Friday, January 31, 2020

What Will It Take for Christians to Awaken from Our Apathetic Stupor?

I admit, after reading the article by Joy Pullmann, I was both frustrated and angry – especially since I had read Pastors Must Address Politics (and everything else) From the Pulpit. • by Gary DeMar  just minutes before that. Truly, what will it take?

Are you a pastor? The Apostle Paul was a great fighter. His fighting was partly against external enemies—against hardships of all kinds. Five times he was scourged by the Jews, three times by the Romans; he suffered shipwreck four times; and was in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by his own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren. And finally he came to the logical end of such a life, by the headsman’s axe. It was hardly a peaceful life, but was rather a life of wild adventure. Lindbergh, I suppose, got a thrill when he hopped off to Paris, and people are in search of thrills today; but if you wanted a really unbroken succession of thrills, I think you could hardly do better than try knocking around the Roman Empire of the first century with the Apostle Paul, engaged in the unpopular business of turning the world upside down. - The Good Fight of Faith, by J. Gresham Machen (1929) (Involves conflict)

To whom much is given – much is required!

Do you sit in DaPews? Why are you there? Is it just to spend time singing love songs to Jesus once a week and learn how to be nice to everyone? Who is your Lord and Master? Is it some pussyfooting wimp who never said an unkind word to anyone or Read The Gospels To Discover The Jesus Nobody Likes To Talk About - By Glenn T. Stanton

Who are we, fellow Christians? Is it time to end our children’s games and grow up - and get to work! Is it time to stop playing Christian whack-a-mole and actually carry out our sacred duty of destroying the works of OldDevilScratch?

If you are new here and wondering what this rant is about – start here – for an introduction.

The items I read today were not totally new to me but they disturbed my comfort level and normalcy bias to the point that I will speak with my local bank folks to see what their position is on this and other issues.

As I have said on numerous occasions in the past, if the tens of millions of Christians actually ACTED as Christians, it would cause a cultural, economic, political and educational EARTHQUAKE! Our economic effect alone on a nationwide boycott or similar action would get their attention.
Remember – wise as serpents and harmless as doves! But remember also – war has been declared upon us – what say we act accordingly!

Pastors Must Address Politics (and everything else) From the Pulpit. • by Gary DeMar • The American Vision

Several posts on Facebook are asking this question: Should pastors address politics from the pulpit? I don’t understand why this question keeps getting asked. If the Bible addresses politics (or anything else), then pastors must address politics and anything else the Bible addresses. It’s that simple.
I became a Christian in 1973. That’s 47 years ago. What do 47 years of preaching and teaching look like? Let’s say you attended church 50 times each year. That’s 2250 messages from the pulpit. If you attended Sunday evening services, that would be another 2250 messages. These numbers don’t count Wednesday evening, Sunday School, Bible studies, and your own personal study. That’s a lot of Bible.
Are we to believe that in all the times the Bible has been preached or taught that the subject of politics should never come up? How does a minister preach and teach for 45 years and not touch on the politics found, for example, in Exodus, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, the prophets, and the politics of the New Testament (e.g., Matt. 22:21Acts 16:22-4022:22-30Rom. 13:1-4)?
I saw this from an August 2019 article:
I don’t speak on political issues in my church.
I don’t support candidates.
I don’t address legislation.
I never take a side on controversial news items when I’m behind the pulpit.
We may not preach on political issues, but that doesn’t mean we’re sticking our heads in the sand. There are other options.
There’s a court case that could have large scale consequences for Christian schools and churches. The following is from the Huffington Post:
Stillwater Christian School in Kalispell, Montana, says in its handbook that “God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female” and “God created marriage to be exclusively the union of one man and one woman.” It also says that “students and campus visitors must use restrooms, locker rooms, and changing facilities conforming with their biological sex.”

Because of these beliefs, governments are weighing whether they should be discriminated against on school choice legislation. The schools would be denied taxpayer money because of these beliefs. It’s OK for a state to force families to pay taxes to fund government schools but it’s supposedly unconstitutional for some of that money to be returned to these same families to educate their children.
School choice is a debatable issue. But I want you to take note how the opposition is framing the debate. If you oppose homosexuality, the government will declare you unfit to educate. If a church preaches these biblical truths from the pulpit, will a government declare them enemies of the State? Will homeschooling families be subject to new legislation that will force them to teach that homosexuality and transgenderism are fundamental rights and to disagree might lead to the removal of children from the home?
The attacks are comprehensive:
One Abeka history textbook previously analyzed by HuffPost, for example, says that Satan hatched “the ideas of evolution, socialism, Marxist-socialism (communism), progressive education, and modern psychology.” A Bob Jones University history textbook calls science a “false religion” and portrays Islam as a violent religion, including a section titled “Islam and Murder.” Both companies’ textbooks dismiss evolution in favor of creationism.

Consider what Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren wants to do about government education:
I’m going to have a Secretary of Education that this young trans person interviews on my behalf, and only if this person believes that our Secretary or Secretary of Education nominee is absolutely committed to creating a welcoming environment, a safe environment, and a full educational curriculum for everyone will that person actually be advanced to be Secretary of Education.

But the pulpit is not the place to address these issue. Give me a break.
Preachers and teachers are not to “shrink from declaring the whole purpose of God” (Acts 20:27). If a topic is in the Bible, then pastors are obligated to preach on it. R. J. Rushdoony wrote:
What is the relation of clergy and politics? Should men in the pulpit speak out on social and political questions, and, if so, under what circumstances? Answer: The clergy cannot faithfully expound the Word of God without dealing with virtually every social and political question. The Bible speaks not only about salvation but about God’s law with respect to the state, money, land, natural resources, just weights and measures, criminal law, and a variety of other subjects. The clergy are not to intermeddle in politics, but they must proclaim the Word of God. There is a difference: political intermeddling is a concern over partisan issues: preaching should be concerned with Biblical doctrines irrespective of persons and parties.1
Consider Acts 16:22-40:
[Paul] was highly indignant that he, a Roman citizen, had been treated in such fashion by the magistrates, who had not done their duty properly in the investigation of the case before them. Paul did not quietly submit to the injustice done to him. In this first-century case of police brutality, he not only asserted his rights, but also put the authorities in the humiliating position of having to come to him and apologize. Paul had these men up against the wall and kept them there, because they could have gotten into serious trouble for this breach of the law if word of it had gotten back to Rome, or even to the governor at Thessalonica. (Source)
There’s a great lesson here for Christians. These first-century Christians’ involvement in politics acted as a protective of every citizen. The involvement and instruction in politics can go a long way to establish justice for everyone.
People ask why young people are leaving the church. It’s because they don’t see any real-world relevance. Yes, when they die they’ll go to heaven, but what do they do until then? God created the world and He established its boundaries and rules for living in every area of life. The justice system we have today is largely based on biblical law. Well, it used to be. The laws that are being overturned today for the most part are laws that Christians spent centuries implementing. Let’s tell young people about our history. The late Chuck Colson described the time he spoke to the Texas legislature:
I told them that the only answer to the crime problem is to take nonviolent criminals out of our prisons and make them pay back their victims with restitution. This is how we can solve the prison crowding problem.
The amazing thing was that afterwards they came up to me one after another and said things like, “That’s a tremendous idea. Why hasn’t anyone thought of that?” I had the privilege of saying to them, “Read Exodus 22. It is only what God said to Moses on Mount Sinai thousands of years ago.”2

If you want to get young people excited and motivated, teach them the whole purpose of God. Present the history of law in the world and how it has impacted the civilized world.
Should only the gospel be preached on Sunday morning? That is, should only the message of salvation be taught? That would mean at least 4500 messages of the gospel for 47 years with no discussion of politics, education, and economics? I don’t think so.
The writer of the letter to the Hebrews has a different take on the comprehensiveness of the Bible’s redemptive message:
Concerning [Melchizedek] we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God (Heb. 5:11-6:1).
Christians need to grow beyond the elementary principles of the Christian faith. No Christian needs 4500 messages on “the elementary teaching about the Christ.” If he does, then he is most likely not a Christian.
One pastor wrote, “as a rule pastors, especially those who preach in an expository (taking a book at a time, chapter at a time, verse at a time) approach, will be guided by the text. To parachute political talking points into the text is spiritual malpractice.”
If politics is not in the text, I agree. But who says pastors must always preach in an expository manner? The New Testament writers didn’t preach or teach that way. Their letters are not full expositions of the Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:16-17). They addressed issues that were confronting various churches with unique problems. The Bible was made contemporary and relevant.
The above-mentioned pastor goes on to write:
One caveat is this: perhaps a pastor will do a topical series on key issues of the day and how Christians should think through them biblically. I’ve done this as a Sunday Night series. This can be helpful, however, a pastor must be faithful to let the text speak to the issue and not wedge your particular political opinion into the text.
But why just Sunday evening? Why not Sunday morning when most of the congregation is present? Some might say that there might be visitors. Leave salvation to God. People come to Christ in the most extraordinary ways. My wife came to Christ after listening to a prayer. I came to Christ after listing to some bad teaching on prophecy.
The Kavanaugh and Trump impeachment hearings could serve as a great opportunity to address the subject of law, politics, and a whole lot more. It would make a good sermon series on what the Bible says about jurisprudence. Such things are a major part of our lives. If pastors don’t preach and teach on these topics, the people are going to get the information elsewhere.
Joseph was put in prison because of the unsubstantiated testimony of one woman and what looked like a reliable piece of physical evidence – Joseph’s garment that was left behind as he escaped (Gen. 39:12). She lied, and her political “privilege” gave her the upper hand.
Biblical justice demands at least two witnesses.
·         On the evidence of two witnesses or three witnesses, he who is to die shall be put to death; he shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness (Deut. 17:6)
·         A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed (Deut. 19:15).
·         But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED (Matt. 18:16).
·         This is the third time I am coming to you. EVERY FACT IS TO BE CONFIRMED BY THE TESTIMONY OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES (2 Cor. 13:1).
·         Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses” (1 Tim. 5:19).
·         Even in your law it has been written that the testimony of two men is true (Heb. 10:28; also John 8:17).
Without eye-witness testimony, a confession, evaluation of evidence (Matt. 26:59Acts 6:13), — physical or otherwise (Joshua 7:20‑21) — reliability of testimonies (Mark 14:55-56), there is little a court of law can do. Parading supporters before a committee as “character references” or raucous and threatening protests are not legitimate factors in adjudicating a case in terms of biblical norms.
The United States Constitution recognizes the two-witness factor, a point that no Senator raised: “No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt actor on confession in open court” (Art III, Sec. 3).
Now if only our government would apply innocent until proven guilty to something like civil forfeiture where no witnesses or evidence are needed to confiscate a person’s property.
1.   R. J. Rushdoony, Roots of Reconstruction, 552. []
2.   Charles Colson, “The Kingdom of God and Human Kingdoms,” Transforming Our World: A Call to Action, ed. James M. Boice (Portland, OR: Multnomah, 1988), 154-155. []

Wells Fargo, Fifth Third Yank $5.3 Million From 'Bigoted' Christian Kids - By Joy Pullmann

Wells Fargo and Fifth Third announced this week they will no longer donate to help poor, minority children attend better Christian schools, because the banks’ leaders think Christian teachings about sex are bigoted. Last year, the two corporations donated $5.4 million to Florida’s tax-credit scholarship program, which assists more than 100,000 children, approximately 70 percent of whom are black, Hispanic, and multiracial.
“All of us at Wells Fargo highly value diversity and inclusion, and we oppose discrimination of any kind,” said a spokeswoman.
Fifty-eight percent of the children who participated in this program in 2015-16 had single mothers. Their average family income was $25,550, near the federal poverty line. Researchers found that “on average, students who choose the scholarship were struggling academically in their prior public school,” and that these struggling children bump up their achievement to match that of richer kids with better schools within several years of joining the program.
The banks ended their support for the poor minority children after a harassment campaign by the Orlando Sentinel. The newspaper went after Christian schools in articles accusing them of hating LGBT people due to religious teachings about sex that are shared by the majority of the world’s faithful, including Muslims and Jews. Then the newspaper contacted major donors to the scholarships, including Fifth Third and Wells Fargo, to pressure them into recanting. It worked.
“After the [Orlando Sentinel] story ran, Fifth Third changed its mind,” the Orlando Sentinel article on the banks’ withdrawal from the donations says. The banks now say they will not participate in the program until state lawmakers discriminate against religious schools that uphold their faiths’ historic sexual ethics.
The Sentinel reviewed documents of more than 1,000 private religious schools that take state scholarships and found 156 have policies that say gay and transgender students can be denied enrollment or expelled or that explain the school opposes their sexual orientation or gender identity on religious grounds.
Those campuses served more than 16 percent of the students who received tax credit scholarships during the 2018-2019 school year, records from [scholarship organization] Step Up For Students and the Florida Department of Education show.
Since the Sentinel first reported on the issue last summer, four other companies, including Central Florida-based Rosen Hotels & Resorts, Inc., have withdrawn support.
The attempt to manipulate the private sector to accomplish what the state legislature has repeatedly rebuffed has, however, at least partly backfired. In the middle of this brouhaha, the state’s largest scholarship organization announced a new $35 million donation from Breakthru Beverage Florida, a large beverage distributor.
By law, the scholarship donation pool automatically expands if donations exceed 90 percent of the cap in a given year, and it has frequently hit that ceiling since its inception 19 years ago. The current cap is $559.1 million, a tiny fraction of the state’s annual $28 billion expenditure on K-12.
“Private schools that won’t admit or would discipline gay students harm LGBTQ youngsters who might be enrolled and others who absorb those bigoted messages,” the Orlando Sentinel paraphrased from comments by Florida state Rep. Carlos Smith. Smith’s complaining on Twitter helped get the newspaper to “investigate” poor minority Christian children receiving a better education than in their former public schools. “It’s poisoning kids minds,” Smith told the Sentinel. “We should not be funding these schools.”
Meanwhile, publicly funded venues across Florida, including state universitieshost Drag Queen Story Hour, and numerous public schools across the state, including public universities, teach students that it’s possible to change one’s sex from female to male or vice versa. One school district even threatened a male gym teacher for refusing to watch a female student in the locker room, a situation that is still unresolved.

Can religious and science-minded taxpayers halt their contributions to these organizations that discriminate against their viewpoints and promote hatred of their values? Are the poor black and brown parents fleeing to Christian schools participating in their “bigotry”? Or does “tolerance” and “diversity” only ratchet in one direction?
Joy Pullmann is executive editor of The Federalist, a happy wife, and the mother of five children. Newly out: the second edition of her ebook recommending more than 400 classic books for young children. She is also the author of "The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids," from Encounter Books. She identifies as native American and gender natural. Find her on Twitter @JoyPullmann.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Establishment Doesn’t Fear Trump, And It Doesn’t Fear Bernie. It Fears You -By Caitlin Johnstone

During the George W Bush administration it was popular in conspiracy circles to speculate that events might be orchestrated which would allow the Bush family to complete a coup against the US Constitution and hold on to power indefinitely.
Such paranoia and suspicion of government power in the wake of the extraordinary post-9/11 advancements in Orwellian surveillance programs and unprecedented military expansionism were perfectly understandable, but predictions that the younger Bush would not cede power at the end of his second term proved incorrect. In today’s hysterical Trump-centric political environment we now see mainstream voices in mainstream outlets openly advancing the same conspiratorial speculations about the current administration, and those will prove incorrect as well.
What these paranoid presidential prognostications get wrong is not their extreme suspicion of government, but their assumption that America’s real power structures require a certain president to be in place in order to advance depraved totalitarian agendas. As anyone paying attention knows, intense suspicion of the US government is the only sane position that anyone can possibly have; the error is in assuming that there is no mechanism in place to ensure that the same agendas carry forward from one presidential administration to the next.
Schiff dwelling on the fact that Trump departed from the talking points prepared for him by national security officials so he could act “contrary to official US policy,” which is to “deter Russian adventurism.” Glad to know even the president is not permitted to change US policy
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) January 23, 2020

In a sense, the conspiracy theories about a Bush coup were actually correct: the Bush administration didn’t truly end. All of its imperialist, power-serving agendas remained in place and were expanded under the apparent oversight of the following administration. The same thing happened after the Obama administration, and the same thing–whether in 2021 or 2025–will happen after the Trump administration. The disturbing fact of the matter is that if you ignore election dates and just look at the numbers and raw data of US government behavior over the years, you can’t really tell who is president or which political party is in power at any given point in time.
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The mechanism which ensures the perpetuation of the same policies from administration to administration used to be referred to by analysts as the “deep state”, back before Trump and his supporters hijacked that term and began using it to essentially mean something like “Democrats and anyone who doesn’t like Trump”. Originally the term deep state referred not to one political party, nor to some shadowy cabal of Illuminati or Satanists or reptilians, but to the simple and undeniable fact that unelected power structures exist and tend to influence America’s official elected government. It wasn’t a conspiracy theory, it was a concept used in political analysis to describe how US government agencies and plutocrats form loose alliances with each other and with official Washington to influence government policy and behavior.

It is inevitable that such a permanent second government would exist in the current iteration of the United States, if you think about it. It’s impossible to have a globe-spanning empire of the sort America now has without long-term plans spanning years or decades for securing control of world resources, undermining rivals, securing more compliant allies, and ensuring military and economic hegemony. If the US were a normal nation which simply minded its own affairs, a permanent government wouldn’t be necessary. But because it isn’t, one is.
I very seldom use the term deep state anymore, because its meaning in mainstream discourse has been completely corrupted. Now when I want to point to America’s permanent unelected power structures I usually use the word “oligarchy” or “empire”, or simply “establishment”.
This is why I haven’t been especially focused on the US presidential race, despite the Democratic primaries hitting fever pitch intensity. While I believe the race can be a useful tool for forcing establishment propagandists to expose themselves (virulent “never Trump” neocon Bret Stephens just came out in support of Trump if the Democratic nominee is anyone to the left of Pete Buttigeig, for example), the result of the 2020 election isn’t going to change a whole hell of a lot.
This might be a bit offensive to both Trump supporters and Sanders supporters, but it’s true.
Whenever I point out that the current administration has been advancing many longstanding agendas of the CIA and neoconservative war pigs–agendas like military expansionism, imprisoning Assange, regime change interventionism in Iran and Venezuela, and reigniting the Cold War–his supporters always come in saying “If he’s working for the establishment how come the establishment is working so hard to get rid of him, huh?”
Well, for starters, they’re not. Nobody who can count Senate seats believes Trump will be removed from office in the current impeachment sideshow, and everyone who understood Russiagate knew it was going to dead-end at nothing. If they really wanted Trump gone they wouldn’t be pussyfooting around with a bunch of kayfabe combat that they know will never hurt him. Obviously he wasn’t the preferred 2016 choice of certain factions within the establishment, but there are mechanisms in place to ensure that the empire can tick right along with a less-than-ideal president in the White House.
This will also hold true if Sanders miraculously makes his way through another rigged primary, and then through whatever sabotage gets thrown his way in the general election. Sure he might be able to sign a few somewhat beneficial executive orders and we probably wouldn’t see him flirting with an Iran war, but US imperialism will march on more or less unimpeded and his popular progressive domestic policies would require congress to successfully implement. At best he’d be a mild reformer who uses the bully pulpit to help spread awareness while being narrative managed on all sides by the billionaire media, and any changes he manages to squeak through which inconvenience the establishment at all will be reversed by a subsequent administration.
Huge anti-government protests happening now in Iran? Russia? Hong Kong?
Nope. It’s #Paris#France, today.
So it won’t be plastered everywhere across mainstream media. #YellowVests#GiletsJaunes #greve25janvier
— Sarah Abdallah (@sahouraxo) January 25, 2020

Obviously the establishment would rather have someone in the White House who doesn’t constantly put an ugly face on the empire by accidentally exposing its mechanics all the time as Trump does, and obviously it would rather have an incompetent oaf like Trump in office than someone who actively points out the evils of oligarchy and imperialism like Sanders. But the establishment which runs the US-centralized empire is not afraid of Trump, and it is not afraid of Sanders. It’s afraid of you. Gift Card i...Buy New $10.00(as of 08:25 EST - Details)

The unelected power establishment has ways of ensuring its dominance amid the comings and goings of America’s official elected government; they are perfectly capable of dealing with one man being a less than ideal steward of the empire. What they absolutely cannot deal with, at all, is the prospect of ordinary people finally rising up and using the power of their numbers to force real change. That is what they are really fighting against when they try to sabotage populist candidates: not the candidates themselves, but populism itself.
You wouldn’t know it from reading the billionaire media, but the Yellow Vests protests in France are still going on and have remained widespread for more than a year now. This lack of coverage is partially due to the fact that establishment narrative managers are responsible for conveying the idea that the only governments whose citizens dislike them are those which haven’t been absorbed into the imperial blob like China and Iran. But it’s also because the propagandists don’t want us getting any ideas.

The reason the propagandists work so hard to manufacture the consent of the governed is because they absolutely do require that consent. If enough people decide that the status quo isn’t working for them and begin rising up to force it to change, there’s not really anything the establishment can do to stop them. Right now the only thing keeping people from rising up in this way is the fact that they’ve been successfully propagandized not to, and the propagandists intend to keep it that way.
But eyes are beginning to open. If real change is coming, it will come from there. Not from electing anyone president, but from a large-scale awakening to the reality of our situation. The only thing standing in the way is a thin layer of narrative fluff.
Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemit, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Copyright © Caitlin Johnstone

Chaotic Libya Being Helped Towards Stability - By Brian Cloughley

The international conference about Libya in Berlin on January 19 was a success, in that the parties agreed to a meaningful set of conclusions and recommendations that appear to have a reasonable chance of at least limiting conflict and halting further expansion of Islamic State in the region. One reason for tepid reaction and lack of enthusiasm about the outcome on the part of the Western mainstream media was that participants included Presidents Putin and Erdogan, both of whom were influential in pursuing compromise and moderation in the path to peace in the violence-stricken country whose Western-inspired destruction began in 2011.
Twelve countries and four international organisations were represented in Berlin, and it is notable that the event was hosted by Angela Merkel who, as with Presidents Putin and Erdogan, had refused to join in the jolly U.S.-sponsored blitzkrieg that wrecked Libya, and even more notable that NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg wasn’t invited to attend. It was no doubt borne in mind that nine NATO countries conducted a total of 5488 airstrikes on Libya between 19 March and 31 October 2011, while cruise missiles were fired by the U.S. (228) and the UK (18).

Nothing was said in Berlin about the responsibility of the U.S.-NATO alliance (and other culprits including, amazingly, Sweden) for reducing Libya to the utter chaos in which it now exists. As observed at the meeting, “The conflict in Libya, the instability in the country, the external interferences, the institutional divisions, the proliferation of a vast amount of unchecked weapons and the economy of predation continue to be a threat to international peace and security” and attendees committed “to refraining from interference in the armed conflict or in the internal affairs of Libya and urge all international actors to do the same.”
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It is regrettable, to put it mildly, that NATO’s U.S., UK, France and Italy, all of which were represented in Berlin, had not in 2011 “refrained from interference” in Libya, and the western media refrained from making the slightest mention of their culpability with, for example, the Washington Post recording lamely that Libya’s President Muammar Gaddafi “was toppled and killed by rebels during the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings and NATO intervention.”

Intervention? The word ‘intervention’ is defined in the Cambridge Dictionary as “action taken to intentionally become involved in a difficult situation in order to improve it or prevent it from getting worse” and this certainly is not what the U.S.-NATO military alliance accomplished in its seven months of bombing and rocketing all over the country. There was no improvement whatever to the situation in Libya, and the U.S.-NATO blitz led directly to its collapse in ruin and vicious civil war.
Although the heads of government of Germany, Russia, the UK, Turkey, Italy and France were at the Berlin Summit, Washington’s Trump was conspicuous by his absence which was probably just as well, because nobody knows where he stands as regards the Libya debacle. Last April, as reported by the New York Times, he “abruptly reversed American policy toward Libya, issuing a statement publicly endorsing an aspiring strongman in his battle to depose the United Nations-backed government.” Trump’s ‘strongman’ is the self-styled “Marshal” Khalifa Haftar, a former CIA asset, who is still waging war to overthrow the admittedly incompetent government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.
It was lunacy on the part of Trump to telephone the rebel leader and tell him, as stated by the White House, that he “recognized Field Marshal Haftar’s significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya’s oil resources, and the two discussed a shared vision for Libya’s transition to a stable, democratic political system”. This was directly contrary to the stance of Secretary of State Pompeo (who was in Berlin and said nothing of note) in that he had strongly criticised Haftar’s military actions.
It all comes down to oil and profits, of course, so far as western interest in Libya is concerned, and it should be borne in mind that in March 2004, when UK Prime Minister Blair paid a visit to President Gaddafi, it was reported that “Shell today marked its return to Libya after an absence of more than a decade by signing a $200 million gas exploration deal with the former pariah state.” Libya has the world’s ninth largest oil reserves, and the U.S. companies ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Marathon Oil Corporation and the Hess Company were already heavily involved in exploiting its deposits.
The country was thriving under the despot Gaddafi, who was certainly ruthless and persecuted his enemies most savagely — but life for most Libyans was comfortable and even the BBC had to admit that Gaddafi’s “particular form of socialism does provide free education, healthcare and subsidized housing and transport,” although “wages are extremely low and the wealth of the state and profits from foreign investments have only benefited a narrow elite” (which doesn’t happen anywhere else, of course). The CIA World Factbook noted that Gaddafi’s Libya had a literacy rate of 94.2%, by far the best in Africa (and better than Malaysia, Mexico and Saudi Arabia), and the World Health Organization recorded a life expectancy of 72.3 years, among the highest in the developing world.
But then Gaddafi made the mistake that cost him his country and his life. Gift Card i...Buy New $10.00(as of 08:25 EST - Details)

On January 21, 2011 Reuters reported that “Muammar Gaddafi said his country and other oil exporters were looking into nationalizing foreign firms due to low oil prices.” He suggested that “oil should be owned by the State at this time, so we could better control prices by the increase or decrease in production.” His fate was sealed and his country was set on the road to chaos by a rebellion supported by NATO’s Operation Unified Protector, after which NATO proudly announced that “After seven months of operations at sea and in the air NATO has ended its mission for Libya. The Alliance’s job to protect civilians from the threat of attack is done. On his historic first visit on 31 October to the Libyan capital of Tripoli, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he was proud of the part the Organization and its partners played in helping the country and the region.”
Rasmussen was joined in happy satisfaction by Ivo Daalder, U.S. Representative on the NATO Council from 2009 to 2013, and Admiral James G (‘Zorba’) Stavridis, U.S. Supreme Allied Commander Europe (the military commander of NATO) in the same period. After their war these two ninnies had a piece published in the New York Times in which they made the absurd claim that “the alliance and its partners can look back at an extraordinary job, well done. Most of all, they can see in the gratitude of the Libyan people that the use of limited force — precisely applied — can affect real, positive political change.”
Tell that to those who gathered at the Berlin conference to try to find a way forward from the tragic catastrophe created by these dimwits.
The way ahead is for the UN Security Council to endorse the Berlin ‘Follow-Up’ recommendations, especially noting that the conference was “one important step in a broader Libyan-led and Libyan-owned process designed to bring a decisive end to the Libyan crisis by addressing in a comprehensive manner the underlying drivers of the conflict.” The main thing is to keep NATO and Trump out of it and help Libya towards stability by pressuring Haftar and supporting moves to democratic government.
The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.
British and Australian armies’ veteran, former deputy head of the UN military mission in Kashmir and Australian defense attaché in Pakistan.

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