The US government has secretly funded Syrian opposition groups, including a London-based television station, according to diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks to The Washington Post.
The newspaper reported on Monday that the US state department has channelled up to $6m since 2006 to a group of Syrian exiles to operate Barada TV, and to finance activities inside Syria.
The television station is closely affiliated with the Movement for Justice and Development, a London-based network of Syrian exiles, the paper said, and has ramped up operations to cover the mass protests in Syria.
It added that US money for Syrian opposition groups began under George Bush, the former US president, after ties with Damascus were frozen in 2005.
The financial backing has continued under Barack Obama, the current president, despite an attempt by his administration to rebuild relations with the Middle Eastern nation.
The pre-emptive intervention doesn't just apply to Syria. An article by Professor Michel Chossudovsky details that the military intervention in Libya was probably planned months in advance (a month before the uprisings in Tunisia):-
"While war games are not uncommon, the similarities between ‘Southern Mistral’ and ‘Operation Odyssey Dawn’ highlight just how many unanswered questions remain regarding our own military planning for Libya.
The ‘Southern Mistral’ war games called for Great Britain-French air strikes against an unnamed dictator of a fictional country, “Southland.” The pretend attack was authorized by a pretend United Nations Security Council Resolution. The ‘Southern Mistral’ war games were set for March 21-25, 2011.
On March 19, 2011, the United States joined France and Great Britain in an air attack against Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1973.
Scheduling a joint military exercise that ends up resembling real military action could be seen as remarkable planning by the French and British, but it also highlights questions regarding the United States’ role in planning for the war. We don’t know how long the attack on Libya has been in preparation, but Congress must find out. We don’t know who the rebels really represent and how they became armed, but Congress must find out. (Denis Kucinich, Kucinich: President Had Time to Consult with International Community, Not Congress? | Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich, Press Release, March 29, 2011)
Clearly disturbing, but this is most likely all part of a plan to pre-empt further Chinese and Russian influence in North Africa (over oil and gas contracts and transit-routes) as well as to ensure that dictators don't have too much control over their own energy wealth. In an interview with PressTV, the award-winning journalist and former Reagan administration official Paul Craig Roberts - voiced similar concerns about Western intentions with respect to the Libya intervention and how they impact the interests of China and Russia (http://www.lewrockwell.com/roberts/roberts300.html). This all ties in with recurring British government policy directives of course, such as here:-
The usual rhetoric is "humanitarian intervention", "preventing conflict" (i.e. really pre-emptive war) which is part of protecting UK strategic interests (such as energy supply security) which usually converge with that of the US.
And why have we gone against our old friend Ghadaffi? What happened to the deals in the desert with Blair in 2007? Hmm....
In 2009, Ghadaffi threatened to nationalise the oil reserves in Libya, and he made this threat on more than one occasion:-
Another article reported that Libyan government officials were behaving erratically in 2009 in response to rhetoric aimed against Ghadaffi by the Canadian government:-
The erratic behaviour of Libyan government officials and that of Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi is well known. In 2009, Libya threatened to nationalise the Libyan operations of PetroCanada, a Canadian oil and gas company, after Canada’s foreign minister said he would give Gaddafi a “public tongue-lashing” over Libya’s decision to greet the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi as a hero on his release.Clearly such erratic behaviour would not be met with approval in Washington either.
The situation was made worse when Col Gaddafi and his 130-strong delegation were handed tourist visas by Canada for a stopover in Newfoundland on a return flight from addressing the United Nations in New York.
Within days, the head of Libya’s state-owned National Oil Company had contacted the chairman of PetroCanada “with a threat to nationalise the company’s operations in Libya if the Canadian Government did not offer a formal apology”.(http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/gaddafi-threatens-seizure-of-foreign-businesses-as-grtu-appeals-for-loan-guarantees-on)
In response to the recent military intervention, Ghadaffi has threatened to cut-off oil to Europe and open contracts with Russia, China and India:-
While we can argue about percentages (Libyan oil being in the single % figures when it comes to imports into Europe) - it really is about investment and ownership of the oil in Libya which is sold globally, as well as the fact that many of the oil and gas fields remain undeveloped (http://www.nubianconsulting.co.uk/oil_reserves_libya.html).
Rather disturbingly, a US Joint Forces Command report last year stated that such military interventions could result in an "arc of chaos" involving the military force of many nations:-
OPEC nations will remain a focal point of great-power interest. These nations may have a vested interest in inhibiting production increases, both to conserve finite supplies and to keep prices high. Should one of the consumer nations choose to intervene forcefully, the “arc of instability” running from North Africa through to Southeast Asia easily could become an “arc of chaos,” involving the military forces of several nations.The fact that energy-security is at the heart of these post-9/11 military interventions was further confirmed by the leak of government documents that were recently sent to The Independent newspaper:-
"Five months before the March 2003 invasion, Baroness Symons, then the Trade Minister, told BP that the Government believed British energy firms should be given a share of Iraq's enormous oil and gas reserves as a reward for Tony Blair's military commitment to US plans for regime change."In the case of the intervention in Afghanistan, we have the TAPI pipeline which the US has lobbied for in opposition to the rival Iranian-backed IPI pipeline:-
The TAPI project looks to have a better chance of feeding the huge South Asian gas market than Iran's rival pipeline, as it has the support of the U.S. as well as the Asian Development Bank.An article by the BBC in 1999 stated that:-
Iran has stirred up the fighting in order to make sure an international oil pipeline went through its territory and not through Afghanistan.The post-9/11 world may not simply be just a normal continuation of US hegemony in the world, as political analyst Nafeez Ahmed writes:-
But the post-9/11 era was not simply a continuation of historic US imperialism. President George W. Bush's new National Security Strategy represented a departure, emphasizing a new doctrine of power projection based on unilateral US power at the expense of multilateralism; the primacy of pre-emptive warfare; the need for long-term US state-building projects in strategic regions; and overall, all this is part of a drive to reconfigure the entire defence system to sustain US pre-eminence in the face of a potentially rapidly changing world order. The Strategy brought together pre-existing US military trends and practices into a coherent policy package. This was a regressive intensification of US security policy, a strategic response to the perception of an unprecedented crisis for US hegemony.
(Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, "A Users Guide To The Crisis Of Civilization" - 2010, p.166)
Some may argue that the fact that Britain and France were solely involved in the Libyan "Southern Mistral" war-games (months in advance of the real invasion) means that somehow the unilateral Bush-era policy no longer applies under Obama. But they would be wrong. Libya was added to the "axis of evil" nations in 2002 by the US authorities (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/1971852.stm) although the relations were restored in 2006 as a result of agreements by Ghadaffi to co-operate with weapons inspectors (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4773617.stm). It also opened up the way for British PM Tony Blair to make oil deals with Ghadaffi which have become to be known as the "deal in the desert" and which were also suspected by the US to be tied to the release of alleged Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/07/wikileaks-gaddafi-britain-lockerbie-bomber). The fact that there were some diplomatic squabbles between the UK and the US with respect to the Megrahi affair and US suspicions about lobbying from the oil company BP - suggest maybe the US would've liked to have controlled the way in which business was done with the reformed "former terrorist" Colonel Ghadaffi. We don't know the real reason for such apparent public disagreements, albeit it could also have just been a case of political theatre designed to hide the fact that the US has also heavily invested and lobbied for oil in Libya. An article by the Sunlight Foundation reported:-
On October 5, 2008 U.S. and Libyan business leaders met with Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary Israel Hernandez as he opened a new Foreign Commercial Service office in Tripoli. In the same year, more companies and trade associations than ever before disclosed that they were lobbying the U.S. government in Washington to keep the newly opened African nation open for business. Much of that lobbying aided in the growing U.S.-Libyan business connection that led to the opening of the office.(http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2011/02/23/u-s-companies-lobbied-to-keep-libyan-market-open-for-business-2/)
Clearly, the threats by Ghadaffi to nationalise his oil reserves have gone down with considerable frustration in the various quarters of the Western military-industrial complex.
The same neo-conservative lobby behind the Bush-era policies have continued their pressure and influence over Obama's foreign policies (a damning laundry list of Obama's neo-con agenda can be found here http://stpeteforpeace.org/obama.html).. Several foreign policy experts (including former members of the PNAC think-tank http://www.newamericancentury.org/) pushed for military intervention in Libya earlier in March of this year:-
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Forty-six former U.S. government officials, human rights and democracy advocates, and foreign policy experts expressed concern Tuesday regarding the ongoing crisis in Libya, urging President Obama to: urgently institute a no fly zone over key Libyan cities and towns, recognize the Libyan National Transitional Council, and explore the possibility of targeted strikes against Qaddafi regime assets.(http://www.foreignpolicyi.org/content/foreign-policy-experts-again-urge-president-take-action-halt-violence-libya)Even as the US has recently relaxed its military role in Libya and as the mainstream media claims that the Obama administration is taking a back-seat approach - one can see a continuation of the post-9/11 Bush-era policy of unilateralism. Despite the fact that the invasion of Iraq was supported by a coalition of over 40 countries, which Bush described as the "coalition of the willing" (http://www.clinecenter.illinois.edu/research/airbrushing_history/) - it was still effectively unilateral in terms of the chief architects. The war was basically pre-emptive, led by US interests (with countries such as Britain following at the heel) and most importantly - it was illegal. Obama has continued the illegal occupation. The same illegality also applies to the Libya intervention which has gone way past the original UN resolution, as former British diplomat Craig Murray writes on his blog:-
Nowhere does UNSCR 1973 mandate regime change or insist that Gadaffi must go as the end result of negotiations. If Gadaffi has accepted an AU-brokered ceasfire, then he is in compliance with the UN Resolution. If the rebels have refused such a ceasefire, then they are in breach of UNSCR 1973 and it is they who are endangering civilians.(http://craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2011/04/cameron-and-sarkozys-libyan-debacle/)President Obama has stated that 'It is US policy that Gaddafi needs to go'
This is a blatant declaration and admission of criminality on the part of the US president. The post-9/11 world continues to further isolate the United States and its European co-horts as their thirst for hegemonic leverage in a world of post-peak oil (http://hozturner.blogspot.com/2010/12/misleading-information-in-post-peak.html) threatens to take humanity off a cliff. While the protest movements in the Arab world contain many genuine movements and calls for real reform - it is of great concern that such unrest and agitations have been anticipated in advance by nefarious powers who wish to exploit them and steer them into pieces of the great chess-board of power rivalries. The people in the Arab world are caught between a rock and a hard place.