Today is the centennial anniversary of the start of the First World War. On 28 July, 1914, the Austro-Hungarian army fired the first shots, to crush rebellious Serbia. What happened then, and why, is traced in this video.
Blame is laid on the growth of nationalism, and even more on imperialism – the acquisition of colonies by the powers of Europe on other continents, in fierce competition with each other, Britain being far and away the winner. The fact that at least some empires, chiefly the British, brought incalculable benefits to the lands they conquered, colonized and ruled, is touched on briefly; in our view, too briefly.
We think it is an overview worth watching, though there are points where we would place a different emphasis.
We agree with the presenters that the day World War One broke out was the day Europe began its terminal decline.
Nelson Mandela’s party, the ANC, has been a front for the South African Communist Party ever since he became its leader and adopted terrorism as its tactic to gain power.
It has just won another election, and feeling secure, it is now planning to go all the way to turning South Africa into a Communist hell.
It will be worse for the majority black population than the old apartheid hell. It will be terrible for everyone except – as always in Communist countries – the ruling elite.
This is from the New American, by Alex Newman:
After another electoral victory in South Africa, the ruling African National Congress (ANC)-South African Communist Party (SACP) regime plans to pursue what it calls the “radical second phase” of its ongoing revolution. Among other elements, the SACP announced in a statement that the plot involves confiscating private property and businesses as part of “the strategic transformation of the ownership and control function of key commanding heights of the economy”. …
While the international and even domestic press has been virtually silent on the dangerous acceleration of “revolution” in South Africa, the Communist Party has been largely open about its scheming. In fact, earlier this month, the party’s Central Committee even published a statement entitled How the radical Second Phase must be pursued. The document outlined the communist agenda for South Africa and celebrated the party’s ongoing success in dismantling the remaining vestiges of South African liberty and markets.
“Long ignored as an irrelevant ‘scare story,’ the ‘Red danger’ [rooi gevaar in Afrikaans] is not just back — it is in control. It never disappeared,” explained Frans Cronje, chief of the [liberal] South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR). …The communists “sit quietly behind the throne, with enormous influence on the line of thought in the ANC,” Cronje continued in his Rapport column following the South African election. “Such influence also makes sense from a historical point of view, because the communists have long been serving as the generator of ideas in the ANC. This last year shows how huge this influence has become.”
Numerous examples of the SACP role in policy were cited by the SAIRR chief. Among them: proposals for even more draconian race-driven affirmative action, proposed jail sentences for violations of “Black Economic Empowerment” schemes, the cancelling of investment agreements with 15 Western countries, a plot to allow government to seize any commercial property without compensation, a ploy to force farmers to surrender 50 percent of their land, the proposed expropriation of parts of the private-security sector, the introduction of legislation to expropriate certain oil and gas investments, and more. …
Of course, as top Communist Party and ANC officials have admitted, the ANC — dominated for decades by the SACP and bankrolled by the Soviet Union and Western globalists — is and has been crucial to the whole communist “revolution” … After the latest election … the SACP and its shadowy operations are becoming increasingly visible. …
The lies surrounding Mandela’s Communist Party affiliation have all crumbled since his death. Both the SACP and the ANC, for example, admitted in official statements after his death that the idolized revolutionary had in fact served on the Soviet-backed Communist Party’s decision-making Central Committee. More recently, the release of Mandela’s original autobiography — before it was sanitized by an operative currently working in the Obama administration — revealed the former president and ANC chief’s affinity for violence[and] communist terror. …
Today, the communists even openly boast of their success in seizing power. “The [Central Committee] noted the election of a significant number of SACP members to national and provincial legislatures, as well as the appointment of Central Committee members as Ministers and Deputy Ministers in national government,” the party bosses said in their public statement. “Other CC members have been appointed as MECs [Members of the Executive Council, or provincial cabinet] in provinces and as premier of the Eastern Cape province.” …
In its statement on the recent elections, where the SACP-dominated ANC again crushed its fractured opposition despite the ongoing implosion of South Africa, the Communist Party Central Committee said the time had come for the revolution to enter its next stage. “Let us now carry forward the momentum — from our election victory to a second radical phase of the national democratic revolution!” the SACP bosses said.
President Zuma, a “former” SACP member who has come under severe fire for corruption, rape, and regularly singing songs about exterminating white South Africans, appears to be fully on board with the communist plot to fundamentally transform the nation. As the SACP statement put it, the reelected South African ruler “unambiguously announced a radical new turn as the key priority of his second presidential term”.
The two-phase “revolutionary theory” in question can be traced back to Soviet thinking, experts point out. In South Africa, the first phase involved forcing the white-led “colonial” regime to surrender power so that communist operatives could be placed in charge of every level of governance. Communist powers and Western globalists played a key role in bringing that about. In the beginning, at least, communist theorists argued that a phase of “bourgeois democracy” had to be tolerated as part of the “national democratic revolution”.
“Democratic” in the Communist meaning of the word – ie. anti-democratic.
The “radical second phase” … calls for the creation of a full-blown socialist dictatorship to erect what the communist conspirators refer to as a “workers’ state”. After allowing elements of the market economy to build up communist might during phase one, the coming segment of the revolution aims to consolidate full control over industry, land, resources, government, capital, credit, and society itself. …
Boasting of its ongoing central planning schemes such as the “New Growth Path policy”, the “Industrial Policy Action Plan”, and a gargantuan “infrastructure build” program, the SACP called for the acceleration and consolidation of “state-led initiatives”. It also demanded more “long-range planning, now institutionalized more firmly within government”, a major focus on “skills training” to prepare South Africans for their centrally planned jobs, and the “more effective leveraging” of key state-owned “financial institutions”, such as the Development Bank of Southern Africa.
Other “critical elements of a radical second phase” of its “National Democratic Revolution” include stepping up the nationalization of private property and non-government assets. The SACP demanded, for example, the “strategic transformation of the ownership and control function of key commanding heights of the economy; and accelerated land reform in both rural and urban areas, focused on food production and safety, sustainable livelihoods and integrated urbanization”. Already-terrorized farmers now literally have a target on their backs.
As they did in Zimbabwe. Once prosperous Southern Rhodesia. Now a miserably unfree and hungry country, reduced to abysmal poverty by the Maoist dictator and mass-murderer Robert Mugabe, who managed to inflate the currency to the second or third highest degree ever attained in any nation in recorded history.
If the SACP-ANC regime succeeds in its plans, South Africa will go the way of every other nation in history that has been enslaved under communist tyranny. Poverty will explode, freedom will vanish …
There has been little sign that the Western world cares very much. It cared (rightly) about apartheid oppression. Communism is no longer considered an evil by Western European governments, or by the present US administration. (Eastern Europeans, not long emerged from under the lash of Soviet Communism, know better.)
But South Africa is mineral rich. Johannesburg since its founding has been The City of Gold. Listen for the outcry from Western investors when all investment and private ownership is ended and wealth confiscated.
These pictures and the text are from The Muslim Issue.
We have written the captions, basing them on the author’s and adding some information. Further comment would be superfluous.
The author of the text is an anonymous Ethiopian. He writes:
There are more than 100,000 known black Sudanese slaves under the Arabized Islamic Sudanese government, and the government encourages this by arming the Arab militias to ride on black villages. To the extent that these villages defend themselves, the government sends airplanes to bomb them. Thousands have died at the hands of the army of Sudan, and this is not good enough to cause demonstrations for the black community. Shame shame!!!!
The black Darfur people of Sudan had traditionally been Animist until the late 1800s, but since then have been under heavy pressure from the Islamic sword to convert, and they have complied. This is not enough for the barbarians, and to this day the Arab tribes have been riding them like cattle for slaves, and the Islamic government of Sudan has committed crimes against humanity. There are more than 2 million people displaced and half a million dead as a result of these barbaric acts. Up to this minute, many are dying at the hands of the government and its Arab militias, yet where are the demonstrations to protest against these barbaric acts? Shame shame!!!
Human trafficking in Sinai Egypt/Sudan:
Since 2009 up to this minute, the barbaric Arabs have kidnapped thousands of Eritreans and Ethiopians from the borders between Eritrea and Sudan and Ethiopia and Sudan. These barbaric Arabs from Sudan and Egypt, and their latest customers, the smugglers of weapons for Hamas in the Sinai, have tortured Eritreans and Ethiopians for ransom in the Sinai Peninsula, subjecting them to rape, burning, and mutilation. …
Thousands have died, and thousand are still in captive. Where are Human Rights Watch, the UN, the black empowering institutions, the black Muslims, and the moderate Arab Muslims protesting these barbaric acts? There is no such protest. It is in their holy book: a non-Muslim deserves nothing …
These are pictures of a massacre: the aftermath of an air bombardment of civilians by the Sudanese Islamic government in May 2014
And these are pictures of human trafficking victims taken after they were dropped over the Sinai border into Israel. One has been ripped open for the removal of organs, and then roughly stitched up again.
Whether the earth is getting a wee bit warmer, or a wee bit cooler, or staying much the same in this wee bit of time in which the present generations live, is of no importance. None. What is important is that a few thousand people are trying to undo our civilization, return the human race to the life of savages (“solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short”, as Thomas Hobbes described it), or even wipe it off the face of the earth*. And all to preserve the planet, they say. For whom? For what? They are obsessed madmen, religious fanatics. (Yes, environmentalism is a religion.) And they are winning. They have the ear of Western governments. They command government agencies. Some of them – such as the despots of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – have immense power. Their word is law.
Of the tactics they use, the one that is working best for them and worst for their victims, is stopping Western technology spreading to the Third World, thus keeping poor countries poor, and allowing disease to kill millions upon millions, year after year.
Big Green activists say anything other than solar panels and bird-butchering wind turbines would not be “sustainable”. Like climate change, “sustainability” is infinitely elastic and malleable, making it a perfect weapon for anti-development activists. Whatever they support is sustainable. Whatever they oppose is unsustainable. To them, apparently, the diseases and death tolls are sustainable, just, ethical and moral. Whatever they advocate also complies with the “precautionary principle”. Whatever they disdain violates it. Worse, their perverse guideline always focuses on the risks of using technologies – but never on the risks of not using them. It spotlights risks that a technology – coal-fired power plants, biotech foods or DDT, for example – might cause, but ignores risks the technology would reduce or prevent.
We quote an article by Paul Driessen at Canada Free Press:
Fossil fuel and insurance company executives “could face personal liability for funding climate denialism and opposing policies to fight climate change”, Greenpeace recently warned several corporations. In a letter co-signed by WWF International and the Center for International Environmental Law, the Rainbow Warriors ($155 million in 2013 global income) suggested that legal action might be possible.
Meanwhile, the WWF ($927 million in 2013 global income) filed a formal complaint against Peabody Energy for “misleading readers” in advertisements that say coal-based electricity can improve lives in developing countries. The ads are not “decent, honest and veracious”, as required by Belgian law, the World Wildlife ethicists sniffed. Other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) make similar demands. …
They are demands which – we ardently hope – will rebound in their green faces.
In fact, the rebounding has begun.
India’s Intelligence Bureau recently identified Greenpeace as “a threat to national economic security”, noting that these and other groups have been “spawning” and funding internal protest movements and campaigns that have delayed or blocked numerous mines, electricity projects and other infrastructure programs vitally needed to create jobs and lift people out of poverty and disease. The anti-development NGOs are costing India’s economy 2-3% in lost GDP every year, the Bureau estimates.
The Indian government has now banned direct foreign funding of local campaign groups by foreign NGOs like Greenpeace, the WWF and US-based Center for Media and Democracy. India and other nations could do much more. Simply holding these über-wealthy nonprofit environmentalist corporations to the same ethical standards they demand of for-profit corporations could be a fascinating start.
Greenpeace, WWF and other Big Green campaigners constantly demand environmental and climate justice for poor families. They insist that for-profit corporations be socially responsible, honest, transparent, accountable, and liable for damages and injustices that the NGOs allege the companies have committed, by supposedly altering Earth’s climate and weather, for example.
Meanwhile, more than 300 million Indians (equal to the US population) still have no access to electricity, or only sporadic access. 700 million Africans likewise have no or only occasional access. Worldwide, almost 2.5 billion people (nearly a third of our Earth’s population) still lack electricity …
These energy-deprived people do not merely suffer abject poverty. They must burn wood and dung for heating and cooking, which results in debilitating lung diseases that kill a million people every year. They lack refrigeration, safe water and decent hospitals, resulting in virulent intestinal diseases that send almost two million people to their graves annually. The vast majority of these victims are women and children.
The energy deprivation is due in large part to unrelenting, aggressive, deceitful eco-activist campaigns against coal-fired power plants, natural gas-fueled turbines, and nuclear and hydroelectric facilities in India, Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and elsewhere. The Obama Administration joined Big Greeen in refusing to support loans for these critically needed projects, citing climate change and other claims.
As American University adjunct professor Caleb Rossiter asked in a recent Wall Street Journal article, “Where is the justice when the US discourages World Bank funding for electricity-generation projects in Africa that involve fossil fuels, and when the European Union places a ‘global warming’ tax on cargo flights importing perishable African goods?”
Where is the justice in Obama advisor John Holdren saying ultra-green elites in rich countries should define and dictate “ecologically feasible development” for poor countries? …
Imagine your life without abundant, reliable, affordable electricity and transportation fuels. Imagine living under conditions endured by impoverished, malnourished, diseased Indians and Africans whose life expectancy is 49 to 59 years. And then dare to object to their pleas and aspirations, especially on the basis of “dangerous manmade global warming” speculation and GIGO [garbage in, garbage out] computer models. …
Genetically engineered Golden Rice incorporates a gene from corn (maize) to make it rich in beta-carotene, which humans can convert to Vitamin A, to prevent blindness and save lives. The rice would be made available at no cost to poor farmers. Just two ounces a day would virtually end the childhood malnutrition, blindness and deaths. But Greenpeace and its “ethical” collaborators have battled Golden Rice for years, while eight million children died from Vitamin A deficiency since the rice was invented.
In Uganda malnourished people depend as heavily on Vitamin A-deficient bananas, as their Asian counterparts do on minimally nutritious rice. A new banana incorporates genes from wild bananas, to boost the fruit’s Vitamin A levels tenfold. But anti-biotechnology activists repeatedly pressure legislators not to approve biotech crops for sale.
Other crops are genetically engineered to resist insects, drought and diseases, reducing the need for pesticides and allowing farmers to grow more food on less land with less water. However, Big Green opposes them too, while millions die from malnutrition and starvation.
Sprayed in tiny amounts on walls of homes, DDT repels mosquitoes for six months or more. It kills any that land on the walls and irritates those it does not kill or repel, so they leave the house without biting anyone. No other chemical – at any price – can do all that. Where DDT and other insecticides are used, malaria cases and deaths plummet – by as much as 80 percent. Used this way, the chemical is safe for humans and animals, and malaria-carrying mosquitoes are far less likely to build immunities to DDT than to other pesticides, which are still used heavily in agriculture and do pose risks to humans.
But in another crime against humanity, Greenpeace, WWF and their ilk constantly battle DDT use – while half a billion people get malaria every year, making them unable to work for weeks on end, leaving millions with permanent brain damage, and killing a million people per year, mostly women and children.
India and other countries can fight back, by terminating the NGOs’ tax-exempt status, as Canada did with Greenpeace. They could hold the pressure groups to the same standards they demand of for-profit corporations: honesty, transparency, social responsibility, accountability and personal liability. They could excoriate the Big Green groups for their crimes against humanity – and penalize them for the malnutrition, disease, economic retractions and deaths they perpetrate or perpetuate.
* See our posts: The evil that Greenpeace does, January 16, 2010; The vast left-wing conspiracy, January 18, 2010; The blind cruelty of Greenpeace, January 20, 2010; Fresh wild raw uninhabited world, January 2, 2012.
Bill Whittle of PJ Media cogently makes the case against Obama and Hillary Clinton: guilty of gross dereliction of duty on – and leading up to – 9/11/12, when the attack on the US mission in Benghazi resulted in death and disaster.
It is still questionable whether their inaction was a result of the undoubtably bad characters of Obama and Hillary Clinton, and their equally undoubtable incompetence, or an implementation of Obama’s ever more glaringly obvious ambition to weaken America and help Islam to victory.
Robert Spencer writes at Jihad Watch:
It has already been a busy Memorial Day weekend. Stories reported at Jihad Watch over the last two days:
Tunisia: Muslim screaming “The nation of Muhammad returns for vengeance” stabs Jew, is released
Sharia Egypt: Christian gets four years prison, $1400 fine for insulting Islam by drawing cartoon of Muhammad on Facebook
Somalia: Islamic jihadists murder at least 10 in jihad attack on parliament
Yemen: Islamic jihadists murder at least 27 people in raid on city
Pakistan: Islamic jihadists murder seven in three separate blasts
Thailand: Islamic jihadists murder three, injure 55 with series of blasts
Nigeria: Islamic jihadist murders two in bungled jihad/martyrdom suicide bombing
Iraq: Islamic jihadists murder seven people with car bomb at alcohol shop
Uganda: Churches step up security after threats from Islamic jihad group
Australia: Jihad fundraiser and brother of convicted terrorist preaching in mosques
Iran’s Supreme Leader: Jihad will continue until America is no more
Syria: Sharia enforcers disrupt wedding party, detain women for un-Islamic dress
Authorities suspect Islamic jihadists behind murder of four at Brussels Jewish Museum
Djibouti: Islamic jihadists murder three with bomb in restaurant filled with Western soldiers
Nigeria: Islamic jihadists of Boko Haram murder 24 people in attack on crowded market
In the face of all this, the Pope calls a man who has just partnered with a jihad terror group vowed to the destruction of the Jewish State a “man of peace” … The President of the United States has said, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam”, even to the point of removing all mention of Islam and jihad from counter-terror training material, acceding to the demand of Muslim groups with links to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood — and thereby forbidding law enforcement agents from studying and understanding the motives and goals of those who have vowed to destroy us.
And so on Memorial Day, we remember when we had leaders to defend us. We still have strong individuals who have vowed the defense of our nation, and for that we can be grateful, but they are being led by a political class so willfully ignorant of prevailing realities, and so deeply compromised, that they make misstep after misstep, endangering us all — while a likewise compromised media does everything it can to cover for them and defame those who sound the alarm about this problem. …
We remember that in our nation’s darkest days, there arose strong, rough men — the ones to whom Churchill referred when he noted that “we sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us”. For that we pause today to offer our gratitude [to them], and our hope that there still remains enough of them to see us through this present darkness.
Our resolve to remain free is iron; now all we need are some leaders with similar resolve.
We like that idea immensely. But we know there are many among us whose resolve to subjugate us to the will of over-mighty government, and even to the domination of savage Islam, is also iron.
Their idea of a desirable leader is Hillary Clinton. Judging by appearances and her record, the Benghazi disaster in particular, we would not describe her as a strong rough man ready to visit violence on those who would harm us. We dare to hope for someone stronger, rougher, masculine, and militant.
The left pretends that the Benghazi disaster has been sufficiently inquired into, and that all the necessary answers have been been given.
But here Trey Gowdy, who is to chair the Select Committee set up by the House of Representatives to make the full inquiry that has not in fact been made, asks the press some questions it cannot answer.
The Democrats and their media toadies are very afraid of a proper inquiry into the attack on the US mission in Benghazi, Libya, on 9/11/12, when the US Ambassador and three other Americans were killed.
They are trying to wreck Trey Gowdy’s Select Committee that will investigate the tragic event. They speak of boycotting it. Nancy Pelosi complains that (if they don’t) it will have a majority of Republicans sitting on it.(It will have a Republican majority of one. When Pelosi was Speaker of the House she never minded if a committee had a majority of Democrats – the more the better.)
Nancy Pelosi says: “Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi. Why aren’t we talking about something else?”
A great many cartoons are appearing in which people and animals and unidentifiable shapes blurt out “Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi”. They are supposed to be mocking those of us who are appalled by what happened and want to know why it was allowed to happen. (We recently had an outbreak of such cartoons being posted on our Facebook to shout down our support for the new inquiry.)
Here is an example:
They are supposed to be very “yaboo!” in that puerile way that characterizes the left.
But actually, such cartoons are useful. They can help the cause of pursuing the truth about the lethal mishandling of the tragedy.
Up until recently, the left media have studiously avoided the subject of Benghazi. Now they are shouting its name from the rooftops, and in the valleys and on the mountains and the plains, day in and day out.
Their intended taunt of “BENGHAZI, BENGHAZI, BENGHAZI!” is at last spreading public awareness that “Benghazi” is the name of an immensely important issue.
They are doing it in a spirit of fierce aggression and spite, arising from a deep frustration that they cannot after all keep the issue out of public attention; hoping to intimidate those who will not let the scandal be forgotten. But, with the gratifying justice that unintended consequences can sometimes bring, they are being punished by their own campaign. It is rebounding in their faces.
They have chosen a self-defeating tactic.
Let’s shout with them (for once);
“BENGHAZI, BENGHAZI, BENGHAZI ….!”
Muammar Qaddafi was a tyrant. Little good can be said of him. He was probably one of the worst Arab heads of state – a class that lends itself to only very small degrees of comparison.
But two things were in his favor.
One was that he wanted friendly relations with America. Or at least he did not want to give America reason to invade his country. President Bush launched an invasion of Iraq in March 2003 largely because (it was generally believed) Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Colonel Qaddafi had an arsenal of such weapons; but in December of that year, a few days after the defeated Saddam Hussein was captured, the dictator of Libya declared that he would abandon his WMDs. (In fact he kept quantities of chemical weapons right up to the day of his death in October 2011, but the 2003 declaration was nevertheless a white flag.)
The second thing – Qaddafi was the enemy of al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood, both of which were active dangers to the West.
It would seem, therefore, that the interests of the US and Europe would best be served by his staying in power.
Why then did President Obama go to war against him?
Diana West writes at Townhall:
More than Benghazi skeletons should haunt Hillary Clinton’s expected 2016 presidential bid. It now seems that the entire war in Libya – where thousands died in a civil war in which no U.S. interest was at stake – might well have been averted on her watch and, of course, that of President Obama’s. How? In March 2011, immediately after NATO’s punishing bombing campaign began, Muammar Qaddafi was “ready to step aside,” says retired Rear Admiral Charles R. Kubic, U.S. Navy. “He was willing to go into exile and was willing to end the hostilities.”
What happened? According to Kubic, the Obama administration chose to continue the war without permitting a peace parley to go forward.
Kubic made these extremely incendiary charges against the Obama administration while outlining his role as the leading, if informal, facilitator of peace feelers from the Libyan military to the U.S. military. He was speaking this week at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., where the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi was presenting its interim report. Kubic maintains that to understand Benghazi, the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks in which four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed, “you have to understand what happened at the beginning of the Libyan revolt, and how that civil war that created the chaos in Libya could have been prevented.” …
A short chronology sets the stage:
On March 19, 2011, Hillary Clinton, then secretary of state, made a dramatic announcement from Paris on behalf of the “international community.” Eyes steady, voice freighted with dignity and moment, Clinton demanded that Qaddafi – a post-9/11 ally of the U.S. against jihadist terror-armies such as al-Qaida – heed a ceasefire under a newly adopted United Nations resolution, or else.
“Yesterday, President Obama said very clearly that if Qaddafi failed to comply with these terms, there would be consequences,” Clinton said. “Since the president spoke, there has been some talk from Tripoli of a cease-fire, but the reality on the ground tells a very different story. Colonel Qaddafi continues to defy the world. His attacks on civilians go on.”
That same day, NATO air and sea forces went to war to defeat the anti-al-Qaida Qaddafi and bring victory to Libya’s al-Qaida-linked rebels. Uncle Sam … joined the jihad.
Through Libyan intermediaries whom he knew in his post-naval career as an engineer and businessman, Kubic was hearing that Qaddafi wanted to discuss his own possible abdication with the U.S. “Let’s keep the diplomats out of it,” Kubic says he told them. “Let’s keep the politicians out of it, let’s just have a battlefield discussion under a flag of truce between opposing military commanders pursuant to the laws of war, and see if we can, in short period of time, come up with the terms for a cease-fire and a transition of government.”
The following day, March 20, 2011, Kubic says he relayed to the U.S. AFRICOM headquarters Qaddafi’s interest in truce talks as conveyed by a top Libyan commander, Gen. Abdulqader Yusef Dubri, head of Qaddafi’s personal security team. Kubic says that his AFRICOM contact, Lt. Col. Brian Linvill, a former U.S. Army attache in Tripoli then serving as point man for communications with the Libyan military, passed this information up his chain of command to Gen. Carter Ham, then AFRICOM commander. AFRICOM quickly responded with interest in setting up direct military-to-military communications with the Libyans.
On March 21, 2011, Kubic continued, with the NATO war heating up, a senior aide to Qaddafi, Gen. Ahmed Mamud, directly submitted a set of terms for a 72-hour-truce to Linvill at AFRICOM. The Benghazi commission made the basic text of these terms available to press.
During a follow-up telephone interview I had with Kubic, he underscored the show of good faith on both sides that created hopefulness that these flag-of-truce negotiations would come to pass. On the night of March 21, Gen. Ham issued a public statement on Libya in which he noted the U.S. was not targeting Qaddafi.
By March 22, Qadaffi had verifiably begun pulling back troops from the rebel-held cities of Benghazi and Misrata. The cease-fire Hillary Clinton said the “international community” was seeking only days earlier seemed to be within reach, with the endgame of Qaddafi’s abdication and exile potentially on the table.
Then, shockingly, Kubic got what amounted to a “stand down” order from AFRICOM – an order that came down from “well above Gen. Ham,” Kubic says he was told – in fact, as Kubic said in our interview, he was told it came from outside the Pentagon.
The question becomes, who in the Obama administration scuttled these truce talks that might have resulted in Qaddafi handing over powers without the bloodshed and destruction that left Libya a failed state and led to Benghazi?
Had talks gone forward, there is no guarantee, of course, that they would have been successful. Qaddafi surely would have tried to extract conditions. One of them, Kubic believes, would have been to ensure that Libya continue its war on al-Qaida. Would this have been a sticking point? In throwing support to Islamic jihadists, including al-Qaida-linked “rebels” and Muslim Brotherhood forces, the U.S. was changing sides during that “Arab Spring.” Was the war on Qaddafi part of a larger strategic realignment that nothing, not even the prospect of saving thousands of lives, could deter? Or was the chance of going to war for “humanitarian” reasons too dazzling to lose to the prospect of peace breaking out? Or was it something else?
Kubic, the military man, wonders why the civilian leadership couldn’t at least explore a possibly peaceful resolution. “It is beyond me that we couldn’t give it 72 hours — particularly when we had a leader who had won a Nobel Peace Prize, and who was unable basically to ‘give peace a chance’ for 72 hours.”
Obama favored the Muslim Brotherhood’s coming to power in Egypt. He welcomed some of its members into advisory positions in his administration. Did the possible “larger strategic realignment” involve the Muslim Brotherhood? Did the Obama administration want it in power in Libya as well as in Egypt? What advice was Obama and Hillary Clinton getting on Libya and Egypt during the violent upheavals of the so-called “Arab Spring”, and from whom? Is there a clue in the fact that Hillary Clinton’s closest adviser was Huma Abedin, whose family has close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood? Isn’t there at the very least grounds for suspicion in the light of all this? (See our posts, Extreme obscenity, July 27, 2013, and Hillary of Benghazi, August 27, 2013.)
We think there is. But why Obama and Hillary Clinton should want the Muslim Brotherhood in power in North Africa is another question – one to which there cannot be a reassuring answer.
We are in principle against intervention in the internal affairs of other countries. But we are not for isolationism or pacifism – we regard either philosophy as a formula for national suicide. If other countries become belligerent, build up their armed strength, send their warships towards our shores, establish bases in countries on our borders, and declare their aggressive intentions towards us, the politics of those countries become our business. That is happening now. We are under threat – because Obama is deliberately weakening America. And his reaction to the result is to weaken America even more.
The conditions for major war develop much more easily when the U.S. is too weak. They are developing as we speak.
To a meaningful extent, the significant increase we’ve seen in unrest around the globe since 2010 has been made possible, and inevitable, by the retraction of American power. Even where we still have power in place, it has become increasingly obvious that we aren’t going to use it.
We quote from a website interestingly named Liberty Unyielding. The article on the extreme folly of the Obama administration’s moves to weaken America is by Commander Jennifer Dyer, now retired from the US navy. (Her own blog is at Theoptimisticconservative.wordpress.com):
The collapse of order in the Arab nations in 2011 was the first significant stage of the process. The perception that the United States would do nothing about a Hezbollah coup in Lebanon was tested in January of that year. The perception proved to be true, and when protests erupted in Tunisia and Egypt, for causes both natural and manufactured, a set of radical Islamist actors – the “establishment” Muslim Brotherhood, Sunni jihadists, Iran – saw an opportunity. The establishment Muslim Brotherhood has largely won out in Tunisia, but the battle still rages among these radical actors for Egypt, Syria, and now Iraq. Lebanon is being incrementally sucked into the maelstrom as well.
In multiple venues, Russia has watched the U.S. and the West effectively back Islamists in Russia’s “near abroad”: in Turkey (with support for the now struggling Erdogan government); in the Balkans, especially Bosnia and Kosovo; and in Syria. …
There was a time when the implicit determination of the U.S. to enforce the “Pax Americana” order – the post-World War II alignments of the region – held Russia in check. The Russians still derived some security benefit from that order, after all … It appears to me, however, that 2014 will be the year in which it becomes clear that, according to Russians’ perception, they no longer benefit from the old order. If we’re not going to enforce it, Russia will do what she thinks she has to.
In fact, Moscow’s pushback against the plan for Ukraine to affiliate with the EU constitutes just such a blow for perceived Russian interests. It is of supreme importance for Westerners to not misread the recent developments. The EU and the U.S. did back down when Russia pushed hard last fall. The only ones who didn’t back down were the Ukrainian opposition. I predict Vladimir Putin will try to handle the opposition factions cleverly, as much as he can, and avoid a pitched battle with them if possible. He respects what they are willing to do. But he has no reason to respect Brussels or Washington.
And that means he has more latitude, not less, for going after the regional props to the old order, one by one. As always, Russia’s inevitable competition with China is a major driver, along with Russia’s concern about Islamism on her southern border. The whole Great Crossroads – Southwest Asia, Southeast Europe, Northeast Africa, the waterways that snake through the region – is, if not up for grabs, at least in ferment. Look wherever you like: there are almost no nations where there is not a very present menace from radicalism, or where governments and even borders are not gravely imperiled by internal dissent.
Israel is the chief standout for politically sustainable stability and continuity. Romania and Turkey seem likely to at least retain their constitutional order in the foreseeable future, but Turkey’s geopolitical orientation, in particular, is less certain. Greece and Kosovo – even Bosnia – have serious internal problems. Egypt, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia all remain in crisis at various levels. Jordan and Saudi Arabia are relatively stable, and the Arab Persian Gulf states relatively so as well. But their neighborhood is going downhill fast. Iran is riding a wave of radical confidence, and the Taliban are resurgent in Afghanistan.
In this tumultuous region, it’s actually a little funny that Pakistan looks stable and staid compared to Iran, Afghanistan, and neighbors west. We can hope that Islamabad’s perceived need to maintain a symmetrical stance against India will keep Pakistan’s loose federation of intransigents federated, and the nukes under central control. But as we move across South Asia, we near another boiling pot. Thailand – long an American ally and pillar of stability in the region – has been rocked in recent months by national unrest of a kind not seen in Southeast Asia for decades. Islamist radicalism is a growing threat in Indonesia, and an unpacified one in the Philippines, after more than a decade of U.S.-Philippines collaboration in fighting it.
And, of course, China is making real, transformative moves against regional security with her proclamations about air space and maritime rights off her southeast coast.
This disruptive process, like the battles for many of the Arab nations, is already underway. We’re not waiting for something to happen; it’s started.
China assumes, quite correctly, that there will be no effective pushback from the United States. But two other nations with power and means will regard it as intolerable for China to dictate conditions in Southeast Asia: Japan and Russia. The dance of realignment among these nations has implications for everyone in Central Asia and the Far East. The day may be on the horizon sooner than we think when maintaining a divided Korea no longer makes sense to at least one of the major players. The day is already here when Chinese activities in Central Asia are alarming the whole neighborhood, just as Chinese actions are in the South China Sea. …
Russia and Iran are advancing on the US through Central America:
It’s no accident that as radical leftism creeps across Central America (falsely laying claim to a noble “Bolivarian” political mantle), the maritime dispute between Nicaragua and American ally Colombia heats up – and Russia shows up to back Nicaragua and Venezuela – and so does Iran – and unrest turns into shooting and government brutality and violence in Venezuela – and Hezbollah shows up there to openly support the radical, repressive Maduro government.
Now Iran has a naval supply ship headed for Central America, very possibly with a cargo of arms that are not only prohibited by UN sanction, but capable of reaching the United States if launched from a Central American nation or Cuba.
We’re not still waiting for the shocks to start to the old order. They’ve already started. I haven’t surveyed even the half of what there is to talk about …
She looks at the latest defense cuts with dismay and considers what the consequences will be:
This is the world in which the United States plans to reduce our army to its lowest level since before World War II, and eliminate or put in storage much of its capabilities for heavy operations abroad (e.g., getting rid of the A-10 Warthogs, moving Blackhawk helicopters into the National Guard). It’s in this world that DOD proposes to cease operating half of our Navy cruisers, while delaying delivery of the carrier-based F-35 strike-fighter to the Navy and Marine Corps. These cutbacks come on top of cuts already made to training and maintenance expenditures in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force that will affect unit readiness for years to come. …
Then comes what should be a shocking observation:
By cutting back on defense so drastically, America is deciding, in essence, to “fight fair”: to give whatever opponents emerge more of a chance to kill our soldiers, damage our interests, and drag out conflicts. …
That would be hard to believe of any American leadership – until now. It is ludicrous. Worse, it is lunatic. But Obama has never concealed or disguised his wish to weaken America’s military capacity.
The decision “to further limit our capabilities to use power in politically relevant ways” will result in “even more global unrest: more conflict, more shooting, more blood, more extortion and political thuggery menacing civil life in the world’s poorer and more vulnerable nations”, and that cannot be good for America. The point is that -
These unpleasant trends will spill over into civil life in the wealthier nations soon enough …
As it has, she points out, in Ukraine, Thailand, and Venezuela, “whether directly or through second-order consequences”.
Peace and freedom have to be tended constantly; they are not the natural state of geopolitical indiscipline, but its antithesis. …
We’re extraordinarily unprepared for the world that is shaping up around us. …
[And] a world that doesn’t want quiescent trade conditions, tolerance of dissent, the open flow of ideas, and mutual agreements, peacefully arrived at, will not have them.
That’s the world we are sentencing ourselves, for now, to live in. Perhaps we will learn from the consequences how to think again: about what it takes to guard freedom, and indeed, about what freedom actually is.
It is Obama who needs to think again, but there is no reason to hope that he will. It could hardly be more obvious that he does not care for freedom.
The State Department has spent millions of taxpayers’ dollars acquiring Art. That is to say, paying for objects that its resident or consultant aesthetes swear are works of Art, worth every penny.
The acquisitions were apparently a priority for Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State. If you would see her monument, tour US embassies and look about you.
Fashionable Art doesn’t come cheap. So there was no money left to pay for such a humdrum thing as effective protection of the US diplomatic and CIA missions in Benghazi. Denied the security they needed, four Americans, including the ambassador, were killed there by savage jihadis. Well – Hillary might say – there has to be human sacrifice on the altar of Art, it makes all the difference, and if you don’t understand that, you are a philistine bourgeois.
Look on the bright side. The Art is displayed in many a US embassy. Americans can be proud.
In London, there’s a granite wall built by Sean Scully that cost $1million. We couldn’t find a picture of it, but it’s like this one displayed in an art gallery.
Daniel Greenfield illustrates an article on the subject – which inspired this post – with these pictures of works by Cy Twombly. The top one is at the embassy in Rome.
From his text:
Beijing [embassy] contains $23 million worth of art. Bern has $1.2 million and Luxembourg has $2.2 million.
And here is the grave of Ambassador Stevens, murdered at Benghazi. We don’t know how much it cost, or who paid for it.
Post Script: Here is some wall art that really has meaning. The wall is part of the US mission in Benghazi. The paint is blood. A hand put it there the night of the attack. It might have been the hand of Ambassador Stevens himself – or of one of his brutal killers. One does not have to read Arabic to know who signed in for the event on the other wall.
(Hat-tip: our reader and commenter donl)