Webster G. Tarpley
January 16, 2011
Washington DC, January 16, 2011 – The US intelligence community is now in a manic fit of gloating over this weekend’s successful overthrow of the Tunisian government of President Ben Ali. The State Department and the CIA, through media organs loyal to them, are mercilessly hyping the Tunisian putsch of the last few days as the prototype of a new second generation of color revolutions, postmodern coups, and US-inspired people power destabilizations. At Foggy Bottom and Langley, feverish plans are being made for a veritable Mediterranean tsunami designed to topple most existing governments in the Arab world, and well beyond. The imperialist planners now imagine that they can expect to overthrow or weaken the governments of Libya, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Algeria, Yemen, and perhaps others, while the CIA’s ongoing efforts to remove Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi (because of his friendship with Putin and support for the Southstream pipeline) make this not just an Arab, but rather a pan-Mediterranean, orgy of destabilization.
Hunger revolution, not Jasmine revolution
Washington’s imperialist planners now believe that they have successfully refurbished their existing model of CIA color revolution or postmodern coup. This method of liquidating governments had been losing some of its prestige after the failure of the attempted plutocratic Cedars revolution in Lebanon, the rollback of the hated IMF-NATO Orange revolution in Ukraine, the ignominious collapse of June 2009 Twitter revolution in Iran, and the widespread discrediting of the US-backed Roses revolution in Georgia because of the warmongering and oppressive activities of fascist madman Saakashvili. The imperialist consensus is now that the Tunisian events prefigure a new version of people power coup specifically adapted to today’s reality, specifically that of a world economic depression, breakdown crisis, and disintegration of the globalized casino economy.
The Tunisian tumults are being described in the US press as the “Jasmine revolution,” but it is far more accurate to regard them as a variation on the classic hunger revolution. The Tunisian ferment was not primarily a matter of the middle class desire to speak out, vote, and blog. It started from the Wall Street depredations which are ravaging the entire planet: outrageously high prices for food and fuel caused by derivatives speculation, high levels of unemployment and underemployment, and general economic despair. The detonator was the tragic suicide of a vegetable vendor in Sidi Bouzid who was being harassed by the police. As Ben Ali fought to stay in power, he recognized what was causing the unrest by his gesture of lowering food prices. The Jordanian government for its part has lowered food prices there by about 5%.
Assange and Wikileaks, Key CIA Tools to Dupe Youth Bulge
The economic nature of the current unrest poses a real problem for the Washington imperialists, since the State Department line tends to define human rights exclusively in political and religious terms, and never as a matter of economic or social rights. Price controls, wages, jobless benefits, welfare payments, health care, housing, trade union rights, banking regulation, protective tariffs, and other tools of national economic self-defense have no place whatsoever in the Washington consensus mantra. Under these circumstances, what can be done to dupe the youth bulge of people under 30 who now represents the central demographic reality of most of the Arab world?
In this predicament, the CIA’s cyberspace predator drone Julian Assange and Wikileaks are providing an indispensable service to the imperialist cause. In Iceland in the autumn of 2009, Assange was deployed by his financier backers to hijack and disrupt a movement for national economic survival through debt moratorium, the rejection of interference by the International Monetary Fund, and re-launching the productive economy through an ambitious program of national infrastructure and the export of high technology capital goods, in particular in the field of geothermal energy. Assange was able to convince many in Iceland that these causes were not nearly radical enough, and that they needed to devote their energies instead to publishing a series of carefully pre-selected US government and other documents, all of which somehow targeted governments and political figures which London and Washington had some interest in embarrassing and weakening. In other words, Assange was able to dupe honest activists into going to work for the imperialist financiers. Assange has no program except “transparency,” which is a constant refrain of the US UK human rights mafia as it attempts to topple targeted governments across the developing sector in particular.
“Yes we can” or “Food prices are too damn high!”
Tunisia is perhaps the first case in which Assange and Wikileaks can make a credible claim to have detonated the coup. Most press accounts agree that certain State Department cables which were part of the recent Wikileaks document dumps and which focused on the sybaritic excess and lavish lifestyle of the Ben Ali clan played a key role in getting the Tunisian petit bourgeoisie into the streets. Thanks in part to Assange, Western television networks were thus able to show pictures of the Tunisian crowds holding up signs saying “Yes we can” rather than a more realistic and populist “Food prices are too damn high!”
Ben Ali had been in power for 23 years. In Egypt, President Mubarak has been in power for almost 30 years. The Assad clan in Syria have also been around for about three decades. In Libya, Colonel Gaddafi has been in power for almost 40 years. Hafez Assad was able to engineer a monarchical succession to his son when he died 10 years ago, and Mubarak and Gaddafi are trying to do the same thing today. Since the US does not want these dynasties, The obvious CIA tactic is to deploy assets like Twitter, Google, Facebook, Wikileaks, etc., to turn key members of the youth bulge into swarming mobs to bring down the gerontocratic regimes.
CIA Wants Aggressive New Puppets to Play Against Iran, China, Russia
All of these countries do of course require serious political as well as economic reform, but what the CIA is doing with the current crop of destabilizations has nothing to do with any positive changes in the countries involved. Those who doubt this should remember the horrendous economic and political record of the puppets installed in the wake of recent color revolutions – people like the IMF-NATO kleptocrat agents Yushchenko and Timoshenko in Ukraine, the mentally unstable warmongering dictator Saakashvili in Georgia, and so forth. Political forces that are foolish enough to accept the State Department’s idea of hope and change will soon find themselves under the yoke of new oppressors of this type. The danger is very great in Tunisia, since the forces which ousted Ben Ali have no visible leader and no visible mass political organization which could help them fight off foreign interference in the way that Hezbollah was able to do in checkmating the Lebanese Cedars putsch. In Tunis, the field is wide open for the CIA to install a candidate of its own choosing, preferably under the cover of “elections.” Twenty-three years of Ben Ali have unfortunately left Tunisia in a more atomized condition.
Why is official Washington so obsessed with the idea of overthrowing these governments? The answer has everything to do with Iran, China, and Russia. As regards Iran, the State Department policy is notoriously the attempt to assemble a united front of the entrenched Arab and Sunni regimes to be played against Shiite Iran and its various allies across the region. This had not been going well, as shown by the inability of the US to install its preferred puppet Allawi in Iraq, where the pro-Iranian Maliki seems likely to hold onto power for the foreseeable future. The US desperately wants a new generation of unstable “democratic” demagogues more willing to lead their countries against Iran than the current immobile regimes have proved to be. There is also the question of Chinese economic penetration. We can be confident that any new leaders installed by the US will include in their program a rupture of economic relations with China, including especially a cutoff of oil and raw material shipments, along the lines of what Twitter revolution honcho Mir-Hossein Mousavi was reliably reported to be preparing for Iran if he had seized power there in the summer of 2009 at the head of his “Death to Russia, death to China” rent-a-mob. In addition, US hostility against Russia is undiminished, despite the cosmetic effects of the recent ratification of START II. If for example a color revolution were to come to Syria, we could be sure that the Russian naval presence at the port Tartus, which so disturbs NATO planners, would be speedily terminated. If the new regimes demonstrate hostility against Iran, China, and Russia, we would soon find that internal human rights concerns would quickly disappear from the US agenda.
Key Destabilization Operatives of the Obama Regime
For those who are keeping score, it may be useful to pinpoint some of the destabilization operatives inside the current US regime. It is of course obvious that the current wave of subversion against the Arab countries was kicked off by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her much touted speech last week in Doha, Qatar last week, when she warned assembled Arab leaders to reform their economies ( according to IMF rules) and stamp out corruption, or else face ouster.
Given the critical role of Assange and Wikileaks in the current phase, White House regulations czar Cass Sunstein must also be counted among the top putschists. We should recall that on February 24, 2007 Sunstein contributed an article entitled “A Brave New Wikiworld” to the Washington Post, in which he crowed that “Wikileaks.org, founded by dissidents in China and other nations, plans to post secret government documents and to protect them from censorship with coded software.” This was in fact the big publicity breakthrough for Assange and the debut of Wikileaks in the US mainstream press — all thanks to current White House official Sunstein. May we not assume that Sunstein represents the White House contact man and controller for the Wikileaks operation?
Every Tree in the Arab Forest Might Fall
Another figure worthy of mention is Robert Malley, a well-known US left-cover operative who currently heads the Middle East and North Africa program at the International Crisis Group (ICG), an organization reputed to run on money coughed up by George Soros and tactics dreamed up from Zbigniew Brzezinski. Malley was controversial during the 2008 presidential campaign because of the anti-Israeli posturing he affects, the better to dupe the Arab leaders he targets. Malley told the Washington Post of January 16, 2011 that every tree in the Arab forest could now be about to fall: “We could go through the list of Arab leaders looking in the mirror right now and very few would not be on the list.” Arab governments would be well advised to keep an eye on ICG operatives in their countries.
Czar Cass Sunstein is now married to Samantha Power, who currently works in the White House National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director (boss) of the Office of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights – the precise bureaucratic home of destabilization operations like the one in Tunisia. Power, like Malley, is a veteran of the US intelligence community’s “human rights” division, which is a past master of using legitimate beefs about repression to to replace old US clients with new puppets in a never-ending process of restless subversion. Both Malley and Power were forced to tender pro forma resignations during the Obama presidential campaign of 2008 – Malley for talking to Hamas, and Power for an obscene tirade against Hillary Clinton, who is now her bureaucratic rival.
Advice to Arab Governments, Political Forces, Trade Unions
The Arab world needs to learn a few fundamental lessons about the mechanics of CIA color revolutions, lest they replicate the tragic experience of Georgia, Ukraine, and so many others. In today’s impoverished world of economic depression, a reform program capable of defending national interests against the rapacious forces of financial globalization is the number one imperative.
Accordingly, Arab governments must immediately expel all officials of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and their subset of lending institutions. Arab countries which are currently under the yoke of IMF conditionalities (notably Egypt and Jordan among the Arabs, and Pakistan among the Moslem states) must unilaterally and immediately throw them off and reassert their national sovereignty. Every Arab state should unilaterally and immediately declare a debt moratorium in the form of an open-ended freeze on all payments of interest and principal of international financial debt in the Argentine manner, starting with sums allegedly owed to the IMF-World Bank. The assets of foreign multinational monopolistic firms, especially oil companies, should be seized as the situation requires. Basic food staples and fuels should be subjected to price controls, with draconian penalties for speculation, including by way of derivatives. Dirigist measures such as protective tariffs and food price subsidies can be quickly introduced. Food production needs to be promoted by production and import bounties, as well as by international barter deals. National grain stockpiles must be quickly constituted. Capital controls and exchange controls are likely to be needed to prevent speculative attacks on national currencies by foreign hedge funds acting with the ulterior political motives of overthrowing national governments. Most important, central banks must be nationalized and reconverted to a policy of 0% credit for domestic infrastructure, agriculture, housing, and physical commodity production, with special measures to enhance exports. Once these reforms have been implemented, it may be time to consider the economic integration of the Arab world as an economic development community in which the foreign exchange earnings of the oil-producing states can be put to work on the basis of mutual advantage for infrastructure and hard commodity capital investment across the entire Arab world.
The alternative is an endless series of destabilizations masterminded by foreigners, and, quite possibly, terminal chaos.