Paul Craig Roberts
In the 1930s the US, Great Britain, and the Netherlands set a course for World War II in the Pacific by conspiring against Japan. The three governments seized Japan’s bank accounts in their countries that Japan used to pay for imports and cut Japan off from oil, rubber, tin, iron and other vital materials. Was Pearl Harbor, Japan’s response?
Now Washington and its NATO puppets are employing the same strategy against China.
Protests in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, and Yemen arose from the people protesting against Washington’s tyrannical puppet governments. However, the protests against Gaddafi, who is not a Western puppet, appear to have been organized by the CIA in the eastern part of Libya where the oil is and where China has substantial energy investments.
Eighty percent of Libya’s oil reserves are believed to be in the Sirte Basin in eastern Libya now controlled by rebels supported by Washington. As seventy percent of Libya’s GDP is produced by oil, a successful partitioning of Libya would leave Gaddafi’s Tripoli-based regime impoverished.
The People’s Daily Online (March 23) reported that China has 50 large-scale projects in Libya. The outbreak of hostilities has halted these projects and resulted in 30,000 Chinese workers being evacuated from Libya. Chinese companies report that they expect to lose hundreds of millions of yuan.
China is relying on Africa, principally Libya, Angola, and Nigeria, for future energy needs. In response to China’s economic engagement with Africa, Washington is engaging the continent militarily with the US African Command (AFRICOM) created by President George W. Bush in 2007. Forty-nine African countries agreed to participate with Washington in AFRICOM, but Gaddafi refused, thus creating a second reason for Washington to target Libya for takeover.
A third reason for targeting Libya is that Libya and Syria are the only two countries with Mediterranean sea coasts that are not under the control or influence of Washington. Suggestively, protests also have broken out in Syria. Whatever Syrians might think of their government, after watching Iraq’s fate and now Libya’s it is unlikely that Syrians would set themselves up for US military intervention. Both the CIA and Mossad are known to use social networking sites to foment protests and to spread disinformation. These intelligence services are the likely conspirators that the Syrian and Libyan governments blame for the protests.
Caught off guard by protests in Tunisia and Egypt, Washington realized that protests could be used to remove Gaddafi and Assad. The humanitarian excuse for intervening in Libya is not credible considering Washington’s go-ahead to the Saudi military to crush the protests in Bahrain, the home base for the US Fifth Fleet.
If Washington succeeds in overthrowing the Assad government in Syria, Russia would lose its Mediterranean naval base at the Syrian port of Tartus. Thus, Washington has much to gain if it can use the cloak of popular rebellion to eject both China and Russia from the Mediterranean. Rome’s mare nostrum (“our sea”) would become Washington’s mare nostrum.
“Gaddafi must go,” declared Obama. How long before we also hear, “Assad must go?”
The American captive press is at work demonizing both Gaddafi and Assad, an eye doctor who returned to Syria from London to head the government after his father’s death.
The hypocrisy passes unremarked when Obama calls Gaddafi and Assad dictators. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the American president has been a Caesar. Based on nothing more than a Justice Department memo, George W. Bush was declared to be above US statutory law, international law, and the power of Congress as long as he was acting in his role as commander-in-chief in the “war on terror.”
Caesar Obama has done Bush one step better. Caesar Obama has taken the US to war against Libya without even the pretense of asking Congress for authorization. This is an impeachable offense, but an impotent Congress is unable to protect its power. By accepting the claims of executive authority, Congress has acquiesced to Caesarism. The American people have no more control over their government than do people in countries ruled by dictators.
Washington’s quest for world hegemony is driving the world toward World War III. China is no less proud than was Japan in the 1930s and is unlikely to submit to being bullied and governed by what China regards as the decadent West. Russia’s resentment to its military encirclement is rising. Washington’s hubris can lead to fatal miscalculation.