Sunday, February 27, 2011

Zimbabwe Is Not Tunisia or Egypt

Zimbabwe is not Tunisia or Egypt

Sunday, 27 February 2011 10:10
by Professor Jonathan Moyo, MP

Given the political turmoil which has engulfed North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf (NAMEG) region in recent weeks, can a twitter-driven Facebook revolution in the style of what has happened in Tunisia, Egypt or Libya be done in Zimbabwe with the result of illegally establishing protestocracy in the country under the false pretext of peaceful demonstration?

Apparently there are some US and European puppets in the MDC-T and its associated elements in the foreign founded and funded NGO colony, notably the NCA, ZCTU and Zimbabwe Crisis Coalition — with one Philip Pasirayi being the busybody — who have spent the last few weeks imagining that they can be copycats of the turmoil in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya which they dream they can reproduce in Zimbabwe. This is what comes out of the nonsense whose distribution they intensified last week through the internet, text messages and pamphlets under what they think is anonymous cover when their identities are in fact known.

Only God knows why these hopeless would-be copycats, whose death wish is to be arrested at the Harare Gardens and be charged with treason in accordance with the rule of law that they love preaching about, honestly think they can do an Egypt or Libya in Zimbabwe when they miserably failed to do anything near that during the height of the biting Zimbabwe dollar days of hyper-inflation. Do these failed puppets of regime change ever think?

Have they forgotten how their much touted “final push” succeeded only in pushing them further down the doldrums of their political irrelevance only yesterday?

What boggles the mind while also serving to once again confirm that the GPA government is clearly dysfunctional and futile is that, in apparent pursuit of what Nelson Chamisa has publicly described in dark and ominous terms as the treacherous party’s “underground campaign strategy” for the forthcoming harmonised general election expected later this year, some MDC-T Cabinet Ministers have been stoking public emotions apparently to inflame what their party’s US and American strategists believe would spark public protests similar to those that rocked Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

One case in point of an attempt to unlawfully engineer illegal public protests in the country in the vain hope of reproducing a Libyan regime change scenario is Finance Minister Tendai Biti’s treasonous intent to audit the diamond money trail under the false claim he is peddling in some gullible sections of the media that US$300million from diamond proceeds has not been accounted for when his true intentions are not only to trigger protests but also to facilitate the illegal seizure of the proceeds by the US and its European allies as part of their sanctions terror against Zimbabweans.

Biti knows only too well that through relevant channels all diamonds proceeds have been declared to Treasury under the auspices of the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.

He also knows only too well that there is a world of difference between “declared proceeds” and “remitted proceeds” and that the remitting of some proceeds takes time not only because of the usual paper trail but also because of the need to be vigilant and careful about the movement of the diamond money trail given the sanctions terror that our country faces from the US and its EU allies.

To describe as missing some $300million that has been declared through the normal channels and that is in the pipeline for remittance is scandalous and proves Minister Biti’s treasonous intent given the role that he plays in recommending who is included or excluded from the illegal US and EU sanctions.

What further compounds Biti’s treasonous stance is his silence on the missing millions of dollars under the watch of the MDC-T’s embattled Minister Elton Mangoma. Where is that money that is supposed to have purchased critically needed diesel and where is the diesel? What does Biti have to say about Mangoma’s criminal violation of tender procedures whose purpose is to facilitate the theft of public funds?

Another related case in point through which an MDC-T Cabinet Minister is abusing his portfolio to incite public violence through illegal protests is Public Service Minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro’s embarrassing quest to use a clearly bogus civil service “payroll and skills” audit to justify a preposterous regime-change claim that the salaries of civil servants are low allegedly because the public service has some 75 000 ghost workers when the real reason is that Finance Minister Biti does not want to use diamond proceeds towards the salaries of civil servants because that would undermine the MDC-T’s underground election campaign strategy whose main thrust is to incite violence and protests.

Minister Mukonoweshuro should know that his claim that his bogus audit was allegedly done by reputable firm Ernst and Young from India has no merit whatsoever, not least because that firm did not gather the data that it analysed. The data, which has led to media lies about 75 000 ghost workers, was gathered by a bunch of bogus enumerators drawn from the MDC-T and operating under the illicit cover of Mukonoweshuro’s ministry in December 2009 while it was controversially processed by Ernst and Young of India in September 2010 under a dubious World Bank contract. It is a well-established research principle in research and auditing that that if your input is garbage, your output would also be garbage.

Because the data gathered by Mukonoweshuro’s ministry was garbage, the analysis and findings of the Ernst and Young of India were also garbage and that is why the whole audit, which has thus far been peddled only as Volume I without its supporting Volumes II and III, is wholly bogus.

Yet, as part of the MDC-T’s underground election campaign, Mukonoweshuro is still trying in vain with the help of ZCTU and the so-called Zimbabwe Crisis Coalition to incite the civil service to trigger Tunisian, Egyptian and Libyan type of regime change protests in Zimbabwe. If that is not disgraceful, then nothing is.

Biti and Mukonoweshuro took an oath as Cabinet Ministers to respect and uphold the laws of Zimbabwe and that is an obligation they must discharge.

While there’s no doubt and indeed evidence abounds showing that the US and its European allies wish that what is happening in Libya could happen in Zimbabwe and elsewhere in Southern Africa where former liberation movements are in power, the thought that there are some paid Zimbabweans with a similar wish simply because they are funded by the US and its European allies is sickening to the core even though their poisonous wish has no chance in heaven of ever materialising.

The real question begging for urgent critical examination is not whether an Egypt or Libya can happen in Zimbabwe, because that is out of the question notwithstanding the self-evident wishes of merchants of regime change, but whether Zimbabweans understand what is actually happening in those two countries and if so what lesson do they draw from the on-going tragic events.

Otherwise, and given the nefarious interest and evil role of the US and its European allies in the shaky geopolitics of today’s unipolar world, there’s no national leadership in the Third or Developing World that has not been exercised by the geopolitical implications of the NAMEG protests and which has not pondered the possibility of those protests erupting at home at the slightest pretext. No doubt vigilance has become the order of the day all round.

With this in mind, one telling lesson from the unfolding mayhem in the NAMEG region, whose geopolitical impact has added fuel to the fires of Wikileaks revelations on continuing American imperial machinations, is that the US and its European allies, as cruel architects of slavery, imperialism and colonialism who now masquerade as champions of democracy, have over the years remained with one constant diabolic agenda whose unchanging geopolitical import in a changed and changing world is that the West must by definition dominate the Rest of the World by hook or crook.

Just as the US and its European allies managed to corrupt and bastardise religious values of Christianity and the moral values of human civilisation by using them to justify the brutality and inhumanity of slavery and colonialism not too long ago, as their duplicity over the turmoil in Egypt and Libya shows, they are today perverting and bankrupting the values of human rights, democracy and good governance to justify their imperial quest for domination not only in the NAMEG region but also around the world in countries with key natural resources such as Zimbabwe.

After all has been done and said about the tragic events sweeping across countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Jordan and Bahrain among others, nobody should be surprised that, in the same way slavery and colonialism debunked Western claims to Christianity and civilisation, the real casualties of the NAMEG protests foolishly dubbed as revolutions will be the very concepts of human rights, democracy and good governance that the naïve protestors are chanting in vain and not be the fallen leaders or regimes in the affected countries.

The duplicity of the US and its European allies in the NAMEG protests is palpable. Take the cases of Egypt and Libya as examples.

In Egypt the US and its European countries were worried like mad that the protest could evolve into an Islamic revolution similar to what happened in Iran in 1979 and so they were determined and desperate to nip that possibility in the bud. Shockingly but not surprisingly they manipulated the protests using the fact that the government of fallen President Hosni Mubarak was a Western puppet plus the fact that the

Egyptian military is American controlled and receives some US$1,5billion annually from Uncle Sam.

Although the US and its European allies pretend all the time and all over the world, and especially here in Zimbabwe through the so-called Fishmonger group of like-minded donors and the gullible Press which is independent from the truth, that they stand for democracy, rule of law and good governance their position in Egypt and Libya has exposed them beyond recovery.

It is clear that the US and its European allies want to blunt, derail and subvert the democratic growth of the Islamic movement in Egypt by sacrificing Hosni Mubarak. They did this by packaging and peddling the fiction that Mubarak’s departure from “peaceful demonstrators” after some 31 years in power was revolutionary and democratic!
In the process they managed to smuggle in the scandalous and subversive idea, which the US and its European allies would never brook in their own backyards, that a so-called peaceful demonstration using twitter, Facebook and text messages is a legitimate and constitutional way of removing and changing a government.

But even worse in the case of Egypt the US and its European allies, who have been making cacophonic calls for security sector reforms to allegedly remove the military from politics in Zimbabwe as a necessary signpost in what the MDC-T underground strategists say is a much needed “election roadmap”, engineered a situation in which the Egyptian military took centre stage in the politics of that country by taking over direct control of the government after which the Junta suspended the constitution and dissolved Parliament in order to rule by decree. Now is that democracy?

Is it the rule of law? Is it good governance? Are those who say that they would like to do an Egypt in Zimbabwe willing and prepared to have our military take over government, suspend our Constitution and dissolve Parliament so that General Constantine Chiwenga and company can rule by decree? Would that be ok? And if that is not ok for Zimbabwe in the eyes of the US, its European allies and their local puppets, why is ok for Egypt?

What we have in Egypt today is a military coup supported by the US and its European allies who continue to keep our country under the sanctions terror with duplicitous claims that our national security sector has militarised politics. That is it. Full stop. Forget the nonsense about democracy and all that jazz. Protestocracy was used in Egypt to effect a military coup under the shameless name of democracy, rule of law and good governance whose values have become very cheap given what is going on in the NAMEG countries at the behest of the US and its European allies.

If, thanks to the Americans and their European friends the Egyptian case is bad for democracy, human rights and good governance, the Libyan case is worse. Consider the following.

It is common knowledge that in the NAMEG region, the problem countries for the US and its European allies have been Libya, Syria and Iran. Having found a formula for using twitter generated Facebook revolutions to engineer street protests to foreclose Islamic revolutions as in the case of Egypt, the US and its European allies are now busy applying the same Egyptian formula to entrench puppet regimes which could otherwise fall in in Algeria, Tunisia, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and virtually all the NAMEG dynasties and monarchs which are now embroiled in fake US and EU sponsored national dialogues. The notable exceptions are Libya, Syria and Iran where the US and EU strategy is to use their new found protestocracy as an instrument for regime change.

This why in Libya the US and the EU, with the treacherous support of one of the worst secretary generals the UN has ever had, Ban Ki-Moon, have incredulously redefined “peaceful demonstration” to include protestors who raid the armouries of police stations and military barracks to arm themselves to the teeth and takeover towns and cities with a view to overthrowing a sitting government outside an electoral or constitutional process.

Yesterday, Western imperialists gave bad names to Christianity and human civilisation today they are giving a bad name to democracy, human rights and good governance with the NAMEG case telling it all. All the US and EU talk about Libyan forces shooting their own people is hollow and pales into insignificant when seen against the hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians that the US and EU forces have butchered in cold blood in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Of course every loss of life is tragic and indefensible but the US and the EU always give the impression that only they have the God like right to shed blood and boy don’t they shed it in the name of the international community! Otherwise anything—including protests—that seek to overthrow a government anywhere in the world cannot be peaceful by definition. The overthrow of any sitting government outside the constitutional process is nothing but a violent act. There’s not even one government in the US-EU alliance that would countenance being overthrown through street protests in the name of so-called peaceful demonstrations.

And the idea that a sitting government which is a member of the UN should allow so-called peaceful demonstrators who raid the armouries of police stations and military barracks to overthrow it as an expression of democracy is absurd in a very respect. For Africans, and indeed for the civilised elements in the international community, the consequences of allowing protestors to overthrow a sitting government are all there for all to see in Somalia and the possibility of Libya now going the Somali way is more than high.

Clearly the US and its European allies have lost their moral legitimacy in leading the international discourse on democracy, human rights, rule of law and good governance, as they have shown beyond any doubt through the case of Egypt that they would not recognise democracy, constitutionalism and good governance even if it smacked them on their imperialist faces. Given the foregoing, MDC-T puppets that imagine that they can be sponsored copycats of Egyptian or Libyan protestocracy in Zimbabwe must know that they are joking.

This is especially so in a country like ours where those who fought gallantly against Western imperialists, colonialists and Rhodies in the Second Chimurenga to liberate our country are not only still alive but are actually in very active leadership roles across the critical sectors of our State and society in huge numbers and they still enjoy the overwhelming support of peasants who are now proud beneficiaries of the Third Chimurenga.

The less said about this, the better.

Meanwhile those in the MDC-T affiliated local and international media circles who have been claiming that Munyaradzi Gwisai and 45 others were arrested for watching videos on the political turmoil in Egypt and Libya should get real.

If watching videos on the situation in those two countries was criminal, then the Police would arrest everyone in the country who has satellite television or is connected to the Internet because those media platforms are littered with videos and all sorts of material about the Egyptian and Libyan protests.

It should therefore be obvious even to lunatics that there is more to the case than simply watching videos!

Foreigners Loot Zimbabwe Mineral Resources

Foreigners loot Zim mineral resources

Sunday, 27 February 2011 09:17

President Mugabe prepares to hoist 87 ballons into the air while celebrating his birthday in Harare yesterday.

By Tafadzwa Chiremba

FOREIGNERS with massive shareholdings in Zimbabwe’s major mining companies are raking in billions of dollars while no meaningful revenue gets into the country’s coffers, President Mugabe has said.

Attacking platinum mining giant Zimbabwe Platinum Mines (Zimplats), President Mugabe told delegates and party supporters attending the 21st February Movement celebrations in Harare yesterday that Zimplats has contributed nothing substantial to the development of the country.

Zimplats is 87 percent foreign-owned by South African-based Impala Platinum and posted more than US$250 million revenue in the half year ending December 31 2010.

The company has previously been accused of failing to contribute to the country’s development and clandestinely contracting foreign companies for its various expansion projects in Zimbabwe at the expense of local firms.

The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces said a lot of revenue from the natural resources was being siphoned.

“Zimplats has never ever given us any real substantial amount.

Varikungodutira mari vachiendesa kuSouth Africa (they are channelling the proceeds to South Africa,” he said.

The President called on Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Cde Saviour Kasukuwere to work on indigenising the foreign-owned mining companies soon.

“There is a lot of money that is not benefiting the country. There are huge deposits of platinum and gold. Let’s now deal with these companies.

“Gold is yielding more than US$1 000 per ounce outside the country. But where is the money going? We are not getting it. We are going to take our companies to account.

“That is why we are saying Cde Kasukuwere let’s deal with this issue soonest.”

He added that indigenisation was long overdue.

“These enterprises have been under the control of settlers and those settlers would do what they wanted. That freedom must cease and we must get into these companies and get majority shares,” he said.

“Zvekuti ndiri CEO zvagara zviripo kani. Zvakutotifinha (For a long time, indigenous people have wanted to be the CEOs of other people’s companies. Let us aim to be company owners).”

While commending Mbada Diamonds and Marange Resources for their operations at the Chiadzwa diamond fields, the President said there was scope to increase the 51 percent indigenisation threshold in foreign-owned companies.

Recently, the two companies presented to Government a combined dividend of US$174 million, which Cde Mugabe said, should be directed towards increasing civil service salaries.

Yesterday’s celebrations drew thousands of Zimbabweans from all walks of life, among them politicians, Cabinet ministers, business executives, service chiefs and youths.

President Mugabe said his past had provided a foundation for his life.
“We are all bearers of the past. We therefore must never forget that we carry the burden from the past,” he said.

He urged Zimbabweans to desist from multiple sexual relationships so as to win the fight against HIV and Aids.-The Sunday Mail

U.S. Official Jets in to Court Zimbabwe Support for Kimberley Process

US official jets in to court Zim support

Sunday, 27 February 2011 10:32
By Tafadzwa Chiremba

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Mrs Susan Page is expected in Zimbabwe this week to canvas support in her country’s bid for the deputy chairmanship of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.

The world diamond body is scheduled to hold its plenary meeting in Zimbabwe next month.


However, the visit is a major climbdown for the US, which only last month smuggled a hostile clause into a draft document giving the Southern African state the green light to export diamonds mined in Chiadzwa.

It is understood Mrs Page arrives tomorrow after which she will hold discussions with Mines and Mining Development Minister Cde Obert Mpofu.

Last week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised Cde Mpofu of her imminent visit.

The minister confirmed, but would not be drawn into revealing further details.

“We received correspondence from the Foreign Affairs Ministry that Mrs Page would be visiting the country on March 1,” he said.

“We were also advised that she intends to hold meetings with us.”

Sources revealed that Zimbabwe’s vote was crucial. “The consensus voting system bids all members to vote.

“If one member abstains then this becomes tantamount to rejection,” said a source.


Last month, the US allegedly surreptitiously slipped a hostile clause into a draft decision authorising Zimbabwe to export Chiadzwa diamonds.

The clause states that any occurrence of violence, lawlessness or harassment in the country would result in the suspension of the exports, a condition no other member is subject to.


The US is also accused of having connived with the World Diamond Council (WDC) earlier this month to create confusion on the market by spreading claims that the diamonds had not been certified.

The claims came after outgoing KP chair Mr Boaz Hirsch oversaw the process that led to Zimbabwe being given the latitude to export the gems.

Minister Mpofu said the WDC was being compromised by Western influence.

“The WDC, which is supposed to be an independent body, has become a Western organisation,” he said.

“The president of the WDC has become an agent of the West instead of being an administrator of this process.

“The Democratic Republic of Congo, the present KP chair, should be wary of attempts to deny African diamond producers the right to benefit from their resources.”

The KP is a voluntary organisation comprising diamond producing countries and works to prevent trade in conflict diamonds.
Zimbabwe is one of the founder members of the group, having joined in 2002.-The Sunday Mail

CIA Plunges Libya Into Chaos

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

World cheers as the CIA plunges Libya into chaos

Reprinted from David Rothscum Reports

How was Libya doing under the rule of Gadaffi? How bad did the people have it? Were they oppressed as we now commonly accept as fact? Let us look at the facts for a moment.

Before the chaos erupted, Libya had a lower incarceration rate than the Czech republic. It ranked 61st. Libya had the lowest infant mortality rate of all of Africa. Libya had the highest life expectancy of all of Africa. Less than 5% of the population was undernourished. In response to the rising food prices around the world, the government of Libya abolished ALL taxes on food.

People in Libya were rich. Libya had the highest gross domestic product (GDP) at purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita of all of Africa. The government took care to ensure that everyone in the country shared in the wealth. Libya had the highest Human Development Index of any country on the continent. The wealth was distributed equally. In Libya, a lower percentage of people lived below the poverty line than in the Netherlands.

How does Libya get so rich? The answer is oil. The country has a lot of oil, and does not allow foreign corporations to steal the resources while the population starves, unlike countries like Nigeria, a country that is basically run by Shell.

Like any country, Libya suffers from a government with corrupt bureaucrats that try to gain a bigger portion of the pie at the cost of everyone else. In response to this, Kadaffi called for the oil revenue to be distributed directly to the people, because in his opinion, the government was failing the people. However, unlike the article claims, Kadaffi is not the president of Libya. In fact he holds no official position in the government. This is the big mistake that people make. They claim that Kadaffi rules over Libya when in fact he doesn't, his position is more or less ceremonial. He should be compared to a founding father.

The true leader of Libya is an indirectly elected prime-minister. The current prime-minister is Baghdadi Mahmudi. Calling Khadaffi the leader of Libya is comparable to calling Akihito the leader of Japan. Contrary to what your media is sketching, opinions in Libya vary.

Some people support Gadaffi but want Mahmudi out. Others want both out. Many just want to live their life in peace. However, effort is taken to sketch the appearance of a popular revolt against the supposed leader of Libya, Gadaffi, when in fact he is just the architect of Libya's current political system, a mixture of pan-Arabism, socialism, and Islamic government.

Videos of Pro-Gaddafi protests are disappearing from Youtube as we speak. "Pro Gaddafi Anti Baghdadi Mahmudi demonstrations in" is gone. "Pro Gaddafi protests in front of Libyan embassy London" Is gone.

Youtube deletes any video containing gore normally, except when it's from Libya. Apparently more traumatizing to it's viewers than chopped up bodies are Libyans who do not jump on the bandwagon and enter the streets to force Gadaffi out.

Are the protesters in Libya comparable to the protesters in Egypt and Tunisia? Not at all. The governments reaction is more violent, and obviously excessive violence is being used. However let us look for a moment at the actions of the protesters. The building of the the general people's congress, the parliament of Libya, was put on fire by angry protestors. This is comparable to protesters putting the United States Capitol on fire. Do you think that for even a moment the US government would sit idly by as protesters put the US capitol on fire?

The riots erupting now are not secular youth desiring change, or anything like we saw in Egypt and Tunisia. A group calling itself "Islamic Emirate of Barka", the former name of the North-Western part of Libya, has taken numerous hostages, and killed two policemen. This is not a recent development. On Friday, the 18th of February, the group stole 70 military vehicles after attacking a port and killing four soldiers. Unfortunately, a military colonel has joined the group and provided them with further weapons. The uprising started in the eastern city of Benghazi. The Italian foreign minister has raised his fears of an Islamic Emirate of Benghazi declaring itself independent.

So where does this sudden uprising come from? The answer is that the same groups the US has been funding for decades are now taking their chance to gain control over the nation. A group recently arrested in Libya consisted of dozens of foreign nationals that were involved in numerous acts of looting and sabotage. The Libyan government could not rule out links to Israel.

Great Britain funded an Al Qaeda cell in Libya, in an attempt to assassinate Gadaffi. The main opposition group in Libya now is the National Front for the Salvation of Libya. This opposition group is being funded by Saudi Arabia, the CIA, and French Intelligence. This group unified itself with other opposition groups, to become the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition. It was this organization that called for the "Day of Rage" that plunged Libya into chaos on February 17 of this year.

It did this in Benghazi, a conservative city that has always been opposed to Gadaffi's rule. It should be noted that the National Front for the Salvation of Libya is well armed. In 1996 the group tried to unleash a revolution in the eastern part of Libya before. It used the Libyan National Army, the armed division of the NFSL to begin this failed uprising.

Why is the United States so opposed to Gadaffi? He is the main threat to US hegemony in Africa, because he attempts to unite the continent against the United States. This concept is called the United States of Africa. In fact, Gadaffi holds all sorts of ideas that are contrary to US interests. The man blames the United States government for the creation of HIV. He claims that Israel is behind the assasination of Martin Luther King and president John. F. Kennedy. He says that the 9/11 hijackers were trained in the US. He also urged Libyans to donate blood to Americans after 9/11. Khadaffi is also the last of a generation of moderate socialist pan-Arab revolutionaries that is still in power, after Nasser and Hussein have been eliminated, and Syria has aligned itself with Iran.

The United States and Israel however have no interest in a strong Arab world. In fact it seems that elementary to the plan is bringing Libya to its knees through chaos and anarchy. In late 2010, the United Kingdom was still propping up the Libyan government through lucrative arms sales. Nothing is a better guarantee to destroy Libya than a bloody civil war. The tribal system that is still strong in Libya is useful to exploit to generate such a war since Libya has historically been divided into various tribal groups.

This is also why the Libyan government responds by importing mercenaries. Tribal allegiances go before allegiance to the government, especially in Benghazi, and thus the central government has no control over the eastern part of the country anymore. The alternative to mercenaries is a conflict between the various ethnic groups. Gadaffi has tried for 41 years to make the country more homogeneous, but opposition groups funded by outside forced will take little more than a few days to put the country back into the 19th century, before the region was conquered and unified by Europeans. The violence is indeed excessive, but everyone seems to forget that the situation is not the same as in Tunis and Egypt. Tribal ties play a far greater role, and thus the conflict will unfortunately be bloodier.

Please remember at all times that the violent Libyan civil war unfolding now is not comparable to the revolutions seen in Tunisia and Egypt. Both of these revolutions involved peaceful protesters suffering from poverty, in opposition to their corrupt governments. The chaos in Libyan consists of a mixture of tribal conflicts, conflict over oil revenue (since most oil is in the east of the country), radical islamists opposed to Gadaffi's system of government, and outside destabilization by Western funded exile groups.

Gadaffi took control in a bloodless coup from a sick monarch away for medical treatment 41 years ago. His ideology is based on unification and he attempted to peacefully merge his country with Egypt and Syria. It would take a miracle for the violence unfolding now to lead to a single stable democratic government in Libya, with full control over the entire country. The country is more than twice the size of Pakistan, but with 6 million inhabitants. Endless deserts divide many of the cities in the nation. If anything we should ask ourselves how many more nations will be shattered into pieces in the coming months, as the world cheers.

If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... Al Qaeda.

How did Al Qaeda start? Al Qaeda grew out of the Afghan Arabs in Afghanistan that the CIA trained at Camp Peary. Amongst these men were many Libyans. These Libyans who had fought in Afghanistan eventually created the Libyan Islamic Fighting group. As explained on Wikipedia and in my earlier report on Libya, they were funded by MI6 to assassinate Gadaffi in 1996.

Unlike the US that keeps you in prison forever without even receiving a trial, the Libyan government made the mistake of showing mercy. They released 90 members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting group in 2008. It gets weirder. On the day of the "Day of Rage", Libya had released 110 rehabilitated members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting group. These were men, part of an organization linked to Al Qaeda who plotted to overthrow the Libyan government.

As I explained earlier, the "Day of Rage" was called for by an organization that is funded by the CIA. Seems like a bit of incredible coincidence that the day of rage was planned to be on the same day that violent nutcases would be released who wanted to turn Libya into a second Afghanistan.

So, Gadaffi holds a speech and says that Al Qaeda is behind the uprising in his country. And we consider him to be a schizophrenic autistic nutcase of course. He says that he will fight until the end, and we consider him the next Hitler. He holds a speech to a massive group of people clothed in green, and we tell ourselves they were simply being bribed.

Make no mistake, the United States are using Al Qaeda to overthrow governments, yet again. As reported by CNN:

"Al Qaeda's North African wing has said "it will do whatever we can to help" the uprising in Libya, according to a statement the militant group posted on jihadist websites.

The statement by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb was posted Thursday, said SITE, a terrorist-tracking organization based outside Washington.

In 2006, al Qaeda documents found by U.S. forces in Iraq showed that per capita, Libya surpassed other Arab nations in the number of citizens joining al Qaeda. The regime's fear was that the terror group would bring its fight back to Libya."

We saw the same thing in Kosovo, where Al Qaeda was being used to terrorize the Serbs. As reported by the National Post:

Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorist network has been active in the Balkans for years, most recently helping Kosovo rebels battle for independence from Serbia with the financial and military backing of the United States and NATO.

The claim that al-Qaeda played a role in the Balkan wars of the 1990s came from an alleged FBI document former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic presented in his defence before the Hague tribunal last week. Mr. Milosevic faces 66 counts of war crimes and genocide.

Although Hague prosecutors have challenged the veracity of the document, which Mr. Milosevic identified as a Congressional statement from the FBI dated last December, Balkan experts say the presence of al-Qaeda militants in Kosovo and Bosnia is well documented.

Today, al-Qaeda members are helping the National Liberation Army, a rebel group in Macedonia, fight the Skopje government in a bid for independence, military analysts say. Last week, Michael Steiner, the United Nations administrator in Kosovo, warned of "importing the Afghan danger to Europe" because several cells trained and financed by al-Qaeda remain in the region.

The parallels are striking to what is happening in Libya, with veterans of the Afghan war against the Soviet Union popping up again, this time leading the charge against Gadaffi:

"Many members of the Kosovo Liberation Army were sent for training in terrorist camps in Afghanistan," said James Bissett, former Canadian ambassador to Yugoslavia and an expert on the Balkans. "Milosevic is right. There is no question of their participation in conflicts in the Balkans. It is very well documented."

The arrival in the Balkans of the so-called Afghan Arabs, who are from various Middle Eastern states and linked to al-Qaeda, began in 1992 soon after the war in Bosnia. According to Lenard Cohen, professor of political science at Simon Fraser University, mujahedeen fighters who travelled to Afghanistan to resist the Soviet occupation in the 1980s later "migrated to Bosnia hoping to assist their Islamic brethren in a struggle against Serbian [and for a time] Croatian forces."

Whatever way you want to put it, Libya is a thorn in the eye of our globalist elite. It has been claimed that there are 5 countries on the planet left without a Rothschild controlled central bank: Iran; North Korea; Sudan; Cuba; and Libya. I don't necessarily think you can boil the conflict down simply to having a Rothschild controlled central bank or not. However, considering the fact that by now, Sudan has split in two, Libya is under mob rule and South Korea is upping it's propaganda offensive against the North Korean government where demonstration are breaking out for the first time in the history of the nation, the list is at least a little unnerving.

It's important to note that Libya was in fact recently beginning to introduce Islamic banking to the nation. In Islam, usury is illegal. Banking families like the Rothschilds and the Warburgs of course derive all their wealth (except for the wealth they've simply stolen) from usury. Islam has the concept of Musharakah. It abolishes the idea of a fixed interest on a loan. Instead money is paid back only if the enterprise makes a profit. Seems like an excellent idea, regardless of your religious beliefs.

The US puppet president won't rule out military intervention in Libya. Big oil is watching a dream come true as oil production in Libya (where no foreign companies have a hand in oil production) plunges, and anxiety drives the price up even further. Ships are of course already in the area, and have been for a while. It's all incredibly convenient. Reuters has reported that Venezuela's foreign minister said it looked like some western powers wanted to break up and occupy the Mediterranean nation for its oil. Fidel Castro has said the same thing.

After invading you can then choose to leave the country in ruins with no oil production at all, or you can occupy the country and hand the oil to your buddies. Oil companies are predatory entities. In fact the United States overthrew the government of Iran for simply nationalizing the oil.

Egypt meanwhile isn't the slightest bit more free than it was under Mubarak. It has simply turned into a military dictatorship. The US simply replaced an old unruly puppet with a new one.
Of course it's not difficult to unleash riots in the Middle East. As long as people have entertainment and food, they're quiet and not much of a nuisance. Take away either, and you get an angry public. The global genocide through starvation unleashed over the working classes of the world is the result of food speculation in the US.

The Brzezinski clique currently in control of the United States has found a far more effective way of dealing with its enemies. Instead of directly fighting them, they create anger in these nations, and then use the people themselves to sow chaos. The first attempt in Iran failed. Now the US has chosen to create examples in vulnerable countries first, to help mobilize the people in less vulnerable nations.

It's the most genius solution to defeat your enemies with. Contrary to the neoconservative approach, the whole world now supports your operation. If the carnage gets excessive enough, people around the world will beg their own governments to intervene in these 3rd world nations. If you thought that after Iraq further military intervention in the Middle East had become impossible due to a lack of popular support, it seems you were wrong. The Brzezinski approach has opened up this possibility again.

Are the uranium bombs going to be used in Tripoli next? Is Tripoli going to be another Fallujah? Only time can tell. The world will probably praise Obama as Tripoli is contaminated for generations to come. In fact, getting rid of Gadaffi by turning Tripoli into another Fallujah could even ensure that Obama is reelected.

A Detroiter in Wisconsin: 'Every Worker Has Sacrificed More Than Enough'

A Detroiter in Wisconsin: 'Every worker has sacrificed more than enough'

12:18 AM, Feb. 27, 2011

Cheryl LaBash, a 62-year-old retired construction inspector for the City of Detroit, can't imagine being anywhere but the state Capitol in Madison, Wis.


A show of solidarity: Unions rally for workers across U.S.

MADISON, Wis. -- Cheryl LaBash traded the comforts of her two-bedroom bungalow in northwest Detroit last week for a cubby along the wooden stair railing on the second floor of the Wisconsin state Capitol.

She sleeps on a marble floor surrounded by hundreds of other protesters, most of them decades younger. LaBash brushes her teeth and washes her face in a public restroom and grabs the occasional shower when she runs into a friend who has rented a hotel room during the protests.

She's been living on bratwursts, pizza and pastries donated by union sympathizers and longs for cups of coffee that she took for granted until her adventure began last week.

The lights never dim, and the beating of protesters' drums begins at 8 a.m. every morning and stops at 11 each night.

But LaBash, a 62-year-old retired construction inspector for the City of Detroit, can't imagine being anywhere else.

"I'm a retired public employee, and if there is an attack on a public employee, I'm going there," she said after a long day of rallies and marches. "It's important to let these people here know that someone from Detroit cared enough to get in their car, drive here and sleep on the floor with them every night."

She says she doesn't believe the employees in Wisconsin or anywhere should make financial or bargaining concessions during these tough economic times.

"Every worker has sacrificed more than enough," she said. "There are tax breaks extended for people, corporations and banks who make an enormous amount of money, so if we're in such a desperate state, then the people who have the most should pay the most."

She brought along a comforter and pillow from home, so the marble floor doesn't seem quite so hard, and the earplugs protest organizers handed out Feb. 19, her first night staying in the Capitol, have helped. But last week she was desperate to do a load of laundry.

LaBash has history with union activism. She was arrested in 1980 during a protest at a Detroit City Council meeting over the sale of Detroit General Hospital and again in 1990 during the Greyhound Bus strike.

"There's a long tradition of people going to jail for their convictions," LaBash said.

She's ready to be jailed again, when police try to remove protesters from the Capitol at 4 p.m. today. If she's evicted, she brought along a tent just in case.

"Who knows, maybe it will be Madison this spring and summer."

Contact Kathleen Gray: 313-223-4407 or

Attacks on Workers in Wisconsin Are Attacks on Black Workers Everywhere

Attacks on workers in Wisconsin are attacks on Black workers everywhere

26 February 2011
ShareDr. L. Toni Lewis, SEIU Healthcare Chair

In Wisconsin, nearly one in four African American workers is unemployed; Black unemployment (24 percent) is more than three times the rate of Whites (7 percent), far exceeding the national Black unemployment rate; and, one in three of Wisconsin’s Black workers is underemployed— all according to a report, “The State of Working Wisconsin,” by the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS).

Similar stats are reflected in states across the country. Last year the unemployment rate for blacks is expected to reach 27 percent in Michigan while jobless rates in other states are above 20 percent for Blacks are Alabama, Illinois, Ohio and South Carolina.

Yet, Republican governors like Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker continue attacking the workers who plow our roads, teach our children, keep our families healthy, and care for our veterans and seniors.

We cannot turn a blind eye to what’s happening to workers in Wisconsin or any state—especially those with sizeable African American communities facing the most calamitous impacts of the nation’s failing economy. African Americans in Wisconsin make up 40 percent of the state’s population with many residing in Milwaukee, the 26th largest city in the country.

Governor Walker’s cuts aren’t just about Wisconsin. These legislative attempts to limit workers’ rights are a coordinated effort by the GOP and corporate CEOs trying to push cuts in our wages, abolish our benefits and outsource our jobs.

Public officials in several other states like Ohio, New Jersey, and Michigan are also set to consider eliminating collective bargaining (a worker’s ability to negotiate for wage increases, healthcare, job security, retirement plans, etc…) or drastically change employee pension and access to affordable health insurance.

In many states, public officials aren’t willing to negotiate with the unions that help protect the workers who keep states running—social and economic protections that help communities of color the most.

Anti-union initiatives like threats to collective bargaining in the workplace and “Right to Work” (for less pay and without protections) legislation make things very difficult for Black workers who are already less likely than whites to have employer-provided health insurance and pension plans. And, according to the Department of Labor, only 44 percent of African American male workers have any pension coverage at all.

But, unionized African American workers make 30 percent more, are 16 percent more likely to have employer-provided health coverage, and are 19 percent more likely to have pensions, according U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Instead of allowing politicians to attack the voices of all working families in our communities, we should be doing more to protect and defend America’s shrinking middle class. The African American community has a long and resilient history of doing just that—standing up for fair and equal treatment and confronting those who exploit basic human rights.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. understood the connection between strengthening unions and uplifting workers to achieve long-term economic justice for African Americans. He continuously showed his support for the labor movement when he addressed hospital workers at 1199SEIU in New York and marched with striking sanitation workers trying to form a union in Memphis just before he was killed.

Thousands of courageous workers—union and nonunion, from all different racial backgrounds—are joining together to defend the American labor movement and the middle class that movement aims to protect.

We all need to be a part of the movement to fight for workplace equality and fairness, affordable healthcare, and the right to bargain contracts. We need our elected leaders to work together to create jobs and strengthen our economy, not wage partisan attacks on middle class families to score political points with big donors.

Help us stop politicians and state legislatures from trying to balance their budgets on the backs of hardworking people. Politicians like Governor Walker should be creating jobs – not attacking nurses, teachers and firefighters who continuously make painful sacrifices.

With 2.2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers–not just corporations and CEOs- -benefit from today’s global economy.

Pump Prices Could Hit $4 This Year in the U.S.

February 27, 2011

Pump prices could hit $4 this year

Saudi Arabia could be key in coming years as new leaders take power

By Jenny Munro and David Dykes
Staff writers

Turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa is pushing crude oil prices skyward, with gasoline prices following.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in the Upstate this past week that the unrest in the Middle East “is not some distant thought.”

“You're looking at $4-a-gallon gas by the end of this year,” he said. “The more unstable the Mideast, the more you're going to pay in gasoline prices.”

After increasing rapidly all week long, average gas prices in the Upstate jumped nearly 11 cents a gallon on Friday to $3.152 a gallon.

Economists are concerned about where the prices will go, how high they will go and the effect on the fragile U.S. and world economies. Consumers worry they'll be affected adversely by higher gas prices and higher costs associated with increased shipping costs of products.

Higher energy prices have already cut into January's retail sales numbers, though the hit to economic activity will be more dramatic if oil prices rise, on a sustained basis, to above $115 a barrel, said economist Mark Vitner and analyst Joe Seydl of Wells Fargo's Economics Group. At that point, GDP growth would be weakened.

They said that higher oil prices have not yet had a discernible impact on Wells Fargo's economic forecast, but that “we continue to believe that a sustained increase to $115 a barrel or more would have a meaningful negative impact. Higher energy prices of this magnitude will reduce incomes through higher gasoline prices and rising transportation costs, which will impact food prices both directly and indirectly.

“Real after-tax income would be about 0.6 percent lower for 2011 if prices were to remain above $115 per barrel through the end of the year. Reduced after-tax income would restrain the rebound in consumer spending, shaving at least 0.3 percentage points off 2011 growth,” they said.

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's grip on power has continued to slip as rebels control the eastern part of the country and fighting increased in and around Tripoli, the capital. The mayhem has disrupted crude exports from Libya, which produces about 1.6 million barrels of crude per day and has the biggest oil reserves in Africa.

The uprisings shaking the Arab world reflect popular calls for change, especially among young people demanding reforms, Graham said.

“In the Mideast, your lot is cast based on the tribe you're in or your position in life,” he said. “And the world is changing and these young people in the Arab world are saying, ‘I've had enough.'”

Graham said, “We've got to challenge old friends to do better and we've got an opportunity to replace some enemies that have been thorns in our side.”

“These are dangerous times, and it will take the best of this country to succeed,” he said.

David Bodde, a Clemson University professor with energy experience, is looking beyond the current unrest in North Africa and the Middle East and is not sanguine about the mid-range future.

He said the futures market — the bets that are made daily by international oil traders — suggest a gradual increase in prices from now to the end of 2012. He anticipates that crude could be $100 a barrel by the end of this year, adding about 10 percent to the cost of gasoline at the pump. Crude on Friday was $97.70 a barrel but that is likely to drop as the unrest eases.

Traders also look at a range of prices that could occur, Bodde said. During the Egyptian unrest the range for traders was from $60 to $170 a barrel but is probably somewhat higher now. It changes on a daily basis. The traders have a 95 percent belief that these prices could happen.

The highest price “will be if something goes bonkers in the Middle East,” he said. “They see much more risk on the upside than risk on the downside.”

Fears of the Libyan disruption, with the current idling of between 500,000 and 750,000 barrels a day of production, has caused a rapid spike in crude oil and gasoline prices. However, the price of crude fell from as high as $103 a barrel on Thursday to nearly $98 a barrel after the International Energy Agency said the disruption was about half what was first announced.

Bodde said that Libyan oil has a disproportionate effect on prices because it is light, sweet crude, the most desirable type.

But another subtle tension in the region is found in those countries with a split between the religions of their rulers and the majority of the population, he said. That is found in Bahrain, with Sunni rulers and a primarily Shite population.

However, Saudi Arabia — which has 20 to 25 percent of the world's oil reserves and also produces light, sweet crude — is the key, said Bodde, who has done consulting work with Saudi Aramco, the state-owned national oil company. The country produces around 8.3 million barrels a day of crude, more than any other single OPEC member. Last year, it was the second largest producer of oil, following only Russia.

“They are in this strange meta-stable state,” he said, explaining that meta-stable means any small event could easily push the country into turmoil. A major part of the country's problem is demographics. The Saudi princes' average age is 83, with the youngest 77. But 60 percent of the Saudi population is under age 18 and “these are the ones tuned in to satellite television, mobile phones and social media” and other types of communication.

“Within five years, we will see a transition” there, he predicted. “The transition is unlikely to be smooth. Even if not violent, it will be turbulent.”

The real question is whether the Saudi royal family can create a succession plan that brings in younger people with the same skills the current rulers have. But Saudi Arabia, with a monarchy, has more benefits in its favor than a country ruled by a dictator, Bodde said. It can remove governments and ministers and have the money for social programs, with the possibility of remaining somewhat above the fray.

Bodde said that a Saudi transition, at best, will include a period when people don't know who's in control. The end result could be a democracy, but it could just as easily be a theocracy, Bodde said. “Theocrats love money, too. But they could use oil as a weapon.”

Even if the United States increases its oil drilling and production, it would change little when it comes to prices, he said. “The price is a world price. We can't escape from Saudi Arabia.”

The world currently consumes about 85 million barrels of crude a day, he said. That is the amount of oil that must be replaced by new discoveries. Oil is a finite resource and eventually “it gets too expensive to get to,” Bodde said.

Although the U.S.–Saudi alliance of interests has been remarkably durable, “the best thing we can do now is get off oil,” Bodde said, adding that ethanol is not the answer. “We need to transition ground mobility toward electric power as quickly as we can.”

Even if the entire U.S. fleet of vehicles moves aggressively toward electric power, it would take at least 20 years, he said. But “we can begin the journey. If you never begin, you never get there.”

Stewart Spinks, chairman of Spinx Oil, said the industry expects a diminished demand for gasoline in the United States as hybrid and electric cars become a larger part of the market. Electric cars are now viable, he said, and “it's the first time the industry has said for real that these cars will affect demand.”

Also, improvements in the efficiency of internal combustion engines could help lower U.S. need for oil, Bodde said. Extended-range electric vehicles also will be needed. Those vehicles would have a small engine to generate power for the battery that would turn the wheels of the vehicle, he said. That engine, which might use gasoline, also could be run with diesel fuel and eventually with a hydrogen fuel cell.

Another short-term possibility is to use natural gas to fuel U.S. cars. The country has a relative abundance of that fuel, he said. Natural gas can be made into liquid fuels or vehicles could have natural gas engines. This is currently a niche market, although some fleets operate on natural gas.

But Americans and the rest of the world are likely to be faced with gas prices higher than they are today before the transition off oil is made, he said.

Prices of $5 or more a gallon “would be a shock. It would be an adjustment. I expect we will have to do that,” he said. Europe already pays prices in the $5 to $6 range.

But Bodde said he's optimistic about the future.

“I really think that we are serious” about the danger, he said. “I think we're at the point now where we realize it's not plausible to depend on oil long-range. It's simple security — economic security and national security.”

Angola's High Prices Hard to Bear

Angola's high prices hard to bear

LUANDA, ANGOLA - Feb 22 2011 08:04

Oil revenues have made Angola one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa, but the high cost of living that has come with the boom makes life difficult for many in the war-weary country.

Angola vies with Nigeria for the title of Africa's largest producer of crude. Oil money has driven an economic boom that saw GDP grow an average 11,2% a year in the decade to 2008.

But the country was left with next to no industry after its 27-year civil war ended in 2002, forcing it to import most of its consumer goods from Europe, China and South America.

Oil wealth has combined with an influx of foreign currency and congestion at the overwhelmed port in the capital, Luanda, to send prices soaring. The inflation rate was 14,5% in 2010.

Astronomical prices in the local kwanza greet customers every time they visit shops. Commuters are sometimes forced to jog to work when Luanda's ramshackle public minibus taxis suddenly increase fares.

Rising fuel costs since a reduction in subsidies are often blamed for the galloping prices. Angola pumps 1,9-million barrels of oil a day but imports 50% of its refined fuel, making the finished product expensive despite the country's large output of crude.

About 86% of Angola's urban population lives in slums, with only intermittent water and electricity. In Luanda, luxury ocean-side villas where expatriates and rich locals live tell a tale of a city battling with a gaping wealth divide.

Oil has attracted an influx of foreign companies that bring with them their own staff who live on high salaries and allowances.

But the pinch of high prices is also felt by top-earning expatriates.

Luanda was ranked the most expensive city in the world for expatriates in a 2010 study by the Mercer consulting firm, ahead of Paris, London and Tokyo.

'There is nothing that we can do'

Nadine, a Lebanese expat who lives in Alvalade, an affluent suburb on the outskirts of the city, pays $10 000 a month to rent a three-bedroom house.

She says she spends about $5 000 a month on groceries to feed her family of four, not including eating out.

"There is nothing that we can do, you just have to pay," she said while pushing her trolley around the upscale Casa dos Frescos supermarket, whose shelves are lined with imported goods ranging from vegetables to bottled water.

Poor Angolans at the bottom of the food chain depend on fishing and street selling to earn a living. There is a booming informal economy that caters to those who can't afford to go to shops.

Sizaltina Cutaia, a grant officer at the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (Osisa), said the country needs to re-learn to feed itself.

Cutaia herself earns $4 000 a month but lives in a house with no running water or electricity. She pays a neighbour to connect to his generator and buys 300 litres of water a week from a travelling vendor.

"Angola needs to revive its food production industries, that could help ease the high food prices," she said.

"The country's vast agricultural land is lying dormant. The few players in the industry enjoy a monopoly and that is pushing prices up."

Even relatively well-paid Angolans spend much of their income on food.

Jorge da Cruz (24) works as a clerk at a foreign oil firm. His $850 monthly salary is 10 times the country's minimum wage, but he is far from living a comfortable life in the three-room house he and his family of 10 share in a shantytown outside Luanda.

"Food takes up most of my money, then I have to pay for my daily transport to my evening classes at university," said Da Cruz, who spends $300 a month on night school and uses the rest of his income to support his family.

"It's true Angola is a rich country," he added. "But its people are poor." - AFP

Source: Mail & Guardian Online
Web Address:

Zimbabwe Farmers Target Surplus Harvest

Zimbabwe farmers target surplus harvest

HARARE, ZIMBABWE Feb 27 2011 07:04

Zimbabwean peasant farmer Munyaradzi Mudapakati gives a satisfied smile as he looks out at his lush maize crop, but he fears his good fortune will end if elections go ahead this year.

For more than a decade, most rural Zimbabweans have depended on food aid to survive, but good rains this season are promising an abundant 2011 harvest -- as long as politics doesn't get in the way.

"This year thanks to the good rains I have plenty of food unlike the past three years," said Mudapakati, a former plumber who took to farming after losing his job in 2007.

Mudapakati says he expects to harvest 2,5 tonnes of maize this year, up from less than one tonne last year, and says he could have done even better if he had enough fertiliser.

But he fears production could dip if President Robert Mugabe goes ahead with polls planned for later this year, as farmers would be forced to abandon their work and attend political rallies for Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF.

"I hope they shelve these elections," Mudapakati said.

"The problem is that I will be picked up to go for campaigns since I operate from the roadside, which means I would lose a lot of time instead of doing farming."

Although he was spared from the violence that engulfed rural Zimbabwe during the last elections in 2008, Mudapakati said he saw villagers driven to rally venues and beaten up when they resisted.

The 40-year-old grows maize and tomatoes at a horticultural farm that was seized by government and parcelled out to small-scale farmers under Mugabe's controversial land reform programme.

Launched in 2000, the programme has seen the seizure of nearly 4 000 white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks, with disastrous effects on agricultural production.

Food aid
The programme has combined with poor rains and shortages of seed and fertiliser to force a country once considered the breadbasket of the region to depend on food aid.

The crisis bottomed out in 2008, when nearly half Zimbabwe's 12-million people needed food aid. The situation has been improving, but the United Nations has still appealed for $415-million to feed 1,7-million Zimbabweans this year until the harvest starts in May.

Agriculture Minister Joseph Made said Zimbabwe is likely to harvest enough maize to feed itself this year, the first time in a decade. The country needs an estimated 2,2-million of tonnes of maize a year.

"The country is looking forward to household food security and we should maintain this in the future," Made told reporters.

But political instability may still threaten this resurgence.

Mugabe (87) who has been in power since 1980, has called for elections to be held this year to end the power-sharing government he was forced to enter with long-time rival Morgan Tsvangirai after the bloody and disputed vote of 2008.

That year, hundreds of rural residents fled to the capital, Harare, seeking refuge after being beaten or intimidated during the campaign.

Labour economist Prosper Chitambira, too, warned that although no dates have been set for new elections, farmers and workers could lose precious time if they are forced to attend campaign rallies.

"In the event of elections some workers will be recruited to carry out campaigns on behalf of certain parties," said Chitambira of the Harare-based Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe.

"Though impact on production might be minimal, there will be lost man-hours as people would be forced to campaign instead of working," he added.

"Some people are also tired of elections as they know that beating or forcing people will not bring food on the table." - AFP

Source: Mail & Guardian Online
Web Address:

North Korea Pledges to Defend State From Provocations in the South

North Korea to shoot at South Korea if campaign continues

Sat, Feb 26 2011

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has warned the South Korean military it will shoot at South Korea if the South continues its recent psychological campaign, the North's official media said on Sunday.

South Korea's military has been dropping leaflets into North Korea about democracy protests in Egypt, a legislator said on Friday. As part of the psychological campaign, the South Korean military also sent food, medicines and radios for residents in a bid to encourage North Koreans to think about change.

"South Korea is driving the Korean peninsula to overall confrontation, with beefing up anti-republic, psychological plots," KCNA news agency said.

"If this action continues despite our repeated warning, we officially inform that our military will shoot the area where the anti-republic, psychological plots, come from, including Imjingak, under the right of self-defense," it said.

Imjingak is an area in South Korea near the heavily armed Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) which separates the two Koreas.

North Korea maintains tight control over communications, including the use of telephones and over movement of people, leaving many in the country unaware of world affairs.

South Korea's military has resumed its campaign of speaking directly to North Korean residents after the North bombarded an island near a disputed sea border in November, killing four people.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula rose to the highest level in years after the artillery attack and the sinking of a South Korean navy vessel in March last year, but the two sides have since renewed a dialogue aimed at easing relations.

Their first attempt at talks broke down earlier in February dealing a setback to plans to resume international disarmament talks with the North.

(Reporting by Cho Mee-young; Editing by Sugita Katyal)

Grassroots Women Around the World Stand With Growing Movement in Wisconsin

Saturday February 26, 2011

For immediate release

Grassroots Women around the World Stand with Growing Movement in Wisconsin

Grassroots women across the US and around the world support Wisconsin state workers, and the students and others who have joined them in their inspiring confrontation against Governor Scott Walker and Republican legislators. Today’s demonstration of nearly 250,000 in Madison – along with solidarity actions by people in cities large and small across the country and the world – shows that we in the US will also not tolerate dictatorial regimes. We strongly oppose any attempts to attack or remove peaceful protestors and urge the police to refuse to act against your fellow public workers.

Everyone knows that nationally most public sector workers are women, and the public sector is also where people of color have been able to earn relatively decent wages. The jobs we do as women outside the home – teaching, healthcare, social services – are extensions of the work we do unwaged at home, and are about the care of people and communities. This is our priority, this must be the human priority. But for Governor Walker and his financial backers, the human suffering that his policies will cause to the most vulnerable means nothing. He is determined take back the hard-fought gains of women and people of color in particular for a decent life, wages and benefits that support families, and protection from discrimination.

As mothers, grandmothers and other caregivers, we note that Governor Walker has cited welfare “reform” – Wisconsin’s attack on the most vulnerable women, single mothers on welfare, which paved the way for dismantling welfare as a right nationally and set up union-busting “workfare” – as a reason he intends to hold onto his plan to destroy the basic right to organize. Women have fought for 40 years to open up the waged workplace, for pay equity, healthcare, family leave, the right to a safety net and other benefits, and we won’t be pushed back. We call on all women’s organizations to speak out and take action in support of Wisconsin workers, women and men.

We refuse to accept that Wisconsin or any other state is “broke” the same week we hear that Wall Street paid an average bonus of $128,530 last year, and when the US military continues to hemorrhage billions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We hear this lie from the same right-wing extremists have also just voted to de-fund Planned Parenthood; in Philadelphia a march of mainly women chanted as they joined the Wisconsin solidarity rally: “Pro-life, who are you kidding? You’re Pro-war and anti-women!”

Walker’s assault on public employees is part of a larger attempt, supported and funded by conservative activists including the billionaire Koch Brothers, to further dismantle social programs, healthcare, environmental protections, and give corporations free reign. But the days when employers and dictatorial rulers could do what they like are over. All over the world people are risking their lives for economic and social justice. People in Wisconsin are calling the governor “Hosni” Walker in their anger against his vicious policies and destruction of the democratic process. They have received greetings from everywhere, including: “Egypt supports Wisconsin workers: One World, One Pain.” Mustafa Hussein, a doctor treating people attacked by Mubarak supporters in Tahrir Square sent this message on Friday, a day of rage across the region: “Our sisters and brothers in Wisconsin, we urge you to hold on until you win.”

Wisconsin is the frontline battle for the survival and welfare of our communities across the country, and state workers and those who support them have shown they are up for the fight. Sisters and brothers in Madison, we are behind you: hold on, hold strong and “fight like an Egyptian.”

Protesters in Bahrain Demand Change

Protesters in Bahrain Demand More Changes

New York Times

MANAMA, Bahrain — In by far the largest protest yet here, tens of thousands of demonstrators packed the city’s streets on Friday and closed a stretch of highway as they demanded that their king dissolve the government and agree to a transition to a true constitutional monarchy.

The protest — which appeared to be twice as large as one on Tuesday that drew about 100,000 people — cut through Manama, the capital, with staggering numbers for a population of just 500,000. They marched in two huge, roaring crowds from the south and from the west, converging at Pearl Square.

“This is another great day for our movement,” said Abbas al-Mawali, 30, a security guard who joined the march. “We won’t stop until our demands are met. We will have a march like this every day if we have to.”

But after 11 days of protests, King Hamad ibn Isa al-Khalifa has slowly moved to meet protesters’ demands, taking incremental steps. Late Friday, he fired three cabinet ministers, but not the prime minister — one of the opposition’s top demands. He also has not addressed the issue of democratic change.

His emphasis appears to have been on defusing the protests and repairing the damage to Bahrain’s international reputation after the army fired on protesters last week, as well as on limiting concessions to ones that do not affect the government’s power.

“The government released prisoners and said it will investigate what happened; it will make some small changes in the government,” said a rights worker who is not being identified to protect him from potential reprisals by the government. “The whole region is changing. Now is our chance. I am saying, If we don’t do this now, we never will.”

The protesters, meanwhile, have not articulated a strategy for bringing about change, beyond new protests and camping out in the square.

The unrest has been led by members of the nation’s Shiite majority, who have long been politically marginalized and who have accused the Sunni king and his government of discrimination.

In a shift on Friday, it was the Shiite religious leaders who called for protests, rather than the political opposition. Although some of the chants on Friday had a religious cast — with some people shouting “victory comes from God” — the protesters’ demands remained the same, emphasizing a nonsectarian call for democracy and the downfall of the government.

Since the start of the crisis, the government’s response has evolved. First the king unleashed his armed forces, who killed seven protesters and wounded dozens. Then, under international pressure, he withdrew the police and military from the capital, called for a national dialogue, released 300 political prisoners and pointed to the protests as evidence of his government’s tolerance.

His government is also working with a public relations agency based in Britain, the Bell Pottinger Group, which says on its Web site that “we understand how to create, build and protect reputations in the modern age.”

On Friday, Bell Pottinger staff members distributed a statement from the government’s spokeswoman, Maysoon Sabkar, saying in part, “The Crown Prince has called on all parts of society to engage in the national dialogue to progress reform.”

On Thursday, Ms. Sabkar read a statement referring to the killings by government forces as “regrettable incidents” and announced that the king’s son, the crown prince, had called for Friday to be a national day of mourning, and that the king “extended condolences to the families” of the dead.

Ms. Sabkar also said there were no shots fired from a helicopter or from a building last Friday. But she said she was not authorized to say who ordered the army to fire at all or where the shots came from that killed one man and wounded dozens of others. Witnesses said they had seen shots fired from a helicopter and a nearby building.

The statement also said that large crowds at the hospital prevented emergency workers from doing their jobs. But witnesses said they had seen soldiers fire weapons at ambulances as they tried to pick up the wounded, and doctors in the ambulances said the security forces had prevented them from picking up wounded people.

The government’s message inflamed some people in the square.

“These were not ‘incidents,’ ” Said Shamlouh, 37, an accountant, said, referring to last week’s protests, including one in which security forces shot at protesters sleeping in Pearl Square. “This was a massacre. It was people sleeping, families, children. And they opened fire on them. That’s not an incident.”

Saturday, February 26, 2011

United Nations Security Council Imposes Sanctions on North Africa State

UN Council slaps sanctions on Libya's Gadhafi

By ANITA SNOW, Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS – The U.N. Security Council moved as a powerful bloc Saturday to try to halt Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's deadly crackdown on protesters, slapping sanctions on him, his children and top associates.

Voting 15-0 after daylong discussions interrupted with breaks to consult with capitals back home, the council imposed an arms embargo and urged U.N. member countries to freeze the assets of Gadhafi, four of his sons and a daughter. The council also backed a travel ban on the Gadhafi family and close associates, including leaders of the revolutionary committees accused of much of the violence against opponents.

Council members additionally agreed to refer the Gadhafi regime's deadly crackdown on people protesting his rule to a permanent war crimes tribunal for an investigation of possible crimes against humanity.

The council said its actions were aimed at "deploring the gross and systematic violation of human rights, including the repression of peaceful demonstrators." And members expressed concern about civilian deaths, "rejecting unequivocally the incitement to hostility and violence against the civilian population made from the highest level of the Libyan government."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated council members for the unified vote, saying it "sends a strong message that gross violations of basic human rights will not be tolerated."

"I hope the message is heard, and heeded, by the regime in Libya," Ban said.

British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant called the vote "a powerful expression of the deep concern, indeed the anger, of the international community." U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said it was "a very powerful message to the leadership of Libya that this heinous killing must stop and that individuals will be held personally accountable."

French Ambassador Gerard Araud said the unanimous referral of the case to the tribunal signaled a new commitment by the international community to its responsibility to protect citizens. "A wind of liberty and change is sweeping throughout the Arab world and I think the Security Council succeeded in responding to this new era of international relations," he said.

Top EU diplomat Catherine Ashton said the European Union "fully endorses this resolution and will implement the restrictive measures as a matter of urgency." Ashton noted that the EU had already started work on its own sanctions, and formal adoption is expected soon.

The sanctions were welcomed by Libya's deputy U.N. ambassador, Ibrahim Dabbashi, whose entire mission is among Libyan diplomats around the world who have renounced Gadhafi.

Dabbashi said the council vote will engender "moral support for our people who are resisting" and could help defeat "this fascist regime still in existence in Tripoli." He called on the Libyan armed forces to abandon Gadhafi and throw their support to the protesters.

Richard Dicker, director of Human Rights Watch's international justice program, was impressed by the council's unanimous vote and said the action "sends a powerful signal on behalf of justice for the people of Libya and all others victimized by mass force and violence."

The Libyan uprising that began Feb. 15 has swept over nearly the entire eastern half of the country, snatching entire cities in that region out of the government's grasp. Gadhafi and his backers continue to hold the capital Tripoli and have threatened to put down protests aggressively.

There have been reports that Gadhafi's government forces have been firing indiscriminately on peaceful protesters and that as many as 1,000 people have died.

Council members did not consider imposing a no-fly zone over Libya, and no U.N.-sanctioned military action was planned. NATO also has ruled out any intervention in Libya.

Indian Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri noted his country is not an ICC member, and would have "preferred a calibrated and gradual approach," but decided to accept the referral because other council members believed it would help end the violence in Libya.

There had been doubts that China, a permanent council member with veto power, would join the vote if the referral to the tribunal was included. But Chinese Ambassador Li Baodong said his country was concerned about the large number of Chinese citizens who work in Libya.

Earlier on Saturday, U.S. President Barack Obama said in a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that Gadhafi needs to do what's right for his country by "leaving now."

The White House on Friday announced sweeping new sanctions and temporarily abandoned its embassy in Tripoli as a final flight carrying American citizens left the embattled capital. The U.S. put an immediate freeze on all assets of the Libyan government held in American banks and other U.S. institutions. The sanctions also freeze assets held by Gadhafi and four of his children.

Britain and Canada, meanwhile, temporarily suspended operations at their embassies in Tripoli and evacuated their diplomatic staff.

Gadhafi is no stranger to international isolation.

U.N. sanctions were slapped on his country after suspected Libyan agents planted a bomb that blew up Pan Am Flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988, killing 270 people, mostly Americans.

Libya accepted responsibility for the bombing in 2003 and pledged to end efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction. The U.S. and Libya in 2009 exchanged ambassadors for the first time in 35 years, after Libya paid about $2.7 billion in compensation to the families of the Lockerbie victims.

In Geneva on Friday, the U.N. Human Rights Council called for an investigation into possible crimes against humanity in Libya and recommended Libya's suspension from membership of the world body's top human rights body.

Egypt's Protest Dispersed by Force

Egypt's protest dispersed by force

Army used batons to break up demonstrations in Cairo demanding purging of Mubarak loyalists from government

Last Modified: 26 Feb 2011 04:20 GMT

The army, which showed restraint during the revolution, has been accused of going soft on Mubarak loyalists

The Egyptian army has used force to disperse activists gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to demand the removal of Hosni Mubarak loyalists from the interim cabinet.

Egyptian soldiers fired in the air and used batons in the early hours of Saturday to disperse the crowd, the Reuters news agency reported.

Demonstrators had also gathered in front of the parliament building in Cairo, where police beat protesters and used tasers to suppress the crowds, an Al Jazeera producer in the capital reported.

The people had gathered to celebrate two weeks since the removal of Mubarak from power and remind the country's new rulers of their promise to guard against a "counter-revolution" of the people's power.

Activists urged the military, who had promised there would be "no return to the past" of the Mubarak era, to overhaul the cabinet.

But after midnight, protesters said the military fired in the air, shut off lamp posts and moved in on protesters to force them to leave the square.

"Military police used batons and tasers to hit the protesters," Ahmed Bahgat, one of the protesters, told the Reuters news agency by telephone. "The military is once again using force. But the protesters have not responded."

Protesters left the main centre but many had gathered in surrounding streets, another protester, Mohamed Emad, said.

Witnesses said they saw several protesters fall to the ground but it was not clear if they were wounded or how seriously.

"I am one of thousands of people who stood their ground after the army started dispersing the protesters, shooting live bullets into the air to scare them," Ashraf Omar, a protester, said.

Black masks

The army officers who moved in on protesters in Tahrir, donned black masks to cover their faces to avoid being identified by protesters, Omar said.

Military buses were parked in the square to take in protesters that were caught, Mohamed Aswany, one protester who had decided to stage a sit-in, told Reuters by telephone.

Protesters were heard yelling and shouting as they were chased down side streets to Tahrir.

"It is a cat-and-mouse chase between the army and the people," Omar said. "There is no more unity between the people and the army."

"They were using tasers and sticks to beat us without any control. I thought things would change. I wanted to give the government a chance but there is no hope with this regime," Omar said.

"There is no use.

"I am back on the street. I either live with dignity or I die here."

Protesters say they want the resignation of the government of Ahmed Shafiq, the immediate release of political prisoners and the issuing of a general amnesty.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

Libya Portrays Peaceful Capital City of Tripoli

Gaddafi's son portrays a peaceful Tripoli

8:56pm EST
By Maria Golovnina

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - For the son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, the streets of Tripoli are full of jubilant crowds shooting fireworks,
chanting songs and celebrating his father's long rule -- a picture
painted on state television.

"Everything is calm," Saif al-Islam Gaddafi told a group of foreign
journalists invited to the Libyan capital after 10 days of unrest
during which media access has been limited.

"If you hear fireworks don't mistake it for shooting," the 38-year-old
London-educated younger Gaddafi said, smiling.

Outside the luxury hotel where we met, the city was indeed quiet --
but the quiet of empty streets where there would more normally be
animation on a Friday night.

As we arrived at Tripoli's international airport, the fear that has
gripped the city was evident on the faces of thousands of desperate
migrant workers besieging the main gate trying to get out of the

Police were using batons and whips to keep them out.

Many were laborers from the Middle East, Africa and China, wrapped in thick blankets against gusts of cold wind outside the airport, which
was adorned with portraits of Gaddafi's father.

Attempts by foreign journalists to interview them were intercepted by
police and militias wearing green arm bands. A Reuters photographer
was detained for several hours. "Don't try to run. We will catch you,"
one policeman told him in English.

Two international television crews were hustled along by security
officers as the reporters tried to talk to migrants.

Residents in the capital, contacted by telephone, spoke of fear and
killings as a revolt which has seen Muammar Gaddafi lose control of
the east of the country closes in on his Tripoli stronghold.

But at the hotel, with its glittering lobby and chandeliers built with
the influx of petrodollars that followed the West's easing of
sanctions in recent years, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi described a different

"Peace is coming back to our country," he said, plainly at ease in the
opulent surroundings, clad in a fashionable sweater and jeans and
chatting casually in English.

Bodyguards stared as foreign journalists pressed him to explain the
violence in the country.

He called much of the reporting "lies" by a hostile media and denied
his father's forces had bombed civilians.

"We are laughing at these reports," he said, adding it had been a
mistake to keep foreign media out and urging reporters to now
interview "hundreds or thousands" of people for themselves.

"The biggest problem is the hostile media campaigns against us. They
want to show Libya is burning, that there is a big revolution here,"
he said. "You are wrong. We are united."

Local journalists from state media applauded.

(Editing by Alastair Macdonald)