ThereAreNoSunglasses

American Resistance To Empire

Diagnosing the Sadistic West

Diagnosing the West with Sadistic Personality Disorder (SPD)

The Empire Is Obsessed with Perverse Types Of Punishment

 

Western culture is clearly obsessed with rules, guilt, submissiveness and punishment.

By now it is clear that the West is the least free society on Earth. In North America and Europe, almost everyone is under constant scrutiny: people are spied on, observed, their personal information is being continually extracted, and the surveillance cameras are used indiscriminately.

Life is synchronized and managed. There are hardly any surprises.

One can sleep with whomever he or she wishes (as long as it is done within the ‘allowed protocol’). Homosexuality and bisexuality are allowed. But that is about all; that is how far ‘freedom’ usually stretches.

Rebellion is not only discouraged, it is fought against, brutally. For the tiniest misdemeanors or errors, people end up behind bars. As a result, the U.S. has more prisoners per capita than any other country on Earth, except the Seychelles.

And as a further result, almost all conversations, but especially public discourses, are now being controlled by so-called ‘political correctness’ and its variants.

But back to the culture of fear and punishment.

Look at the headlines of the Western newspapers. For example, The New York Times from April 12. 2018: “Punishment of Syria may be harsher this time”.

We are so used to such perverse language used by the Empire that it hardly strikes us as twisted, bizarre, pathological.

It stinks of some sadomasochistic cartoon, or of a stereotypical image of an atrocious English teacher holding a ruler over a pupil’s extended hands, shouting, “Shall I?”

Carl Gustav Jung described Western culture, on several occasions, as a “pathology”. He did it particularly after WWII, but he mentioned that the West had been committing terrible crimes in all parts of the world, for centuries. That is most likely why the Western mainstream psychiatrists and psychologists have been glorifying the ego-centric and generally apolitical Sigmund Freud, while ignoring, even defaming, Carl Gustav Jung.

Poster of human zoo at Military Museum in Paris (Photo: Andre Vltchek)

The extreme form of sadism is a medical condition; it is an illness. And the West has been clearly demonstrating disturbing and dangerous behavioral patterns for many centuries.

Let’s look at the definition of sadism, or professionally, Sadistic Personality Disorder (SPD), which both the United States and Europe could easily be diagnosed with.

This is an excerpt of a common definition of the SPD, which appears in Medigoo.com and on many other on-line sites:

…The sadistic personality disorder is characterized by a pattern of gratuitous cruelty, aggression, and demeaning behaviors which indicate the existence of deep-seated contempt for other people and an utter lack of empathy. Some sadists are “utilitarian”: they leverage their explosive violence to establish a position of unchallenged dominance within a relationship…

It is familiar, isn’t it? The Empire’s behavior towards Indochina, China, Indonesia, Africa, Latin America, Russia, the Middle East and other parts of the world.

US sponsored coup in Chile on 9-11-1973 (Photo: Andre Vltchek)

What about the symptoms?

…Sadistic individuals have poor behavioral controls, manifested by a short temper, irritability, low frustration tolerance, and a controlling nature. From an interpersonal standpoint, they are noted to be harsh, hostile, manipulative, lacking in empathy, cold-hearted, and abrasive to those they deem to be their inferiors. Their cognitive nature is considered rigid and prone to social intolerance, and they are fascinated by weapons, war, and infamous crimes or perpetrators of atrocities. Sadists classically are believed to seek social positions that enable them to exercise their need to control others and dole out harsh punishment or humiliation…

Just translate “sadistic individuals” to “sadistic states”, or “sadistic culture”.

Is there any cure? Can a sadist be effectively and successfully treated?

Treating a sadistic personality disorder takes a long time…

And many sites and publications carry a clear disclaimer:

The above information is for processing purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency…

And humanity is right now clearly at the crossroads, facing annihilation, not only a ‘medical emergency’. The world may soon have to literally fight for its survival. It is because of the SPD of the West and its Empire.

*****

So, what is in store for us now; for instance, for Syria?

What will the sadistic psychopath do to a country that refused to kneel, to prostitute itself, to beg for mercy, to sacrifice its people?

How horrible will the “punishment” be?

We have just witnessed 103 missiles being fired towards Damascus and Homs. But that is only what the Empire did to entertain its masses. It has been doing much more evil and cruel things to the nation which constantly refuses to glorify the Western imperialist and its neocon dogmas. For instance, the Empire’s ‘professionals’ have been manufacturing, training and arming the most atrocious terrorist groups and injecting them into the body of Syria.

The torture will, of course, continue. It clearly appears that this time the script will be based on some latter adaptation of the Marquise de Sade’s work, on his novel Juliette, not Justine. You see, in Justine, women were ‘only’ tied up, slapped and raped. In Juliette, they were cut to pieces, alive; they were burned and mutilated.

While Justine can still be read, no normal human being could go through the 700 pages of pure gore that is Juliette.

But our planet has somehow got used to the horrors that have been administered by the sick Western Empire.

People watch occurrences in places like Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq or Libya as ‘news’, not as the medical record of a severely ill psychiatric patient.

The most terrible ‘novel’ in the history of our Planet has been written, for centuries, by the appalling brutality and sadism of first Europe and then by its younger co-author – the United States.

And the human beings in many parts of our Planet have gotten so used to the carnage which surrounds them that they do not throw up anymore; they do not feel horrified, do not revolt against their fate. They just watch, as one country after another falls; is violated publicly, gets ravaged.

The mental illness of the perpetrator is undeniable. And it is contagious.

Names of, and photos of, murdered Chilean people by pro-US military junta (Photo: Andre Vltchek)

In turn, the extreme violence that has been engulfing the world has triggered various neuroses and mental conditions (masochism, extreme forms of submission, to name just two of many) among the victims.

*****

Exposure to the constant and extreme violence ‘prescribed’ and administered by the West, has left most of the world in a neurotic lethargy.

Like a woman locked in a marriage with a brutal religious fanatic husband in some oppressive society, the world has eventually stopped resisting against the Western dictates and tyranny, and ‘accepted its fate’.

Many parts of the planet have developed ‘Stockholm Syndrome’: after being kidnapped, imprisoned, tormented, raped and humiliated, the victims have ‘fallen in love’ with their tyrant, adopting his worldview, while serving him full-heartedly and obediently.

This arrangement, of course, has nothing to do with the healthy or natural state of things!

Poster of Human Zoo at Military Museum, Paris (Photo: Andre Vltchek)

In Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia, bizarre things are happening! People from those nations that have been robbed and devastated for centuries by the European and North American despots, have been flying happily and proudly to Paris, Berlin, London, Madrid, New York and other Western cities, in order to ‘learn’, to ‘study’ how to govern their own countries. There is usually no shame, and no stigma attached to such obvious intellectual prostitution.

Many victims are still dreaming about becoming like their victimizers, or even more so.

Many former and modern-day colonies of the West are listening, with straight faces, to the Europeans preaching to them (for a fee) about ‘good governance’, an ‘anti-corruption drive’ and ‘democracy’.

The media outlets of non-Western nations are taking news reports directly from Western press agencies. Even local political events are explained by those ‘wise’ and ‘superior’ Europeans and North Americans, not by the local thinkers. Locals are hardly ever trusted – only white faces with polished English, French or German accents are taken seriously.

Perverse? Is it perverse? Of course, it is! Many servile intellectuals from the ‘client’ states, when confronted, admit how sick the continuous global dictatorship is. Then they leave the table and continue to do what they have been doing for years and decades; the oldest profession in short.

Freedom Equality Brotherhood. For French maybe but not for colonized Vietnamese (Photo: Andre Vltchek)

Such a situation is truly insane. Or at least it is extremely paradoxical, bizarre, absurd. Even a mental clinic appears to make more sense than our beloved planet Earth.

However, clinical psychiatrists and psychologists are very rarely involved in analyzing the neuroses and psychological illnesses of the brutalized and colonized planet. They hardly ever ‘analyze’ the perpetrators, let alone expose them for what they really are.

Most of psychologists and psychiatrists are busy digging gold: encouraging human egotism, or even serving big corporations that are trying to ‘understand their employees better’, in order to control and to exploit them more effectively. Other ‘doctors’ go so far as to directly serve the Empire, helping to oppress and to ‘pacify’ the billions living in the colonies and new colonies of the West.

In 2015, I was invited as one of the speakers to the 14th International Symposium on the Contributions of Psychology to Peace, held in Johannesburg and Pretoria, South Africa (hosted by legendary UNISA).

During that fascinating encounter of the leading global psychologists, I spoke about the impact of wars and imperialism on the human psyche, but I also listened, attentively. And I learned many shocking things. For instance, during his chilling presentation, “Human Rights and U. S. Psychologists’ Wrongs: The Undermining of Professional Ethics in an Era of ‘Enhanced Interrogation’”, Professor Michael Wessells from Columbia University, New York, spoke about U.S. psychologists and their participation in torturing political prisoners.

Instead of diagnosing the Empire with SPD and other violent and dangerous conditions, many psychologists are actually helping to torture those who are opposing this unacceptable arrangement of the world.

*****

Those who refuse to ‘learn from the West’, to fall in love with it, or at least to serve it faithfully, are being brutally punished.

Lashes are hitting exposed flesh. Entire nations are being destroyed, genocides distributed to all continents. East Timor, Afghanistan, Iraq: it never stops.

I follow the discourses of the US and especially British UN delegations, ‘discussing’ Syria and even Russia. What comes to my mind is Punjab in India. I recall those old, historic photos of Indian men being hanged by the Brits, pants down, and flogged in public.

Flogging-on-Punjabi-man-by-British-colonialist

They have been doing this kind of stuff for centuries. They like it. It clearly excites them. This is their democracy, their respect for human rights and for other cultures!

If someone refuses to take his or her pants down, they catch the person, rape him or her, then do the flogging anyway.

I also recall what my Ugandan friend used to tell me:

When the Brits came to Africa, to what is now Uganda, their army would enter our villages and first thing they’d do was to select the tallest and strongest man around. They’d then tie him up, face towards the tree. Then the British commander would rape, sodomize him in front of everybody. This was how they showed the locals who is charge.

Brits enjoying Africa

How symbolic!

How healthy is the culture that has been controlling our world for centuries!

One of the most frightening things about mental illnesses is that the patient usually does not realize that he or she is suffering from them.

It is about the time for the rest of the world to treat the West as a mental patient, not as the ‘leader of the free and democratic world’.

We have to think, to gather, to develop a strategy of how to deal with this unfortunate, in fact, terrible situation!

If we refuse to understand and to act, we may all end up in the most dangerous situation: as complacent servants of the perverse whims of a frustrated, extremely aggressive and truly dangerous SPD patient.

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are his tribute to The Great October Socialist Revolution, a revolutionary novel Aurora, and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: Exposing Lies Of The Empire. View his other books here. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky On Western Terrorism. Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Read other articles by Andre.

Reports of American/British Missile Attack Upon Syrian Arms Depot In Hama

[SEE:  Syria Strike Destroyed 200 Missiles, Killed 11 Iranians, Source in pro-Assad Alliance Says–Haaretz]

[Haaretz, like the rest of the Western press is reporting  the strike as another attack on another pro-Syrian base, largely manned by Iranians, which Iran obviously denies.  Iran reports the attack as a US/British missile attack from bases in Northern Jordan.]

Syria Military Bases Attacked by Missiles Fired from Jordan: Sources

 

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Several Syria military bases in the provinces of Hama and Aleppo were attacked on Sunday night reportedly by missiles fired from US and UK bases in Jordan

Syria Military Bases Attacked by Missiles Fired from Jordan: Sources

According to Syria’s state news agency on Sunday, “a new aggression with hostile missiles” happened at 10:30 pm local time, in which military positions in the Hama and Aleppo villages were targeted.

While the origins of the attacks are not clear yet, some Syrian media sources said the nine missiles had been fired from US and British bases in north of Jordan.

The attacks came several weeks after Russia and Syria said Israeli warplanes struck an air base in the Syrian province of Homs.

It also comes a few weeks after, the US, Britain and France carried out a string of airstrikes against Syria over a suspected chemical attack against Douma. Washington and its allies blamed Damascus for the suspected assault.

The Syrian government has strongly denied the allegation, calling on Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to send a fact-finding mission for investigations.

North Korea offers to give up nukes if US vows not to attack

North Korea offers to give up nukes if US vows not to attack

SEOUL, South Korea: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told his South Korean counterpart at their historic summit that he would be willing to give up his nuclear weapons if the U.S. commits to a formal end to the Korean War and a pledge not to attack the North, Seoul officials said Sunday.

Kim also vowed during his meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday to shut down the North’s nuclear test site in May and disclose the process to experts and journalists from South Korea and the United States, Seoul’s presidential office said.

While there are lingering questions about whether North Korea will ever decide to fully relinquish its nukes as it heads into negotiations with the U.S., Kim’s comments amount to the North’s most specific acknowledgement yet that “denuclearization” would constitute surrendering its weapons.

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton reacted coolly to word that Kim would abandon his weapons if the United States pledged not to invade.

Asked on CBS’ “Face the Nation” whether the U.S. would make such a promise, Bolton said: “Well, we’ve heard this before. This is – the North Korean propaganda playbook is an infinitely rich resource.”

“What we want to see from them is evidence that it’s real and not just rhetoric,” he added.

Seoul officials, who have shuttled between Pyongyang and Washington to broker talks between Kim and President Donald Trump that are expected in May or June, said Kim has expressed genuine interest in dealing away his nuclear weapons.

But there has been skepticism because North Korea for decades has been pushing a concept of “denuclearization” that bears no resemblance to the American definition. The North has long vowed to pursue nuclear development unless Washington removes its 28,500 troops from South Korea and the nuclear umbrella defending South Korea and Japan.

During their summit at a truce village on the border, Moon and Kim promised to work toward the “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula but made no references to verification or timetables.

Kim also expressed optimism about his meeting with Trump, Moon’s spokesman Yoon Young-chan said.

“Once we start talking, the United States will know that I am not a person to launch nuclear weapons at South Korea, the Pacific or the United States,” Kim said, according to Yoon.

Yoon also quoted Kim as saying: “If we maintain frequent meetings and build trust with the United States and receive promises for an end to the war and a non-aggression treaty, then why would we need to live in difficulty by keeping our nuclear weapons?”

The Korean Peninsula technically remains in a state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War was halted with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

The closing of the nuclear test site would be a dramatic but likely symbolic event to set up Kim’s summit with Trump. North Korea already announced this month that it has suspended all tests of nuclear devices and intercontinental ballistic missiles and plans to close its nuclear testing ground.

Still, Adam Mount, a senior defense analyst at the Federation of American Scientists, said Kim’s comments were significant because they are his most explicit acknowledgement yet that denuclearization means surrendering his nuclear weapons.

“Questions remain about whether Kim will agree to discuss other nuclear technology, fissile material and missiles. However, they imply a phased process with reciprocal concessions,” Mount said in an email. “It is not clear that the Trump administration will accept that kind of protracted program.”

Analysts reacted with skepticism to Kim’s previously announced plan to close down the test site at Punggye-ri, saying the northernmost tunnel had already become too unstable to use for underground detonations anyway following the country’s sixth and most powerful test blast in September.

In his conversation with Moon, Kim denied that he would be merely clearing out damaged goods, saying the site also has two new tunnels that are larger than previous testing facilities, Yoon said.

Some analysts see Moon’s agreement with Kim at the summit as a disappointment, citing the lack of references to verification and timeframes and also the absence of a definition on what would constitute a “complete” denuclearization of the peninsula.

But Patrick McEachern, a former State Department analyst now with the Washington-based Wilson Center, said it was still meaningful that Moon extracted a commitment from Kim to complete denuclearization, which marked a significant change from Kim’s previous public demand to expand his arsenal of nuclear weapons in number and quality.

“The public conversation should now shift from speculation on whether North Korea would consider denuclearization to how South Korea and the United States can advance this denuclearization pledge in concrete steps in light of North Korea’s reciprocal demands for concrete steps toward an eventual peace agreement,” McEachern said in an email.

North Korea has invited the outside world to witness the dismantling of its nuclear facilities before. In June 2008, international broadcasters were allowed to air the demolition of a cooling tower at the Nyongbyon reactor site, a year after the North reached an agreement with the U.S. and four other nations to disable its nuclear facilities in return for an aid package worth about $400 million.

But the deal eventually collapsed after North Korea refused to accept U.S.-proposed verification methods, and the country went on to conduct its second nuclear test detonation in May 2009.

Yoon said Kim also revealed plans to sync its time zone with South Korea’s. The Koreas had used the same time zone for decades before the North created its own “Pyongyang Time” in 2015 by setting the clock 30 minutes behind South Korea and Japan.

Yoon said the North’s decision to return to Seoul’s time zone was aimed at facilitating communication with South Korea and the U.S.

The Latest Syrian Attack Upon ISIS In Deir es-Zaur Is Reported As Syrian “Support for ISIL” By Western Media

[American media is laying the groundwork to contest charges that the CIA and Pentagon have been active supporters of ISIS since its inception, first as Al Qaeda In Iraq, way back in Camp Bucca, Iraq, the acknowledged birthplace of ISIS (SEE: What Is the Truth About ISIS?).  Preparing to perform the traditional Mainstream Media “JUDO FLIP of Truth”, this is where the Pentagon’s official press tries to lay the crime for creating ISIS on the doorstep of the Syrian Govt. 

The Pentagon created Al-Qaeda In Iraq and used it to fill a propaganda hole in the Iraq narrative being produced by Washington’s Hollywood hit men, where it first convinced the people that it was a terrorist army, and then suffered the terrible JUDO FLIP, in the form of the Pentagon’s fiercest retribution, before being nearly wiped-out in 2010.  Through huge injections of men, materiel and money into the protected Anbar terrorist nursery, the terrorist army which nearly perished as AQ In Iraq became Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), before the Pentagon facilitated its move into Syria.  There, the new terrorist army ran on petrodollars and Pentagon/CIA direction, to nearly overrun the Syrian Army. 

At that point, ISIS suffered its first JUDO FLIP, after they became a target for US bombers and missiles.  ISIL put up token resistance, slaughtering plenty of innocent Syrian civilians, while the Pentagon used their antics as fodder for the Nightly News fake news, until Russia forced the Pentagon’s hand by eliminating all of the Pentagon’s terrorist army within bomber/missile range.

Now we are witnesses to the latest JUDO FLIP psyop, where Syria/Russia are blamed for all Islamist terrorism, all of it Sunni terrorism, having nothing to do with Iran.]

 

“We consider this aggression by regime forces to be a support for terrorism and falls within the attempts to impede the war on terrorism.”

 

Syrian troops briefly take villages east of Euphrates river

By bassem mroue, associated press

Syrian government forces on Sunday briefly captured four villages east of the Euphrates River in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour after rare clashes with U.S.-backed Kurdish-led fighters before losing the area in a counteroffensive by the Kurdish-led force.

The area close to the border with Iraq has been the site of recent clashes between the two sides who had been focusing on fighting the Islamic State group. The IS had declared its caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq.

Crossings into the east bank of the Euphrates in eastern Syria by government forces have been rare.

State news agency SANA said the villages were held by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, adding that they are close to the provincial capital, also called Deir el-Zour. The SDF said in a statement later that it regained control of the whole area it earlier lost.

Much of Deir el-Zour province was held by the Islamic State group but over the past year Syrian government forces captured most areas west of the Euphrates while SDF fighters took areas east of the river.

On Feb. 7, pro-Syrian government fighters attacked SDF positions east of the river and faced a ferocious U.S. counterattack that left dozens, including Russians, dead.

SDF spokesman Kino Gabriel said in a statement earlier Sunday that the Syrian army attack coincided with “our forces’ preparations to complete the Island Storm campaign” to liberate the remaining areas east of the river from IS. Gabriel said the Syrian army and pro-government fighters began targeting SDF fighters to impede “the launching of our campaign against terrorism. Our forces are responding in self-defense.”

“We affirm that we are determined to eradicate terrorism from its roots and to assert our right to self-defense,” Gabriel said about IS.

“We consider this aggression by regime forces to be a support for terrorism and falls within the attempts to impede the war on terrorism.”

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, said Sunday’s offensive left six SDF fighters dead and 22 wounded adding that there were also casualties on the government side.

Gabriel issued another statement later saying all the area lost earlier was regained by SDF fighters. He said Syrian troops were backed by Russian fighters adding that after the SDF’s counteroffensive, government forces “are now far away.”

The Observatory’s chief Rami Abdurrahman said SDF fighters took back most of the area except for one village.

The fighting in eastern Syria came as Syrian state media and the Observatory reported that an agreement was reached between the Syrian government and several rebel factions to evacuate the last three rebel-held suburbs of the capital Damascus.

SANA said the deal will let opposition fighters who want to evacuate the area head to rebel-held regions while those who decide to stay can hand over their weapons and benefit from an amnesty.

The Observatory said rebels who will leave will head to the northwestern province of Idlib, the northern town of Jarablus, and the southern province of Daraa that borders Jordan.

The three suburbs of Babila, Beit Sahem and Yalda have been held by rebels for years and their capture would bring all suburbs of the capital under government control.

The agreement came as government forces captured more areas from the IS in the nearby Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk and the neighborhood of Hajar al-Aswad.

SANA said troops captured most of the Qadam neighborhood as well as the Assali and Joura quarters in Hajar Aswad.

————

Associated Press writer Maamoun Youssef contributed to this report from Cairo.

How U.S. Has Virtually Destroyed U.N.

How U.S. Has Virtually Destroyed U.N.

Eric Zuesse

 

Under President Donald Trump, the U.S. has basically eliminated the only real international authority the U.N. used to have. Here is how this was done:

The equivalent, in international law, to a domestic-law crime involving murder, rape, and theft, is an international invasion that’s purely for aggressive purposes and not at all authentically a defensive act against an authentic foreign threat that was coming from the invaded foreign country. Consequently, for the U.S. Government now to have removed the U.N. from any authority over international invasions, is, in domestic-law equivalency, like removing a national government from authority regarding murders, rapes, and thefts, which occur inside that nation. Such a ‘government’ is no government at all. But, tragically, this is what has happened; and, so, we are now careening into World War III, in this international “Wild West” world, which we live in (and may soon die in, as things thus head into WW III).

The U.S. Government no longer even nominally cares whether or not the U.N. authorizes its invasions; but, as recently as 2003, it used to, even if only nominally, care. The U.S. has thus effectively discarded the U.N. altogether, whenever violating the U.N. is the only way to impose its will against a given target-country.

In late 2002 and early 2003, U.S. President George W. Bush nominally expressed a desire for the U.N. to authorize an invasion of Iraq, but failed to receive that authorization and then did the invasion anyway, along with only UK, Australia, and Poland, joining the U.S.-led gang, in this destruction of Iraq.

At a press conference on 6 March 2003, just 11 days before he (on March 17th) ordered the U.N. weapons-inspectors to leave Iraq, and then invaded Iraq on March 20th, Bush said:

Elizabeth.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. As you said, the Security Council faces a vote next week on a resolution implicitly authorizing an attack on Iraq. Will you call for a vote on that resolution, even if you aren’t sure you have the vote?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, first, I don’t think — it basically says that he’s in defiance of 1441. That’s what the resolution says. And it’s hard to believe anybody is saying he isn’t in defiance of 1441, because 1441 said he must disarm. And, yes, we’ll call for a vote.

Q No matter what?

THE PRESIDENT: No matter what the whip count is, we’re calling for the vote. We want to see people stand up and say what their opinion is about Saddam Hussein and the utility of the United Nations Security Council. And so, you bet. It’s time for people to show their cards, to let the world know where they stand when it comes to Saddam.

Mark Knoller.

Q Mr. President, are you worried that the United States might be viewed as defiant of the United Nations if you went ahead with military action without specific and explicit authorization from the U.N.?

THE PRESIDENT: No, I’m not worried about that. As a matter of fact, it’s hard to say the United States is defiant about the United Nations, when I was the person that took the issue to the United Nations, September the 12th, 2002. We’ve been working with the United Nations. We’ve been working through the United Nations.

Subsequent U.S. Presidents haven’t been even that respectful of the U.N.’s authority; and current U.S. President Donald Trump is blatantly dismissive of it, so that he’s not even requesting U.N. authorization for his invasions.

Thus, the lesson that the U.S. Government learned from the Iraq invasion isn’t that the U.S. Government should never again lie about what the evidence actually shows, in order to invade a country, but instead that the U.S. Government should simply ignore the U.N. whenever the evidence doesn’t persuade other Governments that an invasion would be authentically defensive instead of purely an act of international aggression.

What might turn out to have been “The Most Important U.N. Security Council Vote Ever” was the 10 April 2018 U.N. Security Council’s failure to require the U.S. and its allies to provide evidence to prove that Syria’s Government had gassed its own people in Douma on April 7th as the U.S. and its allies alleged, before the U.S. and its allies could, with even just possible legal justification, launch a promised massive bombing of Syria as supposed punishment for the gas-attack that they were alleging. The question of whether or not the U.N. would authorize the American invasion wasn’t even being raised; the question was only whether the alleged gas-attack needed to be independently verified before an invasion might possibly legally be launched — and no proposal was passed. Unlike in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the U.S. never tried to win U.N. authorization to invade Syria in 2018, but simply invaded, casually ignoring all laws, and even denying the need for evidence to back up its allegations against Syria.

If the Russian Government’s proposal that the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) must investigate the case and issue a report on its findings, before any action, such as an invasion, is done by any country, had passed the Security Council, then that would be applying standard legal and juridical practice (that no punishment be imposed unless and until guilt has been proven), and likely no invasion of Syria (such as occurred on April 14th) would have been done, at least until the OPCW’s report is issued. But the U.S. and its allies refused to adhere even to this, the minimal legal requirement in any democracy. They instead demanded, and won, a U.S.-and-allied international dictatorship — a lawless, might-makes-right, international world.

A U.N. like this is, essentially, no U.N. at all, just a talking-forum — and that’s what now exists: it’s a forum merely for the constituent Governments to present their respective propagandas to the world, but no longer actually to negotiate anything, since the U.N. has no military, and now the U.S. Government has become effectively whatever the U.S. military (including its armaments corporations such as General Dynamics) want it to be — and, “To hell with the U.N.!” The way now to buy the U.S. Government has become to buy those corporations’ weapons, and then the U.S. Government will ally itself with that country. This is purely transactional, in the interests of America’s armaments-firms, not in the interests of the invading public, and certainly destructive of the interests of the invaded public, no matter how profitable it may be for the owners of those armaments-firms. (One can talk instead about “Wall Street,” but they’re mainly the sellers of stock in America’s armaments-firms and associated products and services; so, they are middle-men who represent the interests of the aristocracy, not really themselves necessarily principals — people who are within the aristocracy.)

Among the contrary accounts regarding that alleged Douma gas-attack was “What really happened — Chemical Attack that lead to missile Strikes on #Syria”, presenting it as having been set up by the ‘rebels’ that the U.S. Government supports. But truth is irrelevant for people with power, especially if it runs contrary to the lies that they are pushing.

President Trump came into office promising a rebirth of American manufacturing, but, so far, the vast majority of his boost to U.S. manufacturing has been only to the U.S. weapons-manufacturers — actually by far the largest international arms-sale in world history. On 21 May 2017, I headlined it “U.S. $350 Billion Arms-Sale to Sauds Cements U.S.-Jihadist Alliance” and reported that the day before, “

U.S. President Donald Trump and the Saud family inked an all-time record-high $350 billion ten-year arms-deal that not only will cement-in the Saud family’s position as the world’s largest foreign purchasers of U.S.-produced weaponry, but will make the Saud family, and America’s ruling families, become, in effect, one aristocracy over both nations, because neither side will be able to violate the will of the other. As the years roll on, their mutual dependency will deepen, each and every year.” That, sadly, has turned out to be true — and not only regarding America’s carrying the Sauds’ water (doing their bidding) in both Yemen and Syria, but in other ways as well.

On 21 March 2018, CNBC bannered “Trump wants Saudi Arabia to buy more American-made weapons. Here are the ones the Saudis want”

, and reported what Trump had just negotiated with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud, which was a step-up in that $350 billion sale, to $400 billion. CNBC associated the Sauds’ arms-purchases with ‘investments’ in the U.S., so as to mislead their audience to think favorably of these sales, but if these sales were actually investments in anything, it was in the ability of the Saud family to join even more fully with America’s aristocracy so as for them jointly to impose their will upon any country where they both want “regime-change” — control by themselves, instead of by that invaded country’s local aristocracy. (Then, the U.S. Government issues economic sanctions against Russia for ‘interfering in our democracy’. But the Sauds, and their allies, Israel’s aristocracy, actually do precisely that, routinely, and very effectively!) So: CNBC said: “During the Oval Office talks, Trump touted a creation of 40,000 American jobs due to Saudi military sales.

The president used several maps and charts of Saudi acquisitions to further make his point. The crown prince, likewise, added that last year’s Saudi pledge of $200 billion in investments will rise to approximately $400 billion and that a 10-year window to implement the deal was already under way.” That was a misleading statement about the amounts, too. Here is how Indian Express had headlined and reported on 18 May 2017: “Saudi Arabia to invest $200 billion in US, purchase arms worth $300 billion

: “As President Donald Trump prepares for his first overseas trip, Saudi Arabia has announced to make a whopping USD 200 billion investment in the US and intends to purchase arms worth USD 300 billion from America, a senior administration official has said.” There, too, the Saudi masters got their propagandists to refer to “investments” in relation to “purchase arms worth $300 billion,” which turned out, just two days later, on 20 May 2017, to be actually $350 billion — and which amount of arms-purchases now has risen instead to $400 billion, which will be paid, as listed in that CNBC news-report to: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Honeywell, and Raytheon. When Trump campaigned for the Presidency, he had promised to be anything but a sales-person for America’s war-machine. But, he is so, and this is fascism: socialism for the rich, and ‘survival of the fittest’ for everyone else. Trump certainly isn’t a sales-person for the poor, anywhere. He’s what his fellow-fascists call a ‘populist’, in order to insult the public that they must appeal to for votes.

American ‘productivity’ thus will increase in the production of death and destruction; but, as economists view things, that is “productivity” and added “Gross National Product,” regardless of how much it actually immiserates the world (and, so, economic theory is part of the fraud that enables all of this, essentially, corruption). Thus, economic theory is as fraudulent as is the international ‘news’ that the propaganda-agencies spread to the public. It’s all a “pile of bull,” but lots of consumers are buying it, because it’s all that they know and it satisfies them — they’re not even looking for more than the myths.

Previously, the “Biggest Arms Deal in History” was between UK’s aristocracy and the Sauds, the Al-Yamamah deal, which boosted UK’s biggest weapons-maker, BAE, and in which the massive corruption became the subject of scandals and a Governmental inquiry, which Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud forced UK Prime Minister Tony Blair to close with no report being issued. And both the UK and U.S. claim to be ‘democracies’ — and both Governments accuse Russia of ‘interfering’ in their ‘democracy’!

If the reader wants to know why a web-search for the title of this article “How U.S. Has Virtually Destroyed U.N.” probably turns up no mainstream ‘news’media in the U.S.-allied world, and even very few “alternative news” sites, then the reason isn’t that they weren’t offered the article, because they all routinely receive the submission of each of my articles but routinely turn them down. The reason is instead that the most important truths are prohibited from publication in the U.S.-allied world — it’s a world dominated by lies. After all: we invaded and destroyed Iraq for no real defensive reason, and our Government has never apologized for that, much less been held accountable, at all, for it. And now, because of the U.S. Government, the U.N. isn’t even really a debating-forum, any more. It’s just a propaganda-forum, now.

first published at strategic-culture.org

 

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010

Corruption Case Against Sarkozy Opens Door To War Crimes Prosecution In Invasion of Libya and Murder of Gaddafi.

FRANCE - DECEMBER 10:  Mouammar Kadhafi and French President Nicolas Sarkozy arriving for a dinner at the Elysee Palace in Orly, France on December 10th, 2007.  (Photo by Thomas SAMSON/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Seven years after the popular uprising against Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi and the NATO intervention that removed him from power, Libya is extremely fractured and a source of regional instability. But while Congress has heavily scrutinized the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi a year after Gaddafi’s overthrow and death, there has been no U.S. investigation into the broader question of what led the U.S. and its allies to intervene so disastrously in Libya.

However, a corruption investigation into former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is opening a new window into little-known motivations in the NATO alliance that may have accelerated the rush to oust the Libyan dictator.

TRIPOLI,LIBYA - JULY 25:  French President Nicolas Sarkozy is welcomed by Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi at Bab Al Azizya compound during an official visit in Tripoli, July 25th 2007. Both listening to national anthems.(Photo by Etienne de Malglaive/Getty Images)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is welcomed by Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi at his Bab al-Azizia compound during an official visit to Tripoli, Libya, on July 25, 2007. Etienne de Malglaive/Getty Images

Last month, French police detained and questioned Sarkozy about illicit payments Gaddafi is said to have made to Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential election campaign. A few days after Sarkozy was released from detention, he was ordered to stand trial for corruption and influence-peddling in a related case, in which he had sought information on the Gaddafi inquiry from an appeals court judge. The scandal has highlighted a little-appreciated bind that Sarkozy faced in the run-up to the Libyan intervention: The French president, who took the lead among Europeans in the military campaign against Gaddafi, was eager to compensate for diplomatic blunders in Tunisia and Egypt and most likely angry about an arms deal with Gaddafi that went awry. Sarkozy, it now appears, was eager to shift the narrative to put himself at the forefront of a pro-democracy, anti-Gaddafi intervention.

Libya today is divided between three rival governments and a myriad of armed groups backed by external powers like the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. Security gaps have allowed terrorist groups to step up operations there and permitted a flow of weapons across the Sahara, contributing to destabilizing the Sahel region of northern Africa. The lack of political authority in Tripoli has also opened the door for the migrant crisis in Europe, with Libya serving as a gateway for migrants to escape Africa via the Mediterranean Sea. Although far fewer people have died in the Libyan conflict than in Iraq or Syria, the problems Libya faces seven years after NATO’s fateful intervention are no less complex, and often have more direct impact on Europe than what’s happening in Syria and Iraq.

A History of Corruption

The story of Sarkozy’s strange relationship with Gaddafi begins in 2003, when the United Nations lifted harsh sanctions against Libya that were imposed in the wake of the Lockerbie bombing.

After the sanctions were gone, Gaddafi looked to foster a cleaner, more legitimate image in Western circles. He found particularly eager suitors in British oil and gas companies, as well as Tony Blair, then the British prime minister, who saw lucrative business possibilities in the country. Libyan spy agencies also closely collaborated with MI6, their British counterpart, under the broad umbrella of counterterrorism.

France was also developing a close business and intelligence relationship with Libya. In 2006, Gaddafi bought a surveillance system from a French company, i2e, which boasted about its close ties with Sarkozy, who at the time was France’s interior minister. In 2007, after he was elected president, Sarkozy received Gaddafi for a five-day state visit, Gaddafi’s first trip to France in over 30 years.

Frenc president Nicolas Sarkozy (L) pose

President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, meets with Moammar Gaddafi on Dec. 10, 2007, in Paris.  Photo: Jacky Naegelen/AFP/Getty Images

During the visit, Gaddafi said Libya would purchase $5.86 billion of French military equipment, including 14 Rafale fighter jets made by Dassault Aviation. Military sales “lock in relations between two countries for 20 years,” noted Michel Cabirol, an editor at the French weekly La Tribune, who has written extensively on arms sales. “For Sarkozy, it was important to sell the Rafales because no one had sold them to a foreign country. In the case of Libya … it was one of his personal challenges at the time.” Cabirol reported for La Tribune that negotiations were still ongoing in July 2010, but Sarkozy never did complete the sale of the Rafales to Gaddafi.

Revelations about the Libyan payments to Sarkozy surfaced in March 2011, when the specter of an imminent NATO intervention loomed large. Gaddafi first asserted that he paid Sarkozy’s campaign in an interview two days before the first NATO bombs were dropped. His son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi made similar claims shortly thereafter. In 2012, the French investigative news website Mediapart published a Libyan document signed by Moammar Gaddafi’s spy chief, Moussa Koussa, arranging for 50 million euros to support Sarkozy’s campaign, which French authorities later found to be authentic.

Franco-Lebanese businessman Ziad Takieddine shows a document to a policeman as he arrives at the anti-corruption police office (OCLCIFF) in Nanterre, on November 17, 2016, for his hearing after he admitted delivering three cash-stuffed suitcases from the Libyan leader toward French former President Nicolas Sarkozy.Nicolas Sarkozy's links with the late Moamer Kadhafi came under fresh scrutiny on November 15, 2016 after Ziad Takieddine admitted delivering three cash-stuffed suitcases from the Libyan leader toward the Frenchman's first presidential bid. In an interview with the Mediapart investigative news site, Takieddine said he had made three trips from Tripoli to Paris in late 2006 and early 2007 with cash for Sarkozy's campaign. / AFP / PHILIPPE LOPEZ (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Businessman Ziad Takiéddine arrives at the anti-corruption police office in Nanterre, France, on November 17, 2016, for a hearing after admitting he delivered three cash-stuffed suitcases from Libya’s Moammar Gaddafi to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.  Photo: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

Since the initial revelations, Ziad Takiéddine, a French-Lebanese arms dealer who had helped arrange Sarkozy’s visit to Libya when Sarkozy was interior minister in 2005, has testified in court that he fetched suitcases stuffed with millions of euros in cash in Libya and delivered them by hand to Sarkozy in late 2006 and early 2007, when Sarkozy was still interior minister but preparing his presidential campaign. Sarkozy’s aide at the time, Claude Guéant (who became interior minister after the election), had opened a large vault at BNP in Paris for seven months during the campaign. The former Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmudi has asserted in media interviews that payments were made. French authorities have also examined handwritten notes by Gaddafi’s oil minister, Shukri Ghanem, that detailed three payments totaling 6.5 million euros to Sarkozy.

The body of former Libyan oil minister Shukri Ghanem, who was found dead in the Danube river in Vienna late last month, is carried during his funeral in the Libyan capital Triploli on may 4, 2012. Preliminary medical reports issued by Austrian police suggested that Ghanem drowned with "no signs of involvement by another party." AFP PHOTO/STR        (Photo credit should read -/AFP/GettyImages)

The body of former Libyan Oil Minister Shukri Ghanem, who was found dead in the Danube river in Vienna, is carried during his funeral in Tripoli, Libya on May 4, 2012.  AFP/Getty Images

Austrian police found Ghanem’s body in the Danube in Vienna on April 29, 2012, one week after the first round of presidential elections that the incumbent Sarkozy was contesting, and one day after Mediapart revealed the document signed by Koussa. The American ambassador to Libya at the time, the late Chris Stevens, wrote in an email to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in June 2012 that “not one Libyan I have spoken to believes he flung himself into the Danube, or suddenly clutched his heart in pain and slipped silently into the river. Most believe he was silenced by regime members or else by foreign mafia types.”

One of the Libyans who is said to have organized the payments, the head of the Libyan investment portfolio at the time, Bashir Saleh, was smuggled out of Libya and into Tunisia by French special forces, according to Mediapart. Sarkozy confidante Alexandre Djouhri then flew Saleh from Tunis to Paris on a private jet shortly after Gaddafi was toppled. Saleh lived in France for about a year and reportedly met with Bernard Squarcini, head of France’s secret services, despite an Interpol arrest warrant against him. “The judicial investigation shows that within the Gaddafi regime, Bashir Saleh had the most thorough records relating to French funding,” said Fabrice Arfi, one of two Mediapart journalists who has covered the affair since 2011. “He is suspected of having swapped the records for help from France to save him from the jaws of the revolution.”

Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi listens to his private secretary Bashir Al Shrkawi also known as Bashir Saleh at the opening session of the Arab summit in Sharm el-Sheikh on the southern tip of Egypt's Sinai peninsula 01 March 2003.  Arab leaders opened a summit at this Red Sea resort, with plans to issue a statement proclaiming their "total rejection" of any US-led war on Iraq.   / AFP PHOTO / MARWAN NAAMANI        (Photo credit should read MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi listens to his private secretary at the Arab summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on March 1, 2003.  Photo: Marwan Naamani/AFP/Getty Images

In 2012, Paris Match published a photograph showing Saleh walking freely in Paris despite the arrest warrant, and he was forced to leave the city. He flew to Johannesburg, where he has been living ever since. In March, shortly after his ally, former South African President Jacob Zuma, was ousted from power, Saleh was shot while coming back to his house from the airport in Johannesburg. Saleh is wanted for questioning in the Sarkozy affair by French judges.

Even Sarkozy’s successor, François Hollande, has implied that Gaddafi funded the Sarkozy campaign. In Hollande’s book, “A President Shouldn’t Say That,” while comparing himself to Sarkozy, Hollande wrote that “as President of the Republic, I was never held for questioning. I never spied on a judge, I never asked anything of a judge, I was never financed by Libya.”

Sarkozy’s corruption in Libya is not the first time a French president or top political figure has received illicit funds in exchange for political favors. Indeed, “Sarkozy’s corruption fits into a deeply ingrained, time-honored tradition in Paris,” said Jalel Harchaoui, Libya scholar at Paris 8 University. “In the 1970s, you had the scandal of Bokassa’s diamonds, which President [Valéry] Giscard accepted and took. You also have the “Karachi affair” involving kickbacks paid to senior French politicians via French weaponry sold to Pakistan in the 1990s. You also had Omar Bongo’s tremendous influence in Paris politics for years on end.”

Sarkozy and the Bombing of Libya

Sarkozy was an early and vocal advocate of the Western decision to intervene in Libya, but his real military zeal and desire for regime change came only after Clinton and the Arab League broadcasted their desire to see Gaddafi go and showed that they “wished to avoid the limelight,” said Harchaoui. The Arab League had suspended Libya on February 22, 2011, and in the following days, calls for a no-fly zone grew louder. This “create[d] a framework in which France knows the war is likely to get initiated soon,” said Harchaoui.

By February 26, William Burns, under secretary for political affairs at the State Department, had spoken with Sarkozy’s top diplomatic adviser, Jean-David Levitte. Burns reported in an email to Clinton’s team that “on Libya, French strongly supportive of our measures,” but that there were “Fr concerns on NATO role,” likely meaning that France didn’t want a full-blown NATO intervention at that point.

France's president Nicolas Sarkozy (C) speaks with British Prime minister Davd Cameron (R) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (2ndL) and France Prime Francois Fillon (L) on March 19, 2011, before a summit at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on implementing the UN Security Council resolution 1973 authorising military action in Libya, to be attended by representatives of the European Union, the Arab League, the African Union, the UN and other leaders. A senior French envoy predicted military action against Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's forces within hours of the summit. The United States has also declared that Kadhafi is in breach of a UN Security Council resolution which ordered an immediate ceasefire. AFP PHOTO POOL LIONEL BONAVENTURE (Photo credit should read LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy speaks with British Prime Minister David Cameron, right, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, second left, on March 19, 2011, before a summit at the Élysée Palace in Paris on implementing a U.N. Security Council resolution for military action in Libya.  Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

Two weeks later, Sarkozy made his first significant move to show that France, rather than being hesitant, had decided to take the lead in the fight against Gaddafi. On March 10, 2011, Sarkozy became the first head of state to recognize the National Transitional Council as Libya’s legitimate government. At the time, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said recognizing the NTC was “a crazy move by France.” Crazy or not, France was now in the lead in Europe. According to a British parliamentary inquiry into the intervention in 2016, “UK policy followed decisions taken in France.”

Sarkozy’s foreign minister at the time, Alain Juppé, then introduced United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which called for a no-fly zone over Libya, ostensibly in order to protect an impending massacre of civilians in Benghazi by Gaddafi. Although American diplomats drafted the resolution, Juppé was the Western diplomat who argued most passionately for it, telling the Security Council that “we have very little time left — perhaps only a matter of hours” to prevent a massacre against civilians in Benghazi. The French emergence to the front line of the diplomatic push was an apparent reflection of Barack Obama’s doctrine of “leading from behind” and letting Europe occupy the limelight. Arab League support for the resolution helped create a broad coalition of powers, beyond just the West, and the Libyan deputy ambassador to the U.N.’s defection against Gaddafi helped push the resolution forward.

Two days after the resolution passed, Sarkozy held a meeting at the Élysée Palace on May 19 to plan the military strategy with Obama, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, other NATO leaders, and leaders of the Arab League. According to Liam Fox, the British defense secretary at the time, the summit “finished mid-afternoon and the first French sorties took place at 16.45 GMT.” A gung-ho Sarkozy had sent 20 French jets to carry out the first sorties without informing Fox, four hours ahead of schedule; the U.S. and U.K. launched cruise missiles shortly thereafter. By showcasing the Rafale jets in the Libya campaign and other wars in Mali and Syria, France ended up attracting eventual clients in Egypt, India, and Qatar.

BRIZE NORTON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 19: (NO SALES NO ARCHIVE) In this handout from the Ministry of Defence, Royal Air Force VC10 and Tristar air-to-air refuelling aircraft readies for action ahead of the first UK air combat mission in support of UN Resolution 1973, at RAF Brize Norton on March 19, 2011 in Oxfordshire, England. Col Muammar Gaddafi has vowed a "long war" against the "crusader aggression" after over 100 missiles were fired by the US and UK, during multi-national action aimed at enforcing a UN-mandated no-fly zone. (Photo by SAC Neil Chapman/MoD via Getty Images)
Seen through night-vision lenses aboard amphibious transport dock USS Ponce, the guided missile destroyer USS Barry fires Tomahawk cruise missiles in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn. This was one of approximately 110 cruise missiles fired from U.S. and British ships and submarines that targeted about 20 radar and anti-aircraft sites along Libya's Mediterranean coast. Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn is the U.S. Africa Command task force established to provide operational and tactical command and control of U.S. military forces supporting the international response to the unrest in Libya and enforcement of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973.

Left/top: British aircraft readies for action ahead of the first British combat mission in the bombing of Libya, on March 19, 2011 in Oxfordshire, England. Right/bottom: Seen through night-vision lenses, the guided missile destroyer USS Barry fires Tomahawk cruise missiles along Libya’s Mediterranean coast in 2011.Left/top photo: SAC Neil Chapman/MoD/Getty Images. Right/bottom photo: Petty Officer 1st Class Nathanael Miller/US Navy/Corbis/Getty Images.

“Sarkozy has done a great job in getting the Rafale out there and hitting a convoy early on,” Reuters quoted a defense executive from a rival nation as saying at the time. “He will go to export markets and say this is what our planes can do.”

Why Sarkozy Went to War

Sarkozy’s zeal for military action stemmed from more than humanitarian concerns for rebellious Libyans in Benghazi who were endangered by Gaddafi’s wrath. Sarkozy’s reasoning included a mix of domestic, international, and personal reasons.

Sarkozy had found his administration out of step when the Arab Spring broke out in Tunisia. He had a strong relationship with Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and when security forces fired on massive street protests in January, instead of condemning the violence, Sarkozy’s foreign minister offered to share the “savoir-faire” of France’s security forces “in order to settle security situations of this type.”

“Sarkozy’s image as a modern leader was sullied by the Arab Spring,” said Pouria Amirshahi, a former Socialist deputy in the National Assembly who in 2013 had called for a French parliamentary inquiry into the Libya intervention. The Libyan war allowed him “to forget his serious political mistakes during the Tunisian revolution of January 2011.”

Arfi, the Mediapart journalist, cautioned against treating Sarkozy’s involvement in the war as strictly personal, though it’s also a vital element. “I don’t believe that Sarkozy brought France and other countries to war in Libya exclusively to whitewash himself,” said Arfi, who co-authored a book, “Avec les compliments du Guide,” which details the Gaddafi-Libya investigation. But, Arfi said, “It’s difficult to imagine that there wasn’t some kind of personal or private dimension to Sarkozy’s pro-war activism in 2011.”

The personal dimension that Arfi refers to would be Sarkozy’s interest in shifting the narrative that he had initially cultivated — as close to Gaddafi — to one that distanced him from the regime and any questions about his former proximity to Gaddafi, once he realized just how seriously the U.S. and Arab states wanted to get rid of the Libyan leader. “Once the war was triggered, [Sarkozy’s] attitude is deeply impacted by the scandal that he is the only one aware of at the time. So, it gives rise to a very uncompromising France pursuing a scenario where everything would be destroyed and everything related to the Gaddafis would be discredited,” Harchaoui said.

However, Adam Holloway, a Conservative member of the British House of Commons who was on the Foreign Affairs Committee when it published its 2016 report on Libya, ruled out the personal angle, saying that “if Mr. Sarkozy had taken money from Gaddafi, you might expect it to make him less likely to intervene, if anything. For this reason, I don’t really think this is a factor. … Indulging in regime change had nothing to do with intelligence (which should have said ‘Don’t do it’), but with David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy’s need to ‘do something.’”

For the Obama administration, the intervention in Libya was a humanitarian decision to stop Gaddafi from carrying out an assault against the besieged city of Benghazi. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates wrote in his autobiography that “Hillary threw her considerable clout behind Rice, Rhodes, and Power” and tipped the scale in favor of intervention. Clinton, national security adviser Susan Rice, White House adviser Ben Rhodes, and U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power were instrumental in pushing the war forward; regime change was the goal regardless of Sarkozy’s personal relationship with the dictator.

“They were aggressive in pushing for the resolutions because they felt that they were the right thing to do. … It seemed a very realistic possibility that the regime was going to re-establish control throughout the country, particularly in eastern Libya, and if they did, there would be very harsh consequences for people deemed to be rebels,” said Libya historian Ronald Bruce St. John. The “timing of the intervention was dictated by the move on Benghazi by Gaddafi’s armored column,” explained New Yorker journalist Jon Lee Anderson.

But civilian protection is not always enough to warrant a NATO intervention, as violent repression of protests in Bahrain and elsewhere in the Arab world have shown. The U.K. parliamentary inquiry found that there was little hard evidence that Gaddafi was actually targeting civilians in his campaign to take back cities held briefly by rebel forces. Gaddafi’s long antagonistic relationship with the U.S., the fact that there were no prominent Libyans advocating for him in the U.S., and the fact that Gaddafi didn’t have strong allies like Syria’s Bashar al-Assad does in Russia and Iran, made him an easy target to rally against, said St. John.

TRIPOLI, LIBYA - AUGUST 29: People look over the crater left by a NATO airstrike, some time ago, on a building at the Khamis Brigade HQ on August 29, 2011 in Tripoli, Libya. Whilst the rebels to seem to be in control of the capital, life is difficult for most. The majority of the city is without running water and electricity. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

People look over the crater left by a NATO airstrike on a building at the Khamis Brigade HQ, on August 29, 2011 in Tripoli, Libya.  Photo: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

The French position was nonetheless notable. Rather than have a key ally oppose intervention, as France had done with the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, France was pushing hard for military action. A country that had previously acted as a partial brake on American intervention was now serving the opposite purpose of encouraging an intervention that turned into a catastrophe.

(Former deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken, Nicolas Sarkozy’s former diplomatic advisor Jean-David Levitte, former Director for War Crimes and Atrocities on the National Security Council David Pressman, former deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Jake Sullivan, William Burns, and French Ambassador to the U.S. Gérard Araud all either declined to comment or did not respond when contacted for this article.)

Contact the author:

Joe Penney

Double-Dealing, the Hallmark of US Foreign Policy

Too Many Foreign Policy Double Standards Hurt U.S. Credibility

The hypocrisy is especially evident in Washington’s approach to Saudi Arabia and other Middle East ‘allies.’

President Donald Trump poses for photos with ceremonial swordsmen on his arrival to Murabba Palace, as the guest of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, Saturday evening, May 20, 2017, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald Trump poses for photos with ceremonial swordsmen on his arrival to Murabba Palace, as the guest of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, Saturday evening, May 20, 2017, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

American leaders like to portray the United States as an exemplar of ethical conduct in the international system. The reality is far different, and it has been for decades. Throughout the Cold War, the United States embraced extremely repressive rulers, including the Shah of Iran, Nicaragua’s Somoza family, Taiwan’s Chiang Kai-shek, and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, all the while portraying them as noble members of the “Free World.” Such blatant hypocrisy and double standards continue today regarding both Washington’s own dubious behavior and the U.S. attitude toward the behavior of favored allies and friends.

The gap between professed values and actual policy is especially evident in the Middle East. U.S. officials routinely excoriate Syria and Iran, not only for their external behavior, but for manifestations of domestic abuse and repression. Some of those criticisms are valid. Both Bashar al-Assad’s regime and Iran’s clerical government are guilty of serious international misconduct and human-rights violations. But the credibility of Washington’s expressions of outrage is vitiated when those same officials remain silent, or even excuse, equally serious—and in some cases, more egregious—abuses that the United States and its allies commit.

Following the Syrian regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons in early April, President Trump painted Assad as an exceptionally vile enemy. He immediately issued a tweet describing the Syrian leader as “an animal” who gassed his own people. In his subsequent address to the American people announcing punitive air and missile strikes, Trump charged that the incident confirmed “a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very terrible regime. The evil and despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children thrashing in pain and gasping for air. These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster instead.” The president also blasted Russia and Iran for their longstanding sponsorship of Assad. “To Iran and to Russia, I ask: What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?”

TAC’s Daniel Larison provided an apt response to that question. “Trump should know the answer, since he just hosted one of the chief architects of the war on Yemen that the U.S. has backed to the hilt for the last three years. Britain welcomed the Saudi crown prince earlier on, and France just hosted him in the last few days. All three have been arming and supporting the Saudis and their allies in Yemen no matter how many atrocities they commit.”

Indeed, the United States has been an outright accomplice in those atrocities, which among other tragic effects, has led to a cholera epidemic in Yemen. The U.S. military refuels Saudi coalition warplanes and provides intelligence to assist them in their attacks on Yemen—attacks that have exhibited total indifference about civilian casualties. A recent revelation implicates Washington in even more atrocious conduct. Evidence has emerged that Saudi forces have employed white phosphorous munitions, and that the United States supplied those foul weapons that inflict horrible burns on their victims. For U.S. leaders to criticize Syria for using chemical weapons in light of such behavior may reach a new level of hypocrisy.

Washington’s double standard also is evident regarding the international conduct of another U.S. ally: Turkey. U.S. officials reacted with a vitriolic denunciation of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, but the reaction was—and remains—very different regarding Ankara’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and the occupation of that country’s northern territory. Washington’s criticism was tepid even at the beginning, and it has become more so with the passage of time. Indeed, there is greater U.S. pressure on the government of Cyprus to accept a peace settlement that would recognize the legitimacy of the puppet Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus that Ankara established (and has populated with settlers from the Turkish mainland) and countenance the continued presence of Turkish troops. Although the United States initially imposed mild sanctions on Turkey for invading and occupying its neighbor, they were soon lifted. Sanctions imposed against Russia are stronger, and there is little prospect that they will be lifted, or even eased, in the foreseeable future.

Washington’s criticism of Turkey’s repeated military incursions into northern Iraq and northern Syria likewise have been barely audible. That has been the case even though the targets in Syria are Kurdish forces that aided the United States and its allies in their war against ISIS.

The flagrant U.S. double standard also is apparent in the disparate assessments of the domestic conduct of Iran and such U.S. allies as Egypt and Saudi Arabia. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley verbally eviscerates Tehran at every opportunity for repressing its population. When anti-government demonstrations erupted in several Iranian cities earlier this year, Haley was quick to embrace their cause. “The Iranian regime’s contempt for the rights of its people has been widely documented for many years,” she stated during a Security Council session. Haley added that the United States stood “unapologetically with those in Iran who seek freedom for themselves, prosperity for their families, and dignity for their nation.”

Iran certainly does not resemble a Western-style democracy, but its political system is vastly more open than either Egypt’s or Saudi Arabia’s. Although the clerical Guardian Council excludes any candidate for office that it deems unacceptable, competing elections take place between individuals with often sharply contrasting views. President Hassan Rouhani won a new electoral mandate over a decidedly more hardline opponent in the May 2017 presidential election. Compared to some U.S. allies in the Middle East, Iran resembles a Jeffersonian democracy.

The Saudi royal family does not tolerate even a hint of domestic opposition. People have been imprisoned or beheaded merely for daring to criticize the regime. Saudi Arabia’s overall human-rights record is easily one of the worst in the world, as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have documented. It is a measure of just how stifling the system is that the government finally allowing women to drive is considered a radical reform. A similar suffocating miasma of repression exists in Egypt, where President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has imprisoned thousands of political opponents, executed hundreds, and wins rigged elections by absurd margins reminiscent of those in Soviet satellite countries during the Cold War.

Yet, President Trump and other U.S. officials express little criticism of those brutal, autocratic allies. Trump’s demeanor during his state visit to Riyadh last year bordered on fawning. Washington approves multi-billion-dollar arms deals for both Saudi Arabia and Egypt, despite their legendary human-rights abuses. As noted, the United States even continues to assist Saudi Arabia in its atrocity-ridden military intervention in Yemen.

There may be plausible geo-strategic reasons for persisting in such double standards. Iran, for example, has been openly hostile to the United States and its policy objectives since the fall of the Shah. It is not illogical for Washington to be intent on countering the influence of Tehran and its Syrian ally, even if that requires making common cause with other repressive regimes in the region. But U.S. leaders need to be candid with the American people and acknowledge that their decisions are based on cold calculations of national interest, not ethical considerations. They should at least spare us their pontificating and the pretense that they care about the rights or welfare of Middle Eastern populations. Washington’s policies indicate otherwise.

Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in defense and foreign policy at the Cato Institute and a contributing editor at The American Conservative, is the author or coauthor of 10 books on international affairs, including Perilous Partners: The Benefits and Pitfalls of America’s Alliances with Authoritarian Regime.