside Afghanistan is in the works for the continent of Africa.
The United States, with the help of Britain, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, created the brutal Taliban and then eventually waged war on its Taliban allies. Similarly, across Africa, the United States and its allies are creating a new series of future enemies to fight – but after initially working with them or using them to sow the seeds of chaos in Africa.
Washington has literally been helping fund insurgencies and regime change projects in Africa. “Human rights” and “democratization” are also being used as a smokescreen for colonialism and war.
Across Africa, the United States and its allies are creating a new series of future enemies to fight – but after initially working with them or using them to sow the seeds of chaos in Africa. “Human rights” and “democratization” are being used as a smokescreen for colonialism and war.
So-called human rights and humanitarian organizations are now partners in this imperialist project directed against Africa.
France and Israel: Is Washington outsourcing its dirty work in Africa?
Africa is just one international front for an expanding system of empire. The mechanisms of a real global system of empire are at work in this regard. Washington is acting through NATO and its allies in Africa. Each one of Washington’s allies and satellites has a specific role to play in this global system of empire.
Tel Aviv has played a very active role on the African continent. Israel was a major supporter of South Africa under the apartheid regime.
Tel Aviv also helped smuggle arms into Sudan and East Africa to balkanize that sizeable African nation while contributing to the destabilization of East Africa.
The Israelis have been very active in Kenya and Uganda. Israel has been present wherever there were conflicts, including those pertaining to blood diamonds.
Israel is now working with Washington to establish total hegemony over the African continent. Tel Aviv is actively involved – through its business ties and intelligence operations – in securing the contacts and agreements required by Washington for the extension of its interests in Africa.
Israel has been present in Kenya and Uganda wherever there were conflicts, including those pertaining to blood diamonds. Israel is now working with Washington to establish total hegemony over the African continent.
One of Washington’s major objectives is to disrupt the development of Chinese influence in Africa. Israel and Israeli think-tanks have also played a major role in shaping the U.S. geo-stratagem in Africa.
France, as a former colonial master and a declining power, on the other hand, has traditionally been a rival and competitor of Washington on the African continent.
With the rise of the influence of non-traditional powers in Africa, such as the People’s Republic of China, both Washington and Paris envisaged ways of cooperating. On the broader global stage this is also evident. Both the U.S. and several of the major powers in the European Union consider China and other emerging global powers as a threat. They have decided to end their rivalries and work together. Thus, a consensus between Washington and the E.U. unfolded, leading to some forms of political integration.
This consensus may have also been manufactured by growing U.S. influence in E.U. capitals. Whatever the case, it has been boosted since the beginning of Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidency in 2007.
President Sarkozy also wasted no time in pushing for the reintegration of the French military command structure within NATO. The consequence of this action has led to the subordination of the French military to the Pentagon.
In 1966, President Charles de Gaulle pulled French forces out of NATO and removed France from the military command structures of NATO as a means of maintaining French independence. Nicolas Sarkozy has reversed all of this. In 2009, Sarkozy ordered that France rejoin the integrated military command structure of NATO. In 2010, he also signed an accord to start amalgamating the British and French militaries.
On the African continent, Paris has a special place or niche in the U.S. system of global empire. This role is that of a regional gendarme in North Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, and all the countries that were former French colonies. France’s special role, in other words, is due to its history and the existing, albeit declining, position of France in Africa, specifically through the “Françafrique.” The Union of the Mediterranean, which Sarkozy officially launched, is one example of these French interests in North Africa.
On the African continent, Paris has a special place or niche in the U.S. system of global empire. This role is that of a regional gendarme in North Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, and all the countries that were former French colonies.
The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has also been working through France’s International Federation of Human Rights (Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l’Homme, FIDH). The FIDH is well established in Africa. The NED has essentially outsourced its work to manipulate and control African governments, movements, societies and states to the FIDH. It was the FIDH and the affiliated Libyan League for Human Rights (LLHR) that helped orchestrate the various pretexts for the NATO war against Libya, endorsed by the United Nations Security Council through unsubstantiated and false claims.
The National Endowment for Democracy and its partnership with the International Federation of Human Rights in Africa
Following the 2007 election of Nicolas Sarkozy as the leader of the French Republic, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) started to develop a real partnership with the National Endowment for Democracy. Both organizations are also partners within the World Movement for Democracy. Carl Gershman, the president of the NED, even went to France in December 2009 to meet with the FIDH to deepen collaboration between the two organizations and to discuss Africa. ((National Endowment for Democracy, “NED Strengthens Democracy Ties with France,” March 16, 2010.)) He also met individuals who are considered as pro-Israeli lobbyists in France.
The partnerships between the FIDH and the NED are mostly based in Africa and the intersecting Arab World. These partnerships operate in a zone that covers countries like Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Niger, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
North Africa, which includes Libya and Algeria, has been a specific area of focus for the FIDH, where Washington, Paris and NATO clearly have major ambitions.
The FIDH, which is directly implicated in launching the war on Libya, has also received direct funding, in the form of grants, from the National Endowment for Democracy for its programs in Africa. In 2010, a NED grant of $140,186 (U.S.) was one of the latest amounts given to the FIDH for its work in Africa. ((National Endowment for Democracy, “Africa Regional,” August 2011.)) The NED was also one of the first signatories, along with the Libyan League for Human Rights (LLHR) and U.N. Watch, demanding international intervention against the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. ((United Nations Watch et al., “Urgent Appeal to Stop Atrocities in Libya: Sent by 70 NGOs to the US, EU, and UN,” Feb. 21, 2011.))
AFRICOM and the post-9/11 road towards conquering Africa
In 2002, the Pentagon started major operations aimed at controlling Africa militarily. This was in the form of the Pan-Sahel Initiative, which was launched by the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) and U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). Under the banner of this project, the U.S. military would train troops from Mali, Chad, Mauritania and Niger. The plans to establish the Pan-Sahel Initiative, however, date back to 2001, when the initiative for Africa was actually launched after the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001 (9/11).
Washington was clearly planning military action in Africa, which already included at least three countries – Libya, Somalia and Sudan – identified as enemy targets to be attacked by the Pentagon and the White House, according to Gen. Wesley Clark.
Jacques Chirac, the president of France at the time, tried to offer resistance to the U.S. push into Africa by reinvigorating Germany’s role in Africa as a means of supporting France. In 2007, the Franco-African summit even opened its doors to German participation for the first time. ((Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs (France), “XXIVème sommet Afrique-France,” February 2007.)) Yet, Angela Merkel had different ideas about the direction and position that the Franco-German partnership should take in regards to Washington.
Since 2001, the momentum towards creating U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) had started. AFRICOM, however, was officially authorized in December 2006 and the decision to create it was announced several short months later in February 2007. It was in 2007 that AFRICOM was established.
It is important to note that this momentum also received Israeli encouragement, because of Israeli interests in Africa. The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS), for example, was one of the Israeli organizations supporting the creation of AFRICOM.
On the basis of the Pan-Sahel Initiative, the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative (TSCTI) was launched by the Pentagon in 2005 under the command of CENTCOM. Mali, Chad, Mauritania and Niger were now joined by Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, Senegal, Nigeria and Tunisia in the ring of African military cooperation with the Pentagon. Later, the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative would be transferred to the command of AFRICOM on Oct. 1, 2008, which is when AFRICOM would be activated.
The Sahel and Sahara: The U.S. clearly adopts France’s old colonial projects in Africa
“Fighting terrorism” and executing “humanitarian missions” are just façades or smokescreens for Washington and its allies.
While the stated goals of the Pentagon are to fight terrorism in Africa, the real aims of Washington are to restructure Africa and to establish a neo-colonial order. In this regard, Washington has actually adopted the old colonial projects of France in Africa. This also includes the U.S., British, Italian and French initiative to divide Libya after 1943 as well as the unilateral French initiative to redraw North Africa. In this scheme, the U.S. and its cohorts plan on creating ethnic wars and sectarian hatred between the Berbers, the Arabs and others in North Africa.
“Fighting terrorism” and executing “humanitarian missions” are just façades or smokescreens for Washington and its allies.
The map used by Washington for combating terrorism under the Pan-Sahel Initiative says a lot. The range or area of activity for the terrorists, within the borders of Algeria, Libya, Niger, Chad, Mali and Mauritania according to Washington’s designation, is very similar to the boundaries or borders of the colonial territorial entity which France attempted to sustain in Africa in 1957. Paris had planned to prop up this African entity in the western central Sahara as a French department (province) directly tied to France, along with coastal Algeria.
This French colonial entity in the Sahara was named the Common Organization of the Saharan Regions (Organisation commune des regions sahariennes, OCRS). It comprised the inner boundaries of the Sahel and Saharan countries of Mali, Niger, Chad and Algeria.
The French goal was to collect and bind all the resource-rich territories of these countries into this one central entity, the OCR, for French control and extraction. The resources in this area include oil, gas and uranium. Yet the resistance movements in Africa, and specifically the Algerian struggle for independence, dealt Paris a hard blow.
France had to give up its quest and finally dissolve the OCRS in 1962 because of Algerian independence and the anti-colonial stance in Africa. Because of the push towards independence in Africa, France was finally cut off from the inland area in the Sahara that it wished to control.
Washington clearly had this energy-rich and resource-rich area in mind when it drew the areas of Africa that need to be cleansed of alleged terrorist cells and gangs. The French Institute of Foreign Relations (Institut français des relations internationals, IFRI) has even openly discussed this tie between the terrorists and energy-rich areas in a March 2011 report. ((Etienne de Durand, “Francs-tireurs et Centurions. Les ambiguïtés de l’héritage contre-insurrectionnel français,” Institut français des relations internationals, March 2011.)) It is also in this context that the amalgamation of Franco-German and Anglo-American interests and companies has allowed France to become an integrated part of the U.S. system of global empire with common interests.
Regime change in Libya and the National Endowment for Democracy: A nexus of terrorism and human rights
Since 2001, the U.S. has falsely presented itself as a champion against terrorism. The Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative (TSCTI), which opened the doors for AFRICOM in Africa, was justified as necessary by Washington to fight organizations like the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) in Algeria and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) in Libya.
Since 2001, the U.S. has falsely presented itself as a champion against terrorism.
Yet Washington is cooperating and using these very same groups in Libya, along with the National Front for the Salvation of Libya and the Muslim Brotherhood, as foot soldiers and proxies. Moreover, many of the key Libyan individuals who are members of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) are members of these groups and have also been part of conferences and longstanding plans pushing for regime change in Libya.
One of the key meetings for establishing what would become the current Transitional Council in Libya took place in 1994 when the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) organized a conference with Ashur Shamis and Aly (Ali) Abuzakuuk. The 1994 conference’s title was “Post-Qaddafi Libya: The Prospect and the Promise.” In 2005 another conference with Shamis Ashur would be held in the British capital of London that would build on the idea of regime change in Libya. ((The National Conference of the Libyan Opposition, “The National Accord: The National Conference of the Libyan Opposition, London, 26th June 2005,” 2005.))
So who are these Libyan opposition figures? A series of questions must be asked. Are their ties to Washington new or old? Who do the associate with? Also, have they had longstanding support or not?
Ashur Shamis is one of the founding members of the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, which in 1981 was founded in Sudan. He has been wanted by Interpol and the Libyan police for years. ((Interpol Wanted Notice for Ashour Al-Shamis.)) Ahsur is also listed as someone who has been a director in the National Endowment for Democracy in the Libyan Human and Political Development Forum. He is also the editor of the Akhbar webpage, which was registered under Akhbar Cultural Limited and tied to the NED. He has also participated in recent key conferences for regime change in Tripoli. This includes the conference in London held by Chatham House in 2011, which discussed NATO plans for the invasion of Tripoli. ((Foreign and Commonwealth Office (U.K.), “Chatam House event: the future of Libya,” June 2011.))
Like Ashur, Aly Abuzaakouk is also a member of the National Front for the Salvation of Libya and tied to the National Endowment for Democracy. He was one of the key participants and attendees at the roundtable held for the 2011 Democracy Awards by the NED. ((National Democracy for Democracy, “2011 Democracy Award Biographies,” June 2011.)) Like Ashur, he is also wanted by Interpol and serves as a director at the Libyan Human and Political Development Forum. ((Interpol Wanted Notice for Ali Ramadan Abu Za Kouk.))
There is also Noman Benotman, a former leader and founder of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and a wanted terrorist. He is presented as a former terrorist. Benotman conveniently left the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group in the wake of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Benotman is not only a National Endowment for Democracy (NED) director in the Libyan Human and Political Development Forum; he is also tied to the news network Al Jazeera.
Noman Benotman, a wanted terrorist, is not only a National Endowment for Democracy (NED) director in the Libyan Human and Political Development Forum; he is also tied to the news network Al Jazeera.
Not only have these three men lived in Britain without any problems while they were wanted by Interpol and sought because of their ties to terrorism or, in the case of Abuzaakouk, drug-related crimes and forgery, but they also received grants from the United States. They received U.S. grants which formalized their affiliation to various NED sponsored organizations, which have supported the regime change agenda in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. This regime change agenda has also been supported by MI6 and the CIA.
Moreover, the legal documents that have been filed by the NED regarding these individuals have been deliberately and illegally tampered with. One key individual’s identity has been hidden in the list of NED directors. Thus, legal documents have been fraudulently filled out to hide an individual’s identity under the alias of “Beata Wozniak.” Even Wozniak’s birthday is invalid, appearing as Jan. 1, 1 (01/01/0001). She is a person who has been on the board of all these NED organizations. She is listed as a director and secretary of Akbar, Transparency Libya Limited, and several British companies.
The ‘Long War’ enters Africa: The gate into Africa has been opened
The fanning of terrorism in Africa is part of a deliberate strategy used by the U.S. and its allies, including NATO. The strategy consists in “opening the door to the African continent” by expanding the so-called “Global War on Terror.” The latter provides a justification to the U.S. objective of expanding its military presence in the African continent. It was also used as a pretext to create the Pentagon’s AFRICOM.
U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) is meant to “manage Africa” on Washington’s behalf. It consists in creating an African version of NATO with a view to carrying out the occupation of Africa. In this regard, the U.S. and its allies have already established a budget to fight the very terrorist organizations which they have created and supported – including with military aid and weapons – across the map of Africa from Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Mali to Mauritania, Niger, Algeria and Nigeria.
U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) is meant to “manage Africa” on Washington’s behalf. It consists in creating an African version of NATO with a view to carrying out the occupation of Africa.
The terrorists not only fight for America on the ground, they also liase with Washington and act as frontmen through so-called human rights organizations which have a mandate to “promote democracy.”
On the ground these same individuals and organizations are used to destabilize their respective countries. They are also supported internationally by Washington to actively work towards regime change and military intervention in the name of human rights and democracy. Libya is a clear case in point.
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a sociologist and research associate with the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montréal. He specializes on the Middle East and Central Asia. While he was on the ground in Libya for over two months, he was also a special correspondent for Flashpoints, an investigative news program broadcast from KPFA in Berkeley, California, and carried on dozens of other stations around the U.S. Nazemroaya has been releasing these articles about Libya in conjunction with aired discussions with Cynthia McKinney on Freedom Now, a show aired on KPFK, Los Angeles, California. Julien Teil is a videographer and investigative documentary film maker from France. He was also recently in Libya for about one month. © Copyright Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Global Research, 2011. This story first appeared on Global Research.
This video was posted to YouTube on June 16, 2011, by the U.K. Foreign Office with the following note: “At an event held at Chatham House, Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt said he ‘firmly believes that the Libyan people will achieve their vision for a free, prosperous and democratic Libya.’ The other panelists were Sir Richard Dalton (Associate Fellow of Chatham House and former British Ambassador to Libya), Lindsey Hilsum (International Editor, Channel 4 News) and Ashur al-Shamis (Libyan journalist and opposition figure).”