NATO: The New Barbary Pirates
May 23, 2011
How did the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) go from a collective defense organization to the new Barbary Pirates of imperialism?
During the 2011 Libyan uprising, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1973 which called for a ceasefire and authorized military action to protect civilian lives. A coalition formed, centered around NATO with the March 17, 2011 passing of the Resolution. Its purpose – a so-called “no-fly zone” over Libya.
The irony that the U.S.-dominated NATO military organization would be concerned with “protecting” Arab civilians is all too obvious since the United States is the nation most responsible for killing Arab civilians. The U.S. is the home of the mass-murdering Bush clan whose policies are usually continued by their junior partners in the Democratic Party, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) in its January-February 2008 issue pointed out that 1 million people had died in Iraq as a result of the U.S. invasion. The for-profit corporate media likes to focus on just the casualties that result from U.S. military forces. If we take a far more moral and logical approach, asking the question — Had we not invaded the country and dismantled the government, police and military, how many more Iraqi civilians would be alive today?
Lancet, the highly regarded British medical journal, estimated that 100,000 Iraqis were killed during the first year of the war. In July 2006, Johns Hopkins Medical School estimated that 650,000 Iraqi civilians had been killed. President George W. Bush went so far as to accuse Johns Hopkins of having a “political agenda.”
But George W. Bush is not the first mass murderer of Arab civilians. His father George Herbert Walker Bush, with the aid of the Clinton administration, were responsible for the deaths of more than a million Iraqis. Roughly half a million of these were children. The deliberate bombing of Iraqi water and sewage facilities, hospitals and other key infrastructure during the first Gulf War caused most of these death.
Back in 1996, Clinton’s Secretary of State Madeliene Albright made her notorious comments to CBS’ Lesley Stahl that “We think the price is worth it” in reference to the killing of 500,000 Iraqi children. Many of these children died as a direct result of the U.S. embargo of medical and other essential supplies.
The most interesting question that arose when the world’s foremost war criminal, George W. Bush, the mass murderer of Arabs, walks free in the United States is – How can the U.S. public be sold such an obvious lie about NATO’s concern for Iraqi civilians?
The real reasons for the attack have been dealt with most directly by America’s famous reformed “economic hitman,” John Perkins.
Perkins points out the that attack on Libya, like the attack on Iraq, has to do with power and control of resources, not only oil, but gold. Libya has the highest standard of living in Africa. “According to the IMF, Libya’s Central Bank is 100% state owned. The IMF estimates that the bank has nearly 144 tons of gold in its vaults,” Perkins wrote.
NATO is there like modern Barbary Pirates – to loot Libya’s gold. The Russian media, in addition to Perkins, reported that the Pan-Africanist Qaddafi, the former President of the African Union, had been advocating that Africa use the gold so plentiful in Libya and South Africa to create an African currency based on a gold dinar.
“It is significant that in the months running up to the UN resolution that allowed the U.S. and its allies to send troops into Libya, Muammar al-Qaddafi was openly advocating the creation of a new currency that would rival the dollar and the euro. In fact, he called upon African and Muslim nations to join an alliance that would make this new currency, the gold dinar, their primary form of money and foreign exchange. They would sell oil and other resources to the US and the rest of the world only for gold dinars,” Perkins explained.
What we are witnessing in Libya is old-fashioned 19th century imperialism – the deliberate plundering of a sovereign nation-state’s resources by more powerful Western conquistadors.
Under the neo-colonialism favored after World War II during the period of the Cold War, we preferred to bribe various African leaders to help us loot their nation’s resources. The U.S., of course, killed any Pan-African aspirations as well as potential leaders like Patrice Lumumba.
This highjacking of Arab and African resources and slaughtering of Arab civilians is a long-standing plan put forth by neo-conservatives in the United States. The Project for a New American Century (PNAC) has had a “hit list” of Arab nations and little regard for Arab casualties.
General Wesley Clark wrote in “Winning Modern Wars” that “As I went back through the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we are still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there was a total of seven countries beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia, and Sudan.
The presence of the 2008 Green Party presidential candidate and former U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney in Libya underscores the bipartisan nature of the brutal new imperialism embraced at the highest level by the Democratic and Republican Parties.
As NATO war planes attempt to assassinate the leader of a sovereign nation to steal its gold and plunder the oil, McKinney has had the courage to speak out: “I think that it’s very important that people understand what is happening here. And it’s important that people all over the world see the truth. And that is why I am here … to understand the truth,” she told CNN.
McKinney’s trip to Libya is courageous and we should applaud her willingness to say what is backed by the facts. She stated, “I want to say categorically and very clearly that these policies of war … are not what the people of the United States stand for, and it’s not what African-Americans stand for.”
Perkins also wrote: “Understanding the war against Quaddafi as a war in defense of empire is another step in the direction of helping us ask ourselves whether we want to continue along this path of empire-building.”
History has relegated a slew of over-extended militaristic empires to its dustbins – from ancient Egypt and classical Greece to the Romans, Mongols, Ottomans, Spanish conquistadors, and Brits. The current American imperialism and plunder will end the same way. American patriots should do everything we can to dismantle our empire and return the republic to the people.
Bob Fitrakis accompanied Cynthia McKinney on a delegation to Libya in 2009 for the First International Conference on the World Green Book Supporters Society.