CIA Drones Strike Govt-Friendly Tribal Leaders (As Usual) Meeting Near Wana

[The game-players and the professional mind-twisters still maintain that it is ludicrous to suggest that the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) is CIA, even though they do stupid stuff like targeting only those Taliban who are friendly to the Pak Army, and methodically avoiding Hakeemullah and Baitullah Mehsud and the Mehsud gang.  It would surprise me if their target, Mullah Nazir is still alive after this deadly strike upon him and his top officers last year, yet the spy drones continue to target his tribe in some kind of sick acts of vengeance.  Baitullah Mehsud died because the ISI managed to slip a CIA target info on him, without realizing he would be there.  Hakeemullah was droned because he hit the CIA/Blackwater base in Afghanistan to avenge Baitullah.  This was a master class act by the ISI, in its spy-vs-spy war with the CIA.

Those pricks at CIA are killing Ahmedzai Wazirs now instead of hitting N. Waziristan, simply because their main man, Raymond Clark sits in a Lahore jail, unable to coordinate spies with spy-masters.  Good job ISI!

Considering today’s previous story about the suicide-bombing of the funeral of the anti-Taliban lashkar leader’s wife, we can see that the former patterns have begun to emerge.  The CIA has resumed the bombing of the ISI’s allies in S. Waziristan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, until the spy lords get what they are demanding…

RETURN RAYMOND DAVIS, OR ELSE!

This does not mean that the ISI has the CIA by the balls, but at least now the ball is in their court.  Coming clean about all the spy networks and letting the chips fall where they may is Pakistan’s only way out of this mess.  In truth, it is America’s only way out as well, if we want to remain on the side of the “good guys,” and not just the latest fascist world power wannabe.]

US missile strike kills five in S Waziristan

Staff Report

WANA: Five persons were killed in a US drone attack that targeted a suspected compound of militants hours after a grand jirga of Ahmedzai Wazirs demanded an end to the campaign against the local and foreign militants on Tuesday.

“We like an immediate end to the drone strikes which have made our children and women psychologically ill,” tribal elder, Malik Ajmal, told the jirga attended by a senior government official and military commanders. Around two dozen elders applauded Ajmal when he made the request. The drone strike, which was the second since February 20, targeted a house in Landidog, 20km west of Wana. “The house of Fazal Karim was the target and eyewitnesses say one person was killed as others were out at the time of the attack,” a tribal source told Daily Times.

However, officials put the number of persons killed in the attack at five. “We have had an exemplary peace in the areas inhabited by Ahmedzai Wazirs for which all the tribes, the political administration and army strived together. But I want to request the government through the media that it should make efforts to stop these drone strikes,” Ajmal said in the shadows of Wana Assistant Political Agent, Muhammad Shoaib and military commanders.

CIA Drones Still Ignoring Hakeemullah, Still Targeting Govt-Friendly Tribes

[The game-players and the professional mind-twisters still maintain that it is ludicrous to suggest that the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) is CIA, even though they do stupid stuff like targeting only those Taliban who are friendly to the Pak Army, and methodically avoiding Hakeemullah and Baitullah Mehsud and the Mehsud gang.  It would surprise me if their target, Mullah Nazir is still alive after the deadly strike upon him and his top officers last year, yet the spy drones continue to target his tribe in some kind of sick acts of vengeance.  Baitullah Mehsud died because the ISI managed to slip a CIA target info on him, without realizing he would be there.  Hakeemullah was droned because he hit the CIA/Blackwater base in Afghanistan to avenge Baitullah.  This was a master class act by the ISI, in its spy-vs-spy war with the CIA.

Those pricks at CIA are killing Ahmedzai Wazirs now instead of hitting N. Waziristan, simply because their main man, Raymond Clark sits in a Lahore jail, unable to coordinate spies with spy-masters.  Good job ISI!]

US missile strike kills five in S Waziristan

Staff Report

WANA: Five persons were killed in a US drone attack that targeted a suspected compound of militants hours after a grand jirga of Ahmedzai Wazirs demanded an end to the campaign against the local and foreign militants on Tuesday.

“We like an immediate end to the drone strikes which have made our children and women psychologically ill,” tribal elder, Malik Ajmal, told the jirga attended by a senior government official and military commanders. Around two dozen elders applauded Ajmal when he made the request. The drone strike, which was the second since February 20, targeted a house in Landidog, 20km west of Wana. “The house of Fazal Karim was the target and eyewitnesses say one person was killed as others were out at the time of the attack,” a tribal source told Daily Times.

However, officials put the number of persons killed in the attack at five. “We have had an exemplary peace in the areas inhabited by Ahmedzai Wazirs for which all the tribes, the political administration and army strived together. But I want to request the government through the media that it should make efforts to stop these drone strikes,” Ajmal said in the shadows of Wana Assistant Political Agent, Muhammad Shoaib and military commanders.

The Last Victory of Muammar Gaddafi

The Last Victory of Muammar Gaddafi

***
On March 6, 2010 it became clear that the Libyan regime has defeated the internal uprising and suspended the chaotization of the Arab world. A routine clandestine mission by a British diplomat protected by 8 SAS officers to the eastern base of Libyan opposition ended up with their detention and ‘interrogation’ by the rebel leaders. The Sunday Times report about it in reality signified the ‘white flag’ hoisted by the organizers of the 2010-2011 Middle East and North Africa protests. 

From the very beginning the chain of events in Libya has taken an unexpected turn for global elites. Muammar Gaddafi refused to abandon Tripoli and together with his family and clan members was keeping permanent contact with the Libyans through national TV and regular public appearances. During his impressive speech on February 22, 2011 he managed to restore public support and encouraged Libyans to resist the revolution.
Since then the international mainstream media have been stuck in spreading unprecedented lies about events in Libya. We’ve heard about ‘foreign mercenaries killing civilians’, ‘air strikes on demonstrators’, ‘bombardments of the rebel positions’, ‘large-scale anti-Gaddafi protests in Tripoli’, ‘thousands of Libyan refugees’ and so many other announcements that, as it turned out, had nothing to do with the reality.

The Libyan insider sources e.g. of the St. Petersburg Center for Modern Middle East are depictingquite different picture. There were no real protests in Tripoli and its surroundings. Few street fighter groups of marginalized youth operating in Az-Zawiya (western suburb of Tripoli) and the centre (arson of the People’s Hall at night February 21 was seemingly their most notorious act) were promptly neutralized by the city police. The ‘air strikes’ of the Libyan Air Force were actually targeting ammunition depots nearby Benghazi when the threat that it would be captured by the eastern separatists was still high.

The issue of ‘foreign mercenaries protecting Gaddafi’ is apparently the most interesting one. It is crystal clear that any mercenary fights for money. So in the conflict where the interests of international oil mafia were involved the mercenaries are the least reliable force. They would betray Gaddafi first. So Gaddafi being a smart man is perfectly aware of it. He could not hire them himself. But let’s presume that their presence in Libya is a proven fact. Could they be ‘kindly’ proposed to Gaddafi by his neighbor African ‘sympathizers’? Yes, why not. What was their mission? They had to be ordered by their REAL masters to be as ruthless and fierce against local ‘protesters’ as possible to escalate the conflict. No wonder that after first clashes with their participation and announcements in the world media the mercenaries ‘disappeared’. We will certainly get to know some astonishing details about military operations by the Libyan army against ‘allied’ mercenaries in late February very soon. When watching CNN reports about large-scale ‘civil war’ in Libya we should understand that it means that the governmental forces are trying to localize and defeat these ‘allies’.

Now, why such a risky scenario? Because Gaddafi regime is the most stable in the Middle East. Take note that all ‘Arab dictators’ who came to power with the US backing in 1980s were easily defeated in January-February this year and promptly ‘fell in comae’. They did not have moral authority to fight for power as they once won it illegitimately. What is the key component of this illegitimacy? When aspiring for power they entered secret alliance with a foreign nation who provided them with comprehensive support. Since then they are not sovereign leaders. This is why they can’t defeat the revolution. They can’t tell the truth to their people and international community as start telling the truth means to tell ALL the truth. And ALL the truth includes the circumstances of their raise to power… But there is a solution for such ‘deadlock’ situation. If a political leader recognizes HIMSELF that he was or still is in disgraceful clandestine relations with a foreign power, he will never be condemned but FORGIVEN and supported by his people. After that the loyalty and professionalism of his bodyguards will guarantee his future political career going to its mayhem. The alternatives are Saddam’s gallows or Mubarak’s and Ben Ali’s deathbeds.

Ok, back to ‘Middle East popular revolutions’. We see that for its success the ‘enraged people masses’ are desperately needed. So somebody needs to enrage them. How was it done in Iran in June 2009? Unknown snipers were killing bystanders in Teheran during street protests (details are in the middle of our article ‘What will the Bilderbergers decide on Iran’).

Vodpod videos no longer available.

How was it done in Egypt in January 2011? Again, unknown snipers were firing at the crowd from the roof of Interior Ministry building in Cairo. Please note that in both cases everything was done to persuade the audience that the perpetrators were governmental forces. But where is the proof? Is there any logic for security services in killing demonstrators and provoking them to commit violent acts? On the contrary, their mission is to disperse the crowd peacefully, to identify and arrest the ‘hot heads’ among protestors and to avoid victims! So who was firing from the roof of Interior Ministry on Egyptians? We still do not know. But those who did the same in Tunisia during the public unrest were captured and shown on RT. Please watch the following video:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Do you believe that these vague men with Swedish and British passports were really hunting boars on the streets of the Tunis city?

Now we can make a few conclusions.

First, there was nothing spontaneous in the wave of 2011 North Africa and Middle East revolutions. The popular unrests in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, etc were carefully prepared, organized, financed and supported through international media. Quite surprisingly, Al-Jazeera played a critically important role in fueling the conflicts within Arabic societies spreading disinformation and blocking truthful and sober voices.

Second, for those who masterminded these uprisings, it was generally a failure. No doubt that the idea was to organize chaos and civil wars in the Arabic world, provoke embarrassment among the national elites, give way for radical anti-progressive opposition to come to power in the key countries of the region. Then they expected that in due time the degrading social standards and governmental mismanagement catalyzed by rough propaganda in international media would create conditions to impose external control over these Islamic states. Libya with its rich natural reserves was the most desired prize. But with Muammar Gaddafi still in power enjoying regained public support and getting rid of ‘withered’ arm among his top officials, the global political chess players are suffering heavy zugzwang while the ghost of Pres. Bush Jr. is looming again off the Libyan coast. Apparently the elites do not have other option but uncover the cannons of the US super-carriers. They are cornered and pressured by crushing dollar pyramid.

Third and most important, these events have disclosed a hidden link between ‘Islamic radicals’ and global elites. Muammar Gaddafi fighting pro-Al-Qaeda Islamists and at the same time solemnly replacing Ben Laden as incarnation of ‘absolute Evil’ in mainstream media was a notable shift. Radical populists are to be a new generation of Arab leaders. They would not bring prosperity or merely social justice to their societies. Their mission is to tightly top the boiling pot of the Muslim world by pseudo-Islamic regulations and rhetoric. Once the pot is exploded, the energy of millions young uneducated fanatics spreading worldwide would pave the way for malicious Gran Pacifier. The seeds of this mysterious symbiosis were planted by British intelligence back in XIX century. For example if we track the story of Muslim Brotherhood’s founder Hassan Al-Banna, we will see that British ‘controller general’ in Egypt since 1878 Evelyn Baring, offspring of an old British bankers dynasty, was the person who nominated Sheikh Muhammad Abduh as Grand Mufti of Egypt. We should not underestimate the importance of his position. Gran Mufti of Egypt of that time was a top spiritual authority in Muslim world. Why Sheikh Abduh, a known salafist, was chosen by the British resident? Because the scenario of the false guidance of the Islamic world by global elites had already been written. They wanted Muslims as cannon fodder to impose their rule. They needed to corrupt Islamic faith, replace it with pseudo-Islamic surrogate. This is why Evelyn Baring wrote about salafists: ‘They are the natural allies of the European reformer’ [Goodgame, Peter. The Muslim Brotherhood: The Globalists’ Secret Weapon]. By that time Sheikh Adbuh became a murshid(teacher) for Muhammed al-Banna, the father of Hassan…

Thus we are entering very interesting, perhaps decisive times. Muammar Gaddafi has won his last battle despite eluding vigor and insolent pressure from everywhere. Will there be any new Gaddafis born by Muslim mothers to resist the new world order? We hope and pray for that.

,

This post was written by:

Andre Fomine – who has written 231 posts on Oriental Review.

Education Emergency In Pakistan Part of Global Pandemic

[Education of the young is the only thing that will save humanity from itself.  This is Pakistan’s biggest solvable problem, as it is also the entire world’s most pressing need, perhaps as great as the need for food.  If you do not nourish the mind, then why bothering feeding the body?  A sick, immature, clueless mind in a normal healthy adult, often leads to multiple problems for people around them, or anyone within the uneducated individual’s zone of existence.  The best comparison I can make would be between that of an owner of a new, out-of-the-box computer, trying to perform any task involving the Internet.  There must be a certain level of information within that person’s mind to function, or to interact in any rational way with another human being, other than sharing “mindless” communication.

Evolution in some form is a fact.  Deny it until you are blue in the face, but it remains a hard historical fact.  Every species of living thing has gone through stages of development which can only be described as evolving.  Mother Nature shaping us to suit our living environment.  The next stage in our development as an adaptable species must be intellectual development, to shape our minds to the condition required of them.  We have to think ourselves through all of this.  That requires that we become logical, thinking beings, instead of instinctual, reactionary creatures, who don’t think themselves through life, they feel their way through.  The dawning of the technological era changes all of this.  We cannot operate the most basic technology by “feeling” our way through.

It’s time for all of us to begin using our heads.  If we do not properly educate our young, we are failing them as parents.

Feed your heads, people…Feed their heads.]

Education Emergency Pakistan

The Pakistan Education Task Force | DAWN.COM
Only 35 per cent of school children, aged 6-16, can read a story, while 50 per cent cannot read a sentence. – Photo by Fayyaz Ahmed

Today, Pakistan is crippled by an education emergency that threatens tens of millions of children.

No country can thrive in the modern world without educated citizens.

But the emergency has disastrous human, social and economic consequences, andthreatens the security of the country.

2011 is Pakistan’s Year of Education.

It’s time to think again about Pakistan’s most pressing long-term challenge.

The economic cost of not educating Pakistan is the equivalent of one flood every year. The only difference is that this is a self-inflicted disaster.

One in ten of the world’s out-of-school children is a Pakistani.  That is the equivalent of the entire population of Lahore.

There is a zero per cent chance that the government will reach the millennium development goals by 2015 on education. On the other hand, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are all on their way to achieving the same goals. India’s improvement rate is ten times that of Pakistan, Bangladesh’s is twice that of Pakistan.

But, despite this gloomy situation, determined efforts can show results in only two years. What is required is an additional spending of Rs.100 billion, a 50 per cent increase over current spending.

Pakistanis have a constitutional right to universal education, a little discussed or known fact of the law. What has been overlooked in the discourse on the 18th Amendment is that education has now become a right and no longer a privilege as it was previously. Article 25A sets up a possible scenario where a citizen can take the government to court for not providing them access, or even be the grounds for a suo moto action.

At current rates of progress, no person alive today will see a Pakistan with universal education as defined in our constitution. Balochistan would see it in 2100 or later.

Just one year of education for women in Pakistan can help reduce fertility by 10 per cent, controlling the other resource emergency this country faces.

There are 26 countries poorer than Pakistan but send more of their children to school, demonstrating the issue is not about finances, but will and articulating demand effectively. It is too easy, and incorrect, to believe that Pakistan is too poor to provide this basic right.

Pakistan spent 2.5 per cent of its budget on schooling in 2005/2006. It now spends just 1.5 per cent in the areas that need it most.  That is less than the subsidies given to PIA, PEPCO and Pakistan Steel. Provinces are allocated funds for education but fail to spend the money.

We presume the public school system is doing poorly because teachers are poorly paid, this is untrue. Public school teachers get paid 2/3rds more than their equivalent private low cost school counterparts; they earn four times that of the average parent of a child in their school. Despite this, on any given day 10-15 per cent of teachers will be absent from their duties teaching.

There is demand for education that is partly being addressed by low cost private schools, even one third of all rural children go to these schools (public schools can cost Rs.150 per month, low cost private schools the same or up to Rs.250). Despite the large presumption of the media, both domestic and international, this gap is not actually being addressed by Madrassahs. Only six per cent of students go to Madrassahs.

Only 35 per cent of school children, aged 6-16, can read a story, while 50 per cent cannot read a sentence. Their performance is only slightly better than that of out-of-school children, of whom 24 per cent can read a story. This alarmingly demonstrates the ineffectiveness of schooling.

30,000 school buildings are in dangerous condition, posting a threat to the well being of children. Whereas 21,000 schools have no building whatsoever.

Donors are not the solution, while they grab headlines regarding their development work, government spending remains the majority by an overwhelming margin.

Anti-Taliban Lashkar Pressurizes Govt. for Support, 3 Days Later Suicide-Bomber Strikes Funeral

[Someone didn’t want the “Amn Lashkar” to stop fighting Taliban…

Who sent the bomber to change their minds?  Taliban, or ISI?]

Deadly attack at Pakistan funeral procession

At least 34 people have been killed in a suicide bombing at a funeral procession in north-western Pakistan.

Officials said the funeral was for the wife of a pro-government ethnic Pashtun tribal elder in Adezai village in the troubled Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

It was being attended by many anti-Taliban militiamen in the region. At least 40 people were wounded.

Several anti-Taliban tribal groups are based in the area and they are often targeted by the insurgents.

A spokesman for the Taliban told the BBC that they carried out the bombing.

He said it was in retaliation for the support by local tribal militia of the ongoing anti-Taliban operation by Pakistan’s security forces.

An injured man is taken into the hospital in Peshawar It is the second major bombing in as many days in Pakistan

The bomber targeted the funeral of the wife of Hakim Khan – a leader of the anti-Taliban tribal force in Adezai, some 15km (10 miles) from Peshawar city.

Mr Khan was instrumental in raising the force, known as a lashkar, with the support of the government to fight militants.

Correspondents say that it was not immediately clear if Mr Khan was killed or wounded in the explosion.

The procession was on its way to the cemetery when the attack took place.

“As we are readying for prayers, a boy wrapped in a shawl headed towards us. People shouted to the imam (prayer leader) to wait for him to join us but as he came close he blew himself up,” witness Mehmood Shah told the Reuters news agency.

The BBC’s Syed Shoaib Hasan in Pakistan says that rescue workers were quick to reach the scene even though the bomb caused carnage and mayhem.

The injured were rushed to hospitals in Peshawar, where a medical emergency has now been declared.

Adezai, located in the Mattani area, has been the centre of a tribal anti-Taliban force raised with the government support.

The head of the force, Abdul Malik, was killed in a bomb attack in 2009.

The area has also seen frequent Taliban attacks on police stations and security posts.

Until recently, the tribal anti-Taliban force had been conducting night patrols to discourage Taliban attacks but it ended some weeks ago as the government’s supply of arms and ammunition to the members of the force dwindled.

The attack comes a day after at least 26 people were killed and more than 120 injured in a car bomb explosion at a gas station in the city of Faisalabad.

The Taliban said they were behind Tuesday’s attack.

Amn Lashkar chief laments lack of govt’s support

Bureau report
Friday, March 04, 2011
PESHAWAR: The chief of a pro-government Amn Lashkar in Adezai area near the provincial metropolis on Thursday threatened to dismantle the body if the government did not provide help in combating the militants.

Addressing a news conference, chief of Adezai Qaumi Amn Lashkar, Dilawar Khan said the government officials had promised to provide arms and ammunition for combating militants but to date no practical steps had been taken in this regard.

Dilawar Khan said that the lashkar’s armed volunteers had been fighting against militants for the last three years against all odds. “It has now become difficult for us to continue the fight without the active support of the government,” he added.

Flanked by other leaders of the Amn Lashkar including Fazal Malik, the brother of the lashkar’s late founder Abdul Malik, Dilawar Khan said that they decided to form the lashkar to protect locals from the influence of the militants and halt their march to the urban areas, particularly Peshawar.

Dilawar Khan added that Taliban had been attacking them with mortar shells, rocket launchers, missiles and ammunition. “We faced suicide attacks in which 47 persons including our lashkar chief were killed during the last three years. Our houses, markets and businesses were targetted, but the government did not bother to announce any compensation for us,” he complained.

The lashkar elders warned the government that it was the last time they were making the demand for ammunition for the volunteers and financial assistance to all the victims of militants in Adezai area within a week. “Otherwise, we would dismantle the Amn Lashkar against the militants,” Dilawar Khan warned.

Terrorists kill lashkar man

By: Staff Report | Published: March 07, 2011

PESHAWAR – One member of a local amn lashkar (peace squad) was killed and seven others injured in a militants’ attack near Baizai area of Mohmand Agency on Sunday morning. Two men of lashkar were missing, believed to be abducted by militants. The officials have also confirmed that two volunteers were missing.

More Revolutionaries Allegedly Return From the Dead

Army confirms 3 ‘dead’ FARC commanders still alive

TUESDAY, 08 MARCH 2011 07:30 EDWARD FOX

Colombia news - dead guerrilla

Colombia’s army has confirmed Sunday’s report that three prominent FARC commanders who had allegedly been killed in combat are still alive, W Radio reported Tuesday.

In a press release, the army stated that the three guerrillas mentioned in the report by El Tiempo, “Albeiro Cordoba,” “El Campesino,” and “Byron Yepes,” are indeed still active.

The three had previously been reported killed in 2005, 2007 and 2009 respectively.

According to Sunday’s report, Albeiro Cordoba is currently in charge of members of the security forces who are held hostage by the FARC in the Guaviare department, El Campesino is in the Meta department together with “Mono Jojoy’s” successor “Mauricio,” and Byron Yepes is in charge of reorganizing the FARC’s 27th and 43rd Fronts with the aim of retaking the strategically crucial the rural Sumapaz region south of Bogota.

Though the army confirmed the men to be alive, they did not acknowledge the prominence of their activity.

Otto Reich Wants Obama To Do Hugo Chavez Next

[The man who ran Reagan’s Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin American Affairs, Otto J. Reich (also a G.W.Bush State Dept. under-secretary), is assailing other “neoconservatives” for pushing military action against Qaddafi.  His main complaint seems to be that whatever they want to do to Muammar, they should do a hundred times worse to Hugo Chavez.  It is kind of funny hearing a hardcore Reaganite, Ollie North co-conspirator trying to criticize Obama for being a pale version of Reagan.  He seems to be trying to stir-up tension for more of this violent revolutionary-democracy crap.  To those guys, rebellion, revolution, low-intensity warfare, outright civil war,are all just different levels of the same thing–a bunch of ultra right-wing assholes asserting their rightful places dominating other inferior humans, as benevolent dictators using their superior intellects to guide the development of the rest of a retrograde humanity.]

Qaddafi, Chávez, & Co.

Otto J. Reich

Why are the NeoCons pushing the US into military confrontation with Libya (as with the no-fly zone) and other Arab states  The answer is simple.  The NeoCons  believe that US intrersts in the Middle East  now converge with Iran and not with the Arab states.  The NeoCons moved to this anti-Arab pro-Iran policy as a result of the Paul  Wolfowitz-Ahmed Chalabi  partnership during the early days of the US military occupation of Iraq.  Wolfowitz at that time was SecDef Rumsfeld’s Deputy for Iraq policy,  while Chalabi was a prominent pro-W hen Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez flew to Tripoli in 2004 to receive the Moammar Qaddafi International Prize for Human Rights , he joined a select club. Other  recipients of the prize include Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Bolivia’s Evo Morales, and Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega. This should not be surprising. It is no coincidence that the prize has been awarded to some of the most tyrannical and anti-American yet clownish despots in the Third World. They share those qualities, and a hatred of individual liberty, with Qaddafi. The relationship between Qaddafi and those “laureates” has been long and involved, going back in the case of Castro and Ortega to cooperation in terrorist wars in the 1970s and ’80s.

Although President Chávez was a latecomer, he lost no time in consummating the friendship and joining the club. In 2009, during an official state visit by Qaddafi to Venezuela, Chávez bestowed upon him the Order of Simón Bolívar, Venezuela’s highest honor, and famously said, “What Simón Bolívar is to Venezuela, Qaddafi is to Libya.” In reality, Bolívar was an admirer of George Washington’s and the architect of the independence of six existing nations of South America. Bolívar today would be called a democrat in the classical sense, certainly not a candidate for the Qaddafi Prize.

Chávez’s rationale for flattering Qaddafi was sincere: imitation. For Chávez, keen on following Qaddafi’s example, the relationship seemed natural. A powerful Qaddafi had thumbed his nose at the international community for four decades, sponsoring some of the world’s worst terrorists and even establishing the “Harvard for Tyrants ,” a training center that has produced some of the world’s most radical revolutionaries. Likewise, since reaching power Chávez has used his nation’s oil wealth to support terrorist organizations such as FARC and ELN in Colombia, the Basque ETA in Spain, Hezbollah, and others in his attempt to “usher in a new world order” and “bring about the collapse of the [American] empire.” As Qaddafi did, Chávez has established militaristic control over his country, and, also as Qaddafi did with his grandiose pan-Africanism, he has placed himself at the head of a pan-American coalition that he generously subsidizes — the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA), comprising Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua.

But suddenly the situation has turned complicated. Since this January, the Arab world has been trembling. First, the less cruel regimes in Tunisia and Egypt fell. Somewhat slow on the uptake, President Obama has finally spoken with resolution. He has called on Qaddafi to “step down from power and leave.” Why the Qaddafi regime’s demise will be good for democracy and freedom in North Africa is obvious. But it will also be good for the Americas. As the award-winning journalist Douglas Farah observes in the “Harvard for Terrorists” article cited above, not only are Chávez and Ortega trampling on their countries’ constitutions and moving toward dictatorship, but with Qaddafi they “support the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a terrorist group that produces more than half of the world’s cocaine and two-thirds of the cocaine entering the United States.”

Sensing how tenuous is their Arab partner’s position, Chávez and his ALBA frontoffered to mediate in a last-ditch effort to help Qaddafi remain in power. Probably smelling a rat, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley stated , “You don’t need an international commission to tell Colonel Qaddafi what he needs to do for the good of his country . . .”

These firm words from the Obama administration are encouraging, and we must hope that soon the world will be free of the “mad dog of the Middle East,” as President Reagan called Qaddafi. There is, however, an inconsistency in the message. A United States government that calls for freedom and democracy in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya while ignoring the plight of those closer to home will continue to suffer from a crisis of credibility. In Venezuela in the past decade, multi-million-person marches (far larger than anything seen in Cairo) demanded that an increasingly authoritarian Chávez step down. But the international media and U.S. “liberals” vilified the spontaneous protests as an invention of the Bush administration. In Cuba, even facing a totalitarian regime that has executed thousands of political adversaries, hundreds of political prisoners and their families go on hunger strikes to protest the total lack of freedom on the island 52 years after a revolution that was allegedly fought to restore human rights. And yet some sectors of American society, so quick to support liberation movements in geographically and culturally distant parts of the globe, continue to support nearby dictators or to blame America for their abuses.

Last week the actor Sean Penn was in Caracas lending support to the man who has called the Butcher of Tripoli “a friend.” In Cuba, a regime that totally dismantled the infrastructure of civil society, at a human cost that may never be fully known, has just celebrated more than half a century in power — ten years longer than Qaddafi — while continuing to welcome leftist sycophants (last week it was the Puerto Rican actor Benicio del Toro).

It may be that there are too many dictators in the world for this administration to confront. And to be sure, we must act on the basis of economic, security, and geopolitical priorities, not on emotion. Yet precisely for these reasons, encouraging freedom in our hemisphere is important. A Chávez regime that subsidizes other dictators, supports terrorists, and serves as a haven for drug traffickers, money launderers, and FARC rebels represents a present danger to the security of the United States. Venezuela’s location bordering the Caribbean, the Andes, and the Amazon basin, with easy access to Central America and only three hours from Miami, makes it eminently more dangerous than terrorist states half a world away. The malign influence of Chávez can be measured by the more than $10 million a day in oil money that he gives Cuba, almost equal to the $5 billion a year by which the Soviets kept the Castro brothers afloat for over 30 years.

It is good that dictators in the Middle East are at long last being overthrown, and that President Obama has finally called on Qaddafi to step down. The administration must explain, however, why it does not say the same about Castro and Chávez, or why Cubans and Venezuelans who have been tirelessly protesting against their dictators for years receive no support from the administration. Why do we see instead that the Cuban government receives financial incentives from the United States? Why do Bolivia’s Morales and Nicaragua’s Ortega — both Qaddafi Prize winners and Castro-Chávez allies — receive no pushback in their relentless efforts at subjugating their people? It is easy to see why some Americans have concluded that the Obama administration is more interested in appeasing its political base than in replacing anti-American dictators.

Now that it has apparently found its voice, the administration must speak firmly and consistently in opposing dictatorships near and far. Now is the time to support democracy everywhere, especially in Venezuela, before Hugo Chávez succeeds in becoming Latin America’s Moammar Qaddafi.

 

 


Otto J. Reich was U.S. ambassador to Venezuela under Pres. Ronald Reagan, and assistant secretary of state and senior staff member of the National Security Council under Pres. George W. Bush. Petroleumworld not necessarily share these views.

Editor’s Note: This commentary was originally published by National Review Online , on March 08, 2011. Petroleumworld reprint this article in the interest of our readers.