Democracy Worth the Toll?

Democracy Worth the Toll?

By Victor Thorn

When President Barack Obama signed on to the U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) invasion of Libya that began on March 19, 2011, he said Washington was doing so for “humanitarian reasons.” A year and a half after NATO’s “shock-and-awe” attacks, the country resembles hell on Earth. Anger and frustration are brewing there, culminating September 11 with four Americans stationed at the U.S. consulate in the town of Benghazi being dragged from their cars and murdered by an angry crowd.

During a September 13 interview, Mohammed Amos of The Jordan Times told AMERICAN FREE PRESS, “People who lived in the places that were bombed have been set back 50 years. Houses, markets and entire neighborhoods are gone, as are antiques and Libya’s most cherished landmarks. Many of these relics are irreplaceable.”

Today, Libya is facing a confluence of George Orwell’s concept of perpetual war and information about the terrible plight there being erased down the memory hole.

Prior to the NATO strike, American media suppressed information about Tripoli’s ultra-modern architecture and gorgeous cityscape. Now, before and after photos of the city reveal how luxurious commercial districts and tree-lined streets lay cluttered with bombed-out diesel trucks, collapsed five-star hotels and mounds of rubble. The pictures and videos are almost too disturbing to view.

As one pundit remarked, “Is this what a humanitarian war looks like?”

Zarouk Abdullah, a professor in assassinated Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s former hometown of Sirte, lamented: “It used to be a beautiful city, one of the most beautiful in Libya. Today, it looks like postwar Leningrad, Gaza or Beirut.”

Associated Press foreign reporter Karin Laub expanded on the damage in an October 27, 2011 article.

“Whole neighborhoods are uninhabitable,” she said. “There’s no electricity or water. Debris-filled streets are flooded with broken pipes.”

Following an August 2011 visit to Libya, Italian journalist Yvonne Di Vito described the carnage she witnessed. “The bombings were not only carried out on military targets, but they also hit houses, hospitals, schools and television centers,” she wrote. “This was totally against the humanitarian reasons they said they were there for.”

But these NATO destroyers and our “peace president” didn’t stop at mere infrastructure or historical memorials. They also zeroed in on the Libyan people’s heart and soul—the Great Man-made River pipeline. As a symbol of Libya’s nationalistic pride and identity, Qaddafi’s privately financed “Eighth wonder of the world” delivered water from the desert to 70% of Libya’s population.

So, what did NATO’s aerial invaders do? They not only struck the pipeline, but also the only factory that manufactured replacement tubes for this vast irrigation system that brought water to millions of citizens.

In a July 31, 2011 article, Scott Creighton of the news website “American Everyman” seethed with anger: “This cowardly action is beyond the definition of a war crime and has moved into a different realm altogether, for which, I don’t know if there is a word to describe it.”

After NATO and Obama declared their invasion a success—that is, after arming mercenaries with shoulder-fired grenade launchers, implementing a no-fly zone and destroying most of the television broadcast towers in the country—even more destruction resulted at the hands of sectarian violence.

Groups have gone on rampages, leveling mausoleums, tombs and other shrines that were part of Libya’s national heritage. By claiming that certain mosques are “heretical places,” they seek to eliminate—with bulldozers, explosives and jackhammers—all remnants of their culture by year’s end, including those in Tripoli and Misrata.

Perhaps most tragically of all, reminiscent of Egypt’s infamous 48 B.C. Alexandria fire, the groups also vandalized libraries, destroying ancient texts that were over 700 years old.

The Real Problem In America

Syria Being Dismantled Right on Schedule

By Victor Thorn

Residents called it the “Damascus volcano” as waves of violence erupted across neighborhoods on July 14. One of the oldest cities known to man, its 1.7M citizens were largely shielded from a supposed “civil war” in Syria that began in March 2011. But, as AMERICAN FREE PRESS has reported in depth in past issues, the violence is largely being fanned from United States, United Kingdom and Israeli intelligence operatives working in Turkey. To date, the death toll in Syria has topped 27K, while damage to Syria’s infrastructure is estimated at $2.2B.

Still, those living in Damascus have been immune to the fighting. On July 23, Bassem Mroue and Zeina Karam reported: “For a year and a half, residents of the Syrian capital went about their daily business, largely oblivious, as President Bashar Assad’s forces and rebels laid waste to towns and cities across the country. Restaurants, cafes and nightclubs filled up every night with members of a Damascus elite convinced that the regime would keep the fighting away from its heavily guarded seat of power.”

But as well-funded rebels and mercenaries spread across Syria, everything changed, with tanks rolling through well-maintained streets and helicopter trigger-men strafing panicked communities with gunfire. Where morning shoppers once meandered along bustling marketplaces, now a war zone enveloped the city. Car bombs propelled shrapnel through storefront windows. Rebels, mercenaries and soldiers stationed at checkpoints shot at one another.

Without electricity and unable to purchase gasoline or buy groceries at local shops, many Christians and Muslims in Damascus fled across the border into Lebanon, joining up to a million other Syrians displaced from their homes. Plagued by disease, mountains of garbage and with at least 2,000 schools lying in ruins that are now used to shelter the homeless, Syria is beginning to mirror so many other areas of the Arab world that have been dismantled by rebellions orchestrated by Washington, London and Tel Aviv.

After visiting Damascus and rural regions across the nation, Red Cross President Peter Maurer told reporters on September 7, “I was shocked by the immense destruction of infrastructure . . . and I was deeply moved by stories of distraught children who lost their parents in the fighting.”

Maurer added, “Many men, women and children who could be saved are dying on a daily basis because they lack access to medical care,” due to limited and destroyed healthcare facilities.

When viewing this carnage and loss of life, Americans are understandably confused by what is transpiring in Syria.

On September 6, noted political analyst and author Michel Chossudovsky provided some insights during an interview with Press TV.

“It is well understood that this is not a civil war,” said Chossudovsky. “This is a war of aggression, where forces of some NATO countries have entered the country. I am talking about elite SAS, MI6 and CIA . . . forces from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. . . . The aggressors are NATO countries and the FSA, the so-called Free Syrian Army.”

Chossudovsky continued: “What is happening now is a whole series of acts of intimidation, of threats, not to mention economic sanctions. The underlying objective is to destroy a nation. It is to kill a nation, to destabilize its economy, to trigger a humanitarian crisis and then send in the NGOs [non-governmental organizations] to pick up the pieces.”

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Arab Spring or Israeli-Backed Putsch?

By Victor Thorn

Today, via the red herring of a Christian Zionist-sponsored anti-Muslim film, which at least superficially has the Middle East on fire, have all the pieces been put in place across the Mideast, with an attack on Iran being the last piece to the puzzle? It’s time to question whether the entire “Arab Spring” phenomenon has been a plot to weaken Israel’s foes in the Middle East or a popular, grass-roots revolution.

On June 7, in an interview with RT, Lebanese Interior Minister Marwan Charbel offered an observation that seemed prophetic in light of the September 11 attacks on American embassies in Cairo, Libya and other locales.

“I really think what we see today is an ‘Israeli spring,’ ” said Charbel. “Who will pose a threat to Israel now? The Zionist entity is the only country which has benefited from the Arab Spring”—just as they were following the 9-11 attacks in 2001.

On the 11th anniversary of 9-11, when every American embassy and consulate should have been on the highest alert, how could there have been such a widespread security breakdown on so many fronts, in particular when personnel were notified 48 hours in advance that trouble was brewing? These lapses were either a deliberate stand-down or one of the greatest examples of security incompetence conceivable.

As images of burning flags and anti-American mobs circulated throughout the world, the Western media was quick to blame an insulting film that attacked the Muslim prophet Mohammed. As AMERICAN FREE PRESS has shown, however, war, violence and poverty, caused by United States and Israeli machinations in the region, are the real fuel feeding anger in the Mideast.

In January 2011, following public protests, Tunisia’s President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali stepped down after 23 years in power. This set off what many now call the Arab Spring revolutions. Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi soon followed.

With the 2006 execution of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad weakened, no influential leader exists in the Middle East today except for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Libya is in chaos. A band of impoverished rebels is attempting to run the government there, which is mired in infighting. Egypt is facing equally tough times. Initially, President Barack Obama supported the election of Mohamed Morsi, who is backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s largest and most influential Islamic organization. However, Morsi has no real power. He is not Egypt’s commander-in-chief and does not control the U.S.-funded Egyptian military.

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Victor Thorn is a hard-hitting researcher, journalist and author of over 30 books.

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